Friday, August 31, 2012

{This Moment}


{This moment} – A Friday ritual.  A single photo capturing a simple, special, extraordinary moment.  A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.    

The joys of feeding a baby ;)

August iPhone Dump

Monday, August 27, 2012

Solids

Last December, when Georgia was around 6 months prego, she gave me the "as seen on TV" Baby Bullet baby food maker!  When she asked what I wanted for Christmas, I asked for the Baby Bullet, which should give you some indication of how excited I have been to make Grace baby food.  FINALLY the time has come... Woot!  I was literally counting the days to our 5-month check-up, which was 2 weeks ago, because I knew that following the appointment we were going to introduce Grace to solids for the first time. 


There is a ton of debate out in the blogosphere/Internet and in parenting books centered on how and when one should introduce a baby to solids.  Some believe that you have to wait until the baby is at least 6 months old; others believe that you can begin earlier but you must start with cereal and then there are parents who throw caution to the wind and break all the “rules”.  I guess we fall somewhere in between.  I wasn’t sure when exactly we would start feeding baby G solids, but the more I read up on it, the more I felt the time was near. 


According to my research, signs of readiness for solids (4 to 6 months) include:

- Baby can hold their head up unassisted
- Sits well in highchair/Bumbo
- Baby has lost the tongue-thrust reflex
- Makes chewing motions, imitates eating behaviors
- Birth weight has doubled
- Begins to show interest in food
- Can close mouth around a spoon
- Seems unsatisfied after 36-40oz of formula in a day
- Shows signs of teething


When Gracie began to display all of these signs we knew that it was “go time”!  So at 5 months, 1 week old, baby girl tried solids for the first time.  We started with pureed organic carrots; just a few spoons full and she loved it!  I’m talking L-O-V-E, people!  I know some of you may be asking yourself, carrots, really?  Our reason for trying carrots first was that my BF told us all about just how much her daughter (who is one month older than Grace) loved carrots, so we figured if little miss Olivia liked them maybe Gracie will too.  Our hypothesis proved correct and to-date carrots still seem to be her favorite.  We have since tried bananas, sweet potatoes, applesauce, sweet peas and we are currently on pears.  Here is a video of Grace trying carrots for the first time.  The first is a short clip because our doggies could see what we were doing from outside and started barking like a bunch of wild animals.  I think they wanted some carrots too. ;)


Carrots ~ take 2


Per the recommendation of our pediatrician, we are trying one food at a time for 3-4 days before going on to the next.  This seems to be common practice for most parents as a way to detect whether your kid has any allergies.  So far it doesn’t appear that baby girl is allergic to anything we’ve tried however she does get a little flush with fruit and is not a big fan of bananas.  And here we thought bananas would be her favorite… turns out she would rather have sweet peas.


I have yet to use the BB and make any homemade baby food because we’re still in the discovery phase of this whole process.  Once I have an idea of what she loves, likes and would rather not eat, I’ll roll up my sleeves and get started.  I really have no idea what I’m going to make or how to even make it so it’s a good thing we’re still in phase one, ha!  So, if any of you mamas out in blogland have homemade baby food recipes – please share!  I know there is still a lot I have to learn.

Grace has since tried lime, which oddly enough she really liked and even enjoyed a “meal” in a big girl highchair next to her cousin, Mia this past weekend!  She looks like such a little peanut next to Mia. 



Well, that’s about it on the food front for right now so in the spirit of first time solids – may I present our little green bean. ;)


Friday, August 24, 2012

This kid of mine…

Is 100% unpredictable at the moment!  It all started about 2 weeks ago, right around the time that we introduced solids.  She went from sleeping through the night (well, 8:30pm-6am with one sleepy bottle in-between) to suddenly waking up starving at 3am.  Let me just say that when you’ve become accustom to sleeping soundly until 6am and suddenly you have a squirmy baby waking in the middle of the night, it makes you want to cry just a little bit.  Not only has this kid of mine decided to start waking at the crack of dawn, she has also decided that when awake at 3am why not just stay awake.  We finally had a “show-down” with baby girl 3 nights ago following a 3am bottle and a very much awake baby.  When I was done feeding her I laid her down in her play yard and told myself – “no matter what she does, I’m going to let her self-soothe and fall asleep”.  Fast forward 20 minutes, Gracie is crying her eyes out, my head is under a pillow and G is pissed because she doesn’t understand why we aren’t just picking her up.  I’m sure you all can guess what happened next… I lost the “show-down” and Gracie spent the rest of the night snuggled between her moms.  Thankfully, it has been 3 days and she hasn’t done this since. 


In addition to the change in her sleeping pattern, her bedtime has gone off-kilter as well.  I’ve heard from several parents that sleeping patterns often change every couple of months but for us, the 8:30pm bedtime had become a solid pattern for Grace for quite a while.  Again, around 2 weeks ago this all changed.  She used to fall asleep on the way home from grandma and grandpa’s and would nap for around 30 minutes before waking for reading time, “dinner” and playtime followed by bedtime at 8:30pm.  Now, she no longer has an evening nap and goes to bed at 8pm some nights, 8:30pm other nights and has stayed up until 9pm on several occasions!  What the heck is going on here?   

I’ve read about this happening on a few blogs and got some insight in my FB mommy chat room and seems as though we can blame the FOOD for all of this craziness.  Prior to experiencing this for myself I had never heard of solids having such an impact on a baby.  You learn something new everyday, I guess.  We are now on day 3 of food #4 and I have some super cute food photos and video to share soon.  If only I could find some time to sit down and write the darn post.  I feel it’s going to be a long one. 

But for now, please prepare yourself for some extreme cuteness ----->  








It’s a good thing she’s cute ;)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

2nd Annual SmileFest


This past weekend we attended our first ever SmileFest!  The mother of a beautiful baby boy born with a cleft lip and palate created the event in 2011.  She created the festival as a way to bring children and adults together to celebrate the many beautiful faces of kiddos born with cleft lips and/or palates in New Mexico.  Research has shown that babies born with a cleft have a significantly higher chance of suffering from depression and low self-esteem in early childhood when compared to babies without clefts.  And while this is a true statistic, this one mama set out on her own to make a difference and show our NM babies that they are all beautiful and special in their own unique way.  I for one think it’s just amazing that she did this.



The event had a rock climbing wall, live music, face painting, a dunk tank, jumpers and carnival games, and while Grace was too little to partake in these festivities, it was still such a wonderful experience just being there.  We were joined by our moms and ended up running into quite a few people that we have met throughout our journey with Gracie’s lip.  Her AMAZING plastic surgeon, Dr. C was not only present but was the willing participant in the dunk tank game.  The line of kids for the dunk tank stretched around the bin all waiting to dunk their doctor.  Poor Dr. C… he was in the water more often than not – what a sport!



Baby girl decided to skip her mid-morning nap the day of SmileFest so she only lasted about an hour before passing out.  Luckily, she can sleep through anything so we stayed to eat and listen to the band.  On our way out, we received a gift bag with a teenie tiny SmileFest T-shirt for baby girl.  It made us so happy to think of all the SmileFests to come and how much fun Gracie is going to have growing up as a part of this event.

Here are a few more pictures of our afternoon :)





The 1st Annual SmileFest had 45 participants.  The 2nd Annual SmileFest had over 400!



The next time I hear someone say that one person can’t make a difference, I am going to tell them the story of one mom’s mission – SmileFest. :) 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

5 Month Check-up

This past Monday was baby girl’s 5 month check-up and I am quickly learning that if you’ve been to one well-baby visit you basically know the drill.  Just like at Gracie’s 15-week appointment she was weighed, measured and poked (twice)!  Grace was up for her next 2 shots and the nurse that administered the shots this time was anything but gentle.  Any parent will tell you that it’s hard to watch your little babe get poked but it’s even harder when the nurse you’re working with is super unfriendly, doesn’t interact with your baby and jabs the needle in like she’s letting the air out of a tire.  Here’s hoping we don’t get Nurse Grumpy next time…

Grace was so flippin cute the morning of our appointment.  She woke in the best mood and looked pretty adorable as we left the house.  Georgia left work a little before me in the afternoon to pick up the baby so they were already in the lobby when I arrived.  There is nothing I love more than walking into a room and seeing how excited Grace is to see either of us.  She usually smiles, squeals and as the picture below shows – puts her hands in her mouth lookin all giddy!


Similar to our previous appointment, Gracie chatted us up the entire time often interrupting Dr. C.  She really seems to like her pediatrician, which is great for us because we LOVE her!  Dr. C is awesome with Grace.  She always takes time to sit down and have a “conversation” with Gracie and has never once made us feel rushed.  I usually have about a million questions and she is always happy to answer all them.  This appointment was one that we were very much looking forward to because we knew we were finally getting the "okay" to introduce solids!  I did a little bit of research on stage 1 feeding prior to the appointment and to be honest, with all the conflicting information I came across I was more confused than anything.  We ended up having a very lengthy talk with Dr. C about our feeding plan and I know I left feeling much better.  We have since started Gracie on solids (organic carrots to be exact) but we are only on day 3 of food #1, so I’ll blog about our adventures in solids once Grace has tried a couple other fruits and veggies.  Until then, here are some stats and more pictures. :)   

5-month stats:
·       Height: 24.5 inches – 27th percentile
·       Weight: 14lbs, 7oz – 44th percentile
·       Head Circumference: 16.8 inches – 70th percentile


And just because it’s so cute, here’s one more picture of baby girl!


Happy almost-Friday!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Shark Week!

It’s finally here!  The week I look forward to every year – SHARK WEEK!  My poor child has watched more television today than she has in her entire life because I can’t seem to pull myself away.  Aside from our family nap this afternoon and about an hour of reading time, we have been watching non-stop shark TV. In my defense, I will say that at least she is watching an educational program on the Discovery Channel and not a Jersey Shore marathon, haha!

Grace has her 5 1/2 month check-up tomorrow afternoon so we’re pretty pumped to see how much she has grown AND to get the ok to start feeding her cereal.  Me and G have a little bet going… G thinks that Gracie is going to weigh-in @ 14.2 lbs and I say 15+.  We shall see. ;)

In the spirit of SW, this is what we’ll be reading for story time this week ~


Next up: Air Jaws Apocalypse!

Friday, August 10, 2012

32/52: New toy, happy baby


Side note: If you’re an Amazon.com shopper like me, don’t be fooled into using their “Free Super Saver Shipping”… sure you’ll save a couple of bucks but it will also take a million years to get your order!  It took almost a MONTH for us to receive this dadgum jumper!  I will say though, it was worth the wait.   

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Five Months of Gracie


We have a 5 month old ya’ll!  Both G and I agree that the past month has been a favorite so far.  Gracie now spends her days chatting like crazy, laughing out loud, rolling over, playing, sitting up, grabbing everything in sight and learning a ton; it’s just so much fun to watch!  I’m loving that she has grown stronger and more solid because now we can play without worrying that we’re going to break her, hehe!  I don’t want to jinx us with what I’m about to say but Grace has also become a rock star sleeper.  She naps in her room (in her own crib!) and wakes up smiling and cooing rather than crying for us.  She has “dinner” around 8ish and is out by 8:30pm.  She has her half-asleep bottle at 11:00pm and goes right back to sleep until 6AM!! It’s like she just decided a few weeks ago that she was going to sleep straight through the night, every.single.night – it’s wonderful!  


This past month was all about Gracie’s cleft lip surgery.  Our weeks were filled with pre-op surgical and pediatrician appointments as well as prep at home and at work for Gracie’s recovery.  It’s crazy, even though we were only in the hospital for a total of 3 days between the operation and suture removal, all the prep and recovery to-do’s consumed our time and made the month fly by.  If you would like to read about Gracie’s cleft lip surgery click HERE.  To read up on her suture removal click HERE.  Initially, we were a bit concerned that baby girl’s development would be delayed because of her operation.  Between the Pedi Wraps (arm braces) she had to wear, the medicine she had to take, the challenges with feeding and the fact that we had to swaddle her most of the day for nearly 2 weeks, who could blame her if she grew restless and didn’t want to do much.  All in all she really was a trooper.  We definitely saw a different side of our happy little babe.  She cried much more often and when she did it was a very panicked cry.  G thinks she had a bit of PST following the operation because putting her to sleep became a challenge for the first time ever and for about a week every time she woke she did so screaming at the top of her lungs.  All we could do was be consistent and show her that we weren’t going anywhere and that the pain was over, poor baby. ::tear:: 

It really is amazing how resilient babies can be.  Less than 2 weeks following Grace’s operation, her sleeping schedule was back on track and she was eating from a normal bottle for the first time EVER!  Yay!  Me and G started doing a lot better too.  I think we were both so consumed with what we needed to do for our daughter that we didn’t realize just how much stress we were under.  Luckily, if there is one thing that lesbians can do better than anyone else on earth, it’s talk and talk and talk about our feelings.  So that’s what we did and it really helped. ;)

  
But enough about the moms… here’s what our FIVE month old has been up to ~

- She now drinks 6 ounces each feeding and chugs it down like a champ.  I think the lip surgery has helped in this department.  We've also started working on the sign for milk with her each feeding and her little hands are starting to simulate ours!  

- We have a roller!  She can roll over tummy to back like she’s been doing it all her life.  Now to work on back to tummy.

- Grace is still a little bean but has grown out of almost all of her 3-month clothing and is now in 3-6 month outfits.  We’ll have updated growth stats in a week!

- She can sit up on her own for about 20 seconds before face planting. ;)

- She has one long nap (2-3 hours) around 11:30am everyday and a second short nap in the late afternoon.

- She can hold her bottle all on her own.  Woot!

- She seems to identify herself much more in the mirror now.  When she sees her reflection she reaches out, laughs and is quite entertained.


- She has discovered her tongue and has it out often, especially when she’s concentrating on something. 

- She has started giggling and snorts if she’s giggling hard enough.

- She can scoot her body in whatever direction she needs.  We’ve actually had to move her to the floor for playtime to avoid possible injuries.

- She has discovered food and finds it fascinating to watch us eat.  The Baby Bullet is out of the box and ready to use but we’re going to start with cereal in another week per our Peds instruction.  With baby G’s operation she didn’t want us introducing food before our 5 month appt on Monday.

- She now reaches for us if we put our hands out in a, “come with mama” motion. :)

- She LOVES, LOVES the color orange.  Her orange monkey, orange owl, books with Tigger, really anything orange gets the biggest reaction out of her.

- She is ticklish in the tummy and ribs region!  I’ve actually gotten a couple of full on belly laughs out of her.  

- When reading, she now holds the book with us with both of her hands.   

- And of course the BIGGEST thing that happened in month 5 was that our baby girl got a brand new smile!  She was beautiful before but we also love this new smile of hers.

Happy 5 months to the most beautiful little stinker around!  
We sure do love you, baby girl!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

31/52: Visiting mama @ work


Want to join Project 52?  Click here for details.

Summer Bucket List #5: Take a Picnic & #10: Take Gracie Swinging

So the plan for Monday night was to go to the gym… that didn’t happen.  Instead we decided to visit our neighborhood park to picnic and take Gracie swinging!  Plan B was clearly a much better option don’t you think?  We headed to the park to meet our close friend Anthony (aka Uncle Anthony) after work.  The weather was perfect, not a cloud in the sky and after the rain we’ve had the past 2 weeks it was a nice change.  I packed up some sandwiches, chips, humus and veggies as soon as we got home and we were out the door and at the park within 30 minutes.  I tell you, we must be getting better at impromptu plans with baby because it doesn’t take us 2 hours to get places like it used to.  Yay for that!    
My wife is all about the gadgets so she was stoked to finally use her pop-up cabana, lol!

Grace is a people watcher like her mama so she couldn’t get enough of it.  Her little eyes and head darted back and forth the entire time we were picnicking as she tried to take it all in.  There was a children’s violin lesson going on behind us, football practice in front of us, kids running everywhere and several BBQ’s.  It was the perfect day for a people watcher, that’s for sure.


As we were eating there was a little girl running around our picnic area that looked like a 2 year old version of Grace.  It was crazy to think that in the not to distant future we’ll have a toddler to chase around too.  I don’t know why, maybe its Gracie’s recent milestones, but I feel like she is growing up way to fast.  I imagine that I’ll continue to feel this way for the rest of her life so I better get used to it.   

Give me that sandwich mom!  I want it!
This was Gracie’s first visit to our neighborhood park and it was her first time playing on the swings too!  With her neck strength getting better and better every week we were pretty confident that she could handle the swings.  The one thing that neither of us thought about was the size of said swing.  It’s a lot larger than we remembered and once we put baby girl in the swing, it seemed even BIGGER!  We threw a blanket in with her to add some support and proceeded to swing very slowly.  She was cautious and curious about what she was in and what we were doing but she seemed to do ok.  You’ll hear in the video below that towards the end she started grunting to let us know she was done. ;)


Even though our picnic ran into Gracie’s bedtime she did great.  She started rubbing her eyes and wanted to cuddle come 8pm as she always does when it’s sleepy time but there weren’t any tears until we loaded her in the Jeep.  As you can see, she then fell fast asleep.

Last week Grace also had a visit from her BFF, Olivia!  Sara and Olivia were in town visiting from AZ so we had a play date at our house so that the girls could hang out again.  It had been about 3 1/2 months since the babies saw each other and it was amazing to see how much their interactions changed in such a short time.  At our last play date they basically slept the entire time.  This time they held hands, laughed at one another, played on Gracie’s activity mat and as you can see in the pictured below – they just chilled. ;)

Olivia, 5 ½ months & Grace, 4 ½ months

Little miss Olivia LOVES to eat her feet.  Gracie’s little feet don’t even reach her mouth, lol!
I love that these little gals are so close in age! 


4 down, 10 to go!

1.    Take baby girl swimming for the first time
2.    Go to a Music Together family music class
3.    Visit the Public Library to get Gracie her very own library card
4.    Take Gracie to her first Little Gym class
5.    Go on a picnic at a park we’ve never visited
6.    Take our first family trip to Penasco
7.    Visit grandma and grandpa’s Senior Center
8.    Begin baby sign language lessons
9.    Take Gracie to Toddler Time at ¡Explora!
10. Visit a city park to take baby girl swinging
11. Spend an afternoon visiting the Nature Center
12. Take a Gymboree Play & Learn class
13. Complete an art project with Gracie
14. Visit the Botanical Gardens
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