Beautiful Weekend in the Midwest

I had to work Saturday, so I didn’t get to spend that day with Peyton, but she had a blast with her Mama. We had some company stay the weekend, in the form of Kim’s step-sister and nephew. G is a little older than Peyton, but they played together just fine!

On Saturday afternoon, Kim took them all to Paradise Park. Its a great place for families to go for fun. Think Chuck-E-Cheez but cooler. We went there for the first time a few months ago with Peyton for my company family picnic. Kim has fell in love with it ever since. They have an arcade, bumper cars, a maze, and all sorts of concessions. I really enjoy the fact that they have a play place specifically for children who are not yet walking, or just learning to walk. 
This room if full of nothing but mats upon mats. Building blocks and a ball pit for the kids to play with. From what I hear, Peyton may still be too small to really enjoy it, but she climbed on things and knocked things over as you can see. 

There are all sorts of rooms in this Children’s Edutainment Center. This is the ‘dollhouse’ room. Its made up of all these wooden dollhouses and little pieces to play with. I didn’t take Peyton in that room the first time we had visited because I wasn’t sure the purpose for someone so little. It looks like its mostly just wooden blocks. I am sure she simply chewed on them.
That’s the other thing I love about this place. You can let your kid put anything in their mouth and when they are done, you put them up on a shelf to be cleaned for the next kid’s grubby hands and mouth. They are very sanitary conscious.

After the Paradise Park adventure, I hear the moms put the kids down for a nap and had a little time to relax. I got home after work and we had ribs for dinner, with baked potatoes and the fixins. I don’t care for spinach, but while feeding Peyton, I thought I might give her a little taste. She ate the crap out of it! After three small helpings, Kim told me to stop feeding it to her, because it would make her poop. And boy did it! The next morning, she had leafy green poop. Ridiculous!
In the morning, she and her cousin G played in the “Octagon” and watched Yo Gabba Gabba on Netflix. She has just now mastered the art of drinking out of a sippy cup, so she was very happy to drink all the Apple Juice that Mommy would give her!
When G and his mom went home Sunday morning, Peyton and I chilled out until the rain and the cold subsided. Then suddenly, it was a beautiful day! So, we went back to the park. Brace yourselves for the cuteness that is my daughter at the park. For the first time in the baby swing. She wouldn’t hold onto the chains on the side, so she kept toppling forward, but otherwise, she had a blast!

After the swing got old and the park started filling up with other people (Mommy is a bit stranger danger obsessed for herself. It’s an odd quirk. Can’t help it.) We moved back to the garden where we played last time and again, she was just as fascinated with the metal bench as she was before.

I can’t believe her hair is getting so thick and so light! She is so expressive and so independent  I still can’t believe she will be a year old in approximately 5 weeks! Anyway, after the park we went to the grocery store so I could get some quarters for the laundry. I hate having to do the laundry in the facility at the apartment complex! I swear they eat my money 95% of the time. 

She sure does love her Apple Juice and this is another sippy cup. She’s in love with her sippy cups and it makes transitioning away from formula so much easier. She is dependent on her bottle in some cases. Especially when we put her down for naps or bedtime, but for the most part, she is getting to eat puree or real food any other time of the day. 
Anyway, that was our weekend. We had a nice beautiful weather filled weekend. We spent time with family and hung out. We drove around in our new car and had a blast playing in the weather. I do so love the time I get to spend with her! At the end of this week, we will be making the 2 and half hour trip to my parents’ house and spending time with all our family on my side! 
They haven’t seen Peyton since she was approximately 6 months or so. Everyone is so excited to see her and I am excited to visit with them for the four days we will be there!
Take Care ❤
Rachael

Birthday Party Planning for Procrastinating Mommy

Time snuck up on me! I swear, suddenly, my kid will be a year old in less than 6 weeks. How the hell did that happen?

This is not exactly abnormal to other parts of my life. I am pretty terrible about time management and remembering things. I have been looking forward to this birthday for months, and just now realized I have nothing really started. I have no decorations, no invites and no place to have this party!

With all the overtime I have been working this month, I haven’t had time to sit down with Kim either and go over what we want to do for the party. We have a theme and that’s about it. I do have a lot of inspiration and I am sure to try and use as many of them as possible.

Right now, I know that I am going to attempt to make my own invitations. I found these really cute tickets on Etsy and I think I want to try and make something similar. But for the invitations, I am looking at something like these that I also found on Etsy in this shop. Though I may end up buying the digital for it and printing to my hearts content. Especially if I get too behind and procrastinate too long.

I know of two things I am definitely shooting for doing for this party. I want to have a table set up with the book “Happy Birthday To You” and have guests write little notes to her in it. I have a journal that I have been keeping hand written letters to Peyton since before she was born. I have also decided that I will pass that around to all her immediate family (Aunts, Uncles, Grandmas and Grandpas) and have them write her a letter for her first birthday.

We have been taking weekly pictures of Peyton since she was born. I am going to be putting those on display. I think I will make a banner like this mother did on a blog I found.

Of course none of this is final, because Kim and I haven’t actually sat down and looked at things together. But, I do have a girl at work making her a cake for her to smash into. We need to come up with cake and food for everyone else at the party. I am using this cake as inspiration for her smash cake. We won’t have the exact same cake, but this is the color scheme and design look I am going for.

I so want her to wear something super cute on her birthday. I am toying around with two ideas. I don’t think this dress is going to be doable, because I don’t have a sewing machine or sewing skills, but its adorable! I might be able to ask the woman who made her Halloween costume to make it for me, but I don’t know if that’s too much to ask! I do so love it! The onesie and tutu are definitely doable. I can order the onesie from Etsy. I freaking love Etsy. Peyton already has a red tutu like this.

So now we need to do these things:

  • Find a place to have this party.
  • Make/Get Invitations and mail them.
  • Get decorations.
  • Get her something to wear
  • Figure out food!
  • Figure out the cakes
So, yes, I sort of used this post to make a list of things I need to remember to do. Oy. 6 weeks. I CANNOT BELIEVE IT. Our baby girl is just getting bigger and bigger and its ridiculous!
Take Care ❤
Rachael

Perfect Weekend with Peyton

I have been working a ton of overtime this month. January is our busiest month and overtime is usually mandatory. But, since my promotion last month, I have the opportunity to put lots of moolah in my pocket with extra overtime. So, I have been working 12 hour days and raking in the money. This is not only because Peyton’s birthday is coming up, but Kim’s is also coming up, as well as we just got a new car loan approved.

So, Saturday was the first real day off I had in a long time and I decided to use it to spend some time with my favorite gal! Peyton and I let her Mama sleep in and we tip toed out of the apartment for some adventures in our new car and around the town.

We found ourselves at the library. Peyton’s first trip to the library was when she was a few weeks old. So this was her first REAL trip to the library. She and I walked into the library and she just squeaked. Our little one really does love books. So, we headed to the board books section and sat on the floor. We had quite a time picking out books and reading them. She just sat in my lap and I read the books to her. It was the most precious thing I have ever experienced.

She tried to read herself.
Then she decided she needed 7 more books from the shelf.

In the end, we checked out a few books that she could read in the car. Last thing I need is for her to put the books in her toy box and I will forget to take them back. So, her library books will stay in the car. They keep her quiet back there and she enjoys chewing on them. I can’t imagine its the most sanitary of things, but what are mothers supposed to do. Board books are for babies. Babies chew on things. Oh. Well.

After the library, we went to the park. Saturday was a beautiful day and Mommy is on a diet and weight loss plan. So, walking around the park was a great stroke of genius. She’s too small still to sit in the baby swing, because it has not straps to hold her in and I am afraid she’s too top heavy to keep herself in it. So, instead, we went to a pretty garden area and she played on a bench.

Oh, to be a young kid again, so that a metal bench would be so amusing. I swear, we sat there on that bench, playing and investigating every piece of it for at least 45 minutes. I turned Pandora on my phone and we listened to the music. She danced and played on that bench, while Mommy watched.

I can’t believe our little one is almost a year old. In 6 weeks, she will be 1 year old. I just don’t believe it. She is learning new things every day and she is doing new things every day. Her little personality is just growing and evolving. I can’t to see what this tiny person becomes when she is older. She is my very heart. I am so glad I got to spend this weekend with her!!
Take Care ❤
Rachael

Planning a Birthday Party for Peyton

My goodness, our baby will be a year old soon! In less than 2 months actually. I have yet to get all the details together like I would prefer, but we have a theme and we have ideas. I haven’t really been able to sit down with Kim and talk about concrete ideas, so I have just been pinning stuff on Pintrest like crazy and getting inspiration.

Her first year has been full of all sorts of things. Ever changing to her tastes. The one thing that never changed this year was her love for being read to. I admit, I didn’t get much time to do that now that I am back at work and I am so tired when I get home. I need to make a better effort to do this. However, the theme of her first year is Dr. Seuss.

She loves all her board books and giggles at all the words. She loves to turn the pages of the book and of course gnaw on them when Mommy isn’t looking. We are currently working on a collection of Dr. Seuss board books and this just makes sense to be the theme of her birthday party.

I found this awesome site for inspiration and have been pinning things for days. I have nailed down color scheme (which for some reason, I was unaware that sky blue was involved until recently), food ideas, and a possible venue. I plan on making the invitations myself, because I am so savvy with Photoshop and I am excited about the Dr. Seuss themed food I have in my head. I am hoping this will be a fun and exciting party.

At some point, Kim and I will nail down the details and get things in order. However, we just got a brand new car last night, since ours was old and pretty junky. Here’s to a new year, new car, and new one year old KID! I will post pictures of some of my ideas when I am not at work and have access to Pintrest.

Take Care ❤
Rachael

I Never Thought I Would Say This ….

I’m an advocate for crying it out.

Shoot me now. When I was pregnant, I could not fathom the idea of letting our kid cry in a room with the door shut. Not going to the rescue with hugs and cuddles. Kim and I very much disagreed on this. She wanted the ‘self-soothe’ method and I did not.

When we brought Peyton home 10 months ago, she was a great sleeper, as all newborns are. She slept anywhere and all the time. The first month of Peyton’s life was a piece of cake. I could curl her up in my lap, feed her a bottle and sleep while I did it. When she got bigger, she was not as comfortable to get up in the middle of the night and be poked in the eye with a bottle as Mommy fell asleep.

Our night routine back then was put Peyton to bed as late as possible, so she will sleep as late as possible. Except, no matter what time we put her down, she was up again every four hours. When she was teething, she was up every hour. At the time, she slept in our room. We spent a lot of time fighting with her to even go to sleep at the start of bedtime.

We rocked her and patted her butt. We would stand over the play yard and take turns patting her butt for hours until she was asleep. Only, when we stopped, she woke up! It was a battle we just couldn’t win. When she would finally go to sleep and we could tiptoe out, she was up again at the slightest noise, so getting into bed for us was a Mission Impossible maneuver most nights. This only escalated when she turned 4 months old, during the ‘sleep regression’ phase of her life. That was a nightmare.

I don’t really remember how old Peyton was when we moved her to her own room. We moved her play yard into the second bedroom. I believe she was about 7 or 8 months old. It feels like much longer though. Anyway, from day one, Kim and I made a plan. I was so not ready for this plan. Up until that night, we had tried the ‘cry-it-out’ method and Kim literally had to hold me down so that I wouldn’t go in there and comfort her. I admit, eventually, Peyton went to sleep. No harm done.

However, when we moved her into her own room, I felt compelled again, to check on her. So, we decided that when we shut the door at night, we were not to open it again until the morning. That first night, broke my heart. She could stand up in her play yard by then, so she is screaming and I am picturing her standing up, holding on to the sides of the play yard just tears streaming down her little cheeks.

Its been a long time since that first night and things are so much better. We were blessed with a baby who was so easy to sleep train. I am thankful for this, because frankly, its the hardest part of being a mom that I have had to endure so far. I am sure we will go through this again when she is a toddler and can get out of the bed.

However, now, we have all gotten into a nice routine at night and she knows what it is. It has evolved into something we do all the time and works perfectly for us. Like I mentioned before, the easiest way to teach a baby is repetition and to do everything exactly the same way each time.

So, at 8PM we all climb into her mommies’ bed and play peek-a-boo in the curtains and tickle and read a book and do all the fun things that Mommy Time is reserved for. Then at 8:30AM we make a bottle, give goodnight kisses, put on a clean diaper and lay her in the play yard.

I make her a full 9 oz bottle and that is what she gets through the night. I lay her in the play yard, cover her up, give her kisses and turn on her music box. I hand her the bottle and say “Goodnight, baby. I love you. Sweet Dreams.” I turn off the light and shut the door. From that moment on, we don’t open the door until I get up in the morning.

I might go in long enough to make sure she is covered up before I go to sleep or isn’t tangled up in her blankets, but for the most part, we have done this same routine for the last 2 months and it works. Now, she goes down, for the most part, without much fuss. This includes naps, from what I hear (I work during the day, so Kim takes that role).

So – after all that rambling, the simple point is this. Crying it out worked for us. Its hard and I feel like a terrible Mommy letting her stay in there in cry. But, sometimes, its best for the whole family. We sleep better at night and so does she. Our pediatrician already said she doesn’t NEED those calories at night because she’s already well above average for her age in height and weight. Its simply a habit that needed breaking.

For those of you wondering if crying it out is right for you, its a personal decision and one I still struggle with. Yes, it works. I know it works. I have seen it work. But every baby is different. Every family is different. I am simply an advocate because it worked so well for us.

Take Care ❤
Rachael