Category: Being Mom

8 Baby Products to Save Your Money On

Two things are obvious if you’ve been reading my blog:

1. I love lists. Like, love, love.

2. I am pretty realistic when it comes to spending money on baby stuff.

So, remember how I gave you guys my 5 Registry Must Haves? Today I am telling what you don’t need. As just like before, I bet a bunch of you will disagree wholeheartedly with my list and that’s cool. Different things work for different parents. Some of these products I’ve tried and some other products I pretty much knew I wouldn’t use and I haven’t missed. FYI – I tried to widdle this list down to 5, but I just couldn’t.

baby products to avoid

{Baby Food Maker} I covered this in my post about making baby food at home. Sure, the fancy mixers specifically for baby food work just fine, but so does the generic blender from the discount box store.

{Hooded Towels} If this doesn’t make it on your registry, you are going to get a gazillion for your shower anyway. What’s my beef with hooded towels? They fit Mike for about two weeks. Now they barely wrap around him and they all seem to be thin and flimsy. After figuring this out we bought a few bath sheets on Amazon and wrap it around him a dozen times.

{Baby Bathtub} We had a baby bathtub because everyone had one and it made sense. The baby has to bathe right? We probably used it five times. It took up a TON of room in our small apartment and was more trouble than it was worth. After Mike’s first bath in the tub in the sink, we started putting him in the tub with S. He liked it so much more – being held, moved around and warm.

{Formula Mixer} Stop being lazy. Really.

{Pee-Pee Tee-Pee} Anyone with a boy knows that being peed on is a given. If you make it out of the hospital without it happening, consider it a victory! I honestly thought the PPTP was a joke, but people actually USE these things! I see a few things happening – a strong stream and being stabbed in the eye with the pointy end or Mike getting curious and pulling it off. Here’s a common tip – save your money and cover your son immediately while changing his diaper.

{Bottle Warmer} We used a bottle warmer for a few weeks before realizing that Mike liked his formula warm, room temp or cold. The warmer added extra, unnecessary time to the process. Maybe we were just lucky.

{Bottle Sterilizer} We had one of these too and they are such a pain in the neck. Our bottles never fit right, it never fit enough, water ended up everywhere … it was exhausting. Now we hand wash the bottles in super hot water then run them through the dishwasher once a week.

{Pacifier Wipes} You might have picked up on the fact that I am not a germphobe.  I will tell you that I had the best of intentions of using pacifier wipes, but they were never handy when I needed them. The few times Mike used his pacifier and dropped it (or any toy), I usually just wiped it on my shirt or stuck it in my mouth first.

What would you add?

 

Dressing the 30 Year Old Me

Phew! What a busy few weeks. You might have picked up on the fact that I have a new job I am starting on Wednesday. I am really excited, but also scared crapless for a lot of reasons. Lemme back up.

So the job is at the start-up Main Street Genome. I am still figuring out the ‘elevator pitch’, but they use data to help keep Main Street businesses open and thriving. I am really passionate and interested in entrepreneurship and start-ups, so this job is right up my alley. AND I am working (and creating) the Client Success processes now that they are launching. It’s almost like the job was made for me.  It’s in the heart of DC, but it sounds like in a couple months I can telework, which would be awesome because I am more productive at home and it would save me an hour commute.

That said, it is going to be a HUGE adjustment. I’ve never started a job as a ‘mom’ and I am not sure what that looks like for me. Especially since Mike isn’t sleeping totally through the night and I will have to be functional during the day. I am so glad we have a great daycare provider who is happy to see Mike every day, but it just feels uncomfortable to me that I won’t get as much time with him. I am clearly the only one in this duo who will have a problem. It will just be difficult trying to figure it all out for a few weeks. Then I am confident it will all come together and we will have our schedule. For now I am enjoying the next 2 days at home with him.

The other challenge is how to dress for an office. The dress code is business casual and the times I have been in the office I’ve seen nice jeans and sweaters, maxi dresses and black pants and button down. It seems to be a young office, and I am having those high school flashbacks and irrational fears. In my head I imagine my new coworkers laughing at my skinny jeans when I turn my back. Dressing for 30 is hard! It’s a thin line between shopping at Talbots and Forever 21. Add in that I am plus size, losing weight and on a budget and it’s double frustrating.

I did pick up a few things – black skinny ‘jeans’, dark wash jeans, a few sweaters and some professional-ish shoes. I’ve never been a fashionista, but want to look somewhat put together.  Even if the classic sweater has some hidden spit up on the shoulder.

What do you suggest I pick up? 

Oh, and don’t worry. I have my ‘hide the grey and shape it up’ hair appointment tomorrow.

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Friday Five – Snow, Atkins, & More

TWO posts from me in a day? I hope that makes up for the radio silence. It’s Friday, I am SO over this week, so I am linking up with Joy for Friday Five. Instead of a theme, I’m going to go rogue.

 

{Snow} Ugh. I am not a fan of extremes and snow is on one end of the spectrum. I don’t mind it when I can snuggle up under a blanket and watch movies all day. BUT – when you work from home as long as you have electricity, you have to work. I was surprised at how out of sorts it felt working and having S. home and my coworker’s kids home and everyone just all off schedule. I hope next week is somewhat normal.

{Blacklist} I am usually late to the TV show party but my parent’s suggested the Blacklist. S. just finished binge watching Breaking Bad so we needed something to watch. So far, I am hooked! I am more interested in how everyone is connected – they are doing a great job dropping small hints that send me to Google to see what everyone else is thinking and theorizing.

{Atkins} Meeeeeeat. So S. and I are 3 weeks into the Atkins Diet and he looks amazing after losing about 15 pounds. I, on the other hand, a, dropping weight much slower, but I’m okay with that. I’m down about 8 pounds as of a few days ago. Maybe next week I will share my inspiration picture. I am literally making a pizza right now where the crust is sausage. SAUSAGE.

{Boba Video} I am sure all my momma friends have seen this video from Boba. Grab a tissue. It’s a good one!

{Crawling} Almost 8 months old and military crawling for weeks (painful, frustrating weeks for Momma and Daddy), Mike FINALLY crawled. And is pulling up. Why take milestones slow?

Pass the Lysol

I promised myself I would never write an apology post for being a bad blogger. But guys? I’m sorry. This whole week has been a blur. First of all, snow. It was just 5 inches but it has screwed this whole week up. My coworker’s kids are out of school so work is a little out of sorts. Mike’s daycare is closed and S. spent 2 days home because of the feds closing and having a wicked cold. As for Charlie, it’s too cold to take him for a good walk, and too cold to venture to Day Camp. Needless to say I am climbing the walls. But mainly, I have been doing laundry because everything Mike touches has snot or throw up on it. Poor guy has an icky cold which is more time consuming than I could have imagined 8 months ago.

Yesterday was the worst. All Mike wanted to do was be held. Not worn, not laying next to me – held. Which is difficult when I work from home and have a million other things to do. I really depend on his naps which is the obvious problem. I would rock and rock him to sleep, then rock until he was REALLY asleep, then put him in the crib and he would instantly become hysterical. I even let him cry it out for 15 minutes only to go in there and he had spit up over everything – blanket, sheets, himself, everything. Cue the momma meltdown which sent us both to a warm bubble bath to try to relax. By the time S. got home, Mike was a happy baby again as if to prove I am a total drama queen and liar.

Then came bedtime. Mike fell asleep at a decent hour and slept until 9P when he woke up suddenly hysterical. I brought him to S. in bed so I could finish some work, but he had yet to calm down by the time I finished, so I brought him to the couch with me. He calmed down a bit, we wiped his nose and then I heard it. The tummy grumble. By the time I registered what was about to happen, he had spit up all over my shirt. S. came to the rescue so I could get cleaned up, but then it happened again. But much worse.

All. Over. S.

Then again. All over his playmat which you think would be great because we could easily wipe it down, but we didn’t have that kind of luck. One of the star pieces was missing and when we lifted it up there was a perfectly shaped star puddle of throw up.  At the risk of sounding gross, the beagle was very excited. Back to the bathtub we go!

 

vomit-olympics

After a bath with a fussy baby and new jammies, which we are quickly running out of with all the washing, Mike snuggled with me on the couch while S. cleaned up the mess (he scored major major daddy points considering he is sick himself). Around midnight I went to put a very asleep Mike into his crib and he INSTANTLY woke up. Back to the couch where we both dozed off and when I woke up around 3AM he went into his crib without waking up. He must have felt some sort of remorse because he let me sleep until 8:30AM.

We seem to be on an uptick today, but still very clingy and spit-uppy making any sort of productivity impossible.

If this has bought with the cold has taught me anything, it’s sometimes you just have to do what’s best for your kid and if that means sitting on the couch snuggling watching Doc McStuffins, then so be it. I’ll sleep when I’m dead. And even then I will be waiting for him to wake up in the middle of the night.

 

Footloose and Fancy Free

So remember last week when I was convinced I was screwing Mike up because I wasn’t letting him cry it out when he was waking up hysterical in the middle of the night?

And remember all the things we tried to solve the random problem? Like buying a space heater and flannel sheets? Turning on white noise, turning off white noise, turning on talk radio, turning OFF talk radio, tushie pats, back rubs, formula, water, begging, pleading? None of those worked by the way.

So why was Mike waking up hysterical all of a sudden? Here is the conversation that went at our house on Friday morning.

Jackie (6AM): Holy crap! Mike slept all night! God is good!

S.: So what was different?

Jackie: I have no idea. None whatsoever.

(later in the day)

Jackie: His jammies didn’t have feet (to S. and his momma who was visiting)

S: What?

Jackie: Last night. His jammies didn’t have feet. His feet are always covered in the footed jammies. They weren’t last night.

S: There we go!

Jackie: If we do the footless jammies and he sleeps all night again, I am going to be pissed.

(the next morning)

Jackie: Mike slept through the night. I am cutting the feet out of his damn jammies.

So my dear friends … 3 weeks of sleepless nights, a doctor’s visit, countless hours researching night terrors and sleep training and he just didn’t like his feet covered. Duh.

If I don’t laugh, I cry.

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Sleep Training Or Lack There Of

screwing my kid up

 

 

I really feel like I need someone smarter and more experienced than me to tell me what to do next with this kid. Honestly, things just don’t occur to me – like when to give solids or when to start weening him off the night bottle. I just never really gave it much thought. If it wasn’t for the BabyCenter emails Mike would still be in a swaddler eating 2 ounces of formula like he did in the hospital. Not because I don’t want him to grow up, but because it doesn’t dawn on me that things need to change. And my little bug is just so go with the flow he doesn’t usually make me think otherwise.

I joke with my Momma friends that each day is a day I wonder how I am going to screw him up. Today I’m pretty sure not starting sleep training earlier has screwed him up.

If you have been following me on Facebook, it isn’t a secret that Mikey isn’t sleeping. Well. He sleeps, just not like he should be (apparently) at this age. He goes down at 8P, wakes up HYSTERICAL at 11P and after we rock him back to sleep, he is up every hour or two after that. Some nights. Other nights it’s different, but this foolishness has been going on for 3 weeks. We’ve tried EVERYTHING – temperature, sheets, music, no music, white noise, no white noise, gas drops, Ibuprofen ….

Guys. I’m tired.

So. Tired. 

Yesterday we finally went to the doctor, who was very nice, but confirmed nothing was medically wrong with our boy. He was probably having a night terror and when we pick him up, he wakes up and for the rest of the night he cries because he knows we will pick him up and snuggle. Doc asked if we were sleeping training. Um. No. Don’t we start that when he is 10 or 15 or something?

It never dawned on me, or us for that matter, to sleep train. Don’t babies cry at night? It wasn’t a huge inconvenience to my schedule so I never gave it much thought. Until now.

Doc told us to let him ‘cry it out’ with the night terror since it will pass and he won’t remember it and you shouldn’t wake him up. For just the run of the mill waking up, he recommended the Ferber method. S. and I both have mixed reactions to that, but decided last night to give it a try.

Mike went down around 8P and he fussed a bit since he wasn’t totally asleep. 5 minutes later, I went in, patted his tush and he was out. See? Not that hard. Around 2A (!!!!) he woke up hysterical and S. and I decided to give it 15 minutes. I patiently watched the video monitor and rushed in at the 15 minute mark when he was still going strong.

But wait.

What was I suppose to do at the 15 minute mark? Pick him up? Pat his butt? Shit. I didn’t think that far ahead. So I picked him up and rocked him. Probably not the right thing, but I wasn’t sure what I was suppose to do. S. and I agreed to start researching other sleep training methods to start on Saturday night. Mike’s Bubbe is in town Friday night and it is just too much to try to get him on a schedule until it calms down in the house.

Look, it’s not that I don’t like to hear my baby cry. I hate it, but I have it in perspective. Short term pain for long term gain, as long as he is safe. I am just not sure the Ferber Method is the right one for us. Co-sleeping isn’t right for us either. There has to be something in the middle right? What has worked for your little?

 

The ADHD Momma

adhd quote

When I got pregnant, an ex-coworker invited me to join a new mom’s group on Facebook she created when she moved and had trouble connecting with other mommas. I invited a few more friends, who invited a few more and now it’s a busy group with a huge variety of women and parenting styles. But one thing has always been a constant.  When one of us posts a ‘venting’ message, everyone responds with encouragement.

Today, someone brought up the fact that she doesn’t multitask well and having two kiddos doesn’t help matters. She reached out today for tips on getting organized and being productive without totally going bat crap crazy. When I started thinking about some things that work for me to share with her, I realized I had a ton of tip and it made me sound like I had my life together and I was Super Momma when in reality I am always one task away from bat crap crazy. The reason I have to be so organized is because of my ADHD, which lately has been a curse.

I know a lot of people say they are ADHD, but according to my doctor, I am off the chart ADHD. I was diagnosed at the age of 21 when I started my first ‘big girl’ job that required sitting and deadlines and multitasking and I would end my day in tears because I wanted to do all those things SO BADLY but something was holding me back.  My mom brought up some things she noticed when I was growing up and after a trip to the doctor and multiple medication tests, I found that a high dose of Concerta and behavior modification work well for me. It’s been a struggle to stay on top of my ADHD since Mike has arrived, but S. and I have worked out a few strategies to keep us all sane (and me married!).

The main idea in keeping my ADHD under control (aside from medication) is to simplify. Here’s a few things we’ve done:

Amazon Prime: For less than $100 a year, we get free two day shipping on just about everything. This keeps me from having multiple shopping lists and I since we aren’t paying shipping, I can order one or ten things at a time when it is top of mind. Since Mike is out of the carrier car-seat, getting him in and out of the car is a PITA, so the less stops I have to make the better. Sure, we might pay a few bucks more for 120 rolls of toilet paper, but it comes to our door! I don’t have to carry it up stairs while juggling a baby or stop at Target during peak hours. Here are a few things we’ve gotten from Amazon: flea and tick medicine, bottle nipples, Clorox wipes, two fire extinguishers, infant ibuprofen, bath towels and baby wipes.

A daily family to-do list: We use a small dry erase board on our fridge. Every day we add to it what needs to be done. Some things stay on there day after day (put out S’s clothes, pack lunch, put out trash) and some are weekly (pack day care bag, empty trashcans) and some are more random (cut Mike’s nails, change light bulb, thaw chicken). During the day if I find free time I am not wandering aimlessly through the house looking for something productive to do and when S. comes home he isn’t asking me what needs to be done. I feel like this keeps our evenings and mornings less stressful.

Work task planner: I searched high and low for the exact planner I needed for work. I finally found something that I am hoping works for the new year. It’s a full size, spiral bound, dated, lined notebook from Franklin Covey. So each morning I jot down my daily to dos and if something comes up that needs to be done in the future, like a follow up call, I make a note on that day’s page.  I have tried multiple apps and organizers, but there is something about writing things down with a pen that just works for me.

Google Calendars: S. is the keeper of our calendar because I can never ever remember to put stuff on there. And when I do, it is the wrong date or time. I tell him as soon as I know something and he puts it on the calendar and we review it either nightly or weekly. Which leads me to ….

Family meeting: It sounds way more official than it really is. Typically it’s S. and I in bed on Sunday evening with our laptops looking at the calendar. This way we can make changes on who is doing what and also plan our meals and money for the week. It is a blessing that I fell in love and married someone so organized who is so understanding and forgiving of my scatterbrain.  I know it’s hard on him sometimes when I keep saying I will do something when it is clearly never going to happen.

I have said many times to many people that my ADHD is sometimes a blessing and some times a curse. It’s something I have to keep on top of and be flexible enough to make adjustments to our lifestyle to make it all flow. What tips and tools do you have to stay organized?

Getting My Head On Straight

It’s been awhile, hasn’t it? It’s not from being lazy, it’s been the crazy holiday season! I have lots of posts and update swirling around my head, but a mix of my ADHD being out of control and Mike going through a bout of ‘Milestone Madness’, it’s been difficult to sit down and do what I WANT to do, which is write. 

A quick, 144 character, Twitter style update until next time:

new year org, sleeping when possible, snuggling the baby, kissing the husband, playing with new toys, ready to be back to ‘normal’, say tuned! 

 

Friday 5 – My First Link Up!

I’m linking up with Joy over at the Sowell Life for Friday Five, my first link-up! It seems like a fun way for bloggers to get to know each other and for me to have a bit of a writing prompt since I have had some creative writing blocks when it comes to writing about mommahood.

 

For this week’s 5, here are 5 things I didn’t expect when it came to becoming a mother:

1. I thought I was going to be the kind of mother who could run errands with my baby and just bring a diaper, wipe and bottle. In reality, I am carrying an overflowing diaper bag with 2 changes of clothes, a book, my carrier, 3 pacifiers, etc, etc, etc. I get it. I’m ‘That Mom’.

2. I thought it would be hard to give my baby to someone else to hold and snuggle. I know this time is so short and I thought I would be selfish and want to keep it to myself as long as possible. Well friends, after a few hours of snuggle time (while multitasking life) I would hand him to the janitor at the Dairy Queen across the street. First of all, I need a break. Second of all, he is my pride and joy (cliche, but true) so seeing him with other people and their reaction to him [more like noticing how amazingly perfect he is] makes me happy.

3. I knew being a momma would be life changing, but not like this. Life has gotten hectic and my head has gotten muddy, but damn if this isn’t what I am suppose to be doing right now. Everything seems to have fallen into place and fits perfectly.

4. It’s not as bad/hard/exhausting as people said when I was pregnant. Yes, there are sleepless nights. Yes, sometimes the crying is a bit much, but it just wasn’t that difficult for me. Perhaps we have a good kid, or perhaps people giving ‘advice’ and sharing ‘war stories’ is God’s way of setting expectations.

5. Being a momma automatically puts you in a club with instant friends.  I have a lot of Facebook friends (I worked for a global association for a long time, so a lot of my ‘friends’ are actually members) and many seem to be coming out of the woodwork by commenting or liking my status. It’s like they are seeing me in a new light – just like I am seeing myself in a new light. If I knew having a baby would expand my circle, I would have had him a lot sooner!

There you have it – my first link-up!