Monday, November 3, 2014

Ezra's 6 Month Update

 It's already been half a year since our little guy came into our lives! I can't believe how quickly it has flown by. You would think that having done this twice before it wouldn't surprise me how quickly time passes, but it does! 

  Ezra is doing great and still growing like crazy. He had his 6 month check up this morning and he weighs 20 pounds 10 ounces and he's 29 inches long. He is >97% in both of those! He's is physically and developmentally right on track. 

 This past month we did start solid foods and as you would guess by his robust size, he does LOVE to eat. So far there isn't anything he hasn't liked. Right now his favorites are bananas and sweet potatoes.  We are doing baby led weaning and we are both loving it. I'm amazed at how quickly he has learned to feed himself and I love how much less work it is for me not having to purée or fix a separate meal for him. He just eats what we eat. Within reason, obviously. 

 He is now sitting up like a champ! He can turn himself in circles and can go quite the distance by scooting around on his round bottom :) He is definitely interested in crawling and I suspect it won't be long until he's on the move. 

 He has become quite the little talker. He makes lots of different sounds and if he's awake you can pretty much bet that he's talking :)

His sleep is somewhat improving. He had developed a sleep association with nursing. Even though he always puts himself to sleep, for some reason at night he thinks he needs to nurse to get back to sleep. I spent a whole weekend camped out in his room gently sleep training him. I wanted to keep the crying to a minimum and I found that method worked best for us.  It has helped and he now will sometimes go 4-5 hours without waking. 

 He has developed such a beautiful personality. He is such a happy baby and he loves to laugh. Especially at his big sisters! He is just the sweetest boy and brings me so much joy! Here are some pictures from the past month. 

        Watching daddy change his oil :)

As Olaf on Halloween with Elsa and Anna

   His first ride in the wagon. He loved it!

             This face cracks me up!!

      His first trip to the fire house to see         
                       Uncle Eric. 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Ezra's 4 & 5 Month Update

 Our sweet boy is already 5 months old! I never got around to getting a 4 month update done, so I'm going to combine the last 2 months together. And what a big couple of months he has had!

 He had his 4 month well baby check-up last month. He is still growing and was right on track developmentally. He weighed 18 pounds and was 27 1/4 inches. He has more than doubled his birth weight and grown over 5 inches!

 Last month was a rough one as far as his sleep goes. He went through the dreaded 4 month sleep regression simultaneously with a particularly bad wonder week and he was teething. He went from sleeping 5-6 hours at a time back to waking every 1.5-2 hours. He also learned to roll over so instead of going to sleep when I laid him down he just rolled all over his crib and it usually ended in me picking him up and swaying him until he was almost asleep. It's been a long month and we're still working on getting that worked out, but it is slowly getting better, Thankfully, his naps haven't been affected too badly.

 We finally got around to starting his nursery. It's looking great and if we ever finish I'll post pictures. At the current rate he'll be 2 when that happens :) He takes all of his naps in his room and has adapted to it really well. I put him down in his room for the night, but since he's been waking so often I usually end up putting back in our room just to make it a little easier on myself.

 He has hit a ton of milestones the past 2 months! He can rollover from both his tummy and his back, He now uses it as a means to get around and rolls all over the place! He cut 2 teeth! I was really surprised by this. Kennedy didn't get her first tooth until 13 months and Karoline was 6 months so it was definitely unexpected that he had 2 pop up before he was 5 months! His biggest milestone so far is that he learned to sit up this past week! He got really good at it, really fast! I say it's because his fluffy bottom and chunky thighs give him a nice sturdy base :) I am never in a hurry for my babies to grow, but sitting up is one of my favorite milestones! It makes things like grocery shopping, dining out and playtime a lot easier.

 He also has shown a LOT of interest in food. I was set on waiting until 6 months before introducing solids, but he has made it known that he does not want to wait that long! Mealtime was resulting in a lot of screaming, banging on the table and swiping food from my plate or hands. We've decided to go with baby led weaning so I've taken these hints as he's ready to explore with solids. I still intend on breast milk being his main source of nutrition, but I'm excited to see him play with eating solids.

 He is growing so fast and he brings us so much joy! Such a blessing to us! We are so excited to see what he does next!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Throwback Thursday: 9/11 Memorial

 Today marks 13 years ago since the biggest American tragedy that has happened in my lifetime. September 11, 2001 will always be burned in my memory. I will never forget where I was and what I was doing when I heard the news. I remember the images and emotions of that day like it was yesterday. Just as much as I remember the feelings and emotions of that day, I remember the following days and the feeling of pride that took over our great country. How we pulled together as a nation and leaned on one another for support. I'm still so proud of how, even 13 years later, we have not forgotten. We have made sure that the ones who lost their lives that day are remembered and honored.  This date never passes by unnoticed and the heavy feeling that comes with it never goes away.
 Back in February I was very lucky to be able to see one of the ways we have honored those who lost their lives. While on a short trip to NYC we visited the 9/11 Memorial. The victims of that horrible day are beautifully remembered and everyone,especially the families of those lost who didn't have remains to place in a grave to visit, have a peaceful memorial to visit.  It was an experience I will never forget and I'm so thankful that I had the opportunity. It was in the midst of a snow storm so the pictures aren't the best, but I'm happy to share the ones I have. If you ever have the chance to see it, do not pass it up. I also highly suggest visiting St. Paul's Chapel right across the street. It was a gathering place for all of the search and rescue teams to rest and get something to eat. There are still letters, pictures and other mementos from that time.

Names of New York Firefighters lost.

Flight 175

Those lost at the Pentagon.

Flight 93
(Because of the snow, not all sides of the pools were accessible so I wasn't able to get a photo of  flight 11 and flight 77.)

Things left at ground zero.

Patches from emergency crews from across the country who helped in the following weeks.  

These are strings of origami peace cranes that were sent by school children and other groups from Japan.

May we never stop remembering the victims of that day and strive to keep their memories alive so that generations after us know their stories and the sacrifices made. 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Ezra's 3 months!

 I'm a week late, but our sweet boy is 3 months!This was a big month for our big boy! The biggest development was his sleeping! He started consistently sleeping for 5-6 hours at a time!! It's been lovely! He also laughed for the first time! I now spend most if my day trying to make him laugh :)
 We started the month with several firework shows to celebrate Independence Day. I wasn't sure how he would react, but it didn't bother him one bit. He actually enjoyed it quite a bit!

He also did a lot of traveling this month. On the 14th we went to New Jersey and New York City. Big sisters stayed with their Nanas so it was just the 3 of us. E did wonderful on all the flights! Not a single peep the entire flight! 

We were tagging along with Daddy for a work trip, so it was just Ezra and I most of the time. It was really nice getting to spend some one-on-one time with him. We had originally planned on going into NYC a couple of evenings after Chance got off of work. Unfortunately, it rained. A lot! Ever. Single. Day. So, Chance wasn't able to go into the city with us. But, we did spend an evening in Hoboken. We made the same trip back in February and that is when I fell in love with this cute little town. So I was excited to go back with our little guy! We had dinner at 'The Taco Truck' and hung out at the park that has the best view of Manhattan, hands down! 

Finally, on the day before we were to leave it stopped raining and beautiful weather was forecasted. Since Chance and I had to work I decided that Ezra and I would take on the big city by ourselves. 

We loaded up and took the train from NJ to NY Penn station. NYC is easy to get around and navigate and contrary to what I had read, it's very stroller friendly. In fact, everywhere we went someone asked if I needed help getting the stroller on/off or up/down. I found that in general, New Yorkers are quite friendly! Ezra did really well and we definitely made the most of our day! 

The Bryant Park carousel. A beautiful little park that provided us with a nice place to rest and nurse. 

The view from top of "The Rock". By far the best $30 spent! It was the most amazing view! I'm so glad we did it. We spent an hour up there. Also, the staff at Rockefeller Plaza are incredibly friendly and helpful! If you only get to do one thing in NYC this would be my pick!!

Our last stop before making our way back was Central Park. We didn'take it here during our first trip and I was so excited to go. It didn't disappoint! It was even more beautiful than I thought it would be and it was HUGE! We watched a dodgeball game and relaxed it the green grass. 

During my first trip to Times Square I was disappointingly unimpressed. It was entirely too crowded and packed with tourist. I didn't plan on going back, bit it was on my way back to the train station. I had already walked so much and I didn't want to take a longer route to avoid it. I'm so glad I did! Yes, it was packed with people, but Ezra LOVED all of the bright lights! It was worth the chaos!
We ended the month with a trip to San Antonio. It was too hot to do a lot, but Ezra and his big sisters did a LOT of swimming! He enjoyed his first swim :)
One thing he didn't enjoy was all of the driving. I don't see anymore road trips in our near future :)

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

My 6 Tips For Breastfeeding Success

I'm now breastfeeding my 3rd baby. (3?!?!?) When it's all said and done I will have spent more than 3 years of my life nourishing my babies with my breast. I've definitely learned a LOT since my first baby almost 8 years ago. I thought I would share some tips that helped make my breastfeeding journey a success.

1.) Decide & Commit
  I LOVE to breastfeed my babies! It has been one of my favorite parts of being a mother. With that being said, it can be difficult the first few weeks. When the adrenaline has worn off, the sleep deprivation has set in, your body is sore and your breast are engorged, and your hormones are trying to level out, it's just too easy to give up. Breastfeeding is not something you can go in to saying, "I'll give it a try and see how it goes." You have to be 100% committed to it. When that feeling of "something's gotta give" shows up, you have to be willing to give something else up. I promise if you commit and stick with it you will not regret it.

2.) Prepare
   After you've committed to breastfeeding and BEFORE your baby gets here, prepare yourself as much as you can. Read all the books,articles, blogs and Pinterest pins you can get your hands on. Breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world, but it usually doesn't come without a few problems and a lot of learning for the both of you. Knowing what to expect and knowing that what you're going through is completely normal makes everything so much easier.
  The best thing I did for myself before my first baby was taking a breastfeeding class at one of the local hospitals. It was a one day "hands on" class taught by a nurse/lactation consultant. It was so informative and it gave me everything I needed to commit. I would strongly encourage any mom-to-be to take one!!

3.) Support
  Most likely at some point during the early days of breastfeeding you're going to find yourself up in the middle of the night crying while holding your screaming newborn. You've tried everything you know to do and even though you've committed and prepared yourself, you're at a loss about what to do and your convinced your failing at being a mother and your baby is surely going to starve. That sounds dramatic, but thanks to your postpartum hormones that will be a very legit concern. Having a support system is crucial to your success!
  When I had Ezra 2 months ago he had a slight latch problem a couple of days after he was born. I had given birth to him just 4 days earlier with no pain medication and didn't shed a single tear, yet I found myself nursing him and bawling because the poor latch he had made it so painful to feed him. Without the support of my husband I would have for sure given up.
  I know not every woman has a partner or even any family to support them, but there are so many other people and resources that can be utilized! Midwives, nurses, lactation consultants, your local LaLeche League, and even Facebook breastfeeding groups are all there to help and answer any question you have. Don't be afraid to ask questions! Believe me, they've heard it all!

4.) Days 3 & 4.
  If you think of breastfeeding, in terms of challenges, as a roller coaster, days 3 and 4 are the very highest and most difficult days. That is when most women throw in the towel. You're tired, your nipples are sore, your breast are engorged and you've got milk pouring from you like a waterfall. If you can push through and make it past those days it will be down hill from there!

5.) Get Ready and Get Comfy.
  For the first few weeks of your baby's life you will spend a lot of time breastfeeding. I mean a LOT! If you're going to be spending so much time doing something you may as well be comfortable. When your baby shows signs of waking up to eat get yourself ready. Go to the bathroom, get something to drink, and sit down in a comfortable chair with your baby and nursing pillow. Also make sure you have the remote, your phone and whatever entertainment you desire. Most newborns can take their sweet time when it comes to dinner time.
  If you have older children then it's also important to get them ready before you sit down to nurse. Ask them if they need to use the bathroom, get them something to drink and/or snack on and find them something to do that will keep them occupied. This is important because without fail they will wait until you've sat down and gotten really comfy before they will ask you to get them something to drink or suddenly be unable to hold their bladder another second.  
6.) Enjoy!
  Even though the first few weeks can be hard, soak it up. It is such a special time in your life and no matter how many people tell you, you wont believe how quickly it goes by. Take time to watch your baby nurse and memorize all of their sweet features. Talk to them, sing to them and let yourself love what you're doing for them. During those first days use your baby's meal time as an opportunity to steal your baby back from all of the visiting admirers and sneak away and love the precious time that you have them all to yourself. Sometimes it can feel like a chore and sometimes you'll feel like you've had a baby attached to you every second of the day, but remember to take the time to enjoy it. It will be something you cherish the rest of your life.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Ezra's 2 Month Update

Our sweet boy is 2 months old already! He is growing like crazy! He weighs over 15 pounds and is 24 3/4 inches. He is >97% in both his height and weight! 

This month has brought lots of sweet smiles and lots of "talking". If you're a parent you know how exciting this milestone is! Waking up to his smiles makes being up all night totally worth it :) 

Speaking of sleep, he has gotten a little better. He has one good stretch from about 10:00 to 2 or 3:00 and then he's up every 2-3 hours. He does like to sleep in though. He's not ready to be up for the day until around 11:00 and takes really good naps. He also puts himself to sleep, which is really nice. So other than his frequent waking at night, he is a great sleeper!

Breastfeeding is still going great. He has become very efficient and can finish in about 10 minutes. I've also been able to pump quite a bit and I've now got a good amount of milk saved up in the freezer. 

He is such a sweet baby and really easygoing which is a huge help to me! His two energetic sisters keep things going and he's always happy to just go along with what ever is happening. 

   His first fireworks show! He LOVED it!!

      Ezra with his very loving sisters <3