Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I love Elle

I let Elle fall asleep on my chest tonight. I did it for me, not for her. I have not done that in a long time. Usually it's right into the crib at bedtime, but tonight I felt the need to hold her close. I sometimes take for granted how lucky I am to have Elle. There are people in this world who can't have babies and will never experience the joy that I feel every day being with Elle. There are parents in this world who lose their beloved children, and I could never imagine the horror of that. I hope and pray it is something I never have to experience.
I love you Elle. Thank you for making me a better person. And thanks for sleeping on me, it was great to spend that time watching you, listening to your sweet baby noises and cuddling. You are an excellent baby, I will always love you.

Here is a picture from when Elle was about 3 weeks old.

Go Red Wings!



Sunday, April 25, 2010

A few of our favorite things.....the first 5 months

While I was pregnant I loved reading reviews of baby items but what I really loved was hearing what real, new moms loved for themselves and for their babies.

For the first 5 months, these are the things we have gotten the most use out of. Please note this list does not include everyday items such as onesies, diapers, wipes, clothes, changing pad, etc. that we of course love and need on a daily basis.

Infant car seat - We went with the Chicco Keyfit 30. The real selling point for us was the base. I know that sounds weird but the base for this seat doesn't use clips like other bases, it uses more of a trigger. Very easy to remove the base if needed. We found this seat was very comparable to the Graco SnugRide, which was the other seat we were considering. 5 months later and I am very happy with this seat. I have had to transfer the base to Grammy's car a few times and it was so easy to remove and reinstall. I love the bubble levels that show it is installed correctly. Elle loves this seat (as far as I can tell, she doesn't seem upset when she is in it), and although I know we will not keep her in it until she is 30 pounds like it allows, I think she will be in it for a while.
Here we are in the carseat leaving the hospital...she looks tiny!!!


Swing - Fisher Price Papasan Cradle Swing - My Little Lamb. This swing was recommended to us by our neighbor, they swore by it and said their baby loved it. I checked it out and thought not only that it was adorable, but that it looked so cozy! We got it as a shower gift and it was easy to put together. Elle LOVES this swing. She napped in it a lot her first 3 months and still enjoys laying in it. At about her 4th month she started to notice herself in the mirror overhead and the mobile. She babbles a lot while in the swing. The only negative about this is the size. It is a full size swing and takes up a lot of space.


Playard - Graco Pack'n'Play with newborn napper - We have used this everyday since Elle came home. It is in our room and Elle sleeps in it every night. She goes to bed in her crib but I bring her upstairs when I go to bed. She slept in the newborn napper until she could roll over. Now she sleeps in the bassinet part, but not for long, there is a 15 lb limit. I love the changing table that is attached, it is so convenient. It is so nice to have in our room and we use it a lot. Not going to lie, sometimes it is just a catch all for books, extra blankets and toys, but it gets a lot of use as a changing table as well. Even when Elle moves to her room permanently I think we will still use this. We even took it up north with us and used it in the hotel as her crib. It is easy to put up and take down. It came with a music box and a vibrating unit that goes under the mattress but we have not used either of these features.


Playtex Original Drop-In's bottle system - Although Elle is breastfed we registered for bottles knowing they would come in handy at some point. She doesn't get bottles often but when she does, these are the bottles we use. So far we really like them. We had some trial and error with the nipples at first, and settled on the latex nipples. She really fiddled with the silicone nipples and after a few times of this we decided to try another nipple. The nice thing about the starter set is it comes with a variety of nipples. She really took the the latex nipple a lot better. After about 2 months we actually switched her to the fast flow and she has been great at taking a bottle when needed since then. I really like the liners and how easy they are to dispose of. It makes it really easy if we are on the go. No bottles to clean, although you still need to clean the nipples. The one negative about the latex nipple is it is not as strong as the silicone and can only be hand washed. Annoying but tolerable. We picked up some extras and are all good. I don't have any pictures of Elle being bottle fed, sorry :(

Carrier - Baby Bjorn - We registered for this and I really wanted it. Dad didn't really see the purpose so we didn't run out and get it. I saw it on sale at Target one day and decided to pick it up. I am so glad I have it! I don't use it as often as some moms do, but it really comes in handy. I have used it for shopping a few times, for walks around the block, for lots of different types of outings and even just around the house. So far I haven't really had any problems with it or experienced any pain. I always put a burp cloth around where her mouth touches since she love to lick anything in sight, this cuts down on it getting soaking wet. She faced in for the first few months but now likes to face out, especially is she is going to be awake.


Bumbo - We got the Bumbo for Elle when she was almost 3 months old. From the beginning she has had a lot of head and neck support and we felt the Bumbo was something we could all benefit from. Elle enjoys a few minutes of independence and we enjoy having our hands for a few minutes. When we first got it she would last maybe a minute in there. Now that she is older she can stay in her bumbo for as long as we will let her. We got the tray to go with it and throw some toys on there and she entertains herself for a while. She also enjoys eating it. I have friends that use the bumbo as a highchair and feed their son in it. I don't know that we will do that but it gives it another use. Its lightweight and easy to transport, we take it with us a lot when we go visit family.


High Chair - Fisher Price Space Saver- I really love this highchair because it is easy to use, easy to clean and it doesn't take up a lot of space. It attaches to one of our chairs and that is the number one reason I picked out this chair. Now that we have it I know a little more about it and realize it has a lot of good qualities. It is plastic so very easy to wipe down. The tray is easy to clean and dishwasher safe. It is easy to adjust the chair (it reclines) and the tray. We got this out when Elle was a little over 4 months old. We would put her in it during dinner time so she could get accustomed to being in her chair. She wasn't eating solids yet but we would put some toys on her tray and she never fussed. When we started her on solids it was great that she had already been in the seat a few times and didn't seem freaked out or uncomfortable being in the chair. The only negative I have is that after having the same generic pattern forever, they recently came out with a more feminine version in brown and fuchsia. I wish we had that one, but it doesn't really matter.


Here we are at our first family dinner with all of us around the table!


Stroller - Combi Cosmo EX -


We didn't register for a travel system, we have a great Jeep stroller from when Brother was younger so I didn't see the need for another full size stroller. We registered for this more compact stroller and I love it!! I love having it, it is so much smaller than the Jeep stroller but it isn't rickety or hard to maneuver. It is great for the mall and places with crowds where the Jeep feels like a monster. It is easy to get Elle in and out and it reclines well and is easy to fold and unfold. I am really glad we have this stroller. We started using it right around 4 months.


Bath time - We registered for the Summer Infant Mother's Touch Large Comfort Bather and got it.

Before even giving Elle her first bath one of my other new mom friends dropped this little thing off:

I was a little confused at first by this sponge but when it came time to give Elle her first bath (in the sink) I used this and loved it! It really protected her from the hard, coldness of the stainless sink and kept her in place. She fit great on it and really seemed to like the bath experience. We have continued to use this sponge even though we are graduated to the real bathtub now. She has grown a lot and probably is too big for this but I really like the convenience of it. I use the bath chair that we got to drape her towel over and sit her in before and after the bath. I am going to recommend this sponge to all future pregnant friends that ask for an opinion. I never would have looked twice at this but am so glad it was given to us.

These are some of our favorite things. I know it is a given that you will need most of these things, I just wanted to offer some insight from a first time mom on some of the pro's and con's.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Cereal

We started Elle on rice cereal today. She is 5 months 2 weeks old. Our pediatrician gave us the go ahead on solids at her 4 month appointment, but she was doing so well we weren't in a rush to change things. Our pediatrician was OK with that but suggested that we try something before her 6 month appointment.

Elle is still doing great. Eating 4 times a day and taking 3 naps. She eats every 4 hours, around 8am, 12pm, 4pm and 8pm, then heads to bed for the night. She is such a good eater and sleeper I was not in a rush to start her on solids. Lots of people start their babies on solids in hopes of getting more sleep from them, and we are so lucky that Elle is a good sleeper it wasn't a concern for us.

We decided that today would be a good day to try rice cereal. Dad and I are both home, we have nothing going on the rest of the weekend and can really focus on this milestone together. Although the cereal is very mild, there is a risk that it won't agree with her.

We fed her after her 12pm feeding, that way if there is a reaction we have all day to take care of it. She sat in her highchair and took the cereal like a champ!! She loves herself some food!! Always been happy during feedings and this was no exception. We mixed the cereal with breastmilk and although it took a couple tries for her to understand the spoon going in her mouth, once she realized she needed to open wide it was smooth sailing!!

I am so proud of her and actually cried a little after we put her down for her nap. She is just growing up so fast. She is eating cereal!!! This is a big deal! She can roll over, sit up for short periods of time, fall asleep on her own and now cereal. She is practically in college! Just kidding. But seriously, she is not a newborn anymore. It makes me so happy that she is a healthy, happy baby, but also a little sad. Oh well, this is what happens. Babies grow up. I am just so glad I am here to be a part of it. It is amazing to see her change and accomplish these things right before my eyes. Love you Ellie Belly.




Friday, April 23, 2010

Adorable


Elle at work

I am lucky enough to work for my dad, so I often bring Elle to the office with me. My mom usually comes and picks her up and they do their thing while I get my work done. Well, last week Grammy and Grandpa were out of town so I just took Elle to the office with me. She is a very low key, easy baby so I didn't really think twice about it. We got there and everything was all good. After a couple hours she started to fuss, it was almost time to eat, so I laid her on her blanket with her toys hoping to buy a few minutes while I finished up the last of my work. She got very quiet, and so I basically just left her alone, plugging away at work. After about 15 minutes I realized she hadn't made a sound in a while, so I peeked over and saw this:



My little girl had rolled herself into her comfortable position and fallen fast asleep. ADORABLE!! I was so proud of her and also at a loss. I had planned on only working until noon, then heading home. But I couldn't wake her up! So I let her sleep and got a lot more work done. She slept for almost an hour, woke up happy, ate and we headed home. It was so great to have her at work with me and to have her be such a good girl! I am so lucky to be able to take her to work with me when needed. Thank you baby Elle for making your Momma so proud!!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Everything into the mouth!

Elle has always been an "oral" baby. Lots of drool and lots of things in her mouth. This has been going on since she was probably 3 months old. She LOVES putting her fingers and hands in her mouth. Usually both hands at the same time. All toys go directly in the mouth, blankets in the mouth, car seat and stroller straps in the mouth, she has even started grabbing her onesie and getting the neck in her mouth. It is was it is, there really isn't anything we can do about it, so I just make sure everything she can get her hands on is as clean as possible. I even bought terry cloth strap covers for her stroller straps so I can at least wash them once in a while.

On to today....

Elle and I were hanging in out Florida room looking out the glass doors, sort of watching Daddy mow the lawn. Elle was enjoying time in her Bumbo. Let's see what happens....



Oh...these fingers look good....a nice snack....



Oh wait...What's this??


Oh yes....yum yum yum


Oh, um, Mom, I see you looking at me


I'll just concentrate on this side over here


OK, this is getting old. Back to my faithful fingers. YUMMY!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

First Trip to the Zoo

Dad and I took the kids to the zoo today. It was a beautiful day, borderline HOT. We were there for probably less than 2 hours but it was perfect for us. We bought the season pass so we can go as many times as we want this summer. Elle rode in the stroller and didn't really care at all about what was going on. She even napped for a bit.
Brother had a great time, but got tired. He fell asleep on the way home. After checking out all the animal exhibits we hit up the gift store. We told Brother he could get a souvenir and I wanted to get Elle something from her first trip to the zoo. I couldn't decide what to get her to commemorate her first trip, a book or a snow globe with a baby tiger inside and the zoo name. I let Brother decide and he picked the snow globe. I was happy with his pick and handed it to him to put on the counter. As he was handing it to the cashier he bumped it against the counter ledge and it shattered. Oops. I guess we are getting the book.
I picked up the big pieces of glass and apologized to the cashier. She didn't seem to mind and rang us up. We headed home and everyone except mom took naps.
It was a great family day and it really got me looking forward to summer. I know Elle is still young for a lot of these family activities but it was fun to take her and it will be fun to start doing other things as well.
On a side note there were LOTS of other moms at the zoo today. I seriously saw more strollers than I have ever seen in my life. I am secretly hoping for a jogging stroller for Mother's Day and found myself checking out other strollers for ideas. I even saw a mom pushing a 4 person stroller, followed by her husband with a single person stroller. I also saw what looked like a 5 year old in an infant carrier, snapped into a snap'n'go. Her legs were hanging so far out the end of the car seat she could almost touch the ground! It was quite the sight.
I wanted a family picture from our first trip but it never happened. Instead I got these two less than stellar shots.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Elle is 5 Months

And her mom is a slacker!!

Not so much a slacker...but just super busy these last few days.

Elle turned 5 months old yesterday, April 10, 2010.

We spent the day at her cousins 7th Birthday party. It was a fun time and I was glad everyone was there to see Elle. Everyone had such nice things to say about Elle. She was, of course, her wonderful, easy going self. No fussing, no crying. All smiles and showing off. She rolled a few times for everyone, and was very happy all day.

These 5 months have FLOWN by...I can CLEARLY remember being in the hospital welcoming her to the world, and now she is 5 months old. This is starting to freak me out....time is going so fast. I love every thing about her and she has made my life so completly full. I am such a better person because of her, and I am so proud to be her momma. Love you Ellie Belly Button :)




Thursday, April 8, 2010

Shopping for paci's is like shopping for shoes......

I am not kidding. I really enjoy picking out pacifiers for Elle. Is this really where I get my joy?? Apparently.

Elle is 5 months now and for the past week or so she has lost her pac a few times every night, causing her to wake up and root around for it. She can never find it, so therefore I get up to help out. After a few nights of this I decided maybe her 2 month pacifiers are too small. So I made a mental note to pick up a pack of the next size on my next trip to Target. Well I guess it's just not that easy. While checking them out at Target, I decided the variety they had just wasn't big enough. I knew that Babies R Us had a bigger selection so I decided to wait. Plus, I had a 20% off coupon for BRU. I know, it's sad I have nothing else to use my coupon on, but oh well. So I made a special trip to Babies R Us to get Elle her new pacifiers. For the record, we like the MAM pacifiers. Oh my gosh there are so many cute ones!!!! I had the hardest time deciding which ones to get!! I was even checking out some of the boys selection. I don't really know why it took me so long to decided but I seriously looked for about 15 minutes, before deciding on pink with giraffes. Very cute.

As I was standing there, going through the racks, taking boxes off to see what might be hiding behind, checking and double checking to make sure I hadn't missed any in the 6 month size, I realized, I am enjoying this a little too much, I am making this way harder than it needs to be! I used to spend my time shopping for shoes. Looking for the best deal, the cutest pair, comparing a few pairs, telling myself it was ok to buy 2, maybe 3 pair. Now here I am at Babies R Us, doing the same thing with pacifiers!! Thinking...she probably needs a few different packs, I am sure having a few extra around won't be a big deal, Dad will never realize I bought her 6, maybe 8. Haha. Well I decided on one 2 pack, FOR NOW!!! She will need more in the future, and it's a fun, cheap baby item I can buy for her. I sort of see her pacifiers as an accessory....she really only uses it when she sleeps but I keep them with us in case she gets sleepy or fussy. Having a variety is a good thing...one day a pink one will look cute, the next a purple might make me smile....wouldn't it be great to bust out the "Daddy's Girl" on Father's Day? Oh the possibilities are endless......

Monday, April 5, 2010

So Sweet

She did it!!!

Elle rolled from her back to her belly!! I am so proud of her!!!!!!

video

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Brother's Easter Party

Dad, Elle and I went to the Easter party at Brother's school and had a great time. Brother was so happy to have us there, especially Elle. He showed her off to all his friends and both his teachers held her. I am pretty much a little dorky....so Elle and I wore our bunny ears!! They were a HIT!!!! Brother even took over my pair and enjoyed showing them to all his friends.




Cooking with the Beaba Babycook

Although we are not starting Elle on solids yet, I decided to give the whole baby making food adventure a whirl. It was so easy and fun! I did sweet potatoes as my first "recipe". It's not really a recipe, it's basically just steaming and pureeing a sweet potato. Here are the details:

I started with 2 sweet potatoes, peeled.


The I chopped them, one at a time. This is one potato.


I added water to the reservoir based on the instructions that came with the Beaba Babycook. I used water level 3. I added one chopped sweet potato to the Babycook basket and steamed it for 15 minutes.


After the potatoes were steamed, I checked them with a fork and decided they were soft enough. I removed the basket, poured the water left over from the steaming into a cup and transferred the potatoes from the basket to the bowl. I added about 1 ounce of the water to the potatoes and about 2 ounces of breast milk to thin out the sweet potatoes. I pureed until nice and smooth.


I transferred the potatoes into the freezer tray. I froze them for 24 hours then transferred the frozen pieces to a freezer zip lock, labeled with the type of food and date.


When we start Elle on food, and when it's time to introduce sweet potato, I will just take one frozen portion, thaw it in the fridge or a bowl of warm water and feed her. Simple!! Making these sweet potatoes was so fun, I just am really excited now to try more fruits and vegetables. For a while I will just do individual fruits and vegetables, but in the future I am looking forward to combining some flavors.

I really had a positive experience with the Beaba Babycook and I am glad I have it. People say a steam basket and a food processor work just as well, and I am sure they do. BUT...I don't have a food processor, and don't really think I would ever use one. I really like that this does it all in the same bowl. Very easy cleanup. I am hoping to get another freezer tray, either another like the one I have, or I have heard that ice cube trays with lids work just as well. I am just not sure where to find ice cube trays with lids. I am on the lookout. But, if I have more freezer trays I can make more food at one time.