Preparing For a Little One – Babyproofing your home

Welcome to another week of Preparing For a Little One (PFALO).  I’ve truly been loving this link-up.  It helps me write about all the things I’ve always wanted to, but the list was getting so long that I didn’t know where to start.  Even though I’m on the tail end of the “little one” thing I’ve really enjoyed reading the stories of like-minded mommies.  No matter where you are in life sometimes you just feel like you’re alone.  I’ve been pleasantly surprised to find there are other bloggy moms out there doing things like I do.  It’s been a real treat.  Thanks Kaitlyn over at Wifessionals for putting this together. 


Preparing For A Little One


This week’s topic is Babyproofing your home.  I’m going to talk about it this from more of a philosophy stand-point then an actual doing.  In our house we babyproof as little as possible.  The philosophy behind that is that we would like to train our children to be able to “handle it” when they are at homes that aren’t babyproofed.  Right now someone has a light bulb going off over their head!  It’s true, there are some things that I really feel should be babyproofed regardless – chemicals and medicine, rooms with dangerous items that can’t be put away and things like that.  It’s like a swinging pedulum.  I’d like to be somewhere in the middle.  If you walked into a baby store, or stores with baby items, you might find every babyproofing gadget for every item in your home: door handles, toilets, refrigerators, stove knob covers and the list goes on and on.  People remove magazines from their tables, books and movies from shelves and every cabinet has one of those annoying plastic things that breaks after using it once.  My home however has very few things babyproofed.  Instead we “trained” for lack of a better word, our children to leave those things alone. After about a week (the time frame it usually takes to change or implement anything when it comes to kids) my magazines are on my coffee tables, my knick-knacks our out and no one turns on the stove.

One of my other favorite tips that I’ve told to lots of my mommy friends is the one drawer/one cabinet rule.  There’s always a drawer or a cabinet without rules in my kitchen.  Usually its the tupperare drawer, sometimes its the drawer with their stuff in it (spoons, plates and such).  If I’m cooking, and they are little, they can follow me around in there and keep themselves preoccupied.

So far this has worked for us through three kids, and no major baby-proofing incidents (knock on wood).  What is so great about this, and where I really see the fruits of our labor, is when we go to people’s homes that don’t have kids or have older children.  Usually we don’t have any problems with kids going nuts knocking things over or breaking things, or opening up every single cabinet.  It might be different, but its a formula that has worked for us and I tell everyone I know about it.

Food for thought is always good.

Do you babyproof?  What are your babyproofing tips and tricks?  Any horror stories you want to share?

My past PFALO posts:

How to Stay Connected to Your Partner
Favorite Stores and Shops (including small businesses!)
Introducing Solids
Baby Wise vs Attachment
Dealing with PPD
To Vaccinate or Not
Tips for Recovery (For the Hubbies!!!)
post signature

Continue Reading

Preparing for a Little One: How to stay connected to your partner


Preparing For A Little One


Welcome to another installment of Preparing For a Little One.  It hasn’t been that long that I’ve been a follower of Kaitlyn over at Wifesessionals, and I was super happy to find her little corner of the web.  When she discovered she was pregnant it wasn’t long before she created this weekly link-up with topics relevant to pregnancy and having a newborn.  It is such a great idea.  Anything in a weekly format is great.  I haven’t been able to do it every week but I’ve participated in a few of the topics:

This week’s topic is all about staying connected to your partner.  After three kids, 14 years of being together and 9 years of being married, we’re still finding the balance in that.  It’s ever changing, and develops over time.  It can fit the needs of wherever you are in your life.  It can be easy and it can be hard.  For me I think its gotten harder with each kid we’ve had, with each move and with each career path.  But there are things that we’ve done that have remained consistent over the years.
1. make time in the hospital special
With our first one, I’m going to honest, it was a very difficult delivery and I was so tired I just don’t remember a whole lot about the time in the hospital.  However, I do remember that my husband was with me and we spent time together alone, looking at our cute little bundle of joy.  With our last little man we decided to not have anyone at the hospital waiting to come in right away.  While I think that would have been a difficult decision had it been our first one, especially since I’m so close to my mom, with our last one it was important.  We didn’t feel rushed or overwhelmed.  Hubby helped with the first bath in our room, we ate a meal together and snuggled with our little man.  Then we brought our older two in the next morning.  If you start off right, making connection of vital importance right out the gate, it will go a long way to preserve that.
2. Don’t rush the romance
I guess I mean in a physical way.  With our first born it was a fairly painful and long-term recovery.  I had an emergency episiotomy and the recovery from that was extremely painful and much longer than the six weeks.  My poor sweet hubby was a freaking saint.  I think I fell more in love with him then.  We took the time to hang out with other, we starting reading more together at night, and building the communication romance.  It’s easy to get swept away in the stress of the baby and adjusting but if you stay focused on each other, even from the beginning, it will do wonders for your marriage.  
3. You have a life separate from your kids (and that’s okay!!)
One thing I have always tried to maintain is my own interests, not just for me, but my husband.  Maintaining a healthy life without our kids, separate or together, has done wonders for us and will continue to do wonders as our children grow older and are around less and less.  I know you must have heard stories of couples that don’t know what to do when their kids leave the home.  They don’t know each other and they have nothing in common.  They’ve been so wrapped up in their kids that everything else is a mystery.  Yes, your life must change when you have kids, but letting go of everything else will not keep you connected to your partner or yourself.
Those are the first things that come to my mind, and its always a learning experience, and each child has been a different experience.  But if you keep these things in mind and think of your family as equal parts to a whole pie, you will be a success!  
Thanks for stopping by!!  If you  think my blog is awesome you can vote for my blog! Just check the box next to Cammo Style Love.  Thank you!!!


post signature

Continue Reading

Preparing for a Little One – Introducing Solids

Today I’m trying to play catch up with the Preparing For a Little One link-up, hosted by Wifesessionals.  I got a little bit behind on the discussions here but I just love this link-up so much.  It’s such a great idea and it has hit upon all the topics that I get asked about a lot, or just come up in conversations with mommy friends of mine.  Make sure to check out the rest of PFALO posts here on Cammo Style Love and over at Wifesessionals.


Preparing For A Little One

A couple of topics ago, Buying vs. Making Baby Food was the subject of the day.  I wasn’t going to write up a full post on that, but I just wanted to share a couple tidbits before we moved on to this week’s topic.  I made baby food/fed them our food for my second/third one.  Apparently its a thing we’ve actually labeled now, called Baby Led Weaning.  I think its kind of hysterical that we label it, but there you go.  Making pureed baby food is 10x easier than I thought it would be.  I had a night a week or two weeks I did it with the hubby.  we put on a movie and did it together.  Then I got Jessica Seinfeld’s cookbook, Deceptively Delicious, and the world of pureed food opened up wide for me!!!  I used extra puree’s in my every day food, which was kind of cool.  Definitely look that up and get it.

If you don’t feel like actually committing to all your baby food, and feeding your kid table food kind freaks you out (which is okay), here’s some other money saving options!!  Don’t buy baby food bananas man, or really any other fruit.  just throw that stuff in a blender (bananas, pears, peaches).  Also, Mott’s plain applesauce…buy that in bulk, its just like the baby food stuff and 10x cheaper!!!

Okay, now on to this week’s topic, which kind of goes along with what I mentioned up there.  Apparently “Baby Led Weaning” is for-real a thing.  I had no idea.  I think I’m old or something.  If you’re like me and didn’t know it was a thing, definitely read up on it.  With my first one I just did the normal baby food thing.  I also had a really awesome pediatrician who wasn’t telling me at exactly such and such time to start feeding them, such and such food.  He was very much of the idea that baby should show an interest in the food.  This is an idea that I have carried on through each of my kids.  What I have fed them has changed.  I remember thinking to myself, why am I spending all my money on this baby food in jars.  I have half of this stuff in my pantry, or buy it for myself. 

eating what brother eats!!

Here’s some bullet points for the whole feeding thing.

  • Don’t be afraid – don’t be afraid of the whole chocking thing.  Just be smart.  They will gum on stuff, suck it, and try to bite it.  Just watch them explore the food.
  • I like to still use baby rice cereal, oatmeal and some canned or home-made foods and let them play and learn how to use utensils with it.  It’s easier for them to manage that way.  The result for me has been having a one year old that can use a fork and spoon.  I like that!!  and when I say play, I mean, I let them squish it around in their high chair while we eat.
  • start putting your child in a high chair at the table with you as soon as possible.  I love my The First Year’s high chair.  It actually sits on a regular chair (yay space saver!) and it has three different tilt positions.  So I would bring my little ones to the table when we ate even before they could sit up.
  • variety! Introducing and feeding your kids variety from the beginning can only be beneficial.  I have three very, very different kids.  Some of them are more picky then others, but generally speaking my kids eat some crazy things.  And not crazy, as in, weird, but I’ve frequently gotten comments on the fact that my kids eat things like zucchini, salad, spicy food and complex flavors, which kids usually don’t go for.  Introducing to these foods to your kids at an early age is really important I think.  

and one of these because who can resist an adorable baby pic!
Phillip @ 9 days old

Going with your gut is important in parenting.  Listening to your mommy voice is key.  I think too many people read too many books, and do too much research; which only shoves that mommy voice down until you can’t hear it very well any more.  I find, talking to my mommy friends who have like parenting styles is when I get the most help.  

Lastly, have fun!  Have fun cooking and exposing your baby to the foods you make.  I always thought it was great watching them test things out for the first time, the sweetness of pears or the sourness of a pickle.  Who knows, you might wind up with a kid like mine that enjoys sucking on limes and licking pepper of her hands!

Continue Reading

Preparing for a Little One – Birth, Recovery and What to Bring

~ preparing for a little one series ~

 This weeks topic is tips for a quick recovery.  I’m hoping my tips are a little different then some things you might have read in the past.  But before I start, go grab your hubbies real quick because this list is mostly for them.  You’re welcome ladies!

1. Start preparing for recovery before it starts

You need to have a great support team before you even go into this.  Your mate needs to be ready to stand his ground and be strong for you.  I have a very strong and confident hubby, he was a little overwhelmed for the first birth, so I’m not expecting them to not be overwhelmed.  That’s to be expected.  However, in the midst of all that is going on your support person/team to be able to advocate for you, to calm you and be there.  This will start your recovery on the right foot! You have a birth plan, and that’s nice and all. But things happen and it can get really crazy. I had an episiotomy. Sucked, but it may or may not have been necessary. The doctor made that call and in the middle of Brian being stuck you do what you gotta do.  Dwelling on it isn’t going to get anyone anywhere. So, just remember, Birth Plans are all the rage, but don’t get caught up in that because nine times out of ten it will be different.

 

 2.  After the birth it is so important that this continues.  With all of ours we were very clear about visiting, who we wanted at the hospital, first in and all that stuff.  One of my most special memories was with our last one.  It was the most amazing that I had felt after a birth and the hubby and I decided that since we wanted our older ones to be the first guests that we would just wait until normal waking hours for them.  It couldn’t have been better.  We had so much time just to ourselves after the baby was born it was great.  Now for the mamas, especially if its your first one you will probably be exhausted.  Its okay to sleep when your guests come, they just wanna see the squishy baby!!  So just don’t worry about that.

3. Hubby’s change those diapers

My sweet and amazing hubby was on diaper duty for quite some time after the babies are born.  I didn’t even ask and it was great..and actually just made me swoon over him even more.  If that is even possible after just having his baby.  I mean, seriously!

 

All right ladies, the next couple are for you.  Thanks hubbies for sticking around.

4. Wear that make-up!

Looking good and feeling good about yourself, at least for me, was such a huge part of my recovery.  I didn’t bring a bunch of clothes to change into, in fact most of the time I hung out in the bed with my gown on but with a cute shirt to breastfeed in (so comfy).  But I put my hair up cute and put my make-up on, and that really helped me feel good.

5. A little secret from Elle McPhereson

About a million years ago I was watching an interview with Elle McPhereson, and she shared the most amazing bit of information.  It’s probably going to be the weirdest thing you’ve ever heard and you might be like, “uh no way!”  Get yourself some depends.  One word, “uhhhhhmazzzzing!!!”  I got the really nice ones that fit more like underware.  So much more comfortable for my body and my brain for post-recovery (then what they give you), especially for sleeping.  I did it every single time and it was amazing!

6. Speaking of Sleep

Get one of those sleep masks and maybe some earplugs for the hospital stay.  My last experience was pretty horrendous and I didn’t get a private room.  I actually ended up writing and complaining about it because it went beyond all reasonable expectations.  Hubbs actually ran out at night and bought me those too things, helped tremendously!  It doesn’t mean you can’t hear the baby or anything else, its just helps dull it so your brain can relax.

 What to Pack!?

This varied a little bit between my births, but after three this is where I ended up.
1) your own pillow
2) Boppy or breastfeeding pillow
3) your toiletries
4) something to read or watch movies/tv on. (You may or may not have a private room depending on where you are)
5) earplugs and sleeping mask
6) comfy dress or skirt for going home
7) cute jammies or nightgown. I’m gonna be honest, my first kid I didn’t even change out of the hospital gowns. It was a rough time for me. Second kid I just kept a shirt on and stayed under the blankets. Third kid I was in full clothes right after.
8) simple diaper bag with a diaper or two, wipes, extra hospital style pacifier (you can also change later if they don’t like it, or if you are like me you’ll have three kids who never took one. don’t force it because you might regret it), receiving blankets and two sets of clothes (one special going home and one extra just in case).
9) whatever hubby needs to be comfortable for sleeping over with you.
10) snacks just in case

I really wanted to cover random things that aren’t talked about all time, because there is not shortage of information out there!  So, I hope it helps.  Make sure to check out the rest of the link-ups over at Wifesessionals.

And, if you think I’m awesome, vote for me for 2013 Circle of Moms Top Military Mom Blogs!

Continue Reading

Preparing for a Little One: To Vaccinate or Not


Preparing For A Little One


Disclaimer: While I appreciate everyone’s thoughts and ideas, this is clearly one of those “mommy wars” type topics and this is just not the place for that.  So in the words of my awesome friend Taylor over at Dear Olympia…, I will delete comments Chinese Government Style! LOL!!!

**A note on my photographers!  If you happen to be located in NorCal or California in general.  Please look them up.  They are absolutely amazing!  




Instead of giving you a ridiculously long list of the reasons that we chose to vaccinate I want to talk about some of the things people say to me when they don’t agree with me.  First of all, from our perspective its not really a matter of choice.  Its not like we sat down and really thought about it, and did any sort of investigative work.  That’s not to say we just willy nilly run around like sheep just following the heard.  I say that to illustrate exactly how important we feel the decision to vaccinate is.

1) People have said, “oh its a big scheme by pharmaceutical companies to make money.”  I’m not really sure how to respond to that without sounding sarcastic.  I don’t mean to be.  When it was common for people to die from these diseases, I’m don’t feel like anyone was out to make money, and only now when people don’t die daily from them do I hear that argument.  Anyone heard the phrase “prevention is key?”  My husband and I firmly believe that in order to keep these diseases from coming back prevention is key.

2) What are the odds?  I once had a conversation with someone talking to me about the odds of their child being exposed to this.  In her mind the odds weren’t great and that was reason enough.  She was upset about the fact that the Tetnus and Pertussis were combined.  And here’s a perfect reasoning for my argument previously mentioned.  She does very limited vaccinations, however one that she did want to get is Pertussis.  Why?  Because we are seeing a rise in Pertussis.  Anyway, back to this discussion.  In my book, when it comes to the health of my child, any risk is too great of a risk.  If we were in a car accident and someone the blood of someone in another car that had HepA got into a cut on my child, well to me there’s no need to further discussion.

3) They wouldn’t die from the diseases today.  Okay, that’s nice but why wait to cause my child suffering when they can prevent it.  Mumps can sterilize a boy.  Do I want to tell my son that someday?  What about Polio?  My husband’s grandfather died of polio, and I worked with several people who had physical disabilities because of it.  Tetanus can be life threatening, even with modern medicine.  And just because you clean a cut out doesn’t mean the bacteria can’t get it.

4) If you breastfed then your immunities pass on to your child.  Breastfeeding may enhance immunitiy to your child, but I haven’t been convinced that somehow your child will be protected from life-threatening illness because you breastfeed.  And in any case, the argument is usually, “I was vaccinated so I pass on that immunity.”  To me, that doesn’t add up.  Not to mention the fact that some woment don’t breastfeed and some people have issues, and I’ll just leave it at that.

my oldest, who is almost 7 now!

I think I’ve covered most of the important issues for us.  I want everyone to feel confident in their own selves as a parent.  and while I appreciate everyone’s right to make their own deciions, I feel like vaccinating isn’t really a topic of debate.  I feel like everyone should vaccinate and it concerns me that my newborn could be exposed to someone who in’t, because I do venture out when they are younger then the age to vaccinate.  Its really not a matter of me not respecting everyone’s choice as a parent.  It is just my personal feeling that vaccination should be a given.

Continue Reading