Monday, April 29, 2013

Jackson's 4 Months Old!


This has been one of your cutest months so far. You are cooing, laughing and smiling and overall a generally very happy baby. I can already tell that you are going to be my sensitive, gentle child. You crave cuddles and are constantly searching out my hand so you can hold a finger or two. If my hands aren't available you settle for holding your own. While your big brother is around you stay pretty quiet. You are content to just watch him and try to figure out what he is getting into. While he is at school or asleep you turn into chatty Cathy. It's like you just know it's your moment to have me all to yourself and you live it up. 

You and Ethan have had some great bonding time lately. He is becoming more interested in you and I have to say he has been a very sweet big brother. He loves to hug and kiss on you. He talks to you and is sure to tell me if "Baby Jack" is awake or crying. He's requested you to lay in his bed during story time occasionally and it melts my heart to see him be so wonderful to you.

We just had your 4 month check up last week and there is some concern over your growth. You are currently weighing in at 11 pounds 10 ounces and measuring 23 inches. Doctor B has cleared you to start solids and we are going back for another weight check in a month. Hopefully the solid foods will help bulk you up. I'm not too sure what else might be going on at this point since I feel like you are pretty well satisfied and content, but I guess we will just wait and see. I have started supplementing some formula, but for the most part you are still breastfeeding. As for clothing sizes, you really couldn't tell there is a weight gain issue. You are currently wearing 3-6 month sizes and some 6 months sleepers. I guess where your brother was long and lean you are a little more compact. 

Even though you still have a strong distaste for tummy time, you have mastered rolling over. Now there isn't even a chance of tummy time because every time I put you down, you flip right over! So much for that. Currently you are loving bath time and are very into sucking your toes. As soon as I take your diaper off, your toes go in your mouth and you are the happiest little thing I've ever seen. You are completely in awe by them at this moment. 

As far as sleeping goes, I'd have to say you are pretty good although not in the conventional way. You still wake up to eat at 11 and 2 so I still have you in our room. Thankfully you fall asleep while you eat, but I'd still prefer to have you in your crib by now although I refuse to try until one of those feedings are dropped. As for naps, you probably get one good nap a day in your crib. The other is usually in the car or perhaps the swing. We are on the go a lot these days, so you just nap wherever you are. While your brother would cry and fight sleep, you are pretty content just to hang out and cuddle until you close your eyes. 

My goal for this month is to bulk you up! I've already made a few batches of baby food and can't wait to try them all out on you. Hopefully we will find something you just can't resist. You are such a joy and we love you so much!

Friday, April 26, 2013

I'm Giving Away one of My Favorite Baby Items!

When Ethan was little, I remember constantly waking up in the middle of the night worrying that I would walk into his nursery to find a blanket over his head. I can vividly remember pulling each and every blanket out and wrapping them tight over my own head to see if I could still breathe through the fabric. Crazy, I know, but that's the kind of thing being a mom does to you. Surprisingly, I was able to still breathe through them all, but it still worried me. So I was beyond thrilled when Mandi sent me a Bitsy Bag to review. 

The Bitsy Bag is essentially a blanket with an elastic band at the top which ensures that your baby will stay warm in the middle of the night and the blanket will stay where it is suppose to be. It comes in two sizes: 0-6 months and 6-24 months. This time around I don't have to worry about finding Jackson with a blanket over his head. Instead I can rest assured that it will be exactly where I left it. 
I've found this bag solves so many problems. I don't have to worry about him kicking off his blanket while he is in the swing or the carrier. I can carry him around the house or wherever I go really without having to fumble around with a bulky blanket that is surely going to find it's way to the dirty ground. It has quickly become one of my favorite baby items and I look forward to giving these to my pregnant friends in the future, but today, I am most looking forward to giving away one of these to one of you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Two and a Half: Full of Life and Fun

It's been quite awhile since I've done an Ethan update and now as he is officially 2.5 years (I feel like this is a milestone) I think it is time to share a few of his new shenanigans. And yes, shenanigans are exactly what he has been up to as per usual.

If I'm being honest (and I'm always being honest...I tend to not filter much), this past year, 18 months 'til now, has been tough. Real tough. When he turned two and we were in the midst of settling into a new house and growing a baby, I kept telling myself that if we could just make it to two and a half, all would be right in the world. At two and a half we were going to see the light and I'm happy to report we have. Thank the Lord! Finally, this strong willed, crazy toddler can be reasoned with and while it's not always rainbows and sunshine over is a lot more sane and dare I say...a lot more fun. 

If you asked me to describe Ethan, I would tell you that he is independent, confident, free-spirited and determined. In fact, he told me he didn't want to wear diapers anymore and without much help from me, he is now fully potty trained (minus night time). Whoop, whoop! I have high hopes for his future folks (like he's going to be able to put me up in a nice guest house when I'm old and wrinkly...more wrinkly). I know he will be able to do anything his little heart desires. I'd also tell you that he keeps me on my toes and laughing continuously. Life would be so boring without him...I'd probably live longer of course, but it wouldn't be worth it. 

He's constantly on the move these days. As of recently, he doesn't even slow down to nap. naps anymore. Send wine! Since he usually ends up being a big blur in pictures, I've really been relying on video lately in order to truly capture the toddler essence. After seeing Katie's interview with her little girl, I just knew it would be the perfect thing to do with Ethan. I was so surprised that he cooperated as well as he did. I had to edit like crazy, but I got it down to 6 minutes and without further's Ethan in as close as to real life as most of you will ever get ;) (Click the little square thing with arrows by HD to go full screen)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


It feels like just yesterday, I was in my early 20's thinking about how much life I had in front of me. How many new experiences there were yet to come. How many major life milestones were almost within my reach. I had no idea where I would be going and only a faint idea of what could be ahead was outlined in my mind, but it was exciting. 

Tonight I am sitting here just minutes away (15 to be exact) from turning 29. I should be in bed, as my children's unpredictable sleeping habits will most certainly wreck havoc on me tomorrow, but I can't sleep. I just want to sit and watch the clock tick down the last minutes of me being 28. 

I know that 30 is typically the big one and I'm sure I'll be somewhat melancholy then too, but I am certain that next year will be full of thinking about what lies ahead. This year is about saying the long goodbye. It's about saying adios to my youth. It's confronting the fact that I am no longer "young" and am on somewhat of a downward slope of adulthood, increased responsibilities and age. 

I remember at 23, I bought my first anti-aging cream. I had read somewhere that 25 was when you should start your anti-aging regime and I felt hopeful. I was determined to get a head start. A month ago, I found myself sitting at a beauty counter staring into a face I no longer recognized. It felt like just yesterday, I was a teenager sitting at that same makeup counter trying to figure out how to mask my freckles and acne. Now here I was, a confident adult ready to get a barely there look that was just a touch more moisturizing for my drying skin. A makeup lady had caked on what was supposedly the "light weight" foundation and deemed me beautiful and yet, all I could see were the lines around my eyes and mouth that I had never noticed. 

How long had these been there?

Had people noticed?

Oh my God. I am old. This is it. This is the beginning of the end. 

Holy shit. Is this really a more beautiful me than when I walked in??

And to think I had just been worried about my flaky skin. 

I didn't buy the make-up. I did however run out and buy a new skin care regime. One that promised to fix what was already broken and one that promised to create "optical illusions". 

In the back of my mind I know that none of this stuff will work. I'll spend gobs of money trying to hide the extra years on my face so I can pretend to be something that I no longer am. Between my Spanx, my hair dye and my face cream I have become an optical illusion of myself. What once was will never be again. 

I've always had trouble with closing a chapter. And this chapter is/was a big one. I could tell you all the wonderful things that happened in this past decade and all the many things I have to look forward to (and believe me...I know my 30's are going to be great), but for now I just want to pause and reflect. I want to mourn my youth.

Here's to being on the verge of 30, a goodbye to my youth and a soon to be hello to a new decade. Happy birthday to me. Wrinkles and all.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

My Truths about Blogging

I know it's frowned upon to blog about blogging, but there are times when I feel the need to clarify and re-define what it is exactly that I'm doing here. I've been doing a lot of reflecting on blogging. Obviously, things have been falling by the wayside lately with this little space. It's not that blogging is any less important to me, but life has just been busy and my perspective on things have been changing. In fact, blogging is something I need in my life. It's my outlet. It's my therapy. It's one of the ways I document. As a SAHM, without fellow co-workers and limited access to the outside world, it's a way I connect.

I began blogging in 2008 as a way to work out all the things going on in my head. At that point I was a newlywed who didn't even have a dog. Looking back I can't for the life of me think what was really even blog-worthy back then. Please, don't bother going back to look. My webpage was a simple black background with white typing (as opposed to the only other option of white background with black typing...fancy). I didn't own a fancy camera or for that matter even know what one was. My pictures were crappy at best. I had hardly any readers, but the ones I did have were like a close community. We all read and commented on each others blog. There was no pressure to connect, we just did.

Over the past 5 years things have changed greatly. There is a much bigger blogging community with all the pressures to go with it. Blog design options are endless. There are numerous ways to connect whether through Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook. There are companies to partner with, blog sponsors to obtain, and money to be made. The pressure to connect, to grow, to make money has changed the world of blogging and in my opinion, not always in a great way. No longer do we purely connect on the basis that we like each others blog. I'm not saying those pure friendships don't exist anymore, they do and I have some, but it's just not the majority. 

Last year, I gave it my best effort to grow my blog. I felt like I needed to, I thought I wanted to, I wanted to keep up. I've since realized that trying isn't what I want to do. It isn't what I'm here for, my heart just isn't in it. Things felt forced and when I'm creatively forced, I shut down. 

Of course, I want readership. If I didn't care if anyone was reading I wouldn't publicly being putting it out there. There I said it. I like to know that people are reading. I love comments. I love knowing that someone got something out of what I had to say. It makes me feel purposeful. It makes me feel less crazy to know that someone else has been through the same thing. Sometimes it comforts me to know that I have a wide community that can give me helpful suggestions when I have something going on in life that has completely stumped me. I truly believe that I would not have gotten pregnant with Jackson as quickly as I did if I had not had this blogging community who generously and lovingly gave me advice. Thank you!

A lot has changed in my own life since 2008. I'm no longer a newlywed, I have a dog, two kids, been through several moves and quit my job to stay at home. This blog has turned into a way of documenting my children growing up, but even more so it's turned into a way of documenting my experience with motherhood. 

When I stopped to question myself about what drives me to blog, I came up with this: 

I blog so I won't forget.

I blog so if I die an untimely death, my children will know who I was and that I loved them and that we had some wonderful ups and downs together. (Morbid yes, but true.)

I blog because I feel like I have something to say, a story to share, something to offer. I feel like people can connect/relate.

I blog because I like to be part of this wonderful community that opens their hearts to perfect strangers, that makes this wide world feel a touch smaller. This community inspires me and makes me feel more normal every day.

I blog so that when my children have children, they can look back on their own childhood and hopefully relate to my words and who I was in that moment.

I blog for me. It's my me-time. It's my creative outlet. It feeds my urge to document. It's where I confess my failures and short comings. It's where I get to share how wonderfully blessed I am. (I strive to be honest, real and share not just my ups but the downs.)

What I discovered is that I do not blog for the money. I do not blog because I want to make a business out of it. I do not blog for free products. I blog for the sense of community. I blog to document and most importantly I blog for me. I believe that in order to be happy you have to define your own meaning of success. It cannot be someone else's or you will always be dissatisfied. 

I'm not saying there won't ever be another sponsored post, another giveaway, money made, or another ad here. I'm saying that those things are not my goal nor my purpose. There are times when great products come along and I want to share them. If a company wants to pay me to put their ad on my site, great, but I am no longer making the effort to go out and find them. If bloggers want to advertise their blogs on my site, fantastic, I'll swap ads with you because I believe in community and admittedly like having readers myself. 

I think over the past year, I got distracted by something shiny. I'm going back to the old days, the simple days. Sometimes we look at those as the best days right? I'm no longer going to pressure myself to blog 5 days a week (if that hasn't been obvious already). I want to stay in love with my creative outlet and perfect my craft in my own way. I want to grow my community, but I want it to be grown organically instead of forced. I want to reconnect. 

If you read and have never said as much as hello, please do. It totally freaks me out that I have 300+ people out there basically peering into my heart and soul. I once read a quote by Ernest Hemingway that says "There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed." and that is basically what I try to do here and I hope you feel that too. 

If you are an in real life friend or family member who reads, I'd love to know. Several of you like my page on Facebook but I have no idea if you read anything or not. Sometimes I find out through the grapevine that so and so is reading my blog or maybe it's through our own personal conversation that I find out you read and I get that sudden feeling that I've shown up in public without any clothes on. Like my page on Facebook, communicate with me there, hit the thumbs up button on a post, tell me that I suck. I don't care. Just don't be a creeper. Ok don't tell me that I suck (I have feelings)...just dislike my page...I'll get the point and we shall carry on. 

I want to connect with you. I want to know that you are reading. I want to know if you relate. 

Want to connect with me? Here's some ways:

Facebook: I check this site out more than I should admit. It's like auto pilot. I want to grow my blog community there and start more conversations. I find it easy to respond to questions and I can get back to you pretty quickly here. 

Instagram: This is my favorite way to share daily happenings. It's quick, it's easy. Let's be friends.

Twitter: I still don't understand this medium. If you are a twitter addict, I update my posts and Instagram pictures here. Sometimes I use it to ask questions.'s hit or miss. I know this is frowned upon, but truth be told: I don't have a smart-phone (SHOCKER!!!). So therefore, it's not super easy for me to keep up with Twitter and to be honest, I don't really have the desire to scroll through tons of other peoples conversations and feel like I'm creeping or butting-in. 

Email: I get crap tons of email everyday and the good stuff often gets lost in the mix. Seriously you are better off communicating with me on Facebook, but if you have something private to share I'm here and I will might just not be as timely as it should be. 

Comments: I adore them. Let me know what you think. Tell me that you are reading. If you have a question, I will email you an answer. I don't email back on every comment so don't be offended, but I appreciate them and I read them. 

My goal is to get back to the basics with this blog and fall in love with it all over again. I get very little me-time these days, but I want to make this place my priority when I do because I need it. Thanks for being here, thanks for coming on this journey with me and most of all thanks for reading and letting me know that I'm doing it more than just for me and that in some small way, I make a impact on others. 

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