VIDEO: Alexis – 7 months to 8 months

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

This video is two weeks too late and so many changes happened development-wise in the meantime, but this is what life was all about for our little Alexis between being 7 and 8 months:

Learning to Crawl
Learning To Pull Up
Playing Reading Bathing
Talking Destroying Hugging
Laughing Whining Yelling

all the wonderful things that a baby can do.

ENJOY! { click CONTINUE READING below to see the video }

Stroller Feature: Mutsy 4Rider

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

When I was 6 months pregnant and working on our baby registry, the most difficult decision BY FAR was what stroller to register for. I am sure all new moms will agree with me that if you have a decent stroller budget, you are COMPLETELY overwhelmed by the choices and options and your future baby’s needs.

I spent days researching concepts that were so foreign to me at the time. Lightweight? Luxury? Air filled tires? 6 months and up? Bassinet? Reclining seat? Car seat adaptor? Full canopy? UV protective? Expensive? Cheap? Forward facing or rear facing? Tall or adjustable handlebar? Cupholder? Snack tray? Good suspension? iPhone charger? All terrain? Jogging? Shopping basket? EVA tires?

Seriously, your head spins with the amount of options out there. It’s beyond any other item I have EVER had to shop for, including high chairs, which was pretty hard but not THAT hard.

I finally gave up and registered for a reputable  brand because my friend had 2 strollers of theirs. I am sure that is exactly what most people do when they are too overwhelmed by options and don’t want/don’t care to research and make a decision.

I figured that most new mothers are probably faced with the same decision process I had to go through, so I decided to see if I can try to review a stroller in each different category to see which features are a MUST and which ones can be PASSED UP. At least, from my standpoint.

So in the next few weeks, you will see 5 posts that are a part of this STROLLER FEATURE. The 5 categories are: LUXURY STROLLER (Mutsy 4Rider), LIGHTWEIGHT/UMBRELLA STROLLER (Kiddy City’n’Move), AFFORDABLE ALL TERRAIN STROLLER (GoGo Babyz Urban Advantage), JOGGING STROLLER (Baby Jogger Summit XC) and HIGH TECH STROLLER (4Moms Origami).

MUTSY 4 RIDER

 



A Dutch stroller company Mutsy {pronounced [Moot-si] was established in 1937 with the most adorable little carriages you have ever seen. But it wasn’t until 1975 that they came out with their first ADJUSTABLE stroller with a reclining back and then in 1978, one that transforms from a bassinet into a seat. That, for me, is the essence of Mutsy as a stroller company –  ADAPTABILITY.

The versatility of Mutsy strollers is beyond anything I imagined and more than I had hoped for. Mutsy 4Rider, which is the red stroller you’ve been seeing in most of my pictures, is their top of the line luxury stroller that is MADE with your baby in mind ( and a few features to appease parents too). When I was looking at all the options different strollers had, I was convinced that  there wasn’t one stroller that had it all, and that in order to get everything I wanted, I had to get at least 3 strollers. However, after spending the last 7 months using the 4Rider, I can tell you honestly, THIS IS  as close to ALL-IN-ONE as you can get!

Now before I get further into the review, one thing you have to know is that it is by NO MEANS a lightweight stroller. It is VERY heavy. It’s not meant to be lightweight or compact.  It’s meant to be comfortable for baby and parents, and full of features. {Mutsy DID come out with a lighter, more compact stroller just a few months ago, Evo, with similar features as 4Rider, from what I can see}.

My favorite part of Mutsy 4Rider is the amount of options and features this stroller has. In fact, I am STILL learning new features as I write this review ( I’ve gone “Baby, did you know Mutsy can do this?” to my husband three times in the last hour). These guys have thought of pretty much ANY scenario.

We all know how different babies are and you just have NO way of knowing what your future baby is going to like or hate until you try it. This stroller pretty much ensures that you’ll have something to appease your little one with. That’s where the options the 4Rider offers really come in handy.

So let’s go over them quickly, shall we?

Let’s start with the most common configuration of the 4Rider, using its seat.

  • The seat snaps in and out of  the stroller with 1 click.
  • It reclines to virtually any position, including flat
  • It can be flipped to face forward or backwards ( rear facing strollers are very important for the few 6-8 months of a baby’s life, until they get object permanence, since they might get distressed in a stroller that is facing forward  when the parent isn’t visible).
  • It has TWO  slots to attach any of the following to it: Canopy ( it has good coverage, with a large peekaboo window at the top that gets rolled up and affixed with velcro, and a relatively large zip-up pocket in the back. It can also be moved to any of the two slots, making it sit further back or forward for more coverage), dinnertray (sold separately), arm rest.

Other features:

  • breaks
  • lockable front wheels
  • expandable handlebar ( this really comes in handy for us, tall people)
  • air filled tires (big air filled tires means that your baby gets less jostling when you’re walking or lightly jogging)
  • nice suspension ( again, this is by far the smoothest ride out of all the strollers I’ve tried)
  • solid construction (This is where the word luxury comes in (besides its price tag). The stroller feels SOLID, it feels expensive, there’s absolutely no flimsiness to it.)
  • expensive fabrics (In comparison to other strollers, Mutsy 4Rider has a really nice feel. The fabric is woven very tightly and is of excellent quality)



The following are other configurations and add-ons and is why I love the 4Rider so much:
  • Bassinet (It easily snaps in and out of the stroller. Sold separately.)
  • Parasol (It gets attached to the handle bar and moved in any direction you wish to block the sun. Sold separately.)
  • Funseat ( This configuration is the coolest of them all and I cannot wait to try when Lexi is old enough. Basically it’s a cool toddler seat with a fake STEERING WHEEL (!!!!!!) and a huge basket. Perfect for trip to the beach or the store! Sold separately.)
  • Beach bag ( A “gigantic BeachBag fits right inside the basket of the Mutsy FunSeat”. Sold separately.)
  • Extra shopping basket (Sold separately.)
  • Raincover (Sold separately.)
  • Graco, Peg Perego adaptors ( The stroller can house an infant car seat with an adaptor for Graco or Peg Perego car seats. Sold separately.)
  • Footmuff (Sold separately.)
  • Riding step up board for toddlers (A really cool feature, where you add this little step board with a wheel to the back of the stroller so that your 2 year old could ride with you and your infant. Sold separately.)
  • Mutsy Babysitter (A rocker frame that houses your Mutsy seat and makes for a really great infant seat/rocker. It has literally saved my sanity in the first few months because it was the only rocker Lexi would sleep in. It’s even been featured in Lexi Awards. Sold separately.)
  • Duo Seat (Converts your 4Rider into a double stroller)
I know that is a lot of information for a review and probably would get some of your overwhelmed and confused even more, so here is a bottom line:
While it’s expensive when compared to Graco or Safety First, it’s definitely reasonably priced in its class and quality. So if it’s in your bugdet, it’s going to be the best stroller you’re going to have.  It converts into pretty much any configuration imaginable for all stages and needs of life. It is NOT light, nor is it cheap, or made of cheap materials. It’s a large, heavy, solid, nice stroller, perfect for a 2 person family living in the suburbs. It has great maneuverability, amazing shock absorbency and a very smooth ride.
You’ve got all the pros of the stroller writeen out above, so here are the CONS:
  • Heavy (34 lbs with the wheels and seat)
  • Large
  • Doesn’t fold compactly (which is fine by me, because due to it’s weight, you can’t really take it with you while travelling)
  • Due to the size of the wheels, they get caught flipping sometimes, which can get annoying in very narrow areas.
  • The basket that it comes with could be larger.
To me personally, these PROS by far outweighed the CONS, especially if you can buy a cheap compact umbrella stroller to compliment Mutsy 4Rider.
So there you have it! Let me know if you have any questions about it. We’ve been using it almost exclusively for the last 7 months and love it, so I can definitely answer any questions you might have.

For more information on MUTSY, visit the following:

I also made this cute little video of all the times we’ve been going out with our Mutsy 4Rider.

 

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

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!

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.

 

7 activities to do with your infant {0-6 months}

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in HEALTH, New Mom Experience, VIDEO

7 Activities to do with your baby to help development and add sensory input: 0-6 months


Looking back to the early months of Alexis life, one of the hardest things for me ( and my husband even more) was thinking of age-appropriate activities to do with Alexis. I wanted to make sure her awake time counted, that it helped her develop, socially, physically, emotionally, as well as bond and spend as much time interacting with us as she needed at that age. And considering that unlike most newborns, Alexis barely slept during that time, we had A LOT OF awake time to contend with. As I was reading various books on baby development, I was making note of beneficial activities I could do with Alexis that would help her develop as well as create some quality fun time with her, aside from all the typical things you do with a baby.  So I’d like to share with you 5 different non-traditional developmentally beneficial and fun things you could do with your infant.

None of these are “filler” activities, they all help your baby develop an important part of their system. And from experience, babies tend to enjoy them very much.

Please exercise caution and common sense when using these tips.  I am not a physician, or an expert of any sort. These are just the activities I read about and are/were doing with Alexis that I wanted to share. Also keep your baby’s age in mind. It has to be appropriate for your baby’s level of development. I’ll explain how to do it, what it does for a baby’s development and how Alexis liked this particular exercise, but it’s always best to read from the source, because I can’t fit all the valuable information into a short post.

Also feel free to watch the video for examples.

1. Rocking on a beach ball

HOW: Get a beach ball or an exercise ball, deflate it slightly, place your baby on the ball TUMMY DOWN. While supporting him (you can hold his sides, legs or thighs depending on how well he/she can control her body), roll him back and forth and side to side. You can sing or talk at the same time.
WHY: Strengthens the neck, is good for head control, provides muscle tone development. You can do the same but on his back, this helps his balance reflexes to develop as he will slowly tense his tummy muscles to keep himself balanced.

{Alexis: She loved this one from the get go. She’d get her head up high and look around while being rocked. I could see how her core was working trying to stay balanced and how she was figuring out how to move her body in response to the ball. I wasn’t happy about using what appears to be a vinyl ball, but in all my search for non-toxic things, I haven’t found one that isn’t made of vinyl.}

2. KICKING a BALL

HOW: Use the same beach ball to let your little one kick and roll it with her feet. As she gets older she’ll be able to pass it up to her hands and back to her feet. They love the feel of something different on their toes and what baby doesn’t like kicking.
WHY: Babies will learn about their legs and feet and how to move them at will. In addition, these exercises stimulate muscle tone, especailly knee flexibility for later bobbing , climing and walking
{Alexis: at first she didn’t really get what she was supposed to do with the ball, but after she kicked it a few times accidentally, she started getting the idea. Eventually it progressed to her moving it to her hands. It’s definitely a fun acitivity.}

3. Oil leg rub

HOW: Put some olive or vegetable oil on your baby’s inner thighs and while holding her/him by the ankles, GENTLY rub her/his inner thighs together ( back and forth).
WHY: Excerpt from the book: It is “beneficial because it provides sensory input that is familiar to the baby from his experiences in the womb and helps organize his nervous system. It will also facilitate the baby to release […] any tight hip muscles. Since this is a sensory experience that baby had in the womb, it can be started soon after birth. The main focus of this activity is for baby to relate to skin sensations. If you make eye contact with baby or do this in a high visually stimulating environment, such as under a mobile, the baby’s nervous system may pay more attention to the visual input than the skin input. […] This activity only lasts a minute and afterwards smiles, praise and songs would be great.”
{Alexis: You could see the “newness” of the feeling in her eyes when we first started it. I haven’t done it as much as I should, but the few times that I did do it, it was kind of fun to watch her reaction.}

4. Tub/Pool Play

One way around the whole “no swimming till 6 months” issue (see why) was to get a kiddie pool and let her splash there. But believe it or not, it took me THIS LONG to find a kiddie pool that wasn’t made out of PVC or with Phthalates (I’ll be writing about why it’s important and listing items that I found that don’t contain either). At some point I gave up the search after calling and emailing numerous companies that sell/manufacture baby pools and striking out. And then finally, I FOUND IT! A pool made out of polyester and with a pop up shade, to boot! Ta-da! So today (7/17) we’ll be filling it up and having some fun time. Alexis loves splashing and playing in the water and I am sure spending more time doing it will foster her love for water activities. You can also do the same in a bathtub, but with a baby who does doesn’t reliably sit up yet, you’d have to get into it, as well, since it can be very slippery.

Alexis seems to really love touching running water. I assume that the sensation of strong pressure is new for her and is something she likes to explore, so I often get into a tub and let the water run for her to grab (see video). It’s especially useful after she has had some food (we are doing BLW), because she usually needs a bath at that point. She often accidentally splashes water into her eyes, at which point I laugh and make fun sounds to show her that it’s not scary. Though she still look to me for reassurance when it happens, she’s become quite adventurous with water.

5. Leg support crawl

HOW: This one is a bit of a no-brainer if you ask me, but it was and still is a very important part of our day. From about 2 months of age ( it might have been 3 months, I don’t exactly remember), Lexi would make swimming movements whenever she’d get put on her tummy. She wanted to move and crawl. We would naturally place our palms to her feet so that she had some support to push off of and she’d be happy to move forward. It’s still something that we do on daily basis, as she whines and whines until she feels some support and can scoot forward. Once she starts crawling this will no longer be needed, but for the time being it helps her feel like she is getting somewhere. {see video}

WHY: Repetitive movement on the floor, forward or backward, stimulates the neurons in the brain to interconnect.

6. Infant massage

HOW: Some literature suggests that doing infant massage or deep pressure massage three times a day is optimal, however most recommendations are at least once a day which I think is more manageable. According to some books, if your baby seems uncomfortable during the massage, you need to do it frequently and very slowly, stopping as soon as the baby fusses. The irritability,according to Building Babies Better, comes from lack of total understanding of the sensation from the prenatal experience. Obviously, do not do deep pressure on the abdomen, and biceps and calves seem to be sensitive ( or better yet read a book about Infant massage).
I showed a few simple techniques in the video below, but it’s really about you touching the baby and showing the love. Some books recommend concentrating on the massage and not interacting with your baby, I choose to talk to her and sing to her, because to me it’s as much about bonding as it is about the massage. Doing it after a bath is usually easiest, but it’s important not to rush through it. Also, try cheek massage, Alexis loves that part. Since they use those muscles to suck milk, they need an occasional massage.

WHY:  It is well known and researched what amazing benefits infant massage produces for babies. A few proven benefits that are worth mentioning are: higher IQ, healthier digestion, improved weight gain, improved immune system (in a study of babies whose mothers gave them back massages at 10 weeks, there was a lower incidence of colds and diarrhea four months later), better sleep, enhanced muscle tone and coordination, more developed sensory awareness, better ability to handle stress, better bonding, self soothing, self-esteem, etc. Massage is very effective to do before a floor activity. It helps them use their muscles more efficiently afterwards.

For very small babies:

7. Leg Twist

HOW: You take your Little One’s legs and swing them to the side. Pause, then swing them to the other side. Take care not to twist them too much or make it too abrupt or scary. Basically, follow your baby’s cues. Of course, it’s always important to talk or sing to them while doing that.

WHY: Rocking stimulates the organs of muscle tone and balance as well as strengthens them. Poor muscle tone frequently equals poor coordination, as the body parts cannot put movements together. Helps your infant learn about different types of movements. Vestibular activities like this one are “essential for the inhibition of the primitive reflexes and the development of balance. Vestibular sensations are vital for posture, movement, and a sense of position in space , motion, depth and self.”

Alexis still loves this activity and smiles/laughs every time I do it.

You can see the video for examples of these acitivies

{in the first 3 activities Alexis is 3 months old, the rest are recent}:

 



Sources:
Some of these activities, along with explanations and some quotes were taken from the following books: Active Baby Healthy Brain  and Building Babies Better. For a list of all the books I recommend, please visit the books section.

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN OTHER POSTS, FEEL FREE TO VISIT THE FOLLOWING PAGES:

NEW BABY POSTS (SAFE TOYS, BABY CLASSES, BEST PRODUCTS, BABY LED WEANING, VACCINATIONS, ETC)

NEW MOM POSTS ( BREASTFEEDING JOURNEY, BEST APPS FOR NEW MOMS, MOMMY PHOTOGRAPHY, POSTPARTUM, PARENTING DUTY, PP BODY, CLOTH DIAPERING)

PREGNANCY POSTS (HERB SAFETY, SAFE PREGNANCY, ULTRASOUND DECODED, GENDER PREDICTION, BELLY PROTECTION, TRIMESTER RECAPS, BIRTH STORY, ETC)

Alexis 5 Months in Motion

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, Daily, EVERYTHING ELSE, FUN TIMES, LIFE, Monthly Updates, VIDEO

Here is what you’re about to see:

  • her first crawl-like move
  • lots of playing
  •  attempting to grab kitty’s tail and laughing her butt off
  • hilarious peekaboo
  • talking to grandma over skype
  • stealing mommy’s drink
  • first swing ride
  • and more more more

 

The video is pretty long and was not made for the blog but for us, so if you sit through the whole 10 minutes, I’d be surprised. I did leave the funniest thing for the ending.

{all music is by Disney}

Video Adorableness

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

I just finished rendering the 5Months video and won’t be able to upload it on Vimeo until my HD limit resets on Thursday which means I can’t post it till then, but it contains all the videos for the month and is a lot of fun..

In the meantime, I wanted to share this video that I’ve had sitting around for a week {shot on Andrew’s cell} of Alexis trying out her new convertible car seat from Maxi Cosi.

 

Letters to Lexi: 5 Months

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


Dear baby girl!

This is getting serious! You are one amazing curious wonderful determined hilarious fun bundle of energy! I don’t know for how long I’ll continue repeating that it just doesn’t seem like you’ve been here for mere 5 months and yet I can’t believe how much you have grown in such little time.

You’re getting more and more fun to be around. Everything makes you laugh, you’re interested in everything, you want to touch everything, you want to move, move, move. I just love you so much more with each and every day. You are a true joy to us!

This month it has been picture overload here because you’re just the cutest little thing and you’ve been doing so many new things. I have not been able to capture even 1/10th of your charm and sweetness and character. The way you look at me when I carry you or nuzzle me and give me open mouth kisses when we lie next to each other is just not something I will ever be able to properly describe or capture on camera. It will be something special for me to remember forever.

Here’s what is new this month:

at 4 months

You all of a sudden started reaching out and touching things when we carry you. We can’t go past a blank wall, let alone an item, without you reaching for it, or running your hands down it. Our bedtime routine has evolved from “saying good-night” to windows,pictures, lamp and monitor to “touching good-night”. Your favorite are our lamp and the monitor. When the routine starts, you are barely paying attention to windows and armoire, your eyes are on the lamp. Once we get to it, you grab the hanging switch and turn it on, then look at me in amazement, and then pull on it to turn it off and look at me again. You used to love touching the toy we call “no-fall-downer” (nevalyazhka), because you can’t tip it over, it just keep popping up. But you’ve moved onto the lamp. You love the monitor because you can attempt to get it in your mouth, though, of course, we don’t let you. (see video)

You have noticed our kitties. You stare at them in wonder like they are the coolest things you’ve ever seen and I can see your mouth curve into a smile and you yelp “Ah!” Of course, you always try to touch them whenever they are close enough AND put them in your mouth which is pretty much impossible. Initially you’d tentatively copy how we pet the cats, you’d gently stroke their fur, but now you just go and grab them with your hands full of fur. It’s so cute! Putting that hand in your mouth before we managed to wash your hands- isn’t so cute! The cats are strangely ok with you. They let you pet pull their fur.

You ADORE playing peekaboo. You laugh until you start hiccuping. When I hide and say “Where’s mommy?” you quiet down waiting for me pop up with “Here I am!” (see video)

I can’t tell whether you hate not being around us or you have started the whole “separation anxiety” but there are times (most of the time) when, if we leave your side, you crane your neck and follow us with your gaze and as soon as you can’t see us, you start crying. There are other times, when you’re so consumed with a toy, that you don’t notice it, until you do and you start crying. I hate the idea that until you have object permanence if you don’t see us, it’s like we fell off the face of the earth.

A couple of nights you have been waking up with your eyes wide open, ready to play and wouldn’t go to sleep. You’d fuss and fuss and fuss, until you start crying. Sometimes even the boob won’t put you to sleep. So daddy gets up and rocks you until you’re asleep again, unless you won’t go to sleep and then he wakes me up and I try to rock you, too. You usually fall asleep, but often it takes us 1.5 hours and neither one of us gets to sleep. Then other nights you wake up every 2 hours to be comforted by the boob or just my hand on you. I realize that you will not be sleeping well for many months. You’re not a sleeper and right now there’s just too much going on with you to sleep. I’ll wait, I’m in no hurry.

Your favorite activity is still scooting with leg support. If we don’t give you leg support, you somehow squirm yourself around the mat to face whatever it is you want.

4.5 months

Your hand coordination spiked up. You can now hold small board books and flip pages (but mostly shove them into your mouth). You can hold and pick up everything in your reach: calculator, bottles, toys. It’s so much fun carrying you around because you reach out and try to touch everything in sight and you’re just so interested. I love curiosity- that’s the cornerstone of learning.

You have now figured out the concept of purposefully calling for attention. Daddy was folding laundry while you were sitting in a swing one day (the hope was that you’d get rocked to sleep). Then suddenly you make a “fuss” sound. When daddy looked up to see what’s wrong, he saw you staring at him with a huge smile on your face. He was so excited to tell me about your new milestone.

You rolled again (tummy to back). There was no problem or hesitation in you. You just looked up at me, and rolled, as if to say “Silly mommy! You forgot that I had already rolled twice at 2.5 months, I can do it, I just don’t care to.” So that’s that. You like being on your tummy, so there has never been the need to roll more than a few times. And obviously, you’re much more focused on crawling, that rolling seems boring to you. Point taken. Moving on.

UPDATE: I keep having to add to this post, as days before turning 5 months, you keep reaching milestone after milestone. As we were reading the cloth Peekaboo book, for the first time ever, instead of try to chew on it, you actually kept reaching out and opening the covers to see what’s under them. I don’t know if you really got the concept of hiding or it’s just a coincidence but it’s pretty cool either way.

And here’s a big one: you can sit unassisted. You can’t get into a sitting position on your own yet, obviously. But if you are sat up, you’ll sit for as long as you want or until you decide that you’d like to move now, at which point you’ll roll into a crawling position. You really dislike being stationary. Sitting is a new thing to you, so you’ll do it for a few minutes or more if there are toys involved. But otherwise, you just want to go, go, go. You still tip backwards once in a while, though, especially when mommy is behind you and she starts talking, you HAVE to see what she’s saying, so you look up and bam! I always catch you, of course.

You are slowly working on rolling from back to tummy. Obviously, you’re more interested in that type of roll since it would put you on your tummy and into crawling position. You can’t do it yet, though. You get as far as your side and you haven’t figured out that you can go further. But you have plenty of time, you’re only 5 months, little girl. I do love watching you figure things out, though. All I ever want for you is curiosity and determination. And then success in everything will follow.

A new thing you’ve been doing is vigorously shaking objects in your hands. Whether it’s a rattle or a cloth book, you’ll grab it and just go crazy shaking it. I really want to get it on video, but so far I haven’t been able to. Sometimes, you’ll shake your arms when there’s nothing in your hands and it looks like you’re beating your chest like a gorilla. It’s kind of funny! :)

At almost 5 months

Your first crawling motion. You’ve been trying to crawl, but you haven’t had enough strength to pull yourself up. That is until 1 week ago, on Father’s Day, when you started to pick your butt of the floor just a little bit when your scoot with leg support in an effort to get on your knees. It’s so much fun to watch you try to do it. AND I managed to catch on video your VERY FIRST ATTEMPT at REAL CRAWLING! You pulled yourself up all by yourself and moved forward! YAY! It’s funny because I was so excited, that I would be walking around all pumped and then forget why I was so excited, until I’d remember “Oh, I caught Lexi’s first “crawl” on video!” {the joys of first time moms!}

Now after that first crawl attempt, you’re much more efficient at moving around. If I leave you on the mat to go grab a cup of tea or throw in a load of laundry, I always come back to see you a foot or two further than where you were facing a completely opposite direction. I think with this kind of determination a few more weeks and you will start moving on your own, which means we have to begin baby proofing. Hey, at least you’re super adorable in your knee pads.

UPDATE: Things seem to change daily now. You have been getting up on your knees pretty well all day today (6/28/12) and trying to move. You still need leg support to move or you get frustrated,but you have grasped the main concept for crawling. You flail your arms and legs and when that gets you nowhere you try to pick your belly and butt off the floor by getting on your knees. Keep up the good work!

You’re losing your hair, girl! We cannot wait to see what it’s going to come back as. I am sad, though, because I LOVE your hair! And I also cannot even picture you as a blondie!

 

It’s very apparent to me that you’re growing and changing in more ways that we can see. We finally installed a new convertible car seat ( to hell with that infant one that was too hot and uncomfortable) and you love it. You spread your legs like a baroness and enjoy the ride. We went out to get some food and walk around with daddy the other day and you didn’t mind riding in the car one bit. You had so much fun being out and 4 hours after your previous nap, you blissfully fell asleep in your new car seat. That has NEVER happened before. We’re so excited to be able to take you places now and now that you are comfortable enough that you can fall asleep in your car seat.

You now look for fallen objects. This is HUGE, girl! You drop your toy and look down to see where it went! You actually understand the world. I love all the thinking going on in your brain.

You have developed a sense of humor too. Besides, laughing at pretty much anything, from a goofy face to a sound , you now crack up at specific things like the first time you put your toe into your mouth sent you into a laugh, or when one of our kitties sniff you, or when mommy carries you around in a funny way. I love that!

And just a few days before turning 5 months, you’ve developed a pincer grasp. You know what that means? That you are officially ready for solid foods, since that was the last thing we’ve been waiting on. We won’t do solids till your 6 months birthday anyways and we’ll be trying Baby Led Weaning method, but it’s still fun to reach that milestone. (which means I need to hurry up and research high chairs, safe dishes and read the book on BLW)

You’re not really crazy about playing with toys (you do love to chew on them, though), you’d rather socialize with mommy and daddy, but lately since you started being able to move on your own a bit, you’ve been giving me 2-5 minutes at a time to do things while you try to crawl and squirm around the mat.

You also started sticking out your tongue and keeping it out. So for the past few days, all your photos look like this, you silly girl!

It’s clear how much you love your mommy and daddy and how much you enjoy our company. We have inside jokes already and it’s so much fun that you get them. When I put you on your tummy on top of my chest and you start crawling forward, you always end up with your slobbery mouth on my nose or eye or cheek and I start screaming saying “Ne kushai moi nosik!!! Ne kushai moi nosik!” (Don’t eat my little nose!) and you laugh and purposefully put your mouth on my nose and try to eat it. Same thing happens with the eye once you’ve moved past the nose!

You also have the most precious relationship with your daddy and he’s just SMITTEN by you!

You have no signs of teeth. Zero. And I am happy to keep it that way.

Your favorite toys currently are this Apple Park Organic Bunny teether & rattle (since you love it so much, I just ordered a Bunny Lovey from the same company) and Wonderworld Twisty teether and there are so many awesome things that we’ve discovered you love that I cannot wait to write about. But it’s definitely trial and error with you when it comes to baby products.

Soon we’ll be going to see grandma on daddy’s side in Orlando, so that will be a lot of fun and I am a bit scared since it is a 3 hour drive and we’ve never really driven that far with you. I hope you’ll do good.

I’m not sure how I feel about all these milestones. You’re going through them way too fast, I already miss my little girl. You are really something special. I am starting to see how you’re so much more than we ever imagined you’d be, so much better. And do you know what I love the MOST about you? That you have such a a STRONG personality! You know what you want, you demand it, you go for it, you’re curious and interested in everything. You have determination and drive, along with a fun spirit, even at this early age. These will be your best gifts when you’re older, trust me!

It was almost impossible to get a good picture of you this time, because you wanted to wiggle your way into a crawling position. I ended up with 2 decent pictures: one way – too serious, another – cross eyed. I chose crossed eyed because you can just see your personality shine through it. So when you read through this in many many years, remember- you didn’t give me much choice! LOL

I’ve put together a 4th month video illustrating a lot of what you do these days and I’ll try to do one each month until you stop changing so fast. I’ll post it in a few days, if you nap well. :)

For my readers:

While I will be writing about all the things we’re discovered that have proven to be useful or that Alexis loves, since I get asked a lot about things you see in the photos, here’s a list of everything I can think of:

Tiny Love Gym
Tiny Love Supermat ( the best freaking thing EVER)
Tiny Love Sunny Stroll Arch
Infantino High chair cover
MiYum Cat in the Hat toy
Brown Hairband from Etsy
Maxi Cosi Pria convertible carseat.
KneeBees red knee pads
Crawlings yellow knee pads
Fisher Price Excersaucer
Lamaze Cloth Book
Mutsy 4Rider Stroller
{if I missed something, feel free to shoot me an email}

Belly Laugh

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

Lexi has been full on laughing for over a month and a half now but I had not been able to catch it on video, because the laughs were always spur of the moment and it would just ruin it to go run for the camera. This time, we were in the bathroom and just happened to have the camera and hubby nearby.

The quality sucks, because Andrew isn’t so good at focusing the camera well while shooting, so the first part is out of focus. I had just gotten out of the shower and was brushing my hair when the Muppets song came on, so I started singing it to Lexi. For some strange reason the words “Mannah Mannah” caused her laugh hard and long and we were able to get it on video.
{Don’t mind her glossy cheeks covered with petroleum jelly to prevent the drool rash, my wet hair, bra top, and legs in the frame}

{How to feel better about frequent baby night wakings}

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

IMG_0193-2

{Written on 5/25/2012}


If you hate getting up a few times a night to soothe/feed your baby, take heart in this: someone has it worse (and also the obvious: your baby NEEDS YOU). The night log below is surely going to make you count your lucky stars. And this post will serve me as a reminder to keep things in perspective!

{Play suit by Polarn O Pyret}

Just when I thought we were doing better with night sleep, the 4 months wakeful hit. I remember saying that we had hit the wakeful period at 2.5 months because she went from 1-2 wakings to 4-5 and someone commented “Just wait till 4 months, it’ll be like having a newborn” They were right. She soon started waking up EVERY HOUR. But it was nothing we weren’t used to. So I managed that just fine.

And then it hit: TEETHING. For the past 3 days I’m pretty sure my little girl has been teething based on all her symptoms (pulling on ear, chewing everything in sight, grabs our knuckles and rubs them on her gums side to side, drooling like a mad woman, chin rash from drool, refuses boob until really hungry, bites, all the usuals). She’s miserable at night, she’s miserable during the day. All we can do is manage her pain/symptoms and give her as much love as possible, even in light of her new night “schedule”. But then again maybe I am wrong. I don’t see any teeth or swollen gums, but I hear it takes a while to see those. I’ll give it a few more nights to find out, but so far we’re going under the assumption it’s her gums.
Update: she seems to have calmed down a bit and doesn’t appear in pain. Nights are still iffy (4-5 wakings) but that’s normal for 4 months regression. So still exhibiting symptoms of teething but she’s not in so much discomfort. And I’m loving having this log to show her when she’s ready to have her own babies (to scare her off haha)

It was the worst night from the “number of wakings” standpoint since Lexi’s birth. And it will serve me as a reminder for when Alexis goes back to waking up a mere 2-3 times a night that I should be happy, that it could be worse, that IT WILL PASS and most importantly that what will matter years from now is HOW WELL and lovingly we handled it (because any sleep deprived parent can tell you – it’s easy to build up resentment on little sleep)

So Self, come back to this post often, every time you feel like Lexi should be sleeping, every time you get upset she isn’t.

And everyone else, feel free to bookmark/pin this if you feel it will help you keep things in perspective.

{This is written purely for entertainment purposes. I’m not looking for sleep advice. It is simply a stage we have to go through and keep Alexis as comfy as possible.
I WOULD, however, love to hear about your first teething experience- age, what helped, how it manifested, how long it lasted, how you knew she/he was teething, etc…
Teething isn’t something a lot is written about, as it’s individual so I’d appreciate any insight. }

Have fun reading the log! This is how it has been for the past 3 days give or take a few wakes.
*Crying in this case means constant whimpering. We try to never give her the need to outright cry.

{This is taken from my nighttime log as part of Pantley sleep system}

Nighttime routine:
Bath, massage, say good night to items in room, read 2 books, swing in the swing a bit, rock a bit.
7:19 Asleep in bed ( we co-sleep)
7:49 Up nursing (this is normal. She treats anything before 10pm as a nap and wakes up every 40 minutes)
7:55 Removed nipple, falling asleep…
In and out of sleep, rooting, with and without nipple
8:13 Awake, rocking.
Put down in bed
8:25 Awake, won’t nurse, rocking
8:33 Asleep
10:23 up, crying. I nurse.
10:32 asleep
Fidgety
Calmed her down a few times by putting my hand on her belly
10:45 Up crying, rocking
10:50 asleep
11:00 crying/whining, rocking
11:11 Asleep
12:00 Up crying, nursing
12:10 asleep
12:16 Up fully awake, change, rock for 29 min until asleep
12:45 put her down
12:50 awake crying, rocking
1:05 asleep
1:10 Up again, whimpering for 5 min, rocking, nursing
1:30 still rocking
1:50 down, asleep
1:55 awake crying, changed again, tried rocking, tried putting in a swing, let her chew on a chilled teether, rocking again
3:00 Finally asleep
3:30 Up crying, nursing
3:31 asleep
5:38 up crying, rocking
5:45 asleep
6:37 fully awake for the day, won’t got to sleep, won’t nurse, smile central.

Total snooze time for mommy and daddy: 4 hours 40 minutes with a million interruptions.

Now she spent all morning whimpering on and off (more on than off) unless she’s chewing on something or being bounced and thrown up in the air at which point she is as happy as a clam as long as it continues.

So what’s keeping me going even though I am running on 4 hours of sleep today and less than 6 each night for the last 2 days?

This little face! How could you not!?

{a little preview of her 3-6 months video. I know I still have to do the 0-3 months one too}

Comment: Tell me about your child’s first teething experience.