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Let’s help The Juppy Baby Walker “Get on the Shelf”

Some of you may remember that I did a review and giveaway of The Juppy Baby Walker. The Juppy is the only baby walker that fits in a purse! Right now Wal-Mart is having a contest for small business owners where the Grand Prize winner will get a chance to sell their products in Wal-Mart stores.  Let’s show our support by taking a few seconds to vote for The Juppy. Voting starts on March 7th till April 3rd. Click here to vote. Below is their short video to familiarize your self with the product.  If you would like to receive a daily e-mail reminder to vote once a day for The Juppy click here to sign up. Your e-mail will not be used for any other purpose. Thank you on behalf of The Juppy Baby Walker!

 

Future Fortified

From the day I found out I was pregnant nutrition became extremely important to me so I could make sure that my baby was getting everything she needed to develop and grow like she should.  I began taking prenatal vitamins as soon as we started trying for a baby, and I started making healthier choices about my eating habits.  After Jillian was born, during the short time that I was able to breast feed, I kept up those healthy habits so that she would get the nutrients she needed to thrive in this big world.  She’s on formula now, and even when we begin to start her on solid food, we will always try to make sure she learns healthy choices so that she will always get the nutrients she needs. 

It never crossed my mind to wonder how I would get prenatal vitamins, healthy food, or formula.  I knew that my family had access to all of these things.  Yes, formula is expensive.  The “healthy” food is expensive too.  But we do have the means to get all three of the these things. 

What if you had no access?  What if you were lucky just to score a few bites of something in a day…healthy or not.  So many pregnant women and children in other countries do not get the nutrition they need to be healthy. 

Future Fortified is a campaign of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) to help millions of women and children around the world access the essential nutrients they need to lead healthy,enriched lives. Our goal is to provide sustainable access to improved nutrition for 50 million women and children in developing countries by 2015.

The graphic below explains how Future Fortified works.  Home nutrition packets are a proven cost-effective way for mothers around the world to get essential nutrients into their children’s and their own diets. Small packets filled with a combination of micro and macro nutrients are simply sprinkled onto a child’s meal a few times a week.

The packets cost as little as 3 cents each, making them affordable and allowing families to continue to eat the local foods they eat every day rather than replacing them with new products. Moreover, home nutrition packets keep the power of securing the good health of babies in the hands of mothers.

 

I cannot imagine how helpless I would feel if I were unable to make sure that Jillian had everything that she needs.  Please visit Future Fortified to see how you can help this cause.  You can like them on Facebook, follow on Twitter, and help spread the word about Future Fortified

**I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf Future Fortified. To thank me for my contribution, Mom Central donated $20 to the Future Fortified campaign.

2 Months

Two months ago my life changed forever. In the best way possible. It doesn’t seem like she’s been here for 2 months. I have really been enjoying my time at home with her now that she’s begun “talking” to me and smiling and playing. Just when the fun stuff starts, I will have to go back to work. It makes me sad that at our 3 month update I will have been back at work for a week. But let’s don’t think about that now!

Jillian has started sleeping anywhere from 6 to 9 hours at night and that helps Mommy tremendously. I get more sleep and don’t have to “sleep when she sleeps” so I can actually get some things done around the house while she naps. We like to play and read books in the morning. If she doesn’t take a nap by the time I’m ready to shower, she sits in the bouncy seat in the bathroom with me. We listen to my iPod while I shower and get ready. After lunch we take a walk if the weather is nice. Jillian loves being outside and looking at the trees and birds. Most days she falls asleep during our walks.

At two months some of the things that she should be doing are:

  • Vocalizing; gurgling and cooing.  She does this a lot!  She loves to be talked to and really tries to talk back.  I have noticed she “talks” more to me than she does to other people.  That makes me feel good.  :-)
  • Following objects across field of vision.  She will follow my face horizontally, but not so much a toy.  I’ve tried to get her to track her rattle, but mostly she just stares at my face instead of following the rattle.
  • Noticing hands.  I do think she has started noticing her hands.  When she’s on her playmat, she bats at the fish hanging from the bar.  I’m not sure if it’s on purpose or a coincidence.  She also bats at my face when I’m talking to her. 
  • Holding head up for brief periods of time.  She most definitely does this, especially when she’s being held up on our shoulder.  She can pick her head up and look all around.  Not so much when she’s on her tummy because she HATES tummy time and spends most of her time crying.
  • ADVANCED SKILL:  Smiling, laughing.  She definitely smiles a lot!  I think she is trying to laugh, but mostly it just comes out sounding like a cough.  I can’t wait to hear her laugh. 
  • ADVANCED SKILL: Lifting head and shoulders while on tummy.  Not there yet.  Mostly because she hates tummy time and will only tolerate it for a couple of minutes. 

 

KeeKoo $10 credit

KeeKoo is a new private sales site that caters toward pregnancy and newborn offers. Sales events don’t begin until mid-March, but you can sign up now and get a $10 shopping credit just for signing up. Some of the categories available will be maternity, nursing, beauty, newborn gear, and gifts.  Events have limited inventory and last for 3 days.  I can’t wait to see what kind of offers are available for newborns because my new favorite hobby is spending money on Jillian! If you want to be among the first to have access to these amazing deals, then hurry to KeeKoo and sign up!

Have a friend who might be interested in pregnancy to newborn products for up to 90% off?  Invite them to join as well, and once they accept your invitation they get a $10 credit and SO DO YOU!  Membership is free, so you can’t lose!

Wordless Wednesday

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Today is not only Valentine’s Day, but it is also my 2nd wedding anniversary.  Two years ago today I was in Hot Springs marrying my sweet husband.  We slipped away, just the two of us and enjoyed a wonderful weekend to ourselves.  As we walked out of the wedding chapel after the ceremony, it was raining.  As we left and drove to the bed & breakfast where we were staying, the rain drops turned into snow flakes and made the most magical wonderland just for us.  Even though we didn’t have fancy dresses, fresh flowers, bridesmaids/groomsmen, parties, etc, it was the most perfect day, and I would not have done it any other way. 

 

This year we have another reason to celebrate!  It’s Jillian’s very first Valentine’s Day with us!  We are so blessed to have her here after a long road of infertility and  a devastating miscarriage.  Our life has changed drastically since her arrival 6 weeks ago, but I cannot imagine not having her in our lives.  We are so blessed, not only to have each other, but to have our precious Jillian.  I could not ask for a better Valentine’s Day!

 

 

One Month

Holy cow!  I can’t believe that Jillian is one month old already!  I want the time to slow down so that she and I can enjoy this stage longer.  I know that we have more exciting stages to follow, but I love being at home with her.  The first few weeks were rough, especially with my complications from birth and recovering from my unplanned C-section.  Now, however we are settling into a routine.  Most days, she’ll nap for awhile in the morning so that I can take a shower.  Sometimes that’s at 9 and sometimes not until almost noon!  She enjoys looking at my face while I sing to her or play games like peek a boo or patty cake.  She also enjoys laying on her ocean playmat and looking at herself in the mirror attached to the side. Early childhood developments happen at a tremendously fast pace.

With my background in early childhood and special education, of course I’ve been checking out the typical developmental milestones for one month old babies to make sure she’s on track.  Or maybe even ahead.  :-)   Baby Center has one broken down by month.  Some things she should be doing are:

  • Turning her head from side to side while on tummy.  She can do this!  However, she is NOT a fan of tummy time. 
  • Staring at human face.  She definitely stares at my face when I talk to her or sing to her. 
  • Vocalizing oohs and aahs.  She’s beginning to make cooing sounds, but isn’t consistent with that yet.  She moves her little mouth like she’s trying to tell me all about it, but sometimes nothing comes out yet. 
  • ADVANCED SKILL:  Smiling, laughing.  I’ve seen several smiles, but I don’t think they were all intentional.  I got a smile when making pig noises yesterday and I’m pretty sure that one was intentional.  I can’t wait to hear her laugh. 
  • ADVANCED SKILL:  Holding head at 45 degree angle.  Not quite there on this one yet.  She can hold her head up briefly, especially when I”m holding her up on my shoulder, but not while she’s laying on her tummy.  We’ll work on that for next month!

Newborn Advice I Ignored

1.  Let her cry.  It won’t hurt her.  It might not physically hurt her, but I want her to know that when she calls out for me, I’ll be there for her.  I feel it’s especially important during these first few weeks for me to respond to her cries so she’ll learn to trust that if she needs something, I’m going to meet her needs.  Don’t get me wrong, there are times that she cries….like when it’s time to eat and I can’t fix her bottle fast enough.  Or when I have to lay her down so I can go to the bathroom.  But there’s a difference between fussing and all out crying. 

 2.  Breastfeeding is better than formula.  I agree that breastfeeding provide many benefits to both Mom and baby.   And honestly, when I was pregnant, it never crossed my mind to give Jillian formula.  I had a breast pump, nursing bras, breast cream, nursing pillows, and storage bags for milk that I pumped.  I never even purchased bottles.  However, due to all my complications and physical issues, my body had other idea and did not produce milk.  No matter how bad I wanted to breastfeed, it just wasn’t possible for me.  And trying was stressing me out and causing Jillian to lose weight and be hungry.  So in our case, to have a happy Mama and a growing baby, breastfeeding was NOT better than formula.

 3.  Don’t put her in the bed with you.  This one I struggled with.  Everything you read says do NOT put baby in the bed with you.  It puts her more at risk for SIDS.  We have a beautiful crib, a Pack N Play, and a hand crafted cradle that was a gift from my Dad.  The plan was for Jillian to sleep in the cradle in our bedroom for the first few months to facilitate easier breast feeding.  Well, that didn’t work out, but we still wanted her in the room with us at night.  The problem was/is that sweet Jillian would only sleep in the cradle for 2 hours max.  Not good at night!  So on one sleepless night out of frustration and exhaustion my husband made propped her up on the Boppy in between our pillows and the precious thing slept for 5 hours.  She has been in our bed ever since.  I didn’t really like propping her on the Boppy, and I was nervous to lay her flat due to pillows and covers being so close to her face, so we ended up buying a Snuggle Nest.  I love it because she has her own space and she loves it because she’s right by Mom and Dad. 

 4.  Sleep when baby sleeps.  This is great in theory, but in reality it just isn’t always possible.  Matthew had to go back to work several days after we came home from the hospital, so nap time is my only time to eat, shower, wash bottles/clothes, go the bathroom, etc.  I do try to use morning naptime as my “work” time since I had just gotten up from the night, although I usually don’t get much sleep.  Hopefully this will get better.  Most time I have accomplished a lot in the morning so that I can take advantage of afternoon naps along with Jillian.  On a side note, the very people who tell you to “sleep when baby sleeps” are the ones who will call and disturb your naptime or want to come over and visit while you are trying to nap. 

 5.  If you hold her all the time, you’ll spoil her.  I don’t think that holding a baby is what “spoils” them.  I love snuggling with Jillian while she naps.  Or while she’s awake…this is our best one-on-one time.  We talk and read and play peek a boo.  She loves being close to me as much I love having her close to me.  Time is quickly approaching for me to go back to work and once that happens, our snuggle time will be reduced significantly.  I plan to enjoy every bit of snuggling that she will allow while I have the chance and she still allows it!

 What advice have you been given that you either didn’t agree with or didn’t follow even if it sounded like good advice?

Wordless Wednesday

Headed to church for the first time. 

The Rest of the Story Part 2: Breastfeeding is stressful!

When they brought Jillian to me the first time in the hospital, the nursery nurse helped me feed her for the first time.  She latched on right away and starting nursing.  I was surprised at how easy it was to get her latched on and by the fact that it didn’t hurt.  I had heard so many horror stories about how bad it hurt your breasts and how difficult it could be to get baby latched properly. 

While in the hospital it was so easy to nurse.  Jillian always latched on quickly and seemed to be satisfied afterward. I could raise the hospital bed so we weren’t flat, but we weren’t sitting either. 

Once we came home, it was a little more difficult to nurse.  I no longer had the hospital bed that would raise to the level I was comfortable with, so it was either lay flat or sit up.  Laying flat was what my spinal headache needed, but sitting up was what was most comfortable for Jillian.  Not to mention that we had constant visitors, and I either had to go to another room (which meant walking) or ask people to leave the room for the 45 minutes that Jillian was nursing.  By the time she finished eating, my head, neck and shoulders hurt so bad that it was all I could do to get her settled and get myself laying flat again to ease the pain.  Nights when Matthew was home were better because I could hand her off to him and he could tend to her while I got myself comfy again.  However, he had to go back to work and had ball games to referee at night. 

I kept wondering when my milk would “come in.”  Everyone told me that I would know it when my milk came in, that my breasts would feel heavy or tingly and that I would even leak some.  I never had this feeling.  I didn’t feel like my boobs were bigger, or full, or uncomfortable.  I wore disposable breast pads just in case, but they weren’t needed.  Days went by and still nothing.  When I went to get my staples out, I asked myOBabout it and she said that it sometimes took longer with C-section moms.   Even after a week, still nothing.

Jillian’s pediatrician likes to see breast fed babies during the first week to make sure they are gaining weight the way that they should.  When we went for her first appointment, we were dismayed to find that she had lost several ounces and was down to 8 lbs, 8 oz.  I wanted to continue breast feeding, but we needed to make sure that she was getting enough, so Doc asked me to make sure I was nursing every 2 hours (even if it meant waking her) and to supplement with formula and come back in a couple of days to weigh again. 

By this time, we had done the spinal patch, so my headache was gone.  This made it much easier to be upright in order to take care of Jillian.  However, I would nurse for 30 minutes, feed Jillian an extra ounce of formula in a bottle, change her get her settled, make sure I had clean bottles for next feeding and then it would be time to wake her for her next feeding.  That is all we had time to do.  Many nights, she would cry uncontrollably and we would try our best to figure out what she wanted or how to comfort her.  No luck.  We spent hours in the nursery wondering what to try next to make her stop crying.  Something would work but only for a few minutes.

At her next weigh in, she was down to 8 lb, 4 oz.  Even with the extra ounce of formula she was still losing weight.  At this point she should’ve have been back to at least her birth weight.  Doc told us that she needed more formula in order to start gaining weight.  I was stressed from being a human milk factory 24/7.  Jillian was stressed from being hungry.  Dad was stressed from dealing with us both.  Doc told us we could continue to breastfeed as well as formula feed or we could choose formula only…it was our choice.

In all my classes for both my undergraduate degree and my Master’s it was stressed over and over how important it is for babies to be breastfed instead of getting formula.  There were so many more benefits for both mother and baby.  Mixing a bottle was so much easier; I knew exactly how much food Jillian was getting.  But how could I choose not to do something that benefits my child just because there was an easier option for me?  I appreciate Dr. Albin being so supportive of my choice either way.  Obviously my milk had still not come in.  She explained that my body has been under so much stress (by this time I had developed an infection in my incision) that I had just not been able to produce milk.  The breast milk that Jillian got during the first 2 weeks of her life was better than none at all and while Jillian needed the benefits of breast milk, she also needed a happy mom who wasn’t constantly stressed out. 

So after much though and much consideration, we decided to just go with formula.  And honestly, that was the best decision for us.  Jillian no longer screams.  Yes, she cries and she’s fussy, but she is no longer inconsolable.  Poor baby was starving!  Matthew is able to help me with feeding which lets me rest and get more than 2 hours of sleep at a time.  And at our last weigh in, Jillian was up to 8 lb, 15 oz.  While this is still a few ounces shy of her birth weight, Doc was pleased with the rate that she is gaining and feels like we are finally on the right track.  Hopefully when we go back for our next weigh in next week, she will have passed her birth weight!

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