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Nov01 Guest Blogger: Kelly- Almost 6 months old 2013
It’s strange to think of life before this. The routine is so completely altered from its previous state.
I used to sleep soundly throughout the night until at least 8am if I didn’t set an alarm and now I feel like a champ if I get to sleep past 5:30am.
I used to wear a top for a whole day and if I didn’t do too much that day, might hang it back in the closet for a second wearing. These days if I make it more than 3 hours without being spit, drooled or pooped on, I see it as the stars aligning in my favor.
I used to think of myself as a highly efficient person who could pack just about anything into just about any increment of time if I willed it. Lately, I believe I deserve a medal if I manage to shower, get dressed and put on my makeup before 1pm.
It’s unfathomable until you’re living it to comprehend how much time a baby takes.
I work in increments of 3-5 minutes now.
And I group any task that can be grouped.
Meaning, if I’m carrying a glass to the kitchen, I’ll maximize that trip to its fullest potential.
Flip the switch to boil water, throw the laundry in the dryer, pull out the watering can to remind myself to water the plants later… pull the chicken out to thaw.
Because there’s no knowing when I’ll get that many seconds in a row in that particular part of the house.
I never thought I’d be so indebted to these objects, but they have given me my hands back.
If Selah could create the perfect day, it would be spending her waking state either strapped to me, facing out to see, taste and feel the whole world from 4 feet off the ground, or hanging from a doorway bouncing her little heart out.
That would be it. Pretty simple.
So how do we spend our days? Pretty much alternating between sleeping, eating, bouncing and strapped to mom’s chest.
Some days I wonder why we aren’t able to remember the bliss of babyhood because seriously… she’s living the good life right now.
I have a love/hate relationship with baby registries.
I love the thought of a roster of dreamy items you hand-pick for your special occasion.
I hate the work of researching every single object to figure out which is best.
And then… when it all comes down to it, you tell people where you registered and maybe 20 percent of them ever even look at it???
I can’t blame ‘em. Who wants to buy someone a humidifier when you have all those miniature clothes and tiny shoes tempting you from the racks?
Humidifiers lose 9 times out of 10.
Still, I did my research and sifted through the many options to declare my faves.
Because even if you don’t get these items at your shower, you WILL get gift cards, and then you’ll be thankful you already did the hard work of selecting among the 40 varieties of thermometers ahead of time instead of standing there in Target trying to make all these decisions.
Here are a just a few of my top picks after reading reviews, posting questions to friends on Facebook, talking with new moms and now, having the opportunity to try it out for myself.
1. City Mini GT stroller
2. Maxi Cosi Prezi car seat
3. SOFT BUMS cloth diapers
4. Summer Infant Swaddles
5. Fischer Price Snugabunny cradle swing
We live in a neighborhood where everyone walks & rides bikes around town, so we knew we needed something sidewalk-worthy. The City Mini GT stroller is by far the best decision we made when registering. It looks great, it’s compact, smooth to push, easy on bumps, ok for short jogs even though it’s not technically a ‘jogger’ and best of all, it LITERALLY folds in half with the pull of a strap. I cannot sing its’ praises highly enough. If you’re on the hunt for a stroller, do yourself a favor and at least check it out. [quick tip: be sure to select a car seat that is compatible with this stroller. It comes with a converter kit that allows you to attach any number of car seats but some of them work better than others. We chose the Maxi Cosi Prezi which attaches to the stroller by just clicking it into these little side clips. Other carriers require an additional strap which can be kinda cumbersome.]
No onto the subject of diapers… I had NO idea what to do when first starting to navigate the abyss of cloth diapering. I mean, the lingo alone is enough to send you over the edge when trying to figure out whether you want an AIO [All In One] for your DD [Darling Daughter]… Not kidding. It’s a little weird. To see what I mean, check out a glossary of terms. Needless to say, I was determined to save money and the planet by attempting to cloth diaper. Fortunately, there’s a great little shop nearby called Granola Babies and the kind woman didn’t even laugh at me when I asked her to explain the differences to me like I was a third grader. No offense to third graders…
Why I love Soft Bums? They’re easy to use and easy to clean. You snap in a cloth liner and put the diaper on almost the same way you would a disposable one. Plus, the outer shell has this elastic/toggle feature that grows with your baby so that you don’t have to purchase additional sizes. Brill [as in, Brilliant- not listed in the glossary of terms above].
What I wish I had registered for:
Summer swaddles. My child doesn’t go to sleep at night without them. I was certain I’d use those beautiful gauzy Aiden & Anais swaddle blankets… and I do! Just not for swaddling… They keep her snuggly in her swing, cover her carrier on bright days, and serve as backdrops for my daily photo shoots, but I just don’t swaddle her in them.
I will be eternally grateful to my friend Drea who gave me one at a shower. It’s basically a little snuggly sleeping bag with Velcro that keeps her arms tucked in.
Why it’s genius? Because you don’t have to flip a sleeping babe over to get it wrapped around her. That reason alone makes it worth it, but they’re also affordable and come in darling prints.
A swing. We chose the Fischer Price Snuggabunny. If you recall, I was going for minimal contraptions in the house so I just didn’t think a swing needed to take up space in my house. Our friends Aaron and Lauren were just a few months behind us on their pregnancy journey and let us try out their brand new swing [how nice are they?!?] to see how it worked on Selah. Let’s just say if it weren’t for this swing, I wouldn’t have been able to eat or shower until about 5pm when CJ got home each day. This swing gives me up to a couple of hours a day to do stuff around the house, plus it plugs in so you don’t need batteries.
Needless to say, we ended up with our own after we gave back their swing.
What I didn’t register for and am glad I didn’t?
A baby bath.
We just fill up our sink with water, lay the inflatable doughnut they gave me to sit on at the hospital and throw a towel over everything so she can sit in a warm little terry cloth pool and this seems to do the trick.
Bottom line, there are SO many incredible baby items out there and none of us need ALL of them. But all of us need SOME of them and figuring out which ones is a full-time job all by itself. If you’re in the midst of registering for your own baby on the way, Godspeed and save your gift receipts.
Well I thought I was excited about the party themes of a Cinco de Mayo birthday for our baby girl, but imagine how much MORE excited I was to discover she was born on the honorary Star Wars holiday?!?
Year one- Princess Selah [where she dons a white tunic & a little headband with buns over the ears]
Year two- R-TWO-D-TWO
Year three- C-THREE-P-O
Year four- May the FOUR be with you
I could go on and on…
OK we’re probably NOT gonna have Star Wars parties every year, but the fact is, we COULD because the options are so freakin’ awesome.
The whole thing happened so fast. My water broke around 3:30am and by 10:08am she was in my arms. My hope going into it was that I would have the ability to deliver her naturally and thanks to a pretty speedy labor, the incredible support of my husband CJ, and the wonderful coaching of our doula Karly, I had the thrill of actually feeling my muscles work together to push her right out of my body and into this world.
It was honestly magical.
Truthfully, more than magical, it felt holy.
I asked God for Selah’s arrival to be a sacred moment and it felt that way.
I hope I never forget how it felt to be SO focused on pushing with all my might with the cheers of everyone in the room telling me it was working…
And then to actually feel her leaving my body… IN. SANE.
Seven short weeks have already softened the memory of the pain, but I hope to hold onto as many thoughts and memories as humanly possible because it’s the most miraculous experience I have ever witnessed.
A little more about our doula. Going into all this, I didn’t know the difference between a doula and a midwife. After some research and a few interviews, I learned that the basic difference between the two is that a doula is more of a birth ‘coach’ where a midwife can take the place of an actual OB. Since it was our first child, I really wanted someone there to walk us through it. We found Karly of www.picklesandicecreamdoula.com and knew we’d met the right fit. Karly was kind, down-to-earth, well-informed, entirely respectful of our doctor and so practical in the way she walked us through what to expect. If you’re in the Los Angeles/Orange County, CA area and in search of a good one, you should definitely meet Karly. Chances are good you’ll love her to pieces!
It’s the most surreal experience I’ve ever known, waiting for a child to come and truly NOT knowing WHEN she will arrive.
I’m full of wonder.
What will her mouth look like?
Will I cry when I see her?
How long will my labor last?
What will it be like to have her fingers curl around mine?
I feel completely normal right now. Same as I did two weeks ago… or even two months ago for that matter. I go through my day multi-tasking between work, coffee with friends, popping in and out of the house on errands, and the only reminder that I am pregnant is occasionally getting stuck when I have to squeeze past someone and realize that turning sideways is actually WIDER than just walking straight through. [Note to self: If the shoulders and hips can’t fit through, turning sideways ain’t gonna make it better.] So really, other than the total lack of spatial perception when it comes to my belly, I feel the same.
But soon, I won’t just walk out the front door with my purse and keys. It will be a little mini circus, starring one new mama, arms full of baby, baby bag, possibly baby carrier and who knows what else in a grand procession to the car to load, fasten and secure all previously juggled items for something as basic as a trip to the store.
Yep, it’s ALL about to change and I can sense it.
I have this funny habit… any time I get a new bottle of shampoo, lotion or anything else that takes a long time to get through… I always wonder: what will my life be like when I finish this bottle?
What will happen in the duration of time between peeling off the plastic protection cover and the final upside-down-tap to squeeze out the last few drops?
I opened a new bottle of shampoo a few days ago.
It occurred to me that THIS bottle of shampoo will be in use when our baby girl is born. I will squeeze this bottle over and over again during the early months of sleep deprivation and figuring out all sorts of things about motherhood. This bottle will be with me through the most major transition I’ve ever known.
My due date is just 12 days away.
My little belly button has now inverted itself into what I call ‘the done button.’
She could be here any moment.
In the meantime, I continue checking little things off the list:
Prewash her newborn clothes, check.
Wash & ready her diapers, check.
Get a new washer because the other one JUST died for no reason… awesome. Check.
Install the car seat, check.
Pick out her outfit to wear home, half-check [still mulling this one over].
Apr11 Introducing Kelly 2013
She’s here!!! Our second blogger bestie Kelly is here to tell us stories and allow us some insight into her impeccable taste in everything! I wish I could describe her…she’s like a tiny salt shaker that you would like to take everywhere you go, to sprinkle flavor and inspiration on everything ordinary. You’ll love her too!
Photo by Michelle Kim Photography
I’m Kelly. 36, prego with my first.. and who knows, possibly only child. I’m married to a dear, dear man and my best friend CJ. We are over the moon about our baby girl arriving this May [more on that in a moment], and are thrilled to share the journey of the arrival of our daughter and what we learn raising a brand new human being.
Five miscellaneous but important[ish] details:
1. I am no expert on birth, mothering or any related products or services, but have become an avid researcher of all of the above… so perhaps some of the things I’ve discovered will be helpful [or at least amusing] to one or two of you reading this.
2. I definitely lean towards the natural end of the spectrum when it comes to all this baby stuff.. so I’m doing my best to keep life in our home simple, creative and home-made.. that said, we plan to deliver in a hospital vs. birthing tub and when it comes to the great debate of whether or not to accept things like an epidural, my answer is: ‘I want to do this as naturally as possible, but if I’ve been in labor for 25 hours and am at the end of my rope, I plan to exercise my right to change my mind. Shame free.’
3. I LOOOOVE well designed spaces and repurposing lovely old things… so stay tuned for future posts about what I’ve decided to do in the nursery.
4. We are due on the festive holiday of Cinco de Mayo. I cannot tell you how badly my husband and I hope our baby girl arrives on her actual due date… can you even imagine the endless party theme potential of a lifetime of Cinco de Mayo birthdays?
Plus, if we ever run out of time to plan, we can always just walk her to the park and point to all the piñatas and tell her…. THIS… is ALL for you!! Happy Birthday!!!
But seriously, WHAT are the odds of a baby actually being born on her due date?
I Googled it.
According to my ‘sources’ [which range from Yahoo Answers to various pregnancy resource websites, the number ranges from 2-5%
Hmm.. not the best odds, but a girl can dream, right?
5. It is my sincerest pleasure to be a contributing writer for Grey Likes Baby… First because it forces [ahem, allows] me to document some of the thoughts and feelings I know I’ll want to reflect upon later. Second, it gives me a chance to meet and interact with the greater community of marvelous mothers who have paved the path before me.
So much more to come.
Until next time…