Tuesday, October 21, 2014

What Bedtime Looks Like at Our House #MomBloggersClub

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Have you heard of Mom Bloggers Club? No? It's the "oldest and the largest social network dedicated to mom bloggers in the world." They post daily blog prompts over on their Facebook Page, which is a great resource when you have writer's block, or if you're like me, when you don't have time to get any new recipes to try {or cook in general}, printables created, or makeup/fashion-worthy looks made. Well, today's prompt was to talk about what bedtime looks like in your house. Considering we've been in the midst of sleeping training E {per se}, I thought this was a great topic to work on. With any luck I'll have this post written and posted within the same day....

Okay, as I said, we've been working on sleep training our now nine-week-old daughter, E. Naptime is pretty much when it happens, but I am trying to get her to nap in her crib as opposed to anywhere else whenever possible. What we're really aiming for is a bedtime routine. For the last two weeks we've been sticking to a particular regimen, and I had been planning on talking about it, so this prompt was the perfect push. But first, some back story.

E is a catnapper. 15 minutes is usually her norm, 30 when I'm lucky, but the only time she'll sleep longer than that is if she's being held or is riding in the car/out and about. Bedtime she was up and down whenever it suited her, but I desperately wanted her in bed at a reasonable time so I could have an hour or two to myself before starting the day all over. Especially considering she doesn't sleep much during the day. Having that time could allow me to finish up laundry, dishes, or just plain relax and try to catch up on the food and water I wasn't able to consume throughout the day. I looked into some schedules that had worked for breastfed babies and came across the E.A.S.Y Routine. It wasn't that far off from what we were doing anyway, but we definitely needed a consistent nighttime schedule. We began this journey on a Monday, and after reading it takes babies approximately a week to catch onto a schedule, I figured we'd have this thing mastered in no time. Well... it's now two weeks later and counting, and while we've made some headway, we are nowhere near mastered.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Cold Coffee, Past Due Posts, and Surgery #OldSchoolBlogging

Cold Coffee, Past Due Posts, and Surgery #OldSchoolBlogging — a Modern Mrs.
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As I sit here with my first cup of coffee that's cold, and was brewed at 7:30 this morning {it's currently 11:40 a.m.}, I'm reminded of Amanda of Sweet Lemons' post titled A Mom and her Cold Coffee. What a hectic life we mothers lead! I've found myself wondering over these last several days how do these other bloggers do it? How do bloggers like Becky of From Mrs.to Mama manage two kids, a job outside of the home, household duties, and keep regular content on her blog? I stressed like crazy to get Monday's post written and published {by 7 p.m. I think I finally managed} and haven't been able to write anything until now! {Oh, it's 12:10 p.m. and I've only gotten this far.}

This is a problem I've been battling for some time now. I've been meaning to write several posts and schedule them out. Well, I need time to do that, and honestly, E doesn't allow me much time for anything outside of her needs. So, no posts get scheduled, and no posts get written, and the blog looks abandoned... at least for a few days.{It's now 9:43 p.m. Seriously....} My mind is busy with all the things on my to-do list..... the to-do list that's about five days behind. It's full of blog post ideas, including a review I said I was going to post this week, but haven't had the time for. Sorry, Felix + Iris, I'll get there eventually. I realize this too shall pass, but it's very frustrating for me that I can't stay regular, or get ahead.

And now, since it's almost 10 p.m. and I have had 9+ hours to lose my train of thought, I'm pretty much left with filling you in on E's surgery. We had an appointment with a pediatric surgeon yesterday regarding her umbilical hernia. It has been decided she will have surgery to repair it, somewhere in the next 4-5 weeks. It's a pretty straight-forward surgery, but any sort of surgery requiring anesthesia is a big deal for a baby, so if you're the praying type, we would love it if you lifted our E up in your prayers and ask she comes out of this healthy and happy. That's all we want for our little blessing... health and happiness. She has been quite uncomfortable these last several weeks, and we suspect the hernia is the cause. I sincerely hope that's true, and her discomfort will be relieved post-surgery.

Now, as I log off to clean up and take Miss E upstairs to nurse, I'm hoping she'll finally fall asleep... as she hasn't slept since 6 p.m.'s catnap.... and I can sleep a bit, and start all over again tomorrow. Cold coffee and all.

{Oh, if I manage to recall where I was headed earlier, I'll be sure to update the post. You know.... if I ever get the chance to write it... which could be weeks from now.}

Monday, October 13, 2014

#DueDateBaby 2014 Event

Due Date Baby 2014 — a Modern Mrs.
I do hope you were able to follow my experience at Due Date Baby yesterday! I was on Instagram and Twitter the whole time, and was posting photos of my favorite booths, as well as some of the interesting products I was learning about. It was a great experience, a wonderful time, and I was honored to be there.

I guess I'll begin by walking you through our experience step-by-step. When we entered Port Discovery, the first table we saw {aside from the registration desk} was the raffle table, which housed the swag bags and provided a preview of the goodies that were to be raffled off that day. These items included 4moms' Breeze Playard, a gift basket of assorted MAM products, a gift basket of assorted Lansinoh products, a Ingenuity InTrust 35 Pro Infant Car Seat {courtesy of Babies R Us}, a Medela Pump In Style Advanced on-the-go tote, and a Ripley's {as in Believe It Or Not} Two-Headed Plush Toy and admission for four to their Baltimore attraction. I don't know about you, but those are some seriously awesome goodies, and I can imagine the lucky winners are still beaming over their scores today!

Due Date Baby 2014 — a Modern Mrs.
After that, we worked our way around the room. There were tables set up on the left and right sides of the room, as well as a few tables down the middle. I'd like to share with you some of my favorite tables, and I'll begin with Relay Foods.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Why My Front-Loading Washer Can Suck It #OldSchoolBlogging

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Remember when front-loading washers first came on the scene? They were sooo fancy, and sooo much better for your water bill {and, subsequently, your wallet} than top-loading washers. They were prettier, too! Anyone who was anyone had one. Well, I'm here to tell you.... they're not all they're cracked up to be.

Sure, when they came out, I really wanted one. I had heard nothing but good things about them, and when we bought our house in 2010, I begged hubs for one of those amazing new front-loaders. J, being the diligent consumer that he is, looked into it online and found they were indeed better than top-loaders, and anything that will save him money is something he gravitates toward. So, he bought me a sparkling new front-loading washing machine {and dryer, too, but I have no beef with that}. At first I was in love, but then things began to change, as does anything you've had a chance to really test... the rose-colored glasses came off, and I began to loathe my front-loader.

First, it was the annoyance that came when I was trying to load the washer with dirty clothes, and no matter what I did, they'd come tumbling out. Stuff in, fall out, pick up, stuff in, fall out, curse, rinse, repeat. Oye! Then, it was the aggravation that came from smaller items getting lodged in the rim around the door. They'd be soaking wet, and after wringing them out, still wouldn't be dry after a 50 minute trip in the dryer. Nevermind that you really can't soak anything in there, and you certainly can't add anything you've dropped/forgotten after that door has locked and began filling with water.... You know, unless you want water spewing out everywhere, and that's if you can get the darn thing to unlock in the first place. I can't tell you how many times I've thought about taking a crowbar to my washer.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Wrap vs. Carrier — One Mother's Thoughts #Babywearing

Wrap vs. Carrier — One Mother's Thoughts #Babywearing
Source // Source
Whether you're having your first or second child, one or multiples, you may have considered babywearing, and with all the options out there nowadays, you may be wondering if one method is better/more convenient than another. With me, I initially considered babywearing as a possible solution to getting things done around the house, or making things easier for myself while grocery shopping. I wondered if E was going to be a fussy baby, and how that would affect my ability to keep up with the house. I decided to look into a wrap, and scored a really good deal on a Boba Wrap from a friend of a friend. Fast-forward to today, E is seven-weeks-old, and I have had ample time to develop an opinion regarding the wrap, as well as test drive a Baby Björn on loan from a neighbor.

I must add, at the time of this post I have not yet tried a ring sling, though it is definitely something on my wishlist. If/when I'm able to get one, I'll update this post with how it compares to a wrap and carrier. In the meantime, please enjoy this two-product comparison.

Wraps

Boba, Moby, SnuggyBaby. What do these have in common? They make baby wraps. What's a baby wrap? It's a long piece of stretchy, somewhat-breathable fabric with which you wrap all around yourself and stuff place the baby inside so you can carry {and nurse} him/her hands-free.

What do I like best about wraps?

Honestly? I can only think of two things. First, they're more compact; they can be folded up and easily packed away in a purse or diaper bag. Second, they {in my opinion} are more suitable for around-the-house wear. However, of the two, wraps are definitely a more cost-effective option as they generally retail for around $40, and that's not something to sneer at.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Due Date: A Baltimore Area Event for All Things Baby!

Due Date Baby Event, Baltimore, MD #DueDateBaby — a Modern Mrs.
I'm really excited, y'all. This weekend J, E and I will be attending Due Date Baby! Just in case you haven't heard of this event, it's an event targeted towards expectant moms, new moms, and families. There will be a ton of well-known exhibitors who will be showcasing their products and/or services, as well as providing information and advice regarding child development. Oh, and bonus! Megan Gilliland and Candace Dold of Fox 45 News will be there, too!

Want to learn more? Visit Due Date Baby via duedatebaby.com for a full list of exhibitors and to enter their raffle, or check them out on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Are you interested in attending? If so, here's the nitty gritty:
Can't make it? Don't worry, as a VIP mommy blogger, I'll be sharing all this event has to offer live via Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, so you won't miss a thing!

Will I see you there? What are you looking forward to seeing from this event?
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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Dunkin' Donuts, Diapers, and Baby Carriers #OldSchoolBlogging

Remember the days when blogging was more like an open diary? When you didn't have to have images, you didn't have to market yourself, and there was no such thing as a sponsored post? Don't get me wrong... I love what blogging has become, the vast community it opens you up to, and the opportunities it provides. What I'm saying is, it would be nice if we bloggers could just open up like the good ole days. You know... and you still stick around and all.

With that said, I was inspired by Jo-Lynne Shane {formerly of Musings of a Housewife} and her #CoffeeTalk and #OldSchoolBlogging posts. It's basic chit-chat, with or without images, no ulterior motives — just plain her talking to me/you/us as if we're sitting in her living room chatting over a cup of joe. It's lovely, and I wanted it, especially nowadays when I really want to get back to posting regularly, but my schedule is a little tied up with a tiny human who craves my every second. In an effort to find a balance between regular content with the small amount of time I have to do so, I present to you #OldSchoolBlogging... AMM style.

Dunkin' Donuts, Diapers, and Baby Carriers

Lately I've really been enjoying a coffee from Dunkin' Donuts with the caramel-whatever-stuff they put in it. More specifically, I've been enjoying a medium {sometimes decaf} caramel coffee with sugar only. You know, as in no cream. And I assume they know I mean hot because I don't say iced, and because coffee usually comes hot, and because I've never had a problem before. Well, not today.

No, today I finally made it to Dunkin's drive-thru around 11:30 - 11:45am. Yes, much later than I would've liked, but that's the earliest I could get out of the house. I placed my usual order, and when I got home and removed the lid, I had a startling surprise.... It was light. Like, really light. Much lighter than any of the other times I've ordered it.... which means they added cream. Now, I'm aware the caramel stuff lightens the coffee, but I've ordered this drink enough times to know exactly what shade it should resemble, and this was not it. What's the big deal? Well, I'm lactose intolerant, and cream is a no-no. I wanted this coffee so badly that I contemplated drinking it anyway, but being confined to the toilet isn't really something I can afford to experience with a newborn around. So, I dumped it down the drain {and cried just a little}.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

"New Mamas Get Nothing Done"....

New Mothers Get Nothing Done #CoffeeTalk — a Modern Mrs.
It has been a long time since I had a newborn. Nine and half years to be exact. I don't recall much of the day-to-day moments from those days, but I feel like I was able to tackle more than I can this time around. Granted, no two babies are the same, and that definitely holds true when it comes to my two girls. What does that mean exactly? It means I'm doing a whole lot of holding and not a lot of much else. But you know what? As they say, I ain't even mad.

Between nursing, diaper changes, sleep wrangling and general comforting, I don't feel like I get anything done around, or outside of, the house. I try to get in some quality time with L {which these days means watching a lot of t.v. together, as I'm usually confined to the sofa}, complete at least one load of laundry, maybe clean something, but generally I'm just lucky if I get to eat or drink anything. My day, baby-related matters aside, is considered successful if I've managed to shower, do my hair, and make my bed before 12pm.

Where am I going with this? Well, today during a nursing session, I was browsing on my phone and stumbled across this article, which is titled, "New mamas get nothing done (and other untruths)." I strongly encourage you to read this, especially if you're a first-time mom! Basically, the gist of the article is that while you may not get the laundry done, the errands ran, dinner cooked, or even manage to change out of your poop/pee/spit-up-soaked pajamas from last night, that's okay! Even if you're frequently couch-bound with a fussy and/or needy baby, you're doing important work! Sure, it can't be measured by a salary or a fancy title {though I think "Mom" is a pretty fancy title}, but it can be measured by the coos, smiles, and general contentment your little one shows and feels for you. These days may be long, but they're numbered. Today only happens once, which is why it's called a present, so don't squander it with anxieties over dirty clothes, dirty dishes, or what your friends/relatives/neighbors may think of what you are, or are not, doing with your time. As the saying goes, "Good moms have sticky floors, messy kitchens, laundry piles, and happy kids."

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

I'm Back!, Introductions, and Moving Forward

Gone are the days when I could sit down at {practically} any time of day and plan posts, edit photos, and write away to my heart's content. Now my days are primary filled with the needs of my darling, beautiful six-week-old daughter, E, as well as all of the other usual tasks from before.  You know... the caring of L as well as J, the laundry, dishes, errands, etc. As such, I wasn't able to do a proper introduction post, so you'll forgive me if I toss it in along with the very overdue nursery update, and the filling-you-in-on latest happenings in the Modern Mrs. house.

First, E.

Our little E was born on August 16, 2014 at 9:42 in the morning, weighing in at 5 lb. 4 oz., and measuring 18 inches long. She was approximately four weeks early, induced at what they thought was 37 weeks gestation due to a two-vessel cord prohibiting her growth. Through nothing short of a blessing, the delivery went well, she avoided any complications, and we were able to go home two days later. The following weeks were spent with multiple weight checks, cord stump cauterizations {due to how high they clamped her cord}, and just plain trying to recover and learn the whole nursing mother gig.

While we avoided supplementing with formula {she's now a healthy 8 lb. 6 oz.}, we are now, unfortunately, battling a nasty umbilical hernia and... as of this morning.... pink eye. /sigh. Oh the things you bring home from the pediatrician's office.... Those issues aside, E is overall healthy and happy, and we couldn't be more blessed to have her in our lives. You will be seeing much more of her from here on out!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Let's Catch Up....

I'm so ready for fall. When searching for an image for this post, I found the one above, and instantly desired brisk morning air, beautifully colored leaves, spicy beverages, and a change in fashion. Fall is my most favorite season, and as July comes to a close, I'm reminded that it's just around the corner. However, fall is not the purpose of this post. Today I want to play catch up with you all and fill you in on why I've been so hit or miss these past few weeks.

I am not a bad blogger.

No, but I am a very pregnant blogger. This is the sole reason why posts have been sporadic. I didn't get a pregnancy update posted last week for two reasons. 1) Hubs and I kept forgetting to take a picture, and 2) things have been crazy from one day to the next 'round here lately. Miss E likes to get everyone riled up for no reason, which makes sitting down to write a blog post difficult. Here's what's been happening with that....

The Baby....

Even if my doctor's weren't talking about inducing me prior to my due date, I firmly believe E will be arriving early on her own. Not only has she been head down for two months, she's been head down and face back for a month, and has landed me in the hospital at least once over the last two weeks with contractions. My cervix was still closed as of Saturday night, so we're just left here wondering what stops she'll pull out next. Our bags are packed and ready to go, so if she decides to surprise us all, we're ready for her!

The only news otherwise I have to share is we find out next week if we'll be induced at 37 weeks or not. 37 or 39, we'll have a baby in 2-4 weeks!

Recipes....

Between multiple doctor's appointments that take several hours each, and a body that is really struggling to handle this stage of pregnancy, my days are spent on the go or laid up on the sofa. I haven't cooked dinner in over a week {my wonderful husband has been taking care of that for me}, so there definitely isn't any recipe experimentation going on here. Even before I took my dinner hiatus, it was a miracle to get anything on the table, let alone something new and time consuming, so that explains the lack of recipe sharing going on.
 

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