Thursday, July 20, 2017

Carter Grant: Nursery Tour

When we found out we were pregnant, we had just moved into our new home. We did the longest move known to man since we were still selling our old home. I would stand in the soon to be nursery and just stare. And stare and stare.

I knew I would stick to gray and white (like a majority of our house) and decided that I would use emerald green regardless of gender. If it had been a girl I would have thrown another accent color in there to give it a bit more femininity, but lucky me, I get to keep my "Boy Mom" title.

Clean lines, modern yet classic was my goal. Loosely a safari theme.

The weekend before C came, I did debate a last minute change on the main wall, but I chickened out, but maybe someday a faux white washed brick wall will appear where the frames are now :)

Nightstands: Hobby Lobby (painted to match crib)
Bumpers (similar)
Rug: At Home
Nightstand Lamp: World Market (no longer available)
Light Fixture - West Elm (no longer available)
Rhino Art (custom color requested)
Dresser: Craigslist (same as G nursery, painted)
Mirror (painted)
Angular Animals: At Home

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Making Comparisons

I hate it.

I've always hated it. When a baby is constantly compared to another baby, over the silliest of things. Yet, I find myself currently doing it Comparing the way Carter looks to Grayson at this time (creepily similar, I might add), how their sleep patterns are different/alike, their disposition. The list goes on and on. The one thing that I have been comparing most are their feeding habits.

I have been guilty of going back and reading all of Grayson's posts to help remember what it as like at this stage, making sure Carter is "up to par" with how things went with G. He's a healthy, happy toddler now, I must have done something right... right?!

I stumbled back on this post, and it is one of my favorite posts. It's real. No BS. The memories flooded back to me from those early days/weeks with Grayson, and honestly, how freaking hard they were. And I realized how different Grayson and Carter are when it comes to eating.

With Grayson, I went into feeding very open minded. I wanted to breastfeed, but knew several people that were unable to for several different reasons and had seen them beat themselves up about it. I promised myself that wouldn't be me. If I wasn't able to do it, I would accept it and move on. A happy, healthy, fed baby is the best type of baby. But what I didn't realize was how my competitive spirit would play such a large role in my breastfeeding journey. Not competition with others, but with myself. Feeding Grayson was hard. So hard, until we got into a groove and things got much easier.

After meetings with lactation consultants, more tears than I can count and attempting pillow forts, the boppy, and my breast friend pillows, we finally settled on a feeding schedule that consisted of just me and him, 2 ounces from a bottle, 15 minutes of breast and then 15 minutes for me to pump, 8 times a day. That was about 8 hours of my day solely dedicated to feedings. Add in diapers changes, snuggles, tummy time.. you see where I am going with this right? This is the "so hard" part.

As time went on I dropped the bottle and we did just fine. But at that point, I was over producing and needing to pump several times a day still. It was great for my inventory in the deep freezer, but still so time consuming, but it was our way of life. I am so thankful for this dedication that I had and my competitive drive to fill that deep freezer. After Gray weaned himself at 9-10 months old, there was enough milk left to get him almost to one year, supplementing with formula for just a few weeks.

Brittany Barclay Photography

Fast forward a year and a half later while pregnant with Carter and going through everything I had saved with Gray, the thought of not being able to breastfeed never once crossed my mind. I had a fantastic supply that lasted a long time, why would I have any issues?!

Seems na├»ve when I think about it. My milk supply came in full force on day two, Carter was nursing like a champ, and the lactation consultant didn't even come see me until night three, maybe four?! And I even had to pump while in the hospital (I didn't do that with Gray). So supply wasn't and still isn't a problem. Carter wasn't snoozy like Grayson and gained his birth weight back (and then some) just a day or two after leaving the hospital. I felt lucky and things were on the up and up. Easiest baby ever! Sign me up for Baby #3!

I was able to stop waking Carter at night just 7 days into everything (Grayson was well over 3 weeks) I only have been pumping when necessary. Feedings are now anywhere from 15 - 20 minutes. It feels like so much freedom in comparison to G.

With that freedom though, also comes a different shackle. Carter is so attached to me. I love it. Don't get me wrong. But a girl would like to get her nails done without an SOS text, or run to target alone.. amiright?! Grayson was more "independent" from me since he was used to bottles from the very beginning. At 7 weeks Carter has had maybe 3 bottles and never a full feeding from one. So now this is what I am working on. Once a day I give him 2 ounces from the bottle and finish the feeding by breast and then have to pump (sound familiar?!) After starting this, I cannot imagine going back to having to do this every, single feeding. High five to my former self for sticking to it for as long as I did.

Just in the last five days Carter's belly has really been bothering him. I have been using all of the same things I used with G (burping, bicycle kicks, mylicon drops) and have now added probiotic drops. I reached out to fellow mommas on Instagram (@a_dway) for advice and got a ton of responses (THANK YOU!!) I am currently trying the gripe water and it is getting much better results than the mylicon drops that worked so well with G. If you have any other tips/tricks you can share - I am all ears!

Stephanie Rose Photography

I guess at the end of the day what I have learned in this second round is that although comparing and reading back is helpful to remember, just because things are not exactly the same doesn't mean they are going wrong, or that its going to be any easier. This parenting gig isn't going to be as easy as following the steps in a textbook, but as long as we do the best that we can and our babies are happy and healthy we are all going to make it.

Feel free to follow along as The Honest Company shares more real stories of parenthood. You can see more on the Honest Pinterest and Honest Instagram.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Grayson Daniel: Big Boy Room

When it was time to upgrade G to his big boy bed, we did a revamp of his whole room. You can look back and see his nursery here. We kept a lot of the same elements, but moved the dresser and crib to Carter's room.

Photos: Stephanie Rose Photography

Friday, July 14, 2017

Carter Grant: Newborn Photoshoot

Just one week after Carter was born Stephanie from Stephanie Rose Photography came to our home to capture our new family of four. And as always, she captured us in our best light.

I wanted to share my absolute favorites, which ended up being 34 that I downloaded... but I will spare you the forever scroll, and only share my favorite of the favorites below

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Grayson Daniel: 2 years

When I wrote G's 18 month update, I thought we had hit the peak of "fun" in the parent department, but then came 18 - 24 months. And I think this has been even better. Will I annoyingly think 24 - 30 months is the "best yet" come January? If it means that we are having so much fun with our sweet boy, that's ok to me!

Height: 36 inches (90th%)
Weight: 30.8 pounds (80th%)

Gray continues to be sweet natured, sensitive at times, yet rough and crazy in other times. He is so curious, and is quite the talker. We get a play by play of the day and often things are repeated many, many times. Watching him process new things is truly remarkable and something both J&I love to see with him. Its so rewarding as a parent to see your baby learn and growing into a smart little boy. He loves to help. Bring a paci to Carter, sweep, help with laundry. I feel like his memory is abnormally good. Which makes for reminiscing with him so fun. He will lean over for a hug or a sugar out of no where. He will play with my hair while sitting with me or if I am carrying him. He truly is the sweetest and so full of love.

Gray knows and recognizes his numbers, counts to ten and sometimes to 20 pending on his mood. He loves to sing songs (that include taking bows when he is done), do puzzles, play matching games, he recognizes letters, and is obsessed with gloves (sock hands, hand puppets, etc) Reading books continues to be a favorite. G is able to speak full sentences most of the time. There are still times that we aren't quite sure what he is saying but I would say 95% of the time we fully understand him.

This summer he has really embraced the water. He is loving swimming, splash pads and running through the sprinkler at home.

He loves all sports. Soccer, football, baseball, but he has recently become obsessed with golf. Which Daddy is embracing with open arms. He is so obsessed with being outside. He has a new balance bike, scooter  and jeep to keep him outside as well. So fun for all of us!

Becoming a big brother was so exciting for G. It came with some resistance, but he has adjusted so well and loves on Carter multiple times a day. He holds him daily, they bathe together and share lots of hugs and kisses. I cant wait to watch their relationship continue to grow over time.

eat & sleep. Every month when I fill out G's baby book, the sleep and eat category is quite boring. He is a great eater. He continues to eat his veggies like a good little boy :) He is taking 2 hour naps at school and is still sleeping about 10 - 12 hours at night.

We have just decided to push bedtime from 7pm to 8pm this past week. Several weeks ago we went to the lake house with Supper Club and since we have gotten back G has been having nightmares (maybe?) nonetheless he wakes in the middle of the night crying at the gate upstairs 2-3 times a week and at bedtime most nights we were receiving resistance to get in bed, which we had never experienced before. When we let him go to bed a bit later he doesn't fight it, so we will see how this works over the next few weeks to see if we will keep this schedule when school starts (he moves to the 2s class mid-August that will be more curriculum based).

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