Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Whoa, I Have A Toddler Now

When people tell you about toddlers, it always seems to be the negative stuff. They tell you about the tantrums, the attitude, their love of the word NO, how they get into everything. Yes, all of this is true... but no one ever really takes the time to tell you about how awesome toddlers are.
Here's a few reasons why I love having a toddler:
  •  He follows commands. Toddlers seem to love following directions, as long as they feel like they're helping out. Fox throws away trash, picks up toys, helps me put away dishes, and I've even put him to work vacuuming. I'm not ashamed.
  • Go big or go home. Everything he does, he does it whole-heartedly. Mooing at a cow? Yep, at the top of his lungs. 
  • He answers my questions. It's no longer a mystery what he wants or needs. He helps me figure out what's going on in his little head, or at least narrow it down a bit quicker.
  • All things are exciting. Bugs, planes, socks, the neighbor's annoying dog. He is amazed by things adults usually ignore. He helps me see the beauty in things all over again.
  • He is fun. We play catch, we dance, we jump super high, we run around the house, we sing songs. We have a ton of fun together and I love every single second.
I think advice-givers have it all backwards, personally. They tell you how lovely life is with a baby, and how rough life is with a toddler. Fox is only 21 months old, but his first few months in our lives were the toughest yet. Now we have all these added perks and I'm like heck yes! I know it won't last long (so they say), so I'm enjoying it while I can.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Loving Some AppleCheeks!

I was introduced to the AppleCheeks cloth diaper brand by my friend Katie. At the time I wasn't even thinking about having kids, but I was intrigued by the cuteness in all of the pictures of her little boy in their diapers on her blog. When it actually came time for me to start researching cloth diapers during my pregnancy, everywhere I read said to buy lots of different brands to see which you like best. So I started collecting a variety of brands and styles to try out on Fox when he got here, and over the course of a few months I experimented with lots of different combinations to see what worked best and what I liked the most. Our AppleCheeks were definitely some of our favorites. It only took me 18 months, but I finally set out on a mission to switch over to having a stash made up of a majority of AppleCheeks. I sold some diapers to fund the switch, and watched the AC buy/sale/trade (B/S/T) group like a hawk and hunted down some awesome deals! I currently have about 25 size 2s, and 8 size 1s that are getting some use by our little Leap Frog puppy Scout :)
A few people have asked me why I love AppleCheeks so much. First of all I love how trim they are. We use the bamboo 2 ply inserts which are very thin yet absorbent, which allow me to add layers without adding bulk. And thanks to the AppleCheeks Anonymous chat group on Facebook, I learned of the perfect combination for night time. Yay for no leaks! Of course I love the look of the diapers. The colors, the ruffles, the snaps. When you put it all together you have an adorable little diaper for both boys and girls. There's no way you can see a little fluffy AppleCheeks bottom and not fall in love! I also adore the brand itself. All the girls who represent the company are so sweet and personable. They come up with fun ways to interact with fans and customers, and they answer any questions people have. Overall it is a well-crafted diaper made by an awesome Canadian company, sold by some of the best retailers. They are worth every penny!

Some of my pretties!

Life With A 19-Month-Old

I've learned that when you have a busy toddler it is hard to find time to sit down and blog about it. I no longer get to plop down on the couch and catch up on my shows during his nap time. I usually spend those 2-3 hours doing stuff there's no way I could get done with him awake since he wants to get in my way and
destroy everything help... like sweeping, putting up dishes, cleaning, and doing laundry. I've also learned that the toddler/tornado metaphors are 100% truth. In a matter of minutes he can have a Tupperware cabinet cleaned out, or a toy box pushed to the opposite end of the house, leaving behind a trail of blocks and cars.
But life with a 19-moth-old isn't always bad. He follows instructions well, and that comes in handy at times. He can also tell me what he wants (or doesn't want) which takes away the guessing game from when he was younger.
In the past few months since I last updated, Fox has grown tremendously. He weighs about 26 pounds and stands 33.5 inches tall. He has 11 teeth and the 12th (his 4th molar) should be breaking through the gum any time now. Actually, there's a good possibility it already has - he just never lets me look in there. He knows all of his body parts, and he can recognize and make the noise of a rooster, cow, duck, dog, train, and truck. His favorite show is still Yo Gabba Gabba. And he absolutely loves being outside. Silence is very rare in our house. When he's not talking, he is singing, whining, or yelling.
Speaking of yelling... life is full of a lot more tantrums lately. I want to change his diaper since he just slept 10 hours and he's soaked? Screaming fit. I try to get him out of the bath? Acts like I am abducting him and tries to escape out of my arms. I tell him not to smash the dog in the face with a wooden ball? Ball gets thrown across the room. Fun times!
As much as he makes me want to pull my hair out at times, I wouldn't trade a single moment. He is so dang smart and funny! He keeps me smiling and laughing, and I am so glad I get to spend so much time with him.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Our New {To Us} Stroller

After we hiked a trail in Gatlinburg with two other families who had jogging strollers it became obvious that our little Chicco stroller just wasn't the right fit for our family. We really like being outdoors and going on mini adventures, so we need a stroller that could be ready for any type of terrain we find ourselves on. I decided to search Craigslist to see if I could find a decent jogging stroller for cheap. My friends have a BOB and a Baby Trend so I was looking for those brands in particular since I had seen them in action, but a listing for a Peg Perego stroller caught my attention (maybe because it had "DEAL!!!" in the title and I'm cheap) so I clicked it. I immediately fell in love with it based on looks alone and headed to Google to do some research on it. 
There really wasn't much online about it! I don't know if it's because it isn't sold it stores here, or maybe it is rare, or an old model. But I did find a really helpful video on YouTube about it.

This isn't the exact one I have, but it was the closest thing I could find. Mine is just a GT3, not the GT3 ForTwo (which means mine doesn't have the seat for the basket, but it does have a spot for an older child to stand on the back).

Here are some pictures of the stroller I got.
There are several stock pictures on Google, but unfortunately not as many articles.

Fox likes to hang his leg off the side and seems to be quite comfy!

A few things I really like about my stroller:
  1. The color. I love love love the color green for Fox. Does anyone else associate a certain color with their kid, or am I the only weird one?
  2. The hand brake. Also that I can lock the wheels by using the hand brake instead of trying to work those little levers on the back of the wheels with my feet.
  3. The large basket. My big ol' diaper bag could get lost in there, where with my old stroller I had to use my foot to cram it in there so I could fit more stuff.
  4. It rides like a Cadillac. If Fox knew what that meant I'm sure he would agree. 
  5. The price. I saw this bad boy for sale on Amazon for $699.95 and I paid 1/4 of that for it in excellent used condition. Cha-ching!
I am so thankful that I stumbled across that Craigslist listing, because this stroller is perfect for us and I can't wait to take it on some fun adventures.

An Update and an Instagram Photo Dump

It has been almost two months since I have made a post, and lot has happened in the last several weeks! So here's a little update for ya.
- Fox developed a love obsession for Yo Gabba Gabba. We can't even grab the remote without him getting excited and dancing in front of the TV thinking we are about to turn it on for him.
- His vocabulary has exploded yet again. He is starting to speak more clearly, and now we are focusing on manners. He is stubborn just like his daddy and it is like pulling teeth to get him to say "please" and "thank you".
- He had a rough few weeks of sickness. He got another ear infection which made it his second ear infection in less than 3 months. About a week and a half after he finished his antibiotics he came down with strep throat so he got put back on another antibiotic, and then he developed an eye infection because of it. He was absolutely miserable and it killed me seeing him that way!
- At his 15 month visit in January he weighed 22.7 lbs and was 32" tall, and last week at his sick visit he weighed 24.4 lbs.
- We found an awesome stroller on Craigslist for a heck of a deal. I will dedicate a separate post about how much I'm in love with it.
- Fox had his very first popsicle. I didn't take any pictures because he wasn't feeling good (the popsicle was an attempt to soothe his sore throat) but he loved it!
That pretty much sums it up! Now for some random Instagram photos...

Friday, January 18, 2013


Fox is such a talker now! He has a good mix of baby babble and real words. There are around 20 words he knows and can identify, and he repeats several random words we say [like "psycho"].

Here's his current vocabulary list:
- Hello
- Hey
- Bye Bye
- See Ya
- Night Night
- Daddy
- Momma
- Titan [our dog]
- Dog
- Who's That? "whosat"
- Here You Go "heego"
- Bath
- Teeth
- Ball "baa"
- Yeah
- This
- No
- Uh Oh
- Banana "nla nla" [not sure why he puts the L sound in there...]
- Yay
- Paci "dadi"
- Milk "muh"
- Fish
Yesterday he started saying Poo Poo, Blanket, and Diaper after me. So we may be adding that to this list soon. And I swear he has correctly identified a boobie twice on both Brent and I, but I can't bring myself to say that is part of his vocabulary yet haha. We are also working on his animal sounds. He barks like a dog "ruff ruff" and makes monkey sounds "ooh ooh ahh ahh" and occasionally will quack like a duck. He also says a bunch of stuff that I have no idea how to translate. His little voice is so stinkin' adorable and he always has such enthusiasm about everything.
He also amazes me every single day with how much he knows. I told him something he picked up off the floor was trash, and he went and threw it away. I didn't even know he knew what the trash can was! And yesterday Brent was bringing firewood upstairs and when Fox saw him, he ran over to the fireplace and excitedly pointed and said something I couldn't understand.
After doing some reading online, it seems like Fox falls right into place with other average 15-month-olds. Maybe a tiny bit ahead. But to me, he'll always be my little genius! Haha :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Ending of a Breastfeeding Journey

437 days. 
I am so proud of that number. Why? Well, because breastfeeding isn't a walk in the park. And I am so glad I made it so long without giving up.

My journey started in the hospital, when the nurse handed me my tiny, hungry baby. I will always remember the first time he latched. The look on his face said it all. I knew I was doing the right thing for him and I when I saw that look of satisfaction.
We faced several obstacles over the last 1 year, 2 weeks, and 10 days. One was the STUPID nipple shield. I hated that thing! If you've ever used one, you know just how annoying and frustrating these things are. Another, and probably my biggest obstacle, was pumping. I loathed the entire act from start to finish.
But in that moment when your baby is nursing, his eyes getting heavier and heavier, and he dozes off and looks so peaceful with a full belly and in a milk drunken stupor, all of the struggles are 100% worth it.

I started the weaning process just after Fox's first birthday, eliminating nursing sessions and giving him milk in a cup. Slowly making my way to this past month where he was only breastfeeding once at night. This past Monday night after putting him down for bed I realized -- he hadn't asked for my milk at all. I have been allowing him to nurse at night whenever he asked because I felt he was attached and not ready to let go of that last session just yet. Or maybe I was the one attached. Either way, it slipped both of our minds. Then tonight rolled around and the same thing happened. He went to bed happy and content -- without nursing.

my little milk drunk baby :)

A very rare occasion - he is sitting still!

It is a very bittersweet feeling.
There were many challenges, but I'd do it over again in a heartbeat.
And I sort of already miss it.