Three Months of Chaos

Our little Mush Mush turned three months old last week. It’s hard for me to fathom she’s only been here for a little more than 12 weeks. It feels like she’s been a part of our lives forever and it’s hard to remember what life was like before her.

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Well. That’s a small white lie. Sometimes I daydream of the days when I could sleep in, pee whenever I felt the urge, or drink however many glasses of wine I wanted without worrying about contaminating The Boob Milk.

The fleeting memories of the “easy days” all but vanish once Rose sees me walk into a room and her face lights up like the Rockefeller Christmas Tree.

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Her colic seems to be improving; we are having more good days than bad. On the particularly bad nights I try to remember how much worse it was a few weeks ago, and I tell myself that it’s only going to get better. Maybe not next week or next month, but it will get easier. And if it doesn’t then we’ll most definitely all die a horribly slow and painful death by way of baby high-pitched vocals. Has anyone ever died via baby screams? It seems plausible. A WMD, if you will.

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Her personality is beginning to surface, which is SO MUCH FUN, and I can already see traits from both of us forming.

Traits from Papa: Farting abilities, steadfast determination, superhero strength, and adorableness.

Traits from Mama: Always thinking about food, feline curiosity, and the inability to properly belch.

She is quite the sponge and always seems to be absorbing her surroundings. The way she studies particular objects captures my heart and makes me want to give her anything she wants. I hope she never loses that sense of discovery.

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Obviously everyone thinks their baby is the brightest, most perfect specimen on the planet, and we’re no different. We think she’s pretty much the smartest baby who has ever lived. Past and present. No, not baby. PERSON. THE SMARTEST PERSON ORGANISM  IN THE WORLD UNIVERSE. She’ll probably cure cancer in a few years. Weeks, even.

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I got to celebrate my first Mother’s Day this weekend and WHOA. It was kind of incredible. We didn’t do anything special — we went for a nice, long walk at the park despite the chilly weather, picked up Jimmy John’s for a tasty and simple lunch, and then we spent the day just lounging around, reading magazines, and doing nothing in particular.

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Just the feeling of getting to celebrate this new holiday was pretty intense — I think it really hit me this weekend: I’M A MOM. Newsflash. I know. Somehow between the poopy diapers, the tears, and the sleepless nights I forgot that I don’t just have a baby… I have a daughter. I have a little girl who is growing before my eyes. I can see her becoming this beautiful and incredible person and it blows my mind that we MADE her.

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Man. I love the shit out of this little girl.

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Who am I kidding? I love the shit out of them both.

Gratuitous Dog & Baby Photos

They’re all over the internet and we all know it doesn’t get much cuter than a dog and a baby. Especially when it’s your dog and your baby. Do you guys realize that this is like an explosion of happiness for me?

AN EXPLOSION. Of all things happy.

I’ll just go ahead and smear the gooey remains from said explosion all over this post. You’re welcome.

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Rose is starting to become more aware of Olive and it makes me want to squeal with delight. Steve never tires of holding Rose so she’s riding Olive like a horse, throwing the ball past Rose’s face so Olive chases it, or simply letting Rose get a fistful of doggy hair.

This girl is destined to be an animal lover like her mama.

Hi Ho Hi Ho

It’s off to work I go. And if you’re saying hello back then you just let me call you a ho.

Yes, I returned to work last week. And I know you’re probably waiting for me to say it was terrible, and I cried for hours, and I couldn’t tear myself away from Rose. 

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Well. I could say that but I would by lying.

Before you go thinking I’m a terrible mother, I had a few good reasons why my first week back was actually pretty awesome.

1. My mom came to stay the week with Rose. It was awesome. Leaving her in the morning was made easy because GIGI WAS HERE. Rose was happy which means I was happy. Easy as that. No tears even! Admittedly, I had to leave swiftly Monday morning before the waterworks started, but I nipped them in the bud and it actually felt fantastic to get out of the house.

2. Before returning to work I was able to get a part-time schedule worked out with my manager and the owners of the business. To say that I feel lucky is the understatement of the year. To be so supported by my coworkers and managers made me even more excited to get back. They’re like a second family to me. ❤

3. I was welcomed back by a kajillion hidden Tobias Fünkes and Wendy’s Chicken Nuggets… two things I love. It’s like an easter egg hunt at my desk. They’re hidden in every nook and cranny and every few hours I seem to find another one.

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A side note about the lamp shade Tobias: he’s only visible when the lamp is on. TOTAL BONUS. 

4. So many of my friends sent me encouraging emails, texts, and facebook messages, wishing me good luck on my first day back. Some of them moms themselves (which, total props to you for even knowing what day of the week it is) and some non-moms who are just caring enough to know what a big deal it is for a new mother to return to work.

I’ve heard the saying “If you put good out into the world you will have the good returned.” I’m not sure if I deserve all of the incredible people in my life, but it sure does feel pretty damn amazing. My heart is full of love and I’m so grateful for every single one of you.

My life is starting to feel a bit more normal now. I know. Who would’ve thunk it? Returning to work actually makes me feel MORE sane. The 22-year-old me doesn’t even know the 31-year-old me. Young Mo, meet oldish-mother-Mo. Happy to return to work and grateful to clean poop and wipe dribbled milk a few days a week, too.

Young Mo just rolled her eyes and took a shot of something that could spontaneously combust.

I may have a different perspective on things this coming week; I will dropping Rose off at daycare for the first time. My eyes well with mini tears just typing that. I’ll let you know how it goes.

For All The Moms-to-be: Part Two

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After a friend of mine mentioned in the comments yesterday that it’s worth mentioning the products you DON’T need, I figured I’d throw together another list. Just call me Listy McListerson. I do love my lists. You should know this by now.

DISCLAIMER: I’m not trying to hurt feelings. If you have money up the wazoo, then by all means, buy whatever you need to make life easier — I don’t blame you! This list is for those of you trying to go easy on your wallet during the whole getting-ready-for-baby process.  

Ahem.

With that said, these are the baby products I’m glad I didn’t waste our precious resources on:

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Rose never even flinched when I used a room-temperature wipe. If your baby is a little more Princess and the Pea you can hold the wipe between your hands for a few seconds to warm it up.

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If you’re planning on having your baby in the room with you for the first few months you’ll need to put him somewhere (unless your co-sleeping, in which case ignore this one). We already had a Chicco Playard, which comes with a built-in bassinet.

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You see that white, hanging, flat surface? That’s the bassinet. It’s high so your baby is easily accessible, and it’s probably something you’re already planning on getting. (And like I mentioned yesterday, sometimes Rose even sleeps in her Rock N Play.)

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I heard all these horror stories about babies who scratch their faces and get permanent scars and who are probably damaged for life. Who knows. Maybe it happens. But it didn’t happen to Rose. As long as I keep her nails trimmed down she stays scratch free. Every once in awhile she’ll get a small dot of a scratch and it literally heals in a few hours. They’re resilient, those babies.

Though, I’m sure the wine I drink has miraculous healing powers. I hear $5 a bottle wine does that.

No hate mail, please. 

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It’s so temping. I hear you. I mean, I was obsessed with this sweater my parents got us.

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It’s just not practical. Until babies are sitting up on their own they can’t really pull off any fashionable clothing. In fact, they’re probably just really uncomfortable and cursing you silently in their own little baby language. And you thought she was cooing.

And while we’re on the subject — you don’t need NEW clothes. Once Upon a Child and Goodwill have some really cute treasures! People told me how quickly they grow out of their clothes and I didn’t listen. CLEAN OUT YOUR EARS. You know that adorable dress you bought for $35? Well, she’s going to wear it once. Congratulations.

I have so many clothes for Rose and we had her in a rotation of the only four onesies that fit her. (She’s really tiny!) That’s the other thing, you have no idea what’s going to fit.

Also? AVOID BUTTONS LIKE THE PLAGUE. Snaps are fine, zippers are better, but FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING HOLY. Don’t go buying anything with buttons.

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“You don’t need it.” — straight from the words of our pediatrician. It’s expensive and according to Steve it smells like urinal cakes. It’s a total load of BS, which I totally bought into. I’m willing to admit it. NEVER AGAIN.

You’re totally fine using gentle detergent without dyes and fragrances and all that jazz. Which you really shouldn’t use anyway because it’s offense to some people (some people being me). And while we’re ranting, please discontinue the use of perfume for the improvement of the global population.

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You do NOT need $200 crib sheets. There are people out there who buy them and I wish I were lying. It’s a crime against humanity. We found $12 sheets at BuyBuyBaby (made with organic cotton if you’re into that sorta thing) and they’re as soft as a… well. A baby’s bottom.

Literally all you need is two sets of soft sheets. Maaaybe a waterproof crib cover if you’re feeling fancy.

I mean, if $200 crib sheets changed diapers and cleaned spit-up I’d be all for them.

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Last time I checked babies couldn’t walk. Socks are more comfy anyway.

That’s really all I have to say about that.

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This one is probably debatable. I’ve heard some people use them and they love them — so if you’re one of those people, more power to ya. We don’t have one, so I can’t really say how awesome they are.

What I can say, is I heat up water in glass measuring cup for about a minute thirty. Then I dunk the bottle in the hot water for about 2 minutes. Easy as that.

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Rose isn’t particularly particular about the temperature of her milk — thank the milk gods. As long as the chill is taken off she seems happy.

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The last thing we need in this world is a bunch of changing tables floating around in the ocean. I highly recommend getting a dresser you love, that your baby can use as he gets older. Just throw a changing pad topper on that bad boy.

Once he outgrows the changing topper he can rock that dresser in his big boy room.

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(We did end up putting a non-slip rug pad under the changing topper. It slid around like crazy and totally freaked me out. The non-slip pad works like a charm.)

(Also? Drawer dividers are my most favorite inventions. Totally worth the money in my opinion. I got those at The Container Store, but Target also has them.)

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When I was pregnant I wanted to own all my own stuff. There’s that nurturing, nesting feeling coming from your stupid brain, telling you that you need to go and buy all the things.

You don’t.

The Moby Wrap I “have” is just borrowed from a friend. When she ends up having a second a baby it’ll go back to her, along with a few things that Rose has outgrown that she can repurpose. And then when (If? No, when. Ok, maybe.) we have a second baby, those products will find their way back to us.

Babies grow so fast, so if you can get a group of your closest friends together to share big ticket items, you’ll save tons of money.

Did I miss anything? Are you cursing my name because you love your wipe warmer? Do tell.

Check out my 10 newborn must-haves! 

For All The Moms-to-be

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I realize I’ve been a mom for about ohhhh 2 seconds, but I remember when I was expecting I scoured the internet for lists like this one — there really can’t be too many perspectives. I do believe there are quite a few expectant mothers who read this blog, so if you value your sanity I recommend taking notes.

** Disclaimer: NO ONE HAS PAID ME TO PROMOTE THEIR PRODUCTS. I’m simply sharing what has worked for us, and I sincerely hope they help you. I love the following products so much I want to marry them. But then we’re going to have to write up a whole new bill to present to congress and things could get messy. So, I’ll just tell you what they are. **

Without further ado, the 10 products that I would die without:

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Exhibit A:

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This is just a pacifier attached to a stuffed animal. It’s so simple and they come in tons of different animals. The attached animal gives your baby something to grab onto, and also prevents the pacifier from falling out of reach (most of the time). Rose can usually get it back in her mouth after falling out, and that’s priceless  Seriously. Don’t tell these guys I would’ve paid a fortune for one of these.

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You can see one sitting on top of our changing pad:

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Ours are made by Boppy and come in a pack of three. They prevent you from ever having to take off the changing pad cover to wash it. Trust me. You’re going to get poop everywhere. These things are laundry lifesavers and life simplifiers. You just throw this little liner in the wash and toss a new one on your changing pad. I feel this is worth repeating: you WILL get poop everywhere. In belly buttons. Under fingernails. On the moon, probably. It just happens, ok?

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One of my mom friends recommended we use cloth diapers for burp cloths. She gets 5 gold stars. Or however many is the most. She gets THE MOST GOLD STARS.

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They are simple, super absorbant, and easy to wash. I bought two packs of these; having ten in circulation seems to work perfectly with our laundry schedule and we are never without one. I also recommend keeping one in every room that you frequent. That way you’re not carrying one around with you everywhere.

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In the first few weeks of Rose’s life she wanted to be held constantly. It was all I could do to keep her calm, but it really tired me out. I started using the Moby Wrap and never looked back.

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We could go on walks, I could do the dishes, eat lunch, surf the net (does anyone call it that anymore? No?) and basically regain my sanity. The Moby Wrap was a lifesaver.

We also have the Ergo baby carrier for when she gets a bit older, and I can’t wait to use it. I’ve heard nothing but wonderful reviews. I’ll report back when we break it out.

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We use two things religiously:

1. An app on our iPhones and iPad specifically for white noise (there are tons of ’em out there. We found a few good free ones). These are great when we’re in a pinch or on the road.

2. The Tranquil Turtle. We LOVE this guy. He sleeps in our room every night, and after every nighttime feeding session he lulls Rose to back sleep.

Your new best friend.

Do you think they purposefully made him look high as a kite? Maybe he doubles as a way to introduce our kids to the perils of drug use. Don’t smoke pot, kids. You’ll turn blue and a soothing glow will softly emanate from your back.

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This should probably have been #1. We would go nuts without this thing. It’s basically just a portable nap-time hammock. It’s super portable and travels extremely well. Rose takes most of her naps here, and she actually sleeps in it some nights when we don’t want to make the switch to her crib. That switch is a complicated dance.

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Not only does she love it – we love it. You just rock it with a hand or foot, or even with whatever sort of rat nest your hair has become because you can’t ever manage to “do” it. It starts to grow extremities. Don’t worry about it, they come in handy.

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Winter babies need to be snug as a bug but because you’re TERRIFIED OF SIDS you don’t want to wrap them in a blanket. Blankets come undone and then it’s like eating a Chipotle burrito that comes unwrapped and you don’t even want it anymore. The whole point is that I don’t need to use utensils, ok? 

All of your non-mom friends think you have your baby wrapped up in some sort of straight jacket. And that’s ok. It just makes you look tough.

Just buy one, ok? You’ll thank me when your baby is screaming and you don’t have to simultaneously remember how to magically turn a blanket into a swaddle. I suggest having at least three in rotation. Is my daughter the only one who gets spit up on everything?

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There are a million to choose from. But just please, for the love of god-or-whatever-you-believe-in just get yourself one of these. This is the one we have, and I love it.

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It doesn’t really matter which one you get it. Whatever floats your boat. OR YOUR NIPPLES HAHA GET IT? I swear, there are nipples everywhere. And while we’re talking about nipples… just kidding. I can’t do it.

Nipples.

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First of all, baby leg warmers are the cuttest. Doy. And if that’s not reason enough then clearly you don’t know me that well.

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But secondly, they do serve an absolutely wonderful purpose. Do you realize how many diapers you’re going to have to change? Leg warmers are one million times easier than pants because YOU DON’T HAVE TO TAKE THEM OFF TO CHANGE A DIAPER.

I’m going to pause for a moment to let that sink in.

You guys. Do you realize how money that is? I sorta felt like I had conquered the world when I ordered my first pair. Pants are for the birds. Well, not actually, but you know what I mean. But actually, if I saw a bird in a pair of nicely pressed chinos it would really make my day.

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If anything on this list is going to buy you sanity, it’s a breast pump (if you’re planning on breast feeding – no judgement). GET ONE. IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT KIND. If you can afford the créme de la créme $400 version, great. If you can only afford the $100 version, fine. Just get one. It’s totally worth every. single. damn. penny.

Do you know what it buys you? SLEEP. Your husband, or partner, or mom, or dad, or hell, even the mailman can give your baby a bottle while you catch some much needed Zzzzzzs. I’m tempted to teach Olive how to wield a bottle.

So, in conclusion. Acquire these items if you’d like to salvage the remaining sanity that childbirth has left you.

Any other great items that you can recommend for a new mom? Link in the comments! It takes a village, people.

Check out my 10 baby products you don’t need! 

MushMush

That’s the nickname my dad has lovingly given Rose. We do a little thing called The MushMush Pic of The Day — which is just me sending them a smattering of Rose pictures. I get to take pictures, they get to see Rose; it’s a win-win.

He just texted me, “We need an MMPOTD!”

Because I couldn’t decide on just one, I’ll just go ahead and share them all here:

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1. Giraffe feet are pretty cute. (Thanks Erin!!)
2. She loves her mobile.
3. Almost strong enough for the Bumbo.
4. Every new experience calls for big smiles.
5. Giraffes everywhere!
6. She loves her pacifier. It’s quite the security blanket.
7. The Bear Suit kills me. Those ears!

Although her colic still rages most days, we still manage to get quite a few smiles out of her. She’s holding her head up and bobbling less and less, and it’s hard to believe how much she’s grown in two short months.

I’m going back to work in a week. My world is very quickly going to stop 100% revolving around Rose (who am I kidding… we all know that’s a lie) and hopefully for you that means I’ll return to house-related shenanigans. There are so many spring-related items that I’m dying to get started on! 

Once the weather turns to warmth once and for all we’ll be working on our landscaping. Pair that with some back deck upgrades and we’ll hopefully have some nice little blog posts to share.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful week! Enjoy the MMPOTDs. 🙂

Glorious Weather

Being at home on maternity leave during the winter is a mixed bag. It’s partly awesome because, well, I get to be at home. It’s also partly soul-crushing because it’s winter and I’m trapped in my house. For someone who’s claustrophobic, winter + maternity leave = OH MY GOD GET ME OUT OF HERE.

The last few days have been hovering around the 70° mark and it makes me feel like my heart is going to explode out of my chest with happiness.

I’ve been wearing Rose in the Moby Wrap for walks to keep her warm, but it’s finally warm enough out (and she’s finally big enough) to be strapped into her stroller.

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If I’m not too traumatized by this whole baby experience to actually have a second child, we need to try and time the baby-making for a spring birth. This whole baby-in-the-winter thing is for the birds.

Sunshine! And blooms! And warm weather! Things are looking up.