Archive for February 2012

My Favorite Baby Things   2 comments

This time last year I was anxiously counting down the last several weeks before my due date. I was honored at two showers and given many generous gifts to make welcoming my baby girl into our home as easy as possible. This year, I have several friends who are expecting their own little babies in Spring or Summer, and, in case they read my blog, I wanted to provide a kind of review for all things baby.  While I am not an expert on what every parent needs, I must say that our first 9 months with a baby have been pretty easy and, while a lot of this has to do with the fact that we were blessed with a great baby, some of it might have to do with having the right stuff on hand.

Here are the things I couldn’t live without:

  • My #1 baby item was… my Boppy pillow!! For a breastfeeding mother, it is a must-have item. It makes feeding much more comfortable and, even when we switched to bottle-feeding, we used it a lot. I know some people who have used the My Breast Friend pillow and have found it superior— I can’t speak to this personally, but my advice to every new mom is to get some sort of feeding support pillow. YOU WILL USE IT.
  • Swing… Millie was not a fussy newborn, but she did have a fussy time each evening when neither Nate nor I could seem to comfort her. For this 2 hour time period, the swing was a life-saver. We would put her in the swing and all was right with the world. Millie never did like the bouncy seat, but she loved her swing.
  • Babywise… I read a lot of books about different sleep training/ parenting methods. I knew that attachment parenting wasn’t right for me and the concepts in Babywise made a lot of sense . If you’ve heard of the book and think it says to just let your baby cry and cry and cry, you are mistaken. If you think the book suggests that it does not harm a child to allow her to cry herself to sleep in an effort to establish stable sleeping habits, you are correct. I did not follow every word in the book to a “T”, but Nate and I used it as a guide. For example, the book explains the idea that a baby’s day is made up of segments— sleep time, feeding time and play time. During the middle of the night feeding, there is no playtime. I was careful during the middle of the night feeding to feed Millie and put her right back to bed (no extended cuddling or talking or playing) in order to help her differentiate night and day (it doesn’t sound so cruel, does it?). This definitely helped us avoid the months of sleeplessness that other parents endure. Millie started sleeping through the night at 5 weeks old and has slept consistently through the night almost every night since (the week she learned to roll over was tough, but as soon as she figured out how to roll the other way, we were back to nights of sweet slumber). I know that the “crying it out” method can be quite controversial, but I just had to mention this book in my favorite things.
  • Pampers… Truth be told, I wish I was cloth diapering, but I decided that, in light of my work demands, I did not want to add extra loads of laundry to my already too full to-do list. So, we are using disposable diapers. We have tried Pampers, Huggies and Target Brand (which I think fit like Huggies) and I am a Pampers girl all the way. They are less bulky than other brands and Millie does not have leaks when wearing Pampers (a few blow-outs, yes, but no pee leaks). Also, Millie has been wearing Target brand for a few weeks and she has gotten a pretty nasty diaper rash. I’m not 100% sure if these things are related, but Millie rarely got even a mild rash when wearing Pampers.
  • Huggies wipes… They’re the thickest!
  • Musical toys… Millie loves all things that play music. Her mobile still captivates her and her singing tea pot is a new favorite.
  • Camera… This isn’t really a baby item, but trust me, you want a good camera near by at all times when you have a baby. You can’t take too many pictures.

Now, onto the stuff you don’t need! BuyBuyBaby, Babies R Us, and Target don’t want you to read this next section, but too bad.

  • You do not need an expensive crib. The crib we got for Millie was under $70 and it has been great. I can’t believe people spend $300+ on a crib for a baby. Buy a nice mattress, but you do not need to spend hundreds of dollars on a crib! (Disclaimer— do make sure the crib meets all safety guidelines.)
  • You do not need new designer baby clothes. Babies grow fast and they spit up, poop and pee on themselves. Do NOT spend crazy amounts of money on their wardrobes. Get a few meaningful pieces new if you must, then go to Once Upon a Child and get the rest. Trust me.
  • You may not need a baby monitor. We used ours once when I was outside during Millie’s nap. I didn’t really need it then— I kept going inside to check on her. At night, we never used the monitor. Millie slept in a bassinet in our room for the first month so we obviously didn’t need the monitor then. When we put her in her crib, we chose not to turn on the monitor— we knew we’d hear her if she cried and we decided we didn’t need to hear all of the other noises (coos, sighs, grunts, ect) that would just disrupt our sleep. Plus, our house is TINY. We were never more than 15-20 steps from Millie’s crib even when we were on the other side of the house.
  • You do not need a Bumbo seat. We liked ours a lot and it comes in handy when we go to visit Millie’s grandparents’ house (it acts as a portable high chair) but, unless you have a small baby, your infant might out-grow the seat before you get your money’s worth.

Now, obviously this isn’t an extensive list. Other items like a breast pump, lots of bibs, a quality car seat, stroller, and a baby carrier (I liked my BabyBjorn when she was a newborn and now that she’s older I LOVE my Moby wrap) are important too, but, these things were my favorites especially when Millie was a little baby (6 months and younger). One other recommendation?? Choose a name that you love and one that lends itself to nicknames. Millie (aka Millie Lou, Mimi, Milou, Lou, Louie) agrees with me on that one.

 

Posted February 20, 2012 by Nate and Julie in Millie

Saturday Mornings   1 comment

Sorry about the recent posts with NO pictures. Nate and I cleaned our house recently and put the charger for our camera battery in a place where we would be sure to find it. Too bad we can’t remember where that is… I have plans to turn my house upside down today searching for it, but until then, you are stuck  with just my word-y post.

Every other Saturday morning, Nate has his men’s Bible study so Millie and I get a little girl-time together. We miss Nate, of course, but these mornings are precious to me. I get Millie up and feed her and then we play. Sometimes she plays and I straighten up or she plays and I blog (like now), but most of the time, we are both sitting on the floor just playing. This won’t be a long post, because I want to get back to the fun stuff, but I just had to document what this special time means to me.

9-month-old Millie is VERY curious. She loves picking up a toy, examining it, and then either throwing it to the side or playing with it for a bit. Her favorite toys either light up or play music (music > lights). We spend a lot of time playing with the music toys. She bobs up and down with the beat of the song while I sing (to the tune of Yankee Doodle: “My first laptop is so fun/ it’s made just for me/ learning all about my home/ come along and see!”). She loves this time and so do I.

When we’re not singing and dancing, Millie is crawling everywhere! We have to block off the exit to the living room just to keep her contained in one room, but even then we have to keep a close watch on this girl. She loves to crawl to the front door and sit in front of it (trying to escape her crazy, singing mother perhaps?). She also loves to tug on power cords and pull CD cases off the entertainment center. These 2 activities have resulted in the first cries of “no-no!” from Nate and I. She hears us, turns sweetly, gives us a BIG smile (4 teeth now… so cute!) and then gets right back to whatever she’s not supposed to be doing. I see inevitable time-outs in our future…

Millie is working toward her next big milestone by trying to pull up into a standing position. She gets up into a kneeling position in front of the couch and  tries to stand. She has not been able to do it unassisted yet, but it’s only a matter of time. As I typed those last words, she crawled over to me and tried to pull up on my legs… Millie noticed that I am using the lap top (another favorite toy of hers) and wanted to get up on the couch so she can type! I’m going to take that as a sign that I need to get back to my girl. I have more to talk about… I trimmed her hair for the first time (no more mullet), our new babysitter is working out wonderfully, I have already started thinking about her first birthday party… but all that will have to wait for now! I find myself overwhelmed with how thankful I am for Millie Louise and for all the joy she has brought to Nate and me. This time last year I was so excited to meet my baby and now I’m “living the dream.”

Posted February 18, 2012 by Nate and Julie in Julie, Millie

Not Impressed   Leave a comment

Millie gets a note everyday from her sitter. Today’s note included the following information:

Today, I believe she bit her tongue. She was just sitting on the floor and started screaming. I noticed a little blood on her lip. I observed her for a few minutes and noticed a little blood on her tongue. She was not impressed. 😦

Poor little Millie Louise.

Posted February 16, 2012 by Nate and Julie in Millie, Uncategorized

Weight Woes   Leave a comment

There are 2 things in life that I’ve always dreamed about… #1- Being a mom. I am so thankful that that dream came true over 9 months ago. My other dream? Being thin. I have never been skinny. I went from kid sizes to a Juniors size 6 (yep, I skipped right over 0, 2 and 4!) and I didn’t get to enjoy that size for very long. To be fair, I should also admit that I’ve pretty much always eaten a junk food diet and avoided physical activity as much as possible. Over the last few years, I have fallen in love, gotten married, and had a baby. All of those things resulted in me eating too much!! When we were dating, Nate and I would eat out all the time. Then, we got married and, in an effort to be a good little wife, I cooked big, rich dinners and then we spent the evening overeating. Next up, pregnancy! I craved all things sweet— pie, cookies, chocolate, ice cream. Thankfully, after Millie was born I lost my baby weight almost immediately. BUT, my pre-baby weight lingered. I am not obese, or even overweight according to my BMI. Still, I just do not feel comfortable at the size I am. So, I’m finally doing something about it. I downloaded an app on my iPhone called Lose It. It allows me to track all of my calories— both from food and exercise. A bonus feature is that I can scan the barcode of the food packaging and all of the nutrition information automatically populates from there. Also, there is a “Running 101” program that I am a part of at work. It is a 9 week program to prepare participants for a 5K. I went to my first training session last night and had a lot of fun. I walked more than I ran and, when I was running, I was miserable, but it felt good to finally take a step towards addressing my fitness. I know how hard it is to live with a poor self-image. I want to lose weight and feel better about myself now so that, as I am raising Millie, I teach her good habits. I don’t want to feel so bad about myself that I teach her to put too much emphasis in physical appearance. I don’t want her to be a couch potato, I want her to play outside and run and jump— and I want to be out there with her! Does anyone out there have any tips for losing weight? Anyone have a success story to share? I LOVE reading success stories— it’s so affirming to know that other people have had this same struggle and found a way to overcome. I am hoping to have my very own success story in a few months. 🙂

Posted February 16, 2012 by Nate and Julie in Uncategorized

Tiny, But Mighty   Leave a comment

Millie Louise is 9 months old! She is crawling everywhere (she is FAST), jabbers a lot (she says “Da da” and I swear she says “hi”), she loves to dance (bob up and down along to music), and has 3 teeth (she’s working on #4 now). She laughs out loud and likes to be tossed up in the air (which makes Daddy very nervous). She eats all fruits and vegetables and her current favorite food is apples. She still sleeps from 7 pm to 7 am on work nights. On the weekends, she sleeps from 8 pm until 8:30 am. Millie wears size 3 diapers and 6-9 month clothes (mainly because of the length). Millie weighs just 15 lbs 12 oz. That is pretty tiny for a 9 month old. Dr. Gibbons (our pediatrician) says she’s tiny, but mighty (she was not a big fan of her 9 month check up and let him know about it with her mighty voice). Before our appointment, I told Nate that I was hoping she would be 17 lbs. It might seem silly to “hope” for a specific weight, but I know so many moms out there who get to show off their chubby 6 month olds who weigh more than my 9 month old. I’ve always loved chubby babies and I’ve associated chubby rolls with health and happiness, so I think in the back of my mind I’ve been worried about my petite little girl’s slight stature. But, after talking to the doctor, I’m thinking about it differently. Millie is little, but she is still happy and healthy. She has hit all of her developmental milestones so far. She is an absolute joy! Maybe God just knew how much I cherish these baby days— these days when my little girl is small and cuddly and the perfect size for holding, hugging and tossing. These days of her being tiny are fleeting. Someday, she won’t fit so easily in my arms. Maybe God just decided to bless me with a tiny girl that I can comfortably hold for a little longer than other babies. I can’t believe she is going to be a year old in less than 3 months. I can’t slow things down, but I can  hold on to my baby while she is little and I’ll focus on being thankful for this little girl who is growing fast.

Posted February 1, 2012 by Nate and Julie in Millie