Thursday, December 31, 2015

Hart Littles Christmas

The week of Christmas I was feeling sad and nostalgic that the season was almost over. I swear it flies by even quicker with kiddos and it's been such a fun month that I never want it to end! Looking at Christmas lights, cookies, gingerbread houses, gifts, Jesus... I love Christmas and ours was wonderful! The day before Christmas Eve our family rode the train into downtown Austin and it was a gorgeous and fun day! Nothing is boring when you have 4 kids 3 and under (with lots of helping hands, phew!). This was the first year our little family spent the night in our own home on Christmas, we have always spent the night at my parents but given the fact that we now require so much space wherever we go, we wanted to start waking up in our own house. Christmas Eve morning we did our family gifts/Santa and had yummy donuts and Whataburger breakfast. Santa brought everyone stockings and Ford a balance bike to which he hasn't rode for more than 10 seconds and gets very frustrated with. Hmph. We had no real plans until Christmas so we actually ventured out to Target to get a few last minute gifts and Jon and I took a nap while the babes did, score. We went to a beautiful Christmas Eve service at our church, The Austin Stone, then came home and put our kiddos to bed so we could enjoy dinner alone. The Harts watch almost every single Christmas movie every year so Christmas Eve we watched National Lampoon Christmas Vacation (and Christmas Day we watched White Christmas, my favorite!). We headed over to my parents house in the morning where my siblings were and ready to open gifts! It took our group 2.5 hours to open all of our gifts, no lie Embry and Ford wanted to play with Play-Doh over opening gifts. Toddlers. Our favorite gift was a trip to Mexico this summer as a whole family! Gotta get Lucy a passport, we can't wait! I love that my parents have gifted us trips and experiences the past few years, that's where memories are made. Christmas Day was very relaxing. We ate, played games (5 second rule and cards against humanity), ate some more, and played outside. I can't think of a better way to celebrate the coming of King Jesus then being surrounded by my family in a warm house with good food. Now today, New Years Eve, I have a mountain of laundry and unpacking from our Disney trip and I am dying to take down our Christmas tree but I promised Jon I would keep it up til Jan 1. 2015 has been one to remember. Disney trip and New Years to come!

(I've started hashtagging my holiday pictures so I can go back and search them so you can find Christmas pictures from years past if you search #hartlittleschristmas on Instagram! Also Halloween, Thanksgiving, baby bump, and Disney!). 











Sunday, December 27, 2015

Lucy 8 months

Lucy Joy is 8 months old today! She celebrated her first Christmas last week and the celebration continues because we are in Disney World today! Lucy's middle name couldn't be more fitting for our precious girl. She is a joy giver and I am so grateful for that. She is spunky and sweet, I think more than ever we are seeing a strong personality develop (she is my daughter, I wouldn't expect anything less). It's hard to believe that a new year is right around the corner and she will be one before we know it. A few times last week I was getting nostalgic/emotional about Christmas being over and I think a lot of it stems from the fact that I love our children's ages right now. I know I will love whatever stage they are at (I'm sure I'll be singing a different tune in 13 years) but this one is so special. Like for instance next Christmas Lucy will almost be 2. Yikes. I know time will never slow down so I am very thankful that I am able to soak in all of these moments with my kiddos. Enough sap, here is our squirrely girl who was almost impossible to snap a picture of.

(We took these a few days before Christmas so I could use her Christmas dress!)


Excuse me while I start climbing... yes she climbs now...


Get this headband off of me!


Ford never put anything in his mouth and I think it is coming back to haunt me because Lucy puts EVERYTHING in her mouth. Oye!



  • 17lbs on home scale 
  • Lucy has had a cold on and off for a few weeks now but that hasn't affected her attitude or sleep, thank God! I hope I can keep her out of the doctor's office before her 9 month appointment in a few weeks.
  • We call her Peanut Lady, Peanuts, Lu Lu Bean, Lade-a, anything with Lady attached to it. Ford always calls her Babe-a (pronounced babe-uh) and it's adorable. Jon and I call her Babe-a a lot too. 
  • Her hair is getting so thick and long! So many people comment on it. I keep brushing it to the side and it is so pretty with a bow clipped in it. We got Ford's haircut at 8 months when it started growing over his ears but I'm not sure about girl hair... we are just going to let it grow. 
  • Bedtime is usually right at 7p for this lady and wakes up anywhere between 6:30-7:30am. 
  • She is ready for a nap 1.5 hours after waking up and at the beginning of the month it was around 2 hours long with an afternoon nap at 1pm also around 2 hours but girlfriend is back to 3 naps most days just depending on how long her 1st two naps are. My goal this month is to get her naps longer and cut that pesky 3rd nap.
  • Lucy is not only a tummy sleeper but basically puts her face straight down in the mattress like me. She has a few loveys and dollies in her crib and she holds them at night, so cute!
  • No crawling yet but girlfriend is close! She gets on her hands and knees and rocks and scoots and rolls to get places. Jon witnessed her Army crawling a few weeks ago towards the Christmas tree but nothing since.
  • She's been a solid sitter for a while which is a game changer. I can set her up with toys all around her and she has so much fun playing. She loves the Poppin' Pals toy and the Leap Frog activity table.
  • Other favorite toys- Ford's trains, Zoli, board books, Peek A Boo monkey, new baby doll
  • She stands now! She was standing when we'd put her up but right before Christmas she pulled up on her crib (from sitting on the ground) and her PBK Anywhere chair to stand up. Maybe she will skip crawling and just stand? I foresee this month being a little crazy.
  • Food is still iffy with Lucy. Just last week she started eating about 1 ice cube (I home make it and freeze) of food twice a day, this is a HUGE step! She likes a mix of sweet potato, pumpkin, and apple and also sweet peas and apples. She loves puffs and is really good with her pinchers but still chokes on whole foods (even tiny). She loves gnawing on fruit, veggies, bread, and anything in the mesh feeder. I am hoping this month we see a big increase in her solids intake. She loves her sippy cup and drinks water really well out of it. She sits in a chair top highchair with us at the table and has so much fun watching Ford.
  • Funny to think that even though she isn't a huge fan of food, she puts everything in her mouth. I'll turn my head for 1 second and she has 5 napkins in her mouth. Ford literally has never put anything in his mouth that wasn't food so I know I am in for it. 
  • Lucy is quite the vocal girl. She squawks and makes some really funny noises, I need to get them on video
  • Lucy celebrated her first Christmas last week! She got her first baby doll (a Madame Alexander doll) and she played with it for so long, it was adorable. 
  • Like I said in the top paragraph, Lucy got feisty this month. She is sweet as pie but she gets "offended" so easily. If you change her diaper, take away a toy....she isn't happy. She also gets very attached to me at night when she is tired and reaches for me. Ford is going to be in for it the next few months! 
  








Thursday, December 17, 2015

Peaceful naptime {giveaway}

You know what would be awesome? If you could test out baby products before spending an arm and a leg on things you may end up loathing or never using. What would be even better is if you could magically know how far apart your kids would be in age and then register for things for your first baby that would be economical and usable for 2 kiddos close in age. What the heck am I talking about? Well #1 I am obsessed with my double stroller and since it can be a single stroller, I should have just gotten that one the first go around. #2 (and what I'll be talking about in the remainder of this post)...baby monitors. We registered and were gifted a perfectly fine video baby monitor but once Lucy made her appearance, we didn't know what to do. I ended up grabbing a second video monitor on a neighborhood swap site and because they are the same brand, they don't work well if the receivers are near. So that means every afternoon when the babies nap at the same time and every night, we have the receivers on opposite ends of the room buzzing away. One on my night stand, one on Jon's. I really wish I could go back and register for a monitor that would allow dual cameras because it's a pain during nap time when I am up and downstairs working on things around the house and dealing with the dreaded "NO SIGNAL" error on one monitor. Well folks, hold onto your hats because all of this is about to change. We just received the Levana Ovia 2 camera video monitor and it is uh-mazing and here's why...
  • I can have a camera in each of my kiddos rooms and they are on the same receiver. No testing the limits of 2 receivers and worrying if they will cross signals overnight and turn off.
  • The Ovia (and all Levana monitors) are digital and wireless so no worries of strangulation when your baby becomes mobile in their cribs and no dealing with untangling pesky knots when traveling with your monitor. 
  • The receiver screen is 4.3inches and LCD, pretty darn high tech y'all. I can talk to both kids through the monitor, take videos, snap pictures (because kids sleeping are picture worthy), and even upload to my computer! I don't think my parents even had a sound monitor for me growing up and look where we are now? And the 2 way communication may just be my favorite thing, and you toddler mamas can agree. Ford is still in a crib and there is a 0% chance of him climbing out anytime soon but he loves to play, sing, and putz around in his crib almost every afternoon before nap and we can easily talk to him through the Ovia monitor. It's so funny to watch when we tell him he needs to go to sleep because he flips over at lightening speed. 
  • The Ovia has the option to turn the sound of the receiver off until it senses a loud noise (cry, etc). This is an awesome feature you guys! The buzz of the monitor (monitors in our case) always makes me anxious. It's almost like I am conditioned to hear that noise and I can now sleep a little more peacefully!
  • The battery life is long which is key. We travel a lot and even if it's just for a day trip, it's always frightening driving away wondering if you've packed every cord and charger. 
  • Levana is committed to safety and security. All monitor data is transmitted on private, local networks which makes me sleep a lot better at night knowing creepers aren't watching my kiddos (I always seem to find the scary Facebook articles like that). They also exclusively manufacture baby monitors which allows them to continue to innovate and perfect their products. 
  • Buy Your Levana Ovia Monitor Now (free shipping y'all!) or check them out on Facebook .
Being a mama of 2 littles under 2 is fun and crazy but doesn't leave me much time for myself. Thanks to my Levana Ovia monitor, I can now enjoy naptime in peace. I know my babies are safe and I am not running around trying to deal with double receivers, wave lengths, and mixed signals. I joke with Jon and ask if there will ever be a day when we won't have a baby monitor in our room!



Giveaway
One lucky reader will win a Levana Ovia 2 Camera Baby Video Monitor

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Levana. The opinions and text are all mine.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Twas the week before Christmas...

....and it's 75 degrees in Texas! I feel silly always talking about the weather but it doesn't feel like Christmas is in 9 days because I am wearing shorts, playing outside, and turning our AC on. Nuts. We've been walking around our neighborhood after dinner to look at Christmas lights (the perfect bribe to get Ford to eat his dinner.... he ate tons of broccoli last night after I told him we could go look at lights) and it's been such a calm and enjoyable season thus far. Last night I said to Jon that I am sad Christmas is next week because it's truly been magical this year with Ford. And you just notice a difference in people... they are kinder, more generous, less crazy. Next week will be full of family, lots of fun outings, and even hotter temps. We haven't told Ford much about it but we go to Disney World right after Christmas so that will definitely help with the post Christmas sadness. I.CAN'T.WAIT. Ford played in fake snow yesterday, we are going to a petting zoo today, and I have a cookie swap Friday. Yesterday Ford had his preschool Christmas program and it was adorable. It's been a fun season and below is a picture dump to commemorate.

Such a big girl these days! Lucy is a solid sitter (game changer) and her hair is getting so long, she's growing too fast. And to answer the question in your head, yes she is always smiling.

My mom watched little sis one day and Ford and I went to Catch Air play land. It was awesome and so fun to spend time with my big boy.

The first weekend in December me and my girlfriends hosted the 4th annual Christmas Crafting for a Cause. We raised over $1,000 for Baptist Global Response for the Syrian Crisis, It was such a lovely (kid free) morning, my favorite every year!

Every gal needs leopard skinny jeans for church


We add a little something to our outdoor Christmas display every year and this year is a beautiful nativity set. We bought this one from Amazon and Jon added lights with a staple gun, it is gorgeous.

70s in December mean we can eat on the patio! This gorgeous view is from P Terry's Burger Bar in Lakeway.

I am basically an old lady who hates crowds and lines (yet we are going to Disney at the busiest time of year!) so we skipped the Zilker Trail of Lights and went to the Lakeway Lights On display... perfect for our little family and so close to our house. If you live in Austin, take your littles here.

She is all smiles in a swing... and always.

My 2 favorite boys... comeovers, plaid, and hands in pockets.

She is literally a DOLL baby

Headband is Thread Enthusiast, baby is adorable.

Ford looking like a stud at his Christmas Program at school!


Oh and last but not least.... last night we found a snake in our master bathroom. A SNAKE y'all. Luckily it was just a garter snake but that doesn't make it any easier to swallow. Ernie was barking in our bathroom and I figured his ball was stuck (he does this 100 times a day and it's so annoying) so I went in there and he was barking at a little snake. Jon was home but on an important presentation in his office so I was frantically texting him while sitting on my bed crying and watching the corner. Jon got it with a box and released it outside and today we have a snake and wildlife expert coming to check things out. He said it was a rare occurrence and will most likely never happen again. Talk about FREAKY.


Thursday, December 10, 2015

Buffalo Check {giveaway}

If you're a girl mom then you understand the fact that I can't stop adding to Lucy's head accessory collection. She is pretty darn fun to dress and I love putting together her outfits and she never leaves the house without a bow or headband. So today I am back to share with you my new favorite shop for my Lucy girl. Jessica is a mama friend of mine here in Austin and coincidentally has all boys but makes the most beautiful handmade headbands and bows in her shop, Thread Enthusiast. It's probably good she has boys because if I was good with a sewing machine, I'd be in deep trouble. Thread Enthusiast offers knotted headbands and knotted bows in the cutest of patterns. I am kind of obsessed with Buffalo Check this season and I couldn't wait to get a bow for Lucy. One thing I am loving lately is the one size nylon headband that allows the headband to grow with my growing girl (and her big noggin'). Jessica has adorable holiday prints so be sure to make your holiday orders asap! Most of her fabrics are organic and I am obsessed with the rounded edge bow... yes you can be obsessed with a bow ladies. I can't wait to add more of these to Lucy's collection! Visit my Instagram page for a giveaway from Thread Enthusiast!










Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Family Photos 2015









A sweet mama in my mom's group, Marissa JB, took family photos for us in November and I am just now getting around to post them! Lucy who is literally never NOT smiling was pretty stone cold most of the time but I love these photos because they will be such a sweet reminder of this season of our lives. A 2 year old and a 7 month old is pretty darn fun right now. God has surely blessed the Hart family in this season and I am so glad we took the time to capture a few moments with our kiddos.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Color Outside The Lines

Days with my 2 kiddos are funny. No two are the same and everything is unpredictable. As much as I love a well planned out week of scheduled outings and events, some days (a lot lately) we fly by the seat of our pants depending on little Miss Lucy's naps. This morning she slept until after 8am, the first time she's slept 13 hours straight, and as much as that is something to be celebrated, I knew I wouldn't be able to leave the house with the way naps would fall. The old Ruthie would have a mini panic attack but today we played outside, did some chores, and Ford colored his very own t-shirt. Yes you heard that right. Last year Art Feeds sent me one of my favorite shirts that says Color Outside The Lines. And this year they've added a DIY color yourself kids t shirt with the same saying and I knew Ford would love it. The kit comes with a set of fabric crayons that are so easy to use (I'll have to hide them from here on out!). Ford is such a mixture of me and Jon and it is fun to watch his personality grow and change. He is meticulous like his daddy but he is creative like me. He loves coloring, painting, and anything having to do with crafts so it is always fun for me to find new projects he and I can do together. Being the little engineer he was, he was confused (and concerned) as to why we were coloring on a T shirt but he got the hang of it and had so much fun wearing it around all day. This Color Outside The Lines kids t shirt makes the perfect Christmas gift for your creative littles! You can purchase one here







 
Art Feeds believes all children are artists. They exist to feed creative development and facilitate emotional expression in children through art and community. To do this, they provide free therapeutic art and creative education programs within schools and children's organizations by mobilizing teams of community members to bring all forms of art into classrooms. To learn more, visit www.artfeeds.org.

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