Thursday, November 29, 2012

About to pop? Grab these!

The countdown to baby is the best and worst couple of weeks. The fact that you could go into labor at any moment, leaves you so anxious! With Langston being my first baby, I went off of fellow mama blogger posts about what to pack and bring to the hospital. Of course now looking back I can easily say what was a waste of space, and what was good as gold. Not even necessarily what was useful while in the hospital, but the first few weeks as well!
Belly Band
If you have a C section, this should be the number one staple in your hospital bag (no pun intended). With all of those belly muscles that were cut, it was hard to stand up straight. Once I put the belly band on, I was up straight, and walking up and down the stairs with no problem. Life. Saver.
I don't care if you think you'll look like an old lady, you will be thanking me for this. There was no way I could wear anything comfortably that had a waistband, so I invested in some night shirts and fell in love. Nothing sitting on my incision, easy to nurse in, and just plain comfy. Do it.

Ameda Hydrogel Pads
 If you plan to breastfeed, you're going to need these. Wear these in your bra in between nursing and feel the relief! Wear them until they start to get cloudy in color, then toss them out and put in a new pair. (Medela also makes a version of these, but they are extremely sticky and I found out the hard way that those are not the ones you want on your sore nipples).
I found my iPhone to be an amazing tool during, and after my pregnancy. I used the BabyBump app while I was pregnant to track how far along I was, and it also had a forum so I could keep in touch with other women due the same month I was. Once baby came, I could easily snap and send pictures to family with one hand, and read books on my Kindle app during those overnight hours when nothing was on TV (and especially in the hospital, since you won't be sleeping).
Moby Baby Wrap
I already had an Ergo, but that's not exactly infant friendly (even with the insert), so I decided to give the Moby a shot. I was also really big into bonding, and figured this was just one more way to bring us closer. Newborn Lang loved it. It keeps baby super snug and close to you, while still letting you get things done around the house. I wish I could have used mine longer, but Langston hit 20 pounds pretty quickly and it just didn't fit so well anymore. If you have a friend willing to let you borrow one - do it!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Happily ever after. Take 2

Girl meets boy. Girl and boy fall in love. Girl and boy get married.
Girl and boy have a baby. Girl and boy live happily ever after.

That is what's expected. It's the traditional way, they say!
Well, my life didn't particularly go that way, and you know what?
 That's just fine.

I had a baby before I got married, and girl and boy certainly didn't live happily ever after. Not together, at least.

Not that I'm encouraging anyone to do it this way, but it's what happened to me and I'm going to make the absolute best of it. I don't consider myself damned just because I didn't have a wedding band on before I had a baby. I know plenty of people who are currently "together for the kids" and I couldn't be happier that I'm not one of them. If it's not working, get out. Although I believe in the traditional way of parenting, I don't believe in being unhappy. And if that means being a single mother, so be it.

Which I am, and I don't hate it. I'm completely happy. My custody situation still lingers overhead, but I can't let that deter my focus from Langston. I hope people know that your life isn't over just because you got a divorce, or had a baby out of wedlock. It's just the beginning of your second chance, which you should be thankful to have.

You have to look at the bright side of the situation, and think: I can watch what I want on TV. I don't have to shave my legs today. I don't have to share my bed. Those may seem like goofy things, but it's the little things that will make you feel better. Of course the huge bright side of your entire relationship, whether it went down in flames or not, is the fact that you got an absolutely beautiful, and brilliant baby out of it. And that is worth more than anything in this world.

At the end of the day, sometimes where you thought you'd end up, just isn't where you should have ever wanted to be in the first place.
Also, Langston's 6 month pictures will be up tomorrow! *Squeals!*

Monday, November 12, 2012

Giving thanks

It's hard to believe, with how fast time flies, that Langston will be 6 months at the end of November. Everyday he's learning and growing, and changing right before my eyes. It's so wonderful, and so frightening! My baby will be grown before I know it. And since it's the month for giving thanks, I think this is a good time to count my blessings.
I am thankful that I was able to have a baby.
I am thankful that I was given such an amazing child.
I am thankful for the family and friends that I have around me.
I am thankful for old friends getting back in touch.
I am thankful to have a job, that lets me provide for my son.
I am thankful for my fellow mama's, who give constant advice and support.
I am thankful for the everyday struggles that keep me grounded.
I am thankful for my parents, who have raised me to be a strong and independent woman.
Most of all, I am thankful for Langston. Without him, I never would have known the true meaning of life, and love. I have found that life truly starts with your children, and I plan to spend the rest of my time focused on family.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Did you really just say that?

4 things I wish people would stop saying to me. And my snarky remarks that follow.
1. Oh, you're a single mother? I guess you aren't into "traditional" parenting...
Yes, when I got pregnant my ultimate goal was to wind up a single mom, battling it out in court for custody. Asshole.
2. Where's your child?
With his father for the weekend. And even so, do I never deserve to take a trip to the store alone because I'm a single mother?
3. Well that's pretty cool that you get child support, right?
Uh no. Well, not yet at least. And I don't want it, nor have I ever asked for it. I work my ass off, and I can, and do support my son on my own. Imagine that?!
4. You look exhausted.
Actually, I'm not. But thanks for telling me that I look like crap.
People may honestly be saying these things to me with the best of intentions, but please just stop. The fact is, I'm a single mother who is really quite traditional, I don't go out to the bar while someone else watches my baby, I don't need anyone elses money, and I'm not tired!

Also, LANGSTON'S FIRST HALLOWEEN! Of course he was clueless to what it was, and we obviously didn't take him trick or treating. But how festive does he look in his glow-in-the-dark skeleton playsuit, and halloween bib?! His bottom two teeth have also broken through the gum. So exciting!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Hey! What about me?

Most gals dream of having a baby girl so they can fully deck them out in cute tights, and fabulous headbands and bows, and I get that. I understand the excitement. I can never pass up on a sassy outfit for my niece, Dannyn. But I always wanted a boy, and lets face it, the poor boys get the short hand of the stick in the fashion department. Our section of the store is half the size of the girls, and just the general appearance of them is lacking!

Since Lang is growing like a weed, I'm always on the hunt for new clothes for him. I've found over the past 5 months, that boys can look just as good as the gals. It's all about where to look, and how to put it together.
For basics, our go-to favorite is the all white long-sleeve onesies from Carters. They go with everything, so they're a definite staple in Langston's wardrobe. I usually stick to Carters when it comes to PJ's, and comfy clothes. But for outfits I love Old Navy, H&M kids, Baby Boden, and countless others. I also find great deals on Zulily for all things organic. They're so soft, and comfy, but can be extremely overpriced, so sign up for Zulily to get great deals on clothes, toys, and other essential mama gear.
Lang doesn't have a set "style" because I pretty much like him in everything. If it's cute, and seems comfortable, I'm usually all about it. The important thing is to not spend hoards of money on baby clothes that they'll outgrow in a week. Jeans and sweaters I always buy larger, because the sleeves and legs can be cuffed up. And chances are, big boy will probably fit perfectly into them a week later. Search for deals, and buy out of season so you get a great price. Just be sure to get the correct size for what you're child will be wearing during that time. Langston was born in May, and someone gave us a Northface winter coat that was 0-3 months. I was so bummed that he'd never get to wear it!