Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013!

Merry Christmas to you and yours, from the Seeley family!

Here is our update for the year. :)

We did manage to get a visit in with Santa again this year at the mall. The boys were definitely very into that this year and eager to ask him for what they wanted! Haha!

When did they get so big?!?

The boys had their Christmas program at preschool last week. Too stinkin' sweet. Ethan was a donkey in the nativity scene. He may have looked more like a dog, but that's ok. ;)

Ethan, the donkey :)

The first day, Ethan hid in the back, so we didn't get the best pics of him. And though Noah did manage to stand up there in front of everyone (without hugging tightly to his teacher's leg! LOL!), he kept turned to the side the entire time, so this was the best shot we got of him, before he turned. Haha!

With all of their buddies at the preschool program!

They thoroughly enjoyed the Christmas cookies after the program, which made it all worth it for them! Haha!

Ethan participated in both days of the program, since he goes to school every day, so the next day, he did a better job staying closer to the front so that we could see him. We watched as he sang all of the words and did all of the hand motions, too! :) What a difference a year makes!! I love the last pic, where they are singing, "Let's all do a little jumping, let's all do a little jumping, let's all do a little jumping, and spread Christmas cheer!"

He had no problems performing on stage this year! :)

I decided to make Christmas gifts for their preschool friends again this year. I was inspired by this pin to create my own little tags to add to the treat bags, stuffed with Hershey's kisses and a tube of Lipsmacker.

Christmas treat bag tags

The treat bags were a pretty quick, easy thing to make, which is good, since I had 32 of them to do!! Yikes! I love plays on words, so this one definitely appealed to me. :)

I wanted to make something cute for their teachers, too, but ran out of time trying to find the supplies that I needed. So, I settled with Target gift cards. When I saw the red envelopes they gave me to put them in, I was inspired to create little Santa belts out of them. This was super easy, but made for a super cute gift! I completed them with little chalkboard tags that I found in the dollar section at Target. Unfortunately, chalk didn't work well on them (go figure), but I had a silver metallic Permanent marker that worked perfectly! I love the result!

Santa belt gift cards with tags

I think that starting a bit earlier than the day before handing them out might be a good idea next year! Haha!

We had lots of fun again this year with Rusty, our elf. You can check out all of his antics on this page, if you'd like! He left good reports for the boys, and they were placed on the "nice" list. :)

They made the nice list for good behavior, but he gave them some things to work on, too. ;)

Santa brought them the toys they haven't stopped talking about this past month...a "double helicopter" for Ethan, and a firetruck for Noah! Amos couldn't ask for a Johnny jump-up, but he loves trying to jump while standing on us, so I figured it'd be a hit. ;) Daisy has enjoyed her Cincinnati football rope toy, so I think we did ok with that one, too.

Christmas morning, 2013

I hope that you have had a wonderful holiday season and are enjoying it with your loved ones today. We had a fantastic month and can't wait for what the New Year brings!

the seeley family, christmas 2013

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

All I Want for Christmas is Diapers! {Pampers giveaway}

Christmas snuck up on me rather quickly this year. I guess that can happen when you have a baby just a few short months before the big day! So yeah, I'm going to go ahead and blame it on the fact that I now have three little ones competing for my time and attention. Between keeping up with our elf, Rusty's antics each night, designing and printing Christmas cards and gifts, Christmas shopping, etc, etc, etc, I've been spread a bit thin this month! Consequently, I seem to be a tad more forgetful than usual lately. Is that even possible?!? Often, I forget little things that aren't a big deal, but lately, I've been forgetting more important things, like putting diapers in the diaper bag for Amos. Houston, we have a problem. Please tell me I'm not the only one who has discovered that they are completely out of diapers when they go to change a well-soiled diaper while out running errands! Ouch.

Fortunately, it's easy for me to swing by my local CVS, grab the diapers I need, and be on my way! I love how clean and organized the store always is, no matter which one I frequent. I also love that I don't have to trek hundreds of yards through the store to get what I need while dragging along my tiny one! Quick and easy.

Pampers has always been my go-to brand of diapers since I started buying them nearly 5 years ago! All 3 of my boys have used them now, and I couldn't be happier with how well they work. They do a fantastic job keeping them dry all night long. When I feed Amos in the middle of the night, I wouldn't want to wake him even more by changing his diaper! Fortunately, that's not an issue with Pampers, as I don't have to worry about him leaking before morning. I also love the fact that when Noah wakes up in the morning, despite the huge amounts of water he drinks before bedtime, his pajamas and sheets are nice and dry. No leaks here! All of my boys have had sensitive skin (inherited from me, I'm sure), but had no troubles at all with either the Sensitive Swaddlers, or later with the Cruisers. I also use their sensitive wipes, which do an even better job now, at 20% thicker, especially with super sticky situations! I have enough things to worry about most days, so I'm glad diapers isn't one of them.

In addition to how soft they are and how dry they keep my kiddos, they also look cute! Pampers recently updated the look of both their diapers and their packaging, so they look great, too. Noah is a huge fan of Elmo and all of his Sesame Street buddies, so he loves seeing their adorable faces on his diapers. I love that they are soft and stretchy and move easily with my little man on the move! I also love their three layers of absorbency that pull wetness away from their bottoms, decreasing the likelihood for any diaper rash, or discomfort.

I love that Pampers rewards you for buying their products. You get a certain number of points for each product you buy, just by entering the 15-digit code found on the sticker on the package. Let's just say I've accumulated a lot of points in nearly 5 years. So many, that we even managed to get a free Kiddi-O Trike for Noah last year! I have a lot of points built up again, so I'll have to start browsing the catalog again soon. ;) What's better than getting free stuff just for buying necessities??

As we get ready to travel again this holiday season, I'm relieved to know that even though we'll be visiting our families in a couple fairly remote locations in Ohio, there are CVS stores nearby, in case we run out of diapers while we are there! With two little ones in diapers this year, all I want for Christmas is Pampers!!

Now for the fun stuff! It's your chance to enjoy some Pampers of your own! I'm giving away coupons for one free pack of Pampers diapers (up to $13.99) and wipes (up to $3.99)! To enter, use the Rafflecopter widget below for your chance to win. The winner will be randomly selected after the contest closes on Tuesday, December 31st at 12:00 am, so be sure to leave your comment before then. Only one entry per person/email address, please. Additional entries will not be eligible to win. To qualify to win, you must be at least 18 years old and live in the United States. The winner will be notified by email. If they don't respond within 24 hours, a new winner will be selected. Good luck!!

All entries will be validated and removed if they do not fulfill the requirements. Please be sure you leave a comment below if you want your entry to count! ;)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Amos is Three Months Old!

Amos is three months old now! First up, his stats. In the past month, he gained 2 pounds, 1 ounce, to measure up at 12 lbs 9 oz (up to the 33rd percentile), and grew 1.5 inches, to measure up at 24 inches (up to the 52nd percentile). So, he had a better month for growing. Perhaps that had something to do with being able to keep all his food down again! :)

Below is a pic of Amos at three months, wearing a 12-month onesie. I will be taking a pic each month in this onesie to show how much he grows each month, just as I did for both Ethan and Noah. His eyes still appear to be blueish-gray, and the little bit of hair that he has is still the darkest of the three boys. His coloring seems to more closely resemble Noah's, not as pale as Ethan's skin. ;)

Such a happy boy!

And here is a comparison of all three at three months, just for fun. Ethan and Noah were still significantly bigger at this point (Ethan was 25 inches long and weighed 13 lbs 6 oz and Noah was 24 inches long and weighed a whopping 14 lbs 10 oz), but it's kind of nice keeping this one tiny for longer. :)

Ethan, Noah, and Amos (each at 3 months)

Accomplishments this month:
  • Sleeping through the night
  • Rolling from back to side
We made it over the hump. The third month was so much better than the first two! A big part of that has to do with the developments in the sleep department. I didn't want to jinx it by saying that he was sleeping through the night, but I think it's safe to say now, as he has been doing it for 4 weeks now! Yay!!! His record right now is a little over 10 hours, but would actually probably be longer if I didn't have to wake him up in the morning to get ready! This past month, he is still averaging about 14 hours of sleep a day, with approximately 9.5 of those hours being at night! After discussing it with his doctor at his 2-month appointment, he advised me that as long as he was fed and changed, I should put him down awake at night and let him get himself to sleep, even if that meant crying. To avoid bad habits from happening, I needed to let him learn to do this now. So, we tried it on that Friday night. I hated listening to those tears for the 15 minutes that it lasted, but it worked. He went to sleep. And he stayed asleep all night. For real? That's all I needed to do?!? Relief.

It may have also helped him to sleep more comfortably now that we have his projectile spit-up/GERD under control. I don't know if it was the Nexium prescription, or the adjustments my chiropractor is doing on him, but something is working!! Yay! It is so much nicer being able to cuddle the little guy and not having to worry about changing my clothes every time I do it! I actually think it may be the adjustments that are helping more than the medicine, because when we skipped a week of getting adjusted, he started to get worse, but after being adjusted again this week, he is doing better again now. I can get one more refill of his Nexium right before the end of the year, so I'll probably go ahead and do that, but then I may discontinue it after that. At the steep cost of $350/month once our insurance deductible resets in January, I would have to know that the medicine is really working to pay that kind of money for it. So, we may have to see how the adjustments alone do instead. His doctor said that we should hopefully be able to discontinue the medicine anyway once he starts to eat food around 5-6 months, so we'll be there soon!

Not long after he started sleeping through the night, we discontinued the bottles of formula before bed. That was actually more a result of Josh going out of town, which would require me to give him a bottle. I was not a fan of, nor very good at, trying to feed him a bottle, so I skipped it the 2nd night. And he was fine. So, we just stopped the bottles after that. He's still nursing every 2-3 hours during the day for 10-20 minutes at each feeding, but can go from 9 or 10 pm until at least 7 or 8 am without eating now. Occasionally he'll wake up in the 5 o'clock hour to eat, but it's rare.

I still don't really have him on a schedule yet. This is probably due to the fact that we're not home nearly as much as we were with the other two. With the older boys in preschool, we're in the van at least twice a day every day, and sometimes more, if I run errands. So, he does more napping in the van than in his crib. He usually naps a little bit in the morning and then takes a longer 2-4 hour nap in the afternoon. It's normally at the same time as the older two, so that works out great!! Then most evening he takes a very short nap (30 minutes or less) around 6:30 or 7. He's good with sleeping in his carseat if the van is moving, but once we are stopped somewhere, he normally wakes up now. So, dinners out have become a bit more interesting, and no more trying to get my nails done while he happily sleeps in his seat. :( Haha, oh well!

The boy loves getting naked, just as big brother Noah did at this age. He can't stop smiling once you start taking his clothes off to change his diaper, or into his jammies! He also loves chewing on his hands. You would think he's starving the way he gnaws away at them all the time! He can almost roll from his back to his belly now. He gets to his side, then stays there, instead of rolling all the way over.

Amos was a rockstar traveler on our recent trip to Ohio for Thanksgiving. He slept the entire almost 4-hour trip up to Grandpa & Grandma Seeley's house, then also the entire trip up to Grandpa & Grandma Frank's house from there the next day! The longer trip back wasn't quite as perfect, but he still did a really great job, sleeping most of the way! It's nice to see him following in big brother Ethan's steps in the sleeping department, instead of Noah's! Haha!

We can't wait to see what this little guy has in store for us next!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Amos's Two-Month Check-Up

Amos is two months old already!! We visited his doctor on Tuesday for a check-up and vaccinations (DTap, Hib, Hepatitis B, PCV13, polio, and rotavirus). First up, his stats. In the past month, he gained just 5 ounces, to measure up at 10 lbs 8 oz (down to the 23rd percentile), and grew just 1 inch, to measure up at 22.5 inches (down to the 34th percentile). His head was up to 15.5 inches (up to the 36th percentile). So as of now, his growth has slowed down again and is more on track with the original growth curve he started on. Because he hadn't gained much at all though, I asked to see if we could do a gram study to see how much milk he is getting from me, since it's otherwise impossible to know while nursing. To do this, he is weighed on a gram scale, I feed him, and then he is weighed when he's done to see how much weight he has gained and how many ounces that translates into. I was surprised to see that in just 15 minutes he ate 3 ounces on the first side and 2 ounces on the second! Wow! I didn't think I was having any problem producing enough at this point, so that was reassuring to see the actual numbers. But, knowing he was eating enough didn't explain the slowdown in growth. More about that in a bit...

The second month was another difficult one. We made it, but it hasn't been easy. As I've said before, the newborn stage is always rough on me, so I'm looking forward to the coming months! On the plus side, things have been getting better in the sleep department for the most part. Most nights, he'll last 4-5 hours before he wakes me up for the first time, then he can usually go another 2-3 hours until the next feeding. Sometimes though, he is still waking every 2-3 hours at night to eat, too. Waking up once a night then to feed him isn't bad. Definitely something I can handle, but I'll still be rejoicing the day he decides to sleep through the night! Haha! His record right now is actually almost 7 hours, which was pretty awesome! This past month, he averaged about 14 hours of sleep a day, 8 of those hours being at night, so not too bad. Unfortunately, he still won't take a pacifier, which I think would help. When he wakes at night, I don't think he's hungry as much as he just wants to suck for comfort. He appears to have a very sensitive gag reflex though, as the pacifier tends to gag him when we've tried it.

You wouldn't guess it by his size, or weight gain, but the boy loves to eat! His appetite really picks up in the evenings, and I think he'd eat for 3-4 hours straight if you let him! Haha! Sadly, oftentimes I can't keep up with him that late in the day, so most nights, Josh supplements with a bottle before bed. This also allows me to get to bed earlier than when he usually falls asleep, which is not until at least 10, and usually not until 11, sometimes 12. This is much different from big brother Noah, who was always out by 8, or 8:30. Ethan always stayed up later, until 11ish, but being my only child, who also slept in until 11ish in the morning, it was an easy schedule, and worked out better for Josh getting to spend time with him! Haha! With preschool everyday for Ethan now, I actually have to wake up early, so earlier bedtimes are a must!

The other issue we've been dealing with this past month is spit-up. Projectile spit-up to be exact. It's pretty crazy. I used to think that Noah spit-up a lot at this age...that was until Amos started doing it. He doesn't do it the entire day, at every feeding, like Noah did (he always required 2-3 bib, and/or outfit, changes a day). Instead, he gets it all out in one incidence...but it is a lot. As in like, an entire feeding. It shoots out like something out of The Exorcist. It covers, the boppy, him, etc. It requires a complete change of all clothing for both of us normally. It's just lovely. His doctor has decided for now that it's GERD and he has been taking Zantac to help. It seems to have helped some, but he's still doing it, just not every day now. So, we got a new prescription for Nexium at his appointment, to see if that one works better for him. If not, we'll need to explore other reasons for why it is occurring. Sigh. I hope we can get it figured out because it looks like it is miserable for him! Poor guy actually had an episode while we were at the doctor's office. I had just finished the gram study and we went back to the room to get his vaccinations. The nurse gave him the oral rotavirus vaccine first and within a couple minutes, back up it came! :( The lucky nurse was able to witness the action, so while it was reassuring for her to tell me that no, that wasn't normal, that it is definitely projectile spit-up, my preference would be that he just had normal amounts of spit up instead! :/ I don't know if this could be the reason for his slower weight gain? I'm sure babies that spit up all day long lose as much as he does in this one instance, so I don't think I can fully attribute the decline to this.

Below is a pic of Amos at two months, wearing a 12-month onesie. I will be taking a pic each month in this onesie to show how much he grows each month, just as I did for both Ethan and Noah. He is still a baldy, just as his big brothers were for most of their first year, but I don't think he has lost as much of his hair as the other two did by this point. What is there is still darker than the other two had, too. His eyes still appear to be blueish-gray. Not as blue as Noah's though, so they may change yet. It took 9 months before Ethan's started turning brown, so time will tell!

Happy little guy at 2 months! :)

And here is a comparison of all three at two months, just for fun. I don't think he looks quite as much like Noah here as he did at one month, but I think he is still favoring him more than Ethan. Ethan and Noah were significantly bigger at this point (Ethan was 23 inches long and weighed 12 lbs 11 oz and Noah was 23.5 inches long and weighed 13 lbs 4 oz), so I guess this really is our little "micro man!" ;) Ethan was "little man," Noah was "tiny man," so "micro" seemed to be our next option! Haha!

Ethan, Noah, and Amos (each at 2 months)

Here's another pic of him where he is looking more like Noah though... :)

Accomplishments this month:
  • Cooing
  • Smiling
  • Producing real tears now :(
He has started really cooing and smiling at us a lot now when we talk to him. It's so much fun to be able to interact with him now! The boys have really been loving it as well. Ethan loves singing to him and Noah can't walk past him without giving him a kiss on his head and saying, "Amos is a little baby!" Haha! It's so sweet how much they love him! Click on the links for some cute videos! :)

Feelin' the love!

Poor little guy is producing real tears now. I don't remember at what point this happened with Ethan and Noah (I think around this time, too), but I actually just noticed it for the first time on Tuesday!

For the most part, he's your typical baby...he eats, sleeps and poops. Now we're excited to watch him grow and develop his own little personality!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Time to Carve!

It's my favorite time of year. Cooler weather, the beautiful colors of leaves changing, roasting marshmallows around the fire pit...and pumpkins, of course! Not only do I love making everything I can with pumpkin purée (pancakes, muffins, cookies, cake pops, pumpkin crunch, etc - check out my recipes tab!)...we also love carving them!

This past weekend, we took the boys to a local church's pumpkin patch to pick their pumpkins. They had tons of beautiful ones! The boys had so much fun running around and checking out all of the pumpkins before selecting the ones they wanted to buy. Sorry for the poor quality iPhone pics. I didn't bring the good camera and it was really dark, so they don't look great.

My three little pumpkins at the patch! ;)

Cleaning out the pumpkins went much better this year than it did two years can check out that funny video here! Wow, Ethan looks so young there!!

Scooping out the seeds to be roasted later.

This year, we got fancy with our pumpkins and used Pumpkin Masters carving kits to help us out. You can find the kits at your local grocery, drug, or craft store, or at Walmart or Target. I love these kits because I know the boys can safely use the tools for carving, and we can avoid any dangerous situations with kitchen knives!

Look at all of those great tools!

Noah chose a ghost template for his pumpkin. It was super easy to use! You just tape the template onto the pumpkin as directed, then trace the outline with the pounce wheel. This pokes little dots into the surface of the pumpkin.

After removing the template, you just follow those dotted lines to carve out the correct areas on the design.


Noah was so proud of his pumpkin! :)

It will look great all lit up on Halloween night! Pumpkin Masters also has strobe lights that you can place inside your pumpkins so that you don't have to use a candle. With the little ones, this is a great, safe alternative!

Love it! So spooky! :)

We had such a great time carving our pumpkins! We want to get more this weekend to carve before Halloween. With all of the templates and tools, there are so many great designs we would like to try!

Pumpkin Masters is currently holding their annual carving contest. You can share a pic of your carved pumpkin via Instagram or Twitter with #PumpkinMasters2013, submit it via the Facebook app, or send it via email to: to enter for the chance to win one of six prizes, including $5,000 for the best pumpkin!! The contest runs through the 31st, so be sure to enter soon! You can find the details and official rules here.

To help you with your pumpkin carving this year, I am giving away one Pumpkin Masters carving kit (valued at $35!) which includes all of the great products shown in the above picture! To enter, just leave a comment on this post below for your chance to win. I'll be randomly selecting the winner on Monday, October 21st at 12 pm, so be sure to leave your comment before then. Only one entry per person/email address, please. Additional entries will not be eligible to win. To qualify to win, you must live in the United States. The winner will be notified by email. If they don't respond within 24 hours, a new winner will be selected. Good luck and happy carving!!

Congrats to the winner of the carving kit contest...Nikki! She was randomly picked as the winner as commenter #1! Thanks to those who entered. :)

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Amos is One Month Old!

Amos is one month old already!! He's actually six weeks old today...which means he is no longer a newborn! Wow. That also means I am a bit behind here, but I'm trying! He had a check-up with the doctor at two weeks, and doesn't go back until two months, so I had to collect his one-month stats myself. At two weeks, he had weighed in at 8 lbs 7 oz (42nd percentile), measured up at 21 inches (65th percentile), and his head was 14.25 inches (33rd percentile). This meant he had gained one pound since birth, but nearly 1.5 pounds since his last weight check at 4 days old, so about 2 oz per day! His doctor said that they like to see a gain of at least 1 oz per day, so he was doing great (and I no longer needed to wake him to eat every 3 hours)! Everything looked great at his appointment and he even managed to roll over twice while the doctor was examining him! He said he gets extra credit for that. ;) Haha!

At one month, I measured him at 10 lbs 3 oz (62nd percentile) and 21.5 inches (50th percentile). Another impressive gain as he has continued to gain about 2 oz per day! He is definitely filling out nicely, including his cute little double chin, but has still retained his skinny little bird legs.

The first month was a challenging one. I don't remember the newborn stage being quite so difficult with the other two, but perhaps my memory is failing me. It wouldn't be the first time! It could also be due to the fact that I also have two other children to take care of, too? Amos loves to eat. Sometimes every hour, especially at night. Lucky me! It wouldn't be so bad if I could just feed him and lay him back down to sleep right away. I know this worked with the other two with no problems. Amos, however, does not like to be laid down on his back in his crib. That is an understatement. He actually despises it and makes his feelings quite known. Sigh. He also was not a fan of being swaddled, so we gave up on that after a few weeks. Noah wasn't either, so nothing new there. So, after feeding him, I have to wait until he is really passed out before putting him back in his crib, or those little eyes will pop back open to look at me! Oftentimes, I end up falling asleep during this process, and I'll wake up a couple hours later, still sitting in the chair holding him. He sleeps great when being held! So, I have to decide what is better - being less comfortable sleeping in the chair and getting longer stretches of sleep, or being comfortable in my bed, but for very short periods at a time. Neither is ideal obviously. :/ His longest stretches of sleep were when he was 5-7 days old. Go figure. Things went downhill from there. He started waking up after just 1-2 hours, sometimes 3, at night pretty regularly. That makes for one tired mama. Fortunately, things have gotten better the past few days, but I'll talk more about that with his 2-month post. :)

Below is a pic of Amos at one month, wearing a 12-month onesie. I will be taking a pic each month in this onesie to show how much he grows each month, just as I did for both Ethan and Noah.

And here is a comparison of all three at one month, just for fun. As of now, Amos appears to be big brother Noah's twin! Wow! I still see Ethan in him sometimes, too, so we'll see what happens later. :)

Ethan, Noah, Amos (each at one month old)

Accomplishments this month:
  • Rolling over (front to back)
  • Holding his head up
He has rolled over a few times, including at the doctor's office, but it's not something that happens every day, so I'm not sure if it really counts or not. ;) When you put him on his tummy, he can make his body pretty stiff if he's mad, so he can just roll on over pretty easily. Haha!

Our boys have all had freakishly strong necks. So strong that they have all been able to hold up their heads within a week after being born. It's pretty crazy. Here is Amos holding his up at just 2 days old. It probably helped that his head was smaller than the other two! Haha!

It's hard to believe I'll be posting another update in another couple of weeks (ideally, that is)! It's amazing how fast it all goes after the first child!