Two best boys in the world!

Anthony 3 Month Letter

Dear Baby Wee,

You have really turned a corner this last month! There are so many things that we love about you, and I will try to list just a few of them!

1. When your Daddy and I were talking about all of our favorite things that you do, your pouty face made the top of the list. Boy does it ever! Your pouty mad face is pretty much the CUTEST thing we’ve ever seen! Picture this face, but you’re wailing, “GOOO!!!!” or “GEEEE!” You sniffle a little, and then you stick your lip out again. I kinda hope you’re always this cute when you’re upset.

See what I mean?

2. You are so chunky and big! You’ve now been in 6-9 month clothing for 3 weeks– anything smaller doesn’t even button! One lady at church asked us jokingly if we were giving you steroids. Then she said, “No seriously, are you already feeding him solids?” Mommy loves that you’re growing so well. It’s probably what makes you so jolly!

Look at all those rolls!

You’re so long!

3. You are so interactive and joyful! The moment anyone looks your way, you crack the biggest grin. You jabber away constantly, looking your audience straight in the eye the entire time.

You have a few fussy times every day, but they are brief and curable, especially now that your horrible reflux has been going away.

Chattering away!

4. You are a FANTASTIC sleeper! All we have to do to get you to sleep is swaddle you and walk away. That’s it! You don’t take a pacifier, Mommy doesn’t have to nurse you to sleep, you don’t need white noise, nothing. You just are an excellent self-soother!

Lately, you’ve been sleeping from 10pm-6am, with 2 “sleep” nursing sessions, and then you take 2-3 hour naps all day long, with 1 hour awake periods in between. We can tell you’re tired because you stop wanting to look us in the eye and you get mildly fussy. What a wonderfully easy baby!

Cute sleepy face

5. You ADORE your older brother, even when he does funny things to you, like stuff pacifiers in your mouth or “pretend” to pee on you.

6. You love your baths! It’s difficult to get everything out of all those rolls though, which is why you sometimes smell like old milk…oh well, you can’t be perfect, right? After your baths, your hair is so soft and shiny though…still super dark. You are turning into my dark haired, blue eyed boy! Your umbilical hernia is almost gone as well.

Our chubby bathing beauty

7. You love to giggle when Mommy kisses your cheeks. Seriously, it never fails! You will giggle over and over and over again– dozens of times in a row. You also giggle when you’re being tickled at your neck. Your smiles and giggles are two of Mommy’s favorite things in life. Oh, and your smile almost always includes your tongue.

8. You found your fists this week, and you love to slurp/suck on them. This little skill helps when you are sitting by yourself in your bouncy seat. You are surprisingly content for a baby– you’re so quiet, we have to be careful you don’t get neglected!

You are such a wonderful kiddo– such a wonderful balance between a long, great sleeper and a happy, interactive boy! Your brother loves you, and your parents love you. Someday, we hope you will love us just as much 🙂

Love, Mommy

Projects Around the House!

Where to start? I’ve been going hog-wild the past couple of days.

Let’s start with the pillows (inspired by this $169 version!):

The yellow one on the right used to be two napkins that match my tablecloth

Yes, I even stenciled the letters myself!

I’m super proud of this one. I made an envelope-style cover! The stripes even match up

What good are pillows without a matching bench? We decided to go with Ikea’s Expedit for extra table seating. Since our table is trestle style, there are no legs to interfere with the seating, plus the bench is the same height as our chairs, AND we needed additional storage near our garage door for shoes/sandals, and also near our sliding glass door for all of G’s backyard toys.

We made the bench cushion using burlap from and a cushion from Home Depot

You’ve already seen the sign, but now there are curtains and a bird canvas (inspired by this Pinterest find) to match.

Closeup of the kitchen curtains

Closeup of the matching bird canvas (I used fabric from the curtains)

And then there’s our floormat. We used this tutorial from Pinterest in order to create a child-friendly rug for our kitchen/dining nook. I’ll tell you now– it works! Tried and true! After we completed the 3 Polyurethane coats, we added the Ikea Stopp Filt Rug Pad (Only $9.99! A steal!).

Using the same fabric as the pillow cover (from, Premier Prints Lulu Twill), I hemmed it before we started rolling it

Another view with a little different lighting

Thank God for summer, and thank God for a selfless husband who watches the kids while I complete my “projects”!

Update from Sleepy Summer Land

I’ve been posting less as of late, and there is a very simple explanation– the cord to my Macbook went through its final death throes last week. I’ve been having to borrow Jesse’s laptop in order to check my email, and since he’s almost always typing or researching stuff for school, those opportunities are hard to come by.

My new cord came in the mail yesterday, and so I am a happy camper again! I should be getting around to loading my 4th of July pictures soon as well.

Lil Slugger

This is what Gregory does for HOURS if we let him. We’re still working on his swing…

Taking It Easy With Two Babies

Summer is well underway, which means I have tons of help from Mr. Husband. It’s amazing how much easier it is to raise two kids when there are two people to change the diapers, wash the dishes, pick up the toys, etc.! We’ve even managed to get quite a few projects done around the house! I should really take pictures someday soon– I made CURTAINS. Yes, curtains, people. And I painted a canvas! And spray painted our patio set a gorgeous sunny yellow! Mr. Husband even helped me organize a few closets (without turning into a woman OR finding Narnia, safe to say).

I have a few thoughts, most of them jumbled, about how it is taking care of a newborn/almost-3-month-old second time around. When looking at my experience with Gregory vs. my experience with Anthony, it’s hard to separate their personalities from the mix. Gregory was picky about EVERYTHING. Not only did he want a pacifier at all times, but it had to be one certain kind of silicone pacifier– no latex, no weird shapes, just those NUK ones. Anthony doesn’t even like pacifiers. We only use one when he’s screaming his face off and needs a tiny bit of consolation to get a grip on reality. He doesn’t get any special type– most of the time, we just grab Gregory’s 18 month sized one out of his mouth and stick it in Anthony’s without even washing it (true story).

Even though he was picky, Gregory still wasn’t a particularly tough baby, by any means. He slept 10-13 hrs. at night by the time he was 6 months old, no allergies even when I was breastfeeding, no colic or spit-up, walked by the time he was 11 months, and now talks above and beyond his age level, speaking complete sentences. The only thing we ever had to worry about was his weight gain, and while that was STRESSFUL, he’s now evened out and is sitting right in the 50-60th percentile!

Since we had such a relatively easy time with G, I thought for SURE that Anthony would be a high maintenance baby, because you can only get lucky once, right?

Lucky for us, Anthony is even easier than G was!

Then again, how much of it is his personality? How much of it is that we’ve been through this once before? How much of it is we have “family-help” coming out of our ears?

Regardless, I thought I would outline some of my experience thus far, in the case that it is useful to someone out there. Who knows, it will probably be the most helpful to my future self, seeing as I am very forgetful when it comes to these everyday details that seem mundane until you’re in the thick of things.

Breastfeeding: 2nd time round has been SUCH a breeze. Anthony has had a perfect latch from day one, mostly because I had the lactation consultants right there at a moment’s notice for 48 hrs. They were able to correct problems before they even began, minimizing any collateral damage. I have plenty of milk for him with enough extra to give Gregory and freeze additional feedings. He also knows how to use a bottle, but we’ve only needed to use one three times thus far.

One of the “crazy” things I did this time around was I completely let go of control. I think I “might” have timed his feedings the very first day we got home from the hospital, but that’s it. I never looked at a clock to check how long he was feeding, never wrote down the times in between feedings, never kept track of which side he started/ended on. At first, I felt really guilty about this and kept making a promise to find a bedside clock or something. I also felt guilty because the few times I did time him, he was only nursing for 10 minutes! (for those of you who’ve forgotten, newborns are supposed to nurse for 20-30 minutes a feeding). Deep down in my gut, however, I knew he was getting enough– the brevity of our nursing sessions were due to his ability to suck super efficiently, especially for a newborn. Most of the time, I only fed him on one side even! Whenever I tried to “force” him to eat more, he always spat it up.

Once we had his first Dr. appt. and found that he was already a pound and a half OVER his birth weight, I stopped giving myself a hard time and decided just to go off of his cues, rules be damned! Yes, while I was always on a “schedule” with Gregory, I now feed Anthony on demand, whenever he wants it. I was scared to do this with Gregory because the books all say that they will only snack on foremilk this way, but they’re wrong (and I have a ginormous baby to prove it).

The downside to “on demand” feeding is that it’s harder (but definitely not impossible, surprisingly) to plan around. It also requires that one be really in tune with the baby. Anthony is right next to me all day, even at night in his little bassinet, so it isn’t hard for me to always hear his sounds and determine when he’s hungry.

My advice? Schedules are okay, but they’re probably more for the mother than they are for the baby’s health (unless the baby has medical condition…don’t get me wrong!). But don’t let the books scare you. Boobs are smart creatures, and they listen best to the baby they were meant to keep alive, not to some Doctor trying to make money off another theory.

Sleeping: Again, I think we just got super lucky in this category. Anthony has been a fantastic sleeper from week 1. The first few days he had a bit of night/day confusion, but he figured it out pretty quickly. Some of this is due to how much he likes sleeping in his bassinet that has the perfect incline. He sleeps pretty well anywhere (in the car, in his Moby wrap, in the living room) because we’ve never put him down to sleep in his own room. He’s used to having noise all around.

He also knows how to self-soothe— as long as he’s fed and changed, he will find a way to fall asleep. The one or two times a night that he does nurse, I just plop him back into his bassinet. I can only assume that he falls back asleep, since I don’t hear him complaining! Basically, I can’t remember a time where I’ve had to soothe this kid to sleep. All that could change, but for right now…knock on wood, right?

The only exception to all of this is if he’s gassy or refluxing, in which case he’s basically screaming his head off. This only occurs in the afternoon/early evening, for some reason.

I haven’t decided when we’re going to start a nap schedule. For right now, it’s pretty doable to let him decide when he’s sleepy and wants to nod off. His super-sleepy night time phase starts between 11-12pm and goes until 4-6am, on a usual basis. Until something needs to change, I’m going to keep doing what we’re doing, which is absolutely nothing 🙂

Siblings: Gregory has always taken pretty well to “Wee”, but he also has his moments. We are very strict about any physical interaction with Anthony– if G so much as lightly slaps him, even on the leg, he gets a spanking on his hand and has to sit there with us until he apologizes. Don’t get me STARTED on the foam baseball bat he’s taken to hitting everything with (he watched Jesse swatting a fly one day…BIG MISTAKE). But we try to mitigate his negative responses as best we can, basically by reading his Big Brother books, referring to him all the time as the Good Big Brother, praising the CRAP out of anything nice he does for Wee, and making the time to let him “help” with special chores that only Big Brothers get to do. We help him “hold” Wee often and talk about how much Anthony loves him. So far, it’s been working, 90% of the time. G hardly ever gets jealous any more, and he almost pees his pants with excitement when I say that he can hold Wee. Tonight, they took a bath together and it was absolutely precious.

I’ve also tried to make sure that Gregory gets plenty of one-on-one time in order to minimize jealousy. I make a conscious effort to put Anthony down and go somewhere to play with toys together. If he acts out while I’m breastfeeding Anthony, I ask him to bring books and we read together. We have started a weekly date, just the two of us, to gymnastics, and then we “discuss” it the rest of the day. When he’s cranky after a nap, he gets plenty of rocking in the chair instead of reprimanding him. I try and take the time to remind him that although he is a big brother now, he is my baby, first and foremost.

Not So Much: What we haven’t figured out yet is how to minimize Anthony’s reflux pain. Luckily, we caught all the signs early– the clicking at the back of the throat after he was done eating, the super sad/painful crying, the immediate relief after spitting up. I knew right away that something was wrong and persisted with the doctor at his 2 month appt. until she gave us some baby-Zantac. As much as I hate giving my baby drugs, I knew it was temporary, and I could see such an immediate difference in how happy he was. But the Zantac hasn’t cured it completely, and while I can minimize his pain by feeding him just a little bit at a time during his “bad” moments (afternoons are hard), it still persists as a problem. Perhaps he just has to grow out of it!

Basically? I think going with the flow and relaxing about all the stuff you’re “supposed” to do has worked a million times better this time around. With Gregory, we had the choice, and I got super anal about everything. With two babies, there was no choice, which is how we discovered that it was the best way to go in the first place! Basic mantra: unless it’s broke, don’t fix it. Even if some super schmancy book or website says so! Mommy’s Instinct really is worth volumes over anything else.

a dose of cuteness

Lately, Anthony has definitely been giving Gregory a run for his money when it comes to “cutest Cone baby”.



This is how happy he is to see me, first thing in the morning!


Not only is he joyful (several giggly/smiley times every day, usually right after he’s spat up all over me), but he is a pro sleeper. He is now sleeping 6-8 hrs. at night, and takes naps anywhere, especially in the Moby wrap! Although he LOOKS like a 6 month sized baby, he still holds his head up like the 2 month old he is, so the Moby works best when he’s completely zonked out.


As if you needed more convincing, here are some adorable 1 minute videos (they always happen spur of the moment, and since my Blackberry only takes 1 min. videos….) As you can see, he’s quite the talker!



Mary Mary Quite Contrary

This post is dedicated to the first day of summer!

Remember these little dudes? My squash seedlin’s?

April 7th, just 4 days before Anthony was born

Last we checked, they were doing fine in their new homes:

End of April

Well, wouldya get a look at them now?

yowza! Just 2 months later!

3 more just like this

Then, we have a couple new kids on the block:

Zuchinni seedling on the left was started in May. The one on the right was store-bought, for comparison. I could be biased, but it looks like mine is better

A few tomato plants. The one I started from seed is in the middle, the two on the outside were store-bought seedlings that someone gave us


Also part of our merry band are the tropical plants that I was given at graduation. They were used to decorate at the reception, but they needed someone to take them home! I obliged.

windowsill cuties

If I can find the time to transport them, we will be borrowing a few half wine barrels from Brooke to plant a few more seedlings that my uncle grew for us. Preferably, I’d like to have a couple different kinds of peppers– none of my seedlings sprouted 😦

We won’t get a ton of produce this year, but I think it’s pretty good, considering I just had a baby AND we moved!

Also, considering my past gardening attempts, at best, looked like this!

Spring 2011



Today, I took Gregory to a “Mommy and Me” gymnastics class at the old gym I was a part of as a child. It was nostalgic, to say the least (although I did quite a bit more than jump and climb around back then!).

Gregory is a bit of an odd duck when it comes to new social situations. Most of the time, he sits off to the side, observing quietly, until he finds something he can feel safe doing. When he finds that, he latches on like a leech and doesn’t let go. After a bit, if we’re lucky, he branches out.

Today was no exception. Guess what they had littered alllll over the floor? BALLS. Of all different shapes and sizes. Gregory was in heaven. For the first half of class, Gregory must have sent at least 3 kids crashing to the ground because he was throwing balls into the dancing/prancing session of “circle time”. The first time I got him to “climb” the circuit of soft obstacles (he was totally mesmerized by the trampoline), he complied. The second time? He gave me a low warning growl (spending too much time with Clarabelle?), reminding me that he wanted the BALLS.

But he became more and more interested in what the other kids were doing as the hour progressed, even voluntarily climbing on the circuit and trying to walk on the straight line velcro-ed to the floor. There were lots of fun songs and group activities, although only half of the kids participated (the other half were climbing and jumping off of everything in sight!).

I took my eyes off Gregory for one second, and when I found him again, he’d run over to the corner, near one of the speakers that was blasting some nonsense song about “staying true to yourself”. And he was dancing. Not any old dancing. River dancing. He had one foot at a time, tapping in front of him to the rhythm, both hands on his hips. Then, he turned sideways and started hopping back and forth. It was the FUNNIEST thing I’ve seen in a long time. I really wish I could’ve gotten it on video.


Only wants to throw balls because he’s too manly to play on the gym equipment?

Off in the corner, doing some undeniably feminine river-dancing moves by himself? What???

Then, the whole way home, I could hear Gregory in the backseat talking about it all. Lots of gibberish, but I could make out a few words, mainly, “BALL!” Also, this string of words kept repeating itself: “Home, Dadda! Home, Wee! Home, COOKIE!”. Hmmm… I may have had a hard time getting him to leave….caught red-handed, bribing my kid…..

The class meets every Tuesday and Thursday morning, and it’s pretty cheap. I think we’ll be going often!

Being Gregory’s Mother– 20 Months

Being Gregory’s mother means knowing that when he HEARS that garbage truck behind the backyard fence, he will strain every muscle in his body to try and see it from his high chair. Best save the chiropractor for a later date and lift him up high to see it.

Being Gregory’s mother means knowing that if you put on some music, preferably the Downton Abbey soundtrack, he will start dancing. She doesn’t know where he got most of his “moves”, like the one where he’s “sprinkling seeds”, and especially the river dancing, but Gregory’s mother doesn’t ask rude questions like that. She does suspect that Gregory’s father has something to do with it all…

So suave!

Being Gregory’s mother means knowing that although he seems to like torturing “Ra-relle”, that dog is still his best friend. Gregory’s mother can rest assured, knowing that they have an odd symbiotic relationship wherein he occasionally acts as the benevolent dropper of snacks, and she occasionally acts as a punching bag for all manner of shovels, brooms and toy cars.

Gregory never met a dog he didn’t like

Being Gregory’s mother means knowing that he WILL remember whatever word you say and repeat it. Watch out, world. He points to his Mamma’s cup and says, “Beer!”. He yells “WHY!!!”, not because he’s asking, but because it’s what Mamma uses instead of a 4 letter word. When he says he wants “vaggies” for dinner, Gregory’s mother doesn’t get embarrassed– she knows he meant those little carrots and corn kernels, not….anything else.

Being Gregory’s mother means finally getting kisses “with lips” instead of with a head butt. A definite improvement, except for when he gets too enthusiastic…

Being Gregory’s mother means knowing that he has some anatomical trouble when it comes time to find his “bel-bow”, but he is a pro at naming his hair, ears, eyes, pointer finger, chin, tongue, teeth, you name it!

Being Gregory’s mother means being continually surprised by just how smart he is. Gregory’s mother used to have to prompt him with letters, asking, “What’s this one? What does it say?”, but she was shocked to find that he now loves to run up to license plates and read off the letters and numbers. Gregory’s mother knows that Gregory especially likes having a “B” on his shirt, especially when it’s accompanied by a matching “baseball”. One can never get bored when they have easy entertainment sitting right there for the saying.

All ready for first trip to the zoo!

Being Gregory’s mother means getting to take advantage of his new-found attention to detail. Gregory’s mother gets spit up on quite often by Gregory’s little brother, but the icky stuff doesn’t phase Gregory– he follows directions and goes to get Mommy a washcloth.

Being Gregory’s mother means getting to watch him sit for nearly ten minutes while concentrating and trying to figure something out.

Being Gregory’s mother means knowing that one SURE way to make him giggle is to say, “MAH-rrrrio!”. Gregory’s mother also knows that the best silly things don’t make sense.

Being Gregory’s mother means knowing that his favorite book is “Jamberry“, and that it can be read a variety of ways to his liking. Sometimes, an English accent is okay with him– it does rhyme, after all. And sometimes, it should be half-way sung. And sometimes, it should be done with tickles, all at the right spots. Gregory’s mother also knows that Gregory likes games, especially when they involve food, and that the only REAL way to read Jamberry is with a plate full of fresh berries, ready to snack on during each page.

Smiling with Nana on Mother’s Day

Being Gregory’s mother means knowing that, when pointing out objects, he doesn’t like to just stop with one “tree!”, but wants to find, “anUH tree!” or “two tree!”. This also applies to “lams” (lamps), “doe-s” (doors), and “haws” (hats, of which there are a LOT in Jamberry).

Pointing out things at the park

Being Gregory’s mother means getting to wake up to the most sweet and cheerful voice saying, “Hi! Mamma, Dadda, maw-ning! Hi!” Gregory’s mother also gets to cuddle with him every morning as he drinks his milk, knowing that he will stop in between gulps to say, ever so tenderly, “mmm, Mama…mmmm, Dadda….mmm, Wee….”

So cute when waking up from a nap!

Being Gregory’s mother means getting to hear his sweet, “Nigh-nigh, lub-loo” (“love you”) every night as he’s on his way to bed with Dadda.

Asleep on the floor while playing

Being Gregory’s mother means getting to stand peacefully in church with the most well-behaved child she’s ever seen. Gregory’s mother also gets to respond to at least 2 people, every week, who say, “Wow! How did you train him to be so GOOD during church?” And the only answer Gregory’s mother can ever give is, “We didn’t do anything! He just loves church!” Because, how else do you explain how a toddler is able to quietly sit for 2+ hours???

Gregory standing at attention all of Anthony’s baptism next to Mamma and Dadda

Being Gregory’s mother means knowing that the only way he comes back inside from playing is by kicking and screaming. Gregory’s mother knows that he loves the outdoors so much, and this is just the price one has to make in order to be a civilized human being.

Being Gregory’s mother means knowing that he loves sports of all kinds. She knows that all it takes is someone to demonstrate, whether it be an NBA player on TV or Dadda. Gregory’s mother doesn’t have to be afraid when he’s in the backyard all by himself for nearly an hour– he’s just hitting the ball off the tee, over and over again.

Being Gregory’s mother means relinquishing a certain amount of control when it comes to her plants. Gregory frequently “waters” these plants by stabbing the dirt around them with the watering can’s spout.

Being Gregory’s mother, ultimately, means getting to feel ever so blessed, every single day, for such a sweet, loving, smart and hilarious kid.  It means getting the joy of hearing him say things, like, “Dadda HOME!” It means getting to spend every day with someone who she not only loves, but someone she loves being around, “tinky” diapers and all 🙂