Tag Archives: 3-6 months

She Says… Food Allergies x2

Remember the months I spent entrenched in The Great Allergy Experiment in 2011 trying to figure out what was causing Owen’s eczema cheeks? Sadly we seem to be back there again. Different kid this time, but the cheeks are just the same. And Emmett has some little patches of itchy, dry eczema on the insides of his elbows and on the center of his stomach as well.

Sigh.

At least this time around I noticed it THE DAY it started, knew exactly what it was and was prepared to treat it and begin the investigation much earlier than I did with Owen.

Let me back up a minute, though. Because I’m not sure I ever actually wrote the blog post I promised you about Emmett’s possible allergies that led to me having to stop breastfeeding and starting him on hypoallergenic baby formula. Here’s the very short story.

  • When Emmett was between 2 and 3 months I began to realized that his poop was super mucus-y. In the very beginning I couldn’t tell the difference between “normal for a newborn” and “troublesome mucus”, so I waited with a watchful eye. Around 3 months I googled for some pictures (yes, of other peoples’ baby poop… don’t judge) and was slammed with pictures that looked EXACTLY like Emmett’s (stringy, mucus-filled, watery, abnormally green/dark before starting solids, etc.) and every one linked to a website about identifying food allergies, specifically cow’s milk protein allergy.
  • At his 3 month doctor’s visit I showed our pedi. He immediately confirmed that was “not normal” and that I should go on a strict milk and soy-free diet. He also indicated that Emmett was dropping in the weight charts and didn’t seem to be gaining weight appropriately. I had already started this diet per my own research, but I tightened up and eliminated anything that could even possibly include milk/soy and did not “cheat”. I saw little improvements here and there.
  • A couple weeks later when I hadn’t seen any real improvement overall, I also eliminated chocolate (I had been having some dairy-free chocolate, but some breastfeeding mothers noted on discussion boards that chocolate upset their babies’ tummies, so I figured it was worth a shot).
  • A  week after that, shortly before his 4 months appointment, I also eliminated eggs (as one of the top 8 allergens and also something I noticed flare-ups after eating). No dairy, soy, chocolate or eggs for 8 weeks — it’s no wonder I found it so easy to return to my pre-pregnancy weight!
  • Given that our family has had a lot of experience with celiac disease and maintaining a STRICTLY gluten free lifestyle for Benjamin and Owen, I am quite good at the “are you sure you’re REALLY eliminating these things entirely” game. I asked my doctor if I should also avoid wheat/gluten, given the family history, but he assured me (and some other research has supported this) that gluten does not pass through breastmilk and this isn’t necessary. Especially given that I had already eliminated so many foods, I think he was also trying to help me from going crazy. In retrospect I question this decision, but hindsight is always 20/20, eh?
  • At Emmett’s 4 month doctor’s visit I asked the doctor to test his mucus-filled diaper for blood. Test immediately turned positive. I also noted that he had started arching, crying and fussing more while eating, and I was seeing a lot more spit-up than previously. Ahem. ALL THE SAME THINGS I saw with Owen at the exact same age. Doctor noted that Emmett had actually lost weight since his 3 month appointment. I always told myself that with Baby #2 I would not pressure myself about breastfeeding like I did with Owen, and the minute the child stops gaining weight appropriately I would do whatever it takes to get them eating again.
  • We decided to take breastmilk out of the equation, despite my elimination diet, and do a test of 5 days of hypoallergenic formula (Nutramigen) only. I pumped during this time thinking I was still going to return to breastfeeding once we figured out the culprit.
  • By Day 3 on the formula I saw a huge improvement in his attitude and stomach comfort. By Day 5 his poop had NEW, VISIBLE BLOOD (!!!), but no more mucus. (We have since confirmed that the visible blood was the tail end of the allergens getting out of his system, but that shit is scary!). On Day 6, relieved and able to see the light at the end of the long tunnel, I stopped breastfeeding. Tummy discomfort went away, poop became normal, Emmett seemed happier and more full. He started gaining steadily, hence the deliciously chubby cheeks you see today.

Oh… you wanted the short story? Sorry. Once I started I figured that I might as well get this out there so others who are in the midst of this hell hole can learn from my experiences.

So all was well after we started the hypoallergenic formula at 4 months. Until we started solid food.

Started with avocado. Then added homemade sweet potato. Green beans. Peas. Apples. After his 3rd or 4th time eating apples with a smidgen of rice cereal (WHEAT FREE rice cereal), though, I noticed a little bit of prickly red dots on his cheeks. Just like with Owen, people said to me, “Oh, it’s just from drool.” or “Oh, it’s just the cold”. But I knew better. I could feel it in my gut. I stopped the rice cereal. When it happened again, I stopped the apples. From what I can tell, an apple allergy is pretty rare, and it’s more likely that I’m seeing a reaction to something else, but in the absence of that answer, I’m willing to put apples on hold for the moment.

Then we added broccoli. Butternut squash. Pears. After eating pears for 2 days I noticed the same red cheeks. No more pears until I figure this out.

I’m currently investigating a “Birch Pollen Allergy”. This is interesting because Benjamin has oral allergy syndrome, which means his mouth gets itchy when he eats apples. It’s not anaphylactic and isn’t something that gets worse the more times you challenge it, so he just eats apples rarely and deals with a little itchiness. I know peeling and cooking foods in the birch pollen allergy family can help, but both the apples and the pears that Emmett ate were organic, and peeled and steamed at home.

So I don’t know. I’m trying not to let it overwhelm me. We’re going slowly now adding new foods and I’m keeping notes of what is eaten when so I can maybe shed some light onto the issue. Going to discuss in depth with our pedi on Monday.

Two days ago at school his teacher called me and said that, all of a sudden in the middle of the afternoon, Emmett’s face blew up with a red rash. She said it didn’t seem to bother him, and seemed to happen without warning. He hadn’t eaten solid food since the morning, he’d only had his normal bottles. I asked if maybe someone had a new perfume or ate a peanut butter sandwich for lunch or anything, but she really couldn’t think of what could have caused it. She sent me this picture.

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An hour later when I picked him up, it was mostly gone. I put some lotion on at bedtime and by morning his skin was clear again.

Has anyone had this happen or know what this might be? I hesitate to think food-related because it came on suddenly outside of anything he had eaten… but I really don’t know.

Welcome to The Great Allergy Experiment x2.

 

She Says… 6 Months

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Oh Emmett. My jolly little dude. My cuddler. My giggler. You, my darling, are the type of baby that makes people want to have a million more babies.

I mean, really. Just look at that smile. The twinkly eyes. The delicious cheeks. The rubberband-like rolls at your wrists, ankles, knees, thighs. It’s literally hard for me to stop kissing you some days. You are just so smooshable. You are calm and content. Chill, to the max.

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On top of that, 6 months is a magical time.

  • You are sleeping through the night. You still cry out once in a while, and since we almost never hear you cry anymore, Daddy and I sit and watch you on the monitor, wringing our hands over if we should go in and hold you. When Owen was your age, if I went in ONE TIME he would expect me to come in EVERY TIME, ALL THE TIME when he cried. Going in once just to check on him made the whole sleeping process take about ten steps back. But you, you, my flexible little friend, you are totally cool if I come in one night and give you time to try to get yourself together the next night. You wake at different times’ always keeping me on my toes. Sometimes you want my help calming you down, sometimes you don’t. You’re flexible, but you’re also confusing. You are helping me to learn how to roll with it and just follow my gut.

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  • You are rolling and sitting like a champ. It seems like all of a sudden you went from laying down all the time to being able to flip/roll both ways, pivot around on your tummy, inch your way towards toys and sit for really long periods of time without falling over backwards. It’s amazing to watch – you are SO strong. I used to joke about how you were so deliciously, perfectly plump that it was harder for you to flip that body over or hold it up for a long time. Boy was I wrong. You are an Olympic sitting champion these days, and believe me, it’s ALL you want to do.

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  • You eat food and it’s super fun. You are loving exploring food these days. Some days you chow down, some days you just want to chew on something “big”, some days you want nothing to do with what I put in front of you. But generally we’re doing 2 “meals” a day, in addition to the millions of ounces of formula you drink every day (seriously, WHERE do you put those 38 ounces?!). As with many things with you, every day is different and we’re learning to follow your cues. You have tried homemade avocado, sweet potato, broccoli, green beans, peas, pears, butternut squash and some red and green pepper sticks (that you like to gum to death). You kind of like everything, except the squash which you only like mixed with apple. Unfortunately we’ve recently noticed the beginning of eczema on your cheeks, just like your big bro, so we’re avoiding rice cereal and other grains at the moment, and also apples. I’m being very cautious with all other allergens as well. As with your brother, I’ll continue my scientific food experiments to see if we can figure out what your triggers are, but we’re not there yet.

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  • You love toys. Everything we hand you goes right in your mouth. I love to see which ones are your favorites (wooden giraffe, banana toothbrush, the twirly corner of a random burp cloth), as you are beginning to develop opinions and show us your personality. It’s so fun to watch you grab things and maneuver them into your mouth. In contrast to your brother’s frenetic, wild motions at this age, you are controlled and steady. Your fine motor skills are quite impressive and you’re already starting to pick up teeny tiny little things between your pudgy fingers.

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The past month has been punctuated by lots of doctor’s appointments. You seem to have inherited your brother’s tendency toward respiratory bugs, and you’ve had a nasty cough for the last couple of weeks. In addition, you also have quite the glass stomach, as you’ve gotten a tummy bug twice and both times the projectile vomiting has persisted for almost a week. Phew! I thought I knew everything about baby illnesses after Owen, but again, I was wrong. Let’s try to keep those appointments to a minimum from now on, mmkay?

You, my precious one, are so. much. fun. You have this new screechy laugh that you do whenever Owen walks in the room, and you seem to be constantly amused with watching the world go by. Owen still delights in contorting your body into hilarious positions and bopping you on the head (he does it out of love, I promise). You guys are two peas in a pod. Watching you interact makes my heart swell to the point of bursting.

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I love you. Times a million.

Love,
Mommy

 

She Says… A Blended Approach

Remember when I said that Emmett didn’t follow in his big brother’s footsteps in terms of loving food? Well he may not have been interested in the very beginning, but he certainly is now! Apparently I just wasn’t giving him what he wanted.

Mashed up stuff? Eh. It’s ok. But big things he can feed himself? YES PLEASE.

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I think we may have a baby led weaner on our hands. (Haha, “weaner”).

A week or two ago I was eating a banana while holding Emmett and he nearly jumped out of my arms to grab it from me and stuff it in his mouth. I offered him a piece to see what he did with it, and much to my surprise, he was actually really effective at gumming it to pieces. He even swallowed a few without gagging.

I read a bit about Baby Led Weaning back when Owen was little, and offered him some little bits and pieces and chunks of things to feed himself when we first started food, but he wasn’t really into it. He really just wanted me to shovel the mashed up stuff in as fast as I could. Emmett’s fine motor skills are more advanced than his big brother’s, though, and he seems to really like the “take charge” approach when it comes to his food.

The banana experience must have taught his little mouth a few things about how to macerate and swallow, because since then, he’s been game to try just about any food, mashed, chunked or clutchable in his chubby little hands. He’s not eating a lot, but at this stage “eating” is really just about tasting and experiencing anyway, not actual caloric intake.

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So we’re doing a blended approach. Some homemade mash, some little tiny bits of things on his tray, and some big things that he can practice sucking/gumming/holding to his mouth. He’s really good at getting all sizes and shapes of food into his mouth. He’s had (and liked) avocado, sweet potato, apples and peas. He even likes teething on cold red peppers. I always mix things together to make weird, strangely yummy combos like sweet potato and apples so each meal is a bit different.

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I think we’re ready to try some more foods, and to start to incorporate spices like cinnamon and cumin, like I did with Owen too. I’m thinking carrots and green beans next. I don’t really remember when we started proteins like beans and tofu with Owen, but maybe that is on the horizon as well.

What were/are your baby’s faves?

She Says… A Very Happy Holiday

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So I mentioned on Christmas Eve Eve that both boys got RSV for Christmas. What I didn’t know at the time was that they would also both be hit by a stomach bug later that day (vomit central), and Owen had an ear infection on top of all of that. MERRY CHRISTMAS to all! At that point, all I wanted for Christmas was to spend a few hours not covered in someone else’s bodily fluid.

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Thankfully after a pitiful, weepy, super-sad 24 hours (this stomach bug was rough!), Owen was back up and running. Emmett’s stomach issues lingered on and off for the next two days, plaguing our Christmas with random Exorcist-style, projectile vomit sessions.

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Nonetheless, Christmas was awesome.

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Owen couldn’t calm himself down enough to nap on Christmas (too much excitement… who can blame him). Usually that is pretty much a death sentence for our day. But the holiday brought out the best in him and he had a wonderful day, entertaining one and all at our Christmas dinner with Benjamin’s family. Emmett had a great day, but decided to decorate my outfit with one final projectile vomit right before we sat down to eat dinner. Yum.

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Unfortunately Owen woke up Thursday morning to the hard truth that Christmas was over. There was no more advent calendar. No more anticipation. That was a tough pill to swallow and we had a morning full of tears and tantrums.

You can’t win ‘em all, huh?

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So now both boys are feeling better and we’re looking forward to the next holiday!

She Says… Gifts that will keep on giving

I hope your holidays were filled with cheer and happy little faces!

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And plaid, in our case.

Ours certainly were, despite a vomitrocious Christmas Eve Eve (for both boys), which meant no school on Tuesday for either one and no work for either parent, which consequently means work hanging over our heads for these precious few vacation days between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

On Christmas, though, none of that mattered. A wonderful day was had by all. And somehow we avoided the massive sugar rush/meltdown/holiday craziness that I was pretty much expecting. A Christmas miracle, perhaps? Whatever the reason… I’ll take it.

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One thing I never got around to posting this year was a holiday gift guide. I always love it when others bloggers do these because it gives me some good ideas for my own kids, and I really enjoyed sharing what was going to be under our tree last year. But alas, the busy-ness of the season took over and I didn’t. And, frankly, those lists are all well and good, but we all know that sometimes kids have the weirdest reactions to things we think they’ll love, or fall in love with things we thought were pretty meh. So I thought I’d do a Top 10 of Owen’s favorite Christmas presents this year AFTER they were opened and the wrapping paper was cleaned up.

A huge shout-out to all of the grandparents and family members who filled our tree! “Santa” brought each of the boys one present and a stocking, and Benjamin and I got the boys 2 little presents each. That’s it. And still, our tree looked like this:

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There were LOTS of presents. For everyone.

Top Ten Christmas Presents for 3 1/2 Year Olds
(Links below are to the This Place is Now a Home Amazon store, where I keep lists of all of my favorite kid-related products. I get a teeny kickback if you order from these links.)

10. Walkie Talkies. This was the one thing Owen asked Santa for. He saw them in a book about construction workers and decided he had to have them. The funny thing is that in this iPhone era with texts and video chats… who needs walkie talkies?! He hasn’t yet mastered (read: CANNOT UNDERSTAND) how to hold down the button while he’s talking, so so far they are a bit of a bust. But he was so excited about them and I think once he gets the concept of how to talk, they will be really fun.

9. Pogo stick. Hilarious. Owen is surprisingly good at it! Great way to burn off some energy inside in a small space.

8. Water pen books. A laughably simple idea, and yet, he colored two entire books cover to cover and wanted to do them again and again.

7. Magnatiles.We already have Lego Duplos and MegaBlocks, but these are different enough to be completely novel. They can build super tall and bring to light lots of lessons about magnets and gravity and physics. Benjamin and I didn’t want to put them down either.

6. Leapster. Or, as Owen calls it, his “lapper”. Yes, we caved and got (asked for!) the ubiquitous kid’s tablet. Given that I am a mean parent who is really strict about screen time, I imagine there will need to be some pretty firm rules about when and how this present can be used. But it has already given us some much-needed still/quiet time and I can tell Owen is learning a lot. Also, using the stylus and touching the screen challenges his fine motor skills more than most other toys.

5. T-ball T, baseball bat and “real” catcher’s mitt. Owen loves to try to play baseball in the backyard (his favorite way is with a tennis racket and tennis ball – ha!). Given that it’s really hard to toss it to him perfectly every time, I thought a T would be a perfect present. It was too cold to really enjoy on Christmas but I think it will be a huge hit come spring.

4. Giant piano mat. ‘Nuff said. For my little budding musician whose favorite game is playing “band”.

3. Flying, screaming slingshot monkey. This silly stocking stuffer turned into one of the best gifts of Christmas. Owen can’t quite get the finger slingshot motion, but (thankfully) the monkey still screams if you throw him across the room. Owen spent a ton of time throwing him around the house and laughing hysterically when the monkey screamed. Endless entertainment… except if Emmett is napping.

2. Aquadoodle mat. I was afraid this might be too “young” for Owen, since it’s really simple and not that exciting. Boy was I wrong. He rolled around on the floor drawing for a long time. And I could leave the room knowing he couldn’t paint/color on anything other than the mat. Hooray!

1. Games. We knew this was going to be a big game Christmas, since Owen’s favorite thing in the world is to learn and play board games (and cheat… but that’s another blog post for another day). He got Candy Land, Chutes & Ladders, Elefun, Tumblin’ Monkeys, Hungry Hungry Hippos and Twister. We’ve played each one at least twice and he can’t get enough.

And, lest you think I’ve forgotten about my 2nd child, he got some presents too. But realistically he didn’t need any toys (since we already have more than enough for Owen), or clothes (since we have those too), so he mostly got upgraded things that weren’t very exciting (a diaper clutch for Mama, baby food containers, new bibs, fleece booties). But the one cool, new thing for the almost-6 month old set that he did get is a Go Pod. It’s a travel jumperoo that folds out like a camping chair. SUPER easy to set up and really fun to be able to pop him in it on the go.

Ho ho ho. What was your kid’s favorite present from Christmas?

She Says… A Solid “Meh”.

A few days after Emmett’s 4 month doctor’s appointment we felt ready for one of my favorite baby milestones. Or, rather, something that was one of my favorite milestones for Owen, so it’s all I’ve ever known. In pure 2nd baby fashion, it went completely differently than what I expected.

FOOD.

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We started playing with solid food on the earlier side (a little over 4 months old) with Emmett for many reasons, not the least of which is that now that he is on gross hypoallergenic formula (another story for another blog post!), I feel strongly that introducing him to some better/more interesting flavors and textures is important. Also, it’s REALLY fun. I love introducing my babies to the tastes and smells and experience of enjoying food.

We were in a similar situation with Owen when he turned 4 months. The minute I put that first bite of avocado in his mouth it was like Christmas morning. His eyes lit up, his lips smacked, his toes curled in happiness. The kid ate like a Hoover from the very first day. And pretty much never stopped (save for some picky eating phases along the way, all of which ebbed and flowed and eventually left again).

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Emmett’s verdict?

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MEH.

I started him with avocado just like his big bro. Lord knows I ate enough avocados while pregnant with/breastfeeding him that he’s practically been eating it since the day he was created. However, that familiarity didn’t seem to help much. He just wasn’t into it.

He tolerated the spoon on his lips. He tolerated me dabbing a little avocado mush onto them. He licked. Scowled. Got full-body shivers. Used his tongue to push it right back out.

Given that he’s still so little (5 months yesterday — another blog post in the works!), I’m totally not sweating it. Or pushing it. After the first time I waited a week before trying again. Since then I’ve been offering a few bites every night when we eat dinner as a family. He sits at the table in his high chair and enjoys the company, if not the food so much. I’ve offered avocado and sweet potato.

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The only time he will really open his mouth and eat? When big brother Owen is doing the feeding.

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Which sort of feels like an accident waiting to happen (I heard myself saying, “Oops! Don’t stick the spoon all the way down his throat!”). But honestly? Both boys love it. Owen loves being the big brother (read: IN CHARGE), and Emmett sits there and giggles nonstop at Owen.

Owen’s new favorite game: Will Emmett swallow or spit his food back out?

So although he’s not exactly Hoovering yet, I’m hoping he’ll warm up to food soon. Yet another reminder of how different 2 kids can be!

She Says… Giving Thanks

I know, I know, Thanksgiving was last week. But I decided to spend my long weekend relishing in my family rather than sitting in front of the computer posting pictures. And then with the excitement of the nursery “reveal” and Uh Oh Pasghettio giveaway (if you haven’t entered, go do it! You have until Sunday night to win a super cute set of wall art prints) I didn’t get to it. So here we are.

As I mentioned last week, I didn’t get to the grocery store until the Wednesday morning before Thanksgiving. Thankfully I got everything I needed and didn’t have to fight anybody for the plump little 15 pound turkey I snagged. Win!

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I worked from home all day Wednesday, though, and since work was so crazy I didn’t get a chance to start prepping or cooking until Thursday morning. Thank goodness for family who offered to make some of the dishes. (And thank goodness for having 2 ovens to cook in!).

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We spent the morning hanging out in our pajamas and watching the Macy’s Day parade. It is honestly one of my most favorite things to watch. Ever. Even trumps those darn Kardashians that I seem to end up watching whenever Benjamin is gone. I am pretty sure the parade is where I first fell in love with Broadway/musical theater. And that’s definitely where my love affair with the Rockettes began.

Watching it with Owen and seeing him mesmerized by the choreography and costumes and delight in the floats and the balloons made me get all verklempt.

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We hung out with both sides of Benjamin’s family. Very thankful to have family nearby to celebrate with (and grandparents who will entertain the littles while I cooked away).

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Food was cooked (all gluten free!)…

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wine was drunk (drank? drunken? drinked?)…

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food was devoured…

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bellies were full.

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The boys even got their first taste of Hanukkah (Thanksgivukkah?) as we lit candles with some of the Jewish side of the family.

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Despite the busy-ness of the season, we have a LOT to be thankful for.

 

She Says… Cozy Little Nursery Reveal

Emmett is almost 5 months old, but I’m just getting around to sharing his nursery reveal now. (Looking back, apparently I did the same thing with Owen’s nursery). Now I guess it’s not so much a “reveal” as a “hey, my 2nd baby has a room”, but, I know some of you might want to see how it turned out.

The room itself is super small. We had a queen mattress on the floor in there before Emmett was here and there was barely enough room for anything else. So as Emmett grows we will likely have to switch his room with the playroom down the hall (much bigger), but for now, the tiny little room makes for a super sweet, cozy little nursery.

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I love the warmth of the grey/brown walls, and the way the whites pop off of the saturated color. I used furniture we already had, and pieces of Owen’s crib bedding (that I had made for him) and used those colors as a jumping off point for the room. Even with a similar color scheme, it turned out so differently from Owen’s nursery.

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I made the mobile (just like I did for Owen’s room), but this one was much simpler and I’m much happier with how it turned out. To anyone who wants to DIY, it was a really quick and easy project! I popped circles out of craft paper with my hole puncher and then just sewed them together in a straight light with my sewing machine. Then I tied the strings onto a painted embroidery hoop and hung with fishing wire.

My sister cut the letters out of wall vinyl for me and all I had to do was peel and stick.

 

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The fox print was from a cute shop I found on Etsy (details below). The framed alphabet print above the changing table (from Fab.com) was actually a gift from Benjamin to me last Christmas. I think he had intended it for Owen’s big boy room that we were thinking about at the time, but as soon as I saw it I got all teary-eyed as I immediately saw the nursery for our Baby #2 come together. We didn’t even know if Emmett was a boy or a girl at that point, but the nursery would have been almost the same.

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The 3 personalized prints that say “Be Bold. Be Bright. Be Emmett.” were made by a super talented friend of mine who is the creative director behind Uh Oh Pasghettio, a graphic design boutique that has adorable wall art and invitations perfect for nurseries/kids’ rooms. This trio is available as part of their “collections” (cute coordinating prints that look great together).

Uh Oh Pasghettio has offered to give away a whole collection to a lucky reader! You don’t want to miss it. Just in time for holiday gifting or brightening up your child’s room for the new year.

Check back tomorrow for details about the giveaway.

 

Room details:

 

She Says… Four Months

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My sweet baby boy,

This month whizzed by. It flew. You started daycare and I started back at work in the beginning of November and BAM! it’s Thanksgiving already. And judging by the state of our family calendar, it will be Christmas before we know it. The transition back to work could have been devastating. It could have been rough. It could have been rocky. It’s been busy (and still is), for sure, but thanks to you, my little darling, it has been as painless as possible.

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You, sir, rock. You rock at daycare. You rock at sleeping there. You rock at chugging every drop of all of your bottles. You rock at smiling and charming every one of your teachers. You rock at staying pretty calm in the evenings even after super long days so that we can have dinner as a family. You rock at smiling and splashing and making bathtime my favorite time of the whole day. You rock at snuggling into me while I nurse you at bedtime, holding your tiny, pudgy little fingers and wondering how we made such a perfect little dude.

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I’m beginning to worry that you’re going to grow up thinking your name is “cutie pie”. Because that’s what you hear all day long. I’m sure there’s a lot more to you than just your looks, but it’s the truth. You are DAMN cute. People stop me on the street to say one of three things about you:

  1. You have the most perfect, round head. (I had no idea this was a thing people commented on, but it’s true. You do.)
  2. You are SO smiley. (Mmm hmm, that too. Not stingy with the grins!)
  3. You have the most beautiful eyes. (Sparkly. Dancing. Deep blue like the ocean.)

I may be biased, but I wholeheartedly believe that all 3 things are true.

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This month, unfortunately, I’ve discovered something that’s not so easy breezy about you. As much as I tried to avoid going down the road of thinking you have some sort of food allergy/intolerance like your brother and your Daddy, I’m pretty sure you do. At least for now. This past month has been a roller coaster of hypoallergenic formula and me avoiding certain foods to see what the culprit is. Though you’re far from figured out, my best guess and working hypothesis at the moment is that your tummy does not tolerate when I eat milk or eggs. We’ve got a pretty good thing going while I’m off both of those things as far as I can tell, and although it’s hard for me to avoid yummy things like cheese, yogurt and chocolate (and pretty much anything baked now that eggs are off limits), it is worth it for the time being to heal you. Last night was the worst night I’ve seen — arching, crying, poop issues. Nothing helped. You couldn’t sleep and you couldn’t eat, which just left you awake and paralyzed by your own sadness. Which meant I was too. Daddy and I took turns trying to comfort you but all you really wanted was to rock with me, half-nursing, half-pacifying.

We got through it. We’ll get through this patch and we’ll get through the next one and we’ll get through the one after that. I’ll always be here to hold your hand and help you through, whatever comes. I already ache for the day that you come home with a problem I can’t fix, like a broken heart. But trust me, we’ll get through that too.

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Emmett, you fit like a snug little puzzle piece into our family. Daddy and I fight over who gets to hold you and make you smile. Schnitzel is protective of you and bathes you in kisses. Owen, in the midst his totally-age-appropriate-but-nonetheless-incredibly-frustrating 3 year old ‘tude, is totally enamored with you. His normally wild body becomes calm around you. He dotes on you. Sings to you. Contorts your body in hilarious ways that make us all laugh. Sweetly and softly pats your cheek when you’re crying. Gives me the play-by-play of what you’re doing in the car (“He’s sleeping! No! He’s awake! He’s pukin’ up! He’s looking at his toy!”). Though I know there will be times, likely in our not too distant future, when he’s not so kind to you, you must always know that everything he does comes from a place of love.

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Brothers are like that.

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Owen’s new favorite game is to get the whole family under a blanket on the couch and pretend to sleep. He calls it a “love cage” and no one can get out. Guess who he ALWAYS wants in his love cage? You. So far you’re surprisingly tolerant of being smooshed into a pigpile with all of us and covered with a quilt. You’re pretty easygoing about most of the silly games we play with you. You’re the best baby doll.

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I love you, my beautiful boy. We all do. Even in the middle of the night it melts me to see your bright eyes and kicking legs in the dim light. You are one special little guy.

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Couldn’t love you any more if I tried,
Mama

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She Says… It Really Is Magic

Have you guys seen these suits?

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For those who do not have 3-6 month old babies, you probably don’t care.* But those who do? LISTEN UP. I’m pretty sure the Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit actually is magic. (You can also get it from my favorite resource for all things baby-related, Isis Parenting).

I know it looks like a snowsuit, but it’s actually a cozy but lightweight weighted suit that essentially replaces the swaddle by dulling those crazy baby reflexes. It’s possible for babies to get their hands to their mouths to soothe themselves (which is a big plus over a swaddle for future thumb-suckers), but mostly they just lay there splayed out like a starfish.

Emmett has always been really happy in the swaddle, but lately he’s started swaddle-busting like his big bro and protesting when I wrap him up super tight. Given that he’s pretty close to rolling over both ways (he’s done it a few times tummy to back and he’s getting really strong and reaching while he’s on his back now too), I know our swaddle days are numbered anyway. And, most importantly, he started daycare a few weeks ago and they informed me that daycares in Massachusetts can no longer swaddle babies due to state law!!! So a friend let me borrow her suit to see if it helped him nap at daycare.

Did it help him nap? You guys… I am now currently worrying that he’s sleeping TOO MUCH. At daycare. That is unreal. At home he’s still mostly napping for 45 minute chunks and sometimes connecting 2 of the morning naps into a 1.5 hour nap. At daycare last week he was doing a 2 hour nap in the mornings and afternoons reliably. HE LOVES IT. So last night I decided to try that at night instead of using the swaddle. He slept through his normal wakeup time of 1 or 2am and didn’t wake up until 4:45am! Hooray! I credit the suit entirely.

Magic, dudes. Magic.

Not to mention that he looks like the cutest little marshmallow man wearing it. I think I’m in love.

* That is, unless you want to give THE BEST GIFT EVER at your next baby shower.

Just so you know, this was NOT an official review in any way. I didn’t get one for free and haven’t had any contact with the company (though I totally would!). I just discovered this awesome thing and wanted to share it with you.