Thursday, April 6, 2017

9 Month Photos & Favorites

We officially have a baby that DOES NOT stop moving & it's exhausting (not gonna lie), but I love it & how fast he learns to get around is leaving us in awe.  

Over the past few days we've been standing in the Pack 'N Play & taking steps around the edge while holding onto the top rail; then today he started letting go with one hand & taking small steps.  Oh & trying to climb up & out of the Pack 'N Play, which brings back memories of my youngest sister doing the same when she was around Cooper's age.


23 lbs. 7 oz.

MomMom, DaDa, DoeDoe (Dog), ByeBye

9 Month Favorites
Crawling, Scooting, Standing & Walking with help.
THIS Fisher-Price Walker
Mimicking words & sounds.
THIS Book before bed every night.
Waving & Clapping
Gesturing with his hands while talking <3

Looking Forward to...
Consistently warm days & setting up baby's new swing set as soon as the ground dries out from all these crazy rain storms we've been having.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Baby Food Diary: Months 1 & 2

I began this post MANY months ago & am so excited to finally share it now!  When we started Coops on solids I wanted to create a food diary for at least the first couple months.  Giving baby his first meals was super intimidating to me- knowing when to feed, how much, what to expect & look out for was all so new.

At our 4 month checkup the pediatrician gave a few tips: start with greens, then oranges then fruits (because if you start with sweet pears the odds of baby loving broccoli go down the drain).  Start solids by the 6 month checkup. Go with oatmeal instead of rice cereal because of recent arsenic levels found in rice. And finally introduce new foods at least 3-4 days apart to ensure there are no allergies.

Week 1 (5 Months Old) 
So we started with organic peas made in the baby bullet & Gerber Oatmeal Cereal.  Cooper made the cutest most horrified faces I've ever seen over every bite on that first meal.  We continued with 1 middle of the day feeding for the next week.  Side note- Peas made baby fart up a storm & we were DEFINITELY not prepared for the poop changes that followed introducing solid foods- wow.

Week 2
Today we're officially up to 2 meals a day! I've learned that we don't have enough absorbent bibs, also the pre-soak option on our washer is the only way to get peas out of clothes... & bibs... & cloth wipes...

We started avocado today & Coops is in LOVE. At first he thought it was more peas (which led to horrified facial expressions), but then realization hit & we went from sour face to open mouth in 2 seconds flat. He downed that & the cereal like a champ leaving me wondering if meals need to get a little bigger (right now we're at a couple Tablespoons each of avocado & cereal).

Week 3
Baby ADORES zucchini & can't get enough of this green veggie. We're at 2 meals a day with around 3 Tablespoons each of cereal & greens.  Also, Coops got his first tooth this week!!  On Thanksgiving day that sweet little chicklet broke through & in retrospect I should have realized how close we were after so  many up-all-nights to nurse over the past couple weeks.

Week 4 
Hello tooth #2!! When the bottom left made an appearance last Thursday I had no idea the bottom right was just a couple days behind, but it broke through over the weekend.  The second tooth coming through had baby feeling more uncomfortable than the first.  We had a couple spans of crying & grumpiness which we combated with Oragel, rocking & nursing.  Cooper also wasn't interested in solids for a couple days.  This week we started on broccoli- oh what a sour face after the first bite of that one!!

Week 5
Beans. Beans. Beans.  For the past 3 weeks we've been getting up every hour or two at night which, when it continued after teething I increased our meal size & upped it to 3 meals a day in hopes a full belly at bedtime would help which it did (#momwin)!  We've gone down to 2 feedings a night the past couple days which has been a lifesaver.  Side note- Coops isn't too keen on lunch & won't do more than a few spoonfuls but we are getting in the habit of eating as a family which I love.

Week 7
Greetings spinach. I had my camera ready in one hand & a spoonful of spinach in the other to capture the adorable sour face that I was sure would come with the first bite of spinach.

What did I get instead? A smile that lit up like Christmas morning. I was blown away. We have a little Popeye on our hands.  Side note for those making their own baby food- the GIANT container of fresh baby spinach at the grocery store only makes around a dozen Baby Bullet cups. 

Week 8 (7 Months Old)
Cooper HATES kale. The expressions are priceless. You give him a bite, he's fine for 2 seconds, then the eyes go wide & gag reflex follows. I tried taking a break from this leafy veggie for a few days, then weeks- all to no avail.  Kale is officially our least favorite food.  This week I also switched baby from Gerber Oatmeal Cereal to Beech-Nut Multigrain Cereal which he loves even more.

Up next- here come the oranges: carrots, squash & sweet potatoes.  And I'd love to hear what foods your baby loves (& hates!), comment below & stay tuned for that next post.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

(Belated) 8 Month Photos & Favorites

After a short leave of absence from the blogging world while designing our new Spring Collection for Painted by the Shore (check it out HERE) we are back & ready for Spring. Who's with us?

My bulbs are already popping up & more than one tree is budding in the front yard. The weather has been wacky here in CT over the past month, with a combination of sixty degree days & zero degree nights; leaving me confused over whether to pack up winter coats & replace them with sweaters for the rest of the season.

In February our sweet little Cooper turned 8 months old, leaving us wondering where the last two thirds of a year went. Now here we are with a baby always on the move, scooting around the living room on his bum & helping mama in the kitchen every night.

The conversations in our house now include da-da, mom-mom, doe-doe (dog) & a mix of mimicking sounds in between.  We sometimes get waves & high fives & always lots of smiles.

Teething has been one of the roughest things this month with 4 more coming through a few weeks ago & another 4 on the way in now.  A mix of Tylenol, Ora-gel, chilled teethers & soothing usually does the trick but those whimpers & cries break my heart every time.

8 +4 more on the way

8 Month Favorites
Sitting up ALL BY HIMSELF 
"Petting" the cat (aka grabbing the cat by her fur & dragging her onto his lap)
Turning pages while mama reads.
Maraca Shaking in Playgroup 

Looking Forward to...

Friday, January 6, 2017

New Year's Resolutions & Dreams

Happy New Year friends!  

Cooper rang in 2017 by sleeping soundly in his room, while hubs & I camped out on the couch with take-out, games & movies.  A perfect night in for our new family of three.

I read an article recently, which I should have saved to share here but can't seem to find- we'll blame that on the mom brain, that suggested writing dreams instead of resolutions for the coming year. To forget limitations of any type- be it money, time, fear, etc. & just create this list.

At first it all seemed crazy to me, the notion of generating a list without logic holding you back. But then I started writing things down & before I knew it I'd started in on three dreams within the first week of 2017, making the rest of the items suddenly seem attainable.

Here's my dreams for 2017 list:

Take a class. (Started this during week 1 of the new year, woohoo!)
Teach a class. (Already have one scheduled for 1/25, stay tuned for info!)
Turn our house into a home with wall art, photos & a handful of cosmetic changes.
Grow Painted by the Shore into a THRIVING business.
Write a children's book (sketches & ideas already underway).
Keep that Christmas family time joy (not presents) going all year.
Work on simplifying, de-cluttering & organizing our home. Has anyone read the life-changing magic of tidying up? I just borrowed it from our library after seeing rave reviews online.

Now it's your turn! Share your dreams for 2017 in the comments below (or #dreamsfor2017).  I'd love to hear them & work together to encourage each other over the next 12 months.


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Christmas 2016

The month leading up to Christmas was filled with Etsy Shop craziness for my business. One of the things we hand paint is ornaments & amidst all your wonderful orders I squeezed in a fox tree slice for Cooper's 1st Christmas.

Christmas Eve started with THIS amazing beef brisket recipe at home with just us three. Followed by family time at 7, something we've never done with baby who thoroughly enjoyed gnawing on all of his gifts. We also have a natural born present opener which is crazy. 

There hasn't been a little one around on Christmas Eve for 10 years which made having Cooper around even more special.  Plus we're about 90% there with sitting up & only need a hand nearby in case balance is lost, making toys in the lap & hands in the air a new found favorite.

One thing that made Christmas 2016 a piece of cake was shopping with, wrapping in front of & putting everything under the tree with baby- all before Christmas day. Something I know we won't get to take advantage of again.

The next morning Eric hopped up when Cooper awoke, turned on all the Christmas lights & I opened my eyes to baby sitting in our bed beaming at me. The perfect wake up call.

Among Cooper's favorite presents were THIS infant seat from Grandma & Grandpa (perfect timing since we're outgrowing the Jumparoo), THESE blocks which come in a super cute carrying case & THIS finger puppet book series of which we now have three.  We are also now the proud owners of an ENTIRE basket full of books to get us through the winter & one seriously grateful mama for all of it.

Breakfast was full of cinnamon- with french toast & Grandma's coffee cake recipe, plus spinach & cereal for Coops (yum-o) who will probably be very excited to get in on that sugar filled meal next year.

After breakfast, & a late nap, we packed up to head north to an aunt's house for early dinner. Coops was thrilled watching his cousins run all around & showed off his new found sitting up skills to anyone who would watch. Plus this particular aunt has two rabbits which had baby enthralled as they hopped to & fro in their cages.

A couple hours later we were on our way home with full stomachs & baby snoozing in the back of the car.  Bedtime stories & feedings followed & the day ended with hubs & I watching an Indiana Jones marathon with drinks on the couch. #thatsmykindofnight

I'd love to hear from you!  How did you spend the holidays & what are your favorite traditions?

Monday, December 19, 2016

6 Month Photos & Favorites

Where have the past 6 months gone?? I feel like we were just in the hospital savoring that warm newborn baby feeling & now here we are with a sweet little guy determined to crawl as soon as he can figure out how to get those back legs out of frog position & under his butt.

Nursing is still going great minus 2 biting incidents (omg), but a wonderful mom friend gave me the advice of looking out for playing verses feeding mode & stopping feedings before baby stops paying attention.

The 6 month checkup meant 3 shots, including a half dose of the flu (the second half will be in a month), which led to a couple days of soreness & our first dose of Infant Tylenol- such a lifesaver. 

Our pediatrician is wondering if Coops may crawl before walking because of how well he supports his weight when standing, something I didn't even know was possible & feel totally unprepared for.

So far we've only eaten greens & cereal, but I'll be adding in a few "orange" veggies over the next month & then on to fruits.  Stay tuned for our first baby food diary post!

6 Months


21 lbs 8 oz

6 Month Favorites
"Crawling" on the floor by sticking out his belly & flailing all 4 limbs. 
Shoving everything he can get his pudgy hands on into his mouth. 
Babbling & Laughing

Looking Forward to
Our first Christmas with baby!

Monday, December 12, 2016

The Crafty Baby: DIY Snow Globe Ornament

Recently we had a few younger cousins in town & with Christmas just around the corner I turned one of my ornament designs into this super simple DIY.  And with my hand holding his, baby Coops painted his first ornament, making this artist mama beyond proud. 

Snow Globe Ornament

*Acrylic Ornament Ball (can be found at a local craft store, or HERE)
*All Purpose Acrylic Craft Paint (I used Martha Stewart in Black & Orange, found HERE)
*Mini Styrofoam Balls (available at Hobby Lobby, or HERE)
*Small Paint Brush

Empty the Styrofoam Balls into a large Ziploc bag, remove the metal top of the ornament & scoop the "snow" inside. Adding a little Styrofoam means you can shake the ornament for a snow globe effect, more Styrofoam (like we used) gives a a solid snowball appearance. 

**Messy Floor Warning: the Styrofoam balls are INCREDIBLY static-y & will stick to anything, so depending on your kiddo's age keep an extra eye on them for this first part.**

Once the snow is inside the ornament, put the top back on.  Then paint two black circles for the eyes & four for the mouth, followed by a long orange triangle for the nose.  

I also added the year "2016" on the back of our ornament & am debating whether or not to put Cooper's name there as well.

Next up- an adorable footprint snowman Coops & I are putting together to gift to family this holiday season, & at less than $15 for A DOZEN pieces we saved A TON by going handmade for Christmas!!