Saturday, February 14, 2015

Elijah: 9 Months

Dear Elijah, 
9 months! You are 3/4 of the way through your first year. May seems right around the corner! We like to say "Nobody loves life more than Elijah!" You live life with a big smile on your face and throw your hands up in the air with a loud yell to celebrate with us multiple times a day! Coming home from work is still one of my favorite parts of the day because you always have huge smiles for me and crawl at warp speed right over (unless something distracts you along the way). You love your daddy so much and stop everything when you hear him somewhere in the house. We are very sad because Nanny Amanda found a new job and we only have two more weeks with her. She has been a great nanny for our family this school year. I love my job and I am passionate about all I do, but I really wish I could stay home all the time with you! Your curiosity about everything constantly amazes me. If you hear a sound, see something new or notice something, you look intently and study whatever it is. I wish I knew what was going on in your head all day!

Weight: 21 pounds 15.5 ounces (so probably 22 by the time he ate lunch that day!) 
Height: 29 inches
Clothes: 18 months
Diapers: Nothing new
Sleep: Oh boy. It has been rough lately. We think that you have some more teeth coming in. It is a good night if I get 2-3 hours in a row. Though I am a bit of a zombie during the day, I really do look forward to the cuddles in the middle of the night. You eat and then go to bed around 7:00. Usually around 1-2 you come into bed with us when you wake up. You squeeze up right next to me and sometimes I almost fall off the bed! When you come in bed with us, you wake up to eat quite a bit, but we barely wake up. Sometimes you wake up and are really sad until I stand up and then you lay your head back down on my shoulder.  You usually take about 2 1 hour naps during the day (sometimes a 2 hour if it is a good day!).
Eating: You are starting to eat a lot more! You like to have options and are eating a variety of purees and real foods. You have been chowing on a lot more real foods now. You also LOVE to drink water in a cup and will sometimes cry until we give you some of ours or your own water cup. Water sure is yummy! You believe that eating is a sensory experience and like to make sure you feel all your food and rub it everywhere while eating. You also like to pull a Hulk and squeeze your food to smithereens! You are really good at drinking out of a straw cup and also pretty good at drinking out of an open cup (sometimes you insist on it!)
Likes: Life! Hummus, blueberries and meat. Throwing food over the edge of the tray. You also think bath time is a BLAST!
Dislikes: FACE WASHING. Laying still on your back. Diaper changes sure are interesting!
Health: You have your two top teeth. They were pretty painful and also a big secret. Now you finally let me feel them and I even got a picture this week! It seems like the ones on either side might be thinking about coming in too. Right now I am pretty scared about the Measles outbreak happening. I am so afraid of my wonderful little baby getting very sick.
Communicating: You say "Mama", "Mom", and "Mum" all the time. Especially when you are hungry or sad. I am waiting for you to look at me and say it before I admit you really know it is me. Right now I think it means you are hungry and want comfort. You babble all the time now. We love when you say, "Ah-bah!" We say it all the time back to you. You babble lots of different sounds. You also love to yell and thinks its hilarious when we yell back! You have been reaching your arms in the air and squeezing your hands when you want to be held. It is so sweet! You understand "all done" because as soon as we say it while you are eating, you stop your fussing and get calm. When you are waiting for me to get ready in the morning, as soon as I say, "Are you ready?" you calm down and look right at me and get ready to get picked up. You are SO interested in everything around you and watch every single thing that happens. 
New Tricks: You continue to try to stand up all the time. You pull up on EVERYTHING! And you are cruising around a bit on furniture. You've even stood for a few seconds a few times.You have discovered your tongue and love to stick it out.  When we throw our hands in the air, you do too! You also babble reciprocally with us all the time! You put your hands in the air and squeeze them when you want to be picked up. 
Firsts: Blizzard! You weren't a fan of being stuck in the snow in a snowsuit!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Elijah: 8 Months

Dear Elijah, 
Happy 8 months! We have had a crazy busy month and you have been a champ through it all. We had Christmas and then went to California on Christmas Day! That was crazy! We celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve with Grammy and Grandpa and Auntie Erin. Santa came early so we could all celebrate together! Then we went to Mass and had dinner afterwards. You were so good during church! Christmas morning we celebrated at Aunt Amanda and Uncle Aaron's with everyone. That was fun! You LOVED opening presents. We didn't realize you would be so fun on Christmas at 7 months! You totally understood ripping off paper. Christmas afternoon we headed to the airport to go see Mommom and Poppop. You did pretty well on the flight. You were super tired and hungry and cried during take off, but then you finally fell asleep for most of the flight. You weren't thrilled to be in your car seat, but we never would travel without you safely secure. I did a fancy dangle maneuver when the seatbelt light was off so you finally ate. After we arrived in LA, we had a 2.5 hour drive and you were a rockstar. It really helped to have your Grammy, Grandpa, and Auntie Erin there to help every step of the way! The way home you had some sad moments, but you slept during take off and landing! It was a little stressful for Mama when you were so sad and crying and I knew you were tired and hungry (since you still won't eat in public!), but I was so proud of how you handled all of the travel! It was so wonderful to visit with Mommom and Poppop (and everyone we saw in CA). I love all of the pictures of Mommom and Poppop holding you. It is so special and wonderful that we all got to spend time together. They love you lots and lots. You made everyone smile a whole lot. New Years Eve we just had a few people over since you go to bed pretty early and you thought our countdown with noise makers was super fun! It was hard for me to go back to work after spending all day with you for over two weeks. But I lucked out because we had 3 cold days after working 2 days and I got some bonus time! We had lots of fun cuddling, and playing and being all kinds of silly together. 

Weight: 20 pounds 15 ounces 
Height: 29 inches
Clothes: 18 months
Diapers: Nothing new
Sleep: Your schedule is pretty much the same. Though your third nap of the day is usually 20-30 minutes, not an hour anymore. Sleep has been rough for the last several weeks. You usually come in bed with us during the middle of the night. You love to be snuggled up with Mommy. You sometimes wake up, even in bed with us, and are only soothed when I stand up. Then I can gingerly lay down again. For an hour, if I am lucky. Sometimes at night you let Daddy put you back down, but other times it is Mama or nothing. Your bedtime is about 7:00 and you wake every 1-3 hours throughout the night. 3 would be a good night. When we were in California you slept in your Pack N Play, pretty much the same as at home. 
Eating: We decided to try some purees with you right at the end of the month since you still gag quite a bit on foods. You were a bit skeptical, but you are starting to like them more. We started with broccoli and apples. Broccoli was a hit. Apples were a miss! You continue to like avocado! Mama's milk is still your favoritest ever though! You are able to drink out of a straw cup, so we think you are pretty brilliant. It makes going out to eat a little easier too. You are starting to drink a little more when I am at work with your sippy cup or straw cup too. 
Likes: Christmas tree. Opening presents! You were a hoot at Christmas! When I sniff your butt to check for diaper change, pulling up to stand on everything, dropping things so we get them, holding an extra spoon while you eat, dogs (you practically levitated when you saw Aunt Barbara's!) and driving around in your new little red car. 
Dislikes: Teeth coming in.
Health: You have your two bottom teeth! And it seems like your top teeth might be thinking about coming in. But you like to have secret teeth. You don't want anyone to see or feel what is going on in there. You purse your lips together and push my finger out with your tongue if I even try! You got your flu shots and you were a champ about it!
Communicating: You are making more babbling sounds all the time. You especially say "Mamamama" in the middle of the night when you want me and not Daddy. You watch EVERYTHING happening around you. Nothing goes missed. We are still practicing waving! You still half heartedly do it sometimes! The first time we pushed you in your red car and Daddy stopped, you made it very clear you wanted MORE by whining and rocking your body forward! We have been practicing these signs with you: more, milk, all done. 
New Tricks: On 12/14 Daddy put you in your crib after changing your diaper to go wash his hands and when he came back you had pulled yourself to standing! It was the first time you even tried and you did it. That day your crib got dropped to the middle setting. On 1/7 you pulled up in your Pack N Play! You have been practicing standing like crazy. Every chance you get!
Firsts: Train ride! Plane ride! Sitting in high chairs in restaurants. Wearing baby shoes out and about. "Snow Days" Pulling up in your crib and Pack N Play. 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Elijah: 7 Months

Dear Elijah, 

I don't think this age could be any more fun. You are such a happy, loving, silly boy and I love every second I get to spend with you. You think your daddy and I are just the funniest people around. We regularly make you laugh and your laugh cracks us up! Everyone says you are the happiest baby they know. If I ever try to take a picture of you fussing, you start smiling as soon as you see my phone come out. What a little ham you are! Though you pretty much love everyone and are happy to make new friends everywhere we go, you are quite the mama's boy. I love that being in Mama's arms is your favorite place to be!

Weight: 20 pounds 11 ounces 
Height: 28 inches
Clothes: Pants and PJs are 18 months. Most onesies and shirts you still fit in 12 months. 
Diapers: Same old. We use two inserts at night and most nights that lasts all night!
Sleep: I certainly wouldn't say you are the best sleeper around. You usually take about 3 1 hour naps throughout the day, give or take 45 minutes! For the last couple of week you have been waking up when I wake up, then keeping yourself entertained while I get ready for work, eating before I leave and then falling asleep. Then you play (and eat a little) until I come home at lunch, eat, and then fall asleep again. Around 7:00ish, you usually eat again and fall asleep. Sometimes you wake up every 2-4 hours the rest of the night or sometimes it is every 1-3 hours. You sleep in your Zippy and we have learned sleep is even less successful without it! When you wake up at night you only want me. Daddy tries to help, but usually it just makes you cry more. During the day you are THRILLED to see Daddy; but at night you just want Mama and to go back to sleep quickly.
Eating: I know when you want to nurse because you dive at me and give me kisses on my cheek. You love to eat milk on a spoon with Amanda during the day. Sometimes you take a little in the Latch sippy cup or the one with the weighted straw, but you LOVE to eat on a spoon. She says that you also like to "help" by holding the spoon yourself. Eating in public continues to be a big struggle. You are SO busy and SO interested in everything, that even when you are hungry, you won't settle down to eat. I have to plan most of our outtings around eating schedules so we can be home for a good meal. You still LOVE to put food in your mouth, but I think the only thing you have actually ingested is banana and a little avocado. I constantly remind myself that we need to let you learn to eat just like we let you learn to sit and crawl, at your own pace. You have quite the gag reflex and when food gets to the back of your throat....up it goes! It gets a little messy.
Likes: Shadows (when I turn my phone flashlight on to see in the morning you LOVE to stare at the shadows), crawling to get where you want, sitting up all on your own, putting all kinds of food in your mouth, blowing raspberries to be silly (and to show when you don't want something), smacking your lips (sometimes it means you are hungry), and especially when we are silly with you! You love to drink water from our cups and will stare at them and yell until we share with you. 
Dislikes: When we mess with your face (snot suck, lotion on cheeks, check teeth). 
Health: You finally cut your first tooth! I noticed the day after your 7 month birthday. You DO NOT like me touching it or trying to see it. Before that, you loved when I rubbed your gums. You had your first ear infection this month and you handled it like a champ! You had fluid and we tried homepathic remedies and the chiropractor. We went back a week later (the day after Thanksgiving) and it was infected. At first you loved the antibiotics. Then you blew raspberries when we tried to give them to you. Then the last day you loved them again! You didn't nurse at your shots this month because you were too busy, but you barely cried. You are a champ!
Communicating: You love to yell and squeal to get your point across. It sounds like you say Mama sometimes when you are crying when Daddy gets you at night or when you don't want your snot sucked, but it isn't intentional yet. You are very observant and look all around and take in everything. We have been practicing waving, and one time you half raised your hand, but mostly you think we are crazy for doing a lot of emphatic waving during hi and goodbye. 
New Tricks: You officially crawled on 12/1! You had been up rocking for some time, but then you just did it! You often still revert to army crawling because you are comfortable with that, but you can crawl! The same night you also started getting into and down from sitting with ease. Sometimes you move across the room by doing that over and over. 
Firsts: Tooth! Thanksgiving! Crawling! Sitting!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Elijah: 6 Months

Weight: 19 pounds 7.5 ounces 
Height: 26.75 inches
Clothes: 12 months for mostly everything. Pants are 12 or 18.
Diapers: Nothing new. But you are very smart because during diaper changes you put your feet in the air and then when its time to snap the new diaper you lay them down straight! You like to make diaper changes interesting by giving us a moving target most days. It isn't easy to change the diaper of a baby who keeps flipping on his tummy!
Sleep: You nap 2-3 times during the day most days. They range from 30 minutes to 90 minutes. There is usually one longer nap and then other shorter ones. Some days you wake up every 20 minutes and need to be rocked back to sleep. Other times you are out the entire time! You pretty much only sleep on your side and stomach now. It made me really nervous at first, but I can't stop you! We put your down on your back and let you do what you want. At night, you sleep in the Pack N Play in our room. You suddenly made your bedtime about 7:00 at 5.5 months. You wake up usually 1-2 times to eat and then sleep in the Pack N Play from 10 until 1-2 usually and then lay next to me and eat and sleep. You usually wake up at 5:30 or 5:45 with me now. You just don't like to miss anything! With me you usually nurse yourself to sleep. I can't say that I don't love it as much as you do! After you are done eating, you lay your head on my shoulder and cuddle up and sleep. We know when you are tired because you rub your eyes and pull on your ear. 
Eating: You have been taking a few ounces in the sippy cup from Amanda throughout the day. There is one that is your favorite, Latch brand. You also sometimes have a boobsicle or breastmilk on a spoon. I know when you are really hungry because you like to dive against my chest and rub your face all over me. You are usually a good sport about it, but I know it means it is eating time!
Likes: army crawling EVERYWHERE and FAST, standing up while someone holds you (you are very strong!), grabbing your toes (especially during diaper changes) and pulling your socks off.
Dislikes: eating anywhere that isn't your bedroom (including Mama's classroom, downstairs, the car, or anywhere out in public. And you continue to think snot sucking is actual torture. 
Health: You still haven't cut any teeth even though it really seems like you are teething. The doctor said that your gums are definitely swollen. You had your first fever 2 weeks ago. You have been congested and you woke up on the 30th at midnight with a 101.4 fever. After lots of skin to skin and nursing, your fever was completely gone by 6:00 am. It was sad for me to see you sick! But I am grateful it was short-lived. You nursed during your 6 month shots and didn't even flinch! You passed your vision test and everything else was right on!
Oh! And this: Introducing food was so fun! You tried avocado and sweet potatoes the night before your 6 month birthday with Auntie Erin and Grandma and Grandpa over. You kept making faces and then trying again! We couldn't stop laughing!
New Tricks: When I get home from work, I usually say "hellllooo!" and then you start looking towards the door. As soon as you see me, you start army crawling like crazy right over to me. I love it! You are able to sit "with a spotter" because sometimes you tumble right over. If you see something you want, you beeline right for it. We need to get this house baby proofed!
Firsts: Eating! 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Birthing Skirt

**I wrote this while pregnant and apparently never posted!

Ok, maybe I am a little crunchy granola.

But from the first time I heard about the idea of a birthing skirt, I loved it! Mainly, it sounds way more comfortable than a hospital gown. Comfort is very important to me. I have always said "If I have to go to the hospital for anything, bring me my own PJs!" After being in the hospital for just a few hours the other weekend, I realized I super hate the hospital gown. It would fit a small elephant! I wanted something that would be comfortable, would provide the hospital staff with the access they need, and would give me ease of movement during labor. Since we are trying a med-free birth, I need to be able to move around in different positions.

I started looking them up online. They START at $50! That seemed a little unnecessary. So I turned to DIY tutorials and was sorely disappointed. There aren't any really great ones out there! I did find out that seemed to make sense to me and went with it. I didn't need the skirt to be super awesome, just to hold up enough to serve this purpose!

I ended up following this tutorial. It was really good, except for a few confusing parts. I do better with pictures!

I spent about $6 on this stretchy knit fabric (with a coupon). It is 97% Polyester and 3% Spandex. The fabric made it possible to not hem it. The fabric should also work well with the...grossness...that comes with birth. Though I do not plan to keep it afterwards! When I asked my doctor about giving birth in something other than the hospital gown, she said she didn't care, as long as I knew it would get gross!

**Added after the fact**
I wore my birthing skirt with a nursing tank and robe during most of my labor. When it was time to push, I just decided to take the skirt off and push sans bottoms. It made it easier since I was pushing in so many different positions. 

1. I did use the recommended template for making the pattern from Crafter Hours.  I did not follow it exactly, because I didn't need it to be perfect. I just measured and then cut the fabric. I didn't actually make a pattern.

2. For the waistband, I didn't do the whole fold and curved sides thing. I just cut rectangles.

my loosely cut out pieces

All pinned together


All finished

Trying it On

Standing up straight-panel is hidden

Able to squat and still keep slightly covered, will be good for birthing ball