Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Rollin' in Style

I guess I should finish talking about baby products for a while before yall get bored with my just bear with me, I think this is the last one for a while...

Don't know how I forgot to talk about one of my favorite new purchases for B. It's his stroller! I think I may have mentioned that with J, I ended up buying four different strollers between the time he was a newborn and two years old. It seemed like none were multi-functional enough as he transitioned through the next stages. I had the stroller that went with his car seat/travel set that could be used either with the bucket seat or alone, the snap 'n go stroller for the car seat (which is a must have, btw), then I got a fancy peg perego full size stroller and a jogging stroller for the extra space. I have since either gifter or sold all of those. For B, I knew I didn't want the stroller/car seat travel set as it was too big and bulky for me. So we got the sit and stand deluxe so I could still have a portion on the back for J to either sit and stand when he got tired of walking and still have enough space to use it with B's car seat. That stroller is great, but yeah, it's big and heavy and can be a hassle. What bugs me the most about it is that it seems as though B is so far out of my reach since he's on the front portion of the stroller and J is in the back, but we use it and it's nice.

But then (*cue the cheesy ta dah music*) during one of my outings to BRU, I saw this beautiful thing...

It's the Lamaze Indigo Stroller. What I LOVE most about this is that I can move the seat and turn B facing me or facing out(of course now, I keep him in my direction). The seat reclines fully back or sits up. It has a fun little toy and the black and white design just plain looks great!

Now, this stroller doesn't have the best reviews online and while I take that into account before making a purchase, I always like to try things on my own. So I took it for a test drive at BRU and it worked for me. I haven't had any off the squeeky wheels or other issues that some reviewers point out. I have definitely had my share of strollers and this one ranks near the top.

I am in love with this stroller and I love it even more because I caught it on a great sale and was also able to use a 25% discount coupon. SCORE :)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Poor Sophie

Here I go on another baby product kick...After trying to figure out a good teether for B, I turned to my trusty friend Dr. Google and happened upon very positive reviews for Sophie the Giraffe. Sophie seems to be made in France and here's how they describe her:

Vulli's Sophie the Giraffe has been amusing babies for 50 years. Made of 100% natural rubber and food paint, the BPA- and phthalate-free Sophie is soothing and safe for your teething baby. Sophie’s unique design, pattern and texture stimulate all of your baby’s senses during playtime. She makes a happy sound when squeezed, stimulating hearing and helping your baby understand the link between cause and effect.
Sophie the Giraffe Teether by Vulli comes in natural rubber for baby's teething 0-12 months+. Sophie is the famous giraffe Sophie, who has been part of babies lives for more than 40 years. Slender, flexible, and soft, baby can squeeze and chew her in complete safety. Made of 100% Natural Rubber (phthalates Free) and food paint. Lovable and amusing, she makes a happy sound when her body is squeezed: Stimulate baby's hearing and helps him to understand the link between cause and effect. She is perfect for soothing Baby's sore gums when teething. The singular scent of Natural Rubber from the HEVEA TREE makes Sophie very special and easy for your child to identify amid all his other toys

Sounds great, right? So I ventured once again to BRU to find Sophie and wow, they have a whole set up of Sophie items. Instead of trying one of everything, I did well and just got one Sophie and rushed home for B to try it. Let me tell you, from the first moment, Sophie had no chance. B grabbed it and went to chewing and gnawing immediately. He loves it. As a teether, it's great because there are many different sides and sizes that can meet his mouth. It's super soft and smells yummy and it's just the right size where B can grasp and hold on to it. So yeah, Sophie is a winner in the house. It's a little pricey, but worth the money!

Check him out :)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

So Is This What the Duggars Feel Like?

Okay, so maybe it's not 18 (or 19, I can't keep up) kids and counting, but yesterday, I had 5 and it felt like 18. So with my friends three girls (N--age 6, L--age 4.5, A--age 18 months) and my two, the house was FULL. The chaos reigned and I was running from one room to another trying to keep it all together. During a moment of pause I had to ask myself how people do this. Then I recalled my days as a preschool ballet teacher and a kindergarten substitute teacher. So I think institued school in the house. So with structured activities and an emphasis on taking turns and directions, the chaos transitioned into an event filled fun day. B stayed on his schedule for the most part and the girls and J had a lot of fun.

And then I got daring and decided to move the party to the park. So I packed up our lunch and filled the truck with the kids and we headed out to the neighborhood park. The outing was successful...everyone was fed and B napped while the other four played in the park. It was great because except for one little girl, we were the only ones there so I could sit back and take in the view of everyone without distractions.

So whew, we (well, I) made it through the day with five kids under 6 years old...and it was kinda fun, maybe we will do it again, if they were all my own, I don't know that I'd be this calm and live to write about it all the time, LOL.

I tried to snap a few pics, but needless to say, my hands were full. These two were all I could capture on my cell phone...

Happy weekend!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

On Mortality

With the passing of Whitney Houston and a few other celebrities over the past few months, it seems like more folks are focused on death and the after life now. You would hope that would lead people to live better daily lives but who knows if that is the case.

As my close friend pointed out, when you loose someone close as I lost my dad, life and death will never be viewed in the same manner. Death just doesn't have the same sting as before and you learn to live with the realities of that there are some things out of our control and some things we will never understand.

Now the point of this post isn't to be morbid at all, so let me get to it. As I was watching Super Nanny the other day (a re-run from a few years ago), a few things struck me. A father had called for the assistance of Super Nanny with his family of three young boys (ages 6, 4 and 2). The mother had passed away of cancer a year prior. She left behind her husband and three children, each who was still grieving in their own way. I was left with my heart going out to the dad and the boys, but more so to the mom who never got to see her boys grow up. I can't imagine the angish she faced as she looked at her own mortality in the face and tried to fight to stay here. To think that there was so much she probably wanted to do and say to her sons just broke my heart. And I can't get it out of my mind.

I would hope that my boys would keep my memory alive and that they would always know they were loved and had the best guardian angel watching over them at all times.

I wanted to pen this post a number of days, but I didn't want something to happen and then for people to look back at this and say, awwww, look at her last words. Yeah, I can be a little supersticious when it comes to things like that. But like I said above, I have learned that we have no control over such things. We cannot live in a state where we are fearful of death or anxious about things at every turn. We have to have faith that God's work for our individual lives will come to completion. It just compels me to live each day, learn more and love the most!

Now, back to the regularly scheduled programming :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Laissez Les Bon Temps...

Yeah, well, if you know the rest of that line, you are probably from Louisiana. There are so many things unique about HOME and so many reasons why I am grateful to have grown up there. So today, on Mardi Gras / Fat Tuesday / the day before Ash Wednesday, I celebrate all things Louisiana!

Bringing it back to the blog...

It's hard to imagine that my boys don't or won't have the connection to Louisiana that big J and I do. It's such an indescribable affinity for a city and a state that truly are like no other. We do it big, we celebrate, we eat, we love and we spend time with family. We cherish all things sacred and whether it's the band at our universities or going make groceries or simply spending time with your mamma 'nem--we love every minute of it. The culture is like none other and of course the food is top notch. I want my boys to love Louisiana as much as we do. I want them to appreciate the immersion of the French culture in all things that we do. I don't want Mardi Gras to be a foreign concept or something they see on the news in passing. I want them to live it, breathe it and love it. Ahhhhhh, my Louisiana!

So today, from 1000 miles away, I salute my home state! I proudly wear my purple, green and gold and won't let another Mardi Gras pass without my being there (God willing). I want to be in that number!!!!! For the past two years, my brother and I have been in the Zulu parade. Can I say it's the opportunity of a LIFETIME. So much fun...So HAIL ZULU!

So boys--you will learn to say it with me...Sur Le Pont D'Avingnon....Je suis allez la bas au zoo...Ayyyyy la bas....LAISSEZ LES BON TEMPS ROULER!!!!!

Now, somebody send me some king cake :)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Remix

I guess this is my attempt at reviewing some baby products...Well, more so my way of reminding myself what I really like. I call this post "the remix" because it's just that. I thought with J, through trial and error, I had it all figured out. But it seems like everything I did for him was thrown out the window this time. It's true what they say--every baby is different. So I had to learn that it was okay to toss out my (somewhat) conventional wisdom, try new things and learn what worked best for B. So without any delay, here's what is currently in heavy rotation at our house...BTW, this is also B's 4 month old updates all rolled into one nice post :)

Formula: B is drinking about 5 ounces of formula every three hours. Before bedtime, he takes about 7 ounces, but that doesn't hold him any longer. He's still hungry when he's hungry and he wants the food NOW! B drinks Similac for Spit Up (also known as the green one). He started off with the regular brand, but as the name suggests, he was having a few issues that this formula resolved quite a bit (so we were able to get rid of the zantac!). In contrast, J was on Enfamil. We had many issues with J and formula and he ended up on the (hella pricey) nutramagin formula. Boy was I glad when 12 months came! Anyhow, B drinks this stuff up and seems to like it. I guess it was a good compromise for him after he finished up the last of my breast milk. And he seems to like it so much that he still won't drink water or juice...

Bottles: As I may have stated in a previous post, I love all things baby and that includes my obsession with bottles. With J, the Dr. Brown's bottles were the latest and greatest in the market, so of course he had to have them. They worked like magic and the anti-colic gadgets help J as his reflux was the worst. The down side of those bottles was that there were all the extra pieces to clean, but like I said, for him, it was worth it since they helped him so much. Well, with B, again, I wanted to try to latest and greatest on the market so I registered for a slew of the Born Free bottles. I loved the look and loved even more that they were chemical free. So I went with it. Well, in the hospital and at home when B started receiving the supplement to my breast milk, he was fed from the small nurser bottles with a Nuk nipple. So he was used to that. Once I tried to transition him to the Born Free, his sucking pattern and preference was already established and the Born Free nipple was too big and uncomfortable for him. So I sadly took all my (cute) trendy bottles back and exchanged them for the Tommee Tippee brand. Hey, they're just as new to the market and have great reviews, so I didn't count the trade as a loss. Well, thankfully B took to them and they worked great. They also have an anti-colic valve and have helped to reduce his spit up. So yeah, I like them okay (that's all that matters, right, LOL)...They've actually just introduced a new sensitive tummy bottle and I had to stop myself from buying them at the store today :)

Food: The doctor started B on rice cereal after his last appointment. He's taking a tablespoon of Earth's Best Organic Whole Grain Rice Cereal mixed in with about two ounces of formula. Of course it's been an adventure getting him used to eating it, but it looks like he is finally getting the hang of it. He always wants to pull and beg for food when we are eating, so I think he finally feels like he can get his taste of "real" food. For now, we are following doctor's orders and only giving him the food once or twice a day, so he's not getting that much of it. J started on rice cereal but quickly moved to oatmeal because rice just wasn't his thing. We'll see how long B enjoys the rice before we make the switch.

Diapers: With J, I SWORE by Huggies. There was no better diaper out there for him. And yeah, well, this go round, for some reason, Pampers seems to be the magic diaper for B. The Huggies leave him irritated and I find the cut too narrow for him. So Pampers it is. B is in a size 3 (!) diaper right now and the Pampers contain the blow outs and seem to absorb more than the Huggies. And actually, we ventured into another unknown territory. B is in G Brand cloth diapers right now. He was a little too irritated and we are applying a special cream from the doc. So I decided that we needed to air him out a bit, so we are giving the cloth diapers a go. Now, don't get me wrong, when it's time for the poops or blow outs, he will be back in the disposables and when he's at the sitter, plastic it is. He's still only having one BM per day, so I am comfy with the cloth. I only have two of the cloth diapers and about six liners, so it'll be mostly for giving his little butt a break when we are around the house.

And cause they are just so darn cute...

Well, I think that's it in terms of the stuff we have in the current rotation. Well, aside from the Soothie pacifier that we can't do without.

More to come....

Friday, February 17, 2012

Four Month Stats

So yes, today was the big weigh in. After taking a few guesses about where B would tip the scale, I would say that I was surprised with his stats. I guess I was thinking he would be larger since we know his growth is off the chart, but alas, he hasn't broken out of the teens yet. All in all, he had a great visit. We saw a new doctor in the practice today because our PCP was booked, but I loved Dr. Black. I kinda feel like a cheater, but I would love for both boys to see her more often. Not only is she very thorough, but her bedside manner is awesome. Not that our regular PCP isn't, but Dr. Black just went the extra mile and spend a great amount of time with me reviewing everything in detail. (and the formula full size samples she gave me may have given her an extra brownie point too) Anyhow, we are following Dr. Sears' delayed vaccination schedule for B. I just can't seem to come to make myself agree with the amount and frequency of vaccines given to infants these days. I think I commented on my position in a previous post, but to summarize, I do agree that the shots are necessary to protect the kids, but I do want to be careful to limit the amount of foreign (indigestible) substances that B is exposed to at a time. So it was one shot and an oral vaccine for us. Then we'll go back in a month to get the other two shots. Dr. Black didn't balk or question when I told her I wanted to space the shots out. She was not only supportive, but gave recommendations on which to do now and which later and provided justifications. Did I mention she may be my new favorite doctor?

Okay, so on with's where B is at four months (18 weeks):

Weight: 18 pounds, 14 ounces (97%)
Height: 25 3/4 inches (87%)
Head Circumference: 18 3/4 inches (97%)

Dr. Black seemed pretty pleased with his progress. Though he's a big boy, he's proportionate and growing at a good rate. (SN: J was about 19 lbs., 14 oz. at 4 months)

Healthy baby. Thank God :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Year Ago Today...

Our lives changed in a huge way...Baby B, you decided to let us know you were on your way to the world on Valentine's Day last year. What love grew in all of us on that day. Even though J didn't know what he was in for, he was just as excited. We were cautiously happy though we postponed the celebrations until we were sure that you were okay and later shared our news with our families. But on this day, we celebrated the miracle that had started blooming. Seems like just yesterday :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

On What I Didn't Know I Needed

Now, I have to admit (*standing and raising right hand*)...My name is Nikki and I am addicted to all things baby. For some reason, the fixation on baby gear hasn't waned in the four plus years since I went crazy getting things for J. If anything, it has only increase. I LOVE baby gadgets, the latest helpful items for mom, soothing items for baby and useless items that look good. I happen to pride myself in knowing all the latest and showing off my baby in the cool stuff. If I were being really honest, I'd admit that I had four different strollers for J. As of now, I am on two (different from the other ones) for B. I know big J must look around the house sometimes and wonder why we need a swing, two bouncy chairs, floor play mat, and an exersaucer all in our living room. And yeah, so we have a bouncer and two other more "mature baby" items still in the box in the play room. So between all those goodies, my baby carriers, stroller collections and other stuff, I love my baby playland every day. I like to think the boys enjoy it too, but that could just be my justification :).

Well, yesterday, I got one of the coolest gifts ever from my friend over at Kurlylicious. It's called a bath bib and I am #1 upset that I didn't invent this thing and #2 upset that I didn't know about it. Such a simple thing, but in a day it has revolutionized our bathtime. Okay, that's me being dramatic, but yeah, I love the thing. We got an awesome green one with B's name on it (#monogrammingmommy). And after I figured out who sent it (LOL...that's another story), we put it to use. And whoa, how easy was getting my wiggle worm out the tub without being drenched. I'm telling you, this is a game changer for me. Love, love, love the thing. I am sure some smart mom somewhere invented this in a moment of frustration. I need to start doing that. It's just the small things. Welp, so if you're my friend IRL and you're expecting, you can just about guess what your gifts will be from now on. Registries be damned, this is the best!

Adding it to the list of my cool baby stuff!

Thanks Kurlylicious (and to Alanda now that I feel like I know who you are...thanks Dr. Google)!!!!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Baby Boycott

Okay, so no, before you get carried away, we are not boycotting baby B. Rather, he is holding a boycott of his own...against sleep of all things! I mean, isn't the saying something like happy sleep, happy baby? For us, it's more like little sleep, happy baby. So while he's still in an awesome mood and is still his charming self, B has decided that sleep is overrated. For the past few nights, B has been up singing and entertaining himself during the wee hours of the say 3am to 5:30am. To his credit, last night he did sleep from 11:30pm to 4:30am, ate and went back to sleep at 5am, but by 6am, he was up and doing the baby dance, ready for the day to start. Um, yeah, I have on two different socks today, we were late bringing J to school and baby, mamma is tired!

*I forgot to mention that this is our second week with the transition to B's crib. The bassinet wasn't working for the "beefy" boy anymore and since he exceed the 15 pound weight limit on the bassinet about a month ago, we decided that we couldn't push it anymore. Especially since when he pushed up on his arms, he was halfway over the top of the thing anyway.*

So alas, it's off to the crib and he likes it. He can stretch out and sleeps peacefully in it, when he sleeps. Even through this little phase (yes, I am saying it will be a little--ie short phase), it's still hard to get frustrated. Something about walking to the crib to try to get him to settle down and seeing those gums sticking out and happy that just makes you appreciate the moment. So we soldier on, with no sleep...with diet coke!

Thankfully J is a great sleeper, once he's asleep. He doesn't wake up while B is exercising his vocal chords! I need to go back and look at my journals from J and see what he was doing and how he was sleeping at 3.5 months. That may give me hope.

In the meantime, I am thinking I need to pull out Baby Wise again. We were doing so well on it and he was down to waking only one time a night. I don't know what happened. Dr. Ezzo, please come back to my rescue!!!

Monday, February 6, 2012

It's Official

....I am a t-ball mom! Now all I need is a minivan to complete the transition...NOT!

First t-ball practicen went well. J enjoyed it more than I thought, so now if we could get that whole hit the ball and run to first base and not third base thing down, we'll have a winner :).

B had some new fun all his own this weekend as he took his first few spins in his exersaucer. By all accounts, he loved it.

Friday, February 3, 2012

It Was a Little Struggle

...and it took quite some time, but I did it y'all...I put my jeans on :)....while at face value, that doesn't seem like a big deal, but trust me, it is! We all have THAT pair of jeans--the ones that have been with us through some of our craziest and most fun moments...the ones that comfort us and no matter what, just make us feel good. Yeah, those I have to admit (full disclosure) that I am a jean hoarder...and not just any jeans mind you, but only the nice branded (read: too expensive) pairs. So I have a closet full waiting on my attention, ready to hug my curves, but one step at a time.

Now, I live for comfort clothes...sweatpants, yoga pants and leggings are my staples...and yes, I even wear them to work. But something came over me today and I just wanted to test out my jeans. So I am about seven pounds away from my pre baby size, but I was on a good track of loosing weight before I found out that B was baking in there. Anyhow, I wasn't naive enough to think that my Rock and Republics or my fav CJ by Cookie Johnson's were ready to make their debut on my backside. So I pulled my ole trusty fav pair...along with my sheer will, utter determination, a few beads of sweat and many wiggles and deep breaths, the jeans were on!!! Yay me. Score one for the home team! And after another few minutes and more of the aforementioned drama, I actually buttoned them and ventured out for the afternoon feeling a little bit better about myself and my added chunkies :)

So here's to the start of a good weekend! We've got a fun filled weekend on tap that I will update you guys on Monday. But first, I am hoping to sleep in tomorrow (send sleep vibes my way for B please).

Love and hugs!!,

Thursday, February 2, 2012

16 Weeks Does Not Equal Four Months

We go from counting days to weeks to months and it can get confusing. I mean, B, right now, you are 16 weeks old, which in my book is four months, but you're still 3.5 months old. Crazy, right. I remember counting your life in hours and in what seems like only a few short days, you are growing into your own. You have the most awesome personality and are seriously the happiest baby I have ever seen. I mean, J was happy, but he had to study the world and take it all in, but B, as soon as anyone makes eye contact with you or talks to you, you turn on the charm and smile with your whole face. It's the cutest thing and you have actually started making faces now that make me laugh and don't make it so bad when you have a horrible night of sleep like last night. The crazy faces make the midnight, 4am and 6am wake ups a little more bearable...but let's not make that a habit, okay? Thanks!

All is well on the homefront and J is doing well in school. I was told by his teacher that he only missed two questions on his kindergarten readiness assessment test...TWO! And get this, those questions were meant for 2nd grade comprehension. Smart boy--we are so proud!!!! J doesn't know it yet, but this weekend will be his debut into team sports. Well, he's been taking swim lessons since before he could walk and is a little fish now and he's on the bowling team at school, but that's not the same. So J is the newest memeber of the Countryside Little League Rockies. I am so excited as I know he will love it. We will go to pick up his gear after school today! Pictures and videos to come soon, I am sure it'll be comedy.

That's all for now. I am glad this week is winding down, still lots to be done, but taking it all in stride :)