Sunday, July 31, 2016

Up, up and away! A travel theme nursery

My oh my it's been over a year since I last blogged! Life has been busy at the Lamar house. We moved in to our new home last July, Ava started preschool in September, we went to Disney with the kids in December and then onto Vegas with another couple, found out December 31 we were pregnant, moved Ava and Alice into their big girl room in May, and are now awaiting our 3rd little girls arrival!!! 

Upon arriving home from Vegas we found out we were pregnant. Literally the moment we got off the plane and got our car I realized I was probably expecting. This came as a complete surprise and although we were thrilled and grateful to have another healthy pregnancy we were quite overwhelmed. We felt our family of four was complete. I had just started a side photography business, Peter had taken on a new role at work, and we had just gotten over a few tough teething months with Alice. It took a few months for us to adjust to the idea of another little girl. Over the last several months we have prayed for this little one and our soon to be family of 5 and are so excited for her arrival at the end of August. We know she will be the icing on the cake! 

Having to pick 3 names for the same gender is TOUGH! Ava's middle name Ray is my Father's and was my Grandfather's middle name. Alice was named after Peter's late maternal Grandmother and now we are expecting Eloise "Emmy" Maria Lamar. When picking this little cutie's name Peter and I just loved the name Eloise but were concerned it didn't have any real nicknames since we call Alice "Allie." One day I started calling this little nugget Emmy and Ava and Alice fell in love with the name and now only refer to their soon to be baby sister as Emmy. Eloise's middle name is Maria after Peter's paternal Grandmother who is 93 years old and lives in Key Biscayne, FL. Since Eloise's first initials are EM we figured Emmy would be the perfect nickname. 

Emmy's nursery is possibly my favorite of the 3 rooms I have gotten to decorate. Alice, our second daughter, lived in this room when we moved in. When we found out we were expecting we decided to redecorate Ava's room and move Alice into the new big girl room and use Alice's old room as a nursery. Here is a picture of the big girls butterfly room. The art is Any Warhol, lamp and curtains are from Ikea, and butterflies were made on my friends silhouette machine. 

I wanted something fun for Emmy's new room and we had sold most of our nursery stuff when we moved from California so we were almost starting from scratch. I found this gorgeous hot air ballon mobile on Etsy and knew immediately that I wanted a travel theme nursery for little Emmy! 

We got some new art off Etsy and from Ikea and the bedding from Pottery Barn Kids. Here are some pictures of her travel nursery.

Ava made a super cute hot air ballon tissue paper art piece at art camp this summer that fit perfectly with the theme. We hung it over the girl's doll house so they have something to do while I nurse our sweet Emmy. 


My very sweet friend monogrammed a lovie for Emmy and got her this adorable E pillow from the Land of Nod. Mimi also bought Emmy her own "Maggie the dog" that all the cousins have.  

Her nursery is complete! Now we are just waiting on Emmy's arrival! 4.5 weeks or less.. I would be ok with less!!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

House Hunting, Potty Training and Early Walkers

So I haven't blogged in months... there are a few reasons why... mostly we are building a home across the country, It took 5.5 months to potty train Ava, and Alice has decided to walk at 10 months old.

Peter and I have been discussing moving back to NC for the past 2 years. Although we have some great friends here, an awesome church, and perfect weather all year long we haven't been set on staying in the Bay Area. Housing prices (average 3 bedroom home is $1.1 million), low rated schools (Public schools in San Jose average 5 points out of 10), awful rush hour traffic (12 miles on 101 takes at least 50 minutes after 4pm), crazy high taxes (+10% to NC +20% to FL), and very self-involved citizens have made us not want to put down deep roots in the Bay Area. This is a very transient area so people plan on only being here 2-5 years and seem to not be very open to building deep relationships while here. It has taken me 3 solid years to build some strong relationships with a handful of women. Of course after we were set on moving I was finally able to really make a strong community and build my "tribe" of women.

OK so back to the house. So we decided to take a look at some homes this past winter. Peter took a job at Cisco 1.5 years ago and back in December he spoke to his boss about transferring to the Cary office. His boss had no issues with it so we decided to see what was on the market. We looked at several homes for sale but were blown away by a new development, Fryar's Gate, in Cary. We happened to look at the model on the exact day a lot opened up and were told we had about 12 hours to make a final decision or we would lose it. We loved the builder, loved the floor plan and it was in the perfect location; 8 minutes from Peter's work, 20 minutes from my parents, 20 minutes from Sister and her family, and 40 minutes from my Brother and his new Wife. We prayed on it that night and really felt God was opening up a lot of doors and it was time to move back. 

The house is 3/4 built right now and they are starting interior trim work, painting, and about to put in the floors! It should be ready mid-July for move in! We are so excited for this home and pray that God is present in every moment of our new life in NC. We pray our home can bless us and the people around us and it can be used to glorify Him. 

Potty Training
I have never had a more time consuming and frustrating experience as my time potty training Ava. We have been trying since December to potty train Ava. We have had 4 rounds of potty training and just finally got it to stick a few weeks ago. Round 1 ended with Ava being terrified of the potty and crying any time she saw it come out of the bathroom closet. Round 2 was Ava holding her poop/pee with her iron bladder for 6 hours until it was nap or bed time and I put a diaper on. Round 3 started and ended pretty quickly when Ava said "I go tinkle in my diaper not on the potty! Ava wears diapers and Momma wears panties! No more panties! No more potty." At this point I was ready to give up until after we moved. I thought I would try one last thing and use her Sleeping Beauty dress as a reward. A few weeks after her exclamation of her hatred of the potty I told her she couldn't wear princess panties or her Sleeping Beauty dress unless she went tinkle on the potty. I told her Sleeping Beauty is a big girl and she goes tinkle on the potty so if you want to be like her and wear the dress you have to use the potty. A few days later she came up to me and said I want to wear princess panties and I want my Sleeping Beauty dress. I said ok Ava if you want those you have to go on the potty. She walked right over and went. Since that day she has been 100% potty trained (minus nap and overnight). She has only had 2 accidents in 4 weeks and wears princess panties every day... but only the Sleeping Beauty ones... don't even TRY to have her wear Frozen or Repunzel undies! 

Early Walkers
Alice is walking at a spry 10 months of age. She has been trying to walk since she was 6 months old! She loves her big sister so much and just wants to be a BIG kid! She only plays with big girl toys, only wants to eat what Ava is eating, and drinks from big girl straw cup. So obviously she had to get walking down to keep up with her big Sis.  She actually is an awesome walker and rarely falls. She understands steps and holding on to door frames when stepping outside. She can transfer surfaces well and can walk in any shoes without tripping. The only issue is Alice is ONLY 16lbs and 10 months old and needs constant supervision as she is into EVERYTHING and can get through the living room and up a flight of stairs in about 11 seconds! She is tiny but absolutely fearless. I know she is going to be my gymnast, my flyer cheerleader, my female rugby play, and child that ends up in the ER with broken bones and needing stitches frequently! My oh my Lord help us all! 

So clearly just a few things have kept me from blogging. I can't believe we will be moving in 5 weeks back to NC! I am so excited but I am going to miss our friends here and I know Ava will ask every day about her BFF's Asher, Lucy and Sentiben. Luckily Peter will be back here every few months so I see some trips in our future. But for now See you later Cali! 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Mommy Guilt and Pressure Cookers

This past week I decided my days of lactation needed to come to an end! I have been exclusively pumping with Alice for the past 3.5 months. She refused to nurse at 2 months and has continued her nursing strike with a vengeance. She will not nurse... AT ALL! I have shed a lot of tears, been to 2 lactation consultants, the Pediatric GI specialist at Stanford, and Alice's pediatrician and we have come to the conclusion that her reflux is so bad nursing aggravates it and so she refuses. So I was once again chained to the pump. At first it wasn't so bad because Alice was sleeping so much. Then she started being awake a lot and needed attention! Ava also HATED when I pumped. She would cry and yell "Momma, NO PUMP, NO PUMP, HOLD ME" every time the pump came out. I would try to hold her while pumping and then Alice would start crying. Have you ever tried to hold 2 squirmy kiddos with a pump attached? It was awful. Alice's reflux also seemed to be aggravated by everything I ate; Dairy, soy, beans, tomatoes, garlic... everything! She was spitting up less on sensitive formula and gaining weight faster when I gave her more formula. I decided it was best if I stopped pumping all together... cue the Mommy guilt. Mommy guilt is the absolute worst! So how did I deal with it? By making over 120oz of baby food!!! That's right 120oz in one rainy afternoon! 

Alice started eating solids about a week and a half ago and my goodness this chick was ready for food! The first 3 times I fed her she ate about a half of an ounce but then she started packing it in! She is up to 5oz at every feeding! I was able to channel my "Mommy guilt" into a baby food making marathon! With Ava I made a little bit of baby food but steaming veggies for 20 min in a double bioler was exhausting! A few months ago Peter got a pressure cooker and that has been a game changer! 

You can cook 8 peeled sweet potatoes in 20 minutes, 10 cups of green beans in 5 minutes, and an entire butternut squash in 10 minutes!!! I was able to make 120oz of pears, apples, butternut squash, peas, green beans, sweet potatoes, and spinach in an afternoon! After each veggie steaming I placed them in our food processor and within 3 minutes had perfectly pureed food!

 I then placed them in ice cubes trays over night (please excuse my messy pouring. I am sure I was holding one or both children while pouring this) 

and then popped them out and put them in labeled plastic bags in the freezer.

 Between the purĂ©es and the fresh avocado and bananas she gets she'll have enough food for about a month... just in time for finger foods!!! Gotta channel that "Mommy guilt" somehow! 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

I haven't showered in 3 days and I smell like rotten milk

Whoever said having 2 kids is like having 10 was right! Whew! Someone ALWAYS needs you, someone is always upset, someone is always hungry. I am finally coming out of the dark side and see the light at the end of the tunnel! Alice is finally sleeping all night, 7pm to 7am woooo hooo, and let me tell you that makes everything so much better. We have finally gotten into a bit of a routine but there is never a dull moment with 2 kiddos!

These are the 10 things I learned over the past 15 weeks.

1. Get out every day! Ava needs LOTS of play time and loves parks and playing with her buddies. I try to get out to a park or even just to Target every day of the week. I find Alice naps better if we are out and about and Ava stays busy.

2. Forget about day time showers. Most weeks I am apologizing to my other Mommy friends about my appearance. I am a Southern girl and normally have a very put together ensemble, with matching jewelry, and my hair done. Most weeks I do not get to shower in the day unless Peter is home so pony tails and dirty hair are my new look.

3. Communicate with your Spouse on what you need. We have 0 family around and having 2 kids is super hard. I can't just drop Ava off at my Sister's house so I can go to a Dr's apt or have my Mom come over because I only got 4 hours of sleep the night before. We are here alone and have to relay on each other for help. My wonderful husband goes into work at 6:30am so that he can come home and help from 4pm-7pm and then does more work from home.

4. Forget working out. Sorry baby weight but you're going to have to stick around a little longer. I don't have time to shower= I really don't have time to work out. I may have 45 min when both girls are sleeping in the day. You better believe that means I am trying to nap too!

5. Get alone time with each kiddo. The days can be crazy and long but it's important each kiddo gets some alone time. I normally play with Alice the first half of Ava's nap. Then when Ava gets up from her nap I try to get in some snuggle time with her. I find Ava behaves much better when she gets enough 1 on 1 time with me.

6. Wine! A lovely glass of red wine after the kids go to bed really really helps!

7. Have good girl friends. There are many days I send a text to one of my friends saying please meet me for lunch or I need to get out lets meet at a park. Adult interaction is key to getting through the day.

8. Don't sweat the small stuff. Your kid just threw a tantrum in the middle of Target and the other kid just spit up all down the front of your shirt? No problem... buy a new shirt, give your toddler some goldfish and enjoy the rest of your Target experience.

9. Don't try to cook dinner every night, especially before your husband gets home to help with the kids. I tried to do this and let me tell you it was a disaster. For the first couple of weeks do not attempt to do anything other than keeping both kids alive and keeping your self sane.

10.  Find a babysitter! I am a firm believer in date nights. Before you were a Mom you were a Wife and it's important you give as much to that relationship as you do to your adorable little kiddos.

If you are expecting your second or just had him/her hang in there! It gets better! These girls make my heart so happy and make me laugh every day. Take deep breaths, get out of the house, and try to focus on the fun stuff!

Oh and make sure there is always wine... :) 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Alice's birth story

Pregnancy is SOOOOO different the second time around as a stay at home Mom! No matter how many times you've thrown up that day, how tired you are, how swollen your feet are, or how bad of a headache you have you still have a tiny little Princess that wants/demands your attention! This continues and becomes 100x harder at the end when you are in early labor for 2 weeks! I had contractions on and off for almost 2 full weeks. I had the same types of contractions with Ava and went into L&D twice, only to be sent home. This time around I knew that it was just early labor and I had to continue to stay active to keep progressing. Luckily, Ava was ready to help me stay active! Lol! Contractions picked up so much the week before I was due that my parents flew out a little early because chasing Ava while having contractions every 5-7 minutes was getting to be too exhausting and I wasn't getting much sleep at night so the days were long.

The day before I went into labor we decided to drive to Sanata Cruz and hang out on the beach. If your going to have contractions all day you might as well do it on a beautiful beach! The 100 yard walk through the sand felt like I had just run a marathon and kicked my contractions up to every 6 minutes. The whole drive home I told Peter tonight might be the night! After we put Ava to bed Peter, my Parents and I watched a movie (Non-Stop) and I sat on the birthing ball. I was having terrible back labor so my Mom rubbed my back and I just tried to focus on the terribly written movie. By 9pm the contractions were back up to every 10 minutes and not as painful so we went to sleep. I took a Unisom and had the best nights sleep I had gotten in months! The next morning at 7am my water broke! I told Peter Alice was trying to win favorite child award because she let me get a full nights sleep in before the crazy labor cycle begun. We took one last family photo as a family of 3. The next time we walked through that front door we would have 2 little girls. 

The feelings of leaving your home to go have your second child are so bittersweet. It was so hard for me to leave Ava knowing that she would no longer be my only little buddy. She and I did everything together and the dynamic was about to change. But at the same time I was so excited to meet sweet Alice and so thrilled our family was expanding!

As Peter and I drove to the hospital my contractions became a lot tougher. I knew she would be here soon! We checked into the hospital and this snotty Nurse said "Honey, are you sure your water really broke?" I stood up for her and the giant puddle on the floor and the wheel chair helped confirm my story. So off we went to get hooked up to the monitors! The first thing I told my nurse was that I ABSOLUTELY wanted an epidural. With Ava I asked too late and so I knew without a doubt that I did not want that labor experience again! I was about 5cm dilated so she went ahead and got me in line for an epidural. About an hour later the Anesthesiologist came in to put in the epidural. He left and I laid back into bed and as I was talking to the nurse I told her I didn't feel well. All of a sudden my hearing and vision started going out and I knew I was about to pass out.  I came to and I was on my side with another Nurse yelling at me to focus and breath. My BP was 60/49. The Anesthesiologist came running in and gave me a shot of epinephrine. This all happened right as my Mother was arriving. She walked in as I was passing out and they told her She had to wait in the hallway. I cannot imagine seeing my child, who is about to have my grandchild, passing out and not being able to stay in the room! Luckily, as soon as I was awake Peter ran out to tell her I was ok. My BP bumped back up to 100/70 and everyone calmed down. The hospital Dr came in to check on me about 2 minutes later and as I was talking to her I felt like my heart was about to explode. I told them my chest felt tight and then the vision and hearing started going out again. In those few seconds I was absolutely terrified that when I woke up I would be in an OR and they would be taking Alice out. I knew that this was not normal and they would not allow the baby to be in there if her heart rate dropped at all. This time my BP was down to 58/40. I woke up again with the same head nurse yelling at me and a giant oxygen mask on my face.

Apparently every time I laid on my back after the epidural it's position along with Alice's head position were cutting off blood flow therefore causing my BP to drop. So for the remainder of my labor I had to sit on my side. After they figured that out I had 0 issues and things calmed down for the next few hours. During both fainting episodes Alice's heart rate did not jump or fall. She was completely unfazed with Momma's BP issues! 

Epidurals are a wonderful thing. My Mom, Peter and I just hung out and talked from around 10am-1pm. Around 1pm I told the Nurse I started to feel some pressure. She checked and said I was 8cm dilated so not quite time yet. Then the epidural machine started beeping indicating it was out and needed a refill.

About an hour later I noticed I could really feel contractions and my legs. I know with epidurals you aren't supposed to be able to feel or be able to have full control over your legs. I tried to ignore it but about 30 minutes later I was clutching the side of the bed every 3 minutes in terrible pain and could feel every single contraction. The nurse came back in and I told her the pressure was terrible, I felt like I needed to push and something is wrong with the epidural. She said she'd call the Anesthesiologist but it was shift change so the new nurse would meed to check me. She checked and I was 10cm dilated and Alice's head was about 1 inch from coming out. She told me not to push. UM.... WHAT? If you have ever birthed a baby you know when it's time to push you cannot NOT push! All of a sudden 3 nurses came in, the baby nurse came in, and my nurse was yelling that they needed to call the hospital Dr because it's possible my Dr may not make it in time. 3 minutes later my Dr rolled in. She put on gloves, threw her hair back and ran over. She said I needed to push. I pushed for a solid minute and then told her there was No way I could push again for 3 hours, like I did with Ava. She looked up and said "Katelyn, the head is half out!" WHAT?! With Ava I pushed and pushed and pushed and she's telling me with 1 minute of pushing she was almost here!? So 2 more giant pushes and Alice had made her grand debut! She arrived at 3:45pm was 7lbs on the dot, 19 inches and had a full head of hair! 


 She nursed right away and gave us the sweetest cuddles! Our family has been forever changed in the best way by this sweet girl. She rarely cries, smiles all the time, and LOVES to be cuddled. I thought Ava was an easy baby but Alice is even calmer. God has truly blessed us with the 2 sweetest girls in the world! 

Later I asked my nurse about the epidural and she said it either moved and was in the wrong position or my other nurse forgot to turn it back on when she refilled it. So next time with baby #3 I really need to make sure I have this epidural thing under control! 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Alice in Nurseryland

Nesting has been in full effect these last few weeks. For some reason (sheer exhaustion and chasing a toddler) I haven't had a lot of time to set the nursery up until now! I was also waiting until my Mom and Dad came out a few weeks ago because the nursery will double as a guest room. The room is much smaller than at our last place so I knew with a crib things would be tight and wanted them to have a little more space on their visit. 

I also had a little "sprinkle" a few weeks ago. Some fabulous friends threw a small brunch to honor Alice's arrival. We already have tons of clothes, bottles, swings, blankets, toys and most necessary baby things but we did not have diapers, a second crib, and some of the larger items. I was just expecting and wishing for a few boxes of diapers but my good friend reached out to the "Duke ladies" and gave us an amazing Amazon gift card so we could get a new crib and mattress for the nursery. Several friends here also gave GIANT boxes of diapers, wipes, new California Baby Shampoo, and lots of fun books. I was blown away and slightly embarrassed at the generosity of our local friends as well as so many friends from our Duke days contributing to the "Alice crib fund." 

As soon as I got home I ordered the crib right away and that weekend Peter and I found the perfect vintage dresser and changing table. We already had the glider from Ava's room so all that was left was pictures. I had a Mary Blair theme in mind and found this great San Francisco Mary Blair'esq print on Etsy that I fell in love with. 

I really wanted an Alice in Wonderland Mary Blair painting but sadly Peter and I don't have an extra $5k laying around of nursery art. I purchased the A-L-I-C-E letters off of Etsy and got some great frames at Ikea. 

This past weekend at HomeGoods I found this great chalkboard and decided a scripture would complete the room. 

Peter and I finished hanging everything tonight and then sat and talked about how crazy it is that we will have ANOTHER baby in less than 2 months. As I finished folding her tiny little onsies and sleepers I prayed for the amazing woman I know she will be. Can't wait to meet our sweet Alice Elizabeth!!! 

Friday, May 2, 2014

Summa Summa time

Northern Cali has been experiencing quite the HEAT WAVE this week! We are so spoiled here with 72 degrees and sunny 90% of the year that when it's too hot or actually rains people don't know what to do! My husband jokes that we should get a break in rent when the weather "acts up" because if you're paying $3000+ a month to live somewhere the weather should be perfect all year long! 

Luckily we have AC so we haven't been experiencing this "brutal" weather like some of our friends. By brutal I mean it was 91 (with 0% humidity) 2 days this week... basically winter weather in FL! Ava and I took advantage of the heat and spent almost every afternoon outside at the water table and in her little kiddie pool. We also went to our big neighborhood pool with one of our friends and hit up the splash pad at Mitchell Park. 

With all of this fun in the sun Ava got to test out 1 of her new swimsuits. Now baby swimsuits preferences vary by person but I am a big fan of either a rash guard (if in the sun for a while but it sucks trying to get it over their head) or a 1 piece. Ava had one baby bikini last year and although a baby belly sticking out of a bikini is adorable they are SUPER annoying in the pool! All they do is ride up under their armpits and provide 0 sun protection. So this year we stuck with only 1 pieces. Ava has 2 monogrammed swimsuits but after she wore this Bella Bare Wear snap bottom swimsuit it was hard to put her in anything else. This swimsuit is so easy to get on and off and has a snap bottom closure! WHY don't all little girl swimsuits have a snap bottom closure?! You can slide the swimsuit on and off from over their head like a regular onsie then snap the bottom. Then when you get to the park or pool you just unsnap and put on the swim diaper... GENIUS! Last year Ava had some cute swimsuits but getting them on her chubby little body was so hard! Peter used to call it stuffing a sausage because you have to put their chubby little thighs through these tiny leg holes and then hike it up and up to get the straps over their shoulders! This year it's all about the easy way out! 

I also just ordered another snap bottom suit by Ruffle Butts. Hopefully it'll be just as easy to use. Plus I can't get over ruffle bottoms on swimwear!! Such a fun way to start off the summer!