Feb 162011
 

This time last year I was doing what most fully baked mommas did – jumped at every cramp and twinge and swear to get that hospital bag packed asap! The dr’s appt at 37 weeks finally kicked me into high gear and I started to gather stuff. I browsed the other mommy blogs and the bump trying to figure out exactly what I needed. So, with so many friends that are due soon, I thought I’d share my bag contents and what we used and didn’t use…

We had three bags – mine, hubby’s, and accessories (a laptop bag really)

Hubby’s bag was easy:
– toiletries (glasses, contact solution, tooth brush, razor/shave cream, deodorant)
– fresh boxers
– fresh clothes (just one change since he could go home)
– Snacks
– money (coins and small bills)

Mine:
– toiletries (glasses, contact solution, tooth brush, shampoo)
– yoga pants that I didn’t mind if they got messy (2 pair)
– nursing tanks (3)
– robe that I didn’t mind getting messy (I wore this, mesh undies, and a nursing tank for the first two days)
– fuzzy socks
– going home outfit for Noah
– blanket for Noah (light and heavy – they provide all the blankets you need really)

Accessories:
– Point and Shoot camera (charger and card reader) – this had our video capability built in.
– SLR Camera (extra batteries, 50mm lens, and card reader)
– Laptop (there was wifi in the hospital) and charger
– cell phones and chargers
– important phone numbers
– insurance info

What we brought but didn’t use:
– MP3 player (never really got to a point in labor that I needed/wanted it)
– toiletries for me (the hospital provided them – except the contact solution)
– books to read (we either slept, watched Noah, or surfed the internet)
– stop watch (the nurses and the contax monitors covered all that)

What we didn’t bring but wanted (and had brought to us later):
– Pillows from home. The hospital pillows were flat and it was nice to have something comfortable from home.
– Boppy. I didn’t bring it originally because we had so much already. I figured my mom could bring it back in the morning.
– Another hat for Noah (the stocking hats from the hospital were so flimsy. We sent it home so the dog could smell and my mom brought us a few new ones).
– FOOD!

What we didn’t bring at all:
– Diapers/wipes (the hospital provided all that we needed there…)
– clothes outside of his going home outfit (he was swaddled in a blanket the whole time)
– Undies for me (the hospital provided all the mesh ones I wanted which were exactly what I needed)

Other items (some are optional):
– car seat (duh..:) )
– bags for toting stuff home (the nurses load you up on supplies, anything opened will get tossed so you may as well bring it home. Grab more monster sanitary pads, witch hazel pads, dermoplast, mesh undies, ice packs, chux pads, etc.. you’ll be thankful!)
– birthing ball if you want
– cards/puzzles (there’s quite a bit of waiting, or at least here was for us)

We were in the hospital about the length of time a c-section birth would be (3 days? I can’t remember now..). I stayed in the hospital garb for the first few hours after his birth. As soon as they cleared me to get up and walk (my epidural had worn off), I took a quick shower and changed into a nursing tank, mesh undies, and a robe. The following day I donned yoga pants too.

For Noah, he was swaddled in a diaper 90% of the time. He also had the hospital issued baby shirt. We’d strip him down to nurse for the skin to skin contact so too many clothes was a PIA. Plus, as the jaundice set in, he was fully naked (well, diaper) as he took his first trip to the tanning bed so from there on it was just a diaper and a blanket when he was out of the lights. We did dress him to bring him home but even his first week at home was spent swaddled so he was in a diaper only alot (he got too hot with clothes plus the swaddle).

Anyways…this was my list. We actually did pretty well in planning. There was not a ton that we brought that we didn’t use and what we needed we just had my parents bring when they visited (we were still on restricted visiting hours due to H1N1). I would recommend a small cooler with food for Hubs and for you after the birth. I went for almost 40 hours without anything more than jello, Popsicles, juice and ice. They allowed me the occasional saltine to help stave of some of the hunger (if I was a rebel I would have taken a big bit of the cliff bar that I’d stashed:) )

And for reminiscent sake…here’s me at 38 weeks…this time last year!

Nov 082010
 

I get asked a lot about the numbers on Noah’s belly in each of the month pictures. I hate to reveal all my secrets but I guess for you guys I can tell you this one:)

….they’re stickers!

I saw them during my TheBump.com and TheNest.com days and just had to have a set! There are lots of companies now that sell them (just look at Etsy.com) but ours came from Pickysticky.com.

So, at last count I know 20 women that are pregnant at this very moment and these make perfect gifts:)

I’m not connected to PickySticky nor was I promoted to post this on their behalf. I just love the product and thought I’d share the love:)

Jun 292010
 

My good friend Julie over at The Lazy Green Mama is having a giveaway blowout part in honor of her little Hazel’s (Zel for short – how cute is that?!) first birthday! I remember the day she posted that Zel had arrived – a month early! And I’ve followed her as she made her way from the Pacific Northwest back to our home state of Pennsylvania! She’s hilarious and seriously resourceful! I love reading her posts and always learn something or laugh out loud.

Head on over there to check out some of the fab things she’s giving away – today it’s a Thirsties Duo Diaper! Tomorrow – who knows but I do know that it will be fab and something you don’t want to miss!!

Jun 282010
 

So, here we are 4 months in and I’m getting a better sense of what we’ve used with Noah and what we’ve not

Bottles
– just go for the bigger sized bottles – they outgrow the tiny 4 ounce things soo quickly
– don’t go crazy buying one type of bottle until you figure out if your LO will use it. We have 5 million Avent bottles and stage 2 nipples that we don’t use because they give Noah a horrible belly full of air. We’re using the Dr. Browns bottles now and aside from the 50 million parts, they work well (but we still have 3 4oz bottles that we almost never use)

Carriers/Wraps
– hind sight is 20/20…the only two wraps that I’d use next time are my Moby and the Ergo…the sling, Kelty, and other carriers I have are just sitting by the wayside.
– for the Ergo Sport you likely don’t need the heart2heart insert…then again, just use the moby until your LO is big enough.

Clothes
– socks – i have 20 million pairs of socks (seriously…waaayyy too many!). Maybe as he grows he’ll wear them but in a given week we gothru maybe 5 pairs. Plus, I got all these super cute Trumpette socks which I adore but in all honesty, I’m a sucker for matching and tend to use just plain white tube socks when I can’t find anything else.
– I have waaaaaay too many onesies! I just a whole stack of 0-3’s away unworn. Keep the receipts and tags until you’re sure you’re going to use them. 10-15 onesies in each size is more than sufficient (then again, we dont have a baby that spits up alot nor do we have diaper blow outs a ton..)

Accessories
– I’ve gone thru three diaper bags – the first was too small, the second too big, the third is just right. Now we use only the second and third bags (one for travel and one for every day ins and outs). Heck, I’ve been using my day pack more and more these days because it’s easier!
– Pacifiers – we have about 11 different kinds and Noah only takes 2 of them if he takes it at all. Not a huge deal to have too many but a waste none the less.
– Cloth diapers as burp rags – a savior! Noah went thru a pd where he’d throw just about an entire bottle back up at you and the diaper/burp rag was the nly thing that saved our clothes and/or furniture.
– Bottle Sterilizer – don’t need it! Grab a few of those Medela bag sterilizers if you really think you need it. I just use my dishwasher on sanitize and we’re good – if i even sanitize them. I generally just wash them in really hot water.
– Baby Bathtub – i’m on the fence here. If we had a bigger bathroom maybe I’d be happier with it. I think we would have been better with one of those foam thingys until he got big enough for the tub (which is where he is now – he prefers the big tub over the little tub)

Gear
– Carseat – the Peg Perego that we have is great! It’s a tad heavy but I know he’s safe in it. I wanted a carrier type seat so that we could move him from car to wherever when he was sleeping. now that he’s 4 months I’m starting to look at convertible seats instead. He’s just getting too freakin heavy to carry in that thing (on the other side though I’m getting a great bicep and ab workout when I carry him)
– Stroller – i’m happy with our choice to go with the Snap’n’Go with is car seat. On the of chance I do use the stroller (I normally carry him in the Ergo) it’s just the right size and weight to fit in the car and then fold up at the restaurant.
– Jogging stroller – As much as I would have liked a BOB, I couldn’t force myself to spend the $400 odd dollars that they cost. We’re happy with the Jeep on that we have. It’s rugged enough to go on the paths around here and thru the streams as necessary. It’s really bulky to fold up – i have to take the wheels off to get it in my sedan’s trunk!

You all know where I stand on diapers:)

I think that’s it for now….I’m sure I’ll think of more and as he starts into his toys and highchairs etc I’ll have more for you guys!!

Apr 212010
 

So, now that Noah is a bit bigger (i’m betting he’s pushing 12 lbs – we’ll find out on Friday) I decided to try the g-diapers again.  I have to say they weren’t a total fail this time around.  We did have a leak by the leg so I had to wash the outer cover but it didn’t leak to his clothes and I think the leak was because I didn’t insure the plastic inner liner was firmly embedded in the crease of his legs.

We have our third attempt on now so I’ll let you know how it goes.  From what I can tell it’s common to have to replace the plastic inner liner (or at least rinse it off ).  It’s also helpful that he’s firmly in size 1 diapers and a bit bigger.  If I had it to do over again I’d try the tiny g pants first (designed for newborns) and then move to the regular g pant when he was bigger.  The tiny-g is basically the liner with a soft cotton outer shell and fastening tabs.

 I’m still not brave enough to do these overnight but if we can do them during the day and a disposable over night then we’re at least cutting down on our waste by a good chunk.

Stay tuned…

Mar 282010
 

So, someone on the bump.com posted a link to an online tool to track sleep, feeding, and other baby related things.  When I first looked at it I said, “No – I’m not that obsessed”.  Sure, I keep track of feeding times and diaper changes but it’s all very low tech on a pad of paper (which means I’m not obsessed, just merely need reminding when I last fed my child or how many poopy diapers he’s had today – you know, for informational purposes.  Sleep deprivation does funny things to your brain). 

Well, the product manager in me decided that a quick look at the app would be beneficial for educational purposes (work related) – it is considered software as a service after all and that’s the area I work in so I’m furthering my career by checking it out.  Ummm..yea, that’s it!  Anywho, out to babybix.com I went.

What a cool app!  I created an account and started to document little mans comings and goings (again, researching for work remember…I’m looking at ease of use, feature functions etc..).  It’s super easy to use, cool enough to make you want to keep playing with it and just feature rich enough to be useful to those that want to know everything about their childs patterns (or in Noah’s case – the lack there of!).  The best feature is the sleep trends graph.  It helps see, graphically, if/when there’s a pattern to your childs sleep.  Again, with Noah the pattern is one of chaos:)  The only thing relatively consistent it his wakings overnight. His daytime schedule is way wacked out.  Check it out – 6.5 days of sleep tracking for Noah:

So, of course after my research was completed (yes, I’m delusional now – I just needed an excuse to try it out because i couldn’t possibly be that controlling and work is the perfect cover) I decided to keep my account and continue to track his info.  I just take the laptop to the nursery in the evenings and back downstairs in the AM when we wake (if I had the iPhone I could use their app instead of lugging the pc around with me – hint to hubbsy hehe).  I’m actually finding it quite useful and it feeds my neurotic need to document everything.  It is habit forming thought….just what I need!

Mar 232010
 

Okay, so it may be a bit early to call it a total FAIL but my first attempt at using g diapers did not go well.  We sprung a  leak around his belly and had poo flowing out the side by his leg:(  I had to wash the plastic liner and throw the cloth liner in the wash after one use.  If that keeps up we’ll be bankrupt trying to either keep them washed or buying enough to get thru a few days worth of diapering.

I read a lot about them leaking (only after I’d bought the set up of course) but read that it gets better as they get bigger and fit the diapers better.  Noah’s on the low end of  8lbs which is the lower end of the range for the small gpant so I figure I’ll keep trying them here and there until I find something that works.

If anyone out there reads this and has had success please enlighten me:)

Mar 172010
 

So, being a new mom I didn’t know what to expect or what products I’d need/like/hate etc.  I relied on the wisdom of other mothers around me to help guide that.  I figured I benefited so much from that wisdom that i’d pass it on…Here are my top 10 things I can’t live without in the first few weeks as a new mom (in no particular order):

1. The BreastFriend! – My cousin bought this for me and boy I’m glad she did!  The best thing about the Breastfriend is that it buckles around you, has a back support and actually stays in place.  That’s not to say I don’t love my boppy too but for nursing the Breastfriend is the best!

2. Blankets, blankets, blankets – Particularly the Dwell Studio Flannel blankets from Target and the Aden and Anais muslin blankets. I thought I had wayyyy too many but no, they’re all coming in handy!  Noah tends to like to pee on things when you change his diaper and he has impeccable aim and manages to hit the blanket each time!  We’ve been going thru them pretty quickly – in fact, i know it’s time to do laundry when we run out of blankets to swaddle him with.

3. Changing stations both up and downstairs – never thought it would be that much of a PIA to have to walk up and down the stairs to change his diaper but really, when you have a sleep infant on your chest, it’s just much easier to stay on one level (plus, when you’re sore after delivery, it’s just easier to stay on one level and leave the stair climbing to once or twice a day)

4. The swing – my sister in law gave this to us as a gift and it’s come in handy.  Since we have nothing downstairs to put little man in (the pack n’ play is upstairs in our room) the swing is a great place to stick him and he’s actually starting to like the motion (at first it was too much for him)

5. Medela Pump in Style breast pump – Noah’s a slooooow nurser…like 30 – 40 min per side to get an adequate amt of milk to keep him sated for more than an hour.  He just likes to nosh and snooze…after about a week of that not only was I very sleep deprived but my poor nipples were about to fall off.  To top it off I was so nervous that he wasn’t getting enough to eat and due to his jaundice I was just a mess.  I’d started pumping in the hospital to help my milk come in (because I couldn’t feed him as often as I needed to due to the bili bed stay) and just continued once I came home.  I’m not as diligent as I need to be but right now I’m getting enough to keep him in milk. I’m generally pumping a day ahead of what he eats – although after this growth spurt I may be in trouble.

6. My laptop – So not necessarily a new mom “product” – I can’t live without it!  It has been my constant companion from the day we came home from the hospital.  Dr. Google, thebump.com, and babycenter.com have been my saviors (in addition to Momma K and K).

7. A good water bottle – the hospital gave me this great water bottle that I’ve been carrying around everywhere.  Since I’m breastfeeding (or pumping) I’m constantly thirsty and for some weird reason, I prefer to drink water out of a straw than out of a glass – call me odd.  Plus the water bottle keeps things nice and cold for a long time.

8. The Moby wrap – especially lately.  Noah’s been clingy and only sleeps well when he’s sleeping on me.  That of course is a problem when you need to get things done so I broke out the Moby.  Today I actually used it outside the house at Baja Fresh and Starbucks (it was actually easier to plop him in the wrap than it was to pull the car seat out, break out the snap n’ go, and wheel him in to a crowded fast food restaurant – plus it kept prying fingers away from his mouth and face).  There’s been a lot in the press about slings and wraps and positional asphyxiation which of course has me paranoid – but – I’ve found a position with him that keeps his head up and I can constantly check on him to make sure he’s doing okay.

9. My Canon 50D with a 50mm 1.8f prime – Again, not a new mom “product” but again something that I use at least daily and couldn’t imagine not having.  It may be a bit large and not the best for outings (the point and shoot takes care of that), it takes amazing pictures and allows me to document all of Noah’s cute moments!

10. My hubby – yes, not a new mom “product” but again, he’s been a life saver.  I know it’s hard for him because I’m the milk machine tend to be able to calm Noah when no one else can but he such a loving father and an amazing hubby and he wants to help out wherever he can!  He’s taken over all the other duties of this house including cooking, cleaning, full duty with the pup and relieving me in the evenings on Noah duty.  He’s even jumped out of bed at the wee hours of the AM when I just can’t take it anymore and handles little man.

Feb 012010
 

So, I’m a frequenter of mommy blogs:)  Even though I’m not a mommy to an outside baby yet, I love to read the tips and tricks that they have to offer from having paved the road before me.  Nothing like a little humor and experience to make something like parenthood a little less frightening:)

A lot of these blogs host give aways as part of their posting and today I came across a mommy blog that is giving away this great toy!  I’ve heard of Sophie before (it’s even on my Amazon wishlist)  but it’s not until now that I truely understand how precious this toy is – not only for mommy’s sanity during a baby’s teething period but just how darn cute it is!

Check out more about Sophie and the give away on this mommy blog:  http://youngmamablog.blogspot.com

How cute is that thing?!

Jan 182010
 

I’ve been looking in Target and other stores for binky leashes (you know, the ribbons that at one end attach to the binky and the other side attaches to your child’s clothing so you don’t lose the binky when they decide to spit it out?) and haven’t found one I like:(  Anyways, I ran across a tutorial online at The Mama Dramalogues on how to make one of your very own – without sewing!

I thought I’d give it a shot.  I ordered copious amts of ribbon from theribbonspot.com, plastic clips and mam rubber binky holders from a seller on ebay, and snaps from JoAnn.  Everything finally arrived yesterday so I spent most of my day today putting them together (during conference calls of course!).

Lessons Learned:
1. hammer + fingernail = pain (see my other blog post)
2. snaps aren’t all the hard to attach if you follow the directions – which I didn’t so I wasted lots!
3.  it’s infinitely more expensive to do this if you don’t already have the parts on hand from other crafts ($40 in ribbon, $20 in ebay items, $10 in snaps etc..).  I managed to get 5 leashes out of it so far (but I have plenty more I can make but really – how many leashes does a child need?)

However, I have lots of ribbon for other projects and really like the ones I put together.  Maybe other mammas will see them and want one and I can open my own etsy store…ha ha..ya, right – wishful thinking:) I’m really not all that crafty!

Dec 122009
 

This past week has been like Christmas early in the Kloep house!  All the presents I ordered on Amazon arrived as did our little man’s new ride – well, not ride but what will allow him to ride with us for all those visits to the grandparents that we forsee in his future:)

I found out a few weeks ago that BRU stopped carrying the car seat that I wanted and was really bummed because I LOVED the color (I tend to like obnoxious colors for some reason). I figured it would be perfect for our little man as well as our next child if she ended up being a girl. Anyways, you could no longer get it off our registry and the in-store quantities were very limited so of course I started to panic! I just had to have this seat and just knew they were sold out everywhere and I’d have to go find another seat that I loved just as much and know that would never happen and so on and so on… (okay, tad irrational because who in their right mind would want a lime green car seat other than me but hey, that’s how my brain works these days). 

So, because I couldn’t wait and I couldn’t take the chance of losing this lovely seat, I scoured the internet and found one that actually saved me $50 from what I would have spent at BRU!:)  Introducing the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio SIP 30/30 Car Seat in Cedro!

And of course I had to strap the teddy bear in to give it a whirl!

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Oct 122009
 

If I had an unlimited source of cash this is the stroller I’d get:

The Uppababy Vista 2009 in Orange (Alex). I love that it has so many positions for the baby, a bracket attachment for the Graco infant carrier, a bassinet that attaches, adjustable handles, shock absorbing wheels..i could go on and on…not to mention it’s totally cute! But, the $700 odd dollar price tag is a shocker and way way way beyond our budget!

This is more our budget – the Graco Snugride with stroller frame – a whopping $220 or so for the set:

Both are safe and I’d still have to get the infant carrier for car rides etc…but the Uppababy is just so darn cute! Oh well, I’ll just have to admire the picture – the baby won’t notice the difference any who.

Oct 072009
 

I like to think of myself as eco conscious or eco friendly. I’m not overly committed to all things green (and should be more) but am conscious of my actions and what they do to contribute to or repair environmental damage.

We’ve tried to implement what we can around the house with energy efficient bulbs, lighting timers, recycling, buying local or growing your own produce, etc and are cognizant of the trades offs of not recycling vs. letting that truck drive 100 miles to the nearest center…..however, with the impending birth of our child it opens a whole new set of things to think about – the biggest of which is diapers!

It really bothers me to know that 1 disposable diaper can last up to 500 years in a land fill and that over 50 million diapers enter landfills everyday! However, I’m not sure I can handle full cloth diapers. I plan on going back to work not long after our little one is born and not many places around here will deal with cloth. So I set out in search of more information and options – thank you Mr. Google!

While looking up more info on cloth diapers I came across a hybrid of sorts called gDiapers and I think I’m in love! They’re the best of both worlds! They have the cloth/waterproof outer cover but have a disposable/biodegradable liner that gets flushed in your toilet just like TP, tossed on your compost pile to add to nitrogen rich fertilizer or can be tossed on the trash! They bio degrade in 50-150 days vs the 500 years of a fully disposable diper. How can you go wrong with this? You dont spend the extra water and soap to wash them (you wash the liners like you do the rest of LO’s clothes) and they can contribute to next years tomato crop (okay, that sounds a little gross). It’s a simple as recycling your newspaper according to the website. AND – i’m happy to report – Target has them in the store so on the registry they go (once we actually register!) and diapers.com sells them as well so we can stock up any time we need to.

We’ll likely have to use disposables while LO is a newborn as the gDiaper starts at 8lbs but that shouldn’t be for long and heck, if this child is anything like his/her father, we may start out at 8lbs (or more – ouch!) so then we’re saved! I’m sure we’ll keep a disposable or two in the house in case of emergency but it makes me feel better that we’re not contributing to increasing our landfills (or adding to the emissions when things are burned).

Sep 052009
 

So I finally found some decent maternty clothes that didn’t cost me an arm and a leg! Kohls was having a 60% off doorbuster sale and thankfully they had a decent selection of maternity clothes – woohoo! I walked out of there with over $300 worth of clothes for just over $150! I bought two pair of maternity jeans (that need hemmed unfortuantley – damn shortness!), two sweaters, a tank top, and a light long sleeved shirt for the fall. I also scored a few things at Burlington Coat Factory so, I think I’m set for now. I’ll need more long sleeved stuff as it gets chillier but for now I’m good to go. Plus I don’t want to buy too far ahead since I have no real idea of how big I’ll be at what points.

Anyways, I’m a happy cookie today! And the icing on the cake is all the cabinets sitting in my garage asking to be assembled for our new kitchen!

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