Thursday, December 12, 2013

Turning 29 + The Happs.

Hello, friends!

Last Sunday was my birthday, and I can hardly believe that I am now 29. Like, almost 30. And guess what? That terrifies me. Ever since I turned 27, I get a little freaked out over getting older. Can I just stay 24 and call it good? Seriously, that was the perfect age. Let's all be 24 forever, alright?

Putting my ridiculous feelings aside, it really was a wonderful day. Ben and Dylan made my day wonderful, and it was full of cake, french toast, and relaxation. 
How sweet is this cake? Benjamin knows that I'm a sucker for 1. Cake 2. All things girly 3. Anything that says "from your boys." No joke. 

I had normal french toast, but Ben cut Dylan's french toast to be the shape of his Ninja Turtle weapons. This made Dylan's morning... and my morning too, since there are few things that make me love my husband more than watching him be a great dad. 

See what's going on in this adorable, snuggle-loving picture? That would be sweet Owen grabbing my necklace with excitement. Imagine this scene, only we were sitting in our pew at church. Picture my necklace (not the one pictured, thank goodness) breaking after a tug from Owen and little beads flying everywhere (including about 15 that went down my shirt and got stuck in my bra.) True story. 

I totally jokingly guilt-tripped my parents after they told me that my birthday present would be arriving late. This showed up at my door the next day. Best guilt cookies ever. 

It has been long-established that I'm absolutely obsessed with my children, but they have been extra fun lately and I have to share:
You all know how much a love baby-wearing, right? Dylan came out of his room the other morning "wearing" his two favorite stuffed animals. He had their little faces turned out and he said that they were "in his wrap." Too cute. 

My little baby is getting so big! He loves to eat anything you will give him. 

Dylan came out of his room the other day wearing this. He said that he was Gaston (not sure if he means from Beauty and the Beast... I've never shown him that movie.) Here he is, flexing his muscles in his snow boots, Ninja Turtle underwear, and a backpack. 

Also, my sister Sarah seems to think that my house is always clean, clean, clean. While it usually looks pretty good, two littles frequently make it look like a tornado hit. Here's some documentation:
Sarah dared me to keep the room looking like this for 24 hours. I just couldn't do it- I feel claustrophobic when things are a mess. I think that this mess lasted for about an hour. 

** Guess what? Christmas vacation starts in one week! We are headed to Indiana for an amazing 10 days! Can't wait!!!**

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

What we've been up to.

It's official, we have now entered the busiest time of the year. We have also entered my favorite time of year, too, so I've been quite excited. Thanksgiving+my birthday+Christmas+anniversary= fun times. 

Anyway, it has been long established that I'm the opposite of a consistent blogger. How about I share a rundown of our recent activities?

Oh my goodness, this boy. He's just too sweet, too cute. My wonderful neighbor Lauren made Owen these fabulous black corduroy booties and darling leggings. I'm obsessed with them and would be content for Owen to wear them every. single. day. Lauren also has a wonderful Etsy shop full of goodies for little ones- check out Pitter Patter Shop

This year we had a new type of Thanksgiving- we had Friendsgiving. Really, it was fabulous. For the first time in our marriage, Ben and I did not have to travel or cook, and it was glorious. We were able to join the Thanksgiving dinner of some of our very favorite people, Nathan and Taylor Kowallis, as well as Taylor's extended family. The company was wonderful, and the food was delicious. And I didn't have to spend all day in the kitchen, in the car, or in an airplane! Amazing!

Friends for the past 18 years. Wow!

Attempt at a family picture.... oh, Dylan. 

Owen is happy, what's new?

We were able to spend more time with the Kowallises over the weekend, and it was a great time. Ben and Nathan golfed, and me, Taylor, and the kiddos just got to hang out and catch up. Later that evening we went to Tucanos, and I ate waaaaaaay too much food. It was so good, though- I hadn't been to Tucanos in years. 

We walked around the Riverwoods after dinner and Dylan was thrilled to be hanging out with "his girls." He had so much fun with them! Added bonus: Santa was at the Riverwoods and the boys were able to sit on his lap. Score!  

The only not great part of the evening was when Dylan got lost. Long story short, he wandered away from Ben and was found about 15 minutes later in Victoria's Secret, talking to a sales girl. It was the worst feeling, not being able to find your kid. It was dark, there were tons of people around... my mind immediately went into panic mode and I feared the worst. Luckily, the little stinker was just chatting up a storm, completely unaware that he was "lost." Oh Dylan, you will be the reason for my hair turning gray, I'm calling it. 

So that's what we've been doing lately... I really need to get back into blogging, because I feel like I've completely lost the ability to write a post and get my thoughts into words. I'm definitely planning on adding "blog more often" to my list of new year's resolutions. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Last One Standing.

Things have been going well for our family, other than all of my boys being sick with some awful bug. It started out last Sunday, when Dylan fell asleep on me at church (that never happens) and quickly coming down with a fever. That quickly led to croup, which kept us home-bound until Thursday. And wouldn't you know it, as soon as Dylan seemed to be feeling better, Owen started running a fever. And then Ben! Seriously, my boys are a hot, fever-y mess right now. Luckily Dylan seems to be coming out of it, but he still is trying to kick a nasty cough. I'm praying that I don't get sick, because I feel like I'm barely keeping things going with my sick boys. I'm sure that this is pretty normal for moms of young kids, but I get super paranoid when my babies get sick. Like, check their temperature every 30 minutes, keep referring back to and webMD to make sure that I don't need to rush them to the ER for a fever of 101.6, fretting that my digital thermometer might not be accurate and my child might actually have a fever of 104.6 instead.... oh dear. 
Poor baby and his fever-induced rosy cheeks. 

Despite all these no-good sick days, I must report one thing: Dylan will now take medicine like a champ! Previously, Ben and I have had terrible luck getting Dylan to take any medicine. We always had to mix his medicine with juice or soda and had to be quite sneaky about it, otherwise it would throw a huge fit and spit it out everywhere. Folks, we have turned a corner and Dylan will take any liquid med we've had to give him. Thank goodness, because life is hard enough right now as is. 

Now I'm just praying that everyone miraculously gets healthy again overnight. Let's hope, right?

Also, I wanted to share two cute videos of Dylan and Owen. Goodness, they are adorable. 

Owen is on the move and has the cutest little army crawl. This video was taken just a few days ago and he's already gotten much faster!

And another cute one:

Monday, November 11, 2013

Owen at Six Months.

And just like that, Owen is already halfway to his first birthday! Time is going by so quickly and I wish that I could just slow it down for a while. Owen is ridicuously sweet and precious, and I am sad to see his new baby days quickly transitioning to his big baby days. Sigh. I think that this is pretty common for mamas with babies #2, #3, and so on. With the first child you are just so eager and excited for each new stage. Now that I've been through it all before, I just want him to stay sweet and snuggly for as long as possible. 

Anyway, enough harrumping (like that's even a word) about my too quickly growing baby... let me tell you what Owen has been doing lately. 

Owen has gotten much more interested in toys- especially anything that Dylan is playing with. In fact, it seems like Dylan's toy cars are his biggest preference right now. He still loves to chew on Sophie the giraffe, and is starting to prefer some of our "big baby" toys, like this one:

Owen is still happy, happy and seems willing to give anyone a big smile. He gives kisses and loves to grab anything that is close enough. That definitely includes my hair :) He loves his daddy and big brother so much and loves to play with them. Owen is super ticklish and has an adorable laugh. 

Owen continues to love, love, love solids. I've given him all sorts baby foods (green beans, sweet potatoes, peas, carrots, squash, bananas, peaches, pears) and he is just happy as a clam. As mentioned before, I'm trying to chunk him up and I took the wonderful advice of my friend Stacey to add avocado to some foods to up the calories and provide some healthy fat. Owen eats baby food twice each day, and he is so excited to be in the high chair. Owen is still nursing about six times each day as well. He's also had a little formula mixed in his bottles when he's with his sitter (probably 2 oz. per bottle), since I haven't been able to pump out as much milk as he wants in his bottles. I've read that's pretty normal- for my body to produce more than enough when it comes to breastfeeding, but not give as much to the pump. When he has a bottle, Owen can eat about 5-6 ounces at a time, although he frequently only wants 3 ounces at first, and then will want a little more milk later. 

Owen's sleeping is getting more predictable with each month, which I love. He usually sleeps through the night and takes three naps during the day. The nap times are getting more regular- usually a one hour nap around 10, a one or two hour nap around 1, and a one hour nap around 4 or 5. Still, things vary by the day- for example, he took a 2 1/2 hour nap this morning, but his lunchtime and afternoon naps were just an hour. Owen usually is ready to go down for a nap after being awake for two hours. I still put Owen in his Woombie to sleep, although I plan on switching him to a Sleep Sack pretty soon.

Owen is getting so strong and is starting to be mobile! He can sit up by himself, although I stay really close. When he gets excited he sends himself backwards and I like to have a pillow or myself behind him all the time just in case. He's also started doing a little inchworm/army crawl type movement. This all started when Dylan was lying on the floor looking at the Target toy catalog. Owen so badly wanted to be seeing what Dylan was poring over, and he managed to get moving. He hasn't done this too much since, but still, it made me realize that crawling isn't far off! Owen still rolls all over the place and can pivot himself around to get to what he's interested in. 

Here are a few favorite pictures from the past month:

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Owen at Five Months.

My sweet Owen is five months old! Actually, five and a half- I'm a little late in writing this. Owen continues to be such a joy, and I can't believe that he will be six months old in just a few short weeks. 

Owen is getting to be so much fun and so interactive. Owen loves to play with his toys and is always picking one up and shoving it straight into his mouth. Sophie the Giraffe is in heavy rotation right now, and I think teething is not far off for Owen. He is drooling like crazy all the time and absolutely loves to gnaw on anything and everything. He has also started to play in the jumparoo, which he really likes. He still likes the Bumbo too, although only in short increments. Owen also loves playing "choo-choo" and patty-cake. 

Owen has such a happy, content little personality. He wakes up happy and smiling, and remains smiley through most of the day. He really only fusses when he's sleepy or hungry... other than that, he's good to go. My favorite thing is when he wakes up and I go to his crib to get him. As soon as he sees me, he gets so excited and smiley and then he lets me snuggle him for a minute before I change his diaper and feed him. Owen also loves his daddy and brother so much. He's always watching them and smiling for them. 

I have been stressed out about Owen's eating since his four month appointment. I just want him to chunk up a little (although I think that he looks like a perfectly healthy and chubby baby as is) and gain some poundage. I took him in for a weight check a few weeks after his four month appointment. The good news? He had gained almost a pound since his last appointment- thank goodness my efforts were paying off! The (kind of) bad news? He was still only in the 3rd percentile! Maybe he's just destined to be a little guy... there's nothing wrong with that, as long as he holds steady on his growth. He's still a really good eater, although I wish he had just a bit bigger of an appetite. Owen has been absolutely fascinated with watching us eat- no doubt about it, he wants to be eating too. We started to give him rice cereal a few weeks ago, and he was all about it! Feeding him was an absolute mess, but Owen was so happy to be getting some "food." Since then, he's tried baby food too (usually 1-2 times each day), and he loves it. The only thing that seems to be giving him an upset stomach is peas- he acted fussy for a few hours afterward and kept spitting up. For the most part, I'm trying to give him the higher calorie baby food options like sweet potatoes, carrots, bananas, etc. rather than just the lower calorie ones like squash, peas, etc., although I plan on feeding him a little bit of everything. I'm determined that Owen will not be a picky eater like Dylan!!! Owen has been getting better about eating without ending up covered in baby food- we still strip him down for the whole process though. 

Owen has continued to be a great sleeper. We put him down for bed at 8 pm, and he usually wakes up sometime between 4-6 am for a snack, and then he sleeps until about 8 am the next day. I'm debating whether or not I should try to sleep train him... I don't feel like he's starving when does his one wake up, but that it may be out of habit. I think that I'll probably wait a few more weeks until his 6 month appointment with his pediatrician and talk to him about it. While I'd rather not be waking up at night, 15 minutes once a night is not that bad. Owen takes 3-4 naps a day, and can stay awake for up to 2 hours at a time. His naps continue to be about an hour in length, although every once in a while he'll have a super long nap. 

We sure love our little Squishy (or Squishy Boy, Squish-a-roo, Squish, etc.)... here are a few of my favorites from month 5. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Over the weekend...

Despite poor Benjamin being sick, the kiddos and I had a great weekend. Here are a few of the happenings:

1. Owen had his first Wal-Mart experience. Normally I avoid that place like the plague, but this time I just happened to be very close to the Lindon store when I decided to pop in for a few things. Let it be known, the Lindon Wal-Mart is nothing like the Orem Wal-Mart. Much less disgusting and zoo-like, for sure. Anyway, among the odds and ends that were picked up were a few scented waxes. I may have gone a little overboard, but I was just so excited about the wonderful smells!
{The linen smell is Ben's absolute favorite, so I had to pick it up. I love, love, love cranberry mandarin for fall.}

2. On Saturday, the kids and I went to Chalk the Block at The Riverwoods in Provo. It was a beautiful afternoon and we had so much fun looking at all the amazing chalk drawings. There was live music, booths with all sorts of goods, and (Dylan's favorite) a man making balloon animals. Dylan saw a little boy with a balloon sword and had to have one. Like, would talk about nothing else than finding the balloon man for 15 minutes straight until we actually found him.
Pure joy in the form of a balloon sword.

3. Dylan currently has an adorable obsession with Jesus. More specifically, "My friend Jesus" as Dylan says. He swiped this pass-a-long card from the lobby of our church building  on Sunday and spent the entire hour of sacrament meeting holding and looking at the card. At the end of the hour I put the card into my bag, and he panicked when he couldn't find his friend Jesus. Too cute.
Learn more about Dylan's friend!

4. I have been stressing big-time about Owen's weight since his 4 month check up. I'm trying to feed him as much as a can... what else can I do? He doesn't seem hungry, and I can't force him to eat more than he will eat. Let's hope he will pack on the pounds. He is growing up so fast, though. Looks like his little bouncer is no longer safe:

Yep, he sits up and tries to get out. 

5. I also made these cookies
They always turn out perfect and look just like this, no joke. Best. Recipe. Ever.
Thank you Melissa at Bless This Mess for the perfect, amazing recipe!

What did you do this weekend?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Owen at Four Months.

Owen's 4 month stats:
Weight: 12 lbs 6 oz (3rd percentile)
Length: 25 inches (54th percentile)
Head: 16 inches (18th percentile)

My little Owen! My sweet friend! I can hardly believe that he's already four months old! I feel like Ben and I just brought him home from the hospital, and now he's growing so quickly. I know that I've said this before, but the transition from 1 child to 2 has been such a breeze. Sure, there are crazy moments, but Owen is such a mellow baby that things have just gotten better for our family. We are so blessed to have Owen's happy little spirit in our home and he has made our family feel more joy and love than ever before. 

Owen smiles and laughs constantly, and he is very ticklish, especially on his sides and the back of his legs. His sweet little sounds make us smile and is always showing his happy personality.

Owen has started to be able to have more awake time, which has been quite freeing. Make no mistake, mama loves naptime, but sometimes I felt like my day was now divided into two hour chunks (awake one hour, sleep one hour) and it made it difficult to get a lot done. Now Owen is staying up for about 1.5-2 hours at a time, which makes life seem more flexible. Owen is so alert and loves to watch people and look at his toys. He's actually started to show a lot of interest in his toys and is always trying to grab them and put them in his mouth. 
Owen loves to be on his tummy. In fact, whenever he gets put on his back during playtime he rolls over to his tummy almost immediately. See?

Owen has been chomping on his hands constantly and has also found his feet, as seen below:

Owen also loves to stand and hang onto our hands. He has such strong little legs! He also does great in the Bumbo and has really good head control. 

Owen continues to be a great sleeper. During the day, his naps are usually one hour with the occasional long nap thrown in there. He goes to bed around 8:00 every night, and then I feed him when I go to bed around 10:30. He usually sleeps until around 5 or 6, eats, and then sleeps again until around 8. He's still sleeping in his Woombie, but I'm thinking of transitioning him to a sleep sack now that he's wiggling and rolling all over the place in his bed. He always gets put to bed on his back in the middle of the bed, but he often wakes up on his side, facing the opposite end of the crib. Little wiggle worm.

I've been back at work for a little over a month, and Owen has been doing really well with his sitter. He eats, plays, and sleeps and has been showing no signs of sadness or anxiety when I leave him. I'm always very ready to pick him and Dylan up from the sitter, and he always seems happy for me to come get him. 

That being said, as of this morning I am now feeling a little stressed. 

{Long, worrisome paragraph related to breastfeeding ahead}
This morning at Owen's 4 month checkup, he was weighed and measured, as usual. Do you notice where Owen falls on the weight percentile? 3rd percentile. Do you know where he was at two months ago? 26th percentile. I know that I may be getting a little worked up, but for the past few weeks I've been wondering if Owen has been getting enough milk. One of the more difficult things about breastfeeding is not knowing how much milk your baby is getting. You can guess whether they're eating enough by how long they eat, how much gulping and swallowing is happening, how the baby is acting, and how you feel. But you don't really know. As mentioned before, Owen is a really fast eater. He eats, eats, eats, and then acts completely disinterested in eating any more. I've taken that as a cue that mealtime is over, even if I can tell that I have some more milk. I just thought that I was lucky that my body produced more milk than what was needed. Last weekend I started to get a little nervous, since I wasn't feeling like I had that extra milk at the end of a feeding anymore. I didn't really like that I felt completely empty at the end of a feeding, and then I worried that there wouldn't be enough available at the next feeding. On Monday night, the saddest thing happened- Owen was ready for his night feeding and there was barely enough milk for him to feel satisfied. I tried to give him a bottle of formula, but he was not having it. I  had to put Owen to bed knowing that he didn't have a full tummy and not being able to do anything about it. I had just given my babysitter all of my frozen milk to store at her house- dang it- so I didn't have any reserves available. I decided to pick up some Fenugreek at the local health food store. Fenugreek, you say? What's that? It's an herb that can be taken in capsule form to increase milk supply. Side effects (other than having more milk): You smell like maple syrup. No joke. And guess what? Fenugreek totally works! After taking the pills for a day I noticed a jump in my milk production. Hooray! Now I'm just going to focus on trying to get Owen to eat as much as possible during each feeding in order to chunk him up. 
{End of worrisome rant.}

Worries aside, the past four months have been absolutely wonderful. Owen is a perfect addition to our home, and we are so grateful to have him!

Friday, August 30, 2013

The Happs.

You know what's difficult? Keeping an active blog when you have two kids at home + work 20 hours per week. Heck, it was difficult with one kid at home. Throw Owen into the mix and things just get exponentially more busy. Right now I'm using a few precious minutes from my Golden Hour (the one hour during the day that both kids are sleeping) to post a quick update. 

Here are a few of the happenings:
Dylan started preschool! He goes twice each week at a wonderful preschool a few miles up the road. Seriously, this place is magical and I love it. Dylan loves it too- he's excited to go and always comes home with cute pictures, worksheets, etc. Dylan picked out his preschool outfit and he was so proud.

I discovered a wonderful new hair product- Oscar Blandi Hair Lift. I decided to order it after reading  the positive review from Kate at The Small Things Blog, The girl has amazing hair and tries all sorts of products, so I knew that this must be a winner... and it really is! It gives my hair great volume without feeling producty. 

I went to my high school's 10 year reunion! I had the best time- I was able to see so many great people that I hadn't seen since high school graduation, and it was a wonderful night! Ridiculously hot and humid at the outdoor event, but otherwise fabulous. Seriously, if they had another reunion in a few years I would totally go. I think one of the best parts was that I was able to visit with a ton of great people- not just the girls that I have remained close to after 10 years, but all sorts of people that I had lost touch with (other than being friends on facebook) or people I wasn't close to in high school but have gotten to know better after high school. 

The funny thing was that no one really changed at all... personalities are the same, everyone looked pretty much the same... we're just adults now. 

Since I went to my high school reunion, what else does that mean? Seeing my family in Indiana! Hooray! Yep, Owen and I few home for a long weekend and were able to visit with my parents, my sister and her family, and my grandma. My grandma is amazing- she's 81 years old and drove by herself from St. Louis to Indiana. She honestly has the most energy of any 81 year old that I've ever seen... she's more like 60. Mind you, she takes extremely good care of herself and has the best style. No joke. 

The above picture is Owen and I on the airplane. He was such a champ and slept for most of the flights. I may have violated FAA policy by keeping him in the Moby during takeoff... who cares, he was sleeping and I wasn't about to take him out and wake him up. 

Ben and Dylan had a great time while I was away... they ate cupcakes and snow cones for dinner, went to the dinosaur museum, and just had fun. Dylan wanted to be my welcome home present, so he had Ben wrap him up and send me a picture:
Hilarious. Love my crazy Dylan boy. 

I came upon these while at Target yesterday... my goodness, I love them. I ended up taking the bag to work, because I knew that I would end up eating them all in waaaay to short of time otherwise. There was also candy corn M&Ms, which I'll have to try sometime soon too. Can't wait for fall!

The End.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Owen at Three Months.

How is already happening? I can't believe that my little baby is already three months old! I feel like that officially puts him out of newborn stage and into infant stage. 

Owen continues to be the happiest, most content little baby that I've ever encountered. He has such a pleasant little personality, and he makes everything brighter ad more enjoyable. Like I've said before, Ben and I constantly marvel at how easy the transition from one child to two has been, and I know that Owen's laid-back nature is a huge part of this. 

Owen has become more alert and interested in his surroundings as he has gotten older- he loves to watch Dylan play and is enchanted with the cats, especially little Stella. He loves looking at his toys and has started to hang onto some of his toys when they're put into his hand. His current favorite toy is Jacques the Peacock by Lamaze. It really is the cutest toy with all the colors and textures, and the best part is the back of the toy- Owen just stares and stares at the bold black and white patterns! So smart, those toy designers. 

{Thank you Carol for this wonderful toy!}

Owen continues to be a great eater. His feedings are still really quick, which makes life easier all around. He's also really flexible in where he'll eat- on an airplane, at the beach, in a fitting room... the list goes on. That being said, I have also had to become flexible about where I nurse Owen. Obviously, it's easiest at home where modesty is not a concern and I have my trusty Boppy, but as long as I have my nursing cover, I feel like I can feed Owen pretty much anywhere. Still, if I know that I'm going to be out at a place where I really don't want to go through the hassle of being modest and/or discreet, I'll just bring a bottle of pumped milk along with me. No biggie. 

Owen started sleeping through the night a few weeks ago, and is has been wonderful! He usually goes down between 7:30-9 (depends when he had his last nap), and I feed him right before I go to bed around 10:30. He then sleeps until 5 or 6 in the morning, wakes up to eat, and then sleeps again until around 8. Not gonna lie, I feel like a new woman when I have all those blessed hours of uninterrupted sleep. Owen is a great napper too. He usually only stays awake for 60-90 minutes at a time and then needs a nap. His naps are usually about an hour in length, but sometimes he throws in a 2 1/2 hour nap just for fun. No complaints here- that means that I have more time to get things done and give Dylan extra one-on-one time. 

The biggest thing that happened since last month is dun-dun-dun.... returning to work. This summer has been an absolute dream- it really has felt like a nice, long summer vacation. Going back to work was something I was not looking forward to even a little bit, but it had to be done. Owen and Dylan are being watched by a sweet woman who also watches Dylan's best friend Payton and another one of my co-worker's little boys. I know that Owen was in perfectly loving and capable hands, but the first day that I dropped him off I was such a mess, but it has gotten better. I don't like leaving him, but at least I don't feel like I'm going to have an anxiety attack every time he gets dropped off. And really, I'm only working 2 1/2 days per week, so it's not like we're apart all that much. 

As far as size, I'm not sure what his exact weight is, but I'm guessing around 12 pounds. He's moved up to size 2 in diapers, and he will be ready for 3-6 month clothes pretty soon. He's almost too long for all of his 0-3 month pajamas, but he still fits in all of his onesies. 

One of my favorite things about Owen is how smiley and "talkative" he has gotten. He loves to coo and squeal when we talk to him, and he is a constant smiler. Even cuter, he doesn't just smile with his mouth, he smiles with his whole body- he gets all excited and squirmy when you smile at him. It's darling, I tell you. 

Owen looks so much like Dylan did at his age- see?

Goodness, I love my boys. The end.