March 23, 2018

Peeks from the Week

Three weeks - Four snow storms - Zero snow days - Exhausted

Even though the snow accumulation was never as much as predicted in the city, commuting to and from work in any weather condition is annoying at the very least. SO READY FOR SPRING OVER HERE.

All the storms have fallen on a Tuesday-Wednesday or Wednesday-Thursday. Since Mandy drives over from NJ on Wednesdays to be with Kip, she was having to come over on Tuesday night to avoid the storm or stay over Wednesday night to avoid travel hazards. I loved extra time with her but I know it was annoying to interrupt her normal routine. She moved to NJ after living in the Chicago area for 10 years and this winter has rivaled those of the Midwest which is not a happy swap. We are all hopeful this last storm was the end of it.

This is the little community garden I walk past every day on my way to work.

Buried in snow. I plan to take pictures of it as transforms through the season.

Even though I didn't get a snow day, I did leave work early and Kippy was the absolute cutest when I arrived home. We sat in his room looking out the window at the snow falling. He was mesmerized. He doesn't really have any snow gear so we didn't take him out in it but I sort of prefer indoor observation anyways.

It's another March Madness weekend and we all know who Dan is rooting for:

KU, if you couldn't tell.

Also this week, Kippy isn't crawling yet but he is managing to get to where he wants to go by sliding and rolling around. On Monday I was dusting his room while he played and he had wormed his way under his baby swing. I think we need to get serious about baby-proofing NOW.

We sorted through his clothes this week as 6 month items are getting a little snug. I just had to get one more little wear out of this cute plaid shirt that Jessy got him for Christmas.

Look how tiny he was just a few month ago!!


Happy Friday!!

March 21, 2018

Kip's Picks: Bottle Feeding/Pumping

Sharing my favorite things related to bottle feeding, pumping, and all the cleaning related to those two activities! As usual, not sponsored or affiliate links. Just things we use and like.

Kip has been bottle-fed since birth. We do nurse as well but that was a journey, read more about that saga here and here and here. But, now that I'm back at work four days a week, Kip gets mainly bottles. We are seven months into the baby feeding duties and we've learned A LOT along the way. Basically, when I look back on the time before Kip was born. We knew nothing. Legit zero. I thought I knew how to feed a baby but I was dead wrong. Truly, it's been the biggest learning curve for me when it came to new motherhood. But now that I'm "experienced" (HA!) here are some things we've found and loved.

The thing about bottle feeding is there is A LOT of clean-up. With exclusive direct nursing there is no clean-up except spit-up. With pumping or formula you have all the bottles and/or all the pump parts. You are supposed to wash everything daily, sanitize often, and air dry. It's a huge production. You can wash things in the dishwasher but I don't really trust our dishwasher and it was out of commission for over a month this fall and then replaced with a less efficient machine. We really only run it once every few days so it's just easier for us to hand wash the bottles. We tackle all of the cleaning with a simple set-up and system:

At home: 

All feeding bottles are prepared the night before. We use the Avent bottles and they are fine. Kip likes them and that's it, nothing special. The bottles are prepared with the fresh milk I have pumped and stored in the fridge. Four, 5-5.5 oz bottles every day.

After a feed the bottle is disassembled and rinsed in HOT water. We have a cheap pink bucket that they gave me at the hospital and that is where all the baby bottle and pump stuff goes to be washed. We keep all that separate from the sink and our regular use dishes. I read a horror story about a baby who got a horrendous infection an died from bacteria found in the family kitchen sink. Therefore, Kip's stuff never sits in the sink. All of it goes in the bottle bucket by the kitchen sink. After a bottle or two (he takes four in a day) Mandy or Dan will wash the bottle and parts in hot water with the Babyganics dish soap. I love all the Babyganics products we've tried and have used this soap from day one. This soap has no fragrance and it suds up really well and leaves no residue. We just got the Munchkin sponge bottle brush a couple of months ago and I love it because it fits perfectly in bottles, works well for scrubbing the sides of the bottle, and the butt end comes out and has a special nipple "brush" that is used to clean the inside of the nipple. After the bottle and parts are washed, they get rinsed in water and sanitized in the Munchkin Latch microwave sanitizing bag (not pictured). It takes 2 oz of water and 3 minutes to sanitize. Everything then gets put on the OXO Tot Bottle Drying Rack and left to dry. After everything dries, the bottles get filled for the next day or stored for the next use.

It is not necessary to sanitize bottles every day but we started off doing that and now it's just a habit. 

At work:


During the week I pump three times a day at work: 9 am, 2 pm, and 5 pm. I'm trying to merge those last two pumps into one pump at 3 pm but it's taking some time. I also pump at 9:30 pm at home before bed. I can't go more than 10 hours between pumps so even though Kip sleeps from 6 pm - 6 am, I need to pump. Anyways, I pump into Medela 5 oz storage bottles or into the cheap-y Parent's Choice or Evenflo 9 oz bottles you can get at any drug store. Since I don't pump into the bottles we use to feed, I don't really care about the quality of those pump bottles. I'll pump into anything. My pumped milk goes into the fridge and I put my parts in a Tupperware container that also sits in the fridge between pumps (that's an exclusive pumper trick and time saver). At the end of the day I wash my pump parts and leave them to dry by the sink in the pump room on my little travel sized On-the-Go OXO Tot drying rack. This little rack is great because the brush stores neatly in the rack and it folds up for easy travel. It's the perfect size for all my pump parts. At the end of the week I bring my parts home and they get sanitized like the bottles.

I transport all my pumped milk from the day in a large insulated lunch tote that I got at TJMaxx. I use two of the Medela bottle ice packs and lug it all home on the Subway. It weighs like 10 pounds. Woof. The bottles then go in the fridge until I'm ready to prep the feed bottles for the next day.

At the end of the day I do my last pump at 9:30 pm. Afterwards, I prepare the feed bottles for the next day, wash the pump bottles, and any leftover milk get stored to freeze. I tried the Medela bags, the Parent's Choice bags, and the Lansinoh bags. Above and beyond, I prefer the Lansinoh milk storage bags. They are cheap on Amazon (100 for $10) and they have never leaked on me. I like the reinforced edges and how they store flat with little bulk. Most of the freezer stash gets donated to a local mom and her little baby boy. I keep about 200-300 oz on reserve for us just in case we need it.

After I typed this all out, I'm exhausted. It's a lot of work and a lot of milk and soapy water. Now that Kip has started on some solid foods, we've entered new whole new world of baby feeding. Gulp. 

March 19, 2018

Weekending it

This weekend Dan and I did so well at team-style parenting. We didn't have any guests or any trips to NJ planned so it felt a little like pre-baby life. In fact, Kip slept in until 7:30 which was a dream for us. Ha! We used to get up at 9:30 or 10 on Saturdays and now 7:30 is sleeping-in. But, I'm not complaining.

Dan made breakfast while I nursed Kip and we were dressed and out the door by 9:00 am. The original plan was to have brunch with old friends who are moving out of the state at the end of the month. Their kids were a little sick so that was changed to just a quick goodbye after delivering some lamps I was passing along. Well, the quick goodbye ended up being an hour so by the time we left Kip was in need of a nap. He fell asleep in the stroller so we decided to go to the grocery store to extent the nap. That afternoon, we played with Kip while Dan simultaneously watched basketball. 

It's March Madness and possible his favorite time of year. Dan, Mandy, and I each made brackets and mine is utter toast. So many upsets!! 

Anyways Kip is pretty terrible about taking a good afternoon nap. He was so overtired but refused to sleep so we went out for another later afternoon walk. He zonked for a half hour and we wasted enough time to get to bedtime. Dan and I enjoyed dinner and some tv before bed.

On Sunday, Kip slept-in until 7:45 which was also bliss! My theory is he sleeps in longer when he doesn't hear us up and moving around like we do during the week to get ready for work (even though we are really quiet). Since he slept so long we all had to scurry to get dinner in the crockpot and everyone ready for church. We decided to go to Costco on the way since I figured it wouldn't be so crowded. Wrong. It was a zoo at 9:30 AM on Sunday morning. So stressful just trying to get some diapers.

Kip's naps were all off from the late sleep-in and church and he just wanted to play with his friends rather than take a stroller nap. 

We got back home around 2:30 and my friend came by around 3 to catch-up and hangout. Kip was not a great host and fussed much of the visit. 

Nothing to look forward to this week, especially with snow arriving on the first day of spring. Ugh! Just living for the weekend. 

March 16, 2018

March 14, 2018

Weekending it

This past weekend my older sister Jessy came to visit!! Now that Mandy is out East it makes visiting really convenient. Kip, Mandy, Dan and me all for one! And we like seeing Jessy more now too! 

She hung out with Kippy and Mandy on Friday.

On Saturday we all drove over to New Jersey to hang out at Mandy's place and go to the mall.

Kippy LOVED being carried through the mall for a bit instead of being in the stroller.

On Sunday we went to church and the time change had Kippy napping an hour "late" so that meant I got to hear the whole sermon! After church Mandy came back over to Brooklyn and we all went on a long walk.

On Monday, Jessy hung out with Kip and me until it was time for her to head back to LA.

It was a great weekend and with the time-change, spring seems like a breath away! We're nearly there.

March 12, 2018

Kippy || 7 Months Old

On Saturday Kippy turned 7 months old!! This month was the quickest month of Kip's life so far. I blame it on the fact that February is the shortest and lamest month in existence. I feel robbed by February.

Kipling at Seven Months 
Weight ??? no well check this month (17 lbs. 4.8 oz. last month)
Height ??? no well check this month (26.97 inches last month)
Personality: Sweet and Active

Sweet potatoes
Sassy bumpy ball
Bath time - still his favorite
Facing out in his new stroller
Haba baby (a plush baby doll)
Being held and "walked around" 

Pot pie filling
Mixed vegetables
Being set down when he wants to be fed
Diaper changes immediately after waking up (sorry bud, you're poopy gotta get it done)
Being rocked or cuddled when he just wants to go to sleep in his crib (he is NOT a snuggler, yet)
Getting coats put on

Size 3 diapers
6-9 month clothing
He is growing but just at a much slower rate than before which I am grateful for. Stay little!

Things I want to remember about Kippy at 7 months old:
- When you are completely exhausted by the end of the day and about to fall asleep while nursing but fighting SO HARD to stay awake, you look so tiny in my arms and your fussing reminds me of when you were first born and we struggled to get you to latch and nurse. It makes me miss you being so tiny but so grateful that we persevered and figured out that nursing.
- All the different noises you've figured out how to make with your mouth and how proud you are to display your skills.
- Your soft and squishy skin.
- Your light blonde hair slowly growing in.
- How when I look over at you and catch you staring at me, you beam a huge smile and dart your eyes, a little bashful grin.
- How you pout and cry when I make crying noises, I wonder if you will be sensitive and empathetic towards others, like your Daddy.
- How you light up every morning when we come into your room.

The other day I was thinking back to the time when I was pregnant and we had a bit of a scare and how sad I felt that I might not get to love you alive. I wrote this little letter for you. Fortunately, everything was fine and now you're here. But I still feel so much anxiety for your safety all the time. How to love you and protect you but also how to let you grow and go. This month you've learned to eat food, learned to sit-up unassisted, and even started getting yourself ready to crawl. You're moving farther and farther away from me, tiny bit by bit becoming more a part of the world and less a part of just me. It's exciting but terrifying at the same time. The slow approach of independence. I envy mothers now who are just holding their newborns. I want to be them. I want to treasure you more every day. 7 months feels so big and so old. I finally understand when people say "babies don't keep."

Sleep is this month was about the same. Kippy still goes to bed around 6 pm every night and stays asleep until 6/6:30 am. He does still rouse several times in the night but this month he LEARNED HOW TO FIND AND PUT THE PACI BACK IN HIS MOUTH INDEPENDENTLY.  Did you hear the heavens rejoice right there? It is a beautiful thing and actually really cute. We've seen him do it several times while watching the monitor and we know it happens throughout the night because I will check on him before I go to bed and the paci has fallen out. When I wake him up in the morning the paci is back in. I remember googling "when will my baby put the pacifier back in his mouth" when Kip was a few weeks old and I was getting tired of the paci game. Most things I read said 6-9 months and here we are! Bliss.

Naps are still sporadic and now that he is rolling around and moving a lot in his crib it takes him longer to fall asleep during the day.  He will sleep in the crib, car, and stroller. Mandy manages to get him to sleep on the couch but he refuses to fall asleep in our arms. Sad, but true and I'm hoping it will change. We have a very rough schedule for him during the day but we haven't been able to make it consistent since it seems like so many variables interfere from day to day. In some ways this lack of a strict schedule is nice because I don't feel obligated to get him home for a nap if we are at church or out and about on the weekend. I want him to be somewhat flexible and so this rough schedule is working out okay for now.

We started solids in earnest this month and I'm not going to lie, I don't like it. It adds a lot of time to the feeding, it's messy, and it's hard to know what to feed him. Our doctor said "feed him anything, nothing is off limits except for honey." I like that freedom but I also like more direction. So far we've made most of his food by steaming or roasting veggies and blending them into a puree and freezing in little ice cube trays. He likes sweet potatoes the most but also likes baby yogurt (yobaby), rice cereal mixed with a veggie like squash, and baby oatmeal. He has tried broccoli and mixed veggies as well. I would say he doesn't dislike eating but he isn't a super fan. He is sort of meh about it. He did break out in hives once and we aren't 100% sure what caused it (maybe bananas) so it's hard to just feed him whatever without some anxiety. I made pot pie filling the other night and left out the seasoning and blended that up. He hated it. So, the idea of "just blend-up whatever you make yourself for dinner" hasn't really worked yet.

We feed him three "meals" a day. He gets nursed first thing in the morning then gets breakfast before his second bottle around 9 am. He gets lunch around noon followed by his midday bottle. He gets a 3 pm bottle (which he seems to be dropping little by little). Dinner is around 5 pm before his bottle and then bedtime. The amount he eats is pretty small and we let him lead so if he starts refusing or spitting it out or generally not interested, we don't push it. I don't want him to be a picky eater but right now I don't feel like I have much control.

Kippy loves to play now. He is so active and engaged and it's so much fun. He can sit-up unassisted now and will play with all the toys laid in front of him and even reach and bend to get at things nearby. He gets a little distracted when there are a lot of choices in front of him however. He loves his jumper gym still and likes the stroller and car rides still as well. His favorite toys right now are his Sassy bumpy ball and Haba baby. But he also like stacking rings and anything to knock over and anything he can get into his mouth. He is awake to the world around him and taking an active part in it and it's so wonderful to watch.

Little Kippy, you are my favorite little guy. I love you so so so much and I wish I could be with you all the time. I love watching you learn and grow but I also love when you just settle into me to nurse. I'm so grateful for all that we have experienced together so far and look forward to so much more ahead!