Thursday, September 7, 2017

Holland | Five Months

Five months!  One whole hand of months!  I feel like I just wrote Holland's four month post, which is pretty accurate because I was so late with it.  This time I was determined to be punctual! (Can you tell two of my three kids are now in school?)

This was a huge month for the two of us.  I finally feel like I know my daughter.  I think most moms feel like this a month or so in.  Me?  I'm pretty dang slow to figure my babies out.  I'll never forget when one of my friends heard her daughter cry and said, "Oh, that's her hungry cry."  There's a hungry cry?  It's different from a sleepy cry?  I thought babies just cried.  

But now I understand.  While I'm still not sure I believe there are different cries (hmm), I know how she likes to be held when she's tired, I know she hates to wake up on her stomach but also sleeps the best that way, I know she's never going to eat well if someone else is in the room (especially daddy - she only has eyes for him).  It's the best feeling.  Holland Claire, you're just the best!

This has been a big month of eating.  And I don't mean big changes, I just mean she still loves to eat all of the time.  In fact, I'm going to admit it right here & now... we don't do the Eat/Play/Sleep routine.  We do the Eat/Play/Eat/Sleep/Eat/Sleep routine.  I should be ashamed of myself but at the moment it's what's working best for both of us.  She hates to be put down awake in her crib so I have two options:  I can let her cry and check on her every minute or I can feed her before she naps and she's out like a light.  I consistently choose door two.  Mama needs a break.  

She's now wearing size 3 diapers and 6-12 month clothes.  It's still warm in Texas but most of her 6-12 month clothes are for fall so we have a select number of outfits that are on constant rotation.

Holland had her first cold a week ago and it made eating (and sleeping) pretty hard.  Her poor nose was so stopped up.  She handled it like a champ and is feeling much better.

Holland is so curious right now.  She loves to people watch and is so content just sitting in my lap and watching the world in front of her.  When we go to ballet & gymnastics she is happy as a lark with all of the commotion and attention.  Yesterday I took her grocery shopping while the kids were in school and she was fascinated with the balloons at the checkout counter.  She has a squeal that (unfortunately) sounds a bit like a witch's cackle, very much like her big sister.  And, funny enough, Sloane can get her to laugh more than anyone else in our house.  The sister bond is intense between those two and it is absolutely precious to watch.  

She really loves bouncing in the exersaucer and prefers it over the playmat.  After staring at the ceiling fan for the last few months she was more than ready for something new.  She can't sit up on her own but her core is getting much stronger and I don't think it'll be too much longer.  And while she's nowhere close to crawling, she pushes her legs against the ground and inches herself to where she wants to be.  

She is such a great mix of her siblings.  Jude was our happy baby and Holland is very much the same.  If she's crying it's because she's by herself or has been in the car longer than she would like.  Otherwise, she's all smiles for family and strangers alike.  Sloane was our curious baby and from a very young age you could see the wheels turning in her head.  Holland does this as well - future engineer like her Uncle B, perhaps?  

Meh.  I should stop including this category for now.   Holland is just now starting to take longer naps during the day.  Yesterday her morning nap lasted an entire 90 minutes and I checked her breathing about 12 times.  Nights have been inconsistent as well.  She wakes up at least once a night, sometimes twice, sometimes (dear Lord) thrice.  I know this is temporary and I'm trying so hard to savor those late night feedings.  I'm so tired most days but my goodness she is sweet.

This past week she has consistently slept on her belly.  She's so angry when she wakes up and is positioned this way but it doesn't stop her from immediately rolling over the second I put her in her crib.  Other than the occasional nap on our bed or in the car, all of her sleep occurs in the crib.  We're moving in a few weeks and I'm curious to see if the new room will affect her sleep at all.  

Lastly, the pacifier seems to be a thing of the past.  She never showed much interest in it but now it's rarely used.  She occasionally sticks her thumb in her mouth when she's really tired but never for more than a minute or two.  

Dear Holland.
My sweet little sidekick, I can't believe you're five months old.  You are at that perfect age where your personality shines but you're still not mobile.  It doesn't get any better than that - ha!  Now that the big kids are back in school, you and I have had a few days to ourselves and I think it's perfect for both of us.  Neither of us care to be alone so we definitely have each other's backs.  

One of the biggest differences between you and your siblings is how much I hold you.  I wasn't able to hold your big brother or sister much but you are on my hip or strapped to my chest constantly.  The second I put you down your face says it all... Not acceptable, mom.

We're still trying to figure out who you look like.  Most say you're a good mix of your siblings and/or favor your dad.  Your hair continues to come in slowly but surely.  It's so soft and looks to be a light brown.  No teeth yet but you're quite the drooler and your hands or feet are in your mouth constantly.  It'll be interesting to see if one pops out in the next month or so.  

You are quite the chatty Cathy.  Your dad and I laugh at your constant stream of "words," even when you're alone in your nursery.  Your smile is the sweetest and you're so generous with it.  Strangers are drawn to you and you can't get enough of it.  We've had lawn guys and painters over at our home and these macho men have all turned to mush thanks to you.  

Holland, we can't get enough of you.  Your dad and I know how fast these early months go and we have both tried to make every moment count.  You bring us so much joy and I get so excited when I think about all the fun times ahead.  I adore you, sweet girl.

Love - Mom

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

One Stop Bow Shop

I'm so excited about today's post! Casey, owner of One Stop Bow Shop, reached out to me right before Sanibel and asked if I'd be interested in trying some of her bows on my girls.  It took me about 1.4 seconds to respond, "ABSOLUTELY!" I'd seen her bows on several of my friends' daughters and always thought they were adorable but wasn't sure Sloane (and now Holland) could rock big Texas bows.  I took a look at her website and saw all different sizes - I'd clearly worried for nothing.

When we got back from our trip I had the cutest box of bows waiting for me.  Casey has a Monthly Bow Box that comes with five bows for $20 + free shipping.  It's an amazing deal - take a peek at September's Bow Box...

On top of the Monthly Bow Box, she has several other deals as well.  She always offers free shipping over $30 and has 6 pc bow bundles listed for the price of 5.

So here's our issue with bows.  We all know Sloane's hair is tricky (as in, she didn't have any for almost four years) so keeping a bow in place can be downright frustrating.  I kid you not, she wore the xlarge coral rose bow for hours one day and it didn't budge (FYI - all of her bows had the alligator slide).  Even Sloane was shocked.  I'd watch her cautiously reach for it, notice it was still in place, and look at me with a huge grin.  Not sure how Casey did it, but the quality is amazing and these bows DON'T MOVE.  The colors are vibrant and the patterns are so fun.

Sloane had her girlfriends over for a playdate so I asked if they'd be little models for me. All different hair types and colors - the girls had fun picking which bow they'd wear!

Holland wearing Yellow knit headband w/ bow & Sloane wearing Coral Rose (xlarge)

Holland wearing Yellow knit headband w/ bow

Sloane wearing Moss Burlap (large)

Ally Ann wearing Peach (large)

Layton wearing Coral Rose (xlarge)

Hadley wearing Lavender (xlarge)

Sloane wearing Aqua (large)

Just for a size comparison, Layton is wearing xlarge & Sloane is wearing large...

Sloane is wearing large and Hadley & Layton are both wearing xlarge...

Casey also specializes in matching bows with Matilda Jane dresses...  I feel like a whole new world of clothes and bows has opened up to us.  And I'm a little afraid.  Ha!

So the fun part... Casey is offering a coupon code to all of you for the rest of August (only one week left - get moving)!  CLICK HERE to visit her shop and after you've made your selection, use the code MEREDITH to get 20% off your order! Be sure to let me know which bows you get for your girl(s)!

*Thank you so much to Casey for sending us complimentary bows to review.  I'm a huge fan and a very happy customer.  More importantly, so are Sloane & Holland!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Holland | Four Months

Holland is four months and we're falling more in love each day!

Holland's stats at four months...
Weight: 15 lbs 15 oz (80%)
Height: 26" (95%)
Head: 16.5"

Judging by her weight, Holland continues to be an excellent eater.  Her arm rolls are starting to resemble her big brother's and her cheeks could not be fuller.  She typically eats every 2.5-3.5 hours during the day and has become incredibly efficient unless there is a lot going on in the room.  She continues to have major FOMO and is such a social butterfly that she doesn't want to miss a thing... even if it means missing out on a meal.  When we're at home I've been going to her room to feed her so she doesn't have so many distractions.

Several times a week she's still waking up in the middle of the night to eat.  SIGH.  If it were just a snack I'd think it was a phase but these are full blown meals.  I know the 4-month sleep regression is common but I'm feeling like a newborn mom again.  So very sleepy.

Her pediatrician was pleased with her weight gain and told us we could start her on rice cereal at four months or wait until six. I waited until six months with the twins and plan to do the same with Holland.

We had a bit of a scare at the beginning of month four.  I had a pretty bad headache and decided to use peppermint essential oil instead of taking meds.  I used a few drops on my forehead.  The next day my supply tanked. I normally get around 10 oz each time I pump and this day I pumped two.  TWO!  I had no idea what was happening and poor Holland was hungry an hour after every feeding.  It wasn't until a day or so later I realized the drop in supply was due to the peppermint oil.  Thankfully, once I stopped using the oil everything went back to normal.  Thank goodness.  Anywho, this is a PSA to stay far, far away from peppermint oil while breastfeeding.  Now I know what I'll be using when it comes time to wean!

Holland is wearing size 2 diapers and once we're done with this box we'll move to size 3.  She's still able to fit in most of her 3-6 month clothes but they're definitely getting snug.  I imagine by next month she'll only be able to wear 6-12.  This is all happening so fast!  Her hair is starting to grow back and is so soft.  She has blonde roots but is still hanging onto quite a bit of her dark hair from birth so I'm curious to see what it'll look like and if it'll be straight like Jude's or wavy like Sloane's!

Holland loves to play and has such a fun personality these days.  She adores watching Jude & Sloane and they can get her to smile/laugh faster than anyone.  When we were in Florida she rolled from back to stomach for the first time (July 31) and now you can't put her down without her immediately rolling.

We also pulled out the bumbo and she enjoyed it as well, though I'm not sure how much we'll use it because her chunky thighs barely fit.

While we were in Florida she loved splashing in the water but we mostly kept her inside or in the shade since she couldn't wear sunscreen.  It was such a fun trip and her cousins were so sweet with her.  Evan was great at showing the others how to hold her carefully and they all loved to squish her cheeks.

I just let out a defeated sigh.  This has been a bit hard for everyone.  As I mentioned above, she's not consistently sleeping through the night.  Some nights she does and some nights she's up 1-2 times wanting to eat.  If the nighttime sleep regression was our only issue I'd drink an extra cup of coffee and deal with it.  However, her real struggle is napping during the day.  She is queen of the short naps. Her longest one is typically in the morning and then the entire afternoon is a jumbled mess of short naps and an even shorter temper.  She still loves to be held as she drifts off to sleep so putting her in her crib wide awake usually leads to very loud screams.

Since Holland officially rolls from front to back and back to front, we decided to retire the Dockatot.  The week before we left for Florida she started exclusively sleeping/napping in her crib and the transition was so easy for her (not so much for me).  She used the Dockatot while we were in Sanibel and I think she preferred the extra space in the crib so once we returned it's been all crib all the time and we haven't looked back.  I sure do miss her sleeping right next to me but I know this is better for everyone.

Her pediatrician doesn't recommend the cry it out method until six months so for now, I'm just trying my best to stick to a (laidback) schedule and realize most days are going to have some flaws.  I'm curious to see if this gets a little better when the twins go to school and there are less distractions, less noise, and more consistency.  Or maybe she's just a terrible sleeper.


Holland was dedicated to the Lord on July 22.  Instead of my usual monthly blog letter, I'm going to include the letter Michael and I wrote and read at her dedication.  It was such a sweet time with both sets of grandparents.

Dear Holland,

Today we dedicate you, our precious daughter, to the Lord.  From the moment we found out about you, we’ve prayed.  Prayers of thanksgiving, prayers for wisdom, and prayers for safety.  We know you were entrusted to us for such a short time and when we think about your life, we hope you are compassionate, loyal, and brave.  

Holland, we pray you always show compassion to those around you.  Love the unlovable, care for the careless, and give hope to the hopeless. Whether it be a hurting friend or a complete stranger, show them love.  It’s a free gift that has a lasting impact.  

We pray you are loyal.  You were born into an imperfect family, but loyalty has always been at our core.  Be committed to Jesus and the Gospel as well as your friends and family.  Loyalty is a requirement in any relationship, and we promise to hold you accountable.  Never let go of loyalty and faithfulness. Tie them around your neck; write them on your heart.

Lastly, we pray you are brave.  The world can be a scary place but there is so much good.  Seek out the beauty and look for the adventure.  God did not give you a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.  Remember that when you are scared.  Be bold.  Be brave.  And always know you have so many people standing beside you, cheering you on.

As your family, we pledge to serve as your foundation throughout your life.  We will do our best to serve as examples, continually working on our relationships with each other and the Lord.  Our commitment to you is that you will always know love and be continually reminded of how special you are, not only in our eyes, but in His.  We will strive to raise you in an honest, happy home, and a community and network of friends that will nurture your walk with Christ.  

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:14-19

We love you, Holland Claire.  

Love - Dad & Mom


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