Not enough hours in a day

Ellie is almost 5 months old. And guess what she has just mastered? Flipping or rolling from back to tummy! Guess when she decided to master this new little trick?! In the middle of the night!! That’s right, last night Ellie rolled from her back to her tummy for the first time and about dozen times after that. And you know what? She doesn’t know how to sleep on her tummy! So what does that mean? It means I slept just about 2-3 hours collectively. Guess what else happened yesterday?! Shots! Oh yeah. It all happened in one day. One very very long day…

I was a zombie today. I am surprised I was able to articulate my thoughts at all. Had to have coffee, just had to. Nonetheless, I have accomplished all things I planned to do. (I am staying this week at home due to absence of babysitting coverage and my parents are flying in this Saturday. It’s a good thing I was not at work in such a not-100%-there condition.)

So, all the swaddling blankets have a warning on them in big bold font, saying, to stop swaddling the baby as soon as this baby learns how to roll. But this baby may not know how to sleep once on her tummy? I struggled all night last night and I knew that baby (and myself) very much needed to catch up on her sleep during her naps. The morning nap started out just like the night before: she kept performing her new trick and was not able to sleep. Until…until I swaddled her. Ohmagodiamahorriblemother. Whatever. That is what worked. And I’ve been saying it to all new parents: you do whatever works. Because eventually your life will get back to new normal and just like our baby, eventually, she will learn to sleep on her tummy on the second night at 1 am. Okay, maybe not that fast, but eventually. 

I obviously was paranoid while she was sleeping swaddled, pretty much was watching her sleep to make sure she did not flip and was stuck face down. So I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. But I needed that break today and so did baby. So again I’ll say, do what works for your family, sensible things.

Advertisements

First memories

Obviously, every milestone that Ellie reaches is “filed” under “countless moments”. Like holding her head up, smiling in recognition of a familiar face, laughing out loud when tickled (my girls are super super ticklish like all over their bodies), grabbing a toy and smacking it over and over. But Ellie is becoming more aware of her surroundings and she is starting to show a bit of character…she’s becoming a tiny little person!

So the other day I was in front of a laptop looking up something online and I needed to hear an audio. I was also holding Ellie in my lap so she could watch me type stuff on laptop. As soon as the audio kicked in, she turned her head towards the TV looking for where the sound was coming from! I realized that she knows TV all too well (unfortunately all too early as well). It made me smile, seeing that her brain is developing in the right direction! When she hears Leah’s voice she whips her body around to find sister nearby.

Ellie is almost 5 months old.

I’m thinking bad thoughts

I wake to vibrating/shaking of the bed. So sleepy, so hazy. I don’t understand why is the bad shaking. Oh, it must be the baby. Or baby’s crib? Because it vibrates? Confused and, dammit, so sleepy! I check the time – it’s 4 am. Shaking continues. It must be an earthquake! That’s right, Ryan told me there was an earthquake two days ago, and there was, according to an app. I’ll have to check the app later and see how big this earthquake is, must be a 3.0-4.0. 

I get up and check on the baby. Why am I not freaking out about the earthquake?! Baby is asleep but her water in a sippy cup too warm, probably because of the heating mat. Wait, what?! I don’t recall Ellie drinking water and out of a sippy cup?! I must be dreaming. But the earthquake – it was shaking and even baby’s crib when I was leaning against it!

 The shaking stops. I guess I can go back to sleep because I am so sleepy. Should I wake Ryan and ask if he felt the shaking? No, it’s ok. I’ll ask in the morning. Maybe earthquakes don’t scare me no more. I am back in bed and soon asleep.

I hear baby moving around…and she’s awake. I get up and try a paci. Doesn’t work. I pick her up and bring her to our bed. Doesn’t work. I check the time – it’s 4:45 am. I rock her a little. No luck. I start to feed her and baby drifts back to sleep. I put her back in her crib and get back to bed. I have to check the earthquake app – there is nothing in our area. I must have been dreaming.

———–

I wake up at 7 and start getting ready and prepping breakfast. I realize that I have been dreaming about an earthquake because clearly Ellie does not have a sippy cup! It felt so real even though it was hazy, but my nights are all hazy lately. My mind is going nuts and playing tricks on me! Guh!

Leah says that she “thinks bad thoughts” whenever she has bad dreams. I must have been “thinking bad thoughts” as I was dreaming about earthquake. #seismophobia 

Amazon for moms


I love Amazon. The convenience, the customer service, the speed of everything, the broad spectrum of things you can get from Amazon will have me coming back again and again for Prime Membership. Maybe even the Prime Fresh membership. (Gasp! That’s $299 a year!)

So what is Prime Fresh. It’s basically your groceries done for you and delivered to your door. Depending on the time of day you do your shopping you can have them delivered to your doorstep the same day! Right now you can sign up for a free 1-month trial which is what I am currently testing out until the end of August. Plus, there is also a $25 off the first order.

How it works. First, you want to make sure this is available in your zip code. You can browse products before signing up so you get a better idea of what’s available. As you start adding items to your basket, you can reserve a delivery time (if you need it asap) and you’ll have an hour to fill out your order and keep the same delivery time (you’ll see a countdown). Once you place an order, you can still add items, I am guessing you’d have a short window to do so as well. Upon checking out, you’ll have an option for unattended delivery or with someone present. I’ve been using a delivery window “before 7 am”, not too hot for food to sit out there until I come down stairs and get it. Orders of $40 or more ship free; under $40 – it’s $9.95. Everything is packed in insulated reusable totes, with ice packs and dry ice (if necessary for frozen stuff). The totes and ice packs can be reused by Amazon: just put the totes from last delivery outside and they’ll pick them up when your next order is delivered. I was doing all my shopping on the phone, in bed, before I went to sleep. How convenient is this?! Yes, please!

The selection is pretty wide in the product category and options within that category. For example, strawberries: you can get a pack of organic, non-organic, or local (twice the $$). Apples: get a bag of 3 lbs or buy a single apple, available in a variety of selection as well (fiji, gala, etc.). Meats selection was not as wide and the prices were too high; I like to select my cut of meats anyways and I get them cheaper at a local Korean market or Costco. (Like, organic whole chicken was almost $20 as oppose to the same brand at a store for like $10-14). Eggs – available in organic and non-organic in different counts, but organics was from one brand only that I was not familiar with. But I went ahead and bought those anyways because I did not have time to go to Costco. And then 1 egg was cracked, but super-duper Amazon support gladly refunded money for entire dozen and also 3 lbs of apples as one was severely bruised. I’ve had 2 orders so far with about $40 worth of goods each. All the berries were perfect, no expired products, packed neatly.

Overall, I’m greatly relieved that I have such luxury for grocery shopping. Especially with this temporary routine we have and as I adjust to my work schedule. I don’t think I’m going to continue the Fresh subscription though. It’s pricey. Or I am just not ready to commit. I still wind up at a Korean market for all of Korean stuff I need to buy. However, I will always use the Prime Now.

Prime Now is available to any prime member (gotta check your zip as well) and the whole point is to have stuff delivered to you as fast as in the next hour. But guess what’s available in their selection? Groceries! Like eggs, milk, deli, some produce. In our zip code, we also have items delivered from Sprouts, the local grocery with tons of organic stuff. I believe Amazon have been expanding their selection on Prime Now, so I am not even sure how much different Prime Fresh from Prime Now is at this point. Prime Now perishables can only be delivered when someone is present because they don’t use insulated totes, but rather paper bags. You can also communicate with the driver through the app and track the progress of your order. Additionally, you are encouraged to tip via the app. And you have to have a Prime Now app, it won’t work on your computer. There’s a minimum of $20 per Amazon order and $30 per Sprouts order.

So Prime Now is another reason why I won’t keep Prime Fresh membership. But either way, I loved it and it saved probably at least 3 hours each week.

Amazon Mom. This gives you a 20% off on diapers subscription and you get a deal on other baby essentials via subscriptions. I did these with Leah, it was also super convenient. You can select how often you want things to be shipped and can change it all the time. With Ellie I am not doing it yet, because I’ve found greater deals on diapers at Target (bought $150 worth of diapers and walked away with $55 in gift cards!) or Costco. I think Amazon Mom is also only available to Prime members.

I guess for more details on Prime membership you should really go to Amazon website. If you haven’t heard of Prime before, you’ve been living under the rock!! Prime membership is $99. You can share it with 1 other member. (Before you could share it with 3 people!). I guess I should say also that no one paid me to write about Amazon and I don’t work for them either. I wish and I wish. LOL.

Shhh…I don’t like to brag, but

Last night Ellie slept from 7 pm to 6 am without really waking up. ☺️ Of course, it’s not a smooth night, like at 4 am she was moving around a lot so I just gave her her paci and she slept with it for the rest of the night. I, on the other hand, still stir at a tiniest disturbance coming from a crib. So if you can, put your baby in her own bedroom as soon as possible! I am just not ready to do that yet.

Ellie is over 4 months old. She is a big baby. I’ve pulled out some of old Leah’s clothes, sizes 9-12 months. Because 6-month is way too tight on my baby. “She is heavy dude!” – what we tell each other with my husband.

We are settling for a temporary new routine: my husband is watching Ellie for a couple of weeks until my parents get here and take over. Until then, it’s pretty hectic, but as long as I plan out ahead (meals, bottles, groceries, weekend activities, laundry) – it all falls into places. For example, last night I rushed home for dinner and after dinner we took a stroll outside with my girls. It was nice. I worried about dishes and pump attachments after kids were asleep.

And I don’t feel bad/ashamed/snobby for getting groceries delivered at my door. I’d rather pay someone to do it then spend my time there on a weekend.

amazon fresh delivered to my door

And here we go again

I am back at work. Everyone’s asking me how I feel about going back to work. The thing is, it’s different this time. With Leah, she was my firstborn. I felt very emotional just thinking about leaving her without me even though she was going to be looked after by her own grandparents. I cried, was sad and I certainly didn’t want to go back to work. When I was on maternity leave with Leah, it felt like I was living in a different world, a world where my job did not exist. I even remember that during that time the Linsanity hallen during the basketball playoffs, but I only found out about because a friend visited and told me about it. She said, “Wow, you have really been living under the rock!” My life sort of stoped for a short break

This baby and this maternity leave is a whole other game. Nothing really stoped, in fact, it started to move faster. So in that sense, I tell myself, it was far easier to go back to work. I was calling my husband like every hour, still, but my heart wasn’t aching as it did with Leah. I can’t say that I was any productive at work, but that’s a given I think on the first day back. 

I am a little sad that I’ll have even less time to spend with my girls now that I have two of them…I try not to think about it, but, rather, “keep calm and put my big girl panties on.”

Breastfeeding care

Yes, another post on breastfeeding. But this time it will be a collective feedback/review on all breastfeeding products. You know that feeling, when you stand at a store at the breastfeeding isle, in front of dozens and dozens of different options, that feeling of complete shock and also relief: a gazillion products but you’re glad someone has thought of pretty much everything you might need to make you and baby comfortable during this very “natural” process.If you’re first-time mom and feel like you about to spend a fortune on it all – you will! But I hope my experience (or inexperience) will help you save the green.

I’ll start with the most expensive item, the breastpump. I do think you need it whether to keep the supply going, to stash the milk for when you get back to work, or to relieve engorgement. With my first baby, I decided to invest in the most expensive Medela brand pump, Freestyle (yes). This pump is portable as in you can clip it to your pants, dress, bra, whatever works in the middle of the night, and it lets you have your hands free. It comes with a complicated set of straps and things to attach the shields to your boobs, but I just went with the Simple Wishes bra (yes). Four years and two babies later this combination of pump and bra still works for me.

 

 

My Breastfriend breastfeeding pillow (yes) – probably the best one out there. The secret of this pillow is that it straps around you making sure the pillow stays put and also giving you back support. It’s super necessary during the first weeks because you’re still learning how to hold the baby and what position works. It also has a side pocket that I use for breastpads and lanolin and not a bottle of water like on a picture – that would be too heavy.

 

For all the soreness and cracks, the only thing that worked fast and really did work was Lansinoh Lanolin (yes). I tried Motherlove nipple cream (no) and it did not work as fast; my baby also felt a little weird when latching on, kind of a sticky situation. I heard that Lansinoh cream stains horribly but I always use breastpads so can’t attest to that claim.

 

Speaking of brestpads, I stick with Lansinoh breastpads (yes). They are the cheapest, thinnest, but also absorbent. They don’t stick out too awkwardly in a lighter bra. They even have little stickies so you can stick it to your bra. These are disposable ones. With Leah I tried reusable pads (no) and it was too much hassle for me. They were not very absorbing so I had to wash them too often for my convenience. And you know, after a while the stains and smell just didn’t go away. Gross.

Lansinoh soothies gel pads (no)- supposed to relieve soreness of your nipples with the cooling effect. And it did relieve the pain. But as soon as you take them off the pain is back again at the same intensity level. I didn’t like it because I wanted something that would actually heal the nipples. Plus, you have to wipe or rinse your boobies after each use. Too many extra steps.

 

 

Lansinoh therapearl 3-in-1 breast therapy (yes) – I’ve only used them as hot pads to relieve plugged ducts. Pop these babies in a  microwave for 10 seconds and apply to the affected area for a few minutes. It was easier than jumping in a hot shower every time before the feeding.

 

Good luck shopping 👍

Tip: with the new healthcare system, you are almost guaranteed to receive a breastpump for free through your insurance. Here’s what you do: around your due date or after you delivered, call your insurance and speak with a rep. They should refer you to a few vendors that supply breastpumps. Call a vendor and ask what info they’ll need from you and you doctor. Most likely, insurance info from you and prescription from your doctor. Prescription can be faxed (in my case) so you won’t have to go to the office, but be sure to follow up on both ends to get that bottleneck out of the way. My vendor sent me a website link where I could choose a pump I preferred; they only had Medela brand, which is what I wanted anyways. (Medela is almost always available because it’s what they use at hospitals). They had a few options and some required additional payment like $100, I’m guessing due to my insurance, but it was for extra stuff like a bag/backpack/ice packs/bottles. Once all the paperwork was complete (prescription), they mailed the pump and I received it a few days later.