Postpartum

Screen time? Yep.

We all start off motherhood with the same idea – my perfect baby will never see a screen until at least 2 (or something like that). They will be content all the time to play with only wooden toys which inspire independent, imaginative play.

Ha.

Continue reading “Screen time? Yep.”

Postpartum

Oh wait, I used to have hobbies.

Hi, internet. It’s Kristin. It’s been a long holiday season, but I finally have my shit together enough to write again. I’ve been thinking a lot about new year’s resolutions since everyone is sharing theirs all over online. Now, I stopped doing “official” resolutions a long time ago because frankly, who can honestly say they’ve kept theirs? But this year I realized that I do need to set a few goals for myself for nothing but to keep myself sane. As a new(ish) parent it’s so easy to have your whole self sucked into your kid’s world 24/7 and let everything else fade away. For me, that means that things I used to really enjoy doing during my downtime have been seriously neglected. Yep, I used to have hobbies. Now my “hobby” is screen time after Finn goes to bed to try to help me unwind after my day. So…here are my 2019 goals for myself: Continue reading “Oh wait, I used to have hobbies.”

Pregnancy

Lessons on Loss

This week, our post is a heavy topic we feel necessary to bring to light, albeit heartbreaking. A friend of the Where’s My Epidural moms has been gracious enough to share her miscarriage story. This, as we all can understand, is an extremely sensitive topic and for that reason our friend will remain anonymous. If you have ever or do ever face this and need assistance, the Pregnancy and Postpartum Support website might be helpful. This resource is specifically for Minnesota, if you reside elsewhere, check online to see if there is another support group. Continue reading “Lessons on Loss”

Postpartum

Our Favorite Books (right now)

Both Karen and I are pretty avid readers, so it’s natural that we want our kids to be too! The best way to do that? Give them access to lots of books! Here are a few of our favorites right now (Don’t see yours here? Let us know what they are!)

Finn’s (and Kristin’s) Favorites

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

9780670867332_p0_v3_s550x406

Finn has been reading this book for months and months and still isn’t sick of it. It follows a little boy as he explores the freshly fallen snow in his city neighborhood.

Because I’m Your Dad by Ahmet Zappa

9781484726617_d1601

This is the book I got Kris for Father’s Day. It’s so sweet – it features a monster dad and kid (not gender-specific), with the dad telling their child all the things they’ll do “because I’m your dad”. Highlights include always having cool Halloween costumes and skipping school so they can get a hot dog in New York City.

Stella Brings the Family by Miriam B. Schiffer

19353809

A story about a little girl who has to figure out what to do when she is supposed to do when she is told to bring her mom in for Mother’s Day – but she only has two dads at home!

If You Give A Mouse A Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff

y648

The classic story I grew up reading featuring a mischevious (and helpful! He cleans!) mouse who will ask you for everything and anything after giving him a cookie for a snack.

Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin

A1BSKa8kyFL

Did you know dragons LOVE tacos but HATE spicy salsa? What happens when you give them tacos with salsa? Let’s find out!

Poke-A-Dot Books by ikids

ScreenShot111585afe8e80dd558b34ad70fc67

This series of books is brilliant for little ones who have busy hands. They feature plastic “dots” that they can poke to make a clicking noise on every page!

Elliot’s (and Karen’s) Favorites

Barnyard Dance by Sandra Boynton

bd

In our household, you really cannot go wrong with any Sandra Boynton book. The rhyming is so stinkin’ catching (yes, I often am rehearsing them in my head while at work)! I once had a speech pathologist tell me that these books were some of their top picks. Barnyard Dance has been one of our favorites since Ellie was tiny. Sometimes I even give it a “hoe-down” spin.

Ladybug Girl Gives Thanks by David Soman & Jacky Davis

lg

Again, this entire series is a household favorite. Lulu is this awesome little girl whose superhero alter-ego is the star of this series. I chose this specific book as we have a few seasonal books we throw into the nightly mix. With Thankgiving upon us, we read this one every night.

Ten Little Ladybugs by Melanie Gerth

tll

This is much like most other counting books but the ladybugs are these cute little raised bugs on each page. Ellie loves to help turn the pages and feel the little ladybugs. At the end of the book she likes to point out all the animals for me to tell her what each of them are. As a note, Ellie likes this one so much she stands on it… the binding is starting to go. I just consider it well-loved.

First 100 Words by Roger Priddy

fhw

The combination of bright colors and simple pictures are really eye catching for Ellie. She loves to point out the various images and try to repeat the words after I say them to her. While there is not necessarily a story throughout this book per se, this is a great learning tool for any kid in the early stages of language development (albeit, boring for mom or dad).

Never Touch a Spider! by Make Believe Ideas Ltd.

nts

Spoiler alert – your kid will touch the spider. This books are top notch in the sensory books department. Each page has a fun design molded into it and Ellie loves to flip through and feel the funky designs. The story is really cute and gives a fun spin to bugs.

Postpartum

Family leave is important!

This past week, General Mills was all over the news in the Twin Cities. Not for a cool new cereal, but because they overhauled their family leave policies to better support their employees. Instead of 3 months maternity and 2 week parental leave, now General Mills employees are eligible for 18-20 weeks of paid maternity leave for a birth mother and 12 weeks paid leave for partners and adoptive parents…how amazing is that?? This news, along with the fact that it’s Labor Day weekend, got us thinking about parental leave policies in general and why they are so important. Continue reading “Family leave is important!”

Breastfeeding, Postpartum, Pregnancy

Moms Like Tech Too!

Isn’t it crazy how quickly technology can change? Kristin found a couple really interesting articles about new tech for breastfeeding and pumping and we thought it would be fun to write about new tech out there and what’s on the horizon. Not going to lie, we’re pretty envious of what is new and coming soon! We do not endorse any of these products and cannot speak to their effectiveness. We just found them interesting and want to share. 🙂

Pregnancy

Reliefband

Nausea/morning sickness got you down? Hate the taste of ginger? We’ve been seeing an uptick of these nausea relief bands. I am super curious if they work, because it could make a huge difference for so many pregnant mom’s early (and for some poor souls majority) pregnancies. (Photo from Reliefband’s website)

BabyBuds

Related image

Ok, this one is lost on me. I’d heard of playing music for baby in-utero… but this just feels too far for me. If anyone has tried this and believes it had a positive impact, I really want to know. All I can think of is the game my siblings and I played as kids, attempting to have a conversation under water while at the pool. Did any of you do this growing up? How well did it work for you? (Photo from BabyBuds’ website)

Breastfeeding/Postpartum

Nanit Baby Sleep System

nanihardware.jpg

This is no regular video baby monitor. Nanit mounts above the crib to show you a bird’s eye view of your lil’ babe. It tracks baby’s movements and gives you insights into theisleep habits, giving your average sleep and wake times and rating how well they are sleeping. This information is then used to give you tips on how to improve their (and your!) sleep for future nights. (Photo from Nanit’s website)

Willow Wearable Breast Pump

Capture.JPG

Confession: we both are jealous of anyone who owns this. A breast pump that is truly wireless and cordless? Game-changer!! Instead of using bottles, the Willow pumps directly into self-sealing storage bags, so you can just take them out and pop them in the fridge or freezer without having to worry about spilling a drop of that milk you work so hard for. The pump comes with one unit per breast, and you can pump one at a time (how cool if you need/want to pump while baby is nursing on the other side) or simultaneously. PLUS it hooks up to your phone via Bluetooth and will tell you how much you’ve pumped! Seriously amazing. (photo from Willow’s website)

Yoomi Self-warming Bottles

B004XYBLDE.PT02_2000x2000.png

Unless you get a magic baby who will take cold bottles, you’ll probably need to try to figure out how to warm them up when your baby is hungry. Enter Yoomi, who made a self-warming bottle!! The warming part is “charged” in your microwave, then is ready to go whenever you need it, which is perfect for those on-the-go feedings. (Photo from Yoomi’s website)

What amazing tech did we miss? Let us know!

~ Kristin & Karen

Postpartum, Pregnancy

Special Edition: Our First Guest Post!

Today is a very special day. It’s Kristin’s birthday! To make this day even more special, Kristin’s mom, Maureen, has kindly agreed to write a special guest post for today (I only cried a little bit reading this). Happy Birthday Kristin! 

My Baby Has a Baby!

I am blogging today to celebrate Kristin’s first birthday as a Mom!  Thirty-three years ago, August 14th Kristin made me a mom, and it changed my life.

img_0190-e1534210156694.jpgLiving and working in Manhattan, Don and I got the news that I was pregnant.  We were blessed with a “surprise” pregnancy and we needed to nail down the changes that will take place in our lives.  We both had demanding jobs and lived in a four-floor walkup, neither conducive to becoming parents. The amount of decisions and commitments needed to consider was daunting.  Stay in the city? Daycare? Schools? Yup, schools. Most women I knew enrolled their child in a preschool as soon as they got pregnant. That’s pressure!

Our lease was up in May, three months prior to meeting this new person, and we need to make a change.  We decided to move to New Jersey. This was to be a “two-fer”, getting a place closer to my family and my sister was going be her nanny! SCORE!

IMG_0165The day we met Kristin was an amazingly beautiful “beach” day on the Jersey Shore.  I was overdue and thought a day at the ocean would do me wonders. I got in my car, stopped at my parents’ home, grab a beach chair, and schlepped all my stuff to the ocean.  I parked myself near the lifeguard, just in case. After a while I started to feel a bit crampy, nothing much but I couldn’t get comfortable. I decided to leave the beach to go home and nap.  Dropping the beach chair at my Mom’s she said, “How are you?” I said I was good, but I needed to go home and take it easy. She said I looked tired and to let her know when I got home. Don called, from work in Manhattan, around 5p and asked how I felt.  I told him I was just fine and not to rush home. Oh, and I added that I was cramping… just a bit. He said he was leaving immediately and by the time he got home 1-1 ½ hours later I was in labor. My Jersey Girl arrived at 8lbs 9 oz, full head of hair and in great health.  Let motherhood begin.

I had a three-month maternity leave, Don went back to work in Manhattan, and Kristin and I settled into a new routine.  Mostly sleeping when she slept. I was breastfeeding and she was a hungry bugger. I experienced my first obstacle, cracked nipples.  Ouch! Never anticipated that! The internet was not around, and all “Mom” information came from books, your mother, or close friends/family.  I bought MANY books. One of my favorite authors was by T. Berry Brazelton, kind of the Mr. Rogers of pediatricians, he wrote Infants and Mothers and Touchpoints.  (For Kristin’s birthday I’m sending her an electronic copy of Infants and Mothers circa 1983. ☺ )

My biggest fear in becoming a mother was how to communicate with a newborn.  Would we bond? How would I be able to understand and anticipate her needs? Would she be able to feel loved and secure?  What kind of woman would I become? Could I put her needs ahead of my own and Don’s? What happens when I go back to work? And probably a million more!

These questions seemed to come up and be answered as needed.  She felt perfect in my arms. I was fortunate to have the time to bond, understand she was “out of sorts”, become enveloped in her laughter, know the difference between hungry and “hangry”, go through the conflicting feelings of returning to work, and just sink into the new “family”.

IMG_4809I now get to be part of her beginnings of motherhood.  I watch Kristin and Kris navigate parenthood with excitement, enthusiasm, anticipation, dedication, joy and love.  I see them create a home and family. I’m excited to watch as they create their own rhythm and schedules and I am touched to think that both the Hummel and Kvam family values and customs will continue on with the next generation. The holidays and traditions she has had over the years will mean even more to her now that she’ll get to share them with her child.  I have the joy of getting to know my grandchild, be his Nana and watch him develop into the Finn that he will be.

It was my JOY to have Kristin changed my life, and now I celebrate as Finn changes hers.

Happy Birthday Kristin.

Love and Lollies,

Mom

Maureen Kvam, aka: Kristin’s proud Mom.

Postpartum, Pregnancy

Our Favorite Parenting TV Shows

Hellllloooooooo! This week we are going to share some of our favorite mom/parenting TV shows (in no certain order). It’s fascinating how relatable fictional TV is to the plight of becoming a new parent. Sometimes the the mental escape from reality is much needed, and the only thing that can fill it is a 30 minute episode of Bob’s Burgers. What are your favorite parenting TV shows? If you say Keeping Up With the Kardashians you should seriously reflect on what constitutes “parenting” – no judging here though (as we discretely throw shade your way). Just kidding… you would be shocked to know the amount of hours spent watching trashy TV at our house. Yikes.

The Letdown

Ever drive your kid around at all hours of the night and finally get baby to fall asleep, only to have some jerk tap on your window? Moms, you’re gonna relate with this show!

Shameless

Having a particularly crappy parenting day? You will immediately feel better about your parenting skills after watching Frank being Father of the Year.

Bob’s Burgers

Need a good laugh? Bob’s Burgers will certainly do that for you. As Bob put it so well, “I love you, but you’re all terrible”.

Life in Pieces

Whether you are a parent of preteens or are brand new to the parenting gig, you will definitely find something to relate with in this show. Jen and Greg highlight the emotional nuances many of us new parents feel.

RuPaul’s Drag Race

Mama Ru will keep you on your toes with every new season as she brings in a new barrage of girls. With each episode, she reminds us that “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you going to love somebody else?”. Could not have said it better Ru.

Honorable Mentions:

Big Little Lies

Transparent

Jane the Virgin

SMILF

Parenthood

Game of Thrones (I am only mentioning because Zach told me to)

Happy binging!

giphy

Breastfeeding, Postpartum

Traveling for Work While Breastfeeding a.k.a. Guess what? You have a bunch more crap to lug around in the airport

A few weeks ago I took my first work trip to attend a conference in Portland, Oregon. I was excited and then instantly anxious. Why? I’m still breastfeeding so I need to pump around every 3 hours when I’m away from my son. PLUS, this would be the first time I would be away from Finn overnight so…anxiety. (Now, of course, he would be with my husband so obviously he would be fine and happy to get solo dad time but it was still weird to think about!) This post is focusing on the logistics of pumping while traveling but we’re writing one addressing being away from baby overnight for the first time later! Continue reading “Traveling for Work While Breastfeeding a.k.a. Guess what? You have a bunch more crap to lug around in the airport”

Postpartum

Childproofing Your Existence

Did you wake up one morning and found that you had a crawler or walker on your hands? In that moment, I bet you cheered your little one on, thinking this kiddo is the cat’s meow. Every new development is such an exciting milestone, it’s no wonder we are thrilled when it happens. But that thrill quickly turns into the familiar ‘oh shit’ ball of worry in your stomach.

unnamed
Scheming her way out of this prison.

My home is barely safe for my husband – I say this in earnest as Zach nearly broke his face after tripping over my weights strewn about the floor the other day (sorry pal, I owe you some Ben & Jerry’s). While we have already done  what feels like a ton of childproofing, we are finding something new everyday we need to change or update. Inevitably Ellie finds a new cable to chew on or a ledge to tumble into. I caught this kid actually somersaulting off the couch a few weeks ago. It was quite graceful but not ideal. So, while I am working on getting Ellie down from the ceiling fan… enjoy reading just a few home childproofing recommendations:

  • Stairs: If you have them, get a gate up… like yesterday. Babies seem to be attracted to stairs like moths to a bug zapper.
  • Outlets: Purchase those cheap plug things and plug any open outlets you have. Ellie loves finding outlets. One day she is going to resemble Ms. Frizzle from the Magic School Bus, red hair and all.
  • Cords, cables, and the like: These can be challenging if your living room is set up like a Van Gogh painting and you have to configure your set-up in the most inconvenient way. We’ve taken to using packing tape to hide our cables in plain site. #classy
  • Hard edges (fireplace, tables, etc.): There are these great padded furniture edgings that can be cut to fit and stuck to most edges. These have saved Ellie from many bruises and tears.
  • Vacuum: The most random things can fall on the floor which are prime pickings for little curious hands (and mouths). A word to the wise, if you have guests over, make sure to vacuum and pick up after they leave. People often forget that there is a baby around that likes to eat everything. Also, maybe they left some change or valuable jewelry between your couch cushions – no one said daycare was cheap.

    elliedoggy
    Ellie pets her PUPPY.
  • Pets: We have two decent size dogs we watch like hawks. Our dogs are pretty good with Ellie, but you never know if some new things she’s doing (like running across the room screaming “puppy, puppy, PUPPPPPPPYYYYY” and throwing herself on them) will bother them. We fortunately have never had an incident but it doesn’t mean it can’t happen.

While there are about a million and a half other things that could be done, I believe this is a good start. Just remember, while we can only do so much to keep our kids safe, sometimes they are their own worst enemy.

giphy

Feel free to let us know what your tips are! Happy chasing!

~Karen