Tuesday, September 4, 2012

I'm just running to Starbucks....

So my Mom *really* doesn't like saying goodbye, even more so when Tripp is involved.  Her face actually breaks my heart when he's leaving.  She was out here in LA until he was about a month old and I wanted to cry when she went to the airport.  Of course I miss my Mom when she's not here, but I don't normally cry when she leaves.  Having to watch her leave her grandson was awful. 

Then I got to call her three weeks later and say SURPRISE!  We're coming to see you!  We saw my parents in Connecticut during our East Coast trip and it was fantastic...until Tuesday morning when we left for Maine.  Mom's face was heartbreaking, so now we just say "hey I'm running to Starbucks, I'll be right back!" 

Where am I going with all of this?  I'm not saying goodbye to all you fantastic blog readers, I'm just running to Starbucks. :-)

Since Patrick got out of the Navy on August 1st, we've been talking a lot about the next chapter, where we want to be in 5/10/20 years, etc.  There are a lot of really exciting, big things that we want to do, but they are going to take time and effort on both of our parts.  I'm pretty sure everyone feels like there aren't enough hours in the day, but holy cow does that become a reality when you have a baby!

I did a lot of thinking over this past weekend during a workshop.  I started this blog back in January as a hobby when Patrick was on deployment, and I do enjoy writing it.  I'm going to enjoy accomplishing the goals that we've set even more, though, and the blog isn't helping us get there.  The time I spend each week thinking of topics, taking pictures, coming up with workouts & fun things to cook and actually writing the post is valuable time that I could be spending on other efforts. 

So I want you to think about this: what are your goals?  Are they written down?!  Where do you see yourself in 5/10/20 years?  Are you doing something *every* day to get there?  Even if its just 15 minutes a day, do something.  Read a chapter in a book that will help you with your goals.  Do yoga or meditate for 15 minutes to relieve the stress of everyday life so that you can focus better on your goals.  Listen to an audio CD by Brian Tracy in the car on the way to work - I can almost guarantee that will get you thinking.

If you have an addiction to reading blogs, here are some really good ones that I think you'll enjoy:


If you have goals in your life that just don't seem to be reachable, here are some good books to light a little fire in your pants:

Focal Point by Brian Tracy
The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley & William Danko
The Miracle of Right Thought by Orison Swett Marden
Anything You Want by Derek Silvers
Choices by Shad Helmstetter

Who knows how long the line at Starbucks will be, but when I get that soy latte, I'll be back. ;-)


"I will live a few years like you won't, then live the rest of my life like you can't." -Unknown

"Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant.  If they watch every cloud, they never harvest." -Ecclesiastes 11:4

"There is a period of sacrifice in everyone's life.  You get to choose when."  -Jimmy Napier

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Preparation is Key

Hey there - how's your morning going?  Halfway to the weekend! 

We've been catching up on life the last two days after our awesome week away.  We flew to the East Coast and hopped around New England for Tripp's first vacation.  First we stopped in NYC for a Yankees/Red Sox game, made our way to CT to see my extended family and attend my Aunt's wedding, then drove up the coast to Maine so that I could eat my body weight in lobster over 3 days.  Amazing.  Lobster and steamed clams, lobster benedict (with avocado!!), lobster rolls....don't mind if I do. :-)

Coming home from a week away always entails one of my least favorite things: an empty fridge.  What to do....

I like to have a good selection of grab & go stuff ready, especially now that we have our little man.  I don't always have time/energy to cook or I might be busy when Patrick is hungry and he can't doesn't like to cook haha. 

This week:

beets, quinoa and lentils

kale salad (kale, red cabbage, shredded carrots, red onion and sesame seeds with a homemade dressing: 2 oz olive oil, 1 oz sesame oil, 1 oz apple cider vinegar, 1 oz maple syrup, 1 tsp ground ginger)

grilled chicken breast and grilled veggies

I'm on a total eggplant and zucchini kick right now.  I'll usually toss those in olive oil and sea salt, along with whatever random veggies come in our box for the week and grill away. 

I eat a lot of salads, too, so prepping all of that stuff makes my life way easier.  Kale salad is easy to make ahead of time because it doesn't wilt like lettuce.  If you don't like kale, tear and wash your lettuce and store it in a wet paper towel in a ziploc bag, cut your veggies ahead and just throw everything together.  Its normally better to wait and cut fresh fruits and vegetables right when you need them since they start oxidizing as soon as they are exposed - but if it means the difference between eating healthy and not, I say chop away!

Having foods ready to grab when you don't have a lot of time to prep something healthy is a huge key to success when it comes to eating well.  When I make dinner, I try to make enough so that we have leftovers to heat up the next day as well - minus fish.  Fishy leftovers are gross.

Off for a morning run while Daddy feeds the baby!  Have a lovely day everyone!


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

3 Months

So hard to believe our baby boy is 3 months old already! 

Tripp almost seems like a completely different baby.  I've heard from so many Moms that 0-3 months is just survival mode and then all of a sudden, something clicks and you just get it.  You have a little person now instead of an 8 pound helpless blob haha.  Don't get me wrong, he was an adorable blob, but he's way more fun now!

-We were starting to get smiles a month ago, but now he's definitely Mr. Smiley. 

He also has some of THE funniest facial expressions:


-Patrick is his favorite person in the ENTIRE world.  I get my fair share of smiles when I go to get him out of his crib or when we're playing, but all Daddy has to do is look at him.  Its kind of disgusting really haha.  When we were on the plane coming back from the East Coast, Tripp would just sit there and stare Patrick down. 

 Whenever Patrick looked over at Tripp, this happened:


-Tummy time is not a favorite over here.  He will either just lay there and lick the blanket (if he's in a good mood) or get incredibly pissed 2.5 seconds after I put him on his stomach.  When he's mad, that's when he squirms and tries to roll over so I try not to rescue him too soon.  Its so hard though!  Necessity breeds invention right?  That's what I keep telling myself.  He's lifting his head higher each time, so we're getting there. 

-We're so close to getting a laugh!  We found out he LOVES when you put his toes in his mouth.  He does this funny gasping thing, which I think is his way of laughing right now.  Its pretty hilarious.  I'll try to catch it on video one of these days, but I'm pretty sure I know how that's going to work out. 

-Tripp is a champion traveler.  I was so thankful and proud of him on our vacation.  We took the redeye over there and he slept the entire flight.  He actually wouldn't even wake up to eat during takeoff.  I tried, but finally gave up and figured he would wake up if his ears were hurting.  On the way back, we flew during the day and he stuck to his normal routine.  He fell asleep after takeoff, woke up when it was time to eat a few hours later, stayed up to play a little while and then went back to sleep.  Amazing.  I'm hoping it goes as smoothly next month when I don't have Patrick to help me. :-/

-He slept through the night!!!! Only twice, but I'll take it.  The first night was Friday.  I woke up to my alarm at 6:30am and was SO confused.  Tripp ended up sleeping until 7 that morning.  The next night was our first night back at home.  Technically he didn't sleep the whole night, but he woke up at 4 (probably feeling like it was 7) so I was okay with that.  We haven't had a repeat in a few days, but I'm hoping we will soon.  I thought he was going down for a nap at 5 yesterday and he didn't wake up until after midnight!  Then started today at 530am.....  If we could just shift that whole scenario to the right about 2 hours, that would be fantastic. 

Things get more fun every day.  We see new facial expressions, hear new sounds and get excited for the next thing to come.  I feel so blessed every day to have a happy, healthy baby boy.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Cloth Diapering 101

Morning everyone!

Let me start by saying that I am by no means a cloth diapering expert. There are a million different options out there, each with their own pros and cons. This is just what works for us...for now. That can always change as I find new products, Tripp gets older, I get lazier...haha. Cloth diapering isn't for everyone, but I have gotten a good amount of questions from friends that were curious/interested, so I thought I'd put it all out there for ya.

When I found out I was pregnant, I knew that I wanted to try cloth diapers.  We try to be as environmentally friendly as possible (reduce reuse recycle...sing with me Jack Johnson fans) so the thought of Tripp's diapers sitting in a landfill for umpteen years grossed me out.  Yes, its extra water that we're using to do the laundry, but I bought enough diapers so that we only need to do a load every other day instead of every day...it made me feel better anyway.  Our water bill actually hasn't gone up much at all, so I feel good about that.

A huge benefit to using cloth diapers is that a lot of cloth babies end up being potty trained at a younger age.  They are more aware that they are wet or dirty, and that's obviously uncomfortable, so they tend to want to get out of diapers earlier.  I'm okay with that! Another thing I heard was that diaper rashes tend not to pop up as much with cloth.  It may be pure coincidence, but the only time I've ever seen a hint of diaper rash coming with Tripp was when he was in disposables for a week.  We do use disposables when we are travelling since we don't have the luxury of a washing machine in a hotel room...and who wants a trash bag full of dirty diapers in their suitcase? 

There are several different kinds of cloth diapers available these days.  When I first told our parents we were putting Tripp in cloth, they were shocked.  They thought I was safety-pinning my child into a burp cloth haha.  Notsomuch.  Cloth diapers look a LOT different than when we were kids...thankfully.

(Source: www.babycottonbottoms.com)
Prefolds: Supremely affordable and the most durable cloth diapering option, it is no surprise that prefolds are also the most widely used cloth diapers. They are rectangular in shape and designed with three areas of varying thickness. Diapers listed as 4x6x4 have four layers of cotton twill on the side panels with six layers in the middle. 4x8x4 diapers similarly have four layers on the sides and eight in the middle. Prefold diapers necessitate a bit more of a pioneering spirit as they require minimal folding, optional fastening and waterproofing with a breathable diaper cover but provide superb absorbency and amazing economy.

Pockets: Pocket cloth diapers are not the most affordable option but are wildly popular for their comfort, convenience and ability to contain messes really well. They are made from two layers—an outer shell that is breathable and waterproof and the inside lining is made from a single layer of super soft fleece or suedecloth. The two layers form a pocket opening perfect for stuffing with an absorbent insert or tri-folded prefold. Parents also love the flexibility of being able to customize the diaper's absorbency with an insert based on their baby's specific needs. They are designed to secure around baby with Velcro or snaps and are available in fun colors.

All-in-One's: The AIO cloth diaper is a clear favorite among Dads and caregivers. All-In-Ones most resemble disposable diapers in the convenience they offer and in ease of use. Fitted and secured with hook and loop tape or snaps, the interior is absorbent and the exterior is made from a breathable waterproof shell. All-In-Ones are offered in an array of prints and colors that really makes cloth diapering fun.

All-in-Two's or the "Shell" system: Shell diaper systems usually consist of a cover and then one or several "lay-in" inserts. So unlike a pocket diaper, you don't "stuff" your diapers, and you can reuse the covers multiple times between washings. And you can simply turn the dirty diaper into the pail to drop out the insert and then load it with a new, clean insert. This simplifies diaper bags, too. Just carry more inserts and you're ready to go!

Fitted Diapers: A fantastic combination of convenience, affordability, and a great fit make the fitted cloth diaper a hot seller. They are shaped for a trimmer appearance and secured around baby with convenient snaps or Velcro. Gentle encased elastic around baby's legs and torso provides superior leak prevention. They are easier to use than prefolds and easier to clean than All-In-Ones. Simply wrap around baby and cover with a breathable & waterproof diaper cover.

We're a combination household.  I use BumGenius Flips (AI2 on the left) during the day and put Tripp in a BumGenius 4.0 (pocket on the right) at night. 

Pockets have a little more absorbency because you can stuff extra liners inside and they do better at containing messes when he wears a diaper a lot longer than he does during the day.  We've had leakage two or three times with the pockets, and I'm sure I'll have to revamp the nighttime situation as he gets older and pees more at night, but it works for right now.  I like the fun patterns too. :-)

I chose this brand because 1) I liked these types of diapers, 2) they are a little more friendly on your wallet than some other brands and 3) they are one size!!  Many brands offer three different diaper sizes (newborn, infant and toddler) so you have to buy a whole new stash when your baby outgrows them.  $$$!  Tripp's diapers fit him when he was 7 pounds, they still fit him at 12 pounds and they should be good until he is potty-trained (in 3 months according to his Dad) because of their handy snap system.  You just adjust the snaps to alter the size as your baby grows.  (bum)Genius!  Sorry, I couldn't help myself.

A big issue with cloth diaper naysayers is cleaning.  If you're trying to save money by not using disposables, getting a diaper service kind of defeats the purpose.  I wash Tripp's diapers at home and it's actually really easy.  After I change his diaper, I throw the dirty stuff into his diaper pail (which is nothing more than a bucket with a lid).  We use a dry pail and don't need to do anything extra.  When he starts solids, we'll get a diaper sprayer that attaches to the toilet and spray his messes off into the toilet, flush and drop the diaper in the pail. 

I throw everything into the washer for a cold rinse cycle with some Baby OxyClean to get the mess off of the liners.  Luckily, breastfed babies typically don't make awful messes.  Solid food changes everything.  After that is done, I do a hot wash cycle with an extra rinse using a chemical free detergent.  There are a few different cloth diaper-friendly detergents on the market.  We have tried Charlie's and Rock 'n Green. 

I honestly couldn't tell the difference between the two after using them both.  Charlie's is a little cheaper and the container is easier to scoop detergent out of, so that's our winner.  I've completely switched us over to Charlie's for all of our laundry.  Baby clothes shouldn't be washed using regular detergent and since it can leave a residue in the washer that will get on Tripp's clothes, I just use Charlie's to wash ours as well.  They smell just as clean as when I washed them with Tide.  :-)

Once a month I will toss all the clean diapers in the washer for a rinse with 1/4 cup of chlorine free bleach and then wash as usual to get stubborn stains out.  Liners go in the dryer with no fabric softener and diaper covers hang on the drying rack to dry.  That's it!  Super easy.  And no, there is no baby poop in our washer.  Promise. 

There is a wealth of information available on cloth diapers if you're interested in learning more.  Here are a few websites that I've enjoyed perusing:


Have a lovely Thursday everyone! 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

At Home Workouts

Morning!  How's your day going so far?  We're doing much better over here. :-)  Back into our routine.  I'm a routine kind of girl, so that makes me a happy Mama.

If you know me at all, you know fitness is a huge part of my life.  Its something I love to learn about, love to talk about and love getting as much of it in as I can make time for.  Being a new Mom, that can be a little trying sometimes.  I've found that having workout equipment in our garage has been a HUGE help.  If I'm on my own for the day, I can't just walk out the door and go to the gym whenever I feel like it.  If there is a class I want to take, chances are Tripp will decide he's hungry 5 minutes before it starts.  I don't always have time for a long workout and after getting 5-6 hours of broken sleep, chances are I don't really have the energy by the time Patrick gets home.  I like having a "gym" in our garage.  I can make my own workouts, I have a decent collection of DVDs (Chalene Johnson is AMAZING), and there are tons of free online resources when I want to switch it up a little bit.  Love me some BodyRock.

My workout apparatus:

Weights (2-15 lbs), 8 lb medicine ball, resistance bands, pull-up bar, yoga ball, yoga mat and a jump rope (not pictured: quality workout shoes, a heart rate monitor and the jogging stroller).  Additions on my (birthday) list: a BOSU, a 30 lb Body Bar, a 10 lb kettlebell and a new heart rate monitor (mine is about to hit the crapper after several years). 

You honestly don't need much though.  You can improvise with weights: soup cans, jugs of water, a backpack with books, the baby, etc.  There are a ton of exercises that can do a lot for you just using your own body weight:


 pullups (assisted or not)



Plyometric moves get you a lot of bang for your buck: jump squats  (like a regular squat, but from the squatting position, press off and jump, landing in a squat again), jump switch lunges (same idea - from a lunge on one side, jump and switch your legs), speed skaters (see below - start on one leg and then jump to the other side)

Some people find that paying for a gym membership motivates them to get in there and actually workout.  If that's you, awesome!  You've found what motivates you and you get it done.  You're a few steps ahead of a lot of people.  If you're just getting started with fitness, having a few sessions with a personal trainer would be helpful so that they can coach you on your form to avoid injuries.  Everyone's needs and fitness levels are different, so find what works for you and make it happen.  What are you waiting for?!