Sunday, September 25, 2011

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Three Months!

Olivia Grace, you are three months old!

What have you been up to?
*You are wearing size 0 to 3 months clothing.  You are filling them out nicely.  There have been a few items that you've outgrown.  You can't fit in the footed pajamas because you are so long.  This is where the sleep gowns are coming in handy!

*We just switched you to size 2 diapers this week.

 (**Stretched out--she's so long!**)

*You are eating almost exactly what you were eating last month.  You take 6 bottles a day (every once in a while there will be a seventh). Each bottle is around 5 ounces.  We just started giving you 6 ounces at the feeding before bed.  (Although it's not making you sleep any longer as I had hoped.)

*As soon as you finish your bottle you want your paci.  It makes burping a little tricky, but we work it out.

  *You are a drool machine lately.

*You are constantly sticking your hands in your mouth.  You are not a thumb sucker.  You just slobber all over your hand.  

*Because of all the drool and hand sucking, I tried giving you Sophie the Giraffe for teething.  You are still figuring her out. :)

*You still love to be sitting up and looking out at what is going on around you.  We've tried the bumbo out a couple of times.  You have a mixed opinion about it so far.

*You have a love/hate relationship with your paci.  When you want it, you want it.  But there are times that you will absolutely refuse it.  It seems you want it most when you are sleepy or when you have just eaten.  I tried out some of our other pacis on you this week, but you still only love the plain purple one.

*You are tracking items a lot better now.

 (**For perspective**)

*You are a pretty good night time sleeper, but you are a terrible napper.  I'm hoping this is just a phase.

*You are ready for bed between 7 and 7:30 at night.  You sleep anywhere from 6 to 9 hours the first stretch and then 2 to 4 hours the second stretch (depending on how long the first stretch was).  I've tried dream feeding, but it doesn't work with you.  If your first stretch is interrupted, you don't have another long stretch.  You'll then have two 3 hour stretches. 

 (**So pretty!**)

*Since you are still getting up for a middle of the night feeding, you are still sleeping in our room.  Plus, I like having you there. :)  Although, I think we are going to have to lower the newborn sleeper thing.  It has a 15 pound weight limit, and I'm pretty sure you are close (if not over!).

*You've started rubbing your eyes when you are tired.  I find this both adorable and helpful!

*You have a ton of cowlicks, so I have no idea how to part your hair.  It doesn't matter much though.  It's constantly getting messed up.  Sorry!

(**Always with the hands...**)

*You don't mind tummy time. Although some sessions are better than others.

*You are a MUCH happier baby now that you are on the special formula.

 (**Check out that tongue!!**)

*You really enjoy bath time, but you hate getting out and getting into your pajamas.

*You have been "talking" up a storm this last month.  I can't wait for that first giggle! 

*I'm scared to even say this, but you are back to tolerating your car seat.  You no longer scream when getting strapped in.

*Your favorite things right now are: your fisher price rainforest bouncer and play gym, reading books with daddy, cuddling with mommy, and watching Praise Baby.


(Comparison pictures of the last three months coming...) 

Friday, September 23, 2011

3rd Month Must Haves

Again, we are still really enjoying most of the "must haves" from the past two months.  You can find those posts here and here.  I know that we will outgrow some of these past items eventually, but as of right now a lot of them are still our favorite items.  Anyway, on to this month.

Fisher Price Rainforest Gym
This is one of Olivia's favorite items right now.  I registered for a different one and when I didn't get it, I went ahead and ordered this one from Amazon.  It had a ton of good reviews.  I'm so glad I did.  We use it almost every day.  As soon as you lay her down and turn on the music she gets a big grin on her face.  She will lay there and watch the lights above her head.  She'll kick her feet on the crinkle leaf.  She isn't reaching for the items yet, but I'm sure that will come soon.  We play with the items for her.  Sometimes we read books to her while she's laying there.  Other times we just lay and talk.  We also do tummy time on the mat.  It's great for our morning play times!

Fisher Price Cradle Swing Little Lamb

I swear, I am constantly reading that everyone else's babies nap in this swing.  Olivia isn't a great napper overall, and she rarely naps in the swing, but she does like it.  We've been using it from the very beginning.  This month she has really started to enjoy it.  She has recently learned to watch the mobile as well.  She will sit content in it for a good amount of time.  We tend to put her in there when we need to set her somewhere quick (for us to run to the bathroom, etc.).  It's convenient and she doesn't mind.  We've really only used the side to side swinging.  I tried the front to back way once, but her neck wasn't strong enough and her head kept falling forward.  We also don't use the activity tray yet.  The swing is suppose to be good for up to 25 pounds (although she already looks big in it), so maybe we'll get some use out of the activity tray in the future.

Avent Bottles

Originally, I registered for Tommee Tippee bottles.  I had done some research and they were suppose to be best for breastfeeding babies.  First, let me say that Olivia never had any sort of "nipple confusion".  She went from bottle to breast and back just fine.  We also used the instant bottle things that hospital gave us and she wasn't phased by the small nipples.  I'm not so sure I had to be worried about bottles that were "closer to the breast"... at least not with Olivia.  I know some babies are picky.  Anyway, we didn't love them.  In order for them to be like a breast, they are short and fat so that the nipple area can be really big and round.  Well, it's hard to see what she's eating/how much is left, and because of the funky shape the milk would get stuck in the dents.  I only registered for a few since I had read that babies could be picky about bottles.  We used the 3 pack of 5 oz bottles when she took pumped milk.  Once we made the switch to formula, I knew we would need a much bigger supply of bottles.  Tommee Tippee bottles are expensive, and since I didn't love them I decided not to invest in them.  (Let's be honest--bottles in general are expensive!)  I did more research and was going to go with the Born Free ones.  However, when we got to the store the Avent ones were on sale.  We figured we'd give them a try and return them if we didn't like them.  So far they have worked out great.  We have not had any leaking (which is a major complaint with bottles in general).  Olivia took to them just fine.  We also like that they are easier for us to use.  Also, they are suppose to help with Colic and fussiness.  Bonus!

The First Years Spin and Store Drying Rack
We wash our bottles in the dishwasher (Ok, "we" means Michael in this instance).  Then we put them on this to dry.  It just seem to work better than drying in the dishwasher.  Plus, we don't have any cabinet space for the bottles anyway.  We go through about 6 or 7 a day (and we only have 9 bottles total), so when we need one we just grab it off this rack.  It's super handy and convenient.

Little Hoot Graco Travel System
I pretty much always knew I would go with a Graco travel system when it came to our car seat and stroller.  I'm not really into all the fancy (expensive) strollers that are out there these days.  I love this because it is so convenient.  Convenient seems to be the theme of this post, huh?  The car seat can be carried in and out of the house as opposed to the convertible seats.  I like that.  We have three bases.  One for my car, one for Michael's car, and one for the Volvo at work.  It just works out so well.  We also use the stroller a lot and the car seat just snaps right in.  Seriously--makes my life so much easier.  Especially when we are at gymnastics for an hour with Little Man!  There are two down sides to this system though.  One--people see blue and brown and automatically think Olivia is a boy.  Even if she has a huge bow on her head.  Annoying!  Two--the car seat is only good for up to 22 pounds.  She was 12 and a half at her last appointment!  When we got the car seat inspected, the lady kept saying how long Olivia was.  She's the 95%, but at the time we didn't know she was a long baby.  The lady said she will probably grow out of the car seat by 6 months.  I was shocked!  I was expecting her to be in it for a year.  Also, I didn't register for a convertible car seat because I thought I would be getting Little Man's.  I didn't think it out so well though.  He's still in his car seat and will be for a while.  She will need one before then.  Looks like she's getting a car seat (or two--need one for work) for Christmas! :)

Insulated Bottle Bag
Since we are using the Ready to Feed formula, it has to be refrigerated once opened.  In order to take a bottle along with us when we go out, we have to use an insulated bag.  I happen to have the Tommee Tippee ones.  It  came with two in the box, which is nice.  I've also been known to make a bottle and stick it in the insulated bag and then go to bed.  If it's a night where I've stayed up late and I know she's going to want to eat two hours after I get in bed, I might as well be prepared. :)  Luckily, the Avent bottles fit in the bags--just barely!


Since we got the Tommee Tippee bottles, we went with the Tommee Tippee accessories.  We have to heat up all her bottles since it comes out of the fridge.  She'll drink a room temperature bottle, but is not fond of the freezing cold ones.  This warmer just sucks.  It takes way too long.  Especially in the middle of the night when you have a screaming/hungry baby.  I know there are some out there that work much faster.  I'm just not willing to invest in them at this point.  Hopefully we'll be switching to the powder in the next month.  In the past when we've used powdered formula, we just use room temperature distilled water so that should eliminate the need for a warmer.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Even in the Small Things...

When the thought of moving to Texas turned into a reality, Michael and I knew that finding friends would be important.  Obviously there are no "co-workers" in my line of work, so that wasn't going to be too helpful.  Finding a church was a priority of ours.  We knew we needed to find a church that we not only liked but that had a good group of people our age.  Finding a church that met our criteria was important.  We knew that one with life groups was going to be a must.  Luckily, we found such a place.  (Ok, so this post isn't really about my church, but oh my gosh do I love it!)

In finding a church home, we found a group of amazing people.  One couple we clicked with almost immediately.  Not only did our personalities click, but we have a similar story.  They just moved to Texas (from California) in January.  They are around our age, and they are expecting their first child--a girl!  How perfect?  We decided to meet for dinner one night and haven't looked back since.  We have honestly hung out with them more in the last 4 months than we did with any other couple in Ohio in the FOUR YEARS we were married and living there.

We joke that Alycia and I could be twins.  We have very similar personalities.  We have a lot of the same likes and dislikes.  We also have the same opinion on a lot of things. The first three times we all went out to eat together, we literally ordered identical meals.  We say the same things at the same exact times.  It's crazy.  Michael and Wil are pretty similar in temperament as well.  We are already planning on our daughters being best friends.  Since none of us has any family here, we are going to step in as "aunt" and "uncle" for each other.  Isn't it amazing how God knew exactly what we would need and was orchestrating another couples move (all the way across the country from us) at the exact same time?!  He was looking out for us... even in the small things.

Here is an example of exactly how crazy it is....

We were sitting at a restaurant once and it was rather loud.  Michael has trouble hearing in situations like that.  He has some hearing loss from being in The Marines.  (That's what happens when you work on helicopters and have to be on the shooting range often.  Ear protection can only do so much!)  He tries his best, but sometimes he just has to explain that he can't really hear.  This was one of those times.  It got us all talking about hearing loss.  Then Alycia says, "I know.  My dad is deaf... at least in one ear.  I wish he would just get a hearing aide already."  I thought to myself "sounds familiar", but I didn't really say anything.  Then she goes on to say, "When he was young, he was holding a firecracker in his hand and went to throw it and it went off by his ear.  Now he can't hear out of that ear."  Honestly, my mouth DROPPED!  I almost didn't want to say what was coming next, just because I felt like a copycat.  I said, "No way!  The SAME. EXACT. THING. happened to MY dad."  She just looked at me for a minute.  Seriously.  How weird is that?  We have the exact same story.  If she said her dad lived in Tennessee I was going to start to wonder (kidding!)... but he lives in Colorado.

We are so blessed to have amazing friends.  I am so glad that God thought to think of us in the small things.  Even crazy stories about our dad's not hearing out of one ear.  We are counting down the days until their new bundle of joy arrives.  Let the fun begin!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Bloggy Love--Kelly's Korner

I've been reading and following blogs for about four or five years now.  My blog interests have changed over the years, but I still enjoy gathering information, finding ideas, and getting a glimpse into the lives of others.  Originally I followed kids craft and education type blogs to get ideas to use with Little Man.  I also followed cooking blogs (like Pioneer Woman...  before she became such a big deal!).  Slowly that morphed into blogs about decorating and crafting ideas for me.  While I still do love these types of blogs, my recent favorite are "mom blogs".  I've enjoyed a good mom blog even before I became a mom, but now they are all the more relatable to me.

One blog that I have been following for probably about a year and a half now is Kelly's Korner.  She is a Christian stay at home mom of two from Arkansas.  I can't even remember how I stumbled upon her blog, but I have enjoyed it from the start.  It has become one of my favorite blogs.  (Oh, and she has a daughter named Harper--remember how I loved that name?) :)

I have found many other good blogs just by following Kelly's blog.  She does this thing once a week called "Show Us Your Life" (or SUYL).  She picks a topic and lets her readers know ahead of time what it will be (on the left side bar of her blog).  Then she posts about the topic (I believe on Fridays).  Her readers then write blogs about the specific topic and link up to her blog.  I'll admit, it can get overwhelming.  Most of her topics get over 200 some links.  I don't have time to go through all of them, but I do enjoy going through as many as I can.  If it's a topic of particular interest to me, then I may go back to that post multiple times over a week to keep clicking on the links.

The topics have ranged anywhere from how you met your husband, to decorating your house, to food for kids.  She has done home schooling ideas (even though she doesn't home school), book lists, and party ideas.  Last weeks was about favorite blogs.  Oh my goodness--I could be on that post for months.  A lot of the bloggers that link up with her are Christian moms, so I find good blogs all the time.  On top of that, then those woman link up their favorite blogs.  SO much to read and SO little time! :)

Anyway, I wanted to share with you guys in case any of you are in search for a good blog to read.  Also, this weeks link up is about your favorite devotional books.  I am always interested in finding a good devotional, so I thought I'd pass the link up information on to you guys.  Happy reading!

(P. S. At the top of Kelly's page is a link to her previous "Show Us Your Life" posts.)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Bath Time

I'm not sure why,

 but I cannot stop taking pictures of Olivia at bath time.

I know she's my child, but...

I think she is just SO STINKIN' CUTE!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Up All Night

Have you seen the previews for the new NBC show "Up All Night"?
I think you'd have to be living under a rock not to have seen them...
It's about a couple with a new baby who are trying to figure it all out.  Sound familiar? :)
The previews have all looked super funny.  
I hope the show is as funny as it looks (and doesn't go all inappropriate on us).

It previews tonight at 10/9 central.  We will be watching.  Will you?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tuxedo Brownie Squares

I've been out of blogging for so long that I almost forgot to document this!!  Scary! :)  We had to take a dessert to our life group.  This is a Pampered Chef recipe that I've made in the past.  It's sooo yummy, so I decided to go for it.  This recipe comes out of the Stoneware Sensations cookbook.

What you'll need:
1 package of brownie mix
1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
2 cups fresh raspberries, divided
3 squares (1 ounce each) white chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 container (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
chocolate curls, optional

1. Preheat oven to 350*
2. Lightly spray 9 x 13 pan and prepare brownies according to the package directions.
3. Cool completely
4. Spread jam onto brownies.  Note-I had a hard time finding the jam this time.  I ended up having to buy some fancy brand. :/
5. Reserve some raspberries for garnish (I didn't do this).  Arrange remaining raspberries evenly over jam.
For whatever reason, my store only had GIANT raspberries.  I actually cut them in half.
6. In micro-cooker, microwave chocolate on HIGH 1 minute, stir.  Microwave an additional 30 seconds until chocolate is completely melted when stirred.  Cool slightly.
7. Meanwhile, combine cream cheese and powdered sugar. Mix well.
8. Gradually whisk in melted chocolate and milk.
9. Fold in whipped topping; spread carefully over raspberries.
10. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm.
Garnish with the reserved raspberries and chocolate curls, if desired.
Store, covered, in the refrigerator.

I didn't get a picture of a cut piece since it was devoured at life group.  However, I did get a side view while it was still in the pan.

It was a HUGE hit.  Everyone raved about it, and a handful of people had multiple pieces.
Michael, on the other hand, is not a fan.  Mostly because he doesn't like raspberries.  You may want to keep that in mind.  I knew it was risky to take for that very reason.  Raspberries aren't as well loved as other fruit.  It ended up being a win though. (Thank goodness)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Babies Don't Keep

Babies Don’t Keep
by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I’ve grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo

The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo 
Look! Aren’t his (her) eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullabye, rockaby lullabye loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Saturday, September 10, 2011

I confess...

I confess...
I use to bad-mouth people who blamed their lateness on their kid.  I use to always say you can have a child and still be on time.  I still DO believe this, but we've been known to be late a time or two since Olivia's arrival.

I confess...
I place my hand on her chest in the middle of the night just to make sure she's still breathing.

I confess...
I am happy that we switched to formula.  I felt guilty at first, but I have heard from many friends and family (who had similar issues) who say they wished they would have made the switch sooner.  I've also talked to a handful of people who tried to be diary/soy free and still breastfeed and they said it still didn't work.  We now have a generally happy baby girl with normal pukes and poops.  I believe in my decision now.

I confess...
I've already been thinking about Olivia's first birthday party.  It's sick, isn't it? :)

I confess...
Olivia's Halloween outfit has already been purchased.  Hopefully it will fit her. 

I confess...
I take great satisfaction in getting those pesky little boogies out of Olivia's nose. :)
I confess...
I actually threw out an entire outfit after a blowout, because the thought of cleaning it was just too much.

I confess...
Some of the braincells I lost during pregnancy (aka "pregnancy brain") have yet to return.  Hence, giving my phone a Dr. Pepper bath.  I'm not feeling confident that these lost braincells will be found anytime soon. :(
I confess...
We now have a FOURTH bouncer!  I didn't buy it though.  Our (Ohio) friends gave it to us to borrow.  The clearance one we bought to keep at our house isn't that great.  The one our friends gave us is the Fisher Price rainforest one and Olivia LOVES it.

I confess...
I still have thank you cards to write.  All the ones from before Olivia's arrival have been written and sent.  However, anything we got after her arrival has not been taken care of yet.  I know I need to get on it, I just haven't.

I confess...
I gained 31 pounds with my pregnancy and had lost about 25 of it within two weeks of delivery.  Since then I have stalled and those six or seven pounds are causing NONE of my pre-pregnancy clothes to fit. (I know my body changed too, and it's not just because of six pounds.)  I would love to lose this weight and all the other weight I have been carrying around.... but I've done absolutely nothing about it.

I confess...
I love being a mom, but these past 11 weeks have been a lot harder than I was expecting.  Oddly, not in the ways one would think.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Accent Vlog

Welcome to my first video blog (aka "vlog").  I have seen the accent vlog floating around on a couple of blogs over the past few weeks.  I don't think I have an accent, but I thought it would still be fun to do.  I hope you enjoy it.

The instructions are to say these words: Aunt, Route, Wash, Oil, Theater, Iron, Salmon, Caramel, Fire, Water, Sure, Data, Ruin, Crayon, Toilet, New Orleans, Pecan, Both, Again, Probably, Spitting image, Alabama, Lawyer, Coupon, Mayonnaise, Syrup, Pajamas, Caught

And answer these questions:

What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?

What is the bug that when you touch it, it curls into a ball?

What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?

What do you call gym shoes?

What do you say to address a group of people?

What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs?

What do you call your grandparents?

What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?

What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?

What is the thing you change the TV channel with?

What do you think?  Do I have an accent?

p.s.  If I ever do another vlog I'll try not to move around so much! :)
p. p. s. Michael thinks I say crayon weird.  I say "cran".  Do you think that's weird?

Saturday, September 3, 2011

In One Word...

Michael is constantly telling me that I need to get a new blog up.  I love blogging.  I do.  I just feel like I don't really have anything interesting to share right now.  Of course, I could post pictures of Olivia every day, but I'm sure that would start to get old for most of you. :)  I stumbled across this little survey thing on a blog and figured I'd fill it out.  Hey--it's a blog post isn't it? ;) 

In One Word...
(You know this is going to be hard for me!  Concise and I are not synonymous with each other.)

Yourself: Blessed
Your husband: Strength
Your hair: Blond
Your Favorite Item: Computer
Your Favorite Drink: Soda
Your Dream Car: Roomy
Your Dream Home: Inviting
The Room You Are In: Living
Your fear: Failure
Where you Want to be in Ten Years? Home
Who you hung out with last night: Michael
What You’re Not: Liar
One of Your Wish List Items: House
Time: Afternoon
The Last Thing You Did: Shower
What You Are Wearing: Skirt
Your favorite weather: Fall
Your Favorite Book: Fiction
Last thing you ate: Cake-Pop
Your Life: Balanced
Your mood: Content
Your Best Friends: Loyal
Your car: SUV
Your summer: BABY!
Relationship status: Married
What is on your TV: Western (Michael!)
When is the last time you laughed: Today