Happy First Birthday, Madeline! 

Dear Madeline,

On the eve of your first birthday I sit here thinking about where I was this time last year. Tomorrow we are celebrating your first birthday and it will be joyous, wonderful and hectic; but for now I take solace in the peace. The same thing happened this day last year. Your father and I spent the night in the hospital as I was being induced. I was tired, uncomfortable and anxious. As your daddy slept in the chair next to my bed, I lay awake waiting to meet you, wondering when you would get here. But I felt peace and calm just as I feel now. Little did I know the joy you would bring to our lives. You were the piece of the puzzle that was missing, what we dreamed of always having, and my darling, you have not disappointed.  This year has been nothing short of miraculous. Watching you learn, grow and discover who you are and what you are capable of brings me no greater joy.

You are a bundle of energy, our tumultuous tornado of a little girl. Your laugh melts my heart, your smile lights up a room and your adorable little voice as you learn and express words is music to our ears. You are the sweetest, kindest and best baby in the world. Your daddy and I are so blessed and lucky to call you ours.

I hope the first year of your life was been everything you could have dreamed of because it was everything we have dreamed of and more. You have showed us the true meaning of living and loving and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you my girl, because it is amazingly bright.

I’ll share with you a quote from a wonderful story, Cordelia, in the hopes that it can fill the words that I can’t put together, “Don’t let anyone tell you how high you can fly.”

 

We love you, Princess. Happy birthday.

Mommy 💕

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Common Illnesses: Yeast Infections

Our poor Madeline has been plagued with sicknesses as of late.  The latest is a yeast infection.  I’ll spare you the photos, but I can only imagine it is painful!

Yeast infections manifest themselves in babies as a diaper rash that you can’t get rid of with any diaper cream.  Eventually, Madeline’s started to look scaly, like small bubbles. We tried our go to, Boudreaux’s Butt Paste, for 5 days to no avail before calling the pediatrician. It turns out, when a baby has a yeast infection, you need a prescription, Nystatin, in order to clear it up.  This cream, applied liberally, to dry skin three times a day takes about a week to clear up.

It’s important to know that yeast breeds in warm, moist places.  And yeast is evident in all foods.  So diapers are a perfect breeding ground for yeast infections.  The best way to try to avoid them is frequent diaper changes.  That being said, you’ll never be able to control that 100%.  We change Madeline every two hours, with the exception of overnight, and she still got one.  Let the baby air out as much as possible, apply the cream, and it should clear up!

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Common Illnesses: Croup

One the many common illnesses we’ve been dealing with recently is croup.  For some reason when I hear croup, I just think it’s old timey, like it’s something that babies don’t get anymore –  I couldn’t be more wrong.

Madeline had been pretty cranky one day and fought going to sleep.  Finally I got her down and laid her in her crib.  Over the monitor I heard what I thought was her sneezing, went in to check on her and she was awake.  I got her down again and sure enough not twenty minutes later, I heard another noise from her room, this time it sounded like she was choking.  When I got to her she was worked up, red and struggling for air.  Every time she breathed out, it sounded like wheezing, but it was more of a barking cough.  At this point it was almost eleven at night so we took her straight to the ER.

Croup is apparently worse at night.  Many times, cold night air, or the air from the freezer can help with that cough.  It is characterized by a barking cough that sounds like a seal on their exhale, this is known as stridor.  Croup,  an inflammation of the vocal box, is kind of like laryngitis for babies, so their lungs are typically clear.  There’s not much that can be done for relief other than a steroid treatment, so it’s important to see a physician.

That being said, our doctor recommended spending time outside in cool night air when the cough acts up and a cool mist humidifier.  Nevertheless, it can take 4 days to a week to clear up.  Untreated croup can become quite serious, so if you hear the tell tale signs of the barking cough- get checked out.  Otherwise, buckle in and get ready to ride it out!

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Welcome, Finn Howard! 

We are so excited to announce that Sherrie and Matt welcomed their second baby boy, Finn Howard Young, into the world on the evening of 11/11/16.

This little man is so adorable! We just love his smushy cheeks! Everyone is home and doing well.


Logan is so excited to be a big brother, he says “baby” and now says “brother”! We can’t wait to see these two grow up together.


Please join us in giving well wishes to this beautiful family!

Sherrie & Emily

Car Trip Tips! 

Both of us have families who live far away. We recently took Madeline on a trip to see my grandmother, which is 2- 2.5 hours one way and Sherrie and Matt have to travel 3 hours one way to visit her family in New Jersey. We both typically do round trips in one day which can be a handful for both baby and parents.  I was really concerned about how this was going to go down so to ensure it went smoothly, I followed these some tips we would recommend to everyone!

Tip #1: Organization

First is organization in the car. We have this great hanging organizer from thirty-one that we just love.  It has pockets for everything! It also can grow with your baby through their ages.  The top pocket can fit an iPad, though we haven’t gotten to that stage with Madeline yet.  Having everything you will need where you can reach it easily is the key to a successful car trip.  The last thing that the person sitting in the backseat wants to do is try to rummage through the bags at their feet, unless you drive a limo, there’s just not enough space when you’re sitting next to a car seat.

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Tip #2: Pack the Essentials

There are a couple of things that are musts on a car trip.  Just like you would pack them for adults, babies need snacks! A 2.5 hour trip is a long time to be sitting in the car seat and they are bound to get hungry.  Emily has said multiple times how much she loves the Foodi System for making homemade pouches and that love is only multiplied when it comes to car trips.  Also, if you’re going to bring food, be sure to bring either a bottle of milk/formula or water.  Sherrie found these great tops that screw onto regular water bottles- instant sippy cup! Amazing!

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Next, you need some stuff to keep baby occupied.  I mentioned how we’re not at a point with Madeline where we use a tablet, it you are, great! We brought along our favorite Usborne book and her family photo album, both take time to read or look at which can help pass the time spent in the car. Any other toys that they can keep occupied is a plus.  Madeline is at a stage where she likes to throw her toys around the car, so these plastic links are a lifesaver.  We string them together and hook one end to the top of her car seat, the other end to the toy.  Now she can play to her heart’s content but the toys aren’t going anywhere! Another option that Sherries does is keep a small bin of toys in front of the car seat. That way if they throw it and you can’t reach for it, you have some backup right in the bin near you!

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Tip #3: Timing is Everything

If at all possible, plan your trips when you know your child travels best based on their schedule. A well fed baby will be happier in the long haul than trying to struggle and feed a cranky hungry baby midway. Another suggestion is you may want to start your travels during your toddler’s nap time – Sherrie does this with Logan and he easily sleeps half the car ride.

The key to a happy, meltdown free car trip is preparation! Pack smart, keep them occupied, and tire them out.  You’ll be golden and they’ll be happy. 🙂

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Sherrie & Emily

 

Product Review: Little Martin’s Nail Trimmer

We are so excited to share this great product find with you!!!

If there’s one thing we absolutely dread it’s cutting our babies nails.  It’s a terrifying process to say the least.  That is not the case anymore because of a company called Little Martin’s Drawer who makes a new nail trimmer that we love and we can’t figure out how we existed before we knew about it!

Here’s what the Little Martin’s nail trimmer looks like. It runs on two AA batteries and is super light and compact.

The button on the front is the on/off switch that controls the speed, high and low, and rotation, clockwise/reverse. There is even an LED front light to make it easier to see their tiny nails. This nail trimmer is also equipped with a “whisper-quiet” motor so you can file nails while baby is sleeping.

There are interchangeable attachments for babies/toddlers and even adults. For babies/toddlers you choose the file pad based on their age, however if you feel a lesser course nail pad is more appropriate you can choose that one instead.  For Madeline, Emily is using the green one, the least coarse, because Madeline’s nails are still very soft (though she did try to use the coarsest one on Bruce Wayne and it didn’t work – she will leave it to the professionals!). There are even 3 attachments for adults: a shaving disc, a polisher and a point polisher. We love that we can use it too!  When the pads wear out, you can purchase replacement pads separate from nail trimmer package.

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The scariest part of clipping nails is getting them to stay still. We are both terrified that they would move and suddenly we’d pinch them or worse, cut the skin.  That’s not the case with the Little Martin’s nail trimmer and it’s why we love the product so much.  You can see here, Madeline is moving all about, and as long as her hand is still, it’s easy and quick to trim down her nails!

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Want one of your own? ( Trust us, it will change your life!)  Grab one here and be sure to check them out and like their page on Facebook!

Sherrie & Emily

Common Illnesses: Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis)

If you have ever had a kid in daycare, or really if you’ve ever had a kid, then you know that there is one thing they always are: germy.

That’s how on a Monday morning we ended up home battling pink eye. This is another one of those super common illnesses that gets passed around. Pink eye can be caused by a lot of things such as a cold, contact with the virus, or just a piece of dust that she rubbed into her eye. If you think your child may have pink eye, here are the things to look out for.

With Madeline we noticed the area around her eye got really red and puffy.  She typically rubs her eyes when she’s tired but this was much more than normal.  As it got redder and puffier, it also got really watery, it start to leak mucous like green crusts and even just straight clear liquid.  That’s when we knew something was off.  She was cranky and complaining more than usual.   The real test is when they wake up in the morning.  The first morning she woke up, her eye was swollen shut. Our pediatrician recommended a safe dose (based on Madeline’s weight) of Benadryl to help until our appointment later that day. Always ask your doctor for what medications and dosage amounts are safe to give your child before administering any medications to them.

Depending on how old your child is, they will either prescribe an oral medication or an ointment to be placed on their eyelashes so that they can blink it into their eye.  We got the ointment because she’s under 8 months.  As soon as we got it in, we started seeing improvement.  After just two hours, Madeline was bouncing back to her usual, happy self! And the other good news is that after 24 hours they’re good to go back to daycare or school.

Be sure to go to the pediatrician, even if you have the ointment at home because sometimes pink eye can be paired with an ear infection and it’s important to make sure you’re treating all the issues at hand.  We were lucky that it was just one of her eyes, but it can easily spread to the other eye as well.  Good luck and here’s hoping for healthy babies!

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Products We Love: Foodii

In the the past  we reviewed the Kiinde Bottle System.  Now what we love even more is Foodii, the baby food system made by the makers of Kiinde.  This works perfectly in conjunction with the Beaba Babycook and is a staple in FYM Emily’s meal prep Sunday routine!

Everyday I send pouches of homemade purees to daycare for Madeline each week.  We have mentioned previously how it’s much easier to make baby food in advance. While I meal preps lunches and snacks for my husband and I on Sundays, I know started adding Madeline to the mix and found it only adds about 30-45 minutes of time.

Once everything has been made in the baby cook, or if it’s been made previously and frozen in cubes, I can put the puree into the foodii container.  What I love about this container is that it holds 16oz! It has measurements on the side, so you can keep track as you’re filling your pouches.  Madeline typically eats 2 oz of puree at a time, so I fill it to 4 oz.  which gets us through a good two feedings.  That’s perfect for a day at daycare, or if we’re out and running errands.

I typically label my pouches with the contents, amount, name and date.  Then I blow air into them so they stand up and are ready to go. The Foodii system comes with a funnel that fits tightly in the top of the bags to avoid wasted spills.  It’s important to note these pouches are the same bags from the Kiinde system I’ve been pumping into using for storage and bottles!

Now you’re good to go! Either put them right in the fridge to be used in the next few days or freeze them.  I usually make 4 pouches of 3-4 varieties a weekend every other weekend and freeze some.  This way I can be sure Madeline is getting a variety of flavors and nutrition.

When you’re ready to feed the baby, the top screws off and this spoon pops on.  I LOVE this spoon, it’s the best part of the system. When the spoon is on, you just squeeze the pouch, or tip it down, and the channel fills the spoon for easy feeding.  Sometimes we feed right from the pouches at home – less clean up! – but is great for on the go.  When we’re on the go, you don’t have to re-screw the cap back on, there is a top for the spoon and fills the channel to ensure no spillage of food and fits tightly to keep the feeding part hygienic and clean!  We actually leave a spoon attachment at daycare, it’s quick to wash and can be used over and over again.

We are really enjoying this new feeding adventure with Madeline and the Foodii system makes it so easy for us! You can read more about this great product on their website. Happy feeding!

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Products We Love: Teething Necklaces 

When we knew we were having Madeline I registered for a teething necklace but wasn’t 100% sure what it was for. I wore it a few times when she was a newborn and realized we didn’t need it yet. But recently I have discovered why it’s so important.

Madeline is at a stage that I call “the windmill.” She is constantly swinging her arm around in the air – particularly while she’s nursing, which frequently means hitting me in the face. She’s also in a phase where she likes to hold onto my shirt while she’s nursing. Recently I remembered the teething necklace and it has made all the difference in the world! Now while she’s nursing she has something to hold on to, something to keep her occupied, she’s much happier and so am I!

I’m not sure why it’s called a teething necklace, we don’t use it in that way yet. I could see her wearing it in the future and chewing on it as her teeth are bugging her. For now, it’s a lifesaver as a nursing mom!

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There are quite a few styles to teething necklaces, personally I like this one because it’s all silicone and easy to clean. The big beads are easy for her to grab and hold onto. But check out this one from our friends at Sass and Bo.

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Baby’s First Flight 

When Mike and I first discussed travel arrangements for his graduation from bootcamp, I had brought up the idea of leaving Madeline at home. I wasn’t sure how well she would do with flying and we wouldn’t be gone more than a few days. However, a first time dad who hasn’t seen his daughter in 4 months could not fathom the idea of not bringing her. So, we got prepared and settled in for baby’s first flight!

We were supposed to leave Albany at 7 am with a connecting flight in Baltimore where would switch planes to arrive at our destination in Atlanta. I knew we may encounter obstacles but just prayed it would work out. Now because Madeline is so young we had the option for her to fly on my lap. I knew that I could keep her in her car seat clicked into her stroller all the way to the gate. We woke up at 4:45 to a text message that our first flight was delayed and we’d miss our connecting flight. I called Southwest and sure enough all other flights from Baltimore to Atlanta were booked for the day. Even though I knew it would be a hassle we loaded up and headed up to the airport. Arriving at the check in counter it seemed strange that there was no one in line. Unfortunately it was as I expected – they couldn’t get us there until the following night, which would mean we would miss a ceremony and a day with Mike. I started asking things like “can we drive to another airport and fly out?” And “can we go to a different city and connect.” Sure enough they were boarding a flight at that exact time to Tampa, we’d be able to connect to Atlanta but we had to run. I found out quickly that the Britax b-safe b-agile travel system makes a great jogging stroller! It meant everything I knew I needed to do was accelerated – move quickly though security, gate check the stroller, all these things took a while but we pushed through and arrived at the gate just in time – we were the last passengers to board.

What the rush didn’t prepare me for however was flying with a baby on my lap. I knew I would be holding her, but I ended up in a middle seat. That meant every move I made had to be deliberate so I didn’t bump someone. I luckily had pleasant passengers next to me who understood.

Madeline was exceptional on the plane, I nursed her for take off and landing which helped with the pressure in her ears – she didn’t cry once. Bringing my DIY nursing scarf as a cover was a stroke for genius. It allowed me the privacy to fed her without too much hassle. I was nervous seated next to an older gentleman but no one said a word to me. Even having to switch sides and find a semi comfortable nursing position for both of us, we made it work.

Throughout the flight she chatted off and on but mostly slept. I was so thankful. The only issue we ran into was a full diaper. Because I didn’t get a chance to change her prior to takeoff she had one full, wet diaper on the flight. I wasn’t sure what the changing situation would be like in the front lavatory and didn’t get brave enough to check it out!

I also remembered to ask about first wings, our flight attendant was wonderful and was able to check for us. They brought us a pin to signify Madeline’s first flight, it was a great keepsake for her.

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All things considered despite a rocky start to the day Madeline did great on the plane. While other babies were crying and yelling she was (mostly) pleasant. It was a long three hours for her but she managed and we made it! The return flight was better because we will have daddy to help us!

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