Friday, June 29, 2018

Catching Up

Happy Friday! I can't believe it's Fourth of July week already.  We got back Wednesday from our annual summer trip to California - Pelican Hill and Beverly Hills - we love our time out there and are already looking forward to next time! 

I'm so excited to celebrate Tatum's first Fourth of July - I have a few lobster outfits that I got him last summer before he was even born and these new finds from Cecil & Lou.  We have lots of family time planned the next week ahead.

We missed our Stella so much while we were away - she hasn't gone far from Tatum... or us since we got back! I think Tatum grew just in the past week, playing extra hard, getting into everything he can, etc!

Have a great holiday week! xx 

Monday, June 25, 2018

This & That

Our biggest update in recent days was Tatum turning 8 months last weekend! I always do his monthly pictures the same way and this month's might be my favorite... 

Recently we went to "Tyler at Twilight" for the local arboretum, the weather was perfect, a bunch of local restaurants have stations of food to try and we picked up a couple things at the silent auction too.

Last weekend before taking off for the lake Friday night we celebrated Father's Day just the three of us... happy hour on the deck while Tatum played and then Derek grilled ribs and I put together a potato casserole and brussel sprouts after Tatum went to bed.

Speaking of grilling, we did a shrimp broil recently too! The past few summers we've gotten into the tradition of doing this once or twice a summer and always enjoy it. 

In the struggle of starting to enjoy food, I was happy to capture Tatum's best meal yet and this excitement all over his face! 

Lots of playing with my two little ones too!

Friday, June 22, 2018

Friday Picks: Patriotic Finds

Happy Friday! Keeping it short & sweet today... The Fourth of July is right around the corner and this summer holiday is becoming one of my favorites.  I love the grilling, the blue/white (and red!) and a good summer holiday.  We'll be traveling before then during the holiday so I've been trying to plan my patriotic dressing early to be prepared.

A few favorite Friday finds below... 

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Father's Day at the Lake

We got back on Monday from a great first weekend at the lake for the season and a fun time celebrating Father's Day - Derek's first one!  The weather was perfect so Saturday we headed down to the dock right away for a full day of sun.  It was Tatum's first time so we weren't sure how it would go but between his playpen and his blowup pool he loved it and did great.

I think a new favorite of mine will be lounging on the lower shore in the afternoons while Tatum takes his second nap of the day - peaceful, relaxing and sometimes I might nap too.  We stayed down on the dock until about 6 and then headed up for happy hour and grilled for dinner.

Father's Day kicked off with a lazy morning of sleeping in, brunch and then Derek and I each snuck a nap during Tatum's morning nap - it was great! 

Another full day in the sun.  We had about 20 family members up so Tatum had plenty of playmates and attention.

We celebrated Father's Day and everyone being together with a big pasta meal on the deck all together.  Tatum got to stay up passed his bedtime and then crashed until it was time to go back to our house for bed.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Tatum Beau: 8 Months

We don't go back to the doctor until 9 months but he seems to be growing right on the "average" tract for weight and a little under average for height.


The month started off still in 3-6 outfits - luckily we had a few warm weather outfits from traveling so we just used those on repeat.  We quickly tried out some of the 6-12 month outfits and while a little big they worked - my favorite are the soft cotton matching onesie and short sets from baby gap - so easy and comfortable. By the end of the month we were working in 6-9 month and fazing out the 3-6.

He's still in size three diapers and whatever the smallest size is for swim diapers - they're a little big but they work.

Up between 6:30 and 7:30.  Plays in kitchen. Usually first bottle around 8:30ish. Plays in walker and playroom.  Has breakfast in highchair. Morning nap starts around 9:45-10:45 and lasts and hour +. Mid morning bottle before nap then lunch around noon.  Plays, runs errands, etc.  Bottle around 2/3. Afternoon nap anywhere from starting at 2:30 to starting at 4:30 (sometimes cat nap in evening).  Late afternoon is either play, outside deck toys, pool, etc.  Dinner in highchair.  Evening bottles at about 5, 6:30 and then bedtime bottle anywhere from 7:45-8:45.  Some days bath, more so now that we're at the pool so much etc. 

More recently he's been really good about his nap schedule and usually goes down between 9:30/10 until about 11/11:30 and then from about 2:30/3 until 4/4:30 and sometimes longer too.  

This was really hard for us at first and discouraging so then we started the month off really trying to get the baby food thing down - doing a teaspoon of oatmeal cereal for breakfast and a small pack of fruits for dinner - it was dependent on the day but right after 7 months he started tolerating it enough to finish small meals.  After fruits we tried sweet potatoes and while messy he seemed to love those!

Since we had trouble learning to use the spoon we got a few pouches (easy mixtures at first - apple/sweet potato with cinnamon, apple with broccoli, banana, peach with pear and carrot) and things like that - he loved those!

Bottles are still 8 ounces every 3 or so hours with a "bottle snack" here and there.  Many times before a nap he'll want just an ounce or two too.

On occasion he'll wake up overnight but he's getting much better at it - especially if he's had plenty of bottles in the evening hours.  All the outside summer play has had him sleeping really well and a little longer than before.

He's officially done with his swing and does really well with crib naps - he falls asleep easily in the car or in his stroller as well.  We usually do a long morning and afternoon nap and depending on the day there's usually an evening cat nap and sometimes a fourth little one too.

Recently we've been dealing with a little bit of regression and waking up a couple times just in the past week.


He's really playing more now and can entertain himself for a bit - he's using his hands a lot more to actually play with the toys.  He loves doing anything outside and so do I - it tires him out so much.  He looks all over on our walks and seems to like being able to look out.


Playing with toys, pulling himself up onto things, standing at his music table, playing at the pool, going for walks, playing with his water and sand tables.  


Using the spoon to eat!

He celebrated his first Memorial Day and first afternoon at the pool - he didn't want to get out, crawled all over the splash pad and took a few dips into the deep end with mommy and daddy.

He had his first trip up to the lake and did great sleeping in his pack n play there. 

He pulls up onto anything he can - he's really getting that skill down and it's his favorite thing to do.

He really seems to notice more that Derek and I are Daddy and Mommy - he smiles whenever I come in from a walk, Derek gets home from work, etc.

He's started to notice steps and tries to climb up them - he's getting more and more successful at it! 


We've done a lot of walks before it gets too hot and also have an outdoor playpen so we've done a lot of playing on the deck too.  He got a little sand table and water table so we're just getting into using those too.  He loves playing with his toys on the deck.

He spends many days splashing in the splash pad at the pool.

Music class has ended for the summer - by the end he'd come such a long way and really did better with it - we will probably do that again in the fall and/or gym class.

Friday, June 15, 2018

8 Month Favorites

Happy Weekend! We're looking forward to some time in the sun and celebrating Derek's first Father's Day! We'll also be celebrating that Tatum will be 8 months old tomorrow - time is flying by! 

He started crawling really early and this past month pulling himself up which he shouldn't quite be doing yet!  He is definitely behind with eating - he hates the spoon and has recently taken to eating pouches but it's usually a process! If anyone has solid food tips, please share!!

Most of his favorites this month are toys because he's always playing or trying to put something into his mouth... 

This is probably the most favorite toy at the moment - he's loved all month pulling himself up onto it and will stand forever and play with it.

He doesn't build or play with these as he should but he loves holding them, throwing them, etc.  I'll dump them on the floor and he'll go from one color to the next.

We have a few sets of these - one for the playroom, one for the diaper bag, one at the office - they are great because they're inexpensive and he loves banging them around.  Great for little hands to hold.

This is a newer one and he doesn't use it as a walker without our help but he enjoys playing with the buttons and pulling himself up on it.

Like I said above, he seems to be getting used to eating food this way and sometimes enjoying it so we're sticking with this for now and trying to work spoon feeding into the rotation a little bit too.

Around six months we switched him up to the 6-18 month pacifiers and he loves them more than ever.  If he can have one in his mouth and have another to play with then he's one happy boy.

This is a summer lifesaver!  We use it on the deck, have a second one for the lake, can pack it up for the pool, etc.  We can even pop it up in the kitchen if we want - it's so easy to pop up and break down.

Another seasonal one but this keeps him occupied when we're outside.  He pushes his toys around, dumps sand off and will grab the toys out to sit-down and play then get back up and do it all over again.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Flying With a Baby

Tatum will be 8 months old soon and within a few weeks have completed his 7th and 8th flights.  We get asked questions all the time about how we handle flying with him, is it hard, why we take him, etc. We take him because we don't want to leave him home!  I will look forward to a trip later this year where Derek and I each pack a carryon and that's it but  part packing the 120 items, compiling all the list and packing days in advance is worth it to have the baby there with you! 

He's been on flights as short as under two hours and as long as five plus two hours sitting on the runway.  I by no means am an expert but I feel a little bit more confident packing for our next trip then I did for our first - it takes time to get it down and everyone is different.  Our first trip with Tatum we had so. much. stuff.  He needed more at that point since he was so little - we had the car seat and stroller + the bag for them with the dock a tot stuffed in it, we had about five carry on's, each a suitcase, etc.

Tatum's first flight - 3 months old

I make a list of every single thing we need for our trips - I have the same list I use over and over for Derek and Tatum's is pretty much the same now too.  We either each have a small suitcase or take two large ones and divide our stuff up.  To make things easier getting through the airport I've tried to get us down to as few carry on's as possible.  Last time we had two bags for Tatum and next time I'm hoping to have one backpack with all his stuff and a big tote for mine/Derek's stuff, my purse and a few more toys.

Pack in Advance
Our first trip we packed everything the day of (we were up until 2am and had to be up at 5am to leave for the airport).  Never again!  I now lay out clothes, bottles, toys, etc. days in advance, try to get the actual suitcases packed two + days in advance and then just throw in what we need the day of.  

It's stressful enough trying to remember everything - it's way easier doing it slowly and knowing you have the time.

Don't overpack but pack enough - remember, there is always a laundry service just in case (which we used right away on the first day of Tatum's first trip, ha!)  We took way too much the first time and have tried to cut back since.  If you're going somewhere warm I try to get cheap beach/pool toys that we can just leave there when we're done.

Ship Things
This is probably my biggest tip - it makes the biggest difference - one trip we had to go to one store for formula, another store for diapers, etc.  You don't want to lug all that stuff with you.  I'll bring enough diapers/formula/food for the flight plus a little extra just in case of delays and such - remember you can't get that stuff in the airport! 

I do my best to find the amounts of formula/diapers/food/wipes we'll need for the trip and either bring the extra home or pack extra to make up the difference. 

Check as Much as You Can
We had the opposite plan when we first traveled - we each had a carry on, we carried on Tatum's whole suitcase, his stroller, car seat, etc!  You don't want to be managing all those bags.  Bring on what you need and enjoy having your hands free.  We bring whatever he might need for the flight for entertainment, etc.  A few essentials, just in case and any must haves for the trip like diapers and food. The less things you need to worry about - the better! 

We were only asked to check our stroller once and I prefer to keep it with us.  We usually throw my tote underneath, one of us will wear Tatum's backpack and if we have another bag then one person handles that and the other pushes the stroller - like I said, having your hands free is key!  You just give the stroller with you get on the plane and it usually doesn't take that long for them to bring it back up after landing (I'll usually just run change Tatum's diaper while Derek waits for it).

Leave Extra Time & Go with the Flow
Before Tatum we'd cut it close and get to the airport on the later side.  You don't want to be running past security, trying to break down the stroller, get the formula put back into the bag after being checked and get on the plane feeling overwhelmed and rushed.

If the baby cries, what can you do?  All babies do.  If you don't have time for one last diaper change, I like to do it the second we get on the plane.  Just go with it and do your best.  We've noticed for the most part people are super understanding.

Be Nice to Everyone
Smile to everyone, be friendly to everyone, let them see the baby, tell them he's a good traveler, anything!  We've had many flight attendants come over for a while to play with Tatum, bring him cups to play with, etc.  It's okay to say no when someone offers you help! We've been asked a few times and just politely say no.

In Flight Tips
Some people swear by the bottle at takeoff, bottle at landing thing but we haven't noticed that to really matter.  Pumping the baby with plenty of food is the key! If you can grab a seat with extra leg room that's the best! We'll throw down a blanket (or dollar store table cloth that you can throw out) and let him stretch out a bit.  Derek will usually walk him through the aisles and then one of us will stand so he can sit and play in the seat for a while.  Looking out the window helps pass time too. 

We do like to get on early just to get settled and do all that when the plane's quiet.  Tatum likes watching people pass by anyway so it works out.  Sometimes one of us will get on with the stuff, check the stroller, get everything set and the other will get on with Tatum closer to the end of the boarding process.

Try to have a general idea and organization of what's in each bag and where things are so you aren't just rummaging through when you need something especially if one of the bags is above you.

Plane Must Haves
Plenty of diapers, wipes, formula, sanitizer (easily accessible), two bottles, two extra outfits for the baby, an extra shirt or outfit for mom and dad, blanket, bib, lysol wipes, extra pacifiers, plenty of toys!

...Then for the Hotel Stay
We took Tatum's car seat on his first trips when he still used it as his stroller seat too.  Now that we don't need to do that it's MUCH easier - we bring our stroller and rent a carseat with our rental car.  We always ask the hotel in advance to put a pack n play/crib in our room so that's one other big thing to not worry about - most time's he's gotten a stuffed animal or toy with it too!

Usually we use the desk in the hotel room to set up a little baby station so everything is in one place.  Diapers, food/formula, bottles, etc.  Any extras we just put underneath and usually make a little pile of toys on the floor - just like home I tidy it up each day!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

This & That

In summer mode we've been trying to all sit down for a little happy hour once Derek finishes up work for the day - this night we were rained out to the living room.

We got all our flowers planted and started a little garden - peppers, watermelon, basil and tomatoes - we'll see how it turns out!

Tatum and I are probably out on the deck at least once a day to play - these two tables were the best addition and he loves playing with them so much.

Since he hasn't loved the spoon in learning to eat we're been working on starting with pouches and it's hit or miss by the day but going well for the most part... slowly but surely.

Our first weekend at the lake was pretty rainy so we decided to just do an overnight trip to get the house ready for the season and then just enjoy the rest of the weekend here at home - Tatum got lots of attention for his first visit!

We are always doing something these days! In between pool and deck sessions Tatum is really playing hard in the playroom.. He loves to be in just his diaper too!

We're working on his schedule and getting into a routine - for the most part he's a great napper - I love when he sticks his little but up into the air.