Saturday, June 14, 2014

Happy First Father's Day...




Happy First Father's Day to my one and only.  As you know I grew up without a father, which just made me determined to find a man that would love our children and give me the family I always dreamed of.  You have exceeded my expectations. I could never imagined a life this full of joy!

When you sing to MJ, my heart almost explodes.  When he wraps his arms around us in our Szkalak family hug, I close my eyes, take a deep breath...I could live in those moments forever.

You are already his Hero.  You can make him laugh like no one else.  Watching you as a father has made me love you so much more than I ever thought was possible. Thank you for being the father to MJ that I never had.  Thank you for putting us first after God.  Thank you for giving me the best family in the world.  I can't wait to love you even more as our family grows!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

11 Weeks Old...

Oh how the times flies.  A girlfriend reminded me this week that the "Days are long, but the years are short."  I tell myself this during every night feeding when i feel like a zombie and it changes my attitude.  So much has changed in MJ's 11th week of life.  He has grown and developed in so many ways.  

At his 2 month old check up, MJ weighed 14 lbs and 2 oz! My big boy! He is in the 95th percentile for height, 80th for weight, and 75 for the circumference of his head. When the nurse came in the room she looked at MJ squirming on the table and said to me, "I am sorry, I must be in the wrong room."  She left, and a few minutes later came back. She addresses me again and says, "actually they just have his age wine on the chart.  This says he is here for his 2 month old check up."  I replied with, "yes that is right!"  She looks shocked and says, "wow he is a big boy, I thought he was 4 months old!

Iguess MJ really will a future star. I may be a little too obsessed my little boy!  Although I think every mom thinks they have the most beautiful baby, I am pretty sure I do. The best part is, he is already beautiful on the inside too.  He has such a sweet angelic spirit.

MJ Loves:
To be sung to... And he tries to sing along. Within the first few notes of any song his face lights up and a goofy grin is plastered across his face. Then he proceeds to make noises as if he is singing along. If we stop singing he stops too. It is pretty adorable!
Bath Time... While in the bath he just lays there wide eyes, but after is when he get really happy. As soon as he is wrapped up warm in one of his super cute hooded towels he is all smiles :)! 
Kicking things that make noise: MJ has these little socks with wrattles on them. He kicks and kicks and kicks.he just loves that he controls the sound!
Massages... Right before bedtime, after bath time. We massage MJ from head to toe in sweet smelling lotion and he just lives it!

MJ Hates:
Being swaddled... And since I stopped swaddling him, he is sleeping for longer hours at a time!
Having a dirty diaper...he likes to be super clean just like his daddy! I change 20 diapers a day...Yikes!

In MJ's 11th week of life He came face to face with a parrot, went on his first date, and got to wear his first costume ( a pirate costume)!
























Thursday, October 31, 2013

Green Goddess Quinoa & Gluten Free Pasta Salad



Now that I am a mommy cooking has become almost impossible.  11  weeks into this and I have finally got a good groove going. Here is an easy/healthy/yummy recipe that I came up with.  This low fat high protein salad can last 2 days as meals! Perfect for the busy and exhausted mom.


Salad Ingredients:

1 package of Spinach gluten free pasta (swirls make it aesthetically appealing). 
2 cups Quinoa
1 cups halved heirloom cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup fat free feta cheese
4 cups chopped arugula 
1/4 cup almond slivers 
2 1/2 tablespoons Trader Joes Goddess Dressing and or 2 1/2 tablespoons Trader Joes Pesto

How To:

When the pasta and quinoa have cooled mix all of the ingredients together in a big serving bowel. Now split the salad in half.  Put one half in the fridge to save for another meal. Don't toss wait her dressing until right before you serve.

Meal 1 - I have this one in the evening tossed in the Goddess Dressing served with Salmon. So... If you buy your fish from Whole Foods they will cook it right there for you for FREE (seasoned and everything). This has been my life saver. I just go over to Whole Foods right before the hubs comes home from work, grab a smoothie or juice and shop for 15 minutes and it cooked!

Meal 2 - I like to have this the next day for lunch. I dice and cook up some Trader Joes chicken sausages right before I serve lunch so they are piping hot. I mix the sausages and pesto in the salad and serve.

I recommend serving this with a cold glass of lemon and mint infused water.  And some festive cupcakes... Yumm!

Top 10 FREE Apps for Moms...



As every breastfeeding mom knows, your smart phone is your new best friend.  From tracking feedings/diaper changes/milk pumping to handy white noises to help your little one sleep. I have compiled my top ten must have FREE applications for new moms.  You can’t go wrong with free.

1.  Sleep Pillow -  A white noise app that is convenient and free. I use it to help MJ nape at home and in the car. There are several different sound choices and I switch them up for day and night…He falls asleep in minutes! This one is a must.

2.  Sprout - Feeding, Pooping, you name it app.  I love this app because it helps me keep track of MJ’s feeding, diaper changes, sleeping and awake times, as well as all of his growth and milestones. The free edition is fine for me, but for $5 you can upgrade and the app will track which breasts you use most and charts your babies feeding trends.

3.  SitOrSquat Bathroom Finder - Whether for changing diapers or for your own business, this is one application no mom should be without. This includes a rating system, info on changing tables, handicap accessibility, and vending machines for more personal items.
4.  Martha's Everyday Food: Quick & Easy Recipes - Ok so I know I said free, but this one is practically free and well worth the $0.99.  Ms. Martha and her Everyday Food team have you covered with easy-to-access (and make!) recipes the whole family will love. You can chose from the daily delivery of a dinner recipe, or search through a
5.  Mom Maps - This app has more than 24,000 kid-focused locations in metro areas, and utilizes your GPS functionality to get you there. Giving you kid and baby friendly things to do while everywhere you are!
6. ReQall - An innovative voice-enabled service that allows you to capture passing thoughts, reminders and to dos in an easy way through your iPhone. But, this just scratches the service of everything it is capable of. Not only does reQall keep track of things you need to remember, shopping lists, etc., it also organizes your reminders, integrates into Outlook and even shares them with others. for
7. Grocery iQ - saves money and time when grocery shopping. Their barcode scanning feature makes creating lists easy. You can sort by category, aisle and more. This app is also integrated with coupons, so you can find easily find savings on the items on your list before leaving home.

8.  Mint.com - Instead of tediously entering your transactions (because you have time to burn, right?) this app gives you all-in-one money management for cards, bank accounts, investments, budgeting, income and expenditures. It automatically syncs up with your financial institutions and delivers all the info to you. One-click security keeps your info private, plus deactivation is easy online if you lose your phone.
9.  My Cycles - You have enough to keep track of in your life without having to calculate your cycle too. This handy little app will calculate your period and ovulation schedule, displaying likely arrival times for each so you can time baby-making (or prevent it, whatever the case may be).
10.  ZipList - ZipList is a shopping list management app that allows you to create and share grocery lists with family members, and syncs automatically with your ZipList account online. Sort grocery store lists by aisle or store, text lists to other members, and download ingredients from sites to list. The barcode feature is the coolest: simply scan UPC codes on products in your cupboard to add to your list. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Little Man Baby Shower...

Looking back on my baby shower, I am reminded of those special people in my life who have supported me though this process. I really could not have made it without them.  

My girlfriends got together and though me and MJ a little man shower.  My wonderful friends from every strange of my came from all over (as far as Florida and Nebraska) to celebrate MJ! 

I am one lucky girl to have the best friends in the world!


A very special thanks to Christina Sinclair, Steph, Leanne, and Kelsey for all your hard work preparing this special day.

Thank you sweet Becky for catching each moment with such fabulous photos!

Thank you Melanie and Bella Blooms for the fabulous flowers arrangements and centerpieces. (For some reason I can't find a picture... So sad because they were beautiful!).

I am one lucky girl to have the best,most supportive   friends in the world!

MJs First Day!

MJ is Very Loved... And has had so many visitors since he arrived. Our hospital room is filled with beautiful flowers balloons and gifts. What a blessed boy!  Here are a few precious pictures from his first day here in the real world!

Thank you Becky for taking these sweet photos of our boy!


Two Months Old...


I can't believe that just 2 months ago, MJ was born.  It feels like he has been mine forever...

Now as I lay skin to skin with this angel... I can't remember a world without him. These nine weeks have rocked my world. MJ and I have journeyed together though so much. (Bringing him into this world was quite the experience for both of us.) We have battled breast feeding...and won!  It took a while (2 lactaction consultants and the daily use of gel pads on my chapped bleeding nipples ), but I actually enjoy it now. 
This past 2 months has been a whirl wind. Since MJ was born i have been fighting a nasty cold on and off...and we moved 3 weeks ago. I know... Hell!!! Needless to say life has been challenging. Juggling a newborn, while moving and unpacking, sick and sleep deprived, is not "one of my favorite things."  I think the worst is the sleep deprivation. I feel like I am living on drugs and not the good kind. I am quite possibly brain dead. Formulating sentences has become a thing of the past (hence I haven't written a blog post since August...sorry about that).  

You know what makes it all worth it?  Seeing MJ smile, holding him close, kissing those baby lips, and soft skin, Knowing that I have to die to myself to teach this little one how to live in the world, to be a human. I look at MJ and i foget the pain.  Being selfless has taken on a whole new meaning...and I absolutely love it! I wouldn't trade being a momma to MJ for the whole world!

I never new a love like this...


MJ hates...

Being  Swaddled If I eat kale, spinach, or if I drink milk
Laying on his back for too long
Cold breast milk

MJ loves...

Double kisses from mom and dad
Being sung to
Laying on his tummy
Playing with his gym
Car rides
His stroller bassinet 
Being held ALL THE TIME

MJ Milestones Thus Far...

MJ rolls from his belly to his back 
He giggles and smiles
He sleeps for 4 hours once a day (I am hopping he starts sleeping longer)



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