...and then I found $5.

A Jersey Girl turned Northern Virginia Girl.

This "blog" is a collection of useless things including, but not limited to:

• Pictures of my dog Macho
• Pictures of my other dog Beamer
• Things I try to DIY
• Races I run
• Tales of Love + Marriage
• Beautifying our Home Sweet Home
• Our sweet baby girl Ellie

And many more random things!

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When Ellie was getting poked and prodded in the NICU? 

Nope.

When Ellie got her 2- and 4-month shots? 

Nope.

When Ellie rolled over for the first time, and I wasn’t there to see it?

Yup.

While they weren’t full blown tears, something about this hit me where it hurts. I’m not sure if it’s the fact that I wasn’t there to see it, that I’m happy she finally figured it out, or that she’s growing up so fast. Maybe a combination of them all, but it certainly wasn’t the reaction I was anticipating for this exciting milestone! I’m so happy Eric was the one to see her do it for the first time, though. 

I know she’ll do it non-stop now that she’s figured it out, and I’ll get my chance to see… but it’s just a reminder of how much I’ll miss now that I’m back to working full-time.

"Hooooo" is the cutest little owl around?! Ellie!

This is why I love Tumblr. 

The internet can be great. It can also be entirely overwhelming. Especially when it comes to babies and what is “best” for them.

At Ellie’s 4-month appointment the pediatrician said we can start giving her solids. She’s now just over 5 months and we still haven’t, mostly because I have no idea where to begin. I assumed with a single-grain cereal, as most doctors and other sources recommend, so I went out and bought some oatmeal cereal. The more and more I thought about it though, I wasn’t sure how to go about actually feeding it to her. You are supposed to mix with breastmilk, but I don’t really have too much extra to spare. I can’t mix it with formula because I’m still not certain she’s clear of her dairy intolerance (and potentially soy). If I mix it with water, there is little nutritional value so… what’s the point?

Then I didn’t know if it replaced a nursing session or was supposed to be in addition to… which it sounds like it is… and I guess I just don’t know when or how it’s all supposed to happen. I also don’t have the time to nurse her in the morning AND feed her. It has to be one or the other. Plus, the whole supply issue. 

So then I stumbled upon all of these blogs/articles saying that “grains are bad” (which I don’t necessarily believe), and advocating to start babies on veggies and fruits—skipping the grains completely. I think that this is the route I want to go—not because I’m against grains—but because I guess I just don’t see the point/nutritional value of the cereal in my situation.

So, my question is this: does anyone have experience skipping the cereal part and just going straight to veggies, then fruits, then meats (pureed)? Do I still send the same amount of pumped milk with her to daycare?

Any help, opinions, suggestions are much appreciated as I feel really, really lost and confused.

Like mother like daughter. Ellie is all about my marg.

We pumpkin patched it up yesterday. Ellie loved it!

"I HATE THIS HIGHCHAIR!"

"Well, I guess it’s OK."

An outtake from yesterday’s 5 month photo shoot. 

Her eyes!!

Ellie is 5 months today! Another month has come and gone. Time is flying.

At 5 months, Ellie:

  • weighs somewhere in the neighborhood of 14 lbs! She’s still exclusively breastfeeding, though I think we’ll start to introduce “solids” pretty soon.
  • is still smiling all the time.
  • has found her feet!
  • is still making me be dairy-free, though I’m testing this as I type with a cup of SweetFrog. Fingers crossed for little or no reaction. I’d kill for a slice of pizza.
  • is still sleeping through the night pretty consistently. Sometimes she’ll wake up around 3-4, but we just stick her pacifier in and she’s good until morning.
  • follows us around the room with her eyes.
  • lights up when her daddy comes into the room. She loves him so much. 
  • is still working on rolling over from her back to her tummy. She’s almost there. (I’ve been saying this for months I think.)
  • is beginning to grab things, including hair, food, and other random objects within her reach.
  • is starting to laugh, which is adorable.
  • has a lot to say. She’s a talker!
  • has been to about 5 wineries.
  • took a ride in her Bob stroller big kid style! This means not sitting in the car seat, but in the real stroller seat.
  • makes us smile every single day.

Attitude 💁👶

A few months ago people were sharing their daily routines, which I found interesting, but I was at home with a newborn so a predictable schedule wasn’t even on the horizon. However, now that things are settled and I’ve been back at work for 2 months (!), I thought I’d share.

5:15-5:45 - Wake up, wash face, do make up, fix hair, brush teeth

5:45-6:30 - Nurse Ellie, change her diaper, get her dressed, kiss her sweet face

6:30-6:40 - Get myself dressed, leave for work

6:40-7:30 - Drive to work

8:30-9:00 - Pump

11:00-11:30 - Pump

2:30-3:00 - Pump

3:30-4:15 - Drive home, pick Ellie up from daycare

4:30-6:30 - Get home, let dogs out, wash bottles, go on a walk or run if possible, get dinner ready

7:00-7:30 - Eric gets Ellie ready for bed, I nurse her right after

7:30-8:45 - Shower, dry hair

8:45-9:30 - Get my breakfast/lunch together, prepare Ellie’s bottles for tomorrow, FREE TIME (for like 10 minutes)

9:30-10:00 - Pump, wash pump parts

10:15-5:15 - SLEEP! OK, who am I kidding… Tumblr, then sleep

Basically my life revolves around feeding Ellie. I know it won’t last forever, but damn it’s tiring. I don’t know what I’d do without my 2 work-from-home days every week. Without those I would never have the time to get anything else done, i.e. housework, laundry, etc. I don’t know how you moms do it who work full-time, 5 days a week in an office. Kudos to you.

This all reminds me… I was thinking back to the first week that Ellie was home. I posted the following:

I literally have no idea how mothers are able to tend to an infant and also go to work. Granted I’m just a few days in, but the thought of it seems impossible.

So just something for your new(er) mommas out there to look forward to. It DOES get easier. Things DO fall into place. Not easily, and certainly not quickly, but they do. Hang in there!

Are these donuts? 🍩🍩

Bobbin’ it, big kid style.

Ellie is all about her feet these day.