The past few weeks have been a little crazy (which is why I haven’t posted in well over a month…)! ¬†I have tons of pictures I could post, but it’s 6:55am right now, the kids and hubby are sleeping and I’m trying to enjoy every last second before the little monsters wake up…so I’ll do a little updating now and a picture post later. ūüôā

Here are some things that have happened in the past month:

  • Zach’s Welcome Home party (I forgot the camera…but I do have one picture below!)
  • My family¬†reunion¬†(I forgot the camera for this, too)
  • Zach’s family¬†reunion¬†will be this Saturday (I’ll try to remember the camera this time!)
  • We’ve started cloth diapering¬†almost full time (I haven’t found the right inserts to try a cloth diaper at night yet)
  • Irelyn had her 4 month appointment (she was 14 lb 9 oz, 25 inches long and is growing perfectly!)
  • Made it to 5 months of exclusive breastfeeding ūüôā (I tried some dairy a couple of weeks ago to see if she’s still sensitive to it…she is.)
  • Kaden spent a week at his dad’s house while Zach & I were house-sitting for my aunt
  • Irelyn learned to roll from back to belly (she’s been going from belly to back), has been learning to sit and has attempted to crawl twice!
  • Zach went to Columbus this past Tuesday to take his exam for the Ohio State Highway Patrol¬†(he passed!)¬†We should know if he got accepted into the academy in a few weeks ūüôā
  • Irelyn had her 1st taste of solid food [this morning! – video below]

We are trying baby led weaning with Irelyn. ¬†Basically, we’ll be skipping cereal & purees, starting with simple foods such as avocado, bananas, peaches, broccoli, etc and allowing her to feed herself. ¬†The idea behind it is that she’ll learn to chew before swallowing (which will help her to only ingest solids as she is actually ready for them), it is supposed to help her be less picky towards the texture (with a 3 year old that would only eat mac-n-cheese and popsicles if I let him, I love this),¬†plus¬†I don’t have to spend time pureeing and storing foods for her, she’ll just eat what we eat!

We¬†tried avocado today. ¬†She was so excited when we put it on the tray and she licked it for a few minutes – I don’t think she actually managed to swallow any though.

Obviously, Kaden was narrating the entire event…I’ll only bore you with a little over a minute of it. [please ignore my messy house]

And here is the one and only picture I have from Zach’s party.

I’ll post more pictures as soon as I have some “free” time to edit them! ūüôā


He’s Home!

Finally! ¬†Zach got home around 3am on Friday morning. ¬†He will be home for 10 days before he has to go back to Kentucky for a few days, but that’s nothing compared to the 10 months he’s been gone. ¬†He got to meet Irelyn around 3:30am on Friday – we checked on her while she was sleeping and she woke up. ¬†She spent an hour awake after that and was all smiles. ūüôā ¬†When Kaden woke up Friday morning I told him there was a surprise in my room for him…he came running out with a huge smile on his face when he saw that Zach was his surprise! ¬†Here are a few pictures of the three of them.

Of course, the kids had to have special outfits to wear. ¬†I had planned on that being a surprise for Zach at the airport, but since plans changed and he came home in the middle of the night, we just had a photo shoot in the living room [it only took Irelyn 10 minutes of wearing the onesie to spit up all over it anyway]. ¬†I ordered Irelyn’s skirt & bow on etsy and I made the shirts they’re wearing.

We’ve been pretty busy the past few days with visiting family, church and transitioning Irelyn to her crib (that was one huge failure from my 28 day challenge…). ¬†The first night she slept in her crib, we were up every two hours – but last night she only woke up one extra time! ¬†The past couple of days have been amazing and has made the past 10 months worth the wait. ¬†Tonight’s post is going to be short, but we’re taking the kids to the park in the morning and we’ll be doing Irelyn’s 4 month picture tomorrow, so I’ll post those soon!

Here are a few more pictures from today ūüôā


Cloth Diapers

I’m adding one more item to my list of things I’ve done differently with each of my kids –¬†cloth diapering¬†(& while we’re at it, cloth wipes)! ¬†I’ve done almost the complete opposite with Irelyn so far compared to Kaden and I’m becoming a different kind of mom than I ever thought I’d be. ¬†Before having Kaden and formula feeding, using disposable diapers/wipes, working full time 5 weeks after he was born and living 3 hours away from my family…I never thought I’d be a breastfeeding, cloth diapering, stay at home mom who lives 5 minutes from my family now…but I love every bit of it! ūüôā I wouldn’t change how I have raised Kaden because it was what worked for us at the time; but I love having a husband who has made it possible for me to even have the first 4 months of Irelyn’s life at home with her and to do things the way I have.

After already going through so many boxes/packs of disposable diapers in the short 16 weeks of Irelyn’s life, we’ve decided that we can save a ton of money using cloth diapers. ¬†We bought 19 diapers from a friend (to add to the 2 diapers Irelyn has) for a total of $78 (we’ve already spent twice that much on disposables) and since I’m at home all day anyway, a couple extra loads of laundry per week will help fill my “down” time. ūüôā ¬†Anyway, we have a variety of diapers (velcro, all in ones – which will help when we’re out, Daddy has to change her or when family is watching her), but they’ll all fit up to around 35lbs. ¬†And if we take care of them, they’ll last through¬†potential baby number three. ¬†We’ll easily save thousands of dollars and cloth diapers are just too cute! (I’ll definitely be posting pictures once they’re all organized and ready to use)

I’ve become pretty addicted to my sewing machine lately and have been practicing making some pocket and fitted cloth diapers. ¬†Today I decided that I’m going to use cloth wipes as well. ¬†Since we’ll be tossing her diapers into the diaper pail after changing, there’s no point in having to carry a dirty wipe to the trashcan every time when we can just use cloth and throw it in with the diapers!

I found 7 baby washcloths lying around, but of course I had to sew some cute ones for her!

I found a super simple wipe solution online (1 tablespoon baby oil, 2 teaspoons baby wash, 2 1/2 cups water) and filled a squirt bottle with it. ¬†I’m planning on making another couple dozen wipes after I find which fabric I like best. ¬†The yellow wipes are made from an old baby towel and cotton (for looks) and the pink/zebra print are made from an old shirt of mine and cotton (for looks again!).

Sunday I’ll be buying the supplies I need to make laundry detergent for the diapers and a small trashcan to use as a diaper pail. ¬†I’ll be posting more about our cloth diaper experience next week! ¬†Also, within the next 14 days there will be a post all about Zach meeting Irelyn for the 1st time!!

Here’s a picture of Irelyn in one of her cloth diapers (& Sophie¬†– which I highly¬†recommend for teething babies) & Kaden blowing bubbles at 7am today ūüôā



Day 19 – Dusting

I won’t lie, if I don’t have to post before/after pictures of the project for the day, I’m not nearly as motivated to do it. ¬†I didn’t dust today. ¬†Maybe tomorrow or this weekend.

But, we sure didn’t waste the day. ¬†I found some fun printables on Pinterest while the kids were sleeping¬†(is there anything you¬†can’t find on there?).¬†

I found this awesome “disguise kit” here. ¬†Kaden¬†loved it!!

And I found these for Irelyn’s room. ¬†Eventually I’ll get picture frames for them, but I just couldn’t wait that long to hang them up. ¬†I sing this song to her every night ūüôā ¬†Try¬†to ignore the picture quality…

I also made my first set of reusable nursing pads today. ¬†I’m definitely still learning, but regardless of how they look, they worked just fine!

I don’t care how long it takes for me to get the hang of it, I’m in love with my sewing machine. ūüôā

Well, I’m waiting for Zach to call me from his cell phone for the first time in 5 months, so I’ll post again tomorrow!


Day 18 – Transition to Crib (and some AWESOME news!!)

Okay, good news first: ¬†ZACH IS BACK IN THE UNITED STATES!!!!!!!¬†For the first time in 5 months, I feel like I can finally relax knowing he’s not in a war zone. ¬†The reason he is home early is because he needs surgery on his shoulder. ¬†So, even though he’s back in the US, he probably won’t be home with us for another couple of months. ¬†But within the next month, we will be driving to wherever he is to see him ūüôā ¬†Waiting a little longer for him to be at home with us will be a breeze compared to waiting all these months that he’s been in Afghanistan.

Transitioning Irelyn to her crib…this has been interesting. ¬†Since she was born, we have co-slept. ¬†I have one of these¬†cute little “snuggle nests” and she sleeps about 6″ away from me in our bed. ¬†She has always been a wonderful sleeper – after surviving the first couple weeks of nursing around the clock, she wakes up once or twice a night to nurse, I lay her back down and she drifts off to sleep. ¬†I¬†love having her right next to me during the night¬†(because I can easily check on her anytime and because I¬†hate sleeping alone). ¬†I co-slept with Kaden for at least a few hours of the night until he was 7 months old and loved it.

So, here are the reasons I’m trying to transition her to her crib.
1. ¬†She’s starting to get too big for the snuggle nest. ¬†She wiggles around and can scoot down to the middle of it, which makes me nervous because I don’t want her roll off the bed.
¬†She’s getting to big for her swaddle blanket. ¬†I want to move her to her crib while she’s still swaddled, so she can get use to the new bed before changing anything else.
3.¬†¬†Zach will be home soon. ¬†We have a queen size bed and regardless of what the picture on the website shows, the little bed takes up more space than you’d think. ¬†Since my husband has been gone all but 8 weeks of our year long marriage and we’ve spent most of it with an entire ocean between us, he’s gonna have a hard time keeping me from hugging him all day, let alone at night (which I can’t do if our daughter is sleeping in the middle and we’re both hanging off the edges of the bed). ūüôā

Now for our progress so far. ¬†I really don’t know because apparently I’m incapable of leaving her in her bed long enough to find out. ¬†Here’s my one…and only attempt: ¬†I put her in her crib at 10:20pm (same time I usually lay down with her for the night and she sleeps til 4am), I didn’t check on her til 10:40pm (still sleeping peacefully), made myself sit in the living room til 11:15 (she hadn’t made a peep), I tried to go to sleep (failed miserably) and got her out of bed at 11:45pm (we were both happily sleeping next to each other by midnight). ¬†I keep telling myself “tonight will be the night I try again”. ¬†Never happens. ¬†I can actually convince myself during the day that I¬†will go to bed without her and even go so far as to getting her room ready for bedtime. ¬†Then it starts getting dark outside. And 10pm comes, I nurse her and we happily lie down in my bed and are asleep within minutes. ¬†Why ruin a good thing, right?

I will move her to her crib. ¬†Eventually. ¬†Soon. ¬†While I was trying to go to sleep that one night without her, in my attempt to rationalize why I should just give up, I realized I have never slept away from her since she was born (& for 9 months before that if you wanna get technical). ¬†She’s been away from me for a total of 2 hours (it took 3¬†separate¬†occasions to total 2 hours) and has had 4 bottles (totaling 3 ounces of milk – I’ll have to post the video of her attempting to drink a bottle, she’s clueless). ¬†Needless to say, we both¬†I may have a slight¬†separation¬†issue. ¬†This is actually new to me, I went back to work full time when Kaden was 5 weeks old and I spent a night away from him when he was 7 months. ¬†At this rate, I don’t think ¬†Irelyn will be away from me for more than dinner & a movie with the hubby by the time she’s 7 months. ¬†Oh well…I still have a little time before Zach comes home to work on this. ūüôā

She also rolled from her tummy to her back for the first time tonight!  I was practically touching her when she rolled and I missed it because I was reaching for something.  Here she is with her favorite toy.


Days 16 & 17 – ABC’s and the fridge

Kaden will be starting preschool this fall so I’ve been working with him on different things that they will be teaching him. ¬†Most of the time he doesn’t want to sing the “ABC song” and asks me to stop if I start singing it to him, but he has been making some progress. ¬†I bought him wooden blocks of the alphabet – he loves building things with them and he’ll “say” his abc’s on his own (it normally goes A, B, C, D, F, H, I, K for Kaden, L, MmmmN, O, T, Y and Z!!)…hey, that’s pretty good since he hardly lets me sing them to him! ¬†He has also started recognizing a few letters. ¬†He thinks anything with an¬†M¬†in it spells mommy, anything with a K spells Kaden and anything with a Z spells Zach. ¬†He thinks zero’s are O‘s and I‘s are number ones. ¬†At least we’re getting a small start before he goes to preschool.

He seems to be learning so much lately and growing way too fast. ¬†He’s been using big words like “especially” and talks in full sentences all the time (& he talks allllllll the time). ¬†I remember how proud I was when he knew 20 words by his 1st birthday, and quite a few were able to be understood by more than just me, now that he’s 3 1/2 and¬†never¬†stops talking I don’t remember what the days were like when he was as quiet as Irelyn! – so I’m making sure I thoroughly enjoy her lack of communication skills now, before I have two little chatterboxes. ūüôā

Anyway, we’re going to keep working on his ABC’s, but next I’m going to start teaching him how to write his name and read some easy words. ¬†I have a few signs that have his name, address and my name – he has all of that memorized so I’m hoping he’ll be able to start recognizing the actual words, too. ¬†Since I have always worked since Kaden was born, I love being able to stay at home and spend more time watching him learn. ūüôā

Here is a picture Kaden colored for Zach for Father’s Day (don’t mind the blue lips/mouth from his sucker):

He actually starts out by coloring¬†in the lines, then he gets impatient and scribbles the rest (his favorite color is blue, so he’s convinced that he can’t use/wear any other color at the moment).

Now, on the the fridge. ¬†I don’t have much to say about it, it was disorganized before and now it’s clean…



…and now it looks like I’m starving my child. ¬†We really do have food, most of it just obviously doesn’t need refrigerated.

¬†That’s about all I have to say for tonight. ¬†My sewing machine¬†should be here tomorrow (almost the highlight of my week!) so I’m sure I’ll have more exciting things to talk about then. ¬†Highlight of the week¬†so far:¬† Irelyn slept for 8 hours straight ¬†for the first time last night! ¬†She normally sleeps for 5 hours straight each night, so 8 hours was wonderful. ¬†I don’t have my hopes up for it ¬†to happen again any time in the near future, but I’m thankful since the last time I slept that long was about 4 months into my pregnancy.


Day 13 – Toy Organization

This project is the one I was dreading most (along with the master closet which I’m planning on starting this weekend). ¬†It went surprisingly well and Kaden loved helping label everything. ¬†I’m very happy with how his room looks now and he’s been putting his toys away in the right places for the past two days ūüôā

Now, BEFORE¬†you look at these pictures…¬†let me warn you that I did forget to take the “before” picture before I started doing anything. ¬†I had already moved toys (with Kaden’s¬†help)¬†and cleaned off the bed before I realized I hadn’t take a picture. ¬†These pictures are worse than his room actually looked by the end of each day, but they just make the finished product look that much better ūüėČ

…….and here’s¬†after!

It turned out even better than I thought it would. ¬†The room looks a little smaller with the bed where it is now, but there’s more room to store toys and I don’t have to climb in the toy box to put his laundry away ūüôā

My other exciting news for the day is that I ordered a sewing machine!! (…I remember watching my mom sew when I was a kid – I never thought I’d be so excited about sewing) It will be here early next week and I’ve got ¬†a list of projects that I’m going to begin working on (reusable nursing pads, cloth diaper inserts, cloth wipes and burp rags), I’m already planning a modified¬†“28 day challenge”¬†for sewing projects!

Well, tomorrow’s task is the medicine cabinet (which is actually just a basket) and grocery shopping. ¬†Here’s one last picture of Kaden in his clean room! ¬†Somehow this kid manages to sleep with every item on his bed, plus about 6 blankets you can’t see folded up at the bottom. ¬†I always have to double check to be sure I’m kissing his head¬†(not Mickey’s) when I check on him at night.