3 month update!

My little Harper-Doodle is 3 months old!! Can you believe it!? 

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She is such a happy baby and the last month has brought us so much joy! 

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Can you believe how much she has grown since she was born!? The picture on the left is the day we brought her home from the hospital! 

 

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She still loves to snuggle.

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And make silly faces!

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She is sleeping in her crib now, which made me super sad! 

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We got her a playmat which she loves! 

She loves to talk to the things that hang down and she kicks and bats at them too! 

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We started swim lessons this month and Harper LOVES them! 038

 

She doesn’t love floating on her back… but really… who does!? 

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She loves hanging out with her daddy. 

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And she loves being worn by mommy!

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She is showing a preference to certain toys (particularly a pink cat and a stuffed block I got at Target). She is trying to grasp things and she is rolling over from front to back already! I think she just hates tummy time so much that she figured out how to roll over just so she can get out of tummy time.🙂

 

 

 

 

Tummy Troubles for H

My poor baby can’t catch a break. The first few weeks of her life we discovered she had lots of gas. It seemed to cause her pain, she would wake up from a dead sleep screaming, pass gas, and then fall back asleep. It broke my heart so I looked up ways to ease her discomfort. 

We used gas drops, gripe water, and I gave her a massage every evening. It really seemed to help for a while. Around 6 weeks old she started having predicable “fussy times” in the evening. I hear they call this the witching hour. I figured it was normal baby crankiness. We talked to the doctor about it and she threw that stupid, ugly, annoying “colic” label on it and we went on our way. Why such animosity towards “colic” you ask? Because I think it’s a catch-all for “I’m sorry, your baby is upset but since they can’t talk, I can’t tell you why.” 

Finally right around 8 weeks old I was changing an especially stinky poopy diaper when I noticed a streak of blood in the diaper. I knew instantly that this explained everything and that SOMETHING wasn’t right. I called the after-hours nurse at our pediatrician’s office and she told me not to worry… it was probably nothing… That just didn’t sound right to me (I know I don’t want blood in MY poop!) so I called the pediatrician’s office the next morning and spoke with my doctor. She had me bring Harper in with a few recent diapers. They tested the diapers in the office and confirmed what I already knew. She had blood in her stool. 

The doctor told me that the most likely reason is a Milk Protein intolerance. What does that mean??! 

Well, you’ve heard of lactose intolerance, I’m sure! Lactose intolerance in the inability to process the sugars found in cow’s milk. Babies can have an intolerance to the PROTEIN’S in milk. This is entirely different and presents a whole new set of challenges. Milk proteins can be found in most vegan (read: fake) cheese and dairy replacement products. Read the label on your favorite foods. Do you see butter, milk, cream, whey, casein, sodium caseinate? All of these (and more) are milk or milk protein derived. 

 

Our options were: 1- stop breastfeeding and put Harper on a special formula that is free of all allergens. Or 2- eliminate the problem foods from MY diet, wait two-four weeks for the proteins to be out of my milk and re-evaluate. During this time I could continue breastfeeding… I choose the latter option. I’m just not ready to give up on breastfeeding yet.
I went through my pantry and read the labels on everything. I sent 3 grocery bags of food home with my mom and went grocery shopping to stock up on “safe” foods. I did some research and found that an overwhelming majority of babies with a milk protein intolerance also have a soy intolerance, so I made the decision to cut soy from my diet as well. Soy comes in many forms (soybean oil, soy lecithin, soy flour…) so it is really hard to avoid. I spent 3 hours at the grocery store the first trip, just reading labels and searching for safe foods! I came home with a lot of chicken, turkey, nuts, fruits and veggies. I found a vegan pesto recipe (basically pesto minus the cheese) and found a gluten free bread that is also safe. I’ve experimented with different recipes, found substitutions (coconut oil works great in place of butter and olive oil is great for adding flavor and moisture to just about anything.) I’ve learned about food labeling laws, and I’ve realized that I won’t be eating out much for the duration.

It’s been challenging and there are times when I saw a Pizza Hut commercial and wanted to throw in the towel… But after 3 weeks of strictly dairy and soy free, I can see a difference in Harper’s mood, attitude, and even sleep patterns. I have a totally different baby now!

It’s so rewarding to see such effort pay off.

Do you have allergies? How do you manage eating out and eating at other peoples house? I’ve noticed eating out is incredibly difficult and some places are better than others at listing allergens. What’s your experience like?

Harper – 2 month update!

Yikes- I’m late on this!! Sorry folks! I’ve been busy snuggling a baby!

Harper turned 2 months old on June 6th, 2014. Wow! I can’t believe how big she is getting!! She was NOT happy about having her picture taken…

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She is such a great baby! She has some tummy troubles that we are working through (more on that in the next post) but she is a very smiley, happy girl! She loves to be held and snuggled and she falls asleep on her daddy’s chest all the time. She grabs onto his goatee and makes a fist and will fall asleep like that. Her daddy doesn’t dare pull his hair out so he sits there like a champ until she wakes up!🙂

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We are still exclusively breastfeeding, but not without challenges (also related to tummy troubles which I’ll go into detail on the next post!)

She is cooing, smiling and holding her head up really well during tummy time!

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She was up to 9 lbs 11 oz at 8 weeks old! We delayed her 2 month appointment until she was 2 months and 2 weeks because she wasn’t feeling well so I don’t have a weight for her at exactly 2 months. At her 2 month appointment she weighed 10lbs 5oz and was 23in long! She’s in the 50th percentile for height and head size but the 25th percentile for weight so she is long and lean! The doctor says she is growing great!

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She got a TON of vaccines at this last doctor’s appointment and it was ROUGH! There were 4 shots and one oral (Rotovirus) and she cried so hard😦 It broke my heart. That entire day was really rough and that night was pretty tough too. She was feeling better by the next day but we did give her Tylenol to help with the pain and lower her fever. By the third day she was back to her happy self.

So sleepy!

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She hates tummy time now… but she will tolerate it if I place her on the boppy pillow…

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She loves when I read to her and play with her. She loves to look at the bright pictures in books! I just know I’ll have another reader in the family!

The babies got together again for my parent’s 30th Anniversary party and we took another picture… Heh! What a difference 2 months makes! Jack and Harper are much happier and Carter’s still just chillin…. They will be such good friends!

 

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Harper is starting to really love bath time which is a great change! I actually use bath time as a winding down tool for bedtime! We sing “This is the way we wash our feet….” and she smiles and coos.❤

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My favorite part of mornings now?

Waking up to see this:

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The second month with this little peanut was just as miraculous, crazy, and terrifying as the first. We discovered that Harper cannot tolerate dairy and soy, which means a LIFESTYLE change for me. We got to see her bloom into a baby with a personality. She is smiley, happy, and love-y. She loves to cuddle and will fall asleep on your chest which is the best feeling in the world. She still sleeps next to our bed in the Rock N Play and she still loves to be swaddled. I expected her to grow out of the swaddle sooner but it really helped her sleep! Speaking of sleeping, she sleeps about 4 hours at a time overnight now. Occasionally she will go 6! That makes for a happy momma!

 

 

“H” is for Harper

Since Harper arrived before I finished her nursery completely, I have been totally slacking on it. Who wants to decorate when there is an adorable baby to snuggle!? I knew I had to finish it eventually though, so I finally finished the decorations for above Harper’s crib.

The best part about this project is that I pretty much used things I already had with the exception of the wooden “H” and swirly thing, and the pink flower.

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I had the craft paint, the big blank canvas and the smaller canvases were black and white decorations that I painted over to repurpose.

I had two of these pictures from years ago. They no longer match my decor so I re-purposed them.

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I painted them both white first to cover the black design.

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For one of them, I used mod podge to cover it in fabric that I had left over from some of my sewing projects. The other one, I painted grey and glued on the fun swirly wooden thing I found at the craft store.

Then I took the larger canvas, painted it with white and pink stripes and glued the big “H” to the center. I painted the “H” grey for contrast and glued the pink flower for an added girly-ness.🙂

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I love the finished product! What do you think?

 

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Car seat cooling pack

How many times have you opened up your car in the dead of summer, reach for the seatbelt and fried your hands?? Uhm… Every day! Here in Arizona our summers are pretty brutal and you need oven mits just to touch the metal buckles in your car.

Imagine how your baby feels sitting in that hot car seat?! It’s only march and my baby doll is only a month old and already I can’t count how many times I’ve picked her up out of her car seat to find her overheated and cranky.

To solve this discomfort I made her a carseat cooling pack. It’s adorable and will be super useful in the next few months. All I have to do it pop the removable cooling packs in the freezer and when I’m ready to leave the house, I take them with me. If I’m gonna be gone a while I’ll throw them in an insulated bag but if I’m just running down the street it’s not necessary.

Then when I get to my destination, I take her out of the car seat, and plop this in ON TOP OF THE BUCKLES. We go about our business and when we get back to the car her seat is nice and chilly.

Of course you cannot have her ride in the car seat with the cooler… It is only for cooling it down when she is not in it.

It’s my first one and I have a few adjustments to make but here are the pics!

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Whatcha think? I can’t wait to give it a try!!

Laundry hamper

I have been looking for a hamper for the nursery but haven’t found one I love.

I stopped by Garden Ridge which is this super cool store in Gilbert Mesa… And found this hamper!

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It was 50% off making it only $15!

It was great except the lining was this beige color and it didn’t match the nursery!

Do you think that stopped me?? No way!

I used the existing liner to make a new one using left over pink fabric!

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Love my sewing machine!!

It’s great because I can make anything now! It may not be perfect but I’m not afraid of trying!!

Books!!

If you know me at all you know I love to read! I hope to pass this love of literature on to my little one as well!

I decided to create a book nook in her nursery so that she would have books around her from the beginning! (Plus… I didn’t want her books taking up space in the library!😉 that would take up space that my books need!)

I got spice racks from Ikea and painted them white and hung them in the nursery. They actually hold quite a few books!
Then I had my dad make me a custom wall art! I designed it myself and then he cut it and applied it!

I think it looks amazing!

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I think reading is one of the most important things we can teach our children! It can take them to far away places!! It’s magical!