Monday, June 30, 2014

4th of July sweets & treats

4th of July sweets & treats
If you've been following my blog for some time, you'll know that I love a good snack on a stick.  Put berries on a plate?  Your toddler will surely say "I'm full.  I want something from the fun drawer" (that's where we store the not-so-healthy snacks).  But put berries on a stick and you got a toddler who will devour 5 of them and asking for more.
No snack is complete without a counting lesson.
And she did that all on her own.
That's some good training there ;)
As always they were hit....after I repeatedly told her to get the sharp end of the stick out of her mouth.
Here's another fun & yummy treat for the holidays.  
The corny name?  All the credit goes to my hubby for that one.
one brownie box + ingredients to make them
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
strawberries & blueberries

1. Make brownies according to the directions on the box.
2. Mix cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until creamy.
3. Spread on cooled brownies.
4. Cut brownies into individual pieces.
5. Place fruit on top to resemble the flag!

Friday, June 27, 2014

4th of July Recipe Linkup

4th of July Recipe Linkup
Another holiday is almost upon us and that means it's time for another recipe linkup!  
These mommas are hosting the linkup so check out their recipes (Natalie and Erin).

My 4th of July treat is extremely easy to put together.  It may not look the best but it's oh so good.  And it's mushy enough for the little ones to eat.  My husband thoughts on this dessert: "Doesn't look good but it tastes good!"
8oz cream cheese (softened)
1 cup confectioners sugar
8oz cool whip
1 angel food cake, torn into pieces
strawberries, chopped

1. Mix cream cheese and sugar
2. Add whip cream
3. Combine cream cheese mixture and cake pieces into a bowl.
4. Stir in strawberries and blueberries.
5. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
6. Eat the mush!
My little taste tester.
This squirt learned how to blow bubbles in her drinks.  To say she is obsessed is an understatement.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

sweet summertime

sweet summertime
Hallelujah!  My favorite season has arrived!  
And being married to a teacher is double the summer fun.

Here's a little flashback.....

Summer 2007: Dating life aka not a worry in the world life.

Summer 2008: We got married and ended up in Venice.  Not too shabby.
Summer 2009: We adopted a dog and got our first taste of responsibility.
Summer 2010: One last hurrah before trying to have a baby.  We spent our mornings at the gym, afternoons by the pool, and then back home for grilling & drinks.  It was absolutely perfect.  
 Summer 2011: Solis arrived!
Summer 2012: Solis turned one and we were thoroughly enjoying life with a wee little one.
Summer 2013: Solis turned two and we lived each day to the fullest as we were hoping this would be Solis's last summer as an only child.
This summer will be low key since we have Rogue.  
But we still hope to make it fun for Solis even without trips. 
We already crossed one item off her list.  We hit up a local carnival and Solis had so much fun.  It's always a little hectic to get out of the house with both kids but Solis's laughter and a million thank you's makes it all worth while.  Her little screams on the rides just bring the biggest smile to my face.
We grilled a new favorite this weekend.  Bruschetta Salmon.  It's da bomb.  Yes, I busted out the 90's phrase.  But I can't help it.  It's the truth.  We saw the recipe in Kraft's summer magazine, changed a few things, and now it's on the Bollinger rotation of summer foods.

Grilled Bruschetta Salmon
Photo by Kraft, original recipe found HERE
1 tomato, chopped
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 cup sun dried tomato vinaigrette dressing
1 1/2 lbs salmon fillet

1. Combine the tomato, red onion, garlic clove, and parmesan cheese with 3 tbsp of dressing.
2. Pour the mixture into a skillet and cook until onions are tender.
3. Cut salmon into pieces and place in a dish.  Pour the rest of the dressing over top.  Let sit in the fridge for one hour.
4. Grill salmon until cooked.
5. Top with tomato mixture and basil.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

5 & 6 weeks [babywise]

5 & 6 weeks
Happy 6 weeks to our sweet little boy!  And daddy is now home for the summer!  Can I just say how over the moon I am over this?
I love how much time and energy he devotes to Solis.
My husband cannot sit still for the life of him and he met his match with Solis.
They are perfect for each other :)  She is one lucky girl to have a play partner all summer.
And he is fabulous with Rogue.  He knows the babywise schedule so well and I can run errands or go to the gym without having to worry about a thing.

Rogue is weighing in 11 pounds 6 ounces.  Gaining weight like a champ.
Eating: He eats 7x a day.  Towards the end of this week, he started opening his eyes while nursing.  I used to love those precious moments with Solis.  What I don't love are his signs of reflux.  Solis had terrible reflux that made her super colicky for the first 6/7 months.  We took Rogue to the doctors this week and they started him on Zantac so we're hoping to nip this in the bud early.  I hate to see my babies in discomfort.
Waketime: Smiles and coos filled waketimes this week.  I love when babies start to wake up and get a personality.  He usually has 20-25 minutes of activity time after he eats.  Some activities we did were: bath, being held by us, floor time watching Solis, tummy time, or going outside for fresh air.  From start to finish, his waketimes (including eating) are still only around 45-50 minutes.  My dad joked that he doesn't think we even have a baby b/c he's always up in his room sleeping.  I'll admit it, I'm not a newborn mom, even though I love all the cuddles.  I can't wait till he can extend his waketimes and we can play with him more!
Naps: Rogue takes 4 naps a day.  The first 3 naps are usually pretty good.  He goes down awake and puts himself to sleep.  There are times he'll start crying an hour or so into his nap.  Almost always, it's b/c he pooped or spit up all over himself.  When he wakes early, I'll either rock him for the remaining time or wear him in the Ergo or Moby wrap.  His last nap of the day (around 6pm) is the hardest.  It's his witching hour(s).  He'll start his nap in his rock 'n play but almost always ends up in our arms or the carrier.

This is what happens when you have no clean swaddles b/c you spit up all over them.  You have to wear your sister's.
Night Sleep: On average, he slept 6 hours a night.  But then he's go back to 5 hours.  And one magical night, he slept 8 hours!!  Our night routine looks like this: we put Solis to bed at 8, then I nurse Rogue and put him down around 9.  He gets the dreamfeed around 10:45 and then will sleep till around 5ish.  He gets another 2 hours of sleep after that and we all start our day around 8.  All of our work the first 6 weeks is paying off.  Meaning, I didn't take Rogue hardly anywhere.  We stayed home to make sure he took his naps on time.  A lot of sacrifices had to be made but I know in the long run, a well rested baby is a happy baby.

Schedule: No matter how long he sleeps at night, I'll wake him from his 2nd stretch of sleep between 8-8:30.  That way we can stay on a 3 hour routine all day (11am, 2pm, 5pm, 8pm, DF).

Solis: She is taking on the big sister so well.  When Rogue is laying on the bed and his hand brushes against her, she squeals, "He's touching me!!"  When the neighbor girls come over to play (they are in elementary school) and I bring Rogue out, Solis runs over and starts bragging, "Here's my baby brother Roguey!  It's MY brother!"  Another phrase that popped out of her mouth this week was, "I like my boy!"

Me: I started running again!  I took 4 weeks off so I'm only doing very easy 30 minute jogs.  And when I say easy, I'm only doing 9:30 pace.  Yes, it's hard to start at the bottom but it's so awesome to feel more and more like myself again.  I love working out and my husband is super supportive at finding time to let me do it. 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

it's daddy's day

it's daddy's day
It's safe to say after looking at facebook and instagram all day, every girl thinks her hubby is the best dad on earth.  I'll jump the bandwagon and say it too.  There's no one else I'd rather parent with than my Shaun.  We all hit the jackpot with this guy.
Solis made her daddy some cute little cards.  Ok, I made this one.
Note to self: newborns cannot spread out their hands for a handprint.
Solis picked out beer stickers for his card.  Inappropriate for a 2 year old?
For Shaun's first father's day, I wrote 37 reasons why Solis loves him on post its.
I couldn't be more grateful that God chose Shaun to be my husband and the father to our children.  His love and devotion to us is more than I could ever ask for.
For father's day dinner, we grilled THESE tasty shrimp and pineapple kabobs.  What a lovely dinner on our patio we had.  Rogue wouldn't stop spitting up his milk and made a mess all over me, himself, and the patio chair.  Solis-who previously ate shrimp like they were going extinct-all of a sudden declared that she doesn't like them and was having a toddler moment.  Shaun and I just looked at each other and said, great idea to have kids!  Ha!

Then I had a brilliant idea to go to the park and get ice cream.  By the time we packed our bags, water bottles, the stroller, and the Ergo, Rogue was way overdue for a nap and was starting to lose it (remember, my kids don't sleep in car seats!).  Then Solis immediately started her thousand questions.  "Can I have music please?  Where are we going? (we already told her 100 times)  When will we get there?  Can I have music please?  Will Rogue stop crying?  Mommy, music pleeeeease!"

Again, whose idea was it to have kids?
 All joking aside, we had a fun night together.  It can be crazy hectic with the newborn/toddler combo but we couldn't love them more.  And we definitely love bedtime even more :)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

family pictures

family pictures
Aren't these pictures of 5 day old Rogue just so precious?
Pictures are deceiving b/c little 5 day old Rogue would NOT stay asleep and getting these few shots was challenging for our super patient and talented photographer, Elaine GatesMy husband is a photography teacher and she often visits his classroom to talk to his students.  She does great work with seniors!

And then enter big sister Solis.  The sweetest, right?
Again....deceiving.  We had 2.5 seconds to take the shot b/c Rogue was moving/waking up.  Then add a toddler who was next to impossible to pose next to her ancy brother......all while squeezing hugging him as tightly as she could.  
My oh my.  Making memories.

We went outside in hopes that Solis would actually smile for the camera and Rogue would settle down in mommy's arms.
Obviously going outside worked like a charm.  Rogue is screaming and Solis is about to give one of her mega love squeezes. 
Ahh that's better :)
 Me and my kids.  Still can't believe I'm saying kids.  Oh and doesn't Rogue look so sweet with that yawn?  Fooled ya.  That's a full out scream and I'm just grinning through it.

Elaine did a great job and we are very grateful for her time, patience, and work that she put into taking and editing the pictures.

She also managed to snap some Vogue worthy pictures of Solis.
 There's more where that cheese came from but I'll save those for another exciting post. :)

Monday, June 9, 2014

4 weeks [babywise]

4 weeks[babywise]
Our little Rogue is one month old!  This month has flown by and we are loving the newborn phase better the 2nd time around.  There are still days that bring me to tears b/c it's so hard and tiring but for the most part, Rogue is easier than Solis as a newborn and that makes me much more relaxed.  I just love this little guy so much and all that soft, dark hair that I can't stop putting my hands through.  We are looking forward to all the new things he will be doing this summer!
Behind the scenes: Rogue exploded a lovely mess during this photo shoot and not only stained his onesie but also left his mark on the carpet.  Joys of the newborn phase.

My goals for the first month were (and we succeeded):
1. Work on getting full feedings and not have him "snack"
2. Avoid getting overly tired
3. Establish an eat/wake/sleep cycle

Eating: He eats 7-8 times a day.  He doesn't take as long to nurse, usually only 20-25 minutes.  Which is great b/c then we get to see him more!  I love that he's getting out of the sleepy newborn phase and we can stare into his sweet eyes.  And he still takes a bottle like a champ....which is up to 4 oz now.  He does seem to spit up a lot, which I know is normal for this age but I worry a little b/c Solis developed really bad reflux around 2 months.  So far, he's a happy spitter. 

Waketime: No activities yet b/c I don't want to overstimulate him.  When he's done eating, we just lay him down and talk to him and stare at him.  He's starting to make the cutest baby coos and give us smiles!  He can follow us with his eyes now.  It's so amazing to see these very first developments.  I'd say on average he is up 45 minutes before we get him swaddled for nap.
Naps: For the most part, he was awesome at naps this week.  We always put him down wide awake and he puts himself to sleep.  Sometimes he'll fuss for a few minutes or we won't hear a thing.  And I have to wake him from most of his naps!  Solis was never ever like this.  And Shaun and I both agree it's probably our mistake.  We would keep her up for 60-90 minutes as a newborn and then try to put her down.  By then, she was way overtired and took forever to fall asleep or would only nap 30-45 minutes.  That made for super tiring days.  We started babywise a little later with Solis and things didn't click with her till around 3 months.

But even Rogue has some bad days.  There was one day last week when he cried for every nap.  I held or wore him most of the day.  Not sure if it was stomach problems/gas/growth spurt but it made me so sad to see him so sad.  When that bottom lip comes out, I lose it :(

Night Sleep: Still giving us one 5ish hour stretch at night.  And one 6 hour stretch!  Except for that one bad nap day.  That night he only slept 3.5 hours in his first stretch.  It's true what they say....sleep begets sleep.

Babywise says you shouldn't let a breastfed baby sleep more than 5 hours in the first 5 weeks but Rogue is gaining weight like a champ and my supply is good.  He was 8.12 at birth and now he is 10.10. 
Schedule: A perfect day looks like this.
8am eat
8:50 nap #1
11am eat
11:50 nap #2
2pm eat
2:50 nap #3
5pm eat
5:50 nap #4
8pm eat
9pm down for the night
10:30ish dreamfeed
one middle of the night feeding

But let's be real.  He's 4 weeks old.  There's so set schedule right now.  But he's pretty darn close to this routine.  It all depends how long he sleeps at night.  On the days I feed him 8 times, the extra feeding is early morning (like 6ish) and the times throughout the day get pushed back a little or I might feed him every 2.5 hours for some of the cycles.  My favorite part of the day is the afternoon b/c Solis is napping and I can nurse him in peace and quiet and spend precious moments with him without a toddler squeezing his head with a "huggy" or Solis destroying the house in a matter of minutes when I nurse.

Solis: She is doing much better with sharing her baby brother with me.  The things that come out of her mouth are just too precious.  She's always saying he's sooooo cute!  And constantly trying to put toys in his hands or read him books.  She loves to burp him, help put his diaper in the trash can, and turn his sound machine on and off.
the typical lunch hour scene

little brother/big sister tees {The Kids Next Door}

Thursday, June 5, 2014

9 months

9 months
I saw this on Pinterest when I was pregnant with Solis.
I pinned it.  And that's about it.
Then I got pregnant with baby #2 and said to the hubs, we're sooo doing this.
I make it no secret that I really don't like being pregnant.
I am not one of those women who have the pregnancy glow.
Morning All day sickness.  
Never ending tiredness.  
Aches and pains.
Heartburn galore.
Bathroom breaks every 10 minutes. 
And being a gym rat, it's hard to take a step back for 9 months (actually much more since no woman I know goes back to the gym the week after giving birth.) 


I am so thankful to God that
we were able to get pregnant right away.
I was still at the gym 40 weeks pregnant.
I had a supportive & loving husband to see me though it.
I delivered a healthy child.
Those 9 months of physical annoyances and emotional roller coasters were worth it.
Worth it enough to do it a 3rd time?
we'll see ;)

Psalm 139: 13 & 14
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb. 
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.