Oh and as promised here are the shots of the LLB in her costume. Pics were taken at our local Picture People, we had an EXCELLENT photographer. If you live in the No. VA area and want her info just hit me up!
SnugRide Carseat With EPS
Made by Graco
5-Point harness ensures that baby is in the seat tightly
Equipped with LATCH system to ensure easy installation
Equipped with belt fastening system in case your car doesn't have LATCH capability
Priced at approximately $90
Find yours at GracoBaby.com
Buying Tip: Read up on crash tests, carseats change all the time. Make sure you get your professionally installed, or at least checked by a safety inspector. Don't EVER buy a carseat used, they are no good once they have been in an accident and you have NO WAY of knowing whether it was in one or not. Lastly, make sure you register your seat with the manufacturer so that they can keep you posted on recalls.
"About a million Bumbo Baby Sitter seats are being recalled because of the risk of serious head injury.I first understood the news as saying they wanted the seats back. But it's really just that you need a new sticker, a sticker that should be common sense. Don't place your child in the Bumbo on a raised surface. You never know what a child can/will do in one, so why take the chance. It's unfortunate that any child got hurt using one, and I appreciate all safety measures.
The baby seats aren't car seats. The bottom of the seat is round and flat. It's made of a single piece of molded foam with a foam divider for the kids' legs. On the front of the seat is the word 'Bumbo' with the image of an elephant. The seats come in yellow, blue, purple, pink, aqua, and lime green.
'If the seat is placed on a table, countertop, chair, or other elevated surface, young children can arch their backs, flip out of the Bumbo seat, and fall on the floor, posing a risk of serious head injuries,' states the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
The CPSC has gotten reports of 28 kids who fell out of the Bumbo Baby Sitter seat, including three children who fractured their skulls. Those children's baby seats had been placed on tables.
The CPSC advises consumers only to use the baby seat at ground level and to never leave a child unattended.
Consumers can call Bumbo International at (877) 932-8626 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday to get new warning stickers and instructions.
The new warning states: 'WARNING: Prevent Falls; Never use on any elevated surface.'
More information and a picture of the recalled baby seat are available on the CPSC web site."
"You are without a doubt a person of strong magnetic presence and will always be at your best when in the company of the other sex. Your dramatic flair and larger than life gestures attract the attention of those around you and result in your being considered the life of the party. You are a very devoted family person and loyal to the needs of loved ones. You adhere to the principles of domestic life and the needs of children too. In matters of finance, you are very capable in stretching a dollar and always appear to be well to do even if you're scratching. Venus being your ruler grants you exceptional taste and refinement in your life choices and attire too! Music, art and literature will always be an important ingredient of your life! Your lucky colours are white and cream, rose and pink. Your lucky numbers and years of important change are 6, 15, 24, 33, 42, 51, 60, 69, 78."
"The year ahead is one of rapid growth and insistent self-expression. Your social life is bound to involve some fireworks as changes are required of existing relationships. Opportunities to advance in your career come when you employ strategy in your decision making. The need to make changes, and for more freedom in your life in general, can lead to restlessness this year. Life is very busy and quick in pace. Be sure to avoid overly impulsive actions."
"Happy Birthday, Scorpio! Because you put so much heart and soul into everything you do, your feelings can be hurt when others fail to notice. It’s difficult to reconcile others’ half-hearted gestures or hypocrisy with your Herculean efforts. Others’ oversight or lack of interest can leave you feeling blue, misunderstood - even jealous. You sometimes give in to waves of resentment or disappointment, mostly because others fail to acknowledge your consideration or affection. When you no longer expect affirmation from others, you truly become free. Possessed with enormous curiosity and a burning need to merge with the object of your desire, you appear to be in a constant state of transformation and passionate evolution. This can sometimes make life pretty exhausting. You’re so determined to get things right that you can become moody and frustrated with your work. No matter how superb your efforts, you nearly always find something missing or wrong. You’re highly spiritual, even mystical, and may dream of things just before they occur. Déjà vu moments are not particularly unusual for you. Your prescient vision of the world is a wondrous thing that must be shared with others. Your fertile brain is capable of developing innovations in so many areas, from seductive artistic expression to high tech medical research. You’re a misunderstood maverick in a world of followers, but your powerful desire for acceptance may rein in some of your wilder notions. In other words, there’s a lot more to you than meets the untrained eye."
"Resist the temptation to buy everything you want this year. You can do that later, after your investments start paying off."
"It's okay to be serious about your aims in life but not so serious that you lose your ability to have fun. Every time you feel the corners of your mouth begin to turn down this year you must think of something amusing that gets you smiling again. It's not so hard - life is meant to be fun."
"You protect your privacy, and resent it when people try to pry into your personal life. Try to find a way to keep your boundaries strong without scaring friends away. It's up to you to find new ways to do the same old things now that the Moon is in your 6th House of Familiar Routine. Your habits have become a bit stale, so it's certainly time to spice them up. Although you may be rather cautious now, don't be afraid to try something different. Paradoxically, you can make your life more enjoyable and more stable by breaking up the stuck patterns."
So there you have it -- Me in a nutshell. I found the first and third to be the most accurate to me.
Will You Still Need Me When I'm 54,
I'm in love. I haven't been this ramped up about something since I first saw the announcements for the Bugaboo Cameleon. Peg Perego has just announced it's Skate Stroller. And from the looks of it it will deliver in ways that others have fallen short. It looks like the hybrid child of a Stokke Xplory, Bugaboo Cameleon and even the Quinny Buzz.
First of all it has a bassinet and child seat. The seat can telescope up and down. It has tilt options and of course the child can face outward or inward. And my key selling point ... it folds down into one piece. I simply CANNOT wait to get my hands on this beauty.
The color options aren't nearly as cool as a Bugaboo BUT they are still simple and pretty and if the stroller performs the way it should, the fabric will not matter. Looks like it might run $900 OUCH, here's another peek at it. But regardless, based on what I'm seeing, we might have a mainstream contender to the luxury stroller biz.
Skating on Thin Ice,
OK, so I was prepared to embrace the bouncy seat. Everyone's baby loved them ... they soothed babies to sleep ... they worked magic ... right? Read on ...
I fell in love with the Fisher Price Baby Papasan Bouncy seat that matched my swing. It was soft, plush and BEAUTIFUL. It was quickly added to my registry. The day of my shower came and it wasn't in the gift pile. So my best friend and I hopped over to Babies R Us after the party to pick up some things with the gift cards I had. She wanted to buy me my bouncy seat. So there we were in BRU with the vast selection in front of us, when I spotted the Eddie Bauer Soothing comfort bouncer. It was in light, neutral, tan colors with cute little bear decoration. I still liked my Fisher-Price selection best and then I saw the option that sealed the deal.
It came with a mesh canopy that not only provided nice sun coverage BUT actually could zip up all the way to provide protection from bugs and animals! With two dogs at home I was worried about them having easy access to her. This solved that problem. So, home it came. WELL... 9 months later it's been used maybe 5 times. She didn't care for it. It didn't really soothe her, not that she didn't LIKE it. It just didn't do the trick. That being said, it works for TONS of babies! Just not mine!
Soothing Comfort Bouncer - B is For Bear
Made by Eddie Bauer
Two-position netted canopy for outdoor use
Two-position seat (reclines to bassinet for naps)
Two-speed vibration and soothing nature sounds
Adjustable and removable soft toys
Soft padded headrest
Machine washable and dryer-safe quilted seat pad
Priced at approximately $50
Find yours on Google
Buying Tip: Bouncy seats are great for traveling. We took ours on a beach trip with us ... and it helped as a seat for LLB and a place for napping in unfamiliar surroundings.
Bounce Baby, Bounce,
Every mom knows this battle well. It probably ranks, in terms of debate, with vaccinating, breastfeeding and well you get the picture. Should little ones watch TV and what are the ramifications of letting them.
We've all seen the reports ...
Early childhood TV watching causes ADD.
Children who watch Baby Einstein videos test lower then those who didn't. And the latest,
Too much TV watching leads to autism.
To me, these are all scare tactics -- ways to get parents in their guts and make them freak out. Too much TV is a bad thing, I hope EVERYONE is aware of this. But 10-30 minutes of TV every now and then so you, as Mom, can unload the dishwasher or make dinner or just UNWIND is not a bad thing. If it helps both you and the child recharge and take a time-out of sorts, there is NOTHING wrong with it.
If you can't tell by now, I'm a FIRM believer in everything in moderation. There is a GREAT article in the October 2007 issue of Parenting Magazine that addresses this very question. I can't find the article online, I'll try to scan it later. But the woman tackles this the way I've always believed. The trick is monitoring usage, screening the entertainment and being involved. Make sure the images don't move too rapidly or depict scenes your little one can't handle. Look for shows that are targeted at your little one's age range. And limit their intake to little bits here and there. Also participate with them while they watch. Ask questions about the show with them, engage them.
I don't know about you, but my almost 2-year-old will not sit still for a TV program but if it happens to catch her eye she'll watch for a little bit. The larger issue here, in my opinion, is the parent. An involved, loving, caring parent does not have to worry about the small doses of TV their child is "ingesting." It's the parents who use the TV as a babysitter all day that should worry and sadly they likely aren't worried one bit.
Sesame Street Taught Me Everything,
OK, so there are so many different models of Exersaucers on the market that one could go crazy trying to pick one out. I registered for the Evenflo Exersaucer SmartSteps, it looked like a lot of fun and the reviews on Amazon for it were great. It was the most expensive one on the market, but hey if someone else wanted to fork over the money for me, who was I to complain?
Well my baby shower came and the Exersaucer appeared in my gift pile. I was sooooooo excited! Now, I had my nursery set up MONTHS in advance so I was busy putting together toys and gadgets for her already. I decided since the Exersaucer would take up so much space to hold off on putting that together and shoved it under her crib!
At about 3 months I was told by some more experienced mothers that as long as a baby has good head control they are ready to use it. Just place some blankets in front and behind your child to help her/him from flopping around! Well before I could even put the thing together my hubby got a call from his boss, their neighbors were moving and had an exersaucer that had never been used for us. Hubby brought it home the next day. It was the Baby Einstein one made by Graco. I preferred the one I had registered for BUT this one was already assembled and FREE after all... who was I to complain.
A couple weeks after he brought it home I put her in it for the first time. She LOVED it! It was a whole new world for her and I liked how it entertained her and freed up my hands. LLB was never a fan of laying down ... she thought it was for bed time, so the fact that this kept her standing made it an enjoyable activity.
I was able to take my Evenflo one back to Babies R Us and get a store credit, they are EXCELLENT about this kind of thing. But I still like that particular model and would definitely recommend it to other mothers! LLB seemed perfectly happy with the Baby Einstein one though, so I'm glad we kept it.
At 3 months, trying it out for the first time
Baby Einstein Discover and Play Activity Center
Made by Graco
Nine interactive toys help develop sensory and motor skills
3-position height adjust grows with your baby
360-degree swivel seat allows baby easy access to tray and toys
Priced at approximately $80
Find yours on Google
Buying Tip: The cloth seat is machine washable in cold water and delicate setting. Metal and plastic parts can be cleaned with household soap or detergent and warm water. If your registering I say go for the Evenflo Exersaucer I mentioned before it has like a MILLION toys and gadgets! The Baby Einstein seat is basic and I've actually come to love that about it, but I can't help but be envious of all the stuff the other one has!Who Needs a Baby Gym,
I love holding my little bean. BUT sometimes, enough is enough. I'm not one of the "Attachment Parenting" people, but I see nothing wrong with "wearing" your baby if it's comfortable for you and your baby likes it. I decided I wanted to try out a carrier. I chose the Baby Bjorn Active Carrier. It offers more support then previous models with a lower back support.
She LOVED the Bjorn, it allowed me to walk the dogs, vacuum, just about anything without her crying. Unfortunately for me, it still put a strain on my back, and wearing her in front of me wasn't always the most optimal position! I tried the PreMaxx Baby Bag ... she HATED it ... lying down wasn't for her. I tried it when she was like 3-4 months old though, so it's possible had I done a laying down one from the start she would have been a bigger fan. So I continued to use the Bjorn, in moderation!
The first time I put it on I was discouraged at the effort it took and thought I wouldn't be using it that often. By the third time I had it down pat and now I can do it with my eyes closed. My lesson is simple, give it several tries before you give up. Practice really does make perfect!
Here are the LLB and I on one particularly COLD winter night, when I needed to walk the dogs.
She was less then one month old when that picture was taken but the Bjorn held her in and I felt she was secure!
Made by Baby Bjorn
Comes in several different colors
Can be worn as early as your baby's first week
Extra back support directs your baby's weight away from your shoulders
Priced at approximately $120
Find yours on Google
Buying Tip: One of my favorite features is how it unhooks at the bottom to make it easy for diaper changes or to even lay down your sleeping baby. Try it on at the store, make sure you like it. Scour eBay and Craigslist for good deals, you don't HAVE to pay full price.
Just Call Me Kanga,
When I was pregnant I heard about the Bella Band. I didn't know of a local store that sold them, and I'd certainly done my share of spandex items that didn't work. So after I had LLB I hit a local boutique and they had them, so I bought one. It's probably one the best things I purchased.
After having LLB I lost a ton of weight, according to the scale I was almost at my skinniest. (By the way this is just ONE reason of MANY why breastfeeding is GREAT) Well my body wasn't skinny though. I still had that tummy pouch and my clothes fit awkwardly. The Bella Band allowed me to wear my old clothes with no problems.
It works VERY simply. It's an elastic band that comes in four sizes (even up to a 24!!!). You select the size based on your pre-pregnancy pants. You can wear it during pregnancy and even after to help hold pants up or smooth the waistline of pants that can't close at the top. I even wear mine still, I love how it smooths my middle out and makes me feel covered.
One last thing it's great for is breastfeeding, I lived in camisoles but this thing does the trick of keeping you belly covered if you're modest. I was/am very modest when I nurse, I didn't want any skin showing and this band helped keep me covered.
It definitely works but if you're like me and want to see for yourself before you do an online order, see if a local boutique near you carries it. If you're sold and ready to order, babystyle.com carries them online.
Stop Sucking It In,
We survived this long without a visit but Thursday we were off to the ER. LLB fell at daycare and they asked me to come get her. She fell while outside on her shoulder and cried if you touched it :-\ Arrived at the ER at approx 12PM and 2 hours later it was nothing. Doctor thought it was a broken clavicle but x-rays showed nothing. They also sent us back to x-ray her arm after the clavicle proved to be fine. We ate some lunch, she was in a GREAT mood. We got her home and she was doing great. She was playing outside with Hubby and she decided to jump off the stairs, obviously she isn’t good at it yet. She fell and landed on her hands and knees. She was a mess after that. I also think her teeth are bothering her so it’s been hard to pinpoint any real source of pain.
Sent her to daycare yesterday with strict orders that if she wasn’t doing OK to call me and I’d come get her in a heartbeat. They knew I meant it and with the occasional whine they said she was fine. I picked her up around 3PM and we did our usual routine, light play and dinner and then bedtime. She seemed to be doing OK to me. She would occasionally whine or cry a little but overall she was good. We ate dinner and got ready for bed. I had examined her a couple of times and decided nothing seemed to be off. After her bath though I noticed some swelling. The doc had said that would happen so I was worried but not ALARMED. We were waiting for Hubby to bring us some Motrin and when he got home, he was worried. Made us head to ER. So we did.
Arrived at 8:30PM, I commented pulling in that I was thinking we’d be out by 11PM… 11PM came and went and we weren’t even back in a room yet :-\ Needless to say 4 hours, one x-ray and one sling later we had a broken clavicle. When she fell while Hubby was watching her on Thursday she must have broken it, so either she had a hairline that they couldn’t see and that forced it OR she just couldn’t catch herself properly with the pain and broke it. Either way the girl has a broken clavicle and is doing great considering. Here are some x-rays and a shot of her with the sling. Which by the way she wanted gone 5 min after the pic.
October 11, 2007 1:30 PM
October 13, 2007 12:00 AM
Sticks and Stones May Break Her Bones,
The usefulness of The Boppy is often understated. Many write it off as just for breastfeeders ... this is not the case. It is true that The Boppy is GREAT as a breastfeeding pillow, you place it around your middle in your lap to rest your arms and/or the baby on. Mom whose babies had reflux said it's helpful for keeping their little ones in an elevated position. But it's also great as a BABY pillow. When you're little one is in what I like to call the blob phase, you can place him or her on it like I did with LLB in the pic below. They sleep peacefully like this and it can allow you to keep them close while they do.
It also comes in handy during tummy time, just place your child on their tummy with the ring of The Boppy around them. Make sure the edge of the pillow hits just at your baby's arm pits. LLB started enjoying tummy time a million times more when this was done. Here's another pic to show how this is done.
Best of all the girl in me LOVED all the fun prints they come in, you can even pick up slipcovers along the way! I have to admit I was a little "sad" when I was in Target the other day and saw the special Boppy Tummy Time pillow, as this was new and not around when LLB was born. It looked perfect, but to be honest, the original one we had was PERFECT and it would have been yet another toy I had kicking around here after the fact!
The Original Boppy Pillow
Made by Boppy
Come in MANY prints and fabric coverings
Is easy to wash and take care of
Priced at approximately $25
Find yours at Froogle
Buying Tip: I think it's wise to get a Bare Naked Boppy (a plain Boppy) and some slipcovers. This way you are going the most economical route and you get to change the look of your Boppy constantly to make it feel new. The Boppy made for tummy time is nice and all but if you're feeling cheap you can easily just throw some toys in front of your Boppy to achieve a similar effect! Splurge if you want though, I know I often do!
Boppy to the Toppy,
In the past year, the Bumbo seat has become a hot commodity! They've been known to sell out at most mass retailers and can earn a pretty penny on eBay. The supply has gotten better as the demand evened out, and I was able to get my hands on one a little over a month ago.
The seat is made from a low-density foam material. It has a deep middle that the child sinks into and the back wall helps support them in a sitting position. I couldn't believe how grown up the LLB looked in hers. It is easy to take with you and can be used on ANY flat hard surface. Best of all, it's super-easy to clean, just wipe it down!
They make a great on-the-go highchair, just pop it in place and feed. They now have trays for toys and feeding, so the seat is more versatile then ever. I can't even stress how amazing this seat is and what a true helper it is.
The bad news is your child will outgrow it pretty fast. Once they start arching their backs or become mobile this seat will lose it's luster and join the pile of retired things! All in all, for the price you really can't beat it. If you're smart you'll get it before your child turns 5 months and get some REAL use out of it! Also, as I stated the resell on eBay is pretty good and there's always craigslist, too!
LLB enjoyed it when we first got it
Then she learned to do this!
Made by Bumbo
Comes in five fun colors
Doesn't require any uncomfortable straps or fasteners
Baby’s own body weight keeps baby in place
Priced at approximately $40
Find yours on Google
Buying Tip: Start using this seat whenever your child has good head control and seems to enjoy sitting upright. They'll enjoy the view. As with MOST baby products, NEVER leave your child unattended in it.
Now I'm a Believer,
Sure Comfort Newborn to Toddler Tub
Made by The First Years
The upright backrest provides additional support for toddlers.
Fits double and single kitchen sinks
Toys, wash towel or rinse water can be held in the built-in basin
Mildew-resistant pads are machine washable and quick drying for easy clean up
A temperature guard drain plug changes color to indicate when water is too hot
Priced at approximately $15
Find yours on Google
Buying Tip: The thing I liked best about my particular model is it is made to accommodate infants and toddlers. One side has a steep slope to it for baby to recline. And the other is an actual seat for your older baby. We used this tub until LLB was at least 1 year old. The only reason we stopped was because we moved and our new bathroom didn't have room for it.
Let's Get Sudsy,
*this is a reposting of a review originally posted 11/01/06
The wipes warmer is a HEATED debate (pun intended :-P)! Do they really work? Does the baby even care? Do they dry out the wipes? The questions are numerous. And there isn't an answer to them all, but I know this much ...
Shortly before the LLB was born my friend Michelle had her daughter, when I asked her to tell me what items she loved, she offered a great laundry list of stuff. One of her items was a wipes warmer. Now, by this time I had already done my reading on Amazon.com (I love reading people's reviews) and had added one to my registry. But it was nice to hear her insight, especially since she is a bit more frugal then me and wasn't buying EVERYTHING under the sun. Sorry for the tangent, now to what she said, she said something to the effect of while she doesn't know for sure that her daughter liked it, she certainly didn't wriggle and protest being wiped with a wipe from the warmer on a cold day/night!
I agree with her 100%! The LLB would allow a normal room-temp wipe to be used, she didn't cry or protest, but when she was a little peanut just home from the hospital I felt somewhat happy when I pulled the already warm wipes form the holder to clean her with. This made her early "sponge baths" easier too, as a warm wipe did a great job of cleaning her off!
There are MANY on the market. The one I list below is the one I decided on after reading the reviews ... it seemed to be the most loved and I can tell you that it works and it works WELL!
The Ultimate Wipes Warmer
Made by Lionheart
Ever-Fresh Pillow helps retain moisture and prevents wipes from discoloring
Anti-microbial additive inhibits growth of microorganisms that may cause odors and mildew
Large tub holds all standard refill packs
Auto-lid for instant access to Pop-Up Wipes
Priced at approximately $40
Find yours at Google
Buying Tip: Make sure you position your changing table near an outlet, as the wipes warmer needs to be plugged in. Also, keep in mind, that the Ever-Fresh Pillow will require replacing every once in a while. It's also IMPORTANT that you make sure the pillow is wet, I just added water to mine once a week or so and it did fine.
Playing Clean Up
In the end, I won, and I won cheaply! I found the swing on Craigslist... BARELY used for half the full price. I brought it home at least 3 months (if not more) before LLB was due. I folded it up in the corner of her nursery, and just waited. I feel like I stared at that thing forever, just sitting there. But I knew soon I would put it to use.
Finally my day came, we brought her home. That night she was fussy, I was TIRED and my hubby was in the living room playing on the computer. So I put her in her swing and tried to sleep. Now I won't lie to you and say that it completely entertained her. It certainly helped that night and for many more that came after. She took MANY naps in it, and I'm so glad I had it! The manufacturer warns you not to let babies sleep in the swing because of SIDS ... so please use your best judgement!
Certainly check your local classified ads, you can likely get a good deal on this. The seat cushion is COMPLETELY removable and washes easily, and BEST of all, I didn't notice any significant shrinking to the fabric after a light drying cycle. Fisher-Price CLAIMS that it folds up flat, well, the frame does, but the seat doesn't! So don't expect it to be a compact item to store, though it is easier to store then some.
I will admit I have never used it with the sounds or music playing, but they seem VERY nice. We also barely used the toy bar. This was our nap spot most of the time, and by the time she was taking an interest in the toys, we really were done with it.
The LLB at 4 Days and then at 5 Months in her swing.
Nature's Touch Baby Papasan Swing
Made by Fisher-Price
Two swinging motions: front to back and side to side
Infant head support insert
Motorized mirrored mobile
8 songs and nature sounds
Two-position reclining seat
Priced at approximately $130
Find yours on Google
Buying Tip: Keep in mind that the standard infant will outgrow this swing fast er then other models because of the seat, I think it's GREAT for infants though! It's a cradle so once baby can sit upright it will start to lose its appeal. On the plus side the seat does have two settings, a more reclined position and upright position that might help it last a bit longer. There are MILLIONS of swings out there, it's just that this is the one I fell in love with.