February 26, 2009

Peek-a-boo!


Yesterday while Austin was down for his morning nap, I decided to go take a quick shower while I had the chance. I didn't hear a peep the entire time I was in the bathroom, but when I walked into the bedroom I saw a little baby face peering over the side of the crib at me!! This was his way of telling me he was awake and ready to get up!
I thought it was so cute so I ran to get the camera. He's such a patient little guy, isn't he!? :)

A visit from the cub




Look who came to visit us at the Clemson basketball game last night! Austin didn't seem so sure about being handed over to a big fuzzy Tiger, but once he saw the Tiger cub sit on Daddy's lap, he was reassured! Go Tigers!

February 24, 2009

Me & Lovey!






Grandma Susan gave Austin this cute little froggie for Christmas and it's quickly becoming one of his favorite stuffed toys. In fact, it's a stuffed animal and blankie in one so it's both cuddly and fun! I've named him Lovey for the time being until Austin can choose his own name. Doesn't the little guy look so precious cuddling with Lovey?!

February 21, 2009

Hiking in Paris!

Saturday morning, the Harris's and the Bondurants met for breakfast and for a brisk hike at Paris Mtn. State Park. The weather started out chilly but it warmed up as we started walking and turned out to be a pretty nice day! The two dads lead the way with babies securely fastened and bundled in the Baby Bjorns while Stefania and I followed and talked about our sweet little bundles.








Austin and Sofia were both wonderful and seemed to really enjoy the nice weather, fresh air and beautiful scenery almost as much as we did. At one point, both little ones dozed off on Ryan and Charley and enjoyed their morning naps in the great outdoors.


The six of us couldn't pass up the beautiful photo ops that the park had to offer. Isn't nature beautiful!!





Down one of the trails we ran into a woman walking her two beautiful Borzoi's, Zorscha and Trey. They were such sweet and beautiful dogs and we loved getting a chance to pet them and play with them.




So was it love at first sight?? We're already planning the wedding between these two little cuties! Wouldn't Sofia and Austin make an adoreable little couple! :)





Wake up!


This is how we wake daddy up in the mornings! Austin loves to feel daddy's beard. Daddy doesn't look so thrilled!

February 18, 2009

Soooothing...




Austin loves his Fisher-Price Rainforest Soother and will watch it until he finally drifts off to sleep. The music and sounds really soothe him and he loves to watch the lights and the animals move. I'm so glad Tonya recommended this because it's really been a lifesaver!

Gooo Tigers!










We took him to the Clemson vs. Alabama basketball game several weeks ago but since it was such a big game that there was a sold out crowd and it got really noisy. Poor little Austin didn't know what to do with all those loud sounds so he got pretty upset. I spent most of the game standing in one of the tunnels holding him and trying to watch the game on the jumbotron.

Since we have season tickets to the basketball games I really wanted to find some way that we could take Austin with us to many of them and have him enjoy them with us. That's when I came across baby headphones and thought I'd give them a try!

We tried them out last night at the game vs. Maryland and it was amazing!! He loved just sitting in our laps and watching all the action on the floor as well as all the people around us. He barely made a peep the whole time, even when the crowd got really rowdy after Trevor Booker's awesome dunk! :)

We had several people ask us about his headphones and even though they looked dorky (as Ryan put it) they really did the trick! We can't wait to take him with us to the rest of the games now!
(By the way, the overalls are courtesy of Grandma Susan and they are totally adoreable!!!)

February 16, 2009

Mmmm baby food!




At our doctor's visit today, Austin was given the go ahead to continue with solid foods. We did the rice cereal thing and now we're excited to move on to the fun and tastier stuff!! Austin has tried bananas, applesauce and carrots so far. To my surprise, he seemed to enjoy carrots the most and even grabbed the spoon from me and tried to feed himself! :) I love feeding him solid foods because he really seems to enjoy the new tastes and I can't help but smile and laugh at what a mess we can make!!

4 month doctor's visit


This afternoon Austin went back to the pediatrician for his 4 month check-up and shots. He fell asleep in the car on the way there and slept until we got into the room and I had to undress him to be weighed. When he woke up he greeted me and the nurse with a big gummy grin....we've got a little flirt on our hands I do believe!! The nurses had a fit over him and especially loved his chubby little arms and legs!

Austin weighed a whopping 17.25 lbs which puts him in the 90th percentile for weight! The doctor said that having a healthy baby his size should be every mom's dream, which was great to hear since his ability to gain weight was worrying me a bit. He measured 25.75 inches long at this visit which puts him in the 80th percentile, a big jump from only a month ago! Overall, we are very pleased with his growth and are so glad that my milk seems to be nourishing him so well.

Developmentally, Austin has met every milestone so far that is to be expected at 4 months. He reaches and grasps, sleeps through the night, loves attention, rolls over, supports his head well, sits well with support, smiles and talks back when being spoken to, laughs and giggles, and loves to kick his legs. We couldn't be more thrilled that Austin is growing and developing so well and can't wait to see what he'll do next!!

Finally, at the end of the visit, Austin had 4 shots. He seemed to acknowledge the pain a little more than last time, but I was able to soothe him pretty well and he was happy and smiling again by the time we went to check out. All the excitement seemed to wear on him, however, and he took a 3 hour nap when we got home!

The above is a picture of my happy baby boy right before his check-up!

Who wore it better?




February 15, 2009

Happy 4 months, Austin!


Today Austin is 4 months old!! It seems like he's just growing up over night. He's become so much more social and he's talking ALL the time. He's a little chatter mouth now and is constantly making noises and cute baby sounds! He's also rolling over a lot now and he's getting really good at it. He smiles so big whenever he rolls to his back and sees me sitting there looking at him! Austin is also reaching for things and holding his toys in his hands now. Of course, as soon as he gets a hold of something it goes straight into his mouth! He's really starting to enjoy his toys a lot more now and shows a lot of interest in what's going on around him. He recently started smiling at Lucy whenever she comes near him and he watches the cats walk around the house. As my mom said, his little brain is like a sponge and he's soaking up everything around him and learning so fast. Before long he'll be crawling and saying ma-ma. I can't wait!!

Like father, like son


Austin and daddy just hanging out Saturday afternoon. Austin loves his daddy!!!

Valentine's Day!

The original plan for our Valentine's Day was to go to Falls Park and have a picnic lunch with Austin and Lucy, but the beautiful weather we had during the week didn't hold up for the weekend and it was just too wet and cloudy for the picnic we planned. I decided then that I would cook a nice dinner for us and we'd cuddle up afterwards and watch a movie with our little boy, but a family afternoon nap delayed the grocery shopping and we ended up too hungry to wait. At that time Ryan got on the phone and called all of our favorite restaurants checking on the wait times and putting our name on some lists. My mom called and wished us and Austin a happy Valentine's day and while we were on the phone, Ryan made reservations for 6:30 at some place we'd never been before. After looking at their online menu, he decided that I wouldn't be happy eating there (they had mainly seafood dishes) and cancelled that reservation. Finally, I remembered a restaurant I had been wanting to try in Greer and we called and they had one reservation left for 9:15 pm! Of course, this didn't help the fact that we were both starving since we had missed lunch. We decided to keep our 9:15 reservation but go out and get an appetizer somewhere else to tide us over.

Austin fell asleep while we were waiting to go to dinner but all of our babysitters were busy so we took him with us and hoped he'd stay asleep during dinner. We got some looks walking in there with an infant, but we knew he wouldn't cause a scene. The restaurant was really nice with candles, roses and linen tablecloths. They had a set 4 course menu and each course was sooo delicious. Austin woke up a little during our salads but went right back to sleep and stayed that way until we got home. We had a bottle of our favorite wine and great conversation and really enjoyed the romantic atmosphere. Our evening turned out very nice, even though it wasn't what we originally planned, we had a nice time together with our little family!

Austin falling asleep on Daddy while waiting for our late reservations!

Here's Austin sleeping in the restaurant


The family, after enjoying our dinner!

February 13, 2009

Dora, Diego and Kai-Lan


Every morning when Austin wakes up I turn on some sort of cartoon while I'm changing him and feeding him his morning bottle. The TV is right by our changing station and he loves to look at it every time I put him down. Lately, the TV has been staying on Nick Jr. not only to amuse my little guy, but for my amusement as well!! Dora the Explorer, Go Diego Go and Ni Hao Kai-Lan are three of my favorites but I'm also a Wonder Pets fan (I can't get enough of Ming Ming).


I thought nothing could ever compare to the wonderful cartoons of the 80's that I grew up on such as Rainbow Brite, Care Bears, Strawberry Shortcake and Gummi Bears, but these new cartoons are not only cute, they have good messages and help teach your child another language too. I've been honing up on my Spanish and Chinese lately and it makes me happy to pick up a few new words everyday just by watching cartoons!!

Know what today is...?

Yes is does happen to be Friday the 13th and it's also the day before Valentines Day, but today also marks the 1 year anniversary of the day we found out I was pregnant!! I can't believe it's been a year already but what a wonderful year it was. Just one year ago I could hardly imagine my life with a baby and now I can't imagine my life without my sweet little boy.


I love you, Austin. I loved you from the moment I found out you were coming, I loved you for the 9 months I carried you in my belly, I fell in love all over again the day you arrived in this world and I love you more and more every single day!!

February 11, 2009

My top 21!

Recently a lot of people I know have been getting pregnant, having babies or have been talking about having babies. Some have been asking me for recommendations on certain products and so I wanted to share some of my top picks with everyone who may be interested.

My Top 21

1. We love our swing!! We have a full-sized one and a travel one (both Fisher-Price) since Austin loves to swing so much. Austin often slept in his swing when we brought him home and even now he will sit there for 30-45 minutes at a time and take little naps in it.

2. Glider's rock! :) I hold Austin in the glider several times a day and we have some good bonding time. It also helps him get drowsy at night and calms him down. We got a Shermag from Babies 'r us and it looks great and has held up really well.

3. I HIGHLY recommend Pampers Swaddlers. We started with the newborn ones in the hospital and now Austin's in the biggest size (2-3) they make. These diapers are by far the best in my opinion. They're soft, stretchy, fit snug, and don't leak like many others did. I only wish they made them in bigger sizes!!

4. As for wipes, detergents and soaps, I like to get the fragrance free hypo-allergenic kinds. I made a mistake here at first and registered for all kinds of calming lavender and scented stuff and Austin's skin got irritated, dry and he developed rashes. I know the good smelling stuff is hard to pass up but many baby's have sensitive skin and fragrances can irritate them. I like the Pampers Sensitive wipes, Dreft detergent and Aveeno Fragrance Free baby wash.

5. Austin lives in his Sleep 'n Plays (the little footed one piece outfits). They are the easiest to maneuver, seem the most comfortable for baby, and like the name says, they are perfect for sleeping and playing during the day! Little baby outfits are so cute, but when baby is little you really don't get out with them that much so instead of making him wear an uncomfortable outfit all day, I let him relax and be comfortable in his little cotton sleep n' plays.

6. If you're breastfeeding I highly recommend a double electric breast pump by Lansinoh or Medela. I have the Lansinoh pump which was about $100 cheaper than the Medela and it has stood up WONDERFULLY over the past 3 months of pumping 5-10 times a day! Medela is the most popular brand and has the cute travel case, but if you're home and not going to be pumping on the run, I'd save the money and get the Lansinoh.

7. I LOVE our Angelcare Movement monitor. We let Austin sleep on his stomach because from early on he could just not sleep soundly on his back. Once we started him out on his stomach he was sleeping for 4-5 hour stretches at a time! I know they say it's the leading cause of SIDS, but our pediatrician said that SIDS also occurs most often in low income families or to children of parents who smoke. Not to mention, not 20 years ago doctors said to put babies on their stomachs so they wouldn't choke if they spit up. Anyway, the movement monitor sets off an alarm if the child quits breathing for 20 seconds so it eased our minds when we started putting him on his stomach.

8. For the baby wearers out there, get a Baby Bjorn carrier. I bought a sling carrier and it's just not comfortable for me or Austin and I always feel like he could fall out. The Baby Bjorn is easy to use, pretty comfortable and makes me feel secure when carrying Austin around. It's wonderful to use when I'm going up and down stairs with him so he is more secure and I like to carry him around in it when I take Lucy out for walks. It also looks good on guys! :)

9. Thanks to Stefania for recommending the Fisher Price Rainforest Playgym!! This is how I get my 'me' time during the day when Austin's awake. I tried a Gymini playgym and he hated it but the rainforest one has lights and music and he loves it and will lay there and laugh and coo at them forever. The lights are key! Now that he can hold his head up I put him the the rainforest jumperoo as well with a pillow underneath since he's still not quite tall enough. It lights up and plays music too and he loves to look at all the toys. I think they're phasing out the rainforest theme, but Fisher Price products are always great it seems.

10. I give Austin a bath every night to calm him down before bed in his The First Years Newborn to Toddler Tub and I love it. It's got a sling insert to sit him in when he's little and then converts to a toddler tub for when he can sit up. There are all kinds of "luxury" baby tubs out there but I've heard they're not worth it. This one works great and you can use it for a long time.

11. First Years Spin 'n Store Drying Rack: I didn't think I'd use this as much as I do but I couldn't live without it. It seems flimsy at first but works well to store and dry bottles and stuff. I also like the dishwasher baskets for bottles made by The First Years but I rarely wash bottles in the dishwasher simply because I rarely run the dishwasher as often as I need to wash bottles.

12. While on the topic of bottles, every baby is different, but Austin has done best with the Avent BPA free bottles. We tried Dr. Browns at first but they have so many parts to wash and Austin didn't like the nipples too much. Then we tried Playtex Drop Ins and it would take him 45 minutes to finish a bottle and they still gave him gas. I also think the drop ins system is horrible for the environment with all the disposable liners, plus the liners aren't that cheap and you are in trouble if you run out. The simple Avent bottles have been the best for us. They're easy to clean (no extra parts) and they don't give him excess gas. He also takes the nipple very well.

13. Go ahead and stock up on Mylicon Drops, Infant Tylenol, & Saline Solution. You can use the mylicon right away for gas and it has worked for Austin. You can give them Tylenol around 2-3 months and it's great to take to the Dr. office when it's time for shots. The saline is an essential for us because Austin's nose gets real dry and it helped me suction his nose when he was really congested with his cold. A humidifier is also a must have!

14. White noise maker (our humidifier makes a great white noise sound) for sleepy time. Austin sleeps so much better with some kind of noise and it blocks out our sounds when we put him down early and stay up.

15. Hooded towels are great for baths to keep baby's head warm and it's easy to wrap him up in. I like the thick fluffy ones better than the softer thin ones, but that's just my personal preference.

16. We keep burp cloths on the side of every chair and couch arm in the house. Austin doesn't spit up much but he dribbles when he eats and drools a bit. It's nice to always have a clean one handy.

17. Boudreaux's Butt Paste works the best for diaper rash. Thicker than Desitin, doesn't smell bad, stays on and the rash is gone by the next diaper change!

18. Be sure to get a large blanket, mat or pad to use for tummy time. They sell tummy time play sets but it's really just an added expense, the other things work just as well.

19. ItzBeen Timer: I NEVER thought I'd use this but it has been about my FAVORITE thing and I've used it everyday!! It helps you remember when you did things like change diapers, feed, and how long baby has slept and it has a feature to use for your own thing. I use it to time how long it's been since my last pumping session. It was a life saver early on when I was frazzled and couldn't remember how long it'd been since I'd done things and it's great to take to baby sitters and the church nursery to let them know when it's bottle time, nap time, or time to check the diaper.

20. Pack 'n Play: Since Austin's nursery is upstairs and our bedroom is down, we set up his pack 'n play in our bedroom and he sleeps in it every night. Most of them come with a bassinet that attaches on top where baby can sleep until they reach 20lbs. or so. This is also really helpful when traveling so baby has his own sleep area. It folds up and travels so easy as we just learned on our recent trip to the mountains.

21. A GOOD CAMERA!!!

Teething?


Lately, EVERYTHING that comes near Austin's face or is in his hands goes directly into his mouth. His favorite thing is to put his hands in his mouth but he has also tried a couple of my fingers, my shoulder, my arm, his clothes, his sleeve, his blanket and his burp cloths! I know this is normal, but all his mouthing is being accompanied by an incredible amount of drool. It's like he's completely forgotten how to swallow and I'm mopping up around him all day long! I think it's adorable, of course, everything he does is adoreable...but...the mouthing and drooling leads me to believe he might be getting ready to have some teeth come in!


He can't quite pick things up on his own yet but he's good at grasping things and holding on to them. Every now and then I give him a refrigerated teething ring to hold knowing that he'll take it directly to his mouth and gnaw on it until he drops it. If he is teething, hopefully this will ease some of the discomfort he's experiencing!

February 8, 2009

Mountain Trip

















On Thursday afternoon we left for Blowing Rock, NC for our 3rd annual ski trip with the Johnson's and Murphy's. We were excited that the NC mountains had gotten snow recently and were looking forward to playing in the white stuff, but on Friday the temperature got so warm that it all melted!! The weather wasn't prime for skiing but the skiers had fun regardless and came home with no injuries which was awesome.

Tonya and I stayed in the cabin and hung out with the babies while the rest of the crowd hit the slopes. Austin and Tyler had a great time and were a huge source of amusement for the group. Tyler is 9 months now and is an absolute cutie pie with bundles of energy. Austin was great the entire trip and really seemed to have a lot of fun hanging out with Tyler and the rest of the crowd.

We can't wait for next year's trip when the little guys are a bit older and will have a ball playing together!

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