Friday, July 28, 2017

Favorite Things

There have been quite a few things I have been loving lately and really wanted to write them all down in one place in an effort to share their awesomeness with anyone else that may be interested/sleep deprived. The first few are related to toddler sleep.

 My very favorite thing in the world right now is the OK to Wake Clock.
 I seriously cannot say enough about this thing. We started using one with Finn back in the Spring before switching him to his big boy bed so he could get used to it. Now that he's in his bed, he waits for it to turn green at 7:15 before sitting up and looking into the monitor and saying "mommy! my clock's green"- at which point, I waddle up to his room to get him. Knock on wood- he has never has an issue with getting out of bed on his own. Now, he is almost 4 so it's a little easier to understand that, BUT the real miracle in all of this is that we recently got one for Ryder.

If you know anything about this kid, you know he's been pretty consistent at waking up between 5 and 5:30 since he was about 12 months old. Letting him "cry it out" didn't work much either, because he would get to a screaming level so loud that he would ultimately wake up Finn (in the next room with a sound machine) or gag and throw up. So for the past year and a half, our days have started at 5:30 around here. We got him the clock- not really expecting him to "get it" yet since he wasn't even two and a half.

The first day I set it to 5:45. He woke up at 5:30 and cried for 15 min. I went in when it turned green at 5:45.

The next day was the same.

The next day, he woke up at 5:30 but rolled around quietly until it turned green. Then he stood up and looked into the monitor yelling" my tick tock geen! my tick tock geen!"

Little by little, I've been pushing it back and getting the same response. Now- a few weeks into it, he will stay in bed until 7:00! GLORY GLORY. He'll still roll around and make some noises before then, but the screaming as if his crib was sinking into the Atlantic has stopped. And I feel like a brand new person.

In a very close second place, would be these blackout shades from Amazon.
 You guys. Our boys go to bed between 7:30 and 8 nearly every night. This is super difficult when it doesn't even come close to getting dark until 9PM in the summer. Not to mention that naps in the afternoon may as well look like they're outside. I've looked at about a million different blackout shade options and this one does the trick. You can't beat the price, as you get 6 of them for under $30. They're marketed as "temporary" only because they attach to the inside of your window frame with double sided tape essentially. AND THEY WORK. Their rooms always look like it's the middle of the night and are even a good bit cooler thanks to the sun being fully blocked. They have had very little trouble going to bed since it looks like it's "darky outside" (Ryder's words). The downside is that they are not pretty in the least bit. For both boys, we have them behind the "real blinds", but we never even open the curtains in their rooms so you never see them anyway. I will warn you that from the outside, the windows look black- but both of theirs are on the back of the house, so you'd never see them anyway. Since they're "temporary" and installed without any hardware I would imagine you could even take a couple on vacation with you if your destination has a super early sunrise or you're in an earlier timezone (I'm lookin' at you, Seaside) since 6 come in a pack and they're so cheap.

Next are a few skincare products that don't require as lengthy descriptions but equally qualify as current favorite things.

Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask- I use this as moisturizer after I wash my face at night and my face still feels the same in the morning. My skin is soft and doesn't feel dried out. Win. Win.
Clinique City Block Sunscreen for the face- keeping with the "anti-aging" theme here, I wear this everyday either by itself over my regular moisturizer or under make-up. Let's be honest, most of my days are spent at the park or the pool so this makes me in need of some serious SPF so I don't age faster than the tiny humans are already causing me to do so.
Clinique All About Eyes De-puffing Serum- I actually got this as a free gift with purchase a couple months ago, but have been using it every day and love it! I keep it in the fridge and it's like the little metal roller ball just wakes my eyes up and shrinks away all signs of pregnancy sleeplessness. Also, it makes me feel like I'm putting on (colorless) football eye black in the morning to gear up for the big game-- aka my normal day with toddlers.
Thayers Witch Hazel- I bought this a year ago when I started using essential oils to use as a mixing agent or base, and it's been sitting in a cabinet since then. I recently started using it as a toner in the morning after I wash my face and it has done wonders for my pregnancy acne and skin discoloration caused by pregnancy- not to mention is is just so refreshing and makes my face feel clean.

That's it for now, friends. Finn starts school in a couple weeks so we're busy trying to soak up these last weeks of summer before the glorious cool days of Fall are here- also our last weeks of being a family of four.
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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Summer Days and Chick-fil-A

It's still summer. It's still hot. Dustin reminded me the other day that it hasn't even been as hot as it usually is by now. I said I am nearly 30 weeks pregnant so it currently feels like the surface of the sun. Anything we do outside these days needs to be around water for this reason. We celebrated the 4th of July last week with friends at their backyard pool aka mini resort. Every time we get together, which takes a huge undertaking these days, we see all these kids running around and aren't really sure where they all came from. We're currently at 9 kids 5 and under and when our newest little man arrives in September, we'll be at 10.

 The boys have been going to the Home Depot Kids' Workshops on the first Saturdays of each month and last month they had Pop along for an extra set of hands.
 They made bug houses, so naturally it was time for a bug hunt when they got home.
 I took Finn to our Chick-fil-A's "Mother Son Date Knight" last weekend and it was just the sweetest. I love when they branch out from the daddy/daughter date nights and include us boy moms.

 Not sure if this goes into the parenting win or loss category, but our bedtime routine now consists of watching a show on our bed after bath so that they'll sit still for lotion, pj's, meds and teeth brushing. This started when Dustin was gone for a couple nights back in May and it has stuck around. It seems that when we say "boys go sit on the floor while we get you ready for bed" after bath time, they hear "let's run laps upstairs as fast as we can and wrestle cage-match style". SO... this keeps them in one spot long enough to calm down.
 The boys and I made our t-shirts and hats for CFA Cow Appreciation day. This is CFA's annual event where you get free food for dressing like a cow (or feeling like one in my case).
 The boys and I went for breakfast.
 Then we got an early dinner when Dustin got home to beat the crowd.
 Free food that we didn't have to clean off our kitchen floor. Win. Win.

 We've been trying to spend as much time as possible at the pool these days and the boys aren't hating it. Ryder has gotten better at staying upright in his puddle jumper and Finn now jumps in the water, puts his face in and kicks to the side- all with his puddle jumper on, but progress still.

 Stay cool, friends.
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Sunday, July 9, 2017

28 weeks

Well now is as good a time as any for a pregnancy update on here considering I'm now in my third trimester. With the year we've had so far, it should not be a surprise that this pregnancy has both flown by and felt like it's taken 87 weeks to get to this point. We moved back in February, and between setting up a new house and keeping up with a two and three year old, there hasn't been much sitting down to take the time and document this pregnancy- let alone remember how far along I am.

The boys have been super sweet and really seem to understand what's happening. We waited awhile to actually tell them, and as soon as we did, they knew they had to "be gentle with mommy" and not do things like dive on my stomach with trucks. They both want to look at my belly and pet it and yell "hi baby!" Finn says things like "when the baby is here, mommy will rock him really slow and say shh shh shh" "Baby will cry a lot and be asleep". I still have a feeling their little worlds will be rocked for the better, but at least they have more of an idea of what's going on than Finn did when Ryder was born since he was only 18 months.

I have definitely felt worse this time around, and I'm not sure if that's just this pregnancy or the fact that I have a two and three year old at my feet all day or that it's summer this time (Ryder was born in March) or a combination of all three. Regardless, I am still so thankful for this sweet, tiny one and we can't wait to meet him! I'd be lying if I said I'm not looking forward to our hospital stay with him. A couple days of staying in bed, watching tv, eating snacks and snuggling our little man- a stay at home mama's dream!

I have actually not taken any pictures of myself this time around until now, but here are some pics from along the way. This was this morning before church since that is really the only time all week I have on real clothes, make up and my hair down.

28 Weeks

And here are some of the sweet images we have so far of our newest little man...

8 weeks
 12 weeks
14 weeks
 20 weeks

We have also been busy around the house getting ready for his arrival. When we moved in, Finn's room was the same as it was in our old house- meaning he was still in his crib- and our 4th bedroom was the guest room. Over the past month, Finn finally has a big boy room and our guest room is now a nursery combo. Here is a peek at the progress...

There is still not much on the walls, because really there is not much on the walls of our whole house yet. I'll see how long I can play the "we just moved in" card. His duvet set is from PB Kids and his fire truck sheets are from TJ Maxx Homegoods.
 Curtains are also Homegoods.
 His dresser was given to us when my parents moved from their house. I chalk painted it red and spray painted the knobs. Finn wanted his walls painted red, but settled for the dresser. This cute mirror was a $10 yard sale find. There is still a lot more I'd like to add, but we also have a whole house to fill. If you also knew Finn, you'd know that it's good we're giving him a little bit at a time. Not sure what the end result would be with a chair, book shelf, etc. added to his room right away. There's a reason he's been in his crib until almost 4. He is just as happy as he can be with his new room, though, and he knows his crib will be the baby's new bed. We've thankfully had zero issues with switching to the big boy bed- probably because he was three and a half- but still, he loves to sleep in it and knows that we'll get him when his clock lights up green. We are still not night-trained yet for potty training, so he knows he's not allowed to get out of bed and so far it's been going really well.

Here is what will be our newest little man's nursery. It is basically the same nursery that we had for Ryder in our old house, but with an extra dresser and Finn's old changing table and crib since we have a little more space now. I plan to add letters on the wall above his crib with his name soon and we also have curtains that will hopefully get hung before he's born. If those things happen I may do a more thorough "nursery reveal" post, but for now this is what we've got.

And then just so our sweet, soon-to-be middle child isn't left out, here is what his room currently looks like since I've been moving a bunch of stuff around. We moved Finn's old rocking chair and ottoman into Ryder's room since the new nursery now has the glider.

So that's it for now around here, if you need me for the next 12 weeks I'll be wallowing in the baby pool at our neighborhood pool since that's about all I'm capable of doing outside these days.
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