Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Classic 9 & A "Babyjail"

Here's my 9 months in, 9 out post (better late than never). :) 

 B came 2 days after I took this picture!  Crazy she was all balled up in there! :)

Me & my little peanut

And on a completely unrelated note...
I need your advice, dear readers!!!  So please don't be shy!  Weigh in!
My MIL watches baby B while I'm at work.  She has a very large house with a big, beautiful greatroom.  Problem is...that leaves a lot of spaces to baby proof as B gets mobile.  Now that B is starting to get around, we have been discussing how to baby proof her home with gates, locks, etc.  Then I started to think ahead to my summer at home with my kiddos.  I am a teacher, so I'm fortunate enough to be able to spend 9 weeks at home during the summer months.  I digress...  I know many of you have reviewed what is often called the "baby jail" or a new age playpen.  I thought to myself, this might work.  MIL can use it until I'm out of school.  That would save her the hassle of pesky gates & cabinet locks for only a few months with B full time, and I would benefit from having it handy in the summer, when juggling both kids by myself.  I have been doing some research and it looks like I'm between the following 3 possibilities:

1. Little Playzone with Lights & Sound (retails for 99.00-119.00, depending on the day on Amazon)
4 of 5 stars on Amazon (aka My Shopping Bible)
3 of 5 stars on Amazon
3.  Dream On Me Playyard (retails for 114.00)
4 of 5 stars on Amazon
  So here are my questions for all of you:
1. Should I go with the "baby jail" option to help my MIL reduce her baby proofing and then use it for my summer at home??
2. Are there other options I am not aware of?? Please enlighten me!!
3. Can any of you review the above options?  Have you used them? 
4. Is it completely GROSS to buy one of these through a baby resale shop? 

TIA for the help!  Hope you're all out enjoying this unseasonably warm weather, unlike me...who's stuck inside a windowless classroom with mouthy high schoolers.  ::joy::  T and I are definitely hitting the park tonight!!!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Pinterest DIY ~ Take 1

I'm embarrassed, but it's true, I'm a pinterest addict ::blushes::  I'm also a craft project junkie with a dash of OCD perfectionism, so these do-it-yourself ideas haunt my dreams.  I plan to make many DIY projects happen in the near future...much to my hubs dismay (as this probably means work for him...sorry babe!).  However, this weekend I tackled a more manageable diy...a hair bow holder for baby B.  I have to admit...I'm damn proud of how it turned out.  Take a look! 

Here's the finished product (it only cost me 26.00 for the entire project).  The ribbon was BYGO at Michaels, the frame was 40% off (also at Michaels) and the hooks were 3.99 at Target (aka mecca).

 Here it is in B's room, in use.  I lurrrrvvveeee it!!!!!  ::pats self on back::

in it's rightful place up in B's fairy room

And just for giggles...a silly photo of my attempt to put B's hair up

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Who needs crawling...

when you can see the world from the top :)  B pulled up on her activity cube today.  Woo Hoo...progress!

And of course it's only fair...my little man and his cute face...just for giggles.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My Irrational Fear of Formula

Two posts in 12 hours...shocker...I know.

I have a confession to make ::blushes:: I'm deathly afraid of formula.  I know, it's weird.  Yet, I can't seem to get over my panic over the powder. As I sit her typing, even thinking of switching over gives me anxiety.  The weird thing is, I have absolutely NO JUDGEMENT over those that formula feed...not one bit...in fact, I am actually often envious of moms that FF, of their freedom, their much perkier boobs and the fact that they don't have to spend every free moment at work pumping.  I absolutely long for the days I am not lugging my pump to and from work every.single.day.  Yet here I am freaking out over switching over.  What's my freaking problem??

B is now almost 9.5 months.  We are still BF and I am still pumping at work (insert thumbs down here).  However, I know the "end is near".  I am TRYING...emphasis on "trying"...to prepare myself for the inevitable switch.  I have 5 more gallon bags of frozen milk in my deep freezer (8-10 bottles each).  We have just dipped into our September stash.  What do I do...I start to have a full-on panic attack.  I am unable to store anymore extra milk.  That's the reality.  Period.  My body just can't produce like it used to.  I can barely produce enough for a bottle for B everyday.  So right now, B gets 1 fresh and 1 frozen bottle everyday with my MIL.  But...the frozen stashes days are numbered...and formula is probably in our future.  And then I'll start panicking over which formula to pick...ugh.

I was already mixing formula and BM with DS well before now, so why the irrational fear of doing the same with DD??  Anyone have suggestions, words of advice, encouragement, slaps into reality??  I'm really having a hard time with this, and I need to get over myself!! 

If only....

Monday, January 23, 2012

Our Favorite Things: 9 Month Edition

Hello blog friends!  I've been a very horrible blogger as of late, as I'm just allowing life to get the better of me.  Plus, it doesn't help that our computer was non-functional for over a week and that we lost EVERYTHING on our C drive in the process...awesome ::eye roll::.  Thank God for the blog, as it eased my mind about possibly losing all our photos (we didn't...thank the lord).  Reason #1 why I blog...posterity!

Big B news...
she went from her tummy to sitting and she's scooting backwards at a very rapid pace.  Now we just have to work on forward motion.  Another big B development is stomach sleeping.  A few nights ago we had a horrible time getting her down.  I said, in a last ditch effort "just put her on her tummy, babe".  Lo and behold...she gave up her shrill screaming and konked out.  There wasn't even a wake-up for binky reinsertion (which there normally is 1-3 times per night on average).  The other big milestone for B is her first sign.  The last couple of weeks she's been doing the sign for milk pretty consistently.  I'm hoping "more", "please", "water" and "eat" will be next.  Then we'll work on "change" and "bath".   

Anyway...I haven't done a favorite things edition for a while...and since our needs have changed drastically from the newborn stage, I figured it might be helpful to share what has worked for us.  I have also include a few favorite things for the 4-5 preK'er.  Here goes:


Nuby sippy cups
B can just bite down and she can get water.  They are also light enough that she can use 1 hand to lift it and tip it.  The fact that they're cheap and easy to find is also a plus. 

A formula holder for snacks  (I prefer munchkin brand)
Some have 3 and others have 4 sections that are supposed to be used for pre-measured formula, but we use them for our plethora of puffs, yogurt bites and rice krispies that I tote around with us everywhere.  It makes it so much easier to have them as-needed, and keep my diaper bag clean and organized. 

Leapster Violet

As annoying as she might be, B loves her.  I love that she can actually say "Brynleigh" correctly too, which I was worried about when I was setting her up on our computer. I also adore the bedtime music option.  But...does anyone know how to turn her down???  She's sooo loud! 

Tiny Love Super Playmat
We LOVVVEEEE this new addition to our family room.  It's big enough that a baby 9 months + gets lots of use out if it, it's soft, it folds up and is easily stored next to our couch, and it has a set of handles to carry with us when we travel.  We plop her down on the mat to play and she loves her little "area". 

Vtech baby laptop - in pink

Endless hours of fun with many settings.  B loves to open and close it over and over. 

Tiny Diner

I was obsessed with this with T, but it's the absolute best invention ever!  I'm not a germaphobe, but having a safe and clean surface for her to play, eat, beat her toys, etc is wonderful.  I love the snack catcher too.  Plus, run a couple of wipes along it and it's clean and new.  I love how it rolls up and fits easily in the bottom of my diaper bag.  Huge applause for this product!  T had a green one, but they're affordable enough that we invested in a new one for B.

Vita Baby first feeding bowls 

I make my own baby food, and I pack food for B for my MIL to give her everyday, so these little things are just the perfect amount for her at this point.  Love them!  They come in a set of 4 and have matching lids.  Plus, they're dishwasher safe and BPA-free.  The come in pink, orange and blue.


A car DVD player!!! 

We came across this amazing invention accidentally.  We bought a Pilot when T was 6 months old and it had a built-in DVD player in back.  It has been a savior ever since.  I actually refused to make a deal with my most current car, a CRV (we like our Hondas), unless they could somehow put in a DVD player.  Not only is it great with long car trips, but it's amazing for cranky toddlers/preschoolers when I'm home in the summer and fun for me when I'm not driving.  We also have 2 sets of cordless headphones in each car so we are spared from the millionth time T wants to watch Bolt!

Evenflo Big Kid Booster
I am "in love" with our new booster.  Besides the fact that I love that it's not permanently installed, T can now buckle himself in, it has cupholders AND a snack tray on BOTH sides, and it was ridiculously affordable at Meijer!  Score!

Leapster Explorer

A great way to keep your active preschooler in check in the doctors office, at dinner, in the car, etc.  Plus, most of the games are learning games.  In addition, leapster has come out with their own "pad" (touchscreen) that also plays the explorer games.  Loving it!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

B is 9 months!

Okay...can we first talk about that crazy hair??  It's hilarious.  It just won't lay down on the left side of her head, and when it's dry like it's been...she looks like she stuck her finger in a light socket.  Just one of the many reasons why we love our girl!  In just 3 short months our lovebug will turn 1, and I can't believe it!  She's been 9 months out after 9 months in.  It's quite a milestone.  I am completely freaked out time has gone so fast, as chances our this is our last time experiencing the "baby" months.  I am also so incredibly excited to watch her turn into her own little person and see her change, grow and become mobile.  It's an exciting time in our house. 

Age: 9 months today!  3/4 of a year...wow!

Stats: 15lbs 5oz (not even on the charts:( ) & 27 3/4'.  She is definitely having a growth spurt.

Size (diapers, onesies, etc.): Not much change from last month, size 3 diapers and 6-9 month clothes.

Sleeping: Hubs gets up to put her binky in at least 1 time a night most nights.  We can't wait when she figures out how to pop that back in her mouth.  Otherwise, we make it the entire night without a diaper change or feeding.  She can usually make it to 5-6:30am till she needs to eat, then goes back to sleep till 9 am.  We are working on getting her a solid afternoon nap around 1:30 or 2pm, but she normally cat naps for 30 minutes or here and there as we run around all day.  She's not a consisten napper, unfortunately. 

Eating: I made it BF 9 months, which I am so very proud of.  We are still going, with no supplementing.  She is doing amazing with table foods and baby food.  I make my own baby food, and am mildly obsessed with doing so.  I just really love the creativity and the satisfaction I get from providing her with new combinations that are fresh and made with love.  It's fun!  So far she's eaten, rice krispies, cheese, pancakes, bread, apple slices, yogurt, blueberries, strawberries, bananas, cottage cheese, soft carrots, spiral wheat noodles and small pieces of chicken as table foods.  We will try just about anything at this point..as long as we can make it into small pieces and that it's soft.  She has no peanut allergies either, as we fed her a muffin with nuts in it and small bits of PB&J (gasp if you may)....the second kid is so much easier and less stressful when it comes to this stuff.

1. tooth #2, her right bottom one
2. waving
3. doing the kissing sound
4. army crawl with her arms and toes a couple of feet
5. rolling to and sleeping on her right side at night
6. playing in the bathtub with toys
7. being able to play by herself for long periods of time on the floor
8. playing peek-a-boo with her towel/blanket

Memorable outings: Her first Christmas and travels up North and her first NYE in Chicago with my childhood friends and their families. 
Favorite toys/activities: activity walker that the face pops off, her tea set, the elephant ball popper, hair (still!), sensory balls, T's cars (straight to her mouth), rolling snail, colored stacking rings, just started getting interested in her Violet

Funny moments: Definitely Poop-agedon on Christmas Day

Looking forward to: We are hopeful she'll crawl soon, she's so close.  I'm also hopeful she'll say "mama" instead of just mmmmmm for me.  I think she'll do her first baby signs anytime now, as I am very adamant about trying to show them to her (here's hoping).  I am also starting to think about her first birthday...I can't believe it! 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Milestone Monday ~ 01.09.12

It's still so weird to type out '12...I can't believe it's already 2012.  Crazy!  Anyway...

I hope you all had a nice weekend.  We had a very relaxing, stress-free few days that were filled with lots of family time.  My only issue this week was some severe nursing carpel tunnel.  Has anyone else experienced this?  My right arm/hand aches so much!!!  B spends a much longer period of time in my right arm, as this is my dominant carrying arm and the side she ends up on at night when I nurse to sleep.  Needless to say...I'm in a great deal of pain.  Any ideas or suggestions as to how to combat, lessen or treat it would be greatly appreciated!  THIS is what I could find on kellymom.com about the syndrome...so I'm not completely crazy, I guess :)

It's Milestone Monday for Scherman Family Four and we have some good ones for the kiddies:

T started riding his bike without his training wheels this weekend.  He's still shaky, but I bet by next weekend he'll be flying down the street.  He started in the grass, but was able to travel down the sidewalk a ways without toppling over.  I didn't ride without training wheels until I was 7 ::blushes:: but my brother was just shy of 4, so I guess this isn't completely abnormal.  Nonetheless...we were very excited.

B has two big milestones, her second tooth and waving.  Her second bottom tooth poked through this weekend.  I thought one of the top ones would win the race, as they are on their way in as well, but there was bottom tooth #2.  B is also waving, a lot!  She waves at Daddy, Tyler, the dog, random people, the TV, just about anything that she thinks might acknowledge her.  It's adorable!  She waves with her palm up, which makes her look like she's performing "I'm a little teapot".  Unfortunately, she rarely waves at me...just puts her arms in the air and whines for me to pick her up or take her.

B is also now eating lots of table foods.  It was a big deal last night when she ate cooked carrots, noodles, shredded cheese and mashed banana.  We are making great strides in food, and enjoying introducing her to new flavors and textures.  I'm still making her baby food, which I love.  I highly recommend a great product to those of you who make baby food...the CUISINART SMARTSTICK hand blender.   It has made my baby food making so much easier!  It's very powerful, small, easy to use, and the blender portion pops off and can be washed in the dishwasher.  I'm completely in love with it!  Go check it out. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Computers, Concerns & Constipation

Hello blog followers!  The Scherman Family Four has been MIA lately, and I have lots of valid, and not so reasonable, reasons why.  That's a mixed bag of topics, but it's kind of how I feel right now, jumbled, disorganized and frustrated.  Lets start with the simple of our 3 C's...computers. 
Our computer has been slow for a while now.  Just a few days ago, a pop-up came up that said our windows spyware was expiring and that our computer was at risk of acquiring a hacker virus (at that time, so they claimed).  We had to hurry up and pay the 79.95 so that we could save our computer and the privacy of our network.  Something seems fishy to me.  The "spyware" had frozen all of our programs, we were unable to even get on the Internet.  I wasn't so sure I was willing to fork over this money.  I just had a hunch.  I told my hubby, and he used his tablet to look up this supposed virus.  Lo and behold, we were being duped!  Our computer WAS in fact infected...but it was the spyware that was the virus locking up our computer.  It was a scam (that we willingly fell for last year...I might add).  So hubs works for a computer software company and he had his "guy" look at it.  Come to find out, our entire computer was screwed, and we had to reformat it...READ ~ERASE EVERYTHING~!  Ummmm....  I took it better than I thought I would...but my Internet and blogging withdrawal kicked in big time.  It was a long process trying to figure out how to save as much as we could before we wiped the computer clean.  So FX we will have a better situation when I return home today. 

I can usually do some blog reading during my lunch hour at work...but it's been complete HELL here with the semesters end looming.  Kids are scrambling to do missing work...and I'm scrambling to write exams, grade the piles of paper and appease kids and parents by quickly updating grades.  It's a madhouse!

C #2 is Concerns...and I have lots of them regarding my babies.  My biggest concern right now is my milk supply. 
I'm CRAMMING my face with calories, drinking water like it's my job, taking fenugreek and still trying to pump at work.  I have even added and extra session (or two) at home.  Alas, I can see things changing...for the worse.  My rack is no longer a rack...they are quickly turning back into my nubbins (tear!).  My hormones are changing and I think I'm gonna get my period at any moment (acne, mood swings and bloating abound).  I also sense baby girl isn't getting satisfied when I feed her (insert heartbreak here!). 

Additionally, my concern is about B's size.  B went for a doctors appointment for C #3, and she was only 14.85lbs...at almost 9 months!  I don't even know if she's on the weight chart.  What am I doing wrong??????  I just beat myself up for not being able to pack on the lbs.  She is also slow to hit her milestones, like rolling, sitting and becoming more mobile.  She shows little to ZERO interest in crawling.  I know, logically, I shouldn't dwell on those silly milestones, as each child develops in their own way.  Plus, as a mommy of 2, I should be more realistic.  But...I still worry.  I'm a mommy, and a type A mommy at that...so I worry. 

Concern #3 is a big one...literally and figurative...it's B's constipation.  Her face gets really red, she cries and shakes and sometimes barely gets out a marble.  Her poop is always hard as a rock and black as night.  I know, being an avid Oprah and Dr. Oz watcher, as well as a biology teacher, that your poop is directly connected to your internal health.  I was worried.  My worry hit an even bigger level when B had what we affectionately call the the "Traumatic Poop Episode" on Christmas Day.  B hadn't had a BM for a while, so we were hoping with every diaper we would see some relief for her (poor girl).  On Christmas Day, we had just sat down to open gifts with hubs' Grandma and Aunt and B started screaming, crying, shaking and sweating.  She also holds onto me, stands on my lap and leans over with her butt sticking out when she's trying.  It was a horrific thing to watch, my little peanut struggling and screaming out in pain.  What do you do???????  I could only try to comfort her.  Once I smelled success, I took her to the bedroom to change her (mind you she still seemed uncomfortable and in pain).  When I got the diaper off I saw what we call a "childbirth" situation (sorry baby girl for putting it all out there).  The poop was HUGE, black and STUCK!  Oh crap (pun intended).  I didn't know what to do, but I knew my little sweetheart was screaming out in pain, so Mommy was gonna find a way to fix it.  First instinct....yes folks...I did it...I tried to pull that badboy out with my fingers.  I quickly realized that wasn't gonna happen.  I was afraid I'd push it right back in or (try to stifle your gag reflex) possible make her tear (omg).  My family gathered around to get a look at this shit storm, and we all quickly brainstormed solutions.  So we ended up with...wait for it...a plastic Wendys spoon and some Vaseline.  I tried the spoon first.  Yep, picture it if you can...me and a plastic spoon trying to save my baby from poop-agedon.  Spoon fail.  Next I tried the Vaseline.  I had no time to wait for a Qtip or Kleenex.  I just dove in with my finger and tried to grease her up to help it out.  The Vaseline did the trick (thank the Lord), and in her next scream in pain, it came out.  And, I kid you not, it was half her size in length, hard as a rock and looked horribly unhealthy.  B felt much better, I was traumatized and emotionally exhausted (as I had been crying as I watched her in pain) and the entire family was relieved.  However, she then went an entire week without pooping again.  I didn't know how to properly feed a girl who was that stopped up.  I was sick with worry.  We ended up bringing her to our pedi (the best in the land in my opinion) and he prescribed her with a gentle laxative we mix into her water or milk 1-2 times a day.  I was skeptical, because this was the exact same stuff they gave us when T had a similar issue and it did very little.  However...last night...I saw what our pedi calls "applesauce" poop!  I did a little happy dance.  I feel so much better she can relieve herself, and I have never been so excited to clean a poopy diaper in my life! 

So that's the 3 C's of me baby.  I've been missing catching up with you all...so I have to get to reading and responding to your posts.  Belated Happy New Year to you all.