Happy Hump Day everyone! I hope you all had a great long weekend. We we're very fortunate and had Monday off of work and were able to spend all weekend together. Saturday we ran some errands as a family and got some gardening done! I was so motivated last year to get our front garden looking great but then I got pregnant and basically missed summer. So this is the year! I know absolutely nothing about gardens and plants though so I've got some learning to do. If any of you have any tips for me please share them with me below! On Sunday and Monday we went to a couple of BBQs to kick off summer and celebrate Memorial Day. I want to personally thank all the men and women who serve our country and fight for our freedom. You are all incredible men and women.
How is Kai Bear 4 months old already!? I seriously can't believe how fast time is flying with this little one of ours. He is just getting more and more fun by the day. I wake up every day and wonder what amazing thing he is going to do today. Here are the highlights from this past month...
Weight: 17.12 lbs
Height: 24 in
We had a big month full of adventures! We celebrated Cinco de Mayo, you were baptized, and we spent my first Mother's Day together! You got to officially meet your new friend Avie Jo at Cinco de Mayo and you were both so fascinated by each other! Your baptism was such a beautiful day. You didn't cry at all and actually enjoyed getting the holy water poured on you. You looked absolutely adorable in your outfit but most importantly, it was so wonderful to celebrate you becoming a Child of God with all of our family. Then there was Mother's Day. You made this day so incredibly special for me, Kai. We spent the whole day together and I couldn't have asked for a better day. I will always remember that day. Thank you for making me a mama, little one!
So you love to eat and sleep. You've started eating around 30 oz a day and you sleep around 15 hours a day. You're still sleeping through the night and have gotten rid of your late evening nap. You also started sleeping in the Love to Dream Up swaddle now! We had to switch from the Swaddle Me Originals because you kept trying to get your arms out every night. You'd sometimes wake up pretty mad that you were stuck, ha! You've grown so much that you don't really fit any of your 0 to 3 month clothes anymore, too. We've been rocking all your new 3 to 6 month clothes and you always look so dang handsome. One of my favorite things we have for you is your little R2D2 PJs. Whenever you wear them I always call you little R2 and you think it's so funny! You've also started growing more hair, too! Its finally catching up to the size of your head ;)
Your little noises these days just kill me. You started doing this loud scream laugh earlier this month and it actually scared me at first! I thought you all of a sudden burst out crying, but instead you had the biggest smile on your face! It's hilarious when you do it! You also love to do this cute little screech and Dad calls you a screeching eagle when you do it. May 18th was a very special day though. On that day, you laughed for the first time. A real big laugh. You did it while being propped up in your boppy and I was tickling you behind your armpits. Mom and Dad were both home and it was a moment we will cherish forever! You also are so in love with Wrigley. You two are basically best friends now. You guys always do tummy time together and you've started petting him! We also started reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone to you. Dad bought you the illustrated edition and we read a little bit every night. You've been enjoying it so much, especially looking at all the pictures!
Kai, you make my heart burst right out of my chest. I look at you and I can feel it fluttering. I love you more than I ever thought possible. I look forward to every single moment of every single day with you. You are truly my everything, Little Kai Bear.
PS - I wanted to let you all know that in light of the Cosmo After Dark series fiasco on Snapchat, I have decided to join the movement of #byesnapchat and have deactivated my account. There is a push for a mass deactivation on June 1st and I encourage you all the ask questions or do some research on the topic. As a parent, I'd personally like to see Snapchat as a thing of past now. So #byesnapchat! You can always see our fun daily photos and video clips on my Instagram/Stories though! Have a wonderful week, everyone!
Breastfeeding can be stressful at times, especially if you aren't producing enough milk to keep up with your little one. We personally have no problem supplementing with formula, but our primary source of food for Kai is breast milk. He LOVES to eat and especially with going back to work I haven't been able to keep up with him as much as I'd like. One thing that I've done since the beginning to help with my production is make and eat lactation cookies. They are so yummy and really do help! On days that I eat them, I definitely see a difference in the amount that I pump. I've tried out a few recipes over the last few months but these peanut butter chocolate chip ones are by far my favorite! They are relatively healthy, too (just ignore the butter and sugar and concentrate on the oats and flax seed ;) )!
*The only warning I have is to make sure your baby doesn't have a peanut allergy before you consume these. Try out eating a little bit of peanut butter and make sure your baby doesn't have a reaction. If you are in the clear then bake away! Otherwise, just skip the peanut butter in the recipe and make yourself some chocolate chip cookies!
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (I use the convection baking option)
2. Mix water and flaxseed meal in a small bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes
3. Mix butter (at room temp), granulated sugar, and brown sugar in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment until light and fluffy
4. Add eggs 1 at a time until well combined and then add vanilla
5. Add flaxseed meal to mixture and combine well then set aside
6. In a separate medium bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and brewer's yeast.
7. Slowly combine the flour mixture with the butter mixture in the stand mixer with the paddle attachment. This takes about 1-2 minutes
8. Add oats, chocolate chips, and peanut butter to the mixture until well blended
9. Scoop out about 1 tablespoon of dough and roll in to a ball. Place balls on a cookie sheet
10. Bake cookies for 10-13 minutes depending on your oven. In our convection oven, 10 minutes is perfect
11. Allow cookies to cool for 2 minutes on cookie sheet then transfer cookies to a cooling rack to finish cooling
And enjoy and make that milk, mama! Oh and if you aren't a breastfeeding mama, don't worry, these won't make you produce unwanted milk, ha! Caleb eats them with me all the time and loves them! If you're wondering though what the secret to helping with milk production is, it is the brewer's yeast. Oats and flaxseed help, too, but brewer's yeast is a natural mammary gland stimulant. So eat up, mamas!
Happy Friday everyone! I'm so excited for the long weekend ahead. It will be so nice to start celebrating the unofficial beginning of summer with some friends and family BBQs and have a day off of work on Monday! What are you plans for the long Memorial Day weekend?
So, Kai turned 4 months old yesterday (oh my goodness where is the time going!?) and in terms of weeks he is 17 weeks old. We did another feeding merge with his schedule last week at 16 weeks to allow him to have some more wake time in between his naps. It has been going so well so I wanted to share the change with all of you!
I want to highlight a few things before I dive in though. One, please follow a schedule (or don't follow one if you're not ready yet) that works for your baby. All babies are different and I am just here to share what works for us! Two, not every day is perfect for us even though our schedule is "working really well." Three, the 4 month sleep regression started for us last weekend and seems to be peaking these last couple of days soooo yeah things are by no means perfect with our schedule nor will they ever be! Sometimes you just have to go with the flow :) Ok but here we go...
Kai's Daily Schedule Updated at 16 Weeks
7:00 AM: Wake Kai up, change his diaper, give him his vitamin D.
7:05 AM: Feed (nurse)
7:30 AM: Playtime in bassinet while I pump extra milk
8:00 AM: Read a book
8:30 AM: Snuggle while I have breakfast
9:00 AM: Naptime in baby wrap
10:30 AM: Feed (nurse)
11:00 AM: Get Kai ready for the day
11:30 AM: Swing time/TV time
12:00 PM: Play mat time while I eat lunch
12:30 PM: Nap with me
2:00 PM: Feed (nurse)
2:30 PM: Tummy time + play time with me
3:00 PM: Go for a walk
3:30 PM: Playtime
4;00 PM: Nap in crib
5:00 PM: Feed (bottle)
5:30 PM: Rocker or play mat time
7:00 PM: Catnap if Kai wants it
7:30 PM: Feed (bottle)
8:00 PM: Bath (every 3rd night), get ready for bed, read a book
8:30 PM: Down for the night
10;30 PM: Pump for stimulation and supply
This is generally what I do with Kai on days that I'm not working and we're at home. The weekends are a little different for wake time activities if we're out and about but his feed and nap times are always the same no matter what day or where we are. Caleb and our nanny follow the same schedule when they are taking care of him but they of course do different wake time activities than I do with him, he sleeps in his crib for all his naps when he's with them, and they of course bottle feed him at all feedings. I just like the extra snuggles and really enjoy baby wearing, so the only crib nap I do with him is at 4pm. When I work in the office or if we're out and about I nurse him at 5:00 PM. I also included the kinds of activities we do with him during his wake times for ideas for you other mamas that are wondering what to do with your little ones, too. We still follow the same feed, wake, sleep cycle we have been doing since he was born, but now instead of 6 feedings a day, he gets 5 feedings a day with about 2 hours worth of wake time between each nap. Now that he is bigger, his tummy is able to handle more milk per feeding so we've upped how much he eats at each feeding so that he still is getting around 30 oz of milk a day. The biggest indicator that he was ready for this merge though is at around 14 weeks he really started fighting going down for naps at the 1.5 hour mark. We started to allow him to stay up for 2 hours between naps and it helped a lot but that was causing him to get only 30-45 min of sleep per nap. He also would refuse to nap after his 6pm feeding and we would always end up feeding him early at 7:30pm instead of 8pm because he would get really cranky. We never make him wait to eat, so when we just kept having to feed him early we figured it was time to rearrange his schedule a bit. He also always needs to be woken up in the morning so we figured moving his feeding time up from 8pm to 7:30pm wouldn't hinder him making it all the way through the night as long as we made sure he was eating enough food all day long. Here are some FAQs about his schedule and sleeping:
What was Kai's schedule before?
You can read my first schedule post here. But to list out the times real quickly he would eat at 7am, 9:30am, 12:30pm, 3:30pm, 6pm, and 8pm. So as you can see he now has one less feeding. We merged the 9:30am and 12:30pm feeding to be 10:30am and moved the other times around to make sure he isn't going too long during the day without eating. He would usually get about an hour and a half of wake time between naps and now he is getting two hours.
Is he still sleeping through the night?
So far, yes he still is. Like I mentioned above, signs of the 4 month sleep regression have been showing up so I hope it only effects naps like it has so far. Only time will tell though...
How much milk does Kai have every day?
Kai eats around 30 oz of milk per day. Moving to the schedule we're on now has actually made measuring this out much easier because he will almost always have 6 oz at each feeding when we bottle feed him. We assume that's how much he gets when he nurses, as well, since he is content after both types of feeding. If he wants more or less that's fine, too. He's never had more than 8 oz at one time though. Like I've said before though, we try to not get too hung up on numbers. We feed him when he's hungry and until he's full. He is growing beautifully physically and developmentally with this method.
Has your supply gone down with taking out a feeding?
No, it's about the same. I've been struggling to keep up with the 30 oz per day for awhile now and have been taking steps to try to help it. I'll be doing a nice long separate post on my breastfeeding journey pretty soon here.
If any of you have any more questions I'm always here! I also answered a lot of questions in our original schedule post, too. Is your baby on a schedule yet or do you just wing it? I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
Hello hello, everyone! I hope you're all having a lovely week. We've had quite the week... My dad had surgery to get his gallbladder out on Tuesday and we went to visit with him yesterday, which was a nice way to break up the week. Thankfully he's doing really well! However, on our way home though, Caleb's car broke down. So we've been having lots of discussions over if it's time to replace her or not. His car is the first ever car we bought together and on our own, so whenever we do decide to trade her in, it will be a very bittersweet moment.
ANYWAYS, we're trying not to let the stress from earlier in the week though lower our spirits today. Today is a very special day for us! Not only is Kai 4 months old today, but one year ago today we found out that our family would be growing! I thought it would be fun to look back on the last year and reminisce about all the good times plus see how much has changed in just one year.
I will honestly never forget this day. It is so ingrained in to my memory. It was around Mother's Day last year that I started suspecting that I was pregnant. Caleb and I were very private about growing our family at first, so literally no one knew. Not even our parents. I kept my suspicions to myself mostly with the exception of telling Caleb, of course, and confiding in one dear friend. I look back and I wish I could have surprised Caleb with the news but honestly we are such a team and we share everything with each other. I needed him during that week long wait of seeing if my period would come. I needed him to hold my hand while we waited the two minutes for the test to complete. So...maybe next time I'll surprise him, but looking back at it all, this day was so perfect.
I know I've told this story on here before but if you're new around here, here is how May 24, 2017 went...it was hilarious actually. Since being on birth control for many years I use to get my period like clockwork. The most it was ever late was half a day, so when I didn't get it in the middle of May I really started suspecting something. Prior to that though I had a few weird things happen like craving butterscotch pudding (like seriously, why Kai?) and not being able to tolerate some floor cleaner at Trader Joes (again, so random). So the 24th made it one week past when I should have gotten my period. I decided it was time to go buy a pregnancy test. I went to Walgreens on my lunch break that day. I was in the aisle with the pregnancy tests and all I could think about was how expensive these tests are. I decided to buy the cheaper analog one versus the digital one because it was $5 cheaper. I have no idea why I was obsessed with that $5 but for some reason I had in my head that I didn't want to waste the extra money on the digital test in case I wasn't pregnant? I know...I'm crazy. I walked over to the cashier and I was shaking when I handed her the box to ring up. I half wanted to be pregnant so bad and I was half scared out of my mind that I was pregnant. I went back to work and somehow finished out the day. I took the pregnancy test as soon as I got home and that was seriously the longest two minutes of my life. I was so nervous to look that I made Caleb look first. But we couldn't figure out if it was positive or not, ha! We were literally those two idiots trying to read the box and figure out this pee stick. The problem we were having is that the horizontal line was kind of faint. We finally realized though that the vertical line doesn't show up at all if you aren't pregnant and man was that vertical line clear as day. We started jumping around, hugging each other, crying, and just not knowing what to do.
Becoming a mom has been the greatest honor of my life. I didn't know it a year ago but that is when I became a mom. I know Kai wasn't here for me to hold yet but I was still caring for him in the most beautiful way possible. We grow them, we feel them, we share every moment with our babies for 9 whole months. Then we get to bring them in to this world and continue to love and sustain them now. Children truly are miracles and being a mom is such a beautiful wonder to me. I look at him all the time in utter amazement. It really does change you for the better and I can honestly say I love who I've become since becoming a mother. I have Kai to thank for this incredible gratitude I have not just for him but for myself. Growing our family has only made all of us stronger. We are all so madly in love with each other it's just remarkable. Even though some of the last 365 days were really really hard, I've loved every single one of them more than I can ever explain in words. Here's to many more years of being a mama and this crew of mine!
The great natural wonder of the world known as Niagara Falls is located in Ontario, Canada and New York, USA. The Falls and the Niagara River create the border of the USA and Canada and can be seen from both countries. The more scenic side of The Falls is located on the Canadian side. We visited The Falls by driving there from Chicago. We crossed the border in to Canada through Detroit, MI, USA and drove through Canada, which is approximately an 8 hour drive + border crossing time. The other road trip route that can be taken is to continue on 1-80 E and enter Canada on the Rainbow Bridge in New York, USA, which is about a 9 hour drive + border crossing time. The other option is flying in to the Buffalo/Niagara Airport in Buffalo, NY, USA.
There are 4 bridges that will get you across the Niagara River to and from Canada and the US near The Falls.
This bridge is located north of The Falls near the Butterfly Conservatory and Floral Clock in the Niagara Park on the Canadian side. This bridge experiences less border crossing traffic during the day.
This bridge is the famous Niagara Falls bridge that goes through The Falls. You are also able to walk across this bridge for spectacular views of The Falls over the river. Border crossing times can sometimes be high for this bridge as it is the most popular one in the area.
This bridge is located north of The Falls but is a Nexus Only bridge. Do not attempt to cross this bridge unless you have a NEXUS card.
This bridge is located south of The Falls. This bridge experiences less border crossing traffic during the day.
To see live border crossing times visit the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission.
Best Sites to See in Niagara
Obviously the main reason to go to Niagara is the see Niagara Falls. The more scenic side of The Falls is on the Canadian side and from that view you can imagine what the New York side would be. However, if you are in the US and do not have time to cross the border or do not have a passport to get in to Canada, then the NY side will still do the trick as The Falls are spectacular no matter what.
Walk Across the Rainbow Bridge
For 50 cents a person, you can walk across the Rainbow Bridge and get to see The Falls from both sides of the river + be directly over the river in the process. How cool is that!? Don't forget your passport though because you need it to actually get off the bridge on both sides.
Maid of the Mist
Take a ride on the famous Maid of the Mist where you ride in a boat on the Niagara River right through The Falls. Don't forget your rain poncho though as you get soaking wet on this adventure.
Visit the Floral Clock in the Niagara Park on the Canadian side. It is one of the most visited attractions in all of Canada every year!
The Botanical Garden is located in the Niagara Park on the Canadian side, as well. Take a stroll through the beautiful garden as a nice break from the hectiness near The Falls.
Clifton Hill is like the Las Vegas Blvd of Niagara Falls. You can find everything bigger and better on this street. You can visit Ripley's Believe It or Not, the Guiness Book of World Records, tons of shops, restaurants, and lots and lots of lights at night
Things to do in Niagara
The Niagara Wine Region is quite incredible. There are 100s of wineries to choose from and many of them have tasting rooms. Each side of The Falls has plenty to offer with the USA side having what they call The Niagara Wine Trail and the Canadian side being called the Ontario Wine Country.
There are plenty of trails on the Canadian side to walk along the river but to experience some great hikes it is best to venture over to the American side and go to the Niagara State Park. Go for a hike in the Devils Hole State Park for some of the best views of the area.
Visit Niagara-on the-Lake
This quaint town is something that you don't want to miss. You'll discover some of the cutest shops you'll ever find and some of the best eats in this little town. Plus Queens Royal Park is right on Lake Ontario and a wonderful place to spend an afternoon relaxing.
Where to Eat
Il Gelato di Carlotta
This gelato is incredible! This shop is located in Niagara-on-the-Lake and is perfect for an afternoon snack lakeside. Try the pistachio or strawberry and you won't be disappointed.
Stromboli's Pizza Ltd.
A little pizza shop located in St. Catharines. Get the pizza combo for a ton of food and remember that if you order bacon on your pizza that you're in Canada...and it's not their fault ;)
This bakery/gelato shop is located in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Grab some breakfast here in the morning and some treats or gelato for a snack in the afternoon. We highly suggest their chocolate strawberry crepe and pasteries in the morning and some macarons in the afternoon.
Lococo's Fruit and Veggies
Grab some groceries at this fruit and vegetable store to have a picnic. A couple of perfect spots are right across from Niagara Falls on any of the lawn areas right on Niagara Parkway or in Queens Royal Park on Lake Ontario in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
This cafe is located in St. Catharines and is the perfect spot to grab a quick cup of coffee and a breakfast sandwich to start out a morning. Whether you grab and go while you're heading out of town on your last day or for a quick stop before you do a full day of exploring the area, their breakfast sandwiches are delicious.
Where to Stay
This gorgeous B&B is located in St. Catherines in Ontario, CAN. It is a dog friendly B&B. Their hospitality is mind blowingly wonderful and the house itself is gorgeous. Make reservations on their site here.
Any of the B&Bs in Niagara-on-the-Lake seem incredible. They are all located within walking distance of the main street and Lake Ontario.
For more great tips on vacationing in Canada visit Your Guide to Trekking in Canada on All the Rooms!
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I’m Diana; curator & author of Tiny Dapper Fox. Here you’ll find posts on motherhood, home life, travel, & fashion/beauty as well as City Guides for places all around the world. Make yourself cozy and let’s be friends!
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