Sunday, October 28, 2012

Working Mom Guilt

It was bound to happen sooner or later. It took six months but the guilt has officially set in.

I will say first off, I don't mind working- Most days at least. I like to have my own income and I am very aware of the fact that in order to keep up our current lifestyle, it is important that I do bring in some sort of income. I don't have a job that I loathe like a lot of people I know. And to be quite honest I am not sure I have what it takes to be a full time SAHM. (Hats off to you ladies)

I can not begin to tell you how many people have told me how sorry for me they are because I "have to work". I'm not going to lie, it's a little bit offensive. For the record- overall, most days I don't feel like I "have to work." It is a choice I have made that is best for my family. I know this, I KNOW THIS, however that sneaky mom-guilt has set in...

My baby had her first cold last week. She was so congested and couldn't breathe out of her tiny nose and all I wanted to do was stay home with her all day but instead I had to go to work. There is that "have to". I despise that "have to". I long for flexibility that being a full time working mom does not afford. And tomorrow, BGT has her 6 month check up and again, I won't be there which makes me sad.

I ask myself am I short changing us both by being a working mom? My mother worked until I was about 4.5 when my youngest sister was born and I have very few fleeting memories of her not being a SAHM. I don't feel short changed or like I am permanently scarred from spending my first years in daycare so what makes me think Bennett Grace is going to be? She stays with my mom full time. Next to me I can say hands down there is no place I would rather her be. So why do I keep asking myself the same questions? Constantly reconsidering my decisions? MOM GUILT. That's why.

I am not sure if the guilt is here to stay or something that comes and goes but for now it's here and I want it to go.

(On a separate note- Apologies in the state of my blog design- I should not be trusted to try to do anything other than write a simple post and leave the blog design to the professionals. I don't know what I did or how I did it but unless I can figure it out soon its here to stay)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

SUYL Halloween Costumes

Today I'm linking up with Kelly from Kelly's Korner Blog! The theme for the link up this week is Halloween Costumes and I was already planning a post on Bennett Grace's costume so it worked out perfectly!!

This is Bennett Grace's first Halloween so I really wanted her to look super cute for all the pictures we will no doubt take of her. I searched the internet and by the internet I of course mean Etsy and Pinterest and I could not find ANYTHING. I took my search to Google and then looked it the local stores and again NOTHING. Everything I could find in her size was plastic looking or straight up tickity-tack and I was not about to go there so in my final attempt I took it to Pinterest one more time and came across a picture of these two girls in Loofa Costumes. I thought oooooooh that would totally work for BGT so I ventured to Hobby Lobby and picked up a few things.

I will say that I tried to use their directions and just size them down, but they simply didn't work for a baby so basically I took the inspiration and that was about it. It wasn't very difficult, surprisingly. So here it is! The final product is pretty cute if I say so myself and BGT looooooves it. I thought she would after she had so much fun playing with the tulle in her 6 month photo session :)

Disclaimer- these were taken with my iPhone (as usual) so the photo quality is pretty poor and I could not capture a picture of a smile without it blurring to save my life.

Puppy photo bomb

BGT's back up costume- Cabbage Patch Baby
File this one under: Stop Taking My Picture Mama

iPhone blurrrrrr

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Beaching it!

This Saturday we attended a wedding in Orange Beach so the family headed down to Perdido Key for the weekend. My parents drove down with Morgan and Bennett Grace on Thursday and I came with Lauren and Matt after work Friday. Sean had to work (boo!), so he didn't get to come.

I have to say, October is such a good time to go to the beach. The weather is PERFECT. It is still very warm in the 80s but the humidity is not as bad and the breeze off the water keeps you from sweating. The water was so clear you could see straight to the bottom and far in front of you. It was a little cold in the water but not enough to keep us out. (no where near as cold as spring break when it's still freezing!) This time of year there are tons of stingrays and they leap out of the water. We literally watched them for hours. There were also a big group of dolphins showing off not to far from the coastline on Sunday. They were beautiful to watch.

We spent all day Saturday and half of the day Sunday at the beach. Bennett Grace has grown so much since we're here last and it was so fun to watch her playing in the sand. SHE LOVED IT. She had so much fun splashing in the ocean and pool and putting her little toes in the hot tub. (it was warm not hot, don't worry this mama wasn't going to let her get overheated). She literally had a blast. She smiled and played and took in everything. It amazes me every day how big she is getting.

The wedding on Saturday was outside at the Caribe. When we arrived we were greeted with champagne and strawberries and a band playing music out on the gazebo overlooking the water where we waited to be seated for the wedding. The ceremony was just as the sun was beginning to set and was beautiful with purple orchids everywhere. Afterwards, we were off to Live Bait for the reception. The bride's father is the owner so it was a perfect choice! The orchids from the ceremony spilled over into the reception along with tons of candles. The dinner included shrimp, gumbo, lobster tails, prime rib and stuffed chicken with mashed potatoes, green beans and salad. There was an open bar so of course lots of dancing :) We were worn out after a long day so we stepped out before the couple had their big getaway.

Now we are on the way home after picking up a few things for BGT at the outlets but the parents have decided to stay at the beach for an extra night so BGT will get one more day of fun in the sun with Gigi and Papa D before heading home. Sean was a little bummed not to get to see her until tomorrow but we are so thankful she stays with Gigi instead of daycare so it's worth it for sure!

It was a great weekend with the fam and I hate it that we won't likely be back again before next spring.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Dear Bennett Grace (6 months)

Dear Bennett Grace,

Baby girl you are getting so big and mommy and daddy can't believe you are already half way to a year old. We had your six month pictures taken about a week ago and you were perfect! We could not have asked for you to have been better behaved. Last month was a bit of a hard one but this month you have been so fun! You are doing everything you were last month even better. You have such a little personality already and it is so fun to watch you play to a crowd.

Here is a little of what you were up to this month:

-You wear mostly 6 month clothing with a few 3-6 and 6-9 months.
-You wear size 2 Pampers diapers and they are a little big on you so you have had more diaper explosions this month than you have in the past 5 months combined. You wear Pampers Baby Dry diapers at night and they are size 2s but seem to fit you better.
-You still have 7oz of breast milk 4 times a day but this month you started "real" baby food too! You started with apples, then pears, sweet potatoes, sweet peas and peaches. Next up green beans! Mommy has been making you homemade baby food and so far you have loved it. You weren't sure about the peas at first but now you like them. You have cereal twice a day with a fruit in the morning and either 2 veggies or a fruit and veggie at night.
-now that you're eating solids from a spoon, you are really aware when other people are eating and you open your mouth really wide to try to convince people to give you a bite. It is so funny!
- We tried to introduce rice cereal again but it bothered your tummy so we swapped you back to oat cereal which you like better anyway.
- You sleep full time in your crib. You start out on your back and quickly flip to your tummy. You sleep "semi-swaddled" with your arms out.
-you are obsessed with anything with a tag. You will play with tags forever.
- you suck your lips in and make a smacking sound and you look exactly like a cabbage patch doll. Your Papa D thinks it is the funniest thing ever!
- when you get fussy we rock and sing the ABC song which is your favorite song.
-most nights you snuggle with mommy for a few minutes before you drift off to sleep. As soon as daddy feeds you your night time bottle he brings you to mommy for a little quiet time and you fall right to sleep. You look so peaceful when you sleep.
- you are starting to hold your hands out to go to be picked up. It's really cute.
- you graduated to your pink bath tub without the sling and buddy you LOVE it. You love to splish and splash. You really love to be in the big tub but you get too excited and your legs come out from under you and we are afraid you will hit your head. We also busted out the bath toys this month and can't believe we didn't think to get them out before. You have so much fun playing :)
- you started sitting up without assistance a couple days after you turned 5 months. Now you are a pro! You leaned down to get toys all the way to the floor and you lean side to side. Your balance is great.
- you are still a little chatterbox. You love making loud noises and you really love it when people imitate you and repeat back noises to you.
- you will not turn over from your tummy to your back and buddy does it bother you and your mommy and daddy. You get so frustrated because you think you can't do it and you cry about it. You wake up in the night and try and you get really upset.
- you have so much fun with toys now. You love all kinds of toys and to make toys out things that are not toys, like mommy and daddy's iPhones and remote controls.
- you have found good friends in the puppies. They come to greet you when they get let out of their crates and they get concerned out you when you cry. You try to pet them or stick your hand out so that they can lick your hands. Mommy tells you its gross but you don't seem to care.
-You have the best smile. It is the cutest thing EVER. Your smile and laugh literally melts us every time.
- you are interacting more and more with people. You pretend you are shy sometimes and bury your head into mommy or daddy's shoulder. Then you peek out and smile your best smile. You also love to look at your reflection. We ask you who that pretty baby is and you smile :) You LOVE to video chat or FaceTime on the iPhone.
- you are off the Zantac!!! Yaaaay!
- you love to play Pattycake and you have started to do it on your own. It is so cute and Gigi loves it!
- you met several family members for the first time including your Great Grandma Taylor, your Great-great Aunt Laine and your sweet cousin baby Cooper!

You continue to amaze us every day. We love you so much and can't wait to get to spend some extra time with you with the holidays coming up over the next few months. We are afraid that we will blink our eyes and you will be crawling and walking and we will be chasing you around the house. You are in such a good place right now and we have so much fun with you. We are in no hurry for you to grow up too quickly and hope time will slow down so we can enjoy this age for a little bit longer.

We love you so much shuggie!

Mommy & Daddy

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Adventures in Baby Food

What do you get with $10 in produce, two hours and a bunch of wedding gifts you regretfully rarely get the chance to use? A ton of baby food!!

Haha! This mama has officially entered the world of homemade baby food. I have pinned a million websites and blog posts on the topic on pinterest over the past few months and have taken inspiration from here and there. I really thought it would be harder or more time consuming but it was easy-peasy. I certainly learned a few lessons that I will implore on the next go round. But overall (if the munchkin eats it) I would say it was a success!

Two disclaimers: First off, I was über excited to get started (yes its lame, I know) so I didn't check around for sales... Shame on me. Next time! Second, I should disclose that I did split it into two days an hour or less each day. Not because it was time consuming or difficult, but purely because I was a) too lazy to hand wash a bowl or two and b) because I only had 4 ice cube trays. I think next time I could pare it down to an hour for everything since I have a better idea of what I'm doing.

For my first adventure, on the menu we have: apples, peaches, sweet potatoes, green beans and sweet peas.

(I baked the sweet potato, simmered the apples and peaches and steamed the beans and peas. I used a food processor to purée each and ran them through a sieve to get them to the right texture and remove any chunks. All were frozen in ice cube trays and turned out nicely if I do say so myself!)

So on to the finished product. (and yes, I did put little labels with cutesy descriptions on each one because I embrace my inner nerd)


Monday, October 8, 2012

Life lately

Do you ever wish you could just hit a button and slow down time? My munchkin had her six month pictures yesterday and I could just cry thinking about it. We have been so blessed over the past six months, I can't even begin to wrap my head around it. My sweet cousin Elenie found out she was pregnant near the end of my pregnancy with Bennett Grace and she delivered a precious little boy, Cooper, this week. I can't believe how fast time is flying by! Slow down!!! (pictures to come of this tiny angel once he makes his Internet debut!)

Fall is in the air and we are finally starting to settle into our "new normal". Bennett Grace started adding apples to her diet a week ago and it has helped her stomach and sleep issues so much! We want to get her down to Auburn for a tailgate but are waiting for the weather to cool off a bit. Speaking of cooling off... is it going to be in the 90s all October? I remember being a kid and freezing my tush off in my Halloween costume. I think Al Gore may be standing somewhere with his "I told you so" sandwich board. Anyway, I am powering through the heatwave, perusing pinterest for inspiration and rocking all of my fave boots and eyeing more than my fair share of new ones! And by new ones I mean for me and for the tiniest resident of my household. You are not even prepared for the level of cuteness that come with Bennett Grace's new boots- plural, naturally (these and these). She has two pairs, not one because her Gigi got them for her and she can't ever buy just one of anything.

So here are a few pictures from our life lately and a preview from yesterday's shoot! Hope you enjoy :)