bottles of breastmilk...a review

Since Cole was born 5 weeks early most of his feedings involve a bottle of pumped breast milk.  We have been trying to nurse more lately but to ensure he is getting enough milk each day we have been pretty attached to bottles.  When he first started bottle feeding I noticed he was spitting up and even vomiting at times after eating, almost like it was too much milk too fast for him and the minutes even hours of feedings became quite a mess.  So we tried tons of different bottles to try to reduce the spit up and found a few that helped and a ton that didn't help along the way.  So, when I was asked to try out The First Years Breastflow Bottles I jumped at the chance...   The starter set arrived and comes with two 5 oz. bottles with slow flow nipples, two 9 oz. bottles with medium flow nipples, 4 storage lids (LOVE), a container for formula or snacks, and a bottle brush.  We tried them out for a few days and Cole did great with them!  There was definitely less spit up and fussiness after feedings.  So excited to find a bottle that works!

Pros:  

  • Mimics the feel of breastfeeding
  • Baby Controls the Flow - this seems to be key to less spit up
  • Dishwasher Safe

Cons:

  • So many parts - any bottle with more than 2 parts is that much tougher to clean - means you have to dissemble and reassemble each feeding - can be time consuming.

'm still on the hunt for a 2 piece bottle that reduces spit up - any suggestions are welcome

The First Years Breastflow Bottles are available on Amazon.

(please note that while this is a sponsored post, the words and review are all my own)

a letter to my child’s daycare…

From that first day, and every day I am dropping off the most important thing in my life, my child. That is my heart walking through that door and sitting down to breakfast or to play with his friends. That is my whole world and I leave him with you.

Some days it takes all I have not to hold back tears as I leave him in your care. Some days I worry that maybe he is not happy there and should be home with me, that I’ve got this whole parenting thing all wrong. Some days I skip away because finally getting some time to myself is oh so necessary after some of the mornings we have had. And sometimes it takes everything I have not to run back in and give him one more hug before I go.

Please be good to him, he is my sweetheart. Please don’t let him cry too long when he is upset, please comfort him when he is sad or not feeling well. Please teach him right when he is wrong. Please help him to grow into the sweet and caring boy I know he can become.

Please tell me all about his day. Tell me about his interactions with other children, songs, games, and stories he enjoyed. Tell me all of this because I miss every one of these moments when I am gone. The mornings, nights, and weekends go by in a blur and I worry that you know more about my child than I do. Please tell me that he is happy, laughing, and smiling. Please tell me that he is ok without me.

Everyday, I leave him with you. And everyday I question my decision to do so.  Please let me know that I am doing the right thing. Please take good care of my heart.

A Review of the Boon Snug...

This past weekend while at lunch at one of our favorite barbecue places in Atlanta, we tried out the Boon Snug - a silicone lid that will fit on any cup.  I love the idea of throwing one of these lids in your diaper bag and turning any cup into a sippy cup with a spout or straw.  We have been transitioning Mason from spouts to straws these past few weeks so I opted for the straw version.  My advice, only buy the straw lid option if your child is ready for a straw.  The straw easily pops in and out and my son thought is was quite a fun game to pull the straw out quickly spraying milk everywhere.  Also, even with the straw, when turned upside down milk leaks out from where the straw is placed.  Mason also chewed and flattened out one of the straws within a few seconds.  While I love the concept and know we will get a ton of use out of it later on...my 22 month old was just not ready for a straw that isn't welded to the cup with a leak proof contraption.  I will definitely be trying out the version of this lid that has a spout, since I love the mobility of this product, and hopefully the straw will get more use down the road...     The Boon Snug is available at Babies R Us

(please note that while this is a sponsored post, the words and review are all my own)

the two week wait...

If you have ever seriously tried to have a baby you have probably endured the two week wait.  It is the two weeks after ovulation before you can take a test to see if this is the month your were successful in getting pregnant.  I didn't endure the two week wait until we tried to become pregnant with my second.  I decided to try to control the situation with baby #2 and was tracking ovulation through fertility apps and taking my basal body temperature each morning.  So since I knew the exact day I ovulated I was fully aware of when my two week wait began.

It is by far the longest and most painful two weeks you can endure.  Everything is a symptom...every headache, soreness, nausea, every little feeling you have means you could possibly be pregnant.  You obsess over being pregnant and how early you can test what day to test and pour over online statistics of people with a positive 8 days after ovulation or people with false negatives who were then pregnant two days later.  You google, and google, and google trying to find solace in one success story that could be you.

Once you decide to test then the real fun begins..the amount of pregnancy tests you buy and take are staggering.  You try in the morning with first urine, if that doesn't produce a positive, you try at night.  I could usually hold out for about 8 or 9 days past ovulation then I just couldn't see the harm in testing just once.  But I couldn't stop there, it had to be too early for a positive right? I needed to keep testing.  The worst was when I would will myself to see the second line...but unfortunately I was the only one that could see it.  So I would buy a digital test and the "not pregnant" would stare at me right in the face, but hell, maybe it's too early, I'll try and test tomorrow...

The two week wait is a delusional state of life...you live alone in your own little world during those 14 days with few people to confide in.  You are dying to yell to anyone that might listen "I might be pregnant!" but you know way better than that.  Thank goodness for fertility apps and their community forums where you can cheer on and bond with other women going through the two week wait, the only people who understand you for one half of each month.

During the two weeks you are calculating possible due dates, first ultrasounds, and considering baby names.  All while convincing yourself that you must have morning sickness because you woke up not feeling too great...quickly forgetting about the margaritas you downed the night before in an effort to speed up the days or even hours until you could test again.

I hope that all women can end their two week wait with a positive.  When it finally happens it is an amazing feeling filled with joy, fear, love, and even sadness...it is like running a marathon that may never end...and when it finally ends, the real wait begins.

...this post was originally written for The Vintage Honey Shop

 

 

My Newborn Must-Haves for Baby #2

With my first baby, I painfully poured over reviews to find the best stroller, bassinet, swaddle, and bath tub.  I bought everything under the sun from all the major retailers.  With my second baby I have really focused in on only a few things that you won’t find in any big box store…

 

1.     Dockatot – this is at the top of my list for a number of reasons.  My 1st reason being that sleeping through the night is not only good for everyone involved, it is imperative when you also have a toddler running around in the morning.  I know that this maternity leave will be way different from the first and having a baby that sleeps will make everything so much easier…I also love the mobility of the Dockatot from room to room, a must-have quality for baby gear!

2.     The Ollie Swaddle – I found out about this swaddle a little while after my first child turned 6 months and was no longer swaddling and I vowed that I would scoop this swaddle up for baby #2.  I love that it is made of moisture wicking fabric to reduce the risk of overheating.  The reviews tell all with this one – when it comes to babies sleeping for long stretches since birth or even though the night - parents swear by it.

3.     The Puj Tub – I realized pretty quickly that having a toddler and newborn wasn’t going to be easy and I am pretty determined to still spend as much time with my toddler as I can so we have decided to combine bath time by bathing my toddler in the tub and the newborn in the sink using the amazing Puj Tub.  Don’t be deceived by its looks – it is made from soft foam that cradles and comforts baby while allowing parents to stand (AMAZING!!!) during bath time.

4.     Nursing Necklace – after a few months of breastfeeding, babies will start to claw and pinch at your neck and your face making nursing a daunting task.  With Baby #2 I invested in some stylish nursing necklaces from The Vintage Honey Shop to give baby something to focus and grab onto while nursing and even babywearing (which I plan to do a lot of).

5.     A Nursing Cover/Carseat Cover/Shopping Cart Cover/Scarf from Covered Goods – I cannot wait to use this one!  The 4-in-1 versatility makes it an absolute must-have.  I dread nursing in public and hope that the Covered Goods cover with the 360 degree coverage will make this task a little easier as I know it will be something I won’t be able to avoid with an active toddler running around.

6.     Binxy Baby Shopping Cart Hammock –I thought I would just want to be home during those first few months after having a baby but it was easy to get cabin fever and sometimes you just need to get out of the house.  My favorite place to go other than for a walk in the stoller was a therapeutic trip to Target.  Since you should never prop the infant carseat up on the shopping cart and putting the carseat in the shopping cart then leaves no space for much needed purchases – the Binxy Baby Hammock cradles the baby (or the carseat) making shopping with a newborn no longer a stressful outing.

 

Simplify, simplify, simplify is my motto for Baby #2.  We don’t need a ton of different bassinets, strollers, and baby seats.  Just a few key items to make life with a newborn and a toddler a little bit easier…

 

...this post was originally written for The Vintage Honey Shop

 

 

for the 1st time mom...a few things I wish I knew...

As I prepare for baby #2 due in a few short months I can't help but think of how I will do things differently and how I will get through those first few months with a new baby...

here are a few things I wish someone had told me...

Slow Down...you don't need to have dinner ready, the dishes done, grocery shopping complete. Take it all in, nap when baby naps, and just remember what a million people have told you is absolutely positively true, it goes by so unbelievably fast.  You will blink your eyes and suddenly have a toddler and you won't remember how clean your house was those first few months but you will sure as hell remember those long snuggles on the couch.

Everything is a phase...thank god this one is true.  Not sleeping through the night, teething, biting, not drinking milk, not wanting to read books, only eating orange foods, hating diaper changes...it is all a phase.  Nothing lasts too long and before you know it you are on to the next thing.  When you are in the thick of that phase you can't imagine it ever ending...but luckily...it does.  

They just need you...you will buy tons upon tons of fancy toys, diapers, books, swaddles, everything under the sun.  And in the beginning, especially in the beginning, they really just need you.  Hold them before you put them back in the bouncer, snuggle them before you invest in another playard.  You really only need a few things those first few months, don't go overboard...the stuff is nice to have, but none of it is truly necessary.

I see new moms in my neighborhood, exhausted as they push around their fancy strollers and I secretly am envious of each and every one of them...I am secretly dying to be snuggled up on the couch with a newborn...and I promise myself everyday that I will take in every moment with my next baby those first few months, because before you know it...the newborn phase is over.

why i am not (and will never be) a stay at home mom...

During maternity leave I would have done ANYTHING to be a stay at home mom and raise my sweet newborn son for years if not decades.  I looked into how to pull it off financially with side jobs, etsy shops, even selling our home in our expensive neighborhood and moving to the sticks to raise our brood of children.  My hormones were on fire and I was determined to be a stay at home mom.  

Now I realize why 6 weeks, 8 weeks, or even 12 weeks is not enough maternity leave for new moms, we are hormonal, delusional, and not even in the right mindset to return to the workforce, but we do.  We may cry on the way to work, in the bathroom, and even quietly at our desks, but we return to work before we are ready.

Days turned into weeks back at work and probably a month or so before my son's first birthday, everything began to find its balance.  Bedtime for my son evened out finally to 7pm so he was no longer napping the minute he got home from daycare and mornings became an easy routine where we all managed to get out the door somewhat on time.  Then when he started on whole milk & the school food plan at one year, all that time dealing with bottles and mini containers of chopped up f00d became time gained and we all started to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Going to work started to feel like a vacation compared to staying home with my ever growing son who needed more and more stimulation as each day passed.  

Today was the end of a very long 3 day weekend and I realize more than ever that for 40 hours a week, I am meant to be at work.  I love my son...madly.  I love every moment we have together.  But taking care of a child, even if it is my own, full time, is truly not for me.  Honestly, I feel it is way harder to be a stay at home mom than a working mom.  I enjoy adult conversations. going to the bathroom by myself, and eating lunch.  All things that do not take place at home with a toddler.  Sometimes when I am on the elevator alone at work I can't help but smile, the feeling of truly being alone is not something that you come by too often as the mother of young children.

I am now a little excited for Mondays.  Yes I am jealous of the stay at home moms for brief moments when I am tired and feel like I can't keep this life together anymore, but I know that this is the right life for me.  And if you are a stay at home mom right now and happy with what you do, it is indeed the right life for you...we are so lucky that we get to choose our life.  It wasn't that long ago that staying home with the kids was the only option for a mother.

As spring break approaches, I am honestly a little intimidated by a week off with my son as I know I can't provide him the stimulation and exertion of energy that he requires and receives at school in a classroom filled with 15 kids connected to a playground.  But I plan to spend every waking minute with him and take in every second because I am a working mom whose time is limited with my son, but at the same time is just enough.

the soother that soothes...

We have had the Sea Dreams soother in Mason's crib for about 10 months now and I can honestly say it is one of my all time favorite baby items (also on that list is the beloved Exersaucer which he has sadly grown out of).  It soothes him to sleep at bedtime, if he wakes up in the middle of the night he hits the button and the music and lights soothe him right back to sleep.  In the mornings when he wakes up he hits the button and goes back to sleep for another 20-30 minutes.  He uses the light some mornings to sit and read before we come in the room and other times we just catch him in the monitor watching the sea creature show on the soother screen.  He has started to associate the music with falling asleep and it has been our lives so much easier.

The other day we realized that we haven't heard him cry out in the morning for us to come get him in weeks.  He just sits or stands in his crib with the soother on until we come get him....we would never really even know he was up without a monitor.

Whether your child sleeps through the night or is up all night tossing and turning....this soother is a must-have.  It teaches baby to soothe without you needing to physically go in their room which equals more sleep for parents and more time for coffee in the morning before they wake up and the day really starts.  It also comes with a remote so you can turn on the soother from the door without even getting near the crib (genius!).  

 

Need the Perfect Holiday Gift? Give the Gift of Reading

I have recently had the amazing opportunity to collaborate with Bookroo - a monthly book subscription service helping me to build Mason's library.  I asked one of the founders of Bookroo, Jane Tanner, to write a guest post for little bean baby now that the holiday season is upon us and we are all looking for that perfect gift...

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Written by:  Jane Tanner

With the holiday season just around the corner, the tingling anticipation of friends, family, parties, presents, and celebrations is becoming ever more tangible. Finding the perfect gift for everyone on your holiday list can be stressful and intimidating. (I know because I’m one of those very type A people who’s been agonizing what I should gift my family for three weeks already-- don’t worry, I’m almost done!) It can be a struggle to find something that’s heartfelt, and meaningful, and useful, and (in the case of gifting to kids) will be appreciated by parents and children alike. But it doesn’t have to be. Enter Bookroo.


I was lucky enough to connect with Megan about a month or so ago, and she’s been gracious enough to already give you a little preview of what Bookroo is, but in case you missed it, Bookroo helps foster a love of reading in children by making the experience of receiving children’s books an exciting one for children and an affordable and convenient one for parents. Win-win-win.

Bookroo creates excitement around reading by helping children to associate the thrill and anticipation of unwrapping surprise gifts with reading, and by exposing them to new and different books that they can be proud to have in their very own personal collections. Basically, each month a box containing either 3 board or 2 picture books (each individually wrapped!) arrives with a handwritten note.

My three-year-old nephew can often be found pushing a toy wheelbarrow filled with books around the house, but recently his mom noticed that in addition to the wheelbarrow, he was also clutching several books to his chest on his journey through the house. When she asked him what was so special about those books, he told her that those were the ones that had come all wrapped up in his Bookroo box. Weeks later, he had a special attachment to those books in particular because of the experience he’d had with them.

The holidays are often a time when presents abound, so it’s a particularly important time to send the signal to our children that reading is important, and books are fun and worthy of being gifted. They aren’t a boring or second rate gift, their magical stories are a gift that can be enjoyed again and again. Cliche perhaps, but true.

Give the gift of reading this holiday season. Give the children in your life access to the printed word, and the opportunity to fall in love with it. A Bookroo subscription is a gift that will remind them of you and your love every time they read the books that have come thus far, and every month a new box arrives. It truly is the gift that keeps on giving.

Ready to gift your first Bookroo box? Feel free to this link to get $4 off from Megan’s first post!

brunch with my baby..

Heading out to restaurants with a 15 month old is an extremely exhausting adventure where I am constantly making sure he A: not standing up in his high chair, B: not grabbing everything off the table, or C: throwing all of is food on the ground.   Needless to say, I need to be on from the minute we enter the restaurant to the second we leave.  Bound and determined to ensure that my child is not the crazy, messy, out of control, loud child in the restaurant.  Restaurant High chairs have become a nightmare for us  They are filthy most of the time, the straps rarely work, and even when he is strapped in, he manages to houidini himself out of it.  

When I was asked to try out the Bumbo Multi Seat - I happily abliged.  Dying for any relief from the high chair hell we have been living in.  So, this morning we finally ventured out to brunch at our neighborhood go-to, J. Christophers with Mr. Mason and our new Bumbo Multi-Seat.

Getting it strapped to the chair took a matter of seconds and once Mason was in I was pleasantly surprised at how calm he was hanging out in the Bumbo.  He did better sitting right up a the table with us in his own "chair" and he didn't twist and turn around like he usually would in the high chair due to the straps on the Bumbo keeping him contained.

Needless to say we had a somewhat relaxing brunch and I can honestly say that we won't be leaving the house without the Bumbo Multi Seat anytime soon.  Love the versatility of bringing it to restaurants, grandparents, and vacations.  It is super lightweight and easy to carry and I have already considered packing away the giant highchair and only using this more compact option in our dining room at home.  

(please note that while this is a sponsored post, the words and review are all my own)

a love of reading...

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I will never forget Mason's one month appointment.  The pediatrician stressed starting a bedtime routine that included a bath and a book before bedtime.  I remember looking at my 8lb son that could barely hold up his head thinking how in the world could we possibly read a book to this tiny thing...but we did... every. single. night.  

He barely noticed the book was even there at first, but as time went on his love for books grew and grew.  He started to put his face real close up to the pictures and would study every detail.  Then he started to turn the pages himself.  And now with the peekaboo or touch and feel books, he knows exactly what part of the book to open, touch, turn, push, and scratch.  

There are certain books that he snuggles up to me immediately when he sees the cover and and other books he sits up tall and straight so he can interact with every page.  We have started to put books in his bed each night so he can read before falling asleep or when he wakes up in the morning.  We read at the beach, during diaper changes, on airplanes, in the car, his stroller, wherever we go, we bring books.  He doesn't just love books, he is enthralled by them.  

I was thrilled to stumble upon Bookroo, a monthly children's book subscription that will help grow Mason's library.  We have a TON of books already but not too many make it into the nightly rotation so I am always looking for more books Mason might love.  Luckily Bookroo does the work for me, carefully selecting the books and sending them to us monthly to nurture his love of reading in the hopes of finding new books we will all love to read each night.  You can choose between picture books and board books and if you receive a book you already have in your library, send them a picture of you gifting the book to someone else and they will take $5 off your next month...pretty awesome...

Beyond just being an amazing concept, the experience from the website to the hand wrapped books that arrive perfectly packaged is fantastic.  And I am definitely going to be gifting a Bookroo subscription or two for birthdays and holidays because I know a lot of moms like me who might go crazy if their child receives one more toy...books are so much easier to clean up at the end of the day...

I hope Mason always loves to read the way he does today.  I hope that even when he is older he still can't wait for the next book, the next page, the next word.  And I kind of hope he always wants to snuggle while we read our books before bedtime...

our 1st month of Bookroo!

our 1st month of Bookroo!

I have partnered with Bookroo to offer a discount to my readers of $4 off your subscription using the below link...it is so worth a try!

http://bit.ly/1Ngdpik

(please note that while this is a sponsored post, the words and review are all my own)

bath time with baby...

Bath time (or Bath, Bath, Bath as we call it in our house) we realized early on was essential to creating a routine with Mason and signaling bedtime which ultimately led to sleeping through the night.  

Bath time starts out as a harrowing and daunting task with a newborn that can't even hold up their own head.  Thankfully we found an infant tub with a sling type apparatus that allowed Mason to just sort of lounge during his bath and made our lives so much easier.

The sling tub lasted for months and was amazing, when Mason started to grow out of it around 7 months old and also started to sit up we moved to the Munckin blow-up Duck tub which we had a love-hate relationship with.  We loved that it only took a few minutes to fill up and was padded on all sides but Mason could not keep his cool around this bright yellow thing.  He attacked the head, constantly kicked, and was always trying to catapult out of the back of it.  We were elbow deep in this thing just trying to keep him from injuring himself.  

Then, at around 11 months old, we graduated to the regular bath tub and it was an incredibly calming experience.  He was not as distracted as he was with the duck bath and just hung out, played with a few toys, and splashed a little here and there.  For the first time, bath time was not stressful for either of us...I just wished we put him in the regular bath sooner...

At now 14 months were are teaching him (daily) not to stand up while  in the big boy bathtub but with the addition of about a thousand toys we are managing...

My must-haves for bath time:

8 things you can no longer do (easily) once you have a baby...

I would not change this life for anything, but sometimes I find myself dreaming of my life before having a baby...basically doing whatever I wanted, when I wanted to.  I look at expectant moms and I want to yell "sleep in! sleep in for as long as you can!" as they walk around completely clueless to the life they are about to leave behind...

Here is my list of a few things that you can no longer do (easily) once you have a baby that no one told me about:

  1. You can no longer leave the house past baby's bedtime (for us this means 7:30pm).  After bedtime, we are home.  There are no dinner's out, movies, or trips to the bar on a whim - the exception being nights with a babysitter which you need to plan ahead for and of course pay for and with that, all spontaneaty is lost.
  2. You are now stuck with only eating at kid friendly restaurants.  I try very hard not to be the parents dragging my child to non-kid friendly restaurants where he will inevitably have a complete meltdown.  We are now regulated to a few restaurants and our days of fine dining seem to have ended abruptly.
  3. You will miss sleeping in, waking up whenever you feel like it, leisurely drinking coffee in the morning, and thinking about what you might do that day.  That is no longer possible, your days are now completely planned out and controlled, by a small child.  The words leisurely and sleeping are no longer in your vocabulary.
  4. Napping during the day is a thing of the past.  You nap when they nap if you ever want to nap.  And you wake up when they wake up.
  5. Showering when you want is now a thing of the past.  Showers are quickly taken in under 5 minutes either right after bedtime or before baby awakes in the morning.  Showers while they are awake are about 2 minutes long and include a heavy dose of guilt as well.
  6. Tired is now a constant feeling and not something you only used to feel sometimes during the week before having a baby.  We walk around like zombies some days, barely talking to one another just going through the motions until we can fall asleep again.  Taking care of a baby, especially a mobile one, is completely and utterly exhausting.  And if your baby wakes up even once during the night, you mine as well not even go to work the next day - life is miserable.
  7. Getting out of the house takes twice as long and you will always forget something.  I run around like a crazy person before leaving the house...grabbing everything in sight I think we might need.  A quick trip to the grocery store is now an hour long ordeal complete with a diaper blowout right as baby is strapped into the car seat. 
  8. Being alone...something so simple that happened so often before a baby is now extremely hard to come by and revered upon as so special.  Me time used to be all the time before baby, now its something I have to plan for days in a advance to pull off successfully.

While my days are now monopolized by a one year old, being his Mom is by far better than any date night, nap, or shower...Again...I wouldn't change a thing...except maybe an extra hour of sleep each day.

I had no idea...

I had no idea how full my heart would feel the moment you were born, the first time you smiled, the first time you really hugged me, and now the sweet times when you pat me on the back.  My entire throat closes up and I do everything I can to hold back tears.  It such a big crazy world and you make it easy to feel so lucky.

Mason at 8 months old...

Mason at 8 months old...

I had no idea how much you would sleep those first few weeks and then when the sleeping ended how much I would wish the days of sleeping all the time would return.

I had no idea that breastfeeding would be so hard but so rewarding at the same time.  I had no idea that switching from breastmilk to formula to whole milk would be easier on you than it was on me.

I had no idea that you could be so funny, so sweet, so full of laughter.  I had no idea that you could laugh so hard while you were crawling that your knees would buckle and you would have to lay flat on the ground doubled over in laughter for a minute before being able to get back up.  

I had no idea how cute you could be.  Every day when you get home from school I ask you "did you get cuter today?"...and I am seriously asking you that because it is seriously true.  I had no idea how cute you could be.

I had no idea how my much my heart would ache when you cried or how quickly I would run to scoop you up and hold you when you fell.   

I had no idea that later on you would learn to cry out when you needed something or to get our attention and that you would be able to turn the tears on and off so quickly.  I had no idea how funny it would be sometimes when you would get upset over absolutely nothing...seeing your entire face scrunch up made us laugh out loud so many times...I had no idea you could be so adorable even when you are upset.

I had no idea how easy it would be to find a balance between working and being with you.  I had no idea how much you would love preschool and how much I would love work...during maternity leave I would have said or done anything just to stay at home with you indefinitely but it all worked out for the best in the end and I am so glad we have found the balance.

I had no idea that you would have eyelashes I could only dream about...

I had no idea that we would have to put diapers on while you were standing because laying down is something you are way too busy to deal with.

I had no idea how much your Dad could love you.  You two are best friends and sometimes I just sit and listen to your endless fits of laughter and the loud sounds of toys crashing and banging in the other room.  We are so lucky to have him.  

I had no idea that sometimes I would just want to sit and watch you...playing, eating, crawling, sleeping...I could easily sit and watch you all day.

I had no idea how much you would need me, and in turn how much I needed you.

I had no idea that we could go into your room to wake you in the morning and you would be snoring with your face smashed into the mattress and would push us away for a few more minutes of sleep, there are times when you are so obviously my child.

I had no idea how fast you would grow from a tiny baby to an independent big boy...I had no idea time could go by this quickly.

I had no idea that switching to the one year old room at preschool meant a week of crying and not sleeping...for both of us.

I had no idea how much your grandparents could love you and want to know every little thing about you...to them you are such an amazing gift that has filled their lives with so much happiness.

I had no idea I could love anything as much as I love you.  There are days where I feel like my life was just practice up until you came along...the reason I am here on this earth, began with you...

the only sippy cup you will ever need... (and switching to whole milk)

I was terrified of switching from bottles to sippy cups and bought what seems like a hundred different sippy cups that Mason rejected or "did ok" with (what they told me at preschool).  A Mom from preschool recommended the NUK sippy cup and Mason went from bottles to only sippy cups in about 4 days with the NUK.  I was so excited to put away all the bottles and bottle parts.  Now we have 5 of these and just upgraded to the 10 ounce version for the mornings when he has been drinking a little more milk...

The switch to whole milk was an easy one for us that I stressed about for weeks.  The key was to mix in a little more whole milk each day over the course of about 4-5 days then suddenly it is just whole milk which I continued to warm up for him for another day or two.  Then to get him to drink the cold whole milk I gave him food first at each meal than the cold milk and he was sold because he was already full from the food so the milk didn't matter to him.  

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a year with mason..

I can't believe it was a year ago today that my sweet sweet Mason was born......with a baby, days bleed into weeks, weeks into months...and time truly seems to move at a faster pace.  I walk away from this year feeling older, exhausted, and living in a messier home...and at the same time feeling incredibly blessed, filled with love, and happier than I ever thought possible...

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