Happy Birthday, Simon

One year ago, after a quick Thanksgiving lunch at auntie’s, we checked into the hospital. Later that night, we welcomed our sweet Simon Earl into our world. 

Just like when Lyla turned one, I am blown away by how fast a year can pass. How quickly they transform from this…

Simon Earl Byrd

…to this…

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Our little “bubs” has rounded out our family in the most perfect way. His sweet disposition almost immediately put to rest all of the fears and anxiety that I had about adding another baby to the mix. 

From the get-go he showed us that the old saying “boys are wired different than girls” is SO true. I am constantly amazed at how different the two of them are from the way that they play with their toys to their physical and mental development. 

Mister Simon is an explorer. He is so curious about his world and spends lots of time everyday examining his surroundings. 

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He loves us all but Daddy is a clear favorite. 

Simon can give kisses and high fives. He also says “hot”

He scoots around and gets where he needs to be. Just before we put him to bed last night decided to stand up and play with a toy unassisted. 

He has the cheesiest, most contagious smile. 

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Simon loves to play with his sister. Until she takes a toy from him (which is almost always, we’re working on it). He fights back by pulling her hair. 

He is a champion sleeper at night. Naps are a different story. 

Our boy scoots toy trains and cars around the house making the cutest little motor noise you’ll ever hear. And he loves groovin’ to music. Doesn’t matter which kind. 

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He is a nature boy. Has loved looking at trees since our trip to Michigan this summer and still points them out on walks and hikes. 

He is also a sports guy. Give him a ball, throw the King’s game on TV and he is good to go. 

Simon is so easy going and is a great sport about being tagged along on Lyla’s playdates and such. 

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My sweet boy, 

I am so thankful that God put you in our lives. You have already brought so much happiness to the world in this short year. Being at your side while you learn and grow is an amazing gift. I love you “bubs”. Happy first birthday!

 

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Preparing For Date Night After Baby

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FormulaForHappiness #GerberTarget #CollectiveBias

We are nine months into this whole “two kids” thing and Alex and I are totally due for a date night. I think that dating your spouse is so important, especially after having kids, but it’s hard. There are a lot of moving parts to figure out. The three biggest obstacles I find are time, sitters and letting go.

TIME || As your family grows, the amount of time that you have to spend with your spouse shrinks. It takes some serious effort to carve out a few hours amid the never-ending cycle of mealtimes, chores, laundry mountains (yes, mountains – piles are a thing of the past) and bedtime routines.

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^ us on our last date night before Auntie left for the mainland

SITTERS || Once you finally find the time, you have to find a sitter. While we don’t live near any immediate family, we are lucky enough to live on the same island as my auntie and uncle. They are so great, and the kids love spending time with them. My auntie has been on the mainland since late April so we have been sitter-less so far this summer and it has really made me realize how hard it is to find someone to watch your babies – you can’t leave them with just anyone!

LETTING GO || Found time and a sitter? Awesome. The rest is easy, right? WRONG. Leaving your baby for the first (OK, and the second. And maybe the third…always?!) time is hard on a mama’s heart and takes some major mental preparation. No matter how badly I need the break, or how much I am looking forward to alone time with Alex, I still have a hard time leaving our babies.

One of my biggest worries is feeding Simon. He has started on solid food (boy loves to eat) but still gets a majority of his daily calories from breastfeeding. I have a hate-hate relationship with the breast pump so I really haven’t used it this time around. No pump = no frozen supply = no breastmilk bottles for Simon.

We’ve started using Gerber® Good Start® Stage 1 Gentle for Supplementing Infant Formula for those times when Simon needs to take a bottle. The formula is designed to supplement breastmilk which makes it easy on his tummy. It is made for tiny tummies (birth to 12 months). It’s made with no GMOs which also puts my mind at ease. Gerber has made this change across all of their formulas, and now  offer non-GMO products to moms with a wide variety of needs—those who want the base product, those who supplement with breast milk, those with babies who need a soy formula, those who have babies with tolerance issues, etc. We send a bottle with him when he goes to the nursery at church and he has no troubles with it.

Knowing that he is happy supplementing with a bottle from time to time is a huge relief for me and makes the idea of leaving him with a sitter a lot easier.

Once you’ve jumped the hurdles of finding time, arranging a sitter and figuring out how to let go of some of the control, all that’s left is to enjoy your date. OK, and maybe kiss your babies cheeks a few hundred times before walking out the door. Am I the only one that does this?!

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Gerber Good Start Target

Gerber sent us samples but I also stocked up at Target. You can find Gerber® Good Start® formulas in the baby section at Target. Here is a great Cartwheel offer good from 9/4- 9/17. 

When did you go on your first date after baby? What is your favorite date night activity? I’d love to hear your ideas!

 

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Simon’s Birth Story

Little Simon Earl entered the world on Thanksgiving Day.

He hasn’t even been with us a full two weeks but, already, I can’t remember our lives without him. He has brought us joy beyond measure and I feel so lucky to be his mama. While I can’t say that our family is complete, I can tell you that it feels more whole and that is such a wonderful feeling. 

Simon Earl Byrd

In the past week I have drafted and deleted his birth story over and over. For some reason, the words never seem quite right, the details suddenly seem unimportant. So, instead, I’ve decided to give you the photo edition of his birth story (no gory shots, promise) and answer the most asked questions quickly at the end. 
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Simon Earl Byrd (named after two of his great-grandparents)

November 26, 2015

10:13PM

8 pounds, 2 ounces || 20.5 inches

All-natural, unmedicated birth. 

No complications.

Sleeps and eats great. 

Has a great big sister who is helpful and loving. 

God is good. 

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30 weeks

 

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As of yesterday, I am now 30 weeks pregnant with our little man. We celebrated with a (apparently very blustery) trip to our neighborhood’s farmers market. Just about 10 weeks left. Ten weeks that I know are going to fly by and I am all sorts of anxious about that. 

Just for fun, here is a look at the bump over the last 20 (!!!) weeks…

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Happy Thursday, friends!

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Pregnancy Update | 25 weeks

Wow! This pregnancy is flying by. I’m already more than halfway there…

…by a month…

…plus a week…

Ah!

I haven’t been taking weekly bump photos this time like I did when I was pregnant with Lyla and my guilt levels about this are all over the place so last night I had Alex take a nice 25 week shot of my growing belly. 

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[I have, however, been taking “bumpies” (don’t hate me) every 5 weeks to document Mister Byrd’s growth. That counts for something right?!]

Anyways, to help tame some of my mom guilt and to answer a lot of your questions as to how this pregnancy is going, I decided to fill out one of those pregnancy surveys that are floating along in the blogosphere.

Hope you’re ready – it’s a long one! 

What fruit are you || I track my pregnancy in the What to Expect app and I love checking in every Wednesday to see what sort of food they are comparing our sweet little baby to. This week he is as big as a rutabaga and should be able to hear us now. 

Due date || December 3. I had Lyla a little early and even though I know every pregnancy is different, I’m betting that her little brother is going to be coming early too. I’ve said since the beginning that we will be in the hospital on Thanksgiving this year – we will see! 

How far along || 25 weeks on the nose. 

Gender || It’s a boy! Simon Earl is his name and being cute is his game. No mom bias here 😉 It’s still hard for me to wrap my brain around the fact that we are having a little boy soon – I don’t know how to be a boy mom! But, I guess I didn’t know how to be a mom at all before I had Lyla and I think I’m doing alright. 

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Total weight gain || At my last appointment I was up 10 pounds (about 3 weeks ago). I don’t weigh myself at home because I really try not to worry about the weight gain part of pregnancy. My body knows what it needs to do and will get it done. 

Exercise || Every morning I take Lyla and Rocco out for a 30 minute walk around the neighborhood and, depending on how I’m feeling, will do another one with Alex, Lyla and Rocco again after dinner. I’m also trying out a local Stroller Strides class to meet other moms/get some intentional exercise in. Add those things to the amount of time I spend chasing Lyla around all day and I’d say things are looking pretty good on the exercise front.

Stretch marks || So far, so good! I didn’t get any last time until the verrrrrrry end so I hope I am as lucky this time. 

Swelling || My fingers have felt super swollen lately. Not sure if it’s heat or pregnancy related but either way it’s gross. 

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Maternity clothes || Yes! I don’t have many pieces though so you will probably see me in the same three outfits over and over for the next few months. Comfort is key, people. 

Belly button || Still an innie but flattening out. Belly buttons totally freak me out and I hope it stays in for a very long time. 

Sleep || What’s sleep?! Between the heat, a sickness that I just can’t seem to shake and general pregnancy insomnia, this mama doesn’t get much good rest at all. 

Food cravings || I’m just going to say food in general. I’m just hungry. ALL.THE.TIME. 

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Symptoms || My old friend, heartburn, is back. He usually shows up in response to my insanely hearty appetite. It’s a great partnership. 

Movement || Yes! Like any expectant mama, I love feeling those kicks, jabs and rolls. So far, Simon hasn’t proved to be as active as his sister but when he moves, he moves

What I miss || Ice cold beer. It’s definitely harder to give up alcohol in the summer than it is the winter. 

What I’m loving || Our little family. Lyla is at such a fun age right now. I just want to bottle her up and keep her like this forever. She is so sweet with her daddy (and he with her) and my heart melts daily. 

What I’m looking forward to || Volunteer opportunities at our church, exciting changes to the blog, family time, and Christmas.

Best moment this week || We took a great trip to North Shore this weekend. It’s always fun to circle the island, eat good food and just enjoy each other’s company. 

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Happy “bump” day 😉

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