Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I love this thing!


My friend, Alissa, had her baby boy almost 4 weeks after we had Grace. When I visited her when he was 2 weeks old, she showed me this bassinet/rocker/lifesaver! It's actual name is the Fisher-Price Newborn Rock & Play Sleeper. These are the things that I love about it....

  • #1....it's the only infant seat that meets industry safety standards for a bassinet.

  • #2....When Grace was about 6 weeks old....she had a little bit of a snotty nose. And it was mostly at night that it really seemed to bother her. She would get up every 2-3 hours....not even because she was tired, but because she just couldn't breathe! Anyway....since she was (and still is) sleeping in our room in the pack-and-play, I couldn't really elevate the cardboard insert....and for some reason I was nervous about leaving her in the car seat all night (even though that is wear she does take quite a few of her naps!)....and at very desperate times I would put her in the bouncy seat, but that made me extremely nervous and we still didn't sleep very well. But this seat is perfectly elevated....and I felt that she was safe in it.

  • #3.....It slightly rocks....so sometimes when I lay her down and she kind of jolts.....I can sometimes gently rock her and she goes back to sleep. Also....right now she is having trouble staying asleep in her naps. It's like clock-work and she seems to wake up 45 minutes in. Sometimes I am able to go in there and get her back to sleep without picking her up by putting her paci back in or just by gently rocking her.

  • #4....It just seems a little more cozy in there than laying her in her pack-and-play....and although I do not have her sleeping in this at night because she seems to be doing fine in the pack-and-play for now (unless she is congested)....sometimes I do think she takes better naps in them. She's able to kind of lean up against one side....it just keeps her a little more balled up...like she's still being held or something. (and this could just all be in my head, but hey, whatever works, right?)

  • #5....I do not think that Grace has reflux (and I could be wrong).... but this is a great seat for an infant suffering from relux or GERD.

  • #6....For what I feel like you're getting.....the price of this chair is GREAT! Only $49.99. And....it folds up nice and neat so it's easy for travel, too!

After learning about this chair (when Grace was 6 weeks old), we went out and got it the very next day. I only wish we had learned of this chair sooner!

And I really have been debating about writing about this for the past 4 weeks....and finally decided today that I should....because I really do love this product and if somebody else out there can find it useful..... then I would love it.

Oh....and doesn't Grace look so sweet and peaceful in it, too? ;)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The beginnings of our garden....

Ever since we lived in our last house, I wanted to have a vegetable garden. I guess it was after we had Parker...and after the baby food phase....and we started having vegetables in our house again (since it wasn't a regular practice before her :). But we decided not to take the effort to put in the garden because we hoped to not be there much longer. And we agreed that once we got into a new house, we would put our garden there.

So here we are! I'll admit....I wasn't sure if we'd get it done. Last fall, we had planned to build a raised vegetable garden bed in January (before Grace was born) because we thought we'd have more time then. But alas, we did not have time then. So it was put on the back burner....until now......

It really turned out so well....and he did it all in one afternoon!


Parker was instrumental in helping. ;) Not really. But she was so much fun today. I don't know what it was....but she was just happy....easy-going....and fun.

After her nap, I told her to go put her shoes on and we'd go find Daddy and see what he was doing. She put on these shoes......

I didn't stop her....and apparently, they didn't either....

Anyway....


Geoff had to go back and forth from the garage (because that's where he cut the wood)....and she waited for him at the gate....


She was so happy. You can see it on her face....

About an hour later...Geoff put her to work....


Then, another hour later......we were back out there and Geoff was sitting down to work and she asked him if she could sit in his lap. It was so sweet. Really.

And here is the finished product..... Well...almost. Here's the frame to what will soon-be our vegetable garden...



Parker liked it, too!


Now we just need to find the right dirt to fill it with........

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Grace's 2 month checkup... and some other ramblings from me! :)


I took Grace for her 2 month check-up yesterday morning--and it worked out perfectly because it was such a beautiful day, Geoff was able to spend some one-on-one time with Parker and take her to the park and then Chic-fil-a for lunch!

We feel so very blessed to have gotten a good report at our visit!! The pediatrician said, "She looks wise beyond her years......Has anyone ever said that to you before?" I said, "No?" kind of confusedly because I wasn't quite sure what she was talking about. She said, "Her face just looks more mature....like she's ready to sit up and start talking and having a conversation with you."


So here are her stats:

Grace at 2 months:

height: 23.75 inches (75th percentile)
weight: 11lbs 9.5 ounces (50th percentil)
head circumference: 39.5 cm (50th percentile)

And to compare her to Parker's stats at 2 months:

height: 23.25 inches (75th percentile)
weight: 10lbs 13.5 ounces (50th percentile)
head circumference: 38.5 cm (45th percentile)

You'll notice that both of their heights are 75th percentile and their weights are the 50th percentile....yet their actual heights and weights are not the same. This is because we took Parker to her 2 month at 2 months....and at Grace's appointment today, she is 2 months and 1 week (at least I think that's why?) ;)

And to compare Grace to her own 2 week stats (which was almost 8 weeks ago)....she has gained 2 lbs, 2 oz, and grown 2.5 inches! She's been busy!

I spoke with the doctor about if she should still be eating every 3 hours or so....not that I am trying to rush things....but I can't remember when it happens that she goes to a good morning nap, a good afternoon nap, and maybe a short little catnap in the evening? She said since she was in the 75th percentile for her weight at 2 weeks, and now in the 50th percentile that she wouldn't want to cut back on any feedings for her....not that she's concerned about her weight right now, but that she still needs at least what she is getting now.

We decided to hold off on her immunizations for the today. I ran a fever on Wednesday and felt horrible (And I have to brag on my husband for a bit.....fortunately, he was able to take off of work to stay home and help me with the girls....and he did just that! He basically took care of both girls all day long....really only bringing me Grace when she needed to be fed. I truly appreciate this and I think the extra rest really helped me to get better sooner! Thank you, Geoff! You continue to amaze me on what a wonderful husband and father you are!)

So because I just wanted to make sure and see if Grace comes down with this, I decided I wanted to wait until next week for her immunizations. I didn't want her little body to fight whatever this bug is plus her FIVE immunizations. So we go back next Thursday just for the shots! Fun!

After her appointment, I decided to run to Northpark to buy some new sunglasses because Parker mutilated mine a couple of weeks ago! I was so excited to be out and about in this beautuful weather and with this beautiful little girl that was so sweet and slept the whole time.


As I was doing a little browsing, I couldn't help but notice how cute all of the clothes that are out right now are. You know how sometimes the 'new' clothes and 'styles' that are out just don't quite mesh with your taste and style?? Well........I really like what's out now. But I do not like my waist size! Soooo. Instead of shopping for myself...I thought I'd do the next best thing. Shop for my girls!

I found these Easter dresses. I think they are adorable....but what I think really makes me like them is that they match!! (Aaaannndd...they were on sale! Added bonus!)


I also got them one other matching outfit, but I am going to save that for a picture I want to take of them together in the next month or so. It will look cuter on them than on a hanger...so I'll just show you then.

And since I was in the neighborhood....I went to Priscilla of Boston to pick up my brides maid dress (that- for the record- is 4 sizes bigger than I was when I got pregnant with Grace) for my friend, Emily's, wedding that is in 2 weeks! (I'll show you more of the dress later. Maybe. It's really not that pretty of a dress with me in it!) ;(


And because it was such a nice day...and to celebrate my lack of post- pregnancy weight loss....I thought I'd head over to Sprinkles Cupcakes to buy some over-priced {but well worth it} cupcakes.


And yes.....I cannot lie....I ate one immediately upon entering the car. I couldn't help myself....strawberry is my favorite!! {welll....and banana is my favorite, too} :)

So that was my day in a nutshell!

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And I wanted to include these next pictures, just because.

Here she is just streeeeetching!



And here are her cute little feet in her Croc socks!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Catching up...

I guess you could say I haven't really been in the 'bloggy' mood lately. For some reason, I feel like we have been so busy....having some sort of commitment each day. And not that it's a bad thing, I just can't seem to get caught up or think straight, it seems.

So today I thought that I'd do some catching up. Nothing too exciting, but it's something.

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I'll start out by telling you about how much of a challenge Parker has been for us lately. She's a sweetheart. She really is. But geez Louise....she has really given us a run for our money! It's not just the whining.....or the fit throwing. But really...it's the blatant disobedience and disrespect for us, and for other people as well. Is this just the "terrible two's" that we've all heard about...and quite possibly dismissed or even laughed about?? Because if it is...then ok. Fine. Although I am far from laughing now, maybe one day I will??

But what if it's more? What if this is the behavior that we have shaped? Is it something that we have done, or not done, as her parents? I'm really trying not to take myself too seriously here because a) I am a little low on sleep these days, and b) she is two. But honestly- in the back of my mind I am always wondering if this is just a phase or is this something that if we ignore, or just don't take that seriously....would she continue to have these behaviors as a 6 year old? An 11 year old? A sixteen year old, God forbid??

And the really big thing....the thing I think that might be stressing me the most is bedtime. I know I shouldn't let it get to me like it does......but this issue has really been going on since last October when we first took her out of her crib....and by the end of the day I am exhausted...and I am ready for the day to end! I've written about our bedtime routine before, so I won't go through it again....but I will say that Parker continues to keep getting out of bed....and if I am not dealing with Grace at the time....I just do the whole Super Nanny thing and just keep putting her back in her bed. But when I am dealing with Grace, this becomes more of an issue. Not to mention the fact that she is SO TIRED....and we know that she is SO TIRED....and I think this effects her behavior, as well.

So anyway- a few things that we are trying to hopefully make things better around here are:
  • For me to spend a little more one-on-one time with Parker. It seems that maybe the days that I get to spend more quality time with her she is better towards me. And since Grace came, I have obviously had to give her much of my attention. And although Parker appears to love her sister and doesn't really act out towards her....there are times (like bedtime) when she will be throwing her fit and will say, "No Mommy...don't hold Grace!" And she'll say this a few times and it really does break my heart....but what am I to do? I do let Grace cry at times just so that I can hold Parker for 1 minute to hopefully let her know that I choose her, too. But anyway. Something that keeps popping into my head lately is something that I learned when I was a teacher.....'if a kid is not getting the attention that they need or think that they need....they are going to get it some way....even if it is negative attention.' And yes- I realize I may be reading way into it....but this has been going on for a while and is progressively getting worse and we are progressively getting more tired and frustrated with it.
  • Sticking to our guns more. A lot of the time I find that we make empty threats, like "We aren't going to go to the park unless you come here and put your shoes on right now." Umm....ok. Sometimes that works...she will come and put her shoes on. But if in the moment, for some reason, going to the park doesn't mean anything to her....then we usually end up 'bribing' her with something else because we want to go to the park to get her and us out of the house! So in the past few days I have been better about only making threats that I am prepared to follow through with. Instead of telling her we aren't going to go to gymnastics if she wears her pajamas (because that's what she wants to wear and literally throws a fit as we are trying to get her dressed in real clothes)....we tell her she's going to go to time out until she's ready to put on her clothes. We'll see.....
  • At bedtime....if she gets up and I am trying to get Grace to bed...I just sit in the dark while feeding Grace and ignore Parker. I don't even really look at her or talk to her. She'll sit there and still talk, but I think she kind of gets the picture. Then, once I put Grace to bed, I pick Parker up, and take her to bed. This time it usually seems a little easier to get her to stay. On a positive note.....I usually still have both girls down by 10pm....so I know that it could be worse. It's just for her sake (as well as mine)...she needs that extra 1 hour to hour and a half of sleep a day! {OR....just do what I did tonight. Since Parker missed her nap today, I knew she was extra tired. So we went to Aunt Sister's for dinner...and I figured she'd fall asleep on the way home (and if she didn't I'd just keep driving until she did)....which she did after only 5 minutes in the car.....and then I was able to just move her from the car to her bed and totally bypass the bedtime routine. It's awful, I know. But it's survival! :) }
So enough of all of that! It's so good to get that off of my chest! This is some of what has been running around in my head for weeks now!

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I'll end with posting Grace's 2 months picture in her growth chair that I failed to do last week.


And then I went ahead and compiled the newborn picture, 1 month picture, and the 2 months picture for our viewing pleasure! CANNOT believe how much she's grown! She's really starting to fill out!



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And so I'm not leaving out Parker! She thinks that she has to tilt her head this way to smile and take a picture. What a poser! :)

Friday, March 19, 2010

at 2 months.

Grace is 2 months old today. I don't have a picture to post, but since this is my 'scrapbook' I wanted to write these things down today before I forgot.

  • You usually eat about every 2.5-4 hours during the day. Throughout the night....you get up anywhere between every 3 hours...to sleeping 5-8 hours straight! Every night is a mystery! Haha.
  • You usually stay awake for about an hour to an hour and a half between naps. The evenings (from 5pm-8pm) you might not sleep at all, as this is your fussiest time.....but it's worth it when you sleep for longer in the night! :)
  • You smile so much these days...it makes my heart melt. And you are cooing and gaa-ing more and more. I love it!
  • You don't really like tummy time too much, but I can tell that with each time you are able to lift and hold your head up higher and for a longer amount of time.
  • You like to sit up in our laps and stand up (basically just putting weight on your legs while we hold you) for short periods of time.
The time has flown since you came into our lives. We are loving every minute of getting to know you and your personality. You are a wonderful addition to our family.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

2 and a half years old.



Hard to believe that today..... our first baby.......our Parker....... is 2 and a half years old! I haven't done this since she turned 2 since she was 23 months (because I never got around to doing it when she turned 2...go figure), but I wanted to actually take the time to sit down and write out some of the things Parker says and does at 2 and a half!

Parker wanted to watch videos of herself at the beach (which was back in August) the other day. And as I watched, I couldn't help but notice just how much she's changed since then. She's lost some 'baby fat' and her vocabulary has definitely grown. She is so much more a little girl now. I want to capture it all and box it up...never to forget.

So at 2 and a half years old...
  • You can identify all of the letters of the alphabet and have started to show interest in learning to sing the "ABCs"
  • At night, you make me or your daddy sing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" and rub your back because you saw a daddy do this to his little girl from watching an episode of Elmo's World. But I must add....you are definitely a challenge to get to bed each night. We do have some good nights, but they are few and far between. You can come up with a million and one excuses as to why it is not time for you to go to bed (i.e. "I need to blow my nose," "I need my slinky," "I tee-teed in my pull-up," "I need some milk," "I need my yellow, squishy ball," etc.
  • You are potty trained!! We still put you in a pull-up at nap time and during the night....Mommy and Daddy are too tired and lazy to wake up with you and change your sheets if you were to have an accident aren't brave enough for you to try it without! :)
  • You are such a great big sister....always wanting to give Grace kisses. You even try to share your Lovey and blankie with her sometimes. You can't stand to hear her cry...even when Mommy and Daddy would like to let her cry for just a bit because we know that she is about to fall back to sleep....and you run into where she is and YELL at the top of your lungs, "Baby Grace is waking up!!!!!!!!!!" Good times. :)
  • Your favorite foods....and just about the only things that you will eat these days are chicken nuggets, pizza, rice, noodles, guacemole, Payton's puffs, popcorn, oatmeal, Rice Krispies, strawberries, an apple, pretzels, milk, and juice. It might seem like a lot when I list it out.....but these things are literally just about the only things you will eat!! Oh....and chocolate....you love chocolate.
  • You still love to watch Word World. It is your favorite show, and I dread the day that you grow tired of this show because I actually like this show...... and believe that it is partly mostly responsible for you knowing your letters!
  • On most days you can count to 10. The other day you took my fake apples and lined them up...counting as you went.....there were 8 and you didn't make a mistake! On some days.....you can even count up to 17 or 18....but you get confused sometimes, too. You throw in an eleventeen every now and then! :)
  • You know all of the colors in the rainbow, as well as, gray, brown, and black.
  • You know the shapes: circle, square, heart, triangle, and rectangle.
  • When you do something wrong...like continue to eat the cookie dough/cake batter after I have told you not to eat anymore....or when you sneak a drink of my Dr. Pepper when you know you aren't supposed to.....and you give us this 'special' grin...and you say very loudly, "I love you, Mommy! I love you!" It's hilarious. How does she know that she should say something 'nice' in the midst of doing something wrong??
  • At night when I tell you it's time for bed, you say, "It's time for night-night...it's dark outside." Then in the morning...you come into my room and say, "Mommy, wake up. It's not dark outside anymore." {Funny how using things like "It's dark outside" as a cue for your kid to know it's bedtime can backfire on you when daylight savings rolls around and you try to put your kid to bed when it's not dark outside. :) }
  • You can dress yourself most of the time.....although your shirt and/or paints may be inside out or backwards. You still need some help getting your shirt off, but can get your paints on and off.
  • You get frustrated SO easily...whether it be putting on your shoes and they don't go on quite as easy as you would like....or a toy that won't do what you want it to do. We have to constantly remind you that all you have to do is ask us for help.....but I don't think you understand it all that well.
  • One of your favorite words is "NO!"......and it's just not as sweet or cute as it was back when you first learned how to say it!!

Parker Ann, we love you so much! You have been somewhat of a challenge over the past month or so, leaving your Daddy and me wondering what to do with you...but we'll figure it out eventually! :) You make us smile and laugh each and every day. We are so proud of the little girl you are becoming and so proud to be your parents.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

DIY Lamp Shade: Decorating the Nursery


One of the final things I needed to finish Grace's nursery was a small table lamp. A few months back, I was in Hobby Lobby, and I came across these lamp shades that were 'normal'-shaped lamp shades that were self-adhesive so you could cover it with whatever material you wanted. I kept this in the back of my mind...knowing that I wanted to make the girls' quilts and thought this would work out perfectly. (You can go here to see Grace's quilt.)

I ordered the material for this lamp shade a couple of months ago, but finally got around to doing it earlier this week. I didn't think it would take very long, but to my surprise, it took SO much less time than I even thought!

First of all....I ended up buying this little table lamp.

I chose this instead of a 'normal'-shaped lamp shade for 3 reasons....
  1. I thought it was cute.
  2. I didn't necessarily need a lamp that would exude a lot of light because I didn't foresee us ever sitting with Grace in that glider, next to that lamp to read books before bedtime, because I just figured that we would all be reading book together in the floor or on a bed or something.
  3. The material I bought is striped....and I wanted these stripes to be horizontal to contrast the vertical lines on the wall. However, with the normal-shaped lamp shade, I was afraid that I would not be able to keep the lines straight. Make sense?
I didn't realize it until I sat down to make it..... but there are directions right there on the shade!

It even tells you how much material you need. And since I already had ordered my material, I ordered way too much, but it kind of works out because I'll make a pillow case for her one day when she is able to have a pillow in her crib.

So I measured around the shade and added an inch. Then I measured the length... and added 2 inches....so that 1 inch would be hanging off of the top, and one inch would be hanging off of the bottom. The directions actually say that you can take the outer wrapping off and use it as a template...which would have been so nice if I had bought the normal-shaped lamp shade (say that five times fast), but since this one was a straight cylinder, I just measured it and then cut it myself.

One thing that I was very impressed with was how easy it was to pick the material back up and replace it if you messed up. This was something that I was worried about....that the shade would be so sticky that if you didn't get it right at first, then it would mess up the material. But this was not the case....it was easy to lift back up, then re-smooth it back down.

Then I took my scissors and cut along the rim of the shade at the top and the bottom.

I used a hot glue gun to glue the seam....

Now it's time for the trim. I bought this ribbon....


And once I put it on....I started to think that maybe I didn't like it...that maybe it needed something more. But by this time...Grace was waking up from her nap and I decided to just go ahead and put it in her room anyway.

And I think I like it the way it is. Simple.





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