Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Natalie Claire: 7 Months

 

Name: Natalie Claire

Weight: About 16 1/2 pounds

Height: Probably about 27 inches (She goes to the doctor again in a few weeks).

Health:  Super Healthy, no health problems or concerns.


Sleep: The last two nights she's been sleeping from 8pm-6/6:30am straight through the night! This is great BUT I've woken up at by 5:30 both mornings and had to pump because my body was used to a middle of the night feeding and I was very engorged! It was SO uncomfortable and I actually have some new stretch marks on my "bubbies"! So our "new normal" is either she's asleep by 8/8:30pm. If she wakes up for a feeding during the night around 4 or 5, she'll go back to sleep and go straight through till 8/8:30am. BUT if she doesn't wake up for a feeding, she's up and at 'em by 6:30am and not very interested in going back to sleep. She usually has a good 2 hour nap on those days because she's sleeping two hour less than usual.

Social: Natalie is pretty content being passed around from person to person and she just studies new faces with much intensity. She's very serious. I can usually get her to smile pretty easily, and she does laugh more - but she really makes me work for them!

Diet:  Breastfeeding: She likes to stroke my face, chin, and mouth while she nurses. She reaches up and just studies and touches my face while she eats, it's really cute - sometimes annoying - but mostly cute. Her sessions are down to about 6-10 minutes now, it's crazy! Feeding her is seriously a breeze now. She latches with no problems, and is done so quickly. Then she eats one or two meals a day of oatmeal mixed with any of the following homemade purees: banana, nectarines, apples, pears, sweet potatoes, peas, green beans, butternut squash, or prunes. Upcoming foods that she will try soon are: mangos, peaches, zucchini and yellow squash.

Likes: She loves eating her food, especially nectarines. Likes rolling all over the living room. Really enjoys going to Gymboree (more on that later): she especially LOVES the bubbles and the parachute time at Gymboree.


Dislikes: There isn't a whole lot she dislikes - being tired, being left alone for too long, and still not too fond of her jumper - I can maybe get 5-10 minutes of her in there before she starts crying. I also feel like she's getting very frustrated lately because her brain wants to crawl, but her body just isn't there yet. She tries soooo hard to push up and move her little legs and then just falls forward on her face - it's so cute/hilarious/pathetic....but I know that any day now she's going to just get it and it's going to be a whole new game then!

Milestones: 
* Sleeping through the night - completely unswaddled
* Turning over like CRAZZZZY - and going to crawl any day now
* Growing so fast - Amanda said this about her daughter, too - and it's so true: I swear some days she's bigger in the morning than when I put her to bed the night before.
* Screaming and very vocal!
* Laughing!!
* She never stops moving!! Taking these pictures was next to impossible. She kept peeling the sticker off of her outfit the second I'd put it on - so I resorted to this:

And Me? Well I took a whole slew of her 7 month photos, only to realize that I had put the 6 month sticker on, and set up the blocks for 6 months....time really is escaping me. How is she 7 months?!!! So Natalie had two big photo sessions this month - Oh well!

She's really 7 months here
Natalie from 1 to 7 months

Monday, June 23, 2014

Natalie's First Bracelet


Last week Natalie received her first piece of jewelry from her Great Aunt Laura: This adorable, personalized baby bracelet for her baptism this up-coming weekend!
I can't wait for Natalie to wear this on her baptism day on Saturday, and I can't thank my Aunt Laura enough for getting this for Natalie!! Check out the amazing selection of baby jewelry like this at The Gingham Grasshopper!

Friday, June 20, 2014

First Date and Zoey's Birthday!

I bet I can make you cry in just one minute....go.

Watch What Happens When This Husband Is
Caught On A Date Without His Wife

Happy weekend to all!!

And Happy Birthday to my first daughter, Zoey!! Zoey turns 3 today, and even though she ate half of my turkey sandwich this week...I still love her and can't imagine my life without her!


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Review: "How About We"


Chris and I were asked to try out the new site HowAboutWe for Couples. HowAboutWe is like your own personal digital date concierge for singles and couples. With a new baby, it's very easy to forget about planning date nights or even just fun day outings. Going out on dates can easily be swept to the side and ignored, and sometimes even the act of making plans can seem like an awful lot of effort. But HowAboutWe does all the planning for you! Fabulous outings and romantic date nights are planned out for you, just book a date with the click of the mouse, and show up to your date!
HowAboutWe also recently introduced The Rosie Pope Collection which are pre-planned dates tailored specifically to new parents.

Chris and I chose to attend a Yankee Game with exclusive all-you-can-eat bbq for our first HowAboutWe date. Our parents split up watching Natalie for the day while we headed out to Yankee Stadium in the Bronx on the first Sunday in June!

The weather could not have been more ideal, it was literally the perfect day to attend a baseball game. We arrived to the bbq, where we were met with Brooklyn beef sliders, Nathan's hot dogs, chicken fajitas, baked beans, garden salad, watermelon, and Pepsi products.

And of course, I can't forget the delicious ICE CREAM!!

Our seats were great, on the field, and completely covered by the overhanging seats above us, so we never roasted in the hot sun. They were perfect!

I am not hugely into sports, but there's just something about a Baseball Game. It's the All-American sport, and it's a sport that I actually understand. I can follow it, cheer and boo along with the rest of the crowd, and sit back and enjoy a cold beer!

The Yankees were winning 2-1 for basically the entire game. We started to leave during the top of the 9th inning, but as we were walking out, the Minnesota Twins scored about 4 or 5 runs in one inning!! We couldn't believe it and hoped that the Yankees could turn it around at the bottom of the 9th. We still wanted to leave before the end of the game to beat the traffic. By the time we got to our car the Twins scored 2 MORE RUNS!! Minnesota ended up winning 7-2!! Talk about an insane turn around!

I enjoyed spending the day with Chris. Though I missed Natalie, it was a nice little day out for just the two of us to regroup and relax together.

As HowAboutWe members, we can book one free date a month, and the free dates are actually pretty awesome! We've already booked our next *free* HowAboutWe Date which is an Ice Cream Tour and Tasting at Hay Rosie Creamery in Brooklyn! While we are at Hay Rosie Creamery, we will get a tour for two, two ice cream tasting flights, and two half-pints of ice cream to take home!
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I also have my sights set on the Local Brunch and Rooftop Farm Tour in Queens, the Churros, Chocolate & Cava date, or the Pizza Walking Tour. Most the dates can be booked within 48 hours notice, so last minute planning is easy to do! I am enjoying our HowAboutWe membership so far, and look forward to planning some more dates this summer!

If HowAboutWe interests you, sign up here to receive $50 off your first date, and let me know what date(s) you end up going on! HowAboutWe is currently available in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle with plans to expand soon!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

De Quervain's Tendonitis

Source
A few weeks ago, I started having major pain from my thumb up to my wrist. It started the same week I was doing the insanity DVD workouts which included a lot of push-ups, so I thought I had strained it doing my work-outs. The pain was worst in the mornings when I first woke up, so I figured I was sleeping weird on my strained wrist. My thumb joint then started popping every time I moved my thumb. I thought that it was popping out of its socket, (which is wasn't, just what it seemed like), it was very painful and uncomfortable.

Having wrist pain with a non-walking, needs-to-be-carried baby is not very convenient. Natalie needs to be picked up, there's no other option for her, and she's not getting any lighter. It hurt every time I picked her up, and completely resting it wasn't an option.

After two weeks, the pain wasn't going away, so I finally made an appointment with an orthopedist. My mother-in-law had given me a wrist brace that held the thumb in place that I wore for two days before the appointment, and it felt tremendously better just in those two days.

As soon as I described my symptoms to the doctor, he immediately said "Oh! De Quervain's Tendonitis. I could have told you this over the phone." Well great, so glad I took an hour out of my day to get here!


De Quervain's tenosynovitis (dih-kwer-VAINS ten-oh-sine-oh-VIE-tis) is a painful condition affecting the tendons on the thumb side of your wrist. If you have de Quervain's tenosynovitis, it will probably hurt every time you turn your wrist, grasp anything or make a fist.
Although the exact cause of de Quervain's tenosynovitis isn't known, any activity that relies on repetitive hand or wrist movement — such as working in the garden, playing golf or racket sports or lifting your baby — can make it worse.
I was handed a piece of paper that described symptoms which included things like "Very common among new mothers" and "typically caused by carrying babies." One website even called this "Mommy Thumb" and said some 50% of new mothers experience this. My pain and symptoms were text-book. Actually, my doctor and his wife had a baby 5 days after I had Natalie, and his wife is suffering from the same exact thing right now! He assured me that if I wear the brace it should be gone within a few weeks. It is not a precursor to carpal tunnel or arthritis and is extremely common.

So that's where I'm at with my tendonitis. The brace is helping a lot, it's just annoying - difficult to change diapers, gets sweaty on these warm weather days, and blogging/typing on the computer? Yea, that's fun. 

Anyone else experience tendonitis with a new baby?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Towel-Blanket Winner!

Congratulations to Kara C. who won the towel blanket giveaway last week!! I've been in touch with Kara already, and I just know her and her adorable baby girl, Olivia, are going to love this!

As I've said before, this was my most popular giveaway to date, so look out for more towel-blanket giveaways in the future and perhaps, hopefully, fingers crossed, possibly an etsy shop soon!

Anyone know where I can buy towels wholesale?! Please and Thank-You!


Review: Miracle Sleeper - Miracle Blanket Company

Source
I was very lucky to receive the new Miracle Sleeper: a wearable blanket designed for babies who have graduated from swaddling, to review. The Miracle Sleeper is newly introduced by the Miracle Blanket Company, and is available in five colors and three sizes, Small (3-6 months), Medium (6-12 months), and Large (12-24 months). Natalie is weaned from the swaddle; which was incredibly easier than I ever imagined it would be. Once she started turning over in her crib, I stopped swaddling all together, so she can push herself up when she rolls to her stomach.

I requested a large because I was afraid Natalie would grow out of the medium in just a few months, and I don't have any light wearable blankets for her beyond the 6 month mark (she is juuuust fitting into her Halo Sleepsack right now). The Large is....Larrrge. Long, rather. I probably should have gotten the medium at this point, but at least I can be assured that this will fit Natalie for a very long long time. I was almost tempted to try this on myself!
At first, I imagined her getting all tangled up in it, or that the extra fabric would feel heavy on her, but she hasn't minded it at all, and she's been sleeping "like a baby" in it. (Or should I say "like a husband?" eh? eh? am I right folks?... I'm here all week...) She likes to pull on it, and the extra material acts sort of like a blanket...except that it doesn't cover her face - the ultimate goal and reason for these in the first place. The material is very light, which is absolutely perfect for summer, but I would want something heavier for the cooler months.

Features of The Miracle Sleeper include:
  • Shortened zipper with top snap to ensure the blanket zips easily and avoids pinching baby's chin
  • A bottom-up zipper to provide a safer start for restless squirming babies
  • Sleeveless blanket allows freedom of movement for self-soothing and prevents overheating
  • Scoop neck keeps blanket from baby's chin to avoid triggering rooting response
  • Padded underarms absorb perspiration and eliminates chafing or heat rashes
  • Tapered design retains warmth and provides room for development of hips and knees
  • Zippered bottom allows for easy diaper changes
I wonder, once babies can stand up, do you still put them in wearable blankets? I feel like she would trip all over herself if she tried to stand up in a sack. When do they graduate away from sleepsacks and go to blankets? I asked my contact, Jenny, at Miracle Blanket about this and she had a great response:
"I think it's different for every kid. They can stand and move around in them just fine, but if they start crawling out of their crib, you may want to retire the sack.  The funny thing is that even when kids move to a big kid bed, they often like wearing wearable blankets, so that is why we have the Large size.  Kids at this age, however, can unzip the blanket when they wake up."
Clearly though, she's happy in this:

This ended up arriving at the perfect time. I only have one swaddle/blanket for Natalie right now because all her others are fleece and it's too warm for them. Natalie hasn't leaked through her diaper during the night in a long time, but of course the one time I bragged to my Mother-in-Law about how she hasn't wet the bed in a long time, she then...of course...wet herself during the night. She didn't leak through her diaper though, she just peed everywhere while I was changing her at 4:00 am, and it got everywhere (how do girls manage to do this?!) That's what I get for being all "ohhh my baby doesn't wet the bed" So, she leaked through the one swaddle I had for her and the whole time I was changing her I was thinking "What am I going to put her in?" It was way too hot for fleece that night, but not hot enough to have her in just a onesie. Luckily, this new wearable sleeper came that same day and I sent Chris downstairs in the middle of the night to grab it, even though I hadn't washed it yet. She slept just fine in it and I was so thankful we had it on hand and (sort of) ready to go, sans washing it!
Once she no longer fits the Halo Sleepsack, I'm going to have to get another Miracle Sleeper to have on hand in case I run into a similar situation. Always best to have at least two of everything with a baby around (or five)!

To purchase a Miracle Sleeper, visit themiraclesleeper.com. They are also widely available on amazon.com. Do you use any sleepsacks for your babies?

Disclaimer: I received one complimentary Miracle Sleeper in exchange for this review. All opinions, are my own. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Father's Day Recap

I hope you all had a wonderful Father's Day! We had a relaxing day at home, which started off with...PRESENTS!!

I got Chris two children's books for him to read to Natalie about dads, and made him this collage.).
I knew years ago that I would do this for Chris one day when we had children. Years ago, I saw the idea on a blog friend, Shannon's blog: From Match to Marriage, and "bookmarked" it (these were clearly the days before pinterest!). I printed 5X7's of each photo and put them in a frame like this for his office:

It only took about 100 photos to get these 3! Thank God for digital photos! Natalie helped Chris open his gifts, they read the books, and followed it up with a little tickle/laughing session: As every Sunday morning should be if you ask me.
We went on a nice family walk, made some lunch, then went to my in-laws to take a dip in the pool and eat a delicious dinner. I had a great "first father's day onesie for Natalie, but she unfortunately leaked out of her diaper and soiled it before I could take a picture! Natalie hardly napped all day, so she was more than ready for bed by the time we got home at 7:30!
We missed seeing my dad on this special day, :( but we had a nice facetime sesh with him in the morning, and will see him again in two weeks!

I hope your Father's Day was as enjoyable as ours, happy first Father's Day to all the new Dad's out there, and also for the ones who are old pros at this!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Dana's Baby Shower

Don't forget to enter my towel-blanket giveaway!!
This has been my most popular giveaway to date: hurry up, only three days left!

Three weekends ago I attended a good friend's Baby Shower. Dana is due with a little girl on July 3rd, and I'm so excited to meet her little one! The shower was held at Chat Noir in Rockville Center, which was the cutest little tea house! 
The tea and scones were to die for! A collection of whipped cream, jam, and creamy butter was available to spread on the scones. I couldn't get enough of it!
The place was really quaint and beautifully decorated for the day!
Dana's friend, Crystal, made the diaper and balloon centerpieces, and there were little Hershey kisses with personalized labels on each table.
The beautiful mom to be, and her tea (I forget what kind of tea this was served in little mason jars, but it was delicious!)
For lunch, I ordered a caramelized onion and goat cheese tart, which was heavenly, and I tried the chocolate tea to go with it...YUM!
Each place setting had a chocolate covered oreo favor, which was again home-made by Crystal.
We played a few games, like decorating diapers, guessing nursery rhymes, and writing out our wishes for the baby. The cake (carrot cake with cream cheese icing!) was adorable with little elephants, and the saying "Nothing sweeter in all the world, than a precious baby girl".
With the future grandmothers!

Dana looking through all her fabulous gifts

Congratulations and good luck Dana and Derek! We can't wait to meet your beautiful little girl!