Thursday, May 31, 2012

Crabby Butt

Harry was a crabby butt yesterday, quite literally!


So cute! This onesie is by Carters and is one of my favorites.

carters crab onesie

We have a froggy one, too. All of his six month clothes fit him perfectly right now so I'm sure we'll be graduating to the next size fairly soon. I could probably switch them out now but I'm in no hurry, this kid is growing up way too fast as it is!

And can you tell how blonde his hair is getting? I was beginning to think his hair would stay light brown but it's not looking that way anymore. You can see it even more in this picture:


Standing without support already! Well, for the most part ;).

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Millions of Peaches

Do you guys remember that "Peaches" song by the Presidents of the United States? My brother was obsessed with that song back in the day!  So by default, I hated it, and he would always sing it to annoy me :).

Yesterday's activity reminded me of that song: it was Harry's first time trying peaches!

Real men use pink mesh feeders
 According to Wholesome Baby Food you can puree peaches but I just added a few peeled slices to a mesh feeder. As with most everything he's tried, they were a big hit!


He ate all of it within minutes. It's so fun to see Harry liking real food more and more. He gets so excited when he sees the mesh feeders or baby spoons. The past few days we've reintroduced a second feeding during the morning. Thankfully they're going better than when we first started. The first feeding of the day is now anywhere between 9am and 11am, and it's always yogurt. He'll eat at least 3/4 of the container. Then in the late afternoon we'll do 4-5 ounces of fruit and veggie purees. I always mix up what he eats, like yesterday he had an ounce each of butternut squash, yellow squash, sweet potatoes and applesauce.

Even with all the food he's eating we haven't dropped a bottle, which is good since the formula is supposed to be his main source of nutrition until his first birthday. I wouldn't mind if he dropped a bottle, but that's purely for selfish reasons.

One more thing on baby food... yesterday we picked up four large organic pears for $6.27. I cooked and pureed the fruits in my Beaba Babycook and I was able to make 19 ounces of puree, which equals out to 33¢ an ounce. Compare that to the Plum Organics pears at 42¢ an ounce or the Gerber organic pears that retail for just 28¢ an ounce, but have weird ingredients like tuna oil and gelatin. 


And just for fun here's a picture I took the other day.


He's getting so tall!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Instagram Week 4

Here are this week's photos for Ant's Instagram challenge.


Wait... that's only six!! Ant's last photo was so great I thought it deserved to be featured by itself.

I married that.

Ahhhhh-mazing. His challenge for the week was to post three pictures of himself. I took the two in the collage, no idea who took the last one (I don't need to know). 

This has been a fun challenge! Although it just highlights how boring our lives are and how little we go out to fun places. Oh well, we're parents now and Harry is all the entertainment we need!

There's still three more days of the challenge so I'll post the remaining photos later this week. I tried to get Ant to agree to continue the challenge in June but he said no, of course. Maybe I can convince him to do it again in July.

Click here to see all Ant's Instagram Challenge pictures!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Thoughts on Babies and TV

Last week Ant was reading to Harry and I'm so happy I was able to catch this candid moment on camera!


He's really starting to love looking at books and hearing the stories. He was rolling all around while Ant was reading though, so he isn't 100% interested yet.

TV for Babies
When I was pregnant I heard TV wasn't recommended for children under the age of two. I thought that sounded like a great idea and fully intended to stick to that rule. Ha, ya right!

Harry discovered the TV before he was two months old and would just stare at the glowing screen. Obviously at that point it didn't matter what was on the screen, he just liked the bright lights. His interest in the TV has only grown as he's gotten older.

While I don't agree with propping a child in front of the boob tube for hours on end, my views on letting babies watch TV have changed since Harry came in to our lives. As he's gotten older he's required more and more attention and stimulation throughout the day. It's so true what they say... the newborn phase is a piece o' cake!

Harry has started going through his separation anxiety phase and will start crying as soon as I leave his sight. You can imagine how fun it is for me to use the bathroom or grab a snack when Ant isn't around! So obviously I've been getting next to nothing done around the house during the day. I bet you've guessed what my solution has been.


Sesame Street! Yesterday I discovered the Kids On Demand section and there are tons of different programs to choose from. I picked an episode of Sesame Street and put Harry in his exersaucer and I was able to get dinner started and do some picking up around the house. Between his toys and the Street I was able to work the whole episode (which I think was an hour). Of course I checked in with him and talked to him about the episode (we agreed that the guest star, Natalie Portman, had ugly hair).

Basically, I think TV is okay in moderation. I'm willing to bet most moms would agree, unless they have a live-in maid :). As Harry grows and develops he's going to need even more stimulation throughout the day. However, my house also needs to be cleaned and dinner needs to be cooked.

I would never put anything above the well being of my child, and I (now) don't think watching a couple hours of TV a week is compromising his well being. From what I've read the biggest argument against letting children under two watch TV is that it will hinder their language development. I can see how that could be the case but like I said, I make sure to watch with him a little so he still gets the human interaction that is so important in his development.

We've also watched a few baby DVDs that he really likes, too. I thought I was going to hate them but they're not too bad and I liked singing the songs to him. I'm just trying to keep Dora the Explorer from him for as long as possible, that show is the worst!

One more thing...

Check out Jamie's blog today! She's hosting a new feature where you can link up your favorite blog post from the last week. Check it out!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Mum Mums + Which Wich

Mum Mums
Yesterday during our shopping trip to Target I picked up some Mum Mum crackers for Harry.

Harry likes the Happy Baby Puffs we got him but is having a hard time getting them in to his mouth by himself so I thought the Mum Mums would be a good option since they're so much bigger. They were a big hit with little man!

  
 I didn't think Harry would finish the cracker, but he ended up eating two! A lot crumbs ended up on his shirt but he really liked them and it was so great seeing him feed himself. 


I tried a little piece of a cracker and it doesn't taste like much. It's very bland with a hint of sweetness. Basically they're really big Rice Krispies.

And I have to brag about how much we saved between our coupons and Target card... $32! To extreme couponers I bet that doesn't sound like much, but for just taking a half hour to visit a few websites and print out coupons I thought we did pretty good. The best deal of the day was our Diet Pepsi. 12-packs are $2.25 each right now! We usually buy Coke Zero but Diet Pepsi tastes okay and you can't go wrong with that price. I also purchased a large butternut squash for $1.29 to make in to baby food. I'm sure it'll make at least 10 ounces so that was a total steal (last time I bought some pre-packaged diced squash).

ETA: I pureed the butternut squash and it made 29 ounces of baby food! That's under 5¢ an ounce! 

Which Wich
For dinner last night we headed to a new sandwich place, Which Wich. Ant had been to their Chicago shop but I believe they only recently opened one out our way (thanks to Sara for the tip!). I ordered your basic turkey sandwich with cheddar, light mayo, Dijon and lettuce. 


Harry had a great time sitting in a restaurant-style highchair for the first time. 



He did a great job. Next on the list is tackling shopping carts :)

Friday, May 25, 2012

A New Era has Begun

Gone are the days of my stagnant baby. He is on the move now! Since figuring out that rolling is an efficient way to get from Point A to Point B, we've had to keep an even closer eye on Harry. The floor or his rocker used to be safe spots for me to put him if I had to run to the bathroom or something. Not anymore, clearly.


  So yesterday we set up the Pack n' Play in the living room.

Baby Jail!

He's not a big fan, but at least he's safe if I have to step out of the room for any reason.

Harry is also now an expert sitter! In just a few short days he went from sitting for a few seconds at a time to several minutes. It's just amazing watching this little boy grow and learn new skills.


I thought all babies sat in a tripod position before sitting completely upright, but not Harry. I guess he just waited to do it until he could do it for reals. And now he doesn't want to stop! Last night as I was making dinner (garlic chicken stuffed shells!) Ant was hanging out with Harry and thought he needed some more milk. I quickly made him a bottle but he wanted nothing to do with it. So I took Harry and sat him down on the floor. Happy as a clam after that!

I hope you all have a wonderful Friday. Fridays have long been my favorite day of the week. Even though I'm a stay-at-home mom I still love them. You can't help but be in a good mood on Fridays!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Cloth Diapering Overnight

Okay, this will be my last cloth diaper post for a while, promise!

When we Ant and I first discussed cloth diapering I was pretty sure we would continue to use disposables overnight. Doing the cloth thing overnight was really terrifying to me. I just imagined pee everywhere in his crib when he woke up in the mornings.

Not long after we started CDing I decided to try a cloth diaper overnight, fully expecting to fail. Let me tell you what really happened. :)

The first morning Harry was just a teeny tiny bit damp. The second day he leaked on to his back a teeny tiny bit. But since then, smooth and dry sailing... knock on wood! With disposables Harry probably leaked at least twice a week overnight. And it was bad. I felt bad that he woke up like that so often. But now he doesn't!

Cloth diapering overnight is awesome. Even if you don't have plans to do it full time, I really recommend it for overnight if your baby has leakage issues. Here's what Harry wears while he's sleeping.


Nothing super fancy. I know a lot of parents use special inserts for nighttime wear but we haven't needed to do that. We use either a Bum Genius 4.0 or Imagine pocket diaper. I stuff the diapers with the inserts they came with and then add either one or two Babies R Us terrycloth burp rags we had lying around. That's it!

So many layers does make Harry very "bottom heavy", but he doesn't seem to really care. He's still able to roll around while wearing these diapers.

And on a totally unrelated note, I'm so happy Phillip Phillips won American Idol! I liked both him and Jessica Sanchez, but I thought his single, "Home" was much better than Jessica's. It was so adorable how he broke down on stage right after he won!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Cloth Diapering- A Dad's Perspective

I asked my husband to do a guest post on his thoughts on cloth diapering. Here are his very honest thoughts thus far.

This pose was HIS idea
 

I have been tasked with answering questions about how I feel about the cloth diapers? Short answer: They're OK.

Here's the long answer:

While Lindsey was pregnant with Harry, we had briefly discussed cloth diapering and quickly decided to go with disposables because of their convenience. It wasn't until about a month ago that we chose to give the cloth diapers a try. Harry's older and we felt we could handle it more.

I'll admit, my initial thoughts on cloth diapering were that they're unnecessary. In the long run they may be cheaper than disposables, but they are so inconvenient to me. How much simpler can it be than having Harry go to the bathroom in a diaper and me just tossing it into the garbage/Diaper Genie? With the cloth diapers the cleanup process, especially for No. 2s, is too long. At least the way we do it, which was documented here on Lindsey's blog. I'm sure we can throw them in the washer and drier, but there goes all of our laundry money because we can't put them in the same load as regular clothes. To me, it's just one negative after the other. But here's why I want to keep them.

They are crazy absorbent. The disposables, while convenient, can leak more frequently. We definitely can't keep Harry in a disposable for nearly as long as we can a cloth. Obviously poops don't count because you gotta get him out of those ASAP. As for pee, cloths can easily handle mass amounts. Especially overnight. When we first put Harry to bed in a cloth they leaked. But now that we figured out how to put them on correctly, they can take a full nights load. The Imagines and Bum Genius' specifically.

Now for the aesthetics. Some designs are more pleasing than others. We bought a beige one from Kohls that is just hideous and the same goes for a white Imagine one we bought. We also have two red ones and I think that color is perfect for the cloths. I also like the GroVia with the owl design and the Thirsties one with trees. They look really cute on Harry.

All in all, I give the cloth diapers a passing grade, but not by much. Their lack of convenience is made up for with their absorbency and then some. Not to mention that some of the designs are cool. It may take me a while longer to fully embrace the cloths, but I'm not nearly as gung-ho against them as I used to be.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Instagram Challenge Week 3

Here are Ant's third week of Instagram photos!


He succeeded 100% for last week's challenge of not taking any pictures of Harry and taking them in all different locations.

The different locations (clockwise from top left):
1. View from Ant's window at work
2. Flowers on our patio
3. Doctor's office
4. Odd looking house in our neighborhood
5. A restaurant near our house (well technically the parking lot as we didn't go inside)
6. The "El"
7. A different restaurant near our house

I tried to get Ant to agree to do seven pictures of him for this week's challenge, but he refused. He said he would do three. I have my doubts that he'll even get that many, but I hope he proves me wrong!

Click here to see all Ant's Instagram Challenge pictures!

Baltic Amber Necklace

You probably don't remember, but I ordered a Baltic amber necklace for Harry before Easter. BEFORE EASTER. I got it yesterday. The damn thing took seven weeks to come in. It was supposed to take four. How ridiculous! I ordered it through Mama Bargains, so I can't say I recommend supporting that company. I certainly won't be shopping with them anymore.

Anyways... here's H-man modeling his newest accessory.


What a ham :)

I ordered the raw honey color. I bet some of you are wondering why I put a necklace on my little boy, right? It's not just a fashion statement, although it is pretty cute. Baltic amber is said to have homeopathic properties and relieve a number of ailments when worn.

•boost the immune system
•reduce inflammation
•accelerates the natural healing process
alleviates teething pain
•calming effect without the use of drugs
•natural energizer
•natural pain killer (reduces or eliminates pain associated with headaches, joint stiffness, etc)
•have been known to treat discomfort linked to throat, ear and stomach irritations as well as fevers and colds.

(source: www.balticamberteethingnecklace.com)

So basically, Baltic amber is magical, haha! Not really, but I think it's pretty cool. Harry hasn't had any teeth poke through but I'm (almost) willing to be that we'll have some pearly whites within the next month. He is showing some signs of teething (mainly an insane increase in drooling) so the necklace came right in time.

Baby Orajel isn't recommended anymore so I'm hoping that between wearing the necklace and some Humphreys Teething Strips we will get through the teething phase just fine.


Just a note, the Baltic amber works by warming up against your skin and releasing natural oils, so it's best to keep the necklace tucked under onesies or t-shirts. I just had it poking out for the pictures. Babies are not supposed to chew on them, which is a common misconception.

If you're interested in ordering a necklace, Sweet Bottoms has quite a few to choose from (the lighter colors are said to be the most effective) and they ship fast and free!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Sitting Unassisted + Video

Look what Harry did yesterday!

6 months 1 week and 6 days old

Harry sat up on the floor for the very first time without any support. So exciting!  He managed to stay like that for 15 seconds or so, not too shabby for a first-timer. He's been sitting up on the couch for a while now (you can see here and here) but hasn't had any interest in sitting on the floor until now.

We also switched him to the fast flow nipples yesterday. Harry was getting frustrated with his bottles the past few days so it definitely was the right time to switch. He's taken to them just fine.

And here is a video I took of Harry this past Thursday showing off his new favorite thing... rolling! This was right after he mastered rolling both ways and was so excited to show off his skills.




Sunday, May 20, 2012

Cloth Diaper Storage

Part of my Mother's Day gift was a cloth diaper storage system. After doing some research online and in stores I decided to go with this organizer by Badger Basket. It's a little smaller than I thought but it works and matches perfectly with our nursery furniture.

Please don't mind the droopy crib skirt
With the addition of the organizer I was able to move our wipes and diaper creams off the changing table to make room for my growing baby. Here's how I've organized the drawers.


The top drawer is full of our daytime dipes. There's 10 diapers in there but I could probably get up to 14.


The second drawer is for our nighttime diapers. I stuff extra inserts in these diapers so it's easier to keep them separate so Ant doesn't accidentally put one on Harry during the day. Right now we have four nighttime diapers, which is a good amount. This week I hope to do a post on cloth diapering at night, so watch out for that!


The third drawer just holds random cloth diapering supplies. Right now I've got some GroVia disposable liners, extra FuzziBunz elastics and extra inserts.


We still keep disposables on hand and probably will as long as we don't have our own laundry. Harry wears cloth about 80% of the time right now. We usually put him in a Huggies when we leave the house and if we know Harry's only going to be in a diaper for a short time. Like last night we gave Harry a bath at 7p.m. We knew he wouldn't go to bed until about 9p.m. so he was in a disposable for about an hour until we started his bedtime routine. Since I do hand wash the diapers they're at a premium around here and I'd hate to "waste" a cloth diaper because cleaning them isn't easy.

As far as storing the soiled diapers, we have our diaper pail in the bathroom. It's right across the hall from the nursery and since the diaper sprayer is hooked up to the toilet and I do the laundry in there everything is in one place.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

6.5 Month Appointment

Yesterday was Harry's 6.5 month appointment. Our not-so-tiny boy now weighs 17lb2oz (50th percentile) and is 28.25'' tall (90th percentile). He also got two shots and an oral vaccine.

I've never talked about it here on my blog, but we're doing somewhat of an alternative vaccine schedule. The AAP recommends up to seven vaccines at the six month appointment, I can't imagine making Harry go through that many shots at one time! The schedule we're on is kind of a hybrid of the AAP and Dr. Sears' schedule. Typical well baby appointments happen at one, two, four, six, nine and twelve months. With our schedule Harry sees the pediatrician every month so we can spread out the vaccines.

I know an alternative vaccine schedule isn't for everyone and I don't think the AAP recommendations are bad or harmful. This is just what has worked for our family so we're gonna stick with it!

After the doctor's office Harry and I headed down to the Naperville River Walk to hang out with some of the moms and babies from our Facebook group. I was kind of worried that the shots would make him a fussy butt but he was pretty well behaved. He did get fussy towards bedtime last night, though.

Anyways... all the ladies and babies had a nice time, it was the perfect day to hang outside. One of the babies is crawling already. It was so cute to see her scoot around on the blankets!

We didn't take any pictures so I'll leave you with a few of Harry from Thursday. He ate four ounces of purees (sweet potatoes, carrots, zucchini and applesauce) and I started to give him some puffs. He wasn't quite sure what to make of them but he ate a few.



I hope you're all enjoying your Saturday!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Indoor Rain & Photo Dump

Last night we had an incident with our upstairs neighbors. Unfortunately, it wasn't quite as funny as the run-in we had with another set of neighbors last week. Around dinner time Ant was in the bathroom and it started raining. Water was pouring down from the vent right above the toilet. Ewwww! Our upstairs neighbors have been doing construction on their condo all week so we knew they had something to do with it. I quickly ran upstairs and let them know. They were apologetic and fixed the problem fast, thank goodness.

They almost ruined my drying cloth diapers on Tuesday, too. The dipes were on the patio when the guy upstairs started sawing something on their balcony. I moved my clothes rack inside just before they swept all the sawdust in between the slats and on to our patio. I really hope their almost done with their construction!

Now on to the fun part of the post, pictures of my Harry-boo!

He's been rolling on to his side during playtime for a while now but just the other day he made it all the way on to his tummy. Tuesday night he kept rolling over but couldn't figure out how to get back on his back. He's forgotten how to roll that way. Since he still hates being on his tummy we had to help him every time. I just wanted to tell him just because he can roll doesn't mean he has to!

However, yesterday he magically started enjoying tummy time! He rolled over with a purpose and played with some of his toys. He still wasn't able to roll the other way when he got tired of it, but at least he doesn't start screaming the second he's on his tummy anymore!

One of my favorite pictures I've taken of Harry

He started on his back in the middle of the playmat! (Ant took this picture)

Harry hasn't slept on his tummy yet but this morning he rolled over in his crib after he woke up. It was a little earlier than he usually wakes up so I tried rolling him back over so he could go back to sleep, but nope, he just rolled on to his tummy again! Silly kid :)

Here are a few more pictures we've taken recently.

He's always grabbing for things nowadays (Ant took this one, too)

We're still trying to master the sippy cup

My dad is the biggest Chargers fan and got Harry this onesie for Easter

He kept trying to roll over while I was taking the pictures

Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Hand Washing Cloth Diapers



In general, cloth diapering isn't for the faint of heart. I thought I came in contact with a lot of bodily fluids when we used disposables but it doesn't even compare to cloth diapering. The benefits of cloth diapering totally outweigh the gross-factor, though.

I first heard of modern cloth diapering a few years ago. I didn't understand it at the time and never thought I'd be a cloth diapering parent. When I got pregnant and joined an online moms group I started hearing more and more about it and did a little research. Once I saw that cloth diapers couldn't be laundered with other clothes I stopped looking in to it because we don't have a washer and dryer.

A few of the moms in my Facebook group cloth diaper their babies with no in-unit laundry so I had no excuse not to seriously consider it. The basics of washing cloth diapers are cold rinse, hot wash, cold rinse. The washers in our building don't have an option for an extra rinse so to do everything in the machine I'd have to run three separate cycles at $1.50 each. Add in the dryer cycle and we're looking at a total of  $6 per load. That adds up quickly since cloth diapers need to be washed two to three times per week. At that rate we'd be spending more on the cloth diapers than we would with disposables. 

When we started our cloth diaper stash we knew we would be hand washing them a majority of the time. It's not ideal, but it gets the job done and is very cost effective. Here's how we do it (more info can be found in this post).

The supplies you'll need include: a large bucket, plunger, cloth diaper-safe detergent, rubber gloves (optional), salad spinner (optional) and a drying rack or clothes line.

The first step in washing cloth diapers is to fill up a large bucket with cold water. Drop up to five cloth diapers and inserts in the water. Sometimes I'll add a tablespoon of vinegar (this can void some cloth diaper warranties, so add vinegar at your own risk).

Please don't mind the grimy tile, it's just stained. I cleaned it last week and we don't use this shower!


Then take the plunger and agitate the diapers for a good five minutes.


Dump out the water and refill the bucket with hot water.



Add up to one tablespoon of cloth diaper-safe detergent. You'll have to play around with the amount that works best for you. I started out using a free sample of Rockin' Green detergent that worked okay. Now we use regular Tide, which is not a traditional cloth diaper detergent but gets rave reviews from long-time cloth diapering moms.


HE detergent is low-susding.

Agitate for at least five minutes, I usually do ten. Make sure to get all the diapers and inserts underneath the plunger, as they tend to wrap around the handle.


Pour out the sudsy water and refill the bucket for the third time with cold water. Agitate with the plunger for another few minutes.




You could technically be done at this point. But, I'm paranoid that there's still detergent on the diapers so I take the bucket to the kitchen and rinse each diaper once more in the sink.


You can wring the excess water out by hand or use a salad spinner.


Now for the last step- drying! I hang everything up and if it's nice out I put the clothes rack outside. Even if you don't hand wash your cloth diapers it is recommended you don't put any PUL in the dryer because it will wear out faster (occasionally on low heat it's okay). Putting the diapers in the sun is a great way to get rid of any staining, too. Lately it's been in the 70s-80s and my diapers and inserts will be dry in about six hours.

I put ankle weights on the rack to prevent it from blowing over when it's windy.

I can't say that I love hand washing cloth diapers, but I enjoy cloth diapering enough to do it for now. Ant and I have talked a little about getting a portable washing machine, which would be ahhh-mazing! We could use it for more than just our cloth diapers so investing in one could potentially save us quite a bit of money and trips to the bank for rolls of quarters. 

Also, I have to thank my model for helping me out with all the photos for this post.

Nerd.

LOL! I doubt I'll ever get him to wash diapers again. Ant's still a little skeptical about cloth diapering but is slowly warming up to it. I plan on doing a cloth diapering Q&A post with him soon, so look out for that.

A few more things to note:
- From start to finish the hand washing process takes me about 40 minutes.
- I've been hand washing my cloth diapers about every 36 hours.
- Hand washing isn't all or nothing. If I'm running short on time I might do the cold rinse in the bucket, throw the diapers in the washing machine and then finish by hand rinsing again.
- Hand washing isn't just for cloth diapering! Now that I know how to do it I might start doing other items as well. For regular clothes you could probably get away without doing the first cold rinse.

My handsome Harry in a Thirsties Duo All In One diaper

Happy washing!
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