Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Life Updates

Life has been busy lately - so wonderfully busy!  I have loved (almost) every second of staying home with my little boy, and I can't believe I am only two weeks away from heading back to work!  We have such a happy, healthy, and sweet little man, and I am beyond thankful for our current stage of life.

 I love this little face that he makes.  He is going to be a sneaky little guy!

I have lots of things to update the blog are some a few life updates, most of which I will post about with more details soon!

  • I just started Weight Watchers again, and I am LOVING the new Points Plus system.  Veggies have always been zero points, but now fruits are too!  This was amazing news to me - and a guarantee that I will not go hungry while on this diet (which is always a certain way to fail on a diet).  I have been trying lots of new recipes and will post some ideas soon.  I am also going to try to post my weekly meal plans to a certain extent, just in case anyone else wants to follow along!  I also started Couch to 5K, and my goal is to run the Rock and Roll half marathon again in March.  That should be plenty of time to train, but we'll see!
A before shot - I have a long way to go, but I am trying!

  •  I officially stopped breastfeeding this weekend.  This has been one of the hardest struggles I have ever had (seriously, I am so thankful for my life since this is one of the hardest things I have gone through).  I am going to write about my experiences in hopes of encouraging others who might be going through something similar.  I have never known this kind of guilt, shame, and despair before - and I have had to rely so much on the Lord through this struggle. 
  • I have been busy with a great season in my Stella and Dot business.  I love this little part time job!  I will be posting a huge sample sale soon to make room for my new inventory.   Here is an official Stella and Dot update, for those that may not get my newsletter (please let me know if you'd like to be added to the monthly email list):
    What would I do without these two?
  • Hank is seriously growing up - he has changed so much this month - not just in the way he looks, but how interactive he is becoming.  He's also a bit moodier than we're used to, but still such a sweet boy.  I can't wait to get him all dressed up for his first Halloween, and I can't believe we are going to be taking his three month pics next week!
  • We got to take our first little trip with Hank to San Antonio and Austin - he did so great on the road and even got to make his first trip to Buc-ee's!  His second trip is coming up this weekend - we can't wait to meet our friends in Houston! 
  •  I am going back to work in two weeks - I hope to post about my transition after I get the hang of it.  I am nervous as all get out, but I am determined that this is what God is calling our family to do right now.
Our first time back at church - the nursery wore him out!
OK - I really hope to get to post much more soon!  Thanks for reading!

Monday, September 23, 2013

a great gift idea

Recently, my mom and I discovered what we think is the perfect hostess gift.  Actually, it is a great gift for any occasion, and has really been my "go-to" lately for different events.  I just wanted to pass this little gem along in case anyone out there was looking for a great gift for a great price.

These notecards are from Papyrus.  You can get these in any pattern and color that you choose - and the best part is, they print them right then and there for you! You can do a monogram, first and last name, or anything you really want to say.  And the best part is, they are only $20 for 20 cards!

My favorites are the chalkboard card and the brand new one for this month - it is so cute and colorful!  I can't find it on the website, but if you go by a Papyrus store (there is one in Northpark Mall), you can see the card of the month on display, plus many others.  If you don't like the ones that they displayed, they will do the same design in any color for you.

I ordered Hank these cards for his thank you notes (that he has conveniently asked me to write and I am WAY behind). Sorry the pic is not great quality.

Anyway, I think these cards are perfect for hostesses, new babies, weddings or showers, housewarming, or just because.  $20 for 20 cards is a steal for such a great gift!

Happy Shopping!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Hank at 2 months

 Your chunky thighs are to die for!

My Sweet Hank,

You have had such a great month!  Now that we are out of the true newborn stage, we've really hit a sweet spot.  You are really the best baby - so happy and easy - and I am so proud of you!

You have grown a ton over the last month.  Today, we went in for your two month check-up and you were 13 pounds even, at the 70th percentile, and your length was 23 3/4 inches long at the 80th percentile.  Your head circumference was 75th percentile, so you are right on track in every measurement and we were so proud of you!  You are officially wearing 3-6 month clothes (except pants and shorts are still 3 month size).  You are such a good sleeper - I am incredibly happy with you in this department.  Three times this week you slept 8 hours straight!!  But, even when you wake up around 2 or 3 am, you just eat and go right back to sleep - truly knowing what is day and what is night.  I love you for this!!

You are happiest when your dad is playing with you.  It is so funny to see your face light up with the biggest smile ever when Dad tickles you or plays peek-a-boo.  It is easy to see how much you love him, and he is definitely the best at getting you to smile.  He even gets a good chuckle out of you sometimes, and that is the most wonderful sound in the world to us.

 I know you love me too, Hankster.  When someone else is holding you, but you hear my voice in the room, you always turn to look my way.  You are so comforted when I pick you up in the middle of the night to feed you, and it is my biggest joy when you literally hug my neck when I'm holding you. You are really starting to "talk" to me in response when I am talking to you, and I just love it!

Your favorite place to be lately is your swing.  One day when I put you in there awake, I left the room and came back to find you laughing at yourself in the mirror.  I don't know what tickled you so much, but ever since then, you are always looking up at that mirror and smiling.  You love the swing awake and you love it asleep.  We are VERY thankful for that swing - mom gets to take showers and get ready on a much more consistent basis now.
 This crooked smile just slays me every time, Hankster.  You have so many funny facial expressions - you make everyone laugh with your judgmental looks.  One day at the grocery store, a lady thought you didn't like her because you were looking at her like she was crazy!  I call it your "Whatchu talkin' 'bout Willis" face.  And that is a reference that you will never even know of in your lifetime, but oh well!

You also still love to lay down on the changing table.  You do most of your laughing in that spot.  Right now, you think it is hilarious when I take off your clothes or diaper to change you.  We just sit and play there all the time because it makes you so happy.

 The things you love right now: Daddy, the swing and the mirror above it, the changing table, being swaddled in the miracle blanket, staring at your best friend the fan, peek-a-boo, and your mobile (and any soft music playing).

The things you don't so much love right now: loud, sudden noises (like Mom's sneezes or Nala barking), the nose sucker, dirty diapers, being hungry (no one does), getting shots (yowzers you can get loud), and when you go awhile without being held.

We are so in LOVE with you, little man.  We pray big things for you every day, but most importantly that you grow up to know Jesus.  Thank you for being the best thing that ever happened to your daddy and me (besides each other).

Love, Mom

Friday, September 6, 2013

5 smiles

It's been a great week in our house!  We switched over to the miracle blanket, per a friend's advice, and haven't slept less than 6 hours straight at night since!  Wednesday night, Hank slept a full 8 hours before waking up.  I feel like a new person from these few nights of better sleep - it's been a fun week!  Here are some other highlights from our week...

1. Hank got his ear molds and tape off for good this week!  No more plastic surgeon visits or sponge baths for this guy.  I was very happy to put this phase behind us - though, I will say it did go by fast. I took this selfie at the doctor's office since Aaron was out of town (I send him lots of pictures when he's gone) and I was super excited.

2. Catherine, one of my best friends from high school came in town from California with her little boy Amos.  I got to meet him when he was six weeks old, and she got to meet Hank when he was six weeks old!  These two were so cute together, and I can't believe how much Amos had grown.  We also got to go to JG's with Steph and it was really fun for us all to hang out with our sons.  Plus, I needed a trip to that skinny mirror.  It is truly the best mirror in Dallas.  Ok - that was random, but if you are having an off day, just go check it out.

3. I've been doing a little online shopping lately, trying to stock up a bit for when I go back to work and can't wear stretchy maternity pants.  Boo!  Anyway, there is this great blog Pinterest Told Me To that I have discovered recently.  The writer lives in the DFW area and basically finds outfits she loves on Pinterest and recreates them.  She gives great tips and the heads up on sales.  I have gotten a few of her "must have items" that were on mega sale at Nordstrom this week - her must have shirt by Pleione and this Kut from the Kloth white denim jacket.  Love both - super comfy and great for work!

4. Hank had a small sip and see this weekend and it had a cute bow tie "little man" theme.  He looked adorable in this Janie and Jack outfit, and we got a good family picture in!   It was a blast, and I will blog more about the insanely cute details of the party next week.

 5. Finally, saving the best for last, FOOTBALL season started!!  This is such an awesome time of year with football beginning and baseball still going on.  Hank looked adorable in his new football hat from Aunt Jordan and Uncle Brian, and was excited to hear me sing "The Eyes of Texas" to him over and over.  Hook em Horns!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

1st month - top ten baby products

It is kind of hard to know what to expect that you'll need when you have a baby for the first time.  You have people telling you all kinds of different things on what to get and what not to get for your baby, and it can be really difficult to decide what is right for your baby, especially since you get all this stuff before they're even here.  It is truly just a figure it out as you go kind of job.  These are the things that I could not have done without this month - well, that's probably an exaggeration.  These are the top ten things that I am very glad we had on hand for Henry's first month of life (a very delayed post)!  They are listed in no particular order.

I got the Medela Pump In Style Advanced because it had great reviews, especially for those moms who went back to work.  It works really well and has a great carrying case, so it is super portable.  I didn't realize how soon I would need to start pumping, and this has really come in handy.  I would definitely recommend getting the hands-free bra - that is a lifesaver.  And buy extra pump parts - you are constantly washing them anyway, but the extra parts definitely make it easier on busy days.  One bonus is that Dr. Brown's bottles fit right onto the pump parts, which is convenient for bottle making.

My Brestfriend is the breastfeeding pillow that I have used far more often than the Boppy.  I like the Boppy and think it is cuter, but this one is much more useful to me.  It stays flat like a shelf and you can strap it on so it doesn't come apart from you while you are trying to feed a squirming infant.  I really think this is a must have for breastfeeding!  Funny name, but great item!

This Pottery Barn rocking chair was super expensive, I know, but I have spent more time in it than anywhere else in our house since Hank was born.  It is so comfortable, and I love the way it fits into our nursery.
I absolutely cherish my time rocking my sweet boy to sleep.
This swing is on loan to us from my sister-in-law, and it has been a lifesaver!  Hank loves it and takes all his naps in this swing.  It can move from side-to-side, or front-to-back, plays music (including the Lake Highlands fight song, oddly enough), and has a mirror and toys hanging down for the baby to stare at.  It's a great napping swing for early on!

This isn't an item, but it sure was a lifesaver for us!  This is a really easy way to set up a meal calendar for someone when they have a baby.  Those first few weeks, I have never wanted to cook less.  (Did that make sense)?  Anyway,  we have been so blessed to have Mallory set this up for us and so many friends and family members come by and bring us dinner.  Plus, they all got to meet Hank, so it was a win-win!  This is a great thing for new parents!

These Gerber burp cloths are great for cleaning up messy eaters.  We go through anywhere between 3-6 a day.  My friend Gretchen custom makes and monograms these as well - they are a great gift idea - let me know if you want her info!

 These are awesome - everyone suggests getting them, and even the Royal Baby had one on in his big debut!  They are great for swaddling, covering up, rolling up for a head prop while breastfeeding, etc.  Get plenty of these - you will love them!  We go through about 2-3 a day.

Loves being wrapped up in these blankets.

We were introduced to the Halo sleepsacks in the hospital since that is what they used to swaddle.  It is a really easy way to swaddle your infant and Hank didn't break out of them at all when he was tiny.  It zips from the top down which is convenient for late night diaper changes too.  I had to sneak a Hank pic in there - I didn't always swaddle his arms in because he likes them up there like he's posing. 
OK, Baby Gap onesies might not be a necessity but they are the cutest!  I love these and Gap always has a great sale or coupon to use.  We love the Carter's brand also, but before we had Hank and didn't know he was a boy, these Gap onesies were all I bought because they have lots of gender-neutral choices.  They are comfy and hold up well being washed a bunch.
Hank has three aunts who he loves very much!

This is something I hadn't really heard of until my mom got it for us.  My nephew has one too, and I have to say that it provides me with SUCH a peace of mind now that Hank is sleeping for longer periods of time.  It has an alarm that will go off if there is no movement in the crib, which tells you if the baby is no longer breathing. I tried to be the not-nervous-about-the-baby-breathing mom, but that didn't work out so well.  Now, I can rest easy when he's sleeping!  We used this in the pack-and-play, and now in the crib!

I'll be back for my top month two items in a few weeks - there are some different things we've been using as he grows!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Hank at One Month

 Our Golden Boy!

Well, I am going to go ahead and say it.  It's the most cliche thing in the world, but seriously!  Where does the time go?  This month has absolutely flown by, and though we've had some long days (and nights), the weeks are fast and somehow, it all added up to a month very quickly.  Our precious little man is now one month old, and he is growing up before our eyes.  I am going to do our monthly updates in letter style, so hopefully one day, he can read these too.

Sweet Hank,

When we were waiting for you to enter the world just a month ago, your dad and I had no idea the kind of love and joy that we were in for in our lives.  We both feel completely in love with you and already can't imagine our lives without you.  You are such a sweet and good little baby - you rarely fuss unless you are hungry (which is often - you are your mom's child) and you love to sit and stare at whoever is holding and talking to you.

 Sometimes you make a bit of a judgmental face while listening to me, but I understand.

 You love to lay in the sunlight on your changing table and be outside.

You are such a wiggle worm Hankster - you kick and squirm around all the time, and are so strong - always holding your head up on your own!  One day, you actually rolled over!  We were shocked and pretty sure it was a fluke, but you definitely rolled from your front to your back during some tummy time.  You make so much noise in your sleep - squeaks, sighs, grunts, and I hate to say it, but lots of toots (your dad is proud).  You are constantly making noise over there in your pack and play while we sleep, but between you and me, I am so glad because it gives me a peace knowing you are ok. 

Your dad and I have all kinds of little nicknames that we call you, Henry.  You go by Hank the tank, little man, hankopotamus, hanksters, buddy, hankeriffic, Golden Boy, and whatever else just comes out.  Buddy and Hankster are the names I call you the most.  And you really are my little buddy - you are definitely who I spend the most time with these days, and you are my best little friend.  I love taking you to the mall to walk in your stroller since it's so hot outside.

One of my favorite things you do is prop your head up on my chest.

You are on a pretty good little sleep schedule at night - it didn't start out that way, but lately, you've been sleeping from around 7-9 in the evenings, 10-1 or 2 am and 2 or 3-6 am.  We get some pretty good stretches of sleep in there nowadays.  Early on, sometimes you were up each hour, but we figured out that you weren't eating too much and that wasn't letting you stay asleep.  During the day, you eat, sleep, and want to be held at all different times. You like to nap in your swing, but only if you are really sleeping.  Otherwise, you like to sleep on mom or dad during the day and we don't mind too much!  On your one month birthday, we put you to sleep in your crib for the first time.  You were ok, and I only shed a few tears.

You look exactly like your daddy, buddy.  In fact, you don't even have one of my features, but that is just great with me!

We went through a few little medical issues right off the bat.  Nothing too serious, and definitely nothing compared to what some families go through, but I have to admit that your mom fell apart a few times with worry for her newborn.  Being so exhausted didn't help, either.  First, we found out in the hospital that you were born with "flat ears".  Your ears on the top don't curve over naturally and kind of come to a point (purely a cosmetic issue).  It wasn't even something your dad or I noticed in the hospital, but the pediatrician did.  Now, you see a plastic surgeon each week to check on your ear molds that are currently forming your ears into the perfect shape!  This doesn't hurt or bother you at all, and by far the most traumatic part was when mom had to see the hair around your ears getting shaved off.  You were born with the most beautiful blonde hair, and that first haircut was just too much for me.  I know that it grows back,  and I know that it's totally vain and not a big deal, but I didn't like it.

You also had a bout with jaundice early on and had to stay in a little "tanning bed" for 48 hours.  This was something they delivered to our house, so we were SO lucky to not have to take you back to the hospital to get it fixed.  Basically, so far you have been treated by a plastic surgeon and have spent time in a tanning bed - a true Dallas boy through and through. Ha!

You don't cry a ton for a newborn, but when you do, you are quite loud little man.  That's ok though, because usually all it takes to calm you down is for me or dad to pick you up or give you a good meal.  And who doesn't get a little dramatic when they're hungry?

I love this smile more than anything.  You are smiling so much, happy boy!  It is one of your few tricks as a one month old, and I can't get enough.  I know they are not necessarily on purpose, and it's mostly right after you've eaten (again, you are my child), but I love them.

Your stats this month:

Weight: 10 pounds, 6 ounces - 75th percentile!
Length: 22.25 inches - 75th percentile!
Once you gained weight, you really gained little one!

We love you more than anything, Henry boy!