Tuesday, May 15, 2012

15 Facts About My Princess!

15 Fun Facts About My Daughter Mia – May 2012 - 6 1/2 Months

1 - Sometimes she will just randomly let out a squeal / giggle of PURE JOY and cracks us all up =)

2 - She is starting to knock things off or drop things on the floor when you give them to her ... uh oh!

3 - EVERYTHING goes in her mouth and I mean EVERYTHING!

4 - When you stand her up she gets this adorable proud smile on her face!

5 - Sometimes I swear I see her go to scratch her eczema and then stop herself!

6 - She loves to be carried around in a sitting position facing outward - and this will sometimes produce said squeal from #1 - (I need to get a good baby carrier!)

7 - When she is fussy sometimes I will get my phone out and call her Daddy - as soon as it starts dialing she stares intently at it - and will often smile once her Daddy gets on the line!

8 - When you give her one of her favorite toys - the VTech Zoo - she immediately makes a beeline to chew on the toucan's head - from every angle possible.

9 - When chewing on a toy she usually practices her talking & makes all kinds of hilarious sounds.

10 - She is showing a huge interest in food and we can't wait to start giving her foods - (We have been waiting due to her allergies & eczema)

11 - She usually can't resist smiling at herself in the mirror!

12 - This little girl has WAY, WAY, WAY too many clothes and WAY, WAY, WAY too many toys/books but her Grandma and I don't care and we keep buying more! ;)

And the final 3 fun facts brought to you by Daddy...

13 - Take off her socks from her hands (again - due to the eczema) and watch her claws go into action!! Will claw anyone in her path even Daddy!

14 - She likes to fart on Daddy when he's lifting her up in the air.

15 - You can always count on Mia to lift her legs up in the air and land them straight in her mouth :0

**LINK UP POST FROM THE FEMINIST BREEDER - Fun Facts About My Kids - February 2012**

Things I Said I Would Never Do .. But Then Totally Did .. !

Things I Said I Would Never Do .. But Then Totally Did .. !
Trying out my first link up post today! With "Toddle Along Tuesday" over at Growing Up Geeky:
Today's topic is: Things I Said I Would Never Do! (But Then Did!)

#1 - I'd never co-sleep or let my baby sleep anywhere other than on her back in her crib - It wasn't that I was against the concept - I was just TERRIFIED .. TERRIFIED .. of SIDS or of squashing my baby in my sleep. Around 3 months old this went out the window. The sh*t hit the fan and her sleep at night was TERRIBLE. The last straw was one particular night where I spent 2 hours trying to get her to go down for the night, only to have her wake up less than 15 minutes later upset and impossible to re-settle! That night I brought her into the bed with me and never looked back. I half-heartedly believe the toxic mattress offgassing theory as a cause of SIDS so that night I debated pulling her Naturepedic Organic Cradle Mattress into the bed with me and laying her on top of it. I settled for swaddling her as usual and then laying her on top of the comforter - usually a co-sleeping no-no because it can be too fluffy - and curling my body around her. (I believe one of the reasons for her poor sleep is that she gets very itchy from her eczema and I have to pretty much pin her legs down at night between my legs. She also still has to be swaddled, even at almost 7 months of age.)

I wish I hadn't been so afraid in the beginning - I could have gotten more sleep if I had been willing to bring her into bed with me, or at least let her sleep in the swing or the carseat. Some nights I would get very close to putting her in the swing to sleep and then thoughts of SIDS would petrify me and I would stay up with her half the night instead - a small price to pay for a safe baby! - I told myself. I was doing OK with the lack of sleep and was too paranoid to let her sleep any other way but where the advice said to! I even hauled the cradle downstairs when she was about a month old, and spent a week sleeping on the couch where I could watch TV instead of teasing myself with a warm and comfortable bed that I couldn't sleep in. I was determined to help her to sleep in the cradle instead of only in my arms - and after a week of this - it worked! For a few months she would sleep decently - sleeping anywhere from 45 minutes to 3 hours - and I didn't mind having to get up and nurse her because she would let me put her down fairly easily. From time to time I would google about babies sleeping on their tummies safely, and babies sleeping in their car seat safely, but would find one little story about someone's neice or neighbor that passed from SIDS that way and I would scurry back to the safety of my "flat on her back, in the cradle" method. I got to memorize the middle of the night TV land schedule, and would spend hours reading mommy blogs & CafeMom on my iTouch while she finished nursing and fell asleep. Looking back - it is crazy to say - I do miss those times. You don't believe it when they say it - but I really do!

But once I went back to work I could no longer function on 2 hours of sleep, or nap to catch up during the day. This is the same exact time that her wake up times went from maybe every 1-2 hours to every 45 minutes at least. And it was taking forever to get her to stay asleep in the cradle after I set her down (she would fall asleep nursing and often wake up once she was set down). Our strategy was no longer working. I experimented with the pick up - put down method & the sshhhh - pat method. None of those things really worked. She was already swaddled, and we already had white noise on. She just wouldn't sleep soundly and I felt so terrible - and tired! I even attempted "supervised" CIO a few times where I didn't leave the room - but it just didn't feel right. Nothing really worked until we started bed-sharing. There are times when I wish that she would sleep in the cradle or crib - in fact I tried again last night out of curiousity - and it ALMOST worked - she was half asleep - but then she got frustrated and I laid her down next to me and she was so content to be snuggled up against me that I just thought to myself "why didn't I want this?" Now I won't lie - there are times when she is so squirmy and won't go to sleep - and I need to put her in the carseat and have my husband rock her to sleep in that so I can get a break and stretch out my limbs! (The position I have to sleep in, curled around her with her legs between mine so she doesn't wake herself up, is not very comfortable after many hours stuck that way) But for the most part bedtime is not a battle anymore. Nursing at night is so much easier once you master the side-lying position - another thing I thought I would never be able to do! That leads us in to number 2..

#2 - I'd never breastfeed in public - Simply put, I was scared to: people can be nasty. And fumbling around with a stupid cover can be annoying. It took me until Mia was about 5 months old to get up the nerve to breastfeed in public for the first time. Someone gave me an apron style nursing cover and I used it once at a mommy meetup at someone's house, as I saw other mamas doing the same and I felt more comfortable. But the apron cover was awful - it didn't cover anything and was hard to adjust baby and latch on - especially since I use a shield. The first time we were actually, really, truly in PUBLIC We were at an Easter brunch at BJ's and I had found the *PERFECT* cover. The Covillow - (Covillow - Breastfeeding Cover & Pillow In One) which not only covers around the sides, front, and back but also has a built-in pillow. Why aren't all nursing covers like this?? Why are they all apron style?? That is super annoying. But anyway, I digress. I've since nursed in public (with cover) at the zoo, the mall, a vineyard, and at home when my brother-in-law is visiting. Twice have I nursed WITHOUT the cover - at an outdoor mommy & me yoga meetup where other moms were doing so and I felt more comfortable - and at an outdoor LLL meeting. This is something I hope to get more comfortable with - both with or without the cover - as time goes on. It is much more freeing than having to worry about pumping beforehand, or nursing in the car, the dressing room, or regrettably - even once in the bathroom (at a car dealership while waiting to finish the sale).

#3 - I'd never use regular diapers - Ok this one I got halfway accomplished! When I was pregnant I set out on a mission to use cloth diapers for Mia. Everyone told me I was crazy and the laundry would be too much extra work. I didn't mind, and it still sounded like the better option for my baby. I did HOURS of research and selected the system I thought would work best for me. (Thirsties Snap Duo covers) and prefolds. When baby actually came however, she HATED diaper changes and would scream the entire time. The husband and I would struggle with the 2-part system and how to properly put it on her. I felt awful. When we did manage to get them on her correctly they were way too big on her and looked very uncomfortable. She couldn't even sit in the carseat correctly. So we scrapped that plan for the time being and stocked up on the next best thing I could find - Seventh Generation diapers. Fast forward about a month and I decided to try again - but no matter how I tried it - they leaked! And if you know anything about cloth diapers they are NOT supposed to leak. Frustrated, I scrapped the whole project once again. I probably would have picked it back up by now and tried some other systems like pocket diapers or AIOs but then this whole eczema thing popped up, and then I went back to work, and the time to try a new system has just never happened yet. I still have hope though! And we do use washcloths in place of baby wipes and have to do THAT laundry all the time anyway, so adding the diapers in wouldn't be a huge leap.

#4 - I'd never be one of THOSE parents that thought it was cute to give a baby an iPad Umm.. seriously what was I thinking? In the survival mode of the first few weeks & months I found myself using my fairly new iPod Touch which I had never really had a use for before. It was great for checking e-mail, Facebook, and reading blogs & news articles while nursing and staying up all night with a newborn baby! Slowly however, we started to realize it was great for Mia to use as well! She can watch Baby Enstein on it, play with a Baby Piano app on it, and we can play music videos for her on it. In fact that Baby Piano app will calm her down when NOTHING else will. It's gotten us through many a car ride home where she is screaming her head off and wants OUT that SECOND. As long as I keep pressing the piano keys she is mesmorized. That and she has a certain Youtube music video that she will stare at for hours - even though the picture is just of a green dinosaur and the song is a Skrillex dubstep mix! I don't know what it is about that song/dinosaur picture but she loves it so much we are considering having pink dinosaurs be her 1st Birthday theme! That and the fascination with the Baby Piano app make me wonder if I have a future musician on my hands! We now have a (Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Apptivity Case for the iPod) so that she can satisfy her urge to put EVERTHING in her mouth the very SECOND she lays hands on it! They make them for the iPad too but we don't have one of those yet. My SIL has one though and reports that Mia is similarly fascinated with the flying space cat that just sings "meow meow meow" over and over again. So yeah. IPods & IPads for babies & toddlers? I'm now a believer..

Ok now for a few things that I DID accomplish that I said I would!

- #1 - Have a totally natural birth and labor mostly at home (check!)
- #2 - Breastfeed exclusively for at least 6 months (check! and still going strong)
- #3 - Keep my baby's chemical exposure to a minimum (check! even more so due to her eczema)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Grandma's 1st Mother's Day is special too!

I'm a very sentimental person. Especially now that my daughter is here; each time an important Holiday or milestone comes around I try to come up with unique ways to celebrate it, or family traditions that I can start. (Check out my Valentine's Day family mailboxes)

So it wasn't lost on me that this Mother's Day is going to be a very important day for my Mom as well!

I browsed around the internet for a few hours, not wanting to send just the typical flowers or chocolates and a card. First I was going to order *this snowglobe*. But once I added the personal message it came out to around $100!

Then I found this poem online, the blog I found it on couldn't find the original source either :( I would love to give them credit though!

Now That I’m A Mother

Until I became a mother,
I did not understand,
The profound sense of love
In a mother’s heart and hands.
As I whisper, “Mommy loves you”,
I rock my precious child to sleep.
Small perfection in my arms,
Sweet breaths, slow and deep.
I now see me as a baby,
You’re rocking me to sleep.
You whisper, “Mommy loves you”,
My heart is yours to keep.
At last I recognize your love,
As a mother now I see.
As I hold and love my child,
You feel that love for me.
I will always be your baby,
Despite the years that pass.
You have given me my life,
And a mother’s heart to last.
The greatest gift I can offer,
More than words could ever say,
Is to give my child the love,
You gave me every day.

I started bawling my eyes out at my desk at work & knew instantly I was going to use this poem. Sending the poem over to my husband produced a similar reaction. The only problem was, I couldn't find anything big enough to fit the whole poem! Until I came across *this photo plaque*. The only problem was that the reviews said the final product arrived very faded and hard to read. I figured I could do the same thing myself, print it out, and frame it! So here is what I came up with:

I'm going to put it in a very simple black & white frame like this one. I think it will be GORGEOUS!

Malden Linear Wood Matted 8-By-10 Black Picture Frame

I'm going to make a Spanish version for my mother-in-law as well with her favorite picture of my daughter and probably one of my husband as a baby as well to tie it together a little more.

Hmm I think I like the Spanish one better! lol

Anyone who stumbles across this blog is more than welcome to download this image to their computer and use it for their own mom! (If you click on the photo it will open up much bigger) All you have to do is open it in Paint and copy in your own photo to cover mine! And change the name at the bottom of course.

Print it out, frame it, wrap it, gift it ... and watch the happy crying ensue!! (Not to mention it's a very frugal gift too!)

You're welcome!

Linking up with these fantastic link parties:
Watch Out Martha Mondays @ Watch Out Martha
Bedazzle Me Mondays @ Everything Under The Moon
Meet Me Mondays @ You Are Talking Too Much Chic & Crafty Thursdays @ Frugal Girls

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Happy Half Birthday Mia!

Mia turned 6 months old yesterday! We had a little cake and presents at grandma Maria's house.
How in the WORLD has it been 6 months already I just don't know! I am working on making her a photo & video slideshow of her first 6 months. I have totally been bawling my eyes out remembering this precious tiny little baby and now she is sitting up and laughing and playing with every toy in sight! She is such an observant and smart little girl. Now if we can just get a handle on this eczema!

Happy HALF Birthday Mia!!!

Milestones & Things you do now: It seems like every single day you are learning or doing something new! Now you smile when me or Daddy comes to pick you up from Grandma's house on Mondays and Tuesdays or when Daddy walks in the door from work. You laugh and smile all the time and we act like idiots just to make you smile that beautiful smile! Your grandma Rebecca sends you all kinds of toys and books. You laughed at a toy for the first time the other day! It was the B car keys and you laughed in delight at all of the noises. You love being picked up in the air and bounced around or flown around. You also love to stand on your feet and usually smile this cute smile that you are so proud of yourself! We have been practicing sitting up and you can mostly do it for several seconds before you topple over - but I see you learning how to catch yourself! You also reach up and touch or hit the butterflies on your bouncy chair now. EVERYTHING you touch goes immediately into your mouth for chewtime! You still enjoy to play with your feet and chew on them - in fact this is usually one of the first things you do when you wake up in the morning. We went to the Farmer's Market at the Northridge mall and you kept reaching for daddy's strawberry lemonade! It was so hilarious. We are trying to teach you to give us kisses and you just kind of slobber on our cheeks. Grandma was reading you some books last night at your party and you were trying to grab the pages. You love to look at the pictures and the bright colors in the books. When we go to the store we play with all the toys there and usually can't resist buying the ones that you seem to like the best.

Your favorite people: You stare at Luna and follow her around the room with your eyes if she is running around acting crazy. You still haven't laughed at her yet though! When I call daddy on the phone and put him on speaker phone you seem to look at the phone in anticipation and then stare with interest when he starts talking. Sometimes you will almost smile at the phone. When we do Facetime with Grandma Rebecca and Grandpa David you like to look at the screen and smile and laugh. You show off all the new things you are doing and playing with your new toys. You have so much fun at Grandma Maria's house and she takes you all kinds of places like the mall, the grocery store, and IKEA. She says most of the time you are happy except for when you get sleepy or hungry!

Your favorite toys: Ohmygoodness this month you have gotten so many new toys that I don't even know where to begin! Grandma Rebecca has been sending a ton of toys and I haven't been able to resist buying you electronic toys. You have a remote control, a cell phone, a laptop, a music station that has a book and a piano, and this cute toy with a dancing monkey and singing animals. You love to sit there and reach out and hit the buttons. The Baby Piano on the iPhone will distract you almost every time if you are unhappy or crying in the car.

Challenges this month: We are still battling your eczema. If we aren't careful with your socks and scratch sleeves on your hands you will scratch your face until it bleeds. Mommy has been taking you to a naturopath and giving you all kinds of vitamins & supplements and even homeopathic remedies. You always take your medicines like a good girl except for the homeopathic Unda numbers which taste nasty! You love the banana(?) flavored Nystatin that we are giving you hoping that it will help your eczema. You love it so much that it makes mommy & daddy feel so bad that you can't eat solid foods yet! We have an Epi-pen on hand and hope that soon we can give you some fruit & veggies and other healthy foods! The pediatrician was mean to mommy about your slow weight gain and your eczema so mommy found a new doctor to take you to and she is helping me alot more. Right now mommy is only eating rice, rice pasta, quinoa, rice cereal, water, yams, squash, zucchini, rice bread, olive oil and avocado hoping to clear up your eczema, identify any other allergies you might have, and help your body heal from whatever allergies you may have.

Triumphs this month: Now that we co-sleep you sleep much better and wake up happier. A schedule and a bedtime has also slowly began to emerge. I love cuddling with you at night! You squirm around alot though - probably because you are very itchy.

Special Holidays & Outings this month: Your first Easter was alot of fun. We dressed you in a cute dress and we all went to the park with some of your relatives that were here from Mexico to visit. Earlier this month you also went to Hollywood Blvd. for the first time with your relatives from Mexico, Aunt Monsey and Aunt Wendy and your cousin Izzy. You had your picture taken with Dora! Then a few days later it was Izzy's first birthday party and you watched all the kids go crazy over the pinata. Last weekend we took you to the beach for the first time - not on the sand though! You were a bit too cranky and sleepy for that. But we went back to this lookout point in Malibu on PCH that mommy & daddy like to go to. We looked at the seagulls and the ocean and the waves crashing on the rocks and we took tons of pictures. A nice lady even came by and took a few pictures of all of us!

Things we want to do next: As soon as we buy you a cute swimsuit we are going to take you swimming! I can't wait - you are going to love it! I also am looking forward to starting baby signing with you and am thinking of trying out elimination communication as well. I plan to try out some different systems of cloth diapers as well since what we tried when you were born didn't work out for us. I can't wait to get a better handle on babywearing as well so that we can do longer outings like hikes without you getting uncomfortable and fussy. Summertime is coming this is my favorite time of year I just get so excited! I bought you a TON of clothes at Target the other day for your birthday but also because I can't resist cute summer clothes! I need to buy you a summer hat and baby sunglasses too.
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