Thursday, March 29, 2007

Fruits or Vegetables

Some people and books say if you give a baby fruits before vegetables, they won't like vegetables and will prefer the sweet taste of fruits. Some people and doctors say it makes no difference and you should start with bananas because there is a good chance that they will like them. I think either is ok, but we went with a veggie first - squash. If this goes well, we'll move on to bananas.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Jogging Stroller

Since Anna has developed enough to hold herself up with good control over her head, we decided to try out her jogging stroller. We got the Jeep Overland Limited Jogging Stroller. This stroller has everything you could ever want including speakers to hook a mp3 player up to and a built-in pedometer. The only problem is that despite all the features, it is rather hard to maneuver. Whenever I need to turn to the right or left, I have to pop the front wheel in the air, turn the stroller, and put the wheel down in the direction I want to go. It's rather annoying especially when right now our main walk is around the block :). I have high hopes that I'll like it better once we get out for a longer distance. Some of my friends have jogging strollers with a front wheel that swivels from side to side and that stroller seem to be much easier. Despite the complaint, I'll continue to use the jogging stroller for it handles the bumps in the sidewalk much better and saves the wear and tear on my regular stroller. No wonder Babies R Us lets you test out such items in the store - I'll remember that next time.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Oatmeal Wins

After Anna not wanting to eat any more rice cereal, we decided to switch things up a little bit and try the Gerber single grain oatmeal. It was a success from the start! Anna even licked her fingers.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Early to Bed

For the last 2 months of Anna's life we've been playing with her and keeping her up until 10:00/10:30 for it seemed logical to us that the later we put her to bed, the longer she would sleep. As we are searching for the best way to get Anna to sleep, we are discovering that keeping her up so long is not the best thing to do. Instead, we are watching to see when she appears sleepy - rubbing her eyes, being very still, etc. The past couple of nights it has been around 8 p.m. Normally this would be her fussy time which we were contributing to by keeping her awake. I like this 8 p.m. bedtime. It gives my husband and I time to spend together without Anna and gives me the opportunity to get to bed earlier.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Car Shade

There is one item that we received off of our baby registry that was a complete bust - the Aquarium Color Change Shade. I thought they would be a nice alternative to the typical car sun shade that would allow me to see out all of the car windows since they are clear. I'm not sure if we got a defective product or if it was user error, but they never changed color as advertised and therefore didn't keep any sun out of Anna's eyes. We were quick to go out and buy a basic sun shade from Target that suctioned to the window.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Welcome Spring!

Spring is here and its 72 today in Raleigh - what a beautiful day! Anna and I met some friends to walk and for the first time I had to worry about keeping Anna from the sun. I put this cute little hat on her, covered her in sunscreen, and frequently stopped to check on her to make sure the sun wasn't directly on her. One more worry! I just hope she has my husband's complexion instead of being fair skinned like me.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Baby Bath Wash

I received a cute little book as a shower gift that was full of mom sayings. One of which is:

If cleanliness is next to godliness, a baby fresh from the bath is heaven on earth.

I gave Anna a bath with Huggies extra-sensitive fragrance-free bath wash- yuck - Anna smelled more like a chemical than a baby! I think I'll stick to the slightly-scented bath soaps.

A co-worker of mine forwarded me the following link regarding a cancer-causing chemical that can be found in some baby bath products:

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Smelly Diapers

Before Anna, I had no clue that baby diapers don't smell until they start formula or solid foods. If I had known, the decision whether or not to buy the diaper genie would have been even easier. We opted to buy a cheap sealing trash can with scented trash can liners and that has worked great so far and saved us money over the diaper genie bags. However now that Anna has started solid foods, we may have to reevaluate or at least empty the trash more!

Here's a picture from yesterday's dinner, eating is hard work!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Information Overload

Thanks to the internet, a parent can find all the information they could ever want to know about any parenting topic. There are also books out there to support just about any parenting view a parent may have. At times though, I find all of this information confusing. I am currently seeking answers on the controversial topic of how to put Anna to bed. Some books tell you to let the baby cry; others tell you that letting them cry is a sign of neglect. Some books tell you to not to rock a baby to sleep and to wake them up before placing them in their cribs; others say not to wake a sleeping baby. So, what is the "right" way? I know there will never be a consensus, so I'm on the search for the right way for Anna. Hopefully we'll find it soon and Anna will return to sleeping through the night - I guess I just got spoiled during her first 3 1/2 months :).

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Picture People

Yesterday we took Anna to Picture People to have professional pictures taken. When we arrived at the mall, Anna was taking a little nap and it took us awhile to wake her up for her pictures. Next time, I will get there even earlier and play with her for a bit first. The store manager was in charge of our photo shoot and was eager to get started. For thirty minutes Erik and I did everything we could think of to get Anna to smile and to pay attention to the camera. It was difficult with people walking by and looking through the mall window at her. The lady took pictures of Anna in her cute Easter dress and some in just a diaper. In the last set of pictures bunny ears were put on Anna and Anna started crying (who can blame her).

We ate lunch and walked around the mall for a little bit while we waited for the pictures to be ready. Once we arrived back at the store, all of the pictures were printed for us to look at. They were ADORABLE and I was so pleased. I will definitely use them again.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Rice Cereal Take 3

I am loving this!! Anna has already become a great "helper" during her feedings.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Getting back in shape

Prior to being released from the hospital after Anna's birth, the nurse brought in a scale to weigh me. Pregnant women get weighed so often that it isn't really a big deal - but I was not prepared for what was about to happen. During pregnancy I gained about 35 pounds, Anna was born at 8 pounds 2 ounces plus the placenta and all the other gook. Yet when I got on the scale I had only lost 5 pounds!! Something didn't quite add up.

It has now been one full year since I went to the gym (and yes I'm still paying my membership in hopes that I will return :( ). I now know why books tell you not to expect to return to your "normal" weight within a few months and it is often said 9 months up, 9 months down. With breastfeeding a woman needs to keep up her caloric intake and after such a big break from exercise, its not easy to return to a regular aerobics class. So for now, I'll just keep walking and hopefully the weight will gradually slide off :).

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Cassie and Anna

About 4 years ago we adopted our puppy Cassie who has grown into a 70 pound fluffy dog who is sweet, yet hyper. We had no clue how Cassie would react to us bringing a baby into the household. We read a lot online and even took a free class at Babies R Us in anticipation for the day they would meet. After attending the class I was extremely nervous - is this sweet dog going to eat our baby?!?! I know it wasn't, but if it was a marketing ploy by Babies R Us, it worked, for we left the store that night with two baby gates. The gates were for me to use if I needed to separate Anna and Cassie. Another recommendation was to walk Cassie with the stroller before Anna came so that she would be comfortable with it - so we took several strolls around the block with the dog and an empty stroller - haha!! (a good resource is Dogs and Storks).

It has now been over 4 months since Anna came home from the hospital and things are going well. For the first 3 1/2 months Anna paid no attention to Cassie and Cassie paid little attention to Anna. Around the 4 month mark, Anna began to watch Cassie as she would move around the room and Cassie was quick to give Anna a lick whenever she has a runny nose. So far, I've never had to separate the two by gate - only separate Cassie from visitors since this is when she gets extremely hyper!. The above picture is very typical during the day (except for Anna's startled look) - wherever Anna and I are, Cassie is also.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Mall Walking Moves Outside

I thought this mom had a great idea, so I wanted to share... Today Anna and I went walking with a group of moms with kids of all ages at a local park. One of the moms had decided to put together a walking club of sorts that moves from place to place around the city. What a great idea and a great way to get outside now that the weather is turning nicer.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Stroller / Infant Carrier

Running errands, going for walks, taking car trips - these are things we do nearly every day and so it was important that we got a good car seat/stroller. We spent hours researching on Consumer Reports, asking friends, and trying them out at Babies R Us. In the end, it was the Babies R Us employee who convinced us to buy the Chicco Cortina Travel system. The key thing for me was a stroller that I could easily get in and out of the car and an infant carrier light enough to carry around. Well, there isn't exactly such a thing as a "light" carrier once you put a 16 pound baby in it- but I am very happy with our purchase. The infant carrier easily snaps in and out of the car base and stroller and the guy at Rex Hospital even said the base was easy to install correctly in the car. The stroller has a bassinet feature which I used today when taking Anna out for a walk around the neighborhood. The bassinet allows for babies to lay in the stroller without the carrier. The one negative review that I read on it which I agree with is the sunshade is a little short on the infant carrier so she may get a little more sun in her eyes than in another carrier. All in all I am very happy with this travel system and if I had it to do over again, I would make the same decision (except maybe get it in black and green :))

Monday, March 12, 2007

Update on Rice Cereal

Tonight when the spoon of rice cereal was placed in front of Anna, she opened her mouth and leaned forward to eat the cereal. Yeah Anna!

Sunday, March 11, 2007


There have had a lot of firsts lately in Anna's life - the introduction of formula has been yet another one. As Anna has gotten bigger and needing more to eat than I can supply I have started to give her one 6 oz. bottle of formula a day. We are using the Emfamil Lipil samples that were given to us by our doctor before Anna was born. I had a hard time with the decision to give Anna formula for some reason - maybe because of some of the problems we had to overcome during breastfeeding. Then, the first time I gave it to her, the smell was so gaggy that I almost cried that she had to drink it- she didn't seem to mind though :).

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Rice Cereal

At Anna's four month checkup yesterday, the doctor gave us the go-ahead to start rice cereal. I was very excited to be able to start this next phase of feeding Anna. So last night we made her some cereal for the first time and made it really soupy with some breastmilk. The doctor told us to look at it as a fun experience and a way to introduce the spoon and feeding - which was a good thing because she definitely didn't get any nutrition out of it for most of it came back out on the bib. Whenever we were able to get some to stay in her mouth, she made a yucky face (see top picture), so I'm not sure if this is a typical baby reaction or if she doesn't like it. This morning we had a similar experience. I did learn one thing from last night to today - make sure the bib has a plastic layer or else everything that comes back out goes through on the clothes.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Four Month Checkup

Anna had her four month checkup today and everything went great. She weighs 16 pounds 1.5 ounces and is about 24 1/2 inches long. She had to also get shots (DTap,Hib,IPV, Prevnar). The doctor gave the ok to start rice cereal so a new adventure is about to begin.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Anna's First Cold

After all of the germs that have been flying around, our family caught one. Anna still seems upbeat despite the congested chest and nose. The biggest difference is that she is not sleeping well during the day or at night. Poor girl :(

Yesterday I invested in an ear thermometer for fear of taking her temperature rectally. I bought one made by Braun and it was very easy to use. I just hope the guards that cover the thermometer with each use are easy to find once we run out. Thankfully, Anna did not have a fever (at this age they need to see a doctor with anything over 102). Today I decided at the recommendation of a friend to call the pediatrician to see what advice they had for me. They suggested the following:

- use a cool mist humidifier
- elevate her head in her crib with a wedge
- do lots of nasal suctioning (prior to feeding)
- use saline nose drops to help with suctioning

I also found out they prefer to have a rectal temperature for accuracy, yikes! So I got out the rectal thermometer (Vicks Baby thermometer - I liked it because it had a short end so that it could not be inserted too far) and read the directions. With shaking hands I used the thermometer and determined once again that Anna didn't have a fever. Anna was a trooper and handled it much better than expected - sorry girl!


Since Anna has hit 4 months, I am noticing more and more new things that she does. She now appears to be more deliberate in her actions. While in her exersaucer, she now grabs a hold of things or touches buttons rather than the uncontrollable banging that she use to do. She watches our dog move around the room. This morning I was playing with her downstairs and she heard a noise and turned toward the doorway until she saw something - it was her daddy coming down the stairs. What a fun stage!

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Mommy Moment

I don't know why, but something I did today reminded me of a "mommy moment". It was one of those situations that I imagine if Anna were a little older she would be have been embarrassed to be with me. We were at Target today picking up a few things and while the lady was ringing me out I realized I didn't have my wallet. Hahahaha.

Tummy Time

Tummy time - those 2 words that use to bring dread, for it would mean putting Anna on her tummy and trying to make it through her screaming for her to get a minute or two in. Thankfully, tummy time is going a little better these days since it is so important for her physical development. My husband and I decided to try the divide and conquer approach by each committing to have at least 5 minutes of tummy time with her a day. Also, I learned by watching other moms that I needed to prop Anna up with her arms underneath her - I just assumed her arms needed to be out at her sides. This was another one of the aha moments for me in motherhood. :)

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Play Group

I was watching TV and a commercial came on with 3 women talking and eating the advertised product. They were saying they needed to get together again and that it was great for the kids. The camera then cuts to 3 babies asleep in their car seats. Talk about reality - many times that's exactly what happens during a "play date". I have been fortunate to get to know some wonderful ladies as a result of a play group. It is wonderful to have others to talk to that are going through the exact same thing and have many of the same questions. One of the best ways to start one is through a prenatal birthing class, for many couples are due around the same date.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Laundry, Laundry and more Laundry

Today is Monday therefore it is laundry day. It is definitely true that with a baby comes more laundry - I had no idea. In the beginning I was doing laundry almost every two days but with a few purchases have been able to extend that time out to a week (as long as there are no diaper "explosions"). The main reason I was doing so much laundry was because we were always running out of burp cloths - it finally dawned on me one day, just go buy more :).

The other laundry saver I found is the sheet saver. The sheet saver was recommended to us, but when we looked at them pre-baby I didn't see why we would need one and so skipped over them for our registry. To me it seemed silly that they were so small because I thought the way the sheets would get dirty was from a leaky diaper. At the time, I had not tried to put a crib sheet on the crib mattress nor did I realize that the sheets would get dirty from Anna spitting up during the night, LOL.

Sunday, March 4, 2007


We have recovered from our stay away from home and Anna has returned to sleeping through the night. I think the key thing here is her crib.

Before Anna was born we bought a pack and play that had a bassinet and set it up in our room for Anna to sleep in. I figured that with as many times I would need to get up during the night, having her close by would be nice. Well... as expected, Anna didn't want to sleep the first few nights at home and I would spend hours rocking her or my mom would so graciously stay up with Anna so that I could get an hour or two of sleep. When we would lay Anna down in the pack and play, we would hear her spit up and panic as new parents do or hear her make a noise and immediately wake up. After about a week of no one in the house sleeping, we went and bought a wedge to put under the mattress (Safety lift wedge) and put Anna to sleep in the crib in her room. It seemed to work, for at about 2 months, Anna was sleeping from 11:00pm to 5:30am and around 3 months Anna made it through the whole night.

I am so glad we made the transition from our room to the nursery so early, for I hear it can be a very rough transition later on. I do have a monitor in my room that I use every night, but when Anna wakes up I can hear her regardless :).

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Eating out

As Anna has gotten older, the ease with which we are able to eat out has definitely changed. When she was 1-3 months old, we could go almost anywhere and she would sleep in her car seat through an entire meal. We just made sure she was fed before we left and we had the pacifier somewhere close by just in case. Ever since Anna hit 3 months she is less likely to sleep through the meal and instead prefers to be out and watching everyone. We have found louder restaurants to be the best since it gives her a lot to look at. Our favorite restaurant with Anna is Pei Wei. It is quick, has a busy atmosphere and there are usually other kids there as well - plus its PF Changs food without the wait!

We are also starting to learn the "lingo" at restaurants. Many places now have these things called slings which remind me of something you would put a suitcase on at a hotel - the car seat goes on top. I had never heard of or seen a sling prior to having Anna but they are at most chain restaurants such as Johnny Carinos or O'Charleys. Other places such as Jason's Deli have high chairs that convert to car seat holders without having to turn the high chair upside down (and having to touch all the sticky yuck that is on the bottom of them).

Friday, March 2, 2007

A Visit with the Grandparents

Anna and I spent the first part of the week with my mom and are now in recovery mode. It was a wonderful few days with my family but Anna's lack of sleep left us both exhausted. I now know that one room for Anna, the dog and I just doesn't work.

One thing I've noticed about my parent's generation is that many of them don't want to be called grandma or grandfather as my grandparents did. They much prefer names that don't sound as "old" such as Mimi (as my mom is) or some shortened form of their real name. All of these options though, may leave a grandparent nameless - hopefully Anna will talk soon so my dad can have a name :).

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Movie Moms Club

Every Wednesday the Raleigh Grande movie theater (off Glenwood) offers a showing of a new release that is designated as "mom time". I have never gone, but keep meaning to. Supposedly the lights are left brighter and the sound is not so loud.

The time and movie varies each week but a schedule can be found at: