Archive | December 2012

We Are The Chickens

Imagine that title sung in the vein of “We Are The Champions” only less Freddie Mercury and more clucking.

Now that Miss  P is nearly 5 months old, we finally bought her nursery furniture.  I found a great deal on a crib, dresser and changing table with virtually free shipping.  It arrived at our door within days and my wonderful husband spent a couple of nights putting it all together.

crib

crib (Photo credit: Swiss James)

And it sat in her bedroom empty for several days.

Well, we didn’t have a crib mattress, you see.  I knew it needed one but I didn’t order one when I ordered the furniture because the shipping would have gone way up and we can just pick up a mattress in town.  Plus we’d need crib sheets and a mattress pad and… what else?

We went as a family the other day to buy said mattress, pad and sheets.  It was a fun outing, even though the stores were packed with holiday shoppers and people who had just gotten paid.

When we got home I washed the sheets and the mattress pad while hubby put the mattress in the crib.  When everything was dry I went upstairs and made up the bed, then took little miss up, changed her on the changing table, then put her in the crib so she could check it out.  She acted like she had been in it a million times before.  No biggie, Momma.

The room is arranged. The monitor is plugged in and placed near the crib.  Her clothes are up there now.  Her diapers are stocked on the changing table.  That room is ready.

And Miss P is sleeping in her bassinet in our room tonight.

I asked the husband if he thought we should put her up there tonight, and his eyes widened in surprise.

“Were we planning to do that?”

I shrugged.  “Well, there’s nothing really stopping us…”

Then I thought about it a moment.  “You won’t sleep very well tonight if she’s up there, will you?”

“No, probably not,” he admitted.

“I won’t either.”

So it is decided that the coming up Friday will be her first night sleeping in her own bed, in her own room.  That way we all have the weekend to recover should it be a sleepless night.

Cluck cluck.

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Gadgetry: Baby Bullet Steamer

Once we got the baby’s nursery furniture I started moving her things out of the small closet in our bedroom into her room.  While going through the bags on the floor I found a few baby shower gifts I had forgotten about: a packet of baby washclothes, a hooded blanket and a Baby Bullet Steamer.

I was under the impression that this steamer was an apparatus that you put in the microwave.  The baby is still on breast milk and formula so I was planning to put this under the cabinet in the kitchen until I could get some use out of it, and then I read the box.

The Baby Bullet Steamer is a self-contained unit that plugs into the wall and is not for use in the microwave.  This thing not only steams fruits and vegetables, it steams (hard boils) eggs, and sterilizes bottle accessories.

Boiled egg - Two pieces

Boiled egg – Two pieces (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I pulled it out planning to use it for sterilizing, since I hate putting the bottle nipples in the dishwasher.  I was also intrigued by the idea that it would hard boil eggs.  I love hard boiled eggs but I hate the whole boiling process and I never get it right.

While I do like the Baby Bullet Steamer, I’m glad it was a gift and that I didn’t spend my money on it.

Pros:

Start it and forget it.  It has an auto shut off, plus a beep alarm to let you know when the cycle is finished.

Makes fantastic hard boiled eggs.  Absolutely perfect.  As I type this I’m also eating an egg that was prepared in the steamer. (I’m dipping it into a small amount of Trader Joe’s Himalayan Pink Salt.  So yum.

Sterilizes easily.  Put the stuff in, pop the lid on, start and walk away.  The machine beeps when it is done.

Cons:

This thing is SMALL.  We use Playtex Ventaire bottles, the ones that have a vent on the bottom that releases air.  This means there is a nipple, a nipple ring, and the bottom vent and silicone insert (don’t get me wrong, even with the extra pieces these bottles are awesome and have really reduced Miss P’s gas).  The steamer only has room for 6 items, so it has to be used several times a day.

The pieces don’t snap together like you’d think.  When you are steaming eggs, the egg tray fits into the unit and the lid fits on the egg tray, but if you are sterilizing, the sterilizing tray lays on top of the unit and the lid lays on top of the tray.  Sometimes the force of the steam will know the lid askew.

Because the pieces don’t fit together properly, this thing leaks like crazy.  I have to put it on a towel to keep it from getting the counter top all wet.  I’ve contacted customer service at the website to see if this is just how it is or if my unit is defective. (I emailed them via their sales website and received a response a day or so later telling me that no, the parts do not snap together and to be sure to use the egg tray when steaming food.  No mention of the leaking issue.)

****

One night a couple of days after I wrote this review I steam-boiled a half dozen eggs, then about 2 hours later I put some nipples in to be sterilized.  A minute or so after I started the steamer, I heard it beep weirdly.  I happened to still be in the room and I looked over to see all of the lights lit up and blinking, then they all slowly faded out.  The unit was still plugged in and there was steam still coming out of the unit, but I decided it would be best to unplug it.  I emptied the water out of it, then tipped it up on its side to let it dry out.  The next morning (more than 8 hours later) I plugged the unit in and it lit up normally.  I filled it with water, then put some nipples in it to sterilize.  When I went to change the setting from 1 to 5 (as per directions) the unit did not respond (setting light didn’t change from 1 to 5), but the unit began to heat up.  I put the lid on the steamer so it could steam, then walked away for a moment.  When I came back, there was water dripping off of the unit onto the towel below.  I decided to go ahead and unplug it and give it some more drying time.  I am not optimistic that the product will recover.

I’ve been using this item for a little less than a week, perhaps twice a day.  I always unplug it and dry it out between uses.  I’m disappointed that it is already malfunctioning.

****

Bottom line: I wouldn’t buy it for myself and now that I’ve used it I wouldn’t buy it for anyone else.

Update on the broken steamer can be found here.

And… Rolling!

She did it! She finally did it!  Miss P can roll over from belly to back!

Sean Rolling Over - 2

Sean Rolling Over – 2 (Photo credit: ThrasherDave) [not our baby, not our play mat]

We’ve been working on this with her for about 6 weeks now and she hasn’t shown much interest.  At first she would lay on her belly a bit, then cry and mash her face into the play mat or the blanket.  Eventually she began to push up on her arms, but she would still cry and then scream.  Then she moved from crying and screaming to playing with the toys within her reach, but she still wouldn’t roll.

My husband put her on her back one day and put a musical turtle just out of her reach over her shoulder.  She began to reach for it and could pull herself from back to side, but just couldn’t commit to the full roll.  I was convinced she would roll from back to belly first, and even called my husband down from upstairs one evening because it seemed like she was about to do it, but she didn’t.

Then the other day my dad called to tell me about his latest doctor appointment.  He asked if she was rolling over yet and I said “no, and she probably never will because she simply has no motivation to do so, and I’m fine with that.”

Later that afternoon I brought her and a bunch of toys into our bedroom to start prepping her for nap time.  I put her on her belly in the center of the bed and went to wash my hands from her diaper change.  I came back in and sat next to her and she pulled her leg up, pushed, and rolled over on her back to look at me.

I was astonished.

I pulled her back on her belly, then went to the bedside table to grab my phone to record it, and by the time I got back she was on her back again.  I caught the next two rolls for posterity, and started crying as soon as I turned off the video recorder.

My little girl is growing up so fast.

 

Elephant Update

Just a quick update to let you know that we did receive the replacement elephant from the company within the five day window.

Unfortunately, it isn’t the same elephant (a small thing that plays five adorable little tunes) but it is a reasonable facsimile made by the same company.  It is larger and only plays four songs, but at least it plays them all the way through and my daughter doesn’t scream at it anymore.

If I could find an exact replacement, though… I’d snatch that sucker up.

Positive Customer Service Experience

Back in October I purchased a play mat for my daughter, the Bright Starts Jammin’ Jungle Activity Gym.  From the first day I put her in it, she latched on to the elephant.  This is a plush toy that hangs down and when you pull on the ring attached to it, it plays one of five catchy little songs.

She spent about two weeks yanking on it before she finally got it to work on her own.  The elephant has continued to be a focus for her.

English: A female African Bush Elephant raises...

English: A female African Bush Elephant raises her trunk as a warning sign in Mikumi National Park, Tanzania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I took the play mat with me over Thanksgiving to my dad’s house.  It’s a fantastic toy because it folds up, and it made the 2.5 hour trip well.  Then about halfway through the week the elephant started malfunctioning.  It would play almost all of the first song, but only a few seconds of any other song.

This did not please her royal cuteness.

Her dad and I both checked the elephant carefully and could not find a way to open it and change the batteries.  I had thrown away both the receipt and the packaging, so I went online and discovered that the batteries in the elephant are not replaceable.  Bummer.

I knew we’d only had the item a couple of months, but since I didn’t save any of the packaging or paperwork I figured I’d have to buy a replacement elephant, so I went on the website and clicked on “Replacement Parts”.  I assumed I’d be ordering the part, but I was sent to a comment form where I had to fill in my information, describe the piece and problem, and then provide some information about the product that was printed on the tags attached to it.

I did so and received an email advising someone would be back to me within 2 business days.  A couple of hours later I received an email asking me to provide some additional information: verify my mailing address and provide the month and year of purchase or gifting and the location of purchase if I knew it.

I told them I didn’t have a receipt but I had purchased it on October 14 at the Walmart near my home.  I was able to provide that information because I unwrapped it the following day and put her in it and then snapped a picture.  I found the picture on my phone and looked at the details to get the date.

I was rather disappointed that the elephant malfunctioned just 6 weeks after purchase.  My daughter isn’t a toy monster and the jungle receives what I would consider normal usage.  No one did anything unusual to the elephant to cause the malfunction (and no, I didn’t write any of this in my email).

The following morning I received a response from the company: a plush elephant would be shipped to me and should arrive withing 5-7 business days.

I couldn’t be more pleased with the service I received.  Miss P is going to be thrilled when her elephant starts working again.

Baby Mop

The first time I saw the baby mop onesie was on an episode of Raising Hope.  The grandparents of the baby had created the baby mop onesie as part of an invention competition.  I thought it was an awesome idea.

I still do.  Our house is about 85% tile, wood laminate and other laminate flooring.  The only carpet is on the stairs, on the main part of the second floor and in the guest room on the second floor.  That is a lot of sweeping and mopping.

The baby is going to be on the floor anyway.  Why shouldn’t we kill two birds with one stone?  The only reasons I haven’t purchased one yet are: (1) she’s not crawling yet and (2) it seems a bit pricey.

What do you think of the baby mop onesie?

My Inspiration

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My beautiful girl.

This is my inspiration for blogging.  Her name is Penny.

I’ve been blogging since before blogging was a thing.  Back before blogs existed we called them “websites” and we did all of the html coding by hand.  True story.  I used to write about the things I loved and the things I hated and someone sent me an email through my site about something called a weblog.  I fell in love with it pretty quickly.

I’ve written about nearly everything under the sun over the last decade, but the one thing I wanted to be was a mommy blogger.  That was a tough thing to even think about when I was battling bad relationships and then infertility.  The closest I could get was writing a short-lived blog last year about an unexpected pregnancy that ended tragically.

I am thrilled that I have finally joined the ranks of the mommy bloggers.  I am thrilled to finally be a mom.

After wrestling her royal cuteness into bed at night, I sit down in front of my computer and review our day together.  What did she learn to do? What did I learn from her?  The process of becoming mother and daughter is so different from how I thought it would be, especially at my age.

I write about her because I love her, and I love who I am becoming because of her.  I find motherhood as a 40-something to be different from what I read from the 20-somethings and 30-somethings on other blogs.  She will be in college while her father and I are dealing with retirement.  I’m a first time mother at a time when most of my high school classmates and friends are becoming first time grandparents.

I can’t be the only woman out there experiencing motherhood at this age, and I want to share what I’m learning so that those women don’t feel so alone.  My daughter may be the smartest and the most beautiful, but her mom is just another middle-aged mom muddling through and trying her best.

This is where I preserve the frustration and the magic of my little inspiration.