A Family of Boys

We went to Iowa a couple of weekends ago for my cousin Beth's baby shower.  She is due with a baby boy in July.  On that side of the family, I only have three cousins.  Between the kiddos of those three cousins, my sister, and myself, there are six great-grandchildren (and Beth's will make seven).  And of those seven, six are BOYS!  How in the world is that even possible?  Poor Abby is the first great-grandchild...and the only girl.  I can only imagine how crazy holidays will be in a few years...

Here are my grandparents with their six great-grandkids.  From left to right: Jackson (17 months), Brantley (22 months), Holden (1 month), Abby (5), Dayton (1 month), and Kellen (2).

Thanks for the picture, Karen!


Expressions of a Near 2-Year Old

The other day, I snapped five photos of Brantley for my first day of summer comparison picture.  Despite the photos being taken within a span of thirty seconds, he changed his expression for each shot, and I think the expressions perfectly describe the personality of this almost 2-year old: ornery, proud, independent, short-tempered, inquisitive, and sweet.

Later that day, we were at the park.  He saw Daddy hanging on the monkey bars (actually rings) and demanded to do the same.  This kid has no fear and got mad when Daddy got anywhere near touching him.  Again, his expressions should just how proud he was and I think they're darn near adorable.

My Favorite Things: Baby Edition #4

It's been awhile, but I have more baby faves to share!

Otterbox Defender Series Case for iPad - I'm pretty sure an Otterbox is the only sure way to guarantee your iPad stay safe when handled by a baby/toddler.  It protects from drops, scratches, or in our case, excessive drool.  We also have a soft case (couldn't find the exact one) that secures the iPad and wraps around the headrest in our car, so that Brantley can watch cartoons during road trips.

Sippy Cup Leash - Pretty fantastic invention.  One end snaps around a carseat, stroller, highchair, whatever.  The other wraps around a sippy cup.  Therefore, when the kid decides to throw it on the ground, it doesn't go far!  (Note: This isn't the exact one we have.  I ordered ours from a daily deal website.)

Munchkin Shampoo Rinser - Definitely not a necessity.  A simple plastic cup would suffice.  But this is soft silicone and has a handle with makes it gentle and easy to use!  This is also Brantley's favorite "bath toy".

Brica Fold 'N Go Travel Booster Seat - I bought this last year after scouring the Internet and reading numerous reviews on travel high chairs/booster seats.  It folds up flat making it easy to stuff in a suitcase or a small space.  It's also lightweight, yet sturdy, and fits on pretty much any chair.  It was the perfect thing to take with us to Florida for use in our condo and also makes for the perfect way for Brantley to eat on our deck furniture.

Nuk Gerber Graduates Hard Spout Sippy Cups - We've tried many different sippies and these are, by far, our favorite!  They don't spill.  They don't leak.  Period.  Now, they're not what we used when we first transitioned Brantley from bottle to sippy.  We used cups with more of a soft, nipple-like spout.  (They leaked.)  Once he got the hang of the sippy, we switched to these and haven't looked back.

Plum Dispensing Boon Spoons - Perhaps my favorite baby accessory ever!  I was so excited when I spotted these in Target one day!  They screw on to the pouches of baby food (generic, too!) and make one-handed, feeding-on-the-go super simple.  They also come in a handy plastic container so the spoons don't get lost in a diaper bag.  Love, love, love these!  (Once Brantley was older, he would eat directly from the pouch, but early on, eating from a spoon was definitely the better option.) 

iPlay Unisex Shoes - We have Toms.  We have Converse.  We have Crocs.  We have Stride Rites.  These $15 rubber shoes from Buy Buy Baby are definitely our fave!  They are easily cleanable, quick to put on, and can we worn with or without socks.  They're awesome.  They come in a plethora of colors, too!  (I've seen similar style shoes at both Old Navy and Gap.)

SwimWays Canopy Spring Baby Float - This was awesome for the pool last summer.  I could put Brantley in and let him float/walk around in the baby pool, while the snap-off canopy helped block the sun.  It's easy to inflate and easy to manage in a handy carrying case.

Coppertone Water Babies Spray Sunscreen - We love playing outside.  But applying sunscreen on a kid just plain sucks!  This spray-on lotion definitely makes the job easier.  It's still lotion and still needs rubbed into the skin, but beats old fashioned sunscreen any day, in my opinion.

Petunia Pickle Bottom Boxy Backpack Diaper Bag - This was not the diaper bag I use for Brantley.  But once Holden came along, it was hard to manage a purse, a messenger-type diaper bag, an infant carrier, and a toddler.  So I found this gem on Craigslist.  Good thing because it retails for $180!  The part that attracted me was the backpack straps.  I can wear it easily so it's not constantly falling off my shoulder (like my old one) and still have two free hands.  It's roomy inside (big enough for two kids) and made of fabric that is easily cleanable.  Thank goodness I found this thing and don't have to carry my old one!  (Nothing against my old JJ Cole Diaper Bag...I just hated carrying it over my shoulder.)

Breathable Baby Mesh Crib Liner - We didn't use this until Brantley was a year old (?) and kept getting his leg stuck between his crib slats.  I once thought I was going to have to call Craig at work and make him come home to help me release his leg!  This mesh liner weaves in and out of the crib to prevent body parts from going through and is a safe alternative to crib bumpers.  Ours is about 12 inches in height, but it appears that now a full coverage liner is made to reach up the entire slat.  It's also available in more color options now, as well.

I think that takes care of all of my favorite baby items to date!  Check out my other faves here, here, and here.  Or just visit my Favorites tab at the top of this blog!


Whether you consider Memorial Weekend the start of summer, or the fact that school is out, or maybe that the weather forecast predicts temps in the 80s each day, there's no denying that summer is finally here!!  It feels a little different for me this year since I've already been on break for five weeks, and I'm not going to lie, there's a part of me that's sad.  Because summer means my maternity leave is kind of over and I'll be headed back to school in no time.  Not sure I'm ready to think about that, but luckily I've got ten full weeks of fun in the sun ahead of me. 

This summer, Brantley will be going to daycare part time--twice per week on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Honestly, this is probably the best case scenario for all involved.  I'll still get time with him, but I'll also get some one-on-one time with Holden.  Because Brantley will continue going to Miss Stephanie's regularly, he will still get time to play and socialize with his daycare friends, and the transition back to full-time this fall should be much easier. 

As for Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays...I see lots of walks, trips to the pool, early morning doughnut runs, playdates, picnics, Farmer's Markets, coffee dates with friends, lunch dates with Daddy, and tons more fun in our future.  In between pumping, breastfeeding, and caring for a newborn, of course.  (At what point do I stop referring to Holden as a newborn??)  Can't wait to see how this summer unfolds!

In the meantime, I'll leave you with some pictures of our Memorial weekend, which included our first firepit of the year, s'mores, and Holden's first trip to the pool.

Holden's Newborn Photos

Holden's newborn photos were taken when he was just five days old.  I had lofty expectations of some super cute sibling photos, as well as some pics of our new family of four.  Well, Brantley refused to cooperate, which resulted in an overly frustrated mommy, only a couple of sibling photos, and absolutely no family shots.  Did I mention our house was sweltering, as the photographer asked us to turn our heat to 80 degrees to help Holden stay sleeping peacefully?  I was so glad when she finally left after about four loooong hours of photographing!

Low and behold, she offered to come back a few days later for a second attempt at a family photo.  She got a couple, though no Pinterest-worthy poses and I still look about five months pregnant.  Which means, none will be going on our wall.  I'll keep my fingers crossed for better results at six months.

However, I do love the photos of Holden, which is really what this was about.  Here they are, courtesy of Sarah Ireland Photography!

Holden Beckett: 1 Month Old!

Well, now that we're a week and two days beyond your 1-month birthday, I'm finally getting around to blogging about this big milestone!  Please forgive me, I had full intentions of getting it done last week, but then this happened.  Nonetheless, I've been composing this blog post in my head for some time now and I'm excited to finally sit down and write it!

It's crazy how quickly this past month has gone.  In one way, it seems like you just arrived!  In another, it feels like you've been part of our lives forever.  Before your birth, I wondered how it was possible to make time for two kiddos--both still babies in my eyes.  And how it was possible to love a second baby as much as the first.  But looking back, I realize that's just plain silly.  We've adjusted as a family of four quite nicely, and I love you no less than I've loved your big brother for the past two years!  Maybe even a tad more--after all, you are my little mini-me!  (Just kidding, Brantley!)  I will say, it's fun having a babe that resembles me so much!  There are three things everyone says upon meeting you: 1) He's so little!  2) Look at all that hair!  And 3) He looks just like you!  Lucky kid, you are, lucky kid! :)

I was a bit nervous that you were going to be a hellion baby.  After all, Brantley was just perfect and slept through the night at one-month old.  Well, your big brother must have shared his secrets because you, too, are no less than perfect!  You are a super content baby and rarely ever cry.  You're also a pretty amazing sleeper!  You slept a full seven hours--through the night for the first time--on the night of your one-month birthday.  (And a few times since, as well!)  I'm beginning to think it's in my genes because there's no other explanation for a second amazing-sleeper of a babe.

For me, there are a few differences with a second baby.  I'm much less nervous this time around.  Not that I was too uptight with Brantley, your dad and I have always been very laid back.  However, with Brantley, I would wake up overnight and feel him often to ensure he warm (hence, still alive).  With you, I've done that maybe twice?  We also moved you into your crib the night before you turned a month old, whereas Brantley was 6.5 weeks old.  I just really wasn't nervous about it and knew you'd be fine.  With Brantley, I obsessively recorded everything - time of feedings, amount taken, diapers, etc.  Though I did record things in your first two weeks of life, I was way more lax about it and have stopped recording altogether now.  Maybe it's because I'm lazy, or maybe just because I'm more confident in my abilities as a mother.  I'm gonna go with the latter.  See, sometimes being a second child has its perks!

As far as feedings go, we've gotten into somewhat of a routine.  You eat six to seven times per day.  I am still breastfeeding; however, we top you off with two ounces of milk after each session.  As of recent, I've been able to pump enough to give those two ounces in breastmilk.  It may seem silly to do it this way (when clearly my milk supply is sufficient), but it's comforting to know that, at the very least, you're getting a good two ounces at each feeding.  All in all, I would guess you're eating 3 to 4 ounces total during each feeding.  On the flip side, we've been giving all formula--a full four ounces--in your 10pm bottle.  It's more filling and who knows, could be reason you're sleeping through the night.

You are a much squirmier baby that your big brother was.  Honestly, I think it's due to gas.  You let out some massive farts that oftentimes are mistaken for your dad's!  It's crazy and funny to me that a baby so small can make a noise so big!

Your first month of life included a visit from Gramma & Papa Fritz, a visit from Grandma & Papa Sides, and your first trip to Iowa.

It's been a fantastic first month (and nine days), Holden Beckett.  I look forward to seeing you change and grow in the months to come!

1-Month Update:

Size - 8 pounds 6.5 ounces (According to the Mommy & Me Boutique at 1 month + 1 day)

Words - None, obviously.

Activity - Just a lot of eat, sleep, and poop.  Some tummy time, though you can get pretty frustrated pretty quickly about it.

Food - 3 to 4 ounces every 2.5 to 4 hours during the day and 4 to 7 hours overnight.  I tried to get you on a schedule to make planning my days easier, but your sleeping through the night (and waking up at different times) messed with the schedule so I threw it out the window.  I pretty much just go with the flow and feed you whenever you cry and/or seem hungry, but the times differ day-to-day.

Sleep - You still sleep a lot during the days.  You slept through the night (until 5:45) for the first time the night of your 1-month birthday.  Since then, you've slept 5 to 7 hours straight each night.

Bedtime/Waketime - We put you "to bed" after your 10pm bottle, though you often sleep a few hours prior in our living room.  You wake to feed sometime between 4am and 7am, but often go back to sleep until your next feeding.

Hair - Dark brown.  And still a full head of it!

Eyes - Blue

Teeth - None

Wardrobe - Mostly newborn size clothing still, but a few 0-3 month things.

Diapers - Switched to size 1s on your one-month birthday.

Likes - Being patted, your paci, the Sitter Seal white noise app, movement (the car, the swing, the stroller). 

Dislikes - There isn't much you dislike at this point.  Being hungry is about it.

Mommy Update - Minus that second week of your life, I've been doing and feeling fantastic.  However, this extra baby weight isn't coming off quite as quickly as it did with Brantley.  Still up about 10 pounds from my pre-prego weight (only about 5 from my pre-prego-with-Brantley weight) and significantly more flabby in the belly region.  (Though that seems to be a common characteristic among friends with two kiddos.) 

Mommy's Fave - I love your hair.  I think babies with hair are the cutest!  I also love all the little faces and expressions you make at this point.