Friday Favorites #2

1. College Football Returns!

If you know me, you know I LOVE college football! I mean, this was our pregnancy announcement photo:

I am SO excited for this season. I can’t wait to have Bennett watch games with us.

2. Glow App

I have been tracking Bennett’s bottle intake since day 1 with Glow Baby. I also currently track his sleep, solid foods, and measurements. I used to track every nursing session, every pumping session, and all diapers too. That was just in the beginning while he was struggling to gain weight (actually he kept losing weight – so terrifying!) and while I struggled through my short breastfeeding time. It was so helpful to pull up all the data with his pediatrician.

Glow baby tracking app
Tracking everything – yellow = nursing, blue = pee diaper, brown = poop diaper, orange = pumping, yellow bottle = bottle
Glow baby tracking sleep app
Now I track sleep (blueish purple), bottles & solids

3. TV stand makeover

I got our tv stand my sophomore year in college from Walmart. Needless to say, it was time for a change. Also, I wanted to baby proof all the electronics so B didn’t follow in my footsteps and put crayons in the VCR (Blu-Ray now). I love it!

tv stand makeover
TV stand from Target

4. NutriBullet

Jimmy got me the NutriBullet for Christmas. I love it! As I’m trying to lose the baby weight, I am drinking a green protein smoothie for breakfast or lunch each day. Currently I am loving this combo: 50% filled with kale, spinach & swiss chard; a few pieces of pineapple, a few pieces of mango, soy natural flavored protein powder; coconut water; chia seeds on top. Delicious!

Bennett is Seven Months

Bennett is Seven Months!

I like this month even better than last month! I think B and I are finally getting into a bit of a groove here. We get out of the house on walks, errands, or to socialize almost every day. We’re both getting more sleep. I finally feel like I’m started to understand what he wants (instead of the guessing I was doing before).

This month’s highlights include: Bennett swimming for the first time, “cutting” his first tooth (and then having that stop growing because he “cut” another), and going to his first play date.

We’re continuing to introduce a variety of fruits and vegetables. So far, he’s liked everything. I think he’ll take after his dad and be a good eater ūüôā

Typical Day:

7 am wake up & bottle

9 am nap for Ingrid & Bennett in their own rooms

10 am – 5 pm bottles on demand, naps every 1.5 – two hours; in this time, errands/I try to squeeze in a workout/lots of playing

5:30 pm bath

7 pm put Bennett down

7 pm dinner & Ingrid & Jimmy hang out time

B wakes up once a night for a bottle – Ingrid gives him and then sleeps until 7 am

Monthly Questionnaire

Age: 7 months

Weight: 21.2 lbs

Length:¬†29″ – he’s bigger than big duck!

Size: 12 months

Eyes: blue

Hair: light brown

Sleeping:  he typically sleeps from 7 pm to 5 am. Wakes to chug a bottle. Then back to sleep until 7 am.

Eating: formula bottles: 6 oz each feeding; lots of pureed food

Milestones:  1) is bigger than the duck 2) first tooth started popping out

Memorable outings:  first time swimming

Likes: moving constantly, working on his crawling, rolling over, and planking

Dislikes: non puréed food, staying still, taking baths, and walks in the stroller Рthis kid wants to run himself!

Words/sounds:¬†“a” “ahh” “ohhh” “mmhm,” “uhh” “umm” still loving the vowels

Nicknames: “Little Man,” “Benny,” “B,” “Thumper” (he loves to kick his foot against the floor when laying on his back)

Interesting Facts: he loves to plank Рhe has excellent form

planking baby diaper

planking baby

Funny moments:¬†while he’s learning to crawl, he’s rocking back and forth, it’s so funny – he does it all the time

Looking forward to: crawling (but also, not really)

Photos This Month:

Bennett is Six Months

Bennett is Six Months!

I am really loving this stage. Bennett is starting to get more of a personality every day. He’s so fun!

This month’s highlights include: Bennett getting baptized, me spending my first weekend away from him, and finally, he started solid foods.

Bennett’s baptism was beautiful and so special. Family and friends came out to St. James Catholic church and then to our house for a celebration. I didn’t take nearly enough pictures (especially of the decorations – I put gold cross confetti on every table). B wore a family heirloom gown and bonnet my Oma got in Ireland that three of my cousins wore for their baptisms. It was so special!

baby baptism
He looked like an angel <3

We started solids! We started with rice cereal, then introduced a new food every three days: sweet potatoes, followed by applesauce, then pears, then oatmeal, then bananas, then carrots finally avocado. He loved (in order of preference): 1) carrots, 2) pears, 3) applesauce, 4) oatmeal. He did not like the bananas or avocado. I think it’s a texture thing – he’s just not ready for non-puree yet.

Finally, my weekend away. I went on my annual girls lake weekend with my best friends to Smith Mountain Lake. It was so much fun! But, you guessed it, I missed B a lot. Jimmy did a great job solo Dad-ing. He even worked on Benny holding his own bottle while I was gone.

Typical Day:

7 am wake up & bottle

9 am nap for Ingrid & Bennett in their own rooms

10 am – 5 pm bottles on demand, naps every 1.5 – two hours; in this time, errands/I try to squeeze in a workout/lots of playing

5:30 pm bath

7 pm put Bennett down

7 pm dinner & Ingrid & Jimmy hang out time

B wakes up once a night for a bottle – Ingrid gives him and then sleeps until 7 am

Monthly Questionnaire

Age: 6 months

Weight: 20 lbs

Length: 28.25″

Size: 12 months

Eyes: blue

Hair: light brown

Sleeping:  he typically sleeps from 7 pm to 5:30 am. Wakes to chug a bottle. Then back to sleep until 7 am.

Eating: formula bottles: 6 oz each feeding; some solid foods (see above)

Milestones:¬†“discovered” his feet; started solids; spent his first solo weekend with Daddy; got baptized

Memorable outings: his first vineyard trip

Bennett's first vineyard trip @chrysalisvineyards

A post shared by Ingrid (@i.racine) on

Likes: holding his feet, eating puréed carrots, rolling onto his tummy, getting his face cleaned, moving all the time

Dislikes: staying still, getting strapped in the car seat, not being able to crawl yet

Words/sounds:¬†“a” “ahh” “ohhh” “mmhm”

Nicknames: “Little Man,” “Benny,” “B”

Interesting Facts: B loves him some vegetables

Funny moments: Every time he takes a bite of a food, he makes a face, then remembers he likes it and gobbles it down

Looking forward to:¬†introducing more solid foods – it’s so fun!

Photos This Month:

Bennett is Five Months

Untitled

Bennett is Five Months!

This is our first month with a video baby monitor. I have NO idea what I was thinking when I thought I just wanted an audio one. Seriously, get a video monitor. It is the best thing ever!

On a more baby focused note, our little man is getting more personality every day. He’s working on sitting up (supported), he loves moving CONSTANTLY, he also loves to roll over onto his belly but then he gets stuck and starts crying.

I’m not quite sure why we’re still calling him “little man.” This baby is not that little. In fact, he outgrew his infant car seat for height this month. (Full disclosure, he had a tiny bit of room to go but I didn’t want him to outgrew it while we were at the beach).

Graco Milestone convertible car seat
Was not emotionally ready for him to outgrow the infant car seat. Slow down!

This month we took him to the beach for the first time! My parents met me off I-95 so my mom could drive my car and I could be in the back with B. I was so thankful for the help on the 9 hour (usually 8 hour) drive. B did great, although he did not sleep much. My parents also brought their folding crib so that made sleeping at the beach a much easier transition.

B loved the sand! He loved kicking it and playing. He was brave about the ocean, especially when Jimmy held him in the water. We only went down to the beach for about an hour in the evenings – the sun/crowds were intense and he naps so often. But, we did get plenty of balcony sitting. B sat in his new “Frog Chair” Gigi got. We called it his “throne.” We sat him on the table and he just looked out over the ocean and the beach.¬†B, my parents, and I stayed a week. Jimmy flew in for four days so he didn’t have to miss as much work.

Bennett also got to meet more people. He got to meet my good friend Sherry and her twins. I found out that B loves watching kids, so I will definitely be taking him to the playground more. Finally, B was able to meet his great aunt Shelia and two of his first cousins once removed, Jackson & Jeremy. We’re slowly getting him to meet his whole family.

Typical Day:

6:30 am wake up & bottle

9 am nap for Ingrid & Bennett in their own rooms

10 am – 6 pm bottles on demand, naps every 1.5 – two hours

5:30 pm bath

7 pm put Bennett down

7 pm dinner & Ingrid & Jimmy hang out time

B wakes up once a night for a bottle – Ingrid gives him and then sleeps until 6:30 am

Monthly Questionnaire

Age: 5 months

Weight: 17.2 lbs

Length: 27″

Size: 9 months

Eyes: blue

Hair: light brown

Sleeping:¬† he slept the first half of the month in his crib in his “spacesuit” (Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit) in his room solo and then we “swaddle weaned” and he now sleeps in footie PJs

Eating: formula bottles: 6 oz each feeding

Milestones: first beach trip, rolled over for the first time, outgrew his infant car seat

Memorable outings: first beach trip

Likes: sand, eating, sleeping, MOVING

Dislikes: baths, staying still

Words/sounds:¬†“a” “ahh” “ohhh” “mmhm”

Nicknames: “Little Man,” “Benny,” “B”

Interesting Facts: B moves constantly all the time, even when sleeping. He also likes talking all the time.

Funny moments:¬†when B first saw the ocean, he made a face like “this is the biggest bath I’ve ever seen”

Looking forward to:¬†next year’s beach trip when he can swim and play more

Photos from Bennett’s Fifth Month:

Bennett is Four Months

Bennett is Four Months!

 

This is the first month I’m a stay at home mom. So far, it’s amazing. I love being there for Bennett all the time. I love seeing him grow and learn every single day.

This month is also sadly, the first month I’m not breastfeeding. Honestly, it is so freeing. Not having the stress and feeling like a failure is great. I miss the bond. I miss providing the best nutrition for my baby (you can’t replicate those antibodies). I miss the feeling of success when I pumped a bottle. I miss B falling asleep nursing. I do not miss late night feedings.

Typical Day:

7 am wake up & bottle

9 am nap for Ingrid & Bennett in B’s room

10 am – 6 pm bottles on demand, naps every 1.5 – two hours

6:30 pm put Bennett down

7 pm dinner & Ingrid & Jimmy hang out time

9:30 pm bed – Jimmy in B’s room, Ingrid in the master

midnight-Jimmy gives Bennett a bottle

4 am (or whenever Bennett wakes up for his next feeding) – Jimmy gets Ingrid and they swap rooms; Ingrid gives B a bottle

4 am – 7 am Ingrid & B try to sleep in B’s room

 Monthly Questionnaire

Age: 4 months

Weight: 16.5 lbs

Length: 26.75″

Size: 6 months and some 9 months

Eyes: blue

Hair: light brown

Sleeping:¬†slept through the night (11 hours straight!) he sleeps in his crib in his “spacesuit” (Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit)

Eating: formula bottles: 4 oz each feeding

Milestones: 1) slept through the night!

Memorable outings: First time at the cottage/first time on a boat

Likes: ceiling fans, his changing table, loves his room

Dislikes: baths, staying still, his monthly tie stickers

Words/sounds:¬†“a” “ahh” “ohhh”

Nicknames: “Little Man,” “Benny,” “Mr. Ahgoo, “B”

Interesting Facts: first month of all day everyday Mommy & Bennett time

Funny moments:¬†I had my friends over – B tried so hard to stay up and hang out, but he just couldn’t make it. He fell asleep sitting up on Sarah’s lap.

Untitled

Looking forward to: more sleep; his first beach trip (next month)

Photos from Bennett’s Fourth Month:

Bennett is Three Months

Bennett is Three Months!

 

People claimed it would get easier around three months. They were so right! We no longer feel like this baby will kill us (which would lead to an amazing Lifetime movie).

Sleeping wise, we finally figured some things out, first of all, we were keeping him up way too late! Benny needs to go to bed around 6-7 pm. Secondly, Bennett does better when Mommy is no where around him. This means, Jimmy starts the night in Bennett’s room (where we have a full sized adult bed) while B sleeps in his Rock ‘n Play.

Feeding wise, we’re stopping nursing at the end of this month. Cue all the tears. I literally gave it my all. Blood, sweat, and tears here. However, Bennett screams and hits me every time I try to nurse him now. His nursing sessions are getting shorter and shorter. The lactation specialists think it is because he knows a bottle is coming (we still have to supplement). I’m pumping for 20-30 minutes six times a day just to get half of what he needs. It is not sustainable. At least I made it to three months. That is a solid foundation.

Typical Day:

3 am nursing

Ingrid & B sleep in B’s room

6 am nursing

Ingrid & B try to sleep some more

7 am wake up & pump

9 am Gigi comes over, Ingrid naps, B gets bottles and naps with Gigi downstairs

noon – 6 pm: nurses every 3 hours, formula bottle after while Ingrid pumps, Ingrid naps whenever she can while Gigi watches B

6:30 pm put Bennett down

7 pm dinner while watching The Wheel of Fortune

8 pm last pumping followed by bed for Ingrid in master bedroom & Jimmy in B’s room

midnight – Jimmy gives B a bottle

midnight-3 am Jimmy & B sleep in B’s room, Ingrid in master

3 am (or whenever Bennett wakes up for his next feeding) – Jimmy gets Ingrid and they swap rooms

 

 Monthly Questionnaire

Age: 3 months

Weight: didn’t weigh him

Length: didn’t measure him

Size: 6 months and some 9 months – holy growth spurt

Eyes: blue

Hair: light brown

Sleeping: sleeps 5 hours straight on the regular *THANK YOU JESUS!

Eating:¬†breastfeeding as much as he’ll let me, supplementing with breast milk or formula bottles 2-4 oz at a time

Milestones: first giggle when I brought him into City Hall and he thought Sandy was hilarious; first Easter

Memorable outings:¬†went to City Hall; first road trip – went to Richmond so Ingrid could be in her friend Meredith’s wedding

Likes:  trying to talk, kicking, his mama, making faces, and trying to suck his thumb.

Dislikes: baths, being naked

Words/sounds: agu

Nicknames: “Little Man,” “Benny,” “Mr. Agu, “B”

Interesting Facts: he sneezes three times in a row once a day, every day

Funny moments:¬†while organizing laundry, a burp cloth fell off the back of the couch right onto Bennett’s head – we all laughed

Looking forward to: his first recognize me smile; and sleep, sleep, sleep, sleep

Photos from Bennett’s Third Month:

Bennett is Two Months

Untitled

Bennett is Two Months!

Month two is a little easier than the first month. We’re still having nursing challenges, but he’s finally gaining weight, thank goodness for formula. Fed is best everyone.

Sleeping is still rough but that’s to be expected. He’s up every hour and a half. Eating every hour and a half round the clock. Team Baby is Mommy, Gigi & Grandpa during the weekdays, Mommy, Gigi & Daddy for week nights, and just Mommy & Daddy for weekends. Kai is contemplating running away. I wouldn’t blame him.

Bennett saw his first snow! I insisted Jimmy go into work late so we could take some photos outside. I love snow! Then, while watching the news all day (like I do every snow day), I submitted a photo of Bennett doing his “snow angel” and he got featured! Little celebrity ūüôā

Monthly Questionnaire

Age: 2 months

Weight: 11 lbs 12 oz

Length: 22″

Size: some newborn, mostly 3 months

Eyes: blue

Hair: light brown

Sleeping:¬†not well. Towards the end of the month, we got a Rock n’ Play he sleeps better in that

Eating: breastfeeding with supplementation via a bottle. Eats every hour and a half around the clock

Milestones: started babbling, can fully support head, first smile

Memorable outings: 1) first time out to eat (Dogfish Head Alehouse with Mommy, Gigi, and Grandpa) 2) first movie РLa La Land at the Cry Baby Matinee with Mommy and Gigi

Likes: ceiling fans, kicking, stretching, smiling, and of course eating

Dislikes: sleeping & baths

Words/sounds: agu

Nicknames: “Little Man,” “Benny,” “Mr. Agu”

Interesting Facts: he sneezes three times in a row once a day, every day

Funny moments:¬†while organizing laundry, a burp cloth fell off the back of the couch right onto Bennett’s head – we all laughed

Looking forward to: his first recognize me smile; and sleep, sleep, sleep, sleep

Photos from Bennett’s Second Month:

Bennett is One Month

UntitledBennett is One month!

The past month has been a bit of a blur. Between the doctor’s appointments for the bilirubin, the weight gain problems, and the nursing challenges and the sleep deprivation, I barely remember anything. Team Baby is on full-team press to try to survive. (Team Baby is Jimmy, Ingrid, GiGi, and Grandpa).

Read more about the first month here.

Monthly Questionnaire

Age: 1 month

Weight: 8 lbs

Length: 21″

Size: newborn

Eyes: blue

Hair: dirty blonde

Sleeping: HAHAHAHA only when held or on his Daddy’s chest and that’s for a hot minute. I miss sleeping so much!

Eating: breastfeeding with supplementation via a feeding tube

Milestones: FINALLY passed his birth weight and is no longer jaundiced

Memorable outings: does the doctor count???

Likes: eating, windows, sleeping on Daddy, walks

Dislikes: being changed, waiting a second for anything, sleeping in his bassinet, crib, swing, rock ‘n play, etc…

Words/sounds: grunts all.the.time when sleeping

Nicknames: “Little Man,” “Benny,” “Mr. Piggy”

Interesting Facts: he sneezes four times in a row once a day, every day

Funny moments: his first bath was hilarious

Looking forward to: sleeping, getting nursing down, sleeping, his first real smile, sleeping, oh and sleeping

Photos from Bennett’s First Month:

Sleep, Eat, or Shower: Choose One – The First Month with a Newborn

I knew the first few months having a baby would be life-changing. I just didn’t realize how much; aka: you can shower, sleep, or eat, but you only have time for one, choose wisely. Needless to say, we didn’t have the easiest start to our little family, but we’re powering through.

Bennett was born with sever jaundice. He was born early (37 weeks). We (Bennett and I) have different blood types so his slightly underdeveloped liver had an extra difficult time processing my red blood cells. This led to him being “under the lights” for the first few days of his life. We also had to stay in the hospital longer.


The combination of the jaundice treatment (being away from me), a¬†not great¬†terrible nurse who advised me to “wait a long while” before trying to breastfeed for the first time,¬†and his being born early, resulted in nursing challenges. I ended up seeing many lactation specialists, five to be exact. Who, all determined, I was producing hardly any colostrum and then later, I didn’t produce enough milk. Weight tests before and after feedings determined I was only making about half of what Bennett needed. So, all the lactation specialists and pediatricians advised us to supplement with formula. We needed to get the calories in so he could process the red blood cells and get the bilirubin levels down.

The next couple weeks were spent with daily trips to the doctors to get blood work done for his bilirubin tests and weight checks to see if he was gaining. Bad news for both, for a solid week. Bennett ended up losing almost a pound and his levels did not go down like we hoped. Not being able to produce the food my baby needed made me feel like such a failure. Breastfeeding was something I was passionate about. Eventually (after a lot of formula), we got his bilirubin numbers down (at about 2.5 weeks) and then finally at three weeks old, he passed his birth weight.

Despite everything, I haven’t given up on breastfeeding. It’s a long, hard, and tiring road, but I’m trying. I have modified my six month goal, to a one month goal. Then, I’ll continue to set manageable goals to keep my sanity. The feeding plan is as follows:

  • Breastfeed on demand (usually every 1.5 hours but can be up to three hours) this of course includes waking him up throughout the night. I was not prepared for that. At the beginning, he was nursing for 45 minutes to an hour. Around week three, we cut that time to an average of 36 minutes per session.
  • After breastfeeding, supplement with formula if he is still showing hunger cues and doesn’t seem satisfied. He never is satisfied after nursing. The supplementation started at one ounce, but has increased as he is getting older and growing.
  • After breastfeeding, I pump. Pumping started with 30 minutes after every nursing session. Then we cut it to 20 minutes after every daytime nursing. [I was dying with the previous schedule]. Then, after my body still wasn’t improving, the lactation specialists reduced the pumping to 10 minutes. I know they thought I would give up completely if I kept up with the previous schedules.

So, yes, that is a lot. The whole process takes about 1.5 hours. Yep, by the time I finish the feeding, it is time to get going on another feeding. All day, every day.

Feeding baby via syringe
Feeding via the syringe
At almost one month, we started with a bottle

Naming Bennett

Jimmy and I used our September drive to Blacksburg very productively. I was armed with a list of baby names I didn’t hate (literally spent all my free time going through thousands of names) and a baby name book a wonderful coworker gave us. We went through names one-by-one. Deciding we liked some a bit. Favorite compromise was Gregory. However, it didn’t really meet all our requirements.

Ingrid’s Requirements:

  • be unique but not too weird
  • ideally have family significance
  • “flow”

Jimmy’s Requirements:

  • be normal
  • ideally have Christian ties

These requirements did not match up on many names. There were a few we liked and had jotted down. One in particular, Bennett. During the drive, Jimmy was on the phone with his best friend Andy. I got a call from my brother Kurt, so we were on two different phone calls. Kurt asked how the drive was going. I said there was traffic, but we were working on our baby name list. Kurt asked for favorites. I said “well we think we like Gregory and then I really like Bennett, but didn’t you guys want that name?” Kurt and Kate said we should use it. It was still a little grey area for me.

Then, we’re driving back from Church on Sunday in Blacksburg and Jimmy notices a street sign “Bennett St.” He goes, “what about Bennett.” I said “that was my grandfather’s name!” [it was on our list but he forgot]. He goes: “I really like it.” I reply “I really like it too!” Now, Bennett Street is a tiny two block street in Blacksburg, very easy to miss. We literally saw a sign for our son’s name!

bennettst

Then, on the drive back home, we were getting onto 81 and I said “what about middle names.” Jimmy replies: “William. It’s my dad’s middle name.” I smile and say: “It’s my dad’s middle name too!”

And there you have the naming of Bennett William Racine.

Ingrid’s Requirements:

  • ‚úď be unique but not too weird – absolutely! When he says “Bennett” people will know what he’s saying but there shouldn’t be 8 other Bennetts in his class.
  • ‚úď ideally have family significance – definitely does! Honoring the late MSGT Leland Bennett, my grandfather. William for Jimmy’s dad, my dad, and my brother Kurt.
  • ‚úď “flow” – yep, with or without the middle name

Jimmy’s Requirements:

  • ‚úď be normal – nickname “Ben” aka completely normal
  • ‚úď ideally have Christian ties – there are quite a few saints named William