Baby Led Wednesday: Applesauce

We had a little scare with the foods recently. Baby M has been eating toast and eggs and all things once reserved for babies over a year old (except honey), but now okay'd by the AAP for babies 6 months and older. Then a couple Sundays ago baby M was very sick. He threw up huge amounts several times until there was nothing left in his tummy. By dinner time he was fine and we thought it was a fast moving stomach bug. The following Wednesday it happened again, but much more violent. His pediatrician said it might be a lingering bug, or might be an allergy.

When Father's day rolled around and baby M gave S a bit of a treat all over his shirt and lap and couch and this special Father's day shirt:
Baby M was tentatively diagnosed with a wheat allergy. He'd eaten the tiniest bit of toast the morning of all three incidents; it was the only common thread. We've been gluten free since. Baby M will have blood work done in September to make a definitive diagnosis.

So we've been treading very lightly for the past week or so, just doing fruits, veggies and gluten-free/egg-free bread products. We'll "test" out a taste of egg, which he's also had before, in a week or so to rule out an egg allergy since the breads he'd eaten on his three sick days all had eggs listed as ingredients. But so far we've been vomit-free during our gluten avoidance.

One of our first foods after his upset tummy was applesauce, which we fed him BLW style as best we could...by allowing him to control his loaded spoon.
I load his small spoon with a touch of applesauce at the end and let him hold onto the spoon and guide it into his mouth. I just balance the end of the spoon for him until he gets it into his mouth and then let go. (I had to let go for the photo)

It was a bit of a mess at first, but he's really starting to get the hang of it. (I've learned that long plastic bibs are futile because they come untucked from the table and get food on the underside.) The advancement in his hand coordination is amazing to watch and really disappointing for Feeney as the dropped food incidents decrease.

We've got some more spoonable foods on the menu and more difficult to hold fruits and veggies. His little hands seem to be ready for a little more complex maneuvering soon.

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Baby Bee's BIG Baby Nursery

After building baby M's crib and getting over our initial shock over how much larger a crib is than a cradle, we got to work rearranging furniture to make our new BIG baby nursery.

We placed the crib under the "balloons" where the cradle was originally. It's the only wall without a window and therefore the only safe spot for baby Tarzan, who I'm sure would find a way to swing from the curtains if he could. Everything else in the room found a new home. Come on in and take a peek!

As you look in from the hallway, you can see the end of the crib centered under the paper lantern balloons.
We moved the changing table/dresser from under the window and placed it on an angle in the corner. We're going to live with this location for a little while before we move the elephant mobile. But, we won't wait too long because baby M absolutely loves reaching for the elephants and the hanging ribbons.
We moved the tall hutch where we keep our cloth wipes to the corner next to the crib where the glider used to live. There's the perfect sized space in the gallery wall from where we used to have the floor lamp.
We added breathable bumpers to the crib on the very first night when all of baby M's pacis hit the floor within 10 minutes of his being in bed. He likes to test them all out and twirl them around like a rodeo star as he's settling in to sleep. I plan to add trim around the edges of these just like I did for those in his cradle.
The wood color of the drawer on the crib matches our floors almost exactly. It just blends right in, so I may not paint it navy; I'm not sure I want to draw attention to it.
We moved the glider to the corner in front of the built-in bookshelves. It's a great location because we can now reach up and grab another book, if one or six aren't enough to put baby M to sleep at nap time. I re-homed the floor lamp to the living room since we never used it in the nursery. In fact, I don't think we ever even plugged it in.
 Above the glider hangs a painting of a little boy riding an elephant as it jumps over the moon.
My best friend from childhood painted it for baby M before he arrived. She said she'd planned to put a pony tail on the little boy, if baby M turned out to be a girl ;) The elephants eye is pretty amazing. The entire thing is amazing; she's very talented.
I'm sad to say goodbye to the cradle, but the plan was always to make the switch at six months. I'm glad we decided to make the switch the day the crib arrived so I didn't have any time to think about my wee baby growing up. Of course that means I didn't get to take any last-night-in-the-cradle pictures. The last shot I have of my big baby in his cradle is this picture of the video monitor taken last week.
I guess it was getting to be time, but I swear he still crams himself tight into a ball in the corner of the giant crib! And thankfully it's only taken a day or two for me to fall in love with our nursery all over again.
Did you have to rearrange your nursery to fit new and different furniture as your baby grew?

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The Mad Crib Dash

We took a long weekend for S's first Father's Day and enjoyed some relaxing time near the water. Baby M took some serious naps in his Bob on the deck and enjoyed his new red tree swing.
When we returned home the FedEx truck pulled up as we were unpacking the car. S helped the delivery driver bring the 83 pound box up our front steps and he and I carried it up to baby M's room together. Despite its giant size and weight everything inside arrived in perfect condition (in only four business days and for 97 cents for shipping!)

We decided that because baby M had spent two restless nights in a pack-n-play, we'd continue with the upheaval and make the switch to the crib straight away. S unpacked all of the pieces before his helpers joined him to read the instructions while I put sheets on the mattress airing out in the guest room.

Assembly began at 5:40pm, 20 minutes before our nightly routine begins. Baby M was much more interested in Feeney than in the giant white pieces of crib propped all around him.
And everything was fun and games until....
The drill came out and then it was all downhill. Baby M met the noise of the drill with a little trepidation....
That quickly turned to all-out wails and a full-on give-me-my-bath-now meltdown. I scooped him up and whisked him off to the bucket while S continued the mad dash to finish the crib before M's belly was full and eyelids got heavy.

At 7:20 we lay baby M down in his new crib, fully assembled and larger than life. I stood speechless for a few minutes as I watched my baby twirl around 180 degrees, grab his lovey and scoot himself tight into the corner as if he were still in his little cradle. The crib is seriously huge.

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"Complete Purchase"

I bit the bullet and hit "complete purchase" today. Baby M's crib is on the way! Special thank you to my work - the Amex gift card they gave me at my baby shower last fall just bought this crib:
It's the Baby Mod Parklane from WalMart. I used ebates and got 1% cash back (every little bit counts!) applied a $9 store credit and paid for the rest with gift cards.

It should be delivered early next week and I plan to paint the front of the drawer with old navy to match baby M's bookshelves as soon as it arrives. I can't wait to share photos of baby M's updated "I'm a big baby now" nursery.

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Bring on the Sunshine!

One of my favorites houses in our neighborhood has a little patio that I love. I stare at their little shaded oasis like a stalker ever time Feeney and I walk past their house. A few weeks ago I realized that what I like most about their patio is the navy blue umbrella that always seems to be open in the morning. So a few weeks ago when World Market was having their patio furniture sale, S and I bought our own navy blue umbrella and stand for our new patio.
It was super simple to set up and we had our own shaded oasis in no time.
The umbrella has tiny LED lights on the umbrella supports and a thermometer on the pole, which is kind of cool if you happen to be sitting out there wondering just how freaking hot it is. But we haven't put an exterior outlet on the shed yet, so we haven't been able to try out the LED lights. 
It's nice to have a little shade on the patio whenever we want it now, rather than having to wait 'til the sun hits the shed just right. Bring on the sunshine!

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ISO: The Perfect Crib

Baby M has been sleeping in the cradle that was mine as a baby since he was a few weeks old. At first he was in a bassinet in our room and then I put the bassinet inside the cradle when he was 2.5 weeks old; then at 12 weeks we retired our bassinet completely.

In a few short weeks baby M and I will go to my parents' house for the summer, and he'll be sleeping in his crib there. We'll be packing up the cradle and taking it with us to return it to my parents' attic. When we get home, we'll need a crib waiting for us here. So, we're in search of the perfect crib!

We have a fairly straight-forward wish list for our perfect crib. We'd like something simple and modern-ish looking, probably in white and preferably something that doesn't scream "I need a skirt." We want solid wood, no pressed board or MDF and a non-toxic finish. It would be nice if it converts to a toddler bed and extra storage would be ideal. Made in the USA would be fabulous. Most of all, we want something affordable since we bought a more expensive mattress made of organic materials.

After much searching and pinning I came up with the following options.
Crib collage thanks to HelloBee where I'm Mrs. Stroller!

1. Pottery Barn's Skylar - $800
This is the dream crib for our small nursery that's tight on space. I love that it has three separate drawers for storage underneath, converts to a toddler bed and is very well made. However, the price is steep and the toddler conversion kit is sold separately.

2. Babyletto Modo 3-in-1 - $390
I love the two toned finish and the simplicity of the modern look of this crib. The price includes the toddler conversion kit. The only downside of this crib is that there is no extra storage and there's very little space to slide anything underneath.

3. Spot on Square Eicho - $595
I love the super thick slats on this crib. It's sturdy and modern, eco friendly and made in the USA. However the toddler conversion kit costs an extra $200.

4. Babyletto Mercer - $400
This crib is a great storage crib alternative to the Pottery Barn Skylar, plus it's a bit more modern looking, is available in a two-tone finish or all white and comes with the toddler conversion kit. It's not made in the USA, however, and I haven't been able to find it available in a brick and mortar store so I can test out the quality of the drawer.

5. Babyletto Harlow - $410
I love, love, love the base on this crib. It screams, "I definitely don't need a skirt!" However, in a small house and a tiny nursery, a solid base means giving up valuable storage space. Plus, the solid side is placed right where baby M would be looking out of his crib and into his room. How not fun to see a solid panel of white!

6. Babyletto Hudson - $370
I love the legs on this crib. They're reminiscent of much more expensive brands. It has a timeless simplicity and the toddler bed conversion kit is included in the price.

7. Nurseryworks Twinkle 3-in-1 Billy - $300
The solid head and foot of this crib caught my eye - less distraction during nap time! The toddler conversion kit is included and it can stand alone without the guard rail like a little daybed.

8. Ikea Gulliver - $100
The price on this Ikea crib cannot be beat. It gets rave reviews from everyone I know who owns it and is timeless in its simplicity. It converts to a toddler bed, but the toddler style does not have a bed rail like some of the other cribs. There is no storage underneath, but we could add a skirt and put a box under it. However, the base is reportedly made from pressed board, which means toxic glues I'm not psyched to have near my baby. And the whole thing just doesn't seem too sturdy.

9. Child Craft London - $200
This option, which is also available in white, is a little more classic looking. It converts to a toddler bed, but a security rail is sold separately.

10. Baby Mod Modena 3-in-1 Navy - $200
A navy blue crib to match baby M's nursery! I love the detail on the solid ends and the simplicity of the legs. It converts to a toddler bed and includes a safety rail. Navys are all very different so it could end up not matching baby M's nursery at all, and it may limit nursery color choices in the future should we decide to go against everything we've ever said and have a second baby.

I recently found two more options that were recommended to me:

The Baby Mod Olivia - $270
This crib is similar to the Modo, is solid wood and has a non-toxic finish. It looks solid, converts to a toddler bed, with a rail included and is super cute! It's sold by WalMart, but is apparently made by the same company who makes the Babyletto series, only less expensive. The only problem is it isn't sold in stores, so there's no way for us to see if we like the shaded of the wood on the base.
Baby Mod Parklane - $250
This crib is also sold by WalMart, is solid wood and has a non-toxic finish. It meets our storage criteria underneath and has 137 reviews, nearly all of which give it 4 or 5 stars. It's a great price for a crib with storage, but the reviews say and photos show that there's a large gap between the mattress and drawer when it's converted to a toddler bed. A little skirt might fix the issue of being able to see into the drawer. I'm a bit concerned about the sturdiness of the drawer when toddler M decides it's a great step stool or fort. It's also not available in stores, so we can't go and inspect the drawers in person. Plus, I'm not sure I love the color of the drawer, but I could easily solve that with a touch of old navy to match baby M's bookshelves!

Our final option is to have a crib made to our specifications. We have a local furniture maker building the two hutches for our dining room right now and if we like how they turn out, we might ask him to draw up plans for our dream crib while following the CPSC's crib safety guidelines. It might end up being an economical option and we could definitely get everything on our wishlist. But of course there's a time consideration with that option. Baby M is growing like a little weed and before we know it he's going to be too big for his cradle; I'm getting a tad concerned we might not make it 'til the end of June before we need to make the crib transition! Just look at the difference twenty weeks makes:
I'm at a total roadblock. I just cannot decide which crib to buy! What are your favorite features in a crib? Any one crib you absolutely love or absolutely hate?

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Whew, that Feels Good

I just packaged up the last of the June wedding orders for our sail bags.
This last order was for six bags, which felt like it took forever to complete. Life has certainly changed this year; I just can't pull a couple of all-nighters to sew six bags in one weekend anymore! Someone wakes up at 7:30 in the morning no matter what time his momma went to bed.
It was also a tough time to have so many orders lined up because S was away for most of the past few months and I've been on solo momma duty. Baby M and I definitely have our little routine down and we're enjoying our M&M (mommy and Maddie) time. Shhh, don't tell S I call him Maddie, it drives him nuts!

Two of the bags in this last order used the new hot pink monogram fabric I recently added to our stock; it's shocking and awesome!
Baby M also got his very own "M" bag with a red monogram. It's the fourth daycare bag we'll have dropped him with over the course of three months. He's definitely his momma's boy.

I have a couple of single bag orders to finish up over the next two weeks and then we might close up shop for the summer before opening up again in September to start on custom sail Christmas stockings. Baby M and I have big plans for July and August and I'm not sure I want to tote our bag supplies along with us. It feels great to have these big orders complete!

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BLW: Baby Led Wednesday - Foods with Handles

After last week's misadventures with avocado and baby M's inability to actually get any in his mouth, a friend suggested leaving the skin on fruits and veggies to give a bit of a "handle." So this week's focus was on foods with grippy skins.

We tried a banana with a handle first by washing it well and then cutting a piece of banana and removing skin to expose only two inches of fruit.
Baby M annihilated the fruit in minutes. He gagged out a chunk, grabbed it off his bib with his hand and somehow got it back into his mouth. It was an impressive move since he hasn't mastered opening his palm and shoving food into his mouth yet.

I discovered that banana leaves nasty brown stains on everything. Thankfully a good soaking in oxyclean got his waterproof bib and his embroidered crab onesie that I made clean. We undressed him down to a diaper for his next adventures.

For our next grippy food we tried a triangle of cantaloupe with the well-scrubbed skin still on. Baby M was able to get a very good grip on it with one of the triangles pointing down and a long side in his mouth. He used his bottom gums to scrape out quite a bit of fruit!
As the food got wetter with drool, it got slippier and kept moving to the sides of his tray as he reached for it. Baby M would lean over to grab the food and then use the tray to hold it in his mouth while he leaned over at a weird angle. Since one of the rules of BLW safety is that the baby must be upright and not slouching or reclined, we propped his sides first with a coffee can:
Before switching to two bottles down by his hips, which restricted his arm movement much less than the coffee.

Still on the grippy list, but much less so was a half a peach, pit removed. The peach fuzz managed to stay rough enough and the size was large enough that baby M was able to hold it in his mouth for long periods of time while he worked at gnawing away the fruit inside. It was a hit and the first thing he reached for several times.

Finally we tried corn on the cob, cooked a little longer than those of us with teeth prefer it cooked. It proved to be a little frustrating because it was a little slippery. Baby M reached for it at least a dozen times though and whined with frustration when I handed it to him and then took my hands away as soon as he put his on it and before he could manage a good taste.
With BLW you can't ever put food in the baby's mouth, he has to do it all on his own so he can manage the size and placement. He's learning where to put the food so he can move it around safely. I had to hold myself back several times from "helping" him with the corn. I did, however, sit it on its end in front of him so he could grab it without launching it off the side of his tray...where Feeney patiently waited ;)

Overall, grippy foods proved to be a success this week! And most of all, it was fun!
 Next we're trying some drier foods and adding in some cooked foods too.

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That Dang Fence

We're closing in on the hot, hot, hot season very quickly here and that dang fence is still un-stained. It's looking increasingly like I'm going to be rolling up my sleeves, donning my overalls and doing this job myself before it gets too hot to be outside.

Problem is, I just can't decide on a stain color! I'm thinking that I'll try out the darkest gray in the sample here:
Except instead of going gung-ho and tackling all the fence straight away, I'll just do this area around our basement entry stairs. That way, if we don't like it, we can always go lighter on the main fence and the contrast will look planned. What do you think? Shall I start in bits and pieces rather than bite off the entire project at once?

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