Beau's Adjustment to Big Brother

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Photo by Emi Joy Photography
I've been asked a ton about Beau's reaction to Sophie since we came home from the hospital almost two months ago. I honestly went into it as open minded as possible, with really low expectations as far as how Beau would respond to her. I kind of expected them to just coexist. But let me just tell you, our boy was born to be a big brother. I started crying typing that sentence. This season of becoming a family of four has been beyond my wildest dreams because of how much Beau loves Sophie. Is he a normal two year old who has hard days? UM YES. Sometimes is he not interested in her? Yes. Am I exhausted from caring for two tiny people all day? Yes. But Beau's reaction to Sophie has been one of the sweetest experiences of my life.

Her presence has allowed us to see so much growth and development in his little personality. One of the first times that I left the house with both of them by myself we went to just drive through Chick fil A to get out of the house and pick up some lunch. On the way home Sophie started crying and I caught a glimpse of Beau reaching over into her carseat and holding her foot. Speaking of the car, bringing Sophie into our driving experience has made me realize that Beau would REALLY love to still have a car blanket, as he always takes Sophie's from her. Every time we get to our destination he has pulled it off of her and into his own lap. Now that she's been here longer and he's observed more about how we care for her, whenever she cries at home he comes over to check on her. Yesterday she was having a hard time and he just rested his hand on her chest and couldn't take his eyes off of her. He knows to find her paci and tries to put it in her mouth for her. If she's upset he immediately tries to show her a toy or get her paci for her. A handful of times I've been in the middle of something while Sophie has started crying in her crib and I've gone to check on her and found that Beau's already taken it upon himself and is reaching through the bars of the crib trying to get the paci to give to her. He kisses her forehead without prompting. He LOVES trying to hold her hand. That's his natural instinct with all babies, he just wants to hold a hand, haha. I share all of this to give a look into the joys of how it's been with two, but also so I can remember this sweetness. I really need to take some time to write some of this down in the memories portion of his baby book. When Sophie was about a month old, Beau was sitting on our bed and just started sobbing and reaching for Sophie. Ben claimed that he thought Beau wanted to hold her but I was skeptical. He placed Sophie into Beau's arms and he even somehow sitting in the middle of the bed knew and supported her head. Take my word as his mama that it's crazy that he understood that. He's so motivated by his love for her to learn new things and grow already and that just breaks me into a thousand pieces.

I've tried to reflect back on anything I did to prepare him, which was basically squat diddly. We didn't read a ton of books (although we probably could have really benefitted from that) or anything. The only change I made was getting him used to eating at more flexible times to adjust to not being the only baby needing care. He used to eat breakfast right when he woke up, and I got him used to eating anywhere up to an hour after he woke up. That's helped a ton I think. Does anyone have any sweet stories of things they did to get their family ready for a new sibling? I'd love to read comments! :)

Sophie Charlotte: 3 Months

Monday, August 6, 2018

3 Months as of 7/27/18

Weight: Oops, don't know!! Will be better about checking stats for future posts but now it's already passed!

Clothes: Sophie's still wearing 0-3 month clothes, and for the most part still has a good amount of room in some of them. Our girl is on the small side, for sure!

Sleep: She's sleeping from 7:30pm-7 am or a bit later consistently each night, with a nap at 8:30, 11:30, and 2:30! She's thriving on her little schedule. I haven't been as good as I was in her first two months about enjoying holding her for naps occasionally, so I want to make an effort to change that this month.

I kind of hit on that above, but she's on the eat-play-sleep schedule.. feeds at 7am, 10am, 1pm, 4pm, and 7pm.

Health: Had her first runny nose! Really sad but it cleared itself up pretty quickly!

Crying: I can count on one hand the times she's cried this month. Even in the morning when she wakes up she just kind of talks. I know this will change but I'm loving my chill girl!

Likes: Everything? Haha! We're still loving the Fisher Price Kick and Play Piano.. she's reaching for the toys and holding them and swatting them. She's also doing well with tummy time. She loves sleeping on her side. She enjoys a little tickle under the chin.

Dislikes: She doesn't love a wet diaper but outside of that.. I'm kind of stumped for anything that she dislikes. This girl will literally not even cry when Beau sticks his fingers in her mouth. Not sure why he always wants to do that, but he does. Haha!

Milestones: She's so close to rolling from back to tummy!

Special Moments: Her first Fourth of July, family staycation at Strader farm, Chick fil A Cow Appreciation day

Friday No. 82

Friday, August 3, 2018

No. 1 
I recently discovered J.Crew's new collection with Universal Standard. You can choose from a drop down menu what size model you want to see wearing the item. I thought that was SO cool and helpful and wouldn't it be amazing if you could do that on every website? Obviously it would take a ton more time and money to put together but it'd be awesome! This dress is so perfect for year round wear, so it's on my wishlist! I also really love this top but to be perfectly honest with you I wish it was navy and not black, haha! 

No. 2
I feel like I'm really settling into being a mama of two. There are so many differences from just having Beau but it's been such a joy having both my babies. We're in a stage right now where their nap times don't overlap very much which has left me pretty drained at the end of the day- that nap time for me to take a few minutes for myself is so life giving. So that's honestly been hard for me at different times but as I keep getting questions on advice for adding another baby, the biggest thing is just putting one foot in front of the other. I'll probably share more thoughts on this soon!

No. 3 
I really enjoyed reading this post on choosing five baby names! I wrote posts similar to this for both Beau and Sophie and love looking back on them. Interestingly enough I've gotten a lot of questions again recently about how we chose their names so here ya go!

No. 4
We have four more weeks of Beau's swim lessons before wrapping up for the summer. Before we signed up Ben was super skeptical but it has been SO good for Beau. It's given him so much more confidence in the water. I just would have never felt confident with even putting him under the water without outside guidance and it's been so fun to see Beau learn and grow in this area! It's also been fun to have our friends in our class.

No. 5

All of my Friday posts can be found here.

August Goals

Thursday, August 2, 2018

The start of August feels like the unofficial switch to start heading into a "fall" mindset, which is kind of silly as it will be Summer weather in Texas well into September. October if we're REALLY honest. Haha! This August marks a big change for our family. It's the first year ever that Ben isn't headed back to school. After five years of teaching he has hung up his hat! We feel confident that this was a great decision for our family, as he is practicing as a realtor full time now. There are absolutely many unknowns in a season of switching careers, even for me as the spouse, but I'm confident that Ben will do so well at whatever he does! He's developed a real passion for properties, and we actually purchased a house to flip about a month ago. I've gotten several questions about when Sophie will get to visit England, and basically that's on hold because of this transitional time for us financially. That being said it's really important to us that Sophie gets to spend time with her relatives, and that we can experience travel with her so it's on our radar to make a priority at some point hopefully before she turns one, or around then. We're going to Boston next month and we are SO excited! Beau's at an age where I think he'll really enjoy exploring a new place more than ever before, and I'm so excited to travel as a family of four! Really I should have saved those thoughts for next month's post, but whatever! We'll be celebrating a lot of birthdays this month. You might remember that last year two of our good friends had baby girls just a few days apart, Ben will turn 28, and we have several other birthday celebrations!

July Goals: 
  • Enjoy a sweet 4th of July, remembering our sweet first baby 
  • Celebrate my niece's birthday + 4 years of being Aunt Vee! I love being a mama more than anything, but being an aunt is one of the most precious gifts of my life! 
  • Spend lots of time in the water! Swimming, water table, etc. 
  • Plan details for our trip to Boston + Nantucket in early September 
  • order photos for Sophie's baby book and get up to date for hers, and complete Beau's 2 year baby book page, also write in a few memories for his
  • actually write this blog! haha!! 
August Goals: 
  • Workout 3x a week (already going strong on this and I feel SO much better!)
  • Paste in all the baby book photos I ordered as soon as they arrive
  • finish Beau's summer swim lessons strong!
  • Book our fall photos + start brainstorming outfit ideas
  • try again to get back into blogging consistently, haha!
  • Finish planning details for Boston + Nantucket
  • do my part of planning for Strader Family Ski Trip (we're headed to Utah!) and order cold weather gear for the babes while it's marked down for off season 
  • Celebrate Ben's 28th Birthday

Amazon Favorites + Preorders

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

I feel like shopping on amazon for any and everything has become even more popular lately. I love reading people's posts on "amazon finds" so I thought I would throw my hat in the ring and share what we've ordered recently from the good old prime. Haha! :)

A quick note: Theres still a glitch in comments where I can't respond to anyone.. it's so incredibly frustrating because I'm looking at comments about Sophie's fresh 48 and about a few recent things I've shared and can't respond!! GAH!!! If you have a question.. best way is to DM me on instagram for now I guess! 

Deik Stick Vacuum- This thing has literally changed my life. I was sweeping food off the floor like 8 times a day, no joke. I like a clean home but I also want to let people live in it and that includes a precious toddler who doesn't eat his snacks in the cleanest manner. Sometimes I'd actually sweep once while he's eating and then again at the end which makes no sense. This vacuum is basically a broom but without the work and I love it. Officially in the stage of life where I'm super jazzed about a vacuum.

Magnet Cabinet Locks- Not the most convenient to have cabinet locks but when I was really sick being pregnant with Sophie I just couldn't have Beau searching for treasure in the cabinets when I was having a rough moment. These have been awesome and he now knows they won't open so doesn't even try. For those reading who might think, why not just teach him not to open them? We for sure have but this wasn't a battle I wanted to fight right now, and there are plenty of other things to work on teaching him. :)

Columbia Baby Snuggly Bunny Bunting- Our Strader family is going on a ski trip to Utah in December and I asked my friend Courtney for a recommendation on what to get for Sophie and she said this is what I needed. She said she paid $100 in season, and I grabbed it for $40 earlier this week.. it's already gone up which is crazy! I'm so glad that I snagged it!

Grosgrain bow headbands- I'm loving settling into what my style is for Sophie and I love these bows! You can't beat the price.

Laneige Lip Mask- I have extremely chapped lips all the time and haven't been able to find anything that truly works until this. I absolutely love it. A little goes a long way and I'm forever healed, haha!

Children's Headphones- I got these for Beau for out trip to Boston next month. I need to start practicing with them so he's used to them but they'll be great for watching a show on the plane.

OXO Pop Tops- Needed a few new pantry containers to keep our pantry streamlined!

Whiskey in a Teacup by Reese Witherspoon- Reese is the best ever so obviously I need her book, haha!

Modern Royals by Chris Jackson- I've said for years that I've really wanted a nice coffee table book on Kate, and this book is going to be so perfect and wonderful. I'm so excited about it!

Let there Be Light: Opposites Primer- These two books are the same authors of a few others that are favorites at our house! I'll probably put these in Beau and Sophie's stockings.. or maybe give them early I don't know haha!

From Eden to Bethlehem: Animals Primer

What are your amazon favorites lately? It's super interesting to me all of the products you can get on Amazon these days! 

What I'm Keeping from the Nordstrom Sale

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Almost all of my things to try out from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale have arrived! I had several misses, but honestly so much of that was influenced by the fact that I'm nursing and things are fitting differently than I'm used to. Just being honest, haha! :) I thought I would share the things that I'm really excited about as the sale goes public so soon!

My original post with all things I thought were worth looking at from the sale can be found here!

Unrelated photo of me and my girl, because any selfies taken while trying on would have scared y'all away! Haha!!

Free People January Tee: I ordered three colors of this to try out.. ivory, navy, and lilac. I got it in a small and it's soooo comfortable but also light. Perfect for fall and winter in the South. It would be perfect to layer with a vest of some kind. I'm a little undecided on which color or colors I'm going to keep, but it won't be all three. I can already tell this is going to be one I wear all the time. It would also be perfect for travel, with leggings.

Ugg Poncho Pullover: I shared this in my previous post as my #1 pick and that stance really stays. I loved it just as much as I expected to. As a busy mama, during the week athleisure is my jam. I love items like this that let me feel a little more put together even in my leggings and tennies. I know this will be an item I wear multiple times a week. I ordered the gray and the maroon and am still deciding which one to keep. Are you noticing a theme, haha?

Waterproof Booties: When I showed Ben that I ordered these, he said they were edgy and he was surprised that I ordered them! Haha! I don't think they are... Two years ago I bought a pair of booties in the sale that I have worn and worn and worn. I love them. Even though they've now probably seen better days I won't part with them, but I thought having another option to throw into the mix would be a good idea. These ones are so cute on and extremely versatile.

Halogen Tunic Tee: I'm not actually going to keep this for reasons I mentioned above.. but this might have been the perfect tee. The size I want now is sold out at this time, but my eyes are peeled for a restock.

Mini Melissa Shoes: These shoes won't fit Sophie for at least a year, but they're SO sweet in person I have no regrets about hoarding them in her closet!

Tea Collection Romper: This romper for the winter was so much cuter in person than I even expected! A favorite for sure!!

Smocked Leggings Set: I'm so excited about this outfit for Sophie- although I'm not so excited for time to keep flying and making her big enough to fit in it, haha!

Gorjana Earring: I'm really bad about wearing earrings that aren't just a pearl stud, but these are so simple I think that they'll be easy to integrate into my wardrobe.

Camisoles: This sale is always the best for stocking up on staples. I love these!

Annnnnd I snuck in ordering these because I've been dying to try out a pair of mules and these looked great!

Tips for a Fresh 48 Session + Sophie's Session

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

I went back and forth so many times on if we would do a Fresh 48 session. I didn't know if it would be unnecessary with doing newborn photos too, but I loved every Fresh 48 that I saw. Especially already having a baby, I anticipated that I would love having beautiful photos of Beau getting to know Sophie for the first time. My friend Colleen sent me her session from her son who's about a month and a half older than Sophie, and I was convinced. Our photographer, Emi Joy, did a wonderful job and I truly cherish these images.

Baby Related Q&A

As our family has grown, I've gotten a ton more questions about motherhood, so I thought I would take the time to answer a few. :) Hope this is fun to read!

How do you adjust and create a new routine? 
Here's the thing, you just do it. That's probably not helpful, haha. There will be times when you feel overwhelmed but you have to just look at the things you need to do, and press on. If I want to be overwhelmed by the circumstances of caring for two small children, I very easily could. I think about the things that are priorities to our family.. I also think it's important to be realistic and know that everything isn't going to go smoothly and perfect at all times. :)

A Normal Girl's Guide to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

Thursday, July 12, 2018

It's that time of year where you're flooded with Nordstrom sale picks, but this sale is such a favorite in our family that I had to share with y'all the things we ordered and had our eyes on. Since Ben and I were engaged and bought his wedding suit during the sale, we've shopped every year and stocked up on things that we use and love year round. It's also a great time to order some gifts, which is something I'll be doing. And lots of kids shoes, haha! :) It's only early access for cardholders right now. We have the debit card and I love earning rewards on it. If you want to wait, a bunch of stuff will probably sell out and I'll try and update this post as I notice that happening so you don't get annoyed to miss things, haha! :) 

Victoria's Picks: 

Sophie Charlotte: Two Months

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

2 Months as of 6/27/18

Weight: 10lbs 8oz
Height: 22 1/2 inches

Recipes Lately

Monday, July 9, 2018

To be completely honest, I stopped really cooking for my entire pregnancy with Sophie. :) I love to cook so this is sad but I was so sick and beat down that it was just the one thing that had to go. I made meals and Ben made meals but nothing fancy. I actually think the simplicity of what we were eating probably helped me gain a little less baby weight with Sophie than I did with Beau, that or the fact that I was carrying a 27ish pound (Beau weighs more now!) human weight with me everywhere I went. Since Sophie was born I've tried several new recipes and they've all been major winners.. so I thought I would share them here!

Skinnytaste Zucchini Taco Boats- I used to really not like zucchini or any "squash like vegetables" but then I tried spaghetti squash, and after that just decided that I needed to power through. Now, I know there are some really yummy ways to make it.

Had to include this photo from when I most recently made this.. having a quiet relaxing meal with a child RIGHT THERE haha. 

Eat Yourself Skinny Sesame Chicken & Vegetables- The Strader family LOVES a good tray meal. This is what we ate almost daily during my pregnancy. But this one had a fun twist and it was soooo delicious! We just ate it on it's own but you could easily serve with rice or cauliflower rice.

Andrea's Pulled Pork- Ben has probably never loved something as much as this recipe, haha! I often throw chicken in the crock pot with barbecue sauce but after I made this Ben kept asking if this could replace it. It really was delicious. I made it yesterday and I'm actually about to make some quesadillas with the leftovers, YUM!

I shared this easy crisp recipe on my instagram and honestly would make it weekly if I could. I actually might try cutting out some more sugar in it. I remember now that theres a pretty healthy crisp recipe in Bread and Wine so maybe I'll try that. Warmed fruit is just sooooo good! Haha! 

My instagram friend Mycah always posts the most delicious paleo meals.. we loved these!!

What have y'all been cooking lately? I'm loving fun recipe recommendations.

Friday No. 81

Friday, July 6, 2018

No. 1 
This week was such an interesting one with the middle of the week holiday. I wish that the rest of the week things would have shut down too, but you can't have it all haha! We've been so busy lately so the rest of the week I tried to really focus on taking things slow with the babies. I love when I can have fun and intentional days filled with just spending time with them. Those days always result in me feeling so refreshed and having tons of photos of my two. 

No. 2
The last thing I need to be doing when needing to loose baby weight is making brownies, yet here we are. Haha!! There's got to be balance.. right? A friend of mine told me a few weeks ago that I need to always be buying Ghirardelli brownie mix. I bought a box and made them to take to a dinner with some friends on Tuesday night, just easy! And they were SO much better than a normal mix. I've tried making brownies from scratch too and the mix is honestly better in my opinion, haha! Highly recommend adding a box to your grocery list! :) Small, not great photo for reference, ha!!! 

No. 3 
We had a great fourth with family and friends! My favorite detail each year is the t-shirts that my brother in law has made. There's always some kind of an authentic American scene with a family photos inserted in. We had the presence of Lady Liberty herself, aka Ben's Granny and it was a blast! Haha! :) 
No. 4
When we moved into this house I really struggled to find bath mats that I liked.. and in the past month I've replaced all of ours. For Beau and Sophie's bathroom I got this one, in the blue. I like that it can obviously hide a bit of dirt. I got this one for our master bathroom and I love it so much. Great, easy updates that arrived really quick! They're both on sale right now, too.

No. 5
I laughed so much at this video and just loved it. How is it that these odd trends were all over the country? This is exactly what people wore!! 

All of my Friday posts can be found here.

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