Phoenix at Eight Months

Phoenix Eight Months Update

Month eight has been all about mastering the skills Phoenix learned in month seven. Not only does he crawl and pull himself up on all surfaces, he squats and tries to stand on his own! He is so coordinated! Phoenix learned one new exciting skill this month — clapping! It is so adorable.

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Weekend Links / / Comedy Legends

Weekend Links / / Comedy Legends

This was a busy week for the Shorts! Between date night, work, dinner dates with friends and Wine Club I was gone every night this week (Sunday-Friday). This week was baby-sitter heavy, but Phoenix has been a trooper despite us both having a little cold. I am looking forward to Saturday night at 6 pm when I’m home from work and Phoenix is asleep! Ideally, I prefer to be home at least two-three nights a week but sometimes fun events pile on top of each other and I ride with it.

Speaking of date nights, Sunday night, Jordan and I went to see Steve Martin and Martin Short at the Grand Ole Opry. After, of course, eating dinner at one of our favorite Nashville restaurants, Burger Up. Martin and Short’s current comedy isn’t groundbreaking, but it doesn’t need to be anymore (they’ve already done that). Their timing is still impeccable. We laughed so hard our cheeks hurt by the end of the night.

Onto the links!

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Little Style | Freshly Picked Moccasins

Freshly Picked Moccasins

Phoenix is SO close to walking. He pulls up on anything and everything in sight. Other parents have told me the reason he has zero fear or hesitancy, in regards to standing, is because he is so young. He doesn’t even consider he might be pulling up on something unsteady! I didn’t expect to have such an early mover. It’s amazing to witness how determined he is to learn this skill.

Park weather is nearly here to stay, which means Phoenix needed his first pair of shoes!

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Our Journey with Nap Training

Nap Training Tips

A few weeks ago I shared our sleep training journey. The first post was all about bedtime, but today let’s talk about naps.

As a reminder, Phoenix was not a particularly content newborn. He was fussy and cried a lot. After the first two weeks, naps were rarely longer than 30 minutes unless I wore him. Even then, he didn’t peacefully drift off. He cried himself to sleep while I walked him in his Ergo. He woke up crying, like clockwork, every two hours during the day to eat.

I tried Babywise’s routine of eat-play-sleep. I’d witness it work with other breastfed babies (though usually it with formula fed) and thought it made sense. Except Phoenix was hard to calm down. So, instead of nursing him to sleep, I often drove around or took walks. Both of which are sleep associations. The stroller naps worked until around two months when he became more alert. This started a challenging season where, for a few months, the only way Phoenix napped was if we wore him.

This, of course, isn’t and wasn’t sustainable. Phoenix was even more irritable because he never received sufficient, restorative, sleep. At 3.5 months we started sleep training with nights and slowly worked our way towards naps.

I learned a lot along the way.

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Weekend Links / / Snowed In with Grandma

Weekend Links / / Snowed-in at Grandmas

I wasn’t able to share this last Friday, but we drove to Chicago to surprise my father-in-law for his birthday. We left early on Friday morning and arrived to their house around 2:30 pm. Jordan, with Phoenix in his arms, walks into their house with zero fanfare and says, “hello”. Jordan’s dad was completely surprised! I’m so impressed our trip remained a secret.

On top of us coming, there was also a surprise party the following day.

Weekend Links / / Snowed-in at Grandmas

Most of the weekend (outside of the party) was pretty relaxing. Phoenix did really well napping and sleeping in the different houses. Not so much on the drive. He screamed for a good portion of the eight hour trip. Phoenix does fine driving around town but so far he is not a fan of road trips. I hope this is a phase.

I was able to sit back and watch a couple episodes of Fixer Upper and Planet Earth while drinking hot coffee. Bless the hands of grandmas. We had to stay an extra day due to a lake-effect snowstorm.

Thank you to everyone who filled out my reader survey! I appreciate your thoughtful feedback! It’ll be kept live for a few more days.

Onto the links!

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Four Year Anniversary + Reader Survey

Four Year Blogging Anniversary and Reader Survey

My blogging journey with, A Short Blonde, is four years old! I published my first post, right before Jordan and I left for Europe, in March of 2013. I started (publicly) blogging to have an outlet to write again. Writing was always my favorite part of any school assignment, but I didn’t have a reason to continue writing after I graduated.

I thought blogging would be a fun way to share snippets about my life. Blogging has turned into much more: relationships with other bloggers and readers, partnerships with amazing brands and personal creative growth.

Over the past four years I haven’t conducted a reader survey, but I believe now is the perfect time.

Since having Phoenix, I feel creatively disheveled. A Short Blonde is a personal lifestyle blog. Posts will always correlate with our daily life, but I also want to make sure I share helpful and enjoyable content for, YOU, my readers. I want to know what you enjoy reading and more importantly what you don’t enjoy.

I would appreciate it if you’d fill out my survey, so I can glean more direction in my new season of life. Thank you for your continued encouragement over the years. It means so much!

Shoutout to Summer and this post which helped me compile my reader survey.

Weekend Links / / Frist Center, Structure and Closet Basics

Weekend Links / / Frist Center, Structure and Closet Basics

On Monday Jordan and I brought Phoenix to the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville’s art museum (we visited a few years ago). It was his first visit to a museum and he LOVED looking at the different exhibits. Well, until he was done and ready to go home and to bed. Phoenix is very much like me when it comes to bedtime. When he’s ready he is ready.

At the beginning of the year I wasn’t ready to commit to many goals. There was very little structure to our days but now that Phoenix actually naps I am challenging myself to manage my time more wisely. I’m playing around with designating a day to a specific task, i.e grocery shopping on Mondays, cleaning on Tuesdays, etc. I am excited to see the positive change this slight shift will make in my week.

Moms of littles, how do you structure your days?

Onto the links!

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On Sleeping and Not Sleeping (Sleep Training Tips)

This post contains affiliate links.  You can see my full disclosure here.

sleep training tips

I talk a lot about sleep or the lack of sleep we have experienced since Phoenix was born seven months ago. I was hesitant to write this as the sleep situation in our house is not perfect, but sleep for small children is about progress not perfection. Parenting comes with a lot more nuance than books account for and while books have their place, I love hearing real situations. Real situations with specifics.

Several of you have asked me what we are doing and before I get into the details, I want to say three things.

  1. Sleep training can exist without scheduling feedings. This is a mistake I made early on. It also doesn’t mean your baby will sleep for 12 hours at night without needing to eat. Our sleep training goal was for Phoenix to fall asleep independently and go right back to sleep after each feeding. Your goal might look completely different and that is okay!
  2. Crying It Out (CIO) is not a sleep training method. There are a vast number of methods and ways to sleep train. We are using the Three Day Sleep Solution. The amount of parental involvement is dependent on your families needs. The amount of crying is dependent on your baby’s temperament.
  3. Sleep training can be implemented in stages. We started first with bedtime and slowly worked our way towards the amount of nighttime feedings and naps.

After I started writing, I realized this post needed to be split-up. Below I’m sharing how we started sleep training and where we are today in regards to bedtime. Next time, I will share about naps, more on the Three Day Sleep Solution and answer any questions you may have for me.

I hope you find encouragement and a little more sleep.

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Weekend Links / / A Little Boring

This post contains affiliate links.  You can see my full disclosure here.

Weekend Links / / A Little Boring

^ Jordan took this while on a walk with Phoenix. This kid cracks me up!

This week slipped away from me. I usually work Wednesday, Thursdays and Saturdays, but this week I worked Tuesday instead of Thursday. Somehow that slight shift completely through me off! Tuesday night I had such a terrible sinus headache I went to bed at 7:30. I kept dousing myself in peppermint oil, which apparently is not advisable while you are breastfeeding. Whoops! It felt good going to bed so early.

Lately, most of my weeks feel rather low-key and boring or mundane rather but that is simply the phase of life I am in. It’s okay to be boring. 🙂 This week I finished reading After You and started Four Seasons in Rome again. I am trying to remember to read more when I am on breaks at work (I pump in our back room so it’s not always the most quiet) and during little snippets of quiet throughout the day.

Okay, while my week was a little boring these links aren’t!

Onto the links!

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Currently / / March

Currently / / March

Watching | The Academy Awards. In honor of the Oscars, Jordan and I finally watched La La Land over the weekend. Jordan and I get into all of the awards shows. There was one year (the year Gwyneth Paltrow won for Shakespeare in Love) when my mom kept sending me upstairs because the clips were too “scandalous”. HA! 

Eating | Pink Lady apples everyday which are my current favorite apple variety. Also, too much frozen pizza. I did manage to roast lots of broccoli to eat with said pizza, so all is not completely lost. Nursing makes me so hungry (hungry for carbs!!) but I need to start eating better. 

Saying | “Phoenix, why are you getting so big?!” But seriously, how is my baby almost walking??? 

Wearing | A mixture of my summer (I wore shorts last week) and winter wardrobe. Nashville has weird weather! 

Posting | I shared Phoenix’s seven month update on Monday. The photo included in that post was an extra from a recent family walk. I’m contemplating doing a reader survey soon. I’ve been a little uninspired lately. My topics always center around what is happening in my life but my days feel very mundane. Do you find surveys helpful? Do you fill them out for other bloggers?

Linking with Carrie and Anne