Saturday, December 31, 2011

Delicious and Oh. So. Easy.

We try to eat at home with home cooked meals as much as possible.  Occasionally Chick-fila and Dominos or Papa Johns darken our door step but more often then not we're eating from the pantry.
Josh found a great recipe for chicken enchiladas in a white sauce while searching online the other day.  Understanding the blog world, the recipe came from Joyful Mama's Kitchen and it was wonderful and easy.  I just made a few moderations. 

The recipe on the website is as follows:
Chicken enchiladas with green chili sour cream sauce
10 soft taco shells
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
3 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
1 (4 oz) can diced green chillies

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9x13 pan
2. Mix chicken and 1 cup cheese.  Roll up in tortillas and place in pan.
3. In a sauce pan, melt butter, stir in flour and cook 1 minute.  Add broth and whisk until smooth.  Heat over medium heat until thick and bubbly.  
4. Stir in sour cream and chilies.  Do not bring to boil, you don't want curdled sour cream.
5. Pour over enchiladas and top with remaining cheese.
6. Bake 22 min and then under high broil for 3 min to brown the cheese.

What I did differently was this:
I made cooked the chicken in taco seasoning.  You know, the kind out of the packet (gasp). I think it would have been a little plain had I not.
I didn't use the green chillies.  Instead I used a fresh salsa and it was really good.
Next time I won't use as much sour cream and I will remember to put the chicken stock in to thin it out.

Overall I thought it was a good recipe.  Easy to make and easy to change up depending on your flavor preferences.  If you give it a try let me know how you liked it!

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Friday, December 30, 2011


Postpartum depression has a tendency to fill me with guilt.  Currently it's over Kyra not being a snuggler.  I know it's such a simple thing.  But part of me wonders if I made her not want to snuggle. Maybe she felt my frustration in the early months and figured she'd do better on her own.  Maybe I shouldn't have started swaddling her for afternoon naps so early.  Maybe I should have stayed home more so I could hold her and she wouldn't be confined to a carseat instead of being in my arms.  There are so many negatives maybes that bombard my brain and inevitably my heart. 
Today I was going to snuggle her all day.  She got shots this morning and I vowed I wouldn't even be on the computer.  I would snuggle her on the couch and play with her and do absolutely nothing but be with her.  Shots are no fun and she needed, I was sure, some Mommy lovin' to make her feel better.  Wrong. She fell asleep in her car seat on the way home and looked so peaceful that I didn't dare wake her.  So, I waited.  When she woke up I instantly got her out and walked her around holding her.  We played for a little while and then she got hungry.  I fed her, we played a little while longer and then she started to get tired.  I gave her the paci and she snuggled up a little but didn't settle down.  I bounced her and bobbed her and she calmed for a little while.  She was like a little frog curled up on my chest as I walked around., eyes wide open.  Finally I gave up when she started fussing again.  I took her to her room, swaddled her, gave her the paci and she was out.
My heart fell and I started to cry.  What have I done to my child that she doesn't want me? Doesn't want to be rocked or loved on?  Wants to be swaddled and left alone instead of me holding her? I go back to work next week and I feel like it's been a waste of maternity leave.  Have I not paid her enough attention?  One of the main reasons we kept Teagan at school was so I could have one on one time with Kyra.  So I could bond with her.  I feel like a failure right now.  Sure, it could just be her personality.  She could prefer laying down and settling herself to sleep.  Josh figured that out a month ago and so we've laid her down at night basically awake and swaddled and in a few minutes she's a sleep.  Even if that is the case I feel like it's my fault.  I feel like the postpartum depression sucked my bond with Kyra out from under me.  Those important few weeks of her life were screwed up by me.  I didn't do what I should have emotionally as a Mommy of a new baby and now it's coming back to bite me in the butt.  It breaks my heart.   

Dearest Kyra Mae

Dearest Kyra Mae,
Well, Baby Girl, we've made it through the first two months.  It's hard to believe, and remember, sometimes you've only been here two months.  It just seems like you've always been.  Like we have always been a family of four.
You and I have struggled a bit but we continue to learn each other day by day.  Unfortunately, my hormones got all out of whack and I wound up with postpartum depression.  It made me, and some days still does, a little distant from you.  I am so sorry for that.  Even in my distance I want you to know how much I love you.  You made our family whole.
We are all slowly but surely adjusting to our new roles and new norms.  You actually make it pretty easy to be a mommy of two.  You have a sweet and patient nature about you that just takes the chaos and allows it to roll off your back like it's nothing.  You are so alert and observant!  You basically came out of the womb with your eyes open, holding your head up ready to conquer the world.  As sweet natured as you are I think you will be a force to be reckoned with.  Watch out world, here comes Kyra!
The way you are with your sister makes my heart smile.  You watch her like she is the best thing since a clean diaper and you talk to her like she's your best friend already.  She loves you so much.  She loves holding your hand in the car and tells me if she thinks you need something. Anything.  You tolerate her sometimes overabundance of love with a gummy smile.  Although, you aren't above telling her when you've had enough but that isn't very often.
I can't wait to see whats in store for you as you grow up.  There are so many things I want for you to know and see and do.  I can only pray I will be a mommy who is capable of showing you and teaching you.  I know without a doubt that I will at least be a mommy who loves you no matter what.  Postpartum depression be damned.

Forever and Always,

When in need of Vitamin C use your toddlers on the go pouches.

We've all got the "snots" in my house and a sick Mommy, especially a breastfeeding Mommy, is one who has to suck it up and pray she doesn't get super sick. 
In order to not get super sick I am trying to up my vitamin C intake and push the fluids (ie- water, chicken noodle soup and refraining from milk for now).  I decided to make a smoothie today and in order to increase my vitamin load up I put in one of Teagan's Ella's Kitchen pouches.  The parsnips, apples and carrots pouch to be exact.  Honestly I don't know if I've ever had a parsnip in my life but if they always taste like that then bring it on!!

This is the recipe for my smoothie concoction.
half a pouch of Ella's Kitchen carrot, apple, parsnip (it's a three in one)
a forth of a cup of frozen fresh blueberries
a forth of a cup of Bolthouse Farms "Hawaiian Holiday" juice
two splashes of Almond Milk
pulse in a blender or in my case a Magic Bullet
drink & enjoy

If you'd like to try this smoothie for yourself we are giving away some Ella's Kitchen goodness on the blog! Only 3 more days to enter! The giveaway ends on January 2nd! Here are the details.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Jumping on the "Our 2011" bandwagon.

January- Sweet Teagan turned 1!! She shared her birthday with her best friend Matilda and then her sweet friend Izze was born that day too!
*picture via*
February- At Teagan's doctor appointment her amazing doctor wrote her a prescription for no hot dogs or juice at school. We love her doctors!

March- The age of the tantrums begin...

April- This was a big month for us! We announced Teagan was going to be a big sister, she had an awesome play date with her best gal pal and she colored Easter eggs for the first time!

May- We had our first ultrasound and we didn't find out if we were having a boy or girl.

June- We said Bye Bye to Teagan's Binky, Josh and I celebrated our four year anniversary and I talked about Gestational Diabetes.

July-We were 25 weeks and I had an emotional vomit, I prepared for BlogHer '11 and I talked about Papaws.

August- I waddled around BlogHer '11 and learned a few things.  Then we set off on an extrucitatingly long road trip to Vermont.

September- We hit 37 weeks and decided to have a family picture day thanks to Jada J!!

October- Kyra Mae Reid is born and I rocked a successful VBAC but honestly didn't blog about it until November, what? I was kind of busy!

November- Kyra hit the one month mark and we hunted for a Christmas tree with the Heavner's!

December- Teagan sang "Happy Birthday, Jesus" with her bff Matilda in their school Christmas program, I talked about and admitted to having Postpartum depression and how frustrating breastfeeding has been this time, and sweet Kyra turned 2 months old! Of course we celebrated Christmas as well!

favorite photo 2011

Stroller running. Not. Happening. Just sayin.

You know those women who come whizzing pass you on your run pushing the jogging stroller with three kids in it?  I will never be one of those women. NEVER.
I tried.  Trust me, I tried.  When we first had Teagan I declared I was going to be that mom.  The one in the cute running pants and bright pink tank top pushing my baby while running.  Come to find out I am most definitely not that mom.
Two reasons come to mind when figuring out why I'm not the stroller pushing running mom.  First, I really need my arms to run.  I cannot run to save my life, well maybe if it was life or death I could, without moving my arms.  I take that back, I can run without moving my arms but it's really uncomfortable and then I end up running looking like a half turtle half penguin. Get the visual. It's not pretty.  Second reason.  Running is my time.  I love my husband and my girls but running is just for me.  Time to think my thoughts and pound out my frustrations on the pavement.  Now, when I am running I do think of my family and how one day the girls and I might run together.  I think about sweet Getty who I run to raise money for in the races I participate in.  I think about her mom, Kate, who I hope to go for a run one day with while Josh and Mark watch the girls.  The three girls that will most definitely be in tutus while they play. 
No matter the reason I run or how hard I might have tried I will never be a stroller pushing running mom and I am a-ok with that.

*Speaking of running. If you're going to be in the California area and like to run or walk you should check this out! It's on my birthday and it hurts my heart I won't be able to run it this year DEFINITELY!

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Kyra Mae at 2 months

2 whole months! 
Kyra Mae weighs a little over 10 lbs.  Not sure how much over 10 but I'm sure she is almost to 11!  Kyra is around 23-24 inches long and skinny like her daddy! She is a Reid through and through!
Kyra is in size 1 diapers still and probably will be for a while.
*speaking of diapers Kyra HATES to be wet and has a regular pooping schedule of 3 days. Yeah, the girl only poops every 3 days.  It doesn't bother her and it comes out normal so the doc said no prob. We'll go with it...
*loves the light and the fan! She also loved her some Christmas lights! She zones out staring at them!
*She has started the "Ah-goos" and talking more and more.  She loves chatting up with me during her diaper changes.
*Gave us her first her non-gas smile around 1 month and is starting to smile more and more.
*Has the text book "maaamaaa" scream when she's hungry.
*Gets the hiccups at least three times a day.  We have grown to hate the hiccups in this family.
*Loves taking a bath and looking at and playing with Teagan while she does.  Teagan helps me keep her warm and wash her feet. 
*Eats around every 3 hours and has started going 5-8 hours a night.
*She could still care less about being swaddled and has started wiggling out of it occasionally but it helps her sleep so we'll keep doing it. 
*Is great in the mornings! She chit chats with me while I brush my teeth and wash my face.
*We're still working on the paci. She will take it but sometimes it takes a little convincing. Slowly but surely.
*Josh has given her the first bottle and she did really well.
*Not a big fan of being in the car seat unless she is alseep.  That makes car rides and shopping a little difficult.  She is okay for awhile but once she's done she is done. 
*can lift her head up and bob it up and down.  She has amazing head control for her age. I think it's her adapting to trying to keep up with watching what Teagan is doing.
*Gets cranky around 10ish in the morning and then again around 6-8ish at night.  The only thing that will usually settle her down at this time is bobbing.  lots of bobbing.
*She is a serious cat napper in the mornings.  She takes a few 20-30 minute naps until around 12:30-1ish and then I swaddle her and she naps for 2-3 hours.  
*Loves the moby wrap for walks.  since we don't have a double stroller yet she goes in the moby and Teagan goes in the stroller. it works!
We're still learning the ins and outs of our new norm as a family of four.  Thankfully, Kyra's sweet nature is helping us through it. 

Getting crafty with it!

Occasionally I get these "crafty urges" that make me want to do. do. do.  I've recently had one of those urges and I've had a few projects in the making or in my head that I've wanted to try and do before I go back to work.  Well, that happens next Tuesday. Crunch time began two days ago. 
Here's three of the things on my list:

1) Teagan's name sign (eventually I'll make Kyra's as well.  one at a time!)  All I have left to do is paint one more letter, hot glue it on and then hang it on the wall.  I finally got the orange for the N today.  I went to paint and hot glue and I CAN'T FIND MY HOT GLUE GUN. Currently, I've texted one of my sweet and crafty friends (the one who went with me today to get the stuff) to see if I can borrow hers.  I'm not sweating it though! Here is what the sign looks like right now...I'll do a "how to" once I'm completely finished with the project.  You'll never guess whats behind the fabric!

2) I've wanted to make Teagan a bow holder for a while now but now that Kyra's here I obviously need to make two of them.  Why not now? So, I went out and got ribbon and cute little critters to go at the top today.  Again. No. Hot. Glue. Gun.  These are the critters and ribbon colors I'm using.  Teagan's is the owl and Kyra's is the frog. 

3) We've had these picture frames FOREVER, like as long as we've been married.  You know a whole almost five years.  Anyway the plan was to put pictures in them from places we'd been.  I'm usually awesome at taking pictures.  Not so good at getting them printed so they've had the pictures they came with in them for awhile.  There are two have are mine in the frame on the other side of the window.  That is as far as I've gotten.  I decided until I got my rear in gear I'd just put paper in them.  I plan on doing that today because all that requires is scissors not a hot glue gun. 

Are there projects you have in the making but need to get your rear in gear? I'd love to hear about them..  Maybe the crafty vibes will help me find my hot glue gun...

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas goodies

Just sharing a small glimpse into our Christmas before I type the super fun stuff about the girls.  Have you ever gotten a present that makes you just want to jump up and go do or play right away? Something simple? Like NEW RUNNING CLOTHES!?!
Josh got me new running clothes for Christmas. I haven't been able to run since March because I was busy being pregnant and having a baby and stuff so I am so excited to start running again.  In celebration of that Josh got me new running clothes.  It was all I had not to leave Josh with the girls, yes on Christmas morning, throw on my shoes and new clothes and go out for a run.
Alas, I put my big girl-mommy panties on and waited for everybody else to finish opening and started playing with the girls and their new toys.  Even though I kept glancing at those new running clothes...

Santa picture FAIL.

I knew it would be one of those pictures where I had at least one of two of my girls screaming and crying.  Traumatized for possibly life by sitting on Santa's lap for a picture.  They didn't even get to see Santa.  We tried though, boy did we try!
Josh was working on the Friday before Christmas and so my mom came to help out with the girls.  We were going to surprise everybody and have the girls picture taken with Santa in the dresses Grandma (Josh's mom) made them for Christmas.  We got to the mall and found Santa.  The line was crazy, of course, so we went to eat first thinking if we came back it would be a little better.  We came back and there were two lines.  One line that would definitely see Santa and the other line who might get to see Santa before lunch.  Guess which line we were in? That would be correct, the one that MIGHT get to see Santa.  We were assured that it would probably happen since we were the first ones in the second line.  They toyed with us a few times and finally we thought we were getting through.  They opened the rope and let us go through only to be blocked by yet another of those blue velvet barricades.  They had twenty-five minutes to get twelve people through before they let us on the other side of that rope.  The sweet but bad news-bearing old man told us "Santa goes to lunch at one o'clock and won't be back until two.  Since you're the first in line you'll get to see Santa as soon as he gets back".  I just looked at him and smiled.  The minutes ticked by and my mom and I slowly realized we weren't going to make it.  Standing there another hour with a restless toddler and an almost two month old who was sure to get hungry in the next thirty minutes.  My heart sank but a decision was made.  Next year we are giving Teagan and Kyra the "day off" from daycare, I'm taking the day off and we are going with my mom to have the girls pictures made with Santa on a random Tuesday at 9:30 in the morning.  See if we have to wait in line then...

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Thrifing, Goodwilling, second hand goodness.

I love to shop.  Honestly, it doesn't really matter where.  It's my one true vice that I rarely give into all the way.  Occasionally I'll spend full price for something but very rarely.  Why spend a ton of money on one thing when you can find it on sale a week later or in a thrift store or Goodwill in a few months?
Anyway, with my maternity leave not being paid we've had to watch our wallet even more. Occasionally I treat myself to a lovely find.  Nothing usually over $10 though!
My last trip to Goodwill was a successful one!  I got the girls a few things and me some goodies as well.  I found a sweet pair of sunshine yellow flats and a cute little "R" that I haven't decided if I'm going to re-cover or leave as it.  Either way, love it!

Day by Day.

After finally coming to terms with the fact that I am suffering from postpartum depression I did what I usually do when I come to something hard.  I get upset and overtaken by it, I get super mad and then I deal with it.  My dad noticed this pattern in me in high school and honestly, I've never done it any other way.  That cycle is how I deal with things and do my best work when faced with hardship. 
I'm in the dealing with it phase now.  Do I sometimes still get upset and just cry until my eyes are bloodshot? Yes.  Do I get so angry that I just want to run away (disclaimer-NOT at Kyra, at the depression). Yes.  But, I'm dealing with it now.  I've come to terms with it and now it's time to take this task on. 
One way I've started dealing with it is to write down everything I get done during the day.  This includes eating breakfast, fixing coffee and feeding Kyra.  If I do it in a twenty-four hour period then I write it down and look at it before I go to bed.  I do this to combat the thoughts of not getting anything done.  I would be consumed by thoughts of things I needed to get done during the day when Kyra would cry or not want to be put down.  If I could put her down then I could do this or that.  With writing it down I realize how much I DO actually get done during the day, including cuddling with Kyra. 
The other way I'm dealing with the PPD is carving out my quiet time.  I'd been using the excuse of not having time to read my Bible and journal because I had a toddler and a baby and a husband to care for.  I just couldn't do it all.  Well, that was a mistake.  Lesson learned. Putting God first has helped combat the depression during the day.  I am able to recall the night before and a calmness comes over me.  That is when I allow myself to just breathe and remember.  I'm still working on that part. 

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Amazed by God's timing.

I thought about not posting this.  Mainly because if I tell you where we go to church then you know the area we live in.  Then, I thought about how wrong it would be not to post this.  We were led to our church, Exodus, by my former pastor.  It was the perfect fit and we've been attending almost two years.  It's hard to believe hasn't been even two years.  We've made amazing friends and from the first few Sundays we just clicked and everything fell into place for us there.  It's a place we don't shy away from calling home.
There is a sense of community at Exodus that I've never felt anywhere else.  You miss a Sunday and you get at least one text or call asking where you were.  Not in a "you suck because you missed a Sunday" kinda way but in a genuine "hey, we missed you" kind of way.  Community is a big part of what Exodus is about and we love being a part of it. 
Just an example of the type of community I'm talking about as well as God's timing.  I posted about suffering from postpartum depression the other day.  For the first time I allowed my feelings to be put out there and I was finally honest with myself.  A mere four hours after I'd posted that specific post I got a call from a very kind woman who also attends Exodus.  After talking and praying with her on the phone Josh got a call from her husband just to check in and offer him support as well.  Some people might find this invasive and maybe a few years ago I would have but not anymore.  I now see it as somebody who genuinely cares.  Our pastor, Brian, follows my tweets as do several other friends from Exodus and so he saw my tweet with my post enclosed.  My post set him into action and like I said, God's timing is hilarious and perfect. 

Rough night turned revelation.

Yesterday was pretty productive but to be frank, last night was hell.  Everything was going smoothly until it was time to put Kyra to bed.  She'd just woken up from a little cat nap on her daddy around the usual time she goes down.  I figured I might as well take her upstairs to feed her and put her down.  She thought differently.  After changing her diaper and getting her latched on she started to squirm. She was hungry and still tired.  Those two factors do not equal a happy baby or a happy mommy.  After about 15 minutes Josh came upstairs and took her from me to see if he could get her calmed down.  His calmness and old soul never fail to come in handy. 
He calmed Kyra down and insisted I tell him what I was feeling right. that. second.  After stewing a little longer I explained how frustrated I was with breastfeeding Kyra.  How it was always a struggle.  How I was over it but I would trudge on.  He stared straight through my wall of frustration into my eyes and told me I didn't have to do it.  That we would formula feed and he would go get a bottle of breast milk now.  I sat there rocking with my knees against my chest feeling my frustration slowly melt away.  I remembered how much I wanted to breastfeed.  I remembered that it was the best thing possible for Kyra.  How honestly, it was the best thing for our budget.  I remembered I was breastfeeding because I wanted to. Not because my husband expected it or demanded it from me (because he doesn't, obviously).  The relief of knowing Kyra won't grow an extra leg if I were to want to stop breastfeeding.  All of that took the pressure off. 
Kyra was calm and Josh handed her back to me.  She latched on, got comfortable and ate like the champ she is.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Crock pot phenomenon.

*picture via*

I am probably the last one to jump on this bandwagon.  As a newlywed I thought a crock pot was just something I needed to put on the registry.  Every good bride did.  It was kind of symbolic that I was going to take care of a family in the future and even on crazy nights there would be something hot and nutritious to eat.  I've used our crock pot MAYBE eight times in almost five years.  Yeah, crock pot user fail. 
Since I go back to work in,well, less time then I'd like. It's going to be crazy. I have three hungry people to feed with real food.  None of us will get home until right around 6.  Teagan goes to bed at 7:30pm.  What am I going to do? I plan to use the crock pot. 
To be honest, it kind of scares me.  I'm not really sure I like the idea of leaving something cooking and plugged in while I'm nowhere near my house.  But, I've been assured it's very safe and so I'm willing to try it.  However, if I come home to my house burned down then I'm coming after those of you who provided me with safety assurance.  Just sayin'. 
All that said simply to ask for help.  What are some of your favorite crock pot recipes?  Go easy on me now.  I like simple. I am a crock pot novice after all...

This one is just for Nessa.

My friend Nessa (if you've just tuned in to Teagan Tales, Eva her daughter is Teagan's penpal) over at Moments & Impressions is pregnant, yay! With that comes a hormonal roller coaster ride.  Playing to her sentimental-ness right now I thought I shoot a sweet baby picture her way! Love you, Nessa!!

*don't forget about our Ella's Kitchen giveaway! You have until January 2nd to enter!*


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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sweet sisters.

After a bath the other night we decided to put the girls in their almost matching PJs and snap some pictures before bed.  Beware...serious Christmas cuteness ahead.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Trial run.

Since I've been on maternity leave my parents have been picking up Teagan from "school" and bringing her home.  Not only have we appreciated it but they've loved it.  They eat up any time they can have with Teagan and Kyra. 
They're unable to pick up sweet Teagan this week and so it's Mommy and Kyra who will do the picking up. We're using it as a trial run.  Seeing as I go back to work in, HOLY COW, 2 more Mondays we need to figure out how it's going to work.  Figuring out which side is better for Teagan to be on. How I'm going to man handle a carrier and probably a toddler all while signing them out with that third hand I grew during my pregnancy.  Luckily Kyra will be staying with my mom for a few weeks before she goes to "school" but there lies another problem.  Who will I drop off first? That is going to depend on Kyra's feeding schedule as we try to do as little bottle feeding as possible.  But, we'll worry about the dropping off part when we get there, did I mention that was in 2 Mondays!?  I can't wait to pick up Teagan with Kyra today.  Teagan loves showing off her baby sister and hopefully will be equally excited to see me too!

What she wore. Teagan's version.

Teagan has a mind of her own.  There is no debating that.  Partly because she is almost two and partly because of her strong willed personality.  Sweet natured but strong willed.  I've said before that we pick our battles in this house and what Teagan wears to school and sometimes even to church is not a battle we participate in.  We let her pick her clothes.  Sometimes she rocks it out and other days we just have to laugh at what she chooses.  So, I've decided to try and do a weekly recap of her outfits for that week.  I'm a little late for last week but it's so worth showing you.

shirt: Target (hand me down)
pants: JcPenny
shoes: consignment (Stride Rites)
lion: Christmas present from school


 shirt: Children's Place (it was too short, 18 mo, but she insisted)
pants: Gap
shoes: consignment
jacket: Osh Gosh, consignment

shirt: Old Navy (can't see it but it's pink with a hedge hog, so cute!)
jumper: Baby Gap, consignment
leggings: Carter's
shoes: consignment
jacket: Osh Gosh, consignment
bib: Built NY

Friday, December 16, 2011

Yeah, I'm pretty proud of her.

Teagan's school/daycare Christmas program was Tuesday.  If women in that audience didn't want a child before coming to see it then they certainly had baby fever by the time they left. Talk about cuteness overload.  Anyway, I digress.  The whole point of this post was to brag on Teagan and her bff Matilda.  They were chosen to sing Happy Birthday to Baby Jesus.  They both knew every word and sang it proudly, until they got on stage.  On stage Teagan was laughing at everything that moved and Matilda tried to eat the microphone that wasn't on.  It was hilarious.  I was so proud of her and Matilda though at the fact they were the two chosen, out of eight, to sing Happy Birthday to Baby Jesus.  We've got some pretty smart cookies!

Just going through the motions.

Remember when I was pregnant I wrote about being concerned about bonding with Kyra?  Worrying about just going through the motions and not connecting with her emotionally?  Worrying about resenting her a little because our normal would change so drastically?  Worrying about not having enough time with Teagan because I was tending to a newborn? All of that happened, just like I worried about.  All of that happened until yesterday.  Yesterday, it finally clicked.  (Honestly, this is going to play out like a scene from cheesey Hallmark movie but pour you a glass of your favorite beverage and bare with me.)
Until yesterday there were many times through the day where I would get emotionally frustrated at Kyra and have to take a deep breath.  Knowing I had to do what I was doing to care for her.  Only being there for her physically though, not emotionally.  Sure, there were probably more times when I was talking to her and loving on her then I can recall but the ones where I was emotionally absent are the ones that stick out in my mind.  I would get frustrated and feel shut off from family and friends when I had to go to another room to breastfeed.  Partly because I'm still not comfortable breastfeeding under that stupid udder cover and partly because Kyra gets distracted easily when she's eating.  I would go and sit in another room by myself and just stew thinking of all I was missing.  Not realizing I was missing a whole lot more by not really paying attention to Kyra.  Getting upset when Teagan wanted me and I couldn't do anything about it because I had to feed Kyra or calm her down.  Thinking Kyra was getting in the way of my relationship with Teagan. Putting on a brave face for everybody because I knew I should feel and act blessed even when I felt more burdened at times.  Knowing people would understand if I asked for help but being too full of pride to ask for it.  Even from my husband most days.  I was just going through the motions. 
Then yesterday happened.  I was working with maybe 3 good hours of sleep from the night before.  I was exhausted and just running on adrenaline.  I didn't even have caffeine to put in my system and I was so desperate I almost put Kyra in her car seat and ran out to get some.  Anyway, I was on the verge of tears.  Kyra had been kinda fussy and nursing hadn't gone as well as I'd liked it to even though she had a full belly I had a full left boob.  I decided to slow down.  I leaned over Kyra, who was on our bed, and she smiled at me.  Full on gummy and bright eyed smile.  After the way I'd been most of her life, just doing what I felt like I had to do as a mom, just going through the motions, she still loved me in spite of myself.  She loves her mommy and I am her mommy.  I lost it.  I started sobbing.  All I could do was cry and pick her up and tell her how much I loved her.  That I was sorry I'd been kinda crappy the last month and that I would do better.  I told her I loved her and how sorry I was over and over again.
Have I been struggling with postpartum depression? Maybe? I don't think it was a constant thing.  So I think I had more of severe baby blues then full on depression.  I've struggled in the past with depression and so Josh watched me like a hawk but I'm even so good sometimes that I can fool him.  Thankfully, I think the hormones have finally started to regulate themselves and I'm feeling more happy and emotionally available to both my girls now.  I didn't have to go through it alone and I shouldn't have.  Being the prideful human that I am I did.  If you feel similar to the way I did don't go through it alone.  It's hell but it's an avoidable hell.  Talk to somebody.  Ask for help.  Shoot me an e-mail if you need to. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Long nights. Totally worth it.

It doesn't take much to mess with Teagan's sleep patterns.  New baby sister plus the infamous "terrible twos"?  Consider Teagan's world rocked.  Especially her sleep world.  We thought we'd gotten back to almost normal until two nights ago.  We had to stay out late because Teagan had her Christmas program at daycare and she was all hyped up after we got home.  She'd had just enough of a nap on the way home to tide her over for a little while.  Not. Good.  She didn't fall asleep until 9:30ish.  Her normal bedtime is 7:30.  She woke up the following morning around 5.  I'd just gotten back to bed after feeding Kyra.  But, Teagan had to get back up at 5:45 to get ready for school so it wasn't too bad. 
Last night was worse.  She'd had a normal day and went down like a champ.  Josh brushed her teeth while singing the "Sugar bug" song, put on her PJs, brought her downstairs to say goodnight to me and Kyra and tucked her in.  Kyra went to bed like normal around 8ish.  Kyra woke up at 1:00am.  Quite a shock to my system when she's been sleeping 6 and 7 hour stretches.  I was fine with it though as she usually goes back to sleep right away after a feeding.  Boy was I in for a treat.  She didn't go back down all the way until around 2:30am.  Really!?!
Ha, that isn't all.  Teagan woke up at 4am.  Yeah, you read that correctly, 4 flippin A.M.  She wanted to "rock a minute" so I rocked her a minute and then put her back down.   Secretly, as tired as I was I loved just holding and rocking her.  About 10 minutes later she was up again.  I rocked her one more time and put her back to bed.  It wasn't happening.  So, I let her cry for about 10 minutes while I sat in the middle of her room.  That didn't work.  I needed sleep. So, I told her she could either lay in her crib or she could lay in the floor with me but we weren't going in mommy & daddy's room.  She settled for laying on the floor with me.  Honestly, even though I was freezing in no socks and a nursing tank with no blanket, I was okay.  I don't get a lot of just Teagan time.  I rarely get cuddle time with her because she wants it less and less.  I laid there with her in my arms and just looked at her. I smelled her hair and kissed her head.  I'll admit I even cried some.  Thinking about how my first baby was growing up.  Eventually she fell all the way asleep and I was able to creep back to bed, for a whole 30 minutes. 
Should I have just let her cry it out?  The "experts" would probably say yes.  I really don't care what the experts say about it.  I think she and I both needed it. 

Reindeer. The Rudolph story has it all wrong.

My husband is one of those "sponge" people.  The kind of people that soak in every little tidbit of information they see or hear.  I love him for it and often envy him because of it.  Stuff just doesn't stick with me.  This did. 
He told me the other day that all reindeer have antlers.  Boy reindeer and girl reindeer. Rudolph AND Clarice.  I looked it up and he was right (not that I doubted him).  Thing is, boy reindeer lose their antlers in the winter and girl reindeer lose theirs in the spring.  Let that soak in a minute.  That means ALL of Santa's reindeer should be girls not boys.  Kinda makes me wonder about Frosty... 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Presents aren't everything.

This year my side of the family has decided not to exchange presents.  The only presents will be for Teagan & Kyra.  Teagan is going to be hilarious this year and I can't wait to see her face as she opens the presents and then more then likely plays with the paper instead.  Oh well, who needs presents when you have pretty paper?
I was telling Josh the other night that a few years ago the idea of not getting presents at Christmas, especially from my own parents, would have made me upset.  Downright angry actually.  I was a selfish brat and I am willing to admit it.  It's funny how having a family of my own has changed my way of thinking.  This year I'm not bothered by the no present thing.  The lack of material things.  I can't wait to head to our hometown and see my side of the family for goodies and some "oldie-goldie dancin'" before going to Josh's parents for a Christmas Eve story.  To let Teagan hear how Jesus was born in a manger just one more time for good measure.  I can't wait to share Christmas day with our family.  I can't wait for our families to come over and see Teagan and Kyra.  To love on them and play with them and to just be.  That's it.  That is probably the most awesome present I could receive this year.

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You know how I was crazy bragging on Ella's Kitchen products the other day? Well, it's giveaway time!! They've offered one of my readers a sample box of their products! There are 10 pouches in the box! It's a great offer! I cannot wait until the winner gets the box and tells me they love Ella's Kitchen stuff as much as we do in our house!
I do have to confess...some of their products make good smoothies for Mommy's too...*smiles sheepishly*

Bet you're wondering how to win.  Just leave your favorite Christmas memory in the comments and I will randomly pick, well the computer will, a winner.  To increase your chances just got "like" them on facebook and/or follow them on Twitter (@ellaskitchen) and give us a vote on TBB for extra entries (honesty policy here peeps)!

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Breastfeeding the second time around.

It was easy peesey at first.  Kyra latched beautifully and the only issue was keeping her awake long enough to nurse the recommended 15 on each side.  The older she gets the more difficult it becomes.  When we got home from the hospital we started getting into our own little groove.  Her stomach couldn't hold/wouldn't hold more then 10 minutes of straight nursing.  This became her norm. This became a blessing and a curse all at the same time.  Kyra got a full belly, I got to go back to bed sooner but my girls started adjusting to her 10 minute feedings.  Problem number 1.
Obviously she's growing, baby girl gained 2 lbs and an inch and a quarter in a month.  Something isn't quite right with our nursing though.  I'm not sure if it's being distracted by Teagan, her surroundings are starting to get to her or she wants more but she just isn't used to staying on longer then 10 minutes.  Honestly, I have no idea what's going on.  She nurses fine for about 7 minutes and then starts to get restless.  I make sure to burp her so there aren't any big bubbles preventing her from nursing to her full potential but that hasn't seemed to help.  I know I can't force her to eat.  Trust me. That is NOT happening. She will clamp down tight and shake her sweet little head from side to side in blatant refusal.  Problem number 2.
I go back to work in a few weeks and Kyra will be taking a bottle.  I'm actually concerned she's going to go one of two ways with it.  Either she is going to flat out refuse to take a bottle or she's going to love it and prefer it over the breast. Problem number 3.  Unfortunately the first one is the worst of the two evils.  I can't just not go to work because she won't take a bottle.  I'm not really sure what would happen at that point.  So, I'm pretty nervous about it.  The lesser of the two evils is that she prefers the bottle to the breast.  If that becomes the case then I will pump like a crazy person and give her breast milk as long as I can. 
Honestly, I'm not as freaked out about the formula as I was with Teagan.  I've already told Josh if something goes wrong or if we have to supplement with formula then I'm not going to beat myself up about it.  Teagan had to supplement some during the last 3-4 mths and she didn't grow an arm out of her head. 
I do hope to breastfeed Kyra a year like I did with Teagan.  Even though I've been through this once with Teagan, every baby is different.  Any suggestions from those more experienced then me?

Wordless Wednesday

Okay, so there are a few words for this.  We tend to pick our battles with Teagan in this house.  There are things we're just not going to argue about.  Like Teagan's clothes. We usually let Teagan pick out her own clothes and we go with it.  Some days she loves the shoes she picked out so much that she sleeps in them.  Another battle we just wave the white flag at. 
Today she picked out her outfit. Some days it's a hit and some days it's a miss.  Either way she's a happy Little Bear headed to school in the outfit of her choosing.

*we linked up with The Paper Mama, 5 minutes for mom dot com and And then, she snapped for Wordless Wednesday! Go check it out!*

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011


It's seriously the simple things these days that make me happy. Sure, there are things I want for Christmas that I will have to wait YEARS before I can call mine but for now the simple things will do.  Honestly, I probably prefer them...
Like every night when Josh crawls into bed next to me.  Somehow our feet always find each other. Whether I'm all the way asleep or still half awake waiting on Kyra to stir our feet touch and lock for the night.  When I get back in bed from feeding her in the mornings our feet find their way to each other all over again.  When we bring Teagan to bed on Saturday morning's, because none of us want to get up yet and Kyra is still sleeping, our feet find each other on either side of Teagan.  Almost as if they complete a circle of protection.  We made this and she's ours.  We can't wait until Kyra is old enough to come in that circle and cuddle up with us on Saturday mornings.  Then our circle will be complete.  It's comforting and amazing.  It's simple.

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Friday, December 9, 2011

Ella's Kitchen

Can I just tell you how much we LOVE Ella's kitchen products?  At the risk of sounding like a teenage girl, OMG. Teagan is almost 2 and we still use them.  Who needs crackers when you have these pouches of sweet nutritional goodness?
Let me just tell you a few things about Ella's Kitchen products.
A sweet daddy, Ella's daddy, started the company when he wanted to make yummy food that was also good for his kiddos.  The actual products have no added sugar, salt or preservatives.  No egg, wheat OR gluten.  They come in handy BPA free packaging.  The food is %100 organic and Orthodox Union Kosher, which I didn't realize until today. We usually find the yumminess at Target or Babies-R-Us but you can find it at Kroger and buybuyBaby as well.  
If you want to keep updated on whats going on in the Ella's kitchen, kitchen, just like them on facebook or sign up on for their newsletter. 
Usually I make my own baby food but it's not always possible and now that we're on baby number two I'm going to have less time then I did with Teagan.  That doesn't mean I don't want Kyra to eat as good as Teagan did.  So, I have a feeling we will be turning to Ella's kitchen quite often when Kyra gets to that stage in her life.  I'm sure Teagan will be snacking on a pouch or two at the same time!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Dearest Teagan

Dearest Teagan,
My sweet little girl.  I guess I can't call you a baby any longer because you're not.  You are a full blown toddler, not quite in age but definitely in spirit.  You are truly coming into your own and I continue to be amazed.  You have a mixture of mine and your daddy's personalities which eventually will be a good thing.  Right now it's conflictual and sometimes causes fits of misunderstanding. 
Your curiosity definitely comes from your daddy.  You want to know how everything works no matter how messy or how long it takes.  You get focused and that is it.  It's hard to tear you away from that thought you're pondering or the item you're trying to master.  Even if we manage to get your attention away for a minute your thoughts go right back to the original.  You also have your daddy's strong will.  Sweet girl, I'm mixed on my happiness of this one.  You and daddy are going to be a force to be reckoned with as you grow up.  I have a feeling you and daddy are going to be like me and Papaw.  The teenage years are going to be rocky but your love for your daddy will never waiver because he is a good man and you will grow up respecting him.  I pray you have enough of me in you that you can curb your strong will and compliment your daddy's instead of fighting against it. 
Your love for others, especially our family and friends, brings tears to my eyes if I let myself think about it enough.  Every night your prayers continue to get longer because you don't want to forget somebody.  And you are so matter of fact in your naming of all your loved ones.  There is never any question who you are praying for.  Your hands even go together and your mouth sweetly calls out "Pray Mommy" when we pass an ambulance, a firetruck or a police car.  And as I pray you pray with me; the words coming out softer then a whisper with a loud AMEN at the end.  The innocence you have right now is something I wish for you to not outgrow.  Naive and innocent are two different things. I don't want you to be naive because that can be misused and abused.  I want you to keep your innocence as long as you can. 
I know I've said this before but your love you've shown for Kyra has been more then your daddy and I can imagine.  You've taken to her like a champ.  And I am so proud of you.  I know it's been hard.  It's been hard for all of us.  Completely worth it, but hard.  I know you're used to having me all to yourself and when you want me and I'm in the middle of feeding Kyra or rocking her to calm her and I can only give you half of me, if even, that it upsets you.  Understandably so.  Honestly it upsets me sometimes too.  It upsets me that I don't have four arms and two chests instead of two and one.  I want you to know that just because my body can't give you what you need all the time that my heart always will.  My heart has divided into three parts and one of those parts is just for you. Nobody else can have it.  And I will never give it away.  I pray you can always hold on to that.  Even as you get older. Especially as you get older.
I love you my Little Bear.  As bittersweet as it is for me as a mommy I can't wait to watch you continue to grow. To learn. To experience things in a way not like anybody else's.  I pray you continue to thrive and love and explore. And anytime you fall, just know Daddy and I will be here to catch you. Always.

Forever and Always,

Friday, December 2, 2011


I finally jumped on the Pinterest wagon today.  I am in LOVE with it although I will have to ration my time spent on the site due to "I need to have it, why can't I have it" issues.
The only thing I didn't like was no fault of the websites.  It was when I clicked on the "fitness" link.  Thinking I could find some good little tips on how to get rid of the rest of the baby weight. The healthy way.  I was instantly taken back to my days on my first real blog.  My first real blog was a journey through my anorexia and depression.  It was a blog full of darkness and self-hatred.  Phrases like "do it for the gap between your thighs" or "Do it because you'd rather love yourself later then hate yourself when the full feeling sets in" popped out from the screen at me.  I began to cry.  Not big blubbering sobs but the kind of tears that just roll down your face in a constant stream.  It took me back to those days of self-hatred and darkness.  It reminded me of just how sick I was.  It reminded me that just because I stopped blogging like that doesn't mean it went away.  There are a ton of women and girls who continue to blog on "pro-ana" sites, there were even ladies who died from anorexia or suicide when I was blogging back then. 
It just made me take a step back.  It's everywhere.  The constant messages of perfection and not being good enough.  These messages have even made their way to a website like Pinterest.  If these messages can make it there then they have the ability to creep into every aspect of our lives.  That sounds kind of paranoid but I'm not being paranoid.  I am being realistic.  I have TWO daughters now.  Two beautiful girls who are going to face what I had to face in regards to the messages they will be getting.  I can only pray that Josh & I are able to combat those messages with those of love and self-appreciation.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

It lasted a month.

We made it a month before the jealousy started.  My poor sweet Teagan wants her mommy. me. all the time.  Occasionally Mamaw will do but for the most part Teagan wants my undivided attention.  It rips me apart.  It's been a little hard to adjust my mindset to the fact that there are two sweet girls that need my attention now not just one.  I find myself occasionally trying to take them both on at the same time.  One on one hip and the other in the crook of my other arm.  It's exhausting and frustrating all at the same time. 
My sweet husband tries to help but right now it's hard and I know frustrating for him.  I am Kyra's main caregiver right now basically because I provide her with nutrition and she's with me during the day and night so she favors me.  Teagan is realizing she doesn't always have my undivided attention and that is something she wants back so she only wants me right now.  My heart hurts when I see Teagan kicking and screaming for me when Josh is trying to comfort her.  I see hurt in his eyes and my heart breaks for him.  It will be better soon, it's just something Teagan is going to have to go through but it doesn't make it any easier on him right now.  I know how hard it's been for me the times she's been with just me and screams for her daddy.  It breaks my heart so I know his is breaking too.
Thankfully, this jealousy has not turned into resentment towards Kyra.  Teagan still loves on Kyra and wants to hold her hand and kiss and hug her.  We pray this is how it remains.  That Teagan will not hold resentment (in her toddler way) towards her sister. 
We have definitely come through the "honeymoon phase" of having 2 under 2 and now reality is kicking in.  We don't regret having Kyra in ANY WAY but we are now beginning the real learning process of how we are going to live with this new normal of ours.  Thankfully we have an amazing support system.  I know this will work itself out. It's just surviving the working itself out part.

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Pregnancy weight.

I recently read an article on Babble about losing pregnancy weight and the stigma that is attached to it.  I agreed and disagreed at the same time.
I agree the media and society harp too much on how quickly a woman should lose pregnancy weight.  The celebrities are back in their bikinis with bikini bodies within 6 weeks of giving birth.  Most women aren't even released by their doctor until 6 weeks.  How they do it, I'm not sure.  I can't imagine the pressure most of them are under. 
On the other hand women who DO lose their pregnancy weight quickly should not be ridiculed either. Especially us unfamous women.  I have 5 more lbs to lose before I am back to my pre-pregnancy weight.  Have I worked out? No. Have I restricted my diet? No. Am I nursing? Yes. Am I running around after a toddler? Yes. Am I eating like a normal person and not using the fact that I am breastfeeding as an excuse to eat a ton of food? Yes.  I'm not sorry for it. I'm pretty excited about it.  I tried my entire pregnancy to keep my weight gain within a healthy range and I did.  I gained 32 lbs.  So, yes, I have lost almost 30lbs in a month.  With Teagan I gained almost 80lbs.  It was completely unhealthy and took a year to lose.  I vowed not to go down that road again.  Next week I will start working out, if the doctor releases me and I will lose the 5lbs and then some (I was in the process of losing a few pounds when I got pregnant).  I will not feel guilty about it. I will work my butt off and come June when Josh and I get away for our 5 year anniversary I will look like a smokin' hot mama in a bikini for my hubs.