Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Transitions + Firsts

With a little baby, there are always exciting firsts and nervewracking transitions.  Well, folks, we are in the midst of both!  Jack is at the age where he is experiencing a lot of things for the first time, including some big transitions.

I wanted to wait until we got back from vacation to work on getting him into his crib.  Well last week, we started doing naptime in his crib.  Please excuse the poor swaddling job - he was unhappy and I thought doing a quick swaddle would help!
 I know, I know..."back is best"...well, this was the only way he could get comfy.  And he can roll to his back...and I was watching on the monitor :)  He slept though!
He has done alright with napping in there - we still swaddle him at night and I hadn't been swaddling him for naps, so I think that was somewhat problematic.  He would startle awake and then get scared.  Once he was finally asleep, he'd sleep a good 1.5-2 hours though!

That very same day, he had cereal for the first time!  He loved it and has been doing a great job with it - it also means he is nursing only 5 times a day now!
We also put him in the Exersaucer for the first time last week...and he LOVES it!  I cannot believe he is already big enough for all of this!
Well, last night, I bit the bullet and decided I'd try to let him sleep through the night in his crib (not sure why I decided to do this on a night when Brad is out of town).  I had both kids in bed asleep by 7:40 - not too shabby, huh!  Well, Jack woke up and screamed, so I swaddled him and fed him one last time and he was down for the count by 8:45.  And he slept until 7:25 this morning.  A-MA-ZING!!  I had been stressed about this big transition and I'm so glad the first night went so well!  I know there will be nights that are more restless, but at least I know he can do it!  This is the sweet, rested face that greeted me when I went to get him up to feed him!
I also think this boy is going to be a thumbsucker...that is how he sometimes falls asleep when he isn't swaddled!
Whew!  I am hoping to really get on a good routine for Jack - for naptimes, feedings, cereal, and bedtime.  It is a lot to tackle, but I think we are well on our way!


Sunday, October 28, 2012

SUYL: Halloween Costumes

I'm linking up with Kelly's Korner and the topic this time is Halloween costumes!  I have loved Katie's costumes over the years and cannot wait to see my goblins all dressed up on Wednesday!  Here are a few pictures of the last few years...

2009: The cutest bumblebee EVER!
 ...and Sadie was a bee too :)
 2010: A Fairy Princess
 2011: A little German girl
And apparently 3 years old is the age where she has a preference of what her costume will be.  She wanted to be Strawberry Shortcake this year (should be pretty darn cute - I can't wait to get her dressed up!), and I got Jack a pea pod costume (should keep him warmer).  Check back soon to see what the 2012 picture looks like!


Friday, October 26, 2012

SUYL: Favorite Charities

I'm so glad I saw that the SUYL topic from last week over at Kelly's Korner is your favorite charities!  I definitely think promoting charity involvement is important, especially this time of year.
Around the Christmas season, we have created a tradition of going to get a child or children off of the Angel Tree.  We both wanted to have a reminder to the whole family - especially our kids - that there are those less fortunate than us.  And we explained it to Katie last year that we were helping Santa.  We have tried to get a child Katie's age each year so that she can maybe try to relate to the little girl we are buying for.  And this year, we are going to try to get a little girl Katie's age and a little boy Jack's age.  I always love going to Target and shopping for these kiddos.  You should check to see if the Salvation Army has the Angel Tree program where you are!
Another one of my favorite charities is one that I used to coordinate!  TABS stands for Tennessee Adult Brothers and Sisters and it is a statewide organization for adults who have a brother or sister with a disability.  There is an annual conference (likely April 5-6, 2013 is the next one) where folks from all over the state (and other states as well) come together to share their stories and gather information.  In each region, there is also a monthly dinner to get together with people from your area and visit/share stories/hang out.  It is such a valuable group and I always learn so much from others that I meet at the annual conference.  Become a member of TABS {here} - look for the "register online" portion!
That is a good transition into the national organization for adult siblings.  It is called the Sibling Leadership Network.  Each state chapter that exists is affiliated with the national "sib movement". The mission of the SLN is "to provide siblings of people with disabilities the information, support, and tools to advocate with their brothers and sisters and promote the issues important to them and their entire families." Join the SLN {here}!


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Happy Wednesday!  As I was adding the things I am loving today, I noticed a trend.  So today's edition is parenting-related quotes or ideas - some heartfelt, and some are funny (and true)!  Here's what I'm loving today...
 I'm LOVING this idea! HA!  I can't wait for some Reese's cups :)
 I'm LOVING these mommy luxuries...hilarious!  And true!  I could take or leave the heels - I am not coordinated enough to wear those anymore...plus, they hurt my feet!  The rest I can totally relate to though!
 I'm LOVING this quote by Albert Einstein.  I have to agree with this one - play is so important...both structured and unstructured!
 I'm LOVING this quote too - self-esteem for our little folks is so important.  There definitely is a balance in being realistic and having high self-esteem though.  Oh, the joys of parenting :)
 I'm LOVING this that I saw someone post on Facebook a couple weeks ago.  It is so important to stop and just take it all in.  I need to print this quote and put it in several places so I remember to slow down and appreciate this stage of life.
 I'm LOVING these two cuties most of all!! We have loved spending time outside recently - I am sure it will get too cool to do that soon, but for now, we are having fun!
What are you loving today? Link up {here}!


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Circus Fun

Oh how I am loving the age of 3.  Yes, she is headstrong and independent and sassy (not sure where she gets that...ha), but she is oh so fun too!  A little over a week ago I took Katie (along with Jill and Stella) to the girls' first circus outing!  I didn't tell Katie until she had to change clothes so we could leave - I knew there would be LOTS of questions and wanting to go now.  So glad I waited - she was SO excited!  Here she is before we headed out.
And here are the girls - Katie was so excited that Stella was going too!
I wasn't sure how Katie would be around clowns - no worries there though...she loved them!  She kept wanting pictures with them.  And she got a clown coloring book and had the clowns autograph it.
Once inside, there were other activities to do before the actual circus began.  The girls loved the pony rides! Katie really wanted to ride an elephant - but that also meant I would have to, and that would have cost $30 for both of us.  Not worth it!  Maybe next time :)
Excuse my camera-around-the-neck tourist look.  
I absolutely LOVE this picture of me and Katie!  This was in line to get her face painted.  This one needs to be in a frame - note to self.
And here is my butterfly girl!
I think this one is hilarious - they were checking eachothers' faces out!
I completely enjoyed the circus too...especially the elephants!
Here is my sweet girl during the intermission!
After the intermission, the motorcycles did their thing with the guys doing tricks in midair.  I think that may have been one of Katie's favorite parts.  And I absolutely LOVE this picture on the right when one of the guys was in midair!
And here are Jill and Stella!
I'm not sure if this was the end or not because it was the end for us - the girls were worn out (it was like 8:45 by this time)...Katie loved the human cannonball!
And the girls were done for by the time we got home!
I think we will be going back to the circus next time they come through town.  What a fun night!


Monday, October 22, 2012

Pancakes and Pumpkins: Our Fall Tradition

Man am I behind on posting!  Over a week ago (not this past weekend but the weekend before), we did our annual fall outing.  It was so fun!  And I remember last year wondering if we would be a family of 4 for this year's fun...and we were!  We started our morning with brunch at Puckett's - Katie was so excited about her Mickey pancake!
After we stuffed ourselves, we headed to Gentry's Farm for more fun!  We took the annual picture on the truck - and I loved seeing BOTH kids on it this year!  These two pictures were my favorite...

Katie loved playing in the corn...
And here is Katie's cutie pie dress...I love the chevron pumpkin!
And here is Daddy and his girl!
Katie ran and ran and ran while we were there...
She also loved the slides there!
And she did the tire swing for the first time this year...I wish this picture were more in focus!
And we cannot forget about this little pumpkin!
After we did the hayride, someone offered to take a family picture...love it!
And we put the pumpkins out once we got home...I loved letting Jack really get to explore his wee pumpkin.  He even chewed on the stem a little bit (he didn't like it)!
This past week, we ran by a local produce place that has the prettiest mums - I love getting our front door ready for fall!  Here is Katie while she was helping me decide what color flowers to get...
And here is our front door ready for fall!