Thursday, October 28, 2010

First Cold

Sorry for my lack of posts lately! Samantha has been experiencing her first cold, and it's a doozy. Mike and I have had it too, and it's hanging on for well over a week. :( Poor baby girl! She's a trooper though, and seems to be handling it better than Mike and I are. Hm, maybe we should try some of that breast milk - it seems to be the magic cure!

Anyway, Sam will be 6 months old in just over a week (already!!), and I will post more updates then!

Twenty-Five Weeks

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Oh Shutterfly, how do I love thee!

Oh, how I love Shutterfly! Since Sam was born, I've been uploading all the photos of her to a special site just for her. It's great! Shutterfly has all sorts of options to customize your own page. You can design the look of it, add all sorts of fun little widgets to it, and you can customize the privacy options to make the site public, or so no one but authorized members can view it. All I have to do is upload pictures, and all the grandparents can view them and order prints of whichever photos they like! SUPER easy.

Shutterfly is great for prints, too. I can either order them to be delivered directly, or I can pick them up at a local store. I have ordered so many prints already! And, it seems like the more I order, the more coupons I get for more free prints. LOVE it!

I am already excited about their holiday card options! Check out some of these great designs:

 Burst of Snowflakes

 Vintage Snowflakes

Peppermint Palms

I'm not sure which photo we're going to use yet so I'm not sure which card we'll decide on. I was thinking that it would be a great time to get professional family photos done, but I'm pretty sure there's no way we'll be able to afford that. So, I'm sure we'll end up using one of Sammy's many adorable snapshots! I really like the Peppermint Palms card. It's perfect for us here in San Diego with our balmy Christmas weather. :) The Vintage Snowflakes is such a classic, elegant design though. It would be so pretty with some black and white shots!

Thanks to Shutterfly, we'll be able to get a great deal on holiday cards this year. They are already on sale - definitely go check them out!!! We didn't get Christmas cards out last year, so I am determined to make it happen this year.  I guess it's about time to get started! They even have Christmas Thank-You cards, if anyone is feeling extra ambitious. :)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A day at the Pumpkin Patch

Today we took Sam to the Bates Nut Farm to experience her first Pumpkin Patch trip. She had a great time! She was so interested in all the people (and there were a LOT of them, folks!). Mike and I couldn't believe how busy this place was! It was a lot of fun though. We started out by going in the shop (we needed to visit the ATM) and Sam had fun looking at all the decorations. She was especially interested in the Thanksgiving and Christmas trees. (I can already tell that Christmas is going to be FUN with Sammy!) Next we showed Sam the farm animals. She wasn't really interested in the geese or chickens, but she enjoyed the pigs and goats, and the donkey made her laugh.

After wandering for a bit, we made our way to the pumpkins for some photo opps. Our little pumpkin looked so cute posing in the pumpkins!






I can hardly wait for next year when she can run around and really enjoy everything else that Bates has to offer. I feel like we barely scratched the surface of all the fun!

She has been so much fun this past week. She started rolling over from front to back quite a bit now, and she has even rolled from back to front now. She is obsessed with her feet. She has been doing better and better at sitting up, and just today she has made great progress. I was shocked at how well she was holding herself up this morning. It's only a matter of time now before she can completely sit on her own! Mommy is so proud. :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Smart Knit Kids

The latest addition to Sam's wardrobe are some great new Smart Knit Kids socks. These things are awesome! So many of her socks either bunch up at the ankle and slide off or they somehow bunch up on her foot and hang off her toes. None of them ever seem to stay on and fit properly. These Smart Knit socks fit great. They are still a little big for her, but they do not fall off! The comfortable non-binding top doesn't pinch or bind, and doesn't slip down.


Sam also has some sweaty little feet for a baby. I can't quite figure out why, but they're always clammy. These socks are made to keep feet dry and healthy by wicking away moisture for a dry sock environment. And once she gets old enough to have stinky feet, these socks will be great for keeping away odor-causing bacteria.
Sam's SmartKnit Kids socks look great with Halloween leggings!


For more information about SmartKnitKIDS, please visit them online at www.smartknitkids.com.

"SmartKnitKIDS Socks are 100% truly seamless; they have “No Seams to Bug Ya!”  A truly seam free sock is great for kids with Sensory Processing Disorder, Autism, or for those who simply cannot stand annoying sock seams.  As well as being completely seamless, our socks are also form-fitting.  This ensures that there are no wrinkles or bunches.  A form-fitting design makes SmartKnitKIDS perfect for infant socks.  No matter how much your little one may wiggle, the socks don’t come off.  SmartKnitKIDS Seamless Socks do not have a heel so they can easily and confidently be slipped on.  The heal-less design also keeps your child from out growing their socks as fast. "
 Whether or not your child has sensory issues, no one likes to feel a sock seam. I remember how they used to drive me NUTS in my shoes when I was little! I highly recommend these socks. Through the 15th they are having an online sale. Click this link for details. Want to keep up with SmartKnit Kids? Follow them on Facebook and Twitter for updates and giveaways!

Halloween Party Season!


It's that time of year - time for Halloween parties! This year will be different now that we have a baby, and I am so excited. The past couple of years we haven't really done anything for Halloween so this year is going to be so much fun. I'm not sure what we're doing for trick-or-treating yet. Since Sam can't eat candy yet, I'd like to find some kind of family fun event.

One thing I'm VERY excited about is our Halloween Family Costume Party. I'm helping to host it, and I know it's going to be great. We have lots of goodies for the babies' goodie bags, and we're going to have all sorts of yummy treats for the adults. And of course, we'll have a costume contest! I'm going to keep our family's costumes a secret until Halloween. Don't worry...I'll post pictures!

I am in charge of putting together games for the Halloween party. I was lucky enough to be able to try out this great online database of Halloween party games from Python Printable Games. There are so many fun games in here. I wish I could try them all, but there's just too many for one Halloween party! Not only is this pack full of fun Halloween games but there are also some other great seasonal games as well, such as Harvest, Thanksgiving, and NFL-themed games. Most of the games are geared towards children and teens, but some of them will be a lot of fun for the adults at the party. There are themed trivia games - vampire, monster, and even a Stephen King trivia game. I have to try this one - I am a huge S.K. fan!!! There are also matching games where you match the candy bar to the given clue, word searches, charades, and coloring pages.

This database includes 50 games for $19.95. What a great deal! They are offering a special for my readers. Just visit this link for free Halloween coloring pages and a coupon. These games will make any fall party a smash!
This Product Was a Free Giveaway

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Baby Diner



Now that Sam is eating solid foods, I am already seeing how difficult feedings will be in the future. She is SO grabby! She has already ruined my laptop keyboard by grabbing my cereal bowl and spilling milk onto the keys. Not cool! When I feed her baby food in her high chair she is always reaching out and grabbing for the dishes. I'm already missing hot meals as it is, so I can just imagine how it will be once she's grabbing for food and I have to stop her through the entire meal. Thankfully I have found a product that will help save our plates and dishes (and the floor!) from grabby baby hands. And hopefully allow us to eat a hot meal, for a change.

The Baby Diner attaches to any smooth table top or structure and allows a parent to secure any smooth bottom sided dish to prevent your baby from accidentally knocking or throwing it on the floor. This product is very simple and easy, and it really works! I even tried it with one of Sammy's little Baby Cubes and it stayed on. I also tried it with one of our Corelle bowls. This product is going to be so useful once Sam starts eating out of larger dishes. I highly recommend it!

Baby Diner was created by a couple of parents who were tired of dealing with spilled dishes. Their solution became so popular that they decided to start their own company and share their invention with other parents. The Baby Diner secures all kinds of dishware, and since the Diner never touches food, there is no clean-up and no mess. It is very easy to put together - simple, but genius! The Baby Diner is safe for your baby - no BPA's, no lead, and no phthalate.

Would you like to try a Baby Diner for yourself? Check out their website at http://www.babydiner.net/. They are currently offering a "50% off Baby Diner" promotion for a limited time. It only lasts through October 15, so go get one now!



This Product Was a Free Giveaway

Super Baby Food!

 
This past weekend I made baby food!!! I have been following Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron. I bought store bought organic brown rice cereal, since babies under 6 months aren't supposed to eat homemade rice cereal (their digestive systems aren't quite ready for the grains), but now we are on to fruits and veggies! I gave her avocado last week and just mashed it up raw and mixed it with breast milk, but the fruits and veggies need to be cooked.

The pears were super easy - I just peeled them and chopped them into small pieces, put them in a bowl with a little bit of water, and microwaved them for two minutes. Then I put them in my food processor with the cooking water and pureed them until they were almost liquid. I poured the puree into Baby Cubes and popped them in the freezer!
The sweet potatoes were easy too. I put them in a pot with a couple inches of water and steamed them for about 30-40 minutes. When they were soft all the way through I put them in cold water and had Mike pull the peels off for me. Then I cut them in small pieces and pureed them with their cooking liquid. I froze this puree in Baby Cubes too. I had so much puree from cooking two potatoes that I had to freeze the rest in ice cube trays!




Unfortunately we won't be using any of the food right away. Poor Sam has been super constipated from eating solids (she's going to hate me some day for sharing TMI with you!), so we are going to stop feeding her solids until we can get her regular again. Poor little girl! I was hoping the pears would help, but no luck. Hopefully she'll get past this soon. She must be SO uncomfortable right now. :(

Five Months

 
Dear Samantha,

Today you are 5 months old! You just get prettier and cuter and more fun every day. In the past few days you have started grabbing at your feet, and now you reach up and grab the little sheep on your swing. Your reach is definitely increasing!

You have been doing a great job with solid foods. You did great with the rice cereal, and you also like avocado and pears. Next we will let you try sweet potatoes. You sure love to eat, especially pears. You get very aggressive when you grab Mommy's hand and pull the spoon to your mouth. You really like to drink water out of a glass, too. You are such a big girl!

You have been doing great at your weekly music classes. We sing and dance and play with instruments. Your class ends this week, but then we will start having music classes with your friends at our house! This week you also started Gymboree Play & Learn classes. You get to play with bubbles and climb all over the gym equipment. I think this first class was a little overwhelming for you with 6 other babies and their mommies - it was a lot of stimulation! You did great though, and had lots of fun "walking" on some big cushions.

You still haven't rolled over again. Daddy is convinced that your big fluffy diapers are keeping you from being able to roll, so we are going to put you in disposables for a day or two to see if that helps. You keep getting started and roll about halfway, but then you get stuck. You seem more interested in trying to crawl or walk than rolling right now!

We just started a bedtime routine with you, and so far it seems to be working pretty well. Around 7:30 we give you a bath, followed by a baby massage. Then I nurse you, read you a story, and then we sing a goodnight song and I lie down with you until you fall asleep. The whole routine takes about an hour. Hopefully it will continue! You are a much happier baby when you get a good night's sleep, and you are a great napper (as long as we aren't too busy being out and about!).

I can hardly believe that you will be half a year old next month. Time is going so fast! It's already hard to believe you used to be so tiny. You are still my beautiful little baby though, and I'm sure I'll always think of you that way!

I love you SO very much,
Love,
Mommy

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Breaking the Nurse-Sleep Association

I need help. I am beyond frustrated right now. The only way I can get Samantha to sleep at night is to nurse her while lying down. This is fine most nights, but it presents a problem when we want to leave her with a babysitter, or even just when Mike and I would like to have some time alone in another room.

I read the No Cry Sleep Solution and I've tried to do everything I can think of - when I nurse her, I pull the nipple out of her mouth before she falls asleep. I try to put her down for a nap in the swing when I notice that she is tired rather than nursing her to sleep. She also will fall asleep in the car seat. Those things all work well, but when it comes to night time it's a whole different story. I've tried setting a routine and putting her down in her bed while she is almost asleep but she just cries and cries. Even on nights that I've successfully gotten her to fall asleep on her own she wakes up within an hour and starts screaming, and the only thing that will calm her is to nurse, even if she just ate an hour ago. This happens almost every night. She's not hungry, she's obviously just nursing for comfort because as soon as I give her the boob she's out within seconds.

We want to leave her with a babysitter in about a month so Mike and I can go to dinner for my birthday, so I need to figure out how to break the nurse to sleep association. Right now she won't even take the bottle as a substitute to get her to sleep - all she wants is Mom. She screams if Mike tries to calm her to sleep. We have a month to figure this out, and I need some suggestions! So far the sleep routine thing hasn't worked so well, so we need to come up with a simpler routine and schedule that will be easier for us to stick to. I really want to be able to put her to bed on her own without having to hold her and have her attached to my boob. I would love to hear any suggestions on how to break this nursing to sleep addiction!