Friday, January 30, 2015

Five on Friday

Since it's my LAST Five on Friday on maternity leave (if you can even still call it that after a year), I thought I'd share 5 things I learned during my 12 months home with my sweet girl!

1. You will NOT get bored. 

{We're always doing something!}

I remember the day after my mom left when Ella was born (she stayed with us for a week), I was like "What the heck am I going to do all day?" Well, friends, in case you've missed the last 51 weeks of my "Life with Ella" posts, we stay very busy! There's always some errands to run, or play groups to meet up with. Plus, Ella does spend quite a good deal of her day napping, so that takes up some time, too! I really have never gotten bored. Not once! 

2. Making mom friends is super easy. Really!

I think a big reason why I did not get bored is because of my mom friends! Some I knew before I had Ella, but the majority of the ladies I really didn't know until I was a mom. I've found that being a mom gives you a really strong common bond with other women. You always have something to talk about (for those of my friends who had babies older than Ella, thank you for letting me pick your brain about everything under the sun!) and if things do get awkward, you can always talk to your kid for a second, ha!

3.  You will wear 10% of your clothes 100% of the time.

I heard somewhere that the average person wears 20% of their clothes 80% of the time. That average person is not Mindy on maternity leave. I am pretty sure this past year, I have rotated between about 12 different shirts, a few pairs of jeans, and leggings. Oh, and work out clothes (note to self: must invest in some Lululemon if I stay home for a year ever again). I do not wear dresses, skirts, statement necklaces, dangly earrings or scarves. I noticed this morning that my work pants have dust on them. DUST you guys. That is just sad. I am looking forward to wearing some different things once I go back to work, but am not excited that leggings are not considered pants at my school. 

4. You will never sleep in again.

Ok, so people did tell me this, but I didn't really think about it. But, kids are creatures of habit. Once they get to sleeping through the night (which, luckily Ella did very early on), they will still wake up by 7-8AM (or earlier, if you're really "fortunate"). They don't care if it's a weekend, they don't care if you had too much wine the night before, they are getting up at their regular time! So even on the weekends, even after too many glasses of wine, my butt is up at 7:15ish every morning. Sometimes I bring Ella in bed and we all fall back to sleep, or very rarely Ella will sleep until 8AM. But I definitely could not tell you the last time I slept later than 8:30 uninterrupted from the night before. 

5. You will never want to go back to work.

{This is how Ella feels about me going back to work!}

I knew I wasn't going to go back at the end of the school year last year, but I thought for sure I'd be bored out of my mind and ready to go back in August (see: #1). WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. Not only does Ella get more fun by the day, but I've become so used to my stay-at-home-mom lifestyle that I really do not even remember what it's like to pack my lunch, be away from my house for 8+ hours, and not go to the bathroom whenever I want. Also I should mention that my worst days with Ella are 10 times better than my best days I've had with my class. I feel like returning to work after maternity leave is like ripping off a band-aid, and my band-aid's been on for a whole year. It is going to HURT!

5 and a half. Totally unrelated, but I wanted to mention: Happy Belated Birthday to my dad (yesterday), Happy Birthday to my dirty 30 friend, Dana (today), and Happy Early Birthday to my father-in-law (on Sunday)! So many good people born this time of year...including a very special someone on Tuesday! But that's a whole other post...stay tuned!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Life with Ella {week 51}

My second to last weekly update! TEAR!!!

We had a pretty chill week, with lots of fun outside, since it was crazy warm most of the week!!

Monday, we met Palmer and Mallery at the park (sadly, no pics) and then stopped at Whole Foods on our way home! Ella offered to pick up the tab for me ;)

She also tried raspberries for the first doesn't look like it, but I promise she liked them!

Tuesday has already been recapped for you here, but in case you missed it, some highlights:

First taste of cow's milk!

And another trip to the park with our sweet friends!

Wednesday, Ella got into my tutoring stuff and had quite a time practicing her multiplication facts.

{romper  / bow}

Thursday, we finally made it back to story time!! Each time we go, Ella is more and more engaged in what's going on, and as a teacher, it is SO fun for me to watch her!

{dress / bow}

Look at all those germs toys!!

Ella kept stealing this particular toy away from some poor boy. We really need to teach her to share at some point.

Friday, I ran a few errands while Ella stayed home with Travis. He kept sending me pictures of her doing her newest trick...climbing the stairs! Looks like we need to get a baby gate at the bottom of the stairs now. 

Saturday we didn't do too much, just played and watched Ella climb up the stairs about 103 times. 

{romper / tab}

Yesterday, we kept her contained in a box ;)

And we were also able to get some more time outside!!

I am loving that it has been so warm lately....but once I go back to school, I will welcome any and ALL snow days so I can stay home with my girl! 
Can't promise this upcoming week will be the most interesting to read about next Monday; I'm going to be at school for a few hours each day this week "shadowing" my sub. The irony of this is not lost on me. 
Hopefully, I can still get in some quality time with my favorite 11 month old though! 
Have a great week!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Five on Friday {Things Babies Do NOT Need}

Recently, I saw this article on Facebook about a whole bunch of things your baby doesn't actually need. When I read it, I was little surprised, because many of those things have appeared on some of my "monthly favorites" lists! Boogie wipes? Totally necessary. A traditional high chair? Sorry, I need that. And Ella probably would have starved without my baby food maker. 

So because I am a dork and am strangely obsessed with baby products, my Friday Five today consists of 5 things that I (well, Ella) didn't need....because Ella and I are the end all, be all when it comes to baby products ;)

1. Baby bathtub

Ok, so we did use this for a hot second (aka 20 days) until Ella's cord stump fell off. And she hated every. single. second. of her time in this tub. Once we put her in the open waters of the big bathtub (Travis was in charge of holding her, I was too nervous!), she has loved bath time ever since!

2. Wipes warmer

I actually thought about getting one of these when Ella was first born because I was afraid I was startling her with cold wipes. (Wow. Did I really just write that?!) Needless to say, she has survived just fine without one!

3. Bottle warmer

I actually did buy this at a consignment sale for $5 and I have never used it. Not one time. I usually just warm the bottle up by running it under hot water. I guess I'm lucky that I have a kid who doesn't need her bottle to be super blazing hot, but if you do have a kid like that, maybe you would need this? 

4. An abundance of burp cloths

I get it. These are super cute and so fun to monogram. And I'm all about a monogram, don't get me wrong. But I really never used these all that much! I think I relied on maybe 3-5 burp clothes (mayyyybe) on a regular basis and then the rest of the time used muslin swaddle blankets. Again, I got lucky and had a baby who didn't have reflux and spit up all the time, so maybe if I did I would need more. All I know is I have about 20472 unused burp cloths sitting in Ella's room. 

5. 38 different kinds of swaddles

They tell you to get a bunch of different kinds of swaddles because you don't know which one your baby will like. So I ended up with: swaddle blankets, the Miracle Blanket, the Woombie, the SwaddleMe, and the Halo SleepSack Swaddle. Upon googling different kinds of swaddles just now, I have come to the conclusion that I own just about every one. (So if you'd like to try any out, let me know! I should start a swaddle rental service, like Rent the Runway!) When Ella first came home from the hospital, we put her in the SwaddleMe and she loved it. When she transitioned to not being swaddled (around 3 months), we used the Halo SleepSack Swaddles. As I mentioned above, I used the swaddle blankets mostly as burp cloths, which means the Miracle Blanket and the Woombie never got used. Swaddles are SO short lived (no one told me that you stop swaddling when the baby starts rolling over!), and I registered for SO many! I even took back some of the ones I had been gifted because I had SO. MANY. SWADDLES. Stick with a 3 pack of the Swaddle Mes, and then if your baby does not like those, call me...I have plenty for you to use. 

Now watch when I have another baby, all of these 5 things will be on my "favorites" list! 

Have a great weekend! :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A Day in the Life {Part II}

I stumbled across a post I did back in July about our daily routine (or lack thereof) and I thought it might be fun do a little update. 

Well, fun for me anyway...I realize these types of posts are super boring for everyone else!

So without further ado, here is a look at our day yesterday, which was a pretty typical day!

7 AM: Ella wakes of us gets her out of her crib and I feed her. Because neither Trav nor I want to get up yet, we have family snuggles in our bed with her for an hour or so. 

8:15: Trav gets ready for work and Ella and I head downstairs for some breakfast. Usually, she has a banana and oatmeal or a waffle. As we walk downstairs, she knows it's banana time so she babbles "nanananana."

9:00: Travis has left for work (with Ella waving bye-bye from her high chair), so I get Ella cleaned up and we go back upstairs. This is when we figure out what she is going to wear that day, clean up her room a little bit and read stories.

Or yesterday...I dusted Ella's room while she pulled everything out of those bins! 
The trick here is I have to wait for her to....go #2 (sorry!) before putting her down for a nap, because otherwise she won't fall asleep. True story!

9:45: Ella takes her morning nap and I go for a run on the treadmill, shower and make the bed. 

11:15: If I am lucky, Ella will wake up now. I have not been lucky recently...she has been falling asleep around 10:30 (yes, she will play and babble in her crib for 45 minutes before wearing herself out), so I usually have to wake her up around 11:30! 

11:30: I am starting to wean, which is super exciting and sad at the same time. This is the first feeding I have Ella is now drinking a sippy cup of 1/2 cow's milk, 1/2 my milk at this time. 

11:45: Some days we play at our house, or we will go to story time or play dates with our friends during this time (usually a little bit earlier than this). Yesterday, we walked up to Harris Teeter to get some ingredients to make dinner!

12:30: Ella has lunch!

If you're wondering why she has no clothes on at every meal, it's because I take them off! She is such a messy eater, and I don't want to have to worry about her staining her clothes. I know...I am ridiculous. My mom jokes that she's going to be on a date in high school and is going to start taking her clothes off because that's what she thinks you do when you eat. 

1:15: Clean Ella off, go upstairs and feed her, and then put her down for a nap. During nap time, I run if I didn't get to that morning (like if we had a playdate or I was working at the Y). This is also when I eat my lunch and blog (hi!). I also try to do something cleaning-related and then do a little birthday party prep. Yesterday, I organized our guest bedroom closet...

{yes, our guest room closet is full of Ella's clothes...these are the ones that don't fit her anymore!}

...and watched Downton Abbey while making tissue paper pom poms.

4:00: Ella is usually up by this point, but yesterday she was not so I woke her up around 4:15 and fed her again. During this time, we usually run errands or go for a walk, but because it was so nice out, we met up with some friends at the park!

6:00: Dinner for Ella (once again, in her diaper). She usually eats leftovers or what we are eating for dinner, but since I hadn't made dinner yet and we didn't have any leftovers, she had some lunchmeat, a quesadilla, and raspberries. I try to give her some fruit or vegetable and dairy at lunch and dinner.

6:45: Bath time! I love bath time now that Ella has a bunch of fun toys...and she loves it too!!!

7:15: Get Ella in her jammies, feed her one last time and read a bedtime story. 
Goodnight, Ella!!

7:30: Make dinner for Trav and I. I try to make it before this point, but yesterday since we were at the park until almost 6:00, it didn't happen. Most nights we eat around 8:00 anyway, just because Trav has been working late and I am busy with Ella until then! Last night I made this beef and broccoli stir came together relatively quick and was delicious, too! 

8:30: I get some stuff done for my tutoring kids, work on more birthday party stuff or catch up on my emails. Sometimes, I'll lift weights and do crunches or something while I catch up on my shows. Other times, I'll just hang out with Travis and watch TV with him and see what all he needs from the store the next day ;)

11:00: I really need to go to bed earlier, but this is about what time that happens!

And there you have it....another riveting edition of what exactly I do all day! 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Life with Ella {week 50}

Can we just talk for a sec about how I've been doing this for 50 whole weeks?!? Holy moly...only 2 more weeks to go!! ;(

Last Monday, we reorganized the panty.

Tuesday, we finally made it to get Ella's second flu shot. We had to keep rescheduling it because she was sick! So now that like 80% of America has gotten the flu, Ella is now "immune" (in quotes because I heard this year's flu shot is only 23% effective!). 

Ella also decided she wanted to go for a run on the treadmill (don't worry, I didn't turn it on)!

Wednesday, we hung out around the house and played all morning....

...and then played more at the YMCA that afternoon!

Thursday morning, we met up with some friends at Discovery Place. They had a little section for babies, so Ella got to play with her friends in there!

She LOVED the mirrors!

Friday, we decided to be twinsies (although I did change my shirt before we went out in public, didn't want people to judge!)

I also got Ella's pictures back from her birthday photo shoot, so we were able to order her invitations and send those out!! Yay! (I posted a few of the pics on Friday if you missed them!)

Saturday, Trav was not feeling well, so Ella tried to make him feel better. 

We also ran a bunch of errands and got some good deals! The Bath and Body Works Sale was going on so I got a few of those 3 wick candles for only $9...then I found a Lilly Pulitzer cardigan at Kid to Kid for only $4! Last stop was Joann Fabrics for, you guessed it, more birthday party supplies. It was Teacher Appreciation Weekend so I got 25% off my total purchase! 

Yesterday, Ella is slowly starting to love like her Bitty Baby! She still throws her on the floor, but look at her giving the baby a hug! Making progress!

We also got a visit from the Callesen girls from Ohio! They stopped by on their way home from looking at Clemson for Emma.

I don't know what the weather is like today where you are, but here in Charlotte it is sunny and in the 60s! You better believe we are about to hit up the park as soon as Ella wakes up from her nap!