Friday, July 30, 2010

Products the Brandts CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT

Wanted this to be a picture...and ended up having it on video mode.
So, just posting so you can see this sweet angle of our boy!

video


I am copying a friends blog idea on this one, but I thought future moms out there might want to know (thank you to Benton's mommy!).....

Products the Brandts CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT during Our First Four Months of Being Parents
(Not in any order)

This thing is awesome! I love being able to see what Macklin is doing. I think I learn more about his sleeping patterns and movement than without it. I watch him fall asleep, can see if anything is wrong, and just feel comfortable with him in his crib while being farther away. Totally worth the $180 for it. Only thing it is missing (according to his Mimi)....a web link to the monitor to his Mimi can watch him snooze!

2. Fisher-Price Oceans Wonder Cradle Swing
Also another great product. If Macklin is upset, he loves the constant movement that this swing provides! It has different speed settings (which we haven't really noticed a difference between) and it swings front-to-back and side-to-side. Also a good place for Macklin to chill when we are making dinner! He is really watching the fishes that turn on it these days! So fun!

I have heard that some women don't use these...Well, I use mine every day, about 6 times a day or every time I feed Macklin. It is so easy to just lay him on it and not have to support him while nursing. I also love the removable cover. Kinda wish I had two, but doing just fine with one. I don't know if they make the ones that just come with the permanent cover...but being able to wash it has come in handy very often!

We got this play mat as one of four (three in one shower!) and we love it. We had so many other intense, super huge ones, which were all great...But after all the showers, we just couldn't keep them all. So, we decided on this one and I am so glad that we did. I love having it out, but it folds up easily for my "neat-freak" side when I want to clean up. Mack loves the toys on it and it has just the right amount of things to grab. And...a big surprise was that our friends boy Jack just loved it as well (18-month old). Granted...he did like to tackle it and throw it, but it held up and did awesome!

Heck with those little 4 in x 8 in cloths that are sold as burp rags....I need a whole cloth diaper and I need a lot of them! They work great (except when Baxter eats one!).

If you have read our blog, you have seen pics of the Chariot. It is stinkin' awesome and a must for our active lifestyle! Mack has gone on a 50 mile bike ride, hiked through the woods, and ran countless miles with his mommy and daddy. Super easy to use! Only question....will we get the ski attachments for the winter??

These were crucial to Macklin sleeping through the night at by 7 weeks! Starting at 3.5 months though, we only swaddle his legs now. He busts his arms out and I think we will not be using them in a few more weeks.

Safety first! This car seat has been awesome and easy to work with. We also got the stroller to go with it. I like the stroller because it is a lightweight version (not a super duper combo unit like some that weigh 30 pounds!). But, it has two seperate handles, not one bar, which makes it hard to push with one hand. I still like it though.

9. Bibs
For Macklin's first 9 weeks of life, I didn't use a single bib.....Then the floods came! Bibs are a must around here now unless I want to have Macklin in 6 outfits a day!

I didn't know if we needed a tub or not...but I am glad that we have this one! It made for easy newborn bathing sessions. It came with a sling that we used through 3 months that was awesome and made Macklin love bath time! Now, he is getting a little long and we are at an in-between stage now. Can't quite sit on his own, but is too long to lay down. So it is weird right now. But, I am super glad we had it for those newborn baths!

Just borrowed one of these from a friend and we use it daily! We had an off brand one, but it was a little time-consuming to get on. I love the ease of the Baby Bjorn and Macklin just chills out in it! I think we will have to get one of our own..maybe a sweet orange one!

For a girl that debated if I needed one of these...it is a must now! I love the freedom of being able to have Justin give Macklin a bottle and to store up bottles so I don't feel "trapped" by feeding schedules. It works great. I have had no problems with mine so far!

Makes the nursery...and makes me feel like an official mommy! Enough said.

14. Wipe Warmer with Cloth Wipes
There are debates on these things....but Macklin loves this. The feeling of that warm wipe on his tush brings smiles to the boy's face! I use cloth wipes and throw those with the cloth diapers for washing. I do have to fold and re-fill it, which is a little time consuming, but I like using the cloth wipes over the disposable ones! I rarely use two wipes for a diaper, where with disposable ones, sometimes I go through multiple!

Cloth diapers are freaking awesome! Everything has been great about them! I will post more on my system on this later.

Whew.....We are one high maintenance family! That is a lot of "gotta haves" and Macklin is only 4 months old! Crazy!





Macklin in Motion

video

Today we spent some time playing and I actually got the camera out (which has been in hiding for some reason for the past couple of days). He is just playing around on one of his quilts. He is moving quite a bit these days. Turning some circles in his crib and on blankets. He is just doing awesome with his movement! He lays on his side a lot. He hasn't quite gotten from his back to his tummy, but the other way around is pretty solid (well, he will do it up to twice in a play session...then he gets tired).

On another note...we had friends in town, the Peaks (friends of Justin's from leading Young Life in college). They were supposed to be here for a week, but left today to take care of a health issue that came up with Kirsten. Please pray for a full recovery for Kristen as she has to have some surgery to patch a hole in her heart that was discovered during her stay with us. They are the most loving couple we have ever been blessed to know!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Good Morning!

video
Just a little clip from the morning!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Day Without Mack???

So, no pics from today as it felt like a day without Macklin!

Went to church...he hung out beautifully in the nursery for the second time ever.

Decided to get a babysitter to hang with him and our friend's little two-year old girl so that us big kids could go tubing down the river....again, he did great!

We got home, hugged him a bunch...he chilled out some more.

We had Young Life Campaigners (which was super duper tonight)...and he fell asleep during it.

Kids left....I fed Mack...He went to bed.

I am almost sad that I didn't get to play with him very much! Weird!

(By the way, tubing was fantastic today...just waiting to get the pics from our buddies!)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Boy of Many Hats

Here is just one picture of Macklin snoozing....Big boy with no swaddle blanket, teddy in hand!

This morning I was getting Mack a pair of socks and realized just how many hats we have for him. Not only do we have tons of hats, I rarely put a hat on him because it is summer. Now, the sun hats are in constant use. But all of these cute little beanies are going to waste. So I decided to put one on him....come to find out, his big 'ole head just didn't want to go into that hat. I put on every one of the hats that he had and took a pic of each one! I am mean, I know. Here are some for you to enjoy!

Our little elf!

Not quite going on!

Justin's old ball cap

Love this alligator hat (thanks Val and Chip), but the outfit it goes with is too small now!

Not even close!

Now, this one does fit! 6 month size hat fits my 3.5 month old!

Go Cards!

This one is so funny! Or maybe it's just Mack's face making it look funny!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Macklin Loves His Mommy

Here are a few recent pictures of Macklin.
You can look at them while you read the letter below.





As most of you know, it was our anniversary last week and we took that trip to celebrate. Well, we also exchanged gifts there as well. Justin got me this super cute shirt and I got him some new running shoes and shorts (oh yeah, we are going to train for a 1/2 marathon together). But, Justin also gave me the sweetest letter ever that made me cry. He gave me permission to share it with everyone. Justin said that he read Mack's mind and this is what it said...

-----------------

Dear Mommy,
Thanks for marring my Dad. I can tell he loves you A LOT. You have been such a great mom to my already. The way you: shower me with kisses, change and clean my diapers, take time to feed me all day, dress me in matching clothes that make my friends jealous, read to me, teach me how to do cool stuff like rolling over or laugh, rocking me to sleep, holding me when I'm upset, and praying for me shows me how much you love me. I want to grow up and love and serve the way you do. Thanks for being such a great role model for me. I know with you behind me I can do anything. I love you so much. Sorry for all the spit up, explosive poops, late nights, and embarrassing eating sounds I make, I just can't contain myself sometimes. I love how you put up with the good and bad about me. You love me so much. Please continue to pray for me, because I will need all the help and guidance I can get. Once again thanks for marring my dad. I know you could have married anyone, but you chose him. And he told me that besides Jesus he loves you more than anything, including me. I'm jealous about that, but I understand. Talk to you soon mommy.
Love, Macklin (with a signature I might add)

Anniversary Trip

So everything about the last couple of days was awesome! We headed out on Monday down to Buena Vista to our little B&B. Since it is an even year anniversary, I got to plan the trip! I had previously posted the B&B's website, and now I can say that I would recommend it 100%! The host was super nice and the house was so great, as was the breakfast.

We headed down there and Macklin was great in the car ride. Since we were a little too early for check-in at the B&B, we headed to Agnes Vaille Falls off of CR 162 near Nathrop, CO. It was a quick little hike to an awesome waterfall. Even met some STL Cardinal fans! We enjoyed taking some pics while we were there!

My new favorite one of Mack...He is ready to hike!

Family Photo...Baxter missed the memo though

The falls

Looking tough with the baby carrier!

Me and my boy!

And he is done hiking!

After checking in at the B&B and feeding our little man, it was time for dinner. Our host recommended that we go to Salida, CO. We had never been there before so we headed that direction. We had dinner at a nice Italian place and then took a walk around town. It is our new favorite small CO town! It had a great downtown area and we even wanted to return the next day to actually go in the shops (we were there too late to go in that night). I would totally go back!

Here is a pic for you three grandma's out there!

After dinner and our walk, we headed back to La Roca to feed Mack and head to bed. Macklin was such a doll and didn't make a single peep for the whole two days. (I was at his side the whole time though, meeting his every need to ensure there was no crying though!) The next day, we got up to some breakfast, spent some time reading in the swings on her porch and then headed out for another hike!


We asked our host for some suggestions. After telling her what we were thinking, she handed me the book Mellow Mountain Trails. All I could think was, "Is this what I have become? A user of a "Mellow" Mountain Trails book? No, it can't be. I climb 14ers and do overnight backpacking trips. I am not a mellow hiker."
Well, sure enough....we found a hike perfect for us!



One that we could take the Chariot on! (an old railroad track area)

And it lead us to a beautiful stream! It was a 2 mile hike to the stream and then we hiked back. We decided to run the way back...and it was a good thing! About half way back, it started to down-pour! It was crazy! Mack was all nice and dry because the Chariot has a rain cover on it! It was super fun though. I love running in the rain!

After the hike, we took a drive up 162 to find St. Elmo - a ghost town that is a favorite to of-road vehicle traffic. It was more than I expected. Justin said it would be great to take his dad back here some time.

After this, we headed back to Gypsum so Justin could get back for basketball practice. Macklin wasn't so happy on the way back. He cried super hard for about 45 minutes. Even tried to stop and calm him down, but it didn't work. Fed him as soon as we got home and things were better. So, other than the bit of crying on the way home and the window that wouldn't close (oh wait, I didn't mention that! Our back passenger window got off it tracks in the first five minutes of the trip! Did it rain? Of course it did! But we kept Mack warm and dry none the less. Off to get that fixed soon!)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Off to the B&B

We are headed out today to a B&B down in Nathrop, CO (near Buena Vista). I am super excited to finish celebrating our anniversary, but also a little nervous. The woman who owns the bed and breakfast was a little concerned about Macklin joining us...didn't care about Baxter, but did care about the baby. So, I hope things go well. Pray for our little man to be quiet :)

Here is the site of the place we are headed to....
http://www.larocabandb.com/


Sunday, July 18, 2010

We Love the Smileys!


..And how could you not with a name like "Smiley"?

We had a great time with them at the Rodney Atkins concert for Gypsum Daze on Saturday. We packed up all our gear (a little late I might add due to the little ones hunger issues) and walked on over the the Gypsum Town Park. We had a sweet picnic with Ryan and Sabrina, lots of good conversation, and a big country singer just playing a long. Thanks for a great night you guys!




Sabrina loves Macklin

This is how Mack wanted to be at his first concert....naked!
I wonder if this is signs for things to come...I hope not.
We just had to put him in some warmer clothes as the sun went down.

Ya, the cute Smileys!

Mack's Friends

It was so fun to have the Cross family stop by to see us on Friday. Their kiddos are super cute and are looking more alike everyday! Colby is 2 I think and Karolina is 4 and a half months old. We just had a blast snapping pictures of them!


Notice that the little tag on his shirt says..."I make dirt look good!" Who makes these things!

video

On Saturday I got to hang out at Cory Strickler's wedding shower and little Eva was there! She has grown up so much from the last time I saw her. She is almost 6 months old and is Cory's niece.

So, Macklin is starting a little crew of his buddies these days! So fun!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

My Email Has Changed

Just an FYI to all....Eagle County Schools has decided to terminate my email.
Yes, melinda.brandt@eagleschools.net is now dead, deceased, no longer coming back.
So, please use....

melindarbrandt@gmail.com

I will be using that one from now on. Sad day for me.

Now, it's time to get my gmail in tip-top organizational order!

Happy Anniversary to Us!





Yesterday was our four year anniversary and I don't think I have ever loved Justin more! The Lord has blessed us with a wonderful family and marriage and I am so grateful! Enjoy the flashback pics from our wedding above.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Macklin Rolled Over Today!!!!


This morning our sweet friend Sabrina came over to hang out while her husband, Ryan, was helping Justin with the fence. It was so good to see her as we have both been traveling this summer. So, as we are catching up, we put Macklin on his play mat (which was given to him by Sabrina!). After lots of happy play on his back, I decided it was time for some more tummy time. I flipped him over and right away he was holding his head up way higher than I have ever seen him before. Sabrina said, "He is getting ready to roll over." I said, "No he's not. He hasn't rolled over yet!" Sure enough, the early education major and pre-school teacher was correct! Macklin pushed himself over from his tummy on to his back! It was so exciting! I took a few pics (as I did have time to grab my camera even though I insisted that he wasn't going to roll over). So, we flipped him back over and, sure enough, he did it again....and this time I caught it on film! So here is the video of Macklin rolling over. It was like his little anniversary present to his mommy and daddy (today is our 4 year). Thanks Mack!

video

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Rock Climbing in the Canyon

Just hanging with Baxter next to my first sport route.

We have to tie up Bax when we climb so that he doesn't distract us,
but he tried to go up with rock with Justin! So funny!

On the route!

Today we were super grateful to get to go play on our own! Sara Giovagnoli and her daughter Angela hung out with Macklin from 11:30-5pm so we could have some time to ourselves. Now I know why people get babysitters! It was so nice to go play with my hubby for a few hours. So, after dropping Mack off, we headed to Glenwood Canyon to go rock climbing at a spot we have not been to yet. It was next to the last tunnel near the Hot Springs pool and there are big cliffs on the north side of the road. It is all sport climbing, which I was a little nervous about. But, I am proud to say that I climbed my first outdoor sport route (which means you take the rope up with you instead of having it attached at the top). I clipped into 6 bolts and anchored at the top - I am a pro now....except it was a 5.7 route (which is about as easy at they get). But, it was very good for my beginning sport climbing self! Justin and I both climbed two routes, we ran some errands in Glenwood, and then we back to pick up our babe! It was a great day but I also was anxious to have Macklin back in my arms!

Monday, July 12, 2010

LG Tri

Before the race!

Why are swimming pics so ugly?

My slowest leg

Finally running

With my babe after!

I love doing triathlons because they are a challenge and get me to race. And, apparently I love to race more than I care how in shape I am......because....I was not in shape for this one! Last Saturday I got to compete in our local tri in Eagle. It was a blast and I am really starting to get to know the local crowd of runners/competitors. I dropped to 11th place from my last years finish of 4th place, but I still enjoyed it. I came to realize that I have never really trained for a tri, I just go for it (came close for the XTERRA one two years ago but then got in my rock climbing accident during my training). So, I don't know if it is a way to have an out for a bad performance "Just think if I actually trained for it." Or if I just really don't want to spend all that time working training into my now busy mommy days. Whatever it is....some day I will really train for one!