Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Weekend ReCap

The Chasing Fireflies catalogue makes me want to spend a kazillion dollars. I think we totally need these matching family pajamas. HA

 My parents came up for the weekend and we worked HARD on the yard! Mom planned our landscaping and Dad and Erik did wood working to replace the old HVAC Lattice.

 You can see the new fencing and the landscaping better here. 4 gardenia bushes and 5 Nandina! 
 Erik also pulled up all the old brick for the path way to get ready to pave it to match the patio.  This will be his 1st attempt at laying pavers and hopefully  it will be great so that he can do the rest of our plan and save us tons on labor charges!

 To celebrate a weekend full of successful yard work we had a cook out and these little dudes played till they were so tired they were about to explode or fall asleep standing up.
 and thanks to Coco I am trying a new beauty product! Coconut oil for moisturizer, makeup remover and shaving creme.
That is a pretty brief but accurate update! We also went to the Bella Rustica Festival, 2 consignment sales, and ate a bunch of Sushi since my parents now love it, and we nursed this poor sick artist back to health. He has had the croup for a week :(

 The Silver lining of having the croup was that he felt so bad he actually would sit still for longer than 5 minutes so we had our 1st screening of Toy Story and Monsters Inc ( I fast forwarded through the beginning) and he loved them and actually watched pretty much the entire thing!! He also liked the ipad again YAY!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Sister is 2 Months Old!

We have made it 2 whole months now and everything is still going well! Sister is becoming happier by the week. She is now finally starting to show some smiles and doing some really sweet cooing. She smiles every time I go get her from her crib and all while on the diaper changing table too. Between that and the fact that she let me shop in TJMAXX the other day without having a hissy fit means she must be starting to love me! ha

 She still has her hair and it is still dark! It does seem to be thinner in spots though so not sure if it will fall out and replace or not. I think she is adorable and hilarious in her little Beaufort Bonnet. 

And by the grace of God she is still sleeping all night. Generally from 8:30 pm - 6:30 am.  This is such a game changer! I mean.. I didn't sleep with Fenn for a YEAR after he was born! I think I was still getting up 3 times a night when he was 9 months old,...

She is not as much of a piggy as Fenn was either. She generally spends her days, eating then being awake for about an hour ( on her mat or swing etc) then going back to sleep for an hour the up again and reset! ha She will take longer naps if we are out and about running errands and such but at home she naps an hour and is up an hour. If she is up longer than 1hr. 15mins she gets super fussy and will cry cry.

She is wearing 3-6 month clothes and the same Costco Size1/2 diapers.She is still getting the most beautiful and girly little presents you can imagine.

The Biggest Challenge of Parenting 2 right now:
My boy has had the croup for the past week and wants to be held 24-7 and that has been hard to care for them both at the same time, and I also have been paranoid about her getting it but so far she has not gotten it and we are past the worst of it. She was a good sport and spent lots of time in her swing while I held big bro.

We had her check up for 2 months Check Up and she has a belly button hernia. I thought her belly button was looking weird but he said it can be common since baby stomach muscles are not grown together yet and it would resolve itself. SO for now its just looks kinda like an outie.

Her Stats: 
weight : 13lbs 10oz ( 94%)
Height:   23.5"           (92%)
Head : 15.75"            (94%)

Saturday, August 17, 2013

A Little of This and A Little of That..

We have been quite busy over the end of Summer! Here are a few recaps:

We spent some time at the "beachy ocean" aka Orange Beach ! It was awesome. We also had family pictures made while we were there and I can not wait to see them!
 Driving the boat with PawPaw
 On the way home we stopped in Monroeville for my Nonnie's 80th Birthday Party. I always have to remind myself she is actually 80 cause you sure can't tell it either in looks or spunk! Her party was beautiful and it was fun visiting with everyone. 
(pic below is me, momma, Nonie, my Aunt CC, cousin Anna Catherine)
 Sister turned 8 weeks old!  She has gone from the hardest baby ever to the easiest baby ever! I can not believe the changes that have taken place and am so thankful for them. I am sure it's due to all the prayer from everyone over those 1st few tough weeks! #appreciateit

This little guy... Ohhhh he has my whole heart! Something about this age is so precious, and funny and maddening. The amount of love I have for him is terrifying!  He has changed SO much lately and is talking and saying everything and anything. Like his momma, he hates being bored so I have to keep him busy all day. He still loves his sister, and I am expecting that to continue until she can move around and mess with his stuff. Lately he wants to poke her in her huge little cheeks all the time.  
He is very bossy in his play telling me what to do and how to do it. He also seems to be trying to drop his nap, so I let him have 2 hours of quiet time in his room. So far, so good. 
 ANd in our big news.. we have a major project going in the back yard! Phase 1 of the new patio/yard design. When it is all done I will post before & after pics with progression pics but for now.. here are pics in its current state. It will be primed and ready for football season and outdoor porch parties! I can't wait! 

Thanks to Natasha from Hello Happiness talked about this recipe for Honey Lime Enchiladas the other day and I cooked those tonight. They are fab! A nice new take on mexican food from home. Recipe HERE if you wanna give it a go. I also made some Cilantro Lime Rice to go with. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Anna Clarke is 6 Weeks Old!

La Princessa is 6 weeks old today, and is no longer so high maintenance so we now call her " sister ". Things have REALLY improved over the last few weeks and I left everyone hanging with our stomach issues so lets start there! 

I discussed HERE about how she was diagnosed with an allergy/sensitivity of some sort which was likely dairy, and how that was making her super fussy. This is such a long story so I am gonna make it as short as possible.
I tried dairy free for several weeks and was miserable by the restrictions on food and starving and she was not improving any, I even had her diaper tested again and blood was still present. I then contemplated formula, my pediatrician gave us some samples of nutramagin and suggested that I  try that and see if she acted better but continued pumping so that my milk supply would not be damaged incase I chose to stick with breastfeeding. 
( Let me say that I have NO judgement on how anyone feeds their child breast or formula etc. Every situation/child is so unique and requires different choices so I am only speaking about MY feelings and experiences for MY children. I don't want to offend anyone, and I also don't want to hear anyone's crap in the comments. Please and thank you.)

So anyway. I have lots of food hoodoo as it is and trying formula is way against my personal belief system, but I was so desperate to help her and feel less crazy that I did try it, and it did help, but I was still a mental case because of how much I wanted to stick with breastfeeding, so then I was researching all over the web about this situation of allergies and 40% of infants have this diagnosis which really caught my eye, and I had tons of people reach out to me with their own experiences, diet recommendations, Dr. Referrals, alternative health methods TONS of stuff and you guys are all awesome and I basically tried everything everyone told me. 

What ended up working for us ( HUGE shout out to Sarah Macon) was probiotic drops. The used to be called bio Gaia but the following for them is so huge that Gerber bought them out in June 2013 and now called them Gerber Soothe Colic Drops. They can be purchased at Wal-greens. So while on the formula I gave her these drops every day for about 3 days then went back to exclusive breast feeding and we have been fine ever since. No more gas, screaming, poor sleeping, weird poops, etc.  I am ever thankful that we tried them and that we have such great friends to give us all the advice, suggestions, support etc. Sister is a new lady after that!

So back to sister:

Not a great napper during the day thanks to brother, but when he is out for the day she sleeps for 3 hours at a time.
Night time she goes to bed at 9pm and just this week started sleeping for 6 hours so waking at 3 or 3:30 am then back down till 7 or 8 am depending on how loud brother is. 
at 6 Weeks 1 Day she had her first SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT!  9:30pm - 6:30 am which is odd and probably a fluke! She is too young for that I think!
I have just started putting her in her crib awake when she is tired and she is learning to fall asleep on her own, and is about 60% successful with that. Sometimes I have to go back in and rock her a minute or 2 or nurser her then try again but I am so proud of her for picking that up quickly. She is a fussy bunny when tired and a nightmare if OVER tired because of how she fights sleep so working this little system out has made everyone much happier.

Feeding : 
I try to make sure that I give her at least one bottle a day so that she will know what it is and how to take it so that I can leave her with someone when needed. Some friends in Birmingham gifted me with this awesome Buy Buy Baby Gift card and I got the Kiinde Twist breast milk organizing/feeding system and I love it. I really love their bottles. 
It also gave me the idea to freeze my stored milk while lying flat so it takes up less room ( see below)

Size : 13lbs and 2 oz . Still wearing the Costco Size 1/2 diapers ( btw if you have a Costco membership and are not buying your diapers there, you are seriously missing out!) , Anyway, the next box I buy will be size 3 because these are often coming un fastened on her thick little waist. I may be able to use my cloth diapers sooner due to her size. We shall see. 

  Mrs. Jill  (a family friend) MADE this dress for her! Can you believe that? If I had her talents you guys would never stop seeing pics of all the things I made! ha 
Thanks Mrs. Jill!

Fun Fact : Sister has the same car seat as the royal baby! Guess she is a princessa after all! 

Most Challenging Thing about Being a Mother of 2 Right Now:
I have to say things have gotten much easier. When I first brought AC home from the hospital I was so overwhelmed with the thoughts of how the heck I could manage 2 kids, and I was skerred! But after 3 weeks Fenn settled down a good bit, and we are kind of finding a rhythm.   I don't even feel too sleep deprived, but  I stay SUPER busy. I basically have no time for myself, except for about 45 minutes before I go to bed, and for me that is hard because I have lots of hobbies and things I want to get done. In time I will carve out some " me" time when Fenn starts his Mother's Day Out. I have been taking him to a drop in childcare place some ( which he LOVES) and gives me a chance to get some house work done or run errands with only one child to get in and out of the car. 
I take a lot of short cuts right now, and try not to set the bar too high because at the end of the day I want to have enjoyed my time with my young children instead of being frustrated over it not being picture perfect every day. So some days my only goal might be to get supper cooked. Things like that, and when it doesn't happen I just suck it up and order take out.

Anyway, so far life with 2 is good! I still can not believe we have TWO kids. 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Fenn Turns 3 Years Old!!

I can not believe my boy is  THREE! and what  they say is true, THREE is harder than 2! HA but it is also precious and FUNNY.

Toys He is Currently Into:
- Matchbox Cars/HotWheels ( whatever you call them? He calls them " toy cars" HA) someone gave him some as a big brother gift and he has loved them ever since. My mom also got him an awesome collection off ebay with lots of vintage ones and he loves that they are power trucks, firetrucks , dump trucks etc.

- Balls. He loves all types of balls and daily carries around a box that has about 15 different balls in it.

- Puzzles. He can do 48 pc puzzles by himself now!

His Favorite Books Right Now:
- Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site
- Lullaby Little One ( he randomly requested this book that we read to him like 2 years ago, and i had to get it out and now we read it again every night. I wonder if it is because we read it when he was a baby , and now there is a new baby in the house). I am mostly amazed that he remembered it and he remembers every word of it as well because he " reads" it to us!
- Llama Llama Red Pajama ( another throw back)

TV Shows
- Calliou ( which I HATE )
- Driver Dan ( sometimes)
- Sid the Science Kid 
- Baby Einstein ( also making a comeback, maybe b.c of sister) this is also the only thing he will actually sit down to watch. 

He is saying sooooo much these days and I love it. He can say pretty much anything but has been learning some new things ,lots of new phrases and the art of bargaining. 
" Mom, wait thee more minutes", 
" Nooooo, 1, 2, 3 more mom! Three M&M's"(For some reason 3 is always his special number.)
"Mommy put sister in her monkey chair" 
" mommy HERE I AM !" ( as he enters the room etc)

He also has some sass " NO MOM" which I send him straight to time out for, because I hate for a kid to tell me what to do.

He wears mostly 3T/4T stuff these days and shoes are 11.5

He is still very picky, but is getting more adventurous trying stuff he sees us eating. We never push anything or make a big deal out of it and that seems to help him try more if we don't force the issue. We are still at a huge improvement from last year at this time because he can now communicate what he wants and when he is hungry. We can also bargain, if you want that eat this.. 
He must be addicted to chocolate because he will do ANYTHING for chocolate. Haircuts, nail clippings, stitches.. ANYTHING!

Speaking of stitches...

He had his first trip to the Emergency Room right before his 3rd birthday. He fell in the kitchen and cut his chin open, as in there was a hole in his face. Thank GOD Daddy was home, because I was already in a hormonal crying  jag before he fell and afterward I could not pull myself together. That was the 1st time I have ever not been able to control my emotions in front of Fenn. Erik had to take him to the ER because I did not want to try to take care of sister and watch them hold him down and stitch him up at the same time. 
As it turns out, he was the perfect patient, had a great time at the ER ( I packed him a bag of snacks , hotwheels ipad etc) and he only cried on the 5th stitch.
He stopped crying 30 seconds after the fall because we gave him a kit kat... Kids are really amazing.

WE had his 3rd Birthday Party at Chuck E. Cheese. One day I will have him a really pretty and themed birthday party.. when he can ask for it and appreciate the theme.  For now I took the easy way out, which as it turns out does not equate to the cheap way out! 
I have not been to Chuck E Cheese in one million years and I can tell you it has come a long way. It was very clean, and had tons of new fancy games and such. We had a host for our party who was great and very attentive and the food was great AND they even offer Gfree items so that Aunt Julie could eat there too!
What I did not expect or like at all is that they cram all their tables very close together and start all parties at the same time!? It was ridiculous and I had to constantly watch to make sure no one was stealing purses, or tokens off the table, or trying to open Fenn's gifts, because 2/3 of those things did happen while we were there.  It was MASS CHAOS, which I thought would be Ok because they serve beer and wine there. What I never stopped to consider is that no one has time for cocktails at Chucky Cheese! You are too busy chasing kids around ! Lesson Learned. 

Funny Behaviors: 

- Collecting! He is VERY into collecting odd items. All of our deodorants, hair brushes,  multiples of anything and everything!
- He has been wanting to take odd things to bed with him. One week its a $1 bus from the dollar store and the next week its a can of bubbles and a red balloon?! 
- MISCHIEF! in 30 seconds this kid can create all kinds of chaos. For instance the other morning, all before 9am he had:

  • Poured out all of the dish soap in the kitchen sink when he was " washing dishes" 
  • created paper mache with the paper towels in the kitchen sink the stuffed the down the disposal
  • squeezed out all of his toothpaste in the bathroom sink and was playing in it
  • got ahold of all my consignment sale tags and cut them up with his kid scissors.
( and if you are wondering where I am during this escapades, I am doing something with sister like nursing her or changing her diaper)

Speaking of nursing, Fenn will come over to me while I am nursing sister and put his mouth on my shoulder and start breathing real heavy because that is what he thinks she is doing HA. 
Every now and then he will bring a pacifier I let him play with and his blanket and bear and want to sit in my lap and be babied, which I always do ( trying to keep him from being left out).

I have been writing this for a week and never run out of material so I am just gonna end here and post now. 

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