Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Baby #2 is a....

We are over the moon excited to be expecting another baby and that our oldest baby is going to be a big sister! I still don't believe it sometimes!

So what color could that flower she is holding be? And why a flower? Well, we are excited for her just as much as we are for us! Elora is currently obsessed with flowers, and has this goofy sniffing face every time she sees one, so why not incorporate it! (Shout out to Jessica for the cutest idea ever!) She was so excited to have her own very pretty flower and it was so fun taking picture of her with it, smelling it, looking at it, and of course eating it. 

Monday September 15th, a date we had been looking forward to. We would finally be able to call our baby a he or a she. I could finally be able to say my feelings were right, or Josh could say I was wrong and he was right. What could happen! Whatever would happen would change our lives for the better. Our prayers were simple, that our baby was healthy. 

So being that we were already anxious we decided to not have a cute little gender reveal like we did with Elora, and have it be more personal, with just Josh and I finding out right then and there as we got to look at baby and hear its heartbeat. 

So... what did we find out.... 


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A baby BOY! A whole new experience! Good thing we wanted to know because the moment the ultrasound tech put the thing on my stomach the first imagine that popped up was of him showing off that he, was in fact, a baby boy! We are excited for the new experience and look forward to Elora having a baby brother and all their adventures together! 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Am I Really Pregnant?

Well not only did this pregnancy start out different than our first, it has only continued to be a complete 180 from the first pregnancy. With Elora I knew right away, I was constantly sick, and overall had a rough go at pregnancy. This time it has been so easy! In fact, if it wasn't for the growing belly, I might still not know I am pregnant! Crazy how that works out. 

This pregnancy, like our first, has been a complete blessing, but in a different way. I am thankful, like most moms would be, that the second one has been easier, since I still have a toddler to chase after and can't just sleep the day away if I'm not feeling up to it. Yes I have had some symptoms here and there. There was a week where heat would make me queasy. I couldn't open the drying after it had been running without feeling a little sick. But that came and went. And I feel much more tired this time around, but that could also do with having a toddler. 

17.5wks

I am just over 17 weeks now and have noticed that I feel more uncomfortable a lot sooner than I did with Elora. Not to mention this baby is so much lower than I carried with Elora, so even leaning a little bit down feels like I'm crushing baby. I have felt many little flutters here and there over the past few weeks, but the past couple days has been non stop, and I am enjoying every single little movement! I think you truly forget the magic of those little movements. I have a feeling this little baby will have some great kicks for me coming very soon, and I look forward to each and every one! 

Yes, we will be finding out the sex, very soon! As much as I think it would be fun to leave it a surprise, I know Josh wouldn't be able to wait, which makes it that much harder. So why not! Of course we will love baby either way! My theory is boy, only because of the difference in pregnancies, and Josh is determined it is a girl. So we will see! 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Here We Go... Again!

Well most everyone knows now, it is out in the open, and we couldn't be happier. Yes this Bacon family is expecting Baby #2!


On June 2nd I had Josh's Mom watch Elora while I went to my Doctor. She had asked why I was going in and I said "Regular appointment, don't worry I am for sure not pregnant." While I was in my appointment my Dr and I talked about when we would like to start a family and how we should wait about 7 months before thinking of using fertility treatments again. They ran a pregnancy test just in case, but I again told them I was pretty dang positive I was not pregnant. The appointment was over and I began to walk out of the office when the nurse grabbed me and asked me to return to the room, that my Dr had a couple more things to talk to me about. I STILL did not think it was possible. My Dr returned and said, well Ashley we don't have to worry about fertility this time around, you are pregnant! I was jaw dropped. Stunned. I could not believe it. My theory, I knew right away I was pregnant with Elora, even before a test would show up, so if I got pregnant again, I would most certainly know. Well I was wrong.

They had me go across the hall to get my blood work done right after my appointment. As I was there the shock really set in. The lady doing my blood work said she felt like I was going through 5 stages of shock because I walked in pale as can be, then I was shaking, then I started crying and laughing, and then started freaking out because I had to tell my husband first, but I was for sure going to see my Mom in Law before. I had to lie to her, and I wasn't sure I could.

I barely remember the drive home because my thoughts were running like crazy. As soon as I walked inside Mom knew something was up, maybe it was because the color from my already pale face was completely gone. She asked how it went I blurted out, "I'm pregnant!" She screamed. Now to tell Josh. I ran to the store to get a "Big Sister" shirt for Elora and had her in it when he got home. He played with her for about 45 minutes before I finally asked if he liked her new shirt. He looked at it, looked at me, read it again, and smiled asking if it was real. He was so happy, grabbed Elora and I and gave us a huge hug.

And that is how it all began. We went for an ultrasound shortly after to see how far along I was, found out I was about 6 weeks and our due date would be February 14th. Another holiday Due Date, Elora's Due Date was April 1st, April Fool's Day.

We are beyond blessed. What an amazing surprise.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Teething Adventures

Oh we have all been there! That drooling, screaming, won't let you go for a minute, fun times of teething. Elora started teething at 9 months, with three teeth at once! Of course multiple teeth emerging at once is a bit rough, but I thought it was a little better, this way it is a few days of teething, vs few days per tooth over a  few weeks. Now every baby is different, some you won't even tell there is a tooth coming in, and others it is like the end of the world is coming and you may loose a good amount of hair from going crazy. This is the same for teeth, each tooth coming in is different. I think Elora handled most of her teeth coming in fairly well, but there was one in particular that she had a very rough time with that actually ended her nursing at around 13 months.

Here's a great teething chart to show about when each tooth will come, but remember, every child is different!

Of course there are endless amount of toys, chews, and tricks for teething, but these are a few of mine, and Elora's, favorites.

Fresh Food Feeder by Munchkin
Man these things are nifty! Elora loved these, and it kept her busy and happy for awhile. The first time I gave it to her I put an ice cube in it and she "nom nom nom'ed" it and was non stop kicking and all smiles! After that I cut up some bananas and put those in the freezer so she had a cold banana chunk inside. I think Elora was quite fond of me that day ;) Of course you can put really any fruits frozen or not in here and baby will enjoy it and you won't worry about them. The only downfall I noticed with these was cleaning. They are a pain to clean. I ended up soaking them, washing them in the dishwasher, and using one of those bottle nipple cleaners which seemed to work the best. I know there are other brands of these that come with replaceable mesh bags, but the handle was harder for Elora's little hands to grasp. Even with the cleaning, I would use this again and again! I never thought about it before but juice ice cubes would probably work great too, and easy clean up!

Popsicle Molds   

Cool and refreshing. You can use any one you have or even make your own with a binky and a medicine measuring cup. I do recommend that you do a smaller one, because they won't eat the bigger popsicle and it will just make a bigger mess. Also pay attention to the handle, and if baby can grasp it without trouble. A good idea for younger babies, is to use breast milk! (You can also do breast milk ice cubes for the mesh feeder shown above) and the older babies/toddlers I would use something without a whole lot of sugar, 100% juices, or even plain water, still is fun and refreshing! I normally use a mix water and V8's V-Fusion with Elora, who is now 16 months. I have the mold shown in the picture by Munchkin and I really like it. Only $6 on their website, and I believe I got it for less at Walmart.  

Frozen Peas or Blueberries

As you might be catching on to, anything frozen works amazing! It really helps numb those gums and give baby some relief. This is is more for older babies, as it is a whole food, you want to make sure they are used to having foods that they need to chew on before you try this. You could try fresh first then go to frozen if that helps. This a great snack and helps teething! 

Frozen Washcloth with Apple Sauce

So this nifty trick I found off of Pinterest! This is great for all ages, and as you see I made it to show on the blog and Elora now has been chewing on it for a good solid 15 minutes now. All you do is take a washcloth, I like using the baby ones we have since they are softer, wet the center, spread about a Tbls of applesauce in the center, roll it up (applesauce in the inside), and put it in the freezer. Another plus is it doesn't take long to freeze! Maybe 5 minutes. Check out the original blog where I got this and she shared 6 other home remedies! 
 Wet Center,
Spread Tbls of applesause,  twist, and then freeze!
Finished product! How neat!


How neat are these! I got this necklace and a bracelet from my lovely Sister in Law. Jewelry worn by mommy and chewed by baby! I'm sure you have noticed that anytime you are wearing a necklace, earrings, bracelets, well any sort of accessory, those little hands just have to explore it. That is why I think this is a brilliant idea! Explore all they want, and chew! They are most likely already on your hip trying to ease the pain of teeth anyways, so might as well have fun with a cute necklace! Chewbeads website offers a ton of different colors and varieties of necklaces and bracelets, they even have dog tags now! They also have some other teethers as well. If you are not in the market for something like this, it would sure make a fun gift!

Sophie The Giraffe 

A simple teether that my daughter loves! Those legs really get all those hard to reach teeth. Elora has loved this giraffe since she could first hold it and still loves it! I believe the makers of Sophie really put forth the effort in trying to make the perfect teether for baby, form the look, the sound, the fact it is 100% natural rubber and food paint making it safe for baby to chew, and the all the little parts that can be chewed (ears, horns, legs, etc), this is a great toy and teether! For more information go to their link, and find out just why I like the brand so much!

Toothbrush

A toothbrush. Yes. You better believe it. Honestly this just happened out of no where. I had a dentist appointment earlier that day and got one of those goodie bags with a free toothbrush inside. Elora seemed to really want it, so I took it out of the packaging and watched her go to town. She loves it and will chew on this thing forever. No I don't know if there is something bad about this, but I feel this thing is made for keeping your teeth and gums healthy so it can't be so bad. Plus, it eases her pain! Happy baby, happy mommy, happy family! This also helped when we started brushing her teeth too, she wasn't as troubled by us using a toothbrush in her mouth because she already new it was a safe thing she likes. Just be aware, anytime they find a new toothbrush, it is no longer yours.


Well those are Elora's favorite things to chew on while teething! What did your Baby like most while teething? Check out these and other Teething ideas on my Pinterest Board, I try to pin any neat idea I see!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Baby Sign Language

I used to work at a Child Learning Center in the infant room where we taught the babies a few basic signs, such as more, all done, and milk.This was my first real brush with sign language. I won't count the class I took in middle school, because I honestly could have cared less at the time and the only thing I got out of it was how to say "My dream house." During my time at the Learning Center, I absolutely loved watching the children learn new signs and get excited, and from that moment I knew I would do this with my own children as well.

Josh and I started signing to Elora when she was a few months old. We would sign "more" and "all done" the most, but anything that really sparked her interest at the time we would learn the sign for that too. She had this bouncer chair that had a pink and blue bird that she just couldn't get enough of, so we learn how to sign "pink bird" and "blue bird". Same with a few toys, like her elephant, or the dog. Of course her interests change so we did not stick with the random signs and she never ended up learning them, but I'm still glad we did it for the time being. Elora started to sign "more" and "all done" around the time she was 7 months old. But just so you don't get frustrated, this still took a bit of encouragement for a couple months before she really got the hang of when and how to use the signs appropriately.

 Around Elora's first birthday is when she really started to grasp more signs and you could tell she was so happy she could communicate what she wanted. This also makes our lives easier, because how many parents have said "I don't know what you want?" or  "I wish I could know what she is saying or thinking." Of course it doesn't completely eliminate the guessing game, but it helps. Right now Elora's go to sign is "please". If she wants anything she always signs please then points to what she wants. And yes we do encourage this, even if we know she wants it, we ask her "what do you say if you want something" and now she is even starting to say "peas" when she signs it! Our only downfall is she is starting to realize that she may not get everything she wants, even if she asks nicely, and this, to a toddler, is very, very upsetting. We also work on "Thank you" but this sign is a harder one for a child to grasp, simply because they don't get anything for using this sign. Elora knows it but won't do this sign unless asked.

There are so many benefits to doing this with your baby! If you are thinking about doing this, know that nothing but good things will come with the effort you put into it. But like anything you teach your children, you must be consistent in order for them to pick it up and understand it. I recommend starting with one or two basic words that will be often used, once baby has them down, go for more. I also would recommend always saying the sign when you do it as well as when baby does it, even if it is something they understand and have been doing for awhile, the more often you say it the more likely they are to start trying to say the words when signing them too! Also, encourage those who are around baby most to do the signs you are working on too, to help with being consistent.

My personal favorite thing about doing this with Elora, is communication. I have worked with many babies that can get so frustrated because they want or need something but don't know how to communicate that, which is understandable, I would be upset too if I had no way of telling my husband to get me something sweet! ;)

Note, if you didn't do sign language with your baby, well that is fine too! Do what works best for you, we are all Mommies and Daddies, supporting one another in this wild world of raising children! I only write about my experience, and this has been a good one.

I will leave you with a few pictures of signs, if this doesn't make sense, just youtube them! Or ask me and I can send you a video ;) Good luck!
"More"

"All Done"

"Milk"

"Eat / Food"

"Please"

video

Monday, June 30, 2014

My Personal Top 4 Newborn Items

Before I gave birth to Elora, I was the typical new Mommy that was nesting and thinking everything had to be perfect for the baby to come home to. When I went to the hospital the first time, a week before she came, we knew she would come early and I panicked. I cried and begged my husband to get the room perfect for her. My dad and his wife came and painted while Josh worked, and after he got off work he made the crib and everything else to go into the room. Well turns out she didn't even sleep in her room for about 5 months, or maybe longer. After having your first child you come to realize that you don't need everything right away.

So here is my own personal list of items I could not live without as a parent of a newborn.

Rock 'n Play Sleeper by Fisher Price

This is my number one, could not live without item! Perfect size for the side of the bed, so baby can sleep close. I loved the way it is slightly tilted and seemed to comfort Elora with it's cozy holding feel. I loved this because it was so easy to fold up and tote up and down my stairs, or anyway for that matter, so she could nap or just lay there watching me in the kitchen, bathroom, living room, everywhere! And when she started to fuss, I could gently rock her back to sleep. There was even a couple times when she was sleeping in her crib and had a bad cold with that awful stuffy nose, that I would transfer her into this, the slight elevation helped so much on that poor nose. Another plus, you can find this pretty much everywhere! Target, Walmart, Babies R Us, Online, and more. I have seen it for about $50 and $75 for the Deluxe.

 1 Month Old
5 Months Old

Nursing Cover


I loved, loved, loved my nursing cover! It was given to me as a gift from my dear friend Jolen who owns Maddie Mae and makes and sells these awesome covers/infinity scarfs. Now there is nothing wrong with feeding your child in public, I personally am a bit modest so I don't have the guts to feed without a cover. I loved this cover for many reasons! It covered my back, which a lot of covers don't, and I don't want my whole back to be showing if I decided to not wear a tank top under my shirt. I loved the material, and so did Elora! It was made out of a jersey material and it was light but not see through. It was perfect for those hot days. Talk about multiple uses! I could wear it as a scarf, nurse my daughter, swaddle her, lay it down on the grass, and I even used it as a car seat cover when Elora was sleeping and we were shopping. I loved it so much I ordered two more! They run for about $20 plus S&H. *Click Maddie Mae to go to her Facebook and see her other items she sells such as hats and bags that are upcycled! 

Baby Bullet

Oh yes, my Baby Bullet. Obviously this is a couple months down the road for baby food, but I used it for smoothies for myself as well. I loved making Elora food! And how great is it to know what exactly is going into your food. Now I will admit once she was old enough to start eating meat, I chose not to make that. Something about pureeing meat, just makes me sick. No thank you. But for all her fruits and veggies I would make a few batches, some for the fridge and some frozen to have for later. I super loved the freezer silicone pop out container! Perfect size and easy to get those frozen pieces out! These run about $60, and I purchased mine at Bed, Bath, and Beyond with my 20% off coupon making my total $48! I got a lot of my baby food recipes from the Wholesome Baby Food website. Which is a great tool to use for making baby food, it has each food, when to introduce it, and different recipes for it. 

Baby Carrier

First off I have the Baby Bjorn. I used this a lot at the beginning, once Elora was big enough to fit in of course. I loved this because I could hold my sweet baby and do many things around the house, or even shopping or walking. Plus she did much better being held than in a stroller or car seat. You can buy these new for about $50-$70 and I always see them at second hand baby stores or boutiques for less!

The next one I chose to buy was the Boba Carrier. This one is a little more pricey at $125 new. I don't like spending that much money so I waited awhile, trying to find it at a second hand store or on sale. Unfortunately the nicer carriers like Boba and Ergo very rarely go on sale and I think people are quite fond of theirs because you also don't see them in second hand stores often. I ended up getting mine at non other than Bed, Bath, and Beyond and was able to use my BB&B coupon for 20% off, purchasing the carrier for $100! My coupon was one of those in store was, however they don't carry this item in store so I went in and ordered it at the store, able to use my coupon, and they were VERY helpful! I absolutely love this carrier! I love the support it gives me and my daughter, a lot more comfortable than the Bjorn and you can use it a lot longer as well. You can carrier a bigger child on your back! I chose the Boba over the Ergo for a few different reasons. The Ergo needs a infant insert that you purchase separately for $80 where the Boba just folds up to hold an infant. That was my main reason, but I do enjoy the clasp on the shoulder to hold a purse or bag which the Ergo does not have. I highly recommend this carrier, I still use it for walks or hikes and my daughter is 15 months old! Again, a little more expensive than the Bjorn but well worth it in the end!

Well those are my top items, at least those are the ones I could not forget about! If you have any questions feel free to ask! 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Colic


Colic, the name alone will send shivers up any parent's spine. This could be a couple hours a day, night time colic, or the full blown all day colic. Elora was about 3 months old when she started her night time colic and it progressed to all day colic over the next FEW months. Yup, she had it for a few months! Knowing my daughter had colic for a few months I had a lot of mommies messaging me asking for advice.

My advice? Breath, and know it will end, eventually. Other than that it is really all about finding what works best for your Baby. One thing could work one night and the next night it has little to no effect. We were blessed with a pediatrician that  knew what we were going through and gave us a couple ideas.

My list of everything that worked, whether for a night or just an hour, might seem intimidating but for all you Mommies that are about to pull your hair out, I hope one of these helps for you!

Share Baby: Mainly with your spouse, but anyone willing to hold a screaming baby can help. If it last all day, try to take hour shifts, this way you can pay attention to the clock and not the cries and once you get to a point of loosing your mind, hand baby off!

Gripe Water: Now I have heard this helps for others, but this did not help for Elora one bit.

Positioning: Two positions that worked best and was recommended by her Dr: In the burping position but push the baby up a little so their tummy is resting near your collar bone, this gives just enough pressure on their tummy to help relive some discomfort they might be feeling. The other is almost in the football position where they are laying face down on your arm. Those two were the best for us, but changing often helped too.

Movement: This one is hard because there is not much sitting while baby has colic, but constant walking, swaying, dancing helps tremendously. You might notice that the moment you stop moving Baby will start fussing again, that is another good reason to take turns with your spouse.

Running Water: Position baby, sway, and turn on some running water. It helps draw Baby's attention away from their discomforts and the sound is soothing.

Fresh Air: Bundle Baby up and put baby in a front carrier, or just hold Baby, and go for a walk. This helped may times, even just standing outside, or standing in front of the fan. If you stand in front of the fan don't put Baby's face directing in front because any air on their face makes it difficult for them to breath.

Baby Einsteins: We finally tried this, and it was a life savor! No, I never wanted to be the parent that puts their baby in front of a TV, but when they have been screaming because of something you can't fix, you will do just about anything to help them. I don't know what it is about Baby Einsteins but it puts her in a trance, even now, if she is having a rough time and I put it on, she will not move and she just loves all the animals and noises.

Car Rides: This was my last go to. It worked many times, but when it is late at night, loading up the car is the last thing you want to do.

So I went through all of these multiple times a day, going from one and when it stopped working, going to the next. If you found something that works for your baby and know about when baby is going to be fussing, start your routine before baby starts to get fussy.

*Side Note, if you bottle feed there are formulas and bottles to help with colic too! I personally don't know how well this works because Elora would never take a bottle, but I think it is worth a shot.

The biggest thing is to know you are not alone. Many parents go through this and it can be hard at times. I have locked myself in the bathroom crying multiple times, or just holding Elora and crying, and that is ok. It is one of those helpless moments you may go through in life, but talk to people that have been there and know there is light at the end.

Feel Free to Comment any other ideas that worked for you.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Long Time No See

It has been over a year since my last post. I do slightly regret that but I have been quite busy becoming and embracing the Mommy life! I do miss writing though, it has always been a passion of mine. Luckily I have been really good with keeping up with Elora's baby book, first year calendar, and my Pinterest Calendar. I'm on year 3 with my Pinterest calendar and I love seeing how different your life can change over just a few years!

This past year has been the most amazing, most learning, most tiring time of our lives! It has been incredible. Becoming parents has done wonderful things for Josh and I. It has given us patience, understanding, and a new way to look at life. Seeing life through our daughter's eyes is indescribable. Something new happens every day and the little things like new foods, faces, and words, become our most joyful part of our day.

So what has been going on? SO MUCH! Too much to put in one post. So hopefully this weeks project is catching up on some unforgettable times, sharing many photos, and filling in all the new stuff too!

So Welcome Back to my page, To Love Beyond Words, because sometimes words don't do our feelings justice.