Monday, May 7, 2012

A few of my favorite things

Oh hai!  So, life with a baby is BUSY to say the least!  I had every intention of keeping up the blog much better than I have the past four months, but yeah...didn't happen.  By the time Colin goes down for the night (now around 7-ish), I'm so exhausted that blogging is usually the last thing I'm thinking about. 

Anyway, this blog isn't going to become Baby Central, but I figured a few posts about some of the most helpful baby products would still be in line with what this blog is.  So, here are a few of the things that made our life so, so, so much easier the past 4 months.  (I'm not getting paid for any of this; this is nothing more than my opinions.)

Aden + Anais Swaddle Blankets--these blankets are awesome.  They're muslin, so they're lightweight and breathable, but they're huge, so it's easy to swaddle babykins in these.  I have 8 of them and I'm glad I bought so many: I use them in the stroller, around the house when it's a little drafty, and I keep one rolled up on either side of Colin in the crib so he can't move around too much.  I tried the Miracle Blanket and the Swaddle Me and while those do a great job of keeping him swaddled, it's like putting together origami, which isn't great for those every-three-hour-during-the-night diaper changes that happen the first few weeks. 

Angel Care Video Monitor--This monitor rocks.  We transitioned Colin from the Pack 'n' Play in our room to his crib when he was about 5 weeks old and this monitor was crucial in allowing us all to sleep better.  The video monitor has night vision and a zoom and panning ability, so you can see if your little one's eyes are open or not before walking in the room and definitely waking them up.  Genius.  The motion sensor that goes under the mattress calmed my new mom fears a bit (an alarm sounds if there's no motion detected for 20 seconds--like if they were to stop breathing).  A few false alarms just about gave me a heart attack, but adjusting the sensitivity settings took care of that issue really easily.

BOB stroller--Words can't express how much I love this stroller.  Yes, it's a bit on the pricey side (but it's not NEARLY as bad as some strollers!), but  It, like, glides.  It turns on a dime, is super quiet, and it's ridiculously easy to fold to put in the car.  Plus it's orange. 

Itsbeen Timer--I fully realize that some people might roll their eyes at this one because it's so ridiculously simple that it's dumb.  But that's also why it's genius.  There are four buttons on it: a diaper, a bottle, a sleep button, and a miscellaneous button.  You press the button when you change a diaper (or feed the baby, or put him to sleep or whatever) and it just keeps track of how long it's been since you've done that particular thing.  When you're completely sleep deprived in those first few weeks, this is brilliant.  It doesn't do anything fancy and so it's super easy to figure out.  In the first few weeks, I used the miscellaneous button to track how long it'd been since I'd taken my painkillers (or antibiotics during my bout with mastitis). 

Rock 'N' Play--another stupidly simple item that's genius.  It's basically a foldable bassinet that holds the baby at an angle and cradles them in a way that the crib can't.  We used this a TON in the first few weeks  and still use it in the family room mostly as a safe place to put the baby when I just need to set him down for a few minutes.  It's great for babies with reflux because of the angle and it makes them feel all cozy and secure because of the sides.  We borrowed this from a friend, but it's about $50 and I'd gladly pay that.

So those are just a few things that helped get us over the past four months.  Obviously, all babies are different, but these things worked for us and have been worth their weight in gold.  Hope this helps someone out there!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sorry, ol' blog!

I didn't mean to go quite this long without posting, but I think I severely underestimated how busy I'd be with a newborn.  Yup--that's right--I finally had that baby!  Five weeks ago, actually!  Sorry the blog got neglected--I'd promise not to have that happen again, but that's a promise I just can't make right now, you know?

I'll spare the gory details, but Colin was born on January 8th, which was his due date.  (Did you know that only about 4% of women give birth on their due date?  Pretty cool!)  I woke up that Sunday morning feeling totally discouraged because I had absolutely no sign of impending labor and I envisioned walking into work the next morning to my coworkers' pitying looks.  Anyway, we went about our day--ate breakfast, I scrubbed the grout haze off the bathroom backsplash tiles, Chris bought a wallet at the mall, then we went out for lunch and I ordered a BLT and a Sprite. 

We got back home around 2ish and right about 3:00 I had my first contraction that felt distinctly different than the other cramps/contractions I'd been having for the past few weeks.  They immediately started being about 4 minutes apart and lasting about a minute each.  They weren't painful, but they were definitely noticeable and timeable.  After an hour of that, I called the midwife and she told me to get in the bath to see if that changed anything and call back in an hour.  I was pretty sure nothing was going to change, but I got in the bath anyway and sure enough, the contractions kept coming and they kept getting closer together and stronger to the point that I had to concentrate on just breathing through them. 

At 5, when I called the midwife to follow up, she told us to go ahead and head to the hospital, so we threw a few more things in our bags, called my parents to tell them to start driving, and off we went!  We got to the hospital around 6ish, at which point my plans for a med-free childbirth were quickly going out the window--I was dying for an epidral!  We got checked in and I got prepped for an epidural, which I didn't realize would take AN HOUR!  Longest hour of my life!!!  The contractions were more and more painful and some of them had me in pathetic, silent tears.  Chris was a saint though and held my hand through each and every one and helped remind me to breathe and relax.

After the epidural I was able to relax and from there things progressed pretty quickly.  My parents were able to come in and hang out with us for a little bit, so it was nice to have some time with them and relax before things really got intense.  Anyway, around 10:30 it was time to get the show on the road and (sparing lots of details) Baby K was born at 11:24 pm!  They put the baby on my chest and Chris got to announce "It's a BOY!"  It was literally the coolest, most profound moment of my life.  We took one look at him, ran through the name choices we had picked out for a boy and within just a few minutes, we decided his name would be Colin Hubbard.

Things have been going swimmingly ever since.  Don't get me wrong--tt's a hell of an adjustment, but he's been a pretty easy baby for the most part. 

And without further ado, some photos:

Last pregnant picture at 38 weeks

Minutes after being born

Meeting daddy for the first time

Less than a week old

Hanging out with mom

5 weeks old!

Mr. Alert!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I have not disappeared, nor did I have the baby yet...

With the holiday craziness and being uber pregnant, I just decided to take a mini blog break.  The holidays were lovely, baby-baking is going swimmingly, and it's a new year!  Life is good.

We haven't done much in the way of exciting house projects lately (except for the master bath which should be completely done soon), but I did make a fun little craft project yesterday to keep my brain occupied while we wait for this baby to get here (due date is coming up on Sunday!)

We've gotten a bunch of really sweet baby cards and I wanted a way to keep them.  I found this cute idea via Pinterest and decided to make my own version.

The front:

The back:

The inside:

The project was super easy and took less than 2 hours.  I won't bother to post the step-by-step instructions; just click the link above--she covered it much better than I could.  I think it's a cute little way to keep meaningful cards.  You could also do this for big birthdays, graduations, or even annual Christmas cards!
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