Friday, July 30, 2010

Midget, No More

Valley of the Dolls
Since LO turned 4 months this week, it was time to check in with her GI doctor.  LO, Poppins, (Poppins is LO's nanny) and me went across town to Cedars-Sinai this am to see Dr. Cynamon who specializes in pediatrics.  I did a lot of research and LO has some of the best GI and ENT doctors in Los Angeles.  She has two GI, ENT and pediatricians.  We have double because all of them have a lot of conflicting opinions so I do not change her medication or formula without a second doctor agreeing with the diagnosis and change. Dr. Cynamon was very impressed with her growth as she is in the 40th percentile for weight and 55th percentile for height!  She has even popped a little belly and some cheeks. 
We discussed medication and I tend to be more conservative than him but we found a middle ground that I am willing to try.  He was also very impressed that she took the medication so easily and even liked it as that is really rare. LO could be a pill popping character in one of my fave books, Valley of the Dolls.*

LO also enjoys going to the doctor's office and even being examined.  It is very strange as she always has a coy smile for even the driest of personalities.  I think she will either become a doctor or want to date one later on in life.  The only piece of sad news was that our pediatrician had thought LO could go onto regular formula at 6 months and Dr. Cynamon was very opposed and said that LO could have a strong reaction and stop breathing.  She should only try other milk products/formula in a doctor's office where they would be able to administer a very scary sounding procedure. He also pointed out that she still doesn't breathe very regularly as when he was listening to her lungs, he kept saying that he needed her to breathe to complete the exam.

Overall, it was a good appointment and having Poppins there made it so much easier! I think back to when she was a tiny baby and I would go by myself and would start crying in the parking lot as she would cry the whole time and I would be so sad.  I would have liked him to tell me that she is cured and to no longer worry but having her gain that much weight was just as good!



*Valley of the Dolls was given to me to read by my grandmother when I was 13 and it was a big improvement over the Sweet Valley High and Babysitters Club series.

Product Review Friday

California Baby Super Sensitive Shampoo & Body Wash 8.5 fl oz shampooWelcome to my new weekly section, Product Review Fridays! I am a research crazy person and love to read real reviews on products that I use especially when it comes to the LO. I like to use healthy, natural, well-made, cost-effective products from socially responsible companies owned by moms made in the US. As that is really hard to find, I try to hit a few of those attributes. I have been loving the California Baby products. I use the Super Sensitive Shampoo and Super Sensitive Lotion. The company was started by a mom trying to live a non-toxic life.

From their website:
"True to our toxin-free, sustainability-focused roots, we steer clear of Diethanolamine (DEA), sulfates, dyes, numbing agents, and ingredients that can trigger allergies in young ones or chemically sensitive adults, including synthetic fragrances, dairy, soy, peanuts and gluten. Our strict standards ensure that all of our products are CA Prop 65 compliant, which means they contain no carcinogens such as 1-4 Dioxane or phthalates. Our essential oils are third party tested for purity."

They even have an eco-showroon in LA that teaches parents how to live an eco-friendly life which features exclusive products not available on their website! I love these products for the LO.  She may not "smell like a baby" as I buy all products with no scent but she is still just as cute!

For the Mamas!
I just bought a pair of City Flats from Gap that I am really liking.  They are $39.50, leather and very comfortable.  The website and store have different colors.  I bought a gray pair at the store and a pink pair on the site when they had 30% off earlier in the week.  The stores have a lot of fun colors and they come in a cute bag. I love ballet flats but it is very hard to find a comfortable pair.  I have ballets from Cole Haan that cut into my feet and cheap ones from DSW that feel like a dream. I was pleasantly surprised as I was not a fan of Gap shoes previously.  The pink ones make me feel like a little kid again as they look so much like ballet shoes.  I will probably only wear the pink ones on weekends but $39.50 with 30% off was quite the steal.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Daddy, Why is Mommy So Mean?

I love being a mom and all that comes with the responsibility.  I would do absolutely anything for the LO and give her everything that she ever wanted.  Unfortunately, being a responsible parent means setting limits, not giving in and sometimes being "mean." Mommys make the doctor appointments for vaccinations, look ahead to the next milestone, administer medication and say no.  After two nights with no sleep, I was wavering on getting rid of the Nap Nanny.  I felt "mean" for getting rid of a product that helped her breathe and sleep better.  Why was I torturing her and myself when we could all get sleep so easily?

I called Squishy's mom (Squishy is LO's BF) and she reminded me that the Nap Nanny was dangerous especially for someone who had a hard time breathing and we needed to kick the habit.  She also reminded me that sometimes you have to let the other parent do some parenting even if it is different from your way EVEN if it makes the transition take longer.  I am sometimes a bit stubborn and will not give in until I physically break down.  I had been doing all of the night wakings myself as I was afraid that DH would just hold her or use the NN.

So last night, I gave LO her bath and started to give her the last bottle and she fell right to sleep much like the night before but I kept pushing to bottle so I could avoid night feeding or limit it to once in the middle of the night.  I tried waking her up so I could put her down drowsy so she was not startled when she woke up but she was passed out.  I put her down, she started moving and was in a light sleep.  DH was making some noise in the kitchen and I broke down.  I decided to let him have the monitor and go to bed at 7:30 even though we had a special night planned for the two of us.  I was frustrated, sad and feeling really low. 

She woke up at 8 and DH went in and I had to just keep myself in bed and let him do some parenting.  This is VERY hard for me.  He went in and did a great job and got her to go to sleep with no nap nanny and no swaddle.  She woke up again at 10:30 but I went in and rubbed her tummy for a minute and she went back to sleep until I woke her up at 6:45 am.  She woke up a little earlier but was in her crib talking to herself and chewing her fingers.  We were all well rested and the day a little shinier! She may be up tonight again but I saw the light at the end of the tunnel and I realized that sometimes you have to let daddy do some of the mean stuff too.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

4 Months Old!!

I can't believe that the LO is 4 months old as time seems to be flying!

Nap Nanny SADNESS

We have been working on getting rid of the Nap Nanny for sleeping and it has not been going very well.  The first night was hard and I was up from 10pm to Midnight and again at 1am when I finally gave in and put the NN back in the crib and she slept until 7am.  Last night she went to bed really easy but didn't drink her last bottle so I was a little nervous.  After an hour, I was cautiously optimistic and was making all kinds of deals.  For example, if she sleeps through the night I will buy her a Maserati for her 16th birthday.  Then I started to get cocky and was thinking that I didn't give her enough credit as she is highly adaptable. 

It was fortunate that she woke up at 8, 9, 10 and 11:30 as I don't have the money to buy her a Maserati. I fed her at 11:30 which I hate doing as I hate putting her back to sleep after eating a full bottle because of her acid reflux.  So after the bottle, I took extreme measures and got in the crib with her.  Yes, you read correctly, I get in the crib with the kid.  She has a nice firm mattress that she is obviously not using and I am tired. I had only gotten in the crib twice before but was in the crib three times last night as she was up again at 4:30 and then 5:30.  We fed her a bottle again at 5:30 and she went back to sleep until 7am.

LO was sleeping 11-12 hours straight every night with the NN and now is up all night long.  I thought that the second night would get easier but it was all sadness. I am giddy with lack of sleep and losing my resolve to power through.  Any suggestions?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Book Review Tuesday

Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison
Welcome to Book Review Tuesday! I have decided to start a new weekly book review on Tuesdays. I love reading great new books and I am always open to suggestions! I just finished Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison
From Publishers Weekly
Relying on the kindness of strangers during her year's stint at the minimum security correctional facility in Danbury, Conn., Kerman, now a nonprofit communications executive, found that federal prison wasn't all that bad. In fact, she made good friends doing her time among the other women, many street-hardened drug users with little education and facing much longer sentences than Kerman's original 15 months. Convicted of drug smuggling and money laundering in 2003 for a scheme she got tangled up in 10 years earlier when she had just graduated from Smith College, Kerman, at 34, was a self-surrender at the prison: quickly she had to learn the endless rules, like frequent humiliating strip searches and head counts; navigate relationships with the other campers and unnerving guards; and concoct ways to fill the endless days by working as an electrician and running on the track. She was not a typical prisoner, as she was white, blue-eyed, and blonde (nicknamed the All-American Girl), well educated, and the lucky recipient of literature daily from her fiancĂ©, Larry, and family and friends. Kerman's account radiates warmly from her skillful depiction of the personalities she befriended in prison, such as the Russian gangster's wife who ruled the kitchen; Pop, the Spanish mami; lovelorn lesbians like Crazy Eyes; and the aged pacifist, Sister Platte. Kerman's ordeal indeed proved life altering. (Apr.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

My Review
I love, love, love stories about people and their experiences and I wanted to love this book and author.  For me, women and prison, what is there not to love! No silly romance to skim through and real life people living in close quarters.  It is like your favorite reality show in jail.

Piper cleans up her life, starts living a fairly average existence and the Feds knock on her door years after she committed the crime. The set-up sounds absolutely captivating. I couldn't wait to start reading this book but I slowly started disliking the author. She was a wealthy college graduate that, in essence, was bored and looking for an adventure. She couldn't have channeled that energy into doing some charity work in a different country or something more productive than drug smuggling?

She is given special treatment because she is white with blond hair including great roommates, coveted prison jobs and phone privileges. She is quick to point out that everyone told her that she didn't belong in prison throughout her sentencing and jail term. I was unaware that being blond meant you shouldn't go to jail for a felony.  The topper on all that hypocrisy is that she wrote a decent book and is going to make money from the experience!

The book does its job and keeps you interested to the last page even if you are waiting for her to get shanked.  So, this is a great read but borrow it from me or the library!

3.5 out of 5 stars

Monday, July 26, 2010

Nap Nanny Recalled

Why oh Why??? I wasn't going to read the recall but I had to as I saw "death" in the title.  Yes LO has fallen off the side already but it helps her breathing so much.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in cooperation with Baby Matters LLC, of Berwyn, Pa., is announcing the voluntary recall of 30,000 Nap Nanny® portable baby recliners. CPSC is investigating a report of a 4-month-old girl from Royal Oak, Mich. who died in a Nap Nanny® that was being used in a crib. According to preliminary reports, the infant was in her harness and found hanging over the side of the product, caught between the Nap Nanny® and the crib bumper.

CPSC and Baby Matters are aware of one other incident in which an infant became entrapped when the Nap Nanny was used in a crib, contrary to the product instructions. In that incident, the infant fell over the side of the Nap Nanny®, despite being harnessed in, and was caught between the baby recliner and the side of the crib. The infant sustained a cut to the forehead.

CPSC and the firm have received 22 reports of infants, primarily younger than 5-months-old, hanging or falling out over the side of the Nap Nanny® despite most of the infants being placed in the harness. One infant received a bruise as a result of hanging over the side of the product.

Infants can partially fall or hang over the side of the Nap Nanny® even while the harness is in use. This situation can be worse if the Velcro™ straps, located inside the Nap Nanny® cover are not properly attached to the "D"-rings located on the foam, or if consumers are using the first generation model Nap Nanny® that was sold without "D"-rings.

In addition, if the Nap Nanny® is placed inside a crib, play yard or other confined area, which is not a recommended use, the infant can fall or hang over of the side of the Nap Nanny® and become entrapped between the crib side and the Nap Nanny® and suffocate.

Likewise, if the Nap Nanny® is placed on a table, countertop, or other elevated surface and a child falls over the side, it poses a risk of serious head injury. Consumers should always use the Nap Nanny® on the floor away from any other products.

The Nap Nanny® is a portable recliner designed for sleeping, resting and playing. The recliner includes a foam base with an inclined indentation for the infant to sit in and a fitted fabric cover and a three point harness. The first generation model of the Nap Nanny® can be identified by the absence of "D"-rings in the foam base. In second generation models, the harness system has "D"-rings in the foam base and Velcro™ straps inside the fitted fabric cover.

The recalled Nap Nannys® were sold at toy and children's retail stores nationwide and online, including at www.napnanny.com, from January 2009 through July 2010 for about $130.

The recalled product was manufactured in the United States and China.
Consumers with a first generation Nap Nanny® models, without "D"-rings, should stop using the recalled baby recliners immediately and contact the firm to receive an $80 coupon towards the purchase of a new Nap Nanny® with free shipping. Consumers with a second generation Nap Nanny® model, with "D"-rings, should immediately stop using the product until they are able to visit the firm's website to obtain new product instructions and warnings. Consumers will also view an important instructional video to help consumers ensure the harness is properly fastened. Consumers who are unable to view the video or new instructions online, should contact the firm to receive free copies by mail. For more information, contact Baby Matters toll-free at (888) 240-4282 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or visit the firm's website at www.napnanny.com/recall

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Houston

Everyone Poops (My Body Science Series)We have a small problem. Some people may view it as a large gooey problem. I would stop reading RIGHT NOW if you don't want to discuss poo. I have never in my life been so interested in this bodily function.  LO has a milk protein allergy that resulted in 20+ poopy diapers in a 24 hour period when she was first born.  DH and I asked repeatedly if this was normal at the hospital and were greeted with lots of nurses smirking and told, "Babies poop a lot." Reality check! That is not normal and our pediatrician almost had a heart attack when we mentioned it again at our first appointment. She was put on a hypoallergenic formula and all was back on track. 

Pampers Swaddlers Sensitive Diapers, Size 2 (12-18 Lbs), Economy Plus Pack, 152 Diapers
Until last week, when we began the blow-out marathon.  I seem to be a prime target but not a lot of people or things have been spared. LO is on medication that seems to increase blow-out city.  We lower the medication and projectile vomit will hit unsuspecting friends.  Which is better for the LO?  The pediatrician decided that a blow-out is preferable.  So I am now in search of a blow-out proof diaper.  We have gone up a size in her current diapers which has a nifty line that tells you when she is wet.  But they seem unable to accommodate our, ummmmm well, predicament.  Any suggestions??

She finds the whole situation to be hilarious!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Doctor Approved

Sometimes when I go to Mommy & Me, I get a little sad.  I love the people and the babies and enjoy the time spent with all the new moms but LO is the smallest baby and I am a little sensitive.  I see all the other babies progressing and hitting milestones that the LO hits at her own speed. I am not worried about bragging rights, I just want LO to be "normal." 

I get a lot of comments from strangers when they see her and ask her age.  My favorites include, "She is so small, I can barely see her," or "Was she born fifteen minutes ago," or the one used most often, "Was she premature?" I usually just say, "She is small," when someone asks her age and then turn away so that I don't have to have the same conversation.  Couple that with the medication dance that we always seem to be playing, her multiple doctors and a girl can get a little down. 

All of that changed today! We were at the doctor this afternoon dealing with some of the above and the LO looked at the doctor and said, "Hi!" The doctor looked at her and me and said, "Yes, she just said hi." The doctor promptly walked out the door. I wanted to run after her and ask if we should put it in her ever expanding chart or if she could write me a note verifying the linguistic miracle but I was left by myself to revel in the triumph.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Acid Reflux Relief

The first eight weeks with the LO were really hard as we didn't want to medicate our tiny baby but it was clear that she was in pain. We tried all different suggestions such as keeping her upright for 45 minutes after she ate and elevating everything so she was never on her back. I bought Colic Calm but chickened out before trying it. I had a Snuggle Nest which I really liked in theory. It was easy to transport, played music, had a light and was on an incline. Unfortunately, it was not enough of an incline and she still had a hard time breathing and would wake herself up.

A fellow reflux suffering mom suggested the Nap Nanny and I was reluctant to buy as the price seemed high. Instead I bought a bouncy seat, tried the car seat and put more blankets under the Snuggle Nest to incline it more which resulted in the LO slipping down to the bottom of the Nest. I finally broke down and bought the Nap Nanny and the LO started sleeping for much longer stretches and currently sleeps through the night. DH thought it looked like the inside of an El Camino but I was in love. She looks hilarious when she is sleeping in it.

Unfortunately, she is starting to move and ended up over the side of the Nap Nanny. I have read the multiple reviews and people mentioned that it may happen even when they are strapped in. LO was not strapped in as she had not been moving. I am looking for my next Nap Nanny solution and need suggestions. Let me know what comes next!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Birth Announcements

I finally ordered them and they arrived!  The LO will be four months next week but better late than never.  Here is the picture that we selected and the style. So cute! She looks a little like Tupac with the headband but I think it adds a certain je ne sais quoi!

Benadryl Dreamin'

I'm sick. I have gone through all the stages of sickness, denial, denial, hope that it will pass, anger, frustration and acceptance.  Weekend plans were canceled, errands were avoided and copious amounts of vitamins were digested. My life is scheduled, fun times are planned and there is no room for illness.  I live in fear of illness for the LO.  I keep her away from anyone that exhibits as much as a cough.  I am not a crazy germaphobe but I have been scared by her doctors, the Internet and other mamas.  I pray that she outgrows her respiratory problems before flu season hits.  But the unavoidable has happened and I am sick.  I have tried to not breathe on her and washed my hands until they are red but I am a gross, snotty and sneezy mess.

The upside to all of this grossness, I have begun a love affair with Benadryl.  Wow, this stuff really helps you sleep.  Unfortunately, all that sleep has resulted in a recurring dream where I can't find my car in a multi-level parking garage at an airport. Even in the dream, I know that I am going to be unable to find the car.  My mind knows that this is a recurring dream but still I go up and down the staircase searching for my car.  What in the world does that mean?? Is it time for a new car? The dream used to involve an elevator that never let me off on the right floor but thankfully I have smartened up and use the stairs.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Manny

We have a nanny for the LO as her doctors advised against daycare as a respiratory infection could be very serious for her. We found a wonderful nanny who loves the LO and is very patient with her.  She is a great addition to our family and we really respect and value her.  The LO enjoys spending time with her and lights up when she sees her.

That being said, I have a secret manny fantasy.  I feel that Ryan Sheckler would make a great manny.  He seems to treat his younger brothers well and could teach the LO how to skateboard.  I think they would have a fun time hanging out together.  If he ever wanted to give up his multi-million dollar empire, we might be able to find some time for him.

Diapers.com

I love, love, love Diapers.com! Little One told me about the site when I was pregnant and my adoration of the site has only grown since having the LO.  It is free next day shipping and no tax! Who wants to take the LO to Babies R Us or go there at all! I order everything from there but now they have a sister site and you can order from both sites in one cart!! Soap.com has all of the other household products. I am never leaving the house again.  The only drawback is that these items would normally come from Target and I do love me some Target. I have done some price comparison and it is a teeny bit more pricey on some items but way more convenient. I even have my own referral code where you get $10 off and I get a $1. BARI7102

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Returning to the Scene of the Crime

On Thursday nights, DH puts LO to bed and I go to a 7 pm pilates class.  In order to make a 7 pm pilates class I need to leave work on time as I have a lengthy commute, race home, eat something, spend a few minutes with the LO, get ready and leave the house by 6:35.  If you are late, you have to do push-ups in front of the class for every minute that you are late.  So last week, I accomplished all of these things and was on my machine ready to start class and I realized that I forgot to put on a shirt over my white bra top.  I was wearing a sweatshirt so I just cursed and realized that I was going to be really sweaty as I couldn't take off my sweatshirt.

Class began and I immediately started sweating and my instructor accused me of "hiding beneath my sweatshirt" and instructed me to take it off.  I tried to explain to the teacher that in my rush to get there, I forgot to put on a shirt. She didn't care and asked me again to take it off.  I started to turn bright red and now the entire class is looking at me. So I took it off and was mortified the entire class.  I hate it when people tell me that having a child has reduced my intelligence level or that I have "mommy brain," but they may be right.  I'm off to pilates and I am hoping that I can remember all of my clothing.

Persnickety

There seems to be only one word to describe it and persnickety is it.  LO is out of sorts a bit lately.  I am sure that a professional would throw around words like cognitive surge, separation anxiety or plain resentment for me going back to work.   Teething is also being suggested as a possible reason as she is drooling so much.  There doesn't seem to be just one thing bothering her, she just is feeling a bit persnickety.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Paranoia Big Destroyer

The Glass Castle: A MemoirI love a good autobiography or memoir. I am not interested in Brad Pitt's story or any other celebrity or politician. I respect their work but reading a story as interpreted by their ghost writer is not for me. Give me a regular person who has a good story to tell. My absolute favorite book is The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeanette Walls. They fought over a stick of butter to eat and she made her own braces! It doesn't get any more riveting for me.

I love hearing stories from my friends about their childhoods or funny things that happened to them at work. Once in awhile people will discuss their ailments or health issues with their kids and therein lies the problem. I will listen to you and give words of encouragement or sympathy and feel truly empathetic but a tiny voice inside my head is already hard at work. This tiny voice is freaking out that the same thing is wrong with LO. I begin shifting uneasily counting down the minutes until I can begin researching all of the warning signs on the Internet.

I will then search every blog, discussion board and health site if she displays any of the signs until I am convinced that something has to be wrong. How could we have been so naive to think that she will outgrow her respiratory issue or that the sacral dimple is really just a dimple?! Obviously, the doctors know nothing and my mama skills as a self proclaimed specialist are superior.

Calls and emails will begin to the DH announcing that she will need to wear special shoes or that her speech is going to be delayed or that a helmet is in her future. He patiently listens and then asks if we can discuss at a later time when he is not in the middle of a meeting. His usual responses include, "We will just have to see," or "She is fine, stop worrying," or "You are going to die from a heart attack with how much you stress." My all time favorite line, "I don't need to worry about anything as you have both of us covered."

Last night, DH came home as I was in bed and finally relaxing after a recent bout of paranoia and expected him to throw me one of the typical lines. But he admitted that he was worried as well and also did paranoid research on the Internet!! I have created a monster like myself. Who will talk us off the ledge? Who will be the voice of reason? Who will keep LO from becoming Bubble Girl?

Halloween in July

I was never been big on Halloween. The love affair ended in 8th grade when I was told that I was too old to trick or treat. Halloween and I had a brief fling in college when it was an excuse to show your freaky side. As for the past 10 years, it was merely a nuisance that brought increased traffic and made distinguishing the real and "fake" weirdos a little more difficult.

All of that has changed as I have become obsessed with infant Halloween costumes. Who would not want to dress their squishy baby in a hilarious outfit before they can demand to be a princess or a witch?? LO is going to be a kangaroo and I am on the hunt to find the best costume. Here is one of the contenders. If you find a better kanagaroo costume that is a bit more reasonably priced, please let me know!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Back at Work

I started back at my marketing job last Tuesday and it felt like I was at a brand new job or the first day of school. I wandered around in a daze and missed the LO. I loved working and still do like working but I felt like I was missing an appendage all day. How can I spend 11 hours a day apart from my baby? I get home during the grumpy hour and then off to bath and bed.

We went on a family vacation with our friends and spent a ton of time together to ease the transition but it was still uber painful. I realize that a ton of mamas do this all the time but I am wondering how?




A Recap

I had the wonder child on March 27, 2010 in the wee hours of the morning after a difficult pregnancy. DH and I think she is a genius and pretty darn cute. Our lives changed completely and unexpectedly. I had no idea of how hard the first 6-8 weeks would be and how much would change. All for the better but still pretty scary. I walked around in a daze and then slowly it started to become manageable and each day improved a tiny bit.




The LO has a small respiratory problem and some acid reflux which made her miserable and made us feel helpless but there was some light at the end of the tunnel and she even started smiling around 2 months. After that we were in the money and maternity leave turned amazing. We were ladies who lunched and went to the park and enjoyed spending time together.









I never felt happier.