Category Archives: Parenting

A First-time mommy’s nightmare

The last week has been a hot mess of runny noses, wet coughs, fevers and body aches for my family. We live in the Midwest where the flu has evidently hit hard! It all started the morning after Christmas; our son woke up with 101.5 temperature and nose running enough to fill a bathtub, which for any first time mom can be very scary. AJ had never been sick before this and I hardly knew what to do besides give him a bath to bring the fever down. My husband was so worried that he stayed home from work so we could freak out together. We got through the first day, unable to keep our baby’s temp down with baths and Tylenol for more than an hour or so. We’d decided to take him to the prompt care the next morning because he wasn’t eating much and wouldn’t sleep for more than a couple of hours at a time. I wound up calling the doctor’s office at around one in the morning because we couldn’t get him to sleep so that we could get some sleep.

Finally, the next day came and my sister in law drove us to the prompt care since my husband had to work. We waited about three hours before he was seen and his temp was 103.6. I broke down into tears of defeat as soon as the nurse left the room to get him some Motrin. How could I let my baby get so sick? What had I done wrong? What could I have done better?

All these questions were racing through my head and I almost forgot that I was sleep deprived and still new at being a mom. How could you possibly know how to do something that you’ve never done?

The doctor tested my sick little baby for the flu and wouldn’t you know, he was positive for type A. My poor baby had the flu at just ten and a half months old. I remember when the doctor left the room to write out a prescription for Tamiflu, I hugged my little boy close to my chest and gently rocked from side to side until he fell asleep. In a strange way, I felt as though we were bonding all over again– sharing something that only a parent can share with their child– and just like that, I was no longer the clueless first-time-mom anymore. I felt like I was in control again.

The nurse came back in, gave me the prescription and told me how to use Tylenol and Motrin to keep his fever down. Then she looked at me with a smile and said, “You’re his mother, you have that motherly instinct. Just listen to it. I can’t tell you how much I needed to hear that.

Five days later, AJ is on his last day of antibiotics and now my husband and I are sick, but despite our coughs and stuffed up noses, the only thing that matters to us is that AJ is back to his normal, playful self. I wanted to write this because I know what it’s like to have your baby sick for the first time and feel so helpless and scared. And if just one mom reads this and it helps her know that she’s not alone and that everything will be okay, then me sharing our experience with a sick baby will have been worth it. Another good thing to keep in mind that I’ve come to understand is that because he got sick now, he’s built up some anti-bodies! Which will help him in the long run.

So if you find yourself in the position I was in five days ago, don’t worry mommy. You know your baby. Listen to your mommy voice and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Your doctor’s office has nurses that you can call twenty four seven and they really do help.

I Suddenly Want To Be The Griswolds

4198536813_a86c5aa436_z Growing up in South Florida made it pretty difficult to get into the “Christmas Spirit” although I still loved Christmas. I looked forward to the season every year and often wished that it would snow, just once, on Christmas Eve. I didn’t have my first white Christmas until I was 21, when I moved to New York. It was magical and all, but I was living in the dorms and therefore Christmas decorations were kept to a minimum.

When I moved to Connecticut was the first time I experienced snow during the holidays as well as epic decorations through out the house. My step dad would put lights up outside the house, we had a huge Christmas tree that sat in our living room from the week after Thanksgiving until the day after New Years and my mom and I would bake cookies and apple pies. It was wonderful. But I never thought I would want to literally vomit Christmas Spirit as badly as I do now that I have a family of my own.

When Adam and I first got together, the most we would do to get into the Christmas Spirit was put up a small tree (the only size we could fit in our one bedroom apartment at the time), exchange gifts and maybe watch one or two Christmas movies. The following year, we did the same and I added making “Bear Waffles” on Christmas morning into the mix. Our third Christmas together (last year), I was pregnant with our son and had already started wondering what Christmas would be like with our child with us. It was exciting, but the following morning, our tradition of Bear waffles and Christmas movies continued as usual but I made no effort to add to our tradition.

Now that we’re in the Midwest, with a house of our own, a nine month old and family close by, I feel this urge to cover our home (inside and out) in Christmas decorations. I have this beautiful image in my head of Adam and AJ standing outside, Adam squinting slightly as he tries to visualize hundreds of Christmas lights on our house, deciding where he should start. AJ rolling his eyes and lazily swinging his arms from side to side as he wonders how long dad is going to keep him outside in the cold. I know that this is a fantasy that has little chance of happening, mostly because Adam isn’t very enthusiastic when it comes to the holidays. He works in retail, so I tend to give him a pass on this.

Maybe when AJ gets older, he’ll change his mind when it comes to Christmas decor and I certainly hope so. Because now that we reside in this town (where we will likely reside for the rest of our lives), I have a need to build stronger family traditions. Especially since now we have a family of our own. I dream of one day stepping outside to tell my husband and our son that dinner is almost ready while hoping my announcement won’t startle either of them into falling from the roof where they’re hanging twenty thousand twinkle lights. To hear Adam yell in rejoice as he calls his family outside to see his masterpiece. To stand in our living room with the lights off as we stare at our decorated Christmas tree while listening to Elvis Presley sing Christmas classics.

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To stand in front of our illuminated home, as a family, and relish in the Christmas cheer. I know it sounds pretty ridiculous and it certainly isn’t what Christmas is all about. However what Christmas is about is family, tradition, love and peace. As a mom, these are the things I strive for.

And so even though being like the Griswolds mostly happens in the movies and even though Adam isn’t a “Christmas Cheer” kind of guy, I believe that building our family’s traditions are important. So I’ll keep trying, I’ll keep adding traditions. I will strive for Griswoldism forever.

What are some of your family’s Christmas traditions?

Baby Registry: What is suggested and what you need

I thought it would be nice to do a series on pregnancy since some of my friends have been announcing that they’re going to be mommies! A new baby is so exciting, especially if it’s your first one. It can also be very overwhelming for a first time mom because, while you’ve heard stories from friends and family about what to expect, you don’t really know what your own experience will be like since every woman and every pregnancy is different. I, for example, never got the morning sickness that people often talk about or the hemorrhoids (thank God!) that some women have told me about. All you can do is go along for the ride, try to read up and take as many classes as you can and let yourself experience being pregnant for the first time.

In my first post on this topic, I talked about considering using Amazon as one of the places that you register for your new baby. Once you’ve figured out where you want to register for baby gear, the next step is deciding what to register for. A lot of places offer “suggestions” for you to consider and some of the suggestions are things you will definitely need. However, a lot of them are things you probably won’t ever use. So in part 2 of this series, I’d like to give you mommy-to-bes some tips as to what you will definitely want to put on your registry and what you can skip purchasing or registering for.

This is a list of the things I personally have and use (or have used) for my son:

Bassinet- For the first three and half months of our son’s life, he slept in a bassinet which we kept on the coffee table in the living room (I’d had a C Section and couldn’t lay in bed, so I slept on the recliner until I’d healed a little more). Adam’s mom had given it to us at our baby shower. The great thing about the bassinet that we had was that we were able to bring it anywhere! Most of the day it sat on the coffee table so that I could keep an eye on AJ, but at night once I started sleeping in our bedroom again, we would bring it into our room and place it on the dresser! Even though we already had a crib, we felt that AJ was simply to little to be in that big open space, so the bassinet really came in handy!

Here is a picture the one we used:IMG_20140427_114418_153

Crib– We bought a crib for our son to put in his room but didn’t end up using it until he was about four months old. Still, it was good for us to have gotten the crib anyway because the one we bought has a changing table attached and can be later converted into a toddler bed and then converted again into a full bed! Now, having said this, this doesn’t mean that you necessarily need a crib before your baby is born. If you plan to use a bassinet for a while, you can always buy the crib later when you and your baby are ready. Also, when you’re putting the crib together, do so IN the baby’s room. Don’t try to put it together in the living room and then move it into the nursery. It won’t fit through the door and you’ll have to take it apart and put back together again. Promise 🙂

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Car Seat– You can’t bring your baby home from the hospital without a car seat 🙂 This is something you absolutely need before your baby is born so that you can figure out how to use it properly and secure it in your car (don’t forget that all newborns have to be rear facing! That means they should be facing the back windshield). The car seat we purchased will likely have to be replaced soon as AJ continues to grow, but I know I’ve seen plenty of moms with car seats that last all the way until their little ones are two and then can be converted into a booster for when they’re still too short for the seat belts to go across their chests properly. I recommend looking into those car seats as it will give you the most use for your money!

Pack-N-Play– You would think this would be something you could wait to purchase or not purchase at all! You can certainly do that, but if you’re using a bassinet for the first few months, it would be a good idea to get a pack-n-play as well. As I mentioned before, we kept AJ’s bassinet on the coffee table during the day and since we’d already put together the pack-n-play, we turned it into a make shift changing table! You can totally do this, too! Just make sure that whichever pack-n-play you purchase has a napper that you can flip over into a changing table. We used the open space in the pack-n-play as kind of a changing station. We kept diapers, wipes, desitine and extra onesies there. It was so much easier with everything in one spot (bassinet and changing station).

Diapers of ALL sizes- My sister-in-law started stocking up on diapers from the moment she found out she was expecting. My niece is now seven months old and she STILL hasn’t had to buy any diapers. This is a situation you will be happy to find yourself in! Start stacking up on diapers ASAP and get all different sizes. If you find yourself with an extra box of a size that’s too small, you can take that unopened box to any store that sells that brand of diapers and exchange for the bigger size! No money lost! Personally, I like the Pampers brand best, but register for more than one brand so you can try each one and see which works best for you and your baby.

Boppy Pillow- Please, please remember to invest in one of these. It makes breastfeeding much more comfy and makes it easier as well.

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SwaddleMe- You can definitely swaddle your baby with blankets but if you’re like us, no matter how many times people show you how to do it, you just can’t get it right. Anytime we would swaddle AJ in a blanket, it would look perfect and then five minutes later he would wiggle his way out of it and cry. We had gotten a pack of swaddles with velcro on them and decided to give them a try…huge difference! AJ would stay asleep for so much longer and he wasn’t able to wiggle out of it. Definitely invest in a few of these! You can find them pretty much anywhere, including on Amazon!

Stay tuned for part 2 of this list and be sure to check out Amazon.com for your baby gear needs 🙂

Disclosure: The owner of this website, Amanda, is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking muchadoaboutmommy.com to Amazon properties including, but not limited to, amazon.com, endless.com, myhabit.com, smallparts.com, or amazonwireless.com.

Registering For Baby Items: An Untapped Resource!

Disclosure: The owner of this website, Amanda, is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking muchadoaboutmommy.com to Amazon properties including, but not limited to, amazon.com, endless.com, myhabit.com, smallparts.com, or amazonwireless.com.

I’ve noticed that a lot of my friends have recently found out that they’re expecting a little one! Congratulations! I’ve decided that I would do my next blog “series”  on preparing for a new baby, as I finished up my adoption series yesterday. I think all the new mommy-to-bes can really benefit from a series on being pregnant. I want to start with the registry…now, most everyone knows how to register for baby stuff, but just in case you’re like me and don’t really know how you go about it, here’s the break down: You go to your favorite stores and typically them have a kiosk you can use to put in your names, address, when you’re due and so on. You will then get a print out which you take to the customer service desk. They give you a scanner and off you go!

During my pregnancy, I remember how much fun it was to register for baby stuff that we would need when AJ graced the world with his presence. I also remembered how overwhelming it was at first and how the longer we stayed in xyz store, the worse my random charlie horses would get. We also had a considerable amount of family that lived elsewhere. Okay, they all lived in a different state…but the point is we decided to register on Amazon as well as the local stores in town. We were amazed at how many things (and cool things) they had on Amazon!

We didn’t even have to leave our living room to register for a TON of stuff we would need when the baby was born and some of them were items they didn’t even have at our local stores. Not only that, but registering online also allowed me to eat a huge plate of food while I browsed through baby gear- something that would make any pregnant woman happy as a clam. As I stuffed my face and equally stuffed our registry, I couldn’t keep from smiling around my food at the fact that I was shopping for my baby while sitting on my bottom. And the best part? Instead of trying to schedule going to the store and sifting through the pages of your registry, your family and friends can look for a gift online from the comfort of their own home and have it delivered to your door-step!

Seriously, how awesome is that?

“But wait a minute…I’m totally having a baby shower. What if they want to bring the gift to the baby shower and give it to me there?” Well then they can have it delivered to their house! Woot! Double win, ladies! You get to make your registry while sitting on your couch in your PJs and your family and friends can do the same while shopping around for you and your little one. Plus, think of how convenient it will be for those out of town family members!

We loved the Amazon registry, not only for the convenience but also because we were still getting goodies even after AJ was born. This is probably because your registry never goes away. I just checked to see if ours was still there (almost a year after we first made it) and it is there! It stays there until you delete it! Which means that if someone can’t make it to your shower and hasn’t gotten you a gift yet, they can simply go to Amazon’s website and look up your registry!

Amazon is a great untapped resource for registering for a new baby and it’s free! You already know how I feel about free.
Shop Amazon – Create an Amazon Baby Registry

Week-Long Social Media Strike Inspired

A friend of mine from high school, fellow creative mom and owner of Little Miss Mrs, Amanda Burton, recently participated in a social media cleanse with 8 other creatives. For one week, they refrained from visiting Facebook and Instagram and Amanda even went as far as to delete the apps from her phone. That’s how committed she was to this! She was determined to spend the extra time on her blog, spending quality time with her family and strengthening relationships she’d built with fellow creatives.

It’s a genius idea, I have to say, but it’s definitely a lot easier said than done. I had never really given much thought to how much I time I spend on social media daily until Amanda shared her experience. It got me to thinking about how my son seems to be growing at an exponential pace, and the fact that I am constantly “scrolling” through Facebook, Instagram and now Tsu (the latest in social media for bloggers) was making me miss a lot of time with my precious Bubby. I realized that while being active in social media helps me network with inspiring people and also helps me grow as a blogger, what really matters is the reason I started blogging in the first place- my son, my family and my passion for being mommy to a wonderful little boy.

I felt it was important to share Amanda’s experience with you, fellow mommys, because even if we don’t abandon social media all together, even if we don’t take a week off, we can certainly be aware of how much time we spend online instead of with our families. I encourage you all to read Amanda’s blog post about her “week off” and what she learned during the experience. Maybe it will inspire you to try it as well! I propose we schedule our own week off from Facebook and Instagram, and after the week has concluded, we write about what we did with that extra time 🙂 Who’s in?

Here’s the link again for Amanda’s blog post about her week away from Facebook and Instagram!