#WordlessWednesday: 6 months old already!?

Last week, our little man turned 6 months old. I can’t believe it has been half a year already. It really is crazy how quickly time flies with little ones.

6 month stats!

6 month stats!

As always, Lilly got in on the photo shoot. #SiblingLove

As always, Lilly got in on the photo shoot. #SiblingLove

To celebrate the occasion, I did a bit of a different photo that the typical monthly shoot that we usually do. Cole has an adorable little red bow tie and we have one red cloth diaper. It made for the perfect combination.

6 Months & Perfect!

6 Months & Perfect!

Of course, there were some out takes in order to get this shot…

Cutest. Pout. Ever.

Cutest. Pout. Ever.

 

#DisneyBabyCA: The Dos and Don’ts of Baby’s Bedtime

Getting a baby to learn proper sleep habits is right up there with potty training as being one of the hardest parts of parenting. Some parents luck out with little ones who are easy and love to sleep. I’m not going to lie, that was us the first time around. Lilly has always loved her shut eye and has been a great sleeper 90% of the time.

Cole has been a different story all together. While he has slept good stretches from the beginning, getting him to sleep takes a lot of extra time. He’s just a little more high maintenance, which became very obvious during his colicky days...

The smart minds over at Disney Baby have developed a list of helpful DO’s and DON’Ts for putting your little one down for a good night’s sleep. I also basically have to do the majority of the bedtime routine to get him down for his two naps as well. Right now, I am likely still breaking about half of the rules listed below, but we are getting there. Just this week, we have cut the rocking time in half and started to let him settle on his own. And while it has been tempting to just let him nap in his swing over the last few weeks, I have persevered and finally gotten him into napping properly in his crib.

My favourite trick on this list is the story time. Both my kids have always responded well to books. It’s our secret weapon. I don’t read a book before Cole’s naps, but he won’t settle without one at bedtime. He has his favourite already and smiles as soon as he sees the cover. I’m raising little book lovers over here :)

After you’ve had a chance to read over the bedtime tips, be sure to check out a link to the Magical Moments Contest from Disney Baby and Today’s Parent. Also, I am giving away a Disney Baby prize pack to one lucky reader!

SAYING GOOD NIGHT:

DO’S AND DON’TS WHEN PUTTING BABY TO BED

It’s tiring being a mom and, at the end of a long day, putting baby to bed can seem overwhelming. Getting a baby to sleep peacefully through the night is one of the biggest challenges of early parenthood. To help you navigate this often difficult task, Disney Baby has put together a list of bedtime do’s and don’ts – because when your baby gets a good night’s sleep, the whole house is happier!

There are some common mistakes that parents make when it comes to soothing baby to sleep. When it is time to put your little one down for a rest:

DON’T: Extend night-time feeding

As long as they are healthy, babies stop requiring night feeds somewhere between 4 and 6 months. Continuing late-night feedings beyond this age makes it difficult for babies to learn to pacify themselves and to get back to sleep all on their own.

DON’T: Rely on rocking

While gentle rocking can be very soothing for your baby, try not to rely on rocking to send them off to the land of nod. Babies can quickly become reliant on motion, and may soon find it difficult to get to sleep without it. Of course a little drive or a walk around with mom and dad is sometimes necessary, but try not to make it a part of your regular routine.

DON’T: Change your schedule

Stick to your guns! Teaching your little one good sleep habits is hard (and exhausting!), but you’ll be much more successful if baby knows what’s in store. A bedtime routine is important for both of you – whether it’s a warm bath and a snuggle (try this inflatable tub for a quick, safe splash), or a song and a story, it’s easier for both of you to transition if you know what to expect.

Fortunately, there are some easy steps you can take to make bedtime a little easier:

DO: Set the mood

Like you, your baby needs a peaceful and relaxing place to sleep. Dim the lights to establish a calm environment, and try to create some soothing background noise. Many babies find the hum of a fan calming and sound-making toys like this Simba Dreamy Sounds Soother can also help comfort baby to sleep. This Mickey Mouse SoftPal Night Light is another great way to provide safety and comfort, and is especially useful for late-night check-ins.

DO: Tuck them in

When babies are very small, swaddling is a great way to calm them down, making them feel safe and secure. Plus, it helps to ensure that they won’t be disturbed during sleep by their startle-reflex. If your little ones are slightly older, trying giving them a cozy blanket, like this Winnie the Pooh one. It will keep them warm and cozy, and also give them a way to soothe themselves.

DO: Tell a tale

Reading to your baby before bed is great for so many reasons: it creates some quiet time to cuddle and bond, and helps relax your little one after a day of excitement. What’s more, hearing you read every night exposes your baby to new words, which can only be good news as he continues to grow and learn. Disney Baby has a great selection of stories to help you out, including this adorable book of nursery rhymes.

Disney Baby will be hosting a month-long Magical Moments photo contest in partnership with Today’s Parent. The contest is open until October 19th, so get your entry in today! There are some amazing prizes to be won, including a $500 Target gift card!
To enter, simply visit the contest page and follow the three step process:

magicMomentLrg

  1. Upload a photo of you and your baby showing your Disney spirit
  2. Enter your contact information
  3. Submit!

Also, I am giving away a $65 prize pack from Disney Baby! This adorable pack includes everything listed below. Personally, I am completely in love with the Sulley night light. It is so soft and innovative. Lilly absolutely adores hers.

Disney-Baby-Giveaway

  • A Monster’s Inc. SoftPal night light, featuring the lovely Sulley
  • A set of Minnie Mouse orthodontic bottles
  • A Minnie Mouse learner cup (for ages 6+)
  • A set of Minnie Mouse natural shape orthodontic pacifiers

 

#WordlessWednesday: Post Partum Progress

A few days ago, I decided to try on my skinny jeans again for first time in over a month. I’ve been very relaxed about getting back into my clothes, since I haven’t really had time to workout like I did when Lilly was born. Cole has just simply been a different baby all together.

Much to my surprise, the jeans fit! It feels great to start to wear some of my favourite closet items again.

1 of only 2 pairs of designer jeans I own. So excited to get back into them!

1 of only 2 pairs of designer jeans I own. So excited to get back into them!

Last week was our 8th anniversary. Having a new baby at home, we opted to stay in and have our favourite take out.

Sushi!

Sushi!

And just because I love showing them off, here are some pics of the kids from this week.

So much personality is showing through more and more each day.

So much personality is showing through more and more each day.

There is NEVER such thing as too much accessorizing.

There is NEVER such thing as too much accessorizing.

#WordlessWednesday: Baby in a bow tie.

Let me just open with this photo, because it is just the cutest. thing. ever.

That bow tie. It's not right to be this cute.

That bow tie. It’s not right to be this cute.

My little man was all dressed up for his Uncle Ethan’s wedding. Ethan and Neeko had a beautiful outdoor ceremony.

Perfect weather for a beautiful day.

Perfect weather for a beautiful day.

 

The kids and I all dressed up. This doesn't happen often.

The kids and I all dressed up. This doesn’t happen often.

Posing with the happy couple.

Posing with the happy couple.

No better dance partner than Daddy.

No better dance partner than Daddy.

Later in the night, I overheard an adorable conversation between Lilly & Adam during the father daughter dance. I snapped a pic to capture the memory.

Adam: “One day you & I will dance like that”

Lilly: “Right now!”

Adam: “You have to find someone to marry first.”

Lilly: “You!!”

#DaddysGirl

#DaddysGirl

 

#WordlessWednesday: Lilly’s First Day of Jr. Kindergarten!

Yesterday was Lilly’s first day of junior kindergarten! I can’t believe we’re here already. She handled it like a pro. No tears at all. Dad and I didn’t not fare quite as well. We each had a couple tears on the way home.

First-Day-Jr-Kindergarten-Lilly

Picture perfect kindergartener.

Lilly-Mama-First-Day-Pre-K

Mama’s little lady.

Lilly-Daddy-First-Day-Pre-K

Daddy’s Girl!

Pre-K-First-Day-Funny-Face

Totally ready for a serious day of school…

Lilly’s first haircut!

Today was a big day for our little lady. No matter how many milestones we reach, they always feel major. Today Lilly got her first official haircut!

I say official because we have had some minor ones. I have trimmed up her bangs to keep them out of her eyes. And of course, there was that time she cut her own hair…resulting in a worse mullet than she already had…

Heading to the salon, she said she was a bit scared. We mentioned that she wasn’t scared when she cut her own hair, which she agreed was a good point. Dad was getting his hair cut today too, so that helped ease the nerves.

Getting started!

Getting started!

Her and I spent some time looking at pictures on Pinterest and agreed some straight across bangs would look good. Although this was definitely a listen to the stylist kind of cut. Lilly’s hair has grown in pretty funky up until now, so getting some direction on how to train it was key.

In progress...

In progress…

The end result looks great. She still has a ways to go in terms of getting her hair to come in a bit more, but now we finally know what to do with it ;)

All done. She has properly defined bangs!

All done. She has properly defined bangs!

I will add that it’s pretty ideal that she doesn’t have the hair I did at her age. I remember what it was like to deal with this mess…

So thick. So long. So many curls.

So thick. So long. So many curls.

#WordlessWednesday: 5 Months & 4 Years

We have had a very busy month to end off our summer. My little lady turned 4, which hardly seems possible. Right after her birthday party, we headed on a 5 hour road trip to spend some vacation time with my sister-in-law’s family. Hence, my need to play a little blogging catch up.

So here goes it, a ton of photos to capture the month of August.

We started off the month with Lilly’s 4th birthday. My pony obsessed monster asked for a My Little Pony party and Mama delivered. Between decorations and games, we had a very busy party. Then to add to it, we had a REAL PONY. That hadn’t originally been planned, but when the offer came up, there was no way I could say no. Lilly was thrilled!

Our My Little Pony birthday party.

Our My Little Pony birthday party.

Next, we headed up north to visit family. My nephew Owen and niece Madi are no strangers to this blog. To this day, Owen is pretty much Lilly’s best friend, even if they only see each other once every few months.

By some miracle, we got them all looking at the camera.

By some miracle, we got them all looking at the camera.

August 16th, we had another baby milestone with Cole. A few days shy of his 5 month mark, we introduced solids! We’ve started him off with baby cereal and it was a huge hit.

He has his father's appetite. #EatLikeAWiltshire

He has his father’s appetite. #EatLikeAWiltshire

On August 20th, Lilly had her very last day of preschool. Next week she starts kindergarten. She’s ready. I’m not…

She's so proud to be starting "big kid school"

She’s so proud to be starting “big kid school”

On August 22nd, my baby hit the 5 month mark. It’s hard to believe that it’s been 5 months already! He’s still very much on the path of long and lanky. He’s already stretching to the end of his 6 month size clothes & will be moving into the 9-12 by fall, I’m sure.

As always, Lilly had to get in on the monthly stats photo action.

As always, Lilly had to get in on the monthly stats photo action.

Cole-5-Month-Stats

5 Month Stats!

 

Baby Bath Tips with #DisneyBabyCA

First bath in the big tub with Dad. Also the first bath without tears...

First bath in the big tub with Dad. Also the first bath without tears…

If I’ve said it before (which I have, here) I’ve said it a million times; bathing a new baby can be my least favourite thing to have to do. Lilly hated her baths for the first 6 weeks, and Cole didn’t fare much better with his.

Once Cole was a little bit bigger, we started bathing him in the full bath tub, with one of us in the tub holding him. This is the same style we used with Lilly and it took baths from being an all out scream fest, to a relaxing and playful time with both kids. It’s a little unconventional, but it is what has always worked for us.

When it comes to bathing babies, I think that is the main key ingredient. You need to be prepared and find the set up with works best for both you and your little one. Disney Baby has some excellent points to help you get started.

 

FROM BUBBLES TO BATHROBES:

TIPS FOR BATHING YOUR BABY

Learning to bathe your baby can be a little scary – there’s a lot to juggle and of course you want to keep your little one safe. But as long you’re properly prepared, bath time can be a great bonding experience and a whole lot of fun! Disney Baby has some great tips on how to protect and pamper your little one in the tub, and some adorable products to help you to do it! From towels and toys to cleansers and creams, Disney Baby has you covered.

Tip #1: Start small
Your baby is little, so his bathtub should be too! When you start bathing a baby, it’s easier to do it in the sink, or using a small plastic tub. That way, you won’t have to kneel or lean awkwardly over the side of a big bath while keeping your baby upright. Some baby tubs, like this adorable Winnie the Pooh one, feature built-in toys, ensuring that bath time is fun for everyone!

Tip #2: Get some tub toys
For older babies, the bath can be a great place to learn and explore. Once your little one has graduated to a big tub, introduce them to some squirt toys, fun floaties or sponges. Disney Baby has a great selection of these, featuring characters like Nemo and Friends. Toys can keep your baby distracted and happy, helping make bath time a breeze.

Tip #3: Ditch the daily dips
Babies don’t need to bathe everyday – in fact, daily baths can dry out or damage your little one’s skin. It only takes two or three baths a week to ensure that baby stays squeaky-clean, as long as you stay vigilant about keeping face, hands and diaper area clean between washes. These Finding Nemo washcloths are the perfect way to keep baby fresh between bath times.

Tip #4: Lock in that moisture
If your baby does have dry skin, rub on a little moisturizing lotion, cream or oil post bath. There are plenty of products out there that both you and your baby can use!

Tip #5: Keep baby warm
Wet babies can become easily chilled, so throughout bath time it’s important to keep your little one warm. Ensure that bath water is around 37 degrees and that the air in the bathroom is comfortably warm as well. After the bath, wrap baby up in a soft, clean towel and give him a little snuggle! A Winnie the Pooh Bathtime Wrap keeps baby feeling cozy and looking cute.

 

Surviving colic and regaining my sanity.

Baby Smiles, Surviving Colic

One little boy, so many big smiles.

To say that I headed into my second maternity leave with my wildly idealistic hat on, would be a massive understatement. While I understand that every baby is different, I very much had the memories of my daughter in mind. She was very easy baby. As such, I made great plans for myself to do things like building my blog, working a few hours for the office, finishing up areas of the house I’ve been neglecting for nearly 2 years and overall enjoy my summer off with the kids. One word tossed a major wrench into my best laid plans.

Colic.

Let me preface this entire post by saying that I have a very happy baby. Colton has an incredible smile. Just see the photo above for evidence. When he’s having a good day, I get a lot of these smiles. Thank God for that. Thinking about his smiles is what has gotten me through some of the worst colic fits we’ve faced.

Baby smiles equal sanity.

I remember when I was pregnant with Lilly, so many people had warned with stories of their colicky babies. I was terrified. During our birth classes, when they asked what scared us most about becoming parents, the top of my list was having a colicky baby. With Lilly turning out to be such as easy baby, I was very ill prepared for Cole.

The first 3-4 weeks were ok. We had what felt like the typical new baby. He was definitely a fussier newborn than Lilly, but hey, every baby is different. I do recall my mom saying that she thought he had a “touch of colic” but I completely didn’t see it…yet.

By 5-6 weeks, we were living in a very different household. The crying fits completely outweighed the content or sleeping times. He would scream for hours at a time, no matter what we did. We would have to trade off as much as possible to keep calm. On days when Lilly was home from preschool, she watched much more TV than we normally allow, so I could focus on keeping Cole as happy as possible.

Eventually, Cole and I seemed to come to an agreement to establish some peace. All he asked for was that I didn’t dare sit down. Or stop moving. Or stop singing. Or stop bouncing as I walked. I had days where I literally walked around my living room for 6-7 hours over the course of the day. It was exhausting.

I actually remember forming an ad in my head:

Free to lend to a good home, one baby treadmill/trainer. This trainer is sure to whip you into shape with undeniable motivation. Better than any personal trainer, you will find yourself walking further than you ever thought before. Rather than motivational cheering, this baby trainer uses a high pitched screeching sound to make you move. At times, simple walking will no longer cut it and you will have to add a bounce to every step, to make your workout more challenging!

Between Cole’s mood swings and my rigorous exclusive pumping schedule, I basically felt like a shut-in. I even had close friends comment when they saw me that I didn’t seem like myself. I wasn’t. I felt like a worn out prisoner of my own home. I became an even more terrible friend – because lets face it, all parents are – and a non-existent blogger. My laundry fell behind, my house was a bigger disaster than usual and I honestly don’t even remember how food got on the table most days.

I wanted to go out more, but felt guilty. I wanted to go running, but couldn’t find the strength. I wanted to drink, but…oh wait, I did pour a sanity-saving weak bourbon once in a while.

Yesterday, Colton turned 5 months old. While it has gotten significantly better, we are not out of the woods completely. He still has days where he fights sleep and acts like a bear. He has also started to put up a big fight at bedtime. But generally, we can make it through most days with very few tears. It very much feels like we have one toe into the light at the end of the tunnel.

I am far from an expert on colic. We are only JUST coming through the other side of it and I know our baby was mild compared to many cases. However, I thought I would share a few tips that helped us survive with (some) sanity intact.

Tips for Surviving Colic

  1. Let people know what’s going on. The first step is to let your supports know that it’s a bit tougher than expected. When you have a colicky baby, the phrase “it takes a village” has never been more true. Baby may not settle for anyone else, but it’s amazing what a little adult conversation can do for your mental well being when you are pacing for an hour with a fussy baby. Friends and family can do everything from bringing you coffee, to helping your 3 year old wash her hands while you deal with baby.
  2. Take turns with the baby. If possible, trade off with your partner or someone else every 15-20 minutes during a bad fit. There is only so much high pitched screaming you can take and a small breather can help recharge you for round two. I know as moms we can have a hard time delegating when it comes to a new baby, but don’t be afraid to tag a fellow team mate into the ring to fight the good fight. This is one I had to remind myself constantly and sometimes still do. It might seem easier to do it all myself, but if I get worked up more, so will the baby. Take a break, keep your cool and everyone will benefit.
  3. Find what works and keep doing it. Warning: what “works” might change. Every. Single. Day. Like much of parenting, it is complete trial and error. However, you just might strike gold and be rewarded with peace and quiet. For us, it was the above mentioned walking. Cole would remain pretty content, as long as I walked/bounced and sang. Sometimes all at once. For 2 hours straight. It was tiring at times, but it was manageable and it was much better than hours of screaming.
  4. Sleep, sleep and more sleep. This sounds nearly impossible when you have a newborn, and I will be honest that I don’t always heed my own words on this one. In the early weeks, I did nap or at least rest, a bit during the day. You have to turn off the guilt that reminds you of unfolded laundry and just take a break. A bit of extra rest or shut eye can help so much with your stress level, not to mention your breast milk production (another common new baby stress) and overall health.
  5. Take care of you, so you can take care of baby. This is true for all parents and goes hand in hand with #4. Hydrate, rest, eat well, snack often and when possible, soak in a hot tub for 15 minutes. These little things help you to feel human again at a time when nothing else does.
  6. Try to get out of the house. This one is one of the hardest tips on this list. When things were at their worst, the idea of leaving the house and being away from everything I might need was terrifying. However, you can’t live afraid to leave your home. Even if it is simply to run an errand to the grocery store, stepping out of the house can be a very relieving feeling. If you happen to have a baby that loves to sleep in the car, this can be a big win-win tactic.

Again, I am no expert, but we have managed to get through the worst of it with the lessons learned above. Have you survived a baby with colic? Currently living through it? Share what has worked/is working for you in the comments below.

Ideally speaking, babies would have evolved passed this crying nonsense and colic would be a thing of the past ;)

 

#WordlessWednesday: Cole’s 4 month stats & some me time!

Last week Colton hit the 4 month mark. It really doesn’t feel like it has been 4 months already. When we went in for his regular checkup, the developmental worker thought he was 6 months and asked me the milestone questions for that stage. We didn’t realize the error until after…and he passed the developmental milestones for 6 months! My little man is getting so big, so fast.

4 months already!

4 months already!

As always, Lilly wanted to have a few pictures of her during Cole’s monthly stats photo shoot.

Love these monkeys.

Love these monkeys.

I also found some rare “me time” and squeezed a #metimemanicure. I love the nude nail polish trend this summer. The bow is a stencil…I’m not that good ;)

Pretty nude nails with accent nail! The bow is adorable!

Love the little bow stencil I found.