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Four Months of Tommy

Four Months of Tommy | http://www.roseclearfield.com

Tommy was four months old on November 11, 2017.

He had his four month checkup on November 13. At the appointment, he weighed in at 14 pounds 7 ounces and measured 25 inches long. His head circumference is 16.5 inches. Tommy’s numbers put him around the 25th percentile for weight and 40th percentile for height. His doctor was pleased with his growth progress, and everything else checked out well.

Tommy is well out of the newborn stage now. He does still have occasional “food coma” moments but can also polish off five ounces in a single sitting and be fully alert afterward. He no longer gets lulled to sleep by white noise (like the shower) and is so alert the entire time he’s awake. Tommy’s always been fairly alert but just grows more alert every month, focusing on new objects and faces at every opportunity.

Four Months of Tommy | http://www.roseclearfield.com

Tommy is holding and grabbing objects every single day, including the animals and other toys in his activity gym, his stuffed animals, his rattles, and his pacifiers. He’s even started reaching for objects that are being handed to him sometimes. Now that he’s able to grab objects, he likes his Wubbanub, which is a pacifier with a stuffed animal attached (he has a giraffe and a monkey). We’ve had the giraffe Wubbanub for a while, but he had basically zero interest in it until he was able to hold it independently. Tommy’s been grabbing and studying his hands for a couple of months now and has started grabbing his feet as well. He especially loves to grab his bare toes while he’s getting his diaper changed.

As Tommy has transitioned out of the newborn stage, he’s started to develop stranger danger. Tommy definitely prefers to be with Mom and Dad and sometimes gets upset when new people are around, especially when they touch him or come on too strong. He does best with new people in smaller groups. When we’re around larger groups of people, he does best when he’s in his car seat. The little cozy environment seems to offer a sense of safety.

Tommy is talking more every day, with lots of animation in his voice, and laughing a lot. Typically, Tommy laughs when we’re laughing at something or at the same routine activities he finds funny, like having a onesie or shirt lifted over his head. He’s also started laughing occasionally all on his own, usually when our cat Hobbes is doing something ridiculous.

Tommy is holding his head up like a pro, both during tummy time and when he’s sitting on someone’s lap. He can go a full 30 seconds holding his head up while on his stomach without even blinking an eye. When he’s sitting on someone’s lap, he often leans forward and supports his head independently for seconds at a time with no prompting. This past month, Tommy has been moving like crazy and easily wiggles himself right off of his activity gym or a blanket. He’s not rolling yet but is working on those movements all the time.

Four Months of Tommy | http://www.roseclearfield.com

Over the past few weeks, Tommy’s hair has started growing. He never really lost his newborn hair, it just hasn’t been growing very much. So far, we’ve been saying that his hair is brown, but it’s still hard to tell. He had hardly any eyebrows or eyelashes for weeks, so it seems like his hair will be lighter. He’s had eyebrows and upper eyelashes for a couple of months now, and his lower eyelashes are finally filling in a bit, too.

This past month, as Tommy started consistently eating five ounces or more in a sitting each day, I feel like we finally turned a corner with eating frequency. At the beginning of his fourth month, he still wanted to eat every couple of hours during the day. Now he can often go three or four hours, if not longer, between feedings. Tommy almost always eats five-six ounces after a long stretch of sleep and then eats four-six ounces every three-five hours during the day.

Tommy is wearing three month clothing and a handful of 3-6 month clothing as well. Now that the weather has cooled down, he’s wearing 6-12 month hats, which already fit him perfectly. He’s still wearing size 2 diapers, and I imagine that he will be for at least another month.

Four Months of Tommy | http://www.roseclearfield.com

Tommy remains a champion sleeper, sleeping his longest stretches at night. He and the cats didn’t get the memo about daylight savings time and were waking up at 5:00/5:30 for food for a few days. Tommy’s gradually transitioned back to his usual 10:30/11:00 p.m. to 7:00/8:00 a.m. sleep schedule. Jake and I are night owls and don’t push him to go to bed early. If we don’t have to go anywhere in the morning, Tommy often goes back to sleep for a couple of hours after his first feeding. A few weeks ago, we started transitioning Tommy to sleeping in his crib in his room. Overall, it’s been a very easy transition.

Tommy loves eating, snuggling/face time/attention with Mom and Dad, reading books, watching the kitties, his stuffed monkey, bright lights, high ceilings, seeing new faces and objects, taking in new textures and other sensory stimulation, and going for walks in the stroller. Tommy remains a summer baby and still loves having his socks off whenever possible, even as the weather has cooled down.

Getting out of the bath is still one of Tommy’s toughest transitions. He loves being in the bath but hates getting out of it. I try to keep him distracted, offering him a pacifier as soon as he’s in his towel and will have food ready immediately afterward if I think he’s at all hungry. He’s now letting me cut his nails like a champ with no tears whatsoever (though I may jinx it by bragging).

Four Months of Tommy | http://www.roseclearfield.com

Our major event during Tommy’s fourth month was traveling to Texas for my grandpa’s (Tommy’s great-grandpa’s) 90th birthday. Tommy and I flew with my parents. Smaller events include outings to the Domes and China Lights (post still in progress).

Credit: Lottie Lillian Photography

credit: Lottie Lillian Photography

As we head into the holiday season, it’s still pretty surreal that we’ll be celebrating with a little one this year. We are beyond grateful to have Tommy in our lives and are just a little excited to have him with us for the upcoming holidays. (We may or may not have already bought him a Christmas stocking.)

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Kenosha Lakefront June 2017 Instagram Meetup | http://www.roseclearfield.com

In the craziness of going to Europe, having a staycation with friends, and then adopting Tommy, there are a few major events from the summer that I documented but never shared. As we reached about the 2.5 month mark with Tommy, I regained the energy and focus to spend more than a few minutes at a time editing photos. (And yes, he’s now 3.5 months old. It’s still taking me a while to edit photos.) While these summer memories posts won’t be very timely, I’m still excited to share them with you.

Milwaukee has an active photography community, and a handful of local photographers and organizations host Instagram meetups throughout the year. I’ve been following several meetup accounts for a few years now and finally made it to two meetups in June, one in Kenosha (which I’m sharing today) and one in Milwaukee (which I’ll be sharing in a future post).

If you’re active on Instagram but have never been to an Instagram meetup, I highly encourage you to do so if you ever get a chance. Whether you have 400, 4,000, or 400,000 followers, you’ll enjoy connecting with other photographers, capturing shots together, and talking geek photography stuff your friends and family may not want to talk about with you all the time.

Kenosha Lakefront June 2017 Instagram Meetup | http://www.roseclearfield.com

Kenosha Lakefront June 2017 Instagram Meetup | http://www.roseclearfield.com

Kenosha Lakefront June 2017 Instagram Meetup | http://www.roseclearfield.com

Kenosha Lakefront June 2017 Instagram Meetup | http://www.roseclearfield.com

Kenosha Lakefront June 2017 Instagram Meetup | http://www.roseclearfield.com

Kenosha Lakefront June 2017 Instagram Meetup | http://www.roseclearfield.com

Kenosha Lakefront June 2017 Instagram Meetup | http://www.roseclearfield.com

Kenosha Lakefront June 2017 Instagram Meetup | http://www.roseclearfield.com

Kenosha Lakefront June 2017 Instagram Meetup | http://www.roseclearfield.com

Kenosha Lakefront June 2017 Instagram Meetup | http://www.roseclearfield.com

Kenosha Lakefront June 2017 Instagram Meetup | http://www.roseclearfield.com

Have you ever been to an Instagram meetup?

Share your experiences!

More Milwaukee area photography features:

Stormy Beach Early May 2017 | http://www.roseclearfield.com

A Stormy Day at the Beach

Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum, Milwaukee, WI | http://www.roseclearfield.com

May at the Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum

Sunrise over Lake Michigan February 2017 | http://www.roseclearfield.com

Sunrise Over Lake Michigan

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Milwaukee Events – November 2017

Milwaukee Events - November 2017 | http://www.roseclearfield.com

Holiday events

Milwaukee Annual Christmas Tree Lighting: November 16, City Hall on the corner of Water and Wells. Entertainment from local choirs, ensembles, and theater groups, begins at 5:00 p.m. with a short program at 5:15 p.m. and the tree lighting at 5:29 p.m. After the tree lighting, cross the Kilbourn Avenue bridge to the Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival kickoff in Pere Marquette Park.

Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival: Nov. 16, 2016-Jan. 1, 2017. The event kicks off at 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 16 in Pere Marquette Park. There’s pre-show entertainment at 5:30 p.m., a program at 6:30 p.m, and the tree lighting and fireworks at 7:00 p.m. For just $2, take the 40-minute Jingle Bus ride, which showcases the lights displays as well as iconic downtown landmarks.

Holiday Folk Fair International: Nov. 17-19. The folk fair features three days of traditional music, dance, and food with a music pavilion, international stage, cooking demonstrations, world cafe, coffee house, interactive exhibits, vendor booths, and much more.

Milwaukee Holiday Parade: Saturday, Nov. 18 at 9:30 a.m. The parade features more than 100 units including floats, marching bands, local celebrities, costumed characters, giant helium balloons, live animals, specialty vehicles, and of course, Santa.

Deck the Streets of Old Milwaukee: Nov. 18-Jan. 29. The Milwaukee Public Museum transforms the Streets of Old Milwaukee into a holiday wonderland with a Victorian-era touch featuring holly, ribbons, wreaths, garlands, bells, and more. The exhibit kicks off on Saturday, November 19 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. with crafts, interactive exhibits, live music, and a visit from Santa. Santa will also be visiting the Streets of Old Milwaukee on December 2.

Annual Tree Lighting @ Bayshore Town Center: Saturday, November 18 at 6:00 p.m. Watch the tree lighting in the Bayshore Town Square, which may include an appearance from Santa. Afterward, grab a bite to eat or do a little holiday shopping.

Candy Cane Lane: Nov. 25-Dec. 26, 6:00-9:00 p.m. weekdays, 5:00-10:00 p.m. weekends. There are more than 300 homes that participate in the annual Candy Cane Lane. View decorations in West Allis from 92nd to 96th Street between Montana Avenue and Oklahoma Avenue. The event is free, but donations to the MACC fund are always appreciated.

Nov. 4: Veterans Day Parade
Nov. 4: Family Free Day at the Milwaukee County Zoo
Nov. 4-5: Journal Sentinel Food & Wine Experience
Nov. 5: Sticky Fingers Food Competition and Feast
Nov. 5: Grace Fine Art & Craft Festival
Nov. 11-12: Trainfest

Also, don’t forget to check out the winters’ farmers market, which kicks off Nov. 4! Located in the Mitchell Park Domes Annex, the market runs every Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. through April 14. 50 weekly vendors supply produce, eggs, meat, poultry, and dairy products as well as locally produced jams, honey, baked goods, maple syrup, cider, sauces, and soups. Market admission and parking are free. Coat check is available. Regular Domes admission applies to enter the conservatories.

Are you looking for even more things to do in Milwaukee on the cheap?
Check out Free Things To Do In Milwaukee WI.

[Disclaimer: I do not work for the city of Milwaukee. I am not paid to promote any of the events listed on this page. I’m simply a resident of southeast WI who loves Milwaukee and enjoys attending and generating exposure for events in Milwaukee.]

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Flower Power Fall Floral Show at the Domes

Mitchell Park Domes Flower Power Fall Floral Show | http://www.roseclearfield.com

It feels like forever ago that I published my Dome’s summer floral show post. Since we got Tommy, I don’t even know how time is supposed to feel anymore. But I did go to the summer show in mid-June and now we’re starting November (what?), so it wasn’t like it was yesterday either.

The fall floral show theme is Flower Power, which is fun.  The floral displays include fall mums, coleus, morning glory, patchouli, and False Aralia.

Mitchell Park Domes Flower Power Fall Floral Show | http://www.roseclearfield.com

Mitchell Park Domes Flower Power Fall Floral Show | http://www.roseclearfield.com

Mitchell Park Domes Flower Power Fall Floral Show | http://www.roseclearfield.com

Mitchell Park Domes Flower Power Fall Floral Show | http://www.roseclearfield.com

The exhibit also features a fully restored VW camper bus, which is very cool.

Mitchell Park Domes Flower Power Fall Floral Show | http://www.roseclearfield.com

Mitchell Park Domes Flower Power Fall Floral Show | http://www.roseclearfield.com

Mitchell Park Domes Flower Power Fall Floral Show | http://www.roseclearfield.com

Mitchell Park Domes Flower Power Fall Floral Show | http://www.roseclearfield.com

Mitchell Park Domes Flower Power Fall Floral Show | http://www.roseclearfield.com

Mitchell Park Domes Flower Power Fall Floral Show | http://www.roseclearfield.com

Mitchell Park Domes Flower Power Fall Floral Show | http://www.roseclearfield.com

Mitchell Park Domes Flower Power Fall Floral Show | http://www.roseclearfield.com

Mitchell Park Domes Flower Power Fall Floral Show | http://www.roseclearfield.com

Mitchell Park Domes Flower Power Fall Floral Show | http://www.roseclearfield.com

We went the day before Ghosts Under Glass & Dia de los Muertos, so we got a sneak peek at a few of the decorations.

Mitchell Park Domes Flower Power Fall Floral Show | http://www.roseclearfield.com

Mitchell Park Domes Flower Power Fall Floral Show | http://www.roseclearfield.com

This visit was Tommy’s first visit to the Domes. I haven’t missed a Domes show in about two years and hope to make Domes trips a regular activity with him. At this age, he’s just as excited to be riding in his stroller as he is looking at the plants. But it still makes for a fun outing.

Mitchell Park Domes Flower Power Fall Floral Show | http://www.roseclearfield.com

The Flower Power shows runs through November 5. If you won’t be able to visit the Domes this week, make sure to put the holiday floral show Naughty or Nice on your calendar. It runs November 18-January 7.

The Mitchell Park Domes are always free on Monday mornings from 9:00 a.m.-noon except major holidays for Milwaukee County residents. Consult the website for more details about current hours, admission, and upcoming special events.

Check out past Mitchell Park Domes special exhibits!
For more local happenings, visit the Milwaukee section of my blog.

 

Mitchell Park Domes Ultra Violet Summer Floral Show | http://www.roseclearfield.com

Ultra Violet Summer Floral Show

For the Birds Spring Floral Show at the Domes | http://www.roseclearfield.com

For the Birds Spring Floral Show

The Great Train Robbery Train Show at the Domes | http://www.roseclearfield.com

The Great Train Robbery Train Show

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Tips for Purchasing and Installing a Car Seat

Tips for Purchasing and Installing a Car Seat | http://www.roseclearfield.com

[Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post written on behalf of cars.com. All opinions are my own.]

Purchasing and installing a car seat is an overwhelming process, often even for veteran parents. The car seat market changes constantly. By the time you’re having kid #2 or #3, the seat you used for kid #1 or #2 may not work anymore, and you’re back to square one. Also, while purchasing and installing a car seat are essential steps for preparing for a new baby, they aren’t the most exciting steps. It’s much more fun to paint a bedroom or pick out baby furniture. Consequently, many people put off the car seat until the final months, or even weeks, of a pregnancy.

Due to the time frame of Tommy’s adoption and birth, I purchased a car seat the morning of his birth. We brought it to the hospital in the box. The entire process of purchasing and installing a car seat was brand new to me. Thankfully, Tommy’s birth mom’s social worker is a certified car seat technician, and she was able to help us install the seat before we went home. I know many people aren’t as fortunate and don’t feel confident that the seat is installed correctly, which is very scary.

Obviously, I’m still far from an expert on purchasing and installing a car seat. But I do have a few great tips for this process as well as an awesome resource to share from cars.com.

Tips for Purchasing and Installing a Car Seat | http://www.roseclearfield.com

Choose a well-known car seat manufacturer

There are a few established baby brands that dominate the car seat market and with good reason. Car seat shopping isn’t the time to take a chance on an offbrand item you found dirt cheap through a direct from China website. Familiarize yourself with the popular brands, and stick to these brands on Amazon and baby retailer websites.

Pay attention to the star ratings and reviews on Amazon and the major baby retailer websites

I know this is very millennial, but I’ve bought quite a few baby items largely based on their stellar star ratings and reviews on Amazon, Babies ‘R Us, and Buy Buy Baby. Again, baby shopping is often overwhelming, and car seat shopping is no exception. There are so many car seat models out there that it’s hard to know where to start. Sticking to the best rated and reviewed products helps you make an educated decision quickly.

Tips for Purchasing and Installing a Car Seat | http://www.roseclearfield.com

Consider a car seat within a larger baby gear system

One reason I chose both the infant car seat and booster car seat that I did is because they fit within the Click Connect system. Right now Jake and I use a single infant car seat with Click Connect bases in both of our cars. It was just $40 to add the second Click Connect base. The infant car seat also works in our Click Connect Graco stroller until Tommy can ride in the main stroller seat. When we move up to the booster car seat, we’ll keep the same Click Connect bases in our cars. Many car seats fit within the Click Connect system or another integrated system to save you money and extend the use of your gear. While it certainly isn’t a requirement, it’s a nice perk for many families.

Review the videos and other resources on cars.com

Cars.com has a dedicated car seat safety checks section. It features video demonstrations for installing car seats on dozens of popular vehicle makes and models. You can search for your specific vehicle or browse the videos by category. While you may not find a video for your exact make and model (I didn’t), most likely you’ll be able to find something very similar (I did).  Watching a video demonstration makes the installation process much more straightforward.

Each video includes a letter grade for the different types of car seats (i.e. booster, rear-facing convertible) in your particular vehicle. Most modern vehicles accommodate most modern car seats without any issues and receive A and B ratings across the board. But there are occasional compatibility issues, and it’s good to be aware of them ahead of time.

In addition to the car seat installation videos, cars.com has a number of other car seat resources, such as general car seat safety and which cars fit three car seats.

Give yourself time to install the car seat prior to going to the hospital

I know that life circumstances don’t always allow for a leisurely car seat installation exactly as you’ve planned. Whenever possible, make purchasing and installing a car seat at least one to two months before the baby’s due date a top priority. Giving yourself enough time ensures you and your sponse will install the car seat correctly the first time around and have a peace of mind about your child’s safety before you get to the hospital.

Have a certified car seat technician check your installation

The National Child Passenger Safety (CPS) Certification Training Program certifies child passenger safety technicians and instructors around the country. Currently, there are over 40,000 certified technicians, and more than 154,000 people who have completed the training. Consult the National CPS Certification website to see if there are technicians in your area. Their website also offers a number of great car seat resources.

Do you have any tips for purchasing and installing a car seat?

Share your insight in the comments!

More parenting resources:

Baby Favorites: 2.5 Months | http://www.roseclearfield.com

Baby Favorites: 2.5 Months

Tommy 2 Months | http://www.roseclearfield.com

New Baby FAQ

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