baby blythe

d + r = baby b


1 Comment

Mommy and Baby Books

I’ve read a lot of “mommy” books, some of which I don’t care to recommend, because they were just average or just like another book I had already read. I decided to choose my top 6 and give my thoughts on each.

Fotor0705160953

Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies? by Jena Pincott

All pregnant women should read this book WHILE pregnant. I have no idea why, but I found this book to be extremely fascinating. It has a lot of science and medical terminology, but it doesn’t read like a medical journal or anything like that. It’s been awhile since I read this (a year-ish), but I remember LOVING the section on gender. Since we did not find out the sex of Porter ahead of time, I really enjoyed reading about the different theories on gender. I loaned my copy out and I’ve recommended it to several people. Many of those people have come back and told me how much they loved this book, too!

Why Have Kids? By Jessica Valenti

This book could probably be viewed as controversial to many–because there are a lot of touchy/taboo subjects–but I found it to be such a refreshing read. The author discusses many “truths” and “lies” about parenting/motherhood. One of the sections I appreciated the most was a section detailing her views on breastfeeding and formula feeding. I 100% agree with her opinion on the matter: “It’s more important that your child is happy and nurtured than that they’re fed with breast milk.”  I would 100% recommend this book to any parent, but especially mothers. (To my English teacher friends, I have no idea how to properly cite a quote from a book read on a Kindle. While I could probably look this up, I’m not writing this to impress anyone, so please forgive my lack of MLA in-text citations.)

The Milk Memos by Cate Colburn Smith and Andrea Serrette

I would only recommend this book to women who a) are breastfeeding or are planning to breastfeed and b) who have to work outside of the home. This book is basically a collection of journals that some women wrote to one another while pumping at work. It was almost like a secret society of sorts, but the women wrote honestly about the struggles of working + breastfeeding. A good friend bought this for me within a few days of Porter being born and I read this during night time feedings.  If I’m being honest with myself, I admit that my first several weeks of breastfeeding were terrible not great, and I was close to quitting several times. This book provided me with a lot of comfort. It also helped me to mentally prepare for going back to work, even though I knew it was several weeks away.

Sparkly Green Earrings: Catching the Light at Every Turn by Melanie Shankle

I really enjoyed this book. Shankle’s writing is so friendly and I could relate to so many sections of her book. I would recommend this to women who already have kids, though (and not people who are just pregnant without other children.) While this is of course a personal preference, I do not think I would have enjoyed the book as much if I would have read it prior to having Porter. I would not have been able to relate. I loved her description of the emotions that motherhood provides: “Even if we’ve dreamed of having babies of our own, there is nothing that prepares us for the way that moment cracks open our hearts and pours in the type of pure love we never knew existed. A love that isn’t about us but is just about wanting to love and protect this little, helpless person who will emit all manner of bodily fluids on us if given half the chance. You can’t fathom it until you experience it.” I couldn’t have explained it any better!

I was a Really Good Mom Before I had Kids by Trisha Ashworth and Amy Nobile

I read this book within my first few weeks of motherhood, and I found it to be extremely comforting and funny. Even though I was a brand new mom, I could relate to many of the anecdotes detailed in the book, and I ended up recommending it to many friends (in fact, two friends had recommended it to me!) I loved this book’s honesty: “When you’re a mother, nobody’s saying, ‘You’re doing a great job; you’re so great; what initiative, mopping up that vomit!'”

I Just Want to Pee Alone (multiple authors)

This book is a collection of short essays about motherhood, each written by a different woman.  This book had me in tears–not sappy, I just watched The Notebook tears, but ohmygodthisisfreakinghilarious tears. Within the first few pages, I was laughing out loud uncontrollably. I will say that some of the authors were naturally funnier than others, but I really did enjoy the entire book. It’s quick (it could be read in a day’s time) and it is sure to brighten anyone’s day. Many of the essays had to do with older children, so it gave me a lot to look forward to, too.

For my other moms/parents out there: What other books should I read and add to my “mommy/baby” book list?

Also, if there’s a topic you’d like me to write a post about, please leave your idea in the comments section!

Advertisements


2 Comments

A letter to Porter

Dear Porter,

I don’t know how many times a day I look at you in awe and disbelief. Even though I’ve been your mommy for over 6 months now, I still can’t believe that you are my child and that I entirely deserve you.  Your personality is really starting to show and shine. You laugh and smile all the time. My favorite smiles are the ones that you direct at me. How lucky am I receive such a gift multiple times a day? I love you so much my heart hurts.

You’re growing and changing every day, as evidenced by the bins we’ve already filled with too small baby clothes. I often wish my memory came equipped with a video camera so I could replay every moment of the past 6 months whenever I wished. Gone are the days when you would sleep in my arms (or sleep anywhere for that matter) and I wish I could rewind time to have you sleep in my arms again. Every once in awhile you’ll fall asleep after eating, and I let myself sit and enjoy you until you wake up.

You are finding your voice, and it’s adorable. I mimic your babbles and sounds and you stop to stare at me in awe, surprised that I can make the same sounds that you can. You love buzzing your lips, and even when you have sweet potatoes in your mouth, you don’t know that the consequence of doing so will result in sweet potatoes all over me (or maybe you do, and that’s why you do it.) You’re eating solids, and have eaten avocado and sweet potatoes so far. Neither experience has gone amazingly well, but you’re still trying to figure out what the heck you’re suppose to do. You’ll get the hang of it. I can’t wait to learn what your favorite foods will be.

You love things that turn and spin, and you’re an expert at moving your wrist back and forth to make things move at the speed you’d like them to.

I wonder what you’ll do with those hands someday. Whether you are a scientist, a teacher, a musician, a salesman, an accountant, or a job of some other field, I know you’ll do amazing things.  I believe this because you amaze me every day.

I don’t know how many times I have counted your tiny toes. If I could, I’d count all your eyelashes, too.

Instead of trying to fold the laundry or check my email, I often sneak in to watch you while you nap. You look so peaceful and happy, and my heart can’t help but to swell with joy. I wonder what you dream about.

I never tire of holding you. When I’m with friends and family and people reach out to take you from my arms, it hurts my heart a little bit. I know I should share you with everyone around me, but I am selfish and want you all to myself. After all, you grew inside me for 9 months and whenever you’re not in my arms, I feel incomplete.

Sometimes a feeling passes over me in which I believe that it’s impossible for anyone else to possibly know how much I love you, but then I realize that I’m wrong. Every mother, every parent has been there and understands.

As you grow into the boy and finally into the man you will become, I wonder what you’ll be like. Will you love seafood like your daddy and be afraid of storms like me? Will you open car doors for the women in your life like your daddy (I hope you do) and enjoy getting lost in a book like me?

The past 6 months have gone so fast, and when I see parents with newborns at church or the drugstore, I often warn them with the same warning I’ve received countless times: “They grow up so fast!” I know you’ll be walking, going to kindergarten, getting your first girlfriend, going to prom, and graduating high school in no time.  Until then, I’ll ignore the toys all over the floor and the mountains of laundry you produce in order to try to savor every moment in between. I don’t want to miss anything.

Love, Mommy


2 Comments

Nursery Decor: Children Inspire Design

When I was planning Porter’s nursery, one of my #1 goals was for it to be gender neutral. When I came upon this print from Children Inspire Design, I knew I had to have it.  Not only was it perfect, but with each print purchased, food was donated to children in need.

future-fortified-lowHere’s the print in the finished nursery!

nursery-8

Anyway, I checked my email a few minutes ago, and BabySteals.com is offering some Children Inspire Design prints at a discount. I’m tempted to buy some more prints. Here are a few that are being offered. Sadly, the one in Porter’s nursery is not a featured deal.

51148_highres 51157_highres 51160_highres 51166_highresHurry! Deals on BabySteals.com do not last long!


4 Comments

Expectations and Mommy Guilt: A Rant of Sorts

Disclaimer: This post contains my opinion on a number of topics, some of which may be controversial to some. You’ve been warned.

Every mom knows what I’m talking about when I use the phrase “mommy guilt.” It’s real and it’s debilitating.

I’m reading a book right now that a good friend recommended to me [there will be a post soon about that book and other mommy/parenting books!] and it has really got me thinking about the expectations that society has for modern mothers and how those expectations have changed over the past few decades.

Social media and our modern world, while fantastic in so many ways, has made mothers feel inadequate and incapable. For instance, society expects ALL women to breastfeed. If a woman chooses to or cannot breastfeed her child, she is thought to be hurting her child and her baby won’t be as smart or as healthy as his/her breastfed peers. Likewise, society sends the message that if you think you “can’t” breastfeed, you’re just not trying hard enough. Similarly, women are sent the message that if they do not make their own [organic] baby food, they are also doing a disservice to their babies. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read things along the lines of “I make all my own baby food. That way I know EXACTLY what’s in it. I don’t want my baby eating store bought food. Ick!” Are all the foods you eat made from scratch? Mine sure as heck aren’t. I love Kraft macaroni and cheese too much.

To some, this may sound a little hypocritical, because I am breastfeeding, and I do hope to be able to make Porter’s baby food. However, I do not think that formula fed babies are inferior to breastfed babies, and if I am not able to make all of Porter’s food and I have to buy some of it at the store, I’m not going to think the world is ending.

So…women are expected to breastfeed. Women are expected to cook and prepare all their own baby food. And on top of this, women are expected to have enough hours in the day to always have a clean “Pinterest worthy” home, cook a nutritious and delicious meal for the rest of the family, shower and look put together every day, come up with educational and stimulating activities for their babies/children to do throughout the day, etc. etc.

Even without all of these expectations, just being a mom (by itself) is hard enough.

Don’t get me wrong: I love it when my home is clean. I’d like to have dinner ready and prepared every night by the time David gets home, and I enjoy being clean and showered just as much as the next gal, but does it happen every day? Nope. Not. Even. Close.  Some days the only thing I “accomplished” was being a mom to my beautiful son.

I mean, I try to shower every day, but sometimes I put my pajamas back on. Some days I put my hair up in a bun, put yoga pants on, and if Porter spits up on me, instead of changing, I just rub it in. Some days I’m convinced that if I were to run into Stacy and Clinton from What Not To Wear at Target or the drugstore that they’d ambush me.

Another thing a lot of moms feel guilty about: working outside of the home.

Being on maternity leave was amazing. I loved spending so much time with Porter, and it was fun getting to know this new little person and learn about his personality and the person he was going to become. When I had to return back to work when he was eleven weeks old, I felt like I was going to miss out on a lot, and guess what? I did. However, I do not think I am a bad mom because I went back to work. Do I feel like a bad mom sometimes? Sure. Did I/Do I have feelings like Porter was going to forget who I was? Yes. But I try to remind myself every day that I’m STILL A GOOD MOM. And now it’s summer and I’m home with him until school starts again in the fall. I am so thankful that I have this “extra” time with him that a lot working moms don’t have. Will I feel guilty when I go back in the fall? Probably, but I’ll still consider myself to be a good mom, even if I have to remind myself of that at times.

On top of all this, every mother wonders if she’s “doing it right.” Yes, it’s correct that there is not one right way to raise and parent a child, but that doesn’t stop women (and I’m guilty of this) of questioning every thing they are doing. I have found myself Googling things like “How many naps should my [blank] month old be taking a day?” “What time should my [blank] month old be going to bed?” “Is the cry it out method cruel?” “My baby hasn’t pooped in two days.” etc. etc. Yes, the internet is great, but what did moms do before the internet? They trusted their instincts and their doctors. I have a really hard time NOT Googling my questions and concerns, and I try to just do whatever I feel is right, but sometimes it’s hard not to doubt every little thing. Because let’s face it, like every other mom, I want to make the “right” decisions and do what’s best for my son.

Do men feel these same pressures as fathers? While I don’t know for sure, I don’t think they do.

Being a mom is tough, but please don’t get me wrong. I am NOT complaining about motherhood/being a mom. I LOVE being a mom, and I’m thankful that God gave me the opportunity to be a mom. It provides me with so much joy and fulfillment. My heart is so full of love for Porter–love I didn’t know I was capable of feeling.  Yet…I still feel these pressures, and I think it’s okay to admit that.

So, society: forgive me. I haven’t even started putting together Porter’s “baby book,” there are dishes in the sink, my son went to bed with pureed avocado on his forehead, and my husband is going to be home in twenty minutes and I have no plans for dinner.


5 Comments

How We Cloth Diaper

I’ve already written about why we cloth diaper, but I haven’t given you details on HOW we cloth diaper. 99% of you don’t care (and I think I’m being generous when I assume that 1% of you do), BUT I’ve had some pregnant friends ask me for details, so I decided to write a post.

Before I give any details, I’d like to say that there are many ways to cloth diaper and dozens of types and brands. This is just how we do it and what works FOR US. I don’t know everything about cloth diapering, and when I started, I had a million questions. I turned to the internet and a good friend who was also cloth diapering and learned a bit along the way.

cdThe Goods:

We use BumGenius diapers. It is recommended that you have at least 24 diapers. We have closer to 30. I’d say we have around 20 BumGenius 4.0 diapers and 10 BumGenius Freetime diapers. The Freetime diapers are nice because the inserts are already attached, but they do take longer to dry. They are also a bit more expensive. The 4.0 diapers are nice, too, because since they are a pocket diaper, it makes it easy to stuff for nighttime to add extra absorbency.

We also use cloth wipes. It seemed easier, since we were already washing diapers anyway. You can use baby washcloths. I registered for BumGenius wipes and was lucky enough to get them. We use LuSa Baby Wipe Juice as a solution. I put it in a spray bottle and spray the wipe. I experimented with making some of my own cloth wipe solutions, but this ended up being my favorite. It is the easiest, because it just mixes up with water.

You can’t use regular diaper rash cream with cloth diapers, but there are plenty of cloth diaper safe options out there. We use LuSa Booty Balm. I am obsessed with this stuff.

We do not have a diaper pail. We bought a Simple Human trash can with a pedal and use that with a Planet Wise fabric pail liner inside. We have two pail liners, so we always have a clean one while the other one is being washed. If we’re out and about, dirty diapers go in a Planet Wise wet bag that easily fits into the diaper bag. We have three of these, because they get tossed in the diaper pail whenever we get home with the dirty diapers. When we’re traveling away from home for a few days, we use a larger wet bag, like this Bummis one.

We have a BumGenius diaper sprayer, but we haven’t had to use it yet. When I was trying to convince David to cloth diaper, he said he’d be on board as long as we had a diaper sprayer.

The Process:

When Porter pees or poos, the process is almost the same as changing a regular disposable diaper. If he was wearing a Freetime diaper, I don’t have to do anything. I just put the whole diaper in the diaper pail. If he was wearing a 4.0 diaper, the insert needs to be taken out prior to putting the diaper in the diaper pail. This doesn’t mean I have to necessarily touch the insert, though. There is a small tag on the insert, so I pull on that and the insert easily slides out. I’m not going to lie, sometimes I get poop on my hand when I do this, but I’m pretty sure that happens with disposables, too. The insert and the diaper goes into the diaper pail (with the liner). Even with poo, I do not have to rinse the diapers before putting them in the diaper pail. I know that sounds gross, but breast milk poop easily dissolves in water. There is no poop residue inside my washer after washing the diapers. When Porter’s poo starts to become more solid, we’ll need to dump the poop into the toilet before putting it in the pail. If it’s really nasty, we’ll need to spray it first with the diaper sprayer.

Does Porter’s room smell like pee and poo? I get this question a lot, and to be honest, no, it doesn’t. The diaper pail (garbage can) has a lock on it, but honestly, we don’t lock it 99% of the time. I do have some freshener things that I put in the bottom of the pail (NOT the liner) but the same freshener has been in there since day 1 and I haven’t switched it out, and it doesn’t stink.

The Washing: 

People assume that washing the diapers is the worst part. Honestly, it’s really easy. I wash every other day, and even while the washed diapers are drying, I have enough diapers. Like I mentioned, we have close to 30 diapers. I’m sure we’d be fine with 24 (or less), but since Porter was going to be at a sitter, I wanted to 100% make sure we had enough clean diapers at all times.

When I put the diapers in the wash, I don’t have to touch the diapers. I open my washer and just turn the pail liner inside out as I’m dumping it inside. The liner goes in the wash, too!

We have a HE washer and dryer. I didn’t know this until I started doing research about cloth diapering, but apparently it is much more difficult to get cloth diapers REALLY CLEAN with a HE washer.  HE washers use less water, which makes it more difficult. Anyway, I do a heavy duty cycle with a pre-wash and extra rinse. The pre-wash, adds more water in there. My washer has a pre-wash detergent dispenser, but I don’t put any detergent in that dispenser. The pre-wash is just with water and it basically gets them all sopping wet.  The only detergent I use is in the main wash dispenser. The entire cycle (with the pre-wash and extra rinse) takes 1 hour and 26 minutes to run. Once it’s done, I put the inserts, cloth wipes, and pail liner in the dryer and hang dry the shells (outer part of the cloth diaper.) In the summer, I put the shells and inserts outside. Not only does the sunshine dry them faster, but the sun also acts as a natural bleach!

I’ve experimented using a few different detergents, and I’ve liked all of them. Just like diaper rash cream, your cloth diaper detergent must be made specifically for cloth diapering.

Charlie’s Soap is great because you can use it on all your clothing (it’s even gentle enough for baby’s stuff!) and it gets high ratings when it comes to cloth diapering. For HE washers, you only need a tablespoon, so it lasts forever.

Ruby Moon is great if you want something scented. This stuff got my diapers really clean. When I was using this, I still used Charlie’s for everything else.

Country Save is known for how well it cleans cloth diapers. This can also be used on everything! I like this, too. It makes my diapers so soft!

Sometimes cloth diapers need to be stripped if they have detergent build up. This is a tricky topic when it comes to cloth diapering, and I’m really NOT the right person to ask about stripping diapers. I’ve used Mighty Bubbles a few times when I thought that maybe my diapers needed to be stripped, but I’ve never really known for sure. Again, there are millions of ways to strip cloth diapers, and I’m sure I’ll end up experimenting with that as well.  This is what Cotton Babies (the makers of BumGenius) recommend for stripping. I’ve used this method once, and it seemed to work just fine.

The Assembling: 

When everything’s dry, the Freetime diapers just need to be folded up because the inserts are already attached. The 4.0 diapers need to be stuffed. I do this at night while watching tv or relaxing on the couch with David. It only takes a few minutes, and I really don’t mind it.

And that’s it! I really love cloth diapering, and I’m quite passionate about it (more so that I ever expected myself to be!)

What about night time? Does he leak through his diaper? Even when Porter sleeps 11-12 hours at night, when his diapers fit correctly, 99% of the time, he does not leak through his diaper. At night we use a 4.0 diaper and we add an extra insert. This makes the diaper extra bulky, but it works for us. I have some Thirsties hemp inserts and I also have some Baby Kicks inserts. I like them both, but I think I like the Baby Kicks better. Now that’s not to say we haven’t had any leaks at all, but most of the time leaks have been due to needing to change the size of the diaper. For instance, his thighs have recently slimmed down and aren’t as chunky as they used to be. Thus, the diaper was fitting a little larger and he was leaking. I changed the size of the diaper and our problem was solved. Even with the smaller diaper, he would occassionally leak during a nap, so I have been double stuffing during naps and at night, and we’ve been fine.


1 Comment

Half a Year, 6 months, 182.5 days

Today is Porter’s 6 month birthday.  I can’t believe he’s 6 months old already–how much our lives have changed in such a short amount of time! I have loved every moment!

Some updates:

  • Porter is a pro at rolling over now (but only from his belly to his back). When we put him on the ground, he almost immediately rolls over. It’s like he’s saying “Hey! I finally figured out what you wanted me to do!” and he likes to show off this new skill.
  • He is getting better at sitting up on his own, but he can still only do it for short periods of time.
  • We think he may be starting to recognize his name. Most of the time when we call him by name he looks up at us, but it’s hard to say if he’s reacting to his name or if he’s just reacting to the sound of our voices.
  • He is SO happy most of the time, and he finds the oddest things hilarious. Yesterday I sneezed while changing his diaper and he cracked up! I then continued to fake sneeze and each time he would explode into the most adorable giggles. I told David about it, so this morning we were fake sneezing in order to get some laughs out of him. It.Was.Precious.
  • I think he might be teething, but I’m still not sure. EVERYTHING goes in his mouth and he seems to be drooling more than normal. His bottom gums look a little white, and he was absolutely hysterical last night and it took 2 hours to get him down to go to bed (this is very abnormal for him.)

P woke up at 5:11 this morning, so we had an early start to our day! This allowed us to get our monthly photo shoot done early, which is why I’m able to make a 6 month update ON the day he actually turned 6 months old. Blessing in disguise, I guess!


6mo-17

6mo-31[How is this perfect little boy ours?]

6mo-44

6mo-50

6mo-58[Stop it! How cute is he?!]


Leave a comment

4 Years

This isn’t necessarily a PORTER post, but I wanted to take a moment to recognize the fact that a few days ago David and I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary! The past 4 years of marriage have flown by, and it’s hard for me to believe that we’ve really been together for over 11 years now. We’ve come a long way, and I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.

We planned to picnic in the park with Porter, but it rained most of the day. We enjoyed a quiet day inside and spent the evening together by going to a new restaurant and then going to a different (but favorite!) restaurant for dessert. We spent dinner reminiscing about the last 11 years. It was perfect.

David truly is the most magnificent father. Before we had Porter (even before we got engaged or married) I used to wonder what kind of father David would be. I knew he’d make a great father, but it’s entirely different to wonder and to experience it firsthand. I don’t want to say that I love him more than I did before we had a child, but I definitely love him differently.

I feel so blessed.

To my husband: Thank you for being not only my husband, but also my best friend. I love you to the moon and back!

The top two pictures are from our first year together–our senior year of high school, over 11 years ago! We look like babies!

Fotor062416337


1 Comment

Top 10 Baby Products

Porter is turning 6 months (WHAT? How has he been alive for HALF a year already?!) next week. While I still consider myself to be a novice when it comes to being a mom, I also feel like I have learned a few things along the way. (However, most of the time I admittedly have no idea what I’m doing.)

I have had MANY friends who have recently had babies or who have recently announced their pregnancies. When I was pregnant, I remember asking many friends for baby product advice, and it seems that the tables have turned because many people have recently been asking me what I would recommend. Thus, this blog post was born. In no particular order, here are my top 10 baby products/ items.

baby products

[Links to products are below]

Rock-n-Play: Okay, this thing is amazing, awesome, incredible, [insert other favorable adjective here.] Porter slept in this for his first 8 weeks, and he loved it. I loved having it close to my bedside, and if he fussed (and wasn’t wet or hungry) it was nice to be able to reach out to rock it back and forth. It’s also great for traveling. We visited a friend last weekend and it was our first trip away from home with P man. He hadn’t slept in his rock-n-play for nearly 4 months, but he slept like a champ and barely even fussed when we put him down for bed. It also folds up easily, so it’s easy to store.

BumGenius 4.0 or Freetime diaper: I wrote a little bit about cloth diapering before, but I am SO glad cloth diapering worked out for us. BumGenius diapers are phenomenal and Porter very rarely gets a diaper rash/irritated. He wore a disposable swim diaper last weekend and he was so red and bumpy after only being in the diaper for thirty minutes. He also wore a regular disposable for about an hour a few weeks ago (David’s mom had some and we were considering using disposables while we traveled) and he immediately developed a rash. Plus, I love all the fun colors and his bum looks SO cute!

Swaddle Sleep Sack: Porter loved to be swaddled, and we tried and used many different swaddling products. They all have their pros and cons, but we really liked the Halo swaddling sleep sacks.

Marpac Noise Machine: No joke this is hands down the best noise machine ever. Two different friends recommended this to me and this thing is a life-saver. When Porter was a few weeks old, we went through a time when it was VERY difficult to get him to go to sleep at night time. We had a cheapy noise machine I had registered for, and we also had the Sleep Sheep and neither of those were doing the trick. To get Porter to go to sleep at night, Porter had to be swaddled. Then either David or I would hold him and rock him with one arm and hold my hairdryer on full blast with the other. Every time he woke up at night, we had to do this routine again. Once we had this noise machine, it became so much easier to put him to bed. This thing is so soothing (so much so that I want to buy one for OUR bedroom). It’s small, too, so it’s easy to travel with and won’t take much storage space when it needs to be stored away.

Snug-a-bunny swing: There are a million baby swings out there, and they probably all do the same thing, but we really love his Snug-a-bunny swing. Porter LOVES looking at himself in the mirror (Hopefully he grows out of this…) and it will swing in different directions.

Angelcare Baby Movement and Sound Monitor: This is perfect for any paranoid parent. Porter’s room is literally on the opposite side of our house, so once we moved him to his crib, I really began to appreciate this  monitor. It comes with a sensor that goes underneath the mattress and it detects the baby’s breathing movement. If the sensor stops detecting movement for 20 seconds or more (baby stops breathing or moves off of the sensor) it will alarm. There is a little pendulum on the baby monitor that moves back and forth, which indicates that it is detecting movement. Thus, I can wake up in the middle of the night and check to make sure the pendulum is moving instead getting out of bed. I’ve been known to go stare at him while he’s asleep, so this doesn’t eliminate all paranoia, but it sure does help.

Quick Zip Sheets: Oh my goodness. These are amazing. My sister’s best friend recommended these to me, and I am SO glad I listened to her. You know how annoying it is when you change your own sheets and how you have to remove the fitted sheet from your mattress? You’d think that it’d be ten times easier to do that on a smaller, baby mattress…WRONG. First of all, if you’re in a situation in which you need to change the sheet, one of three things has probably happened: baby has spit up all over sheet, baby has peed all over sheet, or baby has pooped all over sheet. When one of the said things happens, baby is usually upset hysterical and crying. If this happens while both parents are at home, one parent can hold the baby, while the other changes the sheet. However, if only one parent is at home, this becomes increasingly more difficult.  These Quick Zip sheets were designed to zip on/off and it really is SUPER easy and quick to change a sheet. They advertise that it is easy enough to do one handed. I’m not sure about that, but it’s still really easy. The set only comes with one sheet, though, so I’d recommend getting at least one extra sheet.

Mama & Papa chair: I don’t really remember why I registered for the Mama & Papa chair instead of a  Bumbo, but I did (probably because I think the Mama & Papa chairs are slightly cuter.) Anyway, this has come in handy more recently (4-6 months.) When we sit down at the dinner table, Porter sits in this so he can be with us while we eat. When he starts solids, we might start him in this before we transfer him to his high chair. It comes with a detachable tray. We also bought an activity tray that suctions to the tray, and he is obsessed with this thing. It can literally keep him occupied for 30 minutes sometimes (and trust me, that’s a long time.)

LuSa Booty Balm: This is all natural and is cloth diaper safe. Yes, it’s expensive for diaper rash cream, but it works amazingly well. Anytime Porter has been even the slightest bit red, we’ve use this and it goes away fairly quickly.

Medela Double Electric Pump: This would obviously only be helpful for breastfeeding mamas, but this pump is relatively quick and gets the job done. Having a double pump is the way to go, especially if you ever have to pump away from home (like at work) and need to get it done quickly. I would recommend the Medela steam bags for cleaning/sanitizing at night. I’d also get an extra set of pump parts, so you can have one clean set. While we’re at it, I’d get this hands free pump bra. I thought it was nonsense, too, but I had to pump and eat lunch at the same time, so it was the only way I could do that. TMI? Probably.

So…there you have it. It was difficult for me to narrow it down to 10 items, and I’m sure once Porter starts eating solids and becoming mobile that I’ll add a bunch more things to my “must have” list.


1 Comment

5 Months

I promised a 5 month (okay…5 1/2) update, so here it is!

First of all, there is NO WAY that 5 months out of the womb and 5 months in the womb are actually the same amount of time. I swear there is some magical fairy that must visit women in their sleep to change how quickly/slowly time passes. I cannot BELIEVE Porter is already 5 (and a half) months old. It has gone by so quickly and I remember feeling like my pregnancy was dragging on and on.

5 month collage

I remember several moms telling me that after giving birth you quickly forget all the pain and discomfort of pregnancy, labor, and delivery, and that is SO TRUE. I remember being in a LOT of pain, but if I tried, I couldn’t describe the pain now. I know for a fact that I felt the most pain I’ve ever felt in my life, but again, it almost seems like a dream and like none of that stuff even really happened to me.  I guess the joys of being a mommy make it really easy to forget all that pain.  Am I ready to do it all over again? No, not yet (sorry!) but eventually I know I’ll be saying “Let’s go! Sign me up!”

So…what’s going on with Porter?

Weight: Probably around 16-17 pounds.

Sleep:  He is a great sleeper. He sleeps about 11-12 hours at night and doesn’t often wake up in the middle of the night. He’s not as great of a napper, but we’re working on it!

Social: He LOVES people and is really good about being passed around (even people he doesn’t know well.) He smiles at EVERYONE, and he’s such a little charmer. David’s mom said that David was a charmer as a kid, too. He used to “flirt” with strangers and waitresses at restaurants. It seems Porter is following in Daddy’s footsteps…

Diet: Still breastfeeding (no solids yet, but soon!)

Clothes: He’s short, so he can still wear 3-6 month sleepers, but most of his shirts and onesies are 6 month. His pants and shorts are 6-9. He’s chunky, and his cloth diaper adds some bulk, too.

Likes: His pacifier, crunchy/crinkly books and toys, Maggie (and petting/touching her), Daddy playing peek-a-boo, his activity mat, playing with his toes, blowing “bubbles” aka drool, making lots of noises, ceiling fans, being thrown into the air, splashing in the bath tub

Milestones: He’s rolling over, but doesn’t do it often. He’s only rolled over from front to back, though. He can roll onto his side from his back, but never quite makes it all the way over to his stomach. He can sit up with support.

month 4-190Here’s me and Mr. Grumpy Man on Mother’s Day (he was a little over 4 months old here).

The rest of these pictures are from his 5 month “photo shoot.” I am so in love with our little boy!

month5-28

month5-26

month5-14

month5-10