MOMent: Happy New Year!

I'm not big on New Year's Reolutions but this year, I have a few goals and things I want to work on... Drinking more water, eating better, managing my time more wisely, and hopefully, finishing my next writing project over the winter! I don't feel like my resolutions are any different than goals I set for myself throughout the year, but hopefully 2016 is the year I do a better job of sticking with them.

Some other things I'd like to work on:
- making sure I get out more
- making sure I put the damn phone down!
- remembering this:

I found this great graphic that gives you ideas for how to work on yourself every month. It starts with drinking more water, and since that was already one of my goals anyway, I'm going to give this a try and do something little each month!

Some fellow awesome blogger friends are also interested in setting goals and working to improve  themselves in the new year! New Year, New Momma is about achieving your goals and becoming a better you. It’s creating a community of support for those that want to start the new year on the right foot. Visit Momma Wants Java for details on a fun Instagram challenge and use #newyearnewmomma to connect with others on their own journey. Follow me on Instagram!


Merry Christmas!

We had such a great Christmas. It was Jacob's first Christmas, so both sets of grandparents were here. We went to Christmas Eve Carols by Candlelight at the National Cathedral and Jacob was an angel. Slept the whole time! (We drove through the Bull Run Festival of Lights and he slept through that too.) He had a great time tearing open presents (eating the paper!) and we had a lot of fun.

Merry Christmas to you and yours! 


About Jacob's Busy Weekend

On Saturday, we had a holiday party at our house. I ran out to the store to buy a few things and when I got home, Jacob was crying. Tears running down his face and everything. My husband said he cried the whole time I was gone. But did he miss me? Nope.

I took him upstairs to his room to put him down for a nap, and that's when I saw it. HIS FIRST TOOTH! FINALLY! The poor kid has been teething forever. Top left.

I was worried that he'd be a mess with 40 people about to show up for the party, but he was a total trooper. 

Then, on Sunday, I was wrapping some Christmas presents and had Jacob on the floor with me. He got on his knees and raised his butt in the air, which he's done before. This time, he actually pushed up so that his arms were straight, too. That was a first. He rocked forward and back a few times, and then he was off! He started crawling, just like that!

So... First tooth and crawling! Two milestones in one weekend!


About Black Friday

I wrote a post for Mommy Effect about our Black Friday tradition. (Check it out!)

My husband and I returned to Snickers Gap tree farm for the fourth year in a row, this time with Jacob in his stroller! This year we cut down two Christmas trees, one for upstairs and one for downstairs.


About Rolling Over

Jacob has now pretty much mastered the art of rolling over. He started rolling at 3 months, but it seemed like for awhile he forgot how to roll from his stomach to his back. Not a big deal, because he's learned to love spending time on his belly and even sleeps like that a lot. He's finally gotten the hang of rolling from back to stomach. And then stomach to back. And then back to stomach. If we put him on the floor, he will roll until he runs out of room. He hasn't figured out how to crawl yet (he does this weird scoot where he will scrunch his butt up in the air, throw his weight sideways, and then pull himself forward a little) but I think he would roll all over the house if we'd let hm.

The only problem is - he's so obsessed with rolling that he does it all the time. And he's doing it in his crib. It used to be that I worried about him turning himself in circles. Then I worried about him ending up on his stomach and getting stuck. Now he tosses and turns so much that he ends up all over the crib! I can hear him rolling around across the hall. Even though we have (breathable mesh) bumpers up on the crib, he's still gotten his hands and feet out of the crib slaysppts - above the bumpers. And the don't really do much to cushion the blow if he rolls over and smacks his arm, or worse, his head, off of the side of the crib.

Is this just a phase? He figured out a new thing so he wants to do it all the time? Any tips or suggestions on how to deal with it?


About Homemade Baby Food

Awhile back, a friend told me she was making all of her baby's food from scratch. Sounded like a whole lot of work to me. I figured that I was fed whatever came out of a jar, and I turned out okay, so Jacob would be too.

But since I decided to stay home with him, I started thinking that maybe making his baby food could be my little side project. I love cooking, and I thought this could be fun! I turned to Pinterest for some ideas.

Making sweet potato puree: 1. Steam sweet potato chunks (I used frozen!) 2. Rinse with cold water to stop cooking and drain well. 3. Puree in food processor. 4. Store in freezer safe containers. Love these ones by OXO!
Turns out, making baby food isn't so hard! If you have a food processor, you're pretty much good to go! You can use fresh or frozen veggies. Cook the veggies, puree them up, store them in freezer safe containers, and you're done! Some people like to portion off baby food in ice cube trays or baby food/breastmilk storage trays that look like ice cube trays. Then you can just pop out a cube of food when it's time for baby to eat! They also make all kinds of different storage containers!

Over a couple days, I made 30 oz. of baby food! Sweet potatoes, butternut squash, applesauce, green beans, and bananas! 
Although I started him on rice cereal and oatmeal a few weeks before his appointment, we waited for Jacob's 4 month check-up on October 30th (he's actually now 5 months!) to talk with the doctor about starting solids and make sure she approved.

However... I noticed that when we would eat in front of Jacob, he would watch the spoon or fork go down into the food and then up to our mouths. Once, when I was eating my yogurt and granola in front of him, he sat there watching me and opening and closing his mouth! I decided to see what happened if I offered him an empty baby spoon - he opened his mouth right up and closed it around the spoon like he was eating invisible food! I even put a little bit of formula on the spoon and he slurped it right off!

I read somewhere that if a baby is 13 pounds or more, can sit and hold their head up, and will accept a spoon, that they may be ready for cereal. So I decided to give it a try. I fed Jacob rice cereal mixed with formula (from a bowl, not in his bottle) in the morning after his first bottle for a few weeks before I switched to oatmeal. (Same thing, in a bowl, after his first bottle.) He did great with both cereals. I started with half a tablespoon of each and gradually worked up to giving him a whole tablespoon.

Some peds, like ours, say a baby can start food at 4 months. Others (like my friend's ped) suggest you wait until 6 months. Definitely check with your doctor first! Our ped gave us the go-ahead: Jacob is 18 pounds, sits up great in his high chair, and takes a spoon in his mouth with no problem - sometimes he even grabs the spoon and tries to move it to his mouth. (I guess I don't feed him fast enough?!) And because we'd already had such great success with the cereal, she didn't think there would be an issue.

After he finishes his food, I always give Jacob the spoon to play with. It gives him something to mess around with while I clean up the dishes wipe down his tray!

There's some debate about giving baby super sweet, fruity foods first. Some people think that if you do that, they'll develop a sweet tooth and prefer fruits to vegetables. Makes sense to me. So I started with butternut squash, and Jacob loved it! I gave him a little bit of oatmeal and a little bit of squash. Sometimes I gave him a spoonful of each, sometimes I mixed it together. After three days, I gave him some avocado with his oatmeal, and again, he scarfed it down! I'm pretty sure this kid is going to eat everything! When we finish up the avocado, I'll give him some bananas, and then maybe I'll switch to green beans. I know eventually we'll find something that he doesn't like, but so far, he's gobbled up everything.

It's important to me that Jacob tries a lot of different foods. I was a super picky eater as a kid, but I love food now, so I hope that he grows up willing to try all different kinds of fruits and veggies!

Check out my Baby Food Recipe board on Pinterest! Baby food is SUPER EASY to make! Try it and let me know how it goes!

I bought a bag of frozen sweet potatoes for $1.99 and got more than 12 oz. of baby food!
So I saved a little money, anyway!


About Our Big Baby!

Jacob had his 4 month check-up today. (Even though he's technically 5 months.)

He weighed 18 pounds and was about 27 inches long!

No wonder we had a problem with footie PJs. He's in 9 or 12 month clothes now!



About Halloween

Jacob was a little monkey for his first Halloween!

We went to Boo at the Zoo at the National Zoo. I wrote a post about it for Mommy Effect. http://mommyeffect.com/halloween-fun-boo-at-the-zoo/

For Halloween night, we sat in the driveway with our monkey and passed out candy. No trick or treating this year!  


About Sleeping Positions

Ever since Jacob learned how to roll over, he's been spending a lot of time on his tummy. The only problem is, it's like all of a sudden, he forgot how to roll from his tummy to his back. Not really a big deal - I'm sure he'll get it eventually, except that he keeps rolling over on his tummy in his crib at night.

Sometimes he wakes up all pissed off because he can't get back over and we have to go in and flip him over, only to get back in bed and look at him on the monitor and see that he's back on his belly again.

Other times, he seems perfectly content to sleep on his stomach, but when we look at him, his face is smooshed into the mattress or his arm is flung over his face, covering his nose and his mouth.

We were going into his room and flipping him onto his back, but since he just keeps rolling onto his tummy anyway, we started trying to turn his head or move his arms so that we know he can breathe. It's just the weirdest thing.

Last night he slept great - slept on his stomach most of the night and never made a sound or woke up once. But Tommy and I both got up like three times each to make sure his face wasn't covered and that he was still breathing.

Hello, baby... I can't believe you don't know this, but breathing is kind of important!!!

I know you're supposed to put babies down on their back to sleep, and we still do, but what are we supposed to do until he can roll over both ways? Any suggestions?


About Screen Time

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently announced that they are considering changes to their screen time guidelines. Previously, the AAP was against all screen time for children under two years of age. The AAP says that “In a world where ‘screen time’ is becoming simply ‘time,’ our policies must evolve or become obsolete." Their new guidelines won't be released until sometime in 2016, but people have already been talking about them, saying that the AAP has finally gotten with the program. Others (myself included at first!) feel like it almost sounds like the AAP is just copping out, as if to say, people are doing it anyway, so what difference does it make what we say?

The AAP says that their new guidelines will stress quality over quantity; also, they continue to suggest supervising your children and technology, staying involved, and integrating tech-free activities in your child's daily playtime. Here's what the AAP's website currently says about media and childrenSounds like common sense to me.

My husband and I already came to an agreement shortly after Jacob was born, and long before the news of the AAP's revision of their screen time guidelines. We're keeping technology out of his hands for as long as possible! We've seen how the flickering light from the television will catch his attention. If I go to take a picture of him, he will reach out and grab for my iPhone. (And usually just try to put it in his mouth.) But it's scary to see that technology already has that kind of effect on a kid so little!

I know that there are lots of great techie toys and educational apps out there that will greatly benefit Jacob someday. I know kids can learn a lot if given the right tools and the time to explore. So Jacob will use them... someday. But I also want our son to be a kid and use his imagination. To read and draw and play with Legos. To color the driveway with chalk and to blow bubbles. To play catch in the backyard. To stand in the kitchen and learn how to bake with his dad. To go to one of the many parks in our neighborhood and swing on the swings. To cover the dining room table with sheets and blankets to make it into a cave or a fort. 

You know... like we did when we were kids.

What do you think? Comment below!


MOMent: It's official! I'm a SAHM!

It's official. I'll be taking time off from work to be a SAHM.

I'm so excited that we are able to do this. I am so glad to be able to spend so much time with Jacob. He's grown and changed so much over the past few months, that I hate to think about what I might be missing!

I'm trying to keep busy (translation: if I have a spare minute or two) by writing. I'm working on a book, and I've written posts for Mommy Effect and Scary Mommy. Check them out below!

The Secret About Hand Me Downs

No Such Thing as a Fairy-Tale Romance

The Lazy Mama's Guide to a  Laid-Back Fall Happy Hour

Daddy's First Day Back To Work

Making New Mom Friends is Harder Than I Thought

If you're reading this, and you're a SAHM, how do you spend your day? Comment below!


About Starting Cereal

Our pediatrician gives the ok to start food at 4 months so we decided to let Jacob try some single grain rice cereal. I've noticed recently that he'll stare at us when we eat and thought maybe he might like to try something different.

I've messed around and put formula on a spoon a couple times for him to see how he reacted to having the spoon pushed in his mouth - he's been ok with it every time. He also sits up ok in his high chair so I thought it would be ok.

From the first spoonful, it was clear that he loved it, even though he was quiet. He had no problem with the spoon in his mouth and tried to grab for it and stick it in his mouth - I guess we weren't feeding him fast enough!

When we tried again the second day, he did even better. He had a big smile on his face when he saw me coming towards him with the bowl and spoon. He smiled and babbled the whole time he ate... so he got a little messier, but he didn't seem to mind too much!


About Farm Day

We took Jacob to Falls Church Farm Day today. We just wanted to get him outside and walk around and figured it might be a good place to take pictures. We got a bunch! He got to ride a pony and pet a duck, too!

My favorite picture is the black and white one. The farmhouse in the park had a swing hanging from an old farm scale so we stuck Jacob in it. We were trying to get Jacob to smile, but I love the expression on his face in that photo!

I just have to remember to take his bib off when we pose him for pictures next time!


About Refusing the Bottle

Awhile back when Jacob first started teething, he started pushing the bottle away. He'd start eating, then partway through, he'd smack at the bottle, shove it away, and start crying.

It was worrying me because he could easily pack away 30+ ounces of formula a day and all of a sudden, he was only getting 20-something. Some days it was like he was missing a whole bottle!

I called the nurse line at our ped's office and the nurse told me not to worry. She said if he was teething, chances are the bottle was probably hurting his mouth, and that he'd eat when he was hungry. She said if he was making 4-6 wet diapers a day, he was just fine. He makes like 10, so I figured we were good!

Still, it's frustrating to have him go from being a voracious eater to only doing half a bottle, sometimes even less. Our ped eventually told us that his weight gain would start to taper off, which would lead to him eating less, too. She said to aim for between 28-32 ounces a day. 

After awhile, Jacob started to get better. He still has his moments where he might push the bottle away, but he usually gets plenty to eat during the day. Whew.

Any of you have any issues with feeding and teething? 


About Feet

I don't know what the deal is, but Jacob must have some huge feet. Either that or his socks have shrunk like crazy. I swear we just bought 3-12 month socks a few weeks ago but all of his socks have gotten tight - to the point where they leave marks around his ankles! I ended up getting some 12 month socks on Amazon and they fit just fine.

I guess he gets his big feet from me. 😐

About Sitting

The other night, I sat Jacob on the bed facing away from me. He leaned forward away from me, and stuck his hands out in front of him. I let go and moved my hands away from him and he sat there all by himself! I couldn't believe it. He's sat in his bouncer and high chair and we prohim up in the corner of the couch to take pictures but I couldn't believe he was sitting all on his own!


MOMent: I'm a Mommy Effect Website Contributor!

I'm happy to announce that I am going to be a regular contributor on the website MOMMY EFFECT.

I read a couple different big parenting websites but there were a few posts on Mommy Effect that I felt like I could have written myself. It's nice to feel like you have a connection like that with someone, even if you don't know them. I hope that my blog posts on Mommy Effect can do that for other people!

Here's my first post: Daddy's First Day Bsck at Work


About Baby Hands

I love giving Jacob a bottle and seeing his little hands on either side of it, trying to "help" hold it. And I love how he'll squeeze one of my fingers in a death grip while he takes his bottle and stares at me with those giant blue eyes. He makes me laugh when he sticks his hands in MY mouth. (Or tries to stick a finger in my nose.)

But my favorite thing is when Jacob is starting to fall asleep and needs a little extra help to get there. He will take my hand in his two little ones and pull it down close on top of his chest, like he needs to give it a big hug before he can fall asleep. I love feeling those little hands on mine.


About the Pack 'n Play

Everybody told us that we had to have a Pack 'n Play. I got one for my baby shower. It turned out to be a lifesaver when Jacob was first born because it ended up becoming our downstairs changing area. (It has the reversible napper/changer attachment.) We stash all of our diapers, wipes, lotion, burp cloths, and bibs there so that everything is kind of neatly contained in one area.

But now we kind of have a problem with the Pack 'n Play. Jacob's getting to be too long for the changing pad. I believe the weight limit for the changer and bassinet is 15 pounds - and he's 16!

So... if we can no longer use the Pack 'n Play as a changing area, I'm kind of not sure what to do with it for the moment. I mean, I know that he can go in there... but he can't sit up on his own yet. I could put him in there to play, I guess, but I can also just have him roll around on his mat or on the floor. I suppose he could go in there for naps, but I don't know how well he'd sleep because he'd probably roll all over the place. If he ends up on his stomach, he gets mad. (He can roll from back to stomach but not stomach to back yet!) At least in his papasan chair, he's strapped in. And in his crib, we have blankets rolled up under the sheets to keep him from rolling around.

So... when and how often do you use your Pack 'n Play?

About Probiotic Drops

So, I've mentioned that Jacob has the hardest time burping. We try every different position and we're lucky if we maybe get 1 burp a day. Most of the time, we get burps accidentally - like when we change positions or pick him up. Every once in awhile, he'll burp if he's on his belly on his mat. Of course, the one time I tried to burp him on his belly, he burped - and then spit up (for like the first time ever) on the couch. Sometimes the burps come two hours after a bottle.

 We mentioned it to the doctor when we took him the other day. We told her that we've tried different brands of Gripe Water and gas drops and they don't really seem to help. And lately, it seems like the little guy has been really cranky if he can't get a burp (or fart!) out. He's already on Enfamil Gentlease, which she said is a really good formula, so she suggested Colief, a form of probiotic drops that you put right in the bottle.

We started using the Colief in Jacob's formula by itself (no Gripe Water or gas drops) to see if we could notice a difference. The first time we used it, we got a couple burps. Once, I even got 6 or 7 burps after a bottle. I couldn't believe it. We've been using it for a week now, and it seems like it's helping! Jacob still gets some gas stuck from time to time and then we use the Gripe Water to try to ease his discomfort, but he's doing a lot better.


About Amber Teething Necklaces

So, I've seen these on Amazon and I've had a few people suggest them to me. I'll be honest, when I first heard of them, I thought it was for the kid to wear so that he could chew on it, and that didn't seem safe to me. (Duh.)

I guess they work by being worn against the skin. The baby's body temperature helps release an oil into the skin which is supposed to ease inflammation, and therefore, help reduce pain and fussiness in teething babies. A couple friends have sworn by these and even said they helped cut down on the drooling tremendously.

Since our little guy doesn't have any teeth yet (and probably won't for awhile since it's already been a month and this feels like forever!) I decided to give it a try and see if these things worked. I got him a necklace and ankle bracelet set. The necklace is just a little bit too big for this worrywart mama - it could probably get pushed up over his chin and get stuck. So I doubled it and put it around his ankle. Still loose. The ankle bracelet is a little too big, too - if he's not wearing socks or footie PJs,they both just come flying right off.

Within a few hours of wearing them, the drool dried up. It dawned on me while I was playing with Jacob that his chin was completely dry. That's great and all, but the drool was the least of my concerns. He's been wearing the amber now for about two weeks, and I'm not sure if I see any dramatic results. Some days are better than others, but I imagine that's just how it goes.


About Being THOSE Parents

So, we decided to take Jacob to the doctor to see what the deal is with his teething. He's been grabbing at the side of his head a lot the past few days - different from when he plays with his hair or ears when he's tired. We didn't know if that was a sign of an ear infection or what. Plus he's been increasingly cranky! So, I figured it was better to be safe than sorry and made a sick visit appointment. Plus, we had a couple other questions to ask the doctor (like WHY DOESN'T OUR KID BURP?) while we were there.

Of course... We took the kid to the doctor and there's absolutely nothing wrong. Ears look good. Weight looks good. No teeth yet (we were wrong, wrong, wrong!) but he's definitely teething.

The doctor suggested some probiotic drops to help with the gas issues and not burping.

Other than that... Jacob is absolutely fine, which probably made us look like paranoid first-time parents, but OH WELL... and I guess we just have to weather the storm!


About Crib Scooting

Sometime a couple months ago, when we moved Jacob from the bassinet to his crib, we made a weird discovery.

First, Jacob seemed like he was sleeping a whole lot better. I think because he had more room to stretch out, he was probably more comfortable. So, yay for that!

But one morning, when we went in to check on him, congratulating him and cheering because he'd slept through the night, my husband said, "You know we have a problem, right?"

I was like, "What problem could we possibly have?! The kid slept great!"

It turns out that when my husband put Jacob to bed the night before, his head was at the top side of the crib. When we went in to get him the next morning, his head was at the bottom of the crib.

He had somehow managed to rotate 180 degrees on his back!!!!

We never actually saw him do it, but for the next several nights, I would peek at the monitor a couple times a night and would see that he'd rotated 90 degrees... 180 degrees... Some nights even all the way around!

Once he started rolling over in the crib, I put some rolled up blankets under the sheet to stop him. They worked great for awhile, but now it seems like he's scooting again... Not rotating, but scrunching himself down to the bottom of the crib. Don't know how he does it.

Anybody else have a little scooter in the crib?


About Traveling With Baby

After completing a vacation to the Outer Banks with Jacob last week, I decided that road tripping with a baby is easy. It only takes 29 simple steps.

And we're off!
After you've decided on your destination and either made your reservations or coordinated where you're staying with friends or family, it's time to prepare for your first road trip with baby!

1. First, pack baby's clothes, obviously. Think one or two onesies per day, just in case you need to make some changes. You never know when you're going to have a diaper blowout or wardrobe malfunction. Don't forget things like pajamas, socks, and coats or sunglasses and hats, depending on where you're headed.

2. Then pack a whole bunch of extra clothes. Because you just never know. I packed a pair of brand new 6 month footie pajamas for our 3 month old son only to find out on vacation that they were too short. 

3. Diapers. Take however many diapers you think you'll need, and then take extra.
Or you'll end up running out and looking for your brand/size in an unfamiliar store. Don't forget wipes, creams, lotions, etc

4. Same thing with formula. Figure out how much you'll need to last you for the whole trip so you don't have to go looking for it.

5. Don't forget bottles, bottle parts and nipples, a bottle warmer if you use one, bibs and burp cloths, and any gas drops or gripe water you might need. And then stuff to clean those bottles with. Brush? Dishwasher basket? Sterilizer or sterilizing steam bags?

6. You should also probably take baby medicine... Just in case. Tylenol, saline drops, teething tablets. Oh, and then things like those Boogie Wipes that you bought but haven't actually opened yet? Pacifier wipes? You haven't used any of this crap yet, but you're going on a big trip and you want to be prepared, so take it all. 

7. Your kid's gonna need a bath at some point, so don't forget their bath stuff. Soap or shampoo. Tub thermometer. Baby washcloths? Their towels. It sounds crazy but you might want to consider taking baby's bath tub or bath chair, too, in case you end up staying in a place that only has a massive jacuzzi tub for two that is impossible to reach into to bathe baby. If that happens, the easiest way to give baby his bath is by getting in the tub with him, and I don't know about you but I'm not a fan of rapidly cooling 97.3 degree bath water.

8. Depending on where your kid is sleeping, you'll probably need crib sheets and stuff. Maybe even mattress pads. And if your kid is a crazy roller (like mine is) you might want some kind of bumper (we use a rolled up blanket under the sheet to stop him from rolling onto his belly since he's not a fan.) 

9. Or maybe your kid will sleep on their pack and play, which means you have to figure out how to fit the pack and play in the car. You already have a whole lot of baby stuff... Plus the stroller... And now the pack and play.

10. Oh, stuff to play with. You can't forget toys. Pacifiers and teethers and stuff. 

11. Now that you think you have everything, and you see what a massive amount of stuff it all adds up to, PULL IT ALL BACK OUT and try to figure out what you can leave at home...

12. Then add whatever things you forgot.

13. And pack for yourself. But make that bag small because by now, you're running out of room in the car.

14. Consider buying a rooftop car carrier for extra stuff. Amazon can get one to your door in a day or two.

15. Map out your route. Plan in advance for rush hour, holiday traffic, bottle breaks and diaper changes, and fuel and bathroom stops for you.

16. When it's time to leave, don't forget to have diapers and formula ready for the trip. Make sure you have snacks and drinks for yourself!

17. Head out! Hope the baby sleeps part of the way to your destination.

18. High-five your partner. Five minutes on the highway and your baby has fallen asleep.

19. Enjoy a couple hours of satellite radio and adult conversation.

20. Repeatedly crane your neck trying to peer at (still!) sleeping baby in rear-facing car seat.

21. Marvel at what a long nap the baby is taking. Wonder how far you can make it before baby wakes up and needs a bottle and diaper change.

22. Finally give in. You have to stop because you need gas and/or coffee and/or you need to pee. Feel guilty for waking up sleeping baby.

23. Check baby's diaper. Totally dry. Baby falls back to sleep. Sweet! On the road again! 

24. Five minutes later: previously sleeping baby is now suddenly wide awake, hungry, wet, and pissed off. Pull into random, middle of nowhere strip mall to do diaper change and feed baby.

Back seat bottle and burping!
25. You've finally arrived at your destination. You're frazzled, the baby hasn't settled down yet, and you now have a car full of crap to unload. 

26. Unpack and realize that you've inevitably forgotten something. Tear apart the multiple bags of baby stuff looking for whatever it is, cursing yourself for not remembering to pack it.

27. Admit defeat, load baby back into car, and head to the nearest store to begrudgingly pick up whatever item(s) you need, knowing that you already have one (or more) at home, but you really need one for this trip.

28. When your trip is over, you will have to repeat most of these steps to return home. Good luck getting everything to fit back into your bags and suitcases. Oh, and have fun trying to pack the car the way you had it set up when you departed. 

29. Think really, really, really hard about planning your next road trip with baby. Consider inviting family to your house for the holidays so you don't have to do the traveling.

We made it!


About Teething - again!

Still no teeth. Little man's been at it for almost a month now.

We thought we'd actually SEEN something awhile back, but there's nothing in there now! A friend suggested that we might have seen some kind of cyst (inclusion cysts or Epstein's pearls?) and since there's nothing there now, I'm guessing she was right. Somebody else said that they're called "milk teeth" and that, yeah, they're there, they look like teeth, and then they fall out. WHAT THE HECK?!

Jacob's symptoms (still) include:
  • drool (so much drool)
  • sucking on/eating hands
  • putting more stuff in his mouth/trying out more teethers
  • pulling on his ear/rubbing side of head (he does that when he's tired, too)
  • being inexplicably fussy or cranky, especially right when he wakes up from naps - he's usually so chill when he wakes up
  • being fussy at the bottle - sometimes he finishes, sometimes he doesn't
He doesn't have any fever or diarrhea - some people disagree on whether or not those are teething symptoms.

We've been using Hyland's Teething tablets (which seem to help a little) and Tylenol before bed. 

I was hoping that since he started kind of early that he'd get the first couple teeth over with fast...  No such luck, I guess!

About Taking Baby To The Beach

I read a lot of blog posts about what to take to the beach with baby. We bought an umbrella and a clamshell tent. We even bought this bath chair on Amazon because a blogger recommended it and a couple of the reviews even said that people bought it specifically to take their baby to the beach. They said it worked great, so I thought it would be a better alternative to taking Jacob to the beach in his car seat or his papasan chair.

Side note - why are all car seats like black or dark gray? I feel like whenever Jacob is in there, he gets all hot and sweaty. I'm sure they're dark colors to help keep them from looking dirty, but wouldn't something lighter be cooler?


The bath/beach chair didn't work for us. Jacob just slouched down to the bottom of the chair. It wasn't very hammock-y and it didn't recline all that far. Plus, the sides weren't very high so I felt like Jacob could topple over at any minute. We ended up just bringing his papasan down to the beach anyway, and he did okay.

At Jacob's 2 month checkup, I asked the doctor about using sunscreen. I know you're not supposed to use it on little babies, but I was worried about him being at the beach. The doctor said she'd rather have me use it than not. So I bought and used Babyganics mineral sunscreen on Jacob. It was white and creamy and kind of hard to rub in. I made sure to slick some over any exposed body parts and even slathered some on Jacob's Buddha belly because his shirt always rides up over it. I put some on Jacob's head, too, even though he had a hat - better to be safe than sorry! But holy cow - did it leave his scalp a mess. I had to rub and rub in the bath tub to get his head clean. It looks like it might have dried his scalp out because he got pretty flaky, too. I ended up just leaving his hat on and didn't do sunscreen on his head again after that.

Jacob seemed to like the beach. He hung out in his tent, played with toys, and took naps in the shade. We took him down to the water's edge and he got to stick his toes in the sand and water. He seemed to like the beach way more than the pool! I think the pool was a little too cold for him. We'll see what happens next summer!


About Pajamas

We just went on vacation to the Outer Banks, and when I was packing Jacob's bag, I made sure to include a pair of footie PJs and a PJ top and bottom set just in case the room was really cold. So far, Jacob's never worn anything but a romper or a onesie to bed because he gets so hot and sweaty, but I wanted to be prepared.

Good thing I did. Sort of.

Since Jacob is in all 6 month clothes, I packed 6 month PJs. The night I tried to put him in his footie PJs, I thought he looked so dang cute. And then he tried to stretch his legs in them.... and he hardly had any room! He couldn't stretch out all the way. Same thing with the pants on the PJ top and bottom set. WHOOPS.

He ended up sleeping in the long sleeved PJ shirt and a pair of sweatpants and socks every night. Glad I had those!

When we got home from the beach, it cooled off quite a bit and we slept with the windows in our bedroom cracked a little. I put Jacob in PJs again... SIZE 9 MONTHS!!!!!!!! (These ones are AWESOME! There are NO snaps or zippers - the pajamas close by magnets! The downside? They only seem to go up to 9 months!) They're a little baggy when his legs are bent but when he stretches out he almost fills them up. His feet take up the whole foot part!

He got his big feet from me, but I don't know where he got the height (length) from. His daddy and I are both short.


About Delivery Drivers Who Can't (Don't?) Read

I posted about our love for online shopping the other day. We have packages show up constantly.

Before Jacob came along, we even bought this sign for the door.

Which is great, except that the UPS and FEDEX DELIVERY DRIVERS DON'T READ IT.

We've had friends come by that see the sign and leave notes and gifts on the doorstep and text us later, telling us that they stopped by. The people that we wouldn't mind coming by to see us actually do what the sign says.

But somebody delivering a package... Man. They bang on the glass door, (loud!) which rattles the sign (louder!) which is why we have all the tape trying to hold the sign still.Or they ring the doorbell, which echoes throughout the whole house. And they always manage to do this right when Jacob goes down for a nap. It never fails.Then he startles awake and we have to settle him down again.

This happened last Wednesday, the day before yesterday, and yesterday. Plus numerous times before I actually started keeping track. And before we started tweeting UPS, FedEx, and Amazon customer service.

What's ridiculous is that my husband or I will run to the door and catch the delivery people. We'll ask them if they read the sign, and everyone always says, "Oh, no... Sorry. I didn't even see it."

So I made this obnoxious sign with a giant Post-It note.

Of course, we're not expecting any packages for a couple days now, but when our next package is supposed to arrive, I'll be ready!

You know what our next package is going to be? A doorbell cover called The Knock Nanny. It comes with stickers that you can put on it to let people know why the doorbell is covered up. I hope there's a sticker that says "READ THE *BLEEP*ING SIGN ON THE DOOR!"


About Rolling Over

Last Wednesday, I laid Jacob on the couch next to me so he could stretch out for a minute or two. I was shocked that he decided to try rolling to the side. I don't know where the heck that came from, but he ended up rolling from his back onto his side, almost all the way over. His one hand would get stuck underneath him and keep him from rolling all the way over.

Since then, any time I put him on his back on the floor, he would try rolling over.

On Friday, he got it. He rolled from back to tummy and back again.

Friday night, he tried to do that in his sleep. His arm got stuck underneath him and he got smooshed against the side of the crib. He wasn't happy about that, and he let us know it.

I wasn't happy, either, because I didn't sleep and spent most of the night peeking at the video monitor. I think my husband and I each got up 2 or 3 times to roll the kid back over.

On Saturday, he rolled from tummy to back. Just like being able to hold his head up, I'm not sure where these skills came from!

I was worried about what was going to happen when we put him in the crib Saturday night. I didn't want him rolling over and getting stuck. I figure once he's strong enough to roll back and forth and get himself UN-stuck, he'll be just fine, but in the meantime, he's been sleeping really well, and I don't want him rolling around and waking himself up.

I was Googling baby sleep positioners, searching for things on Amazon, and looking for ideas on Pinterest to see if there was anything we could put in the crib that would be deemed safe for him. A lot of the stuff seemed to be for little newborn babies, and at 24 inches and around 14 or 15 pounds, he's not exactly little. Then there are tons of products to help keep your toddler from rolling out of their bed, but those were all way too big and not appropriate for the crib.

I decided to get creative. I took a blanket and rolled it long-ways and stuck it under the crib sheet at the front edge of the crib mattress, in the direction that he always rolls. It created a little bump, which would probably cushion him if he rolled into the side of the crib again, but it wasn't going to keep him from rolling over. I was looking at his sheets and blankets trying to see what else I could do, and I came across a fleece blanket that someone had given him. It was all folded and rolled up and secured tightly in plastic. I stuck THAT under the sheet near the edge of the mattress and it created a perfect bumper to keep him from rolling over. For the past couple nights, it's worked great!!! WHEW!

I guess the next thing we need to worry about is crawling. Seems like all of a sudden, he's not wasting any time with these milestones!


About Tummy Time

When Jacob started teething, I laid off the tummy time for a few days because I was afraid he'd smoosh his face into the ground and it would hurt. After teething symptoms subsided a little, I figured we'd better get back at it because he still seemed like was struggling to hold his head up for more than a few seconds at a time.

I don't know what happened on those few days off, but when he went down on his tummy recently, his head shot straight up, and he held it up for at least a minute. Every time he's been on his tummy since, his head has been up longer and longer. He turns his head and looks to both sides and smiles and laughs while he's on his tummy.

It's like he turned three months old and BOOM! He gained head control overnight!


About Gas

Jacob is impossible to burp.

When we first brought him home, I was breastfeeding. I would try to burp him whenever I switched sides, but I never got anything. I was reassured to read that breastfed babies sometimes don't burp because they're less likely to suck in air. I figured maybe that was why he never burped.

We switched to formula after about a month. He STILL doesn't really burp. We try different positions. We put him on our shoulder and we sit him on our lap and pat his back that way. Most of the time, if we get a good burp, it's completely accidental. It'll be when I lift him up to put him on my shoulder - before I even pat his back. Or maybe I lean him forward (or backward) just enough and a burp squeezes out that way. Sometimes he'll burp two hours after a feeding!

He doesn't burp, but he farts a lot. I guess maybe as long as the gas gets out SOMEHOW, we're okay, right?


About Amazon

I'm addicted to online shopping. UPS and FedEx are at our house every other day dropping off boxes. We've been Amazon Prime members for I don't know how long, but let me tell you what a lifesaver Amazon has been since having a kid.

When we got home from the hospital, we realized we didn't have a Diaper Genie or a special diaper garbage can. Ordered not one, but TWO, on Amazon. One for upstairs and one for downstairs. We ordered a white noise machine. We order giant boxes of diapers. Every once in awhile we'll order gas drops or gripe water. We've done "Subscribe and Save" for Jacob's formula. When Jacob started eating 6 oz. formula at each feeding, I ordered an extra set of bigger bottles. When Jacob started teething, I got on there and ordered a bunch of teething toys that would arrive the next day.

We used Amazon for our baby registry, too. (My family is big on Amazon wish lists and stuff, so the baby registry is now like the baby Christmas list!) I didn't realize there was an option (maybe it's new) to get people's advice/suggestions for stuff on your registry. My brother actually invited me to give him advice on THEIR baby registry. The way it works is, if I see an item that I think they should have on their registry, I can "add" it to their registry with an explanation why. I guess he then gets a notification that I've suggested something, and he can decide whether or not to add it. It's pretty cool. Now if there's something that I add to the registry or something that I buy/like, I can suggest that they add it to their registry, too!

We've also given Amazon Prime Pantry a whirl. When my in-laws moved from Florida to Virginia, I filled a Pantry box with cleaning supplies and snacks and sent it to them so that they'd have that stuff handy when they moved in to their new place. Shipping the box was free because I did it on Amazon Prime Day, but they were so bogged down with orders that they ended up giving me a credit for free shipping on my next Pantry box. I decided to do one for us.

I filled it with dry stuff like rice, pasta, and snacks, and also some cleaning stuff like Clorox wipes and Febreze. I figured it was an easy way to stock up on things that we always have around the house.When the box arrived, we realized that the Febreze bottle had cracked and leaked onto a few of the boxes of food. Those got tossed immediately and I contacted Amazon to tell them what happened. I listed all of the items that had been damaged (the Febreze, a couple boxes of rice and pasta) and was told that I'd get a refund for the first item that I reported as damaged - the Febreze. When I tried to report the other stuff, customer services asked me to send an e-mail explaining what happened. I did just that, and ended up getting the entire box ($160!) refunded. I'm guessing they probably saw how much stuff I order and realized I wasn't trying to scam them or something.

I might try it again sometime, but I think I'll just stick to food. No cleaning supplies in the order.

About Being A Mom

Am I ever going to relax again? I feel like I've become a jumbled ball of nerves since Jacob was born. I worry about everything.

Is he eating enough?
Is he sleeping enough?
Is he teething or is he sick?
Is he getting enough tummy time?
Why does this kid hardly ever burp?!

Those are just a few of the little things. Then there are the big things.

What kind of a student will he be, and will he like learning?
What will this world be like when he gets older?
What will I do when he's too big to hold my hand?
What will I do the first time I see him holding a girl's hand?!
Will he be the kind of kid who can come to his mom and tell her anything? God, I hope so.

But the thing is, I'm not a stressed-out, sleep-deprived new mom. We've pretty much gotten ourselves into an everyday routine. I'm not scrambling to get things done. The house looks halfway decent, although the floors need to be swept and the dishwasher hasn't been emptied yet today. We're pretty current on laundry. My husband, and sometimes all three of us, go to the grocery store every week. We eat decently. We all make it out of the house and go to the mall or out to lunch or dinner. I've gone out to get a pedicure and to get my hair cut. We even spent an afternoon with Jacob at a winery to celebrate a friend's birthday.

The thing is, for every book I've read or every topic I've Googled, I feel like I still don't know a damn thing, and that scares the crap out of me. I have so many questions and so many worries. I've always been indecisive by nature, and now I feel like I am incapable of making the simplest of decisions. "Should I make 5 ounces of formula or 6?"

But what I've come to realize and accept is that I didn't just turn into a jumbled ball of nerves when Jacob was born. I turned into a mom. I could never have guessed what being a mom must feel like until I became one myself. I don't know if I will ever be able to adequately explain it.

One night, I was holding Jacob in our bed, and he fell asleep in my arms. My husband asked me if I wanted him to take him and put him down for the night. I wasn't ready. I was happy to just hold him, even though my arms were getting tired and I had slouched down awkwardly on the pillows and could no longer feel my tailbone. And then the tears started to fall, for no reason other than the sweet pleasure that is holding our beautiful baby in my arms. He's still only just a little baby, but he's already grown and changed so much. I feel like time is flying by already, and I'm desperately worried that if I blink, I'll miss something.

Being Jacob's mom is my #1 job, and I want to do my job well, so of course I'm going to worry. I guess it just comes with the territory.

About The Arsenic Hour

Sometime back in June, when Jacob was only a couple weeks old, I had a friend come over to visit and meet him. She left around 4 p.m. and it seemed like Jacob went bonkers after she left. He was awake from 4-8 and cried off and on, no matter how we tried to soothe him. It was the strangest thing, and it was flat out exhausting. I thought maybe he'd gotten overexcited from having someone new holding him and talking to him.

And then it happened the next day. And the next day after that. It was as if, at 4 o'clock on the dot, Jacob would go nuts. Nothing would calm him down. No amount of rocking, bouncing, shushing, white noise, singing, vibrations, holding, swaddling... Nothing!

Some friends stopped by to drop off gifts and we explained it to them. "Ahh... The witching hour. Yeah, our girls were like that." I was shocked that someone else had the same weird experience. "They cry like crazy and there's nothing you can do."

Holy crap, yes! That's exactly what was happening!

We were out walking Jacob early one evening and ran into some other friends. We explained that it was "crazy baby hour" so we were taking Jacob out on a walk in the hopes of getting him to chill out. They made reference to the witching hour, too. I couldn't believe this was really a thing!

A coworker also knew exactly what I was talking about when I said that Jacob was crazy in the afternoon/early evening. She called it the witching hour, too. It was such a relief to know that other parents knew what the heck we were dealing with... but, man, was it still stressful! I would dread when the clock would strike 4, knowing that we were in for a few solid hours of fussy, cranky baby. 

I went to my OB for a postpartum checkup and took Jacob with me. It was midmorning, so he was asleep in his car seat for the whole appointment. The doctor looked at him and said, "I bet he sleeps like an angel all the time, doesn't he?" 

"Not from 4 - 8 p.m.," I replied.

"Ahhhh. The arsenic hour," the doctor said.

Hold up. REALLY?! THIS IS REALLY FOR REAL A THING? (It is totally for real. Google it. You know I Googled it like crazy after hearing about it so often.)

The doctor went on to explain that they called it the 'arsenic hour' back in the day because kids would be so cranky the parents would consider giving them arsenic to poison them or something. Then, like other parents and friends had done, she reassured me that there's really nothing you can do. It turns out that it's just a phase that some newborns go through. This knowledge made it slightly easier to deal with, but it's still rough knowing that no matter what you try, your kid's probably not going to calm down, at least not for awhile. 

The good news is, it does eventually get better. I think it only lasted a couple weeks. I guess Jacob eventually outgrew it. But man, it was a rough couple weeks!


About Our Baby Monitor

We registered for and received the iBaby video monitor. My husband and I liked the idea of something that was compatible with our phones and iPads. A cool feature of the device is that with the app, you can invite other users to log on and view the baby as well. We thought this would be great for both sets of grandparents! We loaded the app on their devices and although both sets of grandparents have tuned in to watch Jacob, my dad is a devoted follower, sometimes letting me know how many times Jacob almost rolled over or how many times he turned himself around in circles in the crib. I think my dad might even watch Jacob more than he watches Fox News. ;) 

Jacob's room is right across the hall, so it's not like we can't hear him snoring and kicking his feet when he sleeps. The video monitor is nice, though, because it lets me peek and see if he's just making noise or if he's actually awake. Sometimes he'll cry out, and then by the time I pull the monitor app up on my phone, he's passed out. 

The camera is easy to navigate for a full 360 degrees around the room, although we just keep it fixed on the crib from its spot on the shelf nearby.

There's a night vision option as well, so we don't have any problem seeing him on the monitor day or night. The only thing that worries me about it is that when I've walked into his pitch-black room in the middle of the night, there are tiny reddish-colored lights that flicker and blink on the bottom of the camera like crazy. I'm assuming they have something to do with the night vision. I'm not crazy about that because I wonder what that looks like to Jacob when he wakes up in the middle of the night, and also, I wonder if those little tiny flashy lights in his dark, dark room will affect his vision, as studies on night lights have shown.

The monitor comes with options to listen, which is good for when Jacob is rolling around and we can't quite see his face to tell if he's awake. Then there are options to play music and to speak into the room. We haven't used those, and most likely probably never will. 

Although there are controls for the music, the one time it came on (before Jacob was born, when my dad was messing around with the app after we installed it on his iPad) I happened to be in the nursery and it came BLASTING on, full volume. No thanks. Same with the speaking into the room. Not sure why you'd want to talk to your baby when he's sleeping or almost asleep? My dad accidentally turned it on when he was trying to listen to Jacob grunt and babble in his sleep. I knew it was him because I could hear the TV blaring in the background. From my parents' house. In Florida. He's been warned that if it happens again, his viewing privileges will be revoked. ;)

About Sleeping Through The Night

Jacob has been doing a pretty good job sleeping through the night, anywhere from 6-8 hours of sleep at a time... But a few days before this whole teething mess started (or whatever we have going on?! Now I can't see teeth?!) he started waking up at 3 a.m. again. Not really a big deal, at least we only have to get up once.

And then, out of the blue, he slept all night again. We've been concerned the past few days because he hasn't been eating as much. Our doctor's office told me that it's probably uncomfortable, so he might refuse food until he gets hungry enough. But if he doesn't eat well during the day... He probably won't sleep well at night.

The past two nights, he's had way less formula than normal, but he's still slept almost 9 hours! We don't know if he's so exhausted from not feeling well or if it had something to do with us sleeping with the windows open, or what. Can't figure it out. Who knows? Who knows if it'll happen again tonight? We're just taking it one night at a time!


About Teething - an update

It's official. Our little man is teething. He's spent the past couple days being cranky and pushing his bottle away. Not eating as much = not sleeping as much at night, so we were getting a little concerned.

I put in a call to the nurse's line at our pediatrician's office and was told that it most definitely sounds like he's teething. The nurse said to keep rubbing his gums with gauze or a cold cloth and to try giving him chilled teething rings. The poor kid has like zero hand-eye coordination, so he doesn't quite know what to do with many of his toys, let alone a teething ring. She also suggested Hyland's Teething Tablets, which my husband ran out to buy. We've used them twice. I can't tell if they're working or not yet. It's hard to say.

Earlier, I was rubbing Jacob's gums with a washcloth dipped in ice water. He was actually letting me do it for a good while and then all of a sudden, enough was enough. He started crying and couldn't be consoled. My husband held him, we put him in his chair, we put him in his swing, we changed speeds, we changed the amount of vibration, I held him...

And in the middle of all of his screaming, I looked in his mouth and saw not one, but two, white spots on his bottom gum. There's the one I had seen originally, and to the left of it, there's now a second white spot. I don't know if my rubbing his gums loosened up the second spot or what, but he wasn't happy about it.

So, it looks like he has not one, but TWO teeth on the way.


About Teething

This CAN'T be happening already. He's only 2 1/2 months old.

For the past couple weeks, Jacob has been drooling like crazy. He's also discovered his hands, so it's fun to watch him stare so intensely at his fingers linking together. And then those hands inevitably end up in his mouth. Not just a finger or his thumb - his whole fist. It's crazy.

I know that excessive drooling can be a sign of teething and figured he was just curious about his hands... But last night, while I was changing his diaper, I thought I caught a glimpse of something white  on his bottom gum, near the center. It had been a couple hours since his last bottle so I didn't think it was milk or anything. I just thought I was imagining things.

Then my husband saw it. 

Then things started adding up. The drool. Eating his hands. Plus other things that I hadn't considered at first: waking up at 3 am when he'd previously been sleeping 6-8 hours at a time. Not finishing a bottle, which was a recent (just yesterday!) development. The kid who had been previously sucking down 6 oz at every bottle was now stopping after 3 or 4 to fuss and eat his hands.

This morning, I checked Jacob's mouth: white spot still there. I don't feel anything poking up, and the gums just feel like... Gums. ??? I don't really know what I'm feeling for there.

Needless to say, this mama just got on Amazon and ordered every teething ring and toy possible that can get here tonight!!!!


About Growth Spurts

When Jacob was a week old, we had a night that really threw us for a loop. He would not calm down or be consoled, no matter what we tried. He started fussing and crying around nine o'clock and kept going off and on until about two or three in the morning. It was exhausting for us because he just would not stop. And it was exhausting for him because he barely slept at all during that time.

We tried everything we could to calm him down and stay calm ourselves. We tried holding him. Nursing him. Burping him. Checking his diaper. Swaddling him. Putting him in his little chair with the vibrations. Nursing him again. Putting him in his swing. Holding him again. Walking him around. Singing.

At one point, I thought I had him finally settled. My husband came up to me, sitting in our big chair in the living room, and asked me what I'd done. I'd tearfully sung the only song I could think of and remember the words to at two o'clock in the morning. The ABCs. And I probably sung the song twenty times before Jacob finally settled down in my arms.

Of course, a few minutes later, he started wailing all over again.

My husband wanted to give me a break so he decided to try taking Jacob outside. He seemed to like all of the outside noise - the breeze in the tree limbs overhead, the hum of the bugs. I walked around the patio singing to him. My husband held him in his arms. That didn't work, either, and we definitely didn't want to wake the neighbors with a crying baby outside in the middle of the night.

To get back inside, my husband had to carry Jacob through the laundry room. Before he made it all the way into the house, Jacob's crying stopped. My husband and I both froze in our tracks. We realized immediately what it was.

The sound of our HVAC. It was like a giant white noise machine. So my husband did two things. One, he got Jacob's little chair, propped it on top of the washing machine, and hung out with him in the laundry room while he slept. Then, first thing in the morning, he ordered a white noise machine on Amazon and paid extra for same-day delivery.

The following day, Jacob slept a lot (we figured he was probably exhausted) and things returned to normal. In the meantime, I got on my iPad and started Googling. Come to find out... it was probably his one week growth spurt. It was the only thing that would explain why our previously super-calm baby had gone all Jekyll and Hyde on us.

All of my Google research said that babies commonly have growth spurts around 1 week, 3 weeks, and 6 weeks... And I'll be damned if we haven't had the same kind of experience with Jacob right on the dot for each one. They haven't been as bad as the first one, because at least we have kind of known when to look out for them. I guess our next one is probably going to be around 12 weeks, which means it's just around the corner!

Has your little one had a rough time with growth spurts? What have your experiences been like?

About Hand-Me-Downs

If I have learned anything during these past few months, it is that friends and fellow new parents are extremely generous. I am super grateful for the friends that have given us gifts, whether they are brand new items or things that they are handing down. From his clothes to his bassinet, a lot of Jacob's stuff has been previously used by friends, and I'm cool with that!

I already posted about baby clothes and how Jacob is already in 6 month stuff. He's grown so fast that there are some onesies that he's worn once... (Is that why they're called onesies?! Kidding. Kind of.) He's had some clothes that he sadly didn't get to wear at all.

But, in the great good karma circle that is new parenthood, I've handed the small stuff down to a coworker who's due in August and my brother and sister in law who are expecting their baby in January. I've also set aside a pile of stuff to give to a cousin who just had her baby a couple weeks ago.

It amazes me how kind everybody has been, and how much stuff we've received. I have to pay it forward and keep the good karma going!

Have you accepted hand-me-downs from friends or family members? What's the best item that you've received?


About Googling Everything

Things I have Googled since having a baby:

baby growth spurts
how to get baby to sleep through the night
baby milestones
tummy time strategies
how to stop breastfeeding
how much formula
baby vaccine side effects
transition baby from bassinet to crib
baby moves around crib
penile adhesion
baby growth spurts (again)

JUST STOP. Stop Googling. Don't Google another thing. You will find a million answers to whatever question you have. Some answers will support other answers, some answers are just straight-up copied and pasted from one site to another, and some answers will more than likely just plain scare the crap out of you. It's also highly possible that you'll come across the websites and mom forums that will make you wonder if you're doing things right, or will make you feel bad that there's something you're not doing.

Yes, I still have my copy of What To Expect The First Year, (and it has post-it notes, dogeared pages, and highlighted passages!) but at least I've stashed it in the nightstand where I can reference it when I need to, as opposed to leaving it on the coffee table like some kind of baby bible.

My point is, there's plenty of information out there... Just Google in moderation! What's the weirdest thing you've found yourself asking the Internet?


About That Sweet Baby Smell

I love the smell of a new box of diapers. I love the Purex baby laundry detergent we use. I love the way Jacob smells after his bath. I have watched other people hold my baby, cuddle him, breathe deeply, and comment on his sweet new baby smell.

Welllllllll, you people haven't changed his diaper. I know this is obvious - poo stinks!

My husband and I were amused the other day when we discovered that Jacob's feet... Well... They smell like feet! They get kind of stinky.

Have you ever had a baby burp in your face? Yup, it stinks. Kind of an old warm milk smell. Bleggghkkk!

And Jacob gets sweaty! And sweat stinks! If he's been cuddled a lot or is playing on his back for a long time, the back of his head will get sweaty and leave little sweat prints on your shirt or his chair.

We'll have to make sure we have the deodorant talk early, I guess.


About Poo Face

Pampers recently released a commercial about baby poo faces. In it, babies make adorable faces while apparently also making dirty diapers.

There is nothing adorable about Jacob's poo face, and I think he's a pretty cute kid.

He tenses up. He grunts. His face turns red. A vein darkens his forehead. It's almost like he's letting us know that Lord Voldemort is near.

It is freaking scary.

A lot of times, poo will happen during his first morning bottle. We've gotten pretty used to it. Jacob will start by getting distracted. The bottle will fall out of his mouth. Then his fists clench, his body tightens up, and he lets out a grunt and a series of the biggest old man-sounding farts possible. Plus, I think now that he only poops once or twice a day, his poos end up being ginormous. We've had a couple blowouts that no amount of wipes could handle and have ended up just giving Jacob a bath to get him cleaned up.

It is truly amazing how someone so cute can produce something so awful. More on diaper blowouts later. :/  Does your baby have any weird poo habits?


About Baby Sleep Noises

Sometimes Jacob makes weird baby dinosaur cries in his sleep. I'll hear him make his sad pterodactyl roar and go to check on him, and he'll be out cold.

He snores sometimes, too. I didn't realize babies snore. I'm glad we didn't have him sleep in the same room with us for very long, because I either wouldn't be able to sleep due to his snoring... Or I'd be panicked if I didn't hear it and wonder if he was okay. Sometimes, rather than snoring, he'll make a strange panting noise in his sleep. Each little exhale comes with a weird sound.

Even across the hall in his bedroom, I can hear him grunt in his sleep. He also has a habit of spinning around in his crib in his sleep, so I guess maybe it's just him trying to get comfortable.

He also farts in his sleep. Not just little baby farts. Giant ones, that sometimes wake him up.

Is your baby noisy at night, or do you have a sound sleeper?


About Baby Apps

We have three baby apps that we use frequently.

The first one is a white noise app. My husband and I have different versions of the same thing, but they both work pretty effectively. Most of the time, Jacob will nap without issue, but if he is super fussy and doesn't want to nap, one of us can whip out our phone and play our white noise app to get him to drift off to sleep. We both got ours free on the iPhone app store.

The second one is LifeCake. This is an awesome photo library app that sets up a timeline of your baby photos. As long as the photo was taken on your device, it will arrange the photos in chronological order and display the baby's age on each photo. It even works backwards if you add your pregnancy belly photos! I have pictures of my positive pregnancy test on up to current pictures of Jacob!

A neat feature of the LifeCake app is that you can invite other people, so my husband and I have one account and we can both add photos and videos. You can also invite people to view the photos, so all of the grandparents have access on their devices as well. This is great because the grandparents can check and see if new photos have been added whenever they want, and my husband and I don't have to blitz people's Facebook timelines with a bazillion photos of Jacob all at once.

The third app is called BabyConnect. We had to pay for this one, but it has been awesome. In the hospital, the nurses gave us a chart to keep track of time spent breastfeeding and wet and dirty diapers. Being the data freaks that my husband and I are, we got home and started using BabyConnect instead. Any time you change a diaper, you can log it on the app. You can even note the size, color, and consistency of the poo. You can time naps and overnight sleeps. You can track how much time is spent breastfeeding or how many ounces of formula your baby gets. All of this data shows up on a daily timeline so you can see just how your baby spends his day.

Don't know if we still need to keep track of diapers, but BabyConnect helps us to know how many ounces Jacob has had, because if he's had a full belly all day, he usually sleeps really well at night!

Do you have any baby apps that you've found to be really helpful?