This is a list of things that we never could have made it this far without. All were invaluable in the first nine months of your life at some point, and I plan to add to the list in subsequent blog posts as you grow.
• The Sleep Sheep – well really, just the insert. Yep, we gutted it, on the advice of others. It plays the sound of rain that we play every night at bedtime. Not only is it awesome white noise to help you sleep, but it’s loud enough that with it on, and your door closed, we can make noise around you even if you’re sleeping!
• The Swing – once we started to turn that puppy up high, it guaranteed a solid 2 hours nap or so when you were just a couple of months old. I’m not quite certain what I would have done on maternity leave without it!
• Dr. Brown’s Bottles – these were the third bottles we tried, after Playtex drop-ins (SO ANNOYING!) and Avent bottles (that you choked in every time!). Despite having a ton of parts to clean that have probably been the bane of my existence for the past nine months, they definitely cut down on your gassiness.
• Gripe Water and Mylicon – for the first few months, we gave you this constantly. You were in pain a lot after eating, as your digestive system worked to develop itself, and these two miracles helped you feel better, even if it was just for a little while.
• Lovies – when people first gave us these as gifts when you were born, I didn’t see the point in them. Were they toys? Stuffed animals?? Blankets?!? I hung them on and around your crib almost like decorations. Then, one day when you wouldn’t nap in your swing, I put a fleece blanket over you to warm you up, thinking that’s why you weren’t sleeping. Your fingers immediately grabbed on to the soft fleece and you hugged it to you and you were OUT. That day, I started putting a pink hippo lovey in your stroller with you when you napped, and it was an instant snuggler for you and guaranteed a nap. So we let you sleep in your crib with it too, as we were just beginning to sleep train you and they said you should have an object with you – I would put the hippo in my shirt to make it smell like me, another suggestion from the books I read. Nowadays you have six lovies. The pink hippo is still around, but we also have three pink giraffe’s, a pink lamb-type animal that Amanda gave you, and a few others. You love them all and snuggle with each, but your favorite is hands down still that pink hippo. I can’t even think of the day that we have to take them away from you – thankfully it won’t be any time soon!
• Your thumb. I spoke of sleep training you in the last paragraph… well, the night that we did that (yes, the night. I swear, it only took you 90-minutes to learn how to soothe yourself back to sleep, and you’ve been great at it ever since) , the key was that you learned how to suck your thumb! You would do it when you were tired, or hungry, and it was an easy signal for us to each of those things. Then, you started doing it more… and more…… and more! Nowadays, your thumb is fairly constantly in your mouth. You do It when we read books, when you’re in your stroller, and it is a pain in the ass that you do it all the time when we feed you!
• Zipper onesie pajamas – The Daddy has trouble with snaps. Nights when he would put you to bed would take a loooong time with the long line of snaps down the front. Luckily, Lulu told us about the zipper ones at Children’s Place, and lo and behold, he can change you again! They’re a lot harder to change your diaper in, which sucked when I was the one feeding you in the middle of the night, but I love them nonetheless. And you look stinkin’ adorable in them.
• The Internet – I look up everything. What to feed you when, why are your hands and feet so cold, what are signs of a fever, teething symptoms, theories on shots and anything else you can think of! Granted it has for sure made me more worked up about certain things – but it’s been more helpful than hurtful, so I’ll cut the web some slack. Also, do you know what the internet can do? It can bring me ANYTHING I NEED in a day or two. Seriously. Diapers, formula, wipes, diaper genie bags, bottles, nipples, medicine, food, plates, spoons, cups, toys (which The Daddy would argue you don’t “NEED” but what does he know) clothes, etc. I order it all.
• How Big Is Baby Elmo – this is hands down your favorite book, and you lit up in the store when we first saw it, and you still do to this day every time we read it! You love all the pages, but mostly the ones that say Mamama and Dadada, and of course, the pop up Baby Elmo at the end. You’ve ripped him, eaten him, and tried to completely tear him out of the book, but all out of a pure, deep seeded love.
• Sesame Street – you don’t watch too much television at all, but in the mornings we watch 10-15 minutes of Sesame Street in The Daddy and my bed. It is such a great few minutes of family time, as I’m still waking up. The Daddy loves watching your face light up as you watch, and hates the days when you sleep through it! Your favorite is the introduction that Murray gives when he announces the Word on the Street of the day – you giggle at him and love Murray So. Much. Those few minutes of every morning, and the few minutes of finishing giving you your bottle at night, are my favorite parts of every day.
This is just the list of things I could think of off the top of my head – you loved many more things over the past nine months, and every day something new comes out as an integral part of your routine, so like I said, I’ll keep this going.
Oh, and yes, I’m on a plane again, this time coming home from my quick trip to Denver. I land at 7:30, annoyingly close to your bedtime, and I hate that I won’t see you before you go to sleep today – but I’ll be there when you wake up, and guarantee that if you feel something tonight while you’re sleeping, it’s me just staring at you again as I get home. And maybe patting your butt, because it’s just too tempting not to.
I love you, baby girl!