Monday, August 29, 2016

The Teacher Survival Kit


It's that time of the year again!  Moms and dads everywhere are in search of the perfect little teacher treat for the first day of school.  And in my experience, there are two kinds of teacher presents.

The first kind of present includes things a teacher might want.  Of course this varies, but I've never known a teacher to turn down something they can use to pamper themselves a little.  A nice restaurant gift card, a pedicure certificate, or a fancy lotion are always appreciated.

But, on the other side, teachers love receiving things they need.  And oh do they needs things for the first few weeks of school. :) There's no question that it's the most difficult time of the year in teacher world.  Educators are often running in survival mode for a good chunk of August and September. So, why not make them a little Survival Kit as a beginning-of-the-year present?

This little basket is filled with things that teachers everywhere rely on for the first few weeks of school.  The things in this gift can make that transition into a new school year just a little bit easier.  And, if you feel the need to get a little crafty with your back to school present, this satisfies that need too...all of these survival items are packed in a pretty little crate decorated by your favorite student!

This kit contains...
  1. ...a container for an easy, quick lunch (this particular container is for a salad...it includes a fork and a dressing holder).
  2. ...granola/protein bars for those times the teacher won't have time for a lunch break (which happens all too often).
  3. ...lip balm, for when they've been talking for hours.
  4. ...oil blotting sheets/face wipes.
  5. ...a coffee shop gift card.  No explanation needed. :)
  6. ...a pretty coffee cup to hold that precious coffee.
  7. ...lotion for hands that get so dry from using hand sanitizer 50 times a day.
  8. ...tissues for quick makeup clean-ups.
  9. ...nice grading pens (these are worth their weight in gold in the teacher world).
  10. ...Vitamin C.  Because the beginning of school epidemic is real.
  11. ...and on that note, Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes.  Because kid germs are absolutely everywhere, and in turn, classroom surfaces need to be wiped down basically every day.

These little guys were an absolute must when I was an elementary school teacher.  They were one of my favorite items in the classroom...they made for easy art supply clean-ups and quick desk cleaning and disinfection.  That love of Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes has spilled over into my life as a homemaker.  I use these constantly in my kitchen and playroom.  They are perfect for little spills and easy clean up of the yuckiest things you can imagine in the kitchen.  They easily kill bacteria and germs, including cold and flu viruses.

This year, Clorox is teaming up with GLAD and Hidden Valley to help school in a new and different way...and you can get in on the fun! For every $5 you spend on Clorox, Hidden Valley and Glad Products, you’ll receive $1 that you can either redeem as a donation to DonorsChoose.org or as money off on future purchases (up to $5).* Just snap a picture of your receipt containing Clorox, Hidden Valley, or Glad purchases and upload it at www.cloroxforschools.com to participate.

 Find more information about Clorox at their website or on Facebook!
*Between 7/12/16 and 9/30/16, purchase any qualifying Clorox, Glad or Hidden Valley product(s). Then, choose to participate in the Offer or the Donation program. If you choose to participate in the Offer, your Offer will be fulfilled 10/31/16. If you choose to participate in the Donation, Clorox will donate $1 for every $5 spent to DonorsChoose.org (up to $100,000 in donations). For all details, including a list of qualifying products, see the Program Terms www.cloroxforshcools.com. For details about DonorsChoose.org, visit DonorsChoose.org.


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Friday, August 26, 2016

How I (Successfully) Sell Pre-Owned Kids Clothing on Instagram

This blogger has great tips and tricks for selling kids' clothes online!  She details how she sets up Instagram, collects money, and ships.  Great post!


Over the past year, I've been on a mission to declutter this house.  I've written about it a little before.  It was one of my goals for last year and I've chronicled a little bit of that journey along the way.  But, quite possibly the biggest area where we needed to declutter was in the clothing department.

Up until last year, I saved almost every single piece of clothing Emmie ever had, just in case Jackson ended up being a girl.  We had boxes upon boxes (upon boxes) of every kind of girls' clothing imaginable.  Well obviously he wasn't a girl, and we don't really have a need for girls' clothing anymore, so the little girl clothing has to go!  Since early this year, I've been (sort of slowly) getting rid of just about every piece of clothing Emmie has ever owned.  I have one box of sentimental clothing for her...and that's it!

I've had some luck with consignment sales, but the best way I've found to sell kids' clothing is on Instagram.  My sale page has been an invaluable resource for networking with other moms that buy kids clothing and organizing my "stash."

Looking to unload a few items and make a little spare change yourself?  Check out how I have made my Instagram sale page efficient and successful!

(Affiliate links used in this post.)

1. Set up your Instagram account.  This step is simple; go to Instagram on your phone, click on your profile (the button on the bottom right of your screen), click the tool icon in the top right, and at the bottom, you should see an option for "add account."  Instagram lets you easily switch between accounts without signing in/out of each one, so having a different account for your clothes sales on your phone is so easy!



As you're setting up your shop page, I suggest putting your policies in your profile.  I list how to let me know you want to buy clothing (by commenting "sold" and listing your paypal address), my shipping fees (more on figuring that out later), and my other Instagram page.  Some sellers like to list a hashtag that references their policies too, which is an awesome idea if you have a few rules that won't fit in your bio.

2. Advertise your new page on your other social media (but don't get spammy).  If you don't tell anyone about your clothing sale page, who will know it is there?  I put a post on all of my social media pages (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) about my new sale page when I made it.  But, I wouldn't recommend more than a couple of posts on each one...if people want to check it out, two or three posts should be plenty to let them know about it.

3. Get your clothing organized (by size and season).  Now comes the time-consuming part: figuring out what you're going to sell and when.

First, if my clothing has been in storage for awhile, I like to give it a wash.  Treat stains (OxiClean is my favorite for this...and there's a coupon for it on Amazon right now) and hang the clothing as soon as it comes out of the dryer so you don't have to iron most things!  I have also recently started using this scent booster...just a little bit gives clothes a fresh smell, and this one is ok to use with baby clothes.  Then, the easiest way to do it, in my opinion, is to make stacks of clothes by sizes.


It is the best way I've found, but it's definitely messy! :) I make two stacks for each size; one for warmer weather and one for colder weather.  The best time to sell the warmer weather stuff is usually in late February/early March (about the time of consignment sales).  I like selling colder weather items in late August/early September.  I've had the most success listing items around these times!

Once you have everything sorted, you'll probably have a zillion stacks of clothing all over.  If that drives you crazy like it does me, a portable garment rack is worth its weight in gold.

4. Get clothing presentable.  I'll admit, this is an area I sometimes overlook.  If you're like us, you probably have so many pieces of clothes that it can be tempting to forget the little details.  But, a few really easy steps have proven to get me a few extra dollars when selling on Instagram:

-Make sure clothing is centered (not hanging off one side) on the hanger.
-Smooth down collars and hemlines so the entire outfit hangs flat.
-Make sure the entire outfit (including sleeves) is shown in the picture.
-Smooth out (or iron out) any wrinkles noticeable in the picture (I don't really worry about making sure the piece is perfectly ironed...you're hopefully about to put it in a shipping bag, after all!)
-If you're selling pants, lay them out flat and show the bottom of the pant leg to present any wear.

5. Take pictures of your clothing in a well-lit, presentable area.  I like to use natural light to take pictures of my clothing...it tends to capture the colors of the pieces in the truest form.  I probably could take pictures with my DSLR, but ain't nobody got time for that...an iPhone works just fine, I promise.

My pictures are taken on a light-background, solid-color closet door in my home that gets great natural light.  Most everybody has at least one place in their home like this...search around and see what you can find.  If nothing else, taking pictures on a white sheet or piece of poster board on the ground can work.  Don't forget to take up-close pictures of details you want to feature or damage you need to disclose to your buyers!

6. Crop pictures and brighten as necessary (but don't over-brighten).  Once your pictures are taken, go through and quickly crop out any unnecessary items in the shot and brighten if the pictures look a little too dingy.  I don't have a particular app I use to do this; the edit feature on the iPhone does the trick. But careful with the brightening tool...too much of it can change the colors of your clothing in the pictures.

7. Price your clothing.  Now this is super tricky if you've never shopped secondhand before, but you will eventually get the hang of it after a little bit of research and some trial and error.  There's not a set formula for what you need to charge for secondhand clothing, but the general rule is to price clothing in good condition at 25-35% of the original price.  That means the price you paid, not the (typically over-inflated) original price of the clothes. Of course, this is subject to change; I normally price clothing that is new with tags at 50-75% of my paid price, and damaged clothing (depending on the degree of damage) at 15-20%.

Remember, if you over price your clothing at the beginning you will typically chase away prospective repeat buyers, so don't get too greedy!  Think about the price you would pay if you were buying that item.  Your set price also depends on how quickly you're looking to get rid of your clothing.  I usually just want to sell it quickly, so I tend to price on the lower end.  If you have the patience (and storage space) to price it higher, go right ahead!

8. Post to Instagram.  Finally, you get to list your items for sale!  When I list, I put the size, a brief description, any noticeable damage/features, and the price in the listing.  When you're talking about any damage or noticeable features, be honest...your buyer will eventually find out about that damage, and trust me, you'd much rather they know before they buy than after they receive it!  You might even want to list a separate picture of damage if it is noticeable.


I recommend listing your items in order of size to make for easy browsing.  If you have any seasonal/holiday/team clothing, it's a good idea to list that together too!

I try to post my sales around 7-8pm at night or on weekend afternoons.  They tend to get the most visitors when posting during this time.  I also like to use hashtags to promote my listings...this has gotten me a ton of new visitors!  A few of my favorites are #kidsresale, #boutiqueforsale, #smockedforsale, #instasale, #instashop, #secondhand, #kidsconsignment, #smockedresale, #smockedclothing, #forsale, and #preowned.  If you have a bigger brand, include that hashtag as well.  I usually put these in the comments so they don't jumble up the listing.

9. Use Paypal to invoice.  Now that you've gotten some sales, get that money! :) Most Instagram shop accounts use Paypal to invoice for their sales.  It's by far the easiest way I've found to manage the payment part of shopping on Instagram.  Not only does everyone have a Paypal account, but they make invoices super easy!

To invoice on Paypal:
1.  Click "manage invoices" from your Paypal main page.
2.  Click "create new invoice."
3.  Input your buyer's email address, individual items, shipping price, and payment/shipment policies.  You can save this as your default clothing invoice by clicking "save" at the top of the page (this will save a ton of time later).

I recommend invoicing this way instead of simply requesting the money from your buyer because it spells out which items you're agreeing to ship them...this helps so much in keeping everything organized!

10. Be ready to ship.  You've got to get the clothes to the customers, right?  It's pretty customary to get your items in the mail within a couple of days of payment.  As I mentioned earlier, I have my shipping policy right in my Instagram profile.  I charge $3 for the first item and $1 for each additional item.   This usually ends up being pretty accurate for what it really costs to ship these items, including all supplies I use to ship.  If you have heavier items (like shoes, coats, or jeans) you might want to consider charging more or writing that extra cost into the price of your item.

If you're selling mostly kids' clothes, I recommend a combination of these bigger mailing bags and these smaller mailing bags.  I use the smaller ones for 1-2 items and the larger ones for 3-5 items (most of your orders will be in one of those two sizes).  Even when packing orders, presentation is everything...I like to wrap my clothing in tissue paper to protect it (just grab a pack at the dollar store), make sure to fold clothes neatly, and place shoes or bulky items in zip bags.  If you're selling something that is new with tags, make sure to protect the tags so they don't fall off during shipping!



Paypal also offers shipping label purchase/printing when you use their invoicing service, so it is incredibly easy to arrange shipment right from there.  Just click the "print shipping label" link once your customer pays their invoice.


Then, all you have to do is input the package weight and how you want to ship.  I have this shipping scale to calculate weight that has been beyond valuable over the years...it's definitely a worthwhile (and inexpensive) investment if you're going to be selling anything online!  The Paypal input only takes whole numbers for the ounces, so if in between ounces, I always round up.

I've found that if you can ship USPS first class (up to 13 oz), that's usually the cheapest option...any more than that and you're usually better off shipping Priority Mail (typically it's about the same price as Parcel Post, so you might as well send it Priority).

From there, click "confirm and pay" and USPS takes the money for the shipping label right out of your Paypal account.  You can print the label yourself using these label half sheets (I bought a pack years ago and I use them for so much...they're good for shipping labels, but they're also wonderful if you need to print something on sticker paper!).

You can even schedule a package pick-up through Paypal!  Click the "request free carrier pick-up service" option at the bottom of your label confirmation page to do that (you can also go to this website).  I'm telling you, Paypal is the way to go if you sell on Instagram...they take care of everything.

11. Archive sold clothing.  Archiving all of the clothes I've sold in my Instagram account helps me stay organized.  As I'm packing items up, I take a screen shot of the things I just packed and then delete the listing.  After I'm done packing for the day/week, I go into my collage app (I use POTO) and make a big collage of everything that's sold.  When I post that photo on my Instagram account, I use the hashtag #shoplambertclosetsold so buyers can easily see everything that is no longer available (just in case they were interested in something).  That way, you can still see what was there, but it's no longer cluttering up the listings you still have!

12. Have some kind of end date.  I don't know about y'all, but clutter just makes me itchy.  You have to realize that, eventually, it's just time to donate things that haven't sold so they aren't cluttering your home anymore.  My end date is our local consignment sale.  I put my items on Instagram about a month before I have to drop off for that sale.  If they don't sell on Instagram and they don't sell at the consignment sale, it's time to donate!

I recently found an awesome place to send donations.  It's a website called Schoola.  You donate your secondhand clothes to them with one of their prepaid mailers, they sort and list the clothing, and 40% of the proceeds from their sale goes to the school of your choice!  We will be sending all of our remaining clothing to this website after our upcoming consignment sale.


And, if you'd like to shop from Schoola, you can get $60 worth of clothes absolutely, totally free right now!  As in, no commitment, no strings attached kind of free.  I got everything pictured above without paying a penny!  They even cover your shipping.  Here's how it works:

-Use this referral link and get a $20 credit.
-Start a collection by clicking "create a collection" once you've gone to either girls, boys, juniors, or women from the main page (this option is over on the left-hand side if you're on desktop) and get $10 more in credit.  If you're on mobile, click "view the full site" at the bottom to see this option.
-When you sign up with your email (by clicking "join" at the top), you'll be emailed a code for half off your first order (FYI, doesn't work on new clothing, only pre-owned).

Use all of those together to get $60 in credit!


And here's one obligatory picture of my girl showing off one of her new finds from Schoola, because she loved it so much. :)


So PHEW...that's a lot.  There is definitely a good bit of effort that goes into doing all of this.  But once you get in the groove of how you want to manage your sales and inventory, it really isn't that difficult!  Now go make a little extra money! :) (And if you'd like to browse some of our pre-owned clothing, click here for my Instagram sale page!)

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Monday, August 22, 2016

Make a "Wow-Factor" Dessert in 10 Minutes!


It is well documented that I love to be in the kitchen. One of my favorite pastimes is finding new and different ways to create all kinds of treats for my family. For me, there's a definite mix of from-scratch recipes and easy-to-make favorites in my baking arsenal. Sometimes I need to spend lots of time creating the perfect recipe, and sometimes I just need a 10-minute baking break!

But, I'll tell you one thing: if I'm going to use a shortcut mix to make a treat, it better be good.  And right now, I'm loving some of the fun new flavors that are available in the baking section of the grocery store.  You can find all kinds of unique desserts that are easy to make and delicious!


Emmie and I experimented with the new Pillsbury™ Girl Scouts® Thin Mints® Brownie Mix a couple of weeks ago...and y'all. Y'ALL.  If you are a fan of the Girl Scouts® Thin Mint® Cookies, you absolutely have to try Pillsbury™ Girl Scouts® Thin Mints® Brownie Mix.  These are so insanely good! 



These brownies are rich, decadent, and have chunks of chocolate all throughout.  The mint flavor mixed with the richness of chocolate brownies is out of this world.  And the best part: these brownies are so easy to make!  Emmie and I had these in the oven in less than 10 minutes.


You would never know that this mix came from a box.  This truly tastes like one of those crazy Pinterest-inspired recipes that is totally made from scratch.  This is a great fake-out idea for when you're short on time and need a dessert with "wow factor."


We can't wait to try the other products in the new Pillsbury® Girl Scouts® baking line!  They offer Girl Scouts® Thin Mints® Brownie and Cupcake mixes, Caramel Coconut Cupcake, and Caramel Coconut Blondie as well.  

You can now get Pillsbury's® Girl Scouts® Baking Mixes at most major retailers, including Target and Walmart.  Want more information on this line? Visit their website, Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram pages!



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Friday, August 19, 2016

Our Summer, in Pictures

And just like that, our summer is over.

We had a good one this year.  It was the perfect combination of lazy days at home and fun outings with friends and family.  But, with the start of school this week, we're back in the routine...and to be honest, I'm kind of loving it!  We all thrive on a schedule. But I'm also thankful for the past few months and the time to to be "off the grid" for a little bit.

Here's our summer, in pictures.


I am on a mission to convince Noah we need a pool in our upcoming home build.  This summer, we had an inflatable pool as a "tester" in our backyard...we wanted to see how much we would actually use it when it was there every day.  And let me tell you: we used it a ton!  


Emmie was in it almost every single day.  So, I think I'm winning the battle now. :) We shall see!


Emmie also took swim lessons this summer!  She did amazingly well and was swimming almost all the way across the pool by the end of the week.  Go Emmie!


We also had a lot of fun at our local zoo (we live really close and have yearly passes).


Emmie loves the splash pad...


...and Jackson loves the shade! :)



We planted a few more flowers over the summer.



Daddy's Father's Day present was a new set of flowers for our backyard that Emmie helped pick out and plant.  I'm happy to report they're still alive as of publishing this post! :)


We had a great time celebrating Daddy's birthday...


...and trying out sparklers for the first time that same day. I'm pretty sure this will be the first and only time; Emmie grabbed the wrong end of a used sparkler about 10 seconds later and swore them off forever.

And a certain someone started eating a couple of veggies.


So far he's not a big fan...we're getting there.


We visited New Orleans for a fun wedding in July and got to see some old friends at a baby shower in Birmingham this past weekend!


That weekend, Jackson got to meet his great grandmother (my grandmother) for the first time!


I continued working over the summer.  Lots of fun new blog posts and networking happened in this chair, all while watching my babies play.  I launched my first eBook this summer too! Have I ever mentioned I love my job?


We've taken lots of family walks (when it wasn't a thousand degrees and/or raining).


And we've explored lots of cool new places around our neighborhood!


We've had cousins visit...


...and been in the kitchen a lot.  Even Anna and Elsa helped one day.


But, all good things must come to an end...and our amazing summer ended Tuesday.  We're super excited about this girl's LAST year of preschool!



Let's do this, fall!

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Monday, August 15, 2016

Let's Talk Baby Weight.


Yeah, we're going there today.  With a couple of numbers.

Before I got pregnant last year, I was actually in great shape. I'd say the best shape I had been in since our wedding day. I was exercising regularly and watching what I ate.  I was feeling absolutely wonderful in my own skin for the first time in a long time.

And then, I got pregnant and all of that basically went out the window. Many of you know I have a history of difficult first trimesters; this time around, I had a subchorionic hematoma that forced me to be off my feet for months. Combine that with awful all-day morning sickness that made it next to impossible to eat well (I lived off of sour candy and strawberry soda for about 4 months there) and you have the recipe for a complete reversal of all the work I had done to feel great.  By the time I was able to eat normally and start working out again, I was huge (I measured 2-3 weeks ahead most of my pregnancy) and really just didn't feel like doing anything.



Jackson was born on February 9th.  As of that day, I'd gained 40 pounds in the 9 months of my pregnancy.  And most of that weight came off really quickly...I had lost 15 pounds by the time I came home from the hospital, and another 15 within a few weeks after that.  Another 5 pounds came off in the next month or two (I can thank breastfeeding for that extra little bit of weight loss).

But that last 5 pounds?  Still there. And. Just. Won't. Leave.

I'd honestly like to lose 10-15 pounds from here.  I felt great before I got pregnant, but (as typically happens after a pregnancy) the weight has kind of rearranged itself since this time last year. :)  My mid-section definitely looks like I've had 2 bigger babies and I would like to tone up even more than I did in early 2015.

So what am I going to do to accomplish that?  Well, I've got a few ideas.

I did a series on yearly goals in 2015 that I really loved.  It helped me stay accountable and really, truly helped me accomplish big things in 2015.  I'd like to kind of revive that for the remainder of this year, just on a much smaller scale.  My biggest goal for the remainder of 2016 is to feel better in my own body.

And, while I have set a goal of losing 10-15 pounds because I'm a crazy numbers person, I want to concentrate more on how I feel than the number on the scale.  I want to feel confident and comfortable in my own body again. That's the main goal. The number on the scale is just a means to an end.

So, that's the big-picture goal.  And, as I did last year, I'm going to outline the ways I want to accomplish that:

1.  Get active.  My initial goal is to start working out 2-3 times a week.  Totally feasible.  This will probably be with workout videos in my living room for the time being (Momma doesn't mess with nap time) but I want to get back into a few classes too. I loved those before I got pregnant!


We've also been taking lots of family walks each night lately.  These may or may not be due to a certain popular phone game that involves hunting fictional animals around your neighborhood.  But hey, it has us all up and moving! It's actually been a really fun family activity to do together, and we're exercising in the process!

2.  Careful with lunch.  Something about lunch just gets me.  I don't normally eat a huge breakfast (I honestly just forget most of the time), so by lunch I tend to be so hungry.


Something like Lean Pockets is the perfect mix of a satisfying and smart lunch decision. It’s a quick, tasty, filling meal I feel good about eating for lunch. Can I get an amen for not having to eat something that tastes like cardboard?  Lean Pockets have no artificial flavors, are made with 100% real cheese, and are a great source of protein!  And let's talk about how amazing the White Meat Chicken Jalapeño and Cheese flavor is.  They're made with a pretzel crust and have just the right amount of spice.  The pretzel crust is totally satisfying, making for a perfect lunch!


Lean Pockets gives me a fast, craveable lunch that I can actually feel good about.  That's exactly the kind of thing I need in this busy season of life!

3.  Watch the snacking.  I don't know if it's breastfeeding or the fact that I can actually eat good foods again, but I have become such a snacker lately!  I know that a little snack here and there is absolutely killing any chance of losing this last little bit of weight.

I've already really started being more conscious of what I eat in the past few weeks...i.e. not grabbing a handful of candy every time I'm in the kitchen.  I'm not going to say I want to completely cut out snacks. More than anything, I want to get to a point where I'm making smart decisions and actually eating the right amount when I'm hungry.  So I'd rather focus on eating a wholesome, satisfying snack if I'm truly hungry than completely depriving myself of food at certain times of the day.  It's all about balance and moderation!

So, those are my goals for now.  I know I want to ramp it up a little bit more as I get closer to my big-picture goal, but I think those are easy ways to start out after a (way too) long break from working towards a better body. Thanks to Lean Pockets for inspiring me to blog this all out!

You can grab this and other awesome flavors of Lean Pockets at Walmart, Target, and most local grocers.  Click here for more information on Lean Pockets' fun, innovative flavors! and if you're feeling frugal you can Click here for a $1 coupon from Coupons.com.

Now, who wants to win a $100 Visa gift card?  To enter, answer the following question in a comment on this post: 

"What simple steps do you do to feel your best?" (Please leave your email address on each entry.)

Entry Instructions: 

No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older (or nineteen (19) years of age or older in Alabama and Nebraska). Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 2 business days to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 8/15/2016 – 10/15/2016
Be sure to visit the Lean Pockets brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!

LEAN POCKETS® is a registered trademark of Société des Produits Nestlé S.A., Vevey, Switzerland.
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Friday, August 12, 2016

Jackson at 6 Months


Jackson,

You're SIX months old!  Already a half year!  I am sure that the past 6 months has been the fastest (and best) of my life.  I finally feel like our family is complete...you were the part that was missing!

Here's what you're up to at 6 months old.

Weight:

You're weighing in at 21.5 pounds this month.  That puts you in the 97th percentile for your age!

Height:

Ok, either I'm the worst infant measurer in the world or you're not getting taller.  You still measure in at about 27.25", which puts you in the 77th percentile.  I think I just stink at measuring you though...we'll see at your doctor's appointment next week!



Clothing Size:

Those 9 month clothes are starting to get a little snug!  We might be able to get another month out of them, but the 12 month clothes are coming on quickly.  Just like your sister and your daddy, you have a long torso, so shirts are always an issue...but shorts usually fit pretty well in the 6-9 month range!

Diapers:

Very much in the size 3's now.  I have a feeling we'll be there for quite awhile.  You go through probably 4-5 during the day.

Feeding:

We started a couple of solids this month!  On a whim, we tried a little bit of avocado at a restaurant one night.  You were much more interested in the spoon than the food.


Mommy and Sister made a big batch of sweet potatoes and apples this past weekend, and we've been trying sweet potatoes this week.  This picture pretty much sums up your opinion of it. :) You don't quite know what to do with the food yet, but you're getting there.  I think you actually swallowed some tonight!  But for now, much more of it is ending up on the bib than in your belly.

Hair/Eyes:



I think your hair is a little darker this month! I can actually see a little bit of brown.  And your eyes are definitely brown, but still have a teeny bit of blue in them in the right light.

Sleep:

Not too bad, but it has definitely regressed a little. You have become a really good napper during the day.  You usually take one in the mid-morning (anywhere from an hour to two hours), one in the early afternoon (usually a little over an hour), and a catnap in the late afternoon (about 30 minutes).  You go to sleep at around 7 and usually wake up for a feeding around 10-11.  If we have a good night, you'll go back to sleep until 2-3 and again until 5-6.  But of course you have your bad nights too!

Hopefully you'll be sleeping in your crib by the time I write the 7 month post, but you're still in the pack and play in our room as of right now.  It's just so much easier since you're breastfeeding!  But my mission for the next couple of months is to get the storage room...I mean nursery cleaned out.

Fun Stuff:

You are rolling all over the place now!  You can get from belly to back if you get frustrated with being on your belly.

You can sit up by yourself for a minute or two!



You are SO smiley, especially first thing in the morning.  You are definitely a morning person.  And when you smile you do it with your whole face!  If you're especially tickled, you'll stick your tongue out (which might just be the cutest thing ever).

You've started to notice Hardy.  If he walks in the room or comes near you, you'll almost always stare at him.

You're definitely noticing your hands.  If they happen to be in your line of vision, you stare and try to move them.  And if we put something in front of you, you almost always grab at it to put in your mouth.


You are ticklish around your neck.  And you love changing clothes - you always giggle when your feet get near your head or we're taking your arms out of your outfit.

You definitely prefer standing.  We usually stand you in our laps when we're holding you, and you can hold onto something and stand for a few seconds at a time.

You love your Daddy so, so much!  If he comes in the room he almost always has your attention.

Here's what you look like compared to sister at this age..


And here's your progression shot!


You're becoming a little boy a little bit more every day!  Time, slow down a little.  I'm loving every second of this baby stage!

Happy half birthday, Bobo!  We all love you so much!

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