Thursday, January 31, 2013

What happened to my sweet quiet baby??

He's still sweet...I'm just kidding about that part.  But, something happened last night and he is like a different baby.  He found his yelling voice.  I used to be able to leave him to play on his own for a few minutes at a time--on the playmat, in the jumper, etc.  Now, as soon as I walk away this is what I get.

I know that he is totally "playing me", and trying to get my attention.  Along with the yelling comes an intense arching of his back.  So much so, that he almost threw himself out of his swing yesterday.  He is seriously strong. There doesn't seem to be any connection to hunger, sleepiness, or any other need that's not being met.  As soon as I pick him up, he starts smiling.  So, is this just something he'll get tired of doing?  Help me out mamas!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Must Haves for Months 2-3

I received a great response from all of you on my "Must Haves for Month 1" post.  Thank you!  As all of you mamas out there know--what works with your baby one day might not be a favorite the very next day.  Although we still use many of the items I mentioned during the first month, we have lots of new favorites now.  Click on the names of the items to see the direct links.


This was a LIFESAVER for sleep and playing.  Max has reflux, and the upright position of this seat is really comfortable for him.  In fact, he slept in it for almost 2 months. What I really liked about this is that it is almost the same height as our bed.  So, I could literally reach over and rock him without having to get out of bed.  Now that he's bigger and stronger too, he rocks it himself for fun.  **I know that this recently was recalled for "mold behind the fabric".  People--you need to wash these things.  Obviously, they will get wet with spitup and other infant bodily fluids.  If you don't clean it, it will get moldy.  Easy fix.  

Such a simple toy--yet they provide hours of fun.  This was one of the first toys that Max actually paid attention to when I put it next to him.  He likes to grab the rings, move them from one hand to another, and shove them in his mouth.  They are easy to throw in the diaper bag or to give him in a restaurant to keep him busy.  

I can't find an exact link to the one that we have.  The one in the picture is a bear, but we have the bunny version.  We call him Buster, and he goes everywhere with us.  He stays in the carseat, and Max loves to hold Buster up to his face when he is tired.  It helps him to fall right asleep.  I've been looking everywhere for another one, because I feel like we should have a backup Buster---just in case something happens to the original.  

I found out that Max liked this ball when he was playing with a friend's at a playdate.  It's easy to hold on to and easy to put in his mouth.  (This is the criteria for what makes a good toy these days.).  So, when I got home from our playdate, I decided I would go on Amazon to order one for him, since he liked it so much.  Luckily, before I did, I went to look in our toy box.  Because, we already had one--still sitting there in the box.  So, if you gave it to us--thank you.  He loves it.  


I LOVE these sleepers.  They are SO cute and cozy.  Since we received this sleeper as a gift, I've gone to the Children's Place and bought at least 4 more. They are just so soft and have the cutest patterns. 

First, let me say that we received these as a gift.  I would never buy them myself, because they are a pretty penny-in fact I just got my own first pair of Uggs for Christmas.  They are just presh.

We have a wiggler.  From the time he was in the womb, he has been a mover and a shaker.  When he was a newborn, we were able to swaddle him tightly in blankets to calm him or put him to sleep.  He's just too strong for that now.  But, these SwaddleMe blankets have super strong velcro that hold him in like a little burrito.  

Our chunkster is outgrowing clothes faster than I can put them on.  So, even though people bought us 6 month clothing thinking he'd be wearing them in early spring, he's ready to wear them now.  Since a lot of them are short sleeved, I just put a long sleeved white onesie underneath.  He pulls off the college layered look very well.  They're also good to put under sleepers when it is really cold.  And, they look really cute with a pair of leg warmers when we're just hanging out at home with nowhere to go.  


Regular soap works just fine, but I like the idea of using a "green" product when cleaning things that he puts in his mouth all of the time (bottles, pacifiers, teethers).  

These are key when you're out in public.  Because your baby IS going to drop (or throw in our case) his binky on the ground on that dirty floor (231,323 times).  These come in different flavors too--I think we have grape and strawberry.  Obviously, soap and water is best, but if you're out and about, these work really well in a pinch.  

I got tired of loading up my diaper bag with extra outfits for Max and myself.  I also had "extras" rolling around in my car like paper towels, another box of wipes, more diapers, etc.  So, I ordered one of these utility totes from 31 gifts.  This was my first 31 gifts purchase, and I think I'll be making more.  I really like it! Now, I have all of those extras in the tote, and it stays in the trunk of the car.  This way, if I run out of  wipes in my diaper bag or need an emergency change of clothes, it's all there ready to go.  

I had a hard time choosing a diaper bag, because I didn't want a cheesy pastic-y one.  This has lots of different pockets for all of the "stuff" that a baby needs, and it came with a matching changing pad.  I've washed the changing pad a whole bunch of times, and it has held up very well.  

Already in Month 4, we have some new favorites--so stay tuned for those things soon.  What are your go to things for months 2 and 3?

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Flo Rida, Rihanna,and Baby Max

You are probably sitting there genuinely confused right now.  But, I'm going to let you mamas in on a secret.  After a very rough transition back to the crib and sleeping through the night following a trip we took last week, I've found the key to good nighttime sleep.  That's right--forget about all of the sleep training books out there.  I figured it out on my own.

Crank up the Pandora on the "Today's Hits Radio" station, and let the magic happen.  That's right, Max finally fell asleep back in his crib after a 6 night sleep strike.  All because of Flo Rida and Rihanna.  Hey-don't judge.  My baby will be ready for the club by 5 months.

And, just so this song is now stuck in your head, too.  "Ohhhhhh....Sometimes...I get a good feeling!"

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Four Months Old: January 19, 2013

Four Months Old
January 19, 2013

Your Monthly Stats

Height:  26 1/2 inches long (93%ile)

Weight: 16 pounds, 15 oz. (77%ile)

Head Circumference:  43 cm (85%ile)

Hair: Your hair is getting blonder and you've got much more of it.  Your bald spot on the back of your head also seems to be going away since you started sleeping in your crib.  

Eyes: People comment on your big blue eyes everywhere we go.  You smile with your eyes before we even see the smile on your lips.  

Diaper Size: Still wearing Size 2's

I've started to put away all of your 3 month clothes.  {Sad Face} There are a few 3-6 month clothes that you still squeeze into.  But, for the most part, you are wearing 6 month clothes and 6-9 month sleepers.  When you go to bed, we put you in a sleeper with a fleece sleepsack on top to keep you warm at night.  We've also started to put baby mittens back on your hands at night, because your little hands get so chilly at nighttime.  

You're still a good eater.  You eat every 2-3 hours during the day, and we are still exclusively breastfeeding.  I'd love to keep this up until you're a year old.  It is so good for you!  You will take a bottle of breastmilk from Daddy every once in a while.  The pediatrician told us we could start feeding you solid foods, starting with oatmeal, anytime between now and 6 months.  But they recommended waiting as long as we can.  You seem to be happy now with just breastmilk, so we'll probably hold off on the food until about 6 months. You are a BIG drooler.  We change your bibs and shirts at least 4x everyday, because they're soaking wet.  No teeth in there yet, but you sure do love to eat your hands! 

*your Graco jumper.  Santa brought this for you for Christmas, and you LOVE it.  You love to jump and swing in the doorway while I make dinner.  You especially love the playmat underneath the jumper that makes sounds as you hop.
*other kids and babies.  You've started to pay attention to other people so much more.  You're especially interested in watching other babies when they're babbling or crying. 
*your exersaucer.  You're slowly getting used to this, and now you're finally starting to touch the toys on the exersaucer.  For a long time, you just looked at everything.  The song on the exersaucer gets stuck in Mommy's head for hours--"Red, Yellow, and Bluuuuuuuuuuuuuuue".  
*hanging in the stroller.  You're happy as can be when we go on walks or we're out and about.  You can shop for hours without getting fussy in the stroller--you must like the view from in there!
*Buster the bunny and your smurf.  These are your favorite stuffed animals.  Buster always stays in the carseat with you anytime we go anywhere.  You love to snuggle him up to your face when you are sleepy.  You like to play with the smurf while I take a shower every morning.  
*being tickled and giggling.  You love to coo and giggle.  When you're in a silly mood, you like to chat it up with anyone.  Sometimes in your swing, it sounds like you are having a two-sided conversation with yourself.  You have a lot to say!  

*sitting still.  You're a wiggler, and like to be moving, bouncing, jumping, kicking as much as possible.  You're fine being held by someone as long as they are moving or bouncing you.  
*being tired.  You fight it ALL.  OF.  THE.  TIME.  Why??  If I'm tired, I would love to just give in and take a nap.  You don't want to miss anything.  
*being ignored.  You want to get all of the attention.  
*getting your picture taken.  You're all smiles until you see the big black thing in front of mommy's face clicking away.  See below.
"I said, NO MORE!"

Mean Mommy!

Social Skills: 
We've continued to go to our Babysteps class most Thursdays.  Here we get to hang out with other babies and their mommies.  We've had a few playdates with our new friends from Babysteps too.  I've been researching other classes we can take together too, and I think we'll start music class, swimming lessons, or baby sign language soon.

Right around 3 months, we moved you into your room, and you started sleeping in your crib.   From the first night, you slept great in there--almost 9 hours!  We put you down to sleep around 8:30/9:00 pm, and you usually wake up around 5:30.  You were sleeping through the night for almost a whole month.  AND THEN, we took our trip to Raleigh.  Since we've been back home, you decided that you don't want to sleep in your crib anymore.  I'm able to get you to fall asleep without a problem, but as soon as your head hits the mattress, your eyes are WIDE open and you're unhappy.  What's wrong??  We keep trying every night, and we're hoping you decide you like it again soon.  Until then, you're back in the Rock and Play next to our bed.  

You are constantly doing crunches, and you should have abs like David Beckham by now.  You like to spin yourself around on the play mat and in your crib.  Our pediatrician said that she wouldn't be surprised if you were an early crawler because of your excellent head/neck control and core strength.  Uh-oh...stay little, baby.  Don't rush it!

Dear Chunky Monkey
       How is it even possible to love someone so much?  Well--we do.  Every morning when you wake up and give me that sideways smile and those twinkly eyes, I just melt.  You open your eyes in the morning, and are just happy to see me.  In that instant, I forget about the fact that you fought going to sleep for 3 hours or how you spit out your binky 392,406 times during the night.  It doesn't matter.  All that matters is that you are a happy, healthy baby and we love you so much.  
       I can't believe that another month has gone by already, and I'm writing yet another monthly post.  Just like last month, you have changed and grown so much.  You're becoming much more independent and like playing on your own and observing others.  When we took our trip to Raleigh, you loved looking around at all of the action and people in the airport. People kept commenting on your easygoing, observant behavior.  A lady on the plane said that she didn't even realize a baby was on our plane.  Our first trip was a success.  You'll be a world traveler in no time!  
      This has been a busy month for you.  Here are a few of the big events that happened:  your first Christmas, a visit from Grandma and Bup, your first New Year's party, your first trip to Raleigh, NC on an airplane, lots of playdates with your friends, bridal shows and dress shopping for Auntie Andrea's wedding, and lots more!  Every day is a new adventure with you, Mr. Max.  And we can't wait to see what tomorrow will bring.  XOXO
Love, Mommy
Too much partying in the exersaucer!  This is him fighting sleep.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Facts of Me {Linkup}

Today, Whitney from I Wore My Yoga Pants to Work is hosting a link up so that we can all learn more about each other.  In her own words, she's a very nosy blog reader.  Isn't it funny how we are so interested in the mundane little quirks of other people's lives??  So, here are a few FACTS about me, so that you know a little more about who I am!  

FACT-I have a problem with cleaning supplies.  I am a cleaning supply hoarder.  I have them all over my house.  There is a massive collection of cleaning supplies in my laundry room, a bucket of them under my kitchen sink, and buckets of them in each bathroom upstairs.  I admit it--I have a problem.  

FACT-I love the smell and feel of bookstores and libraries.  I could spend hours just hanging out in a bookstore or library.  I love the smell of books.  Even though I have (and love) a Kindle, nothing beats an afternoon with a good book.  

FACT-My closet is color coordinated.  And it drives me nuts when things are out of "color order". OCD anyone??

FACT-I have the nose of a hound.  I can smell ANYTHING from miles away (and this was only exaggerated with pregnancy).  My hubby with drink one beer at 3 in the afternoon, and I will be able to smell it at 11 pm.  He can't get past me!  OH, and I hate the smell of Red Bull--EW.

FACT-Everyone in my family has issues with certain words.  For example, I absolutely hate the word "moist".  It is disgusting.  I don't care what you are talking about--"moist" shouldn't be an adjective you use.  

FACT-I re-clean the bathrooms and re-fold laundry after my hubby tries to help.  I do appreciate his help--really I do.  But, I just like the way that I do it better.  I should probably learn to let that go.  

FACT-It bugs the crap out of me when people make grammatical errors in writing.  I find myself constantly correcting them in my head.  Their/There/and They're are NOT that difficult to understand.

FACT-I love pretty stationary.  I have a cabinet in my kitchen (and a box in my craft room) full of thank-you cards.  There is nothing better than a handwritten note on pretty stationary. 

FACT-I hate taking a shower if I don't have anywhere to be.  Really??  What's the point?  You know you feel that way too.

FACT-I love Bodypump and Yoga at the gym.  I miss it.  A lot.  I don't feel ready to leave Max at the DayCare center at the gym yet, and JB and I can't get our schedules together often enough so that I can get there.  I'm making it a goal to go 2x next week.  

FACT-I could put my makeup on with my eyes closed.  I don't know if that's a good thing, or if it means that my makeup looks really bad.  Lately, I'm looking and talking to Mr. Max while I'm doing my face makeup, and I look in the mirror after I've finished.  It's usually not so bad. 

FACT-I have a weird phobia of expired food.  If the milk in the fridge is even coming up to the expiration date on the carton, I throw it out.  Even if it doesn't smell.  GAG.  

FACT-Baking and cooking are therapeutic to me.  I love whipping up something yummy for those I love.
FACT-I constantly run back into the house to check on my hairdryer or straightener.  You make sure I've turned them off.  Even though I KNOW I have turned them off, I still need to go back and check.  

FACT-At home I like to drink my coffee out of a mug that I can cup my hands around.  But, out in public, I like to drink my coffee with a straw.  Yes--even hot coffee.  I know--it's weird.  

Ok friends.  So those are a few random facts about me.  I can't wait to learn more about you through this linkup!  

Monday, January 21, 2013

Southwestern Chicken Wrap Recipe

What should we make for dinner, Mom?
I was looking for something easy to make for dinner, and was feeling in the mood for something Tex-Mexy.  So, this is what came to be dinner tonight--Southwestern Chicken Wraps.  Why was I looking for something easy to make, you might ask???  Because this sweet little angel face would not let me put him down.  He sat for about 3.5 seconds in the bouncer seat before screaming, and then I ended up putting him in the baby carrier to finish dinner. As soon as I picked him up, he was giggling like crazy.  He likes to be involved in the cooking process.  

P.S.  Please don't mind my disheveled look.  Right after he took this picture, JB told me I looked like a hot mess--hot in a "mom kind of way".  And, no, I didn't get a chance to take a shower today.  Maybe tomorrow.

You could really throw any toppings into this recipe (like tacos), and I'm sure it would turn out yummy.  I've been trying to "up" my protein, because I feel like I am ALWAYS starving.  That's part of breastfeeding right??  So, the beans and chicken helped to fill me up.  Enjoy!

Boneless/Skinless Chicken breasts
Black Beans (rinsed and drained)
Mexican rice
Black Olives
Cheddar Cheese
Sauteed Onions
Whole Wheat Flour Tortillas


1.  Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and cumin to taste.
2.  Grill or saute the chicken breasts until cooked through.  Then, set aside to cool.  When it has cooled, cut the chicken into strips.

3.  Turn on your panini maker.  (If you don't have one, you could easily just use a grill pan or frying pan with a "brick" on top.  This is how panini night used to happen in our house before we got a panini maker!)

4.  While your panini maker is heating up, get all of your other toppings ready.  I made the rice ahead of time, but you could easily use the "ready made" microwaveable rice.

5.  On a flour tortilla, sprinkle a small amount of cheddar cheese on one half of the tortilla.  Add chicken, beans, olives, tomatoes, onions, and any other toppings you like.

6.  Roll the tortilla up like a burrito. Brush a small amount of olive oil (or cooking spray) on the seam of the wrap.  This will help it to stay closed up and not fall apart.

7.  Place the wraps on the panini maker to warm through.

Serve with salsa, sour cream, or guacamole.  ENJOY!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sunday Social

Sunday Social

Hi Friends!  I'm linking up with Ashley and Neely for the Sunday Social!  

I hope everyone had a great weekend. We just got back from a fun trip to Raleigh to visit friends last night.  We survived our first trip on an airplane with a baby, and had so much fun introducing our friends to Max.  More pictures to come soon!

Onto this week's questions! These are all about 3s!

1. Top 3 favorite kinds of food
Homemade Mac & Cheese--this sounds SO yummy right now, New Jersey PIzza, and Dark Chocolate

2. First 3 things you do in the morning
Check the baby monitor, Brush my teeth, and Feed Max

3. Last 3 things you do at night
Wash my face, Brush my teeth, and kiss the hubs goodnight.

4. 3 TV shows you NEVER miss
Lately??  I watch them all OnDemand or on DVR, because I can't stay up late enough to watch them!  Parenthood, TeenMom (you know you watch it too!), and The Bachelor

5. 3 places you want to visit
Hawaii, the Outer Banks, and Bora Bora

6. 3 people you can always count on
My Hubby JB, My mama, and my BFF, Ang

Can't wait to meet ya'll through the link-up.  Make sure so say hi!  :-)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Erin Condren Help!

Last year, my obsession with Erin Condren products began...and much to my husband's dismay and confusion, this love has only grown stronger with time.  I have a thing for fun stationary, and he just does not understand people who use paper.  According to him, everything should be done electronically.  But to me, nothing feels more like good, clean organization than a paper planner.  And, it might as well be pretty too, right??

So, here's my dilemma.  It's time to order my new planner for this year, and I'm looking at the comparison online between the Life Planner (what I have now) and the Notebook with the monthly calendar.  Which one do you have, and why do you love it??  Please leave a comment!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Must Haves For Month 1

When faced with the daunting task of creating a baby registry, I was beyond overwhelmed (as I'm sure many of you have been).  Really?! There is a whole wall of bottle nipples at Babies R' Us.  How the heck was I supposed to know what I would need?  What's really funny is that we have an entire kitchen cabinet full of different kinds of baby bottles, and Max will (maybe) take one bottle a week.  We hardly use them at all.

So, I was thinking that it might be helpful if I shared all of our "must haves for the first month".  (Maybe I'll look back at this post when we have Baby #2 to remember all of the important goods.  No, there are not any plans for Baby #2 any time soon!)

So, here are the things that we absolutely could not live without for the first month of Max's life.  I'll do a follow-up post for months 2-3 soon.

Necessities for the Nursery

1.  plain white cloth diapers
We have ALL kinds of burp cloths.  We have baskets filled with cute patterned, monogrammed burp cloths.  And, we rarely use them.  That's because these boring cloth diapers work better than anything---and they hold up better than any others we have.  Coming from a mommy of a little boy who does a lot of spitting up (even after Zantac), these are a must-have.

2.  aden + anais Life's a Hoot 4-Pack Swaddle Blankets
Friends talked me into putting these on our registry.  I didn't see what the big deal was.  They seemed way overpriced, and we had tons of baby blankets already.  But, I use these all of the time.  They are awesome for swaddling since they are so big.  They are light-weight, so they can be thrown over the carseat when you're out in public.  Once I opened the first pack, I went out and bought 3 more.

3.  changing pad covers
Buy these.  In bulk.  You might will be changing them ALL of the time--especially if you have a boy who likes to sprinkle his tinkle all over the place.  I like the minky ones by Boppy--they come with coordinating white cloth covers too!

4.  MAM pacifiers
We have tried what seems like hundreds of brands/types of pacifiers.  This little guy will only take one kind.  So, we stocked up.  Binkies have a way of disappearing faster than you can pull them out of the package.  I swear that I will probably be finding them in twenty years under my couch.

Where Do I Put this Baby?

1.  Snuggabunny Swing
Max slept in the Snuggabunny swing for the first month of his life.  It was the ONLY place where he would sleep.  He still loves it, and he usually takes his long morning nap in the swing.  He's definitely getting too big for it now, and it's only a matter of time before he outgrows it.

2.  Moby Wrap
When Max was diagnosed with colic at 3 weeks old, he was a crabby, fussy baby (nothing like he is today). He wanted to be moving all of the time and didn't like to be put down anywhere.  I was bouncing 24/7.  For the first month of his life, I got absolutely nothing done around the house. Laundry?  It sat until JB or my mom offered to do it.  Dinner?  Ha-I am still trying to figure out how to make dinner.  So, I learned to wear Max in the Moby Wrap, and it was the one way we could both be happy and get things done at the same time.  I have the Britax baby carrier too--which I also use when I"m out and about.  But, the Moby was especially comfy when he was a newborn munchkin.

3.  Britax Carseat
I did a lot of research on carseats and strollers.  I consulted friends, online resources, and books. Here's what I came up with.  All carseats have to pass a mandatory safety code.  So, they're all pretty safe.  I liked this one, because it has extra safety features (side airbags) and the easy clickable LATCH secure system.  The only downfall to it, is that it is very heavy.  I have the bruises on my legs to prove it.

4.  Fisher Price Rainforest Activity Center
We used the mat for tummy time each day (without the activity bars).  He likes the tactile pieces attached to the mat and now can see the bright colors.  I like that it is so easy to clean--just toss the mat in the washing machine and the toys can go in a bucket with soap (or in the dishwasher).

Personal Care

1.  American Red Cross Grooming Kit
Oh, those little baby fingernails....that come in the form of sharp, pointy daggers that leave big scratches all over your sweet baby face.  First we tried to cut them with the baby nail clippers.  And, he bled--all over the place.  And, I cried.  They're so thin and connected to the skin, which makes them impossible to trim.  Then, we tried filing them with a nail file.  But, there always seemed to be one we missed.  Finally, we figured out that the key is using the baby scissors and then filing the corners.  And STILL, there are times that we miss a sharp little dagger.  We've found that the key is to do this when Max is sound asleep.

2.  Fisher Price Aquarium Tub
Max loves tubby time.  Even when he was fussy with colic and reflux, he seemed calm and still when he was in the tub.  He would probably stay in there until he was shriveled up if we let him.  This tub has a great hammock for newborns (he has almost outgrown it).  We've used it on the kitchen counter before, but we usually just keep it right in our big garden tub.  Then, we can get in there too, and the water stays contained in one place for the most part.

3.  Aquaphor Healing Ointment
I've been using Aquaphor for years as a lip balm.  It is always in my purse.  Now I use it on Max.  He has never really had diaper rash (knock on wood), but he got a little red once or twice.  A thin layer of Aquaphor made it go away immediately.  Sometimes his cheeks get a little red and dry from bathing or being out in the cold.  I lather him in Aquaphor and he's good as gold.  It's like Windex in my Big Fat Greek Wedding--Aquaphor fixes everything.

4.  Dr. Brown's Bottles
Like I said in the beginning of this post, we have a lot of different kinds of bottles.  I've tried 2-3 different kinds with Max, but he seems to like Dr. Brown's the best.  Other people seem to not like them, because they have a lot of parts.  That doesn't really bother me, but then again, I only use one per week.

So, that's a list of our most favorite things from Max's first month. Some of them we still use, and some of them he has outgrown already. We have lots of new favorites now too.  What were your favorite things for a newborn??

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Blog Hop!

It's Tuesday again which means it's time for the GFC Blog Hop!

When I want to follow a blog the first thing I look for is GFC (Google Friend Connect), it's so easy and  nice to be able to go and see all of the blogs you follow in one spot. It's really a great tool to have. 

One side note- Did you know you can follow through GFC using your Twitter Account? TRUE, it's definitely an option!

Ok, so let's get to the party, shall we?

RULES are simple:

1. Follow your host via GFC
The First link below

2. Follow your co-hosts via GFC
The Next 8 links below

3. Link up below using your main blog url not a specific post.

4. Make sure to visit some of the blogs in the link up and follow them via GFC 
and if you want to leave them a comment, I'm sure they'd appreciate that as well.

5. Tweet about this blog hop

6. Share about this blog hop by grabbing a button and putting it on your sidebar!