Sunday, June 30, 2013

Second Child Syndrome

I feel like time is flying by. Everyone warned me that time would go so much faster with the second child,  but I didn't believe them. I naively thought I would be able to do all of the same things I did with Grace. I was wrong!

  • Every month, Mike and I sat down and wrote in Grace's baby book. Connor's sits totally untouched in his closet. I'm going to get to it soon!
  • I made sure to make mom friends with kids around Grace's age so that she had other kids to play with. Connor has one little friend, Addie, who just happened to be born around the same time as him and is the little sister of Grace's best friend Lincoln.
  • On weekend mornings, we would spend hours in bed playing with Grace. She had tons of time to herself with us. Weekend mornings are now spent getting Grace's breakfast, playing, and trying to clean the house. We try to find some down time to spend alone with Connor, but with Grace not napping, it's pretty difficult to find much time.
  • Grace spent many of her naps sleeping on me. Connor naps in his crib, every time.
  • I always had the camera and video camera out with Grace, snapping tons of pics and recording hours of video. Now Mike has to remind me to take a picture or video.
  • I wrote long monthly letters for Grace and always took her pictures on her monthly birthdays. Connor's pictures are often taken days late and his posts are ALWAYS late. Yeah, he turned 8 months yesterday and I haven't even taken the pictures yet.
I'm sure there's more I'm not thinking of right now. Don't get me wrong, he gets a ton of attention and playtime, but I am certainly feeling the second child syndrome with him. I just keep telling myself that he is getting the benefit of an older sibling, which Grace didn't have. They love each other so much and that has got to count for more than all of that other stuff, right?

Giving kisses


Saturday, June 29, 2013

Connor: 8 months old

Connor,

I wish I could figure out how to express how much of a character you are my dear boy. You are about the happiest baby ever and even on your wost days, you love to make people laugh. You are extremely expressive for an 8 month old and you love to cuddle, especially with Mommy. You give huge kisses to anyone who's holding you and you haven't met a stranger. You make life fun and it's so exciting to watch you learn new things!

 
  • You are moving all over the place now, but not in the way we expected. You still aren't crawling. I've been saying for months that you would be crawling any day, but it still hasn't happened. You easily get down on all 4s and rock back and forth, but you haven't figured out how to go forward yet. You get frustrated and just sit yourself back up. If you want something, you use a combination of rolling and sitting up to get what you want. 

  • I'm thinking now that you are going to just skip crawling and start walking soon. You are pulling up on everything and when we hold your hands, you are starting to move your feet. It's too early for that baby boy!
  • You will sleep anywhere. The stroller, the Ergo, sitting forward on some one's lap. If you are tired enough, you just fall asleep. You can sleep with your head over your legs which is pretty funny because your daddy sleeps the exact same way.
You slept through an entire trip to the zoo!
  •  Sleeping during the day is going great. You take an 1-2 hour nap in the morning and a 2-3 hour nap in the afternoon. At night however, it's been more of a struggle. For about 2 weeks, you've had multiple teeth coming in and it's thrown a huge wrench into your sleeping patterns. You were up every hour or two for weeks. But last night, you miraculously slept all night so I'm hoping we're out of the no sleeping phase!
  • You have 4 teeth in and I think you are working on 4 more.
  • You are massive. You are in 18 month clothes and on the largest setting of your cloth diapers. I haven't gotten a weight on you this month but you don't feel like you weigh much less than Grace! You are tall as well and very muscular.
  • Your hair grows so fast. You get some crazy bedhead and you need yet another haircut!
  • You got to get into the pool for the first time this month and you loved it! You love the water and happily kick and splash the entire time you are in the pool or in the tub. You love taking baths with Grace and think it's hilarious when she splashes you. You're learning how to splash her back which right now is cute but I'm sure will cause trouble in the future!
  • Your favorite toys are the tool bench and anything with wheels. You are obsessed with cars already. I didn't think the obsession hit this early with boys, but you always manage to find anything with wheels. Grace's doll stroller, her cars, her wooden bus. You love all of them and will happily play with the wheels for long periods of time. You also recently discovered trains at Grandma and Papa's house and you adore them! You would watch a train go round and round for hours if you could. It's so funny to watch your face light up each and every time it comes close to you!

Grace's carriage has fun wheels!



  • Grace has decided that you're pretty fun to play with now and I often will find the two of you playing with toys or reading books together. Most of the time you play nicely, but occasionally you like to torment her by pulling her hair or climbing on her. 

    •  You are extremely talkative and I have to admit that I think you said your first word this month. You've been babbling dada for a while now but for the past week or so, when Daddy comes in to the room you get all excited and yell "Dada!" It's adorable. You babble constantly!
    You are at such a fun age sweet boy. You learn new things every day and you are so aware of everything going on around you. Mommy loves your sweet cuddles and kisses and you already love to play rough with Daddy and Sister! We love you baby boy! Don't grow up too fast!

    Love,

    Mommy and Daddy




    Thursday, June 27, 2013

    Teething is evil

    When Grace was about 8 months old, I had a pediatrician tell me that teething doesn't hurt babies. Yep, you read that right! He said that it doesn't hurt and that there must be something else wrong with her. Grace was getting molars in at the time and was pretty much inconsolable. He searched and searched and of course couldn't find anything else wrong with her. He humbly admitted at the end of the appointment that it must be the teeth that were causing the issue.

    Grace's teeth came in one at a time starting at 4 months. It was awful. When her last molar finally came through right before her second birthday I thought, "Great, we're done with teething for a while!" No such luck. Connor started teething around 5 months and we are currently in what I like to call teething hell (excuse my language!) He has 6 teeth coming in at the same time. He's not napping, he's not sleeping and he's not eating very well. Nothing is working. Teething tablets seem to help for a few minutes, Tylenol makes him hyper, and teethers only keep his interest for a couple of minutes. The pacifier seems to help during the day but at night he is just miserable. Two nights ago he was crying so loudly while I was holding him that he woke Grace up. Mike and I spent most of the night trying to keep both of them from waking each other up. It was awful.

    To make it even better, Connor has now figured out how to sit up from lying down. So he's not soothing himself back to sleep at all because he sits up right away and then gets frustrated. I go in there to see him sitting up with big tears rolling down his face. It's so sad.

    I can't take a picture of the sadness, so you get a rare happy moment picture. He was only happy because Grace came in and he knows that means he gets to get out!
    Teething is horrible and I am ready to be done with it. Do you have a teething remedy to share? I'd love any suggestions!

    Wednesday, June 26, 2013

    Zaycon Foods: America's Drive Thru Meat Market



    Disclosure: In exchange for my post and review, I received an order of chicken. No other compensation was received and all opinions expressed are honest and my own.
      
    Now that I'm making freezer meals, we have been doing great about not eating out. But I've noticed lately that our grocery bill is creeping up and I find that we spend the most on meat and produce. Recently, a friend told me about a great company called Zaycon Foods. They sell high quality meat and produce for great prices, so I decided to check them out! I will be getting an order of their boneless, skinless chicken breasts during their Fall Chicken Event.

    Here is more information about Zaycon Foods:

    How does Zaycon Foods manage to provide such high quality super fresh meat and produce to its customers at such low prices? The answer is strength in numbers. And not our numbers, yours!

    Zaycon Foods can sell its products at bulk rate prices to individual consumers and families because our unique sales event business model brings lots of people together, adding all their purchasing power into a combined bulk food purchase. And when you buy as part of a group that’s committing to such a large purchase, the power is in the hands of the purchaser! It’s the ultimate group buy in terms of both price and consumer empowerment.



    You can pre-select exactly what you want to order from a given Zaycon sales event – sometimes you may want to stock up on our amazing meaty back ribs and sometimes it might be all about the Zaycon bacon – and then, on the day of the sales event, you and a whole big bunch of your neighbors will find yourselves in a nearby parking lot watching as an entire tractor trailer’s worth of high quality natural food is unloaded into all of your cars! You will be amazed at how quickly one of our refrigerated trucks goes from being filled with natural, fresh chicken or hundreds of gallons of grade A non-homogenized milk to being empty and back on its way to the farm!



    A Zaycon Foods truck sales event often lasts less time than you would spend on a trip to the grocery store, yet you will leave with a whole lot more food than you’d get at the market, and for much better prices, too!

    When you use the Zaycon Foods sales event as your preferred place to purchase meats, milk, and any of our other fine products, you get advantages even beyond the bulk pricing that comes with our special sales model. You also have the peace of mind of knowing exactly what you’re going to get! A trip to the grocery store can involve wasted time wandering around looking for various foods spread out across the store; at a Zaycon Foods parking lot meat truck delivery (or milk or berries or fish delivery, too!) you have pre-ordered your foods, so all you have to do is show up and wait for our friendly staffers and volunteers to load up your car. 

    Also, unlike in the grocery store, the prices you will pay for a Zaycon Foods product are locked in on our website, so you will know how much you are going to spend before you have committed to a purchase. 

    At a supermarket, you might pay one price for chicken on one day, and then a higher price on another day. With Zaycon, you decide that you want to order a case of our fresh boneless skinless chicken breasts, you check the price and then you commit to it, knowing that from that moment on, we are committed to getting you your fresh, natural food!




    Disclosure: In exchange for my post and review, I received an order of chicken. No other compensation was received and all opinions expressed are honest and my own.

    Cuddle Buddy: Nuby Bedlite Buddy Review

    Grace is obsessed with stuffed animals so I knew that she would love to find one in our latest Nuby box. Sure enough, as soon as she saw the Bedlite Buddies frog, she begged me to get it out of the packaging. Who could blame her, it's adorable!

    The Bedlite Buddies™ are GREAT cuddle buddies. Their faces light up and sing when you hug them! They like to go to bed on time and get tucked-in. Bedlite Buddies™ are made of soft and colorful materials that stimulate your child's senses. The built in night light brightens up the face, bringing a smile to your child.
    After playing with it for a couple of days, Grace decided that Connor might like the frog and she decided to share it with him. This was his reaction:

    Ooh, what is this?
    Wow, it glows and plays music!
    These eyes taste yummy!
    I love it!
    He loves chewing on the eyes and holding on to all of the limbs. He can't quite figure out how to get it to glow and play music, but Grace is very good about helping him. He has really attached to it and it is so cute to find him cuddling with it. I'm sure he will love it when he gets older because it can be used as a nightlight in his crib. This is a fun cuddle toy for your baby!

    The Bedlite Buddies are available to purchase at these retailers:
    • K-Mart
    • www.amazon.com
    • www.idealbaby.com

    For more information about other great Nuby products, check out their social media pages!




    I am writing this post as part of the NUBY Mommy Blogger Program. I did not receive compensation for this post, although as part of the program I may receive items to sample or review. All opinions are my own and 100% honest.

    Tuesday, June 25, 2013

    Silence is not golden when you have a toddler!

    If you have a toddler, you know that silence isn't golden. Silence means that they are probably doing something to get into trouble. I shared with you last month about how Grace drew on her closet doors. Well she's found some new ways to get into trouble lately.

    Last Friday morning, I realized that I hadn't heard her in a while and I got worried. I found her in our bedroom with a dry erase marker. I still have no clue where she found it, but this was her artistic masterpiece:

    It was all over both the front and back of her legs and her face. Thankfully she decided to keep it all on her body and it washed off easily. I'm so happy it wasn't Sharpie!

    Later that day I found her in the guest bathroom. She had pulled every last bit of paper off of a full toilet paper roll and was shredding it into the bathtub.

    This morning I found her in her bathroom filling her potty chart with stickers. She had gotten her step stool to reach the chart and stickers and showed me proudly how the whole chart was now full. It was really hard not to laugh at her for that one.

    The other night we found pen marks on our sheets and wall. We have absolutely no idea when she even did that!

    It would seem like it wouldn't be that hard to keep her from doing this stuff but she always manages to sneak away when I'm occupied with Connor during a nursing session or diaper change.

    I've learned to be nervous anytime I don't hear her for more than a minute or two.....

    Does your toddler get into things they shouldn't when your occupied? Please share your stories, I know I'm not the only one this happens to!

    Friday, June 21, 2013

    5 Year Anniversary!

    5 years ago today I walked down the aisle and married an amazing man. Time has flown by and I can't imagine spending my life with anyone else.

    Marriage isn't always easy but there is no way that I could have made it through this past 5 years without him. I'm pretty sure that when he said the "in sickness and in health" part of his vows, he never could have imagined what he was getting himself in to! 

    5 years and 2 kids later, I think we're very blessed!




    Thursday, June 20, 2013

    Babbling Baby!

    Connor has been babbling up a storm lately and his first choice word? Dada of course. I don't count it as his real first word yet because he's not connecting it with Mike, but it's still pretty cute to hear him say it. He talks all day long and he's pretty loud about it. I think he's going to be a fairly early talker!



    Monday, June 17, 2013

    Another mom taken too soon

    I wanted to write a cute update about the kids today, but I'm honestly struggling this week. I found out several days ago that a friend from college passed away last week during the delivery of her second baby boy in England. I am still processing it and I am so sad for her family, her husband, and those two little boys (a 2 year old and a newborn.) She was never a close friend, but she was so sweet and caring and I know she touched many people.

    She is the third friend of mine in three years to die during childbirth or from post partum complications. That number is just way too high. I hear all the time that birth is a natural process and we should just let our bodies do their jobs, but sometimes I wonder if those people remember how dangerous childbirth can be. I'm not trying to ruffle any feathers and I know that most of the time, it's fine, I'm just ranting. There's just no way to understand it or even to process it.

    I feel blessed to have had two healthy pregnancies and deliveries. If you have a chance, please keep the family of my friend in your thoughts and prayers. The little boy she was delivering is in the NICU as he was not due until early August. I've been hugging my kids a lot these past couple of days....

    Sorry to be depressing. Back to normal blogging tomorrow. 

    No more pre-washing! Cascade Platinum Pacs Review

    I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Cascade. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

    I feel like washing dishes is a never ending job in our house. Now that we are eating at home for most meals, we use more dishes than we ever have before. It amazes me how quickly they pile up in the sink and I generally do a load in the dishwasher at least once a day.

    I have to say that I love my dishwasher. I've lived without one before (never again!) and there is nothing better than sticking the dishes in and walking away. But it is so discouraging to open the dishwasher after a cycle to find the dishes still dirty and streaky. We've had a huge problem with that lately and it so frustrating to have to pre-wash everything or scrub at stuck on food after it's already been run through a cycle.

    I have tried several different detergents with no improvement so when Cascade offered to send me a pack of their new Platinum Pacs, I thought it would be worth a try. Cascade Platinum Pacs contain an advanced triple action recipe that is designed to leave dishes spot-free and help prevent hard-water build-up on the walls of the dishwasher. A detergent that will clean my dishes and help me keep my dishwasher clean? Bring it on!


     
    The most appealing part of the Platinum Pac for me was its ability to wash away tough stuck on food, even if it's been stuck on for 24 hours (or longer!) I decided to really put the Pacs to the test. I made lasagna and didn't get the chance to load the dishwasher until the next night. This is what the pan looked like before:

    And after:

    With my old dishwasher soap, I would have had to scrape at the dried on cheese and sauce for it to get really clean. With Cascade Power Pacs, I did absolutely no pre-washing and it came out sparkling! 

    Now I don't have to worry about serving food on dirty dishware to guests. Cascade understands that presentation is just as important as preparation when it comes to food. They have partnered with Top Chef judge (I love Top Chef!) and editor of Food+Wine magazine Gail Simmons. Gail recommends Cascade Platinum for an impressive presentation: “The easiest recipes pop with unexpected, gourmet presentations. Drizzle bright sauces on sparkling white plates or layer desserts in crystal-clean glassware. Keep your presentation sparkling with Cascade Platinum, which keeps dishes perfect for anytime entertaining and impromptu guests.” For more information on Cascade's parternship with Gail Simmons, check out the videos on Cascade's Facebook page and YouTube page.

    Do you want the chance to win a new dishwasher or a Platinum kitchen makeover? Check out the Cascade “My Platinum” contest! Each week, you can show off how sparkly Cascade makes all of your dishware by uploading an image to Instragam with the #MyPlatinum hashtag and the tag @MyCascade to enter to win! Make sure to visit the contest page for more information on how to enter and submit images.


    · Week 1: My Platinum Plate (Entry Period: 6/3-6/9)
    Show us your best dish styled from the sparkling plate up!
    · Week 2: My Platinum Bite (Entry Period: 6/10-6/16)
    Show us your best bite and most creative use of sparkling silverware!
    · Week 3: My Platinum Clink (Entry: 6/17-6/23)
    Show us how you serve up creative concoctions in sparkling glasses. Cheers!
    · Week 4: My Platinum Table (Entry Period: 6/24-6/30)
    Show us your sparkling tablescape for your most special celebrations!
    · Grand Prize Winner (Entry: 6/3-6/30)


    For more information about Cascade's Platinum Pacs, visit their Website and their Facebook page

    I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Cascade. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

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