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Entries in baby (7)

Monday
Nov142016

embracing the chaos

I've sat down to write this post about a hundred times the last few days but part of embracing the chaos that is life with a toddler and a newborn means that there is zero free time to go to the bathroom, let alone update the blog! And we are STILL in the midst of the longest lasting construction project going on upstairs, which is giving me a fair share of gray hairs.  I'm wearing lots of hats, applying under eye concealer with a shovel and I honestly don't remember the last time I shaved my legs, but I've never been happier (or more exhausted)!

Luca is ten weeks old now and is an absolute angel baby; I don't knowif it's because I'm so much more relaxed than I was when I had Lydia, but he's just the sweetest baby.  He loves to watch his sister and is a champion snuggler, which is partly why I don't get anything done because I'm so reluctant to put him down!  I'm still finding my footing, in terms of a routine, but he sleeps well and nurses even better and is growing at a record pace!  The only frustration is that he's a champion at spitting up.  We go through three outfits, on average, before lunch time and I have to time going anywhere around when I'm going to feed him because I have to hold him upright for 30 minutes after.  The doctor says he will outgrow it and that it's just a "laundry problem" since he's so big and is not in any discomfort, but it's still so heartbreaking to watch him do it and even more difficult for me to watch all that breast milk come back up!  

Lydia took to her baby brother immediately and honestly, has been so much better than we ever could have expected.  She's definitely testing me more than she ever did before but I made it a point from the very beginning to make her a part of everything - changing diapers, giving baths, reading stories and singing lullabies - she's so eager to help and we make a huge deal and fuss over her anytime she does something for her brother and to watch her beam with pride makes me so happy!  She's got her moments, though, like any other toddler with a new sibling, and it's usually between the hours of 4 and 8 pm when the house is more like a zoo/circus/mental ward while I attempt to make dinner, clean up, give baths...  I know I'll get into a routine soon enough and that these days won't last forever, and honestly, I feel more sadness than relief at that thought because it's all going so fast. All I want for Christmas is for my babies to stay little!

I've been on Instagram a lot lately, it's so much easier to snap and post a pic, so follow along there for more updates @bungalowblue!  Happy Monday!

Monday
Aug172015

4 baby/toddler purchases I'm so glad we made

If you have children, I don't have to tell you that babies nowadays require SO. MUCH. STUFF.  I chronicled the items that were my saving grace the first three months of motherhood in a post here and there have been many, many purchases since that I've loved, but the things that have made the biggest impact ended up not being items I registered for.  Here are a few items I couldn't have lived without and that still make life easier, not to mention prettier, which, let's be honest, is an added benefit to anyone with littles who have taken over every inch of space in their house!

1.  Daybed.  While technically not a purchase (Daddy made it for her), I never could have made it through the first year of motherhood without it.  Sleep did not come easy the first twelve months for me and baby girl; I've blogged before about transitioning her from our room to her crib and then how she woke up every 1 1/2 - 2 hours from the time she was 6 months old until she hit 9 months.  Having a bed in her nursery was my saving grace because I could get her used to her crib while being right there with her and then again when she woke up 500 times a night.  Although it's been a long time since I've slept in there with her, the daybed is still perfect for reading books and talking and playing with our stuffed animals when we're winding down at night.  And it will be perfect for when she outgrows her crib! (See plans for our bed here).

2.  Stokke Tripp Trapp high chair.  It took me FOREVER to make a decision on a high chair; I wanted something that would blend in with my decor, that would also be easy to clean and that I could stow away easily if need be.  I finally decided on the Stokke Tripp Trapp and am so glad I did!  It's got a low profile so it doesn't stick out like a sore thumb and is super easy to clean.  You can buy a tray attachment, but I really like being able to pull Lydia right up to the table with us when we are eating.  I highly, highly recommend!

3.  Custom crib bedding.   After searching high and low for the perfect crib bumper and skirt, I knew custom was going to be the way to go.  It turned out to be one of my favorite parts of the nursery; because I had it made, the bumper was way more fuller and plush than any I would have been able to buy and I had my seamstress do the skirt in three separate pieces (didn't need a fourth since the crib would be up against the wall) and then add ties to each piece so that I could adjust the skirt as I moved the mattress down.  All in all, it ended up costing no more to have it made than to buy an already made one, but the effect in the room could not have been matched, otherwise!

4.  Teepee.  Another gift, my dad definitely got his money's worth the first week we had this one from Land of Nod!  Its size is perfect for moving around easily - we've set it up in her nursery, the living room and even outside by the pool - and the bold black and white stripes fit right in in my neutral decor!  What's more is that Lydia is as excited to play and read in it now as she was when we got it for Christmas.

What are some baby or toddler purchases you couldn't have done without?

Monday
Oct062014

family photo session + sleeping through the night

Back in the end of August, on probably the hottest, most humid day of the entire summer, my good friend and client (who also happens to moonlight as an AMAZING family photographer) snapped some photos of the hubby, baby girl and me and they turned out so much better than I ever could have imagined!!  Lydia and I wore matching white dresses with embroidered edges and the hubby shaved.  It was a pretty big deal.  I have taken upwards of a thousand photos of Lydia since she was born and I can count on one hand how many I am in with her; her daddy was deployed for almost half her life and yet, he appears in a staggering number (does this sound familiar to any of you mommas??)  So, while this was meant to be a family photo session, Shannon was kind enough to sneak in quite a few candid shots of me and my beautiful baby girl to prove she really does have a momma! From the bottom of my heart, thank you, Shannon!  I am eternally grateful for these beautiful shots and will treasure all 60 (!) of them forever. 

via

These photos expertly hide the fact that I was TIRED.  I mean, bone tired.  I was so spoiled so early on because Lydia started sleeping through the night at 7 weeks old.  And I'm talking ten, eleven hours straight, then she'd wake up, eat and go back to sleep for another two!  With the hubby deployed at exactly the same time and no family nearby, I was so grateful for this little gift.  But all that changed when she hit four months and started teething.  At exactly six months, she started waking every 1-2 hours and continued that until she was 8 1/2 months old.

I don't care how young you are, sleep deprivation like THAT is its own form of torture!  I'm such a sucker and wouldn't (and still won't leave her) to cry it out, but something had to give.  I had tried everything but, seeing as I had nursed her to sleep all of her life, I knew I had to start there.  A friend loaned me The Baby Whisperer by Tracy Hogg as a guide- have any of you ever read it?  It was amazing; in a matter of days, she went from waking every 1-2 hours to only waking once (albeit, it would take me an hour to get her back to sleep)  The first week she napped twice a day and I wanted to rejoice!  The second week and since, she's still only getting up once wanting to have a dance party in the middle of the night, but it's like pulling teeth trying to get her to nap during the day. Have any of you had this problem?  I'd love to know how you handled it or what might have worked for you! 

Friday
Jul252014

half birthdays, deployments + the sweetest homecoming

It's been a little while since I posted any pics or updates of my sweet baby girl, who is going to be SEVEN months already this weekend (quick, cue the sniffles, time is flying WAY TOO FAST).  My little miss has been sitting up on her own since 5 1/2 months, she popped her two bottom teeth right before that and lately, it's been a lot of downward facing dog (I swear, I have days left before she starts crawling!) After snapping this pic last weekend, I couldn't resist sharing:

A lot of you have asked how Gunner has fared with the adjustment of having a baby in the house - these two have a bit of a love/hate relationship; she LOVES her Gunner and can be in the middle of a meltdown and break into a fit of giggles at just the sight of him.  He, on the other hand, is still completely indifferent.  After an entire decade of being the only "baby", I can't say I blame him.  This picture says it all about his patience, though:

The last month has been a pretty exciting one; I've never been one to celebrate a half birthday, but when you're daddy happens to be coming home from a deployment on the same day you turn six months old, a celebration is definitely in order!  This post is a month overdue, but I wanted to share anyway because homecomings are a very big deal around here.  We get all dressed up and bake cakes and count minutes, hours, days and nights until daddy comes home after months and months away. In the eleven years we've been together, we've been through our fair share of deployments, but this was, by far, the sweetest homecoming yet:

After leaving when baby girl was just eight weeks old, he made it home in time for her half birthday and the 4th of July, another biggie at our house. Here she is getting a personal escort from Daddy after her baptism back in February:

Motherhood is the most amazing, challenging, rewarding, tiring, exciting, happiest thing EVER.  It is, BY FAR, the best job I've ever had, but going at it alone the the last four months has made it even sweeter for me.   Every month I think, "it can't possibly get better than this" and then, the next month it goes and gets a little bit sweeter and I think my heart will explode. 

I am over the moon with excitement that her daddy is home to share in the adventure (and, I'm not going to lie, I'm thrilled to have a second set of hands to help out!)  A full return to blogging is right around the corner; thank you all for continuing to read and check in to see how things are going.  I'm eternally grateful for all the sweet comments and emails!  Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! 

Thursday
Mar272014

my first 3 months of mommyhood: my 10 must-haves

Over the weekend, my sweet girl turned three months old.  Three months already!  Motherhood has, by far, been the best adventure of my life; just when I think it's impossible to love my little nugget more, another day dawns and my heart swells a tiny bit more.  I'll be honest, it's definitely been a roller coaster of emotions; in the very beginning there were a lot of inexplicable, hormonal tears and times where I seriously felt like I had no idea what I was doing, but that was nothing compared to the pure joy and excitement of being a momma.  Anytime my girl smiles and turns those baby blues up at me, my heart melts into a puddle; she is just the sweetest little thing and her daddy and I are completely mesmerized by everything she does! 

Our friends and family blessed us with so many amazing baby gifts and gear that I thought I'd never need anything else ever again.  But, as I packed away the clothes she no longer fits in (sniff, sniff), I realized there were a lot of items we haven't even opened or used yet.  There are a few things that I have relied on heavily these last three months, especially when Lydia was so tiny and new.  Now that she's getting bigger so fast (sniff, sniff...again!) I'm sure these items will soon be replaced by new ones, but I thought I'd share what helped get me through these last 12 weeks.  If you're expecting and don't know what to register for, or, if you're looking for a great baby shower gift, here are my top ten baby items I absolutely loved:

Rock and Play.  All of our friends who have had children in the last few years swore by this thing and we absolutely love it.  Lydia sleeps in this next to my side of the bed; if she stirs but doesn't fully wake up, I can just rock her gently back to sleep without taking her out.  I love that the seat is at an incline, too and it's super light weight and easy to fold down, making it the perfect travel companion!

Wipe warmer.  The only thing worse than having to get your diaper changed in the middle of the night would have to be feeling cold wipes on your bum!  This thing is worth its weight in gold, a must-have I definitely could not have lived without!

Swaddles.  My little miss did NOT like to be swaddled; in all her ultrasound pictures, her hands were up at her face and she, in fact, made her grand entrance into the world that way, too!  But, since she was born in December and it was always freezing, I wrapped her lower half in these organic swaddles to keep her warm.  They get softer each time you wash them and are pretty good size so I can cover her car seat or stroller to keep out the sun.  This 3-pack has been a godsend.

Zoom lens.  I got this bad boy for Christmas; the lower f-stop has made such a difference in picture clarity and I'm able to document every. little. thing!

Mamaroo.  This was a lifesaver.  It's got a great variety of gentle motions and soothing sounds that mimic what babies felt in the womb (Lydia loved the car ride best) and you could also connect your iPod and play your own music. 

Mustela newborn set.  I can't say enough about this line.  It's so gentle, smells amazing and is biodegradable.  The newborn shampoo prevents cradle cap, the no-rinse cleanser is great for cleaning up nasty diaper blowouts and I couldn't live without the barrier cream - NOTHING else clears up and keeps her diaper rash at bay. 

Nursing cover.  For someone who was antsy about nursing in public (what if I flash someone?  What if she suffocates under there?), this was the perfect answer because it covers EVERYTHING.  It comes in a bunch of colors and, in a pinch, I've used it to cover the car seat from wind and rain. 

Burp cloths.  These are super absorbant and get softer each time you wash them.  Right now, I throw these over my shoulder to burp baby girl and when she's a little older, they have snaps to double as a bib.

Sound machine.  For the first two months, the kitchen vent hood or a hair dryer set on low were the only two things that would get Lydia to sleep and a sound machine was the only thing that would keep her that way.  We no longer use the vent or hair dryer, but the sound machine is still a must. This one is my favorite.  It plays music, projects images onto the wall or ceiling and has the best white noise, which keeps my little miss in dreamland.

Breast pump.  If you're going to breast feed, it's worth the investment to have a great pump; I rented a hospital-grade pump for the first month and then switched to this one and have to say, I love it so much more. 

 What are some baby items that you think will help me through the next 12 weeks? 

I'd love to know!