MONDAY MUST HAVES: CHRISTMAS EDITION

MONDAY MUST HAVES: CHRISTMAS EDITION

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Happy Monday friends!  It’s the start of a new week which you know I get excited for because it’s a fresh start to finish anything I didn’t get to last week, and hit on some new goals for this week.  We have our Christmas with Eric’s family this weekend so I’ll be spending this week getting prepped for that, among other things on my to-do list.

Lately, as I’ve been Christmas shopping for everyone I have come across some great finds and “must haves” that I couldn’t wait to share in this Monday Must Haves post.  So I’m making today’s must haves, a “must have Christmas items” post.  Also, if you are still looking for gifts for her, him, kids, hostess, teacher, side gifts, stocking stuffers, etc.  be sure to check out the gift guides tab at the top of the page, for some ideas.

Okay, so let’s get to the Monday Must Haves shall we?  First up….

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I’m in love with this advent calendar from Prairie Canary Ranch on Etsy.  The rustic look is on par with my style these days and I like the idea of moving the little wreath.  Now Eric and I had a little debate over this because when he was growing up he counted down to Christmas, starting at 1 and ending on 25.  Now, this way isn’t wrong and I’ve done that before too, but for this one, since it’s counting the “days until Christmas” I think it’s right to start at 25 and count down to 1 so on Christmas Eve there is only 1 day until Christmas.  Who’s with me?  Target has a similar one to this here.

I also think these two from Target are cute…..

 

The Christmas Tree one has it so each day flips and on the other side is a snowflake or some Christmas symbol and then the Santa chimney one is so cute!  Santa starts at the top and moves down as we inch towards Christmas.  I think this will be a cute one for Leyton when he’s older and I like the ones with chocolate so kids get a little treat each day.  That always made me so excited as a kid!  Speaking of Santa…..

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How cute is this mug?  I’m a sucker for holiday mugs and I have to admit the ones like this from Pottery Barn are sooooo disappointing!  They look just like this and are cute but literally hold like a shot of coffee.  Sorry PB but this mom needs a vat of coffee and your itty bitty mug doesn’t cut it!  So yesterday I found this bigger version at Sur La Table (I’m so obsessed with that store!) and it was on sale for like $8 so I scooped it right up!

Also, at Sur La Table….

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Can someone tell me why it is SO hard to find iced gingerbread cookies at Christmas time?  Isn’t it a staple Christmas cookie?? They are hands down my favorite Christmas cookie and I kid you not they are impossible to find!!!  So every year I snag these from Sur La Table because they are the only place I can find them and they are delicious!

Here I am enjoying my cookies and my new mug this morning :).  ‘Tis the season!

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Okay, who saw my Instagram post this past weekend where I shared my coat from J.Crew Factory…..

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Friends, I am obsessed with this City Coat from them!  I got this one last year but couldn’t wear it because I was so pregnant!  But this year, I’m wearing it on repeat!  Technically, it’s not Christmas related but I’ll be wearing it to all my Christmas and holiday functions so it counts!  Now, this color is not available this year but I was at J.Crew Factory yesterday and here’s the current selection…..

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I see you, baby pink!  I also loooove that blue!  It currently comes in 8 colors.  Shop all options here.  Also, J.Crew Factory is currently running a sale of 50% off everything (well everything but this coat of course) and an extra 20% off your purchase with code: FROSTY.  Funny story about my hot pink version…Eric and I were shopping this weekend and walked into a store and the sales lady was like “Wow, that coat is bright!”  Which…duh, hot pink is my signature color, that’s why I got it ma’am!  And then yesterday when I was in J. Crew Factory the one sales guy commented about how bright it was.  I wanted to be like, ummm hello!  It’s from here! Haha, I guess shocking pink isn’t a winter color people are used to seeing.  I for one, love it!

Also, while at J. Crew Factory yesterday, I picked up this cute sweater to wear to a Christmas function….

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I just think that bow is so stinking cute!  And you can snag it now for 50% off plus the extra 20% off!  I missed the 20% off when I bought but here’s a couple things I didn’t buy in store that I’m eyeing up now since they are part of this awesome sale! (Links below picture to shop).

  1. Tartan Slippers – not included in the promo but currently $20.
  2. Cuffed Striped Boatneck Shirt – $24.50 plus extra 20% off.
  3. Rollneck Pullover Sweater – comes in 6 colors – $34.50 plus extra 20% off.
  4. Peyton Mixed Stripe Sweater – under $20 and comes in 8 colors.
  5. Tie Bell-Sleeve Pullover Sweater – comes in 2 colors.  $22 plus extra 20% off.
  6. Classic Fair Isle Sweater – $39.50 plus extra 20% off.
  7. Marled Jogger Sweatpant – comes in 3 colors.  $24.50 plus extra 20% off.
  8. Classic Plaid Scarf – excluded from the promo but currently less than $20.  Comes in 9 colors.
  9. Plaid Cape Scarf – comes in 5 colors.  $24.95

I’m getting back to Christmas stuff in a minute I promise, but here are some good Men finds from the J. Crew Factory sale too….

  1. Walker Vest – comes in 2 colors.  $34.95
  2. Sweater Fleece Half-Zip – comes in 5 colors. $49.00 plus extra 20% off.
  3. Cardigan Sweater – $54.00 plus extra 20% off.
  4. Fair Isle Hoodie Sweater – comes in 2 colors.  $43.00 plus extra 20% off.
  5. Half-Zip Sweater – comes in 6 colors.  $19.50 plus extra 20% off.
  6. Striped Crew Neck Sweater – comes in 5 colors.  $19.95

Okay, back to Christmas must haves.  If you’re still in need of some cute stockings, I can’t recommend these from Personal Creations enough.  They are so cute, great quality and I literally ordered them and had them like 3 days later!  I love that they are cohesive and we have our own but they still match.

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Next, if you are looking for some good Christmas/winter books to read I love this series from Elin Hilderbrand.

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There is actually a third (technically there’s four) but the first one, Winter Street I gave to a friend so I don’t have it here to picture, but it starts with Winter Street, then Winter Stroll, followed by Winter Storms, and then the 4th one that got added recently is Winter Solstice.  They are just fun, easy reads that center on a family in Nantucket at Christmas time and it jumps around from character to character throughout the books but ties them all together too.  It sounds like it could be confusing but it isn’t at all.

And lastly,  if you’re like me and love Christmas pine type candles and holiday scents, but don’t want the toxicity that comes with candles, then I’ve got you covered.

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These are on repeat at my house these days! I was so worried that once I ditched candles I wouldn’t be able to have the Christmas smells, but these two have saved the day!  Northern Lights Black Spruce smells like a Christmas tree lot and Christmas Spirit just has all those yummy Christmas aromas that evoke the holiday season!  You can shop these oils by going here and if you aren’t a member you can become one by buying a kit and adding these on, or go below member and select retail to skip the membership and wholesale pricing and just buy the oils.  Feel free to message me here or on instagram      ( _jillkoch_ ) or facebook (Jill Weaver Koch) or email me jillcomesclean@gmail.com for help purchasing or getting started.

Okay friends, that’s it for this round of Monday Must Haves.  I hope you found some good items to add to your Christmas collection or to gift others.  Have a great week!  See you back here Wednesday!

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LEYTON’S 11 MONTH UPDATE

LEYTON’S 11 MONTH UPDATE

Hi friends!  Can you believe we are already at the point of the 11 month update?!  Leyton turned 11 months on Monday so I decided to take a little break from the holiday gift guide series to do an 11 month update for you all (and for me to look back on in years to come because we all know this mom brain won’t remember squat).  Months ago I was sharing pictures of Leyton for a monthly update and remember thinking how weird it would be to do his 11 month update knowing we are only a month away from him turning one year, and yet here we are!  Last night I was going through all his pictures from the past year and I couldn’t believe I was looking at the same baby.  He was so little!  It seems like a totally different baby and yet it doesn’t.  In many ways I see that exact same adorable personality peaking through at 2 months that I see now.  As crazy as it is to be writing an 11 month update I really can’t believe that in a few short weeks we will be celebrating one year!  Continue reading “LEYTON’S 11 MONTH UPDATE”

WHAT’S UP WEDNESDAY!

WHAT’S UP WEDNESDAY!

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Happy Wednesday friends!  I’m going to be doing a new segment the last Wednesday of every month called What’s Up Wednesday!”  It’s where I link up with Mix & Match Mama, The Larson Lingo, and Sheaffer Told Me To, and we answer these questions……

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It’s just a fun way to share some random things, and I always love seeing other people’s What’s Up Wednesday posts to see what they are up to, too!  Okay, let’s get to it!

WHAT WE’RE EATING THIS WEEK

So this is where I would love to have beautiful pictures of the meals I’m making this week, but friends, let me let you in on a little secret…..I rarely cook. Eric and I are take out aficionados which isn’t always great but it works.  Now that’s not to say I never cook.  I definitely do and usually I try to make at least 1 or 2 meals a week, but having just come off of Thanksgiving and being busy with Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Leyton, and everything in between…cooking has taken a back seat.  I’ll get back to it next week.  Sometimes I make a meal every day of the week.  It truly just depends.  So this week, it’s take out city.  I will say, once Leyton is older though I plan on cooking regularly.  I grew up with home cooked meals every night and I want to do the same for him.

WHAT I’M REMINISCING ABOUT

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I posted this picture on Instagram yesterday because I was going through our pictures from Hilton Head and reminiscing about warm beach days since it’s been cold here.  Snowing even!  But as much as I love Hilton Head I’m happy for cooler weather now.  I love when it’s cold and snowy this time of year.  When the house is decorated for Christmas and it’s cold outside, it’s truly perfection.

WHAT I’M LOVING

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If you follow me on Instagram you know I have been raving about this devotional.  You guys, it’s soooo rare for me to find a devotional I look forward to reading every morning, but I seriously l-o-v-e this one!  Lysa TerKeurst hits the nail on the head most days and it’s just so relatable.  Pretty much every morning I read it I’m underlining and highlighting and saying YES repeatedly!

WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO

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All last week was really spent spending time with family.  My sweet parents came in last Monday and stayed until Black Friday.  So we spent the week hanging out, enjoying the holiday and they enjoyed getting to spoil and snuggle their only grandson.  And per usual my mom cooked our portion of Thanksgiving dinner (Eric’s parents hosted but we brought some dishes) and my dad fixed things around the house.  They are the best!  We also decorated for Christmas last week too, so that’s another thing we’ve been up to.

WHAT I’M DREADING

I actually can’t think of anything I’m dreading.  I love this time of year and all things holidays!

WHAT I’M WORKING ON

I feel like I’m always working on 50 things at once, but currently, among blog posts (working on some gift guides among other things), and all things Christmas, I’m scouring Pinterest and working on……

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Leyton’s first birthday party (insert cry face here)!  How is he almost a year old?!  Anyways, I know that with the holidays, it will be here before I know it so I need to get a jump start now to get planning and get things together.

WHAT I’M EXCITED ABOUT

Well aside from the holidays and Leyton’s first birthday, I am super excited to begin Christmas traditions!  Eric and I have been coming up with a bunch we want to do.  Ideally, I want to do a 25 days of Christmas type thing where we do something each day.  Not necessarily big things, but it can be anything from watching a Christmas movie one night to visiting Santa or The Festival of Lights at the Zoo.  I love Christmas traditions and can’t wait to make some with Leyton!

WHAT I’M WATCHING/READING

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Okay, well it goes without saying that I am watching all.the.Hallmark right now!  I don’t care how predictable and cliché they are, I can’t get enough of the Hallmark Christmas movies.  There’s so many cute new ones this year, but I also look forward to my favorites (mainly any of the ones with Candace Cameron or Lacey Chabert).  A Christmas Detour is still one of my favorites.

And on the complete opposite end of the spectrum…..who is watching this?

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I’m only one episode in but you guys it’s soooo good!  I’m hooked for sure.  Parts of it are based on a true story, which makes it even more intriguing!  Definitely check it out on Bravo on Sunday’s if you haven’t yet.

As far as what I’m reading…..like with my tasks I always feel that I am reading 50 different things at once too, but yesterday I picked up these two…..

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I’ve heard good things about The Subtle Art of Not Giving a #@%! (don’t mind the language) and I kept putting it off and putting it off.  Then I was at Target yesterday and saw it and decided to give in and see what all the hype is about.  So stay tuned.  And then this magazine caught my eye at the checkout.  Friends, I am perpetually trying to get into a routine of better habits. Not that any of mine are particularly terrible, but with a little one now I feel like my day needs to be more structured if I want to get anything done and so I need better habits that allow me to be productive.  Does that make sense?  So hopefully this magazine has some good tips!

WHAT I’M LISTENING TO

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On repeat!  These 4 albums give me all the feels this time of year.  It’s like as soon as you hear the first song on each album it just instantly transports you to Christmas time.  I just started listening to the Home Alone soundtrack and you guys, the very first song on there is the one from the opening to the movie and as soon as you hear it, you just picture that blue house on the screen moving further and further away until it switches over to the magnificent McCallister mansion. Ahhh seriously, all.the.FEELS!!

WHAT I’M WEARING

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Also on repeat…..the Barefoot Dreams Circle Cardigan!  So stinking warm and comfortable!  Also, loving these over the knee boots!

WHAT I’M DOING THIS WEEKEND

I think we are going to attempt to see Santa with Leyton.  Fingers crossed that it goes well as he is definitely in the stranger danger phase.  And fingers crossed that we pick a decent time to go where there aren’t 5,000 people also there for the same thing.

WHAT I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH

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This little guy turning a year old.  Here he is at 2 months.  I mean can you even handle it?!  Ahhhh!

WHAT ELSE IS NEW

Nothing that I can really think of.  I think that’s mostly it.  We aren’t too exciting over here.  Just hanging out and enjoying showing Leyton all his holiday firsts!  Here’s something that’s new for Sebastian…..

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As an early Christmas gift Sebastian got a new leash from Pack Leashes.  We love this company because for every purchase made they donate a pound of dog food to a shelter in need.  Their products are durable and quality made and come with a lifetime warranty.  They have a great selection of leashes, collars, toys, etc.  Best yet, they gave me a code to share with you guys!  Anytime you make a purchase and use the code: SEBASTIAN you get 20% off AND they will donate 4 pounds of dog food to shelters in need versus the regular 2 pounds they typically donate!  Just head here to check them out!

BONUS QUESTION: FAVORITE THING TO DO WITH YOUR ELF ON THE SHELF

Well, since Leyton is still a baby we haven’t incorporated the Elf into our lives yet (which I’m going to enjoy for the time being since I see people often struggling to come up with ideas as time goes on) but my sister does it for my niece and I get ideas from her.  Here’s their most recent “visit”……

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And while we are discussing the Elf, why don’t we take a look back at the year Sebastian had a romance with the girl Elf and the boy Elf tried to interfere….

Haha, I still laugh when I see these and get such a kick out of how good Sebastian was to cooperate with these pictures each day.  The old man in him these days would likely not stand for it.

Okay friends, whew!  That was a long post.  Thanks for sticking it out to the end.  I’ll have another What’s Up Wednesday at the end of next month.  Be sure to check back Friday where I’m kicking off the first of a series of gift guides with a gift guide for the women in your life.  Happy middle of the week!

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MONDAY MUST HAVES: CYBER MONDAY

MONDAY MUST HAVES: CYBER MONDAY

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Happy Monday friends!  Is anyone else still coming off the exhilarating last few days that was Thanksgiving, then Black Friday sales, then extended Black Friday sales??  And just when we are winding down, here comes Cyber Monday! Because there are so many great Cyber Monday sales happening today I decided to make my Monday must haves a Cyber Monday edition!  There is a little bit of everything here and price points vary.  I wanted to bring a large variety of options since many of you, like me, are using these sales to knock out some major Christmas shopping.  Okay, so lets hop to it!

First off….last week I raved about these pajama bottoms from American Eagle, because they have London landmarks all over them, and you guys they are still on sale for $20!  They also come in solid green and red and have matching tops or you can mix and match with other tops. Continue reading “MONDAY MUST HAVES: CYBER MONDAY”

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

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From our family to yours, I want to wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving!  I am so thankful for my friends and family including all of you that support this fun little side hobby of mine.  Thanks for giving this blog love, time and time again.  May your day be filled with delicious food, time with those you love, and making memories for years to come.  And for all of those that have to work today and are unable to celebrate Thanksgiving the traditional way (I have been there many times and feel your pain), please know that you and the service you provide are so very appreciated.  We are so thankful for all you do!

Have a wonderful day friends!  I will see you back here Monday with some Must Haves – Cyber Monday edition :).

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MONDAY MUST HAVES

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Happy Monday friends!  Can we believe it’s Thanksgiving week? It’s truly like summer ended and BAM holidays!  But I’m not mad about it. Anyways, I decided to kick off this week with a new weekly post called (obviously) Monday Must Haves.  It’s really just a place for me to share whatever recent things I am loving that I think others would enjoy too or that I feel you just must have!

So let’s get to it!  I’m kicking this post off with 3 of the best words….comfy, oversized, sweater!  I mean seriously, is there anything better this time of year? Continue reading “MONDAY MUST HAVES”

10 MONTH UPDATE

10 MONTH UPDATE

Hi friends!  This post is a few days late, but….mom life and its taken me nearly 10 months just to semi start arriving places on time so the fact that I’m getting Leyton’s 10 month update posted before he’s 11 months old is a win!  And speaking of, can we just talk for a minute about how it’s even possible that I have a baby that is just 2 months away from being a year old???  How was it almost a year ago that we were headed to the hospital to have a child?? I can’t believe it, and yet I can at the same time.  There have been days it has gone by sloooow and looooong and days it’s moved at a normal speed, and then other days (especially more recently) that have flown by.  I swear 6 months hit and the hands on the clock just started spinning rapidly!  With all that being said though every moment with this little guy has been such an incredible blessing and it’s impossible not to just smile when around him. Continue reading “10 MONTH UPDATE”

3 THINGS THURSDAY: HALLOWEEN EDITION

3 THINGS THURSDAY: HALLOWEEN EDITION

Happy Thursday friends! It’s almost the weekend and we.are.pumped! We are getting together with some friends this weekend and planning some good ol’ family fun on Sunday (possibly a pumpkin patch) and we can’t wait!

But today it’s Thursday and that means another edition of 3 Things Thursday. Today I’m talking my 3 favorite Halloween costumes from years past. Continue reading “3 THINGS THURSDAY: HALLOWEEN EDITION”

HABITS AND THE LAST 90 DAYS CHALLENGE

HABITS AND THE LAST 90 DAYS CHALLENGE

Hi friends!  I  wanted to do a quick post today to talk to you about habits!  Mainly how I have terribly ones I want to fix, and how I’m doing Rachel Hollis’s Last 90 Days Challenge in the hopes that if I write about it and put it out there, then I’ll hold myself accountable to actually seeing it through.

This challenge is for anyone that wants to implement some better habits into their life, and y’all….that’s me!  In fact today, Jill Comes Clean about what’s probably my worst habit of all time……the fact that I’m soooo bad at sticking to and creating habits!

Let me rephrase that….I’m terrible at sticking to productive habits.  I’m awesome at sticking with bad habits.  Let’s look at a couple shall we? Continue reading “HABITS AND THE LAST 90 DAYS CHALLENGE”

9 MONTH UPDATE

9 MONTH UPDATE

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You guys how…HOW do I have a baby as old as the amount of time I was pregnant with him?  Leyton is 9 months old today and I simply can’t believe it.  I also can’t believe I have never done an update on him, parenting, and everything in between until now!  So today Jill Comes Clean about all my new parent thoughts.  What I love, what was an adjustment, what I don’t miss, what’s surprised me most, and what I will and will not do the second time around if God decides he wants to put up with me again in the new baby department.  So let’s hop to it!

First let me just catch you up to speed with where Leyton is at today.  I’m sure I’m just like every new parent but he.is.so.stinking.cute!  Every day he does something else to make us laugh or smile.  He is a really good baby and just when we think one stage is our favorite, he enters a new one and we are loving that more than the last.  He’s currently crawling all over the place and loves to pull himself up to stand.  When he does it we squeal with excitement so now, every time he does it, he looks to us for praise.  It’s endearing to say the least.  He loves solids and is at three a day now in addition to breast milk. He’s learning to high-five and babbles all day long.  He says “mama” or “mum” constantly, although I don’t think he actually says it knowing it means me.  He loves Baby TV (and so do we to an extent) and he cracks up laughing at anything that makes Eric and me look foolish or exhausts us (ie: Eric bouncing up and down for 5 minutes straight).

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I will say I think we are now starting to see what people mean when they say it flies by!  When I look back at his newborn pictures I miss that cuddly, sweet stage, and can’t believe how quickly it came and went.  With that being said, in the beginning Eric and I both said, “who says this flies by?” “It’s been 2 months and it has felt like 2 months!”  Don’t get me wrong we were proud parents and have loved pretty much every moment, but that very beginning period where you have no idea what you’re doing, and just when you figure out one stage you’re onto the next, and you’re exhausted….yeah, that’s legit!  I’m happy to have had that time and I’ll gladly do it again for another child (God willing), but if we are being honest, the cuddles and snuggles are really the only thing we miss about the newborn stage.  I miss that tiny little peanut (I mean ahhh look at him in that above picture), but I love that I now have a bigger peanut that recognizes me and interacts (and eats less often, sleeps longer, and doesn’t need changed frequently).

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So let’s talk  some mom things I have loved and some I haven’t over the past 9 months.

Breastfeeding:  Listen, I am beyond happy that I was able to breastfeed especially because so many women want to and can’t.  I am grateful and wouldn’t change it for the world but ladies…..in the beginning it.was.terrible!  And all the people out there saying “it shouldn’t hurt,” I say this in the nicest way possible….you must have boobs of steel.  Please stop talking.  I almost threw in the towel several times had it not been for a wonderful pediatrician that had just had a baby herself and assured me that it does in fact feel like a snapping turtle for a few weeks, and that’s normal!  She urged me to give it one more week, and I did and sure enough it improved immensely!  So breastfeeding I hated in the beginning and hands down think is one of the biggest challenges of motherhood, but once we got it figured out (and especially once feedings were every 4 hours instead of every 1-2) I have enjoyed it.

Going out in Public:  So we got lucky with this one in the beginning because Leyton was born in January and it was a bad flu season and I was happy to hunker down and not leave the house for months.  Plus, I was still trying to figure out a newborn and no way was I messing with a car seat and all of that on top of everything else.  Now that he’s older it’s the total opposite and I find myself wanting to leave the house with him during the day for something to do and because it changes the scenery for him.  But, can I just point out that I never realized, until having a baby, that if you don’t like having to converse with total strangers, then do not go out in public with a baby because people are attracted to them like food attracts ants.  The random people that just strike up a conversation!  Most are very sweet and not annoying, but it’s just the fact that I, miss anti social, has to suddenly make small talk with people I don’t know.  Cringe!

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Sleep Training: Okay guys so I’m gonna talk about something here that has been somewhat controversial, and no its not sleep training per se….it’s sleep coaching.  That’s right, Eric and I enlisted the help of a sleep coach, and yes I would do it one thousand times over again.  It is hands down my most recommended thing for new moms.  In fact, if you’re about to be a new mom or know someone that is, THIS should be a registry gift item.  I get many eye rolls when I tell people I used a sleep coach and I’ve heard plenty of “what’s a sleep coach?”  “You have a what?” “Oh you don’t need a sleep coach, just figure it out.”  Friends, I’m willing to trial and error my way through most things with this baby stuff, but sleep isn’t one of them.  In the very beginning Leyton was having major issues with sleep and it was taking 2 hours to get him to bed, and this was back when he was a newborn and only slept for 2 hours at a time sooo you do the math.  I wasn’t sleeping.  I was exhausted.  I was desperate.

Enter The Cradle Coach and you guys, they were a total life saver!  They suggested I sleep him at an incline because they suspected some reflux and recommended I go back to swaddling (I had stopped) and literally with those 2 suggestions, he slept amazing!  I was hooked, and even more I was a believer and so so grateful.  So when it came time to “sleep train” I contacted them again, and they helped us get a training that worked for us (they have a very gentle version of cry it out that isn’t the “cry it out” most think of, but we opted for a different method instead and it’s been so helpful).  Because of the help of The Cradle Coach we have been able to get Leyton on a wonderful schedule with naps and bedtimes, and they also helped with just an all day schedule including feeding times.  It’s been so nice to be able to plan our day now knowing when he will eat and sleep.  They have been there to answer all of our questions day or night.  They are moms and have been there themselves.  They are wonderful.  I cannot recommend them enough!

Traveling:  We haven’t traveled too much with Leyton in his 9 months but we have done 2 very long car rides and a plane ride!  Overall, we don’t mind traveling with him.  Even that time I had to sing every baby song and nursery rhyme known to man, in a foolish weird voice for over an hour just to keep him happy until we reached our destination, wasn’t too bad.  He’s a good little traveler and really only gets upset when hungry, wet, or if he’s been in his car seat for too long, but can we blame him?  Even babies need to stretch their legs.  It’s been nice knowing that he pretty much roles with whatever, and that we are able to plan for trips.

Entertainment:  Leyton currently loves Baby Tv.  I don’t know if you’ve seen it, but despite it’s major lack of HD quality, and some super weird shows (I’m looking at you Zumbini Time and Tek the Tractor), it’s actually really cute programming and he looooves it!  I’m talking he gets giddy when his “shows” come on.  And it’s educational and Eric and I actually like some of the shows.  We try not to give him a ton of tv time but when I’m doing things in the kitchen or just need him to be entertained for a little while it’s been a wonderful go to.

And can we just talk children’s books for a second?  What in the world is up with some of these?  Some of the most “popular” books for babies and kids are down right awful!  They are like 3 sentences and done.  This might be controversial but I’m just going to say it….Goodnight Moon is the dumbest book!  And nursery rhymes….ummm what is up with some of those? Some are actually pretty discriminatory and others literally make zero sense.  Our favorites in rotation these days are Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site, Steam Train Dream Train, the Llama Llama series, and our absolute favorites are Moo Moo Mooing and Roar, Roar, Roaring but Melanie Joyce.

Teething:  I’m pretty sure you don’t need to me to state whether I love or hate teething, but just to be clear, teething is awful.  When he got his two little bottom teeth we barely knew they were coming in, and I thought, what’s all the fuss about?  Teething is nothing!  And then his little mouth decided to sprout 4 top teeth at once and you best believe we quickly found out what all the fuss was about.  To be fair, compared to other stories I have heard it wasn’t bad, but it did cause some restless nights and middle of the night wakings when he had been sleeping through, but overall he’s been a champ.  During the day you would never know anything was popping through, but night time is a different story.  I think they are about to break through any day though, so fingers crossed.

So that’s pretty much been the past 9 months in a nutshell.  He’s been such a wonderful blessing and each stage just gets better.  I know this has been the longest post ever so if you’re still reading this thanks for sticking it out!  To round out this post I’m just going to end by answering the topics I listed in the beginning.

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What I love:  I truly love every stage more than the last.  I hear that’s common,  But just when I think “oh this is my favorite stage!” the next one comes and is even better.  I LOVE his laugh and belly giggles and when he babbles.  And I adore his chubby cheeks and how he finds everything we do so funny.

What’s been the biggest adjustment:  I would say breastfeeding has been the biggest adjustment throughout the 9 months, and in the very beginning learning how to function on little sleep was an adjustment.  Now, I would say just figuring out each new phase is the current adjustment to navigate.

What I miss:  Although I do love each new stage that’s not to say I don’t miss some of the former stages.  When I look back at pictures and realize how much he’s grown I miss those times.  I miss the snuggly little newborn at times, and I think mostly I just know I will never get those years back, and I just hope I enjoyed them to their fullest, and hope I am enjoying the current stage as much as I can.

What I don’t miss:  Figuring out breastfeeding, and being exhausted!!  While I would gladly do it over again because it’s such a short period, I definitely don’t miss getting up every 2 hours.  I also don’t miss the early days of no schedule.  I’m so type A and love a schedule and routine and in the beginning it’s so much of just going by cues and when they need things and it’s impossible to plan your day.  I’m happy now to have some structure back.

What surprised me the most:  I’ve never been one to really enjoying playing with kids and I was worried that I wouldn’t like playtime with Leyton, but I realize now, it’s so different when it’s your own child.  I love seeing him figure things out, or concentrate on a task and just learn and grow.

What I would do again:  I would hands down do a sleep coach again, and as much as I enjoy him being in his own room and not having to tiptoe into bed at night for fear of waking him, I would still have him in the bassinet in the room with us for the first few months again.

What I won’t do again:  I actually have been very pleased with all we have done so far and think for the most part it all worked out. I think I just wouldn’t freak out as much about every little thing and google everything or ask a million different opinions.  I think I would just go more with the flow, but that’s easy to say now that I’ve done it once :).

Be on the lookout come January for a 1 year update post.  Looks like I better get birthday planning!!

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