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My Momma Must-Haves

June 10, 2013

It’s been quite a hiatus for me in the blogging realm of my life, but for a very good reason:

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This lil duckling has become the center my life since we first found out he was coming our way back in August. He’s now 8 weeks old and has so much personality, he can do so many things on his own now (I swear he’s about to crawl away every time we do “tummy time”), and every day is such a blessing to spend with him. All we do is play, snuggle, take walks, and nap, and nothing else gets done – it’s hard to account for our time at the end of each day – and fortunately thats ok with the hubby! I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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So, he’s now napping, and I have my chance to jot some things down I’ve been thinking about sharing. I know a lot of new moms and mommies-to-be right now (the summer must have been super fertile in 2012), and there are a few products that have gotten me through my pregnancy and the first month of my baby’s life that I want every mom to know about.

31ZBViHeIDL1) Skinny Girl Mommy Belly Butter – This stuff kept belly stretch marks away (I have absolutely none) and smells DIVINE, like vanilla frosting!

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2) Miracle Blanket – My little one sleeps so much better at night when he’s swaddled, but he still likes to move those limbs like crazy and is a little Houdini for even an expert’s swaddle. This swaddler is wonderful because it snuggles our little guy into the sweetest little pea pod without messing with velcro or zippers or anything that is difficult when you’re sleep deprived, and there’s no chance of him escaping. I am so grateful to my cousin, Jessica, for sending these to me. She said they’d be my best friend, and she was so right!

image.php3) Baby Aquaphor – I use Aquaphor to treat any weird skin thing – itchy, sunburnt, rashy, etc. – so I did not hesitate to buy the baby version of the product, knowing it would come in handy for all those sensitive skin issues that babies so often develop. Little did I know that it would work like a dream on diaper rash, even better than the max strength Desitin. And even better – no white gunk under your nails or weird white smears that inevitably find their way onto the the surface you least want it (your outfit as you are ready to leave the house, your baby’s outfit as you’re ready to leave the house, your changing pad, all of the above simultaneously…). I’m telling ya, it’s spectacular.

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4) Gentle Giraffe Sound Machine– Our little guy is going through a nightly routine of evading sleep and fussing like crazy, with no end in sight most nights. We received this giraffe (also comes in other animals) as a gift and hadn’t used it yet. I thought it would help when we are starting more routine naps, but one night, we were at our wits end. Baby had been fed, changed, swaddled, pacified, rocked, fed again, on and on, and nothing was making him happy. We finally broke out the giraffe, turned on the sleep sound (sounds resembling those you’d hear in the womb), and our little man’s eyes have never closed so fast. Simon, as we fondly refer to our giraffe, is now an official member of our family.

pTRU1-10746974reg5) Play Gym – My guy does not stop moving when he’s awake. The arms and legs just flail around as if he’s just waiting for something to come in his path that he can hit and/or kick. He just LOVES “going to the gym,” as I call it, where he gives sweet little froggy and puppy rattles a whack, kicks some dangling shapes, pulls on the links with all his might, and stares at himself in the attached mirror. He loves tummy time on the mat, and is captivated by the musical, light-up star that is fixed above his head. What’s even better is that little man can play peacefully by himself, while I race around the house to see how much I can get accomplished before he starts to think I abandoned him and throws a fit. It’s a fun game we play. Funny how that time seems like a good half hour, when in reality, it’s probably only 5 minutes. I never knew I could be so efficient.

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6) Trader Joe’s Granola Bars – Really, any hand-held food. I never imagined how difficult it would be to eat with a newborn! The Sweet, Savory, and Tart Trail Mix Granola Bars from TJ’s were my snack of choice to bring to the hospital (thank God I did, because I was famished during those 2 am feedings), and I lived on them for breakfast for the weeks that followed. They have everything you need – protein, carbs, healthy fats, and chocolate!

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7) Pandora – Specifically the Baby Einstein and Lullaby channels. Such a great mix of songs to play for babies, and a far better alternative to having the tv on in the background during playtime. The Baby Einstein channel has everything from motown to instrumental versions of classic rock (Rockabye Baby albums are great!), like “Sweet Child of Mine” and “Don’t Stop Believing,” to sing-a-long songs. And commercials seem like adult interaction! The Lullaby channel has classical music, sweet bedtime songs, and popular slow songs (Adele! Ellie Goulding! Elvis!).

3008) Witch Hazel Pads – A post-partum life saver. Without getting too graphic, these friends soothed the parts that got abused and repaired during childbirth. An absolute must-have; ask for extras when you get discharged from the hospital. I used 2 whole containers of them.

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9) Soma “Cool Nights” PJs – These are the SOFTEST pjs ever. One of my patients at work recommended them to me a year ago, and I am so glad she did. I asked specifically for Soma PJs for Christmas for the sole purpose of bringing them to the hospital for little guy’s birth. Button down PJ tops are the best for those frequent and late night feedings. I lived in them, and I’m not ashamed to say this, for 3 days straight. Nothing was more comfy. If you can’t get Soma specifically, Target has similar soft/stretchy pjs. Just get something soft, baggy, cute, and cozy.

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10) Resolve Spray ‘n’ Wash – Who knew breastfed baby blowouts could ruin clothes so quickly?! I knew about blowouts, but I didn’t know that mustard stuff could leave its lovely color long after a wash. Fortunately, I discovered the wonder of Spray ‘n’ Wash – it works like a charm. I don’t even follow the directions entirely, I just rinse off the yuck, soak the area with the spray, and let dry until the next load of laundry goes in. No remaining yellow evidence can be found after the wash!

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11) Arm and Hammer Diaper Pail – With respect to those yucky blowouts, this bad boy is a dream. Some people say, “Why not just empty the trash every night? Why not just get a normal trash can that has a heavy lid?” BECAUSE this thing seals in the stink like a pro. I am a huge fan of Arm and Hammer products, especially the laundry detergent and deodorant, so I chose this over the Diaper Genie. The great thing is that every time you close the lid, the bag of diapers is “churned” as I like to call it, twisted to seal off the bag so the odor is locked in. When it’s time to change the bag, the top end clicks together to seal in the stink, so your trash doesn’t even smell like a baby lives there. Brilliant! I even saw, on Pinterest, a way to make up your own bags to save money (though the bags aren’t too expensive and well-worth the money for a happy smelling house!).

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12) A loving, helpful husband – I couldn’t have survived the last 8 weeks + 9 months without him. He has been incredibly helpful, encouraging, understanding, entertaining, and selfless, among so many other great qualities. I could go on and on, but just know that if your husband is anything like mine, you’ll be impressed at how wonderful he’ll be during the pregnancy, birth, and recovery, and it will be a true joy to watch him as a father. You, like me, will thank God that He led you to such an amazing man and that the two of you could make such a beautiful miracle in your little baby. Our lives are truly blessed!

*{I also couldn’t have survived without my parents, his parents, our siblings, and the countless family and friends who helped us get through the pregnancy and the first few weeks after little man arrived!}

I could write a novel about all the funny anecdotes, advice I’ve learned both from trusted mothers and first-hand, and more experiences about my new adventures in mommyhood. It’s been such an amazing journey, such a joy to see God’s handiwork and experience a whole new kind of love I never imagined possible. I’m just trying to soak it all in before all these sweet moments are just memories, keeping in mind this quote from one of my favorite songs: “by the time I recognize this moment, this moment will be gone.” Here’s to making the most of this summer and experiencing childlike wonder all over again!

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