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baby Hofmeyer

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Ainsley 3 Month Update

June 3, 2015

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Likes and Dislikes: Little Miss Ainsley is non-stop action and personality these days! I love continuing to get to know her more and more and she truly is so much FUN to be around.

Ainsley Loves: people singing, being lifted into the air again and again by dad, playing in her Jumparoo bouncer, eating, watching her puppies run around the house and laughing at mom and dad

Ainsley Dislikes: having to wait to eat, waking up early from naps (she gets super crabby when she wakes early and can’t fall back asleep), having her onesie changed, going to bed at night

Daytime Schedule: Ainsley is waking up sometime between 6 and 7 each morning. During the day she is awake for about 1 1/2 hours before taking another nap. Her daytime naps are usually only about 1 hour in length, meaning we’re on a 2 1/2 hour schedule throughout the day. It works pretty well for us and means that she is getting extra calories in during the day, which equals better nighttime sleep!

Eating: Ainsley is eating 5 ounces pretty consistently in each bottle and taking between 6 and 7 feedings each day. Her bottles are a 50/50 mix of breast milk and formula. We’re on the fast-track to transitioning to 100% formula, both for my own benefit and because I’m pretty convinced that Ainsley does better on the formula as well.

Sleep: Sleep has gotten quite a bit better this month! We put her down for bed between 7 and 7:30 and then I sneak into her room and give her a “dream feed” around 9:30, right before I go to bed. By doing that, Ainsley can usually sleep until 2 or 3, eat, and then sleep again until morning. Waking up only once in the night is such a game-changer! It’s amazing what five hours of consecutive sleep will do for your mental health!

Family Transition: At the end of Ainsley’s third month of life, I returned to work! I was really emotional and nervous about the whole thing, since I was returning to a “new-old-new” job at General Mills. Basically, I was returning to my “old job” but my job description changed quite a bit after the layoffs and our team was quite a bit smaller, so I still have a lot to learn and catch up on.

Going back to work takes a lot of planning; meal-planning and lunch prepping and packing, getting Ainsley’s bottles ready and making sure we are all prepared to tackle the day ahead. But I’m finding that if I prepare for the week and put in the extra time on the front end, I can enjoy the week all that much more. Ainsley is taking to the childcare situation really well, and I’m convinced that the whole transition is harder for me than it is for her!

Mommy Body Update: The three month mark was the point in the recovery process where I really felt my body had returned to some version of “normal.” Don’t get me wrong, I still have some work to do in terms of strengthening and toning, but I’m fitting into most of my old clothes and feeling a lot more like myself. That said, this month I tossed a couple pairs of jeans that I’m convinced will just never fit the way they used to, and that’s okay, too.

Resources: Same as months 1 and 2!

Pregnancy, Uncategorized

20 Weeks

October 14, 2014

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How far along are you? 20 weeks 1 day 
Cravings? Lately food has really sounded unappealing to me and my appetite seems to either be raging or completely non-existent. It’s strange to fluctuate between the two! Pizza always sounds good, but I’ve been limiting my pizza consumption to once a week and opting for veggies, fruit, whole grains, protein and dairy instead. I’m pretty thankful not to have many cravings, since it means I can eat like my usual self. Sweet still sound terrible most of the time, which is strange since I usually have a huge sweet tooth. 
Weight Gain: I don’t have another doctor’s appointment for 2 weeks but I’m guessing close to 14/15 pounds at this point. 
Fears: We had our follow-up ultrasound with the perinatal specialist today and were blessed and relieved to get a healthy report from the doctor. I was scared to see a specialist, but given our 2-vessel cord, my doctor wanted to make sure everything else was healthy, especially the heart. I was SO nervous for the appointment, but feel such a sense of peace and well-being now, which is the first time I’ve really felt this peaceful all pregnancy. We’ll continue to have monthly ultrasounds to keep an eye on growth, but so far baby continues to measure ahead! Praise be to God! 
Generally Feeling: Great! This week I truly feel fantastic. After battling pregnancy headaches for weeks on end, I started taking an iron supplement since my prenatal didn’t have added iron and I heard that headaches can be a sign that you’re lacking in iron. I haven’t had a headache since and it’s such a relief! 
Looking Forward To: Registering! We haven’t really even thought about registering, but I think it’s time to get on that soon. If you have any registry advice, please let me know! I’m clueless. 
What I’ve Been Loving: Joe felt the baby move for the first time with his hand on my stomach. Seeing his excitement was the highlight of my week! He’s going to be a great dad. 
Maternity Clothes? Nothing new to report here. I have still been loving the maternity dresses I purchased from ASOS (thanks for the recs!) and have been wearing a lot of my pre-maternity tops and pants with the help of the Belly Band. I also purchased a few more pairs of these Gap leggings and a pair of black maternity dress pants so I can wear more of my tops. 
Boy or Girl: Keeping it a surprise until March! 

Madison

Pregnancy, Uncategorized

17 Weeks

September 23, 2014

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How far along are you?  17 weeks 1 day
Generally Feeling: This is the first week that I can say I’m truly starting to feel better. Mornings continue to be hard, since nothing really sounds good, but for the most part the nausea is getting more manageable. I’ve been battling bad headaches in the past couple weeks, but I’m finding that it’s almost 100% related to how much water I’ve been drinking. If I up my water intake they go away, so I’m continuing to be mindful of that.
Showing? Yes! Not a lot, but enough that I feel more pregnant and it no longer feels like it varies as much from day to day. Seeing a little bump makes it feel so much more real.
Cravings? Milk! I was never much of a milk drinker before I got pregnant, but now I can’t get enough. I discovered the most wonderful “healthy milkshake” the other day and have literally been drinking one or two a day. Combine 1 cup whole milk (preferably organic) with a big handful of ice, a dash of real vanilla extract and a pinch of stevia and blend on high in the blender until creamy and frothy. So tasty!
Weight Gain: 13 pounds 
Fears: Pregnancy is funny because I feel like I go from one fixation to another. I’ve been working really hard not to give into irrational fears. My doctor confirmed this week that although baby’s sitting low, growth (measured in fundal height) is appropriate, so that’s one less thing to worry about! I’m continuing to realize that there will always be something to worry about if I want to. 
Looking Forward To: Still getting anxious to decorate. I’ve been Pinning nursery ideas like crazy and sending all my inspiration over to my mom, who is my co-designer in all things. I’ve been a cleaning maniac lately, too. We’ve always had a clean house, but I feel like nesting mode has already kicked in as I think about all the things around the house that I want to have done before baby arrives. 
What I’ve Been Loving: I’m certain that I’ve felt the baby a handful of times now. It’s not consistent and I have to be paying close attention to recognize what I’m feeling, but it’s such cool sensation! Additionally, I went on my first run of this pregnancy yesterday and man, did it feel good. I’ve been afraid to run, but yesterday it just felt right. Sweating and covering a few miles really made a huge difference in my mood!
Sleep: Still not the greatest. I’m very close to buying some sort of pregnancy pillow. If you have any recommendations, I’m all ears! 
Maternity Clothes? I bought a handful of dresses last week online at ASOS Maternity that don’t necessarily look “maternity” which makes them perfect for transitioning in this in-between time. I’ve never purchased anything from ASOS but I am in love with the dresses I got, especially this one and this one in navy.  Other than that, I’ve been getting buy with a lot of non-maternity items as well. Thankfully the weather is still beautiful here, so I haven’t had to transition to true cold weather clothing. 
Boy or Girl: Two more weeks to go! Do you have a guess? Leave it below! 

Infertility and Miscarriage, Pregnancy

Choosing Not to Fear (11 Week Update!)

August 13, 2014

madiandjoe

*First note of business: I’m terribly sorry for the lack of recipe posts lately. Just when I thought I was starting to feel better, I got hit with another round of morning sickness that has prevented me from making almost anything worth blogging about in the kitchen. I’ve been on a steady diet of sandwiches, smoothies and cereal, but I’m looking forward to *hopefully* feeling better soon so I can start cooking with more regularity! 

We are, with this little miracle baby, inching closer and closer to the end of the first trimester. Can you believe it? Because I certainly can’t. Standing in the kitchen two nights ago after our 11 week appointment, I was brought to tears thinking about how close we came to throwing in the towel on this pregnancy and moving forward with the D&C. But, despite everything we were told we are, by the grace of God, still here, moving forward day-by-day with the pregnancy our doctors said wouldn’t happen.

At our 11 week appointment on Monday we were able to hear our baby’s heartbeat on the doppler for the first time. We heard the heartbeat on the ultrasound a few other times, but for some reason using the doppler felt more real. And while those good appointments really do provide peace of mind, I find that the peace and reassurance is fleeting. Here I sit, two days later, wondering if everything is okay inside, praying continually that our baby’s heartbeat would continue to beat strong and that he/she would continue to grow and develop normally.

Part of this I’m sure is just a normal part of any pregnancy. What mother doesn’t worry a little bit? But as I was telling a friend last week, being pregnant after two miscarriages is not for the faint of heart. There is a deep fear, based in past experiences, that easily sneaks into everyday life if you’re not constantly on guard. Heck, even when I am constantly looking out for those negative, fearful thoughts they still creep back in.

This pregnancy in particular, with it’s rocky beginning and the fact that it’s a pregnancy after two failed attempts, has been one of the most challenging and trying journeys. Of course I’m trilled to be pregnant, but when the worst case scenario has been reality in the past, it’s hard to walk through the day-to-day with ignorance or bliss. Each day of this pregnancy has been stepping out in faith, trusting that God’s plan is higher than my plan, and that He has planned for our little family to come together in just the right way.

I wish I could say that I’ve conquered my fears, but it’s a daily battle that I’m waging. Reminding myself that it’s out of my control and that the best I can do is take it day-by-day are two things that I’ve found to be the biggest help when my mind starts to wander. Although it’s scary to admit that I’m out of control, once I’ve accepted it it’s remarkably freeing.

Joshua 1:9: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” 

Madison

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Roasted Red Pepper Cashew Cream Sauce

August 3, 2014

Roasted Red Pepper Cashew Cream | Espresso and Cream

I mentioned last week, but my post-vacation self was in serious need of a little detox after our trip. For me, detox is never about juice cleanses or major restrictions, just focusing on putting as many nutrients into my body as possible in the form of veggies, whole grains and lots and lots of water.

Of course, being pregnant has made the whole “eating nutritious foods” fairly difficult, but I’m trying my best. This pregnancy has been rather strange; some days I feel almost normal and the next day I feel completely horrible. Most of the time I can count on feeling pretty good in the morning but I’ve been hit with morning sickness in reverse, feeling miserable as the day drags on. The benefit of having a rocky pregnancy past is that even when I’m feeling my worst, I still feel incredibly thankful for each day I have with this baby.

Baby Photo 10 Weeks

 

This past Friday we had another appointment and ultrasound. I was incredibly nervous; it had been 2 1/2 weeks since our last appointment, and this appointment, just shy of 10 weeks, felt like a huge milestone to me. We’ve never made it anywhere near this far with either of our two previous pregnancies, so it was hard to imagine going to the doctor and getting good news. Right before our vacation I got extremely worked up and questioned whether I should have taken our doctor up on her offer to do a scan before our trip, but Joe and I talked it over and felt strongly that God was asking us to trust Him, to go out into the unknown and wait until our trip was over to get our ultrasound.

When we saw our little one, who looks so much more like a baby now, on that ultrasound I was blown away. At 9 weeks 5 days we could see him/her moving around and got a video of the heartbeat, a strong 178! For most of this pregnancy I have held back on letting myself feel truly excited about this pregnancy for fear of getting my hopes up, but I finally feel as if I’m allowing myself to think about the future and what life will look like come March 2nd. For now, we are done with ultrasounds for a while. Our doctor offered to do another one in two weeks, when we will be at the 12 week mark, but I told her I was comfortable hearing the heartbeat on a doppler at that appointment instead.

I’ve said it a thousand times already, but thank you for your prayers. Every single e-mail I’ve received has been such a blessing. Some days I feel confident and secure, other days I have to pray through the fear hour by hour, and the e-mails that have been sent my way have meant so much on those tough days. Sometimes I wonder why we are being gifted this miracle. I don’t have a clue, because it’s certainly more than we deserve. My prayer is that this baby would be a constant reminder to many of God’s grace, compassion and ability to do miraculous things despite what science or statistics might say.

And because this post suddenly became extremely long-winded, I am rewarding those of you still reading with this amazing recipe. It’s one of my new favorite spreads/dips/sauces in part because of its versatility. I made a batch (it makes quite a bit!) and drizzled it over a bowl of whole wheat couscous and roasted summer squash for dinner the other night. My mom and Joe both had the same meal and raved about how delicious it was, mainly because of the sauce. Since that meal, I’ve also used this as a dip for chips and a spread for sandwiches. The possibilities are endless!

Roasted Red Pepper Cashew Cream 1 | Espresso and Cream

Roasted Red Pepper Cashew Cream Sauce
Author: 
Recipe type: Sauce, Dip, Spread
 
This sauce is great on pretty much anything, but my favorite way to eat it is on top of roasted veggies and whole wheat couscous or rice. It's absolutely delicious!
Ingredients
  • 1¾ cups cashews roasted and unsalted (soaked in water for at least 4 hours)
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 roasted red pepper from a jar
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
Instructions
  1. Drain cashews from the water they have been soaking in. Place cashews, water, red pepper, garlic and salt in a high-powdered blender or food processor. Blend 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down the sides as necessary, until mixture is completely smooth and creamy. Use immediately or refrigerate until ready to use.