Birthday Surprises!

Ashton surprised me with Liana's first trip to the beach! Check out the video of our day!

Grammy and Auntie Come To Visit

Grammy and Auntie come down from New Hampshire and we take Liana on a bumpy ride in the woods!

Ani's three month update.

How have three months gone by already?! Check out Liana's newest photos and read about her developmental updates!

Six week photo shoot

Enjoy Liana's latest photo shoot with a 'soot sprite theme', as well as her six week updates!

Liana's birth story

Read through my diary as I undertake one of the most magical moments of my life: giving birth! This is the story of a natural unmedicated childbirth experience as told by a first time mum.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Weaning: Introducing Solids.

In most aspects of parenting, I have a pretty chill baby on my hands; Liana has slept through the night (at least six hours) since she was six weeks old, she hasn't suffered from colic or any allergies or illnesses, she isn't a nightmare while teething (that journey has been pretty speedy and a few teeth even snuck up on us undetected!), she loves meeting new people, and car rides put her to sleep every time.

So Liana obviously took to the spoon easily on our first try, right? Ha, wrong! I've read about starting out with 1/4 of a teaspoon for a feeding, and about the importance of persistence and patience, and to try a food ten (yes, TEN!) times before it is written off that she doesn't like it. But to be honest, that all just went in one ear and out the other. Liana has never done anything by the books--she even decided to come out of my belly before my water broke. She hates pacifiers and teething toys, and she hated bananas the first four times she tried them (despite people saying it is the perfect first food). I figured we would breeze right through weaning, I'd start her on a sippy cup to wash the food down, and then she'd start crawling later that day. [I'm kidding, of course.]

But after two weeks I had only worked her up to 6-7 good spoonfuls a day--and only for me. She was still giving Ashton a hard time and would not even take one spoonful from her teachers at day care. In the meantime we had been giving her Mum Mums (which she loves) and cereal from a bottle. Really thinking about it now, we probably just got the timing all wrong. Liana was actually teething horribly for most of this past month when we've been trying to get her to take the spoon. She probably wanted nothing to do with the spoon because it wasn't comforting like her bottle. Now, at nearly seven months old, she will take about 2 oz of puree in one sitting. Liana is really working hard and I'm so glad!

I am in between offering purees and small bits of soft whole foods. When Liana wasn't taking to the spoon incredibly well, or when I am eating something she can have too, I will give her little bits of food. As mushy has they are, I am still afraid of her choking. I realize that a gag response is normal, but choking is not. She has choked a little on her Mum Mums, but I still give them to her (under EXTRAORDINARILY supervised conditions) so she can practice biting and swallowing solid food herself. When I did start getting her to take the spoon, she would grab onto it to put in her mouth, so I think she really prefers to feed herself. Baby led weaning would be fine with me, but we get so many free jars of baby food each month, I'd hate to see them go to waste. Right now we are feeding her whatever she'll take, but I am really hoping she'll take to the purees more, so we can start cutting down her bottles in a month or so.

We used to get free formula each month, but now we get only about a quarter of that amount and it is replaced with cereal and jarred purees. It is really inconvenient, because we didn't start introducing solids until a week before Liana turned six months old, and they literally cut us off from our regular amount of formula at six months. It's like they expect the baby to immediately start eating a jar of pureed food and 2-3 servings of cereal per day so that the amount of formula is cut down to the amount they provide. It's crazy! I know I shouldn't be complaining because other people don't get ANY free food or free formula, but it's what we're used to and $17.99 per can (which she goes through in only a few days) isn't necessarily in our small family budget!

All ranting aside, I have to say I was such a proud mum the one day Liana decided she didn't mind being spoon fed. As I said earlier, I had previously managed to get in 6-7 tiny spoonfuls, but on this one special day, she sat there and let me spoon feed her half of a jar of bananas. Oh yes, you read that correctly, BANANAS. The one food that she had previously made putrid faces at, spat out, flailed her arms about, and screamed at me for feeding her.

Revisiting a topic I started mentioning earlier, Liana has sprouted [almost] five tiny teeth! If I remember correctly (I've gathered that becoming a mom means you start losing your memory quicker), Liana started teething just before five months and within two weeks her bottom two teeth came in and teething was over for that round. Teething round two occurred while visiting family for Halloween, just after she turned six months, and the day after we came home a third bottom tooth sprung up. By the end of that same week, round three began, this time with her top two teeth. One of them broke through within a day, but the other one is still taking it's time. As her Mum, peeking at her gums pains me when I see they are swollen or very while and she is drooly and grumpy. He little mouth must be in so much pain, how can I expect her to want to give up the comfort of her bottle for a hard(er) rubber spoon? I've been very patient with her through the teething process and feel incredibly sad for her when I know she is feeling poorly because of her teeth. She is such a little trooper though and it's like she is trying to remain in the best mood possible, but sometimes the pain is too much. She's only been super fussy a few times, but I'm never mad, she is such a sweetie 98% of the time (I'm probably supposed to say she's ALWAYS my little sweetie, but let's be real, even my bouncing bubbly little bunny has her diva moments!).

So for now our weaning journey is still unfolding. I'm hoping as teething slows down, Liana will be more willing to pick up the spoon and also get the hang of eating the Mum Mums without choking. I'll keep you all posted on our progress!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Liana's First Autumn & Halloween!

  Crunchy browned leaves, pine cones, pumpkins, and acorns.
Pumpkin spice lattes, hot cocoa, warm apple pie, and cinnamon sticks.
Scarves, leg warmers, boots, and cozy sweaters.
Leaf peeping, carving pumpkins, walks in the park, and snuggling up to watch a good movie.

Autumn has arrived!

I have been so excited to get out with Liana and show her what Autumn in New England looks like. I've wanted to bundle her up from the cooling air and watch her play in the changing leaves. I've wanted her to decorate pumpkins and visit family and dress up in her first Halloween costume.

In the past two weeks, she's been on many trips to experience her first Autumn. We went out for a few days to shoot an Autumn photo set and also shoot her first Autumn video (on our YouTube channel and embedded below). I couldn't ask for more cooperation from Liana. She has been amazing and super curious about everything. She didn't put up a fight for me to capture a single photo, and she loved playing outside and exploring the pumpkins and gourds.

We also had a mini pumpkin painting session and painted three baby pumpkins for Grammy, Auntie, and Grampy. Liana absolutely LOVED playing in the paint and rolling the pumpkins around. As you can see, it was all her; my hands were clean enough to pick up the camera!

Liana & her Grampy! ♥
Liana's first Halloween costume! My little lion. ♥

On Halloween, we traveled up to New Hampshire to visit family and witness my sister getting married. Liana loves her family so much, I love watching her eyes light up when they take turns passing her around and playing with her. She tells them stories and smiles at them all. It is such a wonderful feeling, seeing her grow up surrounded by such a loving family.

 This little lion is roaring at Auntie!! ♥
 Liana isn't afraid of Daddy's scary face! ♥
Liana & her great uncle ♥
 Hernandez family ♥
Liana's aunties and uncles ♥
 Our tired little lion cub! ♥

As a last little surprise from Liana, check out her First Autumn video that she so graciously helped me put together over the past few weeks. She is such an amazing little girl. I wish I could capture every moment with her. !!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Happy six month birthday, Liana!

Liana had her six month birthday last week! Her growth and development have been absolutely incredible. Baby girl is sporting her two front bottom teeth like it's no ones business, and a THIRD tooth just broke through as well! (Am I the only one who finds it weird that she has three bottom teeth but no top teeth?) We've been experimenting with solid foods and so far she seems to enjoy avocado, peas, strawberries, and apples. I gave her a black bean once as well and she gobbled that right up. This weekend I decided to give her some veggie rice rusks and she took to them in seconds. Although it was her first food that she had to "chew" to eat, she put it in her mouth and bit it straight away! She hasn't liked banana the first 3-4 times she tried it, but we're going to try again before ruling it out.

Liana is has been sitting up completely unassisted for several weeks now and occasionally lifts herself up to her hands and knees for a few seconds, but has yet to get the hang of crawling. In fact, when she tries really hard, she only moves herself backwards. A few times she has gripped the floor and pulled herself forward (with the rest of her body lying flat on the floor) to move. She still sleeps well through the night and occasionally tells herself a story and puts herself to sleep at night if we lay her down when she shows signs of being tired. She's reacts to her feet, spine and back of her neck being tickled. She smiles and kicks when she sees Ashton or I walk into the room. Her overall mood is generally very happy and bouncy. She laughs, kicks, squeals and blows bubbles all day long. She is obsessed with all technology and anything that lights up. Her Taggie Puppy is her new favorite toy when I add in the sound effects.

I have been waiting to post this update until Liana had her six month appointment with her pediatrician so I can include her weight and other info. Little one is now a whopping 16.3 pounds! I checked out her growth chart and she is right on the 50th percentile with her weight, slightly under the average with her length (25 1/4 inches) and slightly over average with her head circumference (16 inches). So I've been joking saying she is a shorty with a big head!

After playing with Liana for a few moments (having her stand up holding her hands and observing the way she grasps objects), our pediatrician said not to be surprised if Liana starts grabbing furniture to pull herself up onto her feet and developing her "pincer" grasp (picking things up with just her fingers instead of her whole hand) very soon. My little sprout is just growing up so fast!!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Dove Chocolate Discoveries #HolidayGiftGuide100Bloggers

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide 2014 - Brought to you by over 100+ Bloggers #HolidayGiftGuide100Bloggers

Holiday Gift Guide 2014
Brought to you by over 100+ Bloggers
We know, you are still not ready to think about basting a turkey for Thanksgiving. But the holidays are so close, I can taste the eggnog latte’ from my favorite coffee house. But here we are, over 100 bloggers ready to dig in, jump for joy, shout out at the top of our blogs to bring you a fantastic, Fun Interactive -2014 Holiday Gift Guide with some really cool twists this year… We are just kicking off so many more items will be added to our gift guide. Even Santa will be handing out some really nice prizes in our Gala Holiday Giveaway Bash and fun Social Media Facebook and Twitter Game nights too. You might just find yourself the lucky winner of some gift cards and cool gifts, to help ease those shopping woes.. We truly are looking forward to all our fan participation from a huge blogger family – Yes over 100 of our fabulous bloggers will bring you their best holiday recipes, tips, tricks, money-saving ideas and even some great DIY decorations and gifts too. Who knows even a Secret Santa + much more.
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Special Thanks to one of our 100 co-host bloggers Ramblings of a Bad Domestic Goddess, for helping with this post. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Liana fell off the bed.

I always thought I'd be writing about something much more glamorous for my 100th blog post, but well, this is the real Mummy life.

We have a queen size bed with two huge fluffy comforters on it and Liana was lying on her back near the head of the bed, surrounded by three pillows. I went downstairs (only a half flight, literally six stairs) to grab my glass of water I forgot on the counter.

Then I heard it. The "crash" from upstairs. I was worried, but not that it was her. I left my cell phone and camera on the bed as well and I thought she had gotten a hold of one and thrown it. Well, I was wrong.

I flew upstairs (forgetting my glass of water again) to find Liana laying on the floor at the foot of the bed just staring up at me, smiling. She was playing with the baby pumpkins she had painted last week and was rolling and throwing them around. So that was the noise I heard.

I am still completely baffled at how she managed to make it to the foot of the bed, roll off onto three pumpkins on the floor, and not have hurt herself. ???

I picked her up and did quite the Mummy inspection, feeling her head and undressing her to check for bruises or scrapes. She was giving me the serious face like, "Mum, what the hell are you doing? I just want to play with the pumpkins."

She doesn't seem hurt at all, but she sure is getting some extra cuddles and treats today (I gave her a strawberry earlier and later on she will be getting some peas and then apples).

My baby is secretly mobile, yikes!

Monday, October 20, 2014

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Friday, October 3, 2014

Five months with Liana Ruby.

There is nothing in the world that compares to a mother's love for her child. I have spent hours upon hours watching my baby girl sleep, playing with her tiny toes, and kissing her mini-me nose. From the moment she was born, I thought she was perfect. I watch Liana play and wonder what she will want to be when she grows up. The possibilities for her future are endless.

Since last month's update Liana has worked on sitting up, moving around on the floor, bouncing in her jumper, growing two teeth, gaining a pound and a half, sleeping in her own room, and trying her first taste of solid food! So much has happened this past month and Liana has grown an incredible amount.

I was so anxious and a bit sad the first night Ashton put Liana down to sleep in her own room. I was used to her being less than three feet away from me in her bassinet, and now she is in a different room. I slept very lightly the first night and woke up to any break in static on the baby monitor. Liana did so well with the transition though, and now she is in there every night.

Liana's first taste of solid food was a bit of pureed strawberry that I let her try when I was making a smoothie. She seemed to like it, so a few days later I mashed up the end of a banana to feed her, but... that didn't go over so well. She made the worst face I've ever seen. I couldn't tell if she didn't like the taste or just wasn't used to the consistency. I tried mashed banana again the next day and about a week later, but she made the same icky face each time.

Did I mention that Liana has her two bottom teeth? Yup! I actually thought the teething process would last a bit longer, but she's getting through it like a champ! One day when she was being particularly fussy, I noticed two white lines under her gums where her front bottom teeth would be. She spent the next few days excessively drooling and and being extra fussy before nap time. Within a week, her first tooth (bottom right) broke through and about a week later her second tooth (bottom left) broke through, and now they are coming in fast. She doesn't seem to be as cranky or sore as when they were first coming in though. I love it when she smiles or laughs and shows them off. :)