Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Monday, October 15, 2012

Hey-ya

It's been a while, I know, and it will be a while yet. I'll be back to do a 6 month Alexi journal, and hopefully by then (or shortly after) I'll be able to tell you more about life.

BT

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Alexi Journal - 4 months

Alexi Joy is 4 months old. Boy time never pauses does it! On the 23rd she was 12lb 2oz and 24 inches long. That puts her just about middle of the road normal on both accounts. But, as it has been every measurement since birth, she is slim for her length.

In the past 2 months she's started doing some fun things.
She rolls around constantly.
She sometimes even prefers her belly
She is giving some signs that teeth will be coming sooner than I expected
She tries very had to imitate mom and dad buzzing our lips and blowing raspberries; it ends up being a lot of frustrated humming and drool and bubbles.
She grabs toys with increasing accuracy.
EVERYTHING either goes in her mouth or gets licked.
In our little seat/walker she has begun pushing herself backwards.
Switched to the next flow speed for bottle nipples.
Chooses to sleep on her side or tummy sometimes. (meaning I always put her on her back to sleep, but I'm not going to fight her if she wants to sleep on her side or back. Personally I'm a tummy or side sleeper, so I understand that desire)

Alexi was able to take her first two trips to lakes in August. By far she enjoyed the smaller, less windy Perry Lake to the big, bright, loud, and windy Lake Huron. Also, she experienced her first Northern Michigan MCC Relief Sale.

Currently we are practicing sitting up on mom and dad's bed and gaining upper body strength so crawling is right around the corner. Already the swimming leg motions are there.

After reading quite a bit and talking with Alexi's doctor, we've decided to introduce food in a couple weeks, close to her 5 month mark. I do think I'm going to start with the rice cereal because it's convenient (we were given some) but I hope to squeeze in a little avocado as her second food here at the end of avocado season. All her kitchenware is washed, sippy cups ready, ready for our next adventure!

And if you are looking for photos, I'll refer you back a couple posts to my Snapshots Lately post.

BT

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Quick Note On Smoothies

I love smoothies. So much so that I made a spur of the moment purchase of a pretty little personal sized blender. I've had a smoothie everyday for the past week and a half. Here is my equation for my breakfast smoothies.


- 1/4 cup of yogurt (I eyeball it) *note* I use regular plain or vanilla or strawberry or peach yogurt. The smoothie frenzy I've been noticing has everyone using plain Greek yogurt, but I'm really not a fan. I've tried to be, but it just wasn't worth it.
- a variety of fruits, frozen and fresh
- a couple tablespoons of ground oatmeal *note* I used our food processor to make this "oatmeal flour" to thicken the smoothies, and to make them last longer in my tummy
- a splash of orange juice

I'm about to start putting spinach in them. The only reason I haven't thus far is that I haven't had any in the house.

So there we are. Putting my pretty little smoothie to use every single day :D

BT

Monday, August 27, 2012

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Workout Wednesday

I'm proud to say I had a few good days in the last couple weeks, but embarrassed to admit most of them were terrible. I have come across a couple lifestyle items that need my attention during these reflections. I believe once I correct these lifestyle choices working out will fit better into my life, I'll have more energy to workout, and I'll be a much better role model for little Alexi as she gets older.

The big one is water consumption. I have never in my life had good water drinking habits. When I was younger I was just too much on the go that I didn't stop to think about it. I didn't really learn the difference between thirsty and hungry either. Now I still don't drink enough water, but instead of being on the go, I spend my time in a house with a fully stocked kitchen. I know that not drinking enough water contributes to much of my unnecessary snacking. I'm convinced that it also has contributed to my groggy, low-energy days and physical stuff and soreness.

The other big one is living a sedentary life. Sooner than I like that will change because I'll have a crawling child, but besides that, I spend too many hours sitting and laying on the floor. I would say I'm living the lifestyle of a cubicle job without the job.

My fix for these two problems is this: a month challenge. I have the bottle set up with the amount of water I need each day. Also there will be an alarm set reminding me to drink water. There will be another alarm set to go off reminding me to move. And my moving will be more than just standing up and sitting down. It'll either be a walk, unloading or loading the dishwasher, gathering laundry, switching laundry, putting clothes away, jumping jacks, dance session with the baby, etc.

Why a month? It takes just about that long to create habits, and that's what I want these to become. Eventually I want to automatically do these things without alarms and water measuring.

Join me if you'd like!

BT

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Focus For the Week

What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?

I found that question posed on pinterest a while back and it struck a chord. How many things am I thankful God gives me versus how many I thank Him for. I am called to be thankful! He wants to hear about the most basic of things.

What are you thankful for?

BT

Friday, August 17, 2012

Food Friday

This week I talked myself into two unknown worlds. First, I bought asparagus for cream of asparagus soup. I've done a tiny bit of cooking and eating of asparagus but cream of soup is a change. And I also bought an avocado to mess with. I figured if I tried guacamole with half and used the other half in a different lunch I would do alright.

So yesterday I made cream of asparagus soup. During the making process I started measuring out my half and half I discovered it was curdled. Yuck! The power of the Internet proved itself, thankfully, and I found a suitable substitution and the soup turned out SMASHING!! (come to think of it, smashing is not a normal word for me to use. Must be all the BBC I've been watching.) Then this morning I used half of the avocado in a smoothie and will be using the other half in egg salad for lunch. I have spinach for a salad during supper and probably for a smoothie or two in the next couple days.

This week I also received my mini blender!! That very night I went out to buy smoothie supplies. I'm excited at the possibilities this will open up. It's convenient (gets to sit out on the counter because it is pretty) and it can be very health conscious.

My other grocery shopping experiment is with munchies. As much as I'd love to completely eliminate them from my life, I like them way too much with lunch or whatever. So I found the Special K cracker chip and the pepraige Farm cracker chip options. I'm sticking to the serving sizes (yes, counting them out) and I've found that they both can satisfy that desire for crunchy saltiness. Are they "healthy?" No. Are they as bad as Lays? No :)

Good reflections...ready for next week

BT

PS yes I know, another boring, no-picture post...oh well...come back Internet!!!!!

*update* I may be mistaken but I think I made an asparagus soup before, while I was pregnant. Since I can't remember for sure and I have no recollection if it was good or not, I'm not going to count it...

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Letter Writing

On Facebook, Twitter, just about any social networking website or venue I have found a group of people who bemoan that nobody writes letters anymore. Funny thing is, those people don't take the step of writing one first. Sadly, I used to be one of them. I had a life changing experience though; well life changing when it came to my thoughts on letters. I became an employee of the United States Postal Service.

Let me stop anyone who wants to try to bash the USPS in front of me. I won't stand for it. I no longer work there, and I didn't enjoy everything there, but I believe in what it is. I also believe it still has a place in our world. So if you want to complain about it, tell me it's out of date, complain about their prices, you need to find someone else to talk to. Otherwise prepare yourself for a large dose of reality from inside the post office with way more information about it than you ever wanted to know.

Okay, rant over. Back to letters.

Letters cannot be matched by anything online or on your phone. A phone call is special, an email is mundane, Facebook is convenient, but a letter is a keepsake. Handwriting shows the personality, the emotions, the effort in a way an email cannot. Words on a page can be read over and over and over again; where a phone call you must rely on your memory. Not to mention I don't know a single person that doesn't get a little giddy when there is a nonbill letter in their mailbox.

All of that to say, I have resigned from the club of bemoaners. I bought fun stamps, I have a file full of addresses, I made a large stack of stationary, and I have the perfect desk for letter writing. Next goal, birthday and anniversary (and graduation, wedding, baby) cards...

When did you last write a "just-because card?" (I did yesterday)

BT

Ps I finally decided I couldn't keep waiting to update my blog till I could add photos. So, sorry about the ongoing lack of photos, words will have to do till we get internet.

Friday, August 3, 2012

And Breathe

The other night I hit my wall. I found myself hiding in the bathroom doing nothing at all except enjoying the quietness. The knowledge that Chad had Alexi allowed me to just breathe. Then I started thinking about needing to get a bath around for her and her nightcap and how to keep her awake to finish it and and and... My quiet moment was ruined and all I wanted to do was cry. It was time. I went out to where Chad was, asked him to put Alexi to bed, and went out for a walk.


It was the most refreshing walk I've ever had! It did a couple things for me. First, it got me out of the house without a diaper bag; only someone with a child knows what a relief that is! It signified that I didn't need to be thinking about Alexi's eating schedule, if she needed to burp, did she need a diaper change, am I playing with her enough, none of it.
Second, being without Alexi allowed me to walk down a road that was not stroller friendly (no good shoulder) and more hilly than I'd walk with Alexi. (read: better workout, switching up the routine)
Third, it was a walk. I've been pretty crappy to myself in my head about me shape or the lack of it. This post baby stuff is for the birds. And I find I feel the best about myself after and during a workout because I know I'm working to change that which I hate.


Fourth, it reminded me that Chad and I are in this adventure together. Being home with Alexi all day everyday sometimes causes be to forget. I start feeling like I have to do it all. But I don't, I'm blessed with a wonderful husband!
Fifth, Brandon called!! Half way through my walk my brother called and talked the rest of my walk. He was on his way back to Illinois from Arizona. I love my family!


The slowing down, taking a time out. It's just what the doctor ordered ;)

BT

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Alexi Journal - 3 Months

I just finished putting away all of Alexi's newborn clothing. It was bittersweet, first little phase of her life is already over. Each and every day she is looking more like a little person not an infant. Her personality is shining through. She loves holding her toes, talking, chewing on stuff, drooling, baths everything but lying down.

New, here are a bunch of photos all in one place!









BT

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Lovely Ladies Brunch


Back on July 14 some very dear people and I got together for a little brunch. My used-to-be neighbor organized it to be right before Grace took off for Arizona for a two year stint (she thinks) teaching.



I can’t tell you how sad this is for me. I haven’t seen her much through our college years, but there was a comfort in knowing she was still in Michigan. I knew if I ever got desperate she was there; I could hop in a car and find her. And in reality it is startling me how emotional this move is for me. It feels so permanent. She’s so far away. But this is a tangent, back to the brunch!


With Baked Oatmeal, fresh fruit, coffee and tea, etc. it couldn’t have been tastier. The 4 ladies (plus two babies) were great company and the conversation was so refreshing.


Grace, Colleen and I spent some time singing in parts like we did when we were in high school choir (although in choir we were all altos most of the time, I think). These are the days that I look back on and look forward to when it’s looking down.


I can’t wait for our next get together, however long I have to wait for it…


BT

Friday, July 20, 2012

Food Friday


This week has been surprisingly better! Since the move Chad no longer comes home for lunch. I tend to have more like 3 to 4 mini meals, trying to focus on balance and good choices. This particular day I had a traditional meal set up and lunch was this amazing leafy green and spinach salad. Yellow sweet peppers and corn dressed it with leftover, homemade chicken bites reheated to add protein.


Then I’ve made 3 new recipes for suppers (disclaimer, not saying these are particularly “healthy” but they were made relatively or completely from scratch, so that’s worth props in my book): oven fried pork chops, beef stroganoff, and chicken and dumplings. They were all delicious in my opinion and would be worth making again!

So here we are.
I still have an unhealthy love affair with cheese.
Chocolate is a good friend of mine.
I ALWAYS want pizza (no…not kidding).
A childhood of feeding an unusually high metabolism has given me bad habits as a woman with a noticeably slower metabolism.
Now I’m just trying to be conscious so I can teach my daughter verbally and by example how to take care of her body with what she eats and the choices she makes.

BT

Guest Post

I am so stoked you guys!! A while back I wrote my very first guest post, and it's being featured today on www.wordsofwilliams.com

Words of Williams is one of my favorite blogs to follow. Eric, Kelsey, and Rooney Williams make a fun family. The thoughts they share are Godly and wise. I especially enjoy their thoughts on parenting :)

Here is a link directly to my post on supporting young families.
http://wordsofwilliams.com/support-young-families/

BT

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Focus for the Week

Consistency. It's such a hard thing for me to master, but I'm finding it being a need for our little girl and for my own spiritual walk. Without consistency in eating and sleeping Alexi and I don't get along :) and spiritually, without consistency I don't have my time with the Lord.

So that's my focus. Consistency. Eating, Sleeping, Living

BT

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Time and Convenience

Dear Blog Followers,

In the move we made a choice, hopefully a temporary choice. We chose to not have internet. Consequently, I have data on my phone and that's it for while I'm home. Being that I'm a stay at home mom and we only have one car, I don't leave home very often. Anyone who has a smart phone and has that blogger app knows the frustration that can come from trying to use that.

All of this to say, I will continue posting Focus of the Weeks, Memorization Mondays, Workout Wednesdays, Food Fridays, and other posts when I can. They may have fewer photos and be spaced out, but I will try. The hope and goal is to have internet back in our house sooner rather than later. Until then, see you occasionally!

BT

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Down Time

The last two weeks Chad has had to work overtime, and it was trying on us. To make up for it he decided to take two vacation days (Monday and today) and he gets tomorrow off. Lexi and I have loved having him home, and I know he will be sorely missed thursday. I'll be back with your regularly scheduled posts on Food Friday.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Pregnant Bellies

It could just be because I have a pretty big dislike of my post-preggo belly, but I've been missing the little kicks and movements as my constant companion. While here in bed in the middle of the night my tummy did a little gurgle. It brought tears to my eyes. I knew before I got pregnant how excited I was for a belly, and was surprised at the bitterness toward it at the end. Now, though, I desire the pregnant belly even more.

There! It's said! 10 weeks after Alexi was born I miss being pregnant. Boy that didn't take long!!

BT

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Workout Wednesday (on Thursday)

The boxes are slowly (and I emphasize slowly) going away. I have managed though to be fairly consistent walking!! Usually each evening baby girl and I go for a walk (stroller or Moby Wrap).


We've missed one day this week (today) and instead I did a very short body weight workout set. Finding that it's hard to fit in the working out as that is usually when baby girl wakes up wanting to be held, or I feel like I should be unpacking instead.


And until I find my scale and measuring tape, no stats for y'all. The other thing I'm trying to stress to myself is that I must drink more water!

How have you been staying active and healthy this week?


BT

Monday, June 25, 2012

Memorization Monday

We are back on track with blogging!! This past week I've spent time working on memorizing. Every morning at 8 AM this reminder pops up on my phone.


My neighbors before we moved taught me that tip. The first letter of each word is there and you try to remember it from that. By this morning the reminder popped up and I said it without looking then checked it. Therefore, on to the next passage!

Philippians 1:3-6
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

BT

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Alexi Journal - Two Months

This little girl is two months old! I cannot believe we have gotten here so fast! What's more is this little girl seems determined to make herself seem older than she is.















Noteworthy Bits
- amazing head control!
- lifts her head and turns it from side to side when mom makes her have tummy time (not her favorite)
- is insistent that she'd rather sit or stand than lie down
- kicks her legs and holds them up (just a matter of time before she finds those toes with her mouth)
- is increasingly good at finding her fingers with her mouth
- when on the couch with mom (so a slight slant) rolled from her back to her tummy. Has only gotten close on a flat surface, but it looks like its coming soon
- talks and talks and talks, with lots if inflection
- smiles in response to our smiles, songs, conversations, funny noises
- has slept a couple 8 hour stretches at night, consistently sleeps a 5-7 stretch
- has become a drool machine and likes to blow bubbles with it
- her reflection puzzles her

BT

Focus for the Week - Completion

I have a motivation problem. The best motivator is being able to see that the end is in sight. In our new house, with all of this space, with pieces of furniture missing (we haven't bought them yet), with a question mark still by the decorating choices we are going to make, I've been finding it exceedingly easy to spend most of my time chillin with my baby and not working on the house at all. The job seems too big, I don't see an end in sight.


I know if I break it up into small jobs it will help my motivation. So that's what I'm striving for - the completion of smaller jobs.
BT

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Walking

It's not Wednesday, so it's not workout Wednesday. Regardless, I'm excited to tell you that we went walking this morning! Little girl was sunscreened for the first time (never knew I missed the smell of sunscreen), and we travelled our little loop (as opposed to the big loop. This sleepy little road is absolutely perfect for us! We can walk and walk, if I ever get a seat for her we can bike, I would even be okay learning to like running on it (yeah, didn't mention that goal did I).


And the whole sunscreen thing makes me want to take Bright Eyes swimming for the first time. Since I'm not a fan of swimming, that's saying something.


BT

Bird Watcher

Apparently I am now a bird watcher. We have a bird house in our front yard home to a family of barn swallows. Now before you think I actually know what I'm talking about, the only reason I know they are barn swallows is because of my friend Cherry. She went out and checked and told me the babies were big and I should take a look. I worked up the courage to lift the side of the house this morning (something about spying on birds and getting that close to the babies feels wrong). I've never been so excited about birds. Never really could get into watching bird feeders, but this feels more like our own little family. If you need me, you'll find me watching the birds fly back and forth to get food and feed the little ones :)

Source: http://m.flickr.com/#/photos/bigdog3c/2475376530/


BT

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Still Here

I'm still here, I promise. We are in our new house, just boxes are everywhere!! I'm working on getting some order back to life, until then expect me to be just a bit MIA. This move has been good, just time consuming. Oh, and little girl, LOVING having her own room and bathroom. Had our first fun bath last night and has slept 8 straight hours too days in a row now!