Reese at Nine Months Old

reese at nine months old

How in the world did we get here?! My little girl is already 9 months old and time is certainly not slowing down. I love this age so much! I loved it with Finn man and I love it just the same with Reese. She is just the sweetest thing.

Parenting:

I gotta say, I’m just so much more in the groove the second time around. I’m not worried about little things, I’m a little more flexible with her schedule and I let her eat things I probably shouldn’t. HA! But in all reality, I’m just feeling lucky and like I’m totally meant to be doing what I’m doing right now. I love my long days with the kiddos, and I love nap time just as much :). I’m sleeping very little and working very hard, but it’s everything I ever wanted. David and I are on the same page, too. Kids definitely change thing, but I stand by what I’ve said before – going from none to one is SO MUCH harder than going from one to two!

Physical Growth:

Reese is such a chunker, and is wearing mostly 9-12 month clothing. She wants to crawl so badly, and has been assuming the position for about a week now without being able to move. I know she can, but I don’t think she knows she can. Within a few weeks, though, she’ll be moving and grooving.

Reese also loves to stand. She has a walker that she is now able to pull herself up on and she will just stand there happily for the longest time. She wants to move and gets frustrated watching her brother move around, but like I said, once it happens, she’s not going to stop!

Right now, Reese has 8 teeth and is currently cutting more!

Brain Growth:

Reese knows her name, she knows her mommy and daddy and definitely her brother. She loves to clap when we say “yayyy!” and demands attention all the time. She also enjoys sitting back and watching, especially when Finn man is flicking around the room.

Sleeping:

Reese goes down at around 6:30 each evening. I dream feed her around 9:30 and she will usually wake up once around 4am to feed again. Then she wakes up for good around 6:30am. She had dropped the middle of the night feeding for a while, but since starting solids more, she doesn’t nurse as much during the day, hence still waking up at night. She does nap twice a day for about two hours each which is magical. She loves her nap and rarely, if ever, makes a fuss.

Eating:

Gosh, my girl is an eater! She loves everything we’ve given her thus far and just eats until we stop feeding her! Ha! She loves to double fist, too. We’ve been doing a lot of baby led weaning with her – basically just giving her small bites of food and letting her feed herself. I’ve done some purees as well, just to make sure she is getting a good variety of things, but she’s been a great eater since we started.

Reese still exclusively nurses, too. As I mentioned above, since eating more solids, she’s dropped her mid-morning feed. It’s good in that I can leave her for a longer period of time. It’s bad in that I have to wake up at 4am to feed her. Can’t have it all I guess!

She has started taking a sippy cup more and more. We basically just give her water in it at this point, but it does make me less nervous about weaning her from nursing completely!

Things I don’t want to forget:

  • Finn tickles Reese and she gets the biggest shit-eaten grin on her face whenever he plays with her. OMG I melt.
  • When I go to get her out of her crib when she wakes up, she is usually on her belly doing what appears to be the worm dance, just purely out of excitement!
  • Her little sticatto-like grunts are hilarious and clearly her way of communicating with us.
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What My Day Looks Like As A Work At Home Mom

work at home mom

I’m currently writing this from a coffee shop. I’m alone. This is just one of the five or six times in the past six and a half months that I have been alone. Since Reese refuses a bottle (and to be honest I haven’t even tried to give her one in about two months) she comes everywhere with me. Business meetings. Workouts. Grocery shopping. We are basically two peas in a pod.

This morning I had a meeting and my in-laws have both the kids. I expect they will text me soon letting me know that Reese has woken up and I’ll head over to their house, nurse my babe, and continue on with my day.

Today is an exception. Most days I don’t get this break.

I have connected with a lot of work at home moms in the past few months. It’s a unique situation to be in. I guess, technically, I’m a stay at home mom, but I’m also a working mom. I’m grateful for technology to be able to do this.

Most days I wake up around 6am with David. If I’m lucky, Reese is still asleep and I get to enjoy a cup of coffee in bed while chatting with my husband. Some days she wakes up and joins us.

By 7am, Finn is awake. David goes to the gym some mornings, so I’ll take Finn into school and then go for a long walk with Reese. We will listen to audiobooks or podcasts and I usually get super motivated and clear minded on these walks.

If David doesn’t go to the gym, he takes Finn to school and I get right to work. On Fridays, and every other Wednesday, Finn is home with me!

I try to start my day with a shower. I was skipping this simple step for a while, but I found that I was more productive when I got myself up and dressed. This usually happens during Reese’s first nap.

Then I get to work. I answer emails, write blog posts, work through other stuff until Reese wakes up. I feed her and we play for a while. When Reese is awake, I like to spend quality time with her. The work goes away and I’m present with her.

When she goes back down for a nap, I get to work again. Whatever needs to get done, gets done. She usually naps for about 1.5-2 hours, so it’s a good chunk of time, but I rarely feel like I’ve done enough.

After her second nap, she is usually up until bedtime, so there’s about a 3.5 hour span of keeping her happy and content. Sometimes she will swing or play quietly and I’ll be able to finish up a few things.

work at home mom

David and Finn get home around 5pm and this is when the crazy starts. We cram dinner and baths in all during the witching hour – when Reese and Finn are the most cranky! It’s hectic and it’s usually non-stop until 6:30pm when Reese goes to bed for the night.

Finn stays up until 7:30-8pm. We let him watch a little television and we spend one-on-one time with him. After he goes to sleep, my computer usually comes back out again for a few hours. Other days, David and I watch a show or chat and get our quality time in.

I dream feed Reese around 9:30pm, and then try to be in bed by 10pm. I don’t get much downtime anymore, but this schedule has been working for us. I love the flexibility of being able to do work when I feel most productive, which often times isn’t between the hours of 9 and 5. I also love that I have the flexibility to work out or to go grocery shopping or even take a nap if I need one!

I’m essentially doing two jobs at once these days, and my heart is so full because of that! I feel like I have the balance I craved when I working in an office.

Are you a work at home mom? How do you structure your days?

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Our Experience With Potty Training

potty training

Head’s up: I’m not writing this post to brag or to tell everyone the way to potty train their kid. I’m writing this because while we were potty training Finn, I found myself reading other people’s experiences to see what would work for us! I want to share how we potty trained so that it might help someone else or give ideas to another family on different ways to tackle this!

Finn is the best kid. Since he was a baby, he took big transitions in stride – he took a bottle easily. He switched over to a sippy cup easily. He even transitioned himself out of the crib without a fuss! We have basically been on cruise control with him. We knew potty training was going to be the next big transition, and even though he adjusted to everything so well in the past, potty training scared the crap out of me. (Pun intended).

There were several variables here – first, Reese was new to our family, so although I wanted to get him potty trained before she was born, I also feared that he would regress as soon as she arrived. Plus, I couldn’t quite muster up the energy while I was pregnant. Second, he was going to daycare full-time, and although we would take our own approach, his teachers also would need to be in on it, so I needed their support.

We started off slowly. Finn was home with Reese and I for the month of December. He was about 2.5 years old at this point. I took this opportunity to introduce the toilet to him and put underwear on him whenever we were at home. This, you can imagine, resulted in a lot of laundry. But I figured since we were all at home, it was worth it. We had him pick out the underwear he wanted and that helped him get excited about wearing them.

In those first few weeks of trying, Finn showed little interest. I knew from some research that if he wasn’t interested, there was no point in pushing it. Fast forward a few months, and we started asking more and more about going pee on the potty. Sometimes he would oblige, other times he wouldn’t. Still, we kept the mindset that he would do it when he was ready.

In early April, Finn had a few days off from daycare. I decided to use that time to really push the issue. He was ready. He was talking about it, and there were less and less accidents. So for three days I didn’t put a diaper on him (besides nap time and bed time) and besides one incident early in the first day, he went on the toilet every time! We didn’t leave the house much those three days, and when we did, he wore a pull-up.

I made a Potty Chart and hung it on the wall near his bathroom. The chart had a column for “Tried“, “Pee” and “Poop“. Each time he tried or successfully went, he got a sticker. This kept it exciting for him!

The bad news? He didn’t go number two for three days! I knew he had to go, but I also knew it was a brand new experience. Again, I didn’t want to pressure him, so I would just bring it up every now and then.

I knew going number two was going to be tough, so before we started potty training, we asked him what he wanted if he went poop on the potty. He told us he wanted a toy lion and toy hippo. So, we kept reminding him that if he went poop on the potty, that’s exactly what he would get.

He sat on the potty several times before it actually happened. I credit my in-laws for the first poop. He was at their house and they noticed he was starting to go, so they moved him onto the toilet halfway. Later that night he went on the potty at home, and since then, there have been zero poopy accidents! We took him to get his lion and hippo later that week!

Initially, we still kept pull-ups on him when he went to daycare. This lasted about a month or so and he would come home wet. So we finally sent him in underwear, and a few extra pairs just in case, and he’s been doing great!

A couple notes:

  • Finn was almost three when we really gave it the ole college try!
  • He still has accidents every now and then, and we constantly have to ask him if he has to go, but they are getting fewer and farther between
  • He still wears a pull-up to bed and for nap time, although the last few nights he has been waking up and calling for us to let us know he has to go! (He has a rail on his bed so he can’t get out himself.)
  • Like any little boy, he prefers to pee outside.
  • We did buy him a potty seat, but he doesn’t like to use it much.
  • When we are out in public, I usually just hold him over the toilet and let him go rather than having him touch all over the seat himself. Yuck.

Mamas – how was your experience potty training? Any funny stories?

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It’s Okay To Admit It’s Hard

The last thing I want to portray on this blog or in any aspect of my life is that I have a perfect life. I don’t! I get stressed out, I lose sleep over silly things, David and I argue, my kids drive me nuts, and I have more student loan debt than I care to admit. Guess that just makes me …. normal.

We’re in this era where a snapshot can seem to define your life. Social media can cause you to feel like you aren’t keeping up or that someone on the internet has a better life than you. And it’s not surprising that folks are suffering with depression and anxiety at higher rates than ever before. 

Initially, this post was going to be about motherhood. About how as a mom, it’s okay to admit that you’re having a tough season, or that you don’t necessarily enjoy the parenting thing. That’s how I felt in the months following Finn’s birth. It was a shock to my system. My life as I knew it was over. And it was hard.

I learned to love my new role over time. However, I still have moments where I want the freedom and the silence and the sleep. I am taking Reese to business meetings, because that’s just my reality. And as thankful as I am that people are happy to accept that she comes everywhere with me, I also wish she didn’t have to come everywhere with me.

I love my life today, and I wouldn’t want it to be any other way, but sometimes it’s just hard. Some days, I wish for bedtime more often than I care to admit. Some days, I scroll aimlessly through my phone instead of paying attention to my kids. Some days, I lose my patience and get upset with Finn over things he doesn’t understand. Some days, I just want to have time with my husband and forget about everything else. Because it’s hard.

Like I said, this post was supposed to be just about motherhood, but I realized as I started writing it that this notion of admitting that things can be difficult goes way beyond parenthood.

Breakups are hard. Like the worst.

Job hunting can be soul sucking. And the rejection is the worst feeling in the world.

Marriage is hard. Spoiler alert – love doesn’t conquer all. Communication does. And sometimes, you can both suck at communicating.

Paying bills is hard. And stressful. And getting old really fast.

The moral of the story is life is hard. And messy. And heartbreaking. And full of struggle. And if you can’t admit that, I promise things are only going to be harder and much lonelier.

The good thing is that all of these difficult seasons have an end to them. It’s not always going to be hard. And when you get past these seasons, you come out with a fresh perspective, and a little bit stronger. And the best part? Having hard times make you appreciate the good times even more!

So, just in case you are struggling with something and sitting there thinking “gosh, this is hard” just remember that it’s okay to feel that way. Give yourself a little grace. Sooner than you realize, things will be less difficult!

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Reese at Six Months Old

six months old

It’s officially been half a year since we welcomed Reese into our family, and I can’t really remember a time before her. She is developing quite the personality and it’s the sweetest! I love watching her grow each day, and I’m shocked at how fast the first six months flew by with her! I cannot believe she is six months old!

Physical Growth

Unofficially, Reese is about 14 pounds. She has her six month checkup on Friday so we will know more then! She is so close to sitting up, but still doesn’t have great balance. She has mastered the roll quite well, but still surprises herself that she gets into that position.

Reese did have her first cold and ear infection in the past month, which was absolutely heartbreaking! But she got through it and is back to her normal self.

Brain Growth

Reese loves to chit chat and has finally gotten over her stranger danger. Thank goodness! She loves her brother and smiles at him constantly. Reese definitely has her favorite toys at this point, and she usually knows how to get what she wants.

Sleeping

Somehow I was blessed with great sleepers. Reese goes down at 6:30pm each night, I dream feed her around 10pm and she sleeps until 4am, nurses, and goes back down until 6:30am. She usually gets about 2-3 naps in each day, depending on how long they are. The best part about her sleep? She rarely fights a nap. She usually doesn’t make a peep! However, when she does fight a nap, she fights it harddd!

Eating

Reese doesn’t want to be left out. She may refuse a bottle, but that’s about the only thing she won’t put in her mouth! She’s had crackers, bread, applesauce, green beans, and more! She’s a great eater! It’s funny how interested she is and how well she eats.

Things I don’t want to forget

  • The staccato-ed “ah” she makes when she’s talking to us!
  • The goofiest smile she gets when we get her from her crib. She usually shakes back and forth with excitement, too.
  • Our mornings together, before her brother wakes up. She usually catches David’s eye and can’t look away. She’s smitten, but then again, so is he!
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