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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Maternity Design update


Often with a new year comes new changes and one of the first things I wanted to change was the website for my shop. While I loved my first website and had it for 3 years it was time to move on to something more crisp, clean and user friendly! I'm excited about all the new features I'll have to my advantage now. Some more change is the start of my maternity accessory line that is launching soon. Finally! I've mentioned it here and there on the blog over the past year and it's finally done. The idea has been in the making for years and I finally took the plunge and got the first product into manufacturing earlier this year when I was pregnant with my 4th. Stay tuned as pre-orders for the first items open up soon. If you're expecting or know someone that's expecting let em know. ;) There are currently no ruffled maternity bands like mine on the market so I'm hoping they'll do well.



Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas 2015


This Christmas was extra special as we got to celebrate it as a family of 6. We are so blessed. I hope you and your families had a great holiday!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Ava 3 months!


Weight
I'm not sure at this point but probably around 14 pounds or so. I'll know at her 4 month appointment next month.

Health
Really good. Despite colds cycling around my 3 other girls thankfully Ava has not gotten a cold yet. Once in a while her nose will run if there's a cold in the house, but it stops there. Totally crediting breastmilk.

Sleep
This past month hasn't been the greatest as she's been back to waking up twice a night. She was only waking up once a night for a while there, but lately it's two times. She still goes back to sleep easily after a quick feed so thankful for that.

Clothes
I was sad to have to put up the newborn clothes a few weeks ago. She's already outgrowing some of her 3 month clothes as well. I have yet to put 6 month clothes on her but I'm sure they fit by now.


Diet
Still breastmilk and she nurses great. The only thing is she can be a messy eater at times. I've been having to stick a burp cloth over the part of my nursing bra that's under her chin because she'll de latch mid stream and the milk wets the fabric or her top. If the let down is too forceful she'll also make these spraying spitting sounds and get milk on both of us.

Crying
She likes to be held a lot so if she's not being held then yes she cries sometimes. This past week was good though. She really took it easy on me which was good because let me tell you, the week before that was rough. Really rough. I was really stressed out from not being able to eat right and the girls were fighting a lot, and Ava was needing to be constantly held. I was definitely feeling some postpartum issues and unwanted thoughts. I cried a lot and felt very isolated. I hope this is behind me. Like I said this past week was soooo much better and my oldest is home from school for the next two weeks, so that's an extra pair of hands to help hold Ava. 

Milestones
Ava is still little miss sociable. She loves when you talk to her and smiles so much. She really is a happy baby. She's getting better about grabbing things and taking them to her mouth. She's still pretty uncoordinated with it, but she's getting there. 

Have a great week!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Surprise holiday sale!

Hi friends! Just want to let you all know that my shop is having a holiday sale. 40% off everything and the sale ends today at midnight so head on over. Everything from bibs, to burpcloths, washcloths, onesies and headbands are on sale. You don't want to miss it!


Shop here: FHJ Baby

Use code: FHJ40 at checkout.

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, December 10, 2015

A holiday date with my love


My husband and I aren't great about scheduling date nights. With four children there is a lot of hustle and bustle, but we find that we are still good about connecting nonetheless. The older girls have a strict bedtime of 8:30 pm on the weekdays and a little later than that on the weekends. These days after the girls go to sleep I'm stuck on the bed nursing Ava to sleep for about 2 hours, but before she got in the habit, H and I would sometimes watch a movie or television series together and talk. I'd be drinking my passion flower tazo tea and he'd be drinking his earl gray black tea like a couple of old farts. Haha. Ok not like old farts but we have been enjoying tea these days. He doesn't like going to the movies so when we go out it's usually to a nice restaurant, or it might be a shopping trip just taking the baby. Hey, she's usually sleeping so we can just pretend she's not there right? Just kidding. She's totally hating her car seat these days.

This past Friday H had an event to go to for work so it was fun to once again put on a pretty dress, shoes, jewelry and slap on about 50 pounds of makeup. It was also the first time we scheduled a babysitter for our now crowd of 4. $20 an hour people. That's how much the babysitter was. I'll tell you what if I wasn't nursing I probably would have been throwing back the cape cods at the gala to try to feel better about that hole in my pocket book. The babysitter was great though and I kept checking in because my poor Ava pretty much went on a bottle strike. She doesn't like taking a bottle and I've only tried twice before. She hardly ate at all while we were gone. I was torn between staying at the gala or going home, but obviously we came in one car and it would have been hard to leave and come back for H with the kids later. It was pouring that night. Thankfully she fell asleep for about 2 hours and when we came back home around 11:30 pm, she wasn't overly fussy. It doesn't look like I'll be leaving her for longer than 2 hours anymore though until she starts eating solids. H and I still had fun at the gala. We met a few new people and it was fun for me to get out and have some adult conversation. Getting out also helps us to appreciate our children more and we are always eager to hurry back to them.

Have a great Thursday!

Monday, December 7, 2015

The ghost of Thanksgiving past

It's almost Christmas and here I am talking about Thanksgiving. I'll tell you what. This 4th baby is kicking my butt right now. I haven't had time for much work or hobbies these days. Pretty sure November was my worst month in business ever, but it is all good and I am grateful for the down time. I have faith in God's perfect timing and he has a way of slowing you down when you need to slow down. I had a forced maternity leave haha! The summer was rough. I was working harder than ever while pregnant, dealing with my toddlers and trying to have all the product ready for the Zulily sale. There was a lot of guilt around that time, so again I'm not complaining too much about a slow November. 

Last month was busy at home because we had family visit us back to back. Before I start talking about how it went, I'd like to go ahead and say "thou shalt not stay at the house of a woman that has a newborn, is sleep deprived, hormone driven and has other small children to look after." That's right I said it. It had to be said. Unless....yes there is an unless. Unless they are there to clean, or cook and do what they can to help. Not the other way around. My in-laws don't read my blog so I can speak freely, but I won't go into details. Anywhoooo.....we did tons of family things in November. We spent Thanksgiving in Naples, we went to Miami, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and were at the beach a few times here in Boca. 

{Naples}

I was missing my family back home in Texas On Thanksgiving and a little sad and irritated that we weren't going to do a whole traditional Thanksgiving dinner in home by ourselves (and the inlaws), but that day wasn't so bad after all. We went to the beach in Naples, then strolled along the historic district and ended the night having a traditional turkey dinner at Seasons 52. 

 {Naples}

{Miami}

{Miami beach}

Last week we were able to see our first Christmas parade here in Boca. Have I mentioned how much I love this city? Our one year boca-versary is coming up in January so I'll talk more on it later, but it's a beautiful city and I just love how it's near all these other cool cities and you can just hop in your car and get there fast.


Have a great Monday!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Why your exposed breast selfies aren’t helping to normalize breastfeeding

{Breastfeeding Ava in a Target parking lot last month}

Hello! Wow it's been about two weeks since I've blogged but we had family visiting in November and it's been so busy. My in-laws just left on Monday, I'm finally starting to make a dent in the laundry and things are slowly getting back to normal...kinda. I've got a lot to write about concerning the last two weeks, but dealing with a newborn I'm still in babyville, which actually leads me to what I'm about to rant about. Brace yourselves, I’m about to step on a soapbox here. Alright. Let’s get the credentials out of the way first because I like to think I’ve got a little bit of experience in this department. I have 4 children. Aged 2 months, 3 years, 4 years and 13 years old. I’ve exclusively breastfed, I’ve formula fed, or done a combination of both at various points in my life. I’ve also breastfed well into toddler hood. I’m breastfeeding now. I’ve done these feedings anywhere from a bathroom (When I was a first timer and didn’t know any better) to restaurants, malls, cars, parks, schools, under an umbrella in the rain, to busy touristy places while walking at that.

I love breastfeeding……It’s a beautiful and natural thing and it gives me great pride to have nourished my babies. Women should be able to breastfeed in any public or private place without being shunned. They shouldn’t need to hide or be made to feel ashamed for feeding their babies. If you don’t like to use a cover, or if the baby doesn’t like it (because let’s face it, some of them don’t), then no problem. A baby has to eat and I’m not looking at anybody twice because of it. When I see another mother breastfeeding whether in person or on the Internet, I want to high-five them and say “right on!” It makes me feel less alone out there breastfeeding in public. However…..When I see a staged or purposely taken picture of a mom with her breast completely exposed on social media with a caption of something along the lines of “normalize breastfeeding”, I think several of us die-hard breast feeders collectively groan. You aren’t helping the cause by posting pictures of your fully exposed breasts on the Internet. A breast is a breast whether a baby is attached to it or not. You can sit there and try to make breasts seen as just a primary way to feed a baby, and not be looked at as something private or sexual and until you’re blue in the face, but it’s never gonna happen.

Repeat after me: “It’s never gonna happen.”

First of all, boobs all out there while feeding a baby isn’t the norm. Personally I’ve only seen it once in my life in a Janie & Jack store in Florida while I was shopping for my girls. All the other times, it’s just a shirt pulled up and a baby is nursing or under a cover, or something loosely draped over the baby. These viral breastfeeding selfies aren’t furthering the cause and I feel go against the original intent of the movement. Ashley Kaidel, 24 year old blogger mom whose breastfeeding picture went viral is a prime example of what I’m talking about. 


I get her picture wasn’t a selfie and rather taken by her companion, but the message is the same. To me I see it as more about gaining attention instead of acceptance. Also, it reminded me of the time I was a newbie public breastfeeder and I used to scan the room looking around to see who would dare look at me while I was breastfeeding my child. Guess what? If you look hard enough, you’re probably going to find someone who isn’t all gung-ho about your exposed breast. Breastfeeding in public should be tolerated by all whether you use a cover or not, but here’s the thing. This is the 21st century where everyone is offended by everything. I’m not saying cover-up if you’re breastfeeding, everyone’s level of modesty is different, but I am saying don’t be all up in arms if someone isn’t comfortable with your level of exposure out in public when it comes to boobs. 

 { Left: Nursing Mariam at home in 2014. Right: Walking along a busy Ft. Lauderdale street while nursing Ava this past weekend.}

Have a great Thursday and happy breastfeeding!



Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Ava month two!


Weight
I'm not sure what her weight is since she hasn't had her two month appointment yet, but she's definitely putting on the pounds. This baby loves to nurse! She's heavier and has outgrown a lot of her newborn clothes so I'm really happy she's thriving.


 Health
So far so good! She had a bit of baby acne around month one but it's pretty much cleared up. I'm also thankful that she didn't get the nasty cold that cycled through everyone in the house. She did have some congestion for a few days while I was trying to get over my cold, but it never progressed more than that.
 
Sleep
I've said it before and I'll say it again, this baby rocks at the night time sleeping! She's the easiest baby so far in terms of sleeping. She used to go to sleep no earlier than 11pm, but now I can put her down for the night around 8:30 pm. Sometimes she'll take up until 9:30 or 10 pm, but once she's down, she normally only wakes up once. Sometimes twice, but when she does wake up, she'll nurse for about 10 minutes and then go right back to sleep. None of this needing to be rocked for like 30-40 minutes like the other girls.

Clothes
Some newborn, but mainly 0-3 months and a few 3 months outfits.

 
Diet
Milk, milk, and more milk. I'm really thankful I get to stay home and can exclusively breastfeed her whenever she wants. I hate dealing with bottles. Nursing out in public has also been going really well. My clothes are obviously limited since I have to be in nursing friendly clothes, but that's part of it.  

 
Crying
Mastered! She has been wanting to be held a lot more these past few weeks and doesn't tolerate her car seat as well anymore. She used to go right to sleep when I'd put her in the car, but she's not liking car rides that much these days.

  
Milestones
Ava is little miss sociable. She smiles a ton and is gaining more and more neck strength. She's such a joy and even on the hard days when I'm so tired and the kids are driving me crazy, I just look at her and thank God for this little tiny angel.



Monday, November 9, 2015

The many faces of Ava


Oh hello blog. It's been about a week since I've last updated, but I just can't get enough of this little squish! This poor blog always gets put on the back burner when things get hectic. I feel like I've been a one trick pony on subjects lately and just talking about the kids, but I take a lot of pictures of them and they are the fastest and easiest subjects to write about. They are my whole life so yes obviously they would take up the majority of my blog. I'd love to share more DIY projects, recipes and tutorials but there just isn't much time these days with a newborn. I'll just have to wait a little bit longer to get back to that. These girls are just growing so fast. Mariam turned 3 last week (future post), Serena is turning 13 this week and Ava will be 2 months as well!


Monday, November 2, 2015

Halloween in Florida


 This Halloween was our first in Florida and as expected, it was hot. Since we are in a condo this year there was no door to door trick or treating, but we did take the girls to "Spookyville" in Palm Beach which was pretty fun. They were able to go from cottage to cottage trick or treating and they had a blast. After awhile though they were ready to go home and start in on their sweets.

Now please excuse me as I go steal one of their chocolates. ;)

Have a great Monday.



Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Tales from the trenches


That moment when you're strolling through Target and the baby is asleep and you had given the 2 year old your phone this time so she keeps her cool while you shop in peace. You're almost done shopping, then you see the baby start stirring. "Uh oh." You freeze. Oh good she's quiet again....Nope. Never mind. There goes the crazy arms followed by that unmistakable howl of a hungry baby that stops everyone in their tracks wondering whose kid that was. But what does one do? You contemplate making a beeline towards the fitting rooms to nurse , or just abandoning ship and head to the car defeated. Or.....maybe you can just sprint through those last few aisles, wildly throwing the last few things you needed in the cart all while the baby is screeching acting like she's never eaten before! You go for the latter because Lord knows you didn't go through all this trouble for nothing! You leave, get everything and everyone loaded in the car and the baby gets fed in the parking lot before having an epic meltdown.

Phew. Crisis averted. Till next time...

Monday, October 26, 2015

6 week sweetness


I'm not sure if it goes faster with each kid or what, but it's like I blinked and Ava is 6 weeks old. 6 weeks old! Good grief. I know, I know, I'm like a broken record with this saying, but I just can't believe how fast it's going this time. Faster than the other's. I guess it's because she's been pretty easy and I've been in newborn heaven. Come to think of it. It didn't go that fast with Mariam. She was colicky and tough for the longest and it felt like she was a baby forever. Pretty sure with her I was in a hurry for her to go through the tough phases quick. 

Ava is chunking up quite nicely. I feed her on demand and she likes to nurse a lot. She still sleeps a ton and goes through her nightly routine of off and on crying between 9 and 11 pm. She refuses to go to sleep before 11:30 pm. That's ok though. Just gives me more time to snuggle her uninterrupted.


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Fishing girls


This past Saturday brought slightly cooler temps and a nice breeze so it was a perfect day to spend outside. Layla had told H earlier that week that she wanted to go fishing, so that's just what we did. We headed to a park in Ft. Lauderdale and the day was perfect. We brought our lunch and 3 of the girls. Serena wanted to stay and study at her friends house so we let her stay behind. While we were there, Mariam caught her first fish on her little pole and later Layla did too. Talk about beginner's luck! The fish were unhooked and put back and we spent only about 2 hours out there before we headed to the park and then called it a day. I'm so excited about spending more time outdoors now that late October is going to bring cooler temps in Boca (at least that's what I hear) and I'm not heavily pregnant anymore.

Have a great Tuesday!