Friday, April 27, 2012

Big News!!

We moved to Florida just after graduating college, in fact, I finished my last semester of school there taking a few online classes to fulfill my remaining requirements & then flew home to graduate. My husband (fiance at the time) got a job & of course I wasn't about to stay behind in Iowa.. so off we went! We rented a 600 square foot apartment for 3.5 years. In that 3.5 years we had 70 VISITORS. A few were repeat visitors of course, but nonetheless, that much company in a one bedroom, one bathroom crib. Funny business right there.

We have been in Georgia for just over a year now & have been renting a small townhouse here. The townhouse where I spent my whole pregnancy, where Harper's nursery was built & where our sweet girl has spent the first few weeks of her life. YAY for this townhouse being very sentimental ...and while I will never forget this place... we will be turning over the keys in just a few short weeks to move to OUR NEW HOUSE!

I hope you all will join me on my journey through decorating a 3,000 square foot blank canvas. I have big plans. Big. HUGE! Anyone that knows me & knows my obsession with decorating will understand the wheels that are turning in my head at this very moment.

My current ideas include the following:
Dark Charcoal Walls (somewhere!)
Exposed Brick in the Kitchen Makeover
Colorful Office/Playroom ...BEYOND!
Cozy, Kid Friendly Breakfast Nook
And is it too soon to put pumpkins on the front porch?!

BOOM, baby! We are almost homeowners!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Your Questions Answered!

...and some cute pictures of Harper of course! Thank you all for the wonderful feedback on the last few posts, I wanted to take some time to answer a few common questions.

Black Onesie from BuyBuyBaby, Leggings from Baby Gap & Headband from Jameson Monroe

Our Boppy Cover is cream, minky and is from the Etsy shop Little Owl's Nest. Again, I vote the Boppy as one of my all time favorite, must have items for having a baby. We use it for everything.. I just said the other day that I wish I had two! I have another super cute cover that my friend Joanna bought me that I haven't had the time to put on just yet, but it is ADORABLE, will share soon! If you all are interested, I'd love to post some of my Etsy favorites on here, I feel like that is the only place I shop! :)

In terms of Harper's schedule & sleeping, again, I didn't push this and set it for her, she really set it herself. I noticed patterns in how she would operate each day and eventually it just worked out to follow it. This also helps us determine what times of day she is happiest, fussiest, sleepiest, etc. and we are able to plan activities around it. Until she was a month old, she would wake up every 2-3 hours on the dot to eat in the middle of the night. Then one night we did bath time, got a white noise machine & put her in the Nap Nanny and she slept until 4:30 am. We've never looked back. She consistently wakes up at that time, but I feed her and she falls right back to sleep. We put her to bed fully awake, she will lay there with her eyes open, squirm around a little bit and then falls asleep on her own. I think that may help for when she wakes up in the night? I wish I had all the answers for you, but this is just my experience & best guesses :)

Bath time is actually something I think that we all look forward to each night. She is so happy in her little tub. I definitely believe that it helps her sleep, it wears her out! Our doctor told us from the beginning that once her belly button falls off, we could give her a bath as often as we'd like but possibly only use soap every other time so that her skin doesn't dry out. We use California Baby Lavender Wash & Baby Magic Lotion after. Both smell AMAZING and never any dry skin issues. I am so looking forward to introducing bath toys!

I plan on posting about my c-section & recovery (the nitty gritty!) but haven't had the time to complete the post. But in terms of losing baby weight, I started taking walks within the first week of being home from the hospital. On Harper's one week birthday, I pushed her in her stroller for over a mile. I started running again at 5 weeks & since then have been doing cardio and small Crossfit workouts. Also, with the hectic schedule of life with a baby, keeping healthy food around the house that is easy/quick to eat will be a sure fire way to eat healthy.. who has time to eat chips & dip with a newborn? Guess I'll have a banana. But I will of course pay much of the credit to breastfeeding. I was back to my pre-baby weight by my 5 week post-op appointment, but have some much needed toning to do.

All of her Baby Toys are from either Buy Buy Baby or, and I think both places carry all of the toys!

While most pictures on my blog are straight from my iPhone, many have asked what kind of camera I use. I have a Panasonic Lumix 16 Megapixel point & shoot. Annnnd I love it :)

A few other random observations during this journey through motherhood:
  • Just when you start to laugh at the realization that you've eaten a peanut butter sandwich for lunch five days in a row... you will find yourself eating a spoonful of peanut butter and then shoving a piece of bread in your mouth after because you literally don't have the additional eleven seconds to make it into an actual sandwich.
  • I have always been frustrated with people leaving their carts around the parking lot rather than taking them to the cart return or back into the store. But it takes a special kind of asshole to jam a cart up a curb to where it sticks out behind a vehicle that is parked in the pregnant/mothers with newborns parking spot. Not fun to deal with when it is raining when you come out of the store with a baby, a stroller & a carseat. Be kind, rewind return your carts!
  • I would like to see a baby product company focus their efforts on making things easy to open quickly with one hand. When you have a poopy, screaming baby that you are holding with one hand on the changing table and trying to open a new box of wipes with the other, is it really necessary that it be cemented shut, with four layers of tape and cardboard casing thicker than a 2 x 4? Good grief!
 Jammies from Carters & Blanket from Aden + Anais for Target

Stay tuned for a super exciting announcement! (No, not baby #2, although that will be super duper exciting one day..) For those of you who love decorating, I have some big news! :)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Playing the Day Away

 Oh my, where has the time gone? Little Harper is already two months old & it is so hard to believe! In the beginning, I wanted time to stand still so she would never grow out of being a newborn. I felt like the drive home from the hospital changed her immediately from a newborn to a baby & it was so hard to handle. I must admit, I had a bit of the baby blues for the first two weeks. With the overwhelming new responsibilities & the fact that she was literally growing before my eyes. It was hard to handle! Eventually, time & lots of sleep made it better and I began to LOVE watching her grow.

Now she is smiling & totally interacting with me while we play, and I couldn't love it more! At two months old, she is a happy baby (other than the occasional spitting up which she is not a fan of) and sleeps (noisily) through the night! The only time she really cries is when she decides that she was hungry five minutes ago and wants that bottle right away. Hungry Hungry Harpo!

Here is a look into our typical day.

4:00 am is when she first wakes up for her early morning feeding. Throughout the night she makes horse noises & grunts randomly to wake us up, but she is still asleep. She is currently sleeping in our room swaddled in the Nap Nanny, which has been AMAZING for her spitting up. Being in the propped up position helps her sleep.  We are very aware of the recall & the dangers, but we follow the instructions so that she cannot tip out of it. As soon as she is able to start rolling around we will need to explore other options or hope that she can sleep flat on her back by then. I feed her at 4 & she immediately falls back asleep at 4:30.

8:30 am is when she wakes up for the day. I feed her again & we play in bed for about an hour. She does tummy time either on the bed or propped up on her boppy. We play with her Skip Hop Sheep and I read "Goodnight Moon" but we either read it from back to front or say "Good Morning" instead.

She gets sleepy pretty quick & I put her down for her morning nap at 10:00. I usually just put her in her swing and tuck the blanket around her tight, not swaddled, but tight enough to help her startle reflex from waking her up. Those hands of hers have a mind of their own!!

Noon is when she wakes up typically & I feed her again. After that we sing the whole Jack Johnson playlist on my ipod, which she loves and gives me the biggest smiles. Sometimes I play along with my Ukulele, which she isn't quite sure what to think of yet.. but she is the exact same size as it right now! We hang out in her room where she lays on her play mat or sits in her bumbo for a bit & we read a bunch of her other books.

My husband tells me that I look like I have duck feet because my feet are short and really wide, so I saw this book at Buy Buy Baby & just had to buy it. It is SO cute! And Harper definitely has my feet! The Sneetches was Brandon's favorite book as a kid, so we had to buy that as well. All of the short stories in the back crack me up, we love them!

 Harper loves to look at this hilarious little creature during tummy time. We named him Bug.

She takes another nap around 2 until about 3:30. Then I feed her again & she hangs out in her bouncer. I hang all sorts of different toys from the bar, Jacques the Peacock is one of her favorites, along with all of those multicolored links that she loves to swat at. We also play dress up at this time & send lots of pictures to daddy! I usually cook dinner (ish) while she swings or bounces and then I feed her again at 6:15 right before Brandon comes home from work. She sits in her bouncer while we eat dinner & then she spends lots of quality time with daddy afterwards. This usually consists of singing funny songs (Harpie the Baby to the tune of Frosty the Snowman.... wow my husband has spent way too much time with me!) and holding her in the airplane hold across his arm and walking her around the house looking out the windows.

I love reading her this book called You Are My Cupcake too because she recently started realizing that she can touch things, and all of the pages are textured. It's also just plain adorable!

She usually takes a little cat nap from about 8-9 in her bouncer and then it's bath time!! She loves to be a nakey baby! My friend gave me great advice that her son slept best when they started giving him a bath every night, so we tested it out and it worked!! I haven't skipped one since. We give her another bottle at 9:30 and read "Goodnight Moon" again in the rocking chair...and tell her a million bazillion times how much we love her. Then off to sleep! 
I know, that is one heck of a schedule. I didn't really try to set this and I definitely don't live by it, but it just seems to repeat each day and it works well for us. I would LOVE to hear any fun ideas & activities that you all have for entertaining your little ones!

Side note, I have a super obsession with kids toys & seeking out the cutest stuff. So much that I have recently sketched out some things and am obsessing over DESIGNING kids toys!! After seeing the things that catch her eye and entertain her, I wish I could just make some toys for her myself with fun colors & patterns that looked cute as well. I wish I knew the right people to make this happen! Jessica Alba just whips up a baby company out of no where... can't I do the same?! :)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Instagram, Poms & My Diaper Bag

Instagram - So fun! Apparently I was born in a barn because I just discovered it's capabilities last week & I'm loving all the fun photo filters. It's definitely my cup of tea! Follow me @jlgarvin if you're a sucker for cute baby photos like the one below! :)

HOW is my sweet baby already 8 weeks old & sitting up in her Bumbo chair?!

I will post a tutorial on how we made & hung the tissue Poms in Harper's room. Basically I used the standard instructions but I cut the scalloped edges more shallow & less defined. That is why they look less "flowery" ..if that makes sense. Will post more details & pics soon.

Also, many have asked where my diaper bag is from. It is the storksak Tania Nylon in Graphite. I LOVE IT!! It is so roomy & has tons of compartments inside. I love the metallic steel grey color & the fact that it is not too babyish. Plus, the stroller straps will rock your socks off.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Life Lately

I just could not be more in love with our sweet little babe. I don't want to overwhelm with just pictures of our little Harpie doodle but I just have to share...

Our morning snuggles... this might be my favorite picture of her ever!

Venturing out for the first time as a family of three for some sushi.

TUMMY TIME! We have so much fun hanging out in her room playing with all her toys. Look at that sweet little tush! She LOVES her Skip Hop Sheep so much!

And we officially have SMILES! Seriously, melt my heart.