WW: My Happy Baby

As I’ve mentioned before, Lexie was not a happy baby; Jax on the other hand? I’m not kidding when I saw he’s been a blessing!

Ribbet collage smile

My Must have Baby Items: 0-3 months

Ribbet collage

 

Everyone has an opinion on what baby gear you need, just like everyone has an opinion of how to raise a baby. Aside from the blankets, clothes, diapers, here are my must have items (in no particular order), the items I couldn’t live without!

hpa-lanolin-500_500_500Lansinoh Lanolin: if you’re a nursing mom you know from the moment they bring you your baby they also bring this. It is something I still use regularly and is a {nipple} life saver.

 

boppypillowsBoppie Pillow: Wither it’s for you or someone else holding baby, feeding baby or even just for baby to sit in a Boppie pillow makes TLC baby time that much easier.

 

rnpRock-n-Play: This is my number one item to buy for new mom’s, these came out when Lexie was about a month old and Hubs and I drove a few hours to get one. It had been suggested by my friends on the bump because Lexie loved to be cuddled to sleep, and it was a life saver! In addition to cuddling the baby while keeping him/her at an incline it also is on curved legs so it’s easy to rock and folds up with the push of two buttons for travel or storage.

 

V1179-luv-u-zoo-cradle-n-swing-d-1The Swing: When I first got pregnant with Lexie my cousin told me what swing to register for, I wanted something cute and wasn’t paying attention to features; lets just say she had better ideas. When looking into a full size swing check to see if it changes positions (the one pictured above has three position options), some babies like the side to side others front to back, plus one that has the option of plugging in or batteries is a great option as well; you may end up spending a little more but you get what you pay for.

 

BLP50-twinkling-lights-spacesaver-cradle-n-swing-d-1The “Travel” Swing: Yes we have both and I highly recommend getting both. The one we have also has a vibration setting and lock seat position to work as a bouncer seat too. Having the option to take a portable, light weight swing with you for family parties, or weekends away (even to the sitters) is amazing. It is how I get to eat when we go to family parties, or how a fussy baby can be happy and everyone can watch and enjoy the smiling child. I didn’t know they made such a thing until we were at a a family party when Lexie was about 6 weeks old and someone had theirs in their trunk and brought it in to try soothing Lexie; lets just say we bought one on the way home!

 

whatisktan

Baby K’tan: There are many carriers on the market, I like this one the best for the little ones. Not only because of the ease of use but also because it’s easy to pack and has many, many options. I can get it on and off within a few seconds and can carry Jax upright or in a cradle position to nurse while wearing him. I do suggest researching carriers to find what one might be best for you, if you have a baby boutique vs a chain store they’ll usually have a few open so you can really get a feel for them; if not look around on Youtube for review videos of real people (not just the company that wants to sell it to you).

 

4Udder Covers: Having a newborn means feeding him/her when  he/she wants. Sure you can try to feed right before you leave the house to run that errand but guess what? Yeah, never worked for me either. I understand that legally you don’t have to cover to breastfeed, but if you do choose to cover; having an actual cover is 100x easier than just using a blanket. The baby can’t pull it off and a good one like Udder Covers have binding at the top (making a U shape) so you can see in while others cannot.

W2621-discover-n-grow-kick-and-play-piano-gym-d-1Multi-use Baby Mat: Wither it’s for Tummy Time, floor play or just to engage baby on his/her own a good play-mat is a must. Personally, I love the Fisher Price one pictured above. It’s a reasonable price, and grows with baby. It can be a play-mat as pictured above, modified for a tummy mat, and the piano is even removable for when baby out grows the mat.

 

baby_dinoWubbanub: Not all baby’s take a pacifier, but with the Wubbanub’s you have more options. If the pacifier is spit out it’s easier to find, it also allows the child more control of the pacifier; and the softness of a soothe stuffed animal with many different options to choose from.

 

fisher-price-seahorse-450x450

Soothing Sea Horse: The fisher price soothe and glow sea horse play’s a soothing melody while it’s tummy glows. This is one item that Lexie still has and sleeps with every night.

 

dy-044_1z

Cloud B Twilight Turtle:  Like many of these items, whomever created it is a genius.  The Twilight Turtle has three color options that project a star filled night sky when turned on. This is another item Lexie still turns on every night before bed. Jax is starting to focus more and loves staring up a the lights projected on the ceiling, I even find it calming.

What are your can’t live without baby items for baby’s first few months? Do you have any of the above?

To the mom of a colicky baby…

It’s taken me a long time to get pasted the judgement people (in public) put on a parent and their crying baby; surely they must be something wrong? I’ve had people look at me time and time again as if I don’t know my babies crying, yes I know; trust me I KNOW!

I can’t remember a time when Lexie didn’t cry, not at first at least. She was born screaming and for those first six months she rarely stopped. I was given a private room because she woke up so many other babies and momma’s. Our first night home after I nursed I tried to sleep and listened for 30-45 minutes while Hubs tried to calm her, soathe her, just make her stop; make her happy! I remember coming down stairs (not the easiest thing 4 nights after a c-section) and finding him pacing in her room, holding her, talking to her; pleading with her to just stop crying. It was never a little cry either, it was a world ending screech.  I remember Hubs looking at me with tears in his eyes asking what he was doing wrong? did she just not like him? I took her and she kept screaming, I called the nursery and the nurse asked me if we’d changed her? burped her? fed her? had we dropped her? possibly injured her? No, she’d been held, we’d laid her down, she wasn’t too warm, she had just ate less than an hour ago and had burped; she had a clean diaper. She then asked me if I’d tried nursing her again? No, why would I? I’d been advised to feed every 90mins to 2 hours no more (Yeah…we’ve learned a LOT since that night). I tried and she latched and ate and I stayed up the rest of the night nursing on demand (as the nursery nurse had advised).

One month old

One month old

It didn’t get better. Our one week check up with the Pedi I was a wreck and Lexie was screaming through her visit; the pedi recommended formula  (or Pedialyte) every other feeding “to give mom a break”. A break from what? nursing wasn’t the problem, she was gaining she just screamed. The saying goes a baby eats, sleeps, poops, for Lexie there was the 4th component…screaming. She wasn’t spitting up and nothing made her happy so it was just colic.

When Lexie was about 2-3 weeks old we went out for lunch with GG and some friends that were in from out of town; it was a disaster. We must have been severely sleep deprived to agree to it, looking back that’s all I can think. Lexie was sleeping when we arrived; but never having been a good sleeper if there was noise she quickly awoke and began screaming. People stared; and wondered if the baby was hurt (yes, she was that loud and heartbreaking when she screamed)? The waitress asked if I needed anything and I remember wanting to scream “yes, for my baby to stop screaming!” I ended up walking with Lexie and nursing her in another part of the restaurant (I wasn’t yet comfortable nursing in public).

Dada and Lexie, another day...

Dada and Lexie, another day…

At around 6 weeks we attended a family birthday party. Lexie was sleeping when we arrived and GG wanted her and I remember saying you can have her when she wakes up (or something to that extent) and GG assuring me she’d stay sleeping just hand her over; she’d cuddle her. Feeling like I was being mean when everyone wanted to see her (it was their first time), I handed her over…not 5 minutes later Lexie was awake and screaming and everyone kept asking if she was okay? what was wrong with her? I took her into a bedroom to nurse her and broke down (again) crying with her trying to get her to stop so she would nurse (it was the only thing that stopped her). Hubs looked defeated, I knew I was past that point; and GG came in with tears in her eyes apologizing again and again. I looked up and asked her “why can’t I have a happy baby? why can’t she EVER be happy?”  There were 4-5 other babies at the party and none of them had even made a peep; why was mine so miserable?

She even made other babies cry!

She even made other babies cry!

From that day on I had to remind myself that it wouldn’t last, someday she would be happy; we would be happy. I started doing research and found an article (I wish I had kept it) that referred to colicky babies as high maintenance; and that’s how we started thinking of Lexie.

There were evenings Hubs would come home for work and ask what he could do; and all I wanted was 5 minutes of peace. I would nurse her and then he would take her to his parents to give me time, I would literally just sit and stare into space enjoying the silence; and it would allow me to recharge.

At Lexie’s 3 month appointment they assured me it wouldn’t last much longer, at her 4 month they encouraged me to keep taking it day by day; she was stubborn one but she should grow out of it “anytime”. At this point it wasn’t all day long but it was all evening; but it was an improvement.

Almost 3 months old

Almost 3 months old

About a week before her 6 month check up we noticed suddenly she wasn’t crying as loud or for as long; but I knew her 6 month check up meant shots and that was never a good time. We had extra nurses in the room when we did her shots and no one could believe it; she cried the moment of the shots and then was silent. We all stared, this was the child that any other time she’d had shots she’d become so upset we had to blow in her face to make her breathe, otherwise she’d just turn red and “wind up.”  We were getting her ears pierced that day as well, hey if she was already going to be mad why not? I was completely shocked with then same thing happened, she cried at first (not even a scream) then nursed and then was fine! That was our turning point, and you know what? We got our happy baby, sure she still had her moments but they were few and far between.

My Happy 6 Month Old!

My Happy 6 Month Old!

So, Colicky Mom (Dad, Grandparent, etc) my advice to you? Take it day by day, ask (and accept) help in any form; it won’t hurt for baby to “yell” at someone else for a while and you’ll need to recharge. If you’re home alone with baby and need a break take it; there were a few times I would feed, change and lay Lexie in her crib; shut the door and walk away and count to 10 (or 100, and sometimes more). As hard as it is, remember this isn’t forever, someday (hopefully sooner than later) it will end and you will have a happy baby.

Sometimes those days seem like yesterday, other time like a lifetime ago; we’ve learned some much since then. I’ve been told Lexie is stubborn and strong willed and I think back to those early days and laugh; “more than you know” is my reply.

And even with a happy baby (now preschooler), there’s never a dull moment!

Lexie and Mom-Mom

Lexie and Mom-Mom

A few of my favorite things, Etsy Edition

I often wonder what we would do if we didn’t have the internet, would more people attend craft fairs? With the internet if we want something handmade/homemade we can simply search a site like Etsy. I’ve found the past year I’ve used Etsy more than ever, here are a few of my favorite things!

Ribbet collage big sister

 

When we found out we were expecting I immediately went on the search for a big sister shirt to be able to tell our parents. When I found Zoey’s addict I was amazed, their design’s stood out above the rest I had seen, I was even able to get a rush order without breaking the bank. I’m already planning on using them for Lexie’s birthday shirt this year, as well as Christmas shirts and of course Jax’s first birthday.

Ribbet collage owl hatHaving followed Jessica of Eat Pray Yarn on Instagram I fell in love with her owl hat before I knew I was expecting, I originally was going to order it as a winter hat for Lexie then I saw a post of a baby shoot and knew I had to have it for that. We didn’t do a “theme” for Jax per-say but we love owls so it was perfect! Jessica was very accommodating on the color change and ideas. I will be ordering both kids winter hats from her when the time comes; and definitely recommend her to anyone wanting a newborn photo prop!

Ribbet collage hat blanket

I knew I wanted a “Jackson” blanket, so I took to Etsy and searched. I was in shock when I found  Simply Boca Baby; it was perfect! The color option fit the colors we’d be using for his stuff, the option of a hat was great for photos as well. I was so happy she was able to accommodate what I wanted and in the time frame. I think the swaddle blankets are the perfect gift for any new mom!

Ribbet collage big sis necklace

I had seen other parents do big sister/big brother gifts from the new baby and thought this was a great idea, I knew I wanted to make it a keep sake and Lexie loves her jewelry. I went to Etsy wondering if I could find a simple “big sister” charm and was elated when I found this big sister necklace from 2luvbugs. Not only does it have the big sister charm I wanted but also Lexie’s birth stone and a 3rd charm with her initial on it.

for mom

Most recently, while planning Jax’s baptismal I was searching for blue elephant items. I happened upon this elegant cross elephant necklace and knew I had to have it! Not only does it match my dress perfectly it’s also two of my favorite things. HoleinHerStockeings was great, she even created a custom listing for just the charm (being that I have more than enough necklaces around); I can’t wait to wear it!

Have you found anything good on Etsy recently? Have you ever shopped Etsy before?

*disclaimer: this is NOT a sponsored post, these are items I fully paid for and adore; with shops I will surely do business with again!

What do I want?

How often as a mom, a wife, a daughter, a friend, a co-worker (and the list goes on and on) we find ourselves thinking of others and putting them first. As adults we have responsibilities, the bills, chores, parenting etc.

Often what we want comes last {or at least for me it’s not even near the top of the list}. Sure I can plan, I can dream but how often do I follow through? Heck if I did I’d have lost the weight all these times, I’d have found made the time to exercise, meal plan, even just take a moment for me (without the mom guilt).  Yet, as human beings (and for most of us how we were raised) others come first; but at what price?

Recently I’ve realized (since the birth of Jax) I have been letting my anxiety get out of control. What do I mean by letting? I’ve pilled too much on, tried to do too much at once; expected to much of myself.

I’m a lister, a planner, it’s how I work, how I thrive but as much as I list and plan I stumble on the follow through; and most of that is time management and failing to prioritize.

I’ve been thinking lately about what I want, like really want. What are my goals? I set a monthly goals for the new year and stumbled completing them too. Maybe it was too much? To complex? As a nursing mom these thoughts come to me in the middle of the night, when I don’t have pen and paper (or a laptop) by my side; so I try to jot them down in my phone and usually end up trying to decipher my short hand in the morning.

When I think about it what I really want is to be happy. Silly isn’t it? That the littlest thing can be the biggest? Sometimes it’s easy a state of mind (per say) other times not so much.

So, what would make me happy? Simplicity, more financially stable, less stuff in the house, more comfortable in my own skin and to have more energy. How do I get there? Really I think it’s about prioritizing, and control. Taking control of my time and my choices; being more mindful of them. Do I really want that ice cream? Or do I want to be able to take Lexie to the water park this summer? Does she really need another toy or could those few dollars go into our savings account (or even hers) instead. Do I really need to cuddle Jax all day everyday while I can? Okay, that’s a tough one; maybe every other day? Or a few hours each day?  As I write this he’s in his swing next to me, not quite happy but not completely upset either; when normally we’d be snuggled on the couch for the night nursing on and off and I’d be on the iPad wasting time. Instead, I’ve started making a list of small tasks I can do at night when I am snuggled in, balancing our check book (it’s all online anyways), making the grocery list and meal planning (hey, there’s an app for that!) and even catching up on blog reading and meal planning (thank you Pinterest).

Let me ask you- what makes you happy? Do you find you over plan? And lastly, tell me what are your favorite apps to keep it all together? (organized, meal planning, finances, etc)