Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Year and a Half!

Quinley Jane is 18 months old!

Our Quinnie girl is SO.MUCH.FUN right now.  She is learning multiple new words a day, and copying almost everything we say.  She does beautiful dancing and singing, and oh my goodness she gives the best hugs and smooches.

This girl though, oh wow, she has no fear.  She climbs, and she runs far and fast away from me.  Taking her to the park means way more running than I care to do, even at the park that is fully fenced except for one gate (which she inevitably finds and escapes from).

She is eating like a champ, pretty much everything except for eggs.  I decided it was time to get over my laziness in giving her only finger foods and have been letting her feed herself yogurt the past few days, and she is actually doing quite well!

She continues to be a daddy's girl, loving wrestling and snuggling with him any chance she can.  She loves blowing raspberries on my belly and screaming "baby!"  We'll see how she feels when her baby brother is finally here.

We continue to love our little girl so very much, and hope she doesn't get a complex from hearing Chad and I tell each other twenty times a day "She is SO CUTE!"

Blowing kisses, looking coy, and her regular Quinnie look

Not impressed, looking up, and her beautiful smile

Sibling pic

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Baby Registries- My Thoughts

A dear friend is due with her first baby in January, and asked my advice on what she should put on her baby registry.  I found a list online and added my notes for her.  As you'll see, after going all out with baby #1 we've since simplified our lives (in more ways than just baby stuff, man it feels good to purge!):

·         Diapers: Whether you're going the re-usable or disposable route, you'll need plenty on hand. (CLOTH CLOTH CLOTH!)
·         Burp cloths (Don’t get the 3 inch wide ones that you will see all over Etsy, just get a set of the old school white cloth diapers (called “flats”) they offer more coverage)
·         Disposable wipes. Always have a few packets on hand -- this is not an item you want to run out of. (Yep!  We have washable cloth wipes too that are great for simple pee diaper changes)
·         Diaper rash cream (Don’t use with cloth, get coconut oil instead, but this is good to have on hand with disposables)
·         Diaper pail: Choose one that you can operate with one hand, one that uses regular garbage bags, and has an odor control system.  (We just have the cheapie $15 one from BRU that has no odor control system for sposies, and the same one in the bathroom that we use without bags for the cloth)
·         Diaper bag: Make sure it hangs well from your stroller handlebars.  (Just get a cute purse or backpack. Also, when loaded up it can tip a lightweight stroller, so be careful!)
·         Baby monitor  (I suggest the VTech Safe and Sound video monitor, we love having it for Q!)
·         1 or 2 pacifiers, if you want to use them. Be sure to get ones labeled "newborn."  (Neither of our kids took pacis (not that we really tried except the few nights Q was cluster feeding and I was desperate, but it didn’t work, they both just wanted to BF) but if you are going that route you may have to try a few before you find one that works for your babe)  
·         Pacifier wipes.  (Just run it under some water for goodness sake)
·         Portable crib, commonly known as a Pack 'n Play, for when you visit the grandparents.  (Nice to have, see the next item)
·         Co-sleeper. It's so nice to just reach over to nurse your baby at night. But you can easily substitute the portable crib if it's easier.  (yeah, just get a Pack ’n Play)
·         6 bottles, including nipples: Make sure you buy nipples for newborns. (Oh Lord there are so many options, our favorites were the Tommee Tippee, they look like a boob!)
·         Bottle brush (Yep!)
·         Breast pump: Go for the fancy automatic double pump if you're going back to work.  (Yep!)
·         Breastfeeding pillow (Not necessary, but nice in the beginning when they are super little)
·         Nursing pads (Yep!  Yep! Yep! I had to use disposable until my supply evened out, then I used washable)
·         Lanolin lotion for sore nipples (Yep, though I never really used it since I had to use a shield for the first few months)
·         Breast milk freezer bags or storage cups  (Yep to the bags!)
·         Thermometer. The rectal kind. Don't be freaked out -- once you do it, it's a piece of cake.  (We have a forehead thermometer that we’ve probably only used a dozen times between the four of us over the past four years, but if your baby has issues taking baby’s temp is good if anything seems off)
·         Nasal bulb syringe for clearing stuffy noses (we used maybe twice, I hear the Nose Frida is amazing though)
·         Baby nail clipper  (Yep!)
·         Alcohol swabs and bandages  (Um, okay, I suppose you already have this)
·         Infant bath tub or seat with a newborn "sling"  (Used maybe three times, we ended up just putting a towel in the sink or bathtub, then after a few months they would go in the big tub with daddy)
·         Baby shampoo and cleanser  (Only really necessary if they have a massive blowout)
·         Baby lotion  (Meh, babies are already pretty soft, we use coconut oil for any dryness)
·         2 to 3 hooded towels that let you swaddle baby post-bath  (Cute, but you could just use a regular towel)
·         Crib  (Yep!)
·         Changing table with pad (you can also covert an existing dresser by topping with a pad) (YES, get a dresser or the Kallax shelf from IKEA so once you are done with the changing pad you have a usable piece of furniture!)
·         Rocking chair  (Never  used it, I just BF babies in our bed, Chad now has it and throws his clothes and pillows on it)
·         ExerSaucer. You won't use it for a few months, but once your baby hits 4 or 5 months, it will blow his little mind.  (Yep!)
·         Swing or bouncy seat. The movement makes almost all babies very, very sleepy.  (Nice to have, buy a used one since they don’t use this for very long)
·         Activity mat (also called the baby gym) (Yep, great for tummy time)
·         Mobile for the crib: Think music, lights and movement. We like ones you can turn off remotely. (Hell no, baby should be sleeping while in their crib, not being entertained!)
·         Mobile for the changing table: Distract your baby from the fact that his bum is cold.  (Okay, sure.  You could make a cute one, or find one on Etsy that isn’t annoying)
·         Crib bumper (NOPE!)
·         2 to 3 fitted crib sheets  (Two should be good)
·         2 waterproof mattress pads (Our crib mattress is waterproof, so the pad  is redundant)
·         2 or 3 changing pad covers (Two should be good)
·         A rear-facing infant car seat with base. If you have two cars, you'll need a second base. (Skip right to a convertible seat that can go rear-facing for as long as possible)
·         Baby carrier and/or sling  (In the first year we love the homemade moby wrap that was given to use, now that Q is bigger we love the Ergo that was loaned to us.  There are so many great options, just don’t buy a “crotch dangler” that can exacerbate hip dysplasia)
·         Stroller: Baby won't sit up for a few months, so you'll need a Snap 'n Go, a travel system or a model in which baby can fully recline.  (Or you could just wear the baby, it is so much easier)
·         A "take-me-home" outfit. Look for a set that's cute for photos, but practical (something warm for winter or light for summer). (Awwww)
·         6 to 8 onesies, half short sleeve and half long sleeve. Choose kimono styles that don't pull over baby's head to cut down on screams.  (For the first few months jammies are all you really need)
·         5 pairs of pants  (meh, newborns look silly in pants)
·         6 to 8 sleepers (aka coveralls) with built-in footies, or rompers if it's spring or summer  (YES! We prefer the ones that zip so you aren’t fussing with snaps in the middle of the night)
·         5 to 6 sleeping gowns, which snap, zip, or cinch closed at the bottom, making late-night diaper changes a breeze.  (I hated the gowns, they seemed dangerous so we never used them, just a light swaddle (arms in or out depending on baby’s preference) for the first few months, then sleep sacks until they grow out of them and you feel comfortable giving them a blanket (For reference, Q is 18 months old and still in sleep sacks and will be probably until she is two)
·         At least 3 sleeping gowns should have built-in mittens to cover fast-growing baby fingernails and avoid scratches on smooth baby skin.  (Or you could clip their nails often)
·         1 to 3 sweater cardigans or zip hoodies, depending on the season  (look silly on newborns and unsafe for car seats)
·         1 snowsuit or winter bunting (for winter babies)  (Unsafe for car seats, so only use when out walking)
·         1 to 2 pairs of mittens if they aren't included in the snowsuit (for winter babies)  (Good luck keeping them on)
·         8 pairs of booties or socks  (Good luck keeping them on, just have them in footie jammies or footie pants until spring time)
·         4 to 6 hats, including at least one sun hat (3 hats should suffice, but I recently heard that the newest research is that they don’t need hats for sleeping as newborns, hats may contribute to overheating with increases the chances of SIDS, just keep your home warm)
·         4 to 6 receiving blankets. One should be soft and thick enough to be a blankie contender; two should be thin enough for your diaper bag. (Great as swaddle blankets (Aden & Anais are the best!), nursing covers, and just to have around)
·         4 to 6 bibs. At least two should be waterproof. Once baby starts solids, you'll need something you can just hose off.  (Necessary if you have a big slobberer or spitter upper, we didn’t though so we never used them.  Even when they started solids we were more likely to have them in the high chair just in a diaper)
·         Velcro swaddle. This crucial miracle item may be the key to peace in your household.  (If your baby likes to be tightly swaddled I hear these are great!)
·         Sleep sack, for when baby outgrows the swaddle or sleep gowns, but is still too young for a blanket in the crib.  (yep!)

Other items I think are unnecessary:

Wipes warmer (they are going to hate diaper changes regardless), bottle warmer (a hot bowl of water works just as fast), baby food make (do baby led weaning!), baby laundry detergent (unless baby has sensitivity issues).

So there you have it.  Keep it simple: feed your baby, keep them dressed, keep them safe. Done.

Next thing you know they are four years old and standing next to you as you type and they are telling you all the reasons why they NEED a triple A battery to do an art project.