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 ;)

What are your favorite Christmas Cookies?

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

3 Months Old!

Braelyn is officially 3 months old!  I can hardly believe how fast the time is flying by us! 

 I'm going to try better to update monthly like this on her progression, not just for you, but also for me!  There's SO many new things happening with her daily, I want to remember them all as best as I can :)

Braelyn Updates
How Old:  3 Months
Medical Updates:  She now weighs 12.4 lbs and is 24.5 inches long, this girly is TALL!  She also had her first cold this past weekend.  She's had some sniffles in the past, but this one turned into a cough. Poor girl.  But she's getting better and the Dr. said it was nothing big to worry about at this point and it should clear itself up.
Sleep: Brealyn is on a pretty good sleep cycle...knocking on some serious wood here...  She goes down between 8-9 and stays asleep until about 3-4 am.  We are then up for a feeding and back to sleep until about 7:30-8am.  Technically, she'd be sleeping through the night if we got her down about and hour or 2 later since Neal and I wake up at about 6am on the day's we 'sleep in'.  We are going to have to transition her from her Snugamonkey Rock n Play to her crib though soon because she's TOO TALL!  It's crazy how fast she's growing.  So far she doesn't sleep great in her crib.  We just try to put her there once she's fallen asleep a little, but her naps don't last as long and we haven't tried during the night time.  We also put her in her crib if I'm cleaning up her room or putting up clothes so that she can become more comfortable in it.
Clothing/Diapers:  She officially transitioning into 3-6 month clothes!  It's CRAZY! She can wear some of her 0-3 month items, but many of them are becoming too short.  Also, some of the bottoms don't fit in 0-3 month over the fluffy cloth diaper butt :)  We've REALLY liked the cloth!  Washing them hasn't even upped our water bill on bit!  So our only cost so far was the initial investment!  WOW!  Oh and on top of sleeping updates, this goes along with those as she is too tall for her original swaddles!  We had to move up a size for length, but now she's not 'broad' enough.  We are improvising by wrapping her arms in a swaddle blanket and then putting her into the SummerInfant SwaddleMe Sleepsack.
Milestones:  Braelyn is following people now with her eyes/head, especially her daddy!  She LOVES to look for him.  It is seriously the sweetest!  She also will talk a lot to you, making little noises and smiling huge!  She seems to be recognizing her fur siblings, Walden and Sasha, now as well. She's rolled over twice from tummy to back, but hasn't gotten too consistent with that.  She's also fully been able to hold her head up for minutes at a time. 

Mommy Updates
Postpartum: 3 Months
WeightDown to less than pre-pregnancy weight.  I didn't want to get to that point actually, I wanted to be a little heavier.  I'm hungry all the time with breastfeeding, but am finding it VERY hard to make time to work out with going back to work AND doing Lively Happenings - it's the bussiest time of the year for Lively Happenings.  I think once I work out again, my weight will go back up with some muscle tone. 
Waist:  I'm back to pre-pregnancy size.
Belly:  The linea nigra is still slightly noticeable.  My stomach isn't nearly as tight as it was at about2 months post partum because I haven't been able to work out, but I'll get there - right now Braelyn is number one and I have to put work up there too...once the job settles, I'll be making more time for working out again!
Best moments as a new mom:  There's seriously so many, but really my favorites are when I see Neal with Braelyn.  It makes me so happy when he's playing with her and caring for her.
Hardest moments as a new mom:  Time management!  It's been REALLY hard going back to work.  Even though I work from home, Braelyn is still in daycare because I have a professional job requiring me to be on the phone up to 4 times a day for meetings and training.  Putting her in daycare was rough, but now I really like her daycare!  The caregivers are amazing and she truly enjoys herself there!  However, I'm still finding it SUPER hard to find 'me' time. 
  • I get up around 6am am and eat and work until she wakes up
  • I take her into daycare
  • Work until I get my 8 hours in
  • Do a little bit of Lively Happenings orders almost every day after work to keep up during the holiday season (I try to do 30 min every day after work to keep up but am still behind! That's a blessing though and I know this is temporary for the holiday season)
  • Pick up Braelyn from daycare
  • Feed Braelyn/myself/Neal (she cluster feeds at night a lot still and constantly wants to be in mine or Neal's arms so we really don't do anything but take care of her sometimes)
  • Get Braelyn ready for bed
  • Maybe get another 30 min of Lively Happenings work in and then go to bed myself so I get rest before she wakes up for her middle of the night feeding.

It's just SUPER hard to squeeze in time there for almost anything else like a workout, a nice yoga class, grabbing a cup of coffee, just going to the grocery store.  Heck, I'm typing this blog post us as I'm taking a 15 minute pump break!  Typically I don't 'break' while pumping, I just work through it, but I really wanted to get this post done :)

I was working out early in the morning before Lively Happenings orders picked up for the Holiday season, but until next week, I think I won't be getting many 'me time' workouts in since I need my sleep and Braelyn time more :)

I'm not putting any of that out there as a 'woe is me'. There's PLENTY of other mom's/dad's who are doing all of this SOLO or working more demanding jobs, or taking care of multiple children.  I'm just putting this out there as a holy cow, my friends that had kids were telling the is time consuming, sometimes super hard, but eventually the baby won't be a baby, they won't be depending on mom or dad as much, and things will settle down.  And I'm sure when that time comes, I'll want my baby to be a baby again and need me all the time...

Here's a look back to her 1 Month and 2 Month photos since I didn't do a post for them:

And then just one of my favorites :)  She was just reaching 2 months in this one!

Friday, November 7, 2014

The First Two Month Must Haves!

These last two months have been a whirl wind!

I was totally going to do a one month post, but a bit of my own personal woes side tracked me. 

As a new mom, I only took 6 weeks off from work, well technically 5 and a half... and less off from Lively Happenings.  I happily got busy with Lively Happenings, getting orders filled and coming up with some fun new items just two weeks postpartum, and then week 3 came along.  My boss called to tell me 3 coworkers are being let go and I'm taking on two of their job roles (still over here contracted, no benefits etc.).  Week 3 - 4 was a big ol' B word.  And I tried to muster up the happiness to write about my 1 month favorites for Braelyn, and updates about her...but I just couldn't.  Instead, I chose to have my moody week and then take the next 2 weeks to just make my days about Braelyn before she had to start daycare and I had to go back to work.

Well, I'm back at work, and things are just as usual here.  Nothing too exciting about an IT job, but I am so thankful it's flexible-ish!  My return to work hasn't been too bad.  A decent bit of training, but other than that not too overwhelmingly busy. Yay!

But enough "Woe is me" and work nonsense, lets get onto some happier things and let me tell you about some of the best things I've found helpful being a new mommy!  I realized all my favorites had something to do with helping me assist Braelyn in sleeping better!

First, the swaddle!!!  This thing saved our sanity!  Neal and I were first using Swaddle Designs blankets.  They are incredibly cute and soft, this one is my favorite.  We just had one to begin with and loved them so much, we got her a 4 pack at Target. However, after Braelyn was about 2 weeks old, she was strong enough to unbundle herself!  There went a gift card we could have used on something else! Oops! Lesson learned!

Next, we had to move onto the Halo Swaddle Sleepsacks or the Summer Infant SwaddleMe sleepsacks.  These have been in use for the last 7 weeks and I am absolutely obsessed!  If Braelyn is in one of these, we can get her to sleep for so much longer at night.  We've resorted to using them only as 'emergency' during the day if we can't get her to stop fussing and take a nap.  I reserve them for night in hopes she learns to associate the snuggly feel of being swaddled to time for bed, and not just another nap.

The Boba Wrap!  I am obsessed with baby carrying.  During Braelyn's first month, she would fall asleep so well while in her Boba Wrap.  I loved taking her on walks around the neighborhood or through the parks when I was on maternity leave!  I still love baby carrying, but it's kinda a hassle to tie a wrap around myself and she's getting a little bigger so it's not as comfortable as when she was little.  Next baby carrier I'm looking to get is a Tula.  I'm really obsessed after trying one on in a store here.  It's getting chillier outside, so I haven't been walking her as much, but I am going to try to get better about just putting her in a carrier around the house after work/she's picked up from daycare so we can keep bonding.  Lately, she's taken to wanting to breastfeed for at least 5 minutes before falling asleep ANY time she's chest to chest with if I walk the neighborhood with her, I have to adjust the Boba wrap so she can feed while we walk and just pray the neighbors don't realize what I'm doing and freak out! Hehe!

Snuggamonkey Rock N Play Sleeper.  Baby girl is seeming to almost be too big for this, and I'm slightly freaking out.  She currently sleeps at night in her Rock N Play, and our next move would be to her crib.  I'm sure I'm putting too much pressure on myself, but yikes, the move to the crib scares me!  The Snuggamonkey is great because it sits Braelyn up slightly.  This is helpful since she's a little bit of a spitter-up-er! When she was small, I even rolled a blanket up on one side of her to keep her slightly tiled to one side and would change the side at each night feeding.

Also,if I am cooking something hot and don't want to carry Braelyn to keep her distance, I put her in this as well and rock it on the tiles in the kitchen floor.  About 1/2 of the time the movement puts her to sleep :)
Sh looks a little wild, but she's loving her Snuggamonkey!

Nosefrida.  We only had to start using this around week 6 when Braelyn started to get a snotty nose.  This thing may look gross, but holy cow, it's amazing!  When your little one is breathing and all you can hear are snot boogers, use will change your life.

To help clear her nose more, we use a cool mist humidifier from Target at night time.  It's working wonderfully!

Besides these items, a few things I use daily are her cloth diapers and planet wise wet/dry bags to contain these.  But that would be a whole different post in itself!

Lastly, I could not have survived these past two months without my amazing husband.  Seriously, I feel so blessed to have someone so generous and helpful and loving in my life!
Family :)

What are your favorite things for your little one? Do you have any suggestions for me as Braelyn continues to grow?!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

A Little Update :)

These last 7 weeks have been a whirl wind!

As a new mom, I only took 6 weeks off from work, well technically 5 and a half... and less off from Lively Happenings.  I happily got busy with Lively Happenings, getting orders filled and coming up with some fun new items just two weeks postpartum! ...then week 3 came along and my boss called to tell me 3 coworkers are being let go and I'm taking on two of their job roles (still over here contracted, no benefits etc.).  Week 3 - 4 was a big ol' B word.  And I tried to muster up the happiness to write about my 1 month favorites for Braelyn, and updates about her...but I just couldn't.  Instead, I chose to have my moody week and then take the next 2 weeks to just make my days about Braelyn before she had to start daycare and I had to go back to work.

Well, I'm back at work, and things are just as usual here.  Nothing too exciting about an IT job, but I am so thankful it's flexible-ish!  My return to work was pretty easy actually.  Going through emails only took me 1/2 a day and the work schedule seemed to be right where I left it.  I'll be training between now and December for those lovely job roles I'm taking we shall see how that all goes.

As for Lively Happenings, I am absolutely loving filling orders and being creative with this part time job of mine!!!  I have a new Instagram account I'm trying to beef up with followers to get more of my designs out there.  I separated my accounts:  @LivelyHappeningLife for all my baby stuff, workouts, food, and day to day fun and then @LivelyHappenings for all my business goodies.  I'm also working on some really fun new little girl products (yay!) and am considering looking into designing some apparel for little ones in the form of fun onesies and shirts.  I'd LOVE YOUR OPINION!

First, the little girl products:

I'm doing headband sets.  Each set will include 3-5 clips and 3 stretchy elastic headbands.  The clips can be attached to yours or your little ones hair. Each headband can be worn alone. Or if your little one is hairless, like mine, each headband will have a section for you to attach your clip onto the headband!  So you are getting 15-23 different way to use these pieces, pending on the style you choose!!!  ...did I do that math right...oh well, you get the idea...right ;)

Here's the first look into this collection, the Felted Bows!!!  See them in Lively Happenings shop HERE for more detail pics!

Choose Big or Small Bows! 


Black & White 



Whats your favorite?  Get your set HERE!!!

Last, but not least....

As for the apparel, I've drawn up some ideas, but I haven't gone to a print shop yet to check prices to see what the cost would bring to get these designs to you.  What are your thoughts?!  Do we like these, do we love these, should we pass on this?  Let me know your thoughts, pretty pretty please!

It's harder to read the small writing, so blow this photo up to get the full view!

The bottom middle shirt reads "Cute tops and nap time by Mommy for cuddles.  Cute printed leggins all wrapped in my sling.  These are a few of my favorite things!"