The L.A. Zoo welcomed a baby hippo last Halloween and we paid him a visit! We were glued to the adorable interactions of mama Mara and her little calf. The baby hippo nibbled on mama’s ears, climbed on her back and swam around her while we oohed and aahed. I was glad to hear Emma giggling and enjoying herself right along with us and even though we stayed for at least a half hour it was hard for us to walk away. It was an amazing experience for me and I honestly wish we could go back, and this time with a good camera. ^_^
Onesies and soft pants. I never understood pajamas and play wear for babies. Just dress them comfortably all the time and then there is no need to change to fit the occasion. Carters onesies are soft and come in packs. I had fun buying Emma lots of different second hand pieces and she was cute in them but grew out of everything really fast. Thank goodness I didn’t buy everything full price! Trumpette socks from Target worked well enough for us and we received some others that worked even better that came up higher and also looked like ballet slippers. Bought Acorn slippers later and they are great! Emma wore wool socks as mittens and her fleece sleep sack over her fleece jacket during the winter. People still went out their way to tell us she was cold. So weird! She loved hats until a couple months ago.
Disposable diapers, as well as diaper covers and clips for our cloth diaper days. We bought seventh generation after she grew out of the newborn diapers we were gifted. Cloth wipes were the greatest thing ever to have on hand. I preferred the regular to the bamboo Lionheart wipes. A friend gave us a ton of these little cloths too that we use for everything. I also reccommend the Planet Wise wet/dry laundry bag. For wet wipes I only buy Lasinoh. They are the best—and I know from first hand experience changing diapers at work! The Kirkland brand are the next runner up. For cream I love the Weleda Calendula diaper cream.
Diaper changing pad was from Summer Infant and I didn’t buy a cover. Instead I have covered it will cloth diapers that are easy to switch out. Emma scratched the pad a lot when she was small and so it has lots of tears in it—its really worn out now! For travel we have the quick change pad and it is super duper awesome and like seven dollars. Again I carry a cloth diaper to cover it. I never bought a diaper bag by the way. First I used my Falljraven backpack and now her stuff is squeezed in a Skip Hop frog backpack because its so damn cute.
Bath tub, Johnson & Johnson baby wash, wash cloth and rubber ducky (not an essential but Emma likes it now that e is older). Have wanted to try the Weleda Calendula wash or Burt’s Bees or Mustela but this J&J bottle has lasted eleven months. ^_^ Never put lotions or oils on Emma and she doesn’t have dry skin.
Toys have been few but good quality. A ring from Haba, this cute animal train and of course Sophie. She received the Plan Toys stackers as a gift and likes carrying those colorful circles around too. Emma loved her Ikea gym and still carries the hanging pieces around. At twenty dollars its really the best toy purchase.
Books that Emma has and loves: The Hungry Caterpillar (she loves the holes), Goodnight Moon (good contrast) and the Mommy Loves/Daddy Cuddles series! Those are so, so good. Also Big Red Barn because there are so many opportunities for us to make animal sounds. ^_^
Ikea crib and mattress with the Carter’s fitted sheet. We co-slept until Emma was like six months old. She rolls and spins around so much now that it is very necessary for her to sleep in her crib. Diaper changing table and baskets for Emma’s clothes from Ikea as well.
We swaddled Emma for eleven months. We have her hospital blankets and a few others. They are useful even though we have too many. I picked out a Muny comforter for her crib and of course she cannot have it in there because its a choking hazard. Next year perhaps. We loved all of her many fleece sacks (in which she has had three because she grows so fast! The one she has now has feet so she wear her slippers at night too. She looks like an adorable, cozy elf.
Ikea high chair in red and white. Its a lovely piece of furniture and again like twenty dollars. I was so happy when I bought it and Emma loves it too. We use ceramic cereal bowls from the Crate and Barrel outlet and metal/ceramic/wooden spoons. Glass canning jars for her food and glass Lifefactory baby bottles. They also have sippy cup lids that are cool. I have really tried to avoid plastic. We found some awesome pressed bamboo plates and bowls that Emma can use when she is ready to hold her own dishes. A stick blender and a drink blender is what I had before E was born so I have made do with out buying a food processor.
Lasinoh manual breast pump is really another amazing purchase. We still use the bottle rings that came with it to this day. Lasinoh makes pads and lanolin and the best wipes ever and basically its all good quality stuff. So for bottles we have Lifefactory glass with silicone cover, Lasinoh nipples rings and the Dr. Brown’s nipples. Its a mixed bag but we found the pieces that work.
The big stuff like stroller and car seat were gifts. We picked out the Wave stroller and get lots of compliments on it. I like that its nice looking and as functional as you can get. Everything is adjustable. Since we are a car free family we have a second hand car seat and have used it less than ten times. We did use the Moby wrap and won a Sakura Bloom wrap.
Emma never liked using a pacifier. My sister gave us a ton of Hyland’s teething tablets but eight teeth later we haven’t used them. She has a hair brush and comb but we have almost never used them. We have like five thermometers and three nasal aspirators from gifts plus the hospital sent us home with them. The only toiletries we use are baby q-tips and nail clippers. I bought a nail brush that we use occasionally. I have so many little things that have been in a basket unused this whole year. Its crazy how much stuff you think a baby needs.
Hope this helps anyone who may read this post! Love, Susan and Emma Clover
Emma Clover was born in the early morning on Friday. We are so in love!
I guess that this is something that I should have assumed but pregnancy is not comfortable!
First you get sick to your stomach and stay that way for a few months. Some people throw up. I didn’t but felt like I wanted to through the whole first trimester—all day and night long. Eating was tricky. I only wanted toast, cheese, pasta, tomato soup and melon. I lost weight in the beginning but was good about taking my prenatal vitamins. I remember figuring out towards the end that frequent, small meals kept me feeling okay so I would literally walk around with crackers in my pockets.
You have to pee all the time. This symptom has not ceased since January.
In the beginning I felt that I could have slept through for three months. Of course I was working full time so I would come home, try to eat and go to bed. All day I was tired even if I had a marathon thirteen hours sleep the night before. It was crazy because I kept reading how small this little human was and yet they were capable of sapping all of my available energy.
As soon as the first trimester ended I started throwing up when I brushed my teeth. I was left with the thought, do I brush them again or just forget the whole thing? Also your gums bleed—like a lot. This only increases your bodies inability to not gag. Seriously its gross. I went to a dental cleaning (after canceling it twice because I just wasn’t sure that I wouldn’t gag and be miserable) and it was not as terrible as I expected.
For some reason pregnant women have stuffy noses. For me this coincided perfectly with allergy season. Also I had stopped taking my prescribed nasal spray months earlier since I was pregnant so I had zero relief from the sinus problems that plagued me. One particular time I got a sinus infection and suffered for about ten days before my appointment with the midwife. She gave me the all clear to take sudafed and I seriously wanted to hug her. She also wrote down a list of safe meds that I could resort to when needed. We also went out and bought “penguin”—our humidifier that is an adorable blue penguin who blows me cool kisses while I sleep. Penguin has saved me.
They say the second trimester is a kind of break and it is in comparison to the others, but for me that is when the heartburn began. I would get heartburn from drinking water in the middle of the night! Water! I have been eating tums everyday for several months because it has not gone away. I get heartburn from water and waiting too long to eat/drink. I have noticed I get it more at work so maybe it is stress induced? Not sure but I feel that I have now officially joined the club that my mother and sisters belong: the Heartburn Club.
As baby keeps growing I am experiencing all kinds of new growing pains. First my ribs were being pushed out and that is terrible. All the books say to sleep on your left side but it was excruciatingly painful for me to do so. I can only sleep in one position comfortably and that is on my right side. Funnily enough it hurts to hold the phone up to my right ear now. I remember being at Gautham’s place on the fourth of July and just thinking “It hurts to just sit here. This sucks!” I had to stop riding my bike to work and now I waddle there at an annoyingly slow pace.
One night maiki and I were watching Naruto (my favorite show!) and I had to pause it because I felt baby move right onto my sciatic nerve. The pain ran through my back and down my leg in an instant. I was almost in tears and wanted to throw up from the pain. Luckily for me she moved away within a few minutes and I could breathe again, but wow that was so freakin scary! It has not happened again and I hope it never does. Please God or whoever, NO BACK LABOR!
Baby Emma, I love you and I am only writing this because maiki has been bugging me about for seven months. I know that you are growing quickly and I am now twenty pounds heavier. Friday I felt you very heavy and maybe drop. I now have super sore pelvic muscles and the ligaments are stretching out and I waddle even funnier than before. I have begun to see why everyone keeps telling me that I cannot work and continue to live like I do until you are born because I will not be physically able. We still have about six to eight weeks of you growing and developing before you can safely come out so I will try to take it easy.