Saturday, 29 September 2012

Getting ready for baby.

Here's my list of baby essentials for our little family. This includes the tried and true's and some new things we're giving a go this time around. I mostly wrote this little post for my benefit to reassure my anxious mind that we're really close to being ready! See, Tania? Now go to sleep.
Mila, 2 days old

  •  A few months ago I stocked up on new camisoles and nursing bras (my favorites are from Cake Lingerie and Hotmilk, and they usually pop up on zulily). I'm really not big on specific 'nursing' shirts. They're usually layered and therefore hot and often awkward. Instead, just lift up your pullover shirt, pull down your stretchy camisole, and you're done. Baby eats and if he/she pops off unexpectedly the shirt naturally falls back down. My midwife tried to explain the whole shirt/camisole concept to me before I had Mila but I never really *got* it until I actually started nursing. Now nothing makes more sense.
  •  I love and stand by my Medela Freestyle pump as one of the best ones out there, no complaints here. I also recommend renting a hospital-grade pump (like the Medela Symphony) if you're trying to increase output. Those things are workhorses! 
  • My Brest Friend nursing pillow. Stupid name. But it was a lifesaver when Wugs and I were both figuring out how to breastfeed and I'll likely haul it out for this baby--I'm so used to nursing a toddler at this point that I think I'll need the extra support My Brest Friend provides with a tiny person! We have 2 covers for them since they inevitably get pee/poop/vomit from time to time. 
  • Lansinoh nipple cream. A must! It'll be your saving grace. 
  • My 1.5 liter Sigg water bottle since the second you begin a nursing session you'll feel like you've been walking 28 miles in the desert with no water in sight. It happens every single time to me.

  • Blooming Bath. Before Mila was born Steve installed a huge sink in the house we were living in, mostly with the intent on making infant bathtime easier. And it did--great idea, husband. But that's not an option where we're living now so I'm trying out the Blooming Bath. We'll see if this stays on our list after we start using it. p.s. I jumped on this when I saw it on sale at zulily!
  • I would love to have the wherewithall and time to knit up some of these log cabin washcloths from The Purl Bee but for now it's on the backburner. Bought the yarn for it and am optimistic that I'll at least have time to make a couple (yet realistic that this may not happen as I still have unfinished knitting projects).
  • Mila's hooded towel is from Tess and Tallulah and I love it. Very soft and absorbent. We'll be getting one for this babe as well.

  • We'll use disposables until baby weighs enough to fit the BumGenius 4.0 One-Size that Mila uses. And since we'll probably still have two in diapers by then, we'll likely be buying more BG's. My favorite wipes are Mustela but we also use Huggies Natural Care and Seventh Generation.
  • I'll hopefully have enough time to sew up some flannel wipes one of these evenings. Cloth wipes from Lusa Organics that I've been using since Mila was a baby are still holding up beautifully, too. And there's always hemp washies from Happy Heinys.
  • I used to buy diaper wipe solution from Lusa Organics (I still use their booty balm on Mila every night before bed), but now I just make my own. Cheaper and fun to play around with different essential oils.
  • Speaking of booty balm, booty balm! I spread a little on Mila after bathtime to wick away moisture from nighttime pees. Maybe I'm just lucky, but she's never woken up because of pee irritation (she's woken up for a multitude of other reasons, yes, but never that).  
  • We just have a changing pad set up on top of our dresser. No changing table.
  • We finally bought a BumGenius diaper sprayer to attach to our toilet's piping and I still get a thrill using it. Sad that this is what excites me nowadays, but the toilet dunking and bucket soaking that explosive poo diapers entail...gets old.
  • Rockin' Green laundry detergent for the cloth dipes.
  • Two wet bags. Two. Because at some point while your diapers are washing and drying, baby will poop. Every time. They know. 
  • We had/have an ergo, Maya wrap, and Sakura Bloom ring slings with Mila, but I'd like to be braver this time and try woven wraps. I bought a Girasol woven wrap from Risaroo and cannot wait to get it...if it's half as beautiful as it looks online then I'm in for a treat. Marmee also made me a gorgeous ring sling from an ivory dupioni silk wrap I had bought for our wedding; I bought the aluminum rings here.
  • A birthing ball! It sounds weird but Mila was bounced to sleep while in my arms many, many times in the beginning when nothing else worked. Plus, they're awesome to use in pregnancy and labor as well.
  •  The Miracle Blanket. With Mila we used this to the point of a large hole developing in one of the seams so we bought a new one this time around. It's the only swaddle that truly worked and I swear by it. It is awesome.
  • Aden and Anais bamboo swaddlers: love love LOVE these. Not necessarily for swaddling (see above), but just as an all-purpose, softest-in-the-world blankie/cover/throw.  We don't need to buy new ones since ours from Mila are still in great condition, and that's after a ton of use. Plus I love the neutral patterns of ours (see a pic of just-home-from-the-hospital Mila swaddled in one here)--I'm not as crazy about the gender-specific boy/girl ones Aden and Anais makes.
  • A sound machine. We're on our 3rd one (we just use a plain Homedics one set to ocean waves, nothing strictly 'baby' about it) but jeez do we get panicky and jittery when they stop working. When we travel we've got ocean sounds downloaded onto our computer from itunes so we're never without.  
  • I've got it bad for Bloom's Alma mini crib but am holding off for now since we're only going to be living in our current place for a couple months into this little babe's new life. So in the beginning we're going to combination co-sleep with having him or her in the raised bassinet of our Chicco pack 'n play, next to our bed.
  • I'm knitting a special blanket for this baby, just as I did with Mila. Working fast and furiously to get it done in time! Pictures to follow, hopefully.
  • I've bought such a small amount of clothing so far...a couple sweet sleeper gowns and that's it (I love sleeper gowns at nighttime! I know some people hate on 'em but they worked great for me). When it comes to clothes I've been super relaxed this time. For one thing I know I'm all set if we do have another girl. I saved all of Mila's newborn/0-3 month clothes. And I also feel like your basic white onesie is all you need in those first few weeks. Why would you want to upstage that sweet, old-man wrinkly perfect face? Save the fashionista stuff for when they get all chubbed up, gummy and smiley...that's when dressing gets fun (and more fun still when they start walking!). 
  • For Mila I had a lil' stash of homemade knitted hats and still do. Hats that work for either or specific genders. Being that this baby is being born in northern California...I think we'll put them to good use. 
  • We just have to reinstall the Chicco KeyFit 30 carseat that we used with Mila until she was one, when she graduated to the Britax Boulevard. Done and done. Two carseats back there! Wow!
For Mama
  • New Mama Bottom Spray by Earth Mama Angel Baby.
  • This sounds random but trust me, you'll need dry shampoo as a new mama. I don't care for the powder ones, but really like this. Maybe you will be able to shower once a day, but will you have the time to spend on your hair? No. I've tried a few and this one is my favorite. 

      • I consigned the activity mat we had gotten for Mila and am looking for a new one. Are there any that aren't hideous? 
      •  Bouncy seat. I remember not getting one initially for Wugs and then a few weeks after having the baby a much wiser friend of mine dragged me out to a consignment store so I could try them out. I have to admit, it made things a lot easier. Mila was not such a fan of babywearing initially so to be able to set her down even if it was just for a quick pee was nice.
      • A couple small sheepskin rugs just make everything cozier and more comfy for baby--anywhere from the diapering area to throwing one on the floor for tummy time. Speaking of tummy time...
      • Before Mila was born we bought this stand-up mirror from IKEA and it proved to be an awesome way to get her to enjoy being on her belly. Of course, when she started pulling up to stand it became a little hazardous, so we put it away for a few months. 
      • I highly recommend the DVD The Happiest Baby on the Block (available on netflix). True, there's a book, but this sums it up much faster--plus if you watch with your husband you can both be on the same page with the 5 S's. I just added it to our queue as a little refresher course :)
      • I wasn't planning on getting more burp cloths since we barely used them with Mila (she spit up very little--we were lucky!), but then I spotted these lovelies tonight! May just have to stay up late making them one night.
      •  A glider. I'm currently stalking craigslist. I was dumb before Mila was born and refused to give into the glider because--wait for it--I didn't want the baby to rely on rocking to get to sleep. See? Dumb!! Now I know that one of the greatest joys in life is rocking your baby to sleep, and besides, if you're nursing they're inevitably going to fall asleep that way (which is, I found out, no bigs either as Mila just naturally outgrew that--and I missed it when she did!)
      • A topponcino. Do I get it? Not get it? Not necessary? Or could it be one of those things that ends up being a gift from God in its simple ingenuity? I'm still mulling it over.
      • A swing. This is another thing I held off buying for Wugs because damnit, they're ugly and take up a lot of space. But then in desperation one day when we just couldn't get our sweet nugget calm, I shooed Steve off to Target with orders to not come back without a swing. That one is in my parents' garage in Florida so it looks like we'll be buying yet another ugly swing. Ugly, but another saving grace. 
      • A new mobile. I have more mobiles than anyone would ever need (there's just so many beautiful ones out there (cough) etsy (cough), but I'm still planning on a homemade one for this baby.  Waiting on one more thing before it's officially done, then I'll share.

      ...and that about covers it, I think. No double stroller for us. Wugs hated her stroller until she was well past one so I'm not crossing that bridge just yet. We use the stroller so sporadically as it is, I figure we'll continue to put Mila in it and I'll just wear the baby for now. We'll figure it out. If anything, I know now that you don't have to have everything perfectly in place before the baby arrives. It's a wait and see thing as you figure out what does and doesn't work for your lifestyle. I think with Mila I panicked and thought that I would be a brainless pile of mush after having her and that I wouldn't have time/energy/brainpower to get what I needed. Now I know that in the beginning it actually can be pretty simple...if you let it. All that other stuff will come. Eventually. Or you'll have a really wonderful husband who can pick up where you leave off, like I do.


      Wednesday, 26 September 2012

      32 weeks.

      So this is what 32 weeks looks like on me this time around. Of course my sidekick had to get in on the fun, because if we were taking belly shots we mustn't forget that MIYA HAVE BABY IN BEYEE TOO! so she wasn't to be left out.  I was more than happy to oblige, belly shots are way more fun with a buddy.

      This pregnancy has been so different than with Mila. It started off the same and I just chalked up the exhaustion to running after a toddler, but now I have to admit it's been a different world altogether. The day after Mila's birthday I found out I had gestational diabetes and (warning: understatement ahead) things haven't been easy since what with changing the way I eat, snack, and plan our meals. I'm still trying to figure it all out, and energy levels have plummeted even more. I know many women have much more difficult pregnancies--bless you women!--and this too shall pass. Some days are better than others. And on baby's birthday you'll find me eating a huge slice of delicious cake as I'm nursing my new babe since sweets are pretty much taboo these days. Seriously! I already have a bakery lined up.

      Things are looking up, though. With Steve's patience and help we're lowering my numbers and so far it's all being managed with diet and exercise. Next Monday we'll complete our 5th and final HypnoBirthing class, then this morning we met with a new obstetrician in the practice who's enthusiastic and open to facilitating that kind of birth. All of the HypnoBirthing warrants a separate post but I'm very excited about it.

      And last weekend we rearranged our bedroom, set up a couple things like the pack 'n play (baby will be co-sleeping/sleeping in the pack 'n play bassinet for now) and changing pad atop the dresser, and decluttered. It's amazing how settled and prepared we feel just from that little bit of effort. So here's to working with what we've got and making the best of everything in this last trimester. We haven't forgotten that at the end of this road there's our perfect 4th family member waiting for us. Soon, little one! You're worth it.

      Monday, 24 September 2012

      Apple time!

      We went apple picking today (Sunday). When we emerged a couple hours later, with us was 12 pounds of Golden Delicious apples in our wagon, one jar of plum amaretto conserve, 6 jugs of apple pear juice, 1 exploding diaper, 6 dusty feet, and one delicate singsongy voice thanking the apple fairies for such a good day.

      She was so fun today, Steve commented on the drive home as Mila napped behind us. She's fun every day, and we both know that, but today just felt especially easy and magical. So thank you, Wugs!

      p.s. Last year's apple picking.

      Thursday, 20 September 2012

      Around here.

       Today tried my patience and grace. Most days I try...I really try, to plan fun things for Wugs and I to do together--for the highlight of my day comes when I'm settling her into bed and she sleepily sighs GOOD DAY. It melts me.

      But today I had to corral us into the car to meet someone at the BART who was supposedly buying one of the baby items that I've listed (purging ruthlessly...all part of my nesting). We waited for 40 minutes at that stupid station, depleting my snack supply of raisins, carrots, string cheese, and blueberries. I finally gave up with a huff, determined to turn things around with a trip to the library. But armed with our new stack of books about mummies, taking baths with dogs, and nighttime sounds the lady at the checkout desk said I owed $38.40 in overdue fines.

        I blinked at her in disbelief. "Are you sure?" Is that even possible? I thought library fines were supposed to be like a slap on the hand, a couple bucks here and there--not almost resembling the cost of a parking ticket (which I got last week, thank you very much city of Oakland for your sharp meter attention). And since they only take cash and I didn't have that on me, I had to clumsily explain to poor Wugs why we were walking out of that library empty-handed. Poor Wugs. Sad Mama. Fuming under her breath Mama, although it was no one's fault but mine.

      Then more disappointing news shortly after her nap began. Now I was too frustrated to sleep but too tired to have the energy to tackle anything productive. I had to turn the afternoon around. So I reached for my old, dear lover whom I've only seen sporadically since being pregnant. Coffee. 3 pm coffee is glorious, guys. And after the coffee, I did something even more irresponsible: whipped us up an after-naptime treat of pumpkin gingersnap parfaits.

      I don't know if it was the coffee whispering sweet nothings in my ear or the contagious excitement of Wugs as she beheld a cupful of cream that she could attack with a spoon. But I noticed things this afternoon. The beauty in the messes of having Mila's things strewn about, our little traditions I'm so proud to begin in our family like dinner candlelight, my daughter's perfect little baby feet. Artwork taped up on our walls, memories of recent moments when we've made something together that fill us both with pride. Mila pretends to be me--she says ARGH the way I do, she leaps at any opportunity to parade around in my shoes, and in an attempt to try and get her to like hairwashing I showed her how they do it at 'the spa.' I'm pretty sure that was Wugs' first time hearing the word spa but she's embraced the concept wholeheartedly. God bless her.

      I may not be able to fall asleep until 3 am tonight, but at least I know I didn't miss out on a day like today.

      Wednesday, 19 September 2012

      There's a new chef in town.

      I thought I'd post a few more felt food pictures. I think I stopped at carrots around Easter? And then my 1st trimester exhaustion kicked in and I lost my felt food-making mojo. Most evenings were spent trying to will my body to move off the couch.  I did eventually get back to making a few more foodstuffs here and there, and even bought a few etsy items. 'Cause just because you can make it yourself doesn't mean you have to, you know? Sometimes it's nice taking the easier path what with there being only 24 hours in the day. Save the handmade for the really special stuff.

      Chocolate chip cookies: I followed this tute--so many more great cookie ideas there! I'd love to make some peanut butter cookies, too, with their classic fork criss-cross that I remember my mom doing.
       The avocado--complete with pit--is from The Felted Pear. One of the best etsy shops I've found for felt food.

      Eggs over easy: I just winged it based on a photograph of a felted one. Only the yolk is lightly stuffed.
       Those adorable strawberries are from LittleFruits. SO well made. Sure I could've made my own strawberries, but they wouldn't have turned out this cute. Not in a million years.
       Bees Felt Market made this perfectly perfect watermelon slice.

      A slice of pizza! Why yes. I followed this tutorial. Love how it turned out.

      And how could I leave out the pasta for my little carb nazi? The farfalle pasta tutorial was found here on One Inch World. The adorable enamel pot is from Nova Natural.

      The apple slices are from a pattern I had purchased at Gulf Coast Cottage. Marmousch had found these adorable mini colanders just right for Mila's kitchen.

      And last but not least--and not felted but still awesome...wooden eggs in wonderful hues, from Apple n Amos
      So between those goodies and the orange wedges, popsicles, donuts, carrots, pears, cupcake, and banana--Wugs is a busy little chef. I'm loving her creations; pasta-sprinkled donuts, anyone?

      We also use her play kitchen for handwashing. Mila pours the water from her pitcher into the removable sink and we try to get her to rub her hands together for two Happy Birthday songs. Usually in vain. She is absolutely gifted, however, in thoroughly washing her babies and all the felt food in that sink.

      One more sweet detail about this new little playspace of Mila's...every kitchen needs a window, right? Here is hers. A glorious view of her beloved Mama Sealy and Baby Stormy with the Kauai mountains in the background, framed within two pillowcase curtains.
       And lastly, the kitchen itself! It was a wonderful birthday gift from my parents to Wugs, from Nova Natural (Julianna's Kitchen). 

      Monday, 17 September 2012


       The first official day of autumn is this Saturday...fall! We've been having this light-cardigan type weather the last week or so and I have to say I love it. Pregnancy is so much more bearable in cooler weather and I'm grateful that I get to spend my last trimester in it. It's a small grace.

      We're also trying to really soak it all in before it becomes baby time around here, and this may be the last true fall we get to experience since we may have moved by next year. So we're tackling our fall bucket list, I actually ran real leaves through my sewing machine, and together Steve and Mila made pumpkin waffles this morning. And when Wugs left leaves she had collected in her wagon overnight, the next morning she found them all dangling from the ceiling. Courtesy of the fall fairies to bring the outside in.

      Sunday, 16 September 2012

      Lil' Kickers

      Mila is still loving her "soccer" so she's starting up again this fall. In the last class of the summer session she graduated to being a Thumper :)

      My baby.