Monday, January 23, 2017

Austin // 3 Months

We have a full-blown baby on our hands; no more newborn! SO bittersweet. Austin is a cheerful kid with the most adorable belly laugh, which can be triggered by running a finger under his chin and talking in a silly voice. He loves munching on his hands, of course, but in the past few days I've caught him staring at his hands in fascination because he's finally realized, "Hey, those things are attached to me! I can control them!" He's strong enough now to sit for moderate lengths of time in the Bumbo seat. He's pretty good about chilling by himself on the ground while I eat or shower or help Nicole. His clogged tear ducts have finally cleared up, thank goodness.

Sleep updates get their own paragraph. Ha. Austin stubbornly continues to take naps that are rarely longer than 30-40 minutes when he's in his crib, although if we're going to be honest, I'm glad he takes naps in his crib at all. He usually has 4 naps, which is great. Thanks to a combination of growth spurts, "wonder weeks" and a mild cough, he has regressed to 3 hour stretches at night. Back to survival mode! He sleeps with one arm out of the swaddle now. I imagine that within a couple more weeks we'll have him "weaned" off swaddling completely. Aw, no more burrito baby :( Although... this kid gets sweaty easily, even when he's swaddled in just his diaper with the thermostat down at 65 degrees. He won't get as sweaty once he doesn't need to be swaddled.

I still wear him several times a week in the wrap or baby carrier. He is becoming increasingly tolerant of car rides, and he loves watching his big sister run around. He takes his sweet time nursing and either holds my finger or moves his hand in circles while he eats. He started getting very vocal earlier this month and says "ah-goo" over and over. He has even blown some raspberries at me, which was the cutest! He's reaching the stage where he makes high-pitched squeals and screeches, which can be grating on the ears at times, but I love that he's vocal and exploring sounds!

We love this little man!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Austin's Blessing Day

My family drove to Utah to be here for Austin's baby blessing in church yesterday, and it was quite the action-packed weekend! There were adventures to the local aquarium, teppanyaki grills, games, big family meals, and lots of sparkling cider. Nicole and Austin never went to bed on time, houses were packed with family, and we all got to listen to Doug give this sweet baby boy a blessing and a name for the records of the church.

The weather was cold and overcast. We all woke up late and had to rush to get to church. Pictures were hurried and blurry and missing nearly all of Doug's family. Babies got overtired and cranky. But there was never a lack of snuggles and playmates and laughter. I'm pretty sure Nicole was in heaven all weekend. Man, I love this crazy family of mine.

Now we get to hole up in our house (as it snows aaaaaall week), let these poor exhausted kiddos settle back down, and find our routine again. The last week of 2016 was a blur of outings and cousin play-time and rarely a quiet moment. It's finally time to take a deep breath and get a good look at the year ahead of us.

I think it's going to be a good one!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Year In Review // 2016

This year was one for the books! A lot of big things happened, and I meant to write this post earlier, but it's been an eventful week. I'm just going to type this out real quick and then get back to my New Year's Eve activities, so here we go! I'll try not to forget anything important in my review, I'm in a bit of a hurry ;)


This was the month that I went full-out with my Trim Healthy Mama diet and lost a solid 5 pounds. Nicole became a pro at walking after finally recovering from her foot injury that she received shortly before Christmas 2015. Douglas started his final semester of grad school at BYU while simultaneously working full-time.


We made the happy discovery about halfway through the month that I was pregnant again! We also finally hunkered down with an awesome realtor and officially started our house search. It was stressful. To my friends who are planning on buying houses sometime soon, I would highly advise utilizing the services of a realtor; they are invaluable in decreasing the stress!


In a whirlwind of a couple days, we went to view a freshly-listed house, made an offer that very evening, and waited with bated breath as the owners reviewed all the offers they had received... and discovered that our offer had been accepted! Our house search lasted a grand total of 2 weeks, and I was glad to have it done with so quickly.


This was a big month. It was the birthday month of me and 4 of Doug's immediate family members. I had my first official pregnancy appointment, following which we announced our happy news to everyone. We closed on our house, sold our apartment contract, and made the move, all while Doug was finishing up school. He graduated at the end of the month. It was a craaaaazy month.


This month, we focused on getting into the swing of being home owners. There were some immediate issues to address with the home, some big purchases to make, and lots of boxes to unpack. Doug's whole company received notice of termination this month, effective by the end of June for most employees. Doug was assigned to the "clean up crew" and got to keep his job through the end of July, which gave us a good cushion of time as he searched for a new job.


Doug found a new job, and was able to arrange to start working there on August 1st so that he could finish his time with his old company and receive his severance check. However, there wasn't a ton to get done at work, so he got to be home a lot (or he and his co-workers would leave in the middle of work to go see a movie... things like that. It was awesome.) We got to see a lot of him this month, and during July. Nicole also hit the 1 1/2 year mark.


The highlight of this month was going to visit my family in California. Yay, family! We did a lot of activities during "4th of July" week as well. Nicole was intrigued by the fireworks and soaked up being the center of attention when we went to CA. Oh, and we went on a lot of walks in the hot sun playing Pokemon Go. Hahaha!


I feel like this was a slow month. Doug started his new job (which we all love!) and it was hot hot hot all the time. This was about the time that Nicole and I started doing a pretty solid routine which we continued all the way until the end of me pregnancy. I was solidly in the 3rd trimester by this month, but still felt pretty good.


Nicole and I went up to Provo Canyon at least twice a week this whole month. I got more and more ecstatic as we watched the world turn to vibrant fall colors. We had my brother stay with us for nearly a week, which Nicole LOVED, and we finished renovating the bedrooms on the top floor of our house. Bye-bye wallpaper, hello new carpet and fresh paint.


It was hard picking a picture for this month because there were so many fun things, but the highlight was definitely the arrival of our sweet little Austin! We had all sorts of fun little family excursions this month to soak up the last bit of time before the baby came... and I must say, out of the years I've lived here in Utah, this autumn was definitely one of the longest and most beautiful! I loved every moment of it, and we spent many a day/evening going on walks. Nicole was also thoroughly excited about the whole trick-or-treating concept. Free candy just for knocking on doors? Yes, please!


This month was largely spent finding our groove as a family of 4. My mom came to help out for a couple days at the beginning of the month, and my brother came to stay with us again for Thanksgiving, so Nicole got a lot of play-time with family other than mom and dad. We also had our first big snowfall of the season, and Nicole was enchanted.


I know I didn't really post this month, and there's so much to say about Christmas, but I'll keep it brief. Nicole celebrated her 2nd birthday, blew out her own candles like a champ, and was a pro at the whole present-opening gig. We went to Christmas parties and made lots of treats and Nicole loved decorating cookies to leave for Santa on Christmas Eve. This past week we've gone on lots of adventures to places like the Tracey Aviary, Lowe's Xtreme Air Sports, and the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium. Lots of yummy food consumed. A sad 2-month-old getting shots. And now my family's in town and we're gonna go make cookies now, so I'm going to sign off!

Goodbye, 2016. I know a lot of people on the internet are bashing you, but you were a pretty good year for me and my little family. Here's to a new and even better year! Happy New Year, everyone!