Archives for September 2015

Baby Eczema – Tips and Tricks

As I eluded to in Dean’s 4-month update, we’ve been managing something called “Baby Eczema” for the past few months. It has been a bit tricky to figure out so I thought I’d share some of my tips and tricks for fellow parents dealing with a similar situation.

Before I jump in, I am obviously not a doctor (unless I attended med school unbeknownst to me, LOL) so before you try anything new with your kiddo, check in first with your pediatrician. The following tips and tricks are just what has worked for us so rather than rely on an internet stranger to diagnose and treat your kid, please ask a trained professional ;)


Let’s start at the beginning and how Dean was diagnosed with Baby Eczema. At his 2-month well-baby appointment, he had a little rash on his stomach and in the crease of his elbows. (As a side note, before I had a baby, I never knew how often those things get rashes! Seriously, anything can make their skin slightly pink and bumpy and most causes are nothing to be worried about.) His pediatrician told us that it was a small eczema outbreak and asked if we used anything lavender at home. We did – Our Honest Company hand soap. She told us to get rid of that as well as a few other brands/items including any Tide branded detergent, dryer sheets, Johnson’s baby shampoo/lotion, and any “strong scented” soaps/lotions. Apparently lavender, Tide, and Johnson’s are notorious for causing eczema outbreaks in infants prone to the rash… Who knew?!

So, we stopped using lavender and Johnson’s (we never used Tide to begin with), and began using Cetaphil soap and lotion on Dean. Unfortunately, things didn’t get better and his skin began to look a bit worse as the weeks went on. One day at Target, while I had him in his Baby Bjorn carrier, I touched the back of his knees and swore they were oozing. I put Neosporin on the back of his knees that night and the redness was so much better come morning. At that point I decided to take him back in to his doctor because something was still bothering his skin and there was obviously an infection going on.

We got in with the nurse practitioner (his doctor was busy that day) who was convinced it was just heat rash. I told her about the oozing and she was certain that it was just sweat. I wasn’t convinced – I didn’t think it was possible for Dean to sweat that much and his skin was looking BAD. (See photo below for reference.) But I did what she told me – Kept him naked for a few days and kept his skin dry. A few days later my doctor friend checked in to see how he was doing, I sent her the images below and she told me that I needed to take him back ASAP because it definitely was NOT heat rash.



UGH. I knew it was something more!

So back we went. We saw his pediatrician this time and she confirmed that he had a worse case of Baby Eczema and gave us a game plan along with a few prescriptions to help his itchy skin. His skin is looking 100% better these days! At his 4-month appointment, his doctor told him his skin was beautiful again ;)

Now, for the tips and tricks that have worked for us.

1. Get a correct diagnosis. Like I mentioned above, babies get all sorts of rashes ALL OF THE TIME. Don’t just assume is is Baby Eczema. Schedule an appointment with your pediatrician and have them decide what is causing the rash. Don’t hesitate to get a second opinion either.

2. Bathe in lukewarm water daily. Okay, so the verdict is still out on this one. Some kids do better with fewer baths, but Dean’s skin responds best to daily baths. He splashes around each night right before bedtime while we wash whatever triggers his eczema off of his skin. Win-win ;) Experiment with your baby and see if their skin responds best to daily baths or only a few per week and then do what works best!

3. Be prepared to test out many soaps and lotions. Dean’s bathroom is now full of every brand of baby shampoo. lotion, and soap on the market, ha! Our doctor recommended Cetaphil but we found that only irritated his skin more. We are currently using Dove Sensitive Skin bar soap during bathtime and plain ol’ Vaseline as his lotion. Yup, it’s super sticky and gross, but I put it on him right before swaddling at night and before putting him a long sleeve/pant onesie in the morning so it doesn’t get all over us or the house.

4. Keep the skin hydrated. Eczema tends to flare up when skin is dry. That is when allergens/triggers can get into the skin and cause irritation. So, you want to keep the skin lotioned up to help reduce the amount of flare ups you experience. Enter our Vaseline usage. We also use olive oil on his eyelids/facial area if they are looking dry.

5. Use the prescriptions your doctor provides. Our doctor gave Dean a prescription for an antibiotic ointment (the back of his knees, neck, and elbow creases were in fact infected) as well as for a liquid lotion called Derma-Smoothe. Derma-Smoothe is a super low dose steroid that helps to reduce the inflammation and redness associated with eczema. At first we needed to use it 2x/day but now we only use it when his skin is looking red. Control the dryness and irritation and you can help reduce the flare ups – phew! As an FYI, make sure your insurance covers Derma-Smoothe prior to purchasing. Retail price is around $300 for a tiny bottle!

6. Prevent your baby from scratching at his skin. Easier said than done, eh? Thankfully Dean doesn’t have too much hand-eye coordination these days, but he will scratch at his head if it is itchy. Use mittens, socks, a sleep sack, whatever you need to keep them from irritating their skin further.

7. Wash your entire household’s laundry in Dreft and wash everything frequently. Yes, yours too. If you don’t want to smell like a baby (as Kyle puts it), use All Free & Clear or a similar store brand for your clothing, towels, and sheets. If you have a nanny or family members that visit frequently, request that they use a “free & clear” detergent as well. Wash your child’s clothing, towels, etc. in hot water as well. I have found that the hot water cycle definitely helps Dean’s skin.

8. Remove any triggers/allergens from your home. While you cannot test a baby as young as Dean for allergies (I asked if we could do this and was told that he hasn’t been exposed enough to have a “real” allergy yet, he is just sensitive to certain triggers at this point.), you can figure a few things out by trial and error. For us, we definitely know Tide laundry detergent is a trigger as well as Cetaphil soap/lotion. Pet dander and mold are also potential triggers (mold is very common everywhere in Florida), so washing all fabric surfaces frequently helps remove the particles/pet hair and reduce eczema outbreaks. I have noticed that since we replaced our AC and have better air circulation/filtration, Dean’s skin looks much better. And one other random item… Pamper’s diapers from Amazon. We use Pamper’s brand but I typically purchase them at Target. When I buy them via Amazon I notice that they have a different colored line at the top (red vs. teal) and Dean’s stomach tends to get rashy. Weird, right?

9. Clean your home often but not too often. Dirt and grime and pets are good for kids and the prevention of allergies/building a strong immune system, so while you want to keep a fairly clean house to remove triggers, you also want to leave a little “gunk” (for lack of a better word, LOL) to help their bodies adjust to the world around them. It’s a fine balance ;) I vacuum once per week and mop the entire house every other week (we have all hard surfaced floors besides Dean’s room and the guest bedroom). I *should* dust weekly but we all know that doesn’t happen!

9. Be cautious about what products you use on your body. If your kiddo has eczema be prepared to say goodbye to scented soaps, lotions, strong perfumes, hairsprays, and similar items. We now use the same bar soap that Dean uses and I rarely wear perfume. I also have switched to using CeraVe lotion on myself. Like I mentioned above, we removed everything lavender from our house and I no longer diffuse oils (sad day!).

Eczema isn’t fun to deal with, but it could definitely be worse. With a little work on your part, it is fairly simple to control.

Thankfully, while eczema is a chronic condition, many babies grow out of their eczema by age 4 or 5 so fingers crossed Dean (and your little one) gets better with time. If you would like to read more about eczema in infants and child, the National Eczema Association has great information here.

#106 Treat Yourself Tuesday

Happy happy Tuesday! I am scurrying around this morning, trying to get ready for the gym and story time, so how about we jump straight into the treats?

Treat Yourself Tuesday Badge

A new AC! Not super exciting, actually scratch that – It IS crazy exciting when you live in humid SW Florida ;) Kyle and I have been joking that we have now replaced every major appliance in our house except for the water heater… That will probably die next month. But we should be good to go for at least a few more years on the big appliance purchases!


Getting back to cooking – I stayed far away from the kitchen last week (except to open the pantry to mix up my Spark and Rehydrate <– gotta stay hydrated when it’s a bajillion degrees inside) so it felt nice to cook up a few things the past few days. Oven fajitas and a failed cookie batch <– at least the dough was tasty ;)



Zipadee-Zips for Baby Dean. He’s been busting his arms out of his swaddle the past few nights and it hasn’t made for great sleep for any of us. He still likes being swaddled but I think he prefers to sleep with his arms over his head so I’m excited to give these guys a try. They still prevent the startling reflex but allow for limb movement and are therefore safe for babies once they start rolling over. Fingers crossed he likes them!


My new Title Nine 7 Wonders Bra <– Seriously amazing! I wore it while teaching BODYPUMP on Sunday (I had only tried it out running previously) and yup, works great for that as well! You have until tomorrow morning to enter my giveaway for a bra of your choice from Title Nine, don’t miss out! You can enter here.

Booking our Key West vacay! Kyle and I purchased Key West Express tickets for our Christmas presents last year but haven’t had the chance to use them yet <– FYI – Key West Express is a cruise from SW Florida to Key West. Kyle found a cute little hotel near Duval Street (the main street with shops, restaurants, bars) and a few blocks from the water and we are excited for a little tropical vacay in a few weeks!

And last but not least, gearing up for my October challenge group as I mentioned yesterday. I have a fun group joining this month (It’s the perfect timing – Right after summer and right before the holiday season hits us!) and I’ll be hopping on the first few days for a post-Chicago/pre-Key West reset :) There is still time to join in – Just reach out via email and I’ll shoot you the details.

I think that’s all she wrote, folks! I hope your week has been full of treats – Share them below so I can have some treatin’ ideas for this next week!

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Monday Musings

Happy Monday!

How was your weekend?

Ours was great – A little fun, a little relaxation, a little fitness, and A LOT of cold AC… All good stuff.

Before I recap the weekend, did y’all enter my giveaway on Friday? It’s for a Title Nine sports bra – You DO NOT want to miss it! You can enter here. I will be selecting a winner on Wednesday :)

On Friday, our AC company came out to install our new air conditioning unit. THANK GOODNESS. Holy majoly was it hot… it was 84 degrees and 98% humidity INSIDE when they initially hooked up the thermostat. Phew! The new system is pretty fun to play around with AND I can control it with my phone – dangerous!


While our house was cooling down on Friday night (it took them almost 10 hours to install the thing!), we grabbed Mexican for dinner and then I went bowling with some friends.


My WE HAVE AC AGAIN celebratory glass of wine ;)

On Saturday we hit up BODYPUMP early at the gym…


… And then went out for lunch at a new-to-us restaurant, South Street. I went with a Greek salad, I was needing some greens in my life. And a beer because Oktoberfest. Obvs.


Saturday afternoon play time and naked baby time (<– this was actually from Friday afternoon… I was trying to keep Dean cool with a bath and then naked time on the cool tile floor.)



We stayed in Saturday night, nothing exciting to report on that front.

On Sunday we visited a new church and then I taught BODYPUMP in the afternoon. My legs were SOREEEEEEE and I was very thankful for my post-workout. Works like a charm and tastes like chocolate milk! I actually just ordered more last night because Kyle blamed me for using it all up ;)


I attempted a nap on Sunday afternoon after the gym… Why is it that every time I try to nap on the weekends, ALL of the boys (Kyle, Dean, AND Mitchell) think they need my attention. No joke – 20 minutes after I lay down all of them come into the bedroom claiming to be hungry or whiny or something. One of these days I’ll get some sleep.

Oh! And before I forget, my super fun Sparkhead group is hosting an October 24-Day Challenge! Energy. Weight loss. Muscle gain. Fitness performance. Overall wellness. Whatever your goal, the challenge is a great way to kick start some healthy habits and get you moving in the right direction. We’re all starting on October 6th and will be done RIGHT before Halloween (is anyone else’s husband as excited about Halloween as mine?! He’s already scouting out candy options, LOL). Anyways, we gotta order by Wednesday (9/30) to start by the 6th so let’s chat if you’re interested. It’s the perfect time to join in – Right before all of the holiday crazies hit us!


Kyle and I are hosting a little Sparktail party this Thursday – If you’re local and want to learn more, shoot me an email! The more, the merrier :)

What were you up to over the weekend? Workouts? Eats? Nights out with friends? Share your fun below!

Title Nine Review & Giveaway

Disclaimer: I was sent one sports bra in exchange for a review and giveaway. All opinions (and sweaty running selfies, LOL) are my own :)

Well hey there! I’m super excited today because I have a fun review and giveaway for y’all!

I’ve been lusting after sports bras on the Title Nine website for the past 6 months or so – ever since I first heard of the store, so when they reached out to see if I’d be interested in reviewing one of their bras, I jumped at the chance.

Title Nine

At first, I was bummed to realize that there are no Title Nine stores in SW Florida, but after perusing their site, testing out the Bra Genie, and speaking to one of their bravangelists on the phone, not having a store nearby was definitely not a problem. In fact, it may have actually actually made things easier for me… No hauling Dean to the fitting room so mama could try on multiple sports bras ;) LOL!

But let’s start at the beginning…

Find Your Perfect Bra >

To get an idea of what type of sports bra I needed for the activities I participate in frequently (running, SPINNING, BODYPUMP), I decided to test out their online Bra Genie. The online genie asks you multiple questions before making a recommendation including the areas of: needed support, regular bra size, support preference, sweat level, wire likes/dislikes, and modesty level.

My responses went something like this… LOTSA support for high impact activities, lock ’em down (hehe!), super sweat machine, no wires please, and cover ’em up! I knew what I wanted in a sports bra, I just didn’t know how to narrow down their huge selection – Thank goodness the Bra Genie came to my rescue. After the 30 second questionnaire, the genie gave me a few recommendations including the 7 Wonders Bra, the Booby Trap, and the Tech Athena Bra.

After looking at my bra options online, I spoke with Title Nine Bravangelist (<– can I get this job title on my resume, please?), Marsha, on the phone. Marsha was SO incredibly helpful and informative in the world of sports bras, something that I know almost nothing about. She recommended a few great options  – one for breastfeeding (the 7 Wonders bra actually unhooks in the front so you can make the straps tighter, but it also makes it easy to feed your kiddo too!) and one for the type of style that I like (I prefer a criss-cross back to a 2-strap back) and then told me I should size up for the bra that I decided to try out.


My first sweaty, Florida run with my Title Nine 7 Wonders Bra! I was super sweaty and there was no chafing nor bounce – woohoo!

If you are ordering a bra via the Title Nine website, I definitely suggest you make a call to a bravangelist! The call was super quick and Marsha gave me sizing/fit suggestions I wouldn’t have thought of if I had just ordered online. Plus, she was able to place the order for me over the phone, provide me with a shipping estimate, and send an email confirmation. She gets 2 thumbs up from me for making the fit and ordering process comfortable and easy!


It fits perfectly under my favorite tanks – No random straps sticking out!

After speaking with Marsha, I decided to go with the 7 Wonders Bra in black (I laughed as I told her on the phone that I like “boring” bra colors, haha!). I sized up to a 36DD per her recommendation and knowing that the cups can easily be resized by just adjusting the straps – Cool, right?

A few days after my phone order, my new sports bra arrived in my mail box. SWEET! I was so excited to try it out that I went on a run that evening ;) And, OH MY GOODNESS, I was sold after 2 minutes of running. BEST. Sports bra. EVER.


Passed my “stretch test” – No sliding around when I stretched my body!

No shaking. No bouncing. No movement, at all! I have obviously been running in the wrong sports bras my entire life. Plus it delivered on everything that was promised – High support and modesty levels, sweat wicking, and true to its sizing.

The 7 Wonders Bra could not have arrived at a better time either as I was “training” for my first post-baby 5k. While some may disagree, I personally believe – that in addition to lotsa hard work, your fitness gear plays a HUGE role in your performance. Bad shoes, chafing clothes, and an lackluster sports bra would only distract you during a race… So while it wasn’t the Title Nine bra alone that helped me achieve my 5k PR, it definitely positively impacted my performance on race day.


Keeps me covered even when Dean pulls down my tank ;) AND it’s also comfortable enough/wicks all of the sweat away to not have to change out of right after a race!

Quick moral to this post… Ya gotta get your next sports bra from Title Nine! Obviously the bras rock, but the service sets the Title Nine experience far above the rest.


Post-run shots (I was sweaty and tired!) – Love the back, the coverage in the front and the adjustable straps <– you can kind of see one sticking out as I was playing around with it right before I took the photos. 

Throughout this experience (my first real sports bra “fitting” – only took me 30 years!) I learned quite a few things about sports bras from the Title Nine experts. Did you know…

  • Just like running shoes, your bras should be replaced when they begin to wear out. After a year, the elastic and fabrics of your bra just aren’t what they used to be. It’s time to get a new one. No bra should celebrate a birthday.
  • Larger-breasted women, CAN wear just one sports bra. No doubling up necessary.
  • If chafing is a problem with your sports bra, you may need to go down a band size and up a cup size.
  • Many women quit exercising after having a baby because they can’t find the right bras/exercise clothes. <– WHATTTT! I never knew this little tidbit! Don’t let this deter you, there is a size and fit for everyone!

And you wanna know the best part? One of YOU is going to receive one for FREE (via a gift card to Title Nine)!!

Here’s how to enter:

  • Mandatory: Try the Bra Genie and leave a comment below on which bra you would choose, based on the genie’s results.

All others are optional, just leave an additional comment for each entry for extra chances to win!

I will randomly select a winner on Wednesday, September 30th!

When your AC goes out in SW Florida…

Whew – It was a hot one last night… Literally!

Our super old AC unit finally bit the dust yesterday (we knew it was coming when we bought the house). I remember saying that I just wanted it to last through the summer before we had to search for a new one and it decided to die on the first day of fall.

Very funny, Mr. AC… Oh the irony! ;)

We received a ridiculously high quote for a new unit yesterday but our neighbors recommended another AC company to us last night that promises to save us a few grand so they’re coming out today to take a look as well. Frankly, I’ll pay whatever it takes at this point to get cool air in our house, haha! I stand by my past words that air conditioning is still the greatest invention to date.

We spent yesterday evening chillin’ on our cool tiles in the master bath. Mitchell loved it.


I loved the chilled wine. (And yes, my kid has a bandaid on his noggin’… It looks worse than it actually was. I just wanted him to stay out of his scratches so they’d heal – They’re almost gone this morning :) )

If you need me today, we will be hanging at the gym and the indoor mall and Target and all the “cool” places. And by cool, I mean air conditioned ;)

The Magnificent Mile Chicago 5k – Race Recap

Over Labor Day weekend, I ran my first post-baby race!

Before I get into my recap, I realized that I lied to y’all about running a 5k since I began blogging <– Oops! #mombrain I actually ran the Ditka Dash right before leaving Chicago last year. My knee had been acting up and I had just found out I was pregnant, but per my recap, I finished at around 28:23.


Leading up to the event, I didn’t have super high hopes. I had only run a handful of times since December and when I did run, I didn’t pace myself or know how many miles I had gone (except when I was on a treadmill, obviously). But because I’m Type A (code for crazy, haha!), I put together a few race goals to feel a bit more put together before the race.

  • A – Cross the finish line! And have fun with girlfriends before, during, and after the race.
  • B – Finish in under 30 minutes.
  • C – Finish in under 27 minutes <– A 5k PR.

You can read more about why I set “A-B-C” race goals here.

Anyways, let’s get to the recap!


The night before the race, Kyle and I were out with friends pretty late (well, late for us at least) and I didn’t get to bed until around 1am. When my alarm went off at 4:45am, I tried to find every excuse in the book to skip the race. Thank goodness I knew I was meeting Erica and Amy at the start line to give them their bibs so I absolutely could not dip out, haha. That is what friends are for, right?! ;)

I made a bottle for Dean, chugged my Spark-Rehydrate combo, and made some peanut butter toast for the road. My MIL graciously drove me downtown and dropped me off right by Buckingham Fountain so I didn’t need to worry about taking public transportation.

After a quick walk looking at the multiple vendors on location, I hit up the bathrooms, and then met Erica and Amy. For only have a few hours of sleep under my belt, I felt fairly awake and excited to get the show on the road. After chatting, we realized everyone was already lined up to start so we made our way to our pace goal areas and off we went!


The first mile was rough. Everyone was crowded together and as we made our way up Michigan Avenue, there was absolutely no air flow. Thankfully, I had “trained” (better known as run a few times in the sweltering Florida summer) in much hotter and more humid conditions so I kept telling myself that it was only a few miles and then I’d be done. I stuck with the 1:50 half marathon pace group for the first 2 miles and then, when they split off to continue the half marathon route, I kicked it up a notch – I just wanted to be DONE. It was early. I was tired. The sun was in my eyes. And I was HUNGRY.

I ran as quickly as I could move my legs – although thinking back, I could have run faster throughout the entire race I think, and as soon as I saw the finish line and heard the announcer, I moved my behind even faster. Obviously I just wanted to cross that line!

I figured I had run quickly because there were only a few finishers at the end when I arrived. That or most everyone else decided to run the half marathon. Either way, I grabbed my frozen, chocolate-covered banana (best post-race treat ever) and waited for Amy and Erica.

I glanced at the timer as I was crossing the finish line and I thought I saw 25 something but figured it was off so I had to patiently wait for my race results to be posted to the website… It’s a good thing we had brunch plans at Little Goat post-race to keep me distracted ;)


During brunch, our race results were posted… I finished in 25:15 and 6th in my age group!! I couldn’t believe it.


I was thrilled with my performance and think it was a combination of being used to running in hot weather (Chicago was “warm” for the midwest that day), introducing more weight lifting into my fitness plan, and my Advo supplements that allowed me to blow my goals out of the water.

I feel a lot more confident in myself and my ability to train for a half marathon this fall/winter after this race. Now I just have to decide which race to run!

How do you set race goals? What is your 5k PR? What’s the last race you run/next race you will be running?

#105 Treat Yourself Tuesday

Time for another round of treats on this lovely Tuesday! Let’s jump right in.

Treat Yourself Tuesday Badge

First of all, I have an awesome deal for y’all today. Treat yoself, right?! My friend Molly and her hubs have started an Etsy stop, Southern Yankee Store, and it is where I got my super cute tee that I was sportin’ on Insta yesterday. In addition to the “work from home mom” tee I have, they have other cute designs in their shop as well. Definitely check it out!


And because we all need to treat ourselves, between today (September 22nd, 2015) and September 30th, you can save 15% on any purchase using the code “OLIVESWINE15” The shirts are super soft and wash really well, however they do run slightly small though so order a size up!


Yes, that is slobber on my shirt, ha!

Another clothing treat from this week is a new top from Sam Edelman. I actually received this top in my last Le Tote but found it super discounted on Sam Edelman’s site so I purchased it straight from the source. It’s cute with shorts and will be perfect with colored jeans/leggings once the fall/winter weather hits Florida.


I had some delicious eats over the weekend (plus Kyle cooked dinner Friday, Saturday AND Sunday <– major treat!) that included some tasty ice cream and then a healthy salad for lunch on Sunday to balance out the sugar.



Sneaking in some cute Lulu under my teaching uniform ;) #sneakytreat


Having “dad” come home early on Friday! It was fun to spend some extra time with him and Dean loved it.


New golf clubs <– for Kyle. He’s been taking lessons and treated himself to some golfing gear. He’s been looking forward to it FOREVER so the treat was justified ;)


Oh! And we’re planning a little vacay to Key West. We have cruise tickets that we need to use sooner rather than later so after we set a date and find a hotel, Dean gets to cruise the Gulf to his first island experience.

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Raise of hands, where are my fellow Etsy addicts lovers?

Dean Axel – Four Month Update

Four months? That’s crazy talk! We just arrived home from Dean’s four-month well baby appointment so it’s time for me to type up a little update on our dude.


You can find his previous updates here:

Let’s start off with his physical stats…

  • Length: 24.5 inches – +2.5 inches from his 2-month check-up
  • Weight: 13 pounds 8 ounces – + 1 pounds from his 2-month check-up
  • Head circumference: 16 inches – + 1 inch from his 2-month check-up

He’s a shrimp but totally normal, especially since neither Kyle or myself are “big” people… AKA we’re also shorties ;)



  • Being swaddled for sleep at night, we tried unswaddled one night… It didn’t go well!
  • Eating – But only sometimes from a bottle, I like to give Dad a hard time when he feeds me.
  • Paci’s – Mom found some cool glow-in-the-dark ones and she loves ’em at night!
  • Smiling and laughing and talking with everyone, I’m a flirt.
  • Reading books and looking at the pretty pictures.
  • Being outside, as long as it isn’t too hot.
  • Bathtime – I love kicking up a storm in my whale tub.
  • Naked dancin’ – Mom lets me stand in front of the mirror and dance before bathtime, I think it’s hilarious!
  • Going on walks in my new stroller (We got this supportive umbrella stroller for Chicago and we love it – Super easy to use and travel with on a plane/in a car!)
  • Superman’s during tummy time.
  • Hearing my name, I look at Mom and Dad with wide eyes and smile when they say “Dean”
  • Standing and walking while Mom or Dad hold me up, it is fun to bounce on my feet!
  • Sucking my thumb. I’m working on getting just my thumb and not 3 fingers along with it.
  • Being carried in the Baby Bjorn or by Mom.
  • Sleep, I’m sleeping 11-12 hours per night and taking a few naps per day.
  • Belly kisses and tickles – They make me chuckle and laugh!



  • Being hungry
  • Bottles – Only sometimes (still exclusively breastfeeding, just trying to give him a few pumped bottles per week to make sure he’ll continue taking them)… Particularly when Mom is gone and Dad is trying to feed me. Then I’d just rather give him a hard time and scream for 30 minutes until Mom gets home to feed me ;)
  • My car seat – That thing restricts my movement and unless I’m sleepy, forget about it!
  • Having my fingernails cut



  • No visitors this month, but WE visited Chicago! Dean got to meet a lot of great aunts/uncles, friends, and his Uncle Seth!

Places I’ve been:


  • Deany Beany
  • Dean man
  • Sleepy man, Hungry man, Whiny man, Stink man <– any word followed by “man” ;)


It seems like we’ve experienced a lot of developmental changes over the past month! I read somewhere that between 4 and 6 months, even MORE changes so I’m sure my next two updates will be just as fun.

Dean recognizes his name now (at least we think…) which is exciting. We say “Dean” and he’ll turn his head to look at us or wrinkle his forehead and give us round eyes or smile, all signs that he understands that is what he is called. It’s cute and fun to know he is learning!

Dean also improved his hand-eye coordination (if such a thing exists at 3-4 months, ha!) over the past month. He can hold and grab for things now, although it requires a bit of thinking and focus on his part, and pull them to his mouth, shake them, gaze intently at them. He tends to grab first with his left hand so we are thinking he might be a leftie! Only time will tell.

He’s sleeping like a champ – except for when we were in Chicago, that was rough and I ended up coming down with a cold/chest cough thing because I didn’t sleep nearly enough with him being up/needing to be held every morning at 3-6am. Thankfully, he got back to his 11-12 hours/night schedule after one night of being back at home. Phew! We still swaddle him in his Halo Sleep Sacks at night and he is still in his bassinet in our room. Once he starts rolling over, we’ll transition him to his crib in his own room – Probably around 6 months I’m guessing.

He loves being “on the move” or just moving in general since he can’t really roam around yet ;) He is always kicking, standing, talking, flailing his arms – Never a dull moment with this one! He’ll stand at the back of our sofa when Kyle props him up. I’m not sure I like this “fun” boy time, his dad is going to turn him into a climber if I’m not careful. But he loves standing and jumping and walking and turning himself in a circle during tummy time so it’s only a matter of time (and strength) before he starts moving himself. I better enjoy this sedentary time while it lasts!

We are thankful that he is generally a happy baby. He had a few moments while we were in Chicago but didn’t shed one tear during his welcome brunch as he was passed from person to person (40ish people attended!). He’s a pretty laid back dude – he gets that from his dad for certain, and is always happy unless he’s overly hungry or tired. And I don’t let either of those happen if I can prevent it. If he does get fussy, it tends to be with someone other than me… And then I pick him up and he’s fine and smiling again. There is just something about Mom, am I right?

At 3 months, Dean started attending the YMCA Child Watch while I teach and workout during the week and OH MY GOODNESS has that been a lifesaver. It’s amazing what an hour or two alone can do for the soul, LOL. I was a bit nervous the first few weeks I left him there (That’s totally normal, right?!), and just did super quick workouts to get back to him as quickly as possible. Now, I leave him almost for the full, 2-hour daily time limit, hahahahaha. Gotta get my time in ;) The childcare employees are amazing with infants and he is always either sleeping or being held when I come back down. He’s spoiled during his gym time!

We also started attending a “Mother Goose” storytime at our library and a MOPS group this past month. The storytime is great – We sing nursery rhymes for 20 minutes and practice clapping and bouncing. Dean loved it and smiled the entire time before falling asleep. I’ve only been to one MOPS group so far but everyone was super welcoming, the breakfast was AH-MAZ-ING and I can’t wait to meet more local moms in Naples.

The only “issue” we’ve had to deal with so far is some sensitive skin issues. I’ll do a post on this in the near future (I have some good tips to share when it comes to what has worked for us), but it turns out Dean has Baby Eczema. It is a lot more common than I thought and he’s not actually allergic to anything, his skin is just a bit more sensitive at this stage. (Most kids grow out of it before the age of 4 or 5) It’s been a pain in the butt to figure out, to be honest, but we finally have his rash under control and seemed to eliminate whatever had been triggering his skin reaction. Fingers crossed! Thankfully, it didn’t seem to itch/hurt/bother him at all, it was just a bit unsightly.

It was a great month and we are looking forward to a few fun things over Month 5 – A trip to Key West, FALL weather, and spending more time with other kiddos in Naples.

Dean does Chicago, Part 4 – Millennium Park + The Purple Pig

Dean was a busy guy last week! After spending Sunday in Wrigleyville, Tuesday at the Shedd Aquarium and Wednesday at the Lincoln Park Zoo, on Thursday we headed downtown again to check out The Bean, Millennium Park, and to hit up one of our favorite Chicago restaurants, The Purple Pig.

It wouldn’t be a trip to Chicago without Deany Beany getting his photo in The Bean, am I right?! We took a ton of family selfies and Dean was a good sport the entire time ;)






After we had our fill of pictures, we strolled through Millennium Park and the new Maggie Daley Park (<– AMAZING, BTW – I hadn’t seen it completed and it looks awesome for an urban park! Mini golf, rock climbing, ice skating (in the winter), picnic places, etc.) as well as along the river walk.


That’s a lot of walking! And walking is one of the things I miss most about Chicago – Holla to my past 20k steps per day, haha.

All of that walking had our stomachs ready for some lunch, so before a massive afternoon storm rolled into Chicago, we decided to hit up one of our favorite places in the city, The Purple Pig.

Cheese, swine, and wine… per the menu, The Purple Pig boasts an incredible wine list (I had a glass… okay two, of sauvignon blanc), lotsa delicious cheese, and sharing plates galore. It’s perfect for a large group or for a date night.


Dean had to have his afternoon lunch while we were there too ;)

We had a fun – although exhausting, week in Chicago and can’t wait to show Dean around the city again!

Dean does Chicago, Part 3 – Lincoln Park Zoo

On Wednesday of last week, we made a family trip to the zoo!


The Lincoln Park Zoo is an urban zoo in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. It is free to the public (awesome, right?!) and the perfect size to spend a couple of hours strolling around the park. They have a variety of animals that all appear to be well taken care of and have large, clean spaces to live, grow, and entertain us humans looking in on them from the outside ;)

Since Dean loved the Shedd Aquarium on Tuesday morning, we thought he’d like to look at the animals in the zoo. If anything, the day was GORGEOUS (albeit slightly chilly to us Floridians…) and it was nice to enjoy the sunny, fall weather in the city.


Not impressed with Mr. Gorilla ;)

Long story short, Dean didn’t like the zoo animals as much as he enjoyed the brightly colored fish. Most of the zoo animals were “natural” colors (black, brown, tan, etc.) and really blended into their environments (as they should), so I believe it made it slightly more difficult for Dean to get a good focus on the critters. Regardless, he enjoyed the fresh air from his stroller (and our arms), and we got to pretend to teach him allll about monkey and gorillas and bears and tigers.


After a few hours at the zoo, we headed to the West Loop for a late lunch. We attempted to try Parlor Pizza for lunch but apparently they don’t allow strollers on the dining floor – I would totally understand this if we went in the evening or during a busy time but it was 2pm and NOT busy in the least, so we had to head elsewhere. (As a side note, this statement is on their website… “Parlor Pizza Bar offers a comfortable, affordable & approachable dining destination to the West Loop neighborhood!” <– Apparently it is approachable for everyone BUT parents, LOL.) Oh well!


We ended up at Bar Siena a few blocks away and had an awesome dining experience. The restaurant has been open for almost 2 months and their food was delicious, plus their atmosphere had a cool, urban warehouse vibe.


Lincoln Park Zoo + A fun, late lunch made for a fun Wednesday!

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