17 July, 2014

Funday: The Bowling Alley

Last week my brother gave me a call.  He asked if I wanted to meet him and Connor for Putt-Putt and Moe's later in the week.  He offered to help Evie learn how to play so I could take care of Maggie.  It sounded like fun and we love any chance we get to hang out with Uncle Alex and cousin Connor.  Uncle Alex's shift at work changes soon, so our late mornings with them will come to an end.

When we woke up that morning it was already 90+ degrees at 8am and about 8000% humidity. Doing anything outside, especially baby wearing, was NOT an option.

We threw out a few other ideas but then he suggested bowling.  Our local alley was offering a special for $9.99: 2 hours of bowling, personal pizza, coke, shoe rental and $3 of coins for the arcade.  Bingo.

I had no idea what to expect from Evie.  Honestly, I prepared myself for helping her every step of the way.  But after 2 or 3 frames, this girl was on fire!  She could carry her 6 pound ball to the ramp and roll it down all by herself.  Or, as she says, "I do all by'self"

Let's talk about those bowling shoes + Nike shorts. Too cute.
Little stinker did so well she beat Connor!  
 After our first game we cashed in our lunch coupons and sat down for pizza.  There was a large group of adults with special needs at the bowling alley.  Some of them were pretty chatty and came over to visit with us.  They loved talking to the kids, especially looking at Maggie.  We finished up our lunch and time with our special visitors and decided to play another game.  After about 4 frames in the kids were getting antsy.  And even though I had a turkey (three strikes in a row! boom!) I was willing to give up the game...because it really is all about the kids well being!

Alex took the kids into the game room.  Connor and Alex used up the tokens on racing games and Evie "played" along with them.

We had a great afternoon with my brother and nephew.  Evie continues to blow me away with what she can do.  She's getting so big!!  We're looking forward to Connor's bowling birthday party coming up soon!

14 July, 2014

What I Wore Sunday {2}

This Sunday Eric took the early morning Mass shift by himself.  After Mass we went to his parents condo to swim and have lunch with them.  And then the crew took afternoon naps while I went to 5pm Mass by myself.  It was just want the doctor ordered.  I really needed to hear THAT homily by THAT priest and to fully engage in the Liturgy without a two year old looking for cows in my ears...you know, the usual.

Evie's wearing:

Sunglasses: Target Dollar bin via the Easter Bunny
Cover Up:  Hand-me-down from Old Navy
Swim Suit:  SnapMe Swim Wear
Keens:  REI



Dress:  Gap
Cardigan:  Old Navy
Earrings:  Stella & Dot (for a friend's adoption fundraiser!)
Flip Flops:  Eliza B (because when you find stuff with your name on it you buy it!)

Linking up with Fine Purple Linen for What I Wore Sunday!

10 July, 2014

Surviving The First Three Months - What Baby Gear We Used With #2 (And what we didn't!)

Somehow we've survived the Fourth Trimester with two kids!  But not without the help of some great products!  When we had Evie we had a very small two bedroom apartment.  We had some great baby products that were perfect for our small apartment, but we needed to change things up a bit with a two story house and with having TWO kids!

Things that we're loving with baby number 2 -




















Graco Travel Lite Crib

Both girls have slept in our family cradle in our bedroom until four months.  We also have a beautiful convertible crib in the nursery.  However, with the tiny newborn in our two story house, I found having this mini sized pack and play in our living room to be a life saver.  I've use it both for naps and diaper changes.  It's about 25% smaller than a traditional pack n play, so it's been great to take up to my grandparents house for weekend trips.  Bonus - it keeps Evie from poking Maggie while she naps.


Bright Starts Comfort and Harmony Portable Swing

We have a Graco Swing I keep in the kitchen for the bewitching hour.  But we borrowed this mini portable swing to keep in our bathroom.  It's been awesome to keep Maggie in there while we shower or give Evie a bath.  She's in eye shot and is soothed with the swing.


Bright Starts Comfort and Harmony Cradling Bouncer

We had borrowed a bouncer for Evie and I didn't love it so I didn't get one for Maggie.  But we put her in one at my parents house and she loved it.  I loved this brand of portable swing so when I saw it barely used at the consignment store I snagged it.  Maggie has such a startle reflex that this has kept her a little more cozy for her afternoon naps.  I also put her in it so Evie can play with her.  She loves sitting up and being part of the action in the family room.


Skip Hop Treetop Friends Activity Gym

Right as she hit the 2 months mark we pulled this out.  It was a huge favorite of Evie's.  Maggie reaches for her animals and sometimes falls asleep.  Evie loves to lay next to her and the two of them play together.  Evie's also been known to put her blanket over it so Maggie can go camping.  Haha.

Baby Trend Snap N Go EX Universal Infant Car Seat Carrier

When we had Evie we purchased a travel system carseat and stroller because I refused to own a million strollers.  But we quickly hated that stroller (see below) so we sold it. I bought this for one specific purpose - walking Evie into pre school.  We have to walk through a busy parking lot so this gives me the freedom to chase Evie without having to take Maggie out of the carseat, and I can steer it one handed.  I've also loved it for running quick errands!
Baby Jogger City Mini GT Double Stroller, Black/Shadow

This was our big splurge (thankfully I found a 2013 model for half the price!).  I wasn't sure how much we'd use it, but we use it several times a week.  Mostly we use it for neighborhood walks or over to the playground, but I've also started using it on mall trips or long errand trips.  Evie can climb in and out of it on her own. And the seats lay flat so we can put Maggie in it without having to buy an expensive carseat adaptor.  Having owned several strollers now, the GT models of the City Mini get an A+ in my book.

Carseat Canopy

Okay, so I don't have this exactly one, but a friend made one for me.  It has been exactly what we need for the bright Georgia spring and summer sun.  Again, I mostly use it for the preschool drop off and pick up (it has an east/west walk) to keep the sun off Maggie.  It's also nice to keep strangers from poking at her when I need to run a quick errand.




















Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump

Having exclusively pumped for five months with Evie I don't know if I can look at my double electric ever again....haha.  Seriously, the hand pump is my new favorite.  It's so quick and easy to use, especially with an active toddler.  I used it early on to get some relief while milk was settling in.  Now I use it just when I go out.  It is so portable.  Now that I am not working, this is all I need!





















Wallet Wristlet

This was a gift. Maggie was born on the Braves home opener.  My MIL treated me to this and I have loved having it.  It's just big enough for my phone, keys and 4-5 cards.  I can throw it in the diaper bag or just grab this to run into the store.  So easy.

And our absolute favorites for both kids:



Things that we're NOT using with baby number 2 -


Peg Perego Switch Stroller / Travel System  -- The stroller ended up being too bulky.  We also didn't like that it had two handles (think traditional umbrella stroller) which is NOT suitable for having two kids. You can't push it one handed!  D'oh!  Definitely wasn't thinking that through when we bought it for Evie.

Lots of Bottles!  -- Thank goodness for breastfeeding this time :)

Double Electric Pump --- With not working or exclusively pumping, this is fortunately sitting in the closet!

Baby Bath Tub  --  We're so much more comfortable washing a baby.  We just use the $5.99 sponge mat.  Thankfully we'd just borrowed a tub for Evie, so no expense wasted!

Flannel receiving blankets / SwaddleMe / MiracleWraps --- Y'all, these things drive me batshit crazy!  First off, the flannel blankets are too small to do a good swaddle.  And the pre-wrap swaddle things -- OH MY GOSH THE VELCRO.  We received a few of these as gifts for Evie. I washed them ONCE and I donated them.  I know some folks swear by them, but I can't handle it.  We have a 4 pack of Aden + Anias swaddle blankets and give the kids a good, tight swaddle and call it a day.  Evie loved to swaddle in them until she was 6 months.  Maggie busts out of hers but she manages to stay asleep.  Maybe we're just lucky?  At least these blankets can be used for months and years to come (Evie still sleeps with hers!)

Moby Wrap -- I had a difficult time wearing Evie in the Ergo when she was newborn so I borrowed a Moby and a similar type wrap to see how I liked them.  I really, really wanted to like them. I'm so glad I didn't buy them.  I used them maybe 4-5 times?  I never felt super comfortable in them.  And turns out, this time the Ergo works just fine for Maggie and I!


What are some of your favorite newborn baby items?  What are some things that don't work for you that everyone raves about?

09 July, 2014

Maggie: Three Months

Measurements:

Weight: 12 or 12.5lbs, I'm guessing
Length: probably close to 25 inches
Feeds: about 15 minutes every 2.5 to 4 hours during the day, and goes about 9-10 hours at night
Diapers:  Tiny Fit Tots Bots, and moving into Thirsities Size 1 and regular all-in-one or pocket diapers;  and size 2 in disposables (at night)
Clothes:  Packed up the last of the 3 month dresses, fully in a size 6 months.  Some 3-6 months are too small!
Shoes: none
Teeth: none

Firsts:

June 15 - Father's Day!
June 20 - First "emergency" doctor's visit
June 29 - Fr. Brian's First Mass and received her first First Blessings from him ( First time holding hands with a boy...Josh Man)
July 4 - First Forth of July
July 4 - First trip to Waffle House
July 5- First Birthday party for cousin Luke!

Milestones:

Reaches for her feet / twists side to side
Recognizes Mommy, Daddy and Evie & will turn head to interact
Smiles, coos and sort of giggles
Blows bubbles with her mouth
Self soothes with thumb sucking
Regularly sleeps through the night (about 9 or 9:30 to about 6:30 or 7)
Finally sturdy enough for the Ergo sans newborn insert
Is fine with just a loose swaddle to sleep at night

Likes:

Car rides
A warm bath + bedtime routine
Watching the fan
Swinging, being held, riding in the Ergo --- basically movement!
Her left thumb
Playmat 

Dislikes:

Wet or poopy diapers
Being tired & hungry 
7pm

Other:

We did it!  We survived the Fourth Trimester.  Maggie rocks!  She's the perfect second child.  Easy peasy. (knock on wood.)

Maggie is still doing her best feedings in football hold, though we're getting the hang of other holds while we're out and about.

I made it to my 3rd breastfeeding goal: 1 week, 6 weeks, and 3 months.  YAY!  It's definitely getting easier. I don't even notice it anymore, it's just part of the day.  My next goal is to reevaluate once we start solids...which I'm not even sure when we'll do that / which method.

Her clogged tear duct does not seem to be getting better.

Maggie's belly button got a little infected.  Because it's herniated we had to have an "emergency" visit at the doctor to have it checked out.  Good news, it's fine!

She's SOOOO easy going and such a sweet kid.  She's super go with the flow.  I've even had to start setting reminders on my phone to feed her because she's just happy sucking on her thumb.

Maggie still favors Eric quite a bit, but she's starting to look a little more like Evie.  Though her quiver chin and cry face looks exactly like her cousin Luke, who looks exactly like Eric did as a kid!

Our daily routine is basically the same as last month.  Her feedings are shortening a bit so that helps.

Even though she's sleeping through the night I am not ready to have her move to her own room. I love having her in our room. I like knowing I can peek on her if I get worried.  I think we'll just move her when she grows out of the cradle.  Evie we moved around 4 months because she was SUCH a noisy sleeper.

What They Say:

Eric's Girl Mini Twin!
You sure have your hands full
You're so brave being out and about with both of them already
Does she just sleep all day? She's always sleeping when I see her



Sisters, y'all! They're the best!



Maggie at One Month and Two Months and just for fun, Evie at Three Months

07 July, 2014

4th of July Week Extravaganza!

Seriously, y'all. I LOVE 4th of July.  It's got to be my favorite holiday.  No pretense. No emotional traditions. No gift exchanges.  Just good old fashion American fun.   Sigh.  I am already excited for next year.

Evie had the week off from summer school/camps.  The first part of the week was roasty-toasty outside.  We had the A/C guy come tune up our system - YAY!  But we didn't have too much else planned. Or so I thought.  At about 5:00 the garage door opened (an hour and a half early!).  Eric walked in announcing "SURPRISE DATE NIGHT!"  It was tough to leave these cutie pies behind, but I got over it real fast. Ha!


The babysitter arrived at 5:30 and we took off for Main Event.  A new bowling / laser tag / billiards / arcade place.  We took advantage of their Monday $9.99 pass.  After kicking my butt in bowling Eric talked me into playing laser tag.  It was my very first time. I was seriously nervous but afterwords I kind of got addicted. I'm already plotting my return.  We played pool but by then my 2-beer buzz kicked in and I really couldn't focus.  Three cheers for the post-baby lightweight.

Eric had a lighter week at work with lots of folks traveling so on Tuesday we drove downtown.  Eric took the girls around to meet his co-workers and then we went out to lunch.  Evie's been super cooperative this week, can you tell?
Eric talked me into (okay, didn't take too much convincing) trying the famous cupcakes they sell near his office.  Something about snickerdoodle cheesecake.  Yeah. They were good.  Though I'm not sure they were worth pushing a double stroller through downtown during lunch rush.

 On Wednesday I loaded the girls into my parents car and drove up to the Cabin with them.  My little twin cousins were in town from Texas.  They're going into 5th grade next year.  Hope and Will took Evie under their wing and played with her for HOURS.  I hardly saw her.  Maggie was a champ just chilling out snuggling with everyone.

Thursday we just snuggled up around the house.

And Friday the Forth of July fun was abounding!  Eric and his sister Leeann ran the Peachtree Road Race with 60,000 of their closest friends!
After the race our little family went for our traditional Waffle House brunch and goofy photos.
 

Nailed it.



We took naps before heading to Eric's parent's condo for dinner and fireworks.  This was plan B.  We were going to have a party at our house because we can see the local fireworks show from our yard....but they temporarily moved the show too far away! Boo! 

The view from Eric's parent's can't be beat.

These pictures were taken with HDR mode on my phone. I cannot wait for this feature on my new camera!



We enjoyed a beautiful, breezy, unseasonably cool evening from the 28th floor.  We let Evie stay up to watch the Fireworks.  It was the clearest 4th we've had up at the condo.  We could easily see 30 fireworks shows at any given time.

On Saturday our nephew turned 1!  We celebrated with a party at his house.
Evie loved playing with all the other kids.  And has two skinned knees to show for it.  Maggie snuggled up with Grandpa and slept the whole time.
Luke lived up his first birthday to the fullest.  He was living large with that blue smash cake!

Whew.

And Sunday we took it mostly easy.  We caught up on house chores and Eric worked in the yard.

We finished out the weekend with lots of snuggles and homemade frozen yogurt pops!

And today everyone slept in an extra hour.  Thanks be to God.