Day 137- Fav of the Week {Disney Appisodes}

The world of kid programming is changing.

I recently downloaded a free app (well, it's more of a sample app) called Disney Junior Appisodes. Basically it is an interactive TV show. It requires the child to speak, "help" the characters, and think about what they are watching. I try not to let my son, Caleb, watch too much TV or spend much time on the IPAD. However, he LOVES it, and I don't mind him spending a small, limited amount of time on electronics each day. In the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Appisode, "Road Rally," kids learn stop, go, counting, shapes, observation, and many other pre-academic principles. I think that interactive shows are going to be the future of kids' programming. While the "Road Rally" Appisode is free, I'm trying to decide whether to buy any of the others (they are a steep $4.99 each). We probably will download one for our upcoming road trip to Minnesota for one of my sister's graduation. Children younger than 2 or 3 will most likely need help with this app. Caleb needed help for the first couple times and is now able to do it pretty independently (he is 2.5). My guess is that it would be best for kiddos between the ages of 2-5. Hope you enjoy!

Mickey asks what green means... it recognizes if you say, "GO"

Caleb has to move 10 duckies into the box. The speaker counts with each one that goes in the box. Great for fine motor skills, 1 to 1 correspondence, and learning to speak the number names.


Day 136- Fun in the sun

It's been HOT around here the past few days! As happy as I am to not be freezing, I'm not quite sure I'm ready for summer yet. Thankfully, it's looking like spring will return in a few days :).

In the meantime, we've been spending time outside.

(our friend Paul pushing Caleb and his son Jackson around the yard)

(nothing better than a crane and some animals in a bucket of water- right?!)

(gotta love sprinklers! we only lasted for about 5 minutes though. hose water is COLD!)

(Asher has been getting in on the outside time too!)

(my landlord would flip if he knew Caleb was bringing dandelions over from our neighbors yard and shaking them- hehe)


Day 135- Fridge overhaul

In an effort to eat healthier, and possibly lose those last 10-15 pounds that seem to be hanging on a bit tighter after this pregnancy than last, I reorganized the fridge.

It may be a bit hard to see, but the biggest change is the shelf organization. From bottom to top the shelves are now organized like this:
-all my bread products are now in the bottom drawer of the fridge
-my veggies are in the large, fruit drawer
-leftovers are next
-deli items (meat, cheese, etc)
-fruit and cut veggies- I am making a big attempt to keep these readily available, visible, and easy to access
-large, healthy snacks (hummus, yogurt, applesauce)
-finally, on the top are miscellaneous items (like sour cream, feta, butter, cream cheese, etc) and eggs

While the overhaul certainly won't make good choices for me, it has helped me think about the food choices that I make. It is easier to grab an apple for a snack when it is washed and sitting prettily at arm level in the fridge. Baby steps, people, baby steps.


Day 134- My Experience with Placenta Encapsulation

Yes... I brought my placenta home from the hospital. And yes... I consumed it multiple times a day in pill form during my first 6 weeks postpartum.

When I first decided to have my placenta encapsulated, I received many different responses- mostly, "gross!" "seriously!?" "each to their own!" "i want to vomit!" My own husband, who is a nurse, thought it was absolutely disgusting. However, he also knows that when I decide on something, it's very hard to talk me out of it. He wisely took the "each to their own" route, as in "Honey, I will support you whatever you decide."

There are many reasons I decided to have my placenta encapsulated. These are taken from the placentabenefits.info site:
Your baby's placenta, contained in capsule form, is believed to:
-contain your own natural hormones
-be perfectly made for you
-balance your system
-replenish depleted iron
-give you more energy
-lessen bleeding postnatally
-been shown to increase milk production
-help you have a happier postpartum period
-hasten return of uterus to pre-pregnancy state

From my best understanding, the placenta takes over production of hormones during your pregnancy. It takes many weeks for your body to resume production of your hormones in balance after giving birth to your baby. Unbalanced hormones, combined with low iron, make you very fatigued and potentially more emotional for several weeks after giving birth. Pretty much every animal, except humans, consume their placentas after giving birth. Why don't we? Because, yes, it is gross. However, encapsulation is a great alternative if you can't stomach the thought of a placenta smoothie or stew.

When I had my first child, I had a bought of postpartum blues that perhaps bordered on postpartum depression. I wasn't so much sad as I was numb. It took me longer than I would have liked to truly feel bonded to Caleb. I also had difficulty dealing with the lack of sleep and became angry or frustrated due to the sleep deprivation. I bled for over 6 weeks and had difficulty recovering physically. Although it is a bit embarrassing to talk about, I knew I wanted a different experience this time around if I could.

While there were many different variables (length and stress of birthing process, 2nd child, knowing what to expect, etc), I do believe that placenta encapsulation made a big difference in my second postpartum experience. I'm pleased to say that whatever the reason, my postpartum experience was totally different this time around. I do believe that the placenta pills helped me stabilize and recover after giving birth to my second child. Here are some of the reasons:
- I was not moody or weepy- this is coming from the woman who can go on a rampage of emotional instability around the time of her period or pregnancy
- I had energy- often my husband would be falling asleep and I would feel unexplainably rested and calm- and I was the one up feeding the baby :)
- My bleeding was mostly gone by 2 weeks and was completely gone by 1 month- like I said last time it lasted over 6 weeks
- My iron was very high when I had a 2 week check-up- though I will say that I don't typically have a problem with low iron
- My milk supply has been great- though I never really had any problems with my first either
- I bonded to my second son very quickly- it took me months with our first
- I recovered physically very quickly- I could walk and clean and cook much faster than last time (perhaps out of necessity?!)

Things to know about placenta encapsulation:
-it costs money if you hire someone- I paid about $200
-you can find a certified person at placentabenefits.info (The person who encapsulated mine is Ariel Vickery- website: http://postpartumpeace.blogspot.com/)
-the pills smell a little funny
-you get the amount of pills based on the size of your placenta- I got about 100 (I have been saving the last few for days when I'm really tired and need a boost)
-you should probably check with your practitioner before having your placenta encapsulated- my midwife didn't really think it would help or hurt- mainly because there is not much research to show that it works
-you need to tell the hospital beforehand so that you can sign a release to remove it (we had to remove it within 1-2 hours of giving birth)
-if there is anything wrong with your placenta, you can't have it encapsulated

Overall, I would definitely recommend placenta encapsulation to anyone having a baby. At best, it will transform your postpartum experience, at worst, it will have no effect, at the least it may have a placebo effect :). I truly hope that more scientific research is done to prove whether this method actually reduces the symptoms of the baby blues or helps mothers recover more quickly after having a baby.

Here are several links to websites that were helpful to me:


Day 132- Mother's Day 2013

This is my 3rd year as a mother and I am truly just starting to realize what motherhood is. It's not about formulas or equations or happiness or tasks. It's not about activities or organics or schools or parenting styles. It's not about TV shows or sleep strategies or schedules or play dates. Being a mother is not about self-fulfillment, identity, or perfection.

Being a mother is about daily accepting the grace and love that God has given you through the miracle that is your child. It is about learning about how Jesus views you and beginning to view your child that way. It is about the gospel- the good news. GRACE.

Some days are filled with laughter and smiles and giggles. Other days are full of boredom and loneliness and guilt. Many days have cuddles and adventures and firsts. Sometimes there are decisions and questions and mistakes. Most days are a mixture of all of the above. I hope and pray that through each mommy-moment, I am refined. I hope that mommy-hood makes me more like Jesus. I hope that my HOPE becomes built more and more on HIM as the foundation of my life. That love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control are more evident in my life as the result of being a mom. I read once that a parent's responsibility to their children is not to make them godly children, but to give them a godly parent. I want, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to give that gift to my children. That they would know the power of the gospel of Jesus because it daily transforms ME.

Enough rambling-- I had a lovely Mother's Day. Alan did several special things for me during the week, including watching the kiddos for several hours so that I could just get out of the house. Today, I was gifted with new slippers, a Groupon for a massage, flowers for our patio and front door, and going out to dinner. More than anything, it means so much to me to be appreciated and for Alan to teach my sons to appreciate me. More often than not I don't necessarily deserve it, but I do LOVE my children SO much. Perhaps I should be celebrating them today!!


(pretty pose)


(front porch plants)

(back patio plants- will look better not in the dark and when they get a little bigger)

And... it wouldn't be Mother's Day without saying thanks to the 2 moms in my life.

Mama- I can't really express in words how much your love, support, and encouragement has meant to me over the years. It has bolstered me in times of discouragement and cheered me on in times of honor. I have been given the gift of seeing your daily walk with Jesus and how he practically speaks to you. Thanks for giving me a love of birds and plants and trees and rainbows. I love you and hope that I can be more like you!

Kayleen- Thank you for unconditionally accepting me into the Hunt family. Thank you for raising a godly, loving son. I have the most respectful, good-willed, kind husband and I know that you played a large role in the man that he is. I hope that I can learn to raise boys as wonderful as you did. I'm sure that I'll be asking your wisdom in this especially as the boys get older.



Day 130- 2 months!! (official post)

We finally made it to the doctor for Asher's 2 month check-up. He is healthy and growing great! This month he has really started becoming a full out baby and less like an infant. He has a very pleasant disposition and cries very little, just like his older brother. He's also very strong and can lift his head up fully when on his belly. It has been fun to watch Caleb become more aware and interested in Asher, as well as watch Asher start to smile and visually track his brother. I'm looking forward to watching their relationship grow over the next months/years.

Age/Size: 2 months, 11 lbs 13 oz and 23 3/4 inches long. You wear mostly 0-3 month clothes, but are now beginning to wear 3-6 month outfits. You wear size 1 diapers.

Sleep habits: You still sleep for 1-3 hour stretches during the day depending on whether we are at home or out and about. However, your sleep habits are definitely beginning to regularize. You generally take a long nap in the morning around 9ish and another long nap around 12-3. In the evenings, your sleep is less regular. You sleep best in your crib, though will sleep in your car seat or the Moby wrap if we are out. At night, you sleep an average of 8 hours (10-6) with a few 10 hour stretches (either 8-6 or 9-7). You still sleep on your stomach in the crib, since we have a movement monitor and you are more comfortable that way. You really like to suck on the pacifier to soothe, but have recently been sucking on your hand if there is no pacifier.

Eating habits: You eat every 3ish hours during the day and go about 10 hours at night (8-6). You normally nurse about 6 times/day on just one side per feeding, but if you are extra hungry, sometimes you nurse on both sides. I think when you breastfeed, you normally take in 2-3 oz. I pump every night before your 8:00 feeding and you normally eat 4 oz from a bottle. I also pump during the day every once in a while if I need to run errands or if you aren't taking the breast well. You have at least one wet diaper per feeding and you poop about every other day. You get very uncomfortable and don't eat well for the few feedings before the poop.

Milestones: You are holding your head up well. I think that it is due to sleeping on your stomach. You continue to love batting at toys when you are laying on your back. You are really beginning to pay attention to how your hand can make the toys move. You take weight through your legs and you can stand for a few seconds if I support your chest. You are great at visual tracking. I'm loving your coos and smiles this month. Your sweet face and expressions make mothering you a prize. You bring your hands together or one hand to your mouth at a time.

Special moments: You got to take your first two trips this month- to visit Grandma and Grandpa Hunt in Colorado and to visit your Aunt Stacy for her graduation. This included your first airplane ride, as well as your first longer road trip (3 1/2 hours). Speaking of modes of transportation- you also rode in the jogging stroller for the first time!


Day 126- Stacy's graduation!

My littlest sister, Stacy, graduated from JBU this weekend. It was great to be able to spend some time with her, watch her receive some awards, and celebrate her accomplishment. She ended up getting really sick the night before graduation, so she didn't get to walk across the stage. I didn't mind too much (except being disappointed for her) because I got to see her a little more that morning. I can't believe she's already a college grad!!! That must mean I'm ancient ;). I can't wait to see where God takes her in the future. Hopefully close to me :). She's a great learner, so creative, and a wonderful aunt. I love you, Stacy!

I also got to spend a little time with Stephanie, Charlie, Mom, and Dad. I was a lovely little family reunion for a great occasion. Here are a few pics from the weekend.

PS- thanks to all of you for helping out with the kiddos, since Alan couldn't make it. It was a very successful kid trip (minus a few bumps on the head-oops!)


Day 125- Brothers

Lots going on lately and I fully plan on catching things up on my blog. But for now, here's a pic of Asher today at 2 months and one of Caleb at the same age. They look so different! People are always asking me how they are similar and dissimilar to each other. I never know what to say! I can now confidently say that looks are definitely one way they differ. It will be interesting to see how this changes or stays the same as they grow up. Love them both!!!!!


Day 122- May??!

Rain? Snow? Why?!

Guess it's an indoor fort sort of day. Especially after a night of little sleep. Excited to see family over the next couple days!


Day 121- 30 by 30 update

Is it May already?!?!
This year is quite flying by! Here's an update on my 30 things to do before i turn 30!

1. read entire bible- on track with my YouVersion app (I've read genesis, exodus, and job)

2. run half marathon- I've just started running again- up to 3 miles

4. fully potty train Caleb- not going so well :)

5. breast feed for 1 year- going strong

14. fit into my old jeans- I can wear a few, but not many. I had to go buy some new pants. I'm afraid my hips have widened for good this time (even after my muffin top is gone, I'm not sure I'll fit)

17. spend at least 1 day/month volunteering- spent time in March and April

19. set boundaries for phone usage- I'm working on it. It's hard to break social media addictions.

20. switch over to glass food storage- check

24. go on a date with Alan at least once a month- check for March and for April