Time Flies When You’re Up Every 2 Hours

Or “How the last 5 weeks got away from me.”

I can’t believe I haven’t posted anything in 5 weeks. Here I thought that I would be blogging at least once a week during maternity leave since I’d be home and have so much time on the computer.

BAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Boy was I wrong!

Free time? What’s that? I definitely have less of it now than I did before. It’s so much harder to schedule and plan for things when you have an infant who eats every 2 hours. Just when you think you’ve got a few minutes to get something done, she wants a bottle or to be held or have her diaper changed.

She’s, like, so demanding…

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And of course the moments when Cora is sleeping quietly and I start to think “Here’s my chance!”, her big sister wants attention. Gees kid, make your old meals would ya!

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Seriously though, it has been challenging at times but we’re getting it figured out. Sure, there are 2 of us here but that doesn’t necessarily make it easier. We each have our own agenda of goals to accomplish. Sometimes they align and sometimes they don’t.

As of this week I’m back to work so we’re adjusting to a whole new routine. CJ is figuring out the intricacies of being a Stay At Home Dad to 2 little ones while I get used to sitting at a computer all day and having to think about things besides spit up and play dates.

It’s all good though and establishing this new routine will help us in the long run. Fortunately Isabella is pretty adaptable and old enough to help out.

Both girls are doing great. Cora had her 2 month check up a couple weeks ago and is up to 10 lbs. 8 oz. and 23” long. Other than a bad case of cradle cap and dry skin, doc says she’s doing great. She’s very alert now and likes to “talk” a lot.

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It’s so much fun to sit with her and just “chat”. Those moments are priceless.

And when she smiles at me…fuhgeddaboudit!

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In terms of my recovery back to normalcy, it seems to be taking longer than I had hoped. Sure, I’m all healed up “down there” but there are other things. My tailbone got bruised during labor and delivery and it’s still sore. Sitting all day at work has aggravated it all the more so I’m using one of Cora’s tummy time Boppy’s to sit on and provide relief. I also have to ice it a couple times a day. I tell ya, I have sat on more ice bags in the last 3 months than anyone should ever have to…

My weight is still an issue too. I haven’t lost a single pound or inch in these last 5 weeks since I posted. I’ve been working out 6x a week and watching my calories but it’s not working.

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My “Before” pic – it’s a silly one but you can see my belly pretty good. Ugh. (FYI this was taken at Morrill Hall in Lincoln, NE)

So, last week I joined Weight Watchers. I had hesitated for a while because I was worried about the cost commitment but enough is enough. I know several who have done it and had success, and group support tends to work well for me anyway so I figure, why not. It’s still too early to have results but I’m hopeful this program will be what I need to drop these pesky 20 pounds.

Also, we are officially done having kids. CJ had a vasectomy last week. We’re both getting too old to go through this all over again. We’ve been so blessed to have two beautiful, HEALTHY, girls and I’m very content with that. So instead of going on birth control for years to come or not using anything and risking a pregnancy, we went this route. CJ is feeling pretty good, with occasional soreness.

That’s about it from the Team Trader camp!

Life A.D.–Month 1

It’s hard to believe that a whole month has gone by. Where does the time go?

A lot can happen in 4 weeks.

Babies get bigger and Mommies get smaller.

One of those is true and the other is a big fat lie. Can you guess which is which?

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Yeah.

Funny thing is, I feel smaller but the scale says otherwise. Here’s how I looked just one week after delivery, to refresh your memory.

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I think the belly has shrunk down a little bit, but not enough for my liking. Then again, as everyone says, it took 9 months to put it on, it’ll take 9 months for it to come off.

It doesn’t help my cause that I can’t exercise yet. Things are still sore “down there” (though getting better) and it’s another 2 weeks before I see the doctor and (hopefully) get the all clear.

In the meantime, I do what I can. I do my nightly pushups and ab work. I’ve added in some leg moves that can be done on the floor. I think once I can add in some cardio, I’ll start to see some change.

I’ve also started tracking calories again, just to see about what I’m eating a day. I think I’m doing pretty good with that, making healthy choices most of the time. It’s hard but not as hard as it’s been for me in the past. I think I’m more determined this time around.

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Oy do I look tired.

As I said, I’m healing up slowly but surely. That too is taking longer than I had thought it would. For the most part I feel fine and have stopped taking any kind of pain medicine. But I do start to feel it if I overdo it, by walking too much or being too active.

CJ has actually had friends come over to “baby-sit me” because I’m not very good at asking for help. At first I was embarrassed but it ended up being a good thing and I’m grateful he made me accept the help.

CJ’s sister even came in from Michigan for a week, which was awesome. Isabella has loved all the playtime and attention she’s been getting from all the visitors too!

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Cora is doing great.

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She’s eating more and staying awake longer throughout the day. That first week or 2 she pretty much slept ALL THE TIME – day and night. Now she has more periods of being alert, which is fun. She still wants to eat every 2 hours or so, which kind of sucks during the night. We’re hoping she starts stretching it out here soon so that we can get more sleep.

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Big sister Isabella has come around to loving her little sis but is still trying to figure out how to interact with her. Isabella wants to play with her like she does her dolls, not quite understanding that Cora is a little more fragile than they are. We have to constantly remind her not to jump around her or poke at her. It’s a fine line to encourage her interaction while at the same time teaching and sometimes scolding.

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But we’re all still getting used to everything and the changes that come with a new baby. I think in this next month we’ll really start to settle in and get our groove!

 

Check out these links!

A day in the life: baby edition | Cora’s Birth Story | Body A.D. – Week 1

Body A.D.

My body B.C. (Before Cora), looked like this.

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(Taken after completing the Warrior Dash in June 2012)

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(Taken outside the Olympic Swim Trials in June 2012)

My body at the end of the pregnancy looked like this:

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And now today, 1 week A.D. (After Delivery), I look like this:

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Basically I look like I did at about 26 weeks pregnant.

This is totally normal. Ones bump doesn’t just go away overnight.

Which sucks.

But at least it’s shrinking. I’ve dropped 24 pounds since giving birth, which is comprised of baby, placenta, blood and other fluids from the uterus and water weight. 24 lbs in 1 week ain’t bad…but it will level off soon and I’ll have to start doing real work.

I have been paying better attention to my diet – eating more fresh produce, whole grains, and less processed stuff. I’ve also drastically limited the sweets. Not eliminated mind you, just limited. There’s a big difference. If I eliminated sweets altogether, I’d fall off the band wagon in no time. But by allowing myself some indulgences, it’s easier to make better choices all around.

I am not allowed to workout yet and it’s killing me. I am good at that for sure. Exercise has always been my strong suit when it comes to maintaining a healthy body. I most likely won’t be able to get back to full workout mode until about 5 weeks from now, with the doc’s okay. I will be very ready.

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But the time to heal is important too. I put my body through a lot over the last 9 months and in particular, the last week. I am very sore and deal with pain every single day. There is a lot of recovery needed and I don’t want to shortcut that and risk more issues down the line. It’s hard for me to “take it easy” and “do nothing”. I’m a doer. But it’s not really “doing nothing” – it’s allowing my body to heal which is a very important job.

So, while I really want to drop the last 24 pounds (if not more) quickly and feel like my old self again, I know that it’s a process. After Isabella it took me a full year to get it all off. I hope that it doesn’t take as long this time but if it does, so be it. Slow and steady wins the race!

In the meantime, I shall enjoy time with my girls and practice a little patience.

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Check out these other posts!

Team Trader 2.0 | There’s a Light | Update in Pictures

Out with the old, In with the new!

Happy New Year! Here’s to lucky number 13!

We rang in the new year in a pretty low key manner. Just the 4 of us at home, playing games, eating and being silly.

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We did our official toast to the new year at 9 pm so that Isabella could participate. We mixed orange juice and Squirt and drank out of wine glasses (champagne flutes are still in storage…) to make it fancy. Then we took some more silly pictures and called it a night!

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Now, let’s talk resolutions…

I started out 2012 with a long list of resolutions (30 of them! Eek!). I acknowledged at the time that it was ambitious and tried to break it down in to manageable chunks. I actually stuck with it for a good 6 months too and can say I crossed off about 50% of the items (I say “about” because some of the goals were in multiple parts or I did a resolution for the first half of the year but not the last, etc.).

I could site many excuses for not doing more (laziness, being pregnant, changing priorities, etc.) but the fact of the matter is that I’m human and can only do so much. I’m not perfect (are you shocked?) and so I think getting through half of my list is pretty darn good.

That being said, this year I’m going to come at it a bit differently. I have 2 goals (you know, other than the Big One of having a baby) and they pretty much go hand in hand:

1. Get our finances in order and pay down our debts

2. Establish and maintain organization in the household

The first one is a carry over from last year. I learned a valuable lesson in the last couple of months – no matter how much money you make, it’s all about how you manage it. To that end, you have to have a budget and a plan, neither of which we really had. I really struggled in December with our money situation and how I let us get here (I’m the CFO of the house). But “shoulds” will not solve anything and all we can do is fix it going forward.

So I took some time over the last couple weeks to come up with a budget, formulate a plan for how we’ll pay down the debt and save money and put it in to action. It’s a work in progress and I’m sure we’ll have to adjust as we go but it feels good to at least do something. Admittedly, we are not nearly as bad off as many others in America and I am truly grateful for what we do have. But it could be better and I’m determined to make it so.

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In my mind, #2 will help us with #1. The more organized we are around the house, the more money we’ll save. Case in point: the other week I bought new toothpaste for Isabella because she ran out, only to discover a couple days later when rifling through the closet that we already had some for her. Also, the more diligent we are about cleaning, maintenance and upkeep of the house, the fewer ’emergencies’ we’ll have down the line with things breaking or wearing out due to improper upkeep.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like we’re slobs or don’t take care of things, it’s just that with the daily hustle and bustle, things tend to get dropped by the wayside, forgotten or overlooked and the next thing you know, you’re taking your car to the mechanic for a $200 job that could have been avoided had you remembered to change the oil 3 months ago (not that I’m speaking from personal experience or anything…).

So I’ve put together a Household Management Binder that will hopefully keep us on the straight and narrow. In it there are sheets for:

1. Weekly meal planning (this will save us money on groceries and help avoid eating out plus take away the daily stress of “what’s for dinner?”)

2. Weekly Cleaning Checklist – I’m using #2 (breaks up cleaning tasks out by day of the week so that we have a few small things to do each day rather than a huge list on the weekend)

3. Monthly Cleaning Zones (lists out items that need to be done on a monthly basis so they aren’t overlooked)

4. Budget (visible reminder of our budget that will help us see how we’re doing and stay on track)

5. 52 Weeks of Organization (a weekly guide to organizing so that by year end, the whole house will be organized and de-cluttered)

6. Play date Calendar (monthly look at all the play groups, story times and open gym times around town for CJ and Isabella to use)

7. Emergency Contact Information (list of emergency numbers for easy reference for us or baby-sitters)

8. Household projects (list of all the big projects / to do’s that need to be done around the house so that CJ and I can sync up and track them together)

We’ve been using it since Sunday and so far, so good. Crossing items off the weekly cleaning list feels good because it means we’ve accomplished something and that we’re doing good things for our house! And the meal planner has made the week so much easier when it comes to lunches and dinners.

We also got one item checked off the household projects list – putting the storage cabinet together and organizing it!

In our old house, we had this cabinet in Samson’s Room and used it for storing gift wrapping supplies, games, scrapbooking stuff, and miscellaneous small décor items (like candles). We had to take it apart when we moved and it never got reassembled – until this weekend!

The basement went from this:

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To this!

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Pretty awesome, huh? I was able to unpack and toss about 7 big boxes, freeing up so much more space.

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Here’s what the inside looks like:

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On the left is the gift wrapping station (ribbons and accessories on top, bags and tissue on the hangers, and wrapping paper and boxes on the bottom). On the right we have games, memory boxes, extra baskets/art supplies and candles (in the top drawer). Bottom drawer is empty which means there’s room for more!

Feels so good to have that done and I smile every time I go in the basement and see that area!

Cheers to a good year!

Out with the Old + Labor Day Weekend Fun!

I like to have really nice things in our house. But I don’t like paying high prices for them. This is often a conundrum as it seems the things I like most tend to be out of budget and I’m left to dream.

Unless I can score a good clearance deal!

That was the case last week. We bought a new patio set!

Our old set was just that – old. We’d had it for 3 years and over that time the umbrella broke, as did one of the chairs, and the table top was permanently marked up.

It made our patio look junky.

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I wanted something more “grown up”. Something comfortable and functional but with an air of sophistication.

And of course it had to be kid and dog friendly.

So I started watching the sales and low and behold, I saw one that was exactly like what I was looking for, on end of season clearance for 60% off.

I dragged CJ and Isabella to Sears and we ended up with this Ty Pennington set that at full price retails for around $1200 (with the loveseat, 2 chairs, coffee table and 2 ottomans).

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Guess how much we paid?

$425 smacks. That’s right; we got a 6 piece set for almost 70% off. It was on sale already plus they added an extra 10% discount because it was the floor model and last one in the store.

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We love it – and Samson approves too! Not only is it comfy and gives us way more seating but it also makes the whole patio look more put together.

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Isabella digs it too!

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I would like to jazz it up a bit with some brighter colored pillows and add some decorative touches to the table – like flowers or something. Maybe even an outdoor rug. I’m watching the sales now to buy stuff but most likely will wait until next year to put it out since cool Fall weather is right around the corner (Dear God please!) and we’d end up bringing most of it inside anyway.

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The Labor Day weekend was a busy one for us. It started with the patio set being delivered Friday afternoon (yeah!) and then we headed downtown to spend the evening walking around Heartland of America Park.

The purpose of going was to show Isabella the big “rainbow fountain” they have but unbeknownst to us, it was broken. While that was a disappointment for sure, we still enjoyed the beautiful evening by walking around the lake.

We saw lots of ducks and swans.

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And were able to catch the sunset behind the buildings of downtown Omaha.

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Isabella did her best Olympic winner pose as she pretended those rocks were medal podiums.

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Saturday we were up bright and early for Isabella’s dance class.

I wish I could say she loved it and show you pictures of her dancing around in her leotard. Instead, I will report that she basically sits against the wall for the whole class and refuses to participate.

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This week was a little better. She at least stayed in the room with the kids and participated in one game. Last week she clung to me the whole time. *sigh* I guess it’s a process.

But for at least trying, we rewarded her with a trip to Fontenelle Forest to see their Dino Quest exhibit.

She had fun walking through the forest and seeing the replica dinosaur displays.

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She also enjoyed the children’s activity area.

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At one point she was getting tired from all the walking, plus it was humid out, and she basically sat down and wouldn’t go any further.

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So Daddy carried her for a little bit and she was happier.

They also have an indoor exhibit that was fun. Isabella especially liked dressing up in costume.

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This dinosaur head was so top heavy that she had to hold it up to keep it from flopping over.

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GROWL!

Saturday night we went out for ice cream and then I drove around trying to find a fountain for her to look at since we had such a disappointment with the rainbow one. We finally came upon one at a nearby hospital and it had a little trail to walk around it. Perfect! As we pulled up, in the darkness of 8:00 pm, we saw a group of 3 girls standing on the grass by the lake. One had a blanket and one had a basket. They looked at us as we parked and then they quickly jumped in their car and drove off. No idea what they were doing but it was obviously no good, hence their quick getaway. The only thing I can figure it that they were about to go skinny dipping or something.

Sunday was spent at the beach for the last day of pick-up sand volleyball and Monday was a family day over at my sister’s new pad.

It was a very fun and family filled weekend – and I was able to nap every single day! Score!

How was your holiday weekend?