Friday, September 24, 2010

VIDEOS: Moving on to bigger and better things.

video
Since Sam has been doing so well with rice cereal, I decided to let her try a Baby Mum-Mum. They are rice biscuits that are very soft and dissolve almost instantly when Sam puts them in her mouth. She did GREAT - she ate the whole thing in just a few minutes! She was so eager that she bit off a huge chunk right away. I guess we are going to have to keep a really close eye on her with these, since she's biting off more than she can chew (or than can be dissolved instantly!). She loved it though!

video

And here she is being adorable, drinking water out of a glass. She gets SO excited for it that she tries to grab the glass out of my hand!

Monday, September 20, 2010

BabyBond Giveaway Winner!!!

First of all, I apologize for posting this a few days late. Last week was SO hectic around here that the days just slipped by me!

So, with no further ado, the winner of the BabyBond Nursing Cover is...

Ashley!
 
#82 Ashley said...
Follow you on GFC! (Ashley R) I like the Flex style best! Congratulations, Ashley! I will be sending you an email. Thanks to everyone who entered!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Rice, Rice Baby

I had wanted to wait until 6 months to start Samantha on solids, but since she is really showing signs of readiness and since we got the okay from Samantha's pediatrician to try her on solids, we went ahead and gave it a try. She just seems to be very anxious to do things ahead of time, so even though it's a little sad for me, I won't hold her back!

Signs that indicate baby is developmentally ready for solids include:

  • Head control. Your baby needs to be able to keep his head in a steady, upright position. - CHECK!
  • Losing the "extrusion reflex." To keep solid food in his mouth and then swallow it, your baby needs to stop using his tongue to push food out of his mouth. - CHECK!
  • Sitting well when supported. Even if he's not quite ready for a highchair, your baby needs to be able to sit upright to swallow well. - CHECK!
  • Chewing motions. Your baby's mouth and tongue develop in sync with his digestive system. To start solids, he should be able to move food to the back of his mouth and swallow. As he learns to swallow efficiently, you may notice less drooling — though if your baby's teething, you might still see a lot of drool. - CHECK!
  • Significant weight gain. Most babies are ready to eat solids when they've doubled their birth weight (or weigh about 15 pounds) and are at least 4 months old. - CHECK!
  • Growing appetite. He seems hungry — even with eight to ten feedings of breast milk or formula a day. - CHECK!
  • Curiosity about what you're eating. Your baby may begin eyeing your bowl of rice or reaching for a forkful of fettuccine as it travels from your plate to your mouth. - CHECK!
We decided to feed her in the morning so that if she did have a reaction, it wouldn't occur during the night. And we did it on the weekend so Daddy could be there. The experiment was a smashing success! I was excited to finally put together Sam's new highchair, and she was very pleased to be sitting in it. I mixed up just a teaspoon or two of brown rice cereal with breast milk so that it was very thin and ran easily off the spoon to prevent her from gagging. Sam seemed to know right away what she was supposed to do! She did a great job of sucking the cereal off of the spoon and swallowing it. She hardly made a mess! Since the first day she has had cereal almost every day. She is doing better and better and she is definitely learning and catching on quickly. She is already opening her mouth for the spoon now. Yesterday I wanted to give her a few drops of water to help digest the cereal, so I held my glass up to her mouth and she automatically knew what to do. She opened her mouth for it and sipped the water! Such a big girl. We're going to stick with the rice cereal for quite a while still, but I'm really getting excited to start making baby food for her!
This chair is great! I feel so grown up.
Working the spoon like a pro.
Keep it coming, Mom!
Nom, nom, nom...

video
Very first bites!

video
Yum!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

4 Months - Doctor Visit

Yesterday Samantha had her 4-month doctor visit. She got her next round of shots which hurt me HORRIBLY, but she did okay. I nursed her right away and she got past the tears pretty quickly. She has been doing fine since she got them!

Here are her stats:
Height: 25.5" (90th percentile)
Weight: 15 pounds, 2 ounces (82nd percentile)
Head Circumference: 41cm (50th percentile)

A lot of her 4-month old buddies are the same height, but Sammy is the heaviest of them all! Funny thing though, she appears to be much smaller. I think she's just solid muscle and that's where the weight is hiding. :)

And, the doctor gave us the okay to let her try solids, since she is showing so much interest in food. We are going to let her try some brown rice cereal this weekend! Stay tuned for pictures of THAT adventure!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Four Months

Dear Samantha,

Today you are four months old! You are getting bigger and bigger all the time. You are starting to get a little bit chunky now, and you just keep getting cuter and cuter! You still look a lot like Daddy, but I can see more and more of myself in you now. A lot of times I look at you and you remind me of baby pictures of myself. You are just the cutest little baby I have ever seen!

You are such a happy baby. I think that you laugh and smile more than any other baby I have ever met. Maybe I'm just funny-looking, or maybe I'm just really good at entertaining you, but I think that you just have a great sense of humor. I love it when you wake up in the morning and as soon as you open your eyes, you crack a big, huge grin, like you've never been happier to see me. I love your happy face with your wide open smiley mouth.

You still haven't rolled over again, but you are really working towards crawling now. You lie on your tummy and bend and straighten your knees like you are trying to go somewhere. You can scoot all over your play gym and turn yourself in a complete circle. The other day you were napping in your crib and when I went to pick you up, you had rotated so you were lying the other direction! You also like to practice walking. Daddy and I hold you up and you move one foot forward at a time. You really like to jump! You practice jumping in our laps all the time so we bought you a Johnny Jump Up so that you can bounce on your own. So far you love it! You can almost sit up on your own now too. You still flop over if we let go of you, but each time you can hold yourself up a little longer. It probably won't be long before you start cutting teeth, either. You are drooling a LOT, and you love to chew on your Sophie. We haven't seen any teeth yet, but I know they are in the works!

It amazes me that you are already four months old. Time has gone by so fast, and you have grown and changed so much. You are such a perfectly complete little human that sometimes it just blows my mind. I love to watch you when you are sleeping - my perfect little angel. It still amazes me that you grew inside me and became such a wonderful little person.

Daddy and I love you SO very much!

Love,
Mommy

Sunday, September 5, 2010

One Year

Today it has been exactly one year since I found out I was pregnant. It is amazing how much has happened in just one short year! A year ago today I was insanely and unexplainably irritable and moody. I took a pregnancy test on a whim and about fell over when it came up positive. Since that day, my life has changed SO much! In the past year, we purchased a house, Mike lost his job and got a new one, I left my job, and we now have our wonderful little Sammy, who is already 4 months old (tomorrow)! Looking back, it's hard to believe that it's only been a year. I was so thrilled to find out that I was pregnant, but one year later, I am 100 times happier now that I am Samantha's mom. So far it's been one of the best, most exciting years of my life!!!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

BabyBond Review and #Giveaway!!!

Since the beginning of my pregnancy, I knew that I wanted to breastfeed my baby. I did a lot of research and looked into every type of nursing accessory that I could find. I knew a nursing cover would probably be important since I am always on the go, and I didn't intend to stop getting out and about after my baby arrived!

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months. There are so many benefits to breastfeeding! It decreases the possibility that your baby will get a variety of infectious diseases, ear infections, diarrhea, etc. Scientific studies have shown that it is also good for the mother's health. It definitely helps to burn off a lot of that baby weight, as well as reducing the risk of breast and ovarian cancer. And don't forget that breastfeeding is lean, green, and clean, too! Breastfed babies are at a lower risk of being obese. Breastfeeding also saves you money and it saves water and energy. Plus, breast milk is always fresh and ready to go! I think it is important that breastfeeding moms feel comfortable nursing in public so that they can continue to reap the benefits even when they are on the go.

The BabyBond is a unique nursing accessory that does not cover your baby's head. It keeps you covered while still allowing you to make eye contact with your baby. Many babies do not like to have their heads covered while nursing - it can get really hot and uncomfortable underneath a curtain-style nursing cover. Curtain-style nursing covers can also blow around and expose Mom on breezy days. The BabyBond is a great alternative! The BabyBond is worn like a sash and functions like a nursing top. It has two layers that separate so baby can latch on while each layer of the sash covers you from the top and the bottom. There are three different BabyBond styles - the Original, the Flex, and the Couture. The Flex includes a detachable burp cloth. The Couture can also be worn as a belly band to cover the belly area when nursing from under the shirt.

BabyBond was designed by a mom that was looking for options to cover herself, but not her baby. She created her first cover by cutting and sewing one of her husband's old t-shirts. Since then, she has come up with the three options available now. All three styles are available in several great colors to match or accent your outfits.

I have the BabyBond Couture nursing cover. I chose this one because I liked the fact that it is a hybrid style, allowing me to cover up from above or below. I haven't invested in many nursing tops since I've found that most of them are pretty ugly, so I have had to come up with ways to nurse while wearing most of my standard tops. I have been working out regularly, but like most new moms I'm still not thrilled with my abs (or lack of them!) so I definitely like to be able to hide my belly when nursing from under the shirt. And when I DO wear nursing tops they all open from the top so everything just hangs out for all to see! So far I've had a hard time using the sash when nursing from the top of my shirts. Whenever we use it, some skin still shows. This doesn't bother me too much, but lately Sam really likes to grab onto things while nursing. She keeps grabbing the sash and completely exposing me! I really like being able to use the BabyBond as a belly band though. It's nice to just throw it on while nursing, and then take it off easily when I'm done. It also folds into it's own little self-storing pouch so it's super easy to carry around in the diaper bag! I really like the sash idea though, so I am going to continue to try to get it figured out. I hate having to cover Sam's head while I nurse her!

How would you like to try a BabyBond? You can buy your own BabyBond at http://babybondnursing.com for $35 each. Or, you can try to win one! I am giving away a BabyBond Couture in "Riviera". It's a beautiful turquoise color! One lucky reader will win this great nursing cover.

To enter: 
You must first be a public follower of this blog AND then go to BabyBond, come back here and leave me a comment telling me which style you like best.

For extra entries you can do any or all of the following (leave separate comments for each):

-Like BabyBond on Facebook.

-Follow BabyBond on Twitter.

-Like The Vanilla Bean on Facebook.

-Follow The Vanilla Bean through Facebook.

-Follow me (@alannanoelle) on Twitter AND Tweet:
"WIN a @BabyBond nursing cover from The Vanilla Bean http://alannasvanillabean.blogspot.com (via @alannanoelle) #giveaway #bfing"
(Leave me the permalink of your tweet, you can get this by clicking on the time of your tweet. Tweets must be at least 4 hours apart!)

-Subscribe via RSS to my blog.

-3 extra entries - Blog about this giveaway!
Make sure you link back to this post. Must be a new blog post written by you (leave me the link or it will not count).

This giveaway will close on September 16th, 2010

Make sure you leave me an email address so I can get hold of you if you win, Or if it's on your blog that's fine too! Good luck!

Seventeen Weeks