Monday, February 28, 2011

February Goals: Wrap Up

So it might be the last day of February, but I finally got around to the rest of my February Goal list...today.  Yes, I am a major procrastinator...I know.

RECAP: February Goals...
1. I'm going to make a cleaning schedule in effort to keep the house more clean.

2. I'm going to challenge myself to list ONE item on my etsy shop every day this month.

3. I'm going to attempt to NOT SPEND any extra $$ for the entire month of February...(We all know I failed at this one over a week ago.)

4. To write a rough draft of the children's book I want to write.

5. To contact several schools about coming to teach a workshop/masterclass for their acting students sometime this spring.


So today I attempted to contact several Chicago colleges to offer acting workshops free of charge to their theater students. I called Loyolla and Concordia and was given names and emails of who to send information to...so I composed an email with all of the information about myself and the workshops I could potentially offer. Once I had that email I figured...why not send it to a few other schools??? So I found emails online to North Park University and University of Illinois, Chicago and sent the same email along to their theater departments. So, I'll be anxious to see if I get any responses from these people...I'm so glad I got to check that off of my Goals list.

And I may not have completed a rough draft of my children's book today...BUT, I did finally get started. I officially have 7 sentences down. Hmmm...not great, but it's a start and I'm going to take it.  I will pass this Goal on to March...even if I only write one sentence a day...I should be able to finish this sucker!



As far as Goal's #1 and #2...Success!! I have not missed listing an item on etsy since listing this goal, and my cleaning schedule has been AMAZING! Yes, I missed a few days here and there but I was able to catch up on surrounding days. I really hope I can keep up this schedule. It's been amazing. The best part is the house is generally much cleaner and I don't have to work so hard...in fact I'm mostly spot cleaning these days.

As for Gunnar, today was challenging. He had another rough morning. I'm not sure if it's because I had to wake him to take daddy to the train, or what...but he was soooo fussy all morning. His naps were short lived and nothing I could offer him would make him happy. Finally, I was able to get him down for a long afternoon nap around 1pm. He slept for 2.5 hours and the Gunnar that woke up was my happy boy again.
My Grumpy boy this morning

I couldn't even get him to smile
But he was ALL SMILES by the time Daddy came home!

He's the Joy of my Life!!!

I'm very excited that a shop owner in Georgia contacted me today and wants to order 15 of my owl t-shirts from my etsy site.  Of course I don't have the sizes and colors she's looking for so it's going to be a custom order. This is going to be a lot of work...but it's money. And I feel honored to know that my shirts will be sold at a boutique somewhere in Georgia!! Too cool!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

All in time for Oscars...

What a day! Ugh! I have been cleaning, prepping and caring for G non-stop from 9am-7:30pm...but everything is officially checked off my list (with the exception of this blog) just in time to enjoy the Oscars with my sister and brother-in-law.

I realized while cleaning today that I am a neat freak minimalist trapped inside a collecting, messy shopper's body.  I mean, I want things neat tidy put away...organized and in there place, but I rarely, if ever, put things right away back in their place.  I don't want to have too many things, but I love to shop and hunt for bargains...I also like to stock up on things. So I'm perpetually at war with myself, with my things and the world around me. I strive for perfection and organization but every time I go shopping I have to find a home for that new item and "should" get rid of something else.

But, I'm married to a man that hates to get rid of anything. I put two cheap fleece blankets in the "goodwill" pile today and he freaked out. He was insisting that the blankets had to stay because they were "soft" and "cozy".  Nevermind that we have a whole trunk filled with 15 blankets that we never use, getting rid of these 2 was not okay because "in ten years when we need another blanket we'll have to spend $40 for a blanket that we gave away."  What kind of argument is that?  Why keep something if we won't use it for 10 years????!!! Aggghhh!!! So this is why I generally don't tell my husband what I'm giving away. But it doesn't matter, no matter how much I give away...I never have the feng shui, clean organized home I so desire.

All that aside...my house is finally livable again tonight thanks to my husbands constant help and my determination to get it all done. Not only did the house get clean...but I prepped 20 more items for etsy and completed the covers for the bins in Gunnar's room.  These turned out pretty cute.  Last weekend we bought a bookshelf from ikea with 2 bins.  Unfortunately ikea only had PINK bins for sale...but I was determined to make them work...so I covered them in fabric and iron appliqued a "G" for Gunnar on one and an "M" for Miles on the other. I also trimmed the top with the owl fabric that adorns Gunnar's crib and window. 

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Working hard on Saturday

Today I prepped about 16 new items for my etsy store. Basically that means I have 16 items ready to be appliqued, which I do by hand. My goal is to finish one project every day...so having things prepped makes it easy to just sit down in front of the tv, after putting Gunnar to sleep, and sew away. It's kind of relaxing in a way.

Prepping is a very messy project so the house kind of looks horrible right now. But at least I know it's clean underneath all the scraps of fabric and crafts scattered across the apartment, thanks to my cleaning schedule. But I have to confess...I didn't do the floors on Friday...and I am kind of glad because there are bits of fabric all over them...so I am just going to add floors to tomorrow's list.

Today was John's food "cheat day"...which usually means I eat pretty poorly too. We went to Chili's for lunch and had Lou Malnati's pizza for dinner. Ugh.
Some of you asked if I'd dieted along with my exercising at the YMCA.  The answer is NO. But, I eat pretty healthy foods from day to day and what I eat (especially when it comes to breakfast and lunch) rarely changes much.  So what do I eat?

Breakfast:
Oatmeal and grapefruit juice

Lunch:
Yogurt (Activia) and an Omelet (usually with ham, cheese and spinach)

Snacks: nuts, apples & peanut butter

Dinner: usually something carnivorous due to John's "Primal eating habits"  but Dinner really varies

Before Bed: An ice cream cone (the cone is for portion control because I could and would scoop myself 5 scoops)...or dark chocolate.  I never deprive myself from my sweets!

And if I feel like stopping by Starbucks and getting a latte and a pumpkin loaf, I do it. I guess I'm sort of a "everything in moderation" kind of girl, this allows me to have what I love.





Friday, February 25, 2011

Why I go to the Y...

So it's funny that I chose to write this post on a day that I didn't go to the YMCA...but today, the results of my many trips to the Y have paid off!  You may recall in an earlier post (The Weight Issue...) I mentioned my goal to fit into my size 2 pants by the time I turn 30, on April 22nd.  Well it's a minor miracle that I don't have to wait that long...because I am officially fitting back into all of my pre-pregnancy pants (even some 0's!!)!!! (Note: Please don't hate me for posting these sizes...remember I am only 5'1 and I'm not a stick thin 6 foot skinny girl, I have curves and I'm proud of them...and when you gained 50 lbs during pregnancy, I think this is a victory worth sharing!)

I can't believe I'm posting a picture of my bum...but I'm so proud...it's back!!

These are my favorite Gap size 0 pants...I can't believe I have them on!


























  I really don't know how this happened all of a sudden...because as of 2 weeks ago I was barely squeezing into a size 6.  Though I have a feeling breastfeeding has been a huge help...I'm also going to say that my frequent weekly trips to the Y are the cause of such glorious results.

Early in January John and I became members at one of the Chicago Metro area YMCA's (The Leaning Tower but mostly I go to the High Ridge YMCA) mainly because I was quite miserable in my post-baby body and needed motivation to work it off.

So here are the top 5 reason's why I LOVE going to the Y:

#1.  FREE BABYSITTING...this is the most essential part of why I go to the Y.  For moms who can't afford daycare, but would still like an hour or 2 to get away and do something for you...this is it! A single membership in Chicago costs as little as $30/month...and you can literally go every day and use up to 2 hours of babysitting every visit.  That's worth the monthly fee more than anything else!!!! I love the girls who watch Gunnar at the High Ridge YMCA...two of the girls sing spanish songs to him (bilingual bonus?).

#2.  A Shower...when someone else is watching my baby, I don't have to worry about whether he is crying while I'm in the shower.  I can get clean and pretty at my leisure. So basically, if I want to shower...I go to the gym.

#3. A Pool...I'm not much for basic workouts. I love to swim. It's low impact and swimming works out every major part of your body. And it's quite refreshing.

#4. Treadmills & Elipticals with televisions...I can be convinced to walk 3 miles if there is a tv show on in front of me.  Sometimes I even forget I'm working out because I'm so engrossed in the tv.  Sad but true.

#5. Free classes...though I have yet to utilize any of the Free classes...it sure is awesome to know that when I want to go to a yoga class I don't have to pay an extra cent.

I try to go the gym at least 4 times a week...and it seems to have paid off for me!

*Note: Apparently weight and size do not correlate when you are breastfeeding. I still weigh a good 6-7 lbs more than my pre-pregnancy weight...I'm assuming much of this weight is due to the triple sized breasts and the still some-what present tummy. But I'm guessing/hoping those lbs will eventually drop off...in due time!

Gunnar and I took a trip to the library across the street today!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A great day!

Annie was so right when she sang "the sun will come out tomorrow"...though I didn't see much sun, (it was quite overcast here in Chicago) I did see my happy "son" again!
We had such a great day today. He took several great naps and when he was awake we read stories, played on the floor and visited with friend Annika and her adorable boys and even got to see Auntie Kerry for tea!

Gunnar was all smiles today, in fact I don't think I've ever seen him squeal with laughter as much as he did during a fun game of Peek-a-boo today! Too stinkin' cute!! I think it's days like I had yesterday that make me value days like today even more.  So inspite of them, I'm grateful for the bad days...they put the good days in perspective. And I know there will be MANY bad days...(I'm most scared for the day when Gunnar actually throws up...not spit up but real food...vomit terrifies me). 

Since dropping "No Spend February" I've added a new goal...to make at least one etsy item per day along with listing one item per day.  So there are new listings daily on my etsy site, for those of you who are interested check out the link to my store on the right.

This weekend I'll be working on a give-away item for freefrugalmommyofone.blogspot.com
Operator Melissa found me through etsy and asked if I would supply a free item for her site...which I will be doing soon, so stay tuned to see what it is!  In the mean time, check out her site! It's a pretty cool way to get fun, free things!

In other news...I have spring fever. BAD. It takes a few months of cold Chicago weather for me to truly appreciate the warmth we left behind in Florida.  I'm aching for a visit to Sarasota.  And Gunnar would love to get some Vitamin D soaking in the sun with this cute hat!


Anyone up for a trip to Florida with us? And could we borrow your private plane to get there? Thanks!

What a difference some sleep can make...

Wow. Well it wasn't a perfect night...but I did get to sleep, and so did G.
I went to bed promptly at 9:20pm (I should have been in bed at 9...but my mom called..) Gunnar went down at 7pm and though he did some crying in the first hour, it was nothing sustained.

At 10:30pm Gunnar woke screaming...after 5 minutes I went in to check on him to see if his eyes were open, which they weren't. So I left...closed the door (so the over protective and curious cats wouldn't feel obligated to jump in his crib and soothe him) and waited it out. I crawled into bed and tried to plug my ears with my fingers...but alas I could still hear his piercing screams. And I waited. I waited a horrid 20 minutes.  (I'm not sure why this waiting was harder than the waiting I did yesterday afternoon...but it really was the worst this time. And tear inducing on my part.) But just at the last second, when I decided I had had enough and I was going to comfort my poor baby...it stopped. Silence. Bliss.

I put my feet back in bed and put my head back on the pillow...wow it worked.  Followed by the sudden: Oh my God what if he's not breathing????? (This happens a lot) and then I rushed into his room as quietly as I could (tiptoed even) to make sure I could see the rise and fall of his back...he was out, peaceful, dreaming.  And I went back to bed...until 2:30 when my body woke me up needing to pump. While I was pumping G woke up again.  I stopped pumping to check on him...this time his eyes open, so I fed him and put him back down.  And he slept until 6:30.  So (sort of) 7.5 hours (with some cries halfway through) and then 4 hours...I'll take it!

I have no idea what today or tomorrow will hold but I'm realizing that I should take my own sleep as seriously as I take his. Because a tired mommy isn't a well functioning mommy.  So many of you expressed having problems like this for weeks or even months. Well I'm not holding my breath...I know this could/will happen again and so I'm going to make a stronger effort to get myself to bed within two hours of putting him down.  And maybe even nap more when he naps (if he naps...I hope he naps).

All you mommies out there amaze me. Thank you for your encouragement and thank you for your tips. A friend of mine sent me a blog that really rang true for me today and I'd like to share that with you:
(On the Right way to Parent) 
My favorite line of this blog: "As long as you and your baby are happy and healthy, as long as you are doing what you believe is best for your family, you’re doing it the “right” way.  And it doesn’t matter one bit what Susie McAwesomeMom from down the block thinks.  Just do your best to ignore her, and your mother-in-law, and the cashier at Target." Amen to that!  But I also have to say that as a new mom, it's good to hear what other mom's have to say. Because sometimes what worked for them...might work for me, and sometimes they won't. I hope to take every bit of advice with a "grain of salt" approach.  I'll try anything once.

I hope no one reading this thinks I know the right way to Parent...because I certainly don't believe I do. I'm learning everyday.

My sweet little thumb-sucker!
Oh and one more thing...MOMMIES ROCK!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Overwhelmed by YOU!!!

Well I never expected the beautiful responses I received from my hard day today. Thank you, Thank you everyone. To be honest, I didn't realize so many were actually reading my blog...
Not only does it feel good to know that I'm not just talking to the universe (and myself), but it is humbling and comforting to know that so many of you have been through/are going through the same thing (not that I'd wish it upon anyone). And even those who haven't, thank you for reaching out and expressing your concern. Despite the hardships of this day...I feel very, very Loved.

It was a very hard afternoon as time and time again I let Gunnar cry it out in his crib, hoping he'd be able to catch a few more zzzz's.  He was able to put himself to sleep everytime even if it took 30 minutes of crying.  He cried for 30 minutes, fell asleep for 10 minutes...awoke screaming, cried for 20 minutes, fell asleep for 10 minutes...woke up fussing, cried for 30 minutes, fell asleep for 20 minutes...woke up crying, cried for 5 minutes and then slept for 90 minutes (finally!).  After a short lived evening with mommy (daddy was late coming home) he got his bath, a baby massage, story time with Daddy (once he got home) and is now in bed for the night. I can already tell it will be a long night...I've heard him 3 times in the last hour since I put him down...but I'm going to try to be tough.  My goal is to only get him out of his crib if:  a) his eyes are open and is crying  (or)  b) I can smell a poopy diaper.  It's going to be hard...so wish me luck.

Many of you responded saying I'm not a bad mom. I know that I'm not a bad mommy...it's just days like today when it seems like nothing I do can make my child happy...that I feel like a failure, even when I know I'm not.

Gunnar and I will be okay...we'll get through this. As many of you said "This too shall Pass"...(fingers crossed!)

...and now to sleep...

Episode 1: Bad Mommy

I feel like a terrible mommy.
Why? Because I can't seem to do anything right for Gunnar today. And this has sort have been growing over the last 3 days....but he is just so fussy all the time. I am just beside myself. I want to throw in the towel. And I know it has everything to do with SLEEP.
The first week or so of Gunnar sleeping sans swaddle was heaven...he was sleeping 6-8 hours straight and everything was glorious. Now suddenly we're back to newborn sleeping schedules. I mean the kid wakes up screaming every 1-3 hours at night and he's lucky to get 30 minute naps in during the daytime.
I don't know if he's teething, has a tummy ache, is going through a growth spurt or if he is just testing me...but I am soooooo exhausted and today I have no patience.
I hate this.
As I am writing this G is screaming his head off in his crib. But what can I do? He really isn't sleeping and neither am I.  I am beyond exhausted and I can't focus. I have a perpetual headache and I just don't know how to be a better mom today.
I'm sure every mom goes through these kind of days...and often. But this is the first time that I feel absolutely lousy. It seems like everything I try: changing his diaper, feeding him, shhhshhing him, rocking him, bouncing him nothing will make him happy.  I've even resorted to teething rings, trying to force him to take a nuk, to re-swaddle him...I'm a desperate mommy wanting sleep results to no avail.

I took G out to run some errands because I knew he'd fall asleep in the car...but that was it. As soon as the car slowed to a stop he woke up screaming again. And this mommy just can't drive around all day when she's this tired...Chicago drivers are too unpredictable and it just isn't safe to drive tired.

He doesn't have a fever. He doesn't have any cold symptoms. It could be a tummy ache but I get burps out of him and he still cries.  What is an exhausted mommy to do? How long can I really let him 'cry it out' in his crib? And is this really humane?

My husband thinks the big culprit here is his new talent of rolling over. Which could be quite a bit of the problem. I mean he's constantly flipping around in the crib and he seems to be angriest when he's on his tummy. I'm not sure if his crying in the middle of the night results from waking up on his tummy and not having the strength to roll back to his side or back and he's crying out of frustration.  But this doesn't explain why he's crying while I'm feeding him and crying while getting a diaper change, etc.   Acid reflux? Maybe...but sleeping on his tummy should actually feel better.

I'm lost, tired and feeling like a terrible mommy.  I'm really trying to remind myself to be loving toward him today despite my frustration and exhaustion but I'm afraid I'm not doing the best job. Gunnar, mommy loves you soooo much!! Please SLEEP!!!

What's a mommy to do??? HELP!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly of 2nd Hand Shopping...

So I'm all about finding bargains.
And when it comes to kids clothes, and sometimes my clothes...I really see the benefit of shopping 2nd hand. Especially when you can find clothes that have clearly never been used for 1/8th the cost.  This is why I've started shopping at thrift stores and second hand shops. When it comes to kids clothes, it makes a lot of sense to buy 2nd hand, when you consider how fast they grow out of clothes.

When I was abroad the summer of 2009, I loved nothing more than digging through a good thrift store in the cities of London and Budapest. But finding a good thrift store in the states can be like trying to find a good hairstylist...while some are okay very few really know your style.

Ultimately I'd like to find a good thrift store where I can just trade clothes. This is my dream. To never have to spend money again on clothes...to just bring in my used clothes sell them and then shop for some new clothes! As I am attempting to pair down my massive wardrobe I'm hoping this will work out...though part of me knows I'll end up spending at least a little bit.  Now this dream could never come true if you only bring your clothes to places like "Platos Closet" and "Once Upon a Child".  While these can be good places to shop and find a great bargain...it should always be your last stop for selling. I have yet to find a thrift store who will pay good cash for baby clothes (I'm quite new in that department)...but I have found a great little second hand store to sell my clothes to. It's this cute little shop in Lincoln Square called "Savvy Seconds and Firsts." A few weeks ago I brought in 3 reusable bags filled with clothes to sell. Owner Christin, bought 1/3 of the clothes I brought in and offered me $100 in cash or $150 in store credit.  I was shocked! I was used to Platos closet taking 10 of my items and offering me a mere $10!  I didn't know which option to take...I liked the things in her store and could easily see myself spending the $150, but cash is nice too. So she offered to split it...she gave me $50 in cash and $75 in store credit...which seemed like a good way to go for me.  Afterwards I took the remaining bags to Platos closet where I got an extra $15 and dumped the rest in a donation bin outside Panera.

Now I'm in the market to find a good place to sell baby clothes. I made the 'Ugly' mistake of taking things to "Once Upon a Child" today...they took 4 barely used outfits and offered me a mere $4.33.  Ugh!!! But since I'd spent my time looking through their racks and found some good bargains...I gave it right back to them, and then some.  But here is the "Good"....always shop the end of season sales at Platos and Once Upon a Child.  Platos usually has clearance racks for $2 and today I found clearance racks at Once Upon a Child for $1!!! I was thrilled to find some Ralph Lauren Polo outfits for 3-6 months in this bargain rack!!! I scooped up 5 outfits and with my trade in only spent $5!! Now that's not too bad!!

My favorite find on the $1 rack today...Ralph Lauren polo onesie!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

My skinny boy...

I'm a onesie kinda guy
So I've come to this realization that Gunnar just can't wear pants. They don't fit. They fall off. He has such a skinny waist that even the newborn pants I put on him yesterday (that are far too short) barely stay on.  So I've decided...why mess with pants? I'm always yanking them up and pulling his shirts down...
So until either a) he chubs out or b) I find pants with adjustable waists
He's a onesie, overall, sleeper kinda guy.
My long skinny baby.  Takes after his papa, I guess!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

That Slippery Slope

The thrift shop Robeez and the receipt for the "stroller purchase"
OKay...it's officially over. No Spend February has been squashed, smashed and obliterated. That fine slippery slope that started on Friday with the purchase of one little Latte, which led to the purchase of $5 Robeez (brand new!!) for Gunnar at our local thrift store yesterday...which lead to the ultimate sliding slope mega purchase of a City Mini Stroller (hey, it was on clearance...a floor model for $65 off) at Buy Buy Baby today.  And what's worse? Oh it didn't end there...we then proceeded to go to IKEA, yes. IKEA. Where we purchased a new TV console (in the 'as is' department or as John likes to call it: 'the crap rack' for 40% off),  bookshelf/toy shelf for Gunnar's room and a few other various things.

 I'm not sure why...but I'm going to blame my husband for this. Probably because he allowed it all to happen. But the thing is...we've been meaning to get a stroller. We only have a snap n go. And soon we're going to need something better to push around the streets of Chicago.  Okay, I'll admit it was my idea to go to Buy Buy Baby to look at all of the strollers. But my intention was just to get a feel for what we like so that we could keep our eye out for sales, look on craigslist, thrift shops, etc. I really had no intention of walking out with a stroller. But...we sort of fell in love. Especially with how easy this stroller is to fold and how small it is when folded. This stroller actually takes up less space in the trunk of our car than the snap n' go does. And John really felt like it would work for jogging as well as everyday.  There was only one floor model and we really didn't want to pass up the deal.

So there you have it.  It's all over.  I blew it. We blew it....big time. But I did manage to not spend any additional money for almost 2 weeks. That's something, I guess.  I'm sort of glad...because I've been wanting to get some more supplies for my etsy shop, so now I guess it'll be okay to do that.  Maybe I should have a more realistic goal for next month...like No Starbucks...or something.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Nursing Wardrobe Tips

Okay all you nursing moms and soon-to-be nursing moms. Let's talk about the nursing wardrobe.
I'll never forget in the summer of 2009 when my sister and cousin Lu were talking about how they choose their wardrobe based around accessibility or "easy access" to the breasts.  At the time, I thought that sounded ridiculous, why sacrifice fashion for convenience? Ha! Ha! Ha!
And now that I'm a mother I completely get it...fashion? What fashion? Everyone is going to be looking at the baby more than me so does it really matter? And when you have a screaming baby in your arms and the only thing between peace and serenity is an article of clothing, you bet your pretty green Hermes Scarf I'm going to want the easiest access I can get.  So sorry fashionistas...we can certainly attempt to be fashionable mommies, but do you really want to wear your $150 silk blend Ralph Lauren tunic when your baby is just going to spit up all over it?  No...I didn't think so.
So here are my Nursing Wardrobe tips.

Rule #1: The Nursing bra. No underwires (this can cause mastitis and possibly damage your milk supply)
 You're going to want something soft, breathable and thick. These are my absolute fav's:
*Gilligan & O Malley make really soft but firm and breathable nursing bras and they really won't break the bank. I have 4 different nursing bras by them and I love them all! And they're really quite cute and SUPER comfortable!
*An alternative to the nursing bra is a Nursing tank. This works well and many mommies like these because they might be a little more modest. I like these to sleep in and work out in mostly. Again my favorite is Gilligan & O Malley mostly because they are so inexpensive and seem to work just as well, if not better than all the expensive mommy boutique ones that I've bought.
 For sleep bra's I also like Medela Womens Sleep Nursing Bra - Nude L
paired with a nice soft scoop neck tank top.

Rule #2: The V-neck, Scoop Neck or Button down.  There is no other way around it ladies...unless you can make room to stick your baby up under your shirt, or you intend to take off your shirt entirely, you MUST follow this rule. 
In fact, about 3 weeks after Gunnar was born, I went through my wardrobe and pulled out everything that did not fit in these guidelines and put it in storage. I did not want to make the mistake of putting on something that wasn't going to work so I eliminated all crew necks, turtle necks and their cousins to the boxes in the back of my closet.  Wrap dresses work really well for dress up occasions and I almost always seem to have a cardigan on which will cover up that "leak" that appeared on your t-shirt when you thought you heard your baby crying.

speaking of leaks:

Rule #3: The nursing pads: never leave home without backups. I am the queen of over-producing when it comes to the milk department so I've met many many, probably ALL brands and kinds of nursing pads.  Here are my favorites:
*Disposables to keep in the diaper bag: Lansinoh Nursing Pads these babies are individually wrapped and are quite discrete and small for your diaper bag...they also absorb milk better than all disposables I've tried.

*Disposbales to keep by your nursing chair at home:  Johnson & Johnson these do not come individually wrapped (which I like best for home...no extra waste) and they mold best to the shape of a breast. 

* Washable stick on: Lily Padz these are great for preventing leakage at home. I don't typically wear these out because I like to wash them after I take them off each time and that's just hard to do when you're out and about. But they really stick well to the breast and prevent most leaks. And Love that they're eco-friendly!

* Washable cloth pad: Bamboobies these are adorable, soft and organic. The best part about bamboobies is they generally don't feel cold when they're wet, which is a problem with many washable cloth pads. (However, I will say if you take a wet one off while nursing and put it back on, it will feel a bit cold).

Rule #4: For out and about...pack that scarf and or nursing cover. I got mine from Uddercovers.com use code "family2014" and all you'll have to pay for is shipping! A lightweight good sized infinity scarf will also do the trick to hide your boobies from unwanted eyes...and best yet you can wear it all day!

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Friday, February 18, 2011

My fall off the band wagon...

So today I totally fell off the band wagon. It was my parents and William's last day and I guess I just didn't feel like even making a To Do List today...just spent the morning enjoying time with William, Gunnar, Nana and Grandpa. (Laundry, Organizing and the Floors will have to wait til next week when they come up on the cleaning schedule again!)

Sorry Etsy buyers...cute kid Not included!

William's favorite hat...he's keeping it!

William and I hung out this morning watching "Hakuna Matata" (which is what William calls "The Lion King") but I guess we really just watched the songs.  William also did some modeling for my etsy shop! (Don't worry he got paid in merchandise, I let him pick his favorite hat...he's been wearing it all week!) William also asked to see "violin playing" on the computer so we spent some time watching 3 year old Akim play the violin with a German symphony.  William could not take his eyes away...he LOVES the violin.  I was sad to see my parents and William leave today...we had such a fun week together. But I am so glad that he'll be seeing both parents again tomorrow.

So I'm pretty sure that Gunnar woke up this morning 2 inches longer than he was when I put him to bed. Because suddenly the outfits he was fitting in yesterday not only didn't fit but they were 2 inches too short! And just like that... we have basically completely grown out of our 0-3 month and 3 month clothes and almost exclusively in 3-6 and 6 month clothes!! I even got out the tape measure to see if I was going crazy...but apparently I wasn't because he measured to a little over 24 inches. Today, after telling two completely different people that he is 3 months, they both responded with: "Oh he's big for 3 months!" Which is such a change...people used to always comment on how small he was, that he was such a peanut. And now I have a "big boy" on my hands! How quickly things change!

I also have to admit that I did buy a latte at starbucks today...but it was only because I felt guilty for hogging their bathroom for 10 minutes while I changed Gunnar's major blowout.  So I'm not sure if I should count that as cheating on February-no-spend month...but hey, I'm being honest.  I'll try not to do it again.

A sneak peek of Gunnar's 3 month photo shoot can be seen here: Sneak peek Gunnar.  I think they turned out awesome! I just can't wait to see the rest!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Did I do all that in one day? (is that possible with a baby?)



G and I today after getting my haircut!
And the answer to the title of this post is: YES but under one condition: Having Grandparents around.

So I pampered myself for the first time in 4 months...I got a haircut! No I didn't get it colored or go get a pedicure (two other things that need to happen)...because when you have an infant who is nursing, it's just too hard to be away for longer than 1.5 hours at a time.  So thanks to my parents for watching the little guy so I could cut off some split ends!

After my hair appointment (and watching some of the events in Madison on CNN...exciting! Way to go Wisconsin!) we took William and G down to Navy Pier to tour the Chicago Children's Museum.
Bus Driver William drove passengers Grandpa and Nana
We sucked it up and parked on site ($14 flat fee-not as steep as the zoo) which was worth it because we didn't have to wear our coats or be outside at all on the windy pier.  There was a lot to see at the Children's Museum...and I'm pretty sure we didn't even see 1/4 of it. But William had a blast.
Nana and William building with Tinker Toys
One ticket to Madison where all the excitement is happening please!
I even scoped out a few areas for G to play in just a few months.
Builder William
They had cute little crawling areas just for babies!

I think William's favorite room was the water ways exhibit where the kids put on the provided raincoats and got "All Wet" in playing with the water.
Happy Boy was excited to watch cousin William play all day!
There were water cannons, waterfalls, wave makers, buckets, boats and just about everything you could possibly want to do with water.  Mommy advice: The raincoats won't completely protect your kid from getting wet, so be sure to roll up their sleeves before putting on that raincoat. William got Soaked!!











William "All Wet!"

William soaked his button down, his undershirt wet too!

The Museum was exhausting for G

We had dinner at the Pier before heading home...and to my delight Lakeshore Drive was quite clear at 6pm.

My free Uddercovers nursing cover arrived today...it's the same basic design as the one my mom's friend made for me (but not quite as nice)...it'll be nice to have a backup but I definitely wouldn't recommend buying one for the retailed $30. Find a friend who can sew and ask them to make you one...it'll be much cuter and cost less.

After putting G to bed (which I guess wasn't...since he was up for 2 more hours) John and I headed down south to see our friend Emily in a play ['Doward Facing'] at the Dream Theater.  This was the first piece of theater I've ever seen in Chicago...and the first play I've seen in at least 4 months. It felt good to be in a theater again, I must say.  The play was a short, well organized 60 minute play about relationships. It was sweet and heartfelt, Emily was very truthful and it was fun to see her perform (I think this was my first time seeing her onstage, eventhough I've known her for almost 6 years).  Afterwards I got to connect with a couple Actors Theatre of Louisville Apprentice Alums who had all come to support Emily. It's always nice to talk to apprentice alums...
And it was just nice to be at a theater...no matter what theater it is...it inspires me to keep going.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Zoo Day!






At the zoo the lion and G sleep today
William and Gunnar, dinner @ Lincoln Square Brauhaus
William and the Leopard!
So thanks to Gunnar's almost 9 hours of straight sleep last night...I woke up feeling great without feeling the need to go back to bed! (I could get used to this!)  But G, as usual wanted to sleep quite a bit more in the morning which gave me an opportunity to get moving on my to do list.
I have to say...I'm quite impressed with myself for following through with the cleaning schedule and goals even with my family here.  I even went to the gym today (Dad tagged along with a YMCA guest pass).

We took a trip to the zoo today. The Lincoln Park zoo. We got a late start so we really didn't get to see too much...but we did see the monkeys, the gorillas and chimps, the tigers, a leopard and the lions. This was our first trip to the Lincoln Park Zoo and I can't wait to go back.  Because:
a) it's Free
b) it's clean
c) there's a lot more to see
And I believe we'll get a membership eventually.  For $100 it will allow us to park there for free for the whole year (which is worth it since parking $17 a pop). And we can park there when we want to go to the lake in the summer or go for a picnic in the spring.

We met up with friend Annika and her adorable boys, which is always fun! Gunnar, however, saw none of the zoo...or rather he woke up for a moment (maybe 30 seconds) in front of the lion enclosure and went straight back to sleep.  I guess he probably wouldn't have really remembered it anyway.

After observing Annika with her boys and my parents with William I've made note of what to bring with me to the zoo once Gunnar is a little older:


* Maclaren Umbrella Stroller or when there's more than one a Maclaren Twin Stoller
Munchkin Two Snack Catchers, Colors May Vary* Munchkin snack Catchers (good for snacks on the go without spilling everywhere)
* Munchkin sippy cups (good for milk, water or juice for thirsty babies)
Patemm Pad - Blue Signature Circles* Patemm Changing pad (my sister got me one of these and they are amazing! Diapers and wipes tuck inside the corners and it's easy to wipe down. Great to use anywhere, especially when changing tables are absent...Though Annika reminded me that having a boy has it's perks when they're old enough to aim...bushes and trees work just as well...wink wink! LOL!!)