Gemma Paisley – 6 Months

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6 Months!

A whole HALF A YEAR has passed since Gemma was born.  So hard to wrap my brain around that little nugget of information.  So now I have a 25 month old (I think it’s time for me to stop referring to Ashton’s age in months.  He is 2 and some change) and a 6 month old.  I would have never believed you if you told me three years ago that this would be my life.  But, I wouldn’t have it ANY other way.  These two kiddos have stolen my heart and make me think it might burst with love for them at times.  Especially when they are both napping at the same time… Just saying’ :)

At the six month well visit, Gemma weighed 17 pounds 13 ounces and measured 27.5 inches.  She’s in the 80th and 90th percentile respectively.  We have large kids.  I knew she had gained weight because lately by evening, my arms feel weak like I have been working out.

She loved the mirror at the well-visit.

She loved the mirror at the well-visit.

Here’s a little about Gemma at 6 months old:

She’s a really good sleeper (yippee).  At 4.5 months I tried doing a little sleep training with her naps, but she was too young and it didn’t work.  So, we just waited it out and let it happen on its own (for the most part).  Once she was about 5 months old, her naps started to fall into place and now she naps two times a day.  I have found that if we go walking in the morning, she’ll nap a little and then take a long nap in the afternoon when Ashton does.  This is ideal (and why I am blogging in the middle of the day right now, haha).

Gemma has been sleeping through the night from a young age, but getting her bedtime under control has been the biggest help lately.  She was staying up a little too late and I was missing some of her sleep cues.  If she got over-tired, it actually made it harder to get her to sleep.  So after a couple nights of letting her cry for just a bit (not nearly as bad as when I sleep-trained Ashton), she goes to bed at 7:30 and sleeps until 8am or longer.  YESSSS!

Along with sleeping great, she is also eating really great (obviously if she’s gained 3+ pounds in two months).  We started trying some foods around 4.5 months, and now she will pretty much eat anything.  It took giving her sweet potatoes in the beginning (something tastier than that bland rice cereal) to get her interested in figuring out how to eat off the spoon.  Now she’s eaten everything, beans, rice, fruits, veggies (all pureed) along with her formula.  Oh, and she can now hold her bottle and drink it on her own.

All by herself.

All by herself.

In her new big chair! Now I don't have to sit on the floor to feed her in her bouncy chair. Thanks GG!

In her new big chair! Now I don’t have to sit on the floor to feed her in her bouncy chair. Thanks GG!

Personality-wise, she is really laid back.  She probably has to be with Ashton running around, but she is just so chill.  And happy.  She is so smiley and giggly.  She has really started to babble a lot lately too, I think she is going to be a little chatterbox.

She has been rolling for a while, but just started getting up on her hands and knees.  She is so close to crawling!

Sooooo close!

Sooooo close!

She doesn’t sit on her own, but can when supported.  If she had her choice, she would stand all the time.  Her legs are so strong and she just loves being up on her feet.  She will definitely start walking earlier than Ashton’s first steps at 15 months.  IMG_8829

We go to church every Sunday, and she loves the music.  She also loves entertaining the people behind us with her smiles.

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Other odds and ends:

  • Right now she has two teeth on the bottom, but I think the others aren’t too far behind.
  • A lot of her hair has fallen out, but some seems to be growing back in.
  • She has some cradle cap dandruff that is almost gone.
  • Her eyes are BLUE and sooooo pretty.
  • She rides in the van like a champ.
  • She chews on everything.

And that is 6 month old Gemma in a nutshell!  Happy Wednesday!

 

One Mom’s Recipe Trash Is A Toddler’s Treasure (A.K.A. reason 2,104 why I’m not a food blogger)

Saturday morning was pretty awesome.  Gemma slept the night before from 7:30pm until 9:15am, Ashton slept until 8:30am so I felt like I could do ANYTHING!  With all the super-power I had, I decided to make gluten-free veggie burgers from scratch while Gemma was taking her morning nap.

I based it loosely on a few recipes I found on-line (hindsight, maybe I should have tightened it up a bit and followed a recipe) and started tossing ingredients into the food processor.

First up, chickpeas:

IMG_8877Then some bell peppers and kale:IMG_8878

Combined all of that with a couple eggs, and then added some chickpea flour:IMG_8879

I added more flour because it didn’t seem thick enough and seasoned it with salt, pepper and garlic:IMG_8880

I heated a skillet to medium heat, oiled the pan and started:IMG_8881Flip:IMG_8882

I don’t know what I was expecting, but this wasn’t it:IMG_8884

It pretty much was a green pancake.  About six of them.  Blah.  They were a little dry, a little bland and definitely gave me admiration for all the companies out there that make them successfully.  I was going to toss them, until……

Turns out my picky-eater toddler loved them (dipped in ketchup of course)!

I shouldn't be surprised he loves ketchup seeing that this was his very first Halloween costume.

I shouldn’t be surprised he loves ketchup seeing that this was his very first Halloween costume.

The kid who typically won’t eat much other than cheese and pasta ate almost all of these veggie-packed, tasteless discs.

I’ll call it a WIN!

 

 

 

Houston, We Have A Two Year Old

On July 25th, Ashton turned two, nbd (mom, that means “no big deal”).  Haha, just kidding.  It’s HUGE!  How do I have a two-year-old when I feel like I am still a kid?IMG_8123

 Wasn’t Ashton JUST BORN??

Newborn Ashton

Newborn Ashton

It’s so true what “they” say, “the days go by slow, but the years fly.” (or something like that)  Some days seem like they go on and on and on and on…. But then bedtime comes, I go to sleep, wake up and all of a sudden my baby is a kid.  A walking, talking, loving, kid.

It's a Twinkie, don't judge. :)

It’s a Twinkie, don’t judge. :)

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Ashton is such a gentle giant.  He is BIG for his age, and has been from the beginning.  99th percentile in height and 87th percentile in weight.  Yowza!  He was pretty happy to be at the doctor for his 2 year well visit.

Borrrr-rrrrring!

Borrrr-rrrrring!

We didn’t plan a huge “pinterest-y” party, but it did cover all the key interests Ashton has at the moment (Super Why, Elmo, family). <3

The night before his birthday I set up the kitchen table for when he got up in the morning:

Super Why!

Super Why!

This made me get so excited for the holidays, Christmas will be SO MUCH FUN to celebrate with the kids this year.

The two year old!

The two year old!

IMG_8703The cake was Sesame Street themed (Elmo is the only thing that matters though, ha)!IMG_8713

He ate a little bit of icing, but I think the adults enjoyed the cake the most :)

Ashton was spoiled by all of the family in town.  Toys, clothes, puzzles, and going for walks.

Here are a few tidbits about Ashton at age TWO:

  1.  He loves letters and knows all of the letters (upper and lower case).
  2. He is less nervous around Gemma and genuinely likes her.
  3. He loves to hold our hand to go for walks.
  4. He loves going to church and playing in the nursery there.  It is hard to get him to leave now.
  5. He loves McDonalds fries and strawberry milkshakes.  (Dada spoils him with those)
  6. He sleeps 2-3 hours during the day and about 12 hours at night.
  7. He eats oatmeal almost every morning.
  8. He is very picky with food the rest of the day.  Macaroni and cheese and ravioli are staples.
  9. He won’t eat meat.
  10. He loves to give and receive hugs.
  11. I can’t remember what life was like before him.
  12. Even though I can’t remember him as a baby, I can’t believe two years have passed.

We love you Ashton Levi!

Over The Weekend (And Monday) – A Wrapup

On Saturday, I had a total “zen” day.  Whatever that is.  For me, it was a yoga class (my first non-prenatal, non-baby yoga class in a loooong time) by myself and using a gift card for an 80 minute massage.  You read that right.  80 GLORIOUS minutes.  I contemplated locking myself into the massage room and hibernating on that heated massage table after it was over.

Also on Saturday, Gemma Paisley turned FOUR months old!   IMG_8376IMG_8383IMG_8384She has so much personality and is just so darned cute <3

Also, I had my dad set up Ashton’s monitor on an old tripod so I would be able to see him better in his crib. IMG_8351

It’s working wonderfully!

The only thing that didn’t work wonderfully was Gemma going to bed that night.  Ugh!  For some reason all she wanted to do was stay up, wide-eyed and watch TV.IMG_8353

This was my search on Amazon that night… IMG_8357

She finally went to bed around midnight.  So much for all those massaged muscles :/  Luckily, she slept in on Sunday morning.  Thanks to her sleeping in and a couple cups of coffee, I didn’t feel too badly.  Yay!

We finally had a break from the rain on Sunday morning, so we headed out for a walk.  I was able to wear my new awesome running shoes for the first time.  Oh. My.  They are sooooo comfortable.  You don’t realize how much you have worn down your running shoes until you put on a brand new pair.  It was like walking on a cloud!IMG_8374

 

Sunday was relaxing, and both kids napped at the same time, yippee!  During nap time I got a loooong shower and started going through some old CDs.  It was so fun to see some old mixes and CDs I listened to over and over again back in the day.  This is one of the gems I found:IMG_8388

A signed Rascal Flatts’ CD.  This is right before they made it REALLY big.  They were playing at a “women’s show” here in Columbus.  They look SOOOO young!

Sunday was also Father’s Day, so Ashton and I walked some cards down to my dad/Papaw.

IMG_8390Ashton loooooooves going for walks outside now, so this pretty much made his day.  That and brushing his teeth.  Hey, whatever floats your boat, kid. :)

To wrap it up, on monday I got some serious organizing done.  The kids’ clothes had pretty much taken over the area under the tv lately, so it was time to go through what they could still use, what they could use later on and what they won’t be able to wear again.

These are just Ashton's clothes. Luckily he's been in 2T-4T for a while, so he might be able to wear a lot of his cooler temp clothes again in the fall.

These are just Ashton’s clothes. Luckily he’s been in 2T-4T for a while, so he might be able to wear a lot of his cooler temp clothes again in the fall.

Ashton's newly organized clothes.

Ashton’s newly organized clothes.

The socks organized- his & hers.

The socks organized- his & hers.

Gemma's newly organized clothes.

Gemma’s newly organized clothes.

Much easier to find and get to their clothing now.  Hopefully it can stay organized for a while!

And then there is the Pack & Play.  It had slowly become a storage unit for diapers, wipes, etc, etc, etc…  I want to be able to use it for Gemma sometimes, so I got some clearance storage bins to put stuff in so it can easily be lifted out and Gemma put in.

The finished product.  Now usable for more than storage!

The finished product. Now usable for more than storage!

And that wraps it up!  We are off to Gemma’s 4 month well visit today.  Have a great Tuesday!

xoxo

 

Ashton Levi Lately

It’s been a while since I have written about Ashton.  Since he is almost TWO (what????) I thought I would write a little about him.

He is awesome.

Okay, well that was a great catch up, see ya later!

Just kidding (well, not kidding about the awesome part).

Ashton is a really, really great kid.  It’s hard to even remember him as a baby, those times really do fly by and seem like a blur.

Baby Ashton burrito.

Baby Ashton burrito.

Now he is just a big (I’m guessing 35+ pounds) fun-loving, good-hearted toddler.

He wakes up happy and hungry.  He eats oatmeal every morning, and doesn’t seem like he is getting sick of it yet.

Breakfast.  (oatmeal not pictured)

Breakfast. (oatmeal not pictured) (crazy bed-head hair pictured)

He plays on his own so wonderfully, and usually starts playing as soon as I let him out of his high chair after breakfast.  He loves a variety of toys, but he especially loves his mega blocks, cooking/food toys and trucks.  And his stuffed animals.  And Elmo. He likes all of his toys. :)

As for TV shows, he went through a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse phase where all he wanted to watch was “show!” He called MMCH “show” and I found myself getting those songs stuck in my head ALL THE TIME.  I couldn’t wait for that phase to pass.

"Show!"

“Show!”

Well, it passed.  Now he is obsessed with Super Why!IMG_8107  He calls it “Why” and asks for it all the time.  It wears on me a little, but not as much as Mickey did.  I actually feel like he is learning letters/the alphabet with this show.  He points out letters wherever we go.

I downloaded an episode onto my iPad, so when the satellite or power has gone out, he can be entertained with it.

Can't. Get. Close. Enough.

Can’t. Get. Close. Enough.

He still watches Jeopardy and Wheel Of Fortune in the evenings, and I even got this picture of Ashton and Gemma watching Wheel together. <3

A family that watches "Wheel" together, stays together.

A family that watches “Wheel” together, stays together.

As for his sleeping, he naps everyday around 1:30 for 2-3 hours.  At night he goes to bed around 8 (after Wheel) and sleeps about 12 hours.  He never really fights it, and people are amazed at how he can go from running around and playing to getting plopped in his crib without a problem in a matter of minutes.  He is happy as a clam to just play around in his crib in the morning, so sometimes he plays in there until 9:30am.  Seriously, it’s so great!

We still go walking about 5 days a week.  He got used to the double stroller, no problems.  He usually has water and crackers that he munches on during the walks.  He loves seeing the dogs and airplanes when we walk.

Speaking of airplanes, I found his toy plane like this a couple days ago.

?

?

As for food, he likes his raviolis, but only the cheese ones.

Ravioli-a-plenty.

Ravioli-a-plenty.

He won’t touch any other with meat, etc. in them.  He loves goldfish crackers, cheez-it crackers, granola bars, honey nut Cheerios, Chex cereal, applesauce, American cheese, mandarin oranges, quinoa (when cheese is melted on it), potato chips and french fries (his dad sneaks him), blueberry pancakes (just started on these), etc.  He drinks only water and milk, but will ONLY drink milk from a bottle still.  He won’t drink it from a cup.  He drinks water just fine from a cup, but that is it.  He doesn’t like juice.  Just water.  Just milk in a bottle.  The end. :)  I figure he will eventually grow out of the bottle.  I don’t think he will be drinking out of one when he goes to high school.  I hope.

I had a new baby sitter come over to watch Gemma while I took Ashton to the zoo the other day.  My thought process is to let her stay with each kid separately before unleashing them both on her at once.  When it was time to load Ashton into the van and head to the zoo, he was telling me “bye!”  He wanted me to go ahead and go because he was having fun playing blocks with the babysitter.

I pried him away and we headed to the zoo for a short visit.  It was really nice, and I wished we had more time to spend there.  He loved looking around at the new environment.  He was much littler and unaware of what the zoo was last year when I was taking him, so it is much more fun for both of us now since he can see and identify the animals.

We didn’t get to see many exhibits, but I made sure to go through and see the gorillas, etc.  I thought this would be interesting for him since they can get so close to the glass.  I was wrong.

His "get me away from the gorilla exhibit" face.

His “get me away from the gorilla exhibit” face.

 

Nope, don't like them.

Nope, don’t like them.  Not even if you hold me.

He was not a fan.  I couldn’t even get his picture with the big fake gorilla.  He just yelled “No! No! No!”

Sorry, fake gorilla.

Sorry, fake gorilla.

He liked the flamingoes and was interested in the merry-go-round… Not exactly the two things I would write home about.  We will work on more animals next time.

That’s about all for this jumbly, bumbly post.  I wanted to get some stuff written down before I forgot, because it’s pretty incredible how quickly I forget different stages.  Like I said, I hardly remember when he was a baby, so I want to have memories to look back on when I can’t remember Ashton as a toddler. <3

 

Happy Wednesday! xo

 

37 Random Ramblings

I turned 37 years old on May 29th, so here are 37 random ramblings:

 

1.  I don’t feel 37.

2.  I don’t know what 37 is supposed to feel like.

3.  My brother and sister-in-law get me the most awesome running shoes (that I walk in), and gifted me another new pair for my b-day.

4.  My husband is pretty awesome.  He drove 16 hours this past weekend to come home for my birthday.

5.  I am now a morning person.  The kids made me do it.

6.  I LOVE coffee.

7.  I love walking.  It is so nice to be getting the miles in again after having Gemma.

8.  I want to get back into yoga.  Prenatal yoga was a big part of my pregnancy with Gemma, and it made me feel great.  I want to continue to practice.

9.  My ulcerative colitis has remained in remission, and I am so thankful for this.

10.  For me, recovery from the c-section was much easier.

11.  I’m consistently wearing shoe size 9.5 (I told you random).

12.  I am a much more confident with my parenting the second time around.

13.  I am much more confident in general now that I am a parent.

14.  I am much more comfortable in my own skin than I ever have been.  Only took 37 years…

15.  I cherish my friendships.  The “real” friendships are few, but strong.  Those are the important ones.

16.  I cherish my family (immediate and extended) more than I ever have.  Family is the MOST important.

17.  My hair is in the best shape in a LOOONG time.  Just in time for it to start falling out (the big postpartum shed).

18.  I have the iPhone 6+ and love it.

19.  I read more now that I have the bigger phone.

20.  I forgot how much I love reading.

21.  I am excited that Ashton is finally getting interested in books and not just chewing on them.

22.  It’s amazing how my mood/outlook on life differentiates with the amount of sleep I get.

23.  I prefer cool weather over the heat.

24.  I eat highly vegetarian, but not exclusively.

25.  I love a really good burger.  My current favorite is from Flip Side at Easton.

26.  I don’t like houseplants.  I don’t want the responsibility of watering them.

27.  I would love a vegetable garden, but I don’t want to plant it.  I just want to do the upkeep and harvesting.

28.  I eat highly gluten free, and notice the difference when I over-indulge in gluten.

29.  I love The Today Show, The Food Network and The Voice.

30.  We watch Jeopardy and Wheel Of Fortune every week night, and over the weekends I actually look forward to Mondays when we will be able to watch them again.

31.  I want to visit Italy, Australia and London (again).

32.  It’s been three years since we got married in Vegas.

33.  I love S’more flavored Luna bars, and eat one almost everyday.

34.  Most of the time I prefer savory over sweet.

35.  I prefer texting over phone calls.  Mostly because it is hard to have a conversation on the phone with two littles.

36.  I wonder what I did with all the free time I had before kids.

37.  I wouldn’t trade having my kids for all the free time in the world.

Mother’s Day Weekend Wrapup

Mother’s Day is just winding down and the holiday weekend feels like it just blew in and blew out so quickly.  I am filled with so many emotions, but I’ll save most of those for another day.  For now I can just say that I have always loved my family fiercely, but after becoming a mama almost two years ago (how is Ashton almost two?  It can’t be possible) my emotions and love for ALL of my family members (immediate and extended) has become super sized.

I'm not a grinch, but my heart feels like it has grown!

I’m not a grinch, but my heart feels like it has grown since I took on the role of mom!

The weekend started off with early morning Mom & Baby yoga on Saturday.  My mom came over to watch Ashton while I took Gemma.  Usually she just lays around or nods off during class, but this time Gemma wanted to eat.  The whole time.  She finished her bottle just in time for Savasana (the relaxing at the end of class).

Snoozing

Snoozing

My mom had some plans for that afternoon/evening, so we hung out with her for a little bit after yoga and then she got her stuff together to head home.  We decided we would get a steak dinner carryout on Mother’s Day (the next day) and just hangout then.  As we were chatting in the entry way on her way out, my brother showed up on the front porch with two hands full of flowers!  Surprise!  We had NO IDEA he was doing this, and it was such a wonderful surprise.  My mom was able to cancel her plans, and we all were able to hangout the rest of the day.  We weren’t expecting him to come into town for a couple more weeks, so this was great!

Shortly after my brother arrived, there was another knock at the door… A flower delivery for me from Ashton and Gemma (my husband may have had something to do with this…)!IMG_7860

That must be what Ashton was ordering when he was on the phone recently…IMG_7666

My kitchen counter is now decorated with an assortment of BEAUTIFUL flowers.  Love them.IMG_7903

Ashton loves his Uncle John (we all do), so when he got up from his nap and saw he was here, it was party time!  My brother brought him a new Cincinnati Reds hat, and now that he is getting back into liking hats (Ashton has HATED anything on his head for the last year) he asked for it to be “on” all afternoon.IMG_7862IMG_7869

Gemma just hung out getting spoiled by my mom carrying her around.

cheeks

cheeks

More cheeks.

More cheeks.

Mother’s Day ended up being a laid back day.  My mom made bacon and eggs that morning for everyone, yum!  She and my brother watched the kids while I was able to take a nice long (uninterrupted by crying kids) shower.  Ahhhh!  And we took some pics of us and the kids.  I really want to start getting more pictures where I am in the photos too.  So many times moms take tons of photos, but when we go back to look at them, there aren’t any documenting us WITH our kids.  I want Ashton and Gemma to be able to go back and have memories of all of us together, so I am making a point to try and be in more photos now.  Same with me and my mom… we don’t have a lot of pictures together, so she can take this as a warning.  I’m going to be getting more photos of us together. <3

Here are some of the snapshots from Mother’s Day:IMG_7880IMG_7885

My dad even stopped by and we got some pics with him too!IMG_7897

I just love my mom so much, and after having kids I appreciate her even more.  I hope I can be half the amazing mother that she has been to me.

 Have a wonderful Monday!

xoxo