Friday, November 30, 2012

Let's Catch Up....

It's the holiday season...which means an extremely busy time of the year. I happen to have had a newborn in the midst of this holiday season. Which means it's an insane time of the year right now. I have ALL these things I want to blog about, all the cute sayings Curtis has been chatting off, how being a mom of 2 is, how having a daughter is, product reviews, my must-haves and could do with outs. When I do manage to sit down and blog, its a mad dash to put up pictures and quick updates...nothing really profound or of substance (Besides adorable pictures of my kiddos) So dear readers I  hope you'll stick with me as I wade through this newborn-holiday season!! 

Here are a few pictures of what I've been doing with any spare time I get.

Knitting Hat's and Scarfs for Curtis. 
Plus knitting 14 scarfs with my mom for all my nieces and nephews for Christmas. 
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 1 Month Check up at the doctors, would you believe my kids were the same height and weight at both of their 1 month appointments? Crazy! (Curtis height top / Evelyns Below)

Decorating for Christmas with a toddler and newborn is hard.... But we managed.
This is after all my favorite time of the year..I HAD to decorate.

I made Evelyn a stocking that *matches* Curtis's felt stocking I made him last year. 
I couldn't fit her whole name on the tag, so I did it with her nickname instead:) 

I've stopped and started this post like 10x this past week. Each time with intentions of finishing/posting it....but then the baby cries, and then my big boy comes down with a mystery fever for 3 days....and life just happens. So bare with me everyone, as I figure out the mommyhood of two, and maybe eventually I'll be able to write 1 post in 1 setting again.. (Ha!)

Happy Holiday Season everyone!! 


Still FREE Swap spots available for December click here for the details!! 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Holiday Recap | Thanksgiving 2012


Thanksgiving was spent at my parents house with my eldest sister's family. My other sister was originally set to be in Alabama with her in-laws for Thanksgiving, but the day they were suppose to fly out, her oldest kid came down with the chicken pox! They cancelled their trip and had Thanksgiving at home by themselves. We wished they could have joined us, but didn't want to risk spreading the pox to the other cousins! My Mom did bring them some food over though :) 

We started out our Thanksgiving earlier this week, Curtis and I made Thankful Turkeys...

                                                              My Mom's beautiful table 

The Cousins doing Turkey Day Art projects

                                      Bradley & Aaron (BIL) with their youngest kiddos. 
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                                                          The Maple Bourbon Bird

 My Mom found this Giving Thanks book in her basement this year, it was given to my parents on their anniversary in 1997 by all of us kids. Your suppose to fill out each year at Thanksgiving what you are thankful for. We only did it that one year in 1997, but filled it out this year 2012! 

My Mom found my old bonnet for Evelyn to wear, she wasn't so sure about it...but I thought it was adorable.


Curtis on Turkey Day! I moused his hair to get the extra curly volume! ;) 

Evelyn Dawn and her namesake my Mom Dawn!

Somehow I managed to escape pictures this year, not sure how that happened. Maybe my sister has some on her camera, but alas no pictures of mommy on turkey day! Probably a good thing because the circles under my eyes are scary. Evelyn hit her 1 month growth spurt during thanksgiving week, it meant some sleep-less nights for mommy!

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!

Now onto Christmas!!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Evelyn Dawn | 1 Month Old

Evelyn is growing up so fast, I feel like time is flying by yet it feels like she's been with us forever. Her 1 month checkup is next week, so for now her weight/length are measured by me at home. 

Weight: 8lbs even. So that brings her up from her go home weight of 5lbs 8ounces, she's gained 2lbs 2ounces. Not to shabby I'd say. Curtis was 8lbs 8ounces at 4 weeks old. 
Length: Will have to wait on this one, she's asleep and not sure how I could get her to hold still enough by myself ;)

Eating: Evelyns on a 2- 2.5  hour nursing schedule during the day, she's a chow hound and can be done withing 5-8 minutes. She's an efficient nurser like her brother was. She's a noisy little eater as well, and has burps that rival her brother and dads. Shes a little tongue tied according to her pediatricians, but because her latch is great and she's not having any issues with it we are leaving it. 

Sleeping: Now that we have figured out her zantac dosage (She out grew her previous dosage from 2 weeks ago, she's gaining lots of weight!) she's starting to sleep longer stretches at night (can I get a hallelujah) The longest stretch she's done is 4.5 hours, which compared to what it was a week ago (every hour) this was amazing. She is currently sleeping in a cradle next to our bed, this makes it easy on me to get her to nurse and put her back easily. Not to mention studies saying you lower the risk of sids by having the baby in your room (in a crib) until 6months old. We had Curtis in our room until he was 4months old, and will most likely do the same thing with Evelyn.  

Milestones: Evelyn has great neck/head control, she can lift and hold it up for quite some time, as well as look from side-to-side. She's starting to do the "oooo" sounds, the most after she cries she'll copy me going "oh" besides gas smiles we haven't seen a *Real* smile, but I have a feeling its just around the corner. 

Issues: I wrote about her reflux issues this week. After I wrote that post, her reflux seem to have come back full force, I called her pedi and she suggested moving her dosage up a bit. We did that and it has made a WORLD of difference yet again. She's not even having the gas/tummy pains anymore. We're just taking her tummy/reflux issues a day at a time, because we never know if the next day she'll wake up with reflux again or be a happy baby. For awhile there wasn't even a time when she was awake that she wasn't crying in pain, I'm so glad she's having happy awake time now! 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Evelyn Dawn | Newborn Photos

Are you ready to get some baby fever from these adorable newborn photos?
Because just look at how precious she is...


Of course we can't forget Big Brother....Look at this picture, I seriously melt every time I see it!

Thanks to my awesome friend Jennifer for taking these photos, she also did our maternity photos...if only she would take her talent pro ;)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Breastfeeding, Reflux, Dairy Free Mama.

Here we are in week 3 (almost 4) of Evelyns little life. There have been some great moments so far, and some moments were we  are all in tears. I thought the 2nd kid would be different, I convinced my husband and myself that Evelyn would be a content happy baby, with no issues. 

{{{warning this will be a long rambling post}}}

Let me back this up by explaining how Curtis was as an infant. Born at 35wks he had trouble with his latch during the beginning, he was too little/small/weak to have an efficient enough suckle. That lead to me pumping, and taping a little tub next to my breast and using a syringe to push the milk into his mouth, all while trying to get him use to latching and sucking. It was an 1.5hour process from start to finish, and my kid liked to eat every 2hours. So you can see how this was a recipe for no sleep for any of us.

At 4weeks Curtis was nursing every 1.5-2hours we were full on EBF now without any tubes! However he was beyond fussy, he would arch his back, scream, I could see him swallowing acid reflux back down his throat, he was hoarse, had a stuffy sounding nasal passage. He was miserable. Bradley and I were miserable trying to help him feel better.

Finally at 6 weeks I took him to the pediatrician and talked to her about SIlent Reflux  after explaining everything, he was put on Zantac. It took about 3-4days for it to kick in, and it made such a difference. He was eating on a better schedule (he was still on a 1.5-2hour nursing schedule because he wanted comfort/food to help him feel better, but in the end it didn't help him eating so often) He wasn't arching and pulling back while nursing either. Great improvements. 

 ((Disclaimer: I know BFing/FF is a huge debate in mommy circles this is not a FF VS. BFing post. I'm simply explaining my heart on the matter, and going off of dairy. My personal situation and feelings, not to judgeone side or the other))

I was hoping that since the reflux was taken care of, his gas pains would magically go away. Alas...they did not. He was still crying with his toots and poops. In clear pain with his tummy. After witnessing my sisters go through the same thing with their kids, I knew there was only 1 thing left to do. For me to go off dairy. A huge sacrifice (hello no ice cream?!) on my part, but one I was willing to take. I couldn't stand seeing my baby in pain any longer. Would it have been easier to say "Screw Breastfeeding, I'm putting him on formula" Sure! It took a lot to adjust my entire way of eating (Because dairy is in EVERYTHING) but for me personally, breast feeding my children is so rewarding and has so many benefits, I had to give it a shot. After 2 weeks of the dairy clearing my system, I saw vast improvements with Curtis's gas. It was like I had a new baby! He even started to sleep through the night!! 

So here we are again with Evelyn, thinking SURELY this kid will be different, SURELY I won't have to give up dairy or put her on reflux medicine. Really chelsey? who was I kidding. When Evelyn turned 3 weeks, she began having screaming/crying fits...along with all the classic Silent Reflux symptoms I described above. I knew...I mean I knew it was reflux after 2 days. No ifs/ands/buts about it.  Once you have a reflux baby, it's pretty easy to pick up on the signs the 2nd time around. I called my pedi, and we went in. I explained everything to her, and she was like "yep, you've been here before, you know the signs, everything your telling me leads to reflux" so as much as I was wishing/hoping I didn't have to put my sweet 3wk old on medicine, we got a Zantac script. 

Within 2 days of being on the meds, she was so much better with her reflux. She wasn't arching her back while nursing, or screaming/burping/gagging on reflux 30 minutes after eating. It was great. 

But....her gas pains, her pushing the legs out, her screaming with poop/toots....well that my friends is still here. Just like her big brother. So what does that mean? That this momma is going off dairy for the 2nd time. Which is okay, I've traveled down this road before, I can do it again. 

However what's totally unfair? it's holiday season...that means baked goodies, eggnog, butter, deliciousness is all right around the corner. I've already cut back a lot of dairy out of my diet this past week, which I can already tell is helping Evelyn..but her pains aren't 100% gone yet.  Since Thanksgiving is this Thursday, I plan to  indulge in some dairy-goodness on Turkey day and right after that yumminess completely cut off dairy.  

I absolutely love breastfeeding, even with all the cracked nipples, bleeding, going off dairy, cluster feedings, growthspurt marathons. I love bonding with my baby that way. I love the special time we have. I know I will look back on their short baby phase, and cherish the memories of them nursing. I nursed Curtis until 15months, and I hope to do the same if not longer with Evelyn. 

Thanks for reading through this long post, with lots of rambling. If you have any questions about breastfeeding a preemie, or babies with reflux/dairy issues, feel free to comment below or contact me . I was thankful to have my sisters and mom who have been through the trenches of bfing a dairy-free/reflux babies. Support is important while your breastfeeding. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Big Brother Curtis

Curtis is proving to be an awesome big brother. From the moment he saw her in the hospital, it was like he was a total big-bro pro. For months we had talked about how mommys belly gets bigger and bigger, and then Evelyn comes out! He often pointed to my belly button saying "evie comes out now?" - Oh if only it were that easy- When we got home, I expected there to be hard times with him transitioning from only-child to now sharing attention. There were a few nights at bedtime, were he acted up and didn't want to go to sleep. We figured out it was on the days that I didn't have any one-on-one time with him. 

He never showed anything but love towards Evelyn. He constantly tells us all "I love baby evelyn" "I love my baby sister" he wants to give her kisses and hold her. He is always willing to help with her diaper changes (throwing the diapers away) or giving her a paci if he thinks she's upset. They already have such a sweet bond. 

He's also proving to be the gross big brother, by showing her how to pick her nose. Pointing out her nose boogers, and telling us when she's gone "mud" (poop) in her diaper.

We couldn't have asked for a better transition with him. 
We are proud of our Curtis Allen, and the big brother he's become. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Evelyn Dawn | First Bath

Evelyn's very first bath was at our house, after delivery they wiped her down very well. She had that newborn smell, and looked perfectly clean. They offered to do a bath on Sunday night at 11:30pm, I looked at the nurse like "you've got to be kidding me" there was no way I was waking my sleeping baby (That just went to sleep) to give her a bath at 11:30pm, not to mention I was extremely tired. So we passed on the bath that night, the next morning was so busy with dr.'s, hearing tests, midwife checking in there wasn't any time for a bath before we left. Honestly I was just fine with that, my baby gets to get the extra time soaking in all the good vernix she was born with, and I get to give her first bath in the comfort of our home at 1 week old.
 Grandma helped with her first bath, while daddy took pictures and made sure the space heater was pointed on our little 5lb 13oz babe.
Her "what is this mom?" face

It was a well documented event :)

Friday, November 9, 2012

My Recent Pins!

Thought I would share a few Pin's that I have successfully completed and let you know how they turned out! 

Be sure to check out my 3 volume series of Successful Pinterest Recipes, most of those recipes have become stables in our monthly rotation now! Volume 1 Volume 2 Volume 3

Are you a follower of THH? 
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I hate mildew smelling towels, but as a mom of a toddler (and pregnant brain) I often forget I started a load of wash, and there the towels stay over night until I run the wash again the next day. (am I alone in this?) This method worked great and my towels smell fresh again!

How to Clean Microfiber Couches

This is the only way I will clean our couches now, it takes a bit of elbow grease but once it's done they feel/look so much better!

Wrapping Paper Storage

These are the IKEA Grocery bag holders, they are I think 1.99 they work awesome for holding wrapping paper! Now the the holidays are upon us, it's a great way to store the paper so it doesn't get wrinkly!

Reuse Swiffer Jet Bottles

I love my swiffer. But I hate the prices of the refill bottles, not to mention the chemicals. Using this method I can reuse the bottle and fill it with my own wash (Vinegar/Water) Ah-mazing!

Candle Holders into Storage!

This use to be a candle, and now can be used for cotton balls, craft accessories etc... I bought 2 candles from Bath & Body Works last year, instead of throwing it out once I was done, I did this method and now have some pretty storage for my hair accessories! 

Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili

This recipe was so easy, and SO good! I'm drooling just thinking about it again! Worth a try this fall!

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes
Source: via Chelsey on Pinterest

Easy to make and a great twist for fall! These got a big thumbs up from my Husband, who is the official pancake maker in our house.

Smooth Southern Sweet Tea

This is actually a THH original, with a secret ingredient to get that bitter tea taste out. I could drink it by the gallons. ;)

Noodles & Co Cavatapi Pesto Dish 
Source: via Chelsey on Pinterest

This is the dish I order anytime we go to Noodles & Co. I looove it. I made this replica dish, which turned out pretty close to the original. If you love this dish as much as I do, the recipe is worth a try! 

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