Boobs, Binky’s, Bottles, & Baby Blues

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When Curren was born, our boob Nazi lactation consultant was adamant – “No pacifier for the first 6 WEEKS!”  Piece of cake, I thought.  We had taken all of the baby classes and knew that a pacifier could cause nipple confusion for a new baby trying to breastfeed.  We also didn’t want to have a kid who needed the pacifier because we would eventually have to break that habit.  Not to mention the potential damage to his teeth if he sucked on that thing for too long.  So, I didn’t even worry about having any “binky’s” available for when we brought Curren home from the hospital.  We had received a couple at a baby shower, but they were shoved in one of his drawers because I thought we wouldn’t use them.

Then we went home.

And Curren cried.  And cried.  And cried.  And – well, you get it.

If Curren was not sucking on my nipple, he was not happy.  He would suck for 45 minutes, fall asleep for 15 minutes, and then wake up crying to nurse again.

It got to the point where every time he started to cry, I would cry.  Because breastfeeding hurts like hell at first and this kid was using me as a human pacifier.  It felt like his mouth was full of razorblades and he was shredding my nipples to pieces. (You’re welcome for that visual).

We were having latch issues anyway.  He wasn’t “using his tongue correctly” according to one lactation consultant.  Or according to another, “his chin is recessed which makes it hard to latch.” And another, “your nipples are too flat and small.” Which was shocking to me because I felt like they were larger than life.  It was frustrating because I couldn’t change any of those things.

In the midst of all of these breastfeeding issues, Curren would not. stop. crying. It got to where I couldn’t bring myself to put my boob in his mouth again.

Desperate (and seriously at the end of my rope), I called my best friend.

“HE WON’T STOP CRYING!!” I choked out between sobs. “What do I do?!?!”

She had two kids before I had one (and now she has three), so she is a seasoned veteran. “Have you tried giving him a pacifier yet?”

“No, I was told not to until he’s at least 6 weeks old!” I cried.

“Okay, go inside right now and put the pacifier in his mouth. Just try it and see if it helps.”

I walked inside and found one of two pacifiers in our house.

“I’m giving him a pacifier” I said to Ryan as I walked with purpose to Curren’s room. He followed me and watched as I placed it into Curren’s wide open, screaming mouth.

Then, he stopped. He stopped crying.

I was stunned. As a new parent that hadn’t slept in DAYS, it felt just as dramatic as I’m explaining it to be. I ran back to the phone and told my friend, “It worked!!! He stopped crying!!!” I could have kissed her. All it took was another mom letting me know that it was OKAY to give my baby a pacifier before the recommended time. It felt good to hear from someone else who had been there that “the rules” can be broken if that’s what works for you.

I struggled through more days of unsuccessful breastfeeding and exclusive pumping. Hormones were having a huge impact on me. But I was also feeling extreme guilt and disappointment because I couldn’t feed my baby without crying and/or bleeding. I didn’t have any of my family or friends nearby for support. We were experiencing a serious heat wave and didn’t have air conditioning. And I felt like this new little screaming, needy, creature was driving a wedge between my husband and I. All things combined led to a big ole’ case of baby blues. (I’ll expand more on that in a future post). Finally, I waved the white flag and surrendered to formula (only after desperately reaching out to another friend and getting the green-light of validation from her.) She also formula-fed her kids – and guess what, they’re fine! And so is mine! The day we switched, I swear – the sky was bluer. The birds started singing again. I was able to finally form a bond with my newborn. I no longer cringed every time he cried to eat.

Fast forward to Curren’s first birthday. Other than the obvious fact that breast milk is better, the major drawback to formula feeding is that you literally have to wash a million and one bottles. Believe me, I would have much rather put my boob in his mouth for the sheer convenience of it. I was singing “Hallelujah!” when he turned one because that is when you’re supposed to get rid of the bottle. For us, the bottle wasn’t that hard to kick. I bought some sippy cups a couple of weeks before we made the switch. I put milk in the sippy cup and started giving it to him with his meals (along with the bottle). Eventually, he figured out how to drink from it. On his first birthday, I only gave him the sippy cup – no bottle. On day 1, he cried for his bottle and refused the cup. On day 2, he wanted his bottle, but he figured out that his milk was in his cup. And by day 3, the bottle was a thing of the past. He had totally forgotten about it and moved on. I’m not sure if I just got lucky or if this is normal, but I felt like it was pretty easy. I have friends who have struggled to take away the bottle, so I was worried that it would be much more difficult.

The pacifier was another story. That is also supposed to be taken away when they turn one. The binky not only brought Curren comfort, it helped me stay sane. This kid had a binky in his mouth from sun-up to sun-up. Yes, I said sun-up again because he slept with it, too. I was so scared to part with it. I used to call it his “mute” button.

I decided to take it away when he turned 2 because his teeth were sticking out and I was sick of chasing it down every time it fell out of his mouth and when it was time for bed. He also kept dropping it between the slats of the crib and would wake me up occasionally screaming for it. So, on his second birthday, I cut the tips off of his binky’s and did this:

That night, when I put him down for bed, he cried for his pacifier for 20 minutes. I picked him up and calmed him down while explaining that his binky was “broken” and that it was in the trash. He finally calmed down about 5 minutes later and I laid him down and left the room. He went to sleep. He woke up at 2:00 am crying for it and I picked him up again. I laid him down after he calmed down and left the room. He slept until 7:00 am, as usual! The next day, when I laid him down for his nap, he cried for his binky for about 10 minutes and then fell asleep. The next night, he cried for 5 minutes. And by night 3, he was completely DONE with the pacifier. I couldn’t believe it was that easy. I really thought it would be a huge struggle.

My point in all of this is to say that any time you change behavior, there is going to be a period of resistance and lots of crying. Power through it! Stick to your guns. Every day that goes by, they’ll miss that bottle or binky less and less. He didn’t need that binky as much as I thought he did. I was holding on to it because I was scared of what he would be like without it. So, it was almost more of a comfort item for ME.

It’s funny to look back at Curren’s first year and realize that a lot of the things we worry about as new parents are NOT THAT BIG OF A DEAL. He’s two years old now. The bottle, boob, binky, and baby blues are so far in the past now.

New moms, be nice to yourself. Try not to let mommy-guilt take over. You are not a bad mom. Call, text, or Facebook message a friend when it gets to be too much. I always feel better after talking to another mom who knows how I feel. It’s hard. There are a million choices you’ll make throughout your child’s life and 50% of people will disagree with what you choose to do. My baby was formula-fed, used a binky for 2 years, and guess what – he’s healthy. The pediatrician may have even used the words “developmentally advanced” at his last appointment (Whoop whoop! Sorry, proud mommy-gloat moment. Feels so much better than mommy-guilt.)

All that to say – do what works for you and what is best for your family. They’ll be okay, I promise!

Toddler Activities

Curren is almost 2 years old and he’s busier than ever!  Boredom comes quickly these days, so I’m always looking for activities and fun things to do to keep him entertained & learning something new.  Here’s a few things we do that Curren has enjoyed during his second year (in no particular order).  He has outgrown some of these activities, so I would love some activity suggestions for 2 year olds!

I think the most important thing is to GET OUT OF THE HOUSE.  I’m a total homebody and I’ve also started working again. It’s easy for me to stay home to get my chores and work projects done. But, I make myself get Curren out of the house every day. We go to the park, the pool, the zoo, farmer’s markets, the gym, the library, Barnes & Noble, the beach, shopping, and for walks in the neighborhood. We also just bought a pass to Legoland and I’ve been looking into local concerts & movies in the park to take him to. (Love that free family stuff.) Get your toddler out of the house and WEAR THEM OUT.

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When you’re stuck at home for whatever reason, there are a ton of things for toddlers to do. Here are Curren’s favorites!

- Books: I take Curren to the library every other week and we get about 10 – 15 books. He LOVES them. We’ve always read before bed, but now he likes to sit and look at them by himself.

- Empty Boxes:  Get ones that are big enough for forts or for sitting in.  When we moved, these boxes & paper kept him out of my hair so I could unpack!

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- A Drawer in the Kitchen: Curren has a large drawer in the kitchen that I put random new toys in (typically from the $1.00 bins at Target). There are old toys in there, too. But he loves to open the drawer and find a new little trinket to play with.

- Muffin Tin with Magnets: Flip a muffin tin over and stick magnets to it.

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- Bubbles: My kid is a bubble freak. “Bubble” was one of his first words. This Thomas the Train bubble-maker has been a big hit!

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- Chalkboard Wall: Ryan likes to work out in the garage, so he wanted a space for Curren to be able to play while he’s in there. We have a built-in cabinet and Ryan painted the bottom half with chalkboard paint. Curren loves to sit in there and draw with chalk or dip a paint brush in water and “paint” the wall with it.


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- Dandelions & Weed Pulling: What’s better than an activity that helps me with my chores?! Curren loves to pick & blow dandelions and help me pull weeds.

- Swiffer & Swiffer Duster: Speaking of chores, give your toddler a swiffer and/or swiffer duster and let them go to town on your dust. Curren follows me around the house when I dust and “helps” me tidy up. ;)

- Printed Family Photos and Album:  He loves to look at pictures of us and other family members.  I made him a small album with family pictures and we point & name everyone in the family.

- Mr. Potatohead: This has been Curren’s absolute favorite toy for MONTHS. He loves sticking the parts in and the little compartment in the back. He has also learned body part names thanks to Mr. Potatohead.

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- Wooden Blocks & Legos:  Blocks and Legos have been a big hit in the Heartt house….especially the Thomas the Train Lego Set. He sleeps with his “Lego Thomas” now and it’s his ever-present friend.

- Radio Flyer Trike: This is Curren’s mode of transportation when we walk in the neighborhood. I love it because it will grow with him and he’ll be able to pedal it by himself one of these days…

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- iPad: I limit the use of technology, but he LOVES the iPad. It’s amazing to watch him navigate through apps and watch that little finger click on everything. He likes the PBS Kids app the most.

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- Cup with Water and Straw: I give him a small plastic cup filled half-way with water and a straw. He has so much fun playing with that.

- Contact Paper and Cotton Balls: Tape contact paper (sticky side out) to a door or wall and let them stick objects to it like cotton balls, q-tips, etc.

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- Muffin Tin Sorting with Rice & Beans

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- Foam Letters & Numbers Fort:

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- Sand Box with Containers:  We got this container at Lowe’s.  We didn’t want a huge sandbox in the backyard, so this is perfect because it’s small and out of the way, but big enough for him to sit in whenever he wants to.

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- Water Play:

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- Big Bouncy Balls:

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- Fun with Shaving Cream:

- Homemade Finger Painting:

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- Dry Pasta Sorting:  Of course, do this activity while you’re able to keep an eye on them so they don’t put the pieces in their mouth and choke!

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- Empty Salt Shaker with Straws and/or Q-tips:

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- Play-Doh with Cheerios and Straws & Toothpicks: I put a mound of Play-Doh on his tray and stick toothpicks in it. He puts the Cheerios on the toothpicks or just sticks stuff into the Play-Doh.

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- Empty Paper Towel Roll with Paper Towels:  Not so much now, but he used to love to rip up a paper towel and stick the pieces into the cardboard cylinder.

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- Empty Container with Holes in Lid & Pom Poms to Poke Through

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- Painting & Drawing with Crayons or Colored Pencils:

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- Play Structure with Slide:

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- Anything with buttons (especially a calculator)

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- Dancing: Curren LOVES to dance. When he hears “On Top of the World” & “Best Day of My Life”, he stops what he’s doing to get up and dance. So cute!

If you have other ideas or things your kids enjoy (between 1 & 2 years old), please comment! :)

Taking Off Tomorrow…

When I was in high school, my dad and I drove together to pick up dinner for the family at a local fast food restaurant.  As we sat in the drive-thru waiting for our food, my dad looked at me and said,

“I’m taking off tomorrow and I haven’t told your mom yet.”

BOOM.  Just like that.  No warning.  Just an emotionless statement.

I stared straight ahead trying to digest what he had just said.

My dad was leaving my mom.

I could feel my throat tighten.  My eyes began to burn.  I felt like my whole world had just come crashing down.

All of these thoughts started to swirl in my head:
Wait, WHAT…but WHY?

What did mom do that was so bad that he would just decide to leave her without even telling her?!
What are we going to do??
How will Ric and I choose who to live with?
How will mom go on without him?
 MY PARENTS ARE GETTING A DIVORCE.
MY WHOLE FAMILY WILL BE RIPPED APART!
AHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

I felt the first tear roll down my face and then I lost it.  I started to cry uncontrollably.

My dad looked at me – dumbfounded – and said, “why are you crying?”

“BECAUSE YOU JUST SAID YOU WERE LEAVING MOM!!!!” I yelled.

My dad was shocked by my outburst.  I could see a smirk start to form on his face.

“I said ‘I’m taking off’….  I’m taking the day off from work tomorrow…”  he explained with wide eyes.
“Geez…why would you think I was leaving her??”

Oops.  I guess that reaction was a tad dramatic.

Sorry, Dad.  :)

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Favorite Family Recipes

As a mom and resident chef at the Heartt house, I’m always looking for new, yummy, healthy, and easy recipes.  I wanted to share some of the recipes we love in hopes of helping other moms (and dads!) looking for ideas on what to cook for your family.  All of these recipes are kid-approved (by mine).

Click on each dish to get the recipe:

One Dish Meals (paired with a salad, these stretch into two dinners for us!):
Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya (I use Chicken Sausage) – Cooking Light

Tomato and Asparagus “Carbonara” (This is a veggie dish – but we always add a breast of grilled chopped chicken) – Cooking Light

Crock-Pot Chicken Pot Pie (Don’t add too much dill or it ruins it!) – Woman’s Day

Chicken Enchiladas - Cooking Light

California-Style Turkey Loaf (Uses Benson Gourmet Seasoning – we love it!  But you can substitute your own seasoning.)

Sesame Beef Stir-Fry (Ryan’s FAVORITE.  I don’t put any red pepper on Curren’s.) – Cooking Light

calzoneMini-Calzones – Buy Trader Joe’s Brand Pizza Dough, Marinara Sauce, Ground Turkey, Onion and Mozzarella Cheese.  Cook the ground turkey and saute the onion.  Mix turkey, onion and marinara.  Roll out dough into 5-inch squares.  Spoon in the filling.  Top with Cheese.  Fold dough over so that the edges meet.  Press the edges with a fork.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes (or until golden brown).  You can choose whatever filling you like – this is just what we like and it’s easy & Curren approved!

Bok Choy & Tofu Noodle Bowl - Sunset Magazine

Ground Turkey Soft Tacos – Just soft tacos with ground turkey, salsa, avocado, lettuce, cheese, and cilantro.

Bean Burritos – Same thing as above, but with refried or black beans.

Chicken Fried Rice - Cooking Light

Pesto Pasta with Chicken & Tomatoes - Cooking Light

Chicken Tortilla Soup - One of my favorites!  I’ve made it for company a few times and they all say it tastes like soup from a restaurant. – Cooking Light

Quinoa Tabbouleh – Fresh & Delicious!  I HATE the taste of quinoa, but I know I should eat it.  This recipe is so good, you forget you’re eating quinoa.  :) – Sunset Magazine

Tuna Noodle Casserole (This is a cookbook recipe from BHG.  I can’t find it online – so here is a picture below.  It’s our favorite “comfort food” recipe.  Probably the least healthy of all the recipes I’m listing – but it’s our go-to when we’re tired and want something yummy & easy!) – Better Homes & Gardens

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Main:
Chicken Breasts Diane  (I omitted the Brandy) – Recipe Girl

Lemon-Feta Chicken Breasts  (I saw this in People magazine and it’s DELICIOUS.) – Tastebook

Pork Chops with Roasted Apples & Onion  (Our Favorite Fall Recipe) – Cooking Light

Peppercorn-Crusted Beef Tenderloin with Gremolata  (Love the Gremolata – so fresh!) – Cooking Light

Skirt Steak with Gorgonzola Polenta  (I’m obsessed with Gorgonzola right now.  SO good.) – Cooking Light

Grilled Mahi Mahi or Tilapia : Set Grill to Medium Heat.  Put fish in foil and add butter, garlic, capers, lemon slices, pepper, & salt. Close foil to form a tent.  Grill until done.  We usually do about 15 min.

Soy-Glazed Salmon with Watercress Salad  – Martha Stewart

Parmesan-Panko Chicken Tenders  – Cooking Light

Spinach & Feta Stuffed Chicken - Cooking Light

Parmesan Panko Baked Chicken Nuggets  (YUM.  And this website has lots of other GREAT recipes.)  - Skinnytaste.com

Herbed Rack of Lamb (This is more of a special occasion meal….  But, it is SO GOOD.  Ryan hates mint, so I omitted that and put in Rosemary instead.  WOW.  Ryan still talks about how good it was…)  - Cooking Light

Sides:
Green Onion Mashed Potatoes - Sunset Magazine

Roasted Cabbage - (I don’t add the caraway or fennel.  LOVE this…) – Martha Stewart

Warm Brussels Sprout Leaves with Toasted Garlic and Lemon – Sunset Magazine

Parmesan Crisps - Cooking Light

Roasted Potatoes – Cut up a bunch of potatoes and a whole onion.  Throw everything in a bowl and drizzle it with olive oil.  Season with salt, pepper, fresh minced garlic, and Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute.  Toss and then spread it all out on a baking sheet.  Bake at 425 degrees.  I mix it all up after 30 minutes and then continue to bake until a little crispy.

Spinach with Garlic Vinaigrette – Cooking Light

Tomato, Mozzarella, Shallots, & Balsamic Salad – Chop up the tomatoes, shallots, and cheese (I buy Trader Joe’s organic string cheese and cut up the stick to about 1/4″ thickness).  Toss everything together and then drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

Roasted Vegetables – Cut carrots into sticks, cut thick onion slices, cut jalapenos in half and remove seeds, and cut zucchini into sticks.  Grease a baking sheet with olive oil and spread vegetables out.  Brush or spray vegetables with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute.  Bake at 350 degrees until done.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes – Poke sweet potatoes with a fork, rinse, and wrap in foil.  Bake at 400 degrees for 40-60 min.

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Shallots - Cooking Light

Green Beans with Toasted Almonds & Lemon - Cooking Light

These are in our regular rotation and I’m always looking for new things to try….so please comment if you have any suggestions of your favorite things to make for dinner!

Another New Beginning

2013 was a great year for us!  We celebrated Ryan’s 40th birthday, my 30th birthday, and Curren’s 1st birthday.

Birthday

Ryan and I got to escape to Hawaii twice this year without Curren and had a great time reconnecting as a couple.  The first night we were alone in Hawaii, we were sitting at dinner looking at each other like, “uhhh….what do we talk about now?”  It was strange sitting at a restaurant and not needing to move everything sharp and/or breakable to the middle of the table, disinfect the highchair, scramble to find things to entertain or feed to Curren, and actually being able to have a conversation without being interrupted with a scream or a “na-na” (which means “more”) every 5 minutes.  I love my child, but it was nice to have adult conversation and be able to relax for a few days!

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In between milestone birthdays and trips to Hawaii, we also started looking for a home to own.  After months of searching, we found the perfect house for us in Oceanside and purchased our first home together!  It will be fun for us to re-do and makeover the whole thing.  I’ll post pictures as we update the inside.  It will be a while before we can update the outside, but it’s pretty cute as is!

Our House

 

It’s been a couple of years since Ryan and I have felt “at home,” so we’re looking forward to putting down roots in this community and growing our family!  Happy 2014!

First Baby Necessities List

When I was stocking up on baby items, I was blown away at all of the baby products and brands out there.  I found myself sitting on my computer for HOURS reading reviews of every product.  So, below is a detailed list of what we used and needed when we brought Curren home from the hospital.  I love all of these products and hopefully, this will save some new moms from having to do extensive research.  In the description, I’ve included which brands we used with a link!  You don’t need all of these items for a newborn.  This is everything we have found to be useful from Newborn to 7 months old (in no particular order).

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For Baby:

- Diapers: We used disposable because it was the best option for us.  The best newborn disposable diapers are Pampers Swaddlers. These diapers don’t leak and they have a “wetness stripe” so you know when baby is wet.  These were great for Curren up until he got to size 2.  Then we switched to the Costco “Kirkland” Brand diapers.  Then at size 3, we started using Costco “Huggies” Brand diapers.

- Little Tummies Gas Relief Drops:  I don’t know if these really work for gas.  His pediatrician says it doesn’t.  Apparently, someone conducted a study on these types of drops and the placebo worked just as well as the “gas drop”.  However, when Curren had bad gas and was crying uncontrollably, we would put one drop of Little Tummies in his mouth and he would instantly stop crying.  It could have been the sweet taste on his tongue – or it could have been that it really helped with his gas.  I don’t know and I don’t care.  It works.  And when you’re a desperate, worn-out mommy at 2 am, you’ll do whatever works.  :)

- Velcro Swaddle Sacks: We used Summer “SwaddleMe” Brand swaddles. We learned in our baby classes how to swaddle Curren with a blanket, but I swear he busted out of them every single time.  These were the only thing that worked for him!  We stopped swaddling him when he was able to roll over.  Then we started putting him to sleep on his belly in his pajamas.  By then, he could lift his head, so he was fine.  And he started sleeping through the night at 2 months old.  7 pm to 7 am, baby!!  (I’ll write another blog on how we did that later).

- Binky’s:  GumDrop pacifiers are his favorite.  He won’t take any other kind.  You seriously need ten or more of these bad boys.

- Pacifier Clip:  We liked this one in the “boy” colors.  Get this or else you’ll be chasing binky’s as they roll across the nasty floor at a restaurant! 

- Infant Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen:  You can’t give a baby Ibuprofen until they’re six months old.  Curren started teething around 4 months old, so we had to give him acetaminophen a few times until he was able to have the ibuprofen.

- Burp Cloths:  You need a ton of these.  We like the diaper inserts as burp cloths because they’re the most absorbent and soft.

- Hats:  Protect their little head from the sun.  Get your baby used to wearing a hat early so they don’t try to take it off when it’s important to wear one!  (Especially since they can’t wear sunscreen yet.)

- Vaseline:  This is great for newborn rashes, dry skin, and a circumcised penis.  (Until they get to the BAD diaper rash stage and then you have to get some Butt Paste.)

- Onesies:  We think Carter’s clothes fit the best, are reasonably priced, have the cutest designs, and last the longest.

- Bottles:  Curren likes these bottles from Avent.  Get the smallest nipple for your newborn.

- Bottle Brush:  This Munchkin bottle brush is my favorite because it fits in any bottle and the sponge lasts longer than others I’ve tried.

- Bottle Drying Rack:  This Munchkin Rack is the one we use and we like it.

- Bibs:  Get a few of these.  Babies drool A LOT – especially when they’re teething.

- Nail Clippers:  I like this one from Safety 1st, but I’m sure there are others out there that are just as good.

- Mittens:  You need these or else your baby will have scratch marks all over his or her face.  :(

- Socks:  Carter’s Socks are the best!  They’re stretchy – so he was able to wear the same pair at 3 months and 6 months.

- Laundry Detergent:  We use All Free & Clear.  It’s hypoallergenic, perfume- and dye-free.  Our pediatrician recommended it.

- Blankets:  I love these from Target (good for throwing over the car seat to keep nosy germ-infested strangers out of baby’s face) or these from Carter’s (good for tummy time).  You’ll need a few of these.

- Wipes:  We like these Huggies wipes that are fragrance free.

- Instant Thermometer:  Don’t waste your time on the standard thermometer.  They take FOREVER to work.  It’s too hard to use when you have a squirmy, sick baby.  We like this one from Safety 1st.  It takes 1 second to read baby’s temperature.

- Stroller: We almost bought a BOB stroller.  But honestly, I can’t justify spending that much money on a stroller.  I feel like it’s almost a joke how expensive they are.  They’re great strollers and I’m sure everyone who has one loves them.  However, I think moms get gouged on certain items such as diaper bags and strollers.  So, I did some research on Amazon.com and read a million reviews.  It seems the Britax B-Agile stroller (in black) is a GREAT stroller for shopping and for exercise…and it’s half the price of the BOB.  Also, don’t buy your BOB from a store.  You can get it on Amazon for a little over $300.  They’re $450 in stores.  We got the Britax stroller and Infant Car Seat and LOVE THEM BOTH.  The stroller folds up quickly and easily with the push of a button.  A lot of my friends have BOB’s and they complain that it’s too big for shopping or even too big to fit into their car.  Although, I will be fair and say that my friends who have BOB strollers do love them.  And some of them found them on Craigslist or at REI’s scratch & dent sale for CHEAP.  Also, the BOB is great for those runner-moms.  But, I run with my Britax B-Agile and it’s great, too.  ALL of that to say, if you want a BOB and don’t care about the cost – great!  But, if you want another option, the Britax B-Agile is awesome.  :)

- Infant Car Seat:  We love this carseat.  It hooks right into the Britax B-Agile stroller.

- Infant Bath Tub:  We like this tub from Target.

- Infant Play Mat:  We used this play mat really early with Curren.  He would do tummy time on this thing and even now, he’ll lay and play with the toys that hang down.

- Exersaucer:  Curren loves his exersaucer.  You need one of these if you hope to get anything done during the day…  (once they’re old enough to stand in it, of course!)

- Saline:  We used saline drops a lot when he first came home from the hospital.  We also use it when he’s sick and snotty.

- NoseFrida Snot Sucker:  This product sounds (and IS) disgusting.  However, IT WORKS.  Curren has been sick with a cold 3 times since he’s been born.  The bulb syringe from the hospital doesn’t get all of the snot out and it hurts Curren after I jam it into his nose for the 10th time.  The NoseFrida snot sucker is non-invasive.  It doesn’t even really go into the nostril, so it doesn’t hurt their little nose.  And it sucks SO MUCH snot out.

Hand Sanitizer:  You need lots of these…especially in the nursery and diaper bag.  We like this product by Babyganics because it’s alcohol and fragrance free.

- Boppy Pillow:  I didn’t like this pillow for breast feeding, but it was great for tummy time during those first few months.  It’s also great when they start sitting by themselves.  It helps to keep them from smacking their heads on the floor when they bobble over.

- Crib/Lamp/Glider/Changing Table:  Someone gave us our changing table.  We got everything else at Target and love them:  Delta Convertible Crib.  Shermag Glider (By the way, if your Shermag Glider is delivered and is damaged, return it to Target.  DO NOT try to do an exchange or return through Shermag.  They have TERRIBLE customer service.  After 6 weeks of waiting for a simple replacement part, we just fixed it ourselves.)

- Sheets (At least 3 sets)

- Crib Pee Pads (At least 3 sets)

- Changing Table Covers (At least 3 sets)

- Breathable Mesh Crib Bumpers:  We like this mesh bumper.  It keeps him from smacking into the wooden slats in the crib when he rolls over…but it won’t smother him if his face is up against it (which happens a lot lately!)

- Diaper Bag:  I’m sure those Petunia Pickle Bottom diaper bags are awesome and cute.  However, I just could not bring myself to spend that much on a diaper bag.  I would rather have a couple of cute shirts instead.  I also think there are plenty of great products out there that don’t cost an arm & a leg.  My friend sent me a nice backpack style diaper bag that we use for hiking or beach days.  But, my normal diaper bag was $38 at Target and I LOVE IT.  It’s this one:  Carter’s Tonal Tote.  Unisex & perfect for us!

- Q-Tips

- Humidifier:  We like this Vick’s Cool Mist Humidifier.  It’s small and it doubles as a white noise machine.  We have noisy neighbors and thin walls & windows.  But once you turn this on, Curren can’t hear anything.

- Baby Carrier:  Curren SCREAMS every time I try to put him in the ERGO baby carrier.  So, I got a Baby Bjorn Air in (Black/Blue color) and he loves it.  It’s really comfortable for me, too.  I read reviews that it hurts some mom’s backs, but I didn’t find that to be true (yet).

- Diaper Pail:  We use the Munchkin Arm & Hammer Diaper Pail and like it.  However, we don’t put poop diapers in it.  We take those right out to the big trash can outside.  We have put a couple of poop diapers in the pail (when we were too lazy to walk it outside) and it wasn’t that bad of a smell at first.  But, the longer we’ve owned it – even with the Arm & Hammer pod being replaced as needed – it stinks if you put anything other than pee diapers in it!

For Mom:

- Frozen Meals:  I’m not talking about Lean Cuisine’s.  Pre-make yourself some yummy casseroles and soups and freeze them.  The last thing you’ll want to do with a newborn is to COOK.  So do yourself a favor and pre-cook & freeze a few meals.

- Clif Z-Bars:  The Clif Kid Z-Bars were necessary for me because it was a quick snack, they’re organic, and they’re delicious.

- Numbing Spray:  For your hoo-ha if you deliver naturally.  I used the Dermoplast Hospital Strength Pain Relieving Spray.

- Face Wipes:  I was too tired to wash my face every night during those first few days/weeks, so I used the Neutrogena Face Wipes whenever I started feeling greasy.

- Maxi Pads & Witch Hazel – FROZEN:  If you deliver naturally, get yourself a ton of maxi pads and some witch hazel.  Squirt the witch hazel all over the pad and freeze it.  AHHH – it’s glorious.

- Ibruprofen:  You will need the big bottle.

- Stool Softener:  Gross, but seriously – get a bottle of this, too.

- Lotion:  I liked Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Massage Formula.  I used it throughout my pregnancy.  I did get stretch marks, but I kept using it after I delivered and my stretch marks are faded and almost completely gone.

- Boy Short Underwear:  I couldn’t do the “granny panties,” so I got some cute boy short underwear for those first few post pregnancy weeks.

- Comfy Pants and Tank Tops

IF you’re nursing:

- Nursing Bras

Lanolin

- Breast Pads

- MyBrestFriend Pillow:  This nursing pillow is the best.  I struggled with the Boppy.

- Medela Double Electric Breast Pump:  You’ll feel like a cow being milked, but you have to get this pump if you need to pump often.

Have I missed anything?  Add a comment if you think I should have included something on this list.  I hope this was helpful!!

2 Months Old!

That’s right…Curren is already 2 months old!  I can’t believe how much he has grown in the last 9 weeks.  I didn’t think he could get any cuter – but he did!  :)  He started smiling, laughing, and tracking us & objects.  He also started grasping things and pulling them towards his mouth.  It’s SO fun & rewarding to watch him develop!

Here are a few more pics of our cute little guy.  I’m excited for my family & friends in Georgia to meet him in November!

1 Month Old!

Curren is already ONE MONTH old!

Here is the Cliff’s Notes version of my labor & delivery.  I only heard horror stories while I was pregnant – so I wanted to share my positive experience for all of those first-time mommies-to-be!

I went in for a doctor’s appointment on Monday (7/30).  I was already 3 cm, but I hadn’t progressed since my last appointment.  So we set the date for me to be induced – Wednesday morning (8/1).  Tuesday morning at 2:30 am, I started feeling cramps.  At 3:00 am, I got out of bed and sat on the couch to start timing them.  By 8:00 am, my contractions were 2 minutes apart and almost a minute long.  I was pretty uncomfortable.  So, Ryan drove me to the hospital (during rush hour – yikes!).  We got there and they hooked me up to a machine to monitor Curren’s heartbeat and my contractions.  By then, I had already progressed to 5 cm.  A couple of hours later, I received my epidural.  My legs went numb and then my water broke.  A couple of hours after that, I was at 9 cm…then 10 cm…and then it was time to push!  I pushed for 45 minutes and my sweet little boy was born at 5:08 pm on July 31st.  :)  He weighed 8 lbs, 14 0z and was 21 inches long.

That was it!  I didn’t really feel any pain.  It was the most amazing experience of my entire life.

And here he is!!  One month later!  :)

CURREN KELLY HEARTT

I can’t believe it’s already been a month.  The first two weeks were hard.  But, the last two have been so much better as we figure him out and vice versa.

You spend so much time preparing for your baby to arrive – but no one tells you what to expect when they’re actually here.  Who knew this cute little guy would be so much work?!  ;)

As much work as he is, he is so cute & sweet!
I’m enjoying being a mommy and look forward to every new stage of Curren’s life!

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