Five things on Friday

Catching Air

1. We’re starting our baby registry tomorrow. As a (nervous) first-timer, moms and dads of the world: what should we include? What can we do without? I’m assuming the store will have a handy-dandy guide for us — but that, like the bridal registry, it will include “must-have” items that are actually impractical and unnecessary. But where I knew I didn’t need gold-laced bone china, I don’t know a darn thing about baby paraphernalia. Send help.

2. I’ve found my reading mojo once more . . . and man, it feels good! With January drawing to a close, I’ve finished five books this month and am wrapping up a sixth. Considering I think I read four books total in the fall, I’m feeling great about striding toward my 55-book goal for 2015. But more importantly, I’ve returned to losing myself in stories — always my favorite way to relax. I’m plowing through some review copies I’ve had hanging around for a while, too, which always feels productive.

3. Though it’s hard to admit, my love of pickles — a pregnancy staple — has begun to wane. Lately I can’t get enough of plain ol’ potato chips and dip, which makes seeing recipes like this all the more enticing. Since buying lots of local spice mixes in the fall, I’ve gotten obsessed with making homemade dips; they’re usually just equal parts mayonnaise, sour cream and spices. What can go wrong there?! And Sunday is the Super Bowl! The perfect time for greasy snacks. And maybe beer bread. And lots of commercial-watching. I can’t wait.

4. Last night was the final episode of “Parenthood” ever and I don’t want to talk about it. Or, rather, I do, but I don’t think I’m emotionally capable. Never before have fictional characters made me cry so hard that I had to remove my contacts and gulp air like a drowning woman. Though I was late to the series, my sister really got me into it — and I will miss it so much.

5. As most of my funds went toward Christmas gifts in November and December, I had to stay away from Etsy, my beloved playground — but I’m back. And it’s bad. I’ve long loved compiling my favorite treasures from the marketplace, but I have to hold myself back from basically ordering all the things. Right now? I’m lusting after this adorable box for book lovers, these sock monkey blocks for Baby J and this gorgeous photography.

Anddddd I’m clicking off before I really get into trouble.

Happy weekend, friends!


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51 thoughts on “Five things on Friday

  1. Please don’t invest in a wipe warmer — you know, those devices that warm up the baby wipes before you wipe the baby’s butt. Not only is it a potential fire hazard, they’ve been known to dry out wipes. But most importantly — and I can’t stress this enough — your child really will be fine with regular wipes during those 3 a.m. diaper changes. He won’t care and certainly won’t remember AT ALL that the wipes were cool to the touch.

    The other suggestion I have for baby gear is a Diaper Champ. No, not the Diaper Genie. The Champ. Why, you ask? The Diaper Genie does a wonderful job of individually wrapping each and every diaper into small pods to minimize the smell when you empty out the whole thing. Those pods come in a special insert that you have to refill, and those inserts are very expensive. Considering that you’ll be using diapers for a minimum of two years and possibly for up to four, that cost of those inserts adds up.

    The Diaper Champ uses regular trash bags. Does it smell when you open to change the trash bag? Yes. But it doesn’t smell when it’s shut. You’ll save a fortune and be able to use a regular kitchen product for the disposal of diapers.

    Happy baby registry!

    • Thank you so much for the great tips! I took them to heart yesterday and did not register for the actual Diaper Genie . . . great ideas here. And no wipes warmer for us. πŸ™‚

      • So glad I could help. Parenting really is a fraternity, and the more we can help each other the longer we can keep the little ones from figuring out that they actually outnumber us (you’ll find this out after the baby is born :>.)

      • I’d also like to add a tip from my mom, if I could. She always says kids are like wet clay — they’ll get molded in whatever shape you choose. This makes a difference in the little things and the big things, and one of the big things she taught me is that when the baby is old enough for regular milk don’t put him in the habit of drinking it warm. Babies only know what we teach them, and they really don’t know the difference between warm and cold milk. They just know they’re hungry. If you give them cold milk, it’ll save you a lot of headache later on. You don’t have to worry about making the baby wait and you don’t have to worry about the temperature of the milk. You just put it in the bottle and go.

  2. I completely agree about Parenthood. I was doing the ugly cry all last night. I am so sad the show is over. I had a feeling they were going to end it that way and I think they did a good job. Good luck registering. It’s a bit overwhelming. Each baby is different….my little guy loved the swing. SO SO glad we got that, but some babies don’t like it. It was the only place he would nap the first month or so. It was a lifesaver. I love the Diaper Genie, the Boppy, swaddle blankets, infant seat/rock and play, a bassinet (my little guy was not a fan of the crib at first), a baby sling/carrier, and lastly, a sound machine. Man, that was one of the best things we did. My toddler STILL uses his sound machine. It’s not on too loud and it’s across the room, but it’s enough to block out any phone calls I may make during nap time, our dog barking, or morning showers, etc. Can’t wait to hear all about your registering! Have fun!

    • Thank you so much for the ideas, Christina! Definitely registered for the Boppy — as well as an additional slipcover. One on the Boppy, one in the wash. That is apparently everyone’s motto, haha! And love the idea of the sound machine . . . I actually sleep with one myself. Like, I’m addicted to the rain sounds. Like mother, like son, perhaps? πŸ™‚

  3. For me two big things were a nursing pillow and baby wrap/carrier. I would not have wanted to go through newborn stage without them. A lot of stuff you figure out once the baby is here though. Always with the last minute babies r us trips.

    • Excellent point, Sheryl! I figure that so much of what we need will become clear as we go along. Good call on the baby wrap — we did not register for one yesterday, and I need to do that!

  4. Happy Weekend!!
    Baby registry is a little tricky especially if baby is not tiny when born, apart from clothes I think a nice bassinet is necessary πŸ™‚ and Congratulations babies are your Heart πŸ™‚

  5. They’ve come out with so many new things since I had my baby that I would be no help at all. I will say that I didn’t have a lot of the gadgets that were available at the time and we all survived just fine.

    • That’s what I tell myself when I start to panic, Kathy — most of these things are modern inventions, and women have been doing this for . . . well, forever. So I’m sure we’ll figure it out as we go along! πŸ™‚

  6. Homemade dips are the best πŸ™‚ Have you started avoiding certain scents or foods yet? When I was prego with my son, I couldn’t eat, smell or even see an advertisement of hummus without feeling like barfing lol.

    • Ugh, hummus. That was one of my first food aversions, Kaily! I normally love it — in fact, in the week before I found out I was pregnant, my husband whipped up a huge homemade batch because I was spending so much on store-bought versions. As soon as the nausea hit, I could not even look at it. We wound up throwing most of it out. I felt terrible!

  7. Definitely don’t register for baby clothes! People will always buy clothes so register for all the baby necessities instead!

    I cannot recall which diaper pail I got a year ago when my son was born, but I soon ended up hating it. It smelled all the time even though I would always empty it out every day/other day. I ended up not using it anymore and would just walk to the main trash in our house, put the poopie diaper (wet diapers I just threw into the trash) into a small plastic bag, tie it up and then throw it away. It took me one more minute and I never had to deal with a stinking bag of poopie diaper trash! Once I stopped using the diaper trash can, it was so much better.

    Target diapers are half the price and just as good as the Pampers options.

    Swaddle blankets are THE BEST. Babies like to feel tucked and the swaddle keeps their arms down so they don’t flail about while they try to sleep. I’ve read that babies usually feel like they’re falling when they aren’t all tucked in, so that’s why the swaddles are the best creation ever.

    Sophie the Giraffe – super expensive but it is a teething dream for the baby to get comfortable with and chew on early.

    Pacifiers – these will help so much. I didn’t use them for the first couple of weeks for whatever reason and when I finally did, my son felt so much comfort in-between feedings when he didn’t need food but wanted to have something in his mouth. The pediatrician also advised that pacifiers trigger a baby’s instinct to breathe, thus minimizing SIDS. You can bet we used pacifiers every time he went to bed after that conversation.

    The “White Noise” app – I have an old iPhone that I have connected to speakers in my son’s room and I have played the “Heavy Rain Pouring” for the past seven months and it is AWESOME. It gives you a chance to still watch TV in your house, clean or cook, use the bathroom and the baby won’t hear anything because of the white noise muffling everything.

    Get the MAXIMUM storage size on your phone – For the MILLIONS of pictures you will constantly take and never delete. Make sure you get the FreePrints.com app or something similar. You will be uploading those pictures to get free 4 x 6 copies like you would not believe. Then you’ll also need the perfect external hard drive, too. You will not want to lose any of the bajillion pictures of the baby smiling!

    A sling/carrier – I wish I had used the one I had more often!

    A tether (I have no idea what it’s called) to hold the pacifier to the baby seat – it will make life so much easier when the baby is crying because they can’t find their pacifier and you can reach your arm around behind you to find that tether much easier! They’re at Target in the baby/pacifiers end of the aisle area.

    Rock and glide bassinet (or something like that!) – I didn’t use the crib for the first few months and kept him by my side instead.

    A REAL rocker/recliner in the baby room – I am so glad I didn’t spend the hundreds of dollars on a fancy rocker from Babies R Us! We ended up getting a super-cheap recliner from Wal-Mart that I can recline all the way back and also put my feet up. Less than $200 and while it may not be super-fancy and cute, it is perfect for all the times I spend putting the little guy to bed or sleeping with him on it while he’s teething. The fact that I can recline it is the best!

    Burp rags, Tommee Tippee bottles, and an infant bathing tub that you can rest on the counter by the sink were my favorites. (I watched a YouTube video on the best way to bath an infant and it was so helpful. Keep a small wet towel covered over the baby from their chest down and keep pouring warm water on that – it keeps the baby warm and you more time to give them the bath.)

    Whew! I wrote a boatload here! The one big thing I can also advise is if you want to breastfeed and it isn’t successful – please don’t beat yourself up! I wasn’t able to and at first I really got upset about it, and now looking back a year later, I don’t know why I got so mad at myself. It’s really true that your emotions are all over the place once the baby’s born, so recognize that and give yourself a break. Being a new parent is tough, but it is AMAZING, but you can only realize that when you slow down, breathe, and realize that it is absolutely okay to put the baby down in their bassinet and use the bathroom. If they cry a little, it’s okay! The best thing my sister told me when I couldn’t figure out why my son just seemed to cry one afternoon is, “Sometimes, babies just cry.” She was right. He had a dry diaper, he had a full belly, he had his pacifier. He cried anyway, and then he ended up stopping. He fell asleep and was just fine πŸ™‚

    • Natalie, you’re awesome — I read your post several times yesterday and took so many of your suggestions to heart! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your wisdom. Especially love your idea about a real rocker/recliner — I looked at the ones at Babies R Us yesterday and, though nice, I have a feeling I’ll want a really comfy experience just as you describe! Have a hunch I’ll be spending lots of time in that chair . . .

  8. Sheesh, more stuff – a video baby monitor. And don’t forget to take this with you every time you travel. We forgot it a couple of times on trips and it made things so much harder.

    Clarification on the “tether” – when I wrote “reach your arm around behind you,” I meant while you are driving. That thing that connects to the pacifier and clips to a seat or their shirt is awesome and so helpful when you’re trying to find it when you’re in the car. πŸ™‚

  9. Happy weekend. Yeah, my husband and I went a little crazy with the baby registry. Once they give you the power you sort of lose yourself and suddenly everything looks great and you just have to a one of everything. But the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy.

    • I can definitely see how easy it would be to go crazy with that scanner gun . . . kind of like with the wedding registry. But I think we’re doing a decent job of staying level-headed until we get some advice on what we’ll actually want/need, haha. I just don’t want to be wasteful!

  10. Baby Oxy Clean! Both the powder and the pre-wash spray. So many potential stains, from birth through early childhood. This stuff is awesome!
    Another piece of advice (not that you asked – sorry!): If you are thinking about breastfeeding, definitely take a class (mine was offered by my hospital, along with all of the other birthing and newborn care classes). This was, hands down, the best baby class I took.

    • Great point about the breastfeeding class, Maureen — and I am totally open to advice! I feel like a total fish out of water here, but I’m learning. Will look for the Baby Oxy Clean — thanks!

  11. Thing I didn’t have that I kind of still wish for: Nose Frida. The bulb syringes just don’t really work.

    The best things ever: Aden & Anais swaddle blankets AND their bib/burp cloths. Also the weird velcro-y things that are for swaddling but actually have a chance at staying on better than an actual plain blanket (Swaddle Me is one name, I believe).

    Amber necklace and teething tablets. (both for teething)

    baby carrier and wrap/sling

    I did cloth diapers (and loved them), so I can’t comment much on disposable ones.

    Natural cleaning products β€” everything baby touches goes in the mouth.

    eReader, if you don’t have one already (you probably do, but); one-handed reading is possible while holding a baby, but two-handed really is difficult.

  12. We’ve slowly been working on our registry on Amazon, but we live in a small space so we really have to be careful about only getting the essentials. I found Cricket’s Circle to be helpful to at least get started with some suggestions, and this blog post (http://www.mintarrow.com/2013/11/the-best-baby-registry-list-ever.html) had some good recommendations, too. It’s a struggle though! I definitely knew what we did/didn’t need for the wedding registry but I feel totally lost for this one!

    • I’m with you, Stephanie. We’re going through this together — and will get through it together! (Well . . . with our husbands, of course. Ha!) Definitely checking out that link!

  13. Good luck with the registry! There are so many great posts out there where people rate baby gear, but I think you end up figuring out what works best for you as you go. Each kiddo is so different.

    • Very true, Melissa. We didn’t register for a stroller or car seat yet because I feel like I need to do way more research . . . it’s the reader in me. But will be sure to check out ratings soon!

  14. I am not a mom but I am a nanny. I would put lots of blankets and white onesies on it. You never can have to many of those things. One thing you don’t ever need a wipe warmer! Not worth it!

    • Good point, April! I had a bear of a time finding plain white onesies in Babies R Us yesterday . . . I’m guessing they were just out-of-stock because so many people want them? I mean, the cute clothes are great and all, but those aren’t everyday wear. I don’t think, anyway. Adding a ton to our registry!

  15. Dips! We never buy sour cream…but always use Fage Greek yogurt! Seriously good, thick and low fat! Dip away! Try to use 2%…yum!

    • I was pretty upset about that, too, but I also loved the glimpse into the future for so many of the characters. Though most of those future snapshots were just a few seconds long, it was satisfying to know that everyone would be okay . . . and somehow find their way!

  16. What we’ve been using the most and I would recommend are a Boppy if you plan on nursing, a Fisher Price rock and play (Caleb’s been sleeping in his), and a Halo sleep sack… we got one free from the hospital which was awesome!

    • Thank you, Steph! Definitely added the Boppy and did register for a sleep sack, too, though I wasn’t sure what it was, haha. Just figured it would come in handy. Hope you’re doing well with Baby Caleb, new mama! πŸ™‚

  17. I hope your registry experience went well. I pretty much had a meltdown in BuyBuy Baby at my first go-round. We had to be very conservative because we live in a small space. In the end, I feel like we really didn’t need much. In those early days, I remember needing a serious amount of diapers, swaddles, and white onesies. O had something called a boppy lounger that he lived in for the first 4 months of his life. Happy to point you to our registry so you can check it out.

    • Thank you, Melissa! We’re going to load up on diapers, for sure, and I think I added a ton of swaddles yesterday? Lots of research still to do. (And I owe you an email . . . coming to a computer near you very soon!)

    • Quite true, and a very good point! I was definitely thinking about that when looking at the adorable bags yesterday, haha. Spence also registered for a backpack-like one that is totally manly. πŸ˜‰

  18. I hope that registering went well for you. I remember being completely overwhelmed! I had no idea what a baby really needed (and the answer is that they need a heck of a lot less than stores would like us to believe!).
    As for your book reading goal – congrats on a good January. I need to follow your example since I often take way too long to finish a book. All the best!

    • I was definitely overwhelmed, Lauren — and happy to have my mom and sister there to lend a hand. But by the end of the (two-and-a-half hour . . .) trip, I was feeling much better — and like I had a handle on what I was dealing with. It’s just a whole new world, that’s for sure!

  19. Love reading your blog and am excited right along with you. I agree with all the above suggestions. Just getting through labor and delivery will make you feel like a shero. Babies loved to be wrapped and cooed. I like the idea of a pack for Dad-they can feel a little left out during the whole thing even if they don’t say it. Meanwhile enjoy your sleep. πŸ™‚ xox

  20. Since my “baby” just turned 22, my comments may be a bit out of date, but here goes. There are some clothes that just work, like an OshKosh B’gosh overall. Get one in every size up to 24 months. You never know when the baby will suddenly change sizes and they work with everything. Get a pack of onesies in every size up to 24 months, same reason.

    Cloth diapers are great for burp towels (and make great dish towels in later years) so I had a dozen even though I used disposable diapers.

    Rules on car seats change every so often, but now some states require more time in a car seat than ever (up to 100 lbs.), so if people want to buy for you have them get the second level car seat (as well as the infant car seat) so you don’t have to spend $$$ in twelve months. In our area the Fire Department will help you install the car seat so it is in there safely.

    Get a good stroller with (perhaps) an adjustable handle if you and Spenser are of different heights. Walking is good for all of you.

    I found breast-feeding dehydrating, you need a good water bottle for YOU. When I was nursing in the middle of the night I always wanted to feel I wasn’t the only one up at that time. Perhaps try audiobooks for the middle of the night.

    Don’t buy too many newborn-sized items. My first born weighed 10 lbs. and wore them for about one week.

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