Monday, March 29, 2010

Baby Gear Envy

I have to admit, shopping is my hugest addiction and problem. I was watching "True Life: I'm a Shopaholic" and found myself siding with the people who had the problem! I would say to Todd, "oh that seems normal! They're just overreacting!" But really, it isn't normal!

Maybe my problem isn't so much shopping as it is researching new products. Once I buy something new for Kirsten I immediately start to research the same product and start to get buyer's remorse. It's pretty awful. I spent so much time making the perfect registry when I was pregnant, and now I find myself wanting DIFFERENT items! I wonder, "can I return that??"

Also, I get HUGE baby gear envy when I run into other moms or visit my friends. I think to myself, "wow that stroller looks awesome!" or "wow! I never saw that swing before? Look how happy their baby is in it!" I feel like this is ingrained into all of our heads when we become mommies. We suddenly become obsessed with what OTHERS have!

Being a mommy and baby gear is a competitive sport, and I really don't think men truly understand how involved and intense it can get. I find such pleasure walking around BabiesRUs for hours, looking at each and every product. Whereas my husband would prefer to just walk in, get what is cheapest, and leave as soon as possible.

I spend hours on the interest asking the same questions over and over, convinced there is still something BETTER than what I already have for Kirsten. I feel almost foolish at times, thinking, "didn't I already do hours of research when creating my registry? Why am I finding things that are SO MUCH BETTER now that we already have tons of stuff??"

"Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's." This is the tenth commandment from the Bible. And even back then they knew how crazy mother's can be when it comes to shopping, and more importantly, wanting what everyone else seems to have discovered.

It is truly remarkable how quickly the change happened, from me being envious of things for myself that other's had (especially shoes!!!!) to being obsessed about things for my baby. I would go to the bar and stare at the shoes of every girl in the bar, and be truly sad if someone had on better ones than me. I would spend hours and tons of money at the mall looking for the best and cutest shoes. And with the shoes came the perfect outfit, but shoes always came first! Now, I spend hours looking at sites with 4 year old age limits.

In case you were wondering, here is my latest obsession. I honestly wish I didn't turn my nose up at things that aren't the super popular name brands. I was very much the "it has to be name brand, and not too different" type of person when I shopped. Now that I have been doing so much research on organic items, or other companies outside of Graco and Fisher Price, it is mind boggling the amazing things I have found!

Well here it is, the thing that will honestly keep me up at night until I find a way to get my grubby little mommy envious hands on....

It is the Stokke Tripp Trapp highchair.

It just looks amazing to me, and I really like that it is a chair that can be pulled up to the table so that Kirsten will be more apart of family meals, instead of over in her own chair with a tray. We currently have a Graco model highchair, which I am sure is great and perfectly fine, but I am allowing my curiosity get the best of me and may attempt to return it so we can purchase this! They sell it through the Gap's website with special cushions for the chair. Seriously... neat looking chair and sold through the Gap??? They are just dangling this right in front of my face!

First step is to see if I can return the other highchair, and then I will go from there. Wish me luck!

Friday, March 26, 2010

"I can do it mommy" - sitting

See mommy, I got this!

okay... maybe this is harder than I thought!


Laying down, now that I can do!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Immediately insert in mouth

It's begun!!!!!!!

Bath Time!

Kirsten has loved the bath from day one. She loves the warm water, doesn't fuss when I lather up her hair, and smiles when I rinse her off with the shower attachment on her tub. I figured most babies hated bath time until they could sit up and play, but she has taken to it so well. It is a really special time between mommy and baby, and I really cherish that she enjoys it.

We decided on the Summer Infant Tub, because of the sling insert and the shower option. Honestly, the little shower thing is awesome! The water is so soapy after washing her, and I could never get her hair completely rinsed clean. Kirsten has hair so this is an awesome feature to get those extra suds out!

Thanks to our friend Kelly and her baby Addison for the doggy towel!!!!

Also, I bought Kirsten a really cute lovey from this Etsy store! She has really taken to grabbing stuff and putting it in her mouth, and she immediately grabbed it and shoved it along with her little fists into her mouth!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Outdoor Life & Organic Changes

Spring has sprung in Pittsburgh and we took full advantage of it!

Took Kirsten and the dog, Pete, to the park!

And then we hung out in our backyard. Todd and I were able to get a game of "washers" in too!!!

This makes me so excited for summer... the pool, zoo, parks... it'll be so much fun experiencing it with the baby!

I've been making a few more "organic" changes around the house as well. We switched all of our cleaners to safe/chemical free products. Mostly BabyGanics and Seventh Generation.

What I have been most impressed with so far is the "bottle and dish" cleaner from BabyGanics! It comes in a foaming wash, we keep it on the sink, and just squirt it right into the bottles. So easy and so convenient!

I also really love the All Purpose cleaner from Seventh Generation. I wasn't impressed with their diapers or wipes, and haven't tried any of their other products, but the All Purpose cleaner is really great! And smells fresh! Anyone care to share their thoughts on their products?

More importantly, I have been up in the air about switching our disposable diapers. What do you use? We use Pampers, and really love the Swaddlers! They are so soft and fit really well. We haven't had any leaks or problems! I'm almost afraid to switch, especially since we only use a few a day since we are using cloth diapers. I felt the Seventh Generation diapers and they just feel rough. The Huggies natural diapers feel the same way, and I heard they really aren't that environmentally safe (something about the contents inside the diaper). What about Earth's Best diapers? Maybe I'll pick up a pack and give them a shot!

I also bought about a dozen cloth wipes from this Etsy shop. I really am not crafty at all, and am waiting to see how it goes before making more on my own. I will probably go to a craft store or Walmart and get cheap (but soft!) material and cut it up into squares.

My only problem... should I buy a solution and dilute it with water to make a large batch (pictured is the California Baby Diaper wash solution, which can be made into a larger batch with water. Sold for about $11)? or just make a homemade recipe? Which is easiest? I am hearing many different opinions, and even a lot of "just use water" suggestions from people. Perhaps I will try both and see which is easiest for me!

Finally, we switched from Johnson & Johnson Baby washes and lotions to California Baby! What an amazing product! So gentle and smells really fresh and nice. Only downside I can really tell is that the bottles are all small, and rather expensive.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Dreaded 2 Month Shots

Yesterday Kirsten was 10 weeks old. My little sweet baby is getting so big! She is able to do so many things, interact with us, stick out her tongue when I stick mine out at her, and talk talk talk! Her favorite thing to do is talk. She holds conversations with anything that will listen... me, Todd, the dog, her fish on her bouncer, Mortimer the Moose on her car seat...

But with getting older and bigger comes some challenges, and this time it was in the form on needles going directly into her thighs.

I was able to stay home with her all day, so I tried really hard to keep her happy and smiley all morning. We played a lot, I stuffed her full of formula, and we just spent some quality time together. I knew my baby would be different after this appointment, and I wanted to remember the good times.

We headed out to her appointment and were greeted by her favorite receptionist. This girl is always so pleasant and sweet. She talks to Kirsten in a baby voice, which usually annoys me, but I knew Kirsten needed all of the love she could get on this particular day.

We went back with the nurse and had a regular check-up...

Height: 21 2/3inches
Weight: 11lbs 4oz

Height percentage: 10%
Weight percentage: 50%

So basically Kirsten is normal with weight, but going to be a little shorty. With a mom who is only 5'0, she really doesn't have a prayer!

Anyway, after the pleasant stuff, it was time for the shots. After the doctor checked her out, the nurse returned with her shots. I was so scared for her. The poor thing layed on the table in just her diaper, how humiliating! First she took an oral medicine, which she sucked down and enjoyed. And then it was time for the needles. Oh the needles! They appeared to be 10 ft long! At least in the eyes of a mommy who wants to do nothing but protect her sweet little girl.

Honestly, she did fine. It took her a moment but she began to scream and get all red faced. I immediately scooped her up after the nurse placed two Crayon Band-Aids on her little legs. I cuddled and squeezed her, and she eventually calmed down. I carried her out to the front desk to make a new appointment. We picked out a Dora the Explorer sticker, and were on our way home.

She screamed the whole way home. I am convinced it was mostly due to the sun in her eyes and the amazing amounts of traffic. I got her inside and immediately made a bottle and gave her some infant Tylenol. The bottle appeared to sooth her, but she refused to be placed down. I tried the bouncer, her nap nanny, and swing, and none of it worked. Of course, as if her day couldn't get any worse, her swing broke. The thing just decided to stop swinging! New batteries couldn't resurrect the poor thing, so we had to just do without her beloved swing. I felt so bad for her. The one friend she has in this world and it wasn't there for her when she truly needed it.

We decided to just cuddle on the couch, and she slept for about an hour on my sore, tired arm. She fought sleep for a few more hours, and finally was out cold in her car seat around 8pm. She slept until 7:30am.

This morning my little girl is doing much better. We had breakfast in bed and I turned on her favorite, Blue's Clues. Today we plan to take her to the park for the first time, a special day for our brave little girl.

So who are shots worse for, mom or baby? My vote, mom!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Oh come on, I couldn't resist

C-Section Guilt

C-Section Guilt... that should be some sort of medical term. Used for the women who feel these rushes of emotion towards having a c-section.

I have been thinking a lot about it lately, especially since a wave of friends are having their babies, and none of them needed a c-section. I get a knot in my throat when I think about it. I hate that I think this way, but it over comes me and I get consumed with the feelings of guilt and embarassment.

Why couldn't I do it? Why couldn't I push Kirsten out? Why didn't I take classes while pregnant? Why didn't I discuss fully with my doctor my birth plan? Would any of this had made a difference in the end?

I feel like I failed miserably at my first mommy duty. I was supposed to be super mom in the birthing room. I was supposed to push her out, have Todd cut the cord, and Kirsten placed on my chest. I wanted that photo so badly. I'm crying at the thought that I didn't get that stupid photo. A photo! All I talked about for months were the photos I wanted Todd to take after she was born, and the all important "meeting baby for the first time" picture. And we got none of it. Instead I have a photo of us with gowns on, hair nets, and me strapped to a table.

I realize I have my happy, healthy baby. She is perfect in every way possible. She amazes me every day with the new things she can do. I love walking into her room and seeing her smile when she sees that its me coming to get her. I love that I can make her laugh, sooth her when she is upset, and read her like a book. But then there's the guilt. And the anger that I didn't get the birth I wanted.

Maybe next time....

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Poop and Easter Baskets

I really had no other way to divide this entry into two topics without making the title sound a bit silly. So no fear... I'm not talking about poop IN the Easter basket!

First things first, the poopy diapers. I dealt with my first poopy cloth diapers yesterday! We have been going part-time with the cloth so we had yet to run into the dreaded poopy diaper, but yesterday was the day! And boy did Kirsten go big! She had 4, yes count em, 4 poopy diapers yesterday, girl was on a roll!

We were out of the house when the first two occured. I was terrified! What in the world would I do with a poopy diaper while not at home?? Luckily, I had my Planet Wise wet bag with me (kisses their butts repeatedly). I had stacks of clean diapers inside the dry section, and was excited to finally use the wet section for something other than pee diapers!

I layed Kirsten down and unsnapped the diaper (for the record we were using the Smarti Pants at the time). Inside was just globs of poo. I thought to myself, "how in the world will I deal with this? The instructions online all say to just dump it out and put on a new diaper??" In theory reading about dealing with a soiled diaper seemed very easy. Every site only mentioned dumping out the diaper, put the insert and shell away, and place a new diaper on and GO! This all seemed to easy to me, until I had to deal with the first real poop diaper!

So there I was, trying to figure out what to do with poo that in no way would just "dump" out of the diaper. I remember reading somewhere about scraping it off. Without any proper scraping devises I simply reached for my wipes and began wiping off as much as I could. I tossed out the wipes and just folded up the diaper as neatly as possible. I then tossed it into my handy dandy wet bag!

In the back of my mind I thought, this is surely not going to fly each time! How could I walk around with soiled diapers and will the poo ever come off the diaper? Well we had one more poo diaper while we were out, and I followed the same proceedure as before, and just merrily went about my day with two poopy diapers in my bag. *for the record, I never smelled the diapers at all when they were in my bag!

I got home later that day and decided I needed to deal with the diapers that evening, I didn't want poopy diapers sitting around waiting for the next wash. We had three at the time (2 Smarti Pants and one GroBaby), and a few pee diapers, so I just tossed everything into the washer machine. I opened up the poopy diapers before putting them in the wash, and added the detergent. I used Greenworks Free and Clear detergent. I ran the washer on warm and hoped for the best.

When I moved everything from the washer to the dryer they appeared to be clean. I saw no stains. After tumble drying twice, I opened the dryer to find all the diapers were as good as new, no stains at all! I was so shocked! I expected some stains, since I didn't do a great job of scraping off all the poo and just tossed them into the wash!

Hopefully my luck continues with this, because Kirsten already soiled yet another diaper!

And now for the Easter basket portion of the post! (good transition eh?)

I was extremely torn about what to get Kirsten for Easter. She's a baby, so she really won't care what she gets, but I wanted it to be something she would enjoy using soon.

I have been doing research lately on organic toys. I realized everything we had was hard and plastic, and I wanted her to have something maybe a little safer. She is already shoving her little fists into her mouth so it's only a matter of time before she gets ahold of toys and puts them in there.

I found an Etsy shop that sells really awesome felt toys. She makes baskets full of letter and numbers made of felt, and they are beyond cute!

I also bought her some fruits and veggies made of felt too. Baby's first garden!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Planet Wise wet bags

I think I have found THE BEST wet bag out there! Thanks to my friends over at Pittsburgh Cloth Diapers, I have made this discovery! They are Planet Wise wet bags!

Really it all began with me just not being able to resist things made in fun fabrics and patterns. And these wet bags come in really amazing patterns! And the fabrics are great! The bags also come in various sizes. So a larger one would be perfect for trips or daycare! I like to hang the large bag from our changing table for quick and easy changes, and have a smaller bag for our diaper bag.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

The concept behind the bag is that there are two pouches. The pouch in the front is the "dry" section where you can keep inserts or diapers that have not been used. This is awesome for organization and keeping things clean. I tend to just stuff everything into my diaper bag, so this is a really nice solution. And I don't have to worry about things that are floating around in my bag getting all over the inserts.

Next part is the main section, the "wet" pocket. This is the largest part of the bag and has a special liner for soiled items.

The wet section is super durable and keeps the mess in very well. From experience, it safely kept 3 poopy diapers inside, mess free! The liner is very easy to wipe down if you were out and about, unable to wash the whole bag too.

This concept is awesome because if baby is staying somewhere for a long period of time (daycare or vacation) everything can be organized and easy to find/use!

It is advised to wash the bag before use!

Here is a list of retailers so you can get your own Planet Wise wet bag!!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Cloth Diapers - Week 2

So here we are in week two of using the cloth diapers. As seen in the photos below (well maybe not that clearly) Kirsten is wearing her Smarti Pants diapers. I am really digging these diapers! They are really soft and super easy to put on her. So far no leaks either! Only complaint, as mentioned before, is that you have to stuff them and use a new shell every time. But really, it hasn't been that bad. I bought 3 more shells so now we have 6... enough to get us through a day!

I ordered another brand to try, and am really enjoying these as well! I went with the rave reviews all over the internet and decided to purchase some GroBaby diapers!

I ordered them from Pittsburgh Cloth Diapers (link at the very bottom of the page) and they came super fast in the mail! I was really pumped to try them out but knew that a lot of prepping was in order. As advised from @GroBaby on Twitter, "PREP PREP PREP!" I really had no idea what prepping really meant in the cloth diapering world, but soon found out that it meant, WASH WASH WASH! GroBaby diapers require a few washes before use to get the best absorbency out of the inserts. I went ahead and washed/dried them twice before using them. According to the site however, after 10 washes are the inserts truly at their peak performance!

Did I mention that these diapers come in the CUTEST designs??? Seriously they are really adorable!

Okay back to using the diapers... the insert simple snaps into the diaper, which is really easy and convenient! Before snapping in the insert, you have to adjust the size of the diaper by snapping the outside layer to make it smaller. I used the middle snap because Kirsten certainly is no longer a newborn. This size fit her perfectly (Kirsten is about 11lbs)! After adjusting the size and snapping in the insert, it was now the easy part, placing the diaper on the baby! Thankfully she cooperated and it was easy to do! I put it on her like any regular diaper and just pulled the tabs tight and the Velcro tabs fit it on very snugly!

One really major PLUS for these diapers is the Velcro tabs! I really had no idea that they could be that easy! Just velcro it right on, and the fit is really great. The other systems I have used have snaps, which work great at well, but the Velcro was much easier to adjust. And much easier for a beginner. I could see this being easier on the go. Again though, the snaps really weren't a big hassle on the Smarti Pants, just having the ability to adjust with Velcro is so much easier, you aren't confined to snap placement.

GroBaby also has Bio Soaker pads that are disposable! You can toss them out when you are on the go, so you don't have to bring a bunch of regular pads with you! I'd imagine they would be easy for daycare or vacation! We haven't used them yet, but bought a box today and plan to try them soon!

I'm really enjoying this experience. It has been fun and really educational. The community behind cloth diapering is really amazing as well. I have met and talked to some really great and helpful people. It's amazing how kind everyone can be and eager to lend a helping hand to a clueless cloth diapering mama!!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Saturday, March 13, 2010


We tried out the hug hold again! and I'd say it was a success! Fell asleep while I vacuumed!!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Cloth Diapers - Take One

So here we go! Cloth diapering, take one!

I decided to give it a try the other day. Finally, my diapers came in the mail and I could not get them on Kirsten fast enough!

I began with the Best Bottom Diapers. The first thing I was really confused by was that these diapers do not come with instructions! Wouldn't instructions be great? I didn't really have the time to run to my laptop to check out the site for directions (which their site really has none) so I was left to figure it out on my own.

I did enjoy that snap-in insert. That was really handy. I just snapped an insert inside the diaper and began to strap it on my baby. She wiggled and tried to resist the diaper, but I was so determined to get it on her! The fit was a problem though... I probably was doing it all wrong, but it either appeared to be too loose (causing gaps by her legs) or WAY too tight around her belly. The poor thing couldn't sit without it looking as though it was cutting her in half!

I then took the diaper off of her to change after about 2 hours. She insert was absolutely soaked, back and front, and felt a bit heavy. I took it out and the inside of the shell felt a bit wet too. I simply took a cloth and wiped it down, then snapped in another insert. Very easy and very convenient. That is the major pro to these diapers, they allow you to just snap and go! No stuffing or messing around with inserts.

Again, I messed around with the fit, assuming I was doing something wrong, but it all looked very correct! And with no real information and a poor website, I was really lost.

So I moved on to diaper number 2, SmartiPants....

These diapers felt so soft the moment I took them out of the packaging. The pricing was also extremely economical! I bought a starter 3-pack and received 3 shells and 3 liners. I also purchased a set of 10 liners for a really good price. I am basically set! (to go exclusive I would probably need about 3 or 4 more shells).

As I said the diaper itself was really soft, I liked it from the start. Also, unlike the other diapers, the packaging came with instructions! GREAT!

I stuffed a diaper and proceeded to put it on my poor child, who only wanted to be left alone! I placed it on her and very easily snapped the buttons. Much easier than the previous diaper and the fit seemed to not cut into her or cause gapping around her legs.

I however ran into a problem... upon further inspection I realized... I HAD THE DIAPER ON BACKWARDS! I felt like such a fool! I remember making fun of Todd early on about putting a diaper on Kirsten backwards, and thinking to myself, "oh he is such a newbie!" When really... I only knew how to do it because I had done it before! So here I was, a newbie myself to cloth diapering, and I made such an easy mistake! I quickly flipped it around and stared proudly at my work! Kirsten looked comfortable and happy!

Only con to these diapers is that you have to stuff them, which means you have to use an whole new diaper each time baby pees or poops. Whereas, with the other diapers, and types like it, you can change the liner and keep using the shells as long as it is clean.

However, I toss away a disposable diaper after each use so what is really the difference?

I would say the first day went well. I used the SmartiPants again today and have washed my first load. Laundry is very easy. I used a free and clear detergent, washed on warm, and tumble dried. So easy! And all of the diapers kept their shape and do not seem to be effected by the laundry process. The liners are all fine too!

I am excited to keep trying and see how this works! I will give my first experiences a C!

The site I used to purchase my diapers: Nicki's Diapers

A few of Kirsten favorite things

It is often asked on message board about what baby's favorite toys are at such a young age. Well, technically, nothing is really her favorite. However, there area few things that she truly enjoys and is starting to discover. Here are a few of the items we really enjoy in our house....

First is the Fisher Price Aquarium Bouncer. I did so much research while pregnant for the BEST items for my baby. A lot of people seemed to love things that were much too large for our little living area, so I wanted something practical and easy to fold up for travel. I noticed this bouncer when I was looking at swings. It has a really great ocean theme, blows bubbles, and has 4 different sounds/songs that it plays. At first, Kirsten hated her bouncer. I would lay her down and only be met with thrashing and screaming. I tried to encourage her to bounce it, and pointed to the fun bubbles that made the fish move inside, and she wanted nothing to do with it! I was so heart broken! However, around 5 weeks, she started to really love the bouncer. We started off slow and now she can sit in it for up to 30 minutes entertaining herself!
Only con: The bubbles are a bit loud, and there is no volume control!

Next is our favorite stroller toy, Mortimer the Moose. I absolutely love Lamaze products, they are usually so soft and cute, but this guy really captured my interest. We hang in from the top of the car seat handle and she will bat around at him while in the car. He is a little large, and gets in her way at times, but I simply move him off to the side and out of her way. He is soft and has lots of parts to grab onto and enjoy! When we eventually use the big jogging stroller, I plan to attach him to the side so she can choose when to use him, or just leave him to enjoy the ride!

And now for the wrist rattles. These were a gift from a friend, and at first, I admit, I was super skeptical. I thought, "What baby wants things strapped to her wrists?" I got them out one day as she played on her mat, and she would move her arms all over the place and rattle. It was really cute! We also use them for music time! We play music or listen to some CDs and sing along, and I will move her arms to make the rattle go. I like moving her to the beat and she gets so excited when we make her clap and play along.
A lot of people dislike the wrist rattle, but we enjoy them. I like that it encourages her to keep her arms moving to hear to sound.

This VTech ball is absolutely amazing! It rolls by itself, plays tons of songs, and makes sounds! It encourages call and response and even makes animal sounds! It is meant to encourage crawling, something Kirsten is not ready for yet, but she LOVES looking at it while laying on the floor, or sitting in my lap. I really like that it moves on its own and asks the baby to make it move too. Anything educational and fun is okay in my book, and this ball is everything you could possibly need! And it has volume control!

And now for the BEST teether toy! Kirsten isn't teething but she is learning how to hold things, and this toy is amazing for that. The pieces are small enough for her to grab, and it rattles when she moves it. The rubber is soft and makes it easier to pick up. She is already starting to try to get it to her mouth, she just isn't strong enough yet!

Finally, the Baby Einstein Press & Play Pals. I was always a sucker for Baby Einstein products and I saw these in Target. You press them and they play classical music, and the baby can press the fins or arms to play the individual instrument. I tested it out on a two year old and she LOVES these toys in the car. I ask her to play the drums and she will press the arm with the picture of the drums. She giggles and laughs and asks specifically for the turtle. It makes a really great car seat toy to keep a child occupied and entertained!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Getting a new Look

I have been working with an absolutely amazing designer to remodel MommyBurgh, and it is looking SO GOOD! I cannot wait to debut it for you guys!

Things to come....
Best of: newborn essentials
What to pack for the hospital (checklist)
Best of: reading material
Cloth diapering, the first days

and much much more!

Please email or comment any suggestions for upcoming posts. And of course the usual "my baby is cute, here are photos" posts will be coming! Kirsten keeps growing and changing, I have tons to write about!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Kirsten loves TV

My baby loves the tv. Yeah I said it, my kid loves the television and I don't care!

She is currently sitting in her car seat, facing the tv, watching Blue's Clues. And she is interacting with it! She keeps cooing and laughing at the show! Good thing I don't find this show entirely annoying, or this would be a major problem. Her eyes are so huge, as Steve and Blue go searching for clues. She will then make a "ooooh!!" sound and never take her eyes off of it. There is this high pitched bouncey sound and she is trying to mimick it too!

I really had no idea babies could even pay attention to the tv for this amount of time. She woke up, I put her in her seat to leave the house, and now she is totally taken with this silly show.

The little things she does amazes me.

She has been so easily amused lately and it is really fun to watch. I make these sounds and act silly around her and she gets the biggest smile on her face. Having the ability to make your kid laugh is truly awesome. Most people will probably read that and think, "big deal, you made your baby laugh." But to a parent, it is the single most amazing thing to see and hear. Her laugh isn't quite developed yet, and she usually just fake coughs when she is trying to giggle, but the smile is what kills me!

I used to walk by portrait studios with children sitting in rediculous outfits and their parents jumping around and screaming, trying to get just one smile out of them. I would laughand think, "these people are nuts!" Well no, they aren't, they're typical parents. We all want to play dress up and get that money shot... the big smile. It is so heart warming to be the one to make your baby smile!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Happy 2 Month Birthday Kirsten

Dearest Kirsten,

Happy 2 months birthday to my sweet little girl!

It honestly feels like no time has gone by, that just yesterday we were the scared parents leaving the hospital, not sure exactly what we had just gotten ourselves into.

Honestly, Kirsten was an "oops" baby. We were engaged in January and found out about her in early May. Oops.... She wasn't apart of our plan, and I am such a planner! But after some time we really got excited. I started to do so much research and wanted to be THE BEST mommy. I got more excited the bigger I grew, and loved every moment of being pregnant. I loved carrying such a sweet bundle in my belly. I loved walking around and having people look at me, ask me questions, and feel excited for me, even if I had no idea who they were.

Time literally flew by. Before I knew it it was Christmas and our baby was nearly due. We waited and waited, I almost went insane waiting for her. 3 days after our due date, I felt the worst pains a person could endure. But looking back on it, I loved that part too. I loved knowing that nature was taking its course and I didn't have to be induced. My body was doing its job, and baby was doing her job.

Sure things didn't go anywhere near as planned. I had a c-section and failed miserably at breastfeeding. But looking at my 2 month old little girl, I know everything happened for a reason. All the stars aligned for us, and she is here, happy and healthy!

Mommy loves you Kirsten, and no one can replace that huge part of my heart that you now occupy. Even when you are screaming for what seems like no reason at all, or I go 3 days without washing my hair, I love you. I love it when I walk into your room and you immediately stop crying when you hear my voice. I love that I can make you smile and the beginning sounds of your wonderful laugh. I love that you are so funny, even when you aren't trying to be.

But most of all, I love that you are my daughter. I cannot imagine another child being able to be in your place right now. We had you for a reason, you came into our lives because you needed us and we needed you.

I cannot wait to see what the next months bring, and I will do my best not to rush you along. I will try to contain my shopping habit and put you in more comfortable clothes than things that are just too darn cute to pass up. But you have to allow me to dress you up every so often, after all, you are a girl! Thank-you for being my favorite shopping partner, and screaming in the mall before I spend way too much money.

You are my angel, and I cannot wait to see you grow into a wonderful, amazing, perfect girl.

Love, Your Mommy

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Moby Wrap

I ordered a Moby wrap from The Gap 2 weeks ago and have been slowly using it since it has arrived. We have a Baby Bjorn and I thought the Moby appeared more difficult to use, but after hearing so many good things about it, I was curious.

I tried the first hold, the Newborn hold, and got good results. I found it a little hard to fit her into the side pocket, the first step, and then pull the other side over. But after loosening the wrap a bit I was successful. Kirsten likes this hold... only I wish it didn't keep her legs in the "fetal" position the whole time, I wish there was an option to have her feet out. She likes to feel nestled in, but sometimes wants to still stretch out a bit.

Knowing this, I moved on to the Hug hold. This was great and very much like how the Baby Bjorn works. Her legs were able to dangle, yet she was still pressed tightly against me. However, this hold has her head sticking out a bit more, which meant it was sort of flopping around as I moved about the house. I'm sure I could modify it so her head is cradled a bit more, or have her sitting a bit lower on my body.

I will keep exploring the holds and keep practicing, as a beginner I feel I am doing an okay job.

My only complaints:
1. I tied it tightly against my body and having the wrap tight against me made it difficult to put baby in the holds. Even after loosening the folds, as the instructions point out. However I fear wrapping it with a tad more slack from the start will only make it unsafe for baby.

2. The wrap is so long. It was easy to put it on at home where I could lay it out and have enough room to spread it out to fold in half. How will I go about using it in public? Suggestions? Doesn't seem easy to do while baby is screaming and in need of the cradle hold in the middle of the mall right?

Maybe I will take it to the mall and give it a test run.

We are going to a birthday party tomorrow (Jackson's 1st birthday!) and I want to bring the wrap in case she gets fussy. I just hope people don't stare at me thinking, "wow look at her try to put her baby in that thing!"

Friday, March 5, 2010

Cloth Diapers, the beginning

After a lot of moaning and groaning about it, and being pretty certain it wasn't for me, I have given in and am trying cloth diapering. Why? Well, why not?

I did some research and decided that I will begin my experience with two types of diapers. I will decide which is easiest, and go from there.

The photo above is the first type we are trying, Smarti Pants. They appear to be very easy to use, cost effective, and cute. They come in packs of 3, so I thought this was a great way to cheaply give some diapers a shot. They also come in cute colors, I just wish there were more designs! I also really liked that they are a one size fits all type of diaper. So when Kirsten is older she won't need a whole new set of diapers.

Next we have Best Bottom Diapers (seen above). These are WAY cute with some really fun colors. Again, they appear to be easy and cost effective. Sadly they didn't come in sets, but were generally not too expensive. I ordered two shells and a set of inserts. I wouldn't mind Kirsten wearing only these and some baby legs around the house, they look cute and comfy!

Also, as I posted earlier, I bought her two pairs of Monkey Doodlez swim diapers (seen above). They came in the mail and I am very anxious to give them a shot. I truly won't know how well they work until we are out and about at a pool for a few hours. But it'll be fun to put them on her and put her in the tub, just to see how they hold up with water.

I am not going cold turkey yet. I plan to just try them a few days a week and see how it goes. and night time she will wear a throw away diaper.

I'm super excited and can't wait to give these a try!

New photos

Here are a few new photos of Kirsten enjoying tummy time and playing around this morning with mommy and our puppy Pete!

and here is Kirsten enjoying the baby episode of The Office last night....

We love our Baby Legs!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

a new video

Kirsten has really been amazing me lately. I hate being that mom who thinks their child is advanced or gifted, but her development has been amazing.

Today Todd was cooking dinner so I placed her in her Summer Infant Super Seat and talked to her and jiggled some toys in her face. She did her usual looking around, not really paying attention to anything in particular, and some smiling. But then she started saying "oh!" and I repeated it back to her. I read in my books that babies learn best from repetition and "call response" type games. I started to say it back to her more and more and soon she would make a HUGE "o" with her mouth and say "OH!" It was amazing. At one point she said "oh" three times in a row, I said it, she repeated then giggled!!

I am really loving playing with her now. It has been so much more fun since she is focusing on things and starting to want to play, instead of eat/sleep/poop/repeat.

So here is the video!!!!


Hello mamas!

I know how you all enjoy a good giveaway. Here is a really fun one that I just entered!!!

Baby Makes Four Giveaway

Also, follow her blog!

Nap Nanny Review

I get asked often about the Nap Nanny and wanted to write a review about it....

Kirsten showed signs of needing to be inclined early on, even while in the hospital. They would position the little basinet so that it was tilted, to help her with her spit-up issues. I took notice of this and asked the nurses for their advice, they told me tricks to use such as inclining her mattress or finding a wedge to use in the bed. I was not sure, considering I was a first time mom, and decided to take her sleeping issues day by day.

Well the first two weeks were awful, and needless to say, sleepless. She woke up every hour and really struggled with laying flat, even while swaddled, in her bed. I knew we needed to try inclining her like they did in the hospital, but was clueless as to what to do. We tried rolling up towels and placing them under the mattress, but she would slide down further in the bed and wake up immediately.

One restless evening I had enough and put her in her car seat, and it was as though a light clicked in her head! She was sleeping well! Why did I not think of this before??

We quickly found out that an incline was best for her, hence the car seat solution.

I didn't want her in the car seat to sleep all night, I wanted her stretched out more, so I ordered the Nap Nanny. How did I find the Nap Nanny? Well after hours of research I came across it on the BabiesRUS website. It looked really comfortable and extremely spacious. This appealed to me because many products for babies are so quickly outgrown, but this item was advertised for use by infants to toddlers! Perfect!

Anyway, we tried it when we got it in the mail and she was a bit small for it. It's wide enough for kids who are older to use so she sort of flopped to the side (even while strapped in) and would wake up.

I decided to wait a few weeks to try it again, and continued to use the car seat. I felt like such a bad mommy, but Kirsten slept so well in the car seat that it was hard to resist. I loved being able to sleep for 6 or 7 hours straight! Sometimes mommies tend to be a bit selfish in that regard!

So around 4 - 5 weeks we tried the Nap Nanny again and you know what, it worked out well! She really enjoyed it. We started out slowly by only using it at nap time, and then slowly transitioned her to it at night. Eventually she got used to her new bed, and her sleeping patterns went back to being amazing.

I did add a Snuzzler, an infant positioner that we use in the car seat, to help with the transition, and I do believe that is what the key was to our successful transion.

A really great feature about the Nap Nanny is that it is easy to carry around (due to it being made of a foam, it is extremely light weight). I can place it on the floor and allow her to play and snuggle up inside. She loves laying in it in the evening and watching television with us!

Also, it comes in really cute colors for the covers! I highly recommend getting two covers, babies tend to cause a mess on everything you own!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Postpartum Depression

I read this today, from Kendra Wilkinson (of Girls Next Door fame):
“I never brushed my hair, my teeth or took a shower. I looked in the mirror one day and was totally depressed … A couple of times, I even said, ‘I just have nothing to live for.’”

This made me really sad. I read constantly on message boards about postpartum depression and the warning signs to look for in case you may be suffering from it. I worried while in the hospital that I would get it and be too strong willed to ask for help. Turns out its actually extremely common. So common that a celeb is coming out and talking about it. I believe Brooke Shields also had it, and that was where she had the argument with Tom Cruise about medication, and whether it was real.

I suppose I was always in the dark about depression in general. When friends would mention they were on depression medication I would think to myself, "They don't need that! They're just making it up. It isn't that bad." Well it turns out this is all real. And some people truly suffer from this, and never seek the proper help.

I think the media has done a terrible job of getting information out there for people who suffer from depression. We see commercials that advertise a pill to take. An easy solution to a big problem. Or people throw the word "depressed" around easily and its made into a joke. Maybe that's why Tom Cruise had such a hard time believing that it was real, and a very serious problem.

So after reading that Kendra suffered from depression I thought to myself about my experience. I was told I would have the "baby blues," and I did. I would cry randomly, feel anxious, and get really irritated quickly. But that all eventually went away. Sure I still get anxious or angry, but its manageable. I can only imagine what it would be like to be trapped inside this dark cloud of depression, unable to get out.

I'm glad Kendra spoke up. It takes a lot of guts to do something like that. Especially as a public figure. I'd be interested to see if on her show they mention it at all.

This really got me thinking about my own birth experience, and when I have time I will write about my feelings behind it. Because I have many many thoughts. (you can read my birth story in my first post).

I put a photo of Kirsten smiling in the post because I often think... when you have a baby so happy and healthy, how can you not be happy? Well, I suppose it can still happen. and that's the difficult part.

Another product to try, another day

It seems like since becoming a mommy all I do is research products to try on Kirsten. The poor thing is probably going through sensory overload!

Anyway, I discovered this toy while cruising around other mommy blogs. They are little stuffed animals that you can heat up, and the baby can hold and snuggle. The site claims they are good for colic or a sick baby. I reminds me of my love for heating pads when I was pregnant. How good did that feel??? Amazing right?

Well I may go ahead and order one of these to give a try when Kirsten is feeling a little ill. Imagine how good it would feel against a little congested chest.

She is clearly not old enough to really enjoy this. She would have to be able to safely have a stuffed animal in her bed without it killing her in her sleep.

This particular bear that I have shown above comes with a really soft throw blanket. We currently only have one REALLY soft blanket that she uses constantly. I have decided it is her favorite blanket, even though I'm sure she really could care less which one is on her.

The site: Warm Buddy also has products for mommy. A pad that goes over your chest, around your neck, or even warm booties. Wow the luxury!

They even have these mits for adults. They don't get warmed up but claim to be cute and warm for your hands in the winter. Personally, I couldn't take myself very seriously wearing bear paws out in public. Cute idea though!

Its amazing the things that are out there for babies and mommies. It appears that every little detail has been taken care of, and our jobs as mommies is to just buy it all, go bankrupt, but be happy with our bear mits on and our baby rolling around amongst hundreds of items.

Swim Diapers

The time is approaching for sun, sand, and swim diapers. I knew this moment would come eventually... so I am doing my best to be fully prepared. I knew that Pampers already had their own version of swim diapers (as seen above). However I was on the search for BETTER swim diaper. Something a tad more durable. By seeing what my sister-in-law goes through with the Pampers swimmers, I wanted to find something that worked better and was easier.

I stumbled upon these diapers at Monkey Doodlez yesterday. They looks really cute, appear to be rather durable, and just may work. I bought two and am anxious to give them a try.

Two swim suits that I ordered for Kirsten came in the mail, and I am super excited to try out the diapers and see how she likes the water. we are joining the local Jewish Community Center and taking advantage of their pool and open swim. They have classes for babies 6 months and older, but I want to get her in the water sooner. The more comfortable she is with the water the better.

So my search continues, and I'm anxious to blog about my findings with the swim diapers!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Miss Cranky Pants Magee

Kirsten has been such a cranky baby the past 2 days! What happened to my sweet little munchkin????

I am chalking it up to a growth spurt, and hoping she gets over it within a day or so. She has been crying non-stop during the day and just appearing very unsettled. She does have her good moments and I appreciate them so much more now.

Just today I was playing with these rolling balls with her. They have texture on them and are suppose to encourage crawling. I realize she won't be crawling for a while, but any little things helps right? I like that they are super colorful, so maybe it is just another thing for her to focus on.

Speaking of focusing... she focuses well on things. She stares at the tv, will look directly at items above her on her play mat, and watches the toys on her car seat handle. However... when I put things below her eye sight, she won't look down at them. It seems she only really does side to side and up. No down. Is this normal? I shake a rattle bellow her, around where her hands are, and she continues to look side to side or up. I put it in her hands and she doesn't look down at her hands at the objects. She will shake it a bit and sort of feel it, but generally has no interest. So is it normal for them to not really get the grasping thing yet? Again I assume this is all stuff to come within the next few weeks. She does grasp stuff... just not on her own. And she could care less about what is in her hand. Hmmmmmm

Kirsten has also totally given up on rolling over. Maybe when she did it before it was a fluke? haha! She is more interested in spreading her arms far apart and lifting herself up. She can lift her head up fairly high, so I guess she is still making good progress.

Its so funny that we as mommies focus so much on milestones. We constantly ask "what is your kid doing" or get madly jealous when a mommy brags about what their kid could do at a certain age. I hated moms like that, but I can understand why they do it. Its exciting! But I really try to keep myself from bragging too much. I realize they are babies, and all babies are different and will reach certain milestones differently. Kirsten could roll over at 3 weeks. Maybe she won't walk until after the age of one to make up for being awesome at so many other things! Who knows. But its all up to her!

I hope she stops being cranky. She keeps rubbing her left eye, which we found out has a birth mark on it, and it gets super red when she is tired. Its really cute, because its almost like she is giving me a visual clue as to what she is thinking. I heard it goes away eventually. Which I am grateful for, I'd hate for her to have a red eye lid the rest of her life! Then again, she won't have to worry about eye shadow!! (ba-zing!)

A few sites to check out....
Sweetie Pie TuTus
Bellas Bowtique

Monday, March 1, 2010

Take a Moment

And please visit this site... it's a really beautiful story!

Layla Grace

Thoughts and prayers go out to their friends and family. When I read about families who are struggling with a sick child my heart breaks, and I feel SO lucky to have my happy/healthy baby Kirsten!