What’s in your Hospital Bag?

Wipee Dipee and Changing Pad

Wipee Dipee and Changing Pad

Diaper Strap

Diaper Strap







I think one of the most difficult aspects of the final weeks is the unknown of babies arrival.You reach a point where it really could happen anytime and any odd feeling is cause to wonder if labor is starting. I have serious nesting going on. I can’t seem to get enough things marked off the “to do” list, cleaned, organized or in general prepared for baby’s arrival. Can you really ever be completely prepared for your life to be turned upside down? Um, no not really.

A few weeks ago, I packed a bag for the boys with clothes, pajamas, tooth brush and toothepaste and will be putting into my car tomorrow. This bag is for a variety of scenarios that would require them staying the night with friends. For some reason, packing my own bag has been more challenging, maybe I’m just procrastinating. However, with the arrival date so close, I cannot deny the inevitable. I am going to need a hospital bag and I’ll need it soon.

So here are some things to consider adding to your hospital bag:
1. Clothes (comfortable) to wear home from the hospital- I chose a dress and slip on shoes.
2. A few pairs of underwear
3. Warm socks – a few pairs – 1 for delivery and 1-2 for your stay at the hospital
4. Slippers
5. Robe for walking around outside of your room or when you have visitors to your room
6. Nursing pads and Nursing bra
7. Baby’s layette- what you will bring baby home in
8. Baby blanket or swaddle blanket
9. Pacifier if you plan to use one (and Maranda Lee pacifier pouch!)
10. Lanolin – nipple ointment
11. Your favorite pillow if you’re partial to your pillows (this was a suggestion from my sister)
12. Toiletries- your facewash, toothebrush, hair brush, lotion, shampoo, etc items you would usually pack for overnight trips
13. Snacks for you and hubby in case baby is born in the middle of the night and you need a little something to eat before the hopsital cafeteria opens.
14. Camera, camcorder, battery chargers for both AND your cell phone!

If you are a fair distance from home, you will also want some items for the new dad if he will be staying overnight with you.

And now that the bag is packed, we sit, we wait, we anticipate when we will meet this little person kicking away inside my belly!

10 Things I’ll Miss (and not miss) About Pregnancy

After baby #2, my husband and I agreed we were done. We were blessed with 2 healthy boys, busy busy healthy boys. We felt content with having 2 kids and for years felt we were fully happy as a family of four. Then when #2 was about 3 1/2, we started to consider the possibility of adding one more to the family. I think we both felt someone was missing.

With less than 3 weeks to go until D-Day, I can confidently say (I think) that baby #3 will round out our family…at least I don’t plan on being pregnant again….sigh. I am lucky, I have good pregancies. I don’t have terrible morning sickness or complications and it pretty much is a smooth 9 months. Since this will be the last 3 weeks of being pregnant, it causes me to reflect on what I’ll miss (and not miss) about being pregnant.

Things I’ll MISS:
1. Feeling the baby tumble, rock and roll, kick and hiccup inside my growing belly. It’s an amazing experience to feel another person moving inside you, a little alien-ish but such a close bond that I wish my husband could somehow experience.
2. My flawless glowing skin, thank you pregnancy hormones….um, doctor. can I get a prescription for those ??
3. Proudly displaying the growing belly in every picture possible instead of sucking in the gut.
4. Not feel guilty about  watching my belly grow bigger and gaining weight each week.
5. My rock hard abs (okay belly).
6. The boys talking to the baby in the belly.  They like to use their monster voices to growl “hello baby.”
7. Stretchy, loose and comfy clothes everyday and everywhere!
8. Eating icecream for lunch or at night or really any time of the day and no one is judging, not even myself.

Things I will NOT Miss:
1. Heartburn….when I drink water or eat anything. Tossing and turning and sleeping upright to fend off the heartburn….and the taste of chalky antacid tablets.
2. Sleeping on the sofa with tons of pillows to help keep me propped in place to support the belly.
3. Braxton Hicks contractions that seem to extend to my back and have become progressively more uncomfortable.
4. Wishing every night that we had a bathtub in the house, or a jacuzzi, a jetted tub or something to soak away the aches
5. All those trips to the bathroom during the day and night
6. Not being able to run, hike or chase after the boys.

Secret to no tears vaccines!

I think as a parent, seeing your child in fear or pain has to be among the absolutely worse feelings of all time. All you want to do it take away their fear or pain. I want to scoop them up and absorb their trauma into myself so they feel better.  At the same time, my reasonable side knows that it’s a moment that will pass and we really can’t shelter them completely from these experiences.

This is especially true of vaccine shots. Every child is different. Some children do best if you let them know in the morning that they are going to the doctor. I’ve made this mistake with my oldest. He was so traumatized by his last round of vaccine shots but I didn’t realize how much so. After that visit to the doctor the mere mention of going the doctor can send him into a frenzy of tears and anxiety. So now I wait until we are on our way to the doctor before letting him know where we are headed. It minimizes the length of his anxiety and since he hasn’t had to get shots the last few times he’s been to the doctor, his fear seems to be lessening.

So today we had our 5 and 7 year checkups at which kid #2 needed his booster shots in preparation for Kindergarten.  We went about our day as usual and I waited until we were headed to the doctor’s office to let the boys know we had checkups. I omitted any mention of the necessary shots. This time I was armed with a secret weapon  a friend had given to me earlier in the day, thank you friend!

In my pocket, I had a whistle that looked like a pair of lips and made a loud humming sound like a kazoo. It was a perfect sound for inside a doctor’s office, not a high-pitched whistle. When it came time to give #2 the shots, I gave him the whistle, wrapped him snug in my arms.  I told him, when the nurse was ready to give him a shot, to blow into the whistle as hard as possible. He did, she gave him the shot and there wasn’t a single tear!  In fact he proclaimed, ” that didn’t hurt.”  The distraction of blowing into the whistle and his joy in making a fun sound completely distracted him from the prick of the shot! Amazing! I really wish I had this for #1 when he had his shots. Maybe we would have less doctor anxiety. So I had to share this in hopes that it might work for you and your little one next time you’re heading in for shots. I think at the very least, it’s worth a try!  Anything that could help our kids feel a little more confident in going to the doctor is worth a try!

good luck!

Birdy is Nesting

With just 4 weeks to go until Baby Lee #3 is due, we still have much to do!  Nesting instincts have kicked in, big time!  I’m not sure how many times I’ve said to hubby “We need to bring in the rocker.” “Or can you get the bassinet” as my maternal instincts start to kick into overdrive in anticipation of our little one’s arrival.
We finally have the car seat so baby now has a ride home from the hospital should he/she join us early.  We have sleepers/onsies (that need to be washed), diapers, wipes, baby seat and activity mat. I have ordered little basics like creams, breast pump accessories, mirror for the backseat and bottles.

We are slowly getting the basics together, sigh, but there are a few big things still to be done…like a room for baby!  There is hope though that baby will have a space of his/her own soon as my wonderful hubby and a good friend framed up the walls to what will be the nursery.  That means we have 4 weeks to wire, insulate, sheet rock, paint, finish and move into the new rooms.  Okay, I am being realistic here, while it is possible to have this area done in 4-5 weeks, I am preparing myself for the reality that we will likely be finishing and moving into the space AFTER baby’s arrival.  This goes against every fiber of my nesting instincts, but I am trying not to dwell on it too much. I am just beyond excited that we will finally (after almost 2 years in the making) have this addition done (sort of)🙂

Here’s where we are as of today…yay!

Future Nursery

Future Nursery

Since I can’t set up the babies room quite yet, I put a little energy into getting the car seat and stroller out of the shipping box. Yay! The boys then had fun turning the box into a fort  complete with windows and a door. At this very moment they are decorating the outside with construction paper and drawings.  Go-go imagination gadget! It’s amazing how much fun a box can be!



Drumroll or River Dance?

4 weeks and 3 days to go!
I’m pretty use to some busy babies en utero.  With babes 1 and 2, I had a lot of movement, almost constant it seemed. I think most moms would agree, that is something they miss most about being pregnant, feeling baby move inside. Hubby can only comment that it must feel weird. Well yes, in a alien life form moving inside my belly, weird way.


With #3, movement started later than with the boys, but once it started it hasn’t stopped!  Last night I described it a bit like popping corn inside my belly, popping all over on all sides of my belly which makes me wish there was a way to see just what this little one is doing in there!  It is the next Tommy Lee, rocking out to it’s own drumset?  Or is it the next famous River Dancer. I swear if there is knocking and kicking on the right side of my tummy, there is poking and hitting on the left side at the same time. There’s lots of tumbling and rolling. Will it be the next olympic gold medal gymnast?  Sometimes I think the baby is trying to give the inside of my body a massage-sometimes relaxing and sometimes shiatsu style. And then there are times when I swear it’s trying to find it’s way out…no baby, there is no way out at the top of my stomach!

The boys laugh when they can feel baby moving and daddy’s usual comment to the movement, “whoa”.  I’ll miss seeing the boy’s smiles and laughs when feeling baby move, but I am really loookinf forward to watching them become amazing big brothers.

It’s a unique sensation, one I never want to forget and sadly know that over time I will. I will miss those rolls, kicks, drumrolls and river dances. I have to remember this whenever I feel a swift jolt of movement that takes away my breath and is sometimes less than comfortable.   While I’m ready to be done with pregnancy, I will truly miss feeling baby moving inside.

Oh Brother!

This time around we are not finding out if #3 is a boy or girl. We all like to speculate and on any given day you can ask the boys what they think it will be and they will have a different answer. Some days they think/want a girl and some days a boy.  For a while my youngest wanted a girl so that he” would always be stronger than her.”  Since they are 5 and 7 they both can understand that we have another baby arriving soon and some of the things cooking in their liittle brains is just too fun not to write down!

We like to have fun with feeding mommy and seeing if baby likes it. The boys like to give me treats to see if in turn, baby will kick or move or otherwise show some enjoyment of the recently consumed treat. After one treat, #2 who was almost 5 at the time, explained “Baby can’t see the food coming, but it can taste it when it comes through the extension cord” We now fondly refer to the umbilical cord to the “extension cord.”

My oldest, who just turned 7-wow- really wants me to have this baby at home.As he and his brother say, they want to see me “squeeze out the baby”. Do they think I’m a tube of toothpaste? I wish it was so easy.

The boys want the baby’s crib to be in their room.They’ve even decided that they can put up a small fence down the middle of the room so that their toys can be on one side so baby can’t get into them. I’m not sure if they don’t want to share the toys with the baby or have heard us talk about baby choking on them???

#1 has volunteered to change diapers, #2 has volunteered to help feed, play with and otherwise help care for the baby. Considering the first two were barely 2 years apart, I am excited to see how different this newborn experience will be having 2 older siblings who seem so eager to help and excited for baby’s arrival! Though I also wonder how many days or weeks before the novelty has worn off.I’m pretty sure after the first diaper they will both rethink their offer to help with diapering🙂

29 Weeks and counting

Baby #3 is on it’s way in just 10-11 short weeks! The months have flown by and I realized this week that while I help my customers prepare for baby’s arrival creating diaper bags and accessories, I am seriously lacking in the “being prepared” department. My youngest just turned 5 years old so you could say we are starting over with #3. We have a few items left over from my boys infancy days, but really when it comes down to it, we have nothing prepared for the next ones arrival.

Stella Large www.marandalee.etsy.com

Stella Large http://www.marandalee.etsy.com

I’ve perused the recommended gear lists in magazines and have taken note of the new gear on the shelves at the stores and we have a lot of preparing ahead. Maybe you’re also preparing for baby’s arrival-congratulations!  So here’s a short list I’ve compiled of things to have in your diaper bag.

1. Diapers – um, that may seem obvious but I remember a few too many times reaching into the bag to find I had NO diapers left!

2. Wipes-lots of wipes for newborns (and then maybe another box of wipes in the car too)

3. Butt cream- because a rash will start when you least expect it, seemingly in minutes

4. Burp clothes – 2-3 as you will find they get soiled quickly

5. Plastic bag or wet bag to put soiled burp clothes (and after diaper blow-out clothing)

6. Change of clothes-onsie, pants, socks, booties (maybe another set for backup also in the car)

7. Nursing cover or blanket

8. Changing pad- keep your precious perfection off the dirty floors or public changing tables-yuck

9. Rattle/toy

10. Pacifier or two in a Paci Pouch-the ones I make clip to the bag for convenience

11. Anti-bacterial wipes/gel

12. Camera- to record all those adorable little smiles and special moments with grandma/pa

13. Chocolate-not for baby, for you, when you need treat or two for yourself

14. A clean shirt for you!

Oh yes, there is more, so much more that will be packed into that diaper bag, but these are the first few that come to mind.🙂

What is a “must have” that you carry in your diaper bag?