Soaking it in

I'm still here, just soaking in the last of my maternity leave. To say that I have been enjoying being at home with my boys is an understatement! I go back to work next monday and much of me is dreading it. I love my job, but I love my job as a mom more. If we could swing it financially, I would stay home in a second! The past few weeks have been spent celebrating birthdays with family, holidays with friends, corraling children and dogs in my house, and trying to grow things in my yard.

- Archer is doing great and growing like a weed. I took him for his 1 month appointment and he has grown 2 pounds. He is still only 25% in weight. Apparently I have skinny babies! I need to post his 1 month photos, even though he is already 6 weeks old!! He is SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT, praise the GOOD Lord!!! We are also exclusively formula feeding since my milk dried up at 4 weeks. That deserves a post of its own.

-Keating's new favorite toy is Ike, when Ike isn't bullying him and knocking him down. He has learned that he can technically "ride" Ike. Ike doesn't seem to mind.

- Ike is more of a monster than ever. In the past week he has dug up my cilantro, rosemary, and basil. He has busted out of his crate while we were gone and eaten countless dirty diapers, a dozen oranges, a baseball bat, a small cypress tree, chewed a C size battery, and peed in my closet. He is lucky that I'm forgiving because he could be packing his bags to live in a dog house!

-Things are finally starting to grow in our yard. The blue hydrangeas that I planted last year came back as pink. I am a little disappointed because blue hydrangeas are my favorite. I'm working on getting them to change to blue. If that fails at least they are a pretty color pink!

- My lemon tree is blooming like crazy, hopefully that means lots of lemons this year! The blooms smell amazing like orange blossoms.

-We have three little garden boxes planted, so far they aren't looking so great. I planted cilantro, basil, rosemary, red peppers, bell peppers, collard greens, okra, cucumbers and tomatoes. Between bugs and the dog, the crops are looking bleak.

- Every afternoon Keating and I have popsicles on the porch. It has become a daily ritual that I love. There is nothing that says "summer" better than a popsicle!

- For memorial day weekend we spent time at the pool and went to the lake with friends. Making the trek to the lake made us realize that we never should have gotten rid of my Tahoe. My small economical car is hardly big enough for a family of four with two enormous car seats and a double stroller. We traded my car last year the day before I was surprised with a positive pregnancy test. Oops! :)

I hope everyone had a great memorial day!!


Keating's Big Boy Room

When planning everything for our home renovation, Keating's room was the one that I really enjoyed working on. Even though he was still in a crib at the time, I knew that I wanted the room to be able to transition into his toddler years. I wanted it to be bright and colorful and a place that he would want to spend time in. I think I successfully accomplished all of the above and I am happy with the way it turned out. What is even better is that he loves his room. He is always in there playing and he wants everyone who comes over to come play in his room.

His bed is rather large for a toddler, but we already had the queen size bed so we decided to make the most of our resources. The duvet cover was found on clearance at Target as were the sheets. I think I paid maybe $15 for all of it.

The bench at the foot of the bed is an antique school house bench that I bought at the Country Living Fair. I'm still lacking something to go over his bed, just not sure what that will be yet.
I made the pillows with the trucks on them and the "lola" pillow is from CSN stores.

A chalk board wall was a must for his bedroom, I think it is so much fun! As of now, he has to be supervised with the chalk because he likes to use it on other walls too! My dad made the bookshelves for him. The cute little rocking chair was Brad's when he was a lad.

The globe was a great Goodwill find, I nearly jumped for joy when I spotted it on the shelf!

On this wall is a little assortment of artwork and things that were gifts from friends. The toy box was made by our carpenter friend Austin. It really helps control the toy madness.

The picture on the left I made for Keating's old room. The one on the right is a vintage book that I framed. I liked that it was "little boy blue" I may eventually change out the lamp to something a bit more modern, but we hardly use it so it works for now.

Once Archer is old enough, the boys will share a room. I am already planning on bunk beds!

So Happy to be Here

A few months ago Keating and I were sitting on our front porch enjoying our unseasonably warm spring and eating popsicles. He randomly looked at me and said "I'm so happy to be here!" I am unsure of where he picked up his little catchphrase, but it completely melted me. At first I laughed, and then I told him how happy I was to be here too.

I feel that I am finally at a spot in my life where I can just take a deep breath and enjoy where I am at. I'm sure y'all know what I mean. You get to the point where you realize that all of the decisions you made, all of the prayers that you had answered, got you to where you are today. I wouldn't change a thing about my life.

When I first started my blog in 2008, I had just gotten married and the title reflected the person that I was at the time. Things have changed a great amount after having kids and now my life is so much more. I wanted the name to reflect the family that I deeply love and the beautiful life that we live. With all that being said, welcome to "So Happy to be Here!"


Moms On Call

I mentioned in my last post about using the Moms On Call method, and a few of you were wanting to know more. I'd like to share my great experience so far. Mom's On Call has no idea I am writing this, I just love to share a good thing when I find one.

I first learned about MOC through other blogs and Twitter. When I found out that I was expecting again I began to do a little research about them and see what they were about. There were SO many rave reviews that I decided to give it a try.

When I was a new mom with Keating I had no idea what I was doing. I don't think that reading every book in print can prepare you for the endless sleepless nights with a colicky baby. I only wish I had known about MOC then. Since I will be going back to work in a few short weeks, I know that getting on a schedule and sleep training is really important. With Keating I used Babywise, which worked for us but I found that the scheduling was a little more complicated and it was more stern in its cry it out method

The Moms are both nurses with many children between the two of them. They have great experience and know what works. I like that they speak from personal experience and not some man that thinks he knows what it is like to be a mom... Because lets face it... It's us that does the hard work... Not the dads!

They offer in home consultations and an online seminar. I chose the online seminar as a refresher to prepare for Archer's arrival.

For the first two weeks you allow the baby to determine when mealtime is. For Archer it was every three hours. Then at two weeks you can start following the recommended schedule. Our daytime routine did not change much but we began following the nighttime routine to the T. Since we have, he will sleep from 9:30 until 2:30 or 3am and then again until around 7. We even had one night that he slept from 9:30 until 7am without waking at all!!! At four weeks we will begin working on pushing back his middle of the night feeding.

The videos also teach you how to swaddle a baby, which is the only way Archer currently likes to be swaddled. All of the woombies and swaddle me blankets offer too much wiggle room for now. As soon as I get him swaddled up in his little burrito, he instantly relaxes. It's another thing I wish I had known how to do with Keating. My kids apparently like being in little baby straight jackets! They also offer handy pointers for bath time.

The thing I love most about it, is that they allow room to make your own choices... If you want to bottle feed, great... If you're nursing, That's good too... They don't encourage you to lock the bedroom door and make the baby cry all night long. It's not a brutal cry it out technique. They also make great recommendations. They recommend the cheapest bottles that you can buy... I was skeptical at first but they work great and cost four bucks for three bottles. Can't beat that!! The fancy "anti-colic" bottles I used with Keating were about ten dollars a piece and had to be ordered online. Now I can pick them up anywhere if I lose them and they work just as well. Very handy indeed.

So if you already cant tell, I am a huge fan of MOC. I plan on getting a subscription for new moms as a shower gift I love it so much!! If you still arent convinced you can read the tons of great reviews on their site. I am definitely looking forward to getting the next chapter of the Moms On Call and preparing for what's to come.



A random photo hodge podge

I am blogging from my iphone because we still don't have our cable line run to our basement yet for the computer. Therefore I can only add a lot of photos in no particular order. Here is what we have been up too...

-Keating has been dying for a fishing pole. Brad took him to Walmart to pick one out, he insisted on orange. Fishing wasn't as fun as he imagined it to be and he quickly lost interest. He preferred to dig in the tackle box and found the one item (an old cd player remote) inside that he could pretend was a cell phone. It was like we flashed forward to his teenage years.
- Our fire department went out testing the hydrants the other day. In the process they screwed up the water pressure which broke people's water lines in the neighborhood. We were one of the lucky ones hit. thankfully my dad does underground utilities and we had it replaced the same day. Keating thinks my dads equipment is his own personal playground.
-I read Fifty Shades of Grey. Two words...messed.up. I will not read the other two. I'm still unsure of why it is so popular.
-Keating loves being a big brother and helping with things for Archer. He likes taking part in tummy time with him as well. Funny, since he used to scream during his own tummy time.
-I'm thinking of changing the name of my blog soon. I've been debating it for a few years now and I finally have a great name in mind. I just don't think that Mrs. Southern Belle really describes where I am in life anymore. A lot has changed since 2008 when I originally picked it as a newly wed.
-I am going back to work on June 1. As much as I love my job, I'm dreading this. I love being home with my boys more.
-we are doing the moms on call method with Archer to get him sleeping well through the night. He is doing great with the schedule. He goes down around 9:30 and wakes up once around 2am to eat and then on a good day will sleep from about 3am until 7:30 am. Of course it doesn't always go that smoothly but we are working towards that. He really is a good baby.
-my mom has been coming over during the day and helping with the boys. I would be insane without her. Next week she will be out of town and I'm sure I may go nuts or gain a few gray hairs.
-After trying on about sixty pairs of white skinny jeans, I finally found the perfect pair!

And that about sums up the past week or two. Sorry for the lack of posting. I hope to be more regular now that I have gotten into a better daily routine.