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Friday, May 28, 2010

New Friend Friday

Apparently I am going to have a busy blogging day.  That is fine.  I have slacked a bit and need to kick the postings up a notch.  Plus, I really love reading other blogs.  :-)

So I have decided to join in on New Friend Friday hosted by The Girl Creative!
The Girl Creative

I can't wait to meet some new friends!!  Have a great day everyone!

Weekend Review - Toddler Fold-Out Couch

As I was trying to decide what to review this weekend, I thought about things that Reagan really enjoys and I knew I had to review her Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Flip Open Sofa with Slumber.  Ta-da!

She LOVES this couch.  Just before Easter, Pop-Pop sent some money to buy Reagan gifts.  Off to Toys R Us we went and we ended up in the kiddie play furniture aisle.  I pulled down all of the versions of this plus a few chairs and let Reagan check them out.  She kept going back to the Mickey couch and her choice was made.  As soon as we got home she wanted to sit on it.  At bedtime she cried buckets because she had to leave her couch.  First thing the next morning she was looking for it right away.  We knew it was a hit.

She even quickly figured out how to flip open the slumber part but she doesn't yet use the sleeping bag portion of it - she just likes to lounge on top of the built in cover.

What better way to watch Yo Gabba Gabba then from your very own perfectly sized couch.  And the best part is that the cover zips completely off for easy washing.  That is important with snacks, juice and pets involved.

Ahhh, total relaxation!

The best parts of it from a mom's perspective are:  easy to clean, multiple configuration options, soft yet firm foam interior, LOW TO THE GROUND so I don't have to gain any new grey hairs when she happens to tumble off of it.  If you are in the market for a great little couch for toddlers, I highly recommend this couch.  And, if Mickey isn't your thing, there are other cover options available (Dora, Tinkerbell, Cars, etc.).

Disclaimer: This opinion is my own. I wrote this review without the request of the company. They have not contacted me in any way nor did they supply me with any products.  But they can if they want.  :-)

Have a product you really love?  Join in with the Weekend Review!!!

Five Question Friday

Happy Friday!!!  Woo-hoo!  Well this Friday I have decided to join in on Five Question Friday!

If you want to play along too, just head over to My Litte Life and jump on board.

Well, here we go!

1. Is there something you've always wanted to try but just can't muster up the courage to actually do yet?
I am pretty adventurous so fear doesn't stop me from trying most anything.  Money does - but usually not fear.  I guess the best way for me to answer this question then would be related to life decisions.  I would love to start my own small women-owned business to help other small businesses consolidate important tasks that are frequently overlooked or misunderstood with business contracts.  I just don't have the courage (yet) to walk away from a steady paycheck and excellent company provided benefits!

2. If you had $100 handed to you in cash without your significant other knowing about it, what would you spend it on?
I'd probably hide it and keep it for an emergency stash.  In the end it would get spent on Reagan somehow. 

3. What was your favorite piece of playground equipment as a child?
Just one?  Well, if the playground had swings, that was my favorite.  Loved to swing as high as I could and then jump off.  If there weren't any swings (like at my elementary school), then it was the monkey bars.  We'd climb on top of them, hook our feet, bend backwards, grab the underside of the bars and flip ourselves off.  Always from the taller set of bars of course.

4. Do you prefer a sweet or hearty breakfast?
I usually don't eat breakfast even though I know I should.  When I do though, I prefer sweet.

5. Are you a Neat Freak or a Messy Bessy?
Those that know me well will totally call me out here if I lie so I will tell the truth and confess that I am a Messy Bessy.  I absolutely love when I get a chance to make everything clean and organized and I promise myself that *this time* I am going to keep it that way but somehow that never happens and in no time at all it looks like I never cleaned. 

Thanks for reading!  Weekend Review to show up sometime today too.  Have a great holiday weekend.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Cleared to Fly!

I was starting to get worried about flying to Maryland on Saturday with Reagan having her cold.  I spoke to the nurse on Tuesday and she said to bring her in today to get a good once over just to make sure it was just a cold.  So this morning off we went to the doctor.  Our appointment was with a doctor in the practice that we haven't yet seen and she was great.  I really love her pediatrician office - we have seen several doctors there and have loved them all.  As is typical of Reagan at the doctor, she sits nice and calm and is extremely cooperative.  The doctor was laughing at how easy it was to examine her and called her the best patient ever.  I am always so proud of her at the doctor because I know that it can be very scary to have a stranger poking at you but Reagan just seems fascinated by the whole process. 

The verdict is that she has a normal cold, a small amount of non-infected fluid in one ear and great drainage of the congestion.  So, she is cleared to fly on Saturday!

The other good news is that my tiny girl, just shy of 18 months old, has finally broken the 20 pound mark!  LOL  She weighed in at around 21 pounds (she was clothed and tried out the big girl scale for the first time so she didn't stand completely still).  We'll get a more accurate weight at her upcoming 18 month appointment.  Now just because she is finally over the published "magic 20" and over a year old, I will not be turning her carseat forward facing.  After viewing this video and little Joel's website, I was easily convinced to keep her rear facing as long as I possibly can (maybe middle school at the rate she gains weight LOL).  She honestly doesn't mind it and I'll do anything to keep her as safe as possible.

The final news from the doctor visit was that I was chastised, again, for still having a paci clipped to her clothes.  Some of my friends pick on me because I haven't even considered taking it away yet and it has everything to do with the attachment I had to my own pacifier as a small child.  I LOVED my "deedee" almost more than Christmas presents.  When I was about 3 1/2 my parents decided I had to give mine up so they told me I had to leave it under the Christmas tree for Santa to take to a new baby.  They told me that was a condition of getting presents from Santa.  To their surprise, I didn't immediately hand it over.  It was late in the day before I finally chose presents over my beloved "deedee".  I wonder what they would have done if I hadn't handed it over? 

Anyway, I am sure a shrink would have a field day with my transferring my paci love to Reagan's paci and when I told the doctor that the attachment was likely more mine than hers, she told Reagan that she should give mommy her paci.  And the little stinker picked it up and put it to my face.  So thanks Reagan for not having mommy's back.  :-)  The other discussion involved Reagan not trying to enunciate her words and the doctor said the paci probably played a big role in that.  So, to further her development and to save her from being old enough to have the memory of giving up her paci, we will be going to sleep time only after returning from our trip.  If she does well with that, we will take it away at nap time and then finally at bed time.  Paci - I'll miss you!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

No Fun Weekend

Reagan has her first outright cold.  I went on business travel last Monday - Tuesday and it was the first time ever that I was away from her for an entire night.  She did fine but I was missing her terribly.  To make the mommy-guilt even greater, she started with her first ever outright cold the day that I flew out.  She's had minor sicknesses before but never yet like this one.  This one is full on nose dripping, sneezing, coughing, off and on low grade fever and some nights of very little sleep.  The no sleep thing is awful!  I don't know how the mommies of non-sleeping babies do it.  I got so lucky with Reagan - she began sleeping through the night at 3 weeks old and before that she did 5 hour shifts at night broken up by a 15 minute feeding session.  So sleep deprivation at this point is a new thing. 

Anyway, we are getting through the cold and in the interest of trying to help her get better before we fly out on Saturday for a week in Maryland, we stayed home this past weekend and just played around the house.  I really hope she gets better this week because I am not looking forward to a plane ride that might hurt her little ears.  So, that is our exciting weekend report!  LOL

Friday, May 21, 2010

Weekend Review - Fisher-Price Starlight Papasan Cradle Swing

Hello all!  I am joining in with my friend LeeAnn to do a Weekend Review!

The product I am reviewing is the Fisher-Price Starlight Papasan Cradle Swing.  As a frequent baby-sitter for many years before I became a mom, I already knew the wonderful things that swings could be.  I also knew that standard swings weren't all that great for newborns and didn't look very comfortable to actually nap in because of the seat structure and because the recline never seemed reclined enough.  When I came across the FP Starlight swing though, I just knew it had to be great.  The seat looked so comfy and supportive to little necks and the recline and features were incredible.  Have I mentioned that it plugs in!  No worries about batteries (you do have the option though) and no loud winding while the baby is sleeping.  When Reagan was very tiny, I would put a nice cushy blanket in the seat, lay her in it, turn on the lights and music and she would instantly be soothed.  Another nice feature is the swing can position to swing front to back or side to side.  We used the side to side motion most often.

Looking a bit uncomfortable in a standard swing:

Looking much more comfortable in the Fisher-Price Starlight Papasan Swing:

She loved to swing in this swing and watch the light show, listen to the many musical options and watch the mobile circle above her head.  The fact that she could be fully reclined with her neck completely supported was the best feature for me.  I have since loaned it to a family member for when her daughter was born and will be loaning it to a good friend once her baby is born in October.  The swing is just THAT wonderful!

I remember sitting for hours just watching her nap in her swing because she looked so cozy and content.  I never felt bad for placing her there because she was safely snuggled with wonderful music and her little eyes would look at the stars and the mobile in complete wonder until she drifted off to sleep.  I have heard other moms say that their babies did not enjoy being in their standard swings very much.  I bet their babies would have thought much differently if they'd had one of these great swings to enjoy.

Look how happy she is!

We used this swing for a very long time.  :-)

Here are the official stats from Fisher-Price:

The comfy-cozy papasan seat and head support cradle baby in cushy comfort as he swings in a side-to-side or front-to-back swinging motion. A sweet little canopy surrounds baby and sways along with the cradle swing’s motion while 8 delightful songs entertain. Baby can also watch stars float all around as they spin overhead. When it’s nap time, mom can play different music—8 additional lullabies and sounds to calm and soothe baby. And with the flick of a switch, there’s a magical starry night light show that projects onto the canopy! Perfect for helping baby float off to dreamland! The cradle features 6 soothing swing speeds and a 2-position reclining seat. Volume control.

Maximum weight: 25 lbs. (11.3 kg) 
I highly recommend this swing to any expectant or new mom!
Disclaimer: This opinion is my own. I wrote this review without the request of the company. They have not contacted me in any way nor did they supply me with any products.

This is a Blog Hop! - Since I am not sure how the posting of the tools works - see LeeAnn's Blog for the tools to join in!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Infertility SUCKS!

It just flat out does.  No matter if or how you become a mommy, you always feel the weight of being "broken".  A web board friend who I watched go through many a heartwrenching cycle and various treatments is about to deliver her first baby (YAYYYYYYYY!).  I follow her blog for updates and was very touched by one of her many posts on infertility.  She says it perfectly - the shadow of IF.  It sucks!  Thanks Lucy for writing this awesome post!  And I can't wait to see pictures of Little E after his safe arrival!  Congrats!!!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

BEST Mother's Day Weekend EVER!!!

Ok, so there's only been 2 so far but it really was a fun and great weekend.  It started with leaving work a bit early on Friday where I went home, switched cars and took the SUV to get 2 new tires.  Should have gotten 4 but I didn't think the others were as worn as they turned out to be so another 2 are in the near future.  Anyway, it has been a looooong time coming and I finally just went and did it.  Then, I went to Babies R Us where I found the lightweight stroller I want - I have gone back and forth and round and round testing and trying different strollers to try to find one to replace the heavy chunky bulky Chicco Cortina from her travel system and I am so happy to have finally found one I actually like.  Unfortunately, I didn't actually talk myself into purchasing it until after I left the store and I ran out of time to go back to get it - I wanted to mull it over some more and now I know it is the one I want.  From there I went to Target where I got a new tank top, badly needed new tennis shoes and some socks.  I was so proud to cruise through the baby section without making a single purchase!  LOL  After Target it was off to the Hair Cuttery to chop off all my hair.  I have been contemplating a change and finally decided it was time.  Over 11 inches was cut and I feel so much better with all that heavy hair gone!  From there, picked up Chinese for dinner and home to a shocked husband (he got over it).

I got up early on Saturday to go to the zoo with my good friend LeeAnn and her family.  We had lots of fun and Reagan even touched a snake!  Grandmom is going to freak out!  Grandmom LOOK!  Don't you wish you were there to touch it too?!?!?  LOL
After the zoo we went to lunch and the girls had a nice chat while relaxing in the rocking chairs - great times with great friends!

From there we went home so Reagan could take a nice long nap and it was off to my friend Janet's for talk about her upcoming wedding and the carnival with her and Joseph.  The kids had a fun time and Janet and I watched a cute chick flick after we put the kids to bed.  By the time I got home it was after 12:30 - which is very late for me these days (and to think that used to be our starting time! LOL).
Poor Joseph got really scared on the motorcycle ride - the man was nice enough to stop it and let him off.

On Sunday, Reagan slept until 10am.  Then she and her daddy made delicious fruit filled crepes for breakfast.  YUM!!!  We relaxed around the house and played together and had a really fun day just goofing off at home.  For dinner Adam made my favorite steak salad and we got a chance to watch the final 2 episodes of Life on Discovery.  Too soon the weekend came to an end but what a wonderful weekend it was!

I hope all the mommys in my life had an equally great weekend!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

My Paradoxical Child

This post has been growing in my head for about a week now. I just couldn’t figure out how to put it to words without sounding like I was contradicting myself, or that these thoughts are always at the forefront of my mind, or that I don’t feel like I am a mother. I’m still not sure I can accomplish that but I’m going to try anyway. And I apologize in advance – this is going to be a long one.

First off, a confession. I am sure every mother out there has moments of self-doubt and insecurity and I expected some of the same for myself. What I didn’t expect was how the feeling of rejection might come into play. I mean, seriously, an infant needs a mother for its very existence so how on earth could a mother feel rejected by her child, well at least until the pre-teen stage anyway?! I know the day will come when Reagan will become one of those dreaded teenagers and along with a carefully aimed “I HATE YOU” will come a piercing “YOU’RE NOT EVEN MY REAL MOTHER”. My biggest fear. My largest dread. My worst worry. I hope beyond hope that the first time this happens I can remain calm and show no emotion so as to make her think that phrase has no power and therefore causes her to retire it from her arsenal quickly. Or maybe, maybe, I’ll get lucky and she won’t be one of *those* teens. Maybe.

Anywho, I didn’t expect rejection to come into play until later in her life however I felt it creep in early. She was never a particularly snuggly baby. She liked to be held of course but she also coveted her personal space. And forget cradling her in your arms after the first month or so – she was far too interested in the world beyond to tolerate that. Consequently, my desire to hold her close and snuggle her gently and spend time lounging together was met squarely with her desire to not be held close or snuggled or lounge together. REJECTED! I was reassured by great friends that baby girls tend to not be as snuggly as boys and that some babies are cuddlers and some are not and it had absolutely positively nothing to do with the fact that I did not birth her. A small part of me though, a very fragile part of me, was convinced that was precisely the reason – coupled with the fact that I must have, at some point, or too many times, put her down as a young infant when I should have picked her up. That I should have spent more time rocking her before bed instead of trying to teach her to fall asleep on her own. That I propped her bottle too often for my own selfish convenience when I should have been holding her close and enjoying that holding time. (To be honest, most of the bottle propping was a morning thing to get her fed and me ready for work in a timely manner but still, I feel guilty at times.)

And the kicker – baby in pain. She didn’t seem to need me all that much for comfort – shots at the doctor, bumped head, fingers stuck in a toy – she’d cry, I’d comfort and she’d quickly recover and push me away. It sometimes felt to me like she got over it on her own more so than she drew comfort from my hugs. That small part of me who fears her rejection now has even more evidence to show the big part of me that knows Reagan needs me and loves me and isn’t rejecting me. That big part of me though couldn’t stop me from carefully looking at pictures of other moms with their babies to see if their babies were also poised as if to get away from them.

(I should probably explain here that she had just sat quietly through an hour of church, a half hour of socializing and we were standing next to a Crismon tree that I wouldn’t let her touch)

So, this all leads up to a recent change in Reagan’s behavior. My non-snuggly baby is suddenly a very snuggly child. Huh? Where did THIS come from?! Not that I’m complaining – I am, in fact, completely overjoyed. Sometimes she will seek me out and request to be picked up just so she can snuggle in my lap. When I get her from her crib or pick her up when I get home from work she immediately goes into hug mode saying “ahhhhhh” and patting my back with her tiny little hands. Then comes kisses followed by even more hugs. And my heart melts. Baby in pain? Straight to mommy for hugs and everyone else better get out of her way. Scared baby? The safest feeling place must be mommy’s arms because that is where she takes refuge and is able to remain calm. And the greatest of all – playtime love. When we are playing on the floor, or in her playhouse, or on the couch, she will periodically and spontaneously just stop and reach for me to give and receive hugs and kisses. There is nothing better in the whole world! She loves me, she really, really loves me! (LOL)

The paradox you ask? Yes, well just as my sweet child is becoming more cuddly and affectionate, she is also asserting her independence more in the form of a brand-new-never-before-heard temper-fueled scream. It’s almost as good as fingernails on a chalkboard. Right now it is still new enough for me to find humor in it however I am sure it will get old quickly. I don’t yet have it on video but plan to get some footage soon. And it shows up at the oddest times – she’s never loved getting dressed but she’s never hated it either but sometimes lately, the banshee scream shows up during changing time. Or as mealtime is coming to a close she will feel the urge to let me know – loudly – that she is finished. Toy doesn’t work just right for her and cover your ears! I won’t say I love this behavior but I will say I am thankful that she is becoming her own person and I pray she remains confident enough in herself to always show who she is and what she wants, just perhaps a little more quietly.

And one final thought – she loves the Dora “We Did It” dance and you have to do it with her and at the very end she will reward you with her hand in the air and her impression of Boots saying “Wooooo”. ADORABLE!!!
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