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A Quick Diet Update

4 Aug

It’s been awhile since my last diet update. Here’s where we’re at.

I’ve successfully added fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, gluten, and beef back into my diet. Rilyn’s done fine with each new addition and being able to add more variety has been great. Chicken was getting real boring, y’all.

Gaining the 5 pounds from the wheat, has NOT been great.

Stupid wheat.

We have her next appointment with the GI on the 16th where we’ll talk about when and how to add eggs, soy, and dairy back in.

Of course I’ll let you know.

Kristin and Joshua’s “Sip and See”

2 Aug

My good friend Kristin welcomed her second baby boy to the world in April. This same friend and her adorable family also just moved to Chicago.

I’m missing her something fierce.

So I suppose it’s a good thing I’ve procrastinated so long in getting this posted on the blog. Looking through the pictures has given me the chance to reminisce a little. It’s also motivated me to really start planning our trip to my favorite big city to see some of my favorite people.

Before they left I threw a little “Sip and See/Going Away” party for them and held it at their house in Lawrence. I made yummy food that I couldn’t eat due to my diet, and loaded my car up with every breakable dish and vase I owned to drive the 45 minutes to their house. With a toddler and an infant to boot.

I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Because the Flor’s are worth it. (Really, it wasn’t bad at all!)

Baby Joshua

Mama and son

Big brother, Elijah

I love this bebe!

Silly friends

I really miss this family now. Chicago, here I come!


Lakyn’s First Stories

2 Aug

Lakyn loves it when Brandon and I tell her crazy, made-up stories. I figured it would only be a matter of time before she’d start telling some of her own.

I figured right. Luckily I had my computer near me and was able to start typing while she rattled off her stories.

Enjoy, they’re gems!

“One day a little monster came running down a pasture. Then there was a little diamond that came running down the pasture. There was a huge huge monster! Rawr! And he ate the kids. Someone called for help and the pasture was empty. And somebody got them out and there were three steps up ahead and they scraped their knees. Then they walked into a house and they were happily ever after. Then end.” 


“Once upon a time, there was everyone in the world. When a huge storm came in they were all frozen in ice. They were home with Tara, and they heard a rumble and they they walked into Tara. And then they jumped into a pee potty. Then they jumped into a poopy potty and then they were all stuck. And then they turned into a queen and a prince and lived happily ever after. The end.

She’s going to hate me for posting these one day. I’ve succeeded as a mother!

Rilyn Ann: 11 Months

23 Jul

Happy 11 month birthday, sweet girl! I cannot believe you’re just one month away from being a ONE YEAR OLD! I’m struggling with this. I’m already a teary eyed fool thinking about it, so I’m sure I’ll be a mess on the day of your party. My baby isn’t going to be a baby for much longer. :(

As sad as I am about your babyness slipping away, it’s pretty dang fun to watch you grow. And I am super excited about all the new stages we have ahead of us. Hey, maybe one of these days you’ll finally say, “momma”! ;)

At 11 months old:
-You are weighing 19 pounds
-Wearing mostly 9 month stuff still. Some 6-9, 6-12, and 12 month things here and there.
-Size 3 diapers
-Looks like you’re following in your big sister’s tiny footsteps. Meaning you both have ridiculously small feet. You’re finally fitting into  size 3 month shoes!
-You’re up twice a night. Still. Le sigh.
-You’re crawling up the stairs. Rather quickly.
-You love to dance when you hear music.
-You’re blowing kisses and giving kisses
-You love to play in the kitchen cabinets
-Still only saying “dadda” but it’s okay because you’re most definitely a momma’s girl.
-You love cruising furniture
-You are terrified of dogs and most men
-You’re getting better at drinking out of sippy cups! :)
-You are VERY vocal.
-You love giving high-5′s



You are such a curious, determined, sweet girl. And we can already see an ornery side coming out.  I hope you never lose those traits. We love you so very much, Rilyn!

Rilyn Ann: 10 Months Old

15 Jul

I say it every month, and every month I mean it even more. Time needs to slow down. I can’t even believe that you’re ten months old already. How did that happen? As sad as I am about you getting older, we are having so much fun watching you learn and do new things. We love you so very much, Monkey!

At ten months you are:
-weighing 18.5 lbs
-wearing size 3 diapers
-wearing 6-12 month and 9 month clothing
-taking two naps a day, usually two hours apart. Your morning nap is usually 1.5 hours and your afternoon nap is around 2 hours.
- you love bath time
-pulling yourself up to your feet while holding on to anything and everything
-sleeping better at night, but still up anywhere from 1-3 times a night (you’ve sprinkled in a few 6-7 hour stretches, though!)
-you wave goodbye and when we say “night night”
-you are pointing at things
-you’re starting to self-wean from pureed foods. You are much happier and more eager to eat if it’s finger foods. I’m completely fine with this.
-still not taking a bottle or sippy cup BUT you are drinking out of a straw. Hopefully we can get you drinking milk out of them soon.
-nobody can make you laugh like Lakyn can. You absolutely, without a doubt, love your sister.
-you are cruising the furniture and love to take steps when we hold your hands. You’re still very wobbly, but you’re getting the hang of it.
-You are very much in the “Stranger Danger” phase, especially when it comes to men and there are times when you are not happy unless Momma is holding you.
-You’re still only saying “dada”.
-You are a very cuddly and giggly baby. You give out giggles so freely (when you’re not sleepy or hungry), and you lay your head down on the nearest thing (couch, shoulder, floor, shoe, stuffed animal, etc) when we say, “awww”.
-You are doing the “So Big” trick! When we ask “How big is Rilyn?”, you put your arms up in the air and we say “so big!”
-You’re starting to dance when you hear music.

See, I feel like you’re doing everything at once and I can’t keep up with you! :)

We love you, our sweet, beautiful, little monkey! :)

A Quick Diaper Update

6 Jun

It’s been 3 months since going on this elimination diet (started March 5) and it’s been a month of great diapers for Miss R! Holla!

I’ve successfully added shellfish (shrimp), fish (salmon), and tree nuts (almonds) back in, and I’m still waiting the full week to make sure about peanuts. So far, we’re looking okay! :) Currently I’m still free of gluten, beef, egg, soy, and dairy. I’ll try gluten (oats, barley, or rye) next week, then do wheat the week after. I’ll test the luck with beef the following week, and I’ll remain egg, soy, and dairy free until after Rilyn’s 1st birthday (August).

I’m so thankful to have some more variety back in my life. I can’t tell you how happy it’s made me to make shrimp for dinner, or enjoy a bowl of (diet safe) cereal with some almond milk. Life is good.

Mother’s Day 2013 and the Story of My First Mother’s Day

6 Jun

Before I write about this year’s mother’s day weekend, let me start by reminiscing about my first mother’s day weekend, in 2009. It’s not a story that many know, but I love it and I think it’s so cool! Plus, I want to document it so we have it in written form forever and ever!

The first week of May in 2009, while finishing up my first year of teaching, I argued with two close teaching friends that I was in fact, NOT pregnant. I had already taken three pregnancy tests over the course of the month of April, all negative. Still, by Friday (two days before mother’s day) my friend Kristin talked me into taking another one when I got home. I thought it was a waste but stopped on the way home to buy a couple more tests, and did one as soon as I got home.

Two pink lines appeared before I could even set the test on the counter.

Good thing the box came with two. I ran to the kitchen, downed the biggest glass of water imaginable and waited 15 minutes before taking the next one.

Longest 15 minutes of my life.

Two pink lines again.

I cried. Laughed. Smiled. Got a little dizzy. Cried some more. Laughed some more. Touched my stomach. Stared at myself in the mirror. Imagined the future with a little one. A baby! Then got scared. Then got really stinkin’ scared. Can I be a mom? Then got really stinkin’ excited!

And then wondered what Brandon would think.

I knew it would still be a few minutes before he was home from work, but called anyway. I needed to know that he was on his way home. I needed to hear his voice. I knew it would calm me.

The conversation was short. I asked when he’d be home, trying to sound as normal as I could. He later told me that he knew something was going on, but figured I’d had a bad day and just needed to talk about it when he got home. I’m sure it was only 10 minutes before he pulled into our apartment’s parking space, but if felt like an hour. I paced the hallway, holding the two tests, walking back and forth to the window to watch for him to pull in, wondering what I was going to say to him. Wondering how he’d feel about it all. Whether he’d be really excited, or nervous, or both like me.

Finally he pulled in.

And then he sat in the car.

And sat.

And sat.


Finally he opens the car door and that’s when I left the window and stood in the hall, waiting for him to come in. The front door opens, I instantly start crying again, and there I am standing in front of him with two white sticks in my hands.

As he looks back and forth at me and the tests, he finally realizes what I’m holding and says, “Are you serious?”

I nod.

He smiles the biggest smile I’ve ever seen.

There was lots of hugging, kissing, crying, checking the tests. Lots of “this is awesome” and “can you believe it?”

The best part, though? In all of this emotion filling our small apartment, I didn’t even realize the small bag he was holding when he came in. I didn’t notice him set it on the table when he walked up to hug me. That bag was what took him so long getting out of the car. He had me open it and I pulled out the tiniest, cutest little newborn baby socks.

Then he said, “I picked these up on the way home. I wanted to give you a gift for mother’s day. I was going to say that even tough I know you aren’t a mother yet, there’s no doubt in my mind that you’ll be an amazing mom when the time comes.

Guess the time is now.”

I cried again.

I still can’t get over how special this story is. How sweet that he wanted to get me a gift for mother’s day, thinking that I wasn’t pregnant. How cool that I found out I, in fact was, the same day he did this. How awesome that me telling him and him giving me the gift happened at the same time. How amazing we found out I was pregnant on mother’s day weekend!

My first mother’s day, though Miss Lakyn wasn’t born yet, will forever be one of my favorite stories.


Mother’s Day 2013 was my first as a mom of two and it was just perfect. We originally planned to go to a strawberry farm and pick as many as we could get our hands on. We did this last year and I decided then that I’d like to do it every mother’s day weekend, you know, sort of a tradition thing. We weren’t able to make it for mother’s day this year, as the strawberries weren’t ready with the weather we’ve had this spring. We’re hoping to make it in a couple weeks, though.

Instead, I decided that I just wanted to enjoy the weekend. Not make any plans and just do what we end up doing. We ended up hanging out all weekend, enjoying our family time, enjoying the wonderful weather outside, and had a picnic lunch at the park on Sunday. Like I said, it was perfect.


We’ve Been Married 5 Years!

24 May

And I’m still crazy about him! He makes me crazy sometimes, too, but that’s normal. Don’t try to tell me it’s not.

I love this man.

I love who he’s become.

I love who he’s helped me become.

I love that family is his number one priority and that he’s focused and determined to give us the best he can.

I love that he’s so selfless.

I love that he can’t wait to walk in the door when he gets home from work.

I love that he always says, “I love you” before hanging up the phone. Every single time.

I love that he sits in the middle of our 3 year old’s room and helps her put the toy clothes on her baby doll without any hesitation.

I love that time with just me is so important to him.

I love that he never complains about what’s for dinner. I love that he’ll happily eat the same things over and over.

I love that he’s always encouraging me to take breaks and do things for myself.

I love that he’s willingly adopted my crazy allergen-free diet, when he absolutely did not need to.

I love his eagerness to share and confide his creative/crazy ideas with me (Not Quite White!).

I love that he never stops dreaming about our future.

I love that he willingly helps out around the house.

I love that he works so hard to provide for his family.

I love him for the hundreds of other reasons I can’t even begin to try to list out.

I love this man.


 In front of the church on our wedding day

In front of the church 5 years later! :)

B, these past five years have been the best years of my life. I’m having a really hard time trying to put what I’m wanting to say into words that I feel are worthy enough to post. It boils down to ‘thank you’. Thank you for choosing me. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for being such a wonderful husband and an even better father. Thank you for your humor, bad jokes and all. Thank you for being my de-stresser. Thank you for listening and singing along to cheesy 80′s and 90′s music with me. Thank you for listening to my crazy ideas (my coaching philosophy), and encouraging me to dream bigger (my bakery). Thank you for being you.

And it boils down to ‘I love you’. I love you more today than I did 5 years ago. I love you for giving me two beautiful girls. I love the life we’ve made for ourselves. I just love doing life with you. You are the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I’m the lucky one and I thank God everyday.

“I love you through and through. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow, too.”

*wedding photography by Legacy Image Design

Rilyn Ann: 9 Months

21 May

Holy cow! Nine months already!

I love this age. You have such a sweet and gentle manner, but I think it’s absolutely hilarious that you’ve started to show frustration with certain things. Like when you want to play with your sister’s toys and she’s not in the mood to share. And how you show your frustration is even funnier. (<—click the link for a video)

And yes. I said funnier. Your mom is cool like that.

At nine months:
-you weigh 18.5 pounds and are 27.5 inches. 50th%ile for both
-you wear size 3 diapers
-wearing 6-9 month clothes, 9 month, and 6-12 month clothes
-you love pointing at things and are becoming a master of the pincer grasp
-you love looking at yourself in the mirror
-bath time is the best
-you can drink out of a straw! When you want to. Most of the time it just becomes a chew toy, like the bottle and sippy cups. You’re killing me smalls.
-you love being outside
-you love carrots and squash. you’re getting better at eating your purees, but i’m starting to introduce more finger foods into your diet. We’ve done peas, carrots, avocado, peaches, and puffs. You only seem to like the puffs, but you do pick the others up and put them in your mouth, they just don’t stay there long.
-you’re still army crawling everywhere
-I thought you were getting better with your sleeping, but the past few nights we’ve been back to waking up 2-4 times.
-Your naps are so good, though! Morning nap is about an hour and a half, afternoon naps is 2-2.5 hours. Often times I wake you up from your afternoon nap.
-your new favorite game is dropping an object just to see mom/dad/sis pick it up. Repeat 38 times.
-you are saying “dada”
-no teeth yet
-you are pulling yourself up onto your knees, but not all the way to your feet yet.
-your diapers have cleared up and we have successfully added shellfish back into my diet with no reactions from you! Next up for this month: fish, tree nuts, and peanuts.
-everyone comments on how you always have your tongue sticking out. it’s your signature trait!
-stranger danger is in full effect now. you’re especially leery of men.
-I think you’re starting to understand what “no” means. We shall see.
-The tv remotes, car keys, and iPhones are your favorite toys. Hence why you’re starting to understand the meaning of “no” :)

look at that determination

We love you sweet little Rilyn Ann! Your giggle is the best, and we could just squeeze those cute baby roll thighs and kiss on those chubby cheeks for days!


GI Update

10 May

We had Rilyn’s follow up appointment with the GI specialist today. I really like this guy. Super nice, knows what he’s talking about, and makes me feel like I’m NOT a crazy mom that’s just paranoid about every little change in her child’s poop.

Yep, I like him.

So, since we saw him for R’s first appointment one month ago, she has gained a pound and grew an entire inch. Growth has never been an issue with Rilyn while we’ve been dealing with her GI problems, but it’s still reassuring to see that she’s growing the way that she is. Good job, baby girl!

Here’s the story:

We’ve felt that her diapers have been inconsistent since around April 16th, fluctuating between what we think is normal for her and being more mucusy again. One day they’re great, the next back to mucus, then back to “normal” the following day. We’ve even had several days where they’ve alternated all in the same day. The good news is that even on the mucusy days, the diapers seem so much better than what they used to be before starting the diet. They have more substance even though they’re still mucusy and the doctor is pleased with these types of diapers. It’s the looser, watery mucus ones that are worrisome.

Alright, moving on before I make you lose your lunch with all the poop talk.

He said that she’s growing well, isn’t unhappy, no sign of blood, and because we’ve seen a positive change in her diapers, we’re not going to worry about doing a scope on her. In fact, he said I can start adding things back in my diet.

Let me say that again.


I’m excited, but trying not to get too excited. I’ll do it very slowly, adding only one new thing and waiting a week to check for reactions. I’ll also be adding new foods into Rilyn’s diet as well, which will prolong the process even more since I don’t want to overlap new additions to our diets. If her diapers go back to the way they were before, I’ll remove that item from my diet again. We’re still waiting until sometime after her first birthday to try eggs, soy, and dairy, the 3 most problematic for babies.

Due to her GI issues, we’ve had to go slow with Rilyn’s foods, so I’m excited to start adding more into her diet as well. So far she’s had:

rice cereal
green beans
butternut squash  *a favorite
sweet potato
carrots  *a favorite

I was also able to find some baby puffs that are free of everything she can’t have and she loves them! I even found them at Target! Holla for Tar-jay and for working on those fine motor skills by picking the puffs up and putting them in her mouth! :)

So our schedule will probably look something like this: I add a food and wait a week, add a food to Rilyn’s diet and wait 3 days, add a food to my diet and wait a week, etc. If she has a reaction to a food, I’ll eliminate it and we’ll wait for her diapers to return to normal before proceeding with the next food. Fingers crossed we won’t run into that. I’ll probably start with shellfish, then fish, then tree nuts, nuts, gluten, then I’ll try beef shortly before her birthday. We go back in 3 months for another follow-up appointment.

I’m really looking forward to this, as this diet has been the most difficult thing I’ve ever done.

And the most expensive. I’m not kidding. You’d freak if you saw our grocery bill.

But there’s relief in sight, and for that I’m so very thankful!

I’m thinking grilled shrimp for Mother’s Day dinner sounds fabulous. You?