Thursday, March 16, 2017

Life Lately!

One of the many reasons that I love blogging is because it is the perfect way to capture the little day-to-day moments that may otherwise get forgotten about. With Jack growing up (and changing!) so quickly, I want to make sure that I'm keeping up to date with cataloging all the fun (even the non-remarkable fun!) that we've been up to.

Here's a quick peek of some of our recent happenings!

***

Jack has a pretty consistent morning routine, and I always love cuddling that sweet baby as soon as he wakes up! ...Well actually, I should clarify... I love cuddling him once he wakes up and is done eating - that boy will scream loudly if he doesn't nurse first thing after he wakes up.

Is he not the chubbiest baby you've ever seen?!


We recently met our good friends for dinner at The Pod. It was fun having all of their family there and our family there... it's definitely more work to include kiddos, but it is so fun having everyone together!


Our friends have a little babe that is only two months older than Jack, and I cannot wait until they get a bit older so that they can play together... they will be great friends, I just know it!


John and I made a day trip to Marble Falls, Texas to go strawberry picking! I love strawberries and am convinced that they are just terrible when bought from the grocery store. These were so much more flavorful and lasted longer too.


We were a little worried that all the berries would be picked over, but there were still a ton of great ones to be harvested.


It was pretty chilly, but this little babe was quite the trooper!


The berry farm had several goats, and Jack was quite intrigued by them.


John made sure to show Jack the tracker... and just in case you can't tell, Jack loved it. :)


As soon as we saw these two, we were convinced that they were Scout and Lily in goat form.


I mean really, don't they look like the goats?!


The whole winter has been so warm, so I have kind of been loving the chilly weather. I recently bought this coat from Tobi.com and wasn't sure I would be able to wear it... so as soon as the temperatures dipped, I was excited for the perfect reason to break it out.


I love going on walks with my cracker Jack, so I bundled him up in his bassinet and we went for a spin in the neighborhood!


Now that Jack is getting older, he is starting to enjoy his toys more. His good friend Blake (who is only a week younger!) recommended this rattle teether and Jack loves it! He mostly just shoves it in his face trying to get it in his mouth... but it is pretty cute. :)


For my birthday John got me an embroidery machine, and after getting so frustrated and almost throwing it out of a window, I finally started to figure out how to use it! I found these bags at the Dollar Spot at Target, and thought they would be perfect to monogram.


Onesies are definitely harder to monogram since the fabric is so much thinner, but I am slowly and surely figuring it out!


Y'all, if you haven't checked out Tobi.com, you need to. In addition to the coat, I also got this dress and I love it - perfect for easy wearing... can't go wrong with a good shift dress!


I am doing a ladies Bible study at my church, and we only have one week left of Beth Moore's Entrusted. It has been so (so) good... I may work through it again solo after we finish it!


John was able to get out a few more times just before the season closed. Little Lily had a great first season, and is learning quickly from Scout. She never stands still... so she makes for a pretty good bird dog!


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Happenings!

Time has been slim around these parts, but I'm not complaining... there's nothing I'd rather be doing than soaking up time with my sweet family. :) Here's a quick peek via iPhone photos of all that we've been up to!

***

Testing out the Jack-pack! We are taking a trip to Arizona next month and have hiking on the agenda. We've been practicing with our hiking carrier to make sure Jack is comfy and happy in it... and so far, so good!


Field work with Scout and Lily.


John treated me to a spa day at the JW Marriott Hill Country Resort... and let me tell you, it was pretty fantastic!


Post-massage drinks and lunch by the pool.


Dinner with my Valentine.


Date night at Wildfish.


Morning walks with Jack.


Celebrating John's 29th birthday.


We took a little day trip to Austin to try on Tecovas. For John's birthday I gifted him a pair, and I couldn't help but try on a few pairs myself! :)


Rainy Austin day.




Puppy hooligans... these two are too much sometimes, but we love them for it!


Late night Mexican food.


The pups hanging in Jack's room.


Target trips with my cutie... there is no one I would rather stroll the aisles with! :)


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Jack: Four Month Update

Jack is officially four months old and every day is he looking less and less like a baby and more like a little boy... I'm trying to soak up every moment so I don't miss a thing!

It just so happens that this past Sunday was the one year mark from when I found out I was pregnant with Jack, and it is so crazy to think how much has changed in just a year - I wouldn't trade it for anything!


Age

Jack turned four months old on Saturday, February 25th.


Weight

According to his 4 month well-visit (which was yesterday), Jack weighs 18lbs and is 26 inches long. He is in the 90th percentile for weight and 75th percentile for length - he's a big, healthy kiddo!

Jack is currently wearing size 3 diapers. Supposedly the size 3 Pampers Swaddlers are good until 33lbs, but I just don't think there is anyway that Jack will last that long in them. Size 3 is a pretty good fit right now, and with much more growing, I think he will need to move on to another size... the boy has a pretty big belly!!


Nursing

Jack eats 6 times per day (on average), and as he is growing bigger it is becoming more and more difficult to nurse him. He is quite long and squirmy and loves to kick off the side of the chair and look around the room at windows and watch whatever else is going on (light fixtures, ceiling fans... very interesting things, I know!). Basically, unless he is super hungry and focused on eating, he gets a bit distracted!

I recently made a tally, and I have about 800oz of milk frozen in the freezer... that's over six gallons of breast milk, people! I don't know whether it is strange to have so much or something to be proud of, but either way, one thing is for sure: we need another freezer.


Sleep

Jack is now sleeping in his crib in his room for both night sleep and naps. I know you're not "technically" supposed to transition babies to their own room this early (according to the AAP, at least), but Jack had been consistently sleeping through the night for about a month and a half, and it was getting to the point where John and I were accidentally waking Jack up in the middle of the night (using the restroom, getting a drink of water, etc.). I didn't want Jack to get used to waking up in the middle of the night (and then needing to eat - and then getting used to metabolizing at that point), so I wanted to preserve his night time sleep by moving him sooner.

It got to the point where we were so scared to wake Jack up in the middle of the night that we would just lay in bed uncomfortable to avoid waking him up, ha! So... basically, it was time for him to move to his own room - both he and we are now sleeping much better because of it. However, I was quite surprised at how much I missed him when he was moved to his own room and not in his bassinet right next to me. I basically stared at the monitor all night for the first 3 nights that he was in his own room! It got to the point where I was so stinkin' tired from not sleeping for 3 nights straight that I just crashed and was all like "well, God, I guess you got this one!" ha.

With the transition of moving Jack to his crib, we also removed his swaddle. He is consistently rolling to his side (in fact, he is much happier sleeping on his side) and can occasionally make his way to his belly... so it was time to get rid of the swaddle. I was most concerned about his sleep transition having no swaddle (he now uses a sleep sack), but it really wasn't a huge deal - the transition of everything (his own room, from bassinet to crib, and removing swaddle) took about 3 days for him to start sleeping "normally" again.

I was pretty concerned about Jack hitting the 4 month sleep regression, but I think we have made our way through it already (fingers crossed). There was one night where he woke up every 3 hours on the dot, and I thought I was going to die the next day. All day I researched sleep training methods and had totally amped myself up to be prepared to let him cry it out a bit, but when night time rolled around, he slept like an angel (and of course, I slept terribly because I was so mentally prepared for a tough night!).

We have also moved Jack's bedtime from 8:30PM to 7:30PM... it's funny because he doesn't wake up any earlier in the morning despite going to bed an hour earlier. He sleeps until anywhere from 6AM-7:15AM, and I really can't complain one bit! If he wakes up closer to 6AM, I will feed him and lay him back down and he will sleep until 9AM (at which point we "start" our day), but if he wakes up closer to 7AM, then I feed him and we start our eat-play-sleep cycle at that point.


Clothes

Jack is currently wearing 6-9 month clothes... how is my 4 month old wearing 6-9 month clothes?!

I recently put away another bin of his clothes that no longer fit him, and the whole process was a little bit sad for my momma heart. I hope that they get used again for another little boy, but what if they don't? I love my little boy so much, and I hope that he isn't the only one I'll ever have... there's no way to know, so I'm soaking up every moment I can!


Likes

Jack loves baths - he splashes and kicks in the water and it is probably the cutest thing ever! Just don't make the water too hot... he does not like that! ;)

He also loves laying on his changing table and talking up a storm to us. For some reason he is always super chatty when he is on his changing table. He also loves sitting up (if he is laying down he will strain his neck to try and sit up) and his bouncy seat. He doesn't really "jump" in it yet, but he will push off of the ground hard to fling himself back... he thinks it's pretty funny and exciting when he does that!


Dislikes

If there is one thing that Jack hates more than the straps of his car seat being tightened, it is being strapped in his car seat when the car is not moving... seriously - that boy has some lungs on him.

It used to really annoy me when people would slow down long before reaching a red light so that they could keep cruising until it turned green, and it wasn't until now that I started considering the possibility that they too have a baby who screams at red lights! John will even stop the car with enough room in front of him to inch up when Jack starts to scream... anything we can do to save our ears!


John

John is Jack's absolute favorite person - seriously, that little boy loves his daddy so much. All John has to do is smile at Jack and Jack will just laugh, laugh, laugh. Whenever John leaves the room that Jack is in, Jack will follow with his eyes and watch John leave... it is way sweet to watch.

And as much as Jack loves John, John loves Jack even more. John and I were recently going through bins of our old clothes to give things we don't wear to Goodwill, and there was an old L.L.Bean backpack that I had my freshman year of high school. I put it in the "to donate" pile and John quickly removed it and said he wanted to save it for Jack... wait, you want to save a backpack for our 4 month old son?! I couldn't decide if I thought it was the absolute sweetest thing ever that John was thinking about wanting Jack to have this backpack (several years from now, mind you), or if it was totally insane to hold on to something for so long. Needless to say, despite the heart meltingly sweet idea (which I will forever remember), we donated it... because hey, Jack will probably want to pick out his own backpack when he is old enough anyway. :)

Also, I joined a ladies Bible study at my church that meets on Thursday nights which means that John has to put Jack to bed those evenings. At first I was a little concerned on whether or not this would work since Jack would be getting a bottle instead of nursing, but much to my delight, it has been going absolutely perfect. Jack has no issue hanging out and having John put him to bed. It is a little bit amazing knowing that this is possible because it doesn't make him dependent on me to be put to bed.

John and I also enjoyed several date nights this past month... since Jack is on a pretty good bed time schedule/routine, it makes it pretty easy for other people to lay him down for the night. Sometimes he gets so tired when 7:15PM rolls around that he doesn't even want to eat and just wants to go right to bed!


Favorite moments

My favorite moments this past month have most definitely involved Jack realizing that he can make all sorts of fun noises. He realized that he can squeal, make high-pitched screams, and is starting to baby babble more - it is just about the cutest thing I've ever seen (and heard!).

We've also been taking Jack to the church nursery on Sundays, and I really enjoy dropping him off and going to get him after the service and finding out that he has been perfectly happy and content. He loves it because the ladies in the nursery let him sleep on them... when he has to sleep in his lonely crib at home. ;) I can't wait until he gets older and starts coming home from Sunday school with fun crafts and Bible verses to read throughout the week!

Jack and I also had fun sending out baby Valentines. Jack certainly doesn't seem to mind baby crafts... which warms his momma's DIY lovin' heart!


Looking forward to

I am so looking forward to getting to see more and more of Jack's sweet personality. I love that we are getting to know him more and more. John and I have several theories on what his personality will be like when he grows up, and it's fun to speculate... but only time will tell! 

Monday, February 27, 2017

Happiness Boutique

I absolutely love fun jewelry... earrings, necklaces, rings... I love it all! So when Happiness Boutique asked if I wanted to pick a few pieces, it took me all of 2 seconds to respond and say "yes!"

When perusing their website, I knew right away that I wanted these earrings. Whether it is a dress or a t-shirt, these earrings work perfectly. They are playful, but simple enough to wear every day.



Similar to the earrings, as soon as I saw this necklace I knew I would get a ton of use out of it... and I have! With a baby in tow it seems like I am in and out of t-shirts (the sweet babe spits up a lot...), but the awesome thing about a good statement necklace is that it is so easy to dress up or down - a perfect go-to when I'm running errands around town, but also works for dinner out with John!



The prices good, and the quality is great too - I've worn these earrings almost every day since I got them and they have held up perfectly! Oh yes, and there is free shipping too. :) All of their jewelry is fun and playful... so if you ask me, Happiness Boutique couldn't be a more perfect name!

If you place an order by March 25th, you can get 10% off with the discount code lisalovesjohn.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

10 things to do for preparing to bring home baby!

Now that it has been almost 4 months since bringing Jack home, I am able to look back at all of my pregnancy nesting activities and evaluate whether or not all of the efforts were actually helpful. I may have gone a little overboard in the nesting and baby preparation department, but to be honest, I don't regret the effort a single bit... it made bringing home baby a little bit easier knowing I had prepared logistically!

The truth is, there is so much that you can't prepare for, so tackling what you can beforehand will make things much easier.



ONE  |  Clean house... but don't do it yourself - pay someone. 
Get your house deep cleaned. Once the baby arrives it will probably be 2-3 months before you feel up to dusting your ceiling fan, cleaning your windows, wiping your baseboards, etc. So to ensure that your house doesn't get too grimy (assuming this would bother you!), have someone come do a deep clean of your home.

This was one of the many "nesting" Groupons that I purchased... we had our carpets cleaned, interior and exterior windows washed, and our home deep cleaned (baseboards, fans, etc.). John literally asked if I had purchased stock in Groupon because I was buying so many ...and every single one was worth it!


TWO  |  Pack your bag and put it in the trunk of your car.
We all know that you need to pack a hospital bag, but don't just pack one... put it in the trunk of your car! In fact, preemptively put anything in your car that you may want at the hospital (birthing ball, pillow and blankets, nurse thank yous, etc.). By putting everything in your car beforehand, you won't be rushing out the door trying to grab everything and end up forgetting something.

This ended up being very helpful for me since I was unexpectedly induced when I was at the doctor for my normal 39 week appointment. Thankfully, I had everything already with me so John wasn't left trying to figure out what we needed on his way to the hospital to meet me.


THREE  |  Install the car seat.
Install the base and carseat in your car... in fact, if you have more than one base (one for your car and one for your husband's car), install the bases in both vehicles because you never know where you may be when it is time to go to the hospital. Again, having the carseat base and seat already installed in my car ended up being so helpful considering I had an unplanned induction. And hey! It's fun and exciting to drive around with a carseat when you're waiting for your little one to arrive.


FOUR  |  Make preparations for other kiddos or pets.
John and I don't have family in Texas, and we needed to come up with a game plan to take care of our dogs when it was time to go to the hospital. To prepare for this, I portioned out food for each dog into little baggies and had detailed feeding and care instructions. That way when it was time for baby's arrival, we could bring them to be boarded and drop them off without having to go into how to care for them. 


FIVE  |  Have a to-do and to-grab list for when you're running out the door.
Even if you have your hospital bag packed and in the car, there are probably a few things that you will need to grab on your way out the door (wallet, toiletries, etc.). Make a list of these items (and put the list on your door!) so you don't forget anything while running around heading to the hospital.


SIX  |  Make (or buy) freezer meals. 
Having a few meals in the freezer will come in handy once the baby arrives and you're not just too tired to cook, but too tired to even consider making a grocery list and going to the store.

If you don't feel like making a freezing dinners, then that is totally fine - just go and buy some! Both Trader Joe's and Costco have some great frozen meal options.


SEVEN  |  Purchase postpartum supplies.
The truth is, you can only steal so much from the hospital before starting to look like a serious cheapo (and trust me, I really pushed the limit on this one!). Before baby arrives purchase the many postpartum supplies that you anticipate needing before you come home from the hospital. Pads, Colace, nursing supplies, etc.

You'll be thankful you have everything beforehand and you're not trying to explain to your husband where to find witch hazel in CVS...


EIGHT  |  Interview and meet with your pediatrician.
You don't want to be calling around trying to find a pediatrician that is accepting new patients and takes your insurance after the baby is already born... so make sure to do this before!

Also, at my hospital if you don't declare your pediatrician, then whatever doctor is on call will see your child. There is nothing wrong with this, but I was looking to have my pediatrician declared so that Jack saw the same doctor when he was in the hospital, for his 2-3 day visit, and all future appointments.


NINE  |  Have your logistical checklist ready.
Once you have a baby there are many administrative things you'll have to remember to do... if you work you'll need to activate your short term disability claim, notify your work to start FMLA, and add your baby to your insurance policy.

Gather all of this paperwork beforehand and have it ready in a folder so that you can make a few calls and be done with it - there's nothing you want less than to be digging through paperwork trying to find all of the needed information when you've got a hungry baby waiting for you!


TEN  |  Pamper yourself.
After you have a baby it may be a while before you get a chance to get away for a fresh set of highlights or to get your nails done... so make sure you pamper yourself and relax before the baby arrives! That way, when you're one month postpartum, running on no sleep, and have spit-up all over you, you at least won't have to worry about your roots needing a touch up! ;)


Monday, January 30, 2017

January Recap!

It has been an extremely busy 2017, and to be honest, I'm not even quite sure what we've been so busy with... just all things life, I guess! Here's a quick peek at all that we've been up to this month.

***

John got a Big Green Egg for Christmas, and he has been a meat smoking and grilling machine ever since - steaks, chicken, burgers, turkey, pulled pork... and brisket! He kicked off the year smoking a 13lb brisket, and it was quite tasty. He started it at 10:30PM, slept on the couch and smoked it all night, and then it was finally ready to eat around noon the next day - a delicious labor of love!


Our little cracker Jack is growing like a weed, and if I'm not careful, he grows out of all of his cute clothes before he gets a chance to wear them. Because of this, I had to make sure that he got in a few good wears of his dinosaur Purl Lamb sweatshirt before outgrowing it... thanks auntie Kristine! His little neck and chubby cheeks in that hoodie just kill me!


John went wild quail hunting with Scout and Lily, and they had such a great time... the weather was perfect (a bit chilly) and the terrain wasn't too thick for them to navigate. They didn't get any birds this time, but the dogs sure had a good time running around and looking for them.


This boy and his socks... I am convinced that he is so much happier wearing them! Who needs pants when you can wear knee-high socks?!


John started the year in Miami at the Orange Bowl. It was a perfect bowl game for him to go to because he went to Florida State for undergrad and Michigan for law school... and it just so happened that the two teams were playing each other - so it was a must go! He met my family down there for the game while I stayed home with Jack; the thought of traveling for only a football game just seemed a bit too much with a 2 month old!


When in Miami for the bowl game, John made a pitstop at the beach, which made my ocean lovin' heart very jealous!


It's not often that our kitty and dogs coexist peacefully, so I had to capture the moment. :)


I have been going on lots of walks with mommy friends and their babies! Jack absolutely loves baby Blake, and since they are only a week apart, it is fun to have mommy-talk about all things baby and milestones.


John and I had our second date night this month for a work event at his firm. We left Jack with our sweet friends from our church life group. They have a baby that is 5 weeks younger than Jack, so it was nice leaving him with someone who wouldn't be scared off by a little baby chaos!


Once a week we send Lily and Scout to a puppy day camp to play and run out all of their extra energy, and John sent me this photo of them on their drive there... team work!


Jack and I decided to visit John at work to try and sneak in a quick lunch date with him. It was Jack's first time to John's office, and it was fun to show him off to all of his coworkers.


The weather has been absolutely beautiful... I'm talking mid-70s! Not much for "winter" weather, but it definitely makes for beautiful weekend walks. The dogs love it, Jack loves it, and we enjoy getting out too!


For my 29th birthday John and I got a sitter for Jack and headed out for dinner at a Brazilian steakhouse. Let me tell you, I will never again take for granted an uninterrupted meal... it was SO nice to have a dinner just the two of us and catch up without having to run around trying to put Jack to bed for the night!


The food was delicious, and I ate far too much... it was so good, in fact, that I am in the process of convincing John that he needs to come here for his birthday too!


And let's be real, the dessert was delicious too!


John was so sweet and declared the whole week of my birthday my "birthday week"... so we did all sorts of fun things including some shopping and lunch at Bird Bakery. They have the best egg salad sandwich (my favorite!) and incredibly dense and delicious cup cakes!


John and Jack have started reading before bedtime and it is probably the cutest thing ever... it melts my momma heart, and now that Jack is getting older he is able to sit and be semi-interested in the whole thing.


Dinner at MOD Pizza... it was our first time there and it was so tasty - John demanded we return there the next day for dinner (and I happily obliged).


The cutest baby there ever was! John bought Jack the cutest baby Patagonia hat for Christmas, but it is too big for him, so we have to fold up the front. I absolutely of love it on him (even more so because John ordered it for him on his own), so I make him wear it every time it is even the least bit chilly out! 


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