Friday, June 21, 2013

Juppy Product Review!

I promise we're getting back to babywearing in a hot second, but I wanted to talk about another baby item first - the Juppy Baby Walker Momentum.

Honestly I didn't know anything about it until I was sent one to review.  It's sort of like the jump-up part to the Johnny Jump-Ups that we all used to dangle from door frames in as kids.  Then it has straps that come up so that instead of hanging from a door frame, Mama can be the baby-walking monkey.

I tried it with Ira but he's really not good enough at walking yet for it to work.  He loves to stand and put weight on his feet and will even try to take a few steps, but he's not quite the age that this would be most useful.

We went on a baby play date yesterday though, and I decided to bring it with me so that my sweet, adorable little girlfriend BRB could try it.  Let me tell y'all, if anybody needs a baby walking device, it's BRB's mama.  My baby is lazy.  My baby enjoys laying in a big pile and seeing how long it will take for his cheeks to grow another centimeter.  My baby needed a snack and (another) nap after 10 minutes of baby play date time yesterday.  BRB?  She has so much energy!  She is the smartest little thing and she wants to see everything, do everything, and look at everything.  She isn't quite walking yet though, even though she's super close and really wants to, so I thought she was the perfect Juppy model.

We put her in that thing and she loved it! She walked all over the place in it.  The funny part was that she has a jumper/exersaucer that bounces and holds her in a similar way, so she wanted to bounce in the Juppy.  She'd look back like, "Come on, lady, bounce me!  Bounce, I said!"

I think it's going to be a big hit though, and sure beats leaning over and walking behind her with your back breaking.  My mom swears she has to go to the chiropractor 25 years later because she spent months hunched over, chasing behind me while I held onto two of her fingers.

Also, sorry about the blurry pictures.  Jessica takes gorgeous pictures of BRB.  These look like I was trying to take pictures of a hummingbird.  Thanks to my product tester - love that little girl to pieces!

If you have a hummingbird baby who wants you to walk her all around the house while you're bent over, check out a Juppy - they're a super neat idea!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Baby Wearing, Parte Uno - Why Do It?

I promised a baby wearing post, because it's something I do every day, and something I dearly love!  The issue is, I have a baby wearing problem.  I don't have just one carrier.  I have a lot.  Like I think I have more carriers than pants that fit me at the moment.  Do they have baby wearers anonymous?

Hi, my name is Meredith, and I am addicted to baby carriers.  I have just about every kind you can imagine that holds your baby close.  No "crotch danglers" or those infernal metal framed thing that look like you're going on an adventure up Mt. Everest on a yak with your baby.  But I'll get back to that.

So, why wear your baby in the first place?  When I wear Ira in Wal-Mart, people look at me as if I might actually be growing a baby outside of my body.  Or like I may have been invaded by some alien life form.  What I see are people with their babies in their car seats.  I see poor mamas lugging those 30 pound car seats with their arms stuck out at a right angle from their body.  I don't know how y'all do that!  I've had to do that to get Ira from Point A to Point B in the car seat and it makes me feel like I need to go to the chiropractor immediately.  Not to mention, unless the car is moving, he is NOT going to be happy in that thing for more than about 3 minutes.

Or even worse, I see those car seats perched on top of Wal-Mart shopping carts while mama browses.  I think maybe people just don't realize how dangerous that is.  You can damage the clip on your car seat so that it doesn't work properly in your car and it will be ejected from its base if you get into an accident.  Scary.  Also, carts aren't designed to hold the top heavy weight of car seats.  The whole cart can tip over or your car seat can be knocked off the cart, injuring or killing your baby.  I know, people do it every day and it doesn't happen, but what if we could avoid it EVER happening?  And have happier babies?  And mamas with backs that don't hurt?

Also, there is nothing better for getting things done around the house than wearing your baby.  Ira loves to snuggle with me while we hang out diapers, pick up random baby items that are constantly strewn everywhere, or just walk the weenie dogs. A lot of times he'll look around and take everything in, but he'll usually fall asleep and take a nap for as long as I'll wear him.

And if you think having a baby means you're chained to the house, you haven't worn your baby! Ira has been out to restaurants, friends' houses, and shopping more times than I can count since he was teeny tiny. As long as I put him in a carrier, he's good to go.  Also, depending on the kind of carrier you're using, you can nurse in it!  That's a win for everybody.

Have I convinced you yet?  Wondering what kind of devices you need to be a ballin' baby-wearer?  Well, I mentioned I have a problem.  I have (and love) a Moby, a k'tan, several ring slings, a mei tai, and a water wrap carrier.  I use them all on different occasions depending on my mood, Ira's mood, and what we're going to be doing.

You could be happy with any or all of the above...I'll get to the pros and cons of each in a few more posts!  So with that long list of baby carriers, are there any I wouldn't recommend?  Yes indeed, there are a few.

The first offenders are the so-called "crotch danglers" I mentioned, the most popular being the Baby Bjorn and the Snuggli.  They're awfully popular, but they aren't really good for you or your baby.

(Thanks to for the photo - I love the comparison!  And hate the crotch dangler!)

I feel like this is a popular dad carry, so you can be like what's-his-face from The Hangover, but come on dads, y'all can do better!

I know, he looks awesome.  But maybe just try the glasses and beard with a comfy carrier.

Why am I not into crotch danglers?  Well, you can see the picture, right?  You want me to put all kind of pressure on your junk like that?  But seriously, it isn't good for your baby's hips and spine.  You want to wear your baby in way similar to how you would hold him and in a natural position for him.  You ever seen many babies stick their legs out like that?

The only other kind I'm not into are the big metal-frame carriers because I really and truly can't think of a situation where that would be practical.  Even if I were a big hiker/camper (which I'm clearly not), I can't imagine wearing Ira in such a big, heavy apparatus. 

For the love of Pete, why do you need that much structure to carry your kid?  I really think I could just as easily put the car seat on my back with bungee straps.  I feel tired looking at this guy.  

But if you have the right carrier, it's magical.  Besides making your back hurt a lot less, it makes your baby cry a lot less.  Babies who are worn for 3 hours a day cry and fuss 43% less than those who aren't worn.  It also makes your baby smarter.  Because you're wearing your baby at adult conversation level, he hears more speech and is more involved in what you're doing.  (Fact check me here.) Still not convinced?  There's my personal favorite - less germy-pawed strangers reaching into your carrier to touch your baby.  Something about wearing a baby makes him more yours, less public property.  

Okay, I'll step off my soapbox now.  But I'm working on more posts about each carrier I have, how to use them, and what the benefits of each of them are!  I hope you'll think about wearing your baby if you have one (or are going to have one soon!)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

On Being a (for-the-moment) Stay at Home Mama

I'm afraid I have given y'all the wrong idea.  I read somewhere once that we compare our "everyday" to everybody else's "highlight reel" on the internet.  Those folks (whoever they are) are probably right.

For right now, I'm staying at home with this sweet little love who is happily working on his pacifier and batting at his toys on the playmat.  That kid loves his pacifier and his jingly toys, I tell you what.

I think there are moms who stay at home who have it all together.  I think there are people who manage to make pinterest recipes, clean and declutter the house, label everything in their cabinets, shop, and wear jewelry that matches their outfits even when they don't have anywhere to go.

Me?  I'm sitting here in a Myrtle Manor Trailer Park t-shirt, greasy hair on top of my head, glasses on my face, PB's raccoon boxer shorts on my butt, and it's 11:30am.  Things I have accomplished this morning: pumping some extra milk so my mom can keep Ira later this afternoon while I go to an appointment, starting a load of very dirty diapers in the washing machine, and feeding the little guy.  That's it.

There's stuff from our lake trip this past weekend all over my house, unmade beds, dirty clothes, a floor that needs vacuuming and mopping, bathrooms that need cleaning, a refrigerator that needs to be cleaned out, and breakfast dishes in the sink.  Oh wait, but those must be from before the lake trip because having breakfast is not on the list of things I have accomplished.  Did I mention it's 11:35?

I read blogs from mamas who stay at home who seem to achieve a lot more.  They seem happy too.  But you know what?  I'm ok with the fact that the house needs cleaning.  I'm ok with the fact that there are chores to do.  Maybe when Ira tires of his playmat, I'll put him in a carrier and we'll cruise around doing some half hearted housework.  But I'm sitting here talking to a little person who has a lot to say (even if I don't understand it) and watching his little legs kick at his toys and his little eyes light up at that playmat.

I have always known that if I was going to have kids, I was going to have to have a work schedule that allowed me to be with them.  I don't mean being a full time stay at home mama, because that's clearly not my strong suit like it is for some.  I think I need to work at least a little so that my contribution can be something different - extra money for Christmas, the Disney World trip I'm already dreaming about when he's 4 or so, and the ability to send him to swim lessons or baseball trips or whatever he wants to do.

My goal for this summer of staying at home?  Spending as much time as possible talking to my little buddy, showing him the world, making him giggle, taking him to fun places like the lake or the beach or just outside for a walk, and soaking it all up.  I don't care if there are dirty underpants hanging from the ceiling - I'll always have the memories from Ira's first summer.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Happy 3 Months, Ira B!

Three Month Stats:
Height: I would *guess* 25 inches, but baby measuring is not my strong suit, and the three month milestone doesn't come with a pediatrician visit, where those highly trained professionals do the baby measuring!
Weight: By my best estimates, you weigh about 14.5 pounds (according to our bathroom scales)
Clothing Size: I really wish the baby clothes industry could work on standardizing clothes sizes!  I can shoehorn you into 6 month pajamas, but you really need 9 months.  Most of your clothes are 6 months, some 9 months.  You even wear 12 months in regular Gerber onesies!  0-3 months is totally out of the question in anything.

Three Month Milestones, Highlights, and General Happenings:

Around the beginning of May, you found your hands!  You're not so good at just sticking the thumb in there, but you're pretty darn good at sticking the whole fist in there and gnawing on it.

You still love to smile at Nana and stick your tongue out at her.  I'm afraid this is how you think we greet people.  You'll probably still be doing it when I take you to kindergarten and I'll probably have to tell your teacher it's a cultural and/or religious practice.

Speaking of discovering hands, I think we can mark down May 12 as the day you figured out you can do something with your hands besides put them in your mouth.  You were reaching out for the monkey Mimi bought you from the hospital gift shop when you were born.  You love soft things and now you also rub the minky part of your blanket and have to have something soft on your head (like your blanket) to fall asleep.  

This month, you have become the iPad master.  I have the Fisher Price Giggle Gang app and you work on that iPad like you're punching a time clock.  When you hit the screen, these little giggle monsters appear and music plays.  You can't get enough!  You also like to watch the Fisher Price black and white cartoon animals on the iPad.

We've been taking stroller walks with you sitting up more and you love looking around and surveying the neighborhood.  

We went on your first beach trip on May 15.  We went to Nana and Pa-Pa's beach condo, and we did a little poolside chillin'.  The pool was FREEZING, or otherwise I would have had you in there the whole time.  We took a little dip with you in the water wrap, which you didn't mind, but I was personally freezing my tail off, so that was short lived.  You spent most of the pool time asleep in your sun tent, hanging out in your pirate pants.  

Mimi got you Sophie the Giraffe while we were at the beach...and y'all, let me be the first tell you that I did NOT understand why in the heck anybody would buy a $25 squeaky toy giraffe.  I mean, you can buy similar dog toys at Wal-Mart for $2.  (Speaking of which, Peggy keeps trying to get Sophie into her clutches because it's her mission in life to shut up anything that makes that squeaking noise).  Ira LOVES Sophie though!  Something about wrapping those big paws around Sophie's neck and gnawing on her head is just immensely satisfying.

We went on your first boat ride the day before your three month birthday!  (This wasn't what you wore on the boat, I'm not such a terrible parent that I had my baby on a boat sans life jacket.)  You loved it - you slept for awhile due to the hypnotizing boat noises and rocking, but when you woke up you were looking all around and enjoying yourself.  

Oh, and you're really good at standing up like you are in this picture!  Really, you're happiest when one of us is standing you up and you can support your weight on your own.  You just do the Elvis hip gyrations though because you can't balance yourself yet.

We still have days where you get up every three or four hours at night.  Those nights, you usually don't go to bed til midnight either.  But other nights?  You go to sleep at 9 or 10 and I don't hear anything else out of you until I basically wake you up myself at 6 or 6:30.  Those nights are pretty amazing.  You still sleep in your Rock 'n' Play, mainly because it's just so easy to cart it around, put you to sleep in the living room if we're still up, etc.  You still stick right with us when you sleep - I don't think you're big enough to sleep all by your lonesome in your crib yet.  Maybe when you're 6.

You're not asking me to nurse fifty eleven times a day anymore - you usually have 5 or 6 more consolidated meals during the day now, which is nice.  Sometimes that's still my go-to if you're upset though, because it means we can just hang out for 5 minutes and you'll be happy again - I don't have to really troubleshoot the problem.  

The only real problem that we have is your poor sensitive tummy.  I have cut dairy in hopes that you'll start doing better, because right now we are having highly abnormal poops and lots of tummy pain.  I screw up and eat it without meaning to and then we pay for it for days and I feel like a dog (like yesterday, after I had wings that I know probably had butter involved, and that I spilled ranch dressing on).  I hope and pray that you're going to grow out of this.  I mean, obviously Mama misses cheese and ice cream, but more importantly, I don't want you to be Captain Food Allergy forever.  Nobody likes that kid.  They say babies usually do grow out of it by 6's hoping!

Your favorite things are STILL baths:

You still like the Moby, the k'tan, the ring sling, and now the mei tai.  I still wear you a lot, though you're less likely to just go to sleep in the carrier if we're out as of the last two weeks or so.  If we're out eating, you're not likely to even tolerate facing me in the carrier because you need to be nosy and see everybody and everything, so you sit on one of our laps while we eat.  You love watching people eat and you're fascinated by watching us put food in our moths.

We still love those little sweet cheeks to the moon and back!  Love you, sweet buddy...happy 3 months!