Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Nursery

After months in the works, the baby nursery is finally finished! 

Not going to lie, it was a bit of a challenge trying to decorate without knowing the gender, but I wanted to stick with colors and textures that were the vibe of our house already. Plus, I'm not a pink or purple, diamond studded, "princess" type. In fact, I'm sure I was told on numerous occasions growing up, "You ain't no damn princess." So if I do have a girl, let's just hope she's more of a blue/green kind of gal like me. 

The space we had to work with wasn't huge, so Kyle had the idea of adding a Murphy Bed Wall Unit so that our queen bed could still be useful in that room. I not only like the look of it and its storage, but that it is functional as well. Point for Team Husband!




















Crib: Jenny Lind Convertible Crib  Crib Sheets: Quick Zip  Crib Skirt: Carousel Designs  Rug: Living Spaces  Glider: Pottery Barn Outlet  Pillows: West Elm  Murphy Bed Wall Unit: Costco  Woven Baskets: The Container Store  Oars & Adventure Wall Art: HomeGoods Lamb Rocker: Pottery Barn Leaf Wall Art: West Elm   Poof: The Land of Nod

If anyone has questions about any of the products, be sure to comment below or shoot me a message!



Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Third Trimester Q&A

Here we are. The home stretch! And in less than two months - it's about to go down! It's crazy to think about how much life is going to change. I know I'll never be fully prepared, but I'm giving it the ole' college try.  

Here is the last Q&A session with your I Guess I'm Due editor, Ester. Enjoy this candid convo between a mom-of-three and a struggling mom-to-be!




 1. Okay, so really give me the low down. Everyone says how amazing the Second Trimester is and then it all goes down hill in the Third. I've been alright so far, a few random pains I refer to as "Lightning Vagina." (Sorry for the mental image, but its the only thing I can say that really paints the picture of the sensation down there. Especially on left side. Weird. TMI. Moving on...) I think it's due to the baby's growing weight and increasing pressure. Anyways, please shine a light on my last few weeks. 

E: These last few weeks are bitter sweet. The anticipation knowing the little one will soon make its debut soon is hard to manage. The bond that you've been sharing with your little one in utero will soon be over. But, knowing you'll soon be holding your baby and create a new bond in unexplainable.  

2. Confession - I really haven't read much about the kid. But I do plan on reading Babywise this week which you sent me. We also watched Happiest Baby on the Block which you recommended and signed up for an Infant CPR and a Babycare Basics class. Anything else I should study up on or should I just plan on winging it like I do with a lot of things in life? 

E: I'd recommend taking a breastfeeding class. Although it's suppose to be a natural thing for mom's to do, I found it awkward and complicated the first go around. A few extra tips from an expert will never hurt!

3. Now onto health and exercise. In a weird twist of fate, I am now craving everything I couldn't stomach in the First Trimester. I want tons of fresh fruit especially watermelon, and fresh salads with tons of cucumber. Is there anything else I should try to eat right now and how hard does exercising get toward the end? 

E: Just keeping eating a healthy variety of foods. Shrimp and salmon are great brain foods for the baby. And don't be surprised if exercising becomes harder with all that pressure. Expect to take bathroom breaks about every 15 minutes. 

4. I know there are tons of services out there right now that make life easier for moms. We were planning on signing up for Amazon's diaper and wipes delivery and thinking about getting our groceries delivered at least for the first three months. Did you ever use any of these services? If so, which do I really need? 

E: We love Amazon! Diapers and wipes at your doorstep?! Could it get any better? I haven't tried grocery delivery, only because my small town doesn't have that service. But if we did I'd be all over that! I'd also recommend looking into a company like, Blue Apron, that delivers meals to cook. It'll save you time and energy trying to decide what to put on the table. 

5. Thank the Lord Jesus, you are coming out in May to help me get ready for this. Kyle and I had a conversation that went as follows: "So, um what does the kid sleep in?" "Uh, Pajamas? A swaddle? Maybe a onesie? Oh, I don't know... We'll just ask Ester when she comes out." Just so you know, that has been my response to everything. Are you sure you want to take on the task of helping us idiots out? 

E: Are you kidding?! I can't wait!



Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Updated Ultimate Baby Registry Guide

When I decided to take on the task of tackling the Baby Registry back in the spring, the first thing I did was take a look at our I Guess I'm Due Ultimate Registry Guide. That was my jumping off point. I then surveyed all of my other mom friends and they were kind enough to send their excel sheets and recommend brands and products. 

I decided to register with MyRegistry.com because the site allowed me to combine multiple registries into one.  So my registries at Amazon, Target, & Pottery Barn Kids (Which I would not recommend. Things were constantly on back order or out of stock. Very frustrating.) were combined into one. 


A registry can be a daunting task. (All that work, and then no one seems to follow it anyways!) It is important to put everything you want on there, because if it is not gifted, you can use the completion discounts from the sites to purchase any of the items you need in the end! 


Everyone has different tastes and every baby is different, but I wanted to update our guide and provide you with pictures & brands of EVERY ITEM on my list in order of importance in hopes of making your life easier! 

**This has been updated since I've had the baby. I'm now a year out - so the products on here are the ones that worked for me! It also includes what we went out to buy after baby was born.**




ESSENTIALS

Crib: Of course those fancy cribs can be mighty appealing, but I opted for a simple, traditional look at a very affordable price and went with the Jenny Lind Convertible Crib


Crib Mattress: These too can be expensive, but I figured there was going to be sheets and pads on top, so why spend an outrageous amount? I went with the DaVinci Hypoallergenic Mattress because they also made my crib, so I knew it would fit. 

Glider/Rocker: I was shocked at how expensive these dang things were! Even simple ones were $300 bucks. Luckily, we found our Sparrow Glider at the Pottery Barn Kids Outlet, so it was close to 70% off. Always check outlets or Craiglist before you pay the full amount for these things!


Travel System: We opted to go with the Stokke Brand for Carseat & Stroller, but I've also heard great things about Britax, and UppaBaby Travel Systems as well! In hindsight, I should have just gotten one that converts to a double stroller, now that we are thinking of expanding. If you want more than one, think about this before you buy a stroller! Be sure to also get a stroller organizer - it's perfect for holding your water and phone while out shopping or on walks! Also 'The Mommy Hook' is perfect for holding all of your groceries!


Crib Sheets & Mattress Pads: QuickZip Sheets all the way! I bought the drop-in sheet with base, two heavenly soft covers, and two QuickZip Mattress Pads


Monitor: My husband was trying to be tech savvy and use an app (which will work during the day, but uh, your phone turns off at night). So we went with this Video Monitor by Motorola for nighttime. It's pretty basic and there are new ones out there. We will most likely get a new one in the future that is wireless. Now that she is mobile, it's proving to be an issue. Once again, things you don't think of with a newborn!


SOOTHING ITEMS


Rock n' Play: Out of every mom I talked to, the Fisher Price Auto Rock n' Play was a must have! Most of their kids preferred napping and sleeping in this over anything else!


Bouncer: There are tons out there and I'm sure all do the trick. I wanted something very portable. This Baby Bjorn Bouncer came highly recommended because it uses the child's movements to get it into motion and converts into a seat for toddlers. We also got another bouncer from one of Kyle's co-workers. It is by Bright Starts and she likes this one the best because the toys hang down in front of her! For bouncers, I'd go with the simple Bright Starts one!


Swing: We went with the Fisher Price Cradle Swing and thank God we did. This is her favorite device and allows me to get things done around the house while she's in it!


White Noise Machine: I was reading reviews and a lot of baby sound machines burn out quickly because of so much use. A friend recommended this Sound Therapy System because it has lasted over four years!


Swaddles: There are so many to choose from! A new mom just recommended the latest swaddle to come out called the NuRoo which grows with your child. I use that for naps during the day. I also went with the Aden & Anais Swaddle Blankets, I don't really use them to swaddle but they are great to have on hand to cover her up. They are light and great for the summer! For the nighttime, lots of people swear by the Miracle Blanket, in the end Rynnie just preferred being double swaddled in her hospital blankets. Be sure to ransack that hospital - take everything! We also purchased the Baby Merlin's Magic Sleepsuit at three months old to transition her from the swaddle - it helped a ton!


Sleep Sacks: I used the  Halo Sleep Sack in size small as a transition out of the Merlin's sleep suit. I then went with the Aden and Anais Sleeping Bags in medium and large, but ended up not using them. Once she started rolling and sleeping on her stomach around 6 months, I just let her sleep in her PJ's. 


Carriers: We went with the ErgoBaby 360 Cool Air Carrier (Because anyone who has played volleyball with Kyle knows he's a sweater. And it's pretty gross.) As for myself, I went with the soft wrap from Solly Baby Wrap and the Beco Ring Sling. I attempted the Solly at week 3 and was too overwhelmed by all the fabric. Kyle and I then went to a Baby Wearing class at the park and figured out what the hell we were doing with these things. It really helped. I now love the Solly Wrap for my long morning walks with the dog. She falls asleep in it every time! And I keep the ring sling in my diaper bag. It is very easy and convenient when you are on the go! Carriers for women are tough, it may take a bit to find the one you like - so don't take the tags off at the beginning!

Diaper Bag: After purchasing and returning about 6 different ones (no joke), I was using a simple Target tote bag but needed something that zipped for when we went through aiport security, so I finally settled on the Skip Hop Grand Central. And now at 11 months, I bought a diaper bag back pack to transition to for travel. I think I'm going to stick with it. Doesn't fit as much, but is definitely more compact and easier to manage now that baby is mobile!

BREAST FEEDING


Bottles, Storage, & Warmer Kit: I just came across this Breastfeeding Gift Set by Kiinde and am pretty psyched about it. The storage bags hook directly to your pump and their bottle goes directly over the bag. No transferring needed! The warmer also warms both bottles & storage bags. (
Obviously you need a breast pump, but this should be covered by your insurance so you won't need to register for it!) Rynn ended up not liking these bottles, so they system wasn't totally utilized to its fullest potential. But if the baby likes it, then it's a win win. Unfortunately, it's always trial and error!

You may also want to get some pump accessories like a hands-free pumping bra and simple bag for all of your pump supplies! I am not the biggest fan of pumping, so at my Mommy and Me class they suggested buying a simple hand pump for when you are on the go or traveling. That is the only thing I use now! It is more comfortable and I enjoy it much better - just a tip if the electric pump is hurting you!

DO NOT REGISTER FOR BOTTLES. Only buy a couple single bottles until you see what the baby likes. We've gone through about five kinds so far! All babies are different and prefer different kinds. You won't know until they are here! The cheap-o simple Gerber First Essentials Bottles with the old school latex nipple is what did it for us!

Nursing Pads: Lansinoh disposable pads or the Target brand. Buy tons of these! Plan on at least a box or two a month!


Bottle Sterilizer & Sterilizing Bags: This item is definitely debatable, some moms say a sterilizer is necessary and others say you can just boil water. Well, our dishwasher sucks so I hand wash everything anyways, and I can barely wait for water to boil for pasta! This Baby Brezza Sterilizer drys the bottles as well which is a plus. Medela Sterilizing Bags are also nice to have on hand in case you need to clean anything in a hurry! I used the big sterilizer alot when she was a newborn and I was more anal about germs, now that she's almost one I never really use it!


Unscented Bottle Soap: Apparently any sort of fragrance can be absorbed by the bottles when you clean them and can turn off the baby to that bottle, so a friend recommended using Babyganics Unscented Dish & Bottle Soap when washing & rinsing off. I purchased this white Boon drying rack for things to dry on and this Boon bottle brush as well. 

Nursing Cover: I went with a simple gray colored cover that snaps up the side. 


Burp Cloths: Extra large Cloth Diapers do the trick!


Nursing Pillow: A couple to choose from, but my doula recommended the My Brest Friend Pillow


Gas Drops: Go with Mylicon. We've tried others but this is by far our favorite. The dropper is much better than the other brands. She likes these best. We give them to her BEFORE her feedings and they really help with gas. Buy stock in these! You'll need them! Pick up some Infant Tylenol too - you'll need that for after vaccinations. If you are still having trouble with gas, you may want to try baby probiotics. Our doctor recommended we do so at 6-8 weeks and it really helped!

Nipple Cream: Medela Lanolin Cream is all-natural and is safe for baby and mom! The hospital gave us lots of samples. You will go through lots of it in the beginning weeks. Use after every feeding!


DIAPERING


Changing Pad: I went with the Summer Infant Contour Changing Pad.


Changing Pad Covers: Make sure to get at least two of these! We opted for the Burt's Bees brand. Also, we bought two packs of Munchkin Waterproof Changing Pad Liners as another protective layer against blowouts!


Diaper Pail: Make sure you get one that you can open with your foot, no one wants to be sticking their hands in that mess! We went with the Dekor Plus Hands Free Pail


Pail Refills: Can't forget the diaper pail bag refills!


Wipes: A friend recommended using WaterWipes from Target for the first three months because her son got bad diaper rash from regular ones. I plan on using Pampers or Costco wipes in the months after that. 


Travel Changing Clutch: A portable extra changing pad and organizer for your diaper bag or car. 


Diapers: Have heard great things about Pampers and horrible things about Huggies. (Sorry - just sayin'!) We only needed one box of newborn diapers at the beginning. After, we started using Amazon's Subscribe & Save and get a box of Pampers Sensitive Swaddlers delivered each month. 


Cleanser & Rash Cream: Mustela Physiobebe Cleanser comes highly recommended for keeping the bottom clean after diaper changes, as well as some Boudreaux Butt Paste for the inevitable rash! And don't forget one of those little butt spatulas to apply the paste!





BATH TIME

Infant Tub: I got a little techie with this one and went with the 4Moms Infant Tub which displays the temperature and gives you a green light when you are good to go!

Shampoo & Body Wash: Mustela 2 in 1 Shampoo & Body Wash has no harsh chemicals and is safe to use early on. 

Mat: Something to kneel on for bath time as the baby gets older. 

Hooded Towels: I'm such a sucker for these. I think the animal ones are too cute! Get a couple, but we went with a duck & bear

Safety Kit: This kit by Safety First contains everything you need for grooming and healthcare for your newborn! We also ended up buying a Nose Frida - it sounds gross, but works the best especially with Little Remedies Saline Spray!

Wash Cloths: Don't forget some nice soft wash cloths for those sponge baths in the early weeks. 

PLAY TIME

Boppy Pillows: A friend gave us her Newborn Lounger, and Rynn loved it her first months and the regular Boppy Pillow is for sitting and tummy time the later months. 

Play Mat: This Rainforest Melodies Mat by Fisher Price. She loves it during playtime. 

Exersaucer: You won't need this for a couple months, but apparently an Excersaucer/Jumperoo keeps them busy once they are on the move! We ended up swapping out the exersaucer for this Fisher Price jumperoo and it has been the BEST INVESTMENT. She's lived in from 4 months to 6 months and is by far her favorite thing to play in. Definitely a must!

Sit-Me-Up Chair: I've heard mixed reviews about the Bumbo, so here is an alternative - the Fisher Price Sit-Me-Up Chair. It's roomier and has a tray and toys. 

ACCESSORIES

Carseat Canopy: This Copper Pearl Canopy is great for shading your little one on walks, especially on windy days, and also doubles as a nursing cover! We also ended up buying the Brica Carseat Cover because an article freaked me out about overheating my child in the carseat. It has a solar cover to protect from the sun, but it mesh on the sides so there is still air flow. It's been super hot here lately and this is the best thing I could find for summer babies! The JJ Cole seems to also be a good choice for a winter cover. 

WubbaNubs: Apparently, I should buy stock in these because I was told to buy a ton of WubbaNubs to have on hand! Kids love them!

Cart Cover: The Comfort & Harmony Neoprene Cart Cover is easy to clean and also doubles as a changing pad. 

Car Mirror: A mirror for the backseat so you can see the rear-facing baby!

Nuk Newborn Pacifiers: We ended up having to go out and buy these because Rynnie was a total sucker and needed one at 2 weeks to soothe her. The Wubbanubs seemed too big so we went with these Nuks and she loved them. 

Sleep Sheep: Great for some cute white noise on the go!

Teether: A Sophie the Giraffe for dreaded teething time.

Wipes Warmer: I wanted a dispenser for the changing table, but then my mother-in-law also bought us a wipes warmer when she came to visit. It really helped and stopped the crying during changes, so we use that instead!

AFTER NEWBORN
These items are last on the list because you won't need them until baby is at least a couple months old. They are lowest priority in terms of registry. 

High Chair: 4Moms just came out with a new Magnetic High Chair. I know it isn't going to stop food from being hurled at me, but it can't hurt! I've also heard good things about the Joovy High Chair. This simple Ikea High Chair has also been recommended by some friends because its super easy to clean! I bought the Ikea one for when we travel to Ohio, and will most likely just buy this one if we have another!

Plates & Bowls: This is the magnetic Starter Set by 4Moms to go with their high chair. 

Food Storage: Some little storage containers if you decide to make your own baby food!

Portable High Chair: Not a necessity either, but this portable high chair came recommended if you want them to sit at the kitchen island or take out to a restaurant! WE USE THIS ALL THE TIME. A GREAT INVESTMENT!

Portable Playard: We are going to be traveling to see family a lot, so a portable crib was important. The Lotus Travel Crib folds into a back pack, which will definitely help us out on trips!

No-Touch Thermometer: Once we can stop taking its rectal temperature, this no-touch thermometer will probably be greatly appreciated on their end!


Additional Convertible Carseat: We have the infant car seat with the travel system, but the baby will eventually grow out of it. People have recommended either the Maxi Cosi Convertible Carseat or the Graco 4ever All in One Carseat for the other car so it can be used until its full grown.


Sippy Cups: These won't be needed until months later, but the Munchkin 360 Trainer Cups have gotten rave reviews. But when you introduc the sippy at 6 months, Rynn had not a clue what to do with these! The Nuk Sippy Cup is what worked best. She takes her milk in this and uses a ThinkBaby Sippy for water!

Food Mats: I saw these EZPZ mats on Shark Tank. They are great for on the go or for at home. The mini mats are best for rolling up in your diaper bag when you're on the run. 

Bibs: Besides the cloth bibs or bandana bibs (the Zoozik or Honest brands are my favs. Honest are small and work best for when your child starts drooling at 2-3 months, plus they are magnetic!) your kid may sport during the day, these OXO waterproof roll up bibs are great for feeding time! I also ended up buying these Green Sprouts bibs when she started teething at 5 months. These are the ones we use each day. The bandana bibs have become ones we wear with cute oufits. The Green Sprouts bibs soak up much more drool. And at 9 months she decided she liked to rip them off so I had to buy these JJ Cole ones with Snaps. If I were you I'd just go with the snaps ones from the get-go. You'll need them in the end!

Playmat: For those of you who have wood floors, we purchased these Skip Hop floor tiles for our living room for her to play on around 3 months. I love it because they still look chic and go with the design of our house!

Carseat Neck Pillow: I also recommend getting one of these Benbat Neck Pillows for your infant in the carseat. Rynn had Torticollis and this helps keep her next straight rather than having to use rolled up blankets to prop her little head up!

Nursing Night Gowns: Last but certainly not least, all you moms of summer babies will love these. I have been living in these nightgowns from Target! I have 7 already because I wear them day and night. They are so comfy to sleep in and I feel like I can wear them out and about as well!

I know, it's a ton. Sorry if I got you overwhelmed. But I wanted to put all of my research and registry items out there to save you time. I wish I would have had some sort of guide with pictures and brands when I first started. Hope this helps!





Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Placenta Pills


Just so you know my dad says he wants to make it into jerky and serve it with some fava beans when he comes out in July. I'll be sure to invite you all to the Kelley Barbecue that day!


Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Mother's Day


Unfortunately at 8 months along, this gift is an impossibility. Wishing our own moms and all of our I Guess I'm Due mamas out there a fabulous day! Have a good one ladies!


Monday, May 2, 2016

Gender Guessing Game


Many people have asked why we aren't finding out the sex of the baby. My answer - Why not? I guess I just grew up with my mom telling me it was more fun that way, so I just always assumed that is what I would do. It's actually probably for the best, because I haven't been able to buy any clothes. I can't just randomly spend on cute items I see. Our kid currently owns five white onesies. Please do not judge its fashion sense in the early weeks of its life. It will be living in all it has - diapers, swaddles, and white onesies!

Kyle is convinced it's a girl, and I really am 50/50. I could care less as long as its healthy. I believe that whatever comes out is what we are supposed to have! It is kind of fun to guess though. A little boy at Benihana told me I was having a girl, and an old man at Home Depot approached me while looking at appliances and told me I was having a boy. (I never need appliances, but one of my favorite past times is looking at the latest and greatest fridges whenever I go there. It's sad what gives me kicks these days.) 

I love a good psychic, superstition, and old wives tales, so here is what they are saying about the kiddo:

Chinese Gender Predictor: 
I typed in my age at conception (30) and month of conception (October). 
Verdict: Girl

Psychic Readings:
At two different readings, both psychics said I would have a boy first. One also told me that Joan Rivers was in great health and the show would go on for years. She passed 2 months later, so uh yeah...
Verdict: Boy

Ring on a String: 
Kyle hung my wedding ring over my belly. If it swung in a straight line it was a boy, a circular motion it was a girl. It was a circle. 
Verdict: Girl

Heartbeat: 
Above 140 beats per min, it's a girl. Below, it's a boy. At our 30 week ultrasound it was 141.
Verdict: Girl

Cravings: 
If you are craving salty, spicy things it's a boy. If you crave sweets its a girl. The entire first trimester I couldn't even stomach fruit it was too sweet. The baby may come out Mexican, I ate it so much of it at the beginning. 
Verdict: Boy

Sickness: 
Some say that if you are sick and nauseous during the First Trimester, it could be due to the extra hormones produced by a girl. People - I was sick as a dog. No brainer on this one. 
Verdict: Girl 

Well, the signs look to be pointing to girl as well. One thing is for certain, if she gets my gusto and Kyle's ghetto booty, Dad is going to be in for one long road ahead!