Monday, December 24, 2012

5 Months Old

5 Months Old

Height,Weight, & Head: No doctor's visit this month, so no updated stats  

Clothes:  He is now fitting in 6-9 or 6-12 months in everything.  

Eating:  100% Mama's milk! I am extremely proud of my exclusively breastfed baby who is growing wonderfully!  I still love nursing just as much as I did when we started!  He has begun to rub my arm while he nurses and it just melts my heart.  I do plan on starting to introduce solids towards the end of the month, once we are settled in Utah and Liam is sitting up by himself (he's so close!)

Sleeping: My amazing little sleeper has disappeared...  Literally the day after he turned 4 months old, Liam went from sleeping 9-12 hours straight to not sleeping consistently at all.  This little monster wakes up every couple hours now.  I never thought I could go back to that, but here we are a month later... and surprisingly, I'm still functioning.  No matter what you call it: 4 month sleep regression, a stormy wonder week, the 4 month wakefuls... I'm hoping it passes soon!

Diapering:  We love cloth! Here's the post about them if you missed it!

Trips:  Once again, we had a busy month!  We traveled to Spokane for Thanksgiving, and then Liam & I joined Conor in Salt Lake City for a week (where we bought a new house)!  Liam has now been on 6 flights before he turned 5 months old, busy little traveler!  Currently, we're in Spokane for Christmas and will be driving to Montana the morning after.  It has been a fun & crazy month (Liam & I haven't been in any one place for more than a week), but I am getting anxious to be settled down in Utah.

Playtime: Liam is go-go-gadget-go right now!  I absolutely love watching him explore this world each day.  He is super busy and wants to be played with nonstop.  I am looking forward to him being able to sit up by himself so that he can do a little more solo play while I get things done around the house.  We finally caved and bought him a jumparoo for Christmas; I have a feeling he will love it!  It'll be under the Christmas tree tomorrow morning with a big ol' bow on it. Shhhhh! Don't tell him!  He also has a slight obsession with wrapping paper, so he will surely be in baby-mind-stimulatin' heaven tomorrow!

Likes:  Making new noises (right now he's figured out how to grunt, growl like a dinosaur, and he's discovered a few higher screeches).  Falling asleep with things in his hands (usually a toy which I'm trying to swap out for a lovie, that seems a little more appropriate than a crinkly toy for naptime).  Blowing bubbles (this is a loud & messy activity, he is such a boy)!  Grabbing his toes and putting them in his mouth (especially during diaper changes)!  How the Grinch Stole Christmas (this is his favorite book of the moment, especially the shiny red cover!  We usually make it about half way through the book before he loses his patience, so I have the first half memorized.  "All the Whos lay a-snooze" is our favorite line)!

Milestones:  We have a roller!  Liam has rolled from his tummy to back multiple times...but only for me! :-)  I'm hoping the little bugger will show Conor sometime soon.  He is also so darn close to sitting up by himself, but still wobbles a little bit.  Liam wants to be mobile so bad; it will be interesting to see when the little man starts crawling.

Best Moment:  Watching Liam give big smiles to all his favorite people!  When Conor gets back from a week away on business, Liam greets him with the biggest smile and is so happy to see him!  His dad really gets the grins and giggles out of him. He also recognizes Nana & Pops (my mom & dad) now and shares some smiles with them as well! We cannot wait to get him to Bigfork so that he can get to know all his Keenan fans too.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Santa, I know him!

Last week, we finally took Liam to see Santa!  I had been putting off doing it for awhile because I really didn't want to go to a mall and stand in line forever to pay $30 for one picture.  All I really wanted was to put Liam on some jolly ol' fellow's lap and take my own picture!  So while reading our local news on Sunday morning, I saw that Santa was going to be visiting the Catholic grade school right by our house from 9am til noon, and anyone could stop by and take their own picture for free....perfect!  Well except the fact that it was 11:30am and nobody in our house was dressed yet!  I had yet to even plan out the perfect outfit for Liam's first time meeting the big guy, but I was not about to miss this opportunity.  So I got Liam dressed as quickly as possible (realized his adorable boat shoes no longer fit, tried to jam them on his feet anyways, settled for cute tennis shoes) and we flew out the door!  I didn't worry about myself, since I was not planning on being in the picture...

I thought Liam would be all about Santa, since he seems to really be into people with facial hair and glasses these days; however, he really could have cared less.  He was happy to be with Santa, but he simply gave him a once over and then was more interested at looking at Conor & I.  At least there were no tears... because there is absolutely no place for crying where anything Christmas is concerned!  Santa was wonderful and such a nice man; but then, he insisted that Conor & I also get in a picture!  Santa's glasses must be broken, because he obviously didn't give me a once over!  I looked like the disheveled Mom who had yet to brush her hair or even take off yesterday's make up; not to mention, that I was still wearing my glasses, since there was no time to put my contacts in!  I quickly ripped my glasses off my face, but I could barely see whoever was taking our picture!

So here is my cute little boy full of excitement at his first meeting
 with Santa and the hot mess that I was that morning:

Monday, December 10, 2012

Fa la la la la...

As much as I love the Christmas Season, I always wait til after Thanksgiving to deck the halls & listen to Christmas music; one holiday at a time people!  What makes this time of year so exciting is all the anticipation!  Having said that, I most definitely am purchasing Christmas presents early, picking up some new holiday decor, and choosing this year's wrapping paper/ribbon combo long before hand.  I just consider that my "prep" work!

Normally, Conor & I kick things off with a Christmas movie after Thanksgiving dinner, then hit the sheets because Conor gets up early for some Black Friday shopping.  Then we get drinks & go cut down a Christmas tree and spend the rest of the day decorating.  Since we were in Spokane this year, things went down a little differently.  After Thanksgiving dinner, I had a little surprise for Liam (and Conor)!  I had purchased some Christmas jammies for all three of us!  I had always liked the idea of giving your kids new pajamas every year on Christmas Eve, but I wanted to make the tradition my own.  I thought it would be much more fun to get Christmas PJs to kick off the whole holiday season!  Who doesn't want brand spanking new jammies while decorating the tree and house the next day?!  So I wrapped them up with a little note that said:

Keenan Family,

Here's something to help you get "prepped" 
for Santa's visit come Christmas Eve!  Enjoy!

Love, Wayne & Lanny

Prep & Landing is one of our new favorite Christmas movies; so, I thought it would be hilarious to get a gift from Santa's Prep team!  It took Conor a second to figure out who Wayne & Lanny were, but he eventually figured it out!  And a tradition has begun!  Liam was asleep for most of the action, but when he woke up in his new outfit he was pretty excited about it!

The traditions continued that evening, with Nana (my mom) giving Liam his 1st Christmas ornament!  My Grandma gave my brothers & I an ornament every Christmas.  This was something I really looked forward to receiving; I loved being able to put up my own ornaments on our tree!  I have quite the collection now and my Grandpa continues to get me an ornament every year even though my Grandma has passed away.  This being the first year for Liam, Nana bought his a Baby's 1st Christmas Ornament.  I absolutely love it, a great addition to our tree!

The next morning we piled into my parents station wagon car and headed to the Christmas Tree Farm!  Cutting down your own real tree is a Christmas must for me!  I don't understand fake trees, and I absolutely hate them!  The last few years, my parents have been going to Camden Ranch to get their tree and have been very pleased with them!  Typically, Christmas tree farms provide saws, and then they'll shake and bale the tree for you!  It really doesn't get much better than this!  My parents house has high ceilings, so we're usually in the market for an 11 footer!!!  Before we made it to the tree farm, we made a pit stop at my brothers' bar for some to-go mimosas & bloody marys!

 Jon & Shalan as well as baby Kanyon joined us!  It was a sunny day and just tad bit nipply nippy out!  Liam loved being outside and walking between all the trees.  It took awhile, but Conor finally spotted the perfect one!  While she's only a 10 footer, she's a beaut!

That weekend, we had the Christmas music blaring while decorating the tree!  My family has an affinity for the Rod Stewart & Dolly Parton version of "Baby, It's Cold Outside," so you know that was put on repeat a time or two!  The little guy had a blast, but it also wore him out... some babies just can't handle all that Christmas fun!

Pictures of the decorated tree to come and so much more!  I haven't even gotten into December yet!


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Cloth Diapers

Since many of you have asked for it, here is a rundown of my experience with cloth diapers.  I am by no means an expert, but I have figured out what works best for me.  People decide to cloth diaper for many different reasons: to save money, to help out the environment, to avoid chemicals, because they are so darn cute, etc.  While I think there are many great reasons to use cloth, I can't say I actually have a reason.  It's just something I always knew that I would do.  My Mom cloth diapered my brothers & I, so that just seemed like the normal thing to do.  I liked the idea of having something soft against my baby's skin instead of the plastic/paper feel of disposables.  Cloth diapers have come a long way since my Mom was using them!  She used your standard prefolds with diaper pins and "rubber pants."  She also used a diaper service, so she never had to wash them herself.  While some mommas still use this system, I chose a different path.

There are all different types & brands of cloth diapers available now.  If you are interested, there is plenty of info on youtube as well as sites that sell cloth diapers.  I won't bore with you with details of each here.  I decided to go with one size pocket cloth diapers.  One size meaning they should fit your baby from birth (8lbs) til potty training (35 lbs).   You can either have snap closures or velcro.  I chose snaps because they typically last longer (velcro starts to collect all sorts of stuff on it) and once your child is older they won't be able to easily undo their diaper.  However, velcro can give you a more custom fit, and some people find it easier as they are more similar to disposables.  Here are my thoughts on the different brands that I tried:

Bum Genius 4.0:  This is the diaper I reach for first, and it's the brand I have the most of (15 diapers).  I had an issue with the elastic relaxing after only 2 months of use, which I think was caused my using industrial grade detergent while at my in-laws.  Anyways, Cottonbabies exchanged all my defective diapers for new ones.  Great customer service! :-)  This diaper is a bit bulky, but I get a great fit with it.

Rumparooz:  This is my go to night time diaper!  I have no leaks even when Liam sleeps for 12 hours!  However, it is extremely bulky when babies are little, so I only use it at night.  Also, these are a little pricier.

Charlie Banana:  These are definitely the softest of all my diapers & the most trim; however, it's not my favorite.  This diaper has adjustable elastic in the legs and that is how you adjust the fit.  I prefer diapers that have a snap down rise.  Some people love these diapers though...they are similar to Fuzzibunz which is another popular brand.

Dinkledooz:  While this diaper is probably my most cheaply made, I get the best fit from it!  I like the overlapping snaps and the stretchier material.

All of these pocket diapers come with microfiber inserts.  They work great, but there are also other inserts you can purchase that are most absorbent: bamboo > hemp > cotton > microfiber.  Liam is a heavy wetter, so I tend to use two inserts making the diaper a bit bulkier.  Because of this I purchased some hemp "doublers" which are thinner and meant to be used with another insert.  Hemp is also slower to absorb even though it holds more, so most people use it with microfiber.  To describer the diapers I use as a whole (especially for those who have never seen a modern cloth diaper in person): the outer material is PUL (polyurethane laminate) and is completely waterproof.  The "pocket" is typically fleece which is a stay dry material that wicks moisture away from the baby and to the inserts.

I also purchased a dozen prefolds from Green Mountain Diapers to use in some Flip covers.  Instead of using pins, I just trifold the prefold and set it in the cover.  This is a great (although bulky) option that I use mostly while at home.  The cover is resuable as long as Liam doesn't poop in it!  I have 4 flip covers for a dozen prefolds.  This is one of the cheaper options to use.  Confused yet?  There is so much information out there, that it can seem overwhelming... but once you start using them, it is just as easy as disposables.  You simply do an extra load of laundry every 2-3 days.

Since I only wash every 2-3 days (I have about 30+ diapers) I store them in a regular trash can (I have the Simply Human brand) with a Planetwise pail liner.  I also use cloth wipes, and I'm so glad I do!  They work much better and then just go right into the pail with the diapers.  For my wipes: I soak them in a water & baby wash (Dr. Bronner's baby mild) mixture, then ring out excess water, roll them up, and store in my wipe warmer.  Liam gets a nice hot towelette on his bum at each diaper change!  On laundry day, all the dirty diapers, wipes, and the pail liner itself go into the washer.  When I'm out & about, I use regular wipes, but of course bring my cloth diapers with me.  I have a Planetwise "wet bag" for the dirty diapers, which has a zipper close and keeps everything contained.  On wash day, the wet bag goes right in with all my other diaper laundry.  

Now for the nitty gritty details...  Exclusively breast milk poop is water soluble, so you can simply put dirty diapers right into the washer.  Once you start solids (or you use formula) you must rinse diapers before washing them.  Everyone has a slightly different wash routine, but here's mine: quick cold rinse, hot wash with detergent, followed by 2 cold rinses.  The first rinse helps prevent any staining and the second two rinses make sure all the detergent is out so you don't get any buildup.  There are fancy cloth diaper detergents out there, but I just use original Tide.  Every once in awhile I put in a tablespoon of bleach.  I then hang dry everything.  If there is any staining, you simply put the diapers in the sun to dry and they disappear... it's almost like magic! :-)

Some people are lucky to have great cloth diapers store where they live, but if not there are so many options on-line!  I did my research and bought diapers throughout my pregnancy when I found good sales.  Free shipping is another bonus to always look for.  On average, a family will spend roughly $2,000 on disposable diapers from birth til potty training.  I have spent under $500 and could have done it for much cheaper had I wanted.  Once you get going, it's hard to stop yourself from purchasing new brands to try and all the cute prints that are available!  On another note, our water bill did not go up once I started washing least not a noticeable amount.

I truly hope this was helpful to any of you Moms who are considering cloth.  It has been such a great choice for our family, even Conor is completely on board and does plenty of the diaper changes!  We have had maybe two blowouts since Liam was born and he hasn't had a single diaper rash!  Good luck on your cloth diapering adventures, and I would be more than happy to answer any of your questions!

{Update}  Read my experience about over a year of cloth diapering here.

My Favorite Things: Month 4

Boogie Wipes: These wipes are the softer thing ever!  I even like using them on myself when my nose is running.  Liam has a runny nose pretty frequently now that he's teething, so I use these all the time.  He isn't a huge fan of having his nose wiped, but they get the job done.  And the grape scent is amazing... makes me want to lick them (don't do it!)

Infantino Rattle Pal:  This is Liam's absolute favorite toy right now.  It's easy to grab, it crinkles, has a mirror, and it's a rattle!  What's not to love?!  He plays with this mostly in the car or when I'm trying to shower... the two times I need it most and can always count on it to entertain him!

Chewbeads:  Mommy chic & baby safe.  Both Liam & I are huge fans of these.  They come in all sorts of colors and are super cute.  I get lots of compliments on them, and most people don't know they are teethers.  As far as chewing goes, Liam prefers the bracelet (which I have in turquoise but it's really more of a mint green color).  But I also love the necklace as something for him to grab onto (instead of my hair) while nursing or just being held.  It keeps him a little more focused.

Baby Hawk Mei Tai:  Love this carrier!  I also have the Moby, but really prefer this one.  It supports your baby from their bottom, so there is no strain on their crotch.  Instead of legs dangling they wrap around your stomach.  It's really easy to tie on & off so I use it every where.  No more lugging around his car seat or trying to do some holiday shopping with a massive stroller!  Liam loves it too, because he's close to me but gets to see everything around him.  Plus, this chevron print is so stylish!

Infantino Links:  These are awesome for attaching toys or teethers too!  I always have them on his car seat and just switch out different toys every once awhile.  The links themselves are fun too, since they have different textures and colors.  They are super easy to link & unlink... almost too easy... sometimes Liam yanks on his toys so hard he pulls them off his car seat!

Jellycat Touch & Feel Books:  My little man loves looking at books already.  Mama is so happy!  The Jellycat brand is his favorite of the sensory books.  He just now exploring the different textures on each page, but he loves all the colors and just the book itself.  He'll hold it, try to manipulate it, and just stare at one page for quite awhile.  We have three, but my favorite is "If I were a duck!"

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Liam's 1st Thanksgiving

I was so excited to kick off the holiday season this year!  Everything is better now that Liam is a part of our family!  We did things a little bit different this time around... obviously we have a baby now, but our upcoming move to Salt Lake City has really thrown a wrench in all of our holiday plans.  Here's the brief post about our move, in case you hadn't heard.  Conor is now commuting to SLC weekly, so he's only with us on the weekends.  Initially, we were going to spend Thanksgiving with the Keenan Family in Montana, but that was going to be a lot of travel for Conor in a short amount of time.  Plus, I was going to be in Spokane so my parents could help me out with Liam, so we decided to do Thanksgiving there this year.

Conor & I have been living all over the country the last four years, so we have just stayed put for Thanksgiving.  It was so nice to be back with family this year!  Conor & I have started some of our own traditions over the years, so we incorporated those in with my family's traditions.  Wednesday, my Mom & I (and of course Liam; because where I go, he goes) gathered up all the fixings for our big feast the next day.  I like to refer to this day as Thanksgiving-Prep-Day and it's one of my favorites... the anticipation of the day to come and then the beginning of the Christmas Season is so exciting!  Conor flew into Spokane Wednesday night and we surprised him by greeting him right outside the gate.  We had missed him lots; it felt so good to put Liam back in his arms!  I may have gotten a little teary eyed...the holidays will do that to ya!  That night we brined our turkey, cubed bread for stuffing, and rested up!

Thanksgiving morning, Conor, my Mom, & I started prepping food as soon as we woke up!  We also made a tasty little breakfast to fill our bellies til dinner time.  Since it's Thanksgiving dinner, we eat at dinner time!  Personally, I don't understand the people who have their Thanksgiving meal at 2 o'clock... but to each their own I guess...  Don't they get hungry again?!  Of course there has to be a morning cocktail to go with breakfast, so this year we made a batch of Ramos Gin Fizz to go with our eggs & cinnamon rolls, yummm!

After breakfast, we all went on the 3rd Annual Keenan Family Christmas walk!  Because you have to sneak some exercise into the day of feasting.  Liam is now loving the baby hawk so I wear him everywhere!  No need for a stroller!  I also bought him the cutest fleece body suit to bundle him up in the cold weather.  It was cuteness overload, I just can't get over him in this outfit!

The rest of the day was spent in the kitchen getting everything ready; although, we were able to squeezed in a little parade watching and some football of course.  As per Keenan tradition, the turkey was cooked in an oven bag which I think my Mom was a fan of!  It keeps the turkey so moist without having to baste it constantly.  We also had the standard side dishes: stuffing & mashed potatoes...then we mixed it up and made green bean asparagus casserole per Conor's request.  Conor also threw together some cheese pinwheels instead of just a boring dinner roll.  They are little bits of cheesy goodness.  Normally, we make a pumpkin chiffon pie...but I had already have my fair share of pumpkin this year (had it for my birthday as well as Friendsgiving), so we stuck to just Pecan Pie which is my Dad's favorite.

This year, our Thanksgiving group was small.  Both of my brother's did their own dinners with their respective families and my cousins went to their lake place for a more intimate dinner this year.  So it was just us three Keenans, my parents, my Grandpa, two aunts, & an uncle!  I missed the chaos of a big group just a little, but this year was much more relaxing.

I was excited to dress Liam for the big day, but it wasn't nearly as much fun as it would be to dress up a girl.  Oh well, maybe with the next one... (Not anytime soon, no Irish twins for this family!)  While my little man looked so handsome, I never got a great picture of him.  He was a little toasty that day, so his cute boat shoes & socks were off most of the night, and it was a rough teething day for him so there was drool all over the place!  A light gray sweater may have been a poor choice in hindsight!  This also wasn't his most photogenic day.  But we were having too much fun to worry about pictures!  Luckily, my Mom snagged one of three of us... again, not our best! (I should really just start instagram-ing all photos)

Liam added a whole new element to the day, as we passed him around to whomever had a spare hand at the moment, since we were all busy cooking.  While he tends to slow me down a little bit, he makes everything & every day so much better!  The holidays are no exception.  I'm looking forward to all the Thanksgivings to come... especially next year when Liam can actually eat all the tasty foods.  And almost forgot to mention one of my favorite things from this Thanksgiving...the book "I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie!"  Nana & Pops gave this cute book to Liam!  It's a Thanksgiving version of "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly."  I love a good holiday book; we enjoyed reading this one all of November! 

Once dinner was finished, and the dishes were put away (except the wine & old fashion glasses)... Christmas Season had officially begun!  I can't wait to share all of our fun!

Friday, November 30, 2012

4 Months Old

4 Months Old 

Height: 26.5 inches (91%)

Weight:  15 lb 4 oz (42%)  Still long & lean!

Head: 42 cm (55%)

Clothes:  This little boy is all over the map.  6-9 month jammies, 3-6 month onesies, 6-12 pants & coats.  He is a tough guy to shop for!  I've also started putting some shoes on him when we go out.  Completely unnecessary, but they are so darn cute and keep his toes just a wee bit warmer!

Eating:  Still loving Mama's milk!  I am no hurry to start Liam on solids.  Our pediatrician told us that we can introduce a few things once he's sitting up completely on his own, so we will wait til then.  However, I am having a little bit of a hard time eating enough calories to keep up with breastfeeding (sounds like a terrible problem, I know) so let the holiday feasting begin!

Sleeping:  Liam just so happens to be an amazing sleeper!  He now regularly sleeps for 9-12 hours straight!  He must know how much I enjoy my sleep!  My only complaint is that he has to be nursed to sleep; there is no putting him in his crib until he is completely knocked out and even then it takes a little finesse.  His bed time is between 10 and 10:30 and I would like to make that a little earlier too.  Regardless of what time I attempt to put him to sleep, this is when it actually happens.

Diapering:  Loving all his cloth diapers!  I have been working on a post about this, but Liam is a busy boy and hardly leaves me anytime to blog these days!

Trips:  We visited friends in Delaware this month!  Here's the post if you missed it!  We also went to Spokane for Thanksgiving.  I plan on blogging about this separately so it gets the attention it deserves!  I do love the holidays, and even more so this year as I get to start new traditions with Liam.

Playtime: Playtime is "all the time" now!  My little Liam is so busy, wanting to play with anything & everything.  Right now, any object is a toy in his mind!  I'm trying to help him with certain skills, so we have lots of tummy time and are practicing his rolling over.  He is getting so close....I think it could be any day now!

Likes:  Touching people's faces (this is so adorable...also kinda gross if he's just been slobbering all over his hands.)  Watching our cat Charlie (and all other animals.)  Getting dressed (his favorite part is when I pull a shirt over his head!)  Anything that crinkles: paper, toys, wrappers, etc.  Being scared (boo!) or startled...but there is a fine line between fun and actually being scared so we don't get him too excited!  

Milestones:  He had his 1st cold which was no fun at all!  He absolutely hates the nose sucker and throws a little tantrum the moment he sees it coming at him!  He has also discovered his feet, but can't quite grab them yet!  He loves when I put pants on him that have animal faces or something over his feet.  Like I said above, we're still waiting for him to roll over...he is trying so hard and sometimes gets very frustrated with himself.  He of course had his 1st to come when I find the time!

Best Moment:  This had to be Thanksgiving!  The holidays take on a whole new meeting now that we are a family.  Liam brings a whole new joy to absolutely everything.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Liam's 1st Hurricane

The last week in October, we flew to the East Coast to visit our friends in Delaware!  Liam had done so well on our flights to and from Salt Lake City; however, our flight to Philly was 5+ hours so I was still a little nervous about it.  I like to think that Conor & I pack rather light, but with a baby there is really no such thing!  We had: Conor's work bag (laptop, etc.), diaper bag, pack 'n play, car seat, Conor's suitcase, & my suitcase (huge since Liam's stuff goes in mine!)  You should see us walking through an airport before we check our bags.  I will have to get a picture of that next time.  :-)  As many of you know, I tend to have terrible luck when it comes to flying... almost every flight I'm on is delayed or has maintenance issues.  Our flight there was no exception!  The worst part was they didn't realize our plane had issues until we were on the tarmac, so we sat on the plane a good extra hour before taking off, grrr.  So we ended up being on that plane for close to 7 hours, eek!  Luckily Liam was a champ and slept for most of the flight on Dad's lap!

Our time in Delaware was just amazing!  Fall is one of the best times of the year to be on the East Coast; the trees were so colorful, it made me miss living there a little bit!  The 1st half of our trip we stayed with our friends the Koellhoffers!  During our stay, we had delicious food and even better drinks!  Of course, I kept my drinking in check since I'm breastfeeding the little man! :-)  We usually play a lot of games with Steve & Jessica, but that can be harder to accomplish now that we're busy with Liam.  Lucky for us, he took an extra long nap while we played a game of Pinochle.  Conor & I won, whoo hoo!  We also had the chance to see our friends the McAllister's who came up from Maryland and our friends Jen & Holt.  Most of these people we hadn't seen in 2 years so it was very exciting!

Unfortunately, Liam had a little bit of a tough time during our trip.  The 3 hour time change made putting him to bed at a decent hour difficult, and he had started teething even more!  He was much fussier than usual which made me so sad.  He's also started to be so much more aware of his surroundings and sometimes has a difficult time nursing if there is just too much excitement going on.  I had to take him to a quiet, dark room just to nurse him sometimes.  However, he was still the most adorable little boy ever!

The day before we left, the news was really starting to talk about Hurricane Sandy and its potential impact on the East Coast.  To be honest, I wasn't too worried about it.  Panic mode didn't hit me until Sunday....the day before the hurricane was supposed to hit!  I woke up thinking: do we have enough diapers (since we were traveling I was using disposables instead of cloth)? Should I wash his clothes in case we're stuck here without water? Are trees going to fall on the house and crush us?  I quickly became a protective Mama!

The 2nd half of our trip (and where we spent Hurricane Sandy) was with my best friend on the East Coast Alison & her boyfriend Pete!  They live in an old brick townhouse which has withstood many a storm.  I felt like we were gonna be pretty safe there; no big trees to worry about, and we were protected by houses on either side of us.  In preparation, we bought food to make some yummy meals even if the power went out and a ridiculous amount of alcohol since we were gonna be cozied up inside for a few days.  We also filled the bath tub with water, just in case.  Liam found his happy place in their papasan where he took many many naps!

Luckily, where we were in Delaware was not hit by Hurricane Sandy too bad.  There was plenty of wind & rain, but we never lost power.  We were beginning to think that the hurricane was not a bad as predicted until we started watching the news.  It was incredibly sad to see how hard areas very close to us were hit.  We were definitely lucky to be in a safe & cozy house that night.  We were supposed to fly out Tuesday morning, but our flights were cancelled twice.  We were eventually rebooked and flew out Wednesday night, Halloween! 

Unfortunately, I don't have any super cute pictures of Liam dressed up for Halloween...we missed the holiday completely due to our trip being extended.  I had all these big plans of sewing him his 1st Halloween costume and passing out candy for the first time in our new house.  I wanted to carve pumpkins together...I even bought a little one just for Liam.  But we were so busy with this trip and our impending move (more on this later) that Halloween just got lost in the mix.  At least the house was decorated, and I had purchased Liam the book Goodnight Goon!  I felt like such a bad mom and that I had failed his 1st holiday, even though he won't remember it! :'(  With how much I love all holidays, this was very upsetting for me.  I will not be dropping the ball on Thanksgiving & Christmas, trust me!

On another note, Liam has become quite the traveler!  At only 3 months old he has already visited 6 states; I can't wait to keep growing that list!  Preferably when he'll remember his visits!  :-)
1. Washington
2. Idaho
3. Montana
4. Utah
5. Pennsylvania
6. Delaware

We were sad to leave our friends in Delaware, but will hopefully visiting again soon!  I can't let another two years go by before we see everyone again!  I was terrible about taking pictures... but hopefully I'll start improving on that as we head into the holidays as well.  I'm going to start taking more videos too, stay tuned!  Here's an adorable one of Alison & Liam in their matching stripes!  If only Ali was in a romper too!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

My Favorite Things: Months 2 & 3

Burp Cloths:  I searched for the perfect burp cloth for quite some time.  I tried many different types/brands and finally settled on the perfect one!  These diaper burp cloths really are the best!  They are much thicker & more absorbent than the standard burp cloth (worthless in my opinion), but not as bulky as an actual cloth diaper.  My sister-in-law recommended these to me, and I'm so glad she did; now, my burp cloth woes are over!  I currently have one set, but I think I might be getting another pack as Liam really gets into his teething phase.

Lambie:  I grew up with a lambie, so I was excited to get Liam one too!  I'm sure there are plenty of naysayers out there to tell me that nothing should be in an infant's crib, but I did my research and felt comfortable with my choice!  I decided to get a shorn lambskin, but it's really a personal choice.  I wanted to make sure it was something that I could wash and not have to dry clean, so some of the cheaper options (like the one from IKEA) weren't for me.  Liam's lambie fits perfectly into his pack 'n play when we are on the go and makes it that much cozier.  I love how it helps to regulate his body temperature, because Liam tends to want his hands free at night and they get cold!  I've also had many parents tell them that a lambie is a must because you can bring it with you wherever you go and your child will still sleep great because they are used to it!

Multi-Use Pads:  I was a little bit skeptical about these when my mom first suggested them, but now I use them daily!  The pads are very absorbent but also thin, so they are super easy to tote around.  I keep one on my changing table to catch those mid-change wees; this way, I don't have to wash the changing pad cover nearly as much.  I also keep one in our bedroom for when I need to change Liam downstairs.  And the third one goes in the diaper bag.  Then, if there happens to be a big mess, it's on the pad instead of my diaper bag!  They are washable and dry fast; I can't say enough good things!

Teethers:  Liam recently started teething (crazy early I know!), but most teethers are still too big or heavy for his little hands & mouth.  I love these rings from Lifefactory!  They are made of silicone, have different textures, and are made in the USA.  I really just love all Lifefactory products in general!  I keep one in the diaper bag & one at home.

Humidifier:  The one pictured isn't the one I have (I have an ugly Walgreens one), but the one I would like to have!  I think it looks sleek, which is something I appreciate if it's going to be in Liam's nursery all the time.  A humidifier has really helped Liam sleep longer and make sure his little nose doesn't get too dry.  The white noise it makes is perfect for when Conor & I are still awake watching a movie or have company over and might be making a little extra noise!  The first night we used it in Liam's nursery he slept 9 1/2 hours straight; we've used it every night since!

Hooded Onesies:  These are the cutest things ever!  Aside from the fashion aspect, I love that these keep my little guy extra warm as the colder months are approaching.  They are have been hard to find, so I only have this one.  It comes as set... but even if you aren't a fan of the pants & other shirt, it's still worth it for the cuteness that is this light blue hooded onesie

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

3 Months Old

3 Months Old

Height, Weight, & Head:  No doctors appointment this month, so unfortunately I don't have any new stats on Liam.  He's definitely filling out though, especially in his cheeks! :-)

Clothes:  Liam is still hanging out in his 3-6 month clothes, thankfully!  I'm sure another growth spurt is right around the corner, so I have happily been buying him all sorts of cute clothes.

Eating:  Liam is still solely drinking Mama's milk!  I'm still struggling with a bit of an oversupply, but I seem to be managing it just fine.  I love breastfeeding and being able to give him the best!  It's a big part of my relationship with him, and I truly enjoy snuggling up with him every couple of hours for a nursing session.  I especially love when he looks up at me with a big grin while he's eating!

Sleeping:  We are some of those lucky parents you hear about that have an awesome sleeper!  Liam is now sleeping for a solid 7-9  hours straight!  I would consider that sleeping through the night!  Although we've been trying to put him to bed a little bit earlier, he typically goes down around 10pm and stays asleep until somewhere between 5 and 7am.  This new trend started when we put a humidifier in his room.  He had a bit of a stuffy nose after our trip to Salt Lake City; so we ran the humidifier when we got back home, and he slept for 9 hours for the first time.  The humidifier has been running every night since.  We still give him a bath before bed and sometimes read a bedtime story if he's up for it.  His My new favorite is Skippyjon Jones, it's a great read aloud book...ridiculously fun for Mom to read! :-)  I still nurse him to sleep every night, but I'm really hoping that one of these days we'll be able to put him in his crib awake and let him drift off to sleep.  He's outgrown his swaddle, but I worry about him getting too cold at night.  Might have to invest in one of those sleep sacks, especially since the next size up of most of his jammie's don't have feet on them.  His little hands seems to get so cold too, makes me sad!  Suggestions are welcome!

Diapering:  We love our cloth diapers and are sticking to them!  However, we used disposables for our trip to SLC and absolutely hated them!  They don't do nearly as good of a job and just smell horrible.  Both Conor & I were so excited to get home and put an oh-so-soft cloth diaper on his little butt.  We've also started using cloth wipes as well!  I know you will all think we're crazy, but most cloth diapering parents using cloth wipes as well.  It just took me a little while to jump on board with that one.  Now that we use them, I can't imagine it any other way.  I put them in my wipe warmer, so Liam gets a nice warm towel on his butt at every diaper change... who wouldn't like that!  Many people have asked me about cloth, so I promise to do a whole post about them.  Especially for those who are interested...just need to find the time!

Trips:  This month we traveled to Salt Lake City for 5 days; Liam's 1st airplane ride!  It was a pretty short flight (1 1/2 hours), and he did awesome.  I was pretty much either nursing him or he was sleeping the entire time.  We checked his carseat (the airlines do this for free!), but wished we would have attached it to the base so we could have brought that too.  It was such a pain to use the seat belt to hold down his carseat every time we got in and out of the car.  We didn't bring his stroller, because we didn't want to deal with it; I think that was a good choice.  However, I do wish we would have brought a carrier for the airport (instead it was put away in one of my checked bags).  We have a moby wrap & a mei tai...not sure which one I prefer yet...I'm still trying to master tying them both and Liam isn't a huge fan yet.  The most interesting part of the whole "flying with a baby experience" was changing his diaper in the airplane bathroom!  Talk about difficult...I was just praying there would be no turbulence while I was trying to get the job done, no easy task!

We also took a road trip to Spokane!  Liam is a pretty good passenger, but much prefers to have Mom sit in the back with him.  It's a little cramped for me (we have small cars) but keeps the little boy happy.  Added bonus:  I can actually nurse him in his carseat while both of us are buckled in!  Breastfeeding level: Master! :-)  Spokane was wonderful as always, just great time spent with family & friends.

Playtime:  Now that Liam is getting older, I feel like I can do so much more with him.  We spend lots of time in his nursery reading "touch & feel" books (he tries to help turn the page), sitting in his bumbo while he grabs onto different toys, and singing songs.  It's fun to see Liam starting to grab toys and become interested in them.  I try to introduce him to different textures and colors so he never gets bored.

Likes:  Grabbing Mom's hair.  Standing on our lap.  Seeing his daddy as soon as he gets home from work!  Looking at his feet (especially if there is a funny animal face on feet).  Tummy time, bath time, story time...pretty much all the "times."  Cooing Talking loudly.  Looking at himself in the mirror.  The color green (or at least he looks so darn cute in it)!  Watching our cat, Charlie, & when he flicks his tail against Liam's face.  Slobbering all over his shirt and hands!

Milestones:  No major milestones, but lots of little things.  He's now sitting up with assistance, either in his bumbo or if we're holding his hands he'll pull himself up.  He's officially laughing now, and it is the sweetest thing ever.  Melts my heart every single time!  He's starting to show interest in rolling over (front to back) but needs a little help doing it.  He's also teething... early, I know!  He puts everything in his mouth and is an absolute drool monster; however, I still think he won't actually "cut" a tooth for awhile.

Best Moment:  His 1st laugh!  Conor was having a little playtime with him while I cooked dinner.  Liam loves it when you grab his hands and make him "box"...with fun sounds of course!  He was just loving it and gave out the cutest little squeal.  This move is almost guaranteed to get a little laugh of him.  Each & every time he laughs it just makes our day! He is so loved.

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Pumpkin Patch

The last weekend of September, we drove to Spokane to see family & friends!  We had hardly spent any time there since Liam was born, so there were plenty of people to still meet!  Plus, I really wanted to go to Green Bluff to check out a pumpkin patch and pick up some freshly made cider.  I know this was a little early to be hitting the pumpkin patch, but I knew our October was busy so this was really the only weekend that worked!  Going early actually paid off too; it wasn't that crowded and I found one of the rare & coveted white pumpkins!

My family's annual trip to Green Bluff was one of my favorite fall activities!  I loved the experience of picking apples, getting pumpkins right off the vine, and enjoying some fresh apple cider & caramel apples.  Even when I lived in Seattle for college, I always drove home for a trip to Green Bluff each year.  I have really missed this place over the last four years while we have lived too far away.  This year, I was so excited to bring Liam with me!  He's obviously too young to remember it, but he loves being outside and new sights; so, he enjoyed the little things!  Jon, Shalan, & Kanyon joined us for the adventure; so fun to have the cousins together!

Liam seeing his very 1st chicken!

The Sorrentino's

The Keenan's

We finished off our wonderful day with dinner with my other brother's family!  This was the 1st time Liam & Hadley had a chance to meet.  While neither one looks very happy in this picture, they loved each other! :-)  We had such a fun evening together; I love having little one's practically the same age.

Friday, September 28, 2012

2 Months Old

2 Months Old

Height: 24.75 inches (99th percentile)  Our boy is long...

Weight: 13 lb 2.5 oz (64th percentile) ...and lean!

Head:  39.8 cm (65th percentile)

Clothes:  Liam is already into his 3-6 month clothes!  He is growing out of his wardrobe way too fast.  I will have to do some serious shopping in the near future because after he outgrows his current size, his wardrobe options are fairly limited.

Eating:  I am still exclusively breastfeeding and it's going wonderfully!  I really enjoy the bonding time with Liam and don't mind his long nursing sessions at all!  He's still a messy eater, but he has improved over the last month.  Thankfully, I'm not changing my shirts nearly as much!  I think there's a chance I have a bit of an oversupply, but I'm managing it just fine.  I got some help from the lactation consultants at a Le Leche League meeting.  I will say that I love these monthly get togethers!  I've gone every month since my last month of pregnancy.  It's such a great group of women and fun for Liam and I to see other moms & babies.  I highly recommend it to other mommies!

Sleeping:  One night (around 7 weeks old), Conor & I spontaneously decided to put Liam to bed in his crib for the 1st time!  It wasn't a big planned event, it just happened.  Liam was sleepy early one evening, but we weren't ready for bed yet... So we put him to bed in his own room and he slept for 6 hours straight!  While this was so exciting, Mom and Dad weren't quite ready for this.  :-)  I checked on him twice that night even though we had the baby monitor!  From that evening on, Liam has consistently slept 4-6 hours in his crib each night.  We have since developed a nighttime routine that is working really well for us!  Around 8pm we give him a bath which he loves; we do lots of splashing, playing, singing songs...anything that gets him engaged and smiling!  Then, we put Liam in his jammies and (sometimes) read a bedtime story. I think I enjoy the story much more than Liam at this point!  His My favorite is Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site.  Around 9pm I nurse Liam to sleep, and Conor swaddles him and puts him down in his crib for the evening.  Once he wakes up after his first long stretch of sleep, Conor gets Liam and brings him to me for a feeding & diaper change.  Then he stays in bed with us for the rest of the night and early morning when Conor gets up for work... We just love that snuggle time with him! Especially Conor as Liam likes to curl up and snooze against his chest.

Diapering:  I am still loving his cloth diapers!  I wish I could have a diaper budget and keep buying all these cute prints & colors and new brands as I discover them.  But for now, my current stash is doing just fine.  We rarely have any blowouts, and Liam hasn't had any diaper rash!  I decided to bring our cloth diapers with us for our trip to MT and was so happy I did!  It was just as easy as using them at home, since we had a washer to use when we needed it.  However, I do think it would be hard to fly with cloth (the diapers would need their own piece of luggage), so unfortunately I might have to use disposables for a few upcoming trips, yuck!

Outings:  Life for Liam has been exciting lately!  In the last month, we have taken Liam to a wedding on top of Schweitzer mountain, a visit to Spokane & Montana, and he has even accompanied us for a little wine tasting!  He loves being outside and is stimulated by just about everything.  We took him with us on a trip to Pike Place Market where he was so alert, engaged, and enjoyed all the sights & sounds.  It was fun seeing him so interested in the world around him; I see lots of fun market trips in our future!

Likes:  Stretching: he'll spend a good 5 minutes stretching out his body when he wakes up in the morning.  Bath time:  he gets those little legs kicking like crazy and doesn't stop moving the entire time!  Faces: he's still much more entertained by people and their expressions than he is with toys at this point. Telling stories: Liam is becoming such a chatterbox! He loves to be propped up facing Mom or Dad and just smile and talk up a storm! He goes on and on with his coos and other funny sounds. We can't wait to hear his little giggles for the first time.  Tummy time by the window:  Liam is fascinated with these huge sunflowers growing in our neighbors yard, so we put him on his tummy so he can hold his head up and look outside!  He also likes to pull his knees to his chest during a diaper change, making it impossible to get a clean diaper on him.  And he's also a big fan of giving open mouth kisses, the more slobbery the better! :-)

Milestones:  As said above, he's sleeping in his own crib!  He's also holding his head up so well, that I think I'm going to try putting him in his bumbo a little bit this week!

Best Moment:  Liam meeting lots of his extended family!  In Montana, he met his Gram & BK (Conor's parents), Aunts & Uncles, his cousin Aria, & his Great Grandfather Fred!  It was nice to finally introduce him to Conor's side of the family.  In Spokane, he met Great Grandfather Bob, more Aunts & Uncles, & his cousin Kanyon!  It is so fun to see the babies together; I can't wait until he is older and they can actually play together! 

**Once again, here are more cute pictures of Liam from the past month.  If you want to follow me on instagram (keenanlauram), you can get even more of his cuteness on a daily basis!**


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