Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Minnesota baby featured in herlife magazine.

So excited that Minnesota Baby is featured in the March issue of HerLife Magazine with the three products that made a difference in the first six months of Baby Linna's life. Make sure you "like" the Minnesota Baby Facebook page because we'll be giving one follower over $200 in our favorite mommy/baby gear on March 31st! Check it out in the March 2012 issue, available online!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Modeling auditions.

I've had a lot of people ask me lately how I am finding out about modeling auditions for Linna, so here you go...

Everyone thinks their child is the cutest right?! Well, I am one of those moms, so I decided I would get Linna into modeling:) When I was younger, I did some modeling too, and it was a lot of fun. So when Linna was three months old, I decided to send her photos off to agencies in the Twin Cities. I took some photos of her myself, using our Canon Rebel camera, and put three of the photos on a comp card with her name, contact, and stats. I just went onto Walgreen's photo website and created the comp cards myself. I think it cost around $10. A comp card looks like this (with your contact info on the back - I just wrote mine on the back)...

I sent her comp cards to Moore, Wehmann, and Meredith Model & Talent Agencies. After a few weeks, I heard back from two agencies, and now we receive calls from the agencies when there is an audition that Linna fits into. She has since gone on three auditions, all for Target (which does a lot of their castings here in the Twin Cities). The castings are normally during the day, which works well for me because I am a stay-at-home mom.

The first audition Linna went on was an open casting, so there was a LOT of competition. The casting director had her lay in a baby swing, and they took a couple photos. Linna looked perplexed, but she did give the photographer one smile and then decided it was nap time:) The second audition we went on was for another Target toy advertisement. The director had Linna lay on the ground and Linna decided that she would just look unamused, and after a couple shots the director said, "thank you", and we were on our way. She didn't book either of those jobs. Today, however, they had her dress in a pink dinosaur costume (for Target's Halloween ads) and Linna sat up so nice, smiled at the photographer, and even got to do a second shot on her tummy, and smiled again at the photographer! She did a really good job today. We both have our fingers crossed that she books this one:)

A few things I have learned so far...

1. Be ready for rejection - Two of Linna's auditions lasted less than a minute. Directors know what they want, and if they can't get it out of your child in a matter of minutes, they are onto the next baby!

2. Auditions can be a cattle call - The "holding rooms" they put you in are filled with crying babies, breastfeeding mommies (some that just whip out the boobie for all to see, and start feeding), annoyed moms, etc. If you don't have a "patient" child, or a child that cooperates easily, don't even waste your time.

3. Directors want to see which babies can "last" - I swear they hold you in a room for at least 15-30 minutes, just to see if your kid can hang out without crying, wanting to eat, etc.. Who wants a screaming, tired, hungry baby on set anyway?!

4. Don't be a "stage parent" - Today, they director had to tell me to "shush" after I was talking to Linna to get her to smile during the shoot. Oops! The director and photographer want to be in control, and they want to be the ones to get a reaction out of your child. You'd think I'd remember this after my years as a television producer:)

I am by no means a professional at this, but we're just doing it for fun, and hopefully to put some money into Linna's college fund. Make sure you know what's best for your child before putting them into modeling. And remember, there are a million cute kids out there... not one is better than another:) Good luck!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Feeding Baby Linna Solid Foods.

Eating beets and bulgar in her highchair at Grandma & Grandpa Saigh's house.

It's been about a month since we started Baby Linna on solid foods, and so far things have been going very well! The first couple weeks were all about "experimenting", but now Linna is all about the solids!

Our Beaba Babycook and Milk Trays by Sensible Lines
that we use for homemade baby food storage.
About every two weeks, I make a big batch of homemade baby food and store it in the freezer. I'm using the Beaba Babycook to steam and puree the food, and I use Milk Trays by Sensible Lines to store the food in the freezer. The Beaba has been amazing! In one little machine, I can steam and puree Linna's food in just a few minutes. I love it because I'm not having to wash pans, a steamer and food processor. Then, I pour the food into the milk trays (which I also use to store my breast milk), which are frozen into one-ounce servings. When I'm ready to use the food, they pop out of the trays in little frozen sticks and I just stick them in the microwave! It's also great when I'm sending food along for overnights at grandma and grandpa's house, because I can put the sticks in little baggies.

So far Linna has eaten fruits, veggies, rice cereal (which have have discontinued due to constipation), oatmeal cereal, bulgar, cheese (whole fat mozzarella), yogurt, Cheerios, and Rice Crispies. We're holding off on proteins, like meat and eggs, until she's about eight or nine months. We also offer Linna a sippy cup with water at every meal. We've already gotten her to eat solids at breakfast, lunch and dinner. She'll have a bottle before her morning nap, after afternoon nap, and a big bottle after dinner/before bed.

Blugar wheat.
For breakfast, Linna eats a fruit (usually banana or mango), oatmeal cereal and yogurt. We've been giving her plain whole-fat YoBaby yogurt by Stoneyfield Farm. She's not a HUGE fan of yogurt, so I try to mix it in with her fruit or oatmeal cereal. I also give her Cheerios to play with while I'm making her meals. She knows how to pick them up, but hasn't quite figured out how to put them in her mouth, so mama helps with that:)

For lunch, Linna will have a fruit and veggie, as well as some Bulgar mixed in with the veggie. So far, the veggies she has tried are: carrots, green beans, peas, sweet potatoes, avocado, cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, and beets. She LOVES avocado, sweet potatoes, peas, broccoli, beets and carrots, which I usually mix with Bulgar for texture. Her favorite fruits are mango and bananas, but so far she's had apples, pears, peaches, and blueberries. Linna is NOT a fan of blueberries!

For dinner, we skip the fruit, and do a veggie, some cheese, and Bulgar or oatmeal cereal. She loves dinner time and eats like a champ!

Avocado... Linna's ultimate fav!
Baby Linna is so good about telling us when she's had enough or if she wants more. She will literally close her lips so tight when she's had enough, that there's no way we're getting a spoon in her mouth! She'll also do a little "whine" to let us know she's finished. If she's hungry and wants more, she keeps her mouth open like a little bird. We are also teaching her sign language for "all done" and "more", and she totally knows the difference between the two! This will hopefully help her communicate with us when she's still unable to say words:)

I've also learned that it is IMPOSSIBLE to keep the baby clean during feedings! If I put a bib on her, the bib goes into her food-filled mouth. If I don't put a bib on her, she brings her clothes up to her mouth, or drools her food all over. She is also obsessed with the straps on her high chair, and they go right in her mouth so they are constantly covered in food! I'm so glad we have the Boon highchair because it is so easy to wipe down. I'm still trying to figure out how to take the straps off so I can wash them. Baths are also an almost every-night event!

Sign for "more".
I'm going to introduce quinoa (which is known as a "super food") this week, so I'll let you know how that goes! Next up, PROTEINS!!!

Sign for "all done".

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Minnesota Baby is on Facebook.

Minnesota Baby now has a Facebook page, and since it's Valentine's Day, we're doing a special giveaway! "Like" Minnesota Baby's Facebook page, then comment on the page with your must-have beauty product or beauty secret. You could win a Skinny Girl Detox Face Mask and Lip Gloss. I tried this Face Mask by Bethenny Frankel last night and it is AMAZING! The lip gloss is so light and moisturizing and plumps your lips.

We'll be doing a LOT of giveaways and contests on the Minnesota Baby Facebook page, so please "like" us:)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

6 months.

In her knit fire hat from Grandpa Specken.
How is it that our tiny baby girl is six months old?! Before I know it, we'll be celebrating her first birthday. Baby Linna is quickly learning how to move all over the place... rolling, reaching, and trying to scoot her little body around. I rarely find her in the same spot in her crib when she wakes up from a snooze. I'm guessing she'll be crawling by the end of February. She's also almost sitting on her own, and can stand up against things all by herself! We've introduced her to LOTS of different foods such as bulgar (whole cracked wheat), cauliflower, peas, sweet potatoes, apples, pears, etc. She's not really a fan of fruits, but she loves bulgar mixed with carrots, avocado, sweet potatoes, and peas! She drinks water out of a sippy cup, and is still drinking breast milk from the bottle. Her body has worked out her pooping issue (thank God). I think eliminating the rice cereal worked, and just giving her body time to adjust to her new food adventures.

Her latest obsession... tags.
Linna loves to blow bubbles, babble, and she does this super funny breathing thing when she gets excited! It's almost like she can't catch her breath when something excites her. We haven't seen any teeth yet, but there has to be one in there somewhere, because this little lady knows how to drool! Baby Linna also loves boys (uh oh!). She is such a flirt when guys talk to her. She just smiles and stares:)

Linna is also starting swim lessons at Foss next month, where we'll work up to a five second submerge. Mama is a little nervous about this, but it will really help her get ready for lake swimming at the cabin this summer! We do playdates often with Linna's little friends to keep her social;) It's great to get together with other fun moms, and the kids love playing together.

I took Linna to an opthamologist this month too, after we noticed that her eye lid was a little droopy. Everything checked out ok and it's just something she'll grow out of. We did discover that she's allergic to latex though, after the doctor put a latex eye patch over her eye for testing. We also, tried on some glasses! Linna looked so cute in eyeglasses... part of me actually wished she had to wear them;)

Every other week playdate group.
We're really looking forward to watching Linna get even bigger! Happy six months baby girl!!!

Look how much she's grown...

One month.
Two months.
Three months.
Four months.
Five months.
Six months.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The mini mud room is finished.

FINALLY, the mini mud room is finished! We found this idea on Pinterest, and my husband decided to take this project on! I'm so happy with the final result, and so glad we got to incorporate some giraffe print into the project:) We spent about $400 on the entire project, and can't wait until Baby Linna gets to use this area before and after school. So proud of my hubby! He did this entire project all by himself:)

What do you think?!

Before. Closet all cleaned out and
ready to be turned into a mini mud room.

Middle. AJ built the storage bench.

Ta Da! Giraffe print bench cushion and all!
Baskets from Target, hooks and wood from
Home Depot. Done done done done done!

Another view.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Hair loss and low milk supply.

For the last couple weeks, I have been a pretty bummed out mama! Not only have I noticed that my milk supply is decreasing, but my hair is starting to fall out! Talk about a bad combo.

I've heard that nursing moms can experience hair loss around month four or five after baby, but I didn't think it would happen to me. I've always had thick hair, but lately I've noticed that I am "shedding" ALL the time, and my hair is falling out in greater amounts in the shower and when I brush it. Not only do I feel like I'm going to go bald, but I'm constantly pulling hair out of my daughter's hands, off my clothes, and yes... even out of food (so gross)! You should see the amount of hair I sweep up on the floor... woof! I know that this is a temporary thing, but I need to find something to help with my new shedding issue.

Also, in the last few weeks, my milk supply has been pretty much cut in half! When I first started pumping, I was like a milking cow... producing triple the amount that Linna was eating. This was great, because I was able to store a lot of milk in the freezer. But then I got lazy. Knowing I had an ample supply of breast milk, I went from pumping 5 times per day, to pumping 2-3 times per day. Now I'm only pumping the EXACT amount (maybe even a little less) that Linna eats in a day. I've tried pumping more and taking Mother's Milk Tea, but I still haven't seen an increase. I'm trying to drink a lot more water, continue my prenatal vitamins, and I'm exploring some other methods... so we'll see.

I'm just bummed because I have a goal of exclusively breastfeeding Linna for one year, and now I'm not sure I'll be able to do it. I know there's nothing wrong with baby formula (heck, I was a formula-fed baby), and if we have to go that route I will. It's just disheartening to know that my baby relies on me for her food, and I may not be able to provide that for her much longer. She's started eating solids, and she's eating really well, so I'm hoping between the amount of milk I'm producing, the frozen milk we have stored, and the food she's eating, we'll make it to a year. I guess only time will tell. And who knows, maybe I will find something that actually makes me produce more milk! Wish us luck:)