Monday, October 31, 2011

Month 1 Essentials

For now, instead of making a list of what Ladybug can do, which would be rather short, I'm going to make lists of what has been most useful to us in the last month. I think that'll give me a good enough memory of what she was like and be a little different perspective.

Pampers Swaddlers: only a few blowouts

Ameda Purely Yours Breastpump: I hate this thing. I hate it with a passion. But it still makes the list.

Playtex Nursers with Drop-in Liners: Only need eight; they're so easy to clean it's not a chore to wash them every day.

BabyPro Smart Bottle Warmer: This thing is awesome.

Boppy: Great for feeding, relieving tired arms when sleeping on the couch, and for supervised naps!

Snug aBunny Cradle Swing: One of the few places I can put her after she eats. Ours has some strange additions to the mobile but she likes watching their shiny ends.

Medela Nipple shield: Weird, and I hate using it like I hate the pump. But it got me through several days when I was in a huge "hate the pump" rage.

Similac Formula: Got our weight turned around and headed the right way. Thank you free samples!

Burp Cloths: These things are like my mother's dust cloths, eternally disappearing. I've learned to keep them stashed throughout the house, because it is guaranteed: if you don't have one, she WILL spit up

Moby Wrap: Not a daily used item, but very handy for getting some housework done when she insists on being held.

ShrinxHips: These things are awesome! The Mechanic (cause he's not sure about the Guardian name) thinks they've got me smaller than I was to begin with... we'll see when I get my belly flat enough to wear jeans again.

Percocet/Ibuprofen/Simethicone: Only for the first week, though.

Wee Gallery Art Cards: I wasn't going to get flash cards, but these came free in the mail and so I stuck a few next to the changing table at her eye level. She stopped crying and stared at them. Impressive!

Bright Starts Play Mat: Kelly's place to hang out on her tummy while Mommy does dishes!

Fisher Price Bouncy Seat: Vibrating setting is great for when we're fed up with our tummy and Mommy still isn't done with the dishes.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Pregnancy Essentials

A list of the "couldn't have lived without" items
  • Pregnancy wedge: Awesome for holding that belly up and the only way I could sleep
  • Palmer's itch spray: Only used it for the last couple of months, but it kept me from clawing
  • Palmer's stretch mark cream: I'm not sure it works, but it feels good to at least try
  • Tums: I kept a bottle on the night stand, one on my desk at work, and another in the car for 7 months. And my baby's got the hair to show for it!
  • Maternity support belt: Instant relief of back pain in the second trimester
  • Pedal Extenders: couldn't have driven past ~6 months without them.
  • Dude's Guide: Gave much more realistic information than What to Expect
  • Kroger Prenatal Vitamins: easy on the stomach, small and coated enough to swallow, and reasonably priced.
  • Senna-S, Colace, and Benefiber: 'nuff said
  • Smoothies: solution to the weight loss from morning sickness
  • Slip-on tennis shoes: The only option for work after my feet started swelling and I couldn't reach my feet to tie laces.
  • Teva sandles: The only option when I couldn't cram my swollen feet into the slip-ons.
  • Humor, patience, and an empty bathroom

Thursday, October 27, 2011

1 Month

My baby girl is one month old. I simply can't believe how time has flown, while it still feels like she's been a part of our lives forever. Motherhood is incredible, and exhausting, and frustrating, and one of the most wonderful things ever.

Being a nurse, it's tempting to go by the milestone charts and worry about what we've not achieved yet. I then console myself by saying she's actually only three weeks past her full gestational age, so she's not supposed to have achieved all that yet. What I need to remember, though, is eventually she'll get it all. She'll track, and recognize our voices, and smile, and roll over, and walk, and learn to read, and get a job... and I'll wish I could have this time back. I'll wish for the day when I felt like all I did for five straight hours was heat bottles and feed. I'll wish I could work on the computer while balancing a sleeping infant on my lap. There's nothing like picking up said screaming infant and the screams instantly stopping.

To come: pregnancy and first four weeks essentials, and a critique of a recent article in Faith for all of Life. (yes, I'm posting my blogging to-do list)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday morning

I grew up in a home where church was mandatory. You had to be really sick to not attend; a cold was usually not justification for staying at home. I attended a college where church was also mandatory, skips were monitored, and missing too many services meant listening to sermons on CD, supervised by your RA.

So for me, missing two months of church is odd. Granted, I did work every other Sunday for over two years, which is partly the reason I'm okay with not attending church for now. The other reason is that it is likely many other families have the "a cold is not justification for missing church" attitude. I figure we'll be sick often enough once we start day care, so why share germs earlier than necessary?

I do know that missing church is not good for me spiritually. I lose focus easily, and a weekly reminder of truth is helpful. Thankfully, the internet gives access to thousands of churches, so Ladybug and I have our own "church time" while the Guardian saves our spot in the pew. I chose to return to one of our favorite churches, Grace Pres in Cookeville. My only wish is that they would put the entire service online; I really miss their singing!

Now for some advantages of online church.
  • You're never late.
  • No one ever sits in your pew, except the dog, who can be pushed out of it.
  • You don't miss any points if you have to use the restroom; that's what pause is for.
  • You can wear your pj's.
  • You can breastfeed or pump without being discreet.
  • Your screaming child disturbs no one. That's what the volume is for.
  • When a poop blowout occurs, you can use the handy pause button again.
  • When your coffee gets cold, yep... love that pause button!
  • When you have a mommy-brain moment and can't for the life of you find Psalms... pause button to the rescue!

Friday, October 21, 2011


So here is the latest lesson in parenting I've learned: I don't know what I'm doing. It's not very reassuring to realize this when you have a three week old, it's 3am, and you've still not gone to sleep. I've had a few moments of "when is this child's mom going to come get her and fix everything? Oh yeah... that would be me. Crud."

I've been relatively isolated from the debates regarding child rearing, thankfully. However, I know if I'm not careful I'll get drawn into them. I'm one of those people that likes step by step guides. I like instruction manuals. And this kid didn't come with one. There's no handy little "when I sound/look like this, it means feed/change/burp me." There's no troubleshooting flowchart. There's no "if your model is dysfunctional, call 1-800 for repair or replacement."

I'm all for reading the Bible, but let me tell you, I'd be reading it a lot more right now if it told me how to get my child to go to sleep at 10pm instead of 4am. Or if it told me how to balance pumping with life. Or if it gave me a chart for "this age child should be allowed to scream for this long before rushing to her aid."

There are a ton of parenting books out there, I guess for people like me who want someone else to tell them what to do. But, if parenting is like the rest of life, that doesn't work. Trust me, I'd love for someone else to tell me exactly how to handle many situations in my life. I've tried to get people to do that. I've asked counseling services, trusted adults, church leaders over the years what I'm supposed to do. And no one can tell me exactly how I need to live my life. They can give broad principles, but it's up to me to apply them. The few times I have received specific advice, I've usually regretted taking it.

So I'm going to skim a few books and try out a few methods. But I'm going to try to remember that our family and child is unique and isn't going to adhere to a neat flowchart.

And the law of non-contradiction does not apply to infants.