Saturday, January 31

Lucy Five Months

Dear Lucy,

I can't ever seem to be able to come up with the words to adequately express the love that we have for you.  Our love deepens each and every day for you.  You seem to be getting cuter and cuter by the day. I have to grit my teeth to keep myself from munching all over you.  You have the roundest belly, cheeks, face, arms and thighs.  Your cheeks are so luscious, I wish I could count how many times I kiss them each day.  They are starting to turn rosy red and I think it's about the cutest thing in the world.  The hair right on the top of your head, seems to be the only hair that wants to grow.  It's the funniest thing.  I am loving the fact that I can clip bows into your hair now.  I wasn't able to do that with your sisters hair until just recently.  I think you prefer the bows to the headbands.  You have this once piece of hair on your head that is extremely long.  I stare at it every time I am feeding you.  I don't want to pull it out or cut it because I find it rather adorable.
I'm thinking four to five months is right when my babies figure out how to nurse.  Maybe it's me, maybe it's you girls.  I have come to love the moments in the day where I get to snuggle you close to me.  I especially look forward to the feeding right before I lay you down for the night.  It's just you and me and I can't seem to get enough of that sweet time with you.  Your chubby little fingers always find their way to my necklace.  I'm happy we both stuck out the nursing bit.  
Last night was the first night you slept all the way through.  Mama and dada were so ecstatic we didn't know what to do with ourselves.  You are such a dream baby.  It took three rough days and nights, but it was totally worth the work.  I actually enjoyed the time spent during the day trying to keep you awake, so that you would make it through the night.  I carried you in my arms for three days straight.  This is something I wouldn't have been able to do otherwise.  You fit so perfectly on my hip and are the cutest accessory a girl could ask for.
Today you discovered your toes.  I was waiting for that to happen.  It's so much fun watching you hold onto your squishy tiny feet.  You have most recently started grabbing onto things other than your mama's hair.  Right now your favorite toys are your bla bla rattles and hearing your Sophie the Giraffe squeak.  Penelope loves squeaking your toys for you.  You are calmed by the sound of the vacuum and running water.  You are the happiest propped up on the counter in your bumbo, while watching me do the dishes or sitting in your bouncer while I vacuum underneath your feet.  
You can't help but smile anytime someone talks to you.  Hearing your little giggle makes everyone else around you smile.  The relationship between you and your sister is really starting to form.  It has been so much fun to sit back and watch the two of you interact.  You have a built in best friend, who already has your back and is so protective of you.  
Each night when I kneel down to pray I thank Heavenly Father for you.  You are truly such a blessing.  I'm not quite sure what we did to get to have you in our family.  You are the brightness in our day and fill us with so much joy.  

Mama & Papa
Currently wearing 3-6 and 6-9 month clothing.
Finishing up all of your size 2 diapers, but fit perfectly in size 3 diapers.
You eat 5 oz. at each feeding.
Currently taking 3 naps a day and sleeping 11 hours at night.
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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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