Maternity Leave Watch List

Let’s face it newborns are cute but they are incredibly boring.  Here is a list of shows that got me through when I was craving adult interaction.  It also helped for the times when all you REALLY have to pee but you don’t want to risk putting down your sweet angel because nobody should wake a sleeping baby.  (I have stared the ones that you cannot watch around children, newborns sure they can’t see further that 10 inches from their face.)

  1. Game of Thrones*
  2. Parenthood
  3. How to Get Away With Murder*
  4. Glee
  5. Breaking Bad*
  6. Dexter*
  7. Married at First Sight
  8. Grey’s Anatomy
  9. Odd Mom Out
  10. Gossip Girl
  11. Lost
  12. Friends

Ergobaby carrier review

ergobaby carrier
Ergo baby Original Carrier

I got the ergobaby carrier as a gift at a baby shower.  I was happy because I knew that wearing a baby can be super useful to be able to get things done and have your hands free when you have a little one.  With my son my hubby and I had used a Baby Bjorne and a Moby Wrap. We liked the baby Bjorne because it was easy to put on.  At the time I didn’t even know than the ergobaby carrier existed.

The Moby Wrap we didn’t like because it took awhile to get a hang of how to tie it.  Plus you can’t really prevent the wrap dragging the floor when you tie it which just bothered me because it felt like it was getting dirty and then that fabric was touching baby.

Picture below for comparison purposes.  I have not reviewed the Baby Bjorne but we do like it and it was our go to for our son.

Original Baby Bjorne
Original Baby Bjorne

 

I say all that to be able to really review the ergobaby carrier.

I really like the way it looks.  It has more style.  Also the padding makes it really comfortable to wear.  It also has a little fabric flap that can be used to cover the babies head.  The fabric snaps in place and can be used to protect the babies head from the sun or to block the babies view of bright lights/distractions when in the carrier.

I dislike the instructions.  They are just a series of pictures that my husband and I could not figure out.  Luckily there was a video on YouTube that we could watch.  It took a couple views but then we got the hang of it.  Also, for anyone that has limited range of motion (I have limited range from a shoulder surgery) it can be hard to hook the back buckle by yourself. I had to really adjust and loosen the straps so that I could actually wear it.

The biggest disappointment was that if you purchase the carrier in order to use it with an infant you have to purchase an infant insert which is pretty pricey after also purchasing the carrier itself.  I wish the insert came with the carrier.  Also it just was a pain to want to use it and discover that you need another piece to use it.  The insert is only needed for babies under 12 lbs or under four months.  There is more specific guidelines on when to use the insert provided in the instructions.

Ergo Baby infant insert
Ergo Baby infant insert

We wanted to be able to use the carrier way sooner than four months so we did purchase the insert.  We chose the mesh insert because our baby gets sweaty easily.

With all that said…

We LOVE it!  Including baby!  Money well spent!

Serious my little one loves it.  She is a little over one month old and she usually falls asleep in it within minutes of wearing it.  She falls asleep in the Baby Bjorne too however I can sit down with her because her legs are out and she knows.  With the ergo her legs are held tight (frog-like to your body) and are inside the carrier so she doesn’t know and after a while I can sit down and relax while she sleeps.  I don’t have to explain to any parent how much that little bit of time to recoup is worth.  We will use the both of our carriers but while our little one is small we will probably use the ergo more.

Disclaimer: I was not solicited to write this review.  This is this mama’s honest opinion.

Dish Diaster

After desperately needing clean silverware, I loaded up the dishwasher and even went the extra mile to make sure it had rinse-aid.

Four hours later.

Open the dishwasher and grab a fork so I can eat a meal to discover that I never told the dishwasher to actually run.

I blame wonder weeks!

If you don’t know about wonder weeks it’s the time periods when your baby goes through big developmental milestones. This equals cranky babies that don’t sleep, eat, or play well.

Postpartum: Healing after a second degree tear

So you have had your little one and your labor and delivery was a little rougher than anticipated and you’re looking for more information on something that mom’s never tell you about…the less that glamorous recovery period after-birth.

First off I am not a doctor so this is just my experience after a very quick active phase of labor about 35 mins and baby E made her way into the world.  My birth was all natural which was semi-intentional.  It that, all natural was part of my birth plan – however when shit got real and the pain hit all at once…I was totally asking for drugs but wouldn’t give it to me because it was too late my baby was here.

Needless to say from the title of my posts…the quick labor did a number on me.  I had a second degree tear and something else the OB used a word that is unknown to me and I was too scared and tired to ask.  It took close to an hour to stitch me up and I would say I was in the 20+ stitches range.

I never thought that my birth would be quite like it was.  Second baby and I was still surprised.  Luckily, before birth I did prepare myself for some damage by buying the following items listed below (moms who were brave enough to share there stories swore by them).

Things purchased pre-baby and yes this really hurt on the inside to buy them but luckily everything was available on Amazon.

  1. A big pack of depends
  2. Tucks pads
  3. Mama’s bottom spray
  4. Dermaplast
  5. Maxi pads aka thunderpads
  6. Perineal ice packs
  7. Stool softners

The hospital should supply you with the following:

  1. A squirt bottle (However after I got home I ordered a 3-pack off Amazon because having to fill the bottle up constantly before I could pee while my baby was crying to be fed was no bueno)
  2. Perineal ice packs (take the ones from the hospital but if you have a significant tear you will want more – I honestly had to order them more than once as my recovery was rough
  3. Mesh panties
  4. Thunder pads
  5. A Sitz bath
  6. Demaplast (depends on hospital – mine gave it to me but I took a bottle to the hospital just in case)

Also note if they offer you something after delivery for pain take it!  They offered me 600mg ibuprofen and regular Tylenol that I took around the clock (I took it around the clock for at least 3 weeks).  Believe me you don’t want the pain catching up to you. Technically the hospital offered me Tylenol-3 but that’s not my scene so….

So the reason I’m writing this is that hospitals tend to not tell you a whole lot about what to expect when you get home or what is normal for recovery.  They said something like if you bleed more than quarter size clots or run a fever you should come in…great super helpful…NOT!

So here is what I experienced along with a lot of ladies on baby center…and yes everyone is different so if you heal faster that’s awesome.  I’m happy for you but really jealous to where we almost can’t be friends.

Recovery Timeline

At the hospital

At the hospital I thought I can get up and move around this is great.  I had a c-section with my first baby so just being able to get up and go to the bathroom fairly easily was a real win the first day.  I used my squirt bottle and remember thinking how can I pee out this much fluid.  Like really how can I still look this pregnant if I peed out so much fluid?  Did I really gain that much fat?

1-3 weeks

The first week being at home was interesting.  I was scared to poop as so many moms are.  However, since I took the stool softeners as advised by the hospital and moms out there everywhere it really wasn’t bad. What was bad was missing my dose of ibuprofen and realizing it mid-pee when it hurt real bad.  The first week is a blur between my nipples hurting/bleeding from breast feeding, my boobs being so engorged that I looked like Dolly, and wishing that I had a doughnut pillow to sit on.  Getting up and down from the sofa was super uncomfortable in my nether region.

At 2 weeks I thought…why am I STILL walking around like a sumo wrestler?  Why do steps suck?  Why does my toddler want me to pick him up…I just can’t my lady parts can’t handle it?  Why do my stitches feel exactly the same? Is any healing happening?  Why is sitting down and standing up so hard?  Am I bleeding too much?  I actually called the OB about this after reading about postpartum hemorrhaging.  I was told if it gets any worse or it doesn’t stop in the next couple of days come in/we will schedule a ultrasound.

3.5-8 weeks

At 3.5 weeks I felt better and my bleeding slowed down to where I could fall asleep and not fear I was going to wake up to me bleeding out somewhere.  Thank goodness!  Things finally started to feel better.  I didn’t have to walk like a sumo wrestler and some of my stitches felt like they had healed.  However, all of my stitches had not healed and I still needed to take ibuprofen for the pain.  Sitting was easier but occasionally I would feel like my stitches were being pulled.

4-5 weeks out I still felt the same as I did at 3.5 weeks.  At 6 weeks I felt sore sometimes when I walked but it wasn’t bad.

At my postpartum appointment (6 weeks) the OB said for the most part I had healed (no more stitches) but I still needed to wait 2 weeks to be back to normal.  Which translated to you can work out, take a bath, but you need to wait for hubby time.  I was also told that breastfeeding can make things take longer to heal because your body is focusing on making milk.

All in all if I had another baby I would still go the VBAC/no meds route.

 

Overdosed

One night I all of a sudden felt like I was going to get sick and started sweating profusely.  My stomach was hurting and I knew if I didn’t lay down I was going to be hugging the toilet.  When think about what could be wrong I could only think of two things…food poisoning or I had double dosed when I took my 600mg ibuprofen.

No one else was sick and we had all ate the same meals.  After thinking about it, I realized the most likely scenario was that I took my medicine at 8 & 9pm as the stomach pains/nausea started soon after what would have been my second dose.

This is very likely because at some point durning the early newborn stage I caught myself about to take 1200mg of ibuprofen.  In my sleepy state I was mixing up the dosage for Tylenol and ibuprofen.

Throwing the clothes out

When baby E was a few weeks old my son knocked over a drink and managed to soak his clothes and get a large portion of our living room floor wet and sticky.  I quickly cleaned up the mess with hands towels and got my toddler in new clothes.  Later while picking up I realized I threw the dirty towels and clothes in the trash can instead of the dirty laundry.  I would have never believed that I had managed to do that if I hadn’t found the clothes in the trash myself!

Coping with morning sickness

Morning sickness SUCKS!  And it may last for well over the first trimester.  I had it terrible with my first pregnancy and even worse with the second one.  I blame her being a girl to the added sickness.  I never had to be hospitalized but I threw up on myself driving, commuting on the bus, it the Houston tunnel in from of lots of strangers, and so many more places.  I won’t promise you a cure but here are some ways to cope and be prepared for when you lose your lunch.

  1. Keep a plastic bag with you AT ALL TIMES and in quick reach.
  2. Keep hard candies on you at all times.  I found that if my mouth was too dry or if I had too much saliva it made me more sick.
  3. Invest in QueaseEase and take it with you EVERYWHERE.  It seriously helps with the nausea brought on by odors.  I could not go anywhere without it.
  4. Keep a spare change of clothes with you.  You don’t want to pick up your kid from daycare with vomit all over you. This is when I realized I needed to have bags with me at all times and close to me.  See #1.
  5. Eat in smaller portions and limit spicy foods.
  6. Never let your stomach be empty (if you can help it).
  7. Pray.  Pray.  Pray.
  8. Remind yourself of the sweet reward you will have at the end of your pregnancy.
  9. Let people help you.  I had a very kind co-worker who knew when I very desperately needed a glass of water and I let her get it for me.
  10. If you are having a really bad day, DO NOT try to power through (if you can call in sick), this prevented the number of times I threw up on my morning commute.
  11. Since morning sickness is usually bad in the mornings talk to your work if you can come in later.  I came in 30 minutes later than my normal schedule while pregnant.  This seriously made a HUGE difference.
  12. Morning showers made me get sick almost daily so I tried to take night showers but I pretty much passed out at night as soon as my husband and toddler would let me.  If I limited my showers time it seemed to be a little better as I didn’t get as hot.

That’s really all I got.  Good luck mamas!  I know it can be HELL.

Exploring Seattle

Recently we went to Seattle, WA to visit my twin sister and her hubby!  We had the best time.  Washington is a beautiful state and Seattle has a lot to offer.  Only negative was going from Texas where its warm to Seattle where its warm is not the same thing.  I froze half the time but hey it could have been worse right.  Also I did not realize that in Washington most houses to do not have air conditioning.  This was new to me as I have never lived in a house without it.  It was definitely something to get use to.

While we were there we visited and I recommend doing all these things:

  • A natural park that had a pebble beach and lots of trails to hike.
  • The Great Wolf Lodge (to celebrate my son’s birthday – his auntie really spoils him)
  • Pike’s Market
  • Ride the Ducks Land and Water Tour
  • The Space Needle

Some pictures I captured are below.

seattle-1
At the airport. Note: check your tickets to see if you have been pre-TSA approved. We were for our flight to Seattle but didn’t even realize it!
seattle-2
Toddler obsessed with airplanes at the airport = easy babysitting.
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My son’s first plane ride. He loved it! I was so worried for nothing!
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What will be waiting for you if you select the birthday package at Great Wolf Lodge.
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Birthday Wolf Ears at Great Wolf Lodge
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The birthday package comes with a cake and tokens loaded on a card to spend at the arcade.

 

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Great Wolf Lodge has a HUGE arcade. My son loved this ice cream truck!
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His favorite thing at the arcade and he was really really serious putting the tickets into the ticket counter. I have never seen him work so hard.
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The legendary Pike’s Market. I actually explored it but had a really hard time due to the fish and my morning sickness. The smell just didn’t quite work for me – pregnant.
seattle-10
Probably the funnest way to explore Seattle and to learn about it’s history. Ride the Ducks Tour!
seattle-11
L and Daddy with their Quackers!
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Me, my sis, and L
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The view from the Space Needle.












DIY: Cupcake Topper/Favor Tag Tutorial

Alright, I promised another tutorial on cupcake toppers.  The original tutorial showed how to take anything a book, printed paper cup, etc. and make it into a cupcake topper.  You can check out that tutorial here.

For the cupcake toppers I made at Landon’s Second birthday party, the process is quite simple for the construction part.  Designing them on the computer in photoshop is a whole another story.  If you want to skip the hard part, I sell digital download/printable cupcake toppers at my Etsy shop: HoneysuckleAndLace.

Here is a refresher of what his pirate themed birthday party cupcake toppers looked like:

cupcakes

 

Alright and on to the how-to part….

  1. After designing my cupcake toppers I printed them out of card stock.  When I designed them I kept in mind how big my craft circle punch cutters were.  I used two different sized circle punches: 2 inch and 1.5 inch.  I used two different sized so I could have a 3-D or layered cupcake topper.  Below the chevron paper was used for the background and the round circles the front of the cupcake topper.cupcake-topper-tutorial-1
  2. Punch out your circles.cupcake-topper-tutorial-2
  3. Build your topper.  This is where I first attached foam (to make the topper layered) to the back of smaller circle.  Then I attached the front circle to the background circle using a glue dot (Glue dots not pictured below).  There are also glue dots that are made like double-sided tape which would have been great for this project but I didn’t have any on hand.  cupcake-topper-tutorial-3
  4. Attach toothpick or lollipop stick and backer.  I used tape to secure the toothpick and a glue dot to attach a white backer (2 inch circle)  to the back so the tooth pick wasn’t visible.  You do not have to put a backer on but I had time and enough card stock to do it, so I did.cupcake-topper-tutorial-4 cupcake-topper-tutorial-5

If you were making a Favor Tag:

  1. Punch out circle.
  2. Punch a hole for ribbon or twine by using an old-fashion 1 hole-punch.
  3. Thread ribbon of twine through tag and attach it favor bag.

That’s all Folks!  Thanks for stopping by!