Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Where Did June Go?



Have I been MIA or what?! Well, this month has been a little bit interesting. I have started to write E's 6 month post but have not finished it and now my goal is just to roll it in with the seven month post.

Part of the reason I haven't been around much is that E's sleeping schedule has been a little trying so it kind of leaves limited "me time." And when I do get a free moment, I can't always justify it with blogging. If ya know what I mean. 

So almost right when she turned 6 months, she had her little cold. That threw her sleeping way off and once she was well, she got a little better about sleep again and then reverted to not so great again. We came to the conclusion last week that it was time to lose the swaddle. We had tried a few times and it never turned out well so we always reverted back and were just clinging to the hope that the swaddle was what would allow her to sleep those longer stretches. Well, don't think that was the case. We think she began waking because of it because she is more mobile and was just trying to get comfortable.

So, after reading The No Cry Sleep Solution, I felt silly because the main focus of the book is basically what I already knew--choose a plan, stick with it and just be patient and persistent. I am not a fan of cry it out method and if you are, I am totally not judging you, I just cannot bring myself to do and don't really believe it what it accomplishes. So we are choosing gentle methods, chose a plan and since last Friday night are sticking with it. Eleanor has been moved into her own room, into her crib with no swaddle. As expected the first couple of nights were still rough, but after what we had been going through we figured it couldn't really get any worse which is why we were ready to begin trying something else! We are also committed to making sure her naps are around the same time everyday and then we will move into getting her to nap in her crib as well, once she is a little better at night.

We aren't really doing that much different but it makes us feel better to have a plan and the last couple of nights we are seeing some progress, which is very reassuring.

Anyway, other things that have been going on around here include getting ready for our Texas family to arrive this evening. They will be in town for a week and we are very excited to spend time with them, have E's uncles meet her and for them to get to know her! Hoping this rain we have been having gives us a little break so that we can go on some fun adventures into the city and such.

Eleanor and I also survived Ben's first work trip away. He was gone for four days and three nights. We missed him a lot but my mom also came to help because it was right in the middle of when Eleanor was having really wakeful nights.

We have started baby led weaning so it is fun offering her a variety of fruits and veggies and just letting her go to town with them. I know it is not quite in true BLW fashion because we aren't quite to the point where we are comfortable giving her any and everything on our plates but I think we can go about it how we are comfortable and still be successful. She is doing great sitting in her high chair at meal times and has a lot of fun.

I have quite a few DIY projects that I am dreaming up to accomplish. Hoping to redo a couple of gallery walls in the house, update some frames, hang some old windows and possibly paint them, make a couple of wall hangings, redo-ing the dining room table, painting kitchen cabinets--too many possibilities. It is nice because Eleanor is getting to a point where she can be entertained for a bit by placing her in a little standing toy we have, in the pack and play with some toys, or just crawling around after Holly in the living room. Even if it gives me 15-20 minutes to do dishes, it's nice!

So, basically this is a bit of a mish mash, but that's what my brain is these days. Thought I would try to get some stuff down about what has been going on lately so when I try to look back I can remember some bits because sometimes I feel it is a fog! Well, a fog with a cute baby!
I have also jumped on the Instagram bandwagon and seem to update that a little more than the blog so follow me @allyce_riemer

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Front Door Facelift

As Eleanor and I were out watering our plants yesterday morning, I looked at the "cans" that I have had sitting by our front door for a couple of years--well, actually since our wedding since they were used to hold flowers at our wedding--and they were empty. And sad looking.
I really like them but thought they needed a little something. Also, don't mind the rose bush, it isn't staying there, we just haven't decided on it's permanent home yet. I had a few errands to run and they happened to be by the dollar store in our area so I figured I would pop in a peek at their fake flower selection. I am not always a huge fan of fake flowers but I figure that not a ton of people go in and out of our front door and obviously guests won't be thoroughly examining them, so I figured for this spot it would be okay. Actually I am not a huge fan of dollar store fakes. The ones at Michael's have come a long way and can actually look quite real.


I picked a few out and I still need to do a bit more adjusting but I think they look pretty good and help the cans not to look so drab.
I don't know why this excited me so much. Probably because it was a quick, easy and cheap spruce. It's the little things, people! 

Any spruces around for you these days?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Finally, Some Hair Bows

So when we found out we were having a girl, I didn't race out and buy tons of headbands, hairbows or accessories. I don't really know why. Don't get me wrong, I love a baby girl with a headband or hairbow just as much as the next person but I just didn't get the itch to do that.

Well, when I met my baby, she greeted us with a full head of dark hair. To me, right away, that distinguished her as a girl. I don't know why I thought that because I know there are a lot of boys born with lots of hair to but for some reason, I still didn't accessorize her head much.

I also would always think,"Oh, we are just at home, we don't need to put anything on her head," or ,"I don't want to put something on her head and then have her rub it off in her carseat or have it irritate her." I think I just didn't have a lot of logical thought for awhile, so let's face it, my cute baby girl, wasn't accessorized much. She also wore a lot of jammies. Hey, it was winter, okay?!

Fast forward to a few weeks ago and I was checking out one of my favorite daily reads she talked about one of her sponsors and a really cute website to get hair accessories. Okay, I will also confess right now, I think that a lot of hair accessories for babies are way overpriced. Hence, my new love for Polkadot Posies! Her products are great quality, inexpensive and I ordered them, I think on a Monday or Tuesday and they arrived that Friday. I ordered two headbands and three bows that can be interchanged. My total, with shipping was around $10. Awesome.
Excuse this cell phone pic. Just wanted to get
one of the actual model! ;)
I really would love to be creative like this girl and make cute hair accessories {I mean, seriously, her bows are the cutest!} and, guess what? I bought some supplies to do so thinking it would be nice to have a quick and easy craft during Eleanor's naptimes but then she starting the whole napping-on-mom-quite-often thing so that hasn't worked out quite yet. I did make her a quick clip one day:

Anyway, I was not compensated to write this, I don't even know who is behind Polkadot Posies, but I just wanted to share my find, it's cuteness and affordability and thank AP!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

I Baked!

Obviously, I have not had a ton of time for baking lately, however, this past weekend I came across a recipe that I really wanted to try. Eleanor and I went through a phase where she would let me eat breakfast and have a cup of coffee while she would play on the floor. Most days, especially in this past week or so that she hasn't been feeling well, I only have time to grab something quick which isn't always the most nutritious. Also, Hub likes to eat something on the way into the office with his coffee so when I came across this blueberry muffin recipe and saw how simple it was, I knew it had to be made.

I got up Sunday morning to make them and decided I needed to just do a double batch so it would last a couple weeks and I could put half in the freezer. As I was mixing everything, I started to panic that I was using all these ingredients and they weren't going to turn out. The only reason I thought this is because of the few un-mainstream baking ingredients I was using--whole wheat flour, coconut oil {in place of the butter}, applesauce and agave nectar. Not that I don't have faith in my baking but since I don't use these types of substitutes that often--which I want to change--I just didn't know how they were going to work out.

But I continued mixing away.

They turned out!

They are really yummy. Not too sweet and even Ben likes them who sometimes rolls his eyes when I try to make healthy items or use "weird" ingredients.

So I followed that recipe but tweaked a couple things so here is my doubled recipe:

2 cups of apple sauce 
1 cup plus 2 tbsp of agave nectar
2 teaspoon of vanilla
2 egg
2 tablespoons of coconut oil
3 cups of whole wheat flour
1 cup of unbleached flour
2 tsp of baking soda
1 teaspoon of salt

2 handfuls of whole oats
honey (optional)

3 cups frozen blueberries {from Costco, they are SO good}

Preheat oven to 325. Mix dry ingredients, sift and set aside. Mix wet ingredients in a big bowl then add dry ingredients to the wet mixture. Fold in blueberries. Drop into lined muffin tin, sprinkle oats on top and drizzle with honey if you like. {I forgot to sprinkle and drizzle} Bake 24-26 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.


**Just an unrelated sidenote: I feel like I have been a little absent here and not that I post all the time or regularly anyway but I was commenting pretty frequently on most blogs I read daily and I haven't been. I have been reading blogs mostly in Google Reader while nursing so I can't comment much. I apologize and do comment when I can! Still loving my daily reads! And I hope once little Miss feels better and we get back to a little bit of normal around here, I can even post a little more!**

Monday, June 4, 2012

My Own 6 Month Celebration

Three days ago I smiled and shared a snapshot of E on Instagram and Facebook as well as texted a picture to the grandparents because she turned 6 months old. {6 month post to come} As exciting as it is that my baby has been with us for 6 months, I was also celebrating 6 months of exclusively breastfeeding my little one.

Before we began our breastfeeding journey I would have never thought that continuing would be cause for me to feel proud of myself and my baby. I know it's not for everyone and some people have too many issues to continue or it's physically impossible and that's fine; I am not trying to start a debate about any of this or make anyone feel bad. However, it is important to me and I take pride in the fact that for half a year I have given my daughter all the nourishment she needs.

It has not been easy. We had some challenges in the beginning, it is always tiring and a bit time consuming and we may even be up against thrush at this point but...I wouldn't have it any other way.

I guess I may sound a bit like I'm tooting my own horn here which I kind of am--so I can look back later and know this little feeling of accomplishment. The emotions that have come with breastfeeding were definitely not expected. I did expect to feel the extreme closeness with the baby and those types of feelings but a lot of times I have felt stress, exhaustion, frustration and many more. I have learned also to deal with and understand that these are all normal feelings and that I am not a bad mom for feeling any of these feelings. My amazing husband has helped me through a lot of these emotions, bless his sweet heart. He has put up with a lot from me and all of these feelings and he always reassures me that it is okay to feel overwhelmed at times. I think even he has been very surprised with all that breastfeeding brings with it.

My daughter also does not take a bottle. I learned to be fine with that too. It really isn't that big of a deal. I guess sometimes it would be nice to be able to plan out an outing a little better but we are getting better at doing that too. So basically, feeding E on the go is quite easy too. I don't have to bring anything along, no mixing or warming which is quite convenient. I learned to accept the fact that although the days and nights may seem endless right now sometimes, this is all just such a short phase that we will fondly look back on and wish it hadn't gone so quickly.

Breastfeeding is an amazing thing and I didn't realize how committed I would be to it and our continuing success and mother and daughter {and father, really, let's face it, it's about all of us!}. I am still in amazement that my daughter has gained about 10 pounds since being born 6 months ago and that is all because of my body. Cuh-razy.

So, onward we go and will continue for as long as we can and for that I am thankful. Again, thankful for a husband who works hard and for our life that we tried so hard to set up for me to be able to be at home and nurse around the clock. I am also thankful for finding the La Leche League in our area and for the women who are willing to share tips, advice and their company.