Posts Tagged ‘baby finn’

Finnegan: 5 months

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017

(Lincoln 5 months, Caroline 5 months)

Happy five months old, Baby Finn! We have now reached the age where taking Finn with me when I go places doesn’t mean I have stop and feed him twice. We might even be able to start going 5 hours in a row at night without eating, although I won’t get my hopes up too much. Today at the dentist appointments for the big kids, I wore him in a ring sling and when he got tired he just went right to sleep. THAT is the baby stage that means I start to do things again, instead of just surviving each day.

Finnegan has his very first teeny tiny baby cold. It’s barely a cold, just some extra boogers and a very occasional cough, but it’s still pathetic. Poor wittle baby. When he gets snuffly while he’s nursing he ends up biting me and that is my LEAST favorite. I’ve been squirting breastmilk up his nose, so hopefully he gets better sooner rather than later.

Baby Finn still sleeps in the swing (cringe) which means I’m still sleeping on the couch. Every time I think we are close to moving upstairs, he reminds me that he hates the rock-n-play and he hates side-lying nursing. I’m hoping this is the month where he starts rolling in both directions so I can try getting him to sleep in the pack-n-play in our room. I think rolling might be the milestone we need. It’s amazing that after 4 babies I still don’t really know what I’m doing.

He continues to be enormous – at last weigh in he was just under 20 lbs. Considering how much he eats, it’s not surprising. I’m buying him 12-18 month clothes (or more accurately, taking the huge piles of 12-18 month clothes I already had out of storage). He and Linc can sometimes wear the same pants. His socks always leave marks on his ankles. But I do not mind even a little bit – he’s so perfectly squishable.

All the kid love Finnegan (or as Linc calls him, “Oofa”)(no idea why) but Caroline basically thinks he is her special pet. She begs to hold him all the time. She’s obsessed with making videos of him. Today at the dentist I had to hold Linc so I passed the baby to Caroline and she did an amazing job with him until the other hygenist came and stole him (because everyone wants to cuddle the chubby baby). He is so lucky to have three big siblings who are always going to be looking out for him.

Likes include naps, snuggles, nursing, the swing, his blankie, his siblings, being carried around, the cat, the dog, looking out the window, baths, trying to grab food, tickles, chewing on stuff, having his picture taken, being worn in a wrap and Wyatt his fox.

Dislikes include gas, booger removal, nose wiping, not being allowed to eat real food, being woken up from naps by loud noises.

 

5 Month Milestones 

Mastered Skills (most kids can do)
Distinguishes between bold colors – Let me just ask him about that.
Plays with his hands and feet – His feet are like “Why are you so obsessed with me?”

Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)
Recognizes own name – I don’t think we call him anything often enough to recognize it
Turns toward new sounds – All the time
Rolls over in both directions – Front to back all the time, he’s close on the other way

Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)
Sits momentarily without support – Yes, because his giant butt holds him up
Mouths objects – Yes, thank goodness, now he can shove teethers in his own mouth
Separation anxiety may begin – He doesn’t like being alone, but he doesn’t care if it’s me or someone else

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Finnegan: 3 Months

Friday, December 2nd, 2016

(For reference: Linc 3 months, Caroline 3 months)

I started this post at 9 am, and it is now 9:29 pm. Finn is an adorable, cuddly, happy baby but he also wants to nurse 90% of the time he is awake. It is hard to work on my computer while he is nursing, and impossible to do almost anything else either. I don’t mind sitting on the couch mostly. Sitting down is nice. I am starting to resent being forced to watch the shows Linc picks though. There are only 3 seasons of Octonauts on Netflix and I have seen them all.

Finnegan’s eating habits are strongly reflected in his thighs. He hasn’t had a checkup recently, but I’m guessing he’s about 18 lbs. He’s wearing 6-9 or 9-12 month clothes – anything that actually says “3 months” on it is too small.  Caroline really, really, really wants to carry him around and help with baby stuff, but I’m terrified she’s going to drop him just because he’s so chubby. As soon as he can sit up on his own we’ll both be much more comfortable. He’s like a big round lump of soft white squish. His rolls are getting rolls. It’s amazing.

Finn really loves his swing. He likes the bouncy seat too, and the play mat, and the rock-n-play. But he LOVES the swing. We actually burnt out the motor in the swing we had left over from Linc because we use it so much. Moving the swing up and down the stairs is annoying, so we take turns sleeping on the couch until he wakes up for his night feeding. Luckily that’s been getting later and later, so 4-5 hour chunks of sleep are possible. As soon as he hits 6 hours in a row consistently we’ll try to transition him to the rock-n-play in the bedroom, but honestly I don’t hate the couch. If he’s fussy or awake for a long time I get to watch stuff on Netflix (Yesterday, the final Jeopardy question was about someone who won an Oscar, a Grammy and an Emmy, and I knew the answer immediately because I had JUST watched the EGOT episode of 30 Rock. Being awake at 2 am is educational!)

I feel a little guilty that Finn doesn’t get out into the world nearly as much as the previous children did. I’ve had a cold for the past 6 weeks. I’m fighting off a touch of PPD. I’m still not fully over my election disappointment (TBH, I really doubt I ever will be). Linc is a fairly difficult 2-year-old and I have a limited number of hands to wrangle him when he throws himself on the floor because I also have to do something with the baby, whether it’s wear him or put him in a stroller or cart. Once Finn is big enough to throw on my back I think we’ll get out a lot more, but I have a few more months before that’s going to happen.

I realize that this monthday update is more about other children than Finnegan. I think it’s a 4th baby problem – right now, all he needs is to be kept alive and clean. His personality is “3-month-old baby”. He isn’t particularly hard or particularly easy. It’s going to take a little longer for me to think of him as a full person.

Likes: Swinging, nursies, throwing up, cuddles, his siblings, music, bath time, his blankie, mommy, daddy.

Dislikes: Being forced to sit up for photos, gas, cold feet.

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That was a sneeze. It was hilarious.

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3 Month Milestones 

Mastered Skills (most kids can do)
Recognizes your face and scent – Definitely. He totally likes me best.
Holds head steady – He’s almost got it.
Visually tracks moving objects – Yes, he really likes Evan’s lightsaber.

Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)
Squeals, gurgles, coos – Yes.
Blows bubbles – Sometimes. He can do it but I’m not sure it’s on purpose.
Recognizes your voice – Unsure. He probably recognizes the Octonauts theme song though.
Does mini-pushup – Sometimes. He’s not much of a tummy time fan.

Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)
Rolls over, from tummy to back – He can get about half way. Just enough that I should probably stop leaving him on the couch.
Turns toward loud sounds – It almost worked during photos.
Can bring hands together, bats at toys – He can hold his own hands but I’m not sure it’s intentional.

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Finnegan: 2 Months

Monday, October 31st, 2016

Finnegan is 2 months old!

(Lincoln: 2  Months, Caroline: 2 Months)

If tiny babies are good at one thing, it’s making you appreciate how easy tiny babies are when compared to toddlers. But since this isn’t a Lincoln update post, I’ll try to avoid talking just about him. But you guys, the Terrible Twos are in full swing. SO MUCH SWING.

Speaking of swings, Finnegan really loves his swing. He sleeps longer in it (like his sister did) and it calms him down even if he’s fussing. I’m a little afraid we’re going to create a monster who ONLY sleeps in his swing and never flat in a crib, but I also really like sleeping for more than 45 minutes at a time so for now he can swing as much as he wants. I’ve managed to leave the house without him FOUR times in the last week (all for work, because October is crazy for photographers, even photographers who aren’t really trying to work). He’s still so-so about taking a bottle but it’s not really negotiable for me. I need to be able to let someone else do baby-care for a few hours, for my own health and sanity. I’m averaging just under 5 hours of sleep a night, at least half of which is with the baby on me.

Baby Finn is wearing 3-6 month clothes almost all the time now, and I’m not buying anything smaller than 6-9 months. He’s enormous: 14 pounds, 8 oz at his 8 week check up, which puts him in the 90th percentile. I feel like he’s only going to get chubbier too, since the only energy his baby life currently requires is being awake enough to eat and poop and he’s mastered doing both of those in his sleep. He doesn’t hate the car or the store or going places, but he doesn’t seem to really enjoy anything yet. Besides snuggles. He enjoys snuggles. Lots and lots of snuggles.

He also liked sitting in this chair for his 2 month photos, which seems weird to me. Are 2 month olds even allowed to look so big? I don’t think so.

Likes: eating, sleeping, looking at things, his siblings, being warm

Dislikes: gas, pooping, bad dreams, having cold feet

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2 Month Milestones 

Mastered Skills (most kids can do)
Vocalizes: gurgles and coos – Sometimes, not a ton
Follows objects across field of vision – With a lot of head bobbling
Notices her hands – He started sucking on them, but hasn’t really “mastered” that
Holds head up for short periods – You can even see his neck!

Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)
Smiles, laughs – Lots of smiles, but nothing I’d call a laugh
Holds head at 45-degree angle – I’ve never understood this question
Makes smoother movements – There’s definitely less startling than as a newborn

Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)
Holds head steady – No, he’s a bobble head
Can bear weight on legs – Occasionally
Lifts head and shoulders when lying on tummy (mini-pushup) – Hahaha I’d have to put him on the floor to see this and I never put him on the floor. He’d get trampled.

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Caroline: 27 Months

Finnegan: 1 Month

Friday, September 30th, 2016

My teeny tiny brand new earthside baby has somehow already been here for a month. Is there anything like a newborn to really demonstrate the “days are long but years are short” saying? The seconds when Finn is screaming his head off at me last forever. I cannot wait for my husband to get home so he can hold the baby for a minute. Driving home from running errands when I’ve pushed it too long and he is crying in the car seat takes ten times as long as regular driving. And yet there goes a whole month. I’ll never have a 1 day old or a 1 week old or even a 1 month old anymore – as of right now he’s already been here one month and 2 hours old.

Previously: Linc’s 1-month post (I don’t think baby Finn looks anything like baby Linc)

Because he is my last baby and I have a hard time quitting things I start, I’m going to try to do monthly updates and milestones for Finnegan for his first year. I will probably be late more often than not. I will probably fail at taking the same photo every month. And there’s about a 50/50 chance I’ll just give up because having four kids is a lot of kids and seriously the amount of laundry I am doing right now is INSANE. But right now I’m still in that “Look at me, holding things together! My kitchen is clean! I am wearing a bra! There is food in the house!” stage before I significantly lower my standards. I give it until November.

He doesn’t really have a schedule. He’s a newborn. He’s awake, he’s asleep, he needs to eat, he needs another diaper. It’s all very very repetitive and my constant thought is that this stage will be over so soon (having my 2-year-old who was JUST a tiny baby like 5 minutes ago around to help really hits that idea home). I am enjoying being a bit of a recluse to just do baby stuff right now.

1 Month Stats: 11 lbs 11 oz (up almost 2 lbs from birth) which is 90th percentile. I didn’t write down his height and head size, but they were 75th percentile and 95th percentile respectively. So he’s going to be a chuuuuunk.

Likes: Nursing, sleeping, clean diapers, the swing, when his siblings talk to him or hold him

Dislikes: Gas, dirty diapers, 9 pm

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1 Month Milestones (copied from previous children, originally from BabyCenter)

Mastered Skills (most kids can do)
Lifts head when lying on tummy – Sure.
Responds to sound – Sure.
Stares at faces – I guess.

Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)
Follows objects briefly with eyes – In that funny newborn bobble-head way, yes.
Vocalizes: Yes, all the cute little baby sounds
Can see black-and-white patterns – Go home milestones, you are drunk. How am I supposed to know if that’s true?

Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)
Smiles, laughs – Some smiling, especially for Lincoln
Holds head at 45-degree angle – Sorry, I can’t find my protractor so I have no idea what the exact angle is

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5 Tips For Taking Newborn Photos Yourself

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

Here’s my first piece of advice when it comes to newborn photography: HIRE AN EXPERT. This is one case where you truly cannot recreate what you see on Pinterest on your own. The time, training, expense, and expertise that goes into becoming a great newborn photographer cannot be replicated with a how-to post on the internet. If really beautiful newborn photos are important to you, they are absolutely worth the money.

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This is professional work. Hire someone for this.

I’ve never hired a real photographer for my newborn photos before. All I have from when Evan was little are snapshots. A friend and I tried to take newborn photos of Caroline but they’re mostly Pinterest fails. The photographer I did hire (for so little money it doesn’t even count) was not an expert and our shoot was a disaster. With Linc, I was so confident I could do it on my own I spent an enormous amount of time and effort trying to make what I was picturing in my head a reality. I never even came close. I am very glad I have those photos and some even live on my walls, but I wasn’t (and will never be) an amazing posed newborn photographer.

Newborn photography is also physically taxing and if you’re trying to do it while you should be recovering from birth, you’re going to get tired and sore very quickly. Every time I’ve photographed a newborn I’ve ended up absolutely dripping in sweat and feeling like I’ve run 10 miles (I can’t run 10 miles). Even if you’re feeling pretty good, the bending and crouching and twisting and kneeling and physical work needed to get the results professionals do for 3+ hours is exhausting and you will definitely feel it later. Just one more reason why hiring someone is worth the expense.

So with Finnegan, my last baby, I hired a professional. A professional who isn’t me. Fellow Connecticut photographer Stefanie Cole came to my house, worked super patiently with my cranky baby, and delivered a gallery of absolutely stunning images. They are art. I want them all on my walls. I am so grateful for her and her talent.

 

That being said, with a newborn in the house I can’t resist taking his picture. Since he’s my fourth baby and about the 40th newborn I’ve photographed (even though I’ve moved away from posed sessions) I feel like I have some experience worth sharing. So here are my 5 tips for taking newborn photos yourself.

    1. Pick the right time. Here is one advantage you have over a scheduled session – you can take pictures of your baby 24 hours a day. Newborn sleep schedules change all the time. Be prepared to take your baby’s pictures the next time you’re expecting them to be sound asleep. Get them stripped down to just a diaper, then wrap them in something picture-appropriate, like a pretty swaddle blanket, a plain white onesie, a scarf or a newborn wrap you bought on Etsy while you were dreaming of newborn photos. Then feed them really well, snuggle them close, and wait for that totally-limp-arm stage where they won’t notice you snapping away. tips to take your own newborn photos
    2. Pick the right spot. You want to find a corner of your house where there is a lot of light, but not direct sun shining in patches. If you have just one big window, you’ll get dramatic, directional light like I did in these photos. If you have a corner with several windows, you’ll get more even, brighter light. A room with white/light walls is even better. Turn off your electric lights and try just using the natural light from the window – your colors and shadows will look more natural. tips to take your own newborn photos
    3. Pick the right background. Professional newborn photos are often posed on a beautiful seamless background that fades out in every direction. That look is about 75% skill and 25% Photoshop. I don’t recommend trying it on your own. So instead of trying to recreate it, put plain white sheets and a plain duvet on a bed and use that space. If you have a beanbag chair, throw a blanket over it and shoot from above instead of the side. If you don’t have a beanbag, make a nest of pillows. If you want something fancier than a blanket, the fur throws most photographers use are called “flokatis”. Genuine sheep ones can cost big bucks, but look at Wayfair, Overstock or Rugs USA for deals. Cream, gray or brown are beautiful colors for newborns. Don’t use fleece, don’t use anything with too many bright colors, and don’t use anything that needs to be perfectly smooth (texture is your friend). DON’T try to stuff the baby in a bucket or a basket or on a tiny chair or in crazy poses. Lay them on their back or side, curl them up a little, smooth out their hands until they are relaxed with their fingers flat. That’s all you need. Besides maybe a cute hat. tips to take your own newborn photos
    4. Pick the right angle. This means don’t shoot up your baby’s nose or from their feet. You want them to look proportional and highlight just how tiny and precious they are in their first couple weeks. Shoot from above when you can, or close ups of all their precious little parts. Imagine the light and your camera is water flowing over the baby from their head down and try to follow that angle. Zoom (or move) in close, then take the same shot from as far away as you can. Turn your camera so the baby is vertical, then at an angle, then horizontal. Some photos will work and some won’t, so don’t be afraid to take a lot and look through them later. Trust me, no parent has ever said “Man, I wish I didn’t have SO MANY pictures of my newborn.” tips to take your own newborn photos
    5. Pick the right equipment. In this case, the right equipment is the camera you have. It might be your phone. It might be the DSLR you got for Christmas 2 years ago. It might be your old point and shoot. The best camera to capture an important moment is the one you have. IF you have a fancy camera and lenses to choose from, a 50mm 1.8 is a great newborn choice. You can shoot in A or AP mode with your f-stop set at 2.8 or just shoot in auto with the flash turned off. If all you have is your iPhone, tap the screen on the part of the baby you want to focus on and it will adjust exposure. Editing apps like PicTapGo, Afterlight or Colorstory can help you edit. But keep it simple – remember, you’re not creating crazy effects or fake tilt-shifts or selective color. You’re just capturing your beautiful new baby as they are.

It’s also important to remember if your baby is grumpy, fussy, uncomfortable or otherwise unhappy you can call it quits and try again some other time. Do it tomorrow. Do it next week. ALL the day with a newborn are both so long and so short, you will barely remember them in a couple years. It’s not like if you don’t get these photos when your baby is exactly 2 days or 2 weeks or 2 months old you’ve failed. Just do the best you can so in 5 years when you send your tiny newborn off to kindergarten you have something to look at and cry over. That’s totally normal, right?

Good luck! Let me know if you take any newborn photos, I would love to see them!

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