Friday, August 31, 2012

Labor Day Weekend

We made another trip to San Diego for Labor Day weekend with my family.  Leah had a blast.  She's so much more interactive with her cousins now,  and they love to play with her. We drove down Friday and met up with the family for dinner at a sushi restaurant. The older cousins couldn't get enough of feeding Leah puffs. {After not being able to eat sushi for 9 months during pregnancy, I feel like I still need to catch up on what I was missing.} 

Saturday morning, the boys went to play golf at Torrey Pines, and the girls went to the Birch Aquarium with the kids.  The Aquarium isn't large, so it's a good place to take small children for a couple hours to spend some energy.  Leah was pointing to the different fishes she saw and happily yelled at every kid that ran past her.  In the evening we had a BBQ and the kids went swimming.  Leah has become such a water baby.  We dunked her whole head in the water for the first time, and she eventually caught on to close her eyes and mouth before she went in. 

Sunday, we went to Matt's brother's house for his mom's birthday.  Julia's, who's 10, has her own iPad, and downloaded baby apps on her iPad so that she could show Leah.  Of course, Leah couldn't take her eyes off it.  I hope she doesn't get too used to it!

I hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Baby Tips: Baby "How To" Books

A bunch of my girlfriends are pregnant this year {yay!}, and I've been asked a lot of questions regarding tips and advice.  I must admit that it feels a little weird to be the one giving out advice now when I still am such a newbie!  Here are 4 books I found the most useful.  I read A LOT of baby books while pregnant and during Leah's early months, but I wish I only read these 4 and spent the rest of the time relaxing!

1. Eat, Sleep, Poop: A Common Sense Guide to Your Baby's First Year

Most of the baby books out there are super long, wordy, and take some time to get through.  This book is the most concise and down to earth.  The book provides general guidelines/milestones for each month, and I love how Dr. Cohen gives his own daddy stories.  The stories make you feel like you don't need to be a perfect parent to be a good one.  This book is an easy read and a staple on my night stand.

2. Bringing Up Bebe

This book has been controversial, but I found it very interesting and insightful.  It's not necessarily a "how to" book like the others listed in this post, but rather Pamela Druckerman describes her observations on French parenting.  What I got the most out of this book is that I didn't need to be the obsessive, hoovering-over-my-baby parent to raise a successful child.  I also really liked the concept of "La Pause" - where instead of reacting immediately to your baby's cries, you watch and wait and allow the baby a chance to self-soothe.  This is also a pretty quick read.

3. Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child

The #1 issue for all new parents is probably trying to get their baby to sleep well.  For Leah's first 3 months, I was obsessed with getting Leah to nap/sleep longer.  I researched online for hours and read a lot of books/articles.  This book is really lengthy, but it gives a detailed explanation of sleep patterns as well as steps for creating good sleep habits.  Dr. Marc Weissbluth also gives solutions for when sleep problems develop.  While I don't think any one book provides all the solutions, I definitely use this book as a guideline and implemented a lot of the steps. 

4. The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems

Between this book and Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, I was able to develop a system that worked well for my family.  The best concept I got from Tracy Hogg was the EASY (Eat, Activity, Sleep, You) routine.  While the routine is not a strict schedule, Leah did fall into a pretty predictable timeline after a couple weeks, and as a result, we were able to accomplish more throughout the day.  The EASY routine really does make day to day life easier and I began to really enjoy motherhood.

{Another popular book is The Happiest Baby on the Block by Dr. Harvey KarpWhile I did find the book helpful, I recommend watching the DVD.  It's easier to understand the tips he recommends when you can visualize it, and you can watch the whole thing in 2 hours.}

Hope you find these books useful!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Missing My Baby

Leah's in day care today.  Although, I know she loves it there and I'm able to get errands done, when I walk past this in our hallway, my heart aches a little and I miss her!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

9 Months!

Leah's 9 months today!  Just in the past week so many new things happened, and at Gymboree the teacher said she was looking more like a little girl now rather than a baby!  Ahh!  She's growing up way too fast!  Here are some stats:
  • Weighs 17.5 lbs., Length is 28 inches.
  • Finally moving up to size 3 diapers.
  • Top left tooth is breaking through, and the top right is getting really close to coming out.  She's starting to stick out her tongue a lot, and we think it's because she's feeling her new teeth.
  • Starting to crawl/army crawl, but starts to whine if she has to work too hard to get to where she wants.
  • Has mastered the art of pointing at things.
  • Learned to flick her finger from her mouth.  It's hard to describe so I posted a video below.  We think she may have learned it from day care.  It's hilarious.
Leah:  Mommy and Daddy knew we would love you TONS before you were born, but we can't even describe the amount of love we have for you that continues to grow everyday.  When we put you down for the night, we miss you so much that we sit in bed watching videos and looking at photos of you.  We constantly talk about all the cute things you do, and we can't help but gush about you to friends and family.  You're personality is really starting to come out.  You're playful, focused, and can be really loud.  You already have developed a sense of humor and take after daddy with your love for danger/adventure.  You laugh the hardest when daddy throws you in the air, spins you around really fast, or pretends to drop you but then catches you at the last minute.  These all make mommy really nervous, but I can't help but smile when I hear you crack up.  Happy 9 months! xoxo

Monday, August 20, 2012

Seattle and Spokane: Part II

The second half of the week we spent in Spokane to visit one of Matt's best friends.  It's a really beautiful city with a fun little downtown area.  The people here were so nice.  Hotel staff and waiters would go above and beyond to help us and wouldn't even accept extra tips from us!  We also spent a day in Coeur D'alene and hung out on the lake {Leah's first time on a boat!}

Here are pics from Spokane:

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Seattle and Spokane: Part I

We went on a little vacation this past week to Seattle and Spokane.  We had a lot of fun eating good food, hanging out with old friends, and seeing new sights.  This was the first time I've been to both cities.  The weather was great!  On the hot side, but cooler than it was in LA and not raining or gloomy.  Leah did great!  She was happy the entire flight to Seattle, slept well in her new environment, and loved meeting new friends. 

Here are some pics from Seattle:

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Quote of the Day...

"It's very telling that no matter how much you love someone, you always love them more when you see them asleep."  - Kelly Oxford

This quote totally made me laugh.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

So Sweet!

Thanks for the picture Crystal!

Monday, Leah and I went to visit Crystal up in Valencia.  She's 37 weeks pregnant and has been on bedrest for awhile now.  I love this picture that we took.  I was afraid Leah would hit and bang on Crystal's tummy, making Hudson wonder what was going on out there.  She ended up being super gentle and seemed to know that there was a little friend in there that she was going to get to meet very soon. 
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