February 8, 2014

Our Favorite Baby Products: Can't Live Without Them!

The other day, the UPS guy asked me, "How's our little buddy?" as he delivered an umbrella stroller to our doorstep. 


"The baby, doing okay?" 

And THAT'S when I realized that we may have an online shopping problem. Well, I mean, I knew I already had one myself, but now both Brett and I have one for the baby. We order a lot of baby stuff online, probably because it's too much of a giant endeavor to go to the store with him (plus, Amazon is SO convenient!).

Here's some of our most favoritest baby things. We seriously NEED them, and you might too!
1. Medela On the Go Advanced Breastpump with Tote $250: If you're planning to breastfeed, you need this. Not only for when you go back to work, but for those nights baby is sleeping longer than you expected and you HAVE to express NOW. It comes in handy.

2. Bamboozies Washable Nursing Pads 6/$40: Those sitcoms where the new mom hears a baby cry and suddenly the front of her shirt is soaked? Totally happens in real life. Plus, when you nurse on one side, the other side automagically starts flowing too. Trust me on this one: you need these. They are super soft and hide the perma-NHO.
3. Nursing bras $18 for set of two: These and the following tank tops are just super convenient. There are a lot of items in my wardrobe that I just can't wear while I'm breastfeeding (sad face) so these are a little silver lining. They're pretty, super affordable, and make my life a little easier.
4. Nursing tanks $25 for set of 2
5. My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow $30: Although everyone uses the Boppy, I found this one to be cheaper and better-rated. It's AWESOME. Saves my back and Caleb loves it. It's wide and firm and provides support for a lot of different nursing positions. I love it.
6. Bibs, lots of bibs $5 for two: Who knew we would need to invest in bibs? Our wonderful nannies, Grandma and Grandpa Shoe (and Brett) use them when they bottle feed the baby during the day, which can get messy. This is an item that Brett added to the list, because he thought they were unnecessary but is now a bib believer.
7. Plain white cloth diapers (a.k.a. "burpees) 5/$15: After we came home from the hospital and settled in with my mom and sister at home we all realized, "Oh, shoot, we don't have any burp cloths!" So Momma and Sister went to Target and got us a crap ton of these babies. They are the best. Thanks Mom and Sister! Babies are messy. These are good for all messes.
8. Summer Infant SwaddleMe sleep wraps 3/$24: After baby is born, these amazing nurses will zip into your room, show you how to breastfeed like a champ, soothe your baby to sleep, and swaddle them into perfect little baby burritos all in about 30 seconds. THIS IS NOT WHAT WILL HAPPEN AT HOME. You think you know how to swaddle, and then can't help but laugh when your own "baby burrito" is made into a tostada by a wriggling tiny human as soon as you're finished. These SwaddleMes are dummy-proof with velcro and Caleb sleeps for 6 hours in them! They are one of our favorite baby products!
9. NUK pacifiers 4/$10: We got a TON of pacifiers from friends and family and wondered what we would do with all of them... donate them maybe? NOPE! We use every single one of them. Lately we've been trying the Soothie brand, and sometimes they are the only ones that Babyshoe will take.
10. Pacifier clip $5: Caleb does this hilarious *POP* move and his pacifier goes flying across the room. He will do it at the most unexpected (and sometimes inopportune) times, so this little clippy thing that attaches to him comes in handy, especially when we're out.
11. The Sleep Sheep sound machine $30: There are a lot of white noise machines out there and this one may not be "the best" but it's the cutest! Caleb loves the sound of water to soothe him to sleep almost every night. It shuts off automatically after a certain period of time, and he's always asleep by then.
12. Baby Video Monitor with Night Vision $200: We put baby to sleep at around 6:30 every night. In the beginning, I would go to sleep with him, since he was getting up about every 3 hours and it was the only way I could feel human the next day. Now that he's sleeping 6 hours a time, we can hook up this wonderful device and enjoy a few episodes of Dexter before going to bed. We love the night vision, sleep function, and being able to talk to each other from both sides.
13. BOB Revolution Stroller $318: It's light-ish and super mobile and Mommy gets to jog in the park. What more could we want? Oh, it's a little bulky in the trunk of our car, but we still love it. I don't know anyone who doesn't like their BOB.
14. Ergobaby Carrier $115: Sometimes Caleb just will not be rocked to sleep, but as soon as he's put in here, he dozes off. It's also convenient for trips to Trader Joes and Costco, plus it doesn't hurt that the company is based in Hawaii! There are a lot of baby carriers out there (baby wearing is best!) and after doing a bunch of research (and talking to mommy friends) we went with this one and the Moby wrap--which I didn't mention til now because Brett refuses to wear it. I like it though, so check that one out too.
15. Onesies 2/$13: These are from H&M but obvi you can get them from wherever. I didn't realize just how many onesies we would need/want. A good day is when Caleb wears the same thing all day; there are usually two or three outfit changes due to pee, poop, and spit-up. We also like the selection at Carters, Old Navy, and Gap Baby.
16. Outfits $18 for the set: Sometimes you just want the baby to look like a person and not like a cartoon. That's when these outfits come in handy. The above-mentioned stores are our go-to's.

That's it! Please feel free to comment or message me with your own must-haves! 

Thanks for reading and have a fab day!

Caleb at One + Two + Three Months

Our litte prince at 1 month

Checking himself out 

Such a good sport about taking selfies with Mommy :)

LOOOOOVES taking baths! Our little water baby ♥

Ahoy ye matey! Caleb is two months old! He likes to smile and coo at us, loves his own reflection (gets that from Dad?) and sleeps 4-6 hours at night!

Still so teeny tiny :)

Laughing with Daddy

 Snow day!

 Getting good at tummy time!

Caleb turned 3 months yesterday! He can just about hold his head up, rolled from his back to his stomach (two days ago), likes looking at birds on walks with Dad, loves to play hokey-pokey with his Grandma Janet, laughs when Mommy sneezes, and has just started teething (we think)! His laughter often wakes up Daddy and Mommy in the middle of the night and makes us wonder what he dreams about... Mommy sneezing maybe? 

He is so much fun and we love how his personality comes through more with each passing day! 
Thanks for reading and enjoy the rest of your weekend! 

January 16, 2014

Caleb's Birth Story

Caleb Kalani was born on November 7th, 2013 at 4:00 am. He weighed 8 lb. 3 oz. and measured 21 inches in length!

But this is old news. Apologies for being away for two months--life has been... a circus. I want to write down Caleb's birth story before it gets too hazy--it's already pretty much a blur as is. Here's my shoddy attempt at recollection. Husband, please feel free to correct any errors. 

Wednesday, November 6th @ 7:00 am: We check into the hospital for our scheduled induction. I'm only a week overdue but we decided to go ahead and induce. This was not in my birth plan, but I still intended to try to have as natural a labor as possible otherwise.

8:00 am: The pitocin drip starts. We walk around the hallways and chitchat the nurses. They say "Oh, she's still smiling, the pitocin must not have kicked in yet." So true.

9:00 am: My doctor breaks my water. There's a LOT of water. It's pretty gross and basically I sat on a pile of towels for about an hour. I was a little surprised that they broke my water so early in the day, but I guess I was on board for speeding up the labor. We were both so excited to meet our little boy.

10:30 am: Contractions start. They feel like really intense menstrual cramps. We're still walking the halls and I just need to stop and breathe during them. Not too bad yet, though.

2:30 pm: Contractions are getting pretty rough so we decide to get into the tub. Soaking in warm water took the edge off a little.

5:00 pm: Contractions are about 90 seconds long and 60 seconds apart so basically right on top of each other. I have been absolutely still and silent (just loud breathing, some moaning and a few choice curse words) for the last two hours, focusing on the 4D ultrasound pictures of Caleb. Brett is very worried (it's just the two of us plus nurses in-and-out of the room). I'm about 6 cm dilated by this time. Finally I cave and ask for the epidural. Brett asks if I'm sure since I definitely didn't want one when we discussed the birth plan and the look I gave him was enough to send him looking for the nurse to let her know we needed the anesthesiologist, stat.

**Side note: my labor nurse had to leave for an hour or two (another patient's c-section) and her substitute nurse dialed up my pitocin to some crazy amount. So much so that when my original nurse came back, she was pretty upset.

6:00 pm: Aaaaaah. Sweet relief. When the anesthesiologist showed up, it was like the heavens opened and here was my angel--I'm pretty sure he was accompanied by music. He quickly swabbed my back and placed the tiny tube into my epidural space. They waited until I was between contractions and it didn't hurt too badly. Contractions = gone. Me = overjoyed. Brett = exhausted. He took a nap.

6:30 pm-12:00 am (Now Thursday, November 7th): We rested. We watched the contraction monitors. At around 10 pm I started feeling like I had to poop really really badly. I was dilating pretty steadily and my body was getting ready to push. It's pretty unbearable to feel like you have to poop but can't and holding it in. I was more than ready to get this pushing party started.

1:00-3:00 am: Pushing. Pushing. Getting red in the face. We probably tried about 10 different positions. Baby's head was just not budging and I was exhausted. Then I started getting a fever. When you break your water so early in the day and have periodic cervix checks and other things going on, infections are not uncommon. Doctor made the decision to have a c-section.

3:00-4:00 am: The Cesarean section. I don't remember a lot except that I was cold and shaking uncontrollably. At one point I was nauseous so some guy put smelly things under my nose which helped. Brett sat next to me and talked me through everything. When it was time to pull him out, there was some pretty violent pulling and my body was rocked back and forth. I could feel the tugging, but it wasn't sore, more like pressure.

4:00 am on the dot! Finally (FINALLY!) we heard a weak little scream and then silence. And then a LOUD scream. I was so proud when they told Brett to look over the curtain, he did and he saw our son right after he was born! Brett is really queasy when it comes to doctors and procedures and such. He then went to watch Caleb be cleaned up and get his Apgar tests. He would run over and keep me updated ("He scored a 9 on the Apgar!" "He has a birthmark!" "He's 8 pounds 3 ounces!" "He's beautiful!"). Then he brought Caleb over to me and I got to see him for the first time! Love at first sight. While I was getting sewn up, Brett and Caleb went to the nursery for his vitamin K shot and eye ointment.

I was taken back to the labor room for a little while before being transferred to a real room to recover for 3.5 days. Caleb was so beautiful and tiny. I can't explain the rush of emotions--excitement, relief, trepidation, joy, anxiety, LOVE. Cheesy but so true: his birthday was the happiest day of my life! All I wanted to do was hold him and look at him.

 With Grandpa Shoe--sad we don't have one with Grandmama Shoe too! I'll post some from over the holidays in my next post.

 With Grammy

Poor baby had to get some IV antibiotics too, in case my infection spread to him. That's the IV sticking out from his hand. I was so glad when we could remove it after 48 hours.

 With Auntie Kim and Uncle Casey

Those first few days and nights in the hospital were a blur. The nurses were amazing and taught us a LOT. We didn't sleep much--that first night, Brett and I literally slow-danced with Caleb to make him fall asleep and in retrospect it's a sweet little memory, but at the time, I was a wreck.

The cut in my abdomen scared me too. I didn't want to laugh too hard, so it was "rough" having my mom and sister there--they make me laugh so darn easily. It hurt and it's scary and the nurses make you move around a bunch pretty early on (by Thursday night, I was doing two laps around the halls with my nurse, Annie, who was incredible by the way). It took about three weeks before I could say it didn't hurt anymore. Two months later, the scar is healed pretty nicely and although I hope I can have a natural childbirth with our future kids, I know what a c-section is like and I guess it's not that bad. I hope I don't have to have another one, though.

More pictures!

 With Auntie Kristin

 Caught my two boys passed out; like father like son.

 Sunday, time to go home!

 Wednesday, back to school! Pharmacy school doesn't play.
Oh but he's so worth it!

Well that's it! He's two months old now--I can't believe how quickly time flew by! More mommy stories to come when I find the time to write more posts! So much to say, so little time. There really aren't enough hours in the day, for reals.

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful week! Hug your loved ones :)

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