Saturday, September 10, 2016

Acelyn: 4 Months

Another month has passed and little lady turned 4 months old!  Acelyn continues to learn new things and grow both physically and in her personality, and we're loving it all!  She continues to be our sweet little love, and absolutely loves to chat to anyone and anything.  She has her "set times" during the day (usually during lunch time and most times before she's about to sleep) when she gabs and gabs, coos and gurgles, and basically makes any loud, screeching noise she can for a good ten-fifteen minutes, at least!  She has learned to scream recently, and will let an intense, loud one out, pause, smile, and then do it again.  We're working on rolling, as she can roll to her sides, but still hasn't made it over by herself, yet.  I think she's smart enough to know that we will help her, because she doesn't seem too much in a hurry to do it herself!  You can see her learning as she practices these things, and we enjoy watching her develop these fun skills!

She loves to make eye contact and gives you a huge smile when she does.  Her smile is so gummy and when she's really excited,  she scrunches up her nose, which kills me every time.  It is theeee cutest thing!  We've discovered the things that are guaranteed to give us some grins, like eating her toes, playing peek-a-boo, fake laughing, and saying, "Hiiiiiiiii"!  Her brother can no-fail make her smile and laugh unlike anyone else, and she lights up when she is around him.  She is constantly looking for him and always wants to be watching what he does.  I know this is just the beginning of her obsession with him, and luckily for now, he's totally cashing in on it and loving every second of the attention!

She is most always in a good mood, except when she is tired.  We've had a few instances this past month of being out too long, and Acelyn will let out the scariest wails and howls because she is just so mad that she isn't sleeping!  The first time we experienced it, she was so upset and crying so hard, that I pulled the car over while on our drive home to see what the heck was wrong with her!  I pulled her out of her carseat, looking for something that was pinching her, scratching her, something that was making her upset... and the second I took her out, she nestled into my arms, stopped crying and wanted to snooze.  She's done this a couple of times, and each one makes my heart break because she gets SO worked up.  She has definitely found her voice (scream) and temper, but luckily it's only on few occasions!  

She loves spending time in her exersaucer and most recently, her jumper, and I still can't believe we're already teaching her how to use these things!  She's still a fan of her hands and is always gnawing on them, and if she has a toy, that is instantly in her mouth, too.  She's grown fond of her Nuby Peacock teether and we bring it with us everywhere.  She's getting great at holding things on her own and can also reach for items when she's on her belly, in her exersaucer/jumper, or sitting in her highchair or Sit-Me-Up.  

Here's what else Acelyn has been up to this month:

Height, Weight and Sizes:
Acelyn clocked in at her four month well check at 12 pounds, 14 ounces (21st percentile).  She is so tall, at 25.5 inches (78th percentile), that her doctor (a new doctor in the group, this time) was a little alerted by the difference between her height and weight ratio.  She advised me to return to waking Acelyn during the night, since she recently has started sleeping through, to give her a little extra dream feed to add some calories.  Of course, this freaked me out a little, but I'm convinced our old doctor probably wouldn't have thought twice about her weight since she is remaining on the same exact growth curve (steady in the 20 percents) that she's been on since she was born.  We're taking it with a grain of salt, waking her to feed for now, but not super worried!  Her head is still measuring super tiny at 15 inches (5th percentile), and has a small flat segment that we'll continue to watch.  We don't mind helmeting her, if we have to, but also know her spot is much less drastic than Nolan's was, so we plan to visit our orthotist to get their opinion in the next couple of months.

Acelyn is mostly wearing 3-6 size onesies, dresses, rompers and bottoms.  I just pulled out her 6+ month clothes to incorporate into her closet and dresser... crazy!  She just started wearing some 6 month onesies that I was surprised fit her well.  Her pajamas are all 6 months, since she's such a long girl, and fit perfectly.  She is still in size 2 diapers and has a growing bow collection!

Acelyn continues to exclusively breastfeed, which makes our trials of trying out bottles scarce since there's rarely a moment that we need to bottle feed her; it's just so convenient right off the tap!  I'll be eating my words again when we need to give her a bottle, so I really need to be better about practicing with one for her.  She has also become aware of her surroundings and often is off and back on with her latch while nursing; she doesn't want to miss a thing!  I love that she will pause while nursing and take a glance up to make sure I'm watching her, smile, and go right back to eating away.  She is eating about every 3-3.5 hours during the day, and was recently sleeping through the night (11:30PM-7AM), until our doctor had us switch the routine to wake to dreamfeed, so we'll try that out for a bit to see if it helps with some weight gain.  I can't believe we'll be introducing cereal and oatmeal next!  I'm sure we will be trying that out in the weeks to come.  

Acelyn is the complete opposite of her big brother when it comes to sleep habits and necessities.  Nolan absolutely loved (and still does) his sleep, and often took 2 hour naps as a baby, was very consistent and thrived on a schedule from an early age.  Acelyn, whether it's her personality or just the pure luck of being the second born, fluctuates much more randomly with sleep, and can often survive off of a few catnaps in the morning and one longer nap in the afternoon, and sometimes staying awake in the evening for 3-4 hours until bedtime.  

Her routine lately has been one that works well whether we are at home or out running errands or going to classes for Nolan, which is nice, but sometimes doesn't always go to plan.  She typically wakes around 7AM, nurses and is up for playtime with Nolan and breakfast.  Her first nap is around 9AM, and takes a quick one, usually anywhere from 30-40 minutes.  She's up again to nurse, play and hang out, and then goes down again around 11:30AM-12:00PM for another 30-40 minute nap.  Nolan goes down for his nap around 1:30-2PM, and she'll let me get some much needed "Me" time (which typically is never my own time- cleaning, chores, etc) while her brother is still sleeping around 3:00PM.  This is her longest nap, which lasts from about 1.5-2 hours long.  She is pretty active when she wakes up, and spends time playing with her toys or jumper, or plays in her Pack N' Play while I cook dinner, and joins us at the table while we eat.  Sometimes she will take a catnap around 6:30-7PM, but lately, has been staying awake for bath and bedtime, will have her last nursing session at 8ish and goes down right after.  I nurse her once more before we go to bed around 11:00PM, and as of a week ago, she was sleeping through until the next morning.  Now I'll wake her again to dreamfeed at 3:00AM, in hopes of adding some ounces to her chub!

Acelyn usually has no problem falling asleep on her own when we're out or in the car, but needs a little extra love at home, because she fights it so much!  I've never seen a baby fight sleep like her, and although she doesn't cry when she's fighting it, she does everything in her power to keep herself awake- paci in and out, talking, cooing, flaring her arms, kicking her legs, rubbing her head back and forth.  We've gotten into rocking her in the rocking chair, swaddling her bottom half and providing the same soothing sounds and music for her naps and nighttime, which we did for Nolan and didn't have too hard of a time breaking those habits, so I'm hoping it will be the same for her when the time comes!

-big brother Nolan, is always looking for him and lights up when she sees him
-Peacock teether
-laughing in response to you fake laughing
-talking, screaming and screeching
-facing forward in the Ergo
-grabbing her feet and eating her toes
-sitting in the highchair  
-"flying" in the air above our heads, still one of her favorite things to do
-grabbing everything she can
-watching TV, her favorites are Doc McStuffins, Daniel Tiger and football games

-being overtired
-getting kissed (licked) by Harley
-pacifiers... she's hit or miss with her Soothie now!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Bath Time with Nuby: Stacking Bath Boats & Fun Bath Links {a&n Product Review}

Bath time has always been a nightly ritual in our home, which we started when Nolan was just a tiny babe and have continued on as he's grown, and also just recently started with Acelyn on a nightly basis.  I love that it gives them (Nolan, mostly) something to look forward to every night, but most importantly, sets consistency for both kids to feel comfortable knowing what's happening next and allows them to relax to a successful send-off to sleep.  

Of course, before the books are read and night-night kisses are given, we spend a good 20 minutes, at least, splashing and playing in the tub.  We've been loyal to lots of squirty toys over the years, but I hate that I'm always left wondering if all the water is out of them at the end of play time, and even worse, if mold is building and growing inside... yuck!  Recently, we've started playing with some great new, fun toys that both Nolan and Acelyn can use!  

The Nuby Stacking Bath Boats were an instant hit with Nolan, and he loves filling them each up with bubbles and water and pouring them out, over and over.  There are five boats total, and each is vibrant in color and made of a BPA free, durable plastic, which allow for perfect pouring and floating fun.  Each has a different design for pouring waterfalls when turned upside down, although the waterfall does look similar each time.  We love using the boats to refresh Nolan's colors and counting skills, and he builds coordination through stacking each one from biggest to smallest, all while learning trial and error development, too.  

These boats are perfect for ages 9+ months, and can be found at these retailers: 

The Nuby Fun Bath Links are a ton of fun for both kiddos, and I love that they can start sharing toys now that Acelyn is starting to become interested in holding things.  These links are made up of BPA Free plastic, and some links are squishy plastic while others are a durable, solid plastic.  Nolan loves holding them up to show his sissy, and fills them up with water to have them both watch it pour out the sides.  Acelyn's favorites are the crab and the soft, yellow link, and she's all about holding them herself while sucking and chewing on the ends (and I love that I don't have to worry about safety with them!).  Nolan can put the links together with my assistance, as some pieces are a little tougher to snap together.  I continue to try to have him always attempt by himself first, to build his coordination and development.  He enjoys linking all 15 pieces together to create a long chain to splash into the water.  

The pack includes a suction link to connect to the tub, and he uses his chain link and this to create a "whip" effect and splashes like crazy (when Mom says it's okay).  All the link pieces float, which makes for a fun game of hiding them within the bubbles, and then searching for certain colors or animals!  

The fun bath links can be used for ages 6+ months, although Acelyn "plays" with them and she just turned 4 months old.  They can be found at these retailers: 

My favorite part of both of these toys is having no worry about mold and cleanup!  Both the bath toys as well as the links are easy to drain and dry, and even though the links have connector holes in them, they are large enough to get all the water out without worrying about buildup.  The stacking boats save on storage and we keep ours just on the side of the tub, for easy access and easy cleanup that Nolan can do himself.  

Finally, I can purge and ditch the squirty toys of the past two years, along with ditching my worry of any more "unknowns" in our bath time rituals!  And please don't mind the oversharing of bath time pictures of these cuties... I think sudsy bath photos might be my new favorite thing! 

Nuby sent these products to review, but did not compensate me to write this post.  All opinions and thoughts are of my own.  

You can find Nuby and all of their great products by following their social media sites here:

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

August Happenings

Acelyn started out the month by looking as cute as always.  She's been talking up a storm to whoever will listen to her, and loves giving us lots of smiles and funny faces.

She graduated into 6 month jammies, because she's super long, and thought it was pretty awesome.

We celebrated Ezra's birthday at the splash pad, where Nolan returned to his old habits of just kind of watching vs. playing in the water.  One day he'll realize it's fun... maybe next year!  Acelyn hung out in the stroller with her personal fan, and she was the lucky one, because it was super humid and hot!

While I was cooking dinner one night, Nolan apparently decided Acelyn needed some toys to play with.

Acelyn has been starting to roll, but still hasn't gotten all the way over by herself yet.  Nolan thinks it's pretty awesome that she's starting to become semi-mobile, and helps to motivate her to roll towards him!

We had some nice summer storms this month, and Nolan was obsessed with going outside and playing in the rain, as long as there was no lightening.  He would cry if we needed to go back inside, and he was really into wearing his "jacket for the rain" each time.  It was great to get some cooler weather that came along with the storm.  Summer rain season is my favorite!

Acelyn started a new favorite habit of sticking her hand inside my shirt every.single.time she nurses, which I find adorable and love that she has her own little quirks to make her comfy.

She had a lot to say waking up one morning.

They shared the iPad nicely for a few minutes, and Acelyn is really into watching everything Nolan does lately.  She cracks up at him constantly and is always looking around the room for him.  I love watching the bond they are building.

The Rio Olympics (or Oly-mp-chips, as Nolan called them) kicked off and we were excited to watch the Opening Ceremonies as a family.  2016 marks the kiddos first Olympic Games, so of course we had to document with a photoshoot.  Acelyn faired much better at taking her pics, solo, without big bro tugging on her every limb.  We DVR'd so many events and enjoyed our evenings cheering on USA for soccer (whomp whomp), gymnastics, swimming, and track and field. 

Acelyn turned 3 months old and Mommy cried that her sweet baby is a quarter of the way to ONE.

We busted out the Exersaucer for sissy to try, and Nolan showed her the ropes with all the toys on it.  She was somewhat unimpressed, but enjoyed watching Nolan play.  Her favorite part is talking to the birds and has some pretty intense conversations with them, some days!

Sweet pea looked like quite the chunker on her changing table, so of course, pictures!  I'm still obsessed with her nursery and love spending time (as little time as we do) in there.

We've been practicing sitting up by stuffing Acelyn into the couch cushions.... it totally worked for Nolan, so of course we're doing it round two!  Haha.

We won an adorable fall head wrap from Wild Sunshine Threads, so we had a photoshoot and sent over some sweet pictures of little Miss styled in it.

Nolan shared the iPad with his sissy while attempting some tummy time.

Acelyn started napping in her crib like a big girl during some of her naps in the daytime!

The clouds looked extra puffy and the sky was super blue one morning after running some errands.

We spent a night out (sans kiddos) with our friends at Mandalay Beach for a beer festival.  The vibe was awesome and chill in the beginning, but towards the end of the night the crowd and band got weird.  Either way, it was so nice to have a night out with zero worries and to enjoy ourselves with our friends!  

Acelyn has been enjoying sitting in her high chair, and she looked incredibly big to me this day!

Jason was amazing and took the day off to celebrate my birthday in the middle of the week.  We spent a fun day out, starting with breakfast at Panera.  I snapped some pics with my babies, and we captured just an okay one, and most others came out like the latter... life as we know it, a crazy toddler, a tired Mama, and Acelyn's WTF face.  We took a trip down to the Fashion Show Mall, where we spent a ton of time in the Lego store, watched a bit of a movie on the big screen, did some shopping, and had a relaxing lunch at Nordstrom, as Acelyn slept and we chowed down on some of the best grilled cheese and tomato soup.  We kept the kids out the longest they've ever been out and with Nolan sans nap for the day, and somehow it went without any meltdowns!  

When we pulled into our garage that afternoon, our neighbor pulled up his huge vintage army truck and let Nolan check it out.  He was amazed and talked about it the rest of the day!  Acelyn took some selfies and had a cute photoshoot, and then passed the heck out and napped for over an hour like this on the couch. 

We had more summer storms, and this time there was hail, so Nolan was a little scared of the heavy drops.  We watched from our front door as the rain and wind picked up and turned into a crazy downpour that lasted a quick ten minutes and passed over.  Thunder and lightening came soon after with a drizzle, and Harley was not about it.  He insists on hiding under blankets when it storms outside, so he followed us around the house closely through the afternoon and kept hidden as much as he could.  

We had a yummy dinner out at Geisha House, since it had been over a year since we last visited!  My mom came along and Nolan was excited to be greeted by a waterfall as we walked in.  Once dinner started, he changed his tune, and was terrified of the fire on the grill.  We managed to get through dinner somehow, between lots of tears, and he did eat really well despite being terrified.  I had a feeling it may not have gone over well, but he cried much more than I imagined and was totally not into it, so needless to say, we'll be back in another couple of years when he's not so scared!  Either way, dinner was delicious as always, and even with the chaos, was worth it!

Acelyn's been doing lots of tummy time and practicing rolling over with our help, and looks so adorable when she's laying down on her belly.  That smile!

With the weather a little cooler, we took a trip to O'Callaghan Park and went on a little walk around.  Nolan found leaves and ran around the grass like crazy... he was probably thrilled to finally get back out to a park since it's been a while!  Acelyn hung out in the Solly, and has been gripping the side with her little hand lately, which makes me melt into a puddle because she looks so cute doing it.  The weather was gorgeous and the grass was SO green... it made us excited for fall to be coming up so we can enjoy more time outside!

Nolan started his first team sport this fall- soccer!  We are so excited to watch him play, and he's on a 2-4 year old team, which will make for hilarious and interesting games, I'm sure!  The first practice went much better than we anticipated, and the kids look so cute running around, half confused and kicking the ball wherever they can!  We have lots of friends on our team, which makes it extra fun and we are super excited for the season.  Nolan started out very shy and timid (totally normal for him in a new environment), and we hope he gets more comfortable with every practice.  He talked about soccer "prac-tik" for days after, so we think he's pretty excited about it, too!

We found a new favorite Snapchat filter.

Nolan and Acelyn have started playing together, and she finds her big brother sooo hilarious.  She lights up whenever he's around and she's always on the lookout for him.  All he has to do is look at her and she'll shoot him the biggest smile.  When he makes her laugh, it's the best thing to see and makes my heart explode into a million pieces.  We're still working out the kinks of sibling rivalry, and constantly reminding him how to be gentle with sissy, but moments like these remind me why it's so worth having them close together in age!

Nolan had his first In N' Out experience, and since the weather was still cool, we ate outside.  He wore his hat and decided to wave at every single car that drove by us from the drive-thru, which gave everyone driving by a pretty big smile, and most of them returned the wave back.  He loved it!

Acelyn has the best laughing fits when I lay on my back and hold her in the air like she's flying.  I swear she's going to be the thrill-seeker and Nolan will take the more timid role in their relationship, which is so funny to me!  

Towards the end of the month, we had a pool day at the M Pool with our friends and had the best time!  We had fun drinks, the kids played, and it was a nice time to just spend relaxing with our friends before schedules get crazy with school starting up!  After spending the morning at the pool, we had lunch at BJ's before parting ways.  It was the perfect day and we had a blast!  Thanks guys, for joining us and making it a memorable day!

Acelyn spent some time in the Pack N' Play, playing and entertaining herself while I cooked dinner.  This video made me so sad to think how quickly she's growing up!  Waaah!

September is here and that means the start of holiday season and fall goodness!  We can't wait to kick off cooler temps, football and the fall season!  ...Until next time!