Wednesday, January 28

Sleep Training 101

I had a couple of mama's out there ask what method I was using for sleep training Lucy.  Let me preface by saying I am no means a mama expert or want to come across that way.  This method is what worked for us and hope that it may help someone else get their much needed beauty rest.

Penelope was an amazing sleeper.  I think it helped being the first child.  I was able to keep her on a tight schedule and focus completely on her every need.  Lucy came into this world during such a crazy time with my photography business and with the holidays.  The poor thing didn't have much of a schedule to go off of.  This led to horrible nights and not so good days.  For the past five months Lucy had been waking up two to three times a night.  It was starting to wear on us.  Tyson and I started to feel like walking zombies.  I knew something had to be done, I just didn't know where to start.  Everything I tried with P, did not work for Lucy.  P loved her binkie and being swaddled.  It was a quick soothe for her.  I have really had to play around with things to find what works best for the little miss.  

A couple nights ago Tyson and I decided to let her "cry it out."  I had heard about his method, but was a little weary on trying it.    I just couldn't bear hearing Lucy scream.  She is not a light crier by any means.  When she is mad she lets everyone know.  I decided to feed her the first time she woke up and then let her cry it out the rest of the night.  It was rough!  She cried for over an hour the first time, slept for an hour and then repeated this until morning.  I finally grabbed her out of bed and fed her.  I felt so bad.  I quickly put her back down to bed and let her sleep the morning away.  I wasn't sure if what I was doing was correct, so when all else failed I called my mom.  Mom's always know best.  Am I right or am I right?!?!

My mom has worked for the most incredible pediatrician for many many years.  I take his advice to heart, because he has never steered me wrong.  He deeply cares for his patients and is an amazing father himself.  I asked my mom if she could get some advice from him as to what I should do.

Obviously, you may have to tweak the method to what works for you and your baby, but this worked magic for us.  You essentially are training your baby to sleep through the night in a three day period.  Some babies may do it in less, some may have to work on establishing their routine for a couple more days than that.  As the parent you decide their sleep and wake times.  Write down what time you want them to nap during the day and then stick to your plan.  Start with the night first.  I put Lucy down at 8:00 pm, because that is a realistic bedtime for our girls.  You then allow them to self soothe through the night(making sure to check that they don't have a messy diaper or are tangled in their blankets), until your established wake time arrives.  7:00 am is the ideal wake time for my girls.  Once you make it through your first night, it's time to tackle nap time.  9:00 am, 12:00 pm and 4:00 pm are the nap times that worked for us.  For the first three days, only allow them to sleep for one hour at a time, during nap time.  The hope is they are so exhausted from staying awake most of the day and crying it out during the night before, that they will sleep better on night two.  Once you get your baby sleeping through the night, you can return to normal nap times.  

He suggested a sound machine and vibration maker to help her sleep, popcorn and movie for mom and dad because it's going to be a long couple of nights and to pat yourself on the back each time they are crying reminding yourself that you are a good mom.  When his kids were younger, he even went as far as wedging his babies pack n play between the washer and dryer and putting in the loudest article of clothing he could find.  Back then it was the OshKosh overalls.  We all know how those sound in the dryer.

I took everything that he advised my mom to heart and immediately found my way to Buy Buy baby to purchase all the sleep remedies I could get my hands on.  Below you will find the things that helped Lucy.  
Sleep Training

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1. Sound Machine - We recently purchased this for Lucy's room and she seems to be a fan of the ocean sounds.  The crashing waves seem to take her away into dream land. 
2. Baby Monitor - We have had this monitor since P and have loved every bit of it.  It's wonderful because it syncs with your iPhone.  I love that no matter where I am, I can always check on my baby. It helps tons in the sleep training department.  Just knowing your baby is safe and sound can make all the difference. 
3. Serenity Oil - I have yet to try this blend, but have loved some of the other blends doTERRA offers. My cousin swears by this one.  I am going to be placing my order as soon as possible. 
4. Sleep Sack - Ty and I are big fans of Shark Tank.  This sleep sack appeared first on their show. I loved the concept, especially because Lucy hated being swaddled.  I sleep better knowing she isn't going to be tangled in any blankets.  We ordered her the cute leopard print.
5. Baby Vibration Maker - Dr. Dave suggested this and from the one night I used it, I can say I am a believer.  Lucy woke up crying, so I walked into her room, quickly turned back on the vibrator and a few minutes later she was fast asleep.
6. Lavender Sleep Mist - You better believe I sprayed this all over Lucy's bed, pj's and sleep sack. Not sure if it work, but the peace of mind was all I needed.

I also made sure to have enough chocolate and Diet Coke to get me through the night and days to follow.  I also don't know what I would do without my Gilmore Girls on Netflix.

I use the Baby Wise method when it comes to feedings.  I make sure to feed Lucy every three hours upon her waking up in the morning.  The only time I nurse her before putting her down is right before bed time.  Again, this is what worked for us.

I still have a couple more nights to go with this method, but so far it has been a great success.  I would love to hear what worked for you and your baby.  I hope this helped and made any sense at all.  Speaking of sleep, I am a little sleep deprived myself.  Feel free to comment or email me with any questions.
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Can't Sleep

I have been trying to go to sleep for the past two hours knowing that tonight would be the first night we start sleep training Lucy.  I know it will be the best thing for her, but I am having such a hard time.  I think the anticipation of it all, is the worst part.  I never had to sleep train P.  She did it all on her own and was the greatest sleeper.  Every kid is so different, as I am reminded of that daily.  Lucy is the sweetest, chubbiest, yummiest baby but cannot figure out how to sleep.  Going on five months of cat naps and waking up every two hours during the night, I just can't do it any longer.  My mom works for the most incredible pediatrician who seems to have the right advice anytime I need it.  His approach seems rather brutal at first, but will be so rewarding in the end.  I figure that is how most things go in life.  I know in the long run she will be such a happier baby. 

I took these pictures of my girls the other morning, because I never want to forget my mornings with them.  I love when we lay in our pj's and soak up the time with one another.  I especially look forward to snuggling on the coach with P, while she drinks her cocoa.  We watch Curious George and Daniel the Tiger.  She nestles her head into mine and always wants to hold my hand.  I seriously cherish these moments that will fleet away all too quickly.  I can hardly wait for Lucy to wake up in the mornings.  Those big round eyes greet me and those chubby little legs kick with excitement, in anticipation for her morning feeding.  I seriously love this stage of life.  
I have had somewhat of a change of heart these past few weeks.  I am going to be honest, I felt so selfish those first few months of Lucy's life.  All I could think about was the pain I was in from the c-section and how I needed a nap, I craved going to lunch with a friend and wanted to be able to go to the grocery store in peace.  I dwelled on all of the negative and was missing out on so much of the positive.  I think my aha moment came the other morning, when I took P to the park.  It has been a long time since we had ventured out to the park.  It all just seemed too much to tackle prior.  I began pushing her on the swings, the same swings in which I have pushed her in, over the past two years.  I looked down at her legs and couldn't believe how long they had gotten.  It totally hit me just how fast my time with her is going.  I wanted to pick her up right then and there and hold onto her ever so tightly.  I'm not going to lie, I got a little teary eyed.  It was a good thing no one was standing around.

I have really tried taking in every moment.  I don't want to look back on this sweet time with my girls and have any regrets.  They are only little for so long.  I honestly love being a mom and feel so lucky I get to call these girls mine.  I pray every night I am teaching them the things they need to know in this crazy world.  I hope they always know and feel all the love that I have for them.  I wish I could just push pause, but I know that's not possible.  All I can do is cherish each moment with them and try not to look back or too far ahead.
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Sunday, January 18

The Perfect Date

One of my New Years resolutions is to attend the temple at least once a month.  I was such a slacker last year and want to make sure I make it a priority this year.  We decided to kick off our new year with a date to the temple on Saturday.  Tyson's dad happens to be a sealer at the Fresno temple every Saturday.  It was wonderful to work side by side with him and Tyson.  Each time I attend the temple, I leave with such a peace in my heart and rejuvenation that is always well over do.
I am usually toting around a diaper bag every where I go, so whenever I get a chance to switch things up I am always excited.  I decided to whip out my Sage & Harper bag for our date.  It may sound silly, but it is so comfy and you know I am all about being comfortable.  It is also packed full of pockets, which makes my life so much easier.  The print and colors add just the right amount of pop to any outfit.  

I can't express how much it means to me, to be able to attend the temple with my guy.  I always feel like it draws us nearer to one another and strengthens our relationship.  I cherish the blessings of the temple and feel so blessed to have one near to where I live.  I definitely took living footsteps away from a temple for granted while living in Utah.  
After attending the temple we made our way to Texas Roadhouse.  We ate far too many rolls and enjoyed eating a meal with just the two of us.  It got me super excited for the trip we are taking in just a couple of weeks.
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Tuesday, January 13

Baking With My Babies

I am soaking up and inhaling every moment of this new year.  I can't explain how wonderful it has been to spend much needed quality time with my girls.  There have been no parties to attend and no photos to edit.  There has been a lot of time spent baking in the kitchen, reading books and snuggling on the couch.  I could get used to this slower pace of life.  I can honestly tell a difference in my relationship with P.  She has always been a mama's girl, but she has gotten even more attached.  Not in a bad way, but I think she's loving my undivided attention.  I get random tight squeezes on my legs and extra kisses.  I'm loving it all. 

On my latest trip to Target, I noticed that the Valentine's candy has hit the shelves.  Aside from Easter candy, Valentine's candy is my favorite.  I grabbed a few bags of Dove milk chocolate hearts and mustered up a plan to make cookies with the littles.  

P is obsessed with the apron my mama made her for Christmas and even more so with the one that she made for her Bitty Baby.  I couldn't wait to see them in action.
 ^^^ P also has a thing for her pj's lately.  If she's not naked she's in her footed jammies. ^^^
 ^^^ This little doll likes getting in on the action as well. ^^^
^^^ P loves licking all of the brown sugar out of the measuring cups.  She's just like her daddy in that way. ^^^
 ^^^ Her favorite part of making cookies is watching all of the ingredients combine and putting her hand on the mixer to make sure it doesn't lift up.  I think she has watched me bake a time or two before. ^^^
 ^^^ Testing out the dough is a necessity. ^^^
Here's the recipe for our favorite Valentine's cookies!

Peanut Butter Blossoms

1 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 egg
2 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

1 bag Dove heart chocolates or Hershey's kisses

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Shape dough into balls.  Roll balls into sugar or colored sprinkles, until well coated.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake for 8-10 minutes at 375 degrees.  Immediately after pulling cookies out of the oven, press unwrapped Dove heart chocolates or Hershey's kisses onto each cookie.
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Thursday, January 8

Ringing In The New Year

I cannot believe another year has come and gone.  I honestly haven't even gotten around to doing a 2014 round up.  I'm not sure if I even will...  That being said, I am taking this new year with a fresh approach.  I have decided to eliminate things that have been causing me unnecessary stress.  After all, I am the only one in control of how I feel.  This past year was nothing short of a whirlwind.  I don't even remember what all was encompassed into 2014.  I do however know that we were blessed with the sweetest little girl ever and we will leave that as the highlight of 2014.  

I have taken a lot of time to reflect and reevaluate the way I am living my life.  There are so many things that I know I could improve on or make better and what better way to start than a clean slate.  January 1st has welcomed goals that include less eating out, more home cooked meals.  Less social media and more one on one time with my family.  Less talking about myself negatively and more time spent in the gym.  Less Netflix and more reading.  Less wanting and more of being grateful for what I have.  I have high hopes to increase my spiritual growth, get ready more days than not, go on a date night at least once a month with my man, attend the temple once a month and most of all be more present in every aspect of my life.

  If you don't hear from me as often, it's because I have decided to be more hands on with my kiddos.  Last year left me feeling worried about getting a good picture and having something great to blog about that I missed out on some sweet moments with my little ones.  I want this blog to be what I intended it to be for and that was to document my families ups and downs and everything in between.  That may mean a lot more iPhone pics coming your way.  I am still a little or should I say very burnt out from editing.

Here is a little recap, as to what we have been up to....

We had such a fun holiday break having Tyson home.  We made sure to do fun activities as a family.  We decided to break out our annual zoo pass, that has sadly only been used once this past year.  We went with our friends Danny and Ali who were visiting from Utah and Ty's cousins Jake and Katie.  It was so fun to have all of our kids together.  We all knew each other prior to being married and haven't all been together since having our families.
Tyson has grown out his facial hair and can I say I am in LOVE.  I know he is not a huge fan, but it sure puts a smile on my face.  Will see how long it lasts.  In the mean time, enjoy the scruff.
Our New Years consisted of dinner at CPK, blowouts and Tyson and Curtis trying to rebuild our mamaroo.  They were determined to get that thing working again.  Their determination paid off and we have a working machine again.
I spent the night doing my mom's lashes and chatting with my friend Kim.  It has been two years since I have done lashes and I wanted to see if I still had it in me.  Our New Years may not sound that exciting, but I was with the people I love and that's all that mattered. 
My mom flew into town for a few days.  It was amazing having her here.  In the past every time she had come to visit we weren't really able to enjoy each others company as much as we hoped.  I was either having a baby, just had a baby, planning a party or blessing or stuck in the hospital with a sick baby.  This time we were actually able to have some good one on one time.  She was a huge help with the girls, which allowed me to clean and organize each of their closets, clean my fridge and pantry out and put away Christmas.  We took the girls swimming in a heated pool.  It was like basking in an enormous hot tub.  One of the nights Tyson let us have a girls night out.  It was so needed and a lot of fun.  We went to the mall and went shopping, got makeovers and shared a meal at Cheesecake factory.  We talked and talked the night away.
 ^^^ Miss Lucy in her first swimsuit. ^^^
 ^^^ She loved snuggling in mimi's arms.  She held her for three straight hours so Ty and I could go see a movie.  We went to Into The Woods (worst movie ever). ^^^
Poor Lucy has been sick for weeks now.  She can't seem to get rid of this cold, which has meant many sleepless nights for all of us.  I have started letting her sleep in my arms and that has helped some.  We finally invested in the NoseFrida.  That thing works miracles.  In theory it seems disgusting, but in all actuality it's amazing.  
P's two week vacation from dance has come to an end.  She was beyond excited when I told her it was time for dance again.  I have to hide her dance shoes and tutu's, otherwise she would live in them.  My heart bursts every dance class watching her pick up new things.  Yesterday's class was the first time she attacked some of her classmates.  P has a thing for scratching and pulling hair.  I have honestly tried everything to make her stop.  Nothing seems to work..... This parenting this is hard!  Good thing she's cute.
We found a new pediatrician that seems great.  Lucy had her 4 month check up and her stats confirmed she is surely a chunk.  15 lbs. and 23 1/2 inches tall.  She is 77% for weight and 20% for height.  She is short and stout.  I seem to make my babies that way.  She handled her shots a lot better than the last time.  That was a huge relief for me, seeing as I almost cry every time I see my babies in pain.
I hope to slow down and enjoy every moment this year.  There are many fun things ahead and I look forward to soaking each one into the fullest.
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