Monday, May 23, 2016

Baby must haves: first 3 months

This photo has little to do with this post, aside from it containing a baby. BUT LOOK HOW CUTE SHE IS! She likes chillin' in the tub.

So there are the obvious things you'll need for a baby: crib, blankets, diapers, changing pad, car seat, etc. But here are some things I either didn't realize were so important or didn't know I needed. I looked at a lot of these lists online when I was preggo so I figured I'd make one of my own. These are must have goodies for at least the first few months, or what I think of as the survival days. I am still flying by the seat of my pants and learning as I go, so I've got no clue for the rest of the first year. And everyone is different, you might hate these things and swear by something else, but these are what worked for me. 

I put links to some of the stuff we got, in case you're in the market. We mostly used (and still use) amazon for all our baby stuff, it's where we registered. And it's the bomb.

A swing. I mean this sounds obvious, but dang, you need a swing! I was kind of whatever about them because they're huge and unattractive (ha!) but they rock. (Puns!) Indy napped great in it when she was little and now it keeps her (momentarily) occupied while I cook/clean/whatever. We have a tiny little apartment so from where it is in the living room she can see me while I'm in the kitchen! And vice versa.

Plug in night lights: Oh man, this is something we had to go grab post baby. We just got a bunch of the cheapo plug in ones; there's one in our room, her room, and the living room. That way I can sneak around at night when I'm feeding/changing her without waking Brendon or getting Indy into party mode. Also so I don't trip!

Sun hat: We love being outside but are also vampires so this is a must. Indiana has my fair fair skin, but she loves being outside and so do we! The sun hat doesn't bother her at all and bonus, it's adorable.

Onesies: For real, all the onesies. Because as cute as those little dresses and shirts and pants are, ain't nobody got time or energy for dealing with that mess with a new baby. Indy lived in onesies for the first couple months and they're still our daily staple. Plus, they're hella cheap so if there's a bad blow out just toss 'em. You'll probably get a million at your baby shower. 

Knee high socks: Indiana is a maniac. She's a wiggler and a kicker and has been since she was in my belly. Blankets get kicked off, as do little socks. Those little crew socks are super cute, but impractical. We bought a pack of long over the knee socks on Amazon and they're the best. Homegirl can't get them off! She wore them pretty much everyday when it was cooler, and even now sometimes in the mornings. And they're SO CUTE.

Lullago: This is what we use instead of a bassinet in our room. It's a fold up travel crib, so it doubles as a crib on the go! We love it. There are similar ones by other brands but this is what we got. It's bigger than a traditional basinet so I think you'd get a little more mileage out of it.

Rocking chair/glider: I almost went without. Just because we didn't have much space and they were a little pricy. That would have been a mistake. But my mom bought us a glider at the last minute and SAVED US. Like we got it the day I went into labor, it was close. Since day one I have used the hell out of that thing. I love it. My cats love it. Indy loves it. It's her calm place. We rock, a lot.

Swaddle Me's: I suuuck at swaddling with a blanket and Indiana is, as previously mentioned, a wiggle worm so she's been busting out of traditional swaddles since the her debut at the hospital. We were gifted the Swaddle Me's by a friend and they are a life saver!! Praise Velcro. So much easier and it helps her sleep. I'm dreading the day we have to stop swaddling her. Which will be very soon.

Humidifier: Maybe because Indy was born during the winter, but dang she'd get crazy boogers. So we got a humidifier and it's actually a pretty good white noise machine too, haha. And I think it helped my snot situation too.

One million burp cloths: I mean, duh. But seriously. Keep them everywhere. Because spit up happens, everywhere. I prefer the big flannel ones to those little narrow things. We ended up buying an extra pack. Bonus, Indiana likes to hold/chew on them soooo they're like a toy too! ;)

Boppy: Okay everyone swears by these for nursing but I didn't really use it until I started propping Indy up on it. We only used it for nursing a handful of times. It was just awkward with my body? I don't know maybe I was using it wrong. I liked just having her in my arms/on my tummy. But we chill together on the couch with the Boppy everyday. She sits in it while we play or I read to her. Plus it helps with tummy time. It's also a good head rest for grown ups and a decent cat bed.

Colorful wall art: Random, but for real. I put some vintage Disney posters above her changing table and homegirl LOVES them. She smiles and talks at them like crazy. We joke that she's in love with Peter Pan because seriously... that poster makes her so happy. Jungle Book too. When she's fussy sometimes I just let her stare at them. Baby rooms are so often all pastel everything but I swear, she looooves bright colored stuff! I made this rainbow felt star garland for her room that she is also very into staring at. Staring at stuff is her favorite.

Sling/soft carrier: I HATE carrying the car seat. I have zero upper body strength, and that sucker is heavy. Plus she's not nuts about hanging out in it when she could be out looking at the world. Thus I'm a big fan of baby wearing. We registered for an Ergo structured carrier, but Indy just sorta disappeared in it even with the infant insert when she was little bitty. So after she was born we ended up getting a ring sling and I loved it. Sooo easy and handy. We kept it in our diaper bag and we used that thing all the time. It's the only way we survived at HEB. Now that she's bigger (heavier) and even more wigglier, the Ergo works better than the sling. She tends to wiggle her way out of the sling, but there's no way she can escape the Ergo. I think a wrap would be a good medium between the two but we haven't tried one; I'm intimidated the actual wrapping part. But I highly recommend a sling for a newborn! And they make them in so many pretty colors and fabrics. Mine is linen but there are some silks out there... Woo!

Backpack diaper bag: I am not into diaper bags. They generally scream "diaper bag". So I found a backpack diaper bag that looks pretty much like a backpack. It's huge, and has a zillion pockets and all the diaper bag bells and whistles. And I tried to get one that was gender neutral so Brendon could carry it and not feel silly, but he says it's still girly. I think it's pretty chill. But the important part here is backpack. Hands freeee! Which is super nice and extra important when you're flying solo.

Nursing bras (I'm a fan of the Cake brand), tanks, pads: In a bigger size than you think! I had nursing bras ready to roll but my boobs got SO BIG when my milk came in that they didn't fit. We had to make an emergency target run after Indy was born. The emergency bras I got are now too big, but man, when your milk comes in you do NOT want restriction. You want those puppies to be free. But also not to leak milk everywhere so stock up on pads. They make reusable ones! Also nursing tanks are cool, I like to sleep in them. And when Indy was a newborn I lived in them. I wear normal shirts during the day now but at night it's easier to sleep in a tank. Just bust that boob out. ;)

Netflix: Mostly joking but seriously. Stock up on things to watch. Hunker down on the couch or in bed with your little one and binge. I swear all we did for the first two months was watch tv while Indiana snoozed on my chest. It was so good. A happy blurry daze of cuddles and sleep deprivation. Those days are gone. I'll get a few episodes of Gilmore Girls in during her afternoon nap but we spend a lot of time playing (aka me trying to entertain her) now. Which is awesome! Watching her learn and play is insane and so fun. But I do miss those lazy Netflix days. TAKE ADVANTAGE. Soak it in. Don't feel guilty, just bond with your baby and rest rest rest! Seriously!

I hope this was helpful, if you're expecting. Or thinking of one day expecting. I think there should also be a list of "things you don't need" because baby stuff man... you can go overboard. But I think we were pretty minimal on our registry so we haven't had too much unused stuff. There were some outfits she never wore. And Indiana has a million toys. But I guess eventually she'll play with them. (Am I the only one bothered by all that obnoxious bright plastic? I guess that's what babies are into?) Anyway, don't register for clothes or toys because you'll get them, by the truckload.

Four months

What the what this last month flewwww by! I feel like last week I was taking her three month photos. It's been a wild but fun month for the Hogans. Lots of weekend adventures which is both exhausting and wonderful. Gah, I love weekends.

Four months of Indiana! Crazy crazy crazy. She's fourteen pounds of wiggle. Mostly wearing 6 month stuff, but occasionally I'll squeeze her into 3. She's pretty much got her head all under control, tummy time is much more fun, and she wants so badly to sit up on her own. Totally over just laying on her back. She likes to "stand" all the time; when you try to put her in your lap she'll lock her legs to stand on you instead. She's started getting reeeal frustrated when she's unable to move her body how she'd like. She does this real cute exorcist move where she arches her back to scoot, it's awesome. She's rolled from tummy to back a few times, but generally seems disinterested in rolling. But when she does it she does it like it ain't no thang! Smiles all day long, and has started making happy dinosaur screeches. Which obviously kills me. Oh and she's started wrapping her arms around me when I pick her up. Mostly for physical support I'm sure, but ooooh do I love it. :)

This last month of life has been the most challenging so far. I mean, maybe aside from the sleep deprivation of the newborn days. Indiana has been developing like crazy, learning new things everyday. But with that comes some growing pains, for both of us. There was a week or so when she hated nursing. Every time I offered she'd start crying. And then she was grouchy because she was hungry. That sucked. And then there was a week or so of eating ALL the time. And in the past few weeks she's just been fussier than normal. She needs almost constant entertainment and seems to get bored easily. I mean, makes sense. You start being able to appreciate the world around you and then you're like, "Yo mom, I'm sick of sitting on the couch!" So we've been walking outside a lot, going on Target and Starbucks dates, and playing a whole bunch. Also she recently decided to go from mostly waking up once a night to eat, to twice (at least). Hungry little hippo. Also maybe some four month sleep regression? Whomp, whomp. I got real spoiled and now I'm a sleepy mess.

But I mean, even when she's fussy she's still the happiest baby. Every morning when I grab her out of her crib she is pure sunshine. She's so alert and so aware of everything around her. She smiles when you say her name and the other day I think I taught her to make a "kissy" face. And she KNOWS us now. I die every time she smiles at me from across the room. She's into touching stuff and grabs things better everyday. And everything goes straight into her mouth. Chewing (and drooling) on stuff is her fave. No signs of teeth yet! Thankfully. Not ready to start that adventure. She's just such a big baby! She's grown and changed so much in the four short months since she arrived. She's four months going on two years.

Also dangerously cute. The developmental changes are astounding these days. Indiana is growing and learning before our eyes, and it's both heartbreaking and so awesome. Before we know it, driving. College! My little baby. She's wonderful. A handful for sure, but wonderful. I love her. A LOT. Did you know? ;)

Flashback to one, two, and three months!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Mother's Day weekend

My first Mother's Day! Woo! I love this holiday. It's the best. We spent the weekend with just the three of us and although we missed our mamas, it was just what we needed. We had the most relaxing weekend puttering around on little adventures with no plans at all. I love no plans.

Saturday we went to Cameron and Rogers which are two of the many little (tiny) towns surrounding Temple. And we found a courthouse! I have a slight obsession with courthouses, and this one was real pretty!

This is the Milam courthouse in Cameron. The weather was fab so we stopped and wandered around. In case you're wondering there is pretty much nothing else to do in downtown Cameron. It's pretty much abandoned, at least on the weekends. But the courthouse is a winner! Oh and they do have this historic old jail house/castle that is a museum now!

And as we seem to do wherever we go, we found some cats! Two little kitties, I think they were bf/gf. Very sweet.

I spy... a Bruce Wayne! And man, those trees! Texas is so green right now, I love it.

After visiting the very empty town of Cameron we stopped by the Walker Honey Farm and Dancing Bee Winery in Rogers. I highly recommend this place, it was so so neat! They have honey, honey products, mead, and wine. We did a little tasting. I wasn't a huge fan, because mead and honey wine is, duh, sweet, and I am not a fan of sweet wine. But Brendon, that boy looooves sweet drinks. Does it taste like juice? He's into it.

They also have a very good food truck outside; wood oven pizza, small plates, and sandwiches.

Seriously this place is the perfect little weekend adventure. And the weather was phenomenal. This sky!

On actual Mother's Day we mostly just chilled. Brendon special ordered some vegetarian kolaches from a little place here in Temple for breakfast, so that rocked. And then we went to Waco for some good coffee and lunch! And ice cream. Because the ice cream place (Heritage Creamery) next door to the coffee shop (Common Grounds) opened before the coffee shop? What? Good stuff though, they had all sorts of fun flavors. I got a cookie since I'm a Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla or nothing at all girl.

Pretty sweet set up. Ice cream and coffee. They're right on Baylor Campus, perfect study hangouts. There were SO MANY students there, and since we got there before they opened we walked in to a line out the door. They were poppin'! I'd suggest maybe they open earlier on Sundays? It's a very cool place though. A little grungy for my coffee shop snob taste, but their coffee is delish and the place is cute. Very eclectic, lots of fun vintage furniture. And the people who own this place were on Fixer Upper! I'm obsessed with that show and Joanna and Chip have only fueled my love of Waco. We'll eventually get to the Magnolia Silos but helllllnah not on a weekend.

My baby bear. Forever chewing on her fingers. Goodness do I love that little girl. And what a good weekend we had! After Waco we went home and vegged on the couch while little homie took a biiiig ol' nap on me and then we had dinner (pastaaaaa) at home. Happy happy happy. Super thankful to have such a wonderful little family that spoils me rotten.

And did I mention I love Mother's Day? It really is the best! Motherhood is something to be celebrated. Big time. I mean, I've always thought that but now... now I know. Being a mama is harrrd and intense and wonderful. I have so so so much adoration and respect for my mom. She's the greatest mom in the world (obviously) and I have a lot of "what would my mom do" moments these days. I'm hoping I've gotten some of her mama magic in my genes. And man, do I LOVE being a mama. I never expected to love it this much, it is one of the many things about motherhood that took me by surprise. I am not one of those folks who knew they were meant for motherhood, but I am so thankful to have gotten the chance and I adore being Indiana's mom. She is the greatest and so sweet and CUTE and just the best bundle of squishy joy. Sometimes I look at her and I can't even believe that she's mine! And I'm hers! What is life?! And I've been watching SO much Gilmore Girls lately and isn't that just the best thing to watch with your daughter napping on your chest? GAH, we are going to have so much fun. So many adventures to go on together. And Brendon can come too, because he's the best dad ever. But we'll talk about that next month. ;)

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Anniversary in Austin

This past Saturday we celebrated our five year anniversary with a trip to Austin! This is the first time we've really hung out in Austin together since we moved. And boy was it overdue! We started out with lunch at Counter Culture, which I think is my favorite place to eat in Austin?? ALL vegan! Which means we can order whatever we want!! And it's all so so good. We did not eat there enough when we lived so close! After lunch we hit up Juice Land for a smoothie and then took a walk on the boardwalk. Which brought back lots of memories of miles and miles and MILES of running on the trail. Dang I miss that trail.

Squishy face!!!

After our walk we hit up Once Over for some good coffee. Temple is severely lacking in the coffee department. Another thing I miss about Austin, decent coffee everywhere!

After coffee we hit up the mall and then scooted on back up northward home. We grabbed Italian takeout for dinner and I think we were all in bed by 8:30. Wild night, as usual.

It was a really good day! So much fun. I'm glad we went to Austin, I think it's something we need to do more often for sure. The drive really isn't that bad, if you don't hit traffic. If you hit traffic it's hellish. It was fun hanging out in our old haunts, this time with a baby! Showing Indy where her parents used to pretend they were cool. I do miss Austin, a lot. Sometimes I think I'm over it, but y'all, I'm not. It's a very awesome place and we were very happy there. We spent most of our married life there! Lots of love in that city. Maybe one day we'll end up back there. Maybe not. Who knows! :)

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Georgetown Red Poppy Festival

A couple weekends ago Brendon worked a shift at the Georgetown CVS and someone was like, yo you should go to this festival! (Also the drummer from Aerosmith came in?) Anyway, apparently there's a Red Poppy Festival. And apparently there are a lot of Red Poppies in Georgetown. None at the actual festival, which I found odd. But someone missed the turn to downtown so we took a scenic route and saw a ton of red poppies! All over peoples' yards! The story goes (or what someone told Brendon) is a soldier sent some seeds back to Georgetown from Europe in one of the World Wars and his mom planted them and now they're everywhere. They really are very pretty! I just still think it was weird there were no poppies at the festival. Lots of vendors and music though!

Homegirl mostly slept through the whole thing.

Georgetown has a very cute downtown! I think it has won awards. Their courthouse is actually not that cute as far as Texas courthouses go, but the buildings around the square are all adorable and in good shape. And occupied! A lot of smaller Texas towns have fairly abandoned downtown areas. Not that Georgetown counts as a small Texas town, but still. It was nice to see a town square thriving. Downtown Temple on the other hand, mostly abandoned.

This is my "omg what is sunlight, I am burning alive" face. Featuring firefighters. :)

After meandering through downtown we stopped at Monument Cafe on the way back to our car for a late lunch, it was yummy! Also pretty cute. I'd highly recommend.

Georgetown was fun! I've never actually been in the town before, I'm glad we checked it out. It's just down the road (aka the devilish stretch of highway known as I35) from us, we'll have to go back sometime!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Texas Discovery Gardens

WOO, I'm a little backlogged on documenting our little adventures. Something to do with a certain baby who refuses to nap anywhere but on her mama I think. ;)

A couple weeks ago we went up to Dallas for our honorary niece Kennedy's 6th birthday party. This is the first birthday we've been able to attend since her first! We were so happy to have been able to make it, plus we got to see some of Kristy and Kennedy's family we hadn't seen since we lived up there! It was an excellent trip, minus driving up in the crazy storms. This spring has been a wet one for Texas!

Aaaand these photos were taken on my iPhone because we forgot the real camera. WHOOPS.

Kennedy's birthday was at Texas Discovery Gardens which has a butterfly house, a whole bunch of insects, and botanical gardens. We stuck to the indoor stuff due to the rain, but it was still so awesome! Very cool place to have a birthday.

Love these ladies! Kennedy is so so good with Indiana. She loves babies!

Indiana was far more into eating her hands than checking out the butterflies. Understandable.

Kristy made both the cakes, including the butterflies! They were red velvet (minus the food coloring ;)) with cream cheese icing! Brendon's favorite! It was real yummy. Have I mentioned I like cake?

And this next photo is real grainy but...

That face. Can't handle the cute! Kennedy put the butterfly ears(?) on Indiana and then was giving Uncle Brendon a choker necklace from the paper off a Fruit by the Foot. As you do.

Uno mas, because I just can't help myself.

Anyway, we love being just two hours from Dallas! Indiana naps so well in the car, so it's the perfect nap time trip. Love being able to see our Dallas ladies more often!