Thursday, December 27, 2012

Twenty Eight Weeks

This week was big! Max started food on Christmas eve! He loved having his rice cereal. He ate it all up, and kept hitting his high chair table for more, he was very excited! I took video the whole time, and snapped some pictures. He loves the camera, he spent most of the time just staring into the camera as he ate. He's going to be trouble!

Max loved opening up his Christmas gifts. We had him start opening them on Christmas Eve, and he had a blast with the wrapping paper. We stopped when he got bored with unwrapping, and saved the rest. We will have him open a few a day until he gets bored. We like letting him have fun opening them, there would be no point in us opening them for him. Introducing his new toys in smaller groups, rather than all at once, will hopefully help him familiarize himself with them rather than get overstimulated and distracted. He's having fun!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to my readers! I hope that you enjoyed your day with your family, whether you celebrate Christmas or not.

Today was a beautiful day with our family, and it couldn't have been more perfect. Our son is the only gift that I could have ever wished for, and I'm remembering how I was dreaming of our baby this time last year. We have so much to be grateful for today. I cherish my husband and our son so much!

Here is a picture of our own Santa!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Free Baby Carrier

I just received an email with a promo code for a free baby carrier, and I figured I would share it! Seven Slings has some really cute patterns available, and you can get one free (just pay shipping)! They are normally $48, so this is a great deal! I bought one of these for a friend a few months back, and she loves it. 

Visit the Seven Slings website and choose your favorite pattern. Be sure to go to the sizing page to check the correct size for you before going to check out. Use the promo code "FAMILY2012" to cover the cost of the carrier. Once you pay for the shipping, you'll have a new carrier headed your way!

Here's the one that I chose, and I'm excited to try it out!

photo courtesy of

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Twenty Seven Weeks

Huge milestone this week! We have teeth! Yesterday he woke up with his two bottom teeth poking through. He hadn't slept well the night before, and I knew why when I was nursing him. Poor little guy was suffering.

Max's whole face looks different now. He's holding his jaw differently, and his face looks chubbier. It's so weird how different he looks in just one day! Pretty soon you'll be able to see these teeth when he smiles! Yikes.

Our baby is growing up! He has teeth, so the time has come. We will start him on rice cereal this weekend, or at least that's the plan. For some reason, I'm struggling with this. Feeding him anything other than breast milk means that he's growing up. He's not my teeny tiny baby anymore, and it is hard. I know (obviously) that he is going to grow up, and I just need to go along for the ride. But it's hard, and I know millions of parents feel this way.

We were waiting for him to hit six months to move him into his room, but I'm not ready yet. It's hard to think of my baby not being right next to me in his little bed. On nights that he wakes up hourly and needs his mommy, those nights will be so hard when he's in his room. Poor thing, he will be screaming and scared. Or maybe that's me? Either way, this stuff is hard to think about. Every night I still reach over and check that he's breathing. It's going to be a huge emotional hurdle for me to move him into his room!

Some moms have their babies in their own room starting on the first night they are home. That's fine for their family, but not for mine. I know a few moms that have done that, and it has worked out very well for them. It's all about what you feel comfortable with, and how your family deals with the situation. I did a lot of research and decided that it wasn't for me. It's all about doing what is best for your family.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Breast Feeding: Pumping While Driving

Monday I posted about pumping at work (you can find the post here). I referred to pumping while driving, which I do twice a day. In terms of convenience and supply, it's a huge help to me.

This is a touchy subject. No, it's not 100% safe. If you get into an accident, I imagine that it wouldn't be pretty. I'm willing to take that risk though, to make sure that I'm able to keep up with my baby's milk consumption. I have a hands-free pumping bra, which makes pumping in the car a breeze. Both of my hands are available for driving, and there's really no distraction. Here is a picture of the hands-free bra that I use (no, that's not me in the photo):

Simple Wishes Hands Free Breast Pump Bra, image from
I put the hands-free bra on, attach the pump parts accordingly, and then cover myself up with a nursing cover. Nobody else on the road has any idea of what I'm doing. It just looks like I'm wearing a baggy shirt. Here's a very pretty example:

I use a double electric breast pump, which makes things easy. A manual pump would be much more challenging while driving. I also use rechargeable batteries in the battery pack (I recharge them every weekend) so that I don't go through a million batteries. Here is very well priced pump: 

That's basically it! You'll want to have something to wipe yourself and the shields with, but you shouldn't need anything else. If you make the decision to do this, let me know how it goes! I'm curious to see how others do with it. 

Now, for a silly picture of me. Pumping while driving (in traffic, no less):

Monday, December 17, 2012

Breast Feeding: Pumping at Work

If you're breast feeding and returning to work soon, you are probably considering pumping at work. I wanted to write a post about my experience with this.

Some women will stop breast feeding before returning to work due to concerns about being able to pump at work. Many people may not know this, but your employer (if they employ 50 or more individuals) is required to allow lactation breaks. If you are looking for details on the federal law, please check the links here and here to learn more. You should be given a morning and afternoon break (your employer is not required to pay you for this break) in a private place. A bathroom is not acceptable, according to the law, so be aware of that.

It is recommended to pump every two or three hours to keep your supply up. I share a lactation room at work with four other women. We each have our own time slot, and we have to work around each other.

Here are the times that I typically pump:
    7:30am    (while driving to work)
    10:30am  (in the lactation room)
    1:30pm    (in the lactation room)
    4:30pm    (while driving home)

Typically people would pump before leaving home in the morning, at 9:00am, 12:00pm, 3:00pm and again at home. Because I am sharing the room with women that had their schedules set already, I moved mine around and it is working out very well.

a glance inside the fridge in our lactation room

Now I've wondered myself, what would happen if I missed a session? A few things. You would be uncomfortable (read: OUCH!). You may leak and have an embarrassing moment at work. Your next pumping session would result in more milk than normal, but probably not the same amount as two typical pumping sessions combined. If you do this two days in a row, you may start to see your supply drop. It's all about supply and demand. You need to keep up the "demand" by pumping, or your body will adjust and the "supply" will decrease to match the demand. Keep this in mind when you think you're too busy to take a break to pump.

What should you do at work to improve your supply? You can do your research, and find a whole list of recommendations. Try things out, find out what works best for you. There is mother's milk tea, fenugreek, lactation cookies, the list goes on and on. Here's what works for me: drink plenty of water, get enough sleep at night, eat every couple of hours. If I let any of those three things slip, I can always see it show up in my supply. I try to drink 32 ounces of water by lunch time. If I don't drink any water (maybe coffee only), I will see about 50% less milk that morning. This is not an exaggeration, this actually happened to me this morning. Just be careful. Pay attention to your output, and notice what helps your supply.

this may or may not be your new logo

In a separate post (found here), you can read about pumping while driving. Pumping while driving may be a huge help to you. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Six Months Old

Six months!!! That's half of a year! Insane!!

I would like to give updates on the two things that I'm asked about the most. Breast feeding and cloth diapers.

Breast feeding is still going very well. The little monster is getting big and strong, and we aren't having any issues. I'm pumping more than he consumes during work, so that's always a good sign. We've made it to six months breast feeding, which was my initial goal. I said that when I hit six months, I would aim for a year. So that's my next goal. One full year. In the beginning that sounded daunting, yes. Now? It sounds so quick. I stop and think, how am I going to give this up? I love the closeness with my baby. I love that I'm doing something good for him. I love the convenience.

Cloth diapering is going well too! We use two types of cloth diapers now. We use the gDiapers (which I've raved about), but we also use Alvas now. Daycare was treating each gDiaper like a single use unit (which I understand), so it was going to be a waste to use those at daycare. I just couldn't justify having 12 shells a day, it would be too much money. We bought some Alvas for daycare, which are very cheap. They're $5 each, and they work well. I had planned to use American-made diapers, but I had to look at the numbers. So he's in gDiapers at home, and Alvas at daycare. We don't always stick to that though, sometimes (ie laundry day) we will send him with gDiapers to daycare or use Alvas at home. Either way, we're using cloth.

I've experimented with using cloth diapers for night time. Max sleeps five hour stretches, so that's a lot to ask of a cloth diaper. We would go four nights without even a leak, but then the fifth night would be bad. I'd wake up and find him soaked. I just can't do that to my baby, so we've been using disposables at night. Every month or so I try something different, and I'm looking for new ideas if you have suggestions!

Max hasn't eaten anything except breast milk so far! It sounds pretty crazy. We're planning to start him on solids now though. He hit the six month point, which is part of what we wanted to wait for. He has also started reaching for our food. That's usually a great sign that they're ready. He's able to sit up on his own, and that's a big piece for safety. Overall, we're ready. I'm all excited to start making baby food!

Sitting up straight on his six month birthday!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Twenty Six Weeks

Our baby boy is healthy again! What a scary week last week was, it was hell. He's happy and healthy again, and I'm so relieved. Having a sick baby is excruciating. There's nothing worse than watching your baby cough and choke, just staring at you, wondering why you aren't helping. It's so scary for him, and I can't explain that it will only last a few seconds. I just hate it.

He's getting much more sturdy with his sitting, and he's spending a lot of time sitting on his own now. He loves it. Sometimes he gets all cranky if I put the boppy behind him as a safety guard. He pushes it away and wants to sit up on his own. Hmm. Reminds me of someone I know...

The standing is getting better too! He wants to stand a lot, and I've been letting him stand up against me and not really hold him up. He just leans on me with his butt and uses his core muscles to keep himself up. It's pretty impressive if you ask me, but I may be biased. His new pajamas make him happy when he's standing, because the bottoms have grips instead of the soft cloth. Yes, he's in 12 month pajamas already!

Max, playing instead of going to sleep.

Reading time at night usually lasts 45 minutes to an hour nowadays. He's great for growling if he isn't done reading. I love my little book worm! Our reading time is my favorite part of the day. Having him get so excited at the turn of each page, watching him look around at each image and absorb it all, and smile when he hears the story, it's all just so amazing. His favorite book now is Hey! Wake Up! by Sandra Boynton. It's definitely his favorite, and we read it about four times a night. I'm looking forward to finding out what his next favorite will be!

Oh, and milestone! He opened his first present this week! We did a Secret Santa within my mommy group, and Max got to open his present Tuesday night. He absolutely loved tearing into the wrapping paper! He did a great job pulling and tearing, and getting all of the edges. It was fun to watch. He got some balls that roll around and encourage crawling, he loves them! Some of them are rattles, and one is a light. He has a great time with them. He also got one of those sorting tubs of different shapes, which was on his list for Santa. Great presents! Thanks again Ashley!!

Here's Max, opening his presents! 

He'll be six months old tomorrow! Such a scary thought. I'll be posting more tomorrow!

Friday, December 7, 2012

gDiaper Coupon Giveaway

gDiapers has a great program for parents using cloth diapers. I was so excited about this that I signed up for it while I was still pregnant. About a month ago, I received an email from gDiapers asking all of the gMoms and gDads to fill out a survey. In that survey, I explained that I blog about their product and that I would love to give away coupons. Well, I got the coupons in the mail last week!

I wanted to host a giveaway for these coupons. I have 25 $2 coupons up for grabs. If you pair this with their new customer offer ($10 off of a purchase of $100) by using the code TRYIT at checkout, you will be getting $12 off! I like free money, don't you? If you win, I'll drop the coupon in the mail for you and you'll be on your way to glorious gDiapers of your own! All you have to do is shoot me a quick email ( and you're all set.

If you're looking for the cutest cloth diaper of the season, you need this one.

photo courtesy of

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Twenty Five Weeks

I have to start with something that I forgot to post about last week. We officially have a bossy baby! Last Monday, Max received a card from my cousin's daughter (thank you again Madison!!!) and he (obviously) wanted to put it in his mouth. I let him for a little bit, because it was mostly crayon. He started to get close to the part that had ink on it, so I took it away from him. Well, that was just not a good idea. He reached his hands out for it and started crying! That was the first time he's ever done that! Little munchkin. Since then, he's done this a couple of times when he wants something. Uh oh, here comes Mr Bossy Pants!

Max has gotten a lot better with his hands and fingers. He uses his pincer grasp (aka thumb and forefinger) a lot, and it's amazing to watch him aim those two fingers at things to pick them up. He's getting great at grabbing things out of my hand, or off of the floor. It's not like a whole dragging motion of his hands. It's a deliberate reach with a couple of fingers. It's so fun to watch! He's also doing this when picking up cloth.

Unfortunately, Max got sick this week. It started on Friday night I'd say. It seemed like a cold, but his cough was a lot worse starting Sunday night. We brought him in, and found out that he has bronchialitis. It's not fun. He would cough until he was vomiting. He would stop breathing for a few seconds when it was really bad, it is terrifying. I can't explain how scary this is. He will be sound asleep and cough in his sleep. The cough will get keep going, and get worse with each cough until he's choking. I'm lucky that I'm a light sleeper, so I always hear it before it gets bad. I grab him and hold him up because he's going to get sick in a few seconds. Poor little baby. I can't imagine being a heavy sleeper, and what could happen. I can't even think about it. Once he stops coughing and vomiting, he goes right back to his happy self. Like nothing happened.

The first time it happened, my heart literally stopped when he stopped breathing. I was a mess. I started crying. I wanted to bring him to the hospital. I was so scared. Having your poor baby sick like that, just staring at you helplessly as they suffer, it's hell. That's really the only way I can explain it. I sat on the floor and rocked him as I cried. I took care of him, I kept functioning, but emotionally I was stopped in my tracks. The pain in my heart was so massive that I didn't know if I could deal with it. It is so hard to see your baby sick, that in that moment I was honestly afraid to have another baby. How could I deal with this emotionally? Double the emotional pain? Watching your baby suffer is just hell. I hear that it gets easier. I hear that eventually he'll be getting sick like this and it won't really bother me. Maybe that's true. Maybe I'll be less terrified eventually. For now, I'm going to sit here and rock my baby until we both calm down and feel better.

Max, peacefully sleeping after one of his coughing fits

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Twenty Four Weeks

Max has been a happy and healthy boy this week! We've noticed that he has so much more personality lately, and it's definitely because he's feeling better. He's talking (baby talk, but still) more, he's always smiling, and he's moving around a lot. It's great to see him like this. Don't get me wrong, he has a great temperament even when he's not feeling well. He just takes it up a notch when he's feeling well.

He's getting better with the hiding games, or the start to peek-a-boo. While I'm holding Max, his daddy likes to jump from one side of me to the other and get him to laugh. Max loves it! He giggles and kicks, and of course his little squeal. When Sean disappears behind my back, Max will look to the side that he knows daddy will appear from. It's hysterical. It's so cute watching them play. Sometimes Sean will actually run from one room to the other to do this, running around the interior of the house to appear from a different room. Max doesn't love that one as much (probably because he doesn't have that much patience yet, being a baby and all), but he still giggles for daddy.

When he's laying in his Pack and Play, I will hide under the edge and talk to him. He starts breathing fast and getting all excited, and then I'll pop over the edge and say "peek-a-boo" and he giggles so hard. His belly laughs are the best. Sometimes he doesn't want to lay on the changing table. I'll put a shirt or burp cloth over his face and say "Where is Max?!" and he'll pull it off and look at me with a huge smile. I'll say "peek-a-boo" and he giggles all over again. This trick is quite handy when trying to change the diaper of an energetic gremlin who just does not want to lay down. Now he's actually putting cloth over his face and pulling it off to make that face. He loves it AND he's a quick learner. (Note: This also means we have to be careful about blankets and other cloth when he's playing or sleeping.)

Our little monster is officially rolling! He has been rolling from back to front for months. He started rolling front to back recently, and now he can do a full roll. He gets SO proud of himself when he does it! When he rolls from his back to his belly, he'll prop himself up on his arms and look up at you with a huge grin. We'll give him praise for doing a good job, and he'll giggle.

We usually let him hang out in the bouncy seat while we are cooking or doing dishes. He can play with his toys (aka eat them) while we talk or sing to him. Now that he's getting so much better at sitting up, we have started him in the high chair. He loves being able to sit up in that thing! We put some of his toys on the tray, and he plays and plays. Of course he will throw something on the floor every couple of minutes, but that's what babies do. Sometimes I think he does it so we'll come over and kiss him when we hand the toy back to him.

Oh! An update from a couple of weeks ago! This past weekend, my mother-in-law gave me a portable light to put in the back seat for Max. I used it today driving home from daycare (dark out) and he was content the whole time! He just played with his toys back there, and didn't fuss at all. What a life saver! Thanks again, Jane!

Dixie reaching up for Max to rub her head

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Twenty Three Weeks

The cold is finally gone!! He is a healthy boy again! We hated seeing him sick, so we are very relieved that he is all better.

This past week has been all about Dixie. That's our cat. She's known to be a mean cat, but not to Sean and I. She usually keeps to herself, and wants a little love once in a while. I honestly wasn't worried about having a baby with her in the house.

He's been staring at her lately, which you probably read last week. But Friday he actually pet her for the first time! He and I were hanging out in the front yard. I was helping him stand on the ground, and she walked up to him. Max put his arms out, and she rubbed herself into his hands. Then she walked back and forth, so his hands were petting her as she passed. He was kicking his legs and getting all excited!!

Every day since, they have had some play time. They're becoming fast friends! I'm excited to watch this develop.

(Sorry for the dark photos)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Twenty Two Weeks

Well this little monster is as happy as can be. He's in a great mood 90% of the time, even with a cold. This week he started to roll off of the couch, so that he could hang upside down. He climbs all over us like we're a jungle gym, so that he can roll off of us, pillows, the couch, etc. He likes doing back bends. We of course taught him to go upside down, by dangling him and playing with him. He just loves it. Seeing everything upside down must be very exciting when you're just learning about the world, right? So I let him do it until his face starts turning red, and then I distract him while I hold him upright. Crazy little monkey.

Max, hanging over the edge of the couch
He's been sleeping better at night, which has been great. Keeping him in his rock and play, at a slight angle, is great for his cough. The cool mist humidifier also helps, and he loves to stare at it. It's a big green frog. He talks to the frog sometimes in the morning, it's adorable! He hates having his nose suctioned, he hates having it wiped, and he definitely hates saline drops. I can't blame him for any of these things. I would feel exactly the same way.

He loves his baths. Now he will reach for the sink if he's in the kitchen and sees the water coming out of the faucet. He's always wanting to dive into the water.

Max and Dixie are becoming friendly! Last week he started to watch her as she walked by, or moved around on the bed during story time. Now he looks for her when he hears her bell, and closely watches her move around the room. He's captivated by her. She sat with him on his play mat Friday, and watched him play for a while (until he was too noisy for her). It was awesome to watch.

Dixie watching Max play with his Kick and Play (his favorite thing to do!) Fisher-Price Discover 'N Grow Kick And Play Piano Gym (Google Affiliate Ad)

This week we've had something new happen. Max HATES being in the dark in the car. When I pick him up from daycare, he wants the interior light on. For the whole ride. Poor little guy, he's curious and wants to see stuff. I have to figure out a way to get him some light back there, because the light we have in his mirror just isn't sufficient.

His favorite song is the alphabet. It has been his favorite for a few weeks. I've tried a few other songs, and he doesn't react the same way. He doesn't like the whole song though, just the letters part. Once you get to, "Now I know my ABC's" he gets mad and cries at you. You have to go from Z back to A, immediately. It's pretty cute. I love that he knows the difference.

Another song that he likes, but not as much, is our own version of the "I'm a Little Teapot" classic. Here are our lyrics though:
I'm a little baby, short and stout.
Here is my diaper, here is my mouth.
When I'm tired and hungry,
Hear me shout "wah!" (I add a little whine to make him smile)
Tip me over and feed my mouth!

He loves the end, I always tip him a little when I say it. He gets a big smile and kicks his legs. Happy boy.

Here is Max, looking startled when mommy gives him a kiss

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Twenty One Weeks

I'm not sure why this didn't post on November 8th, but we can try this again. The blogger app may have had an issue that day. 

Our little monkey still has a cold. He now has a pretty bad cough, and the doctor said it's completely normal. Having to be sick is no fun for him, and he is adjusting to these new coughs. The doctor told us that we can expect him to have one cold per month this winter, because he is in daycare. He said that the colds will usually last a week. Let's hope this one passes quickly! 

It seems that he knows his name now! Sean will say "Max!" and he will turn right around and smile. He responds to his name more than "hey" or other words, that's why we think he knows his name. 

He's getting a lot better at sitting up, and he's much more sturdy now. He is also getting more sturdy with standing, he still only does that for a few seconds at a time though. 

This week we retired his baby tub, which we had been using on the kitchen counter. He's now taking his baths in the sink, sitting in a bath seat. He loves it! He's in more of a seated position, and I let the water shower over him for the whole bath. He loves playing with his hands in the water as it's falling, and he loves having it aimed as his belly so that he can reach it. We still "listen to Franky" (Frank Sinatra) during his baths, it's nice and calming. It's a lot easier to give him baths this way, much less cleanup. It's a win-win for all of us! 

This week my back has officially started hurting. I figured it would happen eventually, with the weight restrictions I have when it comes to lifting, but I wish it didn't happen so soon. Picking up the little boy hurts a lot, and I'm having trouble walking. Each day it's been bad, but not getting worse. That may be a good thing. I can deal with the pain, I'm just nervous that it will get worse as he gets heavier. Which logically will happen. 

Here's a picture of our little sleeping monster. 

Five Months

Wow! Five months!!

Our little monster is getting so big! I can't believe that he's almost half of a year old! Last week he weighed in at 18 pounds 15 ounces! Almost 19 pounds already. Big boy. He still has that cold, but he's a happy and handsome little boy.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Twenty Weeks

This has been a great week. Our little buddy is feeling a lot better! He doesn't alway love his medicine, but it is helping and he's a much happier boy.

We don't know if it's due to his medicine kicking in (it probably is), but Max is back to sleeping five to six hours straight at night. The four month wakeful period may just be ending though :) he's slept better since Saturday. He was waking up every couple of hours for weeks, and we know he didn't have the ear infection at that time (4 month check up with doctor would have caught it). Either way, he's sleeping longer spells again.

He's getting even more strong! Last week he could sit up for a few seconds on his own. Now it's even longer. When he gets tired, he leans forward on his arms. He loves it, and loves to just sit and look around.

He's standing!!! He loves standing up. Now I am just holding his fingers to hold him steady. When he stands up, he gets the biggest smile and be looks oh so proud of himself. It's freaking adorable!!

He's been rolling from back to belly for a couple of months, but he always got stuck once he got on his belly. He's definitely trying to roll off of his belly now. He's also on his way to crawling. He gets his butt up in the air, and is on his knees. He is just working on the arms now. He's getting there!!

A couple of my sisters and I went toget our kids' pictures taken together. Costumes included. Super cute. Can't wait for the prints. Max fell asleep waiting for our turn, and here is a picture of my sleeping baby. He woke up a little bit for the pictures, but he was still too sleepy to sit up. Poor little boy, waking him up like a mean mommy!

He got dressed up for Halloween and helped hand out candy. Here are a couple of pictures for you to enjoy. One with mommy, and one with daddy. He was definitely the cutest raccoon I've ever seen!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Nineteen Weeks

The poor little boy was sick this week. He had a cold starting Friday, and it didn't go away like we hoped. Yesterday his eye was all yucky when I woke him up, and knew right away what it was. I brought him to the doctor to find out that not only did he have a cold and pink eye, he also had an ear infection!! The poor thing must have been in so much pain, but he was still a sweet little boy. He's taking medicine now, and hopefully he will feel brand new again soon!

We spent the weekend at home because he was sick, but it was beautiful out. Sunday we hung out for a while in the hammock, and I snapped this picture. That's our handsome little guy!

He's getting stronger by the day. He plays a new game now, he likes to try to dive out of your arms to get to things he wants. You have to hold him tight, little monster. He's getting better at sitting up, he barely needs help. He can sit up on his own for a good thirty seconds now before he slumps a little. He love it, and he gets so proud when he's sitting up!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Eighteen Weeks

This week has been interesting. We think he may either be feeling his tongue out, or maybe he can feel teeth coming through. Whatever the reason, this week he is rubbing his tongue along the front of his bottom gums a lot. Like all of the time! It's so funny. He's not blowing raspberries as much, because he's busy with this.

He's getting more persistent about standing when being held or burped. His legs are getting so strong!

Tummy time is getting better every week. He's getting stronger and looking up and around much more. I still sneak in extra time with the airplane trick though. I put him in the football hold, face down, quite often to walk around and swing him back and forth like he's flying. He laughs and giggles, and is working his neck muscles without even knowing it. Sneaky mommy!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Seventeen Weeks

This past weekend we met up with some girls in my mommy group, along with their husbands and babies. We went apple picking and walked through the pumpkin patch.

Well, Max runs hot. I'm not sure if you're familiar with the term. He is usually warmer than everyone else, and he doesn't like being hot. He sweats easily and needs to be dressed the same as us. Most babies are supposed to wear one more layer than the adults. Not this little guy!

So, back to this past weekend. It was a beautiful fall day, and we brought Max in a short-sleeve (we knew better than to put him in long sleeves) onesie and pants. We brought a fleece in the bag if he got cool.

All of the babies were due in June 2012, so they're roughly the same age. They were all in sweaters or fleece coats. Our little guy starts fussing and getting all mad at me about thirty minutes in. Why? Because he's hot. So I had to take his pants off (maybe e just wanted to show off his cute cloth diaper?). I had to carry around a baby in just a onesie while all of the kids in the place were dressed in long sleeves and looking all bundled up! My baby was warm and happy, but it just looked so funny. What can I say, he runs hot!

He fell asleep shortly after having his pants come off, I guess he was VERY comfortable. We took pictures with the pumpkins even though he was sleeping. We didn't have the heart to wake him up.

I was able to catch him with his toes in his mouth!! He's been trying this for a few weeks now, but he finally got his foot in there!

Bonus picture: daddy and Max, with their matching spikey hair! When Max nurses right after his bath, this happens. The little guy loves to hold handfuls of his hair while he eats, so it dries standing up. Super cute!!

4 months old

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Sixteen Weeks

This little guy isn't so little any more! He's almost 17 pounds now, and if I'm not careful when I pick him up... Yup! Ouch! He's still not big enough to comfortably sit on my hip, he's still hanging out on the shoulder. Which is good, it means he's still our little baby.

He's had hit or miss nights with the sleeping lately, but mostly he's sleeping well. We think he's teething, and that's probably related to waking up. Poor thing.

Another thing that's new this week, he's become more clingy than he had been in weeks. He usually sits in his bouncy chair and watches me make dinner while I talk to him, but now he wants to be held. He doesn't want to fall asleep in his bed alone, he wants to cuddle with me until he falls asleep. I am LOVING the baby cuddles.

He's become pretty sturdy with sitting up. Not a freestanding sitting position of course, but a sturdy lean. He is putting his hands on his knees or feet to hold himself up, and he's doing we'll with that. He loves feeling all independent with it, which is adorable. He's also been practicing his standing.

The superman game is our game of the week. We have been doing it for a few weeks now, but he is now laughing his head off when we play. I started this game to sneak some tummy time in, and it works well. He's having a ball, and doesn't even realize that he's working on his neck and arm muscles. It's also great for mommy's stomach and leg muscles! Triple duty game! What I do is sit up and lean him against my shins. Then I slowly lay down and bring my legs to a 90 degree angle, so that he is laying parallel to the floor. I say "weeee" as I move my legs from side to side, and front to back. I safely hold him up there the whole time as well, of course. It's a great game!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

All Together Now

Monday night I watched the most amazing thing. I literally stopped to stare because I was so excited.

Max has been grabbing onto things for a couple of weeks now. He has been kicking things since before he was born. But tonight was the first time I saw him use his feet and hands together to achieve something. It took my breath away.

He was laying in his swing, relaxing with his cuddly monkey (see picture for reference). He accidentally threw it into his lap, down between his feet. He reached for it with his hands, but it was too far away. He looked at it for a moment, and then his feet started to move. He used his feet to push it up, and at the same time he reached forward with his hands to grab it.

It was beautiful to watch him learn to do that. It's the little things like this that I'm glad that I take a moment to witness before moving on to the next thing.
And then the monkey went straight into his mouth. A normal moment for him, but phenominal at the same time. That's out little boy!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Fifteen Weeks

We have a new laugh!! This past Sunday, Max and I were playing and having fun during his diaper change. He doesn't like the shirt changing process, so I try to make it fun for him. When I peel his shirt over his head, I loudly sing, "naked baby!" and he usually smiles and giggles. Oh, and kicking too (ouch, belly). This usually puts him in a good mood. I was blowing raspberries on his belly and giving him lots of goofy kisses all over his face. He started this amazing new belly laugh. It was awesome! I wish I could explain it in words. It's a beautiful little song that I really love hearing. I've been trying to capture it in video, but haven’t succeeded yet. He's such a happy little baby, and it makes it so fun to see when he's having a great time.

He's getting so strong with his back. He's now sitting forward during story time, he refuses to lean back on mommy most of the time. He's sitting up straight, and if he loses his balance he leans forward a little and rests his elbows on his thighs for support. He just sits there and stares at the books. He always starts at the left page, scans it, and then turns his head to the right page. I love watching him. His current favorite book is I Kissed the Baby by Mary Murphy. The last couple of pages are his favorite part. He gets a big kiss when the baby in the book gets kissed, and then I quack with the duckling on the last page. He gets all excited and smiles and rocks back and forth.

This past weekend we had a glitch in his sleeping schedule. He's been sleeping five or six hours straight since he was about six weeks old (trust me, I know how lucky I am for this!). Friday night he started waking every two or three hours. Sometimes it was to eat, other times he just wanted to be held. I'm cherishing each extra waking moment I have with him, so I love it. This lasted through Monday night, and he was back to normal on Tuesday night. I'm not sure if it was a growth spurt, but he definitely seems bigger to me!

His legs are a whole other story. This little monster wants to stand a lot. He stands in my lap now, with just holding my fingers in his hands for stability! He gets all giggly and proud, with his loud squeals. It only lasts a few seconds, but it’s so fun to watch.

He still doesn’t love tummy time, but he’s getting a lot better. He can lift his head and look around. He doesn’t push himself up with his arms yet, but he’s trying. I’m wondering if he’s going to try to skip the crawling phase and go straight to walking! I know that he probably won’t, but you never know!

Here’s a picture of the sleeping munchkin:

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Fourteen Weeks

This past week Max has gotten a lot better with his neck control. He is much quicker with turning his head to look at things, and holding his head up to look around.
He loves being in the air like an air plane. It makes him giggle so much.
He's always trying to sit up. In his swing, in his car seat, in our laps,!8' his bed, always. Pretty soon he will be able to do it!
He's such a happy little boy. We are really lucky with him. Great little personality. Always on the go, never wanting to sit still. Kind of like someone he knows :)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Three Months

Well, three months is here! Happy three-month birthday to our little man! I can't believe the "fourth trimester" is already over. I have definitely seen it coming to an end lately, he hasn't wanted to be held as much. It's a hard adjustment for a mommy that feels that time is going too quickly!

Breast feeding is still going well. My supply hasn't dropped at all since going back to work, which I was honestly concerned about. He's doing well with the bottle feeding with his daddy and at daycare, so that's great!

I took quite a few photos today, which was fun. He actually lays there and looks at the camera patiently. It's hilarious. Now I just need to figure out how to get him to smile at the camera, and we will be golden! Sometimes I can catch a smile as he's smiling at my face, and those are great.

He's quite the little character!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Thirteen Weeks

This week has been all about standing. This little guy wants to stand up all of the time. If his feet are touching something solid, he is pushing his feet off of it. It's awesome. He gets so happy and proud when he's standing. Such an amazing thing, to watch him learn about these things.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Twelve Weeks

Today Max is twelve weeks old. Wow. I’ll skip the “it’s going by too fast” and “I can’t believe it” stuff, but you can fake I said that. It’s all true.

Max has seemed to take to daycare really well. He’s been going for two weeks now, and he seems to love it. When I see him smile at his teachers, I just know that he’s fine. I’m now used to the whole dropoff/pickup routine and prepping for everything the night before. It’s all part of the routine now, and it feels good. I still wish I didn’t have to go back to work, and I still want to stay with him, but it’s getting easier.

This last week, Max has been clearer about wanting to do certain things. He turns his head and stares at his play mat until we lay him on it. Or he’ll turn and stare at his playpen until we put him in there. He has toys in each and he has a blast learning how to reach and grab in there. He’ll be very quiet and stare, and then we’ll put him in and he’ll get all happy and smile and shriek. It’s adorable!

The hands are always in the mouth! This has been going on for a few weeks, but this week it seems to be more frequent. He is now able to just pick one finger (or thumb) to suck on, and he’s moving his arms very deliberately. He even gets a finger up his nose once in a while!

Max is grabbing his feet more often, and starting to hold them for a longer time. He thinks it’s hilarious to do this while I’m trying to change his diaper! He just giggles and wiggles with glee when I tease him about it. He’s so proud that he can do it. It definitely makes diaper changes more challenging.

We had a great long weekend with him. We did a lot of traveling, and he hates the car seat, but he was such a good baby when he got out of the car seat. He likes to move around and play, he’s never content just lying there (unless he’s tired). Sitting in a car seat, all strapped in, is just not something he enjoys. Then you factor in the side that he’s trying to sit himself up now when he’s in a seat or swing, and you can see why he wouldn’t like it. Poor little guy. Hopefully in time he will get used to it. I hate seeing him cry in the seat, especially when we’re an hour from home!

He’s getting so strong. He always wants to sit up on his own. I just hold his wrists now most of the time, and he balances himself and pulls on his arms to adjust when he needs to. He gets so happy and hold his head so high when he sits. When I burp him, he’s always trying to stand up. Sometimes I loosely hold him, letting him carry his own weight on his feet. He pushes and looks around, like he doesn’t know what he’s doing! It’s so exciting to watch.

And once again... I love this little boy.
beautiful sleeping baby

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Cloth Diapers: Two Months Later

Well, I promised to do a follow-up post to some readers that were curious. I had posted (link here) about my plans to go the cloth diaper route a few months ago. I admit, I was a little nervous. I wasn't nervous enough to let it hold me back though, because I was so excited! I can honestly say, that cloth diapering was something that I was really looking forward to. I'm so glad that we gave it a try!

Max, one week old, in his first cloth diaper

We started cloth diapers on July 1st, when Max was two weeks old. We had wanted to wait until his cord stump fell off. He seemed to love them right away, and who wouldn't?! Sean and I just thought they were so cute!

We started our cloth diaper journey with gDiapers. We started with 8 covers, 12 liners, and 24 inserts. This was the perfect amount for a newborn with parents that don't mind doing diaper laundry daily. When Max would have a "wet" diaper, we would take out the insert and put it in the wet bag, wipe the inside of the liner with a baby wipe, and let it air dry before putting a new insert in. If we had a "soiled" (like my effort to not be graphic?) diaper, we would unsnap the liner and put both the insert and the liner in the wet bag. Typically a "soiled" diaper gets the liner yucky and you want to wash it rather than just wipe it out. Now, there will be fun times (yay!) when the cover may get wet or dirty also. These are the times that you will drop it in the wet bag, and just start with a fresh one. Essentially you are allowing for 24 diaper changes a day. This may sound like a lot, but when you have a newborn baby it doesn't seem so crazy.

Max, seven weeks old, hanging out in his gDiaper

Our normal wash routine is pretty simple. We diaper all day, and at the end of the night we wash everything in the washing machine together. The wash routine varies by person. Our original process was to do a cold rinse with no detergent, followed by a warm wash with Tide, with an extra rinse cycle included. Eventually we moved to just doing a warm wash, with Tide, with an extra rinse cycle. We haven't seen any change in cleanliness or smell of the diapers, so we figured we would save the effort, time, water, and electricity. Once the wash is complete, we take the whole load and hang it on the drying rack for the night. They're dry by morning, so you have fresh and clean diapers ready for you when you wake up! Some people will dry the inserts and covers (do NOT put the liners in the drier), and we have done that a couple of times. I'm cheap though, and trying to save the environment and whatnot, so we try to lay them on the drying rack when possible.

The drying rack, full of gDiaper awesomeness

Our not so little boy is now graduating to size medium for the gDiapers! I can't believe it! Our daycare actually does cloth diapers, which is awesome!

Now, for the fun stuff:

  • We have not seen any increase to our electric or water bills as a result of cloth diapering. This was a question that people were concerned about, and thought that increases in these two bills would negate the savings of using cloth diapers. This is not the case, thankfully. 
  • We don't use cloth at night. GASP! We did in the beginning, when Max was waking up every two hours or so. Once he started sleeping six hours at a time (at about six weeks), we were having a lot of leaks. This isn't the diaper's fault of course, that's a lot to expect out of a poor diaper insert! So we use disposables at night, sorry. 
  • We haven't stuck with cloth every single day. Yup, that's right. Naughty. There have been times that I forgot to do the diaper laundry. Or we were exhausted and didn't care to do it. Whatever the reason, we haven't been 100% consistent. This is fine though, we're still doing it most of the time.
  • Max hasn't had a diaper rash yet, at all. Hooray for cloth!
  • Cloth diapers are NOT a huge pain when you're out and about. People always assume that we won't use cloth diapers if we're away from home. I don't see the big deal. When you're out, you put the used diaper in a bag and hold onto it until you get home. What's the difference if it's a cloth or disposable diaper? Yes, I could throw a disposable diaper in someone's trash at their house, but eww! Sorry, I'm weird and I wouldn't want to do that. 
  • Cloth is cute. Yes. We know this. No surprise there. 
  • It feels good. It really does. I hate putting a disposable diaper in the trash, just as I expected I would. A load of diaper laundry is totally worth the happy feeling I get because I'm saving 20 diapers from sitting in a dump for 500 years. 
  • Money... I'm sorry. I can't do a comparison for you in all honesty. Our cloth diapers were on our baby registry and we have some very generous friends and family, so we didn't actually buy them. I don't want to say "we saved $200" (random number), because we didn't actually make the investment ourselves. Now that we're buying size medium gDiapers, I'll do a cost comparison for the next two months. I want to be honest when possible! 
If you're curious about how the gDiapers work (I know I was before we used them), here are some pictures:

gDiaper cover, view from the outside
gDiaper cover, view from the inside

gDiaper liner (note the orange snaps, where it attaches to the cover) please ignore the staining on the edges, that happens when you have a "soiled" diaper (sunning will make it fade though!)
gDiaper insert, bottom side
gDiaper insert, top side

gDiaper assembled, view from the inside
gDiaper assembled, view from the back
And there you have it! Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to make sure I covered everything. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. I had to look in a ton of different places when I was researching cloth diapers, I know how overwhelming it can be. I'd love to help! I'm not expert obviously, so if you have tips for me, feel free to share those too. I'm always looking to learn!