The Two Kid Adjustment

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I feel like we have spent a lot of this winter sick. Between croup, ear infections, and colds we have also spent a lot of time cooped up in the house. It doesn’t help that with a new baby #2, I also don’t feel very brave to go out in public juggling a newborn and a toddler. I am getting better at that.Getting out the door takes so long. SO long! Even when I try to plan ahead, we are still running late. Always. Trying to get Ruby into the Ergo carrier by myself in a public parking lot is also not something I want to tackle (with that newborn insert it is complicated – or my arms aren’t long enough for the back buckle), so I just make sure that if I have to go out – I go places that have carts large enough to accommodate the carseat and Jude + groceries. So that narrows it down to Costco and the big car cart at Publix that Jude loves pretending to drive. And it helps out our budget when I go to Target because Jude and Ruby take up basically the entire cart and I can’t buy as much.

There was one Saturday that I convinced James to stop by Target really quick – we were on our way home from getting breakfast with the kids – so I could get diapers and such while they waited in the car. And I may or may not have kept them waiting an entire hour. Ooops! I didn’t have the kids, you know, and I was trying to “quickly browse”. I was judging my time off of whether or not James would text asking if I was done yet…which he never did. An hour in Target flies by so fast, I swear! And James has learned that there is no such thing as a quick Target run. Even if he is waiting in the car.

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Having two children is a definite adjustment; however, I can’t decide if life is difficult right now because we have two kids or because Jude is a firecracker of a toddler. Either way, my hands are full. I tried the potty training thing with Jude – which was a complete success after a couple of days – and then it was a complete failure. More on that some other time, but the kid is in diapers (per his request) until I have the mental and emotional capacity to tackle that again. He is only two and a half though.

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Life is crazy right now. James is super busy with his last semester of school and still working full time. He gets home late and leaves early. I am losing my mind most days, but that is just motherhood in general. We are looking forward to Spring + graduation like you wouldn’t believe. Until then, we anticipate our weekends and pack them with as much family time and “rest” as possible.

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xoxo

Also, some of my FAVORITE bows for Ruby + bowties for Jude: NavyLaneHandmade

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Ruby Gossling

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Our family was blessed with a sweet new little love – Ruby Lavinia Gossling – on November 27th 2016. (She was named after my Great Grandmother – Lucy Lavinia – We get a lot of questions about that middle name)

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Sometimes we refer to her as Ruby Sunday because she was born on a Sunday instead of the Monday we had her scheduled for. Ruby was a repeat c-section and we had it all planned for the 28th of November – two days before her actual due date. Jude was six days late, so we figured that our scheduled delivery would work out well. But the little girl just could not wait another day, and Sunday morning it was.

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Contractions hit me – like they usual do – in the middle of the night about 3:30am. Luckily, since I already had a scheduled repeat c-section for the following day, it was not as long of a wait to head to the hospital. I really was hoping to avoid the whole contractions bit of delivery, but at least it only lasted about 4 hours before I was in the OR and numb.

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Everything went well enough. I was nervous (surgery does that to most people I think). I remember the first thing that the doctor mentioned was that Ruby had plenty of hair and was a chubby little thing. 7:55am – 8lb 8oz. She was beautiful and I was in love.

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James snagged all the first photos in the OR on my phone since I was numb and strapped to the operating table. One downside to c-sections. But I am okay with knowing that each of our babies get their first hour in the world snuggled with their daddy.

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Ruby is the sweetest little thing. She slept wonderfully from the beginning, nursed well, and cried only when she had to be unswaddled and changed. Or when she spit up – which was frequent those first couple of days. The poor thing had a lot of amniotic fluid coming up and lost about one pound pretty quick.

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(^^Meemaw Tutt & Grandma Goose^^)

We were fortunate to have my mom fly in from Arizona the day after Thanksgiving, and Ruby was born two days later. She brought Jude to the hospital that first day. I was anxious to see how he would react to the baby, and he loved her from the beginning. He asks, “hold?” often and is constantly covering her with kisses and hugs. He calls her, “Beb- bee!”

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Jude and Daddy

Jude’s delivery left me super sore and I was hardly getting up and moving for a week. This time around, I forced myself to get up out of bed on my own and move. I mean, it may have taken me a couple minutes to lift myself out of bed and I walked around at a glacial pace, but I was moving! They always told me that the more you move, the easier the surgery recovery would be. So true! Granted, I did not labor naturally for 16 hours before the c-section like I did with Jude. My body and muscles were so worn out from that day.

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This time around we actually were discharged from the hospital after 48 hours! We could have stayed for four if we really wanted, but we were ready to get the heck outta dodge and be home with Jude.

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Below is a photo of her from the hospital right before we left. I swear her face looks so chubby straight on!…

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I can hardly imagine life without our little Rubes. She is so perfect to me in every way.

xoxo

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Jude’s 2nd Birthday

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Our dear little Jude Boy turned two in August. Here I am barely posting about it…in late September. Pregnancy has been rough. Little gets done and most days are focused on Jude + trying to survive his energy and meltdowns while my energy continues to decrease. It is no secret that I am not a fan of pregnancy – the emotions, constant discomfort, pain and exhaustion are real, folks! But, at 30 weeks now, I am trying to see the light at the end of the tunnel haha!

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Back to Jude!

He is a very sweet boy and a light to our days. I am constantly entertained by his quirks and exploding personality. Though he is a chatterbox, his speech is delayed and most of it is indecipherable. His facial expressions and hand motions while talking make it that much better! He does know a fair amount of words – I am MA and James is DAD. Most often some of his other daily words include: STOP, NO, SHOES, SOCKS, TOES, HAT, PLEASE, TRASH, NOSE, UH OH, HOT, OH NO, & WOW. He is in an interesting phase of calling a lot of thing by their sound instead of their name. Cars and trucks are “Brr brrr’s” – trains (which he is obsessed with) are “Toot too’s” – Cows are “Moos” – Horses “Nay nays” – and other sounds for Ducks and Pigs. There are a lot of other words I am starting to distinguish amongst the jibberish too, but right now I am not going to rack my brain for them all. The good thing, is that he comprehends pretty much everything we tell him. James especially loves requesting that Jude bring him the remote or throw things in the trash for him. Ha!

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At age two, Jude has his favorite things. Some being:

Trains!, Kitties, Cars/Trucks, Horses, Cows, Creatures that Roar. (thus the cake decor)

He prefers watching Curious George, Thomas & Friends, and Shrek. Lately, he has a new love for Frozen and Beauty and the Beast. I find it a little funny that he especially gets into the kissing scenes at the end. He makes the smooch noise and comes and lays his head on my shoulder, cups my face, and says AWWWW. Hopefully it is not something we need to be concerned with in the future. After all, his daddy IS a romantic.

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(dancing ^^^)

As any boy would, Jude loves being outside. Going on walks, four wheeler rides, and trying to help out when we are working. Poor thing does not get as many walks or outside time as before right now though – the heat has this pregnant mama staying inside as much as possible. I can hardly run after him anymore anyway.

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Jude LOVES swimming and the water. He is fearless. We have to keep an eye on him because he will let himself go under – doing his vertical bicycle kicking in place. He can hold his breath for a few seconds, but needs work. We never put a puddle jumper on him so that he has to learn to swim. I think next summer he will have it down!

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Jude’s birthday fell on a Saturday this year, so we just had a low key day of swimming and grilling out. Grandma and Grandpa came as well as our good friends, the Oldroyd’s (basically Jude’s adopted aunt and uncle) and then our next-door cousins came over a little later. Maybe when Jude is older and comprehends his birthday, we will make a bigger deal about it. He had fun on his day – and that was all that mattered!

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Apart from other fun new cars and light-up tractor, Jude got some cool train toys which are, of course, his latest obsession. And a fun new wind-up train book (from my Usborne obsession lol). We gifted him his book the following day though. He was overloaded with cool things on Saturday.

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The night ended with a trip to Stone Mountain for the laser show. He loves the lights, fireworks, and music. He dances and jumps around the whole time! Most of the family joined us for it, so it was a fun, family-filled day.

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I have to document the cake because – as James knows best – I am no baker. Other than cookies, I ruin everything. Baking from scratch is something I just cannot perfect. It did not help that the day before, I watched an episode of Master Chef where the challenge was to make a perfect three layered birthday cake. The critiquing of those cakes left me feeling the pressure! However, with a phone call to my sister for some advice – I was proud of myself and this birthday cake. The homemade funfetti icing turned out amazing too!

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Jude turns two

So here is to Jude – our little two year old. We love him so! I love that I get to spend my days with him (even though motherhood can be tiring work) and I cannot wait to see him as a big brother.

xoxo

Whit

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Jude – First Birthday

Yep! Jude is about to be 15 months old – and I am finally deciding to post some pictures from his first birthday. I guess that just shows that motherhood + life keeps me busy, right?

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His birthday was kept simple. He turned ONE, so he isn’t exactly going to care if he gets a big party with lots of presents or not. We got him a big gourmet cupcake and invited the grandparents over to watch him eat it with us. Is that a crazy celebration or what?

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whitney gossling

whitney gossling

He wasn’t a fan of his cute birthday hat at first, but I finally got a couple pictures with him wearing it. Thank you, Dainty Couture!

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whitney gossling

whitney gossling

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whitney gossling

It took a while to get much of a reaction from Jude. He just ate it – calm and collected. Eventually we did get some smiles and jibberish.

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whitney gossling

whitney gossling

Dainty Couture makes the most adorable personalized birthday hats!

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whitney gossling

whitney gossling

whitney gossling

At age one – Jude is very much like his daddy. He loves cars and outside! He understands what shoes mean and eagerly sits in my lap to get them on and then goes straight for the four wheeler or our horse. He cries when I bring him in from outside. He has no fear of animals, which can be good and bad. He makes car noises with his mouth while playing with his hotwheels. He is at the stage of getting into everything – pulling everything out of drawers and cupboards and putting it back in (in the wrong places of course!). Bathtime is always his favorite – or he has been known to walk into our showers and join us. He hates if I do not pay full attention to him if I am on my phone or ipad planning seminary lessons. I have to be PLAYING with him on the floor. He loves his blocks, books, and sitting in laps. The funny thing is – he turns around way ahead of time and backs into laps. Very cute! He is a sweetie – loves people and giving kisses. Every trip to the store, he makes friends because he has to smile and wave at literally everybody. He definitely has a funny personality and we adore everything about our little Judester.

xoxo

That Girl Whit | Whitney Gossling

 

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Growing Up

Whitney Gossling

 

My little baby is not so much of a baby anymore. He turned one at the beginning of this month. I can hardly believe it. He’s so grown! He walks. He jabbers all day. He plays & giggles. He pitches fits. He mimics us. And he has quite the little personality! I need to post pictures from his 1st birthday “celebration” – but for now, here is one from this morning.

I love him so.

 

xoxo

 

 

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My Little Garden

This is the first spring that James and I have successfully planted a garden. In the past, we were in the middle of moves or I was pregnant. My potted tomatoes and peppers became neglected and sadly, there were little to no fruits of our “labors”. A lot of work has gone into creating plantable beds in our yard – a big thanks to my mom and dad who helped a ton when they came out last summer for Jude’s birth and blessing. It made this this year much less of a pain. Many hours have also been put in by James who leveled and built a 10×10 ft raised bed for our veggies this year. We’re starting small and hoping to expand in coming years.

I wanted to post some pictures so that I can bask in the satisfaction of seeing how things grow and change over time. Gardening really is very fulfilling. Each little plant has become almost like a child to me now.haha! I know what they are and I weed them and water them. Sounds dweeby – but true!

So, this is what the back of our house looked like back in the day before we ever moved in. The place was for sure a “fixer upper”. Of course, there was a lot of cosmetic things done to improve it before we moved in as well…but I post it because I like to see how far it’s all come.

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A snapshot from this last Memorial Day weekend…

 

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The coral bells from my mother’s yard when she lived here in Georgia are doing way better this year than last. I also feel like the start of her hibiscus grows a foot a week. Also better than last year because it was confined to a pot.

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^ The only “before” shot I can find of the front/kind of the front of the house. ^

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I planted gladiolus bulbs and they have all come up. Three already bloomed and each in a different color. The deep purple is back by the kitchen window. They make me so happy!

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Some of my favorite little personalities of the yard…

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Our veggies are doing well. I have some phone shots from while James was building…

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We literally filled it with the piles of manure/straw/sawdust from behind the stables. Perfect compost!

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Everything has been sprouting up really well. We already have some bell peppers and yellow crook neck squash that will be ready for picking soon! I also have eight tomato plants, cucumbers, jalapeños, chives, onions, garlic, and some pumpkin plants that came out of nowhere (from the compost). Our spinach and cilantro pretty much already bit the dust. Live and learn.

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James planted seven blueberry bushes and two raspberry vines behind the house. They are doing surprisingly well and going to give fruit this year. I have already picked a few juicy ripe raspberries and they are delicious.

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I have my fresh herbs growing here and there. My favorite is my herb tower that James helped me put together with some rebar and pots. He also built the bed that it’s sitting in.

Phone shot when he was building it (and also some pics in this post) …

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Then our hydrangea there in the center got a disease and shriveled up! So sad. I planted some flowering vines and other herbs in its place and hope they fill in through he summer.

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Love my herb tower! Basil. Parsley. Italian Oregano. Stevia. Dill. Lemon Thyme.

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We’ve got some random pumpkins sprouting again – and I decided to just leave them there. And more oregano, mojito mint, and chocolate mint in the bed. I doubled up on basil & thyme and have a large rosemary bush growing on the other side of the yard as well because those are my favies that I use most (and the basil in the tower is not doing so well).

A little throwback to when I was planting and Jude was in a sailor suit (James did not approve)…

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Those are all that I have on my computer right now. I’ll take more once the rainy and stormy days pass. Here’s to my little garden!

xoxo

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Baby Jude

It’s May and Jude is now 9 1/2 months old. Where has the time gone? I feel as though he’s sprouted up over night. I heard him rustling in his crib after his afternoon nap yesterday and decided to grab my camera. My little boy seems so big already!

That Girl Whit

 

That Girl Whit

That Girl WhitThat Girl Whit

Jude started pulling himself up on things the first few days in May and since then is all over the place. He travels from the couch to the coffee table to the fireplace in seconds. We swore he would go straight to walking, but a week or so ago he figured out crawling and climbing up steps. There is no stopping him now! Unfortunately. He is into everything. A couple days ago he bonked his eye on the corner of the coffee table – hence the bruise in the pictures.

That Girl Whit

That Girl Whit

I am in love with his face and tousled hair when he first wakes up. Even in the mornings he’ll sit and jabber and play in his crib for a good while until I come in. He is usually all smiles when I come get him. Many people are shocked and tell me what a good and happy baby he is. We are definitely blessed with a content and “easy” child. I’m sure the next one won’t be as calm though!

That Girl Whit

That Girl Whit

That Girl Whit

That Girl Whit

Jude still has no teeth and no sight of any coming in. That hasn’t kept him from eating though! He would eat all day if I let him. He loves blueberries and scrambled eggs and gumming on a piece of wheat toast. I’m sure he would figure out a way to eat anything I give him though. When we go out for BBQ, he devours baked beans, mac n cheese, and squash casserole. Who wouldn’t?! I hope to not raise a picky eater, and so far so good! Our only problem is water – he won’t drink it unless I mix in an ounce of juice so that it has a hint of flavor and sweetness.

He makes a lot of noise – squeals and the typical, “mamamamama” and “dadadadada”. I am very proud of his wave. I think he is too – because he waves all the time to us and other people. And Kitty. He’ll even do it on cue most of the time with ‘say hi!’ or ‘bye-bye!’.

He is not much a cuddler anymore and hates being swaddled or cradled. I think he is on the verge of being a one nap a day baby, which I kind of hate. He’ll sleep through the night, but still fights sleep even if he is exhausted and rubbing his eyes.

I’m convinced that although he looks a little more like me, he has more of his dad’s personality – lately he loves his back and head being scratched/rubbed and he plays with toy cars all day. Anything with an engine immediately gets his attention and a ride on the four wheeler is my go-to to cheer him up.

That Girl Whit

He is definitely a Mama’s Boy right now – and I love that because I don’t think it will last long.

xoxo

Whit

That Girl Whit | Whitney Gossling

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Happy Mother’s Day

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Today is Mother’s Day and I am feeling especially blessed. I have an amazing mother whom I love dearly. Now that I am older with a family of my own, I see her in myself every day. I hope to become more of the selfless, God loving, and hardworking woman that she is. I love that her love for God, family, the arts, gardening, and cleaning have been reflected into my life now. Some of those things might seem funny (mainly the cleaning part), but that’s what I think of when my mother comes to mind. And now they have become part of me as well. I thank you, Mom, for teaching me so much through how you choose to live. xoxo!

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Not only have I been so lucky to find, fall in love with, and marry the most amazing man ever (who compliments me in every way) but now I understand the love and role of being a mother. And I don’t think my life could get any better! Isn’t this what happiness is about anyway? In the words of the apostle, L Tom Perry, from this last April’s General Conference:

“The older I get, the more I realize the family is the center of life. It is the key to eternal happiness.”

So true. So very very true.

Thank you, Mom. Thank you, James. And thank you, little Jude for making my life so wonderful!

xoxo

 

 

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Warmer Days

It’s 7:30am and I’m sitting at my kitchen table eating a slice of cheese pizza leftover from last night (Make A Wish Foundation built my nephew, Grant, an incredible playground in his back yard and last night was a little party / reveal for it – post on that later). Usually I come home from seminary and crawl back in bed in hopes of getting at least 30-45 minutes rest before Jude wakes up. But, this pizza is now inspiring me to blog. I have so many pictures, I ought to do something with them.

So spring is finally here! I have been very ready for it for a while. Our days are finally warming up and green is popping up everywhere. That has me pretty excited because last summer we had some perennials and bushes planted and, after a brown and dead winter, I am starting to see the green shoots come back up! I really shouldn’t take the credit because my mom and dad basically did all the work when they visited after Jude’s birth. My contribution was going to Grower’s Outlet and picking out what plants we wanted. Though this spring/summer since I’m not pregnant or recently out of surgery – I should be able to handle it.

This weather already inspired another trip to Grower’s Outlet and lots of weeding. Little Jude gets to spend that time with me outside, though he’s been a trooper about it. I often sit him in the grass with some of his hot wheels or hang his jumper in the doorway of the breezeway. He loves it!

Whitney Gossling

Whitney Gossling

Whitney Gossling

James and I have been planning out our vegetable garden too. I am bound and determined to make it successful this year. The last two summers we have been in the middle of moves and it never happened. This year is our year! We are starting completely from scratch and it’s going to be a lot of work. There aren’t many flat areas around our house and, of course, there is no spot that is not 100% packed red Georgia clay. The abundance of deer and other critters also add the need for fencing or other protection. Luckily, my husband is awesome and enjoys working with his hands and figuring out projects. I am always amazed at the things he does. I’m the type of person that would jerry-rig something for a quick solution or “make do.” James is not. He’s all about exactness, measurements, efficiency, and quality. For example, if I’m going to hang something on the wall – I stand back and kind of eyeball where I want it and then hammer that nail in. Sometimes I end up making a couple holes before I get it where I want it. That drives James nuts. He would go get his measuring tape, this contraption that shoots a laser onto the wall for leveling, and a fancier wall mount for hanging pictures. It seems like too much work to me. Whatever though! He does everything well and likes doing it (or so it seems). So, I have no doubt that our raised beds will be top notch by the time he’s done. I can handle the planting and upkeep. He likes building, I like gardening – it works out well.

Whitney Gossling

Just this week he decided to build a wall for a flower bed in our backyard where the slope makes everything muddy. He finished last night. I need to take a picture of the final deal once I plant all my pretty plants in it : ).

Whitney Gossling

We love where we live, but it definitely was a “fixer upper” and we have had our work cut out for us. It’s ok though because looking back at what this place once was and comparing it to what it will be makes me excited. What a fulfilling feeling.

Whitney Gossling

Whitney Gossling

(We dog sat this last week for our friends, Matt & Laura. Though I had to laugh at the fact that pampered Duke did not like playing outside as much as we did. I blame Laura entirely lol!)

Jude had his first “play date” this last week. My friend, Ryan Phipps, moved to Georgia for the summer & her little babe is only a week younger than Jude. It was cute watching them. It was Jude’s first time really interacting with another person his size and age.

Whitney Gossling

Whitney Gossling

Whitney Gossling

He is starting to get better with balance and can even stand on his own for about 3 seconds. I know that seems like nothing, but he’s a quick learner!

Whitney Gossling

Whitney Gossling

Whitney Gossling

I’m very obsessed with watching James and Jude together. Once Jude is bigger it will only get better! I imagine he will follow James around all the time. They love each other and that melts my heart.

Whitney Gossling

Whitney Gossling

Here is one from last night… of this special little family of mine that I love so much … haha : )…

Whitney Gossling

And so that I’m in at least one picture. Thank you, Summer! – Who came and hung out with us for an afternoon this week. …

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xoxo

Whitney Gossling | that girl whit

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Mom Life | Beech-Nut Baby Food

Beech-Nut

 

I’m not the kind of mom that is ultra-protective and obsessive over everything. I don’t freak out when Jude swallows grass or sucks on a rock he just found (some people may shudder at that). His little toes and fingers have been nibbled and slobbered on by the donkeys on more than one occasion. It’s good for him! I’m also not an all-organic kind of mom. I don’t go out of my way to purchase the “dye free” children’s Tylenol. Or the “gentle” laundry detergent for babies. And we choose to vaccinate. So as far as parenting goes in this fast growing “granola” world – who knows where I rank.

BUT – I have recently realized that I’m going to be somewhat picky about what baby food I’m going to buy. Let’s be real, I don’t have time (or the best equipment) to whip up homemade baby food like some moms. I know it’s cheaper, but I’ve got a lot going on between early morning seminary each day with the youth at church (leaving my house by 5:40am each day – YAY!), taking care of Jude, making sure the animals get fed, staying on top of my photography business, trying to keep a “journal” for our family with my blog, laundry, keeping a clean house for my own sanity, cooking, grocery shopping, church responsibilities, catching up on sleep, spending time with my husband, etc… right now making baby food just isn’t on my list. Props to you parents who make that happen! Though I feel like I’ve found the next best thing.

A couple weeks ago, I ran to the store specifically for baby food. I was a little frustrated when half of the isle was cleared out of what I normally buy. Literally completely bare shelves. I saw the pretty little Beech-Nut jars with all of their fancy flavors and realized it was my only other option. I stocked up on some. Seeing that I am trying to keep a budget, but also want to feed my child good quality, I came home and compared. I never noticed that the baby food I bought before had additives and preservatives in it. Long story short – I’ve since switched over. I’m a little obsessed with the flavors, bright colors, and mostly – the simple ingredient list of JUST whatever it is. They taste awesome too – I always try whatever I give Jude & both texture and flavor are as though it came straight from a blender.

So, was I meaning for this to become a commercial? No. But now it kind of is. Haha. You’re welcome, Beech-Nut.

Beech-Nut

Beech-Nut

 

Whitney Gossling

 

I love this sweet, happy boy! I also love how he finds and puts his pacifier in his mouth all on his own. Seven months is such a fun age. Though we are still waiting on teeth.

xoxo

 

That Girl Whit | Whitney Gossling

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