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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Nap Training | Our cure for "Colic"

Emma has not been an easy baby from the very beginning.  There are so many things I could talk about (and may some other time) but for now I will just talk about one thing.  Colic.  The thing about colic that is so maddening (at least to Austin and me) is that there is no cure.  There is nothing that can be done to fix it.  You try a gazillion things and yet your baby still cries at the drop of a hat.  Or the second that you stop bouncing, singing, and basically doing everything possible to distract her (in our case.)  We read that the colic should be gone sometime between 3-6 months.  3 months hit and she was still very collicky.  4 months hit and things got really bad.  Emma got to where she was impossible to keep happy.  I can't tell you how many times we were literally dancing in front of her like crazy people just to keep her from crying for that moment.  It was hard.  Like really hard. And then about two weeks ago everything changed for us.  So why not talk about it, right?  

We started nap training.  We had to gain back some sanity and the first step was to teach her how to nap without us holding her.  This quickly turned into her sleeping for much longer periods of time and then all of the sudden she was a HAPPY BABY!  She now smiles and laughs and then will lay and look at things.  Or play with a toy.  Or do something that is just normal and not cry.  For us this has literally been life changing.  I know that it could be a weird timing thing or some sort of coincidence that she grew out of her colic at the same time we started this, but the difference started at the first day of nap training so I can't help but think this is the main thing that has helped us. (Disclaimer: obviously I'm not a doctor or anything of the sort, but I can't help but share because I wish I had done this earlier.)

Here is our process: 

-At the first sign of crankiness, it's time for a nap.  
It doesn't matter if she's only been up for 30 minutes or if it's been an hour and a half.  If she gets to the point where nothing is making her happy except for going to extreme lengths to keep her entertained, it's time for a nap.

-Take her back into her room, turn her noisemaker on, let her have her paci, and change her diaper. 
This is the routine that we are trying to keep so that she knows it's time for a nap.

-See if she wants to eat any more, then lay her down.  
We make sure that she has had a good amount of milk recently so she is full and happy and will hopefully sleep for a while.

-Let her have her paci again, pat her and give her a kiss and tell her goodnight.  
At the beginning we didn't even make it this far before she was screaming.  Now after doing this for a while she sometimes just goes to sleep and sometimes she still cries.

-Leave the room, but make sure to come back and check on her.  
I know a lot of people only check on their babies every 15 minutes or so when nap training, but we are softies and check on her every 2-3 minutes.  When you come back to check on them you are letting them know that you still exist, which is a good thing for a baby to know!  I set a timer because those 3 minutes can seriously feel like an hour when your baby is freaking out.  After the timer goes off, I go to check on her but the second she ramps up again I give her another kiss and leave the room.

-Repeat!  Until she's fully asleep.  

The first time Emma did cry super hard, and still does sometimes.  That part is absolutely heartbreaking, but she is always better after so I know that we are doing the right thing in our case.  What we thought of as colic this whole time seemed to be mostly an overtired, overstimulated baby.  Now that she is learning how to sleep we are living in a new world. 

To all the colic mommas (and other mommas, because being a parent is HARD) keep fighting the good fight!  And know it's not forever, even when it seems like it.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Emma's Nursery

   COPPER TABLES  •   PRINTS   •   CRIB (similar)   •   RUG   •   LAMP(similar)   •    PAINT COLOR   •   CHAIR(similar   •    CURTAINS (similar)      •    FRAMES(similar)   

This nursery was so much fun for me to design! I knew that I wanted it to feel feminine but not overly girly. The whole room ended up centering around the copper side tables that I found on sale on target's website. They seem to be sold out now, but still have the same table in white! I loved the color of the tables and felt like they added almost enough pink to the room to make it feel like it was a little girl's room, so for the rest of the room I added in pieces that were mostly white or ivory to keep it feeling light! If I wouldn't have found those tables, I probably would have gotten something like this or even used the white tables and then added in color to one other spot, like maybe the crib sheet or even a muted-pink throw to hang over the side of the crib in place of the white one I used! 

The massive prints on the wall were something that I dreamed up and was so glad when it didn't end up looking crazy!  I stared at that wall a lot and one day drew in four huge frames behind the crib on my snapchat app (fancy, I know.)  That's when I knew that I had to do have the huge prints there though.  I told Austin about my idea and although we both were a little afraid that it would make the room look smaller, we decided to go for it.  I went to my local hobby lobby and found the largest frames they had (27 in x 40 in).  They asked if the room I was needing them for was really big and thought I was a little nuts when I said it was actually for the smallest room in our house, ha!  I tried to find the frames online to link to, but it looks like they only carry ones that large in the store.  The trick with buying these frames is to wait until they are half off their normal price (which they are every other week.)  That only made them $35 a piece.  The prints are some photos I took one spring when I was still in college. I wanted them to feel a little dark and moody so I split up one photo into four and added in some extra grain.  These prints ended up being Emma's favorite thing to look at as a newborn because the black and white is easier for new little eyes to see!  I ordered custom mats with a outside dimension of 40" x 27" and an inner dimension of 29 1/2" x 16 1/2 to give me a little wiggle room with the 30x20 prints I had made.  That way I could position them in the frames in the way that I felt they just looked the best!  Since I've had some people ask me about buying prints of the photos, I made an etsy shop where they can be purchased!  I may end up adding more print options from other parts of our house later as well!

We found the dresser at an antique store! It was kind of a weird, mod piece that I thought would be perfect once it was painted! We used the same handles that were already on it and just painted them a copper color with this spray paint. I'm actually pretty surprised that the handles have held up well! I'm sure at some point we will have to touch up the paint, but overall they are withstanding a lot of use! 

The shelves were built by my handy husband, but I found some similar to the ones he made by doing a quick google search for white floating shelves. You can also see Austin's instagram post to see how he made them!

We got our super comfortable glider (link to similar) from our go-to local store, Butler Furniture.

The curtains are the Grayson Grommet Curtain Panels from Target!  Target changes the colors that are available all the time, so the gray color that we have isn't available right now but they have some other options!  I have these curtains in white too throughout the rest of the house and I always get the 42x95" size so that they go floor to ceiling.  My Mom has always been amazing at decor and she told me years ago that floor to ceiling curtains make the room look taller.  It makes a huge difference! 

Most of the other things in Emma's nursery are things I've found at TJ Maxx or Homegoods!  I've always been a big bargain shopper, can't help it.

See Emma's nursery before it was renovated here!

Thanks for stopping by! :)

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Before and After | Emma's Nursery | House Renovations

We bought our house in January of 2015. We knew we wanted to try to flip houses (or at least one of them, ha!) We found this one and felt like it could be an okay house if we did some* work on it. I'm laughing thinking about how we had no idea what we were doing and just how much work it would really take! We assumed that it would take us a couple of months since we were doing it all on our own... A little over two years later and the house is ALMOST done! We didn't realize how hard it would be. Especially since we run our own business. And then there was that whole having a baby thing too! Takes up a little time!

Emma's room was the first room to be completely done, so it's the only room I have full "after" photos of.  It's so crazy to look back and see where we started!  This house had full 70s style; brown shag carpet, yellow EVERYTHING, popcorn ceilings and even an oldschool intercom system.  It felt like such an old house but I can truly say that after renovating every part of it (floor to ceiling) it feels like ours!  All of the credit goes to Austin.  He has worked his butt off on this and I am so thankful for his hard work and talent!

My next post will be on all of the details of Emma's room so watch for that!  I can't wait to share the renovations of the other rooms in the house as we get all the finishing touches done!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Emma's First Snow!

This is my first blog post! I'm so excited to share little snippets of our days! Saturday we got hit with some major snow. The weather here in Arkansas never goes how we think it will, so even though I had been hearing that we were supposed to get snow I still didn't really expect much. I was wrong though! We took Emma outside to look at it. The flakes were so big and falling so fast! Her reaction was to just get very quiet (which is a rarity for her.)

 Emma and I were just in our pjs, but at least Austin was dressed! The watch that Austin is wearing is from a company called Jord Watches. Austin had been wanting a cool watch for a while, so we were so excited when we found this company! Their watches are custom made so that they fit you perfectly. You can see the watch Austin is wearing here! We love how simple and classic it looks, while still being casual enough for Austin to wear all the time. If you love this watch as much as we do, you're in luck because we have partnered with Jord to give away a $100 gift card! All you have to do is follow this contest link! Everyone who enters automatically gets a gift card for $25 so it's a win-win.  UPDATE: The contest is now closed!  Congratulations to Aimee Freeman on winning!

 Thanks so much for checking out my first post! Keep an eye out because I will be posting all of the details of Emma's nursery soon!

  Watch Gift Ideas