Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Those winter blahs

We have them for sure.  Illnesses from colds to stomach bugs have been running rampant through the house leaving all three of us sniffling and miserable.  Kayla woke up in the wee hours a few nights in a row.  Thanks to a day of throwing up and a second day of not eating, my milk supply tanked.  It's been a rough 2 weeks.

Somehow we've managed to keep the house running.  Couch time and the occasional nap on the weekends have become necessary.  I like rocking Kayla to sleep in my arms and then cuddling with her on the loveseat while she sleeps.  Not only do I make sure she stays out for at least an hour, but I get that time to appreciate my little one in all of her quiet, sleeping adorableness.  I don't get to do that very often because I feel like I run nonstop from 6 am on Monday until whenever we get our grocery shopping done on Saturday.  Even then there is still cooking and cleaning to do, a baby to entertain and keep away from the electronics, laundry to wash and fold... it's never done.  This weekend we were going to attempt to do our fall cleaning a little behind schedule.  I don't know if that's going to happen or not.  I know it really needs to be done, but part of me hopes that we just can't make it happen.  After all, it's already the end of January.  Why not just wait until April when we can open up before we kick up all that dust and junk? 

Friday, January 15, 2010

As if I don't have enough to do...

I've decided to give the 365 pic challenge a shot (pun intended, of course). I really want to learn to use the D40 I bought a few months ago, and I think this will help me sharpen my skills.

Project 365 will get underway tonight! Follow my progress on the new blog 365 Days, 365 Photos.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Some product reviews

You know, for months now I have been meaning to write an entry on the things we registered for/received as gifts: what we loved, what we could have lived without and what we felt indifferent about as well as the things we ended up wishing we had. Finally, here it is for you. I only covered the “extra” things (things some people might consider non-essentials) but I may share my thoughts on the “must haves” (i.e. stroller, car seat, bedding, etc.) in a future post.

DISCLAIMER: I don’t profess to be an expert by any means; these are just my opinions.


  •  Boppy pillow. When I feed Kayla away from home, I struggle without it. Especially now that the little chunker is almost 16 pounds. A spare cover is a must as well for those unexpected leaks, spit ups and diaper blowouts.
  • Itzbeen Baby Care Timer. This thing has been a life saver, especially when we are out. I can see at a glance how long it had been since Kayla ate, was changed or fell asleep/woke up. I know a lot of people subscribe to the old notebook method (I did too at first) but once I felt comfortable that Kayla was gaining weight and no longer needed to track how many wet/dirty diapers she made, this was A LOT easier. There is nothing more frustrating than struggling to remember when your little one last ate (which I did often in the early days when night and day ran together and I didn’t know what day it was 99% of the time) and I still use it now.
  • Bjorn and Moby. I know every baby likes to be carried differently, but Kayla particularly likes these. The Moby is great if you have the time to tie it on and adjust it. The Bjorn is perfect for when she’s crying and wants to be held NOW but my hands are busy.
  • Bumbo seat and tray. When she was just getting control of her head, this was great to sit her in to help her develop her neck strength, as well as her ability to manipulate things with her hands when we put toys on the tray for her. Now it’s a great spare spot to feed her, and when she wants to be in the kitchen with me I sit her in there so she can watch me, be up off the hard floor and can’t go rolling away.
  • Play mat. This was the beginning of her playing and checking out the world around her. We use some of the toys from the mat to entertain her in her jumper and in her car seat, even now.
  • Jumper/ExerSaucer. Kayla has a Jumper at home, and they have several exersaucers at her daycare. She loves them. They really aren’t needed before baby is a few months old, but I’m glad we registered for one.
  • For moms who plan to breastfeed and work (or not), I am really happy with my Medela Pump-in-Style pump in the shoulder bag. Part of me wishes I had bought it sooner, but I am also glad I waited (and rented a pump for one month) to be sure I was going to be able to maintain a supply. I rented a Medela pump, so I was left with a spare set of parts as well; very handy.
  • Especially for Mom (BRU Brand) breast pads. These worked great even when my supply was still regulating (read – I leaked like Niagra falls). Now that I have less leakage issues, I wear washable pads a lot of the time, but still use the disposable ones overnight occasionally or when all of my washables are waiting to be washed.
  • Cloth diapers. Not for diapering (I admire the ladies that do this, but Pampers have been my best friend from day one) but to use as burp cloths. I bought a few of the pretty terrycloth ones, but I don’t think I’ve ever even used them.
  • Playtex Drop Ins bottles, nipples and liners. I purchased the gift pack after my shower, and had received two 8 – 10 ounce bottles from various places. They include a variety of nipples in the gift pack, and that allows you to experiment until you find what works best for you and baby. Fortunately Kayla wasn’t fussy, and went back and forth from the breast to the bottle very early on. The only things I’ve had to purchase since then are the liners and some fast-flow nipples once she was ready for those.
  • Faded Glory brand infant socks (found at Walmart). These stayed in place really well, unless Kayla was really pissed off. I’ve bought other (more expensive) socks since and they just don’t stay put as well.
  • Toys: Kayla had a soft rattle, plastic keys, a teething ring and one of the little phone rattles from early on. Those and the play mat kept her occupied for quite some time. She also loves the Bright Starts Lots of Links. They’re great for attaching car seat toys, or just for chewing.

Indifferent to:
  • As mentioned above, cute burp cloths.
  • Flannel/thermal receiving blankets. I used these fairly frequently after she was born when it was cool in the house but hot outside; I found that the recommended number (I think a dozen or so) was way too many. I was fortunate to not have a baby who spit up a lot though, so I rarely needed to change them. Start with a few, and then buy more if you think you need to. I did manage to make it out of the hospital with two or three of theirs as well.
  • Swaddle Me wraps. These were great for about 3 weeks, although she taught herself how to wiggle an arm out of the swaddle before that point. After that, she no longer wanted to be swaddled. I’d have been better off just continuing to use the receiving blankets that I pilfered from the hospital.

Didn’t like or need/Wish I’d known:
  • Extra mattress pads. Yet. I guess we’re fortunate that Kayla hasn’t had any nighttime blowouts that required a sheet and mattress pad change. I may have changed the mattress pad once to wash it. Her sheets rarely get that gross though, so I don’t feel like the mattress pad needs changed weekly.
  • Gerber brand clothing. The sleep and plays, as well as the plain white Onesies all seem to run small. If you buy the Onesies, skip the newborn size all together and buy the 3 – 6 month ones sparingly until you know how big your baby is for sure. Kayla is 6 months old (a little under 16 pounds) and wearing the 9-12 month onesies. They are pretty snug.
  • Learning Years teething ring. We’ve lost two of these now – one to an unfortunate stepping on and another to an unexplained leak. They’re great toys, but I wish they held up better.
I’m glad to see that my loves list is the longest. We tried to choose carefully for the things we wanted/thought we needed.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Happy 6 months!!

Dear Kayla –

I know I say this all the time, but I can’t believe how time is flying. I swear just yesterday I was still poking my huge belly and trying to bribe you to come out with the promise of cookies. Now look at you; six months old and getting cuter every day.

You’re growing so fast I can hardly keep up; earlier this week I discovered that a lot of your 3 – 6 month clothes are getting a bit snug, when I swear they were loose before the holidays! Either you’ve been sneaking Christmas Cookies behind my back (in which case I blame your Pepere), or this is what happens when we pretty much let you live in your jammies for two weeks. Time to start thinking about 6 – 9 month stuff I guess (beyond the two outfits we already have, that is).

This past month brought your first Christmas. It was so much fun to see you pull your toys out of your stocking, and watching you open presents brought us a lot of joy. Santa was very good to you this year; the first of many times for sure. Sophie the Giraffe was a big hit, and you love your Leapfrog Music table. You are still a bit uncertain about your busy ball popper, but the Fisher Price Jungle Playground has been lots of fun. One night last week I laid you on your blanket in the living room so I could go make dinner. When I noticed you were suddenly out of my view, I rushed over to find that you had rolled over to that to play.

Besides rolling, you’ve now started to creep a little bit but only in reverse. You’re also starting to sit up on your own. You can support yourself for 15 or 20 seconds before reaching for something or getting tired and flopping over to one side. You looking up at me and smiling while on your belly is still one of my favorite things in the world though. Right up there with watching you nestle down into the boppy after your breakfast to lay there and talk to your feet.

We are still working through different purees with you. You like carrots, peas, bananas and pears. You’re still not crazy about green beans, apples or peaches, but we will keep trying. Squash and sweet potatoes are next on the menu. Yum! As long as those go OK, we’ll introduce a protein – probably chicken – soon. You are an enthusiastic eater. When Nanna fed you on Christmas day, I thought you were going to try to dive into your bowl!

You’re also a wonderful sleeper. It’s rare that I have to fight with you at night. Our routine of upstairs, bath or face wash, PJ’s, nursing and/or rocking seems to work perfectly. Even if I put you in your crib while you’re still awake, you are able to soothe yourself to sleep with minimal fuss. You go to bed anywhere between 8 and 9 PM and sleep until anywhere from 5:30 -6 most mornings. Sometimes on the weekends you will even entertain yourself in your crib until 7.

I can’t tell you how lucky I feel to have such a sweet natured, happy, healthy and loving baby for a daughter. You continue to bring more joy than I ever thought possible to my life, and I am crazier about you than I will ever be able to tell you. Happy half –birthday little angel. Your daddy and I love you very much.

Love Always –