Easter and Bluebonnets

As usual, I didn't get too many pictures on my actual camera. It's really difficult to tote that big thing around while chasing a toddler. For real! Anyway, we had a beautiful Easter. We started our day with Mass, and then we traveled down the road to Chappell Hill for our Kmiec family reunion. Every year we attempt to take pictures in the bluebonnets on Easter Sunday. As we drive to Chappell Hill we try to find the best place. We pass the best places and usually end up turning around and settling for the last "best" place we saw...

This year was a little different. Kind of. We were turning around to go back to said "last best place" and ended up on a narrow, never ending, dead end, dirt road. There were zero driveways so we just kept going. And we stumbled upon the best patch of bluebonnets ever. I wont dare tell you where they are! It's our new sweet spot! Ha!

So, I managed to get a couple pictures of the kids before we left, and then the bluebonnet pictures, of course. Laura wore this cute and ridiculous hat, and I so wish I would have taken it off for one pic in her Easter dress! She really loved it though. It may actually fit next year....

His smile. I cant even.

Avah's First Holy Communion

"If angels could be jealous of men, they would be so for one reason: Holy Communion."
-St. Maximillian Kolbe

 Our sweet Avah received her First Holy Communion on her 9th birthday. She spent many months preparing for this very special day, and through her preparations, she has grown so much in her faith.

 Just like her big sister, Avah was able to wear the same veil 
I wore when I made my First Holy Communion.

Avah and Callan.

Our wonderful priest and our sweet girls.

Our wonderful Deacon and our girls. 

Beautiful cookies made by Rachel from Sugar Junkie

whole 30. now what?

Yesterday was the final day of my Whole 30 adventure. It wasn't easy, but it was not as hard as I expected it to be. I am actually pretty shocked that I made it a whole 30 days without added sugar, grains, dairy, legumes, and alcohol. The whole 30 is basically a very strict version of the Paleo diet. A few years back, I pretty much ate this way, only I did eat dairy. We totally fell off that wagon. I mean BIG TIME. I don't want that to happen again because I sure feel great now. I do feel like I need more time on the whole 30 to really kick my sugar addiction, but I am really ready to not be so strict. So I've been brainstorming to figure out what exactly life after the whole 30 looks like for me.
This week I plan on following the reintroduction plan laid out by the creators of the Whole 30. So, for the next 10 days, this is what life looks like:
Day 1: Evaluate legumes, while keeping the rest of your diet Whole30 compliant. Try some peanut butter on your green apple with breakfast, a bowl of miso soup at lunch, and a side of black beans with dinner, while paying attention to how you feel. Then, go back to the Whole30 for the next two days, and see how things go. Pay attention, evaluate and decide how, how often and how much to incorporate legumes into your regular diet—if at all.
Day 4: Evaluate non-gluten grains*, while keeping the rest of your diet Whole30 compliant. Eat a serving of white rice, some corn tortilla chips, and a slice of gluten-free bread, while paying attention to how you feel. Then, return to the Whole30 for the next two days, and see how things go. Pay attention, evaluate and decide how, how often and how much to incorporate non-gluten grains into your regular diet—if at all. *Corn, rice, certified gluten-free oats, quinoa, etc.
Day 7: Evaluate dairy, while keeping the rest of your diet Whole30 compliant. Have yogurt in the morning, some cheese in the afternoon, and ice cream after dinner, while paying attention to how you feel. Then, return to the Whole30 for the next two days, and see how things go. Pay attention, evaluate and decide how, how often and how much to incorporate dairy into your regular diet—if at all.
Day 10: Evaluate gluten-containing grains*, while keeping the rest of your diet Whole30 compliant. Gluten is such nasty stuff that we want to break it out from the other grains, so you can evaluate it all by itself. Over the course of your day, eat a muffin, two slices of whole wheat bread, and a side of whole wheat pasta, while paying attention to how you feel. Then, return to the Whole30 for the next two days, and see how things go. Pay attention, evaluate and decide how, how often and how much to incorporate gluten grains into your regular diet—if at all. *Anything made from wheat, rye, or barley.
- See more at: http://whole30.com/step-two-finished/#sthash.QtqDxN4M.dpuf
I also plan on incorporating my 21 day fix containers. I know that the next step in this journey is portion control. I pretty much ate my fill of any legal foods on the whole 30. I didn't want to risk crazy hunger taking over my brain and causing me to fail. Laura is still nursing, so my food intake can often be a lot. Some days I don't find myself very hungry, but when she goes through a growth spurt, or needs to nurse for comfort more often, I get a little crazy with the caloric needs.

I really look forward to gaining control over this part of my diet. I should be finishing up physical therapy next week, and I hope to start p90X3 at that time. I am super craving workouts. I know running will be happen in the future, but I doubt that it will happen in the very near future. I really need to build up some hip strength before I let my knee loose like that. Im certain that Ill have to modify some of the p90x3 workouts as my knee continues to heal. My physical therapist is certain that strength training and added flexibility will solve all of my issues though.
I LOVE using the p90x app to keep me on track with my workouts. If you haven't used this app, you should! I'm super excited about the new 21 day fix tracking app. I'll start using it today.

Once I figure out which foods don't agree with me, I'll be able to really nail down just what my paleo diet will look like. I plan on bringing in vegan shakeology after this 10 day phase. It's not totally paleo compliant, but the nutrition is excellent and it will help with my 4pm cravings. My goal is 80% paleo, or paleo while at home. I'll do my best to stay compliant when were on the go, but if I want a piece of birthday cake, I'll probably do that. If my sugar intake gets out of control again, I'll definitely do the Whole 30 again to get that in check. I know it works, and I know I can do it.
So, while weight loss wasn't my main goal, I did lose almost 8 lbs. Clothes fit me a lot better, and my body just feels lighter. I'm not bloated and I have ZERO post nasal drip. My "seasonal allergies" are no more, and my face has never been so clear. I did switch to a Norwex cloth during my Whole 30, so that may also have something to do with it. All in all, I would say the Whole 30 was amazing for my body.
Laura is still breastfeeding so I was also monitoring her as well. Prior to the Whole 30, she spit up excessively. She showed a lot of signs of reflux, but she was a "happy spitter" so I didn't seek treatment for it. Currently, she rarely spits up. Sometimes its once after each feeding, and sometimes its nothing at all for the entire day. It's such a drastic change! So during this reintroduction, I'll have to keep a close eye on how her body reacts as well.
So there you have it. I'll update after July is over. I'm praying I can stick with this!

only a month or so late

I mean. It could be worse. Well, maybe not. I swear, I suck at blogging. Sometimes I question why I even have this blog. I forget to blog, I "don't have time" (read: I spend too much time on FB and IG) to blog, I have nothing to say (ha! yeah right)... its all a bunch of you know what. So, lets get some updates on these wonderful children of mine. Lets start with Laura. I dont say enough about her on Instagram, so let me share some of her three month pictures. We came home from church one Sunday and she looked just way too cute. It was the perfect day for pictures! I wont go into any long updates because lets face it, you can get almost daily updates on Insta. I'm for reals. Samuel was my assistant, and he got some pretty cute smiles from our little Laura girl.

side note: the coloring is looking strange... looks totally different in my PS window. hmmm

My goal is to actually print these pictures before her first birthday. Its really sad. I should be ashamed of the lack of pictures in this home.

This girl. She just melts me.


i drank applesauce from the jar.

That. It happened. I'm on day 22 of the Whole 30. Apparently day 22 (for me) is the day that you lose your mind. I am grumpy and mad and I want chocolate chip cookies, a huge glass of cold milk, and a movie. And I want it NOW. So, about 20 minutes ago I hit my breaking point. I opened a jar of applesauce and I drank that ish right out of the jar. And if applesauce is illegal on the Whole 30, don't you dare tell me. Because on MY Whole 30, its legit. LEGIT. Week 1 was crappy in that ohmygosh-I-have-a-headache-but-its-totally-fine-because-Im-being-all-trendy-and-Im-going-to-feel-SO-GOOD-in-like-22-days...


 Week 2 was ok... there was bloating and fatigue but I felt pretty good overall.


 Week 3 was glorious. I was brave enough to go in public and be all strong in my food choices. I was gonna live like this for-EVA.


 And then we stumbled into week 4 and right now... I'd probably slap you for your chocolate chip cookies. Did I mention that I want cookies?

 So right now I have about 7.5 days left until this madness is over. And then there is the whole reintroduction of the bad foods week. That is actually going to be way fun. I just know it. Do you see the sarcasm oozing off the screen?

 As you can see, the food has really been amazing. I have learned to cook like never before. I've learned that I really love chocolate. I've also learned that I eat just to eat. Because it tastes good, or I'm having a bad day, or I want to relax. All of those reasons suck. So, thats what Ill be working on next. Yay. Just yay.


Ive already introduced you to our newest little tejedatot.. but heres her little back story! I've never really enjoyed being pregnant, and Ive really never missed it. This time, I fully admit that I miss being pregnant... parts of it. Which is weird, because this was by far my hardest pregnancy. Maybe even the hardest year of my life. But, its true. I miss it. We found out I was pregnant again the Monday after I came home from a retreat. Throughout the retreat I felt odd. M&Ms made me gag, and I felt light headed every so often. Sure enough, I was pregnant. I was very happy, but also fearful. My youngest was 4 years old and I was out of the "baby stage" already. I told a few close friends so that they could join me in praying for a healthy baby, but we decided not to tell anyone else just yet.

 Well, around my 6th week, I went to interview a midwife. I really liked her and it felt like a great fit, but my insurance required that I file for an in network exemption. The wait for approval was long, and I was already getting sick enough to need medication. I was laying on the couch almost all day to avoid being sick. Motion seemed to be my trigger. The midwife suggested I see an OB to get medication prescribed and to have an early ultrasound to be sure all was well. She suggested a local OB so I made an appointment with her. I was hopeful that my insurance would approve the midwife, but I wanted a backup plan.  I decided to interview the OB at my appointment, just in case.  I went to my appointment and in walked this tiny, adorable little doctor. We started talking and I instantly felt like she was the person I wanted to deliver my baby. It was completely not in my plans and I didn't expect to feel this way at all. She was Catholic, laid back, a huge supporter of natural child birth, and pregnant herself! We just clicked and I decided that even if my insurance approved the midwife, I was going to see this OB. She gave me the same medication that worked perfectly with Samuel. I came home and was convinced that a few days of medication would straighten me out and Id feel great. Well, days went by and I was NOT getting better. I was getting worse. I couldn't keep much down, and walking made me sicker than I've ever been. I was weak, and tired, and miserable. We played around with my meds and in the end, it was decided that I should stay in bed as much as possible until the morning sickness passed. At my next appointment we noticed a significant weight loss so I was diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum. The first half of my pregnancy was miserable. My poor family had to get by without much help from me. My husband did all of the cooking and cleaning. My big girls picked up the slack while he worked. They were fantastic. My son would come sit with me and entertain me, ha! As I approached 15 weeks, my hopes of the sickness going away got higher and higher. I kept waiting to wake up and feel better. Day after day passed, and that just didn't happen. Around 20 weeks or so, the sickness eased up some, but it was still there. I was on medication for the entire pregnancy. I gained horrible amounts of weight thanks to those meds, but they kept the baby healthy and happy. Thats all that really mattered to me. I was pretty upset that I couldn't workout, but every time I tried I got sick. I pretty much accepted that I was just going to be sick until our baby was here.

Everything wasn't all horrible. I had so much fun torturing everyone around me. We decided not to find out the sex of our baby, and that pretty much drives everyone insane. I loved that! I also loved the looks on some strangers faces. We would go places and I could actually see people counting my children and then looking at my belly. Funny. Yes, 3 kids and 1 on the way. Not a big deal people! Yes, we know how this happens. ha!

Towards the end of my pregnancy, I started having mild contractions. That was something new for me, so I was kind of excited. Maybe I would actually go into labor on my own this time! Actually, my doctor agreed early on to never mention induction. And she didn't. She never uttered that word. Around 38 weeks the contractions were getting pretty regular, but they weren't doing just a whole lot. Each week came and went and I stayed very pregnant. Our surprise baby had no impatient bone in his or her body. I had a very good feeling that I would go to about 41 weeks, and I was right. But then, I just kept going. We got to 41 weeks and 5 days and thats when I lost my mind. I crawled into my bathtub (something I did every single night for the last weeks of pregnancy) and sobbed. I cried and cried and cried. I was going to be pregnant forever. I was never going to meet my baby. My body was a failure. I had never experienced labor without induction, and I was so sure I would this time... but at 41 weeks and 5 days I just knew I wouldn't. I went to bed that night with puffy, red eyes and a broken heart.

  February 4, 2015

Around 2:30 am I was awake with contractions. No big deal. This was something Id been experiencing every day for almost 4 weeks. I drifted in and out of sleep for a while and then I decided to time the contractions. Something was different. I just had a feeling this was real. I pulled up the contraction timing app and started timing. After 45 minutes of regular contractions, I decided that it was in fact real. I was actually in labor. So, I did what any excited and overdue mama would do. I went to sleep. Yeah. I slept until about 6am. The contractions were waking me up at this point, and they hurt. I got up and showered. I got dressed and packed my bags. I finally woke my husband up and told him I was in labor. I was really calm. I didn't see that coming. I just went about my morning and paused for contractions. Around 10am they were getting a lot stronger. Not closer, but more intense. I had to breathe through them, focus through them. My grandma walked over to bring some sandwiches for my husband to take to work, and I told her I was in labor and needed the kids to go home with her now. I felt like things were about to move quickly because of how intense the contractions were. We loaded up the truck and headed to the hospital. The hospital was about 35-40 miles away. That was a miserable drive. On the way to the hospital I was thinking back on the past 3 times I was driven to the hospital for a baby. Those times I was not in labor, and I was very anxious and scared. This time was better. I was very much in labor, but I was very calm. When we got to the hospital, I told the lady in the ER that I was in labor and she asked me for my due date. I told her it was January 22. She asked me if I meant February 22. I said no, January 22 was correct. She didn't really believe me and asked again if I was sure I wasn't mistaken. I laughed and said I was so very sure that I was 41 weeks, 6 days pregnant. Ha!  A very chatty nurse came down and collected us from the waiting room. She also quizzed me on my due date and made extra sure that I was really "that" overdue. After she did all of my data entry and got the baby on the monitor and such, she checked me. I was about 4cm and very much in labor. She couldn't pick the contractions up on the monitor at all. I told her I was only feeling them in my back. I could feel that my baby was facing up, but I still thought I would hit transition quickly. I had in my previous labors, so I thought I would this time. Wrong. Hours went by. I labored in all the positions I could think of to get this baby to flip over. I knew that was why we were laboring this way. It was slow and steady. The contractions got progressively stronger, but not closer together. As the hours went by, I felt more and more tired. I didn't want to eat, but I drank lots of juice to keep my energy up. I could still feel the baby facing up. I was praying for our baby to please just flip over. Lets get this over with! Sometime between 4 and 5Pm I hit transition. It was so very painful. A different kind of pain than I remembered from my previous deliveries. But, it was much easier for me to work through without pitocin. I felt like I had so much control and I was doing such a good job breathing through them. Around 6Pm, I asked for the doctor to come. I was pushy. Sure enough, I was almost complete. I couldn't wait to push. I remembered how much relief I felt when pushing. When it was time to push, I couldn't get in a good rhythm. It just wouldn't come. Something wasn't clicking the way it should. My breathing was getting wild, and I was starting to feel like I was losing that control I had. My doctor grabbed my attention and said something to me. It was along the lines of FOCUS! Thats all I needed. She pulled me back out of my own head and I could focus. I dug deep and felt the baby was also ready to cooperate. Its a joint effort you know... theres only so much I could do without the cooperation of my little one! After 2 really good pushes, my tiny little doctor asked me if I wanted my daughter on my chest. I said YES! .... wait... my DAUGHTER? I asked my husband if she said daughter? He nodded and said yes! And oh my gosh. She was perfect.

A special thanks to my dear friend Sarah. She captured some great photos of Laura's first few days with us. I am so thankful that she shared her talents with us!

my baby must-haves

Laura is now 2 months old. (SLOW DOWN!) I spent a lot of time really going through my baby gear lists while I was pregnant. Since there was a pretty large gap between Samuel and Laura, I knew there would be new things to discover too. This list is certainly not for everyone, but I have found these products to be my favorites.


1. Swaddle Blankets. You honestly cant have a baby and not own swaddle blankets. They are WONDERFUL. We no longer swaddle for sleep, but we use them as everyday blankets now. We live in Texas, and its HOT here most of the time. These light weight blankets are absolutely perfect for Texas summers. Its not quite summer yet, but I can already tell you that we will use these blankets year round. I have 2 favorite brands. My MOST favorite is Sweetheart-N-Sunshine. We were gifted one of these blankets at our baby shower. Its my go-to. I don't like when its in the hamper, and I use it darn near every day. I am going to order several more because I will probably wash the life out of this thing! You so want one of these blankets. You can find them here: Jersey Knit Light-Weight Swaddle I also love Aden+Anais. We only have a few, but they are really nice. My only complaint is that they snag easily on my wedding ring. But thats really a minor issue. This is my favorite blanket to nurse with. I don't like a thick nursing cover, and neither does Laura. This blanket lets enough light in and I can just tuck the top of the blanket into my bra strap. It drapes nicely and is large enough to cover everything. A swaddle that doubles as a nursing cover? Yes, please! Aden + Anais Swaddleplus

2. Video Monitor. So, this is something I didn't want to live without. For nighttime sleep, we co-sleep for the first few years. Naps are a different story. I like a good, strong nap schedule. I like for baby to take his or her 1PM nap in his or her bedroom. Well, our house is MUCH bigger this time around, and I need to keep an eye on my babe without needing to track through the house multiple times during nap time. Enter the video monitor. This brand is FANTASTIC. The clarity is perfect. So clear that I can see Laura breathing. We bought the dual monitor so that we could have one camera in Samuel's room. Its really perfect for bedtime since I'm usually needed in my bed to nurse Laura at the same time Sam is falling asleep. I can keep an eye on him and even tell him 100 times just how much I love him though the monitor. Our nights have been so much smoother now that we have the monitor set up in his room. Laura is starting to nap in her room once a day too. Summer Infant Dual View Monitor

3. Beco Butterfly. Really, any beco or ergo or tula or whatever brand SSC floats your boat. I chose the Beco because I do not have very broad shoulders. The ergo was too full on my shoulders. The beco just fits very trim to my body. I would not ever say to anyone that they need to buy this or that brand. I think you need to try them on and see which one fits YOUR body. I own wraps and slings and such. I do love them, but nothing compares to the beco. I love this carrier. Laura loves this carrier. We use it almost daily. We shop in it, I cook in it, she naps in it, I teach in it, and it has saved our day many times! Beco Baby Carriers

4. Rock-N-Play. Y'all. This thing is great! Laura slept at night in this thing for the first 3-4 weeks of her life. We are co-sleepers, but I don't usually put my baby in bed with us until around 4 weeks. She naps in the RNP every day in her nursery. We use it while Im cooking. We put it on the porch while we are outside. We seriously use it all.the.time. Get one! Rock N Play Sleeper

5. Thirsties XS diaper cover. If you cloth diaper, you probably can't decide between sized and one size covers. I prefer one size. All the way. BUT, they dont fit well until around 2 months or 12ish lbs. At least, thats been my experience. So, for the first month or 2, I like a sized cover. Thirsties XS are great! They're small enough for a newborn, but stretchy enough to get you through to the one size. No other brand did this for us. Laura can still fit in one, and she is not a small baby. Anyway, its a great cover. For one size, I like econobums or flips. Thirsites Diaper Cover

6. Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter baby products. Oh boy. I love this line of baby "beauty" products. We own the head to toe wash and body lotion. They smell heavenly. They are clean. They are affordable. Perfect! Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Baby

7. Pampers Swaddlers. Well, we do use cloth diapers. But I'm not 100% cloth. Not ever. I use pampers at night and when we are on the go. Ive tried some of the natural brands and I just don't love. Pampers are a win here in this house. I also love their wipes. Pampers Swaddlers 

8. CJs Butter. Oh. I love this stuff. Its cloth diaper safe, and you can use it for all sorts of things other than diaper cream. I put some in a separate container for my lips. My grandpa loves it for his lips too. We use the lavender and tea tree scent, but I'm sure the others are just as great. We really LOVE this cream! CJ's Butter

9. Nose Frida. This was something new for me to use as a mama. I wasn't super sure about it to be honest. I mean, it seems a little gross. Moms everywhere assured me that it was a MUST and that it wasn't gross at all. Ok. So. Its great. It really ISNT gross and it works wonders. Laura gets a little snotty from time to time and a couple sucks from the nose frida do the trick. I like to use Little Noses saline solution first. Nose Frida

10. Mud Pie Diaper Bag. Ok, I don't love a "that looks like a diaper bag" diaper bag. But I really love this one. I love the bags that look like purses, and Im sure Ill use one eventually. Newborns require a lot of stuff, and this bag allows me to organize it so beautifully. I really love this bag. Its really pretty too. I use thirty-one envelope bags to organize things inside the bag. Its super handy. Perhaps Ill do a blog post on the diaper bag to show you. Anyway, this bag is huge. Like super huge. But I have never run out of room, and I usually stuff my beco in this bag too! This is the best diaper bag Ive ever owned, and Ive owned a lot of diaper bags! ha! Mud Pie Diaper Bag *Local mamas, I bought mine at Paris Pink, Cowboy Blue. They still have some! Go grab one!

 So, what do you think? What would you add to this list?

  Note: this is NOT a sponsored post. I actually use these products with Laura!