Monday, September 28, 2009

Product Review - Ultimate Receiving Blanket

For this month’s product review, I got to try out the Ultimate Receiving Blanket. I love this blanket! Now, we have a lot of blankets in our house. I didn’t really think that the Ultimate Receiving Blanket would be all that different. But I also didn’t realize how much Kasia would love to be swaddled. As it turns out, the girl likes her swaddle and the Ultimate Receiving Blanket is the perfect blanket for swaddling her. I’ve used the blanket at least one time a day when Kasia has needed some help calming down and am pleased to report that it’s worked each and every time. In fact, I’m watching her happily sleeping all swaddled up in her Ultimate Receiving Blanket as I type this review.

The best thing about this blanket is that it is BIG. It’s really hard to get a good swaddle with a blanket
that’s too small, and the Ultimate Receiving Blanket is the perfect size to get a newborn into a perfect swaddle. I also love the soft, light-weight fabric that made it easy to swaddle Kasia in the summer time without worrying that she was too hot (although I did still strip her down to her diaper at times in preparation for swaddling because she got snuggly warm when all swaddled up). Another fun little detail about the blanket is that the instructions for swaddling are sewn right into the blanket; I used these illustrations the first few times to help me remember the steps. Given that Kasia was crying each time I tried to swaddle her, it was a huge bonus to not have to search in a book for help.

Bottom Line: I think the Ultimate Receiving Blanket is a great buy for your own newborn or as a gift for anyone expecting a baby. It’s not too expensive, it’s pretty, and it’s very practical. Swaddle away!

Find all styles of the Ultimate Receiving Blanket at Baby Bella:

Click here for helpful hints and instructions on swaddling:

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Giveaway - Baby Au Lait Bib

I’ve been thinking a lot about sleep lately. How much I’m getting, how much I’m not getting, and when I’m going to get more. So this month’s giveaway is all about sleep. To enter, simply comment on this post and tell me how old your little one was when he or she first slept through the night. Or, share a bit of advice about kids and sleep. I’ll randomly select one of the comments to win a very cool Bebe Au Lait Bib.

The Bebe Au Lait Bib is machine washable, reversible, and big enough to really protect baby’s clothes and skin. Rather than closing with itchy Velcro or cumbersome ties, it secures with two double-sided magnets. And, due to its innovative reversible design, you’ll be able to use it multiple times even if you haven’t had a chance to wash it.

When you comment, make sure you include your first name and e-mail address so we can let you know you’ve won. You also might also want to add your e-mail to the mailing list for this blog so that you know when we have our next contest! The deadline for this contest is October 10th, 2009. Good luck and happy sleeping. :)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

State of the Household

It’s been almost 4 weeks since baby day, which means it’s time for a state of the household summary. Here’s the status of us.

The baby: Sleeps well, eats well and poops well. Can’t ask for much more in a 4 week old. The most exciting part of her first month occurred when her umbilical cord stump finally fell off (hooray!). Which led to her first real bath (yay!). Which led to me washing her hair for the first time (awww…). Which somehow led to a section of hair on the back of her head that now stands up perfectly straight no matter what I do (oh my). It’s been almost a week and it is still standing up. If anyone knows any tricks for getting it to lay nicely on top of her head, please let me know.

The body: I have ankles! I have calves! I can wear real jeans again! (Okay, so I had to buy some new jeans in a size a bit larger than my pre-baby jeans. I’m just grateful that there is no elastic or stretchy fabric involved.) The 27 pounds of water weight I’ve shed over the past few weeks has made me one happy chica. This does not, however, mean that I’ve made a full return to my pre-baby body…*sigh*. I suppose I’m actually going to have to do some walking or sit-ups or something. Tomorrow.

The emotions: I still spend a lot of time alternating between experiencing the profound and indescribable joy of being a mama to a newborn (ah, the newborn smell… all I have to do is pick her up and smell her and the whole world is right again) and fighting nostalgia for the last summer we had as a family of three. Overall, though, my emotions are strangely stable. Sure, I threw a really good tantrum when my husband brought me a Spicy Italian sandwich from Subway that was toasted, but seriously-- it had mayo on it! Who toasts a sandwich with mayo on it?!? And how can my husband *not* know that I don’t like my Spicy Italian toasted? Cleary this was his way of telling me that he didn’t love me anymore. Besides, that was days ago.

The 4 year old: Is doing such a good job as a big brother. Strangely enough, he actually had a much harder time when I was pregnant. I think all of the pregnancy restrictions bothered him (no more tackling mommy) and I have a feeling that he spent a lot of time being worried about me and the baby and how she was going to get out of me. Now that she’s here, he dotes on her. He even managed to get her to go to sleep yesterday. I’m still not sure how he worked his magic. One minute she was crying frantically in her bouncy seat while I was trying to get the kitchen to some semblance of clean (see “the house” below) and the next minute he had patted her head and covered her up with a blanket and she was fast asleep. The immediate and absolute connection between the two of them is further proof that love does not find its origins in shared genes.

The house: Is a mess. Such a mess. Sometimes I just close my eyes and pretend that it is clean and organized again. I get up the energy to clean one room or undo one pile, only to turn around and find it a mess again. I couldn’t figure out why it was so hard to keep up with the house, especially now that I am home full time rather than working part time. Then I added up the hours I spend nursing each day… 10 feedings a day at 45 minutes per feeding = 7.5 hours just spent nursing. And since I nurse every day, I’m clocking way more hours nursing than I did working. So now I don’t feel as guilty about a dirty house. Annoyed, but not guilty.

The bottom line: Despite hormones and chaos, stubborn pounds and dirty rooms, it is obvious to me that I am a very lucky mama. I don’t know what I did to deserve the love that I experience each day… but I’ll take it. :)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Top Ten Surprises about Bringing Home a Newborn

Top 10 Surprises about Bringing Home a Newborn

1. The extra pounds you’ve gained won’t magically disappear with the birth of your newest little joy. Logically, of course, this makes sense. But there will be a part of you that secretly hopes that the removal of a 7 pound baby from your body will somehow equate to a 40 pound weight loss. That part of you will be wrong. Very wrong.

2. The pounds will start melting away within the next few weeks. The joy you will find in stepping on the scale each morning will be moderated only by the nuisance of having had to change your clothes three times in the middle of the night after finding yourself drenched in the sweat that results from the massive amounts of fluids exiting your body.

3. After spending nine months cursing pregnancy-related weight gain, nausea, insomnia, aches and pains, and immobility, you will find your post-pregnancy self suddenly missing being pregnant.

4. All of the worrying you did during pregnancy will not evaporate when baby arrives. Instead, the pregnancy worries will transform into baby worries about how much baby has eaten (probably enough) , when she last pooped (not that long ago), and if a little bit of bleeding around the umbilical cord is normal (it is).

5. The house that you so meticulously cleaned and organized prior to baby’s arrival will become disheveled approximately 3.5 minutes after you walk in the door with your arrival. It will never be clean again.

6. You will find yourself in tears over the latest episode of Wife Swap. You will be grateful that you have the excuses of fluctuating hormones and lack of sleep to blame for this.

7. No matter how intellectual, poised, or driven you were prior to baby’s arrival, there will be a point in time when you find yourself dressed in sweats with unshaven legs trapping a dear friend in a conversation about the color of your child’s last poop. Although you will recognize this as it is happening, you will be powerless to stop it.

8. You will be startled to find that girls can shoot their pee just as far across a room as boys can.

9. Between leaky boobs, leaky diapers, and leaky baby mouths, you will spend a lot of time being wet. You will miss being dry but will be too tired to care enough to change your outfit, especially given that it will only be a matter of minutes before you are wet again.

10. It will all be worth it.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

New Kid On The Block

Hello :)
I’m Becca, new mom of two. Our first child, James, arrived in our lives four and a half years ago via adoption; our newest edition, Kasia, emerged from my body via c-section a mere week and a half ago. While much of parenting is old hat to me, there are parts of this experience that are brand new: nursing, the whole post-partum recovery thing, and finding a way to balance the needs of a newborn with those of a 4 year old who has had me all to himself for most of his life.

Right now, I’m hanging out in this weird twilight period where everything seems soft and shiny but nothing seems quite normal. The love I have for this tiny little girl is beyond words. And yet as much as I am enjoying being a family of four, I also already miss so many of the moments we had as a family of three. I am beyond grateful that Baby Kasia is here safe and sound, but there are times when I miss the closeness of having her little body nestled safely inside of mine. The thing about a new child arriving is that it’s just so sudden. One moment I was big and round and rapidly alternating between trying to soak up the last few moments I had as a mama to one and desperately wishing that time would move more quickly so that I could meet my baby girl. The next moment, I was in the hospital welcoming her into my arms. We’ve spent the last week and half trying to wrap our minds around the idea of being a family of four and working our way into a new normal.

When my sister Kate, owner of Baby Bella, asked me to write a mommy blog, I was hesitant at first. I wasn’t sure I had all that much to offer to a blog. I’m still not sure. But I’m up for the challenge and excited to share the details of our lives, as well as provide product reviews for Baby Bella (honest ones—if I don’t like the product, I promise I’ll say so!) and contests for give-aways (who doesn’t like free stuff?). So here goes nothing!