Monday, December 22, 2014

Chicken Wings Follow Up

Last Thursday, I took the advice of calling a lactation consultant to see what their recommendation was for chunking Kieran up.

The lactation consultant asked a few questions and ultimately suggested that we supplement with formula since starting solid food can "mess with his gut" (I'm assuming she meant the bacteria?) She also suggested that I get him to feed at least every 2 hours to increase my supply (which he already is.) I've started using Fenugreek again and am looking into Mother's Milk Tea (anyone use this?)

Over the weekend, we started supplementing with formula. We were sent samples of both Similac and Enfamil formulas while I was pregnant, so we started using the Similac formula since that is what he was on when he was a newborn in the hospital to regulate his blood sugar. We'll probably go through the Enfamil formula as well before deciding which one to buy. He doesn't seem to mind the formula, in fact, he gets really excited when he sees the bottle coming towards him. I have noticed that he is spitting up a lot more than normal (before starting formula, he had only spit up once in his life.) I'm not sure if his stomach isn't used to the volume of liquid, or if it's messing with him in some way, so I make sure to stop and burp him often to get any air out.

I'm still trying to process the emotions I have about giving him formula. I know, logically, that this is what he needs. The lactation consultant reminded me that this ultimately, this isn't about making him fatter, but insuring he's getting the nutrients he needs to grow, especially his brain. But, I'm still dealing with the guilt of my body not producing enough for him. If I'm honest with myself, I'm also scared about feeding him formula out in public. I'm afraid someone is going to come up to me and scold me for not doing what is best for my son since "breast is best."

There are some positives to formula feeding. Keegan is able to feed him and I love seeing them interact while Kieran is eating. Grandparents and family, as well as friends, are able to feed him now as well, and I know they'll enjoy that. If last night is any indication, his sleeping is also improving. For almost a month, Kieran has been waking up every 45 minutes to hour and a half during the night, wanting to eat every time. I'm exhausted, he's tired, and Keegan wasn't much better. It was getting so bad that Keegan was going to sleep in our guest bedroom last night, when we decided to try Kieran in the crib one last time. We put him to bed around 8, he woke up at 11:30, and 3, and then slept until 8:20 when I had to wake him up. I think he would have slept longer if I let him! I wanted to keep him in our room until he was a bit older, but if the crib is what he needs, then that's where he'll sleep. I'm nervous about putting him back in the pack n' play for our upcoming trip home, but we'll see what happens. Of course, his good night sleep could be a coincidence, but I'm hoping giving him formula is keeping him fuller, longer.

Our supplementing schedule currently looks like this:
- Wake up between 7 and 8, breastfeed
- Drive to work, breastfeed between 9 and 10
- Bottle of formula between 10 and noon, Kieran takes his first nap
- Wakes up from nap, breastfeeds
- Bottle of formula between 1 and 3
- Kieran naps between 3 and 5
- Breastfeed around 4:45 before leaving from work
- Kieran will normally fall asleep in the car on the drive home
- Breastfeed when we get home
- Get ready for bed, breastfeed, and bottle
- Bed between 7 and 8.
- He will get a bottle or two of formula overnight, but I try and breastfeed him as often as possible

We have a weight check up on the 30th, so we'll see if the formula helps. If so, I have a feeling he'll be on it until he's weaned.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Chunky Monkey to Chicken Wings

Kieran was 9 pounds, 1 ounce when he was born. At his one month appointment, he was 9 pounds, 13 ounces. 10 pounds 8 ounces at his 2 month appointment and when I had to take him in to get an eye infection checked out at around 3.5 months, he was 10 pounds, 14 ounces.

Over 3.5 months, he dropped from the 92 percentile for weight, down to the .7 percentile (according to this website.) We joked that he went from our chunky monkey newborn to having chicken wings for arms.

At the appointment for his eye. I brought up my worry about his weight, and the doctor agreed that he was small for his age. He suggested we start solids right away, and also brought up the idea that Kieran's infected eye may be caused by a milk allergy which could also cause him not to gain weight.

Since we didn't see his normal doctor, I wanted to wait until his 4 month appointment to get a second opinion before making any drastic changes like wiping dairy completely out of my system (Mama likes her cheese!) We did play around with a few solids (sweet potatoes and a smashed banana,) but we weren't doing it religiously.

Over a 15 day period, Kieran gained another 13 ounces (from 10 pounds 14 ounces, to 11 pounds, 11 ounces.) At his four month appointment, we unfortunately weren't able to see his regular doctor (again...) so when I brought up his slow weight gain, the new doctor brushed it off saying that he's doing fine since he is gaining weight. I asked her to look up his percentile and that's when we found out that he had only increased to the 2nd. She then became concerned about his weight and strongly started pushing formula. I told her that since we had already dipped our toes into starting solids, I'd rather continue on that route, and she agreed. She suggested putting cereal into his bottles, but I told her that I am not able to pump enough in a day to give him bottles all the time. She agreed that we could give Kieran cereal by the spoonful as long as he seems to be able to handle it fine, which he is.

The doctor concluded that she thinks that I do not have enough of a supply to sustain Kieran, and what I am able to produce does not have enough calories for him. The plan is to feed him solids of some sort every feeding, and go back in two weeks to check his weight gain.

I've been going back and forth between guilt, disappointment, anger. Guilty that he's been hungry this entire time and it's the reason he's been sleeping in 1.5 hour increments which disrupts my husband's sleep. Disappointment that I'm not able to exclusively breastfeed him until 6 months and start baby led weaning when we wanted to. Anger that once again, my body can't seem to do anything right.

But, I'm also thankful that I was able to exclusively breastfeed him for 4 months. I know that any breast milk is better than none at all, and I'm still planning to nurse him as well as give him solids. I'm also thankful that throughout all of this, Kieran has been a happy, healthy baby who hasn't been all that fussy, even though he's always hungry.

So, that's where we are now. Hopefully adding in solids will chunk him up and he'll start sleeping again. Mama and baby both need some rest.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Microblog Mondays - One Year Later

Read about Microblog Mondays here

On November 30, 2013, I took a pregnancy test in the downstairs bathroom of my parent's house. I placed the test back into the wrapper, snuggled up to Keegan in bed, and handed him the test. After waiting the suggested three minutes, I told him to look at it. He said that there was a second line, but it wasn't as strong as the first line, so it must be negative (he thought pregnancy tests worked like ovulation tests.) I ripped the test out of his hands, and stared at the faint second line.

A few months later, our son was born on August 14, 2014. Words cannot describe how thankful I am for my sweet, smiley, amazing, wonderful son. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Our Cloth Diaper Stash - Covers, Prefolds and Fitteds

This is the second post in a three part series. Read about our all in one and pocket diapers in part one, and our cloth diapering accessories in part three.


The second half of our stash is made up of covers, prefolds and fitted diapers.

A cover is a waterproof layer that goes over a prefold, fitted, or flat. Many of them are rinse and wipe covers which means they can be reused as long as they are not soiled by poop. There are also covers made from wool. They can be one sized or sized, and have snaps or Velcro as closures. 

Purchased at Kelly's Closet
$14.95 at Kelly's Closet

Pros: Flips are made by the same company as the BumGenius, and they are our favorite covers. They're durable, well made and have a great fit. They've fit him since birth and I can see them fitting him throughout potty training.

Cons; With all of the covers, you have to double check to make sure the prefold or fitted diaper is tucked into the cover to stop leaks, which isn't a con exactly, just an extra step.

Buy Again? Oh yes!

Thirsties Duo Wrap Diaper Cover (Size 1)
Purchased at Kelly's Closet
$12.75 at Kelly's Closet

Pros: These rank only slightly below the Flips for favorite covers. The Velcro closure is strong and great for a fast diaper change, especially at night. The double gussets keep everything in and I can see the size 1 fitting him for a long time. The colors are nice and vibrant and there are some cute prints as well.

Cons: We have a white one, and Kieran's poop has stained the gussets along the legs. I've tried to sun bleach the stains out, but it hasn't worked. Again, just making sure to tuck in the prefold or fitted diaper to stop leaks.

Buy Again? Yep! When he grows out of the size 1s, I'll probably buy a couple of size 2s.

Received in Cotton Booty Box
$10.95 at

Pros: Double gussets, strong snaps, fits well.

Cons: There are a lot of snaps. While this ensures a great fit, it's takes a while and I can see it being difficult to use with a wriggly toddler.

Buy Again?: I'm glad we have it, but I don't know if I would go out of my way to buy one since we like our Flips and Thirsties so much.

SoftBums Echo Shell
Received in Cotton Booty box
$21.95 at Kelly's Closet

Pros: Eh....not a huge fan of this diaper.

Cons: This is a strange diaper. It has an insert that snaps onto the shell and you're supposed to be able to take out that insert and place in another like a cover, but I've never been able to do that because the shell always gets dirty. We've also had leaks almost every time we've used it.

Buy Again?: This was a Cotton Booty diaper so I didn't choose it, and as of right now, I wouldn't buy it again.

Sweet Pea One Size Diaper Cover
Received in Fluff Fairy purchase
$11.99 at Kelly's Closet

Pros: Fits fairly well, has many snaps which  ensures a good fit and has double gussets 

Cons: Having many snaps ensures a good fit, but I can see it being difficult with a wiggly toddler. 

Buy Again? Meh. Again, I don't think I'd go out of my way to buy it since we like our Flips and Thirsties so much, but I'm glad we have it in our stash. 

Fitted diapers, commonly referred to as Fitteds, are diapers that resemble the size and shape of a disposable diaper. They are very absorbent and made up of many fabrics like cotton. They do require a cover, but can be worn by itself to try to let baby's bum breathe to clear up a diaper rash.

Kissaluvs Fitted Cloth Diapers - Newborn
Received as a present
$13.95 at Kelly's Closet

Pros: I never looked into fitted diapers, so I'm glad that we received this as a gift. It's great at soaking up liquids, and I've heard they're great at for overnights, but I've never tried since we love our BumGenius so much. It also has a snap down for the umbilical cord, so it's great for newborns.

Cons: Only con I can think of is the size. He's going to grow out of it soon and I wish we could have gotten more use out of it.

Buy Again? Maybe. I'm still deciding if I'm going to buy the next size up once he grows out of it, only because we have other diapers that we enjoy using.


Prefolds are rectangles of (usually) cotton that are wrapped around baby, pinned on the sides (think old school diapers,) and then covered with a waterproof cover. They can also be used as burp cloths and rags around the house once baby is out of diapers. 

We ordered our prefolds from Green Mountain Diapers and originally ordered 12 of the newborn, and 12 of the small. Since we like our newborn prefolds so much, we ended up purchasing another 12 for a total of 24. The newborn fit him well at birth, and still fit him at 3 months old. I don't see them fitting all the way up until 6 months, however.

Pros: They are easy to use. They can simply be tri-folded and laid into a cover, or there are a bunch of more complex ways to fold them (we're currently using the angel wing fold.) They're also cheap and can be used as inserts in pocket diapers. Keegan has told me that he enjoys using prefolds (as much as you can enjoy diapers,) which surprised me.

Cons: They're a bit more "labor" intensive than AIO or pocket diapers if you're using a fold and not just laying the prefold inside a cover. We started using the angel wing fold because Kieran's poops were starting to leak over the side of a tri-folded prefold and got the covers dirty.

Buy again? Yep! We already have 12 of the next size up, but I'm going to wait to see if we still love prefolds as much as we do now before buying the size after that.


I wasn't expecting to like our prefolds as much as I do. Our regular rotation is BumGenius for bedtime, Rumparooz for daytime, and prefolds after we run out of the Rumparooz. Many times I reach for a prefold over a Rumparooz because they're a lot trimmer than a pocket diaper, so his pants fit better.

Next, I'll talk about our cloth diapering accessories!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Our Cloth Diaper Stash - All In Ones and Pockets

When I was researching cloth diapering, I couldn't find a lot of information from people on what diapers fit their kids at what ages. Because of this, I've decided to do updates about what diapers fit Kieran at 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, and a year (or around those times.) I will let you know what diapers are in our stash, which ones we like the most, and what accessories we're using.

I purchased all of the diapers myself (except for the 2 Applecheeks that I won in a giveaway,) and all reviews are my own. I do have an affiliate link at Kelly's Closet that you can use if you click on the banner on the right side of my blog.

I will split our stash into two posts: all in ones / pocket diapers in one post, and covers, prefolds and fitted diapers into a second. Accessories will be in a third.

Here we go!


When we decided to cloth diaper, we decided to try out a bunch of different types and brands to see which ones work best for our family.

I went about getting my diapers in 4 different ways:

1. Cotton Booty subscription box. - This is a monthly subscription box for $24.99/month. You receive a name brand diaper, sample(s) and a fun item. In past boxes, we received Kwaaii diapers, a Happy Heineys diaper, samples of Rockin' Green detergent, a wet bag, a teething bracelet, and more. I have now stopped my subscription because we've learned which diapers we like/don't like, but I really enjoyed the service while I was subscribed. It allowed us to try many different brands of diapers as well as getting small samples of cloth diapering accessories.

2. Fluff Fairy packages from Kelly's Closet - Inside each Fluff Fairy package is one diaper (or cover/insert combination,) and 1-3 samples or accessories. When the Fluff Fairy is announced, Kelly's Closet gives hints about what is inside the package so that you buy a package that works with your baby's age (don't want to buy a newborn package for a potty training baby, etc.) The price varies with what is inside, but I've never paid over $30 for one, and the contents are always worth the price. In the past we've gotten Rumparooz diapers, Snappis, and samples of Rockin' Green and CJ's Butter.

3. Ordering From Kelly's Closet - After a few Cotton Booty boxes, Fluff Fairy purchases, and a lot of research, I decided what diapers I wanted to order. There are many cloth diapering websites that you can order from, but Kelly's Closet was the first one I stumbled upon and decided to stick with. They always have comparable prices, free shipping over $49 (which is pretty easy to get to,) and great coupons that give you free diapers. The free diaper coupons is another way that I learned about diapers that I wouldn't have ordered myself.

4. Giveaways. There are many bloggers out there who do cloth diaper giveaways. This isn't the most effective way to build your stash (I'd say I entered 100 giveaways before winning a diaper,) but it is the cheapest!

Below I'll list the type of diapers we have and pros/cons about each. I'll also tell you how I received them.

Kieran was 9 pounds, 1 ounce at birth, and weighed 10 pounds 8 ounces at his 2 month check up. I'd say he's around 11 pounds at 3 months.

All In Ones

An all in one diaper (AIO) is the most like a disposable diaper. They can either have a snap or Velcro closure and are the easiest diaper to use since they don't require any stuffing of inserts or covers. Many newborn diapers are AIOs and have snaps to make room for the umbilical cord. Many families send these diapers to daycare because they are the least complicated of the options. 

Rumparooz Lil' Joeys Newborn Diapers
Purchased from Kelly's Closet
$29.97 for two from Kelly's Closet

Pros: This was a great diaper for our first cloth diaper, and since it has a snap down for the umbilical cord, we could use it as soon as we got home from the hospital. It fit well, it kept all of the newborn poop and pee in, and made for a great overnight diaper. The diaper also snaps down super small, so it would be great for a preemie all the way to a "normal" sized newborn.

Cons: This diaper only lasted about a month for us due to Kieran being born at 9 pounds, 1 ounce. Not the diaper's fault, but we didn't get as much use out of it as I hoped we would.

Buy again?: Maybe? I'm glad we had them, but since he was so big at birth, many of our one sized diapers fit, so we didn't need the newborn diapers. If he was a smaller baby, I doubt many of our other diapers would have fit him, so we would have gotten more use out of them.

Pocket Diapers

A pocket diaper has a pocket opening between the waterproof fabric and layer of fabric that touches baby's skin which you place the insert into. They can be one size or sized and are available in both snaps and Velcro.

BumGenius 4.0 One Size Pocket Diaper
Received two in Cotton Booty boxes, and one as a free diaper with coupon.
$17.97 at Kelly's Closet

Pros: These are our favorite overnight diapers. He can go 12+ hours without needing a diaper change (as long as he only pees, I do change him if he poos,) and we've never had a leak with these. We only have three of these, so we try and save them for nighttime. They're extremely well made and one of our favorite diapers.

Cons: Keegan says he has trouble stuffing the inserts into the BumGenius, but he has gorilla hands, (his words!) so he has difficult stuffing all of our diapers.

Buy Again? Yep! I'm hoping Kieran gets a few more for Christmas

Rumparooz One Size Pocket Diaper
Received two in Cotton Booty boxes, one in a Fluff Fairy purchase, purchased one
$23.95 from Kelly's Closet

Pros: These are our favorite day time diapers. They hold a lot of liquid and fit him really well. The double gussets make leaks very infrequent, and any leaks have been because of user error. I'll reach for a Rumparooz over any of my other diapers for daytime. They also have a huge range of prints and colors.

Cons: Cost. They are our most expensive diaper, but I feel that they're worth it. Also, since Kieran is on the smallest size right now, we fold the insert almost in half and put the folded part in the front (since boys pee more in the front.) This creates a bit of a gap around his stomach.

Buy again? Heck ya! I'm considering selling a few of the diapers I'm not the biggest fan of and buying another Rumparooz.

Applecheeks Sized 1 (categorized as an envelope cover at Kelly's Closet)
Won 2 in a giveaway, purchased one at Kelly's Closet
$19.00 at Kelly's Closet

Pros: These were the diapers besides the Lil Joeys that fit him pretty much from birth. I love the colors and also like that they're made in Canada.

Cons: I want to love them, but once Kieran's poops became larger and more liquid, we've had a lot of leaks with the Applecheeks. They always leak out of the leg holes, even though they seem to fit around his legs. He still fits in them, but I only use them if everything else is dirty. I'm hoping these will fit him better once his legs chunk up.

Buy Again? I really want to say yes, but we've had a lot of problems with them lately that makes me reach for them last. We ended up buying a third because we liked them at the start, but once Kieran's poops became larger, these diaper didn't hold it as well. I'm hoping something changes soon so that he's able to wear them again.

Happy Heinys Pocket Diaper
Received in a Cotton Booty box
$18.95 on Happy Heiny website

Pros: Has a large opening to stuff the insert into.

Cons: We've had a few leaks in this diaper, but I'm not sure if that's due to user error or the diaper.

Buy Again? Meh. Don't hate it, don't love it. If I hadn't gotten it in a Cotton Booty box, I probably wouldn't have purchased it for myself.

BabyKicks Pocket Diaper
Received in Cotton Booty Box
$15.99 at Kelly's Closet

Pros: has interesting velcro?

Cons: Not really a fan of this diaper. The fabric that sits against baby's skin is really strange and it's very small through the crotch, so even I have difficulty stuffing it. We've also had leaks almost every time Kieran has worn this diaper. The Applecheeks rank over this one.

Buy Again: Nope. Just not a fan of this diaper.


That's our current all in one / pocket diaper stash. We keep our BumGenius for bedtime and I'll pick a Rumparooz over anything else in my stash. If anyone has had luck with Applecheeks, Happy Heinys, or BabyKicks and wants to purchase my diaper, let me know!

Questions? Leave them below and I'll try to answer them!

Next I'll share what our stash of covers, prefolds and fitted diapers looks like.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Kieran 3 Months

If you want to see this post that include pictures of Kieran, go to our family blog. If you need the password, let me know below! 
Height: Approximately 23.5 inches
Weight: unknown
Head circumference: unknown
Clothing: He can wear anything from 0-3, 3 month, or 3-6 month clothing depending on the brand. The majority of the clothes are too big in his shoulders and stomach area, but he's still long with the added fluff in the booty from his diapers, so he needs the length of the larger sizes. Carter's brand fits him best, but it's also the most expensive, so I try to grab pieces when they're on sale.
We're still cloth diapering and started using cloth wipes this month as well after the brand of wipes we use was recalled due to a bacteria issue.
Nicknames: Chubby Cheekers, Bubba, Mister Man, Grumpy Gills when he's super fussy.
Food: Still exclusively breastfed. We've been playing games with trying to fill up his tummy before bedtime to try and get a larger chunk of sleep, but nothing we've done has really helped. We tried feeding him from one side for 30 minutes so that he gets the fattier hindmilk, feeding from both sides for 15 minutes, and feeding him a 5 ounce bottle. There wasn't a big improvement with any method, so we flip between feeding on one side and feeding on both, depending on when his last feed was.
Sleep: Sleep has been so-so this month. Right after he turned 2 months old, he regressed to newborn sleep - getting up every 1-3 hours. Mama was tired! It has gotten better lately with him sleeping from 9-4 and 9-1 the past couple of nights. We were putting him to bed around 7 or 8, but if he only does a 5 hour chunk of sleep, that means he's waking up at 1 or 2, just a few hours after we go to bed. If we keep him up until 9, he seems to sleep until at least 2, which gives me a good four hour chunk of sleep.
Naps: Naps are still hit or miss. We've finally gotten a loose schedule for naps - he'll fall asleep on the drive to work, 2-3 hours after waking up for the day (usually between 9 and 10 am,) then again around noon or 1, and then one more nap in the afternoon anywhere between 3 and 5 pm. Naps will last between 20 minutes and 3 hours. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to the length, so it's hard for me to try and get things done because I never know how long I have.
At work, he sleeps best in the Ergo, but there have been a few times when he's fallen asleep in my lap after nursing.
Milestones & Tidbits:
- Nana and Grandpa Wright came to visit! This was Ann's second time meeting Kieran, and Kenton's first.
- We had a medical scare that required Kieran to have an MRA under sedation, but everything came back clear!
- We've noticed that Kieran holds his thumb in between his second and third fingers
- He has also found his hands and has started holding them together. Sometime we can pry them apart and place a toy in his hands and he'll hold it for a few minutes
- He started doing this at 2 months, but we're still getting smiles. He smiles when we talk or tickle him, as well as recognition smiles. He lights up when Keegan comes home from work which makes my heart so happy!
- Still a drooling machine and still loves to suck on his hands or arms. He's started trying to fit both fists in his mouth at the same time, but that doesn't go well. Both Keegan and I have become a teether when we've held him and he's decided our hands are tasty.
- He found his voice this month. His soft coos have turned into loud talking and babbling. He hasn't started the screeching phase yet, thankfully.
- He's still batting at toys, especially the ones on his play mat, but he also started reaching for toys that I am holding. He's not the best at holding onto them, but it's a start!
- We got our first giggles! I was giving Kieran raspberries on his tummy at work one day and he giggled all of a sudden. He wouldn't do it for Keegan for another couple of days, but I eventually got him to giggle again with lots of kisses. Lately, only Keegan can get him to giggle by tickling him under his chin.
- He rolled over from back to front for the first time. I put him on his play mat on his back, and Keegan noticed a few minutes later that he was on his side. We were both in the kitchen when he started crying and when we looked over at him, he was on his tummy! He hasn't done it again since, but he will roll to his side often on the play mat or when we're changing his diaper.
- He still gets hiccups, but thankfully not everyday like it used to be. He's able to handle them better and only gets frustrated if they last longer than 5ish minutes. One day, he got 4 bouts of hiccups in one day! The only thing that'll make them go away is nursing.
- We celebrated Kieran's first Halloween! We didn't do anything, but he did wear his "costume"
- My work had an event at which there was a fire. Kieran was extremely interested in the flickering lights
- We sat him in his bumbo for the first time
Likes: Snuggles, eating, sleeping, bath time, his Kick and Play Piano playmat, Daddy, going for walks, looking around at all of the new sights and sounds.
Dislikes: Getting his clothes changed (he doesn’t like things going over his head,) getting his diaper changed, being cold, being in the car seat when the car isn't moving.
Baby + Work Update: Having him at work with me has gotten more difficult since he's not as content to just lay there, he wants to be played with and entertained. Since my coworker has left, I'm going to bring in his play mat so that he'll have some toys to play with. We have gotten into a good routine and I'm able to be mommy and work. It helps that my coworkers absolutely love him and are willing to take him for a few minutes when I need to get something done.
Kieran gets more fun as he gets older. His smiles warm my heart, and seeing him get so excited to see Keegan is the best part of my day. I love his laugh and wish I could get him to do it more often!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

16 Minute Club Subscription Box Review

When I was pregnant, I heard about the 16 Minute Club subscription box, but promptly forgot about it after Kieran was born. I re-found it last week and decided to order a box. Your first box comes with a small binder that contains information about breastfeeding. In each box, you will get another chapter to add to your binder that has to do with your baby's milestones during that month. If you'd like to see a review of the first box, you can watch this video.

A description of the box from the website: "Breastfeeding is natural yet not always easy. The 16 Minute club breastfeeding program will provide support and resources delivered directly to your door to get you through any obstacles you may face as your baby advances and develops...Each box contains a chapter of our breastfeeding handbook and a collection of products designed to support the changing developmental milestones as a baby grows."

Because I ordered the box when Kieran was about 2.5 months, I received the 4th box of the series. The box cost $35.00 (but I had a coupon for 10% off which made it $31.50,) and here's what I received:

Buggy Hook in red, $8.99

Use / Not Use: Probably use. I can see this being handy when I'm trying to carry 20 grocery bags because I hate making multiple trips! 

Use / Not Use: Use! Having a library for Kieran is really important to me and the fact this this book is rip proof will come in handy when he's older. 

Sugar Booger Diaper Organizer bags (clean and dirty bags only) - Approximately $13 (the set below is $20 on Amazon, but we only received the two dirty and clean bags)

Use / Not Use: Probably use. I wish they were more like my wet bags I use for the cloth diapers (these bags have mesh on the back,) but I'll keep one in the diaper bag just in case. 

Use / Not Use: Use! These will be great to keep in the diaper bag for when I forget our wipes....which I've done before. Thank goodness for public bathroom paper towels! 

Infinity Teether Rattle by Green Sprouts - $8.13

Use / Not Use: Use! We used this the night I received it and Kieran likes it. He's still too young to actually grab it, but he seemed to like looking at the bright colors and listening to the rattle. 

Cranberry Almond Oatmeal Milkin' Cookie - Approximately $1.50

Use / Not Use: Definitely used this one. It was in my mouth 2 seconds after I opened the box. It was delicious and I need to find a recipe to make my own! 

Use / Not Use: Will probably use. I'll put it in my diaper bag just in case I ever forget our regular changing pad. I do like how this one covers the entire table unlike the one that came with our diaper bag which Kieran is quickly outgrowing. 

Purity Breast Milk Storage Bags (4) - approximately $1.20

Use / Not Use: Use. You can never have too many freezer bags. 

Use / Not Use: Probably not use. Both my diaper bag and stroller have an area for water bottles so I don't think I'll have a need for this. 

- Breast milk storage guidelines magnet from Milkin' Cookies 

Use / Not Use: already on the fridge

- $5 towards your next purchase from Bamboobies as well as a sample of their organic nipple balm

Use / Not Use: I already have some Bamboobies and they're ok. I have another set of breast pads that I like more, so I may use this coupon to buy some for a friend. 

- 20% off next purchase from The Dairy Fairy 

Use / Not Use: I'm not sure if I'll use this. I have a very large bra size and while they claim they have a size that'll fit me, I don't know if I want to take the risk. If anyone wants the coupon code, let me know! 

Total box worth: approximately $55.03 (without adding in coupons)

Total of what I'll actually use: approximately $52.53

I'm really happy with this box. It is more than worth what I paid for it, and it introduced me to brands I've never heard of before. I know I'm going to order at least one more, and if I still like it, I'm going to ask for the rest of the boxes for Christmas. 

Do you receive any subscription boxes? If so, let me know! I think I've been bitten by the subscription box bug. 

I paid for this box with my own money and decided to review it so that other ladies could learn about the service. All opinions are my own. Links are affiliate links. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Last MRA Update

We got a call from Kieran's doctor and he agrees that his MRA came back clear, which we're so very thankful and excited for. Unfortunately, we're kind of stuck as to what is causing the asymmetry in his face. Since we started with the most high-tech (and expensive!) method of trying to figure things out, there isn't another test for us to do. So now we wait and see if Kieran starts to show any other signs of something being wrong. If he does, then that will determine what our next test will be. He'll be monitored at all of his appointments, and if nothing else comes up, then I guess we're assuming the asymmetry is something he'll grow out of.

So, that's where we are now. Kieran doesn't have another appointment with his doctor until his 4 month appointment in December, so I'll update then.

Thank you all for your love and well wishes!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Microblog Mondays: Traveling With Baby

For both Thanksgiving and Christmas, we're going to be traveling to visit family in our home state and driving anywhere between 8 and 14 hours. Both times, we'll also be spending time with both of our families which means sleeping in two different houses. We will be driving, so we can pack our crossover SUV to the brim with whatever we need, but what should we pack? I'm 99% sure we're going to bring his swing since that's what he's sleeping in right now, and I want to keep things the same as much as possible in hopes that he'll sleep well in a new environment. Do we bother with little things like his tub, or just bathe him in a sink/the big bathtub? We'll be in large cities, so it's not like we can't run to a store to pick things up, but I'd rather not have to buy an item we already have.

Also, what is the best time to drive with him? We have four options:

1. Leave around noon and get arrive around 8 which is when he normally goes to sleep

2. Leave right after work, around 6 pm, and get to my parent's house around 2 or 3 am

3. Leave around 8, when Kieran normally goes to bed, and get into my parent's house around 4 or 5

4. Leave around midnight and arrive around 8 am.

I'm leaning towards leaving at 8 in hopes that he'll sleep for the majority of the drive, but that will only give us about 2 hours of sleep once we get to our destination before he normally gets up for the day.

Kieran will be 3.5 months for Thanksgiving and 4.5 months for Christmas if age changes anything.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Answers To Questions about Kieran's Asymmetry

There were a few questions on my last post about Kieran's MRA results, and instead of answering them individually, I thought I'd answer them in a quick post. 

The most common question/comment was that all faces have asymmetry. This is totally true. No face is perfectly symmetrical, and most of the time, you can hardly notice the differences. Kieran's face, however, is pretty noticeable. I don't like to post pictures of him on such an open blog, but I've included one below so that you can see the difference. 

The right side of his face is a lot larger than his left, especially in the cheek area. His eye socket is larger, and at certain times, the right side of his mouth droops lower than the left. After his doctor noticed the differences, we remembered that in the hospital after birth, Kieran had difficulty opening his left eye for about a week. I thought it was due to him being stuck in the birth canal for so long (and it might be!) but it's something I want to bring up to his doctor when we speak to him. We've also noticed that Kieran moves his right arm much more than his left. Of course babies don't have hand dominance yet, but again, it's something I'm going to mention. 

Another comment was from a reader whose daughter was born with a flat spot on her head and had a bad case of torticollis (a twist and weakness in one side of the neck.) I did ask Kieran's doctor if he had a flat spot in his head that could be causing the asymmetry, and while he does have a small one, it's not large enough to cause any changes to his face. 

The good news is that the scariest option has been ruled out. The blood flow in his brain is good on both sides and there are no masses. I haven't done any research because I don't want to know all of the worst case scenarios out there, so we're going to wait and see what our doctor suggests next. 

Thank you all for your prayers, thoughts and kind words! <3

Monday, October 27, 2014

MRA Results

Keegan talked to our doctor's nurse today and finally got the official results from Kieran's MRA (for some reason it took over a week for the hospital to fax them over to our pediatrician.)

The results are good. Everything in his brain looks perfect; good blood flow, his brain is developing as it should, no masses.

As happy as we are to receive good news, it doesn't explain the asymmetry. We're not sure what our next steps are because our pediatrician clinic is a father/son team, and we've been seeing the son primarily, but the father was the one who reviewed the results today and told us the news. It'll be the son who decides what our next steps are and he's out of town right now.

So now we wait again. I will update when we have more news!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Our MRA Experience

The day started at 4:30 am when I got up to feed Kieran. I was told it was ok for him to eat up to an hour before we got to the hospital and I wanted to fill up his belly as much as possible so that he wouldn't be too hungry while we were waiting for the MRA.

We arrived at the outpatient surgery wing of the hospital just after 5:30 (was told to be there between 5:30 and 6,) and the intake nurse was surprised to see us. She said that most of the radiology staff wouldn't be there until 6:30 and they had Kieran scheduled at 7. We considered packing up and grabbing some breakfast, but the only place that was open was McDonlads and neither of us felt like loading up on grease, so we sat and waited. We were called back by a radiology nurse at 6:30 so that we could sign the paperwork and be ready for them to take Kiearn at 7.

While we were filling out the paperwork, the nurse asked when was the last time he ate. I told her it was around 4:30 and she paused and let us know that he shouldn't have eaten after midnight. I let her know that when the hospital called to confirm his name and insurance information, I specifically asked when was the last time he should eat and was told up to an hour before. The nurse said that she would check with the anesthesiologist to see what their recommendation would be, that there was a chance we'd have to cancel, but we'd go ahead and fill out all the forms anyways.

Around 7, we were moved back to a room in the MRI department. It was pretty sparse, just a bed, two chairs, a TV and equipment needed for monitoring vitals. Keegan and I sat down in the chairs and waited until someone told us what was going to happen. Eventually a nurse came and said that the anesthesiologist wanted to wait long enough for the food to make its way through his system which meant our 7 am appointment would have to be moved back to their next available which was at 9:30. It was inconvenient, but I'm happy they got us in at all!

The next few hours were spent trying to console a baby who was hungry, tired and cranky. Unfortunately I forgot his pacifier at home, but I thankfully brought a bottle of pumped milk for after the procedure (thinking he was going to be too groggy to nurse,) so I stuck my finger in the bottle nipple to prevent him from sucking in air, and let him suck on it. Keegan and I both walked many laps around that tiny room trying to bounce and rock him to sleep.

At 9:30, a nurse came in to get Kieran. She had us change him from his snap up PJs, to a onesie that snapped at the crotch and pants. I'm really glad I brought them because otherwise he would have had to be wrapped up in an adult hospital gown! This was the hardest part for me. We weren't allowed to go to the procedure with him, and I was afraid that he would freak out being surrounded by people he didn't know doing things to him that were scary and he couldn't understand. We kissed him goodbye and the nurse took him away. I had a mini breakdown and cried in Keegan's arms for about 30 seconds, and then we sat down to wait.

We were told the procedure would take about 20 minutes and then he would have to spend some time in the surgery recovery room to make sure he was coming out of the sleeping medications ok. 20 minutes passed. Then 40. Then an hour. We started getting worried and wondered what was going on. After an hour and a half, a nurse came in to tell us that he had just gotten out of the MRA and that he was in the recovery room doing well. They had to wait until he was awake enough to cry for a while and then they would bring him down to us.

Another half hour passed and we finally heard the wheels of his bed rolling down the hall. The nurses had "swaddled" him up in a huge heated blanket and his little head was poking out the top. I wish I had gotten a picture, he looked so tiny! He was making these little whimpering noises, ones that resembled the noises a young puppy makes. His eyes were shifting everywhere, kind of like he couldn't focus on anything. We knelt down to his level, spoke softly, and gave him lots of kisses. He was still hooked up to an IV and what I think was a pulse ox machine, so the nurses had to unhook him before we could pick him up. The only time I really heard him cry was when the nurse had to take the tape off his hand that held the IV.

We were told that we had to stick around until he could prove that he could swallow. We took out a bottle of pumped milk and tried to get him to eat. He had a poor latch because he was falling in and out of sleep, and he kept trying to breathe while he ate which caused him to choke and sputter. We did a lot of burping because he was full of gas and after a while, he eventually ate an ounce out of the bottle. I also let him breastfeed for a few minutes because I was horribly engorged after not feeding for almost 9 hours.

After we were discharged, we packed everything up and left around 12:45. We stopped for lunch because Keegan and I hadn't eaten yet, then headed home. Kieran slept during lunch and the entire ride home, but then woke up once we were home to eat. He eventually became more alert and gave us some smiles, but he was pretty quiet all day. He went to bed early around 8 and passed out immediately.

Thankfully the preliminary results show nothing is wrong in his brain. We haven't spoken to his doctor yet, so we're not sure what the next step will be. Overall, the entire experience wasn't as bad as I expected, but it's not something I want to have to go through again. Thank you all for your thoughts and well wishes!

Friday, October 17, 2014

It Could Be Nothing...

...or it could be something.

That's the limbo we're currently living in.

On Wednesday, at Kieran's 2 month doctor's appointment, Dr. S noticed that his face is asymmetrical. His left eye socket and cheek are noticeably smaller than his right. When he mentioned it, I didn't think it was that big of a deal. Babies are constantly growing, so I figured it was just a growing pain of sorts, and would even out eventually.

My care free attitude changed when Dr. S had another doctor come in to make sure he wasn't "seeing things." She agreed that she could see the difference and they started throwing around terminology that I didn't understand and can't remember.

Dr. S said that the difference could be caused by any number of things, but the most common is a blood restriction to one side of his body. He threw around a bunch of other ideas, including something about the "strawberry" birthmarks Kieran has on his face and how they can occur inside the body as well (as opposed to just on the skin.) Unfortunately I didn't process much of what he was saying and came out of the appointment very confused and worried. Dr. S said that an MRA (similar to an MRI, but provides images of blood flow in the body,) is the best way to check things out, but that would mean Kieran would have to be sedated and it would cost over $1,500, so it would be a last resort.

This morning, I got a call from Dr. S's nurse who said an MRA is scheduled for Monday at 5:30 am. I want to think that Dr. S ordered it just so we can get the best idea of what's going on, but a tiny bit of me wonders if he thinks things are worse than he's letting on.

I've stopped myself from Googling anything because as we all know, Dr. Google will say that you have cancer no matter what the symptoms are. Thankfully my dad is much better at wading through the worse case scenarios and gave me some information about what might be going on.

The most common thing that causes blood restriction is blood vessels being too small, but it can also have to do with his heart or something in his brain. Of course there could be cancer or a mass, but that's a worst case scenario and I'm not letting myself go there.

We have to see what the MRA says before we can make a plan of action. If it is a worst case scenario, we're only 3 hours from St. Judes in Memphis as well as 3 hours from a wonderful hospital in Birmingham, so I'm not worried about being able to find good care.

So basically, we don't know a whole lot right now, but are hoping to figure things out on Monday. Dr. S said that the treatment of restricted blood flow is normally surgery, so I'm hoping that it won't have to be on his heart or in his head.

On Monday, if you could send us some good thoughts, prayers or juju, it would be very much appreciated.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Kieran Two Months

Height: 23 inches
Weight: 10 pounds, 8 ounces. (I'm pretty proud to say that he's gained a pound and an ounce in 1 month! I was getting worried about his slow weight gain, but he's chunked up again.) 
Head circumference: 16 inches
Clothing: He's exclusively in 0-3 and 3 months clothing now. I think the newborn clothing would still fit him around his waist, but he's long, plus the added bulk of cloth diapers, so we've had to move up to the 3 month clothing for the length.
We've also exclusively cloth diapered since he was about 2 weeks old. While it is more laundry, we absolutely love it, especially since we're not running to the store to buy diapers every week!
Nicknames: Fussy Pants, Chunker, Chunk-a-monk, Chubby Cheeks, Chubby Cheekers, Little Love, Baby Boy, Bubba, Bubsy...I don't think he will know his actual name with the number of nicknames he has.
Food: Exclusively breastfed. I'm still pumping to try and build a frozen stash, but it's not going too well. We only freeze if I get 4+ ounces in a day, but that doesn't happen often, so we feed him the random 1 or 2 ounces in a bottle. He's had no nipple confusion or preference, and he'll take the milk cold from the fridge. 
Sleep: It seems like he's regressed back to a newborn sleeping pattern the last half of this month. He was sleeping from around 10 pm to 4 or 5 am, eating, then getting up around 7 for the day. Now, he's getting up multiple times a night (sometimes as many as 5!) and it's wearing me out. We've started putting him to bed between 8 and 9 because we noticed he was getting really fussy if we kept him up until we went to bed around 10 or 11.
Naps: Naps are hit or miss. I've started to notice a pattern where he'll nap about 2 hours after waking up, around 1 or 2, and then again between 4 and 6. Nap length varies widely (anywhere from 20 minutes to 3 hours,) and he naps better when we're at home. When he comes to work with me, napping is a fight, and I think that's because there are so many distractions that he doesn't want to miss out on. No matter where we are, he always sleeps better on me, whether that be on my chest while we lay on the couch, or in our Ergo carrier at work.
- We're getting smiles! We're getting both recognition smiles (like when Keegan walks in from work,) and smiles when we "boop" his nose or tickle his chin.
- He's also drooling like none other. He's constantly chewing on his hand or arm, and has once sucked on my wrist while I was holding him.
- He's also been sticking his tongue out, and will mimic when we stick out ours. Keegan will sit Kieran on his chest and play a sticking tongue out game. 
- He's able to see farther now, and he absolutely loves our ceiling fan and lights. We'll be sitting on the couch having a "conversation" and all of a sudden he'll lean his head back, his mouth will form into a big "O," and he'll stare at the fan for minutes at a time.
- He's cooing up a storm. When he's in a particularly talkative mood, we'll talk back to him and have conversations.   
- He's started batting at the toys that hang down on his playmat. He's not consciously reaching for objects yet, but his flailing arms seem to have more direction.
- I went back to work at the beginning of October on a Monday/Wednesday/Friday schedule and he's coming with me, for now. Working with a baby has been a big adjustment and I don't get as much done during the day as I used to, but I'm so thankful that he's able to come with me.
- We're pretty sure he has Grandpa eyes! Keegan's grandfather's eyes change color from blue to green to gray. Keegan's eyes do the same as do a few of his cousin's. We were really hoping that Kieran would get them as well and it looks like he might have. We see gray and blue pretty consistently, and have just recently started seeing green. We know that his eyes won't be his permanent color until he's around 6 months, but we hope that he keeps his Grandpa eyes. 
- We "decorated" for Halloween / fall with this cute craft:
Likes: Snuggles, eating, sleeping, bath time, tummy time, his Kick and Play Piano playmat.
Dislikes: Getting his clothes changed (he doesn't like things going over his head,) getting his diaper changed, being cold, being left alone while I try to get something done.
I absolutely love this age. Sure, I loved the newborn sleepy cuddles, but having Kieran react to the noises and movements I make is awesome. His smile is the best thing I've ever seen and it makes my heart so happy to see it. I can only imagine how much fun he's going to be when he starts laughing.
Mama Update:
This month was pretty rough for me health wise. I had mastitis and 1.5 UTIs (one full blown one and one I caught early enough that it wasn't too big of a deal.) My incision still isn't healed and I just found out that I have a cavity I'm going to have to get filled at the end of the month. Besides all of that, things are going well. I feel like we're getting in a good rhythm with things and we're lucky that he's such an easy baby. Sure, he cries, but 99% of the time I can calm him down with a boob or cuddles. We've started putting him to bed earlier which has allowed Keegan and I have to have at least an hour of time together. Most of the time it's spent watching TV in bed, but it allows us to catch up and cuddle. I'm constantly amazed that this little boy is ours and I'm head over heals in love. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

7 Weeks Postpartum

I still can't believe that I've been doing this parenting gig for 7 weeks now.

I had my 6 week postpartum appointment last Friday and overall, things checked out well. I'm back down to my pre-pregnancy weight (I actually was at my 2 week appointment,) and my uterus has shrunk back to size. 

The only worrying things were that my incision has not completely healed, and I had a bad case of mastitis in my left breast. Dr. L said that my incision not healing could be caused by my gestational diabetes, and that all we can do is keep it clean and dry, and wait. I'm still having discharge and blood periodically, so I'm ready for it to heal. Dr. L sent me to do a repeat glucose test on Monday to make sure my levels have gone back down, so we're waiting to see the results from that. 

As for the mastitis, I'm on a round of breastfeeding-safe antibiotics. I started feeling pain in my left breast last Thursday, which I thought was due to engorgement because Kieran had slept through the night (he normally wakes up at least once.) He was still sleeping, so I pumped to try and relieve the pain, but it didn't help. The pain increased throughout the day, and by that evening, my entire body was aching, my breast was swollen and hot, and I had red streaking on my skin. Thankfully it happened the day before my appointment, and the symptoms have subsided with the antibiotics. We had a few rough days of nursing because my breast was so swollen that Kieran couldn't latch on. It's also affected my already fluctuating supply, so I'm increasing my doses of fenugreek. If anyone has any other ideas for increasing supply, I'd love to hear them! 

Mentally and emotionally, I'm doing pretty well. I was braced to experience the baby blues and had Keegan on watch for anything extreme, but my emotions have been a lot more level than I expected. I think that it's partially due to the fact that I still haven't fully allowed myself to process the birth and our time in the hospital, but I'm afraid to let myself think about it too much because I know I did everything I could, and I don't want to shine a negative light on it. 

I have had a few teary moments when Kieran is crying and I can't figure out what's wrong, and breastfeeding continues to be harder than I expected. I also get emotional when I think about how much I love this little being, and how damn lucky we are to have him. I can't help but think about if we're going to try for a second, and my heart hurts when I think about having to do treatments again. We've discussed adoption, but I don't think we'll make any firm decisions until Kieran is a year old. Dr. L doesn't feel comfortable with me getting pregnant before a year because my uterus won't fully be healed until then. 

I started back to work Tuesday/Thursday this week, and then M/W/F beginning next week. My boss is letting me bring Kieran to work for a year, or until he's too much of a hassle for me to get any work done. Bringing a baby to work has been difficult as I explained in my last post, but I think we're slowly getting into a routine. I just need to keep telling myself that he's only little once, and I'm extremely lucky to have such an amazing opportunity.

I thought my period had started on Monday, but it turned out to only be two days of extremely light bleeding, not enough to full call a period. I decided against any type of birth control because I want to see what my body will do on its own. That may change down the road, but it work for us for now.

Overall, these last 7 weeks have been the craziest, most stressful, wonderful, amazing weeks of my life. I still can't believe that I have a son who I get the honor to watch grow up.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Word Vomit - Bringing Baby To Work

I was going to post my 6 week postpartum update today, but I feel like I need to get some things off my chest and maybe get some advice from you all.

Today was my first official day back to work. As many of you know, I work at an art gallery and am in charge of finding artists as well as hanging/taking down monthly exhibits. It's a small gallery, just me and 4 other coworkers.

My boss is awesome and is letting be bring Kieran to work up to a year, or until he's too much of a handful for me to get any work done. I am extremely thankful for this, but after today, I'm not sure if it's going to work.

Day to day, I don't really do much activity. I do a lot of work at my computer and that's pretty easy to handle with a little one. However, at the beginning of each month, we take down and hang a new exhibit which requires me to be away from my desk for hours at a time talking to the artist and hanging artwork. Today was one of those busy days and it was really difficult to juggle my work and my baby. Kieran still loves to be held and will only give me about 10 minutes of down time for me to get anything done. This is fine when we're at home; ten minutes is enough for me to do laundry or the dishes, but at work, it's not enough for me to get any substantial work done. Kieran also isn't a great napper, so pair that with a new environment for him and extra stimulus, means that he didn't nap all day.

I can't blame any of my inconvenience on him; he's a baby, and when we're at home, we don't really have a schedule, so I can't expect him to suddenly sleep when I need him to at work. But I'll admit, it makes things hard, harder than I thought. It doesn't help that I don't really have any space to put him. I share an "office" (I say office lightly because it's literally a closet...our supply closet) with another coworker and space is tight. The only places I can put Kieran are on me, in his stroller/car seat, or on my desk. He'll hang out in his car seat for a little while, but I feel like I need to use that sparingly so that he doesn't grow to hate it when we have 10+ hour car rides to visit family. Propping him up on a pillow on my desk works for now, but it's only a matter of time before he becomes too big to do that. I do have a Moby and an Ergo, but one, my back cannot take carrying an almost 10 pound baby for too long, and I don't feel comfortable hammering over his head.

I think my biggest problem is that I'm stressing myself out about him crying. Again, small workplace, and my office is right by the front desk where we interact with patrons. At home, his crying doesn't bother me because I know that it won't bother anyone, and I can try numerous things to try and calm him down. At work, however, I feel the need to calm him down as fast as possible so that I don't bother anyone, especially our patrons. He's a good baby and doesn't cry often unless he's hungry or wants to be held, but man that boy has a set of lungs when he wants to use them. I think my biggest fear is that he'll cry during an event and my boss will get complaints from patrons. I don't want to be the cause of stress or problems for anyone, and I want to continue my professional appearance. It also didn't help my confidence when during one of his crying spells, my coworker said under her breath, "so this is what our lives will be like now."

All of this is to say that today was stressful enough for me that I contacted a daycare to see if they had any openings. Before my boss offered to let me take Kieran to work, we had discussed putting him in this daycare, I just never got around to contacting them before. It's a church run daycare which I could care less about, but it gets great reviews from a lot of our friends and they have a school-like curriculum where kids (hopefully) learn to read by the time they leave for school.

During one of the times in which I couldn't console him, I thought to myself, "it would be so much easier if he was in daycare, I could get so much work done." And then I felt automatically guilty. Why would I send my son, this little boy who I love so very much, who I hoped for for years, to another person to raise him? Why would I pay someone else to care for my son? I don't want someone else to care for him, thinking about not seeing him for 9+ hours each day breaks my heart. But guys, it's hard. Having him at work is harder than I thought, and I don't want to get in trouble for not taking care of my responsibilities.

Deep in my heart, I think this is just a rough patch that we need to get through. The coworker that I share an office with is leaving in November and we're not getting a replacement until February at the earliest, so for those few months, I'll have the entire office to spread out in. I can bring in Kieran's pack and play which will give him a place to sleep as well as a confined place to play. Hopefully by then, he'll be more willing to be put down for longer periods of time which will allow me to get work done.

I just don't know what to do. Keeping him with me is the best of both worlds. I get to continue a job that I enjoy while also raising my son. However, I know that interactions with children will be good for him, but I'm wary about putting him in daycare when he can't communicate if something is wrong. Working doesn't allow me to go to any children's programs during the day, and while we do have friends who have twin girls right around Kieran's age, we only see them on the weekends and I'm not sure if that's often enough.

Basically a lot of thoughts are running through my head and I don't know how to begin to sort them out. I know that my emotions are heightened right now due to stress and that things will look better in the morning. I was so frustrated today that I was sure I was going to enroll him in daycare, but then he stopped crying, looked at me and gave me the biggest smile and my heart melted. I don't think I could ever let someone else take care of my son.

If you've read all of this word vomit, thank you. Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

First Month Must Haves

When I was pregnant, I loved reading posts from other moms about what they used most in the first few months. I learned about helpful products as well as some tips and tricks. Below is a list of things that we wouldn't want to live without during his first few weeks.

1. Graco Duet Soothee Swing & Rocker
While I was pregnant, Keegan and I told ourselves that we wouldn't buy a bunch of baby "furniture," especially a swing, because it took up so much space. However, we ate our words when I realized that we didn't really have a good place to put Kieran during the day so I could get things done. We have a crib, and a pack n' play, but he would fuss when I would leave the room. This swing has a detachable rocker that is easy to move from room to room and as an added bonus, he sleeps pretty much through the night in the swing.

2. Ingenuity Washable Play Yard with Dream Centre
We decided to get a pack n' play / play yard to set up in our room while Kieran co-slept with us for the first few months, as well as a place for him to sleep when we travel to visit family. We like it because it has a sleeping area as well as a changing station which makes life easy at night. He slept pretty well in it for the few weeks, but now he sleeps in his swing. 

The pockets on the side were handy when we were using disposable diapers, but now that we're using cloth diapers, we use it as a space to store extra wet bags. 

3. Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 Infant Car Seat and Graco LiteRider Click Connect Stroller

We chose the Click Connect system because one, it's fairly cheap, and two, it makes life easier when you're able to click the car seat into the stroller instead of having to take baby out of the car seat. The car seat is light enough for me to carry with a 9+ pound baby, and the stroller is light enough for me to pick up and place in the back of our crossover SUV. The stroller also has a fair amount of storage space in the bottom. 

4. Moby Wrap Baby Carrier

I absolutely love our Moby Wrap. I've used it around the house so I can type at the computer or pick up the living room, I've used it at work when I've had an event, and we use it every week when we go grocery shopping. Since he's wrapped up next to me, it keeps him calm, and 99% of the time, he falls asleep. Some people say the wraps are difficult to learn, but there are a bunch of video tutorials online that break them down step by step. 

5. Medela Freestyle Breastpump
I was lucky in the fact that our insurance covered a breastpump, so I got the above package shipped to my house absolutely free. Since I'm trying to have a fairly large freezer stash built up by the time I go back to work, if I don't have a baby attached to me feeding, I try to pump. The pump is easy to use, quiet, and fairly compact. I love the small insulated bag that came with it; we throw a bottle or two inside with an ice pack and bring it with us when we go out just in case he gets fussy and I don't feel comfortable nursing. 

6. Medela 5 Ounce Bottles

While pregnant, I purchased many different brands of bottles because I kept hearing stories of parents going through bottle after bottle trying to find one that their baby would take. We got lucky in the fact that Kieran took to the Medela bottles because I'm able to pump right into them. I think one of the good things that came out of his blood sugar scare was that he learned to take both bottle and breast early, and we've kept up with that so that he'll be able to take a bottle whenever I'm not around. 

7. Soothie Pacifier 

We had purchased only one set of pacifiers during my pregnancy because we were pretty adamant that we didn't want to give Kieran one at all for fear of having to wean him later. However, while we were in the hospital, the nurses would pop a Soothie pacifier in his mouth while they were pricking his heal so that he wouldn't scream. We somehow came home from the hospital with four of them and we ended up letting him suck on one when food, a clean diaper and cuddling wouldn't calm him down one night. Now, we try not to give it to him too often, but it is nice when he's starting to fuss and we're out to dinner or driving home and I can't comfort him in other ways. He also gets it at night, but as soon as he's fallen asleep, it falls out. 

8. Summer Infant Swaddleme Swaddles 

Kieran really enjoyed being swaddled in the hospital, especially in the tight swaddles the nurses could do. Keegan learned how to swaddle pretty tight, but I never could get the blanket tight enough for Kieran not to break free. He still has his startle reflex, so he'll wake himself up with his flailing arms if he's not swaddled. We got a Swaddleme as a baby shower gift and decided to use it one night to see if it would help Kieran sleep, and he loved it. The fabric is light enough that we felt comfortable using it in the hot Mississippi summer, and are easy to re-swaddle in the middle of the night. If we didn't use these, I'm pretty sure we wouldn't have a baby who sleeps through the night at 4 weeks. 

Those are our first month must haves. Anyone else use any of these products and love them or have another must have to add to the list?