Amelia Grace: Eight Months Old

How do I describe how quickly time is flying? I feel like I’m on a treadmill that is going too fast and I can’t keep up, yet there are no buttons to slow it down or stop it!

8 months_cutie_edited

Amelia’s next doctor’s appointment is a month away, so I’m not sure of her measurements, but she’s mainly wearing 6-9 month clothing, some 3-6 month clothing, and size 2 diapers. 

Likes:

  • Being outside
  • Crawling everywhere
  • Swinging in the hammock swing with Mommy
  • When Daddy gets home from work
  • Jumping in the Jumperoo
  • Going for walks
  • Story time
  • Chewing on everything
  • Reading books

Dislikes:

  • Being tired
  • Getting ready for/going to bed
  • Sitting still
  • Loud noises
  • Unfamiliar people
  • Getting dressed/having her diaper changed

Places she visited:

  • Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia and Florida
  • Disney World!
  • Costco
  • The park
  • Michael’s
  • The usuals (Target, church, the library)

8 months_crawling_edited

Amelia does not sit still. We completely skipped the “sitting up nicely and playing with toys” stage that so many people told me about, and went straight to crawling. She’s been crawling for a month and a half now, and I have a feeling that she’s not too far from walking. She’s pulled herself up to a standing position one time, and has been trying so hard to do it again. We have baby proofed a good portion of our house, but I can’t leave her alone in a room — she goes straight to the outlet covers, laptop cords, TV stand, etc. Basically, anything that’s not a toy or book ;).

Sleep is hit or miss right now. If you’d asked me three days ago how it was going, I’d say great. For the past few months (once her bottom teeth were through), she’s been sleeping 12 hours at night consistently, going down around 6 pm and waking up around 6 am. But the past two nights have been interesting. She’s waking up in sad, sad tears every couple of hours, and only wants to sleep on me or near me. She’s going through the 6th leap (according to the The Wonder Weeks app) and teething, so I’m guessing it’s a combination of pain and nighttime separation anxiety? She sleeps perfectly fine once she’s on my chest, so even though it’s not ideal, we’ve slept like that off and on the past two nights. Thankfully, she sleeps fine in her crib during naps. She’s still taking three naps a day, with 2 – 3 hours of awake time between each one. 

Food-wise, Amelia’s drinking four bottles a day, and has now graduated to two “meals” a day, at breakfast and at dinner. We’re still doing purees. I’ve tried giving her finger foods (avocado and banana) a couple of times, and all she does is squish it in her hand, look at it, and throw it on the floor or put it in the pocket of her bib, ha! She’s not a big eater, and I’ve thrown away quite a bit of her leftover purees. But food before one is just for fun, right? That’s what I tell myself! 

She can now get herself into a seated position on her own, babbles and squeals frequently, and is less apprehensive with new people who hold her, unless she’s overly tired. 

Mommy/Daddy Update

We threw our first party for Amelia over the weekend and I think it was the first time I’ve really felt like a parent. She was baptized on Sunday, and we hosted a brunch at our house afterwards. I did have help with the food (thanks to my mom, mother-in-law and sister!), but it felt like such an adult thing to do, to throw a party for our daughter. Is it funny that I feel that way at 27?  

At eight months postpartum, I’ve been thinking more and more about my birth experience. It was such a special time for me, but there are a couple of things that really bothered me. I used to feel guilty for being bothered, since the baby and I are both healthy, but after watching ‘The Business of Being Born’ on Netflix and listening to ‘The Birth Hour’ podcast, I feel like my concerns are justified. It just makes me think about what I’d like in the future! 

This next month will bring Mother’s Day, and hopefully more beautiful weather and time spent outside!

Continue Reading

I Tried Orangetheory Fitness

About a month ago, on our way to Florida, Jordan, Amelia and I made a stop in Nashville to visit my sister. When we were planning our stop, I asked Molly if she’d want to take a class together at the gym. I knew I’d be sitting in the car for two days, and I also knew that doing something active would be good for me (mentally, mostly!). She suggested that instead of going to her gym, we take a class at Orangetheory Fitness. The first class is free for everyone who tries it, and neither of us had done it before. So, we signed up ahead of time, and after dropping Jordan and Amelia off at the hotel, Molly and I headed to our class.

I didn’t know much about the class, other than that it involves treadmills and rowing machines. We arrived at the studio 30 minutes early, where we signed a waiver, were fitted heart rate monitors, and got a tour of the facility. Every participant wears a heart rate monitor during the class, because the basis of the class is this (from the website):

The idea of Orangetheory is this: a 60-minute workout designed to push you into the Orange Zone. This creates “Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption,” or EPOC. It’s what burns calories after your workout and gives you noticeable, lasting results with Orangetheory Fitness.”

orangetheory fitness_3

After our tour, they opened the doors to the studio and we picked out our machines. I learned that they switch up workouts regularly, but on this particular day, half of us started out on rowing machines and the other half started on the treadmills for a quick warm up. Then, those of us on the rowing machines moved over into the weight room area for strength training. This was a good surprise to me, as I didn’t know the class also included strength training. We did about 25 minutes of various body weight exercises and exercises with 8-15 pound weights. This portion was interval-style, led by the trainer. 

orangetheory fitness gym

Source

When the 25 minutes was over, we switched groups and it was my turn to go to the treadmill. For 25 more minutes, we did intervals on the treadmill and rowing machine. This portion was led by me, with the help of instructions taped to the treadmill. I learned that not all classes are like this, but on this particular day, it was participant led. At the end of the class, we all did a cool down together, and then the trainer pulled Molly and I aside to discuss the results from our heart rate monitors (the results were also emailed to me, which was nice).

orangetheory fitness

The goal of the class is to stay in the “orange zone” for at least 12 minutes in order to continue burning calories for the following 36 hours, and I stayed in it for about 10 minutes. However, the trainer told both my sister and I that we have low resting heart rates, so the same theory might not apply for us. Basically, if you’re already used to working out and pushing hard, the same heart rate zone theory might not apply. I will say that I was sprinting on all of my treadmill intervals, and I hadn’t run since I was 15 weeks pregnant, so I was definitely pushing myself!

So, would I take a class again? Possibly, if it wasn’t so expensive. I can’t find the pricing information online, but I believe that just for a basic membership (only four classes a month), it’s close to $100. I was also disappointed when the trainer told me that the same “orange zone” philosophy might not apply for me since I have a low resting heart rate. It’s not that I didn’t burn a lot of calories — I did, and I was sore for a couple of days after! — but I wouldn’t be reading my heart rate monitor results in the same way after each class.

If you have the opportunity to try a class, I’d say try it for fun! But if you’re the type of person who enjoys working out and has access to a treadmill and some weights, I think that you could save some money and easily achieve these results at home. If they do ever lower their prices, I’ll go try a class again!

Have you tried Orangetheory Fitness? Would you?

Continue Reading

How We Made Road Trips with an Infant More Manageable

Amelia has been on three road trips so far. One at 2 1/2 months, one at 3 1/2 months and one at 7 months. The first two were trips to Michigan — a five hour drive — and the last one was a trip to Florida — a 19 hour drive, thanks to traffic. Each trip had its challenges for different reasons, but none of them were as bad as I’d anticipated.

I’m sure some parents would disagree (especially if they have a good car sleeper — we don’t!), but for us, traveling with Amelia at an older age was much easier than when she was younger. Having the ability to play and interact with her makes for a more enjoyable trip. 

Most of the following apply to our recent trip — but they can make any road trip with an infant more manageable!  

Try to stick to the baby’s schedule. Any time we leave for a road trip, whether five hours, 19 hours, or just a 20 minute trip to the store, I plan it around Amelia’s schedule. If she’s taken a nap, changed and fed, it’s bound to make the first part of trip more enjoyable for everyone. We leave right after she’s up from her nap and fed. Amelia does not sleep well in the car, so I feel terrible every time we have to go somewhere during her nap time. She only napped for a total of 40 minutes (all day) on the first leg of our Florida trip, poor baby! 

road trip_2_edited

 

Utilize the back (or front) seat. I kept diapers, wipes and burp cloths within close reach, so I could easily use the seat of the car as a changing table. In fact, on all of our trips, I never had to take her into a public bathroom. I would either get out of the car and change Amelia on the seat, or I’d stay in the car and change her on my lap. It’s a good way to avoid germy public bathrooms and it makes stops quicker.

Keep the baby company. On all of our trips, I’ve sat in the backseat with Amelia. If she fusses, I can calm her down. If she drops her paci, I can get it for her. Now that she’s older, I can read her books and give her toys to play with. On our most recent trip, I would switch back and forth from the front to the back, but it usually worked out best if I was in the backseat. Amelia was calmer, Jordan was less distracted while driving, and it made for a better experience.

Feed on the go. This will work if your baby takes a bottle and burps well on her/his own. When Amelia was younger and couldn’t burp on her own, we stopped every 2 1/2 to 3 hours to feed her at a restaurant, in a parking lot, or wherever we could. On this last trip, I fed her a bottle in the backseat (she stayed strapped in her car seat and I held the bottle for her) while Jordan continued to drive. This saved SO much time, especially because we had such a long drive. 

Become a bag lady. We brought three car bags for Amelia — the diaper bag; a small bag filled with board books and toys/teethers; and a bag filled with extra bottles, a gallon of nursery water and a bottle brush and dish soap. We didn’t actually wash her bottles until we stopped for the night, but it was helpful to have everything within reach instead of digging through all of our luggage. I also kept an extra pack of wipes and 2-3 extra outfits on hand, just in case there were any incidents (and there were). On our longer trip we stopped at a hotel halfway, and I packed one overnight bag for our whole family. This way, we could leave our bigger luggage in the car.

Stock up on snacks.  When you’re trying to get somewhere with a baby, you want to get there quickly. Jordan and I snacked our way through a couple of meals during our most recent trip, because the thought of stopping for another 30 minutes wasn’t appealing. I kept a bag of food within reach, and we had plenty of water bottles and sparkling water to drink.

Stretch. With that being said, we didn’t expect Amelia to be stuck in her car seat for hours at a time. We’d stop for a quick break every few hours, taking Amelia out of her car seat and letting her stretch out and get some fresh air. I had to smile when I saw multiple moms at one rest stop leading their kids on a little run around a grassy area. It seems like we all had the same idea!

road trip_1

Use an auxiliary cable. I wouldn’t do this if I was concerned about data (I didn’t even think about that until after the fact, oops), but we kept my phone hooked up to the aux cord for most of the trip, allowing us to hear the GPS through the car speakers and listen to our [baby’s] favorite Pandora stations. Disney, Baby Einstein and Rockabye Baby! are hits around here — even though Amelia wouldn’t nap well in the car, those stations would calm her down. Whatever works! 

Be flexible. Anyone who knows me well knows this doesn’t exactly come easy to me; however, when traveling with a baby, you have to be prepared for a road trip to take a few more hours than it normally would. You can’t time a baby’s potty breaks or expect them to wait an extra hour to eat, and we went into all of our road trips knowing that.

The good thing is, babies are very adaptable. Even if the road trip throws them off for a day or two, eventually they’ll be back on a somewhat normal schedule and it will all be worth it!

Continue Reading

Life Lately

Do you ever come home from vacation and feel like you need another vacation? That’s how I felt last week. I could barely keep up with my part-time job, so blogging was out of the question. 

Two and half weeks ago, Jordan, Amelia and I drove 19 hours to Orlando, Florida for our first big family vacation. When my in-laws invited us to come with them several months back, my original response was something along the lines of, “Thank you, but I think it’d be too much.” But eventually, my husband and I decided we’d go, and I can now say that we survived our first very long car ride as a family of three.

It was fun, it was tiring, and it was an adjustment — one week later, I’m still trying to get Amelia back on her normal schedule. Along the way, we stopped in Nashville to visit my sister; I took an Orangetheory Fitness class for the first time; and I had lunch with my blog friend Melissa. Once there, we celebrated Easter, took Amelia swimming for the first time, and spent three days in Disney World! 

easter sunday 2016

swimming in florida

disneyworld

jordan and amelia at hollywood studios

family picture at epcot

I’m glad that we went, but I’m also happy to be home. Jordan ended up getting sick during the last half of our trip — which resulted in laryngitis — so it was pretty strange not being able to talk to him at Disney World or on our 19 hour drive home. 

I’ll be back later to tell you how we did Disney World with an infant (including why I’m so glad I invested in a Tula baby carrier), how I felt about my first Orangetheory Fitness class, and what made a very long road trip more manageable.  

I think that one of the biggest adjustments, when coming home from vacation, was going from temperatures in the mid-80s to temperatures in the 30s. I’ve felt a little bit “under the weather” since we’ve been home, and I’m pretty sure that’s why. It’s supposed to be back in the high 60s by the end of the week, and I’m very excited for that!

Have a great week! 

Continue Reading

Amelia Grace: Seven Months Old

This has had to be the fastest month of my life so far. Didn’t I just post Amelia’s six month update? I did post that one a couple of weeks late, but still, time is going so fast. Amelia turned seven months old on the day before Easter.

seven months old_2_edited

 

We don’t go back to the doctor until nine months, but I’m guessing she’s somewhere in the 16 pound range now. She’s wearing size 2 diapers and a mix of 3-6 month and 6-9 month clothing.  

Likes:

  • Her Jumperoo
  • Standing (with support)
  • Playing on her tummy
  • Rolling across the room
  • Crawling (!)
  • Reading books
  • Listening to music
  • Being outside
  • Going for walks
  • Story time
  • Chewing on everything
  • Being with Mommy and Daddy

Dislikes:

  • Getting ready for/going to bed
  • Being tired
  • Loud noises
  • Unfamiliar people
  • Sitting still
  • Waking up from nap time

Places she visited:

  • The library
  • Target
  • Church
  • Both of her grandparents’ houses
  • Aunt Hilary’s house
  • The park

7 months old_bunny_edited

Ahh, seven months. One month closer to one year — so bittersweet! Not too much has changed since her six month update. She’s still rolling across the room and babbling all of the time. She is crawling a lot more often now, and can crawl/scoot herself towards the things she wants. She can sit up by herself for very short periods of time, but she prefers to stand with my help, or lie on her stomach so she can move. The sleep regression has passed for now, and she’s back to sleeping through the night. She sleeps exclusively on her stomach now, usually with her arms tucked underneath her and her butt in the air (so cute). She’s been doing this for over a month now, but I forgot to mention it last month! 

She’s still drinking four bottles a day, and eating purees every morning for breakfast. This month, we’re going to start introducing purees at dinner time also. She’s tried avocado, banana, green beans, peas, sweet potatoes, apples and butternut squash. Per the recommendation of our doctor, we’ve also been giving her 1 tsp. of powdered peanut butter in her purees twice a week (new research has shown that earlier introduction results in less chance of an allergic reaction). She hasn’t had any type of reaction, and I’m thankful for that! We’ve also introduced a sippy cup, but she has no interest in using one unless I’m giving it to her like a bottle, so for now, she just gets a little bit of water from my cup after she eats her food.

She’s starting to show more signs of separation anxiety this month, and if I hand her off to someone who wants to hold her, she immediately looks back at me or Jordan to make sure that we’re still there. Sometimes, the hand off  results in tears. She also won’t let anyone else put her to bed, including Jordan at times. It makes it difficult for me to be gone during nap times or bedtime, but I also love that she only wants me. 

Mommy/Daddy Update

My biggest goal this month is to work on not comparing myself or my baby to others. There’s just so much going on developmentally at this age that it’s easy to compare, but I have to remind myself that my baby will grow at her own pace, and it doesn’t matter what other babies are doing. Same goes for my postpartum body — I’m happy with my body at seven months postpartum, but I need to stop comparing myself to moms with six pack abs. I didn’t have a six pack before I had my baby, so why should I expect to have one now?

Amelia has started to squeal when Jordan gets home from work, and it’s the cutest. Sometimes she’ll cry if Jordan hands her back to me so he can go change out of his work clothes or grab a snack. I think she thinks that he’s leaving for work again, poor baby! 

This month brings our first big family vacation and Amelia’s baptism, so there’s a lot to look forward to! 

Continue Reading
1 2 3 185