Teething Bites: 3 Teething Tips

Two little chompers, front and center!

Babies go through so many difficult phases. Teething is one of the worst. Why? Because it lasts for YEARS - not just days, months. Babies teethe, all the time.

In fact, teething topped the list as the most difficult childhood milestone, trumping potty training, the terrible twos and the first day of school. according to a survey conducted by Infants’ Advil® in April 2015 among 2,000 U.S. parents.

Teething was one thing I was not looking forward to with Liam. Once we got through the sleep regression, which remains the hardest phase for us to date, I breathed a sigh of relief. Only for about 6 weeks though, when we were faced with TEETHING!

I've heard horror stories of babies teething, but so far, teething has not be horrible for us. (Knock on all the wood.) It hasn't been great, but it hasn't been horrible. Liam definitely gets super fussy, doesn't sleep well, and just cries the saddest, most whimpery cry ever. I can take a few sleepless nights, but hearing my baby cry in pain/discomfort and not being able to help him is quite honestly, THE WORST.

I'm not alone, either - according to Infants’ Advil®, 29 percent of moms and 16 percent of dads admit to having cried as a result of watching their child teethe. Been there, done that.

Currently, Liam has two teeth with three on the horizon. I'm pretty sure a third tooth on bottom will break through soon, in addition to his top teeth. That's a lot of pain my babe is in!

The kind folks at Infants' Advil reached out to me to let me know they had teamed up with NUK® have teamed to create simple and effective solutions that provide relief for both baby and parent. They kindly provided me with teething tip information, product samples and tips from their survey.

Yay for free stuff to help with Liam's discomfort!

Thankfully, we've been able to manage Liam's pain and discomfort with a few tricks and toys, so I wanted to share some things that have worked for us. Nothing really revolutionary, but they do help!

1. Invest in teething toys. For a few months now, all Liam wants to do is put things in his mouth. It's been kind of hard to determine if that's due to curiosity or teething. We figured it wouldn't hurt to get our hands on some teething toys. If he was teething, they'd help soothe - if not, he could just chew away to his heart's content anyway.

Some of our favorite teething toys include The First Years John Deere Massaging Corn TeetherNuby Bug A Loop Teether BeadNuby Icybite Hard/Soft Teething Keys, Banana Brush and of course, Sophie!

2. Use food. Cold and frozen things are awesome for teething babies. Before we had any toys, we just froze wash cloths and gave them to Liam to suck on. He also enjoys gumming the bottoms of our cold beer cans and bottles. :) We also invested in these feeders. They are not only awesome for bringing to restaurants and keeping Liam occupied, but we can literally stuff anything in there for Liam to chew on. We've put everything from frozen fruit to ice cubes to frozen bagels. Good for helping to relieve pain and be nutritious!

3. Don't be afraid to medicate. Obviously this is personal preference. For me personally, I was hesitate to give Liam medicine at first. After talking to my pediatrician, she assured me that it would be more than fine.

The first time I gave him a pain reliever was after his two-month wellness visit when he was in clear discomfort and had a fever, and it helped so much! Seeing that made me more confident moving for future instances where we've had to give him medicine for illness, or recently - pain!

My biggest tip here is, if you're comfortable with it, don't be afraid to give your babe some relief. S/he will be fine. And don't wait for things to be bad before giving! I should add that my child happens to love oral medications - he gulps down Gripe Water and pain reliever with no issue. He really loved the white grape, dye free flavor of Infants' Advil! (He cried when I was done giving the dosage.)

That's all I've got! Like I said - nothing earth shattering or new, but more tried and true. You can do it!

*Disclosure: I was given free product for this post, however all thoughts and opinions are my own, and writing a post was optional.
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Happy Monday, everyone!

I'm currently watching the train wreck of a show that is Bachelor in Paradise. I know I'm not the only one watching.

Just wanted to apologize for the lack of posts, lately. Work has been crazy, I've been traveling, and I'm gearing up for a 10-day trip to South America next week! I am equal parts excited and anxious about our trip. It's going to be amazing, and I am so looking forward to spending one-on-one time with my husband. But - 10 days is a LONG time to be away from my baby! It will go fast and he will be in great hands, so that's what I just keep telling myself.

In any case - as a result of the success of some of my recent posts, I have a ton of stuff written and unpublished - I've been shopping them around to some sites that pay for original articles. Once I get the green/red light, I can publish here or send you to read them elsewhere!

In any case - I'm still here, still reading your comments, still writing. Just taking some time to get things taken care of at home and outside the home, and try to keep getting my writing out there on bigger platforms.

Hope everyone had a fantastic weekend! We were in Iowa celebrating my bestie's husband's birthday and had a blast. Suffice to say, I can't party like I used to.

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Liam {8 Months Old}

    Mr. Liam Albert Farrell is 8-months-old today! Can you believe it? I know I can't. I will say that this past month has been one of my favorites, yet also super challenging! Liam learned so much in this short amount of time, and some of those things proved to make life a little more exciting for B and me! (Seriously, you wouldn't believe how quickly such a small person can sail across a hard wood floor!)

    That said, all the changes are, of course, good! Here's what's up:

    I literally had 0.00021358792 seconds to snap a pic before he rolled over.
    Good thing he smiled!
    Anxious to see what the scale/height is at next month's well visit. I think Liam is probably hanging out around 19-20 lbs. I hope he's grown a couple of inches. I worry all the time he got mom's height.
    The shots immediately after the one above. Literally all taken within 60 seconds.

    He is consistent in continuing to love bath time, squealing, eating, peek-a-boo, etc. But he started getting more interested in some other stuff this month, too!

    • Looking at photos: We walk around the house and point out family in photos. It always makes him smile, laugh and squeal in delight. If he's super cranky or sad, it always calms him down to look at pictures.
    • Reading books: I've tried to read to him since he was a newbie, but he was never interested. FINALLY, he loves reading some of his touch and feel books (animals and trucks), and he LOVES the book Dear Zoo. He is able to open the hide-and-seek flaps, and he thinks it's hilarious!
    • Monkeys: We noticed a certain affinity toward monkeys of any variety. He has a couple of stuffed monkeys/teething toys that he loves, but more than that, when we see monkeys in a book, or make the "ooo ooo ah ah" noise, he gets so happy!
    • Singing: He still hates the changing table, but when I sing "We Go Together" from Grease, I get him to smile, laugh and relax. He also loves "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and "You are M Sunshine."
    • Laughing: He was a tough cookie to crack, but we've unleashed the dragon, and Liam finally laughs all the time! At anything and nothing, most of the time. Sometimes it's belly laughs and some times, just a little giggle. It's the best. (See video)
    • Swinging: Seriously has the best time.
    • His Daddy: No change from last month, but Liam really loves his Dad. I know he loves me, too, obviously - but he is just enamored by Bryan. If I'm feeding Liam in his high chair and Bryan is on the couch behind him, he turns to look where he is. Knowing how much Bryan wanted a son, makes their relationship even sweeter in my eyes.

    • Still hates getting dressed/having his diaper changed
    • Still must be eating always
    New Milestones/Skills
    • Pulling to stand 
    • Has two teeth, with about four on the way
    • Army crawling! He is very quick and moves everywhere. He's also close to crawling on all fours, and gets into push-up/plank position. I wasn't kidding above when I say how quickly he glides across our wood floors. (See video)

    • Gives kisses: Open mouth whoppers, all day, e'ry day!
    • "Waves" hi and bye: By "wave," I mean moves his arm up and down, but he'll figure out the hand motion soon!
    • Gives high fives True story 
    • Drinking from a sippy cup!
    • Still saying consonants, but no real words. I think I heard Mama on the video here, but he hasn't said it since. Just a lot of Babababababababa, all day! I think Da Da will be next. (See video)
    I'm now exclusively pumping, as Liam never came back from his nursing strike from about a month ago. I've had some supply issues in recent weeks, but am still pumping and doing what I can there, so I'm supplementing with formula. I have a big freezer stash that I could pull from, but I'm saving it for while we are on our trip. Time will tell, but I think I will start weaning from the pump in the next month or so, depending on what my supply does.

    That said, Liam gets 4-5 bottles/day, at about 5-7oz/each. He also eats solids three times a day, and will eat anything! He figured out how to suck pouches on his own, and can also drink water from a sippy with a straw! We've been trying to try some table foods, but he gags kind of easily, so I'm basically terrified to upgrade from the purees. He seriously loves everything we give him.

    Still going strong! He sleeps 7:30pm/8pm-7:00/7:30am most nights. Teething has presented some disrupted sleeping but not too badly, thankfully. More than anything, he's going through this phase where he falls asleep while we rock and when we lay him down, he wakes up and just starts rolling around/playing in his crib. Most of the time we let him play and tire himself out, but sometimes he needs intervening.

    He naps 2-3/times day, depending on how long the naps are and how long he's been awake (wakeful periods are a little longer these days at 2.5 hours), but he still naps about 2-4 hours/day.

    That's it for month 8! Can't wait to see what 9 months brings! 
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    Why I Write

    Writing is one of those things that you either love or you hate. It goes without saying - I love it. It's how I best communicate. It's how I de-stress. It's how I think through things. It's how I connect with people.

    That connection is what drives me to write. When I read something by someone else and think, "YES. This. ALL OF THIS." That is my favorite moment.

    When I write something that provides that same connection, that people can relate to - that is why I love to write. To connect, relate, teach and learn.

    My voice is only mine, and my experiences are only my own. But if I can use that voice and those experiences to help other people, empathize with other people, or at the very least, make someone smile - I'm fulfilled.

    When I first started this blog, I didn't have a vision for it. It was a "lifestyle" blog. And it still is. But now, since getting pregnant and then having the baby, I feel like I can now use this platform to connect on a bigger level. I guess maybe I'm a "mommy blogger," and I'm totally cool with that.

    Parenting is a trip, I'll tell you that. It's the hardest, easiest, most challenging, rewarding, hilarious, bittersweet, amazing journey you'll ever go on. There is no shortage of opinions, ways to do things, methods of coping, ways to teach, things to learn.

    My goal is to give you honesty and candor. Sympathy and empathy. Smiles and a giggle. Having a baby is not all baby snuggles and warm fuzzy feelings. People who say, or think it is, are full of shit. Parents need to know that there are others going through what they are, feeling what they're feeling. And they need to laugh. You will not survive as a parent without laughing - at yourself, at your kids, at what your life has become.

    I have not been a parent long enough to think I know everything. Hell no. But I have been doing it long enough to feel like I have something to contribute to the conversation.

    In seeing some of my recent posts being published on national media outlets, it gives me validation that this is what I'm supposed to be doing. Writing is my passion, my outlet, my gift. It's up to me to use it.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, for coming to my corner of the world, even if it was just one time. I may not have thousands of followers, but I do have you, and your support means the world.
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    Making Memories: Whole Dam Fam Vacation

    Hi everyone! I've missed you, and this space. Pardon my absence, but last week, I was on vacation all week and disconnected from most things. The week before I was crazed prepping for said vacation.

    Before I go any further, I want to share some of the most exciting news ever: I've been published! On The Huffington Post!

    A few weeks ago, I submitted a blog to HuffPost. An editor responded right away saying they'd love to publish it! They gave me a blog log-in, and I submitted a bio and head shot. Now, I'm free to submit blogs as I wish through my own HuffPost URL. And last week, my first one got published! (And not even the original one I submitted.) Low and behold, it was the ever-popular Inner Dialogue of a New Mom post. It is so, so cool to see my name on a site like HuffPost, and to see so many people sharing, liking and relating to my writing. Feedback has been overwhelming and amazing, and I'm just really proud of myself. I can't wait to share more of my writing through this amazing platform!

    Anyway, like I said, last week, I was on vacation with most of my whole immediate family. I haven't been on a proper family vacation for YEARS. The trip has been planned since last year, so to have it finally be upon us was super exciting! My dad, stepmom, sisters, brothers-in-law, step-brother, nieces and nephews all made the trip up to Door County Wisconsin. My dad and his wife go there every year and wanted us all to join them this year. We were all Door County Virgins.
    How I spent Monday

    We rented a gorgeous home in Bailey's Harbor that was on the water and secluded, and held all 14 of us (Dad and Denise stayed in their own cottage). We had more than enough room for every family to have their own bedroom, and the kids got to all share a bunk bed room - they had a complete blast. The resort, Gordon Lodge, was on the water, had a great restaurant, pool and water activities. It was perfect!

    As most vacations do, it went too fast. But this vacation was great because it was a mix of relaxation and activity. As you can imagine, with four kids aged 3-13, and two babies, we could not spend the week boozing it up on the lake, much as we may have wanted. :) We made sure to do "something" every day, but also got in ample adult/relaxation/cocktail time.

    I won't bore you with the details of every single day, but will share these photos of our trip. I actually didn't take nearly as many as I'd imagined, and unfortunately, we didn't get any of the whole family! But, as much as photos to document occasions are important, I think it's equally as important not to spend your life behind a camera, so - it is what it is. Our memories are our own, and I hope this is the first of many more family vacations to come!

    At The Farm: A super fun petting zoo!

    Liam and his namesake: Papa (Al)Bert! Liam also almost murdered a chick. He grabbed the poor babe's head and pulled. You've never seen a neck stretch like that!

    The most beautiful sunset after dinner one night! Some of us took out kayaks to get an even better view!

    At Peninsula Beach State Park! Liam tried ice cream for the first time, and hated the life jacket!

    And that's it for photos, pretty much. Grandma and Papa watched the kids one night, and we all went out for a nice dinner and drinks. Another night we all cooked and ate/drank at home, played bags outside, etc. Another day, everyone kind of did their own thing.

    Pictures or not - we had a great time, little drama and made memories to last lifetime. 
    Oh, and I did this:

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