Friday, August 28, 2015

Interesting Person Interview Series: Joe

This week's Interesting Person Interview is with my younger brother, Joe.  




Joe currently lives in Washington, DC, but he's moving to California (by way of vacation in Alaska).  Editors note: I interviewed Joe for my Interesting Person Interview Series two summers ago, and when asked where he'd go on vacation if he could choose any place, he said he'd like to take a train ride around Alaska... the very thing he's doing TODAY as this interview is posted.  So damn cool.   As if that doesn't make him interesting enough, in the past 10 years he's lived for various times in: Iowa, Colorado, DC, Paris, and Chicago.  The picture above is at a Crocodile Pond in West Africa.  Suffice it to say that Joe is among the most interesting people I have ever met - and I'm grateful that my little JSS has him as an example.  Joe's interview, after the break!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Selfies with my boy




These are the good old days, and don't I know it.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

16) Take Jacob to my uncle Steve's pool

This weekend we crossed one item off of my 32 by 32 list - we brought Jacob to one of my favorite places on earth: my aunt and uncle's pool!  They live about two miles away from my parents, and their house has always been a really fun place to be - we call it "Rank Resort".  I've been so excited to have Jacob experience their house - they have a huge pool and hottub, a tiki-hut bar, a firepit, hammocks, and a big backyard.  It's a true resort.

True to MY form, I hardly took any pictures.  True to JACOB'S form, he was an angel - he actually fell asleep in uncle Matt's arms in the pool :)




We typically go to their house at least once per summer, and this year's was the best yet!

Monday, August 24, 2015

JSS: Five Months


Happy five months to my sweet Jacob!  It was another wonderful month with JSS in our lives and home.  

 His personality is developing more and more each day, and the changes in him are more pronounced than ever.  He slept through the night for two weeks consistently (until the dreaded "four month sleep regression" struck our household).  He can sit unassisted for a couple of seconds before he topples over, and he no longer likes to lay down at all unless he is asleep.  If you put him on his back, he'll be on his belly with his head held high in a matter of moments.  Just like last month, he LOVES to jump.  He also loves to eat, to do sit-ups by grabbing our fingers and to chat.  His dad even taught him how to make the most adorable "ROAR" noise imitating a baby lion :)

I talked about his nightly routine last month, but I thought I'd also mention his morning routine.  In the mornings, Scott wakes first and showers/gets ready for the day while I'm on Jacob duty (usually JSS is still asleep, so I pump and pack the bottles for daycare, etc).  Scott typically finishes getting ready for work about the time Jacob wakes up, so he'll change J's diaper, get him dressed, and start his bottle while I shower.  Then Scott leaves for work - I put Jacob in the jumper in my bathroom and he'll happily jump for the next 30 minutes while I get ready, make the bed, and tidy up Jacob's room before work and school.  This routine works really well, as it allows both Scott and me to get ready for the day and have a few moments of Jacob time all in one.  

Jacob is enjoying his "school" (daycare).  He has wonderful teachers, and we've started to get to know the other families there.  His class does art projects, has a "water day" twice a month, and even made a birthday card for me with my sweet boy :)

Jacob went to the Ped for his 5-month well-baby visit one week ago, and he did beautifully (even with two shots, ouch).  He is so good about shots - he only cries for a moment - literally less than 30 seconds - and the nurses are so impressed with how tough he is.  He weighs almost 18 pounds, and is wearing size 6-9 month clothes. 

Jacob, you are a joy.  We love you more than words can say.  Happy five months, sweet boy! <3  As per our monthly tradition, below are some of my favorite pictures from the past month.














Sunday, August 23, 2015

Scenes From A Week: August 23

Another wonderful weekend in the books!

This was an extra fun week for us - my parents swung by on Wednesday en route to DC (to move my brother Joe cross-country).  I was at work, but they asked permission to visit our sweetie at his school- which he LOVED.  They bounced him, read to him, and took him outside for some fresh air.  I loved hearing about them being with him when I couldn't be!

On Friday, they got to town around 2pm on their return trip with the U-Haul with Joe, and we spent Friday chilling with the babe, and bringing Joe's furniture in to our house - he graciously agreed to give it to us since we're furnishing our basement and he is moving in to a furnished apartment in California.

Saturday morning had us leaving home bright 'n early to travel to Iowa for a family pool weekend.  It was sunny and low key and the Bud Lights were flowing (more on the weekend later this week).

On Sunday morning we left pretty early to make it back in time for a 1st birthday party for Jacob's buddy, Nash.  It was a really great week and weekend.

fashionisto before school

photos for an upcoming blog post

it was "favorite team" day at school
first bite of food!

5 month photo outtake
mama got refreshed ;)

snuggles with uncle Joe

snuggles with uncle Matt

Jacob and his friend Elle

"gimme the camera, mama!"

"Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm" - Abraham Lincoln

Friday, August 21, 2015

Interesting Person Interview Series: Kate

Kicking off this edition of the Interesting Person Interview Series is... me :)  


My answers, after the break!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Baby Registry Must Haves: Clothes

In my previous post about baby gear/registry suggestions, I intentionally didn't touch the clothes factor.  While I was pregnant, we didn't know what we were having, so clothes were a bit tough to pre-purchase.  Plus, now knowing what I know as a "seasoned" mama, I'm grateful we didn't buy too many clothes for our tiny infant - he wore white onesies every single day! - and he received a number of adorable outfits, sleepers and  blankets from our loving friends and family (thank you!).  Those fun and special outfits have really filled out his wardrobe.  The basics listed above are everyday things that are nice to have when you get home from the hospital, and really don't change whether you are blessed with a son or a daughter.

3-4 baby gowns  My cousin has two young children and suggested gowns for the early days.  It was such a smart suggestion, because as a first time mom, I was so nervous about diaper changes and snapping the onesies.  I received a two-pack from her, and also bought two from Amazon (here and here).

10 onesies (assorted long and short sleeve)  I got these from Target, and have no complaints.  I prefer to buy practically the cheapest ones I can find - especially for teeny babies - because they poop almost constantly (sorry - but seriously) and I like the idea that if it is a bad poo explosion, I'm only out $1 or $2 if I just pitch the onesie.  I didn't do it very often, but it has happened more than once - including in the DeKalb Oasis while traveling home from Iowa with my little one solo).  I mentioned this above, but while Jacob was really young, he basically lived in white onesies with royal blue or navy pants.  These also get donated when Jacob goes up to the next size - I decided that if I have more children, I'll splurge on crisp new onesies anyway.



3-4 pants  I dress Jacob in navy a lot, but I also had a few other pairs (royal blue, grey, white).  Comfy, very stretchy pants are key - these are more like sweatpants then leggings.  You could also vary the fabric weight depending on the time of year.  Jacob was born in March, so his were more mid-weight to lightweight (I like putting him in pants for our walks even when it is hot out to protect his precious baby skin from sunburn).  We loved the newborn essential pants from Baby Gap, as well as these inexpensive version by Circo at Target.



Socks  I'm not sure if this is all babies, but Jacob HATED socks.  I loved these a lot - they are so cozy! - but he seemed to be a pro at kicking them off his little feet.  My mom found a really simple, lightweight pair at a random "going out of business" sale, and he keeps those on a bit.   Once they start jumping in a jumper (or scooting around, probably!), you'll probably want them to be barefoot or have socks with grips, so that would be a good thing to get in size 3-6 or higher.

Hats  Tiny babies lose a lot of their heat via their head, so Jacob wore a hat nearly every time he left the house when he was small.  I ordered this one from Etsy while I was still in the hospital and it still makes me smile when he wears it.



Blankets  Babies don't sleep with blankets in their cribs until about a year old, but I loved having lightweight blankets to wrap him in - both to keep him warm, but also as a barrier for visitors germs ;)   I would suggest 3-4 blankets that are nice but not too precious, that way, when they get spit up on, it's not a national disaster.  

Going home outfits  We had both blue and pink outfits (with matching blankets + hats) selected and placed in a specific area of our home.  Once Jacob was born, my parents took the blue outfit, cut off the tags and washed it in Dreft.  They returned the pink outfit.  It was awesome to have this all figured out ahead of time (and to have them do the dirty work for me!)  I don't think this is necessary - but it's a fun touch.  Bonus: Jacob wore his fancy blue outfit for his first meetings with many of our friends and family :)  


Monday, August 17, 2015

Interesting Person Interview Series: 2015 Edition

In 2013, I posted an interview series.  I'm bringing that back this year, with new questions.  I'd love to highlight a bunch of people - including YOU.  If you're willing to participate, answer the below questions and send them to kate@katespecial.com.  I can't wait to read these!

1) What is your name and who are you? 
2) How do you know Kate? 
3) What are you most grateful for in life?
4) What is your advice to new parents?
5) What's your favorite holiday? Why?
6) What are you addicted to?
7) If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be?
8) What items are on your bucket list?
9) What do you hope is the same a year from now?  
10) What do you hope is different a year from now?
11) What is the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?
12) Where is home to you? 
13) Who is your personal hero? 
14) What is the best time you've ever had?  
15) If you could pick out three words for your tombstone to summarize your life, what would they be?

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Scenes From A Week: August 16

Today is my grandparents 68th wedding anniversary!  How awesome is that.  One year ago today I called them for their anniversary and shared the news that my sweet baby was on his way to us (of course, at the time I didn't realize that I would hit the jackpot and have Jakey!)  Anyway, I don't think I can top that this year, but I'd like to wish them a public Happy Anniversary all the same!

This was a great week!  My birthday was Tuesday (the big 31!) and I took the day off work to spend it with my little guy.  My hubby surprised me with an hour long massage at a place nearby, so I started the day off with that treat.  I spent the rest of the day with snuggles, two long walks, and dinner with my guys to cap the day off right.

A cold hit our household right after my birthday, and the rest of the week was spent a little bit quieter as we were on the mend.  We went to a birthday dinner with Scott's family on Thursday night, which was a fun reason to get out of the house a bit.  Jacob had his five-month "well baby" visit at the Pediatrician on Friday afternoon and he continues to be perfect :)  Scott went in to work on Saturday morning, so Jakey and I spent Saturday morning going on a 90 minute walk (trying unsuccessfully to find some garage sale goodies), we also played outside in the yard and took a nap together on mama's bed :)  When Scott got home, he worked in the yard and then we ran some errands.

I'm writing this before 10am on Sunday morning - we've already been to church, the laundry is in the dryer, our house is clean, and the whole day is ahead of us, just as a Sunday should be.

Jacob's artwork on the fridge.  He's 5 months old.... #prodigy

reorganized all of my bathroom drawers during naptime

the happiest of hours 

Jacob has discovered mirrors ;)

spent a few hours re-vitalizing my blog this weekend
(flowers from Scott's Aunt Diane for my birthday!)
“Some days there won’t be a song in your heart. Sing anyway.” – Emory Austin


Saturday, August 15, 2015

Baby Registry Must Haves

Now that I'm five months in to this motherhood gig, I have remarked numerous times that Baby Registries are "wasted" on first-time moms.  I'm mostly kidding of course, but what I mean is that if I were to re-do my baby registry now, it would look a bit different than when I did it before Jacob was born.  Parenthood has an extremely high learning curve - I am way more qualified to select "must have" items now than I was even six months ago.  While I was doing research for my registry, I read that the "rule of thumb" is to register for things you'd need in the first year, but my list below is on the things that have been lifesavers in Jacob's first five months.  After the page break is a list of the things I recommend for any baby registry: