What Goes Around Comes Around

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

I think the hardest part of being a parent to a newborn/infant is when they get sick.

Alana got sick at the beginning of September, she was better for all of 1.5 weeks before what she had was given to my husband. Then he gave it to her again and I caught the bug too. Now its a month later and we are right back where we started!

DAMN YOU daycare germs! DAMN YOU!!!

We are using saline spray and the NoseFrida in the morning and at night since she is so congested. We have the humidifier going when she sleeps and we're back to doing the neutralizer treatments again too.

I say its the hardest because 1 - your little baby is sick your heart just breaks for them. 2 - Neither one of us has anymore time off to take care of her. (I had to use all of mine for maternity leave and my husband just used his last too trying to get himself better).

We'll see if the little darling needs to go to the doctor's office again this week.

Other than that we had a nice weekend; my parents were in town to see Alana and we enjoyed a little stroll though our neighborhood park.

{this chick is ready to ride}
How was your weekend?


Credit Card Junkie

Friday, September 25, 2015

Well it is official, we have booked our next trip! And I felt like a credit card junkie while doing it - you see, its all about the rewards points. I had 3 cards on my desk while booking this travel.

{source}
1 - United: Our trusty United card. We actually paid for our flights this time since they were so cheap! I used Google Flights to watch the prices and when it went down lower than I have seen we booked! Since we used our card on United's website we'll get 2 points for every dollar we spent and we'll get the points for the mileage this time (*when you book a reward flight you don't get points for that travel).

2 - Hyatt: We have never stayed at a Hyatt hotel so I am excited to try the brand. Hyatt offers 2 free nights with their credit card if you spend $2,000 in 2 months. *And you can collect this bonus every 24 months. The free nights can be used anywhere! Inculding thier all inclusive resorts in Mexico and their amazing hotels/resorts in Hawaii. So if you and a spouse both sign up for the card you can have 4 free nights at any of their hotels! This is a pretty good deal!

*Hyatt does not offer a points bonus (i.e. 30,000 points for spending $x,xxx). Our hotel would normally go for 15,000 points a night.

3 - SPG: I had this card out to reserve the extra night we are paying for (at the AAA rate of course) - I opted not to use the Hyatt card because we are done with that one and have moved on to collecting the bonus for SPG brand of hotels (Sheraton and co.). We signed up for their annual bonus offer of 30,000 points if you spend $3,000 in 3 months. We plan on using these on our trip to Australia in 2017. We are looking at the Four Points by Sheraton in Brisbane which is 10,000 points a night (so for us its 3 free nights). I took advantage of this when we went to Hawaii back in January and now its my husbands turn to collect the points in his name. He also signed up for the card under my referral link so I will get a 5,000 point bonus too!

So... where are we going?! We're going to Boston! We're going early next year and it will be COLD! We have never traveled together to a northern climate during the winter so it will be something different. We are use to packing swimsuits and flip flops and now we need to pack heavy coats and boots!

If travel hacking peaks your interest visit The Points Guy; I use his website all the time. We take our time with the earning of points but there are way to do it quickly with many, many credit cards. You have to play the game to get the rewards!

* denotes a travel hacking tip


5 Month Update

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

I cant believe that it has been 5 whole months since we were blessed with a happy and healthy baby, despite her arriving 5 weeks early. And it has been a whole year since we found out that she was on her way! CRAZY!

Alana
At 5 months Alana is doing great! She is starting to sit up with a little assistance and she wants to stand all the time. Of course we have to hold her when she does this. We started to feed her some baby cereal - so far she really isn't a fan. Her doctor said once she learns what to do with the spoon and seems more interested in food then we can move to level 1 foods.

She is also all about chewing on her hands! I wish she would stop but you try telling a baby what to do ;P.

A few weeks ago she had her first really bad illness and we were at the doctor 3 out of the 5 days. She had a horrible cough that she lovingly gave to her dad <3 p="">




Mom & Dad
We are still hanging in there. Our days are pretty jammed packed with taking care of Alana and 2 dogs. A few times I have let myself think about giving one of our dogs to a family member when she misbehaves.

This past weekend Matt was the sickest I have ever seen him and we tried our best to keep him away from Alana. I will say it was really hard doing almost everything on my own. We managed, and while he watched her nap I was even able to go out and mow the yard!

With summer coming to an end we are finally having cooler mornings and evenings here in the Houston area so we are able to take Alana for walks and to the park. We took her on her first swing and slide adventure a few weekends ago! Now if we can just get our highs out of the 90s and into the 80s our weekend days will be much more enjoyable!

Hope you all had an amazing weekend and are having a great start to your week!


Snot Sucker

Friday, September 18, 2015

I have done some pretty gross things in my life (mainly stuff to assist and take care of my dogs - including helping one little wiener dog get rid of some nasty worms...use your imagination) and now I can add snot sucking to the list.

When Alana was sick a few weeks ago the doctor recommended we get the NoseFrida versus using the bulb syringe to suck the snot out of her nose. Babies don't know how to blow their nose yet so they will sneeze it out or they need help. I had seen this item before when I was looking at registry stuff and I was like "yeah, right!" and when telling a co-worker about it he said his wife swore by it!

My husband did it the first time and then I had to bite the bullet. NoseFrida does have a filter and the snot in no way even gets close to your mouth but the concept it just disgusting and laughable!


But I will say that it works great and much better than bulb syringe!

Dressing Up IKEA's Hemnes Dresser

Monday, September 14, 2015

For Alana's room (which I have yet to post about because I am still hanging stuff up in there) we have a few high end pieces and a few IKEA pieces that we dressed up.

The first one is IKEA's Hemnes 3-drawer dresser in white. I had seen many Pinterest/blog posts on sprucing this dresser up and it was an idea that I liked! Pick the color that you want, I chose Veiled Violet because it was the color that Potter Barn Kids and Sherwin-Williams had picked out to match her nursery collection. Then I picked 2 more colors on the same color strip (Beguiling Mauve and Soulmate). And we went for an ombre look!


I also picked up some different drawer nobs from Hobby Lobby when they were on sale - this is a really easy way to make a piece for furniture look better! Hobby Lobby has 50% off sales on rotation so make sure you go during that time!


4 Month Sleep Regression

Friday, September 11, 2015

When my best friend had her daughter she used the book Baby Wise to get her baby on a sleep/eat scheduled. And when I became pregnant many moms told me about the book too. I already knew based on the behavior of my friend's daughter that I wanted to follow this schedule also.


Right around the time I went back to work Alana started to sleep through the night! Praise Jesus! She did this for about 3.5 weeks. And then she started to wake up again. After a week or so I called my friend and she told me about the 4 month sleep regression and her doctor said as long as she is sleeping 5hrs a night she is fine (but HELLO!!! I need more than 5hrs of sleep to fully function). But it wasn't until this week that I actually Googled it and found 2 pretty good articles.

4 Month Sleep Regression

5 Reasons Why Your Child Isnt Sleeping Through The Night

A few things I took away from both were:
  • You don't want to create a sleeping crutch or a new schedule. Since she was waking up we thought she wanted food so we would give her a little snack (about 1.5oz/45ml) and I did NOT want this to be something she expected every time she woke up at night.
  • Let her work it out on her own. Give her 10 minutes (for 6 months and younger) to see if she will just fall back to sleep and if not then go in and comfort her.
After reading these she woke up that night at 3:21am and I just watched the baby monitor and sure enough around 3:25am she was back to sleep. Now I will tell you that those 4 minutes seemed like FOREVER!!! And I did have trouble falling back to sleep. But I feel like this a good step in the right direction!

*** A little update from when I wrote this post: She is back to sleeping through the night! 4 nights in a row now, small victories!

I will tell you that multiple people have told us to add rice cereal to her formula and that will fill her up because it has starches in it but every medical article I have read said there is no study or science behind it (and that starches actually go through our systems faster). Its essentially an old wives tale. Her doctor's website says not to do it and that it can lead to choking. And who knows what else it could lead to - childhood obesity? childhood diabetes? Not worth the risk to me.


The Poop Chronicles

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

So this is a real life parenting post for ya! About POOP!


When you first have a baby they poop all the time, like 4-6 times a day. And then, as they get older, usually they stop. When this happened to us we started to get a little worried. "Matt, what do we do? She hasn't pooped all day!" Well, we did the ol' thermometer up the stinker to give her a little assist. And turns out we really didn't need to do that. According to our doctor we only needed to worry if she hadn't gone in 4 days.

Can you imagine being backed up for 4 DAYS! I would be a little cranky too!

After reading some books and our doctors website (go figure) it turns out she was probably not pooping because this was about the time she started getting more formula over breast milk. Her diet was changing and so was her poop cycle. She had turned into a one-a-day pooper.

Well, fast forward a few months to this week and she is sick. She has croup cough and it hurts my heart to see her like this. So this illness has made her into a multiple times a day pooper again. And I'm like, should I be worried?!

First you're worried because they aren't pooping and then you're worried because they are pooping too much! Oh the joys of motherhood!

*Fun Fact: Did you know moms take 2 minutes and 5 seconds to change a diaper on average. That adds up to 3 40-hour work weeks a year!


Travel Link Up: A Place You Can’t Get Out of Your Head…Australia

Friday, September 4, 2015

When thinking of where we wanted to go to next we immediately thought of Hawaii, BUT, when we fly using points there usually isn't any business/first class seats available since its such a popular destination.

So...

We are thinking of Australia! In 2017...can you tell that I am an engineer and NEED to plan things?!

{source}
Here is why we picked 2017:
- We need more rewards points. We still need about 100k more airline rewards points before we can book this wonderful vacation
- In 2017 we'll both have more vacation time. Next year I will get an extra week of vacation for my time spent at my company. And in 2017 my husband will get his extra week; so we'll both have more time off.
- It gives us a chance to have a little more time to save up for this trip. Even though we will be using points for the airline and hotel we still have to pay taxes on those tickets and the dreaded "hotel/resort" fees. We also need to pay for rental cars, gas, food and whatever activities we decided to do...like take a picture with a koala!

{kangaroo source - koala source}
Right now the plan is to spend 4 nights in Brisbane and 3-4 nights in Sydney. But those plans may change. If anybody reading this has been to either of those cities I would LOVE to hear about it!

Australia, you are in my dreams!