Sunday, June 19, 2011

Gerber baby!

I was at a graduation open house yesterday and started talking to my third cousin, whom I only see every few years. We have a lot in common... we both live and work in the same town, we're the same age, we both got married last year, and now she's pregnant with her first child, a girl, due in August. As I stood there talking with her about "mommyhood", I was struck with the reality of how far Bill and I have come as parents. I'm pretty sure I overwhelmed my cousin with all of the talk of things we went through, or what she could expect... but as I was talking, I was smiling on the inside... because things change so quickly. 

Now we have an almost 5 month old. Gone are the days of surviving on 2 hours of sleep (and feeling like a million bucks after 3 straight hours of sleep). Little Drew has been consistently sleeping through the night for 2 months now (8-11 hour stretches). He's taking 2-3 regular naps during the day now (1-2+ hours), and it seems like we're finally getting on a schedule with his sleeping and eating. I always wondered how you put a baby on a schedule, but with Drew, it's all come naturally.

Such a happy baby after a long night's sleep!

Gone are the days of feeling like you're talking to a little being with no response in return. I love that Drew's personality is out in full swing now. He smiles in response to others, babbles and squeals (to himself and others), and can entertain himself for small stretches of time, so mommy can do important business like wash bottles, fold laundry, or cook dinner. He is fascinated with his hands and feet, and will try to grab everything in sight... even noses, cheeks, and the hair of others. He interacts with his toys, playing with his rattle and chiming toys, and he loves music. We'll often hear him on the monitor as he wakes up in the morning... he'll babble a little bit and squeal a good morning greeting to his friends, the animals on the mobile above his head. 

Grabbing his toy with one hand and his foot with the other
Two weeks ago, we took Andrew for his 4 month well visit with the pediatrician. Bill couldn't wait to see how much his "little linebacker" weighed. Much to Daddy's enjoyment, the little guy weighed in at 14 lbs 14 oz, placing him in the 50th percentile. His length was 25.5 inches, placing him in the 75th percentile. His head circumference was 17.5 inches, which (to none of our surprise) was in the 90th percentile (big head like his daddy!). Dr. Fisher said Andrew was doing great and we all laughed at the little guy as he repeatedly kept trying to get mommy's attention, by cooing, squealing, and smiling as I talked to the doctor. Since Andrew has been eating so well (30 ounces of breastmilk/formula daily), he advised us that we could start him on solids as soon as we wanted to. We had tried rice cereal about a week before seeing Dr. Fisher, and Drew did not like it AT ALL... 
Doesn't look too appetizing
Getting ready...
First bite
Not happy... this stuff is disgusting, mommy! 
Needless to say, when Dr. Fisher told us we could start the "good stuff", we were so excited! I couldn't believe that we were already to the point of feeding him "real" food. Dr. Fisher told us to start with Stage 1 foods, just a couple of teaspoons to start getting him used to it. He advised us to start with sweet potatoes, since starting with fruit would make him only want sweet things and starting with the "gross" veggies (in my opinion- peas, etc.) might turn him off to the idea completely. He also told us to try the food too, so we can see what he's tasting. Bill said that was taking it too far, so he has opted out of the trying baby food (at least the gross stuff, like veggies)... so mommy gets to be the guinea pig! So far we've tried sweet potatoes for 5 days (you have to do everything in 5 day increments to make sure there are no food allergies). He LOVES sweet potatoes, often opening his mouth wide as if to say "More, mommy!" I can't get those sweet potatoes in his mouth fast enough! We also tried peas, which he HATES! I tried 2 days, but he was so miserable... crying and turning his head away, that I couldn't force him to eat them... I hate peas too, little guy! :) 

Yummy! Sweet potatoes! 
Not sure yet...

These are pretty tasty!

A success! 
It's so fun seeing the little human being he's becoming. He sits with us in his high chair at dinnertime, watching us eat, waiting for his turn when we're done. I love that he's observing everything we do, and I'm sure he's taking it all in. 

We're also so excited because Drew has finally started rolling over from his tummy to his back. He has been rolling from his back to his side for awhile now, but it has taken him longer to roll completely over from his tummy to back (because of his big head... lol). I was so happy to be able to get a video of his rolling, since it happens so fast! Here is his rolling debut... so cute! 

It is just so fun to see all the new things happening every day with our little guy. I'm so blessed to be a teacher, so that I can have every day this summer with my little man. School is officially over, so let the mommy-baby time begin!

Mid-squeal in his highchair

Learning to sit up in his Bumbo

Chillin' with Daddy in the backyard

Drew and his new jumperoo

Happy Father's Day! 

Visiting mommy in her classroom during the last week of school

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Our favorite things!

You know how Oprah use to do her "Favorite Things" show??? Well, this is my baby version! It's amazing how I went from knowing absolutely nothing about baby "stuff" to now being able to shop the baby aisles with ease, and not feeling like I'm in a foreign land.

Before Drew was born, a friend from work gave me a list of items she recommended based on experience and from a therapy standpoint. I was so glad to have even a little advice, because it's daunting when you're looking at 20 different kinds of bottles, trying to figure out which one is the best for your little peanut. I know I have a lot of friends that read my blog that don't have children yet, or that are just starting off with babies of their own. Hopefully this post helps you like some of my friends' advice and recommendations have helped me!

Our favorite things over the last 4 months...

Soothies pacifiers
I already planned on using the Soothies paci before Drew was born, because it was recommended to me by a friend. We also received our first one in the hospital. I like it because the nipple mimics a real nipple and there is a little hole that you can put your finger in and feel the baby sucking on your finger. It was the neatest feeling the first time I felt Drew sucking!

Asleep with his paci

Dr. Brown's bottles
I love these bottles, even if they are a pain to clean. They come with more parts than any other bottle I've seen, but the venting system allows baby to take in less air while drinking, preventing a lot of gas bubbles. I like the accessories that Dr. Brown's makes, too. We'd be lost without the microwave sterilizer and the bottle warmer. Little things like these make life so much easier!
Holding the bottle all by himself

We love the "Summer Swaddle-me" brand  the best. They come in all different patterns and it's all one piece, which is nice. It's the only kind that Drew has not broken out of. He tends to try to be a little Houdini and kicks and pushes his arms against the sides. This is the only kind he can't escape from. Since we've been swaddling him, he has been sleeping about 8-10 hours at night and has been taking 1.5-3 hour naps. It's so nice, because mommy and daddy sleep great when little Drew is swaddled!

Wakey, wakey! Happy baby!

Diaper wipes warmer
Only the best for my baby... he's already being spoiled by warm diaper wipes with every changing. It's not a necessity, but I know if it were me, I'd prefer warm wipes too! :)

Pack n' play (with changing table and napper station)
We would be lost without our pack n' play. This has gotten more use than anything since Drew came home from the hospital. Originally, we put it in the living room, expecting it to stay there for just a week or so until we transitioned Drew into the bedroom with us. It has not moved from the living room yet! Drew slept in the napper every night for almost 4 months and having the changing table with it is such a bonus. It's still in the living room. The napper station has been removed and now we just use the changing table portion. It's nice to not have to walk all the way to his room to change him every time. Convenience is key! 

Glider and ottoman
This is another thing we would be lost without and something I miss when we're trying to calm Drew down when we're not at home. Originally, the plan was to put the glider and it's gliding ottoman in Drew's nursery once we got home from the hospital. Bill asked me if I wanted it out in the living room for a few days just to have something comfy to nurse in, and it hasn't moved from the living room since! I love it because it doesn't look like a "normal" rocker that would be in a baby's room. It fits right with our furniture in the living room, and will most likely stay in the living room for quite awhile. It's the "go-to" chair when our parents come to watch Drew during the day. It's like a big hug when you sit in it. Everything I read before the baby was born said to splurge on a good rocker because you'd basically be living in it, and boy am I glad we spent a little extra money, because it's so worth it!

Little boy in the big brown chair

An absolute lifesaver. I cannot tell you the many ways we use this bouncer. We've put it next to the dinner table to have Drew near us when we eat, we've placed it outside the bathroom door so we can see him as we shower, he's slept in it, and now he loves trying to catch the "fishies" as he bounces for 30 minutes to an hour. It has music and a vibrating chair. Best invention ever!

Watching mommy make dinner

Fast asleep- so soothing!

Oh, how we love the boppy! I had no clue how we would use this odd shaped pillow when we registered for it. Now, I can't imagine my life without it! You can use this pillow for everything! We have primarily used it to prop Drew up during feedings, but now he's gaining control of his head movements and getting stronger, so we use it for tummy time and as a prop to help him learn how to sit up on his own. I think the dogs wish we would have gotten them a boppy too. Any time I leave it unattended on the couch, they try to curl up in it.

Boppy time!

Drew love his play mat. At first, he would just look at the dangling toys and loved all the colors. Now, it is so fun to see him actually interact with the toys. He reaches for the toys and pulls them, trying to put them in his mouth. He loves to kick the chime toy and will entertain himself for up to an hour on the mat if he's in a good mood. This has been a lifesaver!

Investigating the chime

Lullaby music
For the longest time, we would just turn on the soothing music on the music channel on TV when we would put Drew to bed. The music was great, but the only problem was the lights from the TV keeping Drew awake or startling him when it got too bright. My mom bought Drew a CD of lullabies that we just adore. It's called "Blessed Slumber" and it's made up of lullabies and bible songs in instrumental form. In fact, it plays all night and much of the day because it is so soothing. It never fails... Drew is usually asleep by the third or fourth sonce when I put him down at night.

Best lullaby CD!

I'm sure this is just the beginning of many blogs to come about favorite things we've discovered. It's so fun learning about and trying new baby things.  :)