Life as a new mom is... up and down and all around crazy town! Am I right? Check out the fun video I made highlighting the highs and lows of life with a newborn! (Don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube Channel!!)
Hey new mom. How ya doing? Be honest, I won't judge... I was there once. Home with this new itty bitty bundle of joy. I couldn't stop staring lovingly at him. But after a few months of that, I started to get antsy. I'm no Susy Homemaker. I'm no good in the kitchen and you'd seriously have to pay me to make cleaning a priority. Ha! So, I started brainstorming and looking for ways I could be productive, keep my brain from going to mush, have some fun, and yeah, MAKE MONEY!
My hard work has paid off tenfold! I'm now extremely fulfilled as a parent and as a woman, juggling my many current business ventures: writing for this blog, running my own company Miny Moe, writing for Mommy Nearest, organizing my community program Tunes 4 Bay Ridge Tots, and my newest baby - writing and publishing my first ever e-book!!!
Published yesterday on Kindle and today on iTunes, "Legit Ways To Make Money From Home (While Minding Your Kids and Not Losing Your Mind" is an amazing resource for any stay at home parent who is looking for more... more fulfillment, more fun, and more money! In this quick and easy read, I cover all the basic (legitimate) money making opportunities that can be conducted from your own home, from signing up with a direct sales company (I list 15 example companies carrying a vast array of product - there's literally something for anybody) to blogging to focus groups and mystery shopping!! My e-book will provide you with an overview about each money making opportunity, as well as some links to get you on your way.
"Legit Ways To Make Money From Home" is now available for download on Kindle and iTunes for just $1.99!!!
What are you waiting for? Download and read it today, and you'll be on your way toward a fabulous and fun new life tomorrow! Seriously though, most of the ideas I cover require very little planning and zero startup capital! So... get on it and GOOD LUCK!!
Speaking of good luck... I'm actually doing a giveaway!! One winner will receive a free download (winner chooses Kindle or iTunes format)!! There are no age or residential restrictions - this giveaway is open worldwide!! It'll end at 11:59 PM EST on Tuesday, January 27. Enter in the Rafflecopter box below!! Winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email before another winner is chosen, so be sure to check your junk folders!
Be sure to leave your review on Kindle / iTunes and come back and leave comments, questions, and suggestions below!
Originally posted on Mommy Nearest
1. You can’t stand in place without rocking, even if you’re not holding your baby.
2. You’re constantly getting a whiff of either B.O. (thank you postpartum hormones!), spit-up, or poo.
3. Your old standards have become lusted after luxuries – i.e. sleeping more than 4 hours in a stretch, taking a long shower, and going to the bathroom alone.
4. You haven’t bought anything for yourself since you were pregnant.
5. You lied to your husband after being OK’d for sex by your OB. A few more weeks won’t kill him.
6. You still have pregnancy brain but now you can’t blame it on pregnancy, just exhaustion (#Mombie)!
7. You have no idea what’s going on in the news and it turns out ignorance really is bliss.
8. You speak in the 3rd person (“Mama is going to change your stinky diaper”) and only call your husband by his new name, Daddy (or worse… DADA!).
9. You feel absolutely naked when you leave the house without a stroller, diaper bag, and baby.
10. You struggle to carry on an intelligent adult conversation, not that the opportunity ever presents itself (unless you’re a working mom).
But above all of this, you now love something more than you ever thought possible, which makes it all worth it!! *tear* Did I miss some other signs of a new mom? Leave yours below!!
Kenzo is 7.5 months and has 4 teeth already. Early? Perhaps. Cute? Definitely! But teeth are not as simple as they sound. With teeth come trouble...
For Kenzo it hasn't been so bad, thank goodness. He's never been inconsolable or needed Tylenol. He just gets has a few days and nights where he is extra needy, wakes up throughout the night in search of comfort (i.e. boobs!), and is cranky throughout the day - meaning he needs constant distraction and stimulation. If you let him ponder on what's going on in his mouth for more than a few seconds he'll start to fuss and then wail.
Babies get used to breastfeeding and are quite comfortable in using their mouths and tongue to get milk. But then all of a sudden there are teeth getting in the way! The bottom teeth must be scraping the underside of his tongue when feeding, and I've felt those teeth, they are like serrated knives!! And now the top teeth... there is nothing coming between those and my nipple. We had our first "CHOMP" situation today and WOWZA!! I screamed, he screamed, we all screamed for (not ice cream). He cried so hard, poor guy! He still can't produce tears, but he did manage to squeeze one out! It's not just the nipples that have to worry about being bitten though. Anything he can get his little mouth on - your shoulder, your finger, the table... I'm looking into getting a teething guard for the crib soon. Not that it was ever safe for him to gnaw on electrical cords, but now it's even more of a hazard so I can't even let him approach them.
This is something I had no idea would happen. He is grinding his teeth!!! He makes a funny little Popeye face which is hilarious, sorry I haven't been able to catch it on camera yet! But the sound.... ohhhhhhhhhh the sound! Like nails on a chalk board!! On the bright side, maybe he's making those razor blade teeth a little smoother?
Did you know you have to start brushing your baby's teeth? I sure didn't. Not sure when I thought that was supposed to start, maybe around 2 years old? Anyway, I'm not using a tooth brush but just a washcloth after he eats solid food. I just kinda rub it around for a few seconds on the top and bottom. He was fine with this at first but now he tries to escape my efforts. Ah, what fun.
Of course worries. What part of parenting comes without worries? For me, I worry about the spacing of his top teeth - aren't they like REALLY FAR APART??? Like, you could fit 2 more teeth between them!! I know baby teeth are supposed to be spread out, but come on, is this normal:
I can't be the only new mom out there who is completely overwhelmed by the prospect of baby proofing our home. I don't know if the tininess of our home makes matters better or worse. Sure, there is less space to worry about, but the space there is is much more densely packed with stuff just waiting to kill or maim my child! Someone with a large house might be able to completely baby proof a couple of rooms, moving dangerous items and power cords to other "off limits" rooms. We don't have that luxury unfortunately.
I've had baby proofing on the back burner for quite some time, but now that Kenzo is officially crawling around I've really got to get on it. I'm considering one of those huge play pens that would take up a majority of my living room, but would keep baby out of reach of the TV and sockets and shelving units and such. But I'm going to wait and see if it becomes really necessary or not.
For now my method is this: Kenzo has 4 "safe zones" where he can be left unattended for a short time: crib, pack 'n play, exersaucer, and high chair. Anytime he is not in a "safe zone", it's man-to-man meaning I don't leave Kenzo's side! When he yanks on the coffee table's table runner and nearly knocks over a glass of water - action - table runner is removed. When he tries to bite the computer's power cord, repeatedly, and when he tries to pull up on the shelving unit, these are added to a list of "to be babyproofed ASAP" items. I try to avoid protecting him from every single bump and bruise. As he's quickly approaching the edge of the table and I'm sure he's gonna bump his head right into it, daddy pipes in as I'm reflexively reaching out to protect little one, "He'll learn." *BUMP* "WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!" I guess he will learn, but when? I think I've said "Don't Touch!!!" in harsh scary tones a bazillion times and he's not learning yet...
So how about you guys. When did you baby proof and how did you go about doing it without overwhelming yourself and going in circles til your head spun?? Are you a play pen parent or of the let them roam free thought?
It's a vicious cycle that most new parents know well. Baby doesn't get a good night of sleep (for whatever reason be it teething or upset stomach or too excited developing a new skill or fill in the blank with just about any reason you can possibly think of), so baby is tired and cranky which leads him to not not go down for a nap or to take a super short one, which leads him to be more tired and more cranky which leads him to not go down or sleep well during the next nap, which leads to even more overtiredness and crankiness which leads to fighting bedtime and waking up throughout the night which leads to.... you see where I'm going here? AGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH F#$#@%#@$@&^!*@&#^$*&^!*@&#!!!!!!!
This has been going on for the past 3 nights/days. I am so so so tired. Like, reminiscent of the first few weeks of motherhood tired. To make matters worse I was so tired and cranky yesterday that I broke down and had a tall iced coffee from Starbucks at 4pm. Whoops. Of course I was tossing and turning not able to fall asleep til like 3am. That's what happens when you average one cup of coffee every 6 months for the past year and a half. It hits you hard!
For several days now (or weeks? i've lost track of time...), Kenzo will fall asleep while nursing, I'll transfer him to his crib, and he'll wake up crying about 20-30 minutes later. This happsn for most naps during the day, and also every bedtime. I always give it a few minutes because very very rarely he'll settle himself down. But usually it escalates to the point of hysterical screaming/crying and I go rescue him until I can go lie down to go to sleep together. Last night we were so frustrated we decided to try the "Cry It Out" method. We let him scream for 5 minutes (ok, I caved at 3 minutes) and I went in there to just reassure him that I'm here, quietly. That didn't do a damn thing to calm him down. He doesn't seem in pain, he's not tugging at his ears or curling his legs up or anything. But it is literally dinosaur blood curdling screaching. Like, I worry he's going to damage his vocal cords! No joke!! So finally I picked him up and like a light switch all the screaming and huffing and puffing stopped. Amazeballs. WTF dude!!! Is he faking? Manipulating? Experiencing honest to goodness traumatizing levels of separation anxiety??? Being haunted by some super evil poltergeist when I'm not in the room???!!! I put him back down, with a pacifier, and he started screaming immediately. I left the room, gave it 5 minutes, went back in. Same old same old. Finally gave up and went back to the old routine - all 3 of us just went to bed together. Hmph.
I think he finally passed out around midnight last night, and woke up twice in the night. This morning he woke up at like 6:30am flipping around, cooing, crying, kicking me in the boob. I laid there with him for almost an hour thinking he would fall back asleep. Instead he finally started crying, so we got up. I was holding him in my lap and he just passed out, drool and all! Poor guy is so tired!!! Mommy too....
The "cry it out" method is very controversial. Some people say "If it doesn't feel right, it probably isn't". And, you know, it really doesn't feel right, letting your child scream and cry and sound so terribly sad!! But what also doesn't feel right is knowing my 7 month old baby can't go to sleep or fall back asleep by himself. We're not going to be able to drop everything and go to sleep with him every damn time. If I knew this was a phase that would end organically in a month or two, I'd just deal with it, and try to enjoy the extra cuddle time. But I worry that as long as we let him call the shots it's going to be worse and worse and before we know it we're going to have a kindergartner who is still sleeping with us and is crying and having tantrums every day when we drop him off at school.
OMG TELL ME WHAT TO DO!!!! WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!
It's been almost a year and a half since I went OUT out, and even longer since I had a proper girls night out. When one of my Bay Ridge Baby Mamas started planning a ladies' night out a while back, I initially excluded myself from the plans. I felt guilty to ask my husband for a night out. Not to mention the fact that Kenzo doesn't go to bed until around 10 or 11pm, at which time he nurses. A few days before the event I got a change of heart and decided I deserved this. I took out a few bottles which we hadn't tried since the one time 4 months ago when Kenzo refused all of them. I filled them up with water and let him try them, and you know what, he actually took some sips!! So, I decided I could pump and daddy could feed him from a bottle if need be.
Friday morning, this mama got pumped for her big night out :)
After a miserably hot day home with the little one, I finally pulled myself together and daddy got home just in time for me to take off. He's used to getting Kenzo ready for bed and I didn't feel the need to write him a list of instructions or anything. My only instruction was regarding the milk I had pumped... I pumped 4 ounces which was in the fridge ready to go. I had another 4 ounces frozen from 3 months ago. I told him to call or e-mail me if he was going to give him milk because I had to calculate so as not to have too much to drink. They say you need 2 hours to process 1 drink. Oh man, so much to think about, no more carefree getting trashed with the girls out on the town!!
A quick photo to capture this landmark occasion, an air kiss to baby and hubby (since I had lipstick on, is this a first since Kenzo's birth?!?!), and I was out the door.
I thought I would be anxious or sad or guilty or all kinds of bad feelings, but you know what?? It felt great!!! I did feel a bit naked without baby or stroller or diaper bag or anything. And my ears felt awkward wearing dangly earrings for the first time in 6+ months. Other than that, it was exhilarating!!! And hot. I met some of the girls from nearby to walk together the 16 blocks to the bar where we'd meet everyone else. It was 8:30pm but still over 90 degrees and sooooooooo humid. YUCK!
We tried to keep baby talk to a minimum, but of course the random discussion about babies eating their own poop came up here and there! haha!! I had a yummy hard cider on ice and then we moved on to another bar where I was on the fence about whether or not to have another drink. Then I got a text from hubby saying Kenzo's getting his bottle of milk. Hmmm I guess that made my decision for me. I cut myself off and switched to ice water instead which was equally yummy since I had been sweltering all day with no AC and somehow both of the bars we went to were pretty tepid and failed to cease my "glow".
Around 11:30pm we were on the move. I decided to go ahead and call it a night. A bunch of the other moms continued on to another bar and then dancing I believe. I don't regret my decision to go home because it was a rough night after I got home - Kenzo woke up screaming soon after I got home, so I nursed him and we co-slept as he was waking up every couple of hours. Possibly due to the heat (no AC remember?), or teething, or who knows what. But today I'm hot and tired and BEYOND THRILLED that I am not at all hungover. I can't even imagine that. Yuck. That said, I can't wait for the next ladies night and I will prepare for it better by stocking up the freezer with breast milk. YEEHAW!!!
Daddy reported that he had a good night with Kenzo. He started crawling!! WHAT!?!!? And he drank nearly the whole 4 ounces of milk from the bottle! What a good boy :)
My night out was a success and has me feeling like maybe we are ready to look into getting a babysitter for an occasional date night, or doing a babysitting co-op with some mommy friends... Maybe soon...
I've been MIA for a few days but I have a good excuse. I was kind of on my death bed. OK, so I'm exaggerating a wee bit, but I was under the weather and quite miserable with what I think might have been mastitis. The stubborn gal in me who never wants to go to the doctor will never know what it was, but she and I are both glad that we are on the mend!
It started Wednesday evening and escalated incredibly fast. I went from feeling rather achy all over around 7 PM to by 10 PM I felt like I'd been hit by a mac truck and had to drop everything I was in the middle of and go to bed. One area of my right breast was tender, but not especially painful. I woke up around 2 AM feeling incredibly nauseous and in a cold sweat. Grabbed a thermometer and headed to the kitchen. Sat down with a mixing bowl in my lap (I was that close to throwing up) and took my temp, which was 3 degrees above normal (normal for me is about 97.2*F and it was 100.something). I thought if I could just eat something the nausea would either go away or at least temporarily abate after a good retch session. But all of a sudden everything started to fade. Oh, I know this feeling. Quick, head between knees - GO!!!! My hands went all tingly and I wondered if maybe I was having a heart attack. A small part of me thought, well, it would end this misery. Whatevs. >_< I weakly called for my hubby and luckily he heard me and came to my rescue with water. I told him I needed food and he nuked me some rice but I couldn't get any down. Next I tried grapes and that did the trick very quickly (probably by spiking my blood sugar and bottomed out blood pressure). I sat there slowly sipping a glass and a half of water and finally made my way back to bed just in time for Kenzo to start crying and need a feed. By now that right breast was more than tender and the area was red. I was thinking it was mastitis and not contagious, but it's not like we had milk or formula in the fridge to feed the baby just in case. Not like he would take a bottle anyway! Geez, I see how we shot ourselves in the foot there. Whoops! Note to self, start next child on the bottle EARLY!
Thursday morning I still felt totally fluish as far as my whole body aching, but at least the nausea and faintness were gone, so I sent hubby to work and said I could manage with Kenzo. I did manage, but it's not easy taking care of a baby when you feel like sh!%!! I did some googling and asked friends on facebook about how to treat mastitis naturally because I didn't want to haul myself and Kenzo to an ER and I really REALLY didn't want to take a round of antibiotics, especially while breastfeeding.
So here's the advice I got (other than "GET YOUR A$$ TO THE DOCTOR!!!") and followed:
1) Lots of rest
2) Extra fluids
3) Hot compression before nursing; hot shower
4) Extra nursing sessions and/or pumping to fully empty the effected breast, gently massaging the breast while nursing/pumping (apparently the infection is often passed from the baby into the mother, so baby should be fine to drink the milk from the infected boob... sorry baby!!)
5) Increase probiotics and other immune boosters like high-dose vitamin c, vitamin d, raw garlic, echinacea
6) Cut out junk food and sweets (this is not tough when you feel like crap, it's the only time I'm not craving fries and chocolate milk shakes!)
7) Ibuprofen for pain/inflamation
8) Cabbage leaves on the affected breast
9) Someone also suggested the supplement lecithin but I didn't end up bothering with this one
By Friday morning my breast was no longer red and only the slightest bit tender, and the whole body ache somehow consolidated into my head. MASSIVE throbbing headache exponentially so upon standing up. WTF?? Advil to the rescue. This morning (Saturday) I feel 90% fine - boob is not tender at all, and I only have a headache upon standing, but with some Advil I'm at 100%. At this rate I'll be back to normal tomorrow. Hooray!!
So was it mastitis and my super human immune system and cabbage filled bra kicked it's butt in record time without antibiotics?? If so, I blame the culprit on my slightly small underwire nursing bras that I wore on Tuesday and Wednesday because I was behind on laundry and all of my wireless nursing bras were stanky sweaty (TMI, sorry - don't forget - we have no AC!! Can you imagine the situation of my poor bras!?). Never again. I will go braless before I wear those horrendous mastitis inducing bras again!!
Or perhaps it was a random virus that my body had a hard time fighting off, and the tender/painful boob was a wacky coincidence?
The mystery behind the illness is strengthened even more by the fact that I haven't been sick in about two years. Not even a cold. Not even while pregnant when your immune system is supposed to be shot! Let's hope this record continues and it's another two years before my next illness. I sincerely think this is possible, especially if I remain a SAHM with Kenzo. The second he starts day care or school, all hope is out the window and it's HELLO to bimonthly colds for everyone in the family for the rest of his childhood. Am I right? Ughhhh...
Let me preface this with one thing. If you don't want baby food puree smeared all over your little one's face, don't try to feed them when they're tired. Whoops, mom fail! On a side note, isn't it SO CUTE when they rub their eyes sleepily??
So, we've been doing the carrots for about a week now and decided it was time for introducing a new food. Today's venture was peas (Earth's Best again, I went ahead and ordered a veggie and fruit "starter pack"... don't judge, at least it's organic!!)
First taste, not so sure about it...
And then, he's diggin' it!! Though he did make several gaggy faces. The consistency of the peas was a bit thicker than that of the carrots. Still, he did well and got quite a bit down.
I remembered to strap a bib on after a couple of spoons, you can see why I'm glad I did!
One more pea-mouth shot for cuteness sake:
Of course I went ahead and tried a taste for myself. I have to say... YUCK!!! Bleghhhh!!! Then again, it's peas, with no added sugar, salt, seasoning, etc... what do you expect??
Here's Kenzo "drinking" from his sippy cup that daddy got from the Japanese market in NJ. He pretty much just gnaws on it and the tiny bit of water that does come out just gets drooled down his shirt, but I think he'll get it soon. We only have the one, so I'm looking to buy some more, probably stainless steel ones. Any recommendations?
Sorry he's not rocking his usual cute little faux-hawk. This crazy-do is the result of a romp through the spray showers on the way home from Fort Hamilton's Babies & Books class. It's a 30 minute walk, and there's a spray shower about half-way home for us. It was a life-saver for me, so refreshing! But I was once again a hot sweaty mess by the time we got home, to our terribly hot and humid apartment. Followed by 3 loads of laundry, including one pillow that took one for the team when Kenzo had a carrot-filled blowout today, his first in a long long time! Fun times of a SAHM!!
If you've seen my twitter profile, you'll know that I pinch not only baby butts but also pennies. So yes, we've done all the free mommy and me trial classes we can get our stingy little hands on. We've done Music Together (twice), Piano Masters, Gymboree, Music for Aardvarks... They've all been super fun, but also super expensive. We're talking around $30/class with a commitment to an entire semester. For this former DINK (dual income no kids) and now SIWK (single income with kids) family, we just can't justify these kind of expenses for our 6 month old! All the managers and teachers of these classes reassure you that the baby is really learning and absorbing a lot from the class, even if they're crying or sleeping the whole way through it. Well, of course they say that, they want your money! But to be fair, the classes really are pretty awesome for baby and mama, and I'm just bitter we can't take any...
So, what's a SAHM on a tight budget to do? Get some used toys and teach your own baby a fabulous musical foundation!! We got an awesome Parum Pum Pum Drum set off of the Bay Ridge Swappies group I started on Facebook. Just introduced it to him this morning but Kenzo is LOVING IT!!! It has a drum and 2 sticks, 2 egg shakers, a tambourine, bells, and a kind of maraca. I'm loving playing with it too! haha! Highly recommended! We also got one of those teeny 4-key pianos as a hand-me-down from my sister that Kenzo has been tinkering away on for weeks now. You can tell by the photos that my lil' one is destined for musical greatness ^_^
Justin Bieber eat your heart out. You've got nothing on this baby's musical chops!
About Me ^_^
I'm a NYC metro area mom blogger living in NJ with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1). This blog is chock full of product reviews, family travel guides, and giveaways galore! It's also home to Bay Ridge Families, and several guides focused on kid-friendly activities and guides to South Brooklyn, Hudson Valley, and New Jersey, as well as family-friendly destinations beyond the NYC area (check the menu bar!)