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!

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!

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!

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!

 

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)

40 Days and 40 Nights

It has been raining since the day Gracie was born! I feel like I’m in Seattle! Charleston is not supposed to be like this! Hurricane Joaquin (who names these things?!) has really put a damper on our days!

It wouldn’t be so bad if it was just Gracie, because she just lays around all day.

But Turner is a stir crazy toddler! Yesterday, Stew and I put our heads together to come up with activities that we tag teamed all day. It was a looooooong day stuck inside, but we survived!

We started off making pumpkin spice pancakes. Turner loves to help me bake, so I knew we needed to have some baking on our rainy Saturday!

After breakfast, Stew took over and they played trains and blocks, which killed a few hours!

Once Turner started losing patience and whining, I swooped in and we played in the sink and then made some corn muffins.

Our day went on like that until his nap and then his long awaited bed time! We woke up to more rain this morning. I was seriously about to lose my cool, but the rain stopped around 10 this morning! And, while it was super wet, Turner and Stew were able to throw on their rain gear and play in the street. Turner absolutely loved this, and it got a bit of energy out!

10 days is seriously too many days of rain. Let’s hope that this clears up and we get some sunshine soon! Stay safe out there!

 

Our First Week With Gracie

It’s amazing how much easier babies are the second time around! When Turner was born, I was a nervous wreck. Every time he’d start crying I would get so anxious, like I didn’t know how to calm him! Of course, it didn’t help that he nursed every 45 minutes around the clock!

Gracie is a very chill baby. She nurses every one to two hours during the day but sleeps for most of the night! I actually have to wake her up to feed! What a difference between the two of them. I actually feel like I’m much more relaxed this time. I’m less focused on the “schedule” and just enjoying the snuggles while I can get them. That being said, in a few weeks, the schedule is ON, Gracie!

We’ve had quite a busy week! Turner is in school two days a week which is a life saver! He’s such a sweet big brother to Gracie, but my patience wears thin when he’s testing the limits, which seems often these days. Stew’s been a huge help with him, so Gracie and I have had some time to bond.

We had her pediatrician visit which went really well! She is already back up to her birth weight! But she was really jaundice so our ped took a blood test to make sure her numbers were ok. She was so traumatized that I had to take her shopping at Target. She wasn’t as excited to get out of the house as I was! 

Today we had our 1 week visit at the birth center to make sure she’s eating enough and check her weight again. And, she is! It was so awesome to be back there and see all the wonderful midwives. It’s such a comforting place to be! We’re off to a good start over here. Now wish us luck cooped up in the house with this rainy weather!