Feb 12, 2014

Baby Update - Two Months Old

We're two months old today! Boy have we grown! Peyton is up to 10 lbs now according to my super accurate weighing system (me weighing myself holding him and not holding him, ha!). Daddy is taking him to his two month checkup today and I unfortunately am returning to work, boo. I am so thankful for my job, but I totally wish that I was able to be a stay at home mom (SAHM) / work at home mom (WAHM). I think I like the WAHM title better, because we all know staying home with a child is a full time job! Maybe in future I will be able to, but for now it's back to work I go.

Back to Peyton's development! Of course we are not up to speed with a typical two month old since he was 6 weeks premature, but that was to be expected. I use The Wonder Weeks app to track his development and cognitive leaps, which by the way is awesome, you should download it if you haven't already! Right now Peyton should be going through his second leap which is the Patterns Leap (starts between 7.5 weeks and 9.5 weeks) but since we go by his adjusted age for development he's technically only 3 weeks old which means he hasn't even reached the first leap, Changing Sensations (starts between 4.5 weeks and 5.5 weeks). The adjusted age is just a guideline for us and we know he will be behind and some areas or he could be right on track or even ahead. Interestingly enough he has, in my eyes, concurred the first leap and done things from the second leap, but not all of them yet. From the first leap: he is now looking at something longer and more frequently, responding to touch differently, giving a social smile and is more awake and "busy". From the second leap: he is able to hold his head up better, he is beginning to turn his head towards sounds, and makes short, explosive sounds. We are still waiting for him to start flapping his hands against toys, discover parts of his body and observe patterns.

It's really interesting what he has done and hasn't. I didn't expect for him to be so advanced so early, but I am proud that he isn't too far behind other babies his age! Heck, I was stunned when he rolled over three times in one day when he was only three weeks old! He's still doing it, too, no flukes here! He's also sleeping 4.5 to 5.5 hours through the night. A handful of times he even slept 6 hours! I think that's pretty darn amazing for a 6 week preemie, don't you?!

I'm having so much fun capturing his growth through pictures! I am amazed how much his face has filled out compared to when he was only one month old. I just love this little boy!

Feb 7, 2014

The Hott Mommy Workout!

Mommies, it's time to get in shape! No more procrastinating. No more excuses. Let's get our hott bodies back! You don't need a gym membership or hours of free time to get that hiney tight and toned. All you need is your little one and 30 minutes...spandex optional.

My little man is now 8 weeks old and a lot more active, meaning more wake time and entertainment required. So, for all of my multi-taskers out there who are ready get their body back, here are some exercises you can do at home that will keep your little one close and entertained while you tone and tighten! Join me and do The Hott Mommy Workout!

If your baby is extra wiggly you can swaddle them or place them in a highchair, boppy pillow or bouncer.

As always, check with your doctor before working out, especially if you have just delivered recently. Most doctors recommend waiting 3 months at least post delivery and even longer after a c-section delivery. Be extremely cautious while exercising if you are holding your baby. Audra Kurtz, of The Kurtz Corner, cannot be held liable for any injuries that you or you baby may incur when attempting these exercises. Attempt at our own risk.

Feb 2, 2014

Baby's First Valentine's Day Pictures - Plus 5 Baby Photography Tips!

Are these not the sweetest pictures!? I am having so much fun taking pictures of my little man. I literally take pictures of him every day. I mostly just snap them with my cell phone camera, but I also like to go all out by dressing him up, using props and pulling out my big girl camera!

If you've ever taken pictures of a infant, baby or toddler then you know how hard it is to get them to cooperate sometimes. I by no means am a professional, but in the few short weeks that I have been photographing Peyton I have learned a few tricks! So if you care to give it a shot yourself here are some things I find helpful.

1. Most importantly, you'll want a sleepy baby if you want them to cooperate. Choose a time after he/she has eaten and has a fresh diaper so that they are ready to drift off to la la land.

2. Make the area comfortable for them by using a soft blanket. Be sure you choose a flat surface like carpeted floor. We don't want babies rolling off something and hitting their head!

3. Grab that trusty pacifier...or whatever soothes your angle. We choose to use the pacifier and Peyton is out like a light bulb when you put it in his mouth. It's like a mini on / off switch! Give your baby their soothing item and once they have drifted off gently take it away so they are photo ready. For us it's pretty easy, most of the time the pacifier just falls out of his mouth when he passes out, or we just gently slide it out of his mouth.

4. Play his/her favorite lullaby music during your photo session to keep them asleep. The music will also slightly drown out the sound of your camera's constant clicking.

5. If your baby is super fussy you can always use your spouse as a prop! Most babies love sleeping on mommy and daddy's chest, take advantage of that! Have your spouse lay on the floor, drape your blanket over them and lay baby on top. This is great for laying babies on their tummy. You know the pictures I'm taking about, the ones with the cute little tushy stuck up in the air!

And an un-baby related tip...

As always, natural light is your best friend! I take my photos in my sitting room where I have three huge 12 foot windows that let in beautiful natural light. So step away from that icky flash and get comfortable using your camera's manual setting. You can use the manual white balance setting on your camera (if you have one) or play with your shutter speed until you find the right amount of light. Again, I am no expert and have learned by simply playing with each of the settings on my camera until I find the right look.

I hope that these tips help you and that you're inspired to take some great pictures of your own. Now go grab that little one and capture some memories!