Monday, November 28, 2011

Sensory Activity!

It's the perfect time of year for some fun sensory activities with your little ones! 

We did the easiest "activity" this weekend because the opportunity was there and Jay just loved it!

We were over at my sister's house when her Christmas train set was delivered. She pulled it out of the big box, and we took advantage! 

Jay immediately started digging his hands in the box of packing peanuts. Then, he hopped right in! He spent a good 20 minutes just digging and playing and discovering this new texture. He also tried to eat them just ONCE- when he realized these were the kind that dissolved quickly and then stuck to you! After that personal discovery he didn't try again- which made it much easier than me correcting him and telling him not to do it for an hour!

Anyway, he loved the different texture on his hands and feet and body. At one point we actually had 4 cousins in the box playing together. Jay stayed in the WHOLE time, and others got in and out. 

After about 20 minutes, I put a bunch of different animals and toys in the box with him. What a great sensory activity! He had to differentiate between textures, sizes, and other attributes to find objects. He got so excited every time he did!

This seriously kept him busy for almost an hour- which is totally unheard of with Jay!!! I took a clip of the end of his playing- he was over showing me what he found, but you get the picture. Also, listen to the chaos in the background! It was raining that day and we had all cousins and sisters/husbands at Jennifer's house. We were setting up trains, baking, watching football, and building a potato cannon. Phew! Through it all, Jay stayed busy and loved this EASY, spur of the moment activity!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

In Case We Weren't Busy Enough

Because we like to pile AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE on our plates at once, we have made our life a little bit busier than normal!

We have a contract on a new house and are selling our current home!

I am SOOO sad to be moving out of this house- I absolutely LOVE everything about it!! But it's time for us to get some more space for our growing family!

This wonderful house has been our home for 3 1/2 years. It was our first house as newlyweds, we got our first dog and first cat at this home, and brought our first baby home to this house. We learned so much in this house and grew up together here. It will always hold a special, special place in our hearts.

If you know anyone who is looking for a wonderful home in the Memorial (west) area, then let me know! Here are a few pictures of our place- and remember we had to take down a bunch of decorations/pictures per our realtor, so know it's usually more decorated than this!











The home we currently have a contract on is WONDERFUL! It's bigger, open, two story, has a pool- everything we've been looking for! It is zoned to incredible schools and is in a very fun, young, cohesive neighborhood! We have inspections on Monday and then hopefully everything else will go well so we can close December 29! It would be amazing to move and have everything ready to go by the time Sweet Charley comes!

Anyway, say a prayer for us that all goes well with the new house, our house sells quickly, and we maintain our sanity through it all!  :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

15 Months!

We had Jay's 15 month appointment last week (see previous post titled Spots).

Other than the discovery of Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease, the appointment was great!

The doctor was pleased with Jay's progress and looked healthy other than that awesome virus. They said his hernia felt smaller (the internal hole) and the doctor is expecting it to close on its own.

Jay was 33 1/4 inches tall (98%), 24 lbs 3 oz (72%), and 37% head circumference. Basically- just like he's been all along- tall, lean, with a tiny head! :)



I love love love this little boy! He is SUCH a joy and truly the light of my world!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Spots!

We had Jay's 15 month check up on Friday morning. I'll get into details of that in a different post...

Jay had a HORRIBLE night Thursday night. Probably one of the worst ever. He woke up coughing around 1045 and was up until after 1. He just couldn't get comfortable. I left him to try to go back to sleep in his crib- not happening. I went in and laid with him in his big bed- no way. I took him to his old room and rocked him- nope. He just could not get comfortable! Poor thing! Finally around 1 I brought him into our bed, turned on ESPN, and woke Daddy up for help. I was exhausted. I fell asleep at some point and Jay must have too, because he was up again around 330 and stirred/slept on and off until about 545 when we got up for good. Ugh.

During bath time the night before Anthony noticed a spot by his mouth. He asked if it was a pimple and I told him that it must be a little bite. No big deal.

Fast forward to Friday morning. Michelle and I went to work out and dropped Jay in the nursery. When I picked him up (about thirty min before his check up), I noticed about four more spots around his mouth. Again, no big deal. He's had drool rash before and I was pretty confident that's what this was since he's working on some teeth.

I even made the joke "Good thing we're going into the doctor!" Yeah- ha.

At the check up everything was going fine. I was talking with the doctor when I mentioned the no sleep the night before. That is SO unlike Jay. Even if he's sick he will still sleep- he just needs to snuggle with mommy. The doctor checked his ears which looked fine. Thank goodness.

Then we talked some more when I remembered the spots (Jay had his pacifier in of course so the doctor couldn't see his mouth). I asked about the spots and he looked them over.

Then, Dr. Clarke asked about spots on his feet. To which I replied, "Nope. Oh, BUT, you are going to think I'm an awful mom. I just took his shoes off and realized whatever shoes he had on yesterday gave him little blisters all over. I feel so bad- clearly he won't wear those again!" Dr. Clarke kind of chuckled and checked them out.

He then asked about spots on his butt. Nope. I knew that for sure. I had changed his diaper just before we got to the doc and I knew he was clear. Then the doctor took off Jay's diaper and saw a TON of spots! What?!? They weren't there 30 minutes before!

Dr. Clarke then mentioned Hand, Foot, Mouth disease. What?!?!?!

He checked Jay's throat and there were sores all inside his mouth and throat. Poor baby!!!!!

Clearly, we didn't have drool rash and blisters from shoes- we had a virus!!! Good gravy!!

And guess what?? No antibiotics for this one!! Just a little cocktail of Benadryl and Maalox for the sores and rash with some Tylenol/Ibuprofen for the fever.

Needless to say little dude doesn't look or feel good. That virus came on FAST and we are treating it as best as we can.

So random. So crazy.

Being a parent is certainly never boring...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Who Doesn't Love a Good Mixed CD?

I know that we have iTunes, but who doesn't love a good, homemade mixed tape CD?? I am still obsessed with them, not to mention I LOVE when others make them because I love a fresh perspective on songs!

Well, my sweet friend from Chi Omega, Amanda Nelson Joiner, is giving away a Mixed Christmas CD! How much better can you get than that? I mean, who doesn't love Christmas music!? And I love that she's not overdoing this by having this giveaway in October. THANK YOU Amanda for waiting until Thanksgiving-ish... you are a smart girl!

Also, you should check out her husband (who is apparently one hot dude)'s new church, Living Stones Church. He is the associate pastor there and they have done a phenomenal job starting this church.

Thanks Amanda for the giveaway!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Why?

There are some things in life that I just don't get. I am anxious to get to Heaven one day to ask God specific why's (I know there isn't supposed to be an apostrophe there, but it looked weird otherwise)... And I TRULY with my whole heart believe there is a reason for everything and that God's plan and timing are perfect. Still, I just want to know why things turn out the way they do sometimes...

Someone very close to me has struggled with fertility (or infertility- however you look at it) for 5 years. They have gone through numerous treatments, 4 IVFs, and lots of heartache.

About a month ago, this person found out she was pregnant! No therapies, no treatments- all natural! What a blessing! We have been rejoicing and sending prayers of Thanksgiving for about 5 weeks now!

Well, last Friday we found out that she lost the baby. She was 8 weeks and 5 days along when she went in for her routine appointment. The doctor couldn't find the heartbeat. The baby measured 8 weeks and 5 days, which makes the doctor thinks the baby died that day. What an absolute heartbreaking moment.

For those of you who have struggled with fertility you understand this. To get your hopes up after it seems NOTHING works only to find out that it wasn't meant to be is CRUSHING. I can't even begin to imagine losing/miscarrying a child- not to mention losing a baby after you have tried for so long.

So I am asking for prayers for this couple. God knows their names- if you'll just say a prayer for them to not give up hope and to continue to trust in God, I would truly appreciate it.

For those of you with babies, hug them tight. We are so, so blessed.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Another One Down

Holy Smokes! I'm in my third trimester!! What?!?

Where in the world did this pregnancy go?! How has time gone so fast?

Seriously, I only have about 13 more weeks to get ready for this little girl. Putting it that way, it doesn't sound so bad, but then thinking of it in terms of months and holidays and all that- it's right around the corner!

Last night was a bittersweet night in the Squillante house. We moved Jay into his new room! I am so ready to get started on the new nursery, and excited to decorate a "big boy" room for Jay! I didn't even think twice about moving him, which is why we did it now as opposed to later. I figured the more time to acclimate to his new room the better. What I WASN'T prepared for was the emotional pull I would feel as I passed the empty nursery. Wow. Tears definitely started. Not a lot- but definitely misty eyes as I stopped to pause and look at Jay's "old" room.

I haven't been the type of mom to look back at any stage and wish I was back there with Jay. I think it's because I love every stage of Jay's growth so much, that I am truly 100% content with where he is. I'm also not the mom who looks forward to the next, "better" stage either. I am just truly happy to be where I'm at, and I'm really proud of that. So I thought for sure this new stage was going to be just as exciting. And it is- but my heart had an extra, unexpected tug as I saw Jay's old crib without him in it. :(

I spent A LOT of time in that nursery. I rocked him to sleep every night in that rocking chair, and slept in that chair way too many nights over the past (almost!) 15 months. It is a special room for me that created a special bond with Jay.

Now, it's time to create a new bond with Charley in that room. While I can't wait to get her in that room, I can't help but panic a little bit with the thought of starting ALL over again. I'm truly so excited to meet her and get to know her, but the thought of being up all night, teaching her how to sleep, how to eat, and watching her become more self sufficient is just down right scary.

One of my favorite verses in the Bible talks about how God won't give you more than you can handle. I believe that whole-heartedly. I'm not saying there won't be many times when it feels like it's way MORE than we can handle. But God knows our thresholds and our hearts, and He knows how much we can take and what things will make us stronger and better. So I know while at times I am going to feel beyond exhausted/tired/frustrated/scared/upset, I know that God knows me best and knows just when to encourage me. And that is something I can't wait for!

On a lighter note, I think it's funny because so many people have told me that with each subsequent pregnancy you feel things much sooner than the first time. Boy is that the truth!

My heartburn has started WAY earlier this time, my tailbone hurts, I am just feeling straight up HUGE right now, back ache, etc... However, I look down and see my belly jumping around and am reminded just how wonderful this whole thing is! I love being pregnant! While there are aches and pains, I just love the miracle inside of me! It makes it so worth it. And knowing what I know now about how much I love Jay and will love Charley, I would take 10 times the pain to be able to experience these blessings...

So here are a few pictures from last weekend. Anthony and I went to one of my best guy friend's wedding. I was 26 weeks when we took the pics. Time is just gonna fly now!!! :)




So long second trimester! Look out #3! I'm here... :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Reading

So for a long time this former teacher was worried that she had a child that didn't like to read. Because, well, let's be honest, he DIDN'T like it!

All of a sudden, it's his favorite thing in the whole world ever. We spend a good portion of our day reading. Every night before bed we read 5-6 books (the same ones each night). Jay knows where his books are and pulls them off the shelves. Not just to be destructive, but to actually "read" them.

The other day I was getting ready and Jay walked into his room. I followed him and he was playing with his pacifiers on the rocking chair. I walked out and finished getting ready. In the middle of straightening my hair I went in to check on him, and found him sitting in the middle of his books reading. Ahhhh melt my heart! The video isn't anything spectacular- just him "reading" to himself without knowing I was there...




And sometimes in his carseat he will ask for a book while we are driving somewhere. So cute!


And this is our playroom on a daily basis... I pick these books up about a jillion times a day... But it's so worth it!




I love my little reading boy! :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Best Friend

Jay has a serious best friend/obsession/love in his life... and it's his beloved Pacifier- more commonly known to him as Pap-Pap, Pappy, and most recently Packy.

This child is obsessed. You will rarely see him without one.

When he was first born I was sort of against the idea of a pacifier or thumb or whatever until he "needed" it. Meaning, I thought for sure he would show me that he needed it and I would happily give it to him when he needed it and then remove promptly. Ha! How silly I was! I quickly realized the need for a pacifier on Day THREE of his life- right after his circumcision. This was the only way to keep him calm in the following 24 hours when he didn't eat, pee, or poop (yes, it was awful). I realized then how much he would need one.
His first pacifier!
Day three of life. 


This was reinforced after about 6 weeks of constant nursing. He needed to suck to soothe himself. And when you have a screaming, high needs newborn, you will let him suck on anything! This pacifier alleviated ME from being the pacifier and worked like a charm!
A little older now (meaning about 4 weeks- still needing that pap pap)
Look how HUGE that newborn pacifier looks in his mouth!!!!

I made a very big effort to only give it to him while he slept at the beginning. I was proud of myself! And he did fine in the meantime. This way I could see his smiles and hear his precious voice. Perfect!

I distinctly remember around 4 months old when I was in his room while he was sleeping. I always go in right before my bedtime to pray and do one final "check" of my baby boy (yes, I still do this- every single night). I heard him stirring and had the overwhelming fear of "Oh no! He's waking up and I am going to have to get him back to sleep! A long night ahead!" However, I saw the most magical thing. He was sleeping on his stomach of course, he lifted his head up, reached around and found the discarded pacifier, and PUT IT BACK IN! I almost cried. He went right back to sleep!
Right around 5 months... Looks like Daddy might want one, too!


As he got older his need for his "safety" blanket (aka his pacifier- not a real blanket) grew and grew. I could quickly see why the pediatrician warned about taking them away between 6-9 months. It was becoming a bad habit. But it was also helpful for this sleep deprived momma who quickly found out she was expecting again.
Here is what happened when I tried to take that bad boy away for a picture. Awesome.


Now Jay has his pacifierS (yes, there is an S on the end) ALL THE TIME. All day. Every day.
Notice the two on the table. 


I have noticed that when he is in a scary situation (going to a new place, seeing people for the first time, etc..) he will have 2-3 pacifiers at all times and just rotate them in and out. Once he is comfortable, he ditches those things and doesn't look back! It's hilarious! Think of it as a nervous laugh that adults have at a first meeting, or twisting and ringing (or is it wringing? I'm too lazy to look it up) of hands, shifting your weight back and forth until you are comfortable. Jay has something to calm himself and I think it's hilarious!
The latest trick. 


At first Jay would only have MAM pacifiers. Now it's anything goes! He still prefers to sleep with his MAMs, but throughout the day anything will do!

If he can't find one of his pap-paps (I refused to call them pacis or binkies. Sorry), he will walk around the house with his hands in the "where are they" position calling "pap-pap?" or "pappy?" or "packy?" in the highest pitched voice. I LOVE IT.

He also loves trying to get me to shove as many in my mouth as possible at once. The record is five by the way. I ALMOST squeezed six in last night- but it was just too many!

Since he constantly looks for those suckers, I came up with a solution and it's made my life so much easier! His shelves in his playroom have drawers. I have now put EVERY SINGLE PACIFIER we own in this drawer, so he knows where he can always find a few. This was genius on my part. I won't lie!

Many people have asked me why I haven't weaned him of them yet. I consistently (I'm talking several times a week here) have RANDOM people come up to me and tell me that he is old enough to lose the pacifier. At first it made me SO mad that people would just pass judgment so quickly and tell me how to raise my child. Now it doesn't bother me at all. Jay will get rid of them when he's ready. And if he doesn't, then he'll have a mommy and daddy there to help him. But right now, he's an almost 15 month old baby with a little sister on the way. We are about to move him into his new room, throw his world upside down by adding a new baby that needs mommy's attention more than him, and have a baby in the house who will most likely also take a pacifier. So, if you are wondering the same thing- now's not the time for us. I figure if he can go to preschool/kindergarten without a pacifier, then we'll be ok.

I love the quirks of this little boy and how I get to discover more and more of his personality each day. His sweet little discoveries never cease to amaze me!

How Can I Pull This Off??

I am not a big YouTube-er.... but when I come across a video I love, I have to share it!

Since we are naming our little darling Charley, then I HAVE to figure out a way to get my kids to do this...

This is one of my favorite YouTube videos ever! Ha!

Monday, November 7, 2011

What's in a Name??

A lot actually! We take naming our babies VERY seriously in the Squillante household! It's something that will be with them FOREVER! It's a lot of times the first thing people hear about someone and I truly believe it's something that defines them forever.

We had a LONG list of girl names and a boy name already chosen before we knew that S2 was a girl. I had one name I was in L-O-V-E with the whole time- and it took a LITTLE convincing to get Anthony on board. I am happy to report that he is a FAN now and I am SOOOO excited to reveal this precious little girl's name....

Drumroll please....



Our little S2 will be called

Charley Kate Squillante !!!!!


I am so so so in love with this name! And I'm obsessed with the bloomers above!! They are officially her first monogrammed item and I can't WAIT to put her in them!

I have loved this name for a LONG LONG time. Anthony has loved the named Katherine (go by Kate). I told him I loved that name too, but after William and Kate/Catherine's wedding this year, I just figured there might be quite the influx of little girls named that. And there is nothing wrong with that, I just wanted something a little more unique! So we compromised and we have Charley Kate! We will call her Charley Kate and sometimes just Charley... A little pet name for her.

I am from the south and my mom's side of the family is from Alabama. Anthony has fallen in LOVE with the fact that often in the south people call their little girls by two names. We have lots of family members who have gone by first and middle names and he loves this idea!

So to seal the deal, while we were in Hawaii, we planned on meeting the boys for breakfast in some little town after their bikeride down Haleakala. My brother-in-law Aaron made the plans and he said he would text us the name and address of the restaurant once they started down the mountain.

GUESS WHAT THE NAME OF THE RESTAURANT WAS????





YUP! That's right! It was Charley's!! I just knew it was meant to be! And at that moment, Anthony knew too!

The tricky part was choosing the spelling! Would we do Charley, or Charli, or Charly? Would we do Cate or Kate? Or would we do Katherine and call her Charley Kate or Catherine? SO MANY DECISIONS! In the end, we decided on Charley Kate and I love it!

So now our baby is named! I've actually been calling her this for a few weeks just to make sure I really liked it. And I do! Yay!

Charley Kate, we CANNOT wait to meet you!!!!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Nesting!!

I am in crazy nesting mode... All I want to do is rearrange rooms and closets and get our little girl's room ready and Jay's new room ready. BUT I CAN'T!!!

Ok so the last couple of days I have rearranged drawers, closets, the pantry, cabinets... Yeah, I'm THAT girl.

And in reality, all I want to do is get their bedrooms ready. So this weekend Anthony's parents are coming in town and we are going to get his dad to help move one of the guest bedroom's furniture into the garage so we can set the extra (borrowed from my oldest sister) crib up for Jay's new room! My plan is to turn this particular room into Jay's new room. I will keep the bed in there, but also have a crib, and a dresser, nightstand, and bookshelves for toys. This way, when we are ready to transition Jay into a big boy bed we will be able to easily since the bed will already be in there!

As for little girl's room- we just got her bedding in (yay!!), and will transform the current boy nursery into a little girly nursery! We figured it's easier to keep all of the same furniture and just paint the walls and redecorate as opposed to moving everything big into a new room.

So that's the plan. And I'm ready to take it on!!!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Wisdom

I love getting good, helpful advice from people who have experienced things before. I especially like when that wisdom actually works for me! :)

Diaper changes with Jay have always been a struggle. From early on he hated it, then he fought it, then he wiggled and wrestled, and now he just straight up refuses!

I have to literally chase him, pin him down, and do it as fast as possible. In the past once he was down and crying I could distract him with a toy or silly faces or whatever. Now he just cries and pushes my hands off his legs yelling NO NO NO at me. It's a fun time to say the least- especially doing it 4,5,6 times a day.

Enter my oldest sister Jennifer. She had the same problem with her oldest son. She gave me some advice and it has worked AWESOME for three days!

Pull ups.

Jay will step into clothes easily. So now I show him the pull up, he will actually come TO me sometimes (!), and then let me rip off the old one and step into the new one! Genius!!! No more fights and the process is WAY shorter! We still do the regular diaper at night, but the pull up has made it through three days and is amazing!!!

I LOVE good advice! And for any of you struggling with the same issue, try it- you might love it as much as me!! :)

Ps- this picture has nothing to do with pull ups (he's actually not wearing anything in this picture!), but he just looks so cute and old in his hat that I wanted to share!!