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In My Spare Time

Thanks again to Ginger for the push to actually sit down and blog.

For years, I’ve been sewing little gifts for people, especially when they have babies.  I’ve experimented with making baby clothes, decorating bibs, creating burp cloths, and sewing hooded towels.  And, to be a little honest, I’ve become pretty good at it.  Last summer, while looking for a hobby while staying at home with Lila, I decided to invest in an embroidery machine.  This basically took my cute creations and made them fantastic.   There’s something so wonderful about personalized gifts, especially for children.

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This was a bag I made for one of my CDP’s and I absolutely love the detailing that shows up.

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Our stockings I made in a complete rush in order to have them ready before we left town for Christmas.

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 The hooded towel I designed for Lila.  I’ve used this so much with her that I’m thinking of making a whole cabinet of them so we won’t wear this one out.

IMG_3090[1]Look at this adorable gift set for a baby boy!

So if you are needing or wanting anything personalized, let me know!  I do custom creations but I can also monogram existing items for a flat rate.  I have a two week turn around from when I receive payment and when it will be shipped.  I am so excited to start this new adventure!  Follow my shop on Instagram at SeeFernSew for more ideas and creations.

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My Top 10 Favorite TV Shows

Thanks to Ginger for making me get back to blogging. I really do like it, but I’m so busy…blah blah blah just like every one else.  When I do have free nap time, I’m watching TV because I just need my brain to stop.  One of my best friends told me the other day that Joel and I were some of the smartest people she knew who watched the DUMBEST shows.  So – since I’m all about TV – I’m going to publicly list my favorite TV shows.

  1. Friends – I could watch this show over and over and over.  Between my college roommates we had the entire series on DVD.
  2. Felicity – Noel or Ben??  Noel all the way.  I love Keri Russell SO MUCH.
  3. Grey’s Anatomy – I don’t care how crazy the story line may get or how unbelievable these situations are because I absolutely love the characters on this show.  I remember seeing Sara Ramirez in Spamalot on Broadway (when she won the Tony!) and reading an interview with her about how Grey’s was her favorite show.  ABC basically told her to pick a show and they would write her on and she picked Grey’s.  She is SO talented and I love her.
  4. The Office – Steve Carrell Forever.
  5. Parenthood – because it is so like real life sometimes.   Plus, I adore Monica Potter ever since she was in Kiss the Girls.
  6. Game of Thrones – epic.  The story, sets, characters, everything is epic about this show.
  7. Homeland – Every episode is fast moving and I love the pacing of this show.  I thought Claire Danes would be annoying but she’s great!
  8. The Newsroom – This show explains why I hate watching the news.  HATE.  I wish there was actually a news program like this.
  9. Project Runway- There will never be enough seasons of this show.  I also love that my best friend and I try to watch the episodes at the same time so we can live text with each other.   Considering she got me into this show in the first place, it’s really the least she can do.
  10. The Real Housewives of Orange County/Beverly Hills – I love the California shows.  Just love them.  These women are crazy and while some of the screeching gets old, I can’t stop watching.

Honorable Mention –

  1. The Soup – for every bit of trash tv out there that I’m not watching, Joel McHale is.  Plus he reminds me of my Joel (who I think is so funny) AND we both like to watch this.  Win.
  2. Kathie Lee and Hoda – This comes on during the 4th hour of the Today show and I’ll be damned if they aren’t just drinking the entire time.  This show timed perfectly when I had to nurse Lila so for months, if I was at home, I would just settle in and start watching.  Their commentary is hilarious.
  3. Downton Abbey – I like this show so much now that I’m into it (and it took some work getting into it at first because it’s not one of those shows you can just listen to in the background; you actually have to LISTEN and watch it to figure out what’s going on).  BUT, I may have to abandon ship because they need to stop killing off their characters.  Are you a happy character on this show?  Then let’s just kill you off!
  4. Arrested Development – so great
  5. Sex and the City – never gets old

Summer is

Summer is not knowing what day it is (And even though I haven’t experience that wonderful relaxed feeling too many times this summer, it will always remain my favorite summer feeling).

Summer is grilling out, eating fresh vegetables, and loads of fresh fruit preferably from the Farmer’s Market

Summer is coming in from the heat and drinking fruity drinks.

Summer is staying up late and hanging out with friends.

Summer is enjoying the screened in porch.

Summer is bare feet and painted nails.

Summer is playing with sidewalk chalk (they make GLITTER chalk! Which..um..isn’t toxic, right? Because my kid wants to eat it, which is such a buzz kill.).

This summer we bought a house and moved. We have Joel’s brother living with us and though I don’t always get to experience that “What day is it? What time is it?” feeling, I get to experience it vicariously through him. One of the nice things about summer is that the sun doesn’t go down until about 9:45 (benefit of living on the time zone line) – which is nice ( like when your husband and his brother walk to the neighborhood restaurant, drink beers, and then walk the mile back home. They have plenty of time!) even when you are convincing your toddler that they need to go to sleep when the sun is BRIGHTLY shinning. At least the sun comes up before 7 – which is a luxury I didn’t get in the winter.

Summer is the season that I never want to end.

(Prompt from Bring Back the Words Week 2)

Baby Wiser

Child of the Corn

When I was pregnant, a couple of my friends mentioned Baby Wise to me.  Having only heard negative things about the ideology, I brushed it off.  But then I actually talked to these friends and got some real-life examples of how they schedule their days out and how Baby Wise helped them, I became interested.  I began reading and researching and decided to implement this with Lila.  It turns out that people who hate BW are the ones who haven’t read it.

If Lila is the best thing to happen to me, then Baby Wise might be the second best thing to happen to me.

I joke about this, but seriously, putting her on a schedule has been fantastic.  BW isn’t for every baby or every mother, but I’ve yet to find someone who it just didn’t work for at all.  At 8 weeks, Lila was sleeping 8-9 hours a night – no middle of the night feedings or dreamfeedings.  Now at 6 months, she eats dinner at 7:30, falls asleep by 8, and wakes up at about 6:30 and eats around 7.  She naps 2-3 times a day, with at least two 2.5 hour naps during the day and maybe a quick one before dinner.  Have the benefits been awesome?  YES.  We have reaped the rewards.

It’s also been a life saver for my sanity because now I know our schedule for each day.  I know when she naps and when she’s going to be awake for awhile so I can plan our outings/errands accordingly.  With her being so well rested, she’s in a great mood 98% of the time.  All of her needs are met, and she’s just the happiest baby.  This has also been great for Joel because he can be just as assertive and active in parenting when I’m not here.

Here are some of the false claims made by non-Baby Wise parents:

  • They starve their children!
    –False.  Yes, Lila eats on a feeding schedule but if she’s hungry, then I feed her.  She’s gone through 2 growth spurts and was fed about every 2-3 hours (she’s been on a four hour schedule for a few months now).  The book tells you to feed your child when she’s hungry.  At the end of the day, you HAVE to watch your baby’s signals in order for her to be satisfied.
  • This doesn’t work if you breastfeed your kid!
    –Nope.  Lila goes 12 hours between feedings.  Someone (a family member, ahem) told me that breastfed babies can’t go more than 8-9 hours before they need to be fed until they are weaned.  Not true.  At least in my case.
  • They don’t respond to their baby’s cries!
    –False.  Instead, whenever she cries, I’m able to know that more than likely, it ISN’T hunger that’s causing her pain.  Maybe it’s gas or just being tired.  Lila also hasn’t been a normal baby in her crying.  She rarely cries, and I think that’s because I’ve been able to anticipate what she needs next.  When it gets close to her needing to be fed, I keep an eye on the monitor and wait for her to wake up so I can feed her.  She doesn’t have to cry to get my attention.
  • They believe in crying it out!
    –Yes…BUT, it’s not like you just abandon your kid in the room and say “Suck it up!”  Lila never had crying issues when going to sleep, except for one night.  She cried for about 10 minutes, but it was because she was SO exhausted she couldn’t get to sleep.  This was one of those times where I was kicking myself for getting waaay off schedule.
  • You have to wake your baby up from naps!!
    –YES, I have to do this but that’s because Lila would sleep her life away if I let her.  When she was a newborn, I would wake her every 3.5 hrs in order to feed her and hope she would stay awake the entire feeding.
  • You force your child to go to sleep!
    –Lila has a party personality and doesn’t want to miss out on anything.  She is her mother’s child, what can I say?  So, because of this, I have to go lay her down in her bed, swaddle her up, and basically give her permission to fall asleep.  My mother-in-law was visiting and I think she just wanted to see if Lila would fall asleep when she was tired.  So she didn’t put Lila down when she needed to and Lila went full force until there was a complete breakdown of exhaustion.  I’m a big believer that kids need naps, and I truly believe that MY kid needs to nap.

Though the actual Baby Wise book doesn’t have ALL the answers, I found that this website does.  Baby Wise Mom has been an awesome resource and such an encouragement to know that other kids are having sleep regressions or teething issues.  The lady who writes this blog has read almost all the baby sleeping books out there so she gives all the views at times, so that’s been a great resource.  It turns out that BW is a LOT like Baby Whisperer, but somehow Baby Whisperer has a better reputation than Baby Wise.

Of course, I write this post and watch her have sleep issues tonight.  Children always know how to make you eat your words.

My Favorite Things: (Early) Baby Edition

I LOVE reading about what people have recently purchased and what products they love.  Whether it’s household items or personal beauty products, I love reading about REAL people using the products.  There are so many things out there and no matter how many Amazon reviews I read, it’s nice knowing that these products are being used in houses next door (theoretically…because I don’t have a clue what the people next door to me are using…).

ANYWAY, this starts off my post of Favorite Things: (Early) Baby Edition

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This is the one item I cannot function without.  It sounds crazy – do I REALLY need a timer to tell me things?  Answer – YES. YES, I do.  The Itzbeen Baby Care Timer is one of the best gifts I was given.  Every time I feed Lila, I hit the bottle button.  It then times the hours until her next feeding.  This was AWESOME for the middle of the night feedings because when I woke up in the morning for the next feeding, I could barely remember my name, not to mention what time I woke up to feed the baby.  I was advised to feed the baby every 3 hours, which was forcing me to wake her up for almost every feeding, but at least I was able to keep her on schedule.  This timer was also great for me as I timed her sleeping schedule.  It was comforting to see the hours get longer and longer on the sleep button.  Also, this timer is what clued me in that Lila was transitioning to a 4 hour feeding schedule.  The great part about this is that it also has a night light (hello night feedings!), a switch to help remind you which breast to start with (if you are nursing your child), and it has this great 4th button, which I use as a medicine timer.  I have also dropped this numerous times and it still works.  When/if it quits working, I will be in my car on my way to the nearest Babies R Us (although it is cheaper at Amazon) to pick one up ASAP.  What I LOVE about this is that I am able to anticipate when she’s about to wake up, eat, go to sleep, etc. which really makes my life a lot easier.  Bonus – Joel is also able to take a glance at the timer and tell why she is fussing (time for sleep or time to eat), which allows me to go run errands or take a nap with no worries about the baby.

Yes, this monitor is expensive, but boy oh boy, it is worth every penny.  A friend of mine bought this and LOVED it.  Before we ended up buying one, I really debated about whether or not a video monitor was even necessary.  In the end, we decided to go with it and I am so glad we did.  The Summer Infant Monitor is absolutely fantastic.  I’m able to know exactly when Lila is sleeping, talking and hanging out, and when she’s talking in her sleep.  When she cries, I can flip on the screen and tell if she’s unswaddled or is frustrated because she can roll over.  We take this monitor with us on vacation because it really is light weight and easy to pack.  One of the biggest draws to it, is seeing how my friend uses it with her toddler who recently got moved upstairs and is in a “big boy” bed.  She’s able to talk to him through the monitor and tell him to quit playing with his toys and get back in bed.  Spying on my kid?  Awesome.

When you have a gigantic baby, those cute little receiving blankets are pretty worthless as swaddle blankets.  One of my L & D nurses advised me to “borrow” some of the flannel hospital blankets because they are MUCH bigger than those others I had.  Soon, those became too small.  Not only that, but my baby was sweating through them and was waking up all sweaty and wet in the mornings.  So I splurged and bought the aden + anais blankets, even though I was a little nervous about the price tag for blankets.  These blankets are magic.  They are huge (a little bigger than the ones found at Target and Babies R Us actually) and completely are able to swaddle Lila even as she approaches the 6 month mark.  They are extremely soft and only get softer as I wash them.  I also love that there are four of them because I can have her sleeping in her swaddle while washing the others.  Because the blankets are so light weight, I used them all summer to tuck Lila in when she was sleeping in the car seat OR as a car seat cover when we would go places and I didn’t want people to talk/touch her.  There are so many prints and patterns that I love, and I know I’ll have to get another set with the next baby because Lila will probably wear these out in the next few years.

This sleep positioner was given as a hand-me-down and I adore it!  I wanted one but couldn’t ever find one at Babies R Us or Amazon, but this is because I didn’t know what in the world they were called.  This is the Munchkin Cool Flow Back Positioner, which is apparently discontinued (definitely saving this one for the next kid!) but I know there are tons of others out there like this one.  Before she was able to roll over on her own, we used this all the time.  Lila originally wanted to sleep on her side, BUT she needed to be swaddled because she was such a spaz and would startle herself awake if left free.  We swaddled her and put her on her back in between these triangles and she was instantly able to sleep anywhere – the bassinet, crib, couch, bed, etc.  Whenever we traveled to people’s houses for a day or late night out, we would take the positioner.  We could lay Lila on any bed with complete assurance she wouldn’t go anywhere.

So these are the items I desperately needed for the first few months and would make awesome shower gifts to anyone having a baby any time soon.