Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Kingston: 5 months



















As of 12.31.14
17lb 4 oz - taken at home
27" - taken at home
He's still our little chameleon baby with his eyes changing color from blue to green. Whatever color he wears dictates what color his eyes are going to be for the day. I love it!
His strawberry birthmark on the crown of his head and back of his neck are both still there but are lighter than they were at birth. 
His hair is growing in more and more and it's a dark brown color but he still has a bald spot on the back of his head.
He still has the biggest jowls West of the Mississippi - but is growing more into them.
I'm starting to see more of myself in him (especially throughout his eyes) but he still primarily looks like his daddy. 


Clothes: 6 month pieces fit the best if he's in separates but if it's an outfit that is all one piece - 9 months work the best. We have a long baby!
Diapers: He is still in size 2 disposable diapers but is soon going to grow out of them. I'm still working my way through the same package of diapers we purchased last month with more then half a box still to use. Hopefully he doesn't grow out of them before we can use them all! 
Shoes: Kingston is still wearing the heck out of all of his 4.5'' moccs. He kicks so much these days that these are the only ones that stay on.  


Eating
Little man is still eating like the champ he is. During the week - Kingston nurses between 530a-630a before school, has 3 6oz bottles while at school usually at like 9 noon and 3, nurses right when I get home at about 530 or 6, and then right before bed at about 8. 

We were trying to wait to introduce solids for a little while longer but Kingston was fascinated every time we ate and he started showing tons of interest in our food - reaching, grabbing and chewing air. We started with rice oatmeal during the evening 'dinner' session followed by a nursing session and just yesterday we tried peas. Again, just like the champ he is - he was definitely ready for it. The first few bites he knew exactly what to do with it. I need to do a little more research - but I plan to just do a 'dinner' food session before incorporating it at breakfast and lunch time. This week I also plan to break out my baby bullet and whip up some tasty veggies for the boy. 








 

I'm still pumping at work - always 2 times a day but I try and make it 3 times a day. Things are super busy and I can't always sneak away but I'm still able to come home with 12-14oz a day which is nice! When time allows I'm going to make some lactation cookies to bring to work to see if it can help increase my output during those times. Ideally, I would love to pump 18 oz at work because that's what he eats while he's a daycare. That way I'm not breaking into my freezer stash quite yet. 


Sleeping 
Kingston is still sleeping awesome at night - usually 8p-6am. He's been out of his swaddle for about a month now and it hasn't really affected his sleeping other than him moving all over the crib and waking up in random positions. 
He also does an awesome job at putting himself to sleep at night. We put him in his crib awake - he does a little talking and a little moving and he is out within 5 minutes. He also does this after his morning nursing session. He goes right back to sleep and always on his own. 

Now . . . nap time lately has been a different story. Ever since starting daycare the kid doesn't like to take naps. This past week he has only slept longer than 30 minutes in the car or if he is being held. Every time we go to put him down he wakes up which is super frustrating. I worked so hard the 3.5 months I was off with him to get him to go to sleep wherever and without the need of me putting him to sleep. As frustrating as this new phase is, I'm taking it as him needing extra mama time. I need to remind myself that he's only this little once and it's okay to hold my baby while he sleeps. (I just don't want him to become dependent on it.) 

Because of this phase of no sleeping - we've noticed Kingston definitely has a 'sleepy' face. His eyelids start to droop to about a 1/4 of the way open and we see a totally different looking child. 


Milestones
He can roll over but chooses not to.
He can sit up for good stretches at a time. 
Turning himself in his exersaucer. 
He is reaching and grabbing at everything and immediately it comes to his mouth. 
He is really starting to chuckle and he smiles so much more. 
He gives open mouth kisses. 

Likes
All sports - in person or on tv. 
Bath time and the otteroo
Standing and playing in his exersaucer. 
His toes. 
People watching. He loves to watch the world and hates missing out on stuff. This was definitely in full effect during the holidays and seeing so many new people. 
Mama & daddy's bed.
To sit up and play with all of his new Christmas toys - especially the ones that make noise. 
Giving mama kisses and pulling mama's hair



Praying. He constantly has his hands together up by his chest so we are always praying to Jesus when he does this.


Dislikes
Tummy time.
Being held in the cradle position unless he is nursing. He needs to see the world.  
Being burped.


Words
ah-goo
grr
He gargles his spit in the back of his throat and blows spit bubbles by vibrating his lips. 
----------------------
He is constantly blabbering and he has been making so many new consonant sounds! 
Da-Da (doesn't know that CT is his dada but LOVES to say it)
Something that sounds like hey.


Activities
He loves music and his daddy rapping and singing to him.
He has a dog and a lion toy that he's obsessed with their faces. 
He is spending a lot more time in his exersaucer and he has figured out how to turn in it. 


Misc.
Kingston has definitely started to notice his brother Bentley and wishes he would play with him. Bentley still chooses to stay away but I'm sure with the introduction of real food - they will soon become better friends. 

Kingston also had his first sickness this past month. We were able to get through 3.5 weeks of daycare without being sick - which after talking to other mama's that seems like the average. I didn't think it was anything other than a cold but we took him to the Dr. just in case. My worst fear is knowing he's sick and thinking he's okay but ultimately missing something bigger. The Dr. said it was a virus and that it would need to run it's course. Basically it was just your everyday winter cold: runny nose, mucusy cough, and diarrhea. He ended up having to stay home from school one day and I was able to get in some extra snuggles. Thankfully he never ran a fever and the virus was able to run it's course. I think after about 2.5 weeks it's finally going away. I'm also happy we made it through Christmas without a sickness. He was passed around to so many people - I was almost certain it would happen.  I'm also pretty sure Kingston is starting to teethe. He doesn't have the beginning bumps of teeth yet but he is chomping on EVERYTHING (mostly his pointer finger and his paci) and slobbering like crazy. Soon enough though, I'm sure we will have a little boy with some little teeth.  

This past month was Kingston's first holidays. Santa came to visit him at school and before you knew it, Christmas came and went. We had such a good time with all of our family and it was fun to show off our new addition to everyone.  Kingston was spoiled with lots of outfits, a few books, a few toys and a high chair. CT's little sister came in from Florida for the holidays and was able to stay with us over some of the break. We are so blessed to have so many people that love our little man. 







Also, I wanted to note some nicknames for Kingston from us: the boy, mr and sugar. 
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This past month has been the BEST month yet. You can tell he knows who we are and he is able to really start interacting with us. CT and I were just talking about how much he grew up this past month. He can sit unassisted for a little while, he is eating real food and his hand eye coordination is 100% better. It really is so crazy seeing him grow up right in front of our eyes and phones. I constantly find myself saying 'slow down baby'. Time is going by too fast and I can't get enough of the time I spend with him. I feel as though I'm doing a really good job of living in the moment and not wishing for the next thing to happen. I'll say it again and again - I love being his mom. 



Friday, December 19, 2014

5 on Friday


You know it's been a long week when everyday since Tuesday seemed like it was supposed to be Friday. Thankfully, it's finally arrived and it's followed by a short week next week!! Here are a few things that have been going on in my life/ been on my mind lately. 


1. When did women forget about bathroom etiquette? Like seriously - don't you look at the toilet seat when you go to flush? No one wants to see your nasty blood or pubes ... ever. 
#gross #beladylike #betterhygiene #endrant


2. My poor little man has caught the winter cold bug. He made it 3.5 weeks at daycare with out being sick and now he's caught it good. It started as the mucus in his nose and has since traveled down into his chest. It breaks my heart to see such a little body cough so hard. We were introduced to this contraption - the Nose Frida - and it was amazing until Kingston learned how to beat it. 



Basically I suck his snot out of him from this ^ straw like device. Ya... it seems gross at first but theres a filter so nothing is transferred. You gotta do what you gotta do. It's supposed to be better than the hospital bulb because it gives constant/longer suction. Well - it worked great until Kingston learned to stop breathing and block off the back of his throat so no mucus could come out.
 Bravo little boy. You one upped your mama! 


3. Speaking of being sick - I have the sniffles myself. You know what I hate most about being sick... blowing my nose in front of anyone. I never would do it in school and I hate doing it now. 
#gross #beladylike


4. I want to get pregnant again just so my hair will stop falling out. Like seriously - I'm finding it everywhere. In Kingston's diapers, in the fridge, in christian's beard .. you get the picture ... everywhere! 


5. We just signed a contract on a house. EEEEK! 
Such 'grown up' stuff happening around these parts. It's scary!


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Kingston's Closet: Ugly Christmas Sweater


Southeast high school (where Kingston goes to daycare) is having a winter spirit week this week and today is 'Ugly Christmas Sweater' day. Kingston doesn't have an ugly sweater so we had to come up with an alternative festive outfit. 



Thermal Bodysuit // Carters 
Pants // BabyGap (similar)
White Suspenders // Facebook group - Yoo Hooo Co-Op
Moccasins // King Hoo on Instagram
Bandana Bib // made by me


I don't think it gets any more festive than this! 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

How We Cloth Diaper at Daycare





So y'all probably know by now that we have decided to cloth diaper about 80% of the time. Primarily this is when we are at home/daycare and we use disposables at night and when we are out and about for a long period of time. 

One of our top criteria when deciding on a daycare provider for Kingston was if they were open to trying cloth for us. Thankfully, we only came across one lady and one center that didn't want to do it and everyone else was super receptive to it. 

I have tried my hardest to make everything as simple as possible for daycare because Kingston is their first in cloth and I didn't want to scare them away from it. His head teacher is actually pregnant right now so fingers crossed that she's considering it now that she see's how little extra work it actually is! 

Our set up:





Each day I send CT to daycare with a Kanga Care wet bag filled with pre-stuffed pocket diapers (alva/jc trade pocket diapers stuffed with 2 inserts: top insert - charcoal bamboo and bottom insert - hemp). Kingston is at daycare from about 730-300 each day and goes through about 4 diapers. I sent 8 diapers in the beginning but after seeing how many he actually goes through, now I try and keep a total of 6 diapers at daycare each day. So if he comes home with 3 soiled diapers I send 3 to daycare the next day. Every other Friday I have CT double check how many he has in his drawer just in case we get off track somewhere. 

I love these wet bags because they can hold up to 12 stuffed diapers. So I send CT with this bag filled with the clean diapers for the day, the small cooler filled with 3 bottles, sometimes a few bibs and a change of clothes if it's needed. They literally hold so much! 

When CT drops him off - he hands over the bag, they put the clean diapers in his drawer and hang the wet bag by the changing table. 
(Note: There have been a few days that I've sent Kingston in disposables because he has a few pairs of pants that won't fit if he's in cloth. My daycare is so good about just going with it.) 

Also attached to the wet bag is diaper 'instructions'. I hired someone to create these because I'm totally TypeA and I wanted to make things easy for anyone changing him.  Since many people aren't familiar with cloth and Kingston's daycare has high school students that work in there at different hours during the day - I figured instructions would be helpful. I know if I was new to cloth diapers I would want all the help I could get.




On these instructions cards you can find how to get the proper fit, what tips and trick help in doing so, the proper snaps they should be on, how to dispose of the diapers and what diaper creams are acceptable for cloth. 
 
I love that these are laminated so I can mark all over them with permanent marker and then easily remove the markings with an alcohol pad. 

As Kingston starts eating more solids and his poo's start to change - I will add liners to his diapers so those can be thrown away or flushed. At that time, I will update the soiled section of these cards to incorporate that extra step. 

Right now when he gets changed, the wet diapers go in the bag as is and I have them snap closed the poo diapers. This just helps me know which ones to be more careful with when I go to remove the inserts from them and put them in our bigger wet bag at home.
 
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
My biggest fear when choosing to cloth diaper at daycare was them not getting the proper fit and then get discouraged because of him leaking. I've got to tell you, his head teacher is awesome at putting them on. There was a week in the beginning when Kingston came home in a different outfit than what he started the day in. We figured out this was because the students who help change him weren't familiar with them and they were having leaking issues. Now a few weeks in, everyone is catching on and there hasn't seemed to be problems.


All in all, cloth diapers have worked out extremely well for us. I'm glad that I had extra time at home before he went to daycare to find the proper fit and what inserts worked well. It really is a learning curve in the beginning but once you get it figured out - it is SO worth it. 

I've probably spent about $400 total on cloth diapers: diapers, inserts, wet bags, wipes and creams and I've only bought 1 thing of disposable diapers for nights and daycare backup. (Thankfully I was gifted a few diaper cakes, the hospital diapers, and 2 boxes of diapers to get us through those first few months before I got confident enough to try cloth. When number 2 comes along - we will start right away after the meconium and umbilical cord fall off.)

What's nice is that these cloth diapers should last him all the way through potty training and possibly onto the next kid if the elastic are still good in them. Think of all that money I have saved and will continue to save! Doing an extra 2 loads of laundry a week is nothing compared to all the extra dollars staying in my bank account. Like I've said before, diaper laundry is my favorite kind of laundry. 


Stay tuned  . . . I plan on writing more about our wash routine, which types of diapers we use and where I purchase them from! 



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Monday, December 8, 2014

Kingston's Closet



Shirt // Baby Gap
Leggings // Dream Elephant
Socks // Nike
Moccasins // Feather & Filly


Lovin' the pop of color the moccasins give and the leggings make this outfit super easy for my cloth diaper wearing baby! 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Kingston: 4 months

















As of 12.2.14
15lb 6 oz - 50%
26.5" - 95% 
Eyes are still primarily blue - sometimes with some honey and sometimes with some green. He's our little chameleon baby - changing color with his outfit.
His strawberry birthmark on the crown of his head and back of his neck are both still there but are lighter than they were at birth. 
His hair continues to grow on the top of his head. He has a bald spot on the back of his head - but thankfully he's a bald baby so you can't really tell.
He still has the biggest jowls West of the Mississippi.
He still looks a lot like his daddy but I think he for sure has my forehead, shape of eyes, tip of nose and chin. He is perfectly 50% me 50% CT. 



Clothes: 6 month pieces fit the best. There are a few 3 month onesies that are long enough to still work but only when he is in a regular diaper.  

Diapers: He is still in size 2 disposable diapers. I purchased a box of Up&Up brand - split between at home and daycare and we are still working on that same box at night time and out of the house. Cloth diapering is working out really well at daycare - and I'm so thankful that they were open minded with them. I would say 2/5 days he comes home in a different outfit from leaking - but that's because they have students change him and they don't get the fit correct. His main teacher is awesome though with them and they are working out better than I imagined! 

Shoes: Kingston is still wearing the heck out of his 4.5'' moccs. He has a two toned grey pair and a black pair that go with almost every outfit.  

Eating
Little man is still eating like a champ - if you can't tell by his chubbiness. He is super active while he eats - pulling off, looking around, scratching, grabbing and hitting. Soon enough we will be working on manners. He is down to nursing 5-6 times a day: 600a, 1000a, 200p, 500p, 800p.  According to Babywise - this past month he should've merged the mid morning and lunch time feed to a late morning feed which he did without me prompting anything. Crazy how that happened on its own just like the book said it would! 

At his 4 month check up - his Dr. said we can start introducing solids if we would like. Grains first and then veggies, fruit and meats - making sure he has one food for three days before trying something new. I think we are going to hold off on foods until the end of this month. I want him to be able to sit up better on his own and plus he's suppose to be getting a high chair from Santa. I think we will skip the rice cereal, start out on oatmeal cereal and then when he learns how to swallow and is really interested in it - we will start veggies!

 Thankfully I'm able to pump at work in our mothers rooms. I have it booked 3 times a day - the same times Kingston would usually eat. I've been able to pump fresh milk for him to have at daycare the following day and I'm also able to add about 20 ounces a week to my freezer stash. At this point I'm not really sure what the point is of continuing to add milk to my freezer - but it's nice to have it for back up! 


Sleeping 
I've said it before and I'll say it again - thank goodness for the principles of BabyWise and a good routine! Kingston is still sleeping 9.5-10.5 hours consistently. It's so loud at daycare that he averages about 2 30-45 min naps these days. I'm sure soon enough he will get on their schedule and take his 'long nap' from 11:30-1:00 like all the other kiddos do. Until then, his bedtime is earlier in the evening because he just can't hang. I've also found that if I wake him up (or he wakes on his own) around 515-530 eats and then goes back to bed till about 715 - he has a better day at daycare for them. I love finding things that work for my boy. 

His night time routine: 
 Bath time, about twice or three times a week he plays in his otteroo during bath for about 10 min, we lather him up with lavender lotion and change him into pjs, nurses, we pray for him and then put down in his crib. Lately he hasn't been nursing to sleep so we have just been laying him in his crib and he goes to bed on his own. Sometimes we have to put in his paci a few times before he falls asleep. Because of this - I think I'm going to start incorporating a bedtime story each night.

In the last week we have stopped swaddling Kingston because he is so close to rolling over. It was making me nervous to keep him in his straight jacket with the possibly of him rolling over and not having his arms free to help lift his head up. He loves being free and he is such the little mover. We will start him at the bottom of the bed and by morning time he has traveled all the way up to the top. We noticed this past weekend while we shared a room with him at my parents, that he kicks and tosses and turns quite frequently throughout the night making so much noise. We've also found that he is a side sleeper like his mama.



Milestones
95% of the way there of rolling from back to tummy. He has one arm that he just can't get unstuck. 
Reaching for things. (This is the best thing so far to witness. You can tell his mind is trying so hard but his body doesn't fully cooperate. Slowly but surely he is gaining better control of his arms. His favorite thing to grab for is his paci. He takes it out of his mouth and just holds it and looks at it.)
He found his feet. 
Constantly crunching when he is laying down. He likes to sit up and see. 


Likes
All sports - in person or on tv. 
Bath time and the otteroo
Standing - in his exersaucer or jumper. 
His toes. 
People watching. He loves to watch the world and hates missing out on stuff. 
Being naked.
Mama & daddies bed.



Dislikes
Getting put in or taken out of his car seat.
Being held in the cradle position unless he is nursing. He likes to see the world.  
When I'm not fast enough to feed him.
Water in his eyes. 


Words
ah-goo
grr
He gargles his spit in the back of his throat and blows spit bubbles by vibrating his lips. 
----------------------
No new sounds but he is blabbing non-stop these days. 


Activities
Bringing his feet to his mouth.
Standing up and playing in his exersaucer or jumper.
Kicking.


Misc.
Kingston has finally started to really notice Bentley. He will sit and watch Bentley play with his toys and then giggle at him. Bentley still isn't a fan of Kingston and at this point I'm not sure he ever will be. 
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I'm continuing to LOVE my role as a mother. My little boy brings so much happiness to my heart and I know God created me to do this. As much as I love being with Kingston, being back to work isn't as bad as I thought. I love the idea of 'providing' for him - especially since purchasing a house has become a very real possibility lately. I've realized I want the best life possible for Kingston and I'm going to do everything in my power to give him that. The best feeling in the world is getting off work and holding my son while he attacks my face with open mouth kisses. That's one thing I hope never ends. 



Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Kingston's Closet: 1st Day of School


Kingston's first day of school. 


Jeans // BabyGap - similar
Moccs // similar 
Socks // Nike 
Bandana Bib // handmade by me

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Recipe: Lily's Pumpkin Cake



Are you tired of making the same ole, tried and true pumpkin pie for your Thanksgiving dessert? Don't worry, I've got you covered.  I was introduced to this delicious pumpkin cake and I'm sure this one will soon be the new family favorite. 


Pumpkin Cake


Cake
4 eggs
1 2/3 cup of sugar
1 cup crisco
15 oz can pumpkin
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda

Frosting:
3 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup butter or margarine 
1 tsp vanilla
2 cup powdered sugar


- In a bowl, combine eggs, sugar, crisco, and pumpkin and beat until fluffy.
- Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and baking soda. 
- Pour into lightly greased flour pan and bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees. 
- Let cool, and then whip frosting ingredients and spread on top. 

Serve with a big glass of milk.
Enjoy! 
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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Encouraging Words


Today I am so thankful for encouraging words. 
I was able to see first hand how a few simple words can really brighten someones day. 

" Oh Tiffany ... God makes all kinds of mommas, and God made you awesome! You have heart, brains, and beauty... you are artsy/crafty, you have made organization skills ... :) and you are helping to support your family. Kingston will grow up with an appreciation for everything you do, which will translate into him having respect for women because he has had a terrific example in you. Whether you work outside the home or stay home full time, you are a fabulous mom! "


These words brought tears to my eyes today when I read them. Happy tears. Tears of appreciation. So many times in the last 4 months I have second guessed so many things, felt guilty more times than I can count, but done everything in my power to be the best mom I can be. I know God made me to be a mom and I am so thankful. I'm even more thankful though that others can see that too. 


After experiencing how a few simple words can totally change someones day - my goal is to encourage others more. Just a few words to let them know that they are doing a good job. 
We should all try it. This world needs more encouragement. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

5 on Friday


Phew! Thankfully the week has come and gone and I'm so happy that we have a short 3 day work week next week!! It was my first week back to work after 16 weeks off (so naturally I'm looking forward to more time off) and Kingston's first week at daycare. Poor kid hasn't had a nap longer then 45 min in 5 days and his schedule is all sorts of messed up. I'm hoping things get better so my sweet baby can come back to me. He's been super tired = super grouchy.
Anyways . . . .



1. I confess . . . 2 minutes after dropping Kingston off on his first day of day care - I had to call them. I was trying my hardest to get in and out of there before I lost my composure, that I forgot to tell them when he ate last. When I called I promised them that I wasn't calling to check in on him already but they still probably thought I was crazy! It's been a week and I've already sent one note with tips and tricks. Yes - I'm totally that mom. Crazy! 

2. I confess . . . I'm debating if I even want to put up a tree this year. Usually I am ALL for decorations and being festive - but since having a baby and all the stuff that comes with him - our apartment doesn't have much room. Is that super grinch-y of me?



3. I confess . . . we are going to look at 13 more houses this weekend (10 looked at last weekend). Maybe we will find one we like enough to put an offer on? Fingers crossed that we find something  - we definitely are those people with champagne taste and a beer budget. 



4. I confess . . . I had never burnt a meal until I became a mom and since then, I have burnt 3. #isuckatlife

5. I confess . . . I'm afraid that Kingston is going to like his daddy so much more then me because he gets to see him much more often. Since Kingston goes to the daycare at his high school, CT goes down to see him at least once a day - either on lunch or his plan period. Not to mention, they will be off together all summer and every school break while I'm slaving away at work. =( It hurts my heart to think of all the time I spend away from him. I mean come on .. look how sweet he is. Even if he is grouchy because he's tired. 


Rock Chalk! 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Intentional


Tomorrow I return to work after having 3.5 months off with my sweet baby boy. 
Tomorrow I take Kingston to a daycare provider I've met 2 times.
Tomorrow I become a working mom. 

As hesitant and anxious I am, this is something I have to do for my family and the 'lifestyle' we choose to live. 

When I think about it - I will have about 4 (awake) hours a day with Kingston throughout the week and 12 hours a day on the weekend. When I do the math, that's 44 hours out of the 168 total hours (70 of those he's asleep and 54 he's at daycare) I have with him while he's awake. That's not very much time I get to spend loving on my little man. 

That's why I'm making a commitment and a vow to be intentional with my time. 
The definition of intentional: done on purpose; deliberate. 
Especially for those 4 hours I have with him throughout the week, they are going to have a purpose. 

That means no time with my nose stuck down in my phone. 
That means meal planning so I don't waste precious minutes slaving away in the kitchen. 
That means tidying the house, starting the laundry and loading the dishwasher in the evening after he goes to sleep. 
That means packing our lunches and laying out our clothes at night, so I can get a few more giggles in in the morning. 

My goal is to be deliberate in all of my actions so I can be the best working mom possible.  


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