Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Baby Essentials | Birth to 3 months

We are about four months into this whole parenting thing and I loved looking at what everyone loved product-wise, so I figured I could share some of the things that we have loved these last few months.

Video Baby Monitor. We had decided on the Nest cam a while back, but we did not actually spend the money on it at first. Once Sloane started taking consistent naps in our bedroom, I decided that we needed to invest in a video camera and I am so glad we finally did. It makes it a lot easier to get stuff done around the house and not have to constantly be listening for her. The nest cam is technically supposed to be a security camera, but it works great as a baby monitor. It notifies me every time there is movement on the camera and also when it hears a sound. I can pull up the video basically on any device to watch and listen to her while she sleeps.

Sound Machine. Homegirl is obsessed with white noise. We use our Amazon Echo Dot as a white noise machine. We found the ocean waves song on Amazon music which is helpful because we have the same white noise on our phones so we can play it when we are on the go.

4moms mamaRoo. The mamaRoo was the best thing ever in those first few weeks. She slept in that thing overnight and it was amazing. She loved to be moving and that was where she was happiest. Now that she is no longer sleeping in that, she still loves to sit in it and stare at the mobile above her.

Bassinet.  We started using the bassinet for overnight sleeping after about two months. We have the Uppababy Vista stroller and it comes with a bassinet attachment. We also got the bassinet wood stand so that we can set that up in our bedroom. She loves sleeping in there and had no issues transitioning from the mamaRoo to the bassinet.

Swaddle. We use a swaddle every time that she sleeps at home. She loves being all cozy and snug. We use the Halo Sleep swaddle and we love that it has velcro because it makes it harder for her to break out of the swaddle. I would highly recommend a velcro swaddle, but I don't necessarily love the Halo. We got a good deal on ours since we found it at a garage sale, but I probably would not have bought it if it was full price. I have also heard great things about the Ollie swaddle, which is probably what I would have purchased if we did not already have one.

Gown Pajamas. These pajamas have no snaps or buttons or zipper. They have an open bottom which makes for easy diaper changes in the middle of the night. The ones from Carter's were great for us because they were smaller and they fit Sloane right away even though they were not preemie.

Convertible Carseat. We decided a while back that we were going to skip the infant carseat. I think I am going to do a whole post on that eventually, but basically it was the best thing for our family. We love our convertible carseat. We got the Chicco NextFit Zip, though I am not sure it was worth the extra $50 for the zip feature, but we liked the dark blue color best and they only had that in the Zip. Sloane loves it since it is extra cushy for her and when we have used other carseats while traveling, she has not done as well in those carseats.

Solly Baby Wrap. We love love love our Solly. Since we decided to skip the infant carseat, we needed something to carry her around when we are out and about. The Solly wrap is super soft and travels really easy. When not in use, it folds up nicely and fits in the diaper bag. There is a little bit of a learning curve to figure out how to tie the wrap on, but it is pretty easy once you have done it a few times. Sloane is guaranteed to fall asleep in it and she loves being so close and snuggled up with us. It also makes it easier to be out with her because you still have two hands to work with. I would highly recommend this product for everybody.

Rock 'n Play. The rock 'n play is great because it is a nice safe place to set baby down, especially since we have a dog. We got our second hand for super cheap and even though it is extremely basic we still love it. It has been a great place for her to hang out when she is awake and we are trying to get things done or get out of the house. Now that we are not using the mamaRoo for sleeping, I am not sure that we needed both, but the rock 'n play is more portable and we can move it from room to room in the house depending on where we need it.

Honest Diapers. This is definitely a preference thing, but we love our Honest diapers that get delivered right to our door. I signed us up for the service back when they were having a buy one bundle get one free so I saved us a ton of money on diapers for those first few months. We actually still have not used all of our stock of diapers so it has been great. We are still deciding on whether we will use those going forward, but so far they have been perfect.

Pacifier. We were hesitant at first to introduce the pacifier, but Sloane loves her pacifier and we cannot go without it. We love the Soothie pacifiers and the WubbaNub is clutch for nap time. The Wubbanub is a soothie pacifier with a small stuffed animal attached to it and it makes it harder for her to spit it out during nap time. If she does spit it out, usually it is easier for her to find again without needing us to give it to her again. There has been times that I have used it in the car too and she was able to find it and replace it without any help which is awesome since I can't help her when we are driving. We also invested in a pacifier clip finally which has made dropping the pacifier a lot harder to do. Before we got that, we were constantly picking it up off the dirty floor and now when Sloane drops it we do not have to worry about it falling. Seems pretty obvious, but it took us a while to be convinced that we needed one.

I am sure there are other people that would have a completely different list of needs, but this is what worked for us. It is funny reading different posts on what everyone deems necessary. Everyone has a different style of parenting and what works for one family may not work for another. But reading about other people's needs and reasoning really helped me decide what we would try and not try.

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Weekend at the Lake

If you have been around these parts long enough you know that every year around the 11th of July my family plans time together. Since it is the anniversary of my mom passing we like to do something to keep our minds off that day. This year, we decided to rent a cabin on a lake about an hour south of Milwaukee. It ended up being the perfect location for everyone. We were able to go on the tube, water ski, ride in the boat, swim, fish, have bonfires, and lay in the sun. Something for the big and little kids to enjoy. Sloane even enjoyed being able to take regular naps in the cabin with the occasional swim in the lake. My family owned a cabin when we were younger and it was so much fun to enjoy the cabin life again.

Richard and I flew into Milwaukee early so that we could go to Summerfest, which is a big music festival held every year in Milwaukee. We had fun walking around, eating good food, drinking beer and enjoying the music. I'm glad that we were able to make that work. That night we met up with some family that live in Milwaukee to eat at one of Richard's favorite restaurants from when he used to live in Milwaukee.

After the time spent in Milwaukee we drove about an hour south to stay at a cabin on Lake Lily which was about 20 minutes from Lake Geneva. We spent the next few days there enjoying life on the lake.
^^On our way to Milwaukee! Plus, Summerfest!^^
^^Saz's mozzarella sticks!^^
^^Second cousins! And, a little cutie enjoying the boat.^^
^^Grandpa letting D drive the boat!^^
^^He loved tubing with his Auntie.^^
^^The fish Richard caught and the fish I caught. Mine was bigger ;)^^
^^Sloane's first time swimming!^^
^^Auntie love.^^
^^Sloane was so in love with her cousins.^^
^^My sister took some fun pictures of the bonfire by the lake.^^
^^Waterskiing! It was fun and exhausting doing that again. Also, we had some heavy rain which resulted in flash floods. Leaving the cabin with water up to our knees was an interesting event.^^
Overall, the weekend was a lot of fun and a relaxing way to enjoy the beautiful weather. We had an unlimited amount of things to keep us entertained. It truly was a great weekend.

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Thursday, June 29, 2017

Sloane Marie | Three Months

What's new?
First bottle given by daddy
First baseball game, Texas Rangers
First time going bowling
Recognizes mommy's face
Holds head up steady
Smiles consistently

I don't want to forget the way she stretches in the morning after being un-swaddled. The face she makes when she recognizes me. The way she smiles when she is done nursing. The sound of her happy coos. When she will be crying hysterically, but you put the pacifier in and her eyes glaze over and she falls asleep for a split second. Her bald patch on the back of her head.

Weight: Probably around 12 pounds. No appointment this month.  At Birth: 5 pounds 6 ounces

Height: No appointment this month.  At Birth: 18.5 inches

Hair: Light Brown. It is also starting to fall out a little (insert sobbing emoji)

Eyes: Still blue. Richard thinks they are getting a little green tint to them.

Clothes: Still wearing 0-3. There are a few clothes in this size that are getting small, but most of the stuff still fits her pretty well. She will probably move into the next size by next month.

Diapers: Still in size 1.

Nicknames: Homegirl, Princess, Princess Warrior, Peanut, Pumpkin

Having a full tummy.
Her special white noise. It is guaranteed to get her to stop crying.
Bouncing on the exercise ball with Daddy
Her play mat--until it stopped working

Riding in the car for too long
When we don't let her get a full nap because we are not home
Eating when she is not hungry

Eat: She consistently eats every 3-4 hours. These last few weeks she has been weird about eating. She has been less interested and if she doesn't want to eat she will cry when I try to feed her. She definitely knows what she wants. There will also be times when she will cry and I have to calm her down with a pacifier before she will decide she is ready to eat. Not sure what that is about. I have noticed that she is eating for less time at each feeding, which I think is because she is not gaining weight quite as quickly. She really packed on the weight the first two months and that has slowed down a lot.

Sleep: Sleep is still pretty good and consistent. I was hoping that she would stretch her sleep to be more than 8 hours, but she is stuck on sleeping no more than eight hours. There are some days that she will wake up at 5:30 and not want to eat but she will need her pacifier to go back to sleep. Sometimes it takes her awhile to fall back to sleep too. I experimented a little bit this last month with putting her to bed earlier and having a "dream feed" right before I went to bed. It basically backfired and she would end up waking up earlier and being ready to be awake for the morning. So I stopped doing that. There are times during the day when she will take more than a 2 hour nap and I am never sure if I should let her keep sleeping or wake her up so that it does not interfere with night sleep. Part of me thinks she gets too much sleep during the day which is why her night time sleep has remained the same.

7am This is her normal wake up time. Sometimes it is earlier or later but it usually does not vary by more than 30 minutes in either direction. After eating she is usually awake and happy for about a half hour. We try to get dressed during this time, but it doesn't always happen. This is also when she normally would get a bath.
8 am About an hour after waking up she starts to get crabby and will go down for her first nap. This is usually her best and longest nap of the day. I usually end up waking her up to eat again.
10/10:30 am She usually will wake up from her nap around this time to eat. After she eats we have 30 minutes of happy wake time. I try to do tummy time every day during this time.
11 am She will go down for another nap an hour after waking up from her last one.
1:00 pm She wakes up again to eat and we play for about a half hour.
1:30 pm If we are going to go somewhere this is normally when we do that. Usually it is lunch with mommy's friend. Because we are out and about this nap usually is pretty short.
3:30 pm Time to eat again.
4:00 pm She is usually ready for a nap sooner at this time of day since she did not get a great nap while we were on the go.
5:30 pm Feed then we usually go on a walk as a family so she falls asleep in her carrier.
7:30/8:30 pm Evenings are usually a question mark. She tends to eat closer together and she is usually crabby when she is awake. Sometimes she sleeps, sometimes she doesn't. We usually stay home at this time because we never know.
10 pm We have our last feeding at this time and then she goes down for the night. She usually falls asleep between 10:30 and 11.

^^Tummy time! She doesn't mind it if we put the towel under her arms.^^
^^She loves to look at herself in the mirror.^^
^^Her playmat makes her so happy! She always starts giggling.^^
^^Those rolls!^^
^^Father's day festivities^^
^^Her typical walk attire.^^
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