Friday, July 23, 2010

Equipment I Do Love

In the months before the baby was due, I scoured the internet looking for people's recommendations for gear for pregnancy and baby. I assembled my own patchwork list from their list, and now that I am on "the other side," here's what we have found most useful:

For the pregnant ladies:

1. Maternity shirts that double as nursing tops (they have flap things) -- buy them at 6 months pregnant and you will have shirts to wear while pregnant AND while nursing! It is really annoying (and expensive) to have to go out and buy tops that work for nursing because you only have 3 tops that work for nursing and you will wear them non-stop for the first so many weeks after the baby is born. Wish I had known this.

2. You can buy special pregnancy pillows which are probably awesome, but at $50, I was too cheap even if my back bugged me. Ikea has these longish thin body pillows for about $10. Ultimately, nothing will be comfortable but for a while these were a big help.

3. Cheap maternity clothes -- best option new is Old Navy but bless those girlfriends willing to share theirs as you are going to wear them for all of a few months.

For the baby:

1. I do like the video monitor. I know it's not really necessary and I know I'm obsessing, but it is really reassuring to see the baby is OK. It's different to see the baby is OK than to hear silence which means the baby is PROBABLY ok, but if you're insane like me, you want to khow the baby is DEFINITELY ok. So, if you're not insane, a regular monitor is fine..

2. If you can get a copy of the Happiest Baby on the Block video from the library or borrow or buy, I recommend it for yourself and so your partner will watch it. You may have obsessively read all of the "how to take care of a baby" books but your partner likely rolled his/her eyes at you and continued to read "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" book. Watching the dvd is a fast easy way to teach them how to soothe the baby so they don't hand the baby back to you the second the baby starts to cry. So worth it. And your partner will be so thrilled when it works for them which is super cute to watch.

3. I think the swaddle thing was a big help to us (at least for the first few months). So blankets that actually are built for swaddling help a lot as they have places that hold their arms because babies are little houdinis with getting their arms out of the blankets.

4. Baby carriers rock (ha, pun intended) but it is amazing how different they all are. I've tried the Moby, the Ergo, the Bjorn, the BabyHawk and all have their pluses and minuses. If you can borrow one from someone even temporarily before you buy it will be a huge help. I wore the Moby for a while and liked it a lot but now I need more head support for her. I'm wearing the Bjorn as I type but I anticipate we'll be moving into the Ergo as soon as she is big enough as the shoulders are much easier in the Ergo. But the Babyhawk that dear Susan sent me may work as well -- we shall see.

5. I have liked the stroller system where you have the car seat that snaps into just a lightweight frame. Nice and light and easy to throw in the trunk. We now are looking for the more permanent stroller to get around the city, but for quick trips while she is still little, the stroller frame works GREAT.

A final note: never underestimate borrowing/inheriting items from your friends and family. We have been so lucky to be inundated with enormous amounts of wonderful items from them from the cradle we got from Mr. Right's parents (in which Mr. Right slept when he was a baby) to the swing from dear Elizabeth which she got from dear Claudette, to the carriers inherited by the incredibly generous Kris and Susan, both of whom have two toddlers they are having to manage while still taking the time to help the hapless new mom. It truly does take a village!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Movie time again! Not sleeping!

Oh the fun we have here at the movies on the Baby Channel. This time it's all about her feet. It's the best movie you'll have seen all day, assuming you haven't watched any other movies today.

aaand more baby stuff

I can't really apologize for turning this into baby blog. I'd be lying if I said I was doing much else. Although I have cooked a few interesting things I can blog about later (barley salad, yum, and we made 2 kinds of ice cream with the kids, chocolate chip cookie dough and strawberry. Yes, we made ice cream with chunks! Yay!)

I chose this photo because Mr. Right rarely reads this blog. I secretly love this onesie that dear Joyce gave to us. It's silly, I don't think Mr. Right cares, but I try not to parade this onesie around in front of him because for some bizarre reason I think he'll see it and think she likes me best and of course I secretly want her to. This is the mind of a sleep deprived crazy person, moi.

I wanted to mention a few things I have learned, no particular order:

1. I had no idea how much I didn't know. I thought I knew stuff about babies. I kinda did, but really it was a drop in the bucket compared to this 24/7 thing.
2. I am only beginning to conceive how cute one thinks one's own child is. Anyone who doesn't agree that she is the cutest thing ever to appear on this earth is crazy in my opinion. It's like a the stupidest contest ever and I'm really into it. Oh well. We win.

3. Babies get all sticky and dirty pretty fast.

4. I am learning LOTS about limitations. Things I assumed I could do, I just can't. Whether it's because our stroller doesn't go there (hiking, escalators, subways) or distance limitations (Baby will only put up with car rides for a limited and unpredictable time period before MELTDOWN), going to the beach (don't even ask, I'm still traumatized), or typing, cooking, cleaning, reading, making phone calls effectively while holding her even in her carrier, I just can't do what I thought I'd do easily. Sometimes drinking a full glass of water is more than I can accomplish at a time. It's weird and hard and frustrating and even things I could do a week ago are no longer workable, although sometimes the reverse is true. It makes it scary to do a 10 minute drive to bookclub, and wait, bookclub doesn't end until 9? Uh oh. Oh and a haircut? How do I do that exactly? How do a I make an appointment and then find someone to watch her while I am at said appt if I don't have enough milk to feed her pumped while I am gone? Whew. It's tiring.

5. Have I mentioned tired? I have become a fabulous conversationalist who loses my train of thought every 3 sentences or so. And when I do talk, it's only about how cute she is. Fun!

6. Be patient, she's only 5 weeks old. (rinse and repeat) I forget how little she is because she is so much bigger than she was 5 weeks ago! (Namely, she now weighs 8 lbs 4 oz. Huge! And then I see the 10 pound babies who are 1 week old. Weird perspective flip!)

7. A wise person said: Life is short, but the days and nights are long. Yup. We are very glad to have Mr. Right come home at the end of each day. But then I'm like, wait, she's going to be 6 weeks old?

That's enough wisdom for now.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Watching Someone Sleep

Okay, I lied in the last post. I'm going to post the video of her sleeping because I was getting tired of emailing it out and torturing my family. This is my first video post so have patience with me. And yes, I realize that a video of a sleeping baby is not exactly Oscar worthy, although didn't Andy Warhol do something like this at some point? (answer: yes). But remember, this is MY sleeping baby whom I believe is award winningly cute. And it's not 5 hours long, like the Warhol film. So you can thank me for that, right?

Yikes. I think I have become one of THOSE moms. Ack!!!!

By the way, I bought a (cheapie) webcam for the purposes of sharing her cuteness most effectively, but I begin to wonder if just taping her isn't the best way to show her off. Any thoughts out there?

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Picture Happy

Having a newborn around all day is almost overwhelming for me as photographer. She's just so darned cute (nothing to do with her being my child of course), so just about every moment seems photo worthy. I seem to find her especially irresistable while she is sleeping -- yesterday I even videotaped a clip, which I will spare most of you from having to watch a video of her sleeping. (family, be warned: you will NOT be spared from having to watch). Oh and baby girl, sorry for all the no clothes shots, but we promise not to bring them out to show when you're dating (fingers crossed).

We're doing well, surviving the next heat wave ok, doing our best to stay hydrated and not survive solely on ice cream. No real milestones to report although it did look awfully like she smiled at Mr. Right yesterday. She's 3.5 weeks old. Next thing I know she'll be asking to borrow the car.