Penny’s Six Month Update

Six months. SIX MONTHS. I can’t believe this little peach has been in our lives for six whole months. This has been the most incredible six months we’ve ever had, although time is moving too quickly for my liking.

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Penny is 18 pounds and in 6-12mo clothing. She’s growing so fast, I can’t even believe it. She sleeps 11-12hrs at night, and roughly 3hrs during the day which leaves a LOT of time for activities!! I like that she’s able to stay awake longer between naps because it gives us the opportunity to do more with her. She loves touching her toes and playing with them – even REALLY early in the morning in her crib (Penny sometimes misses the memo that we like to sleep after 5:30…) but I still can’t help but smile because I hear her cooing and it just melts my heart. She’s also sitting up completely unassisted and pulls herself up onto her feet when she’s holding your hands!! She’s taken a HUGE liking to our cat Marshmallow, watching her walk around the house and trying to pet her. Her version of “petting” is grabbing fistfuls of fur – we’re gonna work on that whole “gentle” thing.

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We’ve started introducing solid foods which has been QUITE the adventure. We started with baby cereal around 4.5mos and she seemed to be okay with it so we moved onto sweet potatoes, peaches, avocados, green beans, strawberries, apples, peas, spinach, carrots, eggs, mango, broccoli, raspberries, cucumber, some peanut butter and watermelon (which she is SO in love with, especially by the pool). We are taking the approach of baby-led weaning, where we’ll cut veggies & fruits into pieces she can hold and feed herself – helps her develop motor skills and it’s a fun activity for all of us (although SUPER messy but I think that’s what makes it even more fun)! Our pediatrician told us since we’re giving her breastmilk, “food before one is for fun” – basically she’s not replacing any of the breastmilk with solids, it’s just to get her used to new textures and flavours for when we wean her off breastmilk so we don’t need to worry about how much she’s eating. I purchased this book off Amazon – it has a bunch of different recipes for purees, finger foods and more for every stage! I wanted to get a baby cook book because personally I don’t mix things up a lot (I have a pretty basic diet, nothing spicy, nothing super adventurous), but I want Penelope to experience a lot of flavour combinations that I might not be able to think of. I am so excited to try a bunch of foods with her – it’s so fun!!

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Penelope is OBSESSED with the pool! We are super lucky to have access to two pools (Pete’s parents & my sister) so Penny is able to spend a lot of time in the water! We purchased kiddie pools on Amazon (click here for them) for our house, Peter’s parents and my sister’s so that we can create a warmer pool experience since neither of their pools are heated – that way if she gets too chilly, OR if the water isn’t warm enough to begin with, she can still take a little dip. We also made sure to purchase swim diapers (a pack for each pool) since regular diapers don’t really do well with being submerged in water. Another amazing find was this Mambo Baby pool float my mom bought her – it’s the BEST. She can lay on her back or on her tummy and float around the pool (I shared a few pictures of her in it in this post)! She’s loving the pool life – who can blame her!

She’s growing so fast, I can’t believe she’s already half a year old. Sometimes it feels like yesterday that we had a newborn in the house, and now we have this girl who’s becoming more independent everyday.

I can’t wait to share more with the blog as she gets older! Instagram is the best place to keep up to date with our lives, be sure to check it out!

— Rachel

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Penelope’s First Pool Day!

This past weekend we celebrated Canada Day with a nice long weekend & the nicest weather we’ve had yet this year!! My sister invited us over for a pool day (two of them, actually), and it was Penny’s first time ever in a big pool. She LOVED being in the water!

My mom bought a Mambo Baby pool float which is basically the best thing ever invented for babies, and let her float around the pool. She’s able to lay on her tummy to practice her swimming skills, but right now she’s mostly all about that lounge life (although she did enjoy being on her tummy, but preferred laying back looking at the trees). We’ve got a water loving babe on our hands!

We can’t wait to spend the rest of the summer by the pool watching Penny enjoy the water – and enjoying some much appreciated family time too!

Happy summer everyone!!

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Hanging out with daddy in the pool
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After her first dip, she needed some snuggles from her great-grandma!
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I can’t get over how relaxed she looks – she was living her best life.
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My little water lovin’ babe!
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*heart eyes*
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Day two in the pool, this time working on our tummy swimming!
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Penny loved pushing off our legs underwater and scooting across the pool.

Tips From a New Mom, part 2

I don’t know how many of these I’ll do – I guess its a new series I’ll be doing for the next little while (#TFANM!) – but as Penny gets older, and I become more and more confident with being her mom, there are always new things I’m learning that I want to share with everyone!

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SLEEPY VIBES

When Penny was a newborn, she could nap anywhere! In the living room in complete brightness, while I was wearing her unloading the dishwasher – nothing could keep her awake. Now as she’s getting older, she’s realizing that the experiencing the world is WAY more exciting than napping. I noticed that we were having a really hard time with naps – she wouldn’t settle down in her room and didn’t want to sleep which leads to a very overtired (and cranky) little babe. After doing a lot of research, I realized something: now that her days and nights aren’t mixed up anymore, she knows that light = awake, dark = night. And her bedroom was actually really bright – we only had blinds, no curtains. So I hopped online and purchased blackout curtains (these pink ones from Bouclair) and Pete hung them up. I have noticed a HUGE improvement in the darkness of her room – they eliminate all the daylight!! Her naps are still a bit of a struggle (around this time, a lot of babies have this issue of not having long naps), but it takes a lot less time to wind her down for naps since her room is so dark. Highly recommend getting blackout curtains for babe’s room!

PLAY, PLAY, PLAY

Penny’s getting older and more active, and needs more stimulation. She used to be okay laying on her play mat, looking at the animals and lights for a LONG time. Now that she’s getting older and her brain development is really increasing, she doesn’t love to be in one place too long – so we’ve learned to switch it up! It helps keep her entertained (and happy), it helps keep her brain working hard AND it helps tire her out – so many toys, not enough time in the day! We switch between her play mat (back and tummy time), her Finding Nemo activity centre, her Jolly Jumper, going for walks and hanging out with us on the couch practicing sitting and standing and making funny faces with us.

NIGHT & NAP ROUTINES

Keeping a consistent nighttime and nap routines are key in helping Penelope learn to wind down for sleepy time. We started with a nighttime routine which she seems to really love! Bath, fresh diaper & PJ’s, nighttime lotion, bottle, book & bed – every night, no matter how the day went. Our nap routine is similar to her nighttime routine, just a LOT shorter: fresh diaper, book & bed. We try and stretch out each routine a bit (bedtime takes ~45mins, nap time is ~10mins) so it’s more enjoyable and less rushed – I want her to have ample wind down time. No one wants to be in the middle of doing something and get told “GO TO SLEEP” – everyone needs time to wind down.

GET OUT OF THE HOUSE

Do you know how easy it is to spend a week inside and not even realize it? For me, it was VERY easy. You fall into a pattern of feeding, changing and playing with the baby, and when they’re napping you try and get as much housework done as humanly possible (or have a nap yourself, I did that a LOT). I was feeling so incredibly lousy one day and realized I hadn’t left the house in FIVE DAYS. Like didn’t even go outside for a breath of fresh air. And do you know how awful that made me feel? VERY awful. Once the weather started to improve, Pete and I made a promise that we would get out and go for walks as often as we can – now we aim for walks once a day! It honestly makes me feel like a brand new woman. It’s amazing what an hour or two of fresh air can do for you! If you can’t do walks, honestly even getting into the car and going to grab a coffee makes a difference. It’s a change of scenery and some fresh air – you will THANK ME for this seemingly obvious advice.

BABY CARRIER

“Penny is pretty fussy today and doesn’t really want to be left alone – but I need to get stuff done…” BAM enter the baby carrier!!! Potentially one of the greatest inventions ever. We have 2 – the Ergobaby 360 and the Wildbird ‘Elapaio Double. We first bought the Ergobaby and I actually won the Wildbird in an Instagram giveaway and my verdict is in: I am OBSESSED with the Wildbird. They are expensive ($114 US), but honestly, SO much easier to put on than the Ergobaby and Penny just looks so much comfier. The fabric is super thick so it will support her when she’s bigger, and it’s just perfection. I actually might buy another one – I’m THAT obsessed. Any baby carrier works for helping you get stuff done around the house, or if you know you’ll be walking around for a while and want to skip the stroller. It’s the perfect combo of being handsfree but also being able to soak up baby snuggles!!

CHORE HOUR

Chores can really start to pile up in a house when you have a baby – even in just one day, let alone a week or month. And time has this new magic ability where it just seems to disappear. One minute, it’s Monday and the next minute it’s Sunday night and you’re wondering where your week went and how did the house become such a mess!! To combat this, we’ve recently started implementing “chore hour”. Once Penelope goes to bed (which is around 7p), we spend the next hour doing chores. Could be things like tidying up her toys, doing a load of laundry, loading/emptying the dishwasher, taking out the garbage and recycling, wipe down the counters etc. It honestly makes a HUGE difference. Because now, instead of waiting until the house is a disaster and it you feel like you can never catch up, we are able to stay on top of things better and even better – wake up to a tidy house which is a big YES PLEASE in our house!

YOU DO YOU

I will be the first to admit that I look up EVERYTHING – I seriously googled “do babies need to wear socks” once. I look up anything from why is she eating so much in a day, to why babies drool so much, to what the reasoning could be for her change in mood. Why? I am guilty of constantly looking for a solution – something I didn’t realize about myself before I had Penelope. Anytime something comes up with her (good day, bad day), I research it. I read articles on blogs and medical sites, moms talking about their babies in forums, and Facebook groups I’m apart of. I am always in search of a solution to any problem we’re currently faced with. Bad sleep, short naps, ate a lot more than normal and fussier than yesterday and I am instantly wondering why did it happen, did it happen to any other moms, do any baby experts have explanations, and how do I fix it?? I have started to try and just do me – go with my gut. I’m Penny’s mom, NO ONE knows her better than I do – so why do I think Regina Phalange in the Facebook group would have the answer to my problem? Not that research is a bad thing, or looking to other mom’s for guidance is the worst thing ever, but I want to try and let my instincts guide me day to day. I know this basically contradicts this series of blog posts, but just take every opinion and blog post with a grain of salt and remember – no one knows your babe like you do, so go with your mom instincts!!

0-3 Month Newborn Favourites

Penny is 3 months old. Let me just let that sink in before I get started on this post… I can’t believe it! Time is FLYING by and I wish I could slow it down! She’s now in 3-6 month clothing (we started transitioning her over around 9 weeks), we get a TON of smiles and coos, and she’s really starting to show her personality.

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Continue reading “0-3 Month Newborn Favourites”

Penny’s Three Month Update

Our little Penelope is THREE MONTHS OLD. I have no idea how and when that happened. Some days I feel like she just got here, and then I look back at photos and am amazed it’s only been three months. She’s grown soo much in the past few months and we love watching her learn and grow everyday.

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Her sleep has been INCREDIBLE, we are sooo lucky. In Penelope’s One Month Update, I shared that she had started sleeping 2-4 hour chunks at night which was amazing. Now at three months, she sleeps 8p-8a (with a little snack/diaper change between 3-5a) with a couple naps during the day! She mainly sleeps in her bassinet with the occasional snooze in her DockATot or Rockaroo. I have told everyone – if her love of sleep at night is the only thing she inherited from me, that is a-okay because we are loving it! That 4 month regression is going to really be a shock for us (any tips would be so welcomed).

She loves playing so much nowadays! We still use her activity mat, but we also use her Finding Nemo activity centre because her head and neck control is really good! She likes interacting with the toys and gives them super big smiles. Next up will be the Jolly Jumper when her head and neck control gets a bit better.

Penny also is starting to fall into a routine – eating, playing, napping, repeat – and has responded really well to her nighttime routine (you can read more about that here, How We Got Penny to Sleep Through the Night!). And now she loves bath time – so do we because she’s starting to splash around and really loves kicking her arms and legs in the warm water! It’s a great way to end the day and get her ready for bed.

She’s getting a LOT more vocal and we are obsessed with all her little noises she makes. Cooing, giggling, blowing spit bubbles – we love it all! She also gives the entire family biiiiig smiles when she sees us! It’s so cute watching her recognize us and get this big smile on her face. UGH she kills me.

We are loving life with our little big girl, and I can’t wait to share more with the blog as she gets older! Instagram is the best place to keep up to date with our lives, be sure to check it out!

— Rachel

How We Got Penny to Sleep Through the Night!

I wanted to create a blogpost for any new parents (and for us to look back on) looking to try and create a routine to help their babe get a good night sleep. Penny has blessed us with sleeping through the night, and I really think our routines helped us!

As soon as I got pregnant, everyone said “ohhhh be sure to get as much sleep as you can now – once baby comes, it’ll be a long time before you’ll get a full night’s rest!” (Do these people not realize that when you’re pregnant you pee like 4,000 times at night??)

So Pete and I were pretty anxious about our soon-to-be upside down sleep schedule. I LOVE sleep. I would go to bed at 9p and wake up at 6a – like, really I love sleep. Obviously the first couple weeks were tough for us. Adapting to life with a new baby, not getting a lot of sleep due to middle of the night feedings and diaper changes, taking care of my healing body – it’s hard to adjust! Pete and I decided to try and create some routines throughout the day and evening to help Penny adjust her nights and days and try and get a general rhythm going on to help all of us sleep better at night.

Penny is now almost 12 weeks old, and has been sleeping from 8p-8a for several weeks now (with a little diaper and snack in the middle of the night between 3-6a)!! Below is what worked for us.

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Sleepy Penny when she was just a couple days old!

Continue reading “How We Got Penny to Sleep Through the Night!”

My Recovery & Postpartum Necessities

I felt like when I got pregnant, everyone talked about what pregnancy is like for all 3 trimesters and what delivery is like (the good, bad and ugly) – but not a lot of people talked about what postpartum was like on their bodies. And surprise surprise, it was one of the biggest parts about having Penelope that I was scared of.

As my pregnancy progressed from the first to the second to the third trimester, my sense of fear of what my life would be like in the 4-6 weeks after I gave birth to Penny was growing. How bad does everything hurt? How long does it hurt for? How could I possibly take care of her if I was going to be such a mess? What can I do to make it less painful?

Now that I’ve healed, and Penny is 9 weeks old (um can time slow down please???) I wanted to share the knowledge I received from friends, YouTube, blog posts and website articles and what worked and didn’t work for me! (I’m spilling some details, so if you think that might gross you out – you might wanna skip these.) Also, if you’d like to read about my labour & delivery, click here! Continue reading “My Recovery & Postpartum Necessities”

Penelope’s One Month Update

I have no idea how a month has passed already, but here we are – Penny is officially one month old!! This has been the craziest and most fulfilling month of our entire life. I wanted to share a little update on how our first month as a family of 3 has been – read on!

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Penelope doll from Cuddle & Kind, onesie from Carter’s, bow from Three & Me Accessories

Continue reading “Penelope’s One Month Update”