Finn & Emma Organic Activity Gym

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, Best for Baby, PHOTO, PRODUCTS

FINN AND EMMA ACTIVITY GYM


When I saw this gym on one of the blogs, I knew I had to try it.  Being a huge fan of Finn&Emma (see Lexi Awards), I knew that the gym wasn’t going to disappoint from eco standpoint and design. However, I was wondering if such a simple bar with a few toys would keep Lexi’s attention for long enough, like conventional gyms do.

By the time I received the gym, Lexi was 5 months and already sitting up. That actually worked in our favor, because if she were to be in a lying position, she wouldn’t be able to get the toys into her mouth, and she’s pretty forceful when it comes to tasting everything she can lay her little hands on.

So I sat her next to the Finn &Emma gym and she went to town. She didn’t hesitate to taste every single toy on the bar. Over the next few months, the arch has been empty half the time. Do you know why? Because she was SO in love with the wool toys and the wooden teethers that we had to take them with us EVERYWHERE we went.

It didn’t make much sense to me why she preferred these toys over any others, but she clearly did. The two wool animals had feet just the perfect size for her mouth and 90% of the time she HAD them in her mouth. The wooden teethers were fun to manipulate and easy to hold for her. And the biggest bonus for me? They clip in a way no other hanging toys does. Rather than use velco which ultimately ends up “un-velcroing” under the strength of a 6 months baby, Finn and Emma used a ribbon with a clip at the end, so no amount of pulling would unclip it from the stroller, their wrist, your wrist, etc etc and  drop it on the dirty floor. Dirty floor is where most our toys end up on, except for these toys. That also made the toys mommy’s favorite.


That clip and ribbon is what she loves to chew on the most, so they are always soaking wet, but give her hours of entertainment. No joke!

You know how sometimes you buy something, you use it and then you just shake your head and wonder whether these people ever tested the product at all- it doesn’t work or works poorly. Well, I have to say that the toys of this gym, specifically, work like they have been tested by both parents and babies over and over again. Huge winner in my eyes!

Because we received the gym at the time when Alexis was no longer interested in playing while lying down, I cannot tell you how it’d do with younger babies.  I know Alexis has always been the kind of baby to take toys into her mouth rather than swat at them. I can see where that would present a problem for “pullers” like her since the wooden arch doesn’t bend.

Alexis did spend a decent amount of time just swatting at the toys but soon became frustrated when she couldn’t get them in her mouth. For a younger baby that shouldn’t be a problem since they don’t have the hand coordination to grab a toy and bring it to mouth yet.

Unlike other more traditionally styled gyms, this can be easily used once the baby is sitting up, which extends the lifespan of the toy.  That and the amazing portability of it (we’ll be taking it with us to Disney to do something in the hotel room while we are waiting out the midday heat) have made me a big fan of the gym. And once she is too old to play with it, I already have an idea of covering it with a piece of fabric and creating a puppet show within the arch.

According to Finn & Emma’s description, the gym is made out of untreated hardwood, organic cotton, hand knit , non-toxic toys with wool stuffing. Recently the whole “untreated hardwood” came in handy, since Lexi has gotten into a habit of lifting one of the gym’s leg over her head and then shoving the whole thing into her mouth. Yeah…no further comment.

LEARN MORE ABOUT FINN AND EMMA

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Finn and Emma Gym

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Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. FInn and Emma provided me with a product sample to review. All opinions are 100% my own.

Outfit Post, Haircut and Elemental Formula

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, Fashion and Outfits, PHOTO

I’ll start with the latest outfit photo from a few days ago.

As you can see, I cut my hair. I do a short haircut every 2 years and then grow my hair out again. This time my hairdresser girlfriend, who was visiting from Switzerland, practically forced me to cut it because I was damaging it badly by wearing it in a bun ALL THE FREAKING TIME. I wasn’t planning on going THIS short and was a bit shocked when I touched my hair and realized how short it was. She said it was necessary to cut off all the damaged ends… Oh well…

After about 2 days of going back and forth on whether I like it or not, I was starting to really dig it. The biggest complaint I had before is that my only option for a hair style was a bun or a ponytail. Now I am having fun wearing it down, having fun with styles and the way it was cut it is SOOOO easy to style it. I’ve never had my hair cut this particular way. I wake up and my hair is ready to go. I also had her cut bangs so that when I do wear it up, it looks more styled.

It looks awesome lightly blow dried and looks great air dried, too ( my hair has a strong wave to it when not blow dried). I am not planning on keeping it short, I’ll be growing it out, but a change is always fun. By the time it grows out again in year, I’ll be ready to cut it short again a year later.

One tip she gave me for bun wearers is to give scalp massages daily, because it promotes the growth and keeps roots healthy.

;

Elena

Hair flower: Hopscotch Boutique on Etsy

Studded Tank top: MyHabit

Skirt: Victoria’s Secret

Sandals: Boutique 9 from MyHabit

Alexis

Hairband: Ruffles and Fringe on Etsy

Onesie dress: Zulily

;

Formula

I have a can of elemental formula (powder), Neocate that we bought as a backup back in the first few weeks of breastfeeding when we were concerned about supply. I also have a 6 pack of Similac Alimentum.
For those who don’t know what elemental formula is: it doesn’t contain milk or soy proteins, it’s basically broken down to amino acids, so it’s impossible to have allergic reactions, or gas or reflux using this kind of formula.

Because I am a big believer in eliminating milk proteins out of infants diets (whether through breastmilk or formula), I would like to mail it to anyone who is currently feeding their baby standard milk based formula and their baby is experiences any gas, reflux or colic symptoms regularly.

Both will expire by the end of the year and I would hate to waste it, so if anyone is interested in it, let me know in the comments.

{formula is claimed, thanks for your emails}

Gaylord Palms: Alexis’ First Trip to Orlando – Part I

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, Florida, FUN TIMES, New Mom Experience, PHOTO, TRAVEL

When we were first invited to Andrew’s mom’s wedding reception in Orlando 3 months ago, our first thought was “Oh, we’d love to, but there is no way we can drive all the way to Orlando with Lexi”. That was a bummer, but it beat the prospect of a screaming baby in the car for 4 hours. As the time went on, though, and Lexi was getting more and more manageable at 4 months on, I was starting to think that maybe, just maybe, we’d be able to make that trip. We knew her problem was the carseat and we put all our hopes into the new roomy convertible car seat from Maxi Cosi. As I wrote before, the car seat worked out fabulously. The screaming fits ended as soon as we swapped our infant seat for this new cool (as in temperature-wise) and big Pria 70. So we tentatively told my MIL that it was looking like we could actually make it.

We were both super super super excited. Before Lexi, we’d take frequent trips to Orlando to just have dinner or walk around the parks, or see friends, as well as drive to Miami and other cities of interest in Florida. It’s what we did for fun. With Alexis being a very particular baby, especially in the first 4 months, and hating the car seat, we’ve put it all on hold, but we both couldn’t wait until we would go these places with our daughter.

Each one of us had our own concerns having never traveled with an infant. I was concerned about how she’d do in the car, how she’d fall asleep there, whether I’d be able to keep her entertained for the whole 4 hours. Andrew was really worried about what we’d do in the hotel, considering that at that time Alexis would only fall asleep while being rocked. But we went for it, figuring we’d play things by ear and do what we had to do.

With it being our first overnight trip and hotel stay, we packed everything imaginable, and his mom promised us a portable foldable rocker (which worked out FABULOUSLY, btw).

So after a pretty uneventful and totally manageable drive to Orlando where I completely went through my whole repertoire of songs, books and games, we checked into the hotel and brought in a million of our bags. It was time to put Lexi down for a nap, if we had any prayer of her surviving the reception that started at 6-7pm.

After doing her nap routine and some nursing, I handed her over to Andrew to rock, while I prepared our clothes for the reception. Of course, like expected, she was more interested in the room and all the new fun things to look at, rather than sleep which is what she desperately needed. The blackout blinds didn’t help, because they still left a bit of light for her to stare at.  He had to go into the bathroom to completely block out the light for our curious little baby girl.

In the meantime, I discovered the biggest fail of the trip ( cuz there’s always gotta be one): out of all the *crap* we brought with us, Andrew somehow left the bag with MY clothes at home. I am talking: all my clothes, reception dress and shoes – everything! The only thing I had was what I was wearing, which was yoga leggings and an organic Whole Foods tee. LOL.

I was at a loss. We didn’t have time to drive to the mall or a store, I didn’t have much hope for the hotel’s touristy shops, but I figured I’d go check them out, anyways. As I was walking through the expansive and magnificent Gaylord Palms, I suddenly remembered grabbing my new Hollister dress out of the dryer and throwing it in the trunk of the car, thinking  I might  get a chance to wear it the next day.

OMG! I couldn’t believe my luck! I ran to the car and sure enough, the dress was there! Granted, it wasn’t the dress I expected to wear, but it still worked for a laid back reception better than yoga pants.

{I have to admit that I have really enjoyed the challenges that having a new baby has thrown into our life, because we were way too used to being relaxed and laid back, never rushing anywhere, just the two of us for many years. This, the excitement, the lack of time, is so much more interesting to deal with. We were getting really boring there for a while before Lexi came along and flipped our lives upside down.  Now, I cannot help it but smile thinking about all the little “screw ups” we’ve had at every turn, as we learn to deal with our “new situation” }

Ok, so back to Gaylord Palms… I came back to the room to find Lexi sleeping, Andrew said it had been really easy to put her to sleep with a rocker and in total darkness.
So we start getting ready while she sleeps. I laid out an outfit her her, the same outfit she *pooped* all over on 4th of July and we didn’t get to wear, so I was happy it got some use. Thirty minutes later she woke up, all smiles and leg kicks, and we were ready to go. Late, but ready.
The reception was held in one of the hotel’s restaurants, Villa de Flora. I will post photos of the hotel and our second day there in the Part II, but if you’ve never been to Gaylord’s, it is the most magnificent hotel I have ever been to or stayed at. It’s a little town/jungle located under a glass roof. Huge and mind blowing.

The reception was beautiful, the food was fabulous, since it was in our all-time-favorite restaurant. Lexi got to meet her Auntie Boom Boom for the first time and totally took to her from the get go. As usual, all the attention and new sights kept her happy and occupied. She even had some food I was able to pick out for her from the buffet.




After the reception we all retreated to our room and hung out there until Lexi was ready to go to sleep. To our complete amazement, she slept a normal (for her) night with me in bed and a guard rail on the other side. The only downside to co-sleeping when travelling is when we can’t get a king bed and Andrew and I have to sleep on separate bed, which sucks big time.

We were both so incredibly elated by how well Lexi handled being somewhere completely new, how she slept as well as she does at home, how she seemed to have gotten more of a kick out of being there than expected. It was a great night, one that gave us hope for many many more trips.

Next up: Gaylord Palms, The Next Day- Part II

 

Exersaucers: Jam Session

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, Best for Baby, PHOTO, PRODUCTS

Ok, I have to preface this review with the following:

{I am not a huge fan of exersaucers/stationary jumpers/jumperoos (whatever else they are called). The crazy bright lights, the annoying repetitive sounds, the upright position when they should be crawling around on their belly – it’s essentially a placeholder for the baby while you go get some stuff done. However, babies LOVE them, and they give mamas a minute or two to get stuff done. }

Note: I couldn’t stop taking pictures of Lexi in it, since it’s so cute, so you get a lot of essentially identical photos :) lol

So when I was talking about reviewing one, I was skeptical. We had a Fisher Price one we borrowed from a friend of mine. A conventional standard Fisher Price that you see in every other house. Alexis really enjoyed jumping in it and playing with toys. But the annoying sounds and music would get us EVERY time. We’d have to turn it off, but then I felt like I was robbing her of full experience in it.

And then she started taking EVERYTHING in her mouth. This spelled the end of the Fisher Price. I don’t particular trust Fisher Price, or any big big corporation for that matter, to not make toys out of some toxic plastic ( nothing to back it up, just a big company and a few lead related recalls, as well as their previous stance on toxic plastics,which I know they have correct ).

Note: If you happened to have inquired with their customer service about the type of plastic this jumperoo is made of, feel free to share, I am sure a ton of parents would love to know.

Anyways…. so we get the Evenflo Exersaucer Jam Session and get it out of the box and I don’t know what I expected, but it’s plastic (duh!)…. Before I get Lexi in it, I email the customer service ( even though I am dying to try it out), inquiring what plastic it is made of and whether it contains PVC, Pthalates, lead or cadmium, which I should have done ahead of everything, but I spaced out. The answer comes back fairly quickly: “[...]polypropylene and does not contain PVC, Phthalates, lead or cadmium.”   Whew!

In the meantime, I wash the seat fabric and the chew toys.

It was fairly easy to assemble, though I have to admit, hubby was doing all of the assembly with me just playing with Lexi and watching.

A few minutes later, Lexi was put into it to play. At first, I thought  it was just like any other jumperoo/exersaucer type deal. She jumped around in it, all wide eyed, excited at this new shiny toys she’s been presented with.

But unlike most products that you start finding flaws with as your baby uses, this one kept getting better and better.

So the concept of the Jam Session is the following:

There are 4 interactive “smart” toys that represent an “instrument” each: percussion, piano, guitar/sax/trumpet and a conductor’s score. Each instrument plays a specific genre of music depending on what has been selected on the conductor’s score. So if the conductor’s score is set on jazz, the rest of the instruments play jazz melodies when triggered. Same happens when she selects rock or classical music There are 67 activities for your baby to play with in this version of the exersaucer.

The piano toy can be set to play notes or melodies. The conductor’s score plays longer songs when triggered. The hanging guitar/sax/trumpet play shorter songs when pulled down on and the overhead lights light up. The drum plays a short little melody, as well and there’s a spin wheel with plastic balls in it. On one of there corners there is a fake microphone with little plastic pellets for noise making. Each side has a detachable teether in different shape and one mirror.

The bottom of the exersaucer has a blue balance base that supposedly helps to “build core strength and coordination”

Like I previously mentioned, at first I was a bit disappointed. Being so used to jumping centers that were filled with multitude of toys, lights, noise and color, my first impression was that Lexi won’t like it because there are not as many toys to play with.

Over the last 2 months, I have been learning why my initial impression was completely wrong.

-The lack of overly stimulating toys means that she has to turn and reach and pull and push to get the results she wants. {It’s kind of like the advice of not surrounding your baby with too many toys, but leaving one or two for her to play with so that she would be prompted to move to reach them}. I almost feel like it IS truly beneficial to her and her development which is a far cry from how I felt about activity centers before.

 

Given that with Lexi who is semi-mobile ( she doesn’t crawl, but easily gets from sitting position into a crawling position, but not always safely or gracefully), we often have to put her in the Jam Session for a minute or two while we get what whatever we need.

Well, I couldn’t believe it, but both me and Andrew would dance and sing every time Alexis would trigger a song. Why? That’s because finally the music in a kid’s toy is one that parents can relate to, as well.  To this day, I dance every time she plays Rocking Robin and she watches me and jumps around (or sometimes shakes her leg in a fun way attempting to dance too).

It’s been 2 months and I have not once thought “Oh, this music is annoying”. In addition to that, rather than have music every time she jumps, it has to be triggered by her specific action, whether it’s pulling on the hanging instruments, turning the page of the score, or pressing the piano keys or drums.

Teethers are a perfect shape and height for her. They bend, they twist, they turn, they can be manipulated in any way possible. It’s often that you see her with her mouth on the teether while jumping around

- The piano keys are really easy to press and she is at the point where she uses the switch to go from melodies to notes ( not on purpose, of course).

- I also was not sure that I’d like the base rather than the floor like most other activity centers have, but I like it  lot, because it adds more bounce to her jumps and keeps her trying to balance her body which is always a good activity for infants.

Evenflo has 3 exersaucers in their new line, but I just really really like this Jam Session. It’s fun, it’s low key and it fosters love for music that is not an annoying repetitive childish tune.

-Another pleasant surprise for me was that the Jam Session is not overly colorful. The toys are bright and happy but the posts and the seat base are white with black accents, so if you’re the type of person who is not a fan of ridiculously bright and colorful baby things in your house, this will probably be the most inconspicuous one of them all. I actually enjoy looking at this bright spot in our living room.  It looks very neat from the distance.

There are very few baby items that I get very excited to review and this is one of them. It turned out to be a great one from both parents’ and baby’s standpoint contrary to my expectations of what a jumping activity center would be.

Note: When we first received the Jam Session, Lexi couldn’t easily turn in the seat. I emailed the customer service and after a few emails back and forth, they sent me a new seat that turns perfectly. I just wanted to mention that in case someone else has that problem. Evenflo customer service is great,so don’t hesistate to contact it.

Note 2: I don’t have a giveaway for you, guys, at this time, since Evenflo didn’t have giveaway units available, but I am hoping in the future I’ll be able to offer a giveaway as well.

Let me know if you have any questions about it, I’d be happy to answer.

*This product was sent to me for review by Evenflo. I was not compensated for this post. All opinions are 100% my own.

Boating with Alexis

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, FUN TIMES, PHOTO

A month ago we took Alexis on her very first cruise around the Bay and into the Gulf. Again, with the heat and the sun, it’s very difficult to do anything outdoors with a small baby, but we decided that if we make it an early outing, it should be fine.

I had no clue as to how Alexis would react to the heat or the boat or the speed. It was a total shot in the dark.

We used out favorite Lavanila Baby Block and wore a UPF50+ swimsuit that my friend Elena bought as a present for Lexi.

We went slowly at first, wading through the bay to get to the open Gulf. She was fine as long as she was in the shade and then when we turned to face the morning sun, Andrew opened our super convenient Mutsy parasol that we brought along. She was starting to fuss and then we picked up some speed and Yeehaaawww! Lexi LOVED it! As soon as we were moving and the wind was blowing, she was a happy girl. She wasn’t crazy for having to hear a lifevest, and because of the size of the boat, she technically didn’t have to. But we felt more comfortable if she did, at least while we were moving fast.

We spent the rest of the time alternating between cruising and going really fast. She even had her first taste of beer. Just kidding, of course, but she definitely tried to, pretty forcefully. I had to get her attention with one of the boat gadgets, before she stuck her finger into the opening of the bottle.


The picture below on the left is her face when we sped up a little bit – she was loving it and making cute happy noises :)

So the picture below:

If you remember, the first time Lexi met J, she freaked out and cried for 30 minutes after he attempted to take her into his arms. We figured it was the beard. So this time, he purposefully let her touch his beard to show her that it was all cool. And while there were no tears, you can judge her reaction by the two photos at the bottom. haha!

Oh and here’s some EYE CANDY for car lovers, which I once was, until I got pregnant and decided that my life is now too important to race around in fast vehicles. I still love beautiful cars, but just looking at them is enough nowadays :)

4th of July

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, FUN TIMES, New Mom Experience, PHOTO

{It’s amazing to see how Alexis has changed in just 1 month}

{I initially wanted to wear this awesome red headband from Ruffles&Fringe , but after clipping my bangs up, I realized it wouldn’t work and had to take it off.}

Our first 4th of July as a family.

Hmmm. I honestly didn’t think it was going to happen this year. Up until recently we couldn’t even take Alexis anywhere since she wouldn’t fall asleep in the car, let alone a PARTY with lots of music, noise and people, 50 minutes away, that starts at 7 pm. This really spelled disaster, but encouraged by a few recent outings that were actually successful, coupled with our own desire to do something adult-like, we decided to go for it.

The plan was to keep her napping as much as she would all day and be sure that EVERYTHING was in the car and ready by the time she wakes up from her last nap. At which point we would whisk her away into the car and drive to the party to be there right at the start.

{the photo above was taken by the photographer at the party}

Oh those well laid plans of “a type of rodents and a few representatives of human species”. First of all, who were we kidding? We are NOTORIOUSLY late to everything. We always were before Alexis and we’re late now. It was all going well until the last nap. We gave Lexi a bath, I rocked her to sleep and went to get stuff done. Twenty or thirty minutes later she was up and as usual I swooped her in and started rocking again. She wouldn’t have it. Kept looking around and arching her back. Finally after some boob and more rocking she was asleep, I laid her in bed and went to a different bathroom to do my hair. Hubby stayed back to make sure she was good and asleep. 5 minutes later he comes out with Lexi in his arms. She was up, about 40 minutes before we had to leave, before we COULD leave.

I continued doing my hair while Andrew strapped her into our Nordic carrier and attempted to get the last few things done. I had all her toys packed, her cloth books, her bedtime books, her blankets, her lovey, a Sunny stroll arch, a diaper bag, her outfit ironed and ready, my camera ready. He was supposed to take it all to the car while I finished my hair. Then I quickly got dressed and that’s where it started breaking down. I find out Andrew has to shave (what?), he didn’t catch that the stuff downstairs needed to be put in the car as well (what?). I put Alexis into her adorable outfit and as we walked to show daddy how pretty his girls were , she sneak-spits up ALL OVER her dress. (Lexi has this tendency to spit up without us noticing)

{BTW, I’d like to thank everyone who weighed in on the 4th of July outfit ideas for Alexis on my Facebook page. I loved all the suggestions and had actually ordered the Jack and Janie dress for Alexis but it had just fit her which meant that it would probably be uncomfotably small for her in 2 weeks which is when the party was supposed to happen. So I had to return it and ended up ordering a cute RL dress.}

Agh! Disaster! {ok, maybe not so much} I clean up her dress and fortunately it all comes right off. Whew! Bullet dodged! {ha! Naive first time mom!}

Eventually we get out the door and then I remember the first rule of successful event photography: take a picture before getting in the car because it might be the only chance you get to do it all dressed up and pretty. I still hadn’t put make up on (I was going to do that in the car), but I figured it’s no biggie. We take a few family pictures, on most of which Alexis is squinting from the bright light or trying to chew on her daddy’s shirt.

Then we are off to the party. Planned time: 6:20pm Actual Time: 7:16pm

To my surprise Alexis did pretty well in the car going back and forth from playing with my nursing necklace I hung up above her, to chewing and screaming at her Sophie. A few times she strained and I figured we’d change her once we get there. Half way down ( at that point it’s been 1.5 hrs since she slept) she started getting really upset. I figured it was time to eat and we pulled over to feed her. I laid her across my lap preparing “the meal” and that’s when I FELT IT. My dear girl had had a MASSIVE POOP EXPLOSION that leaked all over her Ralph Lauren dress. AGH!

{the photo above on the left was taken by the photographer at the party}

Well, so much for a cute outfit. We had to change her into a spare onesie we brought which just happened to have red white and blue colors ( I sort of subconsciously packed it), and while it was one of my favorite onesies, it wasn’t the special 4th of July dress mommy agonized over, asked opinions, ironed and hoped to see on more than one picture. Oh well, that’s babyhood for you.

Once we got to the beachside area, the traffic was INSANE because everyone goes to the beach to see the fireworks around here, so we probably arrived at the party at 8:30pm (nice huh?) It’d been 2 hours since Alexis slept and this was the point where I usually put her down. She was getting really fussy being stuck in a seat.

We finally arrived, valet’ed our car and went in. There were about 100 people at the party, I overheard the valets say in awe. One of the reasons I was really looking forward to this particular event, besides the fabulous food, entertainment, host and his house and awesome people, was my friend Elena who I hadn’t hung out with since Alexis was born. She hadn’t met Alexis yet and we were both just really looking forward to seeing each other.


{the photo above was taken by the photographer at the party}

Alexis was getting so much attention and after some time she was really loving it.

There were 3 bands at the party. THREE! All pretty awesome, but this charismatic guy was the bomb!

At that point it had been 4 hours since she slept and while she was NOT fussing at all with all the sights and music and people, I could see how very tired she was getting.

So I took her into the house and walked upstairs into a nursery ( J has a few sons with small kids who sometimes visit) to try to nurse her to sleep. I was very fortunate to have a rocker there since Alexis doesn’t do well without one. But no matter what I did: fed her, rocked her, sang to her- she just wouldn’t go to sleep. I laid her on the bed thinking maybe that nursing position would be more conducive to sleep but instead she wiggled her body and pumped her legs, ready to play.

The photo above just cracks me up. Elena feeding me while I am feeding Alexis :)

After a while we decided it was really time to go. So after changing Lexi, we went out and were waiting for the valet to get our car (Yeah, this house party had valet parking, crazy huh?). I was nursing Alexis while rocking her as we stood there talking to our friends. When our car arrived, I noticed that Alexis was starting to fall asleep at the breast, so I held off a little longer. Then, while very drowsy, we put her in the car, and after a bit of fussing on her part, she fell asleep as soon as the car started moving. We both let out a sigh of relief and drove home.

{At 11 pm, all happy and ready to play}

It was our first big success in getting out with a baby, especially that late and we expected it to not go so well, so it felt really great to have had a good time and include Alexis in it, as well.

I wrote a post about the few things I learned from this late night outing that worked for Alexis, so feel free to check it out here.

Father’s Day

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, FUN TIMES, PHOTO

AT 5.5 MONTHS

My BFF Leeka drove to visit us on Father’s Day, which was largely responsible for the amount of pictures taken that day. Because when Leeka visits, all bets are off.

{Sidenote: If you’re in Cincinnati area and you need an amazing photog, check her out}

We didn’t have any plans to celebrate Father’s Day this year, just like we didn’t celebrate Mother’s Day. I guess both of us didn’t feel like the holidays belonged to us yet. We didn’t feel like we were something to celebrate yet. I still see Mother’s Day as a day for my mom, not me.

So it worked out perfectly with Leeka visiting, so that we weren’t the “lame-o-s” that we are and actually got out of the house that day. It was Leeka’s first time seeing Lexi and it was amazing. Even though we were in the stanger anxiety stage, she knew exactly what to do for Lexi to call her one of “our own”. She even chewed on her fingers. lol

So if you know anything about us two, we take EXORBITANT AMOUNT OF PICTURES when we are together. These two posts are just the tip of an iceberg: here and here

And while Andrew isn’t exactly a fan of picture taking (though he IS used to it by now), he does love having fun with us.

So we all basically spent the day lounging at the pool, splashing, talking, eating- the usual.

Leeka was kind enough to take a few pictures of the three of us, even though we weren’t exactly picture ready, wet and with runny make up.

There are a lot of words that I could say about Andrew as a dad and as a husband and as a person. It would probably be a very long post if I started it, but all I want to say publicly is that the 11 years that we’ve spent together (both dating and married) have been the best years of my life. I cannot imagine being with a person for so long, unless that person is Shmimkin. I look back and it seems like I’ve known him forever and yet I cannot believe it’s been 11 years. He is truly my best friend and the best father to Alexis. I hope that we continue adjusting our roles as Alexis grows and mold them into something even more perfect.

{He requested that I do not waste my time writing a sappy Father’s Day post , and instead say it directly to him and spend that time having fun together. So that’s all the sappiness you will get :P}

 {Photos in this post were taken by me, Andrew and Leeka}

First swing ride {photo dump}

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, Daily, FUN TIMES, LIFE, PHOTO


I am doing a good job catching up with the photo posts and soon you’ll see more current ones and more meaningful posts.I have Father’s day, 4th of July, Lexi’s first boat trip and an overnight trip to Orlando left to blog about and then I’ll be all up to date and hopefully start posting more current photos, as well as more parenting related stuff. It’s much easier to edit photos, put them into a collage and post them, than write about more serious things, so I am trying to get the backlog of photography out of the way.

I don’t have much to say for this post. It’s a simple photo dump from our first playground trip. Alexis loved the swing and would probably do it until she passed out. Unfortunately, with the current Florida weather we can’t be going to the playground too often. It gets too hot by about 8 am. But starting October, when she’s 8 months old and the weather is cool, I suspect we’ll have daily trips there. I am already seeing how bored she gets at home, even though I try to provide a stimulating environment. But she’s the happiest when we go places. So i predict a lot of walks and fun trips outside of home as soon as the weather gets cooler. Right now we’re trying to plan at least one outing somewhere fun once a week: the beach, the playground, children’s museum, the mall, the pool, Disney, etc.

{swing cover by Infantino}