Friday, April 27, 2012

[Wednesday's Weekly Check-In] Week 1

The first week flew by (as I'm sure so will all the rest!).  I'm late this week with my Weekly Wednesday Update, but hopefully will start to get back on track with the milestone tracking!  The Birth Story will hopefully be coming soon as well!

Weight:  At birth 5lb 1oz, at discharge 4lb 12oz. Maintained 4lb 12oz at 1st and 2nd Pediatrician appointments at 3 and 5 days old. 

Medical Issues:  Biggest concerns at birth were keeping her temperature up and blood sugar levels.  We were unable to give her a bath until midnight the night of her birth because we needed 3 blood sugar readings over 40.  She had dropped to 27 after the first feeding, but then went back into the 70s for the next three readings. We also have to keep A double swaddled to stay warm so she doesn't have to work, and expend calories, trying to keep herself warm.  Instead, we need all the calories to go to her teeny tiny booty!

On Monday she was tested for jaundice (which she had) and was brought over a Bili Blanket.  Unlike myself, who was admitted to the hospital for 10 days after birth to be treated, we were able to stick the UV light contraption up the back of onesie with some swaddles and treat her from home.  It was awkward to feed and change her, since we tried to keep her on it 24/7, but it was so nice to have her at home!  I can't imagine her having to stay at the hospital for it.  The worst part was getting tested and having the blood drawn. 

Sleep: All the time!  20+ hours a day - Grow baby girl!

Clothes: Preemie, but doesn't have any yet.  Swimming in newborn until the Preemie order I placed is delivered.  Yep, I was online shopping hours after giving birth.... does this really surprise anyone?

Visitors:  Pop Pop and Nana, Bopo, Auntie Abby, and Mimi!

Diet:  Colostrum and formula at the hospital switching to milk once home and available.  Via combination of nursing attempts, pumping sessions, and daddy bottle feeds.  Ashlynn is so sleepy that waking for feeds is difficult and she sleeps through a lot of them.  Nursing uses a lot of energy, and she doesn't have much!

Crying:  Almost non-existent.  Some fussing during diaper changes, baths, and clothing changes (aka, when naked and cold!) 


Coming home from the hospital together as a family 2 days after birth! ...and belly button fell off at 5 days old.  

It was the most amazing week of my life!  We got to finally 'meet' the love of our lives, yet it feels like we've known her forever. I can't wait to see what the first year has in store, and the rest of our lives!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

1 Week

Oh, how quickly things can change....

Thank you all for all the sweet comments over the last few posts, I'm sorry I haven't had a chance to respond.  I hope we work out a schedule soon where I can get a chance to get to commenting on others blogs and responding to my own!

I can't believe that one week ago today, my water broke and I knew the we'd be meeting our sweet daughter within a day or so - time flies!

Monday, April 23, 2012

[Babycakes] 8th Month Run Down

Well, I almost made it to the end of the 8th month - just 5 days shy!  Looks like I can put away What to Expect When You're Expecting for that 9th month and Labor and Delivery chapters now...

(no 9th month to begin!)

I figured I'd still recap this last month of my pregnancy, though having a baby in my belly and not in my arms seems like ages ago!

1 - Sleep. I moved out.  I started sleeping in the guest room after waking up one night to use the bathroom and when coming back into bed realized the Husband stole my body pillow and the dogs left me all but a quarter of the bed - no wonder I was so sore all the time!!  I made a mountain of pillows in the guest room and stretched my sleep from 2-3 hour spans to 4-5!  Amazing, though it was a bit lonely.

2 - Weight gain. According to the doctor's office, at my 34 week appointment I was up 20lbs. According to me, I'm up 25. Right about the gain I was hoping for, let's see how quickly I can get it off!

3 - Cravings. My biggest pregnancy cravings were pretty strange, and none were of the variety where I had to have them right then and there.

Chicken Cheese Steaks (remember now, I don't eat meat!)

4 - Wedding Rings. Still on! Once again, They were only tight the one day that it got up to the high 80s when I went to take them off that night.

5 - Shopping.  I bought two extra Gap Maternity Body V-Necks.  They are by far my favorite maternity shirt and I had a feeling I'd be living in them come month 9.  Oh well!

6 - Belly Button. It's still out, but made it stretch mark free!

7 - Worries. The usual.  Lots of growing aches and pains.  During my 34th week I literally felt my hips separating.  I also had a "is that my water breaking" type scare and many increasing instances of Braxton Hicks, like on Friday the 13th at the Phillies Game when they were coming every 5 minutes for about an hour.  Eek!

8 - Size of Baby. According to Babycenter for a 35 week baby, she doesn't have much room to maneuver now that she's over 18 inches long and tips the scales at 5 1/4 pounds.  In reality, Ashlynn was smaller clocking in at 17 1/4" and just a smidge over 5 pounds.

9 - Favorite Moment of the 8th Month - Meeting our baby girl at 35 weeks and 2 days gestation!  My proudest moment in life was having her placed in my arms and her taking a big ol' crying breath for air.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Friday, April 20, 2012

[Babycakes] Early Arrival

Ashlynn Hazel born April 18, 2012
5 pounds 1 ounce
17 1/4" long

5 weeks early!

It's been a busy few days, but our early bird is doing amazing and so far we are all set home to go home tomorrow (...well today, but I haven't slept yet, so sometime after the sun comes up!) 

Despite being a preemie, she's as healthy as can be and a big time over achiever and we hope she keeps up this stellar work ethic through the next 18 years  ::wink wink::

I'll be sure to follow up with lots of details when we have some down time.  Have a great weekend!!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Bump-date: 8th Month (32-35 Weeks)

Today is big milestone day, 35 Weeks down and 35 Days to go!

I can't believe I'm ending the 8th Month and will be starting the final 9th next Monday.  My body on the other hand definitely believes it.  I'll catch up in my 8th Month recap next week, but man, the aches and pains of carrying around a 5lb or so baby is starting to take it's physical toll. Not much longer, hang in there babycakes!

She's beginning to drop and according to my doctor "very far head down", fingers crossed she decides to make an early May appearance!

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

[Little Room] Almost there!

The Little Room is almost complete!  Actually, it might be as complete as it's going to be prior her arrival.  I know the room will continue to evolve as she grows and there are still a few things I'd swap or add, but it's fully functioning and pretty damn cute if I may say so myself!

Still working on functional storage for the closet, I know if I start over organizing now I'm only going to change my mind 5 more times when she arrives to what really works best, so I'm trying to be lax and just letting things find homes as we go.  The bins at the bottom of the shelf have, from left to right, swaddlers and sleep sacks, miscellaneous toys, and extra sheets, waterproof pads, and changing pad covers.  The cleaning supplies may eventually get moved to the hall bathroom linen closet once her toys and belongings take over.

(the slowly growing shoe collection, look at those little Toms! - gifted by one of my generous neighbors, so cute!)

You may remember Mr. Pig.  His dingy and dinged up pink was in need a new color.  I was afraid to commit to something too bright, so I just used some taupe spray paint we had laying around in the garage.  It does match the bedding and changing pad nicely, but I don't think there is a enough contrast against the dark wall.  At some point, he'll be getting another spruce up.  

I'm also still looking for the right basket for next to the changing pad.  I have one that fits, but not sure I want to use it there.  Would love a place to corral the wipes, lotions, and other diapering needs.

And naturally, I have an itch to hang a pennant banner over the frames and pig... well see!

This wall still seems unfinished to me, but anything I think of adding I feel overcrowds it.  I'd love to get the metal A hung and eventually some pictures when she is here.  Any suggestions on a gallery wall to the right of the mirror, too much??

I also would love to get a new lamp shade for the floor lamp.  The shade was actually a gift from a friend after my wedding.  It was at my Florist's shop, of all places, and I had commented how cute I thought it was.    She went back and grabbed it for me and I haven't had a place for it since!  The lamp is the perfect height for sitting in the chair and will be nice to have for the middle of the night feedings or winding down with story time before bed. It does color coordinate with the bedding, but still seems out of place.

Lastly, I need new frames for the Husband and my baby pictures.  Most likely I'll be removing them entirely, or getting them printed in smaller sizes for the potential gallery wall. I just stuck them there for now.

Now time to start some laundry!!

Nursery Items Rundown!

Paint Color - Benjamin Moore Ashland Slate
Crib - Babyletto Modo 3 in 1 Crib
Chair - Best Chairs Storytime Benji Chair
Dresser - Ikea Hemnes 3 Drawer
Knobs - Anthropologie (coral and glass)
Bookcase - Ikea Expedit
Diaper Pail/Trash Can - Munchkin Arm and Hammer Diaper Pail
Curtains - Etsy, RockyTopDesigns
Crib Bedding - Land of Nod, Khaki in the Mix
Changing Pad Cover - Land of Nod, Khaki in the Mix
Blanket - Land of Nod, Organic Cotton Blanket (sold out)
Crib Pillow - Honey Pie Designs "Smile"
Chair Pillow - Serena and Lily Buddy Pillow in Curry
"LOVE" Print - MadebyGirl
Wall Prints - Etsy, Amanda Catherine Designs
All Frames - Ikea Ribba
Book Ledges - Ikea Ribba
Blue Baskets (bookcase) - A.C. Moore
Mirror - Ikea Ung Drill
Closet Cubbies - Target, ClosetMaid Organizer (and bins)

"A" Toy Crate - Handmade by Auntie KK
Pig Shelf - Handmade by Me
Cradle - Handmade by my Bopo

....Feel free to ask if you see something I didn't list!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

[Review] Nest Hudson Diaper Bag

Just a short bag review!

As scheduled, the diaper bag arrived from eBags on Saturday afternoon.  The bag is definitely BIG, but I think it'll be great for toting around everything and anything and not feeling like I need a purse for my belongings and a second bag for Ashlynn's.

The faux pebbled leather is gorgeous.  I held it next to my Marc by Marc Jacobs Hillier Hobo and they look almost identical, it's only when you touch you can tell the difference in the weight (not the texture).

The bag is lined with a pretty aqua blue waterproof lining, has six individual elastic pockets great for wipes, bibs, bottles, wallets, cameras, pacifiers, snacks, you name it and has a zippered pocket inside and outside too.  There is also a quick flap pocket outside with a magnetic closure.

I currently stuffed in there my Skip Hop Changing Station, a Aden + Anais swaddler, a burp cloth, multiple packets of wipes (diaper, pacifiers, and handy), a nasal aspirator, a foaming hand sanitizer, a wet bag and probably a few other things that I wanted to organize as 'travel' accessories.   The best part, there is still LOADS of room for my personal items and anything else that will be needed like diapers, bottles, teethers, etc.

Lastly, it's actual size.

This bag would be fantastic as an overnight bag or as a carry on for a flight.  I'm pretty short and fairly petite clocking in at 5'2", so this bag might not dwarf ladies with some actual inches.  Being that it's a diaper bag and not a purse, I don't really mind.  I'll take downsizing to one bag over needing multiple.   And so far, without my wallet, camera, or things like bottles of milk, it's still nice and light.

Score:  Solid "A".

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

[Real Deal and Awesome Steal] Inspired Diaper Bag Edition

I'm not sure if going on a shopping bender can qualify as "nesting", but if it can, count me in for building a nest for an ostrich.

This past weekend, I finally grabbed my diaper bag.  The Nest (heh) Hudson Diaper Bag was (and still is!) 20% Off at  On top of that, all orders over $99 got free shipping and eBates was offering 5% cash back, making my $280 bag only $210.56... not too shabby for a bag that will no doubt become home to spilled breast milk, poopy diapers, and soggy burp cloths.  I'll take any discount off that original sticker price that I can!

Nest 'Hudson' Diaper Bag - $280 (usual retail)

Since I'm not a fan of the Petunia Picklebottom or other printed diaper bags, I'm glad that this bag looks like one of my regular bags and doesn't scream "Baby on Board" like a the back of a Ford Windstar (my apologies to mini-van driving moms!).  

The funny thing is, I didn't realize how much it looked like one of my coveted bags - the Linea Pelle Dylan Medium Tote!

I don't actually own this bag, but it's been on my wishlist of favorite bags for a long time (along with the Foley & Corinna Mid-City Tote).  I'm surprised I didn't notice the similarities faster, but I guess I can blame that on baby brain.  

What do you think?  Is the Nest diaper bag inspired by the Linea Pelle tote??

Monday, April 2, 2012

[Going Green] Natural and Organic Hygiene Products

As I mentioned in my intro Going Green post, I've been slowly swapping my own personal care products for ones free of parabens, synthetics, and long lists of chemicals I can't pronounce - why would I choose not to do the same for my baby?

I've been pretty aware of all my recent baby product purchases including everything from shampoo to lotions, bottom balms and nursing creams, sunscreen and more.  While, most of these natural based products are MUCH pricier than the Johnson & Johnson or drug store alternatives, it's all the recent studies (and recent articles like this) that have me believing the cost is justified. 

This topic is so vast and I'm such a beginner, there is no way I could cover all the information that is out there and condense it to a smart sense guide.  At this point, I'm just looking for products made with as little chemical, manufactured, or synthetic ingredients as possible. 

For things like laundry detergent, I plan to use the usual stuff for our clothing, something more gentle like 7th Generation Free & Clear: Baby Laundry Liquid or BabyGanics Loads of Love 3X Laundry Detergent for A's clothes, and something like Rockin' Green or Charlie's Soap for her cloth diapers.   Being that our skin isn't sensitive to our regular detergent I don't see the cost benefit of switching every load to the pricier stuff, but for A's soft and sensitive skin, I'd like to keep any irritations or allergic reactions at bay.  When it comes to lotions and creams, I've already switched myself to Burt Bee's, Origins, Korres, and slew of other eco-friendlier items.

I was lucky enough to receive some products at my shower (and later at a sprinkle thrown by my neighbor friends) that I'm excited to try out.  I know a lot of this process will be trial and error of finding what works best for us. 

So far I have following products stocked to try out...
Burt's Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter  - already using and no stretch marks yet!

7th Generation Free & Clear Diapers - planning to use until she fits in our one size cloth diapers
CleanSypria Wool Dryer Balls - in lieu of chemical coated dryer sheets

There are so many different brands out there, I figured I'd try to stick to ones I could easily pick up in stores (Babies R Us, Whole Foods, or our local Wegmans) and the Earth Mama Angel Baby products had some of the highest reviews I had seen. 

I'd love to try some of The Honest Company products (company co-founded by Jessica Alba on the mission on providing affordable and safe family products).  However, since it's done as a subscription service, I'll wait until we have the need - and baby - to start my orders.  One of my favorite sources for reading up on what is safe and what is deceiving, not all 'natural' is created equal, is, the cheat sheets are really helpful.

As with my other going green ventures, these decisions are completely personal and everyone should be free to make their own choices with whatever products they feel work best for them.  I'm just sharing my process along the way in case anyone is interested or has similar opinions and would like to share their experiences. 

What are your favorite tried and true baby products??  Let me know in the comments!