Blooper Reel {from Gender Reveal}

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

If you watched and enjoyed our Gender Reveal from exactly a year ago, you might just as well have fun watching this.

I almost dropped this project for lack of time, but when I was cleaning out my video folders, I just couldn’t bring myself to delete the blooper shots, so I made a GAG REEL out of them.

It’s a good reminder of how much fun we had shooting the Gender Reveal video.

And it so happens that I made it in time for the  anniversary of finding out the sex of our baby!

Back from Disney!

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

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We are back from Alexis’ first trip to Disneyworld!

It was definitely SOMETHING!

Different from our other trips but still so much fun.

I am cannot wait to share! It’ll have to be in several posts, though. I’ll also share some tips and things that worked for us, aside from the basic stuff that can be googled.

I’ll leave you with this adorable picture of Lexi watching the parade!

Introduction of Solids: Baby Led Weaning

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

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I am so excited to be writing this post.

Other food posts:

Toddler Mealtime | Vegetable Soup | Baby Solids: What we cook  | Baby Solids Gear

Baby Led Weaning ( BLW) has been one of the most fun, relatively stress-free experiences so far, if I can say so, being only over a month into it. But I feel like it’s only going to get better from now on.

Lexi in Motion: From 6 to 7 Months {Video}

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, Monthly Updates, VIDEO

The first video here is the highlights of everything that being a 6 months old entails. The second video is her highness playing with toys, mostly boring but with a few very cute/funny/adorable moments in between.

I am putting the usual disclosure of parents sharing home movies:

-Ignore my singing

-Ignore my overly excited exclamations

-Ignore any other babble coming from me that you might hear in this video

-Ignore anything anything else that comes with being a parent

Do enjoy the adorable goofball that is Lexi!

{Also, like previous videos, this was intended for friends and family, so it’s pretty long and for most will be pretty boring.  To us, of course, it’s the best video ever. :) }

 

 

Below is a compilation of videos of Alexis playing with her toys. All the above disclosures apply.

 

Letters to Lexi: 7 months old!

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, Letters to Lexi, Monthly Updates, PHOTO

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Dear baby girl,

You are 7 months old. The number blows my mind. I remember reading other people’s blogs and thinking how big their babies were at 7 months. And here you are, exactly 7 months old, and yet you’re still so little and at the same time so grown. You’ve gone such a long way. I could never imagine myself as a mom to a 7 months old and yet in a blink of an eye, you are 7 WHOLE MONTHS OLD!

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

*** WEBSITE *** FACEBOOK *** TWITTER ***

BUY IT: Amazon
WIN IT: Finn & Emma would like to give this gym away to one lucky reader.  See details below.

Finn and Emma Gym

BELOW ARE THE GIVEAWAYS RULES
and Mandatory Entries: {read carefully}

There are  mandatory entries , after which you will have additional entries available,
This giveaway is open to US  residents only.
The winning entry will be verified and the winner disqualified if the action is not found or if the mandatory items are not fullfilled.
Each giveaway has specific rules, so read them on the widget (including which countries are eligible)See the rafflecopter widget for additional terms and conditions.

{If you’re not sure how to use to enter, feel free to watch this video tutorial or email me at contact {at} prebabyblog {dot} com
Otherwise, make sure to read everything carefully. Click the DO IT link first, then I’VE DONE IT once the action is completed}

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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

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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).

Exersaucers: Jam Session

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

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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.