Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

There will be another outfit later, but y'know, gotta get something up here for the day.  Really, he almost never comes home from daycare in the same outfit that he leaves in, anyway, due to his amazing ability to get them dirty, so I know better that to count on that one!

(and yes, I recognize that the scary part is what I'm wearing) to daycare in his dino-bear-skeleton mix of warm weather gear.

Happy 1st Halloween!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday 5: Functional Changes to the Nursery

I know you've all seen the nursery in the past, but here are some functional changes we've made since having the Lion.  Some things just work better this way:

1)  I suppose this isn't entirely a change, but I've never shown the inside of his closet.  Obviously, there are hanging clothes, below is his bookself.  The top shelf has shoes, hats, and curtains we haven't hung yet.  Second shelf is books.  Third shelf is actually wipe storage.  Weird, I know.  In front of that is the laundry basket, with the lingerie bag for socks, washcloths, and bibs on top.  You don't want to be losing those!  It's actually deep to the left, so there is a box of large-size clothing, a bag of his toys (need to find a better way to store those), and hooks with various bags.

2)  His crib has been moved to an interior wall.  It was too cold against the exterior wall of our house, as we have some of the poorest insulation known to man.

3)  His humidifier.  This one rocks.  It does not have a filter that we need to change every other week, and you can set it to a humidity level, so that it doesn't run continuously.

4)  His space heater.  Also, like the humidifier, this is great because it has a programmable thermostat so that it doesn't run continuously.  It is set to 73.  It also has a remote that I joke we should leave in the crib so that Robby can adjust it as he needs to.

5)  We keep a storage bin under the futon to put away things he outgrows until it fills, and then it gets labelled and moved up to the attic.  This is a very sad bin.  Currently it hold 6 MONTH clothing.  I just want to get some wear out of things.  Is that so wrong?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sleep Issues

Can I tell you how silly I feel writing this now that it seems to somewhat have resolved itself?  Ah, well, I've got nothing else on my mind.  And we're going to HOPE that this is resolved for good.  Robby and sleep have a love/hate relationship.  When Robby was VERY young, he slept like a champ.  He even was sleeping through the night fairly frequently.  I thought I had won the baby sleep lottery.  And then...3 months came along.  

At 3 months, the 4 month sleep regression hit.  Robby was waking up between every 45 minutes and hour and 1/2 around the clock.  I became a complete and total zombie.  This lasted for a little over a month.  Things started to get a bit better, slowing down to around 3 wake-ups a night.  And then only 2!  I thought sanity was returning.

Daycare comes too early

Last week, when Robby got sick, his sleep routine got shot to heck.  He was waking up a lot at night, and he didn't want to sleep anywhere but on our chests during the day.  He got somewhat used to this, and came to expect it.  Also, it got very cold (40's at night) in the house, and more importantly his room, and it didn't allow for him to have sound sleep.  He was always cold, since babies can't have blankets.

Now on to the happy ending.  We seem to have won the war!!!  Although, I'll have to see how naptime goes today.  This was yesterday, after being trapped under him the whole time, I DID slip out from under him and do dishes while watching him across the room like a hawk:  

How did we solve the nighttime problem?

(1)  He was on medicine for a week and is now healthy.
(2)  He sleeps both in a sleeper and a fleece sleep sack.
(3)  We run a humidifier to help him breathe.
(4)  A space heater with a programmable thermostat is in his room, set to a balmy 73.
(5)  Pacifiers are still our friends.  We are going to get a breathable bumper, though, because it is too difficult to find it in the middle of the night now that he likes to THROW it.  Not even joking about this one.  This is another little fact that Miss Laurie at daycare tried to reveal to me yesterday.  Yeah.  Already WELL aware of the pacifier-throwing tendencies.
(6)  Hanging thermal/black-out curtains on the windows
(7)  Still waking up once (yay!) a night to get changed and eat.

Our nighttime routine involves going on a dog walk (not right now because Harper's limping...story for another day), then taking a bath, getting lotioned, putting on the pjs, and nursing.

I was brushing my teeth, so I told Harper to "Go get her Robby".  He started laughing and talking to her.  I love having my furry baby-sitter sometimes.

And, with doing these things sanity has returned to our house, and there is a happy baby who wakes up on his own (on non-daycare days) and is cheerful, rather than the cranky non-morning person we're used to.  I'd say I'm pretty pleased with the change.  Last night he slept from 7:30 pm to 8:30 am.  Kind of.  That's including a nap of sorts.  He woke up at 3, and then I thought he was up for the day at 6:15.  He came down and hung out with Daddy for a bit before he went to work, but then he (and I) went back to bed around 6:45.  Ahhhh....

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

"Girly Socks"

So, there is a new item of clothing that didn't exist when we were children, and my mother cannot figure out what I'm talking about for the life of her, so here are some photos and a review.  I've only ever heard them referred to as the brand name - BabyLegs  However, they are essentially just leggings that happen to fit a baby, and apparently (as I learned from Kat's pinterest post) you can make them from children's knee-socks.

This is not sponsored in any way, but I did purchase a bunch of them when BabyLegs was running an insane 75% off sale.  One of the ladies in our facebook group posted it, and if our response was at all indicative of the general population?  BabyLegs may have regretted that sale.  And I think, in fact, it was as overwhelming as I suspected because they sent out multiple emails apologizing for the slow delivery because of the flood of orders.

Why are these items so great?  They allow you to change a diaper without taking off pants.  Also, they keep socks on, which, if you're a parent, I know you have spent WAY too many hours of your life looking for where a sock went.  Finally, they seem to be great things for crawling, because they don't ride up and get in the way.  I don't know if I'll use them too much this way, though, because they strike me as not as warm as pants.  They may eventually become a long-john type layer, though, when things get really frigid.

I was a little concerned about the sizing "One size fits most" because of the Lion's chunky monster-thighs.  Obviously, they still work fine, and aren't cutting off his circulation or anything.  He seems genuinely happy in them, even if his father insists on calling them "Girly Socks".  Gah.  They are OBVIOUSLY a boy pattern, Chris.  Get over it.

And, finally?  His new favorite game.  Which is hard to take a picture of, because it scares the living daylights out of me.  He wants to STAND to play with his activity mat.  Lil man is not so solid standing on his own.  He CAN hold himself up, but then he just decides to grab something else, or move, and that doesn't go so well.  This makes picture-taking difficult.  Ah well.  Still looking cute in his girly socks, though.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Family Portraits

I couldn't be more pleased with the decision to get family portraits done.  They turned out so beautifully, and we had such a terrific experience.  They were taken by a wonderful fellow-mom that I met through the WTE Philly boards.  Stephanie has two munchkins of her own, and runs Lighthouse Studios Photography.  Check her out!

Not only was she incredibly understanding when we got stuck in traffic, but she even put together some collages of photos to share with all of you!  Enjoy!!!

The photos were all taken at Linvilla Orchards in Media, PA, which I suggest everyone check out!  There were lots of things to see and do.  Although, once we were done we just went to brunch with Shammah and Cathy, and enjoyed lil man being an ANGEL while we sat around for an hour and a half and chatted.  I'm such a lucky momma!

(Family-types...if you want pictures, let me know.  There are many more shots, including more traditional ones of the 3 of us.)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Lion at 5 Months

Wow!  We'll have to be throwing his 1/2 birthday next month already!  Maybe he'll be able to wear the "I'm 1 year old" clothes, then.  Anyone else find it odd that they only sell those in 12 month sizes?  I can't be the only one that's going to have trouble with that...  The Lion is ROARING in at 17 pounds, 8 ounces, and 27 inches.  That puts him around 80th percentile for length, and 70th percentile for weight.  He DOES seem to be slowing down a bit, though.  It still means that we've moved into 9 month clothing.

Taking pictures is getting more and more difficult, because lil man has more and more ideas of what HE wants to be doing and where HE wants to be going.  I'm glad that I have a kid with a mind of his own, but sometimes?  We just want a lemming.  Y'know?  ;)  Here is the famous "face attack".  Be careful, or you'll lose a lip to this one. 

And he can sit up against things, and for brief periods of time if he's leaning forward, but the transition?  Lil rough.  Mom to the rescue.  Feet are just too interesting.

And as soon as I fix him, he just wants to be on the move again.  We are CLOSE to both crawling and walking.  It's a debate which will happen first.  This past month he started rolling to where he wanted to go, and now his PREFERENCE is to have you hold his hands and let him walk there.  Otherwise, he'll roll or has recently started scooting.  He can get up on his hands and knees, but there is no coordinated effort on moving them, yet.  I'll give it a couple weeks tops.

Mentally, it's so fun because you can see the wheels turning.  He catches sight of the goal (the stuffed horse), he decides on the methodology (roll to stomach, scoot), he picks it up, and rolls back over to play/shove it in his mouth.  It's a multi-stage adventure, now.  

He's still using pretty much the same vowels and consonants, but not in words yet.  The funny thing vocally is now he not only loves to be sang to, but he'll sing along.  And sometimes will sing on his own and try and get you to join in.  I can't say much for his pitch yet, but it's pretty cute.  His favorite song continues to be "Bushel and a Peck" from Guys and Dolls.

His favorite toys are STILL blue bear, and a teething ring, 3d triangle with spinny parts that they also have at daycare, his activity center, a taggie ball and a brand-new guitar rattle that he got from Shammah and Cathy on Saturday.  Thanks guys!

We've now had rice cereal 3 times, squash 2 times, and apples 3 times.  It seems to be going a bit better, but he's still MUCH more interested in just nursing, so it's not really a priority at this point.  He's becoming a pro at taking his medicine (thank goodness!), but is also doing a bit better, so we'll probably be stopping that tomorrow and seeing how he does.

Bored with paying attention to the baby

If there was any doubt before, he is TEETHING.  STILL nothing through the gums, but he's drooling more than ever, and pretty fussy.  He can't suck long on anything without squealing, wants frozen teethers all the time, and is waking up a LOT.  This could also be because the house is entirely too cold for him.  We've been using sleepers inside of a sleep sack, but we just gave in and put a space heater in his room to try and up it a few degrees without completely killing our energy bill.  No worries, it's one of the extremely safe cool-to-touch ones, and we're turning it off as much as humanly possible.

Overall, Chris and I agree that this is our favorite month so far.  Sleep has been better (until he got sick and cold), he's so interactive, and better able to communicate what he wants.  Every day is a new adventure with my lil bundle of energy!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday 5: Revealing Anecdotes of the Week

I suppose that certain moments let your true colors shine through.  Here are a few recent ones:

1)  On Wednesday we had visitors in our office.  My supervisor walked over to give me a heads up that they were coming in, and took one look at me and said, "Oh, you already know."  Why you ask?  I had actually blow dried my hair, was wearing make-up, and nice clothes.  You'd think this wouldn't be so rare.

2)  Also on Wednesday, my friend Laura and I were attempting to come home from our MOPS meeting, and my car wouldn't start.  Not just not start, the key wouldn't turn.  At all.  My first reaction?  "This is my car, right?"

3)  When calling the car dealership to get the car looked at, I discovered that the service manager on the phone lived on my street, but we didn't know each other.  I said, "We're the ones with the loud German Shepherd."  "OHHHH, I know who you are!"  *doh*

4)  I have been to at least one grocery store every day this week.  Either I'm a bored semi-stay-at-home-mom, or I just am that forgetful.  I'm going with #2.

5)  The animals both have decided that it is their job to check on the baby and to hang out in the nursery during middle-of-the-night wake-ups and feedings (that, because he is sick, have been running between 3-6 a night this week, again).  I spend more time dog and cat wrangling, trying to get them out of the room when I'm done, than actually popping the pacifier in.  GAH!  Just hand me a lasso and call me Annie Oakley.  

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Doctors Make Our Lives Scary

Yesterday while I was at work, I had a thought..."Y'know...Robby's cold is getting kind of bad.  I should call the doctor and see when I'm supposed to start worrying about it."  Robby had been sick for a week or so, but being a daycare kid, life is a perpetual cold, so I hadn't stressed too much.

I called, the nurse answered, and SHE panicked.  That was not good.  Merely because I answered things like, "Oh, yes, I can hear him wheezing" and "Yesterday he started holding his breath during coughing fits, and that kind of scared me."  She told me I couldn't wait until today (when I wasn't working), and needed to come in that afternoon.  Fortunately, work is pretty flexible, and I left to get the munchkin from daycare.

He was thrilled to see me because all 3 of the little boys were flipping out wanting to be fed at the same time, and there's only one Miss Laurie.  So I gave Robby his already-warmed bottle (a first for me!), she gave Isaiah his squash, and poor little Hilton just stood there in the jumperoo sticking his tongue out repeatedly and fussing. He was not cool with being the loser in the food war.

We finally go to the doctor, and they decided that he wasn't going to die.  After freaking me out.  Thanks.  They did hear a "squeak" in his lungs (which I'm not sure exactly what that means), but they had me sit there with him on a nebulizer for about 10 minutes, and then listened to him again.  Apparently, that improved things, and the doctor gave me a prescription for a bronco-dialator for the next week.  In other news?  The chunkers is 17 pounds 8 ounces.  No idea how long.  I should go find a measuring tape.

He continues to be fussy and coughing a lot, but the medicine does seem to improve things.  Hopefully he can get completely healthy for at least a week or two after this.  Would be lovely.  These are the days I hate having to use a daycare.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My New Love for TJ Maxx

By no means is this a sponsored post.  I would LOVE it if it was.  But, no.  This is just a mom who recently discovered that she should've pulled her head out of the sand eons ago.  Not that I had never shopped at TJ Maxx before.  I just had never shopped for the LION.  And, let me tell you...  It may be my first and possibly only stop from now on.

You see all that?  It cost $54.  TOTAL.  No, you didn't read that wrong.  That is 2 sweaters, 2 button-down shirts, 2 pairs of jeans, 2 jersey pants, 6 socks, and a pair of shoes.  For FIFTY-FOUR dollars!  And they are NICE clothes.  The sets are Nautica and usually retail at $54 a piece, on clearance at TJ Maxx for $20.  Why?  I don't have the slightest clue.  They're adorable, well-made clothes from everything I can determine.  Maybe because they're not blue.  But that makes me love them all the more.

Speaking of blue.  I'm really darn sick of blue.  I understand I have a boy.  I think I'm pretty clear on that.  But maybe, just maybe, he wants to wear a different color once in awhile.  Or at least I want him to wear a different color.  It's bad enough that boys' clothing sections are about 1/8 the size of girls', but they also only have blue.  Maybe some brown.  Maybe some grey.  But there's not even red or black most of the time!  There is a weird trend of lime green being mixed in, and thank goodness for a touch of orange (my favorite color), but the options are very limited.  And I'm not talking about just one store.  It's a conspiracy amongst every children's clothing retailer, that we can only ever dress our little men in shades of blue.  SICK of it.  So I was thrilled at the red and yellow.

Anyway, I just thought I'd share in case anyone else had missed the memo.  BE A MAXX-ONISTA, or however they spell their slogan.  I know I am.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Two Weekends for the Price of One

Since I failed to post last weekend's activities, too, here is a quick rundown of not one, but TWO weekends.

Two weekends ago we were incredibly busy.  We drove to State College to meet up with my parents, expose Robby to Penn State's campus for the first time where he could see it (I was pregnant last time I visited), and drop off Chris and my dad to watch the game.

After my mom and I left State College, Chris and my dad watched a game:

And my mom, the Lion, and I went to a sports bar in Rochester, NY where my cousin was holding his rehearsal dinner:

Robby was obviously the life of the party.

The next day, all of us were there for the wedding:

Everyone pictured was a relative.  Like the big group walking to the church?  Lots o' cousins.

Oh, we also inherited the family chair for the time being:

...And this weekend?  Not much happening.  We watched football, did chores, walked in Valley Forge.  Typical weekend stuff.

So, there's your picture-heavy, word-light recap.  The end.  :)