Baby & Mama

Push It.

So what do we think of Push Presents?  For those of you that said, “What the hell is a push present?”, it’s a gift given to a women after carrying/delivering a baby.
Let me go on the record and say, I love the idea of a push present.  I wish it would be rebranded without the word “push” in it, but otherwise I love it, love it, love it.  My theory is, if I receive gifts for hosting a party, why shouldn’t I receive a gift for hosting a human in my uterus for 42 weeks plus 1 day (not that I was counting)?
I had kind of assumed everyone was on board with the notion.  After all, who doesn’t like getting a present?  But when I was pregnant and talking openly to my clients about looking/wanting/yearning for a push present, a lot of them were Debbie Downers telling me “The baby is the gift”.
 gift_push_it

 Is the baby the gift?

Well… Yes and no. Just like everyone always says, raising a child is the hardest and most rewarding thing you’ll ever do.

 

Okay, so sure, the baby is a gift. But during the hard times, like up at 2am, 3am, and 4am breast feeding “my gift” while he kicks at my flabby stomach, pulls my hair, and scratches my neck (those little nails are so sharp!), sometimes I need to look down at my hand and see a sparkly little bobble shining back at me.  I take a minute to think, yup I totally deserved this. Then that thought is interrupted by my other “gift’s” explosive diaper situation.

Haters Gonna Hate

There are all sorts of frigid women on the interwebs spewing their snarky remarks about push presents, and the selfish women that receive them.  My favorite are the ladies that think it’s somehow a misogynistic gesture of our patriarchal society to give a woman a “reward” for being a birthing vessel because that’s all we’re good for. And if that’s what you think, you gotta loosen up, no wonder no one wants to give you a gift.
I’m learning that anything that has to do with pregnancy, birth, babies, and parenting is subject to ridicule by others that have children.  Because it seems like every topic has “camps” or “tribes” of women that live to love/hate things.  Apparently motherhood is cliquey like middle school.

THE LAST HURRAH

To anyone noodling on the idea of asking for, or mentioning wanting a push present, let me point out the obvious:  The moment you have your baby, you will no longer be the center of attention in anyone’s eyes except for your baby’s.  Take advantage of those pre-birth days because it might be the last time someone will buy you something just for you.

This is only highlighted by the fact that while you are pregnant you will open the most amounts of gifts in your life- but most of them are onesies, blankets, or something nipple related (yes, sad but true).  But if you know this is going to happen, why not celebrate your last gift in style and make it a good one: Ahem… diamonds.

How to drop the hint

What do you do if your partner has never heard of a push present?  Or has heard of them, but thinks they are silly.  Well, if you really want something, say something.
  1.  Be Honest: As my grandfather used to say: “You can wish in one hand, shit in the other and see which one fills up faster.”  Don’t silently wish for a gift, this is not the time to be vague.
  2.  Be Realistic:  Don’t let the pregnancy hormones warp your sense of reality.  You are not a Kardashian.  You should be fully aware of what you and your partner are capable of spending.  If you really need a new car to cart your baby around in, don’t ask for a Mercedes G-wagon if you guys have been looking at Kia Sedonas.
  3. Be Thankful: In no way is labor an easy task, but if someone you love gives you a gift, any gift, you should be grateful and thankful for the gesture.
push_it_ring
So what did I ask for?  Well, that’s a story for another day…. And it’s a good story!

Wipe Out.

Yes.  It’s official.  I’m back at the computer and this time I’m a mama.  A lot has changed since starting this blog, and we are about to take a new DIY direction by talking about baby wipes.

IMG_5274

Wait, what’s that sound?  Oh, that’s just my usual readership falling by the wayside.  Yes, I’m headed deep into the mommy blog trenches.  Giddy Up.

 

DIY Baby Wipes

This recipe was actually shared with me by my amazing postpartum doula, Krista (more on her later).  She wrote about it on her blog here, and now I am adapting it with some cost comparison.

 

DIY baby wipes aren’t entirely about saving money (even though that’s a huge motivating factor), I make them because it’s nice knowing exactly what’s in the wipes and when they were made.  Everything that touches Baby Heatherland’s skin needs to be considered carefully because he’s still brand new.  And also, these wipes smell so much better than anything on the market.  Am I the only one that gags at the smell of most baby products?  Everytime I open the lid to these I get a whiff of lavender and it makes the dirty task at hand slightly less annoying.

 

How Much Do They Cost

Let’s compare the cost of Pampers sensitive wipes to the cost of my homemade wipes.

Wipes Comparison

The batches that I make with Bounty select-a-size paper towels yield 175 wipes for $1.92.

1/2 Paper Towel Roll $1.16

1 TBSP Castille Soap $0.27

2 TBSP Olive Oil $0.49

TOTAL: $1.92

And here’s the ingredients:

Water, Olive Oil Water, Saponified Organic Coconut & Organic Olive Oils (w/ Retained Glycerin), Organic Hemp Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Citric Acid, Vitamin E.

 

Pampers Sensitive wipes (on sale) at babies r us yield 168 wipes for $6.  And here’s the ingredients:

Water/Agua/Eau, Citric Acid, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Benzyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Benzoate, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, Bis-PEG/PPG-16/16 PEG/PPG-16/16 Dimethicone, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ethylhexyglycerin, Bisabolol, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Polypropylene, Rayon, Lyocell

And not for nothing, but EWG Skin Deep Database ranks pampers sensitive wipes at a “moderate hazard”.

 

HOW TO MAKE BABY WIPES

 

  1. Cut a roll of Bounty Select-A-Size paper towels in half (those are the best).  Sharpen your knife before and after you cut them.  cut paper towels
  2. Remove the cardboard center by peeling it out.  IMG_5273
  3. Boil water.
  4. Measure 1.25 cups of boiling water, then add 2 tbsp olive oil, and 1 tbsp castille soap.  Stir well.  IMG_5275
  5. Place your 1/2 roll into a storage container (with a lid), then pour your hot liquid evenly over the roll.  IMG_5277
  6. Let cool, cover with the lid and use them by peeling the first sheet out of them middle so they are easy to tear.  IMG_5280

There you have it.  DIY wipes.  One batch will last about 7 days for us.  That means our total cost per year is just about $100.  And Baby Heatherland’s skin has never once been irritated by them, despite 10-12 diaper changes a day!

“5 s’s” of Nursery Nesting.

My pregnancy has been plagued with morning all day sickness, and I partly believe that looking at “nursery decorating ideas” online was responsible for some of my nausea.  Why on earth are people so obsessed with decals?  And murals?  And the commercialization?  Babies don’t know who Elsa from Frozen or Thomas the Train are, so why are expecting mothers forced to subscribe to this garbage before their baby has even been born?

 

Because of my love for aesthetics, creating the baby’s room feels like participating in the role I was born to play.  I waited as long as I could before getting this project going, because I know that I can get out of control (read:over-budget) if I have too much time to let something roll around in my brain.  But the moral of this design story is there is a big difference between child friendly and childish.

 

While stalling on the nursery project, I read “The Happiest Baby on the Block” and memorized the 5 s’s for calming my future baby.  And then I started thinking about the nursery decor in the same regard, what would the 5 s’s be for calming a new mom’s nerves while planning a the baby’s room?

 

My 5 s’s for nursery design are: Style, Simplicity, Safety, Sanity, and Selfishness.

 

Style

Just like all the other rooms in your house, it’s important to stay true to what your individual style is.  A nursery is no different, if you don’t stay true to your personal style the baby’s room will look out of place in your home- and odds are you will grow tired of it very quickly.

Nursery_room

 

Our home is the epitome of my personal style (Mr Heatherland has been very accommodating to that), so I kept the nursery walls light and neutral like everywhere else, and this furniture could easily be moved into any other room and wouldn’t clash with anything.   

 

nursery_dresser

 

SIMPLICITY

It’s easy to over-decorate a nursery.  So try to keep it simple and use what you have on hand until you know for sure you actually need something.  I got it in my head that I really wanted a rocking chair, because so many people told me to buy one, but then when I started thinking about it I haven’t actually ever sat in a rocking chair that I liked.

nursery_chair

So I crossed that off the list and used a chair that I re-finished a few years ago.  It’s very comfortable, has a footstool, and if I decide later on that I really need something else, at least I didn’t make a needless purchase ahead of time.

 

Safety

I think every first time mom has a fears about their child’s safety.  Anything that moves, or anything that can be grabbed by my kid needed special consideration.  I examined the room, there were two things in particular that kept me up at night.

1.  The cord from the baby monitor made me nervous.

nursery_monitor

 

Not because I thought my baby would get strangled by it, but I did think my child would yank on it and it would tumble down on said child’s perfect little face.  To rectify the problem, I mounted a corner shelf above the door with a great vantage point aimed at the entire crib (as well as the whole room when zoomed out) and tucked the cord behind the shelf and the framework of the door.  There is officially nothing to grab.

 

2.  The mirrors I *had* to hang over the crib were a huge problem.

nursery_crib

You may ask “Why didn’t you just not hang the mirrors?”  That’s a fair question, but the baby’s room is so small that I needed as many surfaces as possible to reflect light off of.  These mirrors each have a large wooden frame, so I marked the studs and screwed the frames directly into them in 4 spots each.  After they were secure, I patched and painted the holes in the frames.  These mirrors aren’t going anywhere.  Ever.

 

SANITY

When the house is tidy, clean, and sparkling like a model home I am at my most sane.  There will be a huge shift in my particular brand of sanity once this baby comes.  But I can at least get some systems in place now to try and preserve a tiny shred of it.

 

Although things won’t always be clean, at least I can have supplies organized.  Starting with the dresser drawers.  Having diaper changing supplies and baby health accessories close at hand and visible in clear boxes will keep it simple when someone other than me is looking for a product.

nursery_drawer

Since the baby clothes are so tiny and don’t take up a lot of closet space, I installed some closet shelving and used 11×11″ collapsible office bins to give non-essential items a home.

nursery-closet

I used chalkboard hangtags on them so they can stay labeled even as the contents change.

nursery_bin_tags

 

Selfishness

When your baby gets older he or she will tell you what they want their room to look like.  But until that day comes, you’re the one who has to look at the room.  It should soothe you, it should make you happy, and in summation:  The nursery is just another room for you for awhile.

nursery_books

When I thought of my nursery, I imagined a comfortable spot to read books to my unborn child.  Instead of wall art for Baby’s room, I used picture ledges to keep a good selection of books visible, and then when they are overflowing the unpopular books, or ones we outgrow will be moved to a bookshelf.

 

So far my favorite book is Owl Moon.  Hopefully I’ll be reading it to this little baby soon, not just my belly bump.

Page 4 of 512345