Monday, February 27, 2012

Say It Ain't So...

Bad behavior from my SWEET little man????


Ok. Maybe it's true. Well, I wouldn't call it BAD behavior because obviously an 8 month old doesn't know good vs. bad, but lately he has been fighting me on every.single.thing. It is very frustrating to have a little one go from being a perfect angel to being Dennis the Menace in a flash!

He is fighting sleep, fighting his feedings, and throwing tantrums when he doesn't get his way. He's also experiencing some serious separation anxiety these days. If I'm not in his sight, he'll start screaming 9 times out of 10. Don't get me wrong, I love feeling wanted by my baby, but I also want him to be happy, confident, and independent. He is at the prime age for separation anxiety, so I know this is just a phase and I have to keep reminding myself that "This too shall pass".

So what's my solution? Well, in order to keep my sanity, I'm going back to square one. My plan is to re-focus on his feeding/sleeping schedule to get that back on track, and re-directing his attention when he gets upset and frustrated. I don't want to be "that" mother who's constantly yelling "No!" when he gets into something he shouldn't, so instead I'm going to focus on teaching him right from wrong by reinforcing good behavior and ignoring bad behavior.

I am setting my intention to be patient, empathetic, and understanding with my children, while also teaching them how to be happy, confident, independent individuals. I know if I focus just a little extra attention on this I will have my sweet angel back in no time, and Briggs will be able to SHINE once again! I absolutely love being a mommy and I cannot wait to watch my children grow and thrive.

Oh, and one more thing that will help me get through some of the more frustrating times...more WINE! Who's drinking with me!? It's all for the LOVE of this little man.

How can I resist that PRECIOUS little face!? Goodness, I love him.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

DIY Painted Canvas for Playroom

Leave it to Pinterest to make me addicted to crafting.
That being said, I saw a canvas project a while back on Pinterest and I knew I wanted to make something similar for my play room. I also knew that I wanted to use it on my Family Photo Gallery Wall that I was planning, so I had to select the appropriate size canvas for my project.

I ended up selecting a white 24 x 36" canvas from Michaels and I spray painted it BLACK. I did a few coats to make sure it was fully covered, and once it was completely dry I sanded it down with a sheet of sand paper to give it a rustic look. Here's what it looked like after sanding.

For the letters, I ordered some foam stamps online because I couldn't find them in a store ANYWHERE, and I used white acrylic paint.  

I wanted a "worn" look for the letters, so I dabbed them in the paint and then blotted them on a paper towel before stamping them on the canvas. I planned my words out in advance, but I didn't put much thought into the spacing. I just kinda rolled with it as I went along.

Here's the final result. I like the imperfections...they add character ;)

This project was relatively easy and ended up being PERFECT for my Gallery Frame Wall! I tried to think of phrases that would mean something to Briggs as he grows, and I love how it turned out. You'll see the Family Photo Gallery Wall in completion in a post coming soon :)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Kitchen Remodel

I am THRILLED about this long-awaited post! Ever since we bought our house nearly 4 years ago, I have hoped and dreamed of having an updated kitchen. Not a day went by that I didn't complain about my kitchen. I always told Blake I would cook more if I had a kitchen worthy of cooking in ;)  Guess I have no excuses now!

We started fixing up our kitchen piece by piece. First we replaced the nasty vinyl floors, then eventually we replaced all of the appliances. Finally we demolished and replaced the awful brown tile counter tops with BROWN grout and we also refaced all of the cabinets. Oh my, what a difference it makes. Take a look!

Brown tile counters & backsplash, brown grout, green walls, and ancient cabinets.
I used to have to VACUUM my countertops to get them even remotely clean. Gross.

Another view. Excuse the mess.
We're not finished with the BEFORE pictures yet. Awful sink. Even more awful backsplash.


And...drumroll please...
Granite countertops (Santa Cecilia), Shaker Style cabinets, Tumbled Travertine backsplash, and a fresh coat of paint (Sherwin Williams -- Universal Khaki)

New sink and fixtures

LOVE my new kitchen!

So there you have it. My beautiful cook-worthy kitchen! Our contractor was a friend of a friend and he and his guys were fantastic. Let me know if you need his number. You can find some of his info here.

That's all for now! Stay tuned for pics from some DIY projects I've been working on. Come over and see my new kitchen. I'll cook for you ;)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day

This morning I woke up at 7am, looked at the baby monitor, and found Briggs sitting QUIETLY in his crib playing with his loveys. It was one of the sweetest things I have ever seen. Then, when I went in his room to get him, his face lit up and he gave me his priceless toothy grin -- THAT was all I needed on this Valentines Day!

We spent part of our day at Daddy's office, and the rest of our day running errands, basically trying to kill time and stay out of the house while the workers were here painting our cabinets. We even went for a walk in this BEAUTIFUL weather. Tonight, in True Searcy Fashion we will be spending our evening on the couch, eating delicious Chinese takeout and drinking wine! I can't think of anything better.

Happy Valentines Day everyone!

Sunday, February 12, 2012


Who doesn't love a pretty little list to help you accomplish those pesky chores around the house!? I know I do! I wanted to pass along this great list that I found on Pinterest. This will help you keep your house clean ALL week with just a few easy steps each day instead of waiting for it to all pile up (like I typically do).

Here you go. You're welcome!
The credit for this find goes to THIS wonderful blog. Happy cleaning!

Persistence Pays Off

I am very happy to report that, after a week of "sticking to my guns" and practicing tough love, we are seeing HUGE strides in the Searcy Household in terms of Briggs' eating & sleeping habits. It took me a while to realize how much of a toll his middle-of-the-night feedings were taking on me, but the exhaustion hit me like a ton of bricks and I knew I needed to get him sleeping through the night ASAP! I also needed to get him more accustomed to drinking from the bottle so that I could start weaning him from breastfeeding...So, I spent the entire week focusing on these 2 things: Improving his sleep habits, and giving him more bottles than usual so he could get used to it. In addition, I decided to also focus on introducing more solids and allowing him to try to feed himself (see Baby Led Weaning) I was shocked at how many foods he enjoyed this week, and while the whole "feeding himself thing" was MESSY, he loved it and was much more willing to try new foods if he was shoveling it in himself, as opposed to me spoon-feeding him. The food made it into his mouth about 20% of the time ;)  See below. AVOCADO facial!

So, here's how it all went down. I decided that I was DONE waking up to feed Briggs in the middle of the night. He is old enough to not need to eat when he wakes up at 2:30am, but I just never had the heart to refuse the boob, and for that reason his body got used to eating at that time, which in turn led to him being HUNGRY at 2:30am every.single.night. The first night of me refusing the boob was quite difficult, not gonna lie. He woke up screaming at his usual time and I went in his room, picked him up and snuggled & rocked him for several minutes and then laid him back in his crib and left. I had to really restrain myself as I watched him kick and scream on the monitor. It was one of the hardest things I've had to do yet as a mother. But, we both survived, and after one hour of screaming, he finally slouched over and passed out. The next night it was the same story, except this time he cried for about 40 minutes before giving it up. The 3rd night we had about an hour of crying again, and I started to feel discouraged. Finally we got to the 4th night and I prepared myself for another night of crying...but to my shock and amazement Briggs never woke up! I actually woke up in a panic but found him still sound asleep in his crib. He woke up at 7am happy, ready to see me, and ready to eat! I was SO proud of my big boy, and I am confident that he can keep this up. Now that I know he's capable of sleeping through the night I will feel a little better about not feeding him should he ever wake up crying in the middle of the night again.

Naps were another beast we had to tackle. I decided to implement a schedule that I would follow loosely, but the kicker was that if we are home, he must sleep in his crib. I will probably break the rules sometimes and still let him take naps with me whenever I need to squeeze one in, but I really want him to get accustomed to sleeping in his crib most of the time. This was also difficult and led to a whole lot of crying and protesting, but today he went down for his naps and only whined for a couple minutes and then fell right asleep! Pure bliss for this mommy.

As for eating, that was a whole different ball game, and none less challenging. I had decided to start cutting out his Noon-ish boob feeding and replace it with a bottle, but I was not surprised when he totally fought me on this and absolutely refused to have anything to do with the bottle. I was able to get him to eat 6oz of formula one day, which was a huge break through for us, but the next day he was back to refusing it. In the end, I realized that he is sensing my desire to wean, and he's fighting it. It breaks my heart to deny him what he wants, but for several reasons I KNOW it's time for me to wean. After several days, and a lot of perseverance, I got him to at least drink 1 bottle of breastmilk from me for 2 days in a row. He is used to drinking a bottle when other people have him, but he rarely has to take one from me, so that was an adjustment for him. Today we crossed another hurdle and he once again drank 6 oz. of formula, so as I said...we are making BIG progress! I plan to keep up with the one-bottle-a-day thing for a little bit, and as soon as he masters this we will stretch it to 2 bottles, and so on.

And lastly, the solids. Up until this point he has only eaten purees, all of which were homemade by me. I absolutely love making and feeding him homemade organic baby food, but I realized that he hasn't been gaining enough weight and he needed to eat more, so I increased the solids in a major way. His routine now goes a little something like this: 7:00am Breastfeed, 9:00 solids, 11:00 bottle, 1:00 solid snack, 3:00 Breastfeed, 5:00 solid dinner, 7:00ish final Breastfeed. This seems to be working really well for all of us. His palette tasted all kinds of yummy things this week like, oatmeal, apples, nectarines, bananas, green beans, butternut squash, avocado, sweet potato fries, cheese and yogurt melts. He is finally LOVING food and it makes me so happy...AND, I think he's already getting a little heavier ;)

All in all, it has been a big week full of many milestones. I'm so proud of Briggs. And, as if he hadn't accomplished enough this week, he also learned how to CLAP and say DADA! He melts my heart :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A little thing called BALANCE

If you're anything like me, you probably hold it together pretty well. By "hold it together" I mean you keep your stress level to a minimum and you roll with the punches everyday. You practice patience (even if it's VERY difficult) and you maintain your composure through most situations... But if you're anything like me, you also COMPLETELY LOSE IT from time to time.

Nobody is perfect. Nobody can possibly live their life with zero stress in it, and nobody can avoid the occasional meltdown, right? That's where I'm at right now. I said this blog would be about anything and everything, and this week I've found myself stressing over what to write about next. Add to that the fact that my child is fighting sleep like no other, he's refusing to drink formula or anything from a bottle, my kitchen is semi under construction, I have 2 dogs that track mud throughout the house on a daily basis, I am sleep-deprived and have zero energy, and the chores and "To-Do's" keep piling up. Yep, I'm stressed, and I know myself and I KNOW that this is a recipe for disaster. So, this is what I'm writing about today and I'm hoping that it will be therapeutic for me at the same time :)

The other day I literally bawled my eyes out when Adele's Someone Like You came on the radio. At that moment I KNEW that I needed to take a step back and figure out what's going on with me! This is NOT the Shannon that you know (and love).

For the past 8 months I have been, more or less, stress-free. When Briggs was born I expected myself to feel overwhelmed and tired and helpless, but I felt none of those things. I don't know if it was the high of being a new mom or the fact that I never had a spare minute to stop and recognize the chaos , but I can honestly say I never felt overwhelmed. I never got frustrated with Briggs, and I pretty much never felt stressed. I had Balance. That is a beautiful word, isn't it? B.A.L.A.N.C.E.

Today I feel completely unbalanced. I feel disorganized, tired, frustrated and overwhelmed. But why? That's what I keep asking myself. I know there are many factors contributing to these feelings, but I can't quite put my finger on any ONE thing. My health has started to suffer as a result of my current stress levels and it's time to take control and pull myself together.

What it boils down to is finding BALANCE again. Easier said than done, but it's definitely do-able. Where there's a will, there's a way! In order to achieve balance in my life again, I need to prioritize things. I need to figure out what causes my stress, and I need to either eliminate it, or change it. It's that simple.

Priorities that will help me find BALANCE:
  • Baby-proof my house so I don't have to worry about my fearless baby
  • Make my health a priority. First on the agenda: gain 5 lbs.
  • Get Briggs to sleep through the night. Goal: 8:30pm-7:30am
  • Wean Briggs from breastfeeding
  • DATE NIGHT with the husband. I'm talking fancy outfit and all. It's been too long 
  • Complete my Gallery Frame Wall. Ohhh that's a stressful one.
  • Finish making/buying everything I need for Mandy & Ben's Baby Shower
  • Clean and organize kitchen drawers and cabinets upon remodel completion
  • Figure out a system for keeping the house clean ALL week so I don't have to clean 4795632863 things in one day. Pinterest to the rescue!
  • Start a business with THE Mel Velez and put our creativity to work. Stay tuned.
  • SWEAT once a day, or at least 3 times a week ;)
Whew...I feel better already! Sometimes just writing things down (or typing them out) really helps to put things in perspective and helps me get a grip on reality. Although these tasks can seem daunting when they're just swirling around in my head, they somehow seem a lot less intimidating when they're laid out in front of me. Things start to take shape, and having a list makes it all a little more manageable. I encourage you to take a step back and see whether or not you have balance in your life. Do you have family/work/health/personal balance?? If not, let something go. Make a change. It will feel so good.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

8 Month Update

Tomorrow is Super Bowl Sunday and Briggs will be 8 months old. I know everybody says they can't believe how fast time flies...but I LITERALLY cannot believe it has already been 8 months since this child kicked his way into the world. These have been the most magical 8 months of my life.

At 8 months Briggs is:
  • crawling ALL over the house. Put him on the floor and he's gone.
  • pulling himself up to standing whenever/wherever possible.
  • has 6, count them, SIX teeth! Two on bottom and 4 on top. He needs braces.
  • weighs in at a whopping 15lbs 12oz. His weight keeps fluctuating in the 15lb range...we're working on packing on some extra pounds for my little guy!
  • and is eating solid foods (homemade by ME) twice a day, in addition to his breastmilk (Yes, I'm still nursing! 8 months strong).
He has been working on his mobility for a while now, but about a week ago he really started moving. At first he mastered what we coined "the dead leg crawl" where he would use his right knee and his left foot to maneuver around the house. It was like a half regular/ half bear crawl. Hilarious. Now he just crawls on his knees, but he's getting really close to figuring out a full-on bear crawl. He'll be walking before we know it.

Here's my favorite portrait from his pictures we had done at 7 months:
Courtesy of Mary Little Photography

Our sleep habits have taken a plunge lately. For a while there he was doing great, but over the past few weeks we've had a serious regression. He cries when I put him down (which he never used to do) and then he'll wake up screaming every few hours. He has never been the greatest sleeper, and by that I mean he has always woken up at least once a night to nurse. but these past few nights have been worse than usual and it's really taking it's toll on this momma. Whew, I'm exhausted! It's time to call in the reinforcements...FERBER! We'll be refreshing ourselves on Ferber's techniques over the next couple of days. I miss the days of laying my smiley baby down in his crib and watching him on the monitor laugh and babble until he falls asleep. Soon enough I will have that back. I just keep reminding myself that this is only a phase. It will pass!

Other than that, we've been making some BIG CHANGES in the Searcy household! After 4 years of living in this house and dealing with a hideous, but functional kitchen, we have finally started updating it and bringing it into this decade! Out with the old brown tile countertops, brown tile backsplash, and brown with the new granite counter tops, tile backsplash, and re-faced cabinets! WOOO!! It's looking beautiful. I will do a whole kitchen remodel post as soon as it's done!

I am taking on a few DIY craft projects myself and I look forward to blogging about them. One thing I am most excited about is the Gallery Frame Wall I'm going to be doing. I purchased several frames to house our most recent Mary Little Photography gems and I can't wait to get the finished product up on the wall! Look for that post in the next few weeks :)

Here is a glimpse of some of our favorites from the photo shoot:
Courtesy of Mary Little Photography

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

25 Things You May or May Not Know About Me

This post is inspired by a friend's recent blog post. Thanks Lori Reilly for the idea! Check out her blog...she is one. cool. chick.

Now let's see if I can tell you 25 RANDOM things about ME!

  • I once aspired to be an Olympic Gymnast and I trained with Bela Karolyi
  • I am a big time dreamer. I always DREAM about amazing things I want to do but I have trouble turning those dreams into a reality. Working on TAKING MORE RISKS!
  • The day I met Blake, I told someone at The Houstonian that I would marry that man and we would have blue-eyed babies. True story.
  • I am one of the laziest people on earth. I am productive and lazy all at the same time.
  • I love everything about fitness but I usually struggle to force myself to workout. Hence the laziness gene.
  • I spent 12 years of my life wearing leotards, tights, and pointe shoes...and I loved EVERY minute of it.
  • My entire existence revolves around food. I live to eat. I don't eat to live. (Yes, I know it's supposed to be the other way around).
  • Not only do I work at lululemon, but I have an unhealthy addiction to the product. Okay, maybe you already knew that about me. My wardrobe is 90% lululemon.
  • I LOOOOOOOOOVED being pregnant. Even through the many complications I had with Briggs. I hope to do it all again at least TWO more times :)
  • I have an extreme fear of BEES. I will knock you over and trample you to get away from a bee that is near.
  • I was born to be a mother.
  • I was adamant about breastfeeding, and I told myself it would be easy...and it WAS. Talk about SAVING MONEY!
  • I watch way too much TV.
  • I really really really want to start a business. Not just any business... one where I can put my creativity/craftiness to work! Party planning? I think so.
  • I have the worst road-rage ever. I want to murder people on the streets everyday.
  • Empathy is my #1 quality.
  • I am extremely A.D.D. If I don't have a list for what I need to accomplish, it doesn't get done because I get too distracted.
  • I want to learn how to use photoshop but it intimidates me.
  • Thanks to pinterest I have actually started making dinners for my Husband.
  • I love sweets and I have to eat some kind of dessert immediately after eating.
  • Within the first 5 minutes of waking up I look at facebook and pinterest on my phone. Sad.
  • I have a major soft spot for animals. I cry when squirrels get hit by cars.
  • I despise folding much so that I would pay someone to do it for me.
  • I absolutely love going to Starbucks, not necessarily for the caffeine, but for the "Starbucks experience". Love it.
  • I'd much rather lay at home on the couch in my sweats than go out! I'm somewhat of a hermit.
That's all for now folks! Until next time...