Grayson 5 Month Update

Another month has gone by in the blink of an eye and Grayson is 5 months old! He remains such a sweet and happy baby!  He is always giving such sweet and adorable smiles to everyone he encounters. He is laughing more and more each day and will laugh a lot if you raise him in the air and then bring him back down quickly.

THE STATS:

Weight: 16 lbs 8 oz
Height:  27.5 inches
Head Size:  16.5  inches
Clothes: 3-6
Diapers: size 2

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Grayson is sleeping beautifully through the night and is taking good naps throughout the day.

He is still taking 5-6 ounces 5 times daily. This month we plan to start baby oatmeal.

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Last month he had just started taking a pacifier and enjoyed it at first but he is using it less and less each week. He much prefers his thumb now.

Grayson really enjoys bearing weight on his feet while supported. This month he has started playing in his ExerSaucer and Jumperoo. He is not jumping yet in the Jumperoo, but likes the toys and standing on his feet with support.

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He loves to hold his hands and cross his feet. He has already been grabbing and holding on to his feet as well.

He absolutely loves being outside and going for a walk. We try to take him on walks as often as we can.

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He looks more and more like Elin each day and I think he looks a lot like I did as a baby as well. He is such a little bundle of love and sweetness that you can’t help but just smile at him when he looks up at you with his sweet smile. He will almost always smile a big smile back at you if you smile at him.

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Birth Greeting for your baby from the White House

I was working on updating Grayson’s baby book and organizing his memory box this weekend and remembered that I had never shared his letter from the White House.

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When I was planning my wedding and perusing wedding planning websites, I found out that you could send in wedding announcements (as well as birth announcements)  to the White House and the president and first lady would send you a greeting back.   I didn’t really care to do it for our wedding but thought it was cool keepsake for a baby.  I completely forgot about it until Elin was well past newborn stage but did manage to remember in time for her and for Grayson I was on top of it and mailed in his birth announcement along with all the announcements for family and friends.

There is really not a point to do this other than it’s a unique keepsake to store in the baby box or in a memory box for your baby.

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Here is the address to send off your birth announcement:

President Barack Obama
Greetings Office Room 39
1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington, D.C.
20500

If you prefer to save some postage and an announcement you can just fill out this online form here.

You will also see that you can receive greetings for weddings, anniversaries, retirement, and birthdays.

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Additionally, if you are interested you can also receive birth greetings for your new baby from Mickey Mouse or the Pope!

You can receive a post card signed my Mickey and some of his pals when you send an announcement to this address:

Mickey and Minnie Mouse
Walt Disney World
1675 N Buena Vista Dr.
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830

And if you are interested in getting a letter back from the Pope you can send to this address:

His Holiness, Pope Francis
Apostolic Palace
00120 Vatican City

Doc McStuffins Exhibit at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum

Elin has been anxious to visit the Doc McStuffins exhibit at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum and luckily for us we got our chance to check it out during a family outing with my husband’s employer. It was so nice to get access to the museum when it was closed to the public.

The event started at 6pm on a Friday evening and went until 11:30pm. We obviously did not stay that late and got there when it started as to not be out too late and we only took Elin since it would have been to late of an evening for Grayson.

When we got in the doors, most everyone seemed to be heading to the dining area first so we had the plan to go to the Doc McStuffins exhibit first since it was new and sure to be the most popular. We were thrilled to have the place to ourselves for a long time before others trickled up there.

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The set up was so cute and such a neat way to teach kids about healthcare and help make hospitals a little less scary.

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They had several different areas including a veterinary area, a baby nursery, exam rooms, and surgical suites.

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They had little areas set up with all the instruments and told about each one.

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Elin loves this little X-ray machine. It would scan each stuffed animal and tell you what was wrong and how to fix it.

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Since Elin loves animals, this was probably one of her favorite areas but she also loves the baby nursery. We spent quite a bit of time in there.

Totally saving this picture when she becomes a pediatrician someday.

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Look at her checking the the little patient chart.

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She loved feeding and rocking the babies.  She made sure each one was tucked into bed.

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The surgical suite area was interesting, but she was not as into it as the other areas. It seemed a little geared for older kids. I did love that they had realistic looking sinks and talked all about the importance of washing hands before touching patients.

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I highly recommend visiting the exhibit if you are in the area. I think most kids from preschool through third or fourth grade would really love it.

We did enjoy the rest of the museum as well and had such a great time.

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Secrets to Getting your Baby to Sleep through the Night + GIVEAWAY!

I am not going to try to tell you that I am expert on babies and sleep but I have been very blessed to have had babies that sleep through the night after the first 5-6 weeks.

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Grayson is still only 4.5 months old so I am aware at any time he can start to sleep regress, but so far we have been incredibly lucky to get good sound sleepers. I realize that I am so lucky in that department and will share the incredibly easy process that I do to put Grayson to sleep as it was the same process I did for Elin.

At this age, Grayson goes down to sleep right about 8pm. He gets his bath first if he is having a bath that day. He gets one every other day. After the bath, he gets in a snuggly sleeper and then we go downstairs to have his last bottle for the night which makes him very sleepy. Usually his eyes are at half mast and you can tell he is getting very drowsy.

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After the bottle, we head up to his room to change his diaper again and to get in his sleep sack. I truly believe his sleep sack helps him sleep so well and soundly. We did the complete swaddle until he was 2 months. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you discontinue swaddling at 2 months of age. I was super nervous that he would wake up in the night when we had to stop that but luckily the sleep sack was just as awesome and helped him stay warm and secure.

I read him a couple stories and then sing him a couple songs as I rock him to the point that looks like he is almost asleep and then I put him in his crib, sans any blankets or stuffed animals of course!

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It’s really an easy routine with nothing all that special about it, but I do believe the sleep sack is key!

My favorite sleep sack we have right now is our SwaddleDesign zzZip me sack. I love that it’s made of an incredibly soft and stretchy fabric and it has the dual zipper so that if you have to change a diaper right before bed (or in the middle of the night) you don’t have to take the whole sack off. Another reason why I love the Swaddle Designs sacks is their beautiful designs and lovely pastel colors. As silly as it may sound, I am picky when it comes to clothes, sleepwear, and sleep sacks and hands down SwaddleDesigns offers the cutest designs and patterns.

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Now, are you ready for a giveaway? One lucky winner will receive their choice of cotton knit zzZip sack. Looking forward to sharing one of these beautiful sleep sacks with you!

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

This item was sent to me for review, but thoughts and reviews are all my own honest feedback.

Surprizamal Cuties

Two weekends ago Elin was coming down with a bad virus and not feeling well at all. Before she started to get a fever and was bedridden, I was trying to cheer her up and I had the perfect thing up my sleeve. She loves surprise toys and I had just got my hands on the new tiny surprizamal cuties. This is the first series of the miniature variety and I knew Elin was going to be ecstatic when she saw them!

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These little balls of fun did not disappoint. Elin was eager to start tearing into them to see what her surprises were.

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She is all about cats these days so when her first surpizaball was a little a little cat named Jinx she thrilled. The little tag gave a brief description of new little furry friend as well as well as her birthday (April 12) and her favorite color (purple).

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Each little surprizaball also came with a collector’s guide.

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She eagerly opened all of her surprises and it was so good to see her smile and get excited when she wasn’t feeling well. These little guys stayed by her side all weekend long and she has been playing with them often ever since.

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Here’s the lineup of our cute new friends. These are launching in stores this Fall 2016. Let us know if you get the mystery ultra rare surprizamal! Elin’s bet is that it’s a Chihuahua—wonder why she thinks that!?

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Grayson 4 Month Update

Grayson is 4 months old and growing like a weed! I tell him all the time that he is going to surpass Elin by his first birthday! But more notable than his size this month is this little boy’s happy personality. I don’t know what it is but he has turned into the happiest baby on the planet! He just loves to smile and laugh. His little laugh is so sweet and his smile lights up his whole face.

THE STATS:

Weight: 16 lbs 1 oz
Height:  26.5 inches
Head Size:  16.5  inches
Clothes: 3-6
Diapers: size 2

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Grayson continues to be such a good sleeper!  He sleeps through the night usually for 12 hours.  He takes good little naps through the day and is starting to take nice longer ones in the afternoon.

He eats 5 times a day taking 5 ounces at a time.

This month he has really started to grab and hold onto toys to play with them. He has also started taking a pacifier this month but only a little bit throughout the day and never to nap or at night.

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We haven’t seen any teeth yet, but he is drooling a lot and starting to gnaw on his hands and toys, so I am thinking a tooth may be in his near future.

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Grayson is also getting better at holding his head still and starting to be able to sit up while assisted for short periods of time. He has been practicing sitting with his boppy pillow and with his bumbo seat.

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He is getting so interactive and social. He enjoys watching everyone and paying attention to what they are doing. He really loves to watch Elin and loves when she talks to him in a high-pitched voice and makes faces at him. That makes him laugh so much!

First Day of 4 Year Old Preschool

Last Wednesday, Elin started her first day of 4 year old preschool. She will be going 4 days a week: Monday through Thursday, during the morning time.

She was very eager to get to school and see all her friends from last year. Most of the same kids are in her class.

We got up extra early so I could take tons of photos. She had picked out this dress from some new clothes I bought her for the school year. She liked that it had a matching necklace with it.

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I don’t know why my inside photos always look horrible compared to the outside ones.

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We got to school a little earlier than expected and were waiting for the doors of her classroom to open. As we waited, we saw Mrs. Brown and Mrs. Alexander, her teachers from last year. She was so excited to see them and give them each a big hug.

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Then it was time to go on into her classroom. The first day is the only day you are supposed to walk in with your child. Outside the class is a “goodbye zone” were you are to say goodbye so that the child can walk independently into the classroom. As expected, Elin was not the least bit sad or scared. She was eager to spot her new cubby for her book bag and begin working on puzzles before everyone else arrived.

She was excited to se Mrs. Armao and Mrs. Ebert. She had already got acquainted with Mrs. Armao because she visits everyone at their house over the summer to get to know them better and to help them feel comfortable on the first day of school.

She was also excited since I have talked to her many times about how Mrs. Armao was my 4 year preschool teacher, too!

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Elin had a good first day of school and continues to be excited to go back! We are working hard to memorize her memory verse as this year it’s more of an expectation to know them each week instead of being optional. I’m looking forward to being able to see Elin grow and learn so much just as  she had the prior year. I’m sure this year will fly by just as the previous school year did.

Grayson 3 Month & Elin 4 Year Pictures

Grayson had his 3 month pictures right before the fourth of July and of course big sister Elin got in on the photo shoot and consequently got her 4 year photos.

The pictures were scheduled on a Friday at 2pm. I was very nervous about the time because Elin had her last swimming class that morning and she was always super tired after swimming class and 2 pm was the fussiest time for Grayson. Luckily, they both did better than expected and we got some cute shots.

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I tried on this outfit a few days before the photos and I knew it was big but I thought it would be ok. In hindsight, I wish I would have gone out and tried to find it smaller. It was huge on him and so ill-fitting. Oh well…

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I love this picture of Elin. It’s one of my favorites of her ever taken.

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We’ve always got to let Angel her close up. She loves the camera.

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I’m so glad that I schedule these photo shoots. It’s not always easy to find the time, but I always love the photos and I’ll cherish them forever.

Grayson 3 Month Update

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THE (unofficial) STATS:

Weight: 15 lbs
Height:  25 inches
Head Size:  17 1/4
Clothes: 0-3
Diapers: size 1

Grayson is 3 months old! Three months have happened so fast! He is getting bigger, stronger and more alert everyday. He likes to hold his hands and stare at the toys above him when he is on his activity mat. He has also started enjoying his swing and bouncer seat more and more each day. He also continues to love being outdoors on walks or just outdoors in general. It’s so fun to see him smile a lot more and laugh out loud.

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This month was easier to start establishing naps and figuring out when he would take them during the day. He would take one for about 30-60 minutes in the morning each day. Then afternoons were still a toss up. Sometimes he would barely take any in the afternoons, sometimes a small 30 minute or so and then every once in awhile he would take a good 1.5-2 hour nap if he was swaddled and in bed.

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For some of his firsts this month, he got in the pool for the first time and seemed to really enjoy it. He enjoyed floating around in his little boat. He also enjoyed spending time in a Baby Bjorn while watching big sister in swimming lessons. He mostly just slept the whole time he was in it.

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Another first was staying all day at Nanny’s house while I went back to work. It’s an adjustment to not get to see him much during the weekday now. He has to go to bed early at about 7:30 PM since he has to get up so early now to get to Nanny’s at 7:30AM.

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I love this picture showing how Elin takes photos of Grayson during our little monthly photoshoots.  She loves him so much and is always taking his picture. It’s the sweetest thing! I’m so happy that she loves and is so proud of her baby brother.

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Do you want to build a snowman–in July?

Elin and I tried a new a modeling clay called Floof and it’s amazing!

Elin is a huge fan of playing with play dough and clay, so I knew she would love playing with this new feather-light substance called Floof. It’s smooth and airy light and feels like you playing with marshmallows without being sticky at all. You have to feel it to believe it!

This is one of those toys that is actually fun for me to play with her. She always loves me to play with her and I love that this keeps our hands busy and we can create virtually anything and have a million different ways we can play with it.

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We used the snowball maker set. It came with six different molds in three different sizes. Elin liked using them to make snowmen rather than snowballs per se, so I know she would have loved the little set that actually includes all the little accessories to create a snowman–right down the carrot nose and little scarf.

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Elin loved pretending that it was snow. As someone who is always looking for fun ideas for kids parties, this would be so adorable to play with at a Frozen birthday party!

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I love that it comes in its own bucket for storage. Everything must have a home in the toy closet!

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Another one of my favorite features of this innovative compound is that it’s less messy than some other popular clays out there. It stays together better and doesn’t leave little balls of clay all over the place. It stayed better clumped together. Definitely a win in my book.

We have truly loved playing with Floof and recommend it to any kids over the age of 3. This product was sent to me in exchange for my honest review.