Monday, July 18, 2016


As anyone with a three year old will tell you, it is a challenging age. They are fiercely independent and their little personalities are blossoming. They are also strong willed (which is good and bad), and they're too smart for their own good somedays. thing no one told me that was so great about three, was the understanding of "silly." Somewhere around the time M hit 3.5, she started to get the concept of silly. Taking silly pictures, making silly voices, playing silly games....she is really into the silly thing. When we watched Inside Out recently and they talked about the main character's "goofball island," and I immediately got it. M definitely has a goofball island in there!

When we were at the beach last month, we went out one night to get a picture of the kids dressed in matching outfits (this was their first time I intentionally matched them in T's 8 months and now I get why moms do it!). M was more than willing to let me take some pics of her with her brother, but she made me promise to let her take some silly pictures first. DEAL! As I was taking them, I knew I was going to love them, possibly more than my "real" pictures I was trying to get. These are my favorite, because if you didn't know any better, you'd think she was mad in them, but they really are her silly faces. J and I were practically crying later that night when we were looking through them. They capture her so well right now. 

I think this one is a preview of her at 13...

The thumbs are my favorite part in these... 

I am not even sure, but the slanted jaw is quite the silly look I guess...

And my favorite "not so silly" picture...

Three and a half. It's the best sometimes.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

9 Months

Time is flying. I have no idea how this little guy is nine months. I know you hear all moms say that, but it's the truth. I feel like I was still pregnant with him yesterday.

Lots of new developments in this little guy's life since my last update back at six months. 

I went back and re-read what I wrote about him at six months, and it's crazy how much he has changed! At six months, he was just starting to sit for short spurts and occasionally rolling. Now the boy is NONSTOP! He crawls any and every where, including up the stairs if he sees the gate is open. He pulls up on everything and cruises around. He loves to be under our dining room table, which has a big bar down the center of it. He climbs over it with ease. He doesn't care much for a push/walker toy, but does like to push his activity table around and "walk" with it. I should also mention his favorite place to crawl to is M's room. It's like he knows that's where we keep all of her small toys, and any time he sees her door open, he makes a beeline for her room. 

We've been enjoying a lot of time at the pool this summer, and I am LOVING my water ring sling for him there. I don't know how I'd survive in the big pool with him and M without this thing. It is the best! When we're in the baby pool he wants to crawl around and splash like crazy and has torn up his little toes, so I've started making him wear his socks in the pool to protect his feet. He looks so silly but it actually works great!

He eats every meal like it's his last meal. This has definitely been the biggest difference between my two kids. M didn't really eat much until I dropped nursing sessions after her first birthday....not T! He wants to eat a LOT at every meal. And we've yet to find a food that he doesn't like. He definitely has his favorites (blueberries, strawberries, bananas, and MEAT!), but he'll eat his veggies and cheese happily too. He has tried pretty much everything we have at meal times, and just this past weekend I gave him some peanut butter on a waffle and he gobbled it up. He still nurses four times a day (we just recently went from five to four), but his feedings are fast. He usually eats when he gets up in the morning, after each of his naps, and again before bed. He used to nurse at bedtime till he fell asleep, but not anymore. Now he usually nurses for about six minutes and rubs his eyes, so off he goes to his crib and he's usually out within five to ten minutes. 

He has become such a great napper since he started crawling. At first it kept him up for awhile because he was busy practicing his new skills of crawling and pulling up in the crib (we definitely had to lower his mattress a few months ago!), but now all his moving wears him out and he usually sleeps for a good one to two hours in the morning and afternoon. 

LOTS of babbling and "talking"...he will say Mama and Dada, but I don't think he associates them with us. We're working hard on "All Done" and "More" in baby sign language for meal time, but so far he just laughs at us and thinks we're doing jazz hands at him. 

Has 5 teeth now! Those top two made him pretty fussy for a few weeks, but since they've come in, it's been smooth sailing. He didn't even seem to mind the fifth one that came in on the bottom. 

Not long after my six month update, we moved him to his convertible seat in the car. He can see M in it a little better, and when I go to unbuckle him, the first thing he does is lunge his body forward to see her. It's precious.

Speaking of his big sis, they've started to "play" together a little more, and while there are definitely tears (from both of them) from playing to rough or someone taking a toy from the other one, it is definitely the cutest. She loves to lay on the ground and have him crawl over her back. And they love to "high five" or bang on the table together. Watching their relationship grow has been one of the coolest parts about having a second kid. 

Took his first vacation last month to the beach and loved it. He ate the sand, tried his best to crawl away into the ocean, and slept like a champ in his pack n play (another huge change from his sis). He had a runny nose and a fever for some of the days we were there, but even still, he was such a good baby and very laid back.

Favorite toys right now are anything he can chew on. Everything you hand him goes in his mouth. He also loves to get his hands on magazines and tear them to pieces. And he loves his busy board J made him a few months ago. He also has gone on a few bike rides with J and M in the new bike trailer with his new tiny helmet. He likes it, but also seems a little unimpressed. 

Weight: 22 lbs 8 oz (89%)
Height: 31 inches (>99%)
Diapers: size 3 in disposables, cloth are unsnapped all the way and 4 across at the top
Hair: getting long and very brown with a slight red tint in the sun
Eyes: So blue
Teeth: 5!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

A loss...

A week ago today, I was out running errands, and I had left my phone in the car. When we got back to the car, I had a string of text messages from a group of high school friends. Another friend of ours from high school had died earlier in the week, after fighting a hidden battle with postpartum depression, leaving behind her husband and her four month old daughter. This was a text message no one wants to see.

Allison was a friend I hadn't seen or even spoken to in years, but we had kept up through out the years over facebook. Allison was the kind of girl that was the definition of kindness or confidence. She was so smart, passionately loved Jesus, athletic, a strong leader....the kind of person you'd be proud to call your friend or daughter or sister. She was our school's SCA president when we were seniors, and she went on to be a part of ROTC at Clemson University, and then became an elementary school teacher. All of her friends on facebook have commented on how they will never forget her smile or laugh, and I too would agree with that one hundred precent. She was always so happy.

At a football game during our senior year

I share all of these little tidbits about what I remember of her, not to only honor the kind of person she was, but to show that postpartum depression can take ahold of anyone. It is almost impossible for me to think that someone who shone the kind of light that Allison did, could be swept into the darkness that could only come from PPD. It is heartbreaking for me to think about the place that she must have been in. To feel so alone and so isolated as a new mom.  I think we have all heard of PPD, and the extreme cases where a mom takes her own life, but we all assume, that it won't happen to us or someone we know, but I don't think I'll ever take it that lightly again. It is a real disease and it needs to be talked about.

If you know a mom with a new baby (really, any mom who has had a baby in the last year!), check in with her. Ask how she is feeling. And then listen. Show her you care. Take her a meal, stop by with coffee for her, offer to watch her kids for just an hour so she can go out for a pedicure or a run by herself. If you're far away, set aside time to talk with her on the phone. Send her a card. Order delivery pizza for her.  There is a fear of being stigmatized for saying we are struggling, or that we're not as happy as we "should" be with a beautiful and healthy baby at home. If you have a friend who does reach out to you, LISTEN to her and offer hope and help. Many women show the typical signs of PPD, but not everyone does and some suffer alone. If you are a new mom and something just seems "off,"please talk to your loved ones or your doctor. Just tell someone. There is power in our words. Allison is remembered by so many as one exuded joy. If PPD can effect someone like her, it can change the live of anyone.

We love you Allison. The world was a better place because of you.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Five on Friday

Happy Friday! Linking up with April today for a little Five on Friday Fun!

1. This is a random one, but my first favorite for the week is this salad from Trader Joe's. I love a good salad at a restaurant, but can never seem to make one that is equally delicious at home...UNTIL I found this Kale and Edamame Salad in the refrigerated section at TJ's. To kick it up a notch, I highly recommend putting in some crumbled bacon. It's so yummy and makes a great, fast lunch....and way cheaper than a restaurant salad!

2. This Aveeno CC Cream! I am loving this tinted moisturizer for summer. It's great for evening out my skin tone, has SPF 30, and feels light on my face (unlike some other BB and CC creams I've tried). This is definitely one of my favorite finds this summer.

3. With school and our other weekly activities out for summer, I knew I needed to find some fun things to keep M busy in the morning, especially when I would be feeding T (he WON'T eat if he can see or hear her...super distracted baby!). I found these books on Amazon for cheap (and prime!) and M has loved them! The mazes are super simple for preschoolers and she loves the dot to dot book because she then colors in the picture at the end.

4. Along the same lines as the activities above, I picked up this cute felt board at Michael's yesterday. It was $10.99, but I used my 40% off coupon on my phone. M played with it for almost an hour during her afternoon rest time in her room. I'd consider that a win!

5. I love crafty projects, but it's been awhile since I've had the chance to do anything crafty that didn't involve M. I made this inbox system for our kitchen a few weeks ago to help reduce the clutter in our kitchen (so.many.papers.everywhere.) I bought the inboxes at Staples and used my silhouette to cut vinyl letters for our names. So far so good, and we've seen less piles of mail and school papers stacking up on our kitchen counters.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Hilton Head Vacation

We spent all of last week down in South Carolina on Hilton Head Island. This was not only our first real vacation as a family of four, but it was also our first REAL trip to the beach with kids! Last spring we went to the Dominican Republic with M, but that was a very different type of beach trip since we were at a resort in the Caribbean. We knew M would have a ball playing in the sand and the ocean, but we weren't sure about T, but it took him no time at all to decide he loved it as well. He mostly enjoyed eating the sand and doing his best to crawl off into the ocean, but fun was had by all. 

I won't lie, J and I both like the beach, but we're both more mountains kind of people. So by the end of the week, he and I were both pretty happy to come back home to a sand free house and be done trecking both kids and all of their stuff out onto the beach each day. But despite the hard work and the abundant amount of sand we brought in every day, we really did have a fun time making memories as a family.

It was a hot week pretty much all over the southeast US last week, and it definitely didn't miss us. Most days the temperature was in the upper 90's, but with the heat index it felt well over 100. On Tuesday afternoon my phone said it felt like 121 outside. We spent a lot of afternoons inside just hanging out and then we'd do an early dinner and head down to the beach after we ate. Much more enjoyable once that sun was down!

One thing that was neat about HHI was all of the bike trails! We bought T his own helmet and J took both kids on lots of bike rides in the mornings before it got too hot out. T and I both were dealing with a yucky cold (and teeth for him) for the first part of the week, but thankfully by the end of the week we were both feeling better. But I will say, a cold for a baby means lots of snot, and lots of snot plus a sand eating baby makes for a lovely combo!

A few of our favorite places we visited while there...The Coastal Discovery Museum, Harbour Town (especially their playground!), French Kiss Bakery Cinnamon Buns, Breakfast at Skillets, Skull Creek Boathouse, Hudson's (which was very fun until Teddy knocked over a glass and broke it and proceeded to spill the drink all over his sister...which looking back is kinda funny now, but not fun when she screamed at the top of her lungs. For the rest of the evening she kept saying "T will never go back to a restaurant again!")

Another highlight of the beach was NAP TIME for M! She never naps at home these days, so this was a fun treat in the afternoons for everyone! We were even able to transfer her from the car to her bed for two full hours one afternoon!

T has really decided he likes to eat these days! We've been doing baby led weaning with him since he turned six months (I should do a full post on this) and just recently he has really gotten into it now that he's gotten the hang of the pincer grip. Homeboy is a MESS when he eats but he's loving it. 

On Thursday we drove to to Savannah to do some sightseeing and had a fun time! It's one of my favorite cities so I'm glad we made the little trip! We found a great playground there and had some lunch in between walking around and taking in the sights. M also picked out a souvenir t-shirt that's she's pretty proud of!

"Vacations" with little ones are work and you tend to come back more tired than you were before you left, but it's so worth it to see how much fun they have! Also, I will say, at 3.5, I think we may have even hit that magic of age of traveling with M. She stays happy and entertained in the car for long periods, she sleeps great in new places (which was SO not the case for her as a baby and small toddler), I don't have to pack as much for her, and she can happily be entertained with a coloring book and crayons when we go out to eat. It gives me hope for many more family vacations as both kids get bigger!