Sunday, October 30, 2011

She's baptised! FINALLY!

It was a lot of work, in a short amount of time, but we got it done!  We were very lucky to have all the help that we did.  The ceremony was beautiful (even though it clashed with Lucy's nap time) and the after party was low-key, very us.  We celebrated the day with family and friends, had some delicious food and some decent weather, the only thing person missing was Grampy... 

Wearing Momma's baptism gown
Being silly before church!
The cutest, most fashionable shoes there ever were
Hangin' in the Cry Room
The Ceremony

The whole gang with Pastor Steve
With Pastor Steve
Official Family Photo
With her Godparents, Uncle Cole and Auntie Fallon
In her party dress, next to the Ruffle Cake (that Momma made!)
With her Nestie Aunties, Baby Friends, Aunt Angela and Cousin Corbin
Playing with Cousin Corbin during her party

Friday, October 28, 2011

I hate Arizona.

There...I said it.  Sorry, AZ.  

Casey knows this.  My parents know this (my siblings agree!).  And now my readers know it too. 

I was born and raised (at least for the first ten years) in Connecticut.  And I will always be an Easterner at heart.  The holiday season, Fall especially, is the hardest for me.  No pumpkin patches, no flannel shirts, no hot cider...

Just my Pumpkin surrounded by pumpkins, in a bunch of dirt and rocks.
And that damn Arizona Sun had the nerve to melt my pumpkins...

Look at those pathetic, wilted things!  Frankenstein is sad.

Another strike against this craptastic state! 

I like to daydream about moving back east one day.  Buying a big, New England style house, with a wood deck off the kitchen and a grassy yard, lined with pine trees.  I picture Lucy running through the yard with her friends; having birthday parties and picnics; taking Lucy to the Durham Fair and eating way too many fresh donuts.  During the Fall months we'd roll in the freshly raked leaves and visit Lyman's Orchard for fresh Apple Cider.  And at Christmas we’d have a snow covered porch; Lucy would make a snowman in the front yard; and Casey would drag her around on a sled, like my Dad did with me.  

 I dream about buying back my childhood home...

Visiting Cedar Drive with Auntie Fal and Uncle Cole (May 2011)

Anyone else miss home around the holidays?    

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Are my standards too high?

I expect that when couscous spills all over the kitchen floor, it be vaccumed up.  Not kicked under the cabinet.

I expect our guests to not wear jeans to our (very clearly black tie) wedding. 

I expect family and friends to be supportive and respectful of our decisions.  Not the exact opposite. 

And I damn well expect our Pediatrician to call me back in a timely manner when my daughter hasn't pooped in SIX days!

In my opinion, certain things in life should be a given.  Apparently that makes me a huge pain in the ass...   So you tell me, am I off my rocker?

Nursing Bras

Wanna know something kind of gross?  I have two nursing bras.  (Three, if you count my very neglected sleep bra.)

Those bras are expensive, yo.

Last week I was wandering through the bra aisle at Target, having this internal debate, "Should I buy another bra?  Nahhhhhhh."  The way I see it, I've been doing just fine for the past seven months, why spend money now? 

And that's when I saw this...

A leopard print nursing bra, for the nursing momma that wants to feel sexy while nursing.  Just, why?

How many nursing bras do YOU have?  From what I hear, most of the nursing mommas I know only have two or three.   

Interested in guest blogging for GBS?  Let's chat!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Lucy is getting baptised!

This post was originally meant to be published last Thursday.  Of course, we all know certain circumstances prevented that from happening...  

(For the record I still don't know if it's spelled baptised or baptized.)

Remember this post?  Haha, week turned into three months, and we finally met with the Pastor on Wednesday night.  Did we drop the ball on this whole baptism thing, or what?  Sheesh!

The meeting went very well.  Casey really liked the Pastor and agreed with everything he had to say - he's even hoping to join the church band!  And the meeting, for me, confirmed what I already knew:  this faith, and this specific church, will be absolutely perfect for our family.  Pastor Steve got us excited about baptising Lulu and becoming active members of the church.

Lucy's baptism is scheduled for this Sunday, October 30, at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church.

I usually enjoy the thrill of party planning, but life is a little too hectic at the moment.  So we're keeping it low-key.  Just family and friends, and a little lunch at our house afterward.  And, lucky us!  The weather forecast is calling for some pretty beautiful weather that day.  Look for Lucy's baptism post sometime next week.

Also, if anyone is interested in guest blogging the week of November 7, get at me!     

Monday, October 24, 2011

Meet Mr. Bionic

I'd venture to say about half of Grampy's body is made of titanium steel. 

The man has a boatload of problems...and we'll leave it at that.

Last Thursday he gave us quite the scare.  (Hence my absence.)  Let me start by saying this man canNOT pass up a good buy.  He bought a giant palm tree - it's about 12 feet tall and weighs almost 500 pounds - that was on sale, to surprise my mom.  And being the manly man that he is, he decided to unload the tree from his truck.  By himself.

He blames the wind.  We blame him.

The tree AND hydraulic gurney fell on top of him.  Try to picture this...he fell backward, did a split, and at one point was laying on top of his left leg.  With a 500 POUND tree on top of him.  The tree eventually rolled over him (breaking his nose, putting his tooth through his lip, and nearly scalping his notorious skullet).  He laid in the driveway for God knows how long, screaming for help.  No one could hear him.  My sister was inside the house, watching Lucy, and there were no neighbors around.  Fallon finally came outside, because she needed to leave for work, and found him.  Imagine finding that?!

She called for an ambulance and he was rushed to the hospital.  My mom and I left work immediately and met him there.  This was the longest car ride of my life.  Fallon was crying, my mom was crying, I was crying. 

It took five fire fighters to move that stupid tree.  FIVE.

The nurses (very theatrically) cut his clothes off and took him for x-rays.  We later found out that he had broken his left femur.  That's right, the biggest bone in the body.  Since he's had both hips replaced (among other things), the break was around the steel rod in his femur.  He was scheduled for surgery the next day, where the doctor would make an incision from hip to knee, and attach another steel rod to the outside of his femur with cables.

The surgery was successful.  It took three hours and two blood transfusions, but it was successful.  Grampy comes home today, two days ahead of schedule.

Recovery is a minimum of 12 weeks.

This is NOT the way I expected to become a SAHM.  We'll use vacation time and FMLA to cover Lucy Duty for the next month.  We have one month to find a new plan.  One.month.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Success with Solids!

Please excuse the absurdly long and unedited video, my chief editor is watching House and I am utterly useless in that department.  Really, just the first 27 seconds will do the job. 

I have said several times that my Momma is a genius, and that was no exaggeration.  Last week, before jet setting back east for a long weekend, she discovered that Lulu liked oatmeal!  As in, no crying, spitting, or fighting - she actually liked it!!!  Up until this point, our journey with solid food had been quite frustrating.  It upset me that Lulu didn't enjoy eating "real" food, food that I made just for her.  So you can imagine the relief and excitement I felt when she ate a whole (baby-size) bowl of oatmeal and pears for me on Saturday night!

My mom always questioned why we didn't introduce cereal first.  Babies are used to one texture and a relatively bland, monotonous flavor prior to the introduction of solids, so it only makes sense that a fruit or vegetable might seem gross at first.  Maybe Lulu just needed some time to adjust to solids?  Or maybe cereal really is the best first food for babies?  I don't know the answer to that.  What I do know, is that Baby #2 will be starting out with oatmeal, fo sho.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

7 Months

This has been the best month yet, I wish I could freeze time.  Lulu, you are just so much fun right now!!!  You're happy, you're sweet, you're out of this world gorgeous.  Truth be told, your Daddy and I are the luckiest parents there ever were. 

At 7 Months

You are a professional sitter.  

You are starting to scoot your bum when you're sitting on our laps, but you're still not crawling.

You're a vocal little thing.  You're constantly jabbering about something, I love to listen to you tell me all about your day with Grampy and Auntie and Uncle.  

You've started raking your toys and banging them together.  I also think you've learned that if you throw your toy, someone will pick it up for you.  Fun!  

You have stranger anxiety.  It makes my heart ache to see you upset.   

You are finally eating solid food without putting up a fight.  Oatmeal was the magic food!  (Grammy was right.)  It took us almost three weeks, but by golly did we eventually get it.


You will never have another banana, not from me at least!  The poopsplosion still haunts me.  

You love to nurse and I love to nurse you.  Our next breastfeeding goal is 12 months. 

You're still not sleeping through the night.  Up once, twice, sometime three times a night.  I've tried eliminating nighttime nursing, and that seems to have helped things.

You still bed-share with your Momma and Dada.  And you're not going anywhere anytime soon.  

You weigh 22 pounds and are 28 inches long.  In my opinion, you're starting to stretch out and lose some chub.  ::insert sad face here::

You desperately need to start wearing size large diapers.  Maybe this weekend.  

Definitely this weekend.

You are wearing some 6-9 month clothing, also some 12 month clothing.  It is physically impossible to find a pair of baby jeans that fit you, seriously.  We even tried the 18 month size.

You are still toothless, yet all teething symptoms are present.

You had your first camping trip and you did great!

Your bedtime has recently crept up to 6:00 sharp, which means you now wake promptly at 4:30.  (Ew!)  It's for the better, really - Monday through Friday at least...not so much on the weekends, though.

You still follow the NAPS Program and typically go two 90-minute intervals (3 hours) between naps.  

Your schedule:

4:00-5:00 Wake up, get ready, head to Grammy and Grampy's
5:00-6:30 Nurse and snooze with Momma
6:45-8:30 Hang with Grampy and Uncle Cole
8:30-9:00 Enjoy bottle #1
9:00-10:00 Take a nap
10:00-12:30 Hang with Grampy and Auntie Fal
12:30-1:00 Enjoy bottle #2 and Meal #1
1:00-2:30 Take a nap
2:30-3:15 Hang with Grampy and enjoy bottle #3
3:15-5:00 Daddy gets home, head home and play
5:00-6:00 Momma gets home, Meal #2, bath, nursing and bedtime 

I don't think it's humanly possible to love you anymore than I do at this very moment.  You are the definition of love and happiness in my life. 

My Pumpkin, my love

Monday, October 17, 2011

Once A Month Cooking

This is how I spent my Sunday:

Amidst the chaos

Lulu's bedtime recently crept up to 6:00, and I suddenly have zero time to make dinner each night.  I had read about Once A Month Cooking (OAMC) here and it occurred to me that maybe this could help save us some time and some money.  For those not familiar with OAMC, you spend one (very long) day cooking, and then the rest of the month you just defrost and warm your meals.

The grocery shopping was a pretty daunting task.  So I devoted all of Saturday to just that.  I went to three different stores: Costco, Sprouts and Fry's; I spent a combined total of about $170 and it took almost 4 hours to do all the shopping.  Over the next four weeks we'll only need to buy produce, milk, and eggs each week.

Our menu included some Classic Shelton Faves and some new additions that I had bookmarked: 

Pioneer Woman's White Chicken Enchiladas served with refried beans 
White Veggie Lasanga
Italian Tomato Soup (recipe courtesy of Auntie Fallon and Grammy)
Bourbon Peppercorn Grilled Chicken served over salad, with a side of corn bread
Breaded Chicken Tenders served with sweet po fries and salad
Cheesy Pizza
Casey's Spicy Turkey Burgers served with salad
Lemon Thyme Salmon served with couscous
Teriyaki Salmon served with couscous
Lemon Basil Salmon served with couscous
Broccoli, Quinoa, Chicken Casserole
Salsa Chicken with Chipotle-style Cilantro Rice
Turkey Tacos served with refried beans
Sausage and Ham Breakfast Burritos 

Some meals are repeated throughout the month, like the grilled and breaded chicken and the salmon.  I made just about everything listed above, with the exception of salad and couscous, for obvious reasons.  Did you know you can freeze rice?  You can.  I cheated by using rotisserie chickens in the casseroles and enchiladas, and by using storebought pizza dough, but the rest of it was all me (and at times Casey), baby! 

It was A LOT of work, but worth it.  My feet are killing me, the kitchen is still a mess, and I didn't do an ounce of laundry all weekend.  We may not have clean underwear, but we've got food for the next month. 

Never mind all those pineapples in the background...

Anyone else out there do OAMC?  Would love some freezer-friendly recipes for next month!

Friday, October 14, 2011

I don't have Mommy Brain

You have to have a brain in order to have Mommy Brain!

I really feel like a brainless idiot 99% of the time.  And for those of you who know me in real life, you know that I used to be quite the opposite.  I was a list person.  I was a clean and organized person.  I was the overachiever and the perfectionist.  I had a clean house.  I made nice dinners.  You get the point...  And I did all of those things while working full-time and going to school full-time (and I maintained a 3.8 GPA, nonetheless!).    

Remember when I said that I wouldn’t go back to school?  Ha.  Even if I wanted to, there is no way in Hell that I could!  I apparently can't even put a sweater on correctly, let alone write a thesis.              

Here's a few of my most recent hiccups:

Spilled my breast milk (more than once!).

Started walking into things.  I carry so much crap, that I walk with a lean, and the other day I straight up smacked my head on the door jam of the nursery. 

Lost all patience, for anyone that's not Lucy.

Forgotten pretty much everyone’s birthday this year.  Thank God for Facebook, right?!

Forgotten to RSVP and/or lost the invitation to every baby shower that I’ve been invited to this year – 4 (or was it 5?) in the last six months.  And the one time I did remember to RSVP (for a birthday party, not a shower), I almost forgot to go!  Sorry Meg!!!

Became terribly, terribly tongue-tied.  I sound like a scattered, babbling idiot, talking faster than I can breathe.  I pity my poor husband and friends that have to decode my cryptic emails and text messages, with missing words and erroneous thoughts.  

Stopped paying my bills.  I finally set up auto-pay for the important stuff like credit cards and the mortgage, but utilities...  Meh.  They can wait.

"Relaxed" my cleaning standards.   By "relaxed" I mean we once went six days with the same pile of dirty dishes in our kitchen sink.  Maybe I should write a post about the filth, that could be fun.

Started leaving later and later and LATER for work.  I have a 45-55 minute commute (that's with a carpool buddy), so there's not a lot of cushion.  Pre-Lucy, I got to work ten minutes early.  Nowadays, I'm too ashamed to say.

And yesterday, when I got home from work, realized my sweater was on inside out.  ALL.DAY.LONG. 

Do you have Mommy Brain too?  Please tell me I'm not alone! 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Confessions: Week 16 & 17

Confession #33:  I forgot to wear nursing pads yesterday.  The experience say the least.  Upon realizing there were some disposable nursing pads in my pump bag (thank you, Casey!), I suddenly remembered why I switched to cloth shortly after Lulu was born.  The disposables are so bulky and gross, but better than leaking through my shirt at the office!

Confession #34:  Belted shirts and dresses are not compatible with breast pumping.  I found that out last week.  Twice.  Am I brilliant or am I brilliant?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

No, we're not trying... get pregnant.

Apparently that was the impression some people got from last weeks posts that were directed towards the newly pregnant GBS readers. 

Do we want another baby?  Yes, absolutely.  Several more, in fact.

Do we want another baby soon?  Umm....kinda soon, I guess.  Casey and I have always said a big fat positive pregnancy test would be a great Christmas present.  Lulu would be 9 months old, which would mean she and Baby #2 would be about 18 months apart, and we just so happen to love that age difference.  ;-)

When my doctor asked if I was interested in any form of birth control at my 6 week postpartum visit, I smiled and said, "No, thank you!"  You see, we're not trying to get pregnant, but we're also not trying to not get pregnant.  If I got a BFP tomorrow, I'd be thrilled (and slightly terrified)!  Lulu was the best surprise two people could ask for, and Casey and I agree that that would be the best way to have all of our children. 

Of course, breastfeeding is somewhat notorious for suppressing I think getting that BFP tomorrow is highly unlikely.  Our family is in God's hands, He has a plan for us, and we trust in Him completely.

When are you hoping to start trying to conceive Baby #2?  Is anyone else hoping to have two kiddos close in age? 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I fixed my boobs!

::throws arms into the air victoriously::

Who knew boobs could be so much work?

I used to be lopsided, dear friends.  Terribly, terribly lopsided.  Last week I noticed a very serious problem with my pumping situation...  At first I mistook the issue to be my supply in general, but I quickly realized my pumping output hadn't changed at all.  I was still pumping an average of 15 ounces while I was away from Lulu.  The problem was simply that Mrs. Right was only contributing about one fifth of the total volume.  (That's three ounces for the mathematically challenged.)

Three ounces in a ten hour period is pretty damn alarming.  And to be honest, I kind of lost my shit.

I have a tendency to over analyze, jump to the worst case scenerio, and eventually work myself up into a massive ball of stress.  In my mind I thought this was the end of my breastfeeding career, not with just Lucy, but with my future children.  And the idea of losing our nursing relationship now, after only six months, was absolutely crushing.  We all know that I love breastfeeding, so I'll do my best to contain my word vomit...  The bond that I've developed with Lucy through nursing has been one of the most beautiful and rewarding parts of being a mother, and, in my eyes, nursing is one of the best parts about being a mother.  And I am not ready to give that up. 

Ok, so, back to my boobs.

I immediately consulted my go-to breastfeeding gals (my Mom, Jaye, and Stacy) and Kellymom.  Going in, I sort of knew what the outcome would be.  Stimulation.  Breastfeeding is about supply and demand; if there is a demand, the milk supply increases.  Over the months I repeatedly made two mistakes in the stimulation department:  consistently offering Mrs. Left to Lulu first, and pumping Mrs. Left longer than Mrs. Right.  So you know what I did?

BOOM, baby!
I finally bought my double pump, and what a difference it has made.  Both boobs get pumped the same amount of time and for a longer amount of time.  And as an added bonus, I'm saving at least ten minutes per pumping session!  I test drove the new pump with a couple power pumping sessions last week and it was absolutely glorious.  

The breastfeeding gals even had me considering herbal supplements to encourage milk production.  And even though I had heard/read so many rave reviews about the use of Fenugreek, I was ultimately reluctant to use it.  The (rare, but still possible) side effects scare me too much, you can read about them here.  So I opted for some Organic Milkmaid Tea.  It doesn't work for everyone, but it seems to be helping me!  I drink it twice a day while at work, and holy geez does it has an interesting flavor; I can only describe it as unsalted chicken broth.

Yesterday my boobs were almost perfectly symmetrical in their output, but I began noticing a difference in Mrs. Right after day two of power pumping.

The things I do to feed my girl...

Has anyone out there ever been a little lopsided?  From what I hear, most women usually have an oversupply in their right breast, not the other way around - I guess that's just my luck...  Virtual high-fives to all those with double pumps!!!

Monday, October 10, 2011

My Weekend

I’m not usually one for weekend recaps, (because honestly, who cares about all the running around I did?) but this weekend three very special things happened:

1)     I learned how to use Pinterest and spent a good chunk of my “me time” on the Food and Drink board.  Also, for those thinking I'm evil and corrupt please note, my “me time” occurs between the hours of 9-10pm - after the kitchen has been cleaned, the diapers washed, and the Goose put to bed.   

2)    There was a poopsplosion.  (Back story:  I gave Lulu a couple bites of banana last Thursday and apparently a few critical bodily functions were held up.)  My poor baby has had the worst gas pains and stomach aches for the past two nights.  I was so nervous about introducing bananas, because we have a banana allergy in the family and bananas are notorious for causing constipation; and as a breastfed baby, Lulu is more prone to constipation.  I should have listened to my gut and held off on introducing them...  Momma FAIL.  I will never give this girl another banana.  Is anyone else out there dealing with infant constipation?  Any suggestions?     

3)    And Lulu had her 6 month portrait session.  We absolutely loved our photographer!  She took us out to DC Marketplace, bright and early, on Sunday morning.  The weather was beautiful, Lulu looked stunning AND cooperated 98% of the time, and we got some gorgeous pictures.  We’ve only seen a preview, but we are sooo in LOVE and cannot wait to see the rest.  Check em’ out!     

Friday, October 7, 2011

Dear God,

Thank you for Lucy.  Thank you for her health, her happiness, and her beauty.  Thank you for choosing me to be her mother.

Thank you for Casey.  Thank you for giving me such a caring and loving husband.  Thank you for leading me to my soul mate so early in life. 

I love you. 

Always the Pack Mule

Somehow it's easier for me to carry the diaper bag, my purse, my lunch, my pump bag, a water bottle, and a change of clothes, than it is for me to carry my kid in her car seat.

Lucy = 21 pounds
Car seat = 7 pounds
Lucy + Car seat = More than I care to handle

Same story when it comes to grocery shopping.  I'll grab a dozen grocery bags before I'll grab Lulu.  (I make Casey carry her, I don't leave her roasting in the car.)

I feel like maybe, just maybe, this looks a little funny.  I, the "dainty" wife, carrying enough crap for a ten people, and my manly husband is carrying the infant car seat with our cute chubby baby. 

Maybe it's time to bust out the convertible car seat.

Gee, ya think Ma?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

What you really need before baby is born...

Hello Mr. Nikon!

It wasn't so long ago that I came to the sad realization that 1) I didn't blog nearly enough while I was pregnant, and 2) We waited waaay too long to upgrade our camera.   

We have taken thousands of pictures since Lulu was born.  And last night, while scrolling through our delivery room pictures, I saw a noticeable difference in picture quality.  Don't you?

Old camera:

New camera:

Ladies, don't make my mistakes.  Don't wait until your daughter (or son) is four months old to buy a new camera.  Also, blog it up.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I miss being pregnant.

29 weeks

Even though I gained 44 pounds (albeit, mostly in my ass and face) and got a lot of stretch marks, I miss it.  

I miss the special feeling I woke with every morning, knowing my sweet little baby was growing inside my belly.  

I miss the baby kicks.  (To be fair, Lulu still kicks me all the time.  She also has a mean backhand.)  Feeling an inside kick for the first time.  The friendly little Hello! I'd get while sitting at my desk. 

I miss the belly.  All the belly rubs, the awkward and the welcomed.  Casey's hand gravitating to my belly with pride.  Watching little body parts poke out. 

I miss the unknown.  Being pregnant, especially for the first time, is like waiting for Christmas morning.  The excitement builds with each day, until you finally get to open the best present ever.

32 minutes

If you are newly pregnant, I wish you a happy and healthy 9 months.  I hope that you will savor each and every minute, even when you're uncomfortable, sweating and oozing, because this time will fly by.  And once baby is here, your life will forever be on fast forward.  

And if you're a fellow new momma, do you miss being pregnant yet?    

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Newly Pregnant: What to Read

I have loads of advice for the newly pregnant, but I'll spare you my ranting and leave you with just a few nuggets of information.

1)  Try your absolute hardest to not pig out.  Seriously.
2)  Never pay full price for maternity clothes (think clearance sections, as-is sections, Goodwill, eBay, Craigslist, and your previously pregnant friends).   
3)  Read these books:

Your Pregnancy Week by Week

This book was hugely helpful and informative, I carried it around everywhere when I was pregnant.  It covers the physical changes to you and baby every week (weight gain, fetal development, etc.), symptoms, milestones, pretty much everything you need to know.  It even has a section for overdue pregnancies and postpartum care. 

Belly Laughs

::chuckles::  LOVED this book!  There were times that I literally loled while reading this book (which makes for a very awkward lunch room environment, by the way).  Jenny McCarthy is hysterical, personable, and informative in her pregnancy memoir.  This was a quick read, and, by far, my favorite pregnancy book.

The Baby Owners Manual

For those that need explicit direction on how to change a diaper, this book is for you!  It covers just about everything you need to know, from feeding baby to bathing baby, and everything in between.  Neither Casey or I had much experience with babies Pre-Lucy, so this book was perfect for us.  Also, this book is written in large, colorful font, with lots of pictures interspersed throughout, so it is very husband-friendly!  Bonus!

Babyproofing Your Marriage

I remember yelling, "We're going to hate each other!" when I told Casey the news (that was the fear talking).  I was deathly afraid that our marriage would deteriorate into a ball and chain routine; I'd be an even bigger nag, he'd be lazy, and we'd hate each other.  This book taught me a lot of things.  1)  How to chillax.  2)  The importance of date night.  3)  Parenting is a two-person job.  I suggest leaving it in the bathroom so your husband reads it too.

Pregnancy Sucks for Men

Casey did not love this book.  In fact, he said this book should actually fall under the What Not to Read category.  The tone is pessimistic (as one would expect), but so is the overall message...  Advice centers around appeasing your wife and "surviving" the pregnancy.   

Don't Just Stand There

A less traditional option for the dad-to-be, this book is geared towards labor coaches.  It's short and sweet, has big font and colorful pictures, and it even has a space for note-taking.  Casey loved it!  It teaches men how to be engaged and helpful in the delivery room, and since I was anticipating a med-free birth, this was of the utmost importance to the both of us.  Lotta good that did! 

The 90-Minute Baby Sleep Program

This is a book I wish we had read Pre-Lucy, oh the trouble it would have saved.  This book is genius and life-changing.  Read about our experience with the N.A.P.S. program here.

See, see!  I told you we did a lot of reading Pre-Lucy!!!  (Finding time to read now is near impossible.)  What were your go-to reads while you were pregnant?  Do you have any recommendations or advice for the newly pregnant ladies out there?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Analyzing the Baby Registry

There have been a lot of new pregnancies announced recently!

It makes me miss the big belly, the baby kicks, and the anticipation leading up to D-Day.  I loved being pregnant, and I've missed it terribly.  So this week I'm reliving my pregnant days, and hopefully I'll help a few of the newly pregnant in the process.

I remember when we created our baby registry.  Good Lord that was stressful!  Truth be told, I had no idea what I was doing.  My cheap self tried to cut cost wherever possible and my OCD self tried to avoid cluttering the house with useless junk.  I've come to realize some things really are worth the money and some things really are useless.

Worth the Money

Double Breast Pump.  I've bitched about my single pump countless times.  It's a great pump, don't get me wrong, but it takes me twice as long to pump.  And being a working momma, I have zero time to spare.  Unfortunately, the Medela double pumps cost more than my car payment, so I still haven't made this purchase.  (Also, I feel like buying a double pump is like admitting I'll never be a SAHM.)

Space Saver High Chair.  (Thanks for the rec, Jaye Fay!)  Our teeny, tiny house can use all the help it can get in space saving.  Our first, more traditional, high chair has been re-homed to Grammy and Grampy's house, where Lulu gets one of her two meals each day.

YAY for saving space!

Baby Carrier.  Sadly, I cannot recommend the perfect carrier.  I've rotated through four different carriers/slings/wraps and I haven't really loved any of them.  Currently rocking an Infantino Flip and it's okay.

Repin' the Infantino at Natural Bridge State Park

Baltic Amber Teething Necklace.  Lulu is still toothless.  That doesn't stop her from drooling up a storm, though.  This necklace drastically reduced her drooling after just a few days.  I know it sounds crazy, but it really works.  There is a noticeable increase in drool on the days that we forget to put her necklace on. 

Extra Prefolds.  Note the strategic placement on the high chair above, ready to catch rejected pears in a moments notice.  You can never have enough burp cloths, I recommend a minimum of two dozen.  During our first three days home with Lucy, Casey ran out to the store each day to buy another package of cloth diapers.    

Jumperoo.  It never occurred to me to buy one of these until I saw pictures of another friends baby in one at daycare.  (Hi Becky!)  Lulu loves hers!  She'll spend 15-20 minutes in it at a time, just playing and having fun; which gives me a chance to get a couple things done around the house.  We found ours on clearance, score!

Not Worth the Money  

Wipe Warmer.  (Sorry, Meg!)  Maybe it's our secondhand warmer, but the wipes are cold by the time they reach Lulu's tush. 

Bottle Warmer.  Casey prefers to run the bottle under warm tap water in the sink.  It gets the job done quicker and more accurately.

Travel System Stroller.  Where to begin...I hate ours.  It is confusing, it's heavy, it's bulky, it takes up the entire trunk, it just sucks.  Do not buy a travel system.  I've heard great things about jogging strollers, but they're a little pricey for this girl.  Baby #2 will be getting the Baby Trend Snap N Go stroller.  Hello, compact!  And then we'll use a cheapy umbrella stroller when Baby #2 gets older (or bigger, whichever comes first).

Moby Wrap.  Casey loves to remind me of my stupid expenditures.  I wanted to like the Moby, I really did.  I read so many rave reviews online, I just knew it would be the perfect solution to our babywearing problems.  Except, I didn't understand what a "wrap" really was (mind boggling, I know); I didn't realize the Moby was 5.5 meters of fabric that I would have to wrap around my body.  Even after I learned how to put the Moby on, I didn't like the limited carrying positions.  It was ideal for a little Goosey, when she enjoyed snuggling against Momma; but now that she's gotten older and more curious, she is constantly whipping her head around.  So, in my opinion, it's not worth the money for two months of use.

Travel Swing.  We have two swings.  One is really nice, it's huge, but really nice.  And the other is small, portable and lacking power.  We received the Fisher Price Rainforest Swing from Casey's co-workers - it was phenomenal!  Sadly, I didn't realize this until after re-homing it.  It had music, a mobile, and a lot of power; it also has a leg span of 5 feet (precious space that our house couldn't forfeit).  So we bought a travel swing for our house; which was very compact, but I have a problem with the power source...  It only takes batteries!  D batteries, nonetheless!!  So not only is it expensive to use, it has limited swinging capabilities.  If you find yourself in a similar predicament, just get over the space issue.

If you take anything away from this post, be it the importance of a double breast pump and the mistake that is the travel system stroller.  What are your must haves?  Have you found any baby gear to be totally useless?