Little Baby Angel is 2 Months Old

Little Baby Angel is 2 Months Old

Good morning and happy happy happy Thursday!

I can’t believe my baby girl is two months old already! I have enjoyed every single second with this precious angel =)  A few days after we brought her home, we took her to get a frenulectomy to release her posterior tongue tie and lip tie from the same incredible doctor that we brought Paul to. She had the same exact tongue tie and lip tie that Paul did; and I am so happy that we did the procedure immediately this time. Breastfeeding has been great since we got her frenulectomy. Little angel eats every 1 1/2 to 2 hours with her longest stretch being 3 to 4 hours (usually from 7pm to 11pm). She also accepts pacifiers (yay!).

When she was 13 days old, her umbilical cord fell off. She started tracking us a few days before she turned a month old, and started smiling at us at 5 weeks old. Her favorite thing to do is for us to sit her up and talk with her. She makes impeccable eye contact and coos and makes sounds and smiles in response to us talking to her. She loves social interaction, and loves to be held or worn.

Chiara loves tummy time. She has had really great control of her neck since the day she was born–and now, she is able to lift her head and shoulders to look at us. She also rolled over from her tummy to her back for the first time at 7 weeks old.

This little angel is growing so quickly. At her first month checkup, it was exciting to hear that she gained 2 pounds since birth. Now, she doesn’t even fit in her newborn diapers anymore =( I am excited to find out how much she weighs now!

Thank you so much for reading! I hope you have a wonderful day!

Here are some pictures:

Labor and Delivery: Meet Chiara Gabrielle Noojin

Labor and Delivery: Meet Chiara Gabrielle Noojin

I am so excited to introduce you to our newest baby angel: Chiara Gabrielle Noojin. She was born on June 1st at 7:41 am weighing 6 pounds 13.4 ounces. She is the most perfect, most sweetest, most snuggly little girl ever =) Matt and I are just over the moon in love with this precious angel.

My Very Long Early Labor

Early labor began on Monday, May 21st. I was stuck at 2 centimeters dilated at least until my last doctors visit on Wednesday, May 30th. On a scale from 1 to 10, I was at a pain level of a 4 since early labor started. Contractions were coming 5 to 15 minutes apart and the duration of each contraction varied. While Matt and I were watching the playoffs on Thursday night, I noticed my contractions were slightly more painful; so I went to bed and tried to sleep through them.

My Very Fast Active Labor (explicit)

I woke up at 545 am with contractions that I could barely walk through. Having a false alarm previously, I decided to time my contractions for an hour. I took a shower, and since the contractions were still steady, I woke Matt up and said that it might be go time–aaannnd that I needed him to go get toilet paper from the store. Matt left to the store, and then I had 5 painful contractions while he was gone before my water broke. I had only been timing my contractions for 20 minutes. I was so mad at myself for telling Matt to leave for such a useless item at that point. I went into the hallway, and the first post water breaking contraction came and my anxiety kicked in. I knew this was it–my body was telling me to push with every unbearable painful contraction, and the contraction lasted one minute or longer. Every time I contracted, water gushed out. I was so anxious at this point, the hospital seemed hours away and I knew I could not bear this pain and resist pushing for much longer. I called my doctor’s answering service and told her that we were coming to the hospital.

Matt got home super happy about bringing me the toilet paper that I requested. I told Matt that my water broke; and when he tried to go upstairs to retrieve his wallet and some other things, I had another contraction that caused me to scream (see Laura palmer black lodge doppelgänger from fire walk with me). So we left everything and we borrowed my mom’s car while she stayed with Paul. The plan was to call an uber; but now that bodily fluids were gushing out with every contraction, that was no longer an option.

We got in the car and I screamed with every contraction the entire way to the hospital. I was so anxious about giving birth in the car that I was clenching her in; making the contractions more painful and me more anxious. Matt, as safely as possible, got us to the hospital in about 15 minutes; and I was screaming through every contraction the entire way there. We got really lucky and pulled over into a spot across the street from the main entrance; and he helped me get in as quickly as possible. We entered the hospital and Matt went to go find a wheelchair; but another contraction hit and I fell on all fours in the main lobby and screamed “please get me a wheel chair I’m about to give birth!” Yes, I made a scene. Luckily, a labor and delivery doctor (again, we were very lucky) was buying her breakfast at Dunkin’ Donuts before her shift started and she dropped everything to help me. She ran me to labor and delivery. I screamed for pain medication and clenched on the the side of the bed and screamed with every incoming contraction. The nurses checked me, they said that I was fully dilated and that It was too late to take pain medication, and that I was ready to push.

My doctor came in almost immediately, we were again lucky because he was already at the hospital! They prepped me as quickly as they could– but at this point I was so fatigued. I didn’t want to do anything but clench onto the side of the bed and take a few minutes– and I was so exhausted and dehydrated. Matt heard me keep asking for water so he went and got me some ice chips which made me feel so much better. I finally stopped resisting and got ready to push, although, I was not pushing correctly at first. When I finally did one push correctly; all I could hear over all of the nurses and my doctor’s shouts was Matt’s very calm voice encouraging me. And in two more pushes she was out. I looked at Matt as soon as I felt her leave my body and I just cannot explain the intense and overwhelming feeling of love that takes over in that very moment.

The feeling of pushing her out was incredible. My body told me when to push and I teared so little that I did not need stitches. In my opinion, pushing the baby out is by far the least painful part of labor– the contractions past my water breaking were the hardest part. As soon as she was born the pain was completely gone; and I felt great. Recovery has been great. Now that I have experienced natural childbirth, I see how beneficial it was for my recovery postpartum. I do not think that I could ever do a medicated birth again (at least an epidural). It was just so beautiful.

Thank you so much for reading! Here are some pictures! =)

Maternity Recommendations: Sleep/Nursing Bras

Good morning and happy Wednesday! After having tried various maternity bras, these are my absolute favorites! These six affordable bras provided me with maximum comfort and support throughout my first pregnancy, during the first 14 months of breastfeeding, and now through my second pregnancy. I hope you that you enjoy the durability, comfort, and support that these six bras provide =)

My Favorite Plastic Toys from Green Toys

I have been buying plastic toys from Green Toys since 2016, and I am so excited to share some of my favorite products from this company. I absolutely love that these toys are made from non toxic plastic! My current favorites are:

Dump Truck

School Bus

Fire Truck

Ferry Boat

Play-Doh Set

Jet Plane

Submarine

Car Transporter

Shape Sorter

Tool Kit

Why I Choose Green Toys for Plastic Toys

Why I Choose Green Toys for Plastic Toys

Green toys is a company that creates plastic toys out of recycled milk jugs. There are seven types of plastic; and milk jugs are made from type 2 plastic. Type 2 plastic is made from high density polyurethane, which is considered safe because it does not contain bisphenol A nor phthalates. Polyurethane is considered toxic only when inhalation occurs due to off gassing–usually from products containing Polyurethane foam (such as sofas and mattresses); but off gassing does not occur with polyurethane plastic. Not only does this company use a safe type of plastic to create their toys, the functionality of the toys are incredible. I choose to buy plastic toys from Green Toys because I love that the toys are made from a non toxic plastic, the toys are affordable, and my son absolutely loves every item that I have ever purchased from there! If you are looking for a company that sells affordable non toxic plastic toys, I would highly recommend purchasing them from Green Toys.

My Favorite Toys from Maple Landmark

I have been buying wooden toys from Maple Landmark since 2016, and I am so excited to share some of my favorite products from this company. I absolutely love the quality and educational value of these toys! My current favorites are:

Shape Sorter Bench

Leaf Puzzle

Building Blocks

Oval Train Track

Name Train Letters, Caboose, and Engine

Monster Car

Pick Up Truck

Made By Me Train

Wooden Railroad Village

School Bus Puzzle

Why I Choose Maple Landmark’s Schoolhouse Naturals Line for Wooden Toys

Why I Choose Maple Landmark’s Schoolhouse Naturals Line for Wooden Toys

As a mother who has researched the toxicity found in wooden baby products, I was so happy when I discovered Maple Landmark. I reached out to the company and asked them my typical questions; and I was so pleased with the honest, detailed and prompt email responses that I received in return. This is a company that genuinely cares about the quality of the products that they sell and provides an honest explanation about any possible toxicity that may be present in their wood. Here is my initial email to the company:

Good afternoon,

I am interested in your sorting bench and block sets. I would appreciate if you could answer the following questions:

  1. Are the products made from certified sustainable wood or hardwood; or pressed or engineered wood?
  2. Does it come unfinished?
  3. Is it completely lead and phthalate free?  or does it contain little amounts?
  4. Is this toy binded with adhesive that contains formaldehyde; what type of glue is used?

Thank you so much and I appreciate your response!

I received this detailed email in response:

Sandra,

Jill passed your email on to me to respond. We thank you for your interest in our products. Any answers we supply are written in an attempt to give you the full, honest case as we know it.

So, for example, we do not claim that our wood is “lead-free”, which you would interpret to mean it has zero lead. We do not guarantee that since wood is a natural substance and lead is a naturally occurring background element. We have never had lead detected in our wood (and yes it has been tested for lead), but there are also limits to what can be detected. In this respect you will find that our wood is no different than any other domestic supplier.

You do have to know that virtually all Asian logs are chemically treated with insecticides and fungicides. They generally are not on the list of reportable chemicals at the consumer level. We recently had problems shipping our product into Asia because it was not chemically treated.

We source our wood locally and it is not chemically treated at any stage in the process. It is not sustainably certified, which doesn’t mean it is harvested with a lack of concern for sustainability. Our local / regional mills have been in business for generations and there is more forest land in Vermont than 100 years ago. https://www.maplelandmark.com/infocenter/responsibility/foresthealth.lasso

In our area, there is a lack of certified material readily available, the cost of certification is too great for smaller companies. I would rather deal locally than haul in lumber from hundreds of miles away.

We do use some plywood in our puzzles and other products that require wide, thin, flat pieces. It comes from the Baltic region of Europe and meets CARB II (California) standards, including no formaldehyde glue, etc.

There are no phthalates in our raw material. We have worked with our finish suppliers to reduce / eliminate phthalates in the rare cases where they might have been used. For the most, they are not part of our product. There are some chemicals that we buy where we have little or no control over the chemical makeup and there are no alternatives. In those cases we make sure the chemical levels are under federal and state standards.

As Jill mentioned, we developed our Schoolhouse Naturals line https://www.maplelandmark.com/schoolhousenaturals/sn.lasso to offer options for people who have the greatest chemical concerns. However, all of our children’s products meet federal standards and are regularly tested for compliance.

I hope this helps.

Mike Rainville
Maple Landmark Woodcraft
1297 Exchange St.
Middlebury, VT  05753
(802)388-0627 / Fax (802)388-0761
www.maplelandmark.com

I then responded with this email:

Thank you so much for the very detailed message; it was very helpful and I look forward to supporting your business! I am also interested in your puzzles.

  1. Are these puzzles made with hardwood, plywood, or fiberboard? Does it contain formaldehyde?
  2. What are the puzzles colored with? Does it have any VOC’s?
  3. I am also very interested in your Name Train products. What are you trains and tracks made from? (hardwood, plywood, fiberwood)
  4. What are the trains colored with? Does it have any VOC’s?
Thank you so much!

I received this email in response:

Sandra,

The puzzles are made from plywood. We do not use fiberboard for any product. As I said before, the plywood meets the CARB II standard regarding formaldehyde.

Our finishes are low or no VOCs. VOCs are how solvent based chemicals dry. There are exempt VOCs, which are not anthropogenic and non-exempt VCOs which are. Generally, where necessary, our finishes use exempt VOCs.

The water-borne dye stains on the NameTrain letters do contain some VOCs. The clear top-coat does not.

Our print inks (like the puzzles) are UV cured which, I believe, is non VOC.

Our track is solid hard maple.

Thanks,
Mike

I purchased some toys following these email exchanges and I am so pleased to say that my experiences with the products from Maple Landmark’s Schoolhouse Natural’s line have been exceptional. I have been buying wooden toys exclusively from Maple Landmark Schoolhouse Natural’s line because I love the quality of their products, the toys are affordable, and my son absolutely loves every item that I have ever purchased from there! If you are looking for a company that sells high quality wooden toys, I would highly recommend purchasing them from Maple Landmark.

Paul’s Second Birthday Celebration

Paul’s Second Birthday Celebration

Happy Saturday! I am so excited to share pictures from Paulie’s second birthday celebration! It was so wonderful spending time with people that we love so much <3 There is nothing more important to us than spending quality time with people that we love; and that quality time is exactly what made his birthday so special! Everyone who couldn’t make it due to illness or distance was wholeheartedly missed and present in our hearts. Paul had such a fantastic time and he was so happy to play with his cousins =) We are so lucky to have such a big family; and I am so happy that Paul Bear has so many wonderful cousins that are around his age that he can grow close to =D He absolutely loves them! It was so awesome to see how outgoing, friendly, and happy he was to spend time with them; and today will forever be such a special memory in my heart.

Everything about this celebration was super exciting for Paul. Paul had such a blast going food shopping with Matt and I to get everything we needed for his special dinner; he had fun helping Matt cook the morning before the party; he had a blast blowing up balloons; he had fun making the goodie bags and handing them to his cousins; and a smile did not come off of his face throughout the entire duration of the celebration =) Thank you for everyone who was able to come and celebrate with us to make his birthday so very special! <3

On the Celebration Menu:

  1. Sweet Sausage, Peppers, and Onions
  2. Meatballs
  3. Pasta
  4. Sauce
  5. Salad
  6. Birthday Cake

Here are some pictures:

   

Thank you for reading! I hope you have a happy Sunday! =D

Happy Second Birthday Baby Angel

Happy Second Birthday Baby Angel

Good evening and Happy Monday! I can’t believe my Paul Bear is going to be 2 years old on Wednesday. Over the last month, his language and vocabulary have drastically developed. He has acquired so much vocabulary. He asks questions like ” where is mama?” By asking “mama is?” He can say five word sentences and is really great with his manners, for example, “I want more water please” and “I need a diaper change please” and “I love you mama.” His manners are incredible. He says “thank you” every time we give him something. He also calls us “Cutie Pie” and “Sweetie Pie” which melts my heart. He really copies the way I speak to him; including my tone, mannerisms, and vocabulary. His sentences are really descriptive, for example, “open the yellow play doh please.” He loves dressing up in mama and dada’s clothes and shoes, and walking around the apartment in them. He absolutely loves singing songs, such as ABCs, jingle bells, down by the bay, five little monkeys, open shut them, skidamarink a dink, and wheels and the bus. He can sing the ABC’s in it’s entirety. He can sing the majority of five little monkeys and wheels on the bus with omitting some words. He sings all of these songs and does the hand movements. Saying it’s adorable is an understatement. He loves looking at himself in the mirror and making funny faces. He loves watching videos of himself and of his family. He knows his name, mama and dadas name, and his cousins names. He can recite his favorite books such as Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and Peekaboo Elmo. He loves reading, playing with play doh, figuring out puzzles, playing with cars, pretending to be cookie monster, and hiding and popping out and scaring us. He carries around this little Elmo doll his grandma gave to him and he just doesn’t let it go. He also loves wearing these adorable Elmo slippers that his Nana got for him. His play has become much more sophisticated. His problem solving skills are incredible. He loves being active, running, jumping, climbing, etc. He loves being tickled and chased. He is my little playful jokester. He likes bumping into walls and pretending he is hurt. He says “sorry,sorry,sorry” when he wants to do something independently and someone tried to help him. In general, he is just really independent. He knows how to wash, rinse and dry his hands thoroughly. We are teaching him to clean his own body in the bath and can latter the soap up on his body parts. He can put on his own pants; and is working on pulling them up over his diaper. He is definitely ready to be potty trained. He will go into a separate room and insist on privacy while he is pooping. It’s so cute! He likes to help mama and dada with chores; and when it is time to clean up his toys, he will put everything back in it’s designated area and sing the clean up song. Paul is really good at feeding himself, and most of the time can keep making a mess to a minimum. Paul’s last four molars have been growing in for what seems like forever. The bottom 2 are finally cutting!

Paul had strep throat and a stuffy nose for 10 days this month, and this was a catalyst for him becoming extremely disinterested in breastfeeding. While he was sick, he went to sleep in his crib on his own for nap a few times, but now that he is better, he is trying to skip nap altogether; but I am enforcing it because he is exhausted after lunch and sleep is so important. We have a new routine for nap. He eats lunch at 11:30. He is usually finished with lunch around 12:00. I tell him that it is time to rest our bodies by having quiet time or a nap. We change him and brush his teeth. Then we go read books together in his room. We read books until 12:45. I give him a bottle of water, kiss him, and tuck him in. I give him 15 minutes to try to fall asleep on his own just to get him comfortable with the idea that he will be napping in his crib. After 15 minutes, I offer him to come into the bed with me and give him the option to nurse; which he usually does and then falls asleep immediately.

Tantrums have decreased drastically now that he is using his words, and when he starts to cry, we encourage him to tell us whats wrong and he uses his words instead of crying. If he does have a tantrum, we talk him through it, explain to him how he is feeling and why he is feeling such intense emotions, and help him work through it. If the tantrum started because he wanted something and we said no, we make it clear that even if he tantrums he still will not get whatever it was that he wanted; and offer him different options that he could chose from. Tantrums usually occur when he is tired or overtired.

Paul is just such a happy, funny, fun and thoughtful boy. He makes me so proud to be his mama. I just love him so much; and these last two years have been the best years of my life. Happy second birthday baby angel.

Here are some pictures:

Thank you for reading! I hope you have a happy Monday! <333

Our Beautiful Christmas Tradition

Our Beautiful Christmas Tradition

Every year, our family has a beautiful experience where we travel to cut down a tree from a Christmas Tree farm. For the last couple of years, we have driven up to Wantage Christmas Tree Farm in North Jersey. We love the drive up there, the location, and the tree selection. 

The experience is always spectacular. This year, Paul had a blast roaming around the land, exploring nature, and selecting trees that he liked. He was intrigued with the dirt roads, grassy land, mountains, and trees. We just roamed and enjoyed our time for a good hour before selecting a tree. 

We chose a beautiful, full, relatively short Douglass Fur tree. Paul helped Dada cut it down, collected part of the trunk that Dada cut off, collected some branches and pine needles, and helped drag it down the moutain. 

Here are some pictures from this beautiful experience:

Thank you for reading! I hope you have a happy day!

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