Monday, August 31, 2009


Yes, it's me. Just promoting this great cause. I'm in the middle of writing a blog and have been since last Wednesday. Pathetic. Anyway, hopefully I'll have that for you soon. In the meantime...

Monday, August 17, 2009

My list of baby must-haves

I made a list of my "must have" baby items because I was asked to list them on another forum. I have absolutely no vested interest in these companies other than hopefully sharing this and making your life with a baby easier or your baby shower gift-giving easier.

• Itzbeen Timer - Probably our #1 best gift. I know I've already sung its praises, but here iI go again. Helped especially during the first few weeks to tell us when she last ate, got a diaper change, and slept. It also helped tell me when I last took my pain meds so I knew when it was okay to take them again. You can even set a timer on each button if, for example, you want to wake your baby up every 3 hours to eat. Yeah, we're past that. She's sleeping 5-7 hours every night and there's no way I'm waking that baby now!

• KidzMed (I think that's the name) Thermofocus No-Touch THermometer - TOTALLY worth the money. We use it to test the temperature of her bath water, her bottle, and to check for a fever. We use it ALL of the time. Before we bought it, Amelia HATED her bath but then we realized it was because it was too cold for her. Now it's the perfect temp every time and she LOVES bathtime.

• FP My Little Lamb Cradle 'n' Swing - She's in it right now. It puts her to sleep and I'm struggling with whether or not I should keep it going once she's out.

• Boppy - Great for nursing but she also likes hanging out in it next to me on the couch and (shh - don't tell anyone) sleeping in it on the couch or next to me on the bed in the morning when she won't go back to sleep at 5am

• Kiddopotamus SwaddleMe, although we liked the newborn Halo Sleepsack swaddler (pictured) that the hospital gave us better until she outgrew it. We're Halo people from now on! We swaddle her every night before bed.

• Playtex VentAire Advanced bottles - They have a wide, slow flow nipple and sometimes I pump and give her a bottle but there's been no confusion between the two so far...which leads me to my next favorite thing...

• Lansinoh Breast Milk Storage Bags - They are easy to open and, when filled, they stand on their own so you don't have to worry about them spilling over in your fridge. They have a space to write the date and any other notes. The seal is strong and I've never had a problem at all with them leaking...Love them!

• Moses basket - we didn't buy one but my sister let us borrow hers and I LOVE it. We have a King sized bed so we just put the basket in the middle of us in the bed and that makes her easy access for either of us.

• Wedge sleep positioner - I think it gives her the feeling of being in a tighter space, almost like being held. And we can turn her more on her side a little bit when we lay her down. It's similar to what's pictured but it's not even that advanced. It's just a piece of felt with two triangles velcroed to it. A friend let us borrow it and I really like it!

• The First Years Sure Comfort Deluxe Tub - We love it. It fits in the sink and has an infant sling for her to sit in as well as little compartments for baby wash, washcloths, etc. She loves her bath.

• Socks from Babies R Us - I can't think of the name at the moment and they're not online, but they start with an "M" and you can get them in pink or white (maybe blue...I don't know b/c I don't have a boy). They ALWAYS stay on! Until Amelia grows into some of the other socks we have, these will be mostly what she wears. I LOVE them. I wish I could find a picture but no luck! Look for them - they ROCK!

• Safety 1st Easy Saver Diaper Pail - Uses regular trash bags, doesn't stink, and is a cinch to use. Nice neutral color.

• FP Rainforest Play Gym - We haven't used it a ton yet but when we put her under it she loves it and will coo at the animals and smile and stare. The mat is very soft but durable and the colors are bright and the lights really keep her attention.

• Playtex Ortho-Pro Pacifier - Amelia loves them and they stay in. They even come with a little snap-on lid that you can fill with water and stick in the microwave to sanitize it. It also serves as a paci protector.

• Eddie Bauer Travel Mirror - It's big, round & gray and attaches to the back seat so you can see your baby. The mirror is nice & big. $20 is a little steep for a mirror but we've found it worth it so far. It has velcro on pretty much every square inch of the back so that you can adjust it however you want for the perfect viewing of your baby.

• Yoga Ball - ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY! We already had one, but it's a lifesaver with a little one. Sometimes that's the only thing that soothes her!

• Prince Lionheart Wipes Warmer - I know it sounds silly to get a wipes warmer for your baby. It's a diaper change, after all, and the wiping only lasts a couple of seconds. We didn't think we'd care about a wipes warmer...until we got one and used it. Millie has been known to sleep through her diaper changes and I'm almost positive it's because she's already a spoiled child and gets diaper changes with warm wipes on her little tush. Seriously, though, it's a nice little item to have especially when your child blows out her pants a few times a week. Instead of screaming while I (or D) wipe her down, she lays there, calmly, looking quite proud of herself.

• Chicco Cortina Travel System - I feel like this should go without saying, but I love it so much that I'm going to say it anyway. I l-o-v-e this travel system. Everything clicks into place so easily and Amelia falls asleep in her car seat almost all of the time. We got this as a gift from a very dear friend, but it's well worth the investment if you're in the market for a travel system!

That's all I can think of for right now. Of course we're thankful for everything we have; it's just that some things have really come in handy and I felt the need to share them with you.

Just have to record this...last Wednesday was R-O-U-G-H. Amelia started her fussiness around 7pm. She wouldn't nurse but I thought she was acting hungry. My parents and grandparents met us at Bible class then afterwards we went to dinner where Amelia was grumpy the entire meal. When we left, we were hoping that being in the car would put her to sleep since it usually does 99% of the time. Nope...she screamed so hard that I had D pull over so I could take her out of her seat. She was sweating and shaking because she was crying so hard. Talk about breaking my heart into pieces. D was able to get her to sleep by bouncing her in the parking lot of a gas station. She woke up again when we got home so I kept trying to nurse her while, intermitently, family members would try to rock her, bounce her, and shush her to sleep. I can't even remember when she fell asleep - 12:30am maybe? It might have been later. That night she slept for 7 hours. She has been consistently sleeping around 5 hours then going back down for another 3-4 and I would gladly take that over the fussy, unhappy baby I had on my hands last Wednesday. Poor baby.

I'm still recovering from Millie's birth. Yes, it's been almost 7 weeks. Tomorrow is my 6 week postpartum follow-up so I'm hoping to walk out of there a new woman. I had some complications that have made recovery very difficult but hopefully after seeing my doctor tomorrow that will all be in the past!

I'm going to make up a monthly menu so if you have any easy dishes that include ground beef, chicken, or pork and you're willing to share your recipe, let me know!

P.S. Sorry that my posts have been all about baby stuff. If I had something else to write about, I would, but right now she is my full-time job and I don't get out much :)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Family Photos

Tomorrow is date day! My in-laws are watching the baby for a few hours so that D & I can go see "The Time Traveler's Wife" and have lunch. I read the book a couple of weeks ago so I'm excited to see the movie.

My parents and grandparents were in town Wednesday night through this evening and that was fun. My mom, granny & I went to lunch today then to JoAnn Fabrics so I could get a starter sewing pattern and fabric and get to using my new sewing machine. We had a lot of fun together and I feel a lot more comfortable with knowing where things are in the fabric store now. I'm excited to get started.

Last Sunday, my friend Sarah took pictures of our little family. I'm sure most of you have seen the pictures on Facebook already, but here's a little collage I put together of some of Sarah's fine work! I think you can click on it to make it larger.

Sarah Hewlett Photography
I created a birth announcement and we'll send those out at some point soon. Probably next week. After we've sent them out I'll post a picture of it.

Ok, that's all I've got for tonight. Amelia has been sleeping for the last 45 minutes and I'm pretty sure she's down for the night so I should be sleeping, too.

Chicago trip in a little less than 4 weeks. Crazy!

Monday, August 10, 2009

The GREAT Grandmas!

This might take a while.

My little girl is getting so big already. I'm jumping right in with some of her more noteable traits because I'm afraid if I start rambling I'll forget what I wanted to say.

She's a stretcher. She stretches a lot. She's also a squirmer. Between the stretching and the squirming she can become hard to hold. I've noticed that she is usually more content being laid down by herself than she is being held; as a matter of fact, sometimes she'll fuss and cry and I'll lay her down and she quiets right down and just looks around. D was feeding her with milk I had pumped earlier then he went to change her. He had something he needed to do so he handed Amelia to me. She was fussy so he put her in the swing and there she remained. She's currently swinging in her swing, sucking on her pacifier and scowling at the window blinds. I think part of the "lay me down and leave me" comes from the fact that she is a gassy little girl. I've started yesterday taking fenugreek to up my milk supply so I can start freezing some and I'm not sure if that's what's doing it but her toots really stink. Oftentimes I'll think she has dirtied her drawers because of the stench and there's nothing there. I'm sure you were waiting for an update on Amelia's gas.

I've got a little girl that fights sleep...she fights it hard. The reason she's scowling right now is because she's trying really hard not to shut her eyelids. She'll even whine before succombing to sweet slumber. She's been staying awake for longer stretches of time during the day and has been for the last couple of weeks. We're not complaining - know why? She's been giving us 5-6 hour stretches of sleep at night and then usually she'll go back down for another 3 hours. Granted, she spends at least an hour or two before going to bed screaming her little lungs out, but really that was in the past. We feel like we know what she needs now and have established somewhat of a routine. She starts screaming between 10 and 11pm...she's hungry. I feed her until one or both of us are frustrated. The frustration comes from the fact that she's cluster feeding so she'll eat then headbutt me while crying for a while then eat for a second then headbutt for 5 minutes then eat for a couple of seconds and cry for 5 minutes. After I've given her what I can I hand her to D and hopefully he's got a bottle of my milk that I pumped earlier to feed her so that she gets every ounce of food that she wants before going to bed. Lately my stash of milk has dwindled (as mentioned in the above paragraph) so all she has is me. I still feed her until I can tell she isn't hungry anymore (an indication is that she's not swallowing the milk anymore - it's pooling in her mouth and spewing out on me when I lift her up to burp her) then we swaddle her, stick her pacifier in her mouth, and rock/bounce her to sleep or until she's drowsy enough to fall asleep on her own once she's in the Moses basket. We have a sleep positioner in the Moses basket that we put her in...we tilt her a little so that she's on her side just slightly. Have I already said this?

D went back to work today, for good. Amelia and I did great! She's such a good baby. She spit up down my shirt and all over herself but that's the only real "issue" we had. I have to brag on her that for her first road trip, she slept through the entire thing. We were on the road for almost 3 hours and she was completely zonked for the trip both on the way there and on the way home. When we got home last night it was about 11pm and since D had to go back to work today I was preparing myself for a long night of cluster feeding and frustration and having to go it alone. However, she slept for another 15 or so minutes after we got home so I could get ready for bed then she woke up, ate, then went right back to sleep and didn't wake up until 5 hours later when D was getting ready for work. After she ate that time, she slept another 3 hours. I felt great today! She makes travelling seem not so hard!

Anyway, I better get to talking about this last weekend or this will turn into a novel.

Amelia got to meet 3 of her great grandmas this weekend! The only one missing was my dad's stepmom whom we affectionately called Grandma Donna when we were little (and still do!). We're hoping she makes the trip West from Oklahoma this summer!

We went to see D's mom's mom, Grandma "Jay" on Friday. She lives in an assisted living facility but she's sharp as a tack. When we visit, D usually runs around fixing little things in her apartment while she and I chat. She really enjoyed holding Amelia and talking to her. Here's D with his grandma "Jay" and Amelia.

On Saturday we went to D's parents' house for his grandma "B"'s 80th birthday party. It was really fun to see his dad's side of the family. We all live relatively close but we rarely see each other. I'm still trying to figure that out since we have so much fun when we're together! D has a couple of cousins who have had babies in the last 5 months or so, so Amelia will have a couple of playmates at family gatherings as she grows!

Here's D's grandma with Amelia. I love this picture because it looks like Grandma and Amelia are deep in conversation about something. There's also a picture of D's mom, me, D, his dad, and his grandma with Amelia. The 4 generations picture!

And just because I like this photo:

That afternoon we headed down to Oregon. My grandparents are down there and my mom scheduled a family photo session for Sunday afternoon. I just realized how many photos we've had professionally taken this last weekend. There was a photographer at D's grandma's birthday party and she got some family photos as well as a picture of just our little family; we also had the professional photo session on Sunday afternoon with my family; then on Sunday night D & I had Amelia's picture taken and some shots of our family by a very talented friend of ours for Amelia's birth announcements (when is too late to send those out?).

Anyway, it was a short trip but a fun one.

::::I waited too long to finish this and now it's cluster feeding time:::

Actually that was painless. I'm probably speaking too soon, but I just "topped her off", bounced her for about 10 minutes, then laid her in her Moses basket. She's sleeping next to her daddy in her basket so I am going to make this quick. Time's ticking.

Here's a picture of Amelia's "great gran" - my mom's mom. She's my granny and I love her very much. She and my granddad were huge parts of my childhood and continue to be a very large part of my life. Unfortunately they live in Colorado so we don't get to see them near as often as we'd like, but when they do come to town they're a lot of fun. They're driving up here to Seattle on Wednesday with my parents to stay for a couple of days. I'm VERY excited.

And here's a picture of my sweet mom with Amelia then a picture of my younger sister, Lindsay, holding Amelia and her husband, Craig, holding their precious baby, Kate. I didn't take as many pictures in Oregon as I would have liked, but these are the ones I have!

Amelia's awake. She woke up crying which woke D up. I felt bad. Now she's sitting next to me in her Boppy, completely tired but unwilling to drift off. She keeps losing her pacifier. She's sleeping at the moment but that will change when she realizes that she's sleeping.

D & I got to go on a little date last Thursday. I'll tell you about it later. For now, I'm going to try to get this little girl to sleep then drift off to Dreamland myself.

Have a great Tuesday!