Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Jack: Two Month Update

Our sweet Jack is two months old. He is large, in charge, and as sweet as can be! Here's an update of his second month of life.

Jack turned two months old on Christmas day!

At his 2-month well-visit, Jack weighed 15lbs 4oz and was 23.5 inches long. He is in the 95% for weight, 70% for length, and 70% for head circumference.

 John was able to join at Jack's well-visit, and I was so thankful... the poor boy was so upset when he got his vaccinations - it broke my momma heart listening to him scream!

Jack is exclusively breastfed and continues to nurse and gain weight like a champ!

Since his birth I've had mastitis three different times (which has been horrendous) and after several doctor visits, urgent care and lactation trips, it has been determined that I have an oversupply of milk. Since finding this out, I pump 1-2oz of milk before feeding him, and he is much less gassy and fussy as a result (the oversupply of foremilk that I pump out is high in lactose sugar and makes his belly upset if he gets too much... he will literally projectile vomit it all out about 15 minutes after eating!). Now that he is getting the correct amount of foremilk (which is mostly for hydration), he is also getting more of the fatty hindmilk which is keeping him full for longer.

Pumping isn't ideal (since it doesn't fix the actual oversupply issue), but it is a good temporary solution until I can get the mastitis under control to try and adjust my milk supply more permanently. In the meantime, the pumping is totally worth it if it is keeping that sweet baby less fussy and full for longer.

I am shocked at how much progress we have made in the sleep category - praise God! Ever since finding out about my oversupply of foremilk and working to get him more hindmilk to keep him full, he has been sleeping so much better.

Jack typically goes to bed for the night between 9:30-10:30PM and then sleeps until 6-6:30AM. He generally wakes up to feed once around 3:30-4AM, and then goes right back to sleep, but one time he even slept from 10PM-6AM without waking up at all... so we are making very good progress!

We are still working on daytime sleep and naps, but slowly and surely we are making progress here too. He is not very good at putting himself to sleep during the day, so most of his naps are him nursing, falling asleep, and then me putting him down for a nap. I know you shouldn't nurse to get them to go to sleep, but hey, that's what works for us right now... and there is something to be said for doing what works even if it isn't completely "correct." We will "fix" this pattern to the traditional sleep-eat-play-sleep-eat-play once we are in more of a groove.

A few weeks ago I went through Jack's dresser and packed up about 75% of the clothes because they no longer fit him! It was becoming tough finding clothes for him to wear because he had outgrown everything that was out in his dresser.  He has grown out of 0-3 month, and is wearing 3-6 month and some 6-9 month clothes... he's only 2 months! He needs to slow down on growing!

Jack is also very comfortably wearing size two diapers. I feel like he transitioned in and out of size one diapers in only a few weeks. He will be wearing size 3 (which starts at 16lbs) before I know it!

I feel great, and for the most part, physically back to normal! I've still got baby weight to loose, but honestly, it doesn't hugely bother me - it is coming off on its own (yay for nursing!) and I know that when I actually start trying to lose weight it it won't take me any time at all.

John has been wonderful... we went through a super tough week because I was recovering from mastitis and feeling pretty terrible with a high fever, and John also had a high fever from a completely blocked sinus infection. He slept upstairs in our guest bedroom for  few days to make sure Jack didn't get sick, but as soon as he started feeling better he took over and was so helpful when I was recovering.

We did have a funny "oops" on Christmas day when John was changing Jack's diaper and threw away the dirty diaper, but forgot to put a clean one on! He zipped Jack up in his onesie and handed him off for me to feed him. I fed him and while burping him I thought that Jack had spit up all over me, but it turns out that he peed and didn't have a diaper on. I'm pretty sure we laughed for a good few hours over it! Needless to say, Jack's Christmas outfit didn't last very long. :)

Scout and Lily
Slowly but surely Scout and Lily are getting reincorporated into the family. Since Jack was born, the pups have been spending more time outside in our yard to keep them busy (we have a large yard that is fenced, so they are certainly not neglected... not to mention we live in Texas and it has been 70 degrees lately - so they certainly aren't roughin' it).

The dogs love Jack and enjoy giving him kisses; we don't mind the kisses, but we don't want them kissing his face or hands... other than that, Jack is fair game. They still have baby toy vs. dog toy confusion, but we are working on it... and Lily totally ate a whole nursing pad... so gross.

They especially love hangin' with Jack when he spends time his play mat!

Favorite moments
There have been so many favorite moments this month. Jack has started smiling and cooing more and more... he really makes me work for those smiles, but when I get one out of him it is heart melting and cute as can be.

Also, Jack's first Christmas was very special. He had no idea what was going on and they day was not any more out of the ordinary, but it made me very excited to keep building memories with him. We weren't going to get him any gifts, but of course we caved and got that cute boy some presents to open (even though we opened them all... which felt a bit silly considering we wrapped them only the day before!).

John and I also had our first date night out and left Jack with the sitter. I was a bit nervous for the sitter (not Jack...) since Jack can be tough to get to go to sleep, but the sitter was absolutely amazing - she did awesome! It was great being able to have a night out with John just the two of us. I loved coming home refreshed and ready to snuggle my baby (even though I was completely exhausted the next day from the late night...).

Looking forward to
I am so looking forward to more baby cooing and smiles! I've noticed that he is much more chatty and expressive when he isn't tired, so I'm sure that his babbles and smiles will increase a lot when he isn't so tired during the day.

Also, John will be out of town for the Orange Bowl this weekend, so I treated myself to a night time post-partum doula. We hired the post-partum doula on a day when both John and I weren't feeling well, and it was so nice to have an extra set of hands. Basically they bring they baby to you when they need to eat, but other than that they take care of everything: burping, changing diapers, soothing, laying down to sleep, washing bottles, light housework, etc. Since we don't have family near by this type of help is so appreciated and such a treat!

To do
I really want to work on transitioning Jack into his own room. I have trouble falling asleep in the same room as Jack until I know for sure that he is sleeping and won't need me to get up again. I know you aren't supposed to transition them out of your room until 6 months, but I really don't think it is that big of a deal if I have a camera and voice monitor to hear if he cries.

I don't think he will have any issues making the transition, but we will see!

We love you, Jack (and all of your silly faces that you make)!

Monday, December 19, 2016

twenty-five confessions of a first time mom

1. Jack and I take it very slow in the morning... and by morning, I mean anything before 1PM is a struggle.

2. For the past 8 weeks I have pretty much lived in a nursing bra and zip-up sweater; anything else is just too much work! Thankfully I have 3 different zip-ups that I alternate between. ;)

3. Since having Jack I've watched the latest seasons of DCC Making the Team, Project Runway, RHONJ, and RHOC on my iPad... and I just downloaded the MTV app to start on the latest season on Teen Mom OG (Jack spends a lot of time nursing...).

4. My response rate on text messages and phone calls is like 1 out of 20... and the problem is I have no memory on my phone (too many photos!) so I delete text messages and I forget who I have and have not yet responded to. Nothing personal, just need to make room for more baby photos!

5. Jack is so cuddly after he eats in the morning... I could hold him forever! And I often do. :)

6. Jack is quite noisy when he sleeps, and as much as I love him, I wouldn't mind if he slept in his own room. Too much grunting!

7. In a moment of struggle (after a very, very long night), John mentioned that he was concerned that Jack's first word would be the F-word...

8. I could kiss Jack's cheeks all day... the sweetness is too much!

9. So far Jack has only had two blowouts (because he poops like 10 mini poops a day...), but both times I've just thrown his clothes away. I don't have the mental capacity to deal with figuring out stain remover. I ain't got time for that!

10. Some people have a daily Starbucks when they have babies; I, on the other hand, like shaved iced. I load Jack into the car, and I am convinced that he also enjoys our daily shaved ice outings.

11. I get serious mom guilt over things... I love this kid and feel bad when I cut corners with him - even if it is something small!

12. Jack is so chubby, but it makes me proud - grow baby, grow!

13. I've Googled more things in the past 8 weeks than the rest of my life put together.

14. I change Jack's clothes like 6 times a day. In fact, I've started keeping him in his diaper in the mornings so I don't have to keep changing him after he spits up.

15. Jack and I go to Target to hang out during the day. I think I like it more than he does. :)

16. Jack looks 100% like John, but I hope he keeps his blue eyes to match his momma's (John has green eyes).

17. I had to go to CVS to pick up a prescription and literally sat in the drive through for over an hour waiting for my turn. Jack was screaming his head off so I decided to put my car in park and go sit in the back seat with him... we bonded over the frustration!

18. I think I may be that mom who takes her kid to the doctor way too often - but whatever, he's my baby and in his advocate, so I don't care if they think I'm crazy!

19. I can count on one hand the number of times I have worn makeup since Jack has been born.

20. Poor Jack, whenever he is in his car seat and I'm carrying it somewhere I'm always banging him in to things... doors, walls, shopping displays - aye, aye, aye. Sorry kid, you're heavy.

21. I know the whole leaving your baby in the car thing is frowned upon, but I went to UPS and had 3 large Amazon packages to drop off. Trying to avoid someone calling CPS on me, I carried in one box and Jack in his car seat. Then I kindly asked the UPS guy to watch Jack when I went to go get the other two packages. But really, what's worse?! I totally left my baby with the UPS guy! If you ask me, Jack would have been much safer enjoying the beautiful 70 degree Texas winter day and Christmas music in my car... but whatever.

22. Our local Alamo Drafthouse (which is a movie theater) has baby day on Tuesdays before 3PM. I plan to be a weekly attender!

23. I probably spend 75% of my day in Jack's nursery sitting in his glider - good thing it's comfy!

24. Jack has the cutest faces ever; he does this eyebrow raise and he totally got that from his momma.

25. I love Jack so fiercely, and I think it is super cool that God chose me to be his mom... I don't mean to be cheesy when I say that I am honored, but it is true - he is so special and I am very thankful.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Snow Capped Cookies

If you know anything about me, you know that I love to bake... and especially bake for the holidays! But having a little cracker Jack in tow has made that a little bit more difficult for me this year. Instead of elaborate macarons, I've resolved that I need to find easy, but still festive recipes - which is exactly why these snow capped cookies are so perfect!

These snow capped cookies are so easy to make and take no time at all - a win win for my baking and baby holding heart. And if you're like me and looking for even more time savings, just buy the break-and-bake cookies to pop in the oven (or hey, just buy premade cookies from the grocery store!).

All you need to make these snow capped treats are cookies (I used ginger snaps and sugar cookies), white chocolate (or almond bark), and whatever toppings you'd like (I used crystalized ginger for the ginger snaps and crushed candy canes for the sugar cookies).

How to:
1. Before beginning, make sure your cookies are fully cooled. 
2. Melt the almond bark per the instructions on the package.
3. Dip half of the cookie in the almond bark.
4. Lay on wax paper and sprinkle with your candy.
5. Let the almond bark fully cool and harden before removing from the wax paper.

And ta-da! You've got yourself some "fancy" cookies that took no time at all... how's that for efficient holiday fun? You can make the cookies extra special by placing them in fun packaging before giving to your neighbors, friends, and family.

By the way, how gorgeous is this doily?! My grandma makes the most beautiful handmade doilies that serve as the best chargers... love, love, love!

Want to make your cookies extra fancy? Put them in fun packaging before delivering to friends and family! Below are my favorite packing ideas from Pinterest.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

DIY Doubled Sided Placemat Pillows!

I absolutely love seasonal throw pillows, but the truth is, I sometimes find it hard to shell out $30 or more for a pillow that will only be used for a month or two of the year! BUT, if you remove the price factor, you best believe I would be all over them.

Well get this: double sided placemats make for the best DIY throw pillows, and they are a fraction of the cost - as in, only $4 from Target - how can you beat that?! 

They are incredibly easy to make (if you can hand stitch, you can make 'em), take no time at all (I'm talking 30 minutes for two pillows), and are so stinkin' cute (how amazing are those tassels on the ends?!).

What you need:
- Double sided placemats
- Pillow stuffing
- A seam ripper
- Needle
- Thread

Start by using the seam ripper and rip the seam in between the two sides of the placemat, making a hole just big enough to shove the pillow stuffing in.

Next, stuff the pillow full with the pillow stuffing... make sure you get it pushed into the corners of the pillow too!

After you get the stuffing distributed within the pillow use your needle and thread to hand stitch the seam closed. I made my hole in the bottom corner of the pillow so that I wouldn't have to worry about the stitching being perfect.

Once the pillow is sewn closed, trim the thread, and ta-da... your pillow is complete!

How easy is that?! 

These throw pillows are great for guest bedrooms or in your family or living room. To be honest, I had to exercise some serious restraint not to make 10 of them... Target has too many cute options to pick from and at only $4 per placemat, they are totally affordable!

These were so easy, quick, and inexpensive to make that I plan to make them for all holidays!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Jack's Newborn Photos

I can hardly believe that my sweet baby will be 7 weeks old tomorrow. How has it been almost 2 months since we brought this babe home?! I mean, I'm still figuring out how to get a onesie over his head (luckily Jack is very patient with me...)!

When Jack was born I knew I wanted to capture the "itty bitty baby" stage (even though our little chunk was never super itty-bitty!). Our sweet and talented friends (who are more like family) own a photography business, and I was so excited for them to take photos of Jack (if you live in Texas, you must check them out!). 

Looking back at these photos makes me realize how much he has grown and reminds me to cherish every moment. Here's a look back at some of Jack's newborn photos.


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