Friday, March 17, 2017

7 Things I Could Use Your Help With Right Now, Part 2

Remember that time I did a post like this back in 2015? Well, it was so helpful, I've decided to do it again! Here goes . . .


Any recommendations for shows on Netflix or Hulu that can keep me awake during Jude's two nighttime feedings? They've gotta be similar to my favorites, because I find if I don't love the show, it doesn't keep me awake. Oh, and nothing scary, because I do have to be able to fall back asleep without having nightmares after I get Jude back down. So anything similar to the following titles will do:

Parks and Rec
The Office
Jane the Virgin
This Is Us
Friday Night Lights
Arrested Development
The Mindy Project
Call the Midwife
Downton Abbey
The Young Pope
Fixer Upper
Property Brothers
The Next Food Network Star
The Great British Baking Show


What do I feed my picky toddler? Right now he only eats a few main dishes: mac n' cheese, turkey hot dogs, grilled cheese, peanut butter and jelly, Chick-fil-A chicken nuggets, pizza, and pasta with red sauce. And that about sums it up. Eek!

Thankfully he loves all fruit, so we can always add that to any meal and feel better about ourselves as parents. And he also will eat basically any carb: bread, french fries, chips, pretzels. I just feel like there's not a great variety with main dishes. And forget about ALL vegetables -- we might as well be offering him poison. We try and try and try but he's just not interested. And we're not interested in forcing, so we're currently stuck with limited options. Is this all just normal toddler stuff? Should I just get over it and be happy that he eats?

Favorite gifts you've ever given to or received for a 2-year-old. And go! 


Speaking of gifts, we really really REALLY don't want friends to give John Paul gifts for his 2nd birthday. We're planning on inviting a bunch of kiddos because John Paul's idea of a happy birthday = playing with ALL the kids. And eating cake. Lots of cake. But we don't want (or need!) the gifts that inevitably come along with it. So, with the help of some other mommy friends, I've brainstormed two ways of throwing his party and not getting gifts . . . 

Tell people it's a BBQ birthday party and encourage them to bring a side dish instead of a gift.


Tell people it's a spring BBQ party, don't mention the birthday part at all, and then just celebrate his birthday toward the end with a cake.

If we ask for side dishes instead of presents, do you think most people would still bring presents and then also feel obligated to bring a side dish? Or if we don't even mention the birthday when we invite people, do you think they would be upset that we're not giving advanced notice of celebrating John Paul's birthday? 

Can you think of another way of doing this without getting gifts? We could simply say, "No gifts please!" but we did that last year and almost everyone brought a gift. 


I want to grow a garden this year, but have absolutely no idea how this works. It's our first year in a house with land!! So I can finally do this! But like, I'm seriously clueless. Is there anything I should be doing now to prepare? And what are your favorite low-maintenance plants? Spam me with all your beginner garden knowledge.


Any other ALDIs lovers out there? I absolutely love that grocery store. I'm planning on writing more about it someday in the future. But until then, if you're also an ALDIs lover, can you tell me some of your favorite ALDIs purchases? Bonus points for recipes that use only ALDIs ingredients!


Do any of you fellow adults have a solution for the constant stream of paperwork that comes into the house? We're drowwnnnning in it. Miscellaneous papers everywhere. Help me organize!

link it up

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Jude, One Month

Jude is one month old!

I've decided to document all the details of Jude's first year, month-by-month, here on this ol' blog. I actually regret not doing this during John Paul's first year, so no regrets this time. I did document some details of each month of John Paul's first year on facebook and Instagram, but looking back now, I want MORE. More detail, more cute pictures, more memories. So here we go . . .

Jude was 7 lb 8 oz at birth and was pretty much exactly 10 lb on the day he turned one month. He only lost a few ounces after birth and was back to birth weight by a few days old. Yay for lots of weight gain! Double YAY for a good nurser!!

He was 20 inches at birth and then 21.75 inches at his two-week appointment. We haven't measured since.

Jude was suuuuper sleepy his first few weeks home. It was pretty adorable/amazing. Lots of naps were had by all. For overnight sleep, he's given us like two 6-hour stretches on two separate occasions. But that glorious length of sleep is pretty hard to come by still. At night, it's more like 3-4 hours of sleep, then awake for an hour, then 1-2 more hours of sleep, and then he's up for the day at 5am or 6am. Eek! This spoiled mama was used to her 21-month-old sleeping in 'til 7am or 8am, so that has been a rude awakening, pun intended. And daytime naps are mostly in someone's arms or the Boba carrier. Except when John Paul naps at 1pm each day -- we put Jude down in his bassinet for a nap around the same time and the whole household naps. Good times.

Firsts this month
-The occasional social smile, so long as his tummy is full and we're talking to him in a high-pitched happy voice
-Eye contact
-Tracking things that are moving
-Trying out his big brother's cloth diapers occasionally

He's gained so many nicknames already, but the most popular by far is Jude Bug.

Other things to note
-Jude was baptized this month, on February 27, at exactly 4 weeks old. We squeezed it in right before Lent, since our parish doesn't allow baptisms during Lent. It was on a Monday night and was super small -- only Godparents, grandparents, and one aunt, uncle, and cousin. But it was peaceful and lovely. Welcome to the Church, baby Jude!

-By 3-weeks-old, Jude lost most of the hair on the top of his head. Not the back, though, so he's totally monkin' it. It's half adorable and half makes me so sad, mostly because I was so braggy about how much hair he had at birth. Oh welllll!

-Our sweet boy has been mistaken for a girl several times in the past month. And this is after people learn his name. I never even considered Jude Francis as a gender neutral name. I mean, I know Francis/Frances can go either way. But Jude? Color me surprised!

-At 3.5 weeks old, Jude has his lip tie and tongue tie lasered. We had him evaluated by a dentist who regularly evaluates and lasers ties, and right away she said, "Yep, class 4 lip tie, class 1 tongue tie." So there you have it. The reason for all our breastfeeding pain. Just like John Paul. Within a few days of the procedure, I was able to reduce my pumping from 50% of the time to none at all! And my pain is nearly gone now. Praise God!

-Jude went on his first trip this past month. We took him to Asheville, NC, about an hour from us, with my parents and John Paul, and since he was still in the sleepy newborn phase, he mostly slept through the whole thing. A fun, easy outing!

-John Paul absolutely adores baby Jude. He likes to help by bringing him toys or offering him a sip of his smoothie. Ha! He also loves to give him kisses, and lie down on the floor next to him, and basically talk about him non-stop. John Paul is still adjusting, for sure. We've seen a huge increase in tantrums since baby Jude arrived. And there are moments where he just begs for his mommy, we're assuming because I've mostly been tending to Jude all day long and he realizes this and wants my attention badly. But lots of hugs and love and validating of feelings has helped immensely.

-Aside from his first bath, where he screamed bloody murder the entire time, now baby Jude is actually pretty content being bathed!

-Our little dude has reflux. Womp womp. Sleeping flat on his back means SO MUCH PUKING, so we've had him sleeping in the Rock n' Play on an incline. It's helped a bunch. But just recently we decided to transition him back into his bassinet, only we've got it on an incline now by stuffing magazines and towels under the mattress. It was recommended by his pediatrician and it seems safer than the Rock n' Play, so we're happy with the switch. As is Jude. :)

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