Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Easter Basket for Infants

So obviously the best part of an Easter basket is the candy. Especially a big delicious hollow chocolate Easter Bunny. We're not quite ready to give Preston a sugar rush yet but I had a great time coming up with toys and non-candy treats for a 10 month old!

Here's a look inside the basket that the Easter Bunny will be bringing Preston this weekend:

Melissa and Doug Fish Bowl Knob Puzzle - Good starter puzzle for little hands and it's big enough that he can get the puzzle pieces in.

Melissa and Doug grasping fish toy - He already has the dinosaur version of this toy and loves it and I thought the colorful fish were super fun.

Melissa and Doug Peek a Boo Panda - Pres loves playing peek a boo, so this toy should be a hit.

Duck and Goose Here comes the Easter Bunny board book - Preston is obsessed with most books right now, so I'm sure he will love this board book.

Jellycat Monogrammed Bunny - I ordered this darling bunny from Peekawhoo and it's completely adorable. Every basket needs a stuffed bunny and the monogram on the ear makes this even more special.

Other little things - Bunny Sippy Cup from Target, a soft sided soccer ball, an Easter themed rubber ducky, plastic eggs shaped like carrots that I will fill with Cheerios and yogurt melts and a cute wooden pinwheel. I may put a few of his favorite fruit squeeze pouches in at the last minute as well.

I can't wait until he sees it! It's been hiding in my closet for about 2 weeks and I've been so tempted to let him play with it but I have resisted! Ha!

I got his basket from Michael's and I ended up ordering his monogrammed basket liner from Etsy after being disappointed in the selection at PB Kids. I love the aqua with the navy and the ribbon ties.
Happy Easter!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Baby Essentials 6-9 months

Thought I would share the products we're using and loving that have gotten us through the last few months. Here's our newborn list, 0-3 months and 3-6 months if you are interested.

Baby Bjorn Soft Bib
Licking the bib clean!
This bib is fantastic. I love that it catches all the food P drops and then he can reach in to pick it back up. It's helped so much with keeping him somewhat clean during meal time because it catches so much.
Cheeseball face
 Don't get me wrong, he's still covered in food at the end of a meal, but this bib does help a lot. I love that it's super easy to clean as well - just rinse and hang it up!

Fisher Price Activity Walker

Preston's Nana and Pop got him this walker for Christmas and it's been a huge hit in our house ever since. He now basically runs with it and has recently started learning how to walk backwards with it, as well as turn and steer.

It folds flat so it's pretty portable - we take it when we're spending the day at the grandparents' house. Preston makes the cutest excited squeal when he's walking with it and usually grins from ear to ear as he's pushing it around the house.


This has quickly become Preston's favorite snack. We usually give him a small cup of Cheerios at the start of breakfast and lunch because the second he's in his highchair, he's ready to EAT.
Sharing Cheerios with the dog
They have helped so much with his pincher grasp. Plus they are cheap and we can buy them in bulk at Sam's Club!

Walmart Faded Glory White Socks (I cannot find these online)
Yes, my son is playing with a duck call. I swear we are not hillbillies. FOCUS ON THE SOCKS!
These are the only socks that stay on. A 10 pack is like $6. They are basic and go with everything. It's also super easy to match them when folding laundry. Preston wears these every day to daycare and saves his "fancy/cute" socks for weekends when we are out. And all those fancy/cute socks fall off after 5 minutes. When they start to look dingy, I just bleach them back to white and they are as good as new.

Britax Marathon Classic Convertible Carseat
We got this on super clearance from Target on Black Friday and moved Preston up right around 6 months. I love this carseat.

Ignore the face - he does love the carseat!
It's highly safety rated and he seems very comfortable. The clip is easy to do with one hand and it's easy to adjust and make the straps tighter.

Graco Sweet Slumber Sound Machine
We've been using this little sound machine since Preston was born, but I've really come to love it in the past few months. We typically turn it on as we're starting our bedtime routine and I think Preston has started associating the music with sleep. We use the little recorded lullabies that it plays, but it also plays white noise, heart beat, nature sounds, etc. You can also plug in your iPod/iPhone, which I do when we're playing in his room. Super easy to use and small so it doesn't take up a ton of room on his nightstand.

Fisher Price Healthy Care Booster Chair
This is a great portable highchair - we are still loving our Oxo Tot Sprout highchair for home - but we take this foldable chair with us on trips, grandparent's house, etc. It folds down and has a carrying strap, plus it's really lightweight so we can throw it in the car easily. It's also really easy to clean

And here's a list of toys/books that Preston is obsessed with right now:

Where is my Baby?  (we read this ALL.DAY.LONG. I think he likes the bright colors and the flaps)

Belly Button Book (Sandra Boynton books are a huge hit in our house for the parents and the baby!)

Melissa and Doug Grasping Dinosaur (he's just recently started loving twisting all the parts on this toy)

B. Toys Parum Pum Pum Drum (probably his favorite toy right now - I love the quality of these toys)

LeapFrog My Pal Scout (you can program this to say your baby's name - Preston recently realized it was saying his name and he was so excited)

So that's our 6-9 month list of baby gear. Again, I was not compensated or given any of these items - just sharing what we love!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

9 Months!

So my blog has officially become just monthly baby updates. Boo. Maybe one day I will blog about something other than baby boy....

Pres is 9 months and it's been sort of a challenging month. His top two teeth are working their way out and he's been a cranky pants lately. His newest favorite thing is screaming/whining. All.The.Time. It's sort of exhausting to keep up with his mood. When we were in the middle of our horrible sleep strike of 4 months, one of my friends said "oh, just wait until 9 months - that's the most fun age!" Hmmm, I'm not totally sure I agree with her on that one and it shows you how different babies are. I'm not saying 9 months isn't fun, but it's also been a tough month with our cranky, loud and busy kiddo.

Likes: getting into anything and everything, his push walker, speed crawling, standing on his own (what!?!), blankets and pillows, Cheerios, his sippy cup, stealing toys from the other babies at daycare, screaming at the top of his lungs in response to anything, going for horsey rides on Jake's shoulders, chasing Spencer, the dishwasher

Dislikes: getting his diaper or clothes changed, being told no, his carseat, wearing hats, having his nose wiped

Milestones: The biggest thing is that Preston can now stand up on his own without using anything to pull up. He can be in the middle of the room and just stand up and stand up about 10 seconds at a time. His balance is really improving. The first time he did it, I screamed and of course, he got scared/confused and fell down.

Eating: We're down to 3 bottles of 8oz of formula, 2-3 meals and snacks a day. Still loving food of all kinds. Obsessed with Cheerios - he's over puffs at this point. Still eating a banana every morning, along with an organic frozen waffle, organic chicken sausage patty and typically peaches or mandarin oranges. He also loves drinking water out of his sippy (and actually drinks formula out of his sippy at daycare).

Schedule: We had some sleep issues this month, resulting from his ear infection last month. He had gotten used to waking up at 4:45-5:00am when he was sick and we would get him when he would wake up then. That sort of continued after he was feeling better and 4:45am is not an acceptable time to start anyone's day. We had to go back to a little bit of sleep training, but we're back on a 6:00/6:30am wake up now. He's so much happier when he gets better sleep (well, we all are!) He's taking 2 naps a day and the length varies anywhere from 30 minutes (ugh...) to 2.5 hours.

Stats: We haven't had his 9 month doctors appointment yet, but I would estimate he's about 25 pounds at this point and maybe 31" long. He's in 9-12m clothes (12m for footed jammies). Still very long and skinny, just like his dad.

Fun Stuff: We started swim lessons this month and Preston LOVES them! He loves taking a bath, so we figured he would have fun in the "big tub". He splashes like crazy and his favorite part is when they have the babies sit on the edge of the pool and then the parents (daddy - mommy watches from the little waiting area because she doesn't want to put a bathing suit on in March!) let them "jump in" to the pool and catch them. I like that he's getting exposed to being in the water because we plan to spend a lot of the summer at the pool!

He can also give high fives, which is so cute I can't stand it. Still working on waving and clapping. Continuing with sign language, but honestly, when he wants something, his main way of communicating is to scream. We are trying to work on that because I do not want that to be how he asks for something or tells us what he wants.

He's still super busy and not really interested in being cuddled. My favorite part of the day is bedtime, because he is generally pretty cuddly after his bedtime bottle, so I soak up as many cuddles as I can get. We've started with a bit of separation anxiety this month - we can't leave his line of sight without a slight freakout. I'm back to doing some baby wearing in the evenings so I can get things done - he's not the kind of baby that wants to play independently so trying to get him to play while I unload the dishwasher or fold laundry does not work for us.

While this was a challenging month, it was also extremely fun. I can't believe he will be 1 in less than 3 months. 1st birthday party planning is in full swing and I'm sure I'll be doing some posts about what we are doing (it's fishing themed!). My little boy is growing up so fast - time needs to SLOW DOWN! I love you Preston Charles!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

Our little heartbreaker!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

8 months!

Another slacker mommy update that's coming almost 2 weeks late, but P-man is now 8 months old. That seems awfully close to being 1 year old...can time please slow down now??

Likes: cruising between furniture, walking/running with his push walker, speed crawling, eating, looking outside through the sliding glass door, Spencer, bath time, heating vent covers (yes, my kid is weird), drinking out of his sippy cup, getting in the middle of everything and exploring every single object in the house.

Dislikes: diaper changes, getting dressed, sitting still for more than 5 seconds

Milestones: He's taken a few unassisted steps and can basically run when using his push walker. He cruises between furniture like it's no big deal and pulls up on every.single.thing he can find.

Eating: As I talked about in my last post, Pres pretty much eats anything you put in front of him. He has a huge appetite and can easily eat a normal sized portion of whatever we are eating. Still loving bananas, peaches and puffs. He's also figured out he can feed Spencer from his highchair, so that's his newest meal time trick. She's obviously a big fan.

Schedule: Baby Boy has dropped a bottle, so he's drinking 4 eight ounce bottles a day. At daycare, they put all his formula into a sippy cup but we do a morning and bedtime bottle at home. He's still sleeping through the night most nights and is in bed by 7pm. He's been waking up anywhere from 5:30am (yuck) to 7:00am (yay). If he's home, we can usually get 2-3 good naps (2 to 2.5 hours each) from him. At daycare, he'll take 2 naps that are each about an hour long.

Personality: This has been a very giggly month. He's still a pretty serious guy, especially when he's focused on figuring something out or really into a toy. But he's not the kind of baby who grins at strangers or is super smiley in a new place - he takes a while to warm up. But at home and at daycare, he's pretty much laughing the entire time. My favorite time of the day is when Jake gets home from work and Preston hears his voice and then sees him walk in - he speed crawls over to him with the biggest grin and giggle. It makes my heart explode in a million pieces.

Other Development: We had our first bout of real sickness this month (pretty happy we made it all the way to 8 months without being too sick). Pres currently has a double ear infection that moved to his lungs, so we're currently doing nebulizer breathing treatments to help out with his wheezing. He started on amoxicillan to treat the ear infection and after taking it for 3 days, we learned he was allergic to the medicine thanks to an all over body rash. So it's been a rough few weeks, but we're hoping to turn the corner and get healthy soon.

I also think he's working on his two upper teeth because he's a bit crankier than normal and chewing on everything in sight. His babbling with consonants has really picked up and I think he's starting to associate words with objects, mainly ball and dog. He says those two words (baaaa and daaaa) when he sees them which is pretty cool. Still working on sign language, but he normally just grunts or screams when he wants our attention or when we ask him a question - a typical man haha!
I can't believe he's almost 9 months old - this entire year has flown by in the blink of an eye. Every day is fun (and challenging!) and I love seeing what new things he learns and does. Preston, I love you to the moon and back little boy!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

What Preston eats at 8 months

I thought I would do an updated post on how Baby Led Weaning (BLW) is going for us at 8 months. Oh yeah, and I guess at some point, I should do Preston's 8 month post!
Always a mess

Anyways, Preston has been eating solid food for over 2 months now and it's always interesting and fun to see what new things he will try (pretty much everything!) Jake was a bit skeptical about giving him whole food, but now that he's seen how well P does with it, he's totally on board and loves it now. I mean, how cool is to go out to a meal with your 8 month old and have them eat exactly what you are eating. Even my parents, who were really, really skeptical about giving him straight table food now eagerly watch him eat an entire tray of pasta with meat sauce and veggies.

For the first month or so of BLW (starting at 6 months), we started off pretty slowly and just gave Preston only veggies and fruits, in big, stick size pieces he could pick up and get in his mouth easily. He picked it up right away - it can take a few weeks before babies actually understand putting the food in their mouth, but Pres was noming on everything right from the beginning.

Beef Stew - his favorite part is the carrots
We did sweet potatoes, broccoli, carrots, butternut squash, banana, pears - all the standard "baby's first foods". We also still did some purees on a loaded spoon because Preston got sort of frustrated with not really swallowing the whole food and has a big appetite - I wanted to make sure he was actually getting some food in his stomach. But he's always fed himself with the spoon - we never spoon feed him.

By 7 months, I could tell he was actually swallowing a lot more food (as evidenced by his diapers!). It was at this point, we started offering him more varied foods and trying new things. We also pretty much stopped purees at this point because he didn't really need them - he does still spoon feed himself oatmeal (regular Quaker oatmeal, not baby oatmeal) and sometimes in a pinch, we will give him a pouch of purees that he also just feeds himself (holding the pouch and sucking).
Thinking about what to eat next

I started meal planning meals that I thought he would like and would be easy for him to eat. Typically I will send leftovers from our dinner the night before as his lunch the next day. He tried plain whole wheat pasta and really liked it, so I started making pasta salad with a ton of blanched veggies (just so they are easier to eat then raw veggies) and a light olive oil dressing and keeping it in the fridge for quick meals/snacks for all of us. I try to also have homemade sweet potato fries (his favorite!) in the fridge so he can snack on those. He also LOVES fruit and eats a sliced banana for breakfast pretty much every morning. I keep those little cups of mandarin oranges or peaches packed in water in the pantry as his "dessert" after a meal.

Waffles for Sunday breakfast
At 7.5 months, he had his first taste of meat. It was a Sunday afternoon and I put a pork shoulder in the crockpot to make shredded pork BBQ while we were watching football. We were all eating together so I decided to see how he liked the BBQ. Well he LOVED it - the shredded meat was easy for him to eat and obviously it was a bit sweet from the BBQ sauce. I was a bit worried on how he would be able to handle digesting it, but he had no issues at all with it. So we kept offering him meat and started with shredded meats since he did well with them and it was easy for him to swallow. I made chicken enchiladas and kept out some of the shredded chicken before adding the spices and he loved it too. From there, we did pot roast, chicken parmesan, chili (not super spicy), tacos, lasagna, etc.

The biggest thing I watch for is sodium because I know his little body can't handle too much. Doing baby led weaning has actually made us eat healthier because I'm more cognizant about making sure we're eating more veggies, less processed foods, organic meat, etc. I also like having a variety so he tries new things and learns new flavors/textures. His pincher grasp has really developed and he can pick up puffs, peas and other small items and get them right in this mouth.

I never thought that Pres would be such an adventurous eater at 8 months old. There's really nothing he won't try and he seems to like pretty much everything we've given him. I made vegan sweet potato, black bean and quinoa chili for dinner last night and he devoured an entire bowl of it. His teachers at daycare joke when we drop him off in the mornings over what sort of food he'll be eating that day. I know there will be phases when all he wants to eat is macaroni and cheese and chicken nuggets, but for now, I'm loving my healthy eating 8 month old!

Friday, January 25, 2013

A boy and his dog

I think I've mentioned (a million times!) that Preston and Spencer love each other. Like a lot. As soon as P was crawling at 5.5 months, Spencer all the sudden became very interested in him and wanted to play. And Preston loves chasing her and cracks up when Spencer does pretty much anything.

I took this video like over a month ago and meant to share it earlier - I can't watch it without smiling. Nothing like a boy and his dog!

Preston and Spencer from Kim Ermer on Vimeo.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

7 months!

Preston celebrated New Years by turning 7 months on January 1st (and again, slacker mom is late with the post!) I look back at my 6 month post where I talk about how active P was and want to laugh - we are on a whole new level of activity at 7 months! The theme of this month - cruisin' baby!

Likes: speed crawling, pulling up to stand, cruising on any piece of furniture he can find, chasing Spencer, climbing everything in sight, trying to stick his hands in the dogs food bowl, playing peek a boo, reading books, speed crawling over to anything that's "off limits"

Dislikes: being confined in his exersaucer (we'll be putting that away this month), diaper changes, wearing hats, sitting still for more than 5 seconds

Milestones: He learned how to climb up our basement steps (with Jake as a spotter and me looking on trying not to have a heart attack). We're still working on getting back down the steps. He basically is only happy when he's standing up and cruising/trying to walk (or speed crawling - he does this hilarious laugh while he's crawling towards something). His issue is balance and once he has that down, I think he will be walking (or more likely running) in no time.

Eating: Preston has hit a major food loving stage! His favorite food hands down in bananas. He will eat an entire banana for breakfast most days. He's also loving pears, sweet potatoes, peaches, avocado, apple, carrots and zucchini. He's coming around to broccoli and cauliflower. We also introduced meat and he's had chicken and pork BBQ and loved them both.
He also has gotten his pincher grasp down and can get puffs into his mouth with no problems (his favorite puffs are sweet potato flavor). He eats a slice of toast for breakfast that we cut into strips - he sucks on them until they are soft enough to swallow...it's quite hilarious to watch. Honestly, there's really no food we put in front of him that he won't eat at this point and it's really cool to see him try all these new things. Still taking 4 or 5 bottles a day of formula (8 oz at a time).

Sleep: Sleeping at night like a champ...we do bedtime around 6:30/7:00pm and he sleeps through until typically around 6:00am. Sometimes a bit earlier, sometimes later. He naps well on the weekends (we loosely do the EASY method so he's usually taking 3 naps a day). Naps at daycare are still all over the place, but he has so much fun there, so I think he just doesn't want to miss out on anything (FOMO!)

Personality: He continues to be a pretty intense, serious guy but is definitely becoming more smiley and giggly, which I love. He's started with a bit of stranger apprehension (he got a new teacher at daycare and apparently wouldn't let her hold him for over a week!) and takes a while to warm up in new situations. When we go somewhere new, he sits and takes everything in for a while before becoming his crazy, explorer self. But he has started this new thing where he gives us "kisses" and it seriously melts my heart. He also loves crawling over to me or Jake, pulling up so he's standing in our lap and then cuddling his face into our neck - it's pretty much the cutest thing in the world.
Other Development: He finally has 1 bottom tooth that has popped up and the other one is starting to come through as well.  His babbling has increased, but not really saying any words at all. We are starting to hear more consonant sounds ("duh, guh") vs. vowel sounds ("ah, oh, eh") so I guess we will be hearing dada pretty soon. His teachers at daycare have started teaching him sign language and we are hoping to continue that at home for basic signs (more, all done, etc.).
Basically, when I think I cannot love this little boy anymore, he just becomes so much more fun, cuddly, interactive and all around awesome that my heart pretty much explodes on a daily basis. 7 months is my favorite age so far, but I know I'll be saying that in about 2 weeks when he turns 8 months. LOVE him!

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