Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

the man room

we have lived in our house for a year and a half now.  in that time, we have managed to only do a handful of projects from our list.
  1. start a family :)
  2. switching out the stove top and front light
  3. finding a few antiques for the house
  4. putting up the instagram wall 
  5. decorated the nursery  
  6. switch out and set up the guest bedroom (once used for this)
we also have a space we call "the man room."  we call it this because its in the basement and its is a space where husband can retreat to play his video games.  unfortunately for husband, its the only room in the house that has a tv, so we use it more like a den.  even though its not technically a man room, i still try my hardest not to girly it up the space too much.  its hard though because its sooooo "off-white" down there.  you know, that awful cheap off-white carpet that they put down in apartments and the walls are painted about the same color ... yuck.  

anywho, my plan is to add splashes of color and collect some man-tiques and other guy things to make the space a little more fun.  i wish i had a REAL "before" photo.  when we first moved in, we went to walmart and bought the cheapest futon they had and the tv was sitting on an antique kitchen table.  the shelves were packed with randomness and there was a huge stack of unpacked boxes behind the futon. you can see that we have added a nice sofa bed from ikea and the old foot locker i found is being used as a coffee table.  i felt like the walls were too bland but i had zero desire to paint the entire room.  i decided to start with the built-in shelves above the sofa. 

before
after
i had seen this little do-it-yourself project on other blogs and then all over pinterest, so i thought i would try it out.  i paid all of $15 for the paint and i still have enough left over to save for another project.  it took a total of 3 hours to complete, including cleanup.  i feel like painting the back splash of these shelves has really added to the room. it was an inexpensive and quick change that added a little life and character to the space.  

do you have an easy and inexpensive project that really made a difference? 

* please excuse the photos.  the "before" shot was taken with my nikon and the "after" was one i took with my phone.  

Monday, January 28, 2013

growing baby bump 21 - 38 weeks

my bad! 
i just realized i never posted a recap of the baby bump weeks 21 thru 38.

(see 13 thru 20 HERE)


Friday, January 25, 2013

high five for insta-friday

i love fridays and i love linking up with lauren, jeanette, lindsay and rachel to share my favorite little things from this past week that make my heart smile.

ONE:  isnt it awesome, that with just $10 and 30 minutes, i can prevent myself from spending more money and chopping off my hair.  i was so bored with it but i think i want to wait until march to get it cut.   

TWO: speaking of my hair, i have decided to give the "no poo" (aka: no shampoo) thing a try.  i hear its really good for your hair and so much cheaper.  maybe i will do a little review later of how it works out.  
{btw my hair had been washed with baking soda and vinegar in the photo above.}

THREE:  last saturday, sister and i went to get a tattoo we have been talking about since before i was pregnant.  and dont worry, my doctor said it was fine to get inked while breastfeeding, as long as i went to a reputable place. 

FOUR:  this weeks fresh20 menu has been really yummy and full of greens.  

FIVE: henry's drooling is getting out of control.  im glad to finally get some use out of this dribble bib i made.  


im looking forward to the weekend.  i hear we should expect some snow that sticks this evening :)  


happy friday!!!

Photobucket

life rearranged

Hello Hue Little Things

friday favorite things | finding joy

Thursday, January 24, 2013

pregnancy weight

what do you get when you have a growing pregnant woman, with no exercise routine, no morning sickness and zero food aversions?
this lady right here
total weight gain: 55 lbs
yup, i have decided that i am officially not embarrassed about the amount of weight i gained during pregnancy. it took me a while to be ok with it.  i finally realized that i did not throw up once when pregnancy and EVERYTHING tasted yummy.  in fact, the only thing i couldnt really enjoy was spaghetti because it gave me bad heartburn, and even that only lasted about 2 weeks.  that alone would allow me to gain a few more lbs than your average woman with child.  

i know that a 55 lb weight gain during pregnancy is not unheard of.  my doctor told me several times that it was fine.  i guess i started feeling a little self conscious because of some of the blogs i read and just general comparison to other women i know that were recently pregnant.  some of these women gain only 20 lbs or so (which is also a healthy weight gain).  it wasnt until after i had henry that different parts of these stories stuck out.  they often spent the first trimester queasy and turned off by a lot of different foods.  some of them had an awesome exercise routine and was able to stick with it through most of their pregnancy.  so, while i might wish i had been working out before we found out we were pregnant, i sure am thankful that i didnt spend the first 3 months hugging a toilet.  

the best thing i did to loose weight was breast feeding.  i lost 30 lbs those first 6 weeks.  these past 15 lbs have been a bit more stubborn (5 weeks) but i really didnt start doing anything special until about 3 weeks ago.  since january 1st, husband and i have been doing this workout routine.  i love how it slowly introduces exercises, increases the intensity and the time it takes, at a steady pace.  i have done it before and was able to make it almost all the way through (i even stuck it out during vacation).  when we moved into our new place, i was so tired and overwhelmed and very slack when it came to keeping up with my workouts.  i just started level two and im looking forward to getting my run on (for those of you that know me well, yes, i just said that).

in addition to breast feeding and the new workout plan, i also signed up for the fresh 20.  i mentioned it in my high five for friday post i couple of weeks ago.  they offer meal plans for the week, with 20 ingredients for 5 healthy meals.  each meal is without preservatives, processed foods or frozen ingredients.  i have only been doing this for 2 and a half weeks and i am loving it.  i have never really spent a lot of time in the kitchen, so i am getting used to the time it takes to cook 5 meals a week from scratch.  the plans include a shopping list and prep guide.  on sundays, i cook most of the meat and cut the veggies for the week so dinner only takes about 30 to 45 min to prepare.  i love how these recipes get me out of my comfort zone without being too intimidating.  the best part is that i have only eaten fast food once this year because we always have left overs to eat at lunch.  

i have also been keeping track of my calorie intake using myfitnesspal app.  the daily calories are set at 1800 and i try to have no less than 1500.  the great thing is that my fresh 20 meals are perfect for this plan.  i eat real food that fills me up and offers plenty of nutrients for nursing without going over my calorie intake.  also, its amazing how much less i graze during the day or go back for 2nds since i hold myself accountable.  i usually eat a snack of almonds or greek yogurt and drink a lot of water. 

in conclusion  i have lost a total of 43 lbs in 11 weeks and 4 days.  i am tracking what i eat but i am way more concerned with what type of food i am eating.  i havent bought one item that is "low fat" or "diet."  instead, i am concentrating on eating meals made of real food that comes from a farm instead of a lab.  i feel great and im excited to be serving meals that will improve/maintain the health of my family.  i have started exercise routine that fits my goals and lifestyle.  although i only have about 10 more lbs to loose, i still carry around a belly bump.  i hear this is harder to get rid of after a c-section but im up for a challenge.  

one last thing ... i am setting a goal to run a 5k this year.  my sister is a runner now and i think it would be fun to do one together.  :)

do you have any post baby weight loss secrets? 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Friday, January 18, 2013

high five for insta-friday

today im linking up with lauren, jeanette, lindsay and rachel to share the little things from this past week that make my heart smile.

ONE:  after a super lazy saturday morning of eating pancakes and watching food, inc, we headed to the farmers market to purchase some groceries for this weeks fresh20 meal plan.  henry enjoyed facing out in the moby wrap.  i carried him this way at church too and he seemed much more content to be able to see what was going on. 

TWO:  i had never in my life cooked a whole bird ... i actually dont think i have ever cooked anything with the bone in.  well this sunday, i roasted two chickens to eat on this week and they turned out great.  


THREE:  henry has was a bit needy on wednesday night.  its difficult to be super productive but i am enjoying being close to him.  after being at work all day, its hard not to sit there and play or watch him sleep.

FOUR:  lets face it, making leg warmers for little girls is more fun.  as much as i love my little guy in the leg warmers i made for him, boy leg warmers are a bit limited.  i cant wait to get these in the mail and wait patiently for a cute picture. 

FIVE:  henry has been doing great with his head control lately.  i gave him a few minutes in the bumbo seat so he would know what he was working towards :-)

also this week: 

Photobucket

life rearranged

Hello Hue Little Things

friday favorite things | finding joy

Thursday, January 17, 2013

winter wear

this cold and rainy weather makes me want to crawl into bed and eat soup.  they are calling for a wintery mix this evening, which would be fun, but everything is so wet.  it will just end up being gross out and cause people to buy up all the bread and milk in town. 

{good thing im baking my own bread these days.}

something that cheered me up was this sweet outfit i saw on pinterest.  it makes me want to find a green dress and dye my hair red!  its the perfect autumn/wintery look that meets the main two requirements: comfy & warm.  i would just trade out those shoes for some rain boots to survive tomorrows pending excitement.

isnt her hair amazing?

photo via 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

my little zombie

husband and i are big fans of the walking dead.  during the early weeks of life with henry, we were catching up on the latest season.  i was learning the joys of breastfeeding at the same time and decided that hungry henry resembles a zombie attacking.  husband would have to hold his wildly flapping hands away from my very raw and very tender nipple while he would stick his neck out to basically try and bite off my boob.  this is how he got the, now seldom used, nickname "my little zombie."


i promised in henry's first month post that i would share with you my nursing experience.  i wanted to wait until we had really gotten the hang of it before posting, but i now realize that could be months.  so i decided i will just share with you how its going so far.

first of all, if anyone has ever told you "breastfeeding is so easy" or "you are just going to love every minute of it" ... basically they are lying and will most likely judge you if you mention that is not easy and you dont love every second of it.  i agree that for 5% of the moms out there that this MIGHT be true but i have heard quite the opposite from most moms i have talked to.   

while we were still in the hospital, 
the lactation consultants that stopped by our room all seemed to be pleased with how henry and i were doing.  they mentioned that he had a smaller mouth and that it would get a lot easier when he got a little older.  the first week home i was on some pretty good pain meds because the c-section and i was still hurting badly.  those first few weeks are spent learning and toughening myself up, mind, body and soul.  after a lot of tears, by the third or forth week, henry and i started getting the hang of it. 

we waited almost two weeks before introducing a bottle/paci.  i was very appreciative for the breaks and it gave me time to heal.  after that, henry was given one bottle a day which gave husband some bonding time.  now that i am working, henry gets two bottles a day and i feed him the rest of the time.  it seems even less like a chore now because it hurts less and its time that i get to stop and just be with him.  even if i am running late in the morning and rushing everything else, when it comes time for him to eat, i have to stop and sit and spend time with him.  


so in conclusion, here are my thoughts so far on breastfeeding henry: 

  • at first, it hurt like hell.
  • then it did get easier.
  • it started hurting like hell all over again and then it got easier again.
  • i am glad i stuck it out even when i wanted to give up.
  • the fact that breast milk is free and that nursing was helping me loose the weight i gained are two things that helped me stick it out when it got hard. 
  • even after 10 weeks, im not confident enough to nurse in public.  i have done it and i will do it, i just prefer to nurse in the privacy of my home or car.  i think this will change once henry has more head control.
  • pumping at work can be a pain in the neck. 
  • finding* clothing that is breastfeeding friendly can be difficult.  
  • finding* work clothes that is pumping friendly is even more difficult (because it has to be able to expose both sides instead of just one at a time).
  • i love that nursing makes me slow down.  at least three times a day i have to stop everything i am doing for 20 minutes or so, and focus 100% on the needs of my son.
  • henry giggles a lot after nursing ... this is my favorite part :)

my goal is to try and nurse for a year.  i am aware that this may or may not happen.  i hear teething is a whole different ballgame.  another goal is to not beat myself up or allow anyone to make me feel inadequate if i dont make it the full year.  nursing is not for everyone and i get so sad when i hear women giving each other a hard time for not breast feeding.  sometimes it is a choice and sometimes its not.  the best thing to do is be supportive of each other and offer encouragement.  

feel free to comment or leave a question below ... 

*when i say "finding" i mean finding  them in my existing wardrobe mostly.  i am sure finding a bunch of new items wouldnt be as difficult but i do not have the desire or the funds to do that.  

wise wednesday

via

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

my favorites!

can't get enough of these two.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Friday, January 11, 2013

high five for friday

today, im linking up with lauren at from my grey desk to talk about my five favorite things from this week.

1)  yay for being on day 11 of my workout plan.  i went through this plan in 2011 and completed all 3 levels except for the last workout on level 3.  that day was the day we moved into our new house and i just kept putting it off and then it never happened.  husband is doing it with me this time and im hoping to see it through to the very last day. 

2)  my first attempt at homemade bread did not exactly qualify as a success.  that is ok though.  i am determined to find a good recipe that i can make weekly and will take the place of the sandwich bread we buy. 

3) i downloaded the free mini week from the fresh 20 website.  they offer recipes and shopping lists for meals that do not include preservatives, frozen ingredients or processed foods.  i tried two already and making the last meal tonight.  not only was it fun to try out new recipes, it also felt great to serve something so fresh and healthy.  i am really looking forward to signing up and seeing how much i can stick to it over the next 3 months.

4) i was able to get in some really good snuggling with the pups.  they are not usually allowed on the sofa because henry hangs out there.  

5) husband and i have noticed that henry likes to be able to see one of us at all times.  especially if i am trying to get something done like cooking dinner. my solution is break out the moby wrap and make him help me :)  he seems to like being my helper.  

Thursday, January 10, 2013

two months

10 lbs 12 oz
22.4 inches long


having this little guy in our lives has been such a blessing.  he is healthy and sweet and full of giggles.  when he smiles at me it is the biggest self esteem boost ever.  for the past week he has been sleeping through the night which is awesome.  last weekend, we made the transition from the bassinet to the pack n play.  mainly because i feel like we were overusing the vibrating feature to sooth him.  now he is a few feet away instead within arms reach and he is learning to fall asleep on his own without the vibrations.  next step is sleeping in his own room in the crib.


flapping his arms and legs at his two month wellness visit.
and just in case you dont follow me on instagram (@mebenfield) here are a few other photos from this past month:













Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Monday, January 7, 2013

currently ...

missing ... being pregnant.  i know, can you believe it?  i dont miss everything about it, but i was doing some pretty important stuff inside my body and it was really special.  

loving ... having to get dressed in the mornings.  ok, so im not sure how long this will last but its kind of nice having to take a shower and look presentable.  i do not have the discipline to do that when im home for the day. 

thinking about ... my future.  what are my goals, options and priorities? 

listening to ... my stomach growling.

drinking ... yummy water.

thankful for ... everything!!!  my cup runneth over. 

addicted to ... the smell of henry and giving him lots of kisses. 

dreading ... taking down my christmas decorations.  yes, they are still up ... dont judge me.  :)

watching ... friday night lights.  i had never seen even one episode until a couple of weeks ago and now im only a few episodes from finishing off season 5.  i think it might be as sad as when i finished reading the harry potter books ... like im loosing my best friends. 

dreaming of ... springtime!

excited about ... the new year.  everything thing is new this year.  new baby, new schedule, new body.  thats right ... im living in this body that served me well over the past year.  the trouble is i dont recognize it :) but im looking forward to taking good care of it.  i hope to do a few posts about my post baby weight loss and how husband and i are taking baby steps to a cleaner diet.  

Friday, January 4, 2013

friday favorite

today i am linking up with rachel from finding joy to share something from this week that i am grateful for. 

my favorite things from this week are smart phones and facetime!!!  henry spends the morning with a friend of ours and the afternoon with husband.  since my first day back i have received many pictures to get me through the day but on thursday, husband called so i could facetime with my little guy.  the best part was that he responded with lots of arm flapping and giggles ... the kind that melt your heart and get you through the week.  




i plan on spending a lot of cuddle time with this cutie this weekend.  

what about you ... any favorite things from this week? 
 head on over to finding joy to link up or just leave a comment below.


friday favorite things | finding joy


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...