Wednesday, April 16, 2014

All You Need is LOVE...and a Few Other Things

Ahh, the first time momma. You find out you're going to have a baby! Great! Figure out a way to tell the fam, buy your first pair of elastic waist jeans, and take a deep breath. Next it's time to step into Babies R Us for the first time. You walk in and immediately want to cry yourself to sleep. Maybe it's the hormone induced exhaustion, or maybe it's the endless aisles of baby products screaming out to be swiped by your scanner deal for baby registries. You don't know where to start, or what you REALLY need for baby's first year.
You try to turn and run, but you can't because it's an entrance only door. You stand there looking lost and panicked until some teenage dude who has NO idea what he's talking about comes and thrusts a list in your hand with "MUST HAVES FOR BABY." You look at the list and feel that you might need to run out and buy a lottery ticket in order to try and pay for all the new items you MUST buy. Isn't there another way?! Oh but there is, dear first time momma!
We have become so commercialized that we've forgotten it really doesn't take a whole lot to have a baby. I'm here to tell you, aside from a whole lot of love, there's really only a FEW things you'll NEED.
  • Diapers-It doesn't matter what kind of diapering you plan to use. You're going to need some! Start with newborn sizes, but know those little suckers will grow out of that size in a hot minute! Wanna use cloth? More power to you, sister. Don't ask me about that though because I have NO experience! Ha! We always used Pampers Swaddlers until around size three where we switch to Target brand.
  • Burp Rags-My favorite are the really thinish cloth diapers. They work the best. There's also some by Gerber that I like that are a little thinner than a washcloth. They come in a package of about 8 and are always great to have for the diaper bag. No matter what you plan to feed the little dear, you can bet at one time or another it's going to come back up. They also make a great nose wiper for cold season. So much softer than tissue.
  • Diaper Bag-Get one that can double as a purse. Put two changes of clothes for baby, 4 diapers, wipes, and at least 2 burp rags. I also include nursing pads for me and any other feminine products I might need. I've used all brands of bags, and don't really have a favorite. I do like materials that will wipe clean instead of it being machine washable just because it seems easier to keep clean in the long run.
  • Carrier Carseat-Again, I don't have a favorite brand when it comes to these, but I have a LOT of friends who are hard core over one brand or another. My priority has always been that it's something that is safe, that I can carry without killing myself, and that is comfortable enough that the baby will sit in it without fussing the entire time. Again, if you have a baby and a vehicle, you'll HAVE to have a carseat.
So, that's IT as far as what you HAVE to have, but assuming you don't want baby sleeping in your bed and basically being connected to you for an entire year(plus the nine months he's cooking)here are some other options that have made life a LOT easier...
  • Carrier-Do yourself and your baby a favor and go get yourself a baby carrier. It doesn't matter what brand you chose. What matters is how you feel wearing it. I love the Moby, but there are some who hate it! The key is going into the store and trying them on so that you find one that you love.
  • Stroller-I rarely used a stroller in the first year just because I mostly wore our babies, but you might want one especially if you do a lot of shopping. Be sure to get one that matches up with your carrier so you can pull the carrier right out of the car and into the stroller without much fuss.
  • Pack-and play(AKA Playpen)-They make these things in several varieties. My favorite is the kind with the bassinet(bed for tiny babies) insert. You can use it right after baby is born, then take it out and still have a safe place for baby to sleep for however long you need it. Our two youngest spent several months in these because we have a two story house with bedrooms FULL of siblings. You can also use it later when you need a good place for baby to play. I've used mine up to two years or so with toys when I need to do something and can't keep a constant watch.
  • Bouncy seat/swing-they make a LOT of different combos, but I like a bouncy seat and a small travel size swing. Know that these are NOT a MUST MUST have, but you'll probably be glad you have one or the other. I used my bouncy seat on the counter while I was making dinner. Only for non-mobile babies. The mobile ones will figure out how to break free and be jumping of the counter! Ha!
  • Swaddle blanket-I like the kind with Velcro, but Manly is good at the foldable kind. Get at lease two because you'll want to be able to wash them every now and then. My favorite are Aden and Anais. They're a little pricey, but look for them secondhand.
SO, in my opinion, aside from milk, these are the must haves for baby in the first year. I'm happy to chat more about brands if you're interested. Let me know if you have any questions and I'll be glad to answer! Happy shopping!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Cat Soup

If you know me, you know I'm not a fan of cats. They not only creep me out, but make my nose itch to no end, and I hate them clawing my legs and arms for fun. SO, this post is NOT about cats...Manly recently told the kids a wacky story. He had us all laughing hysterically about these silly cats that really loved this tomato based soup their owner made one evening. Because the man loved his cats he decided to start making it for them every day. He decided to call it cat soup because it was soup the cats loved. One day some friends came over to visit and saw his cats eating their "cat soup" and asked about it. The man told them it was their cat soup, and they took some home to feed their cats. Long story short. All the friends started wanting the cat soup, but they mispronounced the words cat soup. Suddenly everyone was asking for catsup. The next thing you know they were putting it on their dogs... All of that to say, this post was supposed to be a "CATCH up" post. Ha! Eh...

So, Manly and I recently celebrated ten years of wedded bliss by leaving the kids with Aunt Steph and loading up and heading to Dallas. We had an amazing time and I was able to shop until I dropped. Then we'd eat and shop some more. I got to visit IKEA for the first time, and needless to say, I'm hooked! We bought SO much stuff! Including this couch and light fixtures...
This one is in my dining room. It will soon hang over the farm table my man is making me! YaY!

This one hangs in our entryway. I know it looks wild, but I love it and the polkadots it makes on the walls around it!!!

This is big green. I have since bough new pillows and a BEAUTIFUL Pottery Barn rug.

This is how STUFFED the car was on the way back! Ha! I was still trying to stuff things in the NEXT DAY!!

Yes, we drove FIVE hours with this giant box on the top of the car!

Dorky photo booth at the rest stop. Manly MADE me stop and take a picture! SO embarrassing!

After seven straight months of Eli being sick, we were finally given some answers when we found out Monday that he has low levels of IgA. Basically this just means that his little immune system can't fight off illnesses as well as the child with normal levels of IgA. We will soon meet with an immunologist to discuss if there is anything we can do to help him or if he needs further testing. For now, we'll try to keep him as healthy as possible by avoiding places high in germs(like EVERWHERE! HA!) If you'd like, you can pray with us that, like normal cases, this is something he outgrows and won't suffer with forever.

The girls are completing their first ever standardized testing. KK actually finished hers last week, and Olivia will complete hers tomorrow. They seem to think they've done well, and were only nervous of the unknown. After the first day they were both really thinking it was easier than everyone was making it out to be.

Manly continues to be really nice and busy at work. Thanks so much for liking his clinic facebook page and telling your friends! We know you are, because we're getting a lot of word of mouth clients lately. That means so much to both of us! If you are looking for a great therapist feel free to let him know! If he can't help you he has other therapists he can get you connected with. He's thriving in his job, and I'm SO proud!

I found out yesterday that I need to choose between doing an ablation or a hysterectomy. We knew we were close to this decision, but it's still hard to make. I've decided to go with the ablation. It's going to be coming very soon. Bye-bye baby having days. Hello feeling better soon!! I would LOVE your prayers in this area. I've felt REALLY really really bad the last year now, and I've tried EVERYHING else there is to do. We feel confident with our doctor, and our decision. I look forward to healthier days. I'm happy to talk with any of you in more detail privately, but for the sake of my 2 poor male readers I'll leave it at that! Ha! (You're Welcome!)

Our house is really coming together. This is the biggest reason I've been MIA! I've had so many projects and tasks to do! I'll post pictures soon. We're close to that stage, but for now, I'll just tell you it's looking Bohofabulous!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Baby Got a Haircut

It drives Manly crazy that I call Eli "the baby." I totally understand, that sort of thing used to drive me crazy too, but now I have a FOR REAL baby. Like the last baby I'll ever have! This is something that should be celebrated by calling him "the baby" every last chance I get! I don't care who it bugs! He's MY BABY!
I'll say, "Will you get the baby from his highchair for me please?", "The baby needs his diaper changed.", "Look at the baby! He has his cup in the toilet again!", "The baby looks so cute today." You get the point. Well, anyway, the baby got his haircut at a real salon for the first time yesterday. I had cut it on my own several times, but this kid has WILD baby hair, and I needed a little help by a professional.
We take the kids here because these stylists work with kids all day every day. They always do a pretty good job, and I don't worry about the kids being too noisy or getting into trouble. They have play areas, movies playing, suckers, and animal crackers. Not to mention the treasure box for good behavior. Need I go on?
I knew they'd do a great job on his hair, so I loaded the kids up on our first day of spring break and we headed to the salon. All three big girls also needed trims too, so we were there for a while, but when it was the baby's turn he got right into the police car chair and sat right down. He did great, and his hair looks SO much better!

Livi was so worried he was going to be upset. She stood beside him the whole time. That's KK in the chair across the salon.
As you can see, she had nothing to worry about! He was so happy. He just drove his car and smiled.
Here he is almost finished up. Lulu said he NEEDED a sucker.
Wild hair gone! I wish I could have caught him smiling once it was finished, but he had other plans. Exploring and finishing off that sucker!
I can't believe how big my BABY looks in all these pictures. I'm sad that he's getting bigger so fast, but he's such a JOY to have in our family. Hoping he'll still let me call him my baby in another 20 years! This is your life. Soak it up!