Sunday, February 11, 2018

Dear Cody... You're 3 months old!

My sweet, chubby-cheek little man,

You're 3 months old - and this last one has been full of so many wonderful changes for you. You're smiling more and have let out some pretty cute little giggles. Any of us can get you to smile with ease and you're just a very laid-back and happy baby. You are also very chatty and if we talk to you, you love to talk back. You're ticklish too and giggle when we change your clothes or when daddy tickles your belly. It's so adorable!

You are sleeping pretty well - going in one long stretch of 5-7 hours, then waking every 3 hours for milk after. You are a great little eater and you love mama's milk! You're exclusively breastfeeding (except for a few bottles of breast milk) and you're gaining so much weight - I will bet you have gained at least another pound or two since last month. :) You are comfortably wearing 3-6 month and 6 month sized clothes and you're busting out of your size 1 diapers (lots of blow outs). We will have to bump up to size 2 very shortly.

At your 2 month appointment, Dr. Barretto noticed your head was slightly flat, so we started paying close attention to how you turn your head and doing more tummy time. When we didn't see a lot of progress after a few days, I reached out to your doctor again and she set us up with physical therapy to help make sure your head will be okay. You've gotten so much stronger and you can easily hold it up on your tummy for little stretches of time (cobra pose) and you are very good at holding your head steady when we hold you with it unsupported. We have another appointment this week!

You love watching your brother and sister (and Nolan especially loves to hold you and asks every day if he can). You also love watching ceiling fans, your bouncer, and being held facing forward so you can take everything in around you.

I left you overnight for the very first time last night so we could celebrate your nana's 70th birthday in Napa. It was very hard for me to leave you and I went back and forth about what to do, but I knew you were in amazing hands with your Gramz & Pops. They took such great care of you and your siblings and I wasn't worried about you, but I sure missed you. You did so well for them, taking a bottle and your normal sleeping pattern.

On Friday, you got to visit with your very special great grandpa. I took you over to see him again and you gave him smiles and sat on his lap for a brief time. It was a special moment I will never forget because you and him are the bookends of the Z fam (until more great grand babies are born). 91 years apart and Cody, you are so lucky you had the opportunity to meet this incredible man. He is the most wonderful person and I hope many of his traits will pass down to you through me.

I am so in awe of you, sweet baby. You love your bath time and lately the two of us have been taking them together in my tub and it's one of my favorite things. You are so calm, smile, and just love to soak. I love staring into your beautiful blue eyes and smiling at you. You are the sweetest baby - I love you more than you will ever know!

You're one of my biggest blessings, baby.

Love,
mama

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Keeping track of memories

One of the things I really enjoy is taking pictures of my kids. It was initially really hard for me to figure out a system to organize them when Andie was born, so I started by just making specific albums in my iPhoto. Every other month (or so) I upload the pictures from my phone to my iPhoto library and put them into the folders for each kid. 

Here's how Nolan's look in my iPhoto - you can break apart the months or year however you'd like - I do it in one month increments when they're babies, then bump it up to 6 month increments after they turn 2. This just helps me stay organized!

Every six months or so, I go through for each kid and drag them into shutterfly and print them. Be sure to catch them on a sale, they have them all the time! Then, when they arrive, they are usually in order by date, which is super helpful, and I just put them into these photo boxes (which I get at Michaels, usually) in chronological order. 



This was a great way to keep them organized - but I wasn't really doing much with them!

That's when I decided to start my own little private instagram account - I don't have any followers - on purpose- because I will upload them when I have a few extra minutes and it will sometimes be 20-30 pictures at a time from my phone. I date each picture and make a note in the caption if it's something I need to remember. I try to do this every couple of weeks so I don't get behind.

Then, at the end of the year (for example, I started this in 2015, so for 2015-2016) I login to my shutter fly account and make a custom book. You can download your photos from Instagram directly into their "book making page" and I just drag them in. It goes really fast because they're all in chronological order and it's all of the photos I love with out having to dig through all of the thousands of photos in my phone or iPhoto library.


I set a goal for myself the last 2 years to get their books done by the second week of January. When I get them done early, I feel accomplished :) This month I have been on maternity leave, so that made it much easier to get them done!

Now, I have a little library of books for each year of their lives. I get the 8X8 size and the kids absolutely love to look through them. I also write each kid a few little notes through out the book to remind them of specific details of the year. 


You can use any photo book service, I just love shutterfly because I have always used them and it's free to store all of my photos. They also date the back of the photos when you get them printed out. I also really love that I can order one book for now and if, down the road, I want to order another copy of the books I have made, I can do that because they save and store all of my projects (never go away, shutterfly!)


This isn't an advertisement for shutterfly, just my own thoughts and opinions. Let me know if you have any questions! xo

Friday, January 12, 2018

Dear Cody... You're 2 months old!

Sweet baby Cody,

TWO months. It's hard to believe I met your darling little face two months ago. You've brought so much happiness to our lives. It was a big month - we celebrated Christmas and the New Year, you smiled for us for the first time, and you have grown so much!

You made the switch from newborn sized diapers to size 1 right around Christmas. You are wearing all 3 month clothes, but 3-6 month size fits best. You aren't a huge fan of pants or anything restricting your belly, so we mostly have been keeping you in your sleepers so you are comfy.

You like your bouncer and your Mama Roo, and you especially love being carried around in our arms or the carrier so you can see everything. You love to take it all in - and I love watching you watch your brother and sister play. I am sure you want to jump in and play with them, and I am excited to see that happen later. You are very observant, calm, and overall a very happy baby! You smiled for the first time for Gramz, and since then you've smiled more for all of us. I feel like I am going to melt every time I see you smile, it is honestly one of the sweetest smiles I have ever seen.

Celebrating your first Christmas was definitely a highlight (besides seeing your smile) of the last month. You got to meet so many of your family members and we celebrated our first Christmas in our new house. We celebrated with Gramz, Pops, Auntie Juju & Kelly, and Uncle Matt & Jason and all of your cousins on Christmas Eve at G&P's house. That evening, we celebrated with the Z family at the clinic before coming home to our own beds to wait for Santa. Christmas morning was very special and I loved getting to snuggle and hold you while brother and sister played with their new toys. Nana, and Uncle Joe and Dave came over on Christmas and Gramz and Pops did, too. You got lots of new toys and clothes, we had a wonderful dinner, and just loved spending time together.

You are a good sleeper. You mostly go about 3-4 hours at night, but lately, you've given me about 5 nights (not in a row) of a 6 hour stretch. You wake up to eat and usually go right back to sleep unless you have gas. You are quite gassy, but you're still so good and don't fuss much about it. You sometimes will get slightly fussy at night, but nothing we can't fix with nursing or holding you. We think you're a very content and sweet baby. And I love the extra snuggles I get when you are fussy :) I also love how you sleep with your arms up by your head, it's adorable.

You are a very good eater - you love your breastmilk and you get it every time you ask! You took a bottle of breastmilk at just over a month old and have taken a couple since then for practice. I did get mastitis this month and had to go on antibiotics, but luckily it cleared up fast and we have been all good since!

We welcomed 2018 with open arms. YOU were definitely the best part of 2017 and we are so happy you're healthy and growing to start the new year. We saw your doctor this morning and you were 12 pounds 8 ounces, definitely growing very well.

We absolutely adore you, Cody. Your brother and sister can't get enough of you. Nolan especially loves to hold you and asks every day if he can. We love you so much and I am so proud of how well you're growing and thriving. You are such a beautiful little baby and we couldn't be happier to have you as a part of our family!

I love you to the moon and back times infinity, Cody.
Love,
Mama

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Dear Nolan... You're 3!

Our sweet, handsome Noley-Bear…

My favorite word to describe you is sweet… because you are absolutely one of the sweetest people I know. You will randomly come up to me and give me a kiss and tell me you love me. You are full of so much love and life. You love your family and this year was one of so much change for you, you really came out of your shell!

You are getting bigger, wearing mostly 2T and 3T clothes. You have a long and lean build and are so handsome. Daddy cuts your hair and you’re absolutely irresistible when you flash your sneaky little smile. I love that daddy and I can cure almost any owie with a kiss.

You love to play jokes on people and make us laugh. You are obsessed with tractors and tools. You can name pretty much every tractor (you say your favorite is an excavator) and you know most of your tools, too. We have been known to stop at construction sites while we are driving so you can watch the tractors work. You love to be outside and this year we got you your first two wheeled bicycle and you were a pro right away. You also love your ride-on toys.

You love all television shows and movies, especially those that have tractors, and you love to watch ‘tractors on Pops computer with him.’ This year, while we were waiting for our house to be finished, we lived with Gramz & Pops for a little more than a month. You, especially, spent lots of time with them. At the beginning of the year you went up flying in his airplane for the first time and loved it. You told us all about how you wore “headphones” - it was so special. You also got to drive a skid steer tractor and a combine harvester on your trips out to the rice ranch. You would cry when it was time to leave! You also experienced your first “Urban Picnics”, which are what Pops did with me and your aunties when we were little (McDonald’s happy meal on the back of his pick up). You spent lots of time with him out in the man cave, too. You also bonded very closely with your Gramz. You call her “Gamz” and every night you would call for her from your bed at their house so she would come in and rock you. She was also the first person you would call for in the mornings and it was so cute to hear you yell down the hall for her!

If anyone asks you your name, you will say “Noley-Bear!” In the last couple of months, you’ve become much more social and you will introduce yourself to strangers now by saying “I’m Noley-Bear!!” Daddy and I are pretty sure you will write that name on your papers when you start school.

You are the sweetest big brother to Cody and some of my favorite memories from this year were rocking you to sleep and you singing “twinkle twinkle little star” to my belly. You are so affectionate… you love to be hugged and held and I can always count on you for a big, tight hug. Since Cody was born, you ask often to hold him and I almost always say yes because I want you two to bond. You are very sweet with him and have your own little voice that you talk to him with.

We took two trips to Disneyland this year and you experienced so much while we were there. You loved the characters (except for Jack from The Nightmare Before Christmas) and when you met Darth Vader, or “darth mador” as you call him, you said, “you’re a mean guy!”.

You played soccer this year and you weren’t really sure about it at first. It took quite a bit of warming up and a few practices (& bribery on our end) before you started to jump in and play. Once you got going, you did great and it was so cute to watch you.

You’re a pretty picky eater but you love fruit, chicken nuggets, sweets and your favorite is hamburgers - especially from In N Out. Daddy and I love the way you say hamburger - you enunciate each syllable - “ham-buur-gur!” One night when we were sitting around the dinner table I asked you and your sister what you were thankful for and she said “you guys!”. You looked right at us and said “chicken nuggets” :) You are hilarious and you knew it would make us laugh.

We are so crazy about you, Nolan! You are so special to us and I can’t imagine life with out you and your sparkly little smile in it. I am so proud of you and the little boy you are becoming. Never give up on what you want, stay kind, and always remember your mama is here for you and loves you no matter what!

Love, Mommy

Monday, December 11, 2017

Dear Cody... You're One Month Old!

Oh, my sweet Cody, you're one month old!

In some ways - the first month of your life has gone by in the blink of an eye, and in others, it was a long month filled with lots of different emotions. I am looking into your sweet little eyes as I write this and I can't believe how much you've grown. Your cheeks are bigger, you're growing like a weed and you're becoming more and more alert with every day. You are also wonderful at making eye contact and I have been starting into your big blue eyes as much as possible. You haven't smiled on purpose just yet (those little sleepy gas smiles are scrumptious) but I am so excited to see it soon.

With everything that happened with your newborn screening tests, I have been a little on edge and extra worried about you. I have found myself more worried than I was with the first two babies and I am constantly checking to make sure you're okay. You are perfect, though, and besides a bout of mastitis on my end - things have gone very smoothly. You're a very good baby and a great eater. You love watching the commotion of your brother and sister and you really love to be walked around so you can see everything going on. You also love the ceiling fans and lights!

Your first month has been filled with so much change. We finally moved into our new home. It wasn't quite complete yet - so we spent a couple weeks with Gramz and Pops, but they loved having some extra time getting to know you and they were the best hostesses! We are so lucky to have them in our lives, they love you so much.

Since about 2.5 weeks old, you have been pretty congested, especially at night, which has made it hard for you to breathe. You seem to finally be getting a little bit better and we've been working on some little tricks to keep you propped up at night. We had a couple of long nights, but you weren't fussy - just struggling to breathe easy. For the most part, you go in stretches of 3 hours between feedings. Although, you did have 3 nights of 5 hour stretches recently, which was great! When you were brand new, during your first two weeks, you were going for longer stretches, but this congestion has made it a little extra challenging. We will get through it, though.

This month you have met Santa - a few times - and were sleeping and unimpressed each time. You love your bath time and had your first bath from Pops on November 13th. You love the warm water and are very content being in there!

At your two week check up, you were already 8lbs 2oz (you were 7lbs 4oz at birth and dropped below 7 after 24 hours). You're growing and thriving and I am thankful every single day to witness you change.

Andie and Nolan completely adore you. You've gotten a few nicknames from them - and Nolan says your name in the most adorable way - "Kooo-Deee" - and it's stuck with all of us. We say it just like him! Sissy immediately wanted your nick name to be "Little Cody Man", so we also call you that occasionally. And, along with Noley-bear, "Cody-bear" has also stuck.

We are head over heels in love with you, baby. Daddy told me a few days after you were born that it feels like you've always been a part of our family. You fit right in with us and I am over the moon happy to have you in our lives. You are one of our biggest blessings, sweet baby. I am so proud to be your mommy already and I feel so blessed to be able to spend each day with you.

I am filled with so much hope for you, son. Never forget how loved you are and how much we believe in you as you embark on your adventure in life. Learn from your mistakes, challenge yourself, and always believe in yourself. We will be here every step of the way reminding you what a special person you are and that you are capable of anything you set your mind to.

I love you to the moon and back times infinity, Cody. Forever and ever!

Love,
Mommy