Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Baby Harrell [11 months old]

I think every single month we find ourselves saying, “This has been the most fun month so far.”  It is just amazing to watch our little guy grow and discover new things every day.  Not to mention how active he’s becoming!  He’s definitely more fun… but also a lot more work! ;)


We don’t have a doctor’s appointment until 12 months so we will have to try and get some measurements on our own…but so far we haven’t.


This month was a tough month for JJ health-wise.  Right after he turned 10 months old we had a trip planned to go down south for his baby dedication at Zack’s home church.  The night before we left we saw his cousin Harper who was sick, and she sneezed right in his face.  I actually said, “If JJ gets sick, this is the moment it happened.”  And sure enough… he got sick.  Our poor guy had a runny nose, cough and fever for our whole trip… plus we had a scary brush with what we think was Fifth’s Disease.  Turns out, it’s pretty common, but giant red welts all over your baby’s face and body are pretty scary regardless.  Despite being so sick, his mood was surprisingly good—our little guy is a trooper.

On top of the 2 colds he had this month, he also is becoming a lot more mobile which has lead to his fair share of bumps and bruises.  He’s a little boy so I guess I’ll get used to that—but I feel awful when he gets these big bumps on his head. :( 


He is still loving to eat!  This month he is all about clapping and dancing, and we just think he’s the cutest.  Whenever he hears clapping on TV or wherever, he claps right along with them.  Then, when he hears music, he starts bobbing all around dancing. :)  He has also been really into waving hi and bye… but only to people he knows… he’s still pretty shy when it comes to unfamiliar faces. 

His favorite hobby has been ripping up old magazines.  He got hold of one when I wasn’t looking and I figured as long as he doesn’t eat the pieces, what’s the harm?  (Turns out, he did eat a piece… but we’re working on that. :)  He also loves to just sit and look at books.  It makes my heart SO happy that he is starting to love books just like his mama.  Usually throughout our day you can find him crawling all over the place pushing around a ball of some sort, it’s pretty impressive and he loves to do it!


Stranger danger is still there—though a bit better than last month.  This month his dislikes include sleeping, (could be due to him being sick so much!) and eating avocados… which is so strange because he LOVED them up until now.  When we try to give him avocado chunks he will make a sour face and gag on them.  It’s really weird. Maybe we over did it?

JJ has been skipping his second nap lately—it is such a fight to try and get him down for it so he usually doesn’t have one and starts melting down around 5pm.  From 5-7 it’s a struggle… Once he does go to sleep he is still waking up 1 to 2 times a night.

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JJ is eating mostly anything and everything these days.  We will still do some purees at each meal, (just to guarantee he’s getting a lot of good fruits and veggies) but we also will give him pieces from whatever we are eating too!  This boy loves to eat!

Mostly 9-12 month stuff… plus a few smaller pairs of 18 month pants.  We are still doing cloth diapers so they take up a lot of pant room. :)  He also still fits into a few 6 month onesies too.


Our big trip this month was down to Zack’s parents’ house to have JJ dedicated at their church!  It was such a special day and JJ was lucky to have both sets of grandparents there!


-JJ’s first Halloween was a success!  Read about it, here!


-Developmentally this month has been huge!  Not only is he crawling and standing and walking along everything… but he can sign, “more” “milk” and “please.” Wellllll kind of, they aren’t the textbook correct signs, but he has his own way of doing them each time and he’s consistent whenever we ask him so that’s what counts, right? :)

-JJ also claps, dances, waves, and blows kisses!! It’s the cutest thing ever.  He also just discovered belly buttons which is hilarious… but not ideal when I’m trying to nurse him and he stops to point out my belly button every 10 seconds haha!


-Verbally, we swear he has said, “Harper” and my mom says she heard, “Grandma” but I don’t know if I believe that one. ;)

-JJ is filled with so much JOY and he loves to laugh.  He has a fake laugh that he does quite often, it’s pretty funny.

-We had our first big snowfall of the year and JJ LOVED it!  I took him out for a few minutes (he was sick, so not long) and he was mesmerized by the big flakes falling.  A true mountain boy already.


-On the opposite end, he has started to throw little fits.  I didn’t think this started so early but boy was I wrong… if you tell him no, or try and stop him from doing something he wants to do, he will just throw himself forward on to the ground and start crying.  Oh boy, we’re in for trouble with this one already!

-Finally, this kid has a serious arm!  He loves to throw balls around, and he is getting great at it!


We’ve got a huge month ahead of us… lots of exciting things happening so I know it will just fly by and my baby will be ONE before we know it. :(  It’s a good thing, but I get so emotional thinking about it already.  Fastest year of my life—but also the best! <3

In case you missed them…
Welcome Baby JJ
Birth Story
1 month old
2 months old
3 months old
4 months old
5 months old
6 months old
7 months old
8 months old
9 months old
10 months old

Friday, November 6, 2015

Baby Style—Thanksgiving Etsy Finds

baby style

Having a baby is a lot of fun for so many reasons… one of which being that you get to dress him or her up in the cutest outfits!  I love finding special clothes for JJ, perfect for every occasion, and I can’t wait for this Thanksgiving! 

Here are some of the amazing baby items that I’ve found perfect for this Thanksgiving holiday…

**Note: In this post I’ve just included things suitable for a boy or unisex… I know, there are so many cute girl outfits for every occasion, but this post I’ll stick to the items I’ve found that would be specific to my little guy… meaning unisex/boy items only.

I love how the back of this onesie from babyxpressURself includes the tail feathers.  Simple but oh, so cute!

I’m a sucker for a baby in a bowtie…bonus points for suspenders!  This shirt from CuddleSleepDream is too cute to pass up—and could be worn for any fall occasion, not just Thanksgiving!

I am a big fan of the simplistic designs I guess, and this shirt from bravelittleleaders really sticks to the real reminder of the holiday.  (*Sidenote: I’m loving all the designs in this shop—super cute!)

This onesie from TennesseeSweetTee is so clever.  I love the rhyming, and that it can be worn all season long!

Right after college I lived with a family and they called their baby boy their “little turkey.”  I thought it was adorable, and it always stuck with me.  I love this onesie from littleHONESTtees so much, and all the color options makes it even better!

This t-shirt from EmbellishedBD also comes in brown for a more festive look.  I’m pretty obsessed with the saying, “Gobble ‘til you wobble” I think it’s hilarious… so chances are pretty high that JJ’s outfit will include something like this.

Speaking of “gobble ‘til you wobble”… I’m in LOVE with these little fabric shoes from LittlePitterpat.  Too cute, and that little pull tab on the back of them?  Serious lifesavers… why all baby shoes don’t have those is beyond me. 

Finally, there’s this… I mean, come on.

JJ’s head is in the 99th percentile, so I doubt we could squeeze one of these hats from MiniToppers on him… but if we could—you know that’s what he’d be wearing this Thanksgiving.


There are too many fun Thanksgiving outfit ideas out there… have you seen anymore that I haven’t listed here?  If so, please leave a link—I’m in the market! :)

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Harrell Halloween 2015

JJ’s first Halloween was a success!

This past week he has been recovering from some sort of bug, so I was really hoping he would recover in time for his first Halloween… and he did, mostly.

My friend’s baby had his first birthday party earlier in the day which we had to opt out of because I didn’t want to overdo it… JJ was under the weather and I wanted to fit in a good, long nap so he wouldn’t be too cranky that night.  We were so sad to miss it, but overall I think it was for the best.

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JJ had two costumes this year, one to go with our family costume…


And one to go trick or treating in. :)


The Darth Vader costume was just a zip up hoodie we found at Target, (as well as our costumes too!) and the dinosaur was Carters, but we got it for $5 off a local sale site. 

The weather ended up being awful this year (thanks, Oregon!) but the dinosaur costume was super warm and perfect for the night.

After Zack got off of work we went to my sister’s house for a festive dinner and pumpkin carving.


Mummy wraps!


Cinderella and her pumpkin! :)


My sister (Jacques), the kids and I.


My sister’s family’s costume was too cute!



We went to a nearby neighborhood and trick or treated at a few houses just so they could get the idea of it.  The weather really was rough though, so we didn’t stay out too long.

After trick or treating we went to a neighborhood carnival thing that’s put on for younger kids.  We missed the 0-3 costume contest, but we stayed and tried out a few of the carnival games.


We appreciated that some of the prizes were glowsticks, JJ loved them… and he obviously doesn’t eat candy yet. :)

After making our rounds there we went back to my sister’s house to take inventory of our loot and eat a festive dessert!


We warmed up some hot apple cider and made floats!  So delicious!

candy corn cookies

Of course, like every year I made my favorite candy corn cookies!  I was having Harper help put some in a tub for them to keep, and she would eat one and put one in the tub… That’s what aunties are for. ;)


Overall it was such a great Halloween.  So thankful for these special moments with family, and all the great memories we are making together!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Baby Harrell [10 months old]

10 months…Double digits?!  How can my baby be this old already?!  I can’t even…

This past month has been probably one of the biggest for JJ developmentally.  At one point Zack and I looked at each other and were just baffled…when did our little baby become this big boy??  Within a week he became such a different guy and learned so many new things.  It’s been amazing to watch him take in everything around him and grow! 

month 10

It’s obviously gotten a lot more challenging to get these photos. ;)

We don’t have a doctor’s appointment until 12 months so we will have to try and get some measurements on our own…but so far we haven’t.

We are so thankful to have one healthy guy!  He’s had a few rough days with teething, but nothing like last month. :) With the exception of a few bumps and scratching from testing out his new skills… he has been great!


Food.  This guy loves. to. eat.  He has never once refused real food, he just loves it! 

His new favorite thing to do is to crawl over to Daddy’s Xbox and turn it on and off… including while Daddy is playing.  (I think it’s funny, Zack not so much.)  He loves to crawl crawl crawl and stand up and walk along anything he gets hold of.  Honestly, within a week he went from rolling everywhere to crawling, standing, and walking along things… he’s growing so fast!  We live on a golf course and JJ loves standing at the window and watch the golfers, lawn mowers and geese!

He also loves standing at his toy cube and pulling out all his toys one by one, as well as crawling around the house pushing his soccer ball around. :)


Stranger danger is back in full force.  Our sensitive guy screams when unfamiliar people try and talk to and touch him.  I feel so bad that he gets so worked up… but also bad for the people because they feel guilty for making him upset!  Mostly it has been my extended family members (my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins etc.) but any real strangers too.

One thing I don’t know that I’ve ever mentioned on here is that JJ hates public restrooms.  I’m sure it has something to do with the loud noises, but he screams a lot whenever we go into them… At this point we try and just change him in the car if we need to, it’s just easier.

He is getting better in the car… but still hates it and will cry if he’s not in just the right mood.


JJ usually goes to bed around 7:30pm and will sleep until 1 or 2, and then after I feed him and he will sleep until 6-7ish.  It’s pretty consistent, so no complaints here... much better than last month. :)


Besides the purees, we are trying some solids too—by far his favorite is CHEESE!  He’s definitely my son.  Anything with cheese he lovesssss.  This includes pieces of cheese, macaroni and cheese, gnocchi with cheese, etc.  He’s getting better at swallowing regular food—I’m just paranoid about him choking and get so nervous!  Zack is better and giving him new things to try.


Mostly 9 or 9-12 month clothes, but for pants he’s more of a 12 month.  I think his big cloth diapers and long legs bump up his size in pants. And then he has a few onesies that are 3-6 months and 6 months too.


Our Favorite Things This Month:
Keeping it simple this month with just 2 toys that he has been into:
-Plush soccer ball- (same ball, different color) We got this ball as a present and have been using it in his monthly photos… but this month he’s loved playing with it!
-Infantino Activity Ball- We found a tub of handmedown toys that we totally forgot about… this is a toy from that bin and JJ loves it—it’s pretty fun for us to play with too, haha! 


The biggest event this past month was our anniversary!  Zack and left JJ with my parents for 2 nights and took a little trip away.  We were both looking forward to sleeping through the night but, of course, that didn’t happen for me.  I didn’t sleep much at all for some reason, but that’s ok.  We had the best time, but we were so happy to get back to him!

-Developmentally this month was huge for JJ!  Not only did he master crawling, he is pulling himself up on things and trying to walk along… he’s taken quite a few falls and dives, but all part of the process. :)

-I’m sure only Zack and I can confirm this—but we swear we’ve heard him say dada, mama, ball, dog, ooooh and whoa.  He actually says oooh and whoa quite a bit—it’s pretty cute.

-^Going with the above, he loves to point and things and say, “Oooooh.”  We think he’s the cutest. :)

-Another cute thing is that he has started bobbing up and down and dancing to music!

-Now, of course not everything is perfect all the time… JJ has started to throw little fits.  When he’s getting changed or doing something he doesn’t want to do he has starting fussing and throwing his legs down really hard.  I’m sure this will only get worse with time…

-Last not so great thing, JJ broke his first thing… I neverrrrr give him my phone, but we were in a public restroom and he was screaming!! (See dislikes above.)  He had leaked through his diaper and clothes so I needed to change everything and he was not cooperating, so I gave him my phone thinking it would be a distraction.  (It didn’t even help.) So once we were done, as we were walking out the door, the phone got dropped and the screen shattered.  Ugh.  Not my best choice as a parent, but it happened and I learned my lesson.

-Finally—since this is JJ’s first fall season, we went to the pumpkin patch!  I’m hoping to dedicate a whole post to this… but we had a blast. :)

I can only imagine the changes that will happen in the next month—it has been such a joy watching you explore the world and grow!  We love you baby boy!

In case you missed them…
Welcome Baby JJ
Birth Story
1 month old
2 months old
3 months old
4 months old
5 months old
6 months old
7 months old
8 months old
9 months old

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Catching Up

Since JJ was born, I’ve had the opportunity to review a few products via BzzAgent and Influenster… But am just now getting to write up my thoughts on them.

So here we go…

(Like always, I did receive these products for free in exchange for my honest review.  All thoughts are 100% my own and I was not compensated for them.)

First up was the International Delight Iced Coffee & Chai Tea Latte.  I received a coupon in the mail for a free one of these, so I had to choose between the chai and coffee drinks.  At my local store there was the flavor choice of Mocha, (Regular or Light) Caramel Macchiato, (Regular or Light) or Vanilla (Regular or Light).  Since then I’ve seen that there are a couple others of the Coffee flavors like Coldstone Creamery Sweet Cream and Hershey’s Cookies ‘n Cream.

I should preface this by saying that when I order my coffee I almost always ask for half sweet.  I don’t love my coffee sweet, I like to actually taste that coffee flavor.  When choosing my International Delight Iced Coffee flavor I chose the Caramel Macchiato Light, thinking that the “Light” would be less sweet… This may be the case, but it was still way too sweet for me!  The caramel flavor tasted very phony and there was no trace of any coffee flavor.  There’s no way I could sip on a whole glass full of this like intended.

I ended up using a dash of this as a creamer in my regular coffee, but overall I’m not a huge fan of the Caramel Macchiato flavor.  I would, however, be interested in trying the Sweet Cream and Cookies ‘n Cream flavor… but I have a feeling they would still be too sweet for my taste.  (They might be better as creamers, though. :)

Next was the Secret Outlast Completely Clean Clear Gel.  I use Secret deodorant on the regular, but I use an invisible solid instead of the gel.  I love the idea of the clear gel because there’s nothing I hate more than finding white marks on my clothes throughout the day!

This sample that I received was not my favorite.  I learned that I am not a gel deodorant kind of girl.  I felt like it never fully dried after application and my armpits felt sticky all day long.  The other thing I didn’t love was the scent.  I received the Completely Clean scent which smelled like baby powder… it was a bit too overwhelming for my taste.

The deodorant I use regularly, for reference, is the Scent Expressions Invisible Solid in Cocoa Butter Kiss scent.

I was sent via BzzAgent 2 of these Beech-Nut Organic baby foods.  We received the just sweet potatoes and just apple, raspberry & avocado flavors.  I haven’t written about out feeding JJ “adventures” yet… but we are going the puree route first, mostly due to this book. I am making his purees with fresh fruits and veggies and pouring the purees into ice cube trays.  Once frozen, I pop them out into freezer bags so they are all ready to go.  Each day I will pull one or two cubes per serving for the next day and they will thaw in the freezer overnight.  The next day I will heat the container up on the stove (sometimes adding some breast milk to thin, sometimes not) and then feed JJ!  It’s super simple and I have actually enjoyed the process, especially knowing exactly what my baby is eating… that there are no preservatives, artificial colors, etc. being added to it.

With that being said, these Beech-Nut Organic foods have been great not only because, like my own purees, they have just the fruits or veggies as ingredients, but they are also nice for easy on the go feeding.  I have used them when I forgot to thaw some cubes the night before, and also when going out and about for the day.  It was nice to just throw the food in my bag and not worry about packing a cooler and ice pack to keep it fresh! 

In general, JJ is not a fan of sweet potatoes, (despite everyone saying that all babies love sweet potatoes) so he didn’t like that flavor… but he loved the apple, raspberry, & avocado flavor.  We divided the container into 3 different portions and mixed them with (homemade) rice cereal.  Big success.  I would definitely consider buying more of these if we needed some food packed on the go, or if we were out and about and needed to buy some food for JJ right then.

I am definitely a coffee girl through and through, but I was interested to try these V8 V-Fusion® +Energy Drinks.  It has a full serving of fruits and veggies, B Vitamins and Vitamins A+C, and no added sugars. Unlike most energy drinks around, these have natural energy from green tea giving you 80 mg of caffeine in each can.  (For comparison, an 8 oz. cup of brewed coffee has 90 mg of caffeine.)

The verdict?  Delicious!  I tried the Peach Mango flavor and it truly tasted like fruit juice.  As for the energy factor, I didn’t notice a difference… but I didn’t notice a change from not having my usual cup of coffee, so that’s a plus!  Zack drinks Monster Energy Drinks quite often so I would love to switch him to these… but I’m not counting on it, he’s stubborn.

Overall would I buy these on my own?  Probably not, I definitely prefer coffee instead… but some days you need an afternoon pick-me-up and you don’t always feel like coffee, so I would consider these.  A nice change of flavor… But not something I would buy regularly.


Tried any new products lately that you loved?!