Tuesday, January 31, 2012

#frumpyfighter: fix your jacked manicure on a walk

those with wee ones know doing your own nails is the biggest joke.
i am not one for manicures, pedi's yes. but i used to find giving myself a manicure creative therapy. no more. no time. get nails painted and L effs them up in seconds.
so... i actually went and GOT a manicure.
one and half weeks later, washing my hands every three seconds = nails looked like shite.
chipped & jacked indeed.
color: OPI's romeo & juliet.
then it dawned on me. L will sit in his stroller for a good while if i take him for a walk! so i brought two polishes on said walk with me. layered over romeo & juliet, OPI's turquoise crackle + OPI's servin' up sparkle. end result: dry nails post-walk that totally delight baby AND mommy. FUN FUN FUN. frumpy fighter!

Friday, January 27, 2012

hey there, L here.
just saying bonjour from le bibliothèque.
i kinda rule the library circuit.
i stand up when i'm supposed to sit sometimes.
i often talk when i'm supposed to listen too.
i dig all the singing and clapping.
i am often the only boy, how's that for odds?
i love chilling with other babies.
the library rules.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

NAIVE NEWBIE: what the HELL am i supposed to do with a baby ALL. DAY. LONG?

a CHECK LIST for the #NaiveNewbie
_ movie time
_ zoo field trip
_ park field trip
_ nap time
_ arts & crafts
_ dance party
_ sing-a-long
_ library field trip
_ run errands
_ go for a walk
_ go shopping
_ go for a drive
_ go field tripping in your own backyard
_ tummy time
_ story time
_ walker time
_ exersaucer time
_JOIN A GROUP ON meetup.com

(print above and hang somewhere should you find yourself in a "what the hell am i supposed to do with baby now???" bind)

checklist explained...

_ go for a walk
a no brainer, dear naive newbie, however, don't limit your walks to baby in stroller. baby in sling/ergo/snugli etc. is also so very good. L prefers it often times. and baby wearing whenever you can manage it is so beneficial to your wee one. (read more about baby wearing here.)
_ go shopping
i get the most giggles, smiles and babble when i roll L around in a shopping cart. he stares up at the ceilings of stores in awe, as they often have things hanging from them. he giggles hard when i push and pull him toward me over and over. he smiles when strangers say "hi there!" he focuses on me when i put objects before him to look at and touch. this applies to the grocery store, to target, tj maxx, etc.
_ go for a drive
this most definitely involves music and singing. baby music or your favorite tunes, your call. sing loud, sing hard, encourage baby to sing too. benefit from the motion of the car and its ability to lull most babies to zzz. side note: L has a love hate relationship with our car. so, this might not work for everyone, every time. but, when he was a teeny tiny newborn and i was going NUTS stuck in the house all day, a drive to my nearby starbucks w/ drive-thru each morning likely saved my life.
_ go field tripping in your own backyard
i could kick myself in the head a hundred times for not starting this sooner. granted, L was born in florida in august. so i guess i couldn't have spread the quilt in my backyard much earlier in his precious little life. anyway, do it. it's so cool. the grass provides for a soft fall when baby is learning to sit up and crawl. pre-this stage, it's also a sumptuous and comfy place for newborn baby to stare up and soak things in, maybe even sleep. it's so easy, no stroller or car seat needed. just go outside with a blanket and seek out a patch of grass.
_ tummy time
not a fave of L by any means, and yet, essential. give it time, he used to cry the moment he was placed on his tummy, now, he SLEEPS on his tummy. he also propels himself about just a bit on his tummy, reaches for toys on his tummy, listens to stories on his tummy, and so forth. i suggest a cushy area rug or large safe bed for this. plus toys and books for baby to gaze at and reach for. tummy time is fundamental for reaching bench marks. a must.
_ story time
i have been reading to L since he was like, what? three weeks old? book after book after book. chunky board books are a hit. easy to hold and lately, to chew on, whilst being read. it's so so beneficial to babies from birth. read more here.
_ walker time
this is new, something we didn't begin until L was a bit over five months old. and wow, he digs it. his face lights up bright when he realizes he's moving himself about. and able to explore his surroundings on his own and at his leisure. L's walker has some fun activities for him to entertain himself with too. i love L's walker.
_ exersaucer time
this thing looked so boring to me, and yet, he is happy happy when placed within it. he slowly spins around entertaining himself with all it's little gadgets. he's been enjoying his exersaucer since he was almost four months old. pair it to a baby einstein movie and you have a wee break from entertaining baby, use this time to make a sandwich or check email.
_ movie time
baby einstein movie and you have a wee break from entertaining baby, use this time to make a sandwich or check email.
_ zoo field trip
holy cow, was joining the zoo a brilliant idea. what a cool place to take your baby as often as you wish. all the animals in the books you read to him or her are there in the flesh! L & I love strolling our local zoo and will for years and years to come i'm certain. the cost of joining is nothing in relation to how cool it is to be able to pick up & go any time.
_ park field trip
even if baby is no where near the age to play on park equipment, go! baby can observe other kids playing, which i've found to be just as rewarding for L. also, beneficial. he gets to see the reward for reaching all the milestones ahead of him. plus, it's a great opportunity for you to meet other mommies.
_ nap time
ha ha ha. this one isn't easy. but, even if you have a wee one like mine that naps best in your arms, it's worthwhile to make it happen, twice a day if possible. if your baby lets you transfer them to beddy for a nap, lucky duck you! just know, babies are happier when they've gotten their daily zzz's.
_ arts & crafts
this one is tricky too, baby wants to put EVERYthing in his or her mouth. but, if you can make it happen, you will have bright, beautiful reminders of days you two spent together. i got L finger paints when he was not even three months old. his 1st work of art is framed above his changing table and he so loves staring at it!
we also created an ornament for christmas together that i know i will cherish for eternity. next up, we'll move to painting on canvas.
_ dance party
no matter HOW old baby is, you can do this. teeny tiny baby, just hold them tight. then, hit play on your iPod and tear. it. up. doesn't have to be kiddy music. L & I dance to beat-driven electronic and 80s new wave mostly. p.s. you will be so surprised how much of your own music mentions "baby" in it. ha ha ha. sing your fave songs out loud as you dance.
_ sing-a-long
L has always lit up when i started singing to him. rack your brain for those songs you and your mom/dad used to sing together. that's easier said than done if you're my age, right? here: here are a few. seriously, singing can even talk a baby out of melting down if you're lucky. it's great in the car too. songs with hand motions and such really delight baby! think: head and shoulders knees and toes...
_ library field trip
sooooo glad i got a library card. how cool it is to go check out baby DVDs and give them a go before buying the ones L (or I) really like. not to mention, check your local library's schedule. it's likely they have baby story/lap sit time. This is usually for babies 3 months and up. but am sure you won't get kicked out for bringing a younger baby. going to the library weekly is a fantastic habit to start with your kiddy. once L's older, we'll check out books too.
_ run errands
mundane as this is, if you talk about what you're doing the entire time you're doing it, it becomes a learning experience for baby. going to the post office, running to the grocery store, picking up dry cleaning, returning a movie, etc. etc. this world is new and exciting to your baby, even the stuff that's dull and tedious to us. such errands have become more fun now that i have L to teach everything to!
_JOIN A GROUP ON meetup.com
lastly and so vastly important. go to meet up.com and search for mommy/baby groups in your area. such groups will provide infinite ideas on things to do for you and your wee one. this is also an awesome way for YOU to meet other mommies. this adventure is HARD. you need friends, loveys.
(A huge shout out to the Palm Beach County Moms group, I'm grateful for you!)

would love love love to hear from other mommies about what THEY do with baby on a daily basis. i can always use new ideas. seriously. leave your comments below.

i so hope this post helps other naive newbies navigate the long days they have ahead with their precious tots. i know i was going absolutely crazy trying to figure out things to do with L at first.

Monday, January 23, 2012

saw this wooden sign today @ homegoods
& had to laugh.
aw, let's all turn our lack of sleep into a cozy quote turned wall art.
i mean, i guess it's absolutely true, there's no other reason i'd tolerate being repeatedly and randomly awoken night after night.
and once i've recovered from being dragged out of sleep by somewhat shocking cries & i have cuddly little L settled & nestled in my arms, no longer screaming dramatically (yes, L has begun crying so majorly and over the top-ly that i now ask him if he's auditioning for little theater) it is precious, quiet "me & L" time i'll miss so very much some day...
but i'm still having a little bit of hard time turning this bittersweet sentiment into home decor. ;-)

on that note, now's a good time to be totally forthcoming regarding L's sleep situation. (i vow to vary my posts more soon, loveys. i KNOW sleep has been dominating.) at almost six months, he is STILL in my room, right beside me. he has moved from his rock n play to his pack n play, this was because he was getting too large for the rock n play and i thought he would benefit from more space and learning to sleep "flat" so to speak. he is also still swaddled, but with one arm out, in hopes of both arms out soon.

now that he IS sleeping "flat" and with "one arm out" he flips to his tummy and sleeps that way most nights. like his mommy. man i HATED not being able to sleep on my stomach when i was pregnant with him.

he'll sleep solid 8-10 hour nights back to back, then wake up 2-4 times a night back to back a couple nights to throw me for a loop. i'm both terrified and saddened by the thought of moving him to his room and his crib.

reason being, i won't get this time back, the time that he's right beside me so i can watch him sleep. although... a lot of you with toddlers+ confess to me that your kids end up in your bed most nights.

AND, i'm scared he'll wake every hour on the hour screaming his heart out if he's not right beside me too. oh the joys of 1st time mommyhood. holy hell.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Just Like Heaven

Last time I took a quilt outside in my own backyard, spread it out, plopped down on it and stared up at the beautiful sky? NEVER. Sad really. But to be fair, having had two dogs the last several years, doing such could be considered daring—it's a poop land mind out there to some degree.

But, where there's a will there's a way, cliche as that is. So, yesterday I decided to take L on a field trip, to our own backyard. I took a fab quilt I negotiated my ass off for in India a few years ago outside with us + my camera, thankfully. What fun!

Fresh air. A gentle breeze. A sprinkle of sunshine beneath the shade of our mango tree. It was Just Like Heaven. So was was L's onesie. ;-) (yep, that's Robert Smith's silhouette!)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

L's very 1st Christmas becomes a hardbound book!

it was the very least i could do to make absolutely certain my precious little L's first christmas & all the memories it entailed were captured someplace physical & forever. so, i created this book for him. in this day and age of quick cell phone photos of major events and beloved pictures haphazardly posted to Facebook we forget how very meaningful real, tangible photo albums used to be to us! i decided to utilize technology to create something lasting, something that can't be accidentally deleted. check it out. do the same! i feel like 100 years from now, no matter how insanely cool technology is then, someone will cherish your efforts as they turn real pages.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

the science of (baby) sleep

(where's my swaddle? i hate my swaddle!)

Eeentsy teeny little L used to sleep like a log, literally. Tightly bound in a cozy swaddle, then safely lodged in his rock n play. He wasn't going anywhere, and he didn't want to.

these days L doesn't know what he wants sleep wise.
and i find myself torn between letting baby take the lead and guide me vs. mommy knows best. problem is, mommy don't know jack. what a crap shoot.

dear swaddle, you have become my utmost frienemy. some nights you wake L up with an angry whale as he fights like a champ to be free of you. and then the very next night you provide him with the very same cozy security you did when he was a wee newborn. what gives?!

L is just over 5 months now. some of you i've discussed this with kicked the swaddle by now, while others kept it up 'til 12 months. baby AND swaddle are giving new-mommy me some serious mixed messages. i want baby sleeping soundly and i want baby happy.

i also want to scream or punch something a little.

oh & p.s. this little monster still prefers napping on the go or napping in my arms. bring sleeping baby in house from peaceful zzz-ing in car? awake in seconds. try to transfer zzz-ing baby from arms to ANY cozy surface? awake in less than seconds. YAY. not.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

frumpy fighter: not your mommy's nursing wear

dear breastfeeding mommies,
nursing fashion is mostly ugly, blah & over priced.
my goals are:

1. easy, FAST access
2. be comfy
3. not look like a frumpy, bland, sad girl

sooo... i tell you from 5-months' experience, i live in FUN leggings and fabulous flowy tops.

re: leggings. classic black slims no doubt. but to break away from the monotony of this almost uniform, i add pattern, texture, SURPRISE! i.e. the orange leopard print ones you can glimpse above. yeah, they look like something out of a van halen vid, but watch me make them work...

re: tops—screw all the covert contraption nursing tops. they're an ugly, boring hassle for the most part. i'm always about ones i can easily lift up, yet still conceal skin from the masses, tops that are fashiony, but also soft and tactile for baby L while he eats. sequins tend to be scratchy which ='s ugh. but i'll survive. i found the above tunic tank, which is soft AND sparkly, with a fly away back which makes it even easier to lift up at forever 21.

my advice is, don't totally throw in the fashion towel as you realize how hard it can be to dress for your baby's ability to eat. get creative. experiment. and worry not about investing in an entire wardrobe of stuff you'd never buy if you weren't breastfeeding. love ya, trust me.

life (with baby) changers

yep. i've joined the cult. baby einstein is my BFF. he tends to watch it the way i watch TV. meaning sort of, while doing other things. like... playing in the contraption below. it serves to provide him with meaningful eye and ear candy that lengthens
the amount of time he'll hang out on his own by a wee bit.
& i gottta say, i truly dig it. love the images, the bright colors and my gosh!, the music. faves: world music & galileo . i'm finally actually getting 15 minutes to myself. baby steps. ha. but seriously, such discoveries as this, meaning, things that will entertain your baby in an educational/developmental way are from heaven, and true life (with baby) changers.
such things are different from baby to baby. don't give up 'til you discover what the heck works for yours.