Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Favorite Things: Months 1-3

Now that were are 12 weeks into this whole baby business, I thought I'd share some of the things that we have used and loved for these first few months.  If not to help other people, but to remind myself if baby two should ever come around...

Fisher Price Love U Zoo Swing
I can't even tell you how lost in the world we would have been without this swing.  It took David a couple tries to warm up to it, but once he did he took nearly every nap for the first 10 weeks of his life in this swing. It rocks both like a normal swing and also side to side. David mostly preferred the traditional swing direction and loved watching the mobile, listening to the lullaby's and looking at his reflection in the mirror ball. Now that he's older the seat sits up a bit so I attach some toys to the tray and bring it into the kitchen so he can swing and watch me cook. Life. Saver. I will truly be sad when he's too big for it or no longer likes it.

Miracle Blanket
I've written about my love of the miracle blanket before, but man I love it.  I still kick myself for not trying it again before things were totally out of control, but I'm so glad I finally did. I was terrible at swadding with regular blankets and he could totally wiggle out of the velcro ones, but since this one pins his arms down, there's no escaping! It might look like the "baby straight-jacket" but he never fusses when he's in it and usually calms right down. If you ever find yourself thinking "my baby doesn't like to be swaddled". I urge you to just try this for a couple nights. I am SO sad that he appears to be outgrowing it, but I knew he'd have to learn to sleep with his arms free eventually.

Dr. Brown's Formula Pitcher
Yes, we formula feed.  Since we do, bottle making takes up a chunk of our day. Those formula makers are tricky too, they make the scoops in 2 ounce portions, so whenever David is drinking odd numbered ounces (he's drinking 5 oz bottles now) we'd be throwing away a whole ounce of formula per bottle if we were making them one at a time. That's a ton of money down the drain!  With this pitcher we can mix nearly 28 ounces at a time and store it in the fridge, then when it's time to eat we just pour what we need! Perfect!  Highly, highly recommended for anyone that formula feeds!

Munchkin High Speed Bottle Warmer
When I was pregnant, everything I read said bottle warmers were a waste of money and babies shouldn't need their bottle warm. Well since we started making our bottles in the pitcher and they were kept in the fridge I really hated the thought of giving David cold formula. We tried dropping the bottles in a mug of hot water for a few minutes, but our water from the tap takes forever to heat up, I didn't want to mess with the microwave and when you have a screaming infant on our shoulder, time is ticking. This bottle warmer heats a bottle in less than 90 seconds (which at times still feels like an eternity) but it has made our lives so much easier and I think the warm milk helps settle David when he's really worked up.  Plus it has a neat attachment you can use to sanitize binkies!

Summer Infant Flat Screen Video Monitor
I was on the fence about getting a video monitor. Turns out I love it. However, I mostly have to keep the video portion off. I've found that when it's on, I get all kinds of crazy. I think every move is him waking up and find myself sitting there staring at him, just waiting for something to happen.  Usually I turn the video off or just use the hand held audio one.  It picks up sound really well and the lights let me know when he's crying when I'm doing something to where I can't hear like running on the treadmill or washing dishes. It is nice to be able to click on the video and see what he's doing through. It saves me a lot of trips into his room to check on him.

Nuk Pacifier
I had a ton of different pacifiers (or binkies as we call them) when David was born. I'd heard babies could be picky and that turned out be true. This is the one that he picked as his favorite.  We have a bunch of them so there's always one close by to grab. I still kind of hope he finds his thumb pretty soon so he can self-soothe, but I have a feeling he's gonna be a binky baby.  As long as he doesn't use one as long as I did (way too long) I'm alright with it. We also use Nuk bottles. We like' em.

Homedics SoundSpa Lullaby Sound Machine
Ah, white noise.  Where would we be without it?  Zach and I can't sleep without a fan on so we figured the little one would like some background noise too. We use this one on the "rain" setting.  It's on every time he's in his crib. I think it also helps drown out some of the outside sounds (like our noisy neighbors and barking dogs) and helps cue him in that it's time to sleep. It has a timer, but we let it go all night. I do wish it just had a "fan" or "white noise" setting instead of the droppy rain sounds, but it works. Oh and the projector totally broke after a couple uses. Kind of bummed, but oh well.

Tiny Love Mobile
Let's just cut right to the chase. This thing is hideous. It doesn't go with his nursery "theme", it's totally bright and really obnoxious looking.... and that's the point.  I was pretty anal when researching mobiles. I knew babies needed bright colors and bold contrasts to engage them and this is the one that kept coming up the winner in the reviews.  I guess the Tiny Love people know what they are doing because David loves this thing.  We don't use it for bedtime normally, but whenever I need about 15 minutes to do something like fold laundry or get the diaper bag ready, I lay him under this and he just stares and kicks and is completely mesmerized.  If he's fussy in the middle of naptime I'll turn it on and the shapes that move around click every few seconds and I think it totally soothes him back to sleep.  Plus it plays classical music. We like that.

Fisher Price Infant to Toddler Rocker

Another life saver. This sits on our kitchen counter. I keep the kickstand up so I can just pop him in the seat any time I need to do something like feed the dogs, eat breakfast, go to the restroom, let the dogs out or get a bottle ready. It vibrates, has a fun little toy bar and is really deep so he has plenty of room to grow into it. When it is in "rocker" mode it sits him up a little more so he can watch me cook or do dishes. We also use it when we eat so he can see us. Love this thing. I hope he likes it as a toddler rocker too.

Honorable Mention: 
-My cell phone - Wow. Who knew how much time I'd have to surf Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest during late night feedings?! What on EARTH did people do to stay awake before smart phones?? Seriously!
-Our Lazyboy Recliner- I am SO glad we got that thing. It might be big and kind of ugly, but I have spent hours upon hours in that thing holding David through naps, rocking him to sleep and even pulling some all-nighters back in the early days. Not to mention the fact that I practically lived in that thing during the last couple months of my pregnancy. So glad we have it.
- Yoga pants-  I think this is pretty obvious.
- Granola Bars & Diet Coke - There were several days where I lived on these two things alone.

And that's it for now. I'm sure I forgot a bunch of stuff and will smack myself after I push "publish" but perhaps I'll just catch them next time. For now, it's time for bed!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

David is 11 Weeks Old!

David continues to grow and change!  I feel like he's a totally different baby every day! 

The biggest news is sleep!  He's now sleeping at night exclusively in his crib (hope I didn't just jinx that!) He still gets up one or two times a night, but its generally pretty easy to get him back to sleep.  A couple times he's pulled out a 7 hour stretch, but we usually average about 5 hour stretches. I am definitely not complaining!  Now naptime? That's another story.  He is not a big fan of napping in his crib.  I usually get him down for about 20 to 30 minutes then he's back up.  I know he's tired because then he'll sleep in my arms for a good two hours!  While I absolutely LOVE holding him, I know I can't do it all the time, so I've been trying to be a little more persistent about putting him in the crib.  Right now it's working! The only reason I'm able to type this blog is because he's sleeping!! Plus I already worked out for 40 minutes AND took a shower! It's a miracle!!

He's more and more alert everyday too!  Just in the last couple days he's started to actually bat at some of his toys and grab on to a blanket or soft lovey when I put in on his lap. Adorable! The other night when Zach was talking to him he kept reaching for his face!  He LOVES his dad!! Oh my goodness, does he!

 His favorite spot to hang out is still his changing table.  He will lay there and just smile and kick and has even started "talking" to his best friend - a picture of a cow - every time he's up there. Even in the middle of the night. It makes diaper changes a lot more fun!

How am I doing? Alright. My maternity leave is over half gone now. I have really mixed emotions about it. I didn't think I'd miss work as much as I do. I always had lofty dreams of being a stay at home mom, and while it's not even an option for us, I just don't know if I could do it.  Don't get me wrong, I love being home with him and I'm cherishing every single second, but a part of me misses getting dressed and driving somewhere and doing something.  Then I think about dropping him off at daycare and feel sick to my stomach. So yeah, mixed emotions. I still have two more months to go (Thank You Hallmark!) but I need to start updating my resume (why I did not do this before leaving, I do not know) because while I'm guaranteed a job back, they couldn't hold my position so I need to get that all spiffed up because I'm sure whatever jobs are open, the manager is going to want to see my resume anyway.  Sigh.

I've been trying to work out more often. I'm finally starting to drop more weight. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that all the Christmas candy is finally gone (heh!) and I don't have time to eat big meals.  So yay! I still have a long ways to go, but I'm pretty happy with where I am so far! I am SO thankful that Zach got me a treadmill for my birthday. I can't even imagine what I'd do if I didn't have that!! We've both really loved having it for a quick workout whenever we have a few minutes! Total life-saver!

Sorry the pictures aren't the best. I've been bad about getting out the "big camera" so these are all taken with my camera phone.

OH! Here's a video I got of David playing with his first real toy!  At first I thought it was a fluke and he was just waving his arms, but no, it appears he was really playing with it, and having a GREAT time! (please do yourself a favor and mute this video. I need to learn to shut my trap when taking videos. I am so annoying! Ha!)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

David is Two Months Old

 Look at that big boy! 

Here we are at two months old!  I finally feel like we are exiting the "newborn" phase of things and entering into full on babyhood.  I won't lie, the first month and a half were super hard. Up until he was about 6-7 weeks old, all that child did was cry or sleep.  I was starting to feel like I'd never figure it out and then slowly everything has been coming together nicely. 

The most important thing we've discovered is the power of the swaddle!  We tried swaddling when we got home from the hospital but he seemed to really hate it and would scream and cry even after giving it a few minutes.  Then after several nights of watching him flail his arms around every time he was tired I knew we had to give it another go. Enter the Miracle Blanket.  It has changed our lives!  We wrap him up in that thing, sit down in the rocker and he's usually out in no time flat. I could just kick myself for not trying it again sooner! It has also helped him transition to his crib.  He used to hate that thing but now that he's swaddled he sleeps his first stretch in it every night (after he wakes up we bring him in our room and he naps in his swing most the time). We are going to transition to the crib full time next week, including at least two naps a day.  Hopefully.

Speaking of sleep - it's getting better. Typically bedtime starts around 8:30 or 9:00 with pajamas, a warm bottle, rocking then the crib. He will be pretty good about giving us a 4-5 hour stretch, wake to eat and then back down for another 4 hours and if we are lucky another 2-3 after that.  I'm hoping he drops that 1/2am feeding here pretty soon, but we are pretty happy regardless! He usually takes a long nap in the late afternoon and then another one in the evening then catnaps in between.

He started smiling at 6 weeks.  It is so much fun! He smiles more and more every day. He also moves his mouth like he's trying to figure out how to babble and will occasionally coo and squeak. We love it!  Right now his favorite thing to do is lay on his changing table and look at a picture of a cow on the wall.  Seriously. He will do this multiple times a day for long stretches. Sometimes he'll lay on his activity mat, or in his crib to watch his mobile or on a blanket with us on the couch, but for the most part, the changing pad is his most favorite! We just go with it!

He had his two month doctor appointment today.  He weighs 11 lbs, 12 oz (51st percentile), is 22.5 inches long (24th percentile) and his noggin is in the 60th percentile. So, he's doing great!! He holds his head up really well and his favorite way to be held is up on my shoulder so he can look around.  He got his shots and was pretty crabby when he woke up from his nap but after a good massage and warm bath he seems to be back to his old self.  Thank goodness.poor guy.

Otherwise things are going great! I love him more and more everyday and cannot wait to watch him grow and learn all sorts of new things in the next month! Oh! Sounds like someone is ready for a bottle! Till next time...

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Greenwood, Missouri, United States