Samuel: One Month

Well, Sam is now 1.5 months but I’ve been quite busy and couldn’t update on his progress until now! He’s a big ball of joy, and I just want to squeeze him til’ his eyes bulge! Anyway, here are some fun updates:

He is growing like a weed. He’s huge. And he keeps getting bigger and bigger, and I can feel it when I pick him up. He’s already wearing 3-month clothing, 0-3 month fits pretty snug for his cute belly. His one month appointment he was one ounce short of 11 pounds, and 22.5 inches long! (Birth weight: 7lbs 14 oz & height: 20 inches)

He eats every 1-4 hours, typically it is every 2 hours. Sometimes, he eats every 30 minutes– holy exhausting. People say this is typical for babies that are experiencing a growth spurt… clearly he has

IMG_8148

He’s still working on holding his head up independently, he gets better and better, but his head is in the 98th percentile, so it’s no wonder he’s still bobbling around

Depending on the day, he’s not a big fan of tummy time or diaper changes, but again it depends on his mood

He smiles and coos when mama kisses him and lots during playtime with daddy. We can’t get enough

IMG_8058

He sometimes sucks his thumb

IMG_8198

He does not do well with spicy food… AT ALL, or whey protein

IMG_7905

He’s a big time night owl! This is no surprise. It’s the same pattern as when I was pregnant with him. That’s the only thing that has been rough. He is awake anywhere from 12 a.m.-5 a.m. and cries because we are trying to sleep and he gets bored and wants attention. So I have to wake up and hang out with him so he won’t cry. The Doc says he is too young for ‘sleep training’  since he doesn’t know the difference between day/night.

The solution… I turn on Netflix and watch Grey’s Anatomy. I’ll need to find another series soon because I’m almost done!

Otherwise, he is super pleasant and I’m really grateful that he’s such a relaxed, happy kiddo.

Happy Things

Last week Tuesday we went to the Mariner’s Opener with my dad and had a great time. Baby bug slept the entire time, and everyone loved him. In fact, an employee even got a certificate for him with his full name on it, “My First Mariner’s Game” and a pack of papers with the roster, statistics, etc. It was so sweet.

IMG_8123

Then last Saturday, Kasen and I dropped Sam off at my sister’s house and she babysat him while we went on a date out to watch the Supercross races at Century Link Field.

IMG_8194

It was a lot of fun, and of course we ate some delish brats.

I love our weekly date nights. We’re pretty strict about having one every week. It keeps our love alive.

IMG_8193

During the Supercross races, the sun was setting behind these cranes, and I was lucky enough to catch it. I’m a sucker for sunsets.

IMG_8191

Life is sweet.

Favorite “Mommy Accessories”

Here are a few of my favorite “mommy accessories” that I wanted to share since they’ve made life quite a bit easier for me as a new mama.

My nursing cover from uddercovers.com that you can get for free minus shipping with promo codes that are super easy to find online. I can honestly go anywhere and comfortably feed little Sam with my cover. It’s definitely been much better for us compared to covering with a blanket.

index

A Fisher-Price swing that I’m borrowing from my sister. It’s almost identical to this one. We can turn the music on/off, change swing speeds, and turn vibration on/off. I put Sam in the swing while I cook, clean, exercise, shower, etc. He loves it, and I definitely do too.

shopping

My diaper changing clutch that allows me to stay organized and use any big purse instead of a diaper bag, especially since they can be expensive, plus I’m not a diaper bag gal, personal preference. It also gives me a place for him to lay while I change him, because last time he peed on Grammy’s carpet. Whoops!

712p6RdNUVL._SL1500_The Baby Bjorn carrier that I’m also borrowing from my sister since they can be quite expensive. It’s nice not to lug the carseat around everywhere, and for times when he wants to be held, it’s perfect, because my hands are free. And of course, it is wonderful for going on walks or hikes.

baby_bjorn_carrier_1

Stuffed Bell Peppers

We had a fun little dinner date with one of my besties tonight and made these delish babies. It was nice to make something so easy, tasty and healthy. Another great thing about this recipe, is that you can substitute the meat, vegetables or grain for any kind you want (i.e. quinoa vs. brown rice, chicken vs. beef, etc.).

Stuffed Bell Peppers

22d2cd281ffe5b0a420dd32e23daf9de

Ingredients:

  • 6 bell peppers, cut the top and clean out
  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 1/2 lb ground turkey or beef
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • garlic
  • 4 roma tomatoes
  • 1 can diced green chili
  • taco seasoning to taste
  • olive oil
  • parmesan or cheese of choice

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Cook the brown rice (we have a mini rice cooker, 2 cups water: 1 cup rice)
  3. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan, add chopped onions, garlic, and meat. Cook thoroughly
  4. Stir in black beans, tomatoes, green chili, brown rice and taco seasoning
  5. Fill the peppers with this mixture and top with your cheese of choice
  6. Bake for about 25 minutes
  7. Remove from oven and add salsa, sour cream, extra cheese or just enjoy it as is!

 

Loving Me Some Marshall’s ( & TJ Maxx)

Have I already told you my obsession with Marshall’s & TJ Maxx? Well, now you know. Great prices on great stuff. Of all the treasures to be found, my favorite would be home decor. Every time I go, I find way more than I initially intended to buy. It’s a love/hate relationship. Anyway, here are some recent little updates we’ve made in our home:

A new lamp marked down from $100 to $35… had to get it, and it just so happened one of our cats busted the lamp that was previously sitting on this nightstand. I love it, and if I wanted to change things up, I wouldn’t mind putting this lamp in any other room, so I definitely feel like I got my money’s worth.

IMG_7967

IMG_8001

We also got these cute organic looking sprout pillows

IMG_7969

I got lots of frames for our frame cluster to display achievements, family photographs, etc. The frames match the style and colors in our main area: grays, light blues, creams, distressed edges, etc. Every frame is different, but they come together really great.

IMG_7973

Here’s a close-up of the layout:

IMG_7971

We obviously need to put photos in and scratch the stickers off

And the entry rug and row of hooks (for coats and purses) are new too

IMG_7972

Here are the close-ups:

IMG_8016

I’m into the natural fiber rugs lately

IMG_8014

…and I really like the ceramic knobs on the end of these hooks

IMG_8015

The gray pillows are new. They help add more dimension to our living room

IMG_7981

And I also got a pretty quilt for $20+ cheaper than what was on clearance at Target, and much prettier.

IMG_7985

Here’s a close-up of the pattern:

IMG_8013

I love change. Change is good. And exciting. Of course, shopping is good too.

 

Birthday. Baby. Blessings.

I’m currently blogging with baby bug sleeping on my chest and decided to share some random updates and thoughts:

  • Last week we got to see one of my brothers set apart as a missionary, went to dinner as a family, then came home and had family night (each Monday). Then later we got to read to Sam for the first time outside my belly! It was kind of hilarious because I am so out of practice reading books to kids, and children’s books rhyme, then I get all tripped up, etc! It was bad. But it was good. If that makes any sense…

Then

photo-3

Now

IMG_7811

  • I started pumping last week and Sam took the bottle great. This means longer date nights, gym time, trading off with Kasen for help with nighttime feedings, etc. Hooray!

IMG_7845

  • Did you catch that? Gym time! Just started working out last week (finally!), which I’m stoked about because I haven’t done a vigorous workout (running a fun little 5k) since like 16-weeks pregnant. Walking just isn’t my thing when it comes to working out.
  • I’m grateful for a hardworking, helpful husband that is so willing to help me with Sam when I’m tired or my hands are full. They are already two peas in a pod. Love my boys.

IMG_7898

  • I had a fantastic 24th birthday. Kasen celebrated it as a “birthday week” so I got some very nice gifts and beautiful flowers from him which was so sweet. We stayed in, ordered Pagliacci Pizza, had my favorite ice cream flavored cake from Baskin-Robbins, played Mario Kart (dorky, I know), watched a movie, cuddled and enjoyed our happy baby. We also had a belated celebration with my family at my parent’s house this past Sunday which was great.

IMG_7869

  • Spent yesterday shopping for home decor with my mom and had a lot of fun. I’m so thankful to have her as my mother and my friend.
  • Found out that all missionaries in Chile are safe and accounted for after the earthquake yesterday. What a relief considering my brother is in training in Santiago for another week, then off to Concepcion.
  • Baby is now a month old! In some ways it feels longer, but also shorter…

Then

(leaving the hospital, 1-day old)

IMG_7802

Now

IMG_7857

He is the greatest thing. Being a parent is truly a gift. Now we have even more laughter, happiness and love around these parts. It’s a good life.

Life Post-Baby: Being a SAHM

I am a stay-at-home-mommy (SAHM), and it is the happiest thing I have ever done.

Do you believe me? A year ago, I wouldn’t have. In fact, a month ago, I don’t think I would have believed me.

I am an educated woman, and yes, I am a Registered Nurse, but most importantly, I am a mom. Currently, I’m keeping my eyes peeled and ears open for “per diem” nursing positions, so I can have the flexibility to work as much or as little as I want… but simply for the experience and of course, the paycheck. I figure if something comes up and it feels right, I will look into it, but I’m not going to stress over it, because I know this is where I am supposed to be.

In October 2012, we knew we were going to start our family the following year, in 2013. Since then, I knew I was going to be a stay-at-home-mom. It literally started with a dream I had one night, and strong feelings about this decision when I woke up. Even up until now, I have had extremely consistent, and strong impressions about this decision. This was NOT an easy road to take, because I had ‘my plan’ of what life would be like, and this was definitely not it. So I had a little ‘identity crisis,’ because I thought I knew exactly how things would work out, how many years I would work, etc. But now I know this is my path at this particular time in my life.

I realize many people look down on my decision to “waste my degree” (yes, people have said that.) But frankly, I think they are wrong, and ignorant. I am not “wasting” anything.

  • First of all, when it comes to my family, nothing is a “waste.”
  • Second, I am constantly using my knowledge for my family as well as in my community. Constantly.
  • And third, when the time comes that I am ready to begin working full-time, I will. I will always have that option. Work will always be there. But Samuel won’t be little forever, and my family is my priority.

This is a sacrifice we were willing to make as a family, and Kasen was, of course, wonderful enough to support whatever decision I chose, whether it was to work or stay at home. By living off one income we lose out on some “luxuries” in life. We aren’t rich, we can’t buy whatever we want, whenever we want, and we still live in an apartment for now. But we absolutely have more than we even ‘need’ and I’m happy to live this simple life so I can be here to take care of our Sam. It’s a blessing and a privilege.

Here is a little blurb from one of my favorite blog posts about a man’s opinion(s) on SAHM’s:

It’s true — being a mom isn’t a “job.” A job is something you do for part of the day and then stop doing. You get a paycheck. You have unions and benefits and break rooms. I’ve had many jobs; it’s nothing spectacular or mystical. I don’t quite understand why we’ve elevated “the workforce” to this hallowed status. Where do we get our idea of it? The Communist Manifesto? Having a job is necessary for some — it is for me — but it isn’t liberating or empowering. Whatever your job is — you are expendable. You are a number. You are a calculation. You are a servant. You can be replaced, and you will be replaced eventually. Am I being harsh? No, I’m being someone who has a job. I’m being real.

If your mother quit her role as mother, entire lives would be turned upside down; society would suffer greatly. The ripples of that tragedy would be felt for generations. If she quit her job as a computer analyst, she’d be replaced in four days and nobody would care. Same goes for you and me. We have freedom and power in the home, not the office…

Yes, my wife is JUST a mother. JUST. She JUST brings forth life into the universe, and she JUST shapes and molds and raises those lives. She JUST manages, directs and maintains the workings of the household, while caring for children who JUST rely on her for everything. She JUST teaches our twins how to be human beings, and, as they grow, she will JUST train them in all things, from morals, to manners, to the ABC’s, to hygiene, etc. She is JUST my spiritual foundation and the rock on which our family is built. She is JUST everything to everyone. And society would JUST fall apart at the seams if she, and her fellow moms, failed in any of the tasks I outlined.

Yes, she is just a mother. Which is sort of like looking at the sky and saying, “Hey, it’s just the sun.”

Here is the link to the full post.

Here is another link to a favorite short video on how amazing moms are, whether they work inside or outside the home!

Of course, not all women can (or want to) be at home with their children, and that works for them. These are personal decisions! All I’m saying is I shouldn’t be knocked down for mine.

My mom is a nurse, and has been for over 30 years, but had the opportunity to stay at home with the first three kids, after which, she decided it was her time to return to the workforce. That worked for her. I know mothers who work full-time, or attend school full-time and that is what is best for their families. That is their path. That does not make them any more or less important than anyone.

I saw this on Facebook and found it very fitting:

IMG_7700

It’s already been quite the experience with Sam in these short three weeks. I get peed on an awful lot. Today, I was projectile pooped on during a diaper change. I get his spit up in my freshly washed hair. My shirts are constantly covered in breast milk because of my messy little eater. But despite the grossness of it all, this is the most rewarding thing I have ever done.

I love laying next to Sam and cuddling him. I love staring at him. I love holding him, and playing with him. I love comforting him. I love talking to him. I love seeing his crazy, adorable smile. I love everything about being his mom, and staying at home with him. Thus far, motherhood has been tiring and incredibly messy, but it is one of the greatest things I have ever been a part of.

Pick-Me-Up Post

Passing on another pick-me-up that came into my email box:

  • Give up the habit of waiting. – The way you spend your time defines who you are.  You don’t get to choose how you are going to die, or when; you can only decide how you are going to live right now.  Trust me, a year from now you will wish you had started today.
  • Give up the lingering excuses. – Sooner or later you will come to realize that it’s not what you lose along the way that counts; it’s what you do with what you still have.  When you let go, forgive, and move on, you in no way change the past, you change the future.
  • Give up blaming everyone else. – Either you own your situation or it will own you.  Either you take responsibility for your life, or someone else will.  Blame is a scapegoat – it’s an easy way out of taking accountability for your own outcome.  It’s a lot easier to point the finger at someone or something else instead of looking within.  Blame is not constructive; it does not help you or anyone else – nobody wins in the blame game.  The amount of energy and stress it takes to place blame elsewhere takes away from your ability to move forward and find a real solution.
  • Give up trying to be perfect. – Sometimes we try to show the world that we are flawless in hopes that we will be liked and accepted by everyone.  But we can’t please everyone, and we shouldn’t try.  The beauty of us lies in our vulnerability, our love, our complex emotions – our authentic imperfections.  When we embrace who we are and decide to be authentic, instead of perfect, we open ourselves up to real relationships, real happiness, and real success.  There is no need to put on a mask.  There is no need to pretend to be someone you’re not.  You are perfectly imperfect just the way you are.

 

Our Sweet Samuel

Last week, Tuesday, March 4th at 5:50 p.m. our sweet Samuel Calvin Burris was born. The labor and delivery was an amazing experience. It was literally perfect in every single way, and incredibly peaceful and sweet.  Although I won’t share the details of his birth story on my blog, I would be more than happy to share my experience with any family and friends who ask me personally. It was such a special experience that I don’t feel I need to blog about it.

I honestly don’t know much else to say other than that it was one of the most wonderful experiences of my life, and he is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. Most days, I still can’t believe he is mine. I find myself staring at him, admiring the little miracle he is and feel so blessed to have such a sweet spirit in our home to love, protect, teach and raise.

We have been spoiled this past week, with my in-laws in town to help us cook and clean, and also having my family nearby to help, it really has made for a (dare I say) smooth transition. Overall, Samuel is so relaxed and sweet. I feel like he will be a lot like dad. I’ve always felt that since I got pregnant with him. So far it has proven to be that way. I feel pretty blessed.

Our sweetheart is now one week and one day old. So yesterday, on his one week birthday, we had a newborn photo shoot in our home, in his nursery. I’m really excited to get the photos back, but here is a little sneak peek in the meantime:

IMG_7511

IMG_7513

IMG_7509

And a professional sneak peek:

1959927_662241260502932_2007853101_n

Samuel also had his baby blessing last night in our home, which was just how we wanted it to be, a small, personal gathering.

There have been times over this past week where I have felt so overcome with joy and filled with so much love and happiness, that I cry. I look at my husband and my son, and think to myself that it really could not get any better, but I know it will. It always does. I literally did not know the depth of this happiness and love existed.

Productivity & Freezer Meals

I feel pretty dang good today, as far as energy goes. Well, at least I ‘felt’ good. Now I’m spent and every part of my body aches, especially my feet! Anyway, I made a bunch of stuff today in preparations for the busy, crazy days we have ahead of us. Here’s what I made:

The first four meals are some freezer meals that friends had shared with me or that I found, cooked and tested. I was pretty happy with these since I’m kind of picky… okay a lot picky being pregnant. Of course, I modified them, taking things out and adding new things in, according to what we had in our refrigerator and pantry. I rarely ever cook with exact ingredients/measurements.

Hopefully you find one you like, and share any recipes with me if you have any!