Wednesday, October 31, 2012

MC's First Halloweeen

Today we celebrated MC's first Halloween! We opted for no costume this year; she's still just a bit too little for it since she can't sit up on her own yet.

Her grandparents sent this cute Halloween outfit, so in lieu of trick-or-treating, she and I went up to BD's office to show her off.

After we came home and had some lunch, I took her outside to get some pictures of her on her very first Halloween.

Halloween 2012
 
It was pretty chilly outside today, so I had to work quickly before she got cold.


She was in a great smiley mood, which always makes it easier when you're photographing solo.
 

I got several good shots before she started getting distracted by her surroundings.


And wanted to check out her co-stars. BD and I painted those pumpkins several years ago.
 

We headed inside to see if I could get any more good shots of her.
 

She was getting very wiggly and restless at this point, so I knew my window of opportunity was closing.


I managed to get her attention for a few more smiles.


And then it was over. She always makes it pretty obvious when she is d-o-n-e.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

TV Commercial

I saw this TV commercial today and loved it!! Carter's is already one of my favorite brand of clothes for MC and now this makes me like them even more!
 
 





Monday, October 29, 2012

Our Favorite Baby Things: 0-3 Months

When BD and I started down the path to parenthood, we really had no idea what "stuff" we needed to buy in preparation for our little bundle-of-joy-to-be. So, in case anyone else out there is in the same predicament, here are a few of the things that helped us survive (and enjoy!) the first 3 months with MC. Some of these have also become my go-to baby shower gifts. I know that a lot of things are baby/parent specific; what we loved might not necessarily work for every family but these are the things we used often and were glad we had.
 
 

Fisher Price Rock N Play Sleeper - we used this as MC's bassinet; she slept in this for 4+ months beside our bed. (In fact, as of the writing of this post, she's still sleeping nights in it.) I could scoot it right up against my side of the bed so it was easier to reach her in the middle of the night. It keeps her at an angle like a bouncy seat and snuggled her so she didn't flail around and wake herself. It is also up off the ground so I didn't worry about cold drafts on the floor. It folds for easy storage.


Baby B'jorn Carrier "Air" - The Baby B'jorn was BD's pick for a baby carrier, and we both used it a lot. He would wear her in it when he got home from work, and it really helped calm her during her evening fussy-time. I would wear her in it and actually be able to do things around the house. It was also really helpful for any place where you need to push a buggy - grocery, Target, etc. She would stay happy because she could see all the action but could also take a nap when she got sleepy.


Summer Infant SwaddleMe blanket - we started swaddling MC when she was just a few days old. These swaddle blankets worked better than just a regular receiving blanket but weren't as complicated as some of the other swaddle blankets that are available. Swaddling kept MC from flailing her arms and waking herself up but didn't restrict her legs.



Gumdrop Pacifier - We went through many different styles of pacis before we found this one that she likes. I like this one because of the shape - it doesn't block her nose and the holes on the sides let air through to her skin. And I like this one because it is one piece. This style of paci is recommended for breastfed babies.
My Brest Friend nursing pillow - This wins the worst product name award but is probably my favorite thing on this entire list. This made the first few weeks of breastfeeding much, much easier for both of us. I liked it because it wraps around me and has a clip so it stays in place. I used this constantly for the first 6 weeks.


White Noise machine - I have slept with a sound machine myself for the last 10 years, so MC slept with one by default since she was in our room. We also have one of these for her nursery. It just provides a constant background noise to help her sleep. It also makes us feel like we don't have to tiptoe around as much when she's sleeping.


Pampers Swaddlers diapers - I know diapers are really baby specific, but Pampers are by far our favorite. I like the swaddlers because it has a "wetness indicator" to let you know it's time to be changed.


 
 

BOB Revolution CE jogging stroller - This was our biggest splurge item. We didn't buy it until MC was around 3 months old, but I have used it almost every day since we got it. Most jogging strollers require that the baby be able to sit up before you can use it, but this one has a car seat adapter (sold separately) that allows you to use it with a younger baby. We call this our "Cadillac" stroller.
Skip Hop Funky Farmyard activity mat - This is one of MC's favorites. She loves the animals that dangle down from overhead; each animal does something different: crinkle, rattle, jingle, etc. The mat itself also has interactive pieces (fuzzy sheep, cow squeaker, carrot rattle, etc). We started using this when she was around 10 weeks old and she continues to enjoy it.


Sofie Giraffe teether toy - This teether is easy for her to grab and get into her mouth. I like it because it is rubber and therefore easy to clean. The only downside to this one is that it squeaks, so we've had to convince Kip that it's not his toy.
 
 
Ring O' Links toy - these links are useful for a lot of different purposes. Strung together they make a fun hand toy and teether for her. They can also be used to attach other toys to just about anything - car seat, stroller, etc. I also used these to lower the toys on her playmat so she could reach them better at first.
 
 
Puj tub - this soft foam mat folds up to fit in a sink to make a cushiony tub for the baby. We used this in the kitchen sink for baths for the first 3 months.
 

Baby 411 - I reference this one all the time. It's written by a pediatrician - and in my opinion has reasonable, middle-of-the-road advice.

Nursing Mother's Companion - This was my favorite out of the nursing books I read. It has lots of good tips and advice on lots of different issues that can come up with breastfeeding. Also has several sections of "survival guide" which I found immensely useful in the first few weeks.

(This is not a sponsored post; I have not been compensated in any way.)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Cutest Pumpkin in the Patch!

Since MC is really too little to take to the pumpkin patch this year, we decided to get creative with just one pumpkin.


BD did the pumpkin carving and the photographing. I did the dancing, singing, face-and-silly-noise making to try and get a smile out of her. She's a tough nut to crack. Of course, the second we finished taking pictures, she was all smiles.


I gave her a leaf to examine while I fixed her hair bow.
 

Of course you know what happened next, right?
 

I was finally able to coax a few smiles out of her. I can't say I really blame her - not sure that I'd be too thrilled with sitting inside a slimy pumpkin either.
 

She was a good sport and let us spend about 10 minutes to get these shots of her first fall.


Our lil' pumpkin!
 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Bumper Crop of Fun - NC State Fair 2012

 
Last week we took MC to her first NC State Fair. BD and I love the fair and were excited to introduce MC to the fun. We skipped last year because I was newly pregnant and sick, so I was really looking forward to this year, and the fair did not disappoint!
 

We always start in the flower and garden area. It always provides plenty of good photo opportunities. BD was trying to coax a smile out of MC, but she was too busy taking in all the action to smile for the camera.


Next we head over to the agriculture exhibits to check out the enormous produce and the various livestock on display.


Then MC needed a snack so we found a shady spot to take a milk break. (Yes, BD is sitting/leaning on a tree limb.)

 
 

Once she was ready to get moving again, we headed over to the carousel to take her first ride. She wasn't quite sure what to think - it was a lot of music and movement at one time!
 


She was tuckered out after all the excitement, so BD and I grabbed some fair food - a fried candy bar for me, a country ham biscuit for him - and then we headed out.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Four Months Old!

Baby MC is four months old! Hard to believe she's been here for 1/3 of a year; this has been both the shortest and the longest four months of our life.
 
October 12, 2012

This month she is rolling both tummy-to-back and side-to-side. No back-to-tummy action yet, although she's been really close several times. She makes tons of noises and loves to hear herself screech. She gives us lots of laughs; she seems to be ticklish around her ribs and will screech with delight when a giggle just isn't enough to convey her joy.

She has learned how to blow "raspberries" with her mouth. Between the raspberries and the cooing and screeching, she has some interesting conversations with her toys.


She has gotten really grabby this month. Her aim and grasp have become much more accurate. Anything is fair game for grabbing - hair, sunglasses, cell phones - whatever you have, she wants it. And she wants to put it in her mouth.
 

She is drooling like crazy, but the pediatrician says no teething yet. He says that drooling and hand chewing are more of a development stage than a teething indication. So no pearly whites yet!

Last week, she caught my cold and developed pink eye, so we made our first sick-baby visit to the pediatrician. Luckily, both the cold and the pink eye were really mild and both cleared right up in a few days. We managed to not pass the pink eye around, but we did share the cold with BD.

 
She loves to hang out on her playmat and grab at all the dangling toys. She also likes her bouncy seat and has discovered that it has dangly toys, too! She will tolerate the swing for short periods of time; she's never been a huge fan of the swing (So glad we borrowed it from a friend instead of buying!). Her favorite toys are her Sofie Giraffe and some colorful plastic links. She also loves to be read to.
 
She is starting to recognize her name and will look when we call her. She is still very much a Mommy's girl - when she is tired, especially at night, no one else will do. BD is in charge of bath time and reading time before bed, but it is unusual that she will let him put her down for bed. So far bedtime has been a MC mandated Mommy-Only task. BD takes it in stride and assures her that one day when she needs help with math homework, she will be his best friend.
 
Four Month Info
 
Stats:
11lbs 14oz
23 3/4" long
 
Feeding:
Still exclusively breastfed. The pediatrician told us that at some point in the next 2 months she'll be ready to start with solids. She is definitely starting to pay attention and watch what we're doing as we're eating, so we'll probably wait another month or so and then give it a try.  
 
Sleeping:
She's taking three naps a day - a shortish morning nap (1 hour), a longer afternoon nap (1.5-2 hours), and then an evening catnap of 30-45 mins.
 
Overall her night sleeping is good, but naturally some nights are better than others. BD does bath and reads books then I nurse her and sing/rock until she's asleep. Once she's down, we usually have to go in and give her her paci once or twice before she's really out. She still sticks to her first long stretch of sleep - usually around 6 hours. On a good night after that first stretch, we get another 3-4 hours; on a bad night we're up every 2 hours. Thankfully she does go right back to sleep after she nurses. It's more a problem for me because I sometimes have trouble going back to sleep.
 
She's still sleeping nights in the bassinet in our room. She's such a little peanut that she hasn't outgrown it yet, and I haven't been in any hurry to get her in her own room. I did try to get her sleeping in the Pack n Play in our room, but she never really seemed to sleep soundly in it. Then she got sick, so I moved her back to the bassinet. This week we have started taking naps in the crib in her room. She's doing surprisingly well (after the PnP experience, I was expecting her to take a long time to transition), and I'm thinking we may try for night sleeping in the crib this weekend. She is still swaddled for sleeping.  
 
Clothes:
She is in mostly 0-3 month clothes still. There are a couple of 3-6 month things she can wear. The weather has been nice and mild here recently, so we've been doing short or long-sleeve onesies and leg warmers or pants. She sleeps in zip-up footie pajamas - cutest thing ever.
 
 

Three Month Post

Two Month Post

One Month Post

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

3:30AM

The clock says it is 3:30AM; the house is dark and quiet. Kip is snoring softly across the room on the couch. I can hear the sheets rustle in our bedroom down the hall as BD turns in his sleep. This child that we created rests peacefully in my arms, her belly full of milk from my body. In the glow of the nightlight I can see her long eyelashes grazing the curve of her chubby cheek. Her tiny hand is gripping tightly to my thumb, the rest of her body swaddled and tucked snugly against mine. I could put her down now; she is sleeping soundly. But I don't; I hold her and rock, enjoying this time when it's just the two of us. Sometimes I softly sing her a lullaby - the same lullaby my mother sang to me; sometimes I whisper to her - I tell her how glad I am that she is mine, how happy she makes her daddy and me, how we will always, always love her; sometimes I just sit silently in the dark - watching her chest rise and fall with each breath.

When she first stirs in her bassinet, I roll over and glance bleary-eyed at the clock - didn't I just feed her? How can she be hungry again already? When am I ever going to sleep through the night? I close my eyes again and hope that she settles herself and drifts back to sleep. But she continues to stir and fuss, so I know she needs me. I get up and slip on my jammie pants and lift her out of the bassinet. I swear she is heavier now that when I laid her down a few hours ago. She is growing so fast. I snuggle her against my body and we shuffle down the hall to the rocker in the den. I whisper to her as we walk - it's okay, baby girl. Mama's here; Mama's here. As she begins to nurse, my mind starts to race - all the things on my to-do list, my indecision about returning to work, all the wrong parenting decisions I'm probably making - everything seems so much more dire in the middle of the night. She finishes nursing and sighs contentedly; she stares up at me with those beautiful blue eyes - BD's exact shape and my exact color. I rock and pat her back as her eyes slowly close. The clock says it is 3:30AM; the house is dark and quiet.