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Living/Kitchen/Dining Room Makeover Sneak Peak!

So I mentioned (what seems like forever ago) that we had a lot going on this Spring! 
And wow, have we been busy!!!!
We replaced our roof, air conditioner, furnace, and water heater all within about a week or two!
And now I'm finally about done with my living/kitchen/dining room makeover!

It's taking me longer than I thought (surprise,surprise) but, we're finally SO close to being done!!!
I wanted to share some pictures because we're so excited we're almost done with it!!

Here's everything we've done in this makeover project:

Tore out living room carpet, replaced with laminate wood
Ripped out old fireplace to open up our living room more
Changed up living room layout
Repainted living room, kitchen, and dining room
....and last but definitely not least....
Repainted all trim white (what a freaking project that is in ITSELF!)

Ok, so here are some sneak peak pictures!
Dining room window BEFORE....Aaron hates
painting, but he was willing to help me prep for
painting ;)
Dining room window AFTER!!!
Loving this white trim!!!
And a "makeover" wouldn't be complete without
some new decor!

Flooring and living room rug
I'm going to try using these old closet doors
as a fun new decor piece!
(we'll see if I like

We are definitely in the home stretch now! 
We just have a little bit of painting left!
We're getting close (thank God)!!

Gavin's 8 Months!

"Mom, I'm over this picture stuff!!!!"

Age: 8 Months
Stats: 24 pounds & 30 inches
Teeth: 2 bottom teeth 
Clothes Size: 12-18 month
Favorite Foods: Everything he's tried except cottage cheese. 
Other Favorites: Being outside, going for walks, Harley the dog, making new sounds-his current favorites are mama & dada (I like the 'mama' one best), going for 4 wheeler/intimidator rides out at Grandma & Grandpa's. 
Looking Forward To: Well I'm looking forward to my first official Mother's Day (I'm sure Gavin is as well....). Excited for more nice weather and lots of sunshine!!

Chunky baby problems. This is how Gavin
sits in his exersaucer my parent's have for
him out at their house...
Harley got in on the photoshoot action.

8 Months as Mom

What I've Learned. What I've struggled with. 

What I've loved. What I've lost. What I've gained.

I love doing posts like this because I love to reflect, and I love being honest and sharing my journey as a new mom. 

What have I learned in these first 8 months as a brand new mom? The question should be, what HAVEN'T I learned. I've learned a lot about babies, pureed foods, breast milk, baby products, the baby section at Target, teething, car seats, baby toys, breast pumps and diapers. 
I've also learned to be flexible with my schedule, and let Gavin lead the way with it. 
I've learned a fussy baby may end your outings earlier than you anticipated.
I've learned just how much work it is to be Mom.

What I struggled with most was flexibility within my schedule. For whatever reason, this was the hardest thing for me to adjust to. No matter how hard I would try to mold Gavin into an ideal schedule that worked good for me, once I relaxed a bit and let Gavin ease himself into a schedule, my life was so much easier! I'm a creature of habit, I love a routine, a when I had a baby that TOTALLY took over all control of my day to day schedule- that was a HUGE adjustment. 
In the first couple months I remember stressing myself out about this new role as a stay at home mom. Being a stay at home mom, you never really get a break. My "break" is when Aaron gets home at night, and he's just around to help. I don't get to leave the house for the rest of the night and have a "real break", I'm still working on dinner, bath time, bed time feeding, and cleaning up the million baby toys scattered over my living room. But now that I've gotten used to this new way of life, I don't want it any other way. I love spending every day, and every minute with my little Gavin. But it definitely took some adjusting and getting used to at first.

What I've loved most about these first 8 months is watching Gavin grow. Wow, they grow so fast. Having 3 nieces and 2 nephews that I get to see at least a couple times (usually more often) a week, I knew how fast that newborn stage flies by. I remember when we were giving Gavin a bath, and he was only about 2 weeks old, I told Aaron, We have to soak up every minute of him at this stage, because we'll blink and it'll be over. So true. I am SO glad I was aware of how fast time flies when they're this young, because I've been able to really soak up every minute with him. I already get emotional when I think of how fast he's growing up!!! (I'm such a sap). 

What I've lost within these 8 months is the majority of my freedom. Funny, but true. Before Gavin, I could pick up and leave whenever I wanted. Want to go out for breakfast at 9:30am?, sure! Now...9:30 is usually nap time, and this mama knows her baby needs his naps. Spontaneous day trip to Woodbury to shop and eat at Outback?- sure! Now...ummmm, not so much. 

Even though I've lost a good chunk of my freedom since having my sweet little Gavin man, 
What I've gained since having him is far more than I ever imagined. 
The love I have for that little boy is absolutely out of this world. I'd do anything for him. 
The way he makes me smile, and laugh through out the day is priceless.
I spend every day, and almost every minute of every day with this little boy- and I wouldn't change that for the world! 
I've gained a whole new appreciation for my own mom- you don't realize how much work kids are until you have your own!!!
I've gained a whole lot more patience since having Gavin. 
I've gained a whole new outlook on life.
I have never been happier!

"A baby is a little bit of heaven on earth"
-author unknown (but they got it right).

7 Things I Miss About Pregnancy

I LOVED being pregnant. It was the most exciting, anxious, and beautiful 9 months of my life. 
I experienced very little sickness (I had some night-time sickness up until week 12) and had no complications. The one thing I could have done without was the low back pain I had for the last couple months. Other than that, absolutely no complaints!

So here are the 7 Things I Miss About Pregnancy

1. Feeling those baby movements. 
I remember when I very first felt Gavin, I was around 17 weeks pregnant. It was just little twitches, or so it felt like (I'm sure he was in there doing big ol' acrobatics, but to me it was just faint little twitches). Then I wouldn't feel anything again for a couple days, and I'd get so worried thinking, "oh my gosh, why haven't I felt the baby everything ok in there...". Then randomly I'd feel him moving all around in there, and ahhhhh, sigh of relief. 
I absolutely loved it when we hit the point where he was big enough that I could feel his kicks and punches just with my hand on my belly, or Aaron could feel it. If you asked Aaron, he would say I literally ALWAYS had my hand on my stomach because I LOVED feeling Gavin kick! 
One of my favorite movements was when Gavin would either take his elbow or knee, and slide it all the way across my belly, from one side, all the way to other! You could actually SEE it sliding across my stomach! I loved that! 

2. Baby Hiccups. 
There was nothing more adorable than when you're pregnant, and you feel your baby hiccuping. I feel like Gavin had the hiccups ALL the time towards the end of my pregnancy. I remember he had them at least two, three times a day! Whenever he would get them, if I was with anyone else, I would make them feel my belly so they could feel it! It was just so darn cute :)

3. Always Having Baby With You.
There's something to be said about that feeling of never being "alone" when you're pregnant. Maybe I'm weird, and it was just me, but when I was pregnant, it was just this feeling of... I was never totally alone. 
I actually don't even know how to describe it...maybe for me it was a more prevalent feeling because I always talked to myself out loud, and to Gavin in there. It usually went something like "I would like to feel you kick feel free to wake up and jump around a bit", or "Today we're going to go lay out in the sun...yippee!", and whenever I filled up my water bottle at the fridge I'd see Gavin's ultrasound picture hanging there, so I'd always say "You're so cute, I can't wait to meet you!!". And now that I'm trying to use specific examples of talking to myself out loud, I'm realizing I really do it a lot....

4. Eating Huge Meals, and Not Having to Suck it in Afterwords.
I can remember around 20 weeks when I had a noticeable, but still little, baby bump. We were out to eat at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants in town, and I ate a good amount massive amount of food (the chips and salsa get me every time). I remember feeling full, and putting my hand on my stomach...and it was a firm baby bump, not just a overly full, fajita-filled stomach. Oh my gosh, how awesome- I can leave a restaurant feeling oh so full, but when I get up everyone sees a cute baby bump, not just my overly, full-of-food stomach! 
No body knows the real reason I'm wobbling is because I feel so full I can hardly walk- they think it's because of the adorable baby belly I have, and everyone smiles at you and thinks "aw, cute, she's pregnant", and I think "oh Lord, I'm so full it hurts, please help me make it to the car"

5.  Maternity Clothes.
Maternity clothes are just awesome. They're stretchy and grow with you... these are the only clothes that do that. All of my other jeans never grew with me when I put on a few extra pounds...regular jeans just decide they aren't going to go up past your thighs when you gain a little extra winter-time weight. Maternity clothes never make you feel bad about gaining 40lbs in a 9 month period though. Instead, they just get cuter as your belly gets bigger (well, some, not carefully). I miss the elastic waist bands, that allow you to eat all you want and not have to unbutton your jeans. It was a sad day when I packed away all of my maternity clothes. 

6. Actually Miss Going to the Doctor.
My baby appointments could not come fast enough!!! I remember in the beginning when we would only go once a month, and time went by sooooo slowwwwww. I couldn't get in there fast enough! I wanted to hear his little heart beat, I wanted to talk about what to expect next, and the exciting things that happened in the previous month! Then finally, we were able to go every other week- that went by  a little faster... the appointments were even a little more exciting. You get your belly measured, you hear the heartbeat.... then finally, you get to go every week! I LOVED this! Even though eventually you cover everything, and the appointments are nothing new, I was still just as excited, if not more, to go! Maybe it's just me... but I actually missed my weekly doctor visits.

7. Pregnancy in General.
I just miss being pregnant I guess! It was fun, exciting, I loved my baby bump, I loved buying cute, new maternity clothes, I loved the excitement about meeting this new little baby, I really just loved it all.   It makes me very excited about my future pregnancies.....but not for a while!!!
I'm good with just Gavin man for now
Yes, even at 40 weeks pregnant I was still in
my bikini, laying poolside. 

A Day In My Shoes (with 7 1/2 month Gavin)

I always enjoy talking to other moms about their "schedules" with their baby.
Especially mom's who stay at home, and have babies that are around Gavin's age. It gives me ideas, and more than anything reassures me that I'm not the only one with an ever-changing day to day life.

So here's my typical (most definitely not set in stone) day with 7 1/2 month old Gavin!

We start our day around 7am (give or take 30 mins). It starts with Gavin chatting to himself and making super adorable high pitch squeals, a pretty cute way to start the day. Aaron gets up and warms up the bottle, I get up and toss my hair up, as to not scare Gavin when I go in and get him (I could be voted best ...or scariest... bed-head hair, hands down). 
I love going in and getting Gavin from his crib in the mornings, because he's always SO excited to see you! He just kicks his legs and flails his arms like crazy, it's the cutest thing in the world!

Gavin gets a bottle (breast milk) from Dad, while I pump. Never thought I'd still be pumping 7 1/2 months down the road, but I'm slowly starting to dwindle down on my pumping. We have more than enough milk saved up for Gavin, and I'm really enjoying pumping less & less! So that part of the morning routine will hopefully be gone somewhat soon. Gavin is a stinker, and doesn't particularly enjoy eating from bottles (we call him a "boob snob") so he usually only eats 2, maybe 3-4 ounces if we're lucky.

Gavin plays either on the floor with his toys, or in his exersaucer while I make my own breakfast (which 9 times out of 10, is oatmeal) and then after I eat, I give Gavin his oatmeal. Gavin goes down for his morning nap anytime between 9-9:30 usually. We have a super cute tradition of making my morning coffee together, right before I go lay him down. He loves "helping" me close the Keurig lid, and watching the coffee brew

During his morning nap I usually clean up the dishes from that morning, then I go sit down and enjoy my coffee! This is my time. I usually read, or if I have something to blog about, this is usually when I do it. The morning nap time is when I focus on me, just relaxing and enjoying the quiet, mid morning time!

Gavin wakes up usually around 10:15-11:00, he eats and then we play! A couple days out of the week I go workout while Aaron is home with Gavin during this time. "Play" means playing with the bazillion toys Gavin has, playing in his exersaucer, and if it's nice outside I try to do as much as we can outside! Even if it just means me carrying him around the yard, looking at my landscaping starting to bud (yay Spring!!)!

His next nap is somewhere around 1-2, and usually during this nap time I actually get stuff done. ;)
Whatever needs to be done around the house- laundry, dishes, cleaning up, lately it's been doing whatever little projects need to be done for our living/kitchen/dining room makeover! Once I'm done with that, if Gavin's still sleeping I sit down, put my feet up and enjoy the peace & quiet! He usually sleeps about 1 1/2 - 2 hours.

Once he's up, he eats, and again- we play! This is when I try and go out with him- if we need to run any errands, or if it's nice outside we go to a park, or a lot of times I'll take him out to my parent's house and he swings on their play set and we go for little four-wheeler rides around the yard (he LOVES this).
He usually takes a cat nap around 5, and it usually only lasts about 30-45 minutes. This is when I try to get dinner started. Some days he skips this nap, so making dinner gets a little trickier.

The last couple hours before his bath & bed time can sometimes be tricky. Depending on how his schedule has played out throughout the day, sometimes he eats around 6-6:30, sometimes he wont eat until right before bed. Some evenings he's super content, others you'd think he should just go to bed at 6:00pm! So some nights it can get a little tricky with trying to keep him distracted and happy! For the most part he does good, but sometimes he needs to be walked around the house on Aaron's shoulders (this usually does the trick!). Once it's a little warmer- I'm guessing we'll take frequent evening walks around the neighborhood.

Bath time is between 7-7:30...we try to shoot for 7:15 most nights. This is, I swear, Gavin's favorite time of the day! This kid LOVES his baths! He plays with all his bath toys, kicks and splashes! After bath time, I feed him one last time and it's off to bed for our little man. He's usually tucked in and sleeping by 8:00! He goes to sleep GREAT! Some nights he falls asleep while I'm feeding him, sometimes he's still awake and we lay him in his crib and he just goes right to sleep!

Our daily "schedule" changes day to day. I don't have strict, exact times for everything. So having flexibility with our daily schedule has been key for us (something I had to get used to, because I love a set routine with exact times...).

*Other schedule tid-bits:

 -Gavin gets solid food 3 times per day.
Blueberries are quite yummy....
but also quite messy!

-He gets a total of 4, some days 5, (breast milk) feedings per day (all depends on how his schedule plays out).

-For the past almost 2 weeks, he's been waking up once during the night. We're not sure if it's from teething or a growth spurt (or who knows what), but he would not go to sleep unless I fed him! As soon as I fed him, we would lay him down, and he would go right back to sleep without making a peep... Hopefully this doesn't last too much longer, because we really enjoyed sleeping uninterrupted through the night!

Gavin's First Easter!!

This is what Gavin gets to do while everyone else eats...
next year bud :)

Gavin may not have been able to join in on the awesome
Easter food, but he did have his own Easter egg!


Gavin loves his Grandpa!

Easter was great this year...but a little bit shorter than previous years!
Time wise it fell during Gavin's nap- so we made the most of it while we were there! 
We basically ate, did the Easter egg hunt, and left (ha!).
Better luck next year! 

Doesn't matter how long you're there, it's always nice to spend time with family!

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