Thursday, February 25, 2016

Small Shop Favorites

It's no secret that I love to shop small. Instagram shops are my weakness and I love supporting momtrepreneurs. I try to keep spending to a minimum, especially with the kid count in our house recently doubling. We saved all of Harrison and Brooke's clothes, but opposite seasons means we definitely need to fill in some wardrobe holes. The warm weather we had over the weekend has me thinking spring and summer, and thankfully some of our favorite shops are thinking that way too. Forget the fact that it's snowing outside today. We do a lot of wardrobe staples from Target and Gap/Old Navy, but the most fun pieces are the ones from small shops. I thought I'd share a few pieces that we are absolutely loving right now.

Rompers on babies. Need I say more? So dang cute. The floral prints from Plain Girl are adorable. I wish they made them in Brooke's size too. 
Graphic tees are my jam. Cute sayings and especially pop culture references speak to me. Harrison and Brooke have a lot of graphic tees, and I have just as many. These bunny ones are great for Easter.

Bunny Tee {Pre-Order}

Charlie and Chomper is a long time favorite of ours. They have so many shirt options, and their newest is a customizable "All you need is love &," shirt. You can make the and anything you want. I love this All you need is love & a dog option. I've seen All you need is love & coffee, All you need is love & bacon, All you need is love & Star Wars. I think All you need is love & twins would be a fun option.

When Brooke was a baby her headband collection consisted of cheaply made ones I purchased in bulk in Amazon. Those have since hit the trash, leavings lack of headbands to fit Scarlett. I love Charlie Cocos nylon bands because they are soft, fit both girls now, and they'll still be able to wear them years from now. They keep their elasticity so well and aren't tight on either girls' head. They have adorable felt bow, great fabric prints, glitter, bows, and even leather. So many great options.

Bummies. Yep. Both babies will be wearing these come summer. The prints are super cute, and the price isn't too bad either. I LOVE these!! 

This leotard isn't available yet, but I'll be impatiently watching Instagram waiting for it to become available. Mermaids are everything. I mean, who doesn't want to be Ariel?

Image of Mermaid leotard

Scarlett will probably start crawling right around the time summer gets here, so I doubt she'll be in too many dresses, but Brooke lives in dresses all summer long. Top Knots and Twirls has some amazing dresses she will absolutely love. Anything twirly and with tulle is perfect for her. 

Savannah Dress

There are a lot of other shops that are getting ready to release their Spring/Summer lines really soon, so I'll be keeping my eyes open for even more great items. The June and January line is one I'm anxiously awaiting. They've been previewing some really fun pieces on their Instagram.

What are some of your favorite small shops? Any must have pieces for summer we should be checking out?

Saturday, February 20, 2016


Life lately. The babies have definitely taken the front seat, but Brooke and Harrison are still very much co captaining this ship. I want to make sure I am documenting the things going on in their lives as well.

They have had some fun activities with school recently. A couple weekends ago, they got to sing on stage during the weekend service at their preschool's church. We are not parishioners at the preschool's sponsor church, so it was fun to attend the service and of course get to see the kids sing. They sang two songs in front of the congregation. Brooke's favorite part was giving a high five to a friend during rehersal. Harrison's favorite part? The coloring and snacks they partook in after their performance was over. 

Last night was Family Fun night at their school. Rob made sure he was off work early, so we strapped a couple babies to us, and made a night of it. Brooke and Harrison got their faces painted, how cool is Harry's dragon?, got baloon animals and jumpbed in bounce houses all night long. I know Brooke didn't play a single carnival game, and Harry on played one or two. We came home with cotton candy, big lolipops, and circus peanuts. Sugar high for sure. 

They also got to experience their first school Valentine's Day party, which they've reenacted every day since.

Both Harrison and Brooke have been doing swim, gymnastics, and dance once a week. We've had quite a few instances where they've asked to skip one class or the other and times when they've straight up refused to participate. We decided maybe they are doing too much, so we cut out gymnastics and swimming for at least this session.

On days where there are no activities or school, we hang out in our jammies all day. There is a lot of coloring and imaginative play that happens. We also watch Cars 2 at least twice a week. 

We've been struggling with H and B making disasterous messes and not cleaning them up. They will take every book off their bookshelves and leave them on the floor of their closet or dump out every puzzle and toy they can get a hold of. Their tablets and smart watches have become rewards for when they keep their closet or the basement clean, so their screen time has been very limited. I've been trying really hard to reinforce the idea of, if you get one thing out you put it away before getting another thing out. It's completely lost on them though, and some days I feel like all I do is tell them to clean up their mess and spend the babies' nap times helping them clean the basement. I know they'll get better about this with age, but I feel like I may lose my damn mind before we make it to that point. I have found that I turn into angry mom when the house is a mess, something that is completley new to me. Not the messy house, but being irrationally angry about the mess. Hormones. :/

I'll talk more about Scarlett and Clark in their monthly update, but I want to bring up sleep because it makes such a difference in my life. For the last week or two, they've been going 5+ hours between feedings at night which means we only wake up once or twice, depending on what time we put them down. It has made such a difference in how my days go. I've been able to find the time to make dinner a couple nights each week, and have found time to vacuum or clean the kitchen on occasion. Naps are still hit and miss. Some days they sleep all day. Other days I wind up wearing someone while I make dinner because they refuse to sleep. 

We are having some spring weather this weekend, and we plan to take full advantage of it. We went for a walk around the neighborhood yesterday and almost blew away. It was so windy, but we had to take advantage. Today my parents are taking the big kids to the park, and I think we'll be skipping naps in order to hang out in the hot tub. That thing has been calling my name for the last 3 months, and now I can finally get in. 

The Walking Dead is back on. Who watched last week's episode? So good right? I think I'm going to have to watch it again tonight. Now that it's back on, our Sunday evenings are again friends, food, and zombie nights, and my favorite night of the week. 

So that's what has been going on around these parts. I hope to get back to more regular blogging soon, but I am making no promises. Sometimes watching Chicago PD during nap time wins out over my desire to pick up my laptop. Happy Saturday!!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Newborn Pictures

Originally we had planned to do a family and newborn session at the same time. I had grand plans of sending out Happy New Year, here are the new babies cards since we didn't do our usual Christmas cards. Between Rob's schedule and the kids' schedule, it would have been summer before we ever got those pictures done. So, maybe I'm exaggerating a little there, but we were having a hard time getting every ones schedule to line up. On top of that, our usual photographer is pregnant and not doing sessions right now. She recommended another photographer here in town, and I am so happy with how the pictures turned out. Get ready for some serious baby spam.

Now comes the hard part, deciding which ones to print and where to hang them. To be honest, we still havent printed any from H and B's baby session. Hanging pictures in our last house seemed rather pointless since it was a rental. Maybe we'll just print them all and make a baby shrine. I'm only kind of kidding.

All pictures property of Natalie Joy Photography

Monday, February 1, 2016

Scarlett and Clark - One Month

I'm pretty sure I'll say this every month, but I can't believe these babies are a month old already. The last month has flown by in a sleep deprived haze. I really can't complain too much about the lack of sleep though. Both Scarlett and Clark are very good about waking up, nursing, tolerating a diaper change or two, and then going back to sleep. Yes we've had a few sleepless nights, but they definitely understand when night and day are. They will both usually give us one 4 hour stretch at night, unfortunately it's not always the same 4 hour stretch. Sometimes, like last night, we get lucky though and enjoy a solid 3 hours of uninterrupted sleep. We do wake one of them to eat if the other is up, as long as it's close to the 3 hour mark. They both sleep in Graco loungers, like a rock and play, next to our bed. Occasionally if someone is extra fussy and needs some snuggles or an extra nursing session, I'll pull them into bed with me. We exclusively coslept with Harrison and Brooke, but are trying to not have to go the sleep training route with S and C like we did with H and B, so minimal time slepnt sleeping in our bed.


Little miss is usually the one who needs extra snuggles at night, She would gladly snuggle up to a warm body all night. She loves taking cat naps while curled up on some one's chest or in their arms, especially during the evening hours. She likes to nurse every 2-3 hours and will gladly take a 4 ounce bottle of pumped milk if given the chance. She doesn't burp easily, and therefore seems to have issues with a gassy tummy. She doesn't spit up often, but when she does, it's a whole lot. She has definitely covered me, and her, and our bed, and the carpet with 2+ ounces of milk on a few occasions.She will gladly take a pacifier, but it has to be the soothie she got from the hospital. We've tried a few other brands/shapes of paci, and she's not a fan of them. She is a fan of her finger though, so we've been leaving her hands free of mittens more often lately.

If she can't be held, she like to nap in the Sungabunny swing. She likes it on the lowest motion setting and with music playing. When we put her in the swing awake, she's usually out within 5 minutes. We've started an eat, play, sleep schedule. She is doing well with it, but sometimes can't be bothered with the actual play part. When she does play, she likes to have time on one of the play pats or in her bouncy seat. She thinks it's really cool when her brother and sister bring her their toys to check out. She's been hit and miss on tummy time. Sometimes she loves it, but lots of times there is crying involved. She does have great head control and is already rolling over from her tummy to back on a regular basis.

She had her one month check up today and the doctor said she is growing great and looks very healthy. She weighed in at 8lbs8oz, up from 6lbs2oz and her one week appointment, and is measuring 20.75". Her head circumference is 37.5 cm which is in the 75th percentile, but somehow all of her newborn headbands are too big. She has a pretty extensive case of baby acne, but it doesn't go any further than her face and head. Between the baby acne and her talon like nails, she has red marks all over her face all of the time.

She started out with a hate/hate relationship with her car seat, but has now decided as long as she's moving, it's ok to be strapped in. Good thing too, because they get carted around a lot. The grocery store, target, H and B's school, The Y, she and her brother have seen a lot for only being a month old. I guess that's how it goes when you have older siblings.


Mr. Cheeks! This boy is too much and reminds us so much of Harrison when we look at him. Personality wise though, he couldn't be more different. Clark is so laid back! Most of the time he's happy to be wherever we put him down. The motor on his swing went out, and he couldn't have cared less. He was happy to sit/sleep in a non moving swing and watch the birds spin round until he finally dozed off. He'll happily sleep in a bouncy seat or propped up in their nursing pillow. When it comes to play time he will lay on a play mat for 20+ minutes happily watching what's going on around him. He's tolerant of tummy time, and is starting to get some neck strength. Most of the time he only cries if he's hungry or during a diaper change, he really dislikes them.

He is a champion nurser, just like his sis, and is just as good at burping as he is at nursing, not at all like his sis. He usually gets burped at least 3 times per feeding. He swallows a lot of air during let down, but thankfully burps it right back up. Very rarely does he even spit up. With the exception of a couple nights where he has wanted to cluster feed from 6pm until bedtime, he's content to go 3 hours between feedings. he often gets bumped up to 2 hours between since I most always tandem nurse them in order to keep them on the same schedule. He like his soothie pacifier from the hospital, and has recently started using it a lot at night of he isn't fully asleep when we put him down. The whole put your baby down drowsy but awake thing, equates to me replacing a pacifier 5 times before he's finally out.

He also got a great report from his one month check up. Our big man is weighing in at 10lbs1oz, up from 7lbs5oz at his one week. He's 22" long and has a head circumference of 37 cm. I'm not sure how Scarlett is beating him out on head circumference, but she is.

He likes his car seat, and he too has been all over with us. He, and his sister, have been away from mom 3 times so far, and all for short times. Two times they hung out with Rob while I had some H and B time, and one time he held down the house with Grandma and Grandpa, plus his siblings. He's happy to hang with anyone.

Both Scarlett and Clark

  • lost their umbilical cord during the third week
  • have taken a couple baths with their big brother and sister, and one just the two of them
  • seem to be developing a minor case of cradle cap
  • like to be swaddled in a sleep sack at night
  • enjoy pats on their butt to help them get to sleep, Scarlett especially
  • don't have an established bedtime yet. Sometimes they're in bed at 9 and other times it's 12 before we lay them down in their loungers
  • are out of newborn sleep and plays and into 0-3 months/3 months. They can still wear newborn onesies, but even those are starting to get short.
  • are still wearing newborn diapers, and going through 10+ diapers each per day.

We have had such an amazing first month with these two, and while it's definitely been a big transition, it hasn't been nearly as difficult as I anticipated. It's a lot of work juggling the newborn and preschooler schedules, but I have a feeling we'll be settling into a more solid routine over the next month or two. I can't wait to see how they grow and develop, and how their big brother and sister react to the changes. We are so blessed, and so busy. Happy one month Scarlett and Clark!!