Tuesday, December 18, 2012

DIY Christmas Photos

Back at the beginning of December, I did some DIY Christmas light photos with the baby.

This was the set up.

I draped an unused Ikea curtain over our headboard, then draped some icicle lights. I placed a boppy under the white duvet cover and propped the baby on it. I think I just got lucky in that he fell asleep when I placed him on the boppy. I had nursed him just prior to starting the shoot.

I have a Canon Rebel Xsi camera and I used my Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 lens. I didn't have great lighting so I upped the iso to 1600 and set my aperture low. I shot a lot of the shoot in Av mode (aperture priority mode). I'm still learning and I'm not completely comfortable with full Manual mode yet. Av mode allows me to set the aperture and the camera picks the shutter speed for me.

I used an aperture of 1.8 to 2.2 for the shoot. The low aperture also allows for a shallow depth of field which blurs the Christmas lights in the background. I also like to over expose my photos by +2/3 to +1. I think it makes the photo look much brighter.

I'm overall pretty pleased with how the photos turned out. I know they're not perfect, but I love them. These are also straight out of the camera. I didn't do any post editing because I just didn't have the time and I really don't know much about editing photos.

Another trick I learned recently is back button focus. It basically allows me to use one of the back buttons on the camera to focus and then the shutter button takes the photo instead of pushing the shutter button halfway to focus the camera. It's handy because I can focus once and then take multiple photos as long as I don't move.

Once I was happy with the shots with the lights, I attempted some others like this one with the ornaments.

Soon the little guy got tired of me moving him around and woke up, and I ended up with photos like this. That's how I knew the shoot was over. lol

Mom stop taking my picture and pick me up! 

Have you attempted to DIY some Holiday photos? I still need to try and get a picture of him in front of the Christmas tree.

Baby AJ: 2 Month Update

Wow! Baby AJ is already 2 months old! What a difference a month can make. Baby boy has gone from being a little blob who only ate, slept and pooped to a little guy with an emerging personality.

It amazes me how much he has grown in the last two months. Look how scrawny he was at just 1 week old!

Weight: 13 lbs 2 oz up from 10 lbs 11 oz at 1 month appointment
Length: 24 inches
Diaper size: Size 2
Clothing size: 0-3 month and moved up to 3-6 months in sleepers and pants in the last couple of weeks

Nicknames: Bub bub , bubs, munchkin, baby, little guy, little man, monkey, Grandma calls him bright eyes

Health: Perfectly healthy besides battling a little diaper rash. He had his 2 month shots today. Poor little guy.  It's hard to see him get so many shots. I think it was harder on me than it was on him though. He seems to be doing ok from the shots so far.

Sleep: AJ's sleep has improved dramatically over the last month. He started having a 5-6 hour stretch at night and then every few nights we would get a 7 hour stretch. Well now the last about week and a half, we've been getting a solid 7-8 hours for his first stretch of sleep. Followed by another 1 or 2, 2 hour stretch. It's really nice to be getting such a solid chunk of sleep, but I still feel pretty tired as the day goes on. He's still sleeping in his bouncy chair though. I think Jack and I are a little nervous about moving him to the pack n play. I think once he hits 12 weeks, we'll start putting him in the pack n play next to our bed or we might try him out in his crib.

Diet: Mama's milk. Breastfeeding has been so much easier this month. My supply regulated so I don't get engorged anymore and AJ only nurses one side at a time for only 5-6 minutes. Feeding him is quick and easy. I've also started using my nursing cover a lot more and nursing in front of friends and family.

Baby Gear Love:
-Swing- it's a hit or miss but sometimes he'll nap in it
-snugabunny bouncy chair - he sleeps in this thing every night
-aden + anais swaddle blankets - we don't swaddle him in these anymore but we fold them in four and use it as a blanket
-Summer Infant swaddleme -he had to move up to large size this month, we swaddle him in these every night
-Babybjorn Babysitter Balance - I splurged on this thing last week and I love it! He was getting a little heavy for the snugabunny bouncer. I can put him in this thing and he'll happily sit in it for about 10-15 minutes and watch me go about my business. It has allowed me to get some breakfast in every morning.
-Sassy Go Go Bugs - I hang these from his car seat and he loves to just stare at them. It's kept him quiet for car rides a couple of times.
-Beco Gemini Carrier - Jack and I love this thing. Baby boy really doesn't like his car seat so I wear him when we go shopping together. Jack will wear him around the house or on walks if he gets antsy in the stroller. It's pretty much a guarantee that he'll fall asleep in this thing.

Loves: Sleeping on mama or dada's chest, dozing off in my lap after a nursing session, baths, diaper changes, being carried around, his pacifier, being in the Beco carrier, when mommy or daddy sing to him or talk to him

Hates: tummy time if left on tummy for too long, being taken out of the bath, mommy or daddy dressing him, car seat, when mommy tries to get the boogers out of his nose, when mommy tries to rub lotion on him after his bath

Milestones: Rolling over from tummy to back a few times. I think he puts on too much weight and can't do it anymore. He can lift his head momentarily while on his tummy. He has also started social smiling. Love, love, LOVE seeing him smile. It is the highlight of my day.

And now bullet points on AJ's 2nd month and lots of photos!

-He loves his bath every night. He doesn't really need one every night, but we feel it helps in establishing a bedtime routine. Sometimes he'll be really fussy at night and the bath seems to be the only thing to calm him down. We get lots of smiles and giggles during bath time. Daddy uses a cup and pours warm water over his belly. He doesn't like to be taken out of the bath though. A lot of the time he cries when we take him out.

-We discovered the amazingness of the pacifier. We held off giving him one for the first month so he doesn't get nipple confusion as was suggested in my breastfeeding book. It's really amazing how much it can calm him down and help him fall asleep.
-He's also started growing in some new hair

-He seems to enjoy getting his diaper changed. He's always in a good mood and smiling and babbling when we put him on his changing table for a diaper change. Often times I leave him up there for a time and try to coax as many smiles out of him as I can.

-I believe we have a morning person on our hands. Munchkin is just so happy and smiley in the mornings. It's when I get the most smiles and babbles out of him.

I have the Wonder Weeks book and these are the things I've checked off that he does for wonder week 8:
-smiling when he sees people he recognizes

-babbling and mumbles a series of sounds as if he is having a conversation with me.

-he makes short bursts of sounds like ah. He can be pretty loud! And he has started making this clicking sound with his tongue.

-if you talk back to him, he'll continue to "talk" to you. I love our little conversations.

-He can hold his head upright more and more and loves looking around. I still call him my little bobble head. He loves to look around when I carry him upright.

-He turns his head and will watch me walk around the room. He now will sit in his bouncy chair alert and watch me make breakfast. It's so cute the way his eyes and head follow me around the room. I talk to him and narrate what I'm doing.

-Little man now kicks his legs and flails his arms when he gets excited.

-He has started making faces. He furrows his eyebrows when he is concentrating or watching intently. I've noticed a couple of times, he'll lift up only one brow. Both my mom and grandma can do this.

-A few times over the last month, he has rolled from his tummy to his back. I think he puts on too much weight and can't do it anymore.

-He has started to take interest in his toys. He has these little bugs that hang from his car seat and he loves to stare at them. He especially likes the one that jingles. He will also now look at the toys that dangle from his play mat.

-Baby boy has taken an interest in staring at ceiling fans and lights.

-He loves to stare at his chevron curtains while I rock him.

-AJ's Great Grandpa and Nana came all the way from Utah to meet him for the first time. 

-Attempted a photo shoot that didn't go so well. lol

-AJ got to experience his first Thanksgiving

 -We had a second Thanksgiving the next day, but I only managed to grab a family photo for our Xmas card

Grandma & Grandpa bought him his first ornament

-Right after Thanksgiving we started decorating for Christmas

AJ's first xmas tree

 -My mom is a teacher and is off on Holiday break. She came over everyday last week to spend time with me and AJ. It was so much fun hanging out with her and I loved having the company everyday.

-Last week when my mom was over, we started putting him in his crib for some play time. He enjoyed laying there and watching us sing and talk to him. We got lots and lots of smiles out of him!

-I also took him to visit daddy at work for the first time. All the ladies were gong crazy over him.

Happy 2 months Baby AJ! Mommy and daddy love you so much and can't imagine our lives with out you! We're excited for the next phase in your life and what changes will come in your 3rd month.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Final Bump Progression

I finally got around to putting together my final bump progression collage. It's so weird now to look back and see how big my belly got. I'm so so happy that I stuck with it and took a photo almost every week. It's great to be able to look back on these photos to see how I progressed.  

I did make it to 38 weeks, but I was lazy and didn't take my bump photo on time. I went into labor before I even got the chance!

Here is my 38 week photo that I took right before heading off to the hospital.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

New Mama Must-Haves

New Mama Must-Haves

New Mama Must-Haves by taders on Polyvore

I've compiled a list of items that have helped me survive the first month as a new mom. These items are what has helped me with my recovery from a vaginal delivery and with breastfeeding. 

1. Nipple Butter: I like this Earth Mama Angel Baby Nipple Butter. This is the particular brand I bought but anything similar will work. You'll need something to put on those nips if you're planning to breastfeed. I brought this with me to the hospital and started putting it on after every feeding when I noticed I was getting little red sores on my nips. I may have just got lucky and got a baby with a good latch from the start, but I've never had any pain with breastfeeding. 

2. Earth Mama Angel Baby New Mama Bottom Spray: I'm not really sure if this stuff helped with my healing but it sure felt nice to spray it on my lady bits after using the restroom. It smells really nice too. 

3. Breastfeeding Book: I read this book before I had the baby. It was nice to be informed about breastfeeding before attempting it. I also referenced this book the first few weeks. 

4. Water Bottle: Breastfeeding makes you thirsty. It's good to have a water bottle handy. I like the Eddy because it can topple over without spilling and you drink it like a straw which tends to make me drink more. 

5. Maxi Pads: Always infinity are my favs; they are absorbent and really thin. Have these on hand before delivery. You will definitely need them. 

6. Tucks: These refreshing pads feel so nice on sore lady bits. 

7. Nursing Pads: I've now found I don't like the disposable nursing pads. They're itchy! I'm not a heavy leaker, so the washable ones are better for me. I like bamboobies and these ones. 

8. Nursing Camis: I live in these things. It's one of the first things I went out and bought more of. I think I have 6 total now. I like the ones from Target. 

9. Nursing Sleep Bras: I like these ones from Motherhood. They're soft and the lace makes me feel a little sexy.

So there you have it! What helped you survive the first few weeks as a new mom.