The Adventures of Anastasiya Didok

Life and faith in a nutshell.

Month: November, 2013

What to put on a baby registry!

When I did a baby registry, I read a ton of newborn checklists and ended up clicking on lots things that I now know I would have never needed! Below is what would have been my ultimate condensed registry list if I got a re-do:

* Sleepers with zippers — about 5 in each size
* A couple hoodies/pants sets in each size
* A set of hats in 0-3 months, and 3-6 months
* A set of socks in each size
* Two sets of organic gloves
* 4 receiving blankets
* 4 Aden & Anais swaddlers
* 4 heavier blankets

* Johnson & Johnson baby wash
* Organic bristles brush
* Bathing tub or bubble

* Frontal thermometer
* Gripe water

* Pump
* Breast pads
* Lanolin
* Nursing bras
* Boppy pillow
* Boppy cover
* Bottles**
* Milk storage bags that attach to pump
* Bottle brush
* Pacifier
* A set of Aden & Anais bibs

Furniture and Bedding***
* Changing table
* Glider
* Crib sheet set (comes with sheet, decorative blanket, mobile, bed skirt, sleeper, and changing pad cover)
* Soft light lamp
* Extra crib sheet (organic)
* Crib mattress
* Crib mattress cover
* Laundry hamper
* Hangers
* Wall stencils

* Diapers
* Wipes
* Diaper bag

Baby Transporting and Seating
* Moby wrap or Ergo
* Papasan
* Car seat
* Stroller
* Lightweight stroller

* I am breastfeeding and pumping at work. For a different scenario needs may vary.
**I was duly warned. Don’t get bottles because you won’t know which ones baby takes. I still registered for them. I got what I registered for (Dr. Browns), a couple of sample Avents, and a set of Tommee Tippees (is that what they are called?) for my shower. Baby decided to like Medela bottles that came free with the pump. Lesson learned. The reason I put bottles on there is because I ended up needing an extra set for when I went back to work. I have seven 5oz bottles so far, and will probably soon buy a set of four 8oz with medium flow.
*** Baby has his own room, and sleeps in the crib, which we got to borrow from friends. All furniture and accessories are based on that. For a different scenario needs may vary.
**** We are cloth diapering, so I wouldn’t have any ideas about how many regular diapers to get in each size. And I’m going to do a separate post on cloth diapers.

As you can tell, there are a lot of things missing on this registry that you will typically see in checklists handed out to new moms. I am going to write a post on things I didn’t need and why in the near future!

Baby Shower Gift Ideas

This post is inspired by another post I just read on Pinterest. I am not going to post the link to it because that would be a horrible thing of me to do. Basically it was a post about gift ideas for a baby shower. I read the post and am hoping that nobody ever actually uses it because whoever wrote it has clearly never had a baby. The list included things like colored pots to help mom store things, out of season baby outfits in a larger size, books, engraved charms, and planting a tree. Basically everything a mother-to-be wishes to never EVER receive for a present! Below, I have compiled my very own list of baby shower ideas, as well as tips on what not to get, for those who truly want to know because they deeply care:

1. Do get items from mom’s registry. It’s most likely at Babies R Us, but if you don’t find her on there, ask.

2. Do NOT get a new mom outfits for the baby. Especially not the out of season sale ones in larger sizes. First, you have no idea at which rate the child will grow and what size they will be during the season that’s currently “off”. Just because an outfit says 6 months, does not mean that the baby will actually be 6 months when he or she is that size! My giant two-and-a-half month old is about to graduate to 9 months clothing.  Second, onesies for newborns and 0-3 months are practically useless, as they are quite a hassle to put on a newborn. Third, there is an overabundance of them at baby consignment stores and Craigslist, costing about .25c each.  Fourth, everyone else coming to the shower will most likely bring outfits.

3. If you are so inclined to get baby an outfit anyways, make it a sleeper with a zipper. Those are the one most useful piece of clothing for an infant at any stage because the zipper makes night-time diaper changes a lot faster. It is also rarely received as a gift, and is actually not that common at baby consignment stores or on Craigslist.

4. While a gift consisting of all supplies necessary for a first-aid kit or baby care are a thoughtful present, make it as much as possible from her registry. I have received the following aids for my showers: gas drops, 5 packages of Desitin, a package of butt paste, 2 baby fever reducers, baby lotion, 7 packs of baby shampoos of all sorts and kinds. What I actually needed for baby so far: burts and bees ointment that does not ruin cloth diapers, cradle cap cream, Neosporin, 1 bottle of baby wash chosen by my husband because he happens to have a preference. If she hasn’t asked for diapers, don’t get them. She may already have some, or, as in my case, she may have chosen to cloth diaper.

5. A great idea is to get a few people you know to go in on a large gift from the registry. It won’t break the bank, and will most certainly make a new mama super happy! For example, while you may not think that a matching crib set is a necessity for a child (since all they really need is a sheet), you have no idea how much time your friend will be spending in the nursery. A prettily decorated crib is more for the mama to enjoy. Indulge her.

6. If you happen to have a strong opinion about what a mommy will and will not need, make your purchases as much from her registry as possible! (Do you see the registry trend?) It would be awesome of you to get what you think she will need that others will most likely chose not to purchase from her registry (such as an expensive frontal thermometer, a nursing bra, or a tube of Lanolin). On the other hand, don’t buy her things that you know she will not need, even if they are on her registry. Clicking things at the store has a tendency to get a new mommy carried away sometimes… She can probably live without a bottle warmer or baby nail clippers. You are not entitled to have an opinion about what the new mom will or will not need if you haven’t ever had a child.

7. Do get gift cards. Gift cards to wherever she is registered are preferred. Another great option are restaurant gift cards for venues located near her house (vs. restaurants the gift cards for which were conveniently located by the checkout register of the store where you stopped by on the way to her shower), so that she can go out with her family, or send hubby for take out during recovery.

8. Please don’t get her things left over from your own shower that you didn’t want, unless they are also on her registry. Especially if your shower was five years ago. Even baby outfits go out of style and products from back then have probably already expired.

9. Books, toys, receiving, and baby blankets, like outfits, unless on mommy’s registry, although cute, should not be chosen by you. I received 12 baby blankets as gifts. Some were downright hideous. No baby needs that many!

10. Please do not plant a tree in honor of her child. And unless you are from some super upscale neighborhood that particularly values charms, do not engrave a charm for the baby. If you are itching to truly stand out, buy her a newborn photo shoot with a local photographer she loves. That would be the one that she “liked” on Facebook.

I know that some may want to retort with “it’s a shower, presents are a courtesy, and mom shouldn’t be choosy about what she gets.” If that’s you, I don’t want to hear it because I kind of, sort of agree, but am really wondering why you are reading a “gift ideas” post. What I do want to know is, what gifts that you’ve received for a shower stood out to you as particularly horrible or particularly thoughtful?

Back To Work

It’s day 4 of being back to work full time and I have to say that I am pleasantly surprised. I expected to be absolutely miserable being away from my baby, but so far I am far from it. Do I miss him? Yes. But is it unbearable to the point that I am depressed or want to cry? Not even close. I think that a huge contributing factor to that are prayers of support of my church and my family. Another must be that I’m blessed to have a job that I love.

I am a property manager, which means that every day I get to interact with a bunch of people and help them in resolving all sorts of different issues. It’s a kind of job that is perfect for my nonexistent attention span, because every day I am faced with thirty or so different tasks which all require fifteen minutes at most to complete. My to-do list goes on for pages and pages, but I also leave home every day with a feeling of accomplishment because I can get a page or two worth of items crossed out in a single work day! No day is ever the same, which keeps me entertained. Needless to say, there is plenty to keep my mind away from missing my baby boy.

I also find that the time that I do spend at home with my baby now is much better quality than before. While staying at home, I got sidetracked by running the household and noticed myself rarely going to him for things other than a diaper change or feeding. I may be judged for it, but I will say it: after fifteen or so diaper changes in a day, you want to hand the baby over to whoever walks through the door next. Now when I come home, I run to hold my son, change his diaper, sit down, calm down, and actually talk to him. I have also noticed that my energy level increased, although I get less sleep. The feeling of being “trapped” at home drained me. I am astonished to come home now and have more energy to go somewhere or work out than I did while staying home all day and sleeping in!

Is this an ideal situation? No. If we had the financial resources for me to stay at home, I would do it in a heartbeat! But unfortunately with Obamacare requirement for insurance, my husbands salary isn’t even close to covering premiums for me and baby. I have been assigned to my current property for a short period of time, after which point I get to decide whether I want to stay on full-time or go to part-time. At this point, the money from a full-time position is extremely helpful to paying off medical bills from delivering our little bundle of joy. But later on I will likely switch to part time. For now, I am looking at the bright side of things, enjoying adult interaction, and spending as much quality time as possible with my son.

Facebook Fast

I haven’t written in a while because in my mind I have created an insurmountable barrier of wanting to catch everyone up on a year worth of events before I continue. But as time passes by, it becomes a bigger and bigger barrier, so I’m just going to start from right now, and hopefully continue!

Since giving birth to our son, I have been drifting in and out of hopelessness and depression while staying at home and healing postpartum. My husband complained that I am always in my own world, spacing out and losing myself in thought. I felt guilty that I am not spending every awake moment talking and playing with my baby boy. And I was forever glued to my I-phone, checking on the updates of the world that understood what I was going through — the endless cloth diapering and new mama blog pages on Facebook.

Last week the Lord called me to take a Facebook fast, and an amazing thing happened. I felt more present. I WAS more present. And my depression lifted for almost the entire time. I was planning on making it a week, but my husband kindly requested that I extend it for another six days after I was done. “I want you to be happy for my birthday,” he said. Here is what happened during the fast:

* I read a book and shared the story with my husband. Now, instead of contemplating about the different varieties of cloth diapers in the privacy of my mind (oh yes, there are many!), I could discuss my thoughts with him, and hold an intelligent conversation. (Really, you couldn’t blame the man for not wanting to listen for the thousandth time about things that catch poop!)

* I realized that it’s probably not my calling to write a parenting/mommy blog and spend time promoting it on Facebook. For some reason that realization actually inspired me to write! Stress free and no strings attached, simply for the sheer pleasure of writing that I seem to have forgotten about.

*I got a lot more done around the house. It’s amazing how much time I spent browsing updates that were coming way too slow to keep me entertained.

After a week and a half of the Facebook fast I feel a lot more connected and centered. Today I finally went back on, and spend a day cleaning up my page, and un-liking hundreds of pages that wasted my valuable time. For now I feel that I should limit my time for checking things to once a day for the next few months. Who would’ve thought that Facebook is such a large contributor to feeling blue?