Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Best Baby Crap Worth Buying: Part I

It's been said so many times--- babies come with A LOT of gear.  And that gear has a bunch of funny names that make older sisters and grandmas scratch their heads and say "They didn't have ANY of this stuff when we had our babies..." and they follow it up in jest  "How did we ever survive?"

The last ten years, moms have been making rich coming up with really genius baby stuff that have made life a little easier for other moms and babes. I sit around all day thinking of things I could invent for baby, but it seems like they've all been taken. This is probably not true- there's still baby inventions to be made, but while I wait for that next big idea that will allow me to quit my day job, here are some of the baby inventions that make my life easier and I'm pretty sure I can't do without.

If you're a future mom and not sure what's worth registering for, here's what I've found pretty important. And for those of you having to go to Baby showers and you're not sure what to buy, this might offer some help/translation.

Boppy- I'm pretty sure this is what started the whole baby invention enterprise. Some mom was tired of propping her baby up on a soft pillow and decided to make a "U" shaped pillow that helps with nursing and keeping baby from falling over. I registered for one, ended up looking for two more after I had Abby so that I could have one in every room I fed her in. That way, I didn't have haul a boppy and a baby around from room to room. After baby is asleep, it makes a great laptop rest or headrest/pillow when TV watching. Totally worth every penny. Much jealously goes to the inventor of this one.

Bumbo- My only complaint about the Bumbo is that they don't make these for adults. I am strangely compelled to sit in it. Just looks so cushy and secure. I've heard people say this is a short lived baby item, but hey- it's outlasted our bassinet in terms of use. Abby is still too small for a high chair, so we use this for feeding. It's also been great when she wants to be upright, but I can't hold her, so she can sit in it while I get things ready. Like her breakfast.

Snugglenest- When I first saw ads about the Snugglenest, the baby bed you put IN your bed, I laughed. I thought it was going to be a little too close for comfort, but you know what? It's genius. It not only prevents you from rolling over on your newborn while you sleep, but it's a convenient bed to bring along on trips. When baby fusses, you can reach right over and put a hand on her to calm her down. No reaching down into a bassinet or a huge pack and play. Just easy, co-sleeping. It also comes with an LCD light on the top that plays a lullaby or that wooshing sound babies dig so much. I sometimes wish she still fit into it.

Travel Systems- Travel systems include an infant car seat that fits into a base in the car and also a compatible stroller. It eliminates the need to take baby out of the car seat, into a stroller. It all just snaps together for easy carrying. I'm dreading the day Abby outgrows this and I have to take her in and out of the car seat. They are expensive, but worth it. A great, appreciated gift to chip in on.

Rock a Bye Baby! Lullaby Collection- A really great gift for the music loving, expecting parents. Just when you thought Metallica was the farthest thing from helping you sleep; This company makes lullabies of songs from popular bands like The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Beach Boys, The Pixies, Bob Marley, Nirvana and more. With the lights out, it's contagious.

Baby 411- When we first came home with Abby, I was naturally, exhausted. Wiped out and had no clue of what to expect as a new parent. I neglected to do a lot of research ahead of time and I was too tired to read up on anything. But I had Baby 411. I nicknamed this the Cliff Notes for Babies. Our friends tipped us off to this book, which has been a really quick, but super informative reference tool for anything baby in the first year. Much better, faster read than "What to Expect..." and gives you everything you need to know from the minute baby comes home to sleep, eating, health and development patterns. Even at 8 months old, I still refer to it at least once a week for info on my girl.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Seven Month Review

I know. I've been away. A terrible blogger. I'm not sure how many people even come here anymore and that's okay. I'll try to be better, with or without you. I'm considering coming out of my semi-retirement of blogging. Blogging seems so...2001, doesn't it? FaceBook seems to be the networking drug of choice.

Miss Abby is now 7 months old as of today and gets a little bigger each morning she wakes up. Speaking of, we had a rough few weeks of trying to get Abby to sleep. For an hour each night, we'd sit by her crib while she held our hand to fall asleep. Rather sweet, really. Except, when you are doing it for an hour, every other other hour, on work nights...well- it got a little tedious, so we had to call in Dr. Ferber. Felt bad giving the tough love, but I was desperate for sleep. Now she sleeps with fewer peeps and we're all happier and better rested for it.

Now, if I can just get Kenny to stop snoring and the cat to stop walking on my face at 3AM, my night life would run a lot smoother.

Oh, BTW--- I'm working on getting Betty Rocker back together in another blog. I'm not sure when it will happen, but it has an addition to it. It'll be called Betty Rocker and Baby (a title suggestion from my friend Brad). Music and Kids...since that's what I got going on, that's what it's going to be. Again, at some point- perhaps when there's more free time...IF there's more free time.

Monitor is showing red lines. The little lady is awake. Toodles.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Baby Babble

Taking a brief moment to let you know I'm still alive! We had Abigail Patricia (Abby Pat) on St. Patrick's Day.  The name is a coincidence. After about 12 hours of labor,  she gave us a big hello! She was born to the U2 Song "All I Want Is You", which was one of the songs on my 11 hour playlist. Fitting, given they are an Irish band. 

Not fitting, since neither Ken or I am Irish. Ken has a little Irish, but not me. Guess we're honorary Irish now, right?

While I don't like to talk about weight, she was 7lbs, 3oz and 20 inches long. I don't know why people care about that kind of thing, but they do, so I'm telling you now, in case you didn't already know. 

So much has changed. SO much. More than I thought would to be honest. Abby is a great, polite little girl. The first night, she gave us no sleep and I was freaking that this was the way it was going to be from now on- sleepless nights with a crying baby. But each night has been easier. Just trying to figure it all out and it seems to be working. 

I remember people telling me to sleep while I can and that I'd be lucky if I got a shower in that day. But I am sleeping okay (not great, but good) and I have made it a priority to shower every day. I figure if I can get a shower in, I accomplished something and it's already a good day. 

All the things I thought and said about babies has gone out the window. I know "get it". I see what people are talking about now. I was never a big fan of other people's babies, but I'm a big fan of my own. 

The biggest help of all has been my husband and my family who have been such a huge support. I am pretty sure I couldn't have survived all this without their patience, help, advice and love through all of this. I don't know how single parents do it, but I give them a lot of credit. 

I am stir crazy at home, but I'm learning to surrender to this housebound thing. It won't be long before I'm out and running around so I'm trying to enjoy this time with our new addition. 

As for the pets, they've been most respectful. Cats keep their distance and Bella keeps a watchful eye over Abby. I feel like I need to vacuum everyday to keep fur from sticking to her milky little face, but meh, gotta let things go until I'm healed. Cleaning can wait.

I'll try to keep posted as much as I can, if for anything to keep my brain afloat and active. In the meantime, I'm terribly behind in what's going on with music and other things outside my house walls, so tell me what you know and give suggestions!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Waiting Is the Hardest Part...

So, tomorrow is my "due date". Babies are rarely born on the day the doctor says they are, so I'm not counting on any event happening tomorrow. Instead, we're just kind of sitting here, waiting for something to "happen." I feel like a bit of a timebomb and I'm BORED as all bored can be sitting around waiting for us to get in the car and head to the hospital.

Part of me really wants to get this all over with. The biggest part of me, actually. But there's also a small part of me that, naturally, isn't ready to face the reality that we are gunna have a little human in our house. In our lives. Forever! 

Babies are born everyday and I know these aren't uncommon thoughts to have for sure. And sure, there's some comfort in knowing this is all very normal. Still- can't help feeling like it's a unique experience. 

We're waiting for you, Baby the lyrics of Mr. Petty..."The Waiting is the Hardest Part".

Sunday, March 8, 2009 Bars

Probably not the best topic for me to be endorsing the week I'm about to have my first child, but my friend put a Status on her Facebook page that I read, giggled and and innocently commented on. Then her other Facebook friends chimed in with some ignorant comments and well, I got a little defensive. My comment is the last one and it took me about 20 minutes to how to write it nicely to avoid any Facebook catfights with total strangers. 

Keep in mind, her Status was written during a St. Patrick's Day Parade at 6PM. 
(click to read)

Comments like this (especially from Douchebag #1), even before I was pregnant and soon to become a mom make me want to smush a dirty diaper in their face. I think responsible parents should be able bring their  (preferably well mannered or sleeping) babies and kids wherever they want! As I said in my closing comments, there's a time and place. Obviously, bringing your kid to a bar anytime past 8 PM is not considered great parenting, but if it's in the afternoon/early evening to get out and take a break, what's the problem baby haters? Why and how is it affecting YOU?

I know or have friends that would agree with anti-babies in public comments and even take it a step further and don't like seeing kids at restaurants or parties or basically in public. They think kids belong at home, at a park or at the zoo.  Comments like "should have known what you were getting into before you had kids" is frankly pretty rude. In a way, almost akin to racists or bigot thoughts that gay people shouldn't get married because "they chose that life" (a little extreme, but it falls into the same family). 

Life doesn't stop when you have kids and while I agree not everyone knows the right time and place to bring their babies out in public and not all parents are responsible, there's nothing wrong with having a drink/socializing at a bar and having a baby sleeping beside you, especially if the bar is roomy and especially if they have a beer garden.  It's not hurting anyone and I'm pretty sure, especially during the recession, bar owners are more than happy to have people coming in patronizing their bar during their downtime, with their babies or not. As a former bartender, I always like parents coming in for a drink in the afternoon. The tips were great!!

And...aren't babies and toddlers basically like drunk people anyway? They drool, puke, pass out and sometimes cry or poop their pants if they've had to much to drink. If you ask me, they are in perfect company.

I feel the same way about dogs in bars, which is why I wanted to open a Dog bar in Boystown called Boners and Lickers. Now I'm gunna have to come up with a name for a Baby bar, where you can drink AND bring your baby. It would even have "Pump and Dump" stations in the bathroom. I might even let the Octomom come in and have a brewskie (I'd just charge her double).  

Not everyone is going to agree on this topic and that's okay. If you have a great reason why babies and kids need to stay out of bars, I'd love to hear it. 

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Days of Grace #6

1. Helping hands to finish the baby's room (almost)
2. ShamROCK shakes
3. Prenatal Hiccups
4. seeing happy statuses on Facebook
5. Extra money coming in

Friday, February 20, 2009

I will likely miss

  • Maternity clothes. The panels and all. So comfortable...every girl should be wearing them. 
  • Being told by my doctor it's okay to head to McDonalds for an occassional Shamrock Shake. 
  • How nice people are. People are really really nice when you are pregnant. It's unreal.
  • Having help and advice from friends and family. At first I didn't like it, but I gave in and it's quite humbling and nice. I hope that doesn't stop. It's certainly made me feel like I need to be a better person.
  • Gaining weight, but this time, I have a good excuse. That goes double for my big belly.
  • Being told to kick back and relax.
  • Sleep. It's the number one thing people tell you to say good-bye during and after pregnancy. Later sleep. It was nice knowing you.

I will not miss

  • Walking at a snail's pace. I was exercising pretty often and well up until about a month ago. Now, I can't really walk the dog more than 10 minutes or go to the gym without my belly and below aching.
  • Not being able to take Bella for long walks. The look on her face the last few months makes me so sad. Thankfully, Kenny has been taking the lead on this and has been a trooper, walking her whenever he can.
  • Taking a good minute or so to roll out of bed. I now know what it's like to be a cross between a turtle and sea lion stuck on its back. 
  • Um, these cankles and swollen hands are ridiculous. My lower legs look like upside down bowling pins. I feel kind of weird walking around pregnant without a wedding ring on.
  • These double EE width shoes I've been wearing every day. They are starting to stink from all the constant wear and tear.
  • Constant pressure on the bladder. 
  • Pinched nerves
  • My inner thighs feeling like they've been doing ThighMaster all night long. 
  • Not being able to lay flat on my back or avoiding torso twists
  • Being told to "Relax and calm're pregnant". Yes, I know it's the ultimate excuse for how uncomfortable I'm feeling, but it still sucks.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


I have a nasty little cold. Not sure where I picked it up, but it I curse whoever gave it to me. I swear, people, if you KNOW you are sick, then do not touch me!   Do not kiss me on the lips (Kenny is excluded from this rule), don't cough in your hand (a sleeve works better) and just keep your hands to yourself. 

Anyway, damage is done. nostrils are plugged to the gills and I have a dry mouth from breathing in and out. Losing sleep was bad enough, now being sick, I expect to toss and turn even more than I already have. 

Okay. Enough complaining!

The good news is, it was absolutely gorgeous today. We made some baby gift returns and then went on a really long, much needed walk with Bella. We were all in heaven, getting fresh, warm air into our lungs and having to squint because of the sun. The warm temp might last just a few days, but that's a break enough for me! Kenny and I couldn't believe NO one was outside walking and enjoying this weather. They must have been out waiting in line getting the salt washed off their cars. 

Days of Grace #4

Outside temperatures above 50!
Getting a few hours of sleep- better than nothing.
Chicken soup, delivered by an old neighbor friend
Bella sitting on a chair like a human, watchdogging the people on the street
Starbucks Rooibos Vanilla Lattes

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The First

It's done. I've moved off of Typepad and am now free-blogging. It feels nice to do that. To tell the truth, I started with Blogger, but then saw how cool other people's blogs were with Typepad and wanted to move over. 

Now that Facebook has taken over everyone's life, I don't need to blog anymore. You already know my status and where to find me half the time, right?

Hopefully I'll be able to keep up with writing. As you know, there's a little one on the way and coming up soon, so I may have hiatus for a while...only time can tell. Part of me leaving my old blog I think is my nesting taking over. Just a little LOT has it taken over.

Just ask my husband. Literally, as the new year set in, I started becoming this "we have to get this all done NOW" type of person. I'm even driving myself a little nuts with this urgency to have everything in place. But every now and again, the sane me comes back and reassures it will all get done. Everything gets done and works itself out. Can't fight it. 

Oh and for my name, I have hung up my Betty Rocker hat for an old nickname, Carlita's Way. I'll still be letting you know about music and all that good stuff...a change will do me good!

Come back and check on me once in a while, ya hear?