Friday, January 31, 2014

A Few of Mom's Favorite Things | 0-3 Months

I'm about to blog about my favorite baby items. I guess there is no denying it - I've become a Mommy Blogger. You just can't help it!

I have a few friends that are becoming first time parents in the next nine months and have asked what to put on their registry. First off, everyone has different lifesaver from what I can tell. The trick is finding out which one will work with your little one. Second, there are plenty of lists that contain all the necessities, but the items below are things that we love and worked for Claire. Are they necessary? Nope, they just made our life easier during the first three months. What new parent couldn't use a little bit of easy?

There are items on the list that Claire grew out of at three months. This may seem like a short time, but in baby parent time this is a lot! A fussy or trying phase may only last a week, but it feels like it's been going on for a month. Again, this is just a list that worked with our little girl and we all know each baby is different.

Rock'n Play

Claire slept by our bed in the Rock'n Play for the first 2.5 months. To add, she was back in it for a few nights while we were troubleshooting a safe sleeping option once she learned to roll. It's lightweight, easy to pack up and go and it's the baby is on an incline so it helps with reflux. I think it should have been called a Rock n Sleep. Not really sure where the "Play" comes in, but for us we loved it as a sleeper.

Small portable changing pads

I did not have these on my registry. My friend Amy, also a new mom, mentioned how much she loved having these around. On her recommendation, I got them a few weeks before Claire arrived. They have been wonderful. I put one on top of the changing pad and it's saved me many times from having to strip and wash the changing pad cover. Also, when she slept in our room I kept one on hand to change her in the middle of the night on our bed. This saved us from having to change our sheets in the middle of the night many times! Lastly, I always have one in her diaper bag just in case.

Gripe Water

Supposedly this product is a hit or miss with many, but it was a true lifesaver for us. We buy the Little Tummies brand. During the first month of her life our little one had major tummy issues. She screamed throughout the night in pain. I don't know if her digestive system matured or if it truly was Little Tummies, but this got much better when we used this product. It has also worked 50/50 on the hiccups, which can really put a kink in your bed or nap time routine.

Miracle Blanket

Claire must have been working on her swaddle breaking skills in the womb because that girl could break out of a nurse-wrapped swaddle in 8 seconds flat. We tried the velcro swaddle blankets, double blanket swaddling, different swaddling methods, etc. Finally, we threw in the swaddle blanket and called it a day. Swaddling just didn't work for us. Then my friend Liz, a veteran mom of three boys, suggested the Miracle Blanket. We were skeptical, but that first night in the Miracle Blanket Claire slept 6 hours straight! We bought one in every color.

Sound Machine

We have three. Two travel machines and one that stays in her room and plugs into an outlet. The travel machines are perfect for helping her sleep while we're running errands and drown out the noise. The travel machines both have timer settings and as they are battery operated they will turn off after a certain time. The one that stays in her room doesn't have a time limit. Prior to having the latter, we would have to sneak back into her room to turn it on.

Flannel burp cloths

This is just a short and simple reason: I like 'em and they don't slip. They stay on your shoulder so you don't get slobber or spit up on your shoulder, thinking you're covered only to find that your burp cloth has fallen away.

Puj tub

We loved this tub! It probably wouldn't work for everyone as it depends on the type of sink you have, but it's great for a number of reasons. First, it saves a lot of space and you can fold it up and put it in the closet. It's great for travel for the same reason. Second, it fits in your sink (in our case we used the bathroom sink) and allows the water to cycle out so that the water stays clean. Third, you don't have to hold your baby to keep them steady while bathing. Claire just outgrew the Puj (she's longer than average) and we have use the standard baby tub. My back wishes we would not have outgrown the Puj.

Aden & Anais blankets

Who doesn't love these? They are the perfect weight especially if you live in the South. I use them to keep her warm or just to keep the sun out of her eyes while in her stroller. Also, the prints are so cute. I have two with us at all times.


Yes, it saves your arms while holding your baby, but we use it as a baby recliner. She hangs out on the couch or bed with us and it's usually where I put her when she's in transition time between playtime and getting ready for a nap. Having two covers is also helpful.


I got these as a shower gift and had no clue what they were. How frustrating is it for both you and your baby to have to pull the car seat straps out from under them or detangle them before strapping them in? These little guys hold the car seat straps to the side while you put your baby in the car seat. They just made things less frustrating.

Sturdy blankets

You can probably register for blankets similar to this, but one of our favorite blankets was handmade by our friend Lauri. It's made of sturdy flannel material that's machine washable. It is the perfect play mat and I always know we can throw it in washing machine and it won't be phased. Lauri picked out fun patterns and colors and Claire loves focusing in on a different square each time. We call it our Lauri Blanket. I'll let you know if she decides to put them on the market.

Again, these are just our personal favorites and we've had one baby so take that for what it's worth! If you have any items you were especially fond of during the first three months please share in the comments for my new mommy-to-be friends.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The War of the Snoozes

It was an epic battle. The year was 2014.

The place? C's Crib.

The opponents? Claire the Valiant versus Mommy the Perseverant.

A coup had been mounted by Claire the Valiant earlier in the week. The conflict? Naps.

Do not mistake her small stature and youthful appearance for weakness. Claire the Valiant was a worthy opponent and seemed to be winning more territory by the day.

Her methods were similar to those of William Wallace. "You may swaddle me, but you may never get me to...NAP!" I think I heard her say that.

And then she mooned me.

Heavy resistance began earlier during the day with fussiness and hiccups, but Mommy the Perseverant was on to her tactics.

Come UPS man, barking dogs or children walking home from the bus stop...there would be a nap.

Mommy the Perseverant sent the Recon Team in early to set the stage.

The lights were low. You could hear the soothing sounds of a babbling brook from a nearby sound machine.

The swaddle was snug, paci and bumpers in place and Surveillance was turned on.

Her first approach involved a staring contest with Surveillance. Clever, but not going to work.

Then Claire the Valiant employed the infamous Lift My Legs in the Air & Wave'em Round Like I Just Don't Care Move. Mommy the Perseverant remained unphased.

Would the swaddle hold? Would reinforcements be needed?

The eyelids fell at 2:02 PM.

The paci surrendered at 2:10 PM.

The swaddle did not break ranks.

This was to be Claire the Valiant's Waterloo. The white flag was raised.

To the winner go the spoils - in this case, it was a shower.


(to note, Claire the Valiant did not lose an arm during this battle. Swaddle weaning...{next battle})

Thursday, January 9, 2014

3 Months & Counting

Our little girl was officially three months old yesterday. I haven't updated the past milestones, but I'm going to try to get a lot better about it. Why? Because I'm already forgetting when things happened! Have I mentioned that this is going by way too fast?

Just an overview of what's been going on the past three months...

The first month was very trying. We had eating and digestive issues for nearly the whole first month. Because she didn't feel well she cried from about 8PM to 4AM for the first two to three weeks. Needless to say, Joey and I wondered how we were going to survive if this kept up. Keeping her alive was one thing, but who was going to keep us alive? It was rough.

Things got better around the fourth week. We figured out her eating issues and whether or not it was some of the digestive techniques we learned or maybe her digestive system matured (who knows), the main issues that were keeping her fussy began to go away. Whew!

She started sleeping through the night about six weeks. This was such a blessing! She also started smiling for real around this time. And of course, there was a lot of growing going on during this time frame. Apparently, she is very strong. She began holding her head up almost at Day 1 and shortly after began rappelling off anyone who held her. Joey is already considering power lifting training in a few months.

By three months, the girl has got some skills.

She smiles all the time. One of my favorite parts of the day is waking her up in the morning and from naps. She is so happy and gives whoever releases her from captivity the biggest smile in reward.

Rolling over seems to be on the agenda. In fact, it's created a new set of issues in the swaddling department. We are currently in troubleshooting mode on this one.

She has discovered her hands. It's an obsession, in fact. You know how Cookie Monster is with cookies? That's how Claire is with her hands. 
She puts everything in her mouth and slobber is just a natural byproduct I guess. Bibs suddenly became a necessity.

Some of her favorite things include bath time, singing, reading, her Lovie, paci and activity mat. In particular, she loves one hanging toy. Does she love the face? No, of course not. She loves the random material at the top. {See Picture lower right}

This girl has also become Chatty Kathy over the past two weeks. She loves to babble and blow bubbles. Unfortunately, she gives herself the hiccups by doing this.

She has also just started holding onto her bottle. I'm seeing control issues down the road...

Each day she does something new and being her mom increasingly more fun. At our two month check up she was 95% for length, 90% for head circumference (read brains) and 60% for weight. It seems like she's had a huge growth spurt since the last check up.

I can't wait to see what's in store for month 3!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

This Side of Mommyhood

She’s here.

We held our breath as she took her first at 6:05 PM on October 8, 2013.

Isn’t it amazing how the world can become larger and smaller all at the same time?

We could sit and stare at her all day. Everything about her is just so beautiful. And to think that this is the precious girl we were waiting on this whole time. She was the tiny little peanut we saw in the ultrasound less than a year ago. Crazy.

There are a lot of things I hope to do as her mom. Sure, many are silly and have been laughed at by veteran moms throughout the universe for years. In the thick of things many of these well-intentioned hopes may very well fall undone.

And that’s ok.

However, there are a few little things I hope I can remember to do:

Tell her that she’s beautiful and smart each day because there will be a day when she doesn’t see herself that way.

Hold her and dry her tears because there will be a day when I won’t be able to take away her tears just by rocking her.

Put aside the dishes and laundry more often just to catch her smile because there will be a day when I won’t be able to make her smile just by touching her cheek. And honestly, one only has so many smiles in a lifetime and I want to take in as many of hers as possible.

Even though she doesn’t quite understand what I’m saying, read to her over and over again because there will be a day when she’ll no longer need me to read to her, opting instead to read in solitude.

Sometimes sneak softly into her room to watch her sleep even at risk of waking her up because can you ever really get enough of the preciousness that is a sleeping baby?

Stare into her wonder-filled eyes and soak up her looking at me as if I am her whole world because soon she’ll realize that the world is much bigger than her mom.

Those are just a few.

I packed her newborn clothes away yesterday. It’s already going by way too fast. I love that her little clothes and toys are in each room of our house. I’m sure there will be a day when I’ll just want things put away, but for now I like traces of her sweet existence everywhere.

Someone once said that being a mom is like agreeing to have your heart live outside your body. Yup, I can see that.  Becoming a parent means becoming forever vulnerable. Thankfully, God’s power is made perfect in our weakness and as far as I can tell, this vulnerability is one of the best kinds we can experience on this earth.

I love being her mom.