I need help.  I’d love to form a local group among stay-at-home moms to barter our services.  You come hang with my kid and I get stuff done.  I go hang with your kid and you get stuff done.

I feel like my brain is constantly thinking of the million and one things I have to do.  Then I just reheat my coffee, sit down, and eat my hours old toast.  This mom gig is no joke!  I just posted about needing a tribe and now I’m executing a plan (hopefully.). Please share this post with whomever you’d think would be interested.  I thank you.  Phoenix thanks you.  Gabe thanks you.  We need a sane mama over here.

Cheers! 🍻🍻

Onesies.  Swing.  Baby bath.  Diapers.  Exer saucer.

Sure.  New moms need those.  (Well maybe not the bath.  Just take the one from the hospital for the first couple of weeks until the cord falls off.  Then bring babes in the shower with you.  Easier with spouse’s help and saves water!)  But not in excess.  Babies grow quickly.  Moms also could use things for themselves.  Here are my suggestions for the next mom-to-be in your life.

  1. Get mom a pregnancy massage.  These will make her feel like a million bucks and not to mention will make baby feel good too!
  2. Get baby some toys.  Come 6 months, baby needs stimulation and will get bored easily with what you have.  Think future gifts rather than right-at-birth needs.
  3. Ditch the baby shoes.  They are such a pain to put on, not good for babies feet, and are a waste of money.  Hand knit booties from abuela are always a good idea, however.  IMG_7767
  4. Gift cards.  These are always a great idea.  Mom can get what she or baby needs.  Try a store other than Babies R Us.  It might be a good initial one-stop-shop for accessories.  But it is expensive and, if you’re like me, doesn’t offer a huge range of organic and/or eco friendly options.  Try a zulily.com gift card where clothes made from organic cotton can be purchased or an amazon.com gift card where green toys can be purchased.
  5. COMFY ROCKING CHAIR WITH ROCKING OTTOMAN.  Nuff said.  This will be used for everything from breastfeeding, sleeping, eating, sleeping, breastfeeding.  Oh!  You may just never leave this thing.  I don’t have one, but when visiting a friend with two, I just love it!  If baby 2 is ever a thing, I will be making this purchase!
  6. Get mom a prenatal yoga membership.  In addition to the massage, this will calm mom’s nerves and, in turn, calm baby.  I did yoga throughout and had a less than two hour labor with no meds….for my first baby….just saying.  I accredit that to the calm pregnancy.
  7. Forget the nose bulb syringes.  They didn’t work for us.  We were recommended Nose Frida from a friend and it has worked wonderfully for us.  Side note-you DO NOT suck the boogers into your mouth.  You use your sucking strength but there is a barrier with a filter in between baby’s nose and your mouth.
  8. Get a cloth diaper monthly service for one month for mom to try out.  We tried idiaper which services New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.  Although it didn’t work out for us, it is something that many people find works wonders and it’s earth-friendly. We ended up using disposables, now using Honest brand, and make our own wipe solution, with cut up cloth from t-shirts we weren’t using and baby washcloths that we were gifted at our baby shower.IMG_7765  We found that disposable wipes were giving baby rashes at the beginning.  Baby hasn’t had a rash in months and we do not use a cream at all daily.  Check out some of the recipes we use here.  Allow mom to find works for her and baby.
  9. Natural Nipple Butter by EarthMamaAngelBaby.  I used this at the beginning of our breastfeeding adventure and it is safe for baby to eat, main ingredient being olive oil.  Who wants to wipe off cream every time you need to feed?  It got us through the initial month or two of getting accustom to feeding and I never had mastitis or thrush.  Then I didn’t even need it.  Now I use it as a chap stick.  IMG_7768
  10. How about a baby toothbrush and toothpaste?  I recently purchased a dye and bpa free, made in the USA toothbrush with 100% vegetable bristles at Whole Foods.
  11. Bibs that are useful.  Most of the ones I got are made so that the circumference around the neck portion is too big.  My girl’s neck is tiny so they become useless when food drips onto her clothes even though she has a bib on.  Get ones that have snap closures and that have a few different snaps to adjust for size.  I like the Aden and Anais brand.  Not to mention, the muslin material is to die for.  The Tommee Tippee brand bib is also useful because there is a cushion that snugly fits under baby’s neck.
  12. Since it’s mom’s first baby, buy some books.  Books are great to read even to newborns.  Reading is so important!  I tell Phoenix’s daddy this frequently…like when he puts only a third of the amount of fruits a green smoothie calls for and he’s like “this is gross!”  Well…IMG_7766

I urge you to think outside the box.  Don’t get mom what everyone else will be getting.  I received a beautiful orchid at my shower and it’s still blooming lovely in my front window, even after I thought it was dead.

 

…of a stay-at-home mom.

Picture it: 2016

Daddy is leaving for work.  It’s 7:30 am.  Baby and I are waking up.  (Baby is far ahead of me.)

I am beyond tired and whip the boob out for baby.  Maybe I can get a few more moments of rest.  Nope.

Baby spits up on sheets.  I take her to get changed.  She pees on the changing table and her jammies.  So those go on the floor and a new outfit is picked out.  We proceed to the kitchen where she happily plays with her toys in her highchair.  I stumble around like a zombie, get the coffee pot started, open the mail from the day before.  A bill from the pediatrician….We have two insurances, how is the amount transferred from primary to patient?  I don’t really want to call these people…ugh.  Always on hold and never good customer service.

I make my eggs and toast.  Suck it down with my coffee.  Then I give baby her broccoli and then nurse her.  As she’s nursing, she gets distracted and milk proceeds to leak on the couch.  Ugh.  More cleaning to do later.  She continues and falls asleep.  Do I move her so I can get some things done?  Do I snuggle with her?  All while looking at the toys strewn across the floor, the socks that need to be paired and put away, the floor that needs vacuuming, the bathroom rugs that need to be brought to the washer, the re-usable shopping bags that need to be brought back to the car, the kleenex that needs to be put away, the shoe boxes that either need to be thrown away or put somewhere to use later….You get the picture.

My coffee has gotten cold.  Phoenix is now in her swing, wide awake.  Hopefully, she’ll snooze a bit.  I’m writing now.  Not feeling like doing a single thing.  But, there are dishes to be put away, more dishes to wash, wash that needs to go into dryer, clothes that need to be hung up, baby’s clothes need to be washed, baby’s bath toys need to be put away from last night…

To be continued….going to hopefully get some of this done.

Transferred frozen breast milk to freezer downstairs, put some groceries away from last night, refilled my coffee cup.  Picked up some toys.  Feefs is now cranky so I need to attend to her.  Another pause….

Feefs is happily playing on her play mat.  Rolling around like a pig in mud.  hehe.  We were worried (no not really) that she was never going to roll.  Her chunky self just took her time.

I just fed her and now she’s sleeping peacefully in the swing.  We still use it at 7 months old.  I’m sure some people will have opinions about that.  I look at it like this…the weight limit goes up to 30 pounds so I’m going to use it up to the max.

I put on the ID channel while feeding her and am now hooked to a show called Murder Book.  Oye.  However, baby’s clothes are in the washer, and to my surprise, daddy put the wash in the dryer so that was ready to come out.  Score.  Socks are paired, clean dishes are put away.

I have ideas for dinner plans.  Cauliflower cream pasta with herbs and/or brown rice bowl with edamame and tamari scallion sauce.  Preparing that is also something on my to-do list.

I continue to drink my not-so-hot coffee.  Taking a breather as I write this and finish the show for the next 20ish minutes.  I figure she’ll need to eat around 330ish and/or when she wakes up.  I fill out my review for a dining experience I just had to earn mileage for American Airlines.

Welp.  Baby is awake and fighting to go back to sleep.

She’s asleep.  I’m hungry.  Have leftovers?  Spend time making something?  Sigh.

So, I had ice cream.  For lunch.  Baby is up again.  She is loving her little giraffe and I’m sitting with her.  It’s really windy out and I feel like she needs to be with me.  Haha.  What.  I don’t know.

The laundry is still in the washer.  It’s freakin cold down there.  Ellen is on TV.  That is one of my must-watch shows.  Jeopardy is the other.  It’ll be 5, I need to shower because we are trying to make Spanish Family Time for All Ages at the library at 6:30.  They also have Story Time for 0-2 year olds.  At 10.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays.  I wish I could attempt to even make that.  Not a morning person and need boatloads of sleep.  Ah!

If this post seems distracted.  It is.  I feel like this every single day.  Like I can’t catch up.  Like I’m barely getting by.  Forget taking a shower and getting myself anywhere near presentable.  I feel like I have ADHD, multiplied.  I have to remind myself it won’t be like this forever, or the anxiety will get the best of me.

When all else fails and I have so much to do, I sometimes end up doing none of it whatsoever.  So. Freakin.  Productive.

 

stay at home mom

For what you ask?

Baby will be crawling anytime now and we have many dangerous situations for that in our home.  Coffee table: on it’s way out.  Outlets: have their covers.  Cabinets: we need to secure.  But what else?  I’m a new mom and sometimes that means feeling less than intelligent.  I mean, I have a college degree, yet somedays I question its accuracy.

A crawling baby means a whole lot of new doors opening (literally and figuratively).  Will I get ANYTHING done?  Baby is awake for longer periods now so I have less time to focus on things.  I feel forgetful.  I feel tired.  Prepping house is the last thing I want to worry about.  But prepping is what needs to be done.  Baby will remind me of that when she’s sailing down the hallway on all fours and I’m chasing her because I forget to secure the gate at the top of the stairs.

Fifi buns has just completed her 7 month on this earth.  It has flew by.  She has such a personality (and a bite of steel…ouch!).  We just raised her exer-saucer.  A friend gave her a walking toy for Christmas.  Yet, we still use the swing….yes we do…and will until the 30 pound limit.  So many different ways to do things for babies.

So I’d like to hear from you seasoned parents.  What are your “prepping house” suggestions?  I’m at a loss and want to hear from you before I google it.  Thanks!

Eggs?  No eggs?  Rice cereal?  No rice cereal?  Try for a few days?  A week?  Once a day?  Twice a day?  I mean, there are so many damn opinions floating around as to how to introduce food to your baby.  Do your own research, make an educated decision, and do the shit the way you want.

I, for one, would rather feed my kid yummy food rather than bland shit.  I am more on the experimental, but cautionary, side.  I’m not going to intentionally feed my kid something that will harm her.  But I will not be scared away by “oh that food can be allergenic.”  Well, gee, let’s live in fear.  Just as with us adults, we can develop an allergy to a food but won’t know it unless WE TRY IT.

I found a page on Instagram that made me light up.  It’s called BabyFoodE.  The recipes are right up my alley.  Her 4+ month recipes are delightful, more so than rice cereal.  I want to attempt to not have a kid that only eats mac n cheese or chicken nuggets….not to say that I won’t ever give her these, just not ONLY these.

I started with avocado three weeks ago.  Phoenix liked it.  Then I went with butternut squash.  Phoenix wasn’t thrilled.  This week we are on avocado, egg yolk, and breast milk purée.  I mashed it myself so there are still tiny chunks.  Texture introduction people!  Mama gets to eat the white part filled with the leftover avocado.  Double yum!  I am excited to possibly try asparagus and mint purée next.  Sure, I’ll try oatmeal too.  I want to attempt to make my girl foods with ingredients that we have here at home or that we can use in a meal for ourselves too.  I am a stay-at-home mom so I want to take advantage of the time I have to make homemade food.  I will re-introduce the squash at a later date, and maybe add a spice or two.

A friend nearly had a heart attack when I said I was going to give my baby egg yolk.  I did my research.  The egg white is the “allergenic” part, with many proteins.  The yolk is filled with good stuff, like cholesterol which is needed by a growing baby.  She is an all-around healthy baby so I feel comfortable trying it.  So far, after day three, she is allergy-free!

I’m not a food expert, so don’t take my word for it.  Just try whatever floats your boat.

Here is the link to the Baby FoodE blog…..expand your mind (and your baby’s palate):

http://www.babyfoode.com

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We took our little bub on her first plane ride last weekend to Virginia.  She was great.  Here are some things I’d recommend:

  1. Gate Check travel bags for stroller and car seat, if you decide to take them.  Keeps them clean and helps to prevent any pieces from getting stuck or breaking in transit.  Wearing baby is also an option, but having the stroller until the gate helped our backs.
  2. Pants with feet so that during the hustle and bustle baby’s socks don’t come off.
  3. A larger changing mat so that you can bust it out and change baby on the floor in the airport.  Saves time and a trip to the bathroom, which sometimes might not be the best sanitary option.
  4. Change baby immediately before flight so that there is less of a chance of needing to change her on the flight….on a shorter flight of course.
  5. Dad mentioned having a vest with lots of pockets for our next trip.  Lots of pockets for toys, pacifiers, cleaning wipes, snacks for us, boarding passes, IDs, etc.
  6. Backpack for a diaper bag so that everything has a zipper and it is more comfortable.
  7. Plan a feeding for takeoff is helpful.  It calms baby and helps her to sleep during the trip.  I think it also helps with the pressure in the ears.
  8. Get a window seat so curious Georgina is distracted.  Hehe.
  9. Bring a bunch of toys or even new ones so that she is intrigued.  My girl gets bored easily.
  10. Possibly ear plugs.  We didn’t use them but baby was really startled when the pilot and the stewardess’ spoke over the loudspeaker.  Or just cover your bubs’ ears with your finger.  Same shit.

As we get more flying experience with baby, I’ll repost with additions.  Please feel free to also add your advice here.  Thanks!

Feeding Baby on Plane

Baby Needs Legroom on Plane

New York from the Sky

When a woman has a baby and her man criticizes her after birth, it’s like “dude, you had a part in this!”  Every woman has a different story, different genetics, different hormonal changes afterwards, etc.  When a man steps up and appreciates his woman even more for what she went through for all of them, it is refreshing to see.

But when I read comments from women criticizing other women because they didn’t become a blimp, don’t have stretch marks, bounce back quickly, it pisses me off.  Jealous much?  Simma down now.  Lift each other up, don’t cut each other down.

This article was a great piece from a hubby honoring his wifey.  The picture is of a slender woman holding her baby on the beach.  Gee, maybe it’s a PICTURE OF HIS WIFE.  And the slams come:   “Nice. Too bad the photo doesn’t match up with the article, making all this a little hard to believe. Otherwise it would be an image of a woman with wider hips, and less care to her hair.”  “Really? That’s the photo you choose? Sure, I wouldn’t mind my postpartum body either if I looked like a supermodel afterwards. Way to be considerate and compassionate.”  “I agree, great article but why such a perfect (probably airbrushed) photo.”

Thank you for this one:  “Newsflash: All women have different body types. Some are genetically predisposed to being thin, some to larger breasts, some to thicker hair, some not. Also, what a woman chooses to do with her own body and hair (in terms of diet, fitness, and styling) is her choice and she is still as much a mother as the next any day. Use your bitterness to better yourself, instead.”

There’s this concept out there that makes people who take care of themselves feel like that is wrong.  Here’s what I have to say to those folks:  GO FLY A FREAKIN KITE!  Instead of being a boohoo Betty, why don’t you change what you eat, treat yourself to an exercise class, meditate.  WORK ON YOU INSTEAD OF BASHING OTHER WOMEN.

Please Click here to read the full article and see the picture

The story at the bottom and the pictures will evict any and all emotions out of your soul.  Get a tissue.  Get a whole box.

I can’t imagine my life without Phoenix.  I can’t imagine my life without her, yet having to go through everything else that goes along with having a baby.  The emotions must be crippling.  This woman has enough strength for all of us.

When I first found out I was pregnant, I was stunned.  What?!  How the hell am I going to raise a baby?  What about labor?  Ouch!  Is he or she going to be alright?  I hope he or she has 10 fingers and toes.  I hope he or she is healthy.  I hope he or she sleeps.  I HOPE I SLEEP.  The thoughts running through my head were endless.  This woman’s journey helps to put a halt to the negative thoughts and allow you to revel in the fact that a new life will be the result of all these changes to body and mind.

I admit.  There are times when I long for my endless hours of sleep.  For a Sunday in bed, just watching Lifetime.  For a day where I don’t have to map out my shower, my hair, getting dressed, etc.  For a day that Phoenix’s daddy and I aren’t both so exhausted we barely talk to each other.

But then we look at her and we instantly perk up.  We instantly forget any reason to bicker.  We snatch her up and give her kiss sandwiches.  We see the sparkle in her eye and her beautiful smile when we smile at her.  We hear her giggle when daddy is bouncing her up and down on his belly.  We watch her sleep peacefully with her Simba or her sheep.

When they say you forget about all the nonsense when you look at your baby, they (whoever they are) are right.  But what if you have all the nonsense, but have no baby to look at?  It’s an emptiness that I don’t even think I can imagine.

I’d be a big ball of tears.  I’d need counseling.  I’d need 24/7 yoga, with tissues, with bouts of bawling seshes.  I’d find comfort knowing that my mother would be taking care of my baby, along with all the other babies gone so suddenly.  So, I say to you Natalie Morgan… Thank you.  Thank you for your reality check.  Eleanor is your angel.  But she is also OUR angel.

Please click on See More below in the Facebook post.

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A GoFundMe page has been set up for the couple and more than $10000 has been raised by 281 people in nine days so far.

The funds will aid the family in medical and hospital expenses.

There seem to be so many friends of mine and Brian that have either recently had babies, are soon to have babies, or…

Posted by Natalie Morgan on Monday, September 21, 2015

 

 

I was brought up in the Roman Catholic church.  I received baptism, penance, communion, and confirmation.  I no longer attend church.

In order to be a good person, one does not need to be religious.  A relative of Phoenix’s asked me if my dad was baptized and if I was baptized.  Yes.  Yes we were.  But why is that relevant?

If her father wants to have her baptized, I will have no problem with it.  If not, I will not have a problem with that either.  If either of our families has a problem with it, I am not concerned.  It is ultimately our decision as a couple.

When she grows up, she can make her own decisions about what to believe in.  I will not punish her for not thinking the way I do. I think that’s crap.  She is her own person….even now.

I was brought up with the golden rule.  Treat others like you want to be treated.  However, there were conditions.  Invisible conditions, but I noticed them.  My friends weren’t liked.  My words weren’t heard.  I left.

I will not put a boundary around her and then wonder why she rebels.  This isn’t everyone’s experience with it.  But it was mine.

I started taking these about two months into my pregnancy and continue to do so, for breastfeeding purposes.  I like to think, in addition to my trying to eat well most of the time, that they contribute to my girl’s plumpness and great health at 3 1/2 months.

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