Reese’s pieces is five months old! I blinked and the last five months flew by! She is getting so big and is seriously such a beauty. I love watching her grow!
Big girl is now in almost exclusively six month clothing. She is showing more and more interest in sitting upright. Although she has rolled from back to belly and from belly to back, she prefers not to! LOL. She is solid, just like her brother was at this age. Reese popped her two bottom teeth through at about 4.5 months. The doctor didn’t believe me at her four month appointment, but two weeks later, there were teeth!
Reese found her voice over the past month and loves to chit-chat. She definitely knows Mom, Dad, and Finn, and prefers us to everyone else. The stranger danger is strong with this one. She won’t even go to her grandparents without poking her lip out and pouting. I know this is just a phase, but it’s hard!
Reese is such a great napper! She takes two long (2-3 hour) naps each day, and then a shorter one first thing in the morning. She goes down between 6:30-7pm each night. I dream feed her at 10pm, and usually wakes up once around 4am. I feed her and she goes back down until 6:30am or so.
She had about a three day stretch of sleeping 6:30pm-7am. I thought we were finally turning a corner, but she started teething and she hasn’t slept through the night since!
Still no bottle, and honestly, I’ve stopped trying. It would be so nice to get out without Reese or go somewhere longer than three hours, but I’m finding that breast feeding is actually so much easier than using a bottle. There’s nothing to clean, nothing to pump!
Reese has shown interest in eating solids recently so I have been giving her some things here or there. She isn’t sitting up quite yet, so we won’t make a habit of solids until then, but I’m not as terrified to start as I was with Finn.
Things I Don’t Want to Forget
Reese found her feet and loves to grab them and chew on them!
Her little hand on my chest while I feed her. I love that she feels so safe with me.
Her goofy, goofy smile whenever she sees David. She is smitten with him!
The way Finn always asks for her and gives her love and kisses. The other day she was crying and he said, “It’s okay baby.” I melted.
If you know David and me, then you know all about our crazy dog Juneau. Juneau doesn’t get his fair share of attention on the blog, but I find myself sharing all about him to people and I figured he deserved a blog post telling his story, too!
Juneau’s Adoption Story
David and I started dating in October of 2010. In January of the following year, we adopted Juneau. Much like everything else in the early days of our relationship, adopting a dog was totally on a whim.
I grew up with dogs and knew I would want one for my own. David and I used to go to the local SPCA just to check in, but one fateful Saturday we walked in without a plan, and walked out with a fluffy puppy we named Juneau.
The best part? We both had to work that night and decided to dump our brand new puppy off with David’s mom and step-dad within an hour of adopting him!
Juneau was just 8 weeks old when we adopted him. He was given to the SPCA along with his brother and sister after being found on the side of the road! His original papers said he was a German Shepherd/Lab mix, but we later did a DNA test on him that revealed neither of those to be true!
The Crazy Side of Juneau
Juneau has always been a high-strung dog. When he was little, he used to bite his crate and whine/bark/howl whenever we left. He would fight to get out of the crate so hard and at times, he would succeed! We’ve lost countless stuffed animals, shoes, lots of food, couches, and even a down comforter to Juneau’s ridiculousness. We eventually even lost the crate because he bent the metal so badly he would just escape.
We figured Juneau just had separation anxiety. We tried everything on the market that claimed to reduce his anxiety – blankets, CBD oil, music, etc. Nothing seemed to work. Over time, we just chalked his behavior to “being Juneau” and claimed we had the craziest dog in the world.
When I got pregnant with Finn, Juneau’s behavior seemed to worsen. He started barking and spinning at the door whenever we came or went. If someone came over to visit, he would follow them everywhere they went, nip at their heels if they walked near the door, and would not. calm. down.
When Finn was born, Juneau’s behavior heightened again. We moved to our house last year, and thought that giving Juneau space and freedom to run would help with his anxiety, but it didn’t. Of course at the same time, I became pregnant with Reese, and we noticed Juneau’s anxiety worsen again.
At our new house, Juneau started new behaviors. He barks at doors closing, and bites the door knobs. He wouldn’t let guests walk across the room without whining and trying to bite their heels. He picks one guest and sticks by their side the entire time they are over. At times, he randomly starts barking and cannot be calmed down.
The funny thing is, when it’s just us – David, Finn, Reese and me – Juneau is super chill. But if we are getting ready to leave, or if we have guests over, he is on alert.
He has all sorts of weird behaviors – he hates the sound of my camera clicking, he runs from window to window when someone goes outside – even when the door is wide open and he can follow them, he lays outside the bathtub when we are in the shower, he gets bent out of shape when my dad is around, particularly when he says the phrase “Ok. I’m off like a prom dress!” LOL!
The Reason Juneau is the Way He Is
A few months before Reese was born, I decided it was time to reach out to a trainer. It wasn’t fair to Juneau, or to ourselves, to continue to watch him get stressed in very normal situations.
Juneau’s DNA test revealed that he is a mutt – a mix between Chinook, Australian Shepherd, Chow-Chow, and Collie. When we told the trainer this mix, she explained that Juneau’s breeds are herding and working dogs. He was essentially born with the instinct to herd. His behavior heightened initially when I became pregnant with Finn because he knew his pack was growing, so his herding tendencies amplified. Again, when we moved and became pregnant with Reese, his responsibilities to his pack grew again, and he became even more intense.
The trainer helped us understand Juneau so much more than we thought. Juneau wasn’t anxious or aggressive, he was just being protective and trying to keep his pack together. When we are all together, he is fine because his job is complete. When guests come over, he is on high alert, and if someone tries to leave, that goes against his instincts of keeping the pack together.
The other interesting part that the trainer explained – Juneau will never bite harder than he does today. In other words, a dog’s bite ranges between 1 and 7 – 1 being basically nothing, 7 being hospital bound. Juneau bites at a 2, so when he does nip at your heels when you visit, you have nothing to worry about!
The trainer told us that Juneau loves to work and to be challenged. She told us to work with him to associate someone leaving with something positive – like giving him treats. Now, when we have guests, we give Juneau a Kong with peanut butter in it so he is distracted and he has positive reinforcement.
The Best Dog Ever
Juneau is a tough dog, but is seriously the best. He has been with David and I since the very beginning. He traveled to New Mexico, North Carolina, and Indiana with us. He has stayed with my parents in New York for months at a time and to this day, when we turn down their road, he starts whining excitedly.
Juneau has also never gotten aggressive with Finn or Reese. He is so patient, allowing Finn to climb on him, pull his tail, even ride him! He is so sweet with the babies, and it melts my heart.
He is fiercely loyal and super cuddly. Juneau sleeps on our bed every single night. He loves David so much, they have a special bond.
I’m so grateful we reached out to the trainer. Understanding Juneau’s background and why he is the way he is only made me love him more. He is crazy and stressful and there will never be another dog like him!
Reese babe is four months old and she is the sweetest thing ever. I loved this age with Finn, and I love it with Reese, too. She is interactive, chatty, and starting to get in a rhythm. I’m so lucky I get to spend my days with her!
Reese is almost 15 pounds and 25 inches long. She’s landing in the 60th percentile for her growth. She holds up her head like a champ and loves to gnaw on her hands. She has started kicking, too, and has shown more and more interest in being propped upright.
Our little chatty girl loves to smile at Daddy and Finn. She loves to tell stories and watch us walk around the room. She looooves to stare at Juneau and can’t quite understand what he is doing most of the time – but then again, none of us can! She is attached to mom and dad for the most part, but has started allowing other people to hold her as she’s gotten older.
This girl is the best napper ever. I remember fighting with Finn to the death to get him to nap when he was little. Reese is a sweetheart. I lay her in her crib, she coos for a bit and is off to dreamland in about 10 minutes. She currently naps 3-4 times a day.
At night, we’ve gotten so much better in the past month. I’ve gotten her on more of an eating routine and I truly believe that’s made her a better sleeper. She goes down between 6:30 and 7pm. I then dream feed her at 10pm before David and I go to bed. In the past week she has consistently stretched out the length of time she stays asleep and this morning she made it until 5am! I fed her and she fell back asleep until 7:15am. By consistently waking her up at the same time each morning and putting her to bed at the same time each night, she’s become such a better baby.
Girlfriend still won’t take a bottle. We’ve been more consistent about getting her to take one, but she just doesn’t want anything to do with it. I’ve tried different bottles, different nipples, even a sippy cup – nothing. We’ve tried every trick that the internet has suggested, but she is just not having it.
In the past month I’ve gotten her on a three hour feeding schedule, so even though she isn’t taking a bottle, her eating times are predictable and it really hasn’t been so bad.
Things I Don’t Want to Forget
Her goofy little smile when I pick her up from her crib after she wakes up.
Her cooing stories she has started telling us on the regular.
The way she catches Finn’s eye and doesn’t look away. He loves to give her kisses and is the best brother ever.
Her curious eyes poking out from under her carrier in her carseat. She’s a very serious baby and loves to take in the world.
If you’re a nursing mama like me, then you know how important it is to wear clothes that give you quick and comfortable access to the goods 🙂 . Today I rounded up six affordable and adorable nursing friendly dresses you can purchase this season.
Being intentional about my health is one of my biggest goals for this year. I have a huge task at hand – building a business while caring for my family – and the only way I’m going to succeed is if I’m at my very best. Pregnancy takes its toll on your body and mind and I was at a very low point with both last year.
As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized that my mental health is just as, if not more important than my physical health. In fact, the two are so intertwined that the word ‘health’ to me is so much greater than it was when I was younger.
I want to be a healthy mom and good example for my kids, so I have started doing these five simple things each day that have made a tremendous impact on my overall well-being.
Take a vitamin.
I started taking a prenatal vitamin right after I found out I was pregnant with Finn. I took one daily until I stopped breastfeeding him at around 8 months old. I didn’t take one for the year between that and when I got pregnant with Reese and I doubt I’ll stop taking them ever again.
Not only am I sick less often, but when I am sick, I’m not as sick and for a shorter amount of time. Even better? My skin, nails and hair are all so incredibly healthy, it’s insane. I’ve never had my hair longer than I do right now and I’m obsessed with it. It’s so strong and silky and I contribute all of this to taking a prenatal vitamin. I get comments on my hair a lot and when I do, I always mention that it’s the vitamins! I recommend any woman of child-bearing age, whether you are planning on getting pregnant or not, to take a prenatal vitamin. There is magic in those things.
Drink my weight in water.
I recently heard a stat that felt like something I could totally get on board with – my daily intake of water should equal, in ounces, half of my body weight in pounds. For example, if I weighed 100 pounds (which I promise I haven’t weighed since about sixth grade) then I should be drinking 50 ounces of water per day. Challenge accepted.
Since I’ve started doing this I can tell a positive difference in my energy level, in my mood, in my skin, and in mental clarity. I’m also eating less, which is awesome! It’s fairly easy for me to make this happen, too. I found a jug that was given to me in the hospital when I had Reese and if I drink about three full jugs per day, I’ve more than reached my goal.
Once upon a time I was a college athlete and was running six miles per day. Now, I’ve got absolutely zero time to myself, but I know how good I feel when I do get out and move. Since having Reese and quitting my job, I’ve made a habit of getting out of the house and walking four miles at least three times a week. For the days that I don’t go walking, I do a twenty minute YouTube workout.
I used to work out to be fit, but these days I work out for the mental benefits. I usually have an audiobook or podcast playing or completely let my mind wander. It’s in these moments that my creative juices get flowing and I feel the most energized.
Count my blessings. Literally.
I’ve fully accepted that the power of attraction is everything in life and whatever attitude you put out into the world is what you will get back. I have started making a habit of taking time out of every day to reflect on everything I have in life. However, I try not to get too big with my thankfulness. For example, of course I’m thankful for my healthy and happy family, but I try to find a single moment out of the day that made me smile.
Reese napped so well today and every time I went to get her out of her crib she had that goofy smile.
Finn told the funniest story about his friends at school. He is learning new words every day!
David brought me coffee in bed this morning and texted me out the blue to tell me he loves me. Gosh I’m lucky!
By focusing on the little things throughout the day, I find myself stopping in those moments to take them in. I go out looking for those small moments that I’m grateful for, which in turn creates more of those moments!
I allow myself to rest. I have to. I need it. My body and my mind need to be completely distracted from motherhood and work and laundry and bills and every other aspect of crazy adult life. If I don’t rest, I burn out. It’s just a tendency I have. I become complacent and start to procrastinate and things start to fall to the wayside. I have been intentionally giving myself permission to take a break every single day. Nothing good was ever accomplished by forcing myself to do it.
How do I rest? Well, sadly I’m not a napper, because that would be my first choice. But I do love a good reality tv show. I watch way too much garbage tv to even care to admit, but by getting wrapped up into a world of ridiculousness, I’m so far away from my to-do list that I come back to it feeling fresh and ready.
If you are in some kind of rut in your life right now, I highly recommend taking a break from whatever it is that you have been doing and rest. It’s by far the best thing you could do for yourself.