Lindsay Gill: February 2014

Friday, February 28, 2014

Transitioning at daycare

I thought that writing a post about what is going to happen tomorrow might keep my anxiety at bay.  You know, talk myself through this whole thing.  Luke is "moving up" from the infant room (Chickadees) to the next room (Parrots) at "school."  You may remember my post on his first day there.


We went to visit his new room last Thursday and Friday.  All of the kids were eating in their spots, and looked up to check out the "new guy," Luke.  Luke put his arms up to us and wanted to be picked up.  He, too, was uncertain about this transition.

I know this is great practice for both of us.  For Luke, trying new things and meeting new people without mom and dad.  For us, letting go a little bit.  Still, I can't help but worry.  "But he can't eat with a spoon on his own...but what if he doesn't do well with his new nap schedule?"  The truth is that Luke is ready for learning and is soaking in every new experience.  There is no benefit to me suggesting that he "can't" do something.

I think it's really hard not to "project" your fears onto your kids.  I observe my patients and their parents each day as an Orthoptist.  While some parents stay quiet and attentive, others stick their nose in their cell phone, tweeting away.  Others take photos throughout the whole exam for their scrap books.  Occasionally, a nervous parent will make the exam way harder than it should be.  They walk in and pronounce "he's really scared!  He doesn't know his letters so the exam might not be right.  He doesn't understand what you're asking him.  Good luck getting the drops in!  He's scared of all doctor offices.  He's been nervous about this appointment all month."  None of those statements are helpful, but I know they stem from the same emotions that I'm feeling.

I want to learn from these parents and be the best support for Luke that I can.  I want him to try his best and meet every obstacle with confidence.  A friend said, "who cares...he won't even remember."  Maybe you're thinking the same...that I'm making this into a bigger deal than it is.  But I disagree.  No, he might not remember the day that he transitioned from the Chickadee room to the Parrot room.  But he will remember how his parents make him feel.  How he feels about his classmates.  His attitude towards new situations and having independence.  I think we are setting up patterns right now for how things will go in the future.

Needless to say, I'm going to be really anxious tomorrow.  It doesn't feel natural to me to drop off my angel in a new place, and drive away.  My husband reassures me that this doesn't have to be permanent.  Maybe it won't be a great fit, and we will find another place.  The feelings of separation anxiety and wanting to shield my little angel, though, are permanent.  I can just imagine his first day of Kindergarten, Middle School, High School, and all of his other firsts.  But I'm going to put on my "strong mom face" and show Luke no fear!  (well...at least that's the plan.)

Did you have anxiety with dropping your kids anywhere?

Update:  Day care said Luke transitioned beautifully!  Can you believe he took a 2 hour nap on a cot? Look at these pictures from the day! I am so proud of him.  He met new people and teachers, played with new toys, and tried new foods!






Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Baby couture

 
You may have seen my post on a Keepin' it Simple Baby Registry.  You also may notice that the list doesn't include the hundreds of dollars you may spend on diapers, formula, and gas for your car when you have to go for a drive around the state to help the baby get to sleep.  Having a baby can be expensive, nevermind having two, or seven like my in-laws.  

When I think about "baby stuff," I am often on the fence between two major emotions.  First:  I wish Luke's nursery could have been fancier than the DIY baby art that I made for his walls...I just didn't have the time, energy, or extra money.  I wish we had the fancy jogger that is all the rage.  Look at all of those adorable Gap clothes!.... then....second:  I am so completely content in how Luke is growing up.  He is the happiest baby on the block.  His favorite toy is an empty water bottle.  He loves people.  He is a great sleeper.  We finally got him a rocking chair because he didn't even like being rocked until now.  He is a great eater!  He is doing so well at daycare...learning sign language and a few words.  Walking up a storm!  

Thank God that I'm feeling way more of the second emotion than the first.  If I ever accidentally slip into the first emotion, I quickly open Out of the Spin Cycle and read this quick chapter.  It is way too easy to get consumed in the "must-haves" of the new mama world, and that's no accident!  I think companies do take advantage of the new moms who, in effort to control an uncontrollable situation, buy their way to feeling prepared for the new angel that will forever change their life.  

I'm writing this to share with you, but mostly to save for myself.  Because I know this is just the beginning.  Luke will "need" things for school or for sports, and I always want to be mindful of his real needs.  To be loved, to be safe, to be listened to and respected.  To have boundaries.  To be with friends and family.  And to learn and grow into the very person he was meant to be.
 
 
 
 




Monday, February 24, 2014

Healthy Stuffed Chicken





Our dinner is (more often than not) a salad with vegetables, cottage cheese, and grilled chicken.  I (more often than not) want something more interesting!  On Valentine's night, I got a little creative and changed the ingredients around and had great success!  

I cooked the spinach with some olive oil and garlic.


Then I had Luke eat his sweet potato and spinach in his high chair while I cooked the rest of the meal.


I mixed together:
1 container of Friendship 4% cottage cheese
1 chopped tomato
1/2 red onion
about 1 handful of chopped cooked spinach
about 1 handful of raw chopped onion
1 egg
pinch of salt and pinch of pepper


I sliced boneless skinless chicken breasts in half (if you put a plate on top and use the knife under the plate, you won't slice your hand! Thanks, Dad!)  I placed them all in a baking pan, scooped about a 1/2 cup of the mixture on each slice, rolled it up and pinned it together with toothpicks.

Cook on 375 degrees for about 45 minutes.  I put the stuffed chicken on a bed of field greens and sweet potato slices.  We didn't even need salad dressing, it was that tasty!







Friday, February 21, 2014

Majestical Jewelry Necklace Review and Giveaway

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.


I'm so excited to share Majestical Jewelry and their beautiful products with you!  I hadn't heard of them until recently, but am so glad that I did because they have such a variety of jewelry...from bold statement jewelry to more subtle everyday wear.  

I was given the chance to try this necklace from Majestical Jewelry!  It came in adorable packaging which was such a nice treat.  I love how it really pulled my outfit together!  I often have trouble with necklaces being too heavy or uncomfortable but this one is light and sits really nicely. You can alter the length so that it can work with multiple necklines, too.  This particular necklace has matching earrings as well!



Are you ready to win something blue to beat the winter blues?  Enter to win your very own Majestical Jewelry necklace!  I'm sure it will be a staple in your Winter into Spring wardrobe!  




a Rafflecopter giveaway
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Keepin' It Simple Baby Registry

I have a few friends who are expecting and I wanted to compile a list of everything that I would recommend for a registry!  Of course, not all of these products are necessary but they are what worked for us:


Feeding
Playtex Nurser (not the cutest but they work for us!)
Graco Mealtime Highchair (reclines for infants)

Sleeping
mybaby HoMedics SoundSpa On-The-Go (with extra batteries!)

Moving
BABYBJORN Baby Carrier Miracle (research this first, there are all different brands of carriers and research that certain ones are bad for baby hips.)
JJ Cole Original Infant Bundleme (for winter babies, I've seen these at Marshall's too)

Bathing

Playing
Month Stickers for the monthly photos
Fisher-Price Rainforest Jumperoo (lots of these at consignment shops!)
Black & White or any other books for visual development!

Don't forget...
  • The crib with crib sheets
  • Swaddling blankets
  • Pacifiers (with pacifier clip)
  • A rocking chair
  • Sensitive or baby laundry detergent 
  • A&D ointment to prevent diaper rash
I wasn't very impressed with...
  • The Bumbo chair (Luke's legs didn't fit, and the Mamas and Papas version was awkward for sitting)
  • Boppy pillow (too big for us when nursing...decent for supporting Luke when sitting)
  • Honest diapers and wipes (Huggies Movers diapers and Pampers sensitive wipes for us that we buy in bulk from www.diapers.com
I was also featured on The Wise Baby talking about some other products (more for an older baby)...check that out here!

What else would you recommend for a first time mama?  

Monday, February 17, 2014

DIY Centerpieces for Any Occasion


Materials all from Michaels:
Small vases
Glass stones 
Water
Ashland Unscented Floater candles (or these)

Fill each vase about 1/4 with stones.  Fill to 3/4 with water.  Add candle and light!  I used these for Luke's baptism table centerpieces, but love that I can keep them and change the stones for a totally new look and occasion!  







Saturday, February 15, 2014

#TeamTeddy

I was seeing a lot of #teamteddy posts around and didn't look into it until tonight.  Maybe you are wondering too.

Teddy is the 10-month old baby who was recently diagnosed with a genetic mutation called Menkes Syndrome that affects copper levels in the body.  Those with a typical case of Menkes Syndrome, like Teddy, do not live past three years.  His parents are working to raise awareness since early intervention with a copper treatment program can make a difference.

You can read more about his story here, you can donate here, and you can follow his story on Facebook here.  My heart aches for him, his parents, and everyone who loves that smiling angel face.  Please help his parents spread awareness, and contribute to their fund if possible.  And especially...keep them all in your prayers.

Teddy...what a little sweetheart.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Five Etsy Favorite Finds

Happy Valentine's Day!  First, I entered Luke and JP in a Valentine photo contest and would love if you voted for them here!  (Ends tonight at midnight). Secondly, my new thing is giving gifts for a special occasion on the next special occasion.  So if you are like me and haven't shopped for Valentine's Day yet...check out these adorable Etsy finds!  


1.  Custom Embroidered Pillow Courtney does beautiful embroidery custom orders
2.  Camera Strap to personalize my new camera
3.  Beer Soap for the man who might smell like beer anyway
4.  Personalized Child Rain boots in hopes of warmer weather
5.  Love from CT Teething Toy - just ordered a few gifts from this awesome store, they are so friendly and I love that the toys are safe for babies

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Baby Food Recipe: Turkey and squash

As you may have read, Luke turned one in January.  His parties were great, read about the plan here, and the post-game show here.  

Along with birthdays come check-ups (and the dreaded shots!)  Our doctor also wanted us to make the switch to whole milk, which we had already started.  Whether it is breast milk, formula, or cow's milk, Luke loves his milk!  Our Pediatrician said that our goal would be to cut back to about 16-20 oz. of milk.  We introduced all sorts of solids since they gave us the "go-ahead" like oatmeal, rice, and all sorts of vegetables and fruits.  We offer him bits and pieces of whatever we're eating.  Still, Luke would prefer his milk.  

Tonight, we gave him a Gerber pre-packaged little meal and he ate most of it.  We were thrilled to get so much solid food into him!  Thrilled until we realized how little nutritional value was in it, and it expired in another five months.


Luke still has trouble with certain foods like crackers with sharp corners or tougher pieces of chicken, so though we do not necessarily need purees (like this yummy beef and veggie stew), I'm still a bit apprehensive with his meals.  

Here is something that he loves, it's easy to make, and is healthy!  He loves butternut squash.  We bought a whole one, cut it in half and microwaved it (depends on the size).  Take out the seeds, and chop it up!  (Sometimes you can buy it all chopped and you can simply boil it.)  He also had some ground turkey mixed with plain marinara sauce and sprinkled with garlic, parsley, and basil.  


Don't get me wrong.  We will have our fair share of packaged foods and non-organic meals.  But I think its a good idea to have some easy and healthy baby food recipes in our bag of tricks.

I'd love to hear from you...did your Pediatrician have you cut back on milk or let them have as much as they wanted?  What are your favorite foods to give your little one?

Monday, February 10, 2014

The First Birthday Party Post-Game Show


I posted our first birthday "plan" here.  It was important to me that the party was about Luke, and that it stayed within our budget.  We had two "family parties"...and then a "friend party."  Here's the post-game show of the "friend party!"  

Invitations: I made them with materials I already had.  Very simple.  

Decorations:  We hung Luke's 1-12 month photos that I printed via Snapfish.



Food:  We had bagels, juice, and coffee for the adults, and a "Puff bar" for the babies.  We had mini bagels, Puffs, Wagon Wheels etc. in big bowls as a buffet!


Cake:  In Luke's two previous family birthdays, he didn't like the cake.  In fact, he wiped all of it to the floor very quickly.  I planned to have "1" cookies that my friend KC suggested, but on the day of, I couldn't find the cutters I had bought.  Later on, JP asked why I didn't just cut out "1's" with a knife.  I just wasn't thinking.


Event:  We did end up hiring Luke's "music teacher" for the party (Bonnie from BonnieLight).  She brought drums and instruments and her fun energy!  

Goody Bags:  Bonnie brought maracas, a CD, and a song book for each friend.   

Thank yous:  I just sent out photos from the party to each of the kids as a thank-you.  

I think Luke and his friends had fun!  We had it at 10 am, right in between nap times.  Though I really wanted this party to be about Luke, my friend NK wrote, "Happy birth-day to you too, Mom...you worked hard to get your little man here!"  She's right...make sure you recognize you and Daddy on the special day, too!



Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Mom-Lovin Hop!

I was so excited to find these Mamas, and even more excited when they welcomed me to Guest Co-Host their Mom-Lovin Hop!  These are a great group of ladies and today is their first hop with their new co-host: Amy from Keepin Up with the Smiths!



Our featured mama this week is Jennifer from Mommy Life after Ph.D.


Jennifer is a riot, I dare you to not laugh while reading through her posts. After earning her Ph.D. in mass communication her family decided that it was best for her family to have her stay home to take care of the kids and house. Go check her out! 

Here we go! Don't forget to... 
**grab out button and display it proud for other mama's to get in on this action! 
**read the rules, link up and socialize!

Joyful Life



Please, if you are new to the hop or have been here but haven't left a comment, please let us know on our own respected blogs that you are a new follower (be sure to say HOW you are following) so we can follow you back! 

Also, If you are interested in co-hosting FOR FREE shoot Hannah an email at hannahsjoyfullife (at) gmail.com to get on the list, growing your followers couldn't be easier! 



Sunday, February 2, 2014

31 Days to Organization: All-in-one

Here is a sum up of the 31 Days to Organization posts!  If you're just joining...I posted everyday in January on organization.  I honestly didn't plan on the 31 day challenge helping us organize as much as it did!  We have found things that were lost, and have organized things for easier days.  If you're not up for it today, pin this for later...for Spring or Fall cleaning when you get the motivation.  These are small doable steps for your home, and yourself, even if you've got a little one around!  The main concept behind this organization is setting up "systems" for each aspect of your home and more so that even when things get out of order, they can be easily and quickly rectified.