TFF + The Pick No. 4

Friday, January 29, 2016
Three big cheers for Friday! The weekend is knocking at the door, and it's wonderful! This week went so darn fast! I kicked it off with my 26th birthday and I'm ending it with more birthday celebrations. Because isn't that what you do, celebrate all week long?!

p.s. I am so thankful for all of the comments you all send my way! I read every single one of them and love getting them. I haven't figured out how to respond back to them in a way that let's you know I've done so. And I've gotten lazy in figuring out what to do about it. Just know I read them, I love them, and I'll be working on finding a better way to communicate back. I'm thinking about a transfer to Disqus, but am worried it will delete all of my existing comments. Bloggers, any thoughts on that?

T H I N K I N G  > About our first trip to a restaurant with Greer. As a first time mom, everything we do with her is new. It's a milestone for all three of us. And at times I feel a bit anxious about how that new experience is going to go. Will she cry and become fussy in the middle of the meal? Will she sleep soundly or are we disrupting her routine? You know, I could ask myself a million questions if what we're doing is just right. But, I think I'm slowly learning that you do what works best for your family, what feels right. So on Monday, husband, Greer, and I went out for lunch to celebrate my birthday. My girl was SO good! She slept almost the entire time, and when she was awake she just looked around, content as could be. I know we'll have outings that don't go as smoothly, but I'm thankful for a good first as I ease into taking my girl out into the world. 

P O N D E R I N G > If the slipcovers I purchased for our couch and loveseat will actually fit. Husband and I tried the other night to no avail, but we're determined.

N E E D I N G > Nothing right now. Life feels good. Of course, I'd never turn down Starbucks ;)

L I S T E N I N G > To my Regina Spektor Pandora station. That and the sleeping sounds of my girl as she snoozes away next to me.

D R E A M I N G > About the 50° weather we're forecasted to get this weekend. I've been itching to take a walk with husband and Greer, and I'm hopeful we'll get to do just that.

S W O O N I N G > Over the baby overalls that came in the mail this week! No one can wear overalls like a baby can :)

Have a sunny weekend with your people! xo 

have we found each other on Instagram??  @astleigh_hill
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Don't forget to link up with me for The Pick by grabbing the URL of your favorite blog post from this week and adding it below. I ask that you comment on some of the other posts linked-up, and that you most definitely comment on the blogger that linked up just before you. Tag me if you like!

Greer Girl || 1 Month

Thursday, January 28, 2016

O N E    M O N T H 

Be still my mama heart. My baby girl is one month old (plus a week today), and I can't fathom where exactly the time has gone. It feels like we just got home from the hospital with our tiny bundle. Truly, it's been the sweetest, hardest, most wonderful, and challenging month of my life. And it's just beginning. Husband and I are so very excited to watch Greer grow, but it's also so very bittersweet. Babies don't keep, my friends, but I sure am trying!

Greer's first month has been full of milestones and changes. She is constantly growing, adding more weight, length, and chub to her sweet little frame. I don't want to forget any bit of this season of life with her. Everything feels so special, so extraordinary. 

From her first Christmas and New Year's to her first bath, this girl has had a full first month. She's stolen our hearts and given us the sweetest glimpse of the love the Lord has for His children. We are smitten, make that over the moon, with our girl.

Greer has been such a wonderful baby, and I don't say that just because I'm her mama. She's so mild-natured and tender. She's patient for such a tiny babe and calm as can be. Her tiny features make me swoon and I could snuggle her all day long. I miss her when I sleep and when she sleeps. It seems impossible to get enough of her, those baby coos, smiles, and little fingers wrapped around just one of my fingers. I'm biased I know, but this girl of mine is just so beautiful, so lovely, so perfect!

G R E E R   @   1   M O N T H

weight: 10 lbs  ||  ( 74th percentile) 
birth: 7 lbs 3 oz

height: 22 3/4"  ||  (95th percentile)
birth: 20 1/2"

head: 14 3/4"  ||  (61st percentile)
birth: need to find that out


From the beginning, Greer has been a great eater. She latched like a pro from the get-go and nursing has come easy to her ever since (praises for that!). I think if I let her, she would feed all day. Her appetite is huge, and her weight gain proves it. She eats every 2.5 to 3 hours and sometimes at night she'll go 4 hours in between feedings. We're working through the method found in Baby Wise to get a feeding/sleeping schedule down.

She tried her first bottle at 4 weeks old, and she did exceptionally well with it. We discovered that she needs a preemie size nipple for her bottles because she just a ravenous eater at times and the smaller nipple allows less milk to drip at a time. Since her first bottle, we've tried two more. She still prefers to nurse, and I do too (less to clean up, ya'll!). 

Greer was given a pacifier at two days old. Since she latched so well, we weren't concerned with any issues from introducing it so soon. We decided giving her a pacifier so soon was best because she would get so fussy in between feedings. It worked and continues to work really well for her. She does't suck on it all of the time, but if she has trouble falling asleep after nursing or is just feeling unsettled during her wake time, it's great for calming her down and she uses it to soothe herself.


Our girl is a mediocre to great sleeper. In those first few weeks she napped so well. Those naps are becoming shorter and shorter the older she gets. And typically her best nap is the second one in the morning that leads right up to her noon feeding.

Nighttime has been interesting as far as sleep. She is snoozing in her pack n' play next to our bed. However, we think she doesn't like it. It doesn't help that our sweet girl has acid reflux, causing her to grunt and wake herself up. She also has to sleep at an angle to help keep the reflux under control. It only helps so much, which results in not very sound sleep for her. From the beginning, Greer has not liked being swaddled, not a single bit. For this first month we used a Halo sleep sack that allowed for use to wrap her body and one arm, while keeping the other arm out. If she didn't have the startle reflex we wouldn't bother with a sleep sack at all. 

On a good night she'll sleep for 2ish hours in her pack n' play, nurse, back to sleep in the pack n' play again for another 2ish hours, nurse, then the home stretch before she's up for the day she sleeps in either my arms or her daddy's. We're working on this predicament and are looking at transitioning her to her crib. Especially since her long length is now making her just as long as the bassinet feature in the pack n' play.

Greer sleeps through most noise during the day, which is great for getting things accomplished during her sleep time. She loves to nap in her swing (where she sleeps best). And she loves to sleep in my arms or her daddy's, nestled really close to our bodies. Recently, she has loved sleeping on a blanket on our bed. And has been able to put herself to sleep without any help from one of us. The boppy (covered with a blanket) has also been great for cat naps in between her first morning feeding and second feeding of the day. The tilted angle is really helpful for the reflux.

D E V E L O P M E N T   /   P L A Y

While there isn't a whole lot of play going on at this stage, she has been keeping longer wake hours. Greer is starting to respond to Pete and I with smiles, a lot in the morning after her first feeding. She's so bright-eyed as the sun comes up and those smiles are just the best. You can tell that she is starting to see more clearly, and she easily recognizes Pete and my voice and smell. 

She has gotten some tummy time by sleeping on our chests occasionally, however she's not much for sleeping on her belly. Maybe it's a breech baby thing?? We'll be working on more tummy time during the second month. 

Her muscles are already so strong. She's been lifting her head up since she was born, and those neck muscles have gotten even stronger since. Her little legs and arms also pack a powerful punch. She loves kicking and punching them about when laying on her back during her wake hours. 

  • She loves the theme song to Parenthood (Forever Young - Fast Version), it calms her right down.
  • In the beginning she had her nights and days backward. I think we've fixed that for the most part.
  • Her umbilical stump fell off at 2 weeks and 2 days in the middle of the night. 
  • Her first full bath was two days after her umbilical stump fell off. 
  • At a week old she no longer fit in newborn diapers. She started in size 1 diapers and has stayed in those since.
  • As far as pacifiers, she really loved her wubbanub, but lately has taken a liking to NUK pacifiers. 
  • She has a "witching hour" when the sun goes down. It's like she knows the day is over and she is not a fan. Luckily, this isn't ever day, but when she gets it, it can be really bad and last for hours. 
  • She lost the newborn hair on the very top of her head around 3 weeks. The hair on the back and sides of her head is still there and growing. And recently, there have been signs of new hair growing back on the top of her head.
  • She loves her carseat and going for car rides. The vibrations must be soothing.
  • She also likes going for walks in her stroller.
  • Her first outing was to Target (you know, showing her one of mama's favorites).
  • Little bit has had a head cold, and we're still working through it. 
  • She has acid reflux, and the pediatrician put her on Zantac to help. She takes the medicine so well.
  • She had her first snow (just a small one; snowstorm Jonas was technically after her one month)

O N E   M O N T H   P H O T O   C O L L E C T I O N

A Snowy, Cozy Weekend

Tuesday, January 26, 2016
It snowed and snowed, and snowed some more this past weekend. Our little family bundled up inside for a long snow-covered weekend starting Friday. The flakes started coming down somewhere between four and six in the morning and stopped mid afternoon only to pick up again in the evening. We never measured to see how much we got, but it was easily over a foot. 

We bid our time with Parenthood episodes, baby snuggles, scrumptious breakfasts, coffee, and more cuddles. Basically we ate well and lounged even better. What else do you do on snow days?

An early morning wake-up call will leave you yawning (and still looking cuter than ever!). While Greer and I got our early morning snuggles on, husband got breakfast going. Omelets, english muffins, and OJ for the weekend win!

Fresh squeezed OJ is one of my very favorites. And since I had been craving it, I made sure to have husband pick up a bag of oranges at the store before the storm hit. It did not disappoint.

Baby girl loves her swing and being snuggled up in it, surrounded by blankets. Husband and I both agree we would like an adult size swing to nap in. While Greer snoozed, husband worked on graduate school work and I tried to plan out my Valentine's décor. And I actually got to paint my nails! Sounds so small, but it's a huge deal when you've got a newborn and you need your hands free (and not wet with fresh polish) at a moment's notice. 

Have I mentioned that our girl is smitten with her daddy, and he is just as crazy about her. I love watching them together. Daddy-daughter cuddles couldn't be any sweeter, I tell you. 

And a HUGE thank your for all the sweet birthday wishes yesterday! It was a wonderful day, made even more special by sharing it with Greer for the first time. xo


Monday, January 25, 2016
Today I celebrate turning 26 years old! I'm now out of my young twenties, past the midway mark, and in my late twenties. Ya'll, I'm on the closer end of the stick to 30 (it can't be so!). However, 26 does have a nice ring to it. You know, a bit wiser, more mature, and legit ;)

In honor of my birthday/turning twenty-six, I thought I would share 26 facts about myself...

  • I love a latte over regular coffee any day. But, if I'm drinking coffee it needs enough creamer to be blonde.
  • I insist on drinking water with ice cream. Nothing else will do.
  • I have two middle names.
  • I don't mind folding laundry, but I hate putting it away.
  • Same for the dishwasher, I'd rather load it than put the clean dishes away.
  • I now have more fun buying baby clothes than clothes for myself.
  • Motherhood is my biggest dream come true.
  • I'd love to learn calligraphy.
  • I would love to be the author of a beautiful coffee table book.
  • The first movie that ever made me cry was Marley and Me. I was 18.
  • I don't like my food to touch. And I really don't like it when the juice of one food floods into another food. No thank you.
  • Husband and I got married in a city that I had never been to before.
  • As a kid I dipped my green beans in ketchup.
  • My senior year I was voted prom queen.
  • I have two college degrees (Psychology and English).
  • I'm a Mac over Windows kind of girl.
  • I love sweet tea, but had never had it until I was 17. My first sip was at a Mexican restaurant.
  • I've never been one to fall asleep quickly at night, but ever since baby I'm asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow. I wonder why?
  • I was really very nervous about breastfeeding and it feeling odd. Then I tried it, and it was natural instantly. 
  • My top three flowers: ranunculus, hydrangeas, and peonies 
  • My wedding dress was the first one I tried on. Love at first fit.
  • I have a slight obsession love for copper.
  • I've driven a Jeep for the last 10 years.
  • I don't want pets. Husband thinks one of our children will convince me otherwise.
  • I don't hear my (southern) accent, but others not from this area do. 
  • It snowed on the day I was born.

TFF + The Pick No. 3

Friday, January 22, 2016
Happy snowy Friday to you and yours! By 4:15 this morning no snow had started falling. How do I know this? Because nightly nursing parties are where it's at, and this giddy kid-heart of mine made sure to peep out the window after putting Greer back down. But, by 6:30 this morning there was quite a snow covering blanketing the outside. A little over four hours later and we've got 6, going on 7, inches of snow. It's a white wonderland, and I adore it! The weatherman says we're looking at 16-24 inches, so we'll see just how much we get. If you're on the east coast, enjoy this snow and be safe!

T H I N K I N G  > About decorating for Valentine's Day! My sparse family room could use some pops of red, pink, black, and white! Rachel and I will be hosting a link-up to share our décor for the season of love on February 8. Mark your calendars!

P O N D E R I N G > If the weatherman's forecast for snowfall totals will be accurate or not.

N E E D I N G > An extra arm and more sleep! Luckily, my body is learning how to function on less sleep, adjusting itself to nighttime feedings and very early mornings. The extra arm part I'm out of luck on, so I'll just keep typing this post chicken-pecking style with one hand while my other cradles a bitty baby.

L I S T E N I N G > To myself sing a ton of made-up songs to Greer when her fussy evening/night hour strikes. If only she knew what I was singing, she'd surely roll her eyes at her silly mama.

D R E A M I N G > About finding the right slipcovers for our couches. I think I've found them, but I always get hesitant before pressing the 'purchase' button when I haven't seen it in person.

S W O O N I N G > Over all this white, fluffy snow. It's going to make for a cozy weekend!

Have a snow-filled and warm weekend lovelies! 
And if you want something to put a smile on your face, take a look at this video
of my 92 year old grandmother sleigh riding yesterday! xo 

have we found each other on Instagram??  @astleigh_hill
and stay up to date with posts by liking the blog's Facebook page
or subscribe via email to be updated every time I post (see the sidebar)

Don't forget to link up with me for The Pick, by grabbing the URL of your favorite blog post from this week and adding it below. I ask that you comment on some of the other posts linked-up, and that you most definitely comment on the blogger that linked up just before you.

TFF + The Pick No. 2

Friday, January 15, 2016
Happy Friday! In the Hill House it's a four-day weekend, and we're all rejoicing! This was my first week flying solo at home with Greer. I'm pleased to say that while I find myself wishing for a couple of extra arms, the week was a success. But, we're both glad to have Daddy back for a long weekend together.

What I would love to know is what you would love to see more of on the blog! How do you like these Thoughts For Friday (TFF) posts? Would you rather see something else on Fridays? Let me know by leaving a comment or sending me an email. I'm looking to tweak this year's posts, and I'd love your input as a reader. 

T H I N K I N G  > If it's not going to snow then I would like for it to get warm.

P O N D E R I N G > What I would like to do for my 26th birthday. T-minus 10 days!

N E E D I N G > Time to slow down. Greer has changed so much in her first three weeks of life, and next week she'll be a month old. Time really is going far too fast.

L I S T E N I N G > To Christian lullabies, which make me cry just about every time. I'm so swept away by the love the Lord has for my daughter, and for me. She was an answered prayer, and every time I look at her I see God's faithfulness and work. It's humbling and listening to those lullabies brings on the tears.

D R E A M I N G > About snow. It's all over the country, or so it seems, and I'd like some in my neck of the woods.

S W O O N I N G > Over my girl. I can't get enough. And I think it's pretty obvious by the amount of photos I post of her on my Instagram :)

Have a fabulous weekend lovelies! xo

have we found each other on Instagram??  @astleigh_hill
and stay up to date with posts by liking the blog's Facebook page
or subscribe via email to be updated every time I post (see the sidebar)

Don't forget to link up with me for The Pick, by grabbing the URL of your favorite blog post from this week and adding it below. I ask that you comment on some of the other posts linked-up, and that you most definitely comment on the blogger that linked up just before you.

Boysenberry Cream Cheese Danish Braid

Thursday, January 14, 2016
I haven't had the time nor the energy to bake for weeks prior to Greer's arrival. And lately, I've been missing it. So in between feedings and naps today I jumped in the kitchen to try my hand at making a braided danish. It only took me three hours from start to finish. No, it wasn't because it was complicated, in fact it was easy. It just had a lot to do with time outs for nursing, rocking, cuddling, and cooing. 

So if you're looking for a quick way to put together a fancy breakfast danish or just something sweet for dessert, this recipe is your friend! And it tastes even better than it looks in the photos! My apologies if your New Year's resolution was to leave the sweets behind. This just may be worth cheating a bit ;)

  • What You'll Need
    • Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets
    • 8 oz block of cream cheese (softened)
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1/2 TSP vanilla extract
    • Boysenberry Jam (I used Kauffman's)\

  • What You'll Do
    • Preheat the oven to 400°.
    • Let the puff pastry sheets completely thaw. Once thawed, spread them out on a cutting board or flat surface, opening up the tri-fold. 
    • With a knife cut each side of the fold (not the middle) into 1/2" strips. These will be your braids. Set aside.
    • In a bowl combine the softened cream cheese, sugar, vanilla extract, and egg yolk. I just creamed it by hand with a spoon (wouldn't dare use a blender to wake the sleeping babe next to me). 
    • Once the cream cheese mixture is well combined, use a plastic icing spatula to spread it down the middle column of the puff pastry. Cover it entirely and make it as thick as you want.
    • Next, add the jam. Before spooning it out, use the spoon to help soften it, which will make it spread easier. 
    • After the jam has been spread out evenly, beginning braiding the dough. Start with a 1/2" slice of dough from the left side and bring it over the middle at a slight angle. Then do so with a slice of dough from the right side. Repeat until entirely braided.
    • Transfer to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Disclosure: I am partnering with Kauffman’s Fruit Farm as a blog ambassador. I have received these Kauffman’s Fruit Farm products for free; however, all opinions remain my own.