Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Happy 2 Month Birthday Baby Girl!

Has it really been two months already?! I still remember the first time I laid eyes on you before your first cry, when you were still warm and slippery from the birth...you blinked your tiny eyes and stared right at me as you laid on my chest. I spoke to you and you blinked again. It was a brief moment before you let out a cry and then were wisked away to have your lungs suctioned, but one moment I'll never forget. I'm looking at you now as I try to type one-handed and you are so beautiful. Chubby, pink, and perfect. And my how you have changed since that moment when we first gazed at each other...your eyelashes are long (I'm totally jealous), your hair is getting longer, you have the most scrumptious chubby cheeks and thighs, your little arms are filled out and you have puffy baby fingers and toes.
I love how happy and smiley you are when you wake up and how you stretch oh. so. long when I change your panties (yup, that's what I call your diapers- your Mom is a dork, sorry Munchkin). You've started to coo and gurgle when we talk to you and last week you found your fists and like to suck on them. Loudly. In church. When everyone else is dead silent. :)
Happy 2 months baby girl. I hope the next two months don't fly by as quickly. In the blink of an eye you'll be grown!

Monday, May 24, 2010

5 Baby Gadgets/Gizmos

There are so many baby gadgets, gizmos, and inventions out there that buying for baby, whether it be creating a baby registry or shopping the old fashioned way, can be so overwhelming. I still remember the dumbfounded feeling A.R. and I had when we first stepped into Babies R Us and Target to start picking out items we would need for our little bundle of joy. Here is a list of the top 5 items that we use constantly and couldn't live without and then the top 5 items we have never used or rarely use and could live without.

Top 5 Items We Use:
1. Boppy- This is truly a breastfeeding mother's new BFF. Or at least it is mine! I use it when I nurse her in our glider, on the couch, and in the car. It really helps me position Mariela and since my daughter is so darned heavy already (I think she's pushing 13 pounds!), it gives my aching arms and back a break. A.R. even uses it when his arms start to quiver and he's holding M on the couch.
2. Graco Frame Stroller- Our travel system (Graco Quatro set in Hamilton) stroller is so heavy that this little gizmo my Matron of Honor recommended was a must. Heck, the car seat without the baby seems a little on the heavy side let alone with her in it, so I love this stroller frame. It is so light weight I can lift it with one hand. The frame holds the infant car seat and comes equipped with cup holders and storage basket. It's easy to maneuver while shopping and opens and closes easily.
3. Video Monitor- It's not cheap, but with coupons, a registry completion discount, and gift cards it was certainly manageable and well worth every penny. I love the peace of mind that having a video monitor offers us in our two-story house. Our daughter is a noisy sleeper and wiggles a lot, so if it wasn't for the camera I probably would've run up and down the stairs at least a couple dozen times to check on her needlessly.
4. Medela Pump In Style Advanced- Metro Bag- I love, LOVE this breast pump and it's a necessity as a working mom who will need to pump. My favorite feature (besides the bag it comes in) is that the pump part of this bag is removable and not actually built into the bag. It also comes with a battery pack, 4 bottles, cooler, and ice pack. The pump itself is easy to use although I did figure out that pumping both sides at once requires an extra set of hands, a hair elastic trick, or a special hands-free pumping bra.
5. Baby Bjorn Carrier and/or Moby- I put "and/or" because I use both of them frequently, but I could manage with just one or the other if I had to. I use the Bjorn carrier when I'm doing something that requires a little more support for the baby (like taking the dogs out or cooking) and I use the Moby mostly around the house or for taking M outside for walks without using the stroller. There are just some days that M insists on being held constantly and if it wasn't for the baby carriers the dogs would have accidents in the house, I'd pee my pants, and our house would be a pig sty. The carriers also help her feel my warmth and hold her close to my chest so it's great for getting her to fall asleep and nap on her fussy days.

Top 5 Items we don't use:
1. Battery operated nasal aspirator- Okay, I do like this little gadget, but the old bulb syringe does work just as well and our little one probably doesn't feel like her brains are going to be sucked out when we use the original. I'm sure once she's a little bigger I won't be able to hold her still long enough to use the battery one, too.
2. Safety 1st Complete Care bath center (Froggy)- This tub is cute and supposed to be a space saver, but it is a piece of plastic crap. It leaks (even after following the directions and reading the fine print) no matter what we do and the newborn holder slides all around in the tub and startles Mariela as I bathe her. The space saver idea is nifty, but a leaky tub is a PITA.
3. Carter's Cuddle Me Musical Swing- Safari Friends- I'm not sure if this is our child's preference or the swing itself, but she really hates the swing. At 7 weeks old we started to try it out with her again and can get her to stay in it maybe 10 minutes tops, but other than that she screams in it. I'm not sure if it would help if the mobile actually moved on it's own. I tried out my sister-in-law's swing which has motion from side-to-side vs. front-to-back and she stayed in that one no problem. I think we'll be investing in one of those swings for our next baby.
4. Summer Infant Incline Sleep Positioner- We tried this for all of one week before realizing it was pretty useless. A towel rolled up under her bassinet and pack 'n play mattress worked much better. With the sleep positioner she just slid right down it in her sleep, so that by the time she woke up she wasn't even on it anymore.
5. I can't think of anything else that we have and don't use so for this one I'll just list a few things that I know exist, we don't have, and are surviving without :). A bottle warmer, a sterilizer, baby wipe warmers, white noise machine, and a crib mobile.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Operation Garden 2010- Update 1

We have some progress on the garden front! A.R. spoke with the town and got permission to plant in the wetlands that are on our property, so his Dad and him have been clearing out an area and getting it ready to till. First, they had to mow it short with a lawn mower several times and then rake the grass away. When they attempted to till the soil the grass roots were too deep, so now they are tearing out the turf and roots with pitch forks and discarding it before they attempt to use a rotatiller again. After the tilling is done we'll put up the deer fence and then I can plant my seedlings.

My seedlings have all sprouted and are growing indoors until the weather gets a bit warmer. We've had a cold spell recently, so I've delayed transitioning them outdoors until it gets warmer again. Once it's warm again I'll move the seedlings to the porch for a week before planting them in the ground. The watermelon and carrot seeds will be planted directly in the ground.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

My 1st Mother's Day

My first Mother's Day was amazing. It felt so weird to be on the "mom" side of things this year. I LOVE being a Mom even with the sleep deprivation, Mariela's fussy times, the mustard poops, and shirts that now smell like milk and spit-up. It is the single most rewarding thing to watch my little girl smile, gurgle, and coo at me after her naps and watching my husband interact with his Princess brings tears to my eyes. He is already whipped by this little person and so am I!
My girl & I on Mother's Day
Mariela and her Dad conspired together to get me a gift certificate to a local spa where they want me to take a half day break from Mommyhood and enjoy a massage, facial, manicure, and pedicure. I can't wait to take advantage of it even if I'll feel a little guilty leaving my girl for some me time. My aching back needs the massage after carrying M around...come to find out 11 lbs 6 ounces (as of April 30th) of dead weight really can take a toll on your back muscles! The card Alexi gave me was so sweet it made me cry :). He put the envelope in M's bassinet and on the outside wrote, "This is heavy Mom. Please pick it up!!" so I'd find it when she woke up for her 7am feeding. Too cute! On the gift certificate A.R. wrote it like Mariela was speaking and said that he'd take care of her a.k.a they'd be hanging out at Grandma's house. I think my hubby might be a little intimidated to watch Mariela on his own for awhile! Awww.
M showing off for Mom on Mother's Day
Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there...Birthmoms, adoptive moms, moms-to-be, fur baby moms, and those that hope to be a mom someday soon!!