Nine Months With Natalie!

Monday, November 12, 2018


Nine months of this sweet babe, and I think this is my favorite age of hers so far! She's really developing quite the personality now, and has been so much fun to watch as she explores and learns more about her world every day. 

Natalie just had her 9 month check-up, and she weighs a little over 18 pounds and is 26.5 inches long. Short and stout like a little teapot! ;) So far she still has no teeth, but she's been working on them like crazy. I am fully prepared for her to wake up one morning with both bottom teeth popped through. She's been a little crabby for the past couple weeks, so I know shes hurting. Poor little thing. Other than that, though, she's completely healthy and growing beautifully.


As for milestones this month, Nat was upgraded to a big girl (but still rear facing, of course!) car seat, and she is very happy to be out of her cramped infant seat. Also, in last months update, I said she wasn't crawling yet, so she decided to show me and crawled for the first time about two hours after the post was live. Go figure, right?! About two weeks ago she started pulling herself up on absolutely everything as well, so needless to say she's been fun but exhausting! I'm constantly chasing her and getting her down from precarious places, but she cracks me up with her determination. Her little crawl is adorable; she stomps her hands as hard as she can and babbles everywhere she goes. She says "mama", "baba", "dada" and "dog". We are also working on clapping and waving, and she's starting to get the hang of them!



Natalie is completely off purees now, and has decided to eat whatever we eat. She feeds herself at every meal, and it's been so fun to let her try new things. Her favorites are noodles/pasta, chicken, cheese, broccoli, green beans, cheerios, and carrots. I plan on letting her try a few new things at Thanksgiving and I'm really excited about it!


The sleep department has been hit or miss the past few weeks. I finally got her in to a sleep sack and out of the Merlin's sleep suit because she was rolling over in it. Since being in a sleep sack, she's decided that she's a tummy sleeper, which she likes a lot better, but she's missing the cozy security of the sleep suit. That, along with her teething, has made for some sleepless nights, but I think (and hope!) it's getting better.  

 

As far as fun adventures go, this month we celebrated Natalie's first Halloween. We dressed her up as the sweetest little black cat, and she had so much fun getting pulled around in the wagon shaking her little pumpkin bucket while big sis trick-or-treated. (I can't wait 'til next year when she can join her!) 


A week after Halloween, we (finally!) moved in to our new house, so Natalie's little world has been kind of chaotic as we get settled in. She's a trooper, though, and has adjusted quite well. We more than doubled our square footage, so she's been having a blast crawling and exploring all over the place. A baby gate on the playroom entrance will be happening promptly. ;)

 
 I am so excited to spend next couple of months celebrating the rest of Peanut's first holidays! The fact that we will be celebrating her first birthday in just 3 short months is blowing my mind, and I want to soak in every moment. 

Mommy loves you, my Natty Lou!










Taking Care of Mama

Tuesday, November 6, 2018


Over the summer, I posted on my Instagram that I was struggling with some postpartum anxiety/depression. It was really hard for me to recognize that the feelings I was going through were deeper than just day-to-day stress. I fought every single day to find my "happy", and looking back, it's no wonder. Along with the basic stress of taking care of both Baylee and Natalie, I was also (and still am!) adjusting to being a fire wife and therefore doing a bulk of the parenting on my own. On top of that, the loneliness of not getting to see or talk to Brian every day got to me. His shifts are often 72 to 96 hours, and that's a long time to have a four-year-old as my only source of conversation. As soon as I realized how bad it was getting, I knew I had to do something about it. I wasn't going to let anxiety win, and I wasn't going to let it affect me being the best mom that I possibly could be.


I was completely open to trying medication, but I didn't want it to be my first source of relief. Instead, I decided to make a few changes. I have been going to bed shortly after the kids instead of staying awake, trying make healthier food choices at home, and moving my body every day (even if its just dancing around the house with Baylee!). I also added some other essential oils into my regime, and wow...what a difference it made. I am such a strong believer in the power of oils now. While all of this has not "fixed" me, I have definitely seen an improvement in my daily mood. I still have days that are worse than others, and the occasional anxiety attack here and there, but it's nowhere near as bad as it was in July. I am so grateful that I have had such a support system around me as well, I know if I'm having a bad day I can call or text one of my sisters or best friends, and Brian has been amazing through it all. Even after a sleepless night at the station, he tries his hardest to help me out with the kids and the house, and it has meant the world to me.

After going through all this, and then reading some other PPA/PPD stories, I started to think about how hard us new moms have it. I mean, think about it, you spend 9-10 months going to monthly, bi-monthly, and eventually weekly appointments while you are pregnant. At every appointment your healthcare provider not only checks on your baby, but asks how you're feeling and doing. Then, you have your baby, and after the length of your hospital visit you're kind of thrown to the wolves and left to figure it out on your own. Six weeks later, you get another quick visit, and then you're completely released from care. Baby, on the other hand, gets seen monthly for a while, and then just about every other month for the rest of their first year to make sure everything is going well with their health and development. That got me thinking, why don't the mothers receive the same care? The changes that the human body go through after birthing a baby are phenomenal, and I know that after each of my girls, having more consistent doctor visits to check on my mental and physical health during that first year would have made a world of difference. I realize that you can seek further care if you sense something isn't right, but what about an instance like my case where it was late onset (Natalie was already 4 months old when it started) and virtually unrecognizable. I spent and entire month thinking I was just really stressed out before it clicked that I was experiencing true PPA/PPD.   

I know my little blog won't be able to change the way our healthcare system works, but I thought I would post this as food for thought, and as a reminder to check on the new mamas around you. Ask how they are doing and see if they need any help. If they say they're fine and decline the offer, maybe insist a little. ;) My best friend and her husband recently came up to my house on a day that Brian got recalled to the station (as he was just about to walk out the door too!) even though I told her to not worry about it, and it rejuvenated me. Just a few hours of adult contact, some help with the kids, and a solo trip to Target changed my entire outlook on the day. My point is that a lot of us are too polite/proud to accept help at first, so insisting a little is okay. The mama you're helping will probably feel more relieved than she could ever explain.


I know this was long, so thank you so much for reading if you have gotten this far! If you have any thoughts on the matter, please leave them in the comments, I would love to read what some of you think! 

Halloween 2018

Thursday, November 1, 2018


Halloween 2018 was a complete success (well up until 9:00pm when Natalie decided to spend the next six hours screaming her head off but that's another story...) We went to my cousins' house and they hosted a little Halloween party complete with chili, cornbread, and all the yummy desserts you could imagine! They have kids who are 3, almost 2, and 8 months (5 days younger than Nat!) and my sister-in-law brought my two nieces over as well, so the kiddos had the best time playing all together before it was time to trick-or-treat! 




Baylee and I made the monster mash brownies, and they were a complete hit!  

Originally, my girls were supposed to be Bambi and Flower the Skunk, but late in September I put "Hocus Pocus" on for Baylee and she was obsessed. As soon as the movie was over, she said "I want to be Dani for Halloween and I want sissy to be Binx!" which was followed by immediate costume orders going through on Amazon, because I wasn't going to deny her a couple of my dream costumes. ;) Brian and I decided to be Allison and Max, & let me tell you...most comfortable Halloween ever! 


Natalie crawling around in her little cat costume was priceless, and probably my favorite part of the whole night! 


Once it started to get dark, we loaded up kids and their pumpkin buckets in a couple of wagons and started the trick-or-treating. They all filled their buckets to the brim and had the best time. Everyone was really well behaved, and made it so much fun! And can we take a moment to appreciate the two 8-month-olds in the wagon? Heart eyes.




Now, I'm spending today trying to figure out if there is such thing as enough coffee to survive a baby being awake until 3:00am and then a 6:30am 4-year-old alarm clock. Tomorrow, though, the holiday season is officially beginning in the Tibbetts house! Falalalalalalalala!




 
 




Love List

Tuesday, October 16, 2018


It's been forever since I posted a love list on the blog, so I decided it was about time I did one! For those of you who are new readers; every so often I like to post a list of random things I am currently loving just for fun. I used to do it monthly, so I'm really going to try to do that again. :)

1. Cozy fall blankets! I have gotten a few blankets off Amazon this season, and they're awesome. I never thought about ordering blankets off there until recently, but I am so glad I did because they shipped fast (love Prime forever!) and they were a great deal! I got this one and this one.

2. New "Soup Sunday" recipes! Brian's schedule has been all over the place, so I haven't been able to do Soup Sunday this year, but I definitely want to start making a different soup weekly on one of the nights he is home. I just saw an episode of "The Pioneer Woman", and she made this hamburger soup, and I was absolutely drooling. I also want to make this stuffed pepper soup, because stuffed peppers is one of my favorite meals! 

3. I went shopping with my Mom and sisters recently, and each of us got a pair of these jeans, and we are obsessed. Seriously, you need them in your life. They are very forgiving, so soft and comfortable, and on sale right now! 

4. Cat & Jack plaid shirts. If you follow me on Instagram, you saw my post about a week ago of the girls wearing these shirts at the pumpkin patch. I love them so much, and I decided they need all the plaid! 



5. Halloween meals! I have been trying to add a little Halloween flare to any meals we have been having at home lately. Sometimes it's as simple as cutting out some garlic toast into a ghost shape, and tonight we made mummy alfredo pasta! Comment with any fun ideas!


6. My JORD watch! Brian has had a JORD watch for a little over a year now, but I just got my first one, and now I totally get what the hype is about! I am not a huge watch or jewelry person, but this watch is so comfortable that sometimes I forget I even have it on. I also love how stylish it is and that I can wear it dressed up or dressed down. Right now, I am hosting a giveaway so make sure you click here to enter so that you can get a JORD watch of your own! 


Also, is anyone else as excited as I am that Halloween is only two weeks away?! Bring on the candy! ;)

 

Eight Months With Natalie

Tuesday, October 9, 2018



Eight whole months with my sweet baby, and it has seriously flown by! This month, her personality has really started to shine, and I am enjoying every minute of it. She's silly, always smiling, and loves to start playing as soon as she wakes up. She takes naps and bed time very seriously, and doesn't waste a moment letting me know she's had enough, then falls asleep within a few minutes of me putting her in her crib. She still wakes up once a night for a bottle most nights, but considering I was still getting up 4-5 times a night with Baylee when she was Natalie's age, I take it as her spoiling me. ;)



In true Natalie fashion, she continues to hit milestones at her own pace, and has no sense of urgency to keep up with big sis. She's a cuddle bug, who is happiest being held by mommy. In fact, just about a week ago, she blessed me with the surprise of babbling "mama" first. (Baylee of course said "dada" #daddysgirlforever) She just melts me with her love. We went through a rough patch where she sobbed every time I left the room for even a split second, but that seems to be getting much better as she's realizing that I always come back. :)

So far, Natalie is not "crawling" in the classic sense of the word, but she sure does get around! She's been rolling everywhere and backing herself up into a "sit" from all fours. She definitely rocks and tries, but so far hasn't gotten the hang of moving forward. She's been doing a lot of "down dog" baby yoga and trying to pull herself up on everything she can possibly get her hands on, so I know as soon as she strengthens those muscles enough she will be moving around like crazy.


Also, this month, Natalie finally discovered her inner foodie. She hadn't been a huge fan up until a few weeks ago, and now she's feeding herself tiny pieces of whatever we happen to be eating, and it's been so much fun! So far her favorite things are chicken, turkey, cheese, broccoli, and macaroni. I still attempt to end her meal with a puree, but she hasn't been finishing them lately. I think she's just about ready to give them up all together. 


 Natalie had her first trips to the county fair and the pumpkin patch this month, and I am so excited to do all the other "fall things" with her! Our Halloween costumes are ready to go, and I can't wait to see how much more fun it's going to be with both my girls!


Happy 8 months, my peanut!

Spooky Sleepers

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

 I asked on my Instagram stories if you guys wanted to see my favorite Halloween jammies for this year, and the "yes's" won! So here are the links to all these adorable jams! Most of them are already super discounted, so hurry and grab them before they're gone!

1//2//3//4//5//6

 It has been so much fun this year to find coordinating PJs in both baby and big kid sizes...I'm pretty sure we need ALL the matching Christmas jammies for next month. ;) But for now, we are going to have these little skeleton beauties on repeat for the next 28 days! 



Also, true story, I didn't read in the description that they glow in the dark. You can imagine how bed time went the first time Baylee wore them and got the best surprise. *face palm*

Where are your favorite places to shop for matching jammies for both kids and adults? 

Fall Bucket List

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Every new season, I love to make a bucket list of fun things for us to do, so Baylee and I sat down and came up with some ideas for Fall!


 Fall Bucket List 

1. Go apple picking.
2. Bake a new cookie recipe. (We are thinking of adding apples to our oatmeal cookie recipe! Yum)
3. Visit the pumpkin patch.
4. Watch Hocus Pocus and our other Halloween movies on repeat. 
5. Make a new soup for dinner once a week. 
6. Go trick-or-treating.
7. Go to Baylee's school's Harvest Festival.
8. Move in to our new house and immediately put a new door mat and pumpkins on the porch! ;)
9. Bake a pie. (Either pumpkin or apple...or both)
10. Drink a hot caramel apple cider from Starbucks.
11. Do a random act of kindness.
12. Have a chili and cornbread night.
13. Go hiking on a cool day in the mountains.

What's on your fall bucket list??

I am so excited to begin the season of holidays with this little lady and her big sis. I think it's going to be the best ever! :)



Proud of You Two!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

I have been looking in to all of the adorable personalized books that are out there ever since Baylee was a baby, but I never quite found one that was perfect enough. Then, recently, I found a company called Hooray Heroes, and I just knew we had to have the siblings book that they personalize! As soon as we got our book, "The Adventures of Natalie & Baylee", I knew that it was something the girls would cherish for the rest of their lives!



Making the book was half the fun! I was able to design each of the girls (I made it so that Natalie looked like a toddler and Baylee like a big kid so they can grow with it!) and then I picked and chose from a bunch of "stories" to completely make the book our own. Once everything was chosen, I was able to add a sweet message to go inside the front cover, so that they can always know that the book was a special gift from their Mama who loves them so!


The stories inside the book are all hypothetical adventures starring my two beauties with me as the narrator. It goes over many adventures that we can take one day including things like going to the beach, climbing trees in the forest, and star gazing. Each one has an underlying theme regarding how important it is for siblings to help each other and be each other's very best friend. There are sweet moments and giggles all along the way. Baylee and I had the best time reading each adventure, and I know Natalie will love it just as much when she's older! We took it slow and read 2-3 adventures each night so that we could talk about each one and point out what we saw in the pictures. Baylee loved that it depicted Natalie a little older than she is right now (already walking and talking), and now she is even more excited for sissy to get bigger!


I can't even begin to explain the way these sweet sisters warm my heart! I am so very proud of both of them; Natalie for being so sweet and smart, and just an all around joy, and Baylee for being the best big sister, a wonderful daughter, and a strong girl with a heart of gold. It is so great to have this book as a way to time capsule this ever fleeting season. They won't be little forever, and one day they will be even more grown up than the book depicts them, so I will forever cherish it for capturing this precious and innocent time of their lives.


Along with the sibling book, Hooray Heroes also has a whole line of individual personalized books which are just as adorable (and definitely going to be under our Christmas tree this year!). This amazing company has been so generous to offer my readers a discount of 15% off using the code: COFFEEGRACE15

These books are so great for holidays and birthdays, or just as a way to show the kiddo in your life how special they are to you! I promise you and they will love it more than any other book in their collection. ;) 





Until next time! XoXoXo 

 
 
 

Seven Months With Natalie

Sunday, September 9, 2018


I keep telling my sweet, little Natalie to stop growing, but she just won't listen. ;)

This month has been pretty magical for me, because with Baylee back in school a few days a week, I have been able to get some much needed one-on-one time with Nat to soak in what's left of her baby-ness. I'm enjoying the cuddles and playing with her uninterrupted for a few hours. I feel like second babies get a little jipped because they kind of just get carried along for the ride, so the slow down has been nice for both of us!

Natalie is still the chillest baby 95% of the time. She's quiet as a church mouse until she wants to be heard...then she has a shriek that could break glass. She's all smiles and giggles, and adores being around her people. She's definitely still not in a rush to hit milestones like Baylee always was (and still is), but I kind of love that about her. She's just content to do things at her own pace.

For milestones this month she has started to do a lot of baby push-ups and rocking back and forth in preparation for crawling. She can scoot herself backwards, and gets very frustrated as she gets farther away from whatever she's after. She's 100% mastered sitting up unassisted, and she loves to play peek-a-boo with a blanket over her head. My favorite thing, though, is that she thinks her name is "Sissy" because we call her that so often. She won't respond to "Natalie" yet, but if you call "Sissy!" she looks right at you. :) 


Natalie's love for food has grown a ton this month! She can eat an entire serving of pureed food in one sitting, and has finally gotten the hang of feeding herself solid food. She loves to snack on puffs and cheerios, and for meal time she has been enjoying her Raised Real meals! (Check out my post on this amazing company here!) Her favorite foods so far are sweet potatoes, peas, and apples.


Natalie is just like me, and is happiest when our family is all together. She's obsessed with Brian and Baylee, and is just one happy bouncy baby during family time. I keep saying this time and time again, but I seriously don't remember life without her. She's just been this perfect little addition to our family and we are so blessed. :)


I am so excited for the next few months with Natalie celebrating her first Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. It's going to be the best holiday season ever! 

Until next time! XoXoXo

Raised Real, Baby!

Wednesday, August 29, 2018


While scrolling through Instagram a couple months ago, I came across an ad for a company called Raised Real. I decided to check them out, and I instantly knew it was something I needed to try for Natalie. We try our best to eat fairly healthy, and we want the same for our babies. Raised Real is an amazing baby food company that makes feeding baby healthy and clean food super easy! 

With Baylee, we did primarily baby led weaning when it came to meal time, but it was a little difficult to always feed her whatever we were eating. I found myself often having to make something separate for her, and wasting a lot of food in the process. Raised Real comes in ready-to-make packets that you just add water to and steam on the stove for a few minutes...instant healthy meal for Natalie! The best part? If you don't do baby led weaning, the food can easily be mashed or pureed for some super healthy baby food with no questionable ingredients.



Natalie has absolutely loved every packet that we have tried. Her favorite is the peas, zucchini, hemp seeds, and basil in avocado oil. She has so much fun picking up the food and trying to feed herself, and I love that she is getting familiar with different flavors. With Baylee being back in school, dinner has been even more of a challenge during the week, so it's been great to have Natalie's Raised Real meals to take away the stress of having to make something different for her. We can all eat dinner together at the table at night, and that has made our evenings so much nicer. :)


There's no better time to try out Raised Real for your baby, because right now they are offering my followers $25 off their order! Just use the code ASHLEE25 at checkout, and you'll be on your way to getting some amazing, healthy food for your baby that is going to make your life so much easier! 


Natalie promises you'll love it! ;)

Until next time! XoXoXo
 


3-6 Month Must Haves

Tuesday, August 14, 2018



I'm so excited about the must-haves for this age range, because so many fun things get added to baby's day as they start playing, learning to sit, and adding in solids. Here are a few of my favorite things I used all the time during the last 3 months with Natalie:

1. Ergo Carrier: By far, this is the best carrier I have ever used. It is so comfortable to wear, and she never cries while she's in it. She loves to face out while we are walking around places like Disneyland, and then I turn her to face me for snuggly naps. The game changer for me has been the attached sun shade and the detachable pouch that it comes with. Super useful to have! This carrier is worth every dime, people!

2. Bumbo: I know this product has had mixed reviews over the years, but Baylee, my two nieces, and now Natalie have all used it starting around 3 months, and they were all early sitters! I never let Natalie sit in it too long, and always supervised. She loved seeing her world from a different angle, and it functioned as a seat for her when we introduced solids. She started sitting up independently at just under 5 months old, and I know the Bumbo helped! 

3. Baby Merlin's Magic Sleepsuit: I now have two girls to show proof that this sleepsuit is a life saver! Both my girls used it to transition out of the swaddle, and they both did amazing with it. Natalie did significantly better than Baylee, but she's been a better sleeper since day one, so I'm not surprised. As soon as I put this thing on Nat she knows its bed time and starts closing her eyes. It helped to keep her from startling awake, and other than the 4 month sleep regression, she has been sleeping anywhere from 9-12 hours straight with it on! As of right now she hasn't starting rolling over in it, but I will be really sad when she does. We have started practicing with a sleep sack for naps, but its just not the same!

4. Logan & Alice Teethers: These teethers are the cutest, and Natalie absolutely loves hers! They come in a pineapple, fox, bear, and teepee in all kinds of colors. Super adorable!

5. Baby Einstein Jumper: Love, love, love this thing, and I wish I had had one for Baylee. Natalie loves to bounce around and play with her toys; it keeps her so entertained! We added our own links to ours and change out the toys every so often to make it fun for her. She loves making the music go off on the little piano, and sometimes I let her bounce before bed to get her super tired. :)

6. Mesh Feeder: These are so fun for beginning eaters and teething! We like to put frozen blueberries, apple chunks, and pears in ours and she goes to town on them. You can also put in a cube of ice or breast milk for relief from sore gums. I throw mine in the dishwasher after use to make clean up super easy!

What are your favorite products for this age range
I would love to try some new ideas or add some to the list!





Until next time! XoXoXo


 

Six Months With Natalie

Thursday, August 9, 2018


It's my sweet baby's half birthday! Don't even ask me where the last 6 months have gone because I have no clue! I'm so excited though, because, while I love all the newborn snuggles, the second half of the first year is so much more fun!

Natalie had a big month adding some "big-girl" food to her diet. So far, she has tried and liked pureed bananas, carrots, apples, and green beans. We have also began doing some baby led weaning with her. She has tried a banana, green beans, and toast so far, and I plan on letting her try avocado and sweet potatoes soon. She definitely isn't as big of a fan of food as big sister was at her age. Baylee would practically dance for food, but Natalie can kind of take it or leave it. Because of that, I'm not forcing it on her at all. She only gets food during our dinner time, and if shes napping or just not into it, then I don't even bother. I know in time her love for food will grow! :)



For milestones this month, Natalie has perfected sitting up unassisted. She loves sitting on a blanket and chewing on her toys and is perfectly entertained doing so for 20-30 minutes at a time! She has also started to reach up for me to pick her up, which I love, but along with that has come some major separation anxiety. She definitely does not like for me to not be within her range of sight! She also discovered our cocker spaniel, Stella, and is completely thrilled by her!



Natalie just had her six month checkup and is a super healthy little peanut! She is 15 pounds 2 ounces and 24.5 inches long, my tiny teapot! :) She is in size 3 diapers and 6 month clothes. She is finally sleeping through the night most nights, but right now she's teething super bad so we have some rough nights here and there still. She's happy 95% of the time, and her favorite things are bottles, naps, mama cuddles, and her crazy sister. She giggles almost every time Baylee walks into the room, and just adores her to pieces!


I just love this girl so much! I can't even remember life without her. I am so excited to be able to bond with her even more while Baylee is at school a few days a week and it's just the two of us. 

Happy half birthday my peanut! 
I love you to the moon and back! 


Until next time! XoXoXo