Monday, July 29, 2013

Olivia Dell: 5 Months

Height/Weight: we are in between doctor appointments, and thus a weight check. however i'm confident she is at LEAST 14 pounds by now. sometimes i feel she's a bit teensy weensy when i hear my friend's 2 month old is already 15 pounds, but then i realize how happy my back is and that i don't have to carry around a chunker (although who doesn't love a chunky baby!). i also just attempted to measure her on my own and if my measurements are correct (which who knows) she is over 27 inches!

Feeding: Olivia is down to 4, 7-7.5 oz bottles bottles a day. We also give her a little 3 oz one before bed to "top her off" and she often falls asleep before she can even finish it. Works for me! Olivia also had a big month and we gave some cereal a shot! We've tried out both rice and oatmeal cereal, and while she doesn't seem super enthused, she doesn't hate it either. The reason I tried it before she was 6 months old (the AAP's recommendation) is because our doctor said that anytime in between 4-6 months is fine, and she has been very interested in anything we eat. She also has a hard time going more than 3 hours between bottles, which is a little short for such large bottles. It's been just over a week since we started and i've given her cereal nearly every day. we're still getting the hang of keeping it IN her mouth, but so far, it's been fun.

Clothing:  being quite the petite gal, Olivia still has a few 0-3 month outfits that fit her from Circo and Carter's. We upped our Gerber onesies that she wears to bed to 3-6 month, and she can now where 6 month Circo dresses, Carter's onesies (not dresses yet, the armpits are too big! although she DOES fit in the Target Carter's brand dresses, "Just one You". it's really quite ridiculous), and Old Navy onesies. we also just a good sized bag of clothes from a girlfriend so Olivia officially has more clothes than i do!

Sleep: Olivia is still waking up 1x to eat a night, usually between 4-5am (no complaints here!). the last few nights she hasn't fussed as much, meaning we get true uninterrupted sleep, unlike when she fusses 3-4x a night and i have to get up to put her paci back in. i'm hoping this no-fuss stuff continues so i can get some restful sleep!

Milestones: Olivia JUST started to sit up "tripod" style and it's adorable! i also notice that she "sings" while we are in the car when music is on, and loves to grab everything and put it in her mouth. She even tries to feed herself with her own spoon. Dave swears that she tried to imitate our words sometimes, and I think he's right. One time i swear she tried to say "love!" She also loves to be held so that she can lean over the counter and bang on the table or computer keyboard.

Firsts: i feel like we are dwindling down on the firsts for awhile, but a huge one is Olivia's first "solid" food! she is also sitting up by herself for seconds at a time, playing in her exersaucer, and even tried her hand out at cartoons. She's entertained for a few minutes, but that's about it for now.  Hopefully next month will be more exciting!
First solid food: rice cereal
First time sitting up all by herself
Exersaucer fun!
First time watching cartoons

Monday, July 15, 2013

Gone South

I confess. I committed the cardinal sin of judging a book by its cover and that's why it took me so long to start reading "Gone South" by Meg Moseley. I'm not particularly into Southern or Western themed-romance novels so when I picked what was the best option out of my blogging for books list, I didn't rush to start this book. I also thought it was a period novel because I neglected to see the jeans under ye old gown on the cover of the book. I told you I came, I saw, I judged.

I've never read anything by Ms. Moseley so was very open-minded when I actually began reading this Southern book. Main character Tish McComb has decided to make a major change in her life and purchase her family's historic home in Alabama. Unbeknownst to her, her heritage is not the shining example of family that her father characterized during her childhood and she finds herself as the new Yankee outcast.  Too bad for Tish, she doesn't learn this until she's signed away her life to her new mortgage and her new life in rural Alabama.

Because Tish doesn't have enough bad luck, she finds herself taking in a stray young woman, Mel, who seems incapable of making a wise decision. Mel has been ousted by her family, partially because of her inability to admit she makes poor decisions and partially because of a very unforgiving father and a doormat of a mother. Long story short, "Gone South" follows both women as they try to fit in with anything but Southern Comfort.

All in all, I was a little disappointed that the "Christianity" of this book was so understated. Aside from 3 characters saying prayers under their breath, there was very little mention of God or spirituality. It goes without saying that anyone of any religious persuasion could read this and not be offended.  There were some slow parts, and some overreaction on the part of the characters that I just couldn't relate with. Maybe it's just me, but I don't necessarily care that much about proving my deceased family members were great people in order to be accepted.

All that aside, I thoroughly enjoyed this book once I got into it. It was a relaxing read, and it was nice to escape to the South, a place I've never been. I recommend!

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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Thursday, July 11, 2013

4 Month Favorites

i can NOT believe my wee babe is 1/3 of a year old! this month it was a little difficult to remember some "must haves" as we are settling in to a routine and i'm taking for granted that things are getting easier. nonetheless, i remembered these lovelies!
Playtex Drop-Ins Variable Flow Y-cut nipples: this last month, Olivia started to take FOREVER to finish a 7 ounce bottle. like, 30 minutes which is a little ridiculous at 4 months old, in my opinion (got to set the bar high, you know?). i went ahead and bought the medium flow because i thought that was the next step up, and it ended up half in her mouth and half down her face. the hole must be huge on those things because it hardly requires any sucking and would just drip out. while it was nice to finish a bottle in 7 minutes, she ended up puking half of what she ingested. these variable flow nipples are AMAZING! i could only find them on Amazon and they require some effort in the sucking department. no more medium flow for us for awhile.

Gerber pre-fold Cloth diapers:- speaking of puking, these cloth diapers have greatly saved my furniture and changing table covers. they are great at catching puke, drool, and other baby fluids that tend to leak. they wash well and are decently priced so i don't care if they get destroyed.

Beco Gemini 4 in 1 baby carrier: this is yet another product that i swore i would never own or use, but here i am thoroughly enjoying it! i did a bit of research on which baby carrier would be the best for me and talked to other mommas. this one is great for shorter ladies, such as myself, and has the best designs of any carrier i've seen. it has safety clasps on each buckle for extra protection, has the option for a wide or narrow seat for smaller babies, and can be used 4 different ways.

GroVia Magic Stick: i received this as a gift from a friend who claimed it was a miracle product. LW didn't really have any diaper rash issues until a few weeks ago when she started going #2 about 3 times a day and needed some soothing on her tush.  this worked wonders! it smells very herbal and is not messy at all. i use it anytime things look a little red and it's usually gone by the end of the day!

AngelCare Baby Movement and Sound Monitor: we live in a smallish apartment and i didn't think i would need a monitor to hear Olivia. but now that deep, uninterrupted sleep is a foreign concept and LW is in her own room, we decided to get a monitor. i picked this one because i'm a worry wort and was constantly checking LW to make sure she's breathing and this monitor has a sensor pad that will alert you if baby stops breathing. I LOVE IT. yes, there are false alarms (that scare the bejeezus out of you) if baby is in a super deep sleep, but it is SO worth it. there are about 20 different settings, and i especially like that you can set a high and low temperature max that will alert you if the room is too warm or cold- contributors to SIDS. this was under $100 and is worth a million dollars for piece of mind.

Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Milk Feeding Bibs: LW is in a major drooling phase and we can't go anywhere without a few bibs in tow. these are awesome for bottle feeding (especially with those darn medium flow nipples) because the neckline is extra thick and catches dripping milk. they are very absorbent and soft and i love them. for some reason, the washing instructions say not to dry them, but i do anyways and don't notice a difference.

and there you have our 4 month favorites!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

it's a new day

being a Christian, i've always trusted and believed that God's plan for me would always reign true and that everything "happens for a reason." four years ago (and 4 years into my job), i took a position as the Finance Manager, with zero experience and know-how. back then, i felt like a little kid on the big playground. i had no idea what i was doing, and didn't have a boss that was very detailed or thorough in training me. i learned how to rely on my good judgement and co-workers, and basically taught myself the basics of accounting. all in all, i didn't particularly enjoy the experience.

while i became very good at my job, i never truly loved it. i felt pigeon-holed because no one else was ever in the pipeline to replace me, and working with corporate people on the topic of finance was always very frustrating. i had no interest in our profit margins, and especially not in constantly tracking my forecast to budget variance, my actual to contract budget variance, or any other variance my company could come up with. i had gotten into this field to work and assist people, but now i was separated from the very people i was trying to help.

i became very unhappy about 6 years into my job, but didn't know what i wanted to do. i aimlessly applied for jobs, but with a zeal for getting out of my current job. but God had other plans for me- i never heard back from another job and still didn't feel a calling in any particular direction. i decided to get a life coach, and met my pastor's wife of our very large church. together we did some soul searching and it was revealed to me that i had a passion to work in ministry. who would have thought!? of course, I'm a pastor's kid, but ministry is a tough life and i hadn't seen this coming. through my life coaching, i became connected to a bunch of ministries- the food pantry, budget coaching, and my life coach's very own website. while none of these were a new job, they gave me an outlet and something else to focus on besides my lackluster job. most importantly, i developed a strong relationship with a great woman of God who always sought to connect me to people and opportunities with the hopes of finding new employment.

nearly a year after we met, our pastor and wife started a new church. we left our old church and began attending our baby church, still in it's infancy and without staff.  while i still didn't know where my career was headed, i was hoping i could be of some help. i volunteered my services to help in any way, even bookkeeping. within a few months i was working part time, in addition to my 40 hour a week regular job. but i loved it! i knew i was paying it forward if another opportunity ever came about to work at the church

when i found out we were expecting Little Wood, i decided almost immediately that i would leave my job after maternity leave if i could. i desperately needed a change, but wanted to take advantage of all my hard work and time and get the maternity leave i deserved. i didn't know if that meant working for the church or getting a new job all together, but i knew this was my window. i prayed regularly for a job that would allow me to spend more time with my family and maybe even work from home to be with my LW.  through everything, i wasn't worried and had a supreme peace that God would answer my many prayers.

once Olivia was born i just knew i could not leave her every day. my entire leave, i didn't think about work one second, and about the only thing i missed were the people. i continued to pray that things would work out with the church until 10 days before i was supposed to return to my job. as i knew he would, God answered my year long prayer and i was able to take a job with the church! it was bittersweet resigning from my job where i had spent the last 8 years of my life. bittersweet, yet time.

i am so excited for our future and the BLESSING it is to be able to work from home (even though it's very hard!) so i can be with my LW. i intend to make the most of it, even if it means waking up at 6am to get my work in so i can then be a momma. we have a ton of changes ahead of us- Dave starting a new job in September, us finally moving out of our apartment complex after 8 long years, and watching Olivia grow up.  the husband is a little nervous, what with all the change. but Olivia and are i very excited!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Olivia Dell: 4 Months

Height/Weight: we went to Olivia's 4 month appointment today and the doctor was shocked/excited to share that she is in the 95th percentile for height, at 25 3/4 inches! obviously, she gets that from dear old dad, not my shortie self. She is in the 50th percentile for weight, at 13 pounds, 3 ounces. but of course, she feels so much heavier to me! and finally, her head circumference is in the 75th percentile, and i'm still not sure what that really means.

Feeding: Olivia goes between having 4 and 5 bottles a day now. she still wakes up 1x during the night/early morning and GUZZLES her bottle like she hasn't eaten in days. i was getting really impatient these last few weeks because she seemed to be regressing and taken forever to finish a bottle. so i bought medium flow nipples and HOLY COW she can eat that thing in 7 minutes! the only problem is, she isn't quite used to it yet and gets a sizable amount down the front of her face. and sometimes she gets barfy because she won't burp and ends up spitting up. oh well. i can already tell she's getting used to it and i have my life back.

Clothing: i'm so excited for summer and Olivia fitting into bigger clothes! i think i put the last newborn onesie away, and she's now solidly into 3-6 months in most brands. i love putting her in dresses or tank tops with bloomers. she still wears 0-3 in Carter's, but has also grown out of Gerber 0-3. time for some more shopping!

Sleep: as i mentioned before, she's still waking up 1x during the night, and usually fusses a few times as well if her paci falls out. we are trying to wean her from swaddling, but after a horrible night of no sleep for anyone, we put her back in- 1 arm out. she seems to like it, and i'm no longer concerned with weaning her for now. she can roll over, but is strong enough to turn her head. her naps are more consistent, and i'm glad because that's when i get most of my work done during the day! she is now sleeping in her own crib every night and it's wonderful! we all get better sleep now!

Milestones: Olivia has mastered rolling from back to tummy, and can even get her arm out from under herself pretty quickly. she LOVES to stand, stand, stand and would do it all day if i let her. she is SO happy if she can stand up and look around. she also recognizes herself in the mirror, and has daily conversations with herself while blowing raspberries.

Firsts: i wasn't as good as keeping track of firsts this month, because we were so busy! this last month, Olivia had her first night in her own crib, first time to Pasadena, first visit with her great Aunt, Uncle, and cousin Wood, and first trip to the pool! She also met Rocket, Grandma and Grandpa Jalowiec's wiener dog for the first time (and for that matter, her first dog in general!).
First night in her own crib
First time in at the pool!
Great Uncle Jon & Aunt Celeste
First time meeting Rocket
I'm so excited that summer is here and for Olivia to see so many new things! i know her fun age is going to make this warm time of year even better!