Wednesday, January 30, 2013

3 & 4 Month Must Haves

In addition to everything from Months 1-2 Must Haves (you can see them here), these have been our tried and true for the 3rd and 4th months of life.

1. & 2. Go hand in hand. We have seriously used the Nosefrida with Ri Baby since the day she came home from the hospital. And since this past month has been one of RSV and Norovirus, I don't know what we would have done without it. She definitely wouldn't have been able to breathe. The saline spray helps break up all the skank and helps the Nosefrida work it's magic.

3. Ri is a blankie freak. I had no idea really until her teachers at daycare told me that when she was sick and fussy, it would soothe her for them to put the blanket by her head. So, I got her a few Aden + Anais security blankets and she is obsessed. She loves to grab it and put it up to her mouth and nose. My sister used to do that with her blankie growing up. Something about the smell of home. So, Ri Baby carries one of these with her at all times now. I love that it is such breathable muslin so I am not afraid of her sleeping with it.

4. I don't know what it is about a rubber squeaky giraffe named Sophie that gets babies going, but get one.

5. Everyone has their own opinions and preferences for baby carriers, but a baby carrier period is on my list. Ri is a busy bee and has been for awhile. She doesn't like lying around and loves to be held. The Baby Bjorn carrier has been a blessing in order for me to run errands. I have two hands, the baby, and we can shop. This, my friends, makes me giddy.

6. I cannot speak highly enough of the 4Moms Mamaroo. It is sleek, unlike the usually bulky & tacky infant swing/bouncer, will take place of a bouncer and a swing, has variations for swing, speed, lounging position, music AND you can play your iPod through it. It is lightweight and baby loves it. Buy the infant insert. They didn't carry them when I first bought ours so it may be the reason Ri was not really a fan the first 2 months.

7. Jacque the Peacock was really the first "toy" Ri Baby really seemed "interested" in. When I say interested, I mean, eyes got wide and she attempted to touch it. When she then discovered his feathers had the "crackly" sound and sensation, she was hooked.

8. Poor Babe had major diarrhea for over a week after coming down with Norovirus. Her poor hiney looked painfully chapped so I am sure it was uncomfortable. We had originally used Desitin but her diaper rash wasn't budging. I grabbed Boudreaux's Buttpaste and it literally works overnight.

9. We have been doing a nighttime routine pretty consistently since day one. Ri was over the swaddle after the first month or two but I worried about her being cold or not feeling secure. Someone had given us a Halo Sleep Sack Wearable Blanket and I now swear by it. She only wears it for nighttime so it is almost like she knows it is bedtime when the sleep sack goes on.

10. Another part of our nighttime routine is to have our last feeding for the night in her room, in the dark. This is quite impossible when you cannot see to feed baby or put her in her crib. I got Ri the Baby Einstein Sea Dreams Soother just because I didn't want a tacky mobile or a million dollar mobile that is cute, and she has always loved to watch her light fixture instead. She has loved the Sea Dreams Soother and I am not going to lie, it looks quite realistic when it is on. But a super extra perk to it is the fact that I can turn the ocean waves + light option on in addition to her sound machine. That way we can feed, I can see, and it slowly dims and eventually goes off so I can put her to sleep and walk away...

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

babies don't keep.

Ri Baby was super sick the last two weeks. Poor thing caught what I thought was her first cold. It had been a pitiful 7 days and I was so hopeful that we were on the rebound. No, scratch that. I had to take her to daycare last Thursday. She seemed to be turning a corner. Until they called me 3 hours into the day, scared to death because she had a coughing fit where she couldn't catch her breath. FML. There is nothing worse than 1. having to put your child in daycare while you work, 2. having to go back to work when your child is not 100% healthy, 3. having the daycare call. It is the worst bout of Mommy Guilt. Ever. 

Thank God for our pediatrician. He is the shizz. Really. And saw Ri right away, only to then inform us that she had Bronchiolitis from RSV, of which the daycare had warned me about- some kid in Ri's room had had it. The good news was that she was in great spirits and never have a fever, and her appetite had not been too bad considering. So, we have an inhaler now and have to do breathing treatments every 4 hours. I just pray that the asthma is induced by the RSV and she will not develop asthma as she gets older (30% of children who get RSV will have asthma later in life).

The sneezing, the coughing, the runny nose, congestion, irritability, restlessness... it can definitely take it's toll on mommy and baby. I felt so helpless when I had done all I knew to do to relieve her and I hate to see her not feel good. She just wanted to be held, which I loved, but the weather had also been so gloomy, dreary and wet. 

Everyone's mood was down and the laundry was piled up. As I rushed out the door today in a hurry to work, fretting about all the things to do that didn't get done this past weekend, this sweet sweet saying popped into my head. Never has anything been more the truth and I am so thankful to have had the holiday weekend, and my birthday, to be able to rock that sweet, sick baby back to health. These are the days to cherish. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

birthday wishlist

Sooooo, my birthday is coming up this weekend. And it is snowing. In Alabama. This is huge news here. It is not even sticking to the roads but kids are staring out the windows in amazement. I love it even more because if there is ever a chance of snow in Alabama, it is always around my birthday, and here we are.

Anyways, I drew a major blank when it came time to coughing up my wishlist for Santa this year and ended up with a dishwasher. A nice dishwasher, but still, a dishwasher. Therefore, I am making my birthday list and checking it twice.

I have a DSLR that I really need to take some lessons on, but in the meantime, I wouldn't mind a new snazzy camera strap to maybe up my need for shutter speed. Yup, just made that one up myself. Slap on the leg. Here are three straps I found on Etsy that I am digging. 1. 2. 7.

West Elm has some new rugs and I lust over this one- it would be so adorbs in Rilynn's room.

I am also liking these baskets from World Market to keep all of Rilynn's accumulating toys in. There's nothing like a house full of toys to clash with some decor.

I have been coveting a fiddle leaf fig tree for a few years now. I never had a green thumb before, but now, with a baby? We fake it to make it. And I want it, like now!

This Opal stackable bracelet from Etsy is so pretty. Not only would it look great with my other stackables, but it is my sweet baby's birthstone. (insert awwww cue).

Hmm... most of my gifts for myself somehow relate back to my child. I had always heard that when you become a mother life is not about you anymore, but man, my own birthday list?

This past weekend, I tore it up at market, although I didn't really get to do much damage at all due to the fact that Baby Ri was home sick with hubs and I couldn't keep myself away from her more than a day. So, it was a quick day trip to Atlanta and back.

The positive of this quick trip is the fact that I swore to myself I would not come back without new dinnerware and am proud to say that I kept that promise! I cannot wait for these Skyros Designs pieces to arrive. I chose two patterns, going with slate & eggshell white (although the photo doesn't capture the colors well) so I can use them with my fine china as well. And maybe in our next home, I can display these beauts through some glass cabinetry.

Although I may not actually be snowed in, internet shopping while pretending to be snowed in sounds like a great birthday to me.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Artkive + Mark Boutavant

I have always loved art- drawing, painting, sketching, the works- ever since I was a little kid. Had Mom kept all of my artwork over the years, she would undoubtedly been dubbed a hoarder. I for one, cannot wait to get a paintbrush in Ri's little hand and hope she loves it as much as I did. And in today's times, we of course have some new and improved ways of keeping up with all of those precious pictures and paintings. Have you heard of Artkive? Yup, an app where you can take, tag and save images of your kids' artwork. You can even turn those images into keepsakes. Love it.



Heard of him? You have to check out his uber precious children's illustration books. I am starting my collection now, knowing that baby will adore the display of color- it is a fascinating amount of stuff for her to take in- she will adore them. 

Hip! Hip! Hooray! Stand-Up Notecards

Le Tour Du Monde De Mouk (French Edition)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

three months

It is truly amazing how much these little butterballs start changing and developing in what seems like a matter of days. I swear, one night Rilynn was still a blob and then I woke up the next day to her talking to the ceiling. The following day, I find her rolled over in her crib, looking around the room.


Speaking of crib, my dream baby has been sleeping through the night since she was 9 weeks old; and when I say sleeping through the night, I am talking a solid 9- 9:30 PM to 7:00-8:00 AM! She has been such an amazing baby. I know I am partial and I am also knocking on wood, but she has been super-duper easy. I think that may have been God's plan though. Otherwise, I wouldn't even consider her having a sibling. This way, it has been such a breeze that I totally feel like it is worth doing all over again. ONE day. (And don't get me wrong, having a newborn is the most challenging thing ever. period. I just feel like I had it easier than most. Which also means baby #2 will be a monster).

Rilynn is such a smiley baby. My favorite part of the day is going to retrieve her from her crib in the mornings. I get the biggest grins as she stretches and passes gas. I mean, when else is passing gas considered cute?!

We took our first outing without the stroller during Week 10. I took her to Walmart with me in her Baby Bjorn because I actually had to get some things and needed to be able to push a shopping cart. She seemed to love it! She looked around and eventually fell asleep. That was the same day she started loving her swing. She will just sit and talk to the mobile and give me a few minutes to do something- cue the angels singing.

I have been working with her on grasping her toys/rattles. She has been holding onto them and likes to open and close her little fist as well as shove it in her mouth. We might have a thumb sucker?
Tummy time is no longer an issue; she is holding her head up and has rolled over from her belly to her back twice, but then again, I don't think she did it on purpose or knows how to repeat it, but I see it in the very near future!

We are in 3 month outfits and will soon be moving to 3-6 month outfits. She is almost too long for the 0-3 and is starting to finally fill them out. :)

We soaked up the holidays together, even if we couldn't do much with her in tow. Rilynn racked up for her first Christmas and it was a wonderful time with her.

I am now back at work which totally sucks. ROYALLY sucks. Today also starts Rilynn's new adventure in daycare, which I have mixed emotions about.

Precious face when I dropped her off at daycare. 
A. I am so not looking forward to her getting sick... immediately.
B. I am weary handing her over to strangers who don't know her like I know her and I pray they love her like their own.
C. It means I can't afford to stay home with her.
D. I might miss milestones

A. I know the interaction will have immeasurable benefits for her in the long run.
B. The germs at this early of an age will better strengthen her immunity than if she was a tot when she started school.
C. Daycare will allow me some independence again outside the world of Motherhood. I will be able to run errands or go to the gym after work before picking her up. It will also set the pace for an everyday routine, which I HAVE to have.

I don't remember daycare as a kid, but I was there. And Mom says I loved it. I DO remember preschool and I DID love it. I am also a pretty social person and not very shy around strangers so I feel a lot of that is from early social development. So we will see. But either way, I was fighting back tears this morning when I left her.

Rilynn is a television junkie. It is seriously the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen. NOTHING keeps her attention like tv does. I am not really in love with this bond, either. I would prefer that she be that interested in books or her toys. I am hoping that will come with age and tv may just be about the visual colors/patterns right now. Her favorite characters are Shawn the Train (I am not going to lie, I adore his little voice) and Harry the Bunny. She will sit in her bouncy seat and just kick and coo at them. 

New Year's day, Rilynn spit out her first TRUE laugh. It was pretty precious and of course, we couldn't get her to do it again once I had the video camera. I am hoping that within the next few weeks she will really have it down. Melts my heart!

I guess we are about to put out Rilynn's Johnny Jump Up. She loves to stand on her feet and show off her muscular legs she got from her daddy. She is holding her self up with very little wobble these days so she will probably love it. I am sure Copper will, too.

And I am about to start my research on introducing solids! Crazy, right!?

Here are some random pictures from our happenings lately:

Wants to stand up ALL the time!

Headed to Bonefish for dinner!

Lovin the Mamaroo while watching the Sex and the City Movie

Daddy and Baby wiped out on New Year's Day
Poor Copper desperate for whatever attention he can get.

Friday, January 4, 2013

reflections for a new year.

I don't really like starting my new year with things I need to be better at, or stop doing. What ever happened to reflecting on the past year's positives? The good times that need to keep on rolling? Of course we all have things we need to work on but life isn't about dwelling on all the negative stuff.

As far as my happys go for 2012, I would say the following:

1. I think I did a pretty damn good job of trying to continue vacations, outings and social time while being massively pregnant in 2012. I don't want to continue the pregnancy trend this year, but I do plan to continue making time for myself, my friends, and getting some laughs as well as some R&R in when I can. Booked trip to Cabo in March is resolution execution numero uno! And no, the babe is not going. 

2. My balance among work, home and being OCD has continually gotten better. I have slowly started to let go of being a perfectionist at everything and it has really helped level me out. I hope to continue this as baby is added to the mix and my days are busy from sun up to sun down. I even leave the house every day now with the bed still unmade- this is huge for me. I know Chris will get it after I leave. Being late for work because I couldn't stand leaving things like the bed unmade? Not anymore!

3. Finding out we were having Rilynn was a moment I will never forget. And I was scared for my life. But her birth day was the best memory I have of 2012 and she has now become my life. The irony of it all.

And of course I do have a few things to work on: 

1. Being present with Rilynn. I don't want to spend all of my moments with her while multi-tasking. As she gets busier, I want to do the opposite. Slow down, and take it all in- which also means getting my money's worth of the DSLR I got as a push present. I want pictures of Rilynn's every move this year.

2. I was officially back in my pre-preggo jeans on New Year's Eve. They may have been plastered on, but by George, they were ON! My goal for 2013 is to keep it that way. I am not saying I am going to work out much because I know I won't. The last thing I want to do is go to the gym after work while my child waits for me at daycare. But again, trip to Cabo with a fumpa? I don't think so.

3. Debt. Woof. I was doing so well (eh, not really...) at not spending money on crap in 2012. But then little baby stuff came into the picture. Not only do I need to quit buying adorable shoes and such that baby will wear for only a couple of months, but I really need to be putting money into my student loan debt that will forever haunt me. Boy do I ever resent myself for thinking I had to go away for college... the bar scene and skipping class sure seem to have been expensive decisions these days.

I would add more but I think I am going to leave it at that. The more "resolutions" one piles up on themselves, the less likely any of them will actually get done. I think these will take up most of my time anyways.

I am looking forward to so many fun memories this year- Hubs will turn 30, Rilynn will see the beach this summer, 4 more of Rilynn's friends will be born (that we know of), Rilynn's first Valentine's, Easter, Christening and first birthday party. She will start walking this year. We will hopefully be in a new home- our forever home-by this time next year, and I hope to be more confident in my job and where I want to be with it. I am so happy with the outcomes of 2012 and I pray that 2013 brings prosperity and health to all of my loved ones. There has been so much tragedy lately and I thank the Lord for keeping us safe, though I also pray for continued blessings for others as well as ourselves.

Bring it, 2013!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

rilynn's first Christmas

Christmas morning! 
Ri slept pretty much for 3 days solid after Christmas. She is officially holiday-ed out. It was a very busy holiday but still very special to celebrate it with her for the first time. She didn't have a clue what we were doing, nor does she know how much stuff she accumulated... but I DO! And I was very excited about it. I can't wait for her to start playing with her new toys on her new Tadpoles play mat- which I adore, by the way. So much so that I am going to buy 2 more to make her a larger space.

She got a ton of clothes for her new chapter of life: Daycare. :( And she got some pretty presh outfits for this summer. She also received her first baby doll and her godfather started her a college fund, which was super generous and thoughtful.

And of course, every dime I received will wind up going towards the list of items I still have on my wishlist to get for her. What happened to the days where I wanted to buy stuff for myself?

Pictures of our first Christmas with Rilynn:

Wearing Daddy's 1st Christmas shirt from when he was a baby

Christmas Eve

Rilynn loved her Jacque the Peacock and it was
officially the first time she purposely grabbed a toy!

Had to get a picture of her in her cute little dress. 

Christmas Day in a new top Mommy bought her!

Angel face

Ri and I went to hear the Alabama Symphony Orchestra
play their annual Christmas concert
at Blue Cross where GranDave works.