Hi-ho. Hi-ho. It's back to work I go

Two weeks ago, I went back to work.  Just when we were getting settled in to a routine, I have to go and get a job. You might remember that the bank I worked at when I was pregnant closed the branch I was at due to consolidation. I guess we just missed each other so much that I had to go back. :)

Me and Charlotte one morning before work!
I'm pretty fortunate to have an easy going baby, an amazing woman watching my baby while I'm at work, and a job that has been keeping me busy enough to not be dwelling on how much I miss my little girl. In these past two weeks it has been like I have been having to relearn how to be Charlotte's mommy. It's on odd thing. It has definitely been a couple of weeks of learning for all of us.

I wanted to share with you the top 10 + 1  things I have learned about going back to work... with pictures!
1. I can't wait to get out of work and it makes the time I am home so much sweeter. I mean, c'mon... look at this face!

2. I have to get up earlier than I ever thought I would. It takes an insane amount of time to get a baby and yourself ready. And this girl is not a morning girl. Even after coffee... As a warning: don't talk to me until after 8am, the only person who won't get snapped at is Charlotte.

3. I need to do what I can do the night before... washing and sanitizing bottles and pump parts, packing up the diaper bag for the morning, get my coffee ready so that all I need to do is hit a button, pick out outfits for the following day...

I feel much more comfortable leaving my little girl with someone I trust completely. I feel so lucky to have one of my very dearest friends watching her while I am at work. I know not everyone is that lucky so I thank God every single day for that.

I asked my friend/sitter to keep a journal and just jot down when Charlotte eats, sleeps and if she poops. This way I can keep tabs on what her day looks like and it also gives me an idea of how much/when I should be pumping. 
My house just isn't going to be clean. If you wanted to come over, you'd better make it a Sunday or a Monday... after that I can't promise that my husband's undies won't be laying on the bathroom floor or that a half folded load of laundry won't be deposited all over my living room. There are just more important things than picking up.
Pumping at work sucks. Literally. But also figuratively. I feel guilty needing to step away to do it. I work in a small office with no designated space to pump, so I use the break room and I hang a very discreet sign on the door
I think me going back to work has allowed Andy to have the time I didn't really give him before to bond with Charlotte . I do the drop off, he does the pick up and then he has a couple of hours with her until I get home. It's been working well and Charlotte is a total daddy's girl. I wish I could get as big of smiles from her as Andy does. 
I am a competitive person and I have made freezing milk some sort of game. I get off on pumping enough to add some to my freezer stash. I don't know what I will do with this stash, but it has become a source of pride for me. I wish I had a glass freezer so that I could just stare at the fruits of my labor.
This is almost 200 oz!
My car sucks. It is the most inconvenient car to have with a baby. What was cool when I was 21, single and stupid is no longer cool now that I'm 28 and have a family. At least I can fit a 6-foot ladder in my car... because that is useful.

Here's an additional little thing I have learned... babywearing is the best thing ever now that I have gone back to work. It allows me to be able to spend time with Charlotte while still accomplishing things that need to get done around the house. I just got my very first woven and it is beautiful!


3 Month Update

3 Months:

Height: 24 inches (measuring with a tape measure at home)
Weight: 13 pounds (using my handy at-home scale technique)

Big things for Charlotte this month:

  • Rolled over... once
  • Laughed... once
  • Slept through the night... once
  • Sucking her thumb... all of the time
Fun Events for Charlotte:
  • Easter at Grandma and Grandpa's house
  • Helped Mom and Dad babysit Grandma and Grandpa's puppy Hazel
  • Went on her first road trip all the way to Madison to visit Sarah and Matt
Eating- Charlotte is still exclusively breast fed. She eats about every 3-4 hours.

Sleeping- Charlotte is sleeping in her crib every night and goes to bed around 8-8:30. She definitely likes routine at bedtime (just like her mom). She also takes a nap about 2 hours after she gets up, so normally nap time around 9 and then again between 2-4 in the afternoon.

Favorite Toy- Loving her play mat. She talks and kicks and bats at the toys. She still loves being carried. We are borrowing a girasol woven wrap and we love love it and we are still using our ring sling. She is still not in to the Ergo yet.

Clothes- She is now wearing 3-6 month sleepers and clothes though I can still fit her into some of her 0-3 month clothes that I like. We also moved up to size 2 diapers!

Other fun tidbits:

  • She is no good at tummy time... she just lays there are screams. Any tips?
  • Dill can't wait until she can play with him, he keeps bringing her toys and giving her kisses


2 Months Old

So this post is a few days late, my laptop took a crap. But to replace it, we got a PINK one! It's cute... real cute. 

You want to know what is even cuter? My baby. Yup. She is the cutest.

2 Months:

Height: 22 inches
Weight: 11 pounds 10 ounces

Big things for Charlotte this month:
  • Slept in her crib overnight for the first time
  • Rock Star at supporting her own head
  • First smile
  • Took the sling out of her bathtub
  • She will grip toys if you put them in her hand
  • Can support most of her weight on her legs
Fun Events for Charlotte:
  • Attended her great-grandpa's 80th birthday party
  • Met her cousins Miles, Hazel and Cecily
  • Opened her first savings account (the banker in me could not resist!)
Eating- Charlotte is still exclusively breast fed. She eats about every 3 hours. We hit a growth spurt right around 6 weeks that has her eating every 1.5-2 hours. Yikes!

Sleeping- Charlotte started out the month sleeping in her Rock'n'Play next to our bed. She just moved to her crib. Definitely harder on me than on Charlotte! So far we are getting one bigger stretch of sleep (4-5 hours) followed by a shorter one (2-3 hours). We are still playing around with bedtimes and are now aiming for about 8-8:30.

Favorite Toy- Loving her swing this month.She will stay there, awake for the longest time... occasionally taking a cat nap here and there. She also loves being carried. Our Moby Wrap and ring sling are our best friends. She is still not in to the Ergo yet... I am hoping that when she gets bigger she will like that.

Clothes- She is still in 0-3 month clothes. We might have to look at moving up a size in sleepers pretty soon though!

Other fun tidbits:
  • She has a love/hate relationship with her pacifier... she does this gagging thing and fake vomits when she doesn't want it (hmm... I wonder where she learned that)
  • Charlotte lights up when Daddy comes home from work. He was the first one to get a smile. (Yes, I was jealous...)
  • Dillinger is her best bud. Capone is still ignoring her.
  • Tummy time is not her favorite time. But she loves being on the floor on her back.
  • Loves laying on her changing table. We get the biggest smiles there!


French Onion Soup Pasta

I love french onion soup. LOVE IT. My favorite? T.G.I.Fridays. It's delicious. I also love pasta... a bowl of carbs? HECK YES! So when I saw a pin on Pinterest for french onion soup pasta, I pinned it. When I went back to make it, I looked at the recipe and became very sad... it  called for french onion soup packets... there were no real onion anywhere in that recipe. Super sad face. It was a fantastic idea but it was not what I had in mind, so I set out to make my own recipe. This is what I came up with. I hope you enjoy!

2 Tbsp Butter
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
4 med/large yellow onions roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves chopped or grated
1/2 tsp salt
1 14.5 oz can of beef broth
3/4 C of red wine
2 C half and half
2 C mozzarella cheese
Pasta of your choice (1 box)

Cook pasta of your choice. We used mafalda noodles, but I think a fettuccine noodle would be good too.

Start by heating up the butter and olive oil in a large pan. Once heated, add chopped onions to the pan. Allow the onions to caramelize, stirring occasionally. Once onions begin to caramelize, add garlic. I used a micro-plane and grated my garlic cloves right in to the pan. Otherwise, just make sure that your garlic is finely chopped.

Once onions are fully caramelized add red wine to the pan and scrape all of the onion goodness off the bottom of the pan as you stir in the wine. Then add one can of beef broth and salt. Bring this to a boil and then reduce heat and let simmer for about 5 minutes. Then add the half and half and 3/4 cup of cheese.

 Stir together and then incorporate the precooked pasta. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top of the pasta and put it under the boiler until cheese begins to brown.



Babies... what people don't tell you

So Little Miss Charlotte has been hanging out with me here for 7 weeks. I can hardly believe it! Time flies and all that jazz... Since bringing her home I have figured out some stuff that may blow your mind. Or maybe not. Maybe you were one of those people that kept your knowledge all locked up. Now, I am no expert. I am as far from expert as you can get... In fact, I may have just fallen off the turnip truck. But I do know that there were lots of other people on that turnip truck as well (there were hardly any turnips, surprisingly enough!) and I wish someone would've told me all of this stuff!

1. Babies have multiple personalities. One minute they are all cute and cuddly and the next they are screaming their adorable little heads off (see pic below for proof). Good luck trying to figure out what is wrong with them! I have a checklist I work down and if its none of those things I assume she wants chocolate because if I was screaming like that, that's all I would want.

2. Baby Clothes. They are cute. You can go poor buying them. You have a closet full of them. And all she wears are sleepers. Yup. It's true. It's easier to keep them in sleepers. You don't have to deal with socks, or taking off multiple pieces of clothing to change the million diapers you are sure to be changing. Though I have been making an effort to dress her up a bit more. Some days, she gets dressed and I don't. (Yea.... that's actually most days)

3. Diapers. Dude... buy stock in diapers. You will go through millions of them. Babies pee and poop more than any other creature on this planet. And my kid? She can't stand being in a dirty diaper but  I don't blame her, neither could I. I have tried to decrease the amount of diapers we go through in a day. I tried the scare tactic but this girl has no fear. I have tried bribing, (I offered to pay for a car and her college tuition if she'd potty train right now) but she was having none of it. I have tried begging, but that girl won't listen to reason. So here we are, spending the money we used to spend on fun things (beer, movies, pedicures) on diapers.

4. Your living room looks like a carnival for babies. The carnies have taken over and every square inch of your living space has been invaded with baby gear. Anything to keep her happy! We've got the bouncer, the  rock'n'play, the swing, the glider, an exercise ball, a play mat. The only thing we don't have is the freakin' cotton candy.

5. Feeding them. There are lots of different ways to feed babies. I am not saying one way is better than another. Every baby, mom, and family is different and I respect everyone's individual choices. We chose to breastfeed. When you are reading up on it prebaby, it sounds so glam. All of the bonding time, health benefits, giant boobs, money-saving... YES. All of that is true. But what people don't tell you is that crazy things happen. For example. my boobs bled the first couple of weeks and sometimes I'd think everything was going good only to find Charlotte was going all "Edward Cullen" on me. Oh and your boobs. They aren't yours anymore. They are hers. Everything that was attractive about them is gone. It's a little like looking at a bottle. Bottles aren't cute. You lose all modesty. Bet you'd never think your dad would see your boob... mine has and I didn't care nearly as much as I thought it would.
I could probably find a million things people don't tell you and go on and on. But here is something a lot of people did tell me... That you never know a love as deep until you have a child. And that?? That is the most true statement ever. The love is overwhelming and it makes everything and anything else worth it.


Cinnamon Roll Waffles

This weekend I woke up and wanted something different than our normal breakfasts of waffles or pancakes or bacon and eggs. I had a thing of cinnamon rolls in the fridge and I decided that I would try cooking them in the waffle iron. (Genius right?!) I thought I was being pretty darn original... I cooked, I took pictures, I edited them. I was sure that this post was going to shoot my little old blog to stardom! I even went to submit my awesome idea to Pillsbury... then I found out I wasn't being as original as I thought I was. Pillsbury has this on their website, but I already had this post written and I thought, "Darn it! Well, maybe someone will still think this is the coolest thing ever!" So. Here you are. The easiest cinnamon roll waffles you will ever make!

All you need is a roll of Cinnamon Rolls, a waffle iron, and some cooking spray.

I used Pillsbury Grands Cinnabon Rolls because they are my favorite, but they are also big enough to fill a waffle iron.

Next, spray your preheated waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray and put the cinnamon roll right on there and then close it up to squish the cinnamon roll. Let it cook for about a minute or two. Then simply plate them up and use the icing included with the cinnamon rolls as "syrup".

What I loved about this is that it is a lot faster than cooking cinnamon rolls in the oven and is a twist on the normal breakfast! I hope you enjoy!


Chocolate Chocolate Cheesecake

I love cheesecake. Seriously, who doesn't? I don't think I could be friends with someone who could not appreciate the amazingness of cheesecake. (OK. If you don't like cheesecake, I will still  be your friend, but I think that your taste-buds may be broken...just saying!)

I don't know about your house, but in my house, our TV only has like 3 channels... HGTV,  Discovery Channel, and The Food Network. My husband hates HGTV. I hate the Discovery Channel. So if we are both in the room, the Food Network is on by default. I admit it... I've got a girl crush on Giada. Anyway, to make a long story short, whenever cheesecake is discussed, my husband always says that the best cheesecake ever is from Junior's Cheesecakes in New York. Mind you, he has never had this cheesecake, somebody on Food Network said it was the best... and so it must be!  I did some research and actually quite a few somebodies said this. Junior's cheesecakes were featured on The Best Thing I Ever Ate, Throw down with Bobby Flay, No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain and Food Feuds 

Now you know if you've ever been particularly close to someone, sometimes they say things that drive you batty... this cheesecake thing is one of those things. He has never had that cheesecake so how could it be the best?! For Valentine's Day this year I decided I was going to him a cheesecake from Junior's since they ship... until I looked at the price! Yup... with shipping that was some expensive cheesecake! Maybe the next time I am in New York I will make sure we get some, but having it shipped to the land of the cheeseheads was not happening. Eventually I decided to make him a cheesecake instead (the fact that I was now needing cheesecake to survive had absolutely nothing to do with this decision). All I have to say is that the next time someone talks about cheesecake with him he better go on and on about how delicious my cheesecake is!

If you made it this far, you deserve the recipe!!


1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup of butter (melted)
2 Tablespoons of cocoa powder
3 (8oz) pkg of cream cheese (softened)
1 (14oz) can of sweetened condensed milk
1 (2 oz) pkg of semi-sweet chocolate chips (melted)
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract

** you also will need a 9 inch spring-form pan for this cheesecake!

Start with the crust. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and cocoa powder until it is damp and clumpy throughout. I just did all of this right in my food processor. Then dump your crust mixture into the bottom of an ungreased spring-form pan and press along the bottom of pan to create an even crust. I always put my crusts in the fridge while I make the rest of the cheesecake. don't know that this actually does anything, but it makes me feel good, so go ahead and do that.

While your crust is chilling, you can make the actual cheesecake mixture. Start by beating the cream cheese in a large mixing bowl until fluffy. Then slowly add the sweetened condensed milk and beat until smooth. Finally, add the remaining ingredients and mix well.

Remove your crust from the fridge and place the pan on a cookie sheet. Pour cheesecake filling over the top of the crust. The cookie sheet is another thing that may not be necessary, but those spring-form pans... I just can't completely trust them. I just don't understand how they don't leak!

Bake this in a preheated oven at 300 degrees for approximately 1 hr and 10 minutes or until the center of the cheesecake is set. Serve the cheesecake chilled (or if you are impatient like me, eat it warm.. its not that bad. I mean, it's better cold but like I said, I COULD NOT WAIT!)