Catch Me at my NEW BLOG!

11 Jun

I have transferred everything over to my new blog called Banana Hammocks & Tutus, but am still in the process of branding and setting the site up the way that I want it.  It will be the same content (I PROMISE) but with a new name and URL.  I just felt as though the whole “rebel” part of RebelCrunchMama didn’t really go along with what I was writing and where I wanted to go with this blog.  In short, things took a different direction than I originally thought they would and I love so much more the way that I’m going.  I’m excited about the future of my new blog and hope you are too.  So please come join me.  Re-subscribe there and continue to laugh with me, cry with me, and enjoy life with my crazy little family.  You won’t regret it, I promise.

PLUS!  I have some giveaways in the works and you won’t want to miss them.  Fun stuff is amiss at Banana Hammocks & Tutus!  Come join us!


Sunday Confessional: We Bed-Share

29 May

When Madilyn was 3 weeks old and I had been able to squeeze in a total of about .8 hours of sleep in those 3 weeks, we invested in an Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper.

Source: Arm’s Reach Concepts

Prior to that, the only way that she would sleep was on my chest so we couch-surfed for those first 3 weeks.  It was uncomfortable for me and dangerous for her.  I didn’t sleep.  At all.  I was too afraid of smothering her between my rolls and the cushions.

Upon receipt of the Co-Sleeper, we learned the proper way to swaddle (Thank you, Dr. Karp!) and utilized the Co-Sleeper that night.  Our first night of using it, she slept 4 hours in a row.  I thought I’d won the lottery!

Sleep was much less evasive at that point and we utilized the Co-Sleeper until Madilyn was 5.5 months old.  She began crawling at 5 months old and would crawl into bed with me (Kyle had moved to Georgia for a job and we were still in Florida).  Unfortunately, when she got in bed with me all she wanted to do was nurse.  She wouldn’t sleep unless my breast was in her mouth and I wouldn’t sleep when my breast was in her mouth.  At that point, I moved her to her crib, in her room and all was right with the world.

In (or out) comes Grady.  Kyle and I invested in a Select Comfort Sleep Number bed last summer and we upgraded from a Queen to an Olympic Queen which added 6″ to our sleep surface.  It doesn’t sound like a lot of extra space but you’d be amazed at how much extra space that 6″ adds.

When we got home from the hospital with Grady, we just put him in bed with us.  We had the Co-Sleeper attached to the bed but we didn’t use it.  There was just something right about having Grady there with us.  He slept like an angel from the first night and I’ve been blessed to only have (maybe) 2 “bad” nights with him.  Our “bad” nights are more like a regular newborn’s “good” nights so I really can’t complain.

Having Grady in bed with us has not been scary or dangerous (in my opinion) because we have the co-sleeper attached to my side of the bed and we use a tightly-rolled up sheet between Kyle & me so that Kyle doesn’t roll over in his sleep.  Grady faces me, on his side, and I cuddle him while we slumber.  Should he roll over, he would roll into the co-sleeper and likely wouldn’t even wake up.

Grady – 10 weeks

Seeing as Grady is almost 3 months old, I decided to try to use the Co-Sleeper last night.  Grady and I had no trouble falling asleep, but at 1:05 I woke up with a start to check on him (this was a first for me since we came home from the hospital).  Kyle was still awake and told me that he didn’t like Grady in the Co-Sleeper and that he couldn’t sleep until Grady was in bed with us.  He said that it just didn’t feel right.  So I gladly put Grady back in bed with us and we snuggled the night away.

I don’t know how much longer we’ll Bed-Share with Grady.  It all depends on him and whatever his sleeping habits may become.  When and if they begin to inhibit my precious sleep, we will find an alternative sleep situation.  But for now, this works for us.  He loves it, we love it, and we’re all very well rested and happy.

Movin’ on Up. Big Girl Bed: Take 1

26 May

So we’re reaching that time in our parental walk where we must seriously think about moving Madilyn to a “big girl bed”.  You know how it goes:  You walk into your sweet, innocent little girl’s room and she’s dangling from the side of the crib.  Yeah.  I had visions of her toppling over the side and onto her sweet little head, cracking it wide open on our…um…cheap carpet for about 24 hours before I decided that something needed to change.

The crib that we bought was supposed to be able to convert to a toddler bed but we didn’t know that we had to buy the conversion kit at that time.  Unfortunately it isn’t made anymore, so that’s where we arenow.  Do we buy her a toddler bed or do we buy her a single bed so that she can grow into it?  Styles was in a toddler bed before he ever went to a single but here are the problems I have with that now:

1. I’d have to buy a toddler bed.

2.  I’d also have to eventually buy her a bigger bed and a single mattress which just means more money in the long run.

3.  I’d have to buy Grady a crib mattress so that Madilyn could use her current mattress in the toddler bed.

4.  Toddler beds aren’t always the most sophisticated-looking things.  I’d like something that matches her room:  

5.  Moving her from crib to toddler bed is going to be difficult enough.  Do I really want to go through the transition again once she outgrows a toddler bed?

The things that make you go Hmmmmm….

The cons of buying her a single bed now instead of later are:

1.  I’d have to buy bed rails so that she doesn’t fall out

2.  I’d also have to buy a single mattress for the larger bed frame

The pros of having a single bed now instead of later are:

1.  We move beds ONE time.

2.  I can get something pretty that will match her room for a long time

3.  Grady can use Madilyn’s current crib mattress when he eventually goes to his own crib.

4.  Madilyn gets a brand spanking new single mattress!

OK.  Thank you for letting me talk that out.  My decision has been made.  We’ll get Madilyn a Big-girl single bed as opposed to a toddler bed.  In the long run, we will spend a lot less money.  I desperately want to get her something that she will not only grow into, but something sophisticated that matches her cute room.  This little bed is so sweet and would go GREAT with Madilyn’s current ivory furniture:

I’m sad to take her out of her crib.  It means she’s growing up and becoming more independent.  I also do NOT look forward to the up and down & playing around when she should be sleeping, but it’s just one of the many joys of parenthood, right?  I’ll be sure to keep you posted on how the transition goes.  I’m certain it will be story-worthy.

Do you have any tips for moving your child from a crib to a bigger bed?  Or any funny stories to share?  I’d love to hear them!

Disclosure:  This was a sponsored post. However, all opinions are 100% my own.

My Favorite Breakfast: Cinnamon-Maple Quinoa

18 May

This is my absolute FAVORITE breakfast.  It is adapted from Jessica Seinfeld’s book, “Double Delicious”.  The premise of the book is that Jessica uses vegetable purees to hide in food to make it more healthy and to help you get your daily dose of vegetables in all their vitamin- and mineral-packed goodness.

Before I share the recipe, I’d like to tell you all how much my family and I LOVE this cookbook.  It is absolutely amazing.  I have made every single lunch/dinner recipe and a few of the breakfasts.  I have also made some of the desserts that YES, have vegetable purees in them.  My husband still doesn’t believe to this day that the Cherries Jubilee Brownies had spinach in them.  OH YES THEY DID!  Styles absolutely despises vegetables, especially cauliflower.  He vomits like Linda Blair every time he eats cauliflower but thanks to this book, he eats it a few times a week without knowing it.  No knowledge = no vomit.  WIN.  I generally make a menu for the week before I go grocery shopping.  This not only saves you money, but time too.  As a BUSY mom, I need all the time I can get.  The menu and grocery list take about 15 minutes to set up and then off to the store I go.  When I get home (and after I’ve put my groceries away), I begin the process of steaming and pureeing my vegetables for the entire week.  I generally have left over inventory from the week before so it generally involves steaming and pureeing 2-3 vegetables.  I’ve found that for my busy schedule, it is easiest to get frozen veggies to steam and puree than it is to clean, chop, and steam fresh veggies.  According to Dr. Oz, frozen veggies have more nutrients anyways!

I highly recommend that you run out and get this cookbook now.  RIGHT NOW.  DO IT!

Here’s the recipe for your oral-sensory pleasure:

Cinnamon Maple Quinoa

Prep: 20 min

Yield: 6 servings


*1-1/4 cup water

*1 cup quinoa

*1 Tablespoon trans-fat-free soft tub margarine spread (I use Smart Balance)

*1/2 cup sweet potato puree*

*1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup

*1/3 cup skim milk

*1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (I usually throw in just a shake more)

*pinch of salt

*for garnish:  1 teaspoon maple syrup & 1 teaspoon chopped walnuts of almonds per serving


1.  In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil.  Meanwhile, rinse the quinoa in cold water and strain (this is SUPER important, people).  Add the quinoa to the boiling water and reduce heat to a simmer.  Cook for 12 minutes, uncovered.  Remove the pot from the heat, cover and let sit for 5 minutes.

2.  In a separate pot, melt the margarine.  Stir in the sweet potato puree, 1 tablespoon of the maple syrup, milk, cinnamon, and salt.  When the quinoa has finished cooking, stir in the sweet potato mixture.

Top each serving with 1 teaspoon (or more) of maple syrup and 1 teaspoon (or more) of chopped almonds or walnuts.  Then dig in, close your eyes, and float away.  

Pure Oral Delight.

Wordless Wednesday

18 May

"I'm not gonna eat lunch with you. I'm gonna cross this cobblestone street a few thousand times"

Bye-Bye Poop!

17 May

We cloth diaper so when Madilyn poops, we dump it into the toilet and flush it.   As children begin to potty train, some are afraid of losing their poop so I have taught Madilyn to say “good bye” to her poop as we flush it so that [hopefully] she’s not afraid of losing it when potty training occurs.

I’m not quite sure when it happened but Madilyn rarely says “good bye” anymore without blowing kisses.  It happens to random strangers, her daddy, her grandparents, at bed time, and to her poop.

We flushed her poop this morning and, like hundreds of times before; she waved, said “bye-bye poop”, and blew multiple kisses to the stinky turd as it swirled its way to the underworld.

Getty Images

Why it was so much more riotous to me this morning, I’m not sure.  I do know, however; that I wanted to share.  If only we all loved our poop so much….


16 May

Things happen in my life on a near-daily basis that prove Murphy’s Law as truth. Each Monday is dedicated to showcasing my life’s crazy moments.

I don’t get to shower every day.  There.  I said it.  I try to shower every day but it’s not always feasible.  The shower is PRIME real estate in my house.  It seems as though every time I get a few minutes to wet myself down and run a bar of soap over my skin, Grady is immediately in need of a marathon feeding session.  I never deny him milk so I usually sit down with him, clean and flowery smelling, and nurse him until his stomach is completely full.  Maybe even over-full.  Because as luck would have it, (or as Murphy’s Law would have it) his stomach runneth over.  EVERY time I get out of the shower and feed him, he pukes all over me.  In my clean (dried and straightened) hair, all over my clean and lotioned body, all over my brand new clean clothes.   This past week, he puked all over me then proceeded to fill his diaper to the point of explosion so that I was not only covered in vomit, but bright orange buttered-popcorn smelling poop.  Awesome.

I’ve come to the conclusion that Grady prefers me dirty.

If it can happen, it will happen.

My Fragile Psyche

13 May

So as uncomfortable as I am looking at myself in the mirror, I have never been happier or more comfortable with myself in my life.  I don’t know if it is because I am getting older (30 in 2 months), or if it’s because my hunky husband somehow still wants to have everything to do with me every night of the week, or if it’s because I’m too busy to care.  Perhaps it is a combination of all three.

Image Courtesy Google Images

As solid as I feel emotionally, I have these supremely fragile days, like I did on Wednesday.  My dear, hot husband is a complete workaholic.  I feel blessed to be a stay at home mom but I never get a break.  Even rides in the car don’t provide me with any alone time.  My job is literally 24/7 and sometimes I have a mental health day.  I’m trying to learn to allow myself those days and to not feel entirely nutty when I have one.  This is by far the most stressful job I’ve ever had and add to it a nice dose of PPD, I think I’m handling it pretty well.

Image Courtesy

I just need to solidify the idea in my mind, that no day is going to be perfect, the house is never going to be perfectly clean, dinner will never be perfectly on the table at 6pm, my children will not always be perfectly behaved, and I cannot always look my best.  It would be nice if I had an Au Pair who could help me achieve all of these things but the reality of the situation is that I’m a one-woman-show.

So forgive me my fragile days and lift me up.  I’ll do the same for you.

Confession: I’m Fat.

12 May

Pre-Madilyn. Approximately 170lbs.

I’ve never been happy with the way that my body looks and I know for a fact that my friends, from Middle School to current, can attest to the fact that I put myself down way too much.  Now that I look at pictures of myself from pre-Madilyn, I am disgusted that I ever thought I was fat.  I’m not a small person.  I’m normally very muscular and athletic looking, but not fat.  There IS a difference.   I am super curvy and will never be “skinny” but I have some pretty awesome child bearing hips, so NAH!

Approximately 24 weeks pregnant with Grady

Upon being put on bed rest for 3 months with Madilyn, I gained 80lbs.  I kept my bad eating habits once she was born and then got pregnant with Grady 9 months later.  I lost 16lbs during my first trimester with Grady and then gained a total of 25 more pounds during the rest of my pregnancy, putting me at only 9lbs over my pre-pregnancy weight.  When I went for my first prenatal visit, I had lost 20lbs since having Grady but I’m still HUGE.  For me at least.

I just started watching “Biggest Loser” and I weigh as much as most of the women on the show but don’t feel as though I LOOK that big.  It’s pretty disgusting to me that I’ve gained so much weight and I promise that I’ll never complain about my curvy girl figure again if I can just get back down to a size 12.  I’ve come to realize that the number on a scale means nothing.  It’s all about how  my clothing fits and how I feel.  170lbs might look like a lot of weight on some women, but it looks GOOD on me.  249, however; does not.

I just joined forces with The Sparkle Mama on a Weight Loss Challenge where the grand prize is a stash of brand new Cloth Diapers.  I don’t know about you, but I need some accountability or else I will never, EVER be healthy again.  (I’m staying away from the “thin” moniker because “thin” is not my goal.  Healthy is.)   That said, even the challenge was not enough to scare me into eating healthy.  So I’m confessing my weight and pictures of myself in the most disgusting outfit known to man.  Because I want to be able to post on June 6, having lost at least 10 lbs and looking a little better, and a lot closer to my goal of being healthy again.

Salad with feta, almonds, Kashi Sesame crackers, and raspberry viniagrette

I am currently breastfeeding so being on a “diet” is not really in the cards for me.  My plan of attack is to stop eating processed sugar.  No more processed sugar for the next month.  I will also stay away from “whites” and eat only whole grains.  When I crave something savory to eat, I will allow myself some ranch dressing and raw broccoli.  When I crave sugar, I will allow myself fruit.  I will eat yummy lunches like this salad.  And I will exercise at least 3 times per week.  By exercise, I mean walking brusquely with my stroller.  I’d like to go to the gym but Madilyn will have NONE of that so walking it is.

So PLEASE subscribe and hold me accountable.  Cheer me along.  I’ll be posting my weight and pictures weekly and giving a synopsis about what I’ve been eating, if I’ve “cheated”, and how much exercise I’ve managed to squeeze in.  And if you feel so inclined, join me.

So here’s my confession:  

Front view

Side View

Yes, that says 249Lbs.

Wordless Wednesday

11 May
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