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.

 

Pun intended.

Four different customer service reps.  Five different quotes.  What is the rhyme or reason?

Britney quoted $64.99 for internet up to 45 mbps download, plus a $100 installation fee.  It sounded like a reasonable price for that speed just for internet which we were happy about.  First we needed to cancel our existing service, so we hung up with Britney, promising to call her back.

An hour later, after canceling our existing service,  we called back and another rep for this company, Jay, could not locate the previous quote Britney had mentioned.  He claimed that we could get that internet speed only as part of a bundle.  So he offered a TV plus internet up to 45mbps download for $82.99 with installation free or just internet service for $49.99 up to 18mbps download plus $100 professional installation fee.

We were not giving up just yet.  We were determined to get that first offer that seemed good for our pockets so we called back for the third time to speak to a spanish speaking rep named Juan.  He claimed that his best and only offer was TV plus Internet up to 12 mbps for $72.99, installation free, and that at this address location they don’t offer internet speeds over 12 mbps.  This was his offer after telling him over and over that we don’t want TV, just internet.

By now, we were like “screw this company.”  Seems like any rep can make their own offer…but before that, we made one last attempt.  The fourth time we called another customer service line for the same company and this time around a rep named Austin picked up.  His offer was for only internet up to 45 mbps, installation free, for only $49.99.  So we finally went with Austin’s quote for just internet and not only did he give us the best offer, he also did not try to persuade us to keep tv, since we stated numerous times that we do not want cable.

This is crazy!!  Overall, we spent almost half a day calling this company just to somehow try to understand how their system comes up with different quotes every time.  But it is still confusing. You  would think an established company like that would have one system that each rep can refer to.  When asked what the final billing will be, no one knows.

You’re probably thinking as to why we chose this company after going through all this.  The answer is simple.  We only have two providers who offer tv and/or internet at our address.  One was $82.82 at 100mbps and the other $49.99 at 45 mbps.  The latter is more than enough for streaming, web browsing, blogging and even for work related business.

After all this, we still have yet to see how the service will work for us.  They’ll be here in a few days to install.  Until then… to be continued!  I still hope for a better option to be released in our lifetime.

 

…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

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."
     Strength.
"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase."
     Courage.
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
     Integrity.
"Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?"
     Service.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
     Equality.
"I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear."
     Love.
"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."
     Loyalty.
"We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools."
     Unity.
"Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend."
     Love.
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
     Courage.

I'm glad we get a day to celebrate this man.  He embodies everything that I stand for.  I don't see the exterior when I look at people.  We all bleed the same.  We all cry.  We all smile.  We all love. We all fear.  We all are trying to navigate this crazy world.
 
Humanity, however, has a long way to go.  People are still persecuted based on religion, race, sex, sexual orientation.  You name a difference and people are discriminated for it.
 
Think for a minute.  What if we were all blind?  We would connect on a soul level and this world would be extraordinary.  Be extraordinary today and every day.
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SB50Nachos.  Wings.  Dips.  Gravies.  Beer.  What does your typical Super Bowl Sunday menu consist of?  Lots of calories and fat?  Sure, they taste good.  But do you feel good later?

How about some tofu bean wraps?  Before you sneer at the idea…smile at the new idea.  It’s an easy recipe that you can make large portions of to entertain guests.  Instead of weighing-down-gut beef, tofu is used.  Drain one extra firm tofu block and wrap in a towel for 30 minutes.  Cut it up and mash with some seasonings, like cumin and red pepper.  Fry it up like you would ground beef for meat sauce.  Add onions, scallions, spinach, kale, tomatoes, whatever colorful produce you like.

Instead of sour cream, use avocado cream sauce, which is made from 1 avocado, 1/2 cup plain yogurt, juice of one lime, salt and pepper.  Blend it until smooth.

Warm up some spinach wraps and add your tofu mixture and avocado cream sauce.  Voila!

Pair it with a glass of kombucha and you have a refreshing meal to share with your friends.

 

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!