Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Kari & Kalena

Just pictures this time. An actual written post coming soon, I promise.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


Apparently, I share a birthday with Google. Google is turning 10 and I am turning 26. I have lots of thoughts about turning 26, but a combination of staying up late and a baby who decided 4 AM would be a great time to get up today has left me a little fuzzy this morning. I'll try to put something coherent together later, but we'll see. It's going to be a busy couple of days because Kari and Jonathan are here for the weekend! Here's a picture so you'll all forgive me for this pointless, pointless post.

How can you resist that smile?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Let's talk about stuff

Baby stuff. As I'm sure most of you know, there are approximately a billion baby products on the market today. According to the packaging on these products, your baby will DIE or BE STUPID or NEVER LEARN INDEPENDENCE if you don't buy each and every one. Also, I'm sure if you read the packaging, it will tell you that *this* brand is the best, and all other brands of the same product are WORTHLESS CRAP. Ok, maybe that's not EXACTLY what it says, but you get the idea.

Well, Brian and I said to ourselves-- hey, wait a minute! Our parents didn't have all this crap...I mean, useful stuff when we were babies and we manage to a) not die, b) be reasonably intelligent, and c) learn independence anyway. I don't think those retailers are telling the truth! (Or maybe we didn't think that and I just made it up right now.) So we decided to buy a minimal amount of stuff before Kalena was born and then just buy stuff as we decided we needed it.

Anyway, now that I have a 4 month old and am an expert (HA. Right.) I thought I'd tell you what we thought of stuff.

Some of the favorites:

I love this diaper bag. It stands up on its own and is very organized. It's a little bulky because of the hard outer casing, but since I tend to fill up whatever bag space I have, I'd rather have the hard shell than the overstuffed bag look. Also, it's not too girly for Brian. I don't think you could pay him to carry something like this.

The sling. I really like this sling; it's adjustable so Brian and I could both use it and Kalena loved being in it. She's a little big for it now, so we're thinking about getting a structured carrier. I've heard good things about the Ergo baby carrier and the Baby Bjorn carrier.

An Ameda Purely Yours pump. Everything I read said if you are going to pump after you go back to work you need a good electric double pump. There are really only two pumps out there that fit this definition, the Ameda Purely Yours and the Medela Pump in Style. The reviews I read were about the same for both but the Ameda retailed for $50 to $100 less than the Medela (depending on where I looked) so that's what I went with. I like it, as much as you can really like a breast pump. It works well, both plugged in or on batteries, and it's easy to use. But, I've never used a Medela so I can't tell you how they compare.

Lily Padz. These are reusable silicon nursing pads (click the link if you want to read more about them.) I am a big fan. I'll definitely buy these again next time around.

The boppy. I used this pretty much every time I nursed her for the first 6 weeks. That made things easier for me, but did have the unfortunate side effect of causing Kalena to not want to nurse unless she was laying on a pillow. Made it hard to nurse anywhere outside the house, but we managed. Now we use it to prop her up for tummy time, so all in all it's been very useful.

A play mat. We got the baby Einstein one, but I'm sure she would have enjoyed any of them. We've used this daily from about 8 weeks on. Definitely worth it.

A bumbo seat. It allows her to sit up on her own which she loves. Plus, look how cute she is in it!

Some of the not-so-favorite:

We got a vibrating chair, and at first she wasn't a big fan. It didn't calm her down or put her to sleep and as a newborn she would only tolerate it for a few minutes at a time. She likes it a lot more now, but it's still not really a favorite.

We got a dishwasher basket which I thought we would use all the time, but not so much, as it turned out. I like the idea, but it didn't work for us. We weren't making enough dishes to run the dishwasher as often as we needed to so most of the time I ended up pulling stuff out of the dishwasher to wash it by hand. Even when we did get to run it through the dishwasher, fabulous Midland water tended to leave a residue that I got rid of by-- you guessed it!-- washing everything by hand. So now I skip the dishwasher and do all the bottle stuff by hand.

I heard lots of good things about sleepers with elastic in the bottoms, (like this) so we got a couple of those, but they also didn't work for us. When Kalena was a newborn, she would pull her arms out of the sleeves and get them stuck in the sleeper and once she got big enough that that didn't happen, she was so long that she would get her feet out the bottom and end up with the whole thing around her waist. That sort of defeated the whole point of wearing a sleeper instead of just a onesie, so we didn't use those very much. Maybe next time.

Things we still don't have:

A changing table. I'm glad we didn't get one; I don't think I would ever use it.

A baby bathtub. We used the sink at first and now the bathtub with a towel in the bottom. We're not planning on getting one of these.

A stroller. We're still sort of up in the air about this, but we figure we'll get one sometime. Any recommendations?

A structured carrier. We want to get one. Any that you love? Or any opinions on the two I mentioned earlier?

A jumper or activity center thing. We also want one of these. Any favorites?

Are there any products that you CANNOT BELIEVE I don't have? I want to hear about it! Also, if you have anything that people told you that you HAD TO HAVE and now you never use I would like to hear about it.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Forward motion...

has been achieved. During some tummy time on the boppy this afternoon, Kalena managed to get her whole little body up and over the front of the pillow. I'm not sure I'd call this crawling, but she's moving in that direction. (Ha ha, see how clever I am?) I guess baby-proofing will need to happen sooner than we thought.

Here she is enjoying tummy time.

Thinking- I wonder how much effort it would take to get over this pillow...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

8 weeks and 4 months

I made some notes to myself when Kalena was 8 weeks old about some of her likes and dislikes. I never posted that list here, so I thought it would be interesting to compare what she liked at 8 weeks to what she likes at 4 months.

At 8 weeks, Kalena was loving her Baby Einstein play mat. She would lay happily for 3 or 4 rounds of songs, laughing at the lights and colors of the star and gurgling to herself while hitting the toys and watching them swing. At 4 months, she grabs onto the different toys and tries to pull them down. Then, once she gets bored with that, she practices rolling on to her stomach and tries to eat the mat. Yummy!

At 8 weeks she enjoyed being talked to. She started smiling in response to being talked to around 3 weeks, particularly when my dad talked to her, and by 8 weeks she was smiling back regularly. She still enjoys us talking to her of course, but these days she also likes to "talk" back to us.

Eating! All the time. When she was 8 weeks old, she was still doing well with nursing and bottles. I had only been back to work for 2 weeks, so she hadn't gotten lazy about nursing yet. Now, as I've posted about before, she is lazy, and will pretty much only nurse for middle of the night feedings. She does still take formula and breast milk out of the bottle without an obvious preference for one or the other.

Ah, the sling. At 8 weeks, Brian was using the cradle hold and I preferred the snuggle hold, but it didn't really matter because either way she would fall asleep about 5 minutes after we stuck her in there. At 4 months she is too big for the cradle hold and wants her legs out in the snuggle hold.

At 8 weeks she was still loving the pacifier. She used it to help her go to sleep and stay asleep. It was also a comforter if she was fussy. Now she has pretty much stopped using one. She prefers to eat herself to sleep these days. She'll still take the pacifier if we offer it to her, but she's pretty much indifferent to it.

She wasn't so sure about baths at 8 weeks. She didn't cry, but she did push off with her feet and try to throw herself out of the sink. At 4 months bath time means smiling and laughing and splashing the water. It is much more fun.

At 8 weeks she was pretty sure that sleeping on your own is for suckers. Now, she is POSITIVE that sleeping on your own is for suckers. Also, she would like to nurse all night long thankyouverymuch.

And of course, she looks different. Here she is at 8 weeks:

And here she is at 4 months (ok, it's a day early) looking a little mischievous and sporting some serious bed-head.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Almost 4 months old...

Which means this 4 month sleep regression is right on time! Either that or she thinks these sleepers are too cute to just sleep in. I tend to agree, which is why I let her wear them all day sometimes. (What? It's not cause I'm too lazy to dress her, I swear!)

I wish I had a better picture, Brian's hands are covering up the adorable giraffes on this sleeper. You'll just have to believe me about the adorableness.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Looking like a boy again

I know this outfit is mostly blue, but would any of you with little boys dress them in flowered pants? We needed this onesie, and it only came in blue. I thought the flowered pants made it a little more girly, but apparently not. Just ignore the drool, there's a lot of it these days.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The sounds of the house

Every house has certain sounds that you have to get used to if you live there. At my parents' house it's the sound of the house settling, air bubbles in the heating pipes, and water running through pipes in the basement. Living at home, I got to the point where if I was in the basement I could tell if someone was walking from the main floor up the stairs to the second floor or down the stairs to the basement. I knew the sound of the garage door opening, the washer or dryer running, and all sorts of other everyday noises.

When Brian and I moved into this house, I had to get used to a whole new set of noises, especially since we got the dogs when we moved in. After awhile I adjusted to it all; the sound of the air conditioner, the dishwasher, the washer and dryer, the dogs going in and out the dog door, the sound of their nails clicking on the tile floor, the noise they make when they push their paws up against the wall as they adjust themselves on their beds. Eventually it's all just background noise. I hear it and register what it is without even thinking about it.

Lately though, there is a new noise around here. Besides the baby I mean, I already have all her noises cataloged (which unfortunately still doesn't mean I can sleep through them.) I mean Onyx. In another post I talked about how she has started going upstairs to lay outside the baby's room. Well, now I hear her going up and down the stairs. And it's noisy. And before she started doing it, Brian was the only one I heard going up or down the stairs. So now, even if I'm home alone, whenever Onyx is on the stairs I think for a second that someone is in the house with me. It really throws me off. I'm sure I'll get used to it soon enough. Are there any random noises around your house that you had to get used to?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Away from home

On Monday I had to go to Dallas so I could be there for some work training Tuesday morning. Since I had to be there overnight, I got to sleep the whole night through! (Don't worry, I took some Benadryl so I wouldn't wake up a million times thinking I needed to tend to the baby.) It was SO nice. I haven't slept all night since I got pregnant, which means it's been over a year!

I also got to visit Mardi and Chris and meet Eli who is even cuter in person than he is in pictures. I'm lucky they live there, because Chris was the only reason I found my hotel and their house. I had directions to both from Google Maps, but neither of them got me to the right place. Fortunately Chris was patient enough to give me turn by turn directions on the phone. He probably just thinks I'm really bad at following directions, but his directions for the way back to my hotel from their house got me there just fine, without even missing a turn, so I blame Google Maps. I'm running out of places to get directions from though since I've already sworn off Mapquest, and I don't think I'll be using Google Maps again after this. Maybe from now on I'll just have to print up actual maps and write my own directions. That seems like it would work better.

Anyway, it was fun to visit with them! Mardi made this lovely stichery and these adorable booties for Kalena and was nice enough to give me the patterns to both of them. So now we'll have to see if I can be as crafty as she is. (We'll also see if I can figure out how to use my sewing machine. Which is currently in its unopened box...)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Better picture

MyHeritage: Family tree - Genealogy - Celebrity - Collage - Morph

See kids? It really does depend on which picture you put in there.

She looks so innocent

Here is Kalena wearing a very cute onesie from her aunt Kari.

It says "I *heart* Mommy." But what you can't see is that in tiny print underneath that it says "but I'm still going to try to kill her with sleep deprivation"

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Who does she look like?

MyHeritage: Family tree - Genealogy - Celebrity - Collage - Morph

It's official (as if we weren't sure.) Kalena looks like Brian. I finally did this with baby pictures because every time I did it with current pictures it said she looked equally like both of us. And we all know that's not true.

I'll write a real post soon. Is it Friday yet?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Hawaiian Girl

Here is Kalena in the other outfit we bought her in Hawaii. The size says 6 month, but it fits now so I'm glad I didn't wait to try it on her! I'm wearing my souvenir in this picture too-- a pair of pearl earrings and a matching necklace.

Kalena likes the dress...

but she's not so sure how she feels about Brian.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


Kalena is developing some new tricks these days. She is working on holding her bottle when she gets fed. She's not very good at it though; she pushes the bottle away from her mouth more often than not. She has also started rolling over front to back. I've been hoping she would start this because she gets really mad when she gets on her belly and then can't go anywhere. Hopefully she'll figure out that when she doesn't want to be on her belly anymore she can just roll back over. Her toes are very interesting now that she's discovered them. She doesn't put them in her mouth yet, she just studies them intently. And as her cutest new trick, she now imitates us when we laugh. SO ADORABLE. I can hardly take it.

Also, someone apparently taught her to flip off the camera. My guess is that it was one of my siblings. (Eric? Do I hear a confession from your corner?)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Good for something

Here are some random facts that you may find useful, just because. I wanted to come up with 10, but as many random facts as I know, apparently only 7 of them are useful.

Use peanut butter to get gum out of hair instead of cutting it out. It's messy, but it will work.

Clear nail polish will stop a run in nylons. (Well, it doesn't have to be clear, but you might look funny running around with colored spots.)

Cornstarch can be used in place of baby powder. It's actually the main ingredient in some baby powders.

You can tell if an egg is bad by putting it in a pan of cold water. If it sinks it's still good, if it floats, it has gone bad.

If your brown sugar goes hard, just stick a piece of bread in with it. The sugar absorbs the moisture from the bread and softens back up.

The sun will bleach stains. Just wash the stain in cold water and instead of putting it in the dryer, hang it in the sun and let it dry.

Fabric softener makes fabrics less absorbent. Skip it when drying your towels and they'll work better.

There you have it, 7 random and useful facts. Do you have any for me?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Tearing my hair out

Not really. I don't have to with the way it's falling out these days! This is one of those random postpartum things you don't hear about. I didn't anyway. Fortunately (unfortunately?), I like to research obsessively so I read about this while I was pregnant. It doesn't happen to everyone, so I was hoping it wouldn't happen to me, but I planned on it anyway. Actually, knowing this could happen played a BIG part in cutting my hair when I did. I cannot even imagine losing all this hair with it as long as it used to be. It would have been crazy. Anyway, I'm hoping it will not last much longer because it is quite the annoyance.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sleep is for the weak

I am a light sleeper. I have always been a light sleeper.* In college I lived for one semester in my sorority house. My bedroom was next to the front door. I would wake up anytime someone came in for the night, but not because they were noisy. The sound of the deadbolt turning in the lock would wake me up. It's pretty ridiculous.

As you might imagine, having a baby has NOT helped me sleep any better. I was waking up at EVERY sound she made. I've found the best thing for my sleep is to be somewhere where I can hear her when she wakes up but not the noise she makes while she sleeps. This works out pretty well. Kalena usually sleeps from 7 or so until somewhere around midnight, eats, and goes back down until about 3:00 am or so. Here's the problem: these days I wake up when I DON'T hear her. The nights when she sleeps better than usual after her first night feeding, I wake up between 3:30 and 4:00 am because I haven't heard her. Instead of being able to sleep longer because she's sleeping longer, I wake up and then just lie there (lay there?) waiting for her to wake up. I can't even manage to just look at the clock and go back to sleep! It's obnoxious.

It's a sad day when you realize your 3 month old sleeps better than you do.

*For a while when I was 21 or 22 my tonsils got really huge and kept me from breathing right at night. This caused me to sleep really heavily, but as soon as I got them out I went right back to being a light sleeper.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Part of the pack

Most of you know (or I think most of you know) that Brian and I have two big dogs. Onyx and Brenna. They are greyhounds, both retired racing dogs. They make great house pets, in case you're wondering, but that's not what this post is about.

Greyhounds are pack dogs. Because our dogs came to us as adults (3 and 4 years old) we didn't have to train them, so it was relatively easy to establish the pack order in our house. They were already housebroken so really the only rule they had to learn was not to get on the furniture. We quickly made it clear that we were in charge of the pack and they accepted that.

We wondered, though, how they would react when Kalena was born. It was interesting to watch them when we brought her home. Brenna was accepting of her right away. She was very interested in this new little thing, and spent the first few days smelling everything that the baby came in contact with. Onyx, on the other hand, wasn't so sure. She spent the first few weeks leaving the room every time we brought the baby into it and generally acting as if Kalena didn't exist. She has a little more dominant personality than Brenna, and I think she felt displaced by the baby, especially since we (obviously) had the baby on the furniture, the one place she's not allowed.

After awhile Onyx stopped leaving the room if the baby was in it, and started seeming a little more curious about her. She stopped ignoring Kalena, and stopped ignoring us if we were holding her. She seemed to adjust to having a baby around and we thought that was the end of it. But over the last week or so we've noticed some new things. Onyx started going upstairs (something she almost never did before) regularly and laying on the floor in front of the nursery room door. She now often does this at night while Kalena is asleep. Also, she has started coming to find us if Kalena is fussing as if to say-- hey! The baby needs you!

I guess Onyx has decided that if this baby is going to be a permanent member of the pack then she might as well watch over her. It's pretty cute.