Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

How else would we rather spend our morning other than to get the kids’ vaccines!? Turner only got the flu shot and Gracie did 2 out of 4 (we do a veeeerry delayed vaccine schedule), but it was still a morning of tears and snuggles! Turner limped around the house all morning saying, “Turner hurts so bad”, which was actually quite hilarious to watch! Gracie just slept a lot. We tried to get him to play outside and run around, but he wasn’t havin’ it. Normally we can’t get him to come inside without kicking and screaming! He preferred to sit on the couch with an ice pack and the Ipad. Who is this kid!?

We did manage to fit in some fun things to help keep him occupied, though! We made some cranberry muffins while Gracie napped and had a hot chocolate date, which he loved!

After naps, we loaded up the troops to pick out our Christmas tree! Last year we made the mistake of waiting until the weekend after Thanksgiving (which is apparently a rule or something?!). NEVER. AGAIN. All of the good trees were gone, and it was an absolute madhouse! I don’t do well with holiday crowds, just ask Stewart. So, don’t judge, but our tree is up in the living room before Thanksgiving!

Turner was so excited looking at all the trees. It’s quite possible that he’s as obsessed with the holidays as I am! Tomorrow morning we’ll decorate the tree before heading to Gigi’s house for a Thanksgiving feast! I’m giddy with excitement! Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

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Things I Love!

Now that I’m a mom of two, I’m looking for little things to make my days run smoother. Getting hit with a sinus infection over the weekend is what prompted this post!

1. After hours clinic– because when a sinus infection hits on Saturday afternoon there’s nothing worse than having to suffer all weekend while taking care of children! Not to mention, I was able to check in online and they texted me when they had a room ready! I was in and out within an hour. Amazing!

2. Drive through at CVS pharmacy– dragging a toddler and giant car seat into the store to get a prescription is overrated. Thank God for the drive through!

3. Big Brothers– Gracie’s not a fussy baby. But we usually are getting dinner ready and eating right around her 6:00 feeding time. So if she wakes up, she wants to eat! So last night we were rushing home, unloading groceries and throwing together some chicken and rice soup when Gracie’s feeding time hit. Turner went over to her, put her paci in and started rocking her seat. BOOM! Back to sleep. You’re hired Turner!

4. Turner’s new bathrobe. Enough said!

5. Eight week smiles- No matter how crappy you feel, this warms you heart and soul!

Happy beginning of cold and flu season! Wash those hands :o)

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Turner’s 3rd Birthday!

Although I love throwing a good theme party, I can’t believe this one is to celebrate Turner’s 3rd birthday! I love watching him grow and seeing his hilarious personality unfold, but time is seriously flying! Can we just slow it down for a minute??

This is the first year Turner really picked the theme on his own. Well, actually I picked it, but he has been obsessed with Disney’s Cars movie for a year, so I knew he’d be pumped. Whereas in previous years, we just picked cute boy themes.

I actually found some great things on Amazon. I ordered the paper plates and party blowers. And I found a banner and food labels on Etsy. The hardest part was coming up with the menu. But nothing a little Pinterest perusing didn’t fix!

This is what I came up with for the menu:

  • Race-car Subs (used cucumber and tomatoes as “tires”)
  • Firetruck PB&J (used a firetruck cookie cutter)
  • Nuts ‘n Bolts (mixed corn chex, pretzel sticks, and cheez-its)
  • Spare Tires (used mini chocolate covered donuts)
  • Stop Lights (regular rice krispies treats with m&ms glued on with icing)
  • Antifreeze (lemonade and seltzer)
  • The cake was courtesy of my mom. She’s insanely talented!

Turner had a great time with all of his little buddies. We had quite a turnout and the weather was perfect! It was bright and sunny and a bit on the cooler side. So we sent all the kids out back to get all of their energy out! They had a blast. But I’m pretty sure Turner’s favorite part was the cake with this amazing sparkler candle I found (note to self, don’t try to blow it out)!

We had so much fun celebrating Turner’s special day with all of our friends and family! His actual birthday is this Tuesday, so we’ll have a quiet celebration at home. And by quiet, I mean he will run around like a crazy person singing constantly, because that’s just what he does! Happy birthday my sweet little man! I’m honored to be your momma!



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Sleep Training Round 2

I have had so many questions and comments about sleep training! Probably because the worst feeling on this planet is walking around sleep deprived. I’ll preface this by saying I’m NOT an expert. I just do what works for me! If you’re against sleep training, don’t do it!

HERE is my original sleep training post from when Turner was a baby. He was pretty hard in the beginning. He nursed every 45 minutes to an hour ’round the clock! I would sleep for 20 minute increments at night and seriously wanted to die. By 4pm I would get major anxiety, dreading the night ahead. That’s when my friend let me borrow Preparation for Parenting, by Gary Ezzo when Turner was 2 weeks old. My world changed!

Sleep training sounds so harsh. I prefer to think of it as “putting my baby down for a nap” because 1. she’s tired 2. since she’s tired, she’s gonna cry whether she’s with me, upstairs or downstairs, so I might as well put her in her room where it’s calm 3. I have a toddler who’s quite boisterous and 4. I can’t possibly hold her and get anything done. That doesn’t mean I love her any less or spend less time kissing and hugging her!

Now that I got that off my chest, this post is more in depth as far as my process of “sleep training”. I started from the beginning with Gracie, who is now 6 weeks old. Let me explain. The first week of her life, I focused on giving her a FULL feeding. Something I didn’t know to do with Turner. I assumed when he fell asleep that he was done. Hence the constant feeding! A hungry baby is not going to take a nap! This time, I make sure Gracie’s good and awake and keep her awake throughout the feeding. She nurses for about 20 to 30 minutes (every baby is different).

Once she’s finished eating, I change her diaper (she usually goes while eating) and have our “wake time”. We do things like snuggle, sing, tummy time, and hang out in her play gym. The total time from the start of her feeding until her nap is only about 1 hour.

At that point, I swaddle her and put her in her Rock N Play (in her nursery), awake, but sleepy. I turn her sound machine on and walk out. Now, each baby has a different crying pattern too. I’ve learned Gracie’s. She doesn’t cry right away (and sometimes not at all). If/when she starts crying, she’ll cry for a few minutes and then stop. Then she starts again. If 15 minutes goes by and she’s whaling, I look at her in the monitor. If I see that her eyes are closed, I ask myself if I’m going to wake her more if I go in and disturb her process. If it’s to the point where she needs soothing, I’ll go in and rock her Rock N Play and put a hand on her until she calms down. I usually only have to do that once, if at all! You be the judge of that with your own baby!

Now, afternoons/nights are a bit different. Gracie is on a 3 hour wake/feed/change cycle through the day, but she has that afternoon cranky time like most babies. Our nights are exactly the opposite of what the Baby Wise style of training says to do. But, with Turner, it worked itself out by 2 to 3 months.

We give her and Turner a bath together at 7. We soothe her until she falls asleep (usually by rocking or with a paci), but that nap only lasts for a short time and she’s awake again by about 8 or 8:30. At that point, we bring her downstairs with us while we watch TV. I nurse her and she falls asleep on me. She stays with us until we go to bed around 10. We don’t wake her up. Stew gives her a bottle for her “dream feed” at 10 and puts her down in her Rock N Play in her room and turns on the sound machine. At that point she’s out for the night until I feed her at 5am.

Since she was born, she was sleeping 4-5 hour stretches at night. The past 2 weeks, she’s been giving us 6 to 7 hours at night. So, after that in depth explanation, here is what our schedule looks like at 6 weeks! Keep in mind, these times are more of a guide. Sometimes it’s 2 1/2 hours, sometimes 3 1/2. But it’s pretty accurate for our day-to-day.

Schedule at 6 weeks:

  • 7:00am Wake/Feed/Change
  • 7:30am Wake Time
  • 8:00am Nap
  • 10:00am Wake/Feed/Change
  • 10:30am Wake Time
  • 11:00am Nap
  • 1:00pm Wake/Feed/Change
  • 1:30pm Wake Time
  • 2:00pm Nap
  • 4:00pm Wake/Feed/Change
  • 5:00pm catnap (this doesn’t last as long as the others)
  • 6:00pm Feed
  • 7:00pm Bath
  • 8:00pm catnap (this doesn’t last as long as the others)
  • 8:30pm Feed/Change (this is when she falls asleep on us downstairs)
  • 10:00pm “Dream Feed” Bottle (don’t wake her up for this feeding)
  • 4:30/5am Feed/Back to bed

Some Questions/Comments Answered:

  1. What to do if Baby wakes up before the next cycle?
    1. If she’s content, let her hang out until it’s time to feed. Put her in her play gym, swing, or snuggle.
    2. If you can’t soothe her, feed her and start over with the next cycle. Eventually it evens out.
  2. What if my baby doesn’t stop crying?
    1. This is when I go in and put a hand on her and rock her Rock N Play (definitely worth the investment). That way I don’t have to pick her up and disrupt her. She stops crying and usually her eyes start slowly blinking. This tells me she’s tired. I walk out. If your baby doesn’t stop, just repeat that process every few minutes until you feel comfortable stretching the time out between “rocks”. She will eventually self-soothe.
  3. What about changing diapers in the middle of the night?
    1. This is the only time I change her first (if she smells like Number Two). I don’t want to change her after I feed her, because I want her sleepy in the middle of the night.
  4. What if Baby wakes up after 45 minutes during nap time?
    1. When Gracie does this, I go in and rock her Rock N Play and she usually falls back to sleep. I don’t let her wake up too much and cry it out because I don’t want her to get all worked up.
    2. Also, ask yourself:
      1. Is she hot, cold, or did she poop?
      2. Maybe Baby is actually hungry. How was her feeding before the nap?
  5. When do we go out?
    1. I usually plan our outings during “nap time”. So I’ll feed her, change her and hit the road. She sleeps in her car seat or the Boba Wrap.
  6.  Don’t talk to Baby or turn the lights on in the middle of the night. Nights are business ONLY!
  7. Let your spouse/family/friends help! When Mom does it, baby automatically wants to eat. If someone else does it, eating isn’t always the first option!
  8. Don’t be scared of your baby crying. Babies cry! Make sure she’s fed, warm enough, and dry.
  9. Finally, this is temporary! There’s no set list of steps. This is what worked for me this time! Every baby is different. Enjoy the cries, snuggles, and insanity, because it goes so fast!




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Trick or Treat!

This Halloween was the best to date! Turner was so into Trick or Treating and handing out candy. Plus, it was our first holiday as a family of four!

While I was pregnant, I had all intentions of making Turner a Lightning McQueen costume…ya know, the whole make-a-car-out-of-a-cardboard-box type thing? Then Gracie was born, and reality set in. So, we ordered a construction vest on Amazon for $5 and called it a day. He already had the helmet, tools, and belt. BOOM!

I didn’t dress Gracie in a costume, because I knew I’d have her in my wrap during Trick or Treating, so I dressed her in her cute little Halloween outfit that my mom got her and a festive bow from my neighbor! They were quite an adorable pair.

My mom and stepdad came over for Trick or Treating and a chili dinner, our annual tradition! We went out around 5 and hit a few houses. Turner was pumped! It took him a few minutes to realize that he was knocking on the doors to collect candy rather than actually going into houses to hang out.

After about an hour of walking around, we headed home for supper. But not before Turner broke into his first piece of candy of the night!

We all sat on the porch and greeted our “friends” (as Turner called them) to hand out candy. Turner was on candy duty. It was so adorable! He said “HI!” to every kid that came up the stairs and “Happy Hayoweeeen!” as they walked away. We had so much fun! And now that Halloween is over it’s time for Christmas music, right??

Happy Halloween!!

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Pumpkin Carving Party

Every year we have a pumpkin carving party. We usually go all out. It’s quite extravagant. This is my post from last year. This year, I kept it simple. Who would have thought I’d have less time on my hands with a toddler and newborn?! But it was still fun!

My menu was butternut squash soup, mummy dogs, spiderweb dip and graveyard cups.

As usual, we laid out a big plastic tarp so everyone could go nuts carving. Clean up is super easy. We just roll up the tarp and chuck it at the end of the night! Pumpkin carving at our house is no joke.

I can’t believe Halloween is just DAYS away! I’m so excited to take the kiddos trick or treating! Gracie is super pumped too! Happy Halloween!

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First Month Must Haves

I can’t believe a month has gone by since Gracie was born! Time is flying. After Turner was born, it was truly survival mode. I was exhausted and anxious at the sound of his cry. Nothing prepares you for those first few weeks when you’re all learning on the fly and getting to know each other!

This time around I have been able to enjoy newbornhood much more. I guess it’s just that life has to continue on since we already have such a routine established with Turner. Gracie just has to go with the flow! Plus I know how temporary this phase is!

While some of my Must Haves are the same from when Turner was born (original post HERE), I have an updated list for our first month with Gracie. These things have been life savers for us this go around! I recommend every.single.one!

1. Boba Baby Wrap-This wrap is so easy to tie and holds Gracie so securely. I had the K’Tan with Turner and it never seemed to hold him tightly enough. This one is super supportive for my back AND for Gracie!

2. Aden + Anais Swaddle Blankets-We have a million of these floating around between the two of our kids (Turner still sleeps with one every night). They’re so soft and breathable. We swaddle Gracie in one for every nap and they’re absolutely amazing!

3. Stumptown Cold Brew Coffee – Because I’m a coffee addict, this is a must have for me! I drink my regular coffee hot in the morning, but I love an iced coffee in the afternoons since it’s still 75 degrees out! These are sold at Whole Foods and are delicious over a tall glass of ice with a splash of cream. YUM!

4. Bamboo Washable Nursing Pads– I didn’t even use these with Turner, probably because he ate constantly, but they are a necessity with Gracie. The disposable ones are so uncomfortable. And, let’s face it, I am over wearing bulky pads anywhere on my body! These are soft and fit perfectly in my nursing tanks. I sleep in them every night too. Then I just wash them with our regular laundry and they’re good as new!

5. Leachco Infant Lounger– We used the Rock ‘n Play Sleeper at night with Turner, which is truly wonderful. We moved him out of our room at 5 weeks which we plan to do with Gracie too. In the meantime, we’ve been a bit lazy and have her sleeping in this lounger in our bed. It is THE BEST invention ever! I can’t even express how miraculous it is. She’s on a slight incline which helps with any reflux or spitting up (which we luckily haven’t had to deal with), and it holds her in the same position all night!

6. HALO SleepSack -During the day, the swaddle blankets are great. But at night, when she sleeps for longer periods of time, this is much better because she can’t break out! That’s usually what wakes her up from a nap. So we wrap her up and velcro her in after her last feeding and it stays in place all night!

7. The One & Only by Emily Giffin– And because I can only look at facebook and pinterest so much while I’m nursing, I opted for a good book! Emily Giffin is one of my favorite authors. This book was fantastic. I’m sad that I already finished it! Now on to Baby Wise :o)

Gracie at 4 weeks. I can’t even with this hair!

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The Pumpkin Patch

I can’t believe Halloween is in a week and a half!!! We are SO ready! It’s one of my favorite holidays. It’s so festive, the food is amazing, and the weather is absolutely perfect in Charleston! Plus we get to sport outfits like this!

This past weekend we went to the pumpkin patch with our friends (and Turner’s bestie). Usually we pick pumpkins and get outta there. We also like to go during the quiet times. This time, however, we went prime time on Saturday. We did the whole shebang…petting zoo, spiderweb, pony rides, and jump castle. It was full on madness.

Turner had about 27 meltdowns because he wouldn’t stay with us. Gracie slept like a champ the whole time in my Boba Wrap. After about an hour I had to move her to the stroller, because it was getting quite warm and we were sticking to each other.

It was getting close to Turner’s nap. He was getting moody and Gracie was starting to stir, which meant it was feeding time! We read the signs and quickly grabbed pumpkins and headed home while we were still on a high note! The timing was impeccable and we all made it home without a major meltdown from either child (which is amazing because someone is usually crying by the time we finish up with an outing)!

The pumpkin patch was well worth the chaos. Let the holiday season begin! Happy Halloween!

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Getting into the Groove at 3 Weeks

Gracie is already 3 weeks old! I’ve had a few moments where it hit me that Turner isn’t my baby anymore. My friends warned me that he would look so old. And it’s true! Before Gracie was born, I saw him as such a baby. Now, he’s turned into my little helper!

The sad truth is that Stew and I have had to divvy up parenting which is good and bad at the same time. I’m so thankful that he’s an amazing father and that I can rely on him. But (sometimes) I miss Turner getting all of our time. At this point, Stew’s main role is to play with Turner and mine is to feed Gracie! Although, I’ve been pumping from the beginning, and now that we got her to take a bottle, I’ll be freed up a little bit!

We’ve gotten into somewhat of a routine over the three weeks. Our mornings are always the same. We get up around 6:30 or 7, bring Turner into our room and all sit in bed and drink coffee while I feed Gracie and then pump. That is the best part of the day. Lots of snuggles all around, and Gracie is nice and awake!

During the day, Gracie eats every 2 to 3 hours during the day, depending on what we’re doing. We usually spend the mornings running errands or playing outside (taking advantage of this amazing fall weather!).

After Turner’s nap,  Stew is home from work and it’s full on “play with Turner time”. Stew has been doing Turner’s bath, book, bed routine the past few weeks too. The other night, we put Gracie in her bath to see how she liked it. She actually enjoyed it! But we probably won’t start that as a nightly routine until she’s about 5 weeks (that’s when we started with Turner).

Gracie cluster feeds between 6-8:30 until we both pass out for the night. Then she wakes up to eat around 2am and 5:30 am, which is an absolute blessing from God!

So far, we’re settling in really well! I’m enjoying Gracie as a little nugget while I can. I look at Turner and it’s a reminder of how fast time flies! Before we know it she’ll be a wild child just like her brother!


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Gracie’s Newborn Photos

Molly from E Bea Photography is absolutely amazing! She shot our lifestyle maternity photos too. We didn’t do newborn photos with Turner, so I wanted to take some now to capture Gracie and Turner! I have to admit, I was nervous about having her take photos when Gracie was only 6 days old, Turner was still adjusting to having a new baby in the house, and I was completely exhausted! But it turned out wonderfully! 

She not only got those “perfect” newborn photos, but she captured the crying and real life moments too! She’s all about real and authentic photos! It was nearly impossible to narrow it down, so get ready for photo overload! Here are some of our favorites.

We’re so excited to share these with you! Thanks for being a part of this journey with us :o)

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