Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Thompson is Eight Months

Checking in for my monthly blog post (insert monkey covering eyes emoji).  I hate that I have only been posting on a monthly basis, but at least these updates have given me a reason to maintain some kind of presence on this blog.  This post is also coming in about 2 weeks late, but better late than never, right?

Thompson is now 8 months old and just over 19 lbs. This month he's battled cold after cold after cold.   I feel like he's had a stuffy nose and cough for the entire month.   Since it has been going on for so long, I finally took him into the pediatrician the other day to get checked out.  Everything looked good, no ear infection, oxygen levels were at 100%, no fever, etc.  They just advised me to do all the things I had been doing, humidifier at night (this one), saline and suction, and raising his mattress slightly on one side in the crib.  Thankfully it doesn't seem to bother Thompson too much, but I can't wait for the warmer weather to get here so these colds aren't floating around anymore.

He's still wearing size 3 diapers, and has been since October.   The size 3's fit great, but weren't providing enough absorbency throughout the night.  We started putting him in a size 4 at night along with a diaper booster, and it worked like a charm.  If you haven't heard of these, diaper booster pads are the bomb.  They just go in with the diaper and provide an extra absorbent layer throughout the night.

I mentioned in his 7 month update that I thought that month would be the when he started to crawl and got his first tooth, and I was right!  We went the entire month without seeing much progress on either front, but just days before he turned 8 months, he sprouted his first little tooth and mastered the army crawl/scoot.

I'm still pumping and supplementing with formula at this point.  I pump twice a day which yields enough milk for 50% of his bottles, and I supplement the other 50% with formula.   He's also switched to a new schedule through Moms on Call, which slightly reduces his milk intake each day.  He gets one 7 oz bottle in the morning when he wakes up, and one 8 oz bottle when he goes to bed.   And throughout the day he gets sippy cups with 2-4 oz of milk in them.   I use the Avent My Natural Trainer Cup, and he's adjusted really well to it. This cup comes with both a nipple and a sippy cup top, so it's great for transitioning babies from bottles. I usually have to help him with the last little bit of milk in the cup, but he's getting better and better with it each day.  He also now holds his bottles when we give them to him in the morning and at night.

While the 50% supplementation has been working great at this point, I know that month 8 will be my last month of pumping.  I've pretty much reached my limit with it,  so I'll start the weaning process soon.  Since I'm down to two pumps a day I'm hoping it won't be too difficult.

Thompson has also started to eat a few finger foods at snack time.  His absolute favorite snacks are yogurt melts, in any flavor.  If I put yogurt melts and puffs out on his tray together, he'll eat around the puffs and get all of the yogurt melts out.  And then throw the puffs on the floor for George to eat.  
I've gotten him to eat a few pieces of mango and avocado, but the yogurt melts are definitely his favorite.  Hopefully this month he'll start loving another food with a little more nutritional value.  We try something new each week in hopes that I'll discover it soon.

Two of Thompson's favorite toys this month were his wagon and his swing.  We've had several warm days this month,  so we've actually gotten to get outside a bit.  I have a feeling we'll be using both of those on a daily basis once springtime comes.

And that's it for month 8!  I can't believe I'll have a 9 month old in just a few short weeks.   Man this first year is just flying by!

You can read past monthly updates here:

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Thompson is Seven Months

Thompson is now seven months, and oh what a fun age this is. He's so attentive to what we're doing, laughs when we laugh, and gives me the most heart melting toothless smiles.  He now weighs about 19 lbs, and is wearing 6 and 9 month clothing.

I have a feeling this is the month he will sprout his first tooth, and start crawling.  He's so close to crawling, you can tell just how badly he wants to move.   He wiggles on his tummy, does mini push ups, and has just started getting his knees underneath him.  I'm trying to work with him for a little bit each day on the floor, and every day he gets closer and closer.  He's also drooling like nobody's business, and chewing on everything.

The month of December was just magical with him.  While he won't remember a single bit of it, T and I had fun getting to experience all of the fun kid activities around Christmas.  And, he pretty much stole the show when we went to see Santa.  

In almost every picture where Thompson is smiling,  you'll notice T's arm on his leg.  We've discovered that we can get Thompson to smile and giggle when we squeeze his thighs, so we pull out this trick any time the camera is on him.  Works like a charm.

I'm still supplementing about 25% of Thompson's daily milk with formula, and I can now say this was one of the best things I've done for myself.  I still love knowing he's getting mainly breastmilk, but not having the pressure to pump every single ounce he needed each day was a gigantic weight off my shoulders.  I don't think I realized how much this stressed me out until I started supplementing.  Each day I would stress and worry about not having enough milk pumped for him to eat.  I always kept a freezer stash just in case, but the thought of not pumping enough milk, accidentally leaving a bottle out and having it spoil, or having my supply go down was starting to make me a little crazy.   It consumed my every thought, and now that I can look back on it, it wasn't healthy.  

I've been using Aldi's Gentle formula, which is really similar to Enfamil Gentlease, it's just way cheaper.  He transitioned to it seamlessly, and has never rejected a single bottle I've tried to give him. I also use the Aldi wipes and organic baby food pouches, and have been really pleased with them as well.  

One of the biggest milestones this month was that Thompson is now sturdy enough to sit up in a shopping cart and a high chair.  This was a game changer.  Not having to lug that heavy car seat around with us is such a relief.   I have LOVED my black and white stretchy nursing cover.  I always keep it with me if I need to pump in the car or around other people, but now I can also use it as a cover for shopping carts and high chairs.  This is really helpful right now, because as soon as he's in a shopping cart or high chair he immediately tries to chew on it.  I'm typically not crazy about exposing him to bacteria, but I really don't want him chewing on a restaurant high chair.  

He's still sleeping like a champ, no change there.  He sleeps each night from 7-7 and takes 3 naps a day.  All in all, he typically sleeps for about 17-18 hours a day, which is absolutely amazing.  I think lot of it has to do with the baby, but I also credit the Moms On Call schedule.   His favorite time of the day is bath time.  We give him a bath almost every night, and it is the only thing that can calm him down during his 6:00-7:00 fussy time.  He got some new bath toys for Christmas which he loves, but he still adores the tried and true neti pot.  Yes, that sounds crazy, but I've tried lots of different things for washing a baby off, and a neti pot is seriously the best thing I've found.   It provides enough water pressure in a concentrated area to wash the shampoo out of his hair and is great for getting the fuzz that collects in his double chin.  :)

Products we've loved this month: 

Friday, December 30, 2016

The Christmas Where Everyone Got Sick

Well, this was surely a Christmas for the books.

On December 19th, Thompson came down with a stomach virus.  He handled it like a champ, but the next day it hit me, and then the following morning it hit T like a Mack truck.  The staggered effect was actually quite fortunate, because when I was at my worst T could take care of the baby, and when he was laid up in the bed, I could take care of everyone.   Determined to get better by Christmas, we laid low for the next few days, even skipping out on a Christmas party we'd really been looking forward to.

By the 23rd, we were all feeling back to normal, so we headed down to see my in-laws for a few days.  Unfortunately we had to cut our trip short, because my niece came down with RSV.  She was so dehydrated she wound up in the hospital on the night of the 23rd.  When we woke up on the 24th, we fled their house quickly, scared that Thompson might contract it.  Little did we know, it wasn't my niece that would be spreading Christmas sickies, it was poor little Thompson.  Or more affectionally known as Typhoid Tompie for the rest of the Christmas holiday.

As luck would have it, Christmas Day was the only day that everyone felt fine.  T and I were fully recuperated,  Thompson was his normal jolly self, and no on else had contracted the stomach bug yet.  I'm really glad we took advantage of that time to snap a few family pictures before all hell broke loose.

We spent the day with my mom, dad, and sister Sarah in my parent's new house at Lake Wateree.  We've had a house at the lake for years, but they recently sold our lake house as well as the house I grew up in, and built a new house on the lake where they plan to retire.  I was afraid it would be weird to celebrate Christmas at the new house, this was the first Christmas in my entire life where I wasn't in my childhood home.   But their new house is beautiful, and built to accommodate our entire family, including all the grandchildren.  It's the perfect place for this new season of our lives.

Mom and Dad moved in just a little over a week before Christmas, so it was a mad scramble to get the house in shape for Christmas.  We had a small tabletop tree, very limited decorations, and a garage full of moving boxes waiting to be unpacked.  Definitely still a work in progress, but it'll get there soon.  We had beds to sleep in, a fully functional kitchen, and a table to eat Christmas dinner on.  So that was all that mattered.

Gift-wise, we went pretty simple this year for the baby.  For his first Christmas, I wanted to get things that we'd have for years to come.  Things that we could always look at and remember that we bought them on his first Christmas.  I made an Amazon wishlist for family of some smaller items that we'll be needing soon.  The list had sippy cups, new leather mocs, a silicone placemat, blocks, bath toys, etc.   T and I bought a  Little Tikes swing for our front yard, a piggy bank, and at T's request a dino ball popper.

Thompson's Christmas outfit was extra special this year.  He wore the same outfit that T wore on his first Christmas, exactly 30 years before.  My mother-in-law gave it to us at Thanksgiving, and remarkably, it looks brand new.  He looked absolutely precious in it with his white knee socks and shoes. Those chunky baby thighs of his really made the outfit.  

By the morning of the 26th my sister was the next victim, then came my mom, then my aunt, and then my cousin.  We were dropping like flies.  I never knew a cute little baby could be capable of spreading such a nasty bug.  Thankfully it was a 24 hour bug, so as soon as it found it's next victim, a previous sick person started to feel better.  Of the eleven of us that got together at Christmas, eight of us had the bug, and that number could still be rising.  I felt so bad about bringing this virus with us, when we left for the holidays we had no idea that any of us could still be contagious.  The silver lining to it all was that none of us put on the pounds we typically do over the holidays, so I guess that counts for something!   Now let's just hope I'm invited back to future family gatherings...

Hope y'all had a very merry Christmas full of great food and family time, and free of stomach bugs!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Our Holiday Home

Our den has been a work in progress for the last eight months.   About four weeks before I was due with Thompson, I had all the nesting feelings, and decided that I wanted to do a complete overhaul of the room. My goal was to have it finished before the baby got here.  HA.  Needless to say that did not happen.

I started trying to tackle the room on my own, but soon realized I was in over my head.  I reached out to a local interior designer and friend, Jenny Kramer, and she immediately got to work helping me.  One of the things I like most about Jenny is that she's budget conscious.  She's all about using what you've got, finding fun pieces at antique stores and consignment shops, and mixing and matching high quality items with things found at inexpensive home decor shops.

Here's what the room looked like before, I sure don't miss that burgundy accent wall.   I hated that wall from the day we moved in, but we had so many other rooms to tackle before even thinking about this one.   We ended up just dumping all of our den furniture from our old house in this room and trying to make it work.  And clearly, it didn't.

Painting the room and fireplace definitely  made the biggest difference in the space, and I love the addition of the tobacco basket above the mantel.  It really gives the room the rustic look that I was going for, and warms up the space.   We did a little rearranging for the Christmas tree this year, but the bookshelf usually lives to the right of the fireplace, instead of to the left.   This was one of Jenny's suggestions, and it made a huge difference.  Moving it to the wall with the higher ceiling helped balance out the room.

Another suggestion of Jenny's that I would have never thought about was to have chairs flanking the TV.   Before we did this, the TV and the vintage radio it sits above were the only things on that wall, and it just looked empty.  She suggested adding two chairs, and I just happened to have two victorian chairs in our attic.  The chairs had been passed down in T's family, and had definitely seen better days, but I had a friend paint them, and then sent them off to the upholsterer to get them recovered. (We used Best Upholstering in Greenville, and they did an amazing job.) I also had my girlfriend Elizabeth of Wheaton Whaley Designs make matching pillows for our couch.   The arrows above each chair came from Hobby Lobby. 

We decided to go simple on the curtains, and picked up a pair of IKEA Rivta curtains in white.  Jenny found a grey grosgrain trim that matched our couch perfectly, and my mom and I sewed the trim to the curtains to give them more of a custom look.   Jenny also found acrylic rods and hardware for our curtain rods.  These were dirt cheap, like less than $35.  The drapery clips came from Amazon here.

We're probably going to have to move this bar cart elsewhere once Thompson is more mobile, this thing and all it's glass adornments just screams baby hazard, but I sure do love it.   T and I found this on Craigslist several years ago, and it's still one of my favorite pieces.   Jenny bought a few new pieces like the acrylic wine holder and hammered gold tumbler from Target, and also found that fabulous vintage ice bucket. 

I am so pleased with how the room turned out, and the best part is it didn't break my wallet.  Jenny's rates are incredibly reasonable, and because she was able to use so many things that I already had we really didn't have to spend that much.  If you live in the Upstate, I would highly recommend using her for any project you've got!  You can check out her website here

And now on to the next project, our master bath.  Y'all this room is so bad.  It's fallen dead last on our priority list because T and I are the only ones that use it, but its just downright embarrassing.  We started taking down the wallpaper, removed one vanity light so that we could use it in our guest bath, and then we just stopped.  So in 2017 this bathroom WILL get redone.  And I'm putting it on my blog to keep me honest.  And yes, I'm wearing Christmas pajamas in this photo.  No shame. 

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