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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A few of my favorite things (Toddler edition).

With the ho-ho-holidays around the corner, I thought I would share a few of my toddler's favorite things with everyone. So here they are, by category. No one paid me for any of these. If any of anyone would like to, I would gladly accept a cashier's check or cash.

Melissa and Doug Kitchen Set
BPA free and durable.

Melissa and Doug Food Cutting Box Set
BPA Free and builds hand eye coordination.

Green Toys Tea Set
BPA Free and super fun for tea parties.

Rody Horse
Every time we have a party at our house, there is a fight over this toy. Rody rocks.

Melissa and Doug Latches Puzzle
My daughter uses this at school and is crazy about it. Great skill builder.

I don't know what the lure of this thing is, but kids love it. Great for creativity.

Books for Toddlers (We are big readers, so there are a lot.):

Fun and lots of textures for babies, action of toddlers.

Fun and lots of textures for babies, action of toddlers. 

Llama Llama Red Pajama 
A favorite in our house.

The Spider and the Fly
A favorite in our house.

If You Give a Cat a Cupcake
A favorite in our house.

Forever Young
A favorite in our house.

A favorite in our house.

Giraffes Can't Dance

The Pout Pout Fish

Monday, November 28, 2011

A few of my favorite things (Baby edition).

With the ho-ho-holidays around the corner, I thought I would share a few of my favorite baby things with everyone. So here they are, by category. No one paid me for any of these. If any of anyone would like to, I would gladly accept a cashier's check or cash.

Eat (FYI, I was a formula mom--evil, boo, hiss):

Dr. Brown's Bottles
I fought buying these to the very end. They just seemed like too much work to me. They aren't. They are super easy and my daughter never had gas pain once using them. Just don't buy the Dr. Brown's drying rack or dishwashing basket. Get the cheap Munchkin's basket instead.You don't need a drying rack at all if your dishwasher is worth its weight.

Munchkin's Formula Separators
These save so much time if you formula feed. Plus, they make on-the-go bottle preparation effortless. Since we did room temperature formula (like in the NICU), all we had to do was mix in a section of formula with a bottle pre-filled with water, swirl and feed. Awesome.

Fischer-Price Rainforest Healthy Care Booster Seat
We live in a loft. This doesn't leave a lot of room for a big high chair. The best feature, to me, is its portability. We have taken this on trips, to grandma's to restaurants, etc.Plus, the removable toy deck is priceless when trying to entertain a baby AND cook.

Bumpkins Bibs
I love these things. They can hold a crapload of food and never leak. They are also easy to wash and cute. I like them better than other pocketed bibs because they are more flexible and mold to the baby's body more than the stiffer ones.

Baby Cubes
I made my own baby food (cheap hippy) and these were the easiest for storing. I only recommend the 2 ounce ones. Before you know it, chubby will be inhaling 16 ounces a meal, so the one ounce cubes don't cut it for long.

This thing rocks. You can go from pureeing peas to making mama a margarita in five seconds flat. Who doesn't love that? I use the crap out of mine.

Sleep (For the baby. You will never sleep again.):

Carter's Gowns
Whether you have a boy or a girl, changing a sh*tty diaper at 3 a.m. is just easier when the baby is in a gown. The Carter's ones are way better than the others I have tried. Don't even bother with the Gerber kind!

Aden and Anais Wraps
These are the best swaddling wraps I have used. They are big enough to get a good baby burrito going, but thin enough to not make the baby a sweaty Betty. I bought bamboo ones for my second go around but can't comment on them yet, though they are so soft I want to make sheets out of them!

Fischer-Price Rainforest Mobile
I recommend a crazy mobile over the cutesy ones any day. Babies don't care if it matches the bedding. They care if it is cool. My daughter was enamored with this from day one. Even after the mobile part was removed and it was just a music box, she still loved it.

Hideous. Horrible. Totally necessary. My daughter loves her Taggie woobie. She won't touch any of the cuter ones.

Poop (There will be lots and lots of poop.):

You know how on the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding the dad thinks that putting Windex on something can cure everything from psoriasis to poison ivy? Well, I kind of feel that way about Aquaphor. I use it on diaper rash, burns, cuts, dry skin, pretty much any ailment a baby can have of the skin. It is awesomeness.

Butt Paste
Way better than Desitin. Doesn't smell toxic either. Plus, it is called Butt Paste and I am an eternal 3rd grader.

ONA Block
OMG. This thing will take the dirty diaper smell out of the diaper itself. We have one in the bottom of our diaper genie and it is a freaking miracle.


My daughter almost gnawed the face off of poor Sophie she loved her so much. Great for beginning teething.

OBall Rattle
An awesome toy for babies. It was my daughter's favorite rattle by far.


Super cute and babies loves them. My daughter liked it because she could "hug" it to hold on to it when she was just a little baby. I loved it because it didn't fall out as much.

City Mini Stroller
I love this stroller. It is lightweight, folds easily and doesn't make you look like a douche when you push it.

Kiddopotamus Posh Pouch
Way better than the J.J. Cole Bundle Me. Full baby winter coverage in a zip.Plus, it covers everything but the face.

Zo-li Backteether
If it weren't for Zo-li backteethers, I might have ripped The Quiet Contemplator's molars out by hand. The Zo-li is perfect to fit back in the back to chew on and has a gag guard so it won't choke babies. When I gave one to TQC, she was instantly happy. So was I.

Books for Mama-to-Be:

12 Hours by 12 Weeks
If I didn't need it for my unborn child, I would have totally sold my unborn child for the information in this book. Awesome for sleep training. The best lesson: there is no bad habit that can't be broken in three to five days (before your will to live does). Also a super quick read (Ie: less than a day).

The Baby Whisperer
Good general baby info. Easy to understand but a long read.

What to Expect the First Year
Not a phenomenal book, but good for general info.

Girlfriends' Guide to Pregnancy
Funny and informative.

Belly Laughs
Funny and somewhat informative.

Books for Babies:

Dwell Look 
Great for new eyes to focus on.

Fun and lots of textures for babies, action of toddlers.

Fun and lots of textures for babies, action of toddlers. 

In My Tree
Adorable and fun.

Peek-a-Boo Forest
Interactive cloth book.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Advice Under the Influence

Dear I Like Beer and Babies:

We're on our way to having two. Our son will be almost 2.5 when "Dos Equis" (my wishful thinking for a girl) arrives. Are you nervous about your kids sleeping in the same room? I'm worried one will keep the other up or wake each other up when they would have slept longer, so I haven't decided if they will be in the same room. Also we are moving at Christmas into a house we haven't found yet, so it's probably going to be very possible each kid could have their own room.

Basically my question is: make them bunk in the same room and just learn to sleep through the other's foolishness, thereby hardening my children's and my own constitutions (and giving me a full on guest/craft room), or let them have their separate rooms to keep the peace?

-First World Problem Mom

Dear FWPM,

First off, I will say that I have absolutely no background of expertise on this subject, but, needless to say, I have opinions on everything. If any of you mamas have experience in this particular area, please comment and let FWPM in on your experience.

Second, let me say, that moving, into a yet-to-be found house, with a toddler, during Christmas, while you can't get drunk to dull the pain, is INSANE, woman. What ARE you thinking?

OK, moving on. So in our situation, bunking up wasn't a choice, but a necessity. We live in a loft and there is no third bedroom to stick My Sponsor in. However, I think that if I DID have the choice, I would still have them share sleeping quarters and have the third room as a play area for their stuff. We raised The Quiet Contemplator to sleep through a dumptruck driving through a nitroglycerin plant. She will sleep through anything and hopefully will sleep through baby brother crying…but only time will tell. Even if she doesn't, it is only a matter of time before their will breaks and they get used to the situation (hopefully before my will to live does). Hell, the Bradys did it and they only has one bad kid. Man, that Jan just ruined everything.

So, my opinion is: keep on crafting, mama. The kids will work it out.

The Beer Bitch

Got a problem for The Beer Bitch? Submit your query to Advice Under the Influence.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Preggo My Eggo Update: 34 weeks down, 6 more to go. Molars are like the ninth circle of hell. Hot sauce is delicious.

So this weekend we revisited the full-on hell that is molars. The Quiet Contemplator was in a lot of pain, therefor threw insanely dramatic fits from sunup to sundown Saturday and Sunday. One time, we were taking her for a walk to get her mind off the searing pain when she decided she DID NOT want to get on her trike and threw the most epic of fits ever. Right in the middle of a hip-and-happening street where people were outside enjoying beers and the warm weather. There were two bike cops standing near us when it happened, so I told TQC, "This is your big chance. Report the abuse now while it is still fresh. Tell these cops how horribly we beat you." The cops, having watched the whole thing go down, almost died laughing while we strolled away with a hysterical toddler. The rest of the hipster crowd looked on in horror while making their checklists of what they will "never do" when they have children. Yeah. Good luck with that. I was you a mere two years ago. Thank God for Zo-li and non-alcoholic beer.

My husband brought up what he thinks is a pregnancy craving of mine. I, however, think it is just deliciousness and is not pregnancy related. I put hot sauce on stuff. A lot of stuff. This all came up when were were out to dinner and I asked for a side of hot sauce to dip my fries in. He said that it was weird and borderline disgusting. I said that it is delicious and something I would have done before I got knocked up.

Mmmmm…hot sauce.
Last time I was pregnant, my condiment of choice was mayonnaise. I once asked for a side of mayo with a BLT that is advertised as featuring, "over a pound of bacon." When I placed my order, the waitress asked, "So you want the mayo on the side?" I said, "No, you can put it on the sandwich, I just want some on the side, too." She replied, "Are you serious?" I replied, "Yes." Don't judge my fat intake when I am pregnant and eating a sandwich with half a pig on it. Just bring the freaking mayonnaise.

Also, I have to see this every day when I get more water at work. It is like being punched in the face repeatedly.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Going from 1 to 2

So a few weekends ago, we worked on converting The Quiet Contemplator's room into The Quiet Contemplator's/My Sponsor's room. Below are the final results. Yes, it is still girly, but I am NOT painting or decorating again. We rearranged, added a crib, added the closet curtain, got new storage, etc. It was a super stressful process making it all work in one room, but I am happy with the end result.

The Quiet Contemplator's crib/My Sponsor's crib

Storage and Toys
Changing Area
My Sponsor's crib Details

Reading Nook

Storage Details

Art Details

Art Details

Full Room View (That is not a door to the nursery to the left, just the laundry room door left open. And the gate is to keep the cat out, not the babies in.)

Full Room View

Monday, November 14, 2011

Advice Under the Influence

Yay! We have our first request for advice. It seems our friend is having a KadrASSian-sized conundrum about getting her sweetie to pop the questions. Read on to learn more.

Dear I Like Beer and Babies:

I have been with my boyfriend for more than a decade now, and we have been living together for nearly that long. I know he has a ring, but I can't help getting mad that wretched gross evil people have gotten married and here I am still sitting on the sidelines. How do I stop feeling like wearing a white dress is a competition that I am constantly losing? Especially when people who are famous for *ahem* get married, make a ton of cash, and then get a quickie divorce.

Can't Help Competing

Dear CHC,

First off, here is some food for thought: getting married just gives your husband a document that makes it legal for him to fart in public while you are stuck next to him as the women who vowed to stay with him in good times and in bad. Is it really worth the free toaster?

Second, if it has been ten years and you know the ring exists and its location, just start wearing it and telling everyone the good news. Men are very forgetful. Chances are, if you "remind him" of how romantic his proposal was and slip in a few details that sound true to his character--like the fact that he forgot the champagne so he brought Miller High Life instead--he will most likely believe you.

Third, I am pretty sure there is a commandment about Thou Shall Not Covet a Kardashian's Anything. If not, there should be. Also, the "famous" people you are talking about are often only famous for making a sex tape. So, if you are looking to make some cold hard cash off your nuptials, maybe set up a "recording studio" in your garage, find yourself a B-list celebrity partner and you are minutes away from uploading to youtube stardom. (BTW, etiquette guru Lizze Post said that the aforementioned "famous" person should return all of her gifts, so even if you do the quickie wedding, no toaster for you.)

The Beer Bitch

Got a problem for The Beer Bitch? Submit your query to Advice Under the Influence.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Preggo my Eggo Update: 33 weeks down, 7 to go. I am exhausted and I smell like pee.

I am a mess. I am exhausted, overly emotional and tired of smelling like pee. Yes, I smell like pee. For some reason (yes, I pretty much know why, but it still sucks), I leak pee. Like, all of the time. I also cry a lot. I won't say for no reason, but I cry way more than necessary. Top that off with dark circles under my eyes from lack of sleep, and I am quite a prize. A pee-smelling, mascara-running, zombie of a prize.

To sum things up: I would punch a kitten to have a bottle of wine and lay on the couch eating pizza and watching bad TV by myself today.

Oh, on a side note, apparently if you Google, "i like sex with dog", you get led to my site. Not one, but two people did that this week (hence, the removal of all pictures of The Quiet Contemplator from this site). So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

33 weeks and counting...

Friday, November 4, 2011

Preggo my Eggo Update: 32 weeks down, 8 to go. People, please stop trying to will my vagina to expel things.

Dear man at the gym: Hi. I just want to let you know that I can see you. Yes, you. Unfortunately, your power to make yourself invisible has worn off. No, I am not going to go into labor today. No, you staring at my stomach the entire time I am on the treadmill enjoying an episode of A Baby Story will not will me to go into labor. Also, when you finally peel your eyes off my belly long enough to lurk at my TV screen instead of your own, only to see a baby coming out of a woman's vagina, it is not OK to look horrified. How exactly do you think pregnancy ends? The stork is a myth, BTW.

Dear Me at the gym: People think you are crazy. Yes, they do. Though you are all hormonal from the pregnancy stuff, it is not OK to cry when something super sweet happens on TV, like a man who was deployed while his wife gave birth returning home and seeing his baby for the first time. Everyone at the gym is not watching what you are watching and they just think you are some lunatic pregnant woman who can't keep her schmidt together. Knock it off. And stop watching A Baby Story for f*cks sake!

32 weeks and counting...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Eat, Sleep, Poop and Play

I often found, when faced with my crying newborn, that I just kind of froze and had no idea what the problem could be. It was like all time and space stopped and my mind was a complete blank. It was just me and a crying bag of goo that needed something. What that something was, I was too far gone on The Postpartum Crazy Train to figure out. I found that this list helped me. Hope it helps you, too.
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