Wednesday, December 23, 2015

6 Months

And just like that we have a six month old. It went by in the blink of an eye. Anna Grace's personality really has started to shine through and she is learning to do new things everyday. Thankfully Andy is great with trying new things with her, because honestly I'm always pretty resistant, not sure why. We are really enjoying the baby and have gotten a good routine down. (Although I know it could/and will change soon.)

- Weighs 15 lbs. 13 oz. and is 25.25 inches long.

- Wears size two diapers during the day and I think we are going to start putting her in size 3 at night because we've had a couple leaks. We usually put her unwrapped in her crib after her last bottle and then gently change her into a nighttime diaper before we head to bed around 10:30-11:00pm. We also then put her in her wrap. While she can roll over she has NEVER moved once she is asleep and still likes to be all bundled up. We assess it every night to see if she is ready to move to sleep sacks instead, which will be soon.

- Gets 5 bottles of 5oz a day and one meal of rice cereal before her last bottle.

- Size 3-6 month clothes are the best right now, although we can make 3 month and 6 month clothes work.  (Mommy's favorite outfit is the black and white striped shirt and red pants with red bows. Daddy's favorite outfit is the smocked pumpkin romper.)


- Has been constantly chewing on her hands, feet, really anything you can get to her mouth. More and more she will suck/chew on just her thumb. We keep checking for teeth, but we haven't seen any yet.

- Baby got her first ear infection the Monday before Thanksgiving. She had been really fussy during meals, she would start really strong and then start screaming halfway through. We tried switching the way we held her, nipple levels, and even formula (which she didn't like), but nothing helped. We just couldn't figure it out and the nurses on call kept telling me it was probably a phase. Thankfully I was chatting with a mom friend who mentioned her baby had an ear infection and it got me thinking. I made a doctor's appointment just to have her checked. Anna Grace was so smiley and happy during the appointment that even the doctor was shocked when she found the ear infection. AG did 10 days worth of antibiotic and took it really well.

*Two things about the antibiotic. First, if you live near a Publix you can get Amoxicillin for free, even if it's not your usual pharmacy. Second, when I went to pick up the medicine the young pharmacist asked if I wanted it flavored. I replied "Oh she is just 5 months old", which in my mind meant she doesn't know the difference in flavors so don't bother. Well the pharmacist replied "oh she's little, I'll put bubble gum flavoring in it". Whatever, AG took the medicine like a champ, so I guess she likes bubble gum.

- We started rice cereal. We made it way to watery the first time so it was a little hard for her to eat but the second time we made it thicker and she really loved it. She caught onto the eating motion really quickly and now opens her mouth for more and even leans forward when we are taking too long getting the next bite to her.

- She loves bath time. She has figured out how to splash and loves playing/chewing her rubber duck. Andy and I still both participate and can't seem to figure out how one person bathes a baby. She is just so slippery. It's a fun family affair though.

- Anna Grace's first Thanksgiving. We traveled to North Myrtle Beach and had Thanksgiving with Andy's mom, stepfather, stepbrother and his wife, and Andy's great-aunt and uncle. We figured out a great place to stop on the way for diaper changes and feedings. She sleeps in a pack-and-play, which is super convenient to keep at the in-laws house. She loved sitting in her Bumbo in the kitchen watching everyone make dinner.

- On December 13 we had Anna Grace baptized. We had lots of family in town with Andy's parents and both his Grandmothers and of course my Mom and brother. She wore the same linen and lace gown I wore which was really special. She was good, but did cry a little bit when the minister sprinkled water on her head. (He apologized later because it was cold.) My mom hosted a wonderful lunch at her house after and it was so nice to have a chance to chat with everyone. We were exhausted afterward, but thrilled with how it went. Our only regret is we didn't get a picture of just Andy, Anna Grace, and me. I know crazy, but we were so concerned with getting the family pictures that we totally forgot. (We may have to recreate it later. No judgment)

- The night before the baptism AG decided to wake up at 4:00am and was wide awake. Umm...can you say terrible timing? She did it for a couple nights in a row, so we changed her and rocked her back to sleep. She is pretty much back to sleeping through the night, although sometimes she needs a late night diaper change.

- On December 14 Anna Grace started sitting up by herself. She has a pretty good sense of balance and can mostly catch herself if she starts to fall backward. This has been one of the developments that really makes me feel like time is going by too fast. I swear we just brought her home and she couldn't move at all on her own and now she is sitting up.

- Anna Grace and Camden's relationship has been developing a lot lately. AG is fascinated by Camden and she reaches for him and pets/grabs handfuls of his fur any time he is around. Camden pretty much lets her do whatever she wants and it's really cute. I really want them to be best buds.

- Andy has been getting a few cuddles lately and I'm so jealous! Sometimes, if she is really tired, after her last bottle Andy will lay her on his chest and AG will fall asleep. My heart just bursts watching him hold the baby and pet Camden with his other hand. My little family all curled up in one spot.

- Goodness knows we are head over heels in love with this little girl and can't imagine our life without her. Now prepare yourself for a bunch of cute baby pictures.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Our Baby Must Have Items

When you go to register for baby stuff for the first time it's scary. You have no idea what you actually need and even when friends suggest things there is no way to know whether it'll work for your baby. However, some of the products out there are amazing. My mom says all the time, "We didn't have anything like that when you were born". Here are a couple items that have worked wonders in our house.

There is no way around the painful first couple of weeks home with a newborn. You will be exhausted and up every two to three hours. But there is nothing more annoying than getting baby to sleep and as soon as you put them down they jerk themselves awake. Ahhhh! I had two friends, and Classic Annie, recommend the Summer Infant SwaddlePod and it was a game changers. Babies look like a peapod but it stops them from startling themselves awake. We are still using the next step up, the SwaddleMe Wrap, and love it.

I saw this on The Girl in the Red Shoes blog and after watching the video I had to have it. It is an easy way to wash a lot of bottles quickly.

I was definitely one of those people who took one look at this thing and said "Ewww, gross, never". Well then the baby got a stuffy nose and the bulb just wasn't cutting it. So we bought it, tried it, and now we are believers. Heads up: while I can do it, Andy is much better at it because his lung capacity is larger. It's tough for me to do.

I had no intentions of buying a heartrate monitor. It wasn't until we got baby home and started talking about putting her in the crib. Then I had to have it. After reading Carolina Charm's experience on her blog it was all I could think about. I'm pretty sure Andy thought I was crazy, until it was set up. Now he will tell you that he also sleeps so much better knowing it's on. Honestly, if I were doing it again, I would wait on buying the video monitor and just buy this.

These are one of those duh products that make so much sense it's crazy. They just lay on your pretty changing pad and save you the hassle of having to wash the whole thing when accidents happen. Because they will happen. Could you just use a burp cloth, yes, but the waterproof element is a nice touch.

Babies are oddly really good at kicking their socks off. I can't tell you how often we would look down and AG only had one sock on. Well a mom at her school found these Sock Ons and know everyone has them. They go around the foot and gently keeps the sock secure.

Again, while these things worked great for us, there are probably a dozen moms who tried and hated everything. It really is just testing what works for you and your family.

Friday, November 6, 2015

5 Things I Love at Trader Joes

Some of my favorite posts to read are other people’s  shopping lists. I am a creature of habit and I worry that I’m missing out on great products because I’m not adventurous enough. I thought I would share my current top 5 favorite things to get at Trader Joes.

I love gouda cheese and you could put pesto on a shoe and I'd eat it so this item is a win.

This is a South Carolina style BBQ sauce, which is honestly harder to find than you would think. It’s a combination of mustard base, a little tomato, a little vinegar, with a tiny kick at the end. Throw a pork butt or a couple chicken breasts in the crock pot, cover it with this sauce, and come home after work to a delicious meal.

I first tried these crackers at a cocktail party and now I’m excited whenever I have a chance to buy them. They are great with lots of dips and really any kind of cheese.

Perfect for a quick lunch or dinner. Comes with sharp asiago cheese, pecans, and a sweet basil dressing to keep it fresh and interesting.

Okay before you judge me, try these things. They are amazing. Not too sweet and I love the different textures. Andy and I have been known to be very possessive over our fair share. (There are four in a pack, if you have more than your two sandwiches you are in trouble.)

What do you like picking up at Trader Joes?

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

4 Months

Happy 4 Months Baby Girl!

- Officially measured at her 4 month appointment and she was 13lbs 5 oz and 25 inches long.


- Still eating 4 oz every three hours, six times a day. AG officially stopped nursing this month, I think it's because she got used to the bottle at school and doesn't want to work for it anymore. I miss it a little bit, but she was always hit or miss with nursing sessions so I had a feeling it was coming. I'm still pumping six times a day because my goal was always to give her breast milk at least up to six months if I could. It's working fine for now, but we'll keep an eye on it.

- Still wearing size 1 diapers and she is about to grow out of 3 month clothes. We use Pampers Swaddlers during the day, gotta have that wetness indicator, and Pampers Baby Dry at night since they hold more and keep her dryer.

- Her favorite spot is still her changing table, post diaper change.

- Her hands are in her mouth all the time. She doesn’t drool, but the wet hands make everything else wet.

- She has started grabbing at things. She likes to hold onto her bottle while she eats, holds tightly to our fingers, and loves pulling her pacifier out of her mouth. Unfortunately she hasn’t quite gotten the hang of putting it back in her mouth, although she tries.
- She is definitely a morning baby, once she is fed and changed. We get the best giggles and smiles while getting her ready for school in the morning.

- Hates waking up and falling asleep.

- We took our first trip to Myrtle Beach to visit Andy’s mom. We stopped once to feed and change her each way, but mostly she slept. She loved all the attention and did great sleeping in the pack and play, which was good since we don’t have one at home and didn’t know how she would do.

- On October 4th Columbia, SC experienced the biggest flood for over a 100 years. Columbia received over 20 inches of rain and many houses around us were evacuated. We were without water for two days, found a leak in our roof, and had to boil water for two weeks after. Not wanting to take any chances we washed all bottles with bottled water the whole time. While it was annoying we were so blessed compared to so many very near us.

- She is loving school. The ladies who watch her say she is really good and they are amazing at how she can sleep through anything.

- She babbles a lot now and has been experimenting with volume. She seems to like loud best.

- Starting to react to our voices. When we call her name she’ll start looking around and then gets this big smile on her face when she sees us. My heart explodes every time.

- Daddy put her in the bumbo seat and she loves it. It’s been great to sit her up while we make and eat dinner. She likes being able to look around and be part of everything.

- Camden and the baby have an interesting relationship. AG doesn’t mind Camden in her face, but Camden can’t seem to figure out what to do with her. He wants to lick her, but we won’t let him, so he just sniffs her and follows her around. He’ll go lay down in her room when she’s in her crib, but has a tendency to run to the other side of the house when she is really fussy.

- She loves to be outside. When in doubt when she is uncontrollably fussy, go outside. Sometimes it takes a minute, which I’m sure our neighbors love, but she always calms down.

Mommy hasn't been as good at taking pictures this month since we've been separate during the day. I'm a little mad at myself, so I'll do better next month. We are learning more about Anna Grace everyday. I think maternity leave was so unfun for us because we didn't go anywhere. AG seems to like when we go out and do things best. She wants to see people and different things and loves fresh air. I blame the hibernating that I did on just being a new mom and still self conscious about any fussing she might do in public. I didn't realize she was literally bored to tears. Anyway, going to school has helped so much since she gets so much stimulation and we know that on the weekends we need to plan outings for each day. We are really starting to see a fun side of Anna Grace and we are loving it.

3 Months

I'm very behind on sharing the baby updates. I typed them up on my phone each month, but I'm just now getting them formatted. So here is the last two updates.

- We didn't have a checkup this month so I really have no idea how much Anna Grace weighs, but she's definitely growing.

- She is still in size 1 diapers and is solidly in 3 month size clothes.

- The baby is still nursing and eating milk from a bottle. We had our third visit to a lactation consultant at the beginning of the month when AG randomly refused to nurse. We kept trying though and she picked it right back up in a day or so. She is eating 4 oz. every 3 hours 6 times a day when eating from a bottle.

- This month she found her hands and chews on her hand and fingers constantly. I keep checking for teeth, but haven't seen any yet. She'll still take her pacifier to be soothed so I think her hand is just an easily accessible toy at this point.

- Her first giggles came from playing Peek-a-boo with Mommy. It was the best sound ever!

- Nicknames = AG is the main one, Little Girl, and Fuss Pants (which thankfully doesn't get used as often anymore.)

- Mommy went back to work and baby's first day of school were on September 8th. We love AG's teachers and feel super comfortable about this decision. It was nice to go back to work and have adult conversations again. The hardest part is getting into a pumping routine. While I love my job, I sure do miss my girl by the end of the day and can't wait to pick her up.

Picture after our first days. Clearly baby was worn out!

- Mommy's favorite time of day - The Mornings. Everything is a little hectic getting us and baby ready, but she is so cute and happy in the morning. Andy brings her in to watch me get ready and she giggle and smiles and looks at my clothes with big eyes. It makes me feel like a true family.

- Daddy's favorite time of day - Also the mornings. He likes being the first person she sees in the morning and he can get all the best giggles out of her.

- On September 27 Anna Grace rolled from her stomach to her back. Andy saw it, I missed it. Then she did it twice for my mom and I missed it again. Finally I got to see her do it and I was so proud. How is it possible for my baby to already be turning over.

- We took Anna Grace to her first Soda City Market in downtown Columbia. She loved looking at all the people and booths.

- We found that when Anna Grace is super fussy if we take her outside she will usually calm down pretty quickly. I get a little self conscious that she is bothering the neighbors, but they all say they don't mind and then tell me stories of their babies.

- Anna Grace has learned to inch worm herself forward on her changing pad. I'm not sure it's on purpose, rather a side effect of being frustrated and trying to communicate something to us.

This month we got much braver and took the baby out a little more than usual. She still loves car rides and will let anyone hold her. It's been easier to transition back to work than I thought it would be. Don't get me wrong, I miss Anna Grace like crazy, but I like feeling like myself again too. I appreciate my time with the baby more now. Plus I just stare at pictures of her all day. She is growing so fast and we are so proud of her. Every new development and smile makes my heart swell just a little bit more. I love my AG!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Rain Rain Rain

It looks like we are going to have a pretty rainy and cold winter this year and I'm in need of a pair of rain boots. I'm torn between getting a pair of really nice boots or fun cheap ones. If I'm going to hand over a bunch of money I'll buy a neutral color that I can live with for a long time. This is the practical choice. However the fun side of me wants to buy a pair with a pattern or bright color or a monogram or something, in which case I'd just buy a cheap pair. Decisions, decisions.

Grown Up Rain Boots

Fun Boots

So which should I pick?
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