Thursday, December 27, 2012

Birthday Challenge: Results

Well today is the day…I am now 28 years old (why does that seem so much older than 27?).  I had a goal for this birthday. Did I make it? Not even close. I can be disappointed and mad, but instead I am gracious and excited that I didn’t gain any weight over the holidays! Most people probably can't say that. No weight gain, that should be rewarded right? Maybe it was too much to expect a weight loss during the feeding frenzy that is Thanksgiving and Christmas. 
Christmas 2011
This time last year I was 24 weeks pregnant, trying to manage gestational diabetes with diet and exercise (which I was able to do through the whole pregnancy). I was barely able to enjoy ANY of the holiday indulgences and had to test my blood 4 times a day. At times I felt so deprived, with very strict limitations on my carb intake. I was determined to have my natural birth with my mid-wife and feared being transferred to an OB. Everything worked out perfectly, but not without a lot of work on my behalf. So perhaps I shouldn’t have had any expectations this year and just have enjoyed all the food and sweets? What and gain the usual 10 lbs? No…that would have just made me feel REALLY bad about myself. Christmas 2012
I am happy with how it all worked out. I was able to maintain my weight and enjoy the holidays with my family! I can now start the new year out feeling good and ready for the BODY TURNAROUND CHALLENGE (more info to come in a few days!!).  Shaklee 180 is transforming me into the BEST me. 2013 is going to be the year!!! I have started a good foundation these last few months to really (for real this time) transform my life into everything I have ever dreamed. What are your plans to make 2013 the BEST year?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Potato Corn Chowder

The other day I was CRAVING some chowder. It was a cold and windy day and it just felt like I should be eating soup. I love making big batches of soup that last can be divided and frozen for later or used for lunches/dinners during the rest of the week. Luckily, we love left overs and have no issue eating the same thing a few days in a row.

What could I make using items I already had?

Potato corn chowder!! I remembered that my grandma has a chowder recipe that I love (and didn’t have many ingredients) so I called her up to get it.

Like most of her recipes, it was mostly “Oh I just throw this in a and then a little of that and then some of this…and sometimes I add this but not always”. This was one of those dishes that allows for improvisation and still turns out amazing!
So I gathered my ingredients and went to work. In less than an hour I had this YUMMY hearty chowder.
  • Bacon or Ham steak (I love having a freezer full of meat!)
  • 1 onion
  • 4 celery stalks
  • One bag of deiced frozen hash brown potatoes
  • 2 cans of condensed milk
  • 1 can of cream of corn
  • Small can of diced green chilies (gives a little heat and great flavor)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
 Cooking Instructions
  1. Dice the ham/bacon into small cubes. Using medium heat sauté in pot until golden and crispy, releasing all the hamy goodness.
  2. Chop onions and clergy, add to ham/bacon mixture. Sauté until onions are translucent.
  3. Add bag of frozen potatoes, cream of corn, drained can of chilies and condensed milk to pot. Make sure to stir really good to combine all ingredients.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer for 30-45 min or once potatoes are heated through.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

Ok...this picture is a bit deceiving. I didn't use the bag of frozen corn and I used 2 cans of milk and only 1 can of cream corn.

While the soup was simmering, I whipped up a batch of corn bread muffins. They only took 15 min to cook and were ready when the soup was done. 

This was an easy and pretty fast dinner to throw together on a week night. We had enough left over
for lunch for the next two days.

What is your favorite winter soup or chowder??

Monday, December 3, 2012

Meal Planning

Do you meal plan? Or do once a month cooking? I have tried both. I love the idea of it, but I have never been organized or motivated enough to do it. I think it has to do with planning ahead and sticking to a schedule. Which shouldn’t be that hard for me since I love planning (wedding, baby, trips, etc), but something about making a weekly food plan and then actually making that meal on the designated day, just is hard for me to do.

But I have to make a change! I am determined to get on the bandwagon and start meal planning. Not only to save money, but also to reduce my time grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning!! It is one of my goals for 2013. But first, before I can (or want) to go head first into meal planning, I need to eat up the food we do have.

I made a quick inventory of our deep freeze and found about a dozen frozen meals. A handful are from a co-worker who made them for us at the end my pregnancy (I was suppose to use them while I maternity leave), a few I have made through out the year (doubling dinner) and then a few pre-packaged meals from the grocery store. I would like to get these eaten up this month to make way for the new and fresh meals (things don’t stay good forever in a deep freeze you know!). Hopefully this will also free up some money in our monthly food budget, so I have some extra cash for Christmas.

I would like to spend the next month planning and taking inventory of our pantry and freezer, while also collecting a large list of recipes to choose from.


I have a few other sources I will be pulling from too. Once a Month Mom is an AWESOME resource, along with this cookbook I picked up on Amazon. But hands down I have found Jamia at Ring around the Rosies to be an incredible inspiration and motivation for meal planning. She was the first to inspire me to do freezer meals.

So watch out for some meal planning here at Happy Hill Homestead!

What is your favorite freezer meal?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Cloth Diaper Essentials

Cloth Diaper Essentials

I put together a list of what I consider to be the most essential items needed to cloth diaper. This is what has worked for us for the last 6 months:

1. Diapers – I personally love Rumparooz pocket diapers and BumGenius Elementals AIO (All in One). These have been our go to diapers the last 6 months and I don’t have a single compliant. They aren’t cheap, but they have held up really nicely, even buying them used.

2. Covers –If I had to choose just one diaper system I would pick covers and prefolds. I have only used Thirsties and I love them! They have a double gusset that helps contain any messes.  They have worked awesome for us from day one. Often I can just reuse the cover and just change the prefold out.

3. Prefolds – These are what absorb the pee and poop. They are the most basic cloth diapering method and what my mom used on me back in the 1980’s. You need to pair them with a waterproof cover to keep them from leaking. We have 20 of them, but could probably get by with just a dozen.

4. Snappi – These are what replaced safety pins. They are pretty nifty. They have “claws” that grip the fabric and hold the diaper together until you put the cover on.

5. Cloth Safe Diaper Cream – It is very important that you don’t use regular diaper cream with cloth diapers, unless you use some kind of fleece liner. It will be an absolute pain to wash out of your diapers. Since I don’t want to deal with that kind of a mess, I found this great cloth safe diaper rash, Grandma El’s. I only put it on when I see a little bit of readness, which is very rare. I think this tube is gong to last us a very long time.

6. Detergent – There are many cloth friendly detergents on the market. I used a few different ones before I found Shaklee. I now use Get Clean Fresh Laundry Concentrate on ALL our laundry and it lasts forever and cleans great! I don’t have to worry about chemicals or artificial fragrances touching the most sensitive parts of Liam’s body.

7. RLR Treatment – if and when we ever get any “stink” issues I will be stripping my diapers using this product. It has been recommended to me by many mothers. I have a few packets tucked away for when the day comes…

8. Wetbag – Since Liam goes to daycare, we use a wet bag every day. I pack away the clean diapers in the dry pocket and at the end of the day the wet pocket is filled with the dirty diapers. I also use this when we are traveling and can fit a surprising number of dirty diapers in this bag!!

9. Pail Liner – We keep a simple garbag can next to the changing table with this liner in it. Every couple of days I take it downstairs and dump the dirty diapers in the wash. If the liner gets dirty, I just toss it in along with the diapers.

What are YOUR cloth diapering essentials?? Am I missing something that you couldn’t live without??

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Oatmeal Bread

I love oatmeal and I love bread, so when  a friend gave me this recipe to try,  I was thrilled.

They say that eating oatmeal daily can help with your milk supply. At 6 months old, I am still breastfeeding Liam (and plan to for as long as he wants) so anything I can do to help maintain my supply is great.

This bread was easy to make and turned out great. It only lasted a few days in our house.

Oatmeal Bread


  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 4 Tbs shortening
  • 5-5 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 packs of yeast
  • 1/2 cups of warm water

Baking instructions:

  1. Bring milk to a boil then add oatmeal and let stand for 2 hours
  2. Dissolve yeast in warm water
  3. Mix yeast with other ingredients, starting with 5 cups of flour and adding more until dough is smooth
  4. Form into loaves, either fill tow greased loaf pans or place as balls on parchment lined cookie sheet
  5. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled in size (around an hour)
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minuets

Enjoy with some homemade jam…


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Sleep Training a 6 Month Old

We were lucky parents. Liam started sleeping through the night very early (as in 6 weeks old), without much effort. I remember the first night he slept 7 hours straight, I woke up on my own and was so scared that something was wrong since I hadn’t been woken by a fussy baby. But he was fine, sound asleep in the Pack ‘n Play in our room. He also went to sleep easily. At nap and bed time, we would lay him down  for sleep and he would be so content and would fall asleep without much effort. It was so easy. 


Shortly after Liam turned 4 months old, we decided it was time for him to start sleeping in his own room, in his crib. I can’t even tell you why we made that decision then…it just kind of happened. I wanted to “see” if he could sleep the night in his room. When he did, without any complaints the first night we tried, we put the Pack’n Play away and never looked back…(actually I was very sad about this and cried). My baby was growing up. 


For about 2 weeks Liam slept in his room with no issues. It was great! All three of us were getting better sleep and life was perfect. Oh were we in for a rude awakening. 

In early September, Liam started showing signs of teething. LOTS of drool, gnawing on EVERYTHING…he especially loves fabric, increased crying/fussiness, but worst of all waking up MANY times during the night. He would wake up screaming and there seemed to be nothing we could do to calm him down. Nursing didn’t even seem to sedate him. I can’t even count how many sleepless nights we have had this past month, but it has really been wearing on us. Not only was he waking in the night, he also wasn’t falling asleep. He HAD to be held and rocked at all times and would take literally hours to fall asleep. We were exhausted and frustrated. I could not do anything for myself in the evenings, I was a slave to Liam. I finally was understanding what many parents go through when they talk about having a colicky baby. 


tried just letting him cry, hoping he would fall back asleep. I would last maybe 5 min or less before I ran into his room to comfort him. It got to a point where we didn’t even try to put him to sleep in his room. He just came into our bed at night and when he would start fussing I would try to calm him with nursing. This worked sometimes. But other times he would just scream and then we were all up at 2 am. Then I tried sleeping in the nursery with him. He would fall asleep nursing. Fearful I would wake him trying to move him into his crib, I would fall asleep in the rocker. When he woke up, he would just go right back to nursing. This left me with killer back pain and NO milk to pump for that day. 

Stan also slept in the nursery with Liam many times too… 


Then we had a well-baby check-up at 5 ½ months and received some great advice from the Pediatrician. Liam is obviously capable of sleeping through the night. All babies are capable of this by 6 months old. They don’t need to nurse in the middle of the night. We just needed to get him back on a schedule. It might be rough at first, but within a few days he should be back to sleeping through the night. 

Here are some suggestions she provided:

1. Mommy (aka milk supply needs) to stay away at bed time, go in the other room so he can’t see, hear or smell me.
2. Establish a bed time routine (i.e. same song/story every night, diaper change and jammies)
3. Daddy should put baby to bed
4. It is OK to let them cry (within reason) and learn to sooth themselves

This past week we have been working on these things…and I can honestly say they ARE working. Last night we got Liam to sleep around 9:30. He slept until 12:30 am, at which time we let him cry for 5 min before I went in to sooth him. I ended up nursing him for a few min and then put him back in his crib. A few times during the night I heard him fuss on the monitor, but he then fell back asleep. I then woke him at 7 am when it was time to get ready to leave for daycare. 

I am optimistic that we are back on track to getting him to sleep through the night again.  We agreed that the teething probably started the bad sleep habits, but we perpetuated it by not following any routine. As any parent can attest…you are constantly learning and adapting to fit the needs of your child. I hope we figure this out soon so we can all get some sleep. 

What did you find that helped get your baby to sleep?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Stay at Home Mom?

The other morning I had a rare treat. I got to stay home with my little guy due to Daycare sickies.  

Liam-Stay @ Home

It was so wonderful to spend the morning with him. Even though we have the weekends, there is just something so different about being home during a work day.

My three months of maternity leave flew by in a flash, but for 4 hours I felt like I was a Stay at Home Mom. 

It’s the simple things in life, right?
Playtime in the morning.
Taking a walk through our neighborhood. 

Posing with Halloween pumpkins. 

Stay @ Home College

I cherish these moments. 

Stay @ Home 2

What is your favorite thing to do with your kids?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Birthday Challenge

Wow, how is it already November?! These past few months have just been flying by.
Seems like just yesterday it was summer…and Liam was only 3 months old. 

16lbs 8 wks

It just hit me that I am going to be 28 years old in less than two months and I feel like I JUST turned 27. Since my birthday is approaching and another year has just slipped by, I am reflecting on the weight loss goals I want to set for next year. I would LOVE to shed the last few pounds of baby weight and get on track to a healthy weight once and for all!  But why do I need to start next year, why don’t I get a head start and begin NOW. 

I might be setting myself up for failure, but I have decided to try and lose 16 lbs by the time I reach my birthday. Yes, you read that correctly, lose weight DURING the holidays.  It is only 8 weeks away and would require me to lose an average of 2 lbs per week. I think it is totally doable, as long as I stay focused. I know, you are probably think I am CRAZY to even try this, but I would love to start the next year healthy and happy about my body.

How do I plan on accomplishing this 16 lb weight loss?

Well let me introduce you to Shaklee‘s Cinch Products! I will be using their meal replacement shakes. They are full of protein to help control hunger and help you feel full.

My plan is to replace breakfast with these shakes. I am not that great at remembering (or having the time) to either eat breakfast at home or bring breakfast to work each morning, so this will make sure I am getting those important nutrients in each morning. 


They also have this terrific energy tea. You just mix it with water and now you have a healthy kick start to your afternoon (instead of reaching for a can of Coke). 

I also plan on introducing exercise into my everyday routine. During the summer months I was working out with a mom’s group 2-3 times a week after work. I lost about 5 lbs and was feeling great. However, now that the fall is in full force, and it is dark by 6 pm, these workouts have ended. I like the idea of joining a gym, and really thought I would once the temperature dropped, but we really don’t have any room in the budget to afford a membership at this time. Instead, I will use some of the MANY work out DVD’s that we have collected over the years. This should at least get me through the next 8 weeks. At that time, I will reevaluate whether or not I should join a gym.  

I believe I already eat pretty healthy, but there is always room for improvement. I am going to keep focusing on eating whole foods and cut out as much processed foods as possible. I also plan to cut as much sugar and carbohydrates as I can, but know that it might be near impossible to completely eliminate them. I know that my body is really sensitive to carbs and I even had gestational diabetes during my pregnancy. I am going to start reading food labels again and being more aware of my carbohydrate consumption. In the past when I cut out carbs, I was pretty successful at losing pounds and inches. 

Now…I have to go hide all the Halloween candy… 

Do you have any BIG goals you want to accomplish before the new year?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Fall @ Greenbluff

We took our yearly fall trip to Greenbluff this past weekend. The weather was a bit cold and windy, but it was still worth the trip for the beautiful scenery and photo-ops! 

Walters' Fruit Ranch

One of our favorite places is Watlers’ Fruit Farm. We stopped here to get some apple cider and take some pictures in their orchard. 

Greenbluff Hailey and Liam
Greenbluff Liam
Flying Liam

I can’t wait for next year when Liam will be able to pick out his own pumpkin and go on the tractor ride. 
Greenbluff is such a magical place! 


Do you have a fall tradition?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Easy Pumpkin Muffins

Fall is one of my all-time favorite times of the year, specifically the few weeks in October when the air turns crisp and the leaves start changing colors. 

One for the BEST parts of fall is the abundance of Pumpkin infused foods! Growing up I only remember eating pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving. Now, you can get Pumpkin ANYTHING!  

Easy Pumpkin Muffins

A few years back I came across this recipe and have loved using it ever since.

It is so simple, yet so delicious. 


Combine one box of spice cake with one 15 oz can of pureed pumpkin (not pie mix). 


I added ½ a cup of chocolate chips, but you can omit these if you like. 


Fill the muffin cups with BIG spoonful of dough.


Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 min.

The result is a moist mini-cake, full of pumpkin goodness! 


What is your favorite pumpkin food?

Sunday, October 7, 2012


When I was growing up, I always had BIG dreams. I wanted to go to college (first in my family), travel the world and make lots of money (not living paycheck to paycheck). I knew that my path towards reaching my dreams was hard work and dedication. I did well in school and was accepted into my top choice university. 


In college I took courses in history, social science, arts and culture, business and German. I loved college and learning.  


I spent my junior year of college in Salzburg, Austria. I had the opportunity to visit and explore so many counties and cultures. 


I graduated with two degrees and started my first “real” job.
During this time I had also meet my husband and we began planning our lives together. My dreams were all coming true! 


Then the fall of 2008 happened. But we were just fine. We had been living in a tinny tiny apartment and were living within our means (or so we thought). We both still had jobs and were getting by just fine. Some of our dreams would just have to wait, but we, and the rest of the country, would be just fine, right? 

In the past 4 years we have bought a house, lost a job, went back to school, got a new job, and had a baby. The whole time, getting by just fine, right? 

Yes, we were getting by, but during the last 4 years we lost the dream. We stopped focusing on the dream and just focused on getting by…like most Americans. But what other options did we have? We couldn’t just wait for the economy to recover before we started living our lives, and I am glad we didn’t . But it is now time to start dreaming again! 

What could we do if money wasn’t an issue?
What could we do if we weren’t held back by debt?
What kind of lives could we have it we were both healthy? 

These are my new dreams and I am excited to share with you HOW we are going to make these dreams become a reality. 

What are your dreams? What are you doing to make them happen?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

{4 Years} New Perspective

Hailey   Stan TTD 037

Today the Hubs and I are celebrating our 4 year wedding anniversary. The past four years have been wonderful, but I can honestly say that I am excited for what the next year has to bring. 

Hailey   Stan TTD 124

We have laid the ground work to be making some really big changes in our daily lives to create a happier and healthier life for our family. 

Here are some of our goals for the next year: 

1. Get out of Debt! We have a few credit cards that I would LOVE to get paid off, freeing up more money to go towards are crazy student loans.
2. Lose some weight. We have both struggled with our weight for quite some time. Over the past 2 years we have been making better food choices and seen them pay off. Now we need to really step it up a notch and start making intentional daily decisions to eat better and actively move our bodies everyday (I hate saying exercise).
3. Be the best parents we can be. I want to always be present with Liam. This can be hard, especially after a long day of work.
4. Work on improving our relationship. Spend more time on ‘US’ and improving our communication.
5. Keeping our house clean! We can be fairly sporadic at cleaning our house and I want to get on a weekly schedule that we can easily follow. We both LOVE having a clean house, but hate the frantic cleaning sessions before we have guests.
5. Meal Planning/Freezer Meals. Our food budget is fairy small and doesn't have much wiggle room. I want to put a LOT more effort into meal planning (1-2 weeks of meals at a time) and also stocking up on freezer meals. When I have done this in the past, I have loved the convenience of not having to really think about what we are doing for dinner. I want to keep learning and building on this.
6. Stop making excuses! I am the queen of excuses. I can always give you a reason why I did or didn't do something. We all know that stuff happens in life, but we have the choice on how we react to the situation. 

How are you creating a better life for yourself and your family?
Hailey   Stan TTD 038

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Canning {Tomatoes}

As summer winds down and we ease into the fall, I find myself again scrambling to get this year's harvest preserved. I wasn't sure if I was going to even do any canning/freezing this year with all my time spent either at work or with Liam. Yet, when I started seeing Instagram and Facebook blow up with friends’ canning adventures, I knew I had to find the time to do some canning. 

The last two years I have been a bit disappointed with how my tomato sauce has turned out. It always seemed so watery and lacking flavor. It was edible, but didn't really leave a lasting impression. So this year I sought out a new recipe to try. One that had a better flavor profile, with more spices and with a kick. 

I have to tell you, this recipe did not disappoint. The hubs and I both LOVE it. I had a hard time not wanting to eat a bowl of it right out of the pot!

1. Gather all your ingredients

2. Peel the tomatoes. This was a new technique for me to try and it worked really well. Boil the tomatoes for 7-8 min then submerge them in a sink full of cold water. The skins should have cracked, making it easy to peel them off (apparently tomatoes skins should be removed when canning to get the best results).

3. After they are peeled, I chopped them up and put them in a big pot and brought to a simmer.

4. Chop up onions, peppers, mushrooms and garlic. Sauté them in a separate pot with some olive oil.

5. Once the veggies are almost completely cooked, I added them to the pot of tomatoes.


6. Add all the remaining ingredients and let simmer for 2 hours. 


Now that the sauce is finished it is time to can it (or freeze it).

I will follow up soon on my canning process.

What is your favorite way to preserve tomatoes??

Saturday, September 1, 2012

{Freezer} Corn

We love fresh corn at our house, yet I NEVER buy it at the store. Probably because I always have some stashed away in my freezer.

A few years back my Grandma started sending me home with frozen corn from her garden. She would pack them in small little snack sized bags (perfect size for the two of us) and whenever I wanted some corn I would pull a bag out and put it in a pot on the stove. As I cooked dinner, it would defrost and heat up. Just add a dash of salt and pepper and a some butter and it is the perfect side dish!

Last year when I discovered I can get a TON of fresh corn for super cheap at a local U-Pick farm, I knew I had to freeze my own corn. We went back again this year and picked up 14 ears of corn for $3.50…how can you beat that?!

Freezer Corn

Here is my process for freezing corn. It is so simple!

1. Shuck all the corn

Shucking Corn

2. Blanch corn in a pot of boiling water. I give them about 8 min and then move them to a sink of cold water.

Blanching Corn

3. Once corn is cool and can be handled, I cut off the kernels. In the past I have just held the cob in a big bowl and cut down the cob to remove the kernels, but this year I discovered a nifty and easy way to cut the kernels off (thanks to Kelly).

cutting corn

4. Once all kernels are removed, I place them on a cookie sheet to flash freeze them (this way they won't be a big block of corn when frozen).

5. After about 2 hours in the freezer, I pack them in the snack baggies. Four of these bags fit into a pint sized freezer bag.

freezing the corn

5. Label them and then toss back in the freezer.

There you have it. 8 servings of organic, local corn for less than $0.25 a serving.

Ironically, we went to Pig Out in the Park later that day and saw they were selling fresh corn on the cob for $3 an ear!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Welcome to the Hill Hill Homestead

I have made some changes to the blog and renamed it Happy Hill Homestead!!

This blog is a tribute to my heritage and family. My paternal grandparents were cattle ranchers in the Okanogan Valley. They started with very little and grew a family and ranch from the ground up. As a child, I spent many weekends and summers at the ranch on Happy Hill. Grandma taught me how to sew, can and cook. I learned about livestock husbandry, how to ride a horse and build fences. Now as an adult, living in the city, I dreams of those days on the ranch and long for the opportunity to raise our family on a little plot of land with a garden and maybe a few chickens.

I want to use this blog to document our lives as we go Back to the Basics. Living off less, while having more. Enjoying the simple things in life, like a home cooked meal and a good conversation. We have started our own family now and want to raise our son in an environment of health and happiness.
Maybe someday the homesteading dream will become a reality, but for now we will make the most of what we do have.

Join me as the adventure continues...

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Liam Rolls Over!

Liam rolled over for the first time this morning. He will be 4 months old on Saturday.  I was able to catch it on film this evening. He loves this glowing seahorse and I think it is his motivation to roll over.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

3 Months Old

4th Trimester is over…and so is my maternity leave :(

I went back to work on July 9th. It was almost surreal how fast 12 weeks of maternity leave went. The last few weeks of my leave I was pretty down. I was upset that I had to go back to work in general, but more importantly I was upset that I was going to be away from Liam everyday. He is just now starting to get a personality, to be more interactive. I finally got a daily routine down, and I have to learn a new, more challenging one. In 12 weeks I felt like I accomplished nothing, and I had all these grand plans for things I was going to get done around the house while home. Oh well, I know the time I spent with Liam, was way more important than some house projects!

Liam is growing so much!

Weight: 14 lbs

Length: Length 25 inches

Clothing Size: 3-6 months. He is so long in the torso that onesies are starting to get tight, but overall he is very lean.

Diapers: Cloth diapering is going great! We have mostly been using just the prefolds and Thirsties covers while at home and use AIO's when we are out of the house. I also use cloth wipes once in awhile too, but the disposables ones are just more convenience most of the time. At daycare Liam will be using the AIO/pockets.

Sleep: We are so incredibly lucky. Liam sleeps like a champ. He typically goes down for the night between 8:30-9 pm. We lay him down in the pack and play in our room and most nights he stays in there until early morning. Some nights, we hear him talking to himself for up to 30 min before he falls asleep. During the night, if he wakes up, I bring him into bed to nurse and he stays there until morning. Nursing in bed has gotten easier (was never successful early one). If he is still asleep when I get up for work, I get myself ready and then walk him to nurse and then diaper change. I am so lucky he is a good sleeper, especially now that I am back at work.

Breastfeeding/pumping: Breastfeeding has gotten sooo much better this past 2 months. I am enjoying it with no complaints. Liam has a good latch and we love our snuggles together while he nurses. I had basically stopped pumping all together since my supply had stabilized. Now that I am back at work, I have to pump at least 2 bottles a day for Liam (I get to nurse him during my lunch break). I hated pumping when we were having nursing issues and I especially hate it now. It is such an inconvenience. Unfortunately, my freezer stash only consider of 6 bags of 3-5 oz each. One of these bags is at daycare for an emergency. I do look forward to when Liam starts solids (hopefully we can hold off on that until 6-9 months) and I might be able to cut out one of the pumping sessions. I have also read that babies will sometimes reverse cycle and do more of their nursing when they are with mom. This might mean he stops sleeping through the night, but as long as we can co-sleep and nurse in bed, it shouldn't be much of a problem.

Personality: The last few weeks Liam sure has developed a personality. He has started smiling and cooing so much! I love it! In the morning when he wakes up, he almost always gives me a big huge smile. I love that he recognizes me and responses with such enthusiasm. Sometimes he gets really "talkative". He makes all these wonderful sounds, gurgles and giggles. It sounds kind of like Chewbacca. Ha!

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