Sunday, January 8, 2012

January 9th

I'm starting to have a general "dislike" for January 9th.

Last January 9th, I told my husband goodbye for a week as he started his training for work.  For the following 16 weeks I saw my husband for maybe 48 hours each weekend.  Most weekends it was less.  He did get to call most nights.  As I have said in other posts, I was pregnant, chasing a three year old, and working full time.  I kept my sanity and gave myself reality checks by reminding myself that it could be worse--my husband could be a soldier who was away from home for much longer with less contact.  Our daughter was named from one of the shows I watched to help me keep that reality check going.

This time last year, I had no idea I would be spouting off the "May mantra" again, but yet it stares us all in the face again.  If I can make it through today, I can make it until May.  A friend once shared that with me when I was struggling with a commitment I had made to work somewhere until May.  Last year, I shared that mantra with my husband.  We both repeated it several times throughout last spring.  I am not sure who will sing it loudest this brother, my sister in law, or my mom.

Tomorrow is January 9th and my little brother takes off for basic training with the Army National Guard.  My sister in law is pregnant, about the same place in her pregnancy as I was this time last year.  She chases an almost 18 month old little boy around non-stop.

Yep, I am pretty sure that I will just cross January 9th off the calendar next year...

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Product Insight: Moby, Erog, Baby Spoon

I have had a few mom's recently ask me for insight on wraps, specifically the Moby wrap.  When I was still pregnant with my daughter, I polled people on wraps, slings, and carriers.  I had given away the carrier I used on my son because it never seemed to feel comfortable enough.  I ended up with both a Moby wrap and the Ergo carrier.

First off, do you really need a wrap/carrier/sling?  Well, if this is your first child, then you don't necessarily NEED one.  If you have a small child and are ever going to need to shop at Walmart or the grocery store with both children with you and not have someone to push a second cart...then HECK YES, YOU NEED SOMETHING!  I have a four year old and 7 month old.  I recently made a trip to Walmart by myself.  Before I left the store, I stopped an assistant manager and asked him how in the world Walmart expects any mom who has to bring more than one child to put her children AND her groceries while she shops.  By the time you put one child in the seat and leave an infant in the carseat in the big part of the have NO room for groceries.  Unless you buy all your groceries at Target and enjoy pushing around a card the size of a semi, then you are probably going to want something for that one time when you have to go shopping and take all the kids with you!

That are my thoughts on the wrap and some other products...

Moby Wrap
What I love about it:  the concept, how it works when I get the wrap on in a comfortable hold, there are many different holds and you can adjust them to what best fits you and your baby, easy to wash, easy to store (wad it up, fold it up...whatever works!), you can use it from infancy through toddler years, and one size fits all!  There are lots of youtube vidoes and online support from Moby on how to position for the different wrap holds.  The fact that you can custom the holds to what works best for you and your baby is great.

What I don't love about it:  I have yet to figure out who to put on the wrap without half the wrap being on the floor when I start to put it on.  At home, this is fine.  Out in public or in a parking lot, um, not so great.  I really don't want to be wearing something that I just had on the floor or ground, much less putting my baby in it!  The stretchy material is great, until you have been wearing the wrap long enough that it stretches out and your hold starts to not feel as secure.  I am not a small girl.  Warning:  I am about to mention my boobs. My boobs aren't small either.  When my daughter was smaller, it was like I couldn't get the wrap tight enough to really feel she was super secure, still accommodate my boobs and yet not feel I was going to smother her with my boobs.  I recently wore her and at almost 18lbs, we had a great hold and the fit felt right without feeling like my boobs were going to smother her.

I will say that the one time I wore my daughter facing outward in the moby wrap, she seemed to feel a little overwhelmed, overstimulated, and wasn't sure what to do with her flailing arms/legs.  I need to try it again now that she is a little older.

Side note, some moms can nurse while wearing the Moby...I have NO IDEA how they do that at all.

Overall, I am glad to have this as a baby-wearing option.

Ergo carrier
I was able to snag this carrier cheap from a online shopping site.  Let me rephrase that...I convinced my mom to buy me this carrier from an online shopping site.  I give credit where its due...thanks mom!

What I love:  soft fabric, comes with hood to cover baby if outside in foul weather, adjustable, fairly easy on/off for carrier with straps, lots of padding in straps and comfortable to wear for extended time periods, option to carry baby on back (but I haven't been brave enough to try this yet).

What I don't like:  I can't wear my daughter forward facing.  Meaning, if I use the carrier on my front, then baby is facing me.  There is no option for her to face outward. Not really sure if this is such a downfall, as I don't know how much I would use that option anyway...just thought I should mention it though.

Overall, this carrier is a little pricey, but I think its worth it...especially if you don't get a Moby.

I will put this in bold, just in case you missed the comment earlier:  If you have a young child already and are adding a baby to the family, you need a carrier/wrap/something!  Even if you aren't big on baby wearing...there are going to be at least a few times that you may have to do the grocery shopping with both (or all) kids with you and you are going to need somewhere to put the groceries!  I assure you that I don't leave my house without one or both of my Moby or Ergo with me.

By the way, nobody is paying me or helping me out because I am promoting these products...just trying to give my honest opinions and help some fellow mommies out.

The "NEW" baby spoon
Take a cruise down the baby aisle and you will notice that there is a new type of "spoon" that has a handle that doubles as the food holder.  Meaning, you pour the baby food into the handle and then squeeze the handle to release food onto the spoon.  I LOVED the concept and hate the reality.  So far, I have used mine once.  I have about four more that I need to return.  I just don't see us using these.  For one, we mix our daughter's baby food with cereal and this doesn't work as well with this type of "spoon".  Also, I like the rhythm of the dip, scoop, feed.  Once its time for our daughter to start using a spoon, there is no way she could use this to learn how to eat.  Overall, I am just not a fan.  Again, great concept but I hate the reality.  Just wanted to share that about this trendy little item.

I hope that helps and if you have questions, you can ask away!  Just comment here or send me an email or shout at me on facebook...

Monday, January 2, 2012

Dear 2012

Well hello there 2012.  So glad to meet you.  If you see my old friend 2011, tell it I said goodbye and that it was a little too marathonish for me.  See, 2011 unfolded something like this:

Jan 9--my husband began 16 weeks of training that took him away from home every Sunday night through Friday afternoon.  He was allowed to call home each evening he was gone, but the timing was random and there were more than a few nights of waiting up past bedtime for his call because he was out in the woods dancing with trees, cleaning, holding books in the air, or whatever his "trainers" had him doing.  This wouldn't have been so bad if I wasn't 20 weeks pregnant and chasing a 3 year old...oh, and working full time.

Jan 18--my birthday.  Enough said.

Jan 25ish--we put our house up for sale...constantly keeping it "show worthy" clean in case someone called and wanted to view the house at the drop of a dime.

Feb and Mar--are just a blur as I tried to prepare us for having a baby, possibly moving, and not lose my mind.

April 7--went to doc for pregnancy check up and got sent home on modified bed rest due to elevated blood pressure...was determined not to flunk this time around.

April something or other--twice I got sent to the hospital for observation...once for four hours and once overnight.  At least I got to bond with the nurses for when the real deal happened.

April something or other again--I listed our house for rent, showed it, and rented it to the first family who responded to the ad.  We took our house off the real estate market.

April 28 or 29...I think the 28th--my husband became a fully commissioned officer who wears a gun everyday and I really started relearning my 10 codes (police language).

May 1--my husband started his new assignment 150 miles away while I stayed behind with the 3 year old and my pregnant belly.  He came home for his days off.  The other five days/week he was 150 miles away.

May 15--my husband came home so we could have a baby...and pack.  Somewhere in here, he rents us a house.  I am now moving to a house I have only seen in iphone pics.  No stress there.

May 17--we went to the hospital for an everyday c-section delivery of a full term baby girl, expecting to leave the operating room with her resting on my chest.  Instead, she went to the NICU.  If it tells you anything, I just recently remembered to ask my mom what it was my husband said when he came to the waiting room to announce her birth.  At least I remember more about the day she was born than the day her brother was born.  Oh, and they took me to see her on my way back from the OR to my room.  Not sure they normally do that, but they did!  Maybe that bonding I had done with them earlier was part of that.  My husband and I didn't allow anyone back to see her because we knew she needed rest and healing, and that isn't compatible with lots of visitors and noise.  We did take our 3 year old back to see his sister.  He got to see her through a window.  He doesn't remember it, but I do.  The look on his face was incredible and he got so quiet...which NEVER happens.

May 18, 19, 20--pretty much a blur...I remember being asked if I wanted to room in with my daughter one night before heading home...all I could think was "let's get out of here".  So, about 10 minutes before I got discharged, guess who showed up in my room ready to go home with us?  Yep, a little baby girl.  And off we went.  I was home for about 3 hours when the stress, hormones, and a little bit of self diagnosed post traumatic stress syndrome kicked in on me.  I definitely wasn't me for a few days.

May 24--lets add a wreck to the fun.  My husband is with my dad, coming back from "taking a load" from our old home to our new one. I call the doc and tell him that something just isn't right and the medicine he prescribed isn't working and I am not waiting 6 weeks for things to level out.  I won't make it that long.  Doc tells me to come in at 4:30 and he will work me in at the end of the day.  My mom is driving because I am a week out from having a c-section.  We had picked up Kale, so both kids are in the back seat.  Traffic comes to a halt on the interstate.  We stop.  The car behind us doesn't.  Nothing like a rear end collision when you have a belly wound that is trying to heal, your week old daughter in the vehicle, and your 3 year old along for the ride.  Here is the irony...whatever it was that my body needed to get me back on track was found somewhere in the reaction to that wreck.  My nerves needed something to respond to at that point and they got it in a big way.  We were all deemed fine and eventually drove on to the doctors office.  I joked with the nurse that maybe the wreck shook loose whatever had ahold of me.  Apparently, I was right.  I suddenly felt like myself again and was moving forward.

May 28--the keys were handed off to the new renters, my husband was at work and anxiously awaiting our arrival at our new off we went.  Exhausted doesn't even begin to touch what we were feeling.  I think my parents are still trying to recover from those few weeks.

June--we settled in...sort of.  Kale started daycare because he would get up each morning, look at me and his sister and then ask "what are we going to do here today".  After three days of me telling him we were going to eat, nap, and change diapers...he needed something different.  He went to hang out with what he called "my kids".

July--we agreed that the rental house wasn't big enough for the four of us.  I also gave my two weeks notice at my former job and finished out my maternity leave.  I could finally tell people what had been going on in our lives.

July/August--the fields behind our rental house caught fire.  The first time, we didn't have to evacuate.  The second time, we evacuated.  Nothing like gathering up all you can and two babies and not knowing if the rest of your stuff will be charred rubble when you return.  I didn't unpack the back of my truck for a few days.  I hadn't had it unpacked the first time for more than a few hours when we realized the field was on fire and all of it went right back in the truck so we could leave...without my husband because he was off to help fight the fire.

Late July--I had applied for a job and got the awaited phone call that they wanted to hire me.  My "time off" suddenly had an end date and the worry about what to do when my maternity leave pay ended was for nothing because this job would pick up right where that pay would end.  Hello God. job, started Scout in daycare...then changed the kids daycare so they could both be at the same place...thats about all I remember about that month.

Sept--just a blur.

Oct--organized a birthday party for Kale (now 4) and then promptly started packing to move (again).  We were let out of our lease and found a larger house in a more convenient off we went. I joked that we could get moved in three days.  The joke was on me.  The calvary showed up to help us move and by golly we were moved in less than three days.  I am still unpacking.

Nov and Dec...a blur of holidays...mixed with Scout learning to crawl, sit up, and pull up in a matter of a few weeks.

There was some other stuff in 2011...but mostly what I remember was, 2011, I might be a few days late...but you were fun and adventurous but I am glad you are gone.  Dear 2012, I really hope we can agree to be a little slower paced...but knowing my kids and husband, I doubt it.