Tuesday, February 28, 2012

mama to mama...oops!

don't they say something about being a mom makes you forgetful?  or is that pregnancy brain?
i forgot to post mama katie's answers in the last post and, since she has THREE two-year-olds, she get's a special post ;)  

Katie (mama to 2 year old triplets:  Hayden, Olivia & Logan)

1. How long did it take you to conceive?
22 months.  I have PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome.  I started fertility treatments after 10 months, as I was having 100+ day cycles.  And we weren't sure I was ever ovulating.  Kinda hard to get pregnant without ovulating!  We did 6 rounds of Clomid with our OB.  And then moved on & got pregnant with our first cycle with the Reproductive Endocrinologist with a Femara/Follistim medication combo & artificial insemination.  Surprise!  Word of caution:  Be careful what you wish for ;)

2. How long was your labor?
5 days!  I went into preterm labor at 29 weeks 6 days.  I was on hospital bedrest & various {horrible} medications to stop labor.  As a side effect of the medications, 2 of the kids' amniotic fluid levels got dangerously low.  They were worried they would compress their own cords, so they were delivered via c-section at 30 weeks 3 days. 

3. How long since you last shaved your legs?
At least a week!!

4. How long was your maternity leave?
I took at total of 14 weeks off.  One week was spent on bedrest pre-delivery & in the hospital post-delivery.  I went back to work 3 weeks after going home, because the kiddos could have realistically been in the NICU for 9 weeks.  That would have left me just 2 weeks of FMLA left!  I worked for 2 weeks, and then Hayden came home on week 5!  So I went back on leave.  Olivia came home a day after Hayden.  And Logan was the last one home, after 6 weeks in the NICU.  I took 2 additional weeks of general leave after using up my FMLA.  Meaning I got 10 weeks with Hayden & Olivia & 9 weeks with Logan.  Here's to wishing I lived in one of the countries that give moms a year off, paid!! 

5. How long is your "to do" list?
YEARS!!!  Seriously, I don't think I will ever catch up!

6. How long does your baby sleep at night?
11-12 hours.  But my "babies" are 2!  They slept through the night 10 or so hours at 4 months old.  And did 2 6 hour stretches at night for a while before that.  We realize we are extremely blessed in the sleep department.  The one nice thing about the NICU stay was they came home on a 4 hour eating schedule.  So we never did the 1-2 hour, cluster feed stage.

7. How long since you last cried? laughed out loud?Cried:  Last Friday.  Its been a LONG month of sickness in this house.  Hospital stays.  I've been on leave from work.  Stressed to the max!
LOL:  Tonight.  Olivia learned what a wedgie is!

Thanks, Katie!

5 months, a little late.

...because this one is a SQUIRMER!

She refuses to be on her back for very long these days so pictures like this do not work anymore.  

Yes, her hair is still as red as ever.  Yes, her eyes are still as blue as ever.  Where did this child come from?!?  We won't have another checkup until she's 6 months, but I can tell she'll still be off the charts in size. 
Here are a few things Beetle has been up to lately:

-scooting along the wood floors on her belly
-doing full on back bends. no lie.
-hanging out with her uncle Myles, who has agreed to help us out and babysit so we don't have to keep dragging her out at 5:30 to hand her off in Time Square (the lights are not a good bedtime routine)
-tasting her first solid foods (carrots, peas and bananas...yummmm!)

That last one makes me nervous.  Lu LOVES to watch us eat, to eat herself and, the other day, I was having a glass of water - Lua reached for it and took a sip!  I've heard that sometimes babies wean themselves and I really want to keep breastfeeding for as long as possible, so let's hope she still likes boob more than plain old water!

Monday, February 27, 2012

mama to mama.

 i have to say that this is, by far, my favorite mama-to-mama post to date. there's just something about a survey that is so so so enjoyable to read. it was also comforting to know that beetle's sleeping habits are pretty normal (she WILL sleep through the night, she WILL sleep through the night...)

off we go! here are my answers :) ENJOY!

1. How long did it take you to conceive?

easy peasey. 2 months.

2. How long was your labor?

argh. i was really planning on sneezing my baby out, but my labor ended up being 12 hours, with about an hour of pushing. you can read my birth story here and here.

3. How long since you last shaved your legs?

ha! i try to shave my legs every monday, as monday night is mommy and daddy's one guaranteed "nookie" night...i know...

4. How long was your maternity leave?

12 weeks. waaaay too short. if anyone has some great and free insurance, let me know and i'll quit my job right now.

5. How long is your "to do" list?

miles and miles long.

6. How long does your baby sleep at night?

goes down about 9 and wakes up between 7 and 8am with 2 to 5 wake ups in between.

7. How long since you last cried? laughed out loud?

cried: this morning after andrew left for rehearsal. i miss him.
laughed: this morning at lu scooting around on the wood floor - she's gonna be TROUBLE!

Kim, Atticus and Calvin

1. How long did it take you to conceive?

With Atticus it took 9 months, with Calvin it only took three months

2. How long was your labor?
The first time around my water broke at 7 pm and Atticus was born at 5:45 am, so 13 hours, although I didn't have any seriously painful contractions until a few hours after my water broke. With Calvin, labor came on more slowly and gradually. I had mild but uncomfortable contractions all day and he was born at 2:00am the next morning. It would have gone a lot faster if I didn't have to lay still for so long while I got antibiotics for Group B strep. Even though labor technically lasted longer the second time, it was far less painful.

3. How long since you last shaved your legs?
It's been months since I've shaved. I've been trying waxing.

4. How long was your maternity leave?

6 weeks

5. How long is your "to do" list?

I don't have a "to do" list. I have a "must be done to prevent a catastrophe" list. A lot of stuff gets pushed to the back burner around here.

6. How long does your baby sleep at night?

They sleep all night now, but for years there were regular night wakings. Both boys woke up to nurse at least once until I weaned them around 2 1/2 years.

7. How long since you last cried? laughed out loud?
A matter of hours for both.

Leslie and Eloise

1. How long did it take you to conceive?

Not long at all...we had a "chemical pregnancy" our first month trying and Eloise was conceived the next month.

2. How long was your labor?
It depends on when you consider my labor starting (it was anything but typical).;) About 36 hours from when my "water broke" (it was a teeny tiny trickle). 24 hours from when my triage nurse got contractions going during a cervical exam. 19 hours from when my Dr. really broke my water and CONTRACTIONS started. 

3. How long since you last shaved your legs?
2 weeks ago. Because I was getting a pap smear. Did I shave my legs 5 days later on my anniversary? Nope. Woops.;)

4. How long was your maternity leave?
I'm staying home.

5. How long is your "to do" list?
Which one?

6. How long does your baby sleep at night?
10-12 hours, but wakes up every 1-2 hours.

7. How long since you last cried? laughed out loud?
I was watching a movie last night called "The Other Woman" about a woman whose 3 day old baby dies...waterworks!
I'm watching the Oscars as I type this up, and the Christopher Guest skit was HI larious.

Nora and Maybelline

1. We tried for two months and were able to conceive but then lost a little one at 7 weeks. Because we wanted one so badly we didn't ask how long we were supposed to wait till we try for the next - oops. one week after our miscarriage we got pregnant again - yeah little egg and sperm! It stuck.

2. I was due on August 12. August 15 i went into the doctor because i was worried about not feeling my little one enough - everything was ok. I am sure the doctor sees this all the time. My water broke on August 16. My doctor told me to eat a good meal and get some sleep before i come in even if my water broke... she said it would take awhile. Well, being a first time mother i was too excited/nervous/all of the above to wait (and we lived 45 minutes from the hospital) so we drove in on Monday afternoon. To make a long labor short, my "all natural" birth turned into a c-section after 24 hours of constant contractions and no progress, 2 hours of pushing (still no progress) and a little head stuck on my pelvis. Wednesday morning, August 18 she was delivered.

3.I shaved my legs last week for my doctor's appointment.

4. I took one year off of teaching and then decided not to go back, so...forever. I may go back teaching when she goes to school.

5. My "to do" list just gets larger and for some reason when i have the time (8 pm) i am tired.

6. Since Maybelline was a year old she has been sleeping for 12 hours (8pm-8am). i don't know how long this will last so i am taking advantage of the sleeping in. I couldn't get up in the morning and do my "to do" list if i wanted to. We have a very small house and she hears everything. i would wake her up.

This sleeping hasn't always been the case. 0-3 months in our bedroom and i fed her every 3 hours. 3-8 months i would get up 1 or 2 times at night to breastfeed. at 8 months i stopped going in her room when she cried (not an easy task - jesse had to tackle me in bed as i cried for her. i felt awful hearing her cry, but i know she could do it.) the feeding at night was a comfort for her. She ate pureed foods now so she didn't need me during the night anymore (her eating caught up with her growing). This crying at night only took a few nights and she then slept thru the night.
She still gives out a little cry every now and then and even yells mum-mum (for her mommy) once or twice a night. i think she does it to make me feel good. i know she is safe and sleeping well.

7.If you know me at all you know that i am always emotional. I have cried recently at the book i am reading. Laughing is an hourly occurrence with Maybelline. the things she does amazes me. She is so funny, cute, huggable, and smart.

One lucky mom right here!

Laura and Juniper

1. How long did it take you to conceive?
1 month, we were very lucky

2. How long was your labor?
3 hours 16 mins, including an emergency c-section because I dilated so quickly and she was breech, unbeknownst to us

3. How long since you last shaved your legs?
4 1/2 months :/ That is so embarrassing. We had family pictures taken when she was 6 months old, and I'm pretty sure that was the last time.

4. How long was your maternity leave?
14 weeks, then back to work part-time

5. How long is your "to do" list?
I don't even have time to make the list! More things are added each day than checked off, that is for sure.

6. How long does your baby sleep at night?
she goes to be around 8pm, gets up between 6am and 7am, and wakes up 3-12 times in between (yes, we co-sleep)

7. How long since you last cried? laughed out loud?
both today, and almost every other day too

Emily and Elli, Gretchen and Miles

1. I come from a long line of fertile-Myrtles! We didn’t have to try; we were very lucky that when we wanted to conceive, it happened.

My first labor was approximately 2.5 hours, my second was 38 minutes, my third was about 3 hours. No pain meds, all-natural child birthing. Yes, I’m bragging. That being said, I know how lucky I am that my labors were short enough that by the time I was begging to be “knocked out” it was too late!

3. How long since I last shaved my legs? Well, about a week---but that’s only if you don’t include the spots I missed---it’s obvious that it had been quite some time prior to the last time!

4. My maternity leave with my first-born was 12 weeks, with our second child I stayed home full-time, and with our third I was back in school part-time after about 5 weeks.

5. My “to do” list is never ending, seriously. One thing gets done and by the time I finish the next, I’m starting all over again!

6. My youngest, Miles (14mos.) has been sleeping 10-12 hours each night since he was about 6 weeks old. I love that kid!

7. I laugh out loud every day thanks to my kids and nieces and nephews and their hilariousness! I haven’t broken down and cried in a few weeks—although I almost cried in the fabric store yesterday when the pattern I wanted didn’t come in my size. :’-(


Miriam, Azalia and Lucia

1. How long did it take you to conceive?

With our first we were not trying to conceive, but we had been married for 8 months when she was conceived :) With our next daughter, we had gone through a miscarriage and were told to wait 2 months afterwards until we began TTC again. 2 months passed and we didn't "try" to conceive but we didn't prevent it either. So, 3-4 months after the miscarriage we discovered we were pregnant!

2. How long was your labor?
My first labor was 8 hours. My second lasted 6 hours.

3. How long since you last shaved your legs?
I totally stopped shaving my legs about 3 years ago. Yup, I'm one of those women.

4. How long was your maternity leave?
Both of my maternity leaves were 3 months. I found it was the perfect amount of time. At the end of that 3 months I was ready to get some time out of the house, to myself, even if it was for work! I only work part-time, so I didn't feel like I was missing out on a lot.

5. How long is your "to do" list?
I feel like I have a perpetual "if there is extra time" list. But somehow, that time never comes and it continues to get pushed to the next day, the next week, next month. One day!

6. How long does your baby sleep at night?

My 17month old will sometimes sleep 10 hours, sometimes 5, sometimes 12. She likes to keep us on our toes :)

7. How long since you last cried? laughed out loud?

Last time I cried was during the 2nd season finale of Downton Abbey on Sunday night! I laughed this morning at one of my husband's many jokes. I'm thankful to have a husband that makes me laugh every day :)


Thanks to all the Mamas! You are awesome :) 

p.s.  sorry I missed Sara's!!  Here it is:
1. With Nathan it took 10 months after a miscarriage. Oliver was a surprise after a pharmacy lapse in birth control 2. Nathan's labor was 22 1/2 hours, Oliver was 2 hours, both we're induced. 3. I shaved my legs 4 days ago. 4. I'm staying at home. 5. My to do list doesn't really exist, we live ay to day 6. Oliver sleeps 12 hours 7. I laughed 5 minutes ago while Nathan was playing imaginary drums to our prayer song, I don't remember the last time I cried....

Monday, February 20, 2012

even though she never sleeps...

I love this.
this is 5 months old already (5monthpiccomingsoon).
my oh my.

mama to mama.


We're both exhausted over here.  It's amazing how getting up two or three times a night with a babe who just wants to play will knock the wind right out of your sails.  We were searching and searching for answers, thinking, "we MUST be doing something wrong!" until finally a good friend of Andrew's (and a mommy of two) said, "She's just being a baby.  Babies are weird sometimes." :)  So, we're trying to be organic, go with the flow and sleep when we can.

Cut to this morning:  Lu had been up and ready to go twice (3am and 5am) already.  Both times I spent about an hour nursing, holding, rocking, pacing around the room until she fell back to sleep.  Now it was 8 and was actually about the time she wakes up for the day.  So, I rolled over and asked daddy to take over.  What does he do?  Pulls her over to his side of the bed and closes his eyes!  Oh no he didn't!  I wanted to scream.  I knew there was no way I'd be able to go back to sleep with a squawking, kicking baby in bed (even if she was on the other side), but I also knew she wouldn't stand for just lying there for long...so I waited.  Sure enough, two minutes later she was crying and daddy was forced to get up and take her to the living room to play. Did she still keep me awake with her 'Good Morning' trills and shrieks? Yup.  But it was so worth it to be able to share the responsibility with someone (insert unbelievable amounts of praise for single moms with no help here) and even though it wasn't the exact way I wanted the situation handled, it worked for him and for Lu.

This week, I asked moms to share the ways that daddy helps with baby (or not!) and was so impressed with the beauty and honesty expressed.  Go Dads!  Andrew and I are getting better at this.  I'm learning to let go a little (a LITTLE) and Andrew is learning what chores are most helpful to me (he does the dishes every day) and the things that are better left to mommy (bedtime has started to be mommy's thing) :)


Nora, mother of Maybelline, 18 months

Oh, how we love dads and of course they all mean well. Jesse is a wonderful father. He loves Maybelline and has waited for a child from me for 8 years. When he takes care of her she has learned many new things, like, turning on the fan with her feet, hanging food above her face to have it fall in her mouth, making walrus teeth with pretzels... i could go on and on. I guess that is what dads are for.
Unfortunately for Jesse he does not have enough time with her alone. I am always there (not wanting to miss a thing) watching what he is doing, enjoying his interactions with our daughter and loving the way she looks when her dad is with her. Maybelline loves her "Dah"! (imagine "Dah" being yelled when he walks in the room - she loves him)

Before Maybelline I had never changed a diaper, but her dad was a pro. He did the first day's messes. I am a fast learner. My "mom hat" has been a permanent accessory I have worn since then. At the beginning I took care of Maybelline 90% of the time - breastfeeding (which takes up 90% of the day), diapers, changing, baths. Dad helped out most when I needed a shower or when we traveled. Poor Jesse could never get the right cradling position, or the correct caress of the blanket on the face, but soon enough he mastered it.

Now Maybelline is 18 months. I get to stay at home with my little one everyday so i still do most of her care. Now that i am done breastfeeding Jesse feels more of a part of her daily routines.
Reasons why we love Dads:
1. We couldn't have had this wonderful baby without him.
2. He rubbed stretch mark lotion on mama's belly for 9 months.
3. He loves our little girl and would do anything for her.
4. He loves her mom and would do anything for her.
5. He knows he isn't perfect and is in this to learn right along with mama.

Laura, Mama to Juni, 10 months

Juni's Papa does quite a bit to help out. I feel like the adjustment from independence to parenthood was a bit tougher for him than I, but as the months trickle along it seems to be easier and easier for him. He often works long hours, so nothing is consistent, but generally, he does the dishes, changes her diaper, puts her pjs on at night, cleans and vacuums, helps with laundry, and sometimes carries her in a Baby Bjorn when we go for walks. 

There are days when I wish just once he would be the one to get up with her in the morning so I could sleep just a little past 7am or that he could breastfeed her in the night so that I could get just a few hours of straight sleep, but there are nights when I am so tired I can't stand straight and he spends two hours comforting her, through her teething pain, to sleep.  I sometimes get frustrated when he is overwhelmed after I am gone at work for only 4 hours and needs time to himself, but when he works a 14 hour day, he seems to have no sympathy for me when he arrives home. I've learned to accept the fact that we do things differently. Just because I want the dishes done now, doesn't mean he has any intention of dong them within the next four hours. We see different tired cues in Juni, our energy peaks at different times of day, different experiences overwhelm us. Being so far away from all family and not having much for close friends, we don't get much for alone time, and have no couple time, except for nap time. Busier weeks turn into grouchier weeks and when we have a family day I can feel rejuvenated for the whole week ahead. 

I've learned to try my best to focus on the fact that he is a present, willing, and engaging father who loves and adores both our daughter and I. He is not me and I am not him. Even if I could (probably ;>) get her to stop crying 5 minutes faster, he is her Papa and he is trying his best. There are still moments he drives me absolutely crazy. There are still days I feel like screaming because of the way he ignores Juni in the morning when he is trying to sleep in, or the way he has time to shower, shave, and eat breakfast, but has no time for me to do any of the above (without caring for Juni at the same time), for two weeks straight. But, I've also learned to take a little ownership for my wants and needs. It is unfair to expect him to make sacrifices I have chosen to make. He makes his own decisions. It is okay for me to ask, sometimes demand, what I need and when I need it. When Juni was first born I would go crazy that he would just go around doing his normal routine while I was "stuck" caring for the baby, but most always, whenever I voiced my need for something, he would instantly make time for it. I just wanted to be the one that could shower without asking, make food when I was hungry, and take a nap for however long I wanted, not however long it was until her next feeding. Then I realized, none of these were his fault. The blessing of being her Mama and being able to breastfeed her came with it's own challenges. These were some of those challenges and I would struggle through the challenges again and again for the blessing of Juniper. 

Parenting brings along a whole new dynamic to our relationship. 10 months in, we have come a long way, but still have a lot to learn :)

Katie {mommy to 2 year old triplets: Hayden, Olivia & Logan}
My hubby, Jeff, is a fantastic father & "child rearing partner."  And I mean that in the sweetest sense.  Having 3 of them at a time, that's what I needed, a "business partner."  We used to joke our home was run like a business.  We each have our responsibilities.  When they were babies, one mixed bottles.  One put the lids on & shook.  After dinner, one does baths, the other cleans up the kitchen.  Etc.  We are a well oiled machine.  Right now I work 3, 12 hour shifts a week & he is finishing school & teaching part-time.  So I do the majority of the cleaning & laundry.  But you better believe this summer, when he is off, its ALL HIM!!
Jeff can & does do EVERYTHING to help out with the kiddos.  Part of their lives, I worked nights, 7p-7a, meaning daddy was responsible for supper, baths, bedtime, diapers, nighttime feedings, etc. all on his own.  Now I work days, but I still work weekends & those days are all his!  Diapers, cooking, cleaning.  So they may spend all day in their PJs, oh well!  I have to just smile & nod sometimes though, as he doesn't necessarily do everything my way or to my standards.  But as long as everyone is fed, clean, diapered & happy.... the logistics are just that, logistics.  I find myself pretty lucky to have a husband who is brave enough to do it all on his own.  He can & does take 3 toddlers by himself to Walmart for groceries if needed.  Or take all 3 of them to play at the mall.  He even once took all 3 of them home to his parents house for the weekend while I worked! 
However if he had to handle the budget, daycare schedule, managing doctors appointments, regular grocery trips, maintaining diaper supplies, etc. he might go off the deep end!

Kerrie, mommy to Aspen 11 wks

My husband helps out with pretty much everything. He usually does bathtime and we have tried to divide up the "night shift," but with breastfeeding we have not come up with a good way, so if I have pumped extra milk he will feed her if I'm too tired to get up!

Wife to Joe
Mom to Azalia, 4, Lucia, 17 months

 My husband helps out a lot around the house!  When our babies were newborns and still woke up to nurse, he would wake up, change their diapers and bring them to me to nurse back to sleep.  He's pretty much in charge of diapers whenever he is home.  He changes them, sprays off the poopy diapers and washes them every other day.  He also contributes with meal prep, cooking, and lots of chores.  He likes to do the dishes, which is fine with me!  We don't really have set chores, we just both clean as needed.  We have different parenting techniques, but we both agree on gentle parenting.  He may do things differently than I do with our girls, but we have had many discussions about how we want to parent our children and we are on the same page with discipline.  We try not to compare our duties and if one of us is doing more work than the other, that just leads to arguments.  Instead, we take a very co-parenting approach.  Nothing, besides breastfeeding, is something that is just "woman's work" or "man's work".  I'll take out the trash, he'll dust, I will mow the lawn, he sweeps.  We really try to work together so that neither one of us is burdened with the whole load.

Thanks again to all the Mamas for their honesty and helpful advice! 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

happy valentine's day!

it was andrew's and my 3 year anniversary one week ago!  we went to this fabulous little restaurant on barrow street - one if by land, two if by sea - that's supposed to be the most romantic restaurant in nyc.  it's usually wayyyy too expensive, but last week just so happened to be winter restaurant week and fancy shmancy restaurants like this one have a prix fixe menu for, like 35 bucks!  they gave us a corner booth and it was, indeed, a romantic dinner :)  andrew said later he would have been just as happy to eat at outback steakhouse (we love us some outback), but it was nice to get out and not talk about baby for an hour or two :)

andrew has been super busy lately rehearsing for a reading (reading: a formal reading that has many of the elements of a theatre performance. these may include minimal costuming, props, music but does not usually include full costuming or set design.) and so i've been missing him something fierce.  we would wake up at 8 with lu, he would shower, breakfast, play with lu while i showered and got ready until he left at 9 for rehearsal.  then i would work and leave the beetle with nana for the day, get home at 7 or 8, eat dinner, snuggle lu, put her to sleep and ultimately pass out on the couch - or my big, comfy chair - until andrew got home from the show and took me to bed.  not fun.  he finally had the performance tonight and so has the next few weeks of a regular schedule. ahhhh.  we're going to celebrate valentine's day tomorrow.  tonight, sleep.

Monday, February 13, 2012

mama to mama.

Money money money MUHH-NAY!
I was really looking forward to this week's post (hello homemade wipes?!?!).  Andrew and I have been very luck to receive almost everything we needed for Beetle as handmedowns from friends, but we are constantly on the search for new, innovative ways to save some dough in this crazy town.  Recently, I was introduced to the site zulily.com by my MIL and have found quite a few great deals on there if I'm looking to "splurge" on something new. I actually just "splurged" on this adorable rick-rack hat for summertime - found on zulily.com for $7.99.  On other sites I found it priced anywhere from $12.82 to $17!
Check out these money saving tips from the Mamas! 
PS - my parents were here for two weeks, so get ready for some serious Nana and Papa snapshots, coming soon!
Leslie, mom to Eloise, 6 months
I had my first experience with hand dyed onesies today!  I bought a few packages of the Gerber white 100% cotton onesies in different sizes at Marshall's and some Rit at the fabric store and ta-da! Pretty, inexpensive, solid colored onesies.  (No princesses, divas or monkeys):)  
Another place I've found solid colored onesies (and other super cute stuff) is H&M.  They have a very limited online selection so every once in a while I scope out my local store.  They usually have a 2 for $10 deal, plus Eloise has been wearing their 2-4 month size since she was a little over 2 months old, and she is now a rather large 6 month old!  
If you're curious what some of the Rit dye colors look like, left to right, I used violet, purple, and petal pink...the last one was a mommy oops moment when I forgot to take a petal pink one out of the washing machine before washing the purple ones.      

Betsy, mother of June Ellen, Evelyn, and Olive

When you have a baby (or three) every trip you make to the store seems to get more and more expensive. Even worse is when you take the trash out at the end of the week and see all of the waste going out the door about as fast as it came in. My money saving tips for new moms are as follows:
1) Breast Feed if you can. Obviously it's the most natural way to feed a baby and super cheap, too!

2) Make your own baby food. This is so easy to do and will keep you and the rest of your family eating healthy as well. Just steam your veggies and puree them. You can add salt/pepper/sauces/ after you separate a portion to be pureed for the baby. Pour the extra into ice cube trays and when they are frozen, pop them out and save them in a freezer safe container of you choice. We like to use mostly glass jars that I have saved from buying salsa, pasta sauce, pickles, etc.

3) Try to get hand-me-down clothing, or buy at a resale shop. Everyone needs a little something new every once in a while but for daily wear, especially to be pooped or thrown-up on, used clothing is a treasure.

4) Make your own baby wipes! Really quite easy and affordable. Here is a link to a great recipe http://www.quadcitymomsblog.com/2012/02/04/diy-baby-wipes/
Natalie, mom to Cole

Our biggest money saver has to be amazon.com.  We started out with our baby registry there, because it was a universal registry you could find items from outside vendors but purchase them through amazon.  So, you can get pretty much anything your heart desires there.  That aside, we order all our diapers and wipes from amazon through the subscribe and save program and amazon moms.  This saves you about 30% off the regular price.  With subscribe and save they send you the product every month, however many quantities you desire.  They send you an e-mail notifying you of shipping and at that point you can make changes.  Skip the delivery if needed or up the quantity, whatever you want.  It ships for free, as do tons of things on amazon over $25.  Another great site is diapers.com but they have a $49 min for free 2 day shipping.  The cool thing about them is that they affiliated with 3 other useful sites and you can reach your $49 buying from all the different sites if needed.  Soap.com for toiletries, wag.com (great for Mom's with pets) and another that is toys I think.  I can order cat food and hand and face wipes for baby at 9pm and they are on my doorstep by 5pm the next day.  Pretty impressive. 

I hope we are saving money on this...  I have a baby bullet food processor and make all Cole's purees.  This way I know he is not getting any sugar or preservatives, and I am sure in the long run it is a money saver over the packaged goods.  As for shopping we usually try to get hand me downs, because they grow out of stuff so fast.  But, for those Mom's uptown or in the heights there is a big superstore with cheap cute baby stuff called Young World.  It is around 181st and St. Nick's.  Happy shopping Mommies.  
Kerrie, mom to Aspen 9 wks

In my quest to save money on baby supplies I found that if you have a Sam's Club membership you can get on there website and they have an auction section...even with shipping you can usually get pampers for around 11 cents (since i'm sharing this tip with everyone, your not allowed to bid against me! ;)...fyi Aspen is in size 1.  With amazon.com charging for membership, I have found that Sam's Club or walmart.com's prices are very close and sometimes less.

Retailmenot.com is another good site to find codes for % off or free shipping codes. I do not make an online purchase without checking this site first, they also have some of the huggies and pampers rewards codes.

Free-stuff-finder.com has a baby section that has stocked me with free samples of formula (even though i'm breastfeeding it's nice to know I have some on hand just in case...and even better it was free) and some diapers.

I also check websites for any baby products I use and sign up with them because they usually send coupons!

ThankYOU, Mamas!

Friday, February 10, 2012

video journal.

i cannot tell you how highly i recommend keeping a video journal.  it is so easy to do (with almost all computers having video recording capabilities) and it is so much fun to look back and actually see yourself talk about what is (was) happening in your life at the time.  andrew and i started one just after we were married and kept it up until just after lua was born.  since then, we have fallen behind a little (what else is new?). But, the other day we were force to look back at some of our past entries and i was re-inspired to keep recording our life.  really.  it's so easy.

here are some clips from andrew and my video journal. enjoy!

...i crab because i care...lol!

happy friday, everyone.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

mamas clothes.

We've discovered an easy way to take a shower while watching the babe:  bring her in the bathroom with us!  We have a cushy shower mat and she loves to lie on it and play peekaboo with us when we peek out to check on her (every 5 seconds).  Lately, she has become obsessed with covering herself in my clothes.  If they are within reach, she will have them wrapped around her in no time.  This especially happens in the bathroom, where I have a tendency to doff my clothing and "forget" to pick it up :) 

One week, Andrew sent me a picture at work every day that consisted of Beetle playing "dress up".  So funny!

Monday, February 6, 2012

mama to mama.

Ever felt like this?

I know I have.  Welcome to "Epic Fail" day.  I've asked the Mamas to offer up their best story of "failure".  I use that term very loosely, as I truly don't think these moms are capable of failure.  I decided on this post after talking with my mom (my parents are visiting!) and reminiscing over that first week with Lu.  
I have SO many epic fail moments:  from Lu pooping into the silverware drawer, to breastfeeding while slowly walking up 8th Ave. covered in sweat, to catching a half-sleeping baby as she casually rolled off the side of our bed.
 Please read on for more "fail" stories from the Mamas! 

Kerrie, mom to Aspen (9 wks)

At the hospital they had me breastfeeding around the clock every 2~3 hours....so when I brought Aspen home at 5lbs 10oz I assumed that was still the case, so against my mom and pretty much everyone else's comments of "Don't wake a sleeping baby", I would set my alarm down to the minute and wake her, even if it meant i had to fully undress her to keep her awake. This went on for about a week, when finally in a zombie state I had a chance to read hospital discharge papers that said. ON DEMAND feeding at night

Jessica, mom to Sophia Lynne Kowal (2 months)

I have had several epic fails as a new mom and my little Sophie is only 2 months old :).  The one that still makes me laugh is our "first doctor's appointment".  I had been home from the hospital all of three days when Sophia had her first doctor's appointment.  Getting her ready to go out into the world for the first time was a bit more challenging than it should have been due to my recent c-section.  I had just finished nursing her, my husband had the car seat and the cover to keep her warm on the couch and ready to go, I put a fresh diaper on her,  he started the car so it was warm and I got the hospital paperwork.  We strapped her in her new car seat, he helped me into the car and we were off.  As we pulled out of the drive way we gave each other a high-five, proud that we were heading to her first doctor's appointment without a hiccup and we were even going to be on time!

As we went into the patient room with Sophia so that she could be weighed the nurse asked if she had a clean diaper on, just as I replied yes my little lady let one rip!  The nurse giggled and said no problem just strip her down and put a fresh diaper on her.  My husband and I both gave each other an " Oh Shit" expression.  We had forgotten the flippin diaper bag!!!  Here we were as new parents thinking we had done such a great job preparing out little girl for her first outing and we forgot the most important thing.  Needless to say we made the nurse giggle for a second time and she informed us that this was a common mistake for new parents.  I am not sure if that is true or not either way it made us feel a little less idiotic.
Leslie, mom to Eloise, 5 months
This is my FB status update from December 16th:
Nothing like a trip to Target to make you feel like an incompetent parent. 
Poop explosion out of the diaper while we are walking into the store (Eloise, not me). Did not check the wipes situation or extra clothing options in the diaper bag before leaving (this will never happen again). Mostly cleaned up with toilet paper and saved the single wet wipe for a final once over, all while attempting to stop the bleeding from my left knuckle which had just cracked open and trying to soothe a screaming baby because the bathroom does not have paper towels, only insanely loud hand dryers. Put slightly soiled clothing back on my baby (ew). Did shopping very quickly (including a new $6 footie pajama and wipes), so quickly that I did not notice that Eloise lost a sock somewhere along the way (Hey, 20 people that I passed in the store, did anyone think to tell me that my baby was only wearing one sock!?). Checked out, back to the bathroom to put new clothes on Eloise, more screaming and hand drying, packing up the diaper bag in a squat with Eloise in her carrier, fell on my butt, got very mean look from other woman in the bathroom.
Never again.
On the plus side, Sentry was a bit crowded, but uneventful.
Betsy mother of June Ellen, Evelyn, and Olive

My first thought when I heard this topic was of how many times my girls have thrown up in public. Lesson learned. When your child complains about a stomach ache you take them seriously, the first time, and every time. When the tummy bug comes to town it is usually a surprise visit!!
After reminiscing for a few minutes, I started thinking of what my true Parenting Fail was (or is). I'm sure I will have many more....
It has to do with the middle child....and the NUK. You know what I am talking about. Pacifier, binky, num nums, ect. It seems like such a simple thing. Meant to lull a baby to sleep, ease their oral fixations, or earn a parent one or two more minutes before a feeding. My little Evelyn was ADDICTED to her nuk. I was determined to rid her of it at the age of One. Yes- 12 months old. My oldest never took a pacifier (even when we wanted her to). I didn't think it should be that difficult to wean Evelyn. I read about it. All the different techniques- surprisingly there are many. I was also pregnant with our third baby. Ev would be 16 months old when the new baby arrived. In my mind having her rid of the nuk by 12 months would give her a four month window of a nuk free home. At the time I had many reasons for not having two babies both using a nuk. I didn't want them sharing them and spreading germs. Obviously hindsight is 20/20! 7 years later I now realize how ridiculous this was. 
We started the process slowly, taking the nuk away from her for a few hours at a time, eventually keeping it in her bed for nap and bed time. However she would find random nuks all over the house. In the couch, diaper bag, toy box...you get the idea. After Olive was born she did really well....for a while. then I caught her taking one out of Olives mouth one day. I gently took it away from her and told her that big girls don't need nukies anymore. It's for the baby. Then one day the house was abnormally quiet. I went to look for Evelyn. When I found her my heart was broken. She had found the baby's nuk and had fallen asleep under her sister's bed. She was about 18 months old and she was hiding from me. After that I took her to the store and bought her a package of her very own big girl nuks.
It still makes me sad to think of it....but she's 8years old now and completely nuk free :)

Sara Amelia, mom to Nathan and Oliver
My biggest mom fail was when Nathan and I had gone to the store (I think I was 8 months pregnant with Oliver: preggo brain) and his shoes got muddy so I sat him in his car seat and took off his shoes to wipe the mud off.... then I forgot to click Nathan into his car seat. We drove all over Sioux Falls with him not buckled in. I felt so badly I cried!! (Again, 8 months pregnant.) Thank God we didn’t get in an accident.