Dear Jillian, I don't know where the time has gone! It seems just yesterday I was holding you in my arms in the hospital rubbing your wrinkly little newborn back. Now you are sitting in your bouncer seat beside me, cooing at your little animal friends. It is amazing how you change so much in just a little time. Can you believe that one of my favorite times to spend with you is changing your diaper? This is our time when we "talk". You must love having your diaper changed. You smile and coo like crazy as if you were telling me a story. You also love to stare at me during this time and smile at me. It's wonderful. You also love your bath time!!! Just this week you have figured out that kicking your legs causes the water to splash. You get so excited as the water starts to splash all around you. Water gets all over the walls and on Mommy and Daddy. You don't even mind that it gets in your face and in your eyes. Your tongue just starts licking like crazy once you have water on your face. It's adorable. Your sleep schedule is not really a schedule at all but Mommy and Daddy have been trying to get that turned around, especially at night. We try to get you in the bath by 8pm, feed you by 9pm, and have you in bed by 10pm. It's not perfect yet but we are making progress. You still have your 10:30 fussy time but it's no longer an every day thing. Only when you are over tired and over stimulated. Your paci usually helps during this fussy period!!! You are now sleeping in your crib and are still getting used to sleeping in that big space. You still love to be swaddled at night and will cry and wake us up if you kick out of it. Daddy is the best swaddler and will still do your first swaddle of the night. Mommy tries to swaddle you at your 3am feeding but still needs more practice. I have started to feed you at night in your room instead of ours so we don't wake up Daddy. It is also easier to change you and put you back to bed since you are now sleeping in your room.
Mommy loves our days together just you and I. You love to play in your bouncer seat and your baby gym. You have just started to bat at your toys instead of just randomly waving your hands and making contact. You will coo and squeal as you play with both. After 20 minutes, you have usually had enough and will fuss to be taken out. You really do not enjoy Tummy time so Mommy doesn't have you do it that often. I think we both need to get better with this!!! I just hate to see you cry and get upset. You do not sleep as much as you used to during the day but you still love your day time naps. It takes a miracle to wake you up during the day, I only wish that was the case at night! You don't enjoy sleeping on my chest as much as you used to which makes me sad. You will move your neck back and forth because you are no longer as comfortable. You will only sleep on my chest if you are extremely tired. You love to sleep on my lap on top of the boppy pillow after a feeding and will sometimes let you sleep there for awhile. I feel guilty moving you to your infant seat or swing even though Mommy does need to get some things done during the day!
You love to breast feed and will tolerate a bottle every now and then. You make the cutest noises before most feedings when you know you are about to get fed. It sounds like an excited pant, it's so cute. Breast feeding is definitely going better and I haven't needed to use lanolin all week!!! Perhaps the girls have officially toughened up. You still do not open your mouth as wide as you should but we are still working on this. We finally figured out that when you do have a bottle, it needs to be very warm!!!!
You are officially in 0-3 month clothes but your sleepers are already getting a little tight in the legs. You are still in the 75th percentile for height so those are always the first to go. Mommy may have to start shopping again for new sleepers. You still hate when Mommy puts onesies on you. You always fuss when I try to put it over your head and bend your arms into the arm holes. They need to make these a little easier!!!
I may be slightly biased, but think you are the most beautiful baby girl. You have Daddy's perfect skin tone and Mommy's big eyes and eyelashes. I love that you have dark hair and hope it stays dark. Your eyes are still blue, but a very dark blue. It's hard to say what color your eyes will eventually be. I think it's official that you have my weird toe nails. They grow upwards and are a pain to trim. I have not trimmed yours yet since they do not seem to be growing as fast as your finger nails. Thankfully, you do not have my nails since those grow upwards too. Yours are pretty but grow like crazy. At times you will scratch your face while you sleep at night and Mommy feels terrible. It's hard keeping those nails dull!!!
I can' wait to see what month three brings for us, I am so grateful to have another month at home with you and hope we can at least get a warm day for you and I to venture around the neighborhood in your stroller. It's been nothing but snow for us in February. As I type this, we are receiving a foot of snow from the latest winter storm that has hit Cleveland.
Jillian's Two Month Stats:
Weight: 11 pounds 2 ounces (50th percentile)
Height: 23 6/8 inches(75th percentile)
Clothing: 0-3, can still fit into a few 2 piece newborn outfits, 0-3 sleepers are tight already in the legs!
Diapers: Just started size one last week.
Favorite Toys: Bouncer Seat, Baby Gym, Fisher Price Aquarium. You still go to sleep to your seahorse but not every night as you have in the past.
Favorite Past time: Bath Time.
Communication: Smiles, coos and squeals.
Cries: Biggest cry is when you are hungry, will occasionally cry when you tired and can't fall asleep. You need an extra walk around the house with Mommy or Daddy or a ride in your swing to help.
Bedtime: Lately before 11pm.
Food: Breast Milk with 1-2 bottles from Daddy a week
I just wanted to write a quick post thanking everyone who responded to my Sleep Deprived post below. I really took your advice to heart and decided to try the earlier bedtime. It worked!!!! We gave Jillian a bath at 7:30, right before her 8:15pm feeding. We also used for the first time the Johnson & Johnson's Lavender bath. Jill passed out after she ate and Jeff gently swaddled her and put her to bed in her crib. She didn't wake up again until 2am! Five hours of sleep, and right through her fussy time. I couldn't be more greatful to you all for your encouraging advice and support. We are going to try this again tonight and hope that this soon becomes our new routine. I also took your suggestion and ordered "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child." I can't wait for it to come. Again, I thank you all from the bottom of my heart from taking the time to write such encouraging and supportive words. They helped!!!
Remember how I was just bragging to ya'll that our precious angel had slept through the night? Well, I spoke a little too soon. She has reverted back this week to the sleep schedule of a three week old and it's been a long and exhausting week!!! There are so many issues contributing to this problem that I don't know where our biggest issue lies. First, we moved her to the crib on Sunday. We were sad to do it but it was time. We had been putting it off for weeks as it was. We decided since she was sleeping so well lately. I imagine the transition to the crib is always hard but I didn't realize it would be this hard. She no longer has her 4 - 7 hour sleep stretches at night anymore, she is religiously waking up every three hours, if not less, to eat. Ugh! I don't know if it's because she is not comfortable sleeping her crib yet so she isn't having a sound sleep or what. Our second issue is just trying to get her to bed!!!! Just this week she has started to cluster feed and will literally eat from 8pm to 10pm and then she is ready to eat again at 11pm. She STILL has her fussy time around 10pm-12am, however, more recently it's been until 1am. She didn't even get to bed until 2am last night! Most Mom's I speak to say their baby's fussy time is around dinnertime, not our baby! We have the worst fussy time period ever because it makes it impossible to have any kind of a bedtime routine. We have tried the bath/feed/book/sleep routine starting at 9pm but it always gets sabotaged by the "witching hour" which is around the time we finish up the feed. Not to mention the new clusterfeeding schedule she has started this week has made it next to impossible to try any kind of a routine since she wants to eat from 8pm-10pm. After all of the late night craziness, she doesn't fall asleep now until around 1am. This very late bedtime segues into our third issue. Since she goes to bed so late, she sleeps way too much during the day, especially the morning. She will wake up at 7am to eat and barely makes it five minutes on the first side before she is completely passed out. I try to wake her and it's impossible. Why can't she be like this at night? You put her down and you walk on eggshells trying not to wake her. I try changing her diaper to wake her up a bit and then try feeding her on the other side. Five minutes later she is passed out again. So basically her morning feeding is pretty much a "snack". This causes other problems because I think it's sending "the girls" the wrong message and so I am afraid my milk supply is decreasing. I have started to pump now after her "snack" until hopefully this issue has resolved itself. We really need to turn her schedule around but just don't know where to start because of her fussy time. I pray it resolves itself soon or she may be going back to the pack n play just for my sanity just to resolve one of these issues!!! The third issue is that she is having a love/hate relationship with the swaddle at bedtime. We think she is almost done with it but there are times when she still wants it. We put her to bed with it, but she will start to kick herself out of it which wakes herself up. Then she is up and we have to give her the pacifier or start up her seahorse to calm her again. Every time I go to get her for a feeding, she is usually out of the swaddle by then. I really don't think she is a fan of the sleep sacks yet, we have tried to put her in one of those instead of the swaddle and I don't think she likes that her legs aren't free. I feel like horrible Mom for getting so mad and frustrated with her but you feel so helpless and tired. I am just at my wits end about it. Jeff has tried to help out as much as possible at night but the poor guy has to go to work in the morning. He actually stepped in last night and stayed up to try to get her to sleep. He also took her downstairs this morning so I could try to catch up on my rest. I am still exhausted, sometimes power naps do more harm than good and just leave you feeling groggy. That is where I am at right now, a very groggy Mommmy.
Here is a picture of my sweet girl since I hate posts with no pictures! How can I be mad at this face? She turns two months old tomorrow which is just so hard from me to believe!
One thing I am slowly learning is that when you spend all of your time cooped up in your home, you are constantly surrounded by all of those home decor to-do items. I have so many new ideas to do with the house, my mind is spinning! Sorry Jeff.....
My biggest pet peeve lately is that we do not have a window treatment for our kitchen window. I have been thinking that a bamboo shade would look good in this space, however, my sister recently bought these cute valances from Target for her home and I really am liking them too! I love both options!!!!
The bamboo shade would add a nice contrast to our dark cherry cabinets and give us full privacy for that window. It also goes well with our bar stools. The valance will add some color to the space and matches well with our granite counter tops. The grommets also match the grommets on our kitchen slider. There are also panels that go with the valance. I could change out the slider drapes to match this valance and use the slider drapes in the great room instead. Oh, the decisions.... Which option do you think would look best, the valance or the bamboo shade?
The Target Valance:
The bamboo shade from Overstock.com:
Another thing to consider is that the valance has matching panels. I could buy the panels and move these brown panels to the naked great room windows that you can see to the left of the slider. Oh, the decisions!!!!
How our kitchen slider looks now:
The panels that match the valance:
Happy Ash Wednesday everyone, what are you all giving up for lent? I have decided to give up chocolate. This one is going to be tough, but I am determined to stick with it!!!! I am also thrilled to see that the McDonald's singing fish commercial has returned for yet another Lenten season. I have a feeling that catchy tune will be going through my head for the next 40 days.......
This weekend was a very busy one for Jeff, Jillian and I. It was filled with a lot of firsts for us as a family. Not only was Friday Jillian's first trip to Target, it was also her first trip to the Olive Garden for dinner. We decided to have a early Valentine's Day dinner and took a chance by bringing Jill. We honestly didn't know how it was going to go and were fully prepared to order our dinner to go if need be. Luckily we didn't have to, she did great, she slept through our whole dinner! We had to wait a little longer than usual since we specifically requested a booth but it all worked out. After dinner we drove to Malley's Chocolate's, a local Cleveland candy store, to purchase the best chocolate strawberries ever. This has been our Valentine's Day tradition ever since Jeff and I started dating nine years ago. We buy a box to enjoy all weekend but they usually do not last past Saturday!!!
On Saturday, I finally got my hair cut and colored. This is the first time in ten months that I have gotten my hair colored so I was REALLY looking forward to this appointment. I am really loving the color, however, I had her put side swept bangs back into my hair. Not sure if I am loving them yet or not. I realized soon after I got the bangs to why I grew them out in the first place. They are annoying! They are constantly hanging in my face, especially when I feed Jillian so I have busted out my stash of bobby pins again to keep them in place. I am hoping they grow out quickly so I can start tucking them behind my ear again.
Saturday night we had plans to go over to the neighbor's house for an adult only Valentine's Day party. I was a stressed out mess before we left and almost decided to skip the party all together. Jill hasn't been taking the bottle very well lately. She has only had a few to begin with and it seems like she hates it more and more with each one that she has. Jeff had to give her a bottle while I was out getting my hair done and if we went to the party, she would have to have another bottle. Jeff's parents were baby sitting for us and I debated for hours on whether or not we should even go. I don't know why I was so nervous, I guess I just "knew" that it wasn't going to go well. I just felt guilty giving her another bottle knowing how much didn't enjoy taking one even for Jeff earlier that day. I haven't quite decided yet what our problem is with the bottle. It could be more gas or the fact that it's just not me. Or perhaps she doesn't like the Dr. Browns bottles that we have been using. I am not sure where to go from here, should I buy different bottles? I am thinking we are going to keep trying these bottles for now and just try giving them to her more often. I go back to work on March 26th and I want to feel comfortable knowing that my baby girl is going to eat and happily! I decided in the end to go to the party and have Jeff's Mom give her the bottle. I was only at the party for a half hour when I got the call to come home. Jill was flat out refusing the bottle and was quite fussy with the whole situation. Luckily, we were only at the neighbor's house so I drove home without Jeff to feed Jill for an hour. I made it back to the party but felt so badly for leaving Jill. Hopefully things will get better for both of us!!!!
On Sunday, we headed to my brother and sister-in-laws beautiful new home for a house warming party. Their new home is an hour west of us so we had a long nice drive out to their new place. Jill slept the whole way!
My brother Brian and my Sis-In-Law Stephanie in the foyer of their new home:
Jill loved hanging out with her cousin Nicole:
Me with my adorable niece, Nicole:
Me with my BFF in the whole world, my sister!
I wish I would have taken pictures of our trip to Olive Garden and the neighbor's party but unfortunately left my camera at home for both events. I think I need to buy a separate camera just to keep in my baby bag:) Anyone else looking forward to the Bachelor tonight? The whole thing with Ally just wreaks of the Ed story line from the Bachlorette. It's almost a little too scripted to even to be called Reality TV. I am also so excited that the Olympics are here again, we watched them all weekend. It's been enjoyable watching them as we try to make it through another cold winter. I hope everyone had a great Valentine's Day weekend!
I made the executive decision to take Jill out to Target today. The weather was still quite chilly, a balmy 27 degrees, but the snow has at least stopped and Mommy was itching to get out of the house!!! I had not been out all week and needed a change of scenery. So what better place to go to than Mommy's happy place? Jill did great, our first Target trip was a major success!!! I gave Jill her noon time feeding and we ran out the door. She slept the whole way there and also managed to sleep through me trying to figure out how to properly fit the car seat into the top section of the shopping cart. I almost decided just to put her in the large basket section but decided to keep her on top so I could stare right at her face. She mostly slept the whole time we were there except when I stopped in the baby clothing section to pick her out a few cute outfits. Her eyes sprung right open when the cart stopped moving and she just stared at me with a curious look on her face. She eventually went back to sleep without a peep. She didn't cry once, she was so good! One issue I did encounter while I was there is that I had to use the bathroom SO bad!!!! It was so bad that I considered taking her into the bathroom with me but decided to be miserable and just hold it. Note to self: Make sure you use the bathroom before you leave the house with the baby!!!
I also decided to venture out and try the new Chick-Fil-A that just opened next to our Target. So many of my favorite bloggers seem to swear by Chick-Fil-A and Sonic. I have honestly not eaten at either place so I was up for trying something new! The Chick-Fil-A just opened and there is only one Sonic in the Cleveland area which just recently opened a few months ago. Unfortunately, the Sonic is also located on the complete opposite side of Cleveland so I will have to wait and hope they open one closer to us. Per the recommendation of Jenna at Jenna's Journey, I ordered the #5 with the Chick-Fil-A special sauce. I was so excited to see that they served my favorite drink, Diet Dr. Pepper, so that was a huge bonus for me. This may be the start of a new tradition for Jill and I so thank you Jenna!!!
A typical Cleveland Day in February:
Jill still tuckered out from the car ride:
Mommy, where are we?
A quick stop through the Chick-Fil-A Drive thru for lunch:
Admiring the snow in the parking lot as I waited for my food:
Two model homes going up in our neighborhood - when did they start building these???
This precious little girl slept through the night for us! She slept from 12 to 7! I woke up at 6:30am to Jeff's alarm going off not knowing what to think. I didn't panic right away because I immediately heard her stirring and grunting in her pack n play. I laid there debating on whether I should pick her up to feed her or not. My "girls" were killing me for missing a middle of the night feeding!!!! Jeff and I laid in bed relishing in our victory and debating on what we should do next. Should I get her up to feed or should I pump? I was so uncomfortable. As we debated, we heard a few toots started coming from the pack n play. Oh my, our little girl is certainly not the little lady as she appears in that tutu picture!!! :) After a few good laughs at the expense of our daughter, I decided to pump. She woke up 15 minutes later. I couldn't have been more proud!! She got all sorts of hugs and kisses from us this morning.
In a maternity leave first, I finished with her feeding the same time Jeff finished up getting ready for work. We all walked downstairs together to start our day. Jill decided to do what any healthy baby girl would do and "hit the gym". I made myself a cup of coffee and hung out of the couch reading a few blogs and watched the snow fall in our backyard. Yes, it's snowing here in Cleveland again, imagine that. We are expecting 2-4 inches today. Jeff isn't even coming home for lunch because it has been snowing so hard today. It really is quite pretty but it's making for a lot of pent up cabin fever. My Target, grocery and Babies R Us shopping lists are growing by the day. This Mom needs to get back out again!!!!
We had professional pictures taken of Jill a few weeks ago from a family friend of ours. She did just a great job, I am just so happy with how they turned out. Jill was such a cute little ham, you can really start to see her personality coming out in these pictures!!! I just can't stop looking at them.
I am so excited that we are starting to venture out more as a family and becoming more comfortable with life with a newborn. It's been fun and challenging trying to adjust to the new "normal". It's amazing how different everything is. Just trying to get out of the house brings a whole new meaning to getting ready to go out.
On Friday, we hung out on the couch as a family and watched the snow come down. We caught up on our DVR and went to bed early. At least Jeff did, Jillian still wants to nurse for an hour and a half at night and still doesn't want to go to bed until after midnight. Hopefully we get this turned around by the time I go back to work in March!!! Jill also had a little baby workout in her gym. She is starting to grab on to a few of the low hanging toys which is so cute! I love watching her look around at everything and watch the blinking light on top of the gym. She makes the cutests noises and starts kicking her little legs like crazy.
We had a lazy Saturday morning relaxing on couch with Jill and listening to all of the neighbor's snow blow their driveway's from the Friday evening storm. Jill just loves hanging out on her Daddy's lap on the couch.
On Saturday, my girlfriends Erika and Liberty stopped by to meet Jillian. We all met as sorority sister's back in college and still live relatively close to one another here in Cleveland. Erika and I also work for the same company and live in the same city. Jillian was so happy to meet her new friends and showed Liberty some love by filling her diaper right on her lap. That's my girl!
On Sunday, Jeff and I actually had a little outing of our own and attended our church's Baptism class. Jeff's parents came over to watch Jill which gave us some time to run a few errands after class as well. It's the first time that I have actually rode up front in the passenger seat beside Jeff since Jill was born. I typically ride in the back with Jill to and from doctor's appointments. We haven't figured out yet how to rig the baby car mirror. Any recommendations on a good one? The one we purchased is just not working with our Saturn Vue and we either need to buy a new one or figure something out with the one we have. It's amazing how the littlest things change when you have a newborn! Jeff, Jillian and I headed over to the neighbor's house on Sunday night for the Superbowl. Our first neighborhood outing as a family! Our neighbor's watched my pregnant belly grow throughout the Summer and Fall months and were so happy to finally meet her!
I have been looking at all blizzard pictures across the country and thought I would post ours. Cleveland was hit with the blizzard but not as hard as other areas of the country. The snowfall around the Cleveland area varied depending what side of the city you lived on. We live in the very Northern tip of the city which was the outer cusp of the storm. Our suburb borders Lake Erie so you can't get much more North then that! We only received around 4 inches of snow which is barely anything for what we are used to. The wind was pretty fierce here for awhile and still continues to blow which created several large snow drifts. My parents and sister live in the south western side of Cleveland which had over a foot of snow. I can't wait to see a few of their pictures!
I am really excited to be participating in this week's Show Us Your Life over at Kelly's Korner. It's all about beauty tips and products which is a favorite topic of mine. Per my post below, I love make up, but completely clueless about applying it! I have been focusing on trying to get my appearance back in order since my pregnancy so I really looking forward to reading all of the great tips!!! Here are a few of mine that I love!
CHI FLAT IRON - This product is by far my favorite. I have tried a couple of flat irons, even a few of the more expensive ones from Sally Beauty Supply, and none of the hold a candle to the CHI. This thing is a miracle worker. I have very thick hair that has random waves through out. Nothing gets my hair as straight and smooth as this.
Before I use my CHI flat iron, I use this product by Aveda. It smooths out my hair and adds a protective barrier from the heat.
I love pretty much all Aveda products and use several of their styling products. A few other favorites are:
My favorite make up lines are MAC, NARS, and Aveda. A few of my favorite products are:
MAC STUDIO FIX POWDER PLUS FOUNDATION - I ran out of this product right before I went into labor and haven't had a chance to go to the mall to pick up a new one. I am thinking of just purchasing it on line and having it shipped to my house because I really miss it. I am using a drug store compact right now and it just isn't the same.
MAC LIP GLASS -
NARS EYE SHADOWS - I went to Chicago several years ago with friends. For fun, we had a NARS make over done at Barney's of New York. I loved all of their products, especially their shadows and lipgloss.
NARS LIP GLOSS -
SKIN CARE -
As a thirty something girl, I am sad to admit that I do not have that much of a skin care regime. I have been intrigued lately by all of the Olay Regenerist commercials and am thinking of picking up a few of their products. I do use the Olay Total Effects 7 - 1 Anti Agind Moisturizer Daily after a shower which I love.
I may be a thirty something, but seem to still have the skin of a teenager. I am prone to break outs and love the Clearasil Daily Face Wash. I have used this for years and love it. I have tried using other daily cleansers but will notice that I will start breaking out again once I stop using the Clearasil. I hope they never stop making this product or my skin is in big trouble!!!!
Be sure to post your favorite products here or on Kelly's Korner. I look forward to learning a few new tips!!!
Hello and thank you for visiting Karen At Home Blog! I hope you will relax, kick back, and make yourself at "Home". I am a former Corporate Accountant turned Stay At Home Mom to two year old Jillian, 7 month old Nicholas, wife to my best friend Jeff and a Thirty-One Gifts Consultant. My blog is about everything that I love from Home Decor, DIY projects, and Recipes to Homemaking Tips and our own family life.
As a busy Mom, I am always looking for better ways to clean, organize and decorate our home. That is how Karen At Home...Homemaking Made Simple came to be. I love sharing my Homemaking and Decorating tips with you! My goal is to make your life just a little bit easier and a lot more inspired!
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