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Archive for the ‘Musings’ category

We are two weeks in to this newborn thing and there have definitely been some items that have become absolutely indispensable to our daily lives.  Now, there are plenty of items that we haven’t gotten to use yet because Alice isn’t ready for them (Bumbo seat, crib, high chair, etc.) but these are items that I love.  In no particular order, here are 5 items that are essentials in our household.

#1

The Bobby Pillow.  This pillow has been great for elevating baby to a more comfortable height for breast-feeding and as a surface for her to lay on while on Dad’s lap, too.  We aren’t making use of it in other ways but soon I know that it will be quite useful for more advanced tummy-time and propping up baby once she gains control of her head.  We have two covers and change them out to wash them about once a week– or sooner if need be!

#2

The Boon Drying Rack.  This is an item that made nearly every list of “what to register for” that I think I looked at and I can see why.  First off, you do need a place for all the bottles, paci’s, and pumping supplies to hang out once they’ve been washed and sanitized.  This drying rack is large enough to do the job but also compact and cute enough to sit on the counter top.  I’m glad that I put this on my registry and it was gifted to us because otherwise I would not have known the wonder of such a simple item.

#3

Trend Lab Diaper Caddy.  This exact caddy isn’t necessary, but a diaper caddy of some sort is a necessity for us because we live in a 2 story house.  I’ve stocked this one for use while downstairs.  It’s large enough to hold two sleeves of diapers and diaper wipes.  The pockets all around the sides are perfect for diaper rash cream, hand sanitizer, hand lotion, a comb and brush set, a book, and some finger puppet friends.  Plus, its neutral enough in this grey pattern to fit in to any decor.  Ours happens to sit on the fireplace mantle right at your fingertips for diaper changes.

#4

This Graco Pack n’ Play might be the most loved and often used item I’ve included on this list.  The main purpose of this item is to take with us when we travel to our in-laws.  They live an hour away and when we visit we frequently try to make it worthwhile by staying all day.  Well, with a baby in tow that changes things a bit.  I figured that this play pen would be a great item to set-up and provide a “docking” station for our child.  I especially love that it is so versatile!  This particular model can be used as a traditional play pen or “baby jail” as I like to refer to it and it has a shelf that can turn it in to a bassinet.  But, that’s not all!  There are two items on top that provide even more ways to use this item– on the left is a portable napper and on the right is a changing table.  The napper is great– in fact as my husband and I took shifts with Alice overnight for the first week downstairs this is where she slept. We don’t take the napper off of the play pen and move it around but we could if we needed to.

And the changing table is where most of her diapers get changed since we spend the majority of our awake time downstairs in the living room.  It’s vinyl and easily wipes down with a soapy dish rag when need be.  This was in front of our fireplace until we took down the Christmas tree and then we moved it in to the corner of the living room next to the fireplace–hence the diaper caddy in close proximity on top of the fireplace mantle.  This is one of the more expensive items from our registry but I couldn’t see living without it– and it has plenty of more use and worth to offer as she grows.

#5

The New Father: A Dad’s Guide to the First Year.  This book was recommended by a Youtuber that my husband stumbled across and then I saw it on several lists that I came across when creating our registry.  My husband isn’t much for reading but he has given this book his seal of approval.  It’s got great tips and advice geared towards Dad’s– but the tidbits that my husband shares with me are very often things that I didn’t know– for instance I was not aware that it is common for babies to lose weight after they are born.  Luckily my husband shared this fact with me and so I didn’t freak out when she lost weight.  There are lots of practical information that is shared and my husband likes how the book is set-up– it gives information about baby at a certain week, but also what might be going on with Mom and Dad.

There you have it– 5 items that have cemented themselves as necessities in our lives in the 14 days that we have had a real live baby in our home.  I hope that this list helps you if you’re a first time Mom (or Dad).  What are some items that you found you couldn’t live without?

-Carla

Hello!  Greetings from the other side of motherhood.  I’ve been navigating my way through this new world and trying to establish what is my new normal.  My water broke on Saturday evening January 6 and our daughter was born at 9:46 am on Sunday January 7th.  I’ll expand on her birth story in a later post– for now I just wanted to post a quick update.

I spent Monday and Tuesday in the hospital and we were discharged around 6 pm Tuesday evening.  Our first night home was O.K.  A tad better than expected– but then we had our first scare with our new addition and had to go to the children’s hospital emergency room Wednesday evening– more on that later, too.  Luckily, my husband was able to be home with me for the first week as we lived in a perpetual state of feeding, burping, changing, and rocking to sleep.  Most of that first week is a big blur.  And then the following Monday my daughter, Alice, and I were on our own.  My biggest fear was that she would have a crying fit and I wouldn’t be able to calm her down and there would be no one to help me.  But, that didn’t happen and we made it through.

Anyway.

I didn’t spend much time the first week thinking about myself– it was all about her.  And then, I did take some time for myself.  I managed to take a shower, put on an “outfit” and do some hair and makeup.  During week 2 things got a bit easier each day.  The weekends are the best though because my husband is home and I get longer periods of time to take care of myself.  And, on Saturday we had Grandma over to visit.  In the photo above I am wearing a newly purchased nursing top from Old Navy and my pre-pregnancy jeans.  But, full disclosure: they aren’t fully zipped OR buttoned.  I’m wearing my belly band to disguise that fact.

On Wednesday of this week I actually managed to take an outfit photo.  I wanted to take a 2 week postpartum photo with my daughter but I ran out of time.  I wore this burgundy v-neck sweater and dark wash boot cut jeans to Alice’s doctor’s appointment.  (These are also pre-pregnancy jeans.)  I wanted to take a side photo to start documenting my postpartum journey back to my pre-pregnancy weight.  I am not really paying too much attention to it now– I’ve decided to wait to really start the journey until after my 6-week check-up when I should be cleared for physical activity.  Plus, I am breast-feeding so I have to make sure that I am focusing on eating well to support milk production and not focusing too much on dieting and losing weight.  But! without even trying– simply by just having a baby I’ve lost 24 lbs.  :). That is very exciting to me.  I gained a total of 44 lbs. over the course of my pregnancy and I was working on losing weight when I got pregnant so from my heaviest (184 lbs.) I want to lose a total of 50 lbs. My goal weight is 134 lbs. and from where I am currently (160 lbs.) I have 26 lbs. to lose.  Again, more on that later!

I want to try to get back to posting but I can’t make any promises.  I’m still struggling with trying to find time to shower each day.

-Carla

 

Monday morning I had this idea in my head for an outfit.  It started with this denim shirt dress, olive-green leggings, my tan suede-like booties, and an olive-green boyfriend style cardigan.  However, the weather is quite a bit warmer than normal for the end of November so I wasn’t going to need all those layers!  Instead, I opted to just go with the denim shirt dress, green leggings, and gold sparkly ballet flats.  The fabric belt that came with the dress just wasn’t working for me and I was going to go sans belt but the belt loops on the side seams were bugging me so I added this leopard-print belt to pull in more of the gold tones.  I accessorized with an oversized gold watch and somewhat of gold and faux-diamond statement earrings.  I went sleek and straight with my hair and a golden bronze eye shadow look with a matte pink lipstick.  I think that this outfit looked better in my head than on my body.  I look extremely pregnant in this dress.  It is tighter and stretched to the absolute limit–more so than I thought it would be!

For comparison, here’s how the dress looked long before my pregnancy and at week 26:

In other news, it’s Christmastime!  Christmas is probably my favorite holiday.  But, I have to admit that I am slightly bummed that I am pregnant during this time of year.  I had so many decorating ideas for the new house but I’m not going to be able to physically do them.  In fact, I started decorating on Sunday.  I put up the tree, fluffed the branches, added a wide plaid ribbon, gold star, red and gold bows, and some red and gold icicle ornaments.  That was all that I had in me before I needed a break.  Then, later on that evening I added red and gold balls and sparkly gold snowflake ornaments and put the tree skirt down.  That is the current state that the tree is in– you can see it in the photographs behind me.  It’s just missing the one-of-a-kind “special” ornaments that my husband and I have collected over the years.  I like to put those on the tree together because it brings fond memories of places we’ve visited or experiences that we’ve shared and commemorated with a Christmas ornament.

I did take advantage of the above-average temperatures this afternoon and put up Christmas lights outside.  We have a tree at the corner of our house and then 4-5 small bushes that run across the front and then another bush that sits between the front stairs and the garage.  My idea was to put colored lights in the tree and white lights in the bushes.  I thought that 2 strings of colored lights would be enough but it turned out that it wasn’t.  I probably need at least a string of 200 to finish the tree.  I did put the white lights into the bushes and all was going well until I reached the last bush and I had the female end of the light string and I needed to male end to connect to the power outlet.  Try as hard as I might, I just couldn’t find a way around how I had strung them to get power to all of the strings.  I’m worried that I am going to have to undo everything that I did and re-do it.  But, I still need more lights to finish out the last bush– probably at least 200 or more so when I go to get more lights I am also going to look for an adapter or extension cord that can help solve my dilemma.  And, if all else fails I will just have to re-do the lights.

-Carla