Monday, January 30, 2012

80085

4aaaa_calculator_80085

This is a post about boobs. & not the type of boobs you would typically find on the internet, but the kind that make the milkies for the babies. Coincidentally, boobs fulfill both of those purposes, but one is apparently way more glamorous than the other in most people's eyes.

Having said that, if you fall into one of the following categories you may want to quietly exit the premises before you get all awkward and red faced:

1) If you are a male coworker of mine.
2) If you are a male family member of mine.
3) If you are a male.
4) If you are a female that hasn't had children yet and are skeeved out by breastfeeding.

Okay, is it just us now? Let's get down to business.

[I feel the need to share this breastfeeding journey because I have a feeling I'm going to forget all of the nitty gritty stuff about it by the time I go through this again and what better place to document it than on the public internets?]

Before I had Charley this was my stance on breastfeeding: If I am able to do it, great! I'll do it! And if not, no worries, I'll formula feed. Basically, I didn't want to set myself up for disappointment if things didn't go as I had planned and left my options open. My stance on this has slightly changed now, but we'll get to that later.

In the very beginning...

124

Charley was born and laid on my chest for an hour directly after birth. I wanna say right after that the nurse suggested we try breastfeeding for the first time. (See, I'm already forgetting little details!) I am not someone who is, or will ever be, comfortable nursing in front of people [yet I have no problem talking about it in detail with the entire internet], but my sister was in the room and I had no problem doing it then. That may have been because I had just given birth and modesty had left the building for a while. Regardless, the first time went great. Charley latched right on on the very first try and she was satisfied with the colostrum I was giving her. Yay!

That night, Charley nursed for long periods of time and didn't give me any trouble at all. It was pretty awesome how my body was working! And by the third or fourth day when my milk came in, Charley was doing really great and gained her weight back really quickly.

What weren't doing great were my nipples. I told you all about that. I knew breastfeeding would hurt in the beginning, so I think since I was inexperienced I just thought the pain I was feeling was due to the natural hurtiness of it and not because we weren't doing something right. But when I was screaming in pain and curling my toes each time she latched on, I quickly realized our latch technique needed some work and I remedied that situation quicklike.

In the middle...

My nipples are healed. My milk has come in really great and Charley is still growing. It's working! So this period is what I like to call "The Era of Not Crying Over Spilt Milk". Because there was a lot of milk spilling going on.

It was during this time that my boobs were WAY overproducing. Your body doesn't adjust to the demand that your baby needs right away, so some people have a crazy supply for a while and I just so happened to be one of those people. I pumped extra milk and froze it to help with all of the leakiness. But it wasn't enough.

[Side note: Sure, I was pumping and freezing milk, but I didn't really think I'd ever need it. When I went back to work I knew I would pump enough on Monday for Tuesday, enough Tuesday for Wednesday, etc, so that I wasn't sure when or if I'd ever need any of the frozen. So I got lazy about it and I want to kick myself for that now!]

For example, I remember one day that I was getting ready to take a shower. So I take all of my clothes off except my bra because I know that once those puppies hit air, milk just starts to pour out. The water was on and was warm, so I took my bra off and began to get in the shower, dripping only a few times on my walk to the shower. When suddenly, I felt the urge to pee. No problem, the toilet is right beside the shower so I just took a little pit stop to pee before getting in the shower. Big mistake. I remember sitting there peeing being shocked at the amount of liquid POURing from my boobs. Puddles were forming on the floor and I was peeing just as fast as I could. Finally I jumped in the shower but not before surveying the spilt milk all over the floor. If I had been wearing my rain boots I could've splashed in the puddles, seriously.

milkpuddles
Please pay no attention the the scale of the toilet in this drawing...I do not in fact have a giant toilet in our bathroom.
So yes. Leaking while naked. Leaking while sleeping. Leaking while awake. I went through boxes and boxes of breast pads during this era.

Which brings us to now...

The leaking has stopped. The pain is long gone. The supply has regulated to match Charley's demand and I no longer get that overfull feeling (except in the mornings after going 10ish hours). I pump twice at work and can usually get just enough milk for the next day. Until, of course, Charley goes through a growth spurt and starts wanting more. And during those weeks I struggle to keep up.

So this is when still pregnant Lacey would have said, oh well, we are 3 ounces short for tomorrow so I'll just send a bottle of formula over to Aunt Christy's house to make up the difference. But no. My mindset has changed about this completely. It's a pride thing and an ego thing. My baby has only had breast milk for the first 5 months of her life and I want to keep it that way and so instead, even though Charley will sleep through the night I will get up in the middle of the night to pump so she has enough for the next day.

And on top of that, I'll start taking an herbal supplement that makes you smell like syrup so that I'll produce more. And when I'm not getting enough results from that, I'll spend hours on breastfeeding websites researching other herbal supplements that may work better for me. And I'm drowning myself in water. Because, I am Mama! Hear me roar! I can do this because Charley needs it!

makingmilk

So anyways, that's where we stand now. I have all of 15 ounces left in my freezer, and Charley has been draining her bottles this past week. I know I will adjust to her needs and as we introduce solids soon it may help as well. But that doesn't help me when I'm waking up to pump in the middle of the night as my baby snoozes peacefully. But, we do what we have to do to take care of our babies. And I know that I'm lucky that I've been able to do this for as long as I have and I'm very thankful for that. And finally, I'm also super grateful that I'm not:

calculator-spelling-boobless-55378008

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Real Star of the Show

I know it's been a while since Tuna has made an appearance on the ol' blog. And I'm sorry about that. I know he's some of y'all's favorite cat in the whole wide world. But, Tuna knew that Charley was about to roll over for the very first time** as I was videoing her, so he thought he'd make a slight appearance in the video himself.

**She has been rolling over from back to front for about a week now, but her arm always gets folded underneath her and she had yet to figure out how to get it out until today. So none of those other rolls counted until today's, where she finally was able to pull that arm out from underneath her.


[I'm kicking myself for videoing in portrait instead of in landscape! Grr!]

(Now you know why we call him "The Creepster".)

And he has now reclaimed his spot as the star of this show.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Fabulous Holiday Blog Challenge: Day 10

Fabulous Holiday Blog Challenge
 
& finally, I can actually finish a blog challenge. Unlike this one, and this one that I gave up on. Late is better than never! For Friday December 9th, the topic was this: NYE memories/pictures.

 Let's start with the first day of the new millennium. It would seem that since I was in the midst of my senior year in high school with no shortage of friends that I would have great memories from this New Year's. But no. I don't know where everyone was, but none of them were with me and I wasn't invited to wherever they went. My little feelings were hurt as I sat at home watching Dick Clark and wondering if Y2K was about to happen. It didn't, and then I went to bed.

Fast forward 7 years. Sure, I spent a couple of NYEs in between there having fun, but nothing too crazy [read: I have no pictures to share from those years.] So in 2007, John and I had been dating 3 years and were celebrating with a lot of his friends at a house party.
000_0018

Wooo! Party!!!

2008 was more of the same. Only we hosted the party at our house this year. Oh, and apparently this is when Soulja Boy's Crank That was popular because there are an abundance of pictures from the night of people doing this in my living room:

156

2009 - what do ya know? Another party at our house...except we went to a local bar for the early part of the night.

026
Hi Drew! Way to ruin our picture!

2010 - We attempted a party at our house for the third year in a row. I think 5 people came, and I fell asleep before midnight.

2011 - I would find out I was pregnant in 8 days, but I went with my best friends to a party. (I'm seeing a trend here.) John stayed home this year.

2012 - I went to, you guessed it, a party at my BFF's house. John stayed home with our sweet baby.

So basically, I go to a party every new year's eve. I've never done a NYE where you get all dressed up and pay some ridiculous cover charge to eat a few appetizers and have a glass of champagne at midnight. But, when I put it that way, why would I ever even want to celebrate NYE that way?

How do you usually celebrate NYE? & how proud are you of me that I actually finished a blog challenge? I wonder how many points I'll get deducted off of my grade for being 45 days late...
.
.

Very Pinteresting

If you aren't on Pinterest, you should be. I have become obsessed lately. I have done away with having any original ideas of my own, because other people's original ideas are way better than mine anyways. I have bulletin boards full of other people's ideas on Pinterest and I've been working my way through trying them all out.

In just this past month, I did/attempted TWELVE projects from Pinterest. Some came out awesome, some came out so-so, and some didn't come out at all. But I tried and that's all that matters.

Recently Updated7

First, I bought some glass ornaments to attempt two different DIY ornaments I had pinned. One was a simple hand print of a baby on the outside of a glass ornament. So cute, and seemingly so easy. At that point Charley was still balling her hands up into a tight fist the majority of the time, so I decided to try a footprint instead. Paint the bottom of the little piggie, press it against the ornament and voila. Complete. Um, yeah. Not so much. I forgot to account for the curved glass of the ornament, the wiggliness of the little piggies, the slipperiness of a wet foot, and the unsteadiness of my hand. John and I tried about 10 times I think. We kept going to wash the smudgey footprint off of the ornament in the sink, drying it off and trying again. But this one was a bust. We never did get it done and now her first Christmas has come and gone.

[As an aside, my sister (who keeps Charley for me during the day) just so happened to give me a picture frame for Christmas that she got at one of those paint your own pottery places & she got it painted with Charley's hand and foot print! I love it!!]

136

The other glass ornament project was really simple. It required cutting up something important from the year, curling it up, and sticking it inside a glass ball. You could do this with wedding invitations if you got married that year, or birth announcements if you had a baby, or anything really. The birth announcement happened to apply to me for 2011, if you didn't know.

So, I chopped up one of the extras curled them up around a pen, stuck them inside, and put the lid on it. It didn't fill up the ornament as much as I would have liked, so I may go back and add some curly card stock in pink (for a girl!) or maybe just red & green (for Christmas colors) to fill it up more to my liking. But, this is how it hung on my Christmas tree this year. This one worked and was super easy!

2011-12-14

The next thing I attempted was SUPER complicated and REALLY tough to do.

147774431492742857_OCOAuoBp_c
 If you have an iPhone, you will instantly know how useful this simple little tip is. You take a binder clip (do NOT, under ANY circumstances "borrow" your binder clip from your office. I do not condone this behavior!), you clip it on the edge of your nightstand, pull the cord through and you're done. There is no more reaching behind the nightstand each night trying to find the cord so you can charge your phone overnight. And bonus points for me since my nightstand is black so it doesn't even really show up. This one was a success!

The next thing I tried was another failure. Not due to lack of trying or lack of skills on my behalf; I think this one was just a liar pin!

A picture was posted with the following caption underneath it: Awesome idea. (To get the balloons to hang upside down just put a marble inside before blowing them up.)
This was the picture:
14214555043525060_X5X2Amhc_c.

Looks lovely right? So when I was in charge of decorating for my BFF's surprise birthday party a couple of weeks ago, I decided I would try this. Seemed easy enough. Only, once the marble was placed inside the balloon, the balloon floated to the floor. The marble weighed it down too much. So then I tried a penny instead and Yay! It floated up to the ceiling! Only, 15 minutes later it was also on the floor. And so I went back to this picture and decided this caption is a liar! Because, if these balloons were all full of helium and floated up to the ceiling, they would all be on the same level and not staggered like they are. These had to be hung upside down on varying lengths of string. Liars! So yeah, this one was a big fat fail.

And, now, the last 8 things I've tried from Pinterest are all food related. Oops. It seems food (and the more un-healthy the better) is one of my favorite things. So here are the things I've tried:

Recently Updated8a

1. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough + Oreos + Brownie batter. This one came out AWESOME! So easy to do, too.

2. Garlic Parmesan Chicken. I know we made this one, but I don't really remember much about it. So I'm thinking it must have only been so-so.

3. Crock Pot Chicken and Dumplings. Ehh. It was only okay. Mine didn't come out nearly this soupy and was more like chicken and dumpling mush. I think it's because in #8, I found a tip that said you can easily shred chicken in your mixer using the paddle attachment. This worked SO good, actually TOO good, that the chicken got shredded too much and soaked up all of the soupiness in my chicken and dumplings. Next time, I'll add more broth and shred for a shorter amount of time.

4. Creamy Chicken Piccata. We made this one last night. It was pretty good, but next time we'll be using less lemon juice and heavy cream instead of half and half. Will make it again though so this one was a keeper!

5. Crock Pot Potato soup. Loved this one! Will be making it again. & we even halved it and still had PLENTY.

6. Sour cream hashbrown casserole. Made this one for our Christmas brunch and it was delicious!

7. White cheese chicken enchiladas. We've already made this one twice. So, so delicious. Definitely my favorite recipe I've pinned.

8. As mentioned above, this was a tip to shred chicken using your mixer. Worked awesome! I loathe shredding chicken so this was a great tip to find!

(P.S. You can get to all recipes by going to my "food" board on Pinterest here. Just click on the picture and it'll take you to the site which it came from.)

Are any of you Pinterest fanatics also? Don't tell me you are one of those that pins a million quotes. If so, I won't be following that board! (What do you do with a virtual bulletin board full of quotes??) But if not, feel free to leave me your Pinterest name and I'll follow you too!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Crappy Day Present Exchange

Essentially, I am the most ungrateful and rudest present receiver ever. I got this gift nearly a month ago and have yet to blog about it or even send a thank you card. But for the sake of my own guiltiness about it, I want the gift giver to know that I WAS actually very grateful regardless of my lack of public acknowledgement about it.

Anyways, my blogging buddy Laura sent me an email in November sometime talking about this gift exchange between bloggers that someone was hosting, and said I should join in it also. I rarely get presents that are surprises, so I was 100% on board with this. Not only would I not know what I was getting, but I most likely wouldn't even know the person that sent it. It was a Secret Santa game for bloggers, basically.

So, the idea was to send several different gifts so that you'd have a present to open and make yourself feel better on a crappy day. This was also a great exercise in patience, as you were supposed to just open one present each time you had a crappy day and needed a pick-me-up.

I failed the lesson in patience and opened up all of my crappy day presents on the day they arrived. I wasn't even having a crappy day. Yeah, I totally missed the entire point of this gift exchange, but who cares because.... PRESENTS!!
2011-12-13

My Secret Santa was Andrea. I had never "met"/read her blog before, so one of the first things I did after I settled down from my present opening frenzy was go read her blog and get to know her. And, I like her! Wahoo for new blogs to read!

nailsSo, even if this is an entire month late, I wanted to make sure that I said thank you to Andrea because I loved my gifts! It was kind of a proactive CDP because getting so many presents in one day prevented me from having a crappy day for at least a few weeks! Just look at how fun my nails were on New Year's Eve courtesy of one of the gifts Andrea gave me!

I also got some candy, some knee high socks (that I have worn for too many days in a row to shamefully admit), a cute little note pad, a Nutella snack thing (umm..YUM!) and some new mascara. And they were all so cutefully wrapped and labeled that I had a hard time ripping them open. [Okay that's a lie. I had no problem ripping them open in a frenzy, but I did mentally take note of how cute each little gift with it's coordinating paper and ribbons were!]

Thanks Andrea!!

Now, I was the secret Santa to......my buddy Laura! I sort of kind of requested her because I "know" her and thought she'd be easy to buy for.

I could have spent a TON of money on her because I kept coming up with things to get her. But luckily for me, the balance in my bank account said no so I had to control myself. Instead, I ended up buying gifts for everyone in her house (including her cats!) and then a few little extras for her.

021

She has posted about it here, and she's being a good little rule follower and only opening gifts when she has a bad day. And her daughter Adriana recently had a bad day and got to open up her CDP to try to make it better. But, she's 2 and there is no reasoning with a two year old when they are having a bad day, apparently. Laura said she liked it much better the next day, so whew! I thought I was going to have to overnight another gift to Adriana to make up for the first one that didn't go over very well!

If you'd like to participate in something like this, there is another one going on right now you can sign up for! [But hurry! Today is the last day you can sign up!] I'm sitting this one out since just getting to the grocery store lately has been a huge task! So until things slow down a little bit for me, I'm going to have to pass. But, it's a lot of fun if you have a little bit of free time. And who doesn't like getting packages in the mail?
.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Phone Dump

Two week's worth this time:


instagram-2
All pictures taken with Instagram. Follow me if you'd like: Laceyloo22

A. Playing with Daddy.
C. Napping with her new baby doll.
D. My New Year's Eve nails.
F. MAMA! I'm NAKED here!
G. My first and last shot of the year.
I. Mmm, Sophie.
M. Sleeping Beauty.
N. Disc golfing.
P. Grandaddy loves Charley.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Elevator Music

rally-0023

This all started last spring. I was pregnant and out yard saling with my family. This particular day, my nephew Vince (he was 13 at the time) came along with us and brought a friend along who presumably was also 13. He normally scopes out the yard sale from the car, and after determining that there isn't anything there he's interested in, will stay in the car listening to music while we go to the yard sale. This time his friend was along too, so as many 13 year olds do, he was trying to up his cool factor around his family.

Which, is why at the time I assumed we were subject to listening to the HORRID music on the station he requested. It was rap and it was absolutely terrible. I like rap. Rap is cool. I mean, Lil Jon or Outkast or Eminem always make me crank the volume up a bit. They also bring back memories of me shaking my booty to those songs in bars. That was back when rap was cool.

This was the first clue, although I didn't realize it until much later.

--------------------------------

I am a big fan of XM radio. I have had it in my car for the last 4 years or so. My absolute most favorite station was 90's on 9, most likely because those are the songs that were played when I was in high school, and everyone resonates with the music of their high school days the best. So, no biggie that I was mainly listening to "older" music of another decade. I was still cool since occasionally I'd flip to the more current stations too.

But then the XM subscription ended & we chose not to renew. I have a 6 CD changer in my new car, plus I just wasn't getting the enjoyment out of XM anymore, so we decided it wasn't really worth the money. My subscription ended sometime in December.

----------------------------------

LiveElevatorMusic300There are a couple of local radio stations in my city that play Christmas music 24/7 from Thanksgiving until Christmas. (maybe even earlier than that, but I'm not 100%). I'm not a HUGE fan of listening to these stations for my Christmas music because they play the same 10 Christmas songs over and over. But, when all else fails (such as XM being cancelled and being forced to go back to the AM/FM dials) I will listen to them, so I normally go ahead and add them to my presets in my car during the month of December. They aren't a normal preset for me because I have always considered these stations to be elevator music. In fact, in high school my friends and I jokingly teased one of our other friends for liking this particular radio station calling it elevator music.

----------------------------------

If you didn't know, I am now back at work after my 12 week maternity leave. I used to ride the train in every morning before I had a baby, but now I drive because it saves me about 30 minutes a day, and those 30 extra minutes a day are precious to me as they make up the little bit of time I get with Charley each day. Anyways, my drive time each day totals up to one hour and 35 minutes, or 45 miles. This includes me driving to work, leaving work to drive to get Charley from her babysitter's house (my lovely sister) and then back home. Which means way more time in the car. When I was only taking the train and didn't have a baby to retrieve my commute was a total of 14 miles a day. All that to say I spend a lot more time in the car these days and therefore a lot more time listening to music in the car.

------------------------------------

The culmination of all of these events led to a great realization recently. I have noticed on more than one occasion that I have ended up on the elevator music station and have been singing along and really enjoying myself until I would glance over at the dial. And at that point, I would scrunch up my face, look over my shoulder to make sure no one noticed, and quickly change the station to something more current and cool.

I never changed that preset back to a cool station after Christmas music was no longer being played. And since I use the little button on my steering wheel to flip through radio stations, I was inadvertently landing on elevator music station and liking what I was hearing. I mean, who doesn't like Richard Marx's Right Here Waiting or Seal's Kiss From A Rose?

And then "accidentally" landing on the station became less and less...accidental. It started to become intentional. And before I knew it, I was spending all 45 minutes of my drive jamming to elevator music.

And that's when it finally came to me. I didn't like the rap on that station my 13 year old nephew liked. I was always listening to 90's on 9. The rap I do like is old. I no longer go out and shake my booty. & that's when I realized: I AM NOW MUSICALLY UNCOOL. It's a sad, sad day.

I'm not ready to admit that I'm not cool in other ways yet. But I've come to terms with the fact that I'm now musically uncool.


In other news, we don't even have music in our elevators at work so that's a dumb way to describe music in the first place.
.
.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Charley Bear: 4 months

[1 month, 2 months, 3 months]

Charley is now 4 months old! Crazy how fast this goes!

We only did the bear picture on her four month birthday this month.

4 months old

Mainly because I'm lazy. But also, because you can't really see much change on a week to week basis. But, if you really want to see some change (and want to make her Mama sad), compare the 4 month old Charley to the 1 week old Charley. Waaaaaahhhhhhh!

2011-09-14

This month was really fun though. She's started playing with toys, she's a little chatterbox, and she is smiling all day long. And when she's not smiling, she's pretty serious and has mastered the furrowed brow. But rarely is she crying. She only cries if she needs something, and that's usually just a little fuss. She is such a good baby.

She finally started picking up her head this month. We weren't so great about tummy time, so it was mostly our fault that she hadn't done this yet. And then we realized that we could help her learn by shoving her arms underneath her, and she figured it out really quickly after that. She does her own arm shoving these days, and is quite the curious/nosy baby. She hasn't rolled over yet, but she's so close!

019

On top of being curious, she is very independent. She does not like it when you hold her facing you. She needs to be looking out and about and just staring at your ugly mug isn't her cup o' tea. Along with that independence comes less snuggle time, and that part makes me sad. She prefers to put herself to sleep without any snuggles beforehand. But every once in a while she'll snuggle with you and take a nap on your chest. Since I know these are few and far between, I always let her snooze with Mama.
039

It was difficult figuring out what to buy her for Christmas. Or, ahem, telling Santa what to bring her for Christmas. Right before Christmas she really had no interest in toys, so I basically went down the top toys for 3 month olds on Amazon's list and bought those. Oh, and also, she got a hobby horse. She may be a little too small for it still, and it's possible that Mama just wanted to give her that present because it looked pretty in front of the tree.
088

She was 12 pounds 10 ounces and 24 inches long today at her four month appointment. She's in the 25th percentile for weight and head circumference, and the 50th percentile for length. Tall and skinny like her parents! And luckily she doesn't have John's big head. [Just kidding John! Feel free to leave me an anonymous comment expressing your displeasure with that sentence as I know you will!]

It's all going so fast, so I was happy today to hear that the pediatrician does not want her to start solids until 6 months since she and I are doing so well with breastfeeding. That was perfectly fine by me because in my crazy mind that means she's staying a newborn for longer and that makes me happy! Well, that and the fact that we won't have to deal with icky solid-food poops for longer.

And finally, here is her regular monthly picture on the Charley blanket. No, she doesn't actually have red hair (as cute as that would be!)...it's just some weird coloring with the camera making her face and hair/head looking a bit reddish. I tried to get rid of it and all I could manage to do was turn all of the white squares on the blanket blue. Eh. Who knows.
4 months old
 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Stuff I Like

I have gotten some of the best ideas of awesome baby stuff from other blogs. I trust a picture and a recommendation from a fellow blogger more than an Amazon review any day! I figured it was time for me to pay it forward and list some of my favorite baby things thus far. This stuff was my favorite stuff for the 0-3 month age.

Sleep Sheep/Gentle Giraffe

002-1

We have both of these and they do the exact same thing. It's basically a white noise machine covered in stuffing with a cute animal face. The Sleep Sheep I own is the travel sized one, so it goes downstairs with me when Charley is napping on the couch, or in the car, or on vacation, or to Aunt Christy's house every day! Gentle Giraffe stays tethered to a crib slat and isn't to be removed, or else! & by the way, the rain setting is the very best. Charley told me it's her favorite.

Summer Infant SwaddleMe Blankets

Swaddling is very important in the first couple of months of a babies life. They may act like they hate it, but if you value sleep, you will swaddle them anyways! A swaddled baby = a sleeping baby in my limited experience.

Swaddling with a regular blanket works fine at first. They are little, they don't move much and you can pretty much be the worst swaddler ever and they'll sleep. But once they realize they have arms, little Houdini may start busting out of your best attempt at swaddling. That's where these come in. Velcro. It works. At first we were swaddling Charley's arms down because otherwise they were out of control.

Remember my little burrito? Once she got her arms under control, she started to express her hatred for having them swaddled and we compromised. I give you, the under arm swaddle:

2011-11-14

She's still all snuggly, but her arms are free to do with what she wants. This works perfectly on the nights where it's too warm for a fleecy sleep sack, but putting her to bed without any sort of blanket obviously isn't going to work either.

I will say though, we are now completely done with swaddling so they don't last very long so you don't need too many. They come in packs of 2 or 3, and that was just enough for us!

Bright Starts Cuddly Carrier Pal

We've talked about Charley's love/hate relationship with her carseat. But when it was at its absolute worst, wanna know what makes it somewhat doable some of the time? This little pink elephant, that's what.

030
This is the only picture I could find of Ms. Elephant, so you also get the bonus of seeing Charley's rockstar cousins!
Sometimes while we are in the car and Charley is strangely silent, I peek back at her in the mirror to make sure she is in fact still there. And 99% of those times, what I see is her giving great big gummy smiles to Ms. Elephant.

City Mini Stroller

I've mentioned this one before, but it deserves to be on this list too. I absolutely love our stroller. It's so smooth, so easy to fold up, and most importantly, since Charley isn't the biggest fan of her carseat, we can still go on walks by just using the regular part of the stroller fully reclined. (We also have the car seat adapter, which works awesome, but not when your child doesn't like the car seat.)

009

21amoARjNCL__SL500_AA300_

No, we don't cloth diaper. Sorry, Earth. But, we do use the heck out of the cloth prefold diapers for burp cloths. Charley doesn't spit up a ton, but she usually has a bit of spit up after she eats and so I burp her while holding one of these under her chin to catch any liquid regurgitation. Works every time.

Here's a true story: Charley was just a few weeks old and John and I were both in her room while one of us changing her diaper or something. We both realized there was an AWFUL smell coming from something in her room, and John went around the room on his hands and knees trying to find the source of the smell. We just knew one of the cats had decided they'd had enough with being ignored and were starting to pee in Charley's room in revenge. John said he had tracked the source of the smell to a corner behind the glider. We were so mad at the little furballs who had never done anything like that before. And then, somehow we realized it wasn't from that corner at all, but from the opposite corner which housed Charley's hamper full of dirty spit up filled burp cloths. Silly us, it was just time for laundry!


51bqoE-8TcL__AA1000_



I knew I didn't want a Diaper Genie. I remembered from when my nephews and nieces were babies and I was babysitting that they didn't mask the smell very well, and had some weird twisty thing you had to do to get them to work. On top of that, I'd heard lots of people say not to waste your money. A lot of people also suggested to not get a diaper pail at all, and just take the stinky diapers outside to the trash immeditely afterwards. Fair enough, for most people.

But I'm not most people. I rarely clean the cat's litter box (John does daily, thankfully) and when I do, I drop the grocery bag full of poop right outside of the sliding glass door instead of walking out of our fenced in yard to put it in the trash can. So I knew that there was no way I'd be walking 6 poopy diapers a day to the big trash can outside in the beginning. I had to have SOMEthing in Charley's room for diaper disposal.

And then John and I stumbled upon this pail at the baby superstore. We were sold on the fact that it didn't require special bags, and you could just use a regular trash bag in it. And now that we've been using it for four months, I can also vouch for the smelliness of it. Which, is very little to none. The top part of it flips around so you never really open it up, and occasionally a stinch will escape when adding a new diaper to the pail, but it's really rare. It's easy to use, works great, and my laziness is super glad we found it.


51fckTzxVxL__SX385_


In my 3 months of experience, these were the only socks that consistently stayed on my baby's feet. They aren't cheap, but are on BabySteals.com pretty often which is where I got the 3 pairs that I have. I suppose they are more expensive because they are organic, which you know I couldn't care less about, but these socks stay in regular rotation in my house while most of all of the other socks Charley owns stay in the dresser.

---------------------------

And that's really about it for the 0-3 month age range, I think. We do have a bouncer and a swing too, and Charley didn't mind either of these, but didn't love them either so I left them off of my list. So far there isn't anything I absolutely hate, besides a few brands of bottles, but that's different for every child so I left that off of my list too.

I started writing this on November 18th and here it is January 3rd and I'm just finishing it up. In the last month, Charley has really started playing and using much more of her stuff, so the 3-6 month version of this list should be much more exciting!

Any suggestions for 3-6 month stuff that I just HAVE to have? Any comments on the stuff I liked for 0-3 months? Happy baby shopping!

2012

Happy New Year! Hope you haven't already given up on your resolutions as it is already the 3rd of January. Which basically means you've had 3 full days to call it quits already. As for me, I'm still holding strong on my resolutions. One of which was a repeat resolution from 2011: the 365 Day Photo Challenge. Dun dun dun.

PHO-LIST-A-small2011 fizzled out around mid February. But 2012 is still going strong 2 days in. (I haven't taken today's picture yet, but I assure you that I will!) I had a lot of trouble in 2011 coming up with things to take a picture of. This year, Charley makes a darn good subject, if I do say so myself, and because I don't want to ONLY have pictures of her all year, I also have this handy dandy little list to give me other ideas when my creativity is lacking.

Between those two things, I really shouldn't have any excuses. And hopefully by the end of 2012 I'll really notice a difference in my photography abilities too. Because currently I upload 100 picture to my computer and end up deleting 60 of them because they are blurry or out of focus or I look fat in them.

For New Years Eve, I went over to my best friend's house where she had a few people over to eat, drink, and be merry! It was my first night ever not putting my little Charley girl to bed, and I was pretty sad about it. But, I knew I needed to just get out and have a night for myself so I did it anyways.

photo 1
Fellow Eat, Drink, and Be Merry-er, my other BFF Angela

John, however, didn't make it easy on me. He kept texting me cute pictures of Charley, making me wanna come home and snuggle her.

photo 2photo 3

As each picture came to my phone, I shared them with whomever happened to be standing with me at that moment. It was a chorus of Awwwws and Ooooohs. She is pretty darn cute.

But, when John noticed the pictures weren't working as I wasn't making my way home, he decided to bring in the big guns. He sent a video. I just assumed it would be something extremely cute, so I summoned the people standing near me to watch it with me before I previewed it myself.




Cue the collective gasp from me and my fellow video watchers. John had just showed me that app the day before so I am surprised I didn't suspect anything before I hit the play button. Just in case I didn't realize this wasn't real, he then followed up with this text: 'It's a joke. I delete. She is safe.' Well thank goodness he clarified!

And then my poor little Charley lady spent an hour crying and not going to sleep so easily like she normally does. She is used to being nursed before bed, and of course John had to give her a bottle so she didn't like the change very much. I felt so bad, but even if I came home I wouldn't have been able to nurse her since I'd been drinking. But she finally fell asleep for John and we'll just have to try again soon. My poor baby probably just wanted to stay up and see the ball drop!

Hope you guys had a wonderful New Year also! I really think 2012 is going to be great. I mean, obviously it will be great as we will all be finishing up our bucket lists in time for December 21. Woohoo for the end of the world!!
.
.