I love the effect that curtains can have on a room. I also love the large variety of options there are available to choose from. The only problem? They’re expensive. Purchasing curtains for an entire house could cost you a small fortune. After spending so much on the renovations on our house we didn’t have much left over to decorate or accessorize, so we have slowly began to take on that task. I found some curtains at target that I liked for our breakfast area, but they weren’t exactly cheap. Since the windows aren’t very wide I decided to buy 3 panels instead of 6 and cut them in half. My trusty little side kick helped me hem up the cut side. : ) Love
Over the last 3 months we have been settling into a routine in our new little home. Everything was so hectic there for awhile that it has been so nice to be able to some sort of norm going again. I am so thankful that I get to stay home with you and your big sister. Just recently I started a (very) part time teaching position with k12.com that I get to do completely from home. I only work about 2 hours a week and am thankful that I can bring in a little extra money while still staying home with my munchkins. Since it is so part time, it really hasn’t affected our schedule at all and is really easy to do the little bit of work I have during your guys afternoon nap. Alright, enough about us, lets talk about YOU. : )
Nursing and Food:
At a little past 6 months you had your first taste of solid food! Your first food was organic cheerios. You would eat those every so often from 6-7 months. At 7 months you started eating a little more regular, but really just a little bit once a day, and still mainly just cheerios. At 8 months you started eating a little bit at each meal. You would eat things like yo-baby yogurt, chicken, green beans, carrots, black beans, strawberries, raspberries, etc. You will eat just about anything I set in front of you. You are way better at trying foods than your sister ever was. She was much more picky. Now at 9 months you pretty much just eat whatever we are, depending on what it is. If we aren’t eating anything that I think you should eat, then I’ll give you yo-baby yogurt or some other vegetable instead. You still nurse 5-6 times during the day and average about 3 times at night. I don’t plan to give you any other liquid until after a year. I fear that you aren’t going to let me nurse you as long as your sister. You are more of a get your business done and get off type of nurser. Your sister went through a phase at 9 months where it seemed like she was trying to wean herself and so I took away solids until she began nursing regularly again. After that she was fine and nursed easily until 16 months. Then I was so sick from pregnancy and she was losing interest so we just stopped. I plan to do the same with you. You will at least nurse until a year, and then after that I’ll be more open to letting you wean when you’re ready. I hope you last at least a couple months past a year since you are my last little one, but I don’t if that will happen. I guess we will see!
All about YOU:
6 1/2 months- you have really changed a lot lately. You love to grab and bang things around and just be wild in general. You are starting to sit up so much better and are really starting to laugh and play around. You are starting to get to be so much fun!
6 1/2 months- if someone else has you and you want me, you have started reaching for me sometimes! I love it!!
6 1/2 months- Kinsley is so SO rough with you. She’ll drag you around when I’m not looking, tackle you, and jump on you before I can stop her. She’s crazy! Who needs an older brother to toughen you up when you have a sister like Kinsley? Ha.
7 months- you slept 10hrs without nursing!! Crazy!
7 months- you love it when I sing “You Are My Sunshine” to you. You grin your head off. : )
7 months- sister pulled your highchair completely over on the hardwood floors. It was so so scary!!
7 months- you went through a phase for the last couple months where you wouldn’t let me rock you to sleep. This was something I had always enjoyed so much with your sister, so it made me really sad that I didn’t get much cuddle time with you. Lately you have been letting me rock you some and I’m so so so thankful for that. Mommas need their cuddle time, little boy. You can’t deny me of it on my last presh baby!
7 1/2 months- to be completely honest, you’ve been pretty miserable the last couple months. You want to be held all the time, but not just held, constantly entertained. You get so frustrated cause you aren’t mobile, but you won’t stay on the floor long enough without screaming your head off to even learn how to crawl. You have been so so so moody. I really hope it’s just teething or whatever and that you grow out of it soon. You seem to hate being a baby right now
7 1/2 months- can finally leave you sitting up without worrying you’ll fall over right away!!
8 months- You love this book we have called “Animal Sounds.”
8 1/2 months- cut 6 teeth in the last 3 weeks. You now have all four top and all four bottom middle teeth.
8 1/2 months- will say “mamama” when you’re upset and really want me.
8 1/2 months- separation anxiety has began. There are times when you don’t want anyone but me. Even dada sometimes. If I try to hand you to someone else when you’re in that mood you start bawling and grabbing at me.
8 1/2 months- you finally seem to be out of that funk you were in for two months. To be completely honest, you were absolutely miserable for awhile there. You constantly wanted to be held and carried around when you were awake and you angrily hummed and moaned non-stop. You were also waking up like every two-three hours at night and it was just an absolutely exhausting time. Your mood changed A LOT once you finally popped all those teeth. 6 teeth in 3 weeks is a lot! I really think that had a lot to do with your constant unhappiness there for a bit.
8 1/2 months- STILL not mobile. It’s driving me crazy! You can spin in circles on your belly at lightening speed, but you just can’t figure out how to go forward. You love to be walked around though, so I’m wondering if you might not just skip the whole crawling thing. I dunno, I just know you’re gonna be a much happier baby when you can move. You don’t appreciate this whole being stuck in places thing.
9 months- you are finally starting to kind of crawl!! It’s kinda of a goofy looking army crawl, but it’s crawling!
9 months- Your mood has also changed a lot. You are so much happier lately than you have been in months. You seem to finally be coming out of your funk. This momma couldn’t be happier! It’s been a long sever last months. So happy I’m getting my sweet smiley little boy back!!
9 months- mastered the “pincer grasp”
9 months- you’re fascinated with balls and will chase them all around the house now that you’re crawling.
Pretty much the very first time you ever crawled more than 3 ft you crawled over to this basket in your room, pulled up to your knees, pulled the rest of the way up, and then got stuck and got mad. Ha.
Getting some ZZZzzzzZZZZs:
You generally sleep pretty well considering the amount of sleep, but you still nurse pretty often at night. You generally get tired and go to bed around 7-7:30. I just follow your lead and when you start getting moody, get you ready for bed and put you down. It varies from night to night, but I’m okay with not having a set schedule. Then almost like clockwork you are awake around 11ish, 2ish, 5ish, and then wake up for the day around 6:30-7. Kinsley never stayed in her room for 12 full hours at night, she is more of a 9-10ish hour type girl, so we’re thankful that you at least sleep longer even though you wake up pretty often. For now you still take 2 naps a day. Both usually last between 1-2 hours and your little snores are the most stinkin cute thing ever. Hopefully when I do your 12 month post you will still be taking 2 naps a day then too. : )
The constant battle with a rash in your diaper area:
I spent MONTHS battling a rash in your diaper area that would come and go and get better and get worse. I tried EVERYTHING. You spent more time naked with me cleaning up pee on the floor for the past couple months than Kinsley probably did potty training. We changed diaper brands, we changed wipes brands, we aired it out, we rinsed you off daily, we changed your diaper every time it even seemed kind of wet, I tried every diaper cream known to man, I tried natural remedies, I. tried. everything. Well, at about 8 1/2 months it got really bad so off to the doctor we went. He thought it might be yeast (even though I didn’t, I thought it was eczema from the way it looked) so he prescribed nystatin and hydrocortisone. Well, after two weeks of using it, the rash was still there. The hydrocortisone seemed to help some, but the nystatin did nothing. So, your pediatrician referred us to a pediatric dermatologist. As soon as the dermatologist looked at it he said it wasn’t yeast. That yeast usually grows in the folds and crevices that hold moisture and that yours were fine, that the rash was outside of that. After examining it closely he decided that it was “contact dermatitis.” Meaning, eczema that was being inflamed because of your diapers. So, he recommended that we go to sensitive diapers, and prescribed a stronger steroid cream to knock it out. We were supposed to use the steroid cream twice a day until it got better, and then just use it whenever necessary. After getting sensitive diapers and using the cream your rash that I had battled for MONTHS was completely gone in a couple of days. I have also come to find that your cheeks become inflamed with eczema right after I put a new sheet on and lasts for a few days, so I went ahead and bought sensitive, hypoallergenic detergent as well. Basically, you have VERY sensitive skin. I also can’t use your regular baby wash on your privates or they break out. I can’t even pat them dry with a burp cloth that hasn’t been washed in sensitive detergent or they get kind of red. If the cheaper brand of sensitive diapers that I bought continues to work well for you then we will stick with those, if you continue to have issues with breaking out and we have to go to the non-chlorine, more expensive ones, then I am going to look more seriously into cloth diapering. If we end up having to go that route it would just be for at home, and we would still use disposables when we go out and about. Cloth diapers have come a lot further than I realized and doesn’t seem near as gross as I always thought it was. I guess we will see what the next couple months hold.
Wrapping it up:
The love that rushes through me when I look at you is such an amazing feeling. I adore your precious little face and can’t imagine life without you. I think every parent can attest to this feeling, but I just want to make sure you know how incredibly loved you are. I can’t really express how much I love cuddling with you, playing with you, listening to your adorable little belly laugh. It is amazing how blessed our little family is. Things haven’t always gone exactly as we’ve planned, but I look around and see how perfectly they’ve turned out and how incredibly blessed we are with this little life we’ve built. Love you little man!
There are a couple things I’d like to tell you.
1. Whether you stay home, or work outside the home being a mom is hard. It can be exhausting. It can be mentally draining. It is a job that even the best moms can feel like they’re failing at. It is the most important and most difficult job you will ever have. It is also the most rewarding. That’s why I choose to stay home. I love the moments I get with my kids even after a long day or a long night. Getting to snuggle with my babies, an “I love you”, or a simple random hug make every bad minute worth it. I get envious at even the idea of someone else getting to spend more time with my kids than I do. I feel so sorry for any mom who would love to stay home, but is not able to.
2. Your implication that only women in wealthy families get to stay home with their kids could not be further from the truth. Along with mine and my husbands choice for me to stay home also came the choice to cut our income almost in half. On top of that, I also do not have a company to pay a portion of my health insurance anymore, so that is an additional expense that we did not have before children. We do, however, live comfortably. Why? Because we planned and budgeted, and worked hard to put ourselves in the position we are in. We do not have car payments, we paid for our graduate school out of pocket, and we stashed away all the extra money that we could into savings for those three years that I did work before we decided to have kids. My kids and I do not get to run around spending money as we please each day. We budget, we plan, and we sacrifice. Even if I could run around shopping each day, there is no way I would. Shopping with two little kids is about as fun as trying to herd a blind cow back into a cage. In heels. (Which I’ve had to do before) With that said, I do realize that some women absolutely have to work to make ends meet. Some even work from home pulling double time taking care of their kids and bringing in money for their family. I admire any women for doing what is necessary for her family, because that is what us moms do, we put our families first. However, please understand that many of us who get to stay home with our kids sacrifice financially to do so.
3. “The most annoying thing is not even woman who stay home, but women who stay home and have a dirty house and dirty kids. I mean, if you’re gonna stay home at least keep your kids and house clean and have dinner on the table when your man gets home.”
-Being able to stay at home with your kids means that you and your kids will be in your house all day long. Your house is not empty during the day and you do not come home to the same house you left in the morning. You live it in all day. You tote around your fussy 7 month old while your two year old runs around getting into and destroying everything imaginable….and some things you can’t even imagine. For example, finding your two year old naked and using the kitchen sink as a toilet while you were trying to put said baby down for a nap. Or destroying her closet for the millionth time for the day because one must change their clothes every 30 minutes in order to stay fashionable. Or cleaning poop off the bathroom rugs and floors because they insist they can go to the bathroom on their own. The day is filled with constant dirtying and cleaning up and dirtying and cleaning up and cooking and cleaning up and cooking and cleaning up. Please understand that if our houses aren’t always perfectly clean it is probably because we haven’t quite made it to the latest mess that was made. Or perhaps that maybe snuggling with the fussy baby or playing with the two year old was more important than immediately cleaning up the play area.
-My house stays pretty clean for the most part, however, I do have a dirty child running around very VERY often. Why? Because she loves to play outside and we spend a lot of time out there. If your child doesn’t get dirty playing outside, then you aren’t doing something right. It is not possible to give them baths every time they get dirty during the day, it’s just not. Sure they get wiped down with a wet one, but they still look pretty grimy sometimes until bath time comes. We can’t bath 4 times a day though and that is what it would take to keep my very messy child spotless.
-Cooking and making meals is an important thing in my household. Home made meals are much cheaper and healthier than eating out and so I try to cook as much as I can. A lot of days it is really hard to have dinner ready when the husband gets home though. It can be time consuming to put healthy, homemade meals on the table and between the baby who wants to constantly be toted around and the wild two year old, it is very difficult to spend much time cooking. Most days dinner is not finished until after the husband gets home because he can help take care of the kids while I finish dinner. Then after dinner he helps take care of the kids so I can (once again) clean up.
I love that I am able to stay home, and I want to make sure everybody knows that I am not complaining about my choice in career, but the notion that stay at home moms have it easy is so disturbing to me. I’ve worked full time (while also doing grad school) and I’ve stayed home full time. They’re both a lot of work and a lot of days now I feel like I’m running around being pulled in a million different directions, scatter brained, un-showered, and with wild hair flapping in the wind. Our days are very similar to those who hold a career. We start early, we work all day (and often without a break if the kids don’t nap at the same time), and are on duty till the kids go to bed. Even then, still on call for babies who need to nurse during the night and a house to clean up, just as working moms. As mothers we have enough internal battles to deal with. Stereotypes and judgments aren’t going to help that. We all have our trials and insecurities and I wish we could stop the idea that many moms tend to have, that somebody has it better and easier than them. You can always find someone that has it easier than you. You can also always find someone that has it more difficult than you.
Climbing off my soap box. Over and out.
It has been a crazy last few months:
In April we sold our first little beginner home. It sold a lot quicker than we were expecting and so we had to quickly start looking for a new house. By the time we closed on our old house we still had not found anything and so Nona and Papa let us move in with them. After lots and lots of searching we ended up with a home that needed a lot of renovating. For about 6 weeks many, MANY hours were spent on the house to get it move in ready. I feel like I probably missed out on being able to just sit back and enjoy you during that time, but now that the hectic-ness has ended, I feel like we’re getting back on track and getting a schedule going. We love our new home and love that all of our memories with you are going to be able to be made here. Enough about us and now on to you lil munchkin.
Some of your firsts:
Belly laughed- 3 months: Nona was batting a balloon around and it cracked you up.
Grabs at objects- 3 months
Back to belly- 3 3/4 months
Takes paci out of mouth with hand- 4 months
Can easily grab objects- 4 months
Cut both bottom teeth- 4 3/4 months
Can put paci back in mouth- 5 months
Slept through the night (6hrs straight)- 5 3/4 months
Can sit up for short amounts of time- 6 months
Recognize your name- 6 months
We moved into our new house so you got to sleep in your crib for the very first time!!- 6 months
All about YOU!
3 months- getting snuggle up next to you while you’re nursing is one of my favorite things in the world. I love the bonding time that nursing brings and getting to examine and soak in your sweet little face and self. Such a neat experience mothers are blessed with. God definitely knew what he was doing when we created the hormones that bond a mother to their child. I am amazed and overwhelmed at the love and pride that rushes through me when I look at you.
3 months- have good control of head.
3 months- belly laughed!
3 months- grabs at objects
3 3/4 months- back to belly.
4 months- tales paci out of mouth with hand.
4 months- when sitting in my lap facing forward you will turn your head and look up at me when I talk.
4 months- can easily grab objects that are in front of you. Really learning how to use those hands!!
4 3/4 months- cut both bottom teeth!
4 3/4 months- you’ll swing your free arm around while you’re nursing and whack me on the chest. I don’t know what you’re doing, but you sure are a wild thing when you’re eating!!
5 months- you have changed so much lately! You are so alert and so aware. You’ll look up at who is holding you and watch people carefully. You also laugh a lot now. Mostly at Kinsley while she is being crazy jumping around.
5 months- you have the sweetest little temperament. You’re laid back, cuddly, and as happy as can be. I’m so lucky to get to be your momma!
5 months- can put paci back in mouth
5 3/4 months- slept “through the night” (6 hrs straight) for the first time!! Finally little one, finally. : D
6 months- you got to sleep in your crib in your own room for the first time! We finally moved into our new house and got your room put together enough that you could stay in it. I’m hoping that now that we have you in your own room you will start sleeping better and for longer periods.
6 months- you can sit up for short amounts of time. It seems like it has taken you forever to be able to do this, but I know it only feels that way cause Kinsley was sitting up for two months already. She was crazy early with a lot of things she did though. You just take your time little guy!
6 months- you love to get your back rubbed! If your fussing a little in the crib when I put you down all I have to do is rub your back and you get really still. Kinsley always squirmed and jumped if you tried to rub her back.
6 months- you are a BITER!!
6 months- recognize your name
6 months- you’re getting to that stage where you grab and reach for everything. If I’m holding my cup too close to you chances are pretty good that your hand will either end up in it, or trying to pull it out of my hand.
6 months- You didn’t nap very long and had been up with me. Kinsley actually took like a 2hr nap and when she woke up she came into the living room waving her hand and saying “hi, I’m awake!” When you heard her voice you jerked your head her way and started grinning and kicking your legs excitedly. You love Kinsley so much and love watching her be crazy and entertain you!
6 months- you are such a squirmy little thing. Your legs are in constant motion. A lot of times even when you’re asleep! You’re reaching the age that you get bored easily and get frustrated that you’re just stuck in one place and can’t move yourself. Kinsley was crawling at this age, but I have a feeling you may take another month or two.
6 months- you are not a happy teether. You have had some pretty fussy days from it and also some alright days, but I can tell when your teeth are really bothering you. You want to chew on everything and slobber like a mad man.
Sleeping at 6 months- sleeping was hard on us both since we were in a room together for so long. You definitely outgrew the cradle too, but it was all we had for you to sleep in while living with Nona and papa. Most nights you spent about half the night in bed with me and neither of us slept well. Because of it you were nursing about every 2-3 hours, and have just now began sleeping through the night (5-6ish hours) every so often. It is SO much easier for me to get some sleep now that you are in your own room. I’m thankful that I got to spend so much time cuddling with you though. It’s time I’ll never regret. Since about 4-5 months you went down to two naps a day. You average about 45 min to an hour and a half per nap. Every now and then you’ll stay down for two hours. Usually Kinsley manages to wake you up before that though. : )
Wrapping this thing up:
You are one of the sweetest little babies. You’re just so cuddly and smiley. I love getting to watch you grow and watch your personality come alive. Your gorgeous little smile melts my heart. I am so blessed and so lucky to get to stay home with you and your sister. There is no place I’d rather be. Some days aren’t the easiest, and being a stay at home mom can be tough from time to time. None-the-less I cant imagine being anywhere else but with you two precious things every day. So thankful that your dada is willing and able to be the sole provider for this family for awhile. I’d be so jealous if someone else got to spend each day with you and your sis. : ) Love you little munchkin. You and your sis mean the world to me!
It is crazy how fast time runs past you when you have little kids. I thought it was flying by when we were a family of three. Now that we have Easton it seems to have sped up even more. I suppose it’s a good thing that the days fly by, definitely doesn’t leave any time for dull moments. : )
Here is a little about you over the last 4 months. I probably didn’t keep track of near as much as I usually would have since life has been so hectic lately. I’ll tell you more about that later though.
24 months- we finally took the paci away from you! You seem to be adjusting decently well. I just had to bribe you with jelly beans. Ha.
25 months- you say “I love you!” randomly to me and your daddy a lot. It melts my heart hearing it. You also love to give lots of kisses. For a girl who is so independent and crazy, you sure are quite giving in the loving department.
25 months- anytime you get hurt you make me kiss it. Apparently it makes it almost immediately better. Ha.
25 months- can recognize max and jakes names written.
25 months- can say the New Testament Gospels
25 months- wants me to kiss everything that hurts and will point right where you want it kissed and say “right here!”
25 months- we stopped staying in the room with you until you go to sleep at night because you kept waking up in the middle of the night. We realized that if you can’t put yourself to sleep, why would you be able to put yourself back to sleep in the middle of the night when you woke up? Once we started just doing a bedtime routine and then leaving you and letting you put yourself to sleep, you stopped waking up in the middle of the night! Whew! Talk about exhausting… feeding a baby all night, and having a two year old that wont sleep through the night.
26 months- you love love love swimming. You climb in a floaty and just kick yourself all over the pool. You were a little skittish at first, but now you’ll swim anywhere in your little floaty.
27 months- you are such a little copy cat! You repeat things I say and do so often that it’s scary! You’ll “tickle” Easton and kiss him and tell him you “love him sooo much.” It’s funny to see you do things like that copying me. You are such a little mom to him, it’s adorable.
27 months- your prayers have become quite wordy these days. You pray for everything you see, plus some. “Dear father in heaven, thanks for max, jake, momma, dada, Easton, coffee cups, windows, cabinet doors, dog treats, cars, momma, dada, Easton, house, pasta. In Jesus name, amen!”
28 months- You have began imaginative play. (Acting like you are making food and feeding me and Easton) “I made it myself!
28 months- the terrible twos are in full swing. You’re strong willed, independent, sassy, bossy, and very disobedient a lot of days. Me and your daddy are very consistent with disciplining you and I hope and pray that it registers one day soon that you will not get away with disobeying. If we tell you not to do something you can pretty much guarantee that you’re gonna do it immediately after we tell you not to. We hate having to discipline you so much, but we’ve all seen what terrors kids are who aren’t disciplined. Especially kids with a personality similar to yours who are so strong willed and stubborn. We refuse to let you be that way. For your sake and soul. You’re extremely bright and catch on quick to what you can and can’t get away with. I know you’ll figure out this whole obeying thing. I’m sure it’s just a phase you’re going through. Hopefully by the next post I write for you, you’ll be an angel. : P
28 months- you have a fascination with putting things in your pj pants. It is so weird, but pretty funny at times.
28 months- you are in constant dialogue. I climbed on your step stool to put the hardware on the cabinets above the fridge and you started saying “oh, okay momma. You stand on my stool. That’s okay momma, you stand on my stool. You’re welcome momma, you’re welcome. That’s okay you stand on my stool, you’re welcome.”
28 months- at max’s birthday party a lady had sat down in front of where your cake was and you wanted back up there to it so you said “excuse me!” She just sat there and kinda looked at you for a second so you promptly said “get out of my way!” I about choked on my tongue. You sure have the talking thing down, proper social etiquette, not so much. Ha!
28 months- you walked up to someone in target and said “excuse you.”
28 months- Easton didn’t nap very long and had been up with me. You actually took like a 2hr nap (wow!!) and when you woke up you came into the living room waving your hand and saying “hi, I’m awake!” When Easton heard your voice he jerked his head your way and started grinning and kicking his legs excitedly. He loves you so much and loves being entertained by you!
28 Months- You have one of the spunkiest and goofy personalities of any 2 year old I’ve ever met. It is exhausting some days (okay, most. haha!), but I love how funny and happy-go-lucky you are. You’re turning into such a big girl and it makes me so sad. Not that I’d want to keep you little forever, but it is just going by so, so fast. The other day at church we went to wash your hands after you went to the bathroom and your hands could reach the water without me picking you up. When did this happen?!? It seems like just yesterday that your tiny little 9 month old feet were running laps up and down the center isle at the church building and now you’re becoming so independent and so big.
28 months- You love to run into Easton’s room in the morning when we go to get him out of his crib. You squeal with delight and climb up the side of his crib and start talking to him. You love it when I let you climb in with him and he’ll just grin his head off while you jump around like a crazy person and then bear hug him.
The whole house selling and buying process:
After our house sold we moved in with Nona and Papa while looking for a new house. You adjusted pretty quickly and probably loved the constant attention you got while we were living there. You loved playing with Nona and getting to sing with her all the time and loved getting to spend most everyday in the pool with Max and Jake. They are your favorite little buddies and you’re always talking about them. After looking and looking and looking we finally found the perfect house for us, it just needed A LOT of work. After we closed on the house we spent about 6 weeks of many, MANY long days working on getting it fixed up. It was easily one of the most exhausting and trying times of my life, but all the big stuff is done now and we were able to move in. Now we’re just slowly finishing up details. It is much easier to work while you guys nap when I can just hop to it since we’re right here. You have adapted to this move quite well also. Being in a new environment definitely affected your sleep at first, but I think you are starting to adjust to being in a new environment and hopefully we’ll get you completely back on track soon. You have been able to let yourself out of the room ever since we moved in here, and you have done alright with it. Having the freedom to come and go out of your room has always messed with your sleep in the past. You seem to always be afraid you’re gonna miss out on something and so as soon as you crack an eye, you are up and out of the room even if you’ve only been down for a short time. Now that you’re more used to the new house you have been sleeping better though. We are so excited for the memories we are going to get to make in this house, and excited that we get to be so close to family!
We love you and adore you sweet cheeks. I am so thankful I get to be your and Easton’s momma. I am beyond blessed.