Monday, August 29, 2016

New Beginnings

Just like that the summer is over and we are moving into the school year again. I never broke up the year into summer and school year before I had kids, but as they get older it seems to be the thing to do.

Kinley has been going to an in home daycare since she was about 16 months old. We love it and it has been such a blessing for us, though it is time for Kinley to move on to a more educational setting. Zander will still go to the in home and Kinley will as well one day a week. We wanted to ease her into a more school like setting so she will only be going to preschool 2 days a week, Tuesday and Thursdays.

We are so excited for Kinley to start and experience being in a school setting. She is very sociable and loves being around other kids. Since her birthday is late she will be in the 2's class. I will be honest I have had some stress around this. She is about to be 3 and knows a whole lot more than she did a year ago when she was about to be 2. Shoot I remember us being worried she wasn't really talking too much. It has been an unbelievable transformation. She has grown so much in the last year. I don't want her to be bored at school, I want her to be challenged. I have had some conversations with her teacher and she assured me she would not be bored and they will work on other thing tailored to her needs and level. It made me feel a whole lot better and even more excited for her to start. I can't believe she is growing so fast!

She will be starting the day after Labor Day. It will be very interesting taking her to school and Zander to the in home. I hope she does alright and enjoys her day making new friends and learning new things. I can't believe we are already starting preschool, wasn't she just born?!!

So I think that is the newest beginning we have coming up. We are also looking for new renters for our townhouse and couldn't be more excited to start a new chapter with new renters. We have had some tough times with our previous renters and are ready to move forward.

If you read a few posts back you know I am going to be an auntie again and expecting a nephew! I so wish we lived closer to my sisters so our kids could grow up together. It is really hard being away. I am so thankful for technology and the ability to facetime them when everyone is free. We are hoping to get to Colorado in the Spring after he is born. I can't wait for these two to meet their new cousin and see Connor! We sure do miss them all!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Dockatot Review

This post is sponsored by Dockatot and I received a discount on one to review. All thoughts are my own. There is a $10 coupon at the bottom if you would like to purchase one. I would definitely recommend it.

I was a little hesitant to try this out because Zander was sleeping pretty well and I was unsure I wanted to change anything. After some discussion with my sister I decided to go ahead and give it a try.

We are in the midst of the 4 month sleep regression so I figured it couldn't hurt us at this point and maybe it would help him sleep longer stretches. My toddler really loved it too and wanted to use it for her. I do wish I would have found this sooner because I would of ordered her one in a heartbeat; but with her approaching her 3rd birthday I don't think she will get much use out of it now.

We used the Dockatot for about a week at night. I placed it in the pack n play at night and in his crib for naps during the day. To be honest it did not make much of a difference for Zander for his night sleep. He seemed to continue to wake up every 3 hours and would end up at the bottom of the Dockatot because he moves so much while he sleeps.

What I really liked about Dockatot is I could put it anywhere. The best place has been on the couch next to me when he won't let me put him down for bedtime. Bedtime has been a real struggle so it has been nice to have the Dockatot the past few weeks. I rock him and get him to sleep then I am able to put him in the Dockatot next to us on the couch while we watch a little tv before bed. Guess he just misses me and wants to be near me. I am ok with that :).

I do wish we would have gotten the Dockatot a little earlier in his life. I think that would have made a difference. I would definitely recommend it to a friend for their little one.

He sure looks cozy in the Dockatot. If you are thinking about buying one I would highly suggest it. Here is a coupon code for $10 off . Let me know what you think if you have one!

Edit: We have been using this for a few months now and it is amazing and Zander loves being so cozy in his dockatot! I highly suggest this product for any new mom! It is definitely a must have!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Zander - 4 Months

Funny how last month I said things hadn't been too challenging yet. I should of known that was not a good thing to say because things have gotten more challenging, haven't I learned to not jinx things! Though not challenging like Kinley was but not as easy as they have been. We have entered the 4th leap and the 4 month sleep regression and I am feeling it.

He is still his smiley self but he has asserted his personality a little more this past month. He will let you know when he is done with something and just give you the biggest grin. I love that gummy smile! When he is awake he is always smiling or watching his sister. These two are going to be the bestest of friends.

Stats: I am dying to go to the dr to see what he weights. We have not been since 2 months and weighing him on our house scale isn't cutting it. I do think he is somewhere over 13 pounds and have no guesses on his height. Though we did have to move to 6 month pjs because the 3 months were getting too short. He is still wearing 3 month clothes for the most part with the occassional 6 month outfit. I am trying to hold off until the weather changes before I buy him new clothes.

Sleep: This month we are all over the charts with sleeping. He was sleeping 8-4 and that has changed with this wonderful sleep regression. He is now waking every 3 hours. It seems to be right on cue for 3 hours. His naps are all over the place as well; more often on the 30-45 min side. If I am home and able to help him he seems to go back to sleep for me and will get a good nap. Others are not successful with him going back to sleep. I am hoping once we get through this leap and this regression things will smooth out a little more and we will all get some more sleep. We did recently order the Dockatot and have been using that on occasion, though I am not sure it makes much of a difference to him. I will be doing a review soon on our thoughts. There will also be a coupon code so be on the lookout.  He is still swaddled and naps in his room in his crib, sometimes in the rock and play.  At night he is next to me in the pack and play. I am not sure when we will move him to his room for the night. I am not ready yet though. Especially with the frequent wake ups at night. The dockatot did allow me to watch the Olympics because I could not put him down that night.

Eating: Nothing really new to report on the eating side. He is still exclusively getting breastmilk. When I am home I nurse him and when I am working I pump and he takes a bottle. He does great with the bottle and has no issues. He will usually take 3-4oz every 3 hours. When breastfeeding he is eating about every 3 hours as well. I am still pumping every 3 hours at work which helps to keep my milk supply up and mimic what he is eating when I am away.

Play: He has really gotten more interactive within the last month. He grabs things hanging from his activity center and always gets them in his mouth. He loves playing peek a boo with Kinley and watching every move she makes. They are the sweetest together. He has laughed a few more times but still nothing consistent. I can't wait to hear those baby laughs all day every day. He loves playing on his play mat and occasionally will sit in his sit me up or the bumbo. His head control has improved a lot this month but he still has some work to do so I don't like him spending too much time in them. He continues to love his swing as well. He has gotten much better at tummy time and seems to enjoy it for longer periods of times. He loves to be in the ergo or Solly and watch everyone. I recently got a Tula and can not wait for him to be able to go in that one! He is constantly chewing on anything he can get into his mouth. I see toes going in the mouth in the near future.

I miss the newborn snuggles and the newborn coma, though this stage is pretty fun too, minus the lack of sleep. I know we will get through this and on to the next stage shortly. He is the sweetest boy and we could not imagine life without him. I love kissing those sweet cheeks.

Kinley loves him more than anything and almost always is willing to help him when he starts fussing. She was so excited she recently got him a Grover when she was with nanny and poppy. She is always thinking about him and his needs. Lets hope that doesn't change!

Happy 4 months dude!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Breastfeeding Essentials

Happy National Breastfeeding Week. I can't believe Zander and I are almost 4 months into our breastfeeding journey. Things have gone smoother this time around. You can read about Kinley and I's journey here. We definitely had our challenges, though I am proud to say we made it 17.5 months!

There are a few items that I really contribute to successful breastfeeding.

1. Support System: Breastfeeding is time consuming. If I didn't have my amazing husband cheering me along or keeping Kinley occupied this go around I am not sure where my journey's would have ended up.

2. Water Bottle or Cup: You will always see me with a Starbucks cup! I love the cups they make with the smaller straws. I once read you drink more water out of a straw and I think that is true. I never go anywhere without my cup.

3. Nursing tanks: I love the nursing tanks from Target. I live in them. I always have one on underneath a shirt and sleep in them. They make breastfeeding much more convenient.

4. Boppy: I love our boppy! I used the one so much with Kinley I got another one for Zander because I felt it got flat from so much use. A definite favorite.

5. Teething Necklace: This is a new one for me. Even though Zander is only almost 4 months he has already become a fan of the teething necklaces, while breastfeeding and just to chew on.

6. Breast Pump: This time I have the pump in style that seems to really be working well for me. A good pump is crucial to me since I work full time and have to ensure I am pumping enough milk.

7. Milk Storage Bags: I have been using the babies r us brand since I received some of them as a gift, but I am a big fan of the up and up bags from Target.

8. Lanolin: This was a definite must have at the beginning. You will have sore nipples to start with but it gets better I promise! Though with Kinley I had 6 months of pain! I am not sure how we kept going.

What are some of your go to breastfeeding essentials?