Sunday, November 17, 2013

Baby AJ: 11 & 12 Month Update

My baby is one! How did this happen already?!

Weight: 21 lbs 8 oz at 12 month appointment
Length: around 29 inches
Diaper size: Size 3
Clothing size: 12 month & 12-18 month
Nicknames: Boo Boo, Boo Boo Bear, handsome, sweetie, little man, little guy

Health: We had to get his iron level checked since it was on the lower end at his 9 month well visit, and thankfully it was fine! And he's had a few runny noses since starting daycare, but otherwise he's been really healthy!

Sleep: His sleep has improved greatly over the last couple of months. He still sleeps on his crib mattress on the floor and comes to our bed around 10-11 pm. He goes down for the night so much easier now. I nurse him and rock him then just plop him down on his mattress at around 7 pm. Once in our bed for the night, he will wake a couple of times and comfort nurse but usually goes right back to sleep. I have hope that he will sleep through the night someday!

Diet: Mama's milk and solids. Daycare has been so awesome for him in getting the hang of eating solid food. He gets breakfast, snack, lunch and an afternoon snack at daycare then some nights he has dinner at home. Most of the time he isn't very interested in dinner. Foods he loves include: string cheese, mushrooms, hot dogs, black olives, raisins, graham crackers, any kind of meat, chipotle chicken & black beans, red grapes. The plan is to start him on whole cow's milk soon so hopefully I can stop pumping at work.

Loves: Walking!, his bath every night, being tossed in the air, being hung upside down, when we sing to him (favorites songs include: Itsy Bitsy Spider, Wheels on the Buss, If You're Happy & You Know It), our dog Sadie, going on errands/ getting out of the house, going to the park, being outside and exploring new sights and sounds, water, when we play hide & seek with him, his bedtime stories (loves Goodnight Moon), when we read to him (favorites include: Peek A Who?, Furry Friends, & Chinese Hungry Caterpillar book), open up cabinets and pull things out of cupboards & drawers.

Dislikes: getting dressed & diaper changes

Milestones: At 11.5 months he started walking! It happened fast too. One day he was just taking a couple of steps and within a couple of days, he was walking all over the place! He also learned to clap!

Speech: He says mama all the time and to me. I say it's his official first word. Just melts my heart when I hear him say it. He is also trying to say "dog".

It's true when they say it goes by so fast. On one hand, I miss my little snuggly newborn baby that I held all the time and on the other hand, I just absolutely love the little boy he's become. Watching him grow and learn has been so amazing, and I can't wait to see what the future holds for our little family.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Baby AJ: 10 Month Update

Wow, somebody stop time because my baby can't possibly be almost 1 already! *sniff sniff* I can't believe he's 10 months and we're in double digits already. I'm already starting to plan his first birthday party. It feels surreal.

Weight: Maybe 20+ lbs?
Length: we measured him ourselves and he was 29 inches
Diaper size: Size 3
Clothing size: 9 & 12, 9 month is getting really snug though.
Nicknames: Boo Boo Bear, Boo Boo, bub, baby boy, sweetie, lil' man, little guy, handsome

Health: Nothing new here. We've been giving him iron supplements since his iron was on the lower side at his 9 month check up. He has to get it retested soon. No new teeth but I have a feeling he may be teething again. Lots and lots of drool and he has had a runny nose this past week. But that could have been due to starting daycare at the beginning of August.

Sleep: Nothing really new here. We continue to put him down for the night on his crib mattress on the floor. He then comes to our bed around 9-10 pm. We've had some really rough nights this past month. A few times where he was up for hours and we couldn't get him back to sleep. ugh! We also had a couple of really great nights which give me hope! Recently, he has also started falling asleep when Jack just lays next to him instead of rocking him. I see this as improvement in the right direction. We'll eventually work our way to him falling asleep all on his own.

Diet: Mama's milk and solids. He started daycare the first week in August and his solids intake has increased a lot! It's like it all finally clicked for him. He's putting food in his mouth and chewing it. He seems to like most foods but especially likes bread. ugh, not exactly what I want to be his favorite food. We did discover he loves mushrooms though!

Loves: his bath every night, crawling, pulling up to stand, cruising (really he just loves that he can get around now!), being tossed in the air, when we sing and talk to him, our dog Sadie, when we make funny sounds & faces at him, going on errands/ getting out of the house, being outside and exploring new sights and sounds, when people give him attention (he's a little ham!), swimming, water, when we play hide & seek with him, playing peek a boo (I put a cloth over my face and he loves to pull it off), his bedtime stories (loves Goodnight Moon), his book Peek-A Who (been his favorite since he was just a few months old)

Dislikes: getting out of the bath and getting dressed, when I pull shirts over his head, diaper changes, getting vitamins

Milestones: Nothing new here. He's a master crawler now and can get anywhere quick.

Speech: He started making mama sounds this past month. It lasted about a week and we haven't heard it again since. :( Still no words yet.

Other things of note about month 10: 

-July 19: AJ turned pages in a book for the first time. 

-He tried peas for the first time and loved them!

-He figured out how to open cabinets and has been getting into everything

-Aug 3: He clearly made "mama" babbling sounds for the first time. *heart melting*

-Aug 5: first day of daycare and he did really well. He loves being around all the other kids.

-Aug 8: Jack made him a little chair; Aug 9: Jack made him a little table to go with his chair.

-Aug 11: Helping mommy with laundry and going on a laundry basket ride.

-Aug 13: He FINALLY figured out how to drink from his straw cup!

-I found him this Zany Zoo toy on Craigslist and he loves it!

He just keeps getting more and more fun! I really love this stage. He is usually an absolute joy to be around. Of course he has cranky moment and he can be super clingy at times, but I like to try and remember all the happy moments. He brings Jack and I so much joy and happiness. I never knew my heart could love someone so much. (excuse my cornyness!) 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Baby AJ: 9 Month Update

9 Months! Well as usual this update comes 2 weeks late. I think I'll just accept the fact that I can't get these done before we're halfway through the next month. 

Weight: 19.5 lbs
Length: 28 inches
Diaper size: Size 3
Clothing size: 9 & 12 month, I think we're going to be in this size for awhile since his growth has slowed a lot.

Nicknames: Boo Boo Bear, Boo Boo, bub, baby boy, sweetie, lil' man, little guy, child, kiddo

Health: He's been teething so bad this last month. He had 6 teeth cut through in the last month! For a grand total of 8 teeth now--4 on top and 4 on bottom.

Sleep: Sleep is pretty much the same, crap. I've come to just accept it (most nights). We moved the glider into our master bedroom and his crib mattress. It's unconventional but he sleeps on his crib mattress on the floor at the foot of our bed. His bedtime routine consists of a bath, PJs, story, nurse, rock to sleep. Then he sleeps about an hour before waking. We usually rock him back to sleep and if it's when I'm heading to bed, I just bring him to our bed. He then sleeps the rest of the night in our bed. When he wakes, I hold him and we both roll to the other side and I nurse him back to sleep. Most of the time I only wake briefly. There are times when we struggle getting him back to sleep. He'll just continually sit up and I have to lay him back down. So annoying! Those are the nights where I usually get frustrated. It's not ideal, but I don't want to do anything about until he's at least a year. The constant nursing during the night helps me not stress about how much to pump. I also think a lot of his waking is due to teething too. He just seems to constantly be teething at this point. Teeth are cutting through every few days. Poor little guy.

Diet: Mainly mama's milk with some solids. He really has started to show an increased interest in solids over this past month. He loooooves apples. Goes nuts for them. We give him half an apple and he scrapes off bits of apple with his bottom teeth. Now whenever we eat, he must have a taste of what we're having.

Loves: his bath every night, crawling, pulling up to stand, cruising (really he just loves that he can get around now!), being tossed in the air & rough housed, when we sing and talk to him, our dog Sadie, when we make funny sounds at him, going on errands/ getting out of the house, being outside and exploring new sights and sounds, when people give him attention (he's a little ham!), apples, swimming, water

Dislikes: getting out of the bath and getting dressed, when I pull shirts over his head, being over tired

Milestones: Nothing new here. He's a master crawler now and can get anywhere quick.

Speech: Sounds he makes include: dada, baba and he was making an "aht" sound for awhile. We think he got that one from when we tell our dog "out". We say it a lot to her and it means to back out of the way and get out of our space. We also say "aaat" sound at our dog to mean no, so I think that's where he got the "aht" sound he makes a lot.

Baby Gear Love:
-Radian Rxt Convertible Car Seat: We ditched the infant bucket seat this past month for a convertible car seat. We really love this car seat and it will really grow with him. We'll be able to keep him rear facing longer and we'll also be able to use it as a booster seat.

Other things of note about month 9: 

-Jack got to celebrate his first Father's Day on June 16th. We went out for breakfast in the morning, opened presents and then went to my niece's 2nd birthday party. He got a picture mug from AJ and a cooler for taking with him to golf from me.

-June 18: Jack and the baby came to my work to have lunch with me.

-June 23: AJ's great grandparents came from Utah for a visit.

-June 30: Finally not afraid of grass! And he loves his little baby pool.

-July 4: First 4th of July and his last "first" holiday. *sniff sniff* We didn't do too much besides going over to my parent's house to swim and eat dinner.

-July 5: First trip to the beach.

-June: top lateral teeth cut through, July 3: top middle teeth cut through, July 8: two bottom lateral teeth cut through -- 6 teeth total in one month!

-He figured out how to put his paci in his mouth and the position it correctly. If he sticks it in there upside down, he'll turn it around.

-He likes to feed himself his bottle these days.

-He loves water!

Someone stop time because he is growing up too fast! I'm trying to relish these last few months of babyhood as much as I can before he turns one. They really don't stay babies for long enough. :( 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Baby AJ: 8 Month Update

Ok, so I really suck at writing these on time. I'm only including everything up until he turned 8 months even though he's almost 9 months already! I want to be able to look back on the monthly posts and remember what happened each month of his life.

So many changes for this little guy this past month! We now have a mobile baby! He seems soooo much more content after he figured out how to crawl. Besides his crappy sleep at night, he really is a good baby. He is so happy all the time. Smiles for everyone! Loves when people talk to him and give him attention. He usually gives them a shy smile and burrows his head in my shoulder. Jack and I love to take him on errands and he loves to go! He's usually pretty content in the shopping cart or restaurant highchair. This is such an awesome stage!

Weight: Not sure maybe 19 lbs He gets his next weigh in at 9 months
Length: ???
Diaper size: Size 3
Clothing size: 9 month & some 12 month

Nicknames: Boo Boo Bear, Boo Boo, bub, baby boy, sweetie, lil' man, little guy

 Health: He's really healthy. Only one cold so far which was not fun. He had a super runny nose and just seemed like he wasn't feeling well. I had a nose frida over nighted because a bulb syringe just would not cut it. And we went through a million boogie wipes. Definitely recommend those two products for a sick little one.

Sleep: Still isn't great, but we're not willing to do any sort of cry-it-out sleep training. We have good nights and bad. We enforced a stricter bed time routine and no longer give in to him when he wants to play after his bath. Now we can get him down for the night between 7-8 pm which is such an improvement from when we were spending 2-2.5 hours getting him down for the night. He sleeps most of the night in our bed and wakes up periodically to nurse. Usually I just whip out the boob and we're both back to sleep fairly quickly. A successful night is one where he wakes less than 4 times. Yikes. I guess I'll just have to deal for now because I'm not willing to wean him from night nursing until after he's one.

Diet: Mostly breast milk with some solids. We have no routine when it comes to solids. Maybe I should get on that. We have discovered he loves apples! His two bottom teeth are perfect for scraping off little bits of apple. He goes crazy whenever he sees an apple now and MUST have it. Nursing is still going well. He usually only nurses one side for 3-4 minutes about every 3 hours when I'm home with him. While I'm at work, he drinks very little milk which is why I think he wakes so much during the night to nurse.

Baby Gear Love:
  • Mamas & Papas Pixi Highchair: Still loving this highchair
  • Things around the house for him to play with like wooden spoon, whisk (he loved the whisk!), box with something inside to make it rattle, container. He has fun playing with this kind of stuff.

Loves: his bath every night, sitting up, crawling, pulling up to stand, cruising (really he just loves that he can get around now!), being tossed in the air & rough housed, when we sing and talk to him, our dog Sadie, when we make funny sounds at him, putting EVERYTHING in his mouth, going on errands/ getting out of the house, being outside and exploring new sights and sounds, when people give him attention (he's a little ham!), apples

Dislikes: getting out of the bath and getting dressed, when I pull shirts over his head, being over tired, nose frida

Milestones: sitting up, crawling, pulling up & cruising, babbling, starting to develop a good pincer grasp

Speech: He is now saying dadadadada, says it over and over. I don't think he knows what it means. I'm not calling it his first word. Just want to start tracking the sounds he is starting to make.

Typical Schedule:
Here's a loose schedule of what a typical day is like whether it's a weekend or Jack home with him.
6am-7am: Wake up for the day, sometimes even earlier!
play, play, play & crawl around
~9am: first nap 2 hours after waking
10:30am: more playing and crawling and cruising. If we're going to leave the house, we'll usually leave after his first nap.
~1:30pm: 2nd nap approximately 3 hours after he woke from his first.
~3pm: wake up from nap, more playing and crawling. We'll go out of the house again if needed.
5pm: Dinner
6:30pm-7pm: Bath time!
7pm-8pm: Down for the night! Mom and Dad time.
8pm-Morning: About who knows how many wakeups in between.

Other things of note about month 8: 

-Mastered sitting himself up from lying on the ground.

-Mar 21, 2013: Caught his first cold. It lasted a little over a week. He had a really bad runny nose and was more tired.

-We had to lower his crib since he figured out how to sit up and pull himself up.

-We now just change his diaper on the floor since he so wiggly and can roll onto his tummy so fast now.

-May 28, 2013, crawled for the first time. He learned quick too! Just a day or two before he started crawling, he was just kind of scooting around. I came home from work on this day. I set a toy out of his reach and he crawled to it! Within a day, he was a pro! He does have a funny crawl as you can see in the photo below. He pushes with his left leg and then drags his right leg.

-May 31, 2013: Sat on a horse for the first time.

-All he wants to do now is crawl and pull himself up and cruise.

-June 4, 2013: Jack brought AJ to visit me at work for the first time.

-He now likes to feed himself a bottle.

Seriously, can I just pause time! He's growing too fast! Jack and I are so obsessed with him it's ridiculous. We are always talking about him. And my cheap husband has no problems spending money on something for the baby. We just love him so much! Stay tuned for a 9 month update in a couple of weeks! I hope to actually write it on time.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Baby AJ: 7 Month Update

My little boy turned 7 months almost 2 weeks ago. I'm feeling so behind on my blog right now. I have so many ideas for posts, but I haven't taken the time to write them & edit photos for them. I'm a month behind on my P365. And a month behind on editing photos I take with my DSLR. I've started to slow down on the DSLR pics since I was falling behind. I shoot in RAW and then edit and export them in Adobe Lightroom. It's not like it takes that much extra work, but I'm lacking motivation lately for some reason. I think part of the reason is that my back has been hurting me the last month. I did something to it because it hurts when I sit for awhile, so I haven't wanted to sit in front of my computer and edit photos and work on my blog. All I want to do when I'm at home is lay on the couch, since laying down is the most comfy position for me right now. ANYWAYS, enough of my whining and onto AJ's 7 month update.

Wow, so many changes this last month. He became so much stronger and mobile. Lots of milestones and firsts this past month which I'll get to in a bit.

7 Month Stats:
Weight: Not sure maybe 18.5 lbs
Length: ???
Diaper size: Size 3
Clothing size: 9 month

Nicknames: Boo Boo Bear, Boo Boo, bub, baby boy, sweetie

 Health: Nothing new to report here.

Sleep: I could probably write a novel on his sleep at the moment. To summarize--it's crap. Bedtime has become a 2 hour struggle to get him to sleep every night. Then when he's finally asleep, we hope he doesn't wake up in half an hour, which he does sometimes. Then he cries and cries until I get him. Forget about Jack soothing him back to sleep. He only wants me. What can I say? I guess he's a mommy's boy. I rock him and he falls back asleep and then it's back in the crib. Rinse and repeat a few more times. Then when it's around 10-10:30, he comes to our bed for the rest of the night. He nurses a few times through out the night. Sometimes we have a hard time getting him back to sleep. He likes to sleep horizontally and kick me in the face. Needless to say, Jack and I are coming up with a game plan to get him sleeping better. I've realized he doesn't know how to put himself back to sleep and relies on us to soothe him back. So it's time to start working on that. Also, somewhere along the line, our bedtime routine is no more. So we're starting up a stronger bedtime routine again. Hopefully, next month's sleep report shows improvement.

Diet: Mama's milk and some solid foods. He's tried lots of new foods this past month. He seems to enjoy gnawing on meat. He also likes asparagus, broccoli, toast fingers, apples, & baby mum mums.

Baby Gear Love:

  • Mamas & Papas Pixi Highchair: I really love this highchair so far. It's feels sturdy, it's lightweight and folds up really compact. It can also be pulled up to the table or you can use it with the tray. We use it with the tray since our dinning room table has a lip that doesn't allow the chair to be pulled under it. It's easy to wipe down and clean. 
  • Exersaucer: He's actually starting to really discover the toys on this thing. It's fun to watch. It's also a nice place to set him if I need to do dishes or go to the bathroom. 
  • Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Remote: I bought this toy on a whim one day at Target and he really enjoys it. 

Loves: his bath every night, sitting up & playing with toys, trying to stand, when we blow raspberries on his belly, being tossed in the air, when we sing and talk to him, our dog Sadie, when we make funny sounds at him, baby mum mums

Dislikes: He really hates being placed on his back. He wants to sit up all the time.

Milestones: Right before he turned 7 months, he rolled back to belly and learned to sit up on his own. He also figured out how to pull himself up to a standing position. Oh and he got his first two teeth!

Other things of note about month 7: 

-First time in a highchair out to eat.

-Around April 21, 2013, he cut his first bottom tooth and the second one popped up just 2 days later.

-He rode in a shopping cart for the first time. He loved it. Oh and some couple came up to him and this lady was going crazy over him. I pushed the husbands hand away because his hand got so close to his mouth and I didn't like that. Boundaries people!

-He figured out how to pick up balls

-Over the last month, he's really started to play with his toys. It's so fun to watch. He figured out how to spin the monkey in his exersaucer. He also figured out how to pull the string on his toy arch to make the pin wheel spin.

-Jack started a little game with him. He lays AJ on his back. Then he grabs onto his fingers and pull him up to sit and then up to a standing position. He loves it!

- May 4, 2013: He pulled himself up to a standing position for the first time and also went swimming for the first time.

-May 5, 2013: We took him to the park to swing for the first time.

-May 10, 2013: Rolled back to front for the first time and sat up by himself for the first time!

-May 12, 2013: I got to celebrate my first Mother's Day!

Jack and I love this little dude so much. I'm really loving this stage that he's in. It's so easy to take him out. I'm still working half days, and I take him out on an errand everyday. He really enjoys it. When we get somewhere, he knows he's coming out of his car seat and he gets all excited. He gets this big ol' grin and starts shaking his arms and legs. It's the cutest thing. He is such a happy baby. Constantly smiling. Anytime someone starts talking to him, he gets this big smile on his face and acts shy, but just keeps giving them a smile. Such a little ham. I'm excited for what this next month has in store for us!

Monday, May 6, 2013

First Solids & Baby Led Weaning

AJ got his first taste of solid foods just one week shy of turning 6 months. I decided I wanted to try out a baby-led weaning (BLW) (or baby-led solids BLS) approach to starting solid foods. It basically means we skipped purees and went straight to just regular food.

I bought this book off Amazon and read it before we started.

I actually wish I would have read the reviews for the cookbook version and bought that one instead. Many reviewers say it summarizes the book nicely at the beginning. 

The premise behind BLW:

  • Your baby sits with the family during mealtimes and feeds himself. No spoon feeding necessary! 
  • Your baby is offered food in pieces that are a size and shape he can handle. Usually strips or sticks that are long enough that your baby can hold onto it and still have food stick out the top of their hand. No need to mess with making baby food! 
  • No worries about how much your baby eats. He decides for himself! At first your baby will just be discovering food and they won't actually eat very much at all, if any at first.
  • Your baby continues to have as many milk feedings as he wants and will decide when he's ready for less. 
AJ was showing the signs of readiness to start solids. These include: being at least 6 months of age, sitting up with little to no assistance, accurately grabbing objects and bringing them to mouth, gnawing on toys and making chewing movements. 

I decided his first food would be sticks of roasted sweet potatoes. I had read that sweet food was actually a good first food for breastfed babies since breast milk is so sweet anyways. I've also heard that meat is also good for the iron content. 

We were making sweet potato fries to go with dinner. I just drizzled them in some olive oil and roasted in the oven until soft. I kept some separate for him, since I sprinkled ours with paprika, and I wasn't sure how he would like it. 

He wasn't really sure of it at first. But quickly picked one up and brought it to his mouth. 

It seemed he mostly chewed on his thumb rather than the potato. He did bite off a little chunk and quickly spit it out. 

It was very anti-climatic. I don't think I gave him anymore solids for almost another week since there was really nothing I was making that I thought he could eat. If I'm being honest, it all made me very nervous at first to be giving him such big chunks of food. Even now that he's almost 7 months, I like Jack to be home when he eats so I'm not alone if he starts choking. There have been a few heart pounding moments where he takes a big bite. But he always just spits it out. The book says they will not choke, but it still makes me nervous. 

The next foods we tried was roasted pork loin and squash. He loved the pork! But hated the squash. As soon as his mouth touched it, he shivered in disgust. I had made a herb roasted pork loin that had a lot of flavor, and I think that's why he liked it so much more than the squash. He really enjoyed sucking the juice out of it. 

Some points about BLW:
  • According to the book, a baby's gag reflex is at the front of their mouth until around 8-9 months of age where it moves to the back like an adults'. So it's very normal for a baby to gag a lot on their food and it doesn't necessarily mean they're choking. The gagging is what makes me nervous. 
  • I love that we get to eat at the table as a family. Jack and I used to always eat in the living room in front of the TV and now we eat at the dining room table. I love it! 
  • He has yet to really ingest much food at this point. He mostly plays with it and spits it all out. 
  • BLW has made the transition to solids relatively stress-free (minus mommy's nervousness about choking). We just offer him some food on his tray and if he eats it, awesome. If not, that's ok too. I'm not too worried about it. I know eventually he'll get the hang of it. 
  • It's messy. See photo above. Food ends up all over him, his highchair and the floor. Sometimes it's just easier to strip him down to a diaper to feed him and he usually goes straight into the bath after dinner. The clean up isn't too bad though. I just wet a cloth, take off the tray and then wipe him down. Then I take him out of the high chair and just wipe down the chair and wipe off all the food chunks onto the floor. Then just collect all the food chunks on the floor and pick it up with the rag. I have a little bucket by the sink that I throw the wet rags into and then just wash them all. This is saving us lots of paper towels by cleaning up this way. 
  • Minimal effort. He eats what we eat. Just no salt and no sugar. No need to make baby food! 
  • We've encountered some raised eye brow looks from people. It's definitely not the norm among my friends and family. My mom and grandma are constantly worried he's going to choke. His pediatrician said it was ok for us to introduce solids in this manner, so we're sticking with it.  
If you're considering BLW with your baby, I highly recommend you read the book or do some research online and decide if it's right for your family and your baby. I don't think this approach is right for all babies and all parents. 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Baby AJ: Month 6 Update

My little baby is 6 months! It's taken me way too long to write this update. I've been a little lazy and haven't felt like taking the time to comb through the months photos. Better late than never, right?

I seriously cannot believe 6 months have gone by and my little baby is half a year old already. I want time to slow. I want him to be a baby forever! I'm just loving this stage so much I don't want it to end, but I'm sure I'll love his next stage even more.

6 Month Stats:
Weight: 17 lbs 13 oz 
Length: 26.75 inches
Diaper size: Size 3
Clothing size: 9 month

Nicknames: Bubs, munchkin, baby boy, grumpster, sweetie, sweetie pie, sweetums, little guy, cranky pants, Boo Boo Bear (this is a new one and now what I usually call him), Boo Boo, Ace (This is grandpa's nickname for him)

Health: Still no sickness-thank goodness!

Sleep: I feel like a lot has changed in this department and not necessarily for the better. We started transitioning him to his crib. I started nursing him for his last nursing session before bed in the glider in the nursery and then putting him down in his crib. Before when he would wake, we would move him to the pack and play in our bedroom. Then in March, when Jack was on spring break, we just decided to move him to his crib all night. He slept there for almost a week. He continued to wake up every hour after we put him down. And he would wake with full on crying. Only I could soothe him back to sleep. Then Jack was having to go in there a lot during the night and sometimes spending an hour or more trying to put him back to sleep. The kid was waking up every 2 hours! It was like we had a newborn again. Ugh.

We were both getting pretty sleep deprived and it just wasn't working for any of us. So we started bringing him to our bed when he would wake around the time that we were going to bed. It was so much easier. He can easily nurse all night long for as much as he wants, and he just seems to sleep so much more soundly cuddled up next to me. The first few nights were rough for me, because I wasn't used to sleeping on one side for so many hours. After about a week though, I adjusted and am now feeling much more rested. It's working for now. I have hopes that eventually he'll start stretching out the first stretch of sleep in his crib.

While Jack was on spring break, he basically nap trained him. He worked with him and we started getting 1+ hour naps! It was amazing. All he did was just go in there around the 30 minute mark, when he would start to stir, and hold his arms down or give him a paci and he would just drift right back to sleep. We even had a few 2 hour + naps this last month. Sometimes we still only get 40 minutes out of him, but he has much improved in the nap department. Sometimes we don't even have to go in there the help him back asleep. The longer naps have meant more of a predictable nap schedule. He usually takes three approximately 1 hour naps a day. This is so much better than the 4-5 30 min naps he was doing before.

Diet: Pretty much still exclusively breastfed. We did give him his first solid foods one week shy of turning 6 months. He was showing all the signs of readiness (sitting up with little assistance and bringing objects to his mouth and chewing on them). We decided to go with a baby led weaning (BLW) approach, which means we're skipping purees. His first food was sticks of roasted sweet potatoes. He didn't actually eat any of it, but he enjoyed exploring and munching on it. I hope to do a post soon on BLW and his first foods.

Baby Gear Love:
-Infant car seat with stroller frame: still loving this and it's proven to be useful still. Only problem is the car seat is super heavy with him in it now. We'll probably switch to a convertible car seat soon.
-Halo sleep sacks: no more swaddle for our baby. He now wears a sleep sack to bed.
-Sassy links: See pic below. He loves to chew on these links and they come in handy for securing other toys.
-Sophie: He still loves his Sophie teether.
-Bibs: Man this kid drools like crazy. He is always wearing a bib because I would otherwise be changing his shirt every five minutes. My favorites are from this Etsy shop and this one.

Loves: his bath every night, sitting up & playing with toys, standing with assistance, when we blow raspberries on his belly, grabbing objects and chewing on them (everything goes into his mouth), playing with his feet and chewing on them, being tossed in the air, when we sing and talk to him, our dog Sadie, sitting on the front lawn and people watching, sleeping on his side

Dislikes: He's such a happy little guy, but he does get pretty cranky when he's tired. He also doesn't enjoy being on his tummy for very long.

Milestones: No rolling from back to belly yet. But he can sit all on his own. He doesn't topple over very much and he's learned to better use his arms for support. He can even sit and play with toys.

Other things of note about month 6: 

-He is a really happy baby and laughs and smiles all the time. I never tire of his smile.

-He had his first St. Patrick's Day. We invited Grandma, Grandpa, Great Grandma & Great Uncle Jess over for some corn beef and cabbage. He loved all the attention!

-We took a small little road trip to Wind Wolves. It's really beautiful there this time of year and there's a nice walking trail and picnic area.

-We had an early Easter at my Parent's house.

-We spent his first Easter just the three of us. We managed to go to the park for a little bit.

I love this little man with all my heart. Both Jack and I are just so obsessed with him. Ha! He is just the center of our universe and we love him so much.

Monday, April 15, 2013

What's In My Diaper Bag 0-6 Month Edition

Here's a look at what diaper bags I have and what I put in them. Keep in mind we all have different wants and needs in a diaper bag. This is just what is working for me! If you can, wait to purchase a diaper bag until after your baby arrives. You'll have a much better sense as to what kind of bag is going to work best for you.

My Diaper Bags

So I have two diaper bags and a changing pad thingy. Each of these serves a purpose and I use all three regularly.

  • Coach Baby Bag: I was gifted a Coach Baby Bag by a good friend. I really do love this bag. However, I found out quickly, that it was just too large to take on quick trips around town. I like to use this for longer outings. Like trips to the Lake to visit Jack's family or for going over to my parent's house. I basically use this bag when I want to carry more stuff. And you can never be too prepared, right? 
  • Ju-Ju-Be B.F.F.: I purchased this bag after AJ was born. I wanted something smaller and I also wanted a backpack diaper bag. I did a lot of baby wearing, so it was nice to have the baby in the carrier and this on my back and still have 2 free hands. It's great having 2 free hands even when I'm not baby wearing! 
  • Brica Elite goPad: This thing is great when I want to be a real minimalist when taking the baby out. I use this for super quick trips like a quick run to the grocery store. I also put this in my Coach diaper bag when I'm using it. 

Diaper bag 0-6 months

Besides the obvious diapers and wipes, here is what I carry in my diaper bag.

1. Aden + Anais Swaddle Blanket: I usually pack one of these in the diaper bag. They're great as a light blanket and for draping over the car seat to block the sun. I've also used it as a nursing cover.

2. Burp Cloths: My baby spits up a ton. Always has, so I do not leave the house with out burp cloths. If I feel like looking a little more stylish, I'll pack an Aden + Anais burpy bib. Otherwise, I just pack a couple of these flat cloth diapers.

3. Nursing Cover: I like this Bebe Au Lait Nursing Cover. It's a nice generous size & it has a structured neckline so I can see my baby.

4 & 5. Reusable snack bag & pacifier: I have these Itzy Ritzy Mini Reusable snack bags and I keep pacifiers in one. I got these because I could see them be versatile. Right now I stick a paci in it, but I could see storing snacks in them in the future when little man is eating more.

6. Travel hand sanitizer: I carry this BabyGanics Alcohol free foaming hand sanitizer in my diaper bag. It smells kind of weird, but I like that I don't have to worry about it being completely dry before touching my baby again.

7. Travel size diaper cream: Triple Paste is the fav in our household. We've always fought diaper rash, so we prevent it by putting triple paste on at most diaper changes. I like to have it on hand in case a rash starts to appear when we're out and about.

8. Teething ring: I really like these Lifefactory teething rings. I didn't carry this when he was a newborn. But around 4.5/5 months, I started carrying one in the diaper bag for him to gnaw on.

9. Sophie: We love Sophie. I think she's just the cutest teether out there. Again, not necessary until your baby starts grabbing objects and bringing them to their mouth.

10. Extra outfit: I never leave the house with out a backup change of clothes. Many occasions, he has had an explosive poo while we're out. For cooler weather, a zip up sleeper is easy to change into. Now that's it's warmer, I usually just pack an extra onsie.

11. Bibs: My baby drools and spits up a lot, so he's always wearing a bib. It's much easier to just change his bib than his clothes. I don't leave the house with out extra bibs.

12. Wet Bag: I have this Itzy Ritzy Travel Happens wet bag. I don't cloth diaper which is what people usually carry these for, but it's great to throw soiled clothes in or dirty diapers when a trash can isn't readily available. When I get home, I just empty out the soiled clothes in the washer and throw the bag in too.

13. Disposable pad: I have these Munchkin ones. Here's a tip to keep it cheaper--just buy chuxs. I like to have one of these in the diaper bag. I like to use it if he's had a blow out or if we're in a public restroom and I don't want to use my regular pad.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Postpartum Tips

I've been thinking lately what kind of advice I would give to a new mom about what to expect postpartum and what things I would do differently the second time around.

1. My #1 tip would be to take it EASY! Especially if you tear and have stitches. If you are one of the lucky ones that don't tear, then your recovery will probably be a bit easier. The biggest mistake I made postpartum was trying to do too much too soon. I had a second degree tear that required stitches and a few little scratches that didn't require any stitches. I remember just days after giving birth, I was trying to go out for walks. You get a bit of cabin fever taking care of a newborn! We would have to turn around and come home because it would start to hurt. Hello! That should have been a sign to me to take it easy, but no, I kept trying to go on walks because I wanted to get out of the house. Learn from my mistake, take it easy! I was sore for about 6 weeks and it probably would have been less had I not tried to go out on walks. An alternative to getting out of the house is to lay out a blanket in your backyard or front yard and enjoy the outdoors with out having to go anywhere! Plop your newborn out there next to you.

2. Start taking sitz baths immediately. If you can manage 3 a day, do it! Who has time for that with a newborn though? I took one a day. Jack would watch the baby every evening and I would go soak in the tub for 20 minutes and then take my shower. It really helped with the soreness.

3. Take stool softener. That first bowel movement is going to be scary. Take the stool softener to help it along. Also, make sure to drink lots of water and eat foods with fiber like apples and pears. I'm not a doctor so check with your doc before taking stool softener. They'll probably prescribe you some before you leave the hospital.

4. Tucks and the peri bottle are your friend. Fill the peri bottle up with warm water and squirt while you pee and afterwards. It feels so good. Then dab yourself dry and then dab yourself with tucks pads working the pad from front to back. Use multiple tucks pads. I would use a bunch each time I went to the bathroom, because they feel so refreshing. Here's another thing that surprised me, sitting on the toilet hurt like a mo fo. I remember I didn't want to go #2 because that meant I had to sit on the can longer. I would grip the doorknob and just cringe. It was worse than childbirth.

5. I never did this, but I should have. Wet a diaper or pad and then freeze it. Apply to your lady bits to ease soreness.

6. Don't stress about chores. Remember take it easy and let others clean the house.

7. Be prepared - your hormones will be out of whack the first week or two. I remember just crying at the drop of a pin for every little thing. Especially right before Jack went back to work. I had some full on sob fest, panic attacks about it. Just know that it will pass and you'll soon be feeling more like your normal self. Of course if the crying continues past a few weeks, talk to your doctor about postpartum depression.

8. Night sweats - they're normal. Seriously, no one tells you about this stuff beforehand. But I would wake up drenched in sweat for weeks. I think it's the body's way of getting rid of all that extra fluid from pregnancy plus the hormone thing.

9. Do something for yourself. For me, I liked to put on a bit of makeup to feel a little like my normal self.

10. It's ok to mourn your previous life a little. Having a baby is a huge life adjustment and it's a very difficult to deal with at first. I know some deal with it just fine and the transition is smooth. For me, not so much, and for Jack too. I remember we both had moments like, "what did we get ourselves into?!" Taking care of a newborn is hard!!! Of course you love your baby and wouldn't trade them for anything in the world, but it's OK to be a little sad about this life adjustment.

11. Final tip, enjoy all those sleepy newborn baby snuggles! Before you know it, they won't want to snuggle with you anymore so enjoy it while it lasts! I can still get my 5 month old to snuggle with me, especially before a nap or bedtime, but it's not the same as when he was a newborn. Already gone are the days where he would nap on my chest for hours. I already miss that.

One of the last times I remember him sleeping on me like this when he was 3 months 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Baby AJ: Month 5 Update

AJ turned 5 months last week! Ok seriously, how has almost half a year gone by already?! It's true when they say babies grow up so fast. I just want to cherish every cuddle with him because I know someday he won't want to cuddle with his mama anymore. I'm also trying to soak up this time that he's immobile. I'm not ready to baby proof the house yet!

I say this every month, but so much changes in a month! It's truly amazing how much and how fast they learn. I would say his biggest change was with his hands. He's getting much better at reaching out and grabbing objects, and he can now bring them to his mouth. He also discovered his feet and figured out how to put them in his mouth. Oh and he is getting really good at sitting up with minimal assistance.

Weight: No weigh in this month, but I'm guessing around 17 lbs.
Length: Not sure.
Diaper size: Size 3
Clothing size: 3-6 month and 9 month pants. At the end of the month he started wearing 9 month onsies and sleepers.

Nicknames: Bub bub , bubs, munchkin, munchkin booty, baby boy, little man, grumpster, sweetie, sweetie pie, sweetums, little guy, cranky pants

Health: Nothing new to report here. Still hasn't gotten sick. Fingers crossed!

Sleep: Well, the multiple night wakings continued. We had one really good week over the last month where he slept from 7 pm to 3/4 am and only one middle of the night feeding. But other than that week, we were still experiencing a regression. I would nurse him to sleep around 7 pm and within 30 minutes - 1 hour he was awake again. Then he kept waking up all night long. I think he doesn't know how to put himself back to sleep. Luckily, Jack can soothe him back to sleep pretty quickly. Unfortunately though, he still sleeps a lot of the night in his bouncy chair. Who knows when we'll finally be able to retire that thing. He still sleeps in our bedroom and we're thinking around 6 months transitioning him to his crib. We'll see how that goes. Naps are still around 40 minutes long. We are getting better at putting him down not fully asleep and letting him fall asleep on his own. He has even found his thumb a few times and soothed himself to sleep!

Diet: He's still exclusively breastfed. We won't start solids until he's closer to 6 months or older. I started reading the Baby Led Weaning book, but I'm a bit nervous with starting with chunkier foods.

Baby Gear Love:
-Bob Revolution stroller: The weather has been great, and we've been able to take him on some nice long walks.
-Exersaucer: Nice when you need him to be entertained for a few minutes and he doesn't seem to want to sit in his bouncer.
-Winkel: This thing makes it easy for him to grab and helps work on his hand control.
-Sophie: He loves his Sophie. He likes to grab her and then gnaw on her face. :)

Loves: his bath every night, laying on his changing table, sitting up with minimal assistance, standing with assistance, when we blow raspberries on his belly, chewing on his hands, grabbing objects, playing with his feet, being tossed in the air, when we sing and talk to him

Dislikes: being overtired and being left on his back for too long. He wants to sit up and look around!

Milestones: Still no rolling from back to belly. He is getting much better at grabbing things and bringing them to his mouth. And he can sit in a tripod position pretty well now.

Other things of note about month 5: 

-He is laughing more and more. It's so awesome. I love his little baby laugh. Things that make him laugh include: our dog Sadie (he loves when she licks his toes), blowing raspberries on him, tossing him up in the air, bouncing him, pretend "eating" him, when I make "nom nom" sounds at him and open and close my mouth

-He figured out how to suck his thumb, although he doesn't do it all too often.

-He's a little shy with strangers. He does this thing where he'll bury his face in my chest after giving a new person a big ol' grin. It's really cute. He's ok with new people as long as either mommy or daddy is holding him.

-He loves when we take him new places or let him lay outside and look at the trees. I think he gets a bit of cabin fever sometimes. So we like to take him out as much as we can. Even if it's just to lay under the tree in the front yard. The fresh air is probably good for him. When we take him somewhere, he is just so interested in looking at everything.

-At the end of the month, we finally started using his highchair. He can sit up pretty good in it. It's nice to set him in there while I do something in the kitchen and let him practice grabbing and holding objects.

Gosh, I can't believe how much I love this little guy! It really is a love like no other. I cannot imagine my life with out him. I have a lot of worry that something is going to happen to him. I thought I worried a lot when I was pregnant, but it never ends!

I also feel like he's looking a little less like Jack. He does look a lot like him, but not as much as when he was a newborn. My traits are finally starting to show!

Every month keeps getting better and better. I'm constantly telling my husband that I still can't believe that he's our baby and how did we get so lucky. I'm excited to see what month 6 has in store for us.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

DIY Wooden Toy Eggs

My first real tutorial! Easter is coming up in a few weeks and since my baby will only be 5 months, and can't have candy yet, I racked my brain of what I could put in his Easter basket. Some googling brought me to the idea of dying wood craft eggs with food coloring! Perfect! Since they are just dyed with food coloring and finished with a beeswax wood polish, they are safe for my baby to chew on.

Here's what you'll need to get started.

  • Wood Craft Eggs: I got mine at Michael's 
  • 1 cup Olive Oil for the Beeswax wood polish
  • Beeswax: I found mine in the candle making aisle at Michael's (What would make this even better is if you found some local beeswax from a beekeeper)
  • Grater to grate up the beeswax
  • Sandpaper to smooth out your eggs
  • Paintbrush to paint on your food coloring
  • Food Coloring
Let's first start with how to make the beeswax wood polish. I used this tutorial. It's simple. It's just 4 parts oil and 1 part beeswax. And you can use any oil you like. I just had olive oil on hand. 

First fill a microwave safe dish with 1 cup of olive oil. It's easy to use a measuring dish like this so you can easily know when you've added enough beeswax. 

Then, grate up your beeswax until you reach the 1 1/4 cup line. This means you will have 1 cup olive oil and 1/4 cup beeswax (1 part beeswax, 4 parts oil). Next, microwave until all the beeswax is melted in the oil. This only took 2 minutes in my microwave. 

The tutorial said to add to a wide bowl for stirring. I did this, but didn't really find it necessary. I could have just stirred it in my measuring cup. 

Finally, just keep stirring it occasionally as it cools. You will end up with something that looks like this. And that's it! The hardest part was grating up the beeswax. 

Ok, now for dying the eggs. First, use your fine grit sandpaper and smooth out your eggs. Make sure there are no splinters. Then all I did was add about 5 drops of dye to a bowl with a splash of water.

Then just use your brush and paint your eggs until they're fully saturated to your liking. I just kept adding layer after layer until it seemed like they were no longer getting darker. I did this on some wax paper so I didn't get any dye on my counter. 

Let them sit out to dry. When your beeswax polish is cooled, you can transfer it to a container. I just used a small mason jar. It should last up to a year. 

When your eggs are dry, just rub in the beeswax polish with your hands. It will make the colors a bit more saturated and your eggs nice and shiny! 

And that's all there is to it! It took me maybe 2 hours one day and like 5 minutes the next to apply the polish. 

Since I have lots of beeswax wood polish left, I can't wait to make AJ some more wood toys! 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Baby AJ: Month 4 Update

AJ turned 4 months old on Valentine's Day! It still amazes me how much can change from month to month.

One of the biggest changes was how much more he enjoyed being in a sitting and standing position. Sometimes he'll cry when on his back until you lift him up. He just looooves to be upright and look around. He also finally discovered his hands. He will just hold them out in front of his face and stare at them and then shove them into his mouth. His hands are constantly in his mouth now. Still not really reaching out yet though. There have been a handful of times that I've seen him attempt to grab something. The winkle toy is nice because it is easy for him to grab onto.

Weight: 15lbs 15ozs
Length: 25 inches
Diaper size: Size 3
Clothing size: All 3-6 month size plus towards the end of the month, he started wearing 9 month pants. 6 month size was just too tight for his Buddha belly!

Nicknames: Bub bub , bubs, munchkin, baby boy, little man, grumpster, sweetie, sweetie pie, sweetums

Health: Still has yet to get sick. Fingers crossed! He did have his 4 month check up and had to get his shots. I'll be glad when he doesn't have to get so many shots every 2 months.

Sleep: Ah sleep. Maybe we're in a 4 month sleep regression? It hasn't been as great over the last month. Over the last month, we've been working on getting him out of his bouncy chair at night and into the pack and play next to our bed. Neither Jack nor I are ready for him to go into his crib in the nursery yet. We like having him so close to us at night. We would put him in there for his first stretch of sleep at night. The first few nights took us a few hours to get him to sleep. He would sleep in there for like 45 minutes and wake up crying. I would nurse him some more or we would give him the paci and it would take a few tries of this. Then he would sleep a couple of hours and around 11 pm wake up. Then we would put him back in the bouncy chair for the rest of the night. He gradually started sleeping longer and longer in the pack and play. He went from just a couple of hours in it to 6-7 hours sleeping in it. But over the last week he's been waking up a bunch again. For a few nights he kept waking at around 11 pm, 2 am, 4-5 am and then up for the day around 6:30 am. We were tired! We were so spoiled by his 8-11 hour stretches. I'm hoping he goes back to that soon. We also started leaving one arm out of the swaddle so hopefully we can ditch the swaddle all together in the next month. His naps are the same. Only about 25-30 minutes. Ah well. I keep hoping they'll get longer as he gets older. We've also backed off the use of the vacuum to get him to sleep. We felt we were starting to rely on it too heavily and sometimes we'd have to keep it on for his entire nap. So now we just use it every once and awhile at bedtime if he wakes up crying right after we set him down for the night. Phew! So much going on with sleep in our house right now.

Diet: Still only breast milk. I started back to work 2 weeks ago and I was so nervous about pumping enough for him, but it's been going well so far. I've actually been able to add to my freezer stash because I pump more than what he eats.

Baby Gear Love:
-Babybjorn Babysitter Balance: Love this bouncer although he is starting to tolerate it a little less. He prefers to be more upright. But he is willing to take a bottle in this thing, so we still love it.
-bibs: This kid is always drooling, so we need lots of bibs.
-Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Puppy: He loves this little toy dog that sings. He lights up when he sees it.
-Lamaze Play & Grow Jaques the Peacock: He loves to stare at this while in his car seat.

Loves: his bath every night, laying on his changing table, Fisher Price puppy, sitting up with assistance, standing with assistance, when we blow raspberries on his belly, chewing on his hands

Dislikes: being overtired, and getting vitamin D drops

Milestones: Rolling from belly to back more and more. He tries to roll from back to belly but only makes it onto his sides. He has finally discovered his hands. He will hold them out and just stare and them and then chew on them. And he has finally started trying to grab objects. He won't do it all the time. Feb 5th was the first time I ever saw him look at a toy and reach out and grab it. He can also momentarily sit in a tripod position all by himself.

I also went back to work when he was 16 weeks. I'm only working 8-12, so I get to be back home soon and spend the whole afternoon with him. It was so hard to leave him though and I miss him so much while I'm at work. We've hired a nanny that comes to the house to watch him.
Other things of note about month 4: 
-loves when we shake his arms. Makes him laugh every time.
-loves a game where I take him from a sitting position to a standing position. I'll using say "uuuup" in a high pitched voice and "doooown" in a low pitched voice.
-He loves to be tossed in the air or turned upside down. I have a feeling he's going to be a rambunctious little boy. He just loves to be tossed around.

-Loves, loves, loves to be in a sitting position. He can even sit in a tripod position momentarily.
-He has also really started to notice the TV. I have to turn him away from it or turn it off because he'll just stare at it. Sometimes he'll even smile at the people on TV.

-He loves to chew on his hands and has finally started trying to grab objects. He's not always successful, but he's working on it.
-Sometimes when he's laying on his back, he'll arch his back and stick is butt in the air.

-This kids squeals and screams like no other. It's so funny!
-He's got great head control now, and can lift his head up so high.
-A few times while he was on his tummy, he's tried to get on his knees.

He has finally started tolerating his car seat. The last couple of weeks, we've been able to get out of the house easily with him. We even went out to eat at a sushi restaurant!

Finally old enough to be worn forward facing! He loves it!

We bought a BOB revolution stroller. It's been so nice taking him out for walks in it and I think he enjoys facing forward.

Month 4 has been awesome! I love watching him learn and his little personality come out. I can't wait see him grow and learn even more. He's such a happy baby. Always smiling and squealing with joy. I feel so lucky that he's my baby.

Dear AJ,
Your Dad and I love you so much! We can't possibly imagine our lives with out you now. Our hearts have never been so full of love. You are the center of our life and we can't wait to see what month 5 has in store for us!