Thursday, July 29, 2010

No dear...

there are NOT size requirements to be in a crib.

there is not a name for the type of hold I am feeding her in now, but "Lazy" sounds good to me.

that wet belch does not count as blowing mommy a kiss, but thanks for the thought!

My wonderful husband makes me smile as we learn on this journey of parenting together- every day!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

5 new things in life

Life has gotten really busy, and it really isn't because of B-lyn. I'm working a lot more (from home Glory Hallelujah!) and am exhausted. But, there are quite a few fun things going on in my life:

1- I cut my toenails tonight, first time since Sweet Megan did it for me a week before Brooke came into our lives- yes... that was 7 weeks ago, don't judge, just imagine how wickedly long they were. Sweet. Normally I just fling my toe nail clippings as they are so tiny- tonight, I think they could have given a puncture wound to someone I love.

2- Brooke went to the Dr. today, 11 pounds 1 ounce, 22 inches long! You grow girl!!! He laughed when he walked in and asked what I was feeding her- good old fashioned breast milk, sir! He was astonished at her growth and laughed that she gained about 25% of her body mass in 3 or 4 weeks, pretty good! I felt like one proud mama!

3- My daughter seems to be waking at the same time as her best friend Camille my best friend Kristy's daughter. They have literally awoken at the same time about 5 nights in a row now, if that isn't weird to you... well, whatever you're crazy! *note

4- My bed has been peed on three times this week, I will not divulge the culprits. (Ooo, so mysterious.... makes it sound like Jon is a suspect! I like it! :)

5- Brooke went swimming with Mommy, Daddy, and Aunt Michelle this weekend, it was 1- precious 2- hilarious 3- fun!!! She wore her suit from Aunt Jenni and Uncle Matt (Although I doubt he knows he helped pay for it), and sun glasses-adorable! She LOVED the water and I think would have stayed in longer, I don't remember why we got out after all! On the same day, my Uncle Mark met her , my Aunt Kris met her and my cousin Billy met her. My family is pretty interesting- I see most of them at least once a week which is so awesome for the kids in the family to actually KNOW their great grandparents. It is also sort of weird... to have those relatives that you don't see as much- then you discuss the weather with them. Butt- really, I see my family far too much AND I LOVE IT! I work for my aunt after all, so we at least email daily... x100. ANYWAY- My mom has 2 sisters, my dad has 3 living sisters and 2 brothers. Mom's sister #1 met Brooke when she was 1 week old. My dad's youngest sister, who I haven't seen since my aunt and grandpa died in November 2005 met her next. Did you read that? Yes, my family, the ones who are obsessed with each other has an aunt who we haven't seen in ALMOST 5 YEARS! Whew am I glad I had a baby to bring her back around...??? So, Brooklyn has yet to meet her Great Aunt Linda, Great Aunt Jeri, and Great Uncle Jim, but I bet that won't happen for about... 3 years. At least she WILL meet her GREAT GREAT Aunt Diane and Uncle Harry! Crazy! :)

I know... not so entertaining, but pieces that I want to have written and document for little B. now,I'm off to punch my husband for having his computer game FAR too loud for having an infant in the house... what a dumbbell sometimes, but one I really love a lot.

*I totally just ignored my baby for 3 minutes so that daddy would leave his STUPIDLYRIDICULOUS game and tend to her, he's closer.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Breastfeeding 101 (aka Month 1)

As my life revolves around my boobs right now, I have a lot of thoughts on trying breastfeeding- what worked for me and the few things that didn't, but some that do now.

First of all, Brooke was born at 6:45 by cesarean delivery, I was discharged from the operating room at 7:04 (I believe that was the time he said... it was 04, 07, 08, or 09 I think, I was pretty drugged up). I was brought across the hall into "recovery" where I got to see my squirmer get her hair washed and my husband stand proudly at my side. As soon as the nurse finished (because they brought me out of surgery much quicker than anticipated) she handed my girl to me and showed me how to latch her on. She was not even 30 minutes old! It was fantastic! It didn't hurt because I had so many pain meds in me, but it was great for her to start right away.

The first night I felt like I fed her non stop. We didn't get much help from the nurses with feeding(until 4am). But I read a lot, a lot a lot. When feeding on left put baby down on her side and pull her in as close as you can, use left hand to squish boob "like a burger", hold child with right arm (or husband hold her up) and use right hand to guide head. Stroke nipple against baby's lips until they open very wide then use your right hand to push baby's head forward on. If it hurts, try again. Make sure lips are open, none of this "Old man, I have no teeth" business, that hurts... WAY worse than open puckered lips. Hold low on baby's head at base where neck meets head, allow the head to drop back for oxygenation of your child. Pull baby in close the whole time. When you're done, or baby is, stick finger in mouth to break the seal. I really have to jab it in there, that girl sucks HARD. I tried laying down feeding, no dice. Football feeding, EH, hospital bed did not work so well for this. However, we met with a lactation consultant who just helped to really show me that I can SHOVE my baby on. A few nurses were FANTASTIC!!! I cannot remember the last one's name, but we LOVED her and I hope my sister-in-law gets her!!!

When my milk came in (around day 3 or 4) the way I KNEW it was in, was the fountain that floweth from the breast that was not feeding. UH HUH, yup, GROSS, SOAKED--everything. I bought these "Breast shells" by Ameda, HEAVEN. I wore a sports bra most early days and would throw this silicone surround + plastic cup in on the side I was not feeding on. The purpose is to collect the milk that floweth :) And girl does it flow! I just rinsed it out after each use and didn't save the what... 0.3 ounces?

Reasons why I love these things?
1. Letting the milk come out helps you to not be engorged, if you don't know what it means, believe me and don't let it happen to you.
2. I no longer soaked my bed, pillows, blankets, etc.
3. I believe it has helped establish the amount of milk I NEED for my baby.

Other options:
- Disposable breast pads
- Lily Padz
- Towel/blanket/burp cloth
- Soothies

Reasons why I did not use these/used minimally/use now:

Disposable breast pads: These would be drenched in a matter of minutes, and with 30+ minute feedings for most women, they seem pointless-IN THE BEGINNING! I use them EVERY day now, I leak a little throughout the day and they are diapery by bedtime.

Lily Padz: According to reviews, friends, and blogs, these are the They are silicone flowers that you "stick/suction" to your nipples, they do NOT let the milk out. Although they are so fantastic, I chose to wait on purchasing these for the price ($30 a pair I think). After reading up on them, I would not use them until you are 5/6 weeks post baby. Let your milk do its thing, let your boobs figure their job out. Think logically here, if you force the milk to stay in, but your boobs keep wanting to produce, what will happen? *Engorgement, full boobs, stretched boobs There is the logic as well that it will make your boobs realize you don't need the milk. This is true, IF you do NOT pump out the excess in each breast after you feed. Your boobs WILL continue to fill, a baby will not be able to eat that much (I just waited it out and my boobs figured it out). If you keep pumping it out, it will keep coming in. Does that make sense? I will probably start using these soon, they rock.

Towel/blanket/burp cloth:
I use this NOW in bed because the milk doesn't flow as much and I don't want to wear stuff on my boobs all night. (They don't leak as badly- literally as of week 5, which was yesterday) I roll one up, throw it on, and it works okay. It does drip down sometimes onto my underpants that I sleep in, but it's okay. I sleep on a towel anyhow.

I LOVED these from the hospital- make sure you get some! I used them for about a week or until they got funky. They are created to soothe sore nipples, they are cool, gel-like and comfy. I wore them out for the first few weeks, it helped to stop the milk from coming a LOT, but it still leaked out a bit. Similar to a Lily Pad, but not as restrictive. I no longer need the soothe :)

Now, I'm into week 5 of motherhood-WOW!!!! And breastfeeding is SO not a big deal. It became much less painful at week 3- yes, stick it out, you can DO IT- it is so worth it. Don't let anyone tell you that you need to supplement unless your baby is not gaining any weight or it is YOUR doctor. And supplementing can mean one bottle a day-really. Any you may be able to find friends who will give you some of their milk instead of needing formula too. I think we need to do more of this, help people who want to breastfeed but are having problems, give them 2 bottles of breast milk a day, why not? (I'm still figuring out how to pump enough so that my kid can still eat! :)

A few things about my own baby:
1- She may feed for 10 minutes, then 5, then 20, then 45.
2- I think she is done because she "bats" at my boob, punches it, squeezes it- my mistake, the kid is trying to get back on!
3- She needs to burp after EVERY feeding.
4- Even if she is still spitting up from the last feeding, she still wants more- we call her Little Piggy. :) Affectionately of course!

This week I have:
1- fed in a public place
2- fed in football hold, with a pillow holding her, I hold her head and LORD is it FABULOUS! This may be a successful way to feed in public- I'm envisioning sitting close to Jon and he will hold the rest of her body, because I love this hold!
3- fed laying down on one side, both boobs- maybe it is because I have knockers, but it works well. It hurts a little, I think this is because she is not as close as she should be maybe?
4- wiped my own milk from my face

Don't be alarmed if:
1- Your baby chokes, we do this a minimum of 2 times a feeding, I just prop her up, hold an arm up, and she's fine!
2- Her face turns really red or she looks at you funny- she is just pooping.
3- You squirt a foot away, WAY TO GO! (And this is why your child is choking- this is stopping somewhat)
4- You feel a warm sensation in your other boob when you feed, this is just letting down a bit.
5- You feel a warm dribble on your stomach, your baby is just letting a little milk drip out, or fell off and you didn't notice- it's okay! :)

If you have questions, I'm no expert, but asked a lot of questions, so you can ask me! :) Yes, I squirt milk all over my baby's face, yes, I SOAK the bed sometimes, but it is so worth it! :) I read "Breastfeeding Made Simple" and received a free copy (it's an $18 book!) by attending a class (free) at Cygnus Lactation Services in Mundelein, IL. First Friday of every month, 7pm I think- check their site, unless something else comes up.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Content and Breastfeeding Laws

I missed my baby today, but she was with me ALL day! Well, at least in the house.

Jon and I have had many conversations as of late about being parents (what else do we talk about? Well, poop, breast milk, wet diapers, baths, spit up, laundry, how amazing I smell, and other wonderful things.) But Brooke slept most of today, after yesterday being up almost the whole day, we got 7.5 hours of sleep followed by a 2.5 hour stretch. Hey, I'm not complaining... nor am I expecting that again... EVER. She woke up for one and a half, two hours maybe and the poor thing was fighting to sleep, I gave in and let her. I had to wake her from a nap (I know some of you crazy people let your kids sleep whenever... I do what I want . :) She fell asleep an hour later in her Grandma's arms who just so happened to stop by (and only got some drool on her for once!) She slept for 30 minutes, fussed, back to sleep, and slept until 5ish I think, fought staying awake AGAIN! Poor thing was asleep most of the day, which made for a very sad momma! Although, I did clean the bathroom, put away one million miscellaneous things (that have been sitting around for 10 years), and did quite a bit of laundry, and had lunch with a friend! But really, I missed this little girl!

And in usual "us" fashion, we discussed how I miss the baby when she's in our own home, how could I ever leave her? I guess it doesn't matter, I don't really feel the need to get out of the house. Remind me to plan the birth of all of our babies when the weather is nice- as much "planning" as we do. I like a short walk around the block, a quick trip to the store (or a long one if I'm with my mom). But I don't need a break right now (I know, I know, the time will come!). But right now, today, (on my amazing sister in law's birthday) I am so joyful. I'm not happy, I am full of joy for the life I have been given. THANK YOU JESUS!

But anyhow, last night I woke up three times (yup, my kid doesn't wake me up, my sopping wet shirt does.) I leaked so much last night there was no way my towel could save me, or my blankets, or shirt, or anything for that matter, BUT, man it was great to not have rock solid boobs. As exciting as those must be... I'm just NOT a fan. I smelled awful today, and do not plan on showering tonight- I'm happy that some people find the smell sweet. "Oh, you smell like baby!" Now I know that means- "HOLY CRAP WOMAN- shower! You smell like spoiled milk, fresh milk, sweat, BO, and maybe a little of your baby's lotion." Because trust me... my kid has NEVER had a product on her body that smelled like "baby" other than vaseline one time. Everything else I put on the child smells like grass, weeds, and all things natural. Poor kid... maybe she'll be the stinky kid in school. I sure hope not.

Other than that... Jon told me today about a breastfeeding mom in Kentucky who was asked to leave a restaurant apparently for nursing there. Geesh, must have been SOME place. (It was like... Fridays people). I nursed in Bottaio the other night, at my table, facing people, again, I do what I want . Many women have told me to simply ask anyone who protests about breast feeding to ask if they would like to take their lunch in a bathroom stall. (Standing + nursing + me = impossible I think for now) You only see people eat in the bathroom in movies and they aren't really eating. Anyway, there are lots of laws on breastfeeding regardless, good way to start a law suit!

Here's some on it:


Oh yea, and Forever 21, thanks for creating cheapo maternity clothes now that I am no longer pregnant.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Things nobody told me

There were many things people told me along the way to Brooklyn, but... then there are the things that no one told me. I heard how horrible it would be to poop after her birth (true statement), the nasty size of blood clots I'd pass (fact), or even how tired I would be (opinion). But... then there is that list of "I can't believe no one told me..." Maybe I didn't read something, maybe I forgot... but this is my list of what I didn't know... and sort of wished I had... or not at all.

- breast pads, the disposable kind (yes I know, I cloth diaper then use disposable breast pads when out and about. I use disposie dipes too when we're out for now, so shoot me.) anyway, they turn into that gel-like substance that traditional disposable diapers turn into, on your boobs. That can't be healthy.

- that stool softeners would become my new bff and part of my daily routine, honestly, it's been a month. I love you stool softeners, LOVE you... do NOT love my overdose of daily fe (that's iron... see I took chem, I hope that's right!:)

- drive with one arm in the backseat for a few minutes each time you get into the car. Reach as far back as possible, imagine your arm resting above an adorable car seat, get used to it, blood flow is restricted, you will adjust in time. However... a perfect mother would NEVER have to reach to the backseat and hold a paci in her child's mouth for the ride to grandma's for moments of sanity, never.

- work on your vocals, you will become Mariah or Whitney overnight to your audience of two (God counts here... three if you subject your husband to the pain). But really, Brooke calms down in the car when I sing with the radio- take it! :)

- how helpful my husband would be. Truly, not one woman has told me that my husband would help ME. They said he'd be hot holding our kid, sexy even (ow ow... TRUTH.). They told me that he'd be a great dad. But I see the most loving, serving husband in the world in Jonathan. He doesn't change diapers much, he can't feed her, but he holds her, gets covered in spit up nightly, encourages me, supports me financially and emotionally, helps clean, suggests I take a break, lets me use the remote more than him, even though I have the option of watching TV a lot of the day, and most of all he helps me by coming home every night with open arms and kisses for all of his girls, man he's sexy, AND helpful... as that was my intention here.

And that is what I can think of on the night of my child's 1 month birthday. I love you Brooklyn Victoria, with all of my heart. I think you are beautiful, silly, amazing, smart, and most of all, you are my daughter and that is MORE than enough of a reason to adore you.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Questions they ask...

I am asked many questions every day as a new perfect mother.

Is she a good baby?
What, am I going to say, no? Of course she is (no really) but WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? I am still stuck on this, and maybe wrote about it already. But seriously, what makes a baby good? Not crying? Ok, you try not talking and we'll call you a "good" person. That is how she talks to me (although I do not get her vernacular quite yet...). Is it sleeping through the night? Umm... well, not yet, but some day! I doubt we'll be in high school not sleeping through the night. And if it takes that long, that's okay, she is just like her momma. (Yup, woke up EVERY night until high school and slept with my parents- I'm not embarrassed, I love them!) Maybe a good baby just sleeps constantly, niiiiiice, no brain function. Whatever, I just have a good baby because she is mine, and she can't be bad, she is a baby.

How is she sleeping? Through the night yet? I'm not going to lie, this makes me want to punch you in the face. No, my four week old baby (and yes, she is FOUR WEEKS OLD TODAY!) does not sleep through the night. Yours did? Great! I bet you are remembering incorrectly- fiesty today, reign it in, reigning in, reigned. Through my 9 months of research, 8 while pregnant, one now as a mommy, all books say babies should NOT sleep through the night until at least 6 weeks of age, I'll smile largely if we get that... but I'm not holding my breath. I don't want to FORCE my BABY to do stuff, and I feel like if I can get her to sleep through the night with a little guidance, rock on, if not, well, I guess I'll be bleary eyed for awhile, like every other mother.

Is Brooklyn going to be a big sister? I think if I had a vaginal delivery my response would be quite different, but of course she will be a big sister. It may not be to a HUMAN (does that sound normal?) but she will be a big sister. We hope to have many children, and when God chooses to give them to us, HELL yea! But, if B doesn't sleep through the night, it may be difficult to GET a sibling, so, I guess we'll pray for that! :)

How was your recovery? I bet it is so hard to lift her! No, not that hard. Week one was difficult, my muscles felt like they could rip, but I'm starting not to remember anymore. I really tried to "do it by myself" not like I want to be a single mother or anything, I do not envy the work they do, but I do not think Jon should get up at night with me when I am at home all day and can take naps, he can't take naps, I can. Again, after Week 1, it was all okay. She is getting harder to lift now as she is tipping the scales at 9 lbs 3 oz- and growing daily! Oooftie girl! Keep going, I wanna see ROLLS! :)

How long will she be in your bedroom? If she continues to jabber for hours at a time in the night (usually early morning or right before she falls asleep) she will be outta here in no time. I know someone with the spiritual gift of gab, clearly spiritual, I think my daughter was blessed with this. And if she is anything like Jeanny the other gabber, Lord THANK YOU! But in all seriousness, I love leaning over to comfort her, to grab and feed her, and to hear her breaths all night. I'll be okay to move her to her bedroom, but as long as I can get some sleep, we're fine with her right by my side.

How is breastfeeding going? Wonderfully, it hurt for 3 weeks really. Not searing pain, but at times, it was worse than my contractions. Sometimes flames, paper cuts, bruises, those sorts of sensations. But my child is growing and pooping proudly (we wake up in the night to her grunting it out, so funny/annoying/disgusting- did I mention I don't change her at this point in time? She sits in it, because as soon as she is done she falls right asleep. And the only way you can think I'm a bad mom for that is because I hear her poop, if she were in the other room, I'd have no idea, therefore, perfect mother, I'm training her butt for sleeping through the night, okay?) And, I feel SKINNY for once in a long time. My legs look skinny, my waist is tiny, my arms don't flap in the wind (as much). There were days when I questioned if my milk was coming in, if it was working, it hurt too bad, ladies, push through it and just do it.

So, you're really cloth diapering?
Yes, mostly. When we go out I tend to use disposables, however, we have had more explosions with disposables than cloth (didn't think that'd happen huh?). AND, truly, I LOVE my prefolds! They are more work, I have to basically diaper my child twice each time I change her, but they work SO WELL! We have exploded 2 times with cloth, both at night when feeding. Most of my nighttime dipes do not have leg gussets, which are made to hold stuff in, but they do have tight elastic around the legs. My Katydids, which I thought would be the have leaked urine! GROSS! No poop explosions in cloth... strange huh? Whatever, and in exciting news, I did find a natural detergent... but it is more pricey than the Charlie's Soap we are using. It is at Earthly Goods if you are interested.

My baby is four weeks old, and in the past four weeks:
- she stole mine and Jon's hearts
- she went through about 100 disposable diapers
- she met all of her cousins
- she snuggled her great grandpa (Grampy), great grandma (Grammy), and other great grandma (3 more to go!)
- she slept on Grandma's chest, Papa's chest, Mommy's Chest and Daddy's chest.
- she spit up the size of her body
- she slept 7.5 hours one night
- she smiles and coos all the time
- she farts. A LOT.
- she accidentally rolled over and was quite frightened with BIG eyes
- she holds her head very well
- she went to Tastee Freez
- she met Jeanny and Ashley, two people I hope she can be like
- she learned how to blow raspberries, on my boobs.
- she giggled through her sleep, PRECIOUS!
- she had a photo shoot with Aunt Heather
- she went to every hardware store in town (multiple times)
- she was called HUGE and tiny within one hour
- she keeps her eyes open for a very long time
- she outgrew size newborn
- she snuggled her aunts and uncles, I LOVE that! (Except for Uncle Ben... he still won't hold her, and I have accounted for this in her baby book)
- she opens her eyes very largely a lot, and it cracks me up!
- she amazes us!

And... I'm going to eat lunch in 6 minutes so I can wake up my baby and feed her, because I want her to be on some sort of a schedule, and I have to work this afternoon, sleeping baby = easier work.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Tongues and Pacis

This morning I woke up after about... 7.5 hours of sleep. Is my child breathing? Did I really wake up in the middle of the night to feed her? WHAT ON EARTH IS DRIPPING ON MY CHEST?

Oh... it is just breast milk, pooling in my clavicle neck region- yea. Gross. I didn't say that this would be a sweet, pretty blog. YUCK.

And, I didn't get to shower until 2, in the afternoon, when I was breastfeeding and realized how AWFUL I smelled. And, miraculously- the baby did NOT wake up in the process of my shower. (No, although it appears that possibly I typed that I as breastfeeding while shower, I was not.)

I also decided well into the shock of "I'm going to have a baby" that we were going to continue life as normally as possible. What that means to us is that if Jon needs to rip off the roof while Brooke sleeps... well, you better be a deep sleeper kid. So, today, we put it to the test- and we had partial success! Although she woke up 3 times in 2 hours... she did sleep some. Finally, I just held her, ear to chest, then my other hand over her ear, other hand under butt... this posed a problem when she was asleep, spit her binky out, and there were loud noises.

I did as any perfect mother would, and held my hands in place, reached down with my tongue, and was able to wiggle the binky back into her mouth. Oh, I know... I rock.

And I love my little bundle... who is whimpering at this time for her momma.. and with how strange my boobs feel today, I think they are crying out for her too!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

You will be THAT mom...

who carries her child and pushes the stroller. Perfect!

(Or grandma will, because your incision hurts really bad, and she couldn't stand the crying, but it is all you hear form your kid... so it doesn't really bother you. But either way... no one is in THAT stroller.)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Clearly, I am the BEST mother ever.

I one hundred percent believe that I am the best wife and mother in the world, for my husband and our little Brooke, but probably not so much for YOUR family. Because I was made to be Jon's wife and Brooke's mom, how can I not be the perfect one for the job?

Along the road here, the three weeks and two days I have been a mom, I have learned all about being the perfect mother, and it is my intention to share what that looks like with you, all the bloopers and bumps along the way to being perfect. :)

Here's a list, I'm feeling quite listy this evening.

1. I don't know what my baby's cries mean, everyone told me I would right away. "That's her, 'I'm hungry' cry, or the 'I'm poopy' cry." Well, either I'm deaf, or this kid does not speak traditional baby. Or, I suppose, it could be the fact that her crying really is to a minimum, although my loving husband would not agree tonight as he sat in the other room trying to play a racing game while she wailed it out looking for her paci. But, maybe we're just parent deaf, ask Brooke when she's 3.

2. It is completely normal to spend far too much time in your opinion thinking of a "party hat" like strap to put around your child's head with binky attached. How do they spit them out so quickly? GEESH! In-out, in-out.... Lordy!

3. Cloth diapering will not save the planet, but it certainly is fun and good to know her poop won't be in a landfill after she dies, and it is NOT that much work, really. I even use the prefolds (old school... like burp cloths, ahhhh you shake your head). I'll probably write more about this later, even though there are millions of blogs out there on cloth diapering, I so preferred my personalized cousin sessions to practice with dipes and hope to help my sister in law in the coming weeks... holy crap, a new baby already! :)

4. Pacifiers might save your life, if you have a child that needs to suck on something after a feeding. If it weren't for my mother in law saving us with 4 pacifiers when Brooke was 3 or 4 days old, we would have gone looney, and my nipples would have fallen off, truly. Now, I can handle being a human pacifier, but in those first few weeks, heck NO.

5. Name your kid what you want to. My dad HATED Brooke's name before she was born, too bad papa! My kid, my name choice. You picked mine, I pick hers thankyouverymuch! :)

6. Get a stroller that fits YOUR life. We looked at the BOB, it sure is pretty, and convenient, and has blow up tires, but as my husband said, "We just aren't.... jogging stroller type people hunny." Ah dear, you are correct, and I highly doubt we will become jogging stroller type people, but if we do, I'll let you know.

7. Laugh at your kid and have lots of towels, blankets, and burp cloths around for feedings. If your child is anything like mine, or maybe I should say if your breasts are anything like mine, you will need it. Last night I tried to explain it to Daddy, "It's like trying to suck off that piece on an orange, you know the thingie that sort of looks like a star when you peel it off? Try it, it's not easy, Brooke is AMAZING!" Really, but in real size it's like a soccer ball and pencil eraser, and the eraser is hosing her down the whole time. Poor kid, I'm shocked she ever gets anything to eat. No wonder she wants to sleep after every feeding, she was chasing around at least three streams of milk to figure out where dinner is! She has become a champ at the "spot it, circle, dive bomb!" I wish it wasn't totally disgusting to show people this hilarious act, but oh so inappropriate (and hilarious-again.).

8. Make your kid nap, no one likes the baby who fusses all evening, and daddy doesn't want to come home to sassy pants. I try to make her nap in the am and pm... but hey, we're still new, so we don't always get it. In fact, B is napping on my chest right now... and this morning... and on grandma's chest this weekend... we have a thing for napping with babies, they are exhausting!

9. Save the little things that you might want her to see some day, we have a baby book that I'm writing in from Great Grandma Sue, in the back is a memory box. We have hospital bands, some maternity shots, ultrasounds, and are adding her hospital bill, kid, you were expensive. I'm just saying- you should thank us some day. :)

10. When people tell you about the "let down" in breastfeeding, they may be referring to the flaming sensation that encircles your breasts when you see your child and then your shirt is soaked, in the middle of Menards. Or maybe they didn't mean that... but whatever.

11. Let your kid cry a little in the night, B wakes up after 3 hours sometimes and I offer her a paci, she is still so tired if I catch her fast enough, she is back to sleep for 2 hours... can I complain? NOPE! Also on nighttime- nurse in bed if possible, Jon hears her cry anyway, and falls asleep instantly again, it is so much more calming to nurse in bed! Even with the aforementioned dive bomb hose down.

12. C-sections aren't so bad. More on this later.

13. Diaper duty: a-If you want to do cloth, be prepared to have classes to teach daddy, or do it yourself. b-Allow your child at least 10 minutes after a pooper to continue the process. Brooklyn rarely poops when held, she prefers to be flat on her back and gives three valiant pushes across 5 minutes of time with flared white nostrils, wait for the third push... or learn your own kid. Today... I changed her after two, and then proceeded to let her sit in poop for an hour, I was NOT changing another diaper. c-Try to use paper towels for the first few weeks, the first day we introduced wipes she got SO red at 2 weeks! Poor tush! (That is why the hospital gives you dry wipes... you're not really supposed to use store bought wipes on newborns, new info to me!) d-Girls pee and poop when the diaper is open too, that's all I'm gonna say. (Sorry for your guest bed mom... happy it came out!)

14. Baby acne goes away really fast, like, in a day. We're proud donners of the acne from sweaty naps on chests outside, it's not that bad, don't worry.

15. It is okay to make the "Too hot Ducky" say "Hot" lightly. Brooke HATED her first 2 baths... and yes, we waited until she was almost 2 weeks old to bathe her, not even a sponge bath! GASP! Don't call DCFS!! We wanted that GROSS belly button to BEGONE! (Like HE-GONE! Maybe only my family yells it like that... whatever.) I finally made the water a little too hot according to Dr. Duck, M.D. but according to Princess Brooklyn, it was perfecto- full of smiles, coos, and giggles. Approved!

16. It is really hard to wake up a newborn, like, really hard. Like, dropping a pot in the sink won't cut it, and whistling as high pitched as you can. But dog licks work EVERY time, just saying.

17. You don't have to hold your kid all day every day, lay her down for a bit, let the dog lick the crap out of her face (with breaks for breath of course). Throw a blanket down, put her in the bouncy seat, give your back a break people!

18. You don't have to be the "first time mom." I drop her paci, wipe it off on my pants, and put it back in her mouth. I've never been a germaphobe, had a student this year with a father who was one and he wrote many times throughout the year about that bad influence on his life and caused him awful anxiety... golly, I'm not becoming one now! It is quite freeing to not have to be perfect... even though I am.

19. Remember (if you're a stay at home mom) that daddy was at work all day today providing for you, he needs a break from the day as well. Let him have some time each evening. I make sure to take time when Brooke naps, I might shave my legs (only happened once since she's been born), cut my toe nails (previous comment applies), lay my head down, watch a fun episode of some show, NOT clean. I get to choose what I do when my baby naps, I can count it as a break for myself and say it is okay for the kitchen to not be spotless today, or I can have the perfect house and be a wreck inside... you pick what works for you. But what is working for us, is some daddy time, some alone time, and some family time every night, and I LOVE it.

20. Breast milk stains a lot of clothes, get over it or get some Resolve. We've had to switch to a detergent that does not get out stains because of cloth diapering (I still think it is worth it) and we love Resolve... when he doesn't change the color of our clothes.

21. If you give your child a paci and they spit it out, that's okay. If they root for it, give it back, if not, LEAVE IT OUT YOU DUMMY! PS- your kid will probably need braces anyway, so just give them the binky if they want it, okay?

22. Truly, I'm fair, have blonde hair, and was doomed to have bleeding, cracked nipples (so I've been told). I used Lanolin cream after nursing every time I just wore a bra, or wore Soothies (by Lansinoh) for comfort with NO cream. So far, according to my sister in law Jamie, my nipples look good, a chunk fell off and one time the other got a little purple... but it's okay. Now they only feel like paper cuts every now and then. (My child just laughed as I typed that... not funny kid.)

23. Your baby might actually be smiling AT YOU- and laughing with you... I'm just saying. Doctors say this won't happen until they are about 2 months old, lies I say! Brooke will smile when I get in her face, kiss her, tickle her, talk to her, and no.. she doesn't fart shortly after. She even giggles a LOT (mostly in her sleep) but it is the cutest thing I have EVER heard in my life.

24. Do devotions with your baby. I read mine aloud to Brooke. It's a simple email I get every morning, different women send scripture and a story, a prayer, and an application. Brooke is learning the importance of time with Jesus now.

25. Pray for your baby as you put her to sleep, it makes you like her even more as you call out to the Savior your dreams, desires, and passions for the life he has handed to you. I pray nightly for Brooke to become a woman of integrity, faith, compassion, and love. What do you want for your child more than anything?

And so... three weeks, and that is what this bleary eyed momma can think of right now. I love this journey... even though it is all I seem to talk about... for now (then we'll have another one! :)