Monday, September 23, 2013

Party time!

Leila is officially a three year old!

This year's party was all about Leila spending time with her friends. We invited a few friends (and family members, of course) to our favorite local park. A very low key, low stress party. Certainly not Pinterest worthy, and nobody cared, not even me.

The kids played, ate pizza, played, ate cake, played, and then had a meltdown. Typical three year old stuff.

And this...well, let's just say it scared the crap out of one dad-to-be.

Terrifying, hilarious, and adorable at the same time.

Oh, and this guy, he just about ruined the party when he flew off to Never Land at the end of the evening. (Whoops.) Leila was heard screaming, "That was my favorite balloon of my birthday ever!", and "It's NOT OKAY!", and possibly even, "It's my party and I'll cry if I want to." (Okay, not really.)

Apparently, Aunt Val said the magic words. She promised to search all night and that she'd call Jake if she couldn't find him. I have a very good feeling she found him. (Best sister ever!)

Leila is officially THREE! Or as those of us with three year old girls like to call it...a threenager.  (Wish me luck!)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

THREE cheers for Leila!

Today you are three. 

Three years ago, I held you for the very first time. Three years ago, our lives were changed forever. Three years ago, I was the one receiving a gift.

Today you are three. You will be showered with attention, hugs, and gifts from the people who love you. You deserve every smile, every laugh, and every second of happiness, as you bring joy to so many.

Your friendliness does not go unnoticed. Your little voice gets heard. Your energy is contagious. 

People love to be around you. I love to be around you. This has not changed in three years.

Today you are three. No longer my baby, but still my favorite girl, and always my only Leila.

Happy birthday! I love you! 

Love, Mommy

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Countdown to THREE! {Leila can...}

Leila amazes me with what she know and what she can do. Although she's almost THREE, I still see her as a toddler. She has changed so much this year!

Leila can climb almost anything, and she'll try to also! She's got pretty good balance too and loves walking on curbs. She can swing on the big kid swing, run, hop with two feet, throw a ball, and dance like a maniac. 

Leila can recognize some of the letters in her name and a few in our names, as well as some random numbers. She will attempt to write it too (see the green writing on the top corner of the second picture). She blew Jeff away when her little lines actually formed a "M" for Mommy the other day!

She can count to 14 most days then skips to 18, 19, 20. She's so proud of herself when she does.

Leila can draw a pretty decent stick figure if she wants to. Her favorite person to draw is Peter Pan, of course.

She can make her brother laugh by simply looking at him the right way. Really, she can make everybody laugh! When she gets a compliment on her sunglasses she'll flip them up and give the biggest smile. Her hand gestures are funny in them self, let alone the grown up sounding words that come with them. "Great idea", "This is gonna be so exciting!", and "I can't do anything." always crack me up.

Leila can make a friend out of anybody, even if he's imaginary. (Think Peter Pan and Elmo).

She can eat with a fork and spoon but prefers her fingers every time. She drinks out of a "big girl cup" most of the time and even helps butter her toast. 

Leila can pick out her own clothes and does her best to match. She can finally put on her own underwear and pants. She can put on most pairs of shoes but still sometimes puts them on the wrong feet.

Leila can give the best hugs. She can be sweet and sassy, needy and independent...just like a typical THREE year old.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Countdown to THREE {Leila's personality}

There is no doubt about it, Leila is almost three. One minute she's happy and carefree, and the next she's stomping her foot and coming up with an excuse why she can't to do something. Three minutes later she's forgotten her tantrum and is showing off her independence. In the next ten minutes she'll be bossing you around, squealing, playing pretend, and talking, talking, talking.

She's just about the friendliest kid I know. She'll approach any child, calling them her "friend", and then is disappointed when they are shy or not as friendly as her. On the other hand, I catch her playing by herself at the park and she's perfectly content.

Ask her what her name is and she'll tell you Tinker Bell. Her imagination is out of this world. Just don't try to imagine things for her because she's quick to disagree with your creativity.

Leila is a little ball of energy! At three years old she weighs 26 pounds and is just under 3 feet tall. I have no doubt that she'll be short all her life like me.

Check out these short videos of Leila just being Leila. I can't think of a more appropriate way to share Leila's personality. 

Leila is easy to be around! I love being her mom!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Happy half-birthday Carson!

Whoa. These last couple of months flew by, and somehow, my baby turned six months old.

Look at those toes!
For me, six months is really the beginning of baby-hood. So many "firsts" happen right around six months...

First time sitting the the stroller without the car seat.
First time swimming. I love that he can wear sunscreen now!
First time he slept through the night, although it hasn't happened again.
First food- avocado.

Stats: I've been borrowing my friend's baby scale to weigh him weekly and I'm happy to say he weighs 14 lbs 6 oz! His 6 month appointment is not for two more weeks but I am excited to hear his "official" growth stats. He is wearing 3-6 month clothes depending on the style. They seem to make t-shirts so big (3 months) and he's wearing 6 month onesies. In pants/shorts he can wear some 6 month and 3 month bottoms depending on the length. I put him in a pair of 3 month elastic pants the other day and they were snug but long. Other bottoms are way to short in the 3 month size but fall off his waist. Carter's brand ( 6 months) seem to fit him the best.

Eating: Carson nurses every 3 1/2 to four hours, and since his doctor appointment with little-to-no weight gain, he drinks a 3 ounce bottle after the four daytime nursing sessions. He started solids at 5 1/2 months and his first food was avocado. Since then I have also introduced sweet potatoes, but due to a rash by his elbow (allergy related?) he's back to just avocado until it clears up. I am offering him a sippy cup of water with his meals too. He'll get the hang of it eventually.

Activities and Milestones:  This guy is all smiles! He is obsessed with his sister and tends to always keep her within view. He likes to play in the Exersaucer, sit in the Bumbo, and push and roll himself around the family room. We took down the swing last week and am happy to have some space back!

Just this week he started sitting up. He's still a little shaky and topples over after getting too excited. In my opinion, this is a HUGE milestone. He loves his new view and I love not feeling like I need to lay on the floor to look him in the eye.

He's also started getting up on all fours and rocking back and forth. I'm not expecting crawling any time soon but it is great to see he has the strength to lift his body up.

Sleeping: a Rock Star! Well, at least his naps are awesome. He naps at 8:15 and then again around 12/1 for about two hours each nap. (About twice a week he takes 3 naps.) Hooray for sleep training! It has made a huge difference for all of us.

His bedtime is between 6:30 and 7:00 pm depending on the time he woke up from his nap/ if he took a third nap. He usually falls asleep while nursing, but if he doesn't it's no big deal...he can put himself to sleep! He wakes up with the birds but is fine chilling in his crib until about 6:30 am (sunrise). Just this past week he went from waking two times at night to just once. Awesome. Sleeping through the night is just around the corner.

He's not always smiling, but almost!
Discovering the grass. He did not want to be on that blanket!
Happy half-birthday Carson!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Countdown to THREE! {A look back}

In a month my first baby will officially lose her toddler status.

Where in the heck has the time gone? 

{August 2010} 34 weeks pregnant with Leila 

{September 2010} 1 week old

{September 2011} 1 year old

{September 2012} 2 years old

{August 2013} Almost 3 years old

The countdown to THREE has officially begun...

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The numbers are in! {Carson's weight update}

All of my hard work has paid off. Carson gained a pound in the past nine days!

Gained like a champ this week! 
After discovering Carson had close to seven weeks with very little weight gain, we started offering him a bottle after each nursing session. On average he has been drinking an additional 15 ounces in addition to nursing 5-6 times in a 24 hour period. That's a lot! It sure made me wonder how much he is getting when he nurses.

Today I took him to a breastfeeding support group for his weigh in. At these meetings you weigh your baby naked, then with clothes and a diaper. After nursing you weigh in again to see about how many ounces your baby drank. Today, after relentlessly boosting my supply, Carson drank 4.2 ounces. Certainly not enough for this growing boy!

So what does that mean? Today's weigh in proved he CAN gain weight (and quickly!). It also means he still needs to be offered a bottle after nursing. More personally, it means I have to decide if I am going to continue pumping 4 times a day. Oh wait...I already decided I'm not.

I will continue to pump on a schedule (in the morning and before I go to bed) to get as much milk as I can. I cannot be hooked to a pump any more than that. Besides the fact that it is just about the worst thing ever, I am pumping out milk that Carson could be drinking from the source a couple hours later.

Want to know the BEST THING EVER?! I am leaving tomorrow for a weekend away with some girlfriends. Couldn't have come at a better time. Good-bye stress, hello champagne! Feels good already.

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Great List {8.16.13}

This week flew by! With the Carson-lack-of-weight-gain ordeal it was more difficult to write this list than most weeks, BUT these are the kind of weeks I need this list the most!

It wasn't all bad, or bad at all, really.

1. I have been waiting for Leila to be ready for board games! We tried playing Candy Land twice so far and she lasted a total of 10 minutes each time. It's a start! She likes to choose which card she gets and doesn't quite understand how to follow the "road". She did great with taking turns though! It will only get better from here.

2. Carson has been only waking up one time at night since we started supplementing after nursing sessions. Awesome for me, I love to sleep!

3. We celebrated my mother in law's birthday on Sunday at a new restaurant by the harbor. Everything about the experience was enjoyable. It's going to be great having her live on this coast.

4. Leila and I had a pool day today while Jeff was home with Carson. She played in the kiddie pool with her friends while I got to sit in the sun and relax. What a way to kick off the weekend!

Not a bad week! Looking forward to dinner plans tomorrow night and just relaxing with the family.
Come back each week for my newest list and don't forget to check out Betsy's list each week too.  Warning...positive thinking is addicting!

Want to write your own list?  

Just grab the button, add it to your post, and come back to tell us about it.

Share some joy...


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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Numbers don't lie {Carson's weight update}

Two weeks ago I found out that Carson (4.5 months old) was not even on the charts for his weight. After spending the last two weeks boosting my supply Carson has gained only 1.5 ounces, and for perspective's sake, only 7 ounces in the last 7 weeks.

Weight gain FAIL. 

Those numbers don't lie...but Carson's charming personality, gummy grim, and the fact that he's meeting all of his milestones, makes me wonder about those numbers.

Everyone who meets him thinks he looks as healthy as can be. One of my friends was surprised he was as slim as I said he was. Another said he looked heavier after just a few days of diligently boosting my supply. (I have very nice friends!) Today at our play date I expressed the concerns with Carson's weight gain and it seemed half of the parents had the same issue with their own child or knew someone who did. This was very reassuring!  

We do have a new plan to prove that he CAN gain weight. In addition to keeping up with the fenugreek and pumping, I will offer Carson a bottle after each nursing session. Breast milk until my freezer stash dwindles, then breast milk mixed with formula to eventually transition his tummy to formula bottles.  

Even with all the reassurance I have gotten from parents, I still can't help but wonder why my milk isn't helping Carson pack on the pounds. Unlike my nursing experience with Leila, nursing Carson has been a breeze.

Carson's next "weigh in" is Wednesday the 21st. I am trying not to go there with the "what ifs..." but of course I have a plan just in case.

The best words of assurance I have received thus far, "You will tackle this challenge like you do every other in your life." I told you I have awesome friends!

Care to share your tiny baby stories and what worked for you?

Monday, August 12, 2013

A successful first haircut

A month before her third birthday, Leila finally had enough hair to warrant her first haircut. (Remember when I cut her femullet? That doesn't count.)

Look at all that hair on the black cover!
Leila's curly wings were out-of-control and needed a professional's attention. I've seen way too many photos of kids crying in the chair as their hair is getting cut for the first time. I knew I had to prepare Leila in order for a smooth and successful haircut. 

Because I also needed a haircut, I chose to take her to my hair stylist instead of a kid's salon. I scheduled my cut right before Leila's so she could watch how it was done and what was expected of her.

The day before Leila's scheduled haircut we practiced and talked about how Rachel would spray her hair and use the comb and scissors. I also prepared her by giving her an arm tattoo, just like Rachel, and I showed her pictures from Rachel's Facebook page. By the time Leila met Rachel she hugged her like they were old friends!

All of our preparations worked! Their were no tears, no struggles, and no fears. Leila was excited about her haircut because we made it a big and exciting deal (and the ice cream bribe didn't hurt either!).

Seriously adorable! I am surprised at what a difference the haircut makes. She looks older with all those thin baby wisps gone.

My dream of Leila wearing pigtails at her third birthday isn't happening. Someday...

 How was your child's first haircut experience? 

Friday, August 9, 2013

The BIRTHDAY Great List [8.09.13}

This week was especially great because it was my BIRTHDAY! I have always loved celebrating my birthday, actually any birthday, I don't discriminate. But this year's number was BIG. Something about thirty-six seems so much scarier than thirty-five. Thirty-five was a novelty, thirty-six is just old.

The positive side is that I am happy to have lived 36 years, and plan on living many more great ones. This week's Great List is dedicated to sharing all the great things I did with my family and friends that helped make thirty-six a whole lot easier to welcome.

Sea World trip with my favorite girl. Not really birthday related, but still great to have some time with just Leila this week.
1. I started my birthday celebration with a trip to the mall to get my free Sephora birthday gift. This year one of the items was my favorite mascara from Benefit (They're Real!). Score!

2. Lauren surprised me by treating me (and Leila) to a pre-birthday dinner at California Pizza Kitchen after our shopping trip. During my pregnancy with Carson I wanted a Mojito so badly. I kicked off my birthday celebration with a drink that I haven't had in over a year.

3. Running is one of my favorite hobbies, but finding time to run isn't easy. After sleeping in a bit, (thanks, Jeff!) my sister and I went for run. I love that I can knock out three miles again now just 5ish months after having Carson. This exercise turned out to be more than necessary (see below).

4. Betsy always makes dessert for all our birthday celebrations. This year I got two varieties...the best Lemon Squares she's ever made, and a classic favorite, Coconut cookies. To top it off, Amy's dad made me my very own batch of his Almond Crescent cookies. When Amy and I were roommates I would ask her to hide these cookies from me because I can easily eat fifteen (don't judge) in one sitting (okay, standing).

5. Jeff and I decided not to exchange birthday gifts this year but I did get the gift of ME time. I spent three hours at the pool with my girlfriends. No kids, no strange Ergo tan lines, lots of champagne. Best gift ever.

6. I had one too many glasses of wine with a group of my mom-friends that evening at the Catamaran Hotel and Spa. I love that Lauren celebrated with me like it was her birthday too!

7. To end the BIG 3-6 celebration, Jeff and I went to Rocky's for dinner date on Monday night. I chose Rocky's for the beer and burgers, but mostly because it's a bar that we can't go to with the kids.

What a great birthday! 

Thirty-six, get your fix. Thirty-six, get in the mix. Thirty-six, take some pics. I need good  rhyme for this year...  

Come back each week for my newest list and don't forget to check out Betsy's list each week too.  Warning...positive thinking is addicting!

Want to write your own list?  

Just grab the button, add it to your post, and come back to tell us about it.

Share some joy...


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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Boosting my supply...again

We went to Carson's four month doctor appointment this week. I was very anxious to get his stats.  There's something exciting about learning how big and tall your child is and where they fall on the growth chart!

I knew Carson was a tiny guy, but can see him growing out of his clothes. I see him meeting milestones like rolling over, laughing, consolidating his sleep, etc. I was aware that he is much smaller than other babies his age, but really had no reason to be worried. 

Until now.

Carson IS growing...he has grown 3 inches (25 1/4 inches = 37%) in the past two months and his head continues to grow at an average rate too.  But his weight is low, like not-even-on-the-growth-chart low. At four months and 2 weeks old, Carson weighs under 12 pounds, 11 lbs 14 oz to be exact. Slim boy!

Having a tiny baby is not new to me. At four months old, Leila was 10 lbs 15 oz, although unlike Carson, actually made it on the growth chart. Barely. I was working full time at this point in Leila's life and not able to pump enough breast milk for her while I was at work. She started on formula, in addition to my milk, at the four month mark. By seven months our breastfeeding days were over and she had formula until she was one. She gained weight rapidly after being on formula. By ten months she weighed 19 lbs and was in the 50th percentile on the weight growth chart. Two years later...she only weighs 26 lbs. Slim girl!

Jeff and I make tiny children. That is a fact. Carson is showing the same growing patterns as Leila did this early in life. So on one hand, logic tells me not to worry, he will gain weight on his own time. On the other hand, I cannot help but wonder if there is another issue.

Can being TOO happy be an issue?
The nurse practitioner Carson saw on Monday (who also happens to be a certified lactation consultant) recommended that I supplement with formula or find a breast milk donor. Ummm, no and no. I made it clear that I wanted to continue exclusively breastfeeding Carson for as long as possible. She was on board, shared the story of her own slim son, and made some recommendations on how I could boost my milk supply.

So that's where we are today, working on boosting my supply. I am taking fenugreek and blessed thistle to increase my milk. I am feeling confident this will work after our earlier experience with no weight gain (from five days old until two weeks old) was successful. In addition, I am pumping between most feedings and storing it for a later time. (For some reason she doesn't want me to feed it to him.) I was also directed to eat oatmeal two times a day. I have taken it upon myself to make Betsylife's No Bake Peanut Butter Energy Bites and Milkin' Mamas Lactation Cookies. Both are delicious and have milk boosting ingredients.

I made a few changes to the cookie recipe. Comment if you want to know more!
We have a follow-up weight check on Monday, August 12th. Until then I am doing my best to boost my supply. I am not naive to the fact that I may have to supplement, but at this point I am taking it one recommendation at a time.

Any recommendations for boosting my milk supply?

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Nap Trapped {Sleep tip of the month}

Around the time that your little one graduates from being a ‘newborn’ to a ‘baby’ you will notice that their daytime sleep habits change.  Once able to snooze in the car-seat, Ergo, or stroller in loud, bright places, they now start to fight napping in exchange for people watching…  

This is your cue that the time has come for a quiet, dark, peaceful space for your baby to take their naps.  Unfortunately for Mom & Dad this means being stuck inside the house for what feels like forever.

"You think you're trapped at home! Do you have any idea how many hours I spend in this crib?"
This is even harder when you have other children that don’t find sitting at home ‘being quiet’ very much fun!

I don’t have a one-size-fits-all solution to this, and I strongly believe naps should be taken at home in order to establish a good nap routine, but here are some tips on making it more manageable:

  • Try to keep the morning nap(s) at home, and the afternoon nap(s)s can be on the go.  The morning naps are always the easiest for babies to master, so give them the opportunity to get into a good routine at home.  Some babies really struggle with the last nap of the day, and if this is the case, let them sleep in the car/Ergo/stroller while you’re out.  Don’t expect these naps to be very long, but they will at least carry them over until bedtime.
  • Invite friends over to your house for play dates so that you and your older child(ren) can still have a social life, and you and keep up with the nap training.  Win win!
  •  Know that it won’t last forever.  If you have other children, you will remember that sleep patterns change pretty quickly in the grand scheme of things, so enjoy the down time.

Thanks Lauren! This is soooo my life right now! Our once busy mornings have turned into too much TV time and not enough active play for my almost three year old. I keep reminding myself, "This too shall pass."  

Lauren is a certified sleep coach and DONA trained postpartum doula.  Her passion for helping tired parents began when her own newborn daughter's constant crying and terrible sleep habits finally got the best of her. Visit her blog and Facebook page for more information.

Check out Lauren's other featured posts on Leilaland:

Monday, July 29, 2013

Obsessed much?

Peter, Peter Pan, Never Land, Tinker Bell, Tiger Lilly, Mermaid Lagoon, Captain Hook, The Jolly Roger...

I hear these names day after day, after day.

Leila is OBSESSED with everything Peter Pan.

He is her best friend, she's married to him, he flies, he runs, he pees and poops, he eats lunch, he holds her hand, I hold his hand, he's imaginary, he's a stuffed friend, he's EVERYWHERE. (No joke, the other night I heard her talking in her sleep about Captain Hook's ship, the Jolly Roger.) 

Someone asked Leila what her name was and she replied, "Tinker Bell." If her Tinker Bell t-shirts are clean you better bet that's what she's wearing.
Needless to say, we'll be having a Peter Pan themed third birthday party for little Miss Leila Tinker Bell! And could it be more fitting that the the re-release of the Peter Pan DVD will be August 20th?! Let's hope Disney goes big on this's not easy to find a Peter Pan t-shirt in a size 3T.

What is your child obsessed with these days?

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Great List {07.26.13}

It's been way too long since I shared my Great List. Just because we've been crazy busy doesn't mean I haven't taken time to appreciate the little things that make me smile. I make a point to practice positive thinking almost daily. Got to find the good in life when you haven't slept more than fours hours in a row in over four months, right?

Leila (34 months) and Charlie (3 years old!!)
1. We helped Charlie celebrate her third birthday this week! I can't believe these girls aren't babies anymore. What's even crazier is that they have known each other for half of their life! We lived it up at her petting zoo themed birthday party, then on her actual birthday we went to dinner at a very kid friendly restaurant. Leila had so much fun she said she wants to go back for her birthday. It's a deal, Leila!

2. Carson rolled from back to belly this week. This is HUGE for him putting himself to sleep. He's a belly sleeper but rolls to his back and then gets "stuck" there with his arms flailing and legs kicking. In due time he'll be rolling all over the place.

3. I treated myself to an early birthday present! I purchased sixteen new pairs of underwear at Nordstrom's anniversary sale. Time for an underwear drawer overhaul after two pregnancies in three years.

4. It's been just gorgeous here in San Diego. Clouds in the morning and sun in the afternoon keeps the temperature at the beach in the low 70s. Just my kind of summer can't beat this beach breeze.

5. I am blogging again! It felt nice to take a break, even though it seemed to be a forced one. I blog to capture the moments and archive the memories we are making as a family. It started to worry me that this crazy time in our lives would be forgotten when we passed into the next stage. Making time to do what I love (writing, exercising, seeing friends) helps me enjoy these seemingly long days.

Happy Friday! Enjoy your fun summer weekends while they last.

Come back each week for my newest list and don't forget to check out Betsy's list each week too.  Warning...positive thinking is addicting!

Want to write your own list?  

Just grab the button, add it to your post, and come back to tell us about it.

Share some joy...


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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Breastfast Club: My first experience

Six weeks before the birth of my first child, Leila, I clearly remember my friend Bridget talking candidly with me about breastfeeding. Her words stuck with me and have become my go-to words to newly breastfeeding mothers. She said, "...For something "natural", it doesn't seem natural at first."

For my first experience, those words couldn't have been more true.

Breastfeeding was something I always planned on doing. When I was pregnant with my daughter Leila I read breastfeeding books, researched online, and talked to friends and family members about their experiences. I thought I was fully prepared for our breastfeeding journey...then I had a baby.

Read my full story over on Sarah's blog, Nurse Loves Farmer. While you're there you can read other mothers' stories about breastfeeding. The Breastfast Club has featured many bloggers and has turned into a valuable breastfeeding resource for new and seasoned moms.

The Breastfast Club - Nurse Loves Farmer

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Carson's fourth month

Guess who's no longer a newborn...

...this guy!
Carson turned four months old on July 14th. The four month mark brought a lot of changes. He's growing out of his 0-3 month clothing, especially the footed pajamas and onesies. His four month doctor appointment isn't until July 29th so I will know his official growth stats at the end of the month. Although he is bigger than Leila was at this age, he's still a little peanut. 

I think he's starting to look more like me, and less like his Uncle Jay, but still looks like a boy. (Isn't that strange how that works?!) 

Eating: Carson nurses every 3 1/2 to four hours around the clock, with one slightly longer stretch between feedings at night. He'll take a bottle, but doesn't need to very often anymore since I am home with him full time. We are not planning to start solids with him until he's closer to six months old. Hopefully the timing will work out perfectly with my return to work in September.

Activities and Milestones:  Carson is the happiest little guy. Besides being overtired and having some bad gas, nothing really makes him cry. His newest tricks include laughing, rolling from belly to back, eating his toes, drooling buckets, and grasping lightweight toys. He still slumps over in the Bumbo seat but likes the different view nonetheless.

Sleeping: Between months three and four things got a little rough in the nap department. I could no longer rock Carson to sleep and gently place him in the Rock and Play (or anywhere for that matter). This prompted earlier than usual nap sleep training, just three days before he turned four months old. Now he naps 2-3 times a day. His first two naps are at home in either his crib or in the Pack and Play in our room and (hopefully) last anywhere from 1.5-2.5 hours). Nap #3 happens where ever it may...the swing, Ergo carrier, car seat, etc.  

Days after we began sleep training we ditched the swaddle at night. He had busted out of the Miracle Blanket one too many times and has found his fingers soothing. He loves sleeping on his belly and the swaddle blanket just doesn't allow that safely.

I am so excited to say he's finally sleeping in his crib at night too! I was waking up with his every move, so after a very sleepless night I decided it was time to move him downstairs with Leila. So far so good...

Each new stage brings new joys and challenges. I am enjoying his longer awake periods in the afternoons and some quiet time while he naps. Next on the agenda, rolling from back to belly so he can easily choose his favorite sleeping position.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Our family of four

It seems like a really long time ago that Natalie Chiles, a local San Diego Newborn Photographer, took these amazing photos of our family of four. 

It's been FOUR months since we welcomed Carson into our family.

We have all changed and grown so much since March.  Leila has been showing more interest in her little brother. She no longer needs to sit on top of me while he nurses and loves to make him laugh.

I don't feel crazy anymore, but am quickly remembering with the passing of one challenging stage comes another. Jeff is feeling more adjusted too! He is a self-proclaimed baby-hater (Okay, that may be too harsh...but true nonetheless.) and is looking forward to a stage when Carson is more interactive.


Looking back at these photos reminds me how happy I am that we got them taken. Natalie made us feel so comfortable during this shoot. She took time before Carson was born to check out my sister's apartment to make sure the lighting would work and sent me countless emails with questions and ideas to ensure we'd be thrilled with our photos.

The photo shoot lasted a couple hours, with a nursing break, lunch break, and clothing change for some of us. We hung out and chatted as a family on the couch while she took some candid shots, then she patiently waited for Carson to fall asleep for the shots of just him.  I know Natalie was as excited as I was to get this photo (and many others) of Carson smiling.

I love that when you Google "Natalie Chiles", this is one of the images that comes up.

To top off our experience, Natalie came over and shared the newborn photos with us personally. She wanted to see our reactions in person! That really proved to Jeff and I that she was proud of her beautiful work. As you can tell by the pictures, she should be! My only regret...not having her take photos of Leila as a newborn.

He still curls his long toes like this!

Natalie recently took newborn photos for a friend of mine and I can't wait to see how they turned out. 

Check out Natalie's blog here for more photos, craft ideas, and recipes. You can be sure I'll be begging her to do a family shoot for us in the future.
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