Archive for August, 2013

This just in: New dogs and old dogs learning new tricks together.

olddogsWhen you are expecting, you are inundated with information on what to expect each week of pregnancy and upon baby’s arrival. You learn about the soft spot, the need to support baby’s neck, the necessity of cleaning all of that poo poo out of the “diaper zone”, the importance of skin-to-skin contact, the method of swaddling baby, the dangers of germs and smoke. The list goes on and on. I spent at least 6 months doing hard core research and by the time Willow was born, I felt like an expert. But, when it came to handling my baby, I quickly realized that I had to finally use the techniques and they took a lot (!) of practice to get good at them. Reading, while chowing down on delicious chocolate cake (yummmm) while pregnant so was not the same as being 4 days after delivery holding the new one. Now I found myself trying to react to real baby cries and needs. And while I personally had a ton of experience with babies from my younger years with my many nieces and nephews, it was a giant learning curve to get up to speed once I was a 24×7 caretaker of a tiny human.

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Hey that’s mine!

20130829-125412.jpgI’m really lucky to have a baby that never cries. And by never, I mean never. So, you can imagine the shock I had yesterday when I saw tears well up in my baby’s eyes. Here’s what happened:

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Hot Fudge is to Good, as Hot Car is to Bad.

20130828-151935.jpgAs the summer sizzle begins to fade, kids are returning to school, Halloween planning is in the air, and people are starting to get back into the fall swing of life. The air starts to cool. Outfits change from the perky neon pink to a more snoozy maroon. And hooray for favorite TV shows returning, like Parenthood! Lots of changes. Well unfortunately your car is not getting the memo or even noticing. It, on the other hand, continues to be a sanctuary of heat under the mid-day sun. Read more…

Pumping at work just got easier.

women at workIn the old days, women returning to work would either ween their babies off breastmilk or would have to deal with excruciatingly sore breasts full of a days supply of milk. The women who could pump at work were stuck with the odors and germs of pumping in the bathroom. Well luckily, ladies, those days are over. Hallelujah. Here is a run down of what you need to know about pumping at work:

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Watch Me Grow!

toesIt seems that I am constantly finding Willow doing new things.  From the first time she turned her head towards the television program that I had been watching (I’ll admit it, it was Wheel of Fortune), to the time she recognized herself in the mirror, to all of the times she gives huge smiles while watching videos of herself, to the moment she realized she could pull her legs up and put her toes in her mouth, to that first spontaneous laugh.  Way too many things to list in just 6 months.   Read more…

F.A.M.I.L.Y. That spells love.

treeWillow is very fortunate to have a lot of family members that are really excited about her and want to be a big part of her life.  She has 3 full sets of grandparents and lots of aunts and uncles.  When I was growing up, I had one living grandparent, one close aunt, and many distant aunts and uncles.  The importance of family is something that up until I had Willow I think I took for granted.  I have lived away from family ever since I went to college.  I was tight with money and vacation time and so I did not do regular visits home.  Also interesting is that just after Willow was born, I became very possessive of her, even with family, and was weary about visits and sharing her time with others.  Afterall, she lived in my belly for 9 months and then was glued to me (we are talking super glue!) for the first 2.5-3 months.   Read more…

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

Now that I’m back at work, one of my favorite parts of the day is when I get to lay in my big, comfy bed to get Willow to sleep. (I’m a huge fan of co-sleeping. It has worked tremendously for us and allowed this mommy to stay well rested over the last 6 months. I totally recommend it to breastfeeding moms!!) All day I’m away from the house on weekdays. To help me through the adjustment period these last 3 weeks, my mom and husband have been great at sending me pictures and videos throughout the day. When I get home, I normally eat a delicious meal, play with Willow, catch up with my husband on his day and his business. All wonderful things. But when the sun goes down, so does Willow. That’s the time I get some serious snuggle time. Read more…

The key to getting good discounts on baby purchases is planning ahead. If you wait until you actually need something, you are more likely to pay full price.

$10 is a small price to pay for happiness

happiestbabyThere is a must-see video available online that gives advice on how to soothe a baby. It is called “The Happiest Baby on the Block”, and is based on the book with the same name. I had originally planned to read the book when I was preggers, but never got around to it. Then in the days leading up to the birth, and trust me there were many of them (!), I found out there was a movie made that teaches the basic principles of the book. They are called the 5 S’s, which are 5 soothing techniques that when used individually or in combinations actually work to soothe a baby.

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Birthing Center or Hospital? Choose your own ending maybe?

bigger bumpBefore I became preggers I was under the opinion that I would go to a hospital for sure and get an epidural immediately.  I definitely judged birthing centers as being completely inadequate.  I felt like a birthing center was a place for hippies and lacked people with specialization to handle major medical events like birth.  Shortly after becoming pregnant, I started reading a ton of literature on natural child birth.  I read that birthing is a natural process and that the woman’s body is designed to do it without interventions.  I read that women are far more likely to get a C-section the moment they step in the door of a hospital. Read more…

Knock knock. Who’s there? The boog in my nose – WAAA!

bulbHow do you make a tissue dance?  Put a boogie in it.  How do you make a baby stop crying?  Pull a boogie out of it.  (Not funny?)  Today’s post covers how to get a boog out of a baby’s nose.  You can tell when a cry is triggered by a boog because the baby will cry sort-of, then pause, then sniffle, then have a weird expression, and then cry again.  Or maybe that’s just Willow.   Read more…

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Baby Gear – Months 0 to 5

As the wise old man once said, “If it makes the baby happy, it makes the mama happy”.  Here are some things that have kept us ladies pretty pleased over the last 5 months.

Newborn | aden + anais azure swaddle blankets, my breast friend deluxe nursing pillow

1st Month | 4moms mamaroo, gerber side snap long sleeved Ts

2nd Month | joovy babasling, white noise for babies sleep

3rd Month | espirit animal kingdom booty socks, mamas and papas baby snug

4th Month | infantino pop & swap gym, tillie knock knock

5th Month | fisher price jumperoo animal kingdom,  happy bellies: oatmeal cereal

You is smart. You is kind. You is important.

you is kindAs a parent, I have a duty to my child to teach her to love herself. I read a lot of articles on this topic. Some articles note that a little girl will gain confidence in her body image based on the way the mother describes her own body image. Some articles note that you shouldn’t ever call a little girl beautiful because she will grow up thinking that her looks are the sole representation of herself. Some articles warn us to be careful not to enter children into boy/girl stereotypes for things from toy selections as a child to career selections as an adult.

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Grandma Spencer’s Cupboard

I have a red moleskin notebook that I keep in a spare drawer in my kitchen that is used to capture fun, original ideas for Willow for when she is older.  The notebook isn’t used to collect ideas from the internet or magazine.  Since I am now operating with 50% of my original brain, I have to write the ideas down so that I won’t forget.  So far my husband and I have logged The Elements of a Perfect Tree House, Pink Pig Tuesday Mail Mailbox, Silly Chili and more.  Today a new idea came up and I texted my mom about it.  She’s good to run things by to enhance ideas like this.   Read more…

Swaddle. Bottle. That's what I always say.

my husband

Yes MAM!

mamAs a first time mom, I was heavily coached at the hospital within hours of Willow’s birth not try a pacifier for at least 2-4 weeks for a couple of reasons – establishing milk supply, nipple confusion, inadvertently skipping feedings, etc.  So, I took the advice from the lactation consultants and waited to try them with Willow.   Read more…

I’ll get you, my pretty, and your little dirty stains, too.

20130806-221449.jpgI’ve only ever used one brand of stain remover. But of that one brand, I’ve already been through 60 ounces of it. It’s basically the Kingslayer of stain removers, in my humble opinion. I had received a ~3 oz sample of it in the quintessential baby shower gift: the diaper cake. I think I only need to give one example to show why it made sense not to even try anything else… Read more…

There’s no such thing as a free breast pump, or is there?

pumpIf you want to have a long lasting and loving relationship with your nips, invest in a good breast pump.  That advice can’t be taken lightly.  I read and watched a lot of pump reviews when I was picking mine out and found that the vast majority of cheaper options caused women to get sore and even cracked or bleeding nipples.  Yikes!   Read more…

Scrub-a-dub-dub, get that sunscreen off my soft spot.

nursing padsLet’s face it.  The very concept of washing a baby’s soft spot is intimidating.  Especially when washing off sunscreen is involved.  So is the rest of the slippery baby body once it gets wet.  You worry about dropping, dunking, water or soap in the eyes, etc.  When I set out on my quest for bath supplies for my baby, I found that I was pretty picky.   Read more…

Water and shaking, both not for babies!


We headed off for the zoo today. Knowing it would hit the upper nineties this afternoon, I wondered about keeping Willow hydrated and cool. As you might be able to tell, we are normally chilled from the sizzling summer heat in air conditioning or in the pool (Laguna Matata). My first thought was to make her an extra bottle with H2O. I’ve never done this, so quickly consulted “trusty” google first. Good thing. What I learned was that while water is a great bev choice for adults, it is definitely not for the little babies. Thing is we adults eat in excess of what our bodies require, but breastfed babies instead get exactly what they need nutritionally from the milk, no more or less. So if water is added to their tiny systems, you risk diluting the baby. Crazy! Suggested instead was…yep you guessed right…a extra bottle of milk! After our hour long stroll around the park, Willow guzzled it right on down.

It never ceases to amaze me how much a mothers body can do for her baby, even this long after she’s been out :)