Sunday, September 30, 2012

Meg vs. Labor: What to Pack

Since I am somewhat out of commission on the project front, there will be some baby posts on the horizon. I know I posted this list already, but now that we were surprised with an early arrival, I can more confidently say that I am satisfied with my packing list. So here it is again, and I'll do some explaining this time.

When it comes to the hospital, I am all about comfort and very little about frills. I am grateful for the great care I have received during and after my deliveries, but I can't help but hate the hospital, and want to be there the least amount of time possible. 

So here's a quick rundown of my list:

Clothing: I am the type that is happy to stay in the hospital garb until just before it's time to go home; there is always someone coming around wanting to poke or check or what-have-you, and it's just more convenient to stay in the gown. Not to mention that things are a little messy and uncomfortable after having a baby (thus the granny panties); why would I want to take that laundry home? 

That said, I still brought some grungy clothes in case I ended up being stuck in the hospital for longer than my 2-day average and got too sick of the gown. I also pack a nursing camisole to wear under the gown (as much fun as it would be to accidentally flash my hospital visitors, I have decided it's better to avoid it).

I threw in an extra tee and shorts for the hubs in case he wanted it, but he ended up coming home to put the big boys to bed and showering and changing then. But if you are having your first baby and your hubby is planning to stay with you the whole time, be kind and pack him a change.

I tend to go by the same philosophy with baby clothes as with my own; I have kept my boys in the little hospital shirts and blankies during their stays. However, with my second our room was really chilly, so this time I brought a long-sleeved onesie and an extra sleeper just in case. Luckily that wasn't a problem at this hospital. I also toss in a set of mittens in case baby gets to scratching his face, and of course everyone needs an outfit to wear home.

Toiletries: Just the basics here; I am not going to be painting my toenails right after pushing out a baby. Chapstick, deodorant, shower stuff if you are picky (if not, the hospital will have shampoo, soap, etc.), and most definitely a toothbrush and toothpaste. And bring pads you like; the hospital may provide tolerable ones, or may provide weird, awkward ones that you can't stand. (I heart the stayfree overnights with wings. Because the internet wanted to know that about me.) I also try to force myself to put on makeup, since people are always snapping pictures, so that goes in the bag as well. And hair ties are a must for getting hair out of the way during labor. Some people prefer a headband, but I have a giant head so bands don't stay put for me.

And again, be kind and pack stuff for Daddy as well (chances are, he won't be packing anything for himself).

Nursing Supplies: I think I may do another post on my product recommendations for nursing, but at the very least I would pick up some lanolin cream to combat the impending soreness. I personally have really dry, sensitive skin, and am destined for painful cracks, so I have a few extra products on my list: nursing shells to keep anything from touching me (ouch!), and Polysporin (like Neosporin, but better for sensitive skin) to prevent any topical infections (had one with the last baby, and it wasn't fun). You probably won't need the nursing pads since it's unlikely for your milk to come in before you get home, but they don't take up too much room just in case you have a longer stay or you have lots of milk come early (mine has come faster with each baby).

Bedding: Not strictly necessary, as the hospital has pillows and blankets for the asking, but nice to have, especially if you are picky about pillows. Since I went into labor surprisingly early, I hadn't put anything in the car, and we didn't miss them much.

Other baby supplies: The hospital should provide most everything, but there are a few of my own things I like to have on hand:

  • Pacifiers other than the Soothie, in case baby likes it better. Also, some hospitals have anti-paci policy for nursing babies, so it's nice to have your own and not have to beg the judgy nurse for one. 
  • Two of our hospitals provided dry wipes you had to wet in the sink. Kind of a pain, so I pack my own wipes.
  • I am still completely incapable of getting a good swaddle with a dinky flannel receiving blanket. So I bring a nice stretchy swaddling blanket, since all my babies have loved a good swaddle. Some people swear by the Aiden & Anais muslin ones. I am too cheap to buy them, so I just picked out the stretchiest blanket from my stash of shower gifts. 
  • Pump and bottle. this one is somewhat unique to us; cleft lip & palate runs in our family, and our first had a cleft, so I keep some feeding supplies in my bag just in case. Your hospital will have the necessary supplies if you end up needing them, but I like to have my own that I am used to.
Sibling stuff: This can be a tough time for big sibs, so having something special for them when they come to the hospital is nice. I was hoping to get some kits together with things for them and things for them to give to the baby, but didn't get that far. My mom saved the day and put together some gift bags "from the baby" for them to open, and they were thrilled.

Electronics: I think most of this stuff is self-explanatory. They help to keep in touch and stave off claustrophobia.

Car seat: Put it in your car a few weeks early, and make sure you know how it works.

Questions or comments or better ideas? Please share! I hope that this is helpful to someone!

P.S. Feel free to swipe and print my list if it suits your fancy!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Meg vs. The Baby: He's Winning...

... and that's okay by me.

Meet Baby Brother, who made his appearance September 14 via c-section. I may not be doing any big projects for a while. Maybe I'll post about how my mom took over my house and is even painting my doors! 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Meg vs. The Baby: The laundry begins...

Tuesday: Pull out the infant car seat, wash the cover.

Wednesday: Pull out and wash the newborn and 3-month baby clothes.

I thought, "We have way too many baby clothes!" Then I remembered how many outfits a newborn can go through in a day. And how many outfits I will often go through in a day. So I went all out today; might as well get this laundry party started.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Meg vs. The Baby: Hospital Packing List 1.0

So I realized that today's goal of entirely packing my hospital bag was unreasonable. For some reason I thought that, this being the third time and all, it would be easy to throw my bag together. I neglected to take into account mommy brain, and the fact that, by the time labor and childbirth were done, my hospital bag did not make it into the long-term memory part of my brain. So I pinned a few lists on Pinterest, took what I had already, and tried to remember what I wished I had and hadn't brought with me before. I always think it's dumb to drag a bunch of unnecessary things to the hospital, but then I can always think of tons of things that I might like to have with me. Anyhow, here is my list so far:

Okay, what did I forget? I know I will think of a few more things. The pump & bottle are just in case this little guy has a cleft (they run in our family, so I try to be prepared, even though the ultrasound looks good and we don't think he has one). Once I finalize my list, maybe I'll explain a little more what I pack for anyone who is looking for a first-timer list.

Meg vs. Myself: Weekly Goals September 10-15

September 3-8
Monday: Hang curtains in the boys' room.

Tuesday: Start painting that chalkboard! Get first quote for painting the house.

Wednesday: Finish painting the chalkboard.

Thursday: Spray paint clothespins and frames for the nursery.

Friday: Cut molding, adhere it to the chalkboard.

Saturday: Repaint wainscoting in the living room.

Sigh. I have focused most of this week on trying to get my breech baby to flip, and trying not to overdo it. I am also losing steam by the end of each week, as you can tell. I think this week I shall focus on baby nesting and see how I do!

September 10-15
Monday: Pack hospital bag, make a list of any additional things we need to buy before baby comes.

Tuesday: Pull out the infant car seat, wash the cover.

Wednesday: Pull out and wash the newborn and 3-month baby clothes.

Thursday: Potty party for big boy #1! He's only had two real accidents in 10 days.

Friday: Take it easy; my version is scheduled for 6am. Turn, baby, turn!

Saturday: If new laptop is here, deliver desktop to my sister and clear the desk out of my room. Rearrange to make room for bassinet/baby stuff.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Meg vs. The Exterior: Our first quote...

Tonight we had a couple of fellas come over to give us a quote on coating our house with some fancy Coolwall stuff. The whole shebang would include fixing all of the dry rot, cracks, and every imaginable problem with the house's exterior, sealing it, coating it with some kind of superpaint that reflects heat, and pretty much making our house invincible (against water, anyway). It lasts way longer than paint and has a lifetime warranty. I would have loved to have it done; they said they could schedule us in four days and have it done a week after that. The only catch? It would have cost FOURTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS. Sigh.

I guess it's time to roll up our sleeves, get to work, and prioritize what we will contract out!

In other news, I spent all of 15 minutes over the course of the day putting two coats of chalkboard paint on our board. I also ate too many chocolate chip cookies (John has been making them almost every Sunday--so good, and so bad!) and spent a while hanging upside-down from my couch trying to get the baby to flip, then spent too much time on the internet. I think it's time to go to sleep and and then get a new day started!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Meg vs. Myself: Weekly Goals September 3-9

August 27-September 1
Monday: Finish the sewing for the headboard (let's try for a less ambitious goal, shall we?).

Tuesday: Put the headboard together.

Wednesday: Sand, then paint the chalkboard layer on the board.

Thursday: Buy molding for the chalkboard.

Friday: Attach the molding to the chalkboard. Make the hubs figure out how to hang it safely. Clean house because Mom is coming! (Don't worry, Mom, I'm sure I'll leave some dishes, just for you.)

Saturday: Make decisions about framing projects, pick up paint, and start painting. 

I didn't manage to get to painting the chalkboard, but I did do more than I expected on my frame projects, and WE POTTY TRAINED THIS WEEK! Started on Tuesday, and had no accidents Saturday and Sunday. That alone would have made me ecstatic about this week. On we go, with 3 weeks left until baby is due! (But 4 weeks until I really expect him to show up...)

September 3-8
Monday: Hang curtains in the boys' room.

Tuesday: Start painting that chalkboard! Get first quote for painting the house.

Wednesday: Finish painting the chalkboard.

Thursday: Spray paint clothespins and frames for the nursery.

Friday: Cut molding, adhere it to the chalkboard.

Saturday: Repaint wainscoting in the living room.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Meg vs. The Nursery: Chain Link Baseball Card Frame

I am a little excited about this one because, like my headboard, I actually thought of it myself! Of course, I had a little bit of inspiration via Pinterest...

A couple of weeks ago, I saw this and thought it was super fun:

You can check out all the fun bedroom ideas here at Itsy Bits and Pieces.

I didn't know where to get an old chain link gate, and I had no intention of going to all the effort of trying. So I thought I could make something that brought in a little more color and invoked the sporty feeling of chain link.

Saturday I found this frame at the Habitat ReStore for just a couple of bucks:

I gave it a few coats of red spray paint, then brought it in and turned it over on my table. My toddlers quickly jumped in to help with Toby the steam tram and a Shinkansen car.

I poked thumb tacks in about every three inches around the border of the frame, making sure they were lined up with the tacks on the opposite side. Then I started weaving a chain link with some 1.2 mm steel wire.

I have to admit, the process is super annoying if you are as impatient as I am (which most of you aren't). I suggest just barely poking in the tacks at first to mark your spot, then pushing or hammering them in as far as you can once you have the wire wrapped around it. I found the easiest way to do the weaving was to pre-fold enough wire to go up and down the frame one time so that it looks like this:

Then weave it in and out of the last row and wrap it around the tacks at the end. That may not make sense when you read it, but if you try it and get start it, you'll figure it out pretty quickly. If I can, you can.Here is the finished product from the back. It's plenty uneven and crooked, but once it goes on the wall and the cards go on, it isn't too noticeable.

Next time we head to my in-laws' house we are going to pick out some of John's favorite childhood cards to put up, and in the next few days I'll spray paint the clothespins in coordinating colors, and then we'll be done! To break it in, I had to do my dad proud and order this card on ebay.

You got that right, folks. Hideo Nomo. The only time my Japanese dad ever watched American sports religiously was when he came to LA. Other than that it was all rented videos of sumo championships.

I wonder if they have sumo trading cards in Japan? Hmmm...

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