Sunday, December 11, 2011

Playtex Drop-Ins Review

We've been using the Playtex Drop-Ins bottles for nearly two weeks so I thought I'd do a review on them. In general, I like them. Something to keep in mind when reading my review: there are a ton of different nipple options with the Drop-Ins, and my review is based on using the silicone slow-flow nipples.

Harry modeling a four ounce bottle

Here are the pros and cons.

Pros
-Easy Clean Up: Because the Drop-Ins use a disposable liner to hold the formula clean up is a breeze! Obviously I have to clean the nipples after every use, which I do by hand (the silicone nipples are dishwasher safe though). I wash the bottles about once a day to keep them clean.
-Dribble: With the other bottles we were using Harry would always dribble a large amount of formula down his chin and neck. The Playtex nipples seem to fit his mouth much better and has hardly any dribble with them.
-Cost Effective: Some people might argue that Drop-Ins aren't cost effective because you have to keep buying liners, which are around eight to ten cents each. The starter set cost me just $15, compared to $30+ for other bottles, I'd say that's a steal! And really, what is eight or ten cents when it means I can spend more time with Harry because I have less to wash?

Cons
-Spit Up: The whole reason I started looking for new bottles was because I wanted to try and eliminate the spit up. Many of the reviewers online said how their babies hardly spit up at all with the Drop-Ins because the liner collapses in on itself and prevents the baby from swallowing air. Not the case with Harry. He doesn't spit up after every feeding but he still does it a few times each day.
-Extra Garbage: The liners are one more thing that has to go in the trash. I'm not crazy about being green or anything, but I used to be big on recycling. Unfortunately our condo complex doesn't recycle, so we end up throwing everything away. However, the liners are recyclable.
-Hard To Measure: Measuring how much water you need to make your bottle is a little tricky with the Drop-Ins. The measurements on the larger bottles are inaccurate and the ones on the liners are really hard to see. To get the right amount of water in the bottle I simply fill up a correctly labeled bottle with the right amount of water and dump it in to the liner... problem solved!

I would recommend the Playtex Drop-Ins. Even though they didn't 100% solve our spit up problem I love the convenience of the system.

Okay, its nearly 3am and I think Harry finally fell asleep, he's a night owl like me! Off to get some much needed shut eye :)

The Cat and the Newborn

My two kids

As I mentioned last night, our cat Pearl has been surprisingly good with Harry. Pearl is four years old and is used to getting all the attention she wants, she drinks out of the sink for crying out loud! We were a little concerned that Pearl would be aggressive towards Harry. Fortunately that really hasn't been the case.

Pearl has been great with H-man. She was totes scared of him at first, but is slowly warming up to him. When we first brought Harry home every time he moved Pearl would jump back like two feet, ha! She doesn't do that anymore, and is kind of protective of him sometimes. When I put Harry to sleep in his crib Pearl will sit in the nursery for hours just watching him. Of course I pop my head in every few minutes to make sure she hasn't jumped in the crib.

I've never caught her in the crib, although I did catch her on the changing table...


Silly cat.

With the arrival of Harry we definitely have been giving Pearl less attention. I feel bad but there just isn't enough time in the day to give everyone what they want/need. During the day Pearl is usually fine since she's sleeping a majority of the time, but at night she gets a tad needy. I try playing with her as much as I can but sometimes she acts like a little brat and jumps up on the counters or table just to get some attention.

I'm hoping that once Harry starts to play and be more interactive with Pearl she'll stop being so needy. If I should be so lucky!!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Bed Sharing at the Z House

We're not a bed sharing family. As easy as it would be to let H-man sleep in our bed, both Ant and I find the practice dangerous. Harry sleeps in his Pack n' Play that is right next to our bed, so he's still close to us.

Anyways, this is what "bed sharing" looks like at our house.

She's sticking her tongue out at him, ha!

Pearl was napping comfortably in the PnP alone and I just put Harry in to snap a quick pic with my oldasdirt cell phone. Don't worry, I don't let Pearl sleep with us because I know she would want to curl up with her li'l bro. In general though Pearl has been surprisingly good with Harry. I plan on doing an entire blog post about that, so stay tuned :).

And I have to give a shout out to some of my blog buddies, Liz, Nyla and Haley... all three lovely ladies just had their babies! Congrats!!!

Gotta Get Down on Friday

Harry and I had a great Friday! My friend Tracy came over in the afternoon to meet Harry. I hadn't seen her in a while so it was nice to catch up. She even brought over a few gifts for Harry and me which was so sweet of her. Look at the hooded towel she made for him!


So cute, right?!? Tracy is a crafty girl like myself, in high school we worked at JoAnn Fabrics together. Thank you, Tracy Bear!!! :)

For dinner last night And and I ordered takeout from Chili's. Since we don't yet feel comfortable taking Harry out for our traditional Friday night date nights we decided to bring date night to us! After dinner we watched Young Adult on DVD, one of the movies sent to him as part of the Writers Guild. Ehhh, it was okay. The movie was quite a bit different than I had expected so I think that's why I didn't like it so much. I was expecting it to be more of a comedy, and it was actually pretty dark. I think the movie comes out in theaters next Friday if you're interested. We've got so many movies at our house right now, I think the next one I want to watch is The Descendants. 

Here's Harry and me watching the movie last night.

Look ma, no hands!

Ohhhh, and how is it the day I finally decided to file Harry's nails he winds up cutting his face? I should have filed them a while ago but kept putting it off because I was nervous to do it. Fortunately he didn't mind it much and I thought I did a good job. Apparently not! Poor kid :(

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

1 Month Old

Happy one month birthday, Harry Desmond! Mommy loves you!

12/7/11

Kind of like how I did the weekly bump pictures throughout my pregnancy, I will be doing a monthly picture of Harry. And you all know I'll post them here! I bought the onesie stickers at pickysticky.com. Word to the wise (and my future self): Put the sticker on the onesie after you put the onesie on the child!

It really is hard to believe Harry is one month old today. What a crazy month it has been! It started out with my 36 week prenatal appointment and finding out I was in labor without even knowing it. It then morphed in to a nearly week-long NICU stay for my little preemie, and now here we are... a happy little family of three!

Harry has been a great baby this past month. He really only cries when he's hungry or wet. Or when he loses his paci, which seems to happen every three minutes, ha! And while he isn't sleeping through the night just yet, he'll sleep up to six hours at a time... this morning he slept from 2am to 8am! However, sometimes he thinks its fun to party until 3am, which is a little rough.

In general, I love being a mom. I've wanted to be a mom for a long time and can't believe I now have a baby to call my own. I'm definitely still learning the ropes, but being a mom has come pretty naturally to me, I definitely have those motherly instincts! 

Here are some stats on Harry that I plan on updating each month.

Weight: I'm thinking around the 7 pound mark, maybe 7 1/2
Height: No more than 20 inches I'd imagine
Diaper Size: Newborn Pampers or Huggies
Clothing Size: Newborn
Eating: 2.5-3 ounces of  Similac NeoSure formula 7-8 times a day

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Last OB Appointment

This morning I had my last pregnancy appointment with my OB. I was a little sad because I really like the practice I went to. Before getting pregnant I didn't have an OB, so I just searched the internet to find a doctor with privileges at the  hospital I wanted to deliver at. I don't think I would recommend anyone doing that, but it worked out alright for me.

The appointment went fine, although I was kind of caught off guard by having to get a pap (never a fun experience). I'm nearly healed down there, and should be 100% within the next two weeks. Surprise, surprise...my blood pressure is still a little on the high side, even with taking my labetalol twice a day. I now have to follow up with a primary care physician in three months to determine if I have chronic hypertension or not. My doctor wants me to wait that long to make sure my body is completely back to normal and all the pregnancy hormones are out of my system.

I also asked for a prescription for birth control pills because we definitely don't want Harry to have an Irish twin. Request denied! Apparently the estrogen in birth control pills can mess with your blood pressure, so until I go to the primary care physician I can't get on anything. And if it turns out that I do have chronic hypertension, I can't go on the pill. My two options would be the Depo-Provera shot or Mirena. I definitely am not interested in the Depo-Provera, but will be looking in to Mirena.

My boys came with me to the doctor since we had some errands to run as well. First on the list... returning the breast pump. As painful as it was to return it a month early, the pumping thing just wasn't working and producing less and less breast milk at each session was really taking a toll on me mentally. While exclusively formula feeding was never in my parenting plan, it is what works for our family.

After we were done at the hospital we headed over to the Carter's store. My mother-in-law bought Harry a bunch of clothes that we needed to return. While it was very generous of her to get him so many outfits, most of what she got him were in newborn size. Harry still fits in the newborn size, but I have a feeling he won't be wearing it for much longer. We ended up getting a few three month outfits and have some store credit left over to use next time.

We also popped over to Target to pick up a few random things. Harry did so great all day, he didn't start fussing until we were just about two blocks away from our house... perfect timing!

Here's a picture of my 4 week old from last night's tummy time.

Exactly 4 weeks old

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Drunk Uncle

Ant loves Saturday Night Live. Loves it. I, on the other hand, loved it in ohhhhhh, I dunno, eighth grade? Since he loves it so much I'm forced to watch it with him a lot. So of course we watched last night's episode, which was hosted by Steve Buscemi.

I don't find the show that funny anymore, but last night there was a sketch during the Weekend Update segment that was faaaahreaking hysterical.



OMG I was laughing so hard! Thought some of you might get a kick out of it too :).

Enjoy!

Pass the Dom Perignon

As you guys know we celebrated our first wedding anniversary yesterday. After we watched the movie we popped open our bottle of Dom Perignon.


Wearing my new charm bracelet!

To celebrate our wedding last year my dad bought us three bottles of Dom. We went through two at our luncheon reception and Ant and I decided to save the third until tonight. It was just as tasty and bubbly as I remember! I savored every drop because I'm willing to bet it will be a looooooong time before I get to try Dom Perignon again.



Along with our fancy schmancy Dom we had some of our wedding cupcakes. Our wedding cupcakes (along with the actual cake we cut at our reception) were from Deerfield's Bakery, and we were pleasantly surprised at how well they held up!

Layer One:


Layer Two:


Success!


We had both red velvet with cream cheese frosting and vanilla with dark chocolate frosting. While both year old cupcakes were good, we both thought that the vanilla ones held up better; the red velvet seemed to have lost some of its flavor.


Happy anniversary, boo! Love you... most of the time :).


Saturday, December 3, 2011

A Gift of Paper

It was an exciting day around the Z household today! December 3rd marks our one year wedding anniversary along with Harry's original due date. And this afternoon we did our "newborn" photo shoot with my friend Jessica. She got tons of amazing shots and I can't wait to see the finished pictures!
 
First Anniversary
Some of you might be familiar with the traditional anniversary gifts some couples chose to exchange. Ant had never heard of this tradition until I slyly mentioned it about a month ago. Here in the U.S., couples traditionally give paper on their first anniversary (Ant-- since you asked, cotton is the traditional gift for the second anniversary). My husband is really one of the least creative people so I didn't really expect much.

However, much to my surprise, Ant came up with an amazing gift.


He made me a book...  a freaking book!! He said he came up with the idea all on his own and worked on it during his lunch breaks at work. I believe he had it made at FedEx Office. Here are a few of the pages.





And trust me, I was surprised!!


Kelly Clarkson tickets! Kelly is one of my favorite singers and I've already seen her in concert twice, she's amazing! Harry will be about four months old at the time of the concert, so we'll definitely be due for a night out without the kiddo (mark your calendar, Glam-ma Rose!).

As the book says, I also had a box to open with another wonderful gift inside.



A charm bracelet! On our wedding day Ant gave me a bracelet too, so I wonder if I'll get a new one every year? I love the charms Ant picked out. The cupcake is for our wedding cake, we opted to serve cupcakes instead of one large tiered cake (why every wedding doesn't do this, I don't know). The little boy charm is for Harry obviously; the yellow stones are his birthstone, citrine. And the last charm is my birthstone, garnet. Ant said he will buy me a new charm each month, so I will have a pretty full charm bracelet by this time next year.

I was truly surprised by his gifts and in awe of his creativity and thoughtfulness. I will treasure both the book and bracelet for the rest of my life. Our first year of marriage wasn't the easiest, there were plenty of tears but there were plenty of joyous moments, too. And of course we were blessed with our beautiful son, Harry Desmond.

After the photo shoot today we decided to recreate our "first date" as a married couple.




Dinner was courtesy of Maggiano's. We kept it classy by eating right out of the plastic containers :). And now we're watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two. Part One was the first movie we saw together after getting hitched, so tonight's festivities varied a bit from the original. 

Later we're going to open a bottle of Dom Perignon and eat some year-old cupcakes!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

39 Week (non) Bump

Today I took my very last "belly" shot.

39 weeks 5 days gestation/ 3 weeks 3 days postpartum

To compare, let's take a stroll down memory lane and look at my first.

12 weeks 6 days

Like how I came full circle wearing the same outfit? I weigh darn near the same in these two photos, but I clearly still have some tightening to do around my midsection... le sigh. I'm hoping to get the go ahead from my doctor next week to start working out, but I think typically it's not until six weeks postpartum.

Annnnnd, here's another picture, just because I like showing off the cutest baby in the world.


Bye Bye Baby

Today was the first time I ventured out alone since we brought Harry home two and a half weeks ago. I had a rewards certificate for Ulta (I scored some of my favorite eyeliner for free!) and had some coupons to use at Target (hello, free Diaper Genie refill!). I was in and out of Ulta really quick but took my sweet time at Target. It was so nice to be able to take my time looking around, I really hadn't done that at a store since being put on bed rest in August. Along with the Diaper Genie refill I had a $1 off coupon for a Playtex Drop-Ins bottle and also picked up a "My First Christmas" ornament for Harry, some cat food and the What to Expect the First Year book.

I must say, it was wonderful getting out of the house! It had been a few days :). However, I did miss my little guy like crazy. I needed to go to Wal-Mart too, but decided against it because I didn't want to be away from Harry any longer. Crazy, I know, especially considering he has no concept of time (I don't think he does, anyways) and slept the entire time I was gone.

Okay, dinner time! The leftover pizza in the fridge is calling my name...

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Bottles!

Before I get to the topic at hand, I have to share this cute picture I took of H-man on Tuesday.

Milk Fu Manchu

What a goof!

Bottles

Since Harry eats formula and pumped breast milk, bottles have kind of over taken our kitchen. Before Harry was born we purchased some Breastflow and Avent bottles to have on hand just in case breastfeeding didn't work out. Good thing, because all of them have been put to good use! We also have a few bottles that attach right to the breast pump and work with the nipples that come with the pre-made Similac bottles (we got a bunch from the hospital when Harry came home).


I'm not particularly in love with any of the bottles we have, but of course, they're all better than nothing. The Avent bottles have this weird extra ring thing you have to attach before screwing the nipple on. The ring is supposed to reduce colic, which I like, but when I'm making a bottle at three in the morning for a screaming baby I want something that I can put together easily without much thought. I've forgotten the ring a few times and have ended up with formula all over me... gross!

The Breastflow bottles also have their fair share of issues. They're designed to be more like breasts (hence the name), so the baby has to work a bit harder to get the milk. Since Harry has been bottle fed since birth it took him a few tries before he really got the hang of them. The nipples of the Breastflow bottles are two parts, and while I haven't forgotten to put them together before a feeding, it does make cleaning them a bit of a pain.

As evident in the picture above, Harry spits up. Ya ya ya, all babies spit up. This afternoon he actually had some projectile spit up. I almost took a picture of it, but I decided to spare everyone with that image :). According to my super scientific research (har har), bottle fed babies spit up because they swallow a lot more air than breastfed babies. Which brings me to my current mission: find a spit up-free bottle!

So, less air = less spit up, right? Makes sense to me. After all that research I decided to order the Playtex Drop-Ins from Amazon.

 

These bottles have been around forever, and a vast majority of the reviews on Amazon, Walmart and Target are positive, so I'm hoping they work for us! The Drop-Ins use a disposable insert that you squeeze the air out of before giving it to baby. And as your baby drinks the insert collapses on itself preventing any air from getting in to the bottle, or your baby's tummy. Plus, because the inserts are disposable there is less to clean!

Once we get the bottles and use them a few times I'll let everyone know what we think.










Monday, November 28, 2011

Baby Must Haves- Part 1

Happy 3 week birthday, Harry! It's crazy to think that today was my original induction date, and I've already been a mommy for 3 weeks. I am still working on my birth story, but I will definitely be posting it, so watch out for that soon.


As a new mom there are a few products that have really helped me get through the first few weeks. I'm sure I'll do a few more of these kinds of posts over the upcoming months, but here is what I'm loving right now.

Breast Pump

 

I rented this Ameda Egnell Elite breast pump from my hospital. Harry and I just never got the hang of the breastfeeding thing since we weren't even able to try until he was three days old. Pumping hasn't been easy either and I have noticed my supply is decreasing, but I am doing as much as I can to provide Harry with the breast milk he deserves.

I am currently trying to increase my supply by increasing the number of times I pump each day, I hope at three weeks postpartum it isn't too late! My goal is to be able to provide Harry with at least one bottle of breast milk each day through the beginning of the year.

Formula

 

Because Harry was born prematurely he is on Similac NeoSure formula, which is specifically for preemies. NeoSure has two more calories per ounce than regular formula or breast milk, plus it has extra vitamins and minerals to help catch preemies up to their full-term counterparts.

Harry's pediatrician recommended we keep him on the NeoSure for ten months, and so far so good. We're lucky that Harry hasn't shown any signs of dairy intolerance, which would require us to switch to a different formula. NeoSure does has a very pungent smell, but you get used to it after a while. If it means helping Harry reach his milestones on time, I'll smell it as much as I have to! I do wish NeoSure was priced more like regular Similac, it's a bit more expensive than other formulas. Thank goodness for manufacturer's checks and coupons!

Nursing Bras

Sports Clip Down Nursing Bra

My aunt was so sweet and bought me a bunch of nursing bras from Motherhood Maternity. Even though I'm not breastfeeding they are great for pumping moms too; easy access to the ta-tas is important! The bra pictured here is my favorite, it's so comfy.

Rocker

 

I've photographed Harry a bunch in his Fisher Price Infant to Toddler Rocker (including the picture at the top of this post). I think most parents-to-be get a bouncer for their baby, but I'm so happy we went with the rocker instead because he'll be able to enjoy it for years instead of months. The Rocker has a vibrating mode which Harry loves; he falls asleep almost immediately after I turn it on! I do wish it came with a newborn head support, but two rolled up receiving blankets work just fine (see above picture).

White Noise Machine

 

The Fisher Price Soothe and Glow Seahorse really helps keep Harry calm at bedtime. The Seahorse turns on when you press its tummy. It lights up and plays a soothing mix of ocean sounds and nursery rhymes. I like how when he gets older he'll be able to turn the Seahorse on himself, but until then I'm stuck turning it on every.five.minutes. Soooo... my only complaint on this one is that I wish it would stay on longer. We did just order the Fisher Price Go n' Glow Musical Turtle, which stays on for 15 minutes, but isn't soft and cuddly like the Seahorse. We'll see which one Harry likes better!

Alright, I think that's enough for now. I can't wait to share more baby must haves as I try and figure out this mommy thing!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

For Your Consideration

Ant used to work as a producer/writer for our local news radio station. While working at the station he was required to join the Writers Guild of America. Every year the WGA hosts the Writers Guild Awards, where members vote on the movies and TV shows with the best writing. Ant gets to vote on the awards, and as an extra bonus, most of the major movie studios send him special screener copies of their movies hoping to win the awards.

The first year he was a member was the best as far as the movies went. He received The Changeling, Benjamin Button and Slumdog Millionaire, all before they were even released in theaters! He got at least seven or eight other movies that year as well, but I think those were the only three I was interested in watching.

The past two years have been pretty dull, I don't think he really got any movies I wanted to see. This year he's gotten five movies already: Contagion, Bridesmaids, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, J. Edgar and The Help.


Obviously I was excited about getting Harry Potter, but I think I was even more excited about The Help. I'd heard a lot of great things about the movie, which doesn't come out on DVD until December 6th. Since we're forgoing our Friday night date nights for the time being, last night we got some Qdoba (had another BOGO free coupon) and watched the movie.

OMG, it was so good! I love movies set in different time periods, so The Help was right up my alley-- the film takes place during the civil rights movement of the early 1960s. If you get the chance, I highly recommend you watch this one!

I'm sure Ant will get a few more movies; I'm really hoping he gets My Week with Marilyn, that looks really interesting. He'll probably get The Descendants too, he already received the screenplay for the movie, and usually they send DVD shortly after.

Since Ant took his new job back in January, he doesn't have to be apart of the WGA anymore. However, he said he'll probably pay his dues again next year (which I guess isn't that expensive) so he can continue to get the movies.

And what would a blog post be as of late without a few pictures of Harry?

First real bath- he loved it!

First Thanksgiving

Awww, I love this one

Burrito baby!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Tummy Time

A few nights ago after one of Harry's many diaper changes I thought he needed some baby lotion. So I put him in his crib and started to moisturize him. 



After getting his front side I flipped Harry over on to his tummy to moisturize his back. I figured I'd have to do it quick because he hated the last time I put him on his tummy. Wrong!! He seemed to enjoy it so I let him hang out like that for a bit.





He kept kicking his legs like he was trying to crawl. It was cute, but he better not start crawling any time soon! I'm just starting to get the hang of this "mom thing," I'm not ready for my child to be mobile yet! After giving his legs a workout he decided his neck muscles needed to stretch and moved his head from one side to the other a few times.



I was one proud mama! We've done tummy time on the floor a few times since and he keeps using his legs like he wants to crawl, he has managed to scoot himself a bit, but that's it (thankfully).
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