Tuesday, June 29, 2010

My Little Mommy Monster.

Help, friends.

Two things. First, Ava bit me so hard yesterday on not one but TWO occasions, that she drew blood. I said no very firmly and ended the feeding, but does anyone have any othe suggestions on how to deal with this? It may be getting the point across, but as we're just introducing "no" as a concept, it may take a few days or weeks before she starts to understand what that means. Seeing as how I never use that tone of voice towards her (or around her, for that matter), as of right now she just flashes me a devilish little grin. What a cutie pie monster pants.

Also, Ava has been a bit of a handful for her dad lately. And by handful, I'm being exceptionally generous. I went to a fantastically gluttonous brunch and pedicure girls day Sunday only to have him text me two hours in with "When are you going to be back???" Hmm...nothing takes away from the fun of having time off like stressing about needing to rush home. Anyhow, she was "#&$!@ hysterical" according to D, and when I got home they were awaiting my arrival in the driveway. Turns out little toot refuses to take a bottle, therefore screaming about being hungry. As soon as I got he in my arms, she turned that frown upside down, ate a nice little mama milk lunch, and fell fast asleep. Needless to say, D was not amused.

I'm not sure if the issue here is that she spends a ton of time with me and is a textbook mommy's girl, or just that she was flipping out from being hungry. Either way, the whole bottle protest thing needs to end...ASAP. Mommy needs some time off, ya know? Anyone have any tips on how to get her to begin taking a bottle again? We introduced it at two weeks, and she's never had a problem before a few weeks ago when she was sick/teething, although she's always had a clear preference for me. All tips/ideas welcome!

Happy Tuesday! Hopefully this week picks up the pace!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Six Months!

Happy Half-Birthday, Ava!!!

The results are in from her six-month appointment this morning - she's a chunk ;)

Weight: 17lbs, 8oz. (75-90%)
Height: 26 3/4" (75-90%)
Apparently she's been growing JUST FINE on mama milk alone!

We reintroduced solids last night, giving her a mashed up banana and a helping of sweet potatoes. Not only did she finish the entire sweet potato serving, she ate HALF a banana. What a little chunker monker!

Ava officially has two teeth, with the second finally having broken the surface! Now that it's through, lil homie is in much better spirits and is sleeping better at night. She still continues to wake up once, but since she's been co-sleeping, I've actually had to ask D, "Did she wake up last night or did I dream that??" Niiiice.
Don't worry, though. I'm completely conscious of her being in our bed and in tune with her. I just am able to stay happily half-asleep while she eats. I'm quickly changing my tune on this whole co-sleeping issue!

On another note, while SIDS does occur after 6 months, cases are few and far between, with 90% occuring prior to 6 months. Wheewwwwwww. What a huge sigh of relief. I'll still be vigilant, of course, but to actually start to believe that Ava is here to stay is a huge weight off my shoulders.

Ava's shots went...decently enough, I suppose. She cried, of course, but that was to be expected. I'm pretty sure I would've cried, too, had I been the one getting stuck, so no judgment! I just felt so bad for her afterwards, since everytime Dr. H would come back into the room, she'd start all over again.

Some adorable things A's doing right now:

-She's finally reaching for me (finally by my standards, not by developmental standards!) I've really looked forward to the day when she can signal that she wants me or wants me to pick her up (although I'm sure it'll get old fast when she's always wanting to be held!), so this was a cute milestone.

-Since she's started sleeping in our bed, she's learned to wake us up in other ways besides crying, which is adorable. I love knowing she's learning to communicate her needs and desires in new ways. Last night, I woke up to a cold little hand on my face. When I looked down, I saw too big, bright eyes staring up at me, her little hand on my cheek. Too cute.

-Ava likes to babble and sing. She's really getting the consonant sounds down, particularly 'buh', 'muh', 'dah' and 'huh'. Loving it! Can't wait until she can speak!!

This weekend was nonstop - more on that later when I can post pics!

Happy Monday, friends!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Fancy Schmancy Sort of Giveaway!

I know this is my second giveaway feature this week, but having a little girl, these are just too precious to pass up!

Fancy Schmancy Etsy shop is giving away a free personalized shirt to a reader of Three Kids, A Minivan & A Lot of Love (Aren't her giveaways awesome??)! Click here to enter :)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Chaos, Swim Lessons & Back to Work.

This week has been INSANE, and it's only Tuesday.

Today, after a week of vacation and time home with Ava, I went back to work. Wah wahhhhhhh. Let me clarify - I love my job. I spent the day hanging out at Westwood Country Club poolside with all three of my little ladies and eating lunch, so really, I can't complain. That doesn't change the fact, though, that handling three kiddos at the pool for a couple of hours is draining and nerve-wracking, particularly when two are at each other's throats and one had to be held the entire time. Plus, working from 8-4:30 and then heading over to swim lessons from 5:30-6 and then driving the 40 minutes home (thank you, rush hour traffic) is...overwhelming.

Add to that the fact that we get home between 6:30-6:45, and Ava typically takes her bath at 7PM, and then nurses immediately afterwards, and I'm a basketcase at best. I'm sure you'll notice that feeding Ava dinner has been conveniently left off the schedule. As you know, I really struggled with my decision to introduce solids a couple weeks prior to the six month mark, but felt that she was ready, as she sits unsupported, has teeth, chews constantly, is fascinated with our food and reaches for it, can hold her own spoon, etc. She's hitting and exceeding all the milestones generally associated with starting solids. That doesn't, however, indicate that her digestive system is ready and has matured, so I went back and forth with the decision, finally deciding to give homemade sweet potatoes last week. She started off eating a few bites total, and then worked her way up in a couple days to eating full servings that I had prepared in an ice cube tray. That's where we left off. Over the course of that time, she began having diapers that were reminiscent of when I discovered her milk allergy/sensitivity, although less watery and more mud-like, for lack of a better description (aren't you so glad you tuned in today to hear about my baby's poo??). Anyhow, while I'm not certain it's a reaction to the solids, between the diapers and our crazy schedule, I've pulled solids back off the table, and will begin again next week or the week after, depending on how her tummy and our schedule seems. If I've messed anything up, I'll feel so guilty :(

On a more positive note, here are some cutie pics of Ava hanging poolside:

Baby Flair Gift Card Giveaway!

Love to adorn your precious little girl's head with beautiful headbands and other accessories? Then head on over to Three Kids, a Minivan & a Lot of Love for a fabulous giveaway!

Although I'm TOTALLY hoping to win this one, so consider yourself forewarned :)

Monday, June 21, 2010

PSA Time.

I hate to be preachy (for the most part...), but this is something I think deserves a moment of my (and your) time, given that it's now officially the first day of summer and it's getting increasingly HOT.

Last year in Austin, a man drove to work just like every other day, but this time something was different. He forgot that he was supposed to drop his young son, who was 18 months old, at daycare, seeing as how it was not normally a task that was his to do, and just drove straight to work, forgetting about the sleeping boy in the backseat. Eight hours later, the man returned to his car to find his son dead, the result of severe hyperthermia and heat stroke.

This story divided our city. If you're anything like me, your heart broke. You felt so much grief and sympathy for the family, recognizing that it was an accident. There were others, however, that felt that he should be prosecuted for child endangerment, and sadly, he was. While the man did not end up serving jail time, the child that his wife recently gave birth to is never allowed to be alone in a car with him, amongst other stipulations. I know that it is typical for the public to want answers and justice when things go so unmistakably wrong. But let me tell you, friends. This can happen to anyone. ANYONE.

It's so easy to say, "Not me. That would never happen to me." But we've all been there. You know, that place where you're sleep-deprived, or your partner is sick and you have to break routine (as was the case in my story), or you have a big presentation at work and are simply preoccupied. This really can and does happen to anyone.

I read something the other day that said an average of one child a week will die in a hot car this summer. Please, please, PLEASE, don't let that child be yours. Here are some tips to remind you to ALWAYS check for your child in the backseat, despite preoccupations and other outside factors:

-Leave a stuffed animal in your child's car seat on a daily basis. When you put your child into the car, toss the stuffed animal into the front seat next to you to help you remember that your child is back there.

-Always keep your handbag and/or diaper bag in the backseat with your child. That gives you one more reason to check the backseat, and even if by chance you forget it, you're not going to get too far into your day before realizing your wallet/PDA/etc is missing.

-There are also products on the market that serve to remind you to check the backseat by activating a chime when your child is in their car seat and your turn your car off. If you're very concerned, this can be a great reminder.

-Arrange to have your daycare or child care provider call you when your child is absent. It's always a good idea to ensure that they're cognizant of this fact as well as of when your child is under the weather, and that phone call could've saved the little Austin toddler's life.

Again, please do not dismiss these ideas based on the thought that this can't happen to you. It can, particularly if you experience a change in routine. Just 15 minutes in a hot car can be enough to cause heat stroke in an infant. Hopefully, with the tips above, you can honestly say, "Not my infant."

Friday, June 18, 2010

Ava's Six Month Photo Shoot!

She threw the (albeit upside down) Hook 'Em! That's my girl!

I'm Baaaaaaaaaack!

Hey friends! For those of you who haven't been following along during the time that my blog was made private, it's been a while! Allow me to catch you up:

Let me introduce you to my sweet baby girl, Ava Elizabeth, born 12/28/09 by c-section:

Here she is again at three months, growing cuter by the second:

Many, many more were taken in the interim, but you'll have to check the archives for those :)

Now that you've met her, here's the world's quickest run down on the past nearly (gasp!) six months:

*She's currently getting her second tooth, for a complete set of front teeth on the bottom. I've yet to wrangle a picture of those yet.
*She has a pretty severe dairy allergy, so any suggestions on dairy-free living are appreciated! Mommy cannot wait until the day I can have ice cream again, but for now, it's 100% worthwhile to be dairy-free so that A can continue to get breastmilk exclusively.
*That's right..I've gone over to the dark side. I'm a lover of breastfeeding, a "lactivist" if you will. Though, if you're not, I won't speak ill against you. To each their own :)
*We're currently co-sleeping. When did I become such a hippie, you ask? Well, A had what looked and acted suspiciously like the measles a couple weeks back, and was cutting her first tooth and REFUSED to sleep anywhere except with mommy. And, being totally paranoid about SIDS like I am, this is the only way she'll not roll onto her belly. So in our bed it is.
*Ava rolls both ways (though she won't roll from tummy to back since the first couple times she tried it out), and sits unsupported for minutes at a time. Holy moly!
*A comes to work with me, and so we're together all the time. I mean, seriously, all the time. While I generally love this arrangement, I have been struggling with the need for personal time and a date night (we've yet to have one since she was born!). Suggestions on feeling less guilty about this welcome :)
*We started solid foods on Monday with my homemade sweet potatoes. So far, so good.
*D and I aren't married still, for those who are wondering. I'll leave that at that.

Hmm...any questions? Ask away. Glad to see you all again. Feel free to follow along. Oh yeah, you'll notice a new little gadget on the side. I've been hired as a writer on all things mom/parenting, as well as a bit of celeb gossip and business news from time to time, so my articles post to the side in real time. As always, I love comments, either here or on the articles at Gather.

For a more detailed play-by-play of little A's development, check out What Are We Up To?

Today we're getting six months pictures done, so expect those within the next day or so!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Getting My Mac On.

I am seriously considering biting the bullet and shelling out the cash for a Mac.

Between all the photos I take and writing/blogging I do, it seems like a more than worthwhile investment, right?

I have a Dell that sits in my office collecting dust since it's SO slow, has a battery that won't hold a charge unless plugged in, and just generally does not serve my purposes. It just feels ever so slightly gluttonous to purchase a $2000 computer in this economy.

Anyone out there with tips on buying a Mac? Any programs I absolutely need/can live without? Any great add-ons?

I've honestly never heard a single negative comment about Macs, but in case I've missed something, anyone with any words of warning or negative feedback?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Growing Up...

Ava is getting a SECOND tooth! While only the first one has completely broken through and is becoming more and more visible each day, it's my guess that her second one will be equally obvious by the weekend! How is it possible that my teeny tiny baby can now sit and eat solid foods and has TWO teeth?!?! Also, I think I failed to mention that at her doctor appointment over a week ago, Miss A weighed 16lbs, 7oz. Holy moly!

Here's a little cuteness for all of you out there that put up with my incessant rambling :)

To be clear, this is the most time Ava has ever spent in her crib :/

Look who's growing some hair finally!

My little sitter!

Our new sleeping arrangement. Seems like she gets the better end of the deal, eh?

I wanted to start asking around what other mommies were doing/have done for their first Father's Day?? I ask because I have ZERO idea what our plans are, and David is no help since he's standing firm on not wanting anything. Well, sorry, but I'm not neglecting your first Father's Day! That's just blasphemy! Any ideas/suggestions?

He's not into any sports (other than soccer - damn you World Cup! - and college football - we already have season tickets, so that's out), and I'll be damned if I contribute anymore to his (gulp!) video game habit!

Happy Hump Day, y'all! I'm sad my vacation is passing by, but we're filling it up with lots of goodness, including shopping trips, lazing around the house, movies, errands, and lunching with the "ladies" (AKA Ava's gay uncles). I wish I could be a stay-at-home mom :) Someday!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Allow Me To Introduce...

..my cousin Xar's blog.

One of the things that has always stood out to me about the blogging community is the way that everyone supports one another. I've been extremely fortunate to find a great group of mommmies that I met over at the Babycenter December 2009 Birth Club boards. It is so advantageous for me to have these women to lean on, commiserate with, compare experiences and milestones and emotions with, all with babies days and weeks apart from my own. I am also extremely lucky to have amazing readers, many of whom have lifted me up when I was down, and offered extremely helpful advice (and support) when I've asked for it. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU. This is definitely a huge reason for going public again - the more people who want to opine on my musings, the better!

Anyhow, the reason I've gone into the long shout-out to my fellow December mommies and readers is that my cousin has recently moved from a small Colorado town to Washington, D.C. for a short-term (though potentially permanent) contract job, and has left her husband and nearly one-year-old daughter behind for the time being while she gets things settled. While she's an exceptionally strong woman, I'm sure you can all imagine how difficult this situation is for anyone, and it is my hope that you'll visit her blog as she journals what it's like to be a commuter mom, and rally around her with the support she so needs during this time.

On a side note, today was a big day around our household. Not only did A have solid food. Not only was it my first official day of vacation (which rocked, by the way!). Those things would've been great enough in and of themselves. But also, today was the day I put on my big girl pants and pitched an idea to my writing manager! Isn't pitch such an adult word? Doesn't it just conjure up images of three-piece power suits, briefcases and executives? Perhaps I've just been out of the workforce too long? Either way, as you all know (especially my poor Facebook friends who endure post after post I've written appearing in their News Feeds - sorry!), I've been doing some writing for the website Gather. All of their writers are assigned a certain category, depending on their interests, expertise and experience, and mine obviously is Moms/Parenting. They have recently added a couple of Channels, as they call these categories, which got me thinking about their needs going forward, and how I can fit these needs. That is why, friends, today I pitched an idea for a Pregnancy Channel, one that would house articles on topics such as weight gain, eating well during pregnancy, high risk pregnancy, fetal development, baby names, etc., and ideally, one that I would be in charge of. What what?? Wouldn't that be awesome?

OK, OK, enough writing for one night. If all goes well, I'll have more writing to do soon for what would be *my* channel, and anyhow, I'm probably boring the pants off of you.

Have a fantastic night, everyone! Tomorrow is Baby Day at the Alamo Drafthouse, so I'm catching a movie with my fellow blog buddy and both of our little cutie pies. Can't wait!

I'm a Hypocrite.

Ugh...I'm so struggling with this, since I know (and truly believe) that waiting until six months is best. The thing is, little A is hungry. That alone wouldn't be a reason to start her on solids, but she's just so interested in food, and she's not sleeping as well as I'd like (and as well as everyone else's babies, from the sounds of it!), so I went ahead and jumped the gun:

Tonight, Ava had sweet potatoes and LOVED them! She's been obsessed with food since she was just weeks old, so this didn't really surprise me, but she was totally into it :)

Here are some pics of the big event:

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Sharing Sleep.

Well, I did it. I let Ava sleep in our bed last night. And while I didn't get the best night's sleep, as I woke frequently to make sure she was OK, it was actually quite sweet. I laid her in between us, with D under the duvet and us on top of it so that a.) he wouldn't roll over on her since he's a much more sound sleeper, and b.) our duvet is so heavy that it makes ME overheat, so I figured it wasn't right for her either. Despite being smack dab in the middle of us both, though, she has the adorable ability to find her way right next to me, snuggling up next to me every chance she got. At one point, David actually told me he was jealous that she only wanted to sleep next to me. What are the odds he was jealous when I fed her twice? Pretty low.

Anyhow, it went pretty well, all considered! Unfortunately, I'm a really high-maintenance sleeper, as you might recall from my pregnancy. I only like to sleep on my belly, I like to sprawl out as wide as possible and I only like the blanket over me in certain places - I know, I'm a pain - so that was kind of an issue. I'm hoping after a few nights I'll be more able to sleep on my side without waking up.

The only drawback I can see off the bat is that A wanted to eat more than normal, most likely since she spent the night nose to nose with her food. We'll see how this pans out, but I may give it a try again tonight!

Friday, June 11, 2010

This Week (In Photos).

My poor little polka-daughter. Get it? OK, OK, that was a bad one, I know.
After labwork:

Have you ever seen a happier sick, tortured by the lab tech baby? Me either.

Morning, mommy!

How you know your baby is outgrowing their bouncy seat:

All these toys and THIS is what she wants to play with:

Somebody wants to crawl SO badly!

Didn't quite work out...

Sweet Potatoes!

I'm still waiting until she's six months to give them to her, but at least I've tried my hand at it and seen firsthand how truly simple they really are! Well worth the investment in the steamer and immersion blender :)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

We Have A Tooth!!!

Last night, while getting Ava in her jammies, I was bit. Little munch has been going through a bit of a biting phase as of late - she actually made me jump last night when nursing (OWW!) - but this one felt different. This was the type of bite that indicated one thing and one thing only - her first little baby tooth has arrived! It's on the bottom on her left hand side! Cute!!!!

I'm incredibly excited, despite it barely having broken the surface, if for no other reason than the most painful part of this particular tooth is over! This has been such a huge week! As sad as I am that she's been on the brink of teething while sick, I'm so excited for the emergence of little baby toothy numero uno! Congrats, little A! Is this your way of trying to get the point across that you want some food already???

I tried to snap a picture, but it was nearly impossible. I basically ended up with a bunch of shots of Ava's adorable little tongue (this may have a little something to do with her being forcefed medicine several times a day since Saturday and her now quick attempt to spit out ANYTHING you attempt to put in her mouth. Ill try some more later on today!

Sippy Cup!

Ava received this as part of a present in the mail the other day from her pen pal, baby Jack :) She knew exactly what to do with it! Aren't instincts fascinating???

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Austin Children's Museum (AKA The Culprit).

This post was originally supposed to take place Saturday and be about what a super fun time Ava had with the girls Friday at the Austin Children's Museum, but lo and behold, she woke up super sick.

I feel SO guilty. Maybe I shouldn't have taken her here?? The thing is, I firmly believe that children who live in a germ-free bubble aren't building up any immunity and are actually at a disadvantage, and Ava and I have gone all over the map since day four. Literally. But still, I have major mommy guilt that she got sick from here. The only thing that makes me feel better are these:

Doesn't it look like she LOVED it??? I'm sorry you got sick, A :(
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