Thursday, July 17, 2014

Blogiversary and GIVEAWAY!

Hello, friends.  Happy Thursday!  It's almost Friday, and that is exciting.  AND.  Ya know what I realized?  This week (Saturday, to be precise) marks my three year blogiversary.  I know, it's hard to believe that three years ago I started this blog with the news that Lillian Grace Baum was cookin' in mama's oven.  Time flies when you're having fun, right?  In honor of the Baum Squad's birthday, I thought it would be the perfect time for another review and giveaway.  Y'all don't mind, right?  :-)

Friends, let's talk about one of my favorite Etsy shops: The Posh Plum.  The Posh Plum sells baby and toddler accessories.  The two we've tried are the hair bow:





and the hat:





Bow ties are also sold in the shop, which I have yet to try but am dying to.  Accessories for a certain upcoming "6 months old" photo shoot, anyone?!

ANYWAY, down to serious business.  I cannot even begin to tell you how much we love our Posh Plum accessories.  Not only are they adorable, but the quality is fantastic - they are so durable.  As you can see by the series of bow photos above, Lills is not normally easy on her accessories but these have stood the test of time.  The bows are the perfect size - not too big and not too small. And the HATS, y'all.  SO. CUTE.  I can't even talk about it.  So well-made, and reversible.  I thought I was going to have to bribe fight Lillian and force her to wear a hat all summer, but we are now the proud owners of two Posh Plum hats and Lills loves them both so much that most of the time she refuses to go outside without them.  In fact, when the pink one came in the mail, we had one of our largest 2-year-old tantrums to date when I wouldn't wear Lilly wear her new hat to bed.  Fine by me that she's obsessed, because aside from being functional and protecting L's sweet little fair-skinned face from the sun, they are also adorable beyond words.






The icing on the cake?  Bridgett, who is the woman behind all things Posh Plum, is quite possibly the sweetest person you will ever work with (and seriously adorable).  She takes customer service to a whole new level!  Not only does she turn these hats around pretty quickly, but she is very responsive and so easy to work with.  You'll definitely want to follow The Posh Plum on Instagram, too, because she has flash sales that are amazing!

Because Bridgett is the sweetest, she has agreed to give one of my lucky readers a $20 shop credit.  She's added some new hats recently that are to die for, and it has taken every ounce of willpower in my body not to buy yet another one (I can just see my husband rolling his eyes!).  So, hop on down to the rafflecopter below and enter today!  Contest closes in one week.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

That's all for tonight - thanks to Bridgett for her generosity with this giveaway!  Regardless of whether or not you win, do yourself a favor and be sure to check out The Posh Plum.  You can thank me later!




Monday, July 14, 2014

BEST BUBBLES EVER!

Howdy, y'all!  It's your long lost friend Sarah here, dropping in to say hello and tell you about all of the fun that the Baum squad had on Saturday.

On Saturday morning while C was napping, Lillian seemed to be going a little stir crazy.  We had a store credit to Learning Express, so I decided to let Lills pick out a toy or two.  I have a serious love/hate relationship with this store: I love it because it is SO cute and has both normal toys as well as a lot of unique toys that you wouldn't find at the large toy store chains.  I hate it because I want to buy everything in there.  Lilly was in heaven, and we settled on a Melissa & Doug cutting wooden play food set as well as a Melissa & Doug baby doll feeding set for Baby Grace.  I was pretty proud of us for spending the exact amount of our store credit (actually we got a penny back, you're welcome Dan) so I was trying to hurry both of us out the door before we could do any more damage when I saw a cute little display outside.  They had set up a huge bucket full of homemade bubbles and wrote the recipe on the outside, and then they had huge bubble wands for the kids to play with (another reason I love that place - they always have fun interactive displays for the kids!!!).  That technique worked on the Baums because mama snapped a pic of the recipe and marched back inside and bought one of the wands.  I may or  may not also be going back for even more wands on my lunch break one day this week so that more than one person can play bubbles.  Sorry not sorry, Dan.

Anyway, the BEST BUBBLES EVER recipe is as follows:

12 cups water
3 cups liquid soap
3/4 cup light corn syrup

Easiest ever!  I will disclaim here that the type of soap you use definitely matters.  Dan made bubbles before using the above recipe and used Mrs. Meyers dish soap, which is what we use here.  I didn't know he'd used the exact same recipe but had a feeling that the type of soap was what was causing the bubbles to not be quite as awesome, so I stopped and grabbed a big thing of Dawn and the bubbles were the best ever.  I also cut the recipe in half because it made a ton of bubbles.  Either way, it was really easy and everyone enjoyed the fun.  Lilly had a blast, Craft was cackling at L and the bubbles and Layla was chasing and trying to eat them.  We'll definitely be making the BEST BUBBLES EVER to play with again!  I should probably apologize for my horrible photography skills, but Lills was so cute playing in the bubbles that I didn't even think about the shade cramping my photo style.  SBI!








Having a blast watching big sister!
I can't leave without giving you a hint of things to come on the blog this week. Stay tuned, because you definitely won't want to miss this post!


Happy Monday, friends!






Thursday, July 10, 2014

Craft: 5 Months Old

So, I am technically 5 days late on this post - sorry, baby boy.  We were in the mountains for our big 4th of July adventure and I just lost track of time.  Where have the past five months gone?  I don't even know.  Time is flying, and you are growing and changing so quickly.  I am not sure why, maybe it's because I have two babies now, but I feel like your "firsts" are coming so quickly and I am never ready.  Stop growing so fast!

Weight/Length:  We are all well aware by now that I have no idea.  I would guess that weight is somewhere between 19-20 lbs, and you seem longer to me because you are starting to look like you are thinning out, but I'm terrible at guessing so I won't go there.

Sleep:  This month we have been all over the place on sleeping - the only thing that has been consistent is an 8pm bedtime.  Just after Craft's four-month birthday (which also happened to correspond with my return to work), he decided that sleeping through the night was for losers.  At first he was up once or twice a night and was genuinely acting hungry, so I assumed it was a growth spurt and fed him when he cried.  This was a win/win because everyone was back to bed in 10 minutes or less - the doctor agreed with this decision at C's 4-month check-up and said that as long as he was actually hungry and eating when he woke up, that it was fine and just a phase.  I am not sure what changed but things got worse as the month progressed.  I kept waiting for the phase to end and it is seemingly neverending!  I think partially it is because we went on two trips this past month, and in an effort to not wake up the entire house during the middle of the night wake-ups I continued to just feed Craft if he woke up crying.  Somewhere along the way, I think that we must have created some bad habits!  This week, I have been letting C fuss a little if he wakes during the middle of the night instead of going in immediately to feed him.  If he gets to the point where he's too worked up and I know he won't calm down, I'll go ahead and feed him (which has only happened once this week), but other wise I let him fuss on and off until he puts himself back to sleep.  I am fired, but I think it might be paying off (hopefully I'm not speaking too soon by sharing that we have seen drastic improvement this week), so fingers crossed we're on our way back to "through the night."  If only I could baby minds, this process would be a lot easier.  :-) 

In terms of a "routine," Craft still doesn't really have one and I have been debating recently whether to try to force it (wake up at 8 and eat, 9 am solids, 10am nap, 12pm bottle, 1pm solids, 2pm nap, etc.) - he's just so good at going with the flow right now that I'm kind of afraid to mess with it.  Craft goes to bed at 8pm and 99% of the time has no problem putting himself to sleep (it's staying asleep that's the problem!).  He typically gets up for the day somewhere between 7:30 - 8:00 am.  He is still only awake for two hours at a time.  Naps are a little more consistent - his morning nap is normally only 45 minutes or 1 hour and his afternoon nap is typically at least 1.5 hours, a lot of times longer.  C also typically takes a 30-minute cat nap in the evening depending on how long the afternoon nap was.  We are still working on getting him to sleep through naps without waking up after sleep cycles, but we're getting there and he is improving by the day.  

I also should note that we transitioned Craft out of his sleep sack this month!  After the whole "breaking out of the swaddle" debacle, we decided to try the woombie upon recommendation of quite a few folks.  The woombie worked for about a week, until he started rolling over in it.  I just did not feel comfortable with him rolling over while trapped in that thing, so we decided to get rid of it.  I prepared for the worst and we went straight to the sleep sack, but it was actually very easy - much easier than transitioning Lilly out, in fact.  It really only took less than 10 minutes of crying one night and he was fine.  That, at least, was much easier than anticipated!

Feeding:  Craft nurses or has a bottle of breast milk every 4 hours during the day.  In fact, sometimes he tries to go longer than that but I force feed at 4 hours in an attempt to tank him up during and hopefully help at night in the process.  He also is currently getting one solid meal each day - at dinner - which typically consists of oatmeal mixed with breast milk and some sort of fruit or vegetable.  We've been making baby food at night this week, and as we introduce a bigger variety of foods I may add another meal (breakfast) over the next few weeks.  Here's what he's tried so far: avocado (not a fan); banana (loves); sweet potato (loves); butternut squash (he's had it several times this week and is still on the fence but has liked it better each day); oatmeal (likes).  Up next on the agenda: apples; peaches; p.e.a. (pea + apple + edamame); zucchini + apple + carrot.

Firsts This Month:  First trip to the mountains!  First bike ride.  First hike.  First solids.  First time sleeping in a sleep sack.  I'm sure I'm forgetting so many, I need to start writing them down!

Developments:  Craft's hand-eye coordination is getting better and better - he's very purposeful with his hands these days and of course puts everything straight in his mouth.  C is doing remarkably well with solids and is really good at eating from a spoon.  He's getting stronger than ever - he bounces in all of his bouncy contraptions (the jumperoo is a favorite), prefers "standing" (with our help of course) to sitting, and is starting to attempt to sit unassisted some (he doesn't quite have the hang of it yet - he still slouches over but holds his head up really well, but he'll get it before long I'm sure).


Likes:  Morning time and bath time are Craft's two favorite times of day.  Snuggling (especially in the middle of the night lately, oy!).  Eating. Music. Dancing. Laughing. Rolling over. Singing. Talking. Tummy time. Layla. Lilly. Fans. Sitting up. Jumperoo. Door jumper. Going outside. Walks. Bike rides. Being carried in the Ergo. Swimming in the pool.  Being naked (just like big sister). Kicking his legs. Exploring his vocal cords. Belly laughs. 

Dislikes:  Still such a happy boy, even when he's tired!  Craft's main dislikes are being cold, being hungry, when he's ready to nap or when he's gassy.

What I'm Thankful For:  That session is almost over for Dan!  And for two happy, healthy babies.  

What I'm Looking Forward To:  Improved sleep for all - hopefully sooner than later!  :-)

Next Pediatrician Appointment:  Sometime in August - the 6th, I think.

That's all for tonight, friends.  I'll leave you with of C's 5-month photos from my iPhone - too tired and lazy to upload the ones from the "real" camera tonight.  I'm also too lazy to make photo collages out of them so I'm just going to insert the pictures below (sorry inot sorry that I did a terrible job of narrowing down).  The photos are really funny, though, and showcase what a funny little personality Craft is developing - such a little ham!



















Craft: I didn't think it was possible for my heart to be any more full, little man, but you came into our lives and made yourself right at home and we are so grateful for you.  You are so happy and sweet - you're such a generally good baby and it's impossible not to smile when you're around.  You are mama's favorite boy, Daddy's little wingman and Big Sister Lilly's favorite play toy/dress-up doll.  We love you so much, sweet boy - now stop growing so quickly!





Monday, July 7, 2014

July 4th Weekend in the Mountains

I don't know about y'all, but it was SO hard to go back to work today.  My firm closed at 1pm on Wednesday, and we were able to head to the mountains later that day for a fun 4th of July weekend with my family.  There is no cell phone service at the cabin (although we do have internet), and even though we were on vacation from Wednesday - Sunday, I still wished we'd taken a few more days off - the trip was so relaxing.  The weather was magnificent and we had so. much. FUN!  I took a ton of photos which I have literally been trying to narrow down for 2 hours now, so I'm going to (try to) let those do (most of) the talking for me.


This was our view on the way up the mountain.  Dan said, and I quote, "The sky looks like it should be on the cover of a Jesus book."  I LOLed.

Josh, Katy and Mason were able to come on Wednesday night before heading to Hickory for the weekend.  We wished they'd been able to stay longer, but we were excited to spend a little time with them!  


Mason and Lills wanted to test out their new water table from Mimi as soon as we arrived.


Sweet cousins.
My babies were so happy to see their Mimi!

C was pretty happy about playing with Mason's toy.  I spy a future Christmas or birthday present...
Syd bought my Dad this swing when she went to Costa Rica, and it is seriously the jam.  Craft and Lilly LOVED it, and C and I took many a nap in there together.  So relaxing, not to mention I love baby snuggles.
C and Aunt KK
Twinsies!
Tracy was able to come up on Thursday as well YAY!, and the parentals were nice enough to stay with our kids after they went to bed so that we could have a night out.  We can't go to Boone without visiting Klondike - we all have so many college memories at that place, and in fact it is where Dan and I met (he was a bartender).  We had a blast!  


Back where it all began! 10 years (5 married) and 2 kids later, we felt REALLY old.
You are all welcome that I agreed to be the designated driver, fools.  I just wanted to go on public record and state that I volunteered to DD and I wasn't even pregnant, so now you all owe me.  :-)
On Friday morning after breakfast, Dan and I packed up the kids and headed into Boone to watch the 4th of July parade.  After the parade, we went on a bike ride through campus before heading home for lunch and naps.

We were in such a rush to get out the door so we'd have time for all of our fun activities before naps that I forgot to change poor Craft out of his jammies.  Luckily, he wasn't unhappy about it.
We camped out in front of Boone Bagelry to watch the parade, and we were wishing that we'd left a little earlier and eaten breakfast there.  Love that place!
I miss this place!  You can't really tell, but Craft was slouched over napping on Lilly for the entire bike ride, ha!

After nap, we decided to hike down into the woods behind my parents house to scope out the "swimming hole" that a neighbor told us about.  It was hard work getting down to it, but we were so glad we did because Lills had the time of her life - and so did Layla!  C was yet again sleepy.











I guess all of that strenuous hiking effort wore him out...
Showing off her new water shoes that Daddy found in the Dollar Tree.  "LOOK MOMMY, MY NEW SHOES ARE SO BEAUTIFUL!"
If you know my child and how particular she is, you will understand how shocked I was when she asked to take off her clothes and swim (especially since she wouldn't even get her water shoes wet - she demanded that they be taken off before she would touch the water with her feet).  The water was FREEZING but she had so much fun!



After our hiking and swimming excursion, I put the kids in their red, white and blue for a mini photo shoot.  The weather was glorious all weekend but it was cool during parts of the day and I didn't really pack appropriately so I had to wait until it was warm enough for them to wear their outfits!

Lilly insisted on both  pigtails and a bow, and it just wasn't worth the argument.


LOVE these two!
We ate a quick dinner and then it was time to christen the fire pit with some s'more action before fireworks.  She liked the s'mores portion of the evening...


PawPaw helping Lills scorch a marshmallow, just how mama likes it!
Lilly did not love the fact that s'mores are messy.  I would say she's my child except the messiness has never stopped me from inhaling a s'more or four.





"Oh no, Mommy!  I'm dirty!"
…but fireworks not so much (which is so funny since she loved them at NYE only 7 short months ago?!).

Not so sure about this, mama.
On Saturday we kept it pretty low-key.  We took Lilly tubing for the first time, which was a LOT of fun, but I didn't take a phone or camera for fear of them getting wet so I unfortunately don't have any photos of that - hopefully Mom does.  Poor Craft did not get to participate in any of that fun - he took a nap and hung out with Mimi.  He did enjoy his bath, though.



We decided to stay a little later than we normally would have on Sunday so that we could take one more trip to the swimming hole.  Sorry in advance that I just couldn't narrow this next set of photos down any further!







I can't let this photo pass without stating, on public record, an apology to my parents for making fun of their water shoes (I borrowed Mom's here).  They are legit when it comes to hiking and walking in the creek and I hate to say that there may be a pair in my near future.




As a result of our later-than-normal departure, the drive home took a little longer.  Lilly decided that she didn't need a nap, and Craft decided about 3/4 of the way home that he hated the car seat.  We stopped for a stretch break and turned what should have been a 3.5-hour-drive into a 4.5-hour-drive, but I would say the late stay was still worth it. 


And that, my friends, was our awesome 4th of July weekend.  I can't post about the 4th without mentioning how grateful I am for our freedom and to the men and women who fight to protect it daily.  

I hope your long weekend was wonderful as well!  We missed Craft's 5-month post over the weekend, so that's up next on the agenda for this week.  For now, though, I'm going to sleep while I can because my darling angel son's sleeping has gone to the toilet rapidly over the past week or so.  More on that later!


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