Hello Sweet Cheer: November 2016

11.25.2016

New Baby Must Haves

     Hi friends! It's been a while since I've gotten on here to write anything but a baby update. And today I'm finding the time to tell y'all about my most favorite items we've used with Titus since he was born! Before becoming a mom, it was so easy for me to say, "Oh, those things are luxuries, I won't need all that." But THEN...I became a mom and suddenly became so thankful for some of the products that we have access to these days! Here we go!



O N E Brestfriend

     This product was a lifesaver for me! Because I ended up with a c-section, those first few weeks of breastfeeding were really tough. I was still healing and in a lot of pain, so this lifted Titus off of my tummy and up to my waist! It buckles on and is firm to create a table-like effect. I used for about the first 6-8 weeks. After that, I moved to just supporting Titus' head with a small pillow. A friend let me borrow it and I was so so thankful! I will definitely purchase one of my own next time we have a baby!

T W O SwaddleMe blankets

     Titus was one of those kids who NEEDED to be very tightly swaddled to sleep well as an infant. We swaddled him pretty religiously until he was almost 3 months old. I struggled to get the swaddle tight enough when just using the regular muslin swaddle blankets. The SwaddleMe blankets have velcro and are made with exactly enough fabric to put your baby in a little cocoon! These were so helpful for me in the middle of the night and even at his nap time!

T H R E E Play Mat

     The play mat was an item that a friend let me borrow when Titus was really colicky. He LOVED the lights and music and it kept him occupied long enough for me to eat, do a chore or two, or just have a moment to myself. That sounds selfish, but as a new mom sometimes all you need is a moment or two to breathe before your baby needs you again!

F O U R Babyganics Bath Soap

     This was something I was surprised to need! I started out bathing Titus with Johnson & Johnson products. And I liked them until I realized they were causing his head to dry out and peel. I learned that their products contain a lot of alcohol which dries out their skin! So any brand that is supposed to be natural or moisturizing would probably work. I use Eucerin lotion and Babyganics soaps! Other brands I've tried and don't dry him out are Aveeno and Cetaphil.

F I V E Sleep Sack

     We are still using the sleep sack! I started using it after he got too big for it and was able to roll over. I didn't feel like we needed the swaddle and it didn't seem safe once he was rolling. For a while I just covered him up with one of the million blankets we have but he would kick so much when he was falling asleep that the blanket would end up either by his face or off of him completely. The sleep sack allows him to be covered up without him being able to kick it off!

These are just 5 things I feel like we have gotten really great use out of and will definitely use again with another child. There are tons of others things we love and swear by but these are some of the important ones for the newborn stage! I'm sure I'll have a list of other things we love as he grows and changes more!

What products do you swear by for your newborn? I'd love to hear in the comments below!

xoxo || meredith

11.13.2016

Titus Matthew | 5 months

A G E: FIVE months!


W E I G H T: As of 4 months: 16 pounds and in the 62nd percentile. As of today (according to our home scale) 20 pounds!

L E N G T H: As of 4 months: 25 1/2 inches and in the 66th percentile! We'll get an update at his 6 month appointment. I can't believe it's coming up so soon!!

S I Z E: Titus is officially in size 3 diapers! And wearing some 6M but the majority of clothes that fit him well are 9M and up! For some reason Gerber runs super small and he wears 12 month onesies in their brand! Like I said last month, it's much more fun to dress him in sweaters and jeans now that it's cooler. I also started putting shoes on his this month! Finally, I know haha

E Y E S & H A I R: Both dark brown! His eyes look lighter in the sun sometimes but they're solidly brown!

S L E E P I N G: Our sweet boy sleeps 10-12 hours at night! It is wonderful. We bathe him around 6:30/6:45pm, lotion, jammies and read a book. Then he has his last feeding (a bottle of formula) around 7pm. He falls asleep on his own usually in about 10 minutes and sleeps until anywhere between 5am and 7am! I feed him at that time and then he goes right back down for 2-3 more hours!

As far as naps, he is still napping about 3 times a day. Usually he naps at 10/11am, 1/2pm and 4/5pm. And each of those naps last 45 minutes to an hour and a half.

E A T I N G: Titus nurses 4-5 times a day and gets an 8 oz. bottle of formula before bed! I feed him pureed baby food twice a day. I did an entire month of only veggies and I only gave him one food at a time. I didn't buy any of the baby foods that contained multiple things. I always add rice cereal to it because it's just way too thin. He needs it to be a bit thicker so that he doesn't just dribble it all out. Just this week I added in fruits in the morning and as of today I'm using the Stage 2 (or 2nd Foods). He eats anything and everything! He especially loves squash and carrots!


M I L E S T O N E S: This month Titus has started sitting up! He can sit up completely unassisted for about 5-10 seconds. We usually practice sitting as much as we can during the day and he is thoroughly enjoying it! He also stands while holding my hands for a long time before his legs get tired. He is getting so strong. When we do tummy time he usually moves himself in circles but isn't scooting quite yet! He definitely recognizes mama and daddy over others and is comforted when one of us is holding him! He also experienced his SECOND ever holiday! His first was July 4th and his second was Halloween!!! It got me so excited for all the holidays to come. We dressed him up as Tigger and he sat with us handing out candy for a little while! Next year will be even more fun! He also got to meet my Granny, his great Granny! It was sweet moment!

O U T I N G S: He went to another wedding this month and stayed in a hotel for the first time! He did great. He goes everywhere with mama during the day and still all the normal weekly outings - i.e. church on Sundays, grocery shopping, errands, etc. He also came to our home group with us last week since my dad (who normally babysits) was out of town!

F A V  T O Y S/A C T I V I T I E S: Titus LOVES being outside. He always has but it is now a sure way to make him happy. He plays on the floor a lot, loves laying under his toys and using his hands to grab them! He has a few favorite toys, one that squeaks and one that rattles!

W O R D S/S O U N D S: Lots and lots of sounds! Giggles, high pitched squeals, screams, coos, cries...he does it all! Expect speak of course ;)

N I C K N A M E S: Titus boy, Love bug, Titus Almightus, Sweet boy, Tighter, Duke, Dukers, Buck, Bucky - don't ask, I have no idea haha

F U N N Y  M O M E N T S: He always makes a face and a grunting sound when he poops...it's just lovely :)

And here's a photo round-up from this month:















He is growing so fast! We couldn't be more blessed as parents!

xoxo || meredith

SaveSave

11.08.2016

To Be a Praying Wife

Mama Solitude

It's almost midnight. The entire house is sleeping but me. And I actually really like it. I like the silence and the time I have to allow my mind to focus solely on Jesus. I don't even feel like I'm losing rest because I'm recharging my soul through prayer, writing and scripture. As a wife and a mom, sometimes this is the only time I have completely to myself. And I'm totally okay with that!

When my husband fell asleep and I was wide awake, I grabbed my phone and rolled out of bed. I shut the bedroom door behind me and got comfortable on the couch. And now I sit, in solitude, with the freedom to use this time for anything. And while all I really want to do is watch YouTube videos or scroll Facebook or look up recipes...I find myself desiring more than that. I find myself realizing that this is the time God has carved out for me to commune with Him.

The Lord has taught me much over the last (almost) two years of marriage. I've learned how to give up my desires and preferences in service to my husband, I've learned to choose to love him even when I don't want to, I've learned to listen well. I could go on forever but by far the most important thing I've learned since being married is to be a praying wife. My heart's desire is to lift up my husband to the Lord!


Being a Praying Wife

I am my husband's support. I am there to encourage, uplift and help. My love for him plays out in many ways, but I would argue that my prayers for him are the most impactful way I can show my love for him. To describe the importance of wives praying fervently for their husbands is difficult. There is so much I could say and too much to cover in one blog post. I think though that the following summarizes well what my heart wants to convey. This is an excerpt from the book, The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian:
"First of all, let me make it perfectly clear that the power of a praying wife is not a means of gaining control over your husband, so don’t get your hopes up! In fact, it is quite the opposite. It’s laying down all claim to power in and of yourself, and relying on God’s power to transform you, your husband, your circumstances, and your marriage. This power is not given to wield like a weapon in order to beat back an unruly beast. It’s a gentle tool of restoration appropriated through the prayers of a wife who longs to do right more than be right, and to give life more than get even. It’s a way to invite God’s power into your husband’s life for his greatest blessing, which is ultimately yours, too."
But how?


Okay, so I've shared why it's important to pray for your husband, so how do we as wives and some of us busy, tired mamas, live that out practically? How do we pray constantly and serve humbly in the midst of life and all that comes with it. Here are three things that I think are helpful in becoming a praying wife:

RESERVE TIME FOR PRAYER // You can't pray for your husband if you don't set aside specific time to get before Jesus! It may seem obvious but it has to be said: You MUST set aside time every single day to commune with the Lord.

TAKE NOTES // I find that when Ryan and I are talking through things, I need to listen well and jot down the things he is sharing. I need to hear what he is struggling with, what things he is concerned about and where he is rejoicing! And then later on when I'm spending time lifting him up to Jesus, I'm able to refer to those specific things we've talked about.

SERVE THE MESS OUT OF HIM // When I serve my husband, whether he notices, thanks me, or cares at all, I feel closer to my Savior! It's crazy how the Lord works when we obey Him. The times that I truly serve Ryan out of obedience, joy, and love for Christ (instead of for personal gain or my own good track record) - are the times that I feel closest to Jesus. And I don't know about you but the closer I am to Jesus, the more of a prayer warrior I am!


Moral of the story: PRAY for your husband! And pray diligently. You are called to it. You committed to it when you married him. I hope this is helpful and encouraging!

xoxo || meredith holguin

"This at last is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh" 
Genesis 2:23a