Sunday, August 23, 2009

Smile and Say Cheese

I was looking back at my tattered Baby Book. It is browned and worn. It looks much older than I am. I also have come to realize people did not use to take very many pictures. There are maybe 30 pictures total. There is no video of me, no 3-D ultra-sound. Now we are in the digital age and there is no excuse to not capture your child's memories. I printed up 700 pictures of Audrey at Costco her first 6 weeks of life. This girl is well documented. We bought a DVD camcorder 5 days before Audrey was born and have taken liberal video footage of Audrey's accomplishments. Here are a few details on capturing the memories:
  1. Invest in a digital camera and purchase a large memory card (remember to make sure your memory card fits your camera and your computer, they aren't always compatible).
  2. Get a video camera that works with your lifestyle. I know from past experience that is better for me to have something I don't have to edit or download to a computer, so we got a DVD camcorder with a memory stick. I simply take the DVD out and put in my DVD player. Audrey likes to watch herself on the telly. (We like Sony, the only one with true night vision)
  3. We get professional pictures at Target once a month. We get a coupon for a free 8x10 and $3.99 sheets after that (you get the coupon in each portrait package). The cheapest option for profresh pics. I have them framed with a chipboard number to represent what month she is. (I am only doing the once a month pics this first year, every 6 months after that)
  4. Keep your pics organized on your computer AND BACK THEM UP. Our hard drive crashed while I was prego and we lost ALL our digital pictures (two years worth). It is heartbreaking.
  5. Keep a secure baby blog. I use totspot because it is super secure and you have to personally invite people to join. It is much safer than facebook or myspace. It is also cool to record her milestones and upload video clips. Check it out. It is way cool.
So there you are. Go start making those memories.


Today's Mom

Friday, August 14, 2009

Myth Busters- Breastfeeding Edition

I feed her everywhere. It's great!

I have found as a mother who is nursing her infant, that people make a lot of excuses for why they do not breastfeed their babies. It's weird. I do not ask these moms to spill their private lives to me, but they still find the need to explain to me their reasons once they find out I exclusively breastfeed.
I think it is because the know that deep down breastfeeding is best for their baby, but for whatever reason they did not choose to breastfeed. I am okay with it I just don't want to be looked down upon for whipping the girls out to feed my baby. I enjoy breastfeeding Audrey. I will tell you, at the beginning, it hurt A LOT. I thought about giving up, but I have already told you about my breastfeeding rant in a previous post. I was doing some breastfeeding research and I came across a great website about the myths about breastfeeding. Check it out. Be informed, so you can make the right choice when it comes to feeding your baby. Myth Busters About Breastfeeding.


Today's Mom

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Closet Co-Sleeper

Before I had Audrey there was no way in the world I thought I would let my baby sleep with me in my bed. I am not a cuddler. I like my space. I read up and found out that the baby should sleep near you for the first couple of weeks, so we got a co-sleeper instead of a bassinet. It actually attaches to your bed. I thought it was the perfect solution to the baby in bed drama. And yes, there's a lot of debate over whether your baby should co-sleep with you. Well I came to find out that it wasn't enough for Audrey to be in arm's reach, oh no, she had to actually sleep in my arms. After the first couple of days of sneaking her into the co-sleeper after she fell asleep I gave up and just brought her in bed with us. I love sleeping with Audrey because...
  • I get more sleep because I do not have to get out of bed to feed her (she was sleeping through the night by week 2)
  • I can just touch her and know she is okay
  • I can cuddle her to sleep (not easy to do in a crib)
  • She feels safer knowing Mommy and Daddy are right there
I talk to my friends who have to get up so early with their babies and I don't dare tell them I get 10-12 hours of sleep a night because I don't want to brag or seem preachy, but this is my blog, so if you aren't getting enough sleep with your baby try co-sleeping out. If you need an article to show your spouse the benefit if co sleeping, have them read this. Tip: Have some extra areas in the house where you can have fun with the spouse!!!

Today's Mom

Monday, May 11, 2009

You think your poop don't stink...

Guess what? I forgot a very important pro in the breastfeeding blog. You will not have to smell a stinky diaper until they start on solid foods. It is almost sweet smelling. It is still poop, so it is going to be messy at times, but if that isn't a major pro for breastfeeding I don't know what is. Now that Audrey has started solids it is getting darker and stinkier, but not too bad. She is growing up and her digestive system in maturing. That means stinky poop.

I also wanted to let you know that I have not spent a single penny on diapers and my baby is 6 months old. Now that her poops happen less often because she is on solids I still have about 2 more months of diapers. How did I do this you ask? An awesome shower idea called a diaper raffle. Have your friends bring you any size and any brand if diapers (if you are too picky less people will participate). Give them a raffle ticket for a gift card or an assortment of prizes and presto you have a bunch of diapers. I still have about 2 more months of diapers, and all from the diaper raffles I had at both my showers. Thank you everyone. The diaper raffles have been an amazing money saver. I think I will have one at her first birthday party too.

We did have to exchange a few sizes out because she grows so darn fast, but Costco is really good about returns and the rest we exchanged with some other friends that had a diaper raffle. If you breastfeed, have an amazing family that spoils you, and have a diaper raffle you do not need to spend that much money on having a baby. Great job!!!


Today's Mom

Friday, May 8, 2009

Daddy and Me

Did you know people are prejudiced against stay-at-home Daddies? What is the deal with that? I think people are just jealous that I have such a supportive husband. I am a teacher in South Central Los Angeles. I love teaching in the inner city. I've heard gangster rap songs talking about the streets around the school that I work. I feel that I am making a difference where I work. I am making my mark and leaving a legacy. I love my job and I am not ready to leave at this time in my life. I asked my husband if he would mind staying at home with the baby while I continued my career. I get a full salary to work until 2:30 and get 3 months off a year. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to calculate the awesomeness. It was very important to me that my baby did not have to go to Day Care, so we made it work. I work and then my husband works from home when I get home. It works very well.

I was not aware of the prejudice until my husband started getting comments when he would go out with Audrey like, "Where is her Mommy?" My husband told me everyone would try to give their opinion on how important it was for Mommy to be with the baby. Strangers would question his ability to take care of her. One woman even said to him, "I would never let my husband hold my baby. I am afraid he would drop her."

I think that part of the prejudice has to do with women having a bitterness toward men. They have been hurt, so they do not think men are capable caretakers. I also think it has to do with ignorance. This is not the caveman times where the man has to go out and hunt so he can provide dinner. We should be embracing the flexibility we now have in our lives to do the things we dream and include our children in our dreams as well.

I know this, as a little girl, I always dreamed of meeting a man who would be my cheerleader and support my decisions. I also always wanted to have a child that knew her Daddy and was connected to him on an emotional level. I have gotten my wish. I have it all.

Audrey loves her Daddy so much. I love watching their connection. He is so good with her and always knows exactly what she wants. He is such a good care-taker and I am so proud of him. Audrey knows she is safe in his arms. He promised her when she was born he would always protect her. He has done more than this. He has given both Audrey and I the life we love and the life we deserve.

To the working moms out there: If you are happy and you want to go back to work, you can. We are proof of that. Make it work. I know if I told my husband I do not want to work anymore, he would let me stop in a heartbeat. Who knows? Maybe, someday I will stay at home, but wouldn't you rather have that option? I am happy I do.


Today's Mommy

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Floppy, Bumbo, Boppy, Snuggly

Things you can't live without as a new mother all have funny names. Can you have an amazing baby item without a funny name? Here is a run down.

A.K.A Baby Bjorn
You can't live without this item if you are ever going to do the dishes, get the mail, or go to the grocery store. This thing is a life saver. I like it better than other models because it has a removable burp cloth that sits on your chest, so your baby can spit up all she wants while you are being productive. I also like that it is made out of a softer cloth then the other models as well. Audrey tends to sleep better when she is nice and squishy. It is also very convenient to remove the burp cloth, put a blanket over the top, and voila, instant breastfeeding tent. Shopping at Target has never been easier.

The Bumbo is so fun. It is like a pre-booster seat. You can put your baby in the Bumbo and watch their eyes open up to the world of sitting upright. We can play a board game on the table and Audrey just loves sitting there playing with us. Your baby will love the Bumbo. Just make sure you always keep an eye on them while they are in the Bumbo. They can get out of it once they are independent sitters. Make sure you throw away the box. The babies on it are kind of scary looking.

The boppy is basically a crescent shaped breastfeeding pillow. This is important to use in the first couple months of your baby's life. It is funny, I did not really use it much to breastfeed, as it was intended. I used it more to give Audrey a reclining position to play in when she was a newborn, then when she was a little older Daddy used it for tummy time play. Again, it's not to leave your baby alone in while you get chores done, but for some real fun bonding time with your baby. If you use it for breastfeeding it is perfect to wrap around your side for the football hold. I really like the soft covers they have for it too. You can also use it to wear as a silly hat like Aunt Amy.

My most recent favorite. The Floppy is a padded cover you throw over a shopping cart seat or a high chair in a restaurant. One, it is super comfy for baby. Two, it is much more sanitary. Think of all the germy little hands that have touched those things. Three, instant playpen. You can attach toys to it and they do not fall to the ground and get all dirty. You kinda have to wait until they are independent sitters to use it, but Audrey loves it. Hello Olive Garden. You can get through an entire meal while your baby plays.

I will definitely make sure I add my other favorite baby items to the list. It has been fun playing with all of Audrey's gadgets and inventions. Remember silly name + baby item = AWESOME!!!


Today's Mom

Friday, May 1, 2009

Pros and Cons of Breastfeeding

Even Angelina breastfeeds!

I used to work at Disneyland and see mothers whip their breast out for all to see and I'd think to myself how inappropriate it was. I now wish I could be so bold. I have accidentally been so bold because my daughter does NOT like herself covered when she is eating. My mother in-law put it to me this way: "How would you like it if someone threw a blanket over your head and said, 'EAT?!'" I put together a little top 10 list of the pros and cons of breastfeeding.

CONS (always look at the negative first)
  1. Sense of modesty is thrown out the window
  2. Nursing pads (Could be a pro if you're small chested)
  3. Can't wear a dress (think about it)
  4. Pumping at work
  5. Leaking
  6. Feeling like you have udders
  7. It really hurts to start if your baby sucks like a barracuda
  8. Trying to cover yourself when you're in public
  9. Can't be away from your baby for too long (This may be more of a pro for me)
  10. Trying to eat when your baby wants to eat at the same time (breastfeeding makes you hungry all the time)
PROS (there are too many to list, but here are the top ten)
  1. Free milk, formula costs A LOT
  2. Easy to transport (no messy bottles or formula, breast milk is instantly at the perfect temperature for baby)
  3. Fun to find how many positions you can feed your baby in (9 so far)
  4. You lose weight (I am already below my pre-prego weight without even trying)
  5. Bonding with your baby (Nothing like being the only way to soothe your crying baby)
  6. Sense of pride (I have sustained a whole person's life for the past 6 months on just MY breast milk)
  7. Multi-tasking (I am typing this blog while Audrey nurses)
  8. I get extra breaks at work to pump
  9. Bigger breasts
  10. BREAST MILK is BEST!!!!! (Don't let those stupid Enfamil charts make you believe breast milk is only slightly better. Breast milk is a trillion times better for your baby. Do your research outside of the Enfamil pamphlets they give you in your free diaper bag from the hospital.)
Have a breastfeeding question? Ask me. My mother in-law is a lactation specialist and an amazing one at that, and I am a breast milk advocate. I became one after breastfeeding for 6 months. Actually, I became one after I did not have to bite down on a wash cloth to keep from screaming out in pain each time she latched. That was only the first 8 weeks.


Today's Mom

Thursday, April 30, 2009

New Mommy, but I am good if I do say so myself!!!

This time last year I was pretty nervous about becoming Audrey's Mommy. It's not that I was scared I couldn't do it, but honestly I thought it would be harder. The second Audrey Diana entered this world I knew I was a natural. She is so COOL!!! I also have to admit that my SUPER HUSBAND makes my job easy as well. He is so supportive and involved in everything. I don't know what I did to deserve these 2 awesome people.

So, I have learned a lot in these past 6 months about being a Mommy and I want to share my expertise on the subject, including the baby items I could NOT live without, the baby items I did not need, breastfeeding advice, baby memory ideas, etc. So, if you are a new mom or mom to be and you want to know some stuff from a super cool mom, read on.


Today's Mom