Sunday, November 16, 2014

Vincent's 8 Month Update!

I am over a week late posting this, but here is Vincent's update! He turned 8 months old on the 7th of November. :)

Height/Weight: According to our home scale and measuring tape, Vincent weighs 20lbs (57%) and is 28 inches long (62%) with a head circumference of cm (95%). 

Daily: During the majority of the past month, we had the same daily routine as we did when I last updated, but now that Vincent has gotten a little older, he is needing more awake time during the day and less nap time. I am SO grateful for the ladies in one of my Facebook groups, who gave me great advice about changing Vincent's schedule! Since we've begun this new routine, there have been no more instances of being up until 2 or 3 AM with a baby who refused to sleep.
Now, we get up every morning at 8 AM unless Vincent wakes earlier, in which case we stay in the bedroom and have some quiet time until 8. Now he takes about 3 1/2 hours worth of naps during the day and is awake for about 8 hours. In those 8 hours, he enjoys army crawling about and exploring the house! I've baby proofed the house pretty well for the most part, and I keep the areas blocked off that aren't baby friendly. He LOVES the dogs and cats - he likes to steal kisses from Yoda (which I very quickly try to prevent haha!) and pet the kitties. As soon as they come near him, he starts laughing hysterically! He still really enjoys his horse bouncer and swatting at the toys hanging from his activity gym, while sitting upright. I am sad to say he has "grown out" of his bouncy seat. He still fits in it fine, but he tries to escape out of it by leaning forward so far, that I'm afraid he will fall out of it! I occasionally put him in his swing in our bedroom if I am cleaning in there or folding clothes and he still enjoys giggling at the bees and mirror on the mobile. 
We still end the day with the same routine - every other night, he gets a bath either with his dad in the tub or in the kitchen sink. He loves to splash and hold his hand under the faucet when the water is running! I put him in his zipadee-zip, we have story time, then I feed him an "oat bottle" before bed.

Sleep: Sleep continued to be really good almost all the way through the month of October. He went down between 8 and 9 and woke between 2 and 4 times for a quick feed and went right back to sleep with no fuss. A couple of weeks ago, he hit a new wonder week, so we were back to bad sleeping. It took HOURS to get him to sleep - we would be up until 2 or 3 AM. So, as I mentioned earlier, I got some great advice from mommies in my Facebook group and I've completely changed his sleep and nap schedule. We wake at 8 AM, then he goes down for a nap from 10-12. At 3, he goes down for his final nap and I wake him at around 4:30, if he isn't up before then. I wanted to stick to the 8 PM bedtime, but since switching his schedule, he now goes down at about 7:30. I try to get him down before he becomes overtired and struggles to fall asleep.
I've also begun not letting him nurse or have a bottle to fall asleep. I feed him in the light and talk to him, to encourage him to learn how to fall asleep on his own. It is REALLY helping! So I've been putting him down in the crib awake and not picking him up when he fusses, unless he wakes for a feeding. Instead, I rub his head or sing to him, because getting him out of the crib wakes him up and I have to begin the "settle down" bedtime routine all over again.
He is still waking a few times per night, but I think once he has adjusted to this new schedule and is done with this wonder week leap, it will improve. 
His Zipadee-Zip is still working GREAT and I think I may order the next size up soon. He seems so comfortable in it and I like that it keeps his hands and feet warm now that it's getting colder.

Eating: I've had to begin supplementing a lot with formula, because my supply is just not keeping up. I've tried everything from lactation cookies and supplements to pumping between feedings and drinking a beer in the evenings. Frankly, I was so stressed over it, that my supply dropped more and more every day. Once I let it go and stopped beating myself over the head about it, I've become so much less stressed. He was exclusively breastfed for 6 months straight and is healthy and thriving. Whether breast milk or formula, he is getting the nutrition that he needs and that's all that matters! I still nurse him a few times a day and for every feeding during the night. I give him about three bottles during the day, depending on how hungry he still is after nursing on both sides. Instead of mixing breast milk and formula together, I give him either straight breast milk or straight formula. Every night before bed, I give him a 6 oz "oat bottle", like I have been for the past several months. Fortunately, he goes from breast to bottle and breast milk to formula with no issues at all. I found that pumping was part of my stress, because I would worry if I wasn't able to pump enough. So I've completely stopped pumping.
He eats solids 1-3 times a day, just depending on whether or not he wants it. Some days he wants one piece of food after another, and other days he is uninterested and tosses it on the floor, or in the case of a popsicle, bangs it on the table until the food flies off it and onto the walls and floor (which the dogs love!) Haha! His favorite is still apples! :) I can absolutely not spoon feed him anymore. He will blow raspberries into the spoon or once the food is in his mouth and it splatters in my face. xD 

Sizes: Vincent has grown out of most all of his 6 month clothing and is wearing 6-9 and 9 month clothing, all of which seem to be around the same size. I'm still finishing off the rest of his size 3 nighttime diapers, but otherwise, he is in size 4. He kept having one blowout after another in size 3 and I was washing his sheets and sleep wear every day. Size 3 is supposed to go up to 28 lbs (?!?!) and Vince is just under 20, but that size is just not working anymore!

Milestones and Changes:
  • Vincent had his first Halloween! He was "Captain Stinker" and we had a great time at the party we attended. :)

  • We also visited the pumpkin patch for the first time as a family. It was a fun trip - Vince got a kick out of looking at the animals!
  • As speaking of - he does NOT like mommy's hair dryer or the sound of ripping paper. It scares him so badly, he cries! But for some reason, the vacuum cleaner or garbage disposal don't bother him at all, probably because he hears them both very often.

  • He is totally mobile - at the end of last month, he was beginning to army crawl and now, there's no keeping him out of things unless he is in his pack n play or strapped into something! If I put him down on his butt, he leans forward into an awkward looking baby yoga position until he flops forward onto his tummy. He still doesn't get up on his knees, but that doesn't keeping him from dragging himself all over the house. His favorite location is (was) the dog bed, until I moved it out of reach! I have a feeling he will skip crawling on his knees and go straight to walking - he tries to push off on his feet on the floor and likes to stand, although he can't do this unassisted yet.
pre baby-proofing - he wouldn't leave Daddy's shoes alone!
above mentioned awkward yoga pose ^^
  • Vincent is starting to purposefully drop things, particularly when he is in his high chair. I can tell when he isn't interested in eating anymore, because he will drop his food. 
  • He likes to bounce a lot!! He bounces his butt wherever he is sitting. This is often accompanied by headbanging haha!
  • Vincent is a talker - he will just sit and babble all day long. His recent new sounds are "Lalala" "Rarara" "Daddy" and "Thith". He sometimes sounds like is saying "Hi" or "Yeah" as well! When he first discovers a new sound or "word", he will say it over and over for several weeks and not want to say anything else! He hasn't said "mom-mom" in a while, like he was for over a month straight. Now, he says "da-da" a lot and clacks his tongue!

  • Vincent tried drinking from a sippy cup for the first time! I just put a little bit of water in there for him to taste. 

    • He is getting more and more ticklish! There are times that I'll simply wipe him when I change his diaper and he starts laughing. :D

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    Monday, October 13, 2014

    Birchbox Beauty Review | October 2014

    Yay! It's that time of month, when I open the mailbox and there's a little pink box of goodies inside, addressed to me! :D Here's what I received in my October box:

    Beauty Protector Protect and Detangle Leave In Conditioner
    In the short product description on the Birchbox card, it said that the scent was addictive, which couldn't have been more accurate. I couldn't stop sniffing my hands after applying the product!! It smelled SO amazing. I wanted to eat it. Seriously. And it made my hair feel incredibly soft, easy to brush after showering and seemed to work great as a heat protecting spray. This is one of my favorite Birchbox products so far. I definitely plan on purchasing the full-sized bottle in the near future!

    Coastal Scents Revealed 2 Eyeshadow Palette Set, Ballerina
    This is some of the best eyeshadow I've ever used! That being said, I generally purchase cheap eyeshadow, but I was beyond pleased with the product. The shadows were highly pigmented, even without primer and blended together very well. I combined all four of them together and added a little white shadow I already had, to highlight under my brows - the result was stunning! 

    LuMESH Hydrating Lip Gloss, Sadie
    This product okay, but I found it to be a bit too sticky. But then again, that's sort of standard for lip gloss. I was also not a huge fan of the scent. It's not a bad lip gloss, but even the full-sized version is definitely not worth $25.

    suki exfoliate foaming cleanser
    I really liked this cleanser. The lemon scent was so pleasant and refreshing and left my skin feeling super smooth and soft after washing my face! I felt so much more awake after using it as well, which is a huge plus for me.

    TOCCA Crema da Mano, Bianca Hand Cream
    This cream really helped hydrate my dry hands, without leaving a greasy or oily residue. It was super light, but very long lasting, as was the scent. It's so elegant and feminine - it makes me want to put on a Victorian dress and host a tea party. ;D

    If you're interested in receiving a $10 monthly box of goodies, be sure to shoot me a message!
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    Tuesday, October 7, 2014

    Vincent's 7 Month Update!

    Height/Weight: According to our home scale and measuring tape, Vincent weighs 19.6 lbs (68%) and is 27.5 inches long (66%) with a head circumference of 46cm (90%). 

    Daily: Vincent has started to settle into his own routine. In the morning we have a feeding, then he plays on his mat on the floor while I have breakfast. And I have to keep a good eye on him while he does, because he has begun to army crawl! Between noon and 1 PM, he goes down for his first nap and sleeps until around 2. When he is up, he eats a little bit of solid food, then goes back to playing. He has also been very content sitting in either his high chair or bouncy seat, wherever I'm doing work or cleaning around the house. As long as he knows I'm close, he has become pretty good at keeping himself entertained. I talk to him a LOT, and he seems to really enjoy having "conversations"; he will babble at me and I will answer him. Then I ask him questions and he will babble back or squeal in response. It's pretty entertaining! he generally goes down for his last nap at around 4 PM and I don't let him sleep any later than 6. He won't go down for the night at bedtime if he naps too late. While I make dinner, he either sits in the kitchen with me in his high chair, or with Mike if he is home. I make it a priority to have meals together at the table, which is when Vince has his second helping of solids for the day. After dinner, Vincent often spends time with Mike, while I wash dishes, pump and prepare everything for bedtime. We don't always give him a bath before bed, but I still bathe him in the sink, or Mike brings him in the tub with him to take a bath. He really likes to splash and kick in the water!

    Sleep: Vincent has been getting much better sleep this past month. The 4 month sleep regression period seemed to stretch over nearly two months and it was beyond exhausting! It's so much easier to get through the day, now that we are all getting better sleep!
    I still put Vince in his Zipadee-Zip at night. Although it would be nice to have him just sleep in a sleeper, this thing has been such a lifesaver. It's comfy, convenient and eliminates the need to use a blanket. It works so well and he sleeps so much better at night with it.
    He wakes up anywhere between 2 and 5 times per night to nurse and generally goes right back to sleep. He has gotten to where he sleeps in his crib the best. He still occasionally naps or sleeps in his swing, but not very often. He has become a total side and tummy sleeper, just like his mommy and daddy!

    Eating: Vincent doesn't nurse near as often as he did a few months back. I was very worried that solids might be replacing nursing sessions, because he would get too full and not be hungry for milk, but it seems instead that his feedings are spacing out and he is consuming a larger amount of milk in one feeding. 
    We've been trying baby led weaning, which is basically allowing your baby to feed himself table food. I have a couple tupperware containers full of different types of cut up fruits and veggies in the freezer, which I let him chew on. He is particularly fond of apples! He will gnaw and suck on them until all that's left is the skin. I still give him baby food popsicles too; green beans are his favorite. And the fact that most of the food I give him is either frozen or cold seems to really help soothe his gums from teething as well.
    At bedtime, I still give him an "oat-bottle". I pump about 4-5 oz and mix in 1-2 tbsps of baby oatmeal. 

    Nom, nom, nom, apples!

    Eating lemon for the first time!

    Sizes: Vincent wears 6, 6-9 and 9 month clothing. But he wears 12 month clothing if it runs small (Gerber!!). He is still in size 3 diapers, but we will be moving up to size 4 as soon as we've used up everything we have.

    Milestones and Changes:
    • Vincent has learned to army-crawl! He will drag his body across the floor and try to push off with his feet. As soon as he figures out how to get up on his knees, he will be off. And I will need to go and purchase baby proofing supplies! Hehe :)

    • He has begun to shake his head back and forth, as if to say no. He does this mostly when he is tired. When he is happy or has gotten my attention, he bobs his head up and down, like he is saying yes. Or headbanging. I am trying to figure out if he is trying to actually tell me something when he does it, or if he is just enjoying this new discovery!

    • Vince has started to scream. A lot. LOUDLY. It is so funny - he gets super worked up and excited, starts letting out little screams and simultaneously hitting his thighs.
    • Vincent got his first professional photos taken!! They turned out so adorable - I just melt every time I look at them. 

    • Vincent took a ride in the shopping cart for the first time! My cousin got us this awesome cover that we take to the store every time now. He loves it! He likes looking at me and around the store and being able to play with his toys, which are attached to little loops sewn into the cover.

    • Apparently, this boy thinks scary things are amusing. Mike and I took him to Target and came across this rather creepy possessed teddy bear-looking Halloween mask. Vincent thought is was the funniest thing he had ever seen. I put it on and said "Boo!" and he laughed like I had never heard him laugh before! He also likes to yell at zombies on TV when Mike and I watch The Walking Dead.
    • I think he is starting to say "Mama" on purpose now. When he wakes up from a nap, I hear him say it on the monitor until I come to get him. I LOVE it when he says it!! It sounds more like "Mom-mom" :D 

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    Monday, September 22, 2014

    Birchbox Beauty Review | August & September 2014

    I really love being able to test and review new products before completely committing to them and by receiving a monthly Birchbox, I can do just that! I didn't do a review on last month's box, so I will just combine them both together in one post. I'd like to start doing these Birchbox reviews every month, so you'll be able to find them under both the "Birchbox" and "Reviews" labels! 

    August Birchbox
    Dr. Jart+ Dis-A-Pore Beauty Balm
    I didn't find this product to be terribly special. Although it seemed to fill and conceal my pores, it didn't do a great job concealing otherwise. And the scent wasn't very pleasant - it smelled very medical.

    LAQA & Co. Sheer Lip Lube Pencil
    Lip color really isn't my cup of tea; I prefer to just use lip balm and be done with it. But this was a really fun product to try! I would definitely recommend it to anyone who likes lipstick or lip stain. It felt amazing on my lips, leaving a fresh and tingly feeling when I applied it. (I read up and it's infused with mint) 
    It comes in 5 different shades: Coral, Hot Pink, Nude, Rose and Purple (which I received). I almost wish I had received it in Nude, because I'd probably wear it every day. And may I add that it was a nice surprise to receive a full-sized product in my Birchbox!

    Neil George Shampoo & Conditioner
    I'm not a fan of either product at all. The scent was too earthy for my liking and it just doesn't meet my hair's needs. Because my hair is very damage-prone with the amount I color and style it, only specific products work for me. This just didn't cut it. And I cannot begin to justify purchasing a 3.38 oz bottle of shampoo or conditioner for $9 as opposed to a 25 oz bottle for $5. 

    Benefit Cosmetics Total Moisture Facial Cream
    Oh. My. God. I love this stuff. Not only did it leave my skin feeling moisturized and nourished, but the scent made me feel relaxed and pampered. I love that the cream absorbs quickly, allowing you to apply make-up with no trouble afterward, yet keeps your skin moisturized all day. I think this would make a fantastic night cream as well!

    September Birchbox

    Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum
    As you can see, the sample was so small, I was only able to use this product twice and sparingly. I was not a fan of the scent, which smelled a bit like paint primer. My skin flaws are not near severe enough to justify purchasing a bottle for $80.

    Dr. Brandt Pores No More Vacuum Cleaner
    You can really feel this product work! Okay, it doesn't feel like someone is taking a vacuum to my pores, but is cooling and tingly after applying until the product dries. It goes on clear and dries white, so it's easy to see if you missed a spot. After a couple days of use, my pores are minimized. But for the price, I don't consider it worth purchasing.

    JUARA Candlenut Body Creme
    As someone with dry skin, I am very impressed by this product! It felt a bit thick during the application, so I expected it to leave behind a sticky residue. But it smoothed and spread out nicely on my skin and left a silky, velvety feeling behind. The scent was lovely and it is still strong, even several hours after application.

    Noir Cosmetics Long-Wear Eyeliner
    I constantly deal with the problem of my eyeliner smudging in the corners of my eyes, just around an hour after application. I did not have that issue with this product! It lasted all day and didn't smudge or smear. I also like that I don't have to sharpen it! And again, just like with the lip lube, it's awesome to receive a full-sized product! This is a $15 eyeliner I received for $10 including all these other samples and shipping. Win.

    Whish Shave Crave Shaving Cream
    Although it is totally irrelevant, I was very drawn to the bottle's design; it is very feminine-looking and made me look forward to using it! Since it was not in a can, as your traditional shaving creams are, I knew it wouldn't foam. It came out as a rather thick cream, which thinned out and spread evenly when I applied it. It left my skin feeling so soft and smooth after the shave! Although the scent wasn't quite as fruity as I was hoping it would be, it still smelled nice. I'll also add; a little of this product goes a long way. You only need a small amount to cover your whole leg, whereas with foaming shaving cream, I feel like I need 3 to 4 times the amount. 

    Chapstick Dual-Ended Hydration Lock Day & Night
    I've been using this product for a few days night and I couldn't be happier with it! I mean how awesome is a dual-ended lip balm?! My lips are naturally very dry and crack a lot. So I have to apply lip balm several times a day and right before bed, to keep them hydrated. This product is exactly what I need and keeps me from having to use two types of lip balm every day. I love that the daytime balm has sunscreen and the nighttime balm is extra thick and long-lasting. 

    So there you have it; a little slice of paradise for $10 a month! As the mom of an infant, these little boxes are like little treasures. It's like my post box is saying "Here you go! Now go pamper yourself!". So far, the boxes have contained things that I wouldn't have thought to look for on my own, and it's a real treat to test them out and find new products! Let me know if you're interested in trying Birchbox and I'll hook you up. ;)

    Embracing the Chaos

    Picture this: you've gotten 5 hours of sleep. Not too bad, considering there have been nights you've gotten only an hour of sleep, but you're tired nonetheless. (Welcome to parenthood!) You've just woken up for the morning, get your baby dressed and go out into the living room. On your baby's activity gym and play mat, you find several piles of dog crap. On the couch sits your husband, enjoying his day off with his eyes glued to the TV, playing Final Fantasy. He somehow didn't see all this poop. 
    You put your baby down in his bouncy seat and clean up the poop, put the activity gym in the laundry and sanitize the play mat. Afterward, you go and pick up your baby to feed him and he smells of poop. You look at the bouncy seat and it is COVERED in his own poop, including the entire back of his shirt and pants. He proceeds to giggle at you. You ask your husband to hold up his son for a minute, while you cancel the already started load of laundry, to add the bouncy seat cover. 
    You come back into the living room to see your husband isn't there - he is in the kitchen, throwing up in the sink while holding up his son, because he can't handle the odor of the diaper blowout. You strip your baby down completely, dispose of horrendous diaper and decide to just throw all of his dirty clothes in the wash at this point, while your husband cleans up his own mess.
    After you've washed your baby, and put a new diaper and new clothes on him, you finally sit down to feed him. During which, he pulls off your glasses and they break.

    I'm not making this up. It all happened before my morning coffee. And what did I do? I laughed. Yes, I laughed until my stomach hurt. It was all I could do! And I know, several years from now, I will still laugh about it, as I am right now. Sometimes, you just have to let it go and embrace the chaos. Because parenthood is loaded with it! ;D

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    Saturday, September 20, 2014

    Vincent's 6 Month Photo Shoot

    We FINALLY got around to getting some professional photos taken for Vincent! I wanted to have some newborn photos taken, but due to lack of funds at the time or props to take them myself at home, it never happened. So we got some 6 month photos taken instead! I am so pleased with the way they turned out - I still can't believe our little Mr. is half a year old! <3

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