Monday, February 28, 2011

It's a date!

After a few weeks of calling Party Halls, researching online and hitting up friends for ideas... This weekend, we finally ended up booking the place for Julianna's First Birthday Party in May. It's at a local firehouse - the rental hall can seat 50+ people & it's very clean. It has a walk out slider to a huge deck with an overhang, and there are 10 picnic tables. The overhang covers the entire deck, so even if we have bad weather, everyone can mingle outdoors (or inside).

They have 2 large commercial grills outside, and a commercial kitchen inside as well. There are horseshoe pits, volleyball, a huge gazebo, a playground and a huge grassy field.  We have use of the facility for the full day. It's a win/win situation! We can't wait! And the best part is, the 'donation' we pay to rent out the place is tax deductable. Works for me!

The only downside is the date we had to take was Memorial Day Monday. It's a week after Julianna's birthday but there were no other openings. Luckily everyone I talked to already said they would put it on the calendar and they would be coming. I guess we need to book much further in advance than 3 months next time. (I ran into the same thing with other places I called too!)

Now the fun part... let the planning begin!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Cute girly clothes

When I was pregnant, I was secretly hoping for a girl. I won't lie - I just love baby-girl clothes so much!! They are so cute and it seems there is more of a varied selection for girls. You can also dress them up in frilly and funky things at this age without them looking silly. I dread the day when she wants to start picking out her own clothes... that is the day my fun with her cute outfits is over. Bummer!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Infant-See {Infancy}

On Tuesday, I brought Julianna to my Eye Doctor for her eye screening. I know you might be thinking... "Isn't she a bit young for a vision test?" - Well it's not a vision test. It's a free screening that some eye doctors offer to ensure the health of your baby's eyes. It's called INFANT-SEE.

Assessments at six to twelve months of age can determine healthy development of vision. Early detection of eye conditions is the best way to ensure a baby has healthy vision for successful development-now and in the future.

For those of you that don't know about this program, and have a baby between 6-12 months... check the Infant-See website to see if your eye doctor offers this program.
My eye doctor used toys and made the whole process fun for Julianna. She was very good and didn't mind any part of what he did to check her eyes.

My eye doctor told me about the screening when I was pregnant, and I'm really happy there is something like this out there for my daughter. Eye health is very important and an early eye screening can help to detect any early issues that might ordinarily go unnoticed until much later in childhood.

Here is Julianna waiting patiently in the waiting room of the Eye Doctor's office. She was such a good little girl. All the girls that work in the office were ooh-ing & aahh-ing over her and saying how good she was! She sat there and laughed the whole time!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Julianna is 9 months old

Julianna is 9 months old today. That seems so much closer to 1 year old than 8 months did!
Here are some things we are experiencing at 9 months old ...

Separation Anxiety - She peaked about a month ago and seems to be calming down with it. She only gets SA when she's tired for the most part. If she starts to whine when we leave the room, we talk to her, and she is usually OK after that.

Good Girl - Julianna has been a good little girl. We go out everywhere with her and I can't tell you the comments we get from strangers, saying how well behaved she is and how good she is for such a long time. (And of course they say how cute she is!) - We must really be blessed. I thought that was normal, but maybe it's not. We get it every time we eat out, or go to the store, etc... It's definitely a proud feeling!

Teeth - Not one. Nothing.

Crawling - Not yet. Soon. But she is pushing up on her knees, spinning around, and pushing herself backwards on the floor. She is very close to crawling but not there yet. It's OK b/c I can still put her down on her mat with some toys, and she stays occupied for quite some time. I know my days are numbered with that freedom.

Food - She is taking about 22-24 oz of formula a day. She eats a full serving of oatmeal in the morning along with a full jar of fruit, then a full serving of barley cereal in the evening with a full jar of veggies (and even some extra fruit some nights!) - she has become a very good eater as of late. Going to add in some veggies/fruits for lunch this week, and probably some meats too. (Even though she has already been eating chicken and sweet potatoes and loves it!)

Sleep - Julianna sleeps about 11 hours at night. She is a good sleeper. Lately she wakes up giving a few cries for her binky once a night. If she doesn't find it, we go in and give it to her, and back to sleep she goes. I am blaming it on the early stages of teething. I mean come on, 9 months; she has to have a stinkin tooth coming in soon, right?!?
Julianna takes 2-3 naps a day. Usually at 9:30am, 1pm, and a short catnap between 5-6pm. Then bedtime is 8pm sharp.

Words & communication - She says Da-Da ... all the time. She loves saying or screaming Da-Da! She says "A-boo" a lot when playing with her toys... so we think it means toy. Who knows?! She knows how to get our attention now too. Other than screeching (lol), she touches our arm if we are next to us and looks at us with her big blue saucer eyes. She also started to figure out how to kiss our face this week... and she nuzzles her head when you are holding her now. Super cute.

Toys - She is really playing with her toys on a higher level. She's understanding how to take smaller toys out of a bigger toy- like a nesting block or the shapes that go in the big box. She figured out if she hits a piano key on her Baby Einstein mini-piano that it plays a song. Toys are no longer for only putting in the mouth!

Strangers - Julianna is starting to get shy around strangers. When we are out, if someone talks to her, she gives them this serious but shy face as if to say, "Who are you and why are you talking to me?"

There are so many other milestones and fun things but I can't remember it all ...

Juliana's 9 month checkup is tonight - time for weight, height, and shots. She is fitting comfortably into her 12 month clothes & is pretty long for 9 months old. Last time they measured her, she was in the 85th %. I am curious to see how much she weighs tonight!

Julianna modeling her new hat. I got it for 50 cents at Babysrus.
Gotta love clearance.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Fun visiting friends this weekend!

It seems like I haven't blogged in a long while... I just haven't been able to find the time lately - what a crazy few weeks it's been!

So this past weekend, we took a road trip to Maryland and visited our good friends Natalie & Jim ... and their crazy dogs Bunson & Bella. Pepper (our dog) loves Bella & Bunson... they love playing together and hanging out. Bunson & Bella also love Julianna... they were so good with her all weekend as always!

Friday night, Natalie whipped up some great peanut stir-fry chicken for us, which was a nice treat after we sat in an extra hour of traffic going through Philly. She then stuffed us with blondies (like light colored brownies) and home made ice cream for dessert... and italian pastries that we brought with us. Yum.

Saturday we sat around and played with Julianna ... then we headed out to go bowling in the late afternoon. It was Julianna's first time in a bowling ally. After we worked up an appetite bowling, we went out to eat at a very nice Steak restaurant. When we sat down, the old guy in the table next to us looked at Julianna and mumbled to his friend that they should move. Uhhhh WHAT? I guess they thought she was going to wail & scream all night. Haha guess what sucker - Juilanna was the golden child as usual. Julianna didn't make a peep! I almost wish she would have screamed & cried all during dinner just to piss off the old guy! It sucks having the perfectly behaved child! LOL. I had yummy beef medalions with gorgonzola sauce. Brian had Fish & Chips. We went back to the hosue and topped off the night with more blondies, ice cream & pastries ... (Yup the diet was fictitious all weekend!)

While we were there, we made plans with Natalie & Jim to go to Washington DC this summer for a weekend. I'm looking forward to it to say the least!

Here are some pictures from this past weekend...

Julianna studying her toy

Bella hanging with Baby Belle 

Bella is so good with Julianna ... she's going to make a great doggy sister one day!  

That is Bunson's butt over on the right... He loves Jules too!

Bunson with Julianna

I love this kid so so very much!

Julianna playing with Aunt Natalie  

AUnt Natalie & Uncle Jimmy hanging with Jules

Brian bowling ...

Yay - A strike!  

Me & Brian snuggling at the bowling ally 

Jules loves to honk Daddy's nose 

Upward Dog ...  

Julianna loves her little Yankees toy- (The brainwashing worked!)  

Random Pepper picture. She actually did not get all skiddish & run away when we broke out the camera...   

We all can't wait to go on our next roadtrip to visit our friends again!

Friday, February 18, 2011

What? No 15 months clothes?

As I phase out Julianna's 9 month wardrobe and phase in her 12 month wardrobe, it occurred to me - What do I do when she is too big for her 12 month clothes and too small for 18 month clothes? (She is 9 months now). Why in the world don't they make 15 month clothes? That would follow the 3,6,9,12 pattern right?? What the heck? Guess she will be wearing her 12 month clothes for a while... haha!

Gap & Gymboree tend to run larger, so I guess I'll have her in those clothes in a couple of months when she is ready for her '15 month' clothes. Maybe she will continue to grow so rapidly that 18 month clothes will actually fit her in 3 months?? She's getting too long too fast. I had a talk with her this morning and told her to slow it down a bit! She gave me a big raspberry....

Today is a vacation day for me. It's warm here in NJ, for once, and supposed to hit 60 today. Then back down to 40 tomorrow. Bummer. I'm spending the day with Jules and then when Daddy gets home, we are going to see some good friends. Aunt Natalie & Uncle Jimmy are dying to see her! Have a nice weekend everyone!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Things that make me go ... Hmmmmm?

So as Julianna is getting older, there are some things that I wonder about.

For instance -
When is it OK (safe) to give her a blanket or pillow in her crib? I am pretty sure it's after 1 year - but I really don't have a clue. When did moms with older kids out there start giving your baby a blanket or pillow? Right now, we put her in nice fleece PJs or a sleep sack to fight the cold (and a space heater).

Bumpers - I removed Julianna's pretty crib bumpers when she started being able to move around her crib, and I installed breathable bumpers. Do I leave these on until she is out of her crib? Do I take them off once I lower the mattress (which will be very soon). I feel like if I leave the breathable bumpers on, she can use those to launch herself up and over the top of the crib rail. Not good. I feel like if I remove them, she might hit her head since she is not exactly elegant with movements yet. When did you guys with older kids remove your bumpers (if you used them)?

Shoes vs. socks - Now that Julianna is in her big girl car seat, she is exposed to the outside a lot more and I am thinking socks are not enough. So Brian and I started putting shoes on her (I didn't see the point to shoes before since she's not exactly walking). Was it right to start putting shoes on her now? Or should I have been doing this all along? LOL. What about when it gets warm out, do I just do socks or sandals?(not together of course lol!) I am so clueless when it comes to the shoe thing with babies - especially since she is not walking. Last summer, she either had bare feet (at home) or socks on.

I watch Teen Mom - (OK yes laugh it up but you know you watch it too!) - in these shows, I often see those moms or grandmother's putting their kids to bed with a bottle. Ummm... I thought that was like rule #1? Don't put your baby to bed with a bottle. Right? Am I wrong? Or is this just something everyone else does and no one talks about it? I sure as hell do not. I don't see the point in it. What if they choke? And doesn't it cause tooth decay? Not like I get my parenting skills from Teen Mom, but you get what I mean. I feed Julianna before her bedtime, and off to bed she goes- sans bottle.

Juice - I am not for it. I don't plan on starting Julianna on juice for a long time. It is sooo high in sugar that I don't see the need for it in her diet. I know they make ones that are natural and without any processed sugar. I might try the natural juices - and I would water those down too. I really want her to drink milk or water (after we stop formula). I know it's a personal preference - but what does everyone else do? Are you guys offering juice before age one or before age two, or not at all?

Switch to the sippy cup- When is the right time for this? I assumed it was around one year - but now I really do not know. I plan on going with what the doctor tells us next week, but I am just curious as to what everyone else does. I started giving Julianna some water in her sippy to get her used to it (and she picked it up fast). My plan is to probably switch her over around one when she goes to whole milk....but I see children that are 2 and 3 yrs old drinking from bottles still. Is that normal or too old? (Kind of like the binky at age 5 thing?lol)

Anyway - I always go by what my peditrician says of course... but these are things I wonder about lately and when or how everyone else does it. Call it curiousity? Call it clueless new mom needs to know?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine's Weekend

Here is a brief synopsis of my glorious weekend-
  • Chocolate covered strawberries
  • Killer deal on huge bag of 12 month clothes for Julianna found on Craigslist
  • Super Pet Expo
  • Nook Reader
  • Social Network
My awesome husband Brian made me chocolate covered strawberries on Sunday night for Valentine's Day. They were very delish!!

I got a big bag of 12 month clothes for Julianna from someone on Craigslist for a great price. We are moving Jules into her 12 month clothes since her 9 month clothes are too short this week suddenly! Amazing how that happens!

Super Pet Expo - This was a neat show to go to - we brought our dog Pepper, our god daughter Bianca and of course Julianna. It was fun to see all the dogs and dog vendors there. It's like a flea market for dogs. People dress up their dogs in outfits and/or push them around in dog-strollers. Hmm. The stroller thing is a bit weird if you ask me. They had some other cool stuff there too, such as an exotic bird show, reptiles, bouncy house, Frisbee dog show, & HSPCA dogs.

I have been thinking about getting an E-reader but not sure which one I would want. I am a big researcher and will think about this for a while before I actually purchase it. We went to Best Buy and I got to touch & use the Nook (Color), Kindle, Sony E-Reader and some other lesser brands that I did not care for. I decided I want the Nook Color. I'll get it before we go to the beach this summer... can't wait to start putting all my books on the Reader and free up some room on our bookshelves.

Social Network - We have been dying to see this movie. Finally saw it. Loved it. Say no more.

Some pictures from this weekend

This child is going to really harbor some major resentment for all the 'naked baby in the bath tub' shots I have posted on my blog. I can see it now, "Mom, you ruined my life!" I don't care. She's too cute not to show the world.  

Bianca (our god daughter) feeding Julianna her Gerber Puffs.  

Bianca on her Pony Ride 

Brian carrying Pepper (truth be told, that's the only way she will be in a picture because she normally cowers behind one of us when we whip out the camera!) 
See the look of terror on her face.

Snakes. Yuck. Lot's of them. Too many of them.  

Me & Brian! 

Brian and Bianca petting the large Iguana. Ick.  

Julianna had enough of the dogs by the end of the day...  

One more bath shot. I couldn't resist!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day and Binky Wisdom

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! This morning, Julianna gave Da-Da (her new word) a Valentine's Day Card. It said that she loved him from the first minute she saw him. He did not expect the card from her. It was pretty cute to see his face.

I haven't blogged in quite a few days... and I need to catch up on reading some of my favorite blogs too! I hate when I fall behind! I have some pictures from this weekend but need to download & sort through them... tomorrow's blog for sure.

So I want to talk about The Binky.
(a.k.a. pacifier, paci, ba-ba, binker, buppy, plug, guk, nuby, etc...)
When I was pregnant, and coming up with all the rules in my head that I was going to follow, the binky 'rule' was one of the big ones. I have to say, I am not a fan of seeing a 4 year old with a binky... it looks kind of weird. Sorry but that's just my opinion.
So, depending on what you read or who you talk to - the right age to take away the binky is 6 months, 1 yr, 1.5 years.... oh wait, back to 6 months again. You get the picture. Ugh. Too confusing for me. Originally I said I would take away the binky between 6-12 months. Now Julianna is 9 months (almost) and I wouldn't dream of taking it away. She loves it, we love it... and we love how it calms her down and keeps her (and us) happy!

I can't honestly say I have a set age in my head anymore as to when we are going to take it away. I know I just can't let it go until she is like 4 years old LOL.

When is the right age?? When did you moms out there take away the binky?
How did you do it? Cold Turkey? Slowly over time? Played a game or read a book? -such as The Binky Ba-Ba Fairy  or Goodbye Binky, The Binky Fairy story (thank you Alicia @ Keeping up with Kylie for the idea!)

I saw something the other day that suggested poking a tiny pinhole in the end of the binky nipple - It's supposed to work since babies like the binky because of the 'suction'. If the suction is gone... they are supposed to 'lose interest' in the binky on their own over time. It sounds a little mean... but not terribly cruel. Has anyone done this?? Does it work?

What are your thoughts on taking away the binky?

The child loves her binky. She really does. We love it because she loves it. haha!
She loves it when she's awake.

...And she loves the binky when she's sleeping. Who could take it away from
this precious face? Certainly not me. Not now.


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