Saturday, April 27, 2013

Jogging with a Soft "J"

"I believe it's jogging or yogging; it might be a soft 'j'. Apparently you just run!" - Ron Burgundy

We whipped out our jogging stroller this weekend for the first time. I'm still not comfortable jogging (or "yogging") or running with it just yet since Asher's head is still a little wobbly, but we went for a brisk walk with it and had a great time! 

Asher stayed asleep most of the ride, but when his eyes popped open here and there, he was content and even gave shy little smiles. I love how his hair always looks windblown, even when there's no wind. It's very Donald Trump. Maybe we've been watching too much Celebrity Apprentice...

I couldn't get enough pictures of him wearing his sunglasses. He just looked so cool! But I guess I am a little biased. ;) It was nice for us all to get out of the house and into the sun together. We woke up at 7am and got out at 11am. Ha! We have come to the realization that with a baby in tow, you have to prepare ahead of time and get out while you can or the to-do list starts to pile up and your plans go out the window.

We made it out eventually and found our way to a nearby playground. We had to cut through some pretty rugged paths to get there - the 'all-road' route was 4 miles each way - but our Schwinn jogging stroller could handle the rough terrain. We tried to plug in my iPod for some music along the way, but the music played directly into the stroller and not very loudly, so I'm thinking that the MP3 capability is supposed to be for the baby and not for the jogger? Who knows. We considered just using the phone itself and then ended up enjoying the quiet and each other's company instead. 

I was happy to get some fabulous pics of our little stud muffin rollin' in his new wheels. He brings smiles to our faces no matter what time of day... we love him so much!

"They see me rollin'... they hatin'..."

Asher's sunglasses are BabyGap. :)

My exercise pants are a Zulily find!!! :)

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Patterns Week & Baby's First Cold

I'm not gonna lie - this week has been a challenge.

From diaper rashes to sensitive skin issues, possible cradle cap and hair loss to crankiness... we have really run the gamut with challenging baby issues this past week. To top it all off, Asher got his first cold. More on that in a minute.

It seems as though he is going through his second metal leap according to the wonder weeks. He was born about a week early, so supposedly that puts him a week behind in the stages since it is based on his mental development from conception. His behavior for the past week has definitely fallen in line with the signs of the "patterns" week. I haven't bought the book on the wonder weeks yet, but I did download the iPad app and have read a little about them online. He definitely wants to be entertained more than ever, cries at the drop of a hat, has a decreased appetite, and wants to be held all day. This all started about a week ago. While it is trying, it also is encouraging to see him hitting all these new milestones. He is holding his head up like a champ (and actually wants to do tummy time), he's shifting his weight forward while in my lap or when someone else is holding him and he wants to come back to me, he is more engaged with his toys, making new sounds, and has been playing with and staring at his hands... The book goes into much more detail on these weeks and offers suggestions on dealing with the extra fussiness associated with them. He's also exhibiting a lot of the "symptoms" of the third leap, too, though... blowing spit bubbles... sucking on his hands... so I am still sort of on the fence on this theory although it is very interesting and does seem to be hitting a lot of the marks!

Anyways, despite my best efforts to keep my germs away from John and baby Asher, they both ended up catching my horrible cold. Word to the wise - sanitize your hands during and after your pediatrician appointments! Many times! I think I picked this awful thing up at the pediatrician's when Asher was getting his vaccines last week. :(

It started with a few little sneezes here and there. They're cute until you realize that they are happening too frequently. Then I saw a runny nose. He didn't have a fever and he was (and still is) surprisingly happy for the most part, but I called the doctor anyways and they recommended using a nasal aspirator with saline drops if needed, keeping Asher upright, and keeping an eye out for a fever. Basically, we have to let his immune system do its job and just wait it out.

It's the hardest thing to see your tiny baby uncomfortable and sick when you know there is not much you can do! I couldn't help but feel guilty knowing that the cold came from me. I set up our Vicks Humidifier that I received at my baby shower to help decongest his little nose. It blows out "cool moisture" and has a Vicks scented insert for "soothing vapors". It seems to have helped a little! I've also been using our NoseFrida "Snotsucker" and that has been a big help. It's a unique spin on the standard bulb aspirator that instead uses a tube that you suck with your mouth. Lol! It sounds gross but it blocks anything from coming up the tube with a filter. Although it sounds weird, he actually likes it! It's supposed to be more gentle on their little noses. When I hold it up he smiles and after I "suck" at his nose, he laughs! He really is the cutest baby, even when he's sick.

It was incredibly difficult hearing his nasally sounding cries! Fortunately, it seems like he is getting better. He is starting to sound normal again and the runny nose seems to be gone. He's been very clingy and fussy at times, his appetite went down a little (whether related to the wonder week or to his cold, I don't know) - but he's still flashed us his wide grin and let out small bouts of laughter several times a day. What little schedule he had has certainly been disrupted, but hopefully we'll be back on track soon. He's a trooper, this one! I am extremely relieved that this did not progress into something serious and I will definitely be more careful about hand washing and sanitizing from now on!

As far as everything else we've been dealing with, I'm keeping a running list of blog topics originating from our crazy week. One in particular, our sensitive skin problems and seemingly never ending diaper rash. I'm at my wits end on how to keep it away and am going to give cloth diapers a try. I'm hoping that using them a few times a day when we're just relaxing at home will help air circulate better... we'll see! I'll definitely follow up our experience with a blog post!

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Monday, April 22, 2013

Phone Favorites - Kodak Moments a la iPhone

I uploaded pics from my phone today - there were over 900! Here are some of the best of them in chronological order. It's amazing to see the changes in baby Asher over time. Tonight he is dressed in a 3-6 month sleeper... 3-6!!! He's getting so big! I want to make sure we document everything and don't take anything for granted. Thank goodness for the iPhone camera! ;)

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Friday, April 19, 2013

The Trouble With Tummy Time

Well, I came down with an awful sinus infection - again! Hopefully it's not the flu and the antibiotics that I have knock it out quickly. Sadly, I am avoiding too much contact with baby Asher because I really don't want to get him sick! It's incredibly hard not to snuggle with your little baby when he's looking up at you with the sweetest eyes! This has left me with more time than usual to edit pictures, so I have lots of them today! In my feverish state, I think I made some really good edits (unless I'm so out of it that they just look great right now...) - hopefully I can replicate these effects in the future! Haha. Anyways, on to today's topic...

Tummy time is so important. It helps with physical, cognitive and visual development, and helps prevent problems such as flat head syndrome. It strengthens the upper body and aids in sitting up, crawling and walking... But it can also be a challenge! When using our activity gym/play mat to have "tummy time" with Asher, I was left frustrated and felt like something was missing. While on his tummy, Asher obviously was not looking up at the hanging toys, and the arches made it difficult for me to interact with him. He got fussy after just a few minutes and I could understand why. That did not look fun at all! We weren't nearly getting in enough tummy time and were starting to notice a slight flat head starting to form! :( So, I started the search for a better way.

Asher in his Rock & Play with a flat head preventing cushion beneath him. Just say no to flat head!

I found a great play mat from Tiny Love, the Super Mat, that was large enough for me and John to both sit and play with Asher. Like I've mentioned before, we have 2 pugs, and they shed SO MUCH so I have not wanted to put Asher down on our bare rug and blankets just don't seem to provide enough cushioning. Then, I read great reviews on the Tummy Time Triangle from Infantino. I bought both and was ecstatic when the play mat and tummy triangle arrived a few days ago. I had no idea what a success both of these purchases would turn out to be!

The play mat has been such a wonderful addition to playtime. We now can much more easily play with Asher, and that makes it worth every penny alone. He practices rolling over, I lay with him and hold up high contrast flash cards, he laughs and smiles like crazy...! It's great!

Striped onesie from Gymboree - a gift from my mom! He looks so cute in it. He's such a big boy!

Asher instantly was entranced while on the tummy triangle. He stared at himself in the mirror for what seemed like 10 minutes! Now he stares at the little plush bee, as well. We were both shocked at how long he could hold this position with his head and chest so far off the ground. He was so steady, too! We get in a good hour per day of tummy time, at least, and even more play time now that we have these items. He is even sleeping more now since he is getting more interactive play while awake. Our morning routine is starting to become more regular - wake between 7-9am, eat, play, then nap begins about 2 hours later. Before, his naps were still pretty sporadic and there wasn't much rhythm going on. I really think this has made a difference so far. Another perk - the colorful mat makes for some great pics, too!

This striped sleeper is from a Carter's set.

Asher is wearing L'ovedbaby pants and a striped onesie from BabyGap. I see a theme in how I dress him...
I think we're gonna be able to roll over very soon!
Warning - overstimulation may occur! Nap time may be necessary. :)

Suki knows just how to comfort Asher.

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I Love You To The Moon & Back

As a parent, you want to make the wisest decisions possible for your child, especially regarding their healthcare. We extensively researched the controversial vaccination topic and decided to go with the standard immunization schedule. There is a plethora of information on the internet on either side of the issue (some credible and much more not) so no matter which option you choose, I have to assume it is natural to feel slight anxiety about the decision that you make.

Well, this week Asher had his 2 month shots. My emotions were already on edge, I suppose. Did we make the right choice? How would he react? Will he be ok? All these questions emerged revolving around our child and yet I was not prepared to have such a strong reaction of my own. Asher is usually such a happy baby and the extent of his cries up until this point have been more or less whimpers. When that needle went into his thigh, oh he cried out so loudly; his screams shattered the silence of the tiny room! His red, little face scrunched into a knot with his eyes shut so tight! I instantly went into protector mode, kissing his forehead that was so hot to the touch. I kept telling him it would be ok. Before I knew it I had tears of my own. My heart cracked; I felt that in some way I had let my little baby down and caused him this pain. I knew it would be short lived, but he didn't. I tried my best to comfort him as best I knew how and as expected, his cries died down within a few minutes. I sheepishly grabbed a tissue feeling a little silly and slightly embarrassed. John gave me a comforting smile, the look on his face telling me he knew what I felt. Not an hour later, at breakfast, we were once again graced with that famous grin, Asher's way of assuring us he was ok. I'm sure this will be one of many difficult parenting moments to come.

People tell you while you're pregnant that you will love your baby more than you know, to, "Just wait and see. You'll fall in love." You hear these things... but I don't think you really understand until it happens. As a new mother, I have surprised myself again and again. Those who have crossed the bridge before you will try to convey their gained wisdoms but you probably won't truly get it until you are there. I didn't.

The cliches come with the territory. "It's hard but it's so worth it." "You love them more and more everyday." "Your life and priorities will change." "Your life gets new meaning." "Every day is an adventure."

"You never stop worrying."

It's not an easy job, but then, no one ever said it was. In fact, they probably said quite the opposite. As soon as you think you've got your child figured out, they throw you through another loop. You will shed tears at the most unexpected moments. You love them to the moon and back and a thousand times over again. There are days when you are ready to throw in the towel and then they laugh for the first time. It's an indescribable love, but it is so worth every tear.

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Monday, April 15, 2013

Lifesavers! Best Baby Buys Newborn - 2 Months

Less Common Products You May Not Have Heard About...

I am a gadget girl. And I LOVE to shop online. This  results in 2 things - great finds and an irritated husband. Well, irritated until he realizes how much my "finds" have improved our day to day. :) Below are some of the items that may not typically be on registry lists and have made our lives easier while caring for our baby. I realize that every baby is different and some of these things may work wonderfully for us and not for you, but I wanted to share the things that I consider our "lifesavers".

1. Summer Swaddle Me Swaddles - (Great Until 6 weeks old) These swaddles are wonderful because they fasten with velcro which makes it easy and secure. I recommend buying 5-7 of them. Especially if you have a boy, you may go through more than one a night since no matter what precautions you take, they tend to leak out of their diapers for awhile. Finally this stopped for us around 6 weeks.

2. Halo Sleepsacks - (Great from 6 weeks +) At first, I wasn't sure about these. They seemed much more cumbersome than the Swaddle Mes. Then, Asher outgrew the Swaddle Mes and I bought a few different brands in a larger size. The Halo Sleepsacks are my favorite. He did NOT like the ModSwad. The Halo sleep sacks are great because you can leave the arms in or out, you can change his diaper without ever lifting him, and he hasn't houdinied his way out of this one as much as the others.

Here's Asher in his sleep sack just after his diaper change. It's not zipped up or swaddled here.

3. Angelcare Movement Monitor - This is the only reason I get any sleep! A movement sensor goes under the mattress and will sound an alarm on the monitor if your baby stops moving (breathing) for 20 seconds. Thank goodness we have not had a scare yet, but it has given us such peace of mind even with Asher at our bedside in his co-sleeper.

4. Boppy Changing Pad Liners - Save yourself from having to change out and wash your changing pad cover multiple times a day! Sure, some people may just say heck with the cover altogether, but I'd rather lay my baby on a soft, fuzzy surface during changes. These liners make 'oops' moments much easier to handle. I also put one under the sheet in the bassinet!

Changing pad liner seen through his sheets in this picture. He is in the Modswad.

5. Mesh Laundry Bags - If you've ever washed one of your Velcro swaddles or Velcro bibs with a muslin blanket, you know why this is important! Avoid unnecessary rips and holes by putting the velcro items in a mesh laundry bag.

6. Shout Color Catchers - Throw one of these sheets in with your mixed load of laundry and you won't have to worry about color runs. I am able to do one huge 'baby load' and not worry about dulling colors or whites picking up any strange hues. These are especially helpful when washing new items. I use these for my own laundry, too!

7. Nail Brush - I just got one but should have much sooner! Somehow, Asher's nails always look like he's been digging in the dirt. Well, that's an exaggeration for sure, but they do need to be cleaned underneath from time to time. :)

7. Fisher Price Whale Tub - Drew Barrymore just sang the praises of this tub on a talk show! We love it, too.  It has a divider to keep infants in the more shallow, smaller section until they grow. You HAVE to use the included cup that has holes of the bottom. That little cup is second feature that make the tub so great! It's like a mini shower head. So easy (and cheap, too)! :)

8. Lula Clips - We just got these and they are great! The metal buckle magnetically sticks to the side if the seat while you get the baby in and out. No more digging the buckles out! We got them from a Zulily sale, but you can find them at

9. Sleeper Onesies - The ones with built in footies and mitten flaps. Zippers are easiest!  We have a sleeper onesie that was literally less than $5 from Walmart and it is John's favorite to put Asher in. I wasn't a fan of the gowns because I think they are harder to put on and take off. I know some people like the gowns, though, so this may be one of those things that you have to try on your own.

10. Muslin Swaddles - These are great, especially if you are in FL or another hot region. It's the perfect light blankie. :) I have some from Aden and Anais and some from Bambino Land. The ones from bambino Land are larger, which is great for in the home while the Aden and Anais ones are great for home or on-the-go. The Aden and Anais muslin burp clothes are more absorbent than others, too, so you are less likely to get spit up all over your clothes. Less likely….

11. Zulily!!! If you have an iPad, get the app. For real. Right now. Your significant other and post man will hate me. You will love me. Zulily is amazingly addictive. I should take a picture of my mailbox when multiple Zulily shipments arrive. It's ridiculous and makes me entirely too happy.

12. Paper Plates & Paper Bowls - Less dishes. Enough said!

13. Hats that FIT! - So many of those cute baby sets come with hats that are so awkward and I can't imagine fit any baby's head! A lot of them are way too short! I bought several brands and the only one I have been happy with is L'ovedBaby.

14. Dekor Diaper Pail - I read so many terrible reviews about the other diaper pails. I bought this Dekor diaper pail and absolutely love it. It's so easy and I haven't experienced any super stinky moments when dealing with it. :)

15. Wimmer-Ferguson Infant Stim Mobile - Asher loves to stare and laugh at this mobile! We attached it to his co-sleeper and will be moving it to his crib once he is sleeping in there. You can change out the images, which is pretty cool.

16. BabyCenter App - "When did I feed the baby last?", "How many dirty diapers did he have today?", "How much did he weigh last time?" These are all questions of the past with this great app!

17. Onesie Extenders - If you've ever started to put on a onesie and the snaps just don't quite reach - although it fits everywhere else - these are truly lifesavers!! It's great not to have to undress yet again and find something else to wear, especially when your baby is SO OVER having his arms stuffed into those tiny arm holes.

Nail Brush, Laundry Bags, Onesie Extenders

I'm sure I'll think of a few I missed. I'll keep a running list for Part 2. What have you found to be a "lifesaver" during those first few months? Pin It Now!

Sundays With Family + Easter Pictures

Some Sundays are best spent making memories with family. Not only with our new family of three, but also with Asher's grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins. Both of my parents are only children, so I grew up with the smallest of family gatherings! John is blessed with such a large family and now my side is growing at a rapid pace, as well. I am quickly becoming accustomed to large and lively family events even for the smallest of occasions. 

One of the things we are most looking forward to is the fact that holidays will never be the same in our house now that we have a child. This year, there is the excitement of the baby and making our rounds with both of our families with the added joy our of little one. By the end if the year and into next, the true excitement will begin! We will no longer get away with our admittedly "scrooge" behavior at Christmas; a decorated tree and festive outdoor lights are a must. The Easter Bunny will certainly be hopping over to our house next year and the other holidays will be all the more colorful now that we can once again view them through the eyes of a child.

This year for Easter we made our rounds not really doing anything particularly festive in our own home. My mom, however, went all out for our little guy making him a huge Easter basket filled with lots of fun goodies! She packed it with the cutest summer short sets, a Dr. Seuss book with a collection of classic Seuss stories; my favorites - The Pants with Nobody in Them and The Sneeches. Also, a Land Before Time DVD which both John and I loved when we were young. In addition to the gigantic basket filled with goodies, she gave us the cute "My First Easter" outfit seen in all of our pics. I did not plan ahead for that one - thanks for looking out, mom! Kudos for making Asher's first Easter as special as it could be! Asher's Nona also gave Asher an Easter gift - several cute outfits and a stuffed Easter chick! :) He is so blessed to be loved by so many wonderful people!

{ Dear Asher - Next year mommy and daddy promise to pull out all the stops... with the help of that bunny, of course! Love always, Mommy }

My mom and my grandma (Asher's Oma) out of focus. :( Next time I'll get her in!
The priceless moment caught on camera - my dad's face after my older sister announced her pregnancy #4!

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Sunday, April 14, 2013

Asher's Preppy/Eclectic Nursery

I love to decorate! When I realized that I would be able to design a nursery, I was more than ecstatic. I searched for hours online compiling ideas. Do we want espresso furniture or white furniture? Would white work for a boy? What should the color palate be; blues, greens, both? Should it be modern or vintage? I probably drove both my husband and my mother completely crazy while I bombarded them with these questions and more, seeking their opinions and running idea after idea by them.

{This picture was taken by my mom in our nursery just days before Asher was born!}

We finally decided light blues and whites and my husband got to work creating wainscoting trim for the walls. He enjoys a challenge and wasted no time figuring out how to make the trim using the machines in our shop. My father-in-law helped him install them as well as the laminate wood flooring. It was starting to look like a real nursery!

I found this great rug on We knew all along that whatever the theme was, it would have something to do with water as my husband is an avid offshore fisherman. I thought that this rug had a nice motion to it reminiscent of the ocean.

Our pugs, Suki (top) and Sumo (bottom) thought this room was being made for them, clearly.
At least they approved the rug! ;)

We finally picked out espresso furniture that perfectly accented the white trim and subtle blue walls. I printed these vintage sea life graphics and put them in matted frames. The theme was coming to life!

I crafted a decoupage piece utilizing our maternity pictures and ultrasound images. It was so easy and is something we constantly get compliments on. Directions below!

***CRAFT*** Decoupage Maternity/Ultrasound Plaque - All you need is a piece of wood and some mod podge. You print the pictures on normal printer paper, apply a thin layer of mod podge, spray with a clear sealant (so that ink doesn't run) then apply another layer of mod lodge on top. Let dry and that's it!***CRAFT***

I found the wall cubby on, too, and also the small bookcase with veggie tray at the bottom.

As owners of an Etsy shop, it was important to us to support other sellers and incorporate some of the unique items available into the room. The hanging ombre mobile, dry erase magnetic wall calendar, chevron rail guards, and chevron teddy bear (a gift from my mom) were all found on Etsy.

We cut the name out at our shop and placed the letters on a shelf bought on EBay. For more info on letters like this, send me a message through our shop!

Finally the nursery was complete! I have to admit, I was impressed with how well it all came together in the end. There's often a moment when you are in the middle of a project such as this and you start wondering if it's just going to come out all wrong. Luckily this was not the case - we absolutely love it and Asher does, too! ;) Pin It Now!