Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Favorite baby girl items

I've been meaning to do a post about favorite baby girl things! My friend, Laurel, recently shared Little Poppy's website with me. It's a monthly bow subscription where they send you three bows a month for $11.99. If you had a girl second like me, it's easy to forget about bows and accessories! I love this idea so that we have a new bow that's seasonal each month. There was a 50% off coupon code on their Facebook page too for the first month too. Check it out here. Bow subscription
I love these Carter's onesies to pair with patterns, prints, or floral pants. The bow and lace makes it a little more feminine than a white onesie. Photo credit Carter's website. Onesies
These Freshly Picked moccasins are a bit pricey but I hear they have good sales! Love the colors and the patterns, and they also seem to stay on their feet pretty well. Moccasins

These little shoes a friend recommended as well. Love the neutral colors. I've noticed many of the Stride Rite baby girl shoes can be such bright colors. I typically prefer shoes to be more neutral so they are more versatile with many outfits. Photo credit from Piper Finn's website. baby shoes

Nap time is over. I'll keep adding to this soon!

My Body Isn't What It Used to Be

This week I came across this article called My Body Isn't What It Used to Be. I wanted to share it as this is something I've noticed a lot lately. Click here to read it. Recently, I've been cleaning out my closet when I get a spare moment. Having been pregnant twice in the past two and a half years, many of my clothes have gone unworn. I haven't worn regular pants that button many times since 2014. I was just getting back into my pre pregnancy clothes last year about 6 months post partum, and I found myself pregnant and growing a belly for a second time. While this is part of the process, and I think pregnancy is such a beautiful thing, there are still days where I miss my pre Mom body. That one that felt good in a skinny pair of jeans, that exercised more regularly, and that looked refreshed after a full nights sleep. 

Before having kids, I had time to think about what I was wearing, to dry my hair everyday, to put on make up uninterrupted, and to feel good about myself. Since becoming a Mom for a second time, I find myself getting interrupted during these simple tasks that once seemed easy. I often look in the mirror and see someone that is tired, lacking make up, and with a ponytail instead of my hair down. Life is different now, and while I still try and keep up to the same standards for myself that I used to have, the reality is that my body and myself is different. Above all those things, I am a Mom. I have changed, and I can't expect all those other things to remain the same.

This article above inspired this post. My favorite part was this. "My body grew them, nourished them, delivered them, nursed them, held them. Why shouldn't it show signs of that? My body is the physical reminder for the work it has done and in the end, I think that's pretty miraculous." After reading that, it really made me realize, it's okay for our bodies to show signs of change. What my body has done over the past two years is more than I ever could have imagined.

The next part I loved said this. "There are days I wish I could return to the body I once had, but I'd never trade it for the lessons I've learned, the children I've created, the life I lead now." I couldn't agree more. Another part from the article I liked was the part that said, "What a gift it is to find our strength in our new identities." I love that. So next time that pair of jeans doesn't fit or those old bras and bathing suits are too small, remember the reasoning behind that and how special these changes really are. 

Monday, January 30, 2017

We're getting a nephew!

We're excited to announce the Ciak family is growing! It's a BOY! Congrats Riley and Jonathan! We can't wait to meet our newest nephew!
He or she what will baby Ciak be?
The strawberry cake was a bit confusing but the blue beads in the middle indicate boy! 
We dressed in pink and blue! 
Everyday Nolan seems less like a baby and more like a boy! He keeps us laughing and smiling constantly. 
This little girl is a bit under the weather and getting big too!
Daddy and his daughter 
Uncle Jonathan and Dad to be with his niece and nephew! Coming 8/1/2017 there will be another little one! Can't wait!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Cabin weekend

Our cabin 
Cute porch but a bit chilly to be outside.
Living room 
Indoor hot tub

We had a bit of a cabin weekend fail. The cabin was cute but things just didn't go as planned. I think I thought it was going to be a break just having Eliza and leaving Nolan with his Grammy but Eliza just isn't as go with the flow as Nolan was as a baby. She also has been feeling a bit under the weather. 

She cried much of the car ride there to the point that we stopped to calm her down. When we tried going in the hot tub she cried. Poor little girl. It makes me sad when she's sad. 

Nolan had a blast with Grammy. I missed him though!
Reading with Grammy
She gave Grammy a few smiles.

We will have to try another weekend away another time! Thanks to my mother in law for keeping my dog too!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Preschool tour

On Sunday, we went to our first preschool tour. It's hard to believe they are already taking applications for August 2017. This one has a two year old program two days a week that a few of my friends send their children too. I figured it was a good place to start looking.

It was really interesting to me to be back in a classroom but on the parent side of things. I will say it made me miss teaching just a little but I really enjoyed seeing the classroom and hearing the teacher talk about her routines each day. I was definitely impressed but I left the tour not feeling ready to send him. People ask often if I plan to send him to two year old preschool, and this confirmed that I will likely wait until he is 3.

Maybe it is because I have a teaching background but the thought of sending him already made me a bit sad to think about. I love getting to teach him myself and be with him everyday. I'm fortunate to be at home with him, and I think I want that time. He's going to be in school from the time he is 3 until he's 18 plus college.  I also wasn't quite ready to add on that monthly expense for school. We've be able to do lots of free activities like story time at the library, the block party at the library, play dates with friends, and much more. He's getting lots of socialization with the neighborhood kids alone. I fully support anyone who sends their little ones at two and I could see myself maybe sending Eliza earlier if Nolan is going at 3 but right now, staying home with my babies is what is working for us.

I am so glad we went though and that we got an idea of what preschools have to offer. I learned about how drop off and pick up works, how long they play outside, what types of lesson plans they do, what goals they have for the kids, and much more. 
This was the three year old chimps classroom. Each classroom has an animal theme.
This was a two year old classroom. It had a little changing room as well since they are mostly still in diapers. The toys were less readily available as I'm sure the two year olds would make a big mess! All in all, it was an educational experience, and I look forward to seeing what more schools have to offer.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Nolan 21 month update

Weight/height: about 30lbs. Not sure his height. He was 2 ft 7in at his 18 month appointment 

Hair: It light brown with a hint of blonde when the sun hits it 

Eyes: They are light blue.

Clothes: 24 months or 2T

Diapers: size 5

Sleeping: Nolan is a great sleeper and napper. He has gone through phases where he cried a little before naps but lately he has been going in his crib and falling asleep without crying. We typically read stories and rock in the gliding chair until he's rubbing his eyes and sleepy. After that he usually falls asleep on his belly but moves around a lot. He sleep cries occasionally but usually puts himself back to sleep. He typically sleeps 8:30pm-8:30am with a 1.5-2.5 hour afternoon nap around 1-3 or 2-4.  

Likes: reading (Pete the Cat, the Llama Llama books, and his new Golden Books are favorites lately), puzzles (his ABC Melissa and Doug one is a favorite), playing with his play kitchen, Sesame Street stuffed animals, car rides, stroller rides, watching a few shows (Sesame Street, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, and Curious George) feeding himself, putting his clothes in the laundry, playing outside with the neighborhood kids, bubbles and bubble baths, being carried especially by me 

Dislikes: getting his face or hands cleaned after eating, getting dressed/a diaper change while he's in middle of playing, putting shoes on, turning the tv off, when other kids or adult touch or take his toys, loud noises 

Eating: he's generally still a very good eater. He has gotten pickier but usually will try what we are eating for dinner. Yogurt is a breakfast favorite as well as eggs. He likes pierogies for lunch or deli meat and cheese. Peanut butter crackers, goldfish, and graham crackers are his favorite snacks. He typically likes fruit and loves frozen mixed veggies especially lima beans. White chicken chili has been his favorite dinner recently. 

Milestones/activities: He is talking more and more everyday. He can identify many letters when you ask him to bring them to you from his puzzle. We work on them with flash cards too and he knows most words that go with each letter on the letter card. He can say up to three words in a row but typically says two words. He's learning to be very helpful. (Throws away trash, puts his clothes in the laundry, takes off his own socks, brings me a burp cloth, paci, or toy for his sister). We work on his manners, and he can say please, thank you, and you're welcome. He has some melt downs and can say no often but it's not too bad. 

Today also marks 21 months of breastfeeding for me! Hard to believe it's been that long already. Sometimes I forget life before nursing. It's become such a part of me. I feel fortunate my body has been able to continue as I know many have challenges. I had my share of breastfeeding difficulties in the beginning with Nolan but this time around with Eliza has been much easier. It's still a big commitment but it works for our lifestyle. My goal is to nurse Eliza until her birthday in September. 

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Weekly update

On Monday, we had a nice day at home after a busy weekend. Nolan has been doing more pretend okay which is fun to watch.
Feeding Curious George
Tuesday we went to the "block" party at the library. 
He searched for objects in the clouds.
We did puzzles and played in the children's area.
It's getting easier taking them both out myself now that Nolan is a bit more independent and Eliza is happier and less fussy.
Happy to be outside in 70 degree weather in January. We had a record 8 days in a row of 70s! Definitely could get used to this and makes me excited for spring and summer. It will be my first summer in three years that I won't be pregnant or recovering from having a baby. I'm looking forward to being able to swim with them and be outside.
She's using her hands a lot more to interact with toys and also kicking her feet often. She's become much more active and likes to squeal and talk.
Enjoying a walk after visiting Emily and new baby Phoebe. Will take pictures next time since the baby was asleep in her bassinet.
I love that he still snuggles and likes to fall asleep on me. I know I am going to miss this.
He still loves kissing his sister and is very sweet to her. I'm sure that will change once she starts moving and taking his toys.
Made in Georgia 
Nolan on the left and Eliza on the right. Very thankful for our life in Georgia! More soon!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Working/Stay at Mom's perspectives

Recently a friend shared an article with me that I really enjoyed and wanted to share. It's a letter from a stay at home mom to a working mom as well as a letter from a working mom to a stay at home mom. I thought it was really neat to see the perspectives from each side. Click here to read it.

The article really pointed out how neither being a working mom or a stay at home mom is an easy decision and that both types of Moms make sacrifices for their families. 

This part really stuck with me.

"I guess I just wanted to let you know that I see you, and I recognize the sacrifices you’re making for your family. It’s easy for me to focus on the highlights of your life—the things I’m personally missing out on—but I know that’s not the full picture.

The truth is, neither of our lives is perfect or easy, but they’re both pretty dang awesome—just in slightly different ways.

I see you, and I support you. Keep it up, girl!"

Before I became a Mom I didn't realize how awesome it was and also how hard it can be. I think it's so important that we support each other in this journey of raising children. Even though our situations might be different, we all share the common goal of raising happy, healthy, loving, compassionate little ones. I definitely see all these different Moms out there, and I support you too!

MLK day fun

MLK day was a great day. I loved having the neighborhood children off from school and some of the parents off from work to honor an important person. Jeremy had to work but we still had a good time. The hill next to our house has become the new place to play. It's amazing how much fun the kids have sliding down the hill on a cardboard box. Nolan loves going down with the older girls and with me. That smile and his giggles are the best. We are all loving this 70 degree weather in January too. Every winter I am always reminded how thankful I am to have moved south.
Haven and Nolan sliding down the hill.
Haven and Sam helping him ride a scooter.
Best mother's helpers around!
These sweet girls love to hold our little ones. Eliza is like their real life doll!
Eliza and her neighbor Maximo having a play date while the older kids play! He's about 5 weeks younger than her. They will be in the same grade together once they are in Kindergarten!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Weekend updates

The weather was beautiful this weekend! Only in GA do you have a snow day earlier in the week and a 70 degree day later in the week! After being sick last weekend, and it being icy, it felt great to be outside with our neighbors. 

Friday night we spent in the cul de sac. 
Love how many kids are always out playing! On Saturday our neighbor brought out the bounce house. Nolan's doing much better with it. He loves it!
Such a big boy.
So fun!
In the afternoon, we took Nolan to see the Sesame Street Live Pop Up Tour. It was a free event at a mall near us. 

Nolan loves all the Sesame Street books and puzzles.
Such a nice activity that he really enjoyed.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Weekly activities

Last Sunday, my best friend from college and her husband became parents to this beautiful baby girl! Her name is Caylan Emery and she's 7lbs 3oz! I am so happy for them and their families. 
Jess, Kyle, and Caylan ready to go home. I love that we are both Moms now and can share this journey together with our girls being just 4 months apart.

On Monday, we had play group. I forgot to take any pictures. I had too much fun catching up with all the other Moms after the holidays. It was a big group this week. 5 moms and 7 little ones. Nolan is the oldest at 20 months and Eliza is the youngest with all the other kids in between! Very thankful for all these moms and their little ones.
Nolan spent a lot of time reading his new Golden Books from his great grandma. He is still such a reader, and I love it!
Eliza had lots of play time on her activity mat. She hasn't been rolling over as much this week but she definitely can do it both ways if she wants to.

On Tuesday night, I went out with three friends that we've been doing Tuesday night happy hours for years. Ashley is moving so this was her going away dinner. I was glad I could go. Jeremy and my mother in law watched the little ones. They had them both bathed and ready for bed when I got home. I just got to do the nursing and the bedtime stories which is always my favorite part of our bedtime routine.

Wednesday was a quiet day at home. We went to the park in the early evening. It has new equipment which was fun to check out. Love this swing where you can swing with your child. I had never seen this before.
Swinging with both my little ones.
On Thursday, I brought Liz dinner and got to meet baby Noelle! She's adorable and so cuddly. Eliza looks so big!
Liz, Eliza, and Micah. Nolan loves saying his name and playing with him! It's really sweet. They've been friends since Nolan was just a few months old.
Play time! It's so nice that Liz and I both have a little boy and a little girl now. We are in the same boat figuring out this two child thing!
On Friday, we stayed home. These two looked pretty adorable in their shirts a friend gave us. I really hope they are always this sweet to each other! 
Kisses and hand holding! Love these two.

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