Thursday, April 29, 2010

Faster Than a Speeding Bullet

How did we get from this:

to this?:

In a panic, that's how. One minute, Ansley is chillin' in her Rock & Play, cooing at mommy. The next, she has a small explosion in her diaper region and is making a face like, "Where'd that come from?" Having dealt with this before, I thought it best to give her a few minutes to finish. You know, baby privacy. And when I pick her up to carry her to the Pack 'n Play to change her diaper, I am greeted with yellow poop smeared all over my arm. Hooray for "Mommy Knows Best"! The top photo was taken after her diaper bomb. Looks pretty happy, huh? Her cute cupcake onesie had been on maybe an hour, and then had to be retired to the washing machine. My little cupcake wasn't quite so sweet at that moment!

On the upside, girlfriend has more clothes than she may be able to wear before she grows out of them, so at least we're getting some wardrobe changes in! Or practice for her teen years. On the downside, after I picked out this outfit, I realized it was 3-6 months! She's only just gotten into 0-3 months, so I hope it just runs small. Or else I may cry- Ansley's growing up too fast!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

New Mommy Survival Kit

I think there should be some sort of goodie bag handed out to new moms with all the essentials you'll need to survive the first few weeks. You go to the hospital, push out a baby, and are sent home a few days later with a little person you probably have no idea how to care for. You think they'll give you some tips in the hospital, right? Well, think again. You're emotionally psychotic, you're going on NO sleep, and nurses, techs, meal delivery workers, photographers, doctors, and pediatricians are in and out every 15 minutes. And then people want to come SEE you and the baby! The NERVE! So when the nurses are trying to give you helpful hints, do you think you'll remember anything? I sure didn't. And when I got home, I thought, "What the heck just happened? I have no clue what they told me!"

Of course, there are all kinds of checklists you can find, but here is what I would put on one if some baby expert asked me. They won't, but here it is anyway. This is what has helped me survive the first few weeks of New Mommy Boot Camp:

Fisher Price Rock & Play- Ansley was having a hard time sleeping on her back without an incline, and she was spitting up A LOT. I heard about this on the Bump and Kevin & I decided to try it out. The best money we spent on baby stuff by far! Our number one baby item, hands down.

Boudreaux's Butt Paste- Our daughter's little tush got red after a week or so, and we started using different creams. Of all the ones we tried, we liked Boudreaux's the best because it's thicker, has staying power, and really helped the redness to vanish.

The Baby Whisperer- I heard about this book from my message board, the Bump. I grabbed a copy a month or so before I gave birth, and read a little about the different dispositions a baby might have, how to start a schedule, and how to help your child go to sleep. It's been great so far- even though Ansley doesn't sleep through the night yet!- because there's lots of great advice a new mom needs to hear.

What To Expect the First Year- My number 1 buy! Just like "What to Expect" was my pregnancy Bible, this has answered all my questions since Ansley has been born. I only wish I had gotten it before so I could have read a little bit ahead of time. You WON'T have time to sit and read for very long!

Pacimals- These have been A-MA-ZING! Ansley is used to having a pacifier some of the time, and when she gets drowsy, she likes to wave her arms around. Well, that usually ends up in her flinging the thing from her mouth. Pacimals help prevent that, because she can hold onto its soft little body without losing the pacifier. She has two, and yes, they have names! Here she is with Dr. Quackers... (Admittedly, the names are goofy!)

Best Ever Play Mat- Ansley has an activity mat for play and tummy time, but this is the first mat we got out, and it is perfect for her to lay on on top of the ottoman. The plush is so soft, and can even be used for a nap time area, supervised of course. If I could lay on one and take a nap, I would!

Graco Travel System- Ok, most moms have one. But the travel system has gone with me everywhere, and I don't know how moms of yesteryear survived without one! We go on walks, we shop, we travel wherever the heck we feel like it. And Ansley has even napped in her carseat to keep her upright after a meal. Oh yeah, the cupholders are perfect for Starbucks Venti Caramel Macchiatos.

Pampers Swaddlers- We choose to use disposable diapers and have become diaper snobs in the few weeks since Ansley joined us. Kevin had a diaper shower at his work, which was awesome! We shouldn't need to buy diapers for a LONG time. But some of the diapers we got weren't Pampers, and we weren't impressed. Pampers Swaddlers are soft, absorbent, and have a wetness indicator line, which my husband NEEDS (or at least he acts like it's the greatest invention he's ever seen).

Gumdrop Pacifiers- The pacifiers they gave us in the hospital are awesome. They're soft and "gummy", and are easy to clean. We snagged as many as we could to take home. Ansley loves the way they feel in her mouth. Only complaint- her little wiggle worm ways make them hard to keep in sometimes!

Bright Starts Tug Tunes - This little ladybug has been good for changing time. I hung the clip over the edge of a basket on a shelf above her changing pad, and pull it to amuse her while I'm changing her diaper. It plays three different songs, and sends her into a little trance! I've since moved it to her carseat handle.

Fisher Price My Little Lamb Cradle 'n Swing- The first item I put on our registry. Not only is it darn adorable, it's got multiple modes for a different experience each time: several songs and sounds to choose from, a mobile, "flying" sheep and clouds, a mirror, and 3 ways to swing. This usually calms Ansley down when she's being Ms. Fussypants.

Summer Velboa Snuzzler- Ansley was so little when we first put her in her carseat! I can't imagine how much her little head would have flopped around without this support. It's two-sided: a fuzzy side to keep things a little warmer, and a woven cotton side for when you need a cooler fabric against baby's skin. This thing looks so cozy!

Those are the items I used all the time and felt like I would definitely recommend to other moms. There are plenty of other things I used but they weren't "must-haves", at least not for us in the first few weeks. Notice I didn't mention clothes? That's because my baby is a clothes horse and her fashion choices must be saved for their own special post. That's right. Ansley is a baby fashion queen!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Uh-Oh! The Moments You Realize You Screwed Up

Unfortunately, I can tell endless stories of my goofy mistakes- I am the single most klutzy person you probably have had the pleasure of meeting. Tripping over my own feet, spilling drinks like nobody's business, And did I mention forgetful? Kevin can tell me what time he will be getting home and what our dinner plans are, and an hour later it's like we never had a conversation. So I really can't blame pregnancy or the hectic schedule of taking care of Ansley for my brain freezes.

On our first real outing, we went to the mall. Stroller? Check. Diaper bag? Check. Baby? Check. We are ready to go! After a quick lunch, Ansley was ready to eat herself, so I fed her in the middle of the crowded food court. First meal on first outing? Success! Until she spit up. All over. Me and her. And I realized what I forgot- a change of clothes for her. Or a new shirt for me. I tried to clean us up as best I could and covered my milk-stained shirt with my black cardigan. But it was so darn hot, I finally said the heck with it and wore my mommy shirt as a badge of honor. Yes, I have a child and yes, I'm still new at this. I dare you to call me on it!

Since then I have forgotten diaper bags altogether (no Pampers Swaddlers can be a scary thing! The whole meal was an adrenaline rush while we secretly hoped we could eat without a poop blow-out or a screaming infant.) I've left the house without a backup bottle (not smart, but I'm slowly figuring this one out!) I've used everything BUT a burp cloth as a burp cloth in a pinch. Blanket. Shirt sleeve. Baby clothes. Kitchen towel. And I guess these are all normal new-mom moments that most of us experience. At least I hope so, because otherwise I'm a little on the slow side! But the moment when you realize that something has been left behind/not cleaned/dropped on the floor/pooped on, there's still that panicked feeling. Uh-oh!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Best. Thing. Ever!

Ansley smiled at my husband before me. I wish she had smiled at me first, but I wasn't as upset as I thought I might be. I knew she would smile at me soon. But what "magic touch" does Kevin have that I didn't? Does she like his deeper voice? Did he say some particular words she wanted to hear, or tickle her feet just right? I tried to copy what he did, hoping it would work. It didn't. Still no smile for mommy. Just a confused, "what-are-you-doing?!" look.

Yesterday, Kevin went to work and I spent all day at home with my little girl. And she smiled at me! It was one of the best moments of my life. Really and truly. I can those moments on one hand: Kevin asking me to marry him, us saying our wedding vows, the moments right after Ansley was born. Of those euphoric, rush-of-emotion, happiest-I've-ever-been moments, those are about it. And now I can add my daughter smiling at me to the list. It melted my heart when I saw it. And I will carry the memory with me forever.

Of course, I didn't have a camera when the big moment happened, but here is a picture taken today of the best "smile" we have so far. I love it!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Better Late Than Never

So I started this blog late. Way late- pregnancy? Missed that whole thing. First month- gone! I wish I would have started earlier and captured every moment. But time got away from me and here I am with a 5 week old. But I decided to do it. Because I want to remember.

Today is April 19th and my little girl is 39 days old. I can't believe that I have been a mommy for over a month. I'm still learning the ropes- and it's obvious! From our first outing that ended in messy shirts for both of us (I forgot to bring a change of clothes for me AND her), to worrying if I'm playing with her the "right" way (Is this song "stimulating" enough?). I've definitely got the worrying thing down. But I am so in love with my baby and I am having the time of my life figuring out this whole mom thing. I can't wait to continue on the adventure of raising my little girl. So... here goes!