Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Family Photo 2012







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Dancers Mobile

After I made the Munari-inspired mobile and saw how much Lydia enjoys it, I decided to make her another Montessori mobile. I thought the Dancers mobile was really interesting and it looked fairly simple to make.

From Bella's Casa on Etsy
I found a pattern on a blog called Texas Health Moms, so I printed it out and got started. I just happened to have some gift bags made from pink, green, and blue holographic paper, so I used those for the dancers' heads, arms, and legs.

Materials:
 - Pattern
 - Holographic gift bags in coordinating colors
 - cardboard - black thread
 - yarn
 - tape - glue
 - metal ring for hanging

I cut out the patterns then traced each one onto the back of the gift bags to make the front of a dancer. Then, because each dancer is two-sided, I flipped the pattern over and traced another to make the back of a dancer. I cut out each dancer from the holographic bag and assembled the heads, arms, and legs. I taped black thread to the back side of the dancers, then taped on the fronts. After I had four dancers dangling from black thread, I assembled the cardboard hanger.

To make the hanger, I drew a triangle on a piece of cardboard and rounded out the points so it wouldn't be a hazard if it fell. I cut out the triangle, traced its pattern onto the back of some of the holographic paper, then glued the paper to each side of the triangle. I punched holes in each of the points and tied on the dancers. For the center dancer I threaded a needle with the black thread the dancer was hanging from and pushed it through the cardboard. I held it in place with glue.

To hang the mobile I used the same yarn I used for the Munari mobile. I just tied one end of a strand of yarn through the holes in each of the three points, then tied the other end of the strand of yarn to the metal ring for hanging.

I love that I have two mobiles that I can move around the house with her. I hang this one off of some of Chip's drum equipment (a drum mic stand maybe?) and put it beside her bouncer.





She does like this mobile, but I don't think she likes it as much as the Munari one. And lastly, I have a video of Lydia listening to Christmas music and kicking the dancers to make them move. She loves this game! Sorry for the sideways video.
video


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas!


From A Shower Fresh Garden...













Saturday, December 22, 2012

Lydia at Four Months

Time is flying. Lydia turned four months old on Sunday, December 16. Her adjusted age is about two and a half months.

At her weight check-up on Tuesday, December 11 she was 8 lbs 3 oz. My goal was always to get her to eight pounds before I went back to work five days in the office, so I'm happy to say that she made it. My first day back part time from home was November 7th, full time with some days from home was December 2nd, and full time in the office was Monday, December 17th. My transition back to work has been really good. I'm definitely not cut out to stay at home full time, and I realized that right around the time I started going back into the office. Our babysitter seems to be a great fit for our family. I do miss out on moments and time with my sweet baby, and I don't love that. But I do feel more balanced and more like myself now that I am back at work. I feel like I appreciate Lydia so much more. I even enjoy her fussy times!

Speaking of fussy, Lydia is rarely fussy, especially recently. Right around the time her nanny started (November 26th) she had a stormy patch for a few days, but since then she's been the happiest baby. On November 27th, I got the first "social" smile from her. She smiled back at me when I was making silly faces and noises. She is very serious about her play time, and really doesn't smile and giggle much yet. You really have to impress her to get a smile.



Lydia has outgrown all of her preemie-sized clothes and is on the verge of outgrowing the newborn size, too. A few of her Christmas jammies are three month size, and those are slightly big on her. Lydia is now wearing size 1 diapers. We are still getting Pampers Swaddlers diapers as gifts from folks, so I am alternating among those, the diapers I ordered from The Honest Company, and the Seventh Generation diapers I get at Kroger. So far I think the Seventh Generation diapers are my favorite. They handle poop and pee just as well as the Pampers, and it seems like they are better against her skin. I see less redness and rash on her bum with the Seventh Generation diapers. I still like Pampers Sensitive wipes best, and we use Burt's Bees diaper cream, A+D, and Desitin on her bum.



Things Lydia likes:
Her bouncer seat. The monkey and frog that move up and down entertain her for a good half hour. Then she usually falls asleep in it.
The pigtail doll that Leah gave us. I call her Polly with the Pigtails. When I move Polly's arms around, Lydia grabs her hands. It's the cutest thing.



The weekend after Thanksgiving we worked hard to get Lydia on a schedule to wake up only once at night. It worked! We started loading her up with milk every 2 hours between 6 pm and 10 pm. Very rarely does she want a bottle before 2 am, then she'll sleep until almost 6.

Our schedule for a typical day looks something like this:
6 am - Chip gets up and feeds Lydia. I get up, pump.
6:30 - 7:30 am - Lydia goes back to sleep. I get ready for work.
7:30 am - Our sitter arrives.
8:30 am - I leave for work
9 am, noon, 4:30 pm - I pump at work.
5:30 pm - We come home. Our sitter leaves.
6 - 6:45 pm - Chip feeds Lydia. I cook dinner.
7pm - We eat dinner. I pump.
7:30 pm - 8 pm - Bath, pajamas, story, or lullabies
8 pm - Lydia eats.
9 -10 pm - Lydia sleeps. Sometimes we put her in her crib, sometimes she naps in mommy or daddy's arms, sometimes she hangs out in her swing in the living room.
10 pm - I feed Lydia in her nursery with the lights off. A dreamfeed.
10:45 pm - I pump then go to bed.
3 am - Another bottle. We alternate this one.

Lydia eats 3.5 to 3.75 ounces of breast milk by bottle every three hours between 6am and 6pm. Then we feed her 3 to 3.25 ounces at 8pm and 10pm. When she wakes up to eat between 2 am and 4 am, and we give her 3.75 ounces or so. Lydia's nurse really wanted me try to get Lydia to eat 4 ounces. We tried for a few days and had a lot of spit up and wasted milk. So, we aren't going to go back to 4 until she is consistently finishing 3.75. Most of the time there is still leftover milk at 3.75 ounces.

Our little girl is such a wiggle worm, too. You really have to hold on tight when she's I your lap because she'll get a wild hair and just decide to squirm. I remember her being a wiggle worm from day one in the NICU. She does let us kiss her a lot, and I tell you what, I steal a lot of kisses! There is nothing like smooching those sweet chubby cheeks



Sunday, December 09, 2012

Christmas Movie Reviews

I'm not usually a big television watcher, but lately I've turned on the boob tube a good bit more than normal because my arms are often occupied by a eating, burping, or sleeping baby. There's just really not much you can do while feeding a little munchkin other than listen to music or watch a little TV. Since Thanksgiving my programming of choice has been Christmas movies on Hallmark Channel and Lifetime. Oh yes. Ain't nothing like a good made for TV Christmas movie!

Since starting this holiday hobby of mine, I've discovered that most of these Christmas movies are pretty bad. Predictable plots, over the top characters, and poor acting abound. Pick one of these inspiring movie themes, and folks, you've got yourself the beginning of a made for TV Christmas movie: Santa, Mrs. Claus, magic (my personal favorite!), a widow or widower, traveling home, a kid with divorced/separated parents, New York City.

I was searching for blogs that rate the Christmas movies, and I couldn't really find one with a decent rating system. So, as a service to all my wonderful readers, I came up with a rating system and will be rating movies straight into the new year!

5 stars: on my favorites list... acting is good and plot is good... must remember for next year
4 stars: acting is ok and plot is ok... might watch it again next year
3 stars: acting is fair and plot is fair... wouldn't watch it again
2 stars: acting is bad and the plot is cheesy, but I watched the whole thing anyway... then regretted wasting my time with it
1 star: so bad I couldn't finish it

Debbie Macomber's Trading Christmas: An author finishing a book trades his city apartment for a house in the country with a woman who wants to surprise her daughter in the city with a visit. Not bad. 3 stars.

A Family Thanksgiving: Ok, not a Christmas movie. Daphne Zeniga is in this one and Faye Dunaway plays a magical lady who makes her see what her life could be like if she chose family over her career. 3 stars.

Silver Bells: starring Anne Heche and that guy that played Marissa's dad on The OC. This one made the favorites list! A boy who works on a Christmas tree farm escapes to NYC to pursue his dream of being a photographer. 5 stars.

A Smoky Mountain Christmas: You can't get much better than Dolly Parton, Lee Majors, and a bunch of orphans in the Smokies... that look just a little too much like the Rockies. Throw in a witch named Jezebel, and you got yourself a darn good Christmas movie. Major kitsch factor. 4 stars.

Mistletoe Over Manhattan: I couldn't get past the Manhattan police officer who lives in a McMansion with a three car garage that looks suspiciously like Orange County. Turned it off. 1 star.

Holiday Engagement: Shelley Long stars in this movie as an overbearing mom who pressures her daughter so much about getting married that her daughter hires a fake fiancée to bring home for Thanksgiving. 2 stars.

If you've watched a Christmas movie this season, please, leave your review in the comments. Stay tuned for more reviews!