Friday, May 20, 2016

Friday Five

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Friday! This week has been quite a long one as Caroline has hit a major sleep regression. We had mastered 5 hour stretches of sleep at night until this week when Caroline has been waking every 2-3 hours and not wanting to settle back down. Sleep deprivation does a number on your emotions after a few days. Thankfully, the weekend means extra help and support with Joe home and my parents visiting. Anyway... since it is Friday, I am sharing five things I am loving this week.

{One} Stay At Home Mom. This week marks the end of my maternity leave and the time that I should be headed back to work. However, I will not be returning to work until August. The timing worked out perfectly with summer break so I will only be missing less than a month of work. I don't know what to expect over these next three months staying home. I hope to learn how to adapt to my new role as I stay home with Caroline. Any tips on how to make the most of my time at home these next three months?

{Two} Gym Time. I have been going to a new gym Burn Bootcamp for the past month. It is an all women gym featuring 45 minute intense workouts. I am loving the variety since the workouts are never the same. I have been taking classes 5 days a week and love having 45 minutes of "me time" each day. 

{Three} Currently Sipping. Caffeine please! I have become quite dependent on my morning coffee buzz. My go to is a basic iced vanilla latte. It is so simple to make at home if you have the ingredients. Starbucks iced vanilla latte: 3 - 4 pumps (teaspoons) vanilla syrup, 1 1/3 cup of milk, Coffee, 3 to 4 ice cubes. 

{Four} Currently Loving. Old Navy Sales. I have never been a huge Old Navy fan. Their clothes always seemed to fit a bit off. But these days, I am always looking for a good deal and could not pass trying them again when a sale popped up.  I snagged a few items for myself and mini me this past week during a 50% off sale. I truly hope they work out as you can't beat the prices! I mean how cute are these matching prints?

{Five} A Look Inside.   One of my favorite posts to write are personal ones that give a little insight into my life. This post last week was so much fun to write and document my daily life with sweet baby girl. You can always follow along with my daily ramblings and lots of baby pictures on Instagram (@ashley_carole) or Snapchat (anm0616).

What are your weekend plans? Any sleep training tips for a tired mom? 

Linking up with ClareKarliAmanda & April .
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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Simple Egg White Salad

These days I am all about healthy, simple and quick recipes. I have been trying to incorporate more protein into my snacks to help ward off the 3pm or late night munchies. Egg salad has always been a recipe that I enjoy eating but never made myself. I have never been successful with hard boiling or peeling eggs. That is until I found out you could bake them in the oven! This trick takes the guesswork out of hard boiling eggs and makes peeling the shells off much more easier.

Here is my trick for the best hard boiled eggs in the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place one egg in each slot of a cupcake tin. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Place cooked eggs in a bowl of ice water to cool for 10 minutes. Drain the water and peel away.

Now that you have the easiest hard boiled eggs, it's time to make the egg salad. I used a dozen eggs which I removed the yolk. Then added 4 tablespoons of Miracle Whip Lite, 4 tablespoons sweet salad cube pickles and a dash of mustard powder, onion powder, salt and pepper and paprika. Chop everything together in a large bowl. This makes three hearty strings perfect for a quick snack or on a sandwich or wrap all under 200 calories.

Simple Egg White Salad
12 Hard boiled eggs, yolks removed
4 Tbls Miracle Whip Lite
4 Tbls Sweet salad cube pickles
2 Tsp Mustard powder
1 Tsp Onion powder
1 Tsp Paprika
Salt & Pepper

Add all ingredients into a large bowl. Combine together using a hand chopper. Enjoy!

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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Caroline | Three Months

Here are a few little things about you from your third month:

Nicknames: Little Bit, Sweet Girl 

Weight: Around 12lbs. We will not know for sure until your 4 month appointment!  

Height: Checking next month at your 4 month appt. 

Looks: I cant place what feature it is but I see a bit of myself every morning in your smiling face. Your bright blue eyes stare intently at everything around you. 

Personality: You love to smile and laugh. During the night feedings, you give us he biggest smiles and coos while trying to fight getting put back to sleep. Blowing spit bubbles has become a new skill you love to practice. 

Eating: You eat 3- 3.5 oz of breastmilk every 3 hours  during the day. At night, you are back to waking up three times for a bottle before settling back down. 

Sleeping: You have hit a bit of sleep regression. You are now waking up hungry three times a night about every three hours. Hoping you start stretching your sleep again soon. 

Wearing: Solidly wearing 0-3 month clothes. You are in size two diapers. 

Favorite Things: Your have continued your love for being on the go- car rides, long walks, shopping trips. Being outside instantly calms you down. You have learned how to chew your fingers/hands and enjoy grabbing your blanket and pulling it toward your mouth. 

Least Favorite Things: Still fighting napping independently. You have learned to break free of the swaddle

Within your third month:
We celebrated our first Mothers Day together! 
                You officially sleep in your bassinet at night. 
                You started attending baby story time at the new library nearby. 

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Thursday, May 12, 2016

A Day in the Life | May 10

I love the posts where you can get a snippet into someone's daily routine. I have had a few people ask how day to day life has changed now so I thought I would share. I am very blessed to be able to stay at home with Caroline until mid August.  Honestly, I wish I would have started documenting our days months ago as life right now is completely different now with a three month old than it was when Caroline was a newborn. It took about two months for the "newborn fog" to lift and for me to feel like I have (almost) a handle on our day to day life. Not saying it is perfect, there are many days where dinner does not get cooked or the dishes are left dirty in the sink. I want to remember every perfectly imperfect moment as I know she will not be this small for long.

A quick side note about my daily routine, I am exclusively pumping in order to feed Caroline breastmilk. This means I have to find time to sit down and pump every 3 hours around 6-7 times a day. We started parent directed feeding around 3-4 weeks where Caroline eats every 3 hours. This makes scheduling my pumping much easier and I will typically pump while feeding her a bottle. I will share more on my exclusively pumping in a separate post later.

Caroline gets up for the day. She still wakes up for early morning feedings at 11, 3 and 5. No matter what time she ate last, I always try and start the day around 8am. I carry her into the living room, change her diaper and then pump while feeding her a bottle. After she finishes the bottle, we play and talk for a bit before I grab a meal bar for breakfast and get ready for the gym. Below is our little corner of the living room,  my pump is set up along with a Boppy for Caroline to lay on.

I head to the gym with Caroline. I have started going to Burn Bootcamp which is a local gym with free childcare. It is a group exercise class with a personal training feel. Each day is focused on a different parts of the body. The free childcare is what drew me in because I could not figure out workouts with Caroline at home. Typically, Caroline naps while we are at the gym. Today is a good day and she is sound asleep when I pick her up.

We head home and I quickly shower while Caroline continues to nap. She is not a great napper, but I can normally manage a quick shower before she gets too fussy. I get dressed and straighten up the bedroom while she continues to rest.

Caroline wakes on her own and I sit her down for a bottle while I pump. I quickly re-pack the diaper bag and we head to the library. A new library has opened right down the street from us and is having baby story time. Thankfully, the timing is perfect and falls right after she eats which almost guarantees she will enjoy it.

After hanging out at the library a bit longer to chat with the other moms. I head to Chickfila for some lunch. Thanks to their quick drive through service I am home with lunch in less than 10 minutes. Caroline fell asleep in the car seat so I let her nap while I eat and squeeze in another pumping session.       After lunch, she is still napping so I take time to start a load of laundry and clean all the bottles and dishes from last night and this morning.

Caroline wakes up from her nap and I feed her a bottle while watching a bit of television. Then we head upstairs to her nursery for tummy time. She used to love tummy time but has started fussing the minute I put her on her belly so it never lasts long. I end up watching her play on the mat for about 45 minutes.

Caroline starts to get fussy so I rock her to sleep in the nursery. Naps are tricky these days so I end up holding her while she sleeps since I know the moment I put her down she will wake right back up.

The nap did not last that long. So, we head back downstairs. We cuddle and talk for the next hour while I watch a bit of television. Some days I will place Caroline in a wrap and wear her while getting a bit of housework done but I was feeling a bit lazy today.

It is time to eat so, I feed Caroline a bottle while I pump. I grab an afternoon snack while Caroline rests on the Boppy pillow. Then we head outside for a walk around the neighborhood around 5:45.

After the walk, Caroline is in a great mood. So I place her in the swing to play while I clean up some more around the house. She loves to kick and "talk" to her mobile and can be entertained for around 30 minutes in her swing.

Joe gets home from work and plays with Caroline for a bit. It does not last long though. This time of day is the worst for Caroline so we end up rocking, bouncing and cuddling a lot. I take a quick shower and blow-dry my hair while Joe rocks Caroline. My trick for getting ready quickly in the morning is to do my hair at night.

We aim for an 8pm bedtime but it does not always work. Tonight is bath night so we start that a bit earlier. Joe and I double team the bath then Joe feeds Caroline her last bottle before putting her down for the night. During this time, I head downstairs to make dinner. Tonight is nothing special and I end up heating up leftovers from the weekend.

Caroline is asleep in the bassinet in our room. Joe and I hang out for a few minutes before I decide to call it a night. I pump one last time, get ready for bed and am asleep by 9:30. Some nights I stay up later and we will catch up on shows and hang out. But exhaustion has caught up with me tonight and I decide to call it a night early.

I would say that this day is pretty typical. Some nights I have dinner waiting on the table when Joe gets home. But more often than not I make dinner while Joe puts Caroline to bed. Napping independently is something that I am working on with Caroline so she can learn to fall asleep on her own. Honestly, I have not pushed it as I love holding her while she sleeps. Our house is in desperate need of cleaning and life is far from perfect but spending time with Caroline is a priority right now and I try not to take any moment for granted.

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Friday, May 6, 2016

Friday Five

Fridays are a favorite these days as it signals the weekend where our little family can hang out all day long! This weekend is extra special due to my parents being in town for Mother's Day. Today, I am glad to get back into a routine and share a few things I have been loving. As always, I hope you enjoy and would love to hear about a few of your favorite things.

{One} Currently Craving. We recently enjoyed dinner out with a group of friends and I indulged in a wine flight. The featured white wine was delicious and I am on a mission to find it in stores. Vino Verde is a white wine from Portugal which is sweet, crisp and effervescent.

{Two} Summer Fashion. I have found my newest wardrobe staple thanks to the Belk brand Crown & Ivy. Their line has flattering pieces in colorful prints for affordable prices. The best thing about Belk is that their is always a sale. I snagged a few cute pieces in my "new mom" size and they are so comfy for summer.

{Three} Meal Prep. Since Caroline was born freezer meals or fast food were a staple for dinner. I enjoy our freezer meals but was starting to miss fresh vegetables! Late one night, I signed up for a subscription to Hello Fresh. Their meal delivery service has changed our dinners these past two weeks. All the ingredients for three dinners are delivered to our door n Monday afternoon. The recipes are simple and quick which makes preparing dinner less of a chore at 8pm. 

{Four} Amazon Prime Obsession. Looking for the perfect gift for a new parent? Give them a year's subscription to Amazon Prime. Our subscription has paid for itself these past three months. I love that I can order almost anything with free two day shipping if I am not feeling a trip to Babies R Us or Walmart. Our area has free two hour shipping for select products including food, beer and wine! I may have ordered Ice Cream and cookies after a long day at home. 100% worth it. We also use the subscription service for diapers and wipes. 

{Five} Mother's Day. I am beyond blessed to be celebrating Mother's Day this year for the first time with my amazing baby girl. We were blessed with a healthy and happy baby. Unfortunately, that is not the case for every family. I want to wish a happy Mother's Day to every woman that is a figure of support and love in someone's life. 

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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Caroline | Two Months

Sweet girl is about to turn three months old next week. Finally catching up on her milestones and happy to get back on track.

Here are a few little things about you from your second month:

Nicknames: Little Bit 

Weight: 10lbs, 4oz  

Height: 21 inches long

Looks: Your eyes remain the brightest of blue. Your hair is has lightened up so much to a light brown. 

Personality: You love to be on the go, go, go! You have mastered the social smile and will chuckle when you get really excited. 

Eating: We have upped your bottles to 3.5- 4 oz of breastmilk every 3 hours  during the day. At night, you wake up twice for a bottle before settling back down. 

Sleeping: You have stretched your sleep to 4-5 hours at night. We also transitioned you from the rock n sleep to a bassinet beside the bed. Your still restless in the bassinet but are getting better by the day.

Wearing: Wearing a mix of newborn clothes and 0-3 month clothes.  You are in size one diapers. 

Favorite Things: Still love going on car rides or long walks and baby wearing. You love sitting up with support and looking around the room. 

Least Favorite Things: You fight your daily naps despite mom’s best attempts to soothe you. You hate it when your startle reflex catches you off guard. 

Within your first month:
We braved a seven hour road trip and visited your great grandmother in Georgia. 
                You celebrated your first easter with mom’s family. 
                You got your first round of vaccines at your two month appointment. You took them like a             
                     champ and they did not bother you at all! 

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