Baby Girl 6th Month

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Ally is now 6 months old and I have to say this past month was very eventful.  I think that’s what usually happens in October, at least for this family.  Things will continue to be busy around the Hank household as we move towards all the holidays.  6 months has to be one of my favorite ages because our schedule has finally become more consistent and Ally has so much personality at this age.  Sometimes her personality is cranky but most of the time she is a happy girl who loves being held and checking out the world.  I love watching the world through her curious eyes.  These are the moments that I love about being a parent because it brings so much joy to your life.

Sleeping/Feeding

I am still breastfeeding Allyson and we have been pretty consistent at giving her a bottle in the evening (usually by me).  However, it hasn’t really proven to transition well to others feeding her.  Matt gets home so late that he pretty much has time to say ‘good night’ to her so I can’t expect him to feed her so therefore I’m kind of stuck being the only one to feed her.  I know she will eat if she is starving but this little one is stubborn and she certainly loves her mama.  Which I have to admit I love every bit of it but it’s not the best for her since eventually I won’t have the convenience of being the only one who can feed her (especially at daycare, when I’m working).  I’m sure when I go back to work we’ll all have our transition period but I think she’ll be fine in the end.  We started food a week before Ally turned 6 months because I just couldn’t hold out any longer (November 3rd).  Actually Bode was the first one to feed her oatmeal and this girl ate all of it.  She was more hesitant on day two to eat it again but its more about her tasting and then we can move on to other foods to make sure she doesn’t have any allergies.  So far we have only tasted Oatmeal and carrots and so far so good!  I have plans to do sweet potatoes, pumpkin, broccoli, squash, and avocado this next month.  She is now eating every 3 hours which is great because I can have her on more of a schedule than when it was every 2-3 hours.  Plus now that we have introduced food it’s nice to know that I am not her only food source.  So maybe I can venture out on errands by myself without always needing to have Ally-girl by my side.

Girls need their beauty sleep right?  Well this little girl certainly loves to sleep but she also likes to fight it too.  I find her crying herself to sleep less often but she still does it once in a while.  However, I know these tears are tired tears and don’t last more than a few minutes.  At naptime she has been getting a little spoiled since I find she only sleeps for less than an hour in her own bed, I tried one day to lay her down in my bed and sure enough she slept for 2.5 hours.  So therefore, I have been giving in and putting her in my bed for her long nap so that I can get some stuff done around the house.  Also this month Ally is now officially a tummy sleeper.  We finally moved the crib into her room because Bode got a twin bed for his birthday.  I honestly didn’t think it could fit into that tiny little nursery but it did and now we don’t have to suffer through the two kids sharing a room.  One day we will be forced to move out into a bigger home because this place just won’t be big enough for our family.

Miscellaneous

We had a well check visit this month and everything looks good.  Sadly Ally had to get 3 shots and 1 oral vaccination and she took it like a champ.  She weighs in at 14lbs or 12th percentile for weight and 26 inches which is at 50th percentile for height.  But baby girl has another ear infection which means we are back on amoxicillin (now both kids are on it since Bode is too, it’s his first time with an ear infection).  We go back again at 9 months for another well visit but this cold/flu season has already been a rough one for us so I’m sure we’ll be back sometime before 9 months (February).

We finally have teeth!  She got her bottom two teeth just about a week ago, the first one on October 28th and the second shortly after on November 7th.  And the good thing is now I kind of have an understanding of what her ‘teething’ symptoms are.  Bode’s were much different than Ally’s so I think its important to understand the signs before teeth come in so you know if your baby is sick or just getting some new chompers.  Her teething symptoms are: irregular sleep and crankiness, mild fever, Red cheeks, and diarrhea.

This month we also had a handful of ‘firsts’ including:

  • First Halloween, Ally dressed up as a mouse
  • First trip to Lombardi’s pumpkin patch
  • First trip to Disneyland for Bode’s 3rd birthday
  • First time in the big girl seat in the stroller which is fun because she can see more things on our walks and she loves being outdoors
  • First time in the jumper for some exercise and she loves it

Funny Moments

Diaper size – size 2

Clothing size – 3-6 month clothes

Nicknames – Al, Ally, Squish, Ally-Boo, Ally-Bear

6-Month Hair color – brown

6-Month eye color –blue

6-Month Weight – 14lb

6-Month Height – 26 inches

What’s up with Bode?

Bode is now three-years old and so far I love three so much more than two.  His communication skills have improved tremendously and I’m sure that has a lot to do with Preschool.  We recently found out he wasn’t talking much in school so I was concerned that it would inhibit him from learning and taking in his new surroundings.  Bode and I had a lot of talks at home about how important it was to talk to his teachers and after a few weeks he finally started talking.  It was funny to hear their reactions because they didn’t expect it but sure enough I think it just took him a minute to warm up to everyone.

My mom helped me host Bode’s 3rd birthday party at a local gymnastics place and we invited all of Bode’s friends.  We plan to sign him up for gymnastics classes soon since we aren’t currently participating in any extracurricular activities.

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Dr. Scholl’s Active Series Insoles

I recently received a pair of Dr. Scholl’s insoles through influenster (complimentary).   If you follow my blog you know that I love to run, I’ve done one marathon and several half marathons and find running to be very therapeutic.  I use my running time to meditate and reflect on myself and my surroundings.  Since having Ally in May I have gone on a few runs with Ally in the stroller but not enough to say that I’m back into running.  We mostly go on walks to get Ally to fall asleep but also to get some Vitamin D, especially on days where we don’t really leave the house.  While I’d love to get back into running, to be honest, when you are a breastfeeding mom your boobs are so sore and extra big that the idea of strapping them into a sports bra and jogging is less than appealing.  I will probably stick to walking for now.  I thought when I received this influenster opportunity it would be a great time for me to start ramping up and increasing my cardio.  So Ally and I have consistently been walking about 3-4 times a week.  I love the arch support that the insoles provide my feet in comparison to the ones that come with the shoe.  I would definitely recommend and buy them again.  I actually recently bought my running shoes in a size larger this time around and I feel like it may have been too tight if I was wearing my regular size shoe and the insole.  The larger shoe and Dr. Scholl insoles seem to be a perfect fit.

On a personal note, I miss the freedom that running provides.  Although I love being with my baby girl all day I do enjoy the moments where I am alone.  Something that I have learned over the past few years, and now that I am a Mom of two, is that taking care of you should always be #1.  If you don’t take care of yourself you’ll never be able to do all the things (happily) that you must do in your daily life.  As Mom’s (and especially working Mom’s) we have a lot of duties that we must juggle each and every day from organizing family and work life, managing meals for everyone in the family, paying bills, cleaning house, and the list goes on and on and sometimes it feels like it never ends…  Taking time for ourselves may make all the difference between a happy versus a bitter wife/mommy/life.

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My Dearest Bode…

My Dearest Bode,

Happy 3rd birthday my love…

I remember just three short years ago when we were at the hospital waiting for your arrival, that day after all the pain and high emotions I named you my angel.  The only thing that could erase it all was looking at my beautiful gift in the end and I am so thankful that I was blessed with you as my baby boy.  As I look back on this past year it’s been a roller-coaster of a ride.  You have tested both your Daddy and I physically and emotionally.  How far we have come this year, the ‘terrible twos ‘ set in around January and peaked upon the arrival of your baby sister in May.  I honestly think if we had even a glimpse of what was coming we may have never decided to get pregnant with your sister.  But we learned how to manage your attitude and did our best as parents to love you even when you made us both angry.

I love your energy and how when we think we’ve tired you out, you always seem to get a second wind.  That definitely means you have a future in sports, whether or not you are an all-star will depend on your work ethic but I know for sure you will be out there either way burning off some of that energy.

Most recently I’ve been lucky enough to have a few park and picnic dates with you while Grandma watches Ally.  I can’t tell you how great it feels to give you 1:1 attention.  I’m sorry I couldn’t do it more often over these past 5 months since Ally came into our lives.  Please know that you will never be replaced and instead your Daddy and I have given you a best friend in life.  I can already see how much she idolizes you and it’s only a few more months till she is chasing and mimicking your every move.  You are an amazing big brother always trying to get your sister to smile and most importantly stop crying.  We pretend that she is having conversations with us at the dinner table every night when we ask her, “Ally, what do you think… Goo goo or Ga Ga?”  Or when she is crying to be held while I’m cooking dinner every night and you come over to her and show her your blocks or cars to distract her.  I’m looking forward to more Mommy and Bode dates this next year.

I think the hardest thing you’ve had to adjust to since Ally arrived is the attention.  You are no longer the only one getting attention around here.  Being the only grandchild definitely has its perks with all the attention you would get from family.  You will still be the first grandchild (on both sides) which you should know holds a very special place in everyone’s hearts and therefore you will never stop getting attention and love.  I for one will never stop giving you attention whenever I can.  You just need to be more patient with me now that I have the 2 of you.  I think my favorite example is most nights when you tip toe into the nursery when I am nursing Ally before bedtime and whisper things to me just so you can be there and get some attention, even though you don’t really need me at the moment.  I love welcoming your conversation and then reminding you that once Ally goes to bed its all about ‘Bode time’.

While this year has been difficult at times I can also see how much preschool has made a huge impact on you already.  Your listening skills have improved as well as your communication skills.  These 2 things alone have really helped you grow and mature.  I love that you have new friends to socialize with and have a teacher to help guide you and teach you.  These are all new experiences that I know will mold you into the person you are going to be.  I love when you talk to me about your day at school and share your artwork with me that we happily display on our refrigerator.  I’m so proud of all your talents.

Today we started off the day by waking up in your room filled with birthday signs and balloons.  We all went out to breakfast as a family and then dropped you off for the day at your preschool.  I sent you to school with a special lunch – Mickey shaped almond butter and jelly sandwich, apple slices, strawberry-banana flavored yogurt, apple juice, and a cookie that you picked out at the grocery store.  You also got to share cookies with all of your friends at preschool.  They made you a birthday crown and sang happy birthday to you.  After school you came home and raced upstairs to see your new big boy bed that Mommy and Daddy bought you for your birthday.  Then I made sliders and tater tots for dinner.  After dinner we sang Happy Birthday and had ice cream cake from Cold Stone Creamery.  Once Ally went to bed, we had ‘Bode time’ and played cars, watched the baseball game, took a bath, and read a book before saying good night.  It took you awhile to finally fall asleep because you were so excited about your new bed but eventually you did around 9pm.

Happy Birthday to my sweet angel, I can’t wait to see what experiences this next year brings!

XOXO

Mommy

Baby Girl 5th Month

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Allyson is now 5 months old and we have had a pretty eventful month so far.  Not in the sense that we did much around here because our weekends are pretty boring and uneventful but I always feel like we are somehow busy.  Now that Bo is in preschool we have all been rotating various sicknesses – cold, stomach flu, flu, croup, ear infection.  I’m hoping that as we get closer to the holidays we will have gotten all of this out of our system and it will be my goal to keep us healthy!  Can you believe it is October?  I have to say it’s one of my favorite months because it’s the beginning of the holidays, all things pumpkin, perfect southern California weather, and it’s my Bode’s birth month.

Sleeping/Feeding

I’m still breastfeeding Ally but the biggest challenge we’ve had this month is getting her to take the bottle.  I slacked off a bit and didn’t give her a bottle for a while and only breastfed so we re-introduced the bottle and it was much harder than I thought it would be.  As you may remember from last month, she refused to take it from anyone else besides me and if I was even in the room when someone would try to give it to her she would cry hysterically.  We have come a long way and she will now take a bottle from other people and even when I’m in the same room.  She usually gets her bottle for her last feeding so I can put her in the high chair while we are all eating dinner.  It’s been nice to have her sit with us and she loves to see what everyone is doing at the table.  She seems to have a lot of interest in food and we are now only 1 month away from introducing oatmeal and avocado (the 2 foods I plan on starting her with).  I had the stomach flu just this last week and was a little concerned about my milk supply because I had a hard time eating food and I was losing weight pretty fast but I increased my water intake and Ally hasn’t seemed too fussy about my milk so I guess we are good to go.  I feel like if it isn’t one thing, it’s another thing dealing with my milk supply.  I’m so very thankful that we can continue this journey together, and if it ended tomorrow I’d still be so very thankful because I did my best and that’s all I can ask for.  No one can tell me that I didn’t strive to achieve the best for my baby.

Sleeping has gotten a lot better; I’d say she has been very predictable with her sleep patterns.  We did have 1 week when Ally had an ear infection that threw us off a bit but for the most part she goes to sleep around 630pm, I dream feed around 930pm, and she sleeps till about 530am and then she’s up for the day.  Naps have been a little inconsistent lately but my routine has also been inconsistent. She always take a morning nap anywhere from 1-2 hours long and then the rest of the day is hit or miss.  Sometimes I can get her to take 3 naps/day and others only 1 nap/day.  But the 1 nap/day she typically goes to bed an hour early for the night to make up for lost sleep.  Also, the unswaddle transition was so much easier than I thought it would be and CIO too. I’m pretty good at predicting her cries and most of the time when she cries it is because she is tired.  I can usually either time her feeding or she will give me the hand to mouth signal that she is hungry.   I also noticed that she is a side sleeper, she doesn’t really prefer a specific side; however Bode was always more of a tummy sleeper since he was about the same age.

Miscellaneous

We did not have a well check visit this month but we did go to the doctor a few times.  Two times for Ally and two times for Bode because they were both little sick baby’s.  Sadly Ally’s first official sick doctor visit was on September 26th for an ear infection where she received antibiotics that she was on for 10 days. They are both healthy now which is good because we have Bode’s party this upcoming weekend and Disneyland next weekend to celebrate my little man turning 3.

Still no teeth, but lots of gnawing on anything she can put in her mouth.

Her new milestone this month was related to separation anxiety.  I am with her all day long and I am the primary one to hold, feed, change, pretty much take care of anything she needs.  So therefore she started having a hard time with me just leaving her anywhere, even to go to the restroom.  So it has been my goal this past month to get her used to others holding her and feeding her.  She is doing better but we still have work to do so she can transition smoothly for daycare when I go back to work.

Ally and I did our first driving trip outside of our valley (without Matt and Bode) to go visit Jessica in Sherman Oaks.  Her baby girl Samantha was born a few days ago and we can’t wait to go back out and meet her for the first time.  I love having friends with baby’s close in age to mine!

Funny Moments

I finally heard my first laugh this month on September 16th.  Well to be honest it was more of a giggle.  Bode used to laugh out loud when he was this age but Ally is more of a giggling baby.  It happens when I either tickle her tummy or under her neck. I have tried numerous times to record it on my iPhone but every time I take it out she gets camera shy.  One day I’ll get it and I’ll be sure to post it!

Diaper size – size 2

Clothing size – mostly 3-6 month clothes

Nicknames – Al, Ally, Squish, Ally-Boo, Ally-Bear

5-Month Hair color – brown

5-Month eye color –blue

5-Month Weight – 13lb

5-Month Height – 25 inches

What’s up with Bode?

Preschool is going really well and Bode has made a lot of new friends.  From what I hear he is a shy boy which surprises me because he has so much energy at home.   This past week he came home with two accident reports at school – 1 for a black eye and another for a large scratch on his nose, such a boy!  It’s cute how the teacher apologizes for these accidents but I feel like as long as it’s not causing him to go to the hospital, boys will be boys.  I’m just waiting for the day when she calls to tell me he broke a leg or an arm; I don’t think it’s too far off unfortunately the way this kid plays.  But amongst all this fun play time he is also learning a lot of new things.  He came home one day and shouted “Washington D.C.”, to get my attention of course. I said, “Oh, really, who lives there?”  Bode said “Barack Obama”.  Now I was impressed and asked him “Where does Barack Obama live?” and Bode said, “The White House”.  I have to say this was pretty impressive stuff to hear from my almost 3-year old.  He has also been learning a lot with letters each day and bringing home lots of fun art work that we display each week on the fridge.  I have to admit, the artwork was something I looked forward to ever since we first discussed Bode going to preschool.

Bode’s 3rd birthday is next week and his party this weekend.  We also have plans to visit Disneyland next weekend as long as everyone is healthy.

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Post-Baby Weight Loss

Since this is a Mommy/Nutrition/Wellness blog I figured I should chat about my post-baby weight loss.  It’s something that all Moms have to deal with, for some it comes easy and for others it’s a challenge.  With my first pregnancy I gained close to 50lbs and it took me about 6 months to lose the weight. I did a lot of intense exercise and a very restrictive calorie diet. It really affected my overall self-confidence and I told myself I wouldn’t gain the same amount the second time around.  Additionally. all of the dieting and exercising affected my milk supply and therefore I was only able to breastfeed for the first 4 months.

With this pregnancy I gained 40lbs, which is actually the maximum amount I wanted to gain, figuring you’re pregnant for 40 weeks, which is about 1lb/week of weight gain.  I quickly lost the first 20lbs in the first 2 weeks so that meant only 20lbs to go to get back to my pre-pregnant weight.  Once I hit 6 weeks post-partum I started working out again which was really hard at first.  It’s amazing how quickly you can lose your stamina.  The only exercise I did with my first pregnancy was running up until I was about 6 months and then I pretty much lifted weights (but very inconsistently).  With this pregnancy I was very consistent lifting weights at least 5 times/week all the way until I delivered.  I also did a little bit of walking but I carried very low in this pregnancy so the pressure of the baby on my bladder was sometimes too much for me to walk more than a mile and running was completely out of the question.

Anyways, it’s important in maintaining your breast milk supply not to lose weight too quickly because calories are necessary in order to produce milk.  Additionally, breastfeeding alone is said to burn up to 500 Calories/day.  The additional exercise at 6-weeks post-partum helped me to lose the next 5lbs.  Then my birthday came and I kind of fell off the wagon and my weight loss came to a stand still for a few weeks.  I didn’t gain any weight but I was enjoying myself a little too much thanks to wine and desserts.  I decided to start creating a food diary through the app – My Fitness Pal.  This jumped me back into gear and I lost another 5lbs up until today.  Now I’m only 10lbs away from my pre-baby weight and let me tell you that the biggest motivator right now is fitting back into my favorite jeans once this weather turns a little cooler.  I have pretty much been wearing the same 6 outfits all summer long and I’m ready to wear some new clothes but without this weight loss I won’t be able to fit into those clothes.

I guess my biggest take away from this blog post is that there is no magic pill or diet that has helped me get to where I am today.  The hardest part is being patient with each week.  I have read that you do not want to lose more than 1.5lb/week to maintain your breast milk supply so that is what I have set my goal at since my baby is still my #1 priority.  I want to breastfeed for as long as I can while still getting back to my pre-baby shape.  I plan to update on this blog with my weight loss journey after I get to the next 5lb mark and hopefully I will continue to have the same success that I have l already had!

Pre-pregnancy Summer 2012

Pre-pregnancy Summer 2012

9 months pregnant with Ally (40lbs)

9 months pregnant with Ally (+40lbs)

6-weeks post-pregnancy (+20lbs)

6-weeks post-pregnancy (+20lbs)

Approximately 3-months post-pregnancy (+15lbs)

Approximately 3-months post-pregnancy (+15lbs)

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Approximately 4-months post-pregnancy (+10lbs)

Baby Girl 4th Month

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Ally is now 4 months old and she has truly become a Daddy’s girl and her Mommy’s princess.  Life is still chaotic but I am doing better at taking it one day at a time. After all, it’s okay to order takeout on a random week day if there isn’t enough time to make dinner, or maybe bedtime is 830p instead of 8p a few nights a week for Bode, or the laundry basket is a mile high and no one has the time or energy to fold the clothes.  If you know me well you know that I am a perfectionist so these are not easy things for me to let go of but I have to remind myself amongst all this craziness, this is our life today and it’s only going to be temporary, and soon enough these kids are going to be grown and won’t need us to take care of them.  This month we were able to get on a little bit better of a ‘schedule’, nothing permanent day to day but it’s better than last month…

Sleeping/Feeding

I’m so proud to say Ally still gets 100% breast milk.  From here on out this is longer than I was able to provide Bode with breast milk.  While we did give Bode organic formula (the best we could provide him), there was always a small guilt I felt not being able to provide him breast milk his entire first year.  But they say every pregnancy and baby is different so I’ll take what I can get! We still have a little one that spits up a lot but I was reading that it should start to get better around 4 months and go away completely around 12 months so that’s very promising.  If you remember last month I got mastitis for the 2nd time this pregnancy and I was so worried about my supply and thankfully I didn’t lose anything.  Once I started taking the antibiotics I increased my daily water consumption and also took a few fenugreek pills to hopefully counterbalance the antibiotics. Either way, I still have my milk supply and we are still breastfeeding daily.  I also started doing more bottles a few days a week since eventually I’m going to go back to work and I’ll need Ally to be able to take a bottle when she is at daycare.  We had a few rough days where she refused the bottle but would nurse so we’ll continue giving her bottles when we can so she has a smooth transition.  I also started to notice her really noticing me anytime I’m eating food.  I’ll be feeding her while I’m eating (which happens pretty often) and she’ll stop what she’s doing just to watch me put food in my mouth.  While I would love to feed her solids early, the pediatrician is recommending I wait till 6 months because she is exclusively breastfed and the longer I can hold out the less likely it is she will get any food allergies or asthma if I wait till 6 months.  Oh and something new I learned that rice cereal is not recommended anymore because they have found arsenic in it so they would prefer the first grain be oatmeal or a mixed cereal, however I may actually start her on avocado because I’ve also heard that is a good ‘first food’ option.  I can’t believe we are already at that point in this first year of her life!

Sleeping this month has been so unpredictable.  Ally has gotten up anywhere from 1-3x/night over the past month.  I was so confused when this started happening because she at least had some 7-8 hour sleeps last month.  Then I went on the KellyMom website and found an article about 4-month olds. This is the age where babies start to be alert and curious about the world and will often be more distracted when eating.  Therefore they might eat less frequently during the day and then get up more in the evening to compensate for the poor eating patterns during the day.  And that is exactly what Ally is doing because she is completely distracted unless we are in a dark room and there isn’t any ‘big brother’ or lights (T.V. or ipad) to distract her.  Plus she seems to be doing more catnaps rather than real naps so I had to try and change that up by paying more attention to her feedings and get her sleeping in her crib during naps more often.  Additionally, we started CIO (cry-it-out) to get Ally to fall asleep for both naps and at nighttime.  I do still occasionally rock her to sleep but for the most part if I know she isn’t hungry and no gas, I will just let her CIO.  So far the longest CIO was 20 minutes but the majority of them are less than 10 minutes so she is getting good at putting herself to sleep.  I also got the ‘go ahead’ to start CIO at night, we are going to continue our 7pm bedtime and then a dream feed around 10pm (my bedtime) and then I am going to try to enforce CIO if she wakes up any time after the dream feed till 530am.  Wish me good luck!

Naptime has been getting much harder because she only wants to sleep in her bed (swaddled with white noise) or in the car seat after we’ve been driving around for a while (rocking her to sleep).  It’s getting hard to take her out places because she won’t necessarily sleep during dinnertime or when we are visiting friends or family.  She’s just so curious about her new surroundings that unless it’s a familiar sleeping place she refuses to sleep.  And she will fight it with lots of screaming and crankiness, my beautiful little stubborn princess!

Miscellaneous

At the wellness check-up everything looked good; she’s 12th percentile for weight at 12lb 6 ounces and 45th percentile for height at 24 ¼ inches.  The doctor was impressed with how active and alert she was at the appointment and she only cried during the actual shots but was fine afterwards.  We go back at 6-months for her next wellness check and I plan to get her ears pierced too as long as everything looks good!

I’m predicting now that Ally is going to be an early talker.  She just loves having chats with me and just lights up when I repeat the sounds she makes.  Bode even joins in on the conversations sometimes and it’s the cutest thing!  She still loves to chew on her hand so I think that we still have an early teether but no teeth yet.

I have forgotten to mention how much this little girl hates riding in the car.  If it’s not me putting her in the car seat it’s once I shut the door and we get on the road.  I have things for her to look at facing backwards but I think she feels like she is missing out on the action.  I feel awful for it but plan to keep her in her car seat facing backwards till she’s at least 2 years old so she’s got a long time to wait till she faces forward.

I feel like I’ve written a lot about all the things Ally dislikes so I figured I needed to mention something she loves – bath time.  It’s amazing how she can be in the worst mood, screaming hysterically, and you get her undressed and put her in the bath and she instantly calms down.  This makes me such a happy mommy because I always loved bath time with Bode when he was a baby and I can now do the same with Ally.  She loves looking at herself in the reflection and smiling at me too.  But the bath also makes her super hungry so as soon as I take her out it’s a race to get her dressed so we can feed right afterwards.

I’ve also had the opportunity to see her roll a few times now from her tummy to her back, and even once from her back to her tummy.  I finally got a video of it to show Matt so we are going to continue with the tummy time so she can get stronger and stronger.  This is very bittersweet because that means no more swaddling, but I guess its good timing with sleep training because we can do both transitions at the same time (hopefully).  Next physical milestone is sitting up on her own!

Wow I guess this was a pretty eventful month, I’ve also noticed how good she’s gotten at grasping things.  I have a few toys I bring with us whenever we leave the house and she loves to grab them and of course put them in her mouth.  She especially loves this little book that has crackle paper in it and makes noises.  I was always told girls are usually better at fine motor skills than boys but I can’t seem to remember what Bode was like with holding onto objects at this age.

Funny Moments

This little girl is a chatterbox; I get so many squeals, coos, and babbles all day long.  I think its way more than I remember from Bode and I guess I’m just going to have to get used to it because I hear girls are typically more talkative than boys.  The best part are the facial expressions that come along with all the talking, is as if she is really telling me a story about her day.  Bode talks A LOT now too so between the two of them there is a lot of noise going on in this house!

Diaper size – size 2

Clothing size – some 0-3 months, and 3-6 month clothes

Nicknames – Al, Ally, Squishy, Ally-Boo, Ally-Bear, babygirl

4-Month Hair color – brown

4-Month eye color –blue

4-Month Weight – 12lb 6 ounces

4-Month Height – 24 ¼ inches

What’s up with Bode?

Bode has started pre-school and so far he seems to be doing well. He only just started last week so I’ll have more to say next month.  There’s a lot more stimulation going on day to day than when he was in daycare and most of the kids are older than him vs. most of the kids being a lot younger than him at daycare.  I think his overall communication is going to get better and he is going to use his words more often vs. just pointing at something and getting frustrated.  After week 1 I’m already realizing I need to feed him dinner right when he gets home or he gets to be really cranky.  Overall school has really adjusted our nightly routine but we seem to be handling it pretty well.  Like I said before, its only week 1 so we’ll see how the next month turns out.

Bode’s 3rd birthday is around the corner and I am so far loving this age, he still has his difficult times but for the most part he is so much fun.  I love hearing all of the new words and phrases that come out of his mouth.  I need to start writing down some of the things he says or maybe video him if he lets me!

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Baby Girl 3rd Month

 

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I’m amazed that we are already on Ally’s 3rd month; she is growing up way too fast!  However, I do love this age because she is eating more efficiently, she’s on a little more of a schedule (more so than last month), and the biggest thing is all the smiles we get when it’s awake time.  But we are still struggling with giving too much or too little attention between our baby and toddler, when does this get easier?  Dinnertime is the hardest part of my day because Matt gets home so late since he is working 10 hour days over the summer (4 days a week) and I have to balance baby, toddler, and cooking all at once.  Let me tell you, it’s a real life juggling act!  And of course any chaos that occurs happens with all three parties, for example: Bode will need me to help him in the bathroom, while Ally is screaming because she is hungry, and the water is boiling over on the stove-top… Yes, this is my life every night!  Luckily I’m not back at work yet because I can’t imagine how much patience I will have for this chaos once that day comes, I guess we’ll just have to take it one day at a time!

Sleeping/Feeding

Ally still gets 100% breast milk (woohoo!), this is a huge personal success story for me and I feel so lucky that I am able to provide this for my baby.  I have nothing against formula (obviously because Bode was fed it primarily after about 4 months) but I put a lot of pressure on myself after I had Bode to breastfeed and I was unable to do so once I went back to work.  This time around I’m putting a lot less pressure on myself and I have had a lot of success.  Ally still spits up a lot but I feel like we’ve settled into our feeding routine a little better.  She is more of a ‘snacker’ in the sense that we feed for about 10 minutes, then I burp her and then maybe 20-30 minutes later we feed again.  This allows her to digest the milk better so she isn’t spitting up so much altogether.  However, this past week I got mastitis, and this is not my first time getting the infection.  I had this with both Bode and Ally at around 2 weeks old and it was absolutely awful, this time I had the slight flu-like symptoms but it didn’t seem as bad until 4 days in…  I had tried to avoid the antibiotics by taking Tylenol and my fevers seemed to have disappeared, I was still getting some dizzy spells and redness and then 4 days in I started up with the fevers again.  I decided to cave and take the antibiotics my doctor had prescribed when I called him on day 1 of realizing I had mastitis.  The reason I avoided the antibiotics in the first place was because I was worried about it affecting my milk supply since I felt like it did last time, however I was also only 2 weeks into breastfeeding so that might also be why.  Anyways, I’m now on day 3 of taking antibiotics and I don’t feel like my supply has dipped at all.  I’ve been drinking a ton of water, nursing frequently, pumping if I don’t feel like my breast has completely been emptied, and resting when I can.  I’ll have to include an update on this next month but so far so good!

Unfortunately, I can’t say that her nighttime feedings are really that consistent. Three weeks ago she was sleeping for 6 hours straight and another 2-3 after that, two weeks ago she was sleeping 7-8 hours a night and then another 2-3, and then last week it was back to all over the place (I think that might be either because she was going through a growth spurt or possibly because of the mastitis). I’m also still swaddling her because she isn’t rolling over yet; however I know that the day is coming soon where I will need to get rid of the beloved swaddle.  The good thing about the night feedings is that she is very consistent and we are only up for about 20 minutes for each feeding so that makes going back to sleep a lot easier.  I’ll probably attempt ‘cry-it-out’ (CIO) around 4-months as long as the doctor confirms she is gaining weight efficiently.  We did this with Bode around that time and although it was hard to handle as a parent, in the long run it helped him sleep through the night and only took about 3 days before he adjusted.

Miscellaneous

We didn’t have a wellness check this month so I did all the stats myself.

I’ve noticed that Allyson has a lot more ‘awake’ time which has been really fun since we can play and I can take her out shopping and she will stay awake without crying.  Of course, her patience is still only about 15-20 minutes, but that gives me just enough time to run into Target to pick up a few items and get back in the car before she gets upset.  I find that the ergo carrier helps a lot too because she usually ends up falling asleep in it and I can get all of my errands done at the same time.  I love how she has become quite the chatterbox always making noises and having conversations with me during her awake time.  I chat back with her and it makes me so happy that I have a little girl to talk about female stuff with.  Having a little girl is seriously like having your own real life baby doll.  I love that I get to dress her up in cute clothes and although I haven’t bought much yet, it’s fun to browse the stores to see what I will buy her next.

We have also noticed a lot of biting and chewing so we finally got Ally her very own Sophie the Giraffe which she absolutely loves!  She also loves to chew on fingers and burp cloths when Sophie is not available.  I have a feeling we have another early teether (Bode got his first tooth around 4 months).

Funny Moments

I forget sometimes how exciting it is when your baby poops and of course the color of the poop is very important!  So far Ally hasn’t had a day go by where she doesn’t poop and they are always yellow (which is typical for breastfed babies) but I think this is such a funny thing to hear if you aren’t a parent.  And I even find myself cheering my baby girl on when she has gas because I know in the long run it will make her tummy feel better.  Gotta love being a Mommy!

Diaper size – size 1

Clothing size – 0-3 months

Nicknames – Al, Ally, Squishy, Ally-Boo, Ally-Bear, babygirl

3-Month Hair color – brown, maybe a hint of red

3-Month eye color –blue

3-Month Weight – 10lb 11 oz (weighed at home)

3-Month Height – 23 inches (measured at home)

What’s up with Bode?

I don’t want to neglect my first born, so I decided to add a section at the bottom for my favorite little man.  He was recently potty trained and has become so independent when we go out to public places, I’m really amazed at how quickly he adapted.  We are also excited that he will be starting preschool at Sunshine after Labor Day and we even visited his classroom to meet his teacher and some of the students in his class.  He is excited about the new adventure and while my baby is growing up, I can’t wait to hear about his days at school and all of the things he’ll be learning.  In my opinion it feels like he is entering the ‘terrible three’s’ and the reason I say this is because everything he does is a negotiation.  He wants everything to be on his terms and I think he is doing this because he wants to know what to expect out of each situation.  Actually its pretty smart and cute sometimes but for the most part its just plain exhausting!  I’m happy that he is becoming a better listener and that he talks so well because our communication has improved so much that I’ll take the ‘terrible three’s’ over the ‘twos’ any day.

Sorry for the long post – thanks for reading and enjoy the pictures!

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Mary Kay® Products (Influenster)

I signed up for influenster a while ago but was most recently contacted that I had been chosen to receive samples (complimentary) from Mary Kay® and in exchange write my review on the products.  I have never tried this makeup before but I have heard good things from others that I know who have tried the products.  I received the following items:

  • Mary Kay® Lash Love Lengthening mascara in I ❤ Black ($15)
  • Mary Kay® Cream Eye Color/Concealer Brush ($10)
  • Mary Kay® Lash Primer ($15)
  • Mary Kay® Cream Eye Color in Violet Storm ($22)
  • Mary Kay® True Dimensions Lip Stick in Pink Cherie ($18)

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I have been buying a lot of makeup lately since I’m still only 11 weeks postpartum and buying makeup is a lot more fun than clothes these days.  I’m working on getting my pre-baby body back but until that day its fun to feel pretty and feminine with new makeup.  Please note that all of the opinions below are my own.

Mary Kay® Lash Love Lengthening mascara in I ❤ Black

This is a great mascara with very fine bristles to create little to no clumping.  I love the long wand and the color is great too for day or night.

Mary Kay® Cream Eye Color/Concealer Brush

This is a great brush with nice bristles that seem to hold well.  I only used it with the cream eye shadow and I liked the way the product went on.  I still need to try it as a concealer brush, however I already have a concealer brush I like so I’m not very likely to use it for that purpose.

Mary Kay® Lash Primer

I had never used a primer for my lashes before trying this one.  I like it but I didn’t love it, not sure I would pay an extra $15 plus the added time to add this into my beauty routine.  However, that being said, it didn’t make a slight difference in the appearance of the mascara.

Mary Kay® Cream Eye Color in Violet Storm

This was my first experience with cream eye color.  I love purple so right from the beginning I was excited to try this product.  I like the way it went on my eyes but I’m not sure I would go for this over traditional powder eye colors.  I think I’d need a little more experience with this type of makeup.  Overall I thought it was a good product.

Mary Kay® True Dimensions Lip Stick in Pink Cherie

Overall this was my favorite item I received from Mary Kay®; I loved this color and would have never expected to love it so much.  It’s fun for summer and very trendy right now.  I include a picture below of me wearing it along with very simple ‘summertime’ makeup.

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If you are interested in learning more about this makeup feel free to visit Mary Kay® website here.

Baby Girl 2nd Month

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I wish I could say the 2nd month was easier than the 1st but life with a 2 year old and newborn is not easy to get used to, however I feel like Ally has changed a lot over the past month and she’s starting to develop her own personality.

Sleeping/Feeding

I have been feeding Ally 100% breast milk which feels really amazing since I struggled with being able to provide the same for Bode when he was born.  I have however changed my diet slightly in hopes of helping Ally with her reflux.  I am doing a dairy free and gluten free diet which can be challenging at times but I think I’ve adjusted quite well.  And the best thing is I feel like Ally’s mood has changed and she doesn’t cry when she spits up anymore.  However, she definitely still spits up a ton but after talking with many other mama’s I’ve found that this is very common.  Bode didn’t really spit up much from what I can remember but they say all babies are different.  He mostly wore bibs because he drooled all the time, whereas she wears them all the time because of her constant spitting up.

In regards to sleep, I find no rhyme or reason to the nights where Ally sleeps and eats every 3 hours vs. the few nights where she has slept 5-6 hours in a row.  Some days she takes a long 3 hour nap during the day and others she takes a few 1 hour naps throughout the day.  I’m looking forward to sleep training in a few weeks and hopefully she is a good student.  Ally now sleeps in her own room at night and for most naps but I’ve also put her in the rock and play for a few naps.

Miscellaneous

Ally has such a sweet personality; she seems to have a curious soul with a very timid smile that makes me melt.  Her zodiac sign is Taurus, which I’m not too familiar with but I found this description online:

If you were to describe the typical Taurus temperament, you would probably use words such as “cautious”, “practical” and “purposeful”. One word you definitely wouldn’t use is “impulsive”.

Simplicity is what appeals to you — you can’t stand pompousness and look-at-me behavior. You know that beauty is not about what you wear or what hairstyle you have.

You enjoy getting your hands dirty with gardening, practical hobbies and odd jobs around the home. Hard work does not scare you in the least.

Taurus is a touchy-feely sign, which means you rely on your feelings rather than your mind when you try to understand your experiences.

Once your mind is made up, you have amazing persistence and follow through, plus tons of energy — you rarely give up on a task once you have decided on it. And you’ll stick to your guns, even if you’re being provoked, tempted or ridiculed. This will be a blessing at some times and a curse at others.

You also have a great love affair with the finer things in life. If you could find a servant to help with all the boring jobs you hate, you could live the luxurious life you dream of!

You are a great mate. When you agree to help someone, you go to any lengths to keep your word. You’ll never let yourself or others down. You are extremely dependable.  You’re also exceptionally sensitive and very patient. You’re prepared to wait as long as it takes for the right moment to act and you seize

I read all of these things and thought that if this is Allyson’s personality she will be a great fit with our family.  I’m a Leo, Matt a Scorpio, and Bode a Libra… I’m not really 100% convinced that zodiac signs are true to everyone but for the most part I find that many people fit their sign.

This month we took our first trip to the beach and it was also our first trip with her outside of our valley.  Although we had to make a few stops for potty breaks (Bode was potty trained this month) and for feeding sessions for Ally, overall we had a great time since it was over 100 degrees in our valley.  We plan to make a few more trips this summer.

Funny Moments

I think when you have a 2 year old and newborn you kind of have to have a sense of humor to get through each day.  I don’t know what it is but both kids tend to ‘cry’ at the same time every day – one is usually hungry and the other is usually asking for attention but either way it can seem chaotic.  So with a little sense of humor it makes the days seem so much easier.  I have to say though, I find myself wanting to cry alongside them sometimes when it’s just me and the kiddos.  It can be very draining, as most parents know!

Diaper size – size 1

Clothing size – 0-3 months

Nicknames – Al, Ally, Squishy

2-Month Hair color – brown (lots of the receding hairline)

2-Month eye color –blue

2-Month Weight – 9lb 8 oz

2-Month Height – 22 inches

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Baby Girl 1st Month

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Where has the time gone?  Its been 1 month since our baby girl (Allyson Honor Hank) entered the world and I have a feeling that this time around everything is going to fly by twice as fast as it did with Bode.  I’ll try to write about my birth story when I finally get a few extra minutes but until then I decided I’d try and do a monthly post on Ally’s stats to see where she is at with her growth.  I wish I would have done this with Bode, not to be able to compare my babies but to just remind myself of our first time going through all of these exciting milestones.

Sleeping/Feeding

We had some struggles with feeding in the beginning, I wasn’t making enough milk the first few weeks and she wasn’t up to her birth weight at our first weigh-in.  The doctor recommended some supplements (Mothers Milk and Fenugreek) along with pumping after every feeding and feeding her the bottle of breast milk that I pumped at that time.  This was a lot of work and after day two we decided to supplement with a little bit of formula (with which she really didn’t take much in because she was spitting up most of what came out of the bottle) but by the time we got to her 2-week checkup she was back up to being within 2 ounces of her birth weight.  The doctor was much happier with her progress but scheduled a 1-month weigh-in just in case.  I stopped supplementing the formula about a week and a half ago and she has been on 100% breast milk ever since and has successfully gained weight. As far as sleep goes, I was finally able to let her wake me up at night and she has been going to sleep around 1030pm, waking up at 230am and then again at 6am.  Our feeding sessions in the middle of the night last anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours depending if she is burping well since I’ve had some difficulties with her spitting up.  But during the daytime she is pretty efficient.  She loves to sleep in our arms but I’m trying to avoid the bad habit (however I can’t help myself sometimes because she’s only this small once)  Ally sleeps in her rock n’ play and occasionally in the bouncer.  I’m hoping to have her transition to the pack n’ play in her room starting next month but it will all depend on what type of sleeper she is, so far I’m predicting the transition should be smooth but I will know more over the next month.

Miscellaneous

I thought I’d start off this section by saying Bode is such a good big brother!  You can tell he really loves his little sister and can’t wait till she’s big enough to play with.  Even though he is typically a pretty rough and tough kid, he has been extra gentle with Ally and she really loves to watch him.  Ally had her first bath this month and we captured it in pictures.  She didn’t like it one bit but it was fun having the experience as a family (Bode even helped!)  She is a very different baby than Bode was because she is a lot fussier.  However, she is also much stronger than Bode was probably because her head is so tiny, and we are amazed at how well she can hold her head up and how alert she has become over the past 2 weeks.  I love just watching her expressions as she sleeps, always wondering what she is dreaming about!

Funny Moments

I thought this was a great addition to my monthly posts but unfortunately I can’t think of anything at the top of my head for the 1st month.  I’m sure there are plenty of funny moments that involve sleep deprivation I just can’t remember them as I’m writing this post.

Diaper size – newborn

Clothing size – newborn

Nicknames – Al, Ally, Boo Boo, Squishy

Birth Hair color – brown               1-Month Hair color – brown (starting to get the receeding hairline)

Birth eye color – grey blue          1-Month eye color – dark blue

Birth Weight – 7lb, 2 ounces       1-Month Weight – 7lb, 12 ounces

Birth Length – 20 inches                1-Month Weight – N/A

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