Halloween Party!

Last year I really wanted to host a Halloween party but becoming pregnant that month zapped away all my ambition along with most of my energy. A Halloween party was just not in the works. This year, however, I toyed with the idea. I’ve never thrown a party before. It was something outside our comfort zone as a family. Kyle, because we’d have a house full of people- and myself because I tend to get very stressed out hosting things, so I thought it’d be good practice. By something short of a miracle Kyle agreed. He too, thought it would be good for us. (I swear I don’t even know who he is anymore! I mean, yesterday he ate a cherry tomato in his salad. But that’s a whole different story.)

Well, we did it! We hosted our first Halloween Bash. Kyle and I had a blast decorating the house, most stuff courtesy of the Dollar Store (they had such a great selection this year!)

We dressed up as Fry, Leela and Nibbler from a show called Futurama. We had a lot of fun, and I can see this being a yearly occurrence! Although I must say, hosting a party – decorating, cooking, cleaning, making sure we had enough food & drinks, etc. was exhausting! I think back to all those times my Mom hosted really fun get party’s (craft night anyone??) with all her decorations and fun games to play, and I feel an overwhelming amount of awe and gratitude. Thanks for all those awesome parties all those years. I had no idea what it took.

Continue Reading

4 Months

Dear Emerson Claire,

You are already 4 months old. This past month has been a really great one. It started out with a trip up to Rhode Island to see everyone and you were such a good baby the whole time. You were a champ in the car and I couldn’t have been more thankful.

We had a rough go for a bit when I had to go on antibiotics for 2 weeks could only nurse you twice during the day -every 12 hours to be exact. You were not thrilled about taking a bottle from me, but you gradually warmed up to the idea.

You’ve managed to roll over quite a few times by yourself. It doesn’t happen often. There is a certain mood you have to be in in order to roll yourself over, but each time is just as exciting as the last. You’ve definitely learned to enjoy tummy time more, which is great since sleeping in your crib on your back has given you quite the flat spot, and if we’re really honest, it’s given you quite the bald spot too!

Your personality is really starting to come alive. Much to my despair this also includes whining. How, how, at 4 months old have you already discovered whining?? You’re not afraid to give us an earful when we’re not at your every beck and call. For now we think it’s cute, but I’m sure we’ll reach a point where it’ll stop being cute.

You light up the room every time you smile, and this past month has been full of them. You smile every time you see your Daddy, and you smile when Oliver goes crazy. You’ve even started giggling and truly laughing. Of course you make us work very hard for each and every giggle and laugh, but all those dances and jigs we do are well worth it. But nobody, I mean nobody, has made you laugh like Oliver. All he has to do is walk into the room and you burst out in a huge grin and giggles surely follow.

You’re all about your hands this past month, so much so that we stopped swaddling you. We stopped cold turkey! It took a few nights of waking up a bunch, and needing extra comfort to fall asleep, but now you’re a rockstar at being free. I think it made nap-time and bedtime smoother overall.

When you’re not sleeping, you’re chomping on everything you can manage to bring to your mouth. You’ve got quite the grip so you’re less likely to lose whatever it is you’re holding onto. Your focus is fantastic now and you’ll look around the room searching for Daddy when you hear his voice.

You had your 4 month checkup this past Monday and you were very well behaved. You were 24.5 inches long (About the 55th percentile) and weighed in at 11 pounds even– about the 1st percentile. Your doctor isn’t concerned that you’re a peanut, since you’ve almost doubled your birth weight and you were up 2.5 lbs in two months. That averages out to a gain of 3-4 oz per week which is on the low side of normal. You had to get round 2 of shots (8 vaccines total, in 3 shots and 1 oral medicine) and you hardly cried. You cried on the first one, and the nurse was so quick that when she was done I signed “all done” and went to scoop you, but by the time I went to pick you up you had pretty much stopped crying. The nurse was highly impressed, as was I. You were such a trooper. I definitely have a strong little girl on my hands.

Emerson, this past month has been an absolute blast. You get cuter everyday (yes! I can’t believe it either) and watching you discover the world around you is breathtaking. You are the light and joy in my days and your Daddy and I love you to pieces. Happy 4 months baby girl.

Continue Reading

The Nap Routine

All the baby books you’ll ever read say creating a nighttime routine can help your baby sleep better and longer. I tried once, when Emmie was about 8 weeks old, to implement a routine. It lasted all of two nights. I gave up, we just weren’t ready for a routine yet.

I watch a boy on Thursdays who’s just a week younger than Emerson. His mom and I chat about all sorts of things our babies like to do. We discuss what works and what doesn’t, and what we’re planning on doing. After multiple occasions of her bringing up her nighttime routine, or nap routine, I decided maybe I better try again.

I finally figured out why my routine didn’t work… it was too complex. Now we’ve got a nice simple routine and it seems to be helping. Every time we’re home for a nap, we turn on our sleepy sounds, close the blinds and read a quick picture book. I used to swaddle her up, but more recently we’ve stopped swaddling. I’ll give Emerson her pacifier and tell her to “have a good nap,” and out I walk. It took a few days, but now she’s asleep in just a minute or so.

Having a routine makes naptime a lot less stressful for both myself and Emmie. No wonder all the books strongly recommend routines – they just work!

PS. These picture have nothing to do with our nap routine, but I never want to risk waking the baby by taking her pictures! hehehe So you get these cute chair pictures instead. 

Continue Reading

They see me Rollin’…

Ten extra points if you sang the title while reading it!

The past few nights, alright, a lot of the nights -about a week or so worth of nights- Emerson has been waking up, not once, not twice, but multiple times during the night. Poor Kyle! He was only getting a couple hours of sleep at night.

Part of the reason is due to the fact that little miss is not happy when I give her a bottle. She knows I’ve got the good stuff and she’d prefer straight from the tap from me. Yesterday, for example, she refused to drink more than 1 oz at a time. It was exhausting for everybody involved!

Another reason, I do believe, is that the Claire-Bear has been learning so quickly these days. She has so much extra to process at night, and lot’s of growing to do. In fact, one of the big milestones coming up is rolling. She’s been getting stronger every day during tummy time. She’ll hold her head up a little higher, and she’s content for a few extra minutes. Just yesterday she took me by surprise by pushing her body up so high and lifting her arm, and what do you know, she rolled! She then immediately cried, because let’s face it, rolling for the first time on your playmat is scary. You were on your belly looking at Mom and all of a sudden you’ve bonked your head on the floor and you can’t see Mom anymore. 

After placing a nice squishy blanket on the mat I placed her back on her tummy. Again, she rolled over almost immediately! She humored me one last time, and rolled a third and final time. After that she was exhausted from her physical activity.

She worked so hard that day that she ended up sleeping almost the whole night only waking up once to feed. Everybody was super happy about that the next day. We have yet to see the roll make another appearance but all in good time. I suppose, for now, I’ll just keep singing, “They see me rollin’…” to keep encouraging her. 

Continue Reading

Fall Hiking

Last week I took Emerson with me on a small hike with the other mom’s from our birthclass. She loved hanging out in her wrap, just taking in the sites. She took a snooze and woke up right as we were finishing up. It was a great success. 

That following weekend, it was a beautiful Sunday; 62 degree’s and not a cloud in the sky. Kyle and I packed up the family and we went off for a nice fall hike. Oliver had his pack on, I carried the backpack full of various items and Kyle carried the baby in her wrap. 

Emmie had a blast looking at everything! I can only imagine there was so much for her to take in: new sounds, new smells, new sights. In fact, I think it was the first time she had ever seen a stream. Oliver also had a blast. He carried the two heavy water bottles in his pack along with some extra diapers for Emmie. He trotted along the trail. 
Halfway into our drive to the park we discovered we forgot to pack Oliver a leash! We improvised with an infinity scarf we had in the car. Good thing our boy is so well behaved when we hike. Oliver really needed a good day out to romp around, and the hike was just the thing he needed. He slept the whole night… not even a peep when we went past his dinnertime without feeding him. That’s how you know he’s exhausted.
I’m hoping we can go on a few more family hikes before it really gets too cold. The nice thing about the wrap is it keeps Emerson nice and toasty warm even when it’s chilly out. This hike really makes me excited for next spring and summer, when we can take Emerson camping!
Continue Reading

2-4 Month Favorites

Emmie loves to hold onto the spiders legs, and since there are 6 of them, they’re hard to miss. We also like to string this across her carseat and she can hold onto the legs and play while we drive. When I originally picked this up from a yard-sale, I wasn’t too sure about it since I personally thought it was stimulation overload, but the little lass can’t seem to get enough of him! My favorite is when she tries to chomp on his head.

When Emerson started sleeping in her crib, we found that she could bust out of her normal blanket swaddle in no time. These swaddle me blankets are the best! She loves to be snuggled up in one for naps and bedtime. She’s starting to be able to wiggle an arm free now and then, so I think we’re gearing up to lose the swaddle all together! But for the past few months we couldn’t have lived without these.

With all the tummy time going on Emmie has really loved looking at her Sassy “Hello Bee, Hello Me” book. I think she likes the simple contrasting colors and every other page has a mirror so she can check herself out.

Since Kyle took over the night feedings it was important we found a bottle both he and Emerson loved. The Lansinoh Momma bottle was it. I felt that the nipple shape was extremely close to the real thing and she was able to get a nice latch. She doesn’t suck in a ton of air, and minimal parts make it easy to clean.

I bought this mat at a yardsale for 5 dollars. One of the best 5 dollars we’ve spent! Heck, I would probably even pay the 50 dollars that amazon charges for a new one. We do tummy time on the mat where she loves to look at all the bright colors. She has even been reaching to crinkle the ears on the elephant. She’ll play on her back for a decent stretch, staring at the mirror and trying to grab the toys that dangle.

6.Alva Diapers : 7.Robot Lovie : 8.Video Monitor : 9.Banana Toothbrush : 10. Lansinoh Storage Bags

Halfway into the second month, or right at the beginning of the third month, Emerson started fitting into her big cloth diapers. I stocked up on them and I couldn’t be happier. I think these will be a monthly favorite from here on out. 😉

In one Bluum box that we recieved, an Angel Dear blanket was sent. A small 14 x 14 square with a little robot head attached to the top. It’s super soft and cuddly. I began giving it to Emerson while she was in her rock n play and she has grown to love it. She loves to grab onto the blanket part and try to chew the robot “ears.” It helps calm her crazy arms when she’s not swaddled but still sleepy.

Since around the 10 week mark we’ve put Emerson to sleep in her crib. The video monitor is worth it’s weight in gold. We can see when we need to sprint back up the stairs to ‘rescue the falling paci’ before it even makes it all the way out of her mouth. We can see when she’s wiggled her arm out of her swaddle or if she’s starting to stir. I feel so much more comfortable knowing I can check in on her without actually going upstairs and risk waking her up.

We hit the drool phase and the ‘try to put everything in my mouth’ phase, but with Emmie being so small I noticed all the baby teethers we had were gigantic! They were hard for her to hold, and just generally big. Amazon to the rescue. I ordered this small “banana toothbrush” and it’s been great. It’s small enough that she can easily hold it, and the fact that it has those nice soft silicone bristles to massage her gums is bonus!

The last item that we’ve been loving are these lansinoh milk storage bags. Since being on antibiotics we’ve been feeding Claire-Bear the frozen milk stash that I’ve previously pumped. I stored them in these bags. They’re easy to thaw, reheat ,reseal and we haven’t encountered any leaks so far. They fit nicely in the freezer in a pantry container I bought at big lots. 

Continue Reading

Fall is Here

We had a preview of fall weather when we went up to Rhode Island, but now the fall weather has found it’s way to Maryland. 

Being a pessimist I always take fall as the first sign that winter is truly on it’s way, but this year I don’t want to do that. This year I get to show my daughter just how wonderful fall can be.

We’ll decorate with pumpkins, pull out all our cozy blankets, bundle up in layers for our stroller walks and fleece footy pajamas are a must. 
We’ll cook dinners in the crock pot, and eat warm oatmeal for breakfast. We’ll sip on teas or hot cocoa and spend rainy days inside reading. So while my body may be cold, my heart will certainly be not!

Continue Reading

That’s a Wrap!

The past two weeks Kyle has been a stress case. He had his thesis proposal on Wednesday. We are pleased to announce it was a wild success!

His talk went really well and he even managed to get a few laughs during his presentation, a rarity at best.Other students seemed genuinely interested in his research topic and asked quite a few question at the end of Kyle’s seminar.

The professors on his committee were very pleased with his work. One professor looked over his proposal and joked if Kyle was trying to graduate this semester since he had gathered and presented enough actual evidence for a thesis paper. (He plans on graduating in another year or two.)

All in all we couldn’t be happier and us gals sure are proud of this man! Before you know it we’ll have to be calling him Doctor Overdeep!

Continue Reading

A Big Bum

After cloth diapering for two years as a nanny, I knew it was for me. I loved it. It was just as easy as disposables, but so much better for the environment. Even if the environment wasn’t a factor, my charge never got diaper rashes in his cloth diapers, but would frequently get rashes in his disposables. Cloth diapers just looked more comfortable, and it had the added perk of being chemical free!

1. Prep 2. Lift 3. WOAH 4. Did you see mama? I almost rolled over!

When I exclaimed to my husband that we should definitely cloth diaper, I was bracing for negativity, but was met with equal excitement. He was on board! We put a few cloth diapers on our registry and ended up with 3 total. 

When Emerson was born, at just a mere 6lbs, I knew it’d be a while until she fit into her big cloth diapers. I ended up ordering some newborn cloth diapers from a site in China. A week or so later my gal was decked out in her cute newborn cloth diapers. The newborns were a little tricky since my little lady had super skinny legs and a big ol’ belly… we did have some leaking issues until we discovered a little trick of twisting the Velcro to tighten the leg.

But now that Emerson has “bulked up” to a whopping 10 – almost 11- pounds, she fits in the ‘all in one’ sized diapers! I purchased 3 at the same time I purchased the newborn diapers to try out the brand – they were 4x cheaper than the brand name bumgenius ones, so if they worked, I planned on stocking up. 

They worked just fine, so I went back to the site a couple days later and stocked up. For the price of two boxes of disposables, I order enough diapers to do diaper laundry once every 4 or 5 days, and these should last until she’s potty trained. I believe I told Kyle “There’s good news and bad news. The good news is, the diapers came in! The bad news is, I totally went overboard and we now have a TON of diapers, but more good news, I don’t have to do laundry everyday now!”

about 2/3rds of the “stash”

I’m so happy with our decision to cloth diaper. I know it’s not for everyone, but it’s worked out really well for us so far.  The fact that it’s better for her bum, and we aren’t generating diaper waste for the landfill, are just bonus… And I mean, c’mon, look at this girl and her big squishy cloth bum, does it get any cuter?! 
Continue Reading

Love the little things

Right now some of the little things you do, Emmie, are the cutest. You are really quite wiggly! If you’re having awake time, and you’ve napped well so you’re happy, you just won’t stop moving. You move your arms, and you move your legs, you move your head from side to side to look all around. One of my favorite movements is where you’re arms are flailing around and you end up smacking your own belly with, usually, a flat palm. That certainly cracks me up everytime. I’m not sure if it’s the look of sheer surprise on your face, or the little hallow “thump” sound your belly makes, but either way I’m loving it.

You want me to sit still for a picture?

You’re making more sounds now and I love that as well. You are starting to grab things and pull them to your mouth. Another favorite of mine is when you grab my hand and pull it to your mouth to try to eat it.

Let’s not forget about those expressions that you’ve been mastering. You love using your eyebrows to communicate. Your little brows get quite the daily workout. It wouldn’t be complete without your little forehead wrinkles that you’ve inherited from your daddy.

How’s this? And this? Is this good? What about now?

Recently, since you’ve been so wiggly, burping you has become quite the challenge. I’ve developed the whole-arm hold where I place my whole forearm down your belly and let you sit on my hand, while my other hand tries to coax that air out. You wrap your little arms around my arm in a full body hug, and it makes me melt every. single. time.

Oh man Mom, you don’t have to hold me, I swear I was going to stay still for the next one!

You seem so big to me now. So independent, alert and interested in the world around you… and yet, I know, I’m going to miss you this small in just a matter of weeks! I can’t wait to see what you accomplish in the upcoming weeks and months. Keep on growing and learning, and I’ll keep on appreciating all the little things you do.

Continue Reading