Things you shouldn’t forget to tell your babysitters…

Even parents who stay at home or work from home have days where they need childcare.

Yesterday was one of those days.

Since Caleb works with the church, he has a yearly conference he has to attend. Last year, I was on maternity leave, so we didn’t have any problems. This year it snuck up on us, and we had one day to find someone to watch Ava.

We have fantastic friends and church family, so between three of them, we got the whole day covered. We wrote out Ava’s schedule, what to feed her, etc; she’s a pretty easy baby. We thought we prepared everyone well.

We thought.

Fail #1: Not telling your sitter how to turn off the motion-detecting baby monitor.My FAVORITE big ticket item we got for Ava is the AngelCare Movement and Sound Monitor. In a nutshell, when the monitor is on and doesn’t detect any movement in the crib, it makes a horribly loud beeping noise from the monitor base, and beeps and vibrates on the parent unit. Our sitter for this moment, our pastor’s wife, was not expecting that. Caleb forgot to tell her how to turn it off, so she just unplugged it to get the horrendous noise to stop! We got a humorous text explaining the situation, which kinda made my day.

Fail #2: Hiding the bibs.
This is pretty self-explanatory.

Fail #3: Hiding the disposables you bought for the day so the sitters don’t have to learn cloth. AND not showing them how to use cloth.
Yep. We hung our friends out to dry. But it was hilarious! Check out the picture. This is what totally made my day. I came home, started changing her diaper, and couldn’t stop laughing for about 10 minutes.

Diaper fail

Update: Insanity Day 10

Just finished Insanity Day 10. I told you I would. It was rough: Pure Cardio.

Basically, after the warm ups and stretching, you do 15 or 20 minutes of 1-minute exercises, and boy are they brutal. No breaks given, just taken as needed. It’s got to be one of the hardest yet, and I’ve heard they get harder.

We survive by complaining and back talking Shaun T. Sorry man, it’s not personal.

After dipping out last night, Caleb and I felt so guilty, we decided to get up an hour earlier than usual to work it in before I headed to work… well, our alarms went off, he said “We’ve got to workout”… I said, “Yeah, I don’t think so.” And we didn’t.

We tried.


Did I mention that Caleb and I started the Insanity workout a little over a week ago? Yeah, bad timing. As if throwing a birthday party for a one year old while hosting 4-7 people in your house for 4 days isn’t enough, throw a 40 minute extreme cardio workout on top! Geez, we’re not the brightest.

Day 1 was the worst by far. Like, didn’t even make it through the fit test. It’s gotten better, and we actually made it through Day 8 with high motivation. The yesterday hit. Day 9. What happened? We were exhausted. Caleb felt like he’s getting sick, and I was just worn out. We decided to skip it and go to bed. I feel like we needed it, yet I also feel like we failed already at the same time. This can’t become a habit.

Today’s a new day, and we will get back at it refreshed. And not take any illegal breaks again. (I understand things happen, but seriously… no results if we don’t work for it) The main reason I’m posting this confession is so I’m held accountable to doing the workout tomorrow. I’ll report back.

My other motivation is a pair of pants that I’m dying to get into.

How to Fatten a Toddler

We took Ava to her 1 year check up yesterday, and despite the fact that we thought she has grown so much, the doctor told us yet again that she needs to gain weight. We’ll see him again in 6 weeks for a weight check, and if she hasn’t gained, she will be tested for different things.

It’s a little concerning, she eats quite a bit for every meal, and drinks her whole milk like a pro. We don’t have to push her at all. 

The doctor’s concern comes from the lack of consistency in her weight curve. When she was 2-4 months, she was in the 90th percentile, and she’s slowly trimmed down, and now she’s in the 12th percentile at 12 months. At first, I must admit I got very defensive. She’s a very active baby, and I assume that’s probably the reason why she’s so lean. However, I looked up “how to fatten up a toddler” on Google, and came across this board on The Bump. Turns out, a lot of babies have this issue. Someone explained that the doctor is concerned that the baby’s body isn’t able absorb the nutrients to make them grow. Our doc didn’t explain it like that. I promise I wouldn’t have gotten so defensive if he had. 

So it makes sense. Mission Fatten Up Ava commences! In the board, mommies from all over share what has worked for them, and I feel a whole lot more confident that we can give Ava the chance to gain weight by eating healthy fats. I also referred to this site for picky eaters (even though she’s not picky, it gives great tips on how to slip in more calories!) The Poop Whisperer is a blog I just came across as well, and her post here was extremely helpful and confirmed what the other two sites said, only with more specifics. So great. Here’s what I’ve compiled…

Good fatty foods include: 

  • Dairy products made of whole fat milk- I have been giving Ava yogurt made for babies, but I’m gonna skip that and go with regular whole fat yogurt. 
  • The Poop Whisperer mentioned mixing whole milk with half and half. It’s worth trying!
  • Put those whole dairy products on everything: veggies, breads, pastas, etc.
  • Avocados – guacamole works too.
  • Hummus
  • Almond or Sun Butter – These have more healthy fats that even peanut butter!
  • Olive Oil – cook veggies in it, drizzle over pasta, etc.

Other foods to help weight gain:

  • Butter. On everything.
  • Carnation Instant Breakfast in milk at least once a day.
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Rich pasta sauces, like Alfredo
  • Baked goods such as banana/zucchini bread, muffins, etc.
  • Ice cream =)

So, after work today, I’ll head out to the store. I have hope that she can gain weight. Most importantly, she’s still the happiest baby I’ve ever met, regardless of her size. 

I’ll update as the weeks go on. We’re going to try to weigh her periodically. Ever dealt with this? If you have tips I didn’t include, please share!



She’s ONE!!!!

Last Thursday, my little girl turned one. It seemed as though she grew up overnight, and now she’s a little person, on the verge of walking, and almost a puzzle master.

I’ll go into more detail on her birthday, her party, and the week I missed leading up to it later. Just as a preview though, it was filled with fevers, family, and lots of fun!

Here are some snapshots of my baby throughout her first year. I would love to add more, but there are just too many!

Newborn collage7 month collage6balloons*This last picture was taken by my friend Nellie. We had such a fun first birthday shoot! You can check out her photography here!

Teething Sucks.

It’s 11:50pm as I start to write this, but I didn’t want to start the week off with no post! This week, due to the craziness that comes with a FIRST BIRTHDAY, I may not post daily. I’ll do my best but just giving fair warning!

We’ve had a rough couple of days with Ava. Father’s Day was wonderful, but Ava got her very first fever. I promise, this girl has never been warmer than 98 degree in her life, and 4 days to go she got a fever of 101. I mean, when I got her up from her nap she was burning to the touch. It was the weirdest thing I’ve felt in my life. And even weirder, because she has never had one, I just assumed it was because she was covered with her blanket during nap time. I gave her Tylenol anyway, but mainly because she’s been teething. The day went on as normal, and she didn’t complain. She wasn’t happy but she didn’t complain. Hours later, when we were done running around and back at my parents’ house for a Father’s Day cookout, I came into the house to find Ava laying with my mom on the couch. Ava didn’t lift her head or anything when I walked in, so I knew she was feeling bad. Again, she was burning up, and sure enough her temp was high.

This has continued through today, though her temp is between 99 and 100. She seems happier but I still feel bad for her. We see the tooth culprit coming in next to the first one, so we’re hoping it comes through without many more days of this, and without any ear infections. How awful would that be to celebrate your first birthday?

While caring for a sick baby, we’re trying to tie up the last details of Ava’s party. It’s been rough. But it will be great.

Thanks for bearing with me through the woes of teething. All you mamas and daddies out there know what I’m talking about! You want to know the funniest part? I thought we were in the clear when Ava got her first tooth with minimal symptoms. I thought they were bad, but she was mainly just fussy and achy. Never before feverish. Good grief.

It’s Friday!

Ah, I love those words. It’s Friday!

Welcome to the weekend! Even work is better on Fridays. You anticipate a few days of doing what you want, and spending time with the people you love.

We will be spending the weekend getting ready for Ava’s party next week, and preparing for all our wonderful guests. I’m excited for it! We’ll also be celebrating Father’s Day by going to our annual Father’s Day Car Show! Daddy loves his cars, and I have a feeling this little girl will learn a lot about cars in her young years.

Also, Ava has a tooth! It poked through with a vengeance two days ago, and yesterday was a rough day because of it. She just cried and cried and cried. And then we remembered that Baltic Amber Teething Necklace, and it took the tears away. 

Happy Friday everyone! Spend time with those daddies this weekend!

We’re going to the zoo, zoo, zoo…

…how about you, you, you?

Does anyone else remember that song? I had forgotten about it from my childhood, but was reminded when my mom started singing it last weekend. Last Saturday was Ava’s first trip to the zoo. It was really cool to see her look at all the different animals, and even funnier to see her look at all the people. You know how it is, you sometimes see a larger variety of people than animals!

She seemed to have a lot of fun, and didn’t become Grumpy Butt, despite her makeshift car nap on the way there.

When we arrived, we met up with our friends, their two kids, and the dad’s little brother, and headed straight to the aquarium. Now, we’ve taken Ava places before, and are pretty acquainted with navigating the stroller, but it’s a whole different ballpark when 1) the point of being there is so your kid can see stuff (it was almost pointless bringing the stroller… she was out of it more than in), and 2) there are 1,000,001 other parents with strollers going to the same exact fish tank window. Holy cow. That’s all I can say.

Ava didn’t really care about the fish… I’m not sure she really knew what she was looking at yet, and this was the first close-up with all those kids she was eyeing earlier. I took her out of her stroller, and tried to show her the fish, then the jelly fish, then the sea horses, but basically every kid around us was more exciting than them, so we didn’t linger long. And frankly, my friend’s two-yr-old was ready to move on within a few minutes as well, so it really worked out perfectly!

We stopped a little longer at the penguin exhibit. This was probably Ava’s favorite stop. You could see the penguins at eye level, and they were active so she paid attention to them. Then they would jump into the water, swim around, and pop back out. She laughed and talked to them for a bit, and then we moved on. (Don’t worry, I’m not going to give you a play by play, this was about as excited as she got).

We moved on, and about 90 minutes, 20 animals, and 35 ins and outs of the stroller, we called it a day. It really was a great time, but I was ready to be done because of my #2 from above…

But that’s a rant for another day. I originally wanted to include it in this post, but it became a post of its own, and I wanted to keep this one focused on the happy event of Ava’s first zoo trip, not an irritated rant about pushy parents in public places.

Take a look at our day at the zoo! 
1.) The Indy Zoo has a dog shark exhibit, where you can actually pet these sharks. Here’s where Daddy was trying. Ava and I passed this time, though I have pet them before.
2.) Ava was chillin’ in her stroller, watching the seals.
3.) This Flamingo insisted on getting a close-up picture. It honestly made me a little nervous, but he was still far away, despite how it looks in the picture.
4.) The giraffe; the zoo keeper was feeding it, which Ava seemed more interested in than the giraffe itself.
5.) This one is for Grampa, who told Ava to say “hi” to the Rhinos for him. We waved.
6.) I thought this guy was pretty cool. Ava was more interested in her cheerios.

Zoo Collage

That’s it! We had a great time.

P.S. we are ONE WEEK away from Ava’s first birthday!


How in the world do you mamas fix your little girls’ hair?

Holy moly, I tried putting Ava’s hair in a little pony tail last night, and I could hardly get her to sit still long enough to get the hair ties in her hair! She may be six before we get the hang of this. I know some moms who create tutorials to teach people how to do their baby daughters’ hair, and frankly, that’s genius. Hello, some of us need help. The styles are so cute and age appropriate for tiny people, and I doubt I would have thought of (most of) them myself, so I’m definitely grateful for them… however, it still doesn’t help me solve the problem of putting pigtails on this child. Make a tutorial for that!

Here’s a taste of last night’s styling:

top knot

Oof, right? I also tried pigtails, but it was very lopsided. I didn’t leave enough hair for the second side, so the other pigtail was more straight out of the back of her head. But really, can you blame me for not measuring the hair better? It was cute and made me laugh, but I’ll need to work on it. I took a picture, but The Blur was in all of them.

On another note, I’ve been meaning all week to recount our day last Saturday, but I haven’t had the time to go through all the pictures I took. So hopefully tomorrow’s the day. Saturday was a good day, but it opened my eyes a bit to the kind of parents Caleb and I are, and the kind we need to be to go to the zoo.


What a day.

I should just start by saying that I am very blessed in the friends and family we are surrounded with. Today we were blessed with our first niece, the little sister to our only nephew, who just turned two. And let me tell you… She is adorable!

It almost kills me, they live 9 hours from us, so we aren’t able to hold the new little sweetie for a few more weeks. But I’ve been told the baby girl is very precious, and the pictures exude beauty, even though I know they don’t do her justice. I can’t wait to meet her and see our growing family again.

I won’t go into all the details, but I have to say my sister-in-law is one of the most B.A. people I know. I received a call at 2:30 this morning that she gave birth in her car while they were rushing to the hospital. I know it happens sometimes, but for real, I am just so impressed. Not many I know can say they gave birth without drugs (I surely didn’t!), but I don’t know anyone else who did it without medical assistance in a moving vehicle. And to top it off, I am just always so overwhelmed by the miracle of birth. Plain and simple. It’s beautiful.

The whole story so early in the morning made me very nostalgic about this time last year, right before I had Ava. Needless to say, it was a day full of memories, and it was even sweeter to see my baby after work and snuggle with her a bit. She’s getting so big and growing so fast, she seems too busy for much mama time.

I am so thankful for the health and safety of my entire family, especially my sister-in-law and new little niece! So blessed.