The New Mama list- Top 5

[Edited: Make that Top 7]

I was talking to my mother-in-law last week about the best things to get for a new mama, and I realized it’s been a while since I laid down some totally unsolicited advice in that department. But, if you’re reading this blog on your own [i.e., I didn’t drag you kicking and screaming], I hope you won’t consider this total harassment.

I mean, at least I’m not touching your belly.

Yet.

#1 The Miracle Blanket. I can get on a soap box one thousand stories high on this one. You won’t understand why you need it until you desperately need one this very night if you are to get any more than an hour of sleep at a time and if you don’t you will punch someone in the face. So go ahead and get one and have it ready. Watch the video on how to use it, and for the love of GOD don’t cut out the wings on the inside [true story!!].  I understand that some babies don’t need to be swaddled, although I’ve never personally experienced this. The bottom line is, if your baby does need to be swaddled, don’t bother with the other blankets.

#2 Aden and Anais muslin swaddle blankets.

I didn’t have these when Mary Bullock was born, but when I had a second chance, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Whoa. Fuss totally warranted.  They’re soft, they’re huge, perfect for swaddling [before your baby gets active enough to need #1.] They’re also perfect for just about every other baby use you can imagine: nursing cover, light blanket, burp cloth, changing pad…I’ve used these for just about everything. And they’re so precious they make your heart hurt a little.

#3 Huggies wipes. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like getting poop on my hands when I change baby diapers. Maybe I’m just weird. But I’ve used all different kinds of wipes, and these are the best. They’re thick and soft and just right. Just make sure you buy them in bulk from Costco or Sam’s [NOT from Amazon Mom, where for some reason they are priced astronomically high].

#4 Hanna Andersson sleepers. We’ve been over this already, I know. But buy with caution: These will totally spoil you and prevent you from ever being satisfied with the $7 Target sleepers. If you do decide to buy other sleepers, though, at least make sure that the majority of them are ZIPPERED. Every time you have to snap a million snaps at 3am on a baby who is squirmy and angry that you don’t just FEED HIM ALREADY FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, you will curse the person who decided that 27 snaps were just the thing for a baby sleeper.

#5 The Ultimate Crib Sheet. You probably love the crib sheet that you picked out for your baby’s crib, but if you’re like me, you’ll grow to hate it more and more every time you have to change it. It takes super human strength to change a crib sheet for some reason–there’s barely enough fabric to make it fit. Definitely something you don’t want to have to do often [and certainly not in the middle of the night]. This is not the prettiest solution, but it’s definite sanity saver.

#6 The Power of a Positive Mom. This book was an attitude adjustment for me when full-time mommy-ing got tough. I’ve read it through twice, but it can also be used for great topical reminders of why in the world we’re doing all this in the first place. I keep my copy in my car for for on-the-go reference.  [Do not attempt to read this on the elliptical at the gym if you are a crier such as myself. Bodily injury may occur.]

#7 A good man to make you breakfast. Mine’s taken, so get yours on board the breakfast train ASAP. đŸ˜‰

That’s it for now. Do you have some must haves that I should know about?

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Awesome title here

Last year, after much boasting on my part, Mary Bullock made it to exactly zero Easter egg hunts. 
But she more than made up for it this year!

Is it mean that we are now making her earn her own Easter candy? Perhaps. But if we didn’t, she would eat all the choc-wit in one sitting, work herself into a frenzied lather, pee on someone’s rug, and collapse into a heap in the middle of our kitchen.

Don’t ask me how I know.

Thankfully we had learned this lesson by Easter Sunday, so it was actually a peaceful day.

We were hosted by family friends, Raya and Neill.

In addition to her always fabulous flowers and food [must make: Ina Garten panzanella. HOLY COW!], Raya readied her home with MB appropriate toys– bunny and chicken wind-up toys.  She had so much fun with them.

Shortly after lunch, the boy nodded off to sleep in Aunt Kay Kay’s lap, and it was time to go home for a family nap.

And now we’re on the downward slide toward summer! Mary Bullock is determined to teach herself how to swim, which is my new nightmare. I’m trying to resist the urge to buy her one of those swimsuits with the built-in floaties. [Laura, if you’re reading, I know you’re snarfing. Don’t worry, I won’t do it.]

We hope you all had a lovely and relaxing Easter!

In sickness

Poor MB has been sick with a stomach bug since Saturday. We’ve been hanging around the house watching nonstop television in an effort to keep her relaxed. She finally seems to be recovering and has successfully eaten some toast and apples today.

I put her down for her nap a few minutes ago. We read two books: The Giving Tree and Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed. Both are so appropriate in our house.

I climbed out of her bed to leave.
One mo, Mama.
No Buck. You need to rest.
Kisses, Mama.
[She knows which buttons to push, always.]
I gave her a kiss.
Much kisses, Mama.
I cover her face with kisses.
One mo, Mama.
She holds up one finger for emphasis.
I give her one more kiss.
I love you anyway, too, Mama.

Georgia on My Mind

Last weekend we headed up to LaGrange, Ga to visit Lee’s grandmother and aunts and uncles and so that I could attend the bridal shower of my friend Ashley (hi Ashley!) in Atlanta on Saturday.

I told Lee last week that perhaps I could be medically diagnosed with travel induced anxiety. Does that ever happen to you? I seriously get panicky at the thought of packing up necessary items for four days of travel for four people with very different needs. This time I did manage to quell my hysteria long enough to get all the basics packed [never mind that MB ran out of clean clothes by Sunday– no one NO ONE could have predicted the number of messes that girl made]. But I forgot my camera. BUMMER.

I did get some pictures with my phone camera of Lee’s Uncle Jack and Aunt Monique’s farm house though. If I ever lose my mind, look for me here.

When we first saw this place a few years ago, I have to admit– their plans for it seemed outrageous. They said they had a lot of advice to tear the place down, but they were determined to renovate it. They kept insisting that next time we visit it would be “really done,” but I don’t see how it could get much more charming. Apparently they spend a lot of weekends here, so I’m seriously considering squatting during the week.

[Sorry, Lee– I know your eyes are closed. But how could I not publish MB’s first gator ride? You’ll forgive me, right?]

And one last picture– MB and Meme [Lee’s grandmother] in their matching Tretorns.  Just ignore my Havaianias in the middle.

And now we are still recovering. It might not take us as long to recover as it will take our lovely hosts, but hopefully by the time we visit again they’ll have caught up on some sleep and steeled themselves for the nonstop circus that is Mary Bullock.

Bye Bye Spring Break!

I’ll admit that the thought of having MB home for a week of Spring Break seemed very daunting at first. She is basically [in Lee’s terms] shot out of a cannon at 7am. And she may have inherited some of my stubbornness to go along with her energy. It’s an endearing but exhausting combination most days.

But now that it’s over, I will really miss her when she goes back to school.

Maybe I’ll spend next week napping to keep from crying. A nap sounds really good after th–
[Bonk.]
[ZZZZZZzzzzzzz]

Potty Training is…

utterly. exhausting.
Please, God, let the light come on tomorrow. My girl is trying so hard.
Last night I put her to bed in her big girl panties and told her if she woke up dry, we’d call Santa and see if he would bring her a special present.
I woke her up early at 6am, and she opened her eyes and immediately asked Call Santa? as if I had that very moment awakened her from dreams of elves on an assembly line.
She wasn’t completely dry, but it was successful enough for Day 1. 
Exhausting though it is, I still get kind of misty eyed when she goes by herself. She just popped out of my womb yesterday, didn’t she?
I’m not blinking for another 40 years.