Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Baby products I love part two!

About two months ago I had a blog entry about my favorite baby products that I love. Baby products I love! Which most of them Grant is still using, but now that he is getting a little older, we have some new favorites I like to share.

1) Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Lantern:

Not sure what to think of it but it calms me down every time

 I got this for a killer deal at Kohls. Grant absolutely loves it. I can recite every song the lantern plays. It's quite annoying. But this lantern was a lifesavor when we traveled for 6 hours to Missouri. Anytime Grant got fussy and started crying. I would just press the orange button and Grant would just instantly get quiet, and stare into the yellow light, as the little lantern lite up. Best 7 bucks I ever spent.

2) Bumbo Seat:

Whoever came up with the invention of a bumbo seat, I wish I would have came up with it. Such a brilliant idea! Grant absolutely loves his bumbo seat. When I'm doing stuff he hates sitting in his bouncy. He likes to be at my level. So I set him in his bumbo seat when I get ready for work. He smiles and has a good time. The bumbo seat has definitely been AMAZING! I'm so glad we got this as a gift.
I feel like I'm a big boy in my big boy seat

3) Gripe Water:
Best stuff Ever!

When I tell people about this, they are like "Gripe water, what's that?" So I'm not sure if this is a newer remembered. But I love this stuff! When Grant gets as I call it gripish, to where his belly hurts him, or his teeth hurt and he is generally cranky, I give him some of this. It works wonders and eventually gets Mr. Crankypants to sleep.

4) Crunchy Book
I'm not sure the formal name of it, but its those books that make crunchy noises. This book is Grant's new favorite toy! He love its! He loves making it crunch. The other day, I had the book on his belly when he was laying on his back. He kept hitting his belly, just to hear the book crunch. It was so funny!  It's amusing watching all the funny things Grant does to his crunchy book.

I love my crunchy book!

5) Bright Stars Swing
I should have got this swing before Grant was even born. I kept telling myself I didn't need a swing. Boy was I wrong. Grant loves the motion, and it helps get him to sleep. I'm not sure on this brand of swing though. When we first got it, it didn't work. So we called the company. They sent us another one, and it also didn't work until Matt bent out  the frame of the swing. Once he did that it worked wonderfully. So I'm thinking the other swing also works as well probably. I don't understand why they even made the swing that way if it has problems swinging. Oh well. Grant likes it!

Tuckered out and so cute in my swing

6) Adorable pair of sandals!
Most people would say, "If they can't walk yet why does a baby need to be wearing sandals?" But I think they are so flipping cute, and go with every outfit, that a baby does need a pair of sandals. Grant got a pair of sandals as a gift, and I love sporting them on his little feet. They look so great on him. And its a soft fabric so it doesn't poke his feet funny.

Look at those little piggies!

7) A reversible bucket hat:
I got this hat for like 3 bucks at the Childern's Place outlet. I love this hat because it covers Grant's little bald head, and protects him from the nasty sun. And its reversible! I can flip it over a fun plaid pattern. So I can match more outfits that way. And it fits his little head pretty well.

So tired but so rocking in my reversible hat

8) Swim trunks and 50 SPF swim shirt
Grant ventured out on his first swimming adventure yesterday. He is still unsure of what to think of it. Since Grant is so fair skin, I need to protect him from the sun. So I got him a swim shirt and cute fishy swim trunks at Target. Grant looks stylish and protected from the sun at the same time 

Mommy why am I in this cold water?

9) Froggy Toy Bar-
I got this at my shower and I love it. The little froggy sings this annoying song, that Matt and I will both find ourselves randomly humming. When Grant gets fussy in his car seat. I press the little Froggy, who lights up and makes a hoppy song. This instantly calms Grant down. He loves the song!

Oh look at Mr. Froggy!

So those are my 9 new baby product faves! Grant loves them to as you can see. :)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Now that there is a baby, pets are second fiddles..

In my previous blog entry: Having a pet is good practice for motherhood, pre-Grant, I talked about how I treated my cat Marco pretty much like a baby. He was so spoiled. Matt and I would cuddle with him, fussy over him and go crazy. I would take thousands of pictures of my cat. I even have dressed him up on on occasions. I was ridiculous with my cat, you would have thought he was my first born child. Maybe in way he was considering that is one reason I wanted a cat in the first place, to fill the void as a pseudo child, since I had to wait a couple of years before having a child. But now that Grant is in the picture, Marco is like the abandon step-child. Babies are way more exciting than cats! Taking care of Grant takes so much time and energy, that I don't have time to pay attention to Marco.

Marco is now irritating to both Matt and I. I find myself  and Matt saying "You stupid cat" quite often. And getting easily annoyed by everything he does. And it suddenly see seems more of a trouble maker, getting into things. Escaping outside a lot. Being bad. Though maybe he really isn't anymore bad then he was before. Marco has always been a troublemaker of a cat. But because taking care of a baby is a handful in itself, having a bratty cat just adds more headaches to the day.

But don't get me wrong, Marco is a sweet cat, he really isn't that terrible. I just feel bad that I don't care about him the same way I use to. Maybe that makes me sound like a terrible person. I feel like Marco is getting neglected. I don't change his litter-box as often as I should because I simply don't have time. We use to give Marco frequent bathes. Now Marco hasn't had a bath in over four months. But I'm sure he isn't complaining about that. He HATES bathes. We don't cuddle and pet Marco as often anymore. Don't worry, one thing we are still not slacking on is food. Marco definitely gets fed. He is a fat cat!

Marco definitely likes his food, and likes to get his bouts of attention when he can!

With how spoiled Marco is, I was worried how Marco would be with Grant. Surprisingly Marco has done very good with Grant. He pays no never mind to him. When Grant cries, Marco comes running out of nowhere acting very concern that Grant is upset. It is very cute. Marco is good about not getting in Grant's baby-bed or other things. For now Marco is great with Grant. Though I worry when Grant becomes mobile. That will be a different story. I know Marco hates toddlers. Both of my nieces have been swatted at my Marco when they attempt to pet him. Marco just remembers them pulling and tugging him once and now anytime they try to just nicely pet him, Marco gets mad. So I do worry how Marco will be when Grant is crawling and walking around. Though, Grant doesn't have front claws. So maybe I don't have to worry too much.

Speaking of claws. Marco is officially on my hate list. Yesterday I was brushing Marco. Now Marco hates when I brush him. He gets fur all over the place. So I have to brush him. But it is a dangerous task. I decided to quit brushing Marco's fur, because I could tell he was getting mad. So I stopped and was looking at my toes, deciding if I should paint them or not. Next thing I know, Marco attacks my arm and bits it! Now this wasn't a I'm mad and jealous there is a baby revenge bite. Marco has attacked before when I brush him. I just never have gotten a bit so bad from him before.

Bad Kitty! It looks worse today. 

Even though Marco is the abbanon step cat child now. He still gets his attention when he can. His knew thing is sitting on my laptop while I using it and while I'm nursing Grant at the same time.

Give me some attention now!

And Marco likes doing bad things like try to drink water that's on kitchen table instead of the actual water from his bowl. Like I said, Marco has always done these kind of bad things, but now that I have a baby, I don't have time to yell or stop the bad things Marco does.
Bad kitty!   

I know I'm making it sound like my cat is terrible. Really Marco isn't that bad of a cat. He is really sweet. That is why I feel bad we don't pay as much attention to him anymore. Even though we are not paying much attention to him, Marco is still loved very much. And Marco likes Grant too. Hopefully it stays that way.

Marco watching over the little Buddy

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Adventures of Breastfeeding

Before I had Grant, I took a breastfeeding class.  I was made fun for wasting my money on taking a breastfeeding class. But I felt completely clueless in how to breastfeed, that I figured taking a class would help me out. I learned quite a bit in the class. I learned position techniques, and got made fun of by the instructor. We were suppose to bring a teddy bear or baby doll to go over different positions to hold the baby. I didn't have either, so I borrow a stuff giraffe from work. The instructor said, "I never seen anyone bring a giraffe before, this is new." Yep that is me, always the one that has to be different. But anyways I thought this class was worth my money and time. Though now that I actually know and understand how breastfeeding works, I felt completely misled to what I would be expecting.

The instructor pretty much spent the entire time class talking about the benefits of breastfeeding and some misconceptions, and that is just about it. Which I find kind of odd considering, most people there pretty much made the conscious decision already to breastfeed, so they don't need any more persuasion, just guidance on what to expect. And boy, was I completely blindsided on what to expect.

First I didn't get to breastfeed Grant right away, like most mothers who have their baby they get to bond with their babies by breastfeeding them right away. And it's know that you will have better success with breastfeeding if you could do it within a hour of the baby being born. But because of my circumstances, (which I won't bore most of you again, because you heard about it probably a hundred times already) I didn't get to even hold Grant and breastfeed him until about 20 hours later. I thought breastfeeding would come naturally, but I was having troubles to get him to latch good. He kept falling asleep while I nursed him. With the support of family and friends who visited, they really were helpful with every tip and trick in the book to help get Grant to latch. I will stay though, the first couple of days I was frusturated and didn't realize how frusurtating nursing could be.

Then when Grant was in the hospital at 5 days old for having jaundice. He was at 5 pounds and 13 oz at birth and he ended up at 5 pounds and 1oz. Because of the jaundice and his weight loss, the nurse weighed him before and after I nursed him. He ended up not gaining any weight, which means he didn't get anything from me. So then I had to supplement with formula. I think because Grant was so tiny, his suck wasn't strong enough. Looking back I would have fought harder to not use formula. But I found myself in a position where I felt like I had to listen to what the doctors said. There really was no choice in the matter. Or at least that is the way they made it seem.

Luckily the I didn't have to supplement with formula too long. By his two week appointment, he was back to birth weight, and I quit supplementing. I then pumped for a little while just to make sure he was getting enough. And then I stopped with that and exclusively breastfed him. By two months Grant was 10 pounds and 11 oz. I was so proud of Grant for growing and myself for sticking with breastfeeding. It was so wonderful to know that it was all me that helped Grant nearly double his body weight.

I'm mad the instructor never told me how time consuming breastfeeding is, and how you have to tie yourself to the baby for long periods of time. I really had no idea how time consuming it is. At first I would have nursing sessions with Grant that lasted 45 minutes to a hour. I thought if its like this all the time, I'm going to lose my mind. But with reassurance from others, I realize it did get better. Once Grant's suck got stronger, most breast feeding sessions are more like 15-20 minutes.

And I'm mad the instructor never went into how painful breast feeding can be. At first breastfeeding was absolutely painful. I will spare you the details but there were times when I would put icepack in my bra. Though over time, it got easier, and no longer painful.

Breastfeeding was rough in the first month, there were times where I just wonder if I should just give up and give formula but once I got the hang of it, I realized I could do this. Breastfeeding is no walk in the park, but the benefits of it are worth all the pain, hard work, time.

Now that I'm going back to work I have a new element to add to my breastfeeding adventures. Pumping. I would love to not have to pump and just exclusively breastfeed. But unfortunately since I'm working I have to pump. I've been back to work for three weeks now, and while it is a challenge, I'm making it work. I'm hoping to never quit doing it, because I want to breastfeed for awhile. But finding the time to pump during the work day is so hard. And then I feel guilty leaving a meeting or something else for about 20 minutes or so to pump. I feel like my co-workers are probably judging me and wondering why I keep disappearing. Though I know it is required by law to allow employees to pump, and they can't fire them for it or not let them not have any breaks for it. Though I feel like I'm less productive and spend so much time in the work day pumping. And the set up of it is such a pain in the ass. There are so many pieces, and then I have to clean the pieces, and sterilize them. While pumping is so annoying, I'm so proud of myself, that I'm making it work. I hope to continue to make it work, though I need to probably find another time during the work day to pump, because usually I pump about 3 bags of milk, and Grant is starting to drink 4 bags!

I know breastfeeding is not for everyone. But I'm so happy I'm making it work in my life. I just wish I would have know what to expect. I thought it would be really easy, but boy didn't I know all the challenges that I would come across. When I look at how big Grant it getting, I smile, because my hard work is paying off. :)

Look at me I'm growing!