Sunday, November 7, 2010

The most useful things

I can't believe we're almost 10 weeks into being a family of four {and a dog!}. So, in honor of 10 weeks together, a list of the top 10 things that have really helped me out {outside of the usual baby swing, bouncy seat stuff}- perfect for new mommies, moms-to-be, and been-there-done-that moms:

1. My parents and Blake. Really, having the necessary support system is the absolute best, which is the reason for being #1. Blake tries to let me catch a few z's whenever possible, and my parents are always happy to step in last minute to watch the boys if I have to run out to play a funeral, have a meeting, whatever.

2. PBS Kids. Namely, their great morning shows - Curious George, The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That, Super Why, Sesame Street, Word World. Their morning lineup keeps Isaac pretty entertained, no matter what time we tune in. We almost never catch all of those shows in one morning, but they can distract him for 20-30 minutes while I try to get a few other things done.

3. A good nursing cover. Perfect for nursing in public, nursing at home, and keeping the girls {and the eating baby} hidden. I have an Udder Cover {actually, I have 2!}. You can score a free one {just pay shipping} by using code NEWBABY.

4. My Ergo carrier. I'll pop Owen in it and run around/play with Isaac, make lunch/dinner, all while he contently looks around or sleeps. One day, I even weeded my gardens with him in it, while Isaac dug in the dirt. Sweet! I also have a Peanut Shell sling that worked nicely for the first few weeks, but Owen isn't a huge fan of the "cuddly" style. So I prefer the Ergo with him!

5. Our double stroller! I never thought I wanted one. I honestly thought I would always just use the Ergo or Sling and just push Isaac in the stroller we already owned when necessary. Isaac loves to walk/run, but when we actually take walks or on long shopping trips, he eventually tires and wants to be carried. So, I took the plunge {our only baby purchase this time around!}, and I couldn't be happier. So easy to walk both boys on my own, take them shopping on my own. Talk about feeling like I just conquered the world! Thank you stroller!

6. My breast pump. Thank you Medela!

7. Colic Calm. We discovered this gripe water when Isaac was around 3 months old, and we were at our wits end listening to him cry and watching him writhe in pain while he tried to pass gas. I eventually also cut dairy out of my diet with him, but this helped him soooo much. Plus, it's homeopathic, so you know it's gentle on their tummies. We've used it with Owen this time around {though he is no where near as bad as Isaac used to be!}, and within a matter minutes, he's calm and farting up a storm. Total lifesaver!

8. Nursing moms, please do yourself a HUGE favor and invest in an Undercover Mama or two or three. They are amazing. It allows you to turn every one of your shirts into a nursing shirt. You don't have to spend any money on the special-made nursing shirts, or pull up a regular shirt and have your tummy, side, and back showing. I didn't have these with Isaac, but wish I would have. I spent so much time FREEZING while I was nursing. Not anymore!

9. Speaking of nursing, I say splurge and buy yourself one nursing dress {I found mine here}. This is another thing I didn't have when Isaac was a baby, and I missed wearing dresses for a year! I bought one with Owen, and it's my go-to for things like his Baptism, weddings, special events. If I don't feel like wearing the dress, there is always the nursing friendly pants/skirt/shirt option.

10. Frozen meals/snacks! Before Owen was born, I started freezing any leftovers we had that I knew would re-heat {Lasagna, tater tot casserole, breads, cookies, soups, beef/pork sandwiches}. Again, this is something I didn't do too much of before Isaac was born. For some reason, I thought I could handle cooking with just one kid. I was worried though, with two, that Isaac wouldn't end up with lunch some days! HUGE lifesaver. Actually, when we were discharged from the hospital, they sent us home with a boxed lasagna, some garlic bread, and an apple pie. Nice, right? Since we've been home, I've continued the freezing of our leftovers. I figure it saves on waste, and it's a quick{er} meal for when we need something fast. Highly recommend!

PS. Happy 25 months to Isaac today! Happy 10 weeks to Owen tomorrow!

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