Saturday, June 29, 2013

BabyBeads Nursing Necklaces

Once my son turned about eight months old, he was no longer content quietly nursing. He wanted to play, move around, anything but stay still. In general, he doesn't like to stay still, so this was no surprise. I have an active little boy! I've heard that once your child stops laying there quietly to nurse, that they should no longer be nursing. That is completely not true. My son still loves to nurse, he simply wants something to occupy him while he eats. Something that has really helped is a nursing necklace!

When I'm wearing a nursing necklace, he's busy playing with the different beads or pulling on the necklace. It keeps his mind busy while he's nursing, and he thinks it's fun! I think tugging on it is his favorite part, he's a little munchkin. Luckily, the nursing necklaces from Baby Beads make me feel safe letting my (very strong) baby yank on the necklace. 

Baby Beads is a company run by someone that understands the safety of children, a mom. Jo (the owner of Baby beads) makes all of the necklaces by hand, and is sure that they are safe for mommy and baby. The beads are strung onto a very strong cord that has multiple knots. This makes the necklace strong, but also ensures that any breaks will result in the fewest amount of beads coming loose as possible. Great idea!! I can't imagine that the necklace would break though, and Jo has never heard of one breaking. 

There are many color choices available for these necklaces, and I chose the unisex aqua one. I absolutely love the colors! Lots of shades if blue, my favorite! The necklace is comfortable to wear (even when being tugged) and my son loves the texture of the beads. It's the perfect length for him to grab into it and play while he's nursing.

If you're looking to keep your toddler (or active baby) still while nursing, I highly recommend a nursing necklace from Baby Beads! Check out the Baby Beads Website to see the necklaces available. 

I'm happy to say that I wrote this post as part of the Keep Britain Breast Feeding Scavenger Hunt. Here are some other bloggers that are participating as well:

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Friday, June 28, 2013

Fifty Four Weeks

Here's a photo of Max and I having a raspberry blowing contest. He loves these games! 

Max is obsessed with the stairs! I think this is probably common, but it's hilarious. 

He's bringing toys up while he climbs, all of the way up. Or boxes of tissues, bags of dirty diapers from daycare, clothes from the pile mommy is folding, anything. If he can't carry it in his hand while he climbs, he throws the thing up the steps ahead of him. When he gets to it, he grabs it and throws it further up the stairs. Over and over until he's at the top.

Once he's at the top, he throws the object(s) down the steps. Laughs and laughs. He likes it when it bounces all of the way to the bottom, but sometimes it doesn't  make it the whole way. If that's the case, climbs down to the object and throws it down again. Over and over until it hits the floor. Then, you guessed it, the process starts again. He's so happy when he's climbing up, and it's so cute that he doesn't want help but constantly looks behind him to make sure I'm right there. 

This past weekend he was doing his backwards feet first approach to getting down the stairs. I decided it was the perfect opportunity to have him sit on my lap while we went sliding down the steps on my bum, step by step. There were sound effects of course, and he giggled and giggled. So that is how he goes on his own now, and he thinks it's a blast. 

I love watching him pick up his toys and put them on the seat of his push toys. It's so cute! He still likes to run around the house with them while shrieking at the top of his lungs. He's walking nonstop too, but he likes to mix it up and use his push toys also. 

Stacking rings are his favorite lately. He's really good at getting the rings onto the pole, and he's so happy when he gets them all on. Stacking blocks and cups is also a blast, but his favorite part is knocking them down and pushing them all over the floor. This just cracks him up, and he laughs and laughs. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Year of Breast Feeding: Toddler Positions

My son turned a year old eleven days ago. I'm still blown away by how fast this year has gone by, but it feels like so much longer when I think about different pieces. I feel that breast feeding is such a big part of who I am now.

At first it was overwhelming and challenging, which I knew it would be to start. We got through those difficult first days, and it became a wonderful experience. The period of thrush were a painful time, but we fought through and I'm a better person for it. Everything since then has been, to use one word, beautiful. I love the bond that we have, and breast feeding makes me feel so connected to my role as his mother. Things have certainly changed though, and nursing a baby is definitely very different from nursing a toddler.

I would like to say that the fact that Max can sign for milk has really made life better. Knowing what he wants before he gets fussy is amazing, and I can tell that he loves the power of communicating that to me. This is definitely a huge change from his early days as a baby, as he can actively explain his needs. Watching for him to root around was easy as well, but this is just different. I love it.

So what do we know about toddlers? Well, they're toddling. Max does not want to just sit/lay there to eat. He's all about moving around and getting comfortable or just keeping himself moving. Here are some examples of new nursing positions:

  1. Side-lying in the crook of my arm, so I can act as a pillow as he falls asleep. 
  2. Downward-facing-baby. Yup, you got it. He likes to nurse with his legs straight and his butt in the air (while I'm laying down). How does he manage to swallow? I have no idea. 
  3. Sitting at the bar. Yup, I'll be on my side while he sits up and just bends over. Sometimes he will ONLY nurse in this position. This is sometimes accompanied by another typical bar activity. He fills his mouth with milk and then lets it all out on me. Why? I have no answer for that either. He thinks it's hysterical though, and goes back for more. Boot and rally, right? 
  4. Laying perpendicular to me. Perpendicular? How does that work? Well, I'm laying down, he lays with his head next to me, but his feet are as far away from me as possible. Then... he tilts his head back as far as he can and latches. Really? Yes, really. He actually starts from a regular side-lying position and just wiggles his legs further and further from me, while never unlatching. Tricky kid. 
  5. Laying ON me, belly down. Yes, he will be latched and pull his body over mine, and just lay there with one leg on either side of me. Lots of wiggling accompanies this, but he enjoys it. 
  6. Laying on me, belly UP. What? Yes, that's right. BELLY UP. He starts with the laying on me face down and somehow manages to roll over. So he's laying on me, facing the ceiling, with his head turned so that he can still nurse. Weird duck. 
  7. Baby rolls. No, not the cute rolls on their legs. Actually rolling. Nurse five seconds while turning slightly, until the neck won't turn anymore, unlatch and complete the turn and relatch. Repeat. Yes, this happens. He thinks it's funny! Silly kid. 
Although it's not a position, he does another funny thing. He will pull his head back, look at the nipple, and go "ahhh!" as he opens his mouth, as wide as it will go, and leans his head in for more. It cracks us up!

All of this is hysterical to me. He actually nurses through me laughing at him. He's a little goof. He will stop sometimes and look up at me, with a huge smile, and just giggle with me. It's great. Sometimes Daddy is there to giggle with us. These fun memories are the best. I wouldn't take back a single moment of this awesome experience. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Fifty Three Weeks

We officially have a walker! Sunday morning, as a Father's Day gift, Max started walking! He was walking from room to room, different from the spurts of ten steps or so before that. He's loving it! We were so excited to see it, and the big proud smiles he gives are the best. 

Tonight he actually walked a full lap around our house (there is a stair case in the center of our house). I couldn't believe it. That wasn't enough though, nope, he wanted more. He crawled right up the stairs! All of the way to the top! A few times he has made it halfway up before getting bored. Tonight he went the whole way, and then right into mommy and daddy's room to play. 

This week Max loved playing a new game in our bedroom before story time. I sit in the center of the bed, and hide behind pillows as he runs in a U shape around the bed. It's peek-a-boo with running! He laughs his head off and we have such a good time. I ask where he is as I hide behind a pillow, and he runs over to my head and pulls it away. Sometimes he gets really quiet and inches his face up to my head nice and slow, to sneak up on me, and eventually he starts giggling because he can't control himself anymore. It's so sweet! I love how playful he is, it's the best :)

The hugs he's giving are more and more obvious. It's amazing. We brought him in to daycare on his birthday to get a present he had made for daddy, and he ran right up to his friend and gave her a huge hug. They both toppled over in their little embrace, but they were both smiling. I have a feeling that happens a lot with those two! He is always coming up to me for hugs too, and just holding on. I absolutely love it, he's such a lovey baby! 

Max tried strawberries for the first time this weekend. He was a little confused by the new flavor and texture, but after a few days introducing them, he seems to enjoy them. He's also eating yogurt now and loves it! 

Another crazy thing to worry about, he's trying to turn door knobs! He's been playing with them all week, and apparently he's been opening doors at daycare to get to the push car that he loves. Crazy kid! He's growing up so fast!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Twelve Months / One Year

The big day has come! My little bundle of joy is one year old! He's not my baby anymore, he's my toddler. Scary thought. I can't believe it. The day he was born seems like an eternity ago, but it also seems like yesterday. I can't even remember what life was like before him. 

I remember that I just stared and stared at him that first day. I couldn't take my eyes off of him. I still stare at him all of the time, and lose track of life just watching him. Watching him sleep, eat, play, talk, crawl, and now walk. I'm always trying to take in every moment, wishing that I could freeze it in time. Years from now, I won't wish that I read more books, that my house was more clean, or that I watched more tv. I will wish that I had soaked up more of these precious moments with my son. 

He's become so independent. He likes to figure things out on his own, but he's not a brat when he's helped. He's so very loving an affectionate. Always giving snuggles, with his arms or his face. He loves music and dancing, and giggling as he enjoys himself. He likes challenging himself with problem solving and learning new skills. He never wants to just sit around (unless he's sick or exhausted), he's always doing something. He loves his mommy and daddy, and thinks it's the best to go back and forth between us. He's our amazing son, and he already made me so proud. 

Although nothing can bring me back to this point in time, I'm trying to capture it as best I can. This blog has helped me record his weeks, and our lives together. I've used an app on my phone to document every single day since he's entered my life. It's amazing to look back on a picture from each day and see how much he's changed. I take tons of pictures with my phone, and have to empty the memory at least monthly. I hope that I will be better with using my actual camera in the coming days, but it's tough to keep a camera around with chasing a little boy. 

Max still loves to nurse. He signs for his milkies and gets it as soon as we can. He's so happy when we know what he means with his signing. I am trying to teach him some other signs as well, but he usually thinks I'm just playing around. We goof off so much that it's probably confusing for him. He will get it though! He's a smart cookie!!

I love this little boy so much. He's made his daddy and I so happy, and we are both so grateful that we have him in our lives. I can't imagine how much more I can love him, but I know that I love him more and more each day. 

To quote his favorite book/song of the moment:
You are my sunshine
My only sunshine 
You make me happy when skies are gray
You'll never know, dear
How much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away

Happy Birthday Max! 

Fifty Two Weeks

Oh my gosh!!! Fifty two weeks? It's been that long already?? 

Max has really embraced the whole walking thing. He's always walking to get somewhere, and then crawls after he stumbles. But he always starts with walking. He's over ten steps in a row, he gets five feet or so now. It's incredible! 

Max has three words that he is saying now. Mama, dada and guk (book). He says plenty of baby words, but those are the three words that I've noticed him say with an association to a person/object. Of course I'm thrilled that he is saying book! Well, almost!

Speaking of books, I don't think I've posted about this. For weeks, he's been turning the pages by himself during story time. Sometimes he's turning too many and closing the book, but that could be because he's sick of the book. We are experimenting. He loves books with flaps on the pages, and pieces that slide. His Brown Bear, Brown Bear book has been one of his favorites for months, but now he loves it even more because he slides open a panel on each page. He is such a smart little guy with it too. 

Door knobs. Oh boy, door knobs. For a few weeks now he's been trying to reach up and turn them. What?! He's too young for that! He gets up on his little tippy toes and tries to turn it. The first time I saw this, I almost jumped out of my skin. It looks like we have to get safety wraps for our door handles soon. 

The ergo in the backback position is something I've been meaning to write about. He thinks it's a blast. He likes to lean back, which is scary to me of course, and look up at the sky. Or maybe he's trying to scare me and then laugh at me. Both are possible. Anyway, he also likes to lean to one side and look at my face with a big smile, just waiting. Then I look at him, act surprised, and he giggles his head off. Peek-a-boo baby-wearing style! It's the best!

Max had a very busy weekend! His birthday party was Saturday, and it was a blast. It went too quickly! He has so many people that love him, it was an amazing day. He loved seeing everyone, smashing and eating his cake, swinging in his favorite swing, playing in the pool, and of course socializing. My little social butterfly. 

Sunday Max got to meet his great-grandmother. Sean's grandmother is 95 years old and as sweet as could be. She loved spending time with Max, and we were lucky enough to get a few pictures. I'm hoping that he will be over his stranger anxiety next time we see her so that she enjoys the next visit more. He's just so energetic, he was crawling and walking the whole time! Crazy boy. He's definitely on the move now. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Fifty One Weeks

More steps this week! Max is up to six in a row before sitting down. He's standing up and walking too, it's not only letting go of things to walk. He's so proud and determined to keep trying. I love watching him learn how to do these things! 

Max is now a stealth ninja about climbing off of furniture and getting down steps. He turns around, puts one leg over until he finds the ground, and then eases his body off of the cushion until he's standing. This sounds like a slow and careful process, right? No, he's fast! It's amazing how quick he is, he's got ninja moves! 

His new favorite thing this week is to feed me during meals. Broccoli, peas, and especially Cheerios. These are the most delicious bites of food I've ever eaten. His little giggles and kicks each time I eat food from his hand, it's just the best. 

Yesterday Max's daycare had a summer party. It's designed more for the older kids, but Max still got to enjoy it. As we were walking out of the building, Max lit up when he saw a train (a small gas-powered train look-alike, pulling carts and everything) in the parking lot. We ended up getting on and he was so excited! He was turning his feet and wrists in circles, which is how I always know that he's VERY excited. We ended up taking three train rides! He was having a blast! I'm sure he'll love it even more next year. 

The poor little guy had to leave daycare early today, we found out that he has an ear infection. Poor guy. He's teething, evil molars, and ear infections often accompany these fun times. These molars have been bothering him for three weeks now, hopefully the end is in sight. I hate seeing my poor baby in so much pain. He's on his medicine for the ear infection, and I have my fingers crossed that he'll feel better for his birthday party Saturday! So exciting! 

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