Thursday, July 26, 2012

Claymore & Dog Treats

So, I haven't even mention that we got a dog! A lot of you probably know I am not a dog person, well a big dog person, so I'm not sure how Steven managed to convince me to get a BIG dog. Meet our 90 pounds, 3 year old chocolate lab, Claymore. 
We actually rescued him, and since he was a stray, the rescue didn't know much about him. But he came home with a few tricks no one knew he could do. He knows on command how to sit, lay down, speak, and shake with both paws. He LOVES swimming and playing fetch with sticks, or even tennis balls. He's super friendly, and good with the kids too. 

We've been taking him with us everywhere lately. He also loves the car. 
Claymore loves Hadley, and will give her huge kisses, and Hunter thinks he's HILARIOUS! But there's something extra special between Claymore and Steven already!! ;)
I've even grown to love that dog already. I've even baked him up some dog treats twice already! I thought I would share the recipe with you on here, since it's a really easy recipe, and you should already have everything you need. 

Peanut Butter and Bacon Dog Treats
Yields: 15-20 treats 

1 cup oat flour (you can make your own by grinding up rolled oats)
1 cup brown rice flour (or you can substitute regular or whole wheat flour)
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tablespoon honey
1 egg
1/2 cup water
2-3 pieces cooked bacon
1 shredded carrot

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a medium bowl combine all wet ingredients until well blended. Add both flours to wet mixture to form dough.
2. Roll out between two pieces of parchment paper or lightly floured work surface to 1/4 inch thick. 
3. Cut out with cookie cutter (I've used stars and circles, and also a dog bone shape)
4. Place treats on a baking sheet (they can be close together, just not touching) and bake for 20-25 minutes (or less if you make cookies thinner, keep an eye on them)
5. Take the treats out, and cool on a wire rack
6. Store about a weeks worth on the counter in a sealer container and the rest can go in the freezer for future treats

*I usually double the recipe, and share with some of our other doggies friends.

6 months of mama's milk

Breast feeding Update:
So Hadley and I have officially made it to the 6 months mark of breast feeding. I'm so happy and excited to make it here, because I didn't breast feed my first baby very long, and wasn't sure how I would do this time. I think what has made me so successful this time around were the things I did before Hadley was even born. The first thing I did was educate myself! I read books/articles, watched videos, talk to other breast feeding mamas, and asked questions. I think the main reason I wasn't very successful last time was because I didn't know what I was doing. Yeah, it's suppose to be a natural instinct as human beings, but the act of doing it is anything but that. The beginning was HARD for me. The second thing was just mentally telling myself that breast feeding was my only option. I didn't buy any bottles, formula... only a breast pump and a nursing cover.

When Hadley was born, she was born tongue-tied, meaning the bottom of her tongue was tied to the bottom of her mouth, so she couldn't open her mouth wide. That really affected her latch. We couldn't get an appointment for that to be fixed for a few days, and since her latch was so bad, she really hurt me. By the time her tongue was snipped, the damage was already there. I ended up feeding her via syringe for a day, so I could heal some. Let me tell you, it hurt like you know what every time I fed her. It was toe curling pain, and I wanted to scream/cry/curse every time she latched on. I asked everyone I knew who breast fed, and they all gave me the same advice: "stick it out, it WILL get better". So I endured the pain and at about 2 weeks, it didn't hurt anymore... HALLELUJAH! Ever since then, we've had a wonderful experience, and so far, I haven't ran into any problems (knock on wood).

To this day, she has never had a bottle (only syringe fed breast milk for less than 24 hours), and has only ever had breast milk. I know some family members/friends don't get it, but I love not having to worry about if I have formula, or cleaning bottles and carrying them both around with me any time I go out. In the middle of the night, I simply put Hadley in the bed, feed her and put her back in her bassinet and that's it. I don't even have to fully wake up. Sure, I've gotten a few weird looks when I've fed her in public (you literally can't see anything though, I ALWAYS make sure I'm completely covered up), but I wouldn't want to feed her any other way. I feel like I am feeding her the healthiest way possible, and the fact that it's easier, and FREE doesn't hurt either. I hope to make it to her first birthday with breast milk being her main source of nutrition, and then wean when she's ready. Overall, I love the sweet bond between Hadley and I because of breast feeding, and would suggest every mama at least giving it a shot.

Breast feeding Hadley at 3 months old. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

One Year Love

A year ago, on July 5, 2011, Steven and I got married! We had a little ceremony in San Diego, CA with just Steven, his good friend Corey, and I (and the lady who married us). It was a sweet day, full of sweet love and smiles!

So this year, we celebrated our first anniversary! July 5th landed on a Thursday this year, so we celebrated with a laid back dinner out together. We went to a cool seafood restaurant called Tim's River Shore, which if you didn't know about it, you would never find it! 

When we got married, we went to a little bakery called, Heavenly Cupcakes and got cupcakes as our "wedding cake". 

I had a banana cupcake with peanut butter frosting, and Steven had a chocolate chip cupcake with chocolate frosting. They were so good!!

So this year for our anniversary, since we didn't have a frozen first year cake to eat, I wanted to try to replicate our wedding cupcakes with one cupcake. So what I came up with was a chocolate chip banana cupcake, with peanut butter frosting, and chocolate chips, and chocolate sauce on the top, with a banana to finish it off. It was a perfect combination of both our original cupcakes, and tasted so good! 

We had a wonderful first anniversary together, and can't wait to spend many more with each other.

Land of the free...

The 4th of July has always been one of my favorite holidays. Last year I celebrated with my soon to be husband (we got married July 5, 2011), in San Diego and watched fireworks right over the water. This year, I had my whole little family together, and we celebrated all day long! We decked out in our patriotic attire, added a flag to the truck, and headed out.

First stop, we went to downtown Fredericksburg. They were having a little festival, with some cool vendors, and a car show. What's more American than walking around in 100+ degrees looking at awesome old cars? Both kids slept the whole time so we grabbed a bag of kettle corn and headed to our next stop.

Next stop was to 7-11 to get some slurpees, since it was SO HOT outside! Again, what's more American than that?

Next, was to my parents house for some swimming, hot dogs, and hamburgers! It's been so nice being able to go to my parents' house and use the pool. Hadley's already been in the pool three times this summer, and every time she loves it (until she gets tired of course). It also wouldn't be the 4th of July without barbecuing some hot dogs and hamburgers. 

Once it started to get a little late, we headed back down to Fredericksburg, to the Rappahannock River to watch the fireworks. We took the truck, and joined everyone else, and parked in the field at Old Mill Park, and waited for it to get dark, which was about 9:15 pm here. This was Hunter's and Hadley's first time seeing a fireworks show, so we were kind of nervous on how they would do, but they both LOVED IT! Hunter kept saying "WOW LOOK COLORS!!" and Hadley had wide eyes and smiles. I can't help but get goosebumps every time I watch fireworks go off. It was an awesome show, much better than we had expected. 

It was a wonderful day spent with my little family, and we are so proud to be living in AMERICA, land of the free and home of the brave! 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Little moments...

So ever since we moved into our new house, Steven and I have both worked hard on getting both kids to bed at a decent hour, so we could spend a little alone time together before we had to go to bed. Since Steven works such long hours (10+ hours a day), we can't really stay up too late most nights. The past couple nights, we've been enjoying our alone time snuggling on the couch, with a cup of homemade hot chocolate (recipe below), and watching one of our recent favorite shows, Lizard Lick Towing, while petting our new dog (post to follow about him!!!). If anyone has ever seen that show, it's so funny and ridiculous at the same time. Seriously it sucks you in, and you realize you just watched 5 episodes in a row! We aren't able to do this every night, but the nights we are, I am so thankful for that little bit of alone time.

I realized I LOVE homemade hot chocolate so much more than the kind that comes in packets or even the fancy stuff (Steven bought me Godiva hot chocolate and I hated it). Here's my favorite recipe for homemade hot chocolate.

Best Homemade Hot Chocolate:
1 tbsp. cocoa powder
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. water
1 c. milk
a bit of vanilla

Combine cocoa, sugar, and water in a small saucepan. Heat on low, stirring occasionally to prevent the paste from sticking to the pan. After about 1 to 2 minutes, add milk and vanilla. Mix all together until it reaches your preferred temperature. Enjoy!

Sweet first 2 weeks

I'm not going to really write a lot, because, well the pictures speak for themselves. Here are some sweet pictures of Hadley's first two weeks of life:

Hadley's Birth: the quick version

So, I've been trying to write this post for awhile now... Hadley is almost 6 months old and I still haven't gotten it up. Every time I try to write it, I want to add every detail, and it becomes too long, or I realized I left a certain detail out and get frustrated. So, I decided I am going to just write the quick version of the story so I can move on and post about more current things. Y'all probably didn't want all the TMI details anyways, so here goes:

My water broke at about 2:30 pm on Wednesday, January 25th, 2 weeks before my due date. The plan was, I would call Steven and my mom, and they would both come home, so Steven and I could head to the hospital, and Hunter could stay with my mom. Well, my water broke, and neither of them answered their phones. Since I had been in denial about possibly going into labor before my due date, I never packed my hospital bag (also I'm a huge procrastinator). So while waiting for them to call back, I showered and packed my bags. I ended up getting to the hospital around 6:30 pm and got all settled in the room. My water had broken, but I still didn't feel any contractions or pain. I ended up being put on pitocin to help speed things up since my water had already broke. Steven and I had this vision of playing cards and joking around while in labor, but once I got there, all I wanted to do was relax and watch TV, so Steven slept pretty much all my labor (which I was perfectly okay with). I was there for quite a few hours with zero progress. Once the morning nurses came in, they switched some things up, and my labor started rolling. I went from 4-5 cm to 10 cm dilated in an hour.

The midwife had me wait an hour after getting to 10 cm to allow baby to move down a little more. I literally thought I could have her any second during that hour, and was in a lot of pain at that point. Oh, and Steven decided to go get himself coffee 15 minutes before the nurse came back in, and I seriously thought he was going to miss the birth because she was RIGHT there. I only ended up pushing less than 15 minutes and sweet baby Hadley Marie Rilea was born via successful vbac at 11:08 AM on January 26, 2012. She weighed 6 pounds 6 ounces and was 19 inches long, and she was perfect! After a quick bath, Hadley was snuggled up in blankets, and then I was able to breast feed for the first time, and she latched right on. The after birth pains were WAY worse than labor pains for me, and the second hour after she was born were SO painful. My mom came to visit shortly after I had Hadley (she JUST missed the birth by an hour). After I felt better, we were wheeled to another room and got to relax some. It was amazing how good I felt after having Hadley via vbac than when I had Hunter via c-section. I seriously couldn't believe I just had a baby! FYI, I am, and always will be pro vbac over a repeat scheduled c-section. My family and Hunter came to visit the next day to meet baby Hadley.

Steven LOVED staying at the hospital. Although he changed almost every diaper, he got to sleep a lot since I was breast feeding, and the food was good and cheap. He wanted to stay for days, but I was ready to go home so I could be more comfortable. The very next day, Hadley and I both checked out perfectly, so we were able to go home that evening. I was tired, but felt SO good for just having a baby!

We actually left the hospital in Steven's lifted jeep, and they made me use a step stool to get into it safely (best wife award?). We stopped at Target on the way home for a few things, and then went home to get settled in.

This was a MUCH different, and wonderful experience compared to my labor and delivery with Hunter. I was so thankful Steven was able to be there by my side the whole time (even if he slept most of it), since he only moved to VA 10 days before I went into labor. We fell in love with our sweet baby girl the second she was born, and love our new family of four.