Tuesday, November 27, 2012

6 Month Check Up

Reese had her 6 month check up yesterday and I wanted to record her stats here so I remember them!

Weight: 15lb 8.5oz
Length: Almost 27 inches
Head Circumference: About 17.25 inches

Reese is doing well/advanced in: Gross Motor Skills - meaning that she is almost crawling which really impressed the doctor and she's able to feed herself crackers.  Both are above her skill set.

Reese is still developing in: Language skills - meaning that she is apparently supposed to be babbling but she isn't.  She makes sounds, two syllable sounds, but she does not repeat them.  No sounds like "ba-ba-ba-ba".  The doctor seemed concerned for a moment that she might have a hearing problem but Reese responds to her name and other noises so it's not an issue.

Other notes: Reese still has a clogged tear duct in her right eye that hasn't cleared up.  While it's not a huge concern, if it's still present in a month, we'll probably have to see a pediatric optometrist and we'll discuss probing the tear duct to clear the blockage.  That sounds like it will suck but if it makes her better I guess.

The doctor was overall very impressed with Reese.  The fact that she's moving (army crawling) is super advanced.  We also spoke about the fact that Reese only takes one nap per day but she's gaining weight well and seems overall happy so she wasn't too concerned.  She was actually impressed that Reese goes from 7pm to 6am without food or waking up (now that we re-trained her) because apparently that's also advanced.  She said she would expect 6-8 hours, not 11.

All good news for Reese!

Monday, November 26, 2012


I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving.  We did.  It was made even better by 2 things.

1) Reese was born on 5/21.  Since June of this year, I have been fighting with Aflac to get disability money from them on a policy that I had prior to getting pregnant.  There have been all sorts of reasons why they didn't want to pay me and I've been wading my way through their paperwork and call center trying to get this taken care of.  Mind you, Reese is 6 months old now.

The issue is that approximately 6 days prior to Reese's birth, I stopped working.  See, I was going to have a baby and wanted a few days to myself.  Since this was a contract position and I had already accepted a full time position elsewhere, I was no longer employed by K Company. 

Even though I wasted numerous breaths and hours explaining this to Aflac, they still needed an Employer statement filled out despite the fact that I did not have an employer at the time of the "incident".

I finally got someone at K Company to fill out the paperwork for me and submit it.  I got a letter from Aflac on Saturday and was sure it was telling me my claim had been denied yet again for various stupid reasons.  You can imagine how pleased I was to find a check!  Victory is mine!

*Side note: If you are planning to have a baby but are not yet pregnant, I suggest you talk to an Aflac agent.  At the very minimum, get Hospital Indemnity coverage which paid me right around $3K for my hospital stay with Reese.  It doesn't matter what your current insurance covers, they don't even ask.  You submit the hospital bill along with some claim forms (does not require an Employer statement) and they send you a check.  Your amount may vary depending on how much you pay in and you have to pay for 10 months prior to having the child but in the end we got roughly 2.5x what we paid in.

2) We re-trained Reese to sleep through the night.  I know, I know, it was like 1.5 months ago that I was talking about training her and how successful it was and now I had to re-do it all.  She started waking up once a night at like 3am and I started going and nursing her then.  I told myself that she was growing and hungry and gave in. 

Well, enough is enough and we put a stop to it over the weekend.  We've had 2 nights in a row of solid sleep and it's great.  I will probably eat my words in a few months when she's teething but for now, it's great.

So yes, I was able to claim victory over 2 things in my life and I am happy to do so!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Brazilian for your Head

Friday was my last furlough day at my company and I spent it as a Me Day.  Both girls went to their respective daycares/preschools, C went to work and I did whatever I wanted to do.  You should know that doing what I wanted to do included running on the treadmill, getting my hair done, doing laundry and spending time cleaning the house.  So a little Me time and a little House time.

A while ago, I bought a groupon for a Brazillian Blowout which I have been DYING to get done.  For those who don't know me IRL, I have wavy, frizzy, thick hair that can be hard to manage.  I usually would end up either spending 30 minutes blowdrying & straightening it or spending 10 minutes putting mousse and other crap in it and scrunching it to wear it curly.  It was extremely rare that you would ever see me with wet hair since I hated it in its air dried state.

I bought the groupon (Note: I say groupon to mean any daily deal thing.  I think this one was actually from Living social.) and decided to treat myself.  I really had no idea what to expect, I only hoped that it would make my mornings easier by reducing the amount of time I spend on my hair.

The process took about 2.5 hours - it varies based on how long your hair is and how thick it is.  They wash it twice with a clarifying shampoo to remove any products or oils that might be present.  Then they apply the solution in sections which seems the same as applying color.  It's then blowdried completely and flat ironed in tiny sections to seal in the chemicals and finally washed again to remove any excess chemicals.

After it was finished, my hair looked so healthy and shiny and felt amazing.  It was 100% straight, something I've never had before. 

I waited 48 hours before washing it which was difficult and I felt icky.  My hair seemed to hold up pretty well but I wouldn't have gone anywhere the 2nd day until showering.  I also avoided putting my hair in a ponytail just to be sure I wouldn't introduce any kinks.

I was finally able to wash it on Sunday and I blowdried it afterward and was amazed.  There's almost no need to even use a flatiron now.  Just to touch up the ends I suppose and curl them under.  It's insane and SO much faster than it used to be!

I want this to last as long as possible (max 3 months) so I'm only washing it every other day, which is taking some getting used to.  I put some baby powder on my roots today to get rid of some oil.  I think my hair needs to adjust as well so things should be better before too long. 

All in all, it was an amazing treat for myself.  If it didn't cost so much normally, I would absolutely do it every 3 months.  As it is, I can maybe see myself doing it once a year, maybe when summer starts so that mornings go faster and to beat the humidity.

Absolutely, 100% recommend!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Losing It

You know that commercial on TV with the cartoon couple where the wife talks about losing weight?  And she talks about how she & her husband give up carbs together and he loses like 20lbs and she loses 3?

This is my real life.

It's not like I expected the baby weight to melt off right away, I've done this before and I'm older now.  I know that it takes time and some effort.  But I also know that breastfeeding should be helping this journey.

I've been trying meaning to work out but it's hard with 2 kids.  I get home from work, after picking up both girls and feed/entertain them while we wait for C to get home.  IF he gets home at a reasonable time and IF it's not my turn to make dinner and IF the girls are cooperative, then MAYBE I'll have time to run.  And you ladies know that getting ready to run takes time to change into workout clothes, remove make-up, and stretch all before you can actually get moving.  Add in finding your water bottle and headphones and finding something that you can actually listen to, while, most nights it just doesn't even happen.

C always says that if I want to work out then I'll make it happen.  He certainly does.  He runs 2-3x per week with one of those being a long run on the weekend.  I admire his dedication and the fact that he truly does make it happen.

Back to the commercial, weight is like melting off him.  He complains all the time about his pants being too big or shirts ballooning on him.  I only feel a little sorry for him.

I've actually told him not to lose any more weight, not because I'm jealous (mostly), but because I don't think it's healthy for him.  He weighs something like 165 and I think that's low for his frame.

In the mean time, I lost 20lbs in 5.5 months but those last 10 seem determined to hang around.  And it's not that I weight a horrible number (142) but it's more than I'd like. 

I managed to run 3x last week, including one family trip to the Y.  I'd like to keep it up and see if I can get the scale moving again.  I'd like to at least set a good foundation before the holidays hit.

Unlike the commercial, I won't be taking supplements.

Monday, November 5, 2012

You Get What You Pay For

JC Penny is running a promotion right now with their photo studios where you get free sitting fees, a free 8x10" picture and a free (low resolution) digital image just for coming in.  Their hope, I assume, is that you'll spend lots of money buying pictures from them to make up for all the things they waived.

One of the things I wanted for my birthday was to do a nice family photo shoot to get an image we could use on a Christmas card.  My thought was that we'd get a photographer to come do a family shoot and end up with precious photos of our family and the girls to put in our home.

Instead, after seeing the promotion, we decided to give jcp a shot.

I had misgivings because they're a corporation after all.  It wasn't at my home, it was a big studio.  But I expected that the photographer would take time to ask what we wanted and have creative poses for us.

I told them that we wanted to get some good family photos and some nice pictures of the girls.  We all wore our Converse shoes so I thought it would be fun to use them in some way.  We brought cute hats for the girls to wear as well.

Now, I understand that children are unreliable.  That they don't always co-operate and that they don't understand what's being asked of them.  Especially a 5-month old.  But, given what I asked for you would think that I would get ONE useable picture of both girls together.  I did not.
Don't they look thrilled??
I wish that they had had the multiple shot feature where it would have taken 3-4 shots each time the button was pushed.  This one could have been good.

I don't even know what Addy is doing here.

And here are some good ones:

This will likely be our Christmas card picture.

I cropped this from the above photo - it was the only way to get a good shot of the girls together!

I think we ordered a larger one of this size for our wall, though I feel like she framed it poorly.  There's a lot of empty space above our heads.

So now that you've seen them - here's my thoughts.  The photographer did not suggest any poses other than us standing and holding the girls and seating Reese in a basket with Addy next to her.  I suggested we sit and it was like she'd never thought of that.  I mentioned our shoes and she apparently thought I meant I wanted them cropped out (which she did anyway).  Why would we ALL wear the same shoes if I didn't want them in a picture?

All-in-all, we got what I wanted which was a nice-ish family shot plus a Christmas card photo.  Plus, grand total spent was $12 for the entire thing - sitting fees, digital copy, 2 8X10", 1 5X7", and one 10x13".

We'll try again next year.