My Little Girl

My Little Girl

Thursday, July 3, 2014

On Emma's 1st Birthday, we...

Wow, so yesterday was an amazing day! I still am in chock that my baby is a little girl now. Anyways, here is what our Mommy-daughter day consisted of:

First, Emma slept in! I actually had to wake her up at 8am because she just wanted to sleep and sleep and sleep! She reminded me so much of her daddy then.

When she finally did wake up, she had a bottle, played with her toys, made a big mess in the living room... and basically made me laugh and smile the entire time! I put the computer away all day. I just wanted to spend time with her. I figured if I had to, I could work while she napped, but--if she was up--the computer was closed. Very proud of that decision.

Thing is, Emma didn't really want to nap yesterday. She wanted to play even though she was super sleepy (aka: becoming very grouchy). Finally I figured, if she wasn't going to sleep, I was going to have to take her with me on my errands. We went and ran an errand for Daddy, signed Emma up for the Kid's Pass at Barns & Noble where she got a free cupcake for her birthday, went to my other favorite store and bought a few things, went to Party City for streamers and a helium tank, then went home where she went right to sleep. I started prepping the ribs I would make for dinner, cleaned up the house some, watched some TV, and watched my baby girl sleep so peacefully in the living room.

She woke up right before her daddy came home. After that we were constantly entertaining her until her Nonna, Poppa, uncle, and Mamaw came over for dinner. Ribs & grilled corn. Tasted pretty yummy if I do say so myself!

After that we played in the living room for a bit with Emma before we opened presents. She had so much fun pulling the tissue paper out of the bags and "reading" her cards like they were books. Adorable. Then we brought out her birthday cupcake with one candle lit, sang to her, and she loved it. She is such a little diva too: Loves being the center of attention! She manga'd on her cupcake!! Icing all over her hands and face. Luckily not her hair this time like happened with the smash cake in her photo shoot.

Not long after that, the long day caught up to her. She was exhausted but fighting sleep. She didn't want her "guests" to leave yet and made a big show of fussing when someone had to leave. It would be adorable if she weren't so darn loud about it! haha Then she got a last bedtime bottle and went right to sleep.

Overall, a fun-filled, family-filled, perfect day!

One Year Pics

Just pictures from Emma's One Year photo shoot!

It's been a year already?

Seriously? Someone please tell me how this happened! My baby... Well I don't even  know if I can call her that anymore. She is my LITTLE GIRL! Everything about her amazes me. Everything.

Yesterday I had to work a long day. 12 hours away from her. But it was so I could have today off with her. A whole day off with her on her first birthday. A whole day to spend with her without any work. No emails. No texts. Nothing but her and me time.

Anyways, back to yesterday. So yeah, every time I would look at the clock, I was transported back to exactly one year ago at that time. I kept remembering every thing I was doing at that exact moment one year ago. People tell me it's silly to do that because eventually I won't remember every minute. But I think the reason I was so aware of every minute last year was because I was being induced. I was counting those minutes until we would go to the hospital and I would get to meet my daughter. I told me dad it was different than when he and mom were pregnant with me: They had no clue I would be coming when I did. So they didn't notice all the things that day. But I did "know." Sort of. I knew when I would be heading to the hospital and I knew it would be a few hours after that when she could be here. So yeah, one year ago I was making memories, storing them, because every minute was important to me.

One year ago at 8am I had my last doctor visit. I went to breakfast with my mom and stepdad at Cracker Barrel. I paced the house, cleaning what little I could, waiting for my dad and Grammy to come in. We went to dinner at Texas Roadhouse. We came back to the house where I proceeded to pack and unpack and repack my suitcase probably a good 5 times! I knew I should get some sleep because the next day was going to be a rough one, but I was too excited. We checked in around 11pm. Question and answer session with the nurses. Watched my guy sleep on that crappy fold out. Watched crappy TV (because really, is there ever anything good on at 2am?) At 4:30am on 7/2/13 the doctor came in and broke my water. Epidural at 9am. At 12:25pm I told everyone I was fully dilated. They all laughed at me. I forced my guy to go get the nurse because I was THAT sure. He laughed as he brought her in. She laughed as I told her I was done. She wasn't laughing when she told the assistant nurses to go get the doctor and shoo-ing everyone out of the room. I pushed for almost 2 hours. Then, at 2:12pm, they laid my daughter on my belly. I wanted to hold her so bad, but they took her to clean her up. Her dad looked at me, then at her in the rolling bed, then at me, asking me if I'd mind if.... I told him to go meet our daughter. I don't know how much time passed before people were allowed in, but I remember the room being flooded with people who wanted to see Emma.

That was a year ago and I remember all of it. Like I am watching a home video.

And now. Now my daughter is this little person. She is getting into everything. Here is a little breakdown of the little person ruling my life:

  • She's a running fool! She doesn't walk so much as she runs. Last night, as we were playing before bed, I had my phone plugged in to charge. I watched as she unplugged the charger (not like ripped it, but actually unplugged it)... and IMMEDIATELY RAN AWAY! Haha little stinker. She knew what she was doing and when I "ran" after her, she had gone to the bathroom and was waiting for me. She had this HUGE smile on her face when she saw me. Then she ran back to Daddy, laughing the whole way.

  • Her vocabulary is huge! Mama (or Mum), Dada (or Dah-DEE), Nonna, Mamaw, Timmy, Shawn, Poppa, No, Pees (Please), Tank Ew (Thank you), Toof-bah-sh (toothbrush), That's mine, I want that, Ball, Ba (bottle), Yuh You (Love You)...

  • She loves to open the microwave when it dings that her bottle is warmed. She also loves to close the microwave door.

  • She loves when we let her open/close the door, turn the light switches on or off, pull the shower curtain back... She loves being a big kid.

  • She only wants to eat what we are eating. Like--what is on our plate. She doesn't want her own plate. She wants OUR plate!

  • She loves baby dolls.

  • Everything is a phone and every "phone" should play music. She is already Tech-savvy. She can work a phone. She mimics her Daddy with his Playstation remote.

  • This kid loves to dance! She can keep the beat of almost anything after just a few seconds of hearing it. She's a genius, at least in my opinion. May have the stuff to be a Prima Ballerina or dance Hip Hop. We're not sure yet! haha

  • She likes to "tidy up." She puts her toys in containers...whether or not they are the containers we would put them in doesn't really matter. The other day I found her "stacker" toy sticking up out of the recycling can we have! We find our cell phones in random places. We still can't find the TV remote and it's been missing for almost a month now!

  • She's not a huge fan of the pool yet. She has to be held the entire time. Won't go in the sitting-floaty thing we got her. And she HATES when her daddy and uncle rough-house in the pool. 
I'll post again with her "One Year Pics." And some fun stories from her birthday-day!

Friday, June 6, 2014

We have a walker

Yes, I am way way late on posting this. I kept meaning to post the video to YouTube so that I could then put it on here... but I kept forgetting. So here it is:

Emma had been taking some small steps for a while. Like "Step Step Fall." Then she got up to "Step Step Step Fall." We were all excited when we got up to "Step Step Step Step....Step Fall." HAHAH

But then the magical day of May 23rd happened. She was playing in the kitchen. Just standing and playing with my dish towels. Suddenly I looked and she was walking. And still walking. And then walking some more! She walked from our kitchen to the living room without stopping!! I consider that to be the day she really started walking. Because that is the day our lives really changed. Now we have to be on uber-alert because she is on the MOVE!

So here you go. Here is some fun video of the day Emma became an official and bona fide walker!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

My Mother's Day!

I'm just a few days late with this. Pretty good if you ask me!

Anyways, Mother's Day started off in the most memorable of ways. The night before I just could NOT get Emma to go to sleep. We went down around 10 and at 10:30 Emma was up screaming. I changed her diaper and tried everything I could think of. Nothing worked. After 2 hours (yes TWO HOURS!) of trying to get her to sleep to no avail, we finally figure out a new "technique" to get her to sleep. She slept great the rest of the night; Daddy & I--not so much! haha

It seemed like just minutes later her daddy was waking me up saying he had to go meet his dad so I needed to get up with the baby. I was scared it was already like 8am because we had a full day ahead of us and I needed every minute to get ready for the day. I hopped up and that's when I realized something was "off." He had this huge grin on his face and was leading me to the kitchen. There, sitting on our counter, was a huge stack of pancakes and my iced tea just the way I like it!!!
   **Side Story: Every Sunday I have tried to make pancakes for us as a family and it never happens. Either her daddy has to help someone out, or we don't have syrup...SOMETHING! 
But this time, this time I got to have my Sunday pancakes!! And they were delicious! Everything was perfect. I even had a dozen yellow roses and a B&N gift card. My "daughter" already knows me so well!! haha

After that I had to get Emma ready for her busy day. Diaper bag packed. Car loaded up. Emma dressed up. Me dressed up. Extra "nice clothes" for both of us for when Emma decided she no longer liked what we were wearing (aka: spilled something on herself or me, spit up on me, wiped guk on me, etc). Mother's Day bags ready for Mamaw (my mom) & Nonna (her dad's mom). Then we made our rounds! haha

We had brunch at a really nice place... a golf course. The food was really good. I ate way too much sausage gravy & biscuits and bacon! Emma even enjoyed he eggs, biscuits & gravy, hashbrowns... my girl can EAT! After brunch we went to hang out with Nonna and her family for a while.

Towards the end of the night we went to Mamaw's for dinner. We were celebrating my mom's birthday that night too. It was a lot of fun! Emma entertained everyone. We had rotisserie chicken my stepdad made, salad I made, and my sister's "famous" ranch potatoes. It got really late on us pretty fast though. Not sure if that was due to the lack of sleep or if Emma just was wore out from her busy day! Either way, we were home and asleep by 9pm! haha

I must say. Mother's Day was as perfect as it could have been. I had the best wake up. Got to enjoy both of my families. And I got to share my Emma with people who love her. There's nothing a mother could ask for than to see her baby receive so much love. That might have been the best gift of all!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Catching Up

I know it's been awhile. The thing is, it's getting harder and harder to find the energy to up-date this blog as often. Not just because I am constantly chasing after my toddling 10 month old (YIKES!). No, mostly it's because one of my biggest reasons for keep this blog was so my Pappy could stay up-to-date on Emma. He and my Grammy lived so far away and couldn't get out here much, so I thought having this blog would allow them to keep up with her fun stories and new activities. Now that he's gone, a huge gust of wind has blown my sail right over, toppling me, making me struggle to even view this blog. When I open up my internet, I have 5 "home pages" automatically pop up. This is one of them. Each time is a reminder Pappy isn't here for me to share my stories with anymore. I'd have the whole post mentally prepped out in my mind of what I'm going to write, open the internet, see that tab at the top, and stop. I couldn't force myself to actually click on it to start the post.

Today, when I feel the worst I have felt in as long as I can remember (fever, migraine, sore throat, dizzy, whole body feels like it is shutting down), today is the day I decide to actually bring everyone up to date! haha So here are some fun new moments with Emma.

  • She is talking, like a lot! I can never remember what I've already said so here is a list of her vocabulary to date: Mama (more often than not I get called "Mum" though!), Dada, no, uh-oh, again, more, mamaw & nonna, baba, num-num. 
  • She knows who people are. She knows I am "Mum," her daddy is "dada," my mom is "mamaw" and her daddy's mom is "nonna." On Easter, her daddy came into her room to get her from her crib. She was playing happily in her crib when she looked up at him and said "OH! Hi Da!" She puts actual sentences together!!
  • When I ask if she is hungry she will smack her lips together or start chanting "Num num. Num num." She also knows when the microwave goes off, it more than likely is her bottle and she starts flapping her arms and shrieking.
  • She is a speed demon crawler. She can get anywhere now and wants to get there quickly!
  • She climbs the stairs. Remind me to thank whomever taught her to do that. Sheesh!
  • She is trying to walk. The most she has taken is two consecutive steps. Then she freezes because we are all excited and holding our breath. She gets nervous, plops down, laughs, and then starts crawling to wherever it was she wanted to go. The only bad thing about this whole "trying to walk" thing is she is constantly falling down and bumping her butt on things. She is a little daredevil though and doesn't seem to care. Sometimes she cries, but only because she thinks we will pick her up.
  • She throws the ball to where she wants it to go. She picks it up, aims, and throws. Like to a person. Today for example, she aimed right for me and hit me 4 out of 5 times. (The time she missed was because we were all laughing so hard, she started laughing and when she went to throw it her other hand hit it.) I think it was John Cusak in the movie Martian Child where he said "The Professional Baseball players just have to hit 3 out of 10. And if they do just a little better, just a tiny bit better, than they are superstars." Well, I guess my girl is a SUPERSTAR!!! 
  • She is such a girly girl. She loves her doll. See, before Christmas, her Nonna and I were at my favorite store and walking down the toy aisle. Emma has NEVER before (and never since) actively reached for a toy I hadn't put in front of her. But that day she saw this little dolly and she was freaking out. So of course we got it for her. She has gotten a few other dolls since then, but she always wants this doll. She goes looking for it in her toy bins in the living room.  
  • She also loves stuffed animals. She has a little seahorse that stays in her crib overnight. The other morning, I got her out of her crib and she was clutching her seahorse. I changed her diaper and then went to take her downstairs to play. She still had the seahorse! She gets in these "moods" kind of where she wants a specific toy and that's it.
  • Sophia the First. That is her favorite thing right now. I can't believe it since she is only 10 months old, but this girl has chosen Princess Sophia as her favorite thing right now. She has a little doll, some jammies, all kinds of things. I even went ahead and bought her a Princess Sophia Halloween basket. It's really a little Easter basket, but it was on sale for $3 in the after-Easter clearance. 
  • She hides things now. We have to be super careful about what we put down and where because she will "clean up" for us. She has hidden her daddy's cell phone in her bouncy ball dino game. She has also hidden his PS4 remotes in there! Then there are our TV and other remotes. She plays with those and then "puts them away" but she doesn't put them away where they are easy to find!! She is a lot like me in that she likes to "clean up." 
  • We recently got a shelving system with plastic tubs for her toys. Now she is able to see almost all her toys and decide for herself what she wants to play with. We also have the rubber floor puzzle pieces as a playmat in the living room. So now she will go, grab a toy, and take it back to the mat to play with it! I have taught her well!!!
  • She shakes her head No. 
  • She waves hi and bye on command. Her doctor told me she is actually really advanced in that regard. They told me usually babies wave just because they have learned how. They don't normally understand "bye bye" and wave on command until almost 15 months.
  • She dances!! When she learned to stand on her own, she also learned she could dance!! She kind of looks like a mix between Elvis and a bird! She pulls her shoulders back, cocks her elbows, pulls her arms back and bounces. Sometimes she puts one arm above her head and bounces. Sometimes she squats a little, sticks one leg in front of her, and bounces that way. 
  • She loves the Talking Tomcat app. Every time I  click on it, she smiles really big and starts laughing. She is such a whiz with the phone in general!
Okay, that is it for now. Maybe I'll get back into this sooner rather than later. But it really is hard. It's hard to know these stories aren't going to be read by so many people who loved us and waited so long to meet Emma. People who wanted her as much as I did. I'll get better. I know it. It's just a LOT harder than I thought it would be.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Emma's 9 Month Pics

Emma's 9 Month/ Easter/ Spring pictures. She was such a good girl. Such a BIG girl!! It was such a hassle dealing with the company we went through, but at least we have some cute pictures to take away with us. I think that has more to do with my adorable daughter than the skill level of the photographer, but oh well!!

Milestones--they just keep coming!

Emma is doing so much now. I can't believe we are about to hit 9 months tomorrow.  NINE MONTHS?!?!? There's no way. But there it is.

Her vocabulary is getting so big!! She now says: "Mama", "Dada", "num-num", "Ba" (bottle), "Uh-oh", "Moh" (more), and "Whoa!" Her favorite right now is "Whoa!" She says it when she pulls herself up, when she gets her toy, when she plops on her butt after standing on her own for a while.

Not only does she *say* Mama and Dada, but I think she honestly knows what they mean. For instance, every morning I hear "Mama. Mama." coming from her monitor. That's because I am usually the one to go get her from her crib. But when she wants to play it's "Dada. Dada" because he gets to play with her more. Last night she was "walking" (holding onto the couch as she went back and forth) between me and her daddy. When she got to him, she'd say "Dada" and he would pick her up and play. Then she'd try to crawl over him, he'd set her down, she'd walk over to me, and say "Mama" until I picked her up. So I think she gets it.

In case you missed it: Yes. Emma is trying to walk now! She easily lifts herself up by pulling herself using couches or tables. Then she holds onto them and walks around. Or she will hold our hands and walk that way. I am in awe every time I see her do this. Mainly because the "most recent" reference I have is when we went to her dad's great-granny's birthday back in January. There was a one year old there who was just starting to do these things. So it seems like Emma is a whole 3 months ahead of schedule!!!

I can't believe  how big my baby is getting. She is such a little girl. She loves girly-princess things. She likes to dance and "sing." She loves Luke Bryan & Elvis, too!!

We took Spring/Easter/9 Month pics yesterday. I'll post some of those next.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Seriously God? Just stop now

I'm done. I can't take anymore losses. In Emma's VERY short life, she has lost so many people already. At two and a half months she lost 2 great-grandmas. My Mamaw Pearl and her Daddy's stepdad's mom. This past January she lost her great-grandpa Stan. And today she lost her great-grandpa: my Pappy.

This morning started out so good too! That's what is surreal. I mean, we woke up. I made her Daddy a full breakfast of oatmeal and eggs; normally he gets oatmeal and a protein shake because we are strapped for time. I packed his lunch. Then we got to sit and talk for about 20 minutes before he left. Right as he was about to leave, Emma woke up. I brought her down and she saw her Daddy and started flailing her arms and laughing, and had the biggest smile ever. She gave him the biggest hug and laid her head on his chest. When I went to take her so he could leave, she started bawling and clutching at him. It was the cutest sight ever.

Anyways, fast forward 45 minutes. I get a text from my dad telling me to call him ASAP. Honestly, I know when I saw "Text Message: Dad" pop up on the screen. I prayed I was wrong, but I knew. Then I called... and he could barely choke out the words. I broke down immediately. I just kept saying "But I talked to him two days ago. I talked to him two days ago!"

See, Wednesday night I was getting dinner and called my Grammy and talked to her. At the end of the call she said my Pappy wanted to talk to me. He asked when we were going to come see him. I told him with my new job I was going to have to work out the schedule with my boss and Emma's daddy was going to have to take his vacation days, but we were planning on going to see them next month--when the weather got nicer. He said that would be nice. Then he told  me a few stories (he was such a story-teller) and we ended the call. I went home that night and told Emma's Daddy we needed to start thinking about taking that trip next month.

Too Late.
Always too late.

I'm so mad. I can't help it. I'm mad at God for taking all these people away from my daughter. With all the terrible, horrible, good for nothings out there---WHY TAKE THESE PEOPLE???? These were good people. People who loved their families. People who made us laugh and smile and want to go see them again.

I'm so MAD!! I'm mad that Emma will NEVER get to make memories with these people. Am I sad for myself? Of course. I'm human and selfish. BUT. I am so sad and mad and frustrated for my daughter. She will NEVER EVER have memories with these amazing people. At least I have memories with them. Why take that chance away from her???

If there is one good thing to be taken from this, it's: At least Emma got to spend some time with each of these people before they left us. She saw each of them once. Only once. But at least I will have the memories of each of those visits. Memories and stories to share with her as she grows.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

"Dada," "Mama," and so much more

When Emma was born, everyone always said how fast time would fly and how she would be doing this or that before I knew it. At first that wasn't really the case. I mean, she rolled from belly to back pretty fast, but I honestly feel like I was able to savor all those moments with her. They were spread out pretty well. Now though, it's like we hit a new milestone everyday!

  • She's Talking! Her first word was "Dada." Of course this was after a very long night where Mommy was up with her the entire night. haha Now she not only babbles and "gaga's" but she will throw in real words. She even said her first sentence: "Mama...numnum." Hungry? haha
  • She has this little "trick" that she learned. At first we would put our hands over our mouths and make the "Whoo-whoo" sound like little Indians. This cracked her up. Then her Daddy showed her she could do it herself. She is so proud of herself whenever she does it. And she will just randomly start doing it and will keep on for EVER!
  • She is crawling up a storm! She started crawling one day right after I started working. Now she is a monster ARMY crawler. She is fast and determined.
  • She is eating "big people" food. She loves when we go to Target and get a pretzel to split. She gets a scrambled egg for breakfast. She gets a little "baby bagel" sometimes. She gets softened/cooked carrots, chicken, tortillas.... We are trying her out on everything a little at a time.
  • I mentioned that Emma is crawling. I guess I should also mention she is trying to WALK!! One day I was at home with her and we were playing around. She had received a Sit-To-Stand Walker for Christmas, so I stood her up and put her hands on it. She stood there just upright and like a big girl for a while. Then she tried to take a step and fell. (I caught her; it's ok! lol) That same night, her Daddy did the same thing. Only this time she started walking no problem!! 
After that, she learned that she can pull herself up with the couch.  Now she can "walk" around the couch while holding on. I kind of always figured she wouldn't be much of a crawler and go right to walking. Looks like I was right!

I think that's about it for now. I kept meaning to finish this post but there's just always something going on nowadays. With work and Emma and everything else, our days are full!! Anyways. Time to wrap this up! Have a great day!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

It's a whole new ball game!

Okay, I am SEVERELY delayed in reporting on the new things going on with Emma. I wanted to make sure I finished up my little mini-series uninterrupted and that put this on hold. But here we go:
  • Emma can crawl!! She started crawling on Wednesday, February 5th. Her Nonna was watching her and I guess they were practicing or doing tummy time or something like that. Anyways, I was pulling into their driveway when I got a text from my boyfriend. It was video of Emma crawling to a little duck. I immediately ran into their house and made Emma crawl again! haha  

  •  Emma got the flu. We noticed on Monday of last week that she was a little less active than normal, but didn't think too much of it. No, that's sort of a lie. She basically refused to sleep that night without me holding her--which meant I got ZERO sleep. (Not good when you have to go to work and you are still new). So I actually took her temperature and it was fine. So the next day I took it again and nothing. I dropped her off with her Nonna and Grandpa. Later that afternoon I get a text saying she tested positive for the flu. MAN did I feel terrible. But, I did everything I was supposed to do. And she seemed fine, not fever, no throwing up, none of that. And even after she tested positive for the flu, she still didn't ACT like she had it. She was really clinging, but that was the only real indicator she didn't feel all that great.
  • Emma is so in tuned to what is going on around her. She now looks for things when she drops them. And she remembers things. Like the doctor. Now Emma only sees her doctor when we take her for her shots--so not all that often. BUT, she had to go see her that Tuesday she got the flu. And--from what I've been told--Emma remembered the doc and did not like her! haha. They tell me she was playful with the Assistant and Tech person but when the doc walked in-BAM! Baby girl shifted and grabbed ahold of Nonna's hair and wouldn't let go. She wanted NOTHING to do with the doc!
  • We are having some very fun moments with her. She is so smart that she puts things together now in her mind. Like her bottle. She knows that when Mommy makes her bottle, I add water to a clear container, then a powder; shake and give it to her. Thing is: Matt makes his morning protein shakes the same way! And it's vanilla flavored! So whenever Emma sees Daddy make his morning shake, she gets all piffy! haha She starts "yelling" and batting her hands on the high chair. Her eyes start to bulge out even!

  • She is "talking" up a storm now!! She just babbles away. Telling us all about her day. What she wants. What she doesn't want. You just know there's a story going on and she's trying to get it out as best she can. I simply cannot wait to hear the stories she's got to tell. As smart as she is, I can bet there will be a few doozies in our future!

I have gone back to work. It's only part-time, and it's in the city; but I really am enjoying it. 3 days a week I get to go and interact with adults who aren't family. (My sister works there, but that's only one out of 10 or so people. As opposed to the vice versa being true when I am at home! lol) Anyways, I am doing what I was doing at the other office, but I get to take on a little more responsibility too. It's nice working with a smaller office and feeling like you are appreciated. Sure, there's stress to do a good job and go above what they are expecting, but that's true of all jobs. And yes, I have 3 long days (when you factor in the drive time). But it's only 3 days a week. I get 4-day weekends with my baby and my boyfriend every week.

I think Emma will be walking in the new few weeks, but not yet. Seriously. She now puts her hands on the ground and "walks them up" until she's in an inverted V. Then she's like: "Ummm, what do I do now?" haha It's really funny. And kind of sad. Because she's JUST learned to crawl and now she wants to WALK? Already?

Okay, well that wraps up this post. Sorry it took so long. Hopefully I'll be able to get back into the groove of things (or into a new groove with work and all) and can do better about posting.


Saturday, February 15, 2014

Staying Organized: Mommy Must Haves

Alright. FINALLY wrapping up this little mini-series. I swear, when I started this, I had no clue it would take me this long to post 5 little (okay, maybe not so little) blogs about things I've learned and really wanted to share to my mommy and mommy-to-be friends. But as it wraps up, I am kinda sad to see it end. Okay, maybe only a teeny bit but still. I have a ton of things I wanted to post about that don't go with the series and which I was holding off on until I finished this. And this post is the one post I started off wanting to write but felt it needed to be saved for last.

Okay, stalling over. Now here we go. And these are basically in order of Greatness. Just so you know.

Mommy Must Haves: Seriously, go buy these things NOW!

There were a few things I tell every new mom to put on her registry before she puts anything on there. They are what I call my "lifesavers." These are the things that made life bearable when Emma was semi-colicky, not sleeping, brand new and we were still adjusting to being parents. These are the things that will save your sanity. And that's only a slight exaggeration.

#1-Rock N Play

When I found out I was pregnant with Emma, every one of my mommy-friends had recommendations. But this was the one common  thing. The ONE THING they ALL said I had to have. It was the first thing I put on my registry. And it really did save me many a night. And day too, honestly. We used this with Emma up until she was four and a half months probably. We had to stop when she could half-turn her body, grab the top, and almost pull herself out of it. Even then I kept it in out living room for a few more months-as a just in case for Emma and naptime.

My boyfriend's cousin just had a little girl about 2 weeks ago. She was telling me how her daughter wasn't sleeping that great. How she would wake up screaming in the middle of the night. Then she said the magic words: "She hates her crib." So, of course I asked if she had one of these. She said no and I was like "WHAM! There's your problem! Get one of those and she will sleep great." Check in a week later and all is well! :) So yeah, get one of these ASAP!

#2-Activity "Things"

Activity "Things." You might not think to get the jumperoo right away, but I say do it. If nothing else, you can utilize my Double Duty theory and use the links that come with it on the playmat you DO think to get right away for tummy time. Yeah, neither of those come with very many links, so you can double up early on. Emma was playing on her play mat all the time. But she hated tummy time, so she made herself roll from belly to back incredibly early. And she loved the jumperoo from the second we put her in it.

Oh, and while you're at it, just go ahead and spend the $4 on the extra links. Babies love these. Even if you double-duty the ones on the play/activity things, spending 4bucks on an additional 20 is completely understandable and worth it. 
#3-Customized Closet

You may not think spending $100-$400 on something for a BABY is smart. And normally I would agree with you. But this is an investment! Your baby's clothes are going to get bigger and bulkier. Things they need when they come home from the hospital are not the things they will need at 3 months, or 6 months, or a year, or 2 years, or 5 years, or 10 years, or 18 years--and then they head off to college and you can use that closet for other things and then it really will need to be rearranged. A customized closet is an easy way to make sure you can store the things you need now in a way that will make sense for now. And later, you can change it up for maybe an additional $15 for an extra shelf or whatever. So do it, Draw out how you want it to look, go to the nearest "construction" store, and pick out what you need to make it work. And make changes as needed.

#4-Baby Carrier
I don't care if you are one of those "earth mothers" or an urban mama on the go. Get one of these! Moby, Ergo, Baby K'Tan. Whatever. Get one. Done.

Seriously. Go get one! Emma was a little colicky in the beginning. This was because we had her on the wrong supplemental formula which was wreaking havoc on her belly and we didn't know it at the time. But it doesn't matter that you know WHY your baby won't stop crying. Just put them in one of these and... SAVED!! You can go about your day and comfort your baby. HEAVEN!

#5-Sleeping Arrangements

These are major decisions you have to make. I knew immediately I wanted a crib that turned into a toddler bed and then would turn into a "big girl" bed. I totally didn't want to spend that kind of money on a bed she would only be in for a little while and then spend that money again (and then some) on yet another bed later on. The one we ended up getting her turns into a Full for later on. 

Next is the Pack N Play. Now, they have all these ridiculously fancy ones with hide-away spaces for storage (kinda cool), or a little removable bassinet thing, or changing station. All fun doo-hickeys. I didn't want all that. Mainly because--well, where are you going to store all those extras once the baby is too big for them? No thanks. I wanted a simple place to lay her down when she was fussy or when we were at someone's place. Emma actually slept in her PNP by our bed for the two months between her RNP and when we transitioned to the crib in her own room. By the time she was 6 months, she was at the weight limit for the top-net thing. Basically, she can't be elevated because she weighs more than 15lbs. Anyway...

Another big thing I required? A detachable mobile. We don't use the Pack N Play as much now that she is in her crib. But we DO still use the mobile. From the beginning I would take the mobile off and put it on other things for her. I put it on her jumperoo, her highchair...even the Rock N Play. It gave her something to look at and play with. Hate to be redundant, but...DOUBLE DUTY!

And then there's the Boppy. This thing is amazing. You can nurse with it. Give the baby a bottle with it. Lay the baby in it to take a nap. Use it yourself. Just make sure you get an extra slipcover for when Baby decides to spit up all over it!

#6-Bottle Basics

There are so many bottle options, it is definitely daunting. But do your homework. Figure out what you need. What you want. What you are going to use them for. Etc. Bottles are just for formula, as off as that sounds. Here's what I knew. I knew the pump I got with my insurance was a Medela one. So I figured I would ask for or get the Medela bottles. I figured "Well they will for sure work with the pump I have, so I shouldn't have any issues with going from the pump to the bottle." And I was right. The attachment was made for the Medela bottles. And it's not like they were bad bottles that I got. They weren't. But there were things I didn't think about. Things I should have. See, we had about 20 bottles. Half were  5oz bottles and half were 9oz bottles. I knew we would need the small bottles at first. BUT I didn't think about the nipple size. I didn't know there were LEVELS to them. And Medela didn't put the newborn size ones on the small bottles. It seems like they should, but they didn't and we ran into issues with them. Now we have a few different kinds. And they are all good for what they are designed for. I love that Tommee Tippees are interchangeable and I can use the handles or whatnot with her Tommee Tippee sippy cups. I have Playtex VentAir which are good for those feedings right before nap or bedtime. We have the Phillips Avent for when she is getting a large feeding, maybe even with rice cereal or oatmeal cereal. And we have the fun, cutesy, design ones just because I like her to have super girly bottles sometimes. 

I got a bottle sterilizer when Emma was first born. And I loved it. It made making sure her bottles were clean easy. I knew the ones in there were ready to give to Emma. BUT you can't really use them for the bigger bottles. Eh. That kinda stinks. BUT I will say this. I now can use the base to help me thaw out chicken and other frozen meats. haha Our sink doesn't have a stopper so I put the meat in there with the super hot water and BAM! Making sure I get the most out of my money! haha

I also went out and got a thing to go in the dishwasher to help me clean her bottles and stuff. It has a separator so I can differentiate somewhat. I and put her binkies in there. Straws on the side. Things like that. It makes cleaning her bottles easy again. I just break them apart and put the pieces in their "designated" areas. 

#7-Anything else I missed?

 A travel system. This comes with a car seat, a base, and a stroller that the car seat attaches to. There are a lot of options out there, so you just have to figure out what you want. I knew I didn't want one of those 3-wheeled ones. I like the four wheels. These things are designed to grow with the baby. I love the one we got. It is a little girly (Pink roses and the Eiffel Tower....yeah!). But our options were limited. The brand I wanted had 3 options: Pink, blue, or black. With Emma due in July, I did NOT want an all black stroller.

The Baby Bullett. I mentioned this in Feeding Post. So I won't bore you with all its redeeming qualities. But it has a lot. And if you get the set, it comes with the spatulas, and storage containers, and info booklets, and recipes... Very good deal.
 This was a life saver when I was pregnant. Towards the end I was miserable. My back hurt. My legs hurt. My neck hurt because I couldn't get it on the pillow just right. Sleeping was impossible! Then I received one of these. I couldn't believe how easy it became to get a good night's sleep. I still have mine in my closet. Just in case I have a night where I have trouble sleeping again. Or if I just want to cuddle up on the couch or in bed and watch a movie. Or if I want to put it on the side of the bed so she can't roll off when we are playing. *I put this on one edge and our two pillows on the other. Then she can roll and play to her heart's content and I don't have to hover; but actually get to relax and play with her.

So this is my list of Mommy Must Haves. And the end of my series. I hope you all enjoyed it. I hope you learned something or were able to take something away from it.

Share your thoughts. I'd love to hear what ideas or suggestions you all have. Thank you!

And. Goodnight!

Emmaleigh Grace

Emmaleigh Grace