Hudson’s five month update

It amazes me how fast the months go and how much Hudson changes from month to month.  I feel like I blink and it’s time to write another update post, but then when I go back and look through my pictures and the notes I make through the month I realize just how much stuff has happened in that month!

First up, some stats: We had (what should have been) his four month well baby visit yesterday (that somehow got pushed out to five months).  He weighed 16 pounds 4 ounces (44%) and was 25.5 inches long (30%).  Healthy boy!

We started making it a point to recreate a picture from our first doctors visit to compare.  Look how much he has grown!

dr visit comparison

After we switched from an infant car seat to a convertible car seat last month I started putting Hudson in his stroller without using the infant seat.  He did really well – the seat reclines enough that I don’t worry about his head bobbling around.  He likes the stroller much more now because he isn’t strapped into the carseat.  I went shuffling jogging for the first time in close to a year.
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Hudson and I took a solo trip back “home” to Springfield (where Michael and I grew up).  It’s just an hour drive but that was the longest I’d driven alone with Hudson.  We met up with some friends and went for a walk – look at this gorgeous view!  Hudson did great and slept in his stroller for most of the walk.
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Hudson started trying to roll over at the beginning of the month so we moved his little changing station off the ottoman and into the floor so that I didn’t have to worry about him rolling off.  That turned out to be really nice because now I can lay him down and walk away if I need to.

He loves it when Daddy gets home from own and gets down in the floor to play.

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There are no visible teeth yet, but he is definitely teething – chewing on everything he can get in his mouth and drooling some.
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Hudson went through a phase this month (that already seems to be over) of tucking his lower lip under his top lip.  It was so cute and made him look like a little turtle.IMG_4707 IMG_4712
He seems to like his class at church – he sits and listens and watches so intently.
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Last year the Gaines’ gave out t-shirts if you made a donation to the Tanzanian Missions fund.  We made one for Hudson and got him this adorable little onesie with the t-shirt logo on it (Michael and I have matching ones too and I just realized that I should get a picture of the three of us in our shirts).
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Our swaddling days are quickly coming to an end.  Hudson has gotten to where he busts at least one arm, if not both, out of his swaddle during every nap.  This tells me it is time to move away from the swaddle so we’re working on that.

We also started spreading out his naps and feedings.  He was getting to where he fought me at every nap because he wasn’t tired enough yet, so we I started spacing them out more and keeping him up longer in between naps and that has helped a lot.
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He is still just so very happy most of the time.  Other than the carseat (which, unfortunately, he still hates) he’s a pretty content baby.
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He sits around with his feet crossed all the time.  It makes him look so chill and laid back and it just cracks me up!
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I think all of Hudson’s clothes are adorable, but I’m a sucker for these short overalls in particular.  So, so precious!
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I put the tray on his high chair one day so that he could use it to play with his toys (read: I was tired of picking them up every time he dropped them so I though the tray might catch them before they hit the ground).  He looks so big in his chair!

Side note: that chair is great!  It’s a Fisher Price Space Saver and it straps on a regular kitchen chair.  Not only do we not have to have a big high chair in the way, it is also very portable so we can easily take it with us to grandparents’ houses or wherever there might not be a high chair.  Plus it reclines so you can start them in it way earlier than a regular high chair since he doesn’t need head control to be able to sit in it.  And it’s cheaper.

Ok commercial over.  Just buy one.
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He still loves baths!  He outgrew his baby tub and was splashing water out all over the table so we started giving him his baths in the big bathtub upstairs.
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I have several different carriers that I use with Hudson, but this was my first try at sewing one myself.  It’s a ring sling made out of mesh (like athletic shorts) and I made it with intentions to use it in the pool this summer, but I’ve found myself grabbing it and using it around the house more than I thought I would.  It was super easy (and cheap) to DIY, too.

Hudson is getting to where he likes to look around more when I’m wearing him so the ring sling is perfect.  I also did a back carry with the Ergo for the first time this month.  The first time I did it he cried, but the second time he rode there for a long time and eventually fell asleep.
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We spent two Saturdays this month working out at Big Reedy Christian Camp trying to get it finished up for camp this summer.  Well, I should say that Michael worked and Hudson and I just sat around and encouraged all the other workers.  There isn’t much construction that I can do with a baby.  This is the most time Hudson has spent in the heat and it just wore him out!  Both times he slept much more than usual after we got home in the evenings.
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I feel silly but I want to take a picture of Hudson in every outfit that he owns!  He’s just so stinkin’ cute, but also he grows out of them so fast I want to remember that he actually got to wear them!  This little church outfit only got worn once before it was too small.
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A onesie with a toolbelt like Daddy – yes please!  This is one of my favorites.
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Hudson has been trying to roll over pretty much since he was born but this month he finally accomplished it.  He rolled from his back to his front first, then a few days later he rolled from his front to his back.  Now he can do a complete back to front to back again roll when he wants.  It’s very exciting.
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Sometimes he grabs the edge of his blanket and takes it with him when he rolls…a little baby burrito!

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Last summer while we were on vacation, we bought a Harry Potter onesie for our unnamed, gender-unknown baby.  It’s so neat to see Hudson wearing it now!
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(about 12 weeks pregnant with Hudson in this picture)

IMG_2039I was so excited to find a cloth diaper with bees on it.  Our bees are doing much better this summer (we’ve already harvested some honey!) and Michael built a second beehive so we’ll have even more.  I thought it was neat to have a diaper with one of our hobbies on it.
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Guess what else we found this month?  Our toes!  Hudson started grabbing his toes, although he’s only tried to put them in his mouth once so far.  I must say, the combination of toe-grabbing and rolling over has made diaper changes much more adventurous than they used to be.

IMG_4825Such a big boy!
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We got Hudson a Jumperoo.  He’s not quite sure what to do with it yet.  You can see in the first picture that his feet don’t touch the ground yet.  We put a box under there as a platform until he’s tall enough for this feet to touch.
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When we first put him in he totally ignored all the toys – he was more interested in watching me to my exercise video.

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In addition to all of his babbles and coos that he normal does, he started making gurgley noises in the back of his throat, blowing spit bubbles, and buzzing his lips.IMG_4865
We celebrated Michael’s first real Father’s Day (I was pregnant last year on Father’s Day, so that counts of course, but this was his first one with Hudson).  I got Michael a card from Hudson and let Hudson “sign” it – I put the pen in his hand and he waved his hand around and made scribbles….his very first scribbles!

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Michael doesn’t wear ties much, but I just had to give him the “traditional” Father’s Day gift of a tie for his first Father’s Day.  He wore it to church and Hudson wore his bow tie too :).
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Check out this adorable cardigan! A friend of mine knitted it for Hudson and it looks so precious with his bow tie outfit.

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Now that he can roll over, Hudson doesn’t hate tummy time as much.  He still gets mad sometimes when he rolls to his front and can’t get flipped back over, but lots of times he’s roll over and hang out on his tummy for a while.  A big improvement!
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Babies in overalls are adorable.  Babies in overalls, collared shirts, and flip flops are a whole ‘nother level of cute!
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And check out this one!  I just love to squish those chubby knees!

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We never use that beautiful nursery that we worked so hard to finish.  He sleeps in our room and we’ve been changing him in the living room since he was born.  In fact, all of this clothes had migrated to to the living room and his closet was spread out over the backs of both couches.  But I decided it was time to start using the nursery at least a little bit, so I moved most of his clothes back up there.  While I was working on hanging clothes and sorting through some things we got at a yard sale I laid him down in his crib (that he’s been in exactly one time) and he had a good time hanging out in there.  He used his feet to knock the quilt off from where it was hanging on the back of the crib and was fascinated by all the designs.
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Trying out the Halo sleep sack instead of a swaddle for a nap.
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Trying a swaddle with both arms out.

IMG_5005We made a donation to our local rescue squad and in return we got a free family portrait.  It’s a very cheesy, weird background, throwback to the 90s style picture but hey, it was free, and I’m not going to turn down a family picture.  Of course Hudson scratched his face and spit up on his outfit three times before we actually got called back for our picture.  Sigh.

Check out my hair.  It had gotten SO long.  I think this is the longest it had ever been in my life.

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So it was time for a bit of a change – I went and got a bunch chopped off.  I didn’t go full-on mom haircut, but I did get something that takes less time to dry, doesn’t get caught in stuff all the time, and Hudson can’t pull on (quite as easily).

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These pictures aren’t very good – I had the camera on my phone turned around to do a selfie of my new haircut and the quality of the camera is lacking.  But, I had to share them anyway to show how similar our eyes look in these pictures. IMG_4992 IMG_4995
This just cracks me up.  Michael took these one day and it looks like Hudson is doing a little Irish jig.

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And that wraps up month #5!  I can’t wait to see what exciting things will happen this next month. 5 month collage

DIY sleep cream

sleep cream with Young Living essential oils

If you have a little one who does not sleep well then you need this sleep cream!  It’s easy to make and very effective.

Don’t hate me, but Hudson is a pretty good sleeper.  I mixed up this cream for him and use it on him most nights, but it really doesn’t seem to make a difference whether I use it or not since he sleeps fine either way.  However, I have three different friends with toddlers/babies who don’t (or rather, didn’t) sleep well…I mixed up a little sample of this cream for each of them and all three reported improvements in their kids’ sleep within the first night of use!

It works for me, too.  I rarely have issues falling asleep but two or three times over the last few months I’ve been unable to fall asleep right away.  After tossing and turning for a while each time, I finally would get up and rub some sleep cream on my feet…and then fall asleep in just a few short minutes.

It’s definitely something to consider trying if your little guy or gal (or big guy or gal) is having some sleep issues.  Not to mention, it is super easy to make!

It’s basically just a base of coconut oil with essential oils that are good for helping with relaxation and sleep mixed in.  I like to make a cream for several reasons – mixing the oils in the cream stretches them so that instead of using a drop of each one every night you are just using a fraction of a drop at a time and saves you money; plus having the cream pre-mixed saves you from having to open multiple bottles of oil each night.

Here’s what you need:

1/2 cup coconut oil (see below for my recommendations)
10 drops lavender
10 drops Valor
10 drops Stress Away
10 drops cedarwood
10 drops lemon
10 drops Peace & Calming (note: Peace & Calming can have the opposite effect for some people and make them feel energized rather than relaxed.  If that is the case for you then leave it out.  I put it in mine because it doesn’t seem to bother Hudson or me, but I usually leave it out when I mix a sample for someone else)

A glass jar to store the mixture in (a 4 oz Mason jelly jar works perfectly)

sleep cream ingredients

Here’s what you do:

Whip the coconut oil in a mixer (or with fork if you want to get your arm workout in for the day).  Add oils and mix together.

That’s it.

Easy peasy.

Rub a little of the cream on your feet before bed.

Young Living sleep cream recipe

I use Nutiva coconut oil.  Quality oil for a good price.  You can buy it from Amazon or Vitacost (If you are new to Vitacost you should be able to sign up and get a $10 off coupon here…making your first jar of coconut oil free!).

The oils I use are all Young Living oils.  You can go here to find out how to order them.

This recipe can be altered for all kinds of things.  I’ve used the coconut oil base plus various essential oils to make a variety of creams.  Some of them include stretch mark cream (my stretch marks from Hudson have faded a bit since using this), germ-away (I used this every time we went out in public with Hudson during the winter months), pain cream (wonderful for rubbing on sore muscles), and diaper cream.

OBLIGATORY DISCLAIMER: The oils listed in the testimony above were ONLY Young Living essential oils. Do not expect the same results with any other essential oils. These statements were not evaluated by the FDA and were not intended to diagnose, prescribe or treat. Please seek the advice of your chosen health practitioner.

Happy first Father’s Day, Michael!

Thank you for loving us.  Thank you for working hard both at work and at home to take care of our little family.  Thank you for getting in the floor and playing with Hudson when you come home from work.  Thank you for taking care of him so that I can get a shower or have a few minutes to myself.  Thank you for holding him when he wakes up early so that I can sleep for a little longer.  Thank you for being there every step of the way through this fun but crazy journey of parenthood.  Thank you for being a rock during those early painful, difficult, sleep deprived weeks.  Thank you for getting up in the middle of the night to sit with me while I fed Hudson.  Thank you for the many prayers you have prayed for us.  Thank you for being a wonderful example for Hudson.  Thank you for taking us out to eat so I don’t have to cook.

There are many other things to thank you for but I’ll just sum it up and say that you are a wonderful dad and Hudson and I love you so much!

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Four month update

Four months, y’all.  Unreal.  Our little man is just growing and changing every day.

We haven’t had his four month well baby visit yet, but we weighed him and measured him here and based on that we think he is 14.4 pounds, 25.5 inches long.  He has doubled his birth weight and grown six inches!

He’s long and skinny(ish) as always – he is still in 0-3 month onesies (although getting very close to having to move up) but we’ve had to switch him this week to 3-6 month sleepers because his legs had gotten too long for his 0-3 month sleepers.  He’s definitely plumping up and getting some rolls though!

Now please enjoy this boatload of pictures.

One of my favorites from his three month pictures

IMG_1362_2He is holding his head up so well!  He loves to sit up and look around.  And as you can see he still has the very concerned forehead look down pat.
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Sleeping is still going great.  He usually sleeps from 10 or 11 to somewhere between 6 or 7.  Occasionally he wakes up around 4 or 5 and when that happens I’m usually able to feed him and he goes right back to sleep for a bit longer.  I think the light has a lot to do with how late he sleeps because when we were traveling this month and had blackout curtains in the hotel he slept later than usual; at home he has started waking up earlier than usual and I’m wondering if it’s because of the sun coming up earlier and shining in our bedroom.

We still swaddle him for naps and nighttime.  His little legs and arms are constantly moving and he’ll wake himself up if he isn’t swaddled.
IMG_4142Wearing one of his daddy’s outfits.  You can see that he has lost a ton of his baby hair.  He has some left in the back but the top is basically all gone and is growing back blonde.  I also have unfortunately started the post baby hair loss so I’m losing handfuls of hair all the time (fyi for those of you who haven’t had babies, that is totally normal).
IMG_4161 Check out this adorable windbreaker!  It served as a perfect raincoat to wear to church one night when we were having big storms.  Not that he actually was out in the rain to really need it, but still….
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Hudson constantly has his hands in his mouth.  He doesn’t seem to have a preference – sometimes it’s his thumb, sometimes his arm, sometimes a fist, sometimes both fists!
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We took our first big road trip with Hudson this month.  We travelled to Freed Hardeman University (about four hours away from our house) to see my brother perform in his senior recital.  Hudson did surprisingly well!

Here he is snoozing calmly in his carseat (a rare occurrence!)
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He slept through the whole performance and didn’t seemed to mind the singing one bit but hated the clapping!  He would jerk really big each time we clapped.  He spent most of the time with his hand over his face, which I thought was hilarious.  It looked like he was trying to block it all out.  Silly boy.
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So proud of his Uncle Riley!
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I just love overalls for baby boys!  They are kind of a hassle to put on but they are so precious!
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This month he started being semi-interested in toys.  His favorites are the blankets and toys that crinkle and crunch.  We call them “crinkles” or “crinkly blankets”.  He also likes to chew on Sophie the Giraffe.
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Hudson loves to hang out with his daddy.
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Unfortunately this is the typical reaction to his carseat (actually, I take that back…this is a very mild reaction to his carseat, usually he is screaming his head off!).  What a pitiful little face!
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Hudson has gone out to eat a ton this month.  We spent two weeks out of town traveling for Michael’s job and so we ate at a restaurant every night.  We also have gone out several times at home recently.  We try to time it for a nap time and then I wear him in the Moby or the Ergo.  Usually he falls right to sleep and we are able to eat a pretty peaceful meal.
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We bought his highchair and started putting him in that at the table rather than the bouncy seat on the floor.  The highchair we bought is actually more of a booster seat – you strap it to a kitchen chair rather than having a freestanding highchair.  It also can be reclined so you can start using it even before they can sit up well on their own.
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Hudson is such a happy baby.  Other than hating the carseat and screaming bloody murder when he is in there, he doesn’t fuss much.  He’ll get a little upset when he’s hungry or tired (who doesn’t?) but mostly he’s pretty laid back and chill.
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He has mastered thumb sucking (although he sucks his thumb sideways, which looks funny to me) but isn’t hard core about it – he’ll still take his paci or suck on his fist instead.  He also doesn’t seem to use thumb sucking to help soothe him when he is upset…which is kind of a shame since it would be convenient if he would do that when he gets upset in the car!
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Looking so precious before church!
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Like I mentioned, we traveled quite a bit this month.  In addition to taking a day trip to see my brother we also went on two week-long trips with Michael.  He had to go to Gatlinburg, TN one week and then Athens, AL a different week for some work classes/trainings so we tagged along.

I knew packing for a trip with a baby would be daunting but I didn’t realize just how much stuff we would need!  Good thing we have a van and can lay the back seat flat because we had the whole back half of the van full.

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Packed to the top and ready to roll.

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During the day while Michael was in class, Hudson and I hung out in the hotel room.  While he napped I’d read or work on my computer.  In one way it was a bit of a break since I wasn’t having to clean or cook, but in other ways it was harder than being at home because I felt more stressed about keeping him quiet so we wouldn’t disturb others in the hotel.  We had almost no floor space so we played on a pallet on the bed most of the time.

A few times I couldn’t get Hudson to sleep by rocking him (although we took the rocking camping chair it just wasn’t the same as our wonderful recliner and I struggled to get him to sleep some) so I’d lay down with him on the bed until he fell asleep.  Then once he’d fall asleep I’d get up and do whatever.  That’s big because he never sleeps laying down on his back, he’s usually in his rock ‘n play, but he slept like his several times while we were in the hotel!

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Speaking of sleep, I was afraid he would not sleep well being in a new place but he did really great.  He slept through the night every night and didn’t seem to have any issues.  In fact, he actually slept later in the mornings, I think due to the blackout shades in the hotel.

It’s rare but he does occasionally have a happy moment in the carseat.  However, this was not the norm for the trip.  He did okay on the way up there (although our four hour drive turned into seven thanks to all the stops we had to make) but the rest of the trip was a bust in the car.  One night we drove to Knoxville to have dinner with my brother and Hudson screamed the whole way there and the whole way back (an hour each way).

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Friday Michael had a short session in the morning and then was free to leave so we decided to drive through Cades Cove before we came home.  You can read about that trip and our multiple bear sightings here.  The drive from our hotel to Cades Cove was the most miserable part of our trip – Hudson reached new levels of carseat screaming it seemed.  He fell asleep while we were driving the loop so we were able to halfway enjoy our little detour, but it was a pretty miserable few hours leading up to that point.

I ended up riding in the back seat with him the whole way home so that I could keep sticking his paci in when it fell out and just try to keep him entertained.  It worked and we had a fairly quiet rest of the trip back.

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If you look closely you can see one of the bears behind us

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I celebrated my first Mother’s Day.  Hudson got me flowers, a corsage, and a sweet card…with just a little bit of help from his daddy :).  My first Mother’s Day was wonderful and I am so proud to be this little man’s mom.
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On Mother’s Day Hudson also went to Sunday School for the first time.  Right now he eats so often that we are usually able to make it though worship (which we have first at our church) but then I have to feed him during class – he can’t make it through both without getting hungry.  This particular morning he wasn’t acting super hungry after I changed his diaper so I sat him in the seat at the table with the other babies for a minute just to see how he would do – he did great!  He’s too small to sit up on his own in the seat (as you can see in the picture) so I have to hold him up or prop him with a blanket, but he just sits there and takes it all in.  He seems to enjoy listening and watching the others.  I’ve taken him to class several times since then and he is very happy.
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Little dude has quite the personality and is very expressive with his face!

We’ve said over and over again that he looks like his daddy but acts like his mommy.  Right now his only physical traits of mine are the cleft in his chin and his big feet; everything else looks just like Michael.  However, his face is so expressive and he’s so dramatic just like me.  He spits up all the time, he “talks” constantly, and he’s a messy eater…all things he gets from me.  Oh and he keeps tabs on everyone, especially me, always watching me and making sure I’m there.  His sneezes are just like his daddy’s – big and loud!
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Something else he started doing this month was grabbing things.  He’s always grabbed things on accident, but now he is purposefully reaching and grabbing things like the slipcover of the ottoman, his toys, the mirror on his play gym, and his burp cloth.

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We had to buy some more swaddles.  His old ones had gotten too small and he kept busting out of them during his naps so we had to get a larger size to keep him wrapped up.
IMG_4457One Saturday Hudson and I went a hung out on a blanket while Michael did some work on his beehive.  Hudson really enjoyed looking around at the sky and trees.  He’s looking like a cool cat in his new shades, too.
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Can you stand the cuteness in these pictures?!  I bought Michael a bowtie for Easter for him to wear to church on the 5th Sunday of the month (unofficial “bowtie Sunday” at our church).  Then I found an adorable bowtie outfit for Hudson for his 3 month pictures.  They “matched” one morning for church and it was just too adorable to handle!  I love my boys!IMG_4527 IMG_4544

Our trip to Alabama was much like our trip to Gatlinburg – Hudson and I hung out in the hotel room during the day.  He started “talking” non-stop while we on the trip.  Pretty much if he isn’t eating or sleeping he is making noise…definitely my child!

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He is always moving and so flexible!  He was cracking me up this day bending in half and practically putting his feet over his head.

We moved him up to size 2 disposable diapers.  I used disposables instead of cloth the two weeks we were traveling and unfortunately he had just about grown out of his size 1s.  We finished up the pack (which resulted in quite a few blowouts since they weren’t quite large enough to hold his poop!) and then bought size 2s for the rest of the trip.
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After our rather loud car rides in Gatlinburg we went ahead and bought Hudson a convertible carseat (he still sits rear facing but when it comes time to turn him around he will be able to use this carseat as well; it doesn’t lift out to be carried like an infant seat).  As you can see from this picture, the seat change didn’t make the difference that we were hoping for.  Bummer.  I rode in the back with him the whole Alabama trip and that helped some, so it wasn’t as miserable as Gatlinburg.
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Hudson’s four month birthday was also our five year wedding anniversary.  The three of us went on a little date to Longhorn to celebrate.
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This little man steals my heart every day!IMG_9285

It’s amazing to compare his monthly pictures!

4 month collage

Hudson’s 3 month pictures

Oh my sweet little man.  He has the best smile and the prettiest eyes.  What a cutie.

I’m only slightly biased.

I always thought it was ridiculous how people would put a bajillion similar pictures of their kids on Facebook but now I understand…they are all so precious and it’s hard to choose!  Lucky for you I only chose about half of them to share.

Picking outfits is so hard.  Part of me wants to do “formal” outfits like we all wore for pictures back in the day (Olan Mills anyone?) but that’s not really the trend anymore and I think these fun outfits capture him better anyway.

I adore this precious bow tie outfit.  The young men (youth group and college-age) at our church do the evening sermon on the 5th Sunday of the month and somehow that has evolved into “bow tie Sunday” where lots of the men wear bow ties.  I bought Michael one for Easter so he could participate and then when I saw this little outfit I knew Hudson needed it (I just hope he’ll still be able to fit in it for our next 5th Sunday at the end of June!).

IMG_1348I love how well the blanket matches his beautiful blue eyes!
IMG_1355 IMG_1362 IMG_1375 IMG_1385I bought this next outfit thinking it would be a good newborn/coming home outfit.  Mr Hudson was a little smaller than I anticipated so we had to wait a few months before it fit him.  That worked out perfectly for his three month pictures, though!

The outfit and hat are from Fiesta Kids Boutique(fyi they didn’t ask me to say that…I just thought you might want to know)
IMG_1418 IMG_1423 IMG_1443 IMG_1468_2I really wish we had gotten one of his newborn pictures with the quilt I made him but I was in such a new mommy fog that I just wasn’t thinking clearly and it didn’t even cross my mind.  But I remembered it for this time around – I love having the quilt in the background and I’ll definitely be printing some of these for his nursery since they match the decor.

He looks SO big with that collared shirt on, though!  It makes my baby look like a little boy and I’m not ready for that!  Stop growing so fast!
IMG_1482 IMG_1494 IMG_1531A huge thanks to Shelley at Sweet Dreams Photography for these wonderful pictures.

 

my newborn must-haves

8 newborn must have items

Now that we are past that wonderful but crazy newborn stage I want to share with you eight of my must-have items when Hudson was first born.  This is not a complete baby registry list (maybe another day…), but the eight most important, useful things that I found myself needing during those first few weeks.

reclinermy “nest”

1. A rocking recliner.  Not a regular recliner.  Not a rocking chair.  A rocking recliner.  My mom highly this when I was pregnant and she was so incredibly right.  You want to be able to rock the baby (because believe me, you will spend a ton of time rocking) but you also want to be able to recline and take a nap once baby finally falls asleep.  Or if your baby is like mine, you’ll need a comfy place to sleep for the first few weeks since your baby won’t let you put him down so you can go to bed.  I’m just saying…

Anyway.  A glider is nice; we have one in our nursery (that I have yet to use) but what you really want is something that you can have in the living room so that you can still be in the middle of the action and also be comfortable as you’re sitting for millions of hours on end.

We looked at several recliners and balked at the price of the one we ended up purchasing, but we figured it was a piece that we would last a long time.  Let me tell you, that is the best baby-related money we have spent.  I have seriously spent hours upon hours in that chair and it has been well worth the price!  Michael calls it my nest because I have my computer and books and water and all my stuff set up on the little table next to the recliner.  I can’t recommend enough for you to get one.  When your parents or in-laws or granny or whomever offers to buy the baby furniture ask if you can have a new chair instead (forgo the expensive baby furniture, you won’t use it anyway).

Oh and get leather.  Yes, it’s more expensive, but I cannot tell you how much spit up I’ve wiped off our recliner and I am so thankful that I got leather instead of cloth.  Much easier to clean up.

(I’m not positive but I think this one might be the one we got)

Moby Wrapfirst time wearing Hudson

2. A Moby Wrap.  You  many not be a cloth diapering, baby wearing, organic food eating, all natural hippie, but trust me you need a baby carrier so you can wear your baby.  When he was first born Hudson did not like to be set down.  Ever.  Wearing him was the only way I got to eat somedays.  It also freed up both of my hands.  I wasn’t able to do anything big like major house cleaning, but he could sleep all snuggled up next to me and I was able to have both of my hands to type on the computer or read a book or something.

Everyone has a different preference but I definitely prefer a Moby for when they are itty-bitty brand new.  Because it is just a long piece of cloth it is very comfortable to wear (no buckles or structured pieces).  It’s very cozy for mom and baby.  Check out your local consignment sales – I got mine brand new for $20 at one.  The wrapping can be a little intimidating but there are tons of tutorials on YouTube (that’s how I figured out how to use mine…and I practiced with a teddy bear until I was comfortable enough to use it with Hudson).

3. A good nursing cover.  I’m not a nursing-in-public-uncovered person (if you are, fine, but that’s not my thing) but I didn’t think I really needed to spend the money for a nursing cover.  I figured throwing a receiving blanket over my shoulder would be good enough.

Umm…no.  When you first start breastfeeding it can take a lot of work to get baby latched.  You need both hands free – you don’t want one occupied trying to keep the blanket from sliding off your shoulder.  You also need to be able to see to help baby get latched.  I highly recommend getting a nursing cover that is a nice big piece of fabric with a strap that goes around your neck like an apron.  Then you can put it on and not have to worry about keeping it in place.  I also like the ones that have a stiff neck that sticks out a little bit so that you can look down through the top of the cover and check on your baby or see to help baby get latched on.

I have a Bebe Au Lait and I love it!  (it has the neck strap and the stiff neck piece, but it also folds up like a blanket and fits easily in my diaper bag).  Babies R Us carries them as does Amazon (and probably other places as well).

4.  A smart phone.  I know, seems like a weird thing to list but it really was one of my newborn necessities.  I couldn’t even guess how much time I spent Googling things when Hudson was first born.  I had questions about everything – was he latching right? why did have so much gas?  how do you get a baby to sleep better? why does nursing hurt so much?  etc. etc. etc.  Since I was holding Hudson most of the time I usually only had one hand available to do all my searching, so having my iPhone was so helpful.  I spent tons of time browsing mommy forums and texting my mommy friends and reading everything I could find.

And on that note, make sure you have a phone charger plugged up next to wherever you think you will spend the most time (aka your nest in your recliner)

5.  Something good to watch.  You will spend a lot of time gazing at your sweet baby.  You will spend a lot of time on your phone trying to read more about this confusing little creature who happened not to come with an instruction manual.  But you will still have times that you need a distraction.  The middle of the night feedings were the worst for me – I was so exhausted and it was dark and he took so incredibly long to eat and I could hardly stay awake.  Plus nursing was way painful at first and I needed something to take my mind off the pain.

First I started watching I Love Lucy.  I’d watch two episodes every nursing session to keep me occupied.  Then the winter Olympics came on and I spent the next two weeks watching all those events.  And I don’t even like sports.  After that I moved on to the 19 Kids and Counting episodes and then Gilligan’s Island.

Now Hudson is much faster, he doesn’t eat as often, we don’t have middle of the night feedings (most of the time), and it’s not nearly as painful.  I usually check Facebook, send a quick email, or just sit and enjoy him.  No need for major distractions.  But at first those tv shows were lifesavers!

So pick out some good, clean shows (you have little ears overhearing now!) that you are interested in watching so that maybe you’ll look forward to those middle of the night sessions at least a little.

6.  A Boppy pillow with an extra cover.  I know some people are on the fence about the Boppy, or prefer a My Breast Friend, but I really like my Boppy and it has been a lifesaver while nursing.  I bought a waterproof cover to go under the pretty, printed cover and I’m so glad I did because it has gotten soaked with spit up (or just extra milk…Hudson likes to fall asleep, forget to swallow that last mouthful, and just let it come running back out) multiple times.  I’m glad the actual pillow isn’t getting all nasty thanks to the waterproof cover, but I really needed an extra outer cover so I could alternate them while one was in the wash.

I like mine so much that I’ve actually considered buying a second one to keep in the car.  I certainly can nurse without the Boppy and I’m not going to haul it all over the place to use every time he feeds, but it is nice and I end up nursing him a lot of the time in the car (yet again I am so glad we went ahead and bought our van!) so it would be convenient to have another on there.

ottomanHudson hanging out on the Boppy; changing station on the ottoman in the background

7.  Puppy Pee Pads.  I’ve told you how I used these in labor and they were so helpful then; come to find out they are super helpful afterward, too (which is good because the package I bought for labor prep had 30 in it and I had no idea what I was going to do with all the leftovers).

I don’t know if it’s all babies or just my baby, but Hudson open-air-peed almost every.single.time we opened his diaper to change him those first few weeks.  Since we changed him on the ottoman in the living room (still do, actually) this could have been bad news bears for my furniture.  We started putting the pee pads down, then laying a receiving blanket over the top.  We still had to change out the receiving blankets constantly, but the pads have protected the ottoman nicely.

8. Help and support.  I know that not everyone is as fortunate to have their husband home for the first two weeks after birth or their mom stay with them for the first six like I was, but if anyone offers you help, take it!  Don’t try to do it all yourself.  You take care of the baby and let others take care of the rest.  Let people bring you meals, let someone hold the baby so you can sleep, ask for help if you’re having problems breastfeeding.  If you have a mom or a cousin or a friend or whomever who can come help you a little at the beginning you will not regret it.

So there you go…the eight things that I think are crucial to have with for your newborn.

Your turn – what did I not mention that you thought were absolute must-haves?

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Thanks to everyone who entered the oil carrying case giveaway.  I wish I could give one to everyone but unfortunately I can’t, so the lucky winner is: Stephanie H. (h*****home@gmail.com) – be looking for an email from me!

If reading about the essential oils piqued your interest and you’d like to look into buying some for your family, let me know and I’ll help you get started.  Don’t forget, anyone who signs up with me or one of my team members during the month of May gets a free Essential Oils Pocket Reference – a fantastic resource to help you learn how to use your oils to combat allergies, migraines, pain, etc.

High Five for Friday

Happy Friday, y’all.  Here’s what is making me happy today:

1.  Cloth Diapers hanging out to dry.

I usually don’t like doing laundry at all (well actually, I’m fine with everything but the folding and putting away part) but for whatever reason I really enjoy doing the cloth diaper laundry.  It’s not nearly as complicated as I expected.  I prefer to let them air dry outside if the weather is nice because the sun does a great job bleaching out stains.

cloth diapers

2.  Our garden.

Michael got our garden planted this week.  I’m looking forward to having fresh herbs and veggies!

garden

3.  Babywearing.

I love wearing Hudson.  It gives us lots of nice snuggles, it allows my hands to be free to do other things, and it’s much more convenient than lugging his big carseat around or hauling out the stroller.  I have a Moby Wrap, and Ergo, and a Mei Tei and I love them each for different purposes.  I’m also part of a local babywearing group and each month we get together where everyone brings their carriers so you can try different things.  I’m giving Ring Slings a go this month and borrowing one to try out.  So far it’s not my favorite and I much prefer my other carriers, but I’m going to keep trying it and maybe it will grow on me (although in retrospect maybe that’s not such a good idea…if I start to love it then I’m going to want to buy one!)

ring sling

4.  My monthly YL essential oils order.

It’s like Christmas every month!  All kinds of goodies – oils, toothpaste, snack bars, cough drops, supplements, and more

Young Living essential rewards order

 

5.  This guy.

Really, could be be any cuter?  He has outgrown his smallest swaddles and is breaking out of them during his naps.  I keep coming in to find him waving his little arms around (kinda cute after a nap, not so cool at 4:00 in the morning when he wakes us all up…we will be finding a better swaddle before bed tonight, I’m just saying…)

swaddle

Oh and don’t forget that today is the last day to enter my giveaway…so chop, chop!

Enjoy your weekend friends!

Linking up with Lauren

keeping up with baby milestones

I have a super simple tip to share today on how I keep up with Hudson’s milestones and other important information – I just write it down in my planner/calendar!

We have a baby book that I update each month, but for the day to day things I’ve found that jotting them down in my planner works best for me.  I usually have it sitting out all the time so it’s easy to grab a pen and make a quick note.

tracking your baby's milestones in your planner

I’ve shared about my Erin Condren planner before.  Obviously the way I use it now is a little different than how I used to use it (now that meals are fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants and blog posts happen whenever I get a spare moment) but having all that space to write memories is wonderful.  I use the bottom section of the day (each day is broken into three sections) to record Hudson-related things.  I don’t write something every single day, but I try to stay on top of the big stuff (and little stuff) so that I don’t forget.

Some things that I try to record:

– firsts (first smile, first coo, first cloth diaper, first time we went to church, first solo outing, etc.)

– abnormalities or medical issues (lots of sleeping or lots of nursing, possible growth spurts, unusual behavior, rashes, fever, height and weight at doctor appointments, etc.)

– other (hours slept, people who came to visit, anything else notable)

Having a place to jot that stuff down quickly is a wonderful way for me to remember all the little milestones.  Later I can go back and use that information write his monthly blog posts or fill out his baby book.  It’s also fun to look back and remember those moments or just marvel at how much he has changed already.

How do you keep up with things for your kiddos?

What’s in your oily go-bag? (plus a giveaway!)

young living essential oils first aid kit

A few weeks ago when I first posted about my journey into essential oils I showed a picture of my oily “go-bag” – a little bag that perfectly fits my Young Living essential oils (the small ones that come in the starter kit).  I have gotten tons of questions about where I got my back and it appears to be quite popular.  Soooo….

I found another and I’m giving it away to one of you lucky readers!  Hooray! (just the bag, not the oils in it fyi…)

Let’s talk about the oils that I keep with me all the time.  I no longer carry a purse and just use my diaper bag for Hudson’s stuff and my stuff.  As much as I’d love to carry all of my oils with me, that’s just not possible (I already carry enough stuff for a small army as it is…) so I narrowed it down to nine ten items that I think cover the majority of our needs while out and about.

carrying case for Young Living essential oils

In my actual cute little pouch that everyone loved so much (which is actually a bead organizer from the jewelry section at Hobby Lobby, but unfortunately is no longer sold there…good thing I snagged one for you, huh?) I keep lavender, Thieves, Stress Away, Purification, peppermint, and Deep Relief.

lavender

1. Lavender.  Lavender is the “Swiss Army Knife” of essential oils.  It is good for so many things and when in doubt I try lavender.  Lavender is a natural anti-histamine so it’s fantastic for allergies and Michael deals with a lot of allergy issues so I keep it on hand for him.  It’s very gentle and great for cuts and scrapes.  The other day I had neglected to file Hudson’s fingernails (bad Mommy!  And yes, I’m too scared to clip them so I use a nail file…) and he had scratched his face in several places.  I rubbed a little lavender on each spot and they healed up very quickly!

Another story is that awhile ago I stubbed my toe and while it hurt like a stubbed toe usually does, it wasn’t so excruciating that I thought anything was very wrong…until I looked down and there was a little puddle of blood on the floor under my foot.  It had pulled the toenail back and started bleeding significantly.  I put a drop of lavender on it and covered it with a bandaid because I didn’t want to look at it or deal with it yet.  The bleeding stopped almost immediately and the nail fell off on it’s own a few days later.  I didn’t have to do anything else to it!

thieves

2.  Thieves.  This is probably my number one favorite oil (well it’s actually an oil blend, but you know what I mean) because of its amazing germ fighting properties.  I have a homemade germ-away cream that I made with Thieves and some other wonderful EOs that I put on Hudson’s feet before we leave the house but sometimes I forget so when I do I just rub Thieves straight on his feet.  It is a hot oil so I only use it on his feet, but it doesn’t seem to bother him at all (I’ve been using it on him since the day we brought him home from the hospital).

Michael frequently gets these very painful canker sores/ulcer things in his mouth.  He hasn’t had any since we switched to Thieves toothpaste (a natural toothpaste that Young Living carries) but he also hadn’t bit his lip recently and they usually pop up after he accidentally bites the inside of his mouth.  This weekend though he did bite down hard on his mouth one day so I immediately had him put a drop of Thieves on the spot.  Guess what…no mouth sores!!  It’s been several days since then and he has had no problem at all with that spot.  Given his track record that is pretty incredible!

stress away

3.  Stress Away.  Stress Away is another oil blend that I adore.  It smells wonderful and is very calming.  When Hudson was first born I got very anxious about taking him out; just the thought of him screaming in his car seat, trying to get places on time, the germs he’d be exposed to out in public, the amount of stuff you have to haul around, feeding him if he got hungry (because breastfeeding was such a nightmare for me at first that was not as easy it might have been otherwise), etc.  I started rubbing Stress Away on my wrists and the back of my neck and it really helped me feel more grounded and less anxious.  I now use it basically as perfume and put it on every time we go out.  In addition to it helping me relax, it has copaiba in it which is highly anti-inflammatory so it’s great for pain or cuts.  After Hudson scratched his face and I applied lavender to help with healing I also put some Stress Away on the areas because the copaiba helped the redness go down.

purification

4.  Purification.  Another great blend that is very versatile.  It is very cleansing and purifying (as it’s name suggests).  This one is perfect for cleaning cuts and scrapes.  One of the oils in Purification is lemongrass and lemongrass is actually the most effective single essential oil for killing MRSA (note, though, that is you have a MRSA problem R.C. is the best blend to use for that…I’m not dealing with or anticipating a MRSA problem so the Purification is plenty good enough for me just to cleanse a cut just in case…but if that ever did come up I’d use R.C.).  Purification is also excellent as a bug repellant and on bug bites.  I am planning to make homemade bug spray using Purification, but if I forget the spray and we need some protection I can also just rub on a little Purification.

I’ve used Purification on infected hangnails with great success.  It’s also good for sore throats, coughing, and to get rid of stink (so perfect for when you’re out and about and encounter something stinky…like the salmon smell in my car from our to go meal at supper last night)

peppermint

5.  Peppermint.  I feel like a broken record, but this is another very versatile oil.  Honestly, all the oils are and can be used for many, many things.  Peppermint is good for tummy issues like gas, reflux, and nausea.  It’s great as a pick-me-up when you’re feeling tired (like driving on long trips).  It can help with congestion and headaches and is just energizing in general.

deep relief

6.  Deep Relief.  This oil blend is available in a roll on and is fantastic for all types of pain.  This is my oil of choice if I have a headache.  Our little man hates the car and his car seat so long car rides often result in a headache.  Rolling Deep Relief on my temples and the base of my neck (and also on my jawline, I seem to hold a lot of tension there) will usually get rid of a headache in 10-15 minutes.

In addition to the six oils that I carry in my case, I have a few more that I keep elsewhere in the diaper bag.

Thieves hand purifier

7.  Thieves hand purifier.  I have been anti-hand sanitizer for a long time.  I think it stinks and I can’t stand to smell that when I’m trying to eat, I’m not a big germophobe, I tend to feel like being exposed to germs and such builds our immune systems, and I don’t prefer to use all the chemicals in hand sanitizer.  However, now that Hudson is here I am a little more cautious about germs.  For one, I’m changing frequent diapers and not always near a sink to wash up.  And two, I’m constantly touching him and I really don’t prefer to rub the nasty germs from the cart at Kroger all over him.

All that to say, I’m happy to have found a natural alternative with the Thieves hand purifier.  It’s much more moisturizing, smells great, and I have no concerns that it is going to have harmful ingredients.

Thieves spray

8.  Thieves spray.  This is technically for cleaning/sanitizing, but because of the safeness of the ingredients used in this spray it is safe to ingest, too.  In fact, many people (us included) use it for sore throats.  The day I got Michael came down with a nasty sinus infection, so he carried it with him for a week or two to use on his throat.  I now carry it in the diaper bag and my main use for it is to clean off Hudson’s pacis.

Like I said before, I’m not a big worrier about germs and the majority of the time if he drops his paci I just pick it up and pop it back in his mouth.  However, there are some places and instances that even I think are too gross.  I carry the spray with me and I’ll squirt his paci with it and let it dry.

Thieves spray is also perfect for spraying down public toilets, door handles, shopping carts, etc. if you are so inclined.  I like to use it to spray the straps on Hudson’s carseat or his little play gym area if it gets nasty (which it does often since he’s a big spitter-upper)

Yes…you may have picked up on the fact that I keep Thieves oil, Thieves hand purifier, and Thieves spray.  I know that seems a bit excessive but even though I could use one of those three for most of the things I mentioned I prefer them each for different uses.  It’s just how I roll.

digize

9.  DiGize.  This is a recent addition to the diaper bag.  It sadly doesn’t fit in my cute little carrying case but it’s one I always want to have with me so I stuck it down in one of the pockets. DiGize sounds exactly like what it is good for – Digestion.  I won’t lie, it’s a pretty stinky blend, but it’s worth it to us.  This is great for tummy troubles (yes, I said that about peppermint, too, but this is even more effective for certain things).  Hudson has lots of gas issues and using DiGize makes a big difference in his gas.  Also, in the past few weeks he has started only pooping every 2-3 days.  I know people say that breastfed babies don’t have to poop as much because the breastmilk is better absorbed and used by the body.  However, when he was having poops every third day or so they were huge.  My mommy gut was telling me that this was more than just his body not having much to poop out and that for whatever reason he was hanging on to it for a while and then just letting it all go at once.  Consistently using DiGize throughout the day has improved that significantly.  He is now having a good bowel movement every day (unless I start to slack on the DiGize) and I feel much better about his poop situation.  (I didn’t realize that having a baby would make poop such a huge topic of conversation at home, with other random people, and now here on my blog!).

panaway

10.  (honorable mention) PanAway.  This one actually got the boot recently to make room for another oil (my little case only holds five plus a roll on…which is sad because there are so many great oils that it’s hard to choose since I love them all!).  Not that PanAway isn’t great, but my bottle is almost empty and I haven’t bought more yet, plus Deep Relief and PanAway are pretty similar so I didn’t think I needed both (never mind the fact that I keep three very similar Thieves products in my bag…).  But, I wanted to mention PanAway because it’s one of the oils in the Premium Starter Kit (and Deep Relief isn’t, so most people end up with PanAway first) and because I have a pretty cool story from this weekend.

I was opening the mail on Saturday and got a deep, painful paper cut from a magazine (ouch!).  I remembered that Helichrysum is great for stopping bleeding..I don’t have any Helichrysum but I knew that it was in the PanAway blend so I grabbed my bottle of PanAway and banged in on my palm to get that last little bit out (time to reorder!) and rubbed it on my paper cut.  It stung for a few minutes but the bleeding stopped instantly and the cut sealed closed!  That was wonderful!

Soooooo….

I know you’re wanting to get to the giveaway part, huh?

Well it’s super easy – fill out the Rafflecopter form at the bottom of this post.  I’ve given you several ways to earn entries, you can do as many or as few as you like.  The giveaway ends Friday night at midnight.

Young Living Essential Oils Premium Starter Kit Distributor # 1612080

But first!  I wanted to let you know that if you’ve been thinking about jumping into the wonderful world of essential oils now is a good time to make the plunge.  I’m running a promo in May where I will give everyone who signs up under me with a premium starter kit (all that great stuff in the picture above) an Essential Oils Pocket Reference.  It’s a reference book that is worth $25; the first half of the book lists all the oils and their uses, the back half lists various ailments and gives suggestions for which oils to use.  It’s a fantastic way to learn how to actually use the oils once you get them, so as a “thank you” to the people who sign up with me in May (so don’t put it off!) I’m sending them the book.  And that can include you, too!  Just shoot me a message and we’ll get you started.  Even if you aren’t ready to start using oils, feel free to contact me with questions and I’ll be happy to help you out.

essential oil pocket reference

 

Now on to the giveaway!  Update: *********this giveaway is now closed*********

a Rafflecopter giveaway

OBLIGATORY DISCLAIMER: The oils listed in the testimonies above were ONLY Young Living essential oils. Do not expect the same results with any other essential oils. These statements were not evaluated by the FDA and were not intended to diagnose, prescribe or treat. Please seek the advice of your chosen health practitioner.

on being mommy

IMG_9087

My eyes were squeezed shut as I concentrated with every fiber of my being.  A nurse stood on my left cheering me on, Michael on my right counting me through the pushes, my doctor at the foot of the bed yelling “go, go, go!”.  Pain unlike anything I’d ever experienced shot through me and it took all my strength to push.  One last big push and then I heard my son’s very first cry.  I was a mother.

I was so focused from the delivery that I still had my eyes tightly closed and it took a few seconds for me to remember to open them and look at my baby.   He was squalling but the second they laid him on my chest he stopped crying.  He knew his mommy; he knew my voice and my heartbeat from living inside me for nine months and so he laid there calmly.  He was all bloody and goopy and I didn’t care one bit.  He was my baby.  The agonizing pain I had endured to get him there, while not at all forgotten, didn’t matter anymore.  It was so worth it.

The love I felt in that moment was absolutely unlike anything else I’d ever experienced.  My world shifted on its axis.  I was now responsible for this tiny, helpless human.  I felt a protectiveness that I’d never felt before.  I know with certainty that I would die for Hudson if I needed to.  There is no question in my mind.  Every protective, loving instinct that I didn’t know I possessed surfaced as my 6 pound, 14 ounce baby entered this world.

It was wonderful.  And it was terrifying.

I’ve known my whole life that I wanted to be a mother.  This year will be my first Mother’s Day and as that approaches I’ve been thinking about how much that means to me.

Although I’ve always wanted to have children I really had no idea what it would be like.  I have been around kids my whole life – babysitting and teaching and working in a daycare.  But nothing, nothing, prepared me for what it would be like to have my own.

I’m not talking about the diapers and the feedings and the exhaustion.  I wasn’t prepared for that either but I knew it was coming.  The emotional side of it all is what has been so crazy and overwhelming and wonderful.  I have a love for Hudson bigger than I’ve ever loved before.  But with a huge amount of love also can come a huge amount of pain.

My mom said that when you have a child, or children, you are letting a piece of your heart exist outside your body.  She is so right.  Anything that hurts him hurts me, and the thought of something happening to him makes me physically ache.

Things are so different now.  I feel everything so much more than I did before.  Not that I was callous and uncaring before, but now I see things from the perspective of a mother.  I hear of stories of sacrifices that parents make for their children and rather than think “oh that’s nice”, I cry because I know I would do the same for Hudson in an instant.  I’ve felt that love.  When I hear of parents who have lost their children I cry and hold Hudson tighter because I can’t imagine life without him.  I’m so thankful for his presence.  When I hear of parents who have abandoned their children I get angry because I cannot fathom walking away from my baby.

This job is super hard, but it’s what I was meant to do and it’s what I love.  Sometimes I get so frustrated when Hudson is crying and I have to just set him down and walk away so I can gain some perspective and remind myself that he is just a little baby who can’t express why he is upset.  Sometimes by the end of the day I need Michael to give me a break so badly because I’m feeling overwhelmed.  And yet, I love it.  I would never, ever go back to the way things were without Hudson.

I have so much appreciation for my own mom now.  I regret the things I have said to her as a teenager that were ugly because now I can imagine her pain.  I know that if (or rather, when) Hudson does the same to me it will crush me.  After Hudson was born Mom did so much for us.  It was wonderful having her stay with us but I also felt guilty that she was cleaning and cooking and doing errands and sitting up in the middle of the night so that we could sleep.  But I’ve come to realize that I’m her baby.  She feels for me like I feel for Hudson so of course she will do those things for me.  I may be 27 but I have no doubt that she loves me the way I love Hudson and that is incredible.  I think of all the sacrifices she made for me that I never appreciated before now.  I know understand that seeing me in pain hurt her, because seeing Hudson in pain hurts me.  And I know that she has sent hundreds and thousands of prayers up on my behalf the way I have for Hudson.

I also have so much more appreciation for my mother-in-law.  I know that there will come a day when I no longer be the number one woman in Hudson’s life.  I hope that I will be able to be as supportive and accepting as my mother-in-law has been.  She has always made me feel like part of the family and I’m sure that it makes her happy to see Michael happy, but I know it has to have been hard to let him go.  I pray that I will be able to do the same with Hudson.  I pray that I will raise him to be as good a husband as his daddy is to me.

Michael and I have both said several times in the past few months that we had no idea how much our parents loved us until we had a child of our own.  And sometimes while I’m cuddling with Hudson I whisper to him that I know that he will never understand the depth of my love for him until he has children of his own.

Becoming a parent has changed my views of God, too.  He loves me even more than I love Hudson.  He loves me so much that He sacrificed His own son for me.  I cannot imagine sacrificing Hudson for anyone or anything.  I can’t fathom the love that God feels for me, and all of His children, that he would be willing to do so.  I can’t fathom it, but I can appreciate it.

Needless to say, being mommy has changed me, hopefully for the better.

So happy mother’s day to all the moms out there.  You make a difference.