Sunday, January 31, 2016

January 2016 recap

There's a meme you've probably seen. It reads "Each month has an average of 30-31 days...except the last month of pregnancy, which has 1453 days."

Well. After having been through that last month of pregnancy, I can confidently say January actually has 2000 days. ;)

This has been a long, tough month for me. Trevor had three sets of 6 day trips from December 27 through February 2, plus two junior man assignments and a scheduled 4 day trip. 

Here's the big stuff that happened this month: 

Hudson learned to pull himself to a kneel, and then to a standing position. He's going to walk well before a year, I'm sure. 

We joined a new small group at church, which means we will now have a group of families that we meet with twice a month. 

We FINALLY ordered new sheets, pillow shams, and a duvet cover for our bedroom! The duvet cover has yet to arrive, though. It's been on back order for months. I guess it's quite popular!

We took a little trip to IKEA and Trader Joe's last week to get ready to baby proof the house and start the Whole 30 challenge. The next day, Hudson and I went to story time at the library with another pilot wife, Amanda, and her 7 month old, Archer. 

Trevor left for a 6 day trip. Hudson took a big tumble, and bit his lip open. He also rug burned his sweet little nose! To make it worse, the next night, he woke up just wailing at 11 PM. I went in his room to find green snot streaming down his face. We were struck with baby's first cold. Hudson and I spent the last part of the month hunkered down, trying to get through the week without Trevor. 

Here's hoping February is a better, easier month for us! 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Almost Whole 30

I've resisted the Whole 30 phenomenon for years. I argued that changing the way I eat for 30 days won't have a lasting effect, and besides, I eat healthy already. I also thought I couldn't give up things like bread, cheese, and sodas. 

And then I had a baby. We started relying on fast, cheap, and easy meals for ourselves. I didn't lose the baby weight. In fact, my weight has bounced around in the upper range of where I was in my third trimester. I started looking for diet and exercise plans designed for busy moms who are still breastfeeding their babies. I stumbled on a plan written by a woman who was my height, weight, and build before she got pregnant, who gained what I gained in pregnancy, and who lost what I lost before stalling where I stalled. Her secret? The Whole 30 and lots of walking! 

A friend of mine was pinning a ton of Whole 30 recipes on Pinterest, so I asked her if she was planning to do it soon. She was, so we formed an accountability group that will begin on Sunday, January 31. Trevor will also be following the diet while he is home, but he plans to keep his travel diet the same. We just aren't sure what he could pack that would be compliant! 

 The big challenge for me will be making sure I don't "sample" Hudson's non-compliant baby foods. He loves small cubes of peanut butter sandwiches, corn puffs, rice cereal puffs, cheese, and yogurt melts. Grain, dairy, and starchy vegetables are off limits during the While 30! 

However, I'm taking a very laid back approach to this first Whole 30. 

•I'm not making my own almond milk, but I am using an unsweetened, unflavored version of what we normally buy. 

•I'm not giving up my coffee creamer, but simply cutting back. 

•I'm taking a short trip in early February, and I plan to cheat a lot that weekend! 

•I'm making my own Lara bars, but I couldn't find dried cherries without added sugar. 

•I bought a jar of marinara at Trader Joe's that has soybean oil in it. Otherwise, it is compliant. 

•I'm probably going to drink wine or rum once a week. TV chef Alton Brown lost 90 pounds on his radical diet, but he still has one martini a week. I think it's OK if it fits into his diet. 

•I'm not giving up Diet Coke cold turkey. I'm going to wean myself and start drinking flavored sparkling water in its place. La Croix is amazing, anyway, so it should be an easy switch. 

•I might actually go 60 days! 

I'll be documenting and sharing my Whole 30 journey through the next several weeks. I plan to post about the process at regular intervals, sharing meals and compliant packaged foods I've found along my journey. I know I wouldn't be able to do this if I hadn't read numerous blog posts sharing the same information, so I feel obligated to contribute to the Whole 30 blogging community! 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Day in the Life: Hudson at 9 months

I can't believe I didn't publish a single post last week! Life was pretty crazy for us - Trevor was gone Tuesday through Friday, Hudson decided he will only nap if we hold him, and he learned how to pull himself up to kneel! He definitely lived up to his "Hurricane Hudson" nickname!

Loads of well meaning, curious people have asked how Hudson and I stay busy on the days Trevor is working. I always say that we have no problems staying busy, and to prove it, I tracked what we did for one day last week. Here's how we spent our Wednesday!

6 AM: Wake up. I let Hudson fuss a few minutes, and if he doesn't go back to sleep, I get up. I change his diaper and we nurse in the rocking chair.

7 AM: Done nursing, we head downstairs. Hudson plays on the floor while I have my coffee.

8 AM: Hudson has his second breakfast of Gerber Lil Crunchies and a banana. It takes 30-45 minutes to feed him each meal. He plays on the floor, turning on the Roomba, while I clean up. 

9 AM: Nursing/napping time in the rocking chair. 

9:30 AM: Hudson is wide awake and bouncing on my lap, pulling at my glasses. We move to my bedroom, where he plays on the floor and I straighten up. I also need to wipe tiny fingerprints from my glasses. The cats watch warily from the center of the bed. 

10:15 AM: I have a grumpy, inconsolable baby pulling on my legs. Back to the rocking chair to give this nap another go. He's quickly asleep. I browse Facebook  and read a chapter in an ebook.

11 AM: Realizong that he might be down for awhile, I take off my glasses, put down my phone, and settle in to nap with him. 

11:45 AM: We wake up, but Hudson is fussy. I nurse him for another half hour, and he snoozes in my arms. 

12:15 PM: It is play time! Hudson crawls to the tote with his toys and starts pulling them out. He greets several with his favorite word: Hi! 

12:30 PM: My stomach is rumbling. I change from PJs to fleece clothes and retrieve the mail, then fix lunch for Hudson and me. 

12:45 PM: Sit down to eat. I alternate bites of my food with giving him bites of food. 

1:30 PM: The baby/bottomless pit has been satiated, so we clean up. 

1:45 PM: Hudson is super angry again, so I nurse him after a diaper change. He stars to nod off quickly once again.

2:45 PM: Hudson is suddenly awake and throws himself from my arms to the floor. He wants to see everything in his room right now! 

3 PM: We move to my room, where I try to sort my tanks and camisoles. I am trying to work through the KonMari Process. Hudson is too interested in the bright fabric and rearranges my piles, so I give up quickly. 

4:15 PM: Fussy again. We attempt to nap but he would rather pinch and bite. 

4:30 PM: We go downstairs and Hudson plays while I prep his dinner. 

5 PM: Dinner time. Hudson eats lots of applesauce, bananas, and cheese. By 5:40, he is super fussy. 

5:50 PM: Bath time. Hudson plays in the water for 15 minutes before pooping and ending his bath.

6:10 PM: Overnight diaper, calming bed time lotion, and fleece jammies. I nurse Hudson until he falls asleep. 

6:35 PM: I try to switch sides but Hudson wakes up. I make a bottle of formula. He drinks half, then tries to nurse again.

7:20 PM: Hudson is finally asleep. I clean up the cat vomit in the hallway and the poop in the bath tub.

7:45 PM: I finally get to eat my dinner and relax a little before cleaning the kitchen, dining room, and living room. 

10 PM: Shower, blow dry my hair, get ready for bed. Wind down by playing games on my phone.

11:30 PM: Lights out! We sleep blissfully all night, waking around 6 once again. 

Thursday, January 14, 2016


If you can't tell, I love documenting life, and especially how it changes from month to month and year to year. This year, I'm planning to answer the same prompts around the middle of each month. Here's the January edition:

Eating: Whatever I can forage from our pantry because I refuse to take a baby to the grocery store until we are in desperate need

Drinking: Coffee with paleo almond joy creamer. Yes, it's awful, but see above. 

Wearing: Yoga pants, nursing tanks, and long sleeve henleys are my uniform - if I bother to change from my pjs

Watching: iZombie and Happy Endings

Wanting: Hudson to start napping daily without me holding him

Needing: To buy groceries

Hoping: Hudson sleeps through the night

Thinking: About my next career

Reading: The Bible

Praying: For major changes to Hudson's schedule

Planning: A trip to Chicago in February

Wishing: We had family closer

Monday, January 11, 2016

Nine Years

Last night, a bit after 9 PM, Trevor called. I smiled when I saw his photo and name pop up on my phone. I'm always excited to hear from him when he's gone, but this was different. Nine years ago last night, at just after 9 PM, Trevor called me for the first time, and we talked for several hours. At the end, Trevor asked, "Can we continue the conversation over coffee tomorrow night?"

Nine years ago tonight, we had our first date at Starbucks in Grand Forks, ND - the one in the strip mall in front of Super Target. We talked for hours - until they kicked us out! We were together every day after that, and we made it official the following Tuesday evening. 

Eight days later, Trevor got the call to interview at ASA. He was hired at the interview two months later, and he left for Atlanta in early April. He commuted to Grand Forks twice a month during my final year at UND. We talked on the phone every night, even when Trevor was doing sims at 5 am in training. 

I student taught, and then did one more semester at UND to complete a requirement that slipped through the cracks (my advisor was constantly changing, so it was like I didn't have one). I visited Trevor for spring break, and I fell in love with the South.

I graduated from UND in May 2008. During finals week, I interviewed for a teaching job and accepted it the next day. I would be moving to tiny Velva, ND in the fall to teach middle and high school Language Arts. 

Eighteen months to the day after our first date, Trevor proposed in Chicago. It was the day after our friends, Dave and Erin Cerny, were married. I wanted to go home via Las Vegas and secretly get married, with a church wedding later. Trevor vetoed this plan, but I'm glad he did. We were married in a beautiful Catholic Mass just over a year later, on July 25, 2009, and I moved to Atlanta to join him. 

We bought our house in February 2011, and we began growing our family when we adopted our cats in September 2013.  Trevor was hired by Spirit in December 2013 and reported to training on Super Bowl Sunday 2014. Six months later, we found out we were expecting Hudson. 

It's been an amazing 9 years, and I can't wait to see what the next 99 have in store (I'll only be 130 - it's possible, right?!?!)

Random True Confessions of a Stay at Home Mom

Most days, I'm not sure what day it is. I just know how many more days (or hours) I have to be solo until Trevor comes home.

I wish I could say I live in yoga pants, but I don't. It's actually pajamas. 

I don't have the free time I thought I would. Hudson never naps!

I feel like we have had a successful day if I have showered, brushed my teeth, and run the dishwasher. 

I sometimes miss the routine of having a job to go to, but then I have two wake up calls from Hudson that night and sleep in the rocking chair in his room from 3 until 6 and I realize "Nope, I'm good." 

I'm secretly addicted to the Gerber Lil Crunchies, AKA "baby Cheetos."

Sometimes, I just put extra stuff on Hudson's plate and we share his dinner of scrambled eggs, mozzarella cubes, clementines, and banana French toast. 

I am not bored staying at home. Sometimes I'm frustrated by how little I can accomplish right now. I know it will pass, and in a year or two, Hudson will be able to play alone while I clean up. I'll miss him constantly wanting to snuggle with me. 

I suddenly understand the value of being highly organized, and I curse myself daily for not getting it together before getting pregnant. 

I constantly wonder what I will do when I don't have a baby to take care of. At some point, I have to go back to work, right? 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Friday 5: Goals for 2016

1. Read the entire Bible.

I've honestly never read the Bible all the way through. I'm sure I've read almost all of it over the years, but I've never actually read it all. I would love to change that this year. 

A week into the new year, I'm doing well with this one! My iPhone and the Bible app are always with me, so I usually do my reading while Hudson nurses or naps on my lap. 

2. Declutter and organize our house.

I had no idea how much extra stuff would come with one extra person! I'm working towards reducing our possessions to only those which spark joy. I'm planning to read the Marie Kondo book everyone is raving about, and revisit another really good uncluttering book I've had for a few years. I'll take what seems useful from each, and develop my own system. 

3. Lose the leftover baby belly. 

I have lost exactly half of what I gained while pregnant. My pre pregnancy weight was actually a bit on the low end for my height, so if I can lose half of what's left, I'll be happy. Toning is actually a bigger issue. While I would love to do Pure Barre to help me tone, I can't devote the drive time to it right now. I would spend as much time in the car as I did in class. Orange Theory is something that's on my radar right now, as I need that accountability. Beach Body workouts I do at home just end up collecting dust. 

For now, my focus is on eating better and trying to hit 5,000 steps a day with my Fitbit. 

4. Update the blog 3 times a week. 

I've been feeling moved to write lately. Writing has been a big part of my life. I tried to write my first novel at age 10. I've always had a journal of some kind, and j wrote for two different newspapers in college. Somewhere along the line, that passion fell away for awhile. It's back in a big way. My blog will be the outlet for that passion. This year will be all about finding my voice as a writer and my niche as a blogger. 

5. Learn to use my DSLR camera. 

As I said in my OLW post a few days ago, Trevor gave me a Canon D-Rebel as a push present, and I haven't really learned to use it yet. My goal is to be taking great photos with it by the end of 2016. Who knows? Maybe I'll end up starting a small photography business! 

Bonus goal: Live out my One Little Word, Focus, by making my goals, faith, marriage, family, and health my top priorities this year. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Hudson at 8 months

Hudson turned 8 months old on December 23 - the day after we arrived at my parents' ranch in North Dakota for the holidays. It was very exciting to be able to use one of my mom's Christmas quilts for the back drop this month - and to make the switch to a sitting baby, too! 

I cannot believe my baby boy is already 8 months old! It is amazing how much Hudson has changed in the past few weeks. He went from sitting with help to sitting up on his own, he started crawling, and he started talking! I had no idea how much joy I would feel the first time I heard him say Mama, nor did I know how heartbreaking he would sound when he started interjecting it into his crying and fussing! 

Sleep has been our biggest challenge lately. Hudson wants to be held through his naps. He will sleep for hours if I hold him, but as soon as I put him down, he is wide awake again. It's so frustrating to not get that little bit of free time to myself! Consequently, all the housework gets done after Hudson goes to bed, so I'm generally up late...only to get a wake up call from Hudson between 2 and 5 a.m. 

Here's to 8 amazing months! I just hope time starts to slow down a little! I'm not sure I'm ready to have a toddler. :(

Sunday, January 3, 2016

December Recap

December was a very busy month for us! 

Hudson and I attended Blake's second birthday party during the first weekend of the month. As we were shopping at Target for Blake's gift, we ran into my college friend, Drew, and his family! 

We had Drew, Ashley, and Audrey, their baby girl, over for dinner the following Tuesday. That Friday, Hudson and I flew to Minneapolis to stay with Trevor's parents for the weekend. Trevor arrived separately as he was working. We all attended a Christmas party for Trevor's mom's side of the family that Saturday before going our separate ways back to Atlanta on Sunday morning. 

We had our Mothers Of Pre Schoolers (MOPS) Christmas party on December 18. We painted an adorable nativity scene with the guidance of an instructor from Bubbles and Brushes in Newnan. 

We traveled to North Dakota on Drcember 22. We celebrated with my family and enjoyed some quiet time on the ranch before returning on December 29. Trevor worked from December 27 to January 1, so he returned a few days before we did. I put Hudson down on New Years Eve and celebrated with mozzarella sticks. An appetizer dinner on NYE is my family tradition, so I stuck to it!