Monday, March 31, 2014

.Hollis Parker Week Four.

Can you believe that she is almost a MONTH old! I am in complete shock. It has gone so quickly! Here are a few highlights from Hollis' fourth week!

MONDAY:
Look at my fancy ruffle outfit! Another great hand-me-down from Stella! It is cute in the picture but amazing in person! I never thought I would like black and white on a baby, but Hollis can pull it off!
Aunt Tiff came to visit and bring us some dinner. It was yummy! I am glad I got in some snuggles! I can't wait to meet my new cousin!

Just for comparison purposes: The left is Stella at 3 months old. The right is Hollis at 3 weeks old. I have a chubs on my hands! <3
TUESDAY:
We got the swing all set up at the Dorsey's. Stella loved to push Hollis. We sat by her, pushed her, and even ate our lunch watching her swing! It was a big to-do! :) Stella has been such an amazing helper. She gets me anything I need and usually knows what Hollis needs when she starts crying. Milk Lexis? Paci Lexis? Diaper Lexis? TWO wipes! (she counts them out for me) I hope this doesn't wear off. hehe
Baby Hoods are funny. I think this outfit is adorable... and then I put on the cute jacket with the hood. Even cuter. And then I realize that the zipper is the stiffest and most annoying thing! I ended up taking the coat off! This picture makes me laugh because she was annoyed by the stupid zipper too!

WEDNESDAY:
We went to Michaels and I got Stella this little bunny to color. She loved it! She kept showing it to Hollis. Do you like it baby Hollis? My Bunny! (the second picture, she is grinning ear to ear behind the bunny!)

Hollis and I went to visit my friend Jen at the nursing home. Jen has ALS and we make weekly visits to her. I have written about her before, but I am so glad that she got to meet Hollis. This is a picture of Christine holding Hollis. Who SLEPT the whole time! Who is this child? haha. Anyway, Jen was really glad to meet her and it was nice to bring a little ray of sunshine into that room. We only stayed for a few minutes. But, in those few minutes, I managed to get reprimanded by a nurse. Ugh! So, on my way home I called a few people (mom and Michelle) to verify I am not a terrible mother! She pulled me outside of the room and told me that Jen is technically quarantined (I knew this and I know that the reason is not contagious FYI) and that she was concerned that I had an infant in the room. "Babies are very susceptible." DUH! But my friend needed to meet her. Anyway. I felt better after I talked to my mom and friend. But I was still annoyed. She was just doing her job... I know, but way to make me feel two inches tall!

Hollis was really awake and alert! She was just chilling in her Boppy and looking around. She even made some non-crying noises! How cute! 


We decided to try to start a new bedtime routine. Bath between 7:30-8:00pm, baby massage (still working on finding a good one and practicing), PJs, swaddle, and rocking and reading. Well... someone (Hollis Parker) fell asleep at 7:00. That didn't bode well for the routine. We still bathed her. She woke up. She was fine. She ate and fell soundly asleep by 10. I am hoping that she can cut that down. But... I can't complain in any way. She slept from 10-4! Woo Hoo! Woke up to eat, back to sleep until 7am! <3 I plan to keep this routine up! I know that it will be beneficial in the long run and for my sanity later in life! 

THURSDAY:
It was a yucky day outside. It was supposed to rain/snow so I didn't plan on making it to daddy's scrimmage. Hollis was in a super lazy mode, sleepy, and we weren't in the mood to sit in the cold. We are excited for opening day on Saturday! I hope it clears up and is nice and warm! :) We have cute baseball outfits to debut!
Just napping. The vacuum cleaner puts me to sleep. <3

I do love my daddy! We sent this picture to him for some encouragement today during school. <3

Aunt Jamie came over to hang out with us at night. She brought mommy and daddy some Jimmy John's! It was delicious. She even got to hang out for my bath! I was a trooper. I fussed a little, but I did pretty good when she was bouncing me! We are going to be great friends.


FRIDAY:
Friday was a pretty slow day with Stella. She was sleepy, so was I. I did get to watch Frozen with Stella. It was my first time. I liked to look at the screen and hear the music!
We went to visit our friends Shane and Kim to watch some basketball, eat some food, and the girls did their nails.
Just watching the games with daddy and Pastor Shane <3

We skipped bath and went to bed... I snuck my arm out of my swaddle!

SATURDAY:
Opening Day was cancelled due to rainy and cold weather. Bummer! We were ready to go! It was nice to relax, get up, get ready, and wait for our visitors!
Tiffany, Tara, Kay and Gary came first. They all got their snuggles in at the house. We went out to lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant to just relax and enjoy each other. Thank you Kay for lunch!! This family has always been there for me. I can not express how much I love them and how important they are to me. I not only am wonderful friends with Tiffany (and Gary) but Tara was one of my campers at church camp and the relationship we have is amazing as well! She isn't just the little sister. <3
Tara and Hollis

Kay and Hollis (and some little eyes peekin')

Gary and Hollis 

Tiffany and Hollis

The Girls <3
Alissa and Mia met us at the restaurant. It was the FIRST time Mia got to see Hollis in person. We have FaceTimed a few times, but she was excited. So excited that she woke up early that morning and said "BABY HOLLIS!" How adorable!
Mia got her FIRST look... this was her reaction. :) 

It was game on from then on! Alissa HAD to hold her, and Mia HAD to hug and kiss her! 

Just becoming best friends! <3

Alissa and I have a similar picture, so we tried to re-create it. I will try to find it and post a side by side soon. Mia couldn't get enough! 

CHEESE! (upon seeing this picture, Alissa said, "Oh Hollis, you are going to have to be in the back of pictures to make your head look smaller just like your mom!" Nice! It is the truth. Alissa and Mia=small heads, Alexis and Hollis=HUGE heads.)

Snuggling on the rocking chair with Mia and Aunt Alissa <3

SUNDAY:
Sunday was a no-church Sunday. We slept in a bit, relaxed in our pjs, ate breakfast, and then headed to Easton to meet Uncle Clayton and get some lunch.
Just relaxing in our jammies! These fruit jams are AMAZING. They used to be Mia's! She kept saying, "Mia's baby". I have a feeling they are best friends already! 

We stopped at Buy Buy Baby first. We had to take a few things back (due to our head size-haha) and mommy was on the hunt for the Aden and Anais DREAM blanket. It is thicker than the swaddlers. No luck! It is still a goal to get one. But, we did find a stroller blanker from them that was a nice thickness. We also got our 'soon to be baseball friend' his gift too!
I got all dressed up to go to Easton. I was definitely BORN TO SHINE! <3

We went to Chipotle for lunch. Yumm. Hollis slept from 11-2. It was nice but caught us off guard. We went to Costco, but Mia fell asleep in the car, and that in itself is a miracle, so they took advantage, and headed home. We headed home too. We relaxed at home... Mommy even got to clean out her closet!! Whew! It was getting crazy crowded.


I got to take a bath! I love bath time. Trying to get back on schedule. It makes for a much easier night for mommy and daddy. I was holding daddy's finger the whole time. (You could say he is wrapped around mine... hehe)

Because opening day was cancelled, we are starting fresh tomorrow! I laid out all the baseball gear. I have got to get to the store to get things printed on the blank onesies. I have a few ideas. I need to get moving! We have a lot of games to get to this week.. especially since it is supposed to be somewhat warm and we can show off the outfits as opposed to hiding in our carseat!

Mommy caught another smile while I was sleeping. They are becoming more frequent and they happen when she is awake too. Sometimes, she smiles so big and her little eyes light up! I love it!!

Here is to opening day and a week full of baseball. Did I mention DADDY IS ON SPRING BREAK!!!

-Alexis and Hollis-




Friday, March 28, 2014

-New Mommy Indulgences-

So, as a new mommy, everyone tells you to "sleep when the baby sleeps" and "take care of mommy too!", etc. Well, I was emailed a few days ago about "Giving Myself a Raise!" (I like that idea!!) So, part of this giving myself a raise has to do with the new website, Raise.com. The website is easy to sign into, and you can buy and sell gift cards. I know after my baby showers there are a few gift cards I wish were for other places so I could get specific items. For instance, I could go Raise.com and sell my gift card and turn around and buy a new one with the money I just earned! I have seen kiosks for this type of thing, but Raise.com makes it easy and you can do it from your living room! Important with a new baby!

So... as a new mommy, how do I indulge? I have been stewing over this for a few days. I think I have come up with my short list...

1. Diet Coke:

I love a good Diet Coke. When I was pregnant with Hollis, I didn't drink many and if I did it was caffeine free. Now, I enjoy a regular Diet Coke when I want to indulge. From the CAN none the less. I have always loved Diet Coke and it is known to everyone. As soon as Hollis was delivered, someone brought me a Diet Coke! (thank you to whoever that was... it was the most delicious DC I have had!) I was so thirsty after 16 hours of nothing but ice chips. Diet Coke hit the spot! It is an indulgence and quite possibly my only addiction.

Ok.. back to new mommy indulgences!

2. Baby Clothes and Shoes:
Baby clothes are just adorable. Especially when they are styled like an adult, but teeny tiny! I have seen some amazing outfits for Hollis. I definitely indulge in clothes for baby. I try to resist, but they are too adorable! This outfit on Hollis was from Target (shoes from Children's Place). She looks like a little adult but she is a week old in this picture!
I am also a bargain shopper. Both of these things were on sale. I just love baby clothes. She has yet to wear the same outfit twice... but this one may need to be repeated! 
((Target gift cards on Raise.com--example:$10 for $9.50))

3. New Dresses
I LOVE to wear dresses. I just think they are more flattering for my body in general, but after baby, they are even more flattering. I look forward to buying new ones. The first excuse to buy a new dress is for Easter! Hollis has her dress, John has a matching shirt and tie, and mommy needs a dress to match! (Yes, I will be that family on holidays--don't judge!) I have my eye on a few dresses! The family theme is purple. Hollis is wearing a dress from Baby Gap with bunnies on it. I need to find a purple dress... I am currently still on the hunt! I found these two online, MilkNursingWear. They are Nursing dresses! They have easy access for Hollis to eat! Interesting to me! 
                                                    
4. Newborn Pictures
Pictures are a true expense. They are not cheap. I was so glad that John came around to the importance of the pictures. Hollis could potentially be our only child. We need to celebrate and remember the true gift she is. We saved and saved to indulge in pictures. We had a photographer at her birth. Lindsey Scholz was amazing! I can't wait to see the pictures. Then, we had Brooke Vatter (Cherished Moments Photography) come to our house when Hollis was 6 days old and she did a fantastic job taking her newborn pictures! I mean, just look at how precious! I highly recommend indulging in pictures. You would hate to get crappy results because you went 'cheaper' and the time is gone. They aren't 'fresh and new' anymore.


5. Family Time ((Saved the BEST for last))
I think one of the biggest indulgences, for my husband and I, is to take time to just sit and relax or go somewhere together. The first few weeks of being a family of three have been pretty hectic. A lot of visitors, appointments, and then back to work. I am blessed by all three of those previous things, but it is so nice to just be the three of us. Whether I am watching him snuggle with Hollis or I am rocking and holding her. We indulge. We don't do the housework, we don't do schoolwork, we don't worry about anything else but just being a family. We get stressed when she is inconsolable, we eat out more than we should, we pass her off when our arms get tired, but when it is just us, it is complete indulgence. I recommend it! It is nice to shut out the world for a day and just be a family. (Something I have been dreaming of for a long time!)
<3family<3

I encourage you to take time as a new mommy to indulge in a few things that either you couldn't while pregnant or just haven't in a while. New moms are sometimes over-looked when it comes to new baby being in town. Just take time for yourself. It could be one of the things I mentioned or it could be things as simple as a long shower with new, good-smelling soap, or a bath to rest your tired body. Maybe it is a new diaper bag or fun gadget to use with the baby! Or.. your favorite food. (I go for McDonald's breakfast...always...) Enjoy life as a new mommy and as a new family. 

Remember, check out Raise.com to give yourself a raise with new gift cards to spend and indulge! <3

-Alexis-





Wednesday, March 26, 2014

.Hollis Parker Week Three.

MONDAY:
We celebrated St. Patrick's Day by wearing as much green as we could! See the St. Patrick's Day post for all the fun. Here is a sneak peek of the outfit!

Monday was both John and I's first day back to work. I am blessed with a job where I can take Hollis and spend the day with her, too! I was a bit anxious to see how Stella would react and how Hollis would deal with all the poking, singing, reading, etc. It turned out to be a great day! Stella has become quite the helper! She loves to get anything out of the diaper bag I need! She loves "baby Hollis" and they are going to be such good friends. John had no desire to go back to work. But... such is life. I sent him so many pictures throughout the day. It was nice to see him when he got home. 
Stella gave Hollis a baby immediately. Then stood by her the whole time, until she woke up!

After standing for a while, Stella read Hollis some books. I think it was about 4-5 before she moved on to bigger and better things. She was always right by Hollis. Making sure she was awake!

TUESDAY:
The love for baby Hollis is only getting bigger. Stella was so excited that she and Hollis were both wearing a tutu type skirt! WE MATCH she would yell.
We attempted a group photo... FAIL! (valiant effort...)

I was VERY awake today. I wanted to make sure I knew what was going on!

I slept a little bit. Stella still talked to me. I was too busy dreaming to listen. 
She showed me her bracelet. Stella kept saying "She 'boves' (loves) it!" She sang to me. She read to me. I slept. 

I had a hair appointment that night. John had baseball and tutoring LATE that night, so it was just me and Hollis. I was a little nervous if she would sleep or not. I have been wanting to put highlights back in my hair since I got pregnant. I waited. It was a gift for my birthday from John and Jamie! Thanks!!! I love how it turned out. Hollis was so good at the salon. She just slept. She woke up when daddy got there. I was getting my hair washed. She made it a long time. Whew! 
Here is a shameless selfie the next day of the finished product. I left the salon with half-wet hair because Hollis was SCREAMING to eat. So, we had to bolt. I paid, got in John's car, and fed her. I didn't truly see what it looked like until the next morning. I like it. I want it more blonde next time.

 Hollis got her FIRST big girl bath that night. She was a sweaty mess, so we decided to give it a try. She LOVED it. I thought she would scream the whole time. Nope. She soaked it all in. She is so cute in that little tub with her big belly. She was wide awake, loving looking around. Adi thought the whole process was interesting. She kept pushing her way over to the tub to check it out. The tub is cool too! It is a 4moms bathtub. It has a temp gauge (we haven't added batteries yet) and the dirty water drains out while clean water keeps refilling. So smart!



WEDNESDAY:
So, I am all prepared. I get the diaper bag packed the night before, put it in the car at night so all I have to do in the morning is get in the car and go. Well... I get to work. Hollis is hungry. So, I head to the bedroom to feed her. Hudson is a very curious 6yr old. I try to keep it covered or go into another room. He tends to follow. He never says anything, just comes in to keep me company. Anyway... I go to the bedroom, get all ready to feed her, and BAM... no nipple shield. So, we try without with NO success. Bummer. Ok. Don't panic. **Screaming/Starving Child** OK. OK. OK. I get dressed again head out and tell the kids to get shoes on, we need to get in the car! I was probably panicking because Hudson grabbed flip flops (it was raining... of course) and ran to the van. Stella tried to get her shoes on, but couldn't so I had to help. Hollis is screaming! So... we get everyone in the BIG van. Hollis doesn't have a base in that vehicle, so I had to get her all strapped in and tight. We drive to my house, I grab a shield, and drive back to work. Whew! We made it and Hollis slept in the car. Stella slept a bit too. (no puking)
Pre-Breakdown... looking super cute in my orange outfit from Aunt Donna, Uncle Mike, and Miriya. 

First ride in the big black van! 

After a successful nipple shield retrieval, lunch, and a little bit of playing, ALL THREE KIDS took a nap at the same time! It was crazy! Lets keep this going!! :) 

With Easter quickly approaching, we were gifted Hollis's Easter dress! I am determined to find her an Easter hat. Well... It has been a flop thus far. There was this one... perfect because it matches the gold moccasins.. I called... smallest size is a 4T! I have found some at Janie and Jack. We will go try them on soon. 


THURSDAY:
This was at the end of the day. Hudson just walked up to her, checked her out, then walked away. Typical six year old boy response! hehe. He loves her though! 

So Stella has been having these random fits. And when I say 'fit' I am not referencing a normal two year old temper tantrum. I am talking screaming, ripping clothes off, unable to be talked to, running in circles FIT. It is crazy. Anyway, when I left to have Hollis, these fits became more frequent. So... on FaceTime one night while I was gone, I told Stella if she doesn't fuss, I will bring her bubblegum. She requested blue bubblegum. Well... now, whenever Hollis fusses (like above picture) immediately, Stella starts singing/chanting "NO FUSSIN' NO BUBBLEGUM!" It is hilarious! I now catch myself saying it to her at home too. 
Minnie Mouse and I took some selfies. We thought we should celebrate the word of the year. And, look how cute she is! 
We came home to MAIL! Hollis has gotten more mail than I think I have my entire life. I am kind of jealous. I get to open them though! haha. My best friend, Natalie, lives in NYC (not for long though!!) and sent Hollis some goodies. She got a magnetic onesie, cute stripey outfit, these two books, and mommy's favorite ABC garland that is made from old children's books! I can't wait to hang it up! I love it so much. Just up my alley! 
FRIDAY:
Friday proved to be a sleepy one! Look at little lady as I tried to get her ready for the day. I released her from the swaddle, and she stayed asleep. She is adorable when she sleeps, but I love to see her awake too! 
It was formal day at school today. So everyone was dressed so fancy! Look how beautiful Kennedy looked! I wore my bow for the occasion. 

The sleepiness continued. Hollis slept for hours today! Totally not her norm. It does mean that mommy got to catch up some on the blog. Whew! 

I got to meet my uncle Brice and Crimson today! They came over to bring us dinner (which was delicious) and we got to snuggle a bit! It was so much fun. My big cousin Atherton held me too! 
SATURDAY:
Mommy took me to daddy's baseball scrimmage today! It was fun. I slept. Mommy loves to go and see the parents, have conversations and watch the boys play! I am excited for the season! I was tucked away the whole time because it was FREEZING, but mommy did have me in my blue and yellow to represent! It was a long day. I fell asleep when I got home! Whew! Go Braves! We can't wait for better weather and OPENING DAY! 
 SUNDAY:
Today I get to meet my PaPa (mommy's dad). First I had to stop and see GG and GP and take them some lunch. We took them McDonald's. They LOVE it. (just like mommy) They said it is the best burger they have had. I wonder if they liked the apple pies? GG got me a cute outfit with a whale on it! I can't wait to wear it. Aunt Karen, Uncle Paul, Lily, and Cecelia were there too! I got to snuggle with Aunt Karen and Cecelia liked my diaper cover.
Check out my new dress! I needed a new one so I could meet my PaPa in style! It has little whales on it. Thank you baby Gap and your sale! :) I looked fancy!
 YAY!!!! I met my PaPa! It was so wonderful. We went to Carraba's for lunch! I was pretty good. I just hung out with him for a little bit. Them mommy needed to feed me. (She may have sat on the bathroom floor to do so.. no judging. It was that or sit on the toilet... She opted for the floor) After we ate, we went to hang out at Gram and Papi's house (daddy's mom and dad) because it was WAY closer for PaPa to drive. He came all the way from Mitchell, IN. FOUR HOURS! He loves me.
Mommy swears I look like PaPa. I got the dark hair, the blue eyes, and the cheeks. :) 

We watched a bit of March Madness. I hung out on PaPa's belly for a little bit. I searched for my thumb. We tried to get Skype to work on PaPa's tablet so we can see each other, but it wouldn't work. Bummer. Mommy will figure it out. 

Then, I fell asleep in PaPa's lap. I was a sweaty mess when I woke up. But, we were comfy! 
I had a blast meeting my PaPa. Soon, I get to meet Big PaPa! (my great grandfather) I am excited for that too. Thank you PaPa for driving so far to meet me. I love you and love your snuggles! 
<3

-Alexis and Hollis-