Friday, March 30, 2012

What's in your diaper bag?

Bag: JJ Cole System 180 Diaper Bag

This bag is water resistant, so I can wipe it clean at any time. It also comes with stroller attachment straps, a pacifier pod and a changing pad. The changing pad is one of the amazing parts. You can toss in a diaper (or a few) with the wipes and take that to-go, or with you to a public restroom to change the baby instead of lugging your entire diaper bag. Let me brag about the stroller attachments – such a great space saving idea. It’s really great to hook your bag on (have access to it) and still have space in your basket below the baby to stash your mall purchases, err umm, your coat?

Change of Outfit(s) Harper is a pro at pooping through! Good poops doll, good poops! I usually carry at least two outfits in the diaper bags at all times. Let me tell you, I’ve used both (while being at the hospital with my dad) due to pooping through! One of my favorite outfits for her to wear is: Gap Kids Skinny Jeans and Ralph Lauren Pink Polo shirt because it’s oh-so-cute and she looks good in pink like her mama. Converse Chuck Taylor Crib Sneakers

Mommy Essentials I’ve found that slimming down from a large wallet to my Coach Mini-Skinny has saved me in switching from my purse for work to the diaper bag outside of work quick and easy. I can also grab my one and only makeup essential Clinique City Base Foundation #04 - and toss it in a side pocked of the diaper bag. Easy access and less is more when you’re carrying a baby, diaper bag, coffee, water, etc…!

Burp Cloth & Bib I’ve got a few adorable burp cloth and bib sets. They are perfect for keeping Harper clean whether she’s nursing or taking a bottle. Always have some with you just in case a spit up situation happens and you’ve used that last change of outfit!

Diapers & Wipes Target brand sensitive wipes are honestly pretty good! A wipes a wipe I say, but these are soft and clean up well. Diapers, I currently am working through our multi-size stock of Black Friday diapers, but I really like Pampers Swaddlers. I will definitely buy diapers on Black Friday again, because they were a STEAL!

Soothie pacifiers The one. The only. Soothie. Soothing it does! Harper doesn’t take a paci often, but for the first few months we’ve committed to using these so she doesn’t get nipple confusion.

Paci Pod Mine came with my diaper bag, but you can also purchase them from Target, Babies R Us, etc… This is wonderful to keep the paci clean and safe + you aren’t searching through the entire diaper bag to find the paci!

Burt's Bees Hand Sanitizer, chap stick, diaper rash cream… all of these are essentials for any parent. The hand sanitizer keeps your hands clean without drying them out. This diaper rash cream is soft and easily applied.

Gripe Water & Tri Vi Sol Vitamins Newborns aren’t so good at burping, pooping and p├Ęte (fart)… this works wonders in helping them learn those functions! We give Harper this once a day and she loooves it. Also, as a nursing mom, especially in Winter, Vitamin D is lacking for not only myself, but for Harper. My doctor suggested Tri Vi Sol multi vitamin for Harper. She likes the taste of Grip Water and doesn’t like the vitamin. But, she jokes it down quite well.

Munchkin Diaper Plastic Bag Dispenser Again, if your baby likes to poop through, these bags will save your diaper bag from becoming messy. Toss the soiled clothes into these bags to keep everything else from getting yucky. Or, if you happen to be somewhere you can’t throw a diaper away at easily, put your diaper in here to stow until you find proper garbage.

aden + anais swaddling blanket I can’t rant and rave enough about these blankets. They are thin enough your baby won’t become over heated, yet long enough to swaddle your newborn into a proper burrito. Plus, they wash up easily and hold their shape well.

Udder Cover nursing cover Love this compared to any I’ve seen! This cover has a wire/metal lining to help you keep covered, yet see your baby while their nursing)

Sophie the Giraffe teether Harper isn’t “teething” yet (thank God) but she has started to hold toys and really enjoys the Giraffe!

Avent Bottles Harper has taken to these really well and doesn’t get gassy. They are easy to clean and decently priced.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Hospital Bluuuuuuuues

Well, sadly Harper decided she either wanted to keep Hank company or she missed the doting care of nurses and made a short, but unfortunate, return to a hospital. Harper had RSV and was in Children's Hospital of Minneapolis for three days. Thankfully, not longer. Here are a few, sad shots, of our stay in Children’s. Here's Harper's crib. You couldn't go far away from the crib (only to the chair Jeremy is holding her in) while holding Harper because of everything she was hooked up to...

Let me tell you, seeing all of the tubes, etc... coming off/out of your baby is THE worst feeling. So, so helpless and heartbreaking. The worst part had to have been suctioning her throat and upper respiratory system. She screamed bloody murder, until she turned into the horrid state of stop-screaming-eyes-roll-in-the-back-of-her-head-petrified! Jeremy and I looked at each other and wanted to cry. It was horrid. Absolutely horrid. Here she is trying to calm down after being suctioned. Ugh!

I have to say one final note. I will be forever grateful to the Ronald McDonald House at Children’s in Minneapolis. They provided food, comfort, housing, etc… for us while we were at Children’s… and more so for Cari while she was there. There is a great sense of peace and comfort, which is essential for families with children who are in the NICU and ICC. What they are doing and provided is important and necessary.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Pregnancy Suggestions

Pregnancy Recommendations

I’m no expert, but I’ve done it once before. So, here’s what I learned.

It. Will. End. Yes, pregnancy ends at some point. As much as it seems to last forever, don’t wish away your pregnancy. It truly is gone before you know it! Enjoy every moment and relish this bonding time with your baby.
Water – in any way shape or form possible… whether it’s bottled water, flavored water, sparkling water. Hydration makes your pregnancy much easier. It eliminates headaches, achey bodies and helps you function better.
A Humidifier - We used the Safety 1st Ultrasonic 360 Degree Humidifier for most of my pregnancy and since Harper has been born. Especially in the Winter months, it’ll help keep your skin moisturized and stave of sickness. Jewell (the singer) swears if your nostrils become dry you get nose bleeds and catch colds easier. The “sprayers” for the humidity rotate in a 360 pattern, which makes positioning the humidifier sups easy.
Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy – out of the several pregnancy books I read, this one I trul enjoyed. It is funny and easy to read and relate to. It give you great insight on what to expect.
Bringing Up Bebe
– Oh, America. Why can’t you get raising children right? This book has a very interesting view on French parenting. I grew up overseas and especially enjoyed this book because I could relate to the differences I know from my experiences.
A Body Pillow – get one early and get a good one. If you don’t care for body pillows, then find yourself a couple gooood pillows you truly love. And hoard them from buy your husband his own.
The Gap – maternity clothes done right. Alright, they’ll be more expensive but sooo worth it.
EXERCISE – if you did before continue, if you didn’t start (slowly at first)! You don’t want to ruin that pretty little body of yours, now do you? You don’t want gestational diabetes and you don’t want a 20 lb baby. And, you want to lose that weight right after delivery, don’t you? Keep it simple, if you must and find any form of exercise if you can’t seem to get to the gym. Walking the mall, power cleaning your house, strolling the neighborhood with your baby daddy…
Enjoy weeks 36-40 – yes, they seem to take an entire 40 weeks themselves, but you’ll never get those precious moments back. Enjoy being childless (or the one, two, three… children you already have) for a few more days. Enjoy your husband’s company without distraction. Have lots of uninterrupted sex. Yup. That baby will be born and cry every time you THINK or don’t think about sex.
Stretch – stretching helps with delivery in more ways than one. Being limber will help you in holding your legs and pushing during delivery. And, you’ll feel less sore afterwards. I would suggest this article about “stretching” as it will help with your delivery AND recovery.
Buy Used! – Ok, I know many of you are freaked about buying used anything. I was still am too. But, I found a BRAND new stroller, plastic wrap and all, at a So, find one near you and check it out! They have strict regulations for their consignors and the prices are decent. Sign up for the First Time Moms Sale to ensure the best selection!

Last couple tips: save your maternity clothes for future pregnancies. BUY maternity clothes and don’t try to wear your regular stuff. You’ll permanently stretch shirts out and ruin zippers on your favorite skinny jeans… not that I would know from experience, or anything. Find another pregnant friend, neighbor, stranger to share in the experience with. Ask questions of those who traveled this road before you. Even the most embarrassing questions needs to be answered! Find someone you trust. Respect your body when it says it’s hungry, tired, sore and act accordingly. Don’t overdo it.

Enjoy your baby kicks and flips! You’ll have that baby delivered and in your hands before you know it!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Two Months!

Two months…

People often told me, “Once you have kids, life just flies by.” But, I can truly attest this does happen; most likely due to semi-sleepless nights, continual diaper changes, nursing sessions and lots of TV series on Netflix. J

Here are some of Harper Kendall’s feats for her second month:

  • going to MOPS

  • going to the Mall of America with Grandma and Mommy

  • spending the day cuddling with Hanky Panky. Mommy proudly watched 3 kids under 15 months at once! Mommy also accomplished nursing a baby and bottle feeding a baby at the same time. Overachiever!

  • First time in an excersaucer!

  • learning to talk, you love to have conversations and have become quite a Chatty Cathy. You are especially talkative around 9/10 in the morning and 7/8 at night

  • Officially watching the entire series of Jericho, all previous seasons of While Collar, most of Prison Break and LOTS of Ellen. Mommy loves Ellen and Daddy pretends he doesn’t.

  • Going to Ms. Kate and Zachary’s house.

  • ALMOST doubling your weight. You’re definitely double Zachary Washleski’s size!

  • Going to your first restaurant

  • Going to Punch Pizza

  • Going to your first Birthday parties! Cousin Emilie and Isaaks at Dan and Beka’s house. You got to meet someone 100 years older than you! Mr. Halvard.
He was Great-Grandma Brown’s friend and Auntie Beka’s Grandpa (Bestafar). Then, you went to an “Adult Birthday Party” for Anthony at McCoy’s. Mommy forgot her nursing shall and had to embarrass Daddy nursing with a blanket. You pooped through while Lesley was holding you and Auntie Mandy helped me change you. Daddy shared a WHOLE lot about Mommy’s vagina labor and delivery.

  • Going to Saturday morning coffee with Mommy’s girlfriends. Audrey and Dawn loved meeting you for the first time.

  • Crying the entire meeting with Mommy and her boss before she returned to work! Naughty.

  • Tracking. You’ve begun to watch Sasha as she saunters about our house. You aren’t fond of her yet, but at least know she’s there. You make Mommy’s heart melt each time you find me in a room and smile at the sight of me. You would rather watch Daddy anytime as he walks past over Sasha or Mommy though.

  • Your first walk outside with Nana, Auntie Gracie and Mommy! You wouldn’t have known though. You were so bundled in tight and slept the entire time. It was a “warm” MN day – 38F!

  • Changed Daddy’s mind on letting his future daughter date as a teenager. It’s become 25 at the earliest! Mommy always knew you couldn’t date until you were moved out of our house!

  • You met your Great-Grandma Menz for the first time! And learned that you’re related to Mr. Sibley (Minnesota founder) himself! It’s Daddy’s Great-Great Uncle.

  • You got the flu and threw up on Mommy at MOPS. Then graciously gave Mommy your flu. Thankfully, Nana came and rescued you from Mommy while Daddy worked with Grandpa.

  • LOTS of visits to Buzz

  • Nanna baby-sat you while Daddy and Mommy went to the Valentine’s Banquet. It was Mommy’s first time wearing heels since before you were born and first time trying to dress up with her big boobies since being pregnant.

  • Slept 8.5 hours straight at night!

I am so thankful for you, Harper. I am loving the little person you are becoming. It’s a joy to see your personality, demeanor and temperament beginning to present themselves. You are truly THE BEST baby! We are thankful for you and blessed to call you ours. We think Everyone is jealous of how easy a baby you are. Auntie Cari is for sure! She tells me to trade you with Hanky Panky for a few days (he gets up a lot at night)! Your beauty astounds me, your joy is contagious and my love for you amazes me. I call you healthy, whole, wise and happy.

We believe:

You ARE smart.

You ARE beautiful.

You ARE important.

You ARE special.

You ARE the best!