Monday, September 28, 2015

Kade is 15 Weeks!!

Hey buddy! You turned 15 weeks on Sunday, 9/27. It has been such a sweet 3 1/2 months with you!!

Weight/Height: You weighed 13 lb & 8 oz. at our appointment on Monday, 9/21. Big boy! And you are  SOOO long!

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Health: You had your first cold this week. Boo! Sunday evening you started coughing a good bit & it almost sounded like you were choking on mucus a few times while you were sleeping. It sounded pretty bad so we decided I needed to call the pediatrician first thing Monday morning. They told us to bring you in ASAP because you’re so little, so we went right in that morning while Jase stayed home with Daddy. They tested you for RSV and thankfully that came back negative. Dr. G (not our normal doctor, but she was great) said she did hear some wheezing and wanted to try a breathing treatment and listen again. You didn’t have a fever, so she said it was probably just some nasal congestion that was causing coughing as well since all of your little systems are so tiny & connected. (Jase had a cough he shared with you. Glad he loves to share, just wish it wasn’t germs!) The breathing treatment worked, so she told us to do a few treatments each day for two weeks.

We’ve had some beautiful weather, so we sat on the back porch to do treatments. She said we could do up to 4 a day, but we’ve only been doing 1 because it seems to be helping and you sounded so much better so quickly. A few times this week I used the bulb to get extra mucus out of your mouth.

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You do great with your treatments. Dr. G said we’re blessed to have such a content baby (we already knew that too).

Sleep: Well I always lay you down in your crib, but you prefer to nap in our room. You really like to be close to me or at least smell me when you sleep. At night, you go down around 9 pm and sleep on your own in your crib till about 12:3o/1. You typically nap for about an hour and half when we’re at home for naps. If you get overstimulated or I miss your sleepy window, you cry for about a good 10 minutes before I can get you settled. I hold you tight, walk around with you, and sing “Lord I need you.” Your wake time length is typically 1 hour & 45 minutes – 2 hours. It was encouraging to me to look back on weekly updates with Jase and see that I hadn’t really been successful on putting him on a schedule yet at this point, so there’s hope! I’m going to really get more serious & consistent so you’ll be sleeping through the night for Grammy before we go on our big out of town trip in December.

Nursing: Nursing was a little bit of a challenge this week with your cold. You were fussy at the breast & preferred the bottle, so I pumped for you a good bit. I was nervous that you were beginning to prefer the bottle to breast because it’s less work for you, but after reading up on it I decided it was probably just related to the cold. You also had some tough gas this week and I used gas drops at least once almost every day (usually at night) because I could tell you were so uncomfortable. I tried thinking about what I was eating that could have caused it, and the only thing I could come up with was a ton of veggies. The gas drops helped almost immediately.

What Kade is up to: You are in the beginning of a Wonder Week leap…woo hoo!

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Even during a leap, you are still such a happy baby. That is definitely an answered prayer for our family.You are super content on your own for independent playtime. You really like your playmat and you’re doing great with tummy time.

You LAUGHED for the very first time on Thursday, 9/24 while we were eating with your Papa and Aunt Jade at Red Lobster. You were in your carrier and I was playing with you. You’ve been talking/cooing, but this was a legit little laugh. It was SO precious!!

Post-Partum: Thankfully the weird sweating has stopped. I do still smell kinda funky after a workout, and before I never really stunk when I would sweat…but at least I’m not sweating excessively anymore. I still have a belly, and even though I’m only about 2-3 lbs from pre-pregnancy weight, my tummy is not all the way flat yet. My belly was flatter at this point post-pregnancy with Jase.  Also, I don’t think it’s pregnancy related, but I do think I am starting to get arthritis in my right hand.

Big Brother Jase: Every week I post the same thing, but Jase really is the sweetest big brother to you. Every morning he wakes up and the first thing he asks is “Where is brudder?” and says “I wanna see him.” You have also started smiling at him a good bit. I pray there is no jealousy and always a strong bond between you two. I am also starting to see more differences in your looks as you grow older.

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Thoughts: Hey sweet angel! We go this Thursday for the ultrasound on your head. I truly feel like it’s just  delayed closure and I’m expecting a good report, but it’s a great reminder to constantly put our trust in the Lord. We have been covering you in prayer.

We are SO thankful for the gift the Lord has given us in you. You bring so much JOY!

And I also think you look a lot like your beautiful Grandma.

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Love, love, love you Mr. Kade!!

Pumpkin Spice Protein Bites

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Ingredients:

1 cup quick cooking oats

2 packets Pumpkin Spice Meal Replacement Shakes

1/2 c natural peanut butter

1/2 c ground flaxseed meal

1/3 c chocolate chips

1/3 c honey

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp chia seeds

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Directions:

Mix together and roll into balls. (If too dry, you can add a little more honey or some natural almond butter.) Try not to eat them all at once. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Killer Leg Workout

Alrighty, this one is brutal. I prefer to superset these exercises for time’s sake. I usually warm up with about 5 min of elliptical & 5 min of rowing (or 1000 m).

4x10 deep squat (I use the Smith machine)

3X10 (each leg)weighted Bulgarian Split Squat

3 x 20 walking lunges with plate overhead

3 x 10 leg extensions

3 x 15 still leg dead lift

3 x 15 sumo squats (with kettle bell)

3 x 10 leg press

3 x 10 (each leg) step ups

3 x 20 calf raises

If you have time, follow with 15-20 minutes of HIIT.  (For example: 30 seconds cardio as fast as you can go, 30 seconds of recovery at a slower speed, repeat. You can do this on the treadmill, stair climber, elliptical, jumping rope, jumping jacks, high knees, etc.)

**This workout is originally from here. You can also see pictures/videos if you’re unsure of a movement.

Monday, September 21, 2015

2 Healthy Dinner Ideas in Less than 30 Minutes

I am not a chef by any stretch of the imagination, but I do like to put quick, clean, & (hopefully) yummy meals on the table for our fam. With a toddler, an infant, and a business that all keep us busy in the best way, super elaborate meals are just out of the question right now. Here are two of Jonathan’s faves that take less than 30 minutes from start to finish.

  • wild caught pacific cod (can be baked from frozen) with lemon juice, a little unsalted organic butter, Mrs. Dash lemon pepper seasoning, & ground turmeric root
  • asparagus with sprayed with olive oil mister and sautéed on stove top
  • sliced red pepper (raw uncooked)
  • steamed broccoli florets (pink Himalayan salt)
  • quinoa (follow directions on package)

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  • organic lean grass-fed beef patties with Bragg’s Liquid Aminos and Bragg’s nutritional yeast (grilled)
  • red & yellow peppers and asparagus with Mrs. Dash table blend (also cooked on the grill)
  • broccoli & carrot slaw cooked on stove top with the Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  • brown rice (organic from Costco- follow cooking directions on package)
  • kale salad (pre-made kit, go easy on the dressing)

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I typically plan a source of lean protein like chicken or fish (although Jon LOVES a good burger, so 1-2 a month we do have red meat), a good complex carb (we also love sweet potatoes and homemade sweet potato chips), and we load up on different types of veggies. It usually makes enough for leftovers so we have lunch the next day too.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Comparison: The Thief of Joy in Marriage

Comparison is the thief of joy in so many aspects of life, but especially in marriage. God wants us to have a heavenly marriage, but what God means for good, Satan wants to steal, kill, and destroy.

**I have written a few other posts on comparison. You can read them here.

Comparison/Affirmation Devotion

Moms: It's Time to Stop Comparing

Apples to Oranges: Why Do We Compare Ourselves to Others?

I truly believe the enemy uses comparison as a tool to make us jealous, ungrateful, and bitter in our marriages.

Today I read a post on Facebook where a husband was edifying his wife in one of the nicest posts I have ever read. I read it and thought, “Man, that is EXACTLY what I want Jonathan to think about me.” As I have grown personally and in my walk with the Lord, I have been able to channel that into something positive that can actually benefit our marriage.  Rather than thinking “Seriously…why doesn’t Jonathan ever say anything nice about me?  He would never post anything like that!” and feeling resentment towards him over that, I can ask myself “What can I do better as a wife so Jonathan thinks that way about me, even if he doesn’t vocalize it?” As someone whose love language is words of affirmation, I have to guard myself from feeling jealous over husbands who show love to their wives this way.

I have to be intentional in guarding my heart and not comparing Jon against anyone else’s husband. In the past, we have both allowed comparison to cause dissension amongst us. (Definitely me more than him.) He is SUCH a great man, and how silly of me to choose bitterness and resentment over JOY because I’m allowing myself to fall into the trap of comparison.

As wives, do we not struggle with this often? I see it all.the.time!

I do think it roots back to our love languages and how we’d like to be shown love. We look at what other people’s husbands are doing and we feel unloved by our own husband if he isn’t showing love in the way we would like. We choose to focus the 20% rather than the 80% (you can read more about the 80/20 principle  here.) For example, if your love language is quality time, you might feel jealous when you see a husband who has planned some awesome surprise date night or weekend getaway for his wife. If your love  language is gifts, you might feel jealous when a girlfriend gets a new purse or some jewelry from her hubby unexpectedly. If your love language is physical touch, you might get jealous seeing the husband with his arm around his wife, playing with her hair, scratching her back, and holding her hand as they walk. If your love language is words of affirmation, you might feel jealous of the wife whose husband writes or says really kind things about her all the time. If your love language is acts of service, you might feel jealous of the wife (like me) whose husband is a crazy hard worker, is extremely helpful around the house, and can fix/build everything. But here’s what is crazy…there is a good chance that although you are wishing your husband were doing that, she is not as grateful as you would assume because she’s busy wishing her husband was loving her in a different way. And it’s  a vicious cycle where the enemy is winning and we aren’t living out the heavenly marriages God desires for us. (Notice I didn’t say PERFECT…no such thing, of course.)

My goal as a wife is to show Jonathan love in the way HE likes to be shown (not just in the way I prefer to show it), and not be offended when he doesn’t show me love the way I like to be shown. My goal in marriage is to be a help meet to him and model the relationship between Christ and the church so others are drawn to us, thus giving us an opportunity to share Christ with them. My goal is to love unselfishly because “love is NOT selfish.” Although we all know that Scripture in 1 Corinthians 13, it is difficult to live it out when the enemy and the world want us to consider our own needs first. This is definitely an area of growth for me and something I am working on turning over to the Lord.

There are definitely seasons in marriage. Everyone’s seasons last different amounts of time, so this is more for those in a valley rather than a mountaintop. The mountaintops are EASY. But the good news about the valley? WE have the choice in how we view them, how we react to them, how we grow though them, and how long we stay there. Changing our perspective just a little in this area can go a long way. Rather than viewing your husband as someone meant to “complete you” and meet all your needs, it may help to think of marriage as a way for the Lord to help you grow in dependence on Him. To bring glory to God through the way you love, serve, and respect your husband, even when he isn’t necessarily “loveable.” Can you think of a better picture of Christ’s love for us than that?? Marriage is definitely a team effort, but if you choose daily to focus on doing everything you can possibly do (and by renewing your mind and giving hurt feelings to the Lord) to be the BEST wife to your husband, the Lord will honor that. I’m not saying your husband will respond (right away), but you will win him through your behavior. Become a WARRIOR in your prayer life and ask the Lord to change his heart. Cover him in prayer!! And whatever you do, do NOT compare your marriage or your husband to anyone else.

The only way we can feel jealous is if we are comparing our husband or marriage to someone else’s, and that robs us of our JOY in our own marriage. Ladies, I encourage you to focus on your own four walls. Delight yourself in your husband!! Choose to focus on his strengths and don’t allow yourself to get caught in the ugly trap of comparison. That is from the enemy, not from the Lord.

You can take the 5 Love Languages quiz here if you haven’t before. It’s extremely insightful and practical if put into application. (Knowing is the easy part. Being intentional about demonstrating love in your spouse’s love language is the tough part.) Also, I highly recommend reading Love & Respect if you haven’t. Such a simple concept, but really is the key in marriage.

After reading that post today, it really got me thinking about how many marriages are missing out on the ABUNDANCE God desires for us because we are too busy comparing & wishing our husband were different rather than appreciating who God made him.  And in the famous words of Bob Newhart from a Mad TV clip, we just need to “stop it.”

Lactation Bars Recipe

Y’all, these are WAY yummier than they look!

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To keep my milk supply up, I make these occasionally. I’ve tried a few recipes, but these are my favorite.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups Red Mill Old Fashioned Oats
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups almond meal/flour
  • 4 tbsp Brewer's Yeast  (I ordered it off Amazon)
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp organic ground flax (We get it from Costco)
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use a mixer to beat all ingredients. Spoon evenly into an 8x10 baking dish & bake for 13-15 minutes. Cut into bars so you don’t eat half the pan. (I’m not speaking from experience or anything, as you can tell from my picture.) Enjoy!!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Kade: Weeks 12-14!!

I’m a little behind on your weekly updates, so here is what you’ve been up to the last few weeks. Whew, we have been busy, busy! You turned 12 weeks on 9/6, 13 weeks on 9/13, and 14 weeks on 9/20. We celebrated your 3 months on 9/14. It’s so crazy…feels like you’ve been with us forever!

Weight/Height: Kade weighed almost 13 lbs and was 24 1/2 inches long at his appointment on 9/9. He was right on the curve with the growth chart & Dr. Carey said he is “long and lean.”

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Health: Dr. Carey felt that his posterior fontanelle is not all the way closed up quite yet. Not all babies have that soft spot in the back of their head, and she said she has only felt it with a few other babies. It should be closed up by 2 months, but since his is still open, she put in a referral for us to go to a neurologist at the children’s hospital for an ultrasound. We scheduled the appointment for the first week in October. She said everything feels fine and she doesn’t see any reason to be alarmed, but just wants to err on the side of caution. As crazy as it might sound, I feel a complete peace about it. As hard as it is to wrap my mind around sometimes, I know that God loves and cares for my babies even more than I do and I trust HIM with them completely. Plus, I truly feel like it’s going to be closed up and fine and we will give him ALL the glory! Amen!!

We went for the second half of his 2 month vaccines on 9/18. (I prefer to split them up so it’s not quite so much on them at once.) He did great with the shots, & was even smiling after, but woke up a few times during the night screaming (almost in pain). I nursed him each time and gave him extra snuggles. Poor baby. He felt warm but didn’t have a fever when I took his temperature.

Sleep: Sometimes he is sleeping pretty well, and sometimes we are dealing with that 45 minute intruder. He is still waking up once during the night to eat. Most naps are pretty decent. We always put him down in his crib, but he usually doesn’t stay there the whole time. We still keep him swaddled even though he breaks his hands out by his face. He loves to have something in his hand and I think he would really like a lovie! He also likes his paci to go to sleep. He prefers to sleep on his side and his neck is tilted up and away. It’s a funny little position.

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Nursing: He was definitely showing favoritism to one side for a while, but now he’s evened back out. I’ve been pumping a good bit and feeding him from a bottle, so I think he prefers that since it’s quicker and more efficient. Sometimes I wonder if he’s getting full feedings from me the way I know he is from the bottle when I pump for him. I know you make more milk when they nurse directly off of you, but I can always pump some milk after a feeding too. Nursing and pumping are both so much easier this go round though!

He has been a little gassy this week and I’ve noticed that he is really uncomfortable if he doesn’t get out a good burp.

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What Kade is up to: Kade is smiling ALL the time! He is starting to talk/coo. He has the sweetest dimples. He is pretty stiff and really likes to be held straight up like a big boy rather than like a baby. I’m glad his neck is so strong though.

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We took Kade on his first beach trip, & he was a TROOPER for the 6 hour trip. He is seriously the most laid back and content little guy. He barely made a peep. Slept some, ate some. Only cried if he needed a diaper change. He took an awesome nap on the beach.

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Post-Partum: I haven’t worked out much the last few weeks, and I can’t believe how much it affects my mood and confidence. Hoping to get back on the ball next week. I’ve also been pretty emotional and felt overwhelmed a few times, but I know God is trying to remind me to constantly renew my mind and not be anxious about anything. When I start to feel overwhelmed with all of life’s demands, I just try to remember this:

Big Brother Jase: Jase is the sweetest brother. He loves to help and has started calling him “Baby Kade” along with “brudder.” I LOVE this series of pictures- they came out hysterical!!

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Thoughts: We love you, sweet Baby Kade. We can’t imagine our life without you. You make everyone smile & we can’t wait to see how the Lord uses that and YOU in the future! The Lord blessed us exceedingly and abundantly more than all we could ask or imagine when he gave us you.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Happy Birthday DJ & Vann

These two sweet boys turned TWO in August! We loved getting to celebrate with them!

DJ is my great nephew. Did y’all know I’m a great Aunt?? He had the cutest little Mickey Mouse pool party at my sister’s neighborhood pool.

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And I feel like I’m Vann’s Aunt Danielle! I’ll just go ahead and give myself that title. They had the cutest little cars party for Vann, but I think the bigger hit was all of the big yard toys. There were tons of little boys & they all had so much fun playing.

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These two precious little guys make life even sweeter. We are so thankful Jase gets to grow up with them! Happy birthday, fellas!!

Success School 2015

I LOVE Success School!! I always feel like a kid at Christmas waiting for it to get here. We actually left this year on the morning of my 30th birthday.

Kade was still so young that we decided to bring both the boys with us this year. We also brought both of my parents and my sister. Here are my flying tips for traveling with a toddler and an infant.

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Thankfully all of the traveling went really smooth. We rented a minivan while we were there, and I have to say, I really like my Yukon better.

Thursday night we met up with our teammates for appetizers before heading over to Six Flags for the NLT President’s Party. AdvoCare rented out the whole park for us so there were no lines, and it was a BLAST!! I haven’t been since my freshman year in college, so I was honestly a little nervous I’d have a hard time with the roller coasters (since I have developed a fear of heights and motion sickness). I was totally fine though & ended up riding even the big daddy coasters. It was a really great way to spend my 30th birthday & we loved seeing our Advo fam.

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The weekend was filled with incredible training. What I love most about AdvoCare is that they invest in us as distributors and as people more than anything else. We are part of a DEBT FREE company that gives back all over the country, and that’s what they encourage us to do as well. I LOVE that! Success School is just great life training. We learned more from our elite science and medical advisory board about WHY are products are the best in the marketplace. We learned from the top distributors in the company how to be better leaders and coaches in our business. We heard stories that touched our heart about how the products and income opportunity are changing lives. And of course we got to spend time with our incredible team. LOVE these champions!!

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I think Jonathan’s favorite part might have been the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders. They were awesome!

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Watching Rich Froning, AdvoCare endorser & 4th time world’s fittest man crush his own PR  was pretty awesome too.

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Quick break back to the hotel to nurse the baby. Had to get a family shot. Nailed it, of course.

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Off to our team meeting. LOVED seeing so many of our teammates recognized for their hard work. They help so many people day in and day out…& it is truly a joy to serve alongside them.

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We might not have gotten a lot of sleep (partly because we had the babies in our room) throughout the weekend, but we definitely left with FULL hearts!!

I guess you could say it wore Jase out too. Huge thanks to Grammy & Granddaddy and Aunt Tammie for taking such great care of our sweet boys for us.

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Can’t wait for next August!!