Monday, December 31, 2012

to need or not to need

With only one sweet bambino under my belt I'll be the first to admit I'm no expert on babies or baby gear, but I thought I would make a quick list of items I thought I would certainly need but didn't -- and items I thought I wouldn't need but did.

Thought these were must haves:

Fancy diaper bag. - I tried numerous diapers bags after getting one for my shower and then having store credit.  I finally settled on one mainly out of frustration and laziness.  It worked well the first few weeks. That's it. All the pockets, clips, hangy things, mesh fabric and snaps cause more chaos than already existed in a bag full of baby stuff. What you need is a big ass tote bag. You won't use all those pockets, snaps, clips and hangy things. You just won't! When you're changing your baby in the backseat of the car before you head in to Target you won't be the least bit concerned if your diapers and wipes are in their dedicated location, you will only care if they are anywhere to be found in the bag. And YAY if everything is there!

Baby hand mittens - These are a joke right? A cruel joke to first time moms. Even if they did work and stay on good luck finding matching pairs or even A PAIR after the first wash and dry. A wonderful piece of advice from my expert go to mommy (my sis n law Jen) use socks.  They actually work better and they don't cost 5 bucks for one pair.

An in bed co-sleeper (this is if you choose to co-sleep)- I bought one of these when Lars was probably about 3 or 4 months. We tried to make it work but who wants to sleep with a bulky miniature crib in between them?  You won't use it.  You will try if for a few nights and then you will just put in away in a closet and go back to snuggling with that sweet little baby.

Diaper Genie - While this may be a 'genius' idea, the refill bags are not a 'genius' price. Those suckers are expensive and for my eco-friendly conscience....not the best choice. Just use a regular trash can and empty it daily.

Shoes (before they are a certain age) - Lars is 9 months and I still don't put shoes on him. I've tried and guess what? We have lost at least one of every pair. He pulls them off, they fall off in the store, they just get lost.  We are lucky he finally stopped pulling off his socks.  Wait till they're old enough to keep them on or actually need them.

Baby Bullet v. Blender v. Food Processor:  Ditch your baby bullet and go for a nice full size blender.  Even the food processors I have didn't quite blend up the food to a puree.  The blender does, AND you can make a lot more food at one time.

Things I didn't think I would need, but DID:

A bottle warmer - We didn't buy one of these until Lars was about 6 months old.  We went back and fourth over getting one and eventually bought one for a trip we were taking where we would be in a hotel room for a few days.  We use it a lot. You set the temperature in the beginning and each time just a add a bit of water and viola in a few minutes you have a perfectly heated bottle.

Crib bumper - I didn't get one of these until Lars was again about 6 months. Maybe because he wasn't ever in his crib until then or that's when he started moving around like a mad man, hitting his head on the bars and getting his feet stuck in between.  We bought the mesh breathable bumper and it's work out nicely.

Bottle sterilizer - Again, didn't think we would use this, even when I was buying it. I thought for sure I'd be returning it. We use that sucker twice a day at least. Because we don't run the dishwasher that often the sterilizer is just perfect. Best 40 bucks spent!

Jar Baby Food - I make all of Lars' food but I quickly realized that things happen and it's a good idea to have a few back ups.  Like the time I went to defrost the only food I had left and I put it in a bowl of hot water and it cracked and leaked everywhere. Or the time I realized that some plastic had gotten in to the ENTIRE batch of food I had just made. It's a good idea to have some reserves stashed away.

Movies - We don't watch a whole lot of tv, but sometimes when dinner needs to made, laundry needs to be done, the crib sheet needs to be changed, the baby food needs to be steamed, pureed and packed up and emails need to be sent (bob), popping in a baby Einstein or finding a sesame street on netflix is a real life saver - ONCE IN A WHILE.

Monday, December 17, 2012


Well it happened! After 8.5 months of 3-5 hours of broken sleep (on a good night) our sweet little angel has been sleeping through the night!!!!!!!!!!!! Can I scream from the top of mountains somewhere? Find me a mountain pronto! And when I say sleeping through the night I mean sleeping from about 7pm-7am and to my sadness he's in his crib.

This has been going on for about a week. We have been working on this very slowly and very gradually for some time now as you all probably know very well.

Transitioning him from our bed to his crib wasn't my ultimate goal to be honest. Bob and I were fine and really  happy with Lars in bed with us, but we started to figure out that our super alert busy little man was being disrupted during the night by us.  So since the end of Sept/begging in of Oct. we started to the process.  We began with a pretty strict schedule which works well for us. We are now to the point where it's no big deal if we change it up a bit or are a little early or late on a feeding but Lars is pretty accustomed to the routine and is generally hungry right on time and sleepy right on time.

Then we moved on to naps. All naps were in the crib, then when he became comfortable with that I began our bedtime routine in his nursery (it use to be in our room) and I began putting him down in his crib. For about a month he would wake up at various times during the night, generally getting later and later, and we would bring him in bed with us and then a little after 8 months he began soothing himself back to sleep and staying in his crib and then for the last week he's been doing wonderfully. I'm sure we are still up for a few rough nights but just knowing  that he can do it and has been doing it is such a relief! ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Through this whole process I read so many books and received so much advice and it was all helpful in it's on way. But in the end I took bits and pieces from the books and advice and applied them to our life the way we thought best. We didn't let him cry it out, we didn't stop co-sleeping cold turkey and we didn't use any particular method other than patience. It was really hard at times.  Trying to get up, go to work, be productive, come home, make dinner, enjoy Lars time, get ready for bath bed and then do some cleaning was tough on 3 hours of sleep for a consecutive 8 month stretch.

People would tell me so often that their 2,3, or 4 month old was sleeping sleeping 13-14 hours and I wanted to cry and wondered if something was wrong and if my son was ever going to sleep. I knew in my right mind that nothing was wrong and that he would eventually sleep through the night when he was ready.

I miss having Lars snuggled next to us. I miss having a foot pushed into the side of my face or head wedged under my arm....i REALLY REALLY do. Having Lars in bed with us led to so many special moments that I think we would have otherwise missed. I wake up in the early morning and want to go get him and snuggle but then i look over at the monitor and see him sleeping so peacefully and it makes me very happy.

cheese please. 

i put his toys in the basket and then .5 seconds later this is what i find

Friday, December 14, 2012

A Lars-y Holiday

Well we have been super busy around here.  Thanksgiving was wonderful.  My mom and David came to visit and we cooked, went shopping in Wimberley, went to the zoo, went looking at Christmas lights and ate and ate and ate. It was wonderful.  Lars was included in the that eating part. He basically had a Thanksgiving feast all to himself. He had a little bit of everything. He had a little green bean casserole, scalloped potatoes, cornbread dressing, lentils (my veggie thanksgiving option), I even let a little turkey sneak in there. And for dessert he enjoyed some apple pie and ice cream. THE BOY LOVES TO EAT! He's an eating machine.

Lars and Nana having lunch Wimberley
cherry pie....YUM

checking out the christmas lights
hanging out with the ducks in wimberley

one of many attempted self taken family portraits

We are now getting ready for Christmas and it's been super fun to have Lars involved with everything.  He's helped make christmas cookies, looks adorable in his 'my first christmas jammies, and loves to play with the wrapping paper. 

helping make christmas cookies! 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

8 months, 2 teeth and some really tubby cheeks!

Hold on to your hats b/c Lars was 8 MONTHS yesterday! If you're thinking what I'm thinking then we're both thinking, HOLY SHIT! I can't believe it's been 8 whole months since my little monkey man came in the world.

Lars is doing so much these days. He's clapping, and pulling up, he's waving bye bye, albeit to himself, but he still waving. He's working on getting into position and having the strength to crawl but we're not there yet and I'm totally OK with that! He's picking up some of his food and making it in his mouth. He has moments of being Mr. Independent (not sure where he gets that from....wink wink) and moments of being very dependent and clingy.

I'm not sure if I've already mentioned this but we are COMPLETELY done with the swaddle. AMEN! Wheww...that was pretty frustrating at times! I would say we've been swaddle free for about a month now and it is just as wonderful as I had hoped. It took about a week for him to fully understand how to control his flailing arms but he got it! He's so much more comfortable now. He sleeps on his tummy, on his side, on his back and can find his paci if he wants it. It's fantabulous!

Lars still eats EVERYTHING! I hope one day I don't regret bragging about him eating but he hasn't turned down anything...not one thing and we haven't held off. Lately I've been making a kale, carrot, squash and apple mixture and he's pretty into it and when I say he's into it, I mean he literally like to get INTO it :)  He gets so proud when we let him hold the spoon and feed himself and when i give him the bowl and he makes a complete disaster he's even more proud.

I think he is currently working on another tooth or two but I'm hoping this time is a little less irritating and painful. We shall see.

Lars is the coolest kid around and we are enjoying this age so much! He's our little angel man!

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