Cora, 5 months



Little beauty is 5 months old! Time keeps flying by in the blink of an eye with Cora. We can't imagine our lives without her, truly truly.

Weight: old-fashioned way this time, since no well-child check at 5 months, and the verdict is 18 lbs 9 oz! (18.6 lbs on our scale). No wonder she gets heavy to wear or hold for longer than about 10 minutes. :)

Height: not a clue. She's probably about the same as last month, as it doesn't seem like she's much longer. Buuuuut I suppose she's officially too long for her 6 month onesies now, but that could be from girth rather than length, so who knows!

Firsts this month: transitioned to sleeping on her tummy overnight, and making a tiny bit of progress on the sitting thing (but she's definitely not there yet), trying baby cereal and HATING it. Also rolling whenever she wants, pretty much! She only gets stuck every so often.

Nicknames: nothing new.

Other things to note:
:: Girl cannot make up her mind on her overnight sleep and eat patterns. She is crazy unpredictable! Some nights she'll just wake up once to eat, somewhere between 2 and 4 a.m. Other nights she'll wake up at 11, 2, and 5 a.m., all starving like she's never eaten before.
:: We're trying to somewhat night wean her, because she's obviously not a skinny little thing, but she's too emotionally attached at this point to stop eating overnight, and I'm too lazy at 4 a.m. to try and put off her feeds. Last night she was up at 2 a.m. to eat, then randomly stayed awake til feeding her again at 3:45, so who even knows! Babies, man.
:: Bedtime and nap routines are pretty set, which is a big help. She'll usually nap twice in the morning/early afternoon for around 45 minutes, then a 1.5 hour nap in the afternoon, and then a 20 minute catnap before bed. I'm trying to transition her out of that 4th nap just for convenience sake but it depends on when she wakes up for the day.
:: I know, these are fascinating. Most riveting details ever, I'm sure you're on the edge of your seat.
:: We traveled in the car for 8 hours on Saturday and another 4 on Sunday, and she was a serious champ until the last 2 hours on Sunday. Props to her though because I was seriously sick of the car at that point too, and I wasn't strapped into a car seat!
:: She makes fans wherever she goes. But she also has a serious streak of "stranger danger" -- aka she only wants mom if there's lots of unknown people around her, and she'll earnestly scared-cry until I take her back. Even with grandparents, who she sees all the time! After a warm up period, she's then usually okay with others holding her but it takes some time.
:: Cora is completely enamored of her big sister. She will just stare at her for hours. Kitty will lovingly sit next to Cora and read her books for a solid hour (basically eternity in toddler time, am I right?). It's adorable and melts my heart.


Currently ^^^
We love you baby!
HG

7QT #59: Yard work, fun mom, & new music!

Typical Hannah, write a deep post for once and then don't post for two weeks. Oh well, quick takes to jump back in!

1.
Being finally in Omaha for a longer period of time, we bit the bullet and got a Costco membership last week (yay!) - Lincoln only has Sam's Club, although they're getting a Costco soon. So far I love Costco, but I haven't been enough times yet to really compare the two. BUT - I will say, the only thing I miss from Sam's is a bag of pre-chopped & washed romaine lettuce for salads. Costco has a decent alternative in the bag of romaine hearts, but I am majorly lazy and I really miss the pre-chopped kind. Womp womp.

2.
All the news things this week plus a baby who had a couple nights of terrible sleep have made this a suuuuuper long week. In order to fight the blah during the witching hour last night, I busted out Kate's paints from Easter and she got to paint! for the first time ever! (I'm SO not a fun mom, this is a rare rare occasion.)


She loved it. She has talked of literally nothing else since she woke up this morning.

3.
I've found my newest Netflix obsession - if you follow me on Instagram & watch my stories, you will see Kate and I perched in front of the TV every day at lunch watching Escape to the Country. If the title throws you off (like it did me for awhile), it's basically BBC + HGTV so...BBTV...or HGBC...

The acronym is not important. What IS important is how freaking fantastic this show is. If you are a fan of cute British couples, looking at really old houses in the country, great accents, and cute segments about historical places in the UK, this show is 100% right up your alley. I'm legitimately obsessed with it, so much so that I think I've decided our 5 year anniversary trip should be to England. (I have this whole theory that it's just a ploy for the British tourism industry to get foreigners to come visit and it's totally working on me.)

Like the episode I watched the other day, for example, the realtor host on the show helped give an award-winning show chicken a sink bath. Yes, you read that correctly. It's a gem and I highly recommend it.

4.


If anyone has tips on how to get a 5 month old to nap later in the day, I'm all ears. Cora is pretty easy to get down for naps unless I'm trying to fit in that last 30 minute cat nap during the day. Usually she'll nap from 2-3:30, and then I'll try to get her to nap again around 5:00 or 5:30 (because a 4 hour gap between the last nap and bedtime at 7:30 is a recipe for a bad night's of sleep) and she just does NOT want to nap.

Any tips for me? Just a phase she'll grow out of (hopefully)?

5.
Some new music I've discovered, in case you need some new tunes (these open in YouTube, all are also on Spotify):
Drunk by Mating Ritual (weirdest title ever, amazing song)
Right Now by HAIM (their new single! so excited for their album yessssss)
Hurricane by Luke Combs (country song I can never get out of my head once I hear it on the radio)
FUTURO by Café Tacvba (an awesome Mexican rock band I heard on NPR, don't you love how cultured I try to be?)

6.
I was scrolling back through my camera roll trying to free up space by deleting old photos, and came across this old photo of our backyard, soon after we moved in last summer.


And this is what it looks like now!


David will probably be embarrassed that I posted a photo of the grass so long, but we're trying to get our last round of seed to take so we've been putting off mowing for as long as possible. He's going to mow tonight.

What a difference, right? That's what happens when you spend lots of thousands of dollars removing a big a$$ tree AND your rock star husband spends every free moment for a solid season cutting down bushes and doing general cleanup and then planting and maintaining a new lawn.

This year we've decided to just concentrate on getting the lawn to come in better, and then next spring and summer we'll do more landscaping. I'm thinking some small fruit or flowering trees, and maybe a couple lilacs in the corners, and some wooden flower boxes.

7.
Now that the grass situation in our back yard is mostly where it's going to be for the summer, I'm now dreaming of nights spent on the patio and enjoying the yard. But we don't have any dining furniture, so I'm on the hunt for a very very cheap set to fill the void for awhile. We have a nice lounge chair donated from my mom's friend that I plan to spend hours reading on this summer to get a little bit of a tan, and a few chairs from a cheap sale at Target end of season last year, but not a table!

I'm on the hunt for one - Craigslist is being stalked pretty religiously. Who's the patron saint of Craigslist? Send them a prayer up for me if you get a chance. ;)

Head to Kelly's for more!
HG


Motherhood and art


Lately I've been doing a lot of thinking about motherhood, and writing, and in general being creative as a mom and wife. I'm sure any of you who have a side hustle, or a passion for writing, or a "lowly mom blog" have gone through this introspection too. This article about writing about motherhood someone shared the other day on Facebook (I can't remember who, sorry if it was you!) spurred my latest round of thinking -- too late at night when I should be trying to sleep instead.

I'm going to wait for you to go and click over to read it, because the author makes a really compelling argument about motherhood and writing I've thought subconsciously since having kids, and she articulates it thoroughly in a way I haven't seen before. Here's a good quote, if you need motivation to actually click and read - it's not long I promise:
"Patriarchal culture has reduced motherhood to an exercise no serious artist would tackle as a subject. The result is not only the marginalization of motherhood as a literary topic but the real-life marginalization of mothers, obscuring the difficulties of childcare, the intensity of birth, the complexities of working and writing as a mother, and the profound ways having a baby changes a woman’s life, body and mind."
I'm a writer. Or at least, I self-identify as if I'm a writer. (How long until I feel confident writing that? Do published authors ever get used to saying that they're writers?) I wrote a lot in high school and college, and I write when the stars align now that I'm in the period of small children and babies. Lots of times this writing is devoted to just small family updates on the blog, writing about the ins and outs of my experience as a mom, trying to capture the details of these two beautiful girlies I'm blessed with on a day-to-day basis. Occasionally I'll write little bits of fiction, or journal by hand, but those times are few and far between. 

Often times in the last {almost} 3 years of motherhood I've started to write something fiction, and I've stopped myself because what I wanted to write about was being a mom...but my brain retorted with "who reads about mom stuff? Write about something serious." But at the same time I believe motherhood has been the defining act of my life, and I am more proud of my role as a mom than any other aspect of my life. What gives? 

I've failed to consider that heck, I love reading about other moms and their rites of motherhood. That's mostly why I read other blogs, let's be honest. I want to know how moms do it - how they're feeling, what they're learning, how to grow as a mother myself. I've failed to treat my own experiences with dignity. I've internalized the idea that being a mom is somehow a lesser role, something not to be proud of, something not to celebrate, something to be shifted away in pursuit of a higher art.

And I agree with the author of the article, that in degrading art centered around motherhood, we end up degrading mothers themselves. I know far too many women who have to sacrifice parts of their roles as mothers in pursuit of their passion, and likewise those who sacrifice their passion because they think they can't handle motherhood at the same time. 

I'm no longer going to treat being a mom this way, especially in my writing. I am capable of being a great mom and pursuing whatever I choose at the same time. And I can write about motherhood and babies without feeling like less of an artist. Sure there are plenty of subjects out there to write about - I hope someday I'll have enough energy to write about all the ones I want to explore. But in this season of changing diapers and having tiny faces look up at me in awe, I want to write about whatever I'm inspired by, and not belittle my own existence because it's not widely considered "art." I see an enormous amount of beauty and pain in motherhood that should be explored by art, writing, what have you - the ache you feel when a child suffers and you can't fix it, the joy of a cheek-splitting grin when your baby catches sight of you, the self-sacrifice required to wipe a messy face time and time again. 

Motherhood is hard, and beautiful, and sanctifying, and I want to embrace it all in pursuit of my art. 
HG

Photo courtesy Unsplash: Dakota Corbin.

What I'm loving recently


It's been awhile since I did one of these, so why not, right? (some amazon affiliate links below, you've been warned!)

This yoga nursing bra from Target (20% off right now!). It's the best of both worlds - cheap enough for my budget, but actually comfy and doesn't dig in and has enough support.

The West Wing Weekly podcast, recommended to me by my friend & fellow huge TWW fan Katherine. I'm only on the 4th episode but I love it already.

The Light of the World by Elizabeth Alexander. I read this on the recommendation of Laura, and because I've been looking to find a book to read that I'd never pick up otherwise. This memoir/love letter to the author's husband after his untimely death is simply beautiful. Highly recommend.

Those premade bottles of Starbucks drinks you can get at the grocery store (ahem, Target). I've been riding a long wave of a Christmas gift card to get drinks at Starbucks in the last few months, but as I'm trying to stretch it as long as possible, those bottled things are way way cheaper and just as good to get me my caffeine fix every morning. I really like the cold Vanilla Latte and got the Passion Tea premade box from a friend which is also really good!

This article detailing Elon Musk's new adventure, Neuralink. Fair warning: it's extremely long and detailed, and my brain hurt by the end of it, but super interesting (and fairly end-of-the-world-vibe-y).

My go-to lunch lately, a tortilla wrap of deli meat & sliced cheese. Simple, healthy enough, and doesn't get too much worse if I have to make my lunch and then feed the baby or deal with the toddler in the mean time.

David and I started Stranger Things, but in a total rookie move with a shared Netflix account with my family, accidentally watched episode 6 first...and didn't realize it til we were all the way through the episode. So then went back to watch episode 1, etc., and I think last night we just watched episode 4. So far it's really good, really sad as a parent too, but might have been a leeeetle more hyped than I think it deserved. (Don't hate me! It might get better, but so far seems overrated. Good but not like, amazing. Like I said, don't hate me. I have high standards for TV.)

Poor Cora got another little bit of a cold (or never got over her last one, I'm not quite sure) so I've been loving our humidifier to help her sleep and also be able to breathe at the same time. This version is the one we've got, and a good price on Amazon right now! In related news, if someone has a recommendation for a reliable baby thermometer, I'm all ears. We've tried 2 different ones and both are kaput. Halp!

Ta, friends.
HG

Cora, 4 months



Late as always, Cora turned 4 months old last Thursday and I'm just getting around to writing about it. Wow no one is surprised. :)

To the stats!

Weight: 16 lbs 14 oz. Which makes me think that our home scale from last month was a little off, or she's tapering and that's fine (she's still 90% for weight, lol).

Height: 26.5", long baby,  99th percentile, which is why nothing fits her! I put her in a 12 month sleeper last night and she fit into it perfectly. At four months old. Sheesh girlie.

Firsts this month: She's rolled over 4 times at this point from back to tummy, once from tummy to back. Go baby go! She also does all the blowing bubbles stuff, chewing on everything, tracking, lifting her head 90°, just all those great cute non-mobile baby things.

Nicknames: nothing new this month!

Other things to note:
++ 4 month sleep regression is kicking our butts. Last night David and I were both up with her 3 times, for a grand total of 6 times. In the last couple weeks I've just been letting her eat any time at night because she was fighting a cold, but we got the OK from the pediatrician this morning to cut those night feeds out so we're going to tackle that next week! Plus, she barely actually takes in any calories during those nighttime feeds, she just wants to be awake and smile and pretend like she's hungry. Little stinker. ;)
++ Eating during the day has been great, spacing out a little more so it's like every 2.5-3 hours and I feel like I have all the time in the world! It's crazy how quickly it goes from 8-10 times a day to 5 times a day and how much more free time it feels like I have.
++ We got rid of the swaddle about two weeks ago because she was waking up with the swaddle completely undone and had rolled over a few times so it was time to say goodbye. We used this (affiliate links heading your way!) swaddle transition thingy, but didn't use it for too long before we just went cold turkey. She sleeps just fine without it now! And seems like such a big girl just laying in her crib with nothing wrapping her up.
++ Naps have gotten on a little bit of a schedule which is nice. Most days she's up between 7:30 and 8:30, a nap around 10:30-11:30, 1:30-2:30, and then 3:30-5:30, with bedtime at 7:30. (Both girls at the same bedtime now! Tis glorious.) She can still occasionally cat nap in the car seat or while running errands, but it's less common.
++ I think she's officially outgrown her 4Moms Rocker, so we should probably pack it up and move it out of the living room. She'd much rather be on her playmat, scooching herself all around and grabbing the toys and shoving them into her mouth or batting them around.
++ She likes to just hang out on her side, halfway through rolling over and just taking a break. It's adorable.
++ It's so different having a baby with my coloring, because I can tell the colors she looks best in and now I'm like, should I be wearing that? I took this picture below of her wearing a cream hoodie and she looked SO cute that I was like, hmm I should buy myself a matching one, right? haha. Crazy mom thoughts.
++ She absolutely loves our Wildbird sling, and I love cuddling her in it. I will take all the cuddles I can because I'm sure it will end too soon!





^^^ crazy coloring idea photo from above
Happy four months, baby! We love you!
HG

Obligatory Easter post!

Happy Easter everyone!

Because I'm still deep in a sugar coma from yesterday (oof, my system does so much better without sugar, note to self, Hannah) and my brain's not quite recovered, I'm going to picture dump and leave it at that. Mostly, anyway.

Easter was in Columbus this year with David's family and filled with Easter egg hunts, plenty of euchre and pitch games, a lovely fire, 7 a.m. Easter Mass, and copious amounts of toddler candy-induced meltdowns (that's how it always is, right?).




First off, the two girlies in their matching Easter dresses. I searched high and low for a store that carried matching dresses in 4T and 9 months, and these were from Gymboree (50% off clearance, so actually in my price range compared to their normal prices, haha). Kitty was very excited to match with Cora and I'm so glad I've started the tradition of matching clothes at least for Easter!




Don't look too closely around our eyes in that middle one, taking a family picture at 6:30 in the morning results in both parents looking like mummies awoken from a 20 minute nap and definitely not fully rested.

Of course Cora needed to nurse right during church because we'd woken her up 2 hours before her normal wake time, and when she finished I popped her in my Wildbird and she zonked right out. I'll admit, Easter Mass always makes me teary - and the combination of her snoozing peacefully on my chest, and watching Kate take up a dollar to the collection like the biggest & most independent girl in the world made me cry. I tried to sniffle as little as possible but these two girlies just make me so emotional! It was a beautiful morning and a beautiful Easter Mass and just sheesh.




Saturday morning Kate participated in an Easter egg hunt and we think there were over 1,000 eggs for about 30 kids. Each kid went home with at least two huge bags of eggs - it wasn't much of a battle for eggs as a "please keep picking up eggs, there are so many, I know you're tired but keep going!" type of situation. Hilariously cute nonetheless.

I did have matching outfits for them for this too, but Cora OF COURSE had a huge blowout in hers an hour before the event, so Kate went solo in hers. Oh well. Story of a baby, right?




We also went golfing a full round on Saturday afternoon and 2 holes on Sunday after Easter brunch. Saturday Cora was an absolute dream - we just stuck her in her carseat, put the cover on, roped it onto the golf cart, and she was 100% happy the whole time. In the first picture you can see we eventually put it on the floor because our rope situation didn't last the whole time, but she was a happy smiley baby the entirety of the game. Kate was a different story, but still pretty stellar for it being 80° and not knowing the rules of golf (the whole stay behind the golfer concept is hard to teach an almost 3 year old).

Sunday Cora was NOT happy during our two rounds of golf so I held her while everyone else golfed and then we headed back early. But cute nonetheless!


David got me this absolutely gorgeous print from Blessed Is She as an Easter gift and I just had to show it off. So pretty! I'm so excited to frame it and put it up in our dining room.

Anywho that's all the Easter deets I have now. Both girlies are recovering from a packed weekend by being extra cranky today so I'm probably going to go collapse on the couch for a nap. Happy Easter (still!) to all of you!
HG

How I'm rocking momhood

Jen at Into Your Will tagged me in a recent blog challenge going around for moms to talk about what they're doing well in motherhood -- in fact, rocking motherhood. For me (and for most of us, I think!) it's really easy to nitpick ourselves and see others' strengths, and not spend the time to think about what you're doing well on a day to day basis. Thanks for tagging me Jen and here go my (trying-not-to-be-braggy-but-also-be-confident) strengths!



+ independent play
This comes out of a necessity for me to get schtuff done, but Kate (and Cora hopefully someday) is really good at independent play. When we're downstairs and I'm doing work on the computer, she is pretty stellar about entertaining herself and keeping my interruptions/interventions to a minimum, just busying herself from one toy to the next. Of course that could be her personality just shining but I'm taking credit for it while I can when she's the only one "playing" and not being too destructive.

+ veggie eating
Although it happens more when I think about it, I'm trying to do a consistent pattern of making Kate eat her veggies when they're in front of her. Lots of times we have to eat them with her but it's worth it to make sure she's not only made up of peanut butter & jelly and applesauce.

+ firm saying "no"
I get a weird sort of power of sticking to my guns when saying no to Kate for any number of reasons, and sticking to it. I think it's important for kids and I hate feeling wishy-washy so we're sticking with it!

+ potty training done
Even though it was the hardest parenting thing we've done yet, I am super proud of us getting through potty training and successfully not losing our minds while doing it. If I had my way I'd have kept Kate in diapers for eternity but I'm glad she's growing up and that we made it through.

+ letting kids get dirty
It took awhile, but now I am 100% happy when Kate's getting dirty and muddy helping out in the yard. Some of my best memories as a kid were playing in the yard and laundry can always be done, so I'm loosening up and letting her make a mess.

+ patience at nighttime feedings
Cora for awhile was a really good sleeper, up just once at night, but recently has been hitting that 4 month sleep regression and getting up 3 or more times at night. I thought I would be more annoyed getting up that many times but it's really not that bad on my overall mood - especially cause she mostly goes right back to sleep! With Kate I was obsessed with getting every minute of sleep I could, but now I just rely on coffee more and we're all doing just fine.



+ lots of reading
We have lots of books around the house and I make sure to read to Kate at least twice a day (or David does) - before naps and before bedtime - as well as almost anytime she asks. I want her to develop a love of reading and although it's not my favorite thing to read the same book 8 million times, I put aside that annoyance and read to her when she asks.

+ naptime
I'm strict about naptime, too (so far...all these words are gonna come bite me in the butt in 1-2 years as Cora grows but whatever). Kate took 2 naps all the way to 2 years old, and now takes one long nap in the afternoon. She needs it and I need it so I make it a priority for us!

+ scrimp & save on baby clothes
I try to buy used clothing and find deals on kid clothes as much as I possibly can. I shop at consignment sales and deep discounted days for new stuff so that all our budget doesn't go to cute clothes for the girls. In that vein...

+ getting dressed every day
I am one of those people who can't function unless I shower & dress myself every morning, and I've tried to pass that on to the girls. We start the day by getting dressed in clean clothes, doing our hair (well, Kitty gets her hair done by me, that is) and then we go on with our day. I am 1000% of a better mom when my kids are dressed in cute clothes and look presentable. It's just the way I'm wired.

What are you doing well in motherhood? Peer pressure to the friends I'm tagging below to write out the ways you're rocking motherhood right now:


and anyone else reading this who needs to reaffirm how great of a mom they are!
HG

quick takes: no. 58

Look at me, more than one post this week! I'm on a roll. Linking up with Kelly for quick takes again!

1.
Do you ever wake up on a day with your kids (if you have them) and instantly wish it were already nap time? No, just me? Well that's how I felt this morning, even though it's Friday, so I'm hoping the day turns around.

My extra-steeped cup of Mixed Berry Twinings tea is helping with my mood immensely already.

2.


Cora has been a gem of a smiley baby lately, but her night time behavior is super unpredictable. She's been some days sleeping through the night, some days waking up once, some days waking up twice. I never can tell ahead of time which it's going to be, which is the worst part!

When Kate started sleeping through the night, I was super adament about not letting her go back to waking up. With Cora I find I don't mind getting up to nurse her as much as I thought I would. Luckily I'm able to fall back asleep quickly (it'd be a different story if I couldn't), and she eats so fast and concentrated-ly at night that it's maximum 15 minutes awake for one feeding. AND she goes right back to sleep each time, so really I have no complaints.

I'm worried about the 4 month sleep regression coming up soon and hoping maybe she'll ride it out without a problem? Wishful thinking, I know. Oh well.

3.
Without TV to entertain us in the evenings (when will Lent ever end!!!...that's the spirit of Lent, right?) I've been trying to read a little bit more. My book for Lent is (affiliate links!) In This House of Brede, by Rumer Godden, spurred on by a lovely internet book club through Fountains of Carrots podcast page on Facebook. I am loving it so much and trying really hard not to speed through it because I want to enjoy it -- and I want it to last the rest of Lent!

I just finished Before the Fall by Noah Hawley last night. I'm not sure where it was recommended to me, but it was definitely an interesting read. The quick version summary: a plane crashes in the ocean holding the founder of Fox News (name changed in the book but it's very overtly Fox News) and another high-profile family and the investigation that surrounds it. But it's much more than that. I thought a bit of it was a little forced but overall I really wanted to finish the book and find out the ending, so I'd call it a success.

4.
One thing that's been saving my morning routine since Cora was born has been some pre-made egg muffins my mom, sisters, and I made in a big batch cooking day. We did a lot of dinners (which we're slowly working through, too - so nice to have something to just pull out of the freezer some days!) but I didn't anticipate how much I would seriously love these dumb and easy egg muffins.

I'm not sure what recipe I used, but they're basically just mini quiche things (minus the crusts) cooked in a muffin tin. I put two to a baggie and froze them all. In the mornings now I just grab a package from the deep freeze, pop them in the microwave for 2 minutes, and voila - healthy and super super easy breakfast.

This recipe here is similar but I did just cut-up lunchmeat, peppers, onion, and no cheese as the filler ingredients. The only downside is I can't eat any of them on Fridays because of Lent, but that's okay. I need to soon check to see how many I have left and make more of them if I'm running out.

5.

Is anyone else freaking out about and/or listening to S-Town? I'm really obsessed with it. I mean, I'm a big podcast listener in general, and this one may turn out to be my all-time favorite. Also a seriously beautiful website that I just clicked over to to link it here.

6. 
A recently overheard Kate soliloquy:

"You not da best, Cowah. *I* da best, wif Mom. Okay, Cowah? Okay???"

She's getting quite a personality and quite a naughty streak in her, that little stinker. Growing pains of a toddler, I suppose, right?


7.
K, that's about all I got this week. Ta, friends!
HG

Recent house projects

I've been slacking when it comes to documenting our recent house projects. David has been nagging me to get them written about, so we can look back when we're 80 and lazy about all the stuff we used to do! Plus, work-wise it's been a little slow this week so I really don't have any excuse not to. Mind you, none of these are finished so take "documenting" with a grain of salt.

First up, my craft storage.


About a month ago, we transformed this somewhat-useless closet in the basement into my craft storage. Up until that point, all my stuff was still in boxes from the move, and I was getting real sick of it. So we got some storage cube shelves from Target (this one and the smaller one, when they were on a good sale), some pegboard from Menards painted a lovely shade of lavender, brackets and a leftover shelf from our old house and voila!

Obviously it is all still rather a mess, but that's because I haven't bit the bullet on how to organize the actual pegs quite yet. I have lots of little things I need in baskets - craft paint, ribbon, embroidery hoops, current embroidery projects, etc. - that I don't know the best way. I'm eyeing these (affiliate link!) pegboard baskets on Amazon, maybe spray painting them, but I haven't clicked "buy" yet. I think I need another couple fabric bins too, just waiting for them to go back on sale at Target.

Having it all organized & easy to access has really motivated me to craft again, and makes it SO much easier to find things than my (admittedly terrible) system at our old house. Yay for cuteness + function!

Next, our IKEA bookshelves.

On our babymoon to IKEA in Kansas City back in September (wow, yes, only took me almost 7 months to get it blogged) we got these Billy bookshelves and bookshelf lights, as well as some Poang chairs. Back in January or early February we finally assembled the shelves and attached the lights...and I subsequently realized how tiny our book collection looked! So I'm going on a hunt to fill our library since for the first time in forever we aren't running out of space to put books. Used bookstores here I come!

Even if I doubled our collection, though, we'd still have room leftover. I don't wanna spend a bunch of money to style our empty shelves though, so got any ideas for me? Right now it's very kid/toddler friendly but it looks rather strange.

Finally, the biggest expense/hardest labor job...the backyard saga continues.


So yeah, we're still working on the backyard. You remember how we got rid of our huge tree back there? Now comes the process of bringing all the dead grass back to life so we can have an actual lawn again.


Last Friday we got 6 cubic yards of dirt and dirt/compost mix delivered to the house (pictured under tarps above), and David and his dad spent Saturday afternoon spreading it over the yard. There was a pretty big gaping hole where the stump used to be, and the rest of the soil seemed really dry and not conducive for grass growing, so they spread it everywhere in hopes that when we plant seed in a couple weeks, the soil will be healthy enough for it to really grow.



Kitty tried to help out by assembling a new wheelbarrow but just ended up getting dirty and cold (even with her snowsuit on, with the temperature at 40°).

Once it's warm enough and the chance of frost killing off a newly-planted lawn decreases, we're going to rent a seeder from Home Depot (that's not the technical name for it, but I can't think of what it's called and I'm too lazy to google it) and get some grass seed and pray it takes. We seeded around the front trees last year, and it was a lot of work but it's so rewarding when you see it all full & green so I'm excited to see our progress. Cross your fingers that the weather cooperates, and that the birds don't eat all the seed right when we put it down. {Oh and for those curious, Murphy is spending some time at David's parents so she doesn't both dig up all the dirt and dig up all the seed when we plant it. :)}

Next up on the project front (besides continuing the yard) is painting a dresser, painting and adding legs to a cabinet-thingy to make it into a sideboard or buffet for the dining room, adding flower beds to the front of the house and planting things there, and possibly painting the exterior brick on our house. Lots of excitement to come, in other words!
HG

seven quick takes #57

Do you ever sit down at the computer (Kitty likes to call it the "peter") to type out a post, with ample time on your hands, and then nothing comes to mind to write about? I've had that feeling for like a week now, heck half of the posts I've written in the last month have felt like that. Maybe it's just my mom-brain increasing with two kids instead of one, or maybe it's just writer's block - who knows. Anyways an early quick takes seems to be the recipe to jump start writing again, right? :)


+++1+++
This weekend we're going to buy a bunch of dirt. Thrilling, right? As you might remember we got rid of our big tree that was overwhelming the backyard, and last weekend David spent a lot of time digging out the roots that were leftover. We need some dirt to fill in the uneven patches, especially where the stump was, so we're having something like 6 cubic yards delivered in hopes that'll be enough to fill in our lumpy bits, and then possibly build out some flower beds in the front of the house. The dirt is also necessary to liven up the soil in the backyard in hopes we can plant some seed and get a real lawn going back there, since right now it's just a big unhealthy dirt pit.


+++2+++
Suddenly Cora has really gotten the hang of tummy time and lifting her head way, way up! I have recollections of Kate doing exactly the same thing. One day, she just decided she was fine with it and she looked crazy grown up. Cora won't tolerate tummy time for a long period of time, but she doesn't scream bloody murder anymore when we put her down because she's learned how to lift her head up.


+++3+++
Some of you have asked how working from home has gone with now 2 little needy people in the mix. The above photo accurately describes what most days look like, at least in the morning. Kate and Cora sitting next to my desk, Kate either building something with blocks or "reading" to Cora, and Cora cooing away in her seat. Obviously those are the good days. There are also days where I hop back and forth from my desk 20 times in the span of two hours, consoling one or the other who's sobbing for some reason, or nursing the little snacker, or taking 5 trips to the potty in the span of 20 minutes. Usually in the afternoon during naptime I can get them both down for at least one overlapping hour, which is helpful for my sanity. Honestly though, I only work during that hour when I absolutely have to catch up - I usually spend it reading or napping myself so I can bounce back when they wake up.


+++4+++
I caved and bought the Mutu System after talking about it and reading about it for a solid week. I've been doing it for almost 2 weeks now and I already feel stronger in my core, which is such a relief and makes me happy I purchased it. (David thinks it's overpriced, I'm going to reserve my judgement on the price til I'm all the way through.) I love feeling that I can already tell a difference - especially laying on my side in bed.


+++5+++

I've started compiling some yearly home videos for us to look back at in the future (just using iMovie and the stuff we've recorded on our iPhones/camera in the past couple years). I finished 2013 and started 2014 - and even being pretty selective, 2014 is already over 15 minutes long and I'm not even through October. Oh well, we'll enjoy the extra minutes when we're 80 and we can play videos through our brains with just a thought, right? I mean, just look at the cuteness of Kitty in that photo there. How can I not include 8,000 pics?


+++6+++
Spring cleaning. Anyone else feel the urge to literally clean every surface in your filthy house when the weather gets warm? Just me? I've been trying to keep on top of things relatively speaking but there are a lot of things in our house I don't know how to clean or don't feel confident in cleaning. Rugs...do I do the pioneer version and hang them up outside & beat them with a broom? Vacuuming doesn't seem to do enough. Windows on the inside and outside...just vinegar & newspaper, or do I need something more heavy-duty? Wood floors...take everything out and swiffer/hand wash with Murphy's Oil? Help me!


+++7+++
I have much too expensive taste for our limited budget right now. I really want one of these prints from Be A Heart Design for one of the girls' rooms, a little bonnet for Cora to wear for her Easter basket, this awesome denim jumper for the summer, this gorgeous Mary & toddler Jesus illustration...the list goes on. Oh and a double linen ring sling (maybe sage?) when Wildbird has their end-of-season sale.

Okay, that should be enough for now. Linking up with Kelly!
HG

Cora, three months




Time is literally flying by with this little girlie of ours. I feel like I just wrote her birth story and she's already 3 months old, how is that even possible? I love watching her grow but I'm already missing the details of when she was an itty bitty baby and that mom conundrum of wanting them to grow up and wishing they stayed small is heavy on my heart, most days.

To the stats! (And for reference, Kate at three months!)

Weight: Going to have to home scale this, hold on while I go do that.
Okay little miss is approximately 16 pounds 3 oz! In their faces, she and Kate look similar in weight at 3 months but Cora has lots more rolls & pudge on her frame overall, and she's definitely heavier. I love me a chunky baby, though, certainly not complaining.

Height: No idea. I haven't perfected the at-home method of getting a wiggly baby to stay still long enough to use a regular tape measure with, and she didn't have a 3 month checkup so I don't know. She's long enough that her torso is officially too long for all 3 month clothing, and just snug at the 6 month sizes so I'm buying 9 month & 12 month stuff.

Firsts this month: We've had a very slight, somewhat hesitant laugh out of her when we're making silly faces in front of her or wiggling her little bunny rattle around and making it pop into existence in front of her, but no belly laugh yet. Lots of eye movement, tracking things, lifting head up during tummy time, all that good 3 month old baby jazz! No progress on the rolling-over front yet and she doesn't even seem interested. I'm fine with that, y'all.

Nicknames: nothing new this month! I call her "sweetheart" or "darlin'" a lot, and Kate's started imitating me when she talks to Cora so that is freaking adorable but otherwise not much new.

Other things to note:
+ Eating: she finally decided to space out her feeds in the last couple weeks, which Mama is very very grateful for. Usually she nurses about every 2 hours, sometimes 2.5 hours when she naps for longer stretches.
+ I think she might be fighting a cold or a bit of an ear infection at the moment, though, because sometimes baby girl only wants to nurse laying down together. I didn't nurse Kate like that at all, but Cora already gets easily distracted while she's nursing, so I have to face her away from everything and really convince her to eat even when she's starving, and laying down seems to be the best way to do that.
+ Sleeping: she was consistently doing only one wake-up for the past few weeks, but has started to get up more than once in the middle of the night again and I miss those days. I think we'll probably try to night wean her somewhat soon because I am a cranky mom when I have a little bit older baby and don't get to sleep through the night. On a good night she goes to sleep around 8:30, wakes up around 4:00 to eat and then sleeps til 7:30/8:00. Last night she was up 3 times - ate at 1:00, fussed at 3:30 so I just had David swaddle her and she went back to sleep no problemo, then ate again at 5:00 or so. I'm hoping that stops soon.
+ I think the above sleep problems are because she's going through another growth spurt, which happened with Kate around this age too. Yay! That means she'll get through it soon, let's hope!
+ Naps: She will either nap in the vibrating seat in the basement next to me in the morning from about 10-11, or upstairs in her crib for a bit longer, then a cat nap from 12:30-1:00, then a long nap from about 2-4:30, and then one or two more catnaps before bed, just depending on her mood and when we put her down for the night. During her long nap she consistently wakes up 45 minutes in and is STARVING, no matter how recently I fed her before hand, but then she goes right to sleep again so I'm totes fine with it. (It also guarantees that I get some true alone time because Kate naps or has quiet time from 2-4:00.)
+ This is all fascinating stuff to you, isn't it? I'm mostly writing it down for posterity's sake because I keep looking back at my posts about Kate at this age and wondering if they're going through the same stuff, and I didn't write enough detail back then! So detail-heavy we are.
+ Kate is absolutely LOVING Cora getting more aware and more with-it from day to day. She constantly is looking at her and telling me, "Wook Mama, Cowah smiwing a me! Awww!" I have high hopes for sibling bonding in the future.


I mean, just look at that perfect face! We love you Cowah!
HG

Scenes from a naptime





Naptime around here is a sacred hour (or two). Usually I'm successful at getting Kitty and Cora down at the same time, and I cherish the silence when they're both sleeping and I can get stuff done. Most days I try to read, or get some chore done, or go back to work if I haven't gotten enough done in the morning. I spend some precious moments in the bathroom by myself, without someone shouting or crying, and I have a snack or finish my lunch.

Right now looking out at the backyard it's a frigid wasteland, but I'm envisioning a nice span of grass and a book in my hand out there during naptime in the spring and summer (if the bugs aren't too bad). There's laundry and Cora's 3 month photo prop sitting on the dining room table. I keep remembering to put it away when she's sleeping, and the photos should have been taken on Monday and they still haven't been...

David installed a new-to-us wall oven this weekend, found on Craigslist for a steal of $100. The one that came with our house when we bought it was broken, known to us at time of purchase. We hadn't decided if we were going to redo the kitchen right away so the object of buying a new oven kept slipping further and further back, especially after we had seen the price of new ones. Luckily we happened to check on Craigslist one night and there was an oven! In our price range! One Saturday morning later, he had torn the old one out and put the new one in. It's glorious to have a working oven and once Lent gets over I'm going to be baking all sorts of things!

Welp, enough random rambling for today's naptime.
Ta,
HG