Monday, November 9, 2015

Closing Up Shop

I'm sure my faithful readers have noticed a lag in my posting. Or the fact that I'm pretty much only posting about Healey's weekly updates. 

Life with two children is hard. Especially being a working mom with not a normal M-F, 8am-5pm schedule. It's hard that Puff's job is a 35-40 minute commute away these days. I take the girls to school, work all day, pick the girls up, take them home, get stuff ready for the next day, get them fed, and then eventually Puff comes home. 

Then there are nights we have to run errands or go to the grocery or I have to work late or there's ballet class. 

I love my life. I love my husband and my girls. (Gosh, I love those girls.)

And I love writing. But I don't love it as much as I love everything else that's more important right now. 

Although, technically, things like cooking and cleaning and laundry are more important... and I don't love those things so much.

I've noticed a lot of blogs I read are taking breaks... Camp Patton, Young House Love, etc. And now I know why. It's hard to feel so obligated to this thing. It becomes a chore. 

I want to keep up with Healey's weekly updates, but I probably will do them in a word document to save for her, versus posting them all over the InterGoogle.

I've cleared my pre-written posts out. They've all been posted. I even deleted a few that weren't all that stellar, just because it wasn't worth it to post. I never got around to writing about our apple picking excursion, my parent's visit to town, or Healey's first beach vacation in Charleston. And I hate that. But I have my photos. I have my private blog. I have my memories and my scrapbook. (Although scrapbooking is also getting the boot at the end of 2015.)

Maybe one day, when the kids are bigger, I'll find time for myself again. Time to refocus and get this blog back to what I wanted it to be in the first place... tales of a rushing life... tales of vacations and adventures and things to do to keep your life full and busy. It's drifted away a lot from that since we've had kids. I know it's still in me somewhere to get back to that.

So, for now, thank you for reading. Thank you for following my family's story as it has morphed and changed over the past few years. Here's hoping I can get back soon. 

In the mean time, take care of yourself. And remember... Don't rush through life, rush TOWARD it. 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Healey 20:52

Photo copyright of Rushing Life
This week, Healey found her voice! She just started babbling on Sunday and it is the cutest thing ever. She is so content and sweet when she chats. She squeals too. And we heard her first real, honest, giggles too! 

We visited with friends and she LOVED the activity mat with the bar over it that her baby had, so I just had to go buy her one. Bimmer helped me put it together and Healey loves hers too! I like that she turns and almost has to roll to reach the farthest ones. Since she can't roll over yet, I am hoping this will encourage her to do so. Although then I can't leave her unattended on the bed anymore! Pros and cons, right? 

Healey also had her first Halloween. She was a champ during trick-or-treat and everyone loved our little bumble bee. Puff and I are already trying to think of what to dress her as for next year! I'm hoping I can come up with a theme while the girls are young enough to think that's still cool. 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Healey 19:52

Photo copyright of Rushing Life
My sweet Healey's two bottom teeth are pretty much all the way in now, and she was a rockstar about it. No extra fussiness or anything! God bless my children whom, thus far, have been awesome at teething! And now that they are in farther, there's a wee bit less drool. For the moment, anyway.
She has been a sleeping rockstar too lately... for awhile, actually. I'd say, on an average night, she takes a short nap sometime in the early evening, and we always wake her then around 9pm to give her a bottle. Then she has slept as late as 6am on some occasions. She will typically go 6 to 8 hours at night. Yes, she's still in bed with me. But we don't have much option on that right now, without rearranging (or selling) furniture. Which I refuse to do until we make up our minds on whether or not we are moving/renovating. Which is another long post for another day.
I've been practicing with her more and more on her sitting up and her rolling over. I think the key to getting her to finally roll over might be to try to suck her snot out with the aspirator. She is not a fan.
She had her 4 month check-up this week too. She weighs in at 17 lbs. 11.5 oz, which puts her in the 95%. She was 99% in her length! She has had a little cough the past few weeks and it is just the most pathetic thing. When she coughs in her sleep, when she finishes, she makes the saddest little face. I also love her face when she takes her middle of the night bottles. When she's finished, she puckers her lips in a little duck face. She only does it when she's going to sleep after a bottle. I cling to those little things... because she's growing so fast that I know they will disappear before I know it, and I just want to soak up every second of my last baby.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Three Years of Awesome

I'm not sure I ever shared Bimmer's professional 3 year old photos! We had flown our photographer down to SC from The Fort to take Healey's newborn photos, and she was rockstar enough to also do Bimmer's yearly pics. I am such a sucker for good photos... and she didn't disappoint!
My first born... my heart...


She is such a growing girl. I find myself expecting so much from her, but then having to step back and remember that she's only 3. She is too smart for her own good. She is not a very good listener. (Terrible 2's are not a thing, but there is such a thing as a "threenager.") She can be the sweetest, most helpful girl... if she wants to be. She loves Paw Patrol and reading books. She takes ballet and wants to help Mommy exercise at home. She is a great big sister who loves to give Healey big squeezing hugs and who tries to calm her down if she's crying. Mommy is clinging to the things she says incorrectly, like "maz-uh-gine" and "structions" and "Bloop Loops." It warmed my hear to hear her call a pumpkin a "punk-man" the other day. I thought I'd only get one year of that. I feel blessed to have two. 

There are days that she's not my favorite child (because, yes, this is reality and somedays when she's being a brat, I like the little one a wee bit better) but gosh I love her to pieces. I just know she is going to give me a run for my money as she gets older. And I wouldn't have it any other way. She's amazing and I'm so blessed she's mine. 

Friday, October 23, 2015

Healey 17 & 18:52

Yikes - I'm totally behind on blogging. There will be a few coming up shortly I promise, and then an announcement on something that's been brewing for awhile. In the meantime, here are Healey's 17 and 18 week updates in one :)

Photo is copyright Rushing Life
My sweet, quiet baby has started to talk just a teensy bit more than in recent weeks. I love to hear her voice, but don't get to hear it very often. She only cries if she's hungry, tired, or having a diva moment and needs to be held. 9 times out of 10, if you pick her up, she stops crying immediately. She still loves to just look around and observe. 

She has found her feet and loves to grab them. She hasn't made them to her mouth yet though. I'm noticing that when people call her by name, she seems to smile most of the time. Maybe she knows her name??? Or she just loves the attention. She wants to sit up so badly... she is constantly leaning up in her car seat to try to sit up. I'm hopeful she will start to sit on her own here soon. It would be great if she could by Halloween so I can get photos of her sitting up in her costume! Because, let's be real... photos of Bimmer holding her are quite hilarious.

Oh yeah, and she got her two bottom teeth!!!

Photo is copyright Rushing Life
Spit bubbles.

That's our big accomplishment this week. She has figured out how to blow giant spit bubbles and insists on doing it all the time. If you sputter your lips back at her, she smiles and then blows more spit. Major things happening here. 

She could be close to rolling over if she would try harder. But she just is content to stay pretty stationary. If you give her a little push, it really just has to be a LITTLE one, because she could roll if she wanted to. I'm not always a super fan of that milestone though - because then elevated surfaces become a lot more treacherous. 

She has sat up by herself for maybe a max of 20 seconds. I'm banking on her being able to sit up by 5 months, since she didn't hit the 4 month mark like her over-achieving big sister did. 

She is also such a Daddy's girl lately! I honestly hope she stays that way for him. It's so sweet to see her light up when she sees him. 

Friday, October 9, 2015

Healey 16:52

This photo is copyright Rushing Life
Healey was out and about a lot this week. She hit up plenty of stores and restaurants and her first Oktoberfest. She survived some of the worst rains our state has ever seen. (Thankfully we didn't experience any flooding near our house.) And as long as she had her bottles regularly and got plenty of snuggles and sleep, she was content to do whatever we were.
I've noticed her being pretty quiet the past week or two. She doesn't babble like Bimmer did at this age. She's just a quiet baby, I suppose. She has her 4 month well-visit later this month, so I'll be sure to ask about that. I can only compare her to her big sister, since that's all I know. I know that Bimmer was a jabbery baby and that she sat up around 4 months old. She also could scoot herself backward when she was mad and would dig in her heels. She also was much more interested in trying to hold toys. Healey is quiet. She is fairly close to sitting up by herself though, which I am excited about. It hasn't occurred to her yet to dig her heels into the bed when she cries, which I'm happy about. She can roll from her back to her side though, so we need to start being more vigilant about her being on our bed. And just this week, I've actually seen her holding a few toys and trying to chew on them. And reaching for them too. She is also sometimes putting her hands on her bottle to try to hold it.
She is so tolerant of her big sister... who sometimes seems like she's going to squeeze Healey so hard that her head will pop off. Sometimes she gives me a look of "Mommy, save me from this crazy person" and others she's content to smile and try to laugh at her big sis. She's so fast to smile... when she smiles, it's super quick and then she goes back to her stone cold observing face. It's pretty hilarious. But when she does smile, it melts my heart.

Monday, October 5, 2015

6 Weeks Thinner

Overview: At 9 weeks post-partum, I realized I was going back to work in 3 1/2 weeks and urgently needed to lose some more baby weight! I started going to the gym sporadically at 7 weeks post-partum and during one of my visits, I saw a "Healthy Eating Challenge" sign on the wall. Listen... dieting is sooooo hard for me because I am a super picky eater! It's near impossible for me to just cold turkey start eating everything healthy. So when I saw this 12 week challenge, I was down for it. I love a good list and countdown! And when Puff agreed to do it with me, I was super excited to see if we could do it!
Goals: I needed to lose 10 pounds to get back to my "pants should fit" weight, 13 pounds til my "pre-baby" weight, 15 pounds til my "preferred" weight, and 20 pounds til my "I wish I could always maintain this" weight. Our focus each week would be that week's challenge item. Of course, we would also attempt to make wise food decisions outside of that, and I would realistically hope to get to the gym twice each week. I was already doing crunches and planks at home each day too. Our hope was that after a week of doing each challenge, it would become more habit and we could try to keep at it!
Can't believe I'm about to post this grossness on the InterGoogle, but here are my before pics of the day I started this whole mess. (Down 40 pounds from the end of my pregnancy!)

Week 1 Challenge: Water Only!!! No soda, tea, juice, or alcohol.
Modifications: Puff was concerned about not getting any caffeine, so we agreed if he really needed it, he could use a Crystal Light packet.
Verdict: I have never needed a Coke in my life more than I did at the end of this week! Driving past a McDonald's was the biggest test of my will power in history. I was reminded that sometimes water at a restaurant tastes like they washed the dishes in it. But hey... I lost a pound!
Week 2 Challenge: No sweets!!! No cookies, candy, ice cream, cake, etc. Substitute fresh fruit instead.
Modifications: I decided not to beat myself up if I had to reach for a pineapple fruit cup instead of fresh fruit.
Verdict: It was easier than I expected it to be, and I was only really tempted one night to cheat. I did indulge in 2 sodas this week, since I was deprived the week prior. I had one cheat meal (at Olive Garden) but otherwise, I watched what I ate. And I lost ZERO pounds. Talk about a kick in the face. I thus concluded that giving up sweets is not helpful to a diet, so why bother? Puff was down 4 pounds at this point. And I hated him.
Week 3 Challenge: No chips/crackers!!! (This was the one that Puff was scared most about! He loves salty snacks!)
Modifications: None
Verdict: This was harder for me than anticipated, but I lost TWO pounds by the end of the week. Don't worry, my parents were then in town for Labor Day (which meant eating out every meal for 3.5 days) and I gained those pounds back by the next Monday. Ugh! I did, however, notice that I didn't feel great after all of that previously normal eating. Which I guess is a good thing!
Week 4 Challenge: Don't skip meals & have protein for breakfast!!! (This was the week I started back to work!)
Modifications: None
Verdict: I lost the two pounds I had gained back from the week before, PLUS one more! This week was actually an eye-opener. It showed me how much eating something as simple as a rice cake with peanut butter could hold me over until lunch way better than a Poptart ever could. I also started drinking Naked protein drinks on occasion. This seemed to be the one week that would carry on easily into my normal routine. 
Week 5 Challenge: Eat your vegetables!!! (This was the one I was most scared about. I do NOT like veggies!)
Modifications: None
Verdict: I say there were no modifications, but you've got to count lettuce as a serious veggie, because that's what happened this week. A whole lot of salads. And some celery. We also were at the beach for a few days this week, so we definitely didn't stick to any sort of real diet this week. Nor did I make it to the gym at all. Only bright side? I didn't gain anything, but I didn't lose anything either. With all those pina coladas, I'd say that's a victory.
Week 6 Challenge: Go 100% whole grain!!! If you must eat bread, pasta, rice, etc. this week, make sure the label reads "WHOLE GRAIN."
Modifications: A whole shit ton... 
Verdict: I basically considered this a gluten free week, since I hadn't gone shopping to actually pick up anything made with whole grain. The first day was a bust. I was so hungry by the time dinner rolled around, that I caved to Bimmer's request for pizza and stuffed my face with some Little Caesar's. The second day wasn't any better...poptart for dinner. Life was just kicking me in the ass, so the last thing on my mind was worrying about a diet. Basically, the whole week was a bust. But I did lose a pound. The lesson is that a pan of brownies will ultimately help you lose a pound. 
Alright... so we're at the halfway point. And how have we done so far???
(Here is where I would insert "after" photos but dammit, life has just gotten the better of me.)
I have lost 5 pounds in 6 weeks. 

Would I have hoped for more? Sure. Am I OK with this since I'm technically moving in the right direction? Sure. Would I love to be back down to my pre-baby size by the end of the next 6 weeks? Hey... it's always good to have goals!