Friday, July 7, 2017

0-3 Month Favorites

It's hard to even write about this because I'm still in denial it's already been three months. And maybe I'm not the best to write on this topic because my kid is a giant and resembles a 6-9 month old and most "newborn" items didn't make the list because he was too large for them.

So Weston is three months old. He's around 16-17 pounds and around 25-26" long. He's in the 90+% for both height and weight and I love on his chubby cheeks every single day. He's the yummiest baby boy I've ever laid eyes on and has the cutest smile in the world. Not that I'm biased or anything.  Here are the items we loved the last three months with him...big baby approved, too ;)

We have used a different type of bath seat for each of our kids, and by far my favorite of all time is this one by Angelcare. Since Weston's first bath, this is what I have used and never worried about him sliding down or off of it, thanks to the section that comes up right in the front. It's light weight, you can hang it up after the bath (or just leave it in the tub because you have three kids and who has extra time to hang a bath seat up?). BUT if you did, you could!

To go along with the bath/cleaning theme, a more recent favorite that I wish I had discovered sooner are from Mustela. Weston got blessed with the dreaded baby acne pretty early on. And despite how much I kept his face clean, or how gentle the product claimed to be, nothing helped the poor kid. After reading a few other moms talk about Mustela's products specifically helping with baby acne, I figured I'd give it a shot. Within the first few days I noticed a difference and just keeps getting better! Plus, the smell like HEAVEN. Literally, every night when I lather him up with lotion I tell him how he smells like he came down from Heaven...which he totally did, so I'm not too far off.  I use the Cleansing Fluid a few times a day and the lotion morning and night. Pretty sure I will never purchase another brand because they smell.that.good!

Swimming Barbie dolls are optional for boy bath time ;)

And to round out the grooming category, one of my favorite kits is from Boon. Their grooming kit has everything and anything you would need for the first few months. From the nail clippers (which the design of these is SO awesome) to a medicine dispenser to the most brilliant cradle cap brush, it's definitely a keeper and should be on everyones baby registry!

As far as baby gear is concerned, we really haven't used much with him yet. From the day we came home until we transitioned him into his crib (we're "early to move the baby" type of people- Weston was in his crib at night by 7 weeks), he slept in the Bassinest next to my side of the bed. It's a wonderful, wonderful blessing to be able to reach over in the middle of the night to pick him up and NOT have to get out of bed a million times. Nurse him, burp him, change in on the bed, and then place him back into the bassinest- without even moving! They are definitely pricey, but worth it. If you have any expecting momma's a few months behind you, maybe look into splitting the cost and sharing it.

He is a big time hold me type of baby. Meaning, he does not like you putting him down. So he practically lived on me the first two months of his life until he slowly started being ok not being attached to me 24/7. I've tried every type of wrap, sling, carrier you could think of...seriously. And the only thing that I kept coming back to, was comfortable for me and him, gave me really good back support was the Ergo 360. I feel like I'm gearing up to do some serious heavy lifting with the back brace part, but it's a life saver! Especially since he is a big, heavy boy, it saved me and my back! Now that he's more comfortable being put in something, we absolutely LOVE the bouncer from Skip Hop. It can raise up and down to have the baby at different levels, so he literally "sits" with us at the dinner table. It's genius and I had never seen anything like that before.

And you can't forget a nursing cover for breastfeeding momma's. I love my Covered Goods cover, and love how it can be a car seat cover, a nursing cover, a cart cover and a scarf. This was the first baby that I honestly felt comfortable enough to nurse in public, mainly because I found a cover that actually covers and doesn't make me paranoid everything is hanging out for the whole world to see. And when you're in the middle of church, nursing your baby, you can just wrap it up around your neck to make a cute scarf out of it. Not that I know about that or anything.

Two of my all time favorite items we have for Weston would be the personalized items we received.  My brother and sister-in-law had the Florida rattle personalized for him, and we purchased the sign to hang in his room. The sign is from Blue Fox Engraving and it was sent out so quickly! I was super impressed and just love seeing it in his room every day. I love having quality heirloom type products for him to hang onto forever. 

Monday, July 3, 2017

Dear Kinsley

Dear Kinsley,

You are almost 5 years old (in two months) and I can't begin to explain how proud I am to be your mommy. You are the bravest, most confident and sweet and smartest kid I've ever met. When you put your mind to something, you go all out and won't stop until it's perfect. I'm pretty sure you could play with two rocks all day and create a million different scenarios and scenes to act out with them. Like the other day, we used a toy mixer and toy blender to act out people in Moana. You're creativity amazes me and I just love to sit back and watch you play. 

You had your first dance recital the beginning of June and man, I couldn't stop smiling at you when you performed on stage. You never once acted nervous or scared to perform in front of all those people, and it kind of made me sad at just how independent you really are. I kind of wanted to give you that pep talk of "it'll be ok baby, you are going to do great! There's no need to be scared, it'll be so much fun!" Instead, I was giving myself the pep talks... "it's ok, Jenna! She's growing up, I know and it's hard for you but you should be so happy she's not like you! And she isn't shy or scared to be away from you!". But man, it was a punch in the gut to drop you off backstage and you just stand there waving bye to me like I got this mom!

You attended your first cheerleading camp and while I was so worried about it (get used to that, it's just what I do) and how you would do, you blew me out of the water. You literally didn't even tell me bye when a cheerleader came to get you and take you to your camp group. I honestly got in the car and cried. And listened to Darius Rucker's It Won't Be Like This For Long and then reallllllly started crying. You just blossomed into this whole new girl. This confident, independent, not scared of new things and BRAVE girl! At your last day of cheer camp, they had a performance for all family and friends to come watch. You rocked it like nobody's business, whipped out a front roll and even were the top of a pyramid. Whaaaat??!!

But the best, most incredible sight to see was your quest to perform for daddy's basketball players. It all started when daddy let you sing in the microphone after a day of his camp this week. You were in LOVE. Finally being able to put your talent to the test on a real microphone. You sang Shake It Off (the version from Sing) and came home begging to sing for daddy's team the next day. You picked out every single detail of how it was going to go down...the dress, the shoes, the hair, requested honey for your throat and practiced some new moves to put in your song. You were SO excited!!! So the time came, and you walked out in front of everyone without a care in the world and started singing. But in the version you were singing, there's a pause where the character changes costumes, so you stopped singing for a bit and everyone thought you were done. You got embarrassed and walked away and I wish I had said "NOO KEEP GOING!!" because the rest of your performance would have been epic. You were SO BRAVE! Like, I would have NEVER, ever done that and I still am a little shocked you did. It was beautiful, and I can't wait to see you do it again!

You amaze me every day. And I am so proud of how much you've overcome, how much your grown into this beautiful, confident, brave and wonderful little girl. You make being your mommy easy and I love you to the moon and back baby girl!

Friday, June 30, 2017

The Last Round

This blog has been pretty quiet since Weston was born. Mainly, I just don't have the time or energy to actually sit...in silence...with my own thoughts without being asked a hundred thousand times for a snack or to open a granola bar. If I even attempted this post while the kids were awake, it would be completely incoherent and not worth anyones time to read. But I miss it. I miss sharing my thoughts and feelings and stories to look back on, so I'm going to attempt to post a lot more. A lot = more than once every three months. So if I post twice in the next three months, we're on the right path ;)

So Weston is almost three months old. I'm working on a 0-3 Month post all about him and how we've been doing and transitioning, so be on the lookout. Hopefully it'll be posted at some point before the end of the year. But to sum it up quickly, it's been the fastest three months ever and man that boy melts my heart in ways only a little boy could do to a momma's heart. It's hard to explain, really, and not that I love him any more or better than I do my girls, but it's just....different. 

Kyle and I had always said this would be our last baby. It also helped that our last baby was a boy, so the idea of having a fourth kind of went out the window. But there's something so final and depressing about knowing this is it. That all these phases of life with a newborn will come and go, and will never come again for us. And I know I'm going to miss it. Heck, I already miss his freshly newborn phase and he's not even three months old yet.  
Maybe it's because I know that this will be our last baby that I feel this extreme bond with him. Maybe it's because I know this is the last baby I will smell the fresh scent of baby lotion on.
Maybe it's because I know this will be the last child I ever have in diapers.
Maybe it's because I know, more than anything, that he's going to be a momma's boy and it has my heart in a puddle every single day.

Time right now, and probably postpartum hormones, just have me so sappy about life these days. I just want it all to slow down! My kids are all getting bigger every single day and it's like I blink, and another week has already happened. And another month has come. I feel like I haven't been able to soak in nearly as much of my kids as I want. And that I need. Kinsley is almost 5, and is about to start KINDERGARTEN! Rylan is almost 2.5 and is talking and learning so much and it's like I look at her and wonder when did this all happen? I'm trying so very, very hard to hold on to every ounce of Weston that I can. The memories of cuddling him after he falls asleep at night. The way he smiles at me the second he gets in the bathtub. The serious looks he gives practically everyone. 

I just love every single thing about that kid. Like I do with all three of them. But listen up, Weston, mommy is going to hang on to every thing I can of you for as long as I can. Because I'm not ready to give any of it up! Or, maybe, ever! And while this is the last round of kids for us, my last baby to nurse, change diapers and learn all the "first moments" with again, it makes the whole growing up thing hurt even more. So hopefully in the next 13-17 years they figure out a way for moms to go to college with their kids and it be cool, or else I'm going to have three very disappointed kids! #stagefourclinger


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Father's Day 2017

My kids are probably the luckiest kids I know. And, well, I am too. We have Kyle. There's only one of him and that makes us the lucky ones because he is beyond amazing.  I can't thank him enough (and I don't say it nearly enough) for EVERYTHING that he does for our family...for his kids...because of the goodness in his heart and love that he has for all of us. Not to be a Debbie Downer, but for all these big family moments I can't help but think back to his heart surgery- when there was a time I feared what my future would look like and if Kyle would be alive. I think back to that day in the hospital, waiting for news that the surgery was over. Or when I saw him for the first time after the surgery. That paralyzingly memory of him laying there, with all these tubes coming out of him and machines everywhere...it gave me a whole new appreciation for life and for Kyle. So today I want to dote on him because I can :)

Kyle is the kind of dad who willingly will go do the grocery shopping, just so I don't have to because he knows how exhausted and tired I am. He'll even take the girls WITH him to do the shopping just so I can have a break for a bit. Kyle is the kind of dad who makes breakfast, lunch and dinner when I can't, and never once complains about it. He picks up the kitchen, does the dishes and will even pack lunches if needed. (He even remembers to make a special note to put in the lunch box). He's the kind of guy who despite waking up at 4:30am, working all day, going to basketball practice and working on a million things for his team, will come home and pick up where he's needed without batting an eye. He'll give the girls their bath, put their pj's on, brush their teeth, read them books, sing them songs, say prayers with them, scratch their back, and play referee for an hour before they finally fall asleep. And yes- that's just a normal day for him. I can't go without mentioning he also was the dance class transporter once Weston was born, the 5 year old birthday party taker, hand holding parent at the doctor, and would drive out in the pouring rain to get us dinner just so I wouldn't have to drag all three kids with me. He plans Disney trips, schedules fast passes and makes sure the kids have a "magical" experience every time we go. Oh, and he has a giant Barbie Dreamhouse in his office because he wanted the girls to have something they could play with if they wanted to hang out by him during the day while he worked. 

His love for his kids is indescribable. He's the type of guy I always dreamed of, but never knew really existed. He makes parenting look easy, and I honestly couldn't be the parent that I am without him. To be honest...he does so much more for those kids right now than I do, when this phase of Weston's life is so demanding and challenging. Where I lack right now, Kyle is always there to pick up the pieces. He shows our kids that parenting is all about teamwork, because let's face it...parenting is HARD WORK! It's a never ending, full time job that deals with handling every emotion one could feel in a 24 hour time frame. But he makes sure our kids know how much they are loved and how proud we are of them every single day. 

Kyle, thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I can't say it enough! Thank you for this life. For giving me the family I always wanted, and blessing us every day with just being who you are. You are what holds this family together and hearing the girls scream "daddy!!!" when they see you pull into the driveway will never get old. Those girls adore you, and I feel sorry for their future significant other because they will never, ever measure up to their daddy...but I certainly hope they will come close. And Weston- I still can't even believe we have a son. The first time you held him I think my heart stopped beating for a split second. It was a moment I envisioned for years- you holding your son, and there it was right before my eyes. Our final and last baby was a perfect little boy, and I can't wait to watch your relationship develop over the years. I know he's going to be your best bud and you are going to love doing guy things with him :)

Father's Day 2017 from Jenna Gilreath on Vimeo.

Happy Fathers Day!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Easter 2017

We celebrated our first holiday as a family of 5. I'm so glad I planned ahead for the girls baskets because there was no time to go out and shop with a one week old! And yet somehow as prepared as I felt, I completely overlooked getting something for Weston! So the Easter bunny went shopping in his room, and put random items in a basket for him. Kinsley kept saying "mommy, Weston already has this!" and "he already has this book!". It was funny, and yet I somehow had to keep my story straight on why the Easter bunny was giving gifts we already owned. 

My mom had been in town for the week so she made us breakfast while Kyle went to church and I stayed home with the girls and watched them play all morning. We got them kites and they were begging to fly them all morning long. Once Kyle got home they were practically waiting by the door to go outside! Kinsley loves flying hers, and Rylan wasn't patient enough to wait for it to get high enough to where she could hold it and "fly" it.

We went over to some family friends for dinner and got to show Mr. Weston to his first group of friends (other than family). He did so well, only cried and woke up once to nurse. The girls had a blast and it was a good day, getting out of the house and having a change of scenery for us all!