Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Bubble Party!

video 

Check out this super cool new present I got from my Pappy!!! Bubbles everywhere!

My kitty Dexter likes it too. Party at my house!!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I'm An Udder Cover Mama

I was very fortunate to receive a coupon code for a free nursing cover from Udder Covers - all I had to pay for was the shipping! I was still pregnant at the time and didn't really know whether I'd use the cover or not, but it seemed like a good deal so I went for it. Now that I've been nursing for several months (almost 4 already, can you believe it??!) I have found that this cover is SO incredibly useful. I actually ended up buying a second one and it has really come in handy to have two of them.

Udder Covers are great and very dependable. They are very simple but SO very helpful. It will cover you where you need it and yet still allow you to have eye contact with your baby - all while wearing something chic and stylish. I chose the black and white "Porter" pattern since it matches all of my diaper bag accessories. I keep it in the diaper bag at all times so I always have a cover when I need to nurse in public! My second cover is the blue and white "Jones" pattern. I keep this one at home for times when we have company, or if I misplace the other one. (Or if Sam projectile vomits while I'm nursing her under the cover and I have to mop up with it - yikes!) When I'm home I'm usually pretty comfortable just nursing coverless, but occasionally, depending on the company, I want to have a cover for home use.




I'm actually really amazed at how comfortable I am with nursing in public. The first few weeks were difficult because I was still wrestling with the Boppy or My Brest Friend pillows, but once we got the hang of it, nursing in public was no big deal. I really think that having the Udder Cover really helped a lot in getting me comfortable so early on. The first time I used it Sam tried to wiggle her way out of the top of it, but she got used to it quickly and we've been using it ever since! I get lots of compliments on the pattern I have as well. One great thing about Udder Covers is that not all of their prints are too flowery, since not all mamas are into the uber-girly designs. (But they have those as well for the girlie-girls!)
 

Some highlights of the Udder Covers are:

A rigid neckline that gives you direct eye contact with baby.
All fabrics are made of 100% breathable cotton.
Stainless steel d-rings allow fully adjustable neckline.
Machine washable.

These covers allow mothers everywhere to breastfeed their babies in comfort, style and confidence… anytime - anyplace! I would highly recommend Udder Covers to any breastfeeding mama. Check them out at www.uddercovers.com. They also sell breastfeeding pads and bracelets. Their gift sets would be an awesome gift for a mama-to-be!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hormonal

I have been feeling so weird lately that I started to worry that I might be pregnant again. For starters, I've been peeing constantly, I'm ALWAYS hungry, my belly is not getting any smaller, and of course, there's the crazy mood swings I've been going through. Then again, the peeing could just be from the gallons of water I'm guzzling to try and beat the heat. The hunger could be coming from all the exercise I've been doing with Stroller Strides. And I'm sure the belly has been there all along...I'm just imagining that I'm getting fatter (at least I hope it's just my imagination!). And of course, the hormones. I'm guessing they're just from my body returning to it's non-pregnant state. It's sure going to be interesting to see how bad PMS is post-baby!
(Oh, and I'm not pregnant...I took a test just to be sure!)
I figured that once I gave birth and got through the initial baby blues, my hormones would go back to normal. Boy, was I wrong! (Or maybe I just forgot what normal was?) I have felt so insanely hormonal lately. I love my life and my baby and I am very happy, but so often I feel stressed and depressed and worried. I know a big part of it is the fact that I don't have a job and I am feeling the pressure of needing to help bring in some income for the family. But it's more than that, I think. I know it's not PPD...it's nothing like that. Just extra bitchy-moodiness. Maybe it's the heat, too. I get sad and frustrated that I have no money and sad that I am not as skinny as I want to be. I get stressed that I have no time to work on job opportunities and fun projects. Anyway, I hope that my body will regulate itself soon. (Or maybe it won't...like I said, I forget what I used to be like pre-baby!)
 Most days though, life is good. I've decided to rearrange my priorities and put Sam and I on a more regular schedule so that she can get her naps and I can take care of the important things. I think it'll be good for us both!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I lovey EJ & Ellabird!

Over the past couple of weeks I have been starting to try to ease Samantha into a nap routine, as well as getting her to sleep in her own bed. I want to make the transition as easy as possible for her so I have decided to introduce a lovey for her to get attached to so that I can start putting her down with it. I wasn't sure what to use at first, but then I remembered a gift I received at my baby shower. My friend Danielle made me the most adorable lovey set, and I figured that it would be perfect!


Dani has a store called EJ & Ellabird and she makes all sorts of wonderful creations for babies. Her loveys are just adorable! The one she made for me was a matched set - a medium size tag lovey and a miniature tag lovey for on-the-go. This set was made with Lovebird fabric and beautifully soft, silky red satin. (Red just happens to be my favorite color, and all of Sam's travel gear is red. Perfect!) The loveys have soft ribbon tags around all the edges that Sam loves to grab and hold onto while she nurses and lays down to sleep. Dani also makes loveys in a large size which are perfect for use as a travel blanket. And of course the small one is perfect for car rides!

EJ & Ellabird got its start in 2009 when Dani was trying to come up with gifts for her many pregnant friends. She didn't have a lot of money but she had a lot of yarn, fabric and creativity. After doing some research into popular baby items, she decided to try her hand at making a tag lovey like the one she made for me. She was so happy with the way it came out that she decided to make lots more. Danielle also noticed that pacifier holders were quite popular, so she gave that a try as well and came up with her own pattern for them.


This just wasn't enough to keep Dani busy so she collaborated with her friend Anmarie to come up with patterns for adorable hand knit and crocheted baby hats. The girls realized they had something good going on so they decided to make a real business out of it. They combined the initials of Dani's son's name with Anmarie's daughter's nickname, and EJ & Ellabird was born! So far the most popular hat style has been the infant hat with a brim, but they are constantly working to come up with new styles. Soon Dani plans to add cocoons for photographer props and crochet diaper covers, as well as handmade quilts and throws.




I don't know how this mama does it - she must be sewing non-stop! Her work is beautiful though, and I highly recommend her for your crafty mama needs. She is currently only taking custom orders but she hopes to have some inventory built up before her second child arrives in just a few short months! Check out some more of her work on her blog: EJ & Ellabird


Thanks again for the beautiful baby gift, Danielle! We are still working on the whole napping thing with Sam, but she is definitely already enjoying her lovey!

Fifteen Weeks

Friday, August 6, 2010

Three Months


Dear Samantha,

I can't believe you are 3 months old already! Three months is the age we were told you would stop being such a newborn, and would start becoming more aware of the world around you. I think you are WAY ahead of things as far as that is concerned! Three months is also the age we decided we would start letting you be your own person a bit more, and not quite so attached at the hip to Mommy. So far, you have taken most of your naps in Mommy's arms, and you go to bed with Mommy and Daddy whenever we go. Now it's time to start working on putting you to bed in your own crib or bassinet. So far this has been very hard on Mommy! It's going to take some time to get you used to not being held, but Mommy is right there with you to reassure you that you are still safe and taken care of, even though you aren't being held. You have already taken several naps on your own, and you are doing great. Soon you will be going to bed on your own so that Mommy and Daddy can have some grown up time. It's a little sad to see that our tiny baby isn't so tiny anymore, but it's also exciting that our little girl is growing so much!

This has been such an exciting month for us. Between your 10th and 11th week, you started laughing. A lot. Little things will excite you, and you smile really big and start laughing. Mommy and Daddy stop whatever they are doing to keep you laughing! It just melts our hearts to hear your sweet little laugh. So far older adults and other babies seem to crack you up a LOT.

You just adore your Mommy. When I hold you, you love to just look at me and smile and laugh like there is nothing more important in the world. Of course, Mommy just loves this. There is nothing sweeter than gazing into your eyes as we smile at each other. Hopefully you will always love your Mommy this much!!! You are having more and more fun with Daddy now, too. He makes you smile and laugh when he sings and makes faces for you, and he is still trying to help you find your thumb.

You absolutely LOVE getting changed. It is the funniest thing. Every morning when we change you out of your jammies and into your day clothes, you smile and laugh like it is the greatest thing in the world. And it's not just a little morning sunshine - you like to be changed any time of day! Diaper changes are cool, but you just go crazy for having your outfits changed. I wonder if this means you are going to be a fan of playing dress-up, and if you'll be one of those little girls that likes to put on multiple outfits every day? Oh, I can already see how much fun you'll be. :)

This month your Grammy and Grampy from Ohio came to visit you. You absolutely adore your Grammy! She was able to soothe you from crying, and you just loved spending time together. Grampy was cracking you up by doing raspberries for you. It's going to be lots of fun to go visit them in December!

Just yesterday you discovered your mouth and tongue, and you love to play with them. You make kissing faces all the time, and silly sucking noises with your mouth. It's great that you've found something to play with that is so easily accessible to you! :)

We are pretty much certain now that you have Daddy's eyes, ears, and hair (you definitely have his hairline, and while your hair has gotten a bit lighter, it shows no signs of turning blonde). You have Mommy's nose, mouth, cheeks, long fingers and toes, and head shape. We can't wait to see if we are right. One things for sure - you are CUTE CUTE CUTE!!!

We are pretty certain that you are the most adorable and intelligent baby in the world. We love you SO very much, and can hardly wait to see how much you change and grow in the next month!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I miss my sleep!

These last several nights have been increasingly rough. I feel like I have a newborn again! Sam's sleep schedule has gotten crazy again. We went from waking once or twice a night to waking 7+ times. Last night the two of us got a whopping 5 1/2 hours of sleep. I know that a baby's sleep schedule is usually inconsistent for a while, but I'm ready to start easing her into more of a routine. I am absolutely 100% against Cry It Out - I think it's just mean and wrong and sets the baby up for future emotional issues. But, I can't keep waking up every half hour. So, based on a recommendation from several friends of mine, I'm reading the "No Cry Sleep Solution" by Elizabeth Pantley. The book has you start by logging your baby's current sleep routine and schedule. Of course, the day I start logging happened to be one of our worst sleep days/nights! Sam did get enough nap time, but she was REALLY lacking in night sleep last night. Now we begin learning techniques to gently ease her into a routine. I can hardly wait...we both need it!

I'll keep you posted on how things work for us!

What about BOB?

We got a BOB!
At first I was in love with my Chicco travel system stroller. I mean come on, it's red - what's not to love?! But once I started working out and power walking/jogging with Stroller Strides, the Chicco stroller wasn't so hot. Sure, it works, but every time I rolled over grass it would either get stuck or feel like it was going to tip over. Whenever I got going fast, the wheels would start to squeak. No bueno!

So, when we realized we had a *little* bit of spare cash, we decided to just go for it and get a BOB jogger. I did some shopping on Craigslist and found a great deal! I ended up getting the Sport Utility version in a snappy lime green. I am loving it already - it is SUCH an improvement! It rolls super smoothly, and there is no fear of tipping. It's great over bumps and on the grass! I'm not completely sold on this model yet though, since it has a stationary front wheel. It's supposedly the right stroller for the way I want to use it, but I'm not sure. It doesn't maneuver quite as easily as the Revolution model. I figure I'll keep it for this week and see if I get used to the way it feels. If not, I'll put it back up on Craigslist and shop for a Revolution instead. I'm sure I can sell it easily - these things seem to sell quickly!
So far though, I am thrilled to finally have a good stroller for my newer, more active lifestyle! :)