Friday, May 24, 2013

Father's Day Gift Guide

  I really love cards. But, the cost of cards has gotten a little absurd.  Just yesterday I spent over $20 on 5 cards at Target. I was surprised to find that for less money, I could create custom cards faster at I decided to get a jump start on this year's Father's Day cards and gifts and wanted to share what I came up with.

First, and most importantly... it's Caroline's dad's FIRST ever Daddy's Day.  I just love this CARD!

We also created a card for each of Caroline's grandfathers.  Aren't they SO cute?!

I also couldn't resist these adorable MUGS from their sister site  All I did was upload a pic and type in the text.

I made 3 cards and 3 mugs in 25 minutes.  The hardest part was choosing which pictures of my sweet girl to use! I am already checking out invitation ideas for Caroline's first birthday HERE. I LOVE this site and found it extremely easy to use and navigate. I would much rather create a custom card for someone for less money and time spent at the store!  I can't wait to surprise the men in Caroline's life!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Seven Months

Sweet Caroline is SEVEN months old! I just keep thinking that every month, every milestone is the best and that she cant possibly get any more fun! She is the sweetest thing and it amazes me how I really do love her more every day.


~ you are very happy. You still only get fussy when you are tired
~you eat 25 oz of formula a day and 2 sittings of baby food (usually breakfast and dinner with a snack at lunch)
~ you take 3 naps a day. 9 am (1 hour), 1:00 (3 hours) and 6 pm (30 mins)
~ mommy went on her first work trip last week.  I was away from you for 3 days/2 nights and I couldn't wait to get home to you! Luckily with my new job I've been able to be home with you every day
~ You have really started babbling and have said "mama" "dada" and "baba" a couple of times after we say it, but nothing on your own
~ you sit up really well and it wont be long before you are crawling (probably sooner if I wouldn't carry you around all the time.)
~ you love to blow raspberries
~ you are not afraid of people and will go to anyone
~ You started going to the nursery at 5 months, but went to your first FNO this past Friday night. You did fine until the last 30 minutes and then apparently you had a meltdown.
~You are wearing 6 month clothes and can still wear a few 0-3 dresses. Almost all of your shoes are newborn.
~ We're so thankful for you. You truly bring us so much JOY!

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Six Weeks I Almost Forgot

A sweet friend recently had a baby. She is one week old and is perfect.  I've seen other newborns since Caroline was born, but not as often as this little baby and I'm not quite as close to the families as I am to the the Huddlestons.  As I was chatting with Nicole the other day, I couldn't believe what I had nearly forgotten about what I lovingly refer to as the "just keep the baby alive" stage, or the first 4-6 weeks of life.  I blogged a lot about C's birth and her cuteness, but wanted to jot down a few things about those first weeks that I'm afraid I wont remember the next go around (if there is one.)
1. The first two days home, I was the best, most energetic mom that had ever lived.  I did not need rest or an ice pack or pain pills. I needed to go to Target and Sonic and Hobby Lobby and show everyone my new baby.  Day 3 home from the hospital... I felt like I had been hit by a train. I was tired.  I was sore. I was thinking that being a new mom wasn't that fun since my baby seemed to cry for absolutely no reason.  I overdid it those first couple of days and we had to begin turning away visitors so that I could recover.

Lesson learned: I had just given birth.  While pain free during labor and delivery, my body ached until about day 10.  I finally started the prescription pain meds, but I'm not convinced they did all that much to help. In fact they had side effects that were almost worse.  Ibuprofen, ice packs, hot showers, and rest helped me get on the road to healing.

2. I was so thankful that the first week was just Adam and I.  Our parents came up for Caroline's birth, but left for home before we even left the hospital.  We had some really sweet times together just the 3 of us that I will be thankful for. When Adam went back to work the next week my mom came up.  The timing was perfect because we had a bit more knowledge about what we were doing and my emotions had leveled out a bit.

Lesson Learned: Adam and I became so close during that first week. He was beyond awesome at taking care of Caroline and I really think my love for him grew by 100 times.  I never want to forget how we would laugh and cry in the same minute. 

3.  I am so thankful for the 10 weeks I was off of work. I originally requested 6 weeks, but my boss really encouraged me to take 12.  Because of how my maternity leave rolled over to the new year, I took 10.  I can't imagine going back any earlier.  I had a lot of mixed feelings about going back, but we ultimately decided it was best for our family.  At 6 weeks I felt like we were just getting the hang of things, and C was still waking up a lot at night- I can't fathom how I would have worked a full day and traveled for my job. 

Lesson Learned: Depending on what your line of work is, I recommend taking 10-12 weeks of maternity leave.  If you have the option of going back half days, then do so! If you are not in a flexible career now where you feel like you can take off without getting heat from an employer or them being flexible when you go back, then consider looking for another job. I am SO thankful for the employer I had and my new one and their willingness to be flexible during this season of life.

4. The first 6 weeks are hard. They weren't miserable by any means, and I think I enjoyed them more than most, but they are tough.  Its frustrating when baby is crying and you do everything you can think of and they don't stop. Its hard when you just want 30 minutes to lay on the couch and watch HGTV alone or eat a meal uninterrupted but you can't put your baby down because she will cry... oh and by "not put her down" I mean "keep walking around with her or she will cry." PS... WHY ON EARTH DO THEY CARE WHEN YOU SIT DOWN?? How can sitting and bouncing be that different from walking around the house in circles?! I will never forget one night/morning when C woke up every hour it seemed. I can remember walking her around the house at a very fast pace because that is the only thing that would calm her down. I was SO tired. I tried everything in a sitting/laying position to rock/bounce her but all she wanted to do was walk... at 3 am. At the time it was hard. Now looking back, its one of my sweetest memories.

Lesson Learned: It gets easier. Every week got a little easier and I felt like week 6-8 were real turning points. I have other friends that say it was closer to 12 weeks and others sooner or later. But- it gets easier, and most will say more fun. I was a big fan of the newborn cuddles and because I was off work for 10 weeks I really did rest most of the day when she did so I wasn't terribly exhausted. Hang in there and pray a lot.

5. Shooshing, sound machines, and swaddling. I didn't read the whole thing, but I did read excerpts from Happiest Baby on the Block. They talk a lot about swaddling and making loud "shooshing" noises in your babe's ear when they are upset. Its supposed to simulate the womb environment. Adam was great at this and it always seemed to calm her down. We also used a sleep machine at night which really helped. Overall, we were big fans of Babywise which I highly recommend. We started a loose schedule when we got home from the hospital and really started trying to stick to it regularly at 4 weeks old.

Lesson Learned: Babies need schedules just like we do. Do what works for you, but consider waking baby at the same time every day (I suggest 7 am) and feed him/her.  Run the rest of your day from there feeding in 3 hour increments... eat, play, sleep, repeat. Even if baby wakes at 5 am at eats, wake her again at 7 and feed her, even if only a little bit. This will work them into a schedule.  I also want to mention some great advice that another mom gave that helped a lot and that has helped other moms... make sure baby gets a full feeding each time. Those late night feedings are tough because you're SO exhausted and when baby stops nursing to fall asleep, its easy to put them right back to bed.  Instead, make sure they eat for a good 20-30 minutes and wake them up if they fall asleep before. A full feeding will ensure that baby doesn't wake up an hour later hungry.



Saturday, May 11, 2013


This past week we headed to Destin for my best friend's wedding.  My best friend also happens to be Adam's second cousin.  Adam's parents flew to Destin and took Caroline with them.  We left Tuesday morning and were able to drive with only one stop!  My in- laws said Caroline did great on her first plane ride!
I have 5 best friends from 6th grade.  We are all still friends and while we are scattered across 3 states, we still talk on a weekly basis.  It's not often that we get together in person, but when we do we have a GOOD time. These are the kinds of girls that I can pick up right where we left off, no matter how long its been since we were last together. Jessica's parents rented a huge house at the beach for the wedding party.  We had so much fun. It's been a while since I stayed up past midnight several nights in a row! I laugh SO hard when I'm with these girls! My parents and my in- laws both made the trip for the wedding and took turns keeping C so that we could hang out with our buddies at the "animal house" as my dad called it. :)


Caroline was in her first wedding as a "flower baby." She and the 2 other babies did great and were of course cute as could be!

A beach wedding meant C's first beach trip! The weather was pretty chilly all week so we barely made it to the beach. She was definitely a fan of the beach and the pool.

The beautiful bride and I. Congrats Mr. and Mrs. Yazza!

Friday, May 10, 2013


My baby is 1/2 year old.  I know I say it each month, but its hard to believe.  I'm amazed about how fast time is flying by, which is why I took two weeks off from work to soak her up! (More on that later.)  She's just went for her 6 month check up on Tuesday, but she will be seven months old next week!  The pictures are from her actual 6 month birthday, though. :)

What you have been up to...
~ you starting sitting up unassisted on your 6 month birthday. You think you are pretty big stuff now.
~ You have really started babbling and most recently laughing. It's my favorite sound in the world!
~ You reach for things... especially your bottle.
~ You LOVE to eat.  You eat five 6 oz bottles a day and have 1 serving of pureed baby food.  Your favorites are sweet potatoes, carrots, apples, and pears.  Avocado is the only thing you really dislike.  Mommy is making all of your food and having a really fun time with it.
~ You still spit up after almost every bottle.
~ You are SUCH a happy baby. You only get fussy when you are tired.
~ You love being outside and watching Baby Einstein.
~You don't really cuddle. At night time when you are sleepy you like to be laid in your crib to go to sleep. This is great, but sometimes I just want to rock you and you wont have it.
~ You weigh 14 lbs and 25 inches long.  You are 10% for weight and 20% for height
~ You have basically stopped rolling over. I guess you have moved on to bigger and better things!

Each milestone you hit, I think "I just want to freeze time because it can't possibly get any better"... but it does! I love you more each day and I will always remember these days we've had together just you and I.