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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Sick baby sadness

Well the day (or should I say night?) finally came where we were woken up with a sick baby. Poor little guy caught something and has been so sad the last few days. I'm hoping that he magically wakes up feeling better for Christmas. We've been giving him plenty of fluids and nursing him often to keep him hydrated. Some moments he's his normal, happy self just running around and playing. Other times, he's got a super sad cry that just breaks my heart.

I have to say having a sick baby has definitely been one of the hardest parts about being a mom. All I want to do is make him better and I can't. It doesn't help that I also was sick so it's been hard to hold him. While it sucks it happened close to Christmas, it's been a blessing since Josh was home from work and has been able to help take care of us.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Robot stereo

So excited! My husband's big project for our little guy's robot room is finally finished! We were originally just planning to buy a simple iPod dock so we could stream lullaby music at night, but we couldn't find any we liked that didn't look funny in a baby's room.

After spending a few days looking, Josh thought maybe he could build a robot that he could turn into a dock. It started with a simple sketch by his co-worker and morphed from there.


With the help of some co-workers, they built an amazing stereo that will look awesome in his room now and will continue to look awesome as he grows up. I LOVE how it turned out!


Love all the little details it has. Lots of time and love went in to this project. I'm so glad it was finished in time for Christmas. Ethan may not be old enough to really understand Christmas yet, but I hope he loves this for a long time. I can't believe he was able to make this!


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Saving money with a baby

Babies are expensive. For being so little, they sure use a lot of things that cost money. Sure, some aren't really NEEDS, but they do make things easier. Here's a few tips to keep from breaking the bank.

1. Avoid furniture from the baby stores. A dresser is a dress no matter what it's called. Just because it's labeled "nursery" or "baby", doesn't mean it's any different. This is similar to wedding planning when the second you hear wedding/bridal, expect the cost to double or triple. Even the simple dressers at BRU start around $300, so go up $900! $900 for a frickin dresser in a baby's room?! The majority seem to be in the $500 range. Instead we used Ikea for our dressers. We have 2-4 drawer Malms side by side and 2-3 drawer Malms (1 in the closet and 1 near the crib). Even better, these were items we already had so extra savings. We use 1 for toys and shoes, 1 for blankets and bibs, etc, and the larger ones for clothing/accessories/bath stuff. You can get all 4 for $360. WAY cheaper and WAY more storage. You don't need that much space, but since we had them, I separated things more.

To see ours in action check out the nursery tour.

2. Re-purpose items. Go through your storage area/garage for things you no longer use. Besides re-using our dressers instead of selling them for something else, we also found things that had been sitting unused. We had a white shelf that we'd meant to put up in the laundry room so instead it went above his dressers for robot stuff. We also had 2 matching white sets of hooks that were perfect on opposite sides of the closet for hanging fave outfits, hooded towels, Boba, etc.

3. Get crafty. This goes along with re-purposing somewhat. If you can't find the perfect item to match or the item you want is too expensive, find a way to DIY it. Our nursery theme was robots which weren't always easy to find and when we did, it was usually so pricey. So, for things like the lamps, I found simple square ones and covered them in fabric. Rather than spending $80-$100 on the mobile I loved, my mom made one by swapping out the objects on a clearance mobile with robots. The bookshelves we liked that held a ton of books were super pricey so my husband got to work and made some himself that were better than any we could have bought.


#4 Buy in bulk. This also makes you less likely to run out of things when you need them. Buy the biggest box of diapers. Go to Costco/Sams for wipes. We've only had to buy wipes once after we used the ones we got as gifts and it was a huge box from Sams. We're almost out now at 7 months. We got blessed with tons of diapers so we've never had a problem with running out (still have 10 boxes left! WOW!).

#5 Stock up during sales and use coupons. The baby wash we use is kinda pricey (Mustela). So, last time BRU had a huge sale on it (it was like buy 2 get 1 free + 20% off  I think?) so I bought all the things we use the most. Retailmenot.com is a great place to check for coupons and I always check before buying online. Ebates is also a great way to get money cash back. (If you aren't on ebates yet, please use my referral link to sign up. It's great!). BRU and BuyBuyBaby often have coupons and most will take their competitor's coupon. We also used a great sale to try out a few different pacifier and sippy cup options to see what he liked best. Always compare prices with other stores and ask if places price match. If I don't happen to have a coupon with me, I always ask at the register if they have any going on. This works about 1/2 the time.

#6 Register for everything you might want. Even things you think no one will buy because they are too expensive or too small. The main reason for this is that many places send a coupon right before the baby is due for you to complete the registry. So you'll get about 10% off anything that's left on your registry. This is why I did a few different registries.

#7 Buy used! This is where I really saved the most money. So many baby items are in great condition when they are used because they outgrow things so quickly. We bought new on the crib and carseat for safety reasons, but so many other things were bought used. BOB jogger that had maybe been used twice, a high chair that had been used once, changing table, swing, exersaucer, jumper, bassinet, pack and play, walker, toys, clothing, etc. We have so many toys because of buying used that he'll never get bored. I like to swap out the toys he plays with every few weeks. It also is a cheap way to find out what he likes since every baby is different. I know a lot of people don't like buying used, but really it's as good as new once you take a little time and clean it.

This whole pile of toys cost $20! Some of his faves are in here!


 
Tons of CUTE clothes and a bunch of toys for $45. 



Some things to think about when buying used:
-pay attention to sizing on clothing. Some used clothes end up not being the right size if they were washed wrong and shrunk. Also think about seasons when buying in advance. I like to be prepared and buy when I see a great deal so I have to think about what size he'll be in when wearing them. I don't need size 12 months yet, but when I saw a great deal for winter clothes in that size, I snapped it up. Better than waiting til the last minute and buying something expensive.

-Don't buy any stuffed animals that have built in music devices. There's no good way to really clean them. A lot of toys luckily have removable sound things so you can wash them.

-Check for battery operated parts before hosing things down or putting them in the wash. This sounds obvious, but some are hidden pretty well. We've ruined a few things by being too quick to pull out the hose. Luckily some that made it through the wash came out still working.

-If you can, make sure they work. Ask the person if they have batteries to check or bring some with you when you pick up.

-Buy in lots and ask for a deal for buying multiple items. People are likely to go lower to get rid of a lot at once.

-Make sure all parts are in place and nothing is cracked or broken. A small crack could make something less stable or could scratch your little one. Skip the things that have damage.

-For cleaning: Things with batteries, I use clorox wipes to clean them off. It makes it easy to get it all the nooks w/o ruining the battery compartment. I usually wipe it down with a damp rag after so it's safer for baby. For cloth toys and stuffed animals, I throw them in the washing machine. My washer has a no spin and low spin option so I use whichever is best for what I'm washing. For most plastic toys that don't use batteries, I put them in the dishwasher. For big items like the jumper and exersaucer type, we take off the parts with batteries and hose the rest down using a sponge and soap to scrub them down. Some toys look pretty dirty and I've considered skipping them, but it ends up being a lot quicker than I think it will and they come out looking as good as new. I usually just work on them while watching TV so it doesn't feel like work.


Friday, October 4, 2013

Flying with a baby

All of our family (and most of our friends) live out of state. This means we will probably be having MANY flights in the Mini Minch's years. Our first trip happened when he was only 3 months. Luckily for the first time, it was both me and the hubster. It was good prep for my first solo trip with the little guy the next month. Both of those trips had layovers both ways, which means 8 takeoffs and 8 landings. Yikes. Not to mention time between the flights to occupy a baby. Since it can be stressful to fly with a little one, I figured I'd give some tips based on my recent experiences.

Let me tell you, I was a little nervous the first flight and thought about being one of those extra awesome moms who make a treat bag and hand out earphones. But...yeah...ain't nobody got time for that.

When it comes to packing, remember for the most part you'll be somewhere that you can grab things you forgot. Or just buy things if they are too big to pack. To save space, we only packed enough diapers to last us the flight and drive to our destination. We just bought a pack of diapers both places we ended up going. Saved us a ton of space. We bought travel containers for his body wash/lotion. We didn't bother bringing diaper rash cream or meds since he wasn't using any when we traveled and if it was something we ended up needing, we could just run to the store.

We got lucky and didn't have to travel with a pack and play or travel crib since we were meeting family both times and we chose to have them just buy used ones. It ended up being cheaper than either paying for an extra bag or renting one, plus they'll get use multiple times in future trips. If that's not an option, look into rental companies near where you are staying. It might be worth the cost to rent it and have one less item to have to carry around in to the airport.

As far as lap vs their own seat, at a young age I think it makes more sense and it's easier to have them in your lap. Not only will it save you money, but you also don't have to lug around the carseat. Plus, if they are on your lap you can comfort them and keep them occupied. While it takes up a decent amount of space, I recommend bringing a boppy type pillow. The regular boppy is too large for flying, but this one was the perfect smaller size to fit in my lap. MiniMinch slept on this almost the entire time we flew. If you buy from there, use code  Bump50 and it will be free, just pay shipping. :) 

If you are nursing, try to time feedings for takeoff/landing. The sucking will help keep their ears from popping, kinda like how you chew gum for flights. This helped a TON for us. He would start nursing and then typically just be asleep by the time we were in the air. Honestly, I pretty much just kept ready to nurse at all times because if he'd wake up, I'd just nurse him again. It was the easiest way to keep him satisfied. If you aren't nursing, try a bottle or pacifier since it will work the same way. Between nursing and BLW though, it saves me from having to carry formula or special food.

Dress yourself and the baby comfortably! Slip on shoes and no belt if you can to make security easy. I was actually quicker getting through with a baby than almost everyone by themselves because of that. I also don't bring any liquids in my carryon so that saves me from pulling stuff out. For MiniMinch, I usually opt for a romper when we fly. They're just as easy as a onesie, but they look a little nicer. If you're nursing, a comfy top that pulls up easily with a cami underneath. 






Now the big things...strollers and carseats. IMO it's easiest to drop the carseat at checkin. This is why we chose the lap option. That thing is too bulky/awkward to deal with in an airport. Also, make sure if you are still in an infant seat, you don't forget the base! We almost did the first flight since we we're so used to just grabbing the seat out! As for the stroller, we chose to keep it with us rather than only use a carrier. The main reason: even if we were carrying him on us, we could use the stroller for our carryon. It also gave him somewhere to sit while we had meals while waiting. To save space, we packed the Boba in our suitcase and instead I used a ring sling for carrying him. It was easier to slip him on/off while seated plus it doubled as a blanket to throw down during layovers, plus it could be used as a cover for nursing if you need more privacy.


We kept our carryons as light as possible and only used a backpack. For him we only brought 1 outfit change (which we never ended up needing any flight), 1 pacifier, and 2 toys-one that rattled and one that was softer. We brought his fave robot toy since it has a good amount of things to keep him interested. And to save space in the bag, I just hooked it outside to the backpack strap. I also made sure not to give him this toy a few days before the trips that way he wouldn't be bored by it on the plane.


For his diapers, we used the same diaper clutch/changing pad that we use every day. I HATE carrying a diaper bag and this thing typically fits in most of my larger purses. Has everything I need together and it's plain enough that Mr. Minch can just take it when he needs it. I can't find the exact one we have online, but it's really similar to this one. I love that it gives a clean place to put the baby on (airports/airplanes are GROSS), has a place for diapers and wipes, and has baggies to put a dirty diaper in. And it takes up very little room in a carryon.

Overall, the most important thing to do is try to stay calm/relaxed! If baby gets cranky, try to have a sense of humor about it. Joking helps and people are less likely to give you the evil eye. For the most part, he was amazing. We got tons of comments about how great he was and they didn't even realize there was a baby most of the time. I'm attributing that to good flying karma from all those years when I used to bring toys for kids in my carryon and help other parents when their kids got fussy. He did have one meltdown at the end of a flight thanks to a dirty diaper, but we just joked about how we were all sick of flying and everyone was saying that they're surprised he was good that long.


For both trips he was too young for sunscreen so we didn't have to pack that, but will use a travel container for the next trip. Instead we brought hats to keep him covered and for the beach we got him a good floaty that had a sunshade. We got our float from Walmart and chose it because it folds down easily into a little bag so simple to pack. It also had the most coverage with the shade. He was a little small for it (he was only 3 months instead of the 9 month minimum) so we broke a pool noodle in half and stuffed it around him. lol It worked great.




More baby led weaning

Since Mini Minch has been doing so good with the BLW, we've even adding a ton of new foods. We rarely need I make something separate for him now and just pull out his portion before we salt ours.

We haven't been doing the 2-3 day wait for new foods anymore. After a month, so far he hasn't had a reaction *knock on wood* and we have no history of allergies. This means we've been giving him more than one food at meals making it a bit more fun for him. 

Here's some new things we've tried: 

Part of a bagel. Make sure that any bread you give is toasted to minimize choking risk. He loved it and it's one if the first things he's really eaten completely without dropping any. He definitely scared me while eating it because he would put the whole piece in his mouth. He didn't gag at all though surprisingly.



video

Next day he chowed down on an apple. I just ate a bite all the way around so he could dig in. 



video


We also decided to give him his first taste of ice cream later that day. They ice cream truck just happened to go by so we had to grab something. He only got a few tastes, but seemed to be a fan. 
He's been waiting to try this since right around 4.5 months when he tried steal some. 

Since he's been doing so great with eating and hasn't had any allergic reactions, we finally feel comfortable introducing multiple items at once and giving him a few things together. His first chance was breakfast. We gave him a small amount of everything we were having (minus the bacon).

 The pancakes seemed to be his fave.
Eating some chicken. We made pad Thai so I just pulled out a few pieces before throwing it in the sauce.

This time he just ate exactly what we had. Mississippi roast, cauliflower mash, and broccoli. The broccoli was the first thing that's really given him some trouble. He gagged quite a bit on it and once he coughed it out he wanted nothing to do with it. So, we'll wait awhile before we give him that again. He LOVED the cauliflower mash though. 
As you can see he gets mad when he doesn't have anymore food. lol 
  video

This day we planned on letting him feed himself an organic Sprouts packet. He's like them in the past and does a pretty good (yet messy) job of it. Yeah...well he wanted NOTHING to do with it. He saw our food and gave us a look like "are you kidding me?! I'm not eating this mush while you eat meatballs!". So, he got meatballs and baked beans with us. He ate them like a champ and was NOT happy when they were gone. 
 Trying to get the beans in his mouth.
 Nom nom
He also got to try some chicken, turkey, and brisket at dinner the other night. I just took a bit off my plate before adding the BBQ sauce, that way he wouldn't get TOO dirty at the restaurant.

I'm sure there's a few others I'm missing, but these are the majority of them. We're still LOVING BLW. And it's a good thing since apparently he has no interest in even the packets now. He is actually eating a majority of it now and is always wanting more. And (TMI), but you can definitely tell that he's eating real food now. The diapers have definitely changed and they stink! lol It's time to get a 2nd diaper genie for downstairs now I think.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Registry/newborn list

When it came time to register for Ethan, I was completely overwhelmed. We made the mistake of going to Babies R Us first thinking, well they have everything. Well, they do. Including a ton of things you don't need that they'll try to convince you that you do.

Anyway, here are some of our most used things within the first few months.

-receiving blankets. Get a lot of these. We used them to give him a light cover in his bouncer/swing/carseat, used as burp clothes, used for small spills, great for laying on the ground when out and about, small enough for traveling, etc.

-Baby carrier. There are tons of options. The most popular is probably the Ergo since it's the most widely carried in store. I recommended going to a store that has tons of options that you can try on if you can find one. We did this and it was the best way to see what we liked. After reading a ton of blogs and watching youtube clips, we thought we'd want the Beco or Ergo. After trying them all on though, we went with the Boba 3G.

If you're in the DFW area, check out Nappy Shoppe. We had to drive an hour from Justin, but it was completely worth the drive for the selection they had. Their prices were great and the staff was very helpful and friendly.  http://www.nappyshoppe.com/ You can also buy online if you know what you're wanting.


Reasons we chose Boba: It was the most comfortable and natural fit for both of us. It didn't require a newborn insert (the bottom folds up for newborns). It has a nice shade for his head in the sun as you can see here and also has a strap to snap your purse on you. It comes with foot straps for when your kid is older. The straps are super easy to adjust, this is important for nursing in it since you can lower the waist and loosen the shoulders quickly. It comes in some super cute patterns (although we kept it simple with black and grey since we'd both be using it). Overall, the way it felt while wearing baby was our biggest consideration.

 Ergo was our 2nd fave and we've since gotten one 2nd hand to keep in our car for the times we forget to grab the Boba. We def prefer the Boba over it though.

We also have a ring sling which is another great option. I was gifted this by one of my friends and I love it. It's great for short trips or doing things around the house. It's quicker to get him in and out of it which makes it best for quick outings. It doesn't have as much support for your back though so I don't recommend it for long outings or major housework.



-a breast pump if you plan to breastfeed. I originally only got a manual thinking that would be enough, but I was lucky enough to win a double electric one. So glad I did because it was much easier. Also, check with your insurance, they may cover either a rental of one or a new one. Most should, but they may not be very familiar with it so it may take a few calls to get someone that does. We ended up with the
   --you'll also want some bottles, but all babies like different ones so try a few before stocking up. Also freezer storage bags (note: don't buy the BRU brand ones, about 1/2 of them leaked and there was a LOT of wasted milk which SUCKS)

-handsfree pump bra. You will look absolutely ridiculous in this, but it makes it easier to double pump. I'd just read or play games on the ipad while pumping. This is the one I bought.  
I mean seriously?! Doesn't this thing look ridiculous?! The things you'll do for your baby...


-baby monitor. Again, tons of options so think about what works best for your family. I have a (slightly irrational) fear of SIDS so I went with the Angel Care since it will alert you if there is no movement. Warning though, you may end up with lots of false alarms that scare the crap out of you, show you how quickly you can run after just being woken up, and make it hard to go back to sleep. This usually happens because he ends up in the corners of the crib and the sensor pad isn't big enough. I still would rather have it though.


 --For travel or for when he's asleep somewhere that's not the crib, I use the Baby Monitor app on my iPhone/iPad. It's got video and sound, you just leave one facing baby and keep the other with you.

-2-3 Swaddlers. Sure, you could use blankets for this, but in the middle of the night when you need to either change the baby or want to get some quick skin to skin time for nursing, you will LOVE the velcro these have.  So easy, just pop baby in the bottom and wrap/velcro. They also are easy to get  them snug as a bug and foolproof for dad.

-A playmat. Tummy time is important for babies from day 1. I love the colors on this one. It also had the little pillow to prop him up with. It folds up fairly easily so it doesn't always have to be in the middle of the room


-a diaper rash cream. I chose this one from Motherlove because it's also a thrush cream in case that becomes an issue. We haven't dealt with diaper rash yet, but it gets rave reviews. The few times he's had a little redness, I dab a bit on and it goes right away.

-bouncer or swing. In the first few months, this will be a great way to keep the little one comfy and close to you. We were gifted this from our registry. I liked that it was neutral and didn't take up a lot of space. We also bought a swing used for $10.


-A good cleaner. Let's just say I'm surprised by how well baby OxiClean got out some of the stains that happened. Esp the ones on the swing and bouncer which both had a way of making the baby have a blowout. Luckily the fabric on both was easily removable to toss in the wash.

-Boppy. Great way to get baby positioned good for nursing. This thing will practically be attached to you in the beginning.

-Obviously you'll need a carseat and stroller, but I recommend going and testing a ton out rather going on someone's opinion. What works for one person, may not work for another. We ended up going with the Graco FastAction Fold travel system mostly because it's easy to open/close. The carseat only goes to 22lbs, but we figured he'd outgrow the length before that (which he did). We've upgraded to the Evenflo Symphony for his convertible seat. It was a great price through Amazon and Costco and it has higher weight limits than many others in it's price range. Plus, it looks great. We also bought a used BOB stroller for jogging. You don't really NEED 2 strollers, but for us, the BOB is not good for travel/errands because it doesn't fold or turn well, but the Graco isn't great for sidewalks and can't be used for running.

Things we didn't bother registering for: Clothes: Most people will buy you cute outfits anyway and stuff changes so often that the things you register for may not even be available anymore. Exersaucer/jumper: You won't be using these until around 4-6 months so no need to have them taking up space before then. High chair: Again, won't be using this until around 4-6 months. Diapers: You'll probably get some small packages even if you don't register for them. However, if you care about a specific brand, then I would. Toys/teethers: People will usually buy cute ones as an add on to their gift or they will buy ones their kids liked. Books: Same as above, people like to give their faves or faves they read to their kids. It's fun to see what you'll get!





Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Baby Led Weaning part 2 "First foods"

One of the hardest things for me when starting was figuring out the best way to prep his food. For the most part with BLW you can just give them what you eat. But, when first starting out, I obviously wanted things to be softer for him than what we would eat. So I'll add in how I prepped some of the food.

Warning about BLW: it is VERY messy. This is not an option if you are afraid of a huge mess. You will be giving LO a lot more baths probably and cleaning their high chair often. If you have a dog, they'll be a huge fan of this since plenty ends up on the floor.

MiniMinch's first food ended up by accident. A few days before his 6 month appt, he grabbed a green pepper off his dad's plate while we were at lunch and put it into his mouth. We decided, well, let's just go ahead and let him try it. He gummed at it and seemed to like it so we went to the counter and asked for a few more.


Since he did so good with that, we went out and bought some sweet potatoes. I washed and peeled them, then cut them into wedges about 2in in length. Then I used a little olive oil and popped them in the oven at 350 for about 30 min. Then let them cool.





Next up was banana. I know some people cut half the skin off and leave the other half so they can hold on to it better, but yeah, I just kept breaking the banana. So I gave up. This was WAY slippery for him. Later attempts I ended up coating with cheerio crumbs. I crushed a whole bunch and kept them in tupperware for coating slippery foods. I also found that after you cut a piece, if you stick your finger down the middle, it'll split into 3 smaller pieces which make the perfect size.


 One of the great things about BLW is that it's soo easy when you go out to eat to just give them something you have. Of course, make sure it's not something prepared with lots of salt since babies can't have much. When we went out for BBQ, he was pretty fussy, probably because he wanted some food too. So, I pulled some peppers off my kabob and gave them to him. He went to town on it and it was hilarious to see people's reaction. The next table over was like "OMG is he eating a pepper?!". Yes, yes he is.


Avocado-again, covered it in cheerios so he could hold it better. Licked his fingers clean.

Some people who do BLW are anti all purees. My feeling is that as long as he's feeding himself, it's still BLW. So, we'll occasionally give him a Spouts organic pouch. Again, messy as can be, but fun.

Pears: 1st day I cut them up and baked them with some cinnamon. 2nd day I cut off the top and took 2 bites out of it and gave it to him whole. He loved sucking on it. 



video 

Some other things we've tried and he liked: cinnamon apples (I peeled, cut them into wedges, then put some butter in a pan and cooked them til soft), a little mashed potato from our dinner, some small pieces of shredded chicken at a restaurant, tomato slice from my sandwich, guacamole, scrambled eggs, some baby snack items (banana mum mums and cheese puff things), asparagus, cantaloupe, and yellow pepper. Those are the only things I can think of off hand. The only things he didn't like were cantaloupe and yellow pepper, but he didn't really try them either. I think he was just in a cranky mood and tired so I'll try them again later. I've heard to try things 3 times before deciding he doesn't like it.

Once he gets the pincher grasp we'll be able to try smaller things like corn and peas. And depending on how he keeps doing, we may try some ground beef and steak. I wanted to make sure he's doing good with the chewing before that. But he's come such a long way in the last few weeks. Our pedi said he can eat pretty much anything we do except for honey and whole milk. Always check with yours first of course and consider family history of allergies. We also don't use salt for his food, but other seasonings are ok.

So, while we have had tons of people wondering what we're doing, I'm so so happy that we chose this route. He is having a blast eating all kinds of different foods and he gets to be included in the meals. It's awesome to see him enjoying it and learning. Yes, it's messy, but it's worth it to us. The time cleaning him is less than the time to make separate food for him.

Baby Led Weaning Part 1

 *Part 1 is mostly about what BLW is and our experience in starting it. Part 2 will be foods he's had, how we've prepared them, and pics/videos. :) *

When my LO was around 5 months old, I started researching starting solids since we planned to start at 6 months. I decided I wanted to try my hand at making my own baby food. I figured it can't be that hard right?! Just blend some stuff up and call it a day. So, that was my plan and I started looking at different storage options.

Right before I was ready to buy a few things, I randomly came across a FB friend's post about Baby Led Weaning. I decided to click and it sounded really interesting. Ethan had been interested in food since around 3.5 months. He was already reaching out and trying to grab the food on our plates. So BLW seemed like it would be great for him. He is the type that wants to do things himself already and loves to explore.

At first, I was concerned about the term "weaning", but it doesn't mean you are weaning your kid off breastmilk/formula, it just means you are supplementing with food. The idea is that you give your baby regular foods that are prepared in a way that they are able to eat it. You don't spoon feed them, you let them decide what they want and how much. It makes it easier in a way since you no longer have to worry about pureeing, storing, and making special food for baby. Plus, you can all enjoy eating together as a family, because no one is having to spoon feed while the other eats.

So, after reading the first article, I went online and read a TON of other articles and blogs about it. Then discussed with the hubby to get his opinion on it. Then I read a whole lot more. Honestly, I probably read more than I needed to, but I knew we'd probably get a lot of questions and concerns about it and I wanted to be prepared. The biggest one we hear is about gagging. Yes, he has gagged on things before. But, luckily I knew that it's normal and good that he does. It means he knows that the piece is too big and he either moves it back to the front of his mouth to chew it more or he spits it out. Even knowing it's normal though, it is still scary! The first few times we kinda questioned if we should keep going with this or go the "usual" route, but luckily we kept with it. So far he hasn't choked on anything *knock on wood*. We did take an infant CPR class though so that we were prepared to know what to do if it ever happened. This is something you should do no matter how you decide to feed though since gagging/choking can happen even with purees. After the class I definitely felt more confident and less scared.

The first few weeks of BLW, your baby probably won't actually eat anything or very little. It's more about them learning how to get the food to their mouths, how to chew, how to move it around, etc And exploring different tastes. Since for the first year they get most of their nutrients from breast milk/formula, it's not a big deal if they don't eat a lot at first. I'm not gonna lie, I did worry that he wasn't eating anything at the beginning. What can I say, I'm a first time mom and worry about tons of things! lol I constantly reminded myself that "food before one is just for fun". But now that we're almost a month into it, he's eating a good amount to far.

One of the best things about BLW is watching him learn how to do things on his own. He'd instantly grab the food at the beginning so he knew what to do and he'd usually get it to his mouth or close to it. He doesn't have the pincher grasp yet since he's only 6 months, so foods are usually cut around 2in in length so he can grab on and still have food to put in his mouth while holding it in his first. Yesterday he finally opened his first and went for more. It was so cool to watch him really think about what he wanted and then do it.

Stay tuned for part 2 which will be picture heavy!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Nursery tour!!!

It's finally complete! Last package from mom came and I finished my small projects and it's all set up. The only thing missing is the name decal above the crib, but since we STILL haven't decided on a name, that will have to be added later. This is the one we're planning on getting and it will go right above the crib so that area is blank at the moment. http://www.etsy.com/listing/83958962/robot-and-rocket-and-custom-name-vinyl?ref=usr_faveitems This is our 2nd option in case we decide to go more simple. http://www.etsy.com/listing/91783378/gear-monogram-baby-boys-room-nursery?ref=usr_faveitems They will definitely be one of my first purchases post baby. This little cutie is also on the way, but I'll need to find a frame for him. https://www.etsy.com/transaction/119271691

Get ready for TONS of pictures!

Cute door hanger from my aunt on the door leading into the room



Looking into the room



Closeup of the quilt my mom made.



The bedding my mom made



Right side of room







I added labels to all of the drawers and bins. I wanted to make things super organized so it didn't become a mess up there and to make it easier for Josh. I KNOW he'd be like um...what do you want and where is it? so I figured I'd take the guesswork out and label.



Some of the drawers have organizers inside them to corral all the little things into their own space instead of just being thrown in. I LOVE that we found a bunch of different size bins at Big Lots in the perfect colors and sizes. I had to drive to about 5 different ones to eventually find all the ones I needed, but it makes the room so organized that it was worth it.



Little man has a TON of clothes already. I separated everything by size and have a separate drawer for sleepers and swaddlers. I didn't want to have to both with hanging because who has time for that?!



Back of room



We've had this chair for years and rarely used it. I was gonna sell it when we moved, but the colors are pretty close to the fabric so I figured I'd wait and see if we'd use it. Works perfect in the corner here and will be nice to have a 2nd place to sit for when me and Josh are both up there with the baby. Threw one of the pillows my mom made on it to make it match the room a bit more.



Diaper stack my mom made.



Frickin adorable artwork my mom made. She hand cut out and embroidered these guys to match the bedding to represent me, Josh, baby, and Zuker. I LOVE these so much.



changing table



Close up of changing table organization.



Left side of room



Mobile my mom made. Again, she rocks! Cut out with felt to make it look like the bedding! LOVE LOVE LOVE! We decided to hang it from the ceiling instead of from the crib since it seemed to low on the crib. So Josh hung it from some spare chain we had.



Inside of crib. Don't worry, we'll be taking those out before he sleeps in there.



Some of my fave stuffed little stuffed animals that matched the bedding. We've also had that "Sweet Dreams" candle holder forever. We put a battery operated light inside it so that there's not a flame in there. I love it when it's lit up.



I love how much space we have so we can really have a place for everything. No shoving stuff wherever it will fit.





Back of room. We bought those white hooks years ago as well and never used them. Luckily we hung onto them since they're a perfect fit on either side of the closet and are great for holding the diaper bag and carriers.


Inside of closet. I hung a few of my fave items. The top bins hold spare diapers/wipes and big toys. The mesh thing hanging on the side has more stuffed toys. Hamper on the left.



Although, considering we got this amazing delivery of like a years supply of diapers from Josh's coworkers, I um...don't think they're going to fit in that little bin I had planned for storing spare diapers. LOL GREAT problem to have.



More awesome bins from Big Lots. Little man has some cute shoes already.



Toys separated in more bins.



Some of the costume type clothes that are adorable and little fleeces and bathrobe.



The awesome robot my best friend Randi made for my shower. I had to take him apart to fit him when we moved, but I was NOT leaving him behind. He stands guard in the closet.



Robot from my friend Minh for the light switch.



Zuker looking all confused about what this room is all about. She's in for a BIG surprise.



Closeups of our robot shelf





The robot I decorated.



More cool robots: storage, game, and bank.





Tons of pictures, but I'm so so happy with how this room turned out. It started with some fabric that I thought was cute and some furniture we had from when we were in the apartment for the summer. I can't believe how easily it all came together. There's so much love in this room from the hours of work my mom put in on everything she made (bedding, diaper stack, quilt, runners for the dresser, valance, chair covers for the glider, throw pillows, changing cover pads, artwork, and mobile). The crib was a gift from Josh's parents. So many of the items in the room were gifts from friends. Almost everything in the room makes me think of someone I love! It's awesome. It's so bright and cheery that you can't help but be happy when you walk in. I love the originality of it since it's not the typical pastel with sports or jungle themes (not that there's anything wrong with those, just not my style).

I'm also happy with how we were great about using items that we've had around the house forever that have rarely been used. The dressers we were going to sell once we fully moved to TX, but figured they'd work perfect in there. We also bought a lot 2nd hand which saved us tons of money. Most of the toys, the glider, and the changing table/pad were all used, but in great condition. Between generous friends and family, using already owned items, and buying 2nd hand, we spent very little on this awesome room! Which means more money for baby when he gets here. Finished just in time too since he's due in 5 short days!!! Can't wait!!!!!

 
Images by Freepik