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Thursday, February 20, 2014

crib sweet crib

Crew is F I N A L L Y sleeping in his crib for both naps and nighttime. I didn't think this day would ever come. While I don't necessarily regret anything we've done with him and his sleeping habits, there are definitely things we won't do for future children.

Crew slept in the Rock N Play in our bedroom for about the first 3-4 weeks. He didn't like it very much after that because he was so big, I think. We bought him a swing/glider when he was 2 weeks old and when he outgrew the RNP, we moved him to that because he slept so good in the swing. At 8-9 weeks, we thought we'd try moving him to the crib at night. Well...that didn't work obviously.  He would only sleep about 20 minutes before waking himself up from his arms flailing or something of the sort. (He was NOT a fan of the swaddle after about two weeks. He was too strong and always wriggled out of it!) So, choosing better sleep over better sleep habits, we decided to let him stay in the swing until he was "ready" for the crib. (Note: we had moved his swing into his room so he would at least he would get used to being in there and that worked great.)

Once he started sleeping 6-8 hours straight in the swing we were dreading the crib move. But he had quickly outgrown the swing. His legs would hang off the end! We decided to start trying naps in the crib first and get him used to that. This was hard because Crew sometimes has a different babysitter each day between 3 grandmas, Will and then being at work with me so everyone had different routines and different ways of doing things - None of which were wrong, just all different making a consistent sleep routine difficult. Each time we would rock him to sleep and then lay him down in the crib, he would wake instantly and get upset. (I also didn't want to get him hooked on having to be rocked to sleep every single time.)

Finally, in the back of my mind I remembered a blog I had read while pregnant. It was something I had pinned called "super top secret baby tip." I followed the link to the blog again last week, but to my dismay the post had been deleted. I emailed the blogger and she responded by basically saying that she will always use this method for her own children, it goes against what the AAP recommends so she was uncomfortable posting the advice and "how-to" on her blog.

Luckily, I had already read the blog months ago and remembered the gist of the tip. I convinced Will that this was something we needed to try and we bought a king size blanket on clearance at Target and crossed our fingers. (We had considered buying so many things to help Crew sleep better like Baby Merlin's Magic Sleepsuit, a crib mobile, a projector for the ceiling....we did buy a Halo sleep sack and a wedge to help him sleep on his side because he's always liked that.)

Will was home with Crew that next day and he tried our new method. Let me tell you that we call that clearance blanket "Crew's magic blanket" now because of how well it worked. He was asleep instantly. After that first nap in the crib, we haven't looked back to that too small swing and it's been great! He doesn't even need to be rocked anymore and can pretty much get himself to sleep! (And YAY  for not having to use the dreaded CIO method!) I didn't realize how much anxiety I had been feeling about him hating the crib until afterwards. What a weight off our chests!

I understand that this method goes against what many people recommend due to SIDS risks, but ultimately I think each parent is entitled to their own judgement of what their baby needs. Crew needed something to make him feel secure and "hugged" like he did in his swing and we found just that. His is not able to roll over because of how secure he is laying in the middle of the blanket, but even if he were, he is strong enough to hold his head up and move around. Will said that king size blanket was the best $20 he's ever spent!
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Monday, February 17, 2014

etsy shop : open!

One of my February goals (ok, actually it was a December goal) was to finally open my Etsy shop. I am so glad to say that I have with the encouragement from Will and Kelly.

My shop contains both watercolor designs as well as custom modern calligraphy for wedding envelopes. This is something I've wanted to do more of for the longest time. I have addressed a few wedding invitations here and there for different people, but I am hoping this Etsy shop will allow me to do more of what I love!

So, if you or anyone you know is getting married, please send them my way. I would love to design the invitation envelopes!

Thank you so much Kelly Ginn Photography for the photos!
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Friday, February 14, 2014

my little heartthrob

Happy Valentine's Day from my little heartthrob!

Check out Three Boys Threads for more adorable clothes like this!
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Thursday, February 13, 2014

happy birthday hb

Will's birthday was yesterday and I never got a chance to blog about it! Also, I wanted to finally share our totally weird nicknames for each other.

But first, his birthday! Will was off work yesterday and got to spend the whole day with Crewboo. I was pretty jealous, but I came home for lunch and got to see them for a few minutes. Will's lunch request was, you guessed it, Taco Bell! No surprise there! After I got off work we went to Huey's for his birthday dinner with Kelly and John.

Yesterday was Will's first birthday with Crew so I think he enjoyed it! I L O V E watching Will be a dad. There's nothing better. I can't wait to celebrate many, many more birthdays with my main squeeze!

Now about those nicknames. When Will and I were dating we heard a couple call each other "Honey Bunny" and we thought it was the dumbest thing ever. We started calling one another that name just to be funny or, more than likely, to annoy each other! stuck. And "Honey Bunny" turned into "HB." It is the weirdest pet name for a spouse that I've ever heard. I can't remember the last time that Will called me by my actual name. It's always "HB." And as strange as it is, I like it that way.

So for those friends of ours who've heard us call one another by our nickname and been confused, now you know.

Please tell me we aren't the only ones with strange nicknames!
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Thursday, February 6, 2014

the night shift

I am so thankful that our nights with Crew have changed since he was first born. In his early days we would get 1-2 hours of consistent sleep a night before waking up for another feeding. I didn't think our sleep would ever improve. Our nightly routine consisted of Will getting up to hand Crew to me so I could feed him. Will was always so willing to help - and still is.

Now that Crew sleeps through the night for the most part, we have a new routine. Sometimes he will wake up after being asleep for 5-6 hours and be fussy. Will is the one who goes in to give him his paci and try to soothe him to go back to sleep. We've found that this works so much better than if I go in there. If it's me who goes in right away, he thinks it's time to eat and won't go back to sleep.

Last night was one of those nights when Crew just didn't sleep well. Will had gotten him back to sleep around 1-2 AM, but Crew just kept waking up. I got up next (without Will knowing - he's a heavy sleeper) and tried to get my sweet boy back to sleep. After several minutes I finally decided that I would just go ahead and feed him. He's wasn't going to sleep otherwise. I picked him up and turned around to see a dark shadow in the doorway. I about lost it.

Will had heard Crew on the monitor and got up to check on him without realizing that I wasn't even in bed. So when I turned around and saw him I almost jumped out of my skin. And when he saw someone in the darkness in Crew's room, I think he about had a heart attack. We both had to catch our breath after scaring each other. It's pretty funny thinking about it now!

I love this blondie so much!
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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

february goals

This is the second time I've posted my monthly goals. The first was in December and while I stuck to some of them, for the most part I failed! I'm blaming it on a busy holiday season and my last few weeks of maternity leave with Crew. I didn't want to do anything, but snuggle with our baby!

I made goals for January, but did not get around to posting them. I am trying to be more intentional this month with posting them and staying accountable for all I want to get accomplished, however big or small it may be. So, without further ado, my February goals:

Read one book this month
I had planned on reading along with A Beautiful Mess' book club and also one other blog book club in January. I purchased one of the books and it just sat on our ottoman for all of January. Oops. As I've mentioned before, once Crew goes to sleep at night I am ready to go to sleep too. If I didn't work full time it would probably be easier to read like I wish I could. But...that's not the case and I am going to try and stay up past 9:00 so I can get a little reading in because I enjoy it so much.

List items in Etsy shop
Yes, this was a goal in December. It didn't get done, but it WILL this month. I am so close!

Finish hanging wall decor in Crew's nursery
Another December goal that didn't happen. It's also something that's close to being done too. We have one big item to complete and I can wait to show it to everyone!

Send one snail mail letter each week
I've done this for the past three weeks, mainly with our couples' group. Each week at small group, we are given one person to pray for after they have written down their specific prayer needs for that week. I have tried my hardest to send snail mail to that person rather than just a text...because who doesn't love getting mail?! I've loved doing this in our group. It has really helped me to be more intentional with praying for our close friends, couples group and church.

Workout at least 3 times per week
I am ready to kick this last bit of baby weight to the curb. Breastfeeding helped a lot of the weight come off quickly, but I really need to tone up...particularly in the belly area. I have been doing the Core Fusion DVD's and walking on weekends when we have nice weather (which isn't often). My initial goal was 4 times per week, but if I'm being honest, that won't happen. I'm pushing it with 3 days already!

Print photos for our home
I am SO bad about doing this. I have too many good photos to count from Kelly and yet most of our frames are still filled with memories from my college days or even when Will and I were dating. I think it took me two years to get wedding pictures in frames. See? Told you I was bad.

Start prayer journaling again
I haven't done this since Crew has been born and I regret it. I started prayer journaling consistently in 2010 and I LOVE going back and remembering how God answered specific prayers. I need to pick this habit back up, especially now that little Crewboo is in our lives!

Practice my calligraphy every day
This is something I've been working on for quite a while now. Some days I skip writing, but as with all the other goals, I'm hoping this post helps me actually practice each night. This goal goes along with my Etsy shop goal and I am so ready to check it off the list. I feel like I am constantly learning more about my calligraphy and hand lettering and absolutely love it!

Start blog makeover
I'm not trying to get this done this month, but I'd at least like to start. My blog is in need of a major makeover! I feel like my taste and style has changed so much since last designing my blog and I'm ready for something new!

Go on at least one date with Will
I know it is so important to continue to pursue your spouse after marriage and after a baby, but sometimes it's easier said than done. We have plenty of babysitters for Crew, but most weekends we just want to spend at home together rather than going out. I think it's because of long work weeks and not much time spent as a family because of that. BUT this month Will and I will make time for each other and go on a date! It is Valentine's month, isn't it?!

Here's to blog accountability!
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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

crew | four months

And just like that, another month has flown by. Each new stage that Crew reaches becomes my new favorite. His personality shines more and more each week and we love that we have such a happy baby!

weight: 18lbs, 1 oz
length: at 4 month appointment, 26.25 inches
clothes: 6-9 months
diapers: size 2 in disposables and wearing OS cloth
side note: I feel like I need to mention something my mom said to me this week. "Have I told you how much I like cloth diapers?" I thought I must be hearing things! She mentioned her initial reaction to cloth was just from not knowing anything about them...and picturing the "old fashioned" cloth diapers. I feel like more people would choose cloth if they knew how great/easy/cost effective/adorable they are!
hair color: blonde!
eye color: blue
eating: still breastfeeding and occasionally supplementing formula if we are out & about. He takes around 6 oz. each feeding. We got the go-ahead to start baby food from our doctor last week. More on that below!
nicknames: crew baby, crew man, crewster, C, crewseph, crew boo, crewdy booty (I'm sure he'll love that one when he gets older)
likes: (loves) baths, riding in the car, talking to you, smiling, being able to look around and see what's going on, being read to, laying on his belly, chewing on his hands, "singing"
dislikes: being hungry or sleepy

When Crew was born, I was so gung-ho on implementing the sleep training that I had read in "12 Hours Sleep by Twelve Weeks Old." That quickly changed. While I'm sure that strategy works really well, the schedule required by that training method just wasn't practical for us. We would have had to began a strict schedule of having him in his crib, asleep by 7:00 PM for it to work. There are a lot of nights that we aren't home at 7 so we just couldn't do it. Yes, we could have put him to bed later, but because he goes to work with me at times that bedtime is what would have been needed to implement the book's training methods. Another part of that book that hasn't worked for us was stretching his feedings to every 4 hours during the day. He hasn't reached this point yet. I'm not sure if he's supposed to be there yet, but I am not worried about it. He eats every three hours and we are ok with that at this point.

While we didn't go by the book's sleep training methods, we did try more of a bedtime routine to help him go to sleep earlier. He had been going to sleep around 11 PM each night and since going back to work, I just could not stay up this late anymore. My days of being a night owl are long gone! We started a nightly routine of bath, reading, and then nursing. It has worked so well. Crew goes to sleep now between 8-9 PM and will sleep at least 8-9 hours, wake up to eat, and then go back to sleep for about 3 more hours. I used to think that keeping him up later would make him sleep longer, but that's not the case. Getting 8 hours of sleep straight has been wonderful!

Crew has become so distracted while nursing sometimes. It mainly happens when I come home to feed him for lunch. It's like he realizes that he hasn't seen me all day and gets excited. Even though it ends up taking him much longer to finish, it's so sweet. He will just pull his head back and turn to look at my face and smile and talk. He's such a sweetheart.

Also this week, Crew stood by himself! Ok, kind of. He has such strong, fat legs so we stood him up against the couch and let go. He stood there all by himself! Go Crewboo!

Crew learned to "sing" this week. It is so funny. He usually does it in the car and it just the sweetest sound you've ever heard. I will have to post a video of him doing it.

He has also become quite fond of his hands lately. He LOVES chewing on his fingers or trying to fit his entire fist in his mouth. We are constantly wiping his mouth of all the drool so he doesn't soak his clothes so quickly.                                                                        

We went to the doctor for Crew's 4 month appointment at 17 weeks, 1 day. He had to get 3 more shots in his poor thighs. He did so good again though. I was more prepared this time and gave him some Tylenol before his appointment and I think it really helped with how he felt afterwards. Will conveniently happened to be substitute teaching that day so he didn't have to be there for the shots. Lolly (my mom) went with us. He hadn't napped all morning so after his shots I was able to hold him for a minute and he went right to sleep. He was a little out of sorts that day and the next, but overall it was much better than the two month shots.

Crew's doctor gave us the go ahead to start him on baby food. I know a lot of people wait until 6 months, but Crew is such a big baby (97th percentile in height and weight) that 4 months is a good time to start. We went to the grocery last weekend and decided on carrots for his first food. I am planning on making his baby food, but if it doesn't work out then it's not something I will lose any sleep over. It is so much cheaper than buying jarred food though. AND it was fun cooking his carrots! Will & I hope that cooking Crew's healthy veggies and fruit will motivate us to eat healthier too. Anyway, I was so sure that he would love eating carrots since he's such a good nurser/eater already. I was wrong! It was such a funny night trying to get him to eat. He spit it ALL out and we just laughed at him. He knew he was being silly and I think he enjoyed having us laugh at him. The second night of carrots went much better - I think he actually swallowed some!
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Saturday, February 1, 2014

one year ago today

One year ago today I woke up and began getting ready for my last workday of the week. Despite the 4 negative pregnancy tests I had taken in the two weeks leading up to this day, I still felt like I was pregnant. I had one pregnancy test left and decided to just go ahead and use it. Will was in the kitchen fixing cereal for breakfast and had no idea what I was doing. Within seconds the test showed two pink lines. I stood there in shock, tears filling my eyes. The baby we had been praying for for so long was finally in our life. I slowly walked out of the bathroom, holding the positive pregnancy test, ready to give Will the news. My face said it all. He was shocked, we were ecstatic and sat on the kitchen floor in disbelief of this greatest blessing.

Look where we are now. We have the most perfect baby boy and are happier than we ever dreamed. I can't even remember what life was like before Crew. He brings us so much joy and I can't wait to see where the next year takes us. Thank you, God for our son.

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