18 August 2017

the three musketeers...

Or the three stooges.  Depends on the day and the attitude.

All three of my wild men are asleep for nap. In their own rooms. At the same time. All the praise hands for this mama.

We are over four months in to life with three boys and I feel so full and wanted to sit and share an update on the boys and life. I have found myself re-reading old blog posts to see the different stages and compare so I want to continue documenting. In 17 years, I'll probably be ugly crying while reading these back on the eve of one of their weddings. {Sorry for the word-vomit in advance!}

Gideon: I don't know where to start with this one. A typical first-born that Taylor and I have zero idea how to parent. Neither of us are first-born so it is hard for us to understand him. He is outgoing and makes new friends everywhere and anywhere. New or unknown does not scare him. This is mystifying to me. As an adult, I struggle to go into new social situations, but he thrives in it. Not afraid to make friends and not afraid to just be a loner if that's what he's dealt.

He starts at a brand new school for Pre-K 4 in just a couple of weeks. It's one of the top schools in SC and the classical curriculum apparently starts in the Pre-K 4 year. So he will be smarter than me in about a year. He loves learning and spends his days writing letters, pointing them out in public, counting to 100, and asking so many questions. All the questions. He has a knack for memorizing things and is pumping out some memory verses for church that I would struggle to memorize.

His imagination is so impressive. He has found a love for LEGOs and can sit and build for hours. We get him the sets and after he initially builds how it is supposed to go, he deconstructs them and makes his own things. I am not one for tons of toys being around, but LEGOs are OK by me!

Nolan: Oh Nolan. He is our middle child if there ever was one. A sensitive more quiet soul. Until he is mad. He loves so deeply and has started unprompted giving us hugs and saying "I love you." He just wants to sit and cuddle and will do that with whoever is willing. He picks people out who he knows will "hold you" (him) and won't let go.

He is obsessed with all things airplanes and has watched Blue Angels YouTube videos non-stop. He says he wants to be a jet pilot when he grows up and I do not doubt that he will do exactly that. He is not one to change his mind and is very sure of his decisions or the things he wants.

He loves his stuffed "doggies" and eats more than I do most days. He will eat anything and is the biggest food beggar. If you don't want to share, don't eat it around Nolan.

His language has exploded and the sentences that he is putting together blow my mind. It is fun to have him communicating so well and it is rare that we don't understand what he is saying. He is very clear and precise in his words.

Lincoln: I don't now how he is four months old already. I was trying so desperately to cling to his newborn-ness because I know I will miss it. And here we are with it gone already. He is the happiest baby I have ever met. Even when crying uncontrollably, if I come near he will smile in the middle of his tears.

This baby is a go-with-the-flow babe if I ever met one. He has no choice, but really embraces it all. He sleeps incredibly at night (most nights a solid 9 or 10 hours before eating and going right back down for three more). We are working on napping in his room and are getting better. He nurses great and weighing in at 16 pounds is not hurting for a meal. We have decided to go the baby-led weaning route with him like we did with Nolan so will wait a couple more months before starting, although he is currently cutting a tooth!

He has been going to church nursery for over a month now and does great. It's such a relief and I know that he has great ladies to watch him in there. He truly is a dream baby and that is exactly why we are done having anymore. I can't risk going backwards!

29 July 2017

before thirty.

via Pinterest

I turn thirty in about nine months. I was recently looking through old posts I started and never finished and found a list I was working on back in 2014 that I never got around to completing. A thirty before thirty list. I was amazed that I had actually accomplished a few of the things on my list which is exciting, but I'm also being realistic and know that I won't be able to get 30 huge things done in the next nine months. There is only so much time in between nursing a babe, taking care of the wild things, and sleep.

But, I wanted to give this list some life and check off the ones I've done and add a few more on. So here is my short list of things to do before I leave my twenties. Traveling is out of the question because time and money, of which both are limited. So the travel to do's will have to be on my before forty list.

Also, can I add make babies to the list because check, check, and check.

1. Read thirty NEW books. I love reading so this doesn't seem like a daunting task, but the problem is that I reread books I love numerous times instead of venturing out and finding new ones.

2. Color my hair. This may seem so minor to most of you, but I am a color virgin. I've always thought it would be fun, but always too scared. CHECK!

3. See an Alabama game in Tuscaloosa. This is for Taylor. He talks about how great this experience is and how he wants me to experience it too. {I know this is a travel one, but I'm leaving it}.

4. Run another 5k.

5. See another Off Broadway musical.

6. Make a pie from scratch. CHECK!

7. Make a Thanksgiving turkey. {This is really intimidating to me}.

8. Attend the Lights Fest. There are a couple coming nearby. Think Tangled. I feel like seeing it in person would be one of the most awe-struck experiences.

9. Cyprus Gardens. I want to rent and row a boat around this gorgeous place.

10. Buy a house. CHECK!

11. Complete BBG. I've never been good at sticking to workout programs or schedules, but I'm over halfway done with this one.

12. Do one of those farmhouse style sign classes.

13. A date with Taylor each month.

14. NYC with Taylor. CHECK!

15. Go to a fair. {I've never been!}

07 July 2017

five on friday

In a week, I will be waking up with only one baby in the house. Camp Grammy and Papa is happening with Gideon and Nolan for a few days and the thought of getting to sleep in and only have Lincoln is exciting (and a little sad, but exciting). Sleep in, you say? With a baby? Yes! Lincoln is a sleep-in-babe. Takes after his mama.

Lincoln is starting to get in the drool-fest, wet onesie stage. It's so cute to watch him blowing bubbles, but the wet clothes is no fun. I love these bandana bibs by Finn and Emma. They are so soft and 100% organic cotton. The snaps are also lead and nickel free. I was drawn in by the arrows and if you've seen his nursery you'll know why. They also make adorable clothes and wooden teethers (hallelujah, amen).

We are trucking along on our summer bucket list. Gideon wakes up every day and asks what we are doing off the list that day. He has a few favorites that he keeps begging to do, but I need adult back-up in order to make it happen. So far we have seen Cars 3, done s'mores, sparklers, the beach, and frozen yogurt. He's been patiently waiting for camping, but we have had so much rain that it hasn't worked out yet. Fingers crossed for sometime soon.

I'm ready for fall. I said it. I can't take the 96 degree days and humidity that melts my face off anymore. I don't thrive in this weather. We've been finding indoor activities like Chick-fil-A for lunch and to play in their play place. Also, I told Taylor I am ready for it to not be light at 6 am and 9 pm. But, that's probably just because I have young kids who rationalize the need to be awake because it's light outside. Go back to bed, kid.

It's no secret that I think and plan ahead. I may or may not have already started planning Halloween costumes and Lincoln's first birthday party. I can't help it. But, it can come in handy. This week I started thinking about fall/winter clothes for the boys and remembered that both Gideon and Nolan are going to need a new jacket. I checked Columbia's website and found them each a fleece for winter for less than $13 each. Boom.

*Finn and Emma provided the bibs, teether, and a romper to us. This is my real and genuine opinion of the product. 

27 June 2017

things with three

It's no secret that having kids makes some things more difficult. You have to plan more and prep in order to do the things you usually do. I remember Gideon's three day well-check like it just happened.  I scheduled it for nine in the morning because I've always been a morning person and punctual so I figured I could get there on time. I forgot to take into consideration that I would be running low on sleep, therefore sleeping in. Plus time to nurse Gideon before we left, on top of getting myself ready. And to make it even more fun he peed through his diaper and all over my clothes of which I had no more pants options because no laundry done and postpartum which means nothing fits. Hello, thirty minutes late to appointment.

I've figured a few things out since then and with each baby we bring on board I've had to adjust and learn some ninja tricks to help me get things done, get places on time, and keep my general sanity. So here are a few things in my arsenal of magic.

+ Meal planning. Oh, I know those are dirty words to some people and I use to hate doing it, but now it makes life so much simpler. Every Sunday afternoon, I sit down and write out dinner meals for the week. Seven days. I ask Taylor his opinion on what he would like and then fill in the rest. And just so you don't think I'm planning gourmet, whole 30 compliant fancy things, we almost always have one night that says "pizza" and another that is "breakfast for dinner." I make a complete grocery list from my planned out meals which simplifies the shopping trip and ensures we don't need to make any extra runs later in the week.

+ Laundry/weekly prep. Sunday is my get it done day. With Taylor being a pastor, Sunday is technically the start of our week so I go ahead and get things going. I sort and prep all the laundry so it's ready to throw in on Monday morning.  I do little things to prep the house for the week. Clean litter box and sweep, stock diapers and wipes downstairs, empty trash from bathrooms.  It makes me not so frantic come Monday morning. {We also do laundry on Thursday so Wednesday is another prep night}.

+ Grocery shop. I do this every Monday morning for the week. Taylor thinks I'm crazy to do this with all three kiddos, but we've got to eat. I love Monday morning because the stores are empty of crowds.  I can maneuver my circus through there with minimal collateral damage. One thing that helps me get this done is the Shop Binxy cart hammock. I actually only discovered this after Lincoln was born because all of a sudden I had no where to fit actual groceries in the cart with the carseat in it, Nolan up front, and Gideon hanging on the side. This genius hammock fits most groceries carts, works for babies until they are sitting on their own AND can even safely hold the carseat if you don't want to wake your sleeping babe. Um, why did I not design this first.

+ Make beds daily. We make all the beds first thing in the morning. And by we, I mean me. I don't know why, but making the beds sets the tone for my day. It also doesn't give me the option to crawl back in it and set up camp which in all honesty is what I would love to do most days. But, duty calls. Taylor even saw an article recently that said people who make their beds every day live more peaceful lives. I need all the peace I can get.

shirt from declan and crew
+ Dry shampoo. Yep. I went there. I don't wash my hair every day. I'm mostly an every other day girl and sometimes push it to day three hair. This allows me to sleep a little longer on some days, to save time getting ready and to minimize hair damage. Win, win, win.

+ Use of TV, free grocery store cookies, and the dollar store. I'm not ashamed of these. Sometimes as a mom you just need time to get things done and if a show/movie, free cookie, and cheap toys helps then do it. DO IT.

+ Light a candle and ignore. When the crazy gets crazy I just light a candle and go to my happy place. Boys fighting? Mama doesn't hear it. In fact, my name isn't mom anymore.

* Binxy Baby provided the cart hammock to me, but as always this is me genuine opinion.  Feel free to use my referral code for 10% off your own genuis cart hammock.

20 June 2017

around here

+ I started bbg last week and it sucks. And feels awesome all at the same time. I dream of tacos while doing burpees {who invented those by the way, ugh}. It is nice to finally feel like I'm working out towards something other than pregnancy.  I think I feel motivated knowing that my body is not going to change to grow a human again.

This mask. A sweet friend gave me this and I can't say enough good things about it. It makes my skin feel like freshly washed sheets. And even better, it's not a peel one!

+ Who knew the Dollar Tree had such great things? I've been hitting them up for coloring books {Ninja Turtles, Curious George, Avengers, Jake and the Neverland Pirates!}, stickers, activities, chalk, and other little things to keep the boys occupied for the summer. But, make sure it's a Dollar Tree, the high class of the dollar stores.

+ Update on driving a van... it's the best, holla.

+ In addition to working out, I have been working hard on cutting down the sugar that I eat. Not just the sweet stuff, like the being conscious of everything that has sugar in it {which sadly is most things}.  I'm not 22 anymore and the brain fog is real. I've noticed a huge difference since I started a few weeks ago.  I do allow myself a Dr. Pepper on the weekends and some Ben and Jerry's dairy-free because life.

+ Speaking of dairy-free, on month three of it.  So much easier this time around because I know what to expect and have found awesome replacements.  Guac on everything.  And that Ben and Jerry's dairy-free ice cream is so worth it.  The fudge brownie and chunky monkey are my favorites.

+ Gideon has been out of preschool for a month and mama misses it.  And so does he.  Excited and looking forward to this fall when he goes five days a week.  The boy thrives in social situations. The school is a Classical curriculum and I'm pretty sure at five years old he will be smarter than me.

+ Lincoln is what dream babies are made of.  Sleep and smiles.  We finally got some answers about his ongoing congestion at his two month well-check when the doctor checked his ears and found his right one to be infected.  So strange for a baby his age, but also not since I had one a couple weeks before.  Some antibiotics and chiropractic adjustments and he is a happy, happy baby.

+ Nolan is two.  I don't know if that needs to be elaborated on at all.  Two.

19 June 2017

sleep and postpartum anxiety

One of the hardest things for me postpartum is the anxiety. It is so overwhelming at times and is triggered mostly by sleep, or lack thereof for me. But also sleep in the baby sense.  From the moment we had Gideon, sleep was the biggest thing I thought about.  When should he sleep? How long should he be sleeping?  Our room?  His room?  The swing? It was so much to think about.

I knew that I wanted our babies to sleep in their own space.  Co-sleeping was just not something I could handle.  I also knew that at some point they needed to be able to go to sleep on their own without nursing, rocking, etc.  But how?  Whew, talk about anxiety inducing.  It skyrocketed for me.

Well, bringing home my third baby was no different.  The anxiety over issues such as sleep still showed up.  You would think having gone through this a couple of times I would have the mental capacity to know that they do sleep eventually.  But the task of making it happen was dragging me down.

When we first brought Lincoln home, I had him sleeping in his rock-n-play next to our bed.  I thought he would find it more cozy than the pack-n-play.  He slept great for a bit, but after a few weeks I wanted to move him to his room.  Did not go as planned.  His crib felt way too big for him after the rock-n-play and he was already use to sleeping at an incline so laying flat felt weird.  He would jerk and wake himself up immediately. AH. I was stressing to the max.

Enter the DockATot. Holy amazing, you guys. I was pumped when the black box holding this bad boy showed up.  We were in the midst of three weeks of Lincoln having a cold and sleep being nonexistent. I didn't move him from the rock-n-play immediately because I thought sleeping at an incline would help his congestion. But, then I had enough and made the switch. And he slept amazing; I'm talking 7 to 8 hour stretches amazing. He feels snug and secure in the Dock and has slept better than any of our boys ever did.  I love that it is breathable so I don't worry and have more added on to my anxious mind.  We got the Deluxe which is great for babies up to age 8 months and they also have a Grand that I hear is awesome to transition toddlers to a bed.

It's been great to drag around as a place to put him when I need to tend to the big boys. Outside for pool time, on the floor while I fold laundry, all over the place. I can't wait to take it to the beach and when we travel. It will be nice that he has a sleeping space that feels familiar to him. Hands down one of the best baby items I own. I swear if I just had this and my Solly Baby Wrap I'd be all set.

While I still struggle through postpartum anxiety and all that comes with that, sleep is no longer a trigger for it.  Lincoln is sleeping which means mama gets to sleep which means I have energy when I need it.

*DockATot provided the DockATot Deluxe to us, but as always, this is my real and genuine opinion of the product.  If you are interested in one use my referral link to get $10 off {I will also earn money through this link!}

13 June 2017

baby book

One of my favorite things that I have done for my boys is their baby books. I know it's a running joke among most parents that they kept up with it for their first child and each subsequent kid got less and less when it came to the baby book. I'm a little proud that I have managed to keep up with Gideon and Nolan's, at least for the first year of their lives. And now I get to start on Lincoln's.

I'm so sentimental when it comes to physical things. I remember grabbing everything out of the hospital room before we took Gideon home because it all felt so special. Every bracelet we wore, his hat, blanket, bassinet name tag. I took it all. And I glued those suckers in his baby book. I love having it to look back on now.

I had this baby book on our registry for Lincoln and a sweet friend gifted it to us.  The fabric cover and beautifully done pages are incredible.  I love filling it out with stories of pregnancy and birth and I know I will be so grateful to have it in the future.

One of my favorite things in each of their baby books is their birth announcement. Gone are the days of announcing a baby in the newspaper, which is really sad for this Journalism major. But, we have such a fun alternative in printed birth announcements to mail out to family and friends. Tiny Prints has beautiful ones specific for gender or neutral. If you haven't figured out that I love paper goods then you haven't been reading my blog for very long. I love how sturdy these are and am glad I will have them forever tucked away in these books.

I've heard people say that they don't think their kids will care about the baby book when they are older, but I have always viewed the baby book as something for myself.  Yes, I think they will enjoy looking at them down the road, but in all honesty I think I will be the one who keeps them and pulls them out to ugly cry amidst the prom dates and college packing.  Do your future self a favor and write just a few things down that you don't want to forget about these stages.  Print a birth announcement to look back at and save the little treasures that you never want to lose.  It is so worth it.

Here are some things that make it easier:
+ I do monthly photos and keep them organized on Instagram with a hashtag.  Then around their first birthday I use a site like this to print them out and put into their book.  It makes it easier to do all at once.
+ Washi tape is your friend.  It makes it quick and easy {and un-messy} to put things into the book and brings another fun aspect to the pages.
+ Write little things down throughout the month or keep a running note in your phone of "firsts" like smiles, clapping, steps and the dates they happened so that you can go back later to fill in the baby book.  You probably have your phone more accessible.

*birth announcements were provided by TinyPrints

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