Monday, March 2, 2015

Braelyn's 6 Month's Old - HALF A YEAR!

I can hardly believe Braelyn turned 1/2 a year old yesterday!  It's so crazy to me to see her grow day by day and look back from when she was an itty bitty newborn...oh how I miss it, but am loving the growth!

Braelyn Updates
How Old:  6 Months
Medical Updates:  She weighs about 14.8 lbs when they weighed her at daycare 2 weeks ago. She'll get weighed again this Friday at her 6 month checkup.
Sleep: She was a champ at night time sleeping for all but about 1 week this past month.  That 1 week, she was teething and it was just not easy.  I was miserable, and so was she. But alas, we got through it and each time I'm learning some more soothing techniques for her.  This past time, I used Punkin Butt oil on her along with the Hyland's Teething Tablets after reading some suggestions from a mom group I follow on Facebook.
Clothing/Diapers:  She's wearing her 6-9 months clothes for the most part with a handful of 3-6 month pieces.  She's still tall, but we'll find out how tall in comparison at her Dr. appointment this Friday.  I ordered the cloth diapers I was obessing over in her last month post and I just got an email saying they have shipped - YAY!  I can't wait!  We're still really loving cloth.  My father and his wife even commented about how it was so much easier than they thought it would be when they came in last month to help out with her while Neal was in Seattle for work training.
Milestones:  She's really getting ready to roll from her back to her stomach.  When she really wants something, she'll roll onto her side from her back.  If I'm holding her when she's on her belly, she can then lift up onto her knees and put her weight onto her arms.  She then rocks and moves her little knees a tiny bit...crawling around the corner!? She's really grabbing everything in sight.  She has a favorite toy, her lion, that she will grab if she has the option between a few toys.  She also likes to grab onto my water or coffee cup and put her mouth on the rim.  I bought her the next Avent Natural design cup sippy cup and have put water in it for her try when she's eating solids...oh yea...she's eating some solids!  About 1 week before she officially turned 6 months, I started feeding her (she was 5 day's over her due date, so really it's her 6 months gestational).  We started with baby rice cereal (didn't care for that), butternut squash (loves that), and now we're trying peas (she's okay with them, but not in love). 

Mommy Updates
Postpartum: 6 Months
WeightRight around pre-pregnancy weight.
Waist/belly My diastasis recti is about 1 finger width apart.  I didn't work out much at all between 5-6 months postpartum due to sickness, then lack of sleep from Braelyn teething, but I did get in my Knocked Up Fitness Postpartum DVD's and have done some of the workouts and am really loving them because I do not have to think twice about if they are okay for my diastasis recti.  Erica is a great instructor. I highly recommend her DVD's prenatal and postpartum as she's great at reminding you to work your deep core muscles and pelvic floor - keeping you safe pre and post natal.
Best moments as a new mom:  Just seeing her grow and become more and more interactive. It's the best.
Hardest moments as a new mom:  Nap training. This has been so hard and sad.  We are trying to get her to nap in her crib rather than on mom and dad during the weekends.  During the weekdays, daycare is trying to get her to nap in her crib rather then in a bouncer or swing.  I know, I know, we should have started this MONTHS ago, but I LOVE TO HOLD HER.  I do notice a big difference in her attitude when she sleeps in her crib for naps vs sleeping on me or in a swing/bouncer.  She really is so much nicer, happier, and just content. 

And for me, harder than nap training is milk supply.  My supply goes down easily if I am sick or stressed - both of which happened a lot this last month.  Work is legit killing my supply. It's terrible. I've never had more work since being with the company. I even put Lively Happenings on Etsy on vacation because I just need time in the evenings to complete work that I can't get done before getting Braelyn from daycare.  It's just nuts.  I've never been more unhappy than I was last week because I was SO stressed about my milk supply going down, and that stress was coming from work stress and it was just an all out nightmare.  We survived, my supply is back up and I didn't go too much into my freezer stash of milk.  But gosh, it's just hard.  I really hate worrying about pumping and if I'm pumping enough and then crying each time I do because I'm not getting as much as she needs me to send to daycare. I even ate tons of oats, drank lots of mother's milk tea, and tried to de-stress, but I just couldn't de-stress.  Today's not much better, but I'm consciously trying to not let all of the tasks piling up on my plate overcome me as much as I allowed them to do last week.  My supply, thankfully has been amazing these last few days, so I'm hoping that will continue...now if only work could be amazing and not so hard :)


And some photos from the month of February where she went from 5 months to officially 6 months (HALF A YEAR!) on March 1st :)


She LOVES the bouncer! 



Such a cutie :)


 Practicing sitting up and playing with toys using our boppy


Taking as many selfies as I can with her while she still lets me :)




TRYING FOOD FOR THE FIRST TIME

  She loved butternut squash

She'd rather eat her bib than her rice cereal

Taking her 6 Month Photos: 




Daddy's Valentine's Day Gift





First time sledding...she hated it!



 And lastly, the cutest sleeping baby...we don't let her nap often in the rock n play anymore, but sometimes she just drifts off and I'm not moving her :)



Friday, February 20, 2015

5 Months Old

Okay, okay, I dropped the ball again, Braelyn is actually 5 3/4 months old today and I'm JUST NOW getting to her post!  Oopsies!


Braelyn Updates
How Old:  5 Months
Medical Updates:  She had an impromptu appointment on the 3rd of February bc I was feeling like crap and wanted to make sure Braelyn was okay too bc she had been coughing some and she weighed 13 lbs 8 oz  lbs and they didn't measure her height, but I know she has to be at least an inch taller than last time (25.75 inches) because she can really touch the ground in her bouncer and bounces bounces bounces! She hasn't been coughing as badly lately (thank goodness) and seems to be doing very well medically other than some eczema which we are treating by putting on lotion 2-3 times a day.  Daycare is putting it on her head daily as needed too.
Sleep: We started a new 'sleep training' method when Braelyn reached 4 1/2 months. We were having issue where we would go to console her when she cried and her cries would get worse and turn to screams. She could go for hours doing this on and off...or just on... And it was TERRIBLE.  I consulted the book "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" and took some of the guidance of Dr. Weissbluth, and it's worked wonders for use and Braelyn.  She's sleeping so well at night, only waking once to feed.  I am truly blessed.  She doesn't nap well, so we are still working on that one...
Clothing/Diapers:  After finding she had eczema issues, I washed all of Braelyn's 3-6 month + clothes in a different detergent and put away anything that was 0-3 months.   
As for as cloth diapers, we are still really enjoying them.  Right around the 5 month mark, I did notice her night time diapers (Bumgenius Freetimes) were starting to smell.  It wasn't until 5 1/2 months (this past week) that I changed up diaper washing routines per Fluff Love and CD University tips. I'm currently obsessing over this diaper and am praying the seller will make more bc I really want this cover lol.
Milestones:  She has semi rolled from her back to her side, but not all the way to the belly.  She will push up on her arms when she's on her belly. She LOVES to grab at things and hold toys. I can hand her something and ask her to hold it and walk around the house with her holding something...this past week when I was sick, I had her hold the empty neti pot - haha! I'm sure it's just coincidence and she won't always do that, but it was helpful because I was then able to grab my water cup and tea mug! 

Mommy Updates
Postpartum: 5 Months
WeightRight around pre-pregnancy weight.
Waist/belly I'm working on toning my core back up. I started working out normally and doing ab workouts and then I realized my belly was looking bigger...well I thought that with diastatis recti, I only needed to be concerned if my ab gap was BIGGER than 2 finger widths.  Mine was right about 1 1/2 and then 5 fingers vertical.  And that's not meaning that it's okay to workout as normal again. So I bought the Knocked Up Fitness Postpartum DVD and am going to do that and focus on getting my abs back together.
Best moments as a new mom:  She's sleeping again!  Neal and I were seriously thrilled when we got her to sleep in her crib and 'through' the night with one waking to nurse!
Hardest moments as a new mom:  When she cries.  I truly hate when she cries. Especially in the car. Sometimes, I feel bad for her, then sometimes I think...okay she just had a diaper change, just had some food, she has to stay in her carseat because I'm driving...STOP, just STOP crying!  Other than her crying in the car, she's normally easy to console, just pick her up and she'll stop crying.  I'm not sure if that's 'good' but hey, it works for me, I'm okay with it.


And some photos from the month of January where she went from 4 months to officially 5 months on February 1st :)

My favorite of us this past month:

This one makes daddy proud :) 


I love this sequence (this was my food, but she's looking with amazement...she's about ready to start some food other than mama milk!)



From pissed off, to happy :)


One of my favorite little outfits this past month :)


Learning to love the workout mat, like mommy :)
 
Lastly, baby wearing, the way I can get most stuff done!





Friday, January 16, 2015

4 Months Old!

...actually Braelyn is about 4 and a half months old, but this momma has been all over the place and is finally getting to write some stuff out! Yay!








 So this is a look back at Braelyn's development in December before she hit right at 4 months!


Braelyn Updates
How Old:  4 Months
Medical Updates:  She had her 4 month check on 1/6/15 and weighed 13 lbs 3 oz  lbs and is 25.75 inches long, this girly is still pretty darn tall! Once she got over the sniffles she was having at the end of November, she started sleeping well again.  Then around 3.5 months she started coughing again, super runny nose, and super fussy...turned out she was teething!  Her first tooth broke through on 1/10/15!  Crazy!
Sleep: SO that pretty good sleep cycle she was on lasted until 3.5 months...just before the holidays.  She was sleeping in her crib with only 1-2 night wakings.  She would nurse and then go back down.  Then all heck broke loose.  It was a combination of her learning to roll over more and more (sleep regression can come when baby develops new skills), she is also becoming much more aware of the world and fascinated with watching things, so that didn't help. To top it off she was teething, as I already mentioned, and the last 2 weeks of December we were out of town for 9 nights (5 nights one week 4 the next) so that really didn't help her sleep cycles.  It's now the middle of January (she's 4.5 months) and we seem to just now be getting back on track with some sort of sleep.  Neal and I have tried a LOT of methods and finally may be settling in on one that works for us...we will see how this week goes - prayers please!
Clothing/Diapers:  I've started packing away a lot of her 0-3 month clothes.  I was going to give them to a friend, but she's all stocked up :)  So we are saving them in case we make another little girl in the future.  Then I'll give them away or sell some of them down the road.  
As for as cloth diapers, we are still REALLY loving them.  We bought a few more All-in-ones, which is what I like to use at night.  We have Bumgenius Freetimes and the suede cloth keeps her a little dryer at night so she isn't waking up because her diaper is wet.   
Milestones:  Braelyn is a champ at rolling over and has started to enjoy sitting up assisted.  She sits in her bumpo chair or a bouncer at home, and an exersaucer at daycare.  She really seems to like the bouncer and exersauser because they have toys.  A lot of times here at home Neal and I will lay on the ground a pop up just to hear her giggle at us from her bouncer!  Oh that giggle :) I love it! 

Mommy Updates
Postpartum: 4 Months
WeightRight around pre-pregnancy weight.
Waist:  I'm back to pre-pregnancy size, but not the tone. 
Belly:  The linea nigra is still slightly noticeable.  Also I still have a little pooge in my lower abs . It is a lot harder for me to get the lower abs back in...I do think some of it has to do with diet.  Since the holidays, I've developed a sweet tooth, and I'm still trying to kick it!
Best moments as a new mom:  Her giggles and her eating her toes.  I know it's random, but I just love her toe sucking, it's too cute :)
Hardest moments as a new mom:  I would say for this month, it's dealing with sleep, or lack of it.  She was SUCH a good sleeper from birth until 3.5 months.  It's been just about a month of restless nights for all of us.  I REALLY do want prayers that this next method we are trying will work and maintain...I know teeth will come again, growth spurts will occur, and we will be thrown off.  I just want what's best and safe for her, and I'm adamant on her sleeping in her crib.  I truly find this to be difficult. 

Also, right before the New Year, I was a hormonal mess. I've started tracking via Natural Family Planning, so I do think some of it was hormonal, possibly ovulations - still no period though and doubt there will be one for a while with how abnormal mine are and still breastfeeding.  She had just started sleeping poorly after transitioning like a champ into her crib for two weeks and then the teething started and we were traveling.  And don't' get me wrong I'm SO GLAD we were with family for both Christmas and New Years, but that's very difficult when sleep deprived/learning new sleep as she is growing.  I wanted to give up on it all...including breastfeeding...I hated pumping during work and was just resentful about everything...hello hormones, welcome back :)


Overall, I would say month 3-4 was the hardest yet.  Work picked up, Lively Happenings on Etsy picked up, Braelyn was developing more and more.  However, I know there will be harder times and I know there will be even better times yet to come.  Every moment this little one smiles at me, my heart melts! I just love her to pieces! I can't even say it enough!

And for all mom's out there, if you haven't read this article by Ashely Gadd, do it.  You are amazing and each little thing you do is more than enough!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!  What things do you have planned?!  We're getting our paperwork ready for taxes - oh boy! Haha!


And here's some baby spam pictures from December :)



A letter from her daycare

Christmas Eve, going to Church!

Christmas Morning!


Christmas Day Tutu

Happy Friday to you all!  Enjoy!


Monday, December 22, 2014

Cookies for Santa!

This holiday season is going to be especially wonderful with the addition of our little girl!  She's not quite sure who Santa is yet at this point, though she did get to meet him!



I wanted to gift her caregivers something sweet for the holidays, and remembered how much I LOVED making cookies in a jar a few years ago for some friends and family!  They are seriously THE BEST cookies I've ever had.  I REALLY love them and get compliments any time they are gifted!  I hope the daycare girls love them as much as I do!

They turned out beautiful!  I created labels for them and printed them on some of the brown cardstock I had here at home. 


You can use these and print them yourself too!  Select the link itself to get the downloadable and printable version!




For the tags, I printed one side with Santa and the other side with the recipe. I use bakers twine to attach the tags and the bags of pecans to the jar.


Here's the full recipe I used for the cookies (originally on Bakerella - Cowgirl Cookies)

These are the ingredients you need to add in this specific layer into a large mason jar (1Quart size)
  • 1 1/3 cup all purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup & leveled
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cooking oats
  • 3/4 cup m&ms
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup chopped pecans
***If the nuts don't fit, do not fret!  You can do like I did and add them on the side in a little Ziploc bag!  I sometimes don't pack it down enough, so I add a little extra sugar to fill space.

These are the ingredients you're recipient will need to add once they've gotten their gift!
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
I always make myself a batch while I'm putting these together!  I just mix all my dry ingredients, add my wet ingredients and roll them into little balls.  From there I freeze all but a few on a baking sheet. Once they are frozen, plop them all into a large Ziploc bag so you can enjoy just one or two at a time.  They just take a few extra minutes to bake up in the oven!

To make them for yourself while packing some up in mason jars for gifts, after you've mixed your ingredients and made your cookie balls, heat the oven to 350 and bake for 8-10 min.  Enjoy!

Now go make some delicious cookies or put some together in cute mason jars for your friends and family!

Now when Santa comes, don't forget carrots for the reindeer ;)

QUESTION FOR YOU!
What are your favorite Christmas Cookies?