Friday, October 12, 2012

7 months old!!

Happy 7 months, sweet girl! You are officially closer to a year old than you are to a baby, which is absolutely nuts! You've brought us so much joy, love and laughter these past 7 months, we cannot believe how quickly the time is passing us by.

You are a hoot, little girl. Every day, you learn something new, and you keep us entertained. This past month, you officially became a "real" crawler. You've been belly crawling for nearly two months now, but a couple weeks ago, you just up and started crawling on all fours one evening -- and you haven't stopped since! It's so fun watching you, but not only that, we HAVE to watch you, every minute! Otherwise, you are in to EVERYTHING. You are such a curious baby, and very determined to get what you want. Because of this intense determination you possess, Daddy and I have no doubt that you will be a walker, well before your first birthday (scary thought!)

In addition to crawling, you've decided that's simply not enough, and you are now pulling up on everything and standing up. This, our sweet girl, really just happened over night. Same thing with sitting up by day, you just started doing it. Your favorite thing to do, of course, is to pull up on things you are not supposed to -- especially the entertainment center, which houses all kinds of electronics with buttons for you to press off and on, on and off (ie; daddy's Xbox!). We've started telling you "NO" to which you typically just turn and look at us, smile, and go right back to what you are doing!

You are still a bird with drinking milk during the day, but you LOVE solids. Anytime we are eating in front of you, you sit and stare at us until we give you a bite. You seem to enjoy almost everything we've given you to try. One night, we went out for italian and you absolutely LOVED spaghetti. Mommy couldn't feed it to you fast enough! You also tried some Mexican food, and really seemed to enjoy that as well. We weren't sure if it was the fun music that was playing, or the tastiness of the food, but every time we gave you a bite, you started swaying to the music! Silly girl. You also really enjoy puffs and yogurt bites. You are just learning your pincher grasp, and its so fun watching you try to pick up your snacks in your little fingers and feed yourself. The food makes it to your mouth about 50% of the time right now, but every day you're getting better and better! Some days, you'd rather us just feed you, so you sit there with your mouth hanging open until we pop a treat in your mouth. LOL.

Your sleeping habits just keep getting better and better. You've pushed your own bedtime back a little later, which is nice, because when 7p hits, you are no longer ms. cranky pants. You stay up until about 8:30 these days, which is perfect. You also sleep about 11-12 hour stretch, which is great!! Of course, you still don't have a perfect nap schedule, but thats okay. One day, we know you'll enjoy naps!

You bring such joy to our lives, everyday..each day, we wake up with a smile on our face, because we know we have you, and we know just seeing you first thing in the morning is a guarenteed smile on our faces! We love you much more than you even know, little one!


Sunday, August 19, 2012

happy HALF year, baby girl!!

Audrey Elizabeth, you are officially SIX months old now!! Mommy was a bit of a slacker and never got your 5 month update blogged, so I will combine the two, to make sure we don't miss a beat!

It's incredibly hard to believe that just 6 months ago, you were still kicking away in my belly. Now, you are a mover and a shaker -- for real. You NEVER stop moving these days!! :)

Since my last update, so much has happened with you! You celebrated your first 4th of July. Because it was in the middle of the week, we decided to stay in Pittsburgh and celebrate at home. Daddy got free tickets to the Pirates game for being a military veteran, so we decided to take you to that. The game was in the middle of the day, and it was probably close to 100 degrees, but you did amazing! You made it through to the bottom of the 7th inning, which was awesome! By that point, you were only slightly fussy, so honestly, you probably could have made it all the way to the end, if we tried. We kept you entertained with ice cubes and an ice cold cup :)

You tried solids for the first time -- and you really seemed to enjoy them! Don't let this photo fool you ;) Your favorites are any fruits, of course. You haven't tried a fruit yet that you don't like. You are a little pickier with vegetables, and really don't seem to enjoy the "greens". I keep trying though, in hopes that one day you'll decide they are yummy! You do like sweet potatoes and carrots though, which is a start!

At a little over 5 months old, you started the process of crawling. You would get up on all fours and rock forward, trying to move! At this point, we knew it wouldn't be much longer before you were officially on the move, and it wasn't! Just a few weeks after that, and you were off! You first started off by what can only be described as a water spider crawl, which eventually turned into the worm, and this is what you are still doing today! It's so funny watching you get where you want to go..and you are pretty fast about it! Daddy and I have had to install some baby gates to ensure you are safe, since you can now get wherever you want to go (which is usually to an electronic we've left laying around!).

At your 6 month check up, you weighed in at 18 lbs 6 oz, and were 27" long. It took three tries to get it correct because you are such a wiggle worm! You are still in the 90th percentile for height and weight, so you are growing right on track :) You had to get three shots this month, and an oral vaccine. Again, this was tough for Mommy to witness. I think these shots hurt more than previous times, because you cried longer, and your little legs had bruises at the entry site :/ But, you were still our brave girl, and kept a smile on your face the rest of the day!

You are "talking" more, which is always fun to listen you! Amongst your daily babble, you've definitely said "mama" and "dada"..more than once. We're sure you don't know what those words really MEAN yet, but its fun to pretend you do ;) We're excited for the day you say those words to us, and mean it!

You are doing amazing, in the sleep department. We've got your evening routine down to a science, and you really seem to enjoy it since you know what to expect. The past week, you've been sleeping 11-12 hour stretches at night! You still aren't a big fan of naps, and at this point, I'm not sure you ever WILL be (maybe when you are a teenager?). You will only nap for us in your swing or in the car, and even then, they are short cat naps. But since you've been sleeping so well at night, we really can't complain!

You suffered your first cold a couple weeks ago. First time in 6 months isn't bad! It was a little rough because you had a stuffy nose and couldn't breathe very well, but you trucked right through it. The only time you were really mad (and I mean REALLY MAD) is when we had to give you saline drops and clear out your nose. You would have thought we were torturing you by the way you screamed and flailed around! It took both Mommy AND Daddy to do this process!

Just the past couple days we've started giving you some table foods, letting you try some new things and get used to new textures. You tried some soup broth, bread, & vanilla ice loved them all! It's always fun watching you experiment with new foods, and see your reaction.

Every day with you is a new, and exciting adventure. Its been so much fun watching you grow and learn these past 6 months. We cannot wait to see what the next 6 months brings!!

Love Always,

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

adventures in homemade baby food

When I first found out I was pregnant, I knew one of the things I wanted to eventually do, was to make my own baby food. I heard people did that, and I guess I never realized how easy it was to do so! Honestly, cost isn't even a factor for my motivation in this, though it really does save a lot of money. My biggest motivation for making my own baby food was knowing exactly what is going into her food, and knowing she's getting healthy, wholesome food without any added things. She has years to put processed crap in her mouth (if she chooses, of course!) but for now, I can help make sure she's getting the best possible foods! And have I mentioned, its fun??

When our pediatrician gave us the green light to start introducing solids after her 4-month well baby checkup, I couldn't wait to get started! I started off by looking up how to make baby food. It seemed pretty idiot proof (and it was), but I just wanted to be sure I was doing everything correctly. The best website I've found was this one. That site is seriously fantastic. It not only tells you exactly how to prepare the food, but it gives different age appropriate recipes, freezing techniques, etc etc. So glad I stumbled upon it!

The best part about making homemade baby food? I already had everything I needed, equipment wise. Sure, they sell pricey baby food makers, but you don't need them. I'll admit, I registered for one for kicks & giggles, but figured if I didn't receive one, I wasn't going to buy one on my own, because I didn't need to. All you really need is a food processor or a blender, and ice cube trays for freezing :)

I started off with sweet potatoes. I figured it was easy enough, and was a good "first food" for her to try.

You can bake the potatoes, but I chose to steam them, as our oven is wonky and sometimes takes hours to bake something. I cut the potatoes into small cubes, and put them in a pot with a couple inches of water. I steamed the potatoes until tender, and reserved the water to add to the pureeing process for thinning and to keep some of the nutrients that may have boiled out.

Once steamed, I put small portions of the potatoes in my food processor to puree, and added some of the reserved water as I went along until I reached desired consistency. After that, the puree mix was divided among the ice cube trays and put in the freezer overnight.

After the food is frozen, you pop the cubes out into a storage bag and voila! You have a good amount of baby food that can store anywhere from 3-6 months :) The ice cube tray method works awesome, because each cube is roughly 1 oz, which makes it easy when you need to know how much food to pull out and thaw at a time.

I mentioned before that cost isn't necessarily an issue, but it does help to know you are saving money. Look at is this way. I paid less than $3 for two sweet potatoes. Those two potatoes made me 38 oz of baby food. If you were to buy 38 ounces of jarred baby food at the store, that would run you nearly $10 (that is, if each 4 oz jar is around $1 each). Sooo, saving money is also a plus ;)

Friday, June 15, 2012

4 month update!

Audrey, you are now four months old. It's so hard to believe how quickly time is passing us by! Even looking back just a couple months ago from your one month photo, its crazy to see how much you've already grown and changed! Your little personality is certainly starting to shine through, and we love it :)

Shortly after you turned 3 months, I tried taking some posed photos of you outside. It was pretty hot that day, and you weren't really having it! I did get some cute shots though, even the one above where you screamed after I layed you down in the grass ;) The sun was shining in your eyes and you were warm -- you were NOT happy. But as soon as I brought you back inside with the air conditioning, you were back to your happy self. You're just like your daddy, you run warm!

You had your 4-month well baby check up and you are growing like a weed! You are officially 15 lbs 13 oz and 25 3/4" long! You are in the 90th percentile for both. Such a healthy girl! You are also meeting and exceeding all of the milestones expected of you at this age. Such a smartie :) You had to get your second round of shots this month too, but you did much better this time around. You only cried for a brief moment, then you were fine. I think it hurt Mommy more to watch it being done to you!

This past month, your biggest milestone was learning to roll! Most babies start by rolling from belly to back, but you our crazy girl, did the opposite, rolling back to belly. This means you are strong! However, you haven't quite mastered rolling the other way, so you get frustrated when you end up on your belly for too long! You've rolled from your belly to back a couple of times, but we are confident that in time, you'll have it down and be rolling all over the place! You also started laughing out loud (daddy got the first real laugh!) and squealing. It is the cutest thing and the best sound we've ever heard.

Your sleeping patterns are the same. You still insist on going to bed around 7:30 each night, and usually sleep a decent stretch before waking up the first time. You still hate naps, which is a little frustrating at times, but we think you are just too curious and are afraid you'll miss out on something if you fall asleep! You recently decided you'd rather sleep on your belly at night, and its too cute when you fall asleep with your little bum in the air! On more than one occasion though, you've rolled to the side of your crib and gotten your limbs stuck in the bars and can't figure out how to get yourself out. This means Mom & Dad need to invest in some breathable bumpers, and soon!

This month, you took your very first long car ride on a trip to Topeka, Kansas to meet your Grandpa Fair and Aunt Abby for the first time. Daddy and I decided to leave at your bed time and drive through the night so you'd sleep most of the way. You did AMAZING on each of the 15-hour drives, and your Dad and I could not be more proud of you. You slept most of the way, and barely fussed when you were awake. This made us so very happy!! You really enjoyed your time in Kansas, and your Grandpa and Aunt adored you. I think you loved getting all of the attention :) While in Kansas, you also stayed in your first hotel and swam for the very first time. You LOVED the pool. You had to swim in your onesie though since Mommy forgot to pack a suit for you (oops!). You also slept well for being "out of your routine"..and you did great with everything!

Every day is a new adventure with you, little one. It's an adventure that Mommy and Daddy feel very blessed to be a part of. Happy 4 months, baby girl. Thanks for all of the love, joy and smiles you bring to our lives each and every day!!

Love always,


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

3 months old!

Happy 3 month Birthday, Audrey Elizabeth! Time is just flying by, right before our eyes! You've had a pretty exciting month, little one. The coolest thing you've done this month? You found your voice. One day, you just started babbling and cooing away, and let me tell you, its the cutest thing we've ever heard. Your voice is completely girly and so very sweet. You love to "talk" to us, but even if we aren't right there, you don't mind talking to anyone who will listen -- even if that means the animals on your crib mobile, your reflection, or even the ceiling. We think you just like to hear the sound of your own voice -- but that's okay, because so do we :)

You don't go to the doctor for your next check up until next month, so I don't have an official height/weight for you. However, mommy stepped on the scale with you the other day and it seems you are close to 15 lbs now, our sweet girl. Growing like a weed! We know that you are getting even longer now, because your 0-3 month sleepers that fit just a couple weeks ago, are starting to get to small in the legs! As for your other clothes, you still fit comfortably in a 0-3 month and some 3 month sizes. And somehow, amazingly enough, Mommy was able to get you in your newborn sized onesie for your monthly photo (though somehow, I think that might be the last time you will be able to wear it!)

As far as sleeping longer at night? Well, you are getting better at it. Quite a few times now, you've slept in longer stretches, allowing for us to get more than just a couple hours of sleep at a time! Most nights now, you sleep until at least 4:30a, eat, and go right back to sleep. Some nights are still better than others, of course, but we have faith that soon enough, you'll make it a nightly habit ;) I have to mention though, that one night this past month, you slept from 8p-7:30a! Mommy woke up in shock (and fully rested, as she got 7 hours of sleep herself that night!) and so proud of you. You haven't done that little trick since, but maybe someday! You still do not like to nap much, though. You refuse to nap in your crib for some reason, but we can usually get you to take a few short naps in your swing. By dinner time, you are at your crankiest! We swear you have an internal clock that just knows its getting close to your bath and bed time, so you are not a happy camper until you get those things! Luckily though, you are very easy to put to bed. Once you finish eating, we lay you down in your crib, and even if you aren't asleep, you eventually put yourself to sleep without a fuss. For that, we are grateful!

Some more exciting things you did this month -- you got to meet your Grandma Leslie who flew in from Arizona to see you and you got to watch your Daddy graduate from college! You were SUCH a good girl during the 3-hour ceremony. Mommy was proud how well you behaved. You napped during some of it, and when you were awake, you enjoyed looking around at everything. You really enjoyed your time with Grandma too, who even babysat you one night while mommy and daddy went on a date to the movies. While Grandma was here, we took a trip to Cleveland to visit the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame. You, of course, were such a good girl during the trip. It makes us happy to know that we can take you places and not worry that you will misbehave!

This month, we got you an exersaucer (Thanks, Grandma!) and you really seem to enjoy it. You're still a little small for it, so we need to wedge you in the seat with some towels so you don't flop around. Your head is very strong though, so you have no problems holding it up while you play. You've recently decided that you like to be upright on your feet and you're really into grabbing things, so this was the perfect toy for you! You even figured out how to maneuver your feet and spin the seat around! What a smart girl :)

You are such a happy and easy going baby, always making us laugh or smile. Everyday is a new experience for all of us as you grow and change. As much as we hate seeing you grow up so fast, we are so eager to see what each month holds!

Love Always,


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

strawberry hemangioma

For awhile now, I've wondered whether or not I should write a blog about it. At first I thought "is it REALLY anyone's business?" but then I realized that maybe I should blog about it, and explain what it is to inquiring minds that may want to know, but don't ask. With that said, we HAVE had people ask, and that's completely fine -- because it doesn't bother us and because I've found out it's so common.

The "it" I am referring to, is Audrey's forehead.

Today in Walmart while we were waiting in line, I overheard a little girl ask her mom "does that baby have a boo boo?" and it got me thinking "Do other people think this?"..obviously not that its a "boo-boo" (or, at least, I'd hope adults would have common sense) but see it, and are left wondering -- especially if they've never seen another child with a hemangioma, and aren't familiar with what one is. So with that, I decided a blog post was due, and I'd "let it all out there" so for the people who don't know, but are afraid to ask, can know ;)

When she was first born, she had just a tiny, barely there mark on her forehead. A few days after she was born, it started becoming a little more pink. So because of this, we thought it was a stork bite, or an angel kiss (I like that description!) which is extremely common in infants.

After the first month, it became noticeably darker, but was still flat. It was a little funny & we'd laugh because whenever she was really mad, it got even redder -- which is still a characteristic of a stork bite.

Around the time she turned 2 months, we noticed that not only was it getting even darker, it was starting to raise up a little from the surface of her skin. I did a little googling, and discovered that stork bites do not do this, and it was most likely a strawberry hemangioma.

At her 2 month checkup, we brought this up with the doctor. She immediately said (in her fun Polish accent, lol) "Oh yes, its a strawberry hemangioma. Completely normal!" and of course I asked her a few questions. The most important being, does it hurt her? No, it does not. She said the only thing they do for them is just watch it. She said we could take her to a pediatric dermatologist if it bugs US (which, it doesn't) and while there are some new treatments out there, we do not feel like subjecting our baby to painful laser treatments for something cosmetic and superficial.

So what IS a strawberry hemangioma? According to a handy medical dictionary, its described as a red, firm, dome-shaped hemangioma seen at birth or soon after, usually on the head or neck, that grows rapidly and usually regresses and involutes without scarring.

I did some of my own research and discovered that its very common, specifically in premature, Caucasian females. Audrey was certainly not premature (far from it, actually haha), but she's 2 for 3!

The good news? They almost always go away, on their own, and without treatment. They begin to shrink around the age of 1, and are usually gone by the time a child is 2. Anyone I have talked to who has had a child with the same thing, has said it went away, usually around 18-24 months. Are we worried? Absolutely not. To be honest, when I look at my perfect baby, I barely even notice it. With that said though, I know other people do -- and that's okay.

My hope is for people to look at our sweet daughter exactly like we do and see nothing but a beautiful little girl with an adorable smile and the sweetest little personality ;)

Friday, April 20, 2012

peanut butter cup chocolate chip cookie

Ever since I discovered Pinterest several months ago, I've used it to branch out and try a bunch of new recipes. 98% of the time, I haven't been disappointed either -- and this time, with this recipe I'm about to share, is one of those times! If you have a sweet tooth like we do (I say we, because my husbands just might be worse than mine at times!!) then you will really enjoy this recipe. So, run..don't the grocery store, get your supplies and get baking!! You'll thank me later :)
Stuff you'll need: - ready-to-bake chocolate chip cookie dough - 12 reese cups - box of brownie mix ( and whatever you need to make the mix, usually eggs & oil) - muffin pan
You might also want to enlist someone to help you ;) First, pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Next spray the bottom and sides of the muffin pan lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Then, smoosh a cookie dough square in the bottom of each muffin slot, making sure it fills out the bottom.
Place a reese cup upside down on top of each cookie. Try not to eat any in the process..
Prepare your brownie mix according to the box. If you have help, let your help do some of the stirring as it can get a bit tiring!
Once mixed, spoon some brownie mix into each muffin cup, about 3/4 of the way full.
Put the pan in the oven and bake for about 18-20 minutes and voila! Let the pan cool completely before removing them. You might want to take a butter knife to loosen the edges, then they should easily pop out.
Pour yourself a big glass of milk -- and enjoy!!