About erin z.


the story of a life lived thoughtfully.

Posts by erin z.:

william: ten months old.

another post so soon erin? but how? and why? well, since i didn’t post my baby boy’s nine month update until he was almost eleven months old, i figured i should probably try to get the 10 month update posted before that happens…and then we will try to have our little man’s updates all caught up before we leave on our trip! or at least a girl can dream…

here is what mister William was like between nine and ten months:

well, william has certainly turned lots of corners this month. he is babbling nonstop, he’s graduated from the new walker “frankenstein” walk to a confident swagger, and he’s started to clap, wave and clearly understand words you say to him. it’s amazing to watch how quickly this happens.

one of my favorite parts of this month has been the changes in sleep! william has settled down at night and is sleeping through from about 8:00pm-6:30am. i can sometimes get him to go back to sleep for a bit if i need to get ready for my day, but i really can’t complain about the improvement. i honestly think that the thing that helped the most was me going on a long weekend trip with some girlfriends in july. he didn’t get to see me at night anymore, he lost interest in night feedings and started sleeping through.

a big change that was much easier for both of us than i thought it would be was stopping our breastfeeding. my milk supply started dropping in a big way around his nine month birthday, and he started to get even more distracted during feedings when he started to walk. we had already moved to bottles before bed to make sure he was getting enough milk to sleep through, and he didn’t even know the difference when we moved to all bottles. it was quite a change for me, because we barely fed Amelia bottles, but it was so much better for us to make this decision. i’m almost positive that i wasn’t making enough for his crazy activity levels, because once i stopped pumping and nursing, nothing happened. i didn’t have to pump, or hand express, or anything. so it was the right time. when i can, i get breast milk from a dear friend whose baby is only a week apart from William, and we mix that with formula, and he is clearly thriving with the change. it sometimes tweaks my heart a bit, but only because it makes my baby seem so much older when he’s not nursing.

having a ten month old toddler is a very bizarre feeling. we constantly get comments on how big he is, and how well he moves, and what a sweet little man he is. and it’s all true. and i’m trying to slow it all down, and take more videos, and remember all of it, because i can already see him as a two year old, trying to run away from me as fast as he can at the park. he might not be acting like a baby anymore, but he’ll always be mine.

little william: you are trying to grow up so fast, and we are so proud of you with each new milestone you reach (even if they might be a little early for us). the relationship you have with your dad and sister makes me smile every time i see it. you are a shining sun every day, and we know that you will only get brighter as you grow up even more.

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william: nine months old.

let’s just not even talk about how sad it is that i can’t get these written in a timely manner. it’s just going to embarrass all of us. at least the photo was taken relatively close to the right time….

here is what mister William was like between eight and nine months:

my little baby is walking like a maniac. he started officially walking the day after he turned eight months old, and never slowed down after that. he loves being able to run after his sister, and he loves to get into tight spots where he has to squeeze through. it’s actually really funny to watch him meander his way through his newfound freedom of mobility.

william really started to get teeth this month. it was…less than fun for all of us. sleep got pretty dicey for a while. like, the kids (both of them) weren’t falling asleep until 9:30, and both Mister Man and i were losing our minds. no down time will do that to a person. or married parents of two. yikes.

he also has started to eat like a toddler. he eats more than his sister on a regular basis. he is totally done with purees now, and only will eat what we eat. it’s awesome because of how easy it is, we just cut everything we’re having into tiny pieces, and he gums them and swallows them. he likes steak and chicken and eggs and rice and veggies and fruit and pretty much everything you can think of. we are trying to keep him off dairy for a bit longer, and also are being careful with how much sugar he gets, because we don’t want to mess up his gut and risk eczema developing like it did with amelia (although i feel like that’s really a low chance, i don’t want to be too careful).

[this was during a meal where i realized how expensive feeding these two little monsters is going to be…they devoured their own meals at panera in about ten minutes!]

we have been having so much fun with his little personality. he is learning how to do “so big” and “peekaboo” and is babbling a ton! whenever i think about him starting to talk, it makes me giggle a little, because i have a feeling that, much like his sister, he won’t ever stop and then our house will be forever noisy. but it’s the best kind of noise!

little william: i’m sorry that sometimes your stuff come a little later than your sister’s. i wish i could be better at staying on top of things for your memories. but just know that we could never forget how sweet you are. your first year has been such a joy for all of us.

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my top 5 tips for healthy babies.

it’s easy to get caught up in all the superficial parts of parenting, isn’t it? people fight about feeding and sleeping and carrying and babysitting and all sorts of other made up issues (mommy wars, you can take all the seats). it can be exhausting, especially when all you want is a little friendly advice, emphasis on the friendly, but you’re getting a side of judgement with everything.

i don’t have all the answers, but i know if there is one thing that all parents can agree on in this world where there is so much to disagree on, it has to be that we all want our babies to be as healthy as possible. find me a parent who says otherwise, and i’ll show you a liar. we might all get there differently, but the goal is the same. so today i thought i’d share my top five tips for healthy babies that have been wonderful for us with both kids.

1. regular well-baby visits. this should be a no-brainer, but i’ll say it anyway. take your kids to the doctor regularly. it’s so much easier to stay on schedule than it is to catch up, and sometimes all it takes to make yourself feel better is asking the doctor about that nagging thing you aren’t sure about (is it normal for my kid to not sleep EVER? answer: yes). plus, the better your relationship is with your child’s health care provider, the better you can work together to make sure your child’s health is the best it can be. my kids love their doctor, and because we see her on time and exactly when we should, i know that she is as up to date on my kids health as she can be, and can help me make sure they are where they need to be for all facets of their health.
2. infant probiotics. one thing that many of you may not know is that my daughter has fairly severe eczema. after lots of reading and research and trial and error, and way too many tears (hers and mine), we are pretty sure that the cause of hers was a gut microbiome imbalance. it came on later than most baby eczema does, and was closely related to her starting eat more food. we have tried many different treatments for her, and i’m happy to report that it’s mostly under control, but during this process, we found that some things had more of an impact than others. one of the simplest, yet most impactful treatment was giving her a daily probiotic.
i wish that we had known about this when she was an infant. because it turns out, babies are born with a sterile gut and depend on their moms to pass on b. infantis, a beneficial bacteria, during the birthing process. it’s this initial setup of good gut bacteria that helps fight off potentially bad bacteria as they grow – and this bad bacteria is linked to eczema, allergies, asthma, diabetes and obesity (go figure). the last 100 years have seen a dramatic change in the baby’s gut microbiome and today, 97% of babies no longer receive b. infantis at birth. an it’s not the moms fault, it’s a generational issue that’s attributed to the unintentional consequences of antibiotic use, C-section deliveries and less breastfeeding during the first six months of life. in a survey of moms done by evivo probiotics, they found that while most moms know there’s a connection between breast milk and their baby’s gut, 96% don’t know that 15% of breast milk nutrients are wasted if b. infantis isn’t present (and most likely its not).
ever since our struggles with amelia’s immune system, i’ve been determined to be more thoughtful about gut health. amelia has been taking a daily probiotic for a while now, and it has helped immensely with her eczema. with william, we’re using evivo probiotics, a probiotic naturally intended for the infant gut, and formulated to work with breast milk to promote development of healthy bacteria. evivo is the only probiotic that is clinically proven to restore a baby’s gut microbiome to its original, natural state, transform special carbohydrates found in breast milk to promote the growth of b. infantis, and defend from bad bacteria linked to eczema, allergies, diabetes and obesity. if you’re wondering at all how probiotics can help with infant gut health, visit the evivo site here, and i’m more than happy to share more details about our decision to use probiotics for our babies!

3. lots of cuddles. i mean, twist my arm why don’t you? i’m sure you have seen all the articles out about a study that was recently done that says that holding your baby is actual vital for their health and development. skin to skin contact and frequent holding of babies helps them eat better, decreases their crying, and helps them deal with pain better. it even carries over as they grow up, with the effects of holding babies often showing up in iq levels and social skills 20 years later. so, like you needed an excuse to cuddle that sweet babe even more, but there you go. don’t worry about spoiling them, you’re doing them tons of good!
4. healthy cleaning products. you guys know how i feel about cleaning products. we’re never going to be perfect, but i think we can agree that the more chemicals we can keep out of our kids bodies, the better. like, i’m never going to be able to get Mister Man to give up his scrubbing bubbles (although he did just clean his bathroom using only vinegar and water and essential oil, because he grudgingly said, “i guess we’re doing the natural thing now…”), but i can do my best to decrease the chemicals in my home.
chemicals can mess with your hormones, and your cells, and your immune system, even as adults, so imagine the effect they can have on a child! our parents and grandparents didn’t have nearly as many chemicals around and available to them when they were growing up and raising kids, so it’s something that unfortunately we have to be a lot more thoughtful about.
in case you have no idea where to start, i will be sharing my recipes for natural cleaning supples as i get to them, so here is one for homemade glass cleaner if you missed it. i also share recipes on my natural home instagram page, so give that a look if you’re interested!
5. taking care of yourself. yes. this is SO important. if you can’t take care of yourself and keep yourself healthy, then it’s going to be a heck of a lot harder to keep your little one healthy. as they say on the pre-flight video, put on your own oxygen tank before assisting others. the same concept applies to parenting healthy children. make your health a priority so that you can make your child’s health a priority.
i have talked about self-care for new moms on here before, so go ahead and take a look at that post for some ideas. some quick ideas are: taking a bath or a long shower, lighting a favorite candle or diffusing your favorite scent in the evening, watching a dumb show to give your brain a rest, reading a book if you need some mental stimulation, sitting down to drink a cup of coffee while the tv watches your kids for a half hour. whatever it is that brings you rest and rejuvenation, make time for it. you and your kids will be healthier for it.
what are some ways you keep yourself and/or your family healthy (kids or no kids!)?
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homemade glass cleaner recipe.

hey party people! let’s get crazy today and talk homemade cleaning solutions, shall we?

turns out, a lot of you are very into the idea of natural cleaners. whether it’s because you want to decrease the chemicals in your home, because you prefer to buy cruelty-free products, or even that you just want to save money, there are so many good reasons to start making your own cleaners at home.

my mom has been making homemade cleaning solutions for a really long time, so you’d think that i would do that too. well, let me tell you, it’s taken me until pretty recently to get on board. i used to like the idea of making homemade cleaners, but it just felt like it would take so much time and energy to do, so i decided it wasn’t for me. and then i made my first homemade glass cleaner, and was DUMBFOUNDED that it had taken me so long.

homemade cleaning solutions have so few ingredients, and you probably already have them all in your house already. and i’m not exaggerating when i say that making them takes less time than a run to target.

this glass cleaner is so great because it actually gets the scum off of your windows. the first time i used it on my windows, i could actually see it taking off the residue left behind by the windex that i’ve always used. my windows and mirrors are so clean and i love it! it brings me so much irrational joy!

homemade glass cleaner recipe

  • 1 1/2 C. water (distilled or filtered is best)
  • 1/4 C. white vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. rubbing alcohol
  • 10-15 drops citrus essential oils (i used 12 lemon, 3 tangerine)

add all ingredients to a glass or heavy duty plastic spray bottle. shake to combine before using. spray on windows and wipe with a microfiber cloth, paper towel or newspaper. slap a cute label on it if you’re feeling fancy and store in a dark, cool place.

i have recipes for wood floor cleaner, toilet cleaner, and all-purpose cleaner that i’ll be posting over the next few weeks months (i’m nothing if not self-aware). if any of you try making any of these recipes, please let me know in the comments or send me a quick instagram message, i’ll be so interested to hear what you think! also, i know not everyone is familiar with essential oils, so if anyone is curious about anything to do with essential oils and how i have been using them for cleaning and around the house, or if you’re curious about the type of oils i use, please reach out, i love talking about it!

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william: eight months old.

he’s walking. my eight month old is walking. that’s it. that’s the update. don’t have anything else to talk about, and don’t have the time to talk about it because i’m too busy running around after my WALKING EIGHT MONTH OLD because apparently our house is not at all babyproofed. the end.

here is what mister William was like between seven and eight months:

William still loves food. he will eat literally anything you set in front of him, and has started to refuse his purees. so our challenge is now to find solid foods that he can gum. the silver lining of him loving everything is that his typical meal can be steamed peas and carrots, ground turkey, squished beans, applesauce or pears, and every so often we can trick him into eating some rice or oat cereal. we can’t wait for him to start eating eggs and dairy so that he can participate more fully in our meals. boy will that make life about a million times easier!

you know what is really easy already? William, just as a human baby. this boy is seriously just an easygoing guy. he can stay up past his naptime or bedtime if we need him to, and while he has the occasional fussy moment when he’s cutting a tooth or is super tired or hungry, he is almost never out of sorts. people make comments all the time how freely he gives smiles to strangers, and how genuinely happy he is. and we are very thankful that this is how he is, because we needed him as our second child to be this way.

little buddy also loves very deeply. he is obsessed with his dad and sister (i think he loves me too, but he gets bored with me easily). he is in deep love with my parents dog bella, and really dogs in general. anytime he sees a dog walking toward him, he flaps his arms and starts yelling. it’s pretty great to watch. his big thing lately is looking at you and tilting his head all coyly, and making you fall in love with him as well.

so yea, i already touched on the walking thing up there. and while TECHNICALLY, he didn’t officially walk until the day after he turned eight months old, i’m counting it. so i’m too tired to really talk any more about this, because i spend a lot of time running around after two “toddlers” now. sidenote: can an eight month old be a toddler? is a toddler defined by walking, or just by being older than a year? enlighten me.

[this is what he does anytime he gets in his car seat. but dude, i don’t even drive that fast!]

little william: your personality is bursting at the seams these days, and it’s so fun to see you grow into your own little person. time is moving way too fast for me, you are losing more of your baby-ness each day and growing up before my eyes. it’s exciting to watch, but also moving faster than i can handle! i know that with your sweetness, you’ll always stay my baby boy (even though dad is your favorite). thanks for still snuggling with me when you know i need a fix.

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