Monday, October 14, 2013

Perfect Fall Weekend

Up in our parts, fall is sadly on its way out.  Hard to imagine for some folks that are just now starting to cool off!  We had what was probably our last nice weekend, meaning warm and sunny enough to be outside without fighting the cold, so we decided to head to the pumpkin patch to pick out our 'punkins!


The pumpkin patch!  You can see Brad pulling our pumpkins and Hadley trailing behind





Hadley had the best time - knew she would!  It was a small enough little farm that she could run to her hearts content, hug on the pumpkins and push the wagon.  We ate big 'ol caramel apples and drank cider - it was the perfect day.



We also managed to get a family picture, taken by the little sales clerk, hence why Hadley's not looking :)



Definitely lots of fun - our next family outing will probably be to pick out a Christmas tree, ha!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Two Amigos



Meaning, these two little ones.  Between the two of them, I probably won't have any nice things by the end of the year (and yes, in the below picture Hadley is chewing on the blanket and Cash is chewing ON MY BASKET).

There are moments like earlier today where I have to put him in his kennel not because he's being too high strung or naughty but because I really just can't keep up with both of them and their mischief.  Hadley's new favorite hobby is getting into ALL THE THINGS and Cash's favorite hobby is getting into ALL THE THINGS after she has gotten into them.  Oh, and he has a strong love for her sippy cups that drives.me.crazy.

But even though it's wearisome, it's the reason that I persisted through the first couple months of hell with this little dog - because I knew that at some point he would add to our family rather than just be a source of stress for me.  And when I see the two of them playing - like in the top picture, Hadley kept trying to roll on top of him - it really does bring me joy.  He's so good with her and never ever gets snippy or even playfully biting with her.  He loves to jump up and lick her hands while she's eating (yes, it's gross. I know.) and she will giggle and giggle at it....it's the sweetest thing!

So, Cash...you've earned your place in my family and I gotta be honest and say that it's mostly because you've got a special place in my baby girl's heart! (And because when you're not being naughty and rambunctious you're nothing but a big 'ol snuggler).


Friday, October 4, 2013

Five on Friday!

ONE.
For the last year I've had a nagging on my conscience to start taking better care of my skin - meaning, have some kind of skin care regimen besides slapping some kind of soap on it and calling it good - and now that I'm turning 32 in a few weeks, I've decided that now is the time.  Here's what I've been using -

 


For drug store skin care products, they're not cheap (around $20 per product) - I haven't bitten the bullet yet and bought the full size bottles, I just bought a trial kit.  But I have noticed SUCH a difference in my skin!  It's much smoother and more even-toned.  My only complaint is that it's a little tedious to wash your face, then apply a serum, then apply a moisturizer.  But the results are making it worthwhile, no doubt.

TWO.
I've been taking Hadley to the chiropractor and it's actually been pretty neat.  I took her to help with her poor sleeping habits and who knows if it's made a difference, her sleeping has greatly improved but we've taken a number of measures to help that.  He basically adjusts her like he would do an adult but it's incredibly gentle since her bones are still so soft.  He calls it "molding" her rather than adjusting.  Surprisingly Hadley has done so well with it.  At her age it's harder to adjust them since they're so busy but for some reason she almost seems to like it.  Funny story, we went in a couple days ago when Hadley was sick with a cold/tummy bug and he started by gently massaging her back while I was holding her.  She literally was like, hanging in my arms with her head drooped cause it must've felt so good!

THREE.
I am in such a cooking slump right now.  I feel like I've been making the same meals for months now.  I have lots of recipes bookmarked but it's so tough because I try to eat a little lighter but feed my husband a little heavier, so go figure on how that is supposed to work.  Not to mention that Brad is a little pickier than I think he likes to admit :)  I think I'm going to make this recipe this weekend - The Pioneer Woman Chicken with Mushrooms and Artichokes.

FOUR.
I mentioned in my last post that we bought a video monitor - this is the one we bought: Infant Optics Digital Video Baby Monitor.


The picture is much better than how it photographed here, FYI!

The price was great for a video monitor that has Night Vision and a color picture, and it's really been a huge help in us getting Hadley to sleep.  For instance, I just put her down for a nap and heard her in her room fussing, and then I heard a loud THUMP and then it was quiet.  Ordinarily I would've freaked out and gone in there, but I turned on the monitor and saw her laying there and was able to watch her for a few minutes to make sure she was okay.  However, had I gone in there it would've roused her and upset her more when I left the room.  So, in my opinion, these things are worth their money if you're dealing with some big sleep issues.

FIVE.
I went to college with this guy, Ryan, and he's been on the news a lot lately because he proposed to and married his girlfriend...all in ONE day.  He planned their wedding for a year based on her Pinterest board, so who says Pinterest isn't amazing???  You can watch their amazing story here (if you haven't already heard about it on all the major news shows?!?) -




Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Battle for Sleep

Before becoming a parent - and even after becoming a parent - I would frequently give my opinion or judgement on the correct way to raise a child.  How they should eat, sleep, be socially adjusted, not coddled, etc.  I had it all figured out. 

Well, let me be the first to eat my words and tell myself to go fly a kite.  I knew - and mostly know - nothing about what it means to be a parent and get it "right".  Because really, what is getting it "right"???  I am here to say that sometimes, you just do what you have to do to make things work, and the biggest battle (in my opinion) isn't so much what issue you're dealing with when it comes to your child but rather the fear that you're not doing it "right" and the worry that you're messing up your child or that people will talk about your (in THEIR opinion) shoddy ways of parenting.

My big issue came at 6 months when Hadley quit sleeping through the  night.  If I look back, I think I can pinpoint where it started and then little things that happened where it was allowed to progress.  It seems as though things would level out and she would sleep better, and then we would travel or have someone stay with us, and it just threw it all off for another month.  I mostly complained about it during those early months....up until this last month where I finally decided I was done with it.  DONE.  I can't even express how exhausting it is to wake up 2-4 times a night, every single night.

So first we thought to try a later a bedtime.  Not like 10pm late, but 8:30-9.  Obviously this was futile because nothing changed.  Probably got worse, actually. 

Then we tried just putting her in our bed.  This worked a few times, but mostly just made everyone sleep badly and she eventually got to where it just woke her up more. 

Then I read "Moms On Call" which really emphasized a good, solid bedtime routine along with a dark room and white noise.  Check, check, check....still didn't help. 

At this point I'm starting to get desperate.  I knew the dreaded three words were close to being uttered..."cry it out".  I resisted.

I heard a couple people recommend the book "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" and since I had a few friends that had used this book, I decided to give it a shot.  I eventually read that night waking, at Hadley's age, is most often caused by a too-late bedtime.  The author recommended putting the child down between 5:30-6:30.  I was skeptical along with dismayed that Hadley would have to go to bed so early considering Brad doesn't get home til around 6.  BUT we were both more than ready to see some change in this area so we started it that night.

It wasn't a miracle cure, but I'll tell you what - that girl was tired by the time 6pm rolled around.  It was plain as day that she was exhausted, but I think we never even realized it because it was just so dang early.  The first few times we did it she slept much better.  We still were having at least one wake up a night, sometimes two. 

Finally I knew it was time to suck up my "mommy softies" and make her cry during those wake-ups.  They were simply a habit at this point, and since we had exhausted literally everything I knew possible and she was still waking up, there was nothing else left to do.  So we bought a video monitor (which I always thought were unnecessary if you lived in a small house, but now I really appreciate it considering what we were going through) and committed to making her cry. 

The first night was awful - I think she woke up 3 times.  It was nice having the monitor to make sure that she wasn't stuck somehow or had a leg caught in the crib slats, but it was so hard watching my baby girl sitting in her crib, looking around and wondering where I was.  We went through this for a few nights and though we had a couple times where we just couldn't handle the crying - like at 4am after a long night and we all just needed some sleep - it really made a big difference.  Her wake-ups became less frequent and most importantly (in my mind) she was able to fall back asleep on her own without any intervention on my part, usually after just a few minutes of fussing. 

The last few nights have been - dare I say - good.  This last night she slept from 6:15pm until 6am!  I'm in no place to say, SHE'S CURED!  But I think that the biggest hurdle was overcoming my fear of her crying - now that we've been through it, it's easier to handle, especially when I can look at her and see that everything is okay.  I think another big lesson for me in all of this is that I don't feel a pressure to make her cry every single time she wakes up.  There's times that I will go to her and rock her back to sleep, or even give her a tiny bottle if she's having a rough night.  In my opinion, this is "making it work" for us, and it all might look very different for another family. 

I don't share this as a "this worked for us, maybe it will work for you" because I'm just over that idea.  For us, I tried lots of things (I didn't even talk about our chiropractor visits!) and read lots of books/articles and decided what I was okay with doing.  I think when you're facing hard things as a parent you can look to what others did but at the end of the day, you can only do what works for you, and what you're okay to do. 

But really...all I know is that I'm happy to be getting some sleep, praise the Lord!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Hadley Kate - 13 Months

You guys....this girl is so much fun.  

Also?  This picture was from like two weeks ago - possibly posted on here already, ha - so I clearly need to take more pictures of her.  Funny how times change as they get older!

Life for us right now is all about walking, trying to run, climbing, playing, moving, yelling, etc etc.  Her little world is suddenly a whole lot more accessible to her, which makes everything very EXCITING!  Haha.  Obviously with these new experiences for her comes some different (and new) struggles for us, but overall it's been so fun seeing her grow up and change before my eyes.

Here's some of her new developments:

  • Walking everywhere
  • Climbing
  • Saying "hi" "bye" "mom" "dog" (at least, sounds like she's saying these things! Who knows, could just be random sounds)
  • Throws her ball to you - she's got a good arm on her!
  • Plays peek-a-boo 
  • Favorite Book - Furry Friends (she can "pet" the fur in the book)
  • Favorite Foods - broccoli and peas 
  • She doesn't really have any favorite toy or item, like a blankie or stuffed animal.  At least not any item that belongs to her!  She loves the remote and car keys
  • Favorite place to play is the bathroom, by far - we didn't install child locks on the drawers in there cause there's nothing really harmful so naturally that's her favorite spot to pull everything out!  
  • Loves toothbrushes
  • Recently started "eating" apples - she loves to sit and chew/suck on apples.  It's the funniest thing.  At first I worried about her taking a big bite or chunk out but she never has, it's almost like she just likes sucking the juice out of it.  Funny but a little frustrating when I just want to eat one cause then she whines the whole time I eat it if I don't give it to her!
We're still dealing with some sleep issues - she's still rarely sleeping through the night.  I honestly have no idea how this got started, what I did that contributed to it continuing for so long, or really even how to break it.  We've tried lots of things, like later bedtimes, early bedtimes, cry it out, chiropractic adjustments (still in the process of those).  We've seen the best results with early bedtimes and cry it out but those are not foolproof methods that work every single night, so we're just doing what we can as we go along.  

It's looking like the next big milestone will be her words - forming sentences, growing her vocabulary, etc.  I'm pretty excited for this, it will be nice for her to be able to tell me what she wants rather than crying or whining!  Can I get an amen :)