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! =)

Pregnancy Update: 38 Weeks Pregnant and Stuck in Early Labor

Good afternoon and happy Saturday! Today I am 38 weeks pregnant and we are counting down the days until we meet our little baby angel. I have been in early labor since Monday =) our little angel is indecisive on whether she is ready to come meet us or snuggle in mama bears tummy for a little while longer. This is a completely new experience for me as my labor with Paul was 13 hours from early labor to birth. With baby girl, I was a half centimeter dilated as of Monday when I saw my doctor for my weekly appointment; 2 centimeters dilated as of Wednesday after I saw my doctor again because I had some blood; and after contracting for days, I was still 2 centimeters dilated as of Saturday. I am having contractions every 5 to 15 minutes; and the duration and pain vary. During the last few weeks, baby girl has been super active all the time, and I love feeling her fetal movement! I treasure every roll, stretch, punch, kick, and hiccup. I am someone who loves to be pregnant, even with the difficulties that this pregnancy presented me with. The process is so beautiful and I love to enjoy every minute of the short 9 months. I am so excited to progress into active labor and finally meet our baby bear =)

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

Hello Wisconsin!

Hello Wisconsin!

I am so excited to announce that, after so much hard work and determination, my husband was accepted into an exceptional Masters degree program in Wisconsin for this upcoming September. Words can not express how proud I am of him for seeking out this incredible opportunity =) My family will be relocating to Wisconsin at the end of June for the next two years; and our plans thereafter will depend on opportunities that come our way. I am so excited to experience this new adventure and the next chapter of our lives together. Thank you for reading, I hope you have a happy Saturday!

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