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Monday, November 25, 2013

The Oral Fixation


Things my baby will put in his mouth:

crayons
beer bottles
paper of any kind
the iPhone charger
yarn
my hair
the straps on his carseat
the edge of the coffee table
any and all toys
anything shaped vaguely like a cup
any home decor item not nailed down


Things my baby will not put in his mouth:

Actual food

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Five Stages of Sleep Training


Denial

He sleeps fine! No need to sleep train. I nurse him a few minutes and boom! Out like a light. Sure, he wakes a few times to eat at night, but he just falls right back to sleep. No problem. Sleep training is unnecessary and cruel. He needs his mommy, 24 hours a day, and I AM HERE FOR HIM.

Anger

What is going on?!? Nothing I do will put this baby to sleep. Every naptime and bedtime is a battle. And I can't believe he was awake from 3-4am for NO REASON. Again. Curse you, sleep gods! Where the f*ck is the f*cking coffee?!?

Bargaining 

OK, if you start sleeping through the night, I will never make you take another nap again. Or, not even the whole night. If you just wake up to eat but then go right back to sleep like you used to, that's fine. And also, I'll buy you a pony. And a car. Just, please, SLEEP!

Depression

Oh dear Lord, I'm going to be rocking this child to sleep until he's in college. Why is this happening to me? I just want to sleep. 
 
Acceptance

I am really, really over this. Kid needs to learn to fall asleep on his own, one way or the other. Where are those sleep training books?

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Things that are not loud until you have a baby . . .



Especially a baby who thinks naps are a form of torture.


The toilet flushing

The UPS truck with the squeaky brakes

The garage door opening

Door hinges that need oiling

The cat meowing

The cat snoring

Just . . . the cat

The buzzer on the dryer

The neighbor's lawnmower

Squeaky floor boards

The refrigerator door closing

Running water

The click of the computer mouse

That cracking sound your ankles make because you're too old for this shit

Thursday, July 4, 2013

5 Months and Counting

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Somehow, my little peanut hit 5 months on Tuesday.


At this point, I thought I'd actually have time to write in this blog.

At this point, I thought I'd be getting more sleep.

At this point, I thought he'd entertain himself more, and I'd get things done around the house.

At this point, I thought I'd be able to count on 2 solid naps a day.

At this point, I thought I'd be done discussing poop.


At this point, though, I finally understand why people have more than 1 kid.

Every day brings something new and exciting. Some good (rolling over!); some bad (waking up at 3am to talk to himself). But every time he grabs my face in his hands and gazes at me lovingly--before opening his jaws wide and trying to devour my nose--I think it's all worth it.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Mommy Math


As a new(ish) mom, you do this thing.

This annoying, useless THING that you just can't seem to stop doing, no matter how useless it is.

It doesn't help anything. It doesn't make you feel better. In fact, it probably makes you feel worse.

But you can't NOT do it.

I call it "mommy math."

Example 1:

8pm. Ok, if he sleeps for 4 hours, he'll be up at 12am, and I go to bed at 10:30, so that gives me . . . 1.5 hours sleep. If he's back asleep at 12:30 for another 3 hours, I'm up to . . . 4.5 hours sleep. Then maybe he'll go another 2, 2.5 after that, so that's . . . 6.5, 7 hours of sleep. Ok, that's reasonable. I can live with that.

Example 2: 

Ugh. It's 3am. I've had about 3 hours of sleep. If he falls back asleep by 3:30 and goes another 3 hours, that's 6. That's reasonable. Or maybe he'll sleep until 8! By magic! And then I'll get . . . 7.5 hours of sleep! I can conquer the world on that!

Example 3: 

Grrr. He's been up 3 times tonight already. We all went to bed at 10, and then he was up at 11:30 for a half hour, then again at 2 for another half hour, and now it's 4 and he's up again. So I've had . . .5 hours of sleep. He'd better sleep for another 3 hours. Then I'll get 8 hours of crappy, interrupted sleep, which isn't awful . . . 


You have an unstoppable obsession with EXACTLY how much sleep you're getting. As if knowing the number of hours, however ridiculous or "reasonable," will somehow make you feel less tired. When the reality is, even if you're ultimately getting 8 hours of sleep, waking up 5 times a night is going to leave you feeling like you've been run over by a freight train.

And you know that.

You know, deep down in your heart, that the numbers are meaningless--that you're going to be tired, that you're going to drink a vat of coffee, and you're going to forget something important because your brain has turned to mush, and no amount of reassuring math will change that.

But you count on . . .

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Lies Baby Sleep Experts Tell


Around 3 months, your baby will develop a nap schedule.
(True; my baby naps whenever he's so absolutely exhausted from fighting a nap, he just passes out.)

Your baby will take 3 1-2 hour naps a day.
(If by "3" you mean "5," and "1-2 hours," you mean "30-40 minutes." Except when you have visitors who have heard stories about your non-napping baby, at which point, he will sleep for 3 solid hours.)

Putting your baby down drowsy but awake will help him learn to fall asleep on his own.
(It will also help you learn just how much fussing and crying you can tolerate before caving and rocking him or nursing him to sleep like you always do.)

When your baby starts breaking out of his swaddle, it's time to stop swaddling.
(It sure is . . . if you want to watch him slap himself awake repeatedly. Alternately, it's time to wrap him up tighter.)

Baby should nap in his crib, not a car seat, bouncy seat or swing. 
(At this point, I don't care if he wants to sleep on the hood of the car . . . )

At 4-6 months, most babies can sleep through the night without feeding, so try to soothe your baby back to sleep instead of nursing him.
(We do this. I soothe him by . . . nursing him.)


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Why My Baby Is Awake


He's hungry.

He has to poop, and doesn't want to miss it.

He has gas, and needs to be awake for that too.

His stomach is slightly uncomfortable because of one of the above.

He heard a scary noise.

He imagined a scary noise.

The ceiling fan is distracting him.

The ABSOLUTELY NOTHING on the ceiling is distracting him.

He woke up with his arms swaddled and is pissed.

He whapped himself in the face with an unswaddled arm, and now wants to be swaddled again.

He has a pacifier in his mouth and can't figure out how to spit it out.

He spit his pacifier out and wants it back.

His mom is so fascinating, he doesn't want to miss a second of her life.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

How New Moms Tweet


Day 1: Our little one is here! Long list of birth stats no one cares much about!

Day 3: Baby sleeps so much! Why do moms complain about no sleep?

Day 14: WHY WON'T THIS BABY SLEEP?!?

Day 15: Newborn diapers don't even stink! Hurrah!

Day 20: Oh dear God, how can something so small smell so bad?!?

Day 30: Things I have worn today: spit up, poo, pee.

Day 35: I can't believe I'm still wearing maternity clothes. This sucks.

Day 36: Took a shower today! Hurrah! No more spit up in my hair!

Day 40: Baby slept 3 whole hours in a row!!!!

Day 45: Poo everywhere. Ugh. Why does this always happen at midnight?!?

Day 47: Baby's poo is green/brown/orange. IS THIS NORMAL?!?

Day 48: Can't believe my primary concern in life has become the color of someone's poo.

Day 50: Bored . . . baby sleeps all day.

Day 60: Baby is awake more! Smiling! Cooing! Woohoo!

Day 61: Bored. Baby is awake, no idea what to do with him.

Day 62: Need. Adult. Conversation. Starbucks anyone???

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Mom-Saver Mondays: Swaddles


(A day late and a dollar short, sorry.)

It's clear to me that Mother Nature made a grave error: babies should not be born with arms.

They can't control them. They're allllllll over the place. My baby is 2 months old today, and still punches me in the face (inadvertently . . . I hope) on a daily basis.

Arms clearly should grow in later.

This is never more obvious than at night, when your sweetly sleeping (ha!) angel suddenly flails his arms and whaps himself in the face.

That's a pretty crappy wake up call.

And if you don't do something about, he's going to keep whapping himself in the face, on and off, throughout the entire night.

That means a terrible night's sleep for you, and a pretty crappy one for him too.

Enter, the swaddle.

Just wrap your baby up like a burrito, pinning his flailing arms at his sides, and he'll sleep soundly.

If you've ever tried to swaddle your baby with a blanket yourself, you know how tricky it is. Like putting an octopus in a pullover. And even if you manage to get baby wrapped up snugly, he still finds a way to wiggle a hand out and scratch himself awake.

These things are the answer:



Have you ever seen a baby look more like a burrito? These things have velcro all over the place to make swaddling easy and permanent. Well, at least until you're ready to release the Kraken. My baby is napping in one as we speak--he's wiggling and squirming all over the place, but his arms are trapped and he's yet to smack himself awake. Thank God. 

Go buy a few of these right away. They say arm control doesn't develop until 3-4 months. That's a lot of lost sleep.

Note: I have not been compensated in any way for this review. I have not been given a free product, as lovely as that would be. In the future, should you want to offer me things for free to review, go for it. For now, anything I review was paid for out of my own pocket, and I offer the review out of the goodness of my heart.
 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Breastfeeding a Rabid Badger

Or why I don't nurse in public.

I read an article recently about one woman's struggle with breastfeeding, and it really resonated with me, particularly the feeling of being trapped in the house because you're not comfortable nursing in public.

It's not modesty, though if I decided to give it a shot, I might find myself too shy to do it anyway.

No, the problem is my son. His breastfeeding routine looks nothing like those nursing videos, commercials, or bf'ing moms sitting serenely on a park bench, wind in their hair, as their angelic baby snacks away.

It looks more like a wild animal attacking its prey.

First, we try latching on.

"Yay, eating!! Where's the boob? Where's the boob? Oh, I see it! Now, nipple. Maybe if I just fling my head in the direction of the boob with my mouth open, I'll land on it. Not it. Not it. Not it. Yay, nipple. "

Then suddenly he's a boob connoisseur. He tries to latch and then shakes it off several times, before he's finally convinced these are the only boobs in town, and settles down to eat.

Briefly.

After a few minutes of peaceful eating (which seems to involve a lot of sticking his fingers in his eyes and me reminding him that breast milk is not finger food, so he should keep his little paws out of the mix) he decides the milk isn't flowing fast enough, which he needs to remedy by clawing at the boob, yanking on the nipple, and generally abusing me. Ouch.

Then we eventually switch boobs, and repeat the whole ordeal all over again, to the tune of 35-40 minute feeds, every 2 hours.

This is not a dance I wish to engage in in public. I don't need an audience for the show. Even with a cover, it would be hard to be discrete with a flailing badger under there.

So we keep our outings short.

And I envy those women who can nurse happily in public.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

5 Bizarre Baby Food Gadgets


...because you can't just mush it up and spoon it into baby's mouth.



Bowls and spoons are SO last century.
(Also, she's clearly not a mom, because who has time for a French manicure and tips?!?)


Because a blender won't cut it. For some reason.


Somehow completely different from tupperware. Somehow.


Ice cube trays and Popsicle sticks just aren't cutie enough.



So your carefully prepared homemade baby food can look just like that store bought crap.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

5 Myths and Realities about Breastfeeding


The pendulum swings back and forth on breastfeeding, and I'm sure you've noticed it's "in" again. Not that you should make your child-rearing decisions based on trends, but you're in for a lot of grief if you try to go against the flow. If you're like most mothers, you've decided to breastfeed because you believe it's the best thing for your baby, not because it's the thing to do--but where you run into trouble is when you have difficulty breastfeeding and start considering other options. That's when the "nipple nazis" attack. The breastfeeding propaganda is everywhere, trying to guilt you into persevering with breastfeeding, even when you're about to lose your ever-loving mind. A few of the arguments:

1. It's natural.

Yep. So's menstruating. And I think most of us would do away with it if we could. 
Breastfeeding might be natural, but that doesn't mean it's easy. For many women, it's not. It's frustrating, exhausting, and damn near impossible. Natural is not synonymous with enjoyable.

2. It's painless.

Bahahaha! Yes, if done correctly, breastfeeding is apparently painless. But unless you're blessed with a wonder baby, you and your little one will both be facing a steep learning curve, and while you're getting the hang of things, it hurts. Sometimes a lot. You've probably been pretty kind to your nipples over the years, but those days are at an end.

3. It's convenient.

Yes, it's easier to whip out a boob than to haul around bottles and formula. In the long run. But while you're still getting the hang of things--which can take weeks--you're basically a 24/7 dairy. By the time you get baby latched on, wake him up 4 times after he falls asleep, burp him, etc., each feeding session can take up to an hour--and you're supposed to feed newborns every 2 hours! This is the time that the bottle might be most tempting--10 minutes and done.

4. It helps you bond with baby.

I really, really want to believe this, but I feel like I spend most my nursing time fighting with my baby--to latch on, to stay latched on, to stay awake, and to keep nursing after he's gotten the "easy" milk and has to work harder for the good stuff. Crying and pleading do not make me feel bonded to baby.

5. It's cheaper than bottle feeding.

That's only before you factor in the therapy and depression medications necessitated by your feelings of failure because WHY WON'T THE BABY NURSE RIGHT?!?


I say none of this to discourage anyone from breastfeeding, only to add a dose of reality to the most popular arguments used by those determined to make you feel like crap when your baby doesn't latch onto your breast seconds after birth and stay there until he's 18. 

Despite these difficulties, my baby and I are still working on breastfeeding ourselves--we have good days and bad days. And I think we could all use a little reassurance that what we're going through is common, if not "normal," and most importantly, that if and when we decide to switch to pumped breast milk or formula, we're all still  good mothers, doing what's best for our babies.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Mom Saver Mondays: Fold Over Sleeves


My little one is now, incredibly, 3 weeks old, and while so much has changed over the last several weeks, one thing hasn't: his arms are all over the place. 

This is particularly unfortunate when he's nursing. He can barely control his arms long enough to latch on, and before you know it--wham!--I get whapped in the boob.

This is painful.

Even more painful if his scratchy little fingernails are exposed.

He's far too small to clip them, so we try to keep them filed, but even so--they're sharp, scratchy, and hit you when you least expect it. 

Various stores will sell you wee little mitts to slip over baby's hands. These things are useless. Baby wiggles out of them faster than he wiggles out of socks. That's pretty darn fast.

But there is an answer: fold over sleeves.

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Some Carter's sleep 'n' plays have them, as do some Old Navy one piece sleepers.

An extra flap of fabric is sewn to the end of each sleeve. Just fold it over, and baby's hands are enclosed safely inside his sleeves. And unlike the mitts, he can't escape.

He can still give you a painful whap in the boob, but it hurts a lot less than it does when fingernails are exposed.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Weight Loss Plan for New Moms


Follow these steps and watch that baby weight melt away!

1. Get a total of 5 hours sleep, punctuated with hour-long nursing/feeding sessions. This will render you completely incapable of preparing any kind of hearty, nutritious breakfast--your last bit of brain power will be used to operate the coffee machine. Pour a bowl of cereal.

2. Sit down with your bowl of cereal and vat of coffee. Take 2 bites. Baby starts fussing. Pick baby up and attempt to eat with one hand. 3 more bites. Baby starts wailing. Get up and change baby. Return to breakfast, which is now a bowl of mush and vat of ice-cold coffee. Dump cereal in the trash, reheat coffee. 

3. Repeat step 2 for every other meal you might attempt to eat during the day (replacing the cereal with equally convenient, insufficient foods: sandwiches, Lean Cuisines, etc.). 

4. Consider trying to eat something while baby is napping, but fall asleep on the couch before you can pry open a can of tuna.

5. Voila! Baby weight just falls off.


Friday, February 8, 2013

The Unbiased Story of the Cutest Baby Ever Born


My prolonged blog absence and rapidly approaching end to my pregnancy could only mean one thing. It's true--my little chanchito has arrived!

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Javier Joseph (J.J.) was born Saturday, February 2, at 11:49am. Despite our ultrasound tech promising us an 8-9 pound baby, he weighed in at 6lbs, 11oz, and 20.5 inches long.

If you're one of those people who prefer to imagine white storks traversing the earth, dropping off pink and blue bundles to expectant parents, feel free to stop reading right here. But if you love hearing other people's birth stories, then read on!

Friday, February 1, I got my hair cut in the morning (because, you know, soon I'll never have time to do anything alone, ever again!) and then made my way to my regular prenatal appointment. It started with an ultrasound, where we found out the amniotic fluid was very low. Then they checked my blood pressure, which had been high for the last several visits, and found it still elevated. So the doctor said the magic words: "You need to go have a baby--today."

A quick stop for lunch and to pick up my bag, and we were off to the hospital, checking in around 2pm.

I have to admit to being ever so slightly concerned about the nursing staff--2 nurses showed up to say hi, and then 1 said, "You know, I think I'll go get her chart!" Well, there's a novel idea. She came back a half hour later, and still didn't have it.

Finally around 5pm, I got the Cervadil, which was supposed to, and I quote, "ripen" the cervix. Ewww. Unfortunately, it did nothing but give me painful contractions. By 3am, I had made no progress, cervix-wise, and the baby was reacting badly to the Cervadil, so that phase of the induction was over. Next, I was supposed to get Pitocin to bring on contractions, but the baby's heart rate kept dropping whenever I had to get up to pee (which was fairly often, since they were dumping a bunch of fluids in my IV), or changed position. We waited until 9am for it to stabilize, at which point the doctor decided it was now or never. I was started on the lowest dose of Pitocin.

Contractions started again, but baby wasn't having it. His heart rate dropped after each one. I'm sure you can see where this is going: doctor swung by to announce that baby had to come out, and he wasn't going to do it the natural way. I was heading to surgery for a c-section--in 10 minutes!

I had almost no time to wrap my brain around it, which was probably a good thing. The c-section went smoothly, but I was absolutely heartbroken that after 9 months of carrying my little bichito around, everyone and their brother got to hold him before I did. I think they invited a homeless woman in off the street to give him a kiss. When he could, my husband brought him over to me to see, but it felt like hours until I was finally wheeled to recovery and baby was placed on my still-numb chest.

Still, the important thing is, we're all happy and healthy, learning to be a family.

And also, he's the cutest baby ever:

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

5 Things You Might Lose During Pregnancy


....other than your mind.

Your organs.

By month 9, it seems like baby is everywhere--kicking you in the ribs, headbutting your pubic bone, punching you in the belly button. So . . . where's everything that used to be in your abdomen?? Apparently it's all still squished in there, which is why you feel stomach grumbles under your lungs and you get indigestion from the blandest food. Things have slowed waaaaaaaay down as your food struggles to find its way through the new maze that is your internal organs. Tip: avoid soy. It takes an effort to digest when you're not pregnant . . .

Your ankles

If you didn't have cankles before pregnancy, you probably will by month 9. And it's got nothing to do with all that Valentine's Day candy you've been chomping. (Well, maybe not nothing.) You're full of all kinds of extra fluids, and since very few of us are employed in a career that involves keeping our feet above our heads, you'll find it pooling up in your legs and feet by the end of the day. They say to drink plenty of water and cut back on salt. I haven't found this to be particularly helpful, but hey, give it a shot.

Your breasts

You still have breasts, but they're not yours. They're somebody else's, clearly. They're larger, oddly shaped, criss-crossed with bright blue veins and sometimes painful. You have to buy new bras to rein them in. And rumor has it you'll get a whole new set of someone else's breasts when you start breastfeeding!

Your fashion sense

Remember before you got pregnant, you would look at pregnant women in over-sized tshirts and yoga pants and think, "I won't be that lazy about dressing when I'm pregnant!"? Here's the secret: it's not laziness. Well, in some cases it might be. But no matter how diligent you are about dressing well, by month 9, your clothes simply do. not. fit. Maternity shirts are too short to cover your protruding belly, and elastic waist pants will expand to accommodate your belly, but not your butt. Don't even get me started on shoes. And who's going to buy new, bigger maternity clothes when you're going to give birth in a month? No one. Unless maybe you're independently wealthy. Which brings me to the last point . . .

Your paycheck

Babies cost money. 
The end.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Mom-saver Mondays: Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day



The grocery store is quite possibly my least favorite place in the entire world.

And I don't even have kids yet.

It's just so full of stupid people doing stupid things.
  • Wandering about aimlessly, like they're not sure why they're there.
  • Bringing their entire extended family with them so the 8 of them can stand in the cookie aisle arguing with each other about Oreos vs. Hydrox.
  • Abandoning their carts smack in the middle of the aisle while they stare glassy-eyed at the pasta selection.
  • Arguing with the cashier about a $.02 price difference on a dented can of beans.

Grrrrr.

My blood pressure is going up just thinking about it.

Needless to say, I try to limit my trips to the grocery store as much as possible, and I'm sure this will be doubly true after baby arrives.

The problem with that is foods that really need to be purchased fresh. Like bread.

Mmmmm. Fresh bread.  

I could eat it for every meal.

And with a bare minimum of effort, you can too. Even with a baby!



This homemade bread method is nothing short of brilliant.

You do need a few tools, one of which is a bread stone. They can be pricey, so check the thrift store. 
Then, a pizza peel, which is like an enormous spatula, and all of $15. 
And a lidded, non-airtight dough bucket, because if you put the dough in an airtight tupperware, it will explode. Or something.

Dump your ingredients together, mix 'em up (pathetically easy if you have a stand mixer with a dough hook), and toss your dough in the bucket. Ten minutes. When it's done rising, pop it in the fridge for up to 14 days.

When you want fresh bread, you just lop off a hunk of dough, take literally 20 seconds to shape it into something resembling a loaf, and then let it sit there on your pizza peel while you feed your baby or do your 18th load of laundry of the day. Then you toss it onto the bread stone, which you've preheated along with the oven. 

You barely need to be awake to do this.

Your husband could easily be tasked with it as well, it's that easy.

I usually get 3 loaves of bread out of their standard recipe, though they claim it makes 4.

And, sure, the best loaf is the one I make right away, before refrigerating the dough. But the other 2 are still quite tasty. 

There are also recipes in here for various fancy breads which maybe you'll have time to make when your baby starts preschool, but the basic boule is versatile and easy as pie. 

It sure beats going to the grocery store. 



Note: I have not been compensated in any way for this review. I have not been given a free product, as lovely as that would be. In the future, should you want to offer me things for free to review, go for it. For now, anything I review was paid for out of my own pocket, and I offer the review out of the goodness of my heart.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

...and 5 Pretty Cute Ones


(If you forget that they're, you know, poo-catchers shaped like a dessert.)

Source: repinly.com via Bambi on Pinterest

Darling and classic 



Yes, distract from the diapers with an adorable stuffed animal! 



Tricycle cakes: creative, but not insane. 



Owls improve just about anything. 



I approve the "sock topiary" as a delightful alternative to the diaper cake.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

5 Really Weird Diaper Cakes . ..


As if poo-receptacles arranged to look like edible treats weren't weird enough, these bizarre "cakes" . . . uh,
take the cake.


OK, the thing with "wonky" cakes is that the balance is impressive. Anyone can throw together some diapers haphazardly.


Oh, Lord, an actual cake, shaped like a diaper. NO ONE WANTS TO EAT THIS!



For a . . . boxing-themed baby shower? It's NOT the greatest . . .


I don't think these people were even trying.


???

Friday, January 25, 2013

Freak Out: Target Recalls "Unsafe" PJs!



This week I'm sorry to tell you that Target apparently forgot that babies aren't fireproof, and a bunch of their pjs don't meet flammability standards.

"This recall involves Target Circo and Xhilaration children's cotton or cotton/fleece two-piece pajama sets. They were sold in infant and toddler sizes 12M, 2T, 3T, 4T and 5T, and in girls and boys sizes XS, S, M, L and XL."

I'm a terrible mom-to-be, so it never really occurred to me that there were Federal Flammability Standards, and this doesn't really clear up how these standards work:

"The children's cotton or cotton/fleece pajamas sets fail to meet the federal flammability standards for children's sleepwear, because they do not meet the tight-fitting sizing requirements. This poses a burn hazard to children."

Wait . . . wouldn't it be the parents' responsibility to make sure the pajamas are "tight-fitting"? All babies are different, babies of the exact same age will fit in their clothes quite differently--you can't just slap "0-3 months" on there and expect them to fit all 2 months old babies.

"The items also came with a yellow hangtag stating, "For child's safety, garment should fit snugly. This garment is not flame resistant. Loose-fitting garment is more likely to catch fire."



So, these pjs even come with instructions about fit, and a warning about flammability?  What exactly did Target fail to do here--add an audio warning that goes off the instant you put these things on your kid? Come to your house directly to inspect for fire hazards?? Clearly Target has failed miserably here.

Should you find any of these death traps in your home, be sure to return them to Target right away for a full refund. In the meantime, stop dropping those lit cigarettes into your baby's crib!


Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Woman and Her Snoogle: A Love/Hate Relationship



I often wonder which is worse: having a newborn, and therefore having far fewer opportunities for sleep; or being in your third trimester and being unable to get a good night's sleep, despite numerous opportunities.

I guess I'll find out soon enough.

(And for the record, I plan to shamelessly "sleep when the baby sleeps," no matter what my house looks like.)

I've always favored stomach sleeping, so I knew pregnancy would present a challenge.

(I've never been a back sleeper, which I guess is ok because sleeping on your back while pregnant might kill you. Or turn you into a zombie. Or something. I don't remember the details, just the "no back sleeping" part.)

But side sleeping was working out fairly well, until early in the third trimester. 

That's when I started being awakened in the night by stabbing pains in my hips and lower back.

(I had a sneaking suspicion that my husband was actually jabbing me with a fork, then rolling over and feigning sleep, but upon further inspection, he appeared to be fork-less.)

It seems all that side sleeping, combined with a growing baby pressing on your nerves and pushing your bones out of place, can lead to horrific pain that interrupts your sleep, at just that crucial time period when everyone and their brother is telling you to sleep like you've never slept before.

A pillow between the knees did little for me, so I dropped $50 on the well-reviewed Snoogle



The reason this post isn't appearing on "Mom-saver Mondays" is because I honestly can't decide whether the Snoogle is my best friend, or my worst enemy. 

I mean, it really helps me sleep . . . except when it doesn't.

Generally, our nighttime routine goes something like this.

Phase 1: Wrestle Snoogle into place under the covers, then try to climb into bed over it. Fail miserably. Pick self up off floor to attempt entry #2. Fold Snoogle out of the way, scoot under it, then spend 10 minutes pushing and shoving it into place.

Phase 2: Ahhhh! Snoogle is in perfect position--1 end under head, the other tucked between knees and thighs, and long side tucked firmly behind back. This is the most comfortable I've ever been.

Phase 3 (15 minutes later): Why does this pillow make my ear hurt?? So weird. Push head end off to the side and use regular pillow.

Phase 4 (about 2 hours later):  One side of nose is stuffed. In the interest of breathing, struggle to roll over and resituate self and Snoogle. Finally get comfortable enough to doze off.

Phase 5 (10 minutes later): Crap. I have to pee. Peel back covers, shove top half of Snoogle to the side, scoot under it, half-tumble out of bed and make way to the bathroom. Upon return to bed, repeat Phase 1.

(Note: Phase 5 may repeat during Phases 6 and/or 7.)

Phase 6 (several hours later): Awaken to stabbing back pains. Snoogle has been kicked out of place and top half is dangling over nightstand, threatening to knock several piles of crap onto the floor. Haul it back in to bed and squash under self. 

Phase 7 (rest of the night): Brief periods of restful, relatively pain-free sleep, interrupted every time body feels the need to roll over and finds Snoogle blocking the way. Spend far too many minutes awake, reaccommodating Snoogle. Finally grow so frustrated with Snoogle, throw it out of bed around 6am, and sleep for another 30 minutes, propping top knee on annoyed husband.


So, to sum up, it really does help alleviate hip and back pain, but causes so many other frustrations, it's hard to decide if it's worth it. I go to bed with it every night, ready to write it a love poem, and wake up every morning ready to chuck it out the window.

(Insert obvious "Kinda like my husband" joke here.)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Harry Potter Nursery Reveal


Parents often spend a lot of time decorating baby's nursery, which is of course silly because:
1) Baby usually sleeps in a bassinet in mom and dad's room for the first few months;
2) Baby really does not care.

Still, a themed-nursery seemed like a fun project to tackle while we waited around for baby, so we picked out a nursery theme that we would enjoy, and hopefully baby will grow into. 

And aside from the actual furniture, it didn't cost us too much cash either. 

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Welcome to the Leaky Cauldron!

 Harry Potter Nursery 
Quidditch broom, poster, decals.


Harry Potter Nursery 
Ravenclaw blanket; dragon; owl decal; poster.


Harry Potter Nursery 
Wall scroll, Dumbledore quote.

 Harry Potter Nursery
Owl lamp


The house colors blanket was crocheted by an awesome friend. The poster frames I picked up at Michael's, on sale for $8/ea.

The last themed-item we plan to get is a toy chest, like this one, that looks a bit like Harry's traveling trunk. At this point, baby doesn't have enough toys to make it a necessity, though I expect that will change quickly.


I do have a few additional decor ideas up my sleeve, should we decide we need to kick the Harry Potter up a notch . . . 

A sorting hat.

This sign.

A dragon mobile.

The Tri-wizard Tournament cup.

These amazing travel posters.

Or a super expensive map of Diagon Alley.


But for now, we're satisfied.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Mom-saver Mondays: Non-sucky Maternity Jeans



If jeans are hard to purchase when not gestating, they're even more obnoxious to deal with while you're pregnant. 

The options are fewer, for starters, and the sizing is even more grotesque, because companies are trying to shove as many body types as possible into about 4 standard sizes.

The easiest way to do this is apparently to sew an enormous elastic panel around the waist band, which all preggos can grow into.

It reaches your armpits.

It rolls down constantly.

It's synthetic and doesn't breath.

And it doesn't even hold the jeans up.

In short, I hate "full panel" jeans, or pants of any kind.

Thankfully, early in my pregnancy I found Old Navy demi panel jeans.


Let me acknowledge that, no, they're not perfect. They don't stay in place as well as normal jeans, so you still have to do the tug-and-walk.
But as far as maternity jeans go, they're my top choice.

The panel expands around your belly, or rides under it as you get bigger.

They come in a couple of styles and washes (even skinny jeans!).



They come in actual sizes, rather than sm/med/lg. 

They don't shrink in the wash.

And while the MSRP is around $40, I've never paid more than $25 for a pair.

So, if you have to wear an elastic waistband like a five-year-old, I highly recommend these as your least repulsive option.


Note: I have not been compensated in any way for this review. I have not been given a free product, as lovely as that would be. In the future, should you want to offer me things for free to review, go for it. For now, anything I review was paid for out of my own pocket, and I offer the review out of the goodness of my heart.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

. . . and 5 Pretty Cute Ones


It's true, maternity clothes CAN be adorable and flattering!



No unnecessary extra puffiness.

Source: zigoti.com via Jenny on Pinterest

Cardigans work before, during and after pregnancy!


Sundresses are amazing for summer pregnancies--so comfortable.


With a suit this cute, you won't want to skip the beach!


And you can still look gorgeous at fancy parties.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

5 Truly Awful Maternity Outfits . . .


As if being pregnant weren't hard enough. 


Shortcut: cut arm holes in a white kitchen trash bag. Ta-da! 



The fit of maternity clothes is bad enough without having your crotch at your knees. 


Source: zulily.com via zulily on Pinterest

It's the attack of the abominable pregnant women! 
Seriously, we're puffy enough. 


Source: us.asos.com via Haley on Pinterest

It's like the giant parachute you used in gym class, only with sleeves. 



Sigh. I guess the "unnecessary billboard" phase starts before baby even arrives.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Freak Out Friday: You're Teaching your Baby Swear Words



If you thought you could wait until after baby's birth to clean up your language--particularly those moms eschewing pain meds--think again!

Turns out, baby is learning language while in the womb--and that probably includes swear words!

"In the latest study, published in the journal Acta Paediatrica, researchers tested 40 American and 40 Swedish newborns and found that the babies responded to the distinctive sounds of the language they heard before birth."

Well, that sure doesn't sound like it means much of anything. "Responding" to something doesn't mean you understand it--if someone started screaming at me in German, I'm sure I'd respond--and certainly not that you're apt to remember it and shout it out as your first word.

Let's check the original New York Times article, maybe that will clear things up:

"The babies’ understanding the difference between native and nonnative sounds could be attributed only to prenatal learning."

Learning to distinguish sounds isn't exactly parroting back Shakespeare sonnets, now is it?

A rational consideration of this information leads me to the conclusion that we're all in the clear.


Nonetheless, it's obviously time to panic.

Babies learn language in the womb. Meanwhile, you've been cursing at that asshole who refuses to use a blinker every commute since conception.

You have doomed your baby.

If you are a Good Parent, you will stop swearing immediately and start reading classic French novels to your fetus, in their original language, in an attempt to undo the horrific damage you have inflicted upon your unborn child.

How could you?!?


(Alternately, you could start teaching your child foreign swear words. Because what could be funnier than your toddler cursing at your mother-in-law in a language she doesn't speak??)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

6 People Who Shouldn't Be Pro-creating


It used to be when you had questions about pregnancy, making babies, etc., you would ask your doctor or a trusted, experienced family member for advice.

But now, we have the Internet, where you can post your inane questions for the whole world to see, and to be answered by "expectant mothers" who are bored 14-year-old boys, for all you know.

These are actual questions posted on pregnancy message boards, from women who are purportedly trying to get pregnant, yet are clearly not ready to be mothers, or possibly humans--not just because of the content of the questions, but because they may actually trust the responses they get from a pack of unidentified strangers on the Internet.

My husband and I have been having sex all the right times and I do have signs but, I dont know if they are real or if they are sympathy signs because my sister in law is pregnant.  [Long list of inane "signs" that have nothing to do with pregnancy.] Could I be feeling all this because of my sister inlaw?   

 Exactly how much time are you spending with your sister-in-law?? Also, no. Take a damn pregnancy test and quit being a drama queen.

Last week I put a tampon in on a lightish day, I went to change it and it was gone! I know I put it in after I got out of the shower and there was no tampon in the trash. I reached up in there and couldn't find it. I used pads the rest of my period hoping it would come out on its own. It never did.
I did have sex after a few days ago and my DH didn't say anything. If you were me would you go to the Dr.?

You . . . thought a tampon got lost, and then proceeded to have sex. These are the kinds of smarts you should definitely be passing on to future generations! Also, why does this need to be posted to a message board full of functioning women who just want to conceive babies and not hear about your inability to keep track of your tampons?

My fertility is the first week of Feb, and I want to conceive quickly, by the end of Feb if possible, so any tidbits or hints are much appreciated and welcome. We are moving in march to our new home. I want everything all settled and done before then.

Yep, that's how conception works. If you have big move coming up, you just do it on exactly the right day--which a board full of strangers can predict for you--and BAM! Preggo! Although, gee, why is there an entire INDUSTRY dedicated to women trying to conceive if it's as easy as knowing all the "tidbits or hints" . . . ?
 
I know people have different thoughts/opinions on if the female orgasm helps getting pregnant. Well, i have never had an orgasm during sex.. And can't. So last night, DH and I finished in doggie style, I grabbed a towel to hold the juice in, and just layed on my stomach and manually . . .

Sorry about your sex problems, but a towel over your lady parts isn't going to hold anything useful in. Also, I guess it's none of my business, but couldn't your husband be being a little more . . . helpful?

I've read that boxer briefs can really lower sperm count which my DH wears. I'm worried that this may a cause a problem w us TTC. We're ready to have a BFP but read that it takes 12 weeks to create new sperm. Worried this may cause problems w us TTC.
 
1) You've just started trying and you're already worried about something as inane as underwear?
2) 12 weeks?? That's a lifetime! This is clearly an emergency--you can't be expected to wait 3 whole months to get pregnant!
3) Buy your husband some new freaking underwear if you're that concerned. Problem solved! 
 
If someone sneezes in your vagina, can you get a cold? Assuming the sneezer has a cold, of course. 

...what?

 
Note: yes, it is entirely possible that these 6 women trying to conceive are actually Internet trolls. Lord, I hope so.