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Carrie Elle

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Baby Products I Could Not Live Without

Sara is having a baby.  Yay!!!  And I am having another baby.  Yay!!! 

So today I was talking to Valerie, who went with Sara to register for baby stuff, and we were talking about all of the CRAP that is available for babies these days.  Seriously.  Between the wipe warmers and little wedges to keep them sleeping on their backs and sun shades for the car etc. etc. etc. - how do you differentiate what you NEED from you THINK you need?  It's overwhelming.

I started thinking about all of the things I have that I never even used (umm, a crib comes to mind...) and then I started thinking about the things I absolutely used every day and could not have lived without.  And those are the things I am going to share here (in hopes Sara is reading this and registered for all of them, which of course she did because she had Valerie helping her!).

Baby Carriers

Oh, man.  This just takes me back to the days of a super fussy baby that could not be put down and who wouldn't even let me sit down...he needed his Mama walking around and bouncing him at all times.  What's a mom to do?  Especially when things like dishes and laundry are piling up?  In this case, call in the reinforcements...a baby carrier.

The Maya Wrap (ring sling) was my stand-by from 6 weeks to 4 months.  This is one of the first times I used it and I hadn't quite mastered it yet (it's a bit low), but you get the point.

And here is the Baby K'tan.  This thing was so great.  It is stretchy, with no hooks or buckles, and you can wear the baby 8 different ways - but I always wore Jack the same way (facing outwards).  The only complaint I had about this carrier is also one of the things I like about it - it's stretchy.  Jack was a very big baby.  He was 20 pounds by the time he was six months old.  At that point, the stretchiness had a bit too much give to wear him for long.  But we used this every single day from 4 months to 6 months old. 

And next...the Ergo Baby carrier.  This was a gift (thanks Lisa and Monte!) and if I could only have one carrier, this would be it.  The One.  I used this from 6 months to 2 years, and the only reason I've stopped using it is because I am pregnant and the belt is a little snug around the middle these days.  When Jack was little I wore him in the front, and when he got bigger I moved him to the back.  And look!!  I have two free hands!  That's right...heaven...a nearly-sleeping baby and two fistfuls of caffeine.  Thank you Ergo!

So that brings us to the next list of things I Could Not Live Without...

Baby Containers

I am not lost on the irony of this.  The first three objects are designed to keep your baby close to you, and the next three are designed to kind of do the opposite.

Now let me just say that I am a huge believer in holding babies and I generally don't like things that encourage people to put their babies down and leave them alone.  Babies NEED to be held.

But let's be real here - there are times when you absolutely need to put that baby down.  Like, for example, to use the bathroom...or to straighten your hair (flat irons and newborns don't mix).  I am pretty sure I had to take an occasional shower without Charles around to watch Jack, and it's not easy to get dressed with a baby attached to you.

So for those reasons, I am forever grateful to the following products.

First - the Bumbo seat.  What fabulous invention is this??  What genius created this little blob of rubber that holds a little blob of baby in an upright position so they can actually SIT UP and SEE?  Ahhh...loved this thing!  We used this from about 3 months until he was too big for it (probably 9-10 months, when his thighs could no longer be squeezed into the leg canyons).  This went with us to Sonic (he could sit in this on the table before he was big enough to sit in a high chair), sat on the dinner table with the baby firmly enclosed while we ate dinner, and even made it to a random pasture for the Bluebonnet picture.  LOVED THIS THING!!!

Next up - the Bouncy Chair.  This was on the bathroom floor for I don't know how many months - probably from about 2 to 6 months, which was when Jack started leaning over in it and giving me near heart attacks when I would look over and see him hanging out of the chair reaching for something he was not going to be able to reach!  Anyway, I stuck him in this when I needed to go to the bathroom or do my hair or makeup.  The bubbles and fish kept him entertained, and when he started to fuss I would bounce the chair with one foot while finishing up my hair.  And by the way, it feels awesome to actually leave the house with your hair done and a small baby in tow - no small feat, I tell you!

And finally...the swing.  This was how Jack napped from about 3 to 7 months.  Well...if he wasn't napping on me, that is.  Aww.  I miss those days.  But I digress.  He would nap in this fabulous contraption two times a day and I would bask in the glorious freedom of a sleeping baby and do fun things like unload the dishwasher and check my work email.   Now, those precious naptimes rarely lasted longer than 30-45 minutes, but that's a whole 'nother post for a whole 'nother day.

So there you have it.  I know you wanted to know.  The baby products I Could Not Live Without and Can't Wait to Use Again on the Next Baby.

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Monday, January 17, 2011

Never Say Never...

So, today I was visiting one of my old online horsie community...and one of the things being discussed was parenting advice.  Of course, there was some great advice - and then of course, there was also some...not so good advice.

And then I realized that a lot of the people giving this advice were not even parents (!!).  And that reminded me of the all great parenting skills I had before *I* was a parent. 

It's amazing, actually - I was an Expert Parent, the parent whose child would *NEVER* misbehave in public (because that's annoying and a clear indication of a terrible parent, right?), I would never do this, never do that, my kid would never do this, never do that, CERTAINLY never eat McDonald's two days in a row or sit in front of the TV for an afternoon, etc., etc...the list goes on, and on, and on...

I pretty much knew it all.  After all, I watched the Super Nanny and had friends with kids.  When I was pregnant I dutifully read the Babycenter bulletin that I received each week with updates on my pregnancy and brief parenting articles to prepare me for the real thing.  I read The Girlfriend's Guide to The First Year (or something like that).  I. Knew. It. All.

But then my baby was born. 

Oh, my.  Not like the articles.  Not like the parenting books.  Absolutely not like the ads in the pregnancy magazines (you know, the ones with the snuggly little newborns sleeping peacefully in their cribs while their parents sip wine in the living room and watch their favorite TV show).  No.  It wasn't like that.

I am pretty sure I ate my first words - the first "I will never" - when I Jack was about three days old.  Our first night home. 

I distinctly remember an email I sent to a friend of mine that said "I will NEVER sleep with my baby!"  Well...umm...yeah.  Day three of parenting.  I am sleeping with my baby.  I guess I didn't realize that you just can't put a baby down when you feel like it.  Seriously.  I thought they all just slept in cribs, and by the time they were about six weeks old they were all just sleeping through the night because that's what babies do.

That was just the beginning. 

I have lost track of how many times I have eaten those words (and oh, how bitter they are).  I am still counting, and probably will be for a long time.

But it's not just the "I will never" comments I am wishing I had never said. 

It's also the "My kid will never" comments.

Yeah, that's right.  Nothing like a two-year old to put you in your place!

For example.  The other day I was in the maternity store (that's right, we're having another one!) and Jack and Charles were in the play area (this is an awesome maternity store - it has a giant TRUCK! and BLOCKS! and TOYS!).  I was checking out when all of a sudden I hear The Scream. 

When Jack screams, he SCREAMS.  As in, the most ear-piercing, glass-shattering scream you have ever heard.  I promise this is true, and I'm not just saying that because it's worse hearing my own child scream.  No.  He can really scream.

So he starts doing this in the maternity store.  I am wishing that the cashier would please hurry up and ring this damn sweater up already.  I see Charles picking Jack up and the scream gets, if even possible, worse. I notice every Soon-to-be-Mom and Soon-to-be-Dad (no doubt all Perfect Parents like I was) staring.  I see a few smug couples look at each other and I know that look ("Our kid will NEVER!").  I see Charles stuff Jack under his arm and start making his way to the door.  Jack is kicking, screaming, and screaming some more.  The knowing looks intensify. 

At first I want to cry.  But then I kind of want to laugh.  I mean, I know what these people are thinking!  And even better than that, I know their futures!  One day they will be dragging their screaming child out of a store and they will think of my screaming child and remember that day in January of 2011 when they said "My child will NEVER!" - as their child DOES. 

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Saturday, January 8, 2011

Oh No I Didn't!!!!!!!!!! (Oh, yes I did...)

Don't you LOVE it when you spend two days on a long, thoughtful post and then accidentally DELETE and then SAVE the whole damn post?!?!?!

This is all that is left of the original post (AAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH):