Hudson’s nine month pictures

Here are a few (ok, a lot) of the pictures from Hudson’s 9 month photo shoot.  Unlike at his six month pictures when he gave us tons of smiles and really cheesed it up, this time he didn’t want to smile at all!  We worked so hard to get him to smile but he just wanted to be really solemn!  He usually such a ham but he wasn’t feeling it that day.  He was drooling buckets and you can see the bags under his eyes (a good indicator that he isn’t feeling well) so I’m sure that had something to do with it.  But we still got some amazing pictures.  Big thanks as always to our amazing photographer, Shelley, at Sweet Dreams Photography.

2 3 He did not like the hat.  It was a little too big plus he kept taking it off as soon as I put it on4 1015 17 19 22 I kept baiting him with my phone to try to get him to smile or crawl toward us.  He was so happy when he finally grabbed it from me!  I love that Shelley included this picture!23 Sooooo not a fan of the hat!26 29 3339 40 41 42 45 47 48 49The fence was the last pose of the day and we finally, FINALLY got him to really smile!
50 55 57 58 There’s the big cheesy grin!  59 61Such a handsome fella!

High Five for Friday

It’s sure been a while since I did one of these, huh?  Well here’s what I’m loving today:

1.  Homemade peppermint mocha with homemade whipped cream.  Best. Drink. Ever.

homemade mocha whipped

2.  I’ve been meaning to make us stockings for a few years now.  I’ve had the pattern picked out and purchased but just never got around to finding fabric and sewing it up.  I finally picked some fabric and am ready to get started on the stockings (and a matching tree skirt).  Fingers crossed I get it done by Christmas!

This is the pattern I’m using.

stocking pattern

I wanted something that wasn’t necessarily Christmas fabric but would have that same color scheme, that wasn’t too trendy but not old either.  Something that would look relatively timeless.

One of the first things I saw when I walked into the fabric store was this quilt.  I could not stop looking at it!  So gorgeous.  The colors and patterns were perfect and lucky me they had all the matching bolts of fabric right there with the quilt so I was able to get what I needed.

Love love love.
Christmas quilt

stocking fabric

3.  I also super lucked out while I was there with some curtain fabric.  If you follow my Facebook page you know I found some fabric that I loved a while back at a fabric store in my hometown.  Lo and behold the store I went to today had it…and it was on clearance for $2.50 a yard!!  I think it was $7something at the other store so I was thrilled!

curtain fabric

4.  Our Christmas decorations are almost all done.  We put most of them up Tuesday and then Michael went and got us a tree last night so tonight we plan to get that decorated and then we’ll be all set (well, besides the stockings and tree skirt that I need to sew….minor details ha!)

Christmas tree
We definitely had to modify some decorations and get creative with our placement thanks to Mr. Curious here who has to get into EVERYTHING.  That garland usually hangs to the ground – I looped it up to make it shorter but he still had to try to get it.

Decorating the tree should be interesting….reaching for the decorations

5.  I got a new headband.  And I like it.  That’s all.

headband

Now for the LOW five part of the week….

gray screen of deathAngryflashinggrayfolderwithquestionmark of death.  Yep, that happened last night.  So we’ll be going to buy me a new laptop tomorrow.

The positive of that is Yay new laptop! but the negative is Well there goes my Chrismabirthaversary gifts for the rest of forever.

Computers are expensive, yo.

And that about sums it up!  Happy weekend to you all.

This post brought to you by one fussy baby who is finally asleep.

wrap nap

Hudson’s 10 month update

Ten months old – double digits!  Unbelievable.

growth

Our little guy is just growing and growing!  He weighs 23 lbs 2 oz and is 28 inches long.

Last month at this check up his blood work indicated that he was anemic.  Our pediatrician wanted us to give him a baby vitamin and come back to be rechecked.  We tried the vitamin but it made him throw up so we just focused on feeding him iron-rich foods (beans, eggs, meat).  We also purchased some iron fortified baby cereal to see if that would help.  After two weeks we went back for a check and he was still anemic so our doctor prescribed some iron drops.  They smell very metallic but must taste a lot better than the baby vitamins because Hudson takes them with no complaint.  We give them to him three times a day and his iron has now gone back up to normal.

food

This month Hudson finally started really eating food.  Up until now he mostly just played with whatever food we gave him but toward the end of 9 months and the beginning of 10 months he all of the sudden started loving to eat and devouring what we gave him.  He ate so many new things this month that I’m not sure I can list them all but some of his favorites include fried rice, Mexican rice, chili, baked ziti, potato soup, and wild rice soup.  Other things he eats a lot are bananas, yogurt, beans, sweet potatoes, steamed veggies, fajitas, apples, and applesauce.

He mostly feeds himself unless we’re out at a restaurant or it’s something very messy (yogurt, applesauce, soup) and then I feed him.  If we put a lot of food on his tray he would cram it all in his mouth and then gag and spit it all back out.  He has gotten better about just eating a little at a time, but I also don’t put as many bites on his tray at once and instead just give him a little at a time.

If he really loves something and you aren’t giving it to him fast enough he will shout at you!  We ate out at a Mexican restaurant one night and I was feeding him some of my rice and he kept screaming because he wanted to eat it faster than I could put it in his mouth.  I could barely get a bite in myself before he was hollering for more.

IMG_6834(fried rice and kale chips)

IMG_6903(scrambled eggs and strawberries)

Since we did baby led weaning we had totally skipped the baby cereal and baby food but because he was anemic we thought we’d try giving him some baby cereal since it’s iron fortified and see if that helped any.  I made the mistake of letting him feed himself the cereal though and learned quickly that was a huge mess!

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He finally mastered the sippy cup.  He has a straw sippy and he alternates between sucking the water out and blowing into the straw, but he can get the water out (now whether he swallows it or just lets if run out of his mouth is another story…baby steps).

He still nurses at least four times during the day and several times during the night.

sleep

I wish I could say better but….it’s not.  He still wakes up multiple times during the night.  We had one stretch of at least a week where he had to be held to sleep so instead of being able to lay him down at his bedtime and then us get some things done one of us had to hold him.  We watched a lot of tv while we sat and held him those evenings!  There were a few particularly bad nights right around the time his top teeth came through and he was up for a lot of the night.  Miserable for everyone.

He still sleeps in our room.  We start out the night in his cosleeper next to our bed and then put him in the bed with us when he wakes up to eat.  Some nights if he’s really restless he sleeps the whole night in our bed.

This month I put us on a nap time boot camp.  Hudson had been such a terrible napper, literally napping for less than an hour all day and it was seriously wearing on me.  So for a week or two we turned down outside activities, stayed camped out at home, and worked on napping.  When I say we worked on napping I mean I set a certain nap time for each day and then after I laid him down I sat right next to him while he slept and as soon as he woke up (if it hadn’t been very long) I rocked him back to sleep, laid him down, rinse, and repeat.

We had some success!  We (finally) have a schedule, which is a huge relief for me.  It was very stressful trying to make plans and not really knowing when Hudson was going to nap and how that would coincide with our plans.  It’s not a super strict schedule and we adjust based on how late/early he gets up or if we have something we need to do during that time.  We’re flexible.  But for the most part he takes a morning nap around 10:00 and an afternoon nap around 2:00 or 3:00.

The sleeping on his own part still isn’t going so great.  He naps much better while I’m holding him.  Now that we have a schedule I’m going to work more on him sleeping on his own but for now I’m just wanting him to get good naps in so I hold him.  It was very frustrating for me at first – I had to watch him constantly when he was awake and then hold him when he slept and I felt like I never got anything done.   I still am unable to get lots of things done because of that, but I’ve tried to start using his nap times to blog or do essential oil stuff or other things that I do on the computer because I can hold him and work at the same time.  That way I don’t feel like I’m sitting for hours and wasting time.  Now if I could just figure out when to clean my house…

He started sleeping with him bottom in the air this month instead of laying flat on his belly with his legs out behind him.

IMG_6905This one day he took a huge long nap but was very restless and moving all over the bed.  Good thing I was sitting right there with him (he doesn’t sleep in our bed unattended, just in case you worried) and had a hold on his ankle because he tried to fall right off!IMG_6897I love this sweet, crazy bed head!

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mobility

Hudson is everywhere.  He’s a crawling machine and is surprisingly fast.  He pulls up on everything and can reach more and more stuff.  We’ve had to take everything off the ottoman and end table in the living room because he can reach anything on there, even if it’s in the middle.  We can’t leave anything on the edge of the kitchen table either because he can reach up and grab some of that too.

We cleared out the dining room to make his play room so that he could crawl around and play with his toys and (hopefully) stay out from under my feet in the kitchen.  It works maybe 50% of the time and then the rest of the time he’s right there with me.  The first day I put him in the playroom I thought he’d be so excited and distracted.  Nope.  He crawled right out of the playroom and to this bag of sweet potatoes we had in the kitchen.  All those toys and that’s what he goes for.  Sigh.

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We borrowed some costumes from my brother for Halloween and I had them sitting in this pink tub.  Hudson loved pulling up on the tub and playing with the costumes.  He got a hold of the Harry Potter wand one day and had a good time waving it around…wizard in training.IMG_6955IMG_7063

We’ve moved most things out of his reach but we have a box of empty honey bottles and some hooks that we left out.  Hudson loves to play with them and since it’s not something that he can ruin and it won’t hurt him I just let him.  Funny how he’s much more interested in the non-toy stuff than he is his own toys!IMG_6911

He pulled my workout journal off the counter and ripped it up.

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He can also walk sideways while holding on to the furniture.  He has let go a few times but does it on accident and falls down immediately.

other firsts

Hudson’s top two teeth came in this month.  He had more difficulty with these than he did with his bottom two.  He was fussy for a few days (and nights!) and you could see the teeth bulging under his gums trying to come out.

teeth

We also had our first semi-serious injury.  He loves to pull up on the oven and look at himself in the glass but apparently the drawer under the oven, where he always puts his hands to help him pull up, had some sharp edges.  I was fixing dinner one evening and he was playing in the floor; he started crying and when I looked down his hand was covered in blood.  He had sliced two of his fingers opened on the metal and it was a big bloody mess.  Fortunately it wasn’t bad enough for stitches or anything and it looked up worse than it really was but it was still scary for this mommy!

Also, bandaging a wiggly baby who doesn’t want to uncurl his fingers is no small task!

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new skills

Not a skill, but a new personality quirk that he has developed is that he is afraid of everything.  He went through maybe a two week spell where everything terrified him and he’d cry hysterically.  If we went to someone’s house and there were loud kids or a barking dog he would lose it.  If kids came over to our house for a play date he would cry and cling to me instead of playing with them and his toys.  We have this bear that talks and plays peek-a-boo and the first time we played it for Hudson he absolutely freaked out.  Fortunately that seems to have passed because he has been much better around other people, he likes his peek-a-boo bear now, and he even got close to my friend’s dog without crying!

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He gives tons of kisses (big, open mouthed, wet ones!), claps, waves, and does “yay arms” (throws his arms up in the air when we say “Yay!”).

(I was trying to take his monthly picture and he kept doing Yay arms and then crawling toward the camera.  It was very hard to get a good picture!  I thought these were hilarious so I had to share.)

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adventures

Michael went with our church to a men’s retreat overnight one weekend so Hudson and I went and spent the night with my mom.  He had fun playing and getting lots of attention and I enjoyed getting to sleep!  Hudson slept in his pack ‘n play in my mom’s room and I slept in a separate room.  He woke up a few times but went right back to sleep for her so I was able to sleep the whole night (other that having to get up and go to the bathroom, bummer) and not get up with him a million times.  It was lovely.

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While we were there we went to their Goodwill (Goodwills in TN are SO much better than the ones in KY!) and found some cute Halloween costume ideas.  We ended up going with the pumpkin but both were adorable.

IMG_6763IMG_6761Mom got some of my and my brothers’ old clothes out to see if there was anything that would fit Hudson.  We put an old bonnet of mine on Hudson.  He was less than thrilled.  I thought it was hilarious :).

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Hudson celebrated his first Halloween this month.  We had this cute pumpkin onesie that he wore to church the Wednesday before Halloween.  The outfit fit fine but the hat was way too small (and he kept pulling it off anyway).

IMG_6837IMG_6840On Halloween he wore the pumpkin costume we found at Goodwill.  We took him trick or treating to two of our neighbors’ houses so they could see his costume.  Then we went to Trunk or Treat at our church.  It was super cold so we only stayed out at our trunk for a few minutes to hand out candy. Hudson was not a fan of all the costumes or when everyone clapped for all the contest winners.  He loved eating chili though!

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other stuff

A few weeks ago I was at the end of my rope with the car seat situation.  He STILL cries most of the times we’re in the car and while it had improved some for a few months, this month we went drastically backward to where he would start screaming and clinging to us as we walked to the car, before we even got him in his seat.  It was awful and Michael and I were seriously dreading the holidays because of all the traveling we’ll have to do.

So I went to my biggest source of parenting advice, Facebook, and asked my friends for help.  I got tons of helpful suggestions and lots of people commiserated and said their kids were the same way…unfortunately most of them said they just had to wait for their kids to grow out of it but at least it was nice to know we weren’t the only ones.  We tried several of the suggestions with no luck.  The two most popular ones were to use a dvd player or to turn him forward facing (tons of people said their kids traveled much better once they were able to turn then around).  We really didn’t want Hudson to watch any tv at such a young age but we also don’t want to turn him forward facing anytime soon because of safety reasons.  We talked about it and decided that tv was the better of the two options and to give it a try.

I tried riding in the back with him and playing YouTube videos on my phone.  Guess what, it worked!  Not 100% of the time, he still cries some, but it has helped a TON!

Some other random cute pictures:

I love a baby in a suit!  Those shoes stayed on about 10 minutes but were cute while it lasted.

suit

Riding on mommy’s shoulders

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Hanging out in a tote bagIMG_7017

One night after his bath we parted and combed his hair down like a little old man.  It’s crazy to me how different he looks with his hair like this!  IMG_7030And here’s our monthly comparison

10 month comparison

9 months in, 9 months out

Hudson is 9 months old!  He’s now been outside of me longer than he was inside me.   So weird!  I cannot believe my little man is 9 months.

Here’s a recap of the last month:

growth

At his nine month appointment last week Hudson weighed 21 pounds 12 ounces and was 28 inches long.  He was in the 33rd percentile for length and 82nd for weight.  Our pediatrician seemed very pleased with his growth.  Thankfully this month then only shot he got was his flu shot and he did great with it.  He also got some blood drawn and he did fabulous – didn’t cry at all when they pricked his thumb and squeezed the blood out!  His tests indicated that he was a little anemic; I’m not surprised as he is still eating mostly breast milk (from our research it seems that breast fed babies get plenty of iron until they are six months old and then if they are not consuming iron-rich foods it can drop).  So we’re going to work on that, but otherwise everything was great!

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I love this comparison of his well-baby visits.  It is amazing the change from when he was four days old!9 month dr visit comparison

Hudson is in all 12 month clothes, although some of his less-stretchy 12 month pants (blue jeans, khakis, etc.) are too tight because of his cloth diapers.  I’m either going to have to move him up in his pants (which will then be way too long) or buy special pants for cloth diapered babies (which are pretty expensive for baby clothes – maybe for a Christmas present).  He’s still in size 4 disposables at night.

food

We’re still mostly breastfeeding and offering table food occasionally.  Toward the end of the month Hudson started showing more interest in his food and more ability to pick it up and get it in his mouth (actually eating some of it rather than just playing with it) so I think he’ll be eating more now.  New foods this month: Puffs, veggie melts, eggs, oranges, applesauce, apples, and probably more but I didn’t do a good job writing it down this month so I’m not sure what else.

He still doesn’t really know how to use his sippy cups but we give it to him often and I guess he’ll figure it out eventually.

Silly daddy put a bowl on my head!

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sleep

Terrible. Ugh, it is so awful.  Naps are few and far between.  I’m talking he’ll sleep less than an hour total all day.  His naps typically last only 15 – 30 minutes.  An hour is an occasional nice surprise, and anything longer than that is unheard of.  Night time isn’t much better either.  It’s actually gotten much worse this month than it was last month.  There were many, many days this month that he woke up three or four (or more!) times each night.  He had been only waking up once before Michael and I went to bed and then once in the wee hours of the morning.  Now it’s more like every two hours.  And there were a couple of days that not only did he wake up, he also decided after he ate not to go back to sleep so he was wide awake for 1.5 to 2 hours in the middle of the night.

So. Not. Fun.

He’s still in his cosleeper next to our bed (although halfway through the month we finally lowered it from the bassinet position down to the pack ‘n play position) and then ends up in bed with us after he wakes up to eat during the night.   I was nervous about the transition when we lowered his bed.  I was afraid that he would wake up since I had to bend over so much further to lay him down but he has done great with it.

IMG_6356Such a sweet angelIMG_6387IMG_6449He fell asleep mid-roll one night – it was so funny!  He laid like this for a good while and then finally finished rolling over and settled in for the night.
IMG_6469My little snuggle bugIMG_6488

I love gazing at this precious face while he sleepsIMG_6532

mobility

We’re mobile!  Hudson started crawling about halfway through the month and there is no stopping him now.  He went from crawling his first few paces one day to crawling all over the house (and fast!) practically overnight.  We are working overtime to get things baby proofed around here.  He’s definitely doing a good job of showing us how un-baby proof our house is – ha!

IMG_6695He’s always loved trying to grab my computer and phone cords.  I moved them away from the front of the chair but once he started crawling he realized pretty quickly that he could go around behind the chair to grab them.  Those cords have since found a new home!

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He crawls all over the place, especially in the kitchen while I’m trying to cook.  He likes to push a bowl around…and apparently this day he nearly crawled out of his shirt!

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In addition to crawling, he also started pulling up to standing.  One afternoon I was sitting at the kitchen table eating and Hudson was playing in the living room.  I looked up from my snack and noticed he had pulled up on the recliner!!  I was shocked!  He had never done that before!  Now he pulls up on everything.  We got out his activity table that I had purchased a while back and he loves to stand at the table and play.

IMG_6651IMG_6709He had been pulling up on his knees and leaning over the side of his cosleeper and we hadn’t been leaving him unattended in it anymore, but once he started pulling up to his feet I knew it was time to lower it down immediately.  The day he started pulling up he was napping and I was sitting in the bed working on my computer.  I looked over and in a blink of an eye he had stood up and grabbed some of my lotion.

IMG_6701He can still pull up in his lowered bed but at least he can’t fall out.

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other firsts

We finally got around to buying a pack ‘n play.  My mom has one at her house that we’ve used several times but we knew that we’d need one for church camp and we found a great deal on one locally so we snapped it up.  It’s been very handy, although Hudson doesn’t like to stay in it for very long since he’s not used to being in it.  The first time we used it was at a craft expo where I had a booth and he played in there for a good while.

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This was not his first bottle, but it was the first bottle we’ve given him in a long, long time (I think the last time he had one he was only 2 weeks old).  After my horrendous breastfeeding debacle was over I had no desire to pump for a while and I had worked so hard for the ability to breastfeed that I wasn’t interested in giving him a bottle yet.  We never really got around to trying it and at some point I figured it was too late.  We do give him sippy cups of water (that he just plays with, rarely drinks) but never a bottle of milk.  However, one night I had a plugged duct so I was pumping after Hudson went to bed.  He woke up wanting to nurse but I had just pumped for a long time so we decided to try a bottle just to see how it went.  At first he sucked a tiny bit but mostly just let the milk pour out of his mouth.  Then he started chewing on it and refused to drink.  Obviously that ship has sailed but it was still fun to try!

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Hudson rode in a shopping cart for the first time.  I always wear him when we go shopping but we decided to try letting him sit in the cart.  He liked it for a few minutes and then got a little unhappy.

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First time to the park for a playdate

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new skills

Well crawling and pulling up to standing are obviously the big ones for this month.  His motor skills have improved quite a bit and he’s actually pretty good at operating the little toys on his activity table.

He’s started giving kisses and waving.  He first kissed himself in the mirror and then kissed some of the animals in his book.  Then he started giving me kisses and they are the sweetest things ever!  He will very rarely kiss Michael (we think he doesn’t like his scratchy face because even when he does give him a kiss it’s a super fast one).  He actually was waving last month and giving a “normal” wave.  For whatever reason now he’s switched to waving backward at himself.  It’s cute!

Not a skill, but his hair has changed and is getting so much more curly!  I switched his baby wash/shampoo and I don’t know if that made a difference or if it was just a coincidence that it happened at the same time, but his hair is crazy now.  Michael had very curly blonde hair as a baby too so I’m not surprised.   We used some water to spike it up in a mohawk for church one night.

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adventures

Our big adventure this month was church camp!  We went in the summer to one church camp but Hudson and I drove there and back each day and slept at home.  This time we stayed the whole time!

Our congregation has been involved in building a new church camp and it wasn’t quite finished in time for a summer camp so instead we did an abbreviated camp over fall break.  Because it was over a weekend Michael was able to come with us (he only had to take 2 days off of work instead of 5).  Camp was wonderful and I am so thankful that we were able to go, but it was definitely difficult with a baby!  I stayed in the lodge with the other women and Michael was in a cabin so I was on my own at night.  The other women were great about helping me out but it was still stressful!

The first night was the worst.  He woke up all night long and I think I slept less than three hours total.  He would not sleep in his pack ‘n play and ended up sleeping with me all night every night so I didn’t rest well.  I felt like I missed a lot of camp between having to go feed him, get him to nap, and put him to bed at 8pm.  It was a different camp experience for sure but that’s the phase of life we’re in and that’s ok.  I’m just glad we were able to go!

He had a blast of course since there were tons of people there to play with him and give him attention.  It really helped me with my anxiety about leaving him, too.  In my last update I shared how nervous I was about leaving him in his Sunday school class.  While we were at camp I taught a Bible class twice a day.  Michael was also teaching a class at the same time so some of the other women who were not teaching watched Hudson for me.  I wasn’t far away and I was so focused on my class that I didn’t worry about him.  He had fun and did great for them and it helped me get over that anxiety.  Since then I’ve been able to leave him in his class on Wednesday nights some (I teach his class on Sundays and sometimes I sub on Wednesdays) and I have had a much easier time with it.

The packing was a bit more challenging too…this is my van, packed full.  Michael had to drive separately since we couldn’t fit it all in one vehicle!

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We also went to Nashville one Saturday to eat lunch at Cracker Barrel with some of my college friends.  It was fun to catch up with everyone!

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Michael had a Monday off work so we went on a little family hike to Lost River Cave.  It was an easy hike, about a mile, and very pretty.  Hudson slept on my back for most of the hike!  They have a great play area that he will enjoy when he gets older.

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other stuff

“How is he doing in the car?” is a question we are commonly asked, as most people know how horrible that has been since he was born.  He is better.  Short trips are fine unless it is bed time and he’s tired.  Long trips are still difficult.  Occasionally he will fall asleep, but usually after quite a bit of screaming.  We still don’t know why and I guess we never will, I just hope that at some point it will get better.

I will be quite honest that we’re dreading the traveling part of the holidays just a little.  I’m super excited about our first holiday season with a baby and I think it will be so much fun, but the thought of having to drive with him in the car to all the different family functions makes my skin crawl.

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Just look at those sad eyes and poochy cheeks – who can resist??

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Kissing the bathroom floor?  Eww.  Time to be more diligent in cleaning the floors!
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Sad, cranky baby.  Why is he crying?  Who knows.  Probably because he isn’t being held.  Or because he’s exhausted from not taking naps.  Sigh.  This is unfortunately a too-common (in my opinion) occurrence around here.

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He really is a pretty happy baby though.IMG_6534

Chilling with his legs crossed and chewing on a spoon.

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This is his concentrating poop face.  He’s very obvious – he gets very still and you can tell in his face that he’s pooping.  And then usually you can hear it when it happens!  Eww.  It’s pretty funny to watch.  
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“Helping” Daddy read a book
IMG_6576This was not his first bug bite, but it was definitely his most prominent one!  Poor kid looked like he had a big ‘ole zit right on his forehead!
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We went and visited Michael at work one day and their secretary had this clown nose in her desk.  Hudson didn’t care for it but he sure looked funny for the few seconds he left it on!
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I love this comparison of me at 39 weeks pregnant and Hudson at 39 weeks old.  I tried to hold him so he was curled up in the shape of a pregnant belly to compare but he wasn’t having it – still a cute shot though!39 in 39 out

And here’s our monthly comparison

9 month comparisonI’m constantly amazed at how he grows and changes.  I love my little man so very much and can’t imagine going back to life without him!

no ‘poo no thanks

No, not that kind of poo. I’m talking shampoo.  Have you heard of going no ‘poo?  I’ve been hearing about it for a couple of years on Pinterest and blogs; basically you stop washing your hair with shampoo and conditioner and use other natural options.  There are several methods of doing this but the most commonly talked about one is baking soda and apple cider vinegar.  You “wash” your hair with a baking soda and water solution then rinse and “condition” with a vinegar and water solution.

It had mixed reviews, as most things do, but the majority of people had good results and said if you’ll stick with it through the transition period then your hair will be ah-mazing.

Well, who doesn’t want ah-mazing hair?  And I’m nothing if not up for a a good ‘ol crunchy hippie girl challenge.  So tried it.  For a month.

I started October 7, 2013 (Yes, last fall.  A year ago.  And I’m just now getting around to blogging about it.  Don’t judge.) and I was so optimistic.  I wore my greasy hair in buns, covered it with big headbands, used a DIY dry shampoo, and tried to wait it out until the transition was over.

Well, that never happened for me.

It was bad, y’all.  I’ve always had greasy hair (like, it would start looking greasy less than 24 hours after I washed it) but this was beyond horrible.  My hair felt gummy and gross and looked awful.  My scalp was itchy and flaky so I looked like I had dandruff on top of the nasty grease.

I tried and tried, I really did, but I just couldn’t take it anymore!  One Sunday morning after I “washed” my hair with the baking soda and vinegar then dried my hair to get ready for church I just wanted to cry because it felt and looked so nasty.  I jumped in the shower, re-washed with my old shampoo, and ahhhh…talk about some ah-mazing hair.  After a month of grossness it felt SO wonderful.  (Well, I quit on November 3 so almost a month, but close enough)

I had told very few people that I was doing no ‘poo because I didn’t want everyone to think I was gross.  But after I washed my hair for the first time in a month I got several compliments on it so obviously it didn’t look good while I was doing it if they noticed that big of a difference.

So, would my hair finally have transitioned if I had kept at it?  Maybe.  But honestly after a month of trying I wasn’t willing to keep going.

Would I try it again?  Actually, I might.  Not any time soon, but maybe someday.  I’ve since heard that if you have hard water (and we do) that the apple cider vinegar isn’t the best thing to use so that could have been my problem.  I might just need to tweak some.

Why am I telling you all this?  I have no idea.  I know this works really well for some so I’m not trying to discourage you from giving it a try, I guess I just thought I’d share to show that it doesn’t work for everyone.

After I gave up the No Poo I went back to my conventional shampoo for a while.  I’ve now switched to a natural shampoo and conditioner from Young Living and I think it’s a good balance – better for my hair without quitting cold turkey.  I had a transition period with this but it was very mild and didn’t last nearly as long.  People who don’t like the no ‘poo method often prefer to do “low ‘poo” by using a natural shampoo like I’m doing or trying to shampoo every few days instead of every day (or just washing with conditioner – I’ve heard of that one but I’m not sure how that works exactly).

Here are some pictures from during that time period.  I didn’t get any close ups because I didn’t think about it nor do I think you could really tell anything from a picture.  Looking at these pictures that really don’t look that bad but trust me, in person it looked bad and it felt worse.

IMG_8505 IMG_8493 IMG_8480 IMG_2623

So what do you think?  Have to gone no ‘poo?  Would you try it?

(I’m hoping ‘Becca will weigh in here on why I had such a hard time with no ‘poo, maybe she’ll have some insight.  Of course if any of the rest of you do then please share!)

babywearing 101

baby wearing 101

Babywearing = the only way I get things done.

Seriously.  I have no idea what I would do if I didn’t wear Hudson.

So what is babywearing?  It’s just what is sounds like: where you wear your baby (say that five times fast…).  It’s not a new concept, really. I mean, people have been wearing their babies for years!  But I feel like it has just recently become much more popular and mainstream and there are tons more options.  Everyone is familiar with Baby Bjorn’s and the metal framed ones of years past (my mom wore me in one) but all the choices that we have now can be overwhelming to navigate.

Why baby wear? Well, for me one big reason is that it allows me to get things done.  Hudson loves to be held but realistically I can’t hold him all day long; however, by wearing him he can be close to me and happy but my hands are free.  Some other reasons for me (some small, some big):
– Hudson is less fussy when I wear him – he’s close to him mommy which is where he is happiest
– I can go places and do things that I wouldn’t be able to with a stroller (like on a hike or a crowded consignment sale)
– People are less likely to touch him and get in his face if I’m wearing him which is great if you’re concerned about germs
– Your shopping cart is empty and there is room for groceries since you don’t have a baby and/or a carseat in there

Note: you do not have to be a crunchy, all natural, cloth diapering, organic eating hippie to baby wear (even though I think cloth diapers are awesome and you should totally consider them).  So don’t write it off!

Here’s a handy little guide of some different types of carriers to get you started babywearing.

1. Stretchy Wraps

A long piece of fabric (5.5 meters or approximately 18 feet) that you wrap around your body.

Popular Brands –  Moby, Boba (I have a Moby)

Pros – This is a popular wrap that many people have so it’s easy to find (and easy to find good deals secondhand).  The stretch is very forgiving so you don’t have to get it exact.  It’s perfect and cuddly for brand new babies.   Once you figure out how to wrap it (watch YouTube videos, there are tons) it is super easy.

Cons – Long and bulky and it can seem overwhelming.  Because of the stretch you can’t use it once baby reaches a certain weight as the wrap can no longer support them.  For us, I think that was around 15 pounds or maybe even less that I felt like it wasn’t supportive enough.  Can’t back carry with a stretchy wrap.

My Thoughts – All new mommies (and daddies) need one of these; in fact, I listed this as one of my newborn must-haves.  When Hudson was first born he wanted to be held all.the.time and many days the only way I could eat or blog or read or anything was by wearing him.  No, they aren’t used long term but it’s great for the beginning months.

Pricing - A new Moby or Boba is around $45ish.  I got mine new but unused at a consignment sale for $20 I believe and I see them sold used for about that price all the time.  I’ve seen them on Zulily before and I’m sure other baby deals websites have them too.  Some people DIY stretchy wraps but by the time you buy and hem that much fabric I’m not sure if it’s worth it.

first time Moby WrapMy first time wearing Hudson at five days old

Moby WrapOne of my last times wearing him in the Moby.  At this point I would wear him in it while I was sitting down (at a restaurant, at home while he napped) but he was too heavy for me to wear him comfortably while I walked around.  He was about four months old.

It definitely served its purpose and got tons of use in those first few months

boba wrapmy friend Gina wearing her son in a Boba wrap

2. Soft Structured Carriers (SSC)

A carrier that fastens with buckles and has more shape/structure, usually has straps like a backpack.

Popular Brands – Ergo, Beco, Boba, Tula, Kinderpack (I have an Ergo)

Pros – Very easy to use; no wrapping or tying, just fasten the two buckles.  Also very quick on and off.  Can be used for front, back, and hip carries (front carries from birth, back carries when baby gets a bit bigger, and I don’t know anyone that uses them for hip carries, but it is possible).  Another very popular one and easy to find good used ones.  Popular with dads since that are less complicated (not that dads don’t use other carriers, it’s just that the majority seem to like SSCs).  Can be used with children up to 35-40 pounds (varies by carrier)

Cons – Can be expensive.  You usually have to use an additional insert when baby is very tiny (at least you do with an Ergo).  Not as comfortable for sitting down (in my opinion).  Requires a bit of adjusting when switching from one wearer to the next (if they are different sizes).

My Thoughts – This is another must-have carrier.  I have an Ergo and love, love the ease of it!  It is by far the quickest to put Hudson in so it’s my favorite for running errands as it doesn’t take but a second to get him in and out, and when you’re going multiple places that’s really nice.  Michael will use it too since it’s so easy.

Because of how quick and easy it is, my Ergo gets the most use out of all my carriers.  It goes shopping, hiking, to church camp, to Bible Bowl, basically everywhere.

I started front carrying Hudson in the Ergo when he was maybe three months old?  I’m not sure.  At the time he was too small to sit in it regularly but I didn’t have an infant insert so I used a rolled receiving blanket under him to modify it.  I started back carrying him around 5 months old.  Back carrying has been a life saver when it comes to cooking, cleaning, or doing anything else where Hudson wants to be held but I need my hands free.

Pricing – This varies widely.  A new Ergo is around $120, although you can often find them on sale or at TJ Maxx for $60.  You can usually find them used for less than $100.  Some of the custom carriers and toddler sized ones that can support children larger than the 35ish pound weight limit are upwards of $200+.

back carry with ErgoOne my first back carries with Hudson in an Ergo.  He loved it! 

galaxy gray ErgoErgo at WalmartMichael wearing Hudson while we were shopping (also in an Ergo, same style just a different print)

baby wearing at church campsnoozing in the Ergo at church camp (I have the hood pulled up over his head while he sleeps)

hiking with Ergohiking last week

BobaGina prefers a Boba

3. Ring Slings

A long piece of fabric that adjusts to fit with a pair of rings

Popular Brands – Maya, Sakura Bloom, Sleeping Baby Productions, ZanyToes

Pros – Compact and easy to take with you.  Easily adjustable from person to person.  Quick in-and-out.

Cons – Not quite as intuitive as a SSC, has a bit of a learning curve.  The rings can be hard to figure out how to adjust and the shoulder can be uncomfortable.  Weight is all on one shoulder instead of both.

My Thoughts – Ring slings are my least favorite of all the carriers.  I know some people love them so don’t rule them out based on what I say.  I just find them harder to adjust and not as easy to use overall.  Hudson is a major leaner so it doesn’t feel secure enough for him when he starts leaning backward but I think I just need to practice.

Pricing – Again, this varies widely.  I think a Maya Wrap ring sling is around $80, then there are many others more expensive than that.

These are also very easy to DIY but of course f you want to make one yourself then please do some research as to what kind of rings and material to use as you want to make sure you use safe materials.  I have made two slings – one was a mesh sling that is not sturdy enough for long term everyday use (the mesh is quite slippery) but is perfect to use in the water.  The mesh and the rings cost me $10.  I also made one out of half of a tablecloth (lots of tablecloths are the perfect material) and the materials for that cost me $17 I think.

MayaPracticing with a Maya Wrap ring sling at a local baby wearing meeting

mesh water slingswimming with mesh water slingMy DIY mesh water sling

tablecloth ring slingMy DIY tablecloth ring sling

4. Woven Wraps

A long piece of fabric made out of a non-stretchy woven material.  Unlike stretchy wraps that basically come in just one size, these are sized (usually 2-7 are the most common sizes) and you buy the size based on your size and what kind of carries you want to do.

Popular Brands – Girasol, Natibaby, Kokadi, Didymos, Pavo, Little Frog (I have a Girasol)

Pros – Basically no weight limit (I’ve seen pictures of people wrapping other adults just to show that they can).  Can be used from birth onward.  Many, many different carries for front, back, and hip.

Cons – Definite learning curve.  It takes practice to learn how to use it and just wading through the brands, materials, and sizes can be overwhelming.

My Thoughts – I love my woven for at-home use more than when I’m out and about.  If you’ve been reading my updates on Hudson then you know that he is a terrible napper.  Lots of days the best (and only) way to get him to take a real nap is to wear him so I wrap him and let him take a “wrap nap”.  My woven is so much snugglier and comfortable for than then wearing him in a SSC.

These are not for everyone.  If you are totally new to baby wearing I probably wouldn’t encourage this at first, but that being said don’t let it intimidate you!  Once you’ve got it then it’s pretty easy.  This is a fantastic blog with YouTube videos for a bunch of carries based on the size of the wrap.  It’s a pretty comprehensive list and a wonderful way to see them in action and learn for yourself.

Pricing – Extremely varied.  Lowest price for a new one is probably around $80.  Average is in the $150-$200 range, but there are quite a few that cost $300+.

However, you can easily DIY a wrap.  That’s what I did at first because I wanted to try it out for a bit before I decided if I wanted to spend the money on one.  I got onasburg (a linen-like fabric) at Hancock’s for $2 a yard and then hemmed it.  It isn’t pretty (although you can dye it if you want) but it works and that’s what matters.  Later once I knew what I wanted I bought a Girasol (Light Rainbow, Size 6).

fcc onasburgfcc onasburg side viewTrying a Front Cross Carry with my onasburg wrap

fwcc onasburgfwcc onasburg side view

fwcc Girasol light rainbowA Front Wrap Cross Carry

IMG_5269My first attempt at a back carry.  I had no idea what I was doing! (don’t worry, Michael was there spotting me)

ruck tied tibetan onasburgMy first successful back carry at a local babywearing meeting (obviously Hudson was quite cozy!)

ruck tied tibetanrecreating that back carry at home

ruck tied tibetan Girasol light rainbowFixing supper

Girasol light rainbow diamond weaveHudson loves to be wrapped (usually)

wrap nap Girasol light rainbowwrap nap!

Girasol light rainbowIt even makes a good blanket/beach towel

picking veggies while baby wearingMichael snapped this picture and I find it so funny – I look like ultimate hippie nature crunchy girl wearing my baby and picking veggies from the garden

rebozo 2 rebozo 1Gina using her wrap to do a rebozo hip carry

5. Mei Teis

Pronounced may-tay (although I think my-tie sounds better).  A cross between a SSC and a wrap; it has a fabric panel like a SSC but ties instead of buckles.

Popular Brands – Infantino, Baby Hawk

Pros – Less complicated than wrapping but you still get that snuggly wrapping feeling.  And you get the SSC structured feeling without the cost and bulk of a SSC.  Easier to switch between users (like mom and dad if there is a significant size difference) than a SSC since you re-adjust the carrier each time anyway.

Cons – Not as convenient as a SSC because of the tying, still has a long tail to deal with.  Sometimes the straps dig uncomfortably into my neck.

My Thoughts – Mei Teis are fine carriers, nothing wrong with them, I just don’t care for them since I have an SSC and a woven to do basically the same things.  I got an Infantino used for about $15 so I keep that in the car as my back up carrier in case I happen to be out and left my usual ones at home.  That being said, some people love them and that’s all they want to use and they are a fantastic price if you’re on a budget or aren’t ready to sink money into one without knowing if you like it.

That being said, I got this out of the car to take a picture for this post and it’s the first time I’ve used it in months; I liked it a lot better than I remembered!  I think I may start using this one a little bit more now.

Pricing – A new Infantio mei tei like mine is $30ish, so one of the cheapest carrier options.  But then of course you have some in the $100+ range too.

infantino mei tei

These are not the only options but these are the most popular ones.  The world of babywearing can be super overwhelming.  As with all things there are some people who just have one carrier and some who collect them and have tons of them in all colors, varieties, price points, etc.  Babywearing can have it’s own language too!  Try not to let that scare you!  If you have a local babywearing group then try to go to one of their meetings so you can check out different carries and see what you like.  Or get with a friend (me!) who has several you can try.

There are some great Facebook groups out there too:

Babywearing 102
Everyday Babywearing
Babywearing Love and Support
Babywearing on a Budget (a buy/sale/trade group for carriers less than $100)
The Babywearing Swap (a buy/sale/trade group for carriers more than $100)
Babywearing DIY Advice & Support (if you want to DIY any carriers)

Do you baby wear?  What is your favorite carrier?

Note: This is not a how-to post on baby wearing.  Please make sure you do some research or better yet visit a local baby wearing group (if you have one) to make sure that you are properly and safely baby wearing.

Big thanks to Gina for sharing her babywearing pictures for this post.

heart melter

Well I’m supposed to be working on a handout for a class I’m teaching next week but instead I decided I just had to show you these pictures.

Hudson has gotten lots of hand me down clothes from Josiah and Levi and I love seeing him their clothes but this one outfit in particular is really special.  Levi was wearing it for some pictures we took last May that I just adored.  I knew I wanted to take some pictures of Hudson in that same outfit as a fun memory.

(In case you’re new around here, Levi and his brother Josiah and his sister Abby were like our surrogate children before they moved to Africa to do mission work; they’ve been there a year and will be there two more years, but they’re coming home on furlough at Christmas and I can’t wait to see them!)

IMG_6649Kisses for my happy Levi-bear; I was about 5 weeks pregnant with Hudson

It’s been rainy and cold here for days so when we had a sunny, warmish day today I figured I better grab a picture of him before it got too cold to even consider being outside in a romper.

levi and hudsonLevi, left, May 2013 (10 months old) and Hudson, right, October 2014 (8 months old)

Anyway…I could get all mushy gushy but I’m going to restrain myself (and be quick so I can get back to what I’m supposed to be doing).  But basically I have mommy-syndrome where every picture I take of my child is adorable and I feel compelled to post every.single.one. even if there is not noticeable difference to anyone else from shot to shot.

Lucky for you I pared it down quite a bit.

You’re welcome.

Here are some other shots from our quick little photoshoot today.  Hudson hated sitting on the grass so I put him on the quilt I made him and I think they turned out pretty adorable (duh).

1 23

4 5 6 7 8 9 10 IMG_9636Enjoy your Friday night, guys!

 

 

Jamberry Nails review and giveaway

Jamberry candy chevron and teal polkaCandy Chevron (discontinued) with a Teal Polka accent nail

Have you heard of Jamberry nails?  They are great!

I am not a nail polish girl.  I think polish makes my nails feel weak after I take it off plus I just can’t stand the hassle of painting, making a mess, letting it dry, trying not to mess it up while it’s drying, chipping, etc.  I keep my toes painted all the time but very, VERY rarely paint my fingernails.  It’s been well over a year since I painted my nails.

I started hearing about Jamberry Nails and I’d seen a little bit about them on Facebook but didn’t know what they were exactly.  A few months ago my friend Gina invited me to an online Jamberry party.  I attended, had a lot of fun, played some games, won some free stuff, and purchased some Jamberry nail wraps to try.

Since then, I’ve been wearing my Jams pretty much all the time and Gina loves them so much that she started selling them
(check out her website here)…so we decided to team up and do a giveaway!  Yay!

Jamberry Mad ModMad Mod

So what are Jamberry Nails?  Think fake nails but in sticker form.  They are stickers that are shaped like your nails – you cut them to the length of your nail, apply a little heat, stick them on, do a little filing, and voila…pretty nails.  It really is super easy.  It takes me maybe 15 minutes to do my nails and the best part is that I can stop in the middle if I need to.  There isn’t any drying time so if Hudson wakes up and needs me and I only have two nails done it’s no big deal, I can go back and finish the rest later and I don’t have to worry about the fact that they aren’t dry and might get messed up when I pick him up.

Jamberry black and white polka and bubblegumBlack & White Polka with a Bubblegum accent nail

How do you use them?  I alluded to that in the previous paragraph, but here’s what I do: Buff my nails and wipe with some alcohol to make sure the are clean and smooth.  Cut the Jam to approximately the length of my nail, hold in front of the heater, stick to my nail, smooth down, then file the tips. Jamberry sells an application kit (with scissors, a buffer, nail file, alcohol wipes, etc.) and a heater.  I won the application kit during a party I attended and then Gina was kind enough to send me the heater to use for this review.  I love having the application kit and the heater and I think the heater is definitely easier to use than a hair dryer, however, you totally can still use the nails without having all the Jamberry equipment so don’t let that stop you!

Jamberry application kit and heater

There are bunches of You Tube videos about how to apply your nails and I recommend watching a few of those to see what to do before you start.

How long do they last?  For me, about a week.  I find that after a week my nails have grown so much that there is noticeable (to me, probably not to others) growth at my cuticles and that the ends have started to get a little worn.  But for me a week is plenty and I’m ready to move on to a new pattern anyway, plus that’s still way longer than my polish would have lasted.

Jamberry August hostess specialHere’s one set the day I put them on
Jamberry after one weekAnd then a week later (I just realized I took a picture of the other hand, whoops).  You can see some growth but overall they still look pretty good.

My favorite thing about Jamberry Nails is that I get to enjoy having pretty nails without the hassle of painting or the cost of a nail salon.  Having my nails done makes me feel happy and pretty and put together even on the days that I’m covered in spit up.  I also get to branch out past my normal red or pink polish to fun patterns and colors.  I never thought I’d be a nail girl but now I am and I love them!

Now it’s your turn to try out the Jamberry goodness by winning the giveaway!  One of you will win a $25 product credit to use towards some Jams!  How exciting!

We’re also having an online Jamberry party if you’d like to join us, learn more, play games, and maybe win even more cool stuff!  That’s right, there will be even more giveaways in addition to the one we’re doing here on the blog!  Plus, joining the party will get you more points into the giveaway so definitely do that!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

DIY foaming hand soap

DIY Thieves foaming hand soap

Last night I helped teach a class on DIY (Do It Yourself) products using essential oils.  One of the recipes I shared was my foaming hand soap recipe and since I love it so much I thought I’d share it with you too.

(By the way, if you want the recording to the DIY class let me know!  We talked about some of the recipes I’ve shared before, like sleep cream and stretch mark cream, but also body wash, germ cream, diaper cream, body scrub, lip balm, bug spray, shower scrub, and more.  Tons of great Make ‘n Take or Christmas gift ideas!  I’ll send you the link so you can listen.)

So let’s talk soap.

Even before I went totally crunchy/hippie/natural I was shying away from antibacterial soap.  I just felt like we were stripping our bodies of the bad and good bacteria and that’s one reason people are so sick all the time – they haven’t built up enough immunity!  So I made it a point to buy hand soap that was not antibacterial (that wasn’t super easy to find, but there were a few brands that sold “regular” soap).  Turns out I was ahead of the game…triclosan, the chemical in most antibacterial soap, has come under some scrutinization for the fact that it can mess with hormones and that it doesn’t actually clean any better than regular ‘ole soap and water.  Thankfully many companies are now phasing triclosan out of their products.

Got a little off track there, apologies.

So anyway, once we did start to move toward a more natural lifestyle and I started making my own cleaning supplies, laundry soap, etc., and it made sense to make my own hand soap too.  I found a recipe online and made a big batch but it was a disaster.  It was difficult – you had to grate a bar of soap and cook it in water basically until is melted.  The consistency was disgusting – it looked and felt like snot.  So gross.  The only thing it had going for it was is smelled good.  We used it for awhile (although if guests were coming over I switched out with a bottle of store bought soap because the homemade stuff was just embarrassing) but eventually just switched back to buying soap.

Then I got into essential oils and I found a recipe for DIY foaming hand soap.  I’ve never liked foaming soap but I figured foaming was better than snotty so I gave it a whirl.  I’ve gotten used to the foam by now and I love making my own!

Supplies needed

  • Castile Soap (I use Dr. Bronner’s – I’ve seen it at Target, Kroger, Whole Foods, and Amazon)
  • Gylcerin (I use the Now brand, purchased from Amazon)
  • Essential Oils (of course I recommend Young Living)
  • A soap dispenser (I bought some cheap Dial soap from Walmart, dumped the soap it came with, and then washed the dispenser to use for my soap; some people use old Bath and Body Works dispensers; and of course you can just buy foaming hand soap dispensers by themselves.  I actually saw some at Kroger the other day for $6, which is way cheaper than what I found online)

This  is the recipe I use:

diy thieves hand soap[source]

  • I do not add the vitamin E oil.  I actually have vitamin E that I use in my homemade body wash as well as my stretch mark cream, but for whatever reason I’ve been leaving it out of the soap.  I need to give that a try next time!
  • I don’t measure (that makes Michael crazy!  I cook that way too).  I would assume that I follow the measurements listed in the graphic pretty closely, but basically I just do a big squirt of soap, a smaller squirt of glycerin, then add a few drops of oil and the water.  It’s so fast, takes me just a minute to refill all the soap dispensers in the house.  I like to do them all at once, assembly-line style.

You can change this and make all kinds of combinations!  Dr. Bronner’s has several scents (lavender, peppermint, orange, almond, and baby mild are the ones I’ve seen in stores; they also have rose, eucalyptus, and tea tree, which I’ve only seen online and haven’t tried yet) and then of course there are tons of essential oil options you could use.  So far I’ve always done peppermint Dr. Bronner’s and Thieves essential oil.  I think it smells great and Christmasy and I feel that Thieves is the best one to add for extra germ fighting.

Other combos that would be lovely:

  • lavender Dr. B’s plus tea tree EO (proper name: melaleuca alternafolia)
  • lavender Dr. B’s plus lemon EO
  • orange Dr. B’s plus any of the citrus EOs (orange, lime, lemon, Citrus Fresh, bergamot, etc.)
  • baby mild Dr. B’s (unscented) plus any EO of your choice since the only scent would be the EOs

Be creative!  I like to open the bottle of soap and the bottle of oil and hold them both up to my nose so I can smell them at the same time and see if I think I’ll like the combo.

This is a really easy step you can take into switching your household products to something more natural.  I think it would be really fun to get together with a bunch of friends for everyone to make some soap to take home!

Have you made soap before?  Did you like it?

What combinations do you think would smell good?

Oh and if DIY is just not your thing, you can buy foaming hand soap from Young Living; they have Thieves and lavender.   Ask your favorite friendly Young Living distributor (me of course) how to order.

Hudson’s 8 month update

Eight months!  My little man is growing up!  Here’s what’s up.

growth

Hudson weighs 21 pounds and is 28 inches long (based on our very non-scientific measurements with our bathroom scale and tape measure)

He’s is in mostly 12 month clothes now.  Some of them are a little big, but most of his 9 month clothes were like spandex so we had to go up in size.  I never imagined my little baby, who didn’t even fit into his newborn clothes when he was born, would be in 12 month clothes by the time he was 8 months old!  What a chunk!

We moved to the largest rise setting on his cloth diapers and in disposables he’s a size 4.

These are 12 month pajamas and they are already pretty snug.  Slow down, little man!

IMG_6229This onesie was obviously a bit too big still because I came in to get him after a nap and he had somehow gotten partially out of it.

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food

Hudson is still getting most of his food through breast milk.  We give him table food occasionally but not every day.  He likes playing with it but doesn’t seem too concerned with actually eating it.  New foods he had this month include green beans, peaches, cucumber, butternut squash, watermelon, sweet potato, green peas, and bread.

He hasn’t mastered his sippy cups but I think he did get some water out once while he was chewing/sucking on one of them.

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sleep

The sleeping situation still pretty much stinks.  It has gotten to the point where I have to hold/wear him during almost all of his naps or else he’ll wake up in less than 30 minutes.  Or as soon as I lay him down.  Occasionally he’ll surprise me and take a long one on his own after I lay him down, but that’s rare.

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Nights aren’t much better.  This month I quit waking him up for a feeding before I go to bed.  I had been feeding him around 8ish, then waking him up around 10 or 11 to feed him one more time before bed.  I noticed that many of those times he would suck for just a second then fall back asleep.  So I dropped that feeding unless he wakes up on his own; some nights he does and some nights he doesn’t.  He often wakes up at least once during the night around 3 or 4.  I put him in bed, feed him, and he sleeps the rest of the night with us.

He usually wakes up for good for the day around 6 so Michael takes him and plays with him for a bit while he gets ready for work, then brings Hudson back to me when it’s time for him to leave.  I SO appreciate him doing that so I can have that little bit of extra sleep!

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Making duck lips at Daddy one morning during breakfast.  Such a ham!

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I’m keeping my fingers crossed that once we get through this first round of teething and learning to crawl (developing new skills can mess with sleep), he’ll go back to sleeping through the night.  In his own bed.  Past 6am.

One can dream, right?

Waking up to this face is pretty sweet though.  At least, for the whole 30 seconds before he starts pulling my hair and trying to climb all over me.

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He has some very obvious sleepy signs now.  He does a little sleepy babble when he gets tired, but the most tell-tale sign is that he rubs/pulls his ear, rubs his eyes, or rubs his face into my chest/shoulder.  However, even when we know he is exhausted he will still fight sleep so hard.

He fell asleep with his thumb hanging out while we were shopping one day.

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mobility

Hudson wants to crawl SO BAD!  He can go from a sitting position to an almost crawling position – one leg is tucked under him and he gets kind of stuck.  Sometimes he’ll get all the way over into crawling position but then his arms just slide out from under him and he lays down on his belly.

That being said, he can definitely get around!  He can roll, rock, and scoot his way to whatever he wants.  If he’s on slippery floor like the hardwood or tile sometimes he’ll lay on his belly and push with his arms…he ends up going backward instead of forward and that makes him mad.  I have to watch him carefully because in a blink of an eye he’ll roll to my computer cord, phone, shoes, etc. and put it all in his mouth.

One afternoon he rolled himself clear across the living room and was hanging out under the drying rack playing.

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So close, got the position right, but just can’t figure out how to move those arms!

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He also started pulling up on his knees.  He started just doing it in his bed or his crib but now pulls up to his knees holding on to us, the chair, the ottoman, basically anything nearby that is semi-sturdy.  I nearly had a heart attack the first time he did it in the co-sleeper, which has very short sides, and I realized he could fall out!  He still sleeps in his co-sleeper but I no longer use it like a pack and play and just set him in to play it while I’m getting ready or cleaning or anything.

The first time I realized he could pull up I found him like this, reaching over the side to try to get to the tag on the outside of his co-sleeper.

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I use his crib as a place for him to play while I do laundry, fold diapers, etc.  Now that he can pull up he loves to chew on the side of of the crib.
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other firsts

Our big first this month was TEETH!  Michael was holding him one Sunday in church and put his finger in Hudson’s mouth for him to chew on and he felt the first one poking through.  It was partially through and we could see the one next to it under the skin.  A few days later the second one came through so we now has his two bottom teeth.

I was honestly pretty surprised.  He’s had teething symptoms for months (chewing, drooling, fussy, changes in sleep) but never anything excessive and I didn’t notice anything different in the days leading up to his teeth.  Everyone asks if his amber teething necklace works – I can’t really say for sure since we haven’t experienced teething without, but either it did work and that’s why he had such an easy time or he’s just an easy teether (my mom says that all three of us kids were).  We’re going to keep wearing it just in case :).

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He’s started reaching for me occasionally if someone else was holding him.  He definitely prefers mommy over anyone else but he’s pretty content and lets other people (even people he doesn’t know) hold him without much fuss.

I left him in the nursery class for the first time this month.  He’s been going to the nursery class on Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights since he was three or four months old but I’ve always stayed in there either as a teacher or a helper.  I wanted to wait until he could sit up on his own pretty well and now that he’s doing that it was time for me to let him stay by himself.

I won’t lie, it was really hard.  That had to have been the longest class I’ve ever sat through and I don’t think I heard my teacher say a word because I was worrying and missing Hudson.  His teachers were friends of mine who I totally trust so I knew he was in good hands, I was just worried because I never leave him and I’m not used to it.  I’m sure it will get easier with time though!  Oh and he did great, of course, it was just me that had separation anxiety :).

new skills

Waving!  It’s so adorable.  If you wave at him he’ll copy you and wave back.  Then he grins so big because he’s proud!  I thought it was a fluke the first few times he did it, but he does it pretty consistently and you can tell it’s intentional.

Hudson stands up now with someone holding his hands.  It makes him look so big, like he’s going to just up and walk away!  Ahh!

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I’m not sure if I’d consider this a skill, per say, but Hudson has learned out how to shriek.  It’s this horrible, piercing, loud shriek.  He mostly does it when he’s in his high chair or in his car seat but it is so incredibly annoying.  It’s much worse than crying in my opinion.  We’ve been telling him “No” when he does it, but he really has no idea what that means so he just grins at us.  Meal times can be rather stressful now.

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Hudson just gets funnier and funnier.  He makes this hilarious face that we call his “mischievous grin” and he’s a big ‘ole cheese.

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adventures

Hudson and I went on our first overnight trip without Michael when we went to Cookeville, TN to attend Bible Bowl.  My mom and brother went too so I had help, which was nice – I can’t imagine a solo trip with a baby!  He slept in the pack ‘n play in the hotel room and did really well for being in a strange place with all kinds of activity.

IMG_6122Bible Bowl is held in a huge arena on Tennessee Tech’s campus and we did a lot of walking.  I wore Hudson on my front and used a backpack as my diaper bag on my back.  It worked out really well, although I felt like a barge walking around!

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He did really great during the event and slept most of the time.  After Bible Bowl was over we went hiking.  Hudson’s first hike!  My mom wore him in a carrier that she used with us – old school babywearing!  It was fun.

The only rough part was the drive to Cookeville and back.  It was a pretty long trip and he screamed for quite a bit of the ride there and back.  It stunk.

Speaking of the car, he really has gotten much better.  He only cries that awful, ear piercing, make-you-crazy cry if he’s tired or hungry.  Usually for short trips around town he does well and just sits back there and plays, talks to himself, looks at himself (or us) in the mirror.  Or shrieks.  The shrieking is pretty bad too.

We had a family work day at my mom’s and Hudson got to play with some of his older cousins.  He loved all the attention!

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We went to Barnes and Noble for our playdate one week.  They have storytime on Tuesdays and then some crafts.  Hudson is too young for that and he mostly just wanted to eat the crayons and paper!

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other stuff

Hudson had a nasty cold this month.  Several people said they think it’s allergies – I didn’t even know someone so young could have allergies!  It was mostly a very congested nose with a little bit of a cough.  The first day he was sick he had these horrible purple, bruised looking, bags under his eyes.  It looked awful!  But I oiled him up and in a few days he was better.

IMG_5950He is so much more active these days, and not necessarily in a good way.  He can be very rough – pulling hair, pinching, slapping, and kicking.  He’s very strong and it can really hurt!  I know he doesn’t know any better, he doesn’t do it to be mean, but OUCH!  I’m ready to be past that stage.

Now that he can roll/scoot/move he will play independently for a little bit longer than he used to.  I think he doesn’t get bored as quickly since he’s working to get to his toys (or into something he shouldn’t…).  If it gets too quiet I know he’s in to something – is it just instinct for kids to get way quiet when they’re doing something they shouldn’t?

I haven’t mentioned the spitting up in a while, but it is way better.  He still does is some but not nearly to the extent that he used to.  However, now instead of spitting up and ignoring it like he used to do he plays in it.  Eww.  If he gets really quiet then chances are he has spit up and is rubbing it all over the carpet.

IMG_6087This month has been very challenging since he wants to be held so much.  I hold him for his naps and if I don’t then he has a very short nap.  So basically the nice long naps that he used to take that I could use to clean or get other things done are gone right now.  And then when he’s awake he wants me to be holding him or playing with him most of the time.  Like I said, he’ll play independently for a while, but not long.

The afternoons are the hardest.  For some reason, from about 2pm until Michael gets home (4:30ish), he is so SO fussy!  He’s tired but won’t nap, he won’t let me put him down and if I do he cries and cries.  It is incredibly frustrating.  I feel bad for him but I still feel frustrated.

IMG_6258I know this phase will pass eventually, but it is stressful to get very little done every day.  The house is a mess, the laundry is behind, and I never feel caught up.  And all the fussing drives me batty.

But he isn’t like that all the time, of course.  Most of the time he’s very pleasant and precious and adorable.

And with that I’ll leave you with a ton of precious pictures.

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8 month comparison