Sunday, March 30, 2014

Essentially Essential

So currently I'm drinking my homemade Rehydration drink from THE @nancyholtzman, and working on getting on the mend.

In the mean-time I'll leave you with this...

The other day I gushed to you about those things that I obviously needed for this next child. Because NO parent has ever raised a child without those exact things.

Now, I will talk at you about the actual essentials I found when successfully (?) getting MM out of newborn/infant-hood.

1)      Swing

If your baby is ever this happy in this swing, good work. MM was never that excited. 
Also, we never used that tray thing in front.

Now, this swing was lovingly borrowed by some dear dear dear (did I say dear?) friends, who are going to do the same this time around and I could not express my gratitude enough for them (and the Mrs. Makes some MEAN and well thought-out new parent meals). This swing WAS NOT the thing to get MM to stop yelling, but she did some HARDCORE napping and sometimes through the night sleeping in this swing. The pictures of her on the first days in this swing still make me weepy as she was so tiny.
Also a plus about this gift from Heaven is that when (not if) your baby blows out a nasty one, it’s really not too hard to take the soft part off, toss it in the wash, and re-lamb it. MM also did a lot of TV staring in this, and all around lived in this wonder for a long while. 

You don't have to get one this fancy, and we didn't, we borrowed. So I would suggest a Craigslist scour or talking with parents who may have been blessed one in the past and are willing to share. Because most parents will sympathize and share. 

2)      Swaddle

I should mention that this is the swaddle we used with MM and I’m trading up (at least in my dreams) for Virginia. But swaddling in general is amazing. Locking those arms down is clutch in getting more sleep as these little baby zombies are all jerky throughout the day and night and are always hitting themselves in the face and waking up. MM did fight a LONG time in this especially at bedtime (honestly because that’s when we really used it, naptime was usually swaddle-free and was in #1). Who knows what we’ll do this time around

3)      Workout Ball

This can be used for crunches or whatever you want, but in our house from October 2012 – January 2013 and possibly beyond it was used to bounce a baby. MM was really receptive to bouncing and it was our go-to for a LOOOONNNNG time. It’s great to protect those knees and hips from repeat bouncing, and I mean, potentially for hours. It’s really nice if you wear the babe, while on the ball and watching Ellen. That is honestly the perfect of all combos while on maternity leave. Now, add a toddler running around and who knows what perfect will start looking like.

Upon re-reading this, the idea is that you HOLD the baby in your arms and sit on the ball and then bounce. I think that set up will make everyone happier than just laying the baby on there and bouncing the ball.

4)      Boppy or something boppy-like nursing pillow

I was gifted the traditional boppy, because I registered for it, and was also handed down this beaut. It’s hyper expensive for a pillow that holds a baby under your boobs, but it really has come in handy even before MM was born. I started using it to support the belly at night, but then it got too cumbersome and hot in bed with me. SO I kicked it out like I kicked Charlie and Buckley out of the bed for months. Then it was solely a nursing pillow (note: when a baby poops WHILE THEY ARE NURSING [something only a baby should do, eat and poop] this pillow is on the difficult side to get in/out of the cover, but can be done). Now it is MM’s little pillow-seat when she’s trying to avoid me, or reading a book to or about Belle. The Boppy is good, and fine, the cover comes off tons easier than this other one, but for a brand new momma, it’s not going to fit around your waist by any stretch of the imagination. Another note: I haven’t tried it, but I’ve heard the My Breast Friend (also who doesn’t’ love that name) is a winner, there is back support and even a pocket to hold cellphone, remote, cookies, whatev.

I will also say that if you are shy about popping the ladies out early on, it will save you SO much trouble to get over that and just embrace it, especially in your own home. I was using the utter cover in my living room for a long time, but MM hated it, I hated it, we moved on. Now, I know not everyone is all “let your boob flag fly” like I am, especially in public. But at the house you should be comfortable.

5)      White Onesies

I’ve mentioned it many times before and I’ll take it to the grave. White onesies are cute, functional, unisex, and BLEACH-ABLE for the most part... I mean bleach is lots of mommas’ best friend (we’re kinda friends, it has really stolen some good clothes from me) but it can only do so much. Anyway, I really want to get some long and short sleeved side snap ones, because it would be nice not to have to pull them over Virginia’s tiny screaming head, but just the regular ones you really can’t go wrong with. AND when you eventually ruin them (you will, tell me your secrets if you don’t) you won’t shed any tears tossing them into a trash can that the dog can’t reach.

One story that I recall the parents were quick thinking and just cut the onesie off the lil’ man because what was the point in dragging the poop up lil’ man’s back when you were going to trash it anyway? That is the nice thing about being cheap sometimes… it’s just more convenient.

6)      Nursing Pads

Another thing I couldn’t live without. I was. and kinda still am, a very milky momma. My ladies leaked like no other, and beyond the pain and problems I had initially which after lots of $$ and visits to all kinds of doctors, issues really resolved themselves with time. And gritting my way through it. Anyway, yes nursing is hard and yes you can do it (if you want), but these were the GO TO for the nursing mom. They are like maxi pads for your boobs. There was one fatefully time I didn’t wear them, I was actually wearing a nice dress to an event. Didn’t wear them, it was like I poured two cups of milk on my ladies by the end of the night. One of my better evenings out as you could imagine.

7)      Sound Machine

We didn’t even register for this I don’t think, but some kind soul passed on their good insight and gave us this one. It is wonderful. We use it EVERYNIGHT, and I use it on full blast. We settled on the rain setting because it’s the most like straight white noise, but bird and what-not would be calming too. It has a battery option as well as a plug in. That means, yes it is a traveler too. The only thing about sound machines in general is I don’t fall asleep well to them, so it becomes a “Do I turn the thing down a risk MM waking up and needing the sound vs. me not getting to sleep” She always wins. In everything. We didn’t use this until MM was about 3 months because she was in the bedroom with Charlie and I, but after that. EVERYNIGHT.

8)      Humidifier

We have this one. It’s cute, it’s cool mist, we like elephants, that was the entire decision making process. We like it, for the most part. It has become a little temperamental in the last month or so where it makes a horrible noise and so we can’t use it. Also if you’re lazy and not good at cleaning, it gets really nasty and super frustrating to clean, because you can’t get into the tank with your big adult fingers. So, I’ll recommend, if you do get it don’t be like me and not clean out the tank with vinegar or something for like 8 months. Because you’ll hate yourself and think you’re poisoning your child with mold water. But overall, cool mist humidifiers are the jam, they help babies sleep in the winter when you’re blasting the heat trying not to freeze them as the heat will dry out those teeny sinuses and makes them cough and not sleep well.

I will being this by saying this sucker (pun) is going to make you feel weird. But that is now what you will call parenting. You put the one pointy end at the babe's nostril and the red end in your mouth. Then, do it with me now, you suck. You are sucking the snot out of your sweet child's nose. It will seem foreign, and honestly, Charlie won't do it (I am the sucker that started this whole thing... gosh I love puns). But let me tell you, at 2:34 AM when your baby can't sleep because their nose is stuffed up, you're willing to do just about anything to get them comfort, so you can get comfort.

10)      Large dose of humility and ability not to be yourself for a while

You will have a new baby, or another new baby (bless you). Here are a few things you may not have expected to happen:

a.       There will be a point about day 3 where you will cry for hours for little-to-no reason. Expect that.
b.      You may get a shower every other day (I imagine you’ve heard this).
c.       You will yell/kick/emotionally harm your husband/mother/in-laws/friend unintentionally, they should understand this (tell them to call me if they want to talk about it).
d.      Your boobs will not be yours for a very long time (and not your husbands for much much longer)
e.      Your lady parts will feel weird for a while (and you’re going to bleed for weeks)
f.        With all of the nursing things I had problems with, I walked around topless for a few weeks (you can ask friends that visited, I was not shy)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Advice me, people.

Ugh, this is going to be semi-serious. And I'm sorry for that. I was trying to sleep last night and this post just kept running through my head.

I assume this is how many girls we will have before a boy

I need some advice.

I've been struggling with a feeling that I'm not sure is going to get better before it just, well happens.

I am calling out to all those mothers of two or more children.

When I first found out we were pregnant with Virginia (although we didn't know she was Virginia at the time) I was of course thrilled! Another baby!! YAY!

And then things started sinking in, and things started getting real. And then came the tears.

How was I going to grow another heart that would hold all my love for another baby. Mary Margaret has my whole heart! Looking into her sweet little eyes and giggling with her and (rarely) getting to snuggle with her is all I could ever ask for. It fills me.


How can I grow a spot in myself for more love to be given and received??

The thought of splitting my time between her and a new baby that I am apparently going to love just as much, just confuses me. And makes me want to cry at the time I can't spend devoted to her (either 'her').

Charlie has heard me talk about this time and time and time again, and I know that other pregnant mothers with their second are feeling the same nervousness, worry, and confusion that their whole world is going to be divided and I will need another entire whole world to give to another child.

Part of this is being able to balance attention, and I understand that is going to take some negotiating and there will be some tears from all parties involved, but it is for the best for everyone. MM will have to learn that she is not the center of everyone's world (and apparently not mine either soon), which is a good lesson to learn, I guess, if you're into teaching lessons or something.

I imagine a lot of this will be. "It will just happen, you will find the love and joy and space for everything" but before that happens, it is scary!!

So if you could help me put my whirling, crazed, nervous mind at ease I really REALLY appreciate it.

Ohh, also. Tell me how to survive when you have a newborn up all night, AND a toddler that is up almost all day. How? How How Hooooooooow?? When do you sleep? I can't even fathom how that will work. How are you not constantly falling asleep? Is it just an unlimited supply of coffee? I, I just can't see it working.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Bitty Baby Wish List

Ohh second child... How I have learned about the real needs of a baby... not.

The first time around I registered for lots of Rufflebutts and cute little hooded bath towels, only to find that infants who can't walk aren't quite as cute as toddlers who can walk and show off those ruffles.

Also, cute little hooded towels are nice, but what is also nice is a CLEAN towel, and I think with two under two even that may be a stretch. I know now that a white onesie that is bleach-able and a nap are pretty much all you need to survive.

OK, so this may be tacky, but I'm not above tacky sometimes. Anyone that really knows me, know this.

I'm going to expose my expertise as a mother (all of the joking) and neediness/greed in one post! Lucky everyone!!

Here are thing things I'm considering (or have) registered for the Littler Miss McCants

1) Ergobaby Swaddler
Now this is supposed to be one of the new "IT" things out there. It Houdini locks the babe's arms in there, has a crotch thing to prevent hip dysplasia, and apparently has amazing fabric.

I'd say that middle baby is a little concerned about whats going down right now. Look at those eyes.

Last time we used a few different types of swaddles for the Bigger Miss McCants and in the end found our mainstay in a fleece swaddle me that I have a hard time locating in brick and mortar store. Plus it will be THE HOTTEST of summer when Virginia is born, so we're going to try something new.

2. Bouncy Seat

obviously (right?) without the non-McCants baby inside

We were lovingly leant a stationary lamb-seat thing similar to this with MM, and honestly she hated it 99% of the time. Only when she was close to 4 or 5 months would she give it the time of day. I think the movement with this one may be more appealing to the new highness. Who knows, I'll be a first time mom to THIS baby and she will certainly throw me for a loop.

3. Jenny Lind Crib

So, we already have a crib, actually this EXACT ONE for MM, but the thought of her running around or throwing things into Virginia's crib or whatever really scares my already tight maternity pants off me. We plan on them sharing MM's tiny room when Virginia is about 3ish month. And my plan is to get MM the toddler bed railing thing, so she can keep her crib for AS LONG AS POSSIBLE.

4. Ergobaby Newborn Insert

Baby Cocoon, check.

We had registered and received a Baby Bjorn when we had MM, and we used it all the time, but on a trip to Boston I wanted to wear MM on my back which isn't possible with a Bjorn, and I like the forced correct hip placement that the Ergobaby enforces.

5. Cloth Diaper Army

I'll take every color please

I'm not going to say that we're going to do all cloth with Virginia (actually I can guarantee we aren't). But since I will have 2 kiddies in diapers for a while longer, it would be nice to have a better stock. Also we love us some BumGenuis, honestly we've only tried a few brands, but these have been our go-to's since we started the cloth journey.

6. Double Bob Running Stroller

Really, just pretending to push one of these really scares me

I know it's SOOOOO cliche' thing to have a BOB, but we use ours with MM all the time, and I promise I do actually run with it. You can ask... well a few people, who have seen me running with it. I know that I don't need it immediately because fo-sho I won't be running right away and also, I can wear Virginia while we walk for a while.

6. Kiddo Bookshelf 

Because I have big dreams of making our "Guest Room/ Charlie's Old Office" into a playroom/ room where Gran can sleep. So, to make that dream happen we need to do some serious re-arranging of pretty much everything, books included.

7. Mama Pads

If you really want to know what these are all about, do some research, I'm not going to tell you about them here. But I imagine they will feel reeeeeaaaaallll nice on the specific area they will be, touching...

8. Little Giraffe Pillow and Blanket

I believe they make these in adult sizes

MM was given these as a gift and she uses them every night. Seriously the pillow can put her almost directly to sleep. If it has that effect with Virginia I'll take 20.

OK, so that was painless for everyone right? If not, that's fine.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sunday Funday (?)

So if you don't know, now you know...

We're having another girl coming in July (let's be honest, it's really going to be August). Meaning of course I was wrong, again. Apparently I know nothing about my body being pregnant or if there is a difference between one pregnancy and another. They really weren't that long ago, you'd think I would have picked up on a few things.

The ultrasound tech told us with lightening speed, and I had barely gotten the "goo" on me before she was all "are you finding out today? Yes? okitsagirl" Right there. Thanks for the build up.

We are of course excited AND have picked a name that I'm going to tell you because it will make me not change my mind 100 more times in my head.

Her name will be Virginia (yes, like the state... if there were any other way to pronounce it) Mae McCants. She is named after one of Charlie's grandmothers, also a Virginia Mae Parsons McCants

We are trying to get MM to start learning the same and she is now slightly interested in "Baby Ginua", so I think that'll count for a win for less than a week. Also, apparently said grandmother had that nickname, without the "baby" part. So that may be sticking for a while, who knows.

Too much? I don't care.

Since I'm giving up Hulu for lent (I knowwwww, my vices!!! Nashville!! don't get me started about what's going to happen when The Mindy Project comes back... Sundays! Another reason to love you!),
I am going to pick up crocheting again. I killed myself made a blanket for MM before she was born, which I don't think I've really even used, but took me months to finish after pulling out rows and rows and rows trying to get things to line up.

Anyway, I need a new pattern and color. I believe I know where to go to get some but the idea seems daunting again to start something so new that will take me so long.

I am writing this during nap time, when I should be doing more constructive things like napping, cleaning, laundry, etc. BUT I haven't had the chance to enjoy a good nap all weekend. MM and I drove to High Point on Friday night and then home to Raleigh on Saturday afternoon and MM napped exactly until we pulled up to the house before she was roaring to go again. Ohh and Charlie was out of the house until dinner time, which wasn't really helpful at all.

While online shopping the other day I put approximately $130 worth of little girl clothes in the shopping cart, most of them were onesie sets and pants for "Ginua", texted Charlie we were in trouble, and then swiftly closed the window. Whew, that was a close one, I know I need to take stock of the girl clothes I have from MM, but without a doubt she pooped through 65% of her 0-3 month onesies. Those times before we knew that every diaper being a blow-out maaaaay mean that we need to up the diaper size. Ohh rookies.

Ohh also, my mom took MM to Triangle Park yesterday (Saturday) and said someone recognized MM. Come forward to collect your prize (there is no prize), but I would love to know who it was! My sweet mother pretty much only remembers the people SHE went to High School with and very little of my class, so please don't be offended!

Ok, carry on people. You have 1/2 a day of freedom left before Monday.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Gender Bender

We found out today what we're having.

I think I'll let Queen B tell it for me.

Please mom, no pictures...

Coming July 2014....

Monday, March 10, 2014

Trying hard to keep my word

So I really am going to try and keep this thing going. It's hard to get back into the habit of doing something. RIGHT?

We find out what the little teddy bear is on Wednesday. Still thinking boy... Charlie and I did the extremely scientific string and wedding band test last night, and it remained boy. So I think I should buy all of the male-oriented baby clothes in the next 36 hours (Non-Refundable, Naturally).

On Saturday my In-Laws graciously took MM for the whole night so Charlie and I could have a night to pretend we weren't parents (not-forgetting the small child holding court inside me). We stayed out until, get this 11:00 pm (!!) and went to a trendy Burger-Sushi fusion place, which you wouldn't think I would find anything to eat at, but you would be wrong, as I don't care about withholding Sushi during pregnancy.

We were excited about coming home, relaxing, watching SNL with my girl Lena Dunham as the host, until we walk into this monstrosity.

We'd gotten him that blue toy to prevent such a thing as we thought he was bored. Apparently that just made him angry, or something, because he really gave that bag of pancake mix a talking to. Lucky(?) for us he kept it all in the confines of the rug and then accompanied it with some drool which makes it impossible to remove the now batter from. I was up for a long while that night vacuuming flour, which is obviously beyond easy to eradicate from your house, and then... cleaning out the vaccuum, with -get this- another vacuum. Wild. and. crazy.

Not sure if it's needless to say or not, but his Sunday was not his finest.

He added insult to injury today when I came home to find he had also "marked" the spot with the most flour, just to turn that knife a little more.

Putting her on this ride was one of the scariest things I've ever done. 
I was running around the little circle like a crazy woman.
I know you moms of toddlers who NEVER sit still or in a chair would have been worried that their child 
would climb out and drown in the water too. 
You would, trust me.

Mary Margaret is really become a ham these days. She loves dancing and clapping to Pharrell's song "Happy".

She is working her way through singing (understanding? Doubtful) the ABC's. Mostly because we like to watch the Usher and India Arie Sesame Street versions on YouTube when it's the morning witching hours between not-late-enough-for-a-nap and not-lunch-yet time.

Her choice foods are:
Sweet Potato - "Tato"
Cheese - "Eese"
Grapes - "Apes"
More Cheese - "Mo Eese"
Pasta - "Asta" with no red sauce,
Nothing green that isn't a pea or sometimes a misplaced broccoli - "Ere Mom" ("Here Mom"as she hands it to me)
Ham - "Am"
Bread - "chicken"(?)
Yogurt or Water - "Ogut"
Milk- "Moo"
Pizza - "itza"
Oatmeal - "Ereal"
Cherrios with milk - "Ereal"

and just today... green smoothies "ooie", which she of course loved and looks like she ate a mouth full of pesto.

We go back and forth with berries and corn.

She will eat the life out of a free Moo Moo Mr. Cow from Moe's, along with queso her Aunt Allison slips her. Which she calls an "Itto" (Burrito)

She also has her first job, which she takes super seriously and talks about constantly. Fore mentioned Aunt Allison has two tiny dog-like children that she asks us to take out twice a week. Of course MM will.not.stop talking about one of them, his name is Robo and he is the constant talk of conversation starting when MM wakes and ends usually as we're brushing teeth. He is the light of MM's world.

Charlie is the wonderful loving man that he always is, and is getting groceries for us at 10:30 at night after a full days work, and then going back to work around bath time, then sent me a story for my nightmares.

Now, I was mad when Amy Poehler and Will Arnett called it spits

... and apparently Brandi is a liar (I imagine it's a Real Housewife of some State/City I don't travel to)

If you're really lucky, I may bang out a post when we find out what the gender is, but... I can't promise anything. That would be twice in one week.... aaaaaaand that may be stretching it on my creativity.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

You may fall asleep reading this...

Today is Fat Tuesday, so of course I am eating all the things, which you would think a norm for a 5 month pregnant lady, but I swear I'm trying to be better this time around so I won't gain ::cough cough:: 50 pounds this time. But, what can you do... right?

Among all of the other things Charlie is forcing me I'm giving up for lent, being slack about blogging is one of them. I can't say how often I'll post, but I will be more often than the record of never-times-a-week that I've been holding.

We are a leeeetle over 5 months pregnant and we're going to find out the gender of le' baby McCants next Wednesday. Honestly, I'm thinking bouy (mark that because it means FOR SURE we're having another girl) for a few different reasons, but mostly because my normally dry face has become a bonafide pizza face for the last 3 weeks.

Hmm what else have we been doing over the last 3 months since I posted last?


Welp, I went to Honduras and made it home safely. Charlie and MM were able to survive without me for the week, with LOTS (I repeat) LOTS of help from very kind souls who I must have found a place in their big hearts to drive, drop off, watch, feed, etc them while I was gone.

As a group we were able to see 1,700 Hondurans in 5 days of clinic, and the people there were SO appreciative and came to see us with some very interesting stories many of them involving walking hours to get to us, and unfortunately some of those same walkers, not having eaten or drunken anything in hours/days.

Here is a photo montage of our trip

The "cattle truck" that most non-pregnant (I was the only one) ride for 45 minutes  both ways up a non-paved VERY rocky road. This took them (us) to clinic for everyday. The bandanas are to help prevent the mercury dust from being inhaled on the ride.

Our view on the ride up to clinic. It was rocky and horrible, but at least the view was nice.

The little cathedral that was in the town of El Corpus. One day (Wednesday?) there was a beautiful choir practice that ran for close to 2 hours with the same song.

"Es Spike", whose real name is I believe is "Spot" per Mama Tula, our wonderful host who is a firm believer than everyone should eat tortillas with every meal, washed down by a "juice" drink.

A blurry picture of everyone staying at Mama Tula's house. My main girl Callie is in the black shirt and Mama Tula is the one barely clutching the huge 6 month old baby. I believe this was the only time she held the baby because babe was (and is, I assume) a HOSS. Good for you baby, enjoy that chub.

A glimpse of the crowd of people waiting in line to see the practitioners (which I was not one of). There were 5 practitioners most days and there were SO many cute little babies. I would pick one baby out each day at STALK the family until they held still long enough for me to mumble some spanglish at them and clutch the baby for as long as the mother was courteous. Normal, right?

This isn't the whole group that came, I wanna say it was everyone but the people from Atlanta and Alabama. Or Maybe all of the people that do or used to live in North Carolina (?).

Either way, the person I hold responsible for me going on this adventure is the lady in the blue scrub top and green bottoms with brown hair. Also of note, she is my boss... so honestly, once I got started I  couldn't back out. She is also really sweet and it was fun to see her in a different environment, one where we both kinda feel horrible, but are getting a lot of of the trip.

In Comayagua, this is the oldest cathedral in the Latin America, but if you ask someone like Charlie, he would spout off that it is easily the oldest cathedral in the southern hemisphere. That thing to the left is a bell tower which would be considered a safety hazard by any American standard.

I'm sure I wasn't supposed to take pictures in here, but... you know.

These little cherubs had different faces and went around in a circle, I wanted to get a better picture but I didn't want to cross any lines and get in trouble.

I kept a journal during this trip and it was the longest I've every held one exclusively. When I got home Charlie was so interested in all of the cool and touching stories I had, but mostly I told him about every meal I ate and all of the inside jokes that Callie and I had. I'm sure he knew it was a week well spent.

Well this post turned more into a Honduras run down than intended but that lets me stall for a little while before I have to make up something else to write about.

Also, I REALLLLLY wish I'd had some pancakes today for National Pancake day.