Monday, April 21, 2014

Giveaway- Freshly Picked Moccasins

Today I am excited to host my first ever giveaway on this blog!

Since Octavian was born I have spent hours looking for adorable baby clothes to dress up his cute little chubs.  Although we have a lot of second-hand clothing, I like to have a few special items for him to wear for special occasions.  You can imagine my excitement when Freshly Picked asked me to do a review/giveaway of their moccasins.

All their moccs arrive in a cute little bag which made opening the package that much more exciting!
Does anyone else feel this way about shoes and handbags that come in little bags?

Freshly Picked Moccs come in suede or leather and a variety of different colors.
Choosing which color I wanted was tough, but I love my choice of the red-rock suede.  It is versatile, but still stands out when he has them on his cute little feet.

Freshly Picked Moccasins were designed by a Mama searching for shoes that would stay on her sons feet while also being comfortable to wear.
Why didn't I think of it?
Although my little guy isn't walking yet, they are so soft, flexible and durable and leave me wishing I had a matching pair to put on my feet.

Octavian has big feet for such a new baby so I got them a size bigger.
Although a little big, they still stay on his feet (and he is a kicker)!

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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Octavian Avery, 5 Months

Octavian turned 5 months old yesterday.
I know I'm going to say this every month- 
where has the time gone?

His sleep this past month changed quite a bit in many different ways.  The biggest change was his transition from swing to crib for ALL sleep!    We did do some sleep training to achieve this, but he adjusted so much faster and with WAY less crying than I expected (I will hopefully be posting on this in the future).  We are just ending the first week and he is currently sleeping from about 6:30pm-6am.  I still feed him at least once, sometimes twice, in the middle of the night.  If he's hungry, then it's my job to feed him.  Before sleep training he was also waking once, sometimes twice to eat- even while in the swing.  So I know that's what he needs right now.
Earlier in the month, he was sleeping from about 8pm-8am.  Sadly, this somehow got all screwed up and he started waking up around 630-7am.  Actually, this whole month it changed every week, so I just try to get to sleep as soon as I can after he passes out- yes, this means I was in bed by 830pm last night (yay Friday!).
Naps are still a work in progress.  Before sleep training, I was rocking him until he was fully asleep and usually had to give him my finger to calm him down- it would take forever!  His naps range anywhere from 30-45 minutes.  In the beginning of the month when he was napping in the rock n play, he was starting to extend a few naps to 90 minutes, but that is no more.  He still naps 4 times a day.  I did try to see if he could go on just three, and that proved to be a huge mistake.  I'm hoping that he will naturally start to extend his nap times, but I know some babies just never do.  At least he is falling asleep on his own now- although, I do miss his cuddles (I shed several tears the days leading up to sleep training).
Finally, no more swaddle!  We figured that he would need his thumb to self-sooth once we put him in his crib.
Overall, his sleep is much better now that he is in his crib, and will hopefully continue on a positive course.  I am so happy that he has the room to move and spread out now- something the swing prevented him from doing.

Eating and Weight:

16 pounds 3.5 ounces (April 3rd), 25 1/4 inches

His appetite has been all over the place this month.  Some days he is happy to eat whenever I offer, other days it's like pulling teeth.  I offer at least every 2 hours, sometimes sooner.  He is easily distracted, though, so I've had to move feedings to his nursery so that we have a quiet, calm space without distraction from Daddy.
He is still exclusively breastfed and we have given up on the bottle.
His weight gain has slowed significantly as he gained just under one pound this month.  He hasn't gained any weight at all this past week so I scheduled an appointment with our pediatrician for Monday.  While I know it is normal for weight gain to slow, no weight gain concerns me (I've actually be pretty paranoid about proper weight gain since he was born). We aren't planning on started solids for at least a couple more weeks.
He is wearing mostly 9 month clothing. Although, he can still fit in some 6 month pants and footed pjs.  He is also in Baby Gap 6-12 month clothes.  As soon as we run out of size 1 diapers, we will be moving on to size 2!

We still don't have a set schedule, especially since there were so many changes this month.  
Like I mentioned, he ate about every 2 hours and would need to nap about every 90 minutes or so.  I am hoping to get him on a Sleep, Eat, Play schedule this next month and lengthen the time between feeds to 3 hours (unless he shows me he is hungry sooner).  I suspect I am over feeding him and burning him out- so, lots of little snacks rather than filling his belly.  Plus, this way I can leave him with Grandma or Daddy for longer than an hour.

New Skills:

He figured out how to pull down his hanging birdie toy that hangs from his carseat, although now he doesn't understand why all hanging animals don't pull down.
He found his baby making parts and loves to grab them when he is being changed.
He chats up a storm!  And constantly blows raspberries.
He loves to shove his foot in his mouth- his big toe is especially tasty.
He is much more aware of everything around him.  It's hard to explain- he studies things much closer.  He loves tags, strings and zippers.
He loves touching my face while he nurses- this may not be a new "skill", but it's new.  Sometimes he gets a little excited and his gentle touching turns to painful hitting and clawing.  He has no idea that what he is doing actually hurts, so i'm letting it go for now.
He can sit on his own for about 10 seconds- sometimes more, sometimes less!
He loves kisses!  He always gets the biggest smile and opens his mouth.  He may have even stuck his tongue out a few times.


Naked time
...basically anytime his clothes and diaper come off.
Mommy's kisses
Bedtime in his swing, but sadly, that is no more.
His feet!
Playing on Mommy and Daddy's bed
His Under the Nile elephant lovie- his bedtime pal
Anyone that gives him a smile- he's sure to give one back!
Favorite toys- little birdie, duckie, his Haba wooden toys and Sophie the Giraffe


When he misses a nap
Feeling like he is not getting enough attention

Month Highlights:

This month we spent 9 days in Truckee, CA.  We were lucky enough to house and animal sit for some family, so we got to enjoy their lovely home and gorgeous mountain views.  We didn't leave the house much, but we did drive to Lake Tahoe once, got out of the car to snap a few photos, and practically froze from the cold and wind, so we headed back home.  He had his longest car ride yet- 2 hours!  And, had his first in n out experience, although poor guy only got to watch Mommy and Daddy stuff their face.

We also attended my doula's daughters first bday party- although, we had to leave early to attend Aaron's cousins baby shower- she's due any day now with baby #2!  He was finally able to meet many people that attended my shower when I was pregnant with him!

Daddy's best friend got married while we were up in Tahoe, so it was Mommy's first night away for a few hours.  I did wait until after he was asleep (since he refuses a bottle), and he never knew we were away.  I was only away from him for about 5 hours, and he was sleeping the whole time, but I missed him!  I had no idea how much I would miss his little face!

I just love him so much.

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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Prague- details

Prague still remains one of my favorite European cities.
There was so much history and detail packed into every crack and crevice of the city.
At first glace, it was a little overwhelming, but I quickly deconstructed the city and started to see the little things that made this city so fun to visit.

Have you been to Prague?
What was your favorite part?
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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

my first hostel experience

While living in Germany, I took quite a few solo weekend trips-
several places in Germany, Prague, and Vienna.

The first time I traveled alone was to Bamberg, Germany.
I had only been in Germany a couple weeks, 
but I was ready to get out and see what the country had to offer.

Bamberg is only 4 hours by train from the village I lived in,
but, for the first time ever, I was on my own.
I had to get on the right train,
get off at the correct stops,
and had to navigate my way to the hostel I had reserved.
I had only my own navigation to guide me (which isn't always accurate).

Did I mention it was my first time ever staying in a hostel?
it was.
and, I had no idea what to expect.

After a long morning riding on several different trains,
I arrived at my final destination.
I jumped off the train,
and headed in the direction I assumed the hostel was located.
I turned onto the street the directions gave me,
and quickly found myself walking along a sketchy looking alleyway.

to my relief, saw the sign-
backpackers bamberg hostel

Remember, I had never stayed in a hostel before.
Only hotels.
places with front desks and people ready to meet and greet you at the door.
but, no one was there to meet me and it didn't appear that anyone was even nearby.
I remembered I had the phone number, 
and, to my relief, a phone with a German sim card.
so, I rang the person who I assumed was in charge.
She said she would be there to help me in 5 minutes.

I checked in, 
paid for the cheapest possible room (20 euro),
and was led up stairs to the place I would sleep for the night...

The first thing I noticed was the smell.
It smelled like something died,
mixed with dirty socks and sweaty armpits.
At this moment, all I could think was,
 maybe I should just splurge and get a proper hotel room.
it was that bad.

I'm not proud of these thoughts.
after all, I could have been in much worse.
but, let's be real-
who really wants to sleep in a sweaty arm pit?

When I first arrived, no one else was in the room.
I had noticed two other made-up beds,
but the occupants were no where to be found.
so, I made my own bed
(hostels do not prepare the bed for you, in case you didn't know)
and settled my things.
After some sightseeing, I returned to my smelly room,
and met the culprit.
I have no recollection of his name, or where he was from.
I do remember, however, that he had been living in this room for several months,
and had to wake up for work at 3am.

I later met the other occupant, a much more pleasant smelling girl studying in Bamberg.
We quickly started chatting.
 it was nice to have some company in a foreign country.
and I soon learned one of the great things about hostels- in most cases, they are full of travelers or people from other countries.
It was a little less lonely.
After a sampling of the local beer that Bamberg is known for and sausage and pretzel for dinner, we headed back to the hostel and I slept just fine in my bottom bunk bed-
that is, until smelly guy across from me woke us all up at 3am.

I was, and still am, a little proud of myself for venturing out on my own.
And although I still prefer real hotels to hostels, I am so thankful they exist.
It may have been my first hostel experience, but it was not my last.

Have you stayed in a hostel?  What was your experience?  Do you have a favorite?

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