Category: infants (Page 1 of 19)

PPD & The Working Mom

PPDHeads up, this is an old post I wrote years ago when Ollie was an infant. It is no longer online so I am reposting it to help new moms. 

Hi. I’m Brandy and I have suffered from postpartum depression/anxiety…twice. I had no idea how to start this post so lets just shine light on the elephant in the room right off the bat (holy cliche sentence, Batman).

Being a mom is hard…working or not. We can all agree there. I can gladly state that the newborn phase of my children is the hardest (so far). While I don’t doubt my ability to mom or how good a mom I am, I know I have struggled with both Landon and Oliver as new babies. I also had great support to help me…and I know not everyone has that. As I stated in other posts, life at home isn’t for me. The colic. The crying. The long days of getting nothing done. The second time around was a little better knowing that it was a finite thing until I went back to work but still very isolating and scary at times. It wore me down.

I am willing to admit all this but I think some moms struggle with that. Sometimes that struggle is just a small nagging but sometimes it is more. Sometimes the long days with little sleep and so much frustration build and build. As hard as you want to see the light at the end of the tunnel, it is really faint. You get angry over little things and no amount of deep breaths help. You break one day and scream at your kid and then bawl your eyes out at what you did. People telling you “it gets better” mean nothing because while you know they are right, you want it better NOW.

What made it better for me? Going back to work.

As insane as that sounds, it has done so twice. With 6 years of self reflection, I know this is because of how I am wired. I thrive on achievement, if not over-achievement, and meeting goals. I have my dream job where I get to create and discover every day. So to go from that to a shower being my biggest accomplishment for the day? SUCKS! I thrive at work. I get to do what I love…create and help people. I get to work with amazing people. And? I GET TO SIT DOWN. I get to go to the bathroom without someone crying. I don’t have to put some one to nap and then wait to see if they actually will. There is routine that HAS to happen. We have to be at work at X…so crying or not, it will happen. Once we get home, I have X amount of time until I can drink relax. Everything is calculated out and predictable(ish). Yes, I have more on my plate with a full time job but I can think about something other than sleep schedules and poop colors. It gives me balance.

A few weeks after I went back to work, I went to see my therapist. She could see the difference when I walked in the door. She was pretty amazed. I no longer needed my anxiety meds.There are still the calls from daycare you dread but it is part of the gig. The next day brings something new…not just more of the same.

This post was spurred by this post on Huffington Post that I related to instantly. Another mom who found relief in the working world. I wanted her to know she wasn’t alone. I write this to show it is possible, as crazy as it sounds, to add more to your plate to make it better.

Have you dealt with PPD/PPA? If so, how did going back to work affect you? Better? Worse?

PSA: If you are struggling after your baby is born, even later on, please talk to your doctor. It is nothing to be ashamed of and completely normal. You may just have a case of baby blues but it could be more. Take care of yourself.  If you want to read other stores, please check out Postpartum Progress. I am also happy to answer any emails, tweets, etc if you need help. – Brandy

Kid Sleep without the PTSD {Giveaway}!

Monday night, Ollie was up at least 6 times. At first it was he needed to be wrapped in his blanket like a burrito, then water, then I have no idea. I blacked out from rage and exhaustion. It was an atypical night for us, so my body was thrown. I pretty much struggled all morning. I whined. I Facebooked about it. I basically threw an adult tempter tantrum.

Later that day I went to the gym and got talking to a dad who I was relaying my lag from lack of sleep. He went on to “commiserate” with me. Ya see his son didn’t stop waking up multiple times until he was 2.5. He was now pretty consistent at once a night…and he is almost 4.

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Formula AND Pumping, Not OR

formulaHappy World Breastfeeding Week, everyone! With the celebration this year, the healthcare center at SAS asked me to participate. I went on camera and talked about my journey a little. When I was contacted about doing it, I jumped at it and asked if I could speak to a specific issue: formula and pumping. I did both with both my kids and while I don’t regret a thing, I always felt kind of alone. I felt like I was forging my own journey. There was little out there for support.  You are usually sifting through info from 2 vastly different sides. Either you exclusively breastfeed or just give formula and while neither is bad, it isn’t your only choice. The biggest group of moms this seems to effect is working moms. You go down a VERY common path. You start work and quickly see how hard it is to make those bottles. You pump and pump. You take from your maternity leave stash. You are living pump to pump. Then? Daycare says “he could use bigger bottles” and you heart sinks. How?

So a few years ago, while I was in the throws of this for the second time, I wrote a post I am reviving below. It is still relevant for new moms struggling to figure out that magical machine in a bag. Here ya go, mama…

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Baby sleep…it gets better

sleepI am going to blame SAD for the influx of traffic to my 4 month sleep regression post. It’s cold. It’s dark. New moms are stuck inside with babies who won’t nap. “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU, BABIES?! THIS IS PERFECT NAPPING WEATHER!” they scream…into a pillow…of tears. I get it.

Hang in there.

I didn’t have the cold but I had the blistering heat so I can tell you, you start to get creative. GET OUT OF THAT DAMN HOUSE. Strap them to you and go join the old folks for mall walking. Jostled baby to sleep, burning calories, walk up baristas and all the Werther’s candy you can stand! Don’t buy white Reebok sneakers. You’ve gone too far.

But seriously…it’s going to be ok. This sucks but you will make it. They WILL sleep again. They WILL stop screaming all the time. You are not doing anything wrong. And to prove it, even 2 years after I wrote that post, my friend Katie is right there with you. Go give her a hug, why don’t ya.

“Then, it’s 2am, and Harper woke up to practice rolling over, and was talking and then crying, and then talking some more, and then pooped. I changed it, then put her back down, and then was wide awake and so I was re-reading about Wonder Week 19 and there I saw it.

She is not starving, she is just distracted, and all of this dumbness is related to this big developmental leap…[keep reading]”


Did you land here from researching ALL THE BABY SLEEP THINGS?! Welcome to motherhood…the insanity never ends. Here are some more of my sleep resources from over the years. God speed.

Sleep When the Baby Sleeps – and other saying that make me wanna punch kittens

Wonder Week 19 aka 4 Month Sleep Regression – the motherload

A Journey in Sleep Training – how we faired with Oliver

First Daze and Nightzzz: A Sleep Coach Interview – a look into the life of a sleep coach

Newborn Tip of the Week {Sleep Tip}

The Holy Grail of Sleep – why I value sleep so much

Sleep sacks – Why we had our kids in sleep sacks until over 2

Bringing Home Baby to Your Baby – This we did when we added a kid

CTFD – learn to calm down about parenting or it will make you crazy

I Am Not A Baby Person – how I don’t like babies…and that’s ok

The Mental Health of Motherhood – take care of yourself


Bringing Home Baby to Your Baby

2012-07-29_1343594928This was a post requested by the lovely Katie Krongard. She is preggo with #2 and wanted to know about bringing home that second kid. I also have 3 of my 4 bridesmaids pregnant with their firsts so I figured there are some general nuggets of info they would like to know as well about coming home in general.

Speak Up

Bringing home a baby is a form of mental Olympics whether it is 1 or 4 babies. There needs to be adjustment. You have to find a new routine…it’s a challenge for all. But this is where I say you gotta speak up. Don’t over do it. If you feel awful, tell someone. Most people will move mountains to help. Your job is to heal and feed a baby. Everything else is gravy but you have to put on your big girl panties (you know the mesh ones from the hospital? those.) and speak up. You would like a sandwich. You would like your mother to do the laundry. You want to run the errand to get hemorrhoid cream to get out of the house for 10 minutes. Say what you mean. This isn’t a time to pussy foot around. You usually have an army of friends and family asking to help. LET THEM HELP but decide what level you are comfortable.

If you want to hold the baby all the time and let them do other stuff, tell them that. If you want to get outside, tell them that. Tell dad to take the big kid grocery shopping. It’s hard to read our minds on a good day but now slam that full of wacky hormones and people don’t know what you want. This is like your free pass to be bossy as hell…use it. That army isn’t gonna be waiting around forever.

“Kristi from Facebook: Say yes to any help offered regardless of who it comes from and no drastic changes to #1’s routine.”

Less Attention for Everyone

child eczemaMost moms are really worried about the fact that their precious snowflake won’t be  getting as much attention. Well they aren’t. Can’t lie there BUT my piece of advice is STOP WORRYING ABOUT IT. It isn’t something that you can perfect and make better with more planning…nope. It is sheer amount of minutes you have now has to be divided. Make that mental jump and come with me. It’s ok. Big kids don’t need your undivided attention all the time…I see that as unhealthy and going to lead you to a mental break down at some point. I already make the case for independent play no matter if you are bringing home more kids or not. I know that comes from being a working mom and knowing he is sharing and playing with other kids the majority of his day…he needs down time. It’s fun to watch their imagination blossom and independent play is ground zero for that.

And let them watch TV(ya know…if you do that). Stop feeling guilty about it. When you have had 3 hours of sleep and a sleeping baby on your chest, SCREW PLAY DOUGH AND PAINTING. This is TV time. It won’t be like this forever. Promise. Right now, you survive. I can’t stress enough to let the guilt drip off. You will feel guilty about other crap in the moment…you don’t need this part. It’s a phase. Life will resume.

Take Care of You

Some of your already have a problem with this with just the 1 kid. Just because you birth babies doesn’t mean you aren’t still a person. You have needs and wants. Denying yourself things “for the good of the family” often backfires. You get touched out. You get short with the people you love.

It’s ok to be selfish.

I_need_a_nap_time_playlist._What_would_you_put_on_yourIn a world where EVERYONE needs you, you need you. I have to speak generally here since I don’t know YOUR situation but if you have a partner, they need to help out. Just as I noted above, don’t beat around the bush about what you want. Be up front. “I think we need a date night.” “I would really appreciate it if you could take both kids out for a few hours so I can take a nap” “Can you be on night duty?”. For 1 or 10 babies, you need to think about yourself. Some spouses are going to take this differently, so be proactive. Start talking BEFORE the kid comes home. They are gonna have to put on their big boy/girl pants.

And to point out Ryan’s tweet above, let Dad have alone time too. Let him play video games while holding the baby. The baby will be fine and he releases some tension. You go for a walk. Openly discuss ability to “go out”. An hour to have dinner with a few friends can recharge anyone. Be gentle with one another when you can. Tensions are high a lot…build in some cushion.

I also found making a goal for myself to be helpful. “This weekend I am going to go to Target alone.” or “I would like to run/walk for 30 minutes.” You can’t really plan girls nights and such with a fresh baby so make little goals. It gives you something to look forward to when times get overwhelming. Sometimes that is just waiting for your husband to get home. It worked for me some days..even if that was “wait until there is another adult in the house so you can drink”.

Practical Ideas

Now I can say these overarching themes but until you bring that sucker home, you can only theorize and remember those. Some of you are just as type A as me and you want SOMETHING I CAN DO NOW. I get it.  So here are a few:

  • Buy a freezer, I asked the internetz what they thought and freezer meals was priority #1. Now you may be saying what I was saying when people told me that “Um I don’t have room to store that”. If you have the space, I highly recommend getting a small chest freezer. They can be pretty small. We cleared a spot in the garage and put ours. BEST DECISION EVER. We actually got ours after Ollie was born so we didn’t use for meals as much as breastmilk. This was crucial when my friend gave me 900oz of hers. That freezer is still awesome now. I now can buy extra meat on sale and keep it. I can keep 14 bags of broccoli because my children are broccoli monsters.
  • Put meals in the freezer. Now you have a freezer, stock that shit. Make casseroles. Buy quick TJ meals. Get everything easy you can. Then, if you have awesome friends like me, they will want to bring you food. to go along with my Speak Up section above, tell them what you do and don’t want. If you want casseroles to freeze, tell them that. Some of my friends would bring one hot meal and one freezer. I had everything from lasagna to vacuum sealed pulled pork. Stock up. You won’t want to cook…or if you do, make it easy. Those quick Trader Joes things made me feel like I was still providing for the whole family even if it was easy. Bonus with them, they heat up quicker than a whole lasagna.

  • Don’t Over Schedule Yourself – It’s hard not to see maternity leave as a little bit of freedom for working moms. I think it was almost more important to remember this with #2. I KNEW what it was like and I wanted to maximize my time at home. I think I did well and did what I wanted when I wanted but don’t start making play dates and such without knowing how to be UBER flexible. Some days it will be too much to get out of the house. Don’t schedule people to come over unless you REALLY want them. Don’t feel guilty calling and saying “today isn’t great”. Once again, be selfish.`{Thanks to Molly, for that one}
  • web2012OliverHospital14Get the big one a “gift” from the baby – So when Landon met Ollie the first time, it didn’t go as storybook as one would hope. He was shy and timid. Could have just been off time or whatever but he just didn’t care. Womp. The next day he came to the hospital, Kevin’s cousin had brought Landon a stuffed Lightening McQueen. Instead of saying it was from her, on the spur of the moment we said it was from Ollie. He LIT up. “Oh Ollie! Thank you!” He immediately started talking to him and giving him kisses. He told everyone his little brother got him a present. He was 3…he didn’t understand to question that concept. Older kids might have a harder time with that.
  • Don’t make it tit for tat – Now with the above suggestion I also caution everyone bringing something for both kids. Kevin and I are strong in the opinion that everything doesn’t have to be equal. Just because one kid gets something doesn’t mean the other has to by proxy. At this young it isn’t a big thing but that can spiral out of control in a few years. Landon doesn’t get presents at Ollie’s birthday and vice versa. They are individuals…not always a set.

  • Take a shower and “get ready”  everyday
    – It’s not gonna be easy but do it. Arrange your day to allow it to feel better. Feel human. For me, it was just getting up when K got up before the kids and do it then. “Getting ready” would be slapping on concealer under my eyes and maybe some mascara. We are not talking the full deal but I felt tons better just having accomplish that every day. I even did this in the hospital with Ollie (because my recovery was so much easier..pace yourself). I showered within hours after he was born. It wouldn’t have been possible with Landon but know that you have a team of people to help in there…USE IT. {Thanks to Lindsey for reiterating this one}
  • Don’t listen to Mary Sunshine – “Isn’t it a blessing?” “Isn’t it the best?” “Sleep when the baby sleeps” All those made me STAB STAB STAB. You just pushed a human from your vagina. You might feel AWFUL and it’s ok to say “nope! This is kinda terrible. I mean the baby is awesome but I feel like shit”. DO NOT LET THESE PEOPLE GET INTO YOUR BRAIN. This can start some PPD. People mean well…I totally get it but if your frame of mind can’t take that right now, it’s like a poison.  So many people have made it to my blog because I told this side of motherhood. The part only some talk about. I have heard too many times “I thought something was wrong with me”. Know what is normal and not feeling like mary fucking poppins after birth is one. That shit ain’t the norm, yo.
  • And while this is a list for other people to get you, take a look. Menus from local takeout places, gift cards to drive thrus….this is about as practical as it gets.

So there we go. A round of knowledge I am pulling from 20 months ago (YOU GUYS MY BABY IS 20 MONTHS!!!!) so help fill in what I am missing, seasoned mamas.

The Cheeks

child eczema I’ve avoided the post on purpose. Ollie has eczema on his cheeks. It’s one of the only reasons I am liking winter. So people stop asking me.

Around July, 3 main patches popped up. At the time, I had started whole milk (he was on milk based formula). I thought it was that and stopped. Nada. At an appointment for an ear infection, the pediatrician just calmly said “just eczema”. Alrighty. Eucerin cream and on our way. No change but whatever. But you know me. I take photos of my kids for the internet. All the inquiries. So at a follow appointment with another pediatrician, I ask again. Same answer. They showed no concern. Said to try hydrocorisone in small amounts and see what happened. Nothing changed.

child eczemaAt his 1 year appointment, I brought it up again. Same answer but they did give me an allergist to go see if I wanted. They were happy with the amount of keeping up with what he had in relation to what he had to flare ups and no one could make heads or tails of it. So since we have Cadillac insurance, I made an appointment and went.

child allergy testI talked with the allergist and he said the same thing. It wasn’t an obvious allergy, that was for sure. I told him my theory of beef. Ollie had had meatloaf at school twice and it flared up. I tried a hamburger with him and nothing. Next time he had meatloaf, no flare. No correlation really but we added it to the regular tests he was going to give. So he was undressed and poked :(. He did really well until maybe halfway through (I think it was around 20 pricks). He got really irritated and cried pretty hard until they stoped. To their credit, they were SUPER fast at it. He fell asleep on me and was then fine. He tested negative for everything. That included:

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Peanuts
  • Wheat
  • Tree nuts
  • Beef
  • Dust
  • Pollen
  • Dogs
  • Cats
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Grass
  • Dust mites
  • Soy

He_pitched_a_fit_through_the_first_part_of_dinner_for_no_known_reason._Wouldn_t_eat._Big_tears._Finally_gave_him_a_spoon_with_food_on_it_and_he_was_happy._Big_boy_is_big.__toddlerdinnersThey did note he had pretty sensitive skin so they went back to just thinking regular eczema. Next dr. would be a dermatologist but they weren’t thinking it would do much more than a steroid cream. I opted not to pursue it.

Really I was happy there. I asked the doctor about permanent scarring (like acne or something) and he felt confidently that it wouldn’t be an issue. He wasn’t in pain. He wasn’t being bothered by it. Just looked bad. From about 50% of people who commented online, it would just go away over time.

But at his 15 month appointment, I asked for a cream to try. We were given Mupirocin to rule out something bacterial. It didn’t really seem to do much but didn’t bother him either. Once again, it would get bad some days for no real apparent reason and then go away with no interaction. At the 18 month appointment I was asked if it worked and said no. We tried Desonide cream (.05%). It’s really gentle for him and meeeeeybe helped a little but really didn’t seem to matter that much.

I can say now, at almost 20 months, he doesn’t have the raised skin and irritation but he still has a tendency for red cheeks. All winter it really has seemed like just chapped. He now has the same pattern and chapped skin on his chin from drooling and cold days. When he gets mad or cries? His cheeks are bright red. Fever? He could double as an apple. At our latest round of pediatrician visits for mystery baby theatre, that dr recommended coating his cheeks in chapstick on cold days. It seems to be working…see:


My final call is eczema with probably a little rosacea mixed in for flair.  So we do what we need when we need it. End of story.

I failed at extended rearfacing


Hi. I’m Brandy and I failed at extended rear facing my child in his car seat. For those of you not aware of such things, extended rear facing refers to keeping your child turned around in their car seat for as long as possible. If you know someone very strongly pro extended-rear facing, you have probably been subjected to a YouTube video and mountains of case studies. It’s safer. It’s a fact. American Academy of Pediatrics recommends up until age 2 minimum.

This came out after I had Landon. He was turned around at age 1. Since then I had read all the reports and knew the safe choice. With Oliver I was going to keep him in that seat for 2 years. Done.

But then the screaming started. A 15 minute ride to work was torture. He ripped off shoes and threw them. Toys everywhere. Nothing made him happy but 1 Macklemore song. I am reeeeaaalllly tired of that song. But 15 minutes? I could handle. Then after work we would pick him up and then drive to get Landon. He would scream while you waited. Then scream the 20 min home. If there was end of day traffic, lord help us. But again, we would just turn up the radio and Landon would hand him toys…we could make it. But then came trips to the river. 2.5 hours in the car. He wouldn’t fall asleep. He would just stay awake and whine and scream. By the time we got either to the river or home, we were spent. Done. Vacation started with a shroud of raw nerve endings.

So 2 weekends ago we were going to the river again. I knew I was going to be on edge. I told Kevin to turn him around. So we did…and while he didn’t sleep like we hoped, he was happy. He could see us. We could hand him toys. Pull his feet. Play peekaboo. He would just watch out the window. Glorious. He has been turned around ever since. To and from work has about 80% less screaming. Now it’s just for us to take his shoes off for him.

But I write this because it was a difficult decision…and probably not a popular one with some of you. And I am ok with that. The point that stuck in my mind was one day the screaming me was making me so angry and flustered that I concluded me driving in that state isn’t very safe either. I would rather have my wits about me and having a positive car experience over trying to just hang on for dear life until we got home. Once again, what works for my family.

So when did you turn your munchkin around and why?

The Beanery

LIFE UPDATE: Oh hi. I’m not dead just stupid busy. On Sept 9th we put our house back on the market. Sept 23rd, while y’all were reading about iOS 7, we accepted an offer for it (then got 2 more after the fact before we could get the papers signed). Then on Sept. 24th, I went on my lunch break to look at houses, found a house I loved and called to get a second showing that night with the family. We put in an offer and as I type we wait to hear. SO OMG THIS WEEK IS TOTALLY INSANE. But since I had Laura comes and let me play with her camera for house photos, I figured I would finally do a nursery tour!

Yeah…Ollie is going on 14 months old and I am finally getting around to it. What is even more ridiculous is that these photos were taken when he was a week old. So yeah. LAZY MOM.

I based his room off a bedding set. A useless bedding set {I know, I know}. But I did the exact same thing for Landon and never regretted it. I talked all about it here. It gave me a concept to work around. Ollie’s room was going to be about space. Rockets, stars, planets…the whole 9 yards. I wanted robots but I loved the rocket set from Dwell studio for Target. We got the same brand for Landon and I always loved it. So here we go…a tour of the Beanery.

Rocket Nursery

1. Rocket decals – I looked and looked for the perfect decals to match the bedding and BAM. I found ToodleDecalStudio. Their shop was so adorable. I just love all their stuff. Even better? I originally ordered the smoke in light blue. It didn’t look good. I contacted the seller and she sent me white smoke at just the price of shipping. 🙂 I highly recommend.

2. Best Chairs Hagen – If you are looking for an upholstered glider, do yourself a favor and STEP AWAY FROM THE BABY SHIT. They jack the price up because it’s “nursery” for no other reason. Wanna see what I mean? This is the Storytime line from Best version of the chair. It’s the exact same chair but baby fabric. The price difference is hundreds of dollars. Boutiques jack the price up so high. I got our chair at a surplus furniture place here in Raleigh {with Ottoman} for $600. It is microfiber and really comfy. It is a narrow chair but that is what i wanted. We are tight on space. It glides and swivels. The ottoman glides too. I hope to have it in a bonus room in the future. I have slept a lot in there.

3. We made the cornice boards by ripping up the bumper that came with the bedding set. I then bought tension rods at target and put on brown black out curtains from Kohls (watch the sales). The rod just sits inside the cornice. Ollie is a pro at ripping them town, tension rod be damned…but I have no choice. CMON NEW HOUSE.

4. Dwell Studio Space Bedding set – This is no longer sold at Target but you can find it on ebay and such. It was very popular. I even had a reader ship me leftover pillow cases from a toddler bedding set that I used for other things around the room. Since I didn’t use the real bumper, we used the Breathable Bumper. We had it from Landon. I like it because it keeps feet in but isn’t bulky. Also makes it easier to change the sheets. We still have the back part on to keep toys from falling out and Ollie likes to hold the satin part to go to sleep. It’s adorable.

5. I really wanted a gallery wall just like this one from Aaron over at Thrifty Abode. Rocket Gallery Wall

So the wall is made up of a couple of special things.

  • The star light is from Ikea (nothing super special there) but it was sent to me from the sweet Heather from my hometown {we met on twitter!}. It was a great light to nurse by. It made a star pattern on the walls and just a nice soft glow.
  • The dolphin is made by Landon. I had him do this craft where you put tissue paper on clear contact paper. Then I stuck that to a piece of white paper and traced a dolphin outline and cut it out. I did the same with the waves. Voila. It was Landon’s touch for baby brother.
  • The rocket and planet illustrations are from a used book I ordered off Amazon. I can’t remember the name but it was perfect.
  • The announcement print was the most fun. Fun story here, I saw Aaron’s  wall on Pinterest like any other wall. I just adored everything about it. The more I looked at the blog, the more things looked familiar. Come to find out, Aaron was right here in Raleigh. So I decided to just straight up copy the announcement print and have her make it for me. In contacting her on Etsy, I found out she was due with baby #2 within weeks of Ollie! Her little bundle decided to show up early but, on my maternity leave, we met up at Panera and made the swap. It was so fun to meet a new face!
  • The photos were from the wonderful Laura case for maternity and newborn shots.
  • The quote is from Star Wars. “I think you just can’t bear to let a gorgeous guy like me out of your sight.” – Han Solo I got the silhouette online and fixed up the print in photoshop. Printed at Walgreens. Done.
  • The last piece is leftover fabric from the bumper and the card that was in Ollie’s bassinet in the hospital.

6. Solar system mobile. You COULD buy one of these puppies from Pottery Barn and be oh so cool OR you could ask around to your friends with older kids to see who has a leftover science project. That’s what I did. Laura’s stepdaughter had one under her bed collecting dust. It wasn’t in perfect condition but some craft paint and new fishing line fixed it right up. Perfection.


Photobooth Wall

7. This was my favorite DIY project. I originally wanted to do this but it seemed overwhelming being like 8 months pregnant. So I copped out and just did a series of 8x10s. Laura took our photos at the maternity shoot in front of a cement wall. Got them printed at Walgreens and got 9 8×10 plain frames from the dollar store. Since you can’t see close, we did 1 smile and 2 silly faces each. Ollie loves looking at them 🙂

8. Lamp is from Goodwill for $7. It was red with no shade. I spray painted it navy. Then I bought one of those self adhesive lamp shades from Joann’s and used leftover fabric from the bumper project to cover it (here is a tutorial. Then I bought piping and glued it on. Fun fact: I did all this the night Ollie was born 🙂

9. Dresser/Changing Table – This was from Landon’s room. It is Storkcraft and we got it from Walmart. I ordered online and had shipped to store. It was the best deal. Being honest, it isn’t the greatest built thing. It does what it needs to do. Looks fine. But it isn’t a piece of furniture we will have forever. It will make it’s way to Goodwill once Ollie is a big boy. It was a great deal and I don’t regret a thing.

So TA DA. That is the Bean’s digs. There is a huge double closet on the other wall. We have ClosetMaid units in there to hold toys and extra wipes and blankets. Nothing fancy.

I Am Not A Baby Person

Here’s the deal: babies aren’t my thing. They are cute and they have adorable tiny clothes but I am not a fan. I kept the 6 month mark in my head to get me through the sleepless nights, nipples of fire and general blobbiness of infants. I knew it would get better…just had to hang in there. The newborn snuggles are cute for a few hours but when you can’t sleep without someone touching you? The pumping. The clammy hands in my hair. The car screaming. Not my cup of tea. Anxiety like whoa.

Then the next 6 months was a little more fun. Sitting up, eating real food, keeping himself occupied and crawling were all fun. But then there is still 2-3 naps to coordinate around, making bottles and spooning purees. Better…but still not my forte.

Me? I’m a toddler mom. Rough housing, PB&Js, mornings spent at the park, when they fumble around and fall for no reason. AWESOME! There is plenty of sleep, a routine and sweet sweet independent play. They start talking and making funny faces. They can zone out to the TV for a few minutes {yeah yeah…no screen time under 2…hahahahahaha}. I mean look at this perfect example of toddler swellness.

Well we are seeing the signs of this and I am excited. We have already started pushing for 1 nap so we can get out and have fun. No more formula. Playdates.

I write all this because with Landon, it took me awhile to admit I didn’t really like the infant stage. I felt ashamed like I was just missing some girl gene. The thought of the “newborn smell” made me have a little PTSD. Once I started admitting it, more people nodded in agreement. People would say “just wait until they are walking…then it’s all over” but that is the beginning! When they start being little people with GIANT personalities. Those are the videos you can look back on still giggle. So it’s ok to not want to snuggle every baby you see. It’s ok to not want to have a baby nap on you. It’s ok to just prefer a kid that can kick you over being spit up on. I do.

Landon’s Book of the Week – I’m a Big Brother

WAAAAAAAAY back when, I did a series about Landon’s favorite books. I think I am going to bring that back to showcase some of the boys’ favorites. Of course now the focus is a little different. Landon seems to like ones he can “read” later. This is memorization and context clues but a step in the right direction.

So first up we have I’m A Big Brother by Randall Ronne & Kristina Stephenson

On top of the academic side of this, this week’s book has a mommy endorsement for all your folks out there with another baby on the way. Before Ollie was born, we collected some big brother type books to help explain what was going on. My mom got him this book and recently he has started loving it. All about how babies grow up and learn to play with them.

In “his” previous reviews, I talked for Landon but now he can speak for himself. Here he is telling you all about the book. {note we say Landon and Oliver over the character names. Sometimes I slip up and get a “Who’s Luke?”}

Mommy Thoughts: This is a great book to help explain the concept of a new brother to a toddler or preschooler. How a baby is going to be {floppy and boring} and then what it will be like once he starts growing {he’s going to take your shit}. Landon now loves to try and roll a ball with Ollie all because of this book. He kinda seems to get that Ollie grabbing his toys means he is ready to start playing with him. I can see the wheels turning.

P.S. I also recommend the Dr. Sears books(here and here) for a more technical explanation of what will happen when the baby gets here. It covers breastfeeding, mommy needing time with the baby and bonding with the baby. They are kinda long but cover a lot more than most.

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