Thursday, May 29, 2014

Gavin Thomas :: 6-9 Month Update

I have been trying to pretend that my little baby is not getting superscaryclose to a YEAR old the last few weeks. I was looking over my last update this morning and can't believe how much he has grown and changed since then! I guess that's what happens when you do quarterly updates rather than monthly ones.

We have been having a blast the last few months. Gavin is growing, learning and changing every day, and I just love having him as my little sidekick. We go to Stroller Strides and on play dates, and he has definitely done his fair share of shopping/errand running with me! We are on the move several days per week, so I try and have a low key day at home at least 1-2 days per week if I can. Truth is, Gavin is pretty easy going and he travels pretty well. We are so in for it with our next baby, I can just feel it.

Speaking of traveling, Gavin has already been to New Jersey, Florida, Philadelphia and Fenwick Island this year! We have plans to head to the beach as often as possible this summer, so my little beach baby will be well versed in road trips and sunny, sandy days. 

We made it through Gavin's first few colds and a round of croup during months 7-9. I like to think that I earned some new 'Mom stripes' for battling through croup the week leading up to Easter, and still making it to NJ for the holiday. 

Gavin cut his first two teeth over the last 4-6 weeks, and I will admit, his little toothy grin is probably one of my new favorite things ever. He is constantly on the move, and although he is not 100% crawling yet, he is bouncing, scooting, reaching and rocking with the best of them. My husband is starting to get stressed out because Gavin isn't 00% mobile yet, but I am taking my time and counting my blessings because I know that once it happens (and that day will be SOON), my life will get that much busier! 

Although his mobility may be a little on the slow side, his small motor and verbal skills have really ramped up! He is a total chatterbox and loves pointing, smacking toys together, focusing on small items, playing peek-a-boo, clapping and he even started throwing his arms up in the air for "SO BIG!" from time to time. It is SO. CUTE.

Weight/Height: Gavin is now fully weaned from breastmilk and on formula and solids. He is eating three meals and drinking four 6-7 ounce bottles per day. He also loves to snack of Puffs and Mum-Mums. He is now up to a whopping 21 pounds and is almost 28 inches tall.

Hair/Eyes: His hair is getting lighter all the time. I think we may have a little blondie on our hands by the end of the summer! His eyes are still almost identical in color to mine; a blue/green/hazel blend that changes color from time to time. 

Diapers/Clothing: Gavin is wearing size 3 diapers throughout the day and size 4's overnight. I finally switched to Target diapers and never looked back! He is in mainly 12-18 month clothing, but depending on the store, some of the are 18 or 18-24 months. Talk about growing like a weed! There are so many cute summer clothes for baby boys this year that I have been having a hard time controlling myself. It is safe to say that my child may have a better and more complete wardrobe than me at this point.

Sleeping: Gavin is a great sleeper. I don't even want to take credit for it, as I think we just lucked out with a baby that likes to sleep. He is consistently napping twice a day for 1-2 hours. If we are out of the house in the morning, I typically let him nap in the car or stroller and then take a longer nap at home in the afternoon. He goes to bed between 8-8:30PM and typically wakes up between 7-8AM. Sure, we have our bad days or nights, but I really can't ask for better right now. 

Milestones: We have booked a date and location for Gavin's nautical themed 1st birthday party. I am already emotional about the whole thing and the process has barely started. He went to the beach with his cousins and helped his Daddy celebrate his 30th birthday over Memorial Day weekend. We have plans to head back to the beach at the end of June with my family, and I am so excited for an extended trip with them!

Our baby is turning into such a little boy, and as much as I love it, it's sad and awful at the same time. Ha! I feel so blessed to be able to spend my days with this little guy and cannot wait to see what the next few months have in store for him!

Your Vehicles' Most Advanced Safety Feature Is YOU.

When I got my license, I didn't own a cell phone. I will admit, there were fewer distractions back then. I would load my CD player with a favorite new album fresh from Sam Goody's and be on my way. As time went by, the distractions grew; a 6-disc changer and a cell phone containing numbers and text messages from the friend I was meeting up with that night. Now my smart phone is basically my personal computer, containing all of the contact names, numbers and social sharing that I could want. And all of that distraction tempts me, and I will admit that I have grabbed my phone a few too many times while driving.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the Auto Alliance want to increase awareness about the risks of distracted driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), of the nearly 33,000 roadway fatalities in 2012, there were 3,328 fatalities and approximately 421,000 injuries in distracted driving-related crashes. 

The statistics are scary, right? We are not only responsible for ourselves and the loved ones inside our vehicles when we drive, but we are responsible for helping to protect the other drivers around us as well. This fact really hits home now that I am almost always toting Gavin around with me; the most precious cargo.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS)—the specialists who put bones and limbs back together after road crashes and traumas—along with our partners, the automakers, would rather help all drivers "decide to drive" each time they get in the car and to keep bones and limbs intact. Remember, the most advanced safety feature of any vehicle is the driver. The AAOS and the Auto Alliance urges all drivers to keep their most sophisticated safety features engaged at all times: eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.

The truth is that no text or Instagram update is more important than being the safest driver I can be.  Of course I am not perfect, and I have 'liked' a photo and sent a text while behind the wheel. But, I want to renew my pledge to not be distracted while driving.

AAOS and the Auto Alliance have teamed up and created the Decide to Drive campaign and Catchphrase Contest urging drivers to put down the distractions and take back control of the road. The Decide to Drive program aims to empower drivers and passengers to speak up about distracted driving, continue the conversation at home, work and play, and reduce distracted behaviors behind the wheel. The contest will run from May 30th (tomorrow!) through June 13th and you can learn more about how to enter on their website. 

Do you have the best slogan or catch phrase to make the Decide to Drive campaign pop? Enter the Decide to Drive Catch Phrase Contest between May 28 - June 13. Your words could be chosen as the official Decide to Drive campaign catch phrase, and you could win one of two $500 runner-up prizes or the $1,000 grand prize! Can’t wait to see what you come up with! Enter here:

Will you join me in making an effort to allow less distractions in your vehicle while you're behind the wheel? Let's help in the effort to save more lives. 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Monday, May 19, 2014

That Familiar Tug On The Heartstrings ...

It's happened a few times over the last few months; that familiar tug on my heart strings. The kind that makes your heart jump. Perhaps it's because we are into a pretty good groove. Our schedule is just full enough, we have time for friends and family, and my business is thriving. This blog has taken a bit of a backseat and become review central (I know, I know, I apologize), but I like to think that this is giving me more room to live our days to the fullest.

We have adapted. Things look much different around here than they did just a short year ago. Our home is full of laughter and joy from the sweetest little boy, and we have already made so many memories here. Watching my husband become a father has been one of the greatest joys of my life thus far. He is a natural. So gifted and patient and a wonderful teacher.

It's when I reflect on all of these things that the thought of baby #2 keeps creeping into my head. It has to be all of the new babies that are arriving. Already, Pam?! I mean, we know we want more children, and would like them to be relatively close in age, but has 'that time' already come? For me it has. And even funnier, it's come for B, too.

Who knows what will actually happen over the next several months. But, our hearts are ready to start entertaining the idea of another child, and maybe our heads are starting to catch up.

So tell me, when did you know you were ready to start thinking about baby #2?

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Pack Your Smoothies with Protein!

“This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Nestle, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia  #BreakfastEssentials

I've never really been a 'sit and enjoy a big breakfast' kind of girl. Unless it's a holiday, or I'm home at my parents house in NJ for the weekend, I am usually more of a grab and go kind of girl. In fact, I have the same thing for breakfast most weekdays; I am a creature of habit that way. What is my meal of choice? Most days it consists of a bowl of oatmeal and a homemade smoothie. 

I expect a few things out of my breakfast: it should be simple enough to prepare in a few minutes or less so that my nearly mobile baby doesn't tear my living room to shreds in my absence. It should also taste good and keep me full enough to last several hours. I am known for pushing my lunch until late in the day, so I try and make sure my breakfast is enough to keep me going through my workout/errands/taking care of baby packed morning. 

I am always looking for ways to make my morning routine easier, healthier and more satisfying, so when I found Carnation Breakfast Essentials at Walmart, I was excited to add some more protein, and a little chocolate flavor to my morning smoothie.

I have been making my smoothies the same way for along time. I follow a super simple recipe, and can throw the whole thing together in less than five minutes.

Quick Morning Fruit Smoothie Recipe

What You'll Need:
Heaping handful (about 1 cup) frozen mixed fruit (I typically use mixed berries or a tropical blend that includes pineapple, peaches, mango and strawberries)
About 1 cup of skim milk (you can also sub water or juice of your choice)
1 small container of greek yogurt (your choice: I typically use vanilla or raspberry)
1-2 scoops Carnation Breakfast Essentials powder (comes in chocolate or vanilla flavors)

I combine all of my ingredients in a Magic Bullet cup and then blend it all together. You can also do the same in whatever blender you have at home. I love the Bullet because I can just take the cup with me and go! 

A smoothie is a super easy and quick way to start your morning off right. You can choose exactly what goes into your liquid breakfast, and pack it with nutrients and enough protein to get you through the first chunk of your day. I buy all of my ingredients at local retailers, and right now, when you shop at Walmart, you can use this coupon to get $1.00 off your purchase of any Carnation Breakfast Essentials item. They come in a variety of flavors including chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and chocolate malt. Talk about adding a quick flavor boost to your breakfast! Carnation Breakfast Essentials products include 21 vitamins and minerals, up to 13g of protein per serving, and as much calcium as a 6 ounce cup of yogurt! How is that for packing a punch? And, if you're looking for something a little more exciting, or you like to change your smoothie recipe up each morning, you can get a bunch of smoothie recipe ideas from Carnation right here.

So, what are you waiting for? Go pick up your ingredients and get blending!