Graham is Eleven Months Old!

43 weeks – playing in your ball pit with Daddy

43 weeks – playing with Mommy

44 weeks – Ms. Tamara caught you standing at school for the first time

45 weeks – ON THE MOVE! Playing with your reflection in the faucet!

45 weeks – playing at home

45 weeks – swinging at the park

46 weeks – the weather turned cold and you (and Mommy) were not a fan!

46 weeks – you are the sweetest little boy

47 weeks- your first Halloween

47 weeks – you can do your bottle all on your own, but only when you want to!

You and Bertie have become best friends at the table this month! You love to let her have a bite of your food!

47 Weeks – Diwali lighting the diyas

47 weeks – Saturday couch naps with Mommy are the best!

11 months old – heading up the stairs on your own!

Eleven months with you! It is so hard to believe that in a few short weeks we will be celebrating your first birthday! This has been a huge month of milestones for you! You already seem like such a big boy compared to only a short time ago. You started pulling up to stand on everything this month. You first started around 44 weeks and as soon as you did that it was off the the races, you can pull up and walk along the couch now, the wall, the kitchen cabinets, and the bath tub. Anywhere really. Your crawling is getting faster and faster too! I know its only a matter of time before you can walk on your own! At the prodding of your teacher we finally expanded your diet this month. You’re eating meat, beans, noodles, and pretty much all the fruits and veggies now. Within a few days of starting to eat more food, you decided you were done with breastfeeding. At 45 weeks you nursed on Wednesday morning before school, and then on Thursday you were all done, wouldn’t hear of it. I was glad to be done if I’m being honest (you have eight teeth!), but I was more happy that it was your decision and it really wasn’t an issue at all! Your eating SO much food now! It is shocking to your Dad and I how much you can eat at a meal. You’re taking less and less milk from a bottle and have even dropped a bottle fed this month. We celebrated your first Halloween. You were the cutest avocado if I do say so! Dadima bought your costume since it’s still your favorite food it just seemed perfect to her. Mom and Dad went away on long weekend vacation to the mountains and you stayed home for a few nights with Dadima and Poppa Bob. We are so thankful that they have been so helpful and love being with you! You had a little sleep set back at the beginning of the month, but the last few weeks you have been doing great, sleeping until 7:30 or 8:00 in the morning. We are still working on naps, you’ve been taking a long nap at school, but so far won’t do that at home. You are talking more and more now and are a waving man! You wave at everyone we come across. On your 11 month birthday you surprised us by taking off up the stairs, you made it all the way up on your first try without any help! You are turning into a little boy right before our eyes and it is such a joy to watch! You are the sweetest boy and we love you so! We love you big little one!

What to do about BED BUGS when travelling?!

Remember when I told you guys that we got bed bugs on our honeymoon. Yeah that was great. In all of my googling, everything said do not panic, WELL allow me to be the first person on the internet to tell you it’s fine if you want to panic. Go finishing panicking and then come back and I’ll tell you what to do to remedy the situation.

First things first, I highly recommend that you tell someone at the place you are staying. Whether it is an AirBnB, a hotel, or a fancy resort, it’s really not their fault entirely. Bed bugs can easily hitch a ride from one place to another, like from one hotel to another, or maybe even in the airline cargo area from one suitcase to another. GROSS RIGHT!? And it doesn’t mean the place you are staying is dirty. Although you may feel as though you will never feel clean again once you encounter a bed bug. Someone needs to know, so they can treat the room and prevent other guest from having the same experience.

Also, let me be the first to tell you that people who check mattresses and other areas of hotel rooms when they travel in search of bugs, may not find them. These creatures are tiny and they only come out at night. Unless you have a full blown infestation don’t expect to seem them easily. So it’s fine if you’re checking, but that’s not fail proof.

I am no expert on this, but bed bugs have a life cycle such that they only need to feed during certain times. If you encounter them during the feeding part of the cycle, you will see the blood spots on the sheets at night. A new infestation may not yet be at this stage, and thus you won’t know about them. So we were kind of thankful for the bites in some sick way.

Bed bugs are killed by heat. There is no cleaner or chemical or anything that will get rid of them besides high heat. Ever since we came across the creepy little creatures on our honeymoon, we have followed a strict protocol when we return home from traveling just about anywhere. I’m going to share our routine with you so that if you’re in the same situation you know what to do.

  1. When you return home take *all* of your clothes off before entering your home. [Could be complicated if you live in an apartment or shared living quarters]
  2. Place all of your clothes directly into the washing machine. Wash and dry them.
  3. Do not bring your suitcases in your house. Leave them in the garage, on the porch, in the yard. Not in the house.
  4. Unpack the suitcases into trash bags. [your neighbors will think you killed someone on vacation, it’s fine]
  5. Anything that can be washed and dried goes into a bag that will be taken to a wash/dry/fold service. 1)the commercial driers get much hotter than the ones at home & 2) you don’t take a chance on the creatures getting in to your house
  6. Certain things that may not be safe in the washer, are fine in the dryer only. Remember it’s the heat you’re after not the soap. Think hats, certain kinds of shoes, purses or backpacks etc. Anything that is safe in the dryer should be left on high for at least 30 minutes.
  7. Anything that can’t be washed/dried goes into a trash bag with one of these for at least a couple of days.
  8. After a few days in the bag, cook everything in this oven. We cook our suitcases, our shoes, sometimes our toiletries.

The thing is, this may seem nuts, but if they infest your home it could be thousands of dollars to have it treated and get rid of them. It can also ruin hardwood floors and other more delicate items inside like artwork. If you can prevent them do it. After encountering bed bugs once, we assume that we have encountered them on every trip since and do this routine after every trip.

And now to really up the creepy factor of this post… a few pictures.

This is what your creepy crawly friends will leave behind.

This is when the neighbors will start to get suspicious.

The bug oven.

A Fall Day at the Pumpkin Patch!

If you go to the pumpkin patch and don’t take a million pictures for the ‘gram did you even go to the pumpkin patch!?! We had a fun morning picking out a few pumpkins for our front porch and posing for all the cheesy photo ops! We went early and had the place to ourselves. We found out after we got there they had a funnel cake stand, and were bummed to find that it didn’t open until later in the day. We missed the fair this year too so this could have been our chance! Bummer! Either way it was a fun morning and we got some good pictures!

Graham is Ten Months Old!

39 weeks – avocado is your favorite!

39 weeks- Mommy loves these sweet Sunday naps!

39 weeks – neighborhood adventures

40 weeks- you discovered the pantry

40 weeks – trying tomato soup

40 weeks – Bertie is the best playmate

40 weeks – 9 month check up

40 weeks – ready for game day

40 weeks – this game is a real hat biter

41

41 weeks – Dash game!

41 weeks – Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad – you should really hang this on the wall!

41 weeks- Our family on our second anniversary! Crazy how quickly things can change!

41 weeks – fall is here! The cutest little boy in the cutest little cardigan!

41 weeks – Game day ready again!

42 weeks – cooking with Dadima

42 weeks – almost able to pull yourself up on your own

42 weeks – reading a new book

42 weeks – playing in your ball pit

42 weeks- trying out Sesame Street for the first time

42 weeks – Happy Fall Y’all! Carolina beat Dook!

43 weeks – standing on your own – still need a little help to get up

43 weeks – Cheerios!

Ten whole months with you! Only one more monthly update and you will be one!! You are such a joy! We had your nine month check up and you are still growing like crazy. This month you got so much faster and are on the move EVERYWHERE! We can hardly keep up with you. You found Bertie’s food and water and we have to be quick to keep you out of her bowls. You discovered playing in the pantry with all the condiments. We’ve been working on slowly adding in more and more food to your diet, but avocado is still your FAVORITE! We went to a Dash game with Papa Sam that you really enjoyed. Aunt Amy gave you a ball pit that has been a big hit, you love playing under or inside things. Under the furniture especially. You’re showing more interest in books now, you play with them on your own and turn the pages. Mom and Dad celebrated their second anniversary, the last two years have flown by! Keeping up with the past months, you got sick from daycare again… this month was hand, foot, and mouth. We were so lucky that it never bothered you. You had a rash all over your body that you never even noticed. We’ve been spending most of our weekends on the back porch watching football and you just play and play in the floor. You’re still not the best sleeper, naps are not your jam and you’ve been going through phases of sleeping well at night and then getting up several times at night. You have eight teeth now and your little grin is just the cutest! We love you big little one!!

A Summer Vacation To Big Sky, MT

fishing the Gallatin

Beginners Luck. Fishing the Gallatin on the first day!

fishing the madison river

Fishing the Madison

stacey's steakhouse

Stacey’s Steak House

Waiting on Old Faithful!

old faithful yellowstone national park
yellowstone national park grand prismatic overlook

Exploring Yellowstone National Park. Grand Prismatic Overlook.

summer at big sky

Big Sky Ski Resort in the summer time!

gallatin river

Gallatin River views

map brewing

MAP Brewing

sunrise over the yellowstone river

Sunrise over the Yellowstone River

fishing the yellowstone river

Fishing the Yellowstone River

Exploring Livingston

sunset over the gallatin canyon

Goodnight Big Sky! We’ll be back!

Our first post pandemic vacation!! The last vacation we went on together was our honeymoon to Paris in 2019. The last flight I was on was in February of 2020. WOW! What has changed since then?!

We spent a few days in Big Sky, Montana visiting friends who basically moved out there during the pandemic. They bought a house right on the Gallatin River that they’ve been renovating, and we were lucky enough to be some of their first guests. It is absolutely beautiful and we had the BEST time. It was fun to get away, relax, and enjoy some new scenery.

Graham stayed home with his grandparents and they had a great time as well. It was our first time leaving him for an extended period. We are so lucky to have them take such great care of him and allow us the freedom to travel still. We are looking forward to his first big trip in the near future and hope he will be a big traveler, but it’s also great to go just the two of us!

We flew into Bozeman and spent some time walking around, eating lunch, and exploring the town. It’s a cute little downtown with shops and restaurants. We had lunch at Ted’s Montana Grill, and also got our first taste of the beers from MAP brewing. We had wanted to go to MAP to eat and do a tasting but they were closed. Sean liked the IPA and I LOVED the Mexican Party Lager. So much so that I pretty much ordered it everywhere for the rest of the trip and I’ve tried to find it since being home with no luck.

After our afternoon in Bozeman we headed for Big Sky. It is about a 45 minute drive. We went straight to Riverhouse BBQ, which was just down the road from our friends house for a few drinks. This is a cool spot with an outdoor stage, and when the weather is cooler there are outdoor firepits. We didn’t try the food, but it was a fun place to hangout. After this we headed home, Sean tried fly fishing for the first time walking across the street and wading in the Gallatin. Beginner luck was on his side, he caught a fish on his first try. We grilled out dinner together and called in a day.

The next day we were up bright and early for our first guided fly fishing trip. We fished the Madison River with guides from this company. We met up with the guides super early due to something called Hoot Owl Restrictions, we had to be off the water by 2 pm, so in order to get a full day in we had to leave by 6 am. We split up and the girls went in one boat and the guys in the other. If I’m being honest we kind of hated our guide. The guys had a guide that was having all the fun and we had a guide that was all kinds of serious and taking his job way too seriously. But overall we still had a great day, we caught a few fish enjoyed the beautiful scenery and the lunch that was included was surprisingly good as well!

We finished up the day right near the town of Ennis, so we spent the rest of the day exploring the area. We had snacks and drinks at the Gravel Bar. We did some shopping at Trout Stalkers and a few other local shops. We did a whiskey tasting at Willie’s Distillery. It was a cute little town.

On the drive back we stopped at Stacey’s Steakhouse for a traditional Montana steak dinner. This place has all the old school vibes, and was popular with the locals and the tourist alike. It was a fun stop for sure! Our guides recommended Land of Magic Steakhouse and Sir Scott’s Oasis for similar traditional Montana vibes. Maybe we will have the chance to try them out on another trip.

The next day we were able to sleep in and we decided to drive to Yellowstone and spend the day. It was just over an hour from Big Sky into the park. We went to see Old Faithful and had a picnic while we waited. We hiked up to the overlook to see the Grand Prismatic. We drove around the park and saw a few elk. We went in to West Yellowstone for ice cream. A fun day exploring the park.

We stopped in Big Sky to check out the little village on our way back in to town. There are a few cute shops, a brewery, and a few restaurants. On the mountain at the ski resort there are a few more restaurants and shops. We had a drink on the mountain and watched the mountain bikers using the ski runs. It was pretty quiet on the mountain, I can only imagine in the winter it’s a lot more crowded. We got home and watched the sun go down over the mountains and grilled out again before another early morning of fishing.

Our second day of fishing we went on the Yellowstone River. We had the same guides again except this time the girls went with the fun guide and the guys went with Mr. Serious. We had another early day, we watched the sunrise over the mountains as we were loading up the boats to head out. In my opinion the views from the Yellowstone were better than the Madison. We had another long day of fishing, but I enjoyed this day so much more! I convinced the guide to go in swimming with us, and basically abandoned the fishing in favor of sightseeing. So much more fun! If I’m being honest, I did not need to be up at 4 am to go fishing, I could have spent a couple hours doing it and been just as happy but it was a great experience either way.

We went in to Livingston to explore the town after our day of fishing the Yellowstone. I wish I had taken more pictures of the town, it looks like it is from a movie set for a western movie. There were a few cute shops and a really nice art gallery that we went in. We had cocktails at the Mint Bar and the Stockman Bar, before dinner at Campione. The food at Campione was absolutely amazing! It has major big city vibes in this old western town. SO GOOD!!

Our last day we had breakfast at Cafe 191 in Big Sky. It was a standard breakfast spot, but still very good. We packed up and headed back to Bozeman to the airport after breakfast. We had such a great time on our trip. Montana is honestly like nowhere else I have ever been. It is so beautiful. I am looking forward to going back soon, maybe in the winter to ski at Big Sky. We also would love to go back and do a glamping trip with one of the companies that delivers RV’s to the airport when Graham is a little older. It seems like such a fun way to explore with him!

Graham is Nine Months Old!

35 weeks spending time with Grandma and Grandpa while Mom and Dad are away

First time trying blueberries – 36 weeks

Sick boy napping with Mommy and Sister – 36 weeks

36 weeks reading books

Mommy’s Birthday – 37 Weeks and Mommy’s 37th Birthday

37 weeks practicing standing on your own

38 weeks – the pools were all sold out and it was HOT

38 weeks – reading books to Mommy

38 weeks – the Amazon man came through with a real pool!

38 weeks – football Saturday’s are here

39 weeks in – 39 weeks out

39 weeks- playing ball with Bertie

Another fun month has gone by with you, our little joy boy! Time just seems to be speeding by! This month Mom and Dad went away on our first real vacation in a long time. We were away for four nights. Because of Covid, the last plane I was on was in February 2020, and Dad last went on a plane in November 2019. Our last big trip together was our honeymoon to Paris in November 2019. It was wonderful to be able to travel again and to see friends that we hadn’t seen in a few years. You stayed home with Dadima and Papa Bob, and they had the best time with you! This month you started banging your toys together when you play around 35 or 36 weeks, waving at 37 weeks, and at 38 weeks you began trying to stand on your own. Now if you hold on to our hands you can go from sitting to standing with no problem. You can also go from sitting to crawling, and you are everywhere QUICKLY now. You love playing under things, your jumper, the dining room table, the chairs. You discovered how to play ball with Bertie this month, she has been SO patient and will wait for you to throw it or roll it and will even give it back to you when you come after it. It is the CUTEST. You’re feeding yourself like a champ and the foods that you eat continues to increase. You still LOVE avocado. Midway through the month you and your friends at school passed around a GI bug that was absolutely no fun for anyone. We also have been going through quite the sleep regression. Mom and Dad have be le tired this month since you have been waking at night quite a bit. You started to cry a little at school when we leave and and night when you’re waking you just want to see that we are still there, so I think you’ve developed a bit of separation anxiety this month. I cannot believe how much hair you have now, it is so thick and you are just the most handsome boy! We love you SO big little one!

Graham is Eight Months Old!

31 weeks – loving bath time

31 weeks – visit from your aunts while Dad was away for the weekend

31 weeks- four new teeth peeking through

32 weeks – four new top teeth

33 weeks – learned to clap your hands

34 weeks – first trip in the big boy car seat

34 weeks – first visit to West Virginia

First trip to Frostop!

School Fun!

You love feeding yourself! The messier the better!

Future Mountaineer!

Another month of joy with you! You are just the most fun right now! You are laughing and squealing with delight, and still the most smiley kid around! You love feeding yourself, you basically won’t let us help at all. Bath time is still a big hit! You’ve mastered sitting up on your own this month. You are officially on the move mostly by barrel rolling where you want to go or scooting backwards on your butt, but you’re also sort of army crawling on your belly now. At 31 weeks four top teeth came out of nowhere and by the next week they had pretty much come in completely, so you have six teeth now! At 33 weeks you learned to clap your hands, which was a huge hit for us all! Daddy went away for a weekend with his friends so we had a sleepover with your aunts! They just adore you! We upgraded to a big boy car seat this month, you are just too heavy to carry in the baby seat now! We made our first trip to Grandma and Grandpas house this month. You did great in the car again and everyone in town was SO HAPPY to finally meet you! We had a wonderful brunch so everyone could come by to say hello, and you received too many gifts! We are still loving school. Ms. Tamara is wonderful with you and you do so many fun activities that we can see you learning from already. This month you painted and had a water play day that you enjoyed. You have SO MUCH hair now, it is just so thick and you have a little curl right on top that is just the best! You are in a good place with your sleep now, you take a bath every night, and go to bed by 7:00 or 7:15 and most mornings you don’t get back up until between 6:00 and 7:00. We are thankful for another month to watch you grow and learn! We love you big little one!

The Random List of Baby Things You Actually Need!

Now that I have an 8 month old (omg how did that happen?!?) I feel qualified to make a few suggestions about things you need and don’t need for a new baby. But so do a lot of other people on the internet. And they all seem to come up with about the same lists. So here’s a few things that don’t necessarily make the list of the most popular must haves. You know you need a stroller and a crib, but what are you going to be ordering at 3 am off Amazon to make your life easier. And what things are out there that you may not even know about because this is all new, and you like me have no clue what is actually going on most of the time with parenting. Also. Shout out to the mom friends that will gift you all the things you don’t even know you need. Get you some of those people in your life if you don’t already have them.

  • Bath Temperature Duck – This duck floats in the bath water to let you know if the temperature is just right. So smart.
  • Changing Pad Mats– These were gifted to us by a friend. We would have never known to buy them. They go on top of the changing pad sheet so that you can keep the sheet from getting filthy with diaper changes.
  • Bath Set – Elbow pads and knee pads for mom and dad and a faucet cover to prevent bumped heads. We have the matching bath tub and really like it too.
  • Zip-Up or Magnetic Onesies – Ain’t Nobody Got Time for ALL those snaps in the middle of the night with a crying baby. The four pack of zip-up onesies makes more sense for the wallet, but the magnetic ones are just so fun!
  • Pacifiers – These are our favorite and the only ones he really likes. We had multiple brands on hand to try, and once we settled on these I ordered SO MANY. Just when you think you have enough order a few more. Seriously you do not want to be looking for them at 4 am.
  • Piano Toy– We were gifted this as well. This was the first toy that he really showed any interest in and 8 months later he still plays with it. Money well spent since most things last a few weeks at this stage.
  • Car Seat Protector– Also a gift from a friend. They protect the actual seats in your car. We haven’t hit the snacks in the car stage yet, but an infant car seat is still rough on the car leather and these help them from completely ruining your car.
  • Haakaa– If your breastfeeding this is great for catching the letdown from the other side. If you’re like me and like OK great what does that even mean, watch this video.
  • Kimono Shirts – For the kid that HATES having his clothes pulled on over his head. We learned from our newborn photographer that the regular infant onesies can actually be pulled down over their body rather than back over their heads to get them off. It takes a village.
  • Happiest Baby Swaddle – If you are familiar with the Snoo, these are the same swaddles, just made to be used in a crib or regular bassinet. These are the ONLY swaddle that he couldn’t escape from and would actually sleep in. You will find people are devoted to the swaddle that works for them and it’s different for all babies. For us this one was it.
  • Bum Spatula – Spreading diaper cream with your hand just seems gross.

Graham is Seven Months Old!

27 weeks – Hanging with Papa Sam

27 weeks – eating avocado

27 weeks – Lunch with Daddy at the beach

27 weeks – Beach trip meeting Aunt Brandy and the girls!

28 weeks – Celebrated Daddy’s first Father’s Day

28 weeks – Eating carrots

29 weeks – True Covid kid – your first trip to the grocery store

29 weeks – Getting pretty good at sitting alone

30 weeks first Fourth of July

30 weeks – Graham loves hats!!

Seven months with you! What a joy! You continue to be the happiest baby around and are just so much fun! You had croup at the beginning of the month. We are lucky we caught it early and got on steroids for a few days, and had no issues at all with it. It is good to see you building an immune system but tough to see you get sick! Mom and Dad both caught your germs and ended up on medicine too! You are eating one meal a day at the table with us. You are Mr. Independent who wants to feed himself, and make a huge mess, so we are limiting it to once a day. You eat squash, carrots, avocado, and sweet potato. Sometime this month you started sleeping like a big boy, we don’t rock you to sleep anymore you’re able to put yourself to sleep in your crib! I’ll miss rocking you to sleep at night but it’s great to see you sleep on your own! We had two trips to the beach this month, probably our last of the summer. We celebrated Daddy’s first Father’s Day this month. He was sick so we let him celebrate in bed all day! At 28 weeks you started doing the cutest backwards butt scoot. You aren’t crawling yet but you are able to get around by rolling and scooting. You can sit pretty well unassisted now, you topple over after a bit so we are still close by. We celebrated the Fourth of July at the beach this month also. It’s always been a special time with lots of celebration going on at the coast, but for the second year in a row everything was cancelled because of Covid. Town was pretty quiet, and it was just us. We did continue our family tradition of dressing up in patriotic attire. We are looking forward to the years to come when it’s safe to celebrate with everyone again. It is so special to continue years of traditions with you! We love you big little one!

Family Beach Vacation 2021

We spent 10 days at the coast on our first big family vacation since having Graham. It was lots of fun and family time! Graham was such a trooper in the car on the way there and the way back, such a great treat for us! We spent the first weekend with Aunt Jody and Penny. Graham went to his first restaurant, Provision Company! Sunday afternoon we left for the night to go to a wedding. It was so much fun to be with friends celebrating again! There were about 100 people at the wedding and it was absolutely gorgeous. All but 3 or 4 guests were vaccinated and it it just so great to finally feel safe gathering in groups and to see other people celebrating big milestones safely! We spent the night away from Graham for the first time and he did great with his Aunties. We came back from the wedding and ventured out to another restaurant! We enjoyed the view and the food and Graham was well behaved again! We spent the next couple days by ourselves out adventuring and checking out places we hadn’t seen before. We even attempted a hike, but it was too much even for the Bob. At the end of the week Sean’s family joined us. We celebrated Sean’s birthday. Graham finally got to meet his Aunt and Uncle. We had a fun pool day and a great beach day. Graham put his toes in the ocean for the first time. There were lots of lap naps and walks around town which we all enjoyed. And at Dadima’s insistence we had a family photoshoot since we had everyone together for the first time in over a year and a half. The pictures turned out well, and Bertie is quite a mood in them. She cracks me up. We’re looking forward to our next trip already. I hope Graham will grow up loving the water like me.