Wednesday, August 6, 2014

How we got rid of the pacifier






I always feel funny blogging about things like this as if I have loads of wisdom to share with other parents. I don't, in case you were wondering. I just know that whenever I am trying to make a decision on how to go about doing something that involves my babies I find reading about others experiences so helpful. So here is our experience in hopes that it will encourage someone. 

Emerald took a paci immediately, we're talking hours after birth. I had a love/hate relationship with the thing until she was able to find and reinsert it in her own mouth in the middle of the night. This happened around 7-8 months. After that I loved it as much as she did. It looked cute and always calmed her down, helped her sleep though the night, helped her sleep in the car...etc. In my head I thought I would take it away around the 1 year mark, well that time came and went. I didn't feel good about it in my mommy heart and it wasn't causing any problems so it stayed. As she neared her second birthday I felt like it was time. I let her keep it during the transition of gaining a baby sister and moving to a new house. I wanted her to have that comfort and mostly I just wanted her to keep sleeping like an angel. Which she did. 

1 month before she turned 2 I decided it was time. Day #1 I got them from her crib in the morning after she woke up and put them away (didn't throw away). Nap time came and she asked for her paci. I told her "no more paci, they're broken". I didn't feel like she would understand much more than that explanation. That first day was rough. She cried her whole nap and couldn't settle herself. That night she fell asleep without trouble because she was so tired from having not napped. She woke at 11pm crying and we had already decided we would go to her if she cried. Her dad rocked her and put her back in the crib awake. She slept the rest of the night fine. 

Day #2 She took about 20 minutes to fall asleep at nap with some minimal crying. Her nap was about 30 minutes shorter than normal as well. That night she had no trouble falling asleep and slept through the night. 

After that we had 2 days of smooth sailing .She only asked for them occasionally and seemed to understand that they were gone.  I thought to myself ,that was way too easy. I was right. For about 4 more days she had rough naps, short naps, temper tantrums, meltdowns and night wakings. It really freaked me out because this is not how my child acts. She is normally very sweet and happy and an excellent and dependable sleeper. I thought I had ruined her good sleep habits. 

Week #2. Things settled down, she became more attached to her stuffed animals and no longer cried at naptime or bedtime. She occasionally asked for them and we talked about how they were gone.  

Present Day: Emma sleeps just fine if not better without her pacis. She doesn't ask for them anymore and doesn't seem bothered by the fact that her sister has one. The rash is gone from around her mouth that was always there when she used pacis. I get to see her beautiful smile and cute teeth. She even has taken a few car naps.
She has become a little attached to having a ball with her when she sleeps. Yes, a ball...not a doll. She doesn't play with it, just cuddles it so we're letting her have them. It's kind of funny actually. She has a crib full of stuffed animals that she loves and still she chooses a ball to take everywhere. 

Overall, I'm glad we did it when we did. I'm happy I didn't force it sooner. 


Photobucket


Linking up with the Mommy Moments Blog Hop

Saturday, August 2, 2014

What Alina Loves: Toy Edition

At 5 months Alina is getting to the age where she is interested in toys, especially those she can easily grip and stuff in her mouth. She is so funny concentrating so hard to grab something, then she stares at it in wonder until her grip betrays her. I just love this age. Here are some things she loves right now. 

1.  Bugs and Hugs play gym. This is the same play mat I used with Emma. I really recommend it. She will lay on this thing for 30 minutes. Which is really nice. 


2. Baby Einstein Activity jumper . Her feet just touch the floor in this thing. But you better believe she is jumping like crazy. She will spend another 30 minutes happily banging on the toys and chewing on everything. 

3.  Car seat Hanging toy. This is similar to the one she has here. Hers is an owl and it's just long enough to get in her mouth. She would much rather chew on that than have a paci in the car. 


4. Teething Rings. Obviously. This is a no brainer but I love the kind she can grasp really well. Like these.


5.  Teething Book. Oh man, I love these things. I don't know what it is about these books that make babies love them but it's a fact. Crinkle noise + easy to hold + teething tabs = winner!










Photobucket

Friday, August 1, 2014

What Emerald Loves : Toy Edition

Here are the toys that Miss Emerald is loving right now

1.  Little Tikes Spiralin Seas Waterpark-She is a girl who loves to play with water so this is pretty much her dream come true right here.



2. Puzzles. Emma has a lot of puzzles. This is her newest one by Janod and I think it is so cute. I saw another mom post it on Instagram months ago and new that she would love it so I put it on my amazon wishlist so I wouldn't forget about it. 
3. Little People. She loves any and everything Little People. These are a couple of her faves. These 2 keep her entertained for hours. 


4. Little Tikes Princess Cozy Coupe. She has had this for awhile but it is still a daily favorite. 


5. Mega Blocks . Another favorite. As much as I dislike picking them up and having them strewn about, she really loves building with these. 






Photobucket


Linking up Here 

AND

The Life Of Faith

Emerald: 2 years old

2 Years ago my baby girl was born. I cannot begin to describe the joy and fulfillment she has brought to our life. Emerald is just about the sweetest little girl you will ever meet. She is painfully shy but once she opens up to you she shines bright. She loves to snuggle and sing songs, she loves to play with her Little People and blocks. She loves the water and would play all day with a bucket of water. She loves to watch Curious George and Daniel Tiger. She gives kisses and hugs to her little sister at random times throughout the day. Every morning she says "Hey Lina, hey sister!". She is the perfect big sister. I just love her and every night I think how blessed we are that she is our first born. She is truly a joy to parent. 

Sleeping
Emma goes to bed at 8 pm every night,  I would say at least 95% of the time. Unless we have an event or she has a very late nap, 8 pm is bedtime and she really thrives with that in place. She wakes between 8-9 am. She takes 1 nap for 1.5-2 hours every day as well. We were blessed with an awesome sleeper. She still sleeps in her crib and has never once tried to climb out. I think we may try a toddler bed around Christmas time. As long as she's comfortable I am in no hurry to have her out. 

Eating
Some of her favorite foods are: Pasta, fruit, peas, corn and cheese. Staples around here for her are grapes (at least a bag a week!), raisins, and noodles of any kind. I have to work with her to get her to eat her veggies. She always goes for the fruit first. She doesn't care for meat or anything with a lot of sauce. She drinks water and Almond milk with the occasional juice. She does have her share of cookies and crackers too. 

Potty Training
She wears target brand pull ups during the day and size 5 luvs diapers at night. She has a potty chair and a few months ago was showing a lot of interest in using it. Unfortunately that was around the time Alina joined our family and I wasn't able to be persistent enough. Now she will sit on it but usually will tell me no if I ask her to use it. 

Wearing
I seriously love dressing at this age. She looks ridiculously cute in everything and will wear anything I put on her without a fuss. She even will keep a bow in her hair and usually requests one before we leave the house. She is wearing size 2t in pretty much everything but since she is pretty dainty she can still wear some 18 and 24 month.  

Hair
Yes , her hair deserves it own category. Emma has amazing hair. She went from a bald baby to a girl with curls to envy. The problem is, it's too short to pull all of it back in a ponytail but too long to look decent left alone. Usually I do a waterspout on top and spritz her curls in the back to tame them. Or if she's playing I'll pull the back up too so she has 2 ponytails. I really look forward to playing with her hair as it gets longer. 

Social
 Emma is terribly shy. To the point of tears. Recently we went to an extended family gathering and she burst into tears at least 5 times when someone she didn't know tried to talk to her. It's worse if they are male. I am told she will grow out of it. For now I just try to warn people and try to assure her that it's okay before it happens. She doesn't know very many kids her age. She's only been to a nursery at church once and that lasted all of 30 minutes. Her favorite person is her cousin Liam who is 2 months older. She loves to play with him. I hope to introduce her to other kids her age so she can branch out and learn to adapt. I would really love to find a mommy playgroup. 

Milestones
-No more paci! 1 month before she turned 2 we took away the pacis and had a rough few days with sleeping but now it is a thing of the past. She sleeps like normal and has no rash around her mouth anymore. 











Thursday, July 31, 2014

Emerald's Curious George Birthday Party !

I can't believe my baby is 2. I know you hear it all the time from mom's everywhere but I literally feel like I just had her, like we were just coming home from the hospital. I regularly look back through the pictures on my phone and I am always amazed because I can see the change and the growth but it seems so sudden. Yet, I know it has been gradual if that makes any sense. 

This post isn't supposed to be a sob fest of how big my girl is but a recap of her birthday party. When I was planning it I tossed around a few trendy ideas for what theme it should be but in the end there was no question. 

Curious George

She LOVES George. The first question out of her mouth every morning is "Watch George?". She has seen every episode several times and still will sit and watch them in rapture. Jonathan and I don't mind. It's a cute show and I actually enjoy watching it. So George it was. 

We just invited family but she had a blast. Her best cousin Liam came so she was a happy camper. Here are some pictures. I wish I had gotten more, but you know how parties are. I was busy enjoying the chaos.


For her birthday this year she got this Little Tikes Water Table. A stuffed Curious George, this beautiful puzzle, the Curious George Movie DVD and a new cup. Along with gifts from the rest of the family. She was so excited! 










Emma's Shirt : Here 
Emma's Bow : Here 
Cupcake toppers: Here
Curious George Decorations: Here  
Fruit Rainbow directions : Here 
(It was so easy to make and was a huge hit!)

Photobucket

Alina: Month 5

Month 5 
(and a whole lotta catch-up from my last update)

Weight: 16lbs 10oz
Height: 24.5 inches

Feeding
Alina is 90 % bottle fed. A lot has happened between now and my last update at 3 weeks.She woke up on the day she turned 3 months old and decided she wanted nothing to do with breastfeeding during the day. So after many tears on both our parts, and trying everything in the book to persuade her to feed. I raised the white flag and started pumping full time during the day. I pump, she drinks bottled breast milk every 3-4 hours and we are all happy. I really struggled with this (and still do on certain days). But for me it came down to my sanity and peace in my home. This works the best. She still nurses 1 or 2 times at night with no problem so I know she CAN do it. My goal is to make it to 1 year again. 

Solids
We have casually started solids and she loves it.  She's tried sweet potatoes, avocado and bananas. I am making her food and it's so much cheaper! 

Sleeping
Her sleeping arrangement has been the same since she was born,this was due to our small apartment. She naps in the swing and sleeps in the rock and play beside my bed at night. Since we just moved, she has her own room now and we finally got a crib. We haven't crossed that bridge yet though. She wakes maybe 1-2 times at night. Sometimes not at all. She naps for 1-1.5 hours at a time.  She is still swaddled. I am working to wean her from the swaddle and it is not proving to be easy. We are trying the Zipadeezip

Diapering
She is in a size 3 since about 3 months. We use Luvs. 
I don't have to change her during the night anymore which is nice.

Skin
Her skin has improved so much since her infant days. She has pretty skin. She still has a little "storkbite" on the back of her neck and a birthmark on her eyelids and face. It's cute. We use whatever soap big sister is using as long as it's gentle and she's had no problems with breakouts or sensitivities. 

Bathing
Loves taking warm baths. I mean LOVES it. She is already sitting up with assistance in the whale tub. She is so active. She loves to splash and eat toys. I usually bath her every other night unless she needs extra. 

Dressing
She wears 6-9 month clothes and some 12 month stuff if it runs a little smaller. 

Play Time
She loves to play in her exersaucer, or lay on her play mat and grab her feet and roll. She really loves to watch whatever her big sister is doing, that entertains her the best. She rolled from back to front when she was 3 months old and can now roll both ways. She loves to sit up and I feel like it won't be too long before she can do it unassisted. 


I love my sweet, happy baby and can't wait to see how she continues to grow. 









Photobucket

Monday, March 31, 2014

Alina: Weeks 1-3 update


I loved that I did these updates during the first year of Emerald's life. It has been immensely helpful as I go through the newborn stage again. I read back through them and say "Oh yeah, I forgot about that". Also when it comes time to fill out the baby book (because let's be honest..I am so not doing it as I go) I can just look back at these updates and fill in the details.So with that said,  I will be doing the same for Alina. 



Weeks 1-3 

Weight: 8 lbs 5 oz - 1 week
9 lbs 14 oz - 3 weeks

Height:  20.5 -1 week
22 inches- 3 weeks 

Feeding
We are breastfeeding and it is going so well. She had no problems latching and obviously no problems gaining weight (see above weight...she was 7.14 at birth). She is eating every 2 hours around the clock. Every now and then she will go 3 hours between feedings but that is few and far between. I pumped for the first time today and we will try a bottle in the next day or 2. I am slightly nervous due to the fact that her sister refused a bottle until about 9 months. We will see. 
Sleeping
Despite the fact that she is eating so frequently I consider her a good little sleeper. She takes lots of naps during the day and goes back to sleep after feedings at night. She likes to sleep in the Rock and Play, the swing, the ergo, the happy baby wrap and of course on anyone who will hold her. 
Diapering
Going through about 10-12 diapers a day
Use Vaseline during the day and Desitin Creamy at night
She outgrew newborn diapers at about 2 weeks and that was pushing it. Now we are using Size 1 Huggies (which I hate, they leak). And size 1 Luvs (which I love). 
Skin
Alina's skin is very vascular ,according to her pediatrician. Meaning she is more prone to breakouts and sensitive to more things. She has a "storkbite" on her face and neck. I think it's cute but it should fade as she gets older. She also has a little baby acne that I'm just cleaning with a washcloth and warm water. 
Bathing
Loves taking warm baths
Use Johnson and Johnson Baby wash but thinking of trying Earth mama angel baby since I have some
I'm not using much lotion until her acne goes away. 
Dressing
She has grown mostly out of her newborn clothes already! wearing some 0-3 months. Right now I love anything with zippers. Easier and quicker to change. 
Family time
She loves to be held. She gives us smiles every now and then. When she smiles her whole face lights up. Makes me so happy.She mostly just lays and looks around during her awake time. I know that will quickly change.