Monday, April 27, 2015

Our Bigger Baby Favorites

Try as we might to avoid the trappings of material clutter in our tiny house, it's a little inevitable with a little one. Here are the things we've found ourselves reaching for the most lately:

-Bumkins bibs. We actually got these in a Citrus Lane box that we ordered randomly, and they're our favorite bibs by far. Easy to wipe clean, easy to wash in the washer, and they have a pocket to catch slippery things that inevitably succumb to gravity during mealtime.

-Beaba silicone mold for homemade baby food. I do want to make note of our favorite baby food "recipes" eventually, but these molds have made homemade baby food a pretty simple process.

-That being said, man, pouches of food are the easiest thing ever, and Noah loves them! I feel like they don't keep him full as long as more solid food does, but they're super convenient on-the-go. I'll go ahead and say I'm a snob and I want him to be eating mostly organic food this first year. Gluten and dairy free, too, since we tried introducing both recently and it didn't go well. There are multiple good brands out there, but Earth's Best seems to have a better price point than some of the others.

-HappyBaby snacks. Noah loves their gluten free puffs!

-Snow and Arrow recycled wool slippers. They stay ON and they have traction on the bottom, which was nice for cold winter toes and a mobile baby.

-Love to Dream sleepsack it fits a little more snugly than some other brands, which I like.

-Hannah Anderson Pilot Cap to keep Noah from pulling his hearing aids out.

-Boon Frog Pod to store bath toys. I like that it drains well. We love these Boon bath toys as well. Noah loves to chew on them, and I love that they don't absorb water so they're less likely to grow funky stuff from bathwater.

-Joovy Dood sippy cups. They have a slower flow than the other sippys we've tried.

-Our stroller! It was an amazing baby shower gift, and I'm so excited to use it more as the weather warms up.

-KangarooCare nursing necklace. There are a lot of these out there, but this was by far the classiest looking one I found. Around 8 months, Noah started getting suuuper distracted while nursing, and this helps hold his attention!

-The Leapfrog Learn and Groove table. A friend generously gave this to us, and I thought I'd hate it. But man, Noah loves it. It was the perfect height when he was learning to pull up, and for a while it was the first toy he visited every morning!

-And we can't forget Captain Calamari, Noah's car toy!

(Speaking of the car, Noah's just about too tall for his Chicco Keyfit 30 Infant Carseat. We've been happy with it, and we are sad to be graduating to the next step :-/)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Best is Yet to Come

Thirty doesn't look quite as scary as it used to. Twenty-nine was a good year. So good and so fast, thanks largely in part to a little guy named Noah. Crazy I'd never even seen his face this time last year, and now I don't want to imagine life without him!

In a lot of ways, I feel less like myself this ever as I coast into thirty. I suspect most of that is due to the fact that my "self" is still adjusting to the addition of the "Mom" title and the responsibilities and realities that it entails. But I love it, so onward and upward!

My 20s were beautiful, wonderful, crazy, cringe-worthy, and memorable. Filled with lots of love and lots of heartbreak. And I completely wigged out about turning 25. Can you believe that was 5 years ago?! At that time, I couldn't even fathom 30. I tend to be a past-thinker, and at 25 I was dwelling on how far away college seemed, how heavy the day-to-day felt, and how life seemed to be running ahead without me.

On the one hand, thank God I wasn't thinking about some perfect, rosy future materializing by the magical age of 30, because it's been a hell of a ride from there to here. But on the other hand, faith and hope would've carried me a long way on that dark road: knowing that come what may, God's will prevails. And His will is always for my good and for His glory.

The irony, of course, is that faith and hope are rarely learned except through trial. I'd like to think, as a friend recently said to Ross and me, that your 20s are for making mistakes and your 30s are for learning from them.

Not that I won't make mistakes in my 30s. Ha! But maybe instead of careening from one bad mistake to the next impulsive decision while simultaneously accumulating more and more regret and anxiety, the next decade will see me mellow out a little instead.

I do know that God WILL instruct me and teach me in the ways I should go. He WILL counsel me with his loving eye on me (Psalm 32). Instead of being stubborn and learning by trial and error, I want to learn more by trust. I want to learn more in silence and in waiting. I want to find peace in knowing that God's plan will unfold exactly as it should, and that as long as I'm willing to listen, He will let me know when it's my turn to participate, instead of me panicking and grasping at straws and trying to force circumstances to bend to my will.

I feel at peace with the big picture of my life right now. In fact, I kind of love it. I'm thankful to be starting a new decade, and I'm thankful for the decade that got me here.


P.S. For my birthday, Noah gave us an unprecedented stretch of sleep. He slept from 6:45pm-5:20am. Yeah baby! [Insert all the praise hands emojis here]

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Which Camp are You In?

There has been a lot written on Mommy Wars. I haven't spent a lot of time or energy delving into the subject because honestly, being a mom has flat-out humbled me. I was a really good mom before I became a mom, right?

My doula was on the local NPR station recently discussing vaccines. (A doula who is PRO-vaccine? Right up my alley!) She has a background in microbiology but her current career is spent helping women navigate a healthy pregnancy and delivery, often in the most low-intervention way possible.

When discussing vaccines, she mentioned in passing that some "anti-vaxxers" haven't actually investigated the subject, but feel pressure (internally or externally) to conform to a mode of parenting, and declining vaccination is a way to fit into the "natural childbirth/attachment parenting" camp.

And then I realized why I struggle to discuss parenting choices with people. They always seem to say something that doesn't sit right with me (and vice versa, I'm sure). Note: these things are not usually something I passionately disagree with, but something that I know in my gut isn't a good choice for my family.

Yes to natural childbirth, and yes to childhood vaccinations.

Yes to the chiropractor, and yes to Prilosec for baby's reflux.

No to bed-sharing, and no to cry-it-out methods.

Yes to breastfeeding, and yes to introducing solids at 6 months.

Yes to cloth diapers, and yes to disposable wipes.

Yes I work 12+ hours a week, and yes I stay home with my baby Monday through Friday.

I'm absolutely not having a pity party. I know there are other moms like me out there. If anything, having a foot in both "worlds" helps me empathize with both sides. But it also confuses me. So much information. So many opinions. So much more to motherhood than I thought.