Monday, February 29, 2016

Our Weekend

Holy Moly was the weather this weekend gorgeous!  I think I said it about 20 times, I could not get enough! & so we spent just about every minute of it outside.

Friday evening it was sunny, cool and just plain beautiful.  We kicked off the weekend with some drinks on the porch while Steve and Brynn built a bird house. 

Friday nights have officially been designated pizza/movie night with Brynn.  We put Jo to bed and then pick out a movie and eat together on the couch.  Brynn gets to stay up a tad later than usual and just get her own special time with us, which I can tell she really thrives on.  This weekend we picked the Good Dinosaur....ooof what a tear jerker...that included way tooo much explaining why this daddy died, and this daddy.  Nope.  Not adding that one to the collection.

The rest of the weekend was pretty low key.  The girls got a swing set for Christmas so we needed to extend our backyard to make a little more room.  So, Steve started on that project this weekend.  We pretty much lived outside playing around the construction and "helping" all weekend.

Apparently these cement bags were horses and she needed to go save Anna.  Oh Frozen.

Sunday morning we got a slow start.  We hung around, drank coffee, played toys and watched as the birds finally found the bird house!

The rest of the day was spent working on the fence and playing outside.
Some side walk chalk, and a lesson in hop scotch.

The fence is almost complete and I can't wait to get that swingset up.  This week is supposed to be in the 80's! And its a special daddy's birthday :)  Can't wait to celebrate!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Sleep Training Your Baby

There is nothing a new mom wants more than for her sweet baby to sleep through the night.  I remember with Brynn, Steve and I had a talk where we each stated something that was super important to us when parenting. One specific rule that we absolutely wanted to stick to.  Steve's was that our baby would not sleep in our bed & have a bedtime, and mine was that we would have family dinners at the dinner table together.  I remember spending many hours scouring the internet, blogs, books etc on how to sleep train our sweet Brynn.  After combining several things from several places we did it and Brynn was always a rock star sleeper!

Upon becoming pregnant with Jolie, I was scared! I was spoiled, spoiled rotten.  I had been sleeping a full nights sleep for well over two years.  My baby slept all night, and took great naps, how could I go into zombie mode again! EEEk!

For the first three months, just like we did with Brynn we had no set schedule.  Went with the flow and winged it.  Sleep deprived, delirious...the usual newborn mom routine!

I decided that since our sleep training worked so well with Brynn that I would implement the exact routine with our sweet Jolie, in hopes that we would reap the same rewards.  We did just that and in a weeks time our second baby was sleeping through the night 11/12 hours straight each night.
With this success I have had many friends ask how did we do it?  Now, I am by no means an expert, but I do have two sleeping babes, so here is what worked for us...and here is our go to plan.

Our Day Time Routine:
6: bottle
9:00 yogurt, fruit
10:00 bottle
10:00 nap
1:00 bottle
2:00 nap
4/4:30 late afternoon nap if she lays down.
5:00 dinner (veggie)
6:00 bath
7:00 bottle/bed

You need a routine.  Routine, routine, routine.  Babies thrive on routine, and if they know what to expect it helps immensly.
Create a sleep friendly environment.  (more on this later)
Wean middle of the night feedings.
Don't fret, sleep training does not have to mean crying it out.

OK, so to start with, routine.  This to me, is the most important part of the whole deal.  If you do the same things each night leading up til bed time, baby will know what is coming.
We do a bedtime routine of 7-7.  So, we start at 6.  At six we do bath time.  This wears them out and is a great part of a bedtime routine.  We always use lavendar soap.  Now, I don't know if this really is calming, but we have always done this.  Afterwards we do lavender lotion, jammies and bottle.  It is then very close to 7.  I take Jolie in her nursery, rock her in the rocking chair until she is drowsy but sill awake.  This is important.  If you put them in the crib awake they still have to learn to self soothe and put themselves to bed.  This is a key sleep skill.

I used a black out shade in both of my kids rooms.  This darkens the room and is another signal for sleep.  If the room is light and bright you have the chance of baby waking up and being distracted by something in the room.  SO, blackout shade = essential!
Second...white noise machine!  This is my number one baby gift for all new moms.  It mimics the sound that babies hear in the womb.  I always, always start this from day one home from the hospital. White noise machine..get it. Target. $20.
I can't sing this thing enough praises.  It also will signal sleep when you turn it on, and also helps with blocking out background noise in the house.  I still to this day use a white noise machine in my almost three year olds room.  Dishes, loud cars, crying baby, dog barking...anything that could possibly wake one up...the white machine blocks it out.
At the time that I transfer my kids to their cribs and own rooms, I give them the aden and anais security blanket.  It is a small little breathable blanket with silk rim.  Both of my girls took to this immediately.  It gave them a sense of security being in the crib and both will rub the silk between their fingers and on the face and fall asleep. 

Next, Sleep training doesn't have to mean cry it out!
While I am not against cry it out by any means, I can't just let them scream for hours and hours.  To each their own, but this is what I read and what had worked for us both times.
I lay the baby down at seven and set the timer.  The first night I will go back in the room every five minutes and pat their booty, shhhh them, tell them its ok, mommy is still there.  However, I will not pick them up, and I do not stay in their room more than a minute.  I continue this every five minutes until they fall asleep.
Second night,  same routine but every ten minutes.
Third night, same routine every 15 minutes.
Fourth, every 20.

Now, I have not had either one of my girls have to go past day four.   By day four both of my girls were sleeping through the night.  Not to say that they never cry or fuss but if they do its not for very long at all.

Weaning: With Brynn she weaned herself and was sleeping through the night by week 6.  With Jolie, different story.  She was still waking up at between 2 and three and 5/6.

I waited until the full 6 months to cut out the middle of the night feeding.  Everything I read said that between 4-6 months babies do not need a middle of the night feeding anymore.  So, I waited until the 6 months to cut off fully.  I started with night one taking her normal 6oz bottle down to 5 oz, then 4 oz, then 3oz and then 2 and then nothing at all.  I am not going to lie...that last night Jolie cried for an hour and a half.  I went in there and pat her booty and soothed her back to sleep every five/ten minutes and by the second night she was fine and sleeping through.  Now, every night she sleeps until 5:30/6 am.  I will feed her at this time and try to get her to go back down.  Most the time she will, but sometimes not, in which case we start our day.

Also, important to note, this routine will get screwed up several times throughout the year...teething, sick, a new milestone like rolling over or crawling...and you will have to retrain sometimes.

I definitely don't consider myself to be a sleep expert.  However, I do know that I used the same technique on each child and it worked both times!  I found tremendous help in reading other blogs and other mommies sleep routines and I hope that this will help another fellow sleep deprived mama out there!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

A Day In Pictures

I have always loved these kinda posts.  Something about seeing how other people live, right?  And after writing this up now I see why I am so tired all the time! Ha.  These girlies sure keep me busy, but man I love them something fierce! The days are long but the years are short and I know I will love looking back on this one day.  

6:00 am up and feeding little miss, no pictures because I was so very hopeful that she would fall back to sleep.  No such luck.

Coffee is brewed. Both girls are up and playing in the playroom while I try to guzzle this down before preparing breakfast.

Jolie takes a 20 minute cat nap.

Multi-tasking...dishes and breakfast for Jo.

Nap time for Jolie.  Play time with Brynn.

Pull out our Easter decorations.  Yippeee!

Jolie is up, time to eat!

Brynn is down for nap, time to tackle laundry.

Both kids napping, clean clean clean.

Snack time & some Mickey Mouse Club House in the playroom.

Brynn's request for "special milk" aka Carnation Instant Breakfast ended in Jolie side swiping it with her hand and making an epic mess.

Finally stopped raining, time to go outside!!!

Bathtime for these sister girls and they have been loving them some sink baths.

Jolie is down for bed for the night, daddy is working late tonight, easy peasy picnic dinner.

Bedtime stories and Brynn is tucked in for the night.

Time for some wine and catching up on Bachelor, housewives and vanderpump!

Transfer to the bed, a little more tv and bed.  These little nuggets will be up again at the crack of dawn.

Friday, February 19, 2016

6 months

Six months...Half a year! Howwwwww!
I can't believe we half a year has passed since we brought this sweet pea home from the hospital.  I mean, really it feels like I was just pregnant and it feels like I was just in the hospital giving birth.  In a few months it will be time to start planning her first birthday! Is this for real? Say it isn't so!

I mean seriously mamas.... don't let you babies turn six months old.  Something happens. They become more independent...and sit up...and play with toys and act all grown. Kidding...but only kind of.  Sigh.  I just love watching her get older and learn and grow, but man do I wish I could keep these squishy cheeks forever. And while we are on the subject of wishes, I sure wish she would fall asleep in my arms for the rest of time.  I seriously cannot remember at all for the life of me the last time Brynn fell asleep in my arms.  

Well, I guess such is life.  But, boy is she every bit delicious.  I could hold her and kiss her all day every day....

We have yet to go to our six month appointment so I will fill these in after our appointment.


Hair: Sandy Blonde
Eyes: Oh so indescribable.  Some days grey...some days blue...and some days I swear they are turning green like mine. So, shall we say... "No clue"

Clothes: six months and I don't forsee them being outgrown any time soon.  Plenty of room to grow.

Diapers: size three.

Eat: Eating still 6 oz bottles.  schedule as follows:
5/6 am.

A fruit and yogurt in the morning and a vegetable at night around 5.

Sleep:  Although we have been on a sleep schedule of down at 7 on the dot each night we were still doing a middle of the night feed around 3.  I decided that after starting solids twice a day you no longer needed that feeding and we dropped that.  It took a good two nights of crying but you are now sleeping straight from 7 to 5 or 6.  we feed you at this time and you sleep again until around 7:30.  You decided you like the paci again this month (thank you baby jesus) and wow, what a game changer.  Pop that thing in your mouth and you are soothed to sleep instantly.  After it being such a blessing with your sister I had been persistent at offering it to you at least once a week... hoping you would eventually like it.

Play:  Now that you are sitting up perfectly and unassisted life has gotten much easier.  You love to sit on the floor and play with your toys.  You can keep yourself occupied for a long time.  Same with the bouncer...If I sit you in there you can sometimes stay in there close to an hour playing.  Something I am so not used to.  I always had to be a playmate for Brynn, but you seem to be able to entertain yourself quite well.  You and your sister adore each other and play so nicely.  She tries to do just about anything to get a laugh out of you and and you pretty much do laugh at her all day long.  You are now fully obsessed with the dog!  When she enters the room you laugh and laugh and squeal with delight as you reach for a fist full of fur.  You have also become quite obsessed with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  As soon as that little mouse walks over that hill and starts talking you whip that head around as fast as you can to find the tv and start squealing on top of your lungs.  The hot dog dance gets you every single time, as it did with your sister too.  Something about that Mr. Mickey Mouse.

Firsts: celebrated your first Valentines Day
sitting up fully unassisted.
first two teeth!

Dearest Jolie,

You, sweet angel, are growing like a weed.  Maybe not are actually quite petite. are learning more each day, doing something new every time I blink.
I love you so much it hurts.
And the more interactive you become, the stronger my love grows.  

You are too precious for words.  The best way I can describe how I feel about you is obsessed. You bring a joy into our lives that is just so indescribable.  You are a total mamas girl and it gets me every single time.  It's so hard for me to put you down or to walk away...and I almost always sneak back for just a few more kisses. The second I put you to bed I miss you terribly....and the smile you give me when I walk in to get you melts me to the core.

Brynn and your relationship is continuing to grow more and more each day and there is nothing I love more in this world than watching the way you two love each other.  The way your faces light up for each other when you are reunited each morning gets me every. single. time.  If you sneeze she is so quick to bless you, you spit up she is there to wipe it, you tip over she is there to pick you back up.  The way you two laugh at each other with the biggest belly laughs is quite possibly the best sound my ears ever did hear.  It gives me this little glimpse into special bond you two will always hold.

We love you little miss Jolie.

XOXO Mommy & daddy

Monday, February 15, 2016

Valentines 2016

We had a fun weekend celebrating looooove!
A lot of people find Valentine's Day super cheesy but, I happen to love it.  A day to celebrate the people you love and show them in little special ways, well, sign me up!
We have actually been gearing up for Valentine's Day for weeks.  We decked out the house, made several crafts..perused the isles of target several times and made many festive heart shaped meals.
All in the name of love!
Saturday the girls and I made this cute little card for daddy and Brynn and I tried our hand at some pink cinnamon rolls.  It was my first time going at this from the homemade side...and what a mess it made!  We did all the hard work the night before so on Sunday we just had to pop them in the oven.  We ended the night with these sweet peas in their matching pajamas and watching Valentines Charlie Brown.  We capped off the night with the story "The Night Before Valentine's Day" and I tucked these nuggets in bed while visions of candy hearts danced in their heads.
The next morning Brynn woke up very excited that it was Valentine's Day.  The look on her face when she walked into the playroom was just priceless.  I just loved seeing these two girlies enjoy their new goodies together.  

After lunch we got dressed and headed over to my parents house.  They had bought them some more V-day goodies including this unicorn that completely rocked Brynn's world.  I don't think I have ever seen her more excited over a gift in my life.  She kept hugging it and saying thank you thank you so much, I looooove it!

Afterwards, we headed home ...bathed and tucked these girls into bed extra early to enjoy our date night at home.  We always used to make reservations and brave the crowds on Valentine's but the past few years have opted to stay in, order chinese...have wine and watch a movie.  Perfect end to a perfect day with the ones I love most.