Oct 31, 2009

Beautiful Giveaway & Fun Contest!

Enter to win a beautiful Modern Nursery and consultation from HGTV's Danielle Hirsch!

*Sorry Canadian girls, this is for our south of the border friends only!


Now, for my Canadian girls:
The Pillsbury Baking Challenge invites you to use one of Pillsbury's products (I love their pre-made cookie dough!) to create a unique, one-of-a-kind recipe! Would be a blast to do with your kids if they're old enough! :)
The Grand Prize winner wins a dream suite of kitchen appliances courtesy of Whirlpool®, cleaning services for a full year courtesy of Molly Maid® (HALLELUJAH!), and a year's worth of groceries, all valued at over $11,500!

To enter, click here, and submit as many recipes as you want, until November 15th.


Jen :)

PS - Happy Halloween! YIPEE! Lots of candy for me! OOPS, I mean the kids! ;)

Oct 30, 2009

Shoot Me Up!

Dan and I are getting our H1N1 vaccinations next week...

I, admit, I was a little hesitant about it all. But, I think that my worry came from "reliable" news sources and their scare tactics vs. actual facts.

I asked my Mom, who's is an RN and on the Pandemic Team for her company and also my girlfriend, who's hubby is one the smartest docs I know, and the answer seems to be YES - get the vaccine! In fact, my girlfriend's answer, mentioning babies fighting for their lives against H1N1 at the hospital, scared the crap outta me!

As far as I know, children should be vaccinated if they are older than 6 months... so Jane doesn't quite qualify yet. I'm going to ask my doc about whether we should bring her back in in December when she is 6 months?!?! I hate the thought of her getting THREE vaccines in December! I'm curious - does anyone know if the benefits of the flu vaccine are transferred through breastmilk? I know they are in utero for pregnant Mommas. Hmmm. Cause that would rock!

For me the benefits far outweigh the potential risks of this vaccine. Here is some information on vaccine safety, if you are concerned. I just can't imagine something happening and knowing I could have prevented it.

I will not or would not judge those who do not get the vaccine. I would love to hear your reasoning, however. I'm also curious if you opt out of all vaccines and why?

I know this is really controversial right now, so lets get some good comments going here people - let's educate each other! :p

Jen :)

PS - On a lighter note, I just started Twittering, click below to follow me!



Oct 29, 2009

Bring It On Boys!

I was out for my walk with Janey and had the funniest thing happen to me...

We live in an area with a lot of new construction, so there's never a shortage of slightly over-weight men in trucks. As I pushed Jane along today, two trucks passed me from behind. I glanced at the first and the driver, still wearing his hard hat, waved at me. Immediately behind him, in the second truck, a chubby man in a plaid shirt says "how YOU doin'". My initial reaction was a look of disgust, I mean YUCK, I hate it when men cat-call... and how stereotypical that it be two construction workers?!?! THEN, and within milliseconds, I started smiling, like huge smiling. WOOHOOO!!! I just had a baby 5 months ago... BRING IT ON BOYS! Beggers can't be choosers! I never thought the day would come that I would not only appreciate, but crave, the typically unwanted attention of construction workers! ha ha ha. Maybe I'll start wearing something sexy for 'um. ha ha ha.

Part of the reason this makes me so happy is that, kill me for saying it, but I half-believed my days of cat-calls and double-takes were over now that I'm a Mom. I don't know why... but I definitely didn't think I'd be getting hoots and hollers while pushing a stroller! YIPEE! I'll take it! :p

I've never been one to really put too much focus on my appearance. I take care of myself - workout, wear makeup when I'm leaving the house, etc. But I'm a jeans-n-t-shirt-pony-tail kind of gal. I can put on a good show every once in awhile - straighten my hair, put on eyeliner, a cute outfit - but I save that for rare occasions. If I did it every day it wouldn't be appreciated! :p This hasn't changed since Jane was born and has likely gotten "worse" in that I, even more rarely, have those "show" days. It's not that I don't have the time to do my hair and get dressed up. It's just that, if I'm given that spare hour, I'd rather be doing something else for me... get a bath, get a massage, go shopping, relax. I really don't want to spend it in front of the mirror, working! I especially don't want to waste it doing my hair as it's going back in a pony tail regardless of how "pretty it looks down"... I've got bald spots where Jane has grabbed onto and not let go of sections of my hair.

So, it made my day today, that I, in workout clothes, a pony tail, and make-up-less, got hollered at! In fact, it surprised me so much that, for a few seconds afterward, I worried that there was something on my butt or something funny that made them yell at me. But I was clear, it was just me. :D

Wishing you all some cat-calls and double takes,

Jen :)


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Oct 28, 2009

Weigh-In Wednesday

Took the time to take some pictures this week. I'm not really seeing the 6 lbs difference but that's understandable. The only place I'm noticing a little difference is in my face - I always get "fat face" when I put on weight - and that seems to slowly be fading.

Have a dream of starting to run again sometime soon... thinking about getting up a little early and doing 20-30 mins on the treadmill. Key word is "thinking". Yesterday morning, I actually was awake at 5:30am and thought, I got plenty of sleep, I should go run. Then 7:30am rolled around, I woke up and thought OOPS! :p On the plus, Jane and I did go for two long walks which made up for it.

When I look at these pics, there's two things I don't like. (1) My waistline... specifically those little love handles need to go bye bye like N'Sync. (2) I just wish I could shave like an inch of both sides of my hips.... like literally shave, cause lord knows I don't want to exercise them off! :p

What I do like is that in the side pic, my legs look muscular and my butt isn't droopy, which is a surprise. Oh, and I found the last pictures I took for this thing... and I really like that my boobs look less saggy in these pictures. :p

Anyways, here are my stats for this week:
Starting weight: 157 lbs
Current weight: 151 lbs
Pounds lost: 6 lbs
Pounds to lose: 14 lbs


Okee dokee, that's it for this week.

Jen :)

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Oct 27, 2009

Playroom: Phase 1

We don't have a HUGE house... it's a duplex, almost 2000 square feet but that includes the finished basement that's only used as a workout room/office (so rarely used these days) - ha ha ha. Dan and I wanted to make a play area for Jane. Mostly for when she's older but also a place for her to have fun, play with her toys, etc. that's just for her.

Our main floor is really open, so in our kitchen area we had a dining area, a sitting area and then the actual kitchen. So, we eliminated the seating area, moved the dining table into where the sitting area used to be and then made the old dining area Jane's playroom. This works fabulously as she is always in my line of sight, no matter what.

Our biggest challenge has been finding a table for under the television. We want something small, not cheap-o looking, in dark wood. We've found about 15 different tables we love at Wicker Emporium (online) but every time we call a store to see if it's in stock, every store is out! GRRRRR! This is one of few reasons why NS drives me crazy... not enough stores, not enough stock. :p

It was Dan's idea to put all the sweet pictures of Jane and her friends on the wall... in my house, things are a little backwards - Dan does decor, I do the handyman stuff. But we like it that way. My Mom had the great idea about putting the whiteboard on the wall for her to draw on (once she`s older) - you already heard the story about my MB moment with this whiteboard.

Phase 1 is basically just an area for her to play with all her toys, jump in her jumper, and watch her Baby Einstein and Sesame Street. Actually, for Christmas, we got her a swing for indoors (don`t tell her) :p. We're going to get my Dad to install one more hook in the beam where the jolly jumper hangs. Then we can hang the swing there - how much fun! Swinging inside! (Credit to my friend Heidz for this idea). Phase 2 will be once she is walking. We plan on getting her a table and chairs set, a `big girl` chair for her to sit in and some other doo-dads.

This was so much fun! And the best part is that Dan and I can sit down and eat at the table again while Janey plays next to us in her room.

Jen :)

PS - Thanks for all the votes yesterday - we were doing really well. THEN, the stupid webpage screwed up and refreshed again and now we're not even on there again. What a freakin' waste. I give up (as I post the code for the button below)! :p

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Oct 26, 2009

Vote for Me - PLEASE :)

Hi Everyone,

Top Baby Blogs has refreshed their rankings again and I need your help to get MOmMy bRaIn back on top.

Click the button below and your vote is cast - it's that easy! If you really like me, click it 1000 times, tee hee hee :p

You may ask - why do I even care? Well, this blog is like my second "job" right now, my first being to keep my sweetie happy and healthy. As with any job we have, we want to do well... in addition to your fabulous comments, encouragement and support, getting votes is like a great mid-year review! Lets face it - these days, I crave complements and this is the ultimate. ha ha ha.

Thanks as always,
Jen :)

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Oct 25, 2009

An Apple A Day...

Jane's new love for apples... notice the hand grabbing!

Oct 24, 2009

Saturday Funny

Too cute...

Oct 23, 2009

Consequences

Today, I am dealing with consequences... Perhaps, it was my MOmMy bRaIn, but I did not consider the potential consequences when I wrote Thursdays post on "Sperm Donors and Egg Suppliers".

I wrote that post as I do all of my posts - honestly, from the heart, and with the intention of sharing my thoughts and experiences with others who have been there or who haven't been there, so we can all learn something from each other.

I apologize to those who were upset, surprised, embarrassed or disappointed by my post - this was not my intention. I do not regret writing it or sharing my feelings... I cannot change the way I feel. However, I do regret the consequences to all those who were affected.

Jen

Swimming?

Hey - anybody have any advice on when Jane and I can start swimming? And, of course, by swimming, I mean going to a community pool as deep as a bathtub, wearing the cutest baby bathing suit money can buy, and basically sitting in the water.

She loves the bathtub... like I've said before, I usually bathe with her at night as part of our nighttime routine. But, every other day, when she gets all soaped up, I put her in her "big girl bath" (the baby bathtub) and she loves it! In fact, most days when I take her out, her head spins around and she stares back at it which she does when she wants to play with something... sometimes I give in and put her back in to play some more. :p

Anyways. I have no idea the pros and cons of swimming for babes... obviously, not including the drowning issues (DUH!). I found this info on Baby Centre, which is always helpful but I'd like to hear from real Moms about real experiences!

Jen :)

PS - Here are some pics from our first faux-swimming session this summer in the bathtub!



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Oct 22, 2009

Sperm Donors and Egg Suppliers

Sperm donors and egg suppliers... This post is not about fertility clinics. I'm referring to the people who supply the biological components necessary to create a child but don't have the selflessness and strength necessary to parent that child. Excluded from this "elite" group (sarcasm, obviously) are those who give up their babies through adoption due to extraordinary circumstances.

Biology is nothing without bonding. I am not Jane's Mom because I gave birth to her. I am Jane's Mom because I love her, I nurture her, I put her needs above my own... she is my heart.


The thought I've struggled with since becoming a Mom is comprehending how anyone could EVER voluntarily walk away from their children. It just seems completely insane to me. I can't leave for 10 minutes without craving to be around Jane again. What type of person can walk away from their babies (let's face it, I'm 26 and I'm still my Mom's baby)?


When Jane was born I remember thinking about adoptive parents. I questioned whether they could have as strong a bond with their baby because they didn't provide the "biology". This was until I realized, and quickly, that this is complete nonsense. Although adoptive parents do not provide the biology, they provide the more important things, the selflessness and strength, the love and nurturing, the heart. My Dad is basically an adoptive parent but, honestly, I don't even like saying that as I feel like it somehow suggests that he's not 100% my Dad. People say we look alike and it makes us crack up... but it's not because we physically look alike, it's that, after 26 years together we have similar mannerisms. My Dad is my Dad because he was my chauffeur, my chef, my doctor, my tutor, my mechanic, my carpenter, my mover, my pony, my therapist... not because we have the same genetics.

How do you explain to someone who isn't a parent what it actually means and feels like to be a parent... I don't think you can. We try to explain to others what it feels like - a love so strong you never knew it existed - and they nod their heads and smile in "understanding". But you cannot understand unless you've experience that love yourself.

As I hear Jane through the monitor, waking for her 4:30am feed, I am not annoyed. I do not pity myself for no longer getting uninterrupted sleep every night. I smile. Because I am her Mom and she needs me... and I need her just as much.

Jen :)

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Oct 21, 2009

Weigh-In Wednesday

In my dream world, the following foods would be 0 calories and full of vitamins - actually, if it's a dream world, these foods would be NEGATIVE calories so the more you eat, the more you could eat other stuff too (I'm a genius!):

(1) Cadbury Fruit and Nut bars
(2) Sour Patch Kids
(3) Sour JuJubes
(4) Yogurt covered raisins
(5) Chocolate covered pretzels
(6) McDonald's french fries: Only the super size... so you always have to eat too many!
(7) Anything from Coldstone Creamery
(8) Pizza Hut
(9) Baguette
(10) Movie theatre popcorn
(11) Regular Lays chips
(12) Dairy Queen Skor Blizzards w/ cookie dough added
(13) Gravy (I'm from Newfoundland, what did you expect?) - For those who don't know anything about Newfoundland... One of many jokes is that we put gravy on everything.
(14) Chocolate covered strawberries
(15) Cupcakes
(16) Buttercream frosting
(17) Red wine
(18) Guacamole

OK, that's all I can think of right now... given another 5 minutes I'm sure this list would include every food I've ever eaten.

It's Tuesday night and I'm pre-writing this post before bed in an attempt to get myself tired at 8:30pm cause Jane just went to sleep and I still don't trust that she'll sleep her usual 8 hours straight so I still go to bed when she does.

Anyway. Basically, if I get on the scale tomorrow morning (after I rid myself of any extra weight - pee, pajamas, bra, breastmilk :p) and I haven't lost a pound, it ain't gonna be pretty. Yeah, yeah, yeah... I shouldn't put pressure on myself and all that nonsense but I had one of my best eating weeks yet and I am praying I didn't "sacrifice" all those wonderful, yummy, extra calories for nothing! ;) ha ha ha. Not to mention, it'd be a little embarrassing after my rant last week about being "on it" now. On the plus, Dan got McDonald's on Sunday and basically begged me to "go down" with him but I somehow found the strength to say no... and it's mostly credited to you guys. If it weren't for the fact that I had to fess up to everyone on Wednesday about it, I would have gotten myself a small fries (which, obviously, wouldn't have been the end of the world but still, it would have made me feel like crap for not having will power).

So, I'm going to weight myself in the morning and fill in my stats below without comment - if I lost weight, you'll know I'm celebrating with a Chandler-style happy dance and if I didn't lose weight, you'll know I'm swallowing my anger in at least 10 of the 18 things listed above... don't try to stop me! :p

Starting weight: 157 lbs
Current weight: 152 lbs
Pounds lost: 5 lbs
Pounds to lose: 15 lbs

Here are Jill's stats this week:
Starting weight: 218 lbs
Current weight: 214 lbs
Pounds lost: 4 lbs
Pounds to lose: 34 lbs

If you're new to MOmMy bRaIn, check out my previous Weigh-in Wednesday posts!

Jen :)

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Oct 20, 2009

Super Sized

Who's the genius who determines sizing for everything baby?

As with everything, I'm sure there are babies who are 0-3 months old who actually fit in their 0-3 month-sized clothing until they are 3 months. However, this seems to be the exception and not the rule.

Here's the typical sizing
for babies clothes:
Newborn: up to 7 lbs, up to 17"
0-3 months: 7-12 lbs, 17-23"
3-6 months: 12-17 lbs, 23-27"
6-12 months: 17-22 lbs, 27-29"
12-18 months: 22-27 lbs, 29-31"
18-24 months: 27-30 lbs, 31-33"
Here's the sizing for pampers:
Newborn: 7-10 lbs
Size 1: 8-14 lbs
Size 2: 12-18 lbs
Size 3: 16-28 lbs
Size 4: 22-37 lbs
Size 5: 27 lbs+
Size 6: 35 lbs+
Ok, so here's my beef. Jane is 4.5 months old. She wears mostly 6-12 month clothes and she wears size 3 diapers - we are moving her up to 4's after the 3's run out. Jane's in the 90th percentile for height, at 26", so she's tall but she's only in the 75th for weight, at 14 lbs 7oz, so she's not a "big" baby. So, like I said, who's the genius who determines sizing for baby clothes?

It's not that I really care that they've so poorly associated sizes with weights, it's that I find myself completely at a loss when I hit the stores for what size to buy because, if I read the tags, I should be buying her 3-6 month clothes and size 2 diapers... but if I were to actually do this, I'd have to cut the feet out of the jumpers after I clean the poop off them because it's come out of her too-small diaper. I'm also a little grouchy about the fact that, to save money, I bought summer stuff for Jane at the end of this summer for next year... I bought 12-18 months mostly. So, in my attempt to save money, I likely just wasted a bunch. At this rate, she'll be wearing Jimmy Choos by next summer! :p

How the heck would a 28 lb baby fit in a size 3 diaper? Please explain this to me? It'd have to be a baby with a 20 lb head or 10 lb arms.

Had to write this post after I finally took notice of the weight recommendations on my box of size 4 diapers at the grocery store today... 37 lbs, HA, insane.

Jen :)

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Oct 19, 2009

MOmMy bRaIn Monday

Got a good one for you today... thought of you guys after it happened as I'm sure it will make you laugh, make you feel bad for me and, perhaps, make you feel less bad about your own brainless moments.

So, Dan and I are putting together a playroom for Jane. My Mom had a great idea to put a giant dry-erase board on the wall for her to draw on (once she's older, obviously). In order to put it on the wall, we used "industrial strength" double sided stickies... so Jane wouldn't be able to pull it off or have it fall off. Anyways, once it was up, I immediately took a few dry-erase markers and wrote "Jane's Playroom" in my best bubble-letter handwriting. First, Dan made a joke about how I was obviously the one to write the specials on the board back when I was a waitress - which was true so I didn't really react to that one. Secondly, he says "imagine if you did that with a permanent market" to which I responded "yeah, ha ha ha ha, that would suck"... then, I looked in my hand. One red marker - dry erase. One blue marker - permanent! You can imagine Dan's shock, disbelief and pity when I said "OH MY GOD, I did!". I say pity because what else do you feel for the women you love who once had a fully functional brain and now... Thankfully, I got right on washing it with some heavy duty cleaner and it came off... if we had to take the board off our wall, I'm positive all of the drywall would have come with it and we had just finished plastering and re-painting the holes from the room's previous decorations.

Dear Lord, just when I think I'm getting better...

Jen :)

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Oct 17, 2009

Blog Awards

So, I suck a little bit with some of the aspects of blogging... mainly, commenting on other's blogs, and something that's new to me, blog awards. I always read other blogs but never get around to commenting and I have guilt about this as I get a lot of great comments from other Mommy-bloggers myself and should really be returning the favour!

Anyways, two of my fav Mommy-bloggers have recently given me blog awards and, with Jane happily napping in her swing, it's time for me to own up, accept them, thank the girls, follow blogging etiquette and complete my responsibilities as an award nominee! :p Since accepting both awards requires me to forward the award onto my own favourite bloggers, I thought I'd be a multi-tasker and do it all in one swoop - giving each of my selected bloggers TWO awards! ha ha ha.

Firstly, my FABULOUS American Mommy Brain counterpart awarded me with the "One Lovely Blog Award", which is quite a honour! Coincidentally, but not surprisingly, both of us MBs have similar styles of straight-forward, no BS, writing. I have learned a lot from reading this great Mom's blog and I am so excited to hear about the rewards and challenges of being a Mom to two sweeties (she's about 7 months preggers with her second baby girl).


Secondly, my blogger buddy Mandy, nominated me for a Kreativ Blogger award, which is too sweet. Mandy writes an amazing blog called Campbell Family Party of 3 with a focus on her journey as a Momma to her beautiful daughter, Mist, who happens to be adopted. Mandy gives straight-up advice and thoughts on her experience with adoption, which can often be a challenging, touchy subject.

So, as a nominee for these awards, it is my blogger duty to nominate my own list of fabulous Bloggers... for the first, I'm supposed to select 15 (which is crazy, I don't have the brain power for that) and the second, I'm supposed to do 7... so I'm going to do as many as I can. The rules state that: I have to inform these bloggers of thier nominations, then these nominees then have to thank me by linking back to my blog and then they have to nominate their own 7 fav blogs and it goes on and on... so, here it goes, in no particular order:

Adjusting to the World - Jessica is awesome. She has a beautiful baby girl, Leah, and I just recently linked to her amazing post, Smiling Eyes, about Leah at 8 months.

ToddlerBrain - K, not sure if this is cheating or not but I don't care. ToddlerBrain is written by my American MB friend... it's awesome, informative and an excellent asset for new Mommies.

Spearmint Baby - Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous ideas, products, everything. Love this blog.

Baby Davis Michael - Great blog about a new Mommy to a gorgeous 8 week old boy, Davis. Lots of love to you and I'm praying all is well with your little sweetie right now.

OK, I'm sorry, I'm out of time - Jane's just woken up and I've got about 5 minutes before she realizes the swing isn't that much fun when she's awake!!

Here's the rest of my favs, without write-ups, but I love, love, love your blogs and check them every time I get a free minute!!!

A Baby Story
Swell Little Life
The Harnying Chandlers
Raising My 4 Sons
Motherhood, Here I Come!
Heir to Blair

Ok, really out of time now... I'm so not following any of the rules of these awards but I just wanted those who nominated me to know how much I appreciate it and tried desperately to pass it along!

Jen :)

Oct 16, 2009

Santa's Little Helper

As if I have any clue what to buy a 7 month old for Christmas...

This is my new dilemma (FYI, for the other MBs out there, I initially spelled that delima, then I tried delema, then dilema and finally dilemma came back without a big red "you're an idiot" line underneath it) - I have no idea what a 6 month old baby enjoys playing with and I don't have the money to waste trying to figure it out.

Thankfully, I happened to be watching the Today Show and caught this segment on Toys for Babies (perfect timing or what?):


So, I checked out Stephanie's site, The Oppenheim Toy Portfolio, and it is exactly what I need. I clicked on "Current Award Winners", and made my way through both the Platinum and Gold awards lists for Infants (there are also lists for Toddlers, Preschoolers and early and later school years). The toys reviewed are fabulous - they're not expensive and they're brands that are easy to find at your local Walmart, Toys-R-Us or on Amazon. Most importantly, the site doesn't have advertisers or accept review fees so you know you're getting an honest, reliable opinion.

I had to share this great find with you all as, using this site, I am super excited to hit the mall for some Christmas shopping this weekend! I'm definitely looking for some of those Sassy Stations for Jane's high chair and the Stack 'n Surprise line by Fisherprice looks like a blast! The kids seemed to be really enjoying it in the Today Show clip.

Hope this helps you with your own Holiday or just-for-the-fun-of-it shopping!

Jen :)

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Oct 15, 2009

Jolly Jumper Solution

If you hadn't noticed in my pics of Jane in the Jolly Jumper, it was basically set up in my bathroom! Like a lot of newer houses, our main floor is completely open... no doorways and, therefore, no where to put the Jolly Jumper, except for in the doorway to the bathroom. Yucko and crappo.

My fabulous Mom and Dad visited for Thanksgiving, however, and came up with an awesome solution. My Dad screwed two big hooks right into the beams in our ceiling - one in the living room and one in the kitchen. It's awesome! Now, I can blog, clean, cook, anything while Jane jumps around happy as a lark. I also don't have to worry that she'll bump into the doorway somehow as it seemed to get pretty close sometimes!

Anybody can do this, it's not hard. Just use a stud-finder to find your ceiling beams and do it up! I know that there are stands that you can buy for the Jolly Jumper but why pay the extra dough when this cost us $3.99, saves a ton of space and seems A LOT safer (I can basically hang off the hook it's so sturdy)! Plus, like I said, it's easily moved from room to room!

Thought I'd share this idea with ya seeing as I'm sure I'm not the only one out there trying to find a way to put their Jolly Jumper in a place that's safe, convenient and allows us to enjoy watching our little ones giggle and play.

Here's a video to explain what I'm talking about in case my MB prevents me from making sense to anybody but myself... :)



Jen


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Oct 14, 2009

Weigh-In Wednesday

OK, I wish I could tell you how sick I am of writing posts about why I have not lost weight... but I give up on that. Despite eating a bazillion times better than anticipated, for Thanksgiving weekend, my weight is unchanged this week. But, you want to know the good news? I don't care! I am so excited about this FINALLY! After 8 weeks of faking that I'm actually working on this, I finally feel like I'm excited, motivated, and ready to say no to the wrong things and yes to the right ones. In fact, I said no to many of my fav "badies" this weekend - chocolate being numero uno. If I had one of those memory-erasers like Will Smith in Men in Black, I would use it on you all so you could forget about my mediocre attempt at weight loss over the last few weeks. Obviously I don't, and if I did, I would use it on the bank to make them forget that they shouldn't give me the code to the vault with all the money, money, money! Then, I'd not longer be writing this blog from my spit-up laden sofa but from the hammock outside my bazillion dollar house in Hawaii, as my little one plays in the sand.

Jill's probably on the same page as me after a week of little sleep and no weight loss...

So, let's make a deal - you forget about the past 8 weeks and I'll stop making up excuses for why I haven't lost weight. Every woman knows the challenges of losing weight and every Mom the challenges of post-baby weight - exhaustion, lack of time, breastfeeding limiting food choices, etc. Yet, somehow, Mom's manage to lose the weight and, so, who am I to be any different?

I just deleted the initial write up of this post that listed all those reasons why it's hard to lose weight post-baby... instead this post is a kick in the a** to myself for being such a whiner the last 8 weeks when I should have just admitted that I was enjoying the bad things too much to give them up and actually work at this whole losing weight business. :)

Good luck to everyone else out there working on it - if you want to join us, or just chat about it, contact me (link on homepage).

Jen :)

PS - Here's a few pics from our great Thanksgiving weekend (the hot blond is my Momma).




Oct 13, 2009

Mushy Momma

Here's the truth... I have no brainpower to think of something to write about today and, honestly, I'm just not in the mood! ha ha ha. I spent Jane's naptime this morning grocery shopping because of the long weekend, so I have no time either. Those are all my excuses.

Regardless, I wanted to post the "I hope You Dance" video by Lee Ann Womack because it's the sweetest song that has made a return to my iTunes since Jane was born... I just now am able to listen to it without crying! Suck a sap! I'm not even going to dare trying to watch the video myself cause I'll lose it - do it, if you dare! :)

Jen :)

PS -
Ignore the fairly cornball video and listen to the song... :)

Oct 12, 2009

Out of the Office :)

It's Thanksgiving weekend and I'm off enjoying this beautiful day with my little sweetie and husband (once he arrives home from a tournament in Boston).

Hope you had a great weekend and Happy Thanksgiving... so much to be thankful for, especially this year!

xoxo
Jen :)

Oct 11, 2009

Sunday Funny

A woman and a baby were in the doctor's examining room, waiting for the doctor to come in for the baby's first exam.

The doctor arrived, and examined the baby, checked his weight, and being a little concerned,asked if the baby was breast-fed or bottle-fed.

"Breast-fed," she replied.

"Well, strip down to your waist," the doctor ordered.

She did. He pinched her nipples,pressed, kneaded, and rubbed both breasts for a while in a very professional and detailed examination.

Motioning to her to get dressed, the doctor said, "No wonder this baby is underweight. You don't have any milk."

I know," she said,"I'm his Grandma,but I'm glad I came."

Oct 10, 2009

A Must-Have

This is the Baby Einstein Musical Motion Activity Jumper and it is fabulous!

It's like a Jolly Jumper and an Exerciser in one!

We also have the BE Exerciser and still use that but this jumper thing puts a big smile on Jane's face and, I know, as she gets older and more active, she's going to love it even more! The age range is 4mos+ and I'd stick to it as Jane's just starting to really bounce-it-up in there now.

Babies-R-Us has them but, as usual, charges too much $129.99. We got ours at Walmart for $109.99. It's super easy to put together (about 10-15 mins) - FYI, you'll need to pick up C batteries for the music and lights if you don't have any around.



Jen :)

Oct 9, 2009

A Freebie Friday

Here's a few great freebies I found online:

For Moms-to-be:
  • Get a free trial of Huggies Pure and Natural Diapers by clicking here.
  • Sign up for the Nestle Baby Program and get a free diaper bag, change pad, formula, etc.

For everyone:
  • Sign up at Brandsampler (Canada or US) and get free samples of great P&G products - Tide, Downy, Oil of Olay, etc. The samples are the perfect size to use when traveling!
  • Sign up for Montana's and Boston Pizza's newsletters and receive a coupon for a free appetizer (YUMMO)!

Jen :)

Oct 8, 2009

Dissecting Daddy @ 4 Months - Part 2

This is a continuation from Tuesday's Dissecting Daddy post (see below).

Relationship Related Questions:

Jen: You said to me the other day that you feel like our relationship is getting better – you’re really happy with how things are going. Why do you think that is?
Dan: Cause I’m an awesome father and husband. I dunno. I figure as we get better at parenting our relationship benefits as well.
J: Typical male response... I'm over-thinking everything and wondering what we've done to become better and you're just content with being better. Sometimes I wish I had a male brain... sometimes! But then you'd need a female brain or we wouldn't survive. In fact, how do gay couples survive - who cooks? who cleans? who thinks? who remembers? who organizes? :p

J: What issues have been the subject of disagreements and what are your thoughts on them?
D: We don’t ever have disagreements because I’m always right.
J: I'm posting this answer so everyone will see what a big nutball you are and sympathize with me! :p

J: What were your thoughts on my post “Bitter Sweet”?
D: I think the intent of your article was to point out that men are able to maintain much of their freedom after the baby arrives but woman are basically attached to the baby non-stop if they have decided to exclusively breastfeed or, like you, limit bottle-feeding to once in awhile. Being attached to Jane non-stop isn’t a bad thing but losing your freedom can be hard to adjust to. Splitting baby duties 50/50 just isn’t realistic when one of you is working full time and the other is on maternity leave. As a husband, just help as much as you can when you’re home. Helping with the cleaning or cooking helps your wife get a little more time for herself as well.

J: You’ve started walking with Jane and I at night now, even with sore, post-tournament muscles, why all of a sudden – you used to HATE walking?
D: I mostly hated walking because it felt like a waste of time. Not to sound arrogant, but it’s not really exercising for me. So it felt pointless. But now that Jane is here, I want to spend as much time with her as I can and I enjoy spending time with you and Jane on our walks.
J: It took you six years to realize it's enjoyable to spend time with your wife? ha ha ha. Awesome.

J: What advice do you have for other Dads/Dads-to-be on keeping your relationship happy?
D: Words of wisdom that was said at our wedding: Take care of each other... so that you never have to take care of yourself. It’s good advice and I think Jen and I can continue to work at getting better at this.

I'll check in with Daddy-Dan again for an "interview" in a few months...

Jen :)

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Oct 7, 2009

Weigh-in Wednesday

Disappointed this week... although it feels like I've lost weight (in my clothes), the scale says "no ma'am". I ate well, exercised when I could (weather-depending of course) and nada. YUCKO. I'm not too upset though as I know I did all I could! The crappy part is I'm about to enter into a challenging week as, tonight, Dan and I are celebrating our 2nd Anniversary with a tasty steak dinner and yummy dessert (duh!) and then my parent are in town this weekend, which usually results in a few meals out and Mom said she's bringing Purdy's - which is just about the best chocolate in the world and remember that whole "I have no will power" thing right. Oh well! Does anyone else do what I do and try to eat all your bad stuff in one day? Cause one bad eating day is better than rationing it out and having a bad week! I remember one Easter, when we were in university, my Mom sent my sister and I this huge Bernard Callebaut basket of chocolate. We made it out mission to eat as much as we could in one day with that same rationale - it was hilarious, I think we did pretty well with it too! :p Anyways, I'll just try to balance it all out with really great eating days in between. :)

Here are my stats:
Starting weight: 157 lbs
Current weight: 153 lbs
Pounds lost: 4 lbs
Pounds to lose: 16 lbs

Jill sent me a quick email this morning before running out the door, letting me know she lost another pound this week! Yipee!

Here are her stats:
Starting weight: 218 lbs
Current weight: 214 lbs
Pounds lost: 4 lbs
Pounds to lose: 34 lbs

So, despite the non-weight losing week, I'm still super happy and feeling much better than I was 8 weeks ago when I was eating poorly and not focusing on myself a little bit.

Hoping next week will be another surprise but in a good way!

Jen :)

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Oct 6, 2009

Dissecting Daddy @ 4 Months - Part 1

Thought after three months, Dan might have some new insights for the other new Dads and Dads-to-be out there! Enjoy :) If you're new to MOmMy bRaIn, check out my previous Dissecting Daddy posts.

I've broken down my questions into two categories this time, Jane questions and Relationship questions... I'll post the relationship questions tomorrow. :)

Jane Related Questions:

Jen: Since you last DD post 3 months ago, what has been the biggest change in Jane?
Dan: Her biggest change is that she’s more aware and intelligent. For example, when you show her a suckie and put it near her mouth she’ll open her mouth waiting for you to put it in. If she’s done with it she’ll use her hand to take it out deliberately. She’s a smart little bug.

J: What is your biggest challenge as a new Dad and how are you/will you overcome it?
D: My biggest challenge is using the time I have with Jane to its fullest. I get home from work around 5pm and Janey’s bedtime is around 8pm. That only gives me about 3 hours to spend with her. So I just have to value this time as much as possible. That’s why I’ve started going on the nightly walks with you guys and joining you for bath time. I leave my other night time activities for after Janey’s bedtime.

J: What have you excelled in?
D: I’m not sure if I’ve excelled in anything. Maybe Jen should answer this one.
J: You're great with Jane. You're definitely getting a lot better at "reading" her. She went through this development growth spurt at around 2 months and, for a little while, you were having a hard time knowing what she wanted - food, nap, entertainment, etc. You've adapted to her now and you're able to quickly figure out what she might want. This is awesome for me as I have complete peace of mind when I leave her with you to go out for a little bit.

J: Right now, my thoughts are on Jane’s sleeping habits, worries about flu season, and trying to make sure she’s having fun and being stimulated when she’s awake. What are your thoughts and concerns right now?
D: I find myself worrying about you more lately. Since you’re working with half a brain lately (sorry, but your site IS called Mommy Brain hunny) I find myself thinking about things for you more than I have in the past. But for Jane I mostly just worry about not dropping her :p
J: You suck. :p ha ha ha. Despite my lack of brain power, somehow I am completely able to keep myself and my sweetie alive and happy each day.

J: You obviously have confidence in me as a Mom as you let me do a lot of the decision-making when it comes to Jane. Is there anything I’m doing that you disagree with, that wouldn’t be a priority to you, etc.?
D: The reason I’m able to not worry about much with Jane is that I do have so much confidence in your care for our girl. There’s been a few things here and there that I’ve disagreed with but I just bring it up with you. Once you finally realize I’m right then everything is good.
J: You're hilarious (sarcasm). Even when you're wrong you switch it around on me to make it seem like you suggested the right thing... like I'm too mommy brain-ed to notice!

J: During the past three months, we went on vacation. Part of that vacation had you separated from Jane for a whole week – how did it feel, the good and bad?
D: It was way harder than I imagined. I thought I’d be able to put it out of my head and not miss her. But I was way wrong. All I could do was think about her. I know she was in good hands. But when you can’t see her little face every day when you come home from work it’s stressful. There wasn’t anything good.
J: Yeah that was just bad planning... I don't think either of us realized when we booked that trip last Winter how much we would love our little sweety, to the point of never wanting to be away from her for more than a minute! Lesson learned.

J: The other day you said to me that it’s hard for those who don’t have kids yet to understand how much your life changes, how different a person you are... explain.
D: It’s one of those things you don’t understand until you’ve been there. There’s something about the responsibility of being a parent that sharpens your focus very quickly. You just do whatever it takes to make sure she’s taken care of. Other priorities can wait. This can be difficult though when you have other responsibilities (work, sports team, etc...) that are important to you. It’s a tough balance.

J: What are you looking forward to most in the next 2-3 months or so?
D: Well, one thing I’m not looking forward to is teething, which I think Janey has already started. But I am looking forward to signs of crawling and more “talking”.
J: She talks to you a lot. She talks less with me - I think that's because I'm always talking, she can never get a word in! :p

J: What advice do you have on taking care of baby for other Dads/Dads-to-be?
D: Just use common sense. Do what makes sense for your child. Don’t be too rigid with following schedules or feeding amounts or any of that stuff. Your baby will find a way to let you know when she needs something. Just go with the flow. It’s far less stressful and the baby will sense and benefit from your lowered anxiety levels.
J: I'm with you 100% on this one. Babies can totally sense your emotions - if you are anxious, nervous, upset, etc... they will feel that and react similarly. If you are relaxed and calming, there's a greater chance they will be calm as well. I proved it to myself yesterday at Jane's 4 months vaccinations... her first vaccines, I was nervous and worried for her because I knew it would upset her and it took me 30 mins to calm her down after her shots. Yesterday, I was totally calm because I knew what to expect and I had prepared as best I could - she cried for 1 minute and then was back to smiley-faced Janey. As opposed to the first vaccines where, when she cried afterward, I got stressed and upset myself, yesterday I just talked to her in a happy voice and chuckled a bit at how cute she was when she cried... totally different response from me resulted in a totally different response from her. Rocket science :p

That's all I could think of for questions related to baby... if there's anything you're curious about, let me know! Be sure to check back on Thursday for Part 2 (can't post tomorrow as tomorrow's Weigh-in Wednesday!).

Jen :)

PS - One of my blog buddies is doing a book drive to raise money to provide books to children in low-income areas. Please click here to see how you can help with Lila`s Very Hungry Caterpillar Book Drive!

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Oct 5, 2009

FYI

FYI Moms and Moms-to-be

Costco has new Carter's Fleece Jumpers
on the floor today! $8.99 and the prints are super sweet!
They go quickly - that's why I thought I'd share -
I missed them last time!

PS - Today's regular post below :)

Addictions & Disappointments

Was thinking, last week, after a post from my American Mommy Brain counterpart, that I should write about my top tv shows. Typically, I wouldn't care. However, these days, when Jane takes a nap, it's all I can do to catch up on my old favs and my new addictions.

Here are my thoughts on the shows I'm watching - perhaps I can save you from wasting an hour of your life or I can ensure you miss nothing more of the best of the best! :p

Newbies:

Vampire Diaries: Kinda lame-o right now... to much drama from the start. As y'all know, I'm totally addicted to the whole vampire thing, after-glow from my twilight obsession, so I'll keep watching anyways. The whole brother storyline is stupid - as if his being a vampire isn't enough drama.

Castle: The new Bones. Nathan Fillian is awesome. He's hilarious and I love him. This is a must-see if you're a Bones fan.

Glee: Love. Look forward to it every week. Want the yucky wife of the Glee coach dude to disappear though, she's annoying. Hot guy needs to lose the mohawk. That Single Ladies dance in the middle of the football game (see If Only) was awesome.

Melrose Place: Between 90210 and Gossip Girl on the Yuck scale... but I'll watch it if my DVR is empty of everything else and I have nothing else to do, including cleaning the bathrooms. Ashley Simpson? Seriously? Could only be worse if it were Jessica.

The Forgotten: New Christian Slater show about team who works with Cops to solve cold murders. Kinda cool - some narration by the victims Lovely Bones style, which is different.

Old Favs:

Bones: I love Bones. Brennan is hilarious - she's so arrogant because she's genius and it cracks me up to watch her try to understand the interactions of us averagely-intelligent folks. Love the chemistry between Bones and Booth. Hot.

CSIs: SO happy there's a new hot guy on Miami. Can you go wrong with Eddie Cibrian? Don't care what anyone says, Horatio is cool. Is Delco saying Bye Bye? Over LV. Never was a big Grissom fan so I thought, once he was gone, I'd be happy but not the case. NY - I could take it or leave it. Tag (from Friends, no idea what his CSI name is) is kinda fun to watch.

Greys: Hoping the new hospital merger will kick all originals off the show except for McDreamy and McSteamy and replace them with less whiny characters. You know what? Dare I say it but I think I'm over McDreamy too (shhh, don't tell anyone).

Private Practice: First episode was last week and so far so good... killed me that both Grey's and PP had baby-storylines last week. I can't handle anything potentially sad about babies anymore. Is that hot cardiologist dude who wanted to have an affair with Addison coming back? She needs a man already, it's getting old.

ANTM: Aside from Tyra's stupid skits (Super Smize, really?), I love this show. Want that one chick who's acting all entitled (the one who was "discovered" at Tyra's show) to get the boot. Liking Laura, the country chick, she's hilarious and I love that her grandma makes her clothes.

Criminal Minds: Two words - Shemar Moore. For me, this is the Shemar Moore kicks bad guys asses show and I like it. Wish Greg would smile sometimes - a.k.a. Hotch, but he'll always be Greg to me (as in Darma and Greg).

Gossip Girl - Yuck. Too much drama, no idea what's going on anymore anyways.

90210 - Double yuck, double drama. Yuck.

SYTYCD - Great, love it, no complaints.

Oprah - What the heck is going on with Oprah? Where's the celebs and the trash Ops? I hate all this breaking news, stuff to think about crap. She needs to watch Ellen and take some pointers. I still love her though cause she's Oprah!

Ellen - Duh. Who doesn't watch Ellen besides my husband and he's just jealous because sometimes I love her more than I love him (just joking hunny).

There ya go - those are my two cents. Obviously I'm into mindless television but, suffering from MB, what did you expect! I dare not try to understand the complexity of a show like 30 Rock or The Office! :p

Jen :)

PS - Tell me what I'm missing!

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Oct 4, 2009

Jolly Jumper Jane

Here are some sweet pics of my little angel in her Jolly Jumper... there's a new video in the sidebar also!

Yesterday, I'm quite positive she laughed out loud for the first time. She is so cute and sweet, I could never have imagined loving her as much as I do. I also had my first post-baby massage yesterday, courtesy of my all-too-smart hubby for our 2nd anniversary. Oh my God, if I had any sort of wealth at all, my first investment would be in a full-time masseuse. It was heaven. Even the pain from her digging the knots out of my back and neck felt good. I've got to do that more often.


Oct 3, 2009

Saturday Funny

If you have never seen this, it's me favourite song... :p

Oct 2, 2009

How I Got Pregnant

Besides the obvious - I'm not about to teach you about the birds and the bees here people!

Thinking that, if I wasn't suffering from MB, this post would have probably come first - before "
How I told Him" and "A Year". Just makes more sense that way obviously but I'm not that smart these days. The only redeeming factor is that I realize how screwed up my order is. :p

When I wrote both the posts above, I heard from a few other Moms/Moms-to-be who were in similar situations - just off the pill, no idea what their cycles were like, no idea when to test and NO IDEA that they were pregnant! As "they" recommend, when I went off the pill, I waited a full cycle before trying to get pregnant... it took 56 days. All I could think was, at this rate, I'm going to have 6-7 chances this year to get pregnant and it's never going to happen! I remember talking to my sis-in-law who used an online ovulation calculator that tells you your most fertile days based on the length of your cycle. This would have rocked if I had a "typical" 28 day cycle but not the case. Regardless, I used
Baby Centre's Ovulation Calculator.

So, being the genius I WAS (was being the key word), knowing that my previous cycle was 56 days, I calculated the days I should ovulate if I had a 28 day cycle (the shortest cycle I could imagine having) and my fertile days if my cycle was 45 days (the longest cycle the calculator would allow me to input). I took the first fertile day of my 28 day result and the last fertile day of my 45 day result plus one week (in case I had another 56 day cycle) and "forced" my hubby to have "the sexy time" with me everyday for what turned out to be almost 4 weeks. ha ha ha. I say "forced" because, at first, my hubby thought this was the BEST deal he'd ever been offered. However, after about day 14ish we had both had it and baby making became all-business! :p To quote my fabulous mother "get it up, get it in, get it out, don't mess my hair dear". I always joke that people say babies are conceived with love but our special baby Jane was conceived with "all-business baby". I realize most "experts" say that you only need to have sex every other day but my thought was: why not give it a devoted effort, at least for the first few tries. And it worked!


Despite what we're lead to believe when we're 15, making babies just isn't that easy... for most of us, some of us just need to add wine (you know who you are and I love you). As sad as it is, I knew nothing about cycles and fertile days until I started considering having a baby. It's almost like as soon as you make the decision to have a baby you want to be pregnant immediately and you start to become slightly obsessed with all the baby-making nonsense... when to do it, how to do it, what to do after. I swear I pulled a Phoebe Buffay (see Friends, season 4) and sat upside down one night afterward thinking it would help my little friends get where they needed to be faster. Personally, I'm a big believe of "when it's meant to be, it will be" and that if your stressed, nervous, unhappy, etc. it ain't gonna happen. I almost feel like it's a catch-22 for those fabulous ladies out there who are trying to get pregnant and not having any luck... the longer it takes, the more stressed and upset they get about it and that can't help things! Obviously, sometimes it's just biology as well.


I've told this story to many friends who were trying to get pregnant - especially the "all-business" part. If your expecting romance every time you're either (1) not going to get it or (2) you're not going to "get it".


As always, I am not assuming that everyone got pregnant this way or needs to get pregnant this way... just wanted to share my experience, hoping you'll share yours!


Jen :)


PS - Here's the last pre-pregnancy picture taken of my hubby and I, July 2008.

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Oct 1, 2009

Difficult Decisions

When I neared my due date Dan and I started taking care of some big-time business that was a priority to us once we became parents - life insurance and making a will.

The life insurance part was easy... applied, had physicals done to check our health, and were accepted. We felt it was really important that if anything happened to either one of us, the last thing the other should have to worry about was finances. We both got fairly large policies - using the online "how much do I need" calculator from our bank (our insurance provider) - basically covering living expenses, university costs, etc. for the other should anything happen. Life insurance seemed like even more of a priority when I lost my job. All I could think about was if something happened to Dan and I was left with no job and a baby girl to raise - as if it wouldn't be hard enough. So, this put us both at ease.

The second part, the will, was tougher. Doing a will, thinking of one of us passing was hard but doing a will, thinking about something happening to both of us was insanely difficult. Having to think about Jane being without us and us without her... it kept me up an entire night last week. Having to think about somebody else raising her and deciding who this should be!?!?! Difficult decisions. You want your child to be raised by you! It's hard to think about anyone else who would raise her as you would and love her as much as you do. However, I think everyone NEEDS to think this through and have a plan for the worst-case scenario. So many factors to consider - lifestyle, parenting style, current family (do they already have kids), etc. You obviously want your child to be raised similarly to how you would do it yourself. For us, it was also important that Jane be raised in a family, with other kids around. Something I started worrying about as well was what happens if something happens to us, Jane goes to our chosen guardians and then something happens to them - who will she end up with then? Will she end up with people who never even knew Dan or I? It's important to Dan and I that if something happens to us that Jane grow up knowing how much we loved her and learning about the kind of people her parents were. Hard thoughts, I know. This is why I was awake thinking about it all night!

Once your decision is made, the peace of mind is worth all the anguish of those difficult decisions. Knowing you have done everything in your power to make sure your baby (and I mean babies of all ages!) is taken care of always is a great feeling... weight off your shoulders.

If you haven't thought about this already... good luck, it's hard but you must do it.

Jen :)

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