Sunday, December 23, 2012

16 months

Ahh!! I have been SO SO SO bad with blogging lately. This month has been crazy. I feel like the whole fall has been busy, but especially December. I think this is probably the most busy December I've ever had, but I'm hoping for a quiet January! So I am really behind and Breck is already 17 months and has been for a couple week... but here is what happened when Brecken was 16 months. I hope I can remember everything... 

Likes: He started to like stuffed animals and will hug them and carry them around the house. He still loves his Cozy Coupe play car and will push it around the house and sit in in. He loves being chased and being tickled. 

Dislikes: He doesn't like his vegetables and he is a pretty picky eater right now. He does not like to get things on his hands. Any sticky food that gets on his hands, he starts having a bit of a fit.

Learning to do: He loves to say hi to strangers in restaurants or at Target.. and won't just say hi once. No, he will continue to say hi several times even if you ignore him. He learned where his eyes are and points to them and says "eyes." He likes to point (or poke) the eyes of whoever is hold him. I'm always amazed at the things he figures out to do just by watching us. He is constantly coming up with new words every couple days. I just love it.

Words: Buh-Bye, Coco (Aunt Dakota), Skye (Uncle Skyller), Paci, Coat, Go, No, Eyes and he was saying "Love you" for a day and now won't do it anymore. And still no mommy. 

And here is what really happens for our monthly photo shoots.....

Monday, November 12, 2012

15 months

15 months! All-in-all a pretty good month except for his 15-month check up and the fact that he got the stomach flu yesterday! The poor baby! It's the first time he's had the stomach flu and it is so hard to watch him be sick. I just feel so bad for him! He handled it like a little man. Wait what am I talking about... men don't handle being sick well... I guess handled it like a champ. :)

Loves: Drumming. He has a little drum I bought on a garage sale that has a rope around it so you can put it around your neck. He straps it on his neck and walks proudly around the house wearing and playing his drum.  He is also very chatty and loves to talk. I love listening in on him when he wakes up in the morning or from a nap and he just sits in his crib talking to himself in his adorable little toddler voice. 

Hates: He is starting to throw more small tantrums... so I guess he hates not getting his way.

Eats: Well, this month has been a struggle to get him to eat it seems. Maybe it's because I am so aware of every little thing he puts into his mouth. All it seems like he will eat lately is hot dogs, chicken nuggets, baby food, yogurt, applesauce and apples. Healthy, I know. My goal for 16 months... MAKE him like more foods. Easier said than done though, right?

Learning to do: This month he has added more words to his vocabulary. Still no mommy yet...maybe 16 months. I am hopeful. He learned to say grandpa/gumpa which sounds like "baapa", Elmo which is "Belmo" and "Boom."  He says "Buh-Bye" instead of just Bye and I love it when he says it loudly to people in the parking lot as we are leaving a store. Apple and Daddy are still his favorite words which he says all.of.the.time. He has learned a few  baby signs and has mastered "please" and does the sign when he wants something.  

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Mommy Guilt

A little bit of the time I think I have this momma thing figured out, and then most of the time I don't think I have it figured out at all. I wonder if I am doing everything right, and worry and fret constantly. This week was no exception, only it was worse.

The week started off great and I thought it was going to be an easy, stress-free week full of lots of to-do's crossed off my list, but instead it was a week of blood tests, shots, stomach flu and lots of mommy guilt.

I took Breck to his 15 month check up at Mayo thinking it would be a breeze, forgetting about the shots. I planned to do some errands after because this appointment would take 30 minutes top, right? And I was even EARLY to the appointment - which for me is saying alot. Usually, I am right on the dot or late. So I sat longer than I wanted in the waiting room with a toddler; at least there was an aquarium full of fish and rows of chairs to run up and down between.

We then had a wonderful nurse that took us to the room and weighed him. He had only gained a pound, if even that, since his last check up at 12 months. "Is this normal?" I asked. "He's just a little guy" is the response I got and usually got so I thought nothing of it. Then the doctor came in, or who I thought was our doctor. We got assigned a new doctor because our other family doctor had moved to a different clinic so I had not met the new doctor. After this guy asked me a few questions, did his exam and then preceded to come in and out of the room a couple times with more questions, I realized he was a med student. So after waiting as the med student came in and out asking questions he forgot to previously ask and trying to entertain my toddler, clad only socks and a diaper, in a small exam room, I became very impatient.

Then the doctor came in and said that he was concerned with his weight. He was growing because he was in the 79 percentile for his height, but his head circumfrence and 3 percentile weight concerned him, along with the fact that he was no longer following his growth chart like he used to be. Immediately, I was taken off guard. Concerned? That is always a scary word when it comes out of a doctor's mouth. "I think we should run some tests." More scary words. Then a few reasons why he may not weigh as much as the doctor wanted him to: Lead poisoning, Iron Deficiency, Vitamin D Deficiency. Lead poisoning? My head was spinning. Now all the questions the med student asked made sense - what kind of house did we live it, did we smoke, how much does he eat, how much milk does he drink, ect. ect. ect. Immediately I felt like a bad mom. What was I doing wrong?

Then came the routine shots, tears, and a big lip. And since we had to go get blood work done, numbing ointment was rubbed onto each arm so he wouldn't feel the needle and blood draw. We had to wait longer so that the ointment had time to work but he didn't like the numbing feeling, and softly whimpered in the waiting room as we waited for the blood work. I thought shots were bad, but that is nothing compared to getting blood drawn. Laying over your child for what seems like hours while they scream is pure torture for a mom (and I'm sure him as well). Brecken wasn't doing so well after that- shots, blood work, and a two-hour clinic visit - the night was kinda shot. And well, I wasn't doing the best either.

Then came the waiting, worrying and wondering what the problem could be. Did he just not get enough to eat? He did eat like a bird at times. What if it was lead poisoning? What if the blood work showed nothing, then what? Luckily, I only had to wonder for a day and a half.

The results came back: Iron Deficiency Anemia and a little bit of Vitamin D Deficiency. Ok. At least it wasn't lead poisoning but still, how did this happen? What didn't I do right? It made me feel that I wasn't doing all I should do as a mom.

Hopefully it will all be corrected with supplemental drops/a prescription which we are faithfully doing every day now. I am praying that when I go back in six weeks, he is on his way to adding some weight. I've been trying to be really intentional about filling him with food, but he has not wanted to eat much this week. I am not sure if its the shots, teething or maybe the fact I am aware of every little thing he eats now, but he seemed to not eat much this week. More mommy guilt. Am I not giving him the right foods? Does he really never eat much?

So that was my week. Oh, and then I had the stomach flu. Yuck. Luckily it wasn't that terrible and only lasted about 24 hours. Oh, and then Todd got it. Yup, fun week here at our house. Blood tests, shots, stomach flu and lots of guilt.

Photo by Tessa Leen Photography

So I am trying not to dwell on the mommy guilt, even though it is still there. I know it will happen alot, along with the mommy worry. Don't get me started on that! I am always going to wonder if I am doing things right, if he getting the nutrition he needs, and if I am providing the best for him. I need to stop worrying about it and start praying. So easy to say, so hard to do. I need to remember that he is a gift from the Lord, and that He entrusted Brecken to Todd and I to love, cherish and care for. Brecken is in the hands of a Savior who knows the absolute best thing for him when Todd and I have not a clue. Instead of dwelling on the what-ifs, the unknowns, and the mommy guilt, I need to remember that God has it covered and has a plan for his sweet little life.

Monday, October 15, 2012

14 Months

So little man is, or I should say, was 14 months and time got away and I didn't get this posted sooner, and he is now 15 months. Actually, I haven't posted in over a month... oops. There will be more on why later... but let's get down to the 14 month facts.
 Learning to do: Talk!! In addition to hi, bye, ball and uh-oh, he says daddy constantly (sadly no mommy), paci, doggie and bapple (which is apple - but he uses it for every fruit and I think food in general). I have been trying to teach him some baby sign language since he was 6 months old and he has had the "all done" and "more" signs down for a while now, now he learned "food" and does the sign all. the. time.

Eats: Like I mentioned before- he learned how to do the sign for food and does it all the time. This kid must be on a growth spirt because it seems like he is hungry all the time. He used to be really picky and I fed him baby food quite a bit since he would just pick at his food like a bird. Now he is getting better at each on his own and not just baby food. He is obsessed with "bapples" (or apples) and loves crackers and ketchup.

Hates: He still hates being contained and sitting in his highchair for a long time. In the past month, he has cried when I have left him, particularly the church nursery. I guess he hates being away from his momma :)

Loves: This kid LOVES to dance. He prefers Mumford and Sons songs in particular. Anytime there is a song that comes on TV, ect, this kid breaks into a funny little dance. It cracks me up. He also loves to give high fives. Goodness, he seems so grown up!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Becoming a Runner... What?

So, I mentioned in a previous post that my hubby signed me up for this thing called the Warrior Dash. I also talked about how I HATED running and how I was training for this race. I thought I would do an update on my progress.

So when I started training in July, I started with the Couch to 5k program I had found off of pinterest. Every week I worked out three times.This is great because the first week was pretty easy. I jogged for 60 seconds, then walked for 90 seconds and did this cycle for 20 minutes. Every week you increase the amount of running and decrease the amount of walking so that you build up to running the full 3.1 miles for the 5k. Each week seemed a challenge at the time, but now I could so easily run what seemed so hard weeks ago.

Wednesday, I ran the full 5k length for the first time and today I did it again. It was hard and at times I wanted to stop, but I didn't. This was such a huge accomplishment for me because the thought of running used to TERRIFY me. I would shutter when people would tell me about races they were doing, shutter at the thought if I ever had to do that. I remember dreading the first day of ninth grade volleyball practice because of we would have to run a mile.
For me: Running = Torture.

Deciding to try running has been a huge accomplishment in my eyes because I took something that I thought I couldn't do it and gave it a try. It's not so bad and I feel great after I run 5k on the treadmill. If I can become a runner, then anyone can. I am feeling confident about this Warrior Dash... or maybe not... Everytime I watch this video I have mixed feelings. I guess we will know in a week.

Monday, August 27, 2012

13 Months

Little Man is already 13 months! I decided to continue the monthly photos like I did for 1 - 12 months but switch it up a bit. I thought I would just make him stand for the pictures instead so you could see the growth between 12 - 24 months. I grabbed the curtains from his room as a backdrop and made a little chalkboard sign instead. It was a bit more challenging to keep him behind a backdrop instead of in the chair for pictures. Every month I get less and less pictures of him - but I still got a few cute ones. I had to bribe him a few times to get him to stand there, that is why you will see him with a sucker and bubbles in some of the pictures...

Brecken - 13 months:

Learning to do: He is walking everywhere. Pretty much once he hit one, he started walking. 13 months brought speed - he is getting alot faster. Climbing is his new thing - climbing on the couch, on other furniture and onto toys (like his play table or musical table). Momma does not like this new skill. It's scary. He is starting to mimic new words - like Hi, Bye, and Uh-Oh. He does say Ball all the time though. He learned how to kick a soccer ball too - Daddy is so proud.

Loves to eat: He has been obsessed with grapes lately. I think he is going to be a picky eater. He will try things and then spit them out. I still feed him baby food since he gets so picky when he feeds himself.

Loves: Brooms or mops. He has this strange obsession with them. When he finds one - he will play with it for 20 minutes, which with his attention span is saying alot! Maybe he will be a clean freak someday? Maybe not because he also loves making a mess! :) Breck also loves the park and slides. When he goes down a big slide by himself he shrieks with delight- you can't help but laugh. He also loves to get into the pantry - momma does loves this habit either.

Hates: When I disrupt his "adventures" or when we have to leave the park. He hates sitting in his high chair for too long and preceeds to let me know with a high-pitched scream that a boy should never use. He hates being barricaded or trapped. If you do trap him in, you just gave him a mission to find a way to escape.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Wedding Week: The Details

For the last post of Wedding Week, I thought I would show some of my favorite details of that special day, four years ago. I planned my wedding before Pinterest so all my ideas were my own or came from inspiration in magazines. I think if pinterest was around then, I would have been in trouble! In case if you couldn't tell in the other photos beforehand, my wedding color was black with accents of hot pink, orange and red, along with touches of white. I loved the contrast of the black with the bright colors and it was perfect for a summer wedding.

Candy Station/Candy Bar:
I had seen these at a few other weddings and loved the concept. I wanted mine to be a little different so I made all the candy be in our wedding colors: black, white, hot pink, red and orange. Yes, people helped me sort through the colors of jellybeans and starbusts. There were large bags of yellow and green "discards." We didn't do appetizers before dinner so this was sort of a "predinner treat."

Reserved Signs:
I made customized reserved signs for the reception tables by using a photo program to put the text on the picture. I then glued the photo to cardstock.

The Programs:
Since I did weddings as a part time college job, I collected almost 100 different wedding programs. I knew exactly what I wanted in a program. It was like a mini book! The concept and look was similar to my invitations (that unfortunately I don't have a picture of) and had all our wedding colors on the front.

The Guestbook:
Instead of doing a guestbook, I just made mini scrapbook pages with a simple picture on each page. It made it easy for multiple people to write their well wishes at the same time. I was able to make my own book from the pages.

One of the favors we gave were pens. When your last name is "Penz" of course you need to give away pens! (Insert corny laugh) We had our name and wedding date on the pens. Months after our wedding, people told me they used that pen all the time.

I saw these adorable flower cone favors online and my mom and I ordered one. They were beautiful, but at $4 a pop, they were out of the question. We decided to make our own. The black cone section was rolled up scrapbook paper and the flower was from one of those bunches of flowers you can get at Hobby Lobby for half off. We tied a pink ribbon around it with a ring and initial "P." Inside of the cone, we hid some mints. It looked so elegant on the tables on top of the napkin.

Unity Candle:
We chose the traditional unity candle for our ceremony. I didn't like the ones I found in the stores so I just got a plain pillar candle and tapers, pink ribbon and some rhinestone letters in the scrapbook aisle. I then put our initials on the candles. I loved the simplicity of them, but yet they were personalized. 

The Cake:
I wanted a traditional cake but I wanted it to be a little different. It was a 5-tier square cake with swirls on three levels and ribbons in our wedding colors on the other two layers. It looked exactly how I had imagined! I ordered a "P" online for the top and the two picks by the "P" were actually hair accessories. Baby roses lined the bottom of the cake for an extra touch.

The Centerpieces:
These little trees were on many of the tables at the reception. My mom and I found these little trees on sale at Pier 1 after Christmas. They were originally silver and gold and after countless cans of spray paint, they were black. They were a little too plain, so we added little clumps of pink silk flowers to them for an extra touch.  

These were the other centerpieces on tables. My mom found the vase/candleholder combos on sale at Younkers and we sprayed the bases black as well. The florist put small bouquets of flowers inside. The vases had curled colored wire in the bottom and some shoots of black twirly sticks.

Here is a shot of one of the tables. It was a white tablecloth with a black over lay. I loved the touch of orange, pink and red with the colored floral ribbon in the centers of all the tables.

The Placecards:
I did placecards for the head table and reserved tables only. I drew the initial of the person's first name letter with a glue pen and then stuck pink and orange beads to it. This project definitely took some time!

The Front of the Church:
 I talked about this a few days ago but thought I would include it in the details as well. I loved the front of the church. We rented a trellis/arch and draped some black fabric through it. The trees were from my friend's wedding. She did the work of finding branches and small trees on the side of the road and screwing them together. The church threw them away after her wedding and my dad rescued them from the dumpster and sprayed them black and added candle holders and candles. The two stands of flowers were arrangements done by my florist. There were two in the back of the church as well and they served two purposes: ceremony decorations and centerpieces for the reception. I think my favorite part of the front was the pink spotlights we rented. They just added a fun ambiance.

The Aisle:
Since there were several aisles in the church I blocked off the middle aisle for wedding party only. I used white drapy fabric to connect all the pews. We put down the aisle runner and added pink silk flower petals. My church let me borrow their candleabra and we wrapped them in black ribbon and had the florist add a little arrangement on each one.

The Flowers:
The vibrant colors of the flowers together were amazing against the bridesmaid's black dresses. They were rose bouquets with some sprigs of twirly black sticks.

 I absolutely loved my bouquet. I had my heart set on some peonies in my bouquet - but August is not the time for them to bloom. I had hydrangas instead, along with the roses, and they looked amazing as well. I got some little sparkly accessories in the wedding aisle of Hobby Lobby and the florist added them into my bouquet. They added so much.

One of my favorite details of the day was on my bouquet. I cut out a small picture of Todd and mounted it on cardstock. I punched a hole, added a ribbon and tied it to my bouquet. I had a small picture of my man on my bouquet. Throughout the day I would look down and smile. This was what it was all about. After months of hard work, planning and making countless crafty things for this wedding, it came down to this day.
The day I vowed to spend the rest of my life to my best friend.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Wedding Week: The Reception

 So if you missed the last two posts about our wedding four years ago, you can read about the ceremony here and the pictures here. I am reminiscing about our wedding since it was our anniversary yesterday. More on what we did for our anniversary later... let's get back to our wedding day four years ago.

We had left the reception and now were in route for our reception. We arrived at the reception and took a few more pictures and got ready to make our entrance. We had our grand march and our wedding party made quite the entrance with cartwheels or strange dance moves they came up with.

The catered dinner was great, I was just too excited to eat that night. Throughout the night we heard many speeches from our family and friends. We had it be an "open mic" so any of the guests could tells stories, give advice, or sing a song (which Todd's Grandpa did.) It was touching to hear all the kind words.. well there were some embarrassing stories in there as well. We did the typical cake cutting, bouquet toss and had our first dance to Big and Rich's song, Lost in the Moment. After many hugs and thank-yous we left the reception.


It was an incredible day. I just want to give a shout out to those that helped or were part of our special day four years ago. Every helping hand made this day what it was for us - a day we will cherish forever. So thank you for your help and support for our wedding and marriage.

Tomorrow I will be back and show some details from our wedding.