Genevieve’s 6 month pictures

Next week Genevieve will be 7 months. SEVEN MONTHS! What?! Where did my newborn go? She’s gone from completely helpless and dependent on me to rolling over, scooting in circles, reaching for the doggy, and feeding herself thankyouverymuch, in the blink of an eye.

A few weeks ago we had a lovely session with the very talented Laura Fifield (our maternity/birth/newborn photographer). Here are some of my favorite shots!

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You can see more in Laura’s blog post here.

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New mom must haves: first 3 months

I LOVE these posts from other bloggers, so it’s high time I collected my thoughts and shared them with y’all. But, of course, take this list with a grain of salt. All babies are different, and what works for me and G might not necessarily work for you. And, what used to work for us doesn’t necessarily work any longer. Babies sure know how to keep you on your toes.

Nursing & you:

  • A travel neck pillow is AMAZING for night time nursing. I may have fallen asleep while nursing a few times in the early weeks, and it saved my neck, haha.
  • A hug lamp (from Costco) – they go around your neck and have 3 strengths of light. They are meant for reading, but it’s nice to not have to turn on a big light and wake the hubs.
  • a chilled eye mask cut in half worked much better for me than those soothie pads for the first week or so of breast feeding. The soothies just didn’t stay chilled long enough.
  • Food! I was starving the first 3ish weeks. I literally could not eat enough food. Each night before bed I’d cut up an apple, put it in a baggie, make a pb&j, put in a baggie, and make some almond butter stuffed dates – then I had a schmorgusboard of snacks for night time nursing ready and available. I’ve fallen out of the habit as I’m dream feeding now (grabbing G when she first stirs and nursing her – she falls back asleep while nursing, and I either also fall asleep while nursing or quickly after. I did it by accident once and felt so much better the next day that I’ve been doing it ever since)

for baby:

  • gas drops are wonderful! G had massive issues with digestion and gas for about 8 weeks, and still sometimes has issues. I had to give her the drops before nursing so it would work itself into her system while she nursed. Now I use them whenever she seems to be in pain – the problem is resolved within minutes
  • CJ’s butter (for diaper rash) comes in a tube so you don’t have to get your fingers all gunky when applying it – great for the diaper bag! It also smells great, I have the monkey farts one, which is kind of like bananas. It is also cloth diaper safe.

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  • the boppy lounger was my lifesaver. Since G barely napped, it is the only way I can get a shower on most days. She likes the sound of the shower, and the blow dryer. So I can actually get ready, on days I need to…haha, which are few and far between 🙂

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  • My second lifesaver is the Fisher-Price Rock n’play Sleeper. I cart this thing all over my house. Now that G is too big to really use the lounger I use the sleeper for containment when I’m cooking dinner, exercising, taking ornaments off my tree, showering, etc. She loves it because it holds her close, keeps her at an angle, and is high enough so she can see me.

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  • I love G’s pacigrip…I haven’t lost a paci yet. The BooginHead one is great because it has a small cord to hold the paci. I bought a munchkin one too, but it’s loop to hold the paci is way too thick to hold the soothies paci G likes.
  • white noise! If you have a smart phone the white noise app is amazing. I had the free version, but I couldn’t have anything else open, so I downloaded the $1.99 version. Best $1.99 I ever spent! G can be screaming and I turn it on and she immediately stops and looks toward the sound. If it fails I stand under the bathroom fan. And that NEVER fails. It is so crazy. I also have two sleep sheeps – one for her crib, and a travel one. The travel one usually hangs out on her car seat.
  • Also for a smart phone – the baby connect app. I use it for breastfeeding – knowing how long it’s been between feedings and which side she ate on is really handy. I can also email info to her pediatrician if needed. You can track all sorts of things – diapers, mood, vaccinations, etc.
  • A few different swaddle blankets. When G was really little we liked the Summer Infant Swaddleme.  When she outgrew those, the Halo Sleepsack Swaddle became my favorite. But now she can roll over(!!), and I am okay swaddling her in the rock n’play sleeper, but not in the crib. I ordered one of the Woombie Plus swaddlers because she still wakes up with the startle reflex. Hopefully that stops soon so she can sleep unswaddled. She also naps sometimes in a loose swaddle in the Aden & Anais bamboo muslin swaddle blanket. I love these blankets, but not for swaddling. She always escapes them! I’ve decided velcro is her friend 🙂

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  • Zipper footie outfits. Carter’s are my favorite – they are wide enough to accommodate her cloth diapers. Zippers are just so much faster and easier to get G in out of than snaps.

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  • The bumbo! Not until G was almost 3 month though. She kept trying to sit up on her own, and her head strength was pretty good, so I decided to give it a try. And she LOVES sitting in it and playing with her toys.

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  • A taggie blanket. G discovered her hands shortly after 2 months. Everything goees straight into her mouth. My friend sent her this and G freaking LOVES this thing!

I know there are more, but I have #mommybrain.

What are your new mom must haves?

Follow up on dairy-free

I’m not anymore!

It didn’t last long, yay! On a friend’s suggestion I started journaling everything I ate, and recording Genevieve’s responses. Dairy didn’t seem to be the culprit. In fact, I couldn’t narrow it down to anything food specific. The more I analyzed things, the more it became clear that a fast flow/oversupply was the issue. So I booked an appointment with a lactation consultant, and she showed me the asymmetrical latch, and so far, so good! The lactation consultant also didn’t think G has a dairy sensitivity, whoo hoo! I’m hoping this new latch will solve Genevieve’s tummy troubles!

So, thank you for all of the support and dairy-free suggestions. I should probably cut back for my own body anyway. I do feel better without all that dairy in my system, even if Lactaid helps.

And two totally unrelated items:

you must watch this commercial. I cry every.single.time.

My most recent Preggie Pals blog post is up: Maternity: Under Where?

I’m Going Dairy Free…

and I’m not excited about it.

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I’m lactose intolerant, but with the help of Lactaid I am able to eat dairy whenever I please with very little repercussion. Unfortunately, Lactaid doesn’t break down lactose as it passes through my breast milk, it only breaks it down for my digestive system. During pregnancy I was concerned that Genevieve might be lactose intolerant, and now that she’s been in our lives for a little over a month my concern hasn’t gone away. She has symptoms that don’t indicate a dairy allergy, (or any other food allergy), but do indicate she might be sensitive to something. The only way to find out what is by eliminating food sources from my diet and then reintroducing them to find the culprit. The most common is dairy, and given my sensitivity it seems like the natural place to start.

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And I am really bummed about it. It is really easy to cut out obvious sources, (easy as in I can easily identify them, not easy as in I really like cheese, yogurt, and half-n-half in my coffee!). It is less than easy to cut out non-obvious sources. When reading labels I have to look for whey, calcium lactate, lactic acid, and casein. There might be other ingredients I need to avoid as well, I’m not sure. It is rather overwhelming!

So yesterday I attempted my first dairy-free day and failed miserably!

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My breakfast of oats, raisins, pecans, chia seeds, pumpkin butter, and almond milk was great. Adding almond milk to my coffee instead of half-n-half was gross. My lunch appeared to be dairy free: a pear and a salami/avocado sandwich on an English muffin. But I later realized there was dairy in the English muffin. Dinner was a delicious chili that my sister-in-law made for her adorable pinterest inspired Halloween party.

I even had my hot chocolate with hot water instead of milk. But then I had a fun-size Butterfinger…and only after it was consumed did I think about the fact that there was milk in the chocolate coating. #fail

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Yesterday I also hit up a local grocery chain that has a lot of dairy free and gluten free options and purchased dairy free coffee creamer, coconut milk plain yogurt (to use in place of sour cream), vegan parm cheese substitute, vegan mozz substitute, and coconut milk ice cream.  But I totally forgot to buy Earth Balance for a butter substitute. Oi! Back to the grocery store today!

I obviously need to do a better job of reading labels. And hopefully Genevieve will nap long enough for me to make some dairy-free dinners, (since nearly all of my freezer meal stash is dairylicious).

And here is where I need your help:

What are your favorite dairy-free items at the grocery store, dairy-free recipes, and dairy free blogs?