Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Christmas Countdown | 2016

There is nothing like the Christmas season! While I usually plan a little something for each day in December until Christmas day, this year was a bit different. I knew better than to over-do it with a newborn. But, I did have a little to-do list I was hoping we could tackle. In the end, we only got about 75% checked off, so it's a good thing I was approaching the Christmas holiday with relaxed ambitions.

We decorated a gingerbread house with the candy that survived Aria's snacking.
We made cinnamon ornaments.
We drove around at night to look at Christmas lights, especially since ours never made it up this year.
We visited Santa.
We made cookies for Santa.
We sprinkled reindeer food outside in the grass.
And, we wrapped presents until all the gifts were overflowing under the tree.

Sweet Turtle Soup - Christmas Countdown | 2016

Sweet Turtle Soup - Christmas Countdown | 2016

Sweet Turtle Soup - Christmas Countdown | 2016

Sweet Turtle Soup - Christmas Countdown | 2016

Sweet Turtle Soup - Christmas Countdown | 2016

Sweet Turtle Soup - Christmas Countdown | 2016

Sweet Turtle Soup - Christmas Countdown | 2016

Sweet Turtle Soup - Christmas Countdown | 2016

Sweet Turtle Soup - Christmas Countdown | 2016


Sunday, December 25, 2016

A Very Merry Christmas | 2016

Aria came into our room on Christmas morning and shouted "Mom! Dad! Santa came. You've got to see this!". A first for us in our parenting career. Her excitement for Christmas morning has grown each year, and this year was definitely my favorite.

We all gathered in the living room and opened presents for hours. Even Lincoln got caught up in the excitement of Christmas and boycotted naps all morning. There was paper and boxes everywhere. Aria wanted to play with all of her presents at the same time. Chris wanted to play with his new toy (an electric unicycle). And, I wanted some coffee along with a long bath with the bath bomb I received.

As always the morning went past much too quickly and I can't believe Christmas is over for another year. Hopefully next year there will be more sleep and even more magic with two kids each a little bit bigger.

Sweet Turtle Soup - A Very Merry Christmas | 2016

Sweet Turtle Soup - A Very Merry Christmas | 2016

Sweet Turtle Soup - A Very Merry Christmas | 2016

Sweet Turtle Soup - A Very Merry Christmas | 2016

Sweet Turtle Soup - A Very Merry Christmas | 2016

Sweet Turtle Soup - A Very Merry Christmas | 2016

Sweet Turtle Soup - A Very Merry Christmas | 2016

Sweet Turtle Soup - A Very Merry Christmas | 2016

Sweet Turtle Soup - A Very Merry Christmas | 2016

Sweet Turtle Soup - A Very Merry Christmas | 2016

Sweet Turtle Soup - A Very Merry Christmas | 2016

Sweet Turtle Soup - A Very Merry Christmas | 2016

Sweet Turtle Soup - A Very Merry Christmas | 2016

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Merry Christmas | 2016

Sweet Turtle Soup - Merry Christmas | 2016
Sweet Turtle Soup - Merry Christmas | 2016

From our family to yours, have the merriest Christmas weekend!


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Lincoln | ONE Month

I think having babies a few weeks before Christmas makes that first month fly past even faster than it normally would...

I triple checked that Lincoln was really an entire month old today.

Although, at the same time it feels like I was pregnant with him several months ago and that he has been here as part of the family for ages. Time is definitely a strange creature.

Sweet Turtle Soup - Lincoln | ONE month update

He goes in for his one month pediatrician appointment on Friday, so I am waiting for the official stats to fill in his update. (Updated!) I'm curious to see how much weight he has gained since he still has his little chicken legs...I've been excited for baby rolls for months now!

He is wearing size one diapers, and 0-3 month clothing with a few newborn items thrown in for good measure. But, the newborn sizes in footed pajamas are too short on him.

Weight: 9 lbs 5.5 oz
Birth: 7 lbs 1 oz
Height: 21.5 inches
Birth: 20.5 inches

Eat:
Lincoln has been so easy to nurse. With Aria being a month early she had trouble latching, and we needed to use a nipple shield for a while before she could latch on her own. Lincoln picked up the whole latch thing fairly quickly. Although, he had a strong preference for the left side over the right side for a few days. After a few stubborn nursing sessions I finally got him to be okay with both sides. Since then nursing has been a breeze. He eats every 2 to 3 hours during the day, usually closer to every 2 hours. And at night he will usually give me wonderfully long stretches of 5 to 8 hours between feedings. Some nights he is only up the one time. (I'm knocking on wood as a type this.)

He also is much more efficient with nursing than Aria. Aria could hang out on the boob for an hour. We spent so much time nursing, no complaints because I loved the snuggles. Lincoln is done with both sides after 10-15 minutes. And, in the middle of the night after going so long between feedings and me being so uncomfortably full I have to limit him to about 5-6 minutes. If I don't his little tummy gets too gorged and inevitably comes right back out and all over mama...and her pillow.

I'm so grateful that he is nursing so well and that my supply seems to be just fine. I enjoyed nursing Aria so much that I was a little worried it wouldn't work out this time. I was also a little scared that I would be so sore because the nipple shield seemed to ease me into nursing the first time around so I didn't have any pain, but there was only minor discomfort in the beginning this time and that quickly went away.

I haven't pumped at all this time either, which I am loving. Again, Aria was a month early so she couldn't even attempt to nurse for a few days so instead I had to pump. My supply was crazy. We had a freezer full of pumped milk, I was constantly leaking and uncomfortably engorged. But, everybody kept telling me to keep pumping so I did for months until I finally decided to quit. My supply regulated to Aria and I stopped being uncomfortable and leaky. We never touched more than a few bags of that pumped milk either. I don't even have a pump right now, and I'd rather not bother with it but I do wish I could let Aria give her baby brother a bottle. I think she would love it. If only it were an easier process. We will probably just wait until she can help feed him solids around 6 months. I'm sure she will enjoy that just as much.

Sweet Turtle Soup - Lincoln | ONE month update

Play:
Play is a little bit of a strong word right now, but Lincoln enjoys "playing" on his play mat. He will hang out on it for 30 minutes up to an hour and kick his little heart out while cooing to the mirror. I'd forgotten how sweet baby sounds are! I placed him on the play mat while I wrapped presents a few days ago and he was perfectly content. So far he is not a big fan of tummy time (just like his big sister) and he won't even stay on his tummy anymore. I try to put him on his tummy and he is on his back again before I can blink twice. But, his little neck is so strong and he loves to look around while being carried. I love that he is seeing further away now. I was taking his one month pictures and he kept staring at the camera strap scarf that I have. And, when you can see him find your face and watch you - there is hardly anything sweeter. He woke up from his nap yesterday (Dec. 20th). So, I went over to him and said his name while running my finger down his cheek and he gave me a big smile. I thought it was a fluke but he did it three times and I melted into a puddle of mama love.

Sweet Turtle Soup - Lincoln | ONE month update

Sleep:
I'm going to type this quietly, but Lincoln's sleep has been amazing. He started going about 5 hours between feedings at night just before he was two weeks old. And, he has kept up with it almost every night since. This week he has started giving me around 7 hours pretty often, topping out with an 8 hour stretch two or three nights ago. I'm not sure what I did to get so lucky...Aria didn't give me such long stretches until she was 8 weeks and at the time I thought it was the most amazing thing. I'll just continue to knock on wood that he is an even better sleeper than Aria, and that he doesn't decide to stop sleeping when he turns two like Aria did.

His naps are still all over the place. Plenty of cat naps that last 30 minutes or so. But, he is usually good for one long nap per day as well. Maybe 2 hours at the longest. I definitely wake him up when he hits 3 hours since his last feeding though because he goes so long at night I want to make sure he is getting enough food the rest of the day.

Sweet Turtle Soup - Lincoln | ONE month update

Lincoln
I love having a newborn in the house again so much. It may be exhausting but it is a sweet exhausting. Before I had babies I always thought I'd be a boy mom. So, when the ultrasound technician said we were having a girl I was thrown for a loop. Then actually having a little girl...I couldn't imagine anything better. So, when we popped our gender reveal pinata and saw blue? I was again thrown for a loop. I was so sure we'd end up having another little girl. And, boys? What do I know about little boys? Mild panic set in. And now that I have my little boy, a son - my heart feels so complete. I love having my not so little girl and my tiny boy. I'm not 100% sure we are done having babies (more like 98%), but right now I feel so very good about our family of four...especially considering how scary it is to add another baby to the mix.

And, that big sister sure loves him. The excitement at the idea of having a sibling is quite different from when that sibling actually arrives. So, while I loved how excited Aria was when I was pregnant I was a little worried that it might not be everything she imagined when he joined us on the other side. But, she has blown me away. Apart from some initial jealousy when mama was recovering from giving birth along with having a spinal headache, it's been smooth sailing. She's been both helpful with Lincoln and helpful with self-sufficiency...such as wiping her own tush and playing happily by herself. It also very much helps that dad can come home at a reasonable hour to play soccer outside and catch lizards with her, and that great grandma loves playing beanie babies with her too.

I remember having Aria and thinking how hard it was to take care of a baby, but this time seems so much easier. It's probably a combo of first time parenthood and stressing out about every little thing, along with not having gotten those 5 to 7 hour stretches of sleep at night with Aria. It really is nice to not stress about all the little things with Lincoln. However, he is my little grumpy old man. With Aria she brought out the grumpy in the evening and before bedtime. With Lincoln he is pretty much grumpy all day. If he isn't sleeping or eating, he is probably crying. Or at least he was until about a week ago. Thankfully he has started to chill out more, especially in the mornings. He still despises the hours from 5 to 9 though. We all put Aria to bed at night as a family, per her request. However, Lincoln is usually very unhappy the whole time. I try to time reading bedtime stories with nursing so at least he is quiet for that, but we mostly end up singing bedtime songs at the top of our lungs. It's a very relaxing environment for going to sleep =) But, Aria doesn't complain and again it is her preference so we are all crossing our fingers for him getting over his hatred of those evening hours.

Surprisingly one of his favorite pastimes is getting his diaper changed. He can be complaining at the top of his little lungs but we put him down on his changing table and a decent chunk of the time he will quiet right down. He likes it so much that we just leave him there and enjoy the peace for a handful of minutes. It doesn't last forever, but just enough time to regain some sanity. Another favorite pastime is bath time. He gets his nightly bath around 7, so during his unhappiest hours, but as soon as I lower him into his blooming bath in the sink he stops fussing. I usually let him soak in the warm water until it is time for Aria's bedtime stories.

Even though he is my grumpy guy, I adore him. When he sticks his chin out while doing his 'wah' cry...it's one of the cutest faces. And, I can't get enough of kissing his cheeks. I love that I get to see another set of 'firsts', but it is already zooming past way too quickly. Only 11 months until 1 year old? That just seems way too close already.

Sweet Turtle Soup - Lincoln | ONE month update

Sweet Turtle Soup - Lincoln | ONE month update

Sweet Turtle Soup - Lincoln | ONE month update

Sweet Turtle Soup - Lincoln | ONE month update

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Santa Baby | 2016

It happened. We finally took the kids to see Santa over the weekend. We've been trying to make it happen since early November, before Lincoln arrived. It's always such a long process to see the big man himself that I thought it best to try to get the visit in before there was also a newborn to drag along. But, that never happened. Instead Lincoln got to visit Santa just shy of a month old...and snooze on him just like big sister did on her first Santa visit.

I prefer to visit our favorite Santa who just happens to be at an Orlando mall, which means about four hours of travel time there and back again. Then the wait is almost always a solid three hours. That's a daunting chunk of time with a newborn, and we weren't sure if he would even make it to Santa's lap when the time came. But, he did and the picture is worth every minute of going up and down escalators with Aria!

Sweet Turtle Soup - Santa Baby | 2016

Aria was so excited to go see Santa and tell him that she wanted baby doll clothes for Christmas. And, when she saw he was handing out little bear hand puppets her excitement increased tenfold. It may have blown her mind that she got to take two, one for her and one for Lincoln. I'm so glad we actually made it for a Santa visit this year, I was beginning to lose hope. But, it always feels like Christmas is officially on it's way after sitting on Santa's lap!

Sweet Turtle Soup - Santa Baby | 2016

Sweet Turtle Soup - Santa Baby | 2016

Sweet Turtle Soup - Santa Baby | 2016


Monday, December 19, 2016

Round Two | Newborn Favorites

Sweet Turtle Soup - Round Two | Newborn Faves
[ 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 ]

[ONE] Little Unicorn Cotton Swaddle, in jack plaid - It was the designs that enticed into buying a few Little Unicorn swaddles. We used the A+A swaddles with Aria, and they were great...but I wasn't a fan of the designs. Lincoln sleeps with his jack plaid swaddle every night. It is breathable, soft, and he looks so sweet wrapped up in it.

[TWO] Blooming Bath - We got a newborn bath for Aria that we ended up hating. It wasn't user friendly and made things harder rather than easier. I was so annoyed by our bath time troubles that I ended up buying just about every baby a bath for their baby shower after that. So, a newborn bath was at the top of my must have list when we found out we were having another baby. And, it just so happened that a sweet friend was getting rid of her blooming bath around the same time. It works perfectly. And, Lincoln thinks so too (after his first bath that is, because he was not a big fan of that first one...).

[THREE] Solly Baby Wrap, in camel - I'm so glad we got this wrap. It has been so handy thus far. I've used it at Disney Springs, while waiting three hours at the mall to see Santa, to vacuum, and on many Target & grocery runs. It took several tries to figure out just how to wrap it, but it definitely gets easier each time. And, Lincoln either snuggles up and fall right to sleep or stares wide eyed at the world around him. Either option equals a quiet baby.

[FOUR] DockATot Deluxe - This might be my favorite of the favorites. Right now it is a tight fit in our current living situation as a family of four with two dogs in big cages. I'd never considered co-sleeping because it makes me too uncomfortable. But, with this little spot that allows Lincoln to be in our bed but also in his own zone? It's the perfect solution to not having room for a crib. I love having him right next to me for middle of the night feedings but also so I can stare at his tiny sleeping face when he finally passes out for the night. Plus, he has been sleeping rather well in it - giving me regular 5/6 hour stretches.

[FIVE] HoMedics Sound Machine - Lincoln takes his naps in the living room by the Christmas tree where all the noises live. For example, his loud big sister, and the dogs that bark whenever somebody comes to the door either real or imaginary. So, I always turn on his sound machine to help drown out some of the more startling noises. And, so far I haven't had to banish any dogs for waking up the baby.

[SIX] SheaMoisture Honey and Lavender Baby Shampoo - This smells so amazing. This shampoo combined with the blooming bath make bath time one of the best times of the day.

[SEVEN] Ubbi Diaper Pail, in navy - We never got a legit diaper pail with Aria, so the faint smell of baby poo was never my favorite. I'm loving the Ubbi so far. It's pretty for one, but it also holds in the baby poo smell well.

[EIGHT] LittleOwlsNest Minky Boppy Cover - I didn't realize how uncomfortable the regular boppy covers were until I got this one as a hand me down from a friend (I'm a big fan of the hand me downs). I ended up with two boppy pillows, so I thought I'd keep one in my bed and the other on the couch. That only last one night after I realized how much softer the minky boppy cover is. Definitely happy to have the minky.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Photo Every Hour | Dec. 12th

9am
breakfast
these are her "he's here waffles" - we made a whole bunch of waffles to put in the freezer only to be used after Lincoln's arrival
Sweet Turtle Soup - Photo Every Hour

10am
today's advent book - my penguin osbert
Sweet Turtle Soup - Photo Every Hour

11am
barbie is going camping
Sweet Turtle Soup - Photo Every Hour

12pm
painting 'bubbles', the dino she got for her birthday
Sweet Turtle Soup - Photo Every Hour

1pm
she can't resist that baby brother of hers
Sweet Turtle Soup - Photo Every Hour

2pm
unhappy...happy...
Sweet Turtle Soup - Photo Every Hour
Sweet Turtle Soup - Photo Every Hour

3pm
she's trying to catch the rainbow reflected on the bubbles
you can see it on the back of her head best
Sweet Turtle Soup - Photo Every Hour

4pm
her new favorite game, soccer ball tag
Sweet Turtle Soup - Photo Every Hour

5pm
finally let me put him down while he was napping
Sweet Turtle Soup - Photo Every Hour

6pm
family movie night - secret life of pets
Sweet Turtle Soup - Photo Every Hour

7pm
he grabbed her hand, and i died from the cuteness
and, he loves bath time now
Sweet Turtle Soup - Photo Every Hour

8pm
books at bedtime
Sweet Turtle Soup - Photo Every Hour

9pm
sleep is for the weak
thankfully he fell asleep 20 or 30 minutes later
mom's turn
Sweet Turtle Soup - Photo Every Hour