Thursday, April 28, 2011

34 weeks - Balboa Island - Newport Beach, CA.

Jake and I just got back from Balboa Island. A fun little island in Newport Beach. I used to go as a little one... and now I can bring my little one. It is only 30 minutes down the coast from where I live.

I met Liz and Victoria at their house in Huntington Beach, and we drove down. What a beautiful day out! I love spring! It's not too hot and it's not too cold. It's perfect out! I put sunscreen all over Jake and we walked all over. We even took the fairy across the island. Had lunch walked around and then headed back for coffee.

Just a typical day in So Cal! I love where I live.
Babes and I on the fairy.
He wasn't really happy. He wanted to be out looking at the water.
Liz and I on the fairy. Babies in their strollers.
Sitting in a high chair for the first time. I Lysoled it, and scrubbed it down with wipes!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sleep training part 1,678,768

HA! Sorry for the exaggeration... but, I swear this process as taken forever. It's still a work in progress. But, I do however have some good news on the sleep front (thank you for the people that text and email me asking how it's going).

I start Jake's bedtime routine at 6:30pm. Feed (food that I make), bathe, formula bottle with rice cereal, and then passed out bedtime around 7:30/8pm. Yes, formula bottle. As I stated a few blogs ago with travel and Jake's lack of sleep I was going to introduce 1 formula bottle to him, after I try it out. I started mixing a little in with his rice cereal for breakfast (with fruit), and again with oatmeal for dinner (with a veggie and fruit). He didn't have any reaction, so when we were in Oklahoma I decided to give him a bottle one of the nights we went out for Vicki's birthday. I blogged about it before, but I wanted to update the status of formula and sleeping. So, let me jump to where we are now.

6:30 - Veggie and fruit
6:45ish - Bath time with daddy. This is their time. I don't even mess with it. Grant has a whole system. It's daddy and baby bonding time.
7:10ish - Daddy gives Jake a bottle of formula with rice cereal. They watch a mellow movie with soft music, noise maker in the background (set to rain), and daddy also reads to him.
7:30ish - Daddy comes downstairs and has a glass of wine with mommy.

Jake is currently waking up a few times. Around 11:30pm, and 2:30am. Both of those times we left him cry it out and it usually takes about 10 minutes.  Then he wakes up around 4am. I go in at 4am feed him, and lay him back down until 6:30/7am. If he's really going crazy at 2:30am I go in and feed him then.

So, I know this still isn't great... but, it's great to us! It's only going to get better, right?

It was a hard decision to start the formula, but it is keeping him fuller longer. I'm still breastfeeding all through out the day, but this last feeding Grant is in charge of. It also is giving me a little freedom. Since I'm a stay at home mom I'm with my little man all the time... seriously, we are inseparable. This gives me time to workout, go to dinner with friends, and even gives Grant daddy time (without me telling him how to do things). It is working great for my family. I'm glad I did it. I don't have any plans on more bottles. But for now... this works for us.

Well, I must go... my pinot is in hand and my husband just walked in from his basketball game!

Enjoy your night!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter at The Stone house

Who doesn't LOVE the holidays? I love EVERY holiday. Perhaps it's because the way I was raised. My mother and family in general always made such a big deal about them all. The Spellman's have the best food, perfect decorations, and a house full of loud outgoing people! Family is everything. Grant and I decided for this holiday to stay home. I was in Boise last month, and just last week we were in Oklahoma. It was nice to celebrate our anniversary on Friday night, and then be mellow at home on Sunday.

Jake had 2 Easter baskets this year. One from us, and another from my parents. Growing up we always ate Ham and Turkey... well Grant and I didn't really feel like that so we altered the menu to what we really like! We made filet mignon, roasted asparagus, mashed red potatoes, and a spinach salad with cranberries, and goat cheese. 

It was a nice relaxing evening. Just what we needed. Grant and I travel for family so often that it's nice to spend time home, just us.

Here are some pictures of my little Easter bunny! Hope you all had a Happy Easter!
My little bunny! 

Brady even participated with the bunny ears!


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Mighty To Save

With Easter tomorrow, I wanted to post one of my favorite worship songs. Mighty to save. It's one of those songs I find myself singing through out the day.

Jesus conquered the grave!

Happy Easter! God bless.

Happy 2nd Anniversary!

Our anniversary was on Monday, April 18, but Grant and I were traveling. Since we didn't get home until late afternoon, we decided to order in dinner. We ordered from a restaurant we go to often. We opened a bottle of wine and just relaxed as a family. It was a perfect evening. Just relaxing with my boys. Grant told me that night that we were going to celebrate the upcoming Friday.

Yesterday, Jake and I went shopping for Easter presents and food. When I got home I started getting ready while Grant watched Jake. When I got downstairs, Grant had cheese, crackers, meats, and wine waiting. Michelle (or babysitter) arrived, she was briefed on Jake's schedule and we were about ready to leave. The first surprise happened. As I was getting ready to get into our SUV, Grant looked at me and said, "the limo is out front." I was totally surprised! Once the limo arrived... the second surprise was we were going to my favorite steak house. Mastro's Ocean Club, in Newport Beach. Third surprise... Lots of Vueve (yummy champagne)! :)

The week before I accidentally ruined my anniversary surprise. A box showed up and I opened it. The watch I've been talking about for months was here!! ;)

Our first year of marriage we got pregnant and had a baby! Wonder what the 2nd year will bring? Grant and I have really learned to rely on each other. Grant is my best friend and love of my life. I'm thankful for him and the family we are creating together.

Happy Anniversary to my wonderful husband. Thank you for making our day special.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Road trip/Flight #5: Oklahoma City, OK.

Jake is quite the traveler, isn't he? This little guy has been quite a few places for only 7 months old. He is a good boy. A very good traveler. That doesn't mean that it is easy traveling with a baby. It's hard enough packing for myself. There is SO much to pack for a baby. Lot's of clothes, blankets, diapers, wipes, bath stuff, etc. But, I managed to bring just about everything I needed besides buying food when I got to OKC.

Our first day of travel didn't go quite as planned though. I did not have a single thing packed the morning of our trip. Probably because I have been so busy with Jake that I figured it would only take a few minutes to pack for a 4 day weekend. Well, our morning started off with Jake's first tumble. First tumble right off the bed. Seriously. We weren't sleeping. We were just hanging out and playing. The thought crossed my mind that this kid is strong and crawling and the bed probably isn't the best place for him anymore. I have a California King... big enough? WRONG. My little man dove forward and I wasn't quick enough to grab him. Head first onto the floor.

I immediately called the doctors exchange. A doctor got on the phone and lectured me about the baby on the bed. I mean, really?! I know! agh. I just wanted to her to give me signs of concern. Finally she did. Jake passed with flying colors. In fact, he was laughing while I was crying talking to the doctor. I was hysterical. I mean, totally crying for almost an hour straight. If I reenact the event I get sick to my stomach still.

Well, I managed to pack once Grant got home, Jake was totally fine, and we were ready to head to OKC for Grant's moms birthday weekend.

Jake did great on the flight. I even sleep an hour. It's so nice traveling with Grant and the baby. I did fine by myself when Jake and I flew to Idaho, but it's really nice to fly with someone that can trade off holding the little man and also carry the bags. :)

Friday night we went to Vicki's house for dinner. Saturday night we went to a restaurant called Stella. It was really good. Vicki looked beautiful! Drank good wine and champagne. I swear by the statement, "Life is too short for anything cheap." I know that sounds awful, but I'm still breastfeeding so I can only have a few glasses here and there. I would rather drink an iced tea than a lame cocktail. Since we all went out Jake stayed with Jackson's babysitter. I have battled with the thought of formula, but this was Jake's first night of a full bottle. I started introducing a little formula mixed in his oatmeal for breakfast, and then in his rice cereal for dinner. He didn't have any reaction, so I was feeling a little confident about the brand. We travel quite a bit as a family and to bring the breast pump is just annoying. Jake isn't on formula for every feeding. I just didn't want to bring the pump, and I also think that the reason he wakes so frequently at night is because he so hungry. Even with solid foods 3 times a day, plus breast milk in between regular food. I will be giving him one formula bottle at night from now on hoping to fill him up at night! I will update my blog tomorrow on sleep training post trip and formula.

Then on Sunday we went to church with the family and then had a mellow dinner at Grant's brothers house. We got home on Monday late afternoon. Monday was our 2 year anniversary. Grant and I did what we did last year. We ordered food from one of our favorite restaurants and opened up an expensive bottle of wine. We opened up a bottle of 1994 Silver Oak Cab. Last year I was pregnant, so I just wanted to stay in and this year we have Jake. We are celebrating out on Friday night!

Here are some pictures of our trip and our family. We had such a good time with everyone. Jake just loves his aunties and uncles! I'm excited for all the cousins to grow and play together! Next cousin is due in August! Can't wait to meet baby Badanes!
Look at my shiner. :(
Uncle Renzi
Daddy and Jake on a walk.
The whole group going out for Vicki's birthday!
Aunt Ginny and Uncle Dave are EXPECTING THIS AUGUST! YAY!
After church.
Our little family.
Grandmother Stone
Jakey poo

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The "C" word.

Cancer. It's a very scary illness. I recently had one friend pass away from brain cancer and another friend who is currently battling lymphoma. She is looking good and I'm so very proud of her! You never want to see anyone struggle from this disease. It's a bastard. I hate it.

Recently, I found myself praying for my own health. From a form of cancer most likely I would have given myself. Skin cancer.

Before I scare my readers or family... I don't have skin cancer. I am lucky. I went to my yearly check up with my regular MD and while we were doing blood work, I had him take a look at some moles. He looked up at me and said, "I don't like these. You need to make an appointment as soon as you can and have them removed." WOW. The next day I was at a dermatologist. I went in with 2 to be looked at and 4 were removed. The testing process went on about a week and then I called in. They said that 3 looked normal, but one had been sent out for another opinion. WHAT?! I started freaking out. Another few days passed and I called again. They had the results. The results came back abnormal. They said it was fairly common. The only thing I could say was, "IS IT CANCER?" Answer was no. But, something like this could quickly turn into cancer if it's not taken care of. I AM LUCKY. I was in time.

I went into the office this last Monday to have the skin surgery to remove more cells around the abnormal mole. As I was sitting there I started noticing more moles... REALLY?!!? I showed the doctor when he came in. Guess what? They need to be removed too. I found about 3 more. I'm having those removed and testing in 2 weeks when they remove the stitches. I also pray that those are normal. I'm currently going to the dermatologist every 4 months for skin checks.

Living in Southern California my whole life your constantly in the sun. And if you aren't in the sun your in the tanning salon trying to get that tan. When I started tanning in the tanning salon it was before all the information was released about cancer. There was information out there, but not like in the last 5 years. I baked myself for years. From 1998 till about 2007. Not kidding. I always was that tan, blonde, Southern California girl. However, I'm blonde, blue eyed, and most importantly I have fair skin. I wish I knew then what I know now. It's scary. Even though I haven't been in a tanning salon in years, and I haven't had a sunburn in years, this is from years of damage from my youth.

I urge you all to go and have your skin looked at yearly!

It's no joke. Let me drop some facts:

1. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States.
2. 1 in 5 million develop skin cancer in their lifetime.
3. 1 person dies of Melanoma every hour.
4. Indoor ultraviolet (UV) tanners are 74% more likely to develop melanoma than those who have never tanned indoors.

There are so many more facts, but I thought I'd choose those. You can look more up on the websites below I posted for reference.

Skin cancer is caught early is treatable. Check your skin. Do you have more moles? Are they getting darker? Changing shape?

Skin Cancer ABCD:
A- Asymmetry: One half is different than the other half.
B- Boarder Irregularity: Edges are uneven.
C- Color: Color is uneven.
D- Diameter: Diameter is greater than 6mm.

I looked up the information on the following websites:
The Skin Cancer Foundation
Melanoma Foundation

Hope this blog post was informational, and not a downer.
Love and Cheers,

Monday, April 11, 2011

Sleep training by Brooke Stone part VI

Where do I begin? Rough weekend over here at The Stone house. I decided NOT to blog over the weekend about it to stay positive. We need to keep Jake on schedule and in his crib. But, he is failing to get with OUR program. I can honestly say this child is the most strong willed of any baby I've seen. He is so stubborn and strong in general. This is amazing, however, it also means that when he doesn't want to do something he stays strong willed and stubborn as well. ha! 

So, let's just talk about last night. Grant and I decided perhaps 7pm is too early. So, we are extending to 7:30-8pm. We started the routine and by 7:50pm he was asleep in Grant's arms. Grant went to put him down and BAM he's awake screaming. The song and dance continued for a few hours. No lie. A few hours. About 9:30pm he was asleep. Only to wake an hour later. Song and dance started again. Problem with the song and dance is that he's now expecting it. So, we resorted to the "cry it out". 

We noticed that it got very quite at times in his room. We'd look through the video monitor and we would see the following: 

(Warning: the pictures are taken from my blackberry of the video monitor. They aren't very clear.)
This picture is from Saturday night.
This picture is from Sunday night.
Poor little guy sleeps sitting up. He refuses to lay down. At one point around 10ish I went in fed him and he fell asleep. I put him down and he slept until 11:00pm. Finally we did the "Cry it out" till he fell asleep at midnight. Grant said I passed out around 11:30pm saying I didn't know what to do anymore. I was clearly so tired I was talking nonsense. So, he stayed up until Jake fell asleep. He finally laid down on his belly, butt up. 

He was asleep until 5:30am! YAY! So, that was a long stretch. He never changed position because he was clearly worn out! At that point I brought him in our room and fed him. I slept until 8am with him next to me. 

It's heartbreaking. I hate it. I just want him to sleep good, and for us to sleep good. Is this too much to ask? ha ha. 

Blog more later.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Stone Chic Sunday Obsessions - Baby Food Making

I'm obsessed with making baby food. I think there is such a difference between what I make and store bought food. Taste, color, etc. I've tried baby food from jars and my own for reference.

Today Grant, Jake, and I went to the local farmers market to get organic produce. I love going. Good prices, good quality, local growers, and good prepared food to eat while you are there.

I make the food every Sunday. Grant is home Sunday so he can play with Jake while I create in the kitchen. It starts out like a war zone. I get it everywhere. Today for example, I successfully got it in my eye. No lie. Peas in the eye.

So, today I made the following from the below:
Just a few of my purchases.
1. Trio of root vegetables: Sweet potato, carrots, and parsnip.

2. Peas: Just organic (frozen peas)

 Fruit mix of choice: Papaya and banana.
It tastes like a smoothy, and so easy to make! 
Finished product. All in containers I bought on Amazon.
Next I'm going to make blueberries and bananas, apple sauce, and something with my butternut squash. I will post pictures from my next creation.

I have red potatoes, leeks, and sweet potatoes in the oven. I drizzled it with olive oil and fresh rosemary and thyme. I also put chicken in the oven with olive oil and the same herbs. My house smells amazing... and it's really healthy. 

I have to get this body ready for summer. :)

Happy cooking!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Sleep training by Brooke Stone part IV

Is it possible for it to get worse before it gets better? YIKES. Last night was VERY tough. I'm exhausted. Jake isn't a sleeper. So far, he got 2 things from me.

1. Allergies
2. Light sleeping or the ability to survive on minimal sleep.

Hmm. Well, perhaps we've been co sleeping for such a long time that it's going to take time to break him of this habit? Anyhow, here is the schedule of what went down tonight.

4:30pm he was so tired he passed out. Grant put him in his crib. I freaked out... WAY TO EARLY TO SLEEP! He woke up at 5pm and we played, danced, sang, and even watched a little Yo Gabba Gabba. He started getting sleepy again... probably because of his lack of naps during the day. I keep this kid active. You would think he'd want to take naps. I moved dinner up to 5:45pm. The entire routine was done by 7pm. I put him down awake. He rarely falls asleep on me. He began to scream. I went downstairs. Grant walked in the door from Basketball. Tag it was his turn. Finally after 45 minutes, he was asleep.

9:45pm he woke up, and Grant went in rocked him back to sleep. Jake woke up again at 11:20pm. I fed him and put him back. He woke up again a few hours later and put himself back to sleep. 3:30am he woke up, I fed him, and then fell asleep with him on the futon. AGH. I'm just so tired. I woke up at 5:30am, put him in the crib where he slept for 10 minutes and woke up screaming. I went and got him and put him in our bed. Grant's cell phone went off at 6:30am waking all of us up. So, there's the story. Jake has only had 1 nap today. I had to drive him all the way to Irvine to accomplish this. I'm going to work on one more nap since it's already 3pm. Maybe a solid 45 minutes? Who knows.

Wish me luck tonight. Hoping to start getting sleep sometime soon.

I'm a sleep mama Stone.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Sleep training by Brooke Stone part III

I'm going to sound like I'm contradicting myself for a moment... but, some may actually understand what I'm saying? Even though we were up quite a bit last night, Jake was falling asleep back on his own... without me rocking him. Making strides people!

Here's the timeline (I'm all about lists and documenting times to see how the progress goes):

6pm: I started dinner for Grant and I. At the same time I was also cooking lunch for Jake for the next few days. Grant started to fed Jake dinner.
6:20pm: Jake was getting really heavy eyes. I continued cooking while Grant started Jake's bedtime routine.
6:30pm: Bath
6:45pm: Book - Goodnight Moon.
6:50pm: I came upstairs breastfed him. Sang and rocked him.
7:00pm: Asleep in crib

Then.... The fun began!

8pm: woke up crying. We started the the every 5 minute or however long we wanted to check in. After 20 minutes we let him cry it out.

8:50pm: Asleep in the crib again.

9:30pm: woke up... and put himself back to sleep after 10 minutes.

11:30pm: Awake crying. I went in, fed him, rocked him, and put him back to bed.

Not sure of all the exact times in between 11:30pm - 3am he woke up... but, watching through the monitor he would cry himself back to sleep within 10 minutes of waking!

3:30am: I fed him, rocked him, and up him to sleep. Only he woke when I was putting him down. I walked out anyhow! He fell asleep on his own after 10 minutes... give or take.

6:30am: woke up. I brought him into bed with us. We were waking up anyhow!

So, even though there was a lot of waking, he was able to put himself back to sleep. This is a HUGE step to us. I'm so happy... even though I didn't sleep much.

Have a good Thursday!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Sleep training by Brooke Stone part II - Jake 31 weeks

Let's talk a little about last night. Every night is going to be different at first. I have myself mentally ready for that. So, with that in mind... let's discuss last night, shall we?

So, I started the routine at 6pm. 7pm he was NOT sleepy so we played longer. He started getting sleepy and fussy around 7:30pm. 8pm I breastfed him and then rocked him to sleep. Asleep at 8:15pm. I went to bed and then I heard him around 11pm. I got up fed him and up him back in his crib.

Then things get a little fuzzy. I didn't have a drop of alcohol last night. NOT EVEN A SIP OF WINE... I KNOW, SHOCKING. he he. Anyhow, I honestly DO NOT remember getting up and feeding Jake, but I woke up in his room around 3:30am. He was asleep on me. We were asleep on the futon in his room. I put him back in his crib. Confused I headed back to bed. Not long after he started crying. I went back in his room, fed him, and passed out again on the futon. I woke up at 5:30am. Jake sleeping on my chest! I put him back in his crib and he woke up. Screaming. At 5am I decided I was too tired for this. I went to my room... Jake in his crib screaming. I woke up Grant. I said, "tag, your it", he went in. My hubby that had to be up in an hour. But, he went in to help. Jake would not go back to sleep. At this point, why try the sleep it out? We brought him into bed with us.

My question is how did I get into his room around 3am? Am I that sleep deprived? Yikes. Anyhow, it started out well. I've had 3 cups of coffee... and even saw the Easter bunny today. I'm not really big on the whole Santa/Easter bunny thing, but at South Coast Plaza they have a puppet Easter bunny. It's smaller and cute. Anyhow, I took Jake today. He was hilarious. He pulled at the ears, etc. The girls just loved him. He's a flirt. Flirting with all the girls, everywhere we go.

So, tonight I will continue my quest for sleep. It will only get easier with time. I will report back tomorrow. :)

Hoppy Wednesday!


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Sleep training by: Brooke Stone

After 4 books, 1 DVD, and countless sleepless nights I have the solution for Jake Bowman Stone.

I have learned quite a bit from all the books, DVDs, friends/family, and theories. However, what I came to realize is that all babies are different. We all know that our precious angels are different so why wouldn't that go for their sleeping patterns too? Why must we be sticklers for the cry it out method or the strict schedules we can barely maintain if we travel or live a life on the go (Baby Wise)? I have decided to take the bull by the horns and do things my way. Something within my comfort level. I LOVE order and organization. But, one that works for Grant and I.

I couldn't bare another cry it out session. I also think the every 5 minute check in is a little much. Again, this is for Jake. I'm not talking about all children. Just mine.

Yesterday I prayed. I prayed for strength. I prayed for God to lead me in a path which is good for Jake and myself. One that could give Jake sleep and myself a piece of mind. Who needs sleep anyway? I'd rather have peace of mind that my angel is asleep and NOT screaming. Anyhow, I wasn't sure if it was going to be "the night". I started Jake's routine. Fed, bathe, book, starry lights on the wall, and then noise maker on. Breast fed him and changed his diaper again and put him down. At first he was playing and whimpering. Then began the screaming and crying. I knew he was tired. His eyes were red and he was rubbing them. I left the room at 8:30pm. I turned the video monitor on and then Grant and I took turns checking on him. We went in ABOUT every 5 minutes and stayed in their until we felt comfortable and then left again. We rubbed his back, put his pacifier in, talked to him, etc. After 30 minutes of that I decided to pull back the time. I waited. 15 minutes later... my baby was dead asleep. Snoring. On his stomach, legs under him, and face down. I went in to reposition him. That was a challenge, because I didn't want to wake him. He was so tired he let me move him around. Passed out by 9:22pm.

He woke up at 1:16am for a feeding and then back into crib. Woke up again at 5:10am for a feeding and back down until 7:15am. I'm OK with the feedings for now. Let him get into his sleep routine a few more days and then I can start weaning the feedings.

I know that was only night 1, but I'm excited. We all slept great. I'm excited for Jake to get more rest in the night. He woke up this morning so very happy. He's a happy baby, but even happier. In fact, he is playing in his pack n' play right now. He never plays in that thing! He's been playing in there for 30 minutes already. He ate all of his breakfast and isn't fussy in the slightest. We are getting ready for a walk along the bay and then beach. Post pictures later.

Thank you Lord for the strength and courage to try new things. I'm so happy and looking forward to sleeping again.


Monday, April 4, 2011

Beach Day and Babblings.

Last minute I called my friend Liz to see what she was doing today. She said to come down and see her in Huntington Beach. I was excited to get out of the house. Jake and I have been going on so many walks lately. The weather has been absolutely beautiful. Not too hot, not too cold. Just perfect. I got to her house and we walked to lunch. Then we went on a walk to dog beach and back to her house. It was just what I needed. 

Since I've been home Jake has been getting back into the swing of things. He is getting familiar with our house again. It's been a process. Being gone for almost 3 weeks has really affected him. I have been walking with him and Brady and introducing him back to his crib and room. Next weekend we are going out of town again so I assume I will have to do it all over again? I have a feeling my traveling will be to a minimum soon. After Jake getting sick and then coming back confused I'm scared to leave again. Praying that he assimilates faster next time. Or perhaps if the trips are short it's not that big of a deal. 

I have a feeling this is going to be a great week. I'm excited to start our "bedtime routine" again, date night with my boys, and back to my workouts. Next week I have my skin surgery. I'm thankful for early detection. All those years in college and frying my skin in the sun and in the tanning salon. I'm paying for it all now. I had 4 moles removed last month and one came back "abnormal". I go in on Monday for surgery and then back again in May for another skin check. Then every 4 months after. I wear SPF 50 on my face and body. I'm not messing around with the sun. If I want a tan going forward I will spray it on (like I have been doing the last few years). I'm sure I'll have more removed next month so I just pray for normal results and going forward protect myself. I haven't tanned in a salon since 2007. And when I was on my honeymoon didn't even get too much into direct sun. My moles are appearing now from years of damage. So, when your in the sun put your sunscreen on.

Here are some pictures from our day today. No matter where I travel to this is my home. California with all of its faults has so many things to offer. Today I feel lucky that I live somewhere that is so beautiful. 

Hope everyone is having a good day!
Huntington Beach
My baby love at the beach.

Princess Victoria
Liz and I
Jake and I

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