Baby

Newborn Needs

February 15, 2017

Now that I have a 6 week old on my hands, that makes me a pro right? Ha, anything but.

As I’m looking back at the last six weeks, I was trying to think of what I could not have lived without or am glad that I purchased/recieved. I tried to go for a more minimalist approach with our baby gear. Our house isn’t the biggest and I didn’t want to add more stuff just because I thought we may need it. For instance, we didn’t get a swing, a mamaRoo, a Pack n Play/changing table set and tried not to go overboard with buying clothing. (FYI, hand-me-downs are the best.) This list doesn’t include big purchases (carseat, stroller, etc), but rather everyday items to consider. I know it’s different for every person and baby, but I wanted to compile what worked for us.

  1. Basic Clothing
    I feel like this is a no brainer, but having basic white onesies, sleepers and socks is all you really need to dress a baby. With having a winter baby, I opted for sleepers with footies and long sleeve onesies with the fold over mittens. Carters always has great sales, but there are so many places to get cute clothes!
  2. Rock ‘n Play
    This is what E sleeps in at night in our room and for some of her naps during the day. We don’t have the Cadillac version of the RnP, but it’s still awesome and is worth its weight in gold. (Our pediatrician approves of her sleeping in it, though I know not all do.)
  3. Gerber Cloth Diapers as Burp Cloths
    When I received these at one of my shower, I was confused for a split second until I was told “they make the best burp cloths!” and I have to say, I agree. The center is thicker and they’re absorbent.
  4. SwaddleMe Swaddles
    E LOVES to be swaddled and I’m absolutely terrible at doing it with loose blankets, so these are a Godsend. It takes me two seconds to wrap her up and I find it helps her fall asleep faster. E is 22 inches and is going to grow out of them soon sadly. I’ve ordered a Halo sleep sack for her to use next, so we’ll how that goes.
  5. Diaper Bag Backpack
    I love having a backpack as a diaper bag. I don’t have to constantly adjust a tote on my shoulder and makes carrying a bag hands free. There’s plenty of storage, the fabric is wipeable, hangs from my stroller and is a bit stylish. My only complaint is that this one doesn’t hang low enough on my back for my preference, but I just look past that.
  6. Nuk Pacifier
    My kid came out of the womb wanting to suck on anything she could get her mouth on. It’s also a natural thing for babies to do. Our pediatrician and lactation consultant recommended this specific type of pacifier for a newborn vs the big green one the hospital gives you. We don’t use it to put her to sleep, but it’s great if she’s a bit fussy throughout the day.

I’m excited to see E grow and start interacting more. She’s already so much more alert and making those cute and funny baby noises. Our needs are going to change as she grows, in which we’ll just re-evaluate and adjust.

–m.

Baby, Our House

The Nursery

January 19, 2017

It was decided early on that when we have a kid, the smallest of our three bedrooms would become the nursery. Though small (approximately 8ft x 10ft), it’s still a great size for a nursery and it only has one exterior wall so the temperature is easier to control. Until a few months ago, the nursery was our office (which was never really used like a proper office).

Originally I wanted to do a Boho look for the nursery but was struggling with it. I didn’t want to spend a ton of money gathering all new things and the inspiration I pulled wasn’t cohesive. So instead, I decided to be resourceful with what we already had. I had planned to have navy in the room no matter what gender, so keeping the rug that was already in there worked out well. Other items that stayed in the room included: paint color, sheer curtains, bookshelf, chair, pillows, throw blanket, brass desk lamp and wall decor (art print and mirror above chair, map, airplane propeller).

I was struggling with what to hang on the only big wall in the room. Anything that hangs on that wall will someday have to be addressed because it’s within reaching distance of the crib. When Tim mentioned that the airplane propeller was literally bolted into the wall and it wasn’t moving without exposing a decent sized hole, it was decided to keep those two items. It was at that point when I decided to *loosely* give the room a travel theme. From there I dug up an old Rifle Paper Co. travel calendar I had saved and framed six cities that Tim and I have been to.

I absolutely love the crib I picked out. It’s a 3-in-1, so it will grow with E to toddler size. I found the dresser from Overstock after having a nightmare of a time trying to order one from PB Kids. (Like I will never order furniture from them again.) I ordered new drawer knobs from CB2 to match the brass lamp and love them. There’s also an 8-cubbie Kallax system with four wicker baskets in the closet for additional storage and organization. My mom made me the quilt hanging on the crib and I adore it. I picked out three of the fabrics and let her pick the rest. I’ve had several comments about not getting a rocking chair. I honestly didn’t want a big bulky one and I love the chair that’s in there now. However, if I would want a rocker down the road, we do have access to an old wooden one I could bring into the room.

Crib / Dresser / Kallas / BasketsBookshelf / Rug / Art PrintCity Prints / FramesLamp / Drawer Knobs

Baby, Everyday Moments

Welcome, E

January 17, 2017

It’s been two weeks now since E (as I’m going to affectionally reference her as) was born.

I was induced one day after my due date and, for the most part, had a pretty standard delivery. After hearing and reading some horror stories of being induced and the use of pitocin, I tried a lot of things to go into labor on my own but nothing worked. I was literally running laps around my basement and doing jumping jacks at one point in hopes of contractions picking up. Nope. This baby just wasn’t ready to come out on her own!

I received a call about 5AM on the date of my induction saying I’d have a room available in a couple hours and head on in to the hospital when ready. We got checked in at the L&D welcome center and was taken up to my room. I was checked and pitocin was started at the lowest dosage. (It starts at a 1 and can go up to 20). The pitocin was slowly increased as the morning went on, but not a ton of progress was made on my end. I started getting regular contractions, but they felt more like menstrual cramps and weren’t bothersome. My pitocin level eventually reached an 8 and stayed there until the machine was shut off later in the day. So Tim and I watched TV to pass the time. Oh, and talked about what we were going to name our child because we still hadn’t agreed on a name at that point.

Early afternoon the resident doctor and crew came in to break my water. That was an interesting feeling. Not to be gross, but it’s literally like a gush of warm liquid. Super strange feeling as an adult. This was the point when the “fun” started to happen. Contractions got closer together and much more intense. An hour after my water was broke is when I finally asked for an epidural. I went in knowing I’d get an epidural, it was just a matter of when. Experiencing intense back labor with body shakes and feeling like I could pass out is when I threw in the towel. It was almost 2:30-3:00 pm when the epidural was finally administered. Except I could still feel EVERY. SINGLE. CONTRACTION. The line was clamped shut and I wasn’t received any drugs. So that took a bit to get straightened out and flowing. After that…it was the greatest thing ever. Flipping from side to side was hilarious. You want to move your body, but can’t really figure out how!

I had dozed off and woke to a couple nurses rushing in looking at the monitors and handing me an oxygen mask. The baby’s heart rate had dropped considerably because of some “major event” that had happened. Turns out it was “go time” just two hours after getting the epidural. Of course I’d be ready to have a baby when it’s rush hour and have to wait 45 minutes for my doctor to arrive.

Three pushes later, E was born just after 6 pm. She was a tiny thing at only 6 lbs with the perfect button nose. Her pediatrician says she has big feet, which means she could be tall. Maybe that’ll just mean that she’s going to be a runner like her momma 🙂

–m.

Everyday Moments

Fall 2016

December 18, 2016

Our fall was a full one, naturally. Every season is, right? So here was our fall in a nutshell…

• After getting back from Europe, we met up with my family in the Ozarks for a long weekend. Golfing, boating, shopping, eating and pool time. All the necessities of a good vacation at the Ozarks.

• There was quite a bit of hiking. With running taking a back seat, I made sure to get out and hike as much as I could this fall. Everyone knows that fall hiking is the best. Cooler temps, changing of the leaves…should I keep going?

• I was thrown two really great baby showers, including one back in Nebraska. Little Miss (as we’re referring to her as) sure is loved! Can I also say how obsessed I am with this cake?!

• Tim and  a couple friends completed the Bike MS (formally known as the MS 150). I was suppose to ride, but the doctor said “No way, José!” to that. Road biking and trail running were the two main activities I was told “No” to because there are several factors that make it unsafe for pregnant ladies. You know…like falling.

• Tim and I celebrated our four year wedding anniversary. I sent him pink roses and chocolates. Reversing gender roles one anniversary at a time.

• I voted in my first ever Presidential election! I’ve been able to the last couple of elections as well, but I just never did.

• There’s been plenty of baby related things, too. Classes, appointments, interviewing pediatricians, setting up the nursery, purchasing a few remaining items, washing everything.

• We’ve also tried to make the most of these last few months with just the two of us–date nights, weddings, parties and holidays with friends, sleeping in. Things are going to change soon, so we’re soaking it in as much as we can!

I’m looking forward to the holidays over the next couple weeks, winding down at the office, and eventually my first glass of wine since April!

–m.

Baby, Everyday Moments

Extra Thankful this Holiday Season

December 15, 2016

 

Apparently it’s been the year of random breaks from blog world. Usually stemming from being busy at work and life in general. And this time we’ve added one more item to the list of reasons to be busy…a baby!

Well, the baby hasn’t been born yet but we’re expecting her (yes, a girl!) arrival within the next few weeks.

I found out back in late April that I was pregnant just two days before leaving for San Francisco. Tim said it was the best news ever. I had this gut feeling from the beginning that we would be having a girl and even had a couple dreams with a little girl in it. Lo and behold, we found out that bebe was in fact going to be a girl! We waited a couple months to tell our friends and family, revealing it at the baby showers. It was a really great way to share the news with everyone at once and see their reactions.

Thankfully my pregnancy has been pretty normal with no complications. I had some all day nausea, food aversions and fatigue in my first trimester, but still managed to run my half marathon that I had already been training for. Second trimester really is the best like most women say! You aren’t huge yet and you get your energy and appetite back. I’m glad we switched our trip to Europe to go during that time. Third trimester still has been fairly easy. Sadly I had to stop running at 26-ish weeks because of terrible round ligament pain and pelvic pressure, but I’m still walking, going to prenatal yoga and other strength training workouts. I will say that putting on tennis shoes has started to become a bit difficult. And kind of hilarious to watch.

I’ve been working on the nursery here and there this fall. There’s a little bit left to do and then I plan on taking photos to share. It’s still a little strange to walk into our third bedroom (once an office) and see a crib.

So we are both feeling a little more thankful this holiday season. It won’t be long until we’re officially a family of three!

–m.

Everyday Moments, Travel

30 Before 30: #3 Travel Back to Europe = Done!

October 1, 2016

May 2009 was the first and only time I’ve been to Europe so it’s been a goal to make it back (sooner than later).

Paris8

We booked this trip ourselves instead of going through a travel agent or company. It was much easier to do than I thought it would be. RomeToRio.com was a big help when figuring out our options for traveling between cities. Cities are relatively close and having the options of train and flying makes it even more convenient. I would even consider hopping between countries comparable to hopping between states here in the US.

As a summary of our two weeks in Europe…

Things We Learned
I would totally recommend Delta for international flying. We booked through Delta–flying over on Virgin Atlantic and then Delta coming home. We didn’t upgrade anything and chose to sit in coach, but still had a very pleasant experience. Free food, free booze, pleasant flight attendants. (This was my first time flying with them, and I don’t belong to a rewards program with an international airline.)
We should have invested in the Swiss Rail Pass. Because we changed our trip so late, I didn’t have a ton of time to fully research travel options. The Swiss Rail Pass would have saved us money when traveling to, within and leaving Switzerland.
Water quality has improved. We drank tap water basically the whole trip and neither of us got sick or had issues. This infographic is a great resource for international tap water. We each took a refillable water bottle, too. I took my Hydaway Bottle and it worked great.
Train travel is great, but not always the best option. We could have flown between London and Paris for HALF the price as taking the train, but Tim really wanted to take the train. Another example is that it would have taken us 10 hrs to get from Switzerland to Barcelona by train, so we flew instead. Ticket prices were the same.

Things We Didn’t Do
– 
Check out every tourist attraction. There were attractions that we just weren’t interested in. We didn’t go on our trip with a super strict itinerary. Some days we went with the flow while other days we did have a full itinerary. I preferred it that way…let us avoid some of the crowds.
– Take our DSLR camera. I love the image quality from an SLR camera, but ultimately decided against taking ours this trip. It was one more thing to haul around for two weeks. Between our iPhones and our “life proof” Pentax, we felt covered.

If we ever get to go back…
– Travel to other cities.
I loved being able to re-experience London and Paris, but I’m ready to explore other parts of Europe.
– EatWith Experience. EatWith.com has some really great food experiences that are offered through locals all over the world. I really wanted to do one, but our schedule just didn’t align with any offerings for this trip.
– Get a travel backpack instead of a suitcase. When we went to New Zealand and Australia, I used a full sized suitcase and realized it was way too much to deal with. This time I stuck to a carry on sized suitcase and was wishing I had a backpack instead. Navigating through subways and just the general public, a suitcase became quite bothersome to have. Tim has a backpack and I found myself saying “I’m getting one for our next trip” more than once.

We’ll be doing domestic travels for the next couple of years, but I can’t wait for our next international trip.

–m.