Happy Holidays! (MLK Day and Presidents’ Day?)

My attempt at a Christmas-themed photo shoot with Emmett, Sonny and Max.  Ultimately we decided none of the shots were worthy of printing (not the best lighting), but I they still make me smile.  My three sweeties.  Posting very late, but come on, how cute are my baby and pups?

I love how Emmett was moving all around and the dogs stayed in exactly the same positions the whole time like statues.

-Kelly

Tags: Emmett dogs Kelly

Label Baby Junior

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When Emmett started daycare, I knew I needed to label a lot of things.  Everything he takes to daycare - clothes, blankets, pacifiers, bottles, food - is supposed to be labeled with his first and last name, plus the date in the case of bottles and refrigerated food.  They’re not strict about clothing, though you run the risk of losing items if they lack labels, but they are pretty serious about the bottles and food.  Of course my first inclination was low tech DIY: just write his name on everything with a Sharpie.  Unfortunately, my friends with older kids in daycare told me the Sharpie wears off the bottles and you have to keep writing it over and over.  One friend gave me a couple sheets of freezer labels that can be printed at home.  I printed them up, with varying results.  Maybe my printer malfunctioned or was not the right type for these labels, but some were smudgy.  They have held up well though, going through the dishwasher and fridge (and occasionally freezer) over the past five months.  A few bled even more the first time through the dishwasher, even though I waited at least a day after putting the labels on.  Some are like the one on the left, some are like the one in the center.  Even the bad ones are readable, so I’m leaving them alone.

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I have two labels on each bottle: a permanent one with Emmett’s name, and a LabelOnce erasable label on which I write the date (daycare requires this), the quantity (to facilitate my own OCD record keeping), and the date I pumped it (for my own info so I know how fresh it is).  These labels are neat: you write on them with a Sharpie and then you can erase it later.  They stay on really well through the dishwasher, fridge and freezer, and the writing stays on about as well as it does on anything else - it gradually wears off after a few times through the dishwasher.  Going through the dishwasher doesn’t seem to affect the erasability, which you can do with any soft, white eraser like the Magic Rub.  I don’t know if they’re that much easier than using masking tape, which is what other people seem to use for the date, but it works well for me.  One note: it’s very difficult to write on the LabelOnce labels when they are cold and/or wet with condensation, so it’s best to write before they go into the fridge or freezer.

The bottle lids and rings are too small for the printed freezer labels, so at first I wrote on them with Sharpie.  Sure enough, it was barely legible after a few passes through the dishwasher.  Meanwhile, my special fabric Sharpie worked well on the paper-like tags of clothing, but on some fabric tags it bled so much it just turned into a black blob, and I hated writing on tagless items.  

Another friend had told me about Name Bubbles, and I decided I’d spent as much time going the DIY route as I was willing to, so it was time to give in and buy some.  I chose the smallest possible labels: Bitty Clothing Labels for clothes and Mini Labels for bottles.  They’ve worked really well.  For the bottle lids and rings, I cut them down to size so they’d fit on the side.  They definitely look nicer than the freezer labels.  If I ever need to put fresh labels on the bottle parts, I will use the Name Bubbles.  I’m also applying them to the reusable baby food containers we use when we make our own purees.  

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Name Bubbles is having a 20% off sale that ends today, so I thought I’d share my experience with them.  If you miss today (1/22/13), they have periodic sales and will tell you about them if you sign up for their email list.  I just ordered some more of the Bitty Clothing Labels.  They stay on well through laundering and peel off nicely if/when you want to pass along the item to someone else.  

Note: I’m not being compensated in any way for this post.  I like the LabelOnce and Name Bubbles labels, so I wanted to share the info with other parents who may also be wondering if there’s an easier way to label everything.

-Kelly

p.s. Do you know what the title of this post references?  I’ll give you a hint: Tim Whatley regifted it.

One resolution

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While Matt has a long list of new year resolutions, I have but one.  OK, maybe I have a few other things I’m planning to try to do better this year, but I’m focusing on one very important resolution.  If/when I am successful with this one, it should make it possible for me to tackle other things.  Sleep.  Specifically, Emmett’s sleep.  More specifically, my goal is to be able to put Emmett in his crib and have him go to sleep and stay asleep or go back to sleep on his own without needing to nurse so frequently. 

Our current routine involves me nursing Emmett to sleep in my bed and then either staying in bed with him (I read books, catch up on email or internet on my phone, listen to podcasts, or catch some ZZZs myself) or sneaking out of bed and folding some laundry in the bedroom.  I used to be able to sneak out of the room and go do other things for a couple hours while listening to the baby monitor, but ever since Emmett learned to roll over, I haven’t been able to leave the room for more than a moment.  Now that he can crawl, I can’t even leave for a few seconds because he can wake up and as quickly and silently as a ninja, he can be at the edge of the bed.  A barrier of pillows is no obstacle for him.  So as much as I’ve enjoyed snuggling my sleeping baby and the forced relaxation time for myself, I’ve decided it’s time for Emmett to learn to sleep in his crib.  Since I can’t really get into the crib to nurse him and then sneak away, I need to be able to place him there, either already asleep without waking, or awake with the ability to go to sleep on his own.  My past attempts to nurse him down and then move him have failed; he always wakes up.

The crib is set up in our room.  I’ve read several books and I have a plan in mind, subject to trial and error.  My hope is that in a few weeks (?), Emmett will have a new life skill and I’ll have reclaimed some autonomy.  Wish us luck!

-Kelly

Quick and dirty DIYs: sewing for baby edition

Lately I’ve been doing a little bit of sewing, which makes me happy.  I have a medium-sized sewing project to share with you when it’s finished, which will be soon I hope.  In the meantime, I’ve done a couple of super quick “sewing” projects.  I say “sewing” because technically I did very little sewing on one and no sewing on the other, but they involve fabric and sewing tools.  

I mentioned in a post about our diaper changing station that when we are at home, instead of disposable wipes, we use cloth ones wet with plain water and stored in our wipe warmer.  Trial and error showed us which materials we like best for wipes.  My favorite cloth wipes are ones I cut from an old pair of sweatpants, even though they roll up in the dryer.  Next best are terry cloth.  The worst are ones I cut from old T shirts; they’re just too thin.  I don’t have any more sweatpants lying around, but I do have more baby towels than we can possibly use, thanks to gifts, hand-me-downs, and freecycle.  There were a couple of towels received via freecycle bags-‘o-baby-stuff that had seen better days, so I cut one up into washcloths.  It only took a couple minutes using my rotary cutter and mat.  6 inches by about 4.5 inches fit nicely into the wipe warmer.  Bam, done.  Always nice to accomplish something so quickly.  We’ve been using these for over a month and the edges don’t fray, so there’s no need to finish them.

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Next up, some strap protectors for the Ergo carrier.  We really like the Ergo.  Emmett likes it too.  Like any baby, everything that comes near his mouth immediately goes in and gets all slobbery.  See the wet spot on the strap:

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The Ergo can be washed, but they recommend against washing it a lot.  Hence the existence of "sucking pads" on Amazon, "drool catchers" on Etsy, and a variety of similar products available to purchase online for around $20.  That seems a little expensive for something I could make in 5 minutes, albeit not as attractive, but still quite functional.  I have a whole pile of Bumkins prefold cloth diapers that I use for burp cloths and mainly to catch the milk that always seems to dribble out the corner of Emmett’s mouth when he nurses.  I thought one of these cut in half would be perfect.  So I cut it, sewed a zigzag along the cut edges, and used iron-on velcro patches.  Bam, done.  

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They work very well, except one of the velcro patches didn’t adhere completely so I’ll have to iron it on again.  The same thing could be done to make another set to use as strap covers for the car seat.  I don’t worry about it for short trips, but on longer trips I’m always trying to tuck the sides of Emmett’s bib between his neck and the straps so they don’t cut in too much.  Maybe I’ll go ahead and do that when I fix the other one.

Next up, I took a freecycled minky baby blanket with some ink stains on one corner, and made a quick cover for the diaper changing pad. I just draped the blanket over the pad, pinned corner darts where it seemed appropriate, and sewed it. It’s not perfect, but it took about 10 minutes and cost $0. It actually stays on the changing pad pretty well just with a few darts around the edges and no elastic.

I love mini projects that are quick and easy.  It’s nice to get the finished result right away and move on.  Sometimes when I’ve been feeling stuck or overwhelmed, just getting something - anything - DONE gives me enough momentum to tackle something bigger.  I’ll show you the bigger project soon!

-Kelly

6 months!

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Emmett is eating food, mastering an army crawl, and gaining other motor skills day by day.  He is very interested in small details and faces, and he often uses his pointer finger to touch a specific part of an object or drawing.  His pinchers are getting pretty good too.  He can almost sit unassisted, but falls over after a few seconds.

I have continued to take his monthly photos.  He is so big and mature compared to the first four months!

5 months:

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6 months:

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At his 6-month checkup, Emmett weighed 18 lbs, 4 oz (65 %ile) and was 28.5 inches long (98 %ile!)  He wears 9-12 month size clothing already and he is just about to grow out of his infant car seat.  We can’t believe how fast he’s growing and changing.  It seems like every day he makes a new sound or executes a new movement that he has never done before.  

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And such a happy boy!

-Kelly

It’s never too early to start gardening

Emmett checks out the backyard garden.

Bean harvest and a few tomatoes.

Often, when it’s Matt’s turn to watch Emmett for a while, they walk to the P-patch and make a few loops in the stroller until Emmett dozes off and Matt gets a little gardening done.  A few other times, they have gardened together in the back yard.  Emmett already knows where his food comes from (mommy!), and now he’s starting to learn how real food is grown.  It’s never too early!

-Kelly

Emmett pics of the week

Losing his hair in front and on the sides. It will grow back, but for now it looks a bit funny. He’s still my handsome boy though.

-Kelly

Collection of Emmett pics

Emmett pics of the week

I just love this little nightgown outfit.  He’s somehow even more cute and snuggly in it than usual.  Ready for bed.

Trying out a paci for the first time.

Strong little neck!

Past pics are here.

-Kelly

Giveaway results

The bedding giveaway has closed.  The winner, as selected using random.org, is Eva. Congratulations Eva!  Please send me an email at diynotblog@gmail.com to redeem your prize.

-Kelly

Emmett pics of the week

Snoozing with Sonny

On a walk in the park with mom

After bath time, with his brand new belly button

-Kelly