Gonna Learn Him Up… Real Good

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My brain is slowly turning to mush. I need adult interaction… and some socialization with other babies would be good for Munchie, too. (He will not grow up to be that socially awkward kid in the corner… not on my watch.) So… this morning, I pulled up the library schedule. Baby Storytime 0-12 months… 10:15am. I look at the clock… 9:20am. Munchie still needed to be fed, changed, get dressed… and I was still in my pajamas. I figured I should shower, seeing as I certainly wouldn’t make any new friends in my current state.

Five minute shower. Mixed bottle. Fresh diaper. Clean clothes (on Mommy and Munchie). Load car. Roll out.

I was quite impressed with our timing. We arrived at the library before they opened. I sat on the steps and fed Munchie. Another mom joined me. Before I knew it, there were flocks of people surrounding me. (Truthfully… kind of shocked, and impressed, that so many people still go to the library.) The doors opened and people flooded into the lobby. I was still stuck out front, feeding the baby. Hurry up Munchie!!! Bottle finished. Baby burped. In we marched.

We walk into the children’s area and get the run down of how this all works. I was issued a ticket… shaped like an animal. We strolled around and read a book… just waiting for the story room door to open. I am pushing the stroller around, trying not to run over children, when the door opens. We walk in… and I’m obviously a newbie. Strollers aren’t allowed in the story room. I unload and park my stroller outside. I was slightly hesitant to leave Munchie’s chariot just chilling in a public place. I mean, should I have brought a bike lock or something? If someone took my stroller… I would be a hot mess!

I returned to the room, plopped down with the other moms, and the group began. I was quite impressed with the structure of the group. We introduced ourselves, sang songs, moved our babies around (I had to be careful not to bounce Munchie around too much… or that bottle might have made a comeback all over the library carpet!), played with a parachute, and read some books. The other moms were super friendly, as were the babies. Munchie and I may have been new, but we were welcomed with open arms.

I talked before about screening Munchie’s friends… and I feel like this library storytime has some promising subjects. If nothing else, these friends might end up bring pretty smart, from all the books they are reading… so at least he won’t be hanging out with the dumb babies. Right? Sorry Munch… when you are older and get to choose your friends, I want you to be friends with everyone… but for now… Mommy has high standards.

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Oh Crap… I’m One of “Those” Moms…

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During my pregnancy, I read stories and blogs about moms thinking their kids were all something special. Don’t get me wrong… every child is special in their own unique way… but these people were bragging about their kids doing normal baby crap. I would read them and think… “So what if you kid can roll over… my dog can do that, too” or “Your baby pooped twice today? Glad I wasn’t around to smell it. Everything they were bragging about was completely normal, non-impressive baby behavior.

I was never going to be one of those idiot moms who drove everyone else crazy talking about her kid being an honors student at XYZ school… and I certainly wasn’t going to plaster it on the back of my car. I wasn’t going to post five million picture of my baby sleeping and brag about how adorable he is. I wouldn’t bore everyone with baby stats… because people don’t care how big my baby is… and I probably wouldn’t remember the numbers anyway… right? Wrong.

My wise cousin bestowed some wisdom upon me at some point during my time as a human incubator. She strongly discouraged me from using the “N” word. That’s right… she told me to NEVER say NEVER… because when you use that evil “N” word… you will most likely do the exact thing that you have sworn off. (I believe the conversation started when we spotted a child on a leash. At one time, I saw this as cruel… but I am beginning to grow fond of the concept.)

I once vowed to NEVER be that annoying mom that people rolled their eyes at… I wasn’t going to be crazy baby obsessed… I wasn’t going to brag about nonsense… I wasn’t going to clutter everyone’s newsfeed with photos of my offspring. No… I was going to be different.

Yeah, right. The moment Munchie popped out and immediately started peeing all over the operating room, we started bragging. The moment his little tushie hit the scale, the measuring tape was pulled, and the crud was wiped off… we were so in love with, and so proud of, our amazing baby. From that moment on, we started spewing baby stats and information. Weight, length, new skills… it was like an infection. I was spilling information about Munchie and just beaming with delight.

At about five months gestation, Munchie started to astound doctors with his growth and development. He continues to do so today. This afternoon, we went in for his 2 month check up. He is 24.5″ long, 15lbs and 8oz, and in the 97th percentile for both. The doctor was baffled when she went to check his neck control. She had him hold onto her fingers and sit… then he pulled himself up to a standing position. She checked a few more things and said that developmentally, he is at a 4 month old level. BAM – SUPER ADVANCED NINJA BABY!!!

I have turned into THAT mom. Sorry world… but when your kid is as kick ass as ours… you just can’t keep it to yourself. (Pretty sure all moms feel this way about your kid… I mean… seriously… the smallest things make a parent so flippin proud!)

HELP! Mommy Has the Camera… AGAIN!!!

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In my defense, I don’t use a camera… I use my phone.  Thank goodness for all of this newfangled technology that lets me take pictures with my phone, edit them, and share them with the world. I can’t even imagine how many rolls of film I would have gone through by now, or how many photo albums I would have filled, or how many boxes of photos I would have in the closet. I also feel like I would have missed some awesome photo opportunities, if my trigger happy finger didn’t continuously tap the screen until I caught the perfect shot. Sometimes I have to take thirty pictures before capturing Munchie with his tongue out… fifty, if I want to catch a smile… and even still, there are some moments that he seems to refuse me the privilege of photographing. I’m just saying… I love the ease and convenience of documenting Munchie’s life. AND… since he is so cute… I document a LOT of it.

Confession: I Get High… On Bargains

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Way before those damn idiots went on TV and divulged their “Extreme Couponing” secrets, inadvertently leading to retailers and manufacturers changing their coupon policies, and ruining couponing for the rest of us… I was a freaking coupon maniac. I didn’t dive into dumpsters, or buy fifty copies of the newspaper… I was just really good at clipping, organizing, and watching for sales. At one time, you could ask me the price of a given product and I could spit it out (usually within a few cents) instantly. I would get a rush from scoring deals. My heart would race as my totals plummeted to levels that surprised everyone around me. My husband would be LIVID with the amount of loot I had scored, arguing “just because it’s free, doesn’t mean we need it.” I beg to differ, Sir.

About two years ago, we switched to a grocery list that consisted of primarily fresh foods. Problem? Those coupons are few and far in between. I kicked my couponing addiction (not to worry… I still have a healthy stockpile of cleaning supplies, toiletries, and air fresheners) and moved on with my life.

As we entered the world of baby consumerism, I began to do the math. (Calculators are my gateway drug.) I… no, wait… WE realized that couponing was going to become a necessary part of our lives again. I have put a healthy limit on myself… limiting my addiction to baby deals ONLY. I posted a few pictures of my sweet scores online… and the questions started pouring in. HOW THE HELL DID YOU DO THAT? SHARE YOUR WISDOM! While I wouldn’t personally call it wisdom, I will take the compliment and share with you my ways.

The photo attached to this post shows my most recent score. I walked away with $93.87 in merchandise for only $19.46. For those of you without a calculator, that’s a savings of $74.41, or 79%. BAM!!! Here is a breakdown of how it was done.

1. I hit two stores. Walmart and Target.
2. I used coupons for all of the Beach Nut stuff. (I sent Beach Nut and email about being a new mom and wanting to try their products. I requested coupons… and they sent them to my house. Sometimes, when you want to save… all you have to do is ask.)
3. I used a coupon for the bottles. (Similac sent me a coupon, as part of their new mom program… keep reading to find out more about that.)
4. I used $60.95 in formula checks. THIS ONE IS HUGE!!! When you find out you are expecting, get EVERYONE in your family (heck, even get your friends to do it) to sign up with the formula companies. You can join their different “I’m having a baby” campaigns. They will start sending you FREE formula and checks to use toward your purchases. Some companies (like Similac) have other products… and they will send you coupons for those. Some stores will only let you use one check per purchase… so buy the cheapest version of their formula (like those Similac cans… $5.18… and I used a $5.00 formula check) and purchase them all separately. I suggest registering for these programs, even if you aren’t planning on using formula. You never know what kind of situation you might end up in. (I didn’t plan to formula feed… and I am beyond thrilled that I stocked up.) In the end, if you don’t use it… you can always donate it. I like to swap checks with other moms, too. (Enfamil for Similac, etc) This shiznit is expensive… we gotta help these mommas out!
5. Shop the clearance racks… from clothes, to bottles, to infant carriers, and higher priced items… you can get them all here! Just be on the look out!

And THAT ladies and gentlemen… is how it’s done.

Confession: You Joked About It… But I Ate It.

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My Facebook Friends will attest… throughout my pregnancy, I ate a LOT of things… but I venture to bet none of them would expect me to consume this. Heck, not even I thought I would eat this. But I did… and here is the story. It took me a while to be able to admit this… but I ate the placenta.

I have tried a lot of things over the years that people might consider “hippie bullshit.” Reiki energy work… reflexology … acupuncture,.. things that are actually starting to become more mainstream. That being said, there had to be a line… right? Well, of course! I was never going to do anything funky, like eat an organ. I have previously mentioned that I tried to keep an open mind throughout my pregnancy… not placing judgement on people who opted for decisions that were different from my own. Placenta consumption, however, was one decision that made my skin crawl. My stomach would literally churn… a feeling that I am certain many readers are experiencing right now.

From the moment people found out we were expecting, placenta jokes started flying around. Again, making my stomach flip each time it was even mentioned. As my pregnancy continued, one of my Facebook friends started posting about a bunch of “natural mom” stuff. I started reading her blog posts… learning more and more about a more holistic and natural point of view. For most things, I could keep an open mind… but again, there was still this topic that made me uncomfortable.

At my baby shower, a friend made a comment, “Hey, are you going to eat your placenta?” I gagged and said, “NO WAY!” The room started to chuckle… and one of my friends chimed in from the corner and said.. “I did.” The giggles stopped, but nothing was discussed any further. We just moved on.

I started to get curious. The friend who “did the deed” was someone I trusted. She was a good mom with awesome kids. So… I started to pick her brain and gain some additional insight. She said that with her first, she didn’t and with her second, she did. She explained the extreme difference in recovery, milk supply, energy levels, moods, etc. After that discussion, the wheels in my mind started to turn. I sent an email to my friend who had been blogging about placenta encapsulation. (I took pills… didn’t make a soup.) She actually has a business and offers the service. I was very frank in my email about my hesitation… just not being able to wrap my head around the concept… thinking it was creepy… etc. She addressed all of my concerns in a very real way.

In the end, I decided to go for it.  I decided I would rather have the pills in my fridge and opt not to take them, than completely pass up on the opportunity. In the end, I was beyond thrilled with my decision. I stick by the mantra, “Don’t knock it till you try it.” I tried it… and it was for me.

I know there is a chance that I will catch a lot of flack from people for admitting that I did this… to which I will tell you… a lot more people do this than you realize. Since sharing my story, I have learned that there are quite a few closet placenta eaters out there.

Binkie Discrimination

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Medical professionals will all fuss over when (and if) you should give your child a binkie. “Nipple confusion” seemed to be the concern. I’m just going to throw this out there… and maybe I just have a really smart kid… but Munchie never had any confusion between the nipple that soothed him and the nipple that fed him. (The rate at which I am using the word nipple is bound to be making some readers uncomfortable at this point… and that makes me giggle.)

Munchie had a binkie in his mouth within HOURS of being born. Why? Well, our justification was quite simple. He is going to suck on something… and we would rather it be a binkie than his thumb. Binkies are far easier to take away at some point in the future. (Not a fan of severed body parts.) We knew we wanted Munchie to be a binkie baby, long before he was born. I like the Soothie pacifiers… so I registered (and received) a ton of them.

Munchie had a Soothie in the hospital and did quite well with it. When we came home, he enjoyed it for a rfew more days… and then started spitting it out. NOOOO!!! My aunt came over and I expressed my concern. “He hates his binkie and he is going to start sucking his thumb!!! What am I going to do?!?!” Let’s face it… if he sucks his thumb, he will need braces for sure. I can’t take a thumb away… and he is going to suck that thumb until he is 20. My kid is going to be the weird thumb sucker, sitting in the corner. My aunt looked at me and said, “Maybe he just wants a different kind of binkie.”

Now… why the hell hadn’t I thought of that? My mom and aunt went out to the store and returned with a PILE of binkies. Every shape, color, brad, size. I didn’t have any idea that so many varieties existed. We busted open all the packages and started our “product testing.” For about an hour, we were sticking different binkies in Munchie’s mouth. Put the binkie in, he would spit it out. Get next binkie and repeat.

After extensive testing, we found the kind of binkie he liked! Being the genius that I am, I didn’t think to organize the binkies in any way… and the manufacturer didn’t print the binkie brand and style on the item, itself. You know what that means? We had two binkies (they came in a two pack and we found the twin) for Munchie… and no way to know what kind they were! (Don’t make this mistake.)

Yesterday morning, we lost our first binkie… which meant we were down to one. Not good. In fact, quite a nightmare! I raced from one store, to the next, hoping and praying I would find our binkie clones. Three stores later… I FOUND THEM!!!!

Munchie now has three binkies. I now know the brand, style, etc… that he prefers. Trust me… we have experienced something quite the opposite of nipple confusion… straight up NIPPLE DISCRIMINATION!!! Suck on THAT… you crazy nipple confusing experts!

Confession: I am Terrified of Bathtime

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I don’t know what it is… the tiny bathtub, the tiny accessories, or the tiny human I am required to clean… but I am terrified of bathtime. Am I using too much soap? Did I rinse all the soap off? Is the water too warm? Too cold? Am I scrubbing too hard? Did I clean out all of his rolls and creases? Does that look like a rash? How did my baby get a freckle? All of this running through my mind, with the constant fear that his is going to freeze when the air hit him… or slip under the water in his tiny little tub. 

No need to call CPS or anything. Munchie isn’t dirty… he is perfectly clean. Thankfully, we have plenty of family who love baby bathtime and come over to help (or help in their own homes) on a regular basis. Daddy is good at Munchie showers, too. I don’t know how they can do it. I guess I just feel safer when my child is fully clothed and a little more… grippy and not so… slippy.

So that’s my confession. Once Munchie can sit up on his own, I don’t think I will worry so much… but for now… I’m a hot mess when it comes to bathtime. If you are in the same boat, I suggest finding a relative, friend, neighbor, responsible looking stranger, etc to help you out. 

One thing I fear more than bathtime? Neck cheese. (Definition: The crusty dried milk that gets trapped in baby neck rolls.)