Monday, September 28, 2015

Favorites for Jack

I had planned on doing a post about Jack's favorites closer to the three month mark but we are closer to the six month mark. In turn this has forced me to rely on my memory of the early newborn days which haven't been that long ago but things change so quickly it is hard to keep up. Here we are on the cusp of half a year and I have no idea where the time went.

Jack is a baby that likes his comfort. He likes to feel safe and snug. It has surprised me how different both of my babies have been in their early days. Different gender, different season, I guess we were destined for different personalities as well.

Jack's favorite things

When Jack was 10 days old and only sleeping 1 1/2-2 hours through the night, I decided to try a swaddle blanket a friend had loaned me. Georgia hated being swaddled (and still doesn't even want a cover at night!) so I really hadn't considered it but nothing else was working so I thought I would give it a try. He instantly started sleeping 3, 4, 5 hours at a time! And now here we are 5 1/2 months later and he still loves to be swaddled. Yes, you are suppose to stop swaddling when baby can roll over but he is still in a bassinet by our bed so it's not really an issue. We're breaking all the rules! He is my burrito baby.

*Update-Jack has slept in a sleep sack the past two nights successfully!! We may have found our replacement to the swaddle.

This was a lifesaver in the early days. We still use it some but mostly use the bumbo now for a seat. Jack loves the vibrations and lullaby it plays. It is set to 30 minute intervals so I knew when I put him in it I had half an hour to shower and get ready, cook supper, etc. When it kicked off it would wake him but if he was really sleepy he would sleep another 30 minute round. As he got older he started playing with the mobile. He loves to be in it in the kitchen and watch me cook supper or watch Georgia eat, color or play. This baby gadget is worth every penny.

I'm just going to be honest here. The main reason I chose this car seat was because it was Prince George's car seat. I thought if Duchess Kate thinks it is good enough for her royal baby then it is good enough for our Jack :) It is a great seat, we have loved it so much more than the one we had with Georgia. He naps in it well and the straps are easy to secure. The only downside is it is super heavy. We have had two Britax carseats and have been very happy with both.

I was drawn to this because of its uniqueness but in reality it is a smart invention. The drying rack we used with Georgia had big prongs that stuck up and I was constantly trying to squeeze all the parts on the rack. This "lawn" allows you to place any piece anywhere. It's easy and looks cute in my kitchen!

These have been a game changer for me. For some reason I did not know that Medela made bottle parts when I was pregnant with Georgia so I would pump milk in the medela reservoirs, pour over into Avent bottles, add the nipple and parts, and feed. Using all medela parts I get to cut out one whole step and lots of bottle washing. I kept the old bottles in case Jack wouldn't take the Medela kind but he has with no issues. I have been lucky on that one, both my babies tolerated the first type of bottle I gave them. Being able to pump straight into the bottle and then simply adding the feeding parts when it is time to use has made my life so much easier!

6. Wubbanub
Jack goes no where without his wubbanub. We have only left it a couple times and we went back for it both times :) He is an easy baby and rarely fusses unless he is hungry or sleepy but he loves the comfort and security of his wubbanub. I think he likes his toy dog just as much as the paci portion. He will just hold the puppy and wave it around proudly. In true sibling opposite fashion, Georgia took her wubbanub the first three months and was done with it. I feel like we are in for the long haul this time...

7. Gowns and rompers
They are only little once, right? I have said it before but I love dressing my babies like babies. There will be plenty of days for big boy clothes so for now his wardrobe consists of gowns (more so early on, he is very close to sitting up on his own so those are phasing out) and rompers. Almost everything he has is one piece and I have only put pants on him a few times. I have loved putting him in sun suits all summer. Let them be little is my motto!

Just a few more things that deserve recognition related to our Jack-

Honorable mentions
Since my babies are close in age and Georgia is on the small side, I thought a double stroller for a few years would be advantageous for us. We haven't used it as much as I thought we would have but both babies love it. We found a used one cheap on craigslist and then bought the infant adapter so Jack's seat would fit until he is big enough for a regular seat. We plan to take it to the beach next week so we should get some use out of it then. It is a super swanky stroller that I would not have paid retail for but would gladly take it for my craigslist price!

Before Jack was born I took Georgia shopping for a present for him from her that she could bring to the hospital. I gave her full reign in the baby department and this Infantino musical bug is what she picked out for him. It is his favorite toy by far. He gets so happy when we pull it out and it plays the lullaby. She knew all along how to take care of her brother!

It is hard to comprehend how Jack has already been with us for close to six months. His birth seems like it happened yesterday but yet it also feels like he has been a part of our family for a long time now. I have listed all of these items that we have used to make Jack happy and healthy but his favorite thing is playing with his big sister! He longs for her attention and proximity. When she leaves the room cue the water works because he misses her already. They have the most precious bond that continues to grow deeper and stronger. And that is my "favorite" thing as the mommy to those two :)

Monday, September 21, 2015

Busy and Blessed

Me: "How is it already Sunday night already?"
Marcus: "I don't know but you say that every week." 

Guilty. Which is why I will always be in support of fall break and I cannot wait for it in two weeks! It is a perfectly timed vacation in my opinion.

This week/weekend was a busy but blessed one. I don't have the house in order or meals planned out on Sunday night like I normally do but we soaked up every minute of the weekend so I will take the tradeoff. 

My best friend from college came to visit last Wednesday. Beth is my soul sister. I have learned so much about friendship from her. From WKU to Michigan to Lexington to Tennessee, the miles will never be too far. The last time we saw each other I was nine months pregnant with Georgia so she was able to meet both babies for the first time! They loved her of course.

These two became instant playmates. Beth and her husband Ming have nephews and nieces in Malaysia that they do not get to see very often so she loved spending time with our children. It was so good to see her. She was such a source of accountability to me during my college days and I can't thank her enough for investing in me. She is a treasure!

This happened overnight, y'all. We are one month away from three but it feels more like thirteen! Tonight we were watching Cinderella and she said, "If they (evil step-sisters) do that again I am putting them in timeout" :) She is full of spirit and spunk and it is a dream come true to be her mommy!

An excerpt from the picture taking that I think sums up Georgia Grace pretty well-dainty and sweet and a little bit fiery!

She wanted to ride an escalator like Elf so that is what we did (10+ times) Saturday morning. She was so excited about it! I love that the simple things are still big things to her. Also, she was game day ready in her UK attire.

Candid expressions are the best! The sparkle in her eye when she saw the escalator just melted me. 

We grocery shopped while we were out and about and Daddy and Jack were home watching football. She has graduated to the back of the cart now.

And then she helped me unload the cart. I love day trips with my favorite girl.

We were home early afternoon and the rest of the day was spent relaxing in pj's and watching football. She had had enough football so we set up Cinderella for her in our entry with her playroom TV. Cinderella is her favorite thing right now, this makes my heart so happy!

Happy SUNDAY! Be still my heart. So many people think that Jack looks like my late Papaw Porter and I feel like he especially does in this picture which was taken on the third anniversary of my papaw's passing. I wish he could have met these two precious souls but would not wish any pain or suffering on him to have him back. His death was sudden and he left the world doing what he loved-mowing his lawn. I'm thankful his legacy lives on another generation.

"Blue-eyed boy and my brown-eyed girl, oh oh oh, the sweetest thing"

Sunday was full to the brim. After church we headed to the next town over for a shower to welcome baby Bess. A neat little story about our friendship with John and Mary Beth-John and Marcus met their freshman year at WKU. John was from Alabama but would stay in Kentucky a lot over the summer so Marcus invited him and Mary Beth (they were just dating at the time) to our county fair. They come and John informs us that his mom and dad are both from a town 30 minutes away from where we live! We had no idea he had family so close to us.

A special friendship and kindred spirits. We cannot wait to welcome baby Bess very soon! She is due in three weeks and looks AMAZING! I was a barn at this stage of the pregnancy, just saying.
After the shower we had time to run home, pump, grab the gift and head to our friend Caroline's birthday party. Georgia fell asleep in the car so she stayed in her church dress all day. Sweet cousins Marley and Georgia Grace just a swingin'! These two had fun playing together and I failed to get a picture with the birthday girl, she was too busy enjoying her party and celebrating her new big sister status that was announced at the party :)

I felt like sister was in all my pictures this week so I had to take a candid one of baby Jack tonight. Isn't he handsome? He spent more time with just Daddy this weekend and did great. He is still momma's boy but I see lots of Daddy-son Saturdays in the future.

I hope everyone had a great weekend and the new week is off to a fresh start!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Soaking Up Our Story

I am playing a little blog catch up today. I was in Lexington two days last week and got behind on several things. All my spare time has been with my favorite trio so #sorrynotsorry to my blog. Sometimes you just have to soak up more of the story and do less sharing. They will always be my priority and if I can squeeze in some extra time (which usually means sacrificing some sleep for me) then I will document the memories. It is all about finding that healthy balance. 

This baby was up from nap and ready to play! He has had some sleep regression recently and he thinks it is a good idea to wake up for a "snack" at 4 am. We start talking about moving him from the bassinet to the crib and this is his response :) I don't think he wants to although he is getting very close to his head and feet touching the sides! 

My sweet babies are already playing together. Poor Jack is in a pink bumbo but he is balancing it out with a blue sports ball onesie so it is all good :) He loves to watch her do anything and she loved showing him how it assembled.

I want this summer to be remembered as the one that I bought ferns in March and they survived (and thrived!) until September. I think I am going to try keeping them alive in our garage during the fall/winter. My Mamaw has had success with it and I have nothing to lose. We have windows for natural sunlight and I can water them regularly. I received some awesome tips on IG that I am going to try as well.

I kiss these cheeks a hundred times a day. If he doesn't brighten your day then there is no hope. He loves to cuddle and "be a baby". Just stay this little, Jack boy.

One day at preschool Georgia put these pretend glasses on and told everyone, "I am not Georgia anymore". She couldn't tell them who the new girl was but she was not Georgia :) She keeps us laughing everyday!

I am thankful that Georgia Grace goes to a preschool that teaches patriotism. She was not even a thought on 9/11/01 (I was a freshman in high school!) but she will know this is a day we honor and remember.

Some mighty cute patriotic preschoolers.

Saturday we went to Abbott's third birthday party. He got a cool new ride so he can drive all his lady friends around! It was hilarious to watch them.

She LOVED his playground. He has an awesome setup and sweet girl had the best time. She would have stayed all night if I let her.
Uncle Nathan with his boys. Roman and Jack are one year apart and they will best buddies no doubt.

We got home in time to watch most of the UK game and witnessed the breaking of the SEC away game losing streak by beating South Carolina! It was sweet, the only thing that would have made it better is if we were in Columbia. We even let GGH stay up past bedtime in honor of the occasion.

I hope I can always remember how sweet and innocent they are at this age. Their love for each other is already so evident. I wake up every morning encouraged to do all that I do so I can provide a meaningful and fulfilled life for them. They have their Mommy and Daddy's whole hearts!

We are counting down the days until our trip to the beach in October! I am also planning Georgia Grace's birthday party and I have already started Christmas shopping. I am a planner at heart so you know my heart is happy with all the events that are coming up. The remainder of 2015 is playing out to be full of fun and memories.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Jack is FIVE Months Old!

Jack-you are five months old! And growing up so much everyday. 
Here are the highlights of your fifth month:
  • You are in size 2 diapers and 6 month clothing although some of your 6 month fall pieces may be too short by the time you can wear them. You are tall! You can wear size 1 shoes although you don't keep shoes on very well so you are bare foot 90% of the time. I don't know what we will do when it cools off.
  • You love to be with people. And preferably you want to be held by said people. You are a serious cuddle bug!
  • You appear to be cutting teeth because of all the chewing and drooling but nothing yet. I've heard it is common for boys to show signs of teething early but not actually have any teeth for a while. This seems to be the case for you.
  • You are almost sitting up on your own. You enjoy sitting in your bumbo seat and being a part of the action.
  • You care nothing about your activity gym and jenny jumper 95% of the time. The fussing starts as soon as we put you in it. You would much prefer to just be held and talked to :)

  • Your hair has gotten long and it's a beautiful blonde color. You have your sister's big eyes and lips.
  • You love to be naked and you love bathtime (again)!
  • I received so many warnings about boy babies giving you a shower when you changed their diaper and I think I can count on one hand how many times you have done that to me. I think you love your mommy too much to pee on her.
  • Breastmilk continues to be your main source of nutrition. You receive formula on occasion to make up the difference (probably 4 ounces a day) and I have started putting some whole grain cereal in your breastmilk bottles. We are holding off on table food until around the six month mark since you are still getting primarily breastmilk nutrition.
  • We have had some sleep regression this month. You were sleeping 6-7 hours through the night and for the past few weeks you want to eat in the middle of the night and want your paci. We had planned on you being out of the bassinet and in the crib by now but this has set us back. All part of your grand scheme I am sure :)
  • Your favorite way to go to sleep-swaddled, rocked and bottom padded. Can you say spoiled!?!
  • You love to talk, talk, talk. You squeal and coo all the time. You love when someone talks to you and you try to talk back. It's the sweetest. 
  • You love to watch your big sister play. We spend a lot of time together in the playroom. If you are lucky she lets you be her baby doll to take care of.

We love you so much, Jack boy! Happy 5 months!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Summer 2015 Recap

We have quenched summer to the last drop. And if we are still blessed with beautiful September days and the busyness of fall doesn't get in the way you will find us pool side. For some reason I haven't been bitten with the fall bug yet.

This season looked different than years past with a two year old and a newborn. We had to delay some of our normal activities and did more easy, fun things. Here's how we faired with our summer bucket list:

1. Drive-in
Not technically but I did take Georgia to "Dinner and a moo-vie" which is in an outdoor setting so I think it counts. This has become an annual event we look forward to.

2. VBS
Georgia Grace went the entire week and had a great time. She stated her favorite party was the dancing :) Her big cousin Delaney was a helper in her class which helped in coaxing her to go to class instead of staying in the nursery with Mommy and Jack.

3. Homemade ice cream
Did this a few times. I made my famous peach homemade ice cream for Thunder Over Grancer around the Fourth holiday.

4. Family picnic
We did a modified version of this. And by modified I mean myself and the babies sat on a blanket in the front yard and ate snack foods ha! I didn't intend on this being our "family picnic" but we just didn't make it work with two babes two years and under. There's always next year.

5. Jack's sip and see
We let our close friends and family meet our new baby boy and see our new house. It was a day filled with love, laughter and southern hospitality.

6. Lake
We went once and had a really good time. We knew this wouldn't be something we could manage to do every weekend with an infant but I'm so glad we made it out on the water to boat, swim and relax.

7. Farmer's Market
Didn't happen. Saturdays are usually the day to do this and we never squeezed it in. We will add it back to the list next year.

8. Take Georgia fishing
We did and she had a good time but was only interested for about 20 minutes. I think she is more of a pool girl.

9. Zoo
We went to the Louisville Zoo back in June with Rachel and Roman. Both kids did wonderful! Jack stayed with grandparents so we could have a big kid's day. We will definitely be back next summer.

10. $2 movie
We decided against this one because there really wasn't anything playing this summer that we thought would interest her for the duration of a movie. We are making plans for her first theater movie to be the Peanuts movie that will be coming out this fall. So fun!

11. Baseball game
Did not do either for the same reason above. Maybe next year.

12. Pajama day
Oh yes. More than one. These are the best days.

13. Catch lightning bugs
Check. Always a sweet memory of summer.

14. Pool
We spent a big chunk of our summer at my mom's pool. I was on maternity leave until after the July 4th weekend and this would be where you could find us most days. Georgia loves to swim and became more comfortable in the water each time she swam.

15. Splash park
We skipped this one. She wasn't crazy about it last year so we're going to give it another year.

16. County fair/fireworks
It was a rainy festival this year but we did go on the 4th and Georgia got her picture made with Miss Catfish! Hannah and her family are dear friends of ours, she was a perfect representative for our county! And the fireworks were a big with both babes, all smiles and no tears.

17. Sno shack
Oh yes! Numerous times. She started the summer ordering orange because, of course, but realized she wasn't crazy about the taste and got different flavors after that.

18. Make popsicles and homemade lemonade
We made Popsicles but no (homemade, we kept a pitcher of Country Time regularly) lemonade.
Our class reunion, a baby dedication, three weddings and a myriad of birthday parties also filled our summer days. The best part of the summer was being a family of four. Jack tagged along with us everywhere we went and proved to be up for all the shenanigans. His addition made our summer extra special. I love making our summer bucket list. I am positive there are a few memories that would not have been made if I didn't have the list to hold us accountable. It's kind of like goal setting for me.

Goodbye, summer. Thanks for all the memories!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Labor Day Weekend

Another summer in the books. The older I get, the more I value this season. The days are long, temperatures are warm, schedules are relaxed and time seems to slow down. There are great things about fall-football, school, the beginning of the holiday season but none of those things give you all the possibilities that summer does. Summer, you will be missed!

Our neighbor Evan came over to play one afternoon. There are five years difference in Evan and Georgia but they play together so well. We are blessed with wonderful neighbors!

Friday night we went to the high school homecoming game. GGH is all into cheerleading right now and my Mom took her to meet one of her students who is a cheerleader before the game started. Macy was so sweet and made her feel special! 

Only two out of four of us looking but we love Friday night lights!

Cutest smiles at the game award goes to these two :)

A lot of Marcus's students were at the game and some of the girls let Georgia have a front row seat with them to watch the cheerleaders. I don't know who was more excited, the girls or sister :)

She played real life little mommy and helped feed Jack. There was a lot of "keep the bottle up" and "hold his head" but she did good and was proud of herself. I think Jack boy enjoyed it too, he thinks anything she does is the best thing.

Saturday afternoon we attended my sister's best friend Sophie's wedding. Sophie has become a dear friend of ours as well over the past five years.

I promise my babies were happy and love the Hussungs, they were just over pictures and the heat and smiling :) 

I was actually separating them because Jack had a big hand full of hair but it looks sweet so it's a good fake out.

My sweaty, hot, beautiful baby girl. She still wears her bonnets with no opposition so I'm keepin' on keepin' on.

The wedding was at Rich Pond Baptist and the reception was at Jennings Creek. Such a beautiful setting.

"Soapie" is one of our favorite people. So thankful for her friendship and love. Ben is the luckiest man! We wish them a lifetime of blessings.

Sunday afternoon we went to our annual McCoy family reunion. It amazes me how the weather for labor day weekend changes drastically from year to year. This year was a scorcher. Georgia had a lot of fun playing with her sweet cousin Clay!

Daddy went on a dove hunt after the reunion and brought home his trophies. Of course someone had to see them and ask 102 questions :) She is well educated on dove hunting now.

Brother bear is starting to do big things like sit with sister on the couch while she watches a Disney movie. I just can't get over how big he looks in this picture. I should add this was spaghetti night so Georgia was down to her skivvies.

This lasted about five seconds and then he started attacking her and pulling hair. 

Labor Day plans changed when sister spiked a fever Sunday night. A laborless day of cuddles and playing babies was what we needed today. 

This summer has been the best. Fall, you have big shoes to fill!