Teeth and Runny Noses

Month 7 started out pretty awful in my opinion. My sweet little baby got an awful runny nose along with some chest congestion. I don't know about you, but when babies are sick it is the most pitiful thing ever. We weren't really sure what was going on because it seems strange for a breastfed baby who stays at home with Momma the majority of the time to get a cold in the middle of summer, but that's what happened. 

One Sunday evening, Parker was being strangely whiny alllllll night. I know he's a baby, but that is very unlike him. The next morning when he wakes up the poor kid is so stopped up he can barely breathe. If his parents weren't so clueless, they might have thought to check his temperature the night before, but we didn't. I did however check it that morning and it was 101! Yikes! *Mommy entering panic mode now* John is at work and I have a baby with a head full of snot and a fever. After breakfast he went straight back to sleep. I bundled him up beside me in bed and eventually his fever broke. He did wake up in a much better humor, but the snot was still there of course. 

ugh, so pitiful!

I hated to do this, but I took my sick baby to Target to stock up on some necessities to get us through this cold. There's not too much you can do for an infant with a cold, so we were going to try all we could. Basically, the info I gathered from friends and the internet was that I could use Baby Vicks Vapor Rub, Little Noses Stuffy Nose kit, Cool Mist Humidifier (these are quite hard to find in the summer FYI), and Boogie Wipes. So...that's what we got haha.

During the day he wasn't so bad. He was in a pretty good humor (loved playing with the mist from his humidifier) and still smiling which made me feel better. However, he did lose his appetite for a few days and he couldn't sleep for more than 2 hours through the night. Since John was working all week, I slept upstairs in the guest bed with the baby propped up as best I could. We did let him get in the shower with one of us each day so he could breathe in the steam. That seemed to help loosen up some snot which made the snot sucking a little easier. 

After about four days, he seemed to be pretty much over it all and back to his usual self. In fact, while he was playing around in his high chair getting ready to eat, look what we find....

His first tooth! and the second came through 2 days later. I hope this was just a coincidental thing, and not a routine teething symptom for Parker. 

Change is in the Air

It has been 1.5 months too long since my last post and my how things have changed (Although I'm actually further behind on posts than 1.5 months). Here is just a glimpse of what has been going on in this crazy world of ours.

1. According to this blog, Parker is just 7 months old, but in real life he is 10 days short of turning 1!!!...so you'll be seeing several monthly updates very soon

2. Parker has had his first official cold.

3. My mom and I have started up a little quilting business.

4. We have a house guest staying with us.

5. Fall is officially here and the weather is gorgeous.

6. Parker and I have both started back to school...say what???

This is basically just a little teaser post, but I have plans on going more in depth on all of these things, so stay tuned!

Cloth Diapers

Just this week I've had several people call or text me about information on cloth diapers. Some because their sweet little ones have sensitive skin, others want to save money, and some just want to try them because they are becoming quite the trend in the baby world. All of which I think are good reasons to inquire. 

Personally, I didn't have a real reason to start using cloth diapers, I just did. My cousin used them with her baby boy and I thought they were cute, and I knew I was going to be a stay at home mom, so saving a little money here and there couldn't hurt anything right?

Ok, let's just get down to it...

This is my cute, chubby 3 month old in his first cloth diaper. Most cloth diapers say they will fit an 8 pound baby. While that may be true with some brands, Parker couldn't fit in his diapers until he was 16 weeks and well over 8 pounds. The reason we waited is because we didn't think the leg holes were snug enough for him to not have leaks and/or blowouts all the time. I'd say we made a good choice on that part, because we have still not had either one and he has been wearing them for 7 months now.

Anyway, as you can see we use the BumGenius brand. They have a few different styles, and we chose to go with the Elemental diaper for a few different reasons. A.) The inserts are all organic cotton, whereas a lot of other diapers are fleece, bamboo, microfiber, or sometimes a combination of those things. B.) They are a lot less bulky. Cloth diapers a bulkier in general, but the cotton inserts are thinner than most others so it doesn't look like your baby has a huge rear. C.) These diapers are an "all in one" diaper simply meaning that there is no "stuffing" of inserts after washing. Everything stays in one nice little package.

What are these inserts I speak of?? This is the inside of one of Parker's diapers. I separated the 2 inserts so you can see in the next picture how nicely they lay on top of each other, and how they are sewn into the diaper cover at each end. This is what makes it an all in one diaper...the inserts stay in and you wash everything together. The diaper covers fell kind of like a swim suit.

The above and below picture show the front of the diaper. BumGenius offers a snap version and a velcro version of their diapers. We decided to go with snaps because they are more durable, and velcro tends to wear out and get fuzzy in the dryer so it eventually stops sticking. I don't know about you, but I want my kids diaper to stick haha. Anyways, back to the snaps...you can see there is 10 sets across the top. These are the snaps for the waist and allow even the chunkiest of babies to fit in these things. Under that you will see 3 columns of 3 snaps. These adjust the girth/stride/length of you diaper. Generally, it's set on the shortest setting for infants, the middle for crawlers, and the longest for walkers. We currently have our set in the middle since Parker is crawling around.

The washing routine can be quite time consuming, but it is necessary in order to protect your baby' skin and to insure the life of your diapers lasts as long as you need. Some people use the same diapers with multiple children...I'm not sure I want to do that yet. Especially if I have a little girl! You better believe I'll be buying up some cute pink and purple diapers haha. Anyway, here is my washing routine...this is of course after any poo has been flushed from the diaper...

1. Dump out all contents of your wet bag and throw it in the washer, even the bag.
2. For the first round, set your washer to a COLD wash and DO NOT use soap. This is basically a very thorough rinse for your diapers.
3. Round 2: Set washer to HOT wash with EXTRA RINSE. For this round you WILL use soap. You have to be particular about what you wash your diapers with because some detergents do not rinse out well and create a "build up" on your diapers which makes them not as absorbent, and we certainly do not want that. There is resources all over the Internet as to what soap you can use, but we use All Free and Clear.
4. Dry. As long as it is not raining or snowing outside, I generally hang our diapers out to dry. The sun has amazing and powerful antibacterial properties, so it kills anything weird that might be left on the diapers. You can also dry them in the dryer. It takes FOREVER, but I have done it when I am in a pinch.  

Did I mention how cute they are!

Parker's First Easter

Yes, I realize Easter was in April, but...eh I don't really have an excuse for neglecting my blog, I just did. As I mentioned in Parker's 6 and 7 Month Update post, we spent his first Easter in Alabama since that's where all of our family is. John was working a routine outtage at the nuclear plant (which just happened to fall during the month of Easter) and he missed all the fun we had, but I did try my best to take pictures and videos to send him along the way. Working 16+ hours days can get a little lonely without a cute smiling baby around, so I hope my pictures brightened his day.

I mainly spent the weekend at my parent's house, but of course we went to both of my grandparents houses for Easter lunch and dinner. My cousin and her family came in from Georgia and Parker got to play (as best he knew how) with his cousin (...I think???) who is exactly 9 months older than him. It was so good to see family and eat yummy food and watch Alden hunt for eggs. I can't wait to do that next year with Parker! We got some cute pictures throughout the day, but please excuse my hair. It was INCREDIBLY windy that day.

Parker and Alden wondering why were making them take pictures

Sweet little Easter outfit

I was a little surprised when he yanked on my hair haha

Wiggly baby

With Lollie and Pop

Look at those chubby knees!

Easter bow fun...

...and crinkly paper

Calling All Cooks: Baby Food Edition

Since I found out I was pregnant I have been pumped about cooking food for my baby. I pinned all those recipes and tips that you find on Pinterest and read all about baby feeding schedules and what not. We registered for the baby food cooking kit that we wanted (which my brother bought us for Christmas) and I added the Baby Bullet Steamer and I was ready...or so I thought.

Once Parker started eating solids at 6 months we typically introduced a new flavor to him with Gerber food, so I didn't have to cook up a whole batch of something, and to make sure he didn't have an allergic reaction. One week while Mom was at my house, we decided to give apples a try. Easy to cook, yummy to try, safe first homemade food for baby. Wrong! Haha...we cooked a few apples, jarred them up all labeled and ready to go. After he ate the first 4 oz. jar we were hit with a wave of constipation. He didn't poop for like 2 days! That may be normal for some families, but this little baby is usually quite regular. John and I finished off the apples though so they didn't go to waste.

A few days later I decided to cook some sweet potatoes and peas. Both of which we knew he loved and didn't cause constipation. These were a little more successful this time around. It took him a jar or two to get used to the chunkier texture, but he loved the fresh taste. 

Eventually we moved on to other things like squash, zucchini, green beans and apples (much better the second time). Thus far he has loved every bit of it once he transitions from watery Gerber food texture to chunky homemade food texture. 

Why doesn't he always eat the homemade food you ask?? Well...that's because my kid eats 12 oz. of food, 5 times per day!! If you do a little math, that's 60 oz. of food a day...which is 15 jars of baby food a day...which takes me several hours in a day to prepare, cook, and store all while juggling a kid around. Whew! It makes me tired just thinking about it. Yes, you can cook gobs and gobs of food to freeze, but John and I would rather give it to him fresh and not frozen. Just a personal preference. So basically, unless I have a few extra hands around during the day, there isn't too much cooking that goes on. I'm lucky to get myself fed some days.

Don't get me wrong. I enjoy cooking his food, I was able to put all my reading and gathering of info to good use, and I would still recommend cooking for your baby, but the only downfall for me is how time consuming it can become.

Ok...fun random tip here. When we got our baby food cooking system we got these little stickers to go on top of the lids to write that date and type of food and what not. Well I'm one of those OCD people that would have to use a new label every time I cooked and wouldn't want any of the old labels stuck any where, but they don't give you enough of them SO what did I do?? I hopped on over to Hobby Lobby and grab up some sticky chalkboard labels and chalk markers that can be wiped clean and reused over and over. I stick mine on the outside of the green jar holder storage thingy and you can easily see what is in each tray (that's the word I was looking for rather than thingy).

6 Month Photo Shoot

Those of you that read this blog regularly might have noticed that I didn't post any pictures of Parker's 6 month photo shoot....that's because I didn't do it. I decided to torture John and little and make him stand around and pose for family pictures. :) I'm not sure there is anything he hates worse than that, but I love capturing special moments and milestones in my life and Parker growing up is one of them. Anyway, I contacted one of our local photographers and booked a date about a week after Parker turned 6 months. Parker was a little fussy that evening and we actually had a cool front come through that weekend so it was a little bit chilly, but she did such a great job and I love how all the pictures turned out! Here's a few of my favorites...

Thank you Dean Dendy with Love of Mine Photography

6 annnnd 7 Month Updates

So yeah, I'm obviously behind on the blog but I've had a lot going on lately, so I'm going to do my best to catch you up on things, hence 2 updates in one post.

Summer is in full swing now...at least according to the temperatures in Alabama and Tennessee. Maybe that will explain all the shirtless diaper pictures. After Parker hit the 5 month mark he started growing and maturing in many different aspects, and he also experienced many "firsts" as he does every month.

I finally got to the point where I was just not producing enough milk despite all of my efforts and we had to start supplementing with some formula. He made the transition very easily and didn't seem to mind at all. We did have to use a soy formula because he still couldn't really handle a milk based formula. He also had his first experience with brown rice cereal. He just didn't seem satisfied with a bottle all the time. Once we decided he liked that and he didn't have any digestive issues with it, we switched to oatmeal for a few more nutritional benefits.

He is sitting up like a pro now. No more wobbly bobble head. I am still leaving the Boppy pillow behind him most of the time incase he does get a little excited and decides to fall backwards. I try to avoid all head bumps that I can.

Peek-a-boo is so so so so so annoying fun! He loves that game and his giggle is quite precious, but it does get a little incessant.

Near the end of the month I guess he just had a spurt of digestive maturation thanks in part to formula and oatmeal. We went straight from diarrhea to constipation. Yipee! It wasn't terrible, and we decided to switch to a sensitive stomach formula that was milk based, but the milk protein had been broken down a little, so basically that regulated him and he has been GREAT in the digestive department since. Woohoo! 

We finished off the month with Easter weekend! It was great because it was his first Easter, but John was on major work overload and he wasn't able to get off at all that weekend, so he missed everything...bummer. If you're wondering about what to put in a 6 month old's Easter basket, you can check out Parker's right HERE.

This is his sexy man pose in the backyard

curious little pouty thinking lips

working on my abs
Peek- a-boo on the monitor

happy baby

Fast forward now to the 6-7 month time frame. It started off all fun and games and then ended  in the not so fun category. We moved him up to his room to sleep in his very own crib. I was a little sad the first night so I just stared at the monitor all night, but he adjusted VERY well, and actually sleeps so much better in his dark, cool room and spacious bed. He has also become quite the clingy little climber. He wants to move around so bad, but would rather climb on me or John than try to crawl. I'm hoping for the crawling thing myself. He's becoming quite heavy to have to hold and cling to all day. Once we officially hit the 6 month mark, we had to go to the doc for moooore shots. At least they were the last ones for a while. I can't remember his exact height and weight but it was something to the effect of 17 pounds and 26.5 inches...I think. The fun part about this doc visit was that we officially got to hear all the rules and regulations for feeding him real food. I know that sounds silly, but a) I've never done this before and b) I was reluctant to give him anything because of the digestive issues he had going for a while. I was so excited, mainly because I was tired of still tying to pump so much milk and anxious to see what he would like to eat. His first food was peas...John's brilliant idea...and he did not enjoy them at first, but after a few tries he loved them. He has had many different flavors now, and the only thing he doesn't like is carrots.  We've also been cooking a lot of his food. It took him a few tries to transition to the different texture, but he really loves all the fresh food.

 Parker very quickly outgrew his infant carrier/car seat, so we headed off to get a big boy car seat. He just hated being squished down in that infant carrier. He has a very long torso so he loved having all the extra space to grow and stretch out in his new seat. 

A few days later we headed to the Tennessee Aquarium for some family fun! We had a yummy lunch downtown and then hoped in line for a while to get our family passes...haha yes, we are that family, BUT since we live so close and Parker LOOOOOVED it, we might as well right? Now we can just bypass the line and get to the fun stuff. Did I mention that Parker loved it?? It took us about 4 hours to go through both the "River Journey" and "Ocean Journey" sides of the aquarium and he stayed awake for the whole thing. He touched the tanks when the fish swam by and even laughed at a few of them. It was so much fun.

We bought Parker a swimming pool because it's super hot outside, he LOVES the water, and when he has his nightly "witching hour" the pool usually distracts him for a while and he is less whiny.

Yes, it has a puppy dog head and a tail that shoots water. Best $20 purchase ever.

And the last major thing moving into our seventh month would be cutting teeth...what a nightmare! Parker has always been a drooler, hence the bib in almost every picture we have of him because it just pours all the time. The 2 days before we hit the 7 month mark, it was just falling out by the bucket fulls and he was gnawing on everything. He had also started with these little coughing fits. I thought he was mimicking someone who had coughed earlier in the weekend, but boy was I wrong. The night before he turned 7 months he was SO FUSSY, and we noticed a tiny little white spot just under his gums so we knew it was coming. The next morning we woke up to a baby with a tooth, a fever of 101, and some awful nasal and chest congestion. Poor baby looked and felt awful. It also dawned on me that he probably had a fever the night before with all of his fussiness, but I didn't even think to check that. So for the next few hours we battled fussy baby with a fever that finally broke during a nap, but he still couldn't breathe. It was worse at night when he laid flat in his crib. John or I ended up sleeping with him upstairs in the guest room mainly because he was so restless because he couldn't breathe. We ran out and got a humidifier and I diffused some eucalyptus essential oils in his room at night. He woke up sooooo much better the next day, but it still took a little over a week to finally get rid of all the  congestion.

babies with fevers are so pitiful!!

at least the mist was fun


Now for some cuteness

food coma


curly mohawk

clicking my new tooth on my teether

7 month photo shoot...these are getting trickier every month. Penny decided to have a running spree around the room so he's giggling and trying to fling himself out of the chair or eat his sticker. I did the best I could.