Wednesday, June 26, 2013

day care.

since we found out we were moving to shoreview, i've been thinking a lot about what we are going to do for day care for bennett. we absolutely LOVE his current day care. honestly, i'd HIGHLY recommend them to anyone looking for day care in the area. we drive quite a ways to bring him there as it is, but have felt it was worth it for peace of mind. my friend, kari, sent her little girl there and raved about it, and i appreciated having a recommendation from someone i know. it has been a fantastic experience; his "teachers" have truly embraced bennett (or benny, as they call him). they know him and, we feel, love him.

also, they recently started using an app called "daily connect." we used to get daily "report cards" that would detail how ben's day went (what/how much he ate and drank, when/how long he slept, his mood, etc.). that worked well, but most days i wanted to know throughout the day how he was doing. often times his teacher would text me, which i really appreciated. but now with this new app, we get automatic updates throughout the day. i can check the app anytime and know how his day is going and what he's up to.  knowing that helps me feel connected to him and helps me feel more at ease. honestly, it's the next best thing to being with him myself.

the point is, we love our day care.

however, our move is going to make a long commute (20 min from home to day care + 20 min from day care to work in the morning, same in the afternoon) even longer. so, about a month or so ago i started looking into other day care options closer to our new house. i looked online and asked anyone i could think of in the area who might know good day care options. i've always been open to either in-home settings or centers. the biggest thing to me is knowing someone who's had a good experience with the center or provider.

at first, my search came up pretty short. most in-home options i could find did not have openings for kids under 2. finally i spoke with a friend, erin, who lives in shoreview. she has a daughter who's about 3 and just had a new baby. erin is a teacher so i knew she uses day care. she raved about her in-home day care provider who is located just over a mile from our new house and said she'd talk with her for me and see if she has any openings. a couple weeks later, erin contacted me with her day care provider's phone number and said that she'd spoken with her and been asked to pass along the contact info to me. erin said her provider was already talking with a couple other families, but that she wanted to meet me for AN INTERVIEW since erin had talked us up so much.

that's right. i'm being interviewed to have my child attend this day care. at first, i was a little unsure how i felt about that. but erin explained that it's really about making sure the provider and the parent(s) are on the same page and can approach things as a partnership. i can only imagine how difficult some parents must be to work with, so i guess i can't say i blame her for making an "interview" part of the process. ultimately, she probably just wants to make sure we're not crazy, so i'm working on my best "normal." i've been joking and telling friends that i'm busy creating ben's resume (which now can pretty confidently include walking, by the way!).

our "interview" is friday. i'm really hoping it could be a good match. it's cheaper, closer, and comes highly recommended. though joe and i (and bennett, i'm sure) would be disappointed to have to say goodbye to our current day care providers, i think it could be a great situation for us and may make the most sense for our family once we move. now i just gotta get ben's best suit to the cleaners. wish us luck!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

calories and miles.

as most of you who read my little blog regularly know, i've been doing weight watchers online for about 10 months. i started about 4 weeks after bennett was born. in those 10 months, i've managed to lose 34 lbs. i haven't really lost much in the last month or so, and though i've essentially maintained (up a little, down a little, and so on), i'd like to see that number consistently moving down again. it seems i've been writing essentially this same post about once a month, i know.

i don't feel like i've been consistent at all in following weight watchers, and i certainly haven't made exercise a priority at all over the last couple of months. so, i've decided to make a little change. is a free calorie-tracking website. they have EVERYTHING listed in their food database and while you're tracking calories (instead of points on weight watchers), it's essentially the same thing. the website will set your calorie allotment for you based on your weight, activity level, and how quickly you want to lose (from half a pound a week up to two pounds a week), or you can set it yourself. i chose my own calorie allowance so i could convert points to calories. according to what i read online, there's about 40 calories in one weight watchers point. so, i used the following calculations to determine my daily calorie allowance.

number of weight watchers points (33) x 40 (calories in one point) = 1320 calories per day

on weight watchers you are also given an allowance of 49 "extra" points each week on top of your daily points. these points are meant to be used for treats that wouldn't fit in your daily points allowance (think: splurge meal, birthday cake, etc.). so i added those in, too...

49 points x 40 = 1960 extra calories per week

1960 calories / 7 days a week = 280 extra calories per day

1320 + 280 = 1600 total daily calories

in addition, fruit/veggies are zero points on weight watchers. so, i've decided not to track calories for fruits and veggies on myfitnesspal. i'm going to try this for a couple weeks. depending on how it goes, i'll make adjustments to the calorie amount as needed.

you can find me on myfitnesspal under my username: LWlosingit.

also, a friend from college, amber, has a blog that i follow: she just started a challenge on dailymile that i'm joining. it runs for the summer and is just about tracking miles (walking, running, whatever you want) and being active. to join, click this link: mommy needs to MOVE. you'll have to create a dailymile account if you haven't already. anyone can join- it's NOT just for mamas! honestly i haven't gotten out there yet. we're celebrating birthdays with my family tonight, so i won't have time to go today, but bennett and i have a date with the stroller tomorrow as long as the weather cooperates! 

Monday, June 24, 2013

weekend update.

well, so far so good. bennett is doing well with the sippy cup transition. he hasn't had a bottle since thursday and seems to be drinking more and more from the sippy cup each day. he also popped out his first little tooth on friday! big day for my little friend!

first time on the swings!
we are getting so excited to move into our new house. i received notification that our closing was scheduled for 2pm on the 15th- just 3 weeks from today! we have a LOT to do before then, but it's exciting that we're so close! i did some shopping saturday morning/afternoon for home decor stuff with a friend who also just bought a house with her husband (they close the same day as us!). i found some home accessories (pillows, etc.) that i really like. joe and i also ordered two matching chairs online that i LOVE for our living room. can't wait to see them in the new house!

as far as other house stuff, we got our bid on carpet and it's a lot more expensive than i'd hoped. we are still trying to decide what we're going to do as far as that goes. it's looking like we'll end up replacing the upstairs carpet and holding off on the downstairs for now.

saturday night joe, bennett, and i met our friends mike, meghan and landon at dairy queen to hang out for a bit. it's so fun to see ben light up when he sees landon- he just loves his best friend! it seems landon feels the same way because i got this text from meghan...

landon's picture of "nen"
on sunday we went to meet our friends' new baby, cash jakob, who was born on friday night. he joins his two older brothers beau (3) and tripp (2) and looks JUST like them. i could not get over how small and light cash is! ben was 7 lb 8 oz when he was born (over a pound less than cash) but it blew my mind to think that bennett was ever that tiny. gosh, time goes fast.

joe and i went out last night with jake and allison to celebrate all of our birthdays (joe- 6/15, me- 6/16, allison- 6/21, jake- 6/28). ryan and jeanie babysat bennett, and it was so nice to have some time with jake and allison on our own. we sat out on the patio at rudy's in white bear lake for dinner. then we went out to nelson's in stillwater for ice cream. YUM. yes, i did track the calories in that monster serving of ice cream. not pretty. but it was amazing and so worth it!

so thankful for these two!
well, that was our weekend! nothing too crazy, but we are enjoying summer (finally) and gearing up for busy days ahead!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

from bottles and formula to sippies and milk.

DISCLAIMER: i am the farthest thing from a parenting expert. joe and i read (ok, i read and then give joe the executive summary, but whatever), talk to other parents, and consider our preferences and our baby's personality in order to make decisions for our family. what works for us best may not work for or be right for others. these are just our experiences.

bennett is almost one. ONE. yikes. pediatricians recommend waiting until 12 months to start cow's milk. and we really wanted to do the bottle to sippy cup transition at the same time. i've read and heard that it is easiest to never put cow's milk in a bottle; that way it is all a new experience at once. knowing our little friend, these adjustments can be tough and take some time, but it seems to work best for him (and all of us!) to not drag it out.

on thursday we got started. we decided to cut out bottles cold turkey. that may not work for or be right for everyone, but i think it's working for us. bennett has been drinking 8 oz bottles 4 times a day. so, in the sippy cup, we started with 6 oz of formula and 2 oz whole milk mixed together. i turned a little into an over concerned parent (as i tend to do during every transition) and asked bennett's daycare teacher to keep me posted on how much he drank throughout the day. everything i read led me to think that as long as he is eating enough table food, he won't starve during the adjustment even if he's not drinking enough milk. it's hard to retrain yourself from thinking of milk (formula or breastmilk) as the primary source of nutrition. at a year it switches to food being the primary source.

the first day ben drank 1.5 oz of his milk/formula combo at breakfast, and same thing at lunch. at snack time (3pm), he drank 3 oz. when i talked to his teacher at pickup, she said she was impressed he had almost a whole bottle's worth throughout the day because in her experience most kids only have a couple ounces total that first day on sippies. she said he ate a ton of food at each meal/snack, too. at dinner, he pretty much only had an ounce, but ate a lot of food. he cried in bed for a bit when i put him down, so i went upstairs and offered him the sippy. he chugged about 6 oz and then fell asleep 15 minutes later.

overall, he had a pretty successful first day. he never whined or cried for a bottle and did drink about 12 oz of the formula/milk combo (they say babies need about 24+ oz of formula each day and then transition to 16 oz of whole milk each day).

yesterday was about the same for breakfast, lunch and snack. in the afternoon, we went to target and bought a couple different kinds of sippy cups to see if he would have an easier time with one over another. success! the nuby brand worked like a charm and he drank nearly all of his milk at dinner!

once bennett is consistently drinking most of his milk/formula combo for a couple days, we will adjust to 4 oz formula and 4 oz whole milk, and so on til he's drinking all milk. adjustments are hard, but i think the anticipation is harder than the real thing. gotta give this babe some credit- he handles change like a champ! :)

Thursday, June 20, 2013


last weekend joe, bennett and i went to visit my cousin amanda and her husband beau in denver. we flew out on friday evening. bennett did SO well on the flight, which was a huge relief. we tried to get him worn out before the flight by letting him crawl all over the terminal and in the kids' play area (i had to set aside all my thoughts about germs and used antibacterial wipes like crazy).

ben loved sliding down the slide and then crawling back up
i think it worked because he only fussed for a few minutes but then fell asleep for most of the flight. ben hasn't really slept in our arms since he was a few months old intentionally because we wanted him to know how to fall asleep on his own in his crib from an early age. it's been so great for the most part, except when his only option is sleeping in our arms! but he did great and i enjoyed the snuggles :)

amanda and beau picked us up from the airport and we made it to their apartment in englewood by around 10, put ben to bed in the pack n play, and stayed up chatting for a while. bennett didn't sleep great, but he always has a hard time in a new place and unfamiliar crib.

saturday was joe's 29th birthday. we got up in the morning and went to brunch at a fun breakfast place called snooze. they had all these different flavors of pancakes, so joe and i shared an egg dish and the pancake flight (3 different pancakes of your choice). we chose the red velvet pancake with bacon-infused maple syrup and cream cheese frosting, the blueberry danish pancake, and the carrot cake pancake. ummm, pancake coma, anyone? yes, please. it was amazing.

"reunited and it feels so good!"
happy birthday, dada!

amanda and bennett
beau and bennett
that afternoon, joe and beau went to play golf, while amanda and i lounged around, chatted, and napped with bennett. so relaxing and just what i needed! saturday night we all went out for mexican at Hacienda Colorado. joe thinks he knows spanish and said that "hacienda" means "house of the king" which it absolutely does not. the joke carried on throughout the weekend :) we went back to the house and watched "the guilt trip" with seth rogan and barbara streissand. it was much cuter than i expected it to be!

sunday was father's day and my birthday. joe went that morning and got me starbucks. while ben napped we watched "crazy stupid love." if you haven't seen it, you need to. it's so cute! then in the afternoon we took ben to the pool so he could practice his starfish skills. i got another nice, long nap sunday afternoon. perfect. then we went to parker, which is where beau and amanda's new jobs are and where they'll be looking for a house soon. it was parker days that weekend, which is like an outdoor festival. it was really nice out so we just walked around and took it all in.

that night, beau's sisters were nice enough to babysit for ben while the four of us went out on the town. we walked around downtown denver and then got dinner at pizza republica. it was a cool restaurant atmosphere and the food was great. it was nice to be able to chat and relax without having to worry about bennett, but we missed his cute face :)

monday, beau had his first day of his summer job (he's a teacher). amanda and i went shopping that morning while joe stayed home with ben.

practicing "SO big!"
headed out for some shopping
hanging out with daddy while mama went shopping
then we got packed up and went to the aquarium in denver. bennett had a blast looking at all the fish, turtles, otters, etc.

our flight home was delayed an hour and didn't take off til 8pm. it was a really rough flight... bennett was overtired but would NOT let himself fall asleep. i felt terrible for the poor guy who got stuck sitting next to us (i'm pretty sure as ben was flailing himself around he hit the guy a couple times...). i apologized profusedly and he was very nice about it, but i think i aged 10 years in 2 hours.

we had an overall awesome trip and can't wait til they come visit us in our new house sometime soon! i wish beau and amanda lived closer, but i'm thankful that we can make visits a priority :)

Thursday, June 13, 2013


we had our first infant swim class on monday night at shoreview community center.

very interested in the big pool

our little starfish LOVED the water! bennett could've stayed in the water for much longer than the 30 minute class, i think. we set him on the edge of the pool with his feet in to introduce him to the water and right away he leaned forward to splash his hands in the water.

he smiled and laughed when i pulled him in the water with me and loved putting his face by the water to "blow bubbles" (more like swallow gulps of pool water).

we sang songs, practiced front and back floating, and "arm scoops" (paddling through the water).

someone caught a glimpse of dada from across the pool!
it was really fun to see him take it all in and smile when he was splashing and playing in the water. he was very squirmy and didn't like being restricted by having me hold him the whole time. shocking that our little strong-willed boy wanted to do it by himself!

joe was the photographer this time, but is more excited to get in the water with ben next time! and we're looking forward to introducing bennett to the lake in chetek this summer now that we know he likes the water!

Monday, June 10, 2013

unmotivated. and weekend recap.

<a href="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

so when i posted over a week ago that i was getting back on track with eating right, i apparently didn't mean it. i don't know quite what my deal is, but i can't seem to get it together. i need to be tracking what/how much i'm eating, choosing fruits and veggies over chips and cookies, and getting in some form of exercise. it just isn't happening. and i'm paying for it on the scale and in how i feel in general. i'm in a funk and i'm not sure how to break it. i know that eating out more often is not helping, and we've been so busy that getting to the gym just hasn't been a priority.

i'm also just struggling with motivation at work. i feel stagnant and like each day is the same and drags on and on. truly, i just want to stay home with my little man and focus on being a good wife and mom. that's where my heart is. i know that work is where i need to be right now, especially with just having bought a new house. this is the season that i'm in and i want to feel good about where i'm at instead of always looking to the next thing and wishing my days away. i just feel bored and unchallenged.

sorry for all the complaining. i think this has all just been brewing over the last several weeks and i just am finally sorting it out in my own head...

in other news, bennett took more steps on his own over the weekend. he will take one or two steps and then fall, but i know he'll be walking so soon. it's exciting to see him learn right before our eyes. tonight is our first night at starfish class (baby swim lessons). i'm looking forward to seeing how mr. man responds to the water!

we leave friday evening for denver to visit my cousin amanda and her husband beau. i'm not at all looking forward to the flights, but i'm looking forward to a relaxing trip and spending time with my longest-standing friend :) joe's birthday is saturday, and my birthday is sunday, as is father's day. big weekend for us!

also, let the moving countdown begin... 5 weeks! we have a lot to do, but i'm starting to get really excited to get into the new house. it will be so nice to have the extra space. bennett is getting into everything and we're starting to have to set limits with him and say "no" when he's doing something he shouldn't (especially going into cabinets). he doesn't respond well when we use that stern tone with him. in fact, he LOSES it... big tears, pouty lip, the whole shebang. it's actually really adorable.

here's a few pictures from the weekend...

playing cars with landon
sporting new flip flops...
furniture shopping with our little driver :)
home with daddy

Thursday, June 6, 2013

11 months. ELEVEN!

bennett is 11 months old today. just one month short of ONE YEAR. every month i say "i can't believe how big he's getting and how fast time is going." this month is no exception.

bennett is still growing like a weed thanks to being a big fan of eating. even though he STILL doesn't have teeth (that's right. none!), he eats everything in sight. this last month he sampled all kinds of new foods and we have yet to find anything he really doesn't like. he's still drinking 8 oz of formula 5 times a day. i don't know how we're going to separate this boy from his bottle. he does well with a sippy cup but we probably need to start the transition.

ben is still sleeping well through the night, usually 7:30pm-6/6:30am. he takes good naps for me at home but still doesn't like long naps at daycare.

naptime at day care
this past month the 20 min. catnap on the drive home from daycare has dropped off for the most part, so we're down to two solid naps a day. i think it will be a while before he's ready for just one nap a day.

we witnessed bennett's first unassisted steps this month, about two weeks ago. he's taken a couple steps on his own on a few different occasions, but nothing we can officially call walking yet. he does crawl up the stairs very fast and loves to climb! he'll stand for long stretches without wobbling, so his balance is improving and actual walking is bound to happen soon.

our little friend is a very happy boy 99% of the time. he's always smiling, giggling, and giving mama smooches. he is stingy on the smooches with dada, but joe appreciates them when they come! he might not give his daddy many kisses, but joe can make bennett laugh more than anyone. it's so fun to see those two giggling together all the time. bennett talks CONSTANTLY but doesn't really use the sounds/words to refer to anything. i'm hoping he'll start actually using words soon!

the only thing that will make bennett really mad at this point is putting him in his carseat. once he's in there, he's completely fine. but when getting into the carseat he acts like we're inflicting physical harm on him. we've about outgrown the infant car seat, so we'll see how our big boy does in the new upright one.

bennett has always been very social, and is becoming more and more so as time passes. he has several friends (and a little girlfriend!) at day care.

all playing together
bennett and his buddy spencer playing with shaving cream
bennett and his girlfriend tegan on their "lunch date"
he also loves playing with my friend meghan's little boy, landon, who's about a year older than him.

ben and landon = best buddies
we're actually starting swimming lessons this monday night at the shoreview community center with meghan and landon! baths are thankfully a pleasant experience again, so i'm hoping he takes to the water in the pool pretty quickly. i'm very excited for 3 of my friends who all live in shoreview to have little babies (2 of them boys for sure!) this summer! bennett will love having more friends around!

we love our busy, goofy, head-strong boy like crazy and are so blessed to be able to be his mom and dad. best job ever :)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


we got to show my mom and dad our new house last night. it was really fun to be able to have them actually see it in person beyond just the pictures we've shown them. with my mom being an interior designer it was especially fun to have her look at it with her designer eye, help me choose paint colors and brainstorm ideas of things we can do to make it feel like ours. walking through the house this time made joe and me both realize how much painting there is to be done, which was a little overwhelming. but i suppose it doesn't all have to be done immediately. we can break it up and work at it over time.

it feels like joe and i are finally a little more on the same page about the house, where we're going to spend our money, and what we'd like things in our house to look like. at first i think we both had different ideas of what was important to change right away vs. what could wait and it caused some tension between us. making decisions like these always brings out the differences in the way we communicate. it always comes down to that, doesn't it? anyway, we had a guy come measure the house for carpet and are waiting to see what the estimate comes to. we'd like to replace the carpet in the whole house, but we'll see when the quote comes in if we'll do the whole house or just the upstairs for now.

we started packing over the weekend. it's definitely not going to be fun to live in chaotic transition for a couple of months, but we have to try to use the minimal time we have between now and august (when our renters move in) efficiently. we have a LOT to do, and the clock is ticking. it's really nice, though, to be forced to go through and organize our stuff and get rid of things we don't need. ever since bennett came along it just feels like we have stuff EVERYWHERE and nowhere to put any of it. i can't wait to move into our new house and have space to put everything!

my laundry basket/kitchen chair barrier to keep bennett from crawling up the stairs didn't even make him pause.
i need to get better at creating obstacle courses.
this was at daycare, but can you tell he's into everything?