Archive for the ‘retail therapy’ Category

Thumbs Up or Not So Much: Baby Edition

Posted 10 Dec 2009 — by Mrs. Jenna
Category baby business, retail therapy

This is going to be a huge post. My apologies in advance.

I’ll start by saying this – I purchased a LOT of things based on recommendations from friends, internet ratings and just because it looked cool. Some things worked great – others I wonder why I ever bothered. Hopefully someone can learn from my mistakes! Without further ado:

Thumbs Up
SwaddleMe wraps – I bought one of these from BabySteals.com or something without knowing much about it, and ended up buying 3 more from Babies R Us. Abby LOVED being wrapped up tight, and it was the only way she’d sleep soundly (and still to this day!) Swaddling with a regular blanket did not work, as she’d kick or punch her way out of it. I had four, 2 fleece and 2 cotton knit. I probably could have gotten by with just one of each, but Abby doesn’t spit up much so…take that as you will.

Graco Pack N Play – Anyone who’s going to be traveling with the wee babe, or needs something for grandma’s house – THIS is what to get. Between the bassinet feature and changing table (that folds out of the way) it’s everything you need while on the road. It even has a mini diaper caddy and wipes holder.

Fisher-Price Little Lamb Swing – I know most of the baby world knows how great this thing is already, so I won’t go off the deep end with compliments, but it’s pretty damn great. Abby loves hers. And momma just found out the seat sits up or lays down. (I’m a slow learner apparently.)

Air Flow Sleep Positioner – I don’t remember why I was inclined to buy this (probably the instilled fear of SIDS) but it is WONDERFUL. Abby rolls onto her side pretty easily – not with this product. It’s adjustable, and she doesn’t seem to notice. The piece of mind it offers is worth the $13 or whatever it cost.

Cloth Diapers – Yeah – I don’t cloth diaper. (Tell me about how I’m destroying the environment later.) However, these things are THE BEST burp cloths. Don’t bother with the cutesy burp cloths sold by Gerber – they’re too thin and Abby ends up getting soaked unless we double them up. Cloth diapers are the way to go.

Aden + Anais Swaddle Wraps – These are HUGE muslin blankets great for swaddling, emergency crib  sheet, etc etc. A good lightweight blanket for summertime as well. Also – BUY THEM FROM TARGET – they’re about $15 cheaper than if you buy them anywhere else. Don’t ask me why.

Soothe & Glow Seahorse – Again, this is all over the baby boards as being awesome so I won’t bother going into it. Just trust me – IT WORKS.

Tiny Love Symphony in Motion Mobile – I LOVE this mobile. It’s perfect with bold colors and black & white graphics. Unfortch, it’s not being produced anymore, but Tiny Love has other mobiles that are just as awesome. I bought mine on craigslist. Here’s where I’m not so much on this – the motor was a bit loud, so I tried to contact Tiny Love to get a replacement part. I called them 4 times, leaving messages 3 of those times, and sent two emails trying to get ahold of someone. I still have yet to get any sort of reply. So…as long as it never breaks this is an awesome mobile. :)

Bink Link Pacifier Clip – I’ll admit, when I saw little Madeline (of Matt & Madeline fame) with one of these I ordered one. Like, 5 months before I even tried to get pregnant. It was just too cute. And it’s also a lifesaver. Abby loves her pacifier, but also enjoys spitting out just as much. This stops it from hitting the floor. And stops me from having a nervous breakdown.

Moby Wrap – I don’t use this too much yet – but the times I have made it worth the money. I’m sure I’ll use it more as she gets older and when it’s not eleventy billion degrees below zero.

Bassinet (courtesy of craigslist) – I wasn’t going to buy one since I had planned on using the Pack N Play in our bedroom. Then, a couple months before my due date I realized there was no way in HELL that huge thing was going to fit in our room. I didn’t see the sense in buying a brand new bassinet when she was only going to use it for a couple months, tops. I got mine for $30, and it was in great shape. Ours is two pieces, so you can bring the “basket portion” into the living room, leaving the base behind.

Wet Happened Bag – Such a good idea. Anytime Abby’s spit up or somehow managed to piss all over her clothes while we were out and about – her clothes went into this bag, keeping everything else dry and smelling good in her diaper bag. I have the “orchid groovy” print.

Summer Handheld Video Monitor – We tried the traditional audio monitor in our house and for whatever reason got nothing but feedback. (WiFi interfering? Who knows.) We had our eye on this the whole time, and finally broke down and bought it. LOVE. We have to keep the door to her room closed since our cat loves her crib more than she does – so having an ear AND eye on her from anywhere in the house is awesome for peace of mind. It was spendy, but I got it on sale at Babies R Us and it’s been worth every penny.

Burt Bees “Baby Bee” line – I received Johnson’s, Mustela and Burt’s Bees products as gifts…and I have to say I love the Burt’s Baby Bee products the best. (Ironic name, no?) Their line is almost 100% natural and smells just as good if not better than the Johnson’s line.

Munchkin Safety Bath Duck – If you’re like me and enjoy a scalding hot bath, it can be kind of scary selecting a temp for your little one. This little ducky stopped me from worrying if the tub was too hot.

And websites I purchased many an item from – Mamabargains.com and Babysteals.com

Not So Much

Halo Sleep Sacks -I have 3 of these (including a swaddling version from the hospital) and I’ve used one a couple times. Here’s my issue (and maybe it’s just a seasonal deal) – her arms are not covered while she’s in this thing (the non-swaddle version). It’s cold in our house at night, and this didn’t keep her warm. Fine for napping, but I’m not sold.

Itzbeen Timer – I bought this because in the beginning I was having a hard time remembering when I had fed Abby. Problem is, I also had a hard time remembering to hit the button every time I did, which makes this thing pretty useless. I will say I use the light on it all the time, as I have it clipped to the bassinet. (Then I don’t have to turn on my light in the middle of the night and wake up the mister.) Might be more helpful for breastfeeding mommies (helps to remind which breast you nursed from last).

Carter’s Cuddle Me Safari Bouncer – I registered for this because it was cute, neutral and had a vibrating option. IT SUCKS. Her head rolls all around (despite the head positioner) and the vibration makes this thing sound like it’s going to fall apart. It’s SO LOUD. We had to stuff folded up paper into it to try to quiet it down and it just vibrates out and the one million decibel vibrations resume. I wish we had a chair that was quiet, because she likes it, but momma can’t stand the sound. But I can’t bring myself to buy a different one.

Fold Away Baby Bath – I thought this would be nice to have since it folds up so small, but it’s ridiculous. I can’t use it alone, she slides all over the place on the inflatable bottom. It might be better when she’s older and can sit up on her own, but not now. Also, the plastic feet made the tub itself slide all over our tub. We ended up with one that looks like this (sans the froggy stuff) and it’s MUCH better, I can actually give her a bath myself.

Gerber Burp Cloths – As I mentioned above, these things are adorable but need to be doubled or tripled up to prevent the formula from leaking through.

Baby Cache “Tampa” Crib & Dresser – I only put this here because I have a complaint. The wood is REALLY soft and there’s lots of dents and deep scratches in both of these already (some scratches from my kitty’s claws!!) and that makes me sad for how much they were. Other than that I really like the design and build of these two…but scratches = sad.

Thumbs up or not so much: Pregnancy Edition

Posted 10 Dec 2009 — by Mrs. Jenna
Category baby business, retail therapy

The list of what saved me and what I didn’t need.

First Trimester
Thumbs Up:

Be Band/Bella Band was my BFF. Bloating can get out of control, and you really shouldn’t buy maternity pants until you’re really getting a baby belly. (I jumped the gun and bought a pair at 14 weeks and couldn’t wear them by my third trimester because they were too tight.)
SeaBands really helped my morning sickness. Lucky for me, I wore them in the spring when long sleeves were still needed, because you can’t really hide these things. But I didn’t take them off for weeks. LIFESAVERS.
Seltzer & lime in a highball – to fool the friends and family that yes, you are still a lush and aren’t pregnant.
Yoga pants – stretchy pants are SO needed for lounging around the house.

Not so much:

Again, hold off on buying maternity clothes (specifically pants) for as long as you can, because chances are what you buy now won’t fit later on.

Second Trimester
Thumbs Up:

Body Pillow – I didn’t bother with the Snoogle (by Boppy) because it seemed ridiculous to drop $50 on a body pillow that’s really only useful while pregnant, so I bought a cheapie one available at Target – $10 for the pillow, $10 for a cover. LIFESAVER. My hips hurt so bad from sleeping, it just changed everything.
Boppy Wedge – I DID spring for the Boppy Wedge pillow. I found I could use it between my legs on nights when I wasn’t feeling the body pillow, and when I got bigger, it was a nice support for my belly while on my side. (However – wedging it behind my back screwed me up BIG TIME. Be warned.)
Prenatal Yoga –  I went to a Yoga studio that specifically is meant for pre- and post-natal yoga. It was AWESOME and really helped my back pain and overall well being. Of course, I had to quit going thanks to the preterm labor business.
Fake Wedding Rings – I outgrew mine and went without for a while (instead wearing them around my neck) but then got nervous about that and bought a fake set instead. I’ve been back in my real set for a few weeks now and I’m so happy – but even happier that I went through my pregnancy with SOMETHING on my ring finger.

Not so much:
Gaiam Prenatal Yoga DVD – I bought a DVD online and it’s still in the packaging. Basically, just like my workout DVDs – if I don’t have a real live human being in front of me going through the motions, I won’t do it.

Third Trimester
Thumbs Up:

Pregnancy Massage – I only did this once, and I was SO MAD at myself for not having done it sooner. Laying on the pregnancy pillow which allows you to lay on your stomach ALONE was worth it. Well worth the money.
Bra Extenders – I ended up going from a 32C, to a 32DD, to more like a 34D at the end of my pregnancy…and a week after buying the 34D bra – THAT felt too tight. Enter the bra extenders. I wish I would have found these before I bothered buying the 34D bra…but that one WAS a no underwire, which was also quite necessary.
American Apparel Fine Jersey T Dress – I bought a couple of these in the second trimester and wore them to the end. And I am still wearing them now. They stretched to accommodate my belly and were SO COMFY.

So, there’s the list of Pregnancy needs and things not so much. I may add to this later if I think of something else!

This labor thing is pretty easy.*

Posted 16 Oct 2009 — by Mrs. Jenna
Category baby business, house stuffs, retail therapy, The Hubs

*NOTE TO LABOR GODS – I’M TOTALLY JOKING. No need to show me what’s really up for a week at least.

Saw John the Midwife today – this week’s state of the uterus:

Mucus Plug – Still gone.
Dilated – 4-5cm!!
Effaced – 80% (same)
Bedrest – Still till the end, unless I want to be in pelvis splitting pain.
Measuring – Around 35 weeks – only because I’ve dropped.
Baby is at 0 station, which is lower than last week’s -3.

Essentially, between the baby being so low, my dilation and effacement – I’m halfway done with labor. The only pain I’ve experienced is my gallbladder (now known as Vincent) and the cervix clawing. (Some of my ladies think the ninja is just hanging on for dear life – I concur!) I’ve had a few contractions with some cramping in the last week – but nothing to write home about. So, HOLY CRAP. It’s so close now I can nearly taste it. Now if the UPS man would just get here with our car seat…we’ll be ready to rock and roll.

The hubs and I went out for lunch after my appointment today and then to Best Buy, a rug store and Target. We FINALLY got a rug for the baby’s room, and also found a new one for the living room…which of course required us to buy new throw pillows at Target for the couches to tie it all together. (And I had to pick up some long sleeve onesies for the ninja to wear underneath all the short sleeve ones I ended up with. It IS fall. :)

At any rate, after having a hand shoved up my babymaker and all the walking/standing today…I’m beat. Especially since I only had about 3 hours of sleep last night, thanks to cervix punches and Vincent the gallbladder being a douche. The hubs is having a night out (well deserved) with his phone well within reach. I’m a little ascurred of something happening tonight considering the events of the day, but hopefully the ninja will at least make it through the weekend. My parents are planning on being here next weekend…or sooner if need be.

I just can’t believe I’m already this dilated…and not in the hospital choking a nurse because my epidural isn’t here yet. Certainly gives new meaning to the phrase “Everyone’s different!”

Was that a Mack truck? Oh wait – it was just the weekend.

Posted 30 Aug 2009 — by Mrs. Jenna
Category baby business, I am a moron, marriage, retail therapy

This weekend was a good one for sure, but completely wiped me out. We got so much done, spent a lot of time with my parents, and had a lot of fun. However, I am paying the price today. And last night. I paid the price last night too.

Anyway – we started the weekend out with a De La Soul concert at First Avenue on Thursday night, and after that wrapped up, headed to the hotel where my parents would be staying.

Friday, the hubs and I cleaned up the house, and once my parents arrived, my dad and I installed a ceiling fan/light fixture in the baby’s room. And we did it – we powered it up and it worked without smoking or blowing up. (High-five, Dad!) It looks pretty nice. I’ll take some more pics when we have a little more done. Friday night we went to a bar/restaurant in Northeast and then called it a night.

Saturday, my mom and I went to the Mall of America where she purchased early birthday gifts for me – work (maternity) clothes. The passing of labor day means no more “casual summer” at my job. Le sad. But now, I am set. Like my mom said – hopefully I don’t get put on bedrest or something and can actually use those clothes for the rest of my pregnancy! Saturday evening we went to the state fair, walked and ate tons of food, watched The Wailers play. I also froze to death. It was about 57 degrees…at 9:30 at night…at the end of August. Gotta love Minnesota weather. Anyway, contractions started up like the weekend before, and I had to get home. Once home, I reclined on the couch where my body pretty much gave up on itself, and every muscle ached. My dear hubs ran a bath for me (the first I’ve taken since being pregnant) and it was HEAVEN. It really helped. But, sleeping was another matter. I couldn’t get comfortable and my whole body was cramping up. I’ll assume it was rebellion for the miles I walked in both the mall and the fair. In any case, I slept pretty shitty.

Today we had breakfast with my parents and then they left. It was sad, but I think I was too tired/achy to cry. I don’t know if I’ll see them again before the baby’s here…we’re going to try for them to come again in October. Anyway – I’ve pretty much been parked on the couch since then, sleeping and relaxing, something I haven’t done in a while.

And, to round out this post to be the LONGEST EVER…I have a gallbladder update. This is where I get red faced and slightly embarrassed. The thought occurred to me last week that maybe the constant rib pain on my right side was caused by something else. I always felt better in the mornings, and some evenings…and (get this) whenever I would wear a sports bra. So, I moved my bra to the next loosest hooks.

The pain went away.

I am Jack’s complete and utter embarrassment.

Granted, I still get occasional pains here and there, but the constant ache I was experiencing is gone. I’m so relived, but still trying to eat a lower fat diet to get everything under control.

Later…or tomorrow, I’m going to post about the Dateline special on (right now) about vaccines and autism.

The rings are off, and so is the watch.

Posted 03 Aug 2009 — by Mrs. Jenna
Category baby business, retail therapy

Swelling, party of 1.

Last week, my beloved Storm watch had to come off. It’s got a metal band and could not be adjusted to work with my expanding wrists, so…I bought a new one and had the band set with room to expand. Here it is!


All last week and this past weekend my rings have been tight and uncomfortable, but I was dealing because I just didn’t want them off yet. This morning at 5am, I woke up to actual pain in my ring finger…so I soaked my hands in super cold water and applied liberal soap, and FINALLY got them off. Needless to say, I don’t think I’ll be able to get them back on again for a while. Hopefully they WILL fit again someday.

I ordered a fake set to wear temporarily. It looks like this:


It was only $25…so we’ll see how it works out. I had to order it a half size bigger than what my ring finger currently is (thanks so whole sizes only) so who knows if it’ll fit. If it’s big right away, I’m sure after a few weeks, it’ll fit just fine.

Also – in test results news – the lab tech that told me my iron was low and to take supplements was kind of wrong. Apparently my number was 10.8, and they like it to be around 11 or higher when you’re pregnant (since you have more blood volume, which tends to dilute your iron levels). The nurse I spoke to today said supplements weren’t really necessary, that I could try to add iron in my diet and that should be enough. THANK GOD. I hear those iron pills do a real disservice to an already slowed digestive system. :)