Monday, July 30, 2012

Introducing Truffle to Jack

If you've read this bog previously or follow me on Twitter, you know I'm in LOVE with my dog, Truffle. I've blogged about how he came to join our family as well as his reaction to me bring pregnant. I did some research on how to prepare Truffle for Jack's arrival. I consulted friends with newborns and dogs, talked to vets, and read lots of web resources.

One piece of advice was to give a blanket with Jack's scent to Truffle as soon as possible. Truffle stayed with our in-laws, so we actually sent a sleeping gown that Jack wore on his first night. When my mother in law gave it to Truffle, he was VERY interested in it! He spent a long time sniffing it, brought it to his bed and slept with it.

When we came home a few days later, Truffle was already there. With our moms helping, we came in, put the baby down and took Truffle to our bedroom to shower him with hugs and kisses. We gave him one of Jack's blankets to sniff. Then we went back to the living room and with J holding Jack, we let Truffle sniff him. Truffle was very excited to sniff Jack! We did have to tell him to not jump once or twice. I definitely got a touch nervous. However, Truffle was not exhibiting any signs of aggression. His ears were relaxed and he was smiling. He was not barking either.

So how is Truffle now? He is very protective of Jack. He spends a lot of this time laying right by his Rock and Play or Travel Crib. He sniffs Jack and gives him kisses. If he isn't doing that, he is following me around. He has been barking a lot when visitors come over, even if he knows them. When he does need some time alone, he goes into his crate and hangs out.

I feel his adjustment has been really great. I was prepared for the worst! Glad to know he loves Jack!

See for yourself!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Product Review: Ruby Love Designs Baby Book

Initially, I did not plan to have a traditional baby book. I was going to do everything on a Mixbook or Shutterfly book. However, the more I thought about it, I wanted something in my own handwriting to pass down to Jack when he is older.

I surveyed Twitter followers as well as searched blogs and Google. I wanted a baby book that met the following criteria:

  1. Modern in design - I like graphic designs. I don't care for storks, bunnies, teddy bears etc (as far as a design style for a baby book).
  2. Ability to remove (easier to write in them) and add pages.
  3. Under $100
After a little research, I settled on designing a baby book through Ruby Love Designs. While they do have a website, I actually ordered through their Etsy site. After much deliberation, I ordered the Blue and Brown Striped Album ($60) with the Personalization Option ($5). I added the Pregnancy Pack ($12) and the Hands/Feet Page ($3).

I wanted to share pictures of the inside pages. I was really frustrated at the lack of page pictures on a lot of the baby book product sites. Hoping these pictures will help someone out who is shopping for their perfect baby book!

Click on the picture for more detail...

**Note: I was not compensated for this post. I purchased the baby book with my own money. Just hoping this will help others who are shopping for their own baby book!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Prepping for Baby: Packing my hospital bags

Around week 30, I got a huge burst of energy. Nesting was in full force. One of the tasks I was slightly obsessed with was packing my hospital bags. Prior to researching what to pack, my knowledge of hospital bags was limited to Father of the Bride II. Annie had one little suitcase, waiting at the front door.

I started googling what I should be packing. Here are some of the websites and blogs that I referenced:

My Hospital Bag
Blue Eyed Bride: Pack Your Bags!
The Bump: Packing a Hospital Bag

My actual list was a combination of my research results. I actually had 2 hospital bags. During our child birth class, our nurse educator recommended having a "Labor Bag" and a "Recovery Bag". I found this advice extremely helpful. For one, when we checked into the hospital, we only brought the Labor Bag in and left the Recovery Bag in the car for later. Second, it was a lot of easier to tell J where to find something I needed during labor since I had a bag dedicated to it.

My Labor Bag was a Vera Bradley Tote in Slate Blooms. The contents are listed below. The items in italics are ones I actually used.

  • Pack of Hair Ties
  • Headband
  • Pack of face wipes
  • Hairbrush
  • Sour Candy (to keep mouth from drying out)
  • Rolling Pin (recommended by nurse educator to help apply counter pressure during contractions)
  • Camera and Battery charger
  • Cell phone charger
  • Notebook and pen
  • Footprint Sheet from baby book - Ended up doing footprint on 3rd day
  • Wallet with Insurance card etc
  • Gownie - Wore on 2nd day instead of during labor.
  • Back Scratcher (okay, you can laugh)
  • Assorted clothes for Jack (various sizes, including sleeping clothes)
  • Mittens for Jack
  • Socks
  • Pillow
  • Snacks for J
My Recovery Bag was a Vera Bradley Get Carried Away bag in Slate Blooms. The contents are listed below. The items in italics are ones I actually used.

  • Nursing tanks and yoga shorts to sleep in - Because I was on antibiotics via IV plus other stuff from the C Section, it was more practical to sleep in my Gownie. 
  • Going home outfit: nursing tank and maternity denim shorts
  • Old Navy Rubber Flip Flops - Ended up being too tight so I wore the flip flops I came to hospital in.
  • Lanolin cream for nipples - I breastfed in the hospital but my nipples did not get sore.
  • Toiletry Bag (same stuff I would bring on overnight trip)
  • Nursing Pads
  • Bath Towel
  • Robe
  • Underwear - I wore the magical mesh underwear from the hospital
  • Boppy (not in the bag, but you get it)
  • Nursing Bras
I also packed a bag for J, which included:
  • Pillow
  • Fleece Blanket (Hospitals are chilly!)
  • Clothes
  • PJ's
  • Toiletry Bag
  • Phone/iPad Charger
Things we did not bring but thanks for family, we got them brought to us.
  • Bottled Water
  • House Slippers for J
  • Food, Food, Food
  • Beer (for J)
Things the hospital provided for which I'm grateful:
  • Mesh Underwear
  • Binder (abdominal support for post C Section)
  • Pads (the diaper size ones and more)
  • Amazing nurses, anesthesiologists, and more
  • The best ice chips in the city
  • Meds. Lots of them.
Hope this helps some of my preggo friends in packing their own bags!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Meet Jack

Born July 17, 2012
8 lbs. 10 ounces
21.5 inches

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Baby Savings Clubs - a.k.a. Send me coupons!

I signed up for every baby savings club I could find. The main reason I did it is for all the coupons! I got my first two "Baby Club" packages in the mail. I wanted to share in case any other mamas to be were interested!

The first one is Strong Moms through Similac. I plan to breastfeed, but in case I can't/need to supplement/etc, I sure could use the coupons. If I end up not needing the coupons, I have plenty of momma friends that would appreciate the coupons!

Includes in the 1st package: $20 in coupons ($5/each), Similac Advance sample, Similac Sensitive sample, and Simply Smart Bottle. Not pictured: informational booklets on products and supplements.

The second Baby Club sign up was with Publix. The Publix Baby Club is open to residents on Florida, George, South Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee. Publix will send you store coupons up until your baby is 2! Since they are store coupons, you could stack them with manufacture coupons or (in Publix's case) competitors coupons!

Included in my first Publix Baby Club package: 2 sheets of coupons for various products (diapers, wipes etc etc) and a book "Caring for your Baby and Young Child". Not shown: Newsletter

Both clubs were free to join! I signed up for other clubs, but honestly, I can't remember right now! I'm sure there were some diaper brands in the group :)

If you have any baby savings clubs you'd like to share, please do so in the comments!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Beyond Blessed

It is amazing what community and friendships have developed from the Twitter and Blog world. I am lucky to have a strong IRL support network, but boy, am I glad that I have the ladies of Twitter and Blogs! They have been helpful with advice, anecdotes and overall support during this pregnancy. And it goes without saying that they have been insanely generous!

I wanted to feature one very special gift I received from Andie of Sweet. Southern Spirited. She is so incredibly talented!!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Digital Home Management and Organization: Spice Cabinet and Pantry

J does the cooking and grocery shopping in our household. He really is pretty amazing at it. When I started the Digital Home Management project, I knew I wanted to organize and digitize the pantry and spice cabinet inventory. Other than general cleanliness, the biggest goal was to avoid duplication and assist with menu planning. How many times have you gone to the grocery store and thought, "Do I have xx spice at home?" or "Do I have Spaghetti noodles?"? By digitally storing and sharing the spreadsheet on Google Drive, the information is readily available by iPad, SmartPhone, Laptop etc.

Thanks to J for helping me with this project. Some of those shelves are awfully high :)

As far as updating the inventory, I have been adding and deleting every few days. Long term, this will be a weekly or bi-weekly task.

Here is what we did!

We also did inventory on our deep freezer, but who wants to see a bunch of FoodSaver stored meat?? I still have to inventory our Household supplies, such as toilet paper, cleaning supplies etc. I don't stockpile much except TP and Paper Towels, but I HATE running out of anything!!

Do you keep inventory information in your Home Management system? Am I just going overboard (feel free to lie!)?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

OOTD - 38 weeks

The whole outfit is Old Navy. The capris and tank are maternity. The cardigan is not.

Yes, those are our hospital bags and pillows behind me!!

38 weeks. Come on Baby Jack!!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Jack's Nursery

Jack's nursery is as ready as it will ever be! We hope he likes it!

Close up of his name print.

My mom made the Boppy cover. If you zoom in, you'll see the fabric has anchors on it. The blanket was J's baby blanket.

When I bought these shelves, I intended to mount them on the wall. They were too big for that!

If you have any questions about where I got these items, please let me know in the comments!

Hope you enjoyed the tour of Jack's nursery!