Friday, April 17, 2015

One Month In: Feeding

Deciding to breastfeed was one of the most easiest decisions that I could have ever made when coming to Caiden. It was something that I knew I wanted to do from the start.



1/2/3

1. You know you hear those horrible stories about how much soreness and pain you will be in for the first two weeks of breastfeeding?  Well I was lucky enough to only be sore for the first few days. If you are thinking about breastfeeding, I recommend using this the first day you start. I didn't start using it until a day or so after I started, but once I used it once, I could tell a big difference. It soothes the pain and makes it a lot easier to take on some more damage. I definitely don't know what I would do without this cream, most likely gave up breastfeeding.

2. The negative to breastfeeding is that eventually you are going to get too full. Your breast have a mind of its own I can say. What I mean is that your milk production is based off of how much your baby drinks. If he is drinking a lot, you will end up producing more milk and if he is not drinking a lot, you will produce less milk. The production level doesn't happen in a day though. If you are producing more than what he is eating, you can find yourself in a lot of aching pain. Breast aching that is. You are going to have to relieve that pain by pumping, unless you good at doing it by hand which I must say I was a pro at, but I didn't want to sit there for a full hour trying to get all the kinks out. Pumping not only saved me more than a fourth of the time, it also made the pain go away much quicker!

3. Bottle wise, I'm very picky. The only other bottle I use right now is Avent, but I have grown to love the Evenflo bottles especially if I pump over 4 ounces. The Avent bottles I have only go to 4 ounces and the Evenflo goes to 8 which is sometimes very helpful when I have a lot of built up milk waiting to be pumped out.


What else do I think would make this list complete? A bottle warmer!! Since I didn't use one, I didn't want to put it on here. Right now I'm using the hot water in the cup. It takes around 10 minutes to warm since the water will get cool fast which causes me to have to empty it out and refill. Right now I don't mind how the wait, but I'm sure Caiden does.

How often/much do you feed?

Caiden eats around every 2.5 to 3 hours. Even though I'm not sure about how much milk his is taking in while breastfeeding, I usually stop his feeding around 5-7 minutes since he always end up falling asleep. 

For the bottle I only give him 1.5 ounces since he throws up easily. He was taking in 2.5 but after the many throw ups at night, I decided that it was best to cut back until his stomach could handle it. Some days he does get more than 1.5 and when that happens, I make sure he has burped at least twice. He's the most gassiest fella I know.

Do you use an app to keep up with his feedings?

I used to not be the most technological person since I liked to keep up with stuff by hand. In the hospital, I wrote down his feedings for about a day and a half until I went looking for apps to keep track of his feedings so that I won't have to worry about losing a sheet. I'm currently using Feed Baby. It really helps me a lot since I'm always forgetting which side he fed off last, It also does a lot of other things I don't use yet like tracking when he took a bath last, your pumping, his sleeping, etc.

You can also add another child if you have more than one and see how many times and how long your child has fed for a certain day.


It is a trial and cost $4.99 for the pro version but I believe that this is an app that I would willingly pay for since I'm always asking myself which side did I feed him off last or how long ago did I feed him? You'll be shock how much you will forget when you are constantly tired and it feels like you just fed him an hour ago.



Disclosure: Affiliate links used

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

One Month In: Diapering

One of the most expensive items you will have to buy for your baby are diapers and wipes.



What size diapers does Caiden wear?

We just switched him over to a size one yesterday. I didn't think he would be wearing newborns for as long as he did, but when I put on the size one diaper, I knew that we should've been switched him probably last week. I wasn't planning on him wearing newborns at all since doctors were estimating that he would be around 7lbs 6oz when he was born but that definitely wasn't the case. He ended up being 6lbs 2oz and then dropped to 5lbs 13oz the day we left the hospital. So four weeks later and at 7lbs 9oz (he could be a lot more now) he has finally graduated.

What brand do you prefer?

For newborn, I like Huggies a lot better compared to Pampers and Parents' Choice just because the umbilical cut out is more defined than Pampers. Now that his umbilical cord is gone, I might prefer Pampers over the others. Huggies thigh region was always loose and made it easier for leaks while Pampers thigh region is just right (no leaks yet! Hopefully I haven't jinx myself).

He has multiple brands in size one that he will be using in the next couple of weeks like Luvs, Pampers, and Huggies, so hopefully I will have a better idea of what brand I will be sticking to for size one. 

How many diapers per day did you use?

For the first few days he was born, we were off to a very slow start. He wouldn't urinate but he would have a bowel movement probably twice per day. Once we left the hospital I was still concerned because eventually it flipped flopped to where he would urinate but not have a bowel movement. Eventually everything got into full effect where he is urinating and dumping loads constantly throughout the day so I would say that he uses around 10 diapers per day. In total he has used 256 newborn diapers.

Don't forget about the wipes!

There's no particular brand that I like better. Pretty much all the wipes I've used (Huggies, Pampers, and whatever brand they give you in the hospital (yeah I didn't pay attention) got the job done.

This current day, Caiden has used around 442 wipes. They go a lot quicker than diapers. 64 wipes last Caiden no more than four days, so I know that I will buy in bulk whenever he runs out of his baby shower wipes.



Diapers and wipes are the one thing I dread buying, but I couldn't see myself trying out cloth diapers. Maybe in five years for our next child we will look into cloth diapers, but I'm not making any promises. I also see that he needs a diaper pail since using trash bags/grocery bags doesn't hold the smell good enough. I miss that first week of his life where his poop didn't smell like a grown man's!


If you are trying to decide what brand fits your child best, you can purchase some samples from Miny-Moe or if you already know the size and want to earn free two day shipping and 20% off of diaper subscriptions, sign up for Amazon Mom today for only $99/year (You also get a 30 day free trial for new amazon moms)!

Disclosure: Affiliate links are used

Monday, April 13, 2015

One Month In: Photographing

Can you believe this guy here is one month??


I know I can't! It seems like he was just born yesterday,but obviously I'm delusional right? A lot has taken place this month and this week I plan to tell all with you.

Picture Perfect

I took up this picture challenge where I document his growth/appearance. Even though I totally screwed over the first week picture, I think I have gotten the hang of it since then. Here are his progress photos.





For the first week I was a day late and it was hard trying to catch him while he was awake.On top of that, he wouldn't stop crying so I did what I could.

The second week was by far the easiest week ever!! He cooperated like he was a pro at taking pictures

Now the third week, that's an entirely different story. Pretty much he wouldn't stop crying, wasn't up during the day and if he was, he didn't want me to put him down or move from underneath him. So I basically took his 4 weeks picture and 3 weeks picture on the same day. Hopefully he didn't have too much of a growth spurt this week. He also wouldn't stop moving while taking these two photos so I did the best I could.  

The Process

Each week, I tried to choose a different background and let me tell you this is hard if you don't want to spend any money. (I still can't get over the first week picture as a total bust, hopefully I will forgive myself one day). Luckily, I have a lot of comforters that I can choose from throughout the house and when I run out of comforters, I can just go through some sheets. Don't judge me, it's free. I thought about purchasing some fabric, but eventually I realized how broke I was and how I didn't want to go asking for things when I can just make do what I have.

Overall, I like the way the sheets look better. 

Once the background is picked, it's time to let some light in. I chosed to either let up one or both of my blinds so that my pictures have the most light possible. I've recently learned that the less light you have and the higher you turn your ISO up on your camera, the more noise you have in your pictures. So I've been trying to keep my ISO in between so that I can have enough light to get the best quality of photos. I didn't discover that until the second week of photographing him though.


Lately, I've been taking his pictures in his crib because the light is more even there. The first picture I took on the bed and you can see the unevenness of the light. (Can you see all the peeling also? I'm glad that process is over). Did I mention I moved my bed? It's underneath my faith picture and his crib is now on the wall where my bed used to be.



Okay, so where was I? Oh yeah...

In total I probably ended up taking around twenty pictures. I then pull them up on the computer in Photoshop and see which one is the winner. 

If you are wondering what camera I use, it's the Canon PowerShot SX170 IS

Editing

I don't take a lot to my photos, basically because I haven't figured out all the tricks yet, but I'm slowly learning. I mainly just adjust the brightness and, if needed to, add vibrance to the photos as my editing trick.

For the circle, I use the ellipse tool. I then color the shape by picking a color in the fabric comforter or just picking a color I like if there are no colors that pop in the comforter. I then blend the shape as if it's a part of the shirt using overlay or linear light, basically any of the options that doesn't drown out the color but make it not look like a shape a part of a shirt.



Next is text. I add the number of weeks and the word weeks by using the Text tool and keeping it the color of the shirt. The font for the number is always forever while the font for weeks is century gothic. I also change the opacity level for the number, if needed, to make it blend more onto the shirt.

And that's about all it takes. I'm looking forward in seeing how big he gets as time passes. Right now his shirt size he has on is a 3-6 months, if you are wondering why it's so big on him. I'm wondering how long it will be until he can't fit it anymore since he is such a small little fellow.

If you have any questions just drop a comment below and I will be happy to answer any of them!



Disclosure: affiliate links used.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Rug Me Down

This week, I've been eyeing many of the rugs currently on Rugs USA until the point where I wanted to show you some of the rugs I would pick since I can't buy any at this time. They are currently having a 75% off Easter sale that ends.... TODAY!! So go ahead over there and find you a great deal and a rug you love before it's too late!

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I also have seen that a lot of the rugs look better when you see it on the floor than just in a picture which helped draw my eye to many of the other rugs that were on the site but I narrowed it down to these 6.

Option 1



I've always liked this kind of rugs and seen many of them done DIY style like here.

Option 2


I see from the multiple of rugs chosen that blue seems to stand out to me. There were plenty of other rugs that I loved but it just so happens that the color I loved it in was blue. So I'm thinking whenever I move out I will have accents of blue throughout my master bedroom or another room in the house.

Option 3


I tend to not like many grey (or gray, whichever you prefer, luckily they named this slate) but this one is a beauty. Maybe it's the interlocking going on between the shapes?

 Option 4



Now here's the love of my life! When I seen this, I automatically pictured it in Caiden's room oneday. I have fallen in love with anchors which is weird because I'm not a sea, boat, or anything else relating to anchors person. I can see my overall taste is changing when it comes to design. I'm a lot more open to items that I used to be afraid to try because it seemed to bold or not in my comfort zone. 

Option 5


You won't believe what color I saw this in first when I decided that I liked it!! No it wasn't blue, good answer though. Surprisingly it was grey. I love how bold this color is but yet relaxing and it being not too green is a score for me! 

Option 6


Chevron, the style that everyone likes and I can see why. This rug just makes me want to spread out on it and go to sleep. The calming blues just make everything feel like you are on cloud nine. 


Are any of these rugs on your list? What would you call a deal on a rug?

Monday, April 6, 2015

Got Cribs?

I really hope you read that right...

Well last night I found myself looking a cribs and must I say when I look at something, most likely I talk myself into trying to get it.

Eventually, I hope to get Caiden a new crib. At first I was settling on an espresso color but then again I realized how much I liked the clean look of white. Not only was I thinking about what color, I also had to think of what style I wanted, standard or convertible?

I never once thought about picking between the two and today I can still tell you that I'm not sure which one I would go with. For those of you who were as lost as I was at first here's the difference between the two.

Standard Crib

Does not turn into anything, basically just a crib and that's it. 
Fixed-sided, meaning that the side does not let down.
Easier to put together.
Less expensive.

Convertible Crib

Can convert to a toddler bed, full size, or even bigger.
Might have to purchase other parts to convert though.
More expensive, but you are getting more options for the money.

I won't go into more detail about the many other options you have since these were the two I was looking into.

1/2/3/4/5


It looks like this could have been the under $200 team if number two wasn't in the race, but I love how it looks for some reason which is awkward since most of cribs I've seen with the different color bottom I didn't like.

One thing that I've realized is that a lot of these cribs probably cost a lot cheaper if you look for a deal instead of thinking that you have one. For instance, #5 cost $149.99 (taxes with free shipping over orders of $49) if you buy it from Wayfair, but Walmart carries the same crib at $131.99 and there are no taxes and shipping is free! You do get money back to use towards another purchase at Wayfair so in total with the rewards back ($4.23) you would be paying $145.76.

Moral of the story, LOOK AROUND BEFORE YOU BUY, but I'm sure you already knew that. :)

Hopefully I will make a final decision in the next few weeks. Since we are co-sleeping I'm thinking of even painting some dressers white to make the room feel more cohesive, but that won't happen until the pollen clears up.

In the meantime, which crib(s) are you leaning towards?