Saturday, September 13, 2014

Bizzy Babee Nursing Cover GIVEAWAY

Bizzy Babee makes a beautiful nursing cover that you can get for FREE! All you have to do is enter this giveaway for a chance to win a cover in one of five colors (your choice). The nursing cover is fashionable and can be used for breastfeeding, pumping, or just bonding with baby and actually looks more like a cute top than one of those apron-like covers that just screams "I"M BREASTFEEDING UNDER HERE!!"

See the bottom of the post for how to enter the giveaway. I will announce the winner once it has ended, and then you can let me know which color you would like!


Color options: Plum, Black, Teal, Watermelon, and Natural

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

An Open Apology/Thank You Letter to Target

That awkward moment when your baby embarrasses you at Target...

Dear Target,

I am a big fan and frequent your store on numerous occasions. Sometimes I have a shopping list in hand, but usually I come in to browse your beautifully wide aisles, grab a drink from Starbucks, and awe over the adorable baby clothes. Or stock up on e.l.f. makeup.

On my most recent visit, my not-quite-6-month-old baby boy was with me and helped me select a sippy cup, among other infant products. He began getting cranky, signaling the end of our outing and letting me know that nap time was near, so I headed to the checkout line.  I met another young mother in line and chatted with her while fumbling around with my wallet, baby on my hip, searching for a coupon and my debit card.

My boy gave a small cough right before I swiped my card and as I turned to check on him, he spat up on me. This is nothing new, it was no huge amount, but I was mildly dismayed since I had my hands full and a burp cloth was not within arms reach. But then, he continued to spew, and in quantities I had not seen come out of his mouth before. It was disgusting, to say the least, and there was a pool of white and pale-green (from his breakfast of avocado) baby vomit between my arm and stomach as well as all over him, my shoes, and the floor. I was shocked, never having witnessed anything like it, and frozen on the spot momentarily.

I'd like to give my apologies to the store (Aliso Viejo) for the mess and for my behavior, or lack thereof. You see, because I was holding my baby, I couldn't exactly bend down to clean the mess up myself. Also because the way I had him in my arms created a pool of liquid, as I indicated before, and I knew that were I to try to get a burp cloth or a wipe, all of that lovely baby puke would then go onto the floor. I'd like to apologize to the customers in line behind me as well - my baby and I held up the flow of traffic through the checkout process a bit.

So, thank you, Target employees, whose names I am heartily sorry for not knowing, for helping me in that situation. They acted without a moment's notice; the cashier grabbed another employee's attention and quickly handed me paper towels to mop myself and my baby up with while they cleaned the bit that had gotten onto the floor. I worked in customer service for many years before my son was born, and I know that cleaning up baby puke is not a standard or very enticing part of the job description. Thank you for not making a big scene out of it either; no one wants an embarrassing moment like that broadcast throughout the entire store. Having any witnesses at all was humiliating enough. Though the situation was entirely out of my control, and I myself am not the one that hurled at the checkout line, it is still mortifying to be covered in puke, in public. I sincerely do appreciate the speed with which your employees acted and the manner in which they handled the situation.

In closure, Target, I'm sorry my baby puked at the checkout line, but thank you for cleaning it up.

"Eep! Sorry Target!"

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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Bye-Bye Binky: Is it time to say goodbye to the pacifier?


I was always on the fence about whether to use a pacifier or not. I didn't want to struggle to get our newborn boy to calm down, but at the same time I didn't want to end up with a 6-year-old that still sucked on a pacifier (like some of the kids I've seen at the grocery store...)  

I also wanted to avoid having our baby still sucking on pacifiers once he was grown...

Our pediatrician told us early on that she thought some "nipple confusion" was a good thing, and so we decided to use the pacifier to soothe our newborn if nothing else would work. The very last resort would be letting him suckle at the breast (non-nutritive sucking) if he was really inconsolable. I read (in The Happiest Baby on the Block) that you should phase out the pacifier by the time they are 6-months-old so as to avoid an emotional attachment to it. So I planned to have Baby G off the binky by that age, and didn't think it would be too difficult because we hardly used it anyway. Mostly in the car if he was fussy (since there was little else we could do) or at night, though we tried not to let him fall asleep with it. However, sometimes if he seemed tired and cranky, the minute the pacifier went in his mouth, his eyes closed and he was out. That was a handy trick that we still tried not to overuse.

We barely used the pacifier on our vacation, so I started thinking we were on the way to saying goodbye to it, but right when we got home, he seemed like he was beginning to teethe. Everything was going in his mouth, he was drooling like a faucet, was really cranky, and orajel and the chilled gel-filled teethers seemed to soothe him. I'd read that you shouldn't take the binky away while they're teething, since it can be a great way to pacify them (heehee). Plus, babies often chew on their pacifiers when they're teething too. 

Just a couple weeks later though, we started trying to get him to sleep in his own room at night, and stopped letting him nap on us. I think it was harder on me than on him; for that first week, it went magically. Hardly any fussing at being laid down, he wasn't waking frequently, and when he did wake, it was only to eat and then he went right back to sleep. The second week though... he seemed angry when we'd lay him down and no amount of back patting or rubbing or soothing lullabies would calm him down. So as usual, we'd turn to the pacifier to see if that would work, but it just made him angrier! He would thrash his head to the other side and scream bloody murder if we tried to put it in his mouth again. At first we thought it was merely because he was already upset and just wasn't noticing that we were giving him his binky, but when we offered it to him the following night while he was only fussing a little bit, it flipped a switch in him and he went berserk again! This went on for a week; us offering the pacifier to calm him down so he could go to sleep and him rejecting it vehemently with heart-wrenching screams and cries. 

I stopped giving him the pacifier during the day as well - he didn't seem to need or want it. And after a week of difficult bedtimes and him still refusing the pacifier at night, we stopped using it altogether. The pacifiers remained untouched on the drying rack and sank to the bottom of my diaper bag from disuse. He started solids during this time, which perhaps helped.

About a month passed with absolutely no sign of the binky, and I thought "Hurray! He's weaned himself off the pacifier!!"

But then...

We had a rough couple of nights a little over a week ago, and nothing was working. He was inconsolable and on a whim, thought I'd dig around for a pacifier and see if that's what he wanted. I hesitated to give it to him because 1) it could just make him even angrier like it did before, or, 2) would just put him back on the binky, which we thought we were done with.

Thankfully/unfortunately, the pacifier worked and it calmed him down and he was able to go to sleep. Darn it. I tried not to use the pacifier after that, but I ended up giving it to him again. Now it seems like he's back on it, but hopefully not emotionally attached to it. He's coming up on his 6-month birthday... but there's no sign of him self weaning again anytime soon. Although, that last time did just happen out of nowhere, so perhaps he will surprise us again.

I did recently see some cute ways for toddlers to "say goodbye" to their pacifiers, with little ceremonies and parties and letting the binkies be carried away by balloons. Though I do not want our boy to be attached to a pacifier for the next couple of years, I'm still intrigued and excited by the thought of letting him be in charge of a "goodbye ceremony." He would be initiating himself into childhood and perhaps that would be exciting for him as well; to take a "big boy" step and happily move on from babyhood.

But... we shall see. I really don't want to just take the pacifier away cold turkey, but I'd still like to try and avoid too much of an emotional attachment to it. Which means I need to phase it out soon.

Didn't have a pacifier handy... and couldn't get him to suck his own thumb (which he rarely does), so he sucked on my finger instead. Leaving me immobile for a short while.

How old was your baby when they stopped using the pacifier? Did you use any special tricks to wean them off of it or use a "ceremony" to have them say "Bye-bye binky"? Comment below!
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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Maturity in Motherhood

It seems that after my first baby boy was born, I matured over night. At least, it feels that way. It’s not that I was overly immature prior to his birth, and not that him being born aged me, just that there are ways in which I grew up very rapidly.

I feel like I was always a bit more mature than my peers in many ways: I didn’t drink or party in high school, and rarely in college; I prioritized studying and intellectual growth over other things; I wasn’t glued to my phone when out at social events like my peers were… Yet there were many things I needed to change; ways in which I needed to “grow up.” I tended to be a bit lazy and hardly accomplished any housework, to my husband’s dismay. That laziness was also sometimes reflected in my appearance, especially when I was pregnant and didn’t feel like wearing “real” clothes. I also was not the greatest with sticking to a budget and enjoyed online shopping to a scary extent. 

Since my son was born, I am much less lazy, partly because he is definitely not lazy. He is not content with sitting on the couch for an hour (whereas I could be content there all day). I take a walk every day – sometimes multiple walks – and also attempt to get some type of housework done during his naps (even if it’s just wiping off the counters).

 I care a lot more about what my clothes and appearance say about me now. “Do I look like a competent mother?” “Does my look reflect my knowledge and wisdom about parenting?” “Do I look like I care about myself?” I certainly don’t want to let myself go – not yet! I was never a big fan of the new crop-top trend, but I am definitely not going for it now. I think there’s a certain level of appropriateness that parents should strive for. No bare bellies, sagging pants, exposed undergarments… parents should send a good message to their kids, even at a young age. I also used to be a bit tentative about cutting my hair, though I’d gone as short as chin-length before. But my long hair was getting in  my way and kept finding its way into chubby baby hands (and mouths!) so it had to go. In the end I rationalized that it is “just hair” and will grow back – it’s not something anyone should get terribly attached to. It’s much more manageable now and I can spend much less time with it and more time focusing on my little boy!

While at times I still spend more money that I should, I have definitely cut back. Diapers are expensive enough! I still enjoy making the odd online purchase, but instead of for me, my carts are now mostly full of baby stuff. I love having someone else to shop for, but I also am now better at prioritizing. I would rather have emergency money in savings and start saving up to buy a house than to buy a bunch of toys that he will probably never play with.

Are there ways in which becoming a parent seemingly matured you overnight?
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