Friday, November 22, 2013

Winter baby

Dave and I have long joked that Olivia is a "winter baby" because when she was just a few months old, she deeply expressed her hatred for being hot and clammy. there were a few sweltering days and nights where she let us know that she wasn't too keen on warm weather. since it's started to cool down, she can be found watching the rain against the sliding glass door and happily wearing sweatpants and socks in the autumn chill (chill being a relative term, here in Southern California).

that being said, Olivia is also growing out of all her clothes and didn't have much of a winter wardrobe anyways because she didn't have much past 9 month sizes. so the past few weeks I've been on the prowl for some warmer clothes. The good thing about living in Southern California is it doesn't really get cold like most states, so I can get away with upgrading her pants and long sleeve collection and be pretty good. No snow suits or one piece fleece stroller outfits necessary!

I'm definitely a bargain shopper, especially when it comes to baby clothes that are only worn 3 for months. So sad. So in the words of the well known series, Game of Thrones, buckle up, because "Winter is Coming":
I definitely shopped around because it's hard to find cute baby clothes, in my opinion, that aren't all cupcakes and unicorns. I'm also not a big fan of onesies that have cheesy sayings like "grandmas sweetie", etc. The navy owl onesie and black, ruffle top are from Kohl's (brand: Jumping Bean), the pink striped top, navy and teal polka dot blouse, and navy and pink onesie are all from Baby Gap (on sale AND an extra 30% off!), the 4 pack of onesies are Carter's, and the purple sweatshirt is from Target (brand: Circo).

and for bottoms:

I got pretty lucky and found a decent amount of pants from Old Navy. I say lucky because they're onesies are just too wide for Olivia and never fit well enough. the navy and black leggings, as well as the mint and dark peach color pop jersey pants are from Old Navy, the dark pink sweatpants and light pink polka dot jeans are from Carter's, and the navy polka dot corduroys are from Baby Gap. I also got her two pairs of leggings in teal, and pink and black polka dot from Baby Gap, but they aren't pictured because I ran out of room!

my diligent quest to affordable clothes means that I got all of this for about $100! Everything was on sale and I even got one of these items for $2.09! Though not urgent, I would love to find some cute, warm boots and a warmer jacket. We have one, but it's really not made for winter and she's nearly grown out of it.

lately, Olivia has been outdressing me! even though I can fit into most of my old clothes, there are some old blouses i'm dying to get back into. let's hope the winter is kind to me ;)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

8 Month Favorites

I am getting worse and worse at this! Luckily, I only have 4 more of these to do. Honestly, it's been taking me forever to make my lists of favorites because they are fewer and further between. I haven't been paying attention as to whether or not something is new, we just use it!

Old Navy Pop Color Jersey Pants: these are my FAVORITE pants for Olivia! We only have 2 pairs (in peach and turquoise) but as soon as I can get my hands on more, I will. They are really soft, like leggings, but look like pants. It gets a little old for babies to just wear typical leggings and these fit the bill!

Johnson's Honey Apple Baby Bath: I know a lot of people give J&J a hard time but I'm not one of them. You couldn't pry their pink baby lotion out of my dead hands, I love it so much. This baby bath and container are awesome! I always find myself up to my elbows when giving Olivia her bath and the pump on this bottle is so helpful! The smell is delicious and it's very creamy, so Ollie doesn't get extra dry skin.

Fisher Price Classic Infant Trio Gift Set: Olivia got this as a gift from great grandma and she loves playing with the lid of the shapes box. I find it all over the house! I probably play the xylophone more than she does but she always smiles when I do :) This is a nice basic toy set that is small enough to take with us and is inexpensive.

Carters Microfleece PJs: now that it's "cold" in California, these are perfect jammies for baby! They keep Ollie nice and warm and she doesn't need a sleep sack when wearing them. The only problem is that she doesn't crawl too well when she's on the carpet, because the friction from the carpet with her pants causes her leg to get stuck. It's actually quite funny.

Gerber Puffs: These are Olivia's favorite snack. She literally starts shaking when she sees the container. I keep a little ziplock container of them in my person and they have proven quite helpful in screaming situations! They have whole grains and the serving size is something like 85 so I know she's not eating too many.

Halo Microfleece Sleepsack: no more swaddle Sleep Sack for us! This is an awesome wearable blanket that keeps Olivia warm, and that we don't have to worry about accidental smothering with. I accidentally got her a size Large based on her height and it was ludicrous how big it was. I think I could have worn it. Once we got the medium, it's been great!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Chef Mom

a few weeks ago Dave drove off for the day with our one and only car seat and I was stuck at home. I decided to keep myself busy by trying something I've always wanted to do: make my own baby food.
I've gone back and forth throughout Olivia's solid food days on whether I should make or buy her food. I have no problem buying it because it's really not that expensive ($1.09 feeds her for an entire day, minus snacks) and I trust that the food manufacturers know what they're doing. I.e. I'm not making claims that they have poison in their food, blah, blah, blah. I personally buy Gerber because I'm confident that when the label says the ingredients are "green beans and water" that it's the truth. I don't feel pressured to buy organic because I don't eat all organic myself, and honestly, I can't afford it. It's over $1.60 for 1 serving, which is more than double what I pay now.

I found butternut squash for a little over $1 at Trader Joe's and found an easy recipe online. I was actually surprised at how easy it was! and it made 8 servings, which was indeed cheaper than buying premade. that night I gave Olivia some and she loved it! So I froze the rest and set about to make even more food! I bought carrots, green beans, sweet potatoes and apples. I tried carrots and green beans and noticed they didn't give me as much as the squash. It was actually more expensive to make the green beans then buying them! Regardless, we tried some with her that night.
it did NOT go well. I gave her some of my green beans and she literally GAGGED. I tried again, she almost threw up. I had Dave open a Gerber pack of green beans and no problem: she finished the whole thing. before the night was over I decided to have her try the carrot and same thing: gagged to the point of almost barfing.

I really wasn't offended at all. I have a girlfriend who's daughter reacted the same way, and it was probably partially my fault for starting her on Gerber in the first place. Additionally, the recipes had warned me how hard it is to get certain foods really smooth and I know the green beans were way more grainy than she's used to.

I thought the squash would continue to work out and I defrosted one of my cubes a week later. I noticed how watery it was but stirred it up anyways. there wasn't any gagging this time, only crying. after the first bite she cried like I was torturing her. and so my days of making baby food were over.

don't get me wrong, I liked the feeling of making something for my child from my own heart and hands. And to be honest, this won't be the first meal I make that she won't eat in her lifetime! But there are many other ways I can love her and create things for her instead of slaving over the Magic Bullet (which she despises anyways). Every morning we share scrambled eggs and if I ever eat near her, you can bet she's crawling onto my lap to see what I have. there aren't many days left when I will even have the opportunity to buy her baby food. she's getting so big and will soon just be eating off our plates. I actually love going down the baby food aisle and planning her meals. We chit chat back and forth about what she wants and she gets excited to hold her puffs container.

They say "food before 1 is just for fun" and while I'm not sure that's entirely true, I'm having a great time! I'm looking forward to seeing her personality even more through our experiences with food :)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Operation Abs: Week 4

I simply can't believe a month has gone by since I started this fitness adventure! I have to say, it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be and I am now a believer in the philosophy that if you do something for 30 days, you can create a great habit.

For the past 3 of the 4 weeks, I have worked out 5 times a week (the first week was only 4x). This most likely means I went to the gym or did a workout video. On occasion I went for a good long walk with the stroller. But more often than not I doubled up on video days by also going for a walk, usually to Trader Joe's for dinner supplies. I am now addicted to feeling that tired, sweaty sensation and I NEED it to feel like I'm not cheating!

At the gym I've continued with 30 minutes of cardio, usually on the Arc Trainer, and then 15 minutes of strength training. It seems my secret machine has caught on, however, and twice now they've all been taken by the time I get to the gym! Those days I did 10 minutes intervals on the stair master (the real one, not the one where you flutter your feet), running for 10 minutes (almost died!), and then the final 10 on an elliptical. I have to say, I was SORE after those days. I am planning on doing this at least 1 time a week to keep things interesting. As for strength training, I usually alternate between up and lower body.

Of course the area I would love to see the most improvement is my mid section and it's the area I hate to work out the most. I don't know why I hate ab workouts, but I do. Maybe it's because I'm never sure if I'm doing it right. Because of that and not seeing an immediate improvement, I usually just give up, thereby ensuring zero improvement. Anyways, doing Lindsay Brin's Bootcamp 2 video has really got me going. There are 6, 5 minute Core workouts to choose from and I have no excuse to NOT do one. Probably my biggest takeaway from her videos is actually "activating my core" throughout the day by ensuring I have good posture and am hollowing my stomach during workouts. Though I don't have a 6 pack yet, I definitely notice the lessening of the pooch. It still looks nasty when I bend over, but I'm on counting on too many people looking at me from that angle!
As for my diet, I am paying a lot more attention to what I eat. I've taken to making berry smoothies 3-5 times a week and make them with Trader Joe's frozen berry mix, milk, 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder, 1/2 a banana, a scoop of Peanut butter, and a little yogurt (I like Dannon Light & Fit Vanilla the best). They are pretty tasty and replace a breakfast or lunch pretty easily. Though I have to be careful when I make them because my Magic Bullet scares Olivia! I am also continuing to watch my bread and general carb intake and limiting it to later in the day if at all.

Here are my numbers after 4 weeks:
Weight: 126.5 (DOWN 3 pounds from initial measurements!)
Hips: 34.5" (DOWN a 1/2 inch from initial measurements)
Waist: 31"
Below Waist: 33" (DOWN as 1 inch from initial measurements)
Arm: 11." (DOWN a 1/2 inch from initial measurements)
Thigh: 21"
Bust: 35" 

It's hard to say whether others would notice a difference but I do, even if a small one. While my thigh measurements haven't changed, I most definitely notice that they are toned. If they don't shrink in size, that's fine by me, so long as they don't flap back at me when I walk. Here's a comparison picture and you be the judge:
Week 1 is on the left and week 4 is on the right. Not bad, right? I think I look "tighter" for lack of a better word. I'm over halfway to my goal of losing 5 pounds by the end of the year and can't wait to reach my goal!