Three is not a crowd, but crowded

April 18, 2011

Michael let me know a few months ago that he was going to have two out of town conferences in one week.  He did not want to be away from Ben for a whole week and we did not want to be away from him.  IMG_3868So we decided that we would go with him to the second conference.  He got home on Wednesday night and we left again on Thursday.

I have never traveled over night, let along three nights, with a baby.  So I did what I always do, completely and totally over pack.  Below is a list of the over packing broken down.  None of this list includes the usual stock in the diaper bag which I also brought along.  Have any other Moms out there traveled with a baby to a hotel?  Any tips to share?

  • For three night I packed four pajamas, yes four!  There was a period where Ben would wake up every night and be wet all over so I thought one set for each night and one extra.  I use one set.
  • I packed five outfits for the trip.  One for each of the three days and then two extra.  I only used the three that I needed for each day.
  • I packed five sets of socks and used four.  He has gotten to that place where he loves to pull off his socks chew on them and then drop them on the floor.  Once on the floor of a restaurant or conference center I put on new ones. 
  • I packed him two hooded towels and four wash clothes.  I used none!!  I thought that we would try swimming in the pool so I thought I would need his towels for after and a bath.  I used the hotels and gave him a bath when we got home.
  • Not knowing how many diapers to packed I just pulled out half a box and packed that.  I used less than half of that. 
  • I brought a large pack wipes and I used maybe four wipes out of that whole pack.  I could have just used the ones in the diaper bag.
  • Not sure how many blankets I would need I packed four.  I did use three of them.  I put one on the bottom of the pack and play for Ben to sleep on and another one for him to use as a blanket.  Then I put one more on the floor and put his changing pad on it. 
  • Bottles are the thing that I needed most.  I packed 7 bottles and I only used five of them.  I also packed a huge container of formula mix.  We bought two large bottles of water to keep at room temperature to mix the bottles.  I used most of the formula and the water.

It Takes Two

March 25, 2011

The best person that you can rely on for help is Daddy.  My husband reminds me all the time that he is here to help.155580_122174124512407_100001594613633_154058_1798496_n  As a mother you can often think that it is up to you alone to take care of your child, well it is not.  It took two people to make a baby and it takes two people to raise a baby.  You can get over whelmed easily.  You can always ask them to get you a bottle, take the baby, or even change a diaper. 

My husband is amazing.  Michael and I often refer to ourselves as Team Stephens and parenting has made that team even stronger.  As I write this he is feeding and burping Benjamin.  He is great about taking Benjamin when I ask and when he knows that I need a break. 

Not everyone has another person by their side to help them.  If you are fortunate enough to have someone there to help you, let them. 


March 24, 2011

One of the things that is offered to new parents the most is free food!!63022_499064148988_607048988_7333814_2376011_n  Both people at Michael’s work and my work signed up to bring us meals after we had Benjamin.  Before I got put on bed rest I did not think that I was going to take people up on the offer of food, but after more than two months of having mostly frozen meals, spaghetti, and fast food we were both ready for some real food. 

The food that we got was amazing!!  Our friends really stepped up to the plate and made us some awesome food.  We got home made, take out, and oven bake foods.  We knew what days people were bringing us food in advance and it was great to have yummy food that we did not have to make.  Michael especially enjoyed steak fajita night!

In talking to a lot of Moms they say that food and diapers are the biggest thing that you can do to help.  They are so busy with their new little one that making dinner quickly becomes an after thought.  If you know a new Momma offer to bring over a nice homemade meal or even some take out.  It is one less thing for her to have to worry about. 

Ollie Ollie Oxen Free!!

March 21, 2011

When I first leaned that I was pregnant I began to read about how people will offer you too much help.  The advice you don’t need, the baby items you don’t want, and so on.  IMG_3279None of this really ended up applying to me.  I thought that people were going to be pushy, but they were not.  People would always ask if we wanted something and not just push it on us. 

We got some really amazing stuff from family and friends!  If Michael and I would have gone out and bought all of the things that we got for free it would have cost us a fortune and the quality of the items would not have been as good.  We got a crib, 2 strollers (one of which is made for negative temperatures), car seat, decorations for the nursery, a changing table, diapers, tons of clothes, bottles, a rocking chair, blankets, baby carrier, stuffed animals, toys, and so much more.  All of these things were life savers for us.  They have enhanced Ben’s life so much. 

Anytime that someone tried to give us something that we already had or did not need I would just say no thanks.  There was a point where I ended up having 3 different kinds strollers.  But, I just passed the love along and gave one away on Free Cycle.  Having a baby is expensive enough without having to buy everything brand new.  If a family member or friend offers you something that you need take it.  They would not offer it if they needed it.  Then when you are done with it, if it is still in good condition, pass the love along and give it to another Mom in need.

Bed What???

March 18, 2011

In my third trimester I heard two horrible words from my doctor…BED REST!  I will give more information on that later.  149194_122174101179076_100001594613633_154054_159299_nI knew that I still had so much to get ready for Benjamin.  I was freaking out.  Michael works 40 hours a week and there is only so much that he can do to help. 

Michael’s Mom and Grandma offered to come up and help around the house.  At first I wasn’t sure.  I didn’t want to put them out.  They told us both that they all just really wanted to help.  So I finally said yes. 

Thank God for their help.  Those two ladies did a ton for us.  They washed all of Benjamin’s new baby clothes, the rest of our laundry, dusted, swept, mopped, painted the blue wall in Ben’s room, and a whole bunch of other things.  They even bought us new curtains for the living room and Benjamin’s room.  There is no way that we would have been able to get everything done without them. 

Sleep Over

March 17, 2011

One of Michael’s co-workers offered to take Benjamin over night so that we could get a really good night’s sleep.  When Michael first told me about the offer and I not sure.  As much  168997_142313489165137_100001594613633_273331_1786341_nas I wanted a good night’s sleep I was worried.  Finally I gave in and said yes.

The closer the day came the more I started dreading it.  I was not looking forward to being away from my sweet little man.  Then before I knew the day had arrived.  I had to work that Saturday so I only got to spend about two hours with Ben the whole day.  After I got after work we packed him up and took him over.  I gave him a ton of hugs and kisses and then we were off.

It took me a while to loosen up but I did eventually did.  We went to the next city over and went out to dinner, I bought a new phone and purse, then we had the most delicious brownie dessert.  We drove home and got an amazing night’s sleep.

We both missed our little man and talked about him a lot, but it was a fantastic night.  We need a night to get out and get away.  The sleep was good too.  I am glad that we trusted them.  They really enjoyed having a baby around the house, and said they would love to take Benjamin again.  I think that Ben had a good time too. 

Help accepted here

March 14, 2011

This is the fist part of a series about the help that people will offer you while you are pregnant and after you have a baby.  Grandma cuddles

When you have a baby people will offer you all kinds of help.  Take them up on their  offers.  After Ben was born Michael and I sometimes had a hard time accepting help from people.  We wanted to try and do everything by ourselves.  People offered to cook us meals and watch Ben so that we could get out for a while.  I really wanted to do everything myself.  I also thought that if I accepted too much help that people would think that I was a bad Mother and I couldn’t do it. 

The one thing that I learned is that people are not judging you for needing help.  When you have your first child everything is new to you, no matter how much you have been around children.  When there is this new life that is totally dependent on you, the pressure can get to you.  Everyone can become overwhelmed and it is never wrong to ask for help from a friend, family member, or your spouse.  The only wrong thing is let yourself become too overwhelmed. 

I quickly picked up that people will not offer help if they do not want to give it.  Most of the people who offer help are other mothers.  They remember what it is like to have newborn.  Others just understand how much is going on in your life right now.  They really want to take some of the pressure off of you.  Also people love being around a newborn baby.

So if you are feeling like you need a break, pick up the phone.  We all need a moment of" ‘me time’ once and a while.  And veteran Moms, remember to help those new-be Moms out, you were once one of them.  And most of all when someone offers to help, don’t hesitate, just say YES PLEASE!!