Thursday, December 31, 2015

6 teeth!

Nolan seems to be getting teeth a lot lately. He's also starting to scoot a little more but he isn't crawling. He got his bottom two at 5 months, his top two around 7 months, and now he has the top left and the bottom right with the other top close behind. I do find Nolan gets a bit fussier right before his new teeth break through. 

He's still generally happy despite teething. He's been liking these chilled teethers lately. 
Sometimes he will have one in each hand and go back and forth. 
He's getting better at gripping food too. He makes quite a mess but I feel like he does actually eat a little avocado or pear if I put pieces of it on his high chair table. 
His favorite food right now is still banana. He likes sweet potatoes too. The green beans and carrots I made he's still not a fan of. He likes oatmeal cereal,and this week we just tried puffs as a snack. He seems interested in them and feeds them to himself. He's turning into such a big boy. I'm still learning this whole solids thing and which foods to introduce and at what ages. It's all a learning process for both of us but I'm trying not to overthink it and just have meal time be an enjoyable experience for him. 

I've been reading about when to introduce a cup with a straw or a sippy cup. I think I've decided to wait until his 9 month doctors appointment in a few weeks because then we can get advice tailored just to us. Since Nolan doesn't have bottles I'm not totally sure how this transition will go. He's only had one bottle since August. We sure have been committed to breastfeeding. We are both much happier that way. 

You're probably thinking how do you ever get away without using bottles but it's been fine. I plan my outings right after a feeding and that gives me 3-4 hours to go out to dinner, run errands, or whatever I need to do. Now that Nolan eats solids he can have a snack while I'm gone too. Exclusively breastfeeding is a big commitment but since I stay at home this lifestyle has worked for us.  

I've recently had some soreness while I adjusted to nursing with all these teeth but generally he's pretty gentle. I prefer nursing in his room in our gliding chair lately as he tends to get distracted if there are people and other sounds around. I've really grown to love nursing now that it's generally been going well with just a few hiccups here and there. 

We have both been healthy recently too which has been great. We made it all the way through December without a doctors appointment for either of us which I consider a success. The other 11 months of 2015 were often spent in doctors offices so it was a nice break! We are hoping for a happy and healthy 2016 for our family and yours!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

My hopes for 2016

In 2015, I learned more than I ever imagined I would. It was my last full year in my twenties, and I feel like I gained a lot of valuable skills and learned a lot of lessons this year that I'm excited to bring with me into 2016. I had some great highs and lows in 2015. I was disappointed by some people, I lost trust in some people, but I also had some of the most amazing experiences that really reminded me that there is a lot of good in this often scary world that we live in.

worried a lot this year and that's one thing I hope to do less of next year. I worried about Nolan being born healthy, I worried when he wasn't gaining weight, I worried when my identity was compromised, and I worried when we had some big medical bills and home repairs. I worried how I would be able to have a colonscopy and surgery and also be a mom while I recovered. I worried if we would be able to sell our place and how we knew when was the right time to buy and sell homes. I worried how I would do it all but looking back, all that worrying really didn't get me anywhere. In the end, everything did work out so a goal of mine for next year is to try and focus on each day and live in the moment. I want to worry less about things that I can't control and focus more on the positive things that I can control. 

As we start a new year, I wanted to take a minute to list the things I hope to be better about for myself and lessons that I hope to teach Nolan and any future children we may have. 

I really loved this ladies blog post and wanted to share it on mine. It came from an article from Huffington Post Parents called Lessons I want to teach my daughter by Nicole Xiques. Here are her thoughts, and I couldn't agree more.

1. Love yourself 
The most important relationship you have is the one with yourself. You might believe that how other people view you defines who you are, but what you will learn is that how you see yourself will be the one factor that sets the tone for your entire life. It's easy to pick yourself apart and focus on your flaws, but it's those characteristics that make you who you are. Embrace every single one of them, because they make you beautiful. Be kind to yourself, shower yourself with love and respect because how you treat yourself will set the standard for how 
others will treat you.

2. Explore the world. Pack your bags and travel. Travel as much as you can. Do something new. Go somewhere new. Heck, live somewhere new. The more you see of the world, the more your perspective about life changes (in such a positive way). You learn about yourself, different views, people and cultures -- but more importantly you get outside of your comfort zone. When you get outside of that comfortable place, you give yourself the opportunity to break free of any limitations and live life to the fullest. It's a feeling that is indescribable, a feeling that will awaken your soul, and once you feel it, you'll never be the same again.

3. Cultivate relationships that make you a better person. One of the phrases my mother and grandmother used to always say was, "Tell me who you're with and I'll tell you who you are." Time is precious, the present moment is a gift, and if you spend it with people who bring you down, you will feel constricted, bitter and hopeless. Surround yourself with those individuals who inspire you, who push you to be the best version of yourself and motivate you to live an authentic life.

4. Find your purpose and live it. There's a voice deep inside you that will guide you along your journey. Be silent enough to really hear what it is trying to tell you. It is there to help you find your purpose, to point you in the right direction and lead you in making life decisions that are best for you. Don't let outside factors deter you from what you know in your heart is true. When you finally hear the message, listen to it and live your life fulfilling it.

5. Forgive others and yourself. There are going to be times when people will disappoint you, hurt you and let you down. Truth is, you too will hurt others and do things that you won't always be proud of. We are all human; we make mistakes and need to try to find it in our hearts to forgive. Forgive them, forgive yourself and understand that holding on to the anger of what was done only poisons YOUR body and soul. When you learn to let go, you take power back into your own hands, living in kindness and love.

6. Wait for true love -- don't settle. As cliché as this one might be, the truth is that it's better to be alone for the right reasons than with someone for the wrong ones. You might feel that you are on a time-crunch to find love, get married or have children, but please don't settle for someone just because society tells you you are getting old. Wait for someone who will be your partner in life, a best friend, someone who respects you, accepts you and loves you for who you are. Know what you are looking for, so that when they walk into your life you will finally understand why it didn't work out with anyone else.

7. Make a life that is yours.  We have the opportunity to live a life that is ours, filled with endless opportunities. We have the chance to experience ANYTHING we want to, as long as we are willing to TRY. Travel, move, laugh, cry, learn, teach, love, inspire, dream. Live a life that you are proud of, one that is worth living, one that you can reflect on when you are old and gray and say... "Wow! That was one hell of a ride." 

I really love a lot of the points she made. These were great reminders for me, and I also think they are great lessons to teach Nolan. I hope each and every one of you has a wonderful New Year full of health, happiness, and love. I can't wait to see what adventures will take place this year.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Design center

Yesterday was the day I was super excited about since we signed the contract to build a house. It was the day we met with the decorator to choose our exterior house colors and the interior choices. We met there at 12. Jeremy worked a half day and my mom came out with us to look after Nolan so that I could still nurse him.

The night before, I did a lot of my own research looking at pictures of other homes by the same builder getting a feel for with features I liked the best. I knew there would be a bunch of choices and I'm not always the most decisive. With that being said, I think we were pretty good about knowing what we wanted. However, at times I was having a hard time visualizing our choices since we were just looking at a small piece of the product. Here's how our design appointment went. It was a really neat experience.

First, we started off with the exterior colors. We needed to choose a brick, shake, and siding color, as well as, a trim color, and an accent color for the door and the shutters. We also picked the grout color and the gutters. Small details I didn't even think about before! 
We chose this color palette and swapped the red accent for more of a charcoal gray. I forgot to get a picture of the brick. 
The kitchen will be gray cabinets with white tile and this granite. 
The carpet we chose looks like this. 
Hardwoods will be like this. 
Tile in our bathroom will be like this with a little mosaic accent in the shower. 
We chose a mirror like this one above and those faucets.

We also chose all the tile in the kids bathrooms, faucets, shower heads, countertops and sinks, cabinet colors, door handles, cabinets in the laundry room, etc. I was amazed by how many decisions we made in one appointment.

We did a find review of everything at the end to confirm all our selections. I think Jeremy and I agreed well on what we each wanted and envisioned. We tried to stick with a classic look that we will like for years to come. 

Last week, we had our technology appointment where we chose the cabling for tv and Internet, wiring for security, and a few other things. That appointment was more Jeremy's networking field so I sat back and listened. 

We have our plan review coming up soon and then I think the building will really start happening, if the rain can stay away for a few days! It's an exciting time, and we can wait to watch the house be built over the next few months! 

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Nolan's 1st Christmas

We didn't have a big tree this year due to selling our house so I tried to get creative with the mini tree. I love how these pictures turned out. I don't need many words for this post because Nolan's expressions in many of these picture say it all. He had a wonderful Christmas surrounded by many who love him. I also really enjoyed having a little one around this year during the holidays. 
Christmas Eve with Grammy 
All smiles with his new phone.
Reading Christmas books 
Posing with Santa. I feel a little badly I didn't get Nolan's picture with Santa. All of this unexpected house buying and selling really distracted me from Christmas this year. Hopefully we can get there next year. 
Checking out the lights!
Since we didn't have a tree, I made him a little area near the fireplace and the mini tree to open presents.
With his presents 
Opening presents 
Nap time before family time 
Opening presents from extended family.
Nolan's the best gift I could have asked for.
This shirt made me laugh.
Christmas 2015 

Nolan with his grandmothers.
Such a happy baby with his Aunt Jessica.
And all smiles with Aunt Riley and Uncle Jonathan.
More pictures with his grandmas 
A present as big as him!
This paper and ribbon was quite exciting.
He would giggle and smile when pulling the ribbon he was holding. 
Snuggles with Jessica.
Still smiling after a busy day!
Three generations 
Last family photo for the evening. We had a wonderful time celebrating Nolan's first Christmas.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Week leading up to Christmas

On Monday, I finished up some Christmas shopping. On Tuesday, Nolan and I went to my friend Morgan's for a Christmas brunch with some of my other old coworkers. I am very thankful for the friendships we've kept even after I stopped teaching. It was a morning full of great food, conversations, and company. 
The pictures a little blurry but the table was set so pretty! Morgan is always a wonderful host. This is one of the things I am looking forward to in our new home. Having a dining room table and bigger area to host guests will be nice! 
That frittata, breakfast casserole, and muffins were amazing.
Yum! I brought mimosas and there were bloody Mary's too. What a wonderful way to celebrate the holidays. I didn't get any pictures of the group or Nolan. I was too busy enjoying this time with my friends that I forgot to take any.
On Tuesday afternoon, my friend Ashely came over for a visit. She also brought me my bridesmaid dress for her upcoming wedding in April that she recently picked up. I love the dress and the color. It fits perfectly too! First time in a few bridesmaids dresses that I actually got the size right! It made it easier this time around since I'm not pregnant. I loved hearing about her wedding plans. I just love that kind of stuff! It's certainly going to be a beautiful wedding in Savannah. 
I've been spending any spare minute during nap time trying to organize and consolidate my stuff. I like to hold onto photos, cards, and other memories but trying to only keep the most important stuff. This is one of the things I like about moving. It motivates me to donate clothes and really clean out things we haven't used in a few years.
I've already got a bunch of boxes and crates ready to go in the garage. During my packing, I've come across some great memories. This is a print out of Jeremy's profile. 
I love coming across things like this. Awesome to see where we started back in 2010. It's still amazing to me that my life today started as a simple online profile and some pictures. I never dreamed I would meet my husband online but I love our online dating success story and the wonderful life and family we have created since then. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

8 months!

Weight/height: we don't have a doctors appointment this month but I would guess 22-23 pounds/28inches. He has been fitting in generally the same size clothes for a little while but is transitioning out of 9 month and into 12-18 month clothes. 

Hair: It is light brown. He still looks bald in pictures but he's got a little more in person. It's getting longer slowly but surely.

Eyes: They are bright blue. He's very alert now and his eyes really show expression. His eyes light up when he sees us or an object he's really curious about. He can see longer distances too. He loves looking at ceiling fans. 

Clothes: mostly 12 month-18 month 

Diapers: size 4. I think we will be in 4 for a while. Our favorite is pampers during the day and huggies overnight with an extra absorbency pad. We were having leaking overnight and a friend suggested the pads.

Sleeping: He does sleep longer stretches usually 12 hours but we still have some nights with some wake ups. Typically we get at least an 8 hour stretch which I think is good and consider sleeping through the night. When he wakes up, I think its mostly due to teething, hunger, or a dirty diaper. He pretty consistently goes to bed between 7:30 and 8. When he wakes up in the morning, he often plays happily in his crib. He prefers sleeping on his belly. Pretty similar to his 7 month update. 

Likes: nursing, car rides, walks in the stroller, the sound machine, Nuk pacifiers, being held in the rocking chair, his activity table, the jumperoo, being in the carrier, being talked to and read to. 

Dislikes: getting his face wiped after eating, being overly tired, the nose frida, being in the pack and play for a longer period of time 

Eating: He is breastfed every four hours during the day, and he still usually nurses once at night. Many times this isn't until about 5am and then he sleeps one more stretch. I've been exclusively breastfeeding. Sometimes he can be distracted nursing, and he's bit me a few times but generally nursing is going well. Feeding times are typically around 8-9am, 12-1pm, 4pm, bedtime, and once overnight. I've been giving his solids 2-3 times a day. Some days he isn't as interested. His favorite food right now is bananas, prunes, and oatmeal cereal. He doesn't like green beans and hasn't been liking butternut squash lately either. 

Milestones/activities: he sits up really well, he makes lots of noises including consonant sounds, he sneezes, and he hiccups. He coos, smiles, and laughs often. He is squealing and blowing air with his mouth. He consistently rolls over both ways but rolls from back to belly more often. Tummy time is much more enjoyable now but he prefers sitting over laying down. He also likes to bat at toys on his jumper and to jump in it. Everything still goes in his mouth lately. He still spits up occasionally but it is much less frequent. His first two bottom teeth are all the way in and his top two are coming in. He is laughing and giggling when you tickle him or laugh a lot. He loves clapping. He is starting to push up with his arms and stick his butt in the air as attempts to crawl but he still doesn't go very far. He can scoot to a toy you put slighty in front of him but isn't totally on the move just yet.

Here are some recent pictures from our monthly pictures shoot. It's hard to believe he is 8 months, and we are about to celebrate his first Christmas!
All smiles! 
Getting so tall!
Close up 
Nolan has brought us lots of joy and happiness these past 8 months. We love watching him grow and develop each day! It's been fun to see his little personality come out. 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Weekend updates

On Friday night, we had a quiet night at home. On Saturday, we got Nolan his big boy car seat. It's hard to believe he's transitioning out of his infant car seat. He still fits the weight and height of the smaller one but it is very heavy to lift him plus the seat. We have an appointment coming up at the car seat safety place to get it checked and installed properly. I thought it was very informative last time so we want to go back and make sure this seat is as safe as possible.
On Saturday, we went to a Christmas party. There was an ornament exchange and delicious drinks and cookies. Amanda and Aaron are always great hosts and have the cutest ideas! Loved this drink table set up shown above.
We got a Star Wars ornament. 
Amanda was so thoughtful and got all the little ones a toy. Here they are opening their presents. Nolan enjoyed playing with the tissue paper and of course his new caterpillar toy. Other boy is named Nolan too so our little guy was baby Nolan for the day. 
Clara and Nolan posed for a few pictures. One of them always seemed to move or look away but we got a few cute ones. We are actually moving into the same school district they live in so Nolan and Clara will be in the same grade at the same school. Pretty cool! They are about 10 week apart.
Posing with the tree! Nolan loved holding onto the tree. 
The rest of the weekend we hung out at home. Nolan loves to dump out all his toys and play with the basket.
Here he is playing with his new toy from aunt Emily and uncle Dennis!
He also took his first ride in a shopping cart in his new cover. Thanks Lauren for the gift!
My friend Jess sent us an adorable ornament too with Nolan's picture and stats that says my first Christmas. I'll get a picture of that soon! We unfortunately don't have a tree to hang it on this year since we were selling our place and our realtors wanted the living room open. I was a bit bummed since it was his first Christmas but we got some pictures in front of other trees so that was good. Tomorrow my sweet boy turns 8 months. Time is flying! 

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