Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Brody @ 8 Months: What He's Up To

Lil Man is 8-months old already.... I know, right?!

SIZE
A little over a week ago, Brody weighed in at 22 lbs 5.5 oz. on the baby scale we have at home. Since he doesn't have a doctor's appointment until September, no new "official" measurements to report at this time. He's such a tank though. He's starting to bust out of half his 18-month clothes and fitting comfortably in 2T sizes. He's super heavy to hold for long periods of time. Plus, now he's super squirmy all the time so I'm not hitting my daily quota of cuddle time. :(

EATING
I think he's about ready to get bumped up on food intake. He's currently at 24 oz. of formula and roughly 10-12 oz. of food a day over 4 feedings. His time span in between feedings started to lessen slightly over the last week or so, so he might be going through a growth spurt.


Hey moms out there, when did you start weening your baby off formula? Is there a magic age/weight that babies need to be on formula/breast milk until?

A couple weeks ago, we also started giving him a sippy cup with water and puffs. He loves his puffs (so do the doggies). He actually caught on really fast with getting food into his mouth and drinking from the sippy cup... but the lazy turd refuses to even consider holding onto his bottle.


SLEEPING
Still my lil champ at night. He takes his last bottle at 8 PM and is in bed and sleeping by 8:30 every night like clockwork. During the week, he wakes up when he hears us getting ready for work... so roughly 6 AM. On the weekends, he wakes up for breakfast any time between 6:45 and 8:45. He always goes back down for a 2 hour nap after breakfast (within the hour of initially waking up). He also naps for another 2 hours after lunch and again most evenings.

MOBILITY
Still no crawling, but he has perfected what my grandma refers to as the "rock and flop." He has no problem getting up on all fours, rocks back and forth, then face plants.... but he sure does get where he needs to go! We can place toys or whatever across the room and he scoots over there pretty fast! As of Monday, he successfully went from lying on his belly to sitting up completely on his own!

video

Changing his clothes and diapers should now be considered a workout. He is all over the changing pad. I've learned to fasten diaper pins one handed because the other hand has a death grip on him at all times. I need arm and leg restraints incorporated into the changing table.

PLAYING/COMMUNICATING
Nothing that resembles any sort of word yet, but he sure does love his noises! We have "bababababa" and "aboooo aboooo" down pat. Once in awhile, he'll share with us his loud noises. This kid has quite the set of lungs. Loves to scream and make this noise that sounds like a pterodactyl (no joke).

I don't think he has a favorite type of toy right now because he's drawn to different kind of toys at different times. Some days he likes the ones that light up and make noise, other days is the soft, stuffed ones and on occasion, he prefers the hard plastic toys to chew on. I love watching him play with the toys I had as a child. Takes me way back.

FLAT HEAD
Brody's still doing very well with his helmet. I'm actually thankful for it most days. When he's up on all fours rocking back and forth, it usually ends with his throwing himself into the nearest wall/dresser/furniture leg/etc. It catches him off guard when he's playing on the floor without his helmet and he bumps his head. Maybe it's good for him to have a little reminder that he's not invincible.

We have another appointment in a week and a half. So far his Cephalic Ratio measurements have gone from a .966 to .93 to .925. A .91 is on the high-end of normal, but I'd like to keep it on him maybe slightly past that. May as well shape it to a satisfactory level as long as it's not hurting him or anything. (If I had the choice, I'd keep the helmet on him until he's learned to walk.)  ;)


DAYCARE
Brody loves everyone and everyone loves Baby Brody. All the kids and the parents that I've crossed paths with just love him. I could not be happier with the daycare situation. Makes working full-time a little easier.

Check out how much he's grown from his 4- and 6-month reviews!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Summer Festivities -- Public Outings with Baby in Tow

Normally when we venture out in public with Lil Man, it's mostly to go see family which makes it easy to accommodate his needs and schedule. When he's tired, we find a bedroom to set up the pack-n-play... when he's cranky and no longer wants to be held, we let him roll around on the living room floor.

This past week, we ventured forth into the unknown twice with Brody. I have to admit, I was a bit nervous leaving my comfort zone. Brody runs on such a predictable schedule and when you eff with it, cranky boy emerges. He's also weighs a hundred pounds (ok, 22 lbs 5.5 oz as of yesterday), but he's extremely heavy to just carry around and wiggle worm doesn't like to be held for long periods of time. So that too plays a factor into where we go, at what time and for how long.

Wednesday was our 3rd anniversary. We decided against "nice, quiet restaurant" with baby in tow just in case he decided to showcase his screaming/bird call abilities. We went to Logan's and placed Lil Man in the highchair at the table. He people watched, flirted with the waitresses, squeaked at a table full of old people... and that was it. He was such a good boy and didn't start rubbing his eyes until we got the check. High five, Lil Man!


Yesterday was Clay's annual company pool party. Since none of them had gotten a chance to meet Brody yet, we loaded up all of Brody's many necessities and headed into Muskegon. The weather was super awesome and the pool was at the Brody preferred 88° or warmer, so the three of us decided to head straight into the pool. Like usual, he loved the water. After 15-20 minutes, he rubbed his eyes to indicate he was ready for nap time. The homeowners showed us where the den was so we could get his pack-n-play set up. Brody laid there jabbering to himself for almost an hour and a half before he passed out. Another high five for Lil Man!


In other news, even though I'm loving this beautiful weather, I finally found a great deal on a jogging stroller at a garage sale and purchased a baby carrier for my bike... and can't use either of them because it's too hot for Lil Man. Sadness. I've had to do my Couch to 5K runs by myself lately and that's no fun. (Especially when it's 93° out... gah, death.) Zora and I slipped out for a walk after 9:00 one night since it had cooled down some. I know she misses her walks too. She decided to protest against going back inside. Poor pup.


Friday, July 12, 2013

Babies Have No Bones -- Brody Updates

Apparently Brody's Aunt Z feels I'm slacking on Brody updates. My bad. 

Lil Man isn't crawling yet, but that's not stopping him from being all over the place! He loves to get up on all fours and rock back and forth... and then face plant into the floor. We used to put him on his playmat in the crib (Zora-free zone) until we found out that he's able the roll the whole thing on its side and then flatten it. Guess that activity is done with. 


Brody's been sleeping a ton lately... and in the weirdest positions. Somedays, I'm convinced babies have no bones. There's just no other explanation for the weird positions they can get themselves into. 



I've come to the conclusion that Brody is sort of a lazy lil turd genius. I realize that babies develop and have their "firsts" at different times, but this kid refuses to hold his bottle, crawl, pull himself up, sit on his own, say anything close to resembling a word, etc. I seriously think he's taking advantage of me doing all the work. 



We had another helmet appointment this week. His measurements have gone from a .966 to .93 to .925... so definitely improving. He still doesn't even notice it's on and I'm actually pretty grateful for it now that he's all over the place. On the other hand, I think he's getting so use to being able to hit his head against things that when the helmet is off, sometimes bumping his head really surprises him.


Last night, Clay, Brody and I went to downtown Holland to see the Street Performers. It was a beautiful night out and the streets were packed. It's such a great area to roam around and check out the shops. Lil Man cruised around in his strolled and never made a peep. We also swung by Captain Sundae to finish off the evening. 



In non-Brody news... I left Zora home alone and crate-less today during my run at lunch. Came home to only a few toys thrown around the kitchen. Rugs were still in tact, she didn't jump the baby gate, door stoppers were still in the wall... bravo good girl! Even though she really likes her crate, I'd like to get to the point where she's comfortable roaming the house while we're gone. Coming home every day at lunch to let her stretch her legs gets a little old.

Speaking of running, I bought some new running shoes and am almost through week 2 of the Couch to 5K program. Haven't died and I'm down 6.5 pounds since the beginning of the month. I also picked up a jogging stroller at a garage sale after work for $30. Overall... go me!


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

DIY: Fabric Ruler Growth Chart

I love the look of those wooden ruler growth charts and thought about making one for Brody (and future babes). However, I don't like how big, bulky and "permanent" they are. When I saw a similar ruler style table runner online, I decided to combine the two to make growth chart that could be rolled up and stored away when necessary.


I opted for a grey duck canvas because it's flexible, yet heavy enough to lay flat and thick enough write on with Sharpie without soaking through. I had Mama Z do all the sewing, so she hemmed the edges and made the entire thing 12" wide and roughly 78" tall (don't forget to leave enough extra to sew a loop for the dowel rod). Because we have plush carpet in the nursery, I started the ruler at 6" so I could hang it off the ground to avoid dragging.

I first used pencil to mark my lines. The lines marking a foot are 4" long, the quarter-inch lines are 3" and the other lines are 2" long. I recommend using a square or triangle to make sure all your lines are level. I put pieces of masking tape on the triangle to mark the various lengths so I didn't have to measure every single line while trying to keep things level.




The numbers were printed out on regular text paper. (I opted for Bauer Bodoni if any of you design nerds care.) In order to not smear graphite or charcoal all over the fabric, I held the printout up against a window and used a pencil to scribble around only the edge of the numbers on the back side of the paper. Then when I traced around the numbers (on the printed side), only the necessary amount of graphite was transferred onto the fabric.





From there, I used black fabric paint to fill in the numbers. This was a bit time consuming and required two coats, but I'm super happy with how it turned out.


The lines were also painted on using black fabric paint. In order to keep my lines the same width, I cut a 1/8" wide template in a piece of cardboard. This part bummed me out because I used two different techniques and half the lines on the ruler turned out so much better than the other half. I started off dabbing my paintbrush inside the cardboard template. The lines turned out a little jagged. I found making smooth brush strokes through the opening made things look a lot cleaner. Gah, live and learn.



As you can see... the line quality is quite a bit different. Poo.

I used a very thin dowel, painted it black and hung the whole thing with thick, black string. A 3M adhesive hook worked great because it won't damage the door when I take it down someday.


Until Brody is old enough to stand up against the growth chart, I just took his measurements from doctors appointments and added them on with Sharpie.



Overall, I'm happy with how it turned out and it looks great inside Brody's room. However, I feel like Brody will outgrow the 6' 3" growth chart by the time he's a teenager at the rate he's going. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Mud Run + Skinny Jeans... Here I Come!

On July 1, my mom and I made the conscious decision to start and stay committed to a diet and workout plan. I know, I said this way back in January. I'm horrible at this, but it has to happen this time. No more excuses. I'm tired of not fitting into half my wardrobe and being embarrassed by what I see in pictures. Especially now with Brody loving the pool, I don't need all these cute pictures of him splashing in the water with a whole lotta squish in the background.

My sister also recruited a few of her friends and myself to join her in the Grand Rapids Mud Run next month. I haven't run a 5k since....... ........ ........ uh..... sophomore year of high school? I can probably count on my fingers how many miles I've run since I stopped playing organized sports in 2006. Good Lord. I hate running. So in an attempt to not die over the course of 3 miles, my ass needs to get moving. Anyone want to join?! It's on Saturday, August 24... we'd love to have more people die run with us!

I have four main components to my weight loss/fitness regime:

1. Get Running (Couch to 5K) app - I've heard wonderful things about this program from a lot of people I know personally as well as testimonials I've read online. Week 1 has been a real eye opener to how out of shape I am, but it's doable. Run one minute, walk a minute and a half... repeat for 29 minutes. I like how it'll talk over my music and tell me when to switch up and how many seconds left in the segment so I'm not having to watch a timer the whole run. I'm super anxious to see how this program changes not only my running ability, but my overall attitude towards it as well.


2. MyFitnessPal app - I'm a huge believer that journaling is the key to successful weight loss. As long as you're being honest, you can look back and pinpoint exactly what you ate on days you gained and where the problem areas are. I love MyFitnessPal because it's super convenient to have on my phone, easy to use and it's free to join. I lovingly refer to it as "Facebook for Fatties." My username is andreaarchambault if anyone wants to join and lose some weight with me. :)

3. 30 Day Shred - I started this program a couple months ago and then quit after like two weeks. I know, shocking. I've decided to start up again and do this on my Couch to 5K off days. It's a great workout and nothing that's going to kill me, so I have no excuse why I can't plop Brody in his exersaucer and get through a 25-minute video. Jillian, work your magic!

4. Charting - Like I said earlier, being able to assess your progress is so important. I'm a huge yo-yo dieter, but when I've been successful in the past, it has been because I log my food and exercise in every single day. I threw together a chart in Excel that outlines my weight when I wake up, my weight before I go to bed, calories consumed, calories burned, what exercise I did, how much water I drink and how many Apple Cider Vinegar shots I did that day. (I read Apple Cider Vinegar aids in weight loss... so it's worth a shot... literally. Hahaha. I'm so awesome.)


I'm also looking for a little advice from you guys!

  • I need real running shoes... not my old volleyball shoes from seven years ago. I don't need anything super fancy or expensive, just something that is actually meant for running... because I'm old and everything hurts when I run. Any particular shoes come to mind?
  • I desperately want to get back to bike riding, but with Brody in tow. I've decided to go with a seat rather than a trailer, but I also ride a mountain bike with thicker tires that don't fit more baby carriers. Has anyone ever used the Topeak BabySeat? Yay? Nay? Any other suggestions that fit over a 26 x 1.95 tire?
So anyways. It's go time. After the roughly 47 lb. weight gain during my pregnancy, I dropped 25 of those pounds during the first week Brody was born and another 11 pounds during my last stretch of working out. I've been (literally) sitting on these last 11-13 pounds now for almost five months. So join me... I'd love to connect with some people on MyFitnessPal or hear about your progress doing the Couch to 5K program! 
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