Saturday, May 9, 2015

Growing Girl

Recently, I packed up all of MacKenzie's newborn and 3-month clothes and put them in storage. Honestly, she was really only in newborn outfits for about a... well... like... maybe she wore two or three newborn outfits total? Her 3-month and 3-6 month clothes fit for quite a while and though it is very exciting to see her grow and thrive, it is also sad to pack away all those tiny baby girl clothes! I know it is cliche, but it really does go by so fast!
MacKenzie helped me pack up her clothes :)
Those cute closet dividers indicating the size are from Lucy Darling Shop on Etsy

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Three Under Five

These moms surrounded by children are pretty impressive. I feel if Chad and I have dinner together and MacKenzie is asleep and we are able to hit the hay before 10:00 p.m., we are winning the day. WTD.

So, the other day when my sister asked if I would be willing to watch her two youngest boys while she was in class, I knew we'd survive, but wasn't sure how it would go. Initiation by fire, I suppose! 

When she arrived and asked me if I wanted the carseats, I laughed in her face. Seriously? Where would I go with three under five? How would I ever be organized enough to get three under five out of the house? No, thank you. Nope. Nope. Nope. 

MacKenzie slept for the first couple hours and William and Joseph and I played and snacked and watched Scooby Doo while making cinnamon rolls. We colored and read and kept busy throughout the morning. After MacKenzie woke up, she rolled around on the floor and we played with "Baby Kenzie". 

As MacKenzie's midday naptime loomed, I put her in the carrier while making lunch (that the boys "didn't like because I tried it once last year at Whitney's and I didn't like it then"). I thought, "whatever, starve then I guess." Joe tried it and surprise - it wasn't that bad! William was apparently, more stubborn than hungry :)

After about five hours with three under five, Alisha arrived back from class and I was pooped! MacKenzie, not used to all the noise and ruckus that comes along with two wild boys, was a little cranky and tired too.

We loaded up and went home and as I drove, I thought to myself... this whole "three under five" business was my mother's life... Alisha, Greg, and I are very close to the same age gap as William, Joseph, and MacKenzie. 

MacKenzie and I napped that afternoon and it was much needed. We were both exhausted and I'm glad that for now, we have just one under five.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Easy Like Sunday Morning

As I am sure you can imagine, sleep around our house is pretty important these days. Get it when you can, and don't feel bad about it. In the past couple weeks, MacKenzie's night time sleep stretches have shortened a bit and Google tells me it is probably one (or a combination) of a few things:
  1. Four Month Sleep Regression
  2. Teething
  3. Growth Spurt
Usually, she's up around 3:00 a.m. and one night, it was 1:00 a.m., 3:00 a.m., and 5:00 a.m. Rough next day, I tell you!

Anyway, we are trying some new things - a sound machine, and a sleep sack to keep MacKenzie from kicking off her blankets in addition to an earlier bedtime to shift her sleep back a bit. This little girl will sleep in until 10:00 a.m. if you let her!

Saturday night, Chad and I were in bed by 9:00 p.m. - pretty exciting times, you know! MacKenzie woke up around 2:00 a.m. and I fed her and put her back to sleep in her crib. She woke again around 6:00 a.m. and Chad changed her and brought her to me - I fed her and we all three fell asleep in bed.

Easy like Sunday morning, right? Not long after, Chad had to get up for some reason - potty, drink, I'm not sure... but he came barreling back into bed and clearly, woke MacKenzie. He looked at me like, "she'll go back to sleep, right?" No, I'm afraid not.

It was quite cute though, because she kept looking from side to side with a giant smile on her face, like it was the very best morning ever. Who wouldn't want to wake up in the middle of their two favorite people? I love her joyful smiles!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Elk Hunter: Steadfast

Chad has been a busy guy this year! After killing two very large elk, he put the pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and documented his adventures. His Oregon 2014 Archery Elk story was recently published in Elk Hunter Magazine. You know what else is cool? Victory Archery is using this first photo in some of their advertising and publications this year!
 
 
The elk is mounted in our office at Snake River and MacKenzie got to meet Mr. Elk for the first time once we got him up on the wall.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Ollie Swaddle & Sleep

After a week in the NICU, MacKenzie had her days and nights all flip-flopped. In the hospital, that's not a big deal, but when you're home and people want to come visit during the day and hold a sleeping baby... it becomes problematic. Especially from about midnight to 5 a.m. for about three weeks when you have an AWAKE baby and can't sleep during the day when you have visitors. That's almost enough to make me give caffeine a try!

Anyway, during those awake stretches - in between writing thank you notes and addressing birth announcements, I read - a lot. I read The Baby Whisperer and Happiest Baby on the Block and took what I learned from those two books and got to work with what I like to call "Baby Boot Camp". We were going to get sleep - I could not go on as it was... and I was scheduled to go back to work in two short weeks. We needed to figure it out.

Chad and I have been fans of the swaddle since Day 1. If the NICU nurses do it, there must be some benefit because they deal with babies all day, every day. I think those people know what they are doing! With MacKenzie though - she wanted her arms straight up and she has been a strong little girl since the beginning - Baby Beast Mode, you know. Even with our best swaddling skills, she was able to wiggle out and eventually wake herself up by hitting herself in the face. Awesome, right? Nope. And I just can't do the "Cry It Out". It makes my heart hurt.

Enter the Ollie Swaddle. I found it on Instagram and I really don't even remember how, but I am so very grateful I did. I was hesitant, because I thought $48 plus shipping was a little spendy for a swaddle. However, after reading recommendations and testimonials (and not sleeping myself), I decided to bite the bullet. I told Chad, "if it works for one night, it will be totally worth it".

We received the swaddle right around MacKenzie's 1-month birthday. It was by far the best night of sleep any of us had gotten since her arrival. I had to wake her up to feed her! It was amazing. We use it every night - and sometimes for naps. It is stretchy and breathable - and velcros shut. MacKenzie is to the point where if she really wants an arm out - she's strong enough to make it happen. I would say her nights are about 50% "sleep through" and 50% wake up once for a change and feed. I can totally handle that - because she usually goes right back to sleep after she is attended to. And if you think about it, she usually goes down around 9:00 p.m. after bedtime routine which includes bathtime and dinner - so if she wakes up at 3:00 a.m., that is still six hours of sleep.

I have SO MANY good things to say about this swaddle and just really wish I would have had it from the start. People talk about babies having a security blanket - this mama has a security swaddle! :)

Bottom line, sleep is important - for baby, for mama, and dad too.
MacKenzie and her Ollie swaddle.

P.S. Future me - don't stare at the monitor at your sleeping baby, sleep yourself. That whole "sleep when the baby sleeps" is for reals. Do it.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

First Day at Work!

Six weeks off work was the magic number and months ago, that seemed like plenty of time at home with a baby. Boy, oh boy - was I wrong! Six weeks flew by and all of a sudden, I am back to work - with a baby in tow! I am very fortunate to work for a group of individuals who are willing to let me bring MacKenzie to work with me. How amazing is that?

We came in the week prior to our start date (Feb. 23) and set up a few things including a little portable sleeper and changing area.

We also "practiced" that week getting up in the morning and getting ready - to make sure that we would have enough time to get both of us ready in the morning and still be on time. Chad leaves at 5:45 a.m. to go to CrossFit, so the plan is to have him wake MacKenzie up and change her diaper before bringing her to me and waking me up right before he leaves.
Getting ready for her first day of work!
 Day 1 went remarkably well - not only were we on time, but early! MacKenzie ate on her normal schedule throughout the day and had some great "Activity" time and also took a couple naps. I would say for the first day, her biggest struggle was sleeping. There is just too much going on in the office - new environment with brighter lights, more people and plenty of new sounds. Eventually, (hopefully) she will grow used to the sights and sounds and the office will be like a second home to her.
 By the end of the day, she was VERY ready to go home and she was so exhausted that night. I felt bad for our sweet little girl, her eyes were so tired and I think she was a little overstimulated so it took her a while to fall asleep, but once she did - she slept like a rock. I was also very tired, for the record.
We made it through Day 1 and our onion season will be wrapped up around the end of March, so by then she will be a seasoned onion professional :)

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Eastman's Bow Hunting Journal: Three for Four

Chad had a really amazing hunting season in 2013 and filled four archery tags with pretty nice animals. With his BowTech Archery Experience, he killed two nice bulls and two mule deer bucks - one that was a very pretty velvet big boy! At the time he wrote this story, he had not yet killed his Idaho archery mule deer, but Eastman's BowHunting Journal just published the story over a year after accepting it. We could have changed that to four for four if Chad would have known! :)
Unfortunately, he killed both his elk right before nightfall so there weren't very many photos of either animal - which is why Chad decided to group the animals all into one story. A lot of the publications rely upon a good story - but you also need awesome photos to go along with the text.
You can check out the full story in the Eastman's BowHunting Journal January/February 2015 issue.
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