Monday, December 30, 2013

Shapin' Up and Slimmin' Down!

I totally forgot to post on Saturday, but I did weigh in: I stayed exactly the same! The scale didn't budge an ounce. Seriously, I have no idea how this happened because my eating has been pretty bad. It's continuing to be bad since we have no food in the house and I have a Whataburger gift card calling my name! I figure I need to use it up before January 1st hits when I begin my heavy duty "must-lose-baby-weight" eating/exercise plan. Stay tuned: lots of blog posts coming up! Enjoy the last two days of 2013. Happy New Year everyone!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas in Forney

Audrey and I headed to my parents' house on Christmas Day while Michel was working. My mom and I enjoyed watching endless Christmas movies that she had recorded for us and Audrey enjoyed being held and rocked for hours by Nana and Granddaddy. She's not gonna know what to do tomorrow when it's just me and her all day and I make her nap in her own bed, haha!

Anyways, we came home Christmas night, but went back to their house the next day. If you're wondering why we didn't just stay there, it's because of Ninja. He doesn't get along with other cats, my parents' cat doesn't get along with other cats, so I can't bring him with us, and Ninja doesn't do well if he's left home alone for too long. He tends to get very mischievous. Anyways, Audrey and I stayed with my parents Thursday - Saturday. My sister was coming down with her 2 kids that day, too, and then our husbands were coming down on Friday after they got off work. Once everyone arrived at my parents' house, it was time for Christmas #3!

Audrey was already loving her stocking before we opened it!

I will say that I totally failed in the picture-taking department this entire Christmas. I was so busy helping Audrey open her presents that I didn't take good pictures of her actually "opening" presents, nor did I take many of anybody else opening presents. Oops...Mom fail!

Two of the few pictures that I did take though were Zane and Karys opening some of the gifts that we got them. Zane is totally into Jake and the Neverland Pirates, and Michel found a Jake Lego ship that we got him. He's so cute and appreciative of all his gifts (really, both kids are), and he was like "Wow! Thanks for the ship!" It was cute :)

At Thanksgiving, I asked Karys what she wanted for Christmas and she gave me a very specific list: 1.) A Hello Kitty pillow; 2.) a Hello Kitty blanket; 3.) a soft Izzie (from Jake and the Neverland Pirates - I think she meant a stuffed doll); 4.) I really don't remember. I was shopping at Walgreens, getting stocking stuffers for Michel, and at the front of the store were Hello Kitty snuggy blankets! Who would have guessed? I definitely had to get one for her, and she LOVED it! I love when I find that perfect gift :)

The rest of the night was full of selfies, fun, stuffing our faces, and a cousins' picture. We're continuing on the tradition my grandma started when my cousins and I were little.

I love all these sweet, big kids! :)

Audrey's First Christmas!

I have been anxiously awaiting Audrey's first Christmas since the day she was born, if not before! I am a self-proclaimed crazy Christmas lady - I love decorations, lights, music, movies, the "Christmas spirit", red and green, silver and gold, Santa Claus, nativity scenes, the real meaning of Christmas, baby clothes, and so much more. This year was just so special to celebrate as a family of three. Unfortunately, Michel had to work in the ER on Christmas Day, so we celebrated on Christmas Eve. We kicked off our evening by going to the Christmas Eve candlelight service. It's so important to us to introduce Audrey to the true meaning of Christmas.

Have I mentioned how much I adore these boots?? :) Well...really, her whole outfit!
After the service, we opened our own presents. I will say that Audrey was a bit too young to understand what was going on, and wasn't even that interested in "helping" to open her presents.

However, I think this look says it all:

I loved everything about her first Christmas, and look forward to many more Christmases to come!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas in Longview

Christmas for the Zoutendam family is seriously going to be a week long. Michel has to work at the ER clinic on Christmas Day, and the fire station on Dec. 26th. We had to really get creative as to how to celebrate Christmas with our families. My nephew's birthday is Dec. 28th, so we decided to celebrate with my family on the 27th and 28th (to incorporate Zane's b-day as well), and celebrate with Michel's family before Christmas. While it is disappointing that Michel won't be with us on Christmas Day, it's not the first time that this has happened and it won't be the last, so it really doesn't bother me anymore. I do love the fact that we get to spread Christmas out over the course of a week, too :)

Anyways, the morning of December 21st, Michel was coming home from work, and I had gotten up early to get myself ready, and then got Audrey up and fed her. Once she had eaten we packed up our car and headed out for her longest road trip thus far. Luckily, she is my child, and falls asleep very quickly in the car, and generally stays asleep. This time was no different. She was awake talking and singing (maybe she also loves Christmas carols like her mommy?) for about half an hour or so before falling asleep. She didn't wake up until 10:40, so she was asleep for most of our ride. By the time she woke up, we were only about 15 minutes away from Michel's parents' house, and she woke up happy, so she definitely makes our car rides easy and fun!

She got properly spoiled by her Grandma and Grandpa. In fact, aside from her Saturday 8am bottle, and her Sunday 8pm bottle, I never fed her the rest of the weekend! I'm not gonna was kinda nice. If you follow me on Pinterest, you'll see that I spent a lot of my time pinning recipes on Pinterest while Grandma and Grandpa were having fun playing with Audrey. She loved all the attention!

Can you tell that she's the only grandchild?? :)
After we got her fed and ate lunch ourselves, we headed over to the nursing home where Michel's grandpa lives. He had never met Audrey before. We were supposed to go see him the weekend before Thanksgiving, but that was the time where snow/ice were predicted, and we got freezing rain for about 10 minutes and that was all. Anyways, we didn't want to chance the 2 1/2 hour drive, so we decided to call off our trip, so we never made it at Thanksgiving. Michel's grandfather is a great-grandfather to 4 boys, but Audrey is his first great-granddaughter, so I think that made it especially exciting for him.

I think this picture is so sweet!!

I have discovered that Audrey does not sleep well away from her own bed. Mommy fail! I always put her in her crib to sleep, so being in a pack-and-play (pack 'n play??), and in a room that she's not used to resulted in many failed naps. She wasn't fussy, though, she was very happy, but I knew she was so tired that she was like punch-drunk happy. We decided to go ahead and open presents mid-afternoon while Audrey was still awake and happy because Mommy was going to get down to business and make her take a nap in the evening. Mommy's used to getting a full night's sleep every night, so I wanted to make sure this whole no-nap thing didn't cross over into the nighttime sleep. Anyways, while she was still awake and happy we exchanged gifts and took advantage of some picture ops. I asked Michel to take a picture of me with her because I'm always the one taking the pics, so I'm never in them.

Audrey was all smiles when we surrounded her with all of her new toys from Grandma and Grandpa!

Grandma looks so happy to be spending our early Christmas with her favorite/only granddaughter!

On Sunday we got up and went to church, so of course, I had to take advantage of another picture op! I think our family pic turned out pretty cute.

Merry Christmas!!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Shapin' Up and Slimmin' Down!

I went DOWN 1.8 pounds!! That means I lost the pound I gained last week plus another 0.8 lbs!

While I'm very happy with this, it does make me sad that I won't make my 10-lb weight loss by Christmas :(

For anyone keeping up, I've lost  a total of 6.2 pounds since mid-October, but only 3.2 pounds since the beginning of November. I know I won't be watching how I eat too carefully over the next week, and probably won't even be working out that much, but I plan to jump back on the wagon full-force come the beginning of January. I'm determined to be back in my summer clothes by this summer!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Shapin' Up and Slimmin' Down!

Ahhhh....I went up 1 lb. this week! Honestly, I got a little lax about what I was eating. I'm doing better this weekend, but I know that we'll be eating richly for Christmas, too. However, I can tell that my jeans (that are 2 sizes bigger than I normally wear) are getting looser, so that is some good news! I'm really trying not to pack on the pounds over Christmas, though. Hold me accountable! :)

Friday, December 13, 2013

25 Days of Christmas

In this post, I talked about my utter Pinterest fail, but I did find a Pinterest-inspired idea that has been very successful! The blogger called it The Spouse Christmas Countdown. Basically from December 1st through the 25th you give a card to your husband. Inside the card will either be a compliment, an act of service you're going to do for him, or a fun activity for the two of you to do together. I've had so much fun with this, and Michel has told me numerous times that he has really enjoyed it, too!

The original blogger who I stole this idea from made her cards look SUPER cute! Maybe I'm not as crafty, don't have as much time (or patience, I'm sure), and I know that Michel isn't really going to notice if I spend hours making it look super cute as opposed to just cute. Here's what mine have turned out like:

Most have been a bit cuter than this, but you get the idea. It's been fun for me to let him know how much I love, and appreciate, everything he does for our sweet family!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Guess Whooo's 3 Months Old??

This sweet girl is 3 months old today!!! I cannot believe it! It's really true what they say...time flies when you're having fun! :) She is a lot of fun for sure. I'm so blessed to stay at home with her and see her grow and develop into a sweet little girl. I don't know how we got so lucky, but we were blessed with such a happy, easy-going, sweet-spirited little girl. She rarely cries (but can definitely fuss up a storm if she's not happy about something!), and is full of smiles. Michel and I are always talking about what a terrific baby she is. Sometimes, if she is fussy, you can just get down in her face with a big smile and start talking to her and she immediately stops fussing and smiles back at you. She's a stinker sometimes :)

I feel like we've had a couple days with teething symptoms. There were a few days the week after Thanksgiving that she was chewing on her hands so hard, and not like the soothing thumb-sucking. She was drooling, but that could have been the excessive hand-chewing, and her naps were not as good as what they normally are. I don't know if she's going to cut teeth at a young age, or if this was a one-time thing.

Since her 2-month post, she has gone in the church nursery several times - Sunday morning so that I could attend church, Monday morning while I attended MOPS, and a Wednesday evening while I was at small group (I promise Michel is still in the picture, and does attend church with me, but he has been SOOOO busy working lately that he hasn't been able to attend much). Every time I go to pick her up, I'll sneak a quick look before actually approaching the window, and it just makes me smile to see an older lady cradling Audrey in her arms and they're just smiling and talking to her. I love that Audrey is able to be loved on by so many people, so that being in the nursery will never be a traumatic event for her, but a fun one where she will, eventually, learn about God. Each time I've picked her up from the nursery, I am always told what a sweet baby I have. That makes me so happy! Audrey had a good time, and the nursery worker had a good time with Audrey in the nursery. I know that, at this young age, her sweet personality isn't really a reflection on my awesome parenting skills because she's too young to have the ability to misbehave, but when she's older and can misbehave, I hope to still get these good reports. :) Anyways, on to some more Audrey facts:

Length: I haven't measured her at all since her last appointment

Weight: see length :)

Sleep: She sleeps through the night!! I checked her 2-month update, and I was feeding her at 11 p.m. One night, I was really tired, so I was planning on going to bed at 9, and I set my alarm for 11, and I didn't wake up until 1:30! Oops :) Oh well...she was still asleep, and didn't wake up until 5/5:30. She remained going from 8 p.m.-5/5:30 a.m. until last week when she didn't wake up at all! Mommy was so happy! For over a week, she has gone from 8-8 (well...technically she's sleeping from 9-8 by the time she finishes eating, we have a little bit of quiet play time, read, pray, and then put her to bed), but still I love it!! Sadly, there are mornings when I still wish I could sleep in just a bit longer. How lazy am I??? :)

Eating: She eats a 6 oz. bottle first thing in the morning. The rest of the day, she eats about 3.5-4 oz. every 3 hours. Occasionally, she will take another 6-oz bottle at some point during the day. I only offer 6 for that first feeding; the rest of the time I offer 4, and if she's still hungry then I'll fix another 2. Can't waste that precious, and oh so costly, formula!

Clothes: She's all over the place in this category. She still has NB pj's that fit her very well, some 0-3 month are way too big for her, and some fit just right. I bought her a sweater dress for Christmas that's a NB (they didn't have a 3-month), and I'm glad I bought NB because it fits perfectly! Yet the 0-6 month tights that I bought to go along with the dress are barely going to fit her past this Christmas. I guess it's like adult clothes, though. You're one size in one brand, and another size in another brand... For the most part, she's in a 0-3 month and I would bet we stay here for at least another month or more.

New achievements of the month:
- She is most definitely a thumb-sucker! She's not sucking her hands like she used to, it is always her left thumb (aren't you happy, Mom??) with the rest of her fingers on that hand standing up rather than curled into a fist.
- She has laughed a few times for us! I heard a couple early this morning, and it pretty much made my eyes tear up
- Rolling over: stomach to back AND back to stomach! I've never actually witnessed her going from her back to her stomach. All I know is on 2 separate occasions, I've looked at her on the monitor in the middle of the night and she's on her stomach...and I always lay her down on her back. We're working on getting her to sleep without being swaddled, but it just hasn't been successful. I know if she can roll over you should stop swaddling, but she only rolls over after about 5 a.m. We're trying to take it away gradually, but it makes for a tired, and somewhat, cranky baby. If anyone has tips on how to transition them away from needing to be swaddled and still sleep really well, I would love to hear it! She rolls on to her back from her tummy quite a bit during tummy time. It's kind of more like her head falls down and the rest of her body follows. It's not the most graceful roll, but it gets the job done!
- She has become really, really good at tracking things from a further distance and watching them for awhile (people when they walk out of view, Ninja when he walks past)
- She has started turning her head to look around when she hears familiar voices (she may have been doing this for awhile, but I've just recently noticed that she does it often, and if the person is out of view. She's always turned to look at someone when they were in view, but if she hears me or Michel start speaking she'll crane her neck to look for us - good thing we won't have to question her ability to hear!)

Things she likes:
1. Talking! She LOOOVES to talk to people, stuffed animals, and as of recently, she really loves talking to the bears that hang off the mobile above her swing. It's cute :)
2. The swing - she generally smiles at me as soon as I put her in it. 
3. Sucking her thumb - it's really precious to see
4. Sleeping while swaddled - we are really trying to break this habit
5. People - especially if you'll talk with her, and smile a lot

Things she doesn't like:
1. Being woken up from a nap when she's really, really sound asleep. She'll look right at you and let out one or two cries. It's really sad. I usually end up holding her on the couch for about 5 minutes to let her wake up more on her own. Then she's ready to eat and life is all good again.

Other randomness:
1. It's been a pretty long time since Michel or I were peed or pooped on during a diaper change! I maybe jinxing myself by saying this. Either she's gained a little bit more control over it, or we've just learned how to change her at lightning-fast speed!
2. I just love this little girl so much, and I feel like she's growing up so fast

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Audrey's First Thanksgiving!

Ever since Audrey arrived, I have been so excited to share in all the fun holiday festivities with her! She's such a fun baby, and there was going to be several family members in town for Thanksgiving that she had never met.

Michel and I "hosted" Thanksgiving at our house for his family this year. I put the word "hosted" in quotation marks because we didn't go all out with a big turkey or anything. Mainly, we just invited his family to us rather than us going to see them, so that we didn't have to travel to Longview with a 2-month-old (we had decided this around Halloween when she was only 5-6 weeks old and not on as predictable a schedule as she is now). Anyways, we're also not traditional turkey-and-dressing people, so Michel smoked a brisket and grilled a turkey for us to eat. He also made an apple pie. I can honestly say that I did absolutely zero cooking for Thanksgiving. Michel did it all (he loves to cook)! Anyways, his whole family (mom, dad, brother, sister-in-law) came over to our house on Thursday morning. Michel's brother and sister-in-law were two people that would be meeting Audrey for the first time.

Sadly, we won't be able to see them at Christmas, so we exchanged Christmas presents with them on Thanksgiving as well. This is what they bought Audrey: I just adore the reindeer outfit!!!

After dinner and present-opening, Audrey was loved on and spoiled by some of her family members.

Sadly, I forgot to take pictures during the Thanksgiving celebration at my parents' house. However, the Sunday after Thanksgiving we went to my aunt's house to celebrate with them and see my two cousins (on that side of the family) and their spouses. I didn't take a ton of pictures there either (man...I was bad with my camera for Audrey's first Thanksgiving!), but when me and my sister and our two cousins were little my grandma always had us sit on her couch and she would take a picture of us, so it's cool to see those pictures of us through the years. Sadly, my grandma passed away about five years ago, but that doesn't mean the tradition had to stop! We have maintained our couch pictures, and just add more people as they come along!

Top L to R: Erica, my cousin Anna, sister Janette, and me
Bottom L to R: my cousin Dan, David, Ryan (with Zane and Karys), Michel (with Audrey)
Then we get a little crazier!

We had a blast at Thanksgiving! Can't wait to do it again at Christmas!!

Shapin' Up and Slimmin' Down

Oops, I forgot to post yesterday! There is something about ice/snow that makes me want to lay around in my pajamas under a blanket, watching movies, and otherwise doing nothing! Well, this week, I maintained. I guess I'm kind of happy that it wasn't a gain, though. In all honesty, since the ice fell I haven't been eating as well as I had previously. The sad part is, I still haven't been eating that great throughout the weekend knowing that I had a less-than-awesome weigh-in. However, starting tomorrow I'm going back to getting up at 6 a.m. to work out! Hopefully, next Saturday will show a loss!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Nailed It!!

You know those Pinterest projects that you pin and you think, "I can easily do that!", and then it doesn't quite turn out the way it seems? Well, apparently that happens to so many people that you can search, "Nailed it" on Pinterest, and there's a ton of pictures/examples of pins gone wrong! These are some of my favorites:

Well, I pinned the cutest picture of a little baby in a Christmas basket. I made Michel get "dressed up" last weekend, and we took a few quick family Christmas pictures. For whatever reason, Audrey was not her regular, happy, smiley self (I think it was a little cold outside for her). We got some decent family pictures, but when I tried to re-create my Pinterest picture,'ll have to see for yourself.

Oh yeah...totally nailed it! Needless to say, the individual shots of Audrey did not make this year's Christmas card! :)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Monthly Measurements

Today is December 2nd. One month ago today, I started my weight loss journey to lose the baby weight and shape up!

My goal is to work out 5 days a week. It was rough today. I hadn't worked out since last Monday, and splurged a bit more than normal. I had my alarm set for 5:00, so that I could go run before Michel left for work at 6. Let's just say that 7:00 rolled around and I was just getting out of bed! :) I was going to just forget about working out today, but my sister (thanks for the motivation, Janette!) posted on FB she was looking forward to 5 a.m. for boot camp, and that inspired me to change my clothes and get to workin' out. I didn't get to do much cardio today. Sadly, my jogging stroller that I have is only for kids who can sit up by themselves, so I couldn't go jogging. I figure some type of workout is better than no workout, though, right?

Anyways, I've been keeping track of my weight and measurements. I started logging my weight loss in mid-October (before I started really watching what I was eating), and I'm happy to report that, since mid-October, I have lost 5.8 pounds! Since November 2nd, when I started watching my food intake, and working out hardcore, I've lost 3.4 pounds. I'm just glad to see the numbers going down...maybe not quite as quickly as I would like them to, but they are going down, and that makes me happy.

Weight loss: -3.4 lbs
Waist: -1 inch
Hips: -1.5 inches
Thigh: -0.5 inches
Bicep: -0.5 inches
Chest: -0.5 inches

I've lost a total of 4 inches and 3.4 pounds in a month. Not too shabby, especially considering Thanksgiving was in there, and for me it lasted from Thursday through Sunday! :)

These are 11/2/13 pictures:

And December 2, 2013:

I know I can see a difference! Can't wait to see what happens January 2nd!

Btw...if anyone (who is more blog-savvy than me) can tell me how to make pictures line up side-by-side I would appreciate it. I tried making one go left, and one go right (like in the Nov. pics), but they still weren't side-by-side.