Thursday, October 1, 2015

Aelah Grace: 11 Months

I'm a little late, as usual.  Aelah turned 11 months about 12 days ago.

11 months!!  I can't believe it.  Nope.  I'm in denial.  My BABY will NOT be a toddler in less than a month.  Not happening.  Rewind.  Stop time.  Someone do something!  Hit. The. Brakes!!

11 months is hard mom!!  Really....I just want to play with this sticker and you won't let me...  Not cool.

How am I growing?

Stayed laying for .05 seconds....but I got a somewhat decent shot!

Most of the chub is gone.  :(  
She just never stops moving.  lol.  But she is also getting taller!  All of the sudden she can grab things off the top of my desk...or out of the trash can.  Yikes!  Every day is a new adventure!

How am I sleeping?

Pretty good.  No big changes.  Though getting teeth means she is up a little earlier or in the middle of the night once or twice.... But it doesn't stick, thankfully...

How am I eating?

Great!  She never stops.  haha.  Always snacking and always wanting more.  She brings me her empty snack cup and if she sees a snack pouch, you better watch out!  She will go bananas!!  And while it sounds cute....this girl is serious when it comes to food.  See food.  Eat it.  That's her motto.

What else is new?

She is just a new person every single day.  She loves to read, waves at everyone, says "hi" and "hey" and dances like there is no tomorrow.  She cracks me up!  I never know what to expect anymore!!

My favorite pics from the past month:

She was helping Uncle Luke fix things......

Our "Gigi is babysitting again!" outfit.  Great Grandma LOVES the Pirates.  After a miraculously short bout with cancer, Gigi was finally back to hang out.  So we wore a special outfit just for her.  :)

What. a. Doll.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Aelah Grace: 10 Months

Oh that face...
What in the world happened to my baby!?!  Did I blink??  I'm officially starting to understand how parents say it goes so fast.  Didn't I just bring her home from the hospital?  And it never slows down does it?  I am really trying to treasure little moments but my, oh, my...they are still flyin' by!

Laying in the basket may be a thing of the past.  lol.
How am I growing?

She is probably losing weight because she is not slowing down.  Every single day she just moves faster and faster!  haha.  I have to admit, it is so much fun.

How am I sleeping?

Can't complain.  She actually bumped her bed time up a half an hour on her own.  So instead of going to bed at 8:30, she is usually ready around 8.  She wakes between 6 and 7 to eat and I wake her up at 7:30 for the day.  Naps are anywhere from 1 hour to almost 3 hours and 2 or 3 times a day.  As far as sleep goes, we are blessed for sure!

How am I eating?

Like a champ.  I'm still tremendously glad we decided to do Baby Led Weaning.  She eats everything and anything we give her - spicy, sour, green, name it!  It is a bit messier though...

She LOVES black beans....especially when we have black bean tacos and they are cooked and mashed a bit with salsa.  But, yeah....messy...

What else is new?

It is truly amazing how much they change in such a little time isn't it?!?  She finally got her first tooth while we are on vacation in Michigan (the first week of August, so about 9 1/2 months).  But, the biggest thing is that she started walking!!  A week before she turned 10 months, she just woke up in the morning and decided today was the day.  She went from taking 3 or 4 steps towards a person to walking across the room to get what she wanted over night.  It has been so fun to watch her learn!


Here are my favorite pictures from this past month:

I love how she puts her arm on the side.  So sweet.  <3
Her first parade!

Quite possibly my favorite picture ever!  She was laughing about something on America's Got Talent, her hair is everywhere....too much!  :)
Snuggles with Daddy.  It is the only word I think she is really aware of at this point.  I tell her Daddy is going to be home soon and she gets so excited and says "Da!"  Any time I say 'Daddy' that is the typical response.

She loved hanging out in the lake at Uncle Jason's and Aunt Nicole's house in Michigan!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Cloth Diaper Giveaway & WAHM Review: Tailored by Erica

Hey all!!

It has been quite awhile since I have done a review.  But I am super excited to be introducing you to another fabulous work at home mom, Erica from Tailored by Erica.  She has two boys (2 years and 6 months) and together, with her husband, they live on her grandma's farm!  How fun is that!?!  She has been sewing since she was 9 years old and got her first sewing machine for her 10th birthday!  She even made her own prom gowns.  One was John Deere and the other was camouflage!  

That theme has carried over into her cloth diaper shop!  She sells newborn and one size diapers.  Currently all of the ones on Etsy are camo or bandanna print!  Since Hubby and I are a little bit country, I was pretty excited when Erica asked if would do a review.

Cloth Diapers with a country flair!
For review purposes, she sent me a camouflage one size pocket diaper.  And as a thank you, she also sent a newborn cover in the bandanna print.  Super sweet, right?  It is the cutest little thing....

So tiny and precious.  :)

The camo diaper is pretty neat!  My brother, who very rarely has anything to say about material items, told me he really liked my new diaper.  So I knew it was a big hit with him!

Smallest Setting

Largest Setting

There is definitely room to grow!  I will, say, however, the the smallest setting seems a bit big for a one size (OS) diaper.  We have it on the smallest setting right now.  Aelah is 10 months old and almost 19 lbs.  Admittedly, however, she is a bit skinny since she is so long for her age.  But I don't think this would have fit her (without leakage) very long before now.  

UPDATE: Erica let me know after posting this that she is already in the process of adjusting her OS design so that it will fit smaller.  Guess I should have checked with her on that first.  :/

Here is the fit on her right now...

But, honestly, that would be my only complaint.  Outside of that, this diaper is awesome!  Why?

  • It is unique...definitely haven't seen very many camo diapers
  • It doesn't leak at night!!  Stuffed with a double microfiber insert and a bamboo booster...which is what we put in my other tried and true pockets.
  • It has an adorable ruffle on the butt for some added girly-ness!  

Lace is good.  :)

  • The inside is made of a very soft almost mesh type material.  It keep baby's bottom dry and actually doesn't stain very easily.   UPDATE: While this fabric is fantastic, Erica has switched to a stay-dry cottom velour for the inside of her diapers.  Apparently, it is very similar to bumGenius 4.0.

Looks run of the line here....

But up close, it is a bit different.  Almost like Gro Via shells....but a bit softer...

  • They are affordable!!  You can snag a one size pocket for just $14!  And her newborn diapers are only $10!
I love being able to add a diaper to my stash that I know we will be reaching for often!  This is a 5-Star keeper!!

Ruffle Butt!!

SO cute!


**Additional Note - inserts are not included when purchasing from Tailored by Erica.  However, you can purchase each diaper as a pocket OR cover and the newborn diapers include an AIO (All in One) option.  I love having options!  

As a thank you to Erica for this review and giveaway - be sure to follow her on one of the following social media outlets.  Thanks!

To Buy: Head over to the Etsy shop here.

To Win: Enter to win the diaper of your choice (must be in stock on Etsy) by using the Giveaway Tool below:

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Aelah Grace: 9 Months

She is something else this girl....

Nine Months.  Can you believe it??  My baby is slowly becoming a toddler....  Not cool.  At all.  I have to admit, it is a lot of fun.  And on the other hand, it is super difficult.  She is constantly on the go.  If she is awake, my productivity is cut by 80% easily!!  haha.  We just have to learn how to master this new normal!

And, yes, I realize this is almost a month late.  haha.  Hoping to have our 10 month post up next week...on time!  ;)

Little Miss Busy Body

How am I growing?

Where did my baby go!?!?!

Well, she is officially 18 lbs, 12 oz.  And 28 and a half inches long!  She is in the 50th percentile for weight and 75th for height.  Since she was weighed and measured last (around 6 months) she has gained 1 lb and 6 oz....I really think she gained more than that and then lost within the last month since she has become so much more mobile.  Her legs are getting skinnier!  :(  She has grown an inch and a half since then as well. 

How am I sleeping?

Marvelously!  There are still nights now and then that she will wake up and fuss a bit but only once in the past month have I had to get out of bed before 6am.  It was a weird night.

How am I eating?

Boy does she love her food!  I haven't noticed a difference in nursing....unless I'm not around.  Then she wants less milk and more actual food.  Which I know isn't abnormal.  Her favorites currently are pasta, yogurt, dried sugar snap peas, meatballs, and pretzels with hummus.

She even loves lemons!!
What else is new?

She has mastered crawling, much to my dismay.  Every two minutes she in into something else.  I keep reminding  myself that this is how she learns and that curiosity is a good thing.  But I also find myself wishing that we had a smaller living space or somewhere that I could corral her a bit better.  A large open floor plan is not practical for mobile infants!  ;)

First steps were taken about a week ago at this point I think.  Just a couple here and there.  Though yesterday she braved four at once which is the most I've ever seen.  

Attitude is in full force.  When she isn't happy she will let you know!  

Waving hello, goodbye, and goodnight is a lot of fun!  And actually, because she started waving before bed time, it is now a nice clue that she is ready for a nap.  If no one walked in the door and she comes over to me and waves, it generally means she is sleepy.  I also love that when I come home from work she waves with both hands because she is so excited to see me.

No teeth yet.  I keep thinking they are coming....but still nothing.  Hopefully soon.

Here's my favorite pics from the month:

This picture is absolutely stunning.  Props to my mom!!
This is actually a still from a video I took...she was SO intense about pushing that walker!
She loves bath time too!!  Look at that silly grin!
Investigating Daddy's ukulele...she loves all things musical!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Once Upon a Time...

I want to tell you a story....

Once upon a time in a land far away there lived a very stubborn nation.  They had lived a tough life under the tyranny of others.  But, thanks to the grace of God, they escaped from that tyranny and began their life anew.  Thankfully, God placed in their hands a guide to His will for their life.  They only had to follow it.  

But...being a stubborn nation, they ignored what God wanted for them and let their hearts stray.  God sent blessing after blessing their way and still they would not follow His will.  He sent punishment their way and, still, they would not follow His will.  So He gave them over to their stubborn, hardened hearts.  They would not enter His rest.

Who do you think I am speaking of here?

Possibly Israel.  Possibly the United States.  The truth is, it could be either one.  

Just like Israel, we were given a chance to follow the will of God.  He even gave us instructions by giving us His word (aka the Bible).  Yet, we harden our hearts and turn from His ways day after day.

Psalm 95:7b-10
7b Today, if you would hear His voice,
8 Do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah,
As in the day of Massah in the wilderness,
9 "When your fathers tested Me,
They tried Me, though they had seen My work.
10 For forty years I loathed that generation,
And said they are a people who err in their heart,
And they do not know My ways.
11 Therefore I swore in My anger,
Truly they shall not enter into My rest."

While our nation was not literally at Meribah or Massah, we have been in contention with God and we have tempted, or tested Him, which is the meaning of those two words (Strong's H4809 and H4532).  If any nation has followed after its own heart and neglected the word of God that was at their fingertips, it is ours!  We are just like Israel: "They knew God's ways well enough; but they did not like them; and would not walk in them" (Clarke).  What are God's ways?  How do we know them?  The Israelites had the 10 commandments.  We have the Bible.  He has given us a road map to follow His will!

And just like the Israelites: "It mattered not whether He blessed or punished.  They were impervious to both" (Expositor's).  It seems that no matter what happens to this country: fortune or famine, peace or terrorism, we never turn to God.  And this is why: "They strayed in heart; therefore they had an ever-increasing ignorance of the right road.  For the averted heart and the blind understanding produce each other" (Expositor's).  If that doesn't explain our country, I don't know what does.  The heart of the nation, the hearts of the people have gone astray.  Because of that, they can no longer see what is right...even when it is in the palm of their hands!  

We must be so very careful to keep our hearts in the Lord's will.  For once we begin to stray, it becomes more and more difficult to understand His way.  We are tempted and misled and eventually are hearts are hardened and "the seed sown on the rock never brought any fruit to perfection" (Henry).

God's Word, the Bible, Scripture, Daily, Devotion, Psalm, Seeds, Sower, Rock, Fruit, Israel, United States, America, Harden Heart, Sin, Church

Church, our job today, is to steady our hearts.  Our job is to give our hearts entirely to the Lord so that they do not harden and we are able to produce fruit.  For when we produce fruit, we encourage others to do the same.  And soon, one fruit tree becomes an orchard and then the orchard becomes an entire forest.  

God's Word, the Bible, Scripture, Daily, Devotion, Psalm, Seeds, Sower, Rock, Fruit, Israel, United States, America, Harden Heart, Sin, Church

Be the light in the darkness.  Be the fruit tree in this famished land so that one day, the Lord can harvest a forest full of fruit!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Must-Haves for Baby 3-6 Months

This post has been a loooooong time in coming!  Aelah is about to be 9 months and I've been meaning to write this since she turned 6 months!  haha.

I should preface, again, that these aren't actual necessities.  This is our list of "must-haves" that we don't think we could have survived without.  Though, in reality, I know we could have.  :)
This post contains some affiliate links.  If you happen to click and purchase, thank you so much for helping to support our family!

Our little lady, like many others, was pretty nosey from the beginning.  But she, obviously, wasn't mobile at 3 months.  So the exersaucer was a great way for her to see what was going on, to get up off the floor. She absolutely loved it.  Wacked herself in the face a few times with the toys, but she loved chewing on them....still does!

Baby, 3 months, 4 months, 5 months, 6 months, Gift, Registry, Shower, Must Haves, Necessities, Need, Want
This was the very first time she was in this....LOVED it!

I didn't include this on my 0-3 month list and I probably should have.  So I'm adding it here.  While I never got the hang of it while nursing (it was just one more thing I had to figure out), the boppy pillow was the perfect place to lay her.  While she was awake, it was a nice place to prop her up so she could see a little bit better and later on, it was great for tummy time so she wasn't flat on the floor.  Naps were also great in the boppy!  Loved seeing her lay there so content and peaceful.  Additionally, it is great at this age for propping up behind them when they first start sitting up.

Baby, 3 months, 4 months, 5 months, 6 months, Gift, Registry, Shower, Must Haves, Necessities, Need, Want
Full disclosure, she was only 2 months in this pic...but it was the only one I could find with her boppy....weird.

3. Teething Toys

Because of how much she loved to chew, we had thought Aelah was getting teeth from about 3 months on!  Currently, she has two nubs but nothing has broke through the skin yet and she is days away from being 9 months!  haha.  But teething toys were a lifesaver, these were a few of our favorites:

Sophie the Giraffe (see picture below)

These Blue Spoons - yep, she chewed on them before we started food

Wooden Teether

Baby, 3 months, 4 months, 5 months, 6 months, Gift, Registry, Shower, Must Haves, Necessities, Need, Want
This is the...."Seriously? You guys are eating in from of me and all I get are these toys?" look.....

4. Noisy Toys

When I say "noisy," I don't mean toys that have volume buttons or flashing lights.  I mean simple toys that can be distracting and fun for a tiny little human.  :)  These were our favorites:

Crinkle Paper from Marleys Monsters.  Definitely one of Aelah's favorites from very early on.  And I recommend it to any mom I can!  So convenient to tuck in a purse or pocket!  (See picture above)

Maraca Egg - We had one that was gifted to us awhile before baby from the Earthbound Trading Co.  I found it after she was born and it was one of her very favorites from the beginning.  Daddy was playing with it when she laughed for the first time!!  These ones are also super cute!

Rattles - obvious?  yes.  But there were so many times that the rattle in the diaper bag saved the day!  I thought this one and these wrist rattles were pretty neat!

5. A Mirror

There was a mirror on the back of our bathroom door when we moved in that we replaced (it was outdated).  I have plans to fix it up and use it elsewhere.  But it was just sitting in the closet.  She loved that mirror!  She sat and talked to the baby in the mirror for hours.  And we used it for pictures but all she would do was give the other baby kisses.  ;)  If you don't have a large mirror for baby to play with, this plastic mirror is a safe bet and is very similar to what I used in the day care scene!

Baby, 3 months, 4 months, 5 months, 6 months, Gift, Registry, Shower, Must Haves, Necessities, Need, Want
Video wouldn't upload of her talking to herself.  But I still love this picture!

6. A Good Sippy Cup

Aelah refused to take a bottle.  On a whim, I got out the Nuk sippy I had gotten at a yard sale and she took to it like a pro!  We probably would have introduced it around 5 or 6 months anyways.  But it was a definite must have for us right around 4 months!

Baby, 3 months, 4 months, 5 months, 6 months, Gift, Registry, Shower, Must Haves, Necessities, Need, Want, Boppy Pillow, Bumbo, Exersaucer, Play Mat, Activity Center, Mirror, Sophie, Teething, Rattle, Crinkle, Spoon, Sippy Cup, Nuk
First time with a sippy...drank over an oz when Mommy stepped out of the room for just a couple seconds....

7. A Play Mat

While definitely not was still nice to have a designated place to lay her.  And she loved the hanging toys and the tiny mirror that was attached.  :)

Baby, 3 months, 4 months, 5 months, 6 months, Gift, Registry, Shower, Must Haves, Necessities, Need, Want, Boppy Pillow, Bumbo, Exersaucer, Play Mat, Activity Center, Mirror, Sophie, Teething, Rattle, Crinkle, Spoon
Pretty sure she was sitting and fell....but then she layed like this for awhile.  Too funny.

Bumbo.  To be honest, we didn't use our bumbo as much as I thought we would.  We got her one for Christmas and I was SO excited...but it was set aside much earlier than I anticipated.  I included it on the list, however, because when I worked in the day care world, bumbos were a lifesaver!   They are perfect for when baby can't quite sit on their own but hates laying down because they can't see!  Aelah did love hers...but only until we pulled out the exersaucer.  They also come in handy when feeding starts...but since we did baby led weaning, the high chair was best.  If I had spoon fed, we probably would have used this A LOT more.

Baby, 3 months, 4 months, 5 months, 6 months, Gift, Registry, Shower, Must Haves, Necessities, Need, Want, Boppy Pillow, Bumbo, Exersaucer, Play Mat, Activity Center, Mirror, Sophie, Teething, Rattle, Crinkle, Spoon
This was also taken when she was 2 months. Can't believe how different she looks...

So, that's our list.

What would you add to it??

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Aelah Grace: 8 Months

Those cute little toes!  I just want to eat them up!  ;)

 A couple weeks late on this one, as usual.  But this little lady is keeping me busy!  And I am soaking up every single moment of it!

I could add cords and wires to this list but I didn't want any judgy looks.  I wouldn't let her play with them, of course,.but they definitely seem to be her all time favorite thing ever!  ;)

How am I growing?

So hard to tell without a doctors appointment.  She is so much more mobile now, I really think she is thinning out.  So we may have lost a bit of weight...but I highly doubt that.  We have an appointment the end of this week though so I'm anxious to see the changes.  She has pretty much grown out of her 6 month clothes though I still have a few things I didn't pack away.  Some of the 9 month brands are still a bit big yet.  Since she grew so quickly in the beginning, it is amazing to me that we have been in the same clothes for so long!  We even made sure to get a bunch of summer clothes in 12 months - now I'm not sure we'll need them!  That's just how it goes I guess...

How am I sleeping?

Sleeping through the night has continued to be the trend.  Sometimes she wakes up between 11 and 1 or between 4 and 5.  But all I have to do is give her a paci and she usually goes right back to sleep.  So thankful for this (knocking on wood over here....).  But who knows what will happen once teeth actually decide to appear or some other developmental change.  ;)

How am I eating?

She loves her food!  Very much!  If she happens to nap through dinner time we have one cranky bear on our hands.  So she definitely depends on that evening meal.  But breast-milk is still her primary nutrition.  I've started giving her some oatmeal or cereal some mornings.  And she has been eating a "snack" for lunch.  We're slowly getting to three meals a day.  But I'm not in any rush.  She is happy and healthy and that's all that matters.

What else is new?

She is officially mobile!  She started king of scooching around and within a week she was crawling.  It is still very unique but she gets around very quickly.  I am getting less done around the house but enjoying watching her grow and change every day.  Even if it means pulling her out of the same corner or away from the TV stand every 2 minutes.  ;)  

This was the original scootch, army crawl, whatever you want to call it....I already miss how cute it was....

Her personality is really coming out as well.  So many faces, so many noises.  She laughs, she gets mad.  It is so fun!  But makes it a bit difficult to tell her no.  haha.

And she looooooves the pool!

Thank you Aldi - this is the best $5 I've ever spent.  ;)

And here are a couple of my other favorite pictures from the past month:

Our ray of sunshine...even when it rains every. single. day.

THAT face!  The super excited I can't contain myself face.  By far one of my favorites.