Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Photoshop Take 2

OK tried some general image manipulation:


Sunday, November 22, 2009

3 Month Chair Pics

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Photoshop Newbie

Ok I need honest opinions here. I tried a photoshop tutorial to make eyes pop in photos. Here is my trial. Is it good or creepy?


So much better..

Remember the woes of a non-napping baby?...they are no more. He is sleeping right now matter of fact. Since I had such a hard time with this...I thought I would chronicle what worked/didn't.

First off, I hate to say, there was no prayer of this before about 10 weeks. Looking back, I was right be looney...I never knew when to put him down. On top of all that, I was scared of just letting him sleep on one of us because that would mean he would learn to associate naps with us...and we would never get anything done. I was wrong. It was fine. So let them if this is the only way they will sleep. If you recall, our pediatrician pretty much told us this. Until they loose their startle reflex...get them to sleep however you want. Drive to Kansas, stroller rides until you have holes in your shoes, ANYTHING. Also the concept of "crying it out" this earlier was silly for him. It was a fussy cry I hear now...it was bloody murder. He was never going to calm down. So rock, jiggle, stroll, swing...this too shall pass. I say that, but I know it isn't helpful. I would just get pissed when people would say "it will get better". It seemed so far away. So you can write me off too...I understand.

Now I have to say I have cheated a wee bit. Remember that LT rolled over on his tummy on his first day of full-time day care at 10 weeks? He does it like a champ now...AT DAYCARE. He has yet to do it here unless we have him on his side a little with some light patting...then BLOOP, he rolls right on over...and it is like a light switch. He can put his hands in his mouth and out he goes. So I have now cemented my worst mom of the year award by putting him down on his tummy! GASP! He sleeps SO much better. If we try a back lying nap...it is about 20-30 minutes and that is it...tummy=2 hours or more. Suck it SIDS. I also figure, if he does it on his own at daycare, his body is capable of waking. He has great neck control and even wakes, shakes his head and goes right back down. We also put him on his tummy at night for the same reason...but recall we have the movement monitor which gives us piece of mind.

So here is how the nap thing has evolved. I have kept all Landon's daily reports from school since we started. Kevin laughs at me...but whatever. I will throw them away(some) eventually but it has paid off. I could look at the past weeks and see patterns. He has let his out routine emerge and we run with it. It seems to work beautifully. Also, all those sleep books, most of them are right about this stuff. Some stuff I read that rang true:
  • At his age, 2 hours awake is about all he can take(the mornings are a little different because we wake him and put him in the carseat).
  • The "Eat, Play, Sleep" pattern is dead on.
  • Babies need at least 2 naps a day
  • Naptime cues(we have music, sleep sack, and maybe 2 minutes of walking/rocking)
  • Babies have a full sleep cycle of about an hour. It is CREEPY hour true this is. At night, I can guarantee to hear him stir on the hour...I don't even need a clock anymore.
So he eats, we play, and when he starts to fuss, he gets his sleep sack on and we walk around for a minute to get drowsy. I put on the Rockabye Baby! jams. I put him down on his tummy and he starts sucking on his hands and I jiggle the pack and play a little bit and naptime commences. There may be a little bit of fussing but he works it out and we are good. From his dailies, I see that if I feed him at 8 when we get to school, he goes to nap time around 9:30(and by around i mean a 5 minute window...creepy huh?). If he has a bottle, he usually eats around 8:50 and naps around 10. He then sleeps until 12 when I come to feed him(or this week he woke at 11:55 for his bottle). Then he is up until about 2. The afternoon is a little less predictable but it seems pretty consistent. He usually sleeps until 3:30-4 and then eats again. we get him at 4:30...go home...play...and at 5:45 we start the bedtime routine.

Now this week I made a silly mistake of waiting like 10 minutes later to take him to bed....BAD IDEA. He took longer to go down and then worked himself into a mess when we let him cry it out a little. I went up to a sweaty mad baby. I held him in front of the fan and he was back out in 5 minutes but that just took a little longer...my bad.

Now concerning the early bedtime, I get a lot of "wow that is early" comments. But then I remind some of the there people of their trials of the "witching hour". I believe I read in the No Cry Sleep Solution that a big reason why kids have this is because they are tired. So going to bed early helps this. It doesn't mean they are going to want to be up earlier either. We kept trying for an 8 bedtime but we spent a good portion of our evening passing him back and forth to walk around and lull to "SLEEP"! Why not just put him to bed?....none of us were getting quality time in. Now he is happy, we can eat together in piece and have time to ourselves. Thus the 6 o clock bedtime! I think I heard from the author of the 3 Day Sleep Solution that 6 o clock in a prime bedtime for babies. And she is right with this one!

So there ya go, what I learned. And now that I wrote this, it will all fall apart...but whatever. :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Pumping Tip

I have a lot to write about in this area but I wanted to note this to other mommies/mommies to be. I thought this was really helpful. I definitely recommend for mommies to be if you plan to build up some supply early on when you have too much milk. I wish I would have.


A Few More Techy Additions

So I thought of a few more "good to have" items. These aren't cheap or easy but I have enjoyed them.

1. DVR - For many reasons, this is awesome. During maternity leave I would record lots of things to play in the background. Then we had to DVR all our shows at night because we spent them rocking or sleeping. We still use it because we are so backed up on stuff we haven't watched yet.

2. XM/SIRIUS - When you have a sleeping baby in the car, the last thing you want is a loud ass commercial break from some car dealer. Also the dance/techno station keeps a steady beat always...even during the DJ talking. So it is like a nice clubbing lullaby.

3. E-reader - now I haven't used this much recently but also on leave, you can nurse or have a sleeping baby on you and read....one handed. Click the button to turn the page...TA DA!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Grandma came to visit!

A few shots of Grandma's visit this weekend. Lots of giggles and smiles:

Monday, November 9, 2009

Great Blog

So Autumn (fellow daycare mommy) sent me a link for a mommy blog. It was a post of a low milk supply(that is another post for another day) but I started browsing more posts. She did an article of colic. It is great. Landon was no where near this level but I felt a lot of these feelings. It is great to hear so many people think the same things. The guilt for your feelings is overwhelming and you start to feel really overwhelmed. Anyway, here it is:


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Chattin with Grandmama

Mannly Mama's Survival Guide for the First 3 Months and Beyond

Ok future mommies to be. Here is my list of things I would recommend you get if you don't have:

1. Nursing tank tops: Buy them now and I recommend taking them to the hospital too. I got mine at Target. I have 4 in rotation that I wear to bed. They are easy to snap one handed and they keep your belly warm in the middle of the night . I can see buying more to wear under things in the winter for that very reason. I recommend for the hospital because those gowns SUCK for more than 1 reason. I would take one of these and like an old cotton skirt you don't mind ruining.

2. Snap shirts - We got a set just like this as a gift in newborn size. It was by far our favorite article in the early weeks. When they are so little and so new, you HATE pulling stuff over their head. These shirts are great. They are also great in the night when he spits up on it. It is much easier to change him without him getting fussy. I bought the girl set for Jamie and Scott because I LOVED it so much. I still love the monkey pants. He now has monkey pants and alien pants and bear pants. They are super functional for a kicker who has a vendetta against socks. Also the daycare staff just love them! Carter's also makes just plain white ones in a pack. We used those for night time and the cute ones for going out.

3. Kiddopotamus swaddles - First off, I don't see how new babies sleep without swaddles. Watching him try was just torture. His little arms would just fly up...poor thing. Or sometimes they will just slowy rise. This would happen in the car a lot and I called them "zombie arms". Well in the hospital they swaddle with blankets...and you can do it...but it is hard. Especially since they are all scrunched up and you don't want to get it too tight...but you gotta or those little arms will be out in 2 seconds. That is where these bad boys come in. Joey and Joelle had shown us with Leah...so we already had 3 waiting at home and I bought a 4th for the rotation because one night he went through 3 with spit up (note they are like $10...cheap in terms of baby crap). You could wrap up the burrito and he would never get out. Also no worry of a blanket getting lose and going over his face. This is also nice when nursing because those little hands like to reach around ...but not when swaddled! I also found it good to put him in it, carry him in my arms and wedge the paci in his mouth with my arm. I would then walk on the treadmill at 2 mph and he would be out like a light. That wore off after about 8 weeks but it was golden until then. I would even put him in it and put him in the swing to ensure a good nap sometimes. Without it, he would be all zombie armed in no time and up.

4. Nalgene OTG Everyday bottle - This may seem random but I love these. I have 3 of them. I got one for work when I was pregnant to make sure I drank enough and they were BPA free. I then got one for the river and then another to leave at home. Now you may be saying "but it is just a bottle" but you would be wrong. See that little ring? That means you can carry it on your finger...while carrying a baby...and a diaper bag...and whatever else. Most times I am carrying it with the boppy and the boy to nurse. I never thought it would be so crucial to have around but it is....so get one.

5. Angelcare Baby Monitor - This monitor is great. I actually wanted a video one..but they were pretty expensive and no one got it for us off the registry :). This monitor was sold on the bulletin board at work for $50. Heck you can't get a good regular monitor for that price. This monitor isn't just for noise...it also detects movement. The SLIGHTEST of movements....like baby breathing movements. Now I know you are skeptical...and I was too. But we tested it out when LT was maybe 2 weeks old one afternoon for a nap...and it works! If it senses no movement for 20 seconds..you get a warning beep and at 30 seconds it goes off. We have had 3 false alarms in the past 10 weeks. One was last night when we think he got too far over from the center of the crib and it didn't read him well. Anyway....it is a peace of mind thing. And ESPECIALLY when you have a 10 week old that can roll over onto his tummy. You know...the EVIL position. Well highly recommend...nuff said.

6. A cradle swing - I won't specify a brand or anything. If I had to do it over, I would want one with an AC adapter. Ours EATS batteries but I got it as a gift so I am grateful! This was my saving grace on some days. I could put him in this and at least be able to make myself lunch and sometimes he would nap in it. Early on, he could sleep for hours in it. The last 5 weeks of so though...we get about a 30 minute nap tops. Not sure why but whatever. He now is old enough to see the fish mobile and lights. So if he is a little fussy and overstimulated, I get him soothed down by walking for a few minutes and then he can swing and stare at the fish. I am sure it will come in more handy when we can put the tray on and let him play with stuff.

7. Cloth diapers - Stacks and stacks of them. We have the full absorbency ones and then the little thin ones. We have them EVERYWHERE. For a baby who spit up A LOT, you need then everywhere...in mass quantities. Those cutesie burp clothes are a joke....they can't with stand the Landon test. We also learned to use the thicker ones under him on changing tables so you would just throw that in the wash if it got dirty instead of washing a whole cover. After the baby stage is over, I will have cleaning clothes for YEARS!

8. Baby carrier - Baby Bjorn, Moby wrap, sling...whatever...you need one...or multiples. The Baby Bjorn has allowed me to eat lunch with friends, get chores done, and save a fussy stroller ride. Any carrier should work...but know your options. I have a really nice sling, but my boy doesn't like to be carried "like a baby". So cradling is out. He likes to be upright or on his tummy. He can now face out and likes looking around. This was also another napping savior. If all else failed, I could strap him in and go for a walk. He was always happy being close and I could wedge the paci between him and my boobs....glorious. At restaurants I could put a burp cloth over his head and eat. I also carry it in the bottom of the stroller so when he starts to scream murder to get out, I have an option before someone calls social services on me. I see the Moby coming in handier now...it can readjust to carry him on my hip or back since he has better neck control.

9. White noise machine - Though you can make one if you need to. We have one for his nursery that is fancy. It does white noise, music, or can hook to an iPod. It is also a night light. But I had to get crafty at the river and just took the alarm clock and put it on static. Our boy likes loud sounds. So much so that one morning he was crying and I was carrying him around and just yelled really loud out of frustration and he fell asleep. Weird I know.

10. iTunes track of a vacuum cleaner - it cost 99 cents and it is worth 20 times more. We use it constantly. Car ....house...you name it. It can put him in a trance.

Awesome day!

I know I am jinxing myself but whatever. The Wolfpack won...the world is all kinds of crazy. Anyway, first off, we tried a little of crying it out in the wee hours this morning. He was fussy and I was exhausted so we gave it a whirl. He was fed and changed so I soothed him and left him. He started crying. We let him go. He cried hard for about 10 minutes then off and on for another 10...then randomly a little one here and there for 5 and then was silent. He started up again with little ones an hour later but I went in and his little nose was stuffy...so he was waking up, crying 1 time and then trying to go back to sleep but he was all gooped up. But otherwise...not too shabby.

Second, he seemed to be pretty scheduled with his morning nap this week at daycare so I ran with that. I looked at the times and it seemed he would go to sleep anywhere from 9:15 to 10. This correlated on when he had been fed since it was different times different days. So this morning he started to get fussy playing, so I scooped him up and walked him around on his belly to mellow him out. Then Kevin got him and patted him back on his side and he fussed and rolled over and we turned on the music in the Pack and Play and giggled it for a minute and OUT. He then slept for 2.5 hours while Kevin played video games and I showered and cleaned. It was GLORIOUS. I even had to wake him at 12:30 so he would eat...though he was eating his hands in his sleep :). The afternoon nap didn't go as well...it was a kitten nap but I think we got him down a little late. Thanks daycare for giving me a freakin clue about this boy! Anyway check it out:

So we finally got him to nap in the pack in play...with very little fussing...for 2.5 hours....and he found his thumb. He is pretty much going to be walking on his hands by 5 months and working on the unicycle by a year...I just know it.

P.S. He just went to bed like a CHAMP....just please let us have a good night!

Visitin with my Great Grandmama

Friday, November 6, 2009

The perfect storm

Baby cold + time to come out of the swaddle + 3 month growth spurt + daylight-savings = sleep hell and one crabby mommy.

You have been warned.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween!

We went to a little party Saturday evening. Landon did wonderful and didn't fuss hardly at all. He wore his little pumpkin onesie and put on his pumpkin hat for a few photos (since it was like 70 degrees!).

The first baby cold

Mr. Landon has his first little head cold. Wednesday night was rough with sniffles and coughs. I took him to the doctor in the morning and cold is the verdict. Sore little throat and stuffy nose but no fever. He has been getting up a little more at night with coughs and in need of some nose sucking. Hopefully he will feel better soon....