And the photo dump continues….a few weeks ago we drove up to DH’s parents house to celebrate my father in law’s birthday and had amazing weather while we were up there. Their trees had just started blooming and my FIL took Noah for a ride around the yard on the mower (blade up of course). He was so intense half the time making sure he was steering correctly but wow did he have a blast. Couldn’t stop talking about it days later.
I’m a little late on this because it’s been crazy around here. We’re all not getting much sleep so I’m generally out by 9pm on most nights in an effort to catch up. Lia’s hit the 9 month sleep regression bit. She generally spends 1:30 – 3 or 3:30 awake and yelling out in glee. I suppose it could be worse, she could be crying. Instead she’s being cute. I guess I’ll take it.
Can you believe she’s only 3 months away from 1 year old? I have no idea where all the time went.
Weight: 18lbs 4oz
Length: 29 inches (90%) (although I think she’s longer since she’s pretty much out of her 6 mo clothes)
Sleep:Having some sleep regression issues. She was sick at the start of the month and it just never got better. She’s down by 7 generally and wakes at 12/1 and then again at 3/4. Lately she’s been up for good at 5:30am which is not a pattern I like:) Hopefully now that she’s made the leap (we have new skills:) ) she’ll get back to a better schedule. I do remember this with noah too.
Eating: Not a ton new here. She’s gone thru all the frozen milk I had so we’re 100% formula and solids. I experiment with whatever table foods we have avail but for the most part she’s still eating purees, puffs, and cheerios. She’s okay with that. I need to try a sippy again too, last attempt was not so successful.
Sizes: Mostly 9′s and 6-9′s. I’m washing all the 12 stuff and rotating some of it in.
Milestones:So I think the root of our sleep issues was this development leap. She can get from back to belly to sitting and back down with no problem. Just the other night (a little past 9 months) I saw her crawl for real on all 4′s. It was more of a little hop for her legs and then advancing her hands but she’s getting the hang of it. No more potted plant. Plus, she’s pulling up a bit more on thing to get to standing. She’s making more vowel sounds too. I’ve heard mamama, dada, and gaga out of her on various occasions.
I’ll get her pictures done this weekend hopefully.
ETA: Finally got pics done:)
The weather has finally turned here and with the longer days we’re able to get out as a family in the evenings and take a walk. I love this time of year.
We have an awesome set of trails right close to us with playground along the way so a few mile walk takes most of the evening which is totally fine!!
So as I mentioned before we had a pretty sick Easter. We’d planned to spend it in PA with my family but the norovirus had a different plan. We headed home Saturday night instead of staying thru Sunday afternoon. That meant that the Easter bunny had to be redirected again (we already told Noah that we’d communicated to him that we were at Memaw and Papas house…). In the redirection, he was a bit late Easter morning:) It was lunch time before he finally got his act together and hid the baskets.
Thankfully, this is the first year that Noah really understood so he didn’t care if it was first thing in the AM or later in the afternoon.
I thought I’d share the video so Memaw and Papa could see since they essentially supplied the Easter bunny with the loot:)
I love love love that so many of my friends are thinking about or even fully on board with cloth diapering. My mom thinks I’m obsessed and perhaps I am a bit I’ve had a lot of questions from them so I thought I’d stick them all in one spot.
Q: What brands to you use?
A: We have a mix of BumGenius 3 and 4.0′s One Size and Fuzzibunz one size pockets for the most part. I added prefolds and thirsties covers for Lia as well as Bum Genius Free Time (which I LOVE!)
Q: What’s the difference between fitteds, AIO’s, Pockets, prefolds etc…?
A: AIO’s or all-in-ones have the absorbent layers along with a waterproof outer layer all in one sewn together package. They are by far the easiest diaper because they mimic a disposable almost exactly. They take a while to dry which is one of the biggest drawbacks. The next level down is a pocket diaper. These ones have a waterproof outer layer that has a sleeve in it that you can stuff with absorbent layers. They’re great because you can customize the absorbency based on your child and since everything comes apart they wash and dry pretty quickly. Drawback on these is that you have to stuff them every time before you use them. I generally stuff them as I pull them out of the dryer. Fitteds look like a disposable and they’re all absorbent material. They don’t have a waterproof cover so you’ll need to buy one of those to go with it. And then prefolds and flats are what you think of when you think of cloth diapers – just a flat panel of fabric that you fold up around the baby and either secure with a snappi and then cover with a waterproof outercover (or just cover in my case..) In the case of prefolds, the are sewn in thirds with extra absorbent layers in the center of the three panels. You simply fold them on the seams or across and put them on. Flats require a bit more origami because they’re all one layer however they are by far the most cost effective option.
Q: Do you put anything on their bums when you use them?
A: Not usually. Regular diaper creams like Destin and A&D can damage your diapers and cause them to repel so we don’t even generally keep them in the house (I do have one tube of Destin for emergencies and I keep it far away from my diapers so there’s no mistake). That said, there are creams that are CD safe (California baby is our fav) and I will put it on them if they look a little red. I find that I do this more with Lia than I did with Noah. I think she’s just a bit more sensitive. However, we’ve never had a full blown diaper rash with either of them. For the most part there’s no need to put any creams or powers on when you CD.
Q:Do you use special detergent?
A:I do. Most commercial cleaners have enzymes and brighteners that can cause build up over time which in turn causes repelling. There are a few safe ones out there but I decided to use a special CD safe product from Rockin Green Soap. I keep this as a reference if there are any questions. It has some great data on detergents.
Q:You talk of dryer balls…what the heck are those?
A:Dryer sheets again can cause build up on your diapers and cause repelling (plus have you ever looked at the chemical make up of them? yuck..) Dryer balls are a natural way of softening your clothes and speeding up drying times. They are softball sized balls made from felted wool and they bounce around in your dryer with the clothes/diapers and keep things moving. Some come with fragrance, mine didn’t. I’ve both made my own and bought them. Obviously the purchased ones are better quality. I found mine on etsy but you can find them on most any cloth diaper website.
Q:Are they really that cost effective?
A:Yes, I believe they are. You spend roughly $1600 for two years of disposable diapering, add in another $600 or so if you’re child is in the average for potty training. I think for both children I spent $1000 or so on my stash. You figure you have a marginal cost for water but not nearly enough to make up the difference.
Q:Is your waterbill higher?
A:It’s hard to tell. Yes, but not too terribly much and much of it can be contributed to the fact that we added a nightly bath for another body.
Q:What resources have you used to learn about CDing?
A:I spent a lot of time on TheBump.com’s cloth diapering board asking questions and reading answers. I also spent a bunch of time on these sites:
http://www.diaperpin.com/home.asp <-- diaper reviews
http://www.jilliansdrawers.com/ <-- store front with lots of CD related information
And while I didn’t use them, there are local CD stores that are so helpful getting started (here in NoVa we have one – http://www.abbyslane.com/ and I know there’s one in Pittsburgh for my PGH friends – http://www.happybabycompany.com/ )
So there you have it…some questions that I have been asked over the time. I’m sure if I sit here long enough I can think of more:) Don’t hesitate to ask in the comments if you have any others. I don’t claim to be an expert but I’ll do what I can do help:)
So, given that we were all sooo sick over Easter (long story short, a stomach virus hit Saturday AM while we were in PGH, we decided to make a run back to VA before DH got sick too and I ended up riding with Noah in the backseat with a bucket…such joy). Anyways, I never got the chance to take a picture of the kids in their Easter getups…. So, today being a beautiful day I decided to take them on a walk to try to take some pics.
I had to bribe Noah with ice cream and even at that I only got two or three really good pictures with him in it. Lia on the other hand is my little model and once she warmed up to it she was all smiles.
The dress is from Rugrat Design. I love love love it:) Lesley was really sweet and accommodating and let me pick the fabrics for the dress since she didn’t have one made already in her shop with that fabric in that size. the best part is that as Lia grows it will go from being a dress to being a tunic…and it’s reversible!!
with breastfeeding that is.
Work’s been crazy for the last few weeks and I’d been dropping pumping sessions randomly to make meetings and it just kind of became a habit. So last week I went pump free and just nursed at night. Then something happened – Lia decided that she didn’t want to nurse to sleep like she always did and I just went with it. So, it’s been over a week since I’ve pumped and about 6 days since I’ve actually nursed her. Funny enough, the stomach flu hit around the same time making it pretty easy on me with engorgement since I was so dehydrated. ::Spoke too soon, it was just delayed…ugh..::
I still have some frozen milk that we’re cycling thru. I think I have enough to get her thru another two or three weeks if we only use it during the week.
So, in the end we made it to 8 months nursing/pumping. 2 months past my big goal and so far past what I actually thought I could do. Part of me mourns the loss of that connection with her (and the convenience) but the other part of me is ready to move on and watch her grow independently. Plus it’s nice to be able to nudge hubsy to get that middle of the night bottle vs. having to get up and feed her – who am I kidding, I’ll still be the one to get up with her since I hear her (DH is tuned into Noah, I’m tuned in to Lia, it’s weird).
Gosh, this has actually been a good month, that is up until the very end there. We all caught the stomach flu and now the kids both have horrible colds:( Oh well, such is the life of a child I suppose.
Weight: 18ish lbs (done by weighing me and then me with her:) )
Length: 27ish inches (90%) (although I think she’s longer since she’s pretty much out of her 6 mo clothes)
Sleep:Doing better! She’s still perking up once or twice a night but for the most part a quick paci check and we’re back down. She can go the whole night without eating but I’ll generally give her a bottle when she wakes at 4 or so. It’s just easier to get her back to sleep. She’s down in the evenings by 7:15 and will sleep thru till 6:30am
Eating: As of the 31st she’s off the boob. I’d been dropping pumping sessions all month and just nursing at home. Then she started to reject me at home so I figured it was time. We still have some frozen milk stashed way so she’s getting one bottle a day during the week plus her formula bottles. It’s so weird – at this point Noah was taking upwards in 30oz of formula a day where as she’s at like half that. Feels so wrong but she doesn’t seem hungry and she’s growing so I figure it’s enough. She’s taking three things of solids a day too (plus any puffs/yougurt bites we give her). I let her go to town on some noodles, beans and carrots the other night and she was so excited!
Sizes: In all 6-9 or Carters 9. Daycare sent back all of her 6 month stuff because she’s too long for it now.
Milestones:She’s a champ at sitting and is starting to figure out how to get on her belly without bonking her head. On her belly she’s pulling her knees in a bit and bouncing but still hasn’t figure out forward motion. Mostly she just pushes herself around backwards. I see her reaching for things to pull herself up with but she’s not yet strong enough. I expect this month we’ll see that milestone. Plus I think she has two more teeth coming in – joy!
As is abundantly clear on this blog, I cloth diaper. I chose to do so for many reason and one of the larger ones was the fact that I just couldn’t bring myself to add to an already growing problem in our landfills. So I tend to look for other reusable items if I can help it. A lot of times its a smidgen more work for the reusable stuff but when you think about it in the end it’s generally worth it. Plus, if you look in the right places you’re also helping small businesses by purchasing from them and often purchasing local..
So, after cloth I started looking for other ways to cut waste and be more earth friendly. While we have a loooong way to go to being a greener family, every little step we take helps I think. One place I noticed we were wasting a ton was with the plastic ziplock baggies. We’d take 3 or 4 with us on every little trip/walk with Noah for his snacks. Plus I’d use 2 or 3 in my lunch every day. At one point we’d go thru a box every few weeks. Sure, you can rinse and reuse but often times we’d just crumple and toss because they were so flimsy or they’d get destroyed in the process of Noah digging for his snack. Then I remembered seeing reusable baggies on a cloth diaper website. At the time I laughed at the price – how could something so small cost so much. However, then it dawned on me to check Etsy (because you can find everything on Etsy!) and found these:
DH thought I was nutz for wanting to try it but he’s come around too (and although he doesn’t use them for his lunch, he uses them for Noah’s snacks – which is progress). I first purchased 3 just to see if I would use them. I found myself purchasing another three just a few weeks later. I love them! They’re the perfect size for a sandwich or crackers. I usually have two or three in my lunch bag carrying carrots, pretzels, grapes etc. They work well for dry and damp ingredients although I’ve never tried them with something sopping wet.
Best part is, for the most part you can just rinse them in the sink and let them dry. If they get really soiled I just stick them in the laundry with my dish towels. We’ve been using them for over a year now and they still look great.
With the next product I wasn’t necessarily looking to replace something we were using but rather it was introduced to me by a girlfriend (who happens to make her own babyfood…when she finds the time is beyond me…haha). Anyways, Noah LOVED those cute little pouches of pureed food and we loved that they were packed up and convenient enough to just hand to him while we were on the road. I never thought to even look for a reusable option but there they were – and once I found them, I had to try them. I found a number of others like them spouting various sizes, designs and features but ultimately we decided on the Squooshi brand pouches because of their adorable designs and multiple sizes. They were pretty affordable too.
Noah loves when I put his yogurt or applesauce in them and I’ve found that Lia’s finally able to suck from them which makes feeding her while I’m trying to make dinner for the rest of us a cinch. I just dump her baby food into the Squooshi and hand it over. Maybe someday I’ll find enough time to try out some of their home made recipes with quinoia or millet or something fancy like that. For now they’re used for packaged baby food, applesauce and yougurt but I’m okay with that. They’re so freakin adorable. We do keep a few of the other pouches on hand because they store well (vs. these which are best for fresh foods) but in the overall scheme of things we spend less on pouches than we did in the past.
The next thing I want to tackle is reusable paper towels. I have a pattern that I found on Pinterest and actually made a few for Lia’s room to keep next to the rocker. Now I just need to find a pretty pattern and some time to sew.
*I wasn’t compensated for this nor was I even prompted by the owners. I just wanted to share a few things that we love around here.
As she nears 8 months I’ve finally had a few seconds to sit down and go thru the pics we took of her for 7 months…
I realize as I look thru the pictures that she has her mouth open a lot:) That’s because she’s taken to screaming with glee when she sees the camera (which is totally opposite her brother right now who run and hides his head..)
I’m slowly making it thru the rest of the pictures we have taken over the last month. I’ve had a bunch of real photo sessions to edit so my personal ones take a back seat to paying customers:) I’d say you can expect a photo dump over the next few days but who am I kidding. I’m averaging a new post ever 10 days right now.
I don’t think there’s enough cloth diaper talk happening on this blog lately:) I used to talk about it all the freakin time (at least it felt like that..). Anywho, we’re still a happy little cloth diapering family over here! It was kind of a no brainer with Lia since we’d done it for so long with Noah and little has changed since I did it with him.
Our stash is still a mix of BumGenius and Fuzzybunz although I’ve invested in a few more snap Kawaii diapers (some came for free and I purchased a few others). They’re nice and cheap and you can stuff the heck out of them. The only thing I noticed with Noah is that they’re larger and they stretch out over time. Neither of which is a problem, just something to look out for.
Additionally, this time around I’m using covers and prefolds more often. Mostly so I can save my pocket stash for daycare and when daddy’s diapering but also because I can super customize the absorbancy (plus they were all that fit when she was a tiny babe). I’m to the point tho with most of my covers (except the Flip covers) that I need to upgrade to the next size. No biggie, they’re not expensive, just something I have to remember to do soon. My favs are my Thirsties Duo covers…
Another new one to my stash is still a BumGenius diaper but it’s a different line (and I think I’m in love!!) It came as a freebie one time when I ordered a bunch of others and I liked it so much that as I retired a few more of Noah’s old ones, I purchased these in it’s place. I find that I go to them now when I’m in a rush getting the diaper bag together because there’s no stuffing! They’re an all-in-one but the center flaps open up so it washes and dries faster!
Bum Genius Free Time
I also added two large pail liners this time around and while I don’t actually use them in a pail, I do use them. I simply hang them over the edge of the changing table and cinch the top shut. Since I have a larger stash now I don’t have to wash as often and the pail liner is the perfect size to go those few days (I still wash at least every third day).
Anyways…things are swimming along here and we’re happy with our choices so far in diapers. I do need to finish the post I started over a year ago on how to get started. I’ve had a few girlfriends that just had babies or are due soon to deliver that have gone the cloth route and in answers all their questions I have a pretty good getting started post. I just need to finish it up….so who knows…maybe you’ll get two cloth diapering posts in one month (haha, maybe you’ll get two posts in one month in general, I’ve been slacking lately…)
We’re closer to 1 year now than we are her birth..pretty crazy if you ask me. Lia’s developing such a personality! She’s still a really sweet and smiley baby although we’ve had some rough times lately with sickness and teeth. Despite all that she’s still the most chipper baby I’ve seen in a long time. I love love love when she flashes that wide gummy smile for you. She also loves loves loves her brother. She follows him around the room with her eyes and laughs hysterically when he runs around her. I can’t wait till their older and she can really participate.
Length: 27ish inches (90%)
Sleep:Has been hit or miss this month. We finally got rid of the ear infection and she started sleeping better for like a day and then those two pesky teeth made their appearance. I think that’s passed now (at least the worst part) so now I need to try to get her back on her schedule (she was so far off the deepend that i need a weekend to reset things)
Eating: I’m still pumping/nursing when at home but my supply is starting to decrease and I’m okay with that. She still gets 3 BM bottles and one formula bottle at school for the most part (some days it’s half and half). I’m saving my freezer stash for when I completely stop pumping so that she at least gets a little bit of BM. I figure at this point I can probably get her to 9 or 10 months with at least some breast milk. We’ll see how that goes. As for solids she’ll sometimes do a little container in the AM and then I’ll send a larger container to school. Then she’ll do another little (or finish off the one from the AM) around dinner time. Girl certainly likes to eat!!
Sizes: I bumped her up to 6-9 month and Carters 9 but then realized that I don’t have much in that size so I had to go shopping:) (woah is me right??!!:) )
Milestones:Again, lots this month (which could also explain some of the sleep fun stuff). She’s sitting on her own now although I do put pillows around since she’s not great about getting back to laying without bonking her head. Those two teeth that I felt last month have busted thru. She rolls back and forth pretty freely now. I’ll put her down and she works her way around to get what she wants. I’ve also found her sleeping on her stomach once or twice (although she still prefers her back). She pushes her chest off the floor and I can see those little feet and knees starting to pull up under her although I’m sure we’re still a ways away from crawling yet (and i’m okay with that…two on the move will be much more challenging)
I have a bunch of photos that I’ve taken in the last few weeks but have to actually get thru them..haha. For now, here’s a few from her photo shoot this am…
My little man is 3 years old today!! In many ways he seems much older than 3 and in others he’s still my little baby. Today we threw him a little party with a few of his friends and it was a resounding success (although momma’s a bit tired now).
I still marvel in the fact that I have a three year old. He’s such an amazing little creature and it seems that in the last month or so he’s made huge development steps.
- He’s 34lbs and like 38 inches tall (he asks us to measure him every few weeks)
- He’s fully potty trained (both day and night) and has been since just after Lia was born. It’s been amazing!!
- In the last month his language has exploded. He went from a sentence here and there to full on conversations that even other people can understand (unless he’s really really excited or very tire then he mumbles..)
- His reasoning, logic and problem solving just blows me away. He wants something up high, he finds a stool/chair or finds a way to climb. I also remembers things I never thought he’d remember (like a hike we took him on when Lia was just a few months old).
- His imagination has taken off. We’ve taken trips to the moon prior to school in the AM, ridden a train (that he used pillows to set up), climbed mountains (of pillows) and it goes on.
- He’s incredibly helpful around that house (most of the time) and has his own set of chores now (emptying the silverware from the dishwasher, emptying the trash, and sweeping the floors)
So, since he never stands still long enough to get any pics, here’s a compilation of shots from the last few weeks.
Happy Birthday Monkey!
Disclaimer: I’m talking about breastfeeding below…if you’re my brother or my dad or anyone else who doesn’t want to hear about my boobs, just continue on your merry way. There’s lots of other non boobie related posts on here for your enjoyment. Haha…
Okay, with that out of the way lets get down to business. Breastfeeding and the working mom.
With Noah, as you all know if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, I wasn’t able to breastfeed. It just never really worked. This time however, it’s been much easier. Perhaps it’s because I’m more relaxed, perhaps it’s because I weigh more, perhaps it’s just because my body decided to cooperate. Whatever it was it’s working this time which meant I needed to figure out how to include pumping into my work schedule since I was only home for 8 weeks.
I’m fortunate to work in an office that is very supportive of new breastfeeding moms and had designated rooms that we can schedule so that we have a comfortable private space. Each floor has a kitchen/fridge and the privacy room is just outside of one of the kitchens so you can walk straight from the room to the kitchen to clean up your parts if you want.
So, in preparation for going back to work I made sure I banked a bunch of milk in the freezer just in case. I also introduced a bottle of expressed milk on a few occasions when she was like a month old just to make sure she’d take a bottle (because she hated pacifiers I was really worried). There was no need to worry, as long as she was getting fed she was fine – bottle or boob.
The week that DH was home with her was our trial week. Mainly to see if I could pump enough to feed her while she’s a daycare plus to see if she’ll take the bottle consistently. I ended up with 9am, 1pm, and then 4pm on the privacy room schedule which was a bit of a shift from what I was doing at home but since I was double pumping it all evened out over time.
I know I have some working moms or moms to be that will be working that could benefit from my experiences so here’s a bullet list of high points:
1. Have multiple pump parts and bottles – generally enough for two days. That way if you’re exhausted when you get home (which most new moms are) you don’t have to worry about washing and sterilizing things right away.
2. Stash extra parts in your bag (membranes, flanges, milk bags in case you forget your bottle caps:)). It really sucks when something breaks and you’re at work with no way to relieve the pressure without the pump. I’ve ended up taking an emergency trip to Target once or twice to fix things (or BRU when my pump completely died)
3. Hands free bra is key. Since I’m double pumping I picked up a Medela bra so that I can do work on my laptop while pumping. So funny to arrange it all but it works:) I can be avail to my team from the comfort of my privacy room. Telecons are a little challenging but we’ve made it work.
4. Drink Drink Drink. It’s easy to forget to drink throughout the day and I’ve found it really important to make sure my h20 intake is on par. If I forget and let myself dehydrate a bit then my production slows.
5. Eat Eat Eat. You’re consuming calories in order to make the milk so you need to make sure you make that up. I saw an estimate of 500 calories a day for a full time nursing mom. So I was tracking calories to make sure I was getting that in addition to what my body needed to function normally (My Fitness Pal is awesome for that!). On days I didn’t eat enough not only would my production suffer but I’d be dragging and out of energy. Lots of protein and complex carbs to keep you going!
6. Between pumping sessions I don’t wash my parts. I just wipe them down and put them in my cooler bag (which gets stuck in the fridge). Since they’re in the fridge they’re good for the day. It saves sooo much time.
7. Pack your pump bag the night before (although, this has backfired for me once or twice and I forgot caps once and forgot a flange another time).
8. Wear pump/nurse friendly clothes. Sucks to sit there topless or mostly naked because you wore a dress that didn’t pull down at the top. I wear pants mostly these days with nursing tanks or bras under my shirt. I have one dress that zips up the front that works to nurse/pump too.
9. On Friday, immediately freeze your milk and then on monday, cycle out some of your frozen milk so that what you have in your stash gets rotated. As it stands now she gets mostly frozen on Monday only and all my Friday/weekend milk goes into the freezer.
10. Because I need a #10 – relax:)
It’s also good to know that U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act now requires employers to provide break time (unpaid unless you work while you pump like I do) and a private spot for moms to express their milk, other than a restroom, where co-workers can’t observe or intrude. (Some exemptions apply for businesses that employ fewer than 50 people.) So, if you find yourself pumping in a bathroom or your car and you’re over 50 employees it would be worth it to talk with your HR folks and point that out. Even if you’re under 50 employees it would be worth it to talk to them to see if there’s anything you can do. In the past I’ve given up my office (when i had an office:) ) so that a co-worker could pump in peace.
Anyways, I’ve been back to work for 5 months and I’m still pumping! I did drop my 1:00 session last week in preparation for weaning her but I’m taking my sweet old time. I figure I’ll drop another next month and the final one during her 9th month. While I don’t love pumping, I love that I’m still providing for her. My first goal was 1 month and my ultimate goal was 6 months. We’re at 7 months and while she’s not exclusively breastfed any longer (we introed formula when I dropped that pumping session) she’s still getting a majority of her nutrition from me. Now I’m shooting to get her to 1 year with at least some breast milk in her diet.
6 months – half a year old!! Wow! I’d say that time went by fast but that’d be lying:) This month has been hard and long. She’s been sick pretty much the entire month which means her sleep is in the toilet. I spent most nights with her asleep on me while I sat up in the rocking chair (with the boppy propped up around me so she was safe and snug). So, to say we’re both exhausted is an understatement.
I think we’ve finally turned a corner in the last week though. She’s finally mostly healthy and so am I so now we can start working on getting those nice sleep habits back.
Weight: 15lbs (or so, DH did the docs appt and didn’t write it down) (50%)
Length: 27 inches (90%)
Sleep:So like I said, it sucked this month. Being sick (flu then an ear infection) combined with working on a development milestone we just didn’t get much sleep. She’d only sleep on me most of the time and for a good week she’d only sleep with a boob in her mouth so yea, I didn’t much sleep myself. But, we’ve turned a corner (knocking on wood) and I’m working on getting her back into a good sleep habit (which means tracking how much sleep she gets during the day to make sure we hit the sack early enough. I’ve noticed if she doesn’t book a full 14 hours a day she’s up all night.)
Eating: So we made it to 6 months of breastfeeding which was my big goal!!! Although, every time I think of weaning her I get sad so I’m not quite ready to do it yet. I did start giving her solids about 2 weeks ago before bed to see if it made a difference in her sleep. It didn’t but she did show me that she loves food!! She’ll put away a full 2.5 oz container 3 times a day now in addition to 4 4oz bottles at school and at least 3 nursing sessions at home. I don’t know where she puts it all.
Sizes: Mostly in Carters 6′s now. I have a few size 3 pants that work as capris but for the most part she’s graduated up.
Milestones:Lots going on this month. We get a consistent belly to back roll now and just this week she started back to side and almost over. She gets stuck on her arm. I give her another week and we’ve got both mastered. She’s also working on sitting. She can sit for a few seconds on her own and will sit for a while if I put a boppy behind her. We’re definitely making strides in that direction. Gosh, I can’t believe that in another month or two she’ll probably be pulling up to her knees!!
I can also feel her two front bottom teeth starting to push up. You can see her little gums bulging which means they’re well on their way. That could also be part of our problem with sleep:)
Adventures:Nothing big lately. We’ve made it thru our first ear infection so I suppose that’s an adventure.
Things have stalled. I’m counting calories (or at least was for a while but fell off the wagon over the holidays) but I’ve been bouncing around in the low 140′s for the most part. I’m not happy with that but I’m dealing with it for now. I’d love to go below 140 but it seems that as soon as I do, my milk supply tanks:( And since my goal is to get Lia to 6 months with breastfeeding I can’t yet give up!! Almost there (although, with how sick she’s been I think I need to keep it up until at least March so she gets those good antibodies).
My dilemma is this tho – we have a half marathon coming up in May (early May) and I’m not even the slightest bit in shape. I figure I need to hit training hard core by early March at the latest but it would really help if I started things now (because, let’s face it, I’m a lazy trainer and a lazy runner. There’s nothing “hard core” about me when I exercise. I’m definitely a fair weather athlete haha). I just haven’t figured out how to add exercise in without causing my supply to tank. I’m counting calories and thought I was making up the deficit (I worked out for like a week back in the fall:) ). I know people have done both I just can’t figure out how I can.
So anyways…that’s where we stand. I’ll check back in on this front next month.
So when I made Lia’s quilt before she was born I knew at some point I wanted to make one for Noah too. So, I started it when I was 38 weeks pregnant (about 3 days before Lia was born) haha. Noah asked me one day what it was (it was sitting on my craft table) and I told him it was his blanket that mommy was making him. He got sooo excited! From there on any time he’d pass my craft bench (which was any time he went outside to the backyard) he’d ask me about his blanket. He wanted to wear it around:) Well, I finally got around to finishing it up – 6 months to the day I started it.
This one was done with a jelly roll of Moda Summertime fabric. It was actually pretty neat and quick to get the center patch together. You just sewed all the long strips together in one long line then folded that long line in half, sew the length, chop the end and do it again. I kept halving it until you came to a manageable size. I made my center patch just big enough to cover the top of a twin bed (I was a little short in the length tho). Then I added about 9 inches on either side and a foot to the top and bottom to make it cover his bed with some overhang.
I learned alot with Lia’s quilt and even more with Noah’s. I’m confident that I’m not a quilter but I’m proud of the two pieces I’ve managed to turn out.
Last Christmas Catch up post I promise….:)
We rounded out our Christmas celebrations at my parents for New Years. Since the holidays landed on Monday’s, we did the weekends prior to each traveling up to see family. That let us have the actual holiday at home with just the 4 of us and spread the travel out a bit to make it more manageable (my parents are 4.5 hrs away and DH’s parents are 2.5 hours away)
We lucked out and arrived just before the snow really started coming down (they had a bunch from earlier in the week and a fresh coating that arrived just after we did). This is the first time Noah’s really gotten to play in the snow this year and definitely the first time that he actually wanted to play in the snow (vs us suiting him up and pulling him along in a sled).
I guess after about 30 min he was cold and asked to go inside. DH and my dad were having too much fun so DH set Noah up at the door looking out so he could see what they were doing. They were building him an 8 foot snow man. Any time my DH is involved in snowman making it’s a behemoth of a snow man (we made a 7 ft man here at home a few years back). He said it too him and two neighbor guys to lift the middle and top pieces of the snow man into place. All the while Noah just hung out watching Cars on the phone and watching daddy out the window.
I think the best part of the snowman was the week following as he slowly compacted and started to lean. Frosty had a slight lean as soon as the next day and was listing even more the day we left. We all expected him to come crashing down in the day or two that followed but no, he stood strong for almost 4 days and at points was leaning so far over that his tree branch arm was touching the ground. He fell on New Years Day and when he did fall he fell in one piece, from the base and split his head open. My mom posted a pic of poor frosty on Facebook generating a pretty hilarious conversation about how Frosty celebrated a little too much on NYE and had a splitting headache to follow.
So the plague has hit me and Lia hard (so far Noah and DH are okay) but as such I’m not uber functional after taking care of mandatory daily tasks. So these catch up posts are pushing on and on and on….haha. I think I have just one more after this and we’re on to non Christmas related catch up…haha)
Christmas morning was so nice and relaxing. DH and I decided that Santa gets to give one or two bigger gifts and the rest come from us or from family. It worked out really well that way. We get to indulge Noah’s new found understanding of Santa without going overboard.
As luck would have it, Noah slept in that morning so it was just Lia and I awake at 8:00 enjoying the tree, presents, and some coffee. It was so peaceful and quiet. Once Noah woke the fun began. We have a loft so he was able to see the tree and presents almost immediately (there was nothing there the night prior, we set everything out as he slept). So he made his way downstairs in a half excited, half confused manner. We left his Santa presents over by the fireplace along with his stocking. He ran excitedly to check out if Santa ate the cookies only to find that not only did he eat the cookies and drink the milk but the reindeer took a couple of chomps out of the carrots we left (DH did this and I totally love it. I actually fell asleep early that night and DH finished setting up…he had as much fun as Noah did I think).
We left his big Santa gifts unwrapped mostly because they were big but also because I wanted him to see them right away and get excited. I think the best part of everything was the fact that as Noah opened a present, he wanted to play with it. So we’d open one, play with it for a while, then open another and play with it etc….it took us a few hours to get thru all the presents and I was totally okay with that. He was having so much fun.
With no where to go that day, after we finished with presents I cooked up breakfast (french toast) and we just hung around and played with toys. We made the calls up to the fam and even Skyped with them so they could watch Noah open some of their presents (my mom and dad had stopped down a few weeks prior to drop off the presents from them and my grandparents so the kids would have them for Christmas morning since we wouldn’t be seeing them until New Years).
It’s still odd to me to just have the 4 of us for Christmas. Growing up I remember running all over creation to visit family on Christmas day. We’d do at least three houses in one day to catch everyone. This is our second year doing it just us and I’m still adjusting. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy not having to pack everything up and drive all over but I still miss that house full of people hussel and bussel that comes with family at Christmas time.
That said, I think this was the best Christmas yet just because of Noah’s enthusiasm for the holiday and watching him and DH work on his toys together to get them working. Like I said, I think DH was as excited (if not more) than Noah:)
Still catching up. I only get a few spurts here and there to blog so I try to clobber as many posts as I can. However, I’m still weeks behind:)
This year for the holidays we decided to spend it here in our home as a family of 4. Noah’s old enough now that he “gets” Santa so we want to be at our house for the big event. That meant seeing the rest of the family on the weekends prior to and after Christmas.
So, we spent the weekend prior to Christmas with DH’s family. My in-laws and our nephews live close to one another so we get to see everyone in one visit. With 5 kiddos now it makes for a chaotic but wonderful time. Noah adores his big cousins and Lia sucks up all the attention being the only girl in the group. The houses are filled with laughter, good times, and good food.
Things were so crazy around the holidays that I didn’t have much time to post. We did however do lots of fun things and took lots of fun pictures so I thought I’d take a few days to post updates on those.
Trying to get into the holiday spirit I was looking for things to do as a family that involved Christmas/Lights or anything festive. I missed out on a live nativity but in my search stumbled up on a local botanical garden that was having a festival of lights. It was worth a shot.
So worth it!! And another thing that will be part of our family tradition! For under $50 we spent a few hours walking thru the most exquisite light displays. We got one of the earliest start times so we when arrived it was not busy at all (that would change). Anyways, you exit the lobby and follow a well marked path thru all the various displays. There were hundreds of thousands of lights in so many different configurations. They had one that looked like a stream with fish jumping out of it. There was a field of tulips and a pumpkin patch. They even had a choreographed light show:
(borrowed from their website)
Noah sat rapt for the whole little show (and then ran like a mad man up and down the paths – which were stroller friendly). As you round the end there’s a huge fire pit where you can buy s’more kits and roast them over the fire. By the time we go there it was quite crowded so we skipped it but had we been there earlier it might have been awesome.
The last (and I think best part aside from the show) was the blue forest. They had about 30 trees completely wrapped in blue lights and hanging over the path were lights that made it look like it was snowing. Sooo much fun to walk thru!!!
Things were so crazy around the holidays that I didn’t have much time to post. We did however do lots of fun things and took lots of fun pictures so I thought I’d take a few days to post updates on those.
Last year we did a “Noah” day where everything was dedicated to things Noah would like to do or see. We took the metro into the city (for the train experience) and then visited various museums to show him the dinosaurs and such. That day we needed to bide some time while he napped so we strolled over to the National Gallery of Art to just hang out. While there we were surprised to find a carol sing going on in the rotunda. It was such a nice surprise and a great way to spend a few hours on the weekend.
Well, the videos of that experience happen to be some of Noah’s most favorite videos to watch before bed. He always asks for the singing video. This makes total sense since this little boy walks around the house singing just about everything (warms my heart!!). Anywho, on to this year. I check the website and it happens that they were doing the carol sing again with the same group of people (The Central Bucks West Highschool Chorus). I couldn’t wait to take Noah!
We planned a morning in DC visiting some of the same museums we did before (he’s still interested in the dinos but only at a distance:)) and planned to see the 1:00 show of the singing. Noah was soooo excited! He was singing “Oh Christmas Tree” most of the morning in preparation. We arrived, grabbed our spot along the wall (so I could tend to Lia) and hung out waiting for them to start. Watching his face as the sound filled the room on their first notes was priceless. Even better was when he started to sing along!
Lia started to fuss so I had to feed her but DH and Noah went walking out into the middle of the rotunda to watch up close. When the show was over he couldn’t stop talking about it (still can’t all these weeks later). I think this is going to be part of our family tradition now.
I realize that we have so few videos of Lia. At this point we had hours upon hours of Noah cooing, gahing and sleeping recorded. I guess that’s the second kid syndrome.
Here she’s trying out her baby einstein chair for the first few times. She was sooo excited when I stuck her in and she saw all the toys right at her level. I guess it gets boring in that bouncer:)
Overall 2012 was a good year for our family. Noah turned two, Lia arrived, our jobs were stable and we were able to send a bunch of time with our families. We’re incredibly fortunate to be able to travel frequently up to see them or share on skype when travel is not possible. We have had continued good health and a generally free from stresses outside of work:) (and outside of raising a toddler…haha). Over all any troubles we may have had this year are trivial in the grand scheme of things and for that we are so very thankful.
I tried sifting thru the thousands of photos we have from this past year and come up with a small set to summarizes our year. I ended up with 40 pics….so much for small set:)
In no particular order:
We went hiking – played in the playgrounds – watched Lia grow month over month – went to the Zoo a bunch – welcomed our little Lia into the family – played in the pool – spent our last few days as a family of 3 – took pictures of sibling love – saw a choir perform in the Gallery of Art – took a cruise to the Caribbean – climbed the ropes at the Pgh Zoo – took newborn pics of Lia – went Easter egg hunting – had Lia baptized – saw an air show – built an 8ft snowman – rode our bike (alot!) – visted Great Falls – Became a family of 4 – visted yet another zoo – played in the snow – ate lots of Christmas cookies – played in the fall leaves – saw cool Christmas lights – was an elephant with Uncle J – Saw lots of trains – played in the leaves again – tried out an old sled in the snow at the start of the year – taught our sister what a nose was – was a little Owl – rode the incline in Pgh – turned two – snuggled with mommy – celebrated Christmas morning.
Phew…that’s a big nutshell. This year Noah’s finally to a point in understanding that when we take him places he comprehends and even remembers things after the fact. I love creating memories with him especially when he connects and recalls them at a later point in time.
Looking forward to 2013 I can’t wait to watch Lia grow and become mobile. It’s crazy to think she’ll be walking and talking this year!! I look forward to seeing what new and crazy things Noah comes up with as he progresses thru his third year and makes his way to 4! I also look forward to what DH and I learn about each other and how our relationship will grow. This year holds hope for continued health of our family, more time together, for a new house and continued success in our jobs.
Happy New Year!
And just like that she’s 5 months old! They say time flies when you’re having fun…well time flies when you’re not getting enough sleep too:) Hehe. That’s our new development this month. Call it 4 month wakeful a month late or just call it “we’ve been sick for almost a month now” but Lia’s beautiful sleep habits are a thing of the past. She’s still a super happy chipper baby, especially at 3am when it’s time to sleep. She’s found her voice and will certainly let you know she’s there. It’s funny because it’s not angry yells, it’s the “hey, i’m over here look at me yells”. Totally cute even at 3am.
I’m hoping that as we figure out how to kick these colds/viruses that she and I keep passing back and forth (DH and Noah are unaffected thankfully) that we’ll be on to better sleep. She’s just so freakin congested that sometimes she goes to breath thru her nose and it’s clogged which then causes her to panic and scream (which then only exacerbates the problem). She’s been sleeping in her car seat a bunch just because it props her up enough to keep the snot from choking her.
Outside of that she’s still the sweetest most smiley baby you’d ever meet. Other peoples reactions to her are always the same. They’ll coo and gah at her and she’ll flash that big gummy smile and they melt:) I melt:) Toss in a giggle and they’re incapacitated..haha. I certainly hope her sunny personality stays with her as she gets bigger. It will be a nice change from Noah’s stormy one.
Weight: She’s got to be pushing 14lbs now..she feels so solid.
Length: i’ll be we’ve hit 25 inches by now. If I can nail her down for more than 10 seconds I’ll try to measure.
Sleep:Yea, this. If we take the last 2 weeks as our guide, she’s down at 7:30ish, up at 12:30/1 ish, 2:30/3 ish, 4:30/5ish, then up for good at 7 or so. In between those times she’s fitful and just full of snot which when she tries to breath in thru her nose causes her to cough and sputter because it’s clogged. Beautiful stuff I tell you. I’ve spent most nights from about 3:00 on sleeping in the rocking chair with her propped up on my chest (but not on her belly, no, she likes the cradle hold). She’s most definitely not a belly sleeper.
Eating: 5 months EBF and going strong!! I’m shooting for 6 months and then we’ll see. I’m kind of torn about going longer or not. I’d like to get back to exercising but every time I do, my supply takes a huge dip. I haven’t found the magic combo that lets me do both yet. So that’s one argument for starting to wean but every time I think about it I get sad. We’re doing so well and it’s so easy!
Sizes: I pulled all of her 0-3 mo stuff out of rotation and dropped in a few Carters 6 and 6-9 mo things. They’re still a bit big but a quick roll of the cuff and things work.
Milestones:She graduated to the exersaucer now. Her head control is exceptional and she loves to stand up. However, we can’t get her to roll over with any kind of consistency. She’s happy to be on her back. If I stick her on her tummy she’ll just lay her head down vs. roll to her back so…we’ve been working on it. She’s also sitting better now with assistance. I can get her to balance for a few seconds before she slumps over.
She’s definitely working more with her toys. She’s mastered the bar over her bouncy and is getting the hang of the ones on the exersaucer. She’ll grab things and pull them to her and straight into her mouth. She’s even figured out that her hands are part of her and seems to be amazed at that.
Adventures:Lots and lots of holiday travel. We made trips to both grands over the course of a few weekends.
I have a Christmas recap with lots of pics in the works. For now, check out this side by side. My dad pulled out this pic last time I was home and I was struck at how much Lia looks like me. I mean, she should, she’s my kid but it’s kind of crazy to put it side by side.
Me at three months on the left, Lia at three months on the right.