Photo Dump Catch-Up

It's been THREE weeks since my last Friday photo dump.  The trip to Greenville threw everything off.  So, here they are.  Three weeks of Instagrams!  Man I take a lot of pics!

Enjoy and happy Labor Day weekend!

First: New play gym | Rock Chalk! | Family photo | Swimming with my baby
Second: How cute is this outfit from H&M?! | Swimming w/ Daddy | Mmmm cookies | Mommy's little Hawkeye
Third: Baby pool action | Recall schmecall | Din din | Need some lawn the rain??
Fourth: Jayhawk bootie | Hat day for Mommy | Tailgate-ready! | Sweet boy

Top: Sleeping babe in the car | First stop at Steak 'N Shake in Columbia | More sleepy baby
Middle: In my finest, ready for the wedding! | Cake pop favors
Bottom: Our little family | Downtown Greenville | Beer and baby bottles

Top: Free formula samples makes Mommy happy | K-Dog | Poor baby got 2-month shots
Middle: Beer flights at Barleys, oh how I missed thee! | Vitamin D for mommy | Rockin' the baby Bjorn while working on sub plans
Bottom: Birthday treat for the schnauz | LOVE my new bubble necklace!

Top: Baby shower for Alissa | My DIY necklace
Middle: Jose Peppers with the babe | Another DIY necklace | Cute baby shower decor
Bottom: Hooded towels are the cutest! | Who buys Christmas stockings in August?  This girl! | Cute Facebook onesie

Missing my Hawks

It dawned on me this morning that this is the first year since 2000 (2000!  I was a senior in high school!) that I won't be attending the Iowa football season opener.  #Saddaytobeahawkeye 

Eleven straight years that I've been there, cheering on my beloved Hawkeyes.  Even in last year's monsoon, we were there with smiles on our faces.  Remember that

But not this year. :(

And not because I have a baby!  Believe me, a baby is not going to stop me from doing the things I love, despite suggestions from others! 

The game is in Chi-town and, although, I'd love to go, it means we wouldn't get to spend time with the fam.  We like to kill two birds with one stone.  Especially this year with both new babies.  And the fact that Brantley has not even met his cousin Kellen.  So, instead we'll be there cheering on the hawks and visiting family two weeks from now when they take on UNI.

But that doesn't mean we can't pretend this weekend!  Here's Brantley in his finest black and gold, ready for his first weekend of college football!  (Don't worry hubby, he's going to wear crimson and blue for you today!)

Yep, I'm That Mom

You know, the one who shares cute videos of her baby.  Check it out.  I caught Brantley smiling.  Apparently, he likes his play gym!  Thanks Grandma & Grandpa Sides, Pierce's, and Mucciaccio's!

Like Father Like Son

Check out this photo of Craig as a baby.  Is it me or is Brantley a spitting image of his daddy?
Craig on the left (What's up with his hands?! Weirdo!) | Brantley on the right

 And just for fun, here are a few more pics Craig's mom sent us!
Left: Age 1 | Right: Age 2

Our First Family Vacay

Aka our weekend getaway to Greenville, South Carolina!

We survived the 14 hour drive - times two!  Brantley was a champ.  Slept nearly the entire time.  Kinnick even did well considering he freaks out every time we make the trip to Wichita or Iowa!

We made a quick stop in Nashville on the way to visit Craig's cousin, Rodney, who he hasn't seen in 25+ years!  It was great catching up...well, and for me, meeting him for the first time!  Rodney owns a salon and has styled the hair of many country music stars (Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Martina McBride).  Cool, huh?  He even said celeb sightings (Taylor Swift and Reece Witherspoon) weren't uncommon in the part of town where we ate lunch, but no such luck for this celeb-lover.  Bummer.

I'll let the pictures do most of the talking.  As always, there's definitely no shortage. :)

It was a great little vacation!  Congrats Brad and Kristen and thanks for giving us a reason to travel!


Milestone for Baby B!

Monday night was a big night in the Sides' household.  We put Brantley in his crib to sleep for the first time!  We thought the vacation to South Carolina (more on that later) would be a great time to transition him out of our room, and at 6 1/2 weeks old, we decided it was time!

We have been very blessed with a child who sleeps 8+ hours through the night, so it didn't even phase him.  He (as they say) sleeps like a baby no matter where he is (apparently even at loud wedding receptions) and he did fantastically well his first (and second and third) nights "alone"!

I did great, too!  Well, other than springing out of bed multiple times last night when the alarm on our Angelcare Movement Monitor (a SIDS-preventative thing) went off.  Yikes that was scary!  I'm still not sure didn't go off either of the first two nights.  Otherwise, that combined with our video monitor makes this momma feel much more at ease.  Of course, I still go check on him frequently.  You know, feel him to make sure he's still warm, i.e. alive--don't laugh, I know all moms do this!

The only negative?  We had to give up the beloved sound machine.  We figured it was the best thing to do considering it is his afterall. :)  But...good news!  Since our Angelcare monitor includes a sound monitor as well, we can still hear the rolling ocean waves!

Road Trippin'

And we're off!

Well, not quite.  But in 12 short hours, we'll be cruisin' somewhere through the Midwest en route to our final destination of Greenville, South Carolina.

We're excited.

Our first big road trip as a couple.  Our first road trip with a baby.  

Oh yeah...and we're also taking our dog!

A family vacation, if you will. :)

Crazy?  Perhaps.

Greenville is about 15 hours from here.  That I am not excited about.

But I am excited for our mini vacay.  And for my cousin's wedding, which is the reason we're going.  And to wear my new, yellow bubble necklace.  And to see my parents.  And to introduce Brantley to his great grandparents, great aunt and uncle, and second cousins.  Fun stuff!

Check out this sweet thing we got for our car.

Despite an SUV, we were worried about fitting everything.  Babies need a lot, ya know!  I thought packing was stressful I have to worry about a breast pump, baby formula, and diapers among a million other baby "goods"!  And I haven't even started yet.  I've been too focused on my long term sub plans...which are finally done...and the last week of my master's class.  That's done, as well!  (Which means one measly class to go!)

Speaking of sub plans, I finalized them with HR yesterday.  I'm not going back until October 22!  Woo hoo!  Taking off one entire quarter to spend with my little man!  The control freak in my has been freaking out about leaving everything perfect for my sub.  And of course, not being there to set the tone with my classes.

But now that my laptop has been turned over to my sub, I'm done with work and done worrying about it.

Alright, better go start packing.  Follow my Instagrams if you want picture updates of our trip!

But first, a special happy 4th birthday to my first "baby", Kinnick!  We love you, little K-dog!


Friday Photo Dump

Top: Sunbathing | My cool hat | Chillin' on the boppy
Middle: A pond at Heatherstone Park | Nice night for a walk
Bottom: Pretty rainbow | Growing a mullet | Testing out the baby bjorn

Top: Cuddle time with Daddy | Grandma sent Brantley a present
Middle: Kinnick loves walks | Afternoon treat for Mama | Making progress on my classroom
Bottom: I like the boppy, too! | Still a tad big | Jewelry making

Top: Smiles | Starting work on my classroom
Middle: My three boys | Chillin' while Mommy works | Fun project my students created
Bottom: Stretch! | Fun project - Chiefs version | There's that puppy dog lip Mommy likes so much!


I've noticed a few of them today and was lucky enough to catch this one on camera! I don't know if it's a true smile (or just gas).  Either way, this is one of the cutest things I've ever seen!

Birth Announcements and Name Change

Brantley's birth announcements:

I love how they turned out!  I searched multiple Internet sites for the perfect card and ended up finding these on mpix.  And what do you know...they were one of the cheapest!

P.S. Did you notice our blog's new header?  I changed the pictures, but more importantly, changed the name from "Seeing Both Sides" to "Seeing All Sides".  Brantley's happy to finally be included in the family blog! :)

My Favorite Things: Baby Edition

Remember this Oprah-inspired post with some of my favorite things?  Well, I thought it'd be fun to do a "baby edition" of the same thing!  Not only that, but I hope it's helpful for other first-time or soon-to-be-mommies!  Registering for Baby Sides was an overwhelming process and I was constantly asking friends for their baby "must haves".  So, here are my "must haves" thus far!

1. Halo SleepSack Swaddler - Most babies love to be swaddled and mine is no different!  These things make it so easy!  The flaps wrap snugly around your baby and velcro into place.  And according to our childbirth class teacher, this is the only brand of swaddler approved for sleeping (though we use the Summer Infant SwaddleMe, as well).  Made in lightweight cotton or microfleece, these are the perfect thing for swaddling babies year-round!

2. Boppy - These pillows make breast feeding, bottle feeding, or just holding your baby so much easier!  One suggestion someone gave me that I'm very thankful for - buy one for each floor of your house.  We have one in our living room and another in the nursery.  It's so nice not to have to carry this thing up and down the stairs all day long!

3. Munchkin Deluxe Bottle Brush - Perfect for cleaning the inside of our bottles!  We use it about a million times per day!  (Okay, really only about eight times per day, but it feels like a million.)  I love that it has a suction cup on the bottom and sticks to the counter.  It also has a smaller brush inside that makes for easy cleaning of the bottle's nipples.

4. Munchkin Time Saver Bottle Warmer - I didn't initially buy one of these things until my sister highly recommended it!  As the name suggests, it is a HUGE time saver if you're bottle feeding!  You can warm bottles the old fashion way by placing them in a large cup of hot water or running them under hot, running water...or you can put the bottle in here, turn the dial, and have warm milk in a matter of three minutes.  So much more efficient!  And when you have a screaming, hungry baby, efficient = good!  They sell fancier, digital warmers, but this one works just fine ($19.99 at Target if I remember right)!  My only wish is that we had another upstairs for those late-night feedings, as well!  Side note: According to the box, this can also be used for warming baby food.  Good to know! 

5. Dr. Brown's Microwave Steam Sterilizer - Again, you can sterilize bottles the old fashion way by placing them in boiling water, but this is way quicker!  All you need is six ounces of water and five minutes in the microwave.  We had the Munchkin brand, but realized it was not BPA-free, so we exchanged it for Dr. Brown's instead.  (The only reason I went with Dr. Brown's is because that's the brand of bottles we're using...I figured they'd probably fit best in a sterilizer of the same brand.)  This sterilizer is made for four bottles, but I crammed five 4-ounce bottles the other day.  P.S. You still have to wash the bottles with soap and hot water (hence the above bottle brush).  I was confused by that at first...

6. Boon's Lawn Drying Rack - I love this thing!  Not only is it super cute on our counter, but so practical!!  It's perfect for bottle parts, breast pump parts, etc. and unlike using a towel, things don't fall over if you bump or move the rack.  I initially had the Grass drying rack (approximate 10x10 inches), but quickly exchanged it for this larger, "lawn" model instead (approximately 13x11).  Furthermore, there are flower and twig attachments you can buy to hang smaller parts from, as well!  Love it!

7. Utter Cover/Mama Cover/Hooter Hider/Nursing Cover - Whatever you call it, it's all the same thing!  These apron-type covers are great for breast feeding and/or pumping in public!  Though I've never breast fed in public, thanks to this thing, I've been able to pump both in the car and in front of my father-in-law!  Better yet - my co-worker's daughter-in-law makes and sells these things locally.  Here's her website, if interested!

8. Homedics SoundSpa Sound Machine - Confession: The hubs and I like this thing far more than Brantley.  In fact, we started using it weeks before he was born!  It includes six different sounds (our faves: ocean and rain), as well as a timer for auto shut-off.  We listen to it every single night.  I will say it does a nice job of blocking out little baby sounds and whimpers, which is nice when you're trying hard to fall asleep.  I think we might have to buy a second once we move Brantley into his own room because I'm not sure we're willing to give it up!

9. J.J. Cole Diaper Caddy - This thing is awesome!  It allows us to set up shop (i.e. a mini changing station) on a main floor so we don't have to go upstairs to the nursery every time we need to change a diaper.  There's a compartment for diapers, another compartment for wipes, and a little drawer for creams, Vasoline, etc.  In addition, there is a changing pad included which has saved our living room carpet from lots of pee!  Love!

10. Baby Mittens - If your kid is anything like ours, he or she will be born with crazy-long fingernails!  I'm still too chicken to clip them so instead I just put baby mittens on!  It keeps him from clawing his eyes out and keeps his hands warm, as well!

11. Fisher Price SnugaBunny Newborn Rock N Play Soother - I did not register for this thing, but received it as a gift from my cousin who had the same one for her now one-year-old.  Turns out, it's one of the best gifts we got!  We keep it in our living room and this is where Brantley hangs out whenever I'm not holding him.  It's compact, lightweight, and very portable, as well!

12. Shout Color Catchers - Not exactly a baby item, but these little wonders make baby laundry so much easier!  They allow you to throw everything (colors, whites, etc.) in the washing machine in one load without bleeding!  Amazing!  Thanks for the recommendation, Julie!

13. Burp Rags - We keep one of these in every room!  Definitely a must-have, especially once you start bottle feeding!  Side note: Cloth diapers work as great burp rags!

14. aden + anais Muslin Swaddle Blankets - I registered for one package of these...and got four--each one from another already-mommy.  That just goes to show how awesome these blankets are!  Perfect for swaddling or just stuffing in the carseat, swing, stoller, etc.  They are good-size (read: huge!) and lightweight.  And they come in some pretty cute designs!

15. Amazon Mom - This was a recommendation by multiple friends and I must say, I'm in love!  Signing up gives you discounts on diapers, wipes, formula, whatever your little heart desires!  In addition, it makes you an Amazon Prime member, which means free, 2-day shipping on almost everything!  I've definitely taken major advantage of that already! :)  Furthermore, if you choose the Subscribe & Save option (recurring shipments every month, two months, six months, whatever), you will save even more!  One benefit of this over Costco is that Amazon sells all brands of diapers.  Costco only sells Huggies.   Seriously, go sign up today!

16. Baby Connect iPhone App - Last but not of the only iPhone apps I've ever paid for!  It cost me $5, but allows me to keep track of all things baby-related!  From feedings to diaper changes to pumping to growth charts to medical history - this app records it all!  It was especially helpful when breast feeding...I could time each side (awesome) and record which side I started with.  (You are supposed to alternate sides each time and though it seems it'd be easy to remember, but you'd be surprised!)  The hubs can also log on from the iPad and view/edit the info, as well!  Like I said, I don't pay for many apps...but this is one I'm glad I did! 

So there you have it!  Some of my month-one faves!  I'm sure the list will change as Brantley does and I'll be sure to pass along other "must haves" down the road!

Brantley Carter: 1 Month Old!

My baby is a month old today!  It's so hard to believe - the first month has flown by in the blink of an eye!  It's crazy how much he's already changed...I don't even think he looks like the same baby as the day he was born!

My goal is to document his development each month and, of course, take monthly photos.  So, here we go with month number ONE!

Size - I'm not exactly sure how much he weighs currently, but nine days ago he was up to 8 pounds 2 ounces.  That was after gaining ten ounces over the previous four I'm guessing he might weigh close to nine pounds now?  He was also 20 3/4 inches long.  (Yes, shorter than the day he was born, but his head isn't so cone shaped now either!)

Words - Obviously, no words yet.  Just lots of baby chatter, whimpering, and screaming on occasion.

Activity - That of a newborn: sleep, eat, poop, repeat!  However, it seems he grows more alert by the day and often stares at and takes in all of his surroundings.

Food - Alternating between breast milk and formula (Enfamil newborn).  He eats every 2 1/2 to 4 hours...somewhat on a schedule, somewhat on "demand". 

Sleep - Knock on wood, but he has been sleeping GREAT these past few nights!  Nearly 7 hours last night, 8 hours the night before, and 5 1/2 hours the night before that!  Hallelujah!  Friday (when he was 4 weeks old) was the first night we were allowed to let him sleep through the night, as opposed to waking him up to eat every four hours.  I was so nervous he was going to wake up hungry at 3am (as he had the previous two nights), but to my surprise, he slept straight through!

Likes - Any kind of movement: car rides, stroller rides, the swing (front-to-back more than side-to-side), rocking in the glider, rocking in his carseat, rocking in his sleeper, even being carried around in the Baby Bjorn!  He also likes being swaddled and sucking on his paci.

Dislikes - Being hungry (just like his mommy!), tummy time, having his butt wiped due to his horrible diaper rash (which is much better I might add).

Wardrobe - Newborn and 0-3 month clothing.

Diapers - Newborn size diapers.  We've given both Pampers and Huggies a try...I don't notice a huge different but might like Pampers just a tad bit better.

Mommy's Faves - He has the cutest pouty face/puppy dog lip!  Though I don't like hearing him cry, I love the face he makes before doing so!  Call me cruel, but I've taken multiple pics of it instead of trying to calm him down!  He also sneezes quite a bit (again - like his mommy).  There have been a couple of times when his sneeze goes away mid-sneeze and he just sighs's the cutest thing!

Here are some photos.  We attempted the photo session twice today.  He wasn't a fan.  Get used to the photos kiddo - mommy takes a lot of them!

Photo Sesh #1
Not really sure about this Mom...

I'm warning you...

I'm getting pissed...

This sucks!!

That's better - clothes and a paci.

Nope, I'm gonna be unhappy again

Photo Sesh #2

Really?  Again??

Seriously, I'm done with photos!

And I don't know how to sit yet either...

Here's a funny face for ya, Mom!

I guess I'll cooperate...

How about a model pose?

Aaaaand we're done.
Happy 1-month, B-Man!  Daddy and I love you!