1 Year….

Today, my little man turned 1!! Such a big milestone yet it still seems surreal. This last year has been full of new things for us. Where do I begin?

We have seen our little man grow and learn and develop in so many ways. First he learned to hold his own bottle, smile, laugh and roll over. Then he was holding his head up like a pro. Next came sitting up and changing positions from floor to sitting and back again… and throw in some rolling every once in a while. He learned to eat from a spoon and hasn’t turned back. He started giving kisses, mostly to his toys, but sometimes me. He started crawling. Then standing and pulling up. Then came walking! He first said “dada.” Then, “ut oh,” “mama,” and “oh boy.” He learned to open cabinets and pull all the tupperware out. He is a pro at peek-a-boo. He waves and claps, sometimes for the opposite command. Say hello and he may clap. Say yay and he may wave… but most of the time he gets it right 🙂 It’s so amazing to think that this teeny 7 pound baby that needed me (and dada) for everything has gained 20 pounds and he thinks 20 years. He’s so independent! We love that he has such a fun personality. I’m certain that he thinks his sole purpose in life is to make us laugh. And if I wasn’t sure about nature vs. nurture before… my child is all boy. He likes dirt, tearing down things and making loud noises.

He has so many favorite things now. He loves books, wrestling his stuffed animals, music and dancing, playing copycat, swinging, and anything outside.

I still gag at the thought (which makes me remember the smell) of those nasty,  newborn, yellow diapers. gag. But “big boy” diapers have to be worse! I remember when he would actually let me hold him and rock him anytime I wanted. We survived RSV, stomach viruses, and a few big bumps on the head.

This year has flown. Yes, it seems like forever ago since we had a newborn. At the same time, it feels like all of these changes happened overnight. Makes me sad to remember all the good times (and bad) and how quickly they have passed. Some days I long for the day that he is potty trained and is talking. But mostly I want time to slow down!

First Birthday!

We conquered the first birthday party. It was total mayhem… for me at least. I felt like I did nothing and everything all at the same time. Those 2 hours flew. Jameson enjoyed it though. He ended up not taking his afternoon nap. We were seriously worried that he may decide to call it quits in the middle of the party. Turned out he was a ball of energy. At least until everyone decided they needed to hold him, take pictures with him, and kiss all over him. Jameson was not a fan. First, he wanted down so he could play. Second, he was tired. And third, I don’t know what everyone expected?? He is not going to sit still when he’s happy, much less when you want him to smile for a picture…..

Anyway, the party seemed to be a success. I found the cute little theme at a party store.

My stepmom has a lady at her work that makes cakes. She made us this awesome looking and tasting lion cake to match our little theme.

We have a little playset in the backyard the kids played with together. We also had a bag of those ball pit balls we put in the kiddie pool. If nothing else it occupied the little guys for a while.

 

Then it was time for cake…. heres a before and after shot…

Jameson got a bunch of new toys and clothes. He helped rip paper for the first few presents. Then he moved on. We are so thankful for all his new goodies.

Thanks to all our family and friends that made the day so fun!

My “Mommy Musthaves”

For the last year, we have raised a baby boy. So crazy to actually say that. Year number one is almost in the books. I’m sure I will post a recap of the first year sometime next week. But for today and for all my mommy friends….. my FAVORITE MUST-HAVES. I can’t put them in order of importance, they are all equally important for the purpose they serve.

1. Video Baby Monitor–seriously, what would we have done without this thing? Jameson got RSV when he was 13 weeks old. RSV is a nasty respiratory infection that I don’t wish on anyone’s little people. Jameson wheezed and had all sorts of issues. Now he is prone to a chest cold any time he catches any bug. But, he’s a trooper. Anyway, we love the video monitor. We can check on our little man anytime we want. We can also spy on him when he’s sleeping or making crazy noises. The one we purchased allows you to zoom and pan. It’s so nice to be able to see everything that is going on in his crib. It’s also portable. We can do yard work and carry it around on our hip. We still get great reception outside. Summer Infant Monitor

2. Swaddle Blanket— word around is that swaddling is no longer recommended. Well, whatever. We finally figured out how to get Jameson to sleep comfortably when he was still little by swaddling. It was either that or hold him. Every single blanket we tried he would do a houdini and break out of, or it was so tight he would freak out! That was until we found this little gem. The Aden & Anais classic swaddle blanket. I HIGHLY recommend these. They are lightweight and huge. Our little guy was snug as a bug in a rug. No matter the temperature, I think they are perfect. There are a lot of swaddle blankets on the market. I think we tried them all or variations of them all. This is the ONLY one I would ever buy again. If you sign up for mom deal sites, they often run them on special. Target carries them so you can register as well.

3. Buttpaste!— sounds delish! Diaper rash. It will happen inevitably. Our munchkin got a crazy pooping stomach bug around 10 weeks. We tried a couple different ointments we received as shower gifts. Desitin, A&D ointment, Balmex, and Boudreaux’s ButtPaste. The ONLY one that worked was the butt paste. We still use it and have not gone back. Also this past summer, the beach+sand+diaper=the worst rash ever. The buttpaste healed him in a day. Get your little tushy some buttpaste!!

4. Ice Cube Trays— for the mom that wants to make baby food. Who knew that ice cube trays were portioned to 1 ounce of solid? We started making baby purees for our little one. It may be time consuming, but it is easy, saves money, and you know EXACTLY what goes into it. Once you puree, you portion the food into ice cube trays. Wrap the trays in plastic wrap and freeze. Finally, pop those little cubes out and put in a freezer ziplock bag. Then, when you want to feed, microwave the cubes and serve. 1 cup=1oz of food.

5. Strollers– Ok, so we may be out of the norm, but we have 3 strollers. One came with the travel system… Was extra nice when I wanted to go shopping and he was still in the carrier. Latch him in and go. Plus, in the winter, I could pull the cover over and keep him out of the elements and germs. Then, we got a jogging stroller…. it’s a Schwinn off craigslist (one of our favorite finds). We use this around the neighborhood, parks, downtown, festivals, etc. Basically anytime we plan to be outside. He seems the most comfortable in this one. Then we got an umbrella stroller from ToysRUs. It was $20 and we LOVE it. If we are just scooting into a store, it’s perfect. (As long as Im not buying a lot or I have a helper with me aka daddy) It weaves in and out of those little racks with ease. It’s also super small. Considering we have a Civic, we can use all the extra space we can get. The bigger the stroller, the less room to put the stuff you buy 🙂 We hit the outlet mall in the umbrella stroller. It was so nice not to have this big stroller in those little stores. The kiddo seems to like this one too because he is supported but can still see everything.

6. Skidders— Prewalker shoes. If you have seen our child, you know he’s a big boy. He’s not rolley polley, just solid. With this large size comes fat feet. Now, Fred Flinstone is walking and we had to hunt down shoes. When we are at home, he goes barefoot of course. But for outings where I know he will be able to play, we needed shoes to protect his feet. We looked everywhere for shoes to fit him. It was near impossible. I was SURE Robeez would fit, afterall, they are elastic. Wrong. The elastic was too tight around his fat foot. Alas, I found Skidders at Target. They are socks with rubber soles. They go on easily, he can’t take them off. I think they are amazing pre-walkers. We also bought him a pair of shoes from Stride Rite. At first, he would not wear them. Since wearing the Skidders more often, he got use to something on his feet. Now, he wants to wear shoes because he knows that he is going outside. If your kid has fat feet, or you need something for the in-between stage-try Skidders.

7. Cloth Diapers–We jumped on the “save the earth” bandwagon with cloth diapers. In general, they do save money and the planet. Washing diapers every day can be a pain (we didn’t buy the recommended 24), but I feel like they are cleaner when you wash them the day they get pooped on rather than 3 days later (ewww). We use Smartipants! We love them! The colors are nice. They work great (when you size them before you put them on). Once we figured out a routine, they were pretty simple. Also, this brand is significantly cheaper than the “popular” cloth diaper brands. Recently, the owners/designers have produced new fun colors. If you’re thinking about going cloth, check out their website and do a little research.

8. Infant Carrier/Travel System— we thought about buying one of the convertible car seats so we could use it for a while. The infant travel seats go up to 20 pounds. If your kid is like ours, he/she will hit that quick. BUT…. we did decide to go for the infant carrier and travel system with the stroller. We so miss that travel seat. We could go about a normal routine and tote the babe around anywhere. I don’t know how we would have eaten the first 2 months. I sure didn’t feel like cooking and I can’t imagine going out to eat and holding a baby the entire meal. The tricky part comes when your baby is too big for the carrier and cannot sit up in a high chair….. this too shall pass. If you are thinking about just getting a convertible, you should still get an infant seat-even if you have to borrow one.

9. BabyWise— I know you may have your opinions, so for the purpose of this blog…. this is my opinion and experience. We stuck to the babywise method of scheduling at about 80%. We did not do everything exactly “by the book.” However, we did “wake to feed” every 2 1/2-3 hours at first. We also used the feed, wake, sleep schedule. We delayed the “cry it out” sleep training method until somewhere in the 4th month. It took about a week to be successful, but we are so glad we did!! Overall, the concepts of this book help keep us sane, put all of us on the same schedule, produced a great sleeper (he has been sleeping from 7-7 since 6 months), and a happy baby!

10. A camera— As Chase Jarvis’ book proclaims… The Best Camera is The One That’s With You! I am so thankful for my iphone. I have been able to get some of our guy’s best moments this year. We also have a SLR and HD video cam–for the good stuff we plan to get. I would be so sad to think about all the silliness I would have missed without the camera on my phone. Keep your cameras close!

All this info and endorsements, someone ought to pay me for this. But, I’m not paid. Consider this a gift to all you newbies to motherhood 🙂

Toddler Bathroom

When we moved into our lovely abode while I was pregnant, we did not make any big changes to most of the bathrooms. Check out this before pic…. (this is from home inspection day—not our decorating choices)

We used some shower coordinates we had for the upstairs bathroom and painted the terribly hideous mirror. We never managed to take a picture of the bathroom, post move-in-pre-toddler, sorry 😦

Now, as our wee one is approaching toddlerhood, we decided to give him a toddler bathroom of his very own. We found this awesome shower curtain and coordinates at Kohl’s.

I painted the room “yellow green.” No really, that’s the color on the little swatch. It should be renamed “slime.” But it’s the color on the chart between plantain and palm…. so they call it yellow green… not very creative for such a crazy color. Anyway, I painted the room. Kilz first, then 2 coats, pretty much by myself in one day. The next day, I cleaned the tube, sink, and floors. Then the fun part…. decorating!

Here’s the outcome. Shower curtain, rug, toothbrush holder, and hand towel all from Kohls. Bath towel from Target. Soap dispenser from Walmart.

We are all very pleased with our Monster Themed bathroom. Jameson likes the monsters. Plus, there are mom friendly messages 🙂

Theme

I changed the theme… sorry if anyone is confused. I didnt realize there was a little sad face at the top. I’m not sad…. misrepresentation. And this one is wayyyyyyyyyy more my colors… new post in a few….. as long as the gremlin doesn’t arise from his slumber.

DIY Crib Rail Cover

Within hours of finding out I was pregnant, I think I started planning the nursery. Like anything else I have 9 months to decide upon, I changed my mind 100 times. The first decision I made and stuck with was the furniture. We thought the best option was to invest in the convertible crib. After all, you can use it longer. And who doesn’t want to get the most for their money. We also didn’t want to buy furniture that cost more than our bedroom furniture. I guarantee we love this kid, but I think some things are borderline ridiculous. Little did I know, a woodchuck would soon take over my perfectly simple little forest of a nursery. How much wood can a baby woodchuck chuck?

The first time I saw the damage, I could have cried.  Instead I laughed at all the little brown specs of finish on the woodchucks face. Then I built a bridge…. or crib rail cover.

We researched rail covers. Everything was a little pricey for something he would just keep biting. Or I thought it was too cheap looking. Or there were toy attachments and we don’t want him to think crib time is play time. So… I made one.

Fleece DIY Crib Rail Cover:

Materials: 1/yd fabric, scissors and 30 minutes

I went to JoAnn’s Fabric on the hunt for fleece. I chose a basic green color that would match the bedding. If you consider a pattern, dont use anything too busy. You may not be able to see much of the pattern in the final product. I bought 1/yd for $5.99. Beats the heck out of $15-30 store bought covers.

Step 1: Fold the fabric in half, lengthwise. Depending on the length of your crib, you may need to trim excess off the ends. Don’t cut it too short or just right, may come out a little short in the final product.

 

Step 2: Make sure your fabric is draped evenly on both sides. Starting on one side. Cut slits alongside each of the crib rail slats (right and left). Don’t cut any higher than the bottom of the top horizontal rail. Do this for both sides of the fabric. You will have a strip that covers a slat and a strip that covers the space between.

Step 3. Tie the strip you just cut on the front to the strip on the back. I just double knotted them. Don’t worry about the strips covering the slats, we will handle that soon.

Step 4: Continue cutting slits and tying strips along the rail.

Step 5: Once you have all the knots tied. Cut the excess strips off.

Step 6: I recommend trimming the ends of the knots. Don’t clip them off, just tidy them up and even them out.

Step 7: Look….. you just made a crib cover that’s cute, comfy and cost $6!

When I laid the woodchuck down, his room was dark. I have a feeling he’s going to be disappointed he can’t finish his carving project.

My Wednesday

Today, I woke like any other day to the sound of my kiddo talking and shaking his crib railing. Bursting with energy, he commences to do numerous flips on his changing table as I attempt to change this nasty 12-hour soiled diaper. At this point, five minutes after waking, in pj’s, hair half fallen out of a ponytail, glasses barely sitting on my face, I ask myself, “at what point do we go from bouncing with energy immediately after waking, to this zombie of a person that is robotically changing a diaper while sleep walking?” It probably started as a teenager for me. Then, I think of the other man I share my life with and his morning energy level. God, thank you for my sweet husband and son, but why did you give me morning people to share my life with? I referenced Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas previously. He also wrote Sacred Parenting. What if God designed marriage and parenting to make you holy?….. Well, that would be why I live with morning people.

We finally finish the bottle/breakfast portion of the morning when I realize, crap, it’s Wednesday, I have small group at my house in an hour. Now I’m awake. I’m in a small group with about 5-6 women, most of us stay at home momma’s. We are going through the God’s series from church. Did I mention it is kicking our butts? Well, my husband and I went through our Truth in Spending exercise… yuck. Target, I’m going to miss you, but I will be in shopping hibernation through this season of my life. “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?”Luke 16:10-12. Lord, help us to be trustworthy with the money you provide!

Fast-forward through the rest of the day. Diapers, nap time, lunch, nap time, dinner. Boy, do I mean fast-forward. The squirt is walking. He goes about 3 feet and falls, but walking nonetheless.

After the Tazmanian devil went to bed, I ran across this blog. I’ve been reading through her writing most of the evening. I feel like I know her after one sitting. I would love to get my writing moving in that direction. A purposeful, mindful, inspiring, encouraging, relatable, place for me to speak and others to join.

If you’ve read any of my blogs, thus far in this infancy of my blogging, I would like to do a 30 days of __blank___ series of blogs for the month of november. What would you like to hear about from my perspective for 30 days. Comment here, facebook me, tweet me, whatever your fancy, one word to fill in that blank. I would love some inspiration.