Showing posts with label baby. Show all posts
Showing posts with label baby. Show all posts

Sunday, September 3, 2017

surprise, surprise ... baby #5!

I know baby #4 was an early loss, but I believe every life matters so I am currently expecting our fifth baby.

Now let me give you a moment to recover from the shock ...

Still breathing?

(I'm STILL recovering)

I'm due in March so I'm a couple days shy of 14 weeks. In 5 short weeks we have the all important mid-pregnancy anatomy scan with the maternal fetal medicine doctor. Keeping this pregnancy under wraps has made it zoom by. I've been super sick, because that's how I do pregnancy, but I haven't thrown up as much as I normally do so that's positive!

Since I like to make things uber complicated I am delivering with an entirely new set of doctors. With the kids nearing 4 & 6 life has become a bit more complex: preschool, homeschool, gymnastics and church programs will fill our weeks this fall and I simply don't have time to drive 45 minutes to an hour to see my previous doctors. Also, my maternal fetal medicine doctor retired and the midwife that delivered Ainsleigh moved to a freestanding birth center.

SO - I'm trying a traditional OB this time and the maternal fetal medicine doctors at the local hospital. I've hired an amazing doula and my midwife from my first birth will hopefully be able to be there as a doula as well so I think it will all be fine. With this birth I'll have delivered in 4 different places without moving from our fine city, so that's something of an accomplishment I suppose.

Also planning on an epidural at 4 cm (is that even allowed?) because I am over birth trauma and getting through it and breathing and trying to go natural. Just get this baby out, please and thanks!

I wouldn't say we are excited, but I would like to get to that point, so we are starting to share about this pregnancy. Hopefully if others are excited for us we'll get on board. With that hope in mind I finally posted about the pregnancy on social media last night.

Everyone present thought this was a fabulous announcement idea, but we were on eclipse party day 3 and all feeling a bit rummy so our judgement was questionable. I *almost* didn't post this picture, because we all look a bit rough, but that's us! In our jams, un-showered (I was too sick to host people for the eclipse and shower; it was literally too much) at 10:30, hanging out in our backyard for a monumental event. We are not a well put together family at the best of times (why get dressed when you could be reading?) and this summer has been quite a mess with B going through a massive diet change and me feeling so ill. We went to the doctors in our jams more than once this summer, so this picture feels quite appropriate!

I believe God has a plan for our family and for this baby. And I believe our family is meant to have a third little one to raise, because that is the only way I can wrap my mind around this year of surprise babies. Everyone who has read here, or known me, or talked to me for more than 10 minutes knows the more babies question was off the table. Pregnancy and birth is so traumatic for me I couldn't fathom choosing to do it again. We have two beautiful kids we are raising and that was enough. But through Christ all things are possible, so here we are, expecting another blessing, and hoping we are done with surprises for a while.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

on worry and learning curves

Ainsleigh will be three months old tomorrow. We've spent most of her life like this. Ainsleigh is a mama's girl.

J calls every evening as he's leaving work to ask if I need anything (groceries, diapers, dinner). This evening I said "dinner is cooking" when he asked. The surprise and amazement in his voice when he replied, "really?!" made me realize I haven't been doing very well in that category. Thankfully J doesn't mind my inability to keep up with things. (We have run out of toilet paper TWICE since Ains was born. That's the first time I've done that!)  He just rolls with the chaos.

We have a routine, and we are settling into life with two, but there are still challenges. Food is a big one. Bennett eats a lot and his dietary needs are complicated. Lately the days I set aside to cook and freeze food for him have been filled with appointments for Ainsleigh. I should do it at night, but that's my time. I need that time to stay happy.

I know these days will soon be gone. I know Ainsleigh won't need me like this forever. I worry about her. I wonder how much her hearing loss affects her. We had a busy weekend. Ainsleigh has been fussy and needy the past two days and I wonder if it's because of too much social interaction. I know all babies get over stimulated, but I think Ainsleigh gets there faster and has a harder time recovering.

I worry about Ainsleigh a lot, but J tells me to let it go. He says we'll learn everything we can now and then if difficulties arise we will (hopefully) have the tools to address them. I know he's right, but I am a mama and I am a worrier and I excel at combining those parts of my personality. I think some part of me is still back in the room where we received the diagnosis trying to process what this means for our family. It's hard because most of the challenges won't be known for a long time. I am a lot of things but patient is not one of them.

We're slowly learning what Ainsleigh needs now. She cannot stand being held with her back to a room. She fusses if her right ear isn't in a good position. If you approach on her left side and she can't see you coming she'll get scared because she can't hear you either. Ainsleigh is already a master at compensating for the loss, but we have a steep learning curve and we don't always know what she needs. But that's true of all babies, right? They do their best to communicate with us, but we don't always know what they are asking for.

I'm really tired and I just lost the thread of this post. How about I end with this: Ainsleigh is three snuggly baby months old. I waited so long for this.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

hawaii // maui // baby // tips

Oh guys, I have tips for you. Let me tell you where I went wrong on our recent trip, so you don't find yourself searching for things like those little disposable diaper bags, which apparently don't exist on Maui. We ended up using Ziploc bags the entire trip.

* Check if your condo has air conditioning. I assumed ours would. I was wrong. I brought blankets (two warm ones) and two pairs of light-ish pajamas. B slept in a onesie every night and he never used the blankets.

* Pack 15 onesies, 1 nice shirt, 1 pair of light weight pants, 1 pair of jeans, 1 pair of sweat pants (perfect for our flight home) 5 pairs of shorts, 2 rash guard shirts, 2-3 swim trunks, 1 zip up sweatshirt, 1 light rain jacket. Okay, maybe you don't need 15 onesies, but you do need a pretty good stack. Our condo had a washer/dryer unit, which saved my bacon. I brought a stack of shirts for B to wear, but it was so warm he wore a onesie and shorts most days.

* Bring one or two Aden and Anais blankets. I wish I had thought to bring a couple from our stash. They would have been nice for naps, trips to the beach, a little extra sun shade.

* Use a baby rental gear company. It will reduce your luggage by half. We rented a stroller, baby gate, bag of indoor toys, bag of beach toys, beach umbrella, booster chair and pack n' play. It was less than $150.00 for eight days. When we arrived at our condo everything was set up and ready for us to use. B ran straight to the toys and began playing while I fixed him something to eat. (We used Akamai Mother's Rentals).

* Stick to a loose version of your normal schedule, but don't panic if your little one is up late/doesn't nap. I have a really hard time with this. B was up late nearly every night we were on Maui, but he didn't care. He is a very easy going kiddo though, who is fine with a looser schedule. If your little can't handle that, make sure they get their rest.

* Schedule family photos on the beach. I am so glad my sister-in-law asked if we wanted to do this. We haven't had professional pictures since B was a newborn. It was fun and we have a beautiful set of pictures.

* Get out and do stuff. It can be intimidating when you have a little one, but you don't want to sit poolside every day just because it's easy. Go to a luau, walk a shopping district, visit the aquarium, get out and explore.

* Don't fret about the flight. Your little might throw up (B) or scream for three hours (not B) or fall asleep for five (not B) or yelp repeatedly while landing to alleviate ear pressure (B). Whatever happens, don't worry. The flight attendants are used to dealing with small children. Be nice to them and they will be more than happy to help you. If others get upset, or annoyed, ask the flight attendant to give them another complimentary Mai Tai - heavy on the alcohol :)

* Enjoy yourself. This opportunity may not come around again. That's what I told myself every time I worried about something trivial, or had a schedule related stress attack.

Friday, December 28, 2012

when your little has food allergies

On the advice of a family member I finally wrote out a card listing B's allergies, date of birth, doctor information, location of the epi pen and put it in the diaper bag. Um, why didn't I think of that months ago??

I worry constantly about what goes in B's mouth. Whenever we leave our home environment, he breaks out. His skin is very sensitive so everything from soap to carpets to food bothers him.

Most of his allergies aren't very severe. If he gets his hands on wheat or dairy, it's okay. He will rash up, but it's not life threatening. The only allergy we really worry about is peanuts since we ended up in the ER when he was nine months old for that one.

His pediatrician isn't quite sold on the idea that what he eats causes his eczema, but we are. We've seen a direct correlation between food and rashes. And we decided we didn't want to live that way. Your baby doesn't have to live with painful, itchy eczema and an upset tummy either. It's hard to change the way you eat and cook, but it is doable.

I miss peanut butter SO much. When B weans I am checking myself into a hotel and ordering peanut butter toast. People often shake their heads when I list his allergies and say, "I don't know how you do it." I have to refrain from replying, "Hey, I've had a baby die. This is much easier."

Back in the rashy days

I felt really lost when I first realized just how many allergies B has (nuts, eggs, wheat, dairy, most seeds, fennel). I've managed to figure out how to work with his specific needs, but there has been some trial and error. If you are facing something similar here are some guidelines:

- Check every. single. label.

- Cook from scratch as often as possible.

- Don't let anyone give your child food.

- Always have something your child can eat in the diaper bag, just in case a situation arises and you can't access appropriate food. (This is one of my recurring nightmares. Yay breastfeeding for helping me avoid it so far).

- If your child breaks out revert to the basics: fruit, vegetables, rice, plain chicken, anything you know doesn't irritate or cause a flare up. I usually have two-three iffy items going at once. If he breaks out I immediately drop all iffy items for a couple weeks.

- Be creative with food. B's diet is so limited I try to make what he can eat exciting.

- Find a cream that works. We use an herbal salve we found on Etsy and Curel Itch Defense lotion. When things are really bad I have used steroid cream, but that is a rare occasion. Most medical doctors will go straight to steroid cream as a solution. I think it's better to try diet changes first, but if your little one is miserable alleviate the symptoms as quickly as you can.

- Try homeopathics. I buy urtica urens from our local health food store. It is meant specifically for a rash due to food allergies. It really cuts down on B's itching. It comes in a blue tube, Boiron is the manufacturer.

- Use gentle soap, and not too much of it. We use Earth Mama Angel Baby in the bath and Allens Naturally laundry soap.

- Give your child fish oil.

- And probiotics.

- Use coconut oil for everything, including the skin.

It's hard, but you will adapt. And when your little one is happy, you will be motivated to keep going. To cook gluten free, to find egg substitutes, to try new dishes, to rely heavily on fruits and vegetables. There are days when I wish I could just feed him without worrying, but most of the time I no longer notice how restricting his diet is.

If you have any questions, ask, and I'll do my best to answer.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

is it really almost time?

Oh my stars in heaven, I just finished off the other half of the mini chocolate cream pie J made for me. My goodness that was delicious. He is going to regret making it because I will ask for it constantly now.

So, I wasn't going to blog about this, but I kind of feel like my head may explode, and maybe my heart too. Some time ago J and I decided on a "let's try for another baby date." (Are you excited? I'm not sure how to feel, but if you're excited I'll probably feel just a smidge of excitement.)

Now that date is not yet upon us, but it's coming up on the calendar, and my current state of mind looks something like a Jackson Pollock painting. As in, I be jumbled and confused and a little bit frantic.

On Monday I'm going to call the doctor who helped me through Bennett's pregnancy (I refuse to say he delivered Bennett because I'm the one who pushed out that posterior baby who refused to drop his hands and so was born with them BY HIS FACE with zero pain medication). I was going to wait a while longer before calling the doctor, but I just found out he's semi-retired and I'm afraid he will be fully retired if I wait. He is living on the coast, writing and doing research, which is wonderful for him, but it's left me feeling even more lost.

I have three big questions

1. Where do I have the baby?
2. Am I high risk?
3. Will I bleed out if I have a third baby?

I was hoping he would answer them like this: 

1. Oh, have your baby here again. We'll take care of you.
2. No, you're mid-risk, but we'll take you as a patient anyway (I don't think I can qualify as low risk since I had a baby die, but maybe having one live and one die kind of cancels things out??)
3. Of course not! The plan we had in place to stop a hemorrhage during your second birth didn't work, but this other plan will work. Guaranteed.

Okay, I'm trying to deflect stress and worry with humor, but in all seriousness I am concerned about those three things. And of course I've worked myself into a state of unfairness where those who don't have babies die don't have to worry before having another baby, but I know that's not true. They worry. They just worry about different things - like finances and how will baby 1 get along with baby 2. I haven't even begun to worry about that set of issues.

Shoot, Bennett is crying.

I have a lot more on my mind, but Bennett boy woke after a scant hour so it will have to wait for another time.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Bennett is walking!!

He likes to walk with a toy in his hands. Maybe it helps with balance? (We gave him a bottle of Tylenol so he would walk around and we could capture it on video.) Watching him toddle about like a drunken sailor is the cutest thing. This may be my favorite milestone. I squeal every time he takes a few steps. I am one proud mama.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

on weaning

I suppose you could say Bennett has been weaning since he began solids at 8 months.  The definition of weaning is "to accustom an infant or other young mammal to food other than its mother's milk," after all.  Right now I am trying to get him to nurse less at night and during the day.

I feel a little selfish, but I don't think he needs to nurse as often as he does.  I think he's just in the habit of it, if that makes sense.  Bennett has been nursing every three hours during the day and night.  It's too much.  I'm tired.  I'm working on cutting him back to four feeds a day and one-two feeds at night.

It's working really well, but now I'm worried he's not getting enough.  Or that he will up and quit nursing on me when I really want to nurse him to two years if we're both happy with the idea.  I also use nursing to calm him down when he gets overly tired, upset or sad.  I'm already fretting about the moment when I have to calm him and I don't have the power of mama milk on my side.

Bennett's almost a year.  I'm proud of us making it this far, especially after our rough start, and the part of me that always worries about how I am doing as a mother is quite pleased that he's only had breast milk.

After our first successful latch in the NICU

I know I'm not ready to stop nursing Bennett yet.  We both benefit from it and now that he's nursing less I miss him a bit.  I feel like he's growing up, becoming independent already.  There are days when I think, "it's been five hours since your last feed!  You poor starving baby!"  And there are days when I think, "it's been five hours since your last feed!  Thank you for the break."  I wanted to breastfeed at least a year and now that we're almost there I hope to make it to two, but if Bennett weans sooner that's fine too.

When did you stop nursing (or pumping)?  How did it make you feel?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

eight things

1. Ali is doing really well!  My sister sent me a picture of her IV and CPAP free!

2. I folded somewhere around seven loads of laundry for my sister today.

3. My mom works so hard for me and my siblings.  Will someone please send her to Paris?

4. If you need Bennett to hold still, put him in a life jacket on his back.  Like a turtle he can't roll over, which means he can't crawl away.

5. We are going to Hawaii in January!  And we're taking Bennett.  Help.

6. J made me cupcakes for my birthday.  I didn't love them, but I am slowly working my way through the frosting ... (eww, right?).

7. The ebook will be available September 1st.  I hope.  We're SO close.

8. Bennett's first birthday is in one month!!  I can't believe we've almost had a year with him

Monday, August 6, 2012

sweet life

I have a few cute pictures from our time with B's cousins, but before I share those I want to share pictures of my new niece:

Alison Joy born 8/3/12 weighing 5 lbs 15 oz.  Sweet girl is doing so well despite coming earlier than we expected!

While my sister and her husband care for their new little one my mom is helping with the two older kids.  I stayed over Sunday night to help out.  B loves playing with his cousins.

This grandma works SO hard.

We have the eldest push a stroller, otherwise we can't go on a walk (unless we use the Ergo and it's way too hot for that).

Monday, July 23, 2012

sweet sick b

I'm so tired I wasn't sure I should be driving B to the doctor's office this morning.  I think J may be even more wiped out than I am and he has to do really complicated things at work. I'm pretty sure his job involves physics and other echelons of higher math I don't pretend to understand.

B is sick.

Coughing, sneezing, congested, labored breathing - the works.

I've been calm about it, which proves that months of weekly counseling is doing some good.  I've been Miss Casual: kids get colds, he'll be fine soon, no big deal.  I'll just take him to the doctor Monday morning so we can make sure all is fine.

And it is fine, let me assure you in case you're feeling a rising sense of panic.

I just didn't hear what I expected to this morning.

I expected a quick look over along with a "everything's fine, be on your way."

I did not expect his doctor to say, "this looks like first presentation of asthma."

Ah, shoot.  Seriously?

It's really hard to diagnose one so little with asthma so we're doing the watch and wait thing, but the fact that B is a very allergic baby makes a future asthma diagnosis likely.

I knew asthma was a possibility if we didn't get his allergies under control and heal his gut.  I thought keeping him on a strict diet - no dairy, no wheat, no eggs, no nuts - would prevent this.  I guess this is another lesson in how little one can control.

B received a breathing treatment at the doctor's office.  I hope it helps.  I can hear him coughing in his crib right now, but he's not waking up or crying.  I don't know how I feel about the breathing treatments.  We researched expectorants last night because we assumed that was the path the doctor would take this morning.  I'm so tired I'm willing to use the breathing treatments for now and once I have a second to think (life is so busy right now) I may take B back to our naturopath and get her opinion.

Honestly I'm having one of those days where I'm just glad he's alive.  Inhalers and breathing treatments don't matter so long as B is here to wail and protest when they are given to him. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

to each her own

I've been following this blogger - wolf_mommy - on twitter for a while.  She retweets posts about breastfeeding in public: some positive, most negative.  She has a great blog too, on breastfeeding and nursing in public (If you are a breastfeeding mother make sure you familiarize yourself with your rights.  It is legal for you to breastfeed in public, but you need to know the law so you can state it if anyone confronts you).

Most of the posts break my heart.  People tweet about how disgusting breastfeeding is and how they want to punch nursing mothers in the face.  They tweet about women's weight and breastfeeding, women's looks and breastfeeding, women's attitudes and breastfeeding.  Breastfeeding makes a lot of people in our society very, very uncomfortable.

I want to grab those who tweet hateful things about women who are feeding their children by the shoulders and say this: that woman is feeding her baby.  You have no idea how hard it was for her to get to a place where she is comfortable doing so in public.  You have no idea how many nights and days she cried while trying to get her wailing baby to latch.  You have no idea how painful it was in the beginning, or how badly she wanted to give up at first.  You have no idea how trapped she felt initially.  How tied to the baby and his or her feeding schedule she felt.  You don't know that she felt like she would never leave the house again because she just couldn't master an easy latch.  And now that she has - and even if she hasn't, even if she's merely gained some confidence - you come along with a sneer, or a disdainful look, or even a quiet (or loud) comment and try to break that confidence.  That's not acceptable, or kind or the decent thing to do.

When I breastfeed in public I often cover up because it's what I'm comfortable doing.  I'm a modest person - part of that is personality, some of it is following a Biblical model.  I like my body.  I feel so strong and healthy right now, but I've never been comfortable with low cut shirts or skirts above the knee.  After ten months of breastfeeding I'm just starting to be comfortable with nursing in public without a cover and if there's a lot of men around I won't do it because I feel awkward about it.

I think it's a woman's choice to cover, or not, to feed in public, or not.  It's really not a big deal, she's just feeding her baby.  I wonder if those who are astonished and disgusted by a woman nursing on a train or a bus would rather she let her baby scream until she was able to find a deserted place to nurse?  Is that really a better option?

We have to normalize breastfeeding.  We have to make our children comfortable with this very normal process.  My nephew is five years old.  I used to cover up in front of him, but he would walk over and lift the cover so now I nurse without one.  He asked a couple questions at first and we had a good conversation about how human babies eat, but he doesn't even notice it now.

When I was pregnant with Charlotte I didn't want to breastfeed.  I didn't think I could with the medication I was taking to control my thyroid and I honestly didn't want to.  I didn't know many people who breastfed and I didn't fully understand how important it was for health, growth and development.  I am so glad I chose to breastfeed Bennett.  I think it helped us bond after his NICU stay, and it has been amazing watching him grow and knowing I am an integral part of his growth.

Breastfeeding is the best thing for our babies (I in no way judge mothers and fathers who formula feed.  I don't know the story behind the situation most of the time, often it is difficult and sad.  Formula feeding is not a selfish choice.  Sometimes it is the only choice and I am glad it is available).  Let's encourage and lift up mothers who breastfeed.

Friday, July 6, 2012

this baby!

slept in his crib all night on the fourth.  Bennett was like, "Oh, mom, you're not enjoying this?  Why didn't you say so?"  I wrapped him in one of my knee length cardigans and he slept.  All night.  Even with fireworks booming overhead.  He slept.  In his crib.  With only two feeds.

And then last night he stuck to the two feeds routine as well, but didn't want to stay in his crib after 3, so I brought him in with us.  But 3 am is so much better than 10 pm.  I just don't sleep as well with him in our bed.

I think he was going through a two month long growth spurt - is that even possible?  I think he needed to be close to his food source while he was packing on some pounds.  Sweet boy is solid now, he even has a couple fat rolls on his thighs.  Solids + mama milk is working wonders.

Two good nights, hopefully more to come.  Bennett decided he was ready to go back in his crib, and despite my wishing and hoping and pushing it wasn't going to happen before he was ready.  Lesson learned.  Maybe.

Those two curls ... too much cuteness

Saturday, June 23, 2012

my favorite baby items

This was not easy!  As requested, here is a list of favorite baby items:

Ergo: I have a Sakura Bloom sling, a Moby wrap, and an Ergo.  I liked the sling and wrap when Bennett was a newborn, but now that he's older I love the Ergo. (Ergo Baby Carrier Black with Camel Lining)  I don't feel like I fully mastered the sling or wrap, I just don't seem to have baby wearing skills, but the Ergo is versatile and easy to use.  If you're going to buy one baby carrying device purchase the Ergo, even if the cost makes you hesitate.

Sleep sacks: Halo (HALO SleepSack 100% Cotton Swaddle, Cream, Small) is the most popular sleep sack brand, but there are plenty of other options. We used Halo and Carter sleep sacks when Bennett was tiny and it was cold outside.  Throughout the spring we used a lightweight Aden and Anais sleep sack. (Aden by aden + anais 100% Cotton Muslin Sleeping Bag, Mod Turtle, Medium)  I like knowing he is warm and comfortable without worrying he'll pull a blanket over his face.

Boppy pillow: I attribute our initial breastfeeding success to the Boppy pillow. (Boppy Pillow with Slipcover, Lots O Dots).  We couldn't have managed without it.  I could not get Bennett in a good position without it in the beginning.  We've also used it for general arm support when holding a sleeping baby for hours, tummy time support, cushioning and assistance when he began sitting.

Exersaucer/Johnny Jump Up/Something to keep baby contained and entertained: I don't think babies should be kept in toys all day long.  I think it's good for them to explore and play on the floor for long stretches of time, but sometimes keeping them in one place is best for everyone.  Bennett loved his exersaucer and Johnny Jump Up (Graco Bumper Jumper in Little Jungle) but you can get away with one or the other.  He will still use the jump up every now and again, but he won't go in the Exersaucer without screaming now (though standing and playing with the toys is still fine).

Stroller: I like our Chicco stroller and car seat set a lot. (Chicco Cortina Keyfit 30 Travel System, Miro)  It was really convenient when he was little and it works well for us now.  If we have another I am hoping for a nice double, but the Chicco has served us well.  We've walked miles and it's still in great shape.  I know, most everyone has a stroller, but I really couldn't live without one.  We walk most days, it keeps Bennett happy and helps him sleep better at night.

Pack n' Play: I love our pack n' play (Graco Pack 'n Play Playard, Ashford). Bennett slept in it now and again when he was little, it's great for when we need to nap him at someone else's house, and it's now a permanant fixture in the living room so I can fetch groceries, do laundry, take a shower without worrying about him getting hurt.

Sophie: Oh, Sophie, what would we do without you?  This little giraffe is the best toy because it can be used for so long.  Bennett loves his Sophie. (Vulli Sophie the Giraffe Teether).

Taggies blanket: I wish I had bought one of these for Bennett when he was younger.  He loves it, and it helped us wean him off the pacifier. (Taggies Colors Blanket, Reflections)

Rocking chair: When I was pregnant with Charlotte I insisted on leaving the nursery rocker free because I thought gliders were tacky and we couldn't afford what I really wanted.  Two weeks before she was born I bought one while shopping online in a we're going to have a baby soon! frenzy.  I LOVE it.  It's not comfortable enough to sleep in, but it has served us well. (Graco Avalon Glider with Ottoman, Espresso)

Seki Edge Fingernail clippers: With how much scratching our rashy baby does we needed a good set of nail clippers. (Seki Edge Stainless Steel Fingernail Clipper). J just found these, which he absolutely loves. Don't buy baby nail clippers, they don't work very well, and they make a difficult job impossible.

Ikea play gym: I absolutely love this play gym.  Bennett enjoyed it from a very young age and he is still playing with it now.  I like it because it has a longer life than a lot of baby gyms. Bennett has transitioned from laying on the floor and playing with it to standing, sitting, and crawling around it as he plays.  I don't think Ikea sells it anymore.  If you find it secondhand, buy it!

There are things we chose not to buy that I feel like I should include.  Video monitors, for one, are very popular, but we don't use one so I can't include it here.  It was really hard to make this list, I'm sure I'll think of twelve things to add as soon as I hit publish!

Searching through pictures for this post made me crave another baby.  Look at how tiny B was!!


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