This is My Comeback Post

So I’ve been in a bit of a funk again lately. It’s a funk I’ve been in before and I just need to claw my way out of it.

I’ve been insanely busy at work, Ethan got sick this week resulting in me working from home for just about two days. I’m exhausted because apparently I lack boundaries when I work from home (as in I don’t know when to turn it off) and when he wasn’t napping off his 102-103 degree fevers, he was screaming bloody murder.

Ahhh double ear infections. Except this is the SECOND one little man has had in less than a month. We’re following up with our pediatrician at his 15 month appointment to talk long term goals and to see if this is a chronic thing that might require tubes or if it’s just chance given that he recently started a new day care.

Regardless I seem to have fallen off of all bandwagons this week. Blogging. Running. Any work-outs really. And homies, I’m feeling every inch my stress and sluggishness.

In addition, I seem to be just about on the Disabled List here with a muscle ickiness going on.

I’m nursing some tightness in my calves thats been known to make my feet tingling, and causing running to be really painful. That’s got me resting rather than running so my training took a hit right before my peak week. Awesome. I’ll be okay for next weekend hopefully, worst case I’ll drop to the 10k which I know I can do.

On the plus side, we celebrated Hubs’ 32nd birthday – which was awesome. Vin 909 is always a favorite.

vin 909 annapolis

However. I have some great stuff coming up in the next week or two that I’m so excited to share – including a couple of awesome of reviews, my favorite gear (I’ve tried a lot of new stuff lately and omg. Some amazing stuff), my take aways from my RRCA run coach certification at the end of this weekend, and a baby schmidt update at 14 months because well…it’s been a few months right? (hint: WE FINALLY HAVE TEETH!!!)

In the mean time, if you’re coming to Annapolis for Zooma, be sure to read my piece on what to check out in Annapolis for your Zooma Racecation!

How’s your spring training going? 

signature

{Recap} Ethan’s First Birthday Party

So Saturday March 22 Ethan turned one. I can’t believe it’s already been a full year. We hosted a fun party/play date for family and friends on his actual birthday (with perfect weather mind you!) and it was (albeit stressful beforehand) such a great time. After, hubs and I vowed to bring back our Annual Holiday Party this year which I for one am STOKED for.

We didn’t really have a theme – our theme was birthday party. An idea I ganked off a friend of mine who said the theme for her daughter’s birthday was “birthday party” which was hilarious to me. They had tons of food, cake and plenty o’ booze for the grown ups. That was a fun party 🙂

I just didn’t have time to really get creative and coordinate. It took me weeks as it was to pick out the friggen invitations. Color me indecisive about EVERYTHING.

1 year old birthday party   1 year old birthday party

etahan2 lexi me and ethan

ethan cake 2 ethan cake

His birthday was so much fun – sending many thanks to all of our friends and family who came out for it (speaking of Thank You’s…I need to get on those thank you notes!) we loved celebrating with you all! Seeing my mama pals made me miss playgroup a lot. Time to start planning some Saturday play dates no?

Anyhow, here are the details of the party…

One letters: DIY via Michaels
Banners: DIY via Michaels (thanks Liz!)
Poster: Etsy (printed at local Fed Ex store)
Cake: Local Grocery Store Grauls
Outfit: Etsy (love!), Old Navy Khakis
Catering: Naval Bagels Annapolis
Invitations: Simply to Impress
Favors: (not shown) Party City (sand buckets with bubbles and animal crackers)

I’ll have his 11 and 12 month combined update sometime this week.

signature

Blog Review: Amber Teething Necklaces by Amber for Babies

I’m a big fan of trying to be a natural mama – holistic, and green and everything in the middle. I don’t go out of my way, but since Ethan was about five months old, we’ve tried amber teething necklaces on him for any teething pain he might have.

Naturally, it made sense when I was asked if I wanted to do a review of Amber for Babies Amber Teething necklaces. This review is a bit late, but we tried it out for a couple of months because I wanted to see how the effects were.

amber teething necklace

We’ll ignore the fact that now 53 weeks old, homeboy still doesn’t have any teeth.

However, lately, his gums have been swollen, he’s been excessively cranky (we’ll ignore the yeasty diaper rash from hell that he’s getting over) and even our pediatrician acknowledged that he may in fact have two bottom teeth that could poke through any day now.

For those of you who don’t know why people believe in them,  baltic amber has anti-inflammatory properties triggered when the beads interact with the heat of the skin. The baltic amber is said to reduce swelling and pain from the effects of teething thus reducing discomfort. (via)

The necklaces are hand beaded, and each bead is strung individually secured with knots on each side preventing the loss of beads if a thread breaks.

amber teething necklace

While we’ve been saying homeboy has been teething for the past eight months, you really wouldn’t know it. He doesn’t drool much, and he doesn’t get excessively cranky or wake up every two hours. I do think the amber teething necklace had some effect on that. 

Lately, he’s had a small reaction to the necklace (according to our ped) so we took a break from the necklace (he has horribly sensitive skin so this isn’t surprising to me). But I do think that the necklace helped with drooling and swelling (his gums are much more swollen now than they were when he was wearing the necklace) – is there proof? Nope.

Like most holistic medicine, there’s not really medical proof that amber teething necklaces work. This is important to note since each baby has different reactions to teething – some babies get sick, others get ear infections, others get angry diaper rashes, and others you wouldn’t even know they’re teething until the teeth pop through.

If you’re curious though, and willing to try something other than the run of the mill tylenol and frozen food to relieve your babies teething, I highly recommend them. I know a number of mamas who swear by them, and I personally recommend them to any parent looking for relief for their little one’s teething discomfort.

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this review, however I did receive a free necklace to try out. All thoughts here are my own. 

signature

Review: Mustela Bebe Products

I participated in an Influencer Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Mustela. I received product samples to facilitate to my review and to thank me for participating.

Ethan has the most sensitive skin. Seriously, right now we’re battling a flare up of his eczema and a major diaper rash thanks to a stomach bug that he apparently likely picked up from day care. I find that using sensitive skin creams and lotions works best to combat it, and I personally prefer the ones that are paraben-free.

So when I got the opportunity to test out Mustela bebe products I was stoked to try a new lotion out when I noticed our usual favorites were slacking in taking care of his eczema. I’ve heard great things about their products through my moms group – especially when we were first experimenting and trying to find out what would work best for E’s skin.

mustela bebe

Verdict? I’m a big fan. Their facial cleansing cloths are great for me for getting make up off before bed and aren’t drying to my skin. But my favorite is definitely the 2 in 1 hair and body wash for Ethan – it doesn’t have a strong scent, but it does smell very clean. Almost like the old school bar of soap but better. It’s a nice smell without being strong or overly fragrant…very subtle. I also really like the body lotion – it’s super gentle and moisturizing which is great since he has skin that dries out super easily. We’ve had a lot of problems finding lotions that don’t dry him out and this is definitely going to be one of our go-to’s from now on.

For those of you who haven’t tried Mustela Bebe Products – they are well worth giving them a shot especially if you want paraben-free and phlatate-free products. Also, for the wanna-be-Euro in all of us, they’re the number one baby care (and stretch marks!) brand in Europe and are a trusted name in skincare for over 60 years. They recently reformulated the Mustela Bebe line based on 10 years of skin care research and it now features Avocado Perseose (patented!) to help protect skin for even the littlest of littles.

Check out Mustela online or on facebook to learn more about their bebe line as well as their products for mamas!

Also for all you fabulous Life in Pink readers, you can get free facial cleansing cloths and free shipping with the code Mom314 with a $50 purchase on www.mustelausa.com.

signature

Weekend Recap & Weekly Workouts

We had a great weekend this weekend.

Saturday I went to a very packed Body Pump class and then to throw in the towel and join a gym. I had put my stroller strides membership on hold because we traveled so much in December and I wasn’t thrilled with the prospect of working out in the mall. Plus, as a lifestyle/healthy living blogger, I like to change up my workouts every now and then. It gives me more foder for not just here but also my articles for Chesapeake Inspired – gotta stay fresh right?

While I love the Stroller Strides instructors, I felt that my fitness level was plateauing. So, it was time for a change, if only temporarily until the classes go back outside and I can start running down to classes again, I loved that in the fall.

For now though, you can find me at Premier Fitness in Annapolis taking any class with Keri – though preferably Spin or Body Pump.

So back to Saturday.

After class and Ethan’s naptime, we trekked over to Crofton and hit up Wegman’s to get our healthy eating focus this new year off to a good start. I had a list, I had a menu planned out, and we were doing so well at not adding random crap to the cart…but now…we have another problem.

Someone likes to grab at veggies. We ended up buying the potato after he drooled all over it. (Adam showed it to him, then tried to put it away but then Ethan started to cry. So Adam gave it to him. Commense…drooling and gnawing)

No matter the dining ware (nice china, nice toasting flutes) it’s hard to have a romantic dinner in with our favorite third wheel. This was our date night in Saturday night – BBQ pizza and an unopened bottle of prosecco from New Years Eve that we never got around to.

Last night we had a great dinner of soy maple glazed salmon with roasted brussel sprouts and a rice pilaf. Ethan was not a fan of any of this, however. Baby Led Weaning…for the loss.

He was…not a fan. Exhibit B. A noble Baby Led Weaning effort, but we’ll have to attempt again later.  At least our efforts to make sure all 3 of us get balanced meals are succeeding with 2 of 3 of us. Number 3 just needs a bit more…coaxing.

Anyhow, onto what matters.

This is my first week back really working out – December was really a wash and I definitely feel it. Never mind that I was sick for 5 days, then we traveled for 10 days then we were getting readjusted to life so half the month was a wash. Back to holding myself accountable!

This week’s workouts…

Monday – Body Pump (i got my times mixed up)
Tuesday – Body Pump
Wednesday – rest
Thursday – Body Pump
Friday – Spin
Saturday – short run (pending weather)
Sunday – rest

We’ll be trying two new recipes this week: sausage zucchini boats (inspiration) and quinoa stuffed peppers (inspiration), I’ve made stuffed peppers before so I’m excited to try a new take on them! Stay tuned for recipe reviews! 

This week, aside from workouts, I want to focus on drinking more water.

What healthy habits are you focused on lately? 

signature

2013 By the numbers

I should have posted this yesterday, but blogging has been tough the past couple weeks. With traveling, the holidays, a family stomach flu, you know the ish that holidays are made of. All in all, 2013 was a very good year with ups and downs. We are truly blessed.

Here’s 2013 by the numbers:

Nine months since Ethan was born. Nine months of growth, laughter, love and tears. Nine months since our lives were forever changed. Pretty incredible how time flies.

Eight races ran. Zooma 10k, Womens 5k, Travis Manion 5k (baby’s first race!), Army 10 miler, Ripley 5k, Junior League 5k, and the Girls on the Run 5k.

Seven Trips North to visit family in CT and Vermont. Two trips to Vermont, five to CT including a baby shower, a pseudo-babymoon, a baptism, visiting friends from over seas and two holidays celebrated with family.

Six months of nursing. Wasn’t quite what I wanted it to be but we made it six months which is a massive accomplishment.

Five days before my due date, was Ethan’s scheduled date.

Four different jobs between the two of us. It’s been a tough year employment wise – my part time job position was eliminated right before Christmas so now I’m debating between ramping up my freelancing versus going back to work full time or part time. Tough call. Thankfully, despite Adam’s position being eliminated at the end of October, he’s starting a new gig next week that we’re thrilled about.

Three years since we moved to Annapolis – don’t regret it. Love this town and the friends we’ve made. We are very blessed.

Two steady freelance writing gigs for two publications in town.

One happy family. We are so blessed with Ethan and he has been the highlight of the year by far.

signature

Fall Bucket List: Navy Game Tailgate

Last weekend i knocked another item off my fall bucket list – one of a few, and probably one of the only ones I’ll get around to since my weekends have been jam packed.

But my pal Kelly invited us to a tailgate with her, her husband and a couple of their friends. The tailgate was organized by the Knights of Columbus  – it just so happens that Adam is a knight, but he’s been a bit MIA with his MBA classes that happen to fall on the nights they meet.

The tailgate was tons of fun. The KoC had a tent right on Taylor Avenue and the Mids marched past as they walked into the stadium.

navy football midshipmen

We scored pretty awesome seats for the game – right in the end zone about two rows back from the field.

Navy football game No zoom here!

We stayed until half time but Ethan was starting to get too chilly and cranky so we bailed early and finished watching the game at home. It didn’t help that he didn’t have much of an afternoon nap but Adam and i were getting too cold too so we were happy to skee-daddle.

navy football game

Here are my tips to surviving an outdoor sporting event with a baby

Dress for the weather. We were all bundled up but we should have brought a blanket – as the sun started to go down it got chillier than any of us were prepared for. Ethan had a onesie, a sweater and a fleece. He had on a hat and a hood, and jeans and socks. He’s prone to pulling off socks so next time we might put him in shoes – but I read somewhere that shoes are bad for babies not actually standing yet which he’s just kind of sort of starting to do…so it might be almost time but wasn’t as of this past weekend.

Use a carrier. Strollers are not stadium friendly. I don’t care what type of stroller you have. Between stairs, and narrow rows. There’s no room for it. We used the Tula and it worked awesome.

Be mindful of where you’re sitting. Our section – though a great view – had some pretty obnoxious dudes behind us. Definitely not kiddo friendly. Next time I’d get Standing room tickets for the grassy knolls on the other end of the field and bring a blanket. Also, if your babe gets cranky, just take them out of the stands for a minute. My pal’s baby girl got a bit cranky so she walked with her, and when Ethan got cranky, we decided to bow out.

Have your gear accessible. Bottles, diapers, blankets, hats. Make sure you don’t leave it in the car. I left something in the car, I don’t remember what it was, but even though we parked across the street it was still a pain going back for it. We had a bottle in the bag, and plenty o’ diapers as per usual. My bad habit is stuffing my diaper bag so full that I have to pull everything out just to find the formula. Fail mama bear. Faiiilll.

Ethan was a bit more interested in the game or at least thats what I tell myself. Well, him and I both were more so than hubs so there’s that. I love football games, I’m trying to get Hubs on board to be a Navy Football fan (what? They’re the home team!!!) but he’s National Guard which means he’s all Army. Even though quite frankly he’s not really into football. It’s cool though, Ethan and I will be Navy fans (except when they play Army). Any other sport though, it’s all Northeastern. Hockey. Basketball. No questions asked – my Huskies are my number 1.

Mission: baby’s first sporting event overall? Huge success.

signature

First Halloween

I’m not a huge Halloween person. I once spent close to $50 on a costume in college with a couple of my girlfriends which was fun, but once I graduated and entered the “real world” (dun dun duunnn) something about the whole holiday seemed sophomoric to me. I had no desire to dress up, to spend money I didn’t necessarily have on costumes, getting wasted-face on a school night…Hubs and I have stayed in for many years, often enjoying wine and Charlie Brown’s Great Pumpkin.

halloween friends

{my girlfriends and I back in 2005…we were martinis. Proof that I have celebrated Halloween in the past}

But with little kids, it’s like a whole new world. It’s not a world full of scantily dressed nurses, bunnies suited for the Playboy Mansion, and devils or angels that would make even the most liberal priest blush. Instead it’s a world full of furry, plushy, plump, rolly polly animals, fairies, and other characters from the latest Disney movie.

I didn’t put a lot of effort into Ethan’s first Halloween. Though somehow we ended up with three costumes. Whoops?

Costume #1

Ethan was a fox the other night at the annual Fleet Feet Pumpkin Fun Run. I love the Fleet Feet fun runs so much, they’re always great to go out to and a fun way to fit in an easy 3 miles or so. And in case you were wondering, the fox says bah. (Ethan’s starting to babble with more sounds than just ooohhh. He can Bah, Buah and Buh now. It’s the cutest ever.)

The hoodie, which is really the only part of the costume, came from Target. He needed more hoodies since we have a thick winter jacket for him, and a couple of sweaters. But I wanted him to have a hoodie. It’s super cozy.

Costume #2

{onesie | hat}

Friday night at the Trick or Treating at the Towne Centre we tested out this costume that he wore to playgroup on Wednesday. It’s really just the hat but the whole outfit just got me. I loved it, and I love my little devil. Everyone’s been swooning over that hat too so clearly, despite my lack of Halloween-enthusiasm, I did something right. Right?

Costume #3
This morning for the Plum Moms Group Halloween parade Ethan sported his third costume. I picked up this onesie down in South Carolina at Children’s place – and thought it would be fun to wear during football games. We’re not suepr huge football fans but I thought this was super cute. And, originally before I realized Halloween was on a Thursday when hubs has class, we were going to dress up as Charlie Brown, Lucy and making Ethan the football. Come on, it would have been cute no?

{I wore this sweater today with black leggings – my costume was Foxy Mama}

{hat | similar onesie}

All told, we got our three costumes for about the same as one Pottery Barn kids costume (priced on sale mind you. I did not in fact spend $80 on these three costumes). Next year, I might actually look at the Wee-Sale. This year, I didn’t even think of it. I should have. Mama shopping fail.

Wishing all you freaders out there a safe and happy Halloween – we had a fantastic time at a Halloween party this evening with lots of friends that are much more mobile than Ethan is. He’ll get there though.

What was your baby for his/her first Halloween?

 

signature

Baby Update: 7 Months

Baby turned seven months yesterday. Which means, we’re closer to being a one year old than we are to his days as a newborn. Whuuuttt. Where has the time gone??

This month… he’s sitting. Still spotting him when he sits but he’s definitely sitting up so much better each and every day. He’s getting less lazy about tummy time which is good – but I do still wonder if he’ll take after Adam and not be a crawler and just go straight to toddling around. He’s eating solids regularly 1-2x per day – we’ve only recently started giving him food at breakfast but that’s going to be more and more regular going forward. And we ended our journey with breastfeeding. I randomly decided this morning that today was going to be the last day that I pumped after getting less than one ounce after my morning pumping session.

He is…weighing in around 15 lbs based on my attempt to weigh him on our scale at home. He’s a long sucker, probably measuring in around 27″ (he was 26 3/4″ at his 6 month appointment 2 weeks ago where he also weighed in at just under 14 lbs). He’s also sleeping soundly for about 12 hours each night from 730p through til 730am.  Praise jebus because we had a rough couple of months there. He’s still in mostly 3-6 month onesies, 3-6 month pants are a touch short, but 6 month pants are too big in the waist. Unfortunately there’s no one size fits all regardless of the size and brand when it comes to baby clothes which is frustrating at best.

Baby loves…broccoli, kicking his legs, sitting and reaching for his toys, chicken, sweet potatoes, chewing on board books and paper, bath time, splashing during bath time, and sucking on his bottom lip which I wonder is a sign of teething. I feel like he’s had some mild symptoms of teething for the past three months and still no toofers poppin’ up just yet.

Baby does not love… socks, cold weather, or the vacuum cleaner. 

He and I are clearly on the same wave length as far as dislikes.

Happy seven months my sweet baby boy, can’t wait to see what month 8 brings us!

signature

Baby Led Weaning Week 1

So last week we started Baby Led Weaning.

Ethan’s sitting up enough and reaching for everything from food, to jewelry and especially hair. So since he was showing interest and reaching for our food any time it was near him, we decided to try out a bit of self feeding.

For those of you who haven’t heard of Baby Led Weaning (BLW) it’s essentially self-feeding. Allowing babies to learn to feed themselves, learn to chew and explore textures from the get-go.

Granted, we’ve explored purees for the past month which I’ve enjoyed for the sake of introducing flavors to him and I didn’t think he was ready to try self-feeding a few weeks ago when we began introducing purees. The nice thing about doing both is that it gives us a little bit of flexibility for now. It works out really well when he naps late for instance and so we just get a pureed pouch (I love the Plum Organic and Happy Baby pouches)  rather than roasting up some veggies and letting him explore food for an hour (i.e. last night. He napped til 5:30 then we went out for a family run and got home around 7, gave him a pureed pouch and still had him in bed around 8) we can still do purees in a pinch if

But thats the great thing about BLW AND purees – it’s not a YOU MUST DO THIS type of thing. Granted, consistency is best for babies sake but Ethan doesn’t seem to prefer one way to the other.

So far his favorite foods are broccoli and sweet potatoes. He’s still uncertain about bananas and avocado.

Curious about Baby Led Weaning? Check out the tips to getting started. The great thing about it is that you don’t need bowls or spoons, you just cut up, then steam or roast (or pick naturally soft foods) veggies or fruits into stick sized pieces so baby can grip them easily and let them go to town.

Check out the book and the cookbook for more tips and ideas. Also, Hellobee did a great series on Baby Led Weaning for some great real life experiences and tips.

How did you start solids with your little one? 

signature