Boo Boo

We have experienced a lot of firsts in the last 9 months. First smile, first laugh, first time crawling, first step. One first that I am not so crazy about is O’s first black eye. Why is it that kids seem to fall on corners, eye first. I made an attempt to ice the boo boo to keep the swelling down. A piece of ice in a washcloth is not something a 9 month old will tolerate for very long apparently. After some research I saw that there are lots of cute ice packs out there and I am hoping that it could make it more of a game. I especially like the ones that look like little creatures and they are super easy to make yourself. These little guys are iPod cozies, but with a little rice or dried beans sewn inside I think they would make the perfect boo boo monster! via

Count Down to Birthday!

When people tell you to enjoy every minute because it goes quickly, they sure aren’t kidding!! I can hardly believe 8 months have flown by already. Being a new mom (and being a new stay at home mom) has been fantastic, but little Miss O sure does keep me on my toes. As her Grandmother says she is precocious. This kid has been crawling for months, has standing holding on to things down pat, and is practicing taking steps with a little help from Mom and Dad. If these first months are any indication of how quickly times passes, I know that I need to get my butt in gear and start planning a first birthday party! This will be O’s first party and I would like it to be special. I am starting to gather ideas for the cake (or cupcakes), planning out a happy birthday bunting, finding invitations, and some DIY decorations including this adorable pull string pinata featured on Young House Love. As usual these guys have fabulous ideas and great tutorials! I am sure I will be stealing a few more ideas from Clara’s first birthday party and making them my own. I suppose first I should choose a theme and then the other decisions will start to fall into place.

Baby Wearing

Living in NY means lots of walking and public transportation, which means lots of stairs. A stroller is fine for walking, but not so great on public transportation and nothing but a headache on stairs. Consequently, I have become very interested in baby wearing. Not only is it a good way to get around NY but it is a good way to get a hand or two free when your baby wants to be carried all the time. If you Google baby wearing you will see that there is lots and lots and lots of information available on ways to carry your baby, types of carries, how to make your own carriers, safety concerns (stay far away from bag slings)… and on and on. It can get overwhelming quickly. Personally I have 4 types of carriers and I didn’t really know how to use any of them well so I signed up for a baby wearing class given by Megan Davidson. Not only did she help me figure out my ring sling, she also managed to calm Thumper in about 10 seconds flat. So what did I take away from the class? As I suspected, each carrier will be good at different stages of Thumper’s life.

The first carrier I used is a wrap (Moby is the most well-known but there are definitely other people selling them) because they are secure and I could feel close to Thumper while out and about. When she was in a good mood she would be so comfortable she would start snoring! But when she was really crying, there was no way I could take the time to get that thing on and get her inside. It is good for cold weather infants but there is so much material forget trying it in the summer. There are light weight wraps meant for wearing baby in the water (beach, pool, shower) that would work for summer.

Next up is the ring sling. I figured it would be easy to slip over my head and slip in baby. I got a used one for a great price but was really having trouble using it until I got a little help. First I wasn’t using the shoulder piece correctly and I was trying to put Thumper in the pouch which meant her feet weren’t free to move and she hated it. Megan helped with both of those things and on the way back from the event Thumper was so comfortable I heard a little snore coming up from her. This will be good for her as a baby and to hip carry her as she gets bigger although probably only for shorter trips. Mine happens to be a Psling and linen. It is beautiful but very heavy. I am currently considering a silk sling as well as a water sling… I have a feeling I will own many slings before too long because they come in such beautiful fabrics.

Baby Bjorn is carrier that you can get just about anywhere. I haven’t used it yet and from what I hear it is tough on your back and won’t be good for that long. It also has to be adjusted to every wearer every time so I think I am going to leave that one for M since it is a little more manly than a wrap or sling.

Now onto the Ergo. Not great for babies because of the way their legs are positioned unless you get the infant insert, but as Megan pointed out for the price of the insert you could get a reasonably priced wrap, pouch, or sling. It will however be the carrier of choice once Thumper is a little bigger (I predict around 6 months old) because of the great back support. There are other types of soft carriers like the Ergo this just happens to be the one we have.

If I had it to do all over again, I would purchase a pouch type carrier for the beginning months. Easy to slip on and easy to slip in baby but only good for the first 6-8 months. I would also have started saving up to support my ring sling buying habit. For any carrier make sure you do some research on potential hazards but don’t make yourself crazy.

Learning to Juggle

I can’t believe how quickly time is moving. Thumper is 3 months old and just over 10 lbs. She has learned to roll from her tummy to her back, a trick that dazzles her mom and gets her out of tummy time. I am back at work full-time. Before becoming a working mom I would have never understood what it would entail. Thumper sleeps with us and tends to really settle in right at 6am, just when my alarm goes off. Sigh. I shower, take her while my husband showers, usually I am nursing her while putting on my makeup thanks to the boppy pillow. Then I hand her off to her dad while I finish getting ready and head out the door to get an early start at work. I pump at the office to make sure Thumper has food for the next day and after a full day of work I head home to nurse her. I rarely get a chance to make dinner since I have not yet mastered nursing in a sling so that task is left to my husband. Once Thumper is asleep I get maybe an hour to prep lunch or try to pump a little more or maybe just relax and watch a sitcom before I pass out. Life with a baby for me has meant I am constantly in the moment. I take things as they come and figure everything will sort itself out.

What to Wear

There are many changes that come along with having a baby. First your body transforms in ways you never thought possible. If you decide to breastfeed your body may start looking like what you had pre-pregnancy but a few times spent fumbling to get your little one access to food and you realize you are still not free to wear whatever you want. So how does one stay stylish while making the transition to mommyhood? Nowadays women can feel free to show off our baby bumps with pride and maternity clothes are much cuter than the tent-like floral tops our moms had to wear. And stores like Old Navy have a maternity line so looking good doesn’t have to break the bank either. Nicole over at Making It Lovely has put together really handy style guides for both maternity and nursing clothes. I totally agree that cardigans are your friend in pregnancy and while nursing and they don’t have to be specifically maternity. I do highly recommend having a wrap cardigan which can help protect your modesty while nursing in public.

DIY Art Supplies

When I would babysit for my cousin I used to love to plan activities like making play dough. Now that I have my own little one it makes sense that I will want to make things with her when she is older. Over at OhDeeDoh they have pulled together recipes for dough, paint, chalk, crayons, and a few things I am not familiar with. I can’t wait until Thumper is old enough to help!

Jack Johnson to the Rescue

Having a baby is an adventure to say the least. Thumper is now in a phase where she does not want to be put down. Half the time she doesn’t even want to be held by anyone but mommy. I miss being able to use both my arms, or eat a hot meal, or… I digress. Today just as I was getting desperate I put some Jack Johnson on the stereo and guess what, Thumper’s eyes started to close and I was able to put her down! Can you hear my sigh of relief!? Although I love Jack Johnson I can’t imagine I am going to love him much longer if I have to listen to him all day everyday. In a search for some lullaby music I came across a very interesting genre, lullaby renditions of adult tunes. Are you a Metallica fan? Maybe The Beatles are more your speed? Personally I went for Smashing Pumpkins. I haven’t tried it out on her yet (hey, I would be crazy to switch from Jack Johnson at the moment) but what is my next purchase if this works? NIN of course.

Snot Sucker

If someone told me that I would not only purchase but love a product that required me to suck the boogers out of Thumper’s nose I would have thought you were coo coo. One night of listening to the pathetic cries of a baby struggling to breathe and feeling like there is nothing you can do to help will make you do things you never dreamed you would ever do. This is exactly the kind of night that made us purchase the Nosefrida. This Swedish contraption makes it possible to get the kind of suction a bulb aspirator just can’t get. The snot never comes close to my mouth (and there is a filter just in case) and it is safer to use than a traditional aspirator because it doesn’t actually go up her nose. Thumper HATES every moment from the time we put the saline drops in her nose, to the point where we clear her nose. BUT the moment it is done and we pick her up to comfort her, she stops crying and we can hear that she is no longer struggling to breathe. Trust me if you are a parent of an infant, get past the ick factor and get one before you need it! If you don’t believe me check out the reviews here and here.

Tired But Still Here

Having a newborn is not as easy as you think. Despite the fact that all Thumper does is eat, sleep, and poop it takes a surprising amount of energy to keep up. Mostly due to the fact that she is on her own schedule at the moment which means middle of the night feeding sessions. Everyone has said that I need to sleep when she sleeps, but I am and have never been a napper. Thank goodness M does most of the diaper changes at night (I envy his ability to take care of business and then drift right back to sleep.) In spite of the sleep deprivation things are going well. Thumper is a great baby. She only cries when she needs something and is the most cuddly snuggle bunny I have ever met.

Birth Plan

Thumper has officially made her way into the world! We are so very happy to have her here. Her debut was 12.05.2010 at 11:51pm. Her journey was not what I had planned and I wanted to share a bit. When putting together our birth plan we made decisions on thing like a C-section (no way!), epidural (maybe/maybe not), minimal separation between baby and mommy so that the first feeding can happen naturally that first hour after birth, I definitely wanted her to room in with us after, and no way no how is my daughter going to drink formula or from a bottle. How did it really go down? Three days of labor, I couldn’t wait for the epidural, and after all of that a medically necessary C-section with baby taken directly to the NICU. They brought her to my lips for a kiss before whisking her off, and that was all the contact we had for the next half day. Long story short, she was given bottles of formula, we didn’t get the immediate skin to skin contact, and she wasn’t able to room in with us. In fact I was discharged before she was which was probably the most stressful part of the whole first week of her life. On her 14th day of life I can safely say that although she and I missed that first skin to skin contact that is so prized in all the classes we attended, Thumper is still very attached to me and I am very attached to her. Some days only Mommy can calm her. Although we got a rocky start in the high stress environment of the NICU, Thumper is now exclusively on breast milk, although Daddy does give her a bottle every once in a while so Mommy can get an extra bit of sleep. My advice, go ahead, make your birth plan, then be prepared for things to go all pear-shaped, and turn out just fine in the end. Baby is calling now and you may not hear from me so much in the next few days (weeks?) so I will go ahead and wish you a Merry Christmas!