life

Category: life

the one with Jack’s 9 months update

My baby is 9 months old . . .

Height: 21 lbs

Head: big

Weight:  32 inches

Nicknames: Dumplin, jackster, jack jack, sweet pea

Sleep: He has an amber necklace for teething, but we never let him sleep in it. Well, I found out from a few friends that they let their kids sleep in theirs, and that’s actually normal. So we started letting him sleep in his necklace. Solids also starting going much, much better. So he now consistently sleeps from 8-230, nurses, then sleeps from 215-7. I like to sleep from 1076 (with the break to feed him it’s more like 8 hours) so this works out perfectly! I’ve known since we started breastfeeding he probably wouldn’t sleep through the night consistently until we stopped, so only waking up once is great! His tummy is still adjusting and he is teething like crazy so some nights he’s still up twice, but rarely more than that.

Feeding: Here’s a lesson in listening to your motherly instincts. I did a lot of pinterest and asking other moms research about introducing solids before Jack was born. From that I decided baby led weaning was what I wanted to try. But when the time came I got really scared he’d choke. So we did homemade purees instead. And we struggled. He loved food, but only wanted about 2 ounces a day. And he stopped pooping. I had this feeling the whole time that I should just do baby led weaning and he’d do better. Well he turned 8 months old and I finally gave in.

We started with rice, shredded chicken, and avocado one day when I was at lunch with friends and he was really fussy.  Welp, now he eats 3 meals a day and loves food so much. Eggs, chicken, spaghetti, macaroni and cheese, zucchini, broccoli, blueberries, apples,  . . . you name it he eats it. He wouldn’t take to green vegetables, now he does. He’s pooping, and he’s sleeping better. It’s obvious he still prefers nursing so that’s our next step – increase the amount of food and start weening him from the boob. I plan to nurse for a year to 18 months so we’ve got plenty of time.

Fun Stuff:He prefers sitting up and playing over laying down now. He’s a crawling monster, but I think he might still want to just roll everywhere. He can pull himself up on his own, and is working on standing and balancing on his own. He gives high fives, sometimes waves bye bye, says mama and dada and I’m almost sure he knows who we are, he has 3 teeth, and he is so curious about the world around him. I love watching him check things out and learning about them. He’s a very excitable little boy. He claps his wrists together and jogs his legs like a frog when he gets excited. It’s the cutest thing.

the one about cloth diapers

I get questions almost everyday about Jack’s cloth diapers. So I figured it was time for a detailed post about them. The most common question is do you regret buying/do you like cloth diapering? and the short answer is I love them! My husband even came around.  But because I know you want the ins and outs (and some of you wonder how I could feel that way). Here’s the details . . .

What diapers do you use? We have 18 one size adjustable Alva pockets that we purchased on Amazon before Jack was born. I chose pockets because they’re cheaper than all in one’s and you can personalize their absorption. All in one’s you can add extra liners to if the baby starts wetting through, but most of them are around $15 to $20 a diaper. The Alva pockets we purchased were 6 for $40 and came with 2 inserts a piece. You can also add more inserts/liners for more/better absorption. I also chose the organic cotton because they had better reviews. Finally, we chose snaps over velcro. I feel like it’s obvious that they will last longer since velcro doesn’t hold well through many washes. The snaps also help the sizing go smaller and bigger so he can wear them from 8 to 32 lbs instead of 10 to 25 lbs.

What inserts do you use? We just use the microfibers that came with our diapers. We use 1 diaper with 1 microfiber insert for 2-3 hours and we have no problems. I started doing that at about 4 weeks old, and still do. Now at night we actually put him in a disposable. We’ve tried putting in another insert and we’ve tried hemp and charcoal inserts as well (and many mixes of the three). The longest he lasts in a cloth diaper is 6 hours. We could do one change a night since he’s waking up after about 6 hours anyway, but changing his diaper would stimulate him enough that it’d be hard to get him back down. No thanks! You can’t put microfiber against their skin so I’m glad we have the hemp and charcoal inserts just in case.

How do you wash them? After each use we put them in an open mesh bag that’s in a open small hamper. We wash every other day 9 at a time. So I usually end up with 9 in use and 9 being washed. We have an old school agitator washer so if you have one of the newer front loaders this won’t work for you. We wash in hot water for a small load with a quarter cup of pyrex all natural soap for a rinse and spin. Then we use a full cup for a full wash. Then we dry on low heat for an hour. If there are any big stains or anything we lay them out in the sun for awhile and the stains come right out. Once they have cooled down we re stuff them and put them in a dresser drawer.

 

How do you deal with poop? We have this sprayer that we very easily in about 5 minutes attached to our toilet. After every #1, we just separate the insert from the diaper and put it in the pail. After every #2, we spray the diaper well then separate and put in the pail. You don’t have to do this with breastfeed poop per what everyone tells me, but we did and I highly recommend it. We’ve never dealt with poo smell, and our diapers rarely stain enough that we have to sun them.

but isn’t it gross? The spraying of the poop is gross. Not gonna lie. But so is wiping their butt after said poop. It’s literally 30 more seconds of gross for thousands of dollars saved.

but doesn’t his whole room smell? Nope. At first we did not do the extra rinse in our wash routine, and it would smell in his room. It also smelled highly of ammonia when we would take the diaper off of him. So after som research on pinterest we added the extra rinse before things got really bad. We haven’t had a problem since. If we leave them out for more than 36/48 hours before washing it comes back, but that’s our fault. Some moms use pails with lids (not diaper genies just regular pails with lids) or a closed wet bag. I imagine they don’t ever deal with stink unless they open it.

and what about the bulk? Yea they are bulkier than disposables, but we haven’t had a problem with clothes fitting or him looking weird. He’s usually just in a tshirt and a diaper or a onesie and a diaper. I think he looks cute. He’s 8 months old and he fits perfectly in 9 month clothes. He’s tall and lanky so sometimes even 6 month clothes still fit.

and what about leaks? Yes, leaks happen. It’s not common, and can always because of something we did. Sometimes it’s too tight because he’s bigger, sometimes we left it on for too long, sometimes we put it on weird, etc. Again this is not a common thing, maybe once a week. Nighttime is the struggle.  I really think I know of 2 ways that would work for him. But it would be very bulk or I’d have to buy a couple new diapers. Not worth it to me. Also – he’s never had a blowout in a cloth, but he has had many in disposables.

how much money are you really saving? A quick google search tells you most babies go through over 3000 diapers in their first year (i think that number is high, but ok). Huggies sells diapers 72 for $24. So in the first year you’d spend $1010 on diapers. Or you could spend $150 to get some cloth and buy 1 box of 72 for out of town trips and overnights to last you 3 months. Our water/electric bill went up around $10 a month. We’re doing more dishwasher loads, bathing a baby every night,  cooking more, and added 3 loads of laundry a week. Anyways, if Jack is potty trained by 2 years old we’ll save approximately $1500.

What would you recommend to someone thinking about cloth diapers? Do your research. Learn about all the different diapers – google and pinterest lots and lots. All in ones, all in twos, or pockets are going to be the easiest diapers. But there are many other options, especially for inserts and liners. I knew there were a lot of diapers that were going to be too much work for me and that my leary husband would not be ok with. So I chose to get all of the same without trying different options. I’d actually not recommend that unless you’re like us. I’d also recommend not buying more than 12 or so diapers until you know it’ll work and you’re 100% committed to it. Some people only have 12 forever anyway. You have to find what works for you if this is going to work for you.

the one with 3 bedroom updates

The bedroom is where I always struggle with decor. I’ve always wanted a serene, calming bedroom with a nailhead or tufted headboard, and some purple in there. Being the diy’er that I am, I could not would not buy a headboard. Of course, I made it myself. You can find those here and here. However, I’ve lived with those nailheads for two years, and I hate them more every day. So I recently did 3 bedroom updates including getting rid of them.

  1. It was easy to get rid of the nailheads. I just used a hammer to pry the nails up, some ice to puff it back up, and ironed the wrinkles out. It feels like we have a whole new headboard that I can appreciate again. It’s 5 years old, and the fabric has started to fade so it will have to be replaced when we move. But for now it makes me so much happier. 
  2. I also added some new handles to our nightstands. These are the ikea brimnes nightstands. We had the plain white handles that come with it on. I always knew a better handle in a metal with make it look soooo much better. I just never got around to it. But we’re about to buy a new dresser, and I wanted the handles to match. So much better. The handles are $2 ones from lowes that aren’t online. Please ignore the milk dud in the carpet. 
  3. Lastly, I put up some new art above the bed. I love how it simplifies the area. It really brings it all together in the room. There were too many woods/metals going on. This fixes it I think! The frames are 16×20 Ribba’s from ikea. The prints are these.

the one with raspberry crumble bars

Today I just want to drop by and delivery a quick and easy dessert for raspberry crumble bars! They’re like little raspberry cobblers but you don’t have to use a fork to eat! Plus, they’re super pretty!

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup old-fashioned whole-rolled oats
  • pinch salt, optional and to taste
  • about 12 ounces raspberry preserves – you could use a premade pie filling too

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch square pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. To a large, microwave-safe bowl add the butter and heat on high power to melt, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the sugars, vanilla, and whisk to combine.
  4. Then add the flour, oats, optional salt, and stir to combine. Mixture will have some larger, well-formed crumble pieces as well as some sandier, dryer bits.
  5. Set 1 heaping cup mixture aside to be sprinkled on later as crumble topping.
  6. Transfer remaining mixture to prepared pan, and using a spatula or your fingers, hard-pack the mixture to create an even, smooth, flat crust.
  7. Then evenly spread the raspberry preserves over the crust making sure there’s complete coverage. Preserves should be about 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch thick.
  8. Evenly sprinkle with the reserved heaping 1 cup crumble topping mixture. Before sprinkling, I squeeze the mixture in my palm to encourage bigger crumble pieces to form.
  9. Bake for about 30 to 32 minutes, or until edges are set and center has just set and is lightly golden browned. Place pan on a wire rack and allow bars to cool for at least 2 hours before slicing and serving. Bars will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

the one with Jack’s 8 month update

Here’s Jacker’s 8 month update . . .

Height: 30 inch 97th %

Head: 17.5 inches – 75th %

Weight:  19.8 50th %

Nicknames: Dumplin, buster, jack jack, sweet pea, jackers

Sleep: After terrible sleeping for 2 months, he’s slowly getting better. We started putting him to bed once it was dark (which was later than his original bedtime), letting him nap less, and I put bergamont in his diffuser every night. He sleeps from 830pm to 730am and most of the time he wakes up twice. But with our improvements the first wake up isn’t until between 1-3. So he only wakes up once while I’m asleep. Let’s be honest that is the most helpful thing here.

We tried sleep training him, but since he’s exclusively breastfed I’m concerned those nighttime feedings are needed to be sure he’s getting enough food – which is common with breastfeeding babies I’ve read. There are several ways I could get more food to him during the day, (pumping, supplementing, more often) but I don’t want to do any of those for various reasons unless necessary. since he’s slowly getting better we’re going to just deal with it.

Feeding: Still a nursing champ! So proud of my boy and myself. 8 months strong!! We’re also still doing really well with solid foods. I started giving him 4 ounces of water a day and he started pooping more 🙂 It’s a struggle to get him to take the water tho. He sometimes won’t take it unless there’s some sort of juice or sugar in it, and I don’t like giving him sugar or sugary juice. So we also added prunes every 3 days. I hate prunes so I hate giving them to him, but I finally gave it up. He LOVES them so who am I to judge. Plus he poops every 3 days now. We’re introducing 3 meals a day this month. So we’ll see how this goes.

Fun Stuff: He fully sits up on his own for extended period of times, can support his weight (just doesn’t have the balance to stand yet), he’s been fully rolling everywhere for a while but I’ve been trying to get him to crawl so this has somehow taken off even more, he can lift himself up to crawl and will sometimes army crawl – but no crawl yet, he talks and screams and squeals all the time, he’s learned to love reading books (he used to get bored), and bath time is now even better that he can sit up. We had our 2nd to last eye doctor appointment, and no glaucoma (which my husband was born with) 🙂 One more appointment just to confirm and we’re all done.

The best thing about this month is he says ‘mama’ I’m not considering it his first word because he 100% doesn’t know what he’s saying or that it’s my name. However, it’s the one word/noise he says consistently and will clearly say back to you when you ask him to. He’s making some sort of noise  90% of the time he’s awake and he’s saying ‘mama’ or ‘mommommommom’ 60% of that. And I can die happy.

the one with diy mother’s day gifts

This year’s diy mother’s day gifts were quite easy. Is it always this easy once you give them grandchildren? Do I just give them stuff Jack made every year? That was the routine this year and I can’t see it stopping. Especially since little man LOVED getting to play with paint. He mostly tried to eat it, but he did play long enough to get it all over the small canvas. And he had a huge smile on his face the whole time.

It’s pretty clear what we did. We just put him in his high chair with a 8×10 canvas that I had squirted some paint on. Then he went to town for awhile on each one. I basically let him go on one until he was over it, then we took a break before doing the other one. Once it was all dry I used mod podge to secure a picture of him painting in the middle. Viola! Put this down as a mom brag post – or an idea for a last minute gift if you need one.

 

the one with embroidery hoop wall pockets

Lately, I’ve been getting lots of invitations. Because I’m very popular.

Nope, my cousin is getting married and I know 2 pregnant ladies. Still an introvert over here.

But it made me realize that only one little 2×2 part of our fridge holds magnets and therefore invitations. So  I took to pinterest and found a picture of these bad boys (just a picture not a link). I just happened to have an extra embroidery hoop and some fabric laying around so let me show ya how I made mine. It’s super easy and incredible adorable. If it had stripes instead of florals my husband would even like it.

What you’ll need ::

embroidery hoop

fabric to fit – I’d say half a yard to start

one 8×11 piece of felt

12 inches of trim or fabric decorations

hot glue gun

scissors

How to ::

start by separating your embroidery hoop

then cut your fabric within an inch or so of the smaller hoop

after that it’s time to get your pocket ready!  take your trim/decorations and hot glue them onto the felt.

then turn your project over so the fabric is print side up over the hoop, and place your felt near the bottom half (where your pocket will go)

Next, place the larger hoop over the fabric including the felt and tighten the screw back in.

hot glue the extra fabric around so it doesn’t show

hang and enjoy!

the one with Jack’s 7 month update

time for Jack’s 7 month update . . .


Height: 29 inches  – 98th %

Head: 17.5 inches – 75th %

Weight:  18.1 lbs – 56th %

Nicknames: Dumplin, buster, jack jack, sweet pea

Sleep: I don’t even want to talk about it to be honest. Introducing solids has not gone well especially with the constipation issues – which keeps us up at night. On top of that he’s teething like cray. So we went from waking up once a night with half a nursing session to soothe us back to sleep to waking up 2 or 3 times a night. This has been going on for almost 6 weeks. He’s still a great napper at least. It does seem to be slowly getting better.

Feeding: He’s nursing 4 times a day and having 2 meals a day. The eating is going really well. He likes strawberries, blueberries, apples, avocado, carrots, zucchini, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, broccoli, and prunes. There was a week where he refused to eat any solids. But since then we’ve slowly incorporated up to 2 meals a day. So far he refuses lunch and sometimes breakfast. We always get a good dinner in tho. He still prefers nursing over food and that’s fine with me for now. The problem is that he’s not pooping consistently. His pediatrician is not worried since the poop itself is ok. Jacks little body just has to catch up to the new foods and it’ll work itself out. I think his tummy is upset and that’s whats waking him up at night though. So I’m working hard to get the poop consistent.

Fun Stuff: He’s sitting up on his own a lot. He’s very good at it, and very proud of himself. Army crawling and rolling around is still our favorite thing followed closely by jumping in his jumper. Prunes and that jumper are sometimes the only thing that will get him to poop. He talks all the time and is a very happy baby. very. happy. Unless he’s hungry.  Cloth diapering is going really well even with the solids poop. He’s also got major stranger anxiety recently. Mama is by far his favorite person. Fine by me 🙂

the one with a day in the life with Evian facial mist

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I love day in the life posts! I love them because I love schedules and routines. Also, I love seeing how people keep up with their discipline and motivation. Most importantly though – I’m nosy. Keepin it real, ya’ll. I share these about once a year, and in the past 6 months our daily routine has been shook. S o it was time for an update!

You’ll notice we use Evian Facial mist often. This spray is pure and gentle on Jack and me. It has a leak proof canister so we can take it anywhere! Evian Facial Spray gently cleanses and helps refresh baby’s skin. It has a unique balance of minerals, a neutral 7.2 pH, and is free from any chemicals so it won’t irritate your baby’s delicate skin. It is also propelled by nitrogen, so it’s safe for babies and for the environment. Moms can use the spray to rinse off sticky fingers, to help with kid’s hair brushing or styling, and many more.  Here’s our day in the life and many of the ways we use the spray! Look for the giveaway at the end!

630: Wakey wakey! We’re sleep training Jack so I’m very tired and full of breastmilk. While I pump, I drink my first cup of coffee and have a lactation muffin. Once I’m done I hurry to brush my teeth, get myself some water, get dressed for a workout, and wake up my face with a spritz of Evian facial spray, eye cream, and a hydrating bb cream.  Usually, Scott wakes up Jack and changes his diaper about 7.

730: Jack and I hit up the boardwalk for a walk/jog after dropping daddy off at work. We usually listen to some praise music while we do it. If there’s a place to sit I nurse him while adding the blog to link ups, commenting on my favorite posts, posting to instagram, commenting on my favorite instagram posts, and checking my email. I’ve got that down since I’ve done it for 4 years so that it takes me about half an hour. We always end our time by putting our feet in the water and prayer journaling. I always keep an extra Evian spray in the diaper bag to clean up our feet. Babies don’t like sand on their feet 🙂

9: I’m starving by the time we get home at 9. So I put  Jack in his jumper while I eat, have more coffee, and finish my blogging tasks from before. Then it’s time for Jack’s first nap!  Today we went a little late and he takes about 10 minutes to fuss before giving in .

945: This is my time to get everything done I can’t with a baby. It’s what my husband calls the tornado. I have certain chores I do each day – today those are to clean the kitchen, prep more breakfast, and wash a load of laundry. I’m a neat freak so I go through the house to pick up everything and take the trash out as well. I can always find something to clean at my house.  I write or do a blog post each weekday so today I start writing a post including editing the pictures. Tomorrow I won’t write one I’ll have a shoot instead.

12: Jack slept a little longer than usual, and it’s been 4 hours since he ate. Time to wake him up for lunch! Today I’m really hungry so I make myself a sandwich and grab some veggie chips to eat while I nurse him. While he eats, I play around on pinterest, check instagram, see if there are any sponsored posts I want to apply for, respond to emails etc. Phones are great things.

1230: For the next two and a half hours while he’s awake I engage with him. He’s at a really fun age, and he’s finds everything I do super interesting. Today we read a couple pages of peter pan, played with colored ice cubes and then some fuzzy puppets (sensory skills are big right now) , sang some songs, and I wore him in his wrap while we checked the mail and got stuck talking to a neighbor. I try to give him some time on his play mat as well so he can work on crawling and other motor skills. We finish up with that outside while I finish writing the blog post from earlier. So I put some sunscreen on Jack’s legs – evian helps me get it blended quickly on his fidgety legs.

230: Time for Jackers second nap 🙂 He goes down easily this time

245: Usually, I’m trying to finish my to do list from earlier. But Jack took a long morning nap so I have no more chores for the day. I try and have something creative for me to do each day whether it be playing the piano for 30 minutes, a craft, baking, reading, whatever. Today I made a raspberry pie and practiced a new piano song.

345: His 2nd nap is always short! He had a big poop and he’s hungry! Guess what comes back out – yup the evian mist. It really helps clean up his booty so I don’t have to use 20 wipes. I’ll spare you from that picture 😉

415: Once the boy is full I let him play with his teethers and watch some animals on the tv. He loves animals! With the tv time this morning and now it’s only an hour a day. He’s also only 7 months old so if it interests him I don’t feel bad about it. I start dinner so we can eat as soon as daddy is home, and talk with Jack about the animals. I read to make lots of noises and talk to him at this age. So chatting and cooing at each other is our favorite game right now. He’s very good at it.

440: We go get daddy from work, and Jack cat naps in the car 🙂

530: Daddy entertains Jack while I finish dinner. Then everybody has dinner together! Family dinners was part of my dream life so the fact that it’s here is the best part of my day. I meal prep so we can eat at home as much as possible, but we always eat out on Friday’s. Friday’s are my favorite days, ha!

630: The facial mist comes out one more time to help us clean the boys face up 🙂 Once dinner and the dishes are over, Jack and Daddy play and relax. I call my mom and start getting ready for the next day – laying out clothes, prepping breakfast and lunch, picking up the house one last time. Then I relax with them a little.

745: Jack gets his last nursing session, a bath, and then his bedtime routine.

830: Jack is fast asleep and it’s time for mama to chill now. Honestly, if he’s not sleeping well i go ahead and go to bed. But usually I’m spending some time with Scott, listening to my music or watching my tv shows, or read.

10: goodnight!

3 lucky winners will receive a Skip Hop Duo Signature diaper bag, in Heather Grey filled with a 10oz, 5oz, and a trio of travel sized evian facial sprays! Just go here to enter!

Shopbop Spring Sale 2017

It’s time for the shopbop spring sale 2017.  You guys should know by now I love shopbop. My favorite thing about them is that it’s not all clothes there. So today I wanted to share my favorites for home decor and entertaining.

watermelon candle . be amazing tray . kate spade bowl . bottle opener . ice cube trays

kate spade plates . ice cream maker . champagne flutes . chips and salsa set . coral jewelry tree

decanter . cheese board . dreamcatcher . decor boxes . elephant bowl