Protected: While you are sleeping July 18, 2016
Baby Registry May 30, 2014
In order to help my friends with their registries, I have created a sample registry at Amazon.com and Babies R Us with products that I found helpful or just looked neat. Also I blogged about cloth diapers (if you’re interested) and sippy cups (which you won’t need until closer to 1 year old).
Find a mom that you think would have a personality or parenting style similar to yours and find out the products that they like. I’ve found most products (not always the case) are based on parent preference, not baby’s. Stores will tend to recommend a ton of items you won’t need, and there are some golden items out there that aren’t on registries. Also, buy used when it’s an option.
First of all, if are you breastfeeding, how committed are you? I would find out from your insurance company if they provide lactation consultants that you can go to after you are discharged from the hospital. Find one and find out how much they cost. You won’t want any barriers to help once you are in need. Get a breast pump which your insurance should provide for free. I believe you can order it from a DME company 3 months or 30 days before your due date. I’ve had conflicting reports. I would get the bottles and supplies that match the brand of your breast pump. Avoid bottles with multiple pieces if you can, usually grandmothers and dads have a hard time putting them together. Its also more for you to wash and more pieces to loose. I have a Medela pump, bottles, etc. If you do pump, get a hands free nursing bra. You can be on the computer and double pump at the same time!!
Titus lived in his Swing N Cradle. Your baby may like to bounce, sway, swing, or not be held at all. If you can borrow one to find out if your baby likes it, I’d definitely do it, even if its temporary. I got one that had a cord plug in, because Titus slept in it at night and I was constantly having to change batteries. They will outgrow it before 6 months.
You won’t need this anytime soon (like after 6 months), but I highly recommend the Safety 1st Magnetic locking system. 1- Toddlers can’t figure it out 2- You can switch it off (like for hosting a dinner party in your kitchen). Downside is that it is the most expensive option. I am a cheap person, and I would still pay twice as much for it. Get it at Babies R Us when they are having a buy one, get one 50% off sale.
I went with velcro because it stayed tightly (more of a problem when they get more mobile). Downside is velcro makes noise.
Get a non-skid pad at Dollar Tree to put under your changing pad. You can cut it down to size. It’s in the kitchen area near where they keep the contact paper for putting down on your cabinets. Its helpful to have a changing pad cover (2 or 3) and a liner on top of it that you can change out more frequently (3 or 4). I used drawers as my table that I got from Target a long time ago. It didn’t leave for space on the table top for wipes, which would have been nice. I don’t use a wipes warmer. Occasionally I have thought that he’d appreciate one, but not enough to make me go out and get it.
Totally based on your preference, but you really only need 2-3 sheets, a crib skirt, sheet savers for the first several months before they start moving around in the crib (so you dont’ have to change the sheets every time!! LIFE SAVER) and when they’re standing age a rail cover so they don’t chew your crib. I have a white crib, and you can’t tell the clear gummi pad is on. Plus, it creates friction and makes it harder for Titus to crawl out. I don’t recommend getting a bedding set unless its cheaper as a bundle, because its no longer recommended to have bumpers. As far as the bed itself, you cannot look into the future and determine if you are going to need to buy another crib for your next child for a number of factors. We decided to go with one that had the option of removing the front rail to convert into a day bed. The ideal situation would be one that comes with a toddler wooden rail that is actually long enough to prevent your child from falling out. I do not know of a brand where this was the case, so you can order an after market rail off of Amazon.
Desitin- Barrier cream (lay it on thick to prevent poop from getting to skin)
Hydrocortisone- to heal redness (for intact skin)
Nystatin- red dots (yeast rash)
Silver Sulfadiazine Cream- my favorite cream to heal broken down skin. Available by prescription only.
Again, this is a major YOUR preference area. My best advice is go to the store (we went to Buy Buy Baby) and ask them if you can practice putting them in your car. This is the BEST way to decide in my opinion.
We started out with an infant carrier off Craigslist (be sure to check the year on it to see if the plastic has expired and ask if its been in any wrecks) with a Snap N Go stroller (Make sure it is compatible with your car seat brand). Once Titus was too big to carry around in his infant carrier, we graduated to a stroller with shoulder harnesses (DO NOT get one without shoulder harnesses). Also, a jogging stroller is nice to have. I have it separate from my daily errand stroller because jogging strollers are just to dang bulky and not worth the in and out for me.
We used a Bumbo and tray until he got too big. I then transitioned to a stand up high chair but hated it because it had cloth/leather and it ALWAYS smelled HORRIBLE. They make chair tie on booster seat/high chair combo, which is what we decided to get. The downsides are that it uses an extra chair and the chair may be prone to tipping based on the make. I will say that having a removable tray is a must. The smaller the better. I’ve heard good things about Eddie Bauer, but haven’t tried it myself. Dont use a cushion or pad, and I’d make sure the removable tray is flat so that it can fit in the dishwasher.
I have a Summer Infant Video monitor and it’s ok. Here is what I would look for in my next monitor.
– iphone capability (preferably to use AS the handheld monitor, not just a viewing device)
– snooze option (set for 5, 10,15 min etc)
– sound volume that makes it LESS loud than what volume the baby is screaming at (my lowest is what it actually sounds like in the room, with the option to make it louder.)
I’m not sure there is a monitor out there like this, but that is what I would love. Having the option to add more cameras would be great too if you have multiple kids that need monitoring in the future.
Sippy Cups August 7, 2013
Our first transition from bottle to sippy began on Titus’s first birthday. We transitioned him to whole milk and expected him to take it like a champ all in one day. It has worked fairly well. There may have been bribing with hints of juice, or even better, mom’s milk, but for the most part, it went off with out a hitch. Of course, I didn’t have breastfeeding to deal with at this point. I think my single biggest success was going with a soft nipple that allows the cup to be spill-proof despite Titus’ biting, banging, throwing, and other forms of abuse. I wouldn’t spend more than a dollar or two on them. You can tell by the picture that they won’t last through 2 kids. Try to get the same so there’s no confusion with hubby and the in-laws about which piece goes where. Although they’re fairly easy to figure out.
We advanced from soft nipple (Nuby), to hard nipple (Nuk), to straw (Munchkin). All spill proof. At first, Titus didn’t have the ability to suck through the spill-proof design very well, but he gradually got better at it. Something of note, If you’re wanting to label them (for child care purposes), try to find one with smooth sides. The Nuk hard tops are the only ones I’ve found.
Gravesite August 6, 2013
Against its will, everything on Earth was subjected to God’s curse. All creation anticipates the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. Romans 8:20-21
Sunday, August 4th was the first day we went to visit Baby Ben. It was harder than I expected. As usual, I failed to recognize the significance of how what we were doing would take me back to the moments when we first lost him.
Travis, Titus, and I were there. It tugged at my heart strings when I realized that this was the first time we were all together as a family since I was pregnant with Ben. Travis began with a prayer, and read the following verses we both liked. They were chosen because we wanted to remember God’s faithfulness. I wanted to remember that He sent His own Son to die on the cross, (while we were yet sinners!) so that we could be restored to Him and have eternal hope that far outlasts the things of this world. I also wanted to be reminded that God has adopted Benjamin, and that he is now in His presence singing praises. That’s why I chose Revelation Song sung by Kari Jobe. I wanted for a time to join in community with Ben and all the saints singing praises to our Most High King.
New International Version (NIV)
22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”
25 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
26 it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.
31 For no one is cast off
by the Lord forever.
32 Though he brings grief, he will show compassion,
so great is his unfailing love.
33 For he does not willingly bring affliction
or grief to anyone.
New International Version (NIV)
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.
1 John 3:1
New International Version (NIV)
3 See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
New International Version (NIV)
The Great Multitude in White Robes
9 After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice:
“Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb.”
11 All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying:
Praise and glory
and wisdom and thanks and honor
and power and strength
be to our God for ever and ever.
13 Then one of the elders asked me, “These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?”
14 I answered, “Sir, you know.”
And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore,
“they are before the throne of God
and serve him day and night in his temple;
and he who sits on the throne
will shelter them with his presence.
16 ‘Never again will they hunger;
never again will they thirst.
The sun will not beat down on them,’
nor any scorching heat.
17 For the Lamb at the center of the throne
will be their shepherd;
‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’
‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
New International Version (NIV)
A New Heaven and a New Earth
21 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
6 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7 Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.
We then sang some of Titus’ favorite songs, “Jesus Loves the Little Children” and his bedtime song, “Jesus Loves You (Me).” As we said our final goodbyes, I laid a note to Benjamin containing the poem I had written (on a previous blog) with a rock from our garden.
Jesus’ Suffering July 14, 2013
Lately, I have learned a lot about suffering. At times I have felt confused because our society scorns suffering as something to be avoided or as an indication of fault. While it is incredibly painful, suffering can be a beautiful and sanctifying process. One thing that has been comforting to me is to read about the suffering of Jesus- how He felt when He suffered and the sanctification caused from His suffering. It brings new light to how God became fully man. It also brings perspective to the magnitude of what Jesus went through to sacrifice Himself on the cross to restore us to fellowship with Him. I’ve always thought, “Yeah well, He was God. He can handle it.” I never took into account how He felt while he suffered: abandoned, isolated, overwhelmed, rejected, despised, oppressed, crushed, afflicted, filled with sorrow. To the point of death. It was so much that He wept and pleaded with God to remove his suffering. How is this comforting to me? First, I am not alone in my suffering. Second, I am humbled by the fact that He loved us so much, He saved us from the consequences of our sin (eternal damnation) by willingly sacrificing Himself in our place.
New International Version (NIV)
53 Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
4 Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was punished.
9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
11 After he has suffered,
he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.
36 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
7 During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. 8 Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered 9 and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him 10 and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.