Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Moose: 19 Months... It's the Holiday Season

How Big?:  At Moose's 18 Month appointment he weighed in a bit lighter than I expected 28 pounds, but he was 33 inches tall and in the 90th percentile. He is still my big boy. Clothing Size?: Size 5 diapers, 3T pjs and now buying 4Tpjs (because I think we have enough 3Ts), 3T some 4T shirts, 2T pants (he really doesn't need more in this size...). He is short-legged, but his waist is bigger. I grabbed a pair of 2T jeans for him the other day out of his drawer and couldn't button them on him.... Little baby gut. What/When is he eating?: Favorite Foods include shredded cheese, strawberry milk, pizza, guacamole, and french fries... Man we have a healthy eater :/ NOT! Sam thought of the trick of putting ketchup on things to get him to eat more, and so far it's a good little trick. He has actually eaten some chicken this week. Movement?: He can jump, jump, jump, and he loves to! We turn in circles, jump, jump, jump, do squats, and stomp, stomp! He is a little tornado who never sits still. The world is his jungle gym. Crazy man on the loose watch out! Milestones?: He is just getting to be a bigger and bigger helped all the time. The amount of things he knows is growing on a daily basis. He brings me diapers for his brother and knows when to put the wipes back. Sometimes someone else will teach him a word (like Grandma when I'm not there) and I don't know that he knows it until he points and says, "fishie!" I was like woah!!! That's a big deal. He's a little sponge so watch what you say!
Hardest Moment(s) of the Month: I was initially worried about the jealousy that Moose might have about his new little brother, but honestly I have been pleasantly surprised. However, Moose is very, very jealous at Grandma's. This is a tough one because she loves both boys so much, and I soon will have to go back to work and leave them with her. Moose is acting out at her house when she has Bo. This is extra tough because I don't want him to be bad, but I, also, don't want him to feel replaced at Grandma's house.  Best Moment(s) of the Month: I LOVE watching Moose play and see new things. He is so inquisitive about so many things. He loves the Christmas store and all the lights!!! Hearing him say "iiights" "pwetttty" is heart melting!!!
Looking Forward to: Tomorrow is Thanksgiving!! We are super excited for all the holidays as a big family of four.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Bo: 7 Weeks Nearly Turkey Time

How Big?: We go back to the doctor next for our two month visit, and we will see how much weight my little chunk has added. By my guess we will be adding some serious height along with weight because dude loves to eat. Clothing Size?: Bo is a big kid! Those 3 month jammies are tight on his toes, and I think they may be soon retired from the rotation. The 6 months are still long, but he is filling them up a bit more every night. I cannot even believe that he is flying through clothes Moose wore for so long. We are still cloth diapering strong... I love it so much. In hindsight, I almost wish we had done it with Moose, too. 
What/When is he eating?: We are still NURSING STRONG! I love that I am getting to breastfeed this boy so successfully (knock on wood!). Other than our little hiccup with mastitis, we are doing really well. He had a couple days of cluster feeding this week, and he LOVEs to eat! No surprise there. 
Sleep?: Ok this is the place where we are making the biggest attempt to get a routine going. We have been keeping him awake starting at about 6:30. We do a bath between 9 and 9:30, and we have had success keeping him asleep until 5 several mornings! He still wakes at 2 or 3 the other nights, so it's not totally consistent but we are working on it. 
Milestones?: Nothing epic this week. We are working on head control and tummy time, and Bo seems very strong! Maybe he will hold his head up or roll over soon. 
Movement?: Bo is kicking his feet and waving his hands like crazy! He has started to grab my hair (man they start that early), and he will head butt you unintentionally of course, lol. 
Hardest Moment(s) of the Week: When you just have one kiddo the ratio of parents to kids is in your advantage, 2:1. You've got the kid beat because there can be one person on and one off. When you bump it up to two kids, that ratio changes, and you're even, 2:2. OR when one person is off you are outnumbered! Two hands just isn't always enough. Who do you pick up when they're crying? Who can fuss longer? Which kid should get put in the car first? This two under two stuff is no joke. It's sometimes super intimidating to have them both alone because I don't feel like I'm at my best for anyone, but I know that this will get easier and easier. I already am so much better at it than I was a month ago! 
Best Moment(s) of the Week: The crew went up to visit Sam at school. Sam loved being able to show off the kids. 
Looking Forward to: We are beyond excited that the holiday season is here! Sam has a week off. The tree is being trimmed. Christmas shopping had begun. It's such an awesome season, and we have so much to be grateful for. Thanksgiving is awesome! 

Have a very happy blessed holiday!
The Riley Family 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Moose & Bo: Christmas Lists 2014

It's unconventional to blog your kids' Christmas Lists; I am aware of this. However, I know that many of you read and keep up with the blog a lot more often that I get to talk to you.  My kids are incredibly blessed and don't need much this year, but I know that so many of you love them and want to get them something. I have come up with some ideas for both boys but no specific presents... If you want to text me, I will gladly brainstorm together for something more specific if these ideas don't help. Fair warning, though, I will probably be scrolling through the Black Friday ads for ideas :) 

Update #2 ... This might keep happening as I think of other stuff he likes. :) 
Moose's List:
#1 - College Fund: The number one thing on both boy's lists is a contribution to their college funds. They are both so small this year, and they have an abundance of stuff. We ask that if you want to give, please consider this option. (This is another HUGE reason that I am blogging their lists, so that I can give you a quick link with all the College Fund Information.) It may not seem fun now, but years down the road the pay off will be HUGE in their lives. 

#2 - Big Trucks: Moose LOVES trucks. Anytime we are on the highway, I hear "biiiituckkkkk" or at least something like that. He already has the steel Tonka dump truck and is getting the BIG steel Tonka dump truck.

#3 - School Buses: In addition to big truck, I also hear the word, "bus" every time we pass one! He loves to watch the bus in the morning and afternoon. 

#4 - Mickey Mouse: This is a very recent addition to the Moose likes list, but since Bo has come along, we have found a bit of necessity in even just a few minutes of cartoons. The one he really seems to like is the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse! He will say, "Mickey" and "Hot Dog!" They do the Hot Dog Dance at the end of each show... just roll with it, so anything Mickey I bet he will like! 

#5 - Count von Count: This one is a toughie, but his favorite thing is to stomp, stomp the number of the day with Count. Then, he does the creepy vampire laugh with him after... Ah ah ahhhh! 

#6 - Clothes: Ok let me clear this up... he really doesn't need clothes BUT inevitably someone will find the PERFECT outfit for him I know. And if that person is you, I don't want you to think that Moose is 18 months so that size will fit him. :) He fits 3 or 4T tops and 3T pants. 

Update #7 - Kitchen Utensils: Yep, I totally forgot to add this to the list, but this kid LOVES a brightly colored plastic spatula! He loves all spoons and random kitchen utensils. 

Update again... #8 - Animals: This boy loves all things animal. (He thinks a duck says "bok bok bok," so that's adorable.) He says, "woof" to every puppy he sees and "meow" to the cats. Animals or farm toys are a-okay for this boy! 

#9 - Lights: This is kind of a weird one, but Moose adores just about anything that lights up. You should see his head spin for the few houses that already have their Christmas lights up, so add light up toys to the list!


Bo's List:
This list was extremely hard to come up with things for... he will just be three months by the time Christmas. We have so many toys from Moose and so many clothes, too. The things that Bo could use right now are really things Momma could use for Bo. If there is something babyish and adorable you just have to get him, we won't be offended :) 

#1 - College Fund: I think this gift is even more perfect for Bo! If you contribute more to his than Moose's that is ok because he is harder to get a gift for! Directions for gifting here

#2 -  Cloth Diapers: We are loving cloth diapers. I currently use what they call prefolds with covers, but as he is sleeping longer and longer at night we could use some of the other kind more effectively. The BumGenius 4.0 is a pocket diaper that we really like and could use a couple more of. If you are feeling adventurous, feel free to do some Google-ing and look at other All in One Cloth Diapers or Pocket Diapers because that would be a good gift as well.

#3 - Diaper Pail: We could use two of these small trashcans that have lids for the dirty diapers. Our current open air basket has quite the aroma... lol. 

#4 - Diaper Pail Bag: These are waterproof, washable bags that are also called liners. They go in the pail and can be tossed right in the wash. This would be very preferable to the Wal-Mart bags we are currently using. They also make smaller travel sized ones like this.

#5 - Clothes: Again I say, we don't really need clothes, (and I won't repeat my matra again), but Bo is already in 6 month clothes. 

Update #6 - Soft Books: We never had very many soft books for Moose, so this would be a great little toy gift for my littlest love this year. 

Ultimately, we are BEYOND grateful for any gift you choose for our children, and we won't mind a bit if you don't get them one. That isn't what this season is about - obligation and stress. Instead, we just ask that you love whatever choice you make and do it with a happy heart! If it's not on their list that's cool, too. You might have a wayyyy better idea than I did :) 

'Tis the Season! 

Moose & Bo: College Fund Gifting Information

Moose and Bo officially have college funds set up through the state of Texas! We are excited to be able to do this for the boys in this way because it makes it super easy for friends and family to be able to help contribute along the way. I had such a great experience with the Texas Tomorrow Fund that we selected the newer version called the Texas Tuition Promise Fund. It is beneficial because you pay the current tuition rate, rather than what it will be in eighteen years. 

Since we are asking you to contribute, let me tell you what you are contributing to:
We selected both boys as Pay-As-You-Go plans for now (to change to installments when we aren't quite so month to month), and the Type 1 units. The type one units guarantee that it will take 100 units or less to pay for a year of tuition (30 hours) at a Texas state school. These units are currently just under $130 a piece. Any extra units from each school year (if they choose a less expensive state school) stay in the account to be applied to the next year.  Good news is you don't have to buy a whole unit. You can contribute $20, and it will buy a partial unit! 

If they don't go to a state school, we get the money in their account back to use towards tuition anyways, and if they were to get a partial scholarship, we could use the fund to make up the difference and be refunded the rest (for books and living expenses). Still want to know more? Feel free to check out the program website here

To Gift money to the boys accounts:
Fill out this form and mail in your check. 

You'll need the following information: 
Account Owner - Autumn Riley 
My telephone number (not posted on the internet for the world to see)
Name of beneficiary - which kiddo's name you're contributing to (Moose's is under his legal name)
Account Number - Moose = 7145008017 & Bo = 7145008025

Let me know if you have any other questions or need help. We can't tell you how much we appreciate every penny put in these accounts! 

Additionally, please pray over these accounts when you are thinking of them. We want these funds to bless our kids and help them accomplish everything they can in life. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Postpartum: 7 Weeks after having a Baby

Time for another Postpartum update! 

Postpartum: 1 Month
Postpartum: 6.5 Weeks

Weight: 144 pounds
Loss: 25 pounds
Wedding Ring: ON
Total to Lose to get to Pre-Pregnancy Weight (124): 20 pounds 

Weight: 141
Loss: 28 pounds
Wedding Ring: ON
Total to Lose to get to Pre-Pregnancy Weight (124): 17 pounds 

At 6 weeks postpartum, I was officially cleared to exercise, and I have celebrated that with a couple of runs already. I am so grateful to be able to get back to it this quickly. I still have those 17 pounds left to lose, and I can see it mainly in three key areas of my body: arms, love handles, and belly. I am hopeful that I will be able to start adding in some weight workouts for my arms with Sam in the evenings, so that I can tone there. I think that the other two will take more long term time because I'm not quite ready to dive into an ab/core workout yet.  I don't feel like I'm ready for that.

I am still breastfeeding, too, so we are burning calories that way! And I am really trying to cut out a lot of the sugar I eat, along with eating more at home than on the go.  It's my goal to fit into my slacks by the time I go back to work in two and half weeks. I don't know that I will quite make it, but I will continue to focus and hopefully by January I will be in them for sure.

Other Postpartum Posts: 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Bo: 6 Weeks Baby Giant

How Big?: At his one month visit he weighed in at 11 pounds and 23 inches (95th percentile)!!! He has definitely grown since then. He is my baby giant. I have a feeling when he and Moose are older there won't be too much of a size difference. 
Clothing Size?: Length wise 6 month clothing is a bit long, but most of his 0-3 size stuff is a little too snug to wear comfortably. I amazed at how quickly he is growing. There are outfits I know Moose wore a million times that seem like they fit Bo for 20 minutes! We are still 100% cloth diapering. The hardest part IMO is carrying the huge diaper bag (huge bc of the amount of supplies required). More of the BumGenius pocket style diapers are on Bo's christmas list because goodness know he doesn't need toys, lol, and those type are more compact and easier on the go. 
What/When is he eating?: I am hopeful to start developing more of a routine, but he still loves to eat! It's different from day to day on what times. He seems to eat a lot and often. He isn't spitting up like he was before, and I have learned that he is more relaxed at the breast if it's not quite so full. (Sometimes that's easier to control than others.) Overall, though, I am back to eating real people food, and Bo seems to be growing out of the digestive troubles. 
Sleep?: Sleep is very hit or miss with Bo. Some nights he is starting to go for a five or SIX hour stretch, but others he is up for hours at night. He sill sleep a longer chunk earlier on it seems, then we are back to hourly or every two hour feeds. Often at night once he wakes, I can't set him back down. He is a baby who wants to be held and rocked and moved and patted and burped and shushed... I keep telling myself he will sleep someday, and I will miss the 3 am snuggles. 
Movement?: Little man is working to pick his head up, and he's so strong. He kicks his feet and is starting to learn how to roll over. He does the cute baby "standing" thing when you hold him upright. I love every bit of this stage.
Milestones?: First full night's sleep... that is a HUGE milestone in my book! I know there are so many more to come, but I am just still enjoying getting a couple more hours sleep!
Hardest Moment(s) of the Week: Bo isn't a very still or quiet baby. He likes to grunt and fuss and not be settled in general. It's tough because there are times I don't know what he wants. He is full, clean, but he mostly wants to be held on your shoulder and walked around. That gets hard when you're doing just about anything. 

Best Moment(s) of the Week: The weeks are flying by, and we are having so much fun. We enjoyed getting to see my sister and her girls this week, and we loved getting to snuggle up to a fire thanks to this cold weather.  

Other Updates: We are working to open the boys college funds through the state's program called the Texas Tuition Promise Fund, so I am really excited to making strides for their futures! And I am so excited that the Holidays are here, so much fun. I am officially cleared and will be back to work early in December. It's tough, but I am also looking forward to it!

Look at Bo compared to baby Moose at 6 Weeks... They look so much alike! Don't you think?

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Our Life: Halloween 2014

Happy Halloween 2014 from the Riley Crew! 

The day was spent with family and fun. Grandma and I went to a Pumpkin Patch in Arlington and took pictures with the boys. Moose loved running around and sitting on every pumpkin he could find. He's still not quite a photo kid... He doesn't quite understand,"smile," or, "cheese."

In the evening, we got little Moose man dressed in his costume - SpideyMan! And we went trick-or-treating for the very first time!!! I figured with as scared of people and cars and just about everything as Moose is that he would hate it. We determined that we would only go a few houses then home. Turns out little stinker surprised me! He really liked it. He didn't care much about the candy, but really enjoyed holding his bucket and walking up to the doors. 

What a fun holiday! I am so glad the holiday season has officially kicked off.