Friday, December 4, 2015

Happy December!!

My favourite month is finally heeeeree!!! All of the Christmas spirit I've been keeping in is about to bust out like a can of silly string. I know I haven't blogged in forever but I really want to document our holiday season so I've promised myself that it's happening. Also I started writing this post on December 1st. At least I'm finally posting something!

We kicked off the month with a fun family night! December 1st is one of my favourite days. You can open your advent calendars, for one. Time to soak up the season! We've already had Leigh's work party which is my one opportunity to dress up. We also celebrated American thanksgiving with Leigh's family last weekend! Of course now it's already the 4th!

Our tree went up over the course of a week. One day we brought the box up, the next I put it up, then I put on half the lights the next day. It's a bit of a process with a toddler and a crazy work schedule. Thankfully things are slowing down and one of Arianna's official babysitters (aka Grandma) is HOME on Thursday from her mission trip in Columbia! I'm so surprised but Arianna has been great with the tree. Most of my ornaments are shatterproof, the special ones I have put at the top. The bottom has soft ornaments, kid friendly bulbs (Disney princess and Dora, both are mine lol) and these ornaments my mother in law gave me with bells. Those are great because if she's touching the tree I hear a little jingle.

Back in like September, I decided I wanted Arianna and I to have matching pjs. I found out a few places that sold them and stalked the websites until they showed up and ordered them! Of course they are already sold out so I'm glad I did! They're literally the comfiest pjs I've ever worn in my life. I was also really smart and got Arianna the same jammies in 2T for next year so I can wear mine again.

In other festive news, I got Arianna a Santa sippy cup from Target and it is the cutest!

I've been planning a mini advent thing for Arianna just festive little activities for each day, so I will post more about that later!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Arianna's First Halloween!

Just like that, her last first holiday has passed, and tomorrow is her first birthday. Ahhh!!

I knew I wanted to dress her up for Halloween, but the one costume I had in mind wouldn't be warm enough for trick or treating, so she got two costumes. I had to work Saturday morning, so she spent her morning with her dad cleaning the house haha.

When I got back, Nicky came over and helped me get her dressed in her first costume! She also got Arianna her first ever Halloween book.

After she had an amazing almost two hour afternoon nap, we headed out to meet my mom.

 I did dress Layla up but I ended up just taking her to my parents to hang out with my Dad and the other dogs.

wearing her cousin's gnome costume hat lol

We got some decaf coffees to keep us warm and headed to my brother's house. Arianna did her first "trick or treat" there and then burst into tears. Poor kid lol.By the end of the evening she totally got the hang of it. She was even holding out her bucket!

We also stopped by my sister's house for trick or treating. Jenn had to take a picture with Arianna of course, they were both very festive. In exchange for the picture, I scooped an extra handful of candy on the way out of her house. :-P

She started to get pretty tired so I took her home where she was in the happiest mood ever. She sat with her bucket playing with the miniature candy bars for like ten minutes, and then she was a happy girl in the bath. I wanted to dress her in her halloween jammies but I couldn't' find the top. Fail!

She ended up going to bed an hour later than normal at 8pm because I'd been creeping her schedule later with some wild hopes that it would help balance out daylight savings time. And it actually totally worked! I was able to keep her on the same schedule all day yesterday. And she woke up at about 6:20am which isn't too bad!

All in all, Arianna's first Halloween filled up my heart even more. Seeing her all dressed up and trick or treating with her cousins made me feel so happy and grateful. Watching her grow up is becoming so much fun.

More tomorrow for her first birthday...*tear*

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Girl's Weekend!

This past weekend, I left Arianna at home for a weekend trip with J and Nicole. Did you hear that? I left my baby at HOME! I was definitely worried about how I would feel leaving her for the weekend but I was actually fine. I knew she was in good hands! Leigh did such an amazing job handling things on the home front. So much so that I have been asking him for TIPS on what he was doing! Arianna had been having serious nap issues prior to me going away. Like Thursday was a 12 minute nap in the morning and a 20 minute nap in the afternoon. Babies need to nap for at least an hour. If you don't believe me, come hang out at my house after my baby has only slept for 12 minutes. Anyways, our amazing sleep consultant gave me a great scheduling tip that totally seems to have worked because from Friday onwards, she has been napping for at least an hour, save for a few 45 minute ones. *knocks on all the wood*

Anyways, enough about baby naps!

Friday my mom came over to take care of Arianna while Leigh was at work, and the girls came and picked me up.  The weather here or in Penticton did not look promising and definitely was about to get a whole lot worse here. We had a nice drive up and when we got there, it was cloudy but not too cold. We hung out on the beach for a bit with our jeans and sweaters on, and then checked into our room. I didn't take too many pics this weekend but I'll share the ones I did take.

outfit pic with amazing bathtub setup in the background

We had a little nap, then got all dolled up and went out for dinner to our favourite place, Salty's Beach House. It was funny because we all ended up wearing each other's clothes. I packed stuff I was excited to wear and ended up wearing Nicky's clothes both nights.

super cute store front (sadly it was sassy for like age 65+ but still cute nonetheless!)

Saturday we woke up early (haha it was like 730 but actually that's sleeping in for me and it was amazing!) got a coffee at Starbucks and walked the farmer's market, which is huge!

farmer's market flowers

The weather was fine when we ventured out but we ended up in like torrential downpour at the farmers market, so we walked to the nearest hotel and got a cab to Salty's for lunch, where I had a coffee with Bailey's. Amazing!

We totally lucked out and got a few hours of sun, so we hit the beach for some relaxing and reading. I'm so glad we got that time in, because it definitely made it feel more like a "beach vacation"!

After the beach the girls hit up a few wineries and I stayed behind to have a bath and read for a bit.

Another outfit pic! Hey, I don't get to get dressed up very often!

Nicky and I taking selfies on the patio!

We got all dolled up again and went out for dinner and drinks to a patio called the Barking Parrot. They had some seriously delicious drinks!

At least we have one pic together from our weekend!

 Sunday morning we got up, packed up our room, and went to this amazing placed called the Bench Artisan Food Market. We sat on the patio and had breakfast and amazing coffee. I got a giant latte and it was sooo good! After breakfast we headed home. I thought Arianna would be so excited to see me...nope! She was giving me the dirtiest looks like "Pfft, you think you can go away for the weekend and come back and get snuggles?!" but eventually she forgave me and was back to her usual self.

I can't even describe how relaxing it was to not have responsibilities (other than pumping) for the weekend. It was a total recharge for me. I'm so grateful to my husband and my mom/in laws for helping with Arianna so I could go do our annual trip. Even though my life is different now, I always want to make time for my friends and my traditions!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Random Life Update

All of my August goals are going great except the blogging one! Life is a little crazy lately and sometimes I can't gather my thoughts together enough for a blog post. Or I have one planned that's say, sharing pictures of my house and I have piles of stuff everywhere lol. I have been walking an insane amount though! I usually go for a walk in the morning and usually at least another one in the afternoon.

We have made some baby gear changes that I'm excited about. These are things you get excited about as a  mom. I have a running stroller that I've never really used because I kept it at my parents. I decided to bring it home and have been using it for walks and I love it! However I then had two full size strollers in my 800 square foot apartment which was not great. I decided to keep the running stroller and sold my "every day" britax one to buy an umbrella stroller. I got this one which I LOVE. Seriously the cutest stroller (and passenger) ever!

I finally solved my car seat puzzle and I'm so happy about it. Not everyone understands (especially people with more than one child, which I totally get) but I really liked having Arianna in the middle of the backseat vs behind the passenger or me. The other two seats are still usable and it just makes me feel like she's that much safer. My goal was to try to find a new bigger carseat that would fit rear facing in our car for another year at least before turning her around and I found it! I took it to a certified car seat technician and she showed me out to install it. I really did not feel confident in doing it on my own and it's very easy to make mistakes installing car seats. She said the one I chose fits great and has a nice tight install so I'm very happy about that. And just like that my little baby is in a big girl carseat.

We're making some changes in our house that I'll be sharing this week. I'm loving making the apartment our home but I'm not loving how hard it is to keep it clean (or how easy it is to clutter it up, I should say) but it's getting better. You know when you're getting rid of stuff it makes a huge mess but it's so much nicer when it all finally leaves? We're in that stage.

On Friday morning I'm going on my first weekend trip without Arianna. She's staying home with her Dad and I know she'll be fine but I'm a little worried about how I will feel without her! Thankfully I'll be busy with my friends and having a great time, I'm sure!

I have a really good little list of recipes that I love making but I'm always looking to add new ones to the list. Especially since the healthy favourites list is quite a short one and I end up making them over and over again. I came across this Brussel Sprouts Carbonara recipe on Skinnytaste and I'm dying to try it. I've pretty much given up on pasta unless it has tons of flavour but this one looks amazing!

More posts this week, I promise!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Weekend Fun and Not So Fun

Friday was our anniversary, which we are putting off celebrating until this weekend. We had Hilary's birthday celebration on Friday night. I was in charge of bringing a birthday dessert/cake and I had the brilliant idea of checking Pinterest for other people's brilliant ideas and decided on a Krispy Kreme cake! Hilary and Leigh have been going to Krispy Kreme's for years and years before I came along so it was perfect. I even made him go get them in her honor! :-P

I think it was a hit!

These two.

Saturday morning was a chill morning around here. Leigh and I usually swap on weekends, I get up, feed the baby, hang out with her till about 7 or so, go back to bed, get up feed her again and put her down for her nap and then we'll relax or sometimes both nap again.

She wandered into her room and two seconds later I found her like that. :-S

Lately I've been throwing on a movie for my own entertainment while Arianna plays, which of course I'm only half watching because I can't take my eyes off her. (See Above Photo) I put on We Bought A Zoo which took me all day to finish watching but it was so good! How did I not watch it for that long?!

In the afternoon, we went out to Lunch Doctor, who has the best sandwiches pretty much ever in my opinion. Then we headed down to Osprey Days in Pitt Meadows, which was just closing up but thankfully the ice cream shop was open. I was just saying to Leigh the other day that I wanted REAL ice cream that you get out of a bucket with a scoop, and what do you know, they had my all time favourite ice cream flavour: Raspberry Cheesecake!

The rest of the weekend was more of the same just relaxing around the house.

The hitch of the weekend, or the "not so fun" is the temporary setback of Arianna's sleep. She's doing SO much crawling, cruising along furniture, standing up every 5 seconds, including in her crib, and just exploring her little world that she is not as interested in sleep. Once asleep, she's fine and stays asleep for her normalish amount of time, still sleeping through the night. It was a bit of a battle to get her to sleep over the weekend but thankfully it's definitely improving as she settles into her new busy life!

I just can't, with the ponytail.

Or this.

Taking selfies with my little crazy muffin.

So what did we learn from this post? My weekends are boring. Haha. I know I need to plan more fun stuff but sometimes I just don't even know where to start and what's good to do with a young baby. If anyone has any fun ideas, please share! Next weekend I've decided to have more fun. That's my weekend goal ;-)

Now I'm off to find out who A is on Pretty Little Liars!!!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Have Courage & Be Kind

I was debating even posting this because I don't think these things should be done for recognition but then I realized there's another reason to post it. Inspiration for someone else to do something.

Have you ever been out somewhere and something happens and you think "I should do ____ and help this person." ? You know that voice that pops into your head but sometimes it's scary or you don't quite move quick enough.

Today that voice urged me to do something, and in the grand scheme of things it's NOT a big thing. I spent $5 and used about two seconds of my time but it was so worth it.

I had a bit of a quiet day today, which is rare. I decided to do a little wandering in between Arianna's naps. I checked out the kids consignment store in Pitt Meadows and then I decided to pop over to the book store which is just behind that mall. It was quite busy in there, and I felt like a bit of an ass with my giant stroller. I turned around and a sweet little girl (I'm guessing somewhere in the 6-8 range but I actually have no idea) was nervously trying to get around me so I got out of the way quickly. She picked out her books in the kids section and I heard her mom talking about how she's such an avid little reader and she can read two books a day. The girl told her mom all she wanted for Christmas was books. The store has a credit option so if you bring it books you can get credits for new books.
Instantly a little thought popped into my head "You have $5 in your purse, give it to the owner and put it on that girl's credit for next time."
Once they left, I did exactly that. The store owner seemed so delighted and I told her about how when I was younger, the local bookstore had a stamp card for every $5 you spent. I think it was 10 stamps and you got $5 free. Each Baby Sitter's Club book was $5 so it was all very exciting. I LOVED when my parents took me to the bookstore and I could pick out my books. It made me so happy.
Arguable I may have spent a little TOO much time reading and could have used a little more social time haha, but in reality reading made me who I am today.

Anyways, enough about that. My point is that if that voice pops into your head to help a little old lady out with her groceries or pay for someone's meal, just do it! It honestly has made me so happy all day to picture how excited that girl must be to go pick out her next books. And more importantly, she maybe will think that people in the world are kind.

It's one of my new goals to do more kind things. Imagine if everyone left their house in the morning thinking of something they can do for someone else. I want to do a whole kindness day where I do as many kind things as possible for an entire day! How much fun would that be?

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Arianna {9 Months}

9 months seems like a really big deal. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because I was pregnant for 9 months...haha jk. It was definitely 10. It's 3/4 of a way to a year. Maybe it's because all of a sudden she's doing anything and everything and seems like much more of a kid than a baby. Arianna and I were doing a little shopping on the weekend and I came across these bracelets for babies/kids and I decided it was a perfect excuse to get her very first piece of jewelry. I just love how it looks on her!

* 19ish lbs
* I can't measure her accurately, she's too squirmy
* I had this post all ready to go and this morning I put her down for her 9am nap and she was not having it. I was watching her on the monitor and suddenly she disappeared. Go into her room and to see her standing in her crib. We are screwed.
*I am still nursing and I'm so happy I made it this far.  I think I will probably make it to my goal of a year but we shall see. She still gets one bottle of formula before bedtime.
*Still in size 3 diapers for another pound or two, I think
*6-12 month clothing, 12 month pjs (not sure why but these fit great)
*I may or may not have a little fall wardrobe going for her already due to buying stuff on clearance last year and a few good sales. Even though I'm enjoying summer, part of me cannot wait to see her in her little little fall wardrobe, especially since she's likely to be walking soon. There's something so adorable about little tots walking around!
*Seriously a little monkey. She's all over everything. She pulls herself up on everything possible. The couch, our bed, her crib, her toys, any chairs in our house, the tub.
*She's very strong. She's already cruising along furniture and has no problem standing holding on to something very lightly.
*I taught her how to high five which makes me happy every time we do it.
*I'm also teaching her how to sign, clap and wave hello.
*She turns pages in books at bedtime
*She has been napping and sleeping amazingly. 2 naps a day and an early bedtime keeps her happy and healthy, although we did have one bad night where she woke up quite a few times due to being sick. In that instance she got extra cuddles and I stayed in the room for a few minutes until she fell asleep and slipped out.
*This girl loooooooooves her food. Bananas, Avocado and Blueberries are her fave. I also gave her Annie's Organic Mac & Cheese for dinner last night which was a hit until she demanded more avocado and blueberries
*I get her up in the morning, feed her and let her play a little bit while Leigh sleeps in a bit longer before he has to get up for work. Lately she crawls over to the bedroom door and bangs on it saying Dadda until he wakes up. It's adorable.
*Her face lights up when she sees people she knows. Especially Leigh and I and her grandparents. So far she has very little reservations when it comes to strangers talking to her, probably because we run into so many different people in our apartment elevator ect.
*She went through a short phase of hating the car, but that's over now thanks to a kiddie song CD my mom bought her. I always wondered why people played kid music instead of regular music, I figured kids must like regular music exactly the same. Ummm nope. If she has her music on, we won't hear a peep other than her babbling along with the music.
*She still really loves the ergo and I'm dreading the day when she doesn't like it anymore or gets too heavy. I love that snuggle time with her. The other day she really needed a little cat nap because it was a long stretch from her last nap till bedtime but she just wouldn't fall asleep. Because she was all snuggly in the ergo she was so happy even without the nap.

Every month seems to be more fun than the last. Don't get me wrong, every month comes with new challenges too. Armed with sleep, we can handle anything. It's so much fun watching her grow up!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

August Goals

It's the first day of August! Let's not talk about how it was just Christmas and our precious baby girl was just a teeny newborn. I had a total case of the July blues and after reading a few other blogs I realized this is totally a thing. I used to make goals every single month and I haven't probably since Arianna was born. It's a fresh new month and I'm feeling refreshed!

1. only stevia in my coffee (and milk)
Ever since finishing whole30 I slowly crept back into my sweet coffee habit. It's hard to control the amount of sugar and it's just not good. Stevia it is. I'm armed with packets and liquid stevia in my purse.

2. blog three times a week
I have so many half written blog posts in my drafts, it's ridiculous. My favourite blogs are ones that I can count on posting a few times a week so that's what I'm going to do. Facebook is boring and sad, Instagram makes me want all the food and purses and shoes and baby clothes so I'm renewing my blog love this month.

3. walk every morning
With it being so freaking hot out, I hadn't been walking until a few weeks ago. Not every day, but I started walking early in the mornings as Leigh was leaving for work. I walk away from the house for 15-20 minutes and then turn around and go back. It has really helped my energy and mood levels so I want to keep it up. It also keeps Arianna calm and busy until her nap and obviously Layla loves it.

4. do 5 fun summer activities
I'm notorious for big plans and not doing them. I'm going to attempt to take advantage of the last full month of summer (still got 7.5 weeks left, people!) and do some fun summery stuff. Like making sangria and reading by the pool, perhaps.

5. Clear out wardrobe for fall. I'm kind of obsessed with this whole capsule wardrobe idea. Have you heard of it? You pick a set number of items (I think 37 but you can choose any number) and pack the rest of your stuff away for the entire season. And don't shop! After having a look through my fall clothes I have to say. I hate all my clothes. I have nothing to wear. Seriously! I have some really great jeans and a couple sweaters and I have no idea what else I'm going to wear. Part of it is of course having to do with having a baby, top-wise nothing fits the same anymore. I don't have to dress up for work. Workout clothes are what I wear to work and they don't count for capsule wardrobes I will be posting about this as I figure out what goes in a Non-Frumpy Active Mama wardrobe.

6.Find out who A is.
This is a joke. Kind of. Obviously it can't be a goal because I have no control, but we are supposed to finally find out soon. So it's on the list.Anyone else addicted to this show? Aside from the people I talked into watching it on Netflix. :-P

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Whole 30 Results

My posting has been extremely sporadic lately, I know. Other than Arianna's 8 month post, I hadn't posted since her 7 month one. Eeek. Can you blame me though, she's very adorable if I do say so myself and she keeps me quite busy.

Anyways, I completed the whole30 about a few weeks ago. Where to begin?! This post is kind of a rambling of random thoughts about my whole30. Obviously it is a little restrictive, thankfully it's quite short term. I have done harder things before (hello nine months, no wine) and that little competition I did 3 years ago, which was obviously a piece of cake. Not. And there was no cake involved either!

I really love and respect that all the details you need for this "challenge" as I like to call it are FREE. You don't have to join a club and you don't have to buy a book. Not that those things aren't worth doing but for this one the information is out there for everyone.

A lot of people do this diet to see if they have any food allergies that may be dragging them down in life. I don't think I have any food allergies, when I reintroduced foods at the end I didn't feel much different. Obviously I feel better without processed food, but nothing made me sick.

The details:

Basic rules are to eat real food: vegetables, fruit, meat and nuts. It's pretty amazing what you can do with those ingredients.

Also: (are in much more detail on the website)
Do not consume added sugar of any kind, real or artificial. 
Do not eat grains
Do not eat legumes.
Do not eat dairy.
Do not consume carrageenan, MSG or sulfites

The hardest part hands down was just planning ahead. I couldn't just go out without a plan or snacks. This is obviously way healthier and cheaper in the long run and I'd like to keep those habits up. I'd usually just throw an apple or banana and almonds in my bag.

The food was quite delicious. Some of my favourite recipes:

Homemade mayo (use for burgers, sweet potato fry dip, and tuna or potato salad) I actually cannot eat regular mayo anymore, I continued making my own.
Lettuce Wrapped Burgers (topped with homemade mayo and bacon) didn't use a recipe for these but put almond meal, and egg, and spices.
Cauliflower fried rice (I LOVED this)
Meatballs in Homemade Spaghetti Sauce (cooked in crockpot) over Spaghetti Squash
Chicken Bacon Mushroom Quiche
Roasted Broccoli (my usual recipe, minus the Parmesan. Still amazing.
Taco Lime Chicken over salad (used Trader Joe's Salsa Verde for dressing)
My go to for coffee was coconut milk and I would blend it in the blender which made it into a latte!
Crispy Baked Chicken Fingers - these were so good but so hard to find a good whole30 dip. I used leftover homemade marinara.
Foolproof Hard boiled eggs

The results: 

I didn't really take any before or after pics, maybe I should have but this one is at least right after haha.

My clothes fit way better and I feel confident enough to wear shorts(!) which I haven't in years. I feel more and more like myself and less and less like my appearance screams NEW MOM! :-P

Weight: 10lbs lost

Natural Waist: 2 inches lost
Midsection (Around belly button) 2 inches lost
Hips 1.5 inches lost
Widest part of leg: 0.5 inches lost

Just for fun, these are my measurements since January:
Waist: 3 inches lost
Midsection: 8 inches lost
Hips: 4 inches lost
Legs: 3.5 inches lost

Post baby I think I lost about 25 pounds before I realised "Crap...I kinda still have a looong way to go!" So onward I keep going. Now I'm down about 40 total. So by my calculations that means I gained 45 during pregnancy. EEK! It wasn't hard to do I will tell you that. And I didn't do it by only eating junk food, obviously because I know better than that. But being grossed out by meat = a lot of toast. I was hungry all the time but couldn't handle eating lean protein. By doing this challenge I found ways to cook again that I can actually enjoy eating, which is great.

So now it's been about 3 weeks since I finished. I actually really miss it, but I find it too strict to do all the time. I want to be able to go out for dinner once in awhile, order sushi and have my coffee with milk and stevia. It's hard to find the balance, but I'm working on it. I'm going away for the weekend at the end of August for a girls weekend so that's motivating to kick it up an extra notch again.

I posted about this when I was pregnant but having Arianna grow up with a healthy body attitude is so important to me. I still catch myself saying or thinking things I shouldn't but it's gotten a lot better. I appreciate my body so much more knowing that it carried another human into this world and I want her to grow up appreciating her body too.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Arianna {8 Months}

As you can see our 8 month picture went very smoothly.

Miss Arianna is somehow already 8 months old!

weight: 19lbs
height: haven't measured since last month

*no teeth still!
*eats everything we give her, except pasta. At least the one I made which was a cheesy spinach one. I'll try again with tomato sauce. She loves fruit!
*still babbling away constantly.
*she definitely knows mama, daddy and Layla. If we say one of our names she starts looking for us.
*still army crawling ALLL over the place. I set her down in the living room and a minute later I looked down and she was at my feet in the kitchen about to put her hand in Layla's water dish.
*I taught her how to feed me, so that's handy. She will put food in my mouth and then giggle.
*goes up on all fours while crawling and rocks back and forth
*can do a plank haha
*she loves to crawl into and play in her room. She goes over to her book basket and plays with the books, or looks in the mirror, or plays with the door springy thing.
*not much has changed development wise since the last update, but I find this to be one of the most entertaining months so far.
*we've gone from baby tub to blow up tub to regular tub in a month, she can pull herself out of everything way too easily
*size 3 diapers
*is in 6-12 month clothes but 12 month jammies
*is sleeping amazing. We were having challenges with naps but that has been resolved with an adjustment in her nap schedule. Thanks to our amazing sleep consultant!
*current schedule is: awake at 6am (sometimes a bit later) first nap around 9-10:15, 2nd nap around 1:15-230, bedtime between 6-630 depending how late she slept for the last nap. Keeping her awake for the right amount of time is the key to happiness in life.
*even though she's been a bit fussy the last week or so, we're having so much fun with her. Her little personality is shining through and we can't wait to see her develop more.
*I'm totally trying to soak up the baby stage while it lasts but I also can't wait till she's a little tot running around and talking!