Well I was going to do a wrap up of the baby room but we just watched The Happiest Baby on the Block DVD and I decided the room can wait because the DVD had some great info.
We heard about Harvey Karp, a pediatrician from Santa Monica, and his Happiest Baby philosophy from a bunch of friends who said it completely changed the way they calm their babies.
He starts off talking about the idea that since babies (the human kind) are born much less developed than other mammals the 1st three months of life are really considered a 4th trimester. Then he speaks about the calming reflex which is when a baby instantly relaxes upon receiving cues similar to what is experienced in the womb.
To get those cues of the womb he suggests the 5 S's:
- Swaddling – recreates confinement in the womb...he shows you a simple fast way to do it.
- Side/stomach position – it was crazy but once these kids were swaddled and tipped on their sides they instantly got calm. He does stress that this is only for when you are holding your baby and that it should always sleep on it's back.
- Shushing – you should shush louder than you'd think to recreate womb sounds...you should be as loud as the baby is crying.
- Swinging/jiggling – recreates the movements of the mother walking while baby is in the womb
- Sucking – use a pacifier or your finger
That's the simple list of what he talks about but the video is great because he really talks about why these things work and how to do them correctly. On the DVD it says it's over 2 hours...this must include the extras like the Q&A and such because it seemed like a much painless 30 minutes.
I thought I'd hate it but wanted to watch so I can get the technique down...I actually loved it because I like the science of why these things calm a baby...and it will be great to have this info as ammo when our baby starts crying.
In addition to the DVD Karp has a book that we bought, Staci has started reading it and loves it...I was planning on not reading it but after what I saw I will check it out.
I do have one disclaimer about the philosophy...if you do it and it works for you DO NOT tell anyone on your block about it. If you do there could be some crazy quantum problem because both kids can not be the Happiest Baby on the Block. And what happens if your neighbors kid knocks yours off that pedestal? That would suck. You should only tell friends who live in other neighborhoods.
And last I usually like to try out stuff before I talk about it on my talk about it on my blog and although friends rave about this DVD we don't have a baby to try out the 5 S's with...so I used our cat Zoggs as a surrogate...here are my findings...I hope to have them published in a veterinary journal soon.
- Cats can be swaddled much easier than you'd think
- Cats do not like being swaddled
- If you are able to swaddle a cat they don't like being on their side
- If you have swaddled a cat and gotten it on it's side it will not like being shushed
- A cat who has been swaddled, put on it's side and shushed will not want you to come anywhere near it for about 10 minutes
And really last the DVD has some soothing sounds on it. We played some of those sounds and learned that dogs are a bit weary of sounds of the womb.
In 2 days Staci is full term so you never know when she'll go into labor. Since she's a planner, which is good, we've packed a bag, prepared all info for how to get our dog Kalli to the spa, it's actually called a spa, and packed her bag as well.
In Staci's bag is the usual things you'd see in birth bag or whatever it's called. I only have a pair of sweats and a shirt in there. I could get in to all of the contents but other people on the interweb have written that better than I can so I suggest a little Goggle search. I do however have what I consider to be the most important bag packed. My camera bag.
In that I have:
- 2 bodies (Canon XTi and 7D)
- 3 lenses (the nifty 50 f/1.8, Tokina 12-24 f/4.0 and the Sigma 24-70 f/2.8...I had the craptastic 18-55 kit lens in there but as I was writing this I realized it's so bad and I don't need it.)
- 580EX II flash
- Kodak Zx1 HD video camera
- 2 back up batteries for the XTi plus 1 in camera
- 1 back up battery for the 7D plus 1 in camera
- 10 AAs for the flash
- 2x 4gb CompactFlash cards, 2x 2gb CompactFlash cards
- 1x 256mb SD card for the video cam (need more memory)
- Chargers for the Canon batteries
- an extra pair of pants
- a sweatshirt
- a pack of cards (always in there)
- a tiny bottle of Tobasco sauce (always in there)
- an X-Games wrist band from when I shot the X-Games (always in there/never used)
- thumb drive (always in there)
...it's in there now...wonder if I'm missing anything else.
To quell any thoughts that I'm going to be too busy shooting and not paying attention to Staci I can tell you that won't be the case. I just want to be prepared for some good pics. I will try to photograph some of the birth...no naughty bits...just emotion on folks faces, environment and so on. But if it gets in the way the camera will be put down.
However I gotta say that I'm completely able to take photos while paying attention to something else...it's probably a gift from my ADD...I actually take some of my best photos when I know what I want to shoot but then barely pay attention to what I'm doing while I shoot.
In writing this I already changed the bag. My XTi is now out of the bag and will be in the car with me if I'm driving around the city. On it will be the craptastic 18-55mm lens. I don't want all of my gear with me at all times as it's about 15° (Fahrenheit) outside and I don't want my good stuff exposed to extremes. I'm just carrying this around in case we're totally surprised. My in-laws who are bringing the dog to the spa can grab my camera bag on the way.
Maybe once I'm back at work, we're of until the 4th, I'll start carrying the 7D around with a nice lens then have the plan be that the in-laws grab what's left of the bag when they grab Kalli...or maybe I just give them the bag to bring to the hospital.
Shit...what to have in the bag and what to have with me at all times might be the hardest decision we need to make about having this kid.
P.S. in case you;re wondering I use a Naneu Pro Alpha bag...it get's bad reviews on Amazon, but there are only a couple reviewers. I love it and mine has held up really well in the three years I've used it. I love that it opens in the back for security. Burton and Dakine make great bags that open the same way. I'd link to them but I have to run and take the car to the auto body place to get that dent knocked out.
When I was a boy I don't think we had stroller toys or rattles. I think I just played with my mom's keys except when we went grocery shopping. Apparently when I was in grocery stores I would play with Jello boxes and bread eating through both of their packaging.
Now there are a bunch of things out there Velcro® onto a stroller to keep your baby occupied. We just received this cute rattle the other day.
Made by MiYim: Simply Organic it's a cute little pea pod stroller rattle with a small elastic piece that connects to your stroller. We have the Under the Nile Veggie Crate and this is a great way for the little MF to take his/her when we're out.
It's super soft and the color is really nice. Miyim dyes the organic cotton in a water bath with dyes from plants and minerals. As it says on the packaging it's "free of harmful substances, from start to finish."
Here is a quick low down on their organic cotton collection
- certified organic cotton fabric (unprocessed)
- certified non-toxic & chemical free coloring
- low eco impact dye process
- environmentally friendly
- non-irritant to sensitive skin
- MiYim has an ethical labor policy
It makes sense to me because most of this stuff ends up in their mouths. Although I'm not all freaky about everything out there. I was probably chomping on lead paint as a kid and I'd always play with mercury when a thermometer broke. Still if there is a cool alternative and I can support a smaller company I'll do it.
How far along? 34 weeks and 5 days.
Total weight gain/loss: I don't understand the question.
Stretch marks? Nope.
Best moment this week: Baby passed the biophysical with flying colors...8/8.
Food cravings: Anything edible.
Gender: Either a boy or a girl.
Labor Signs: Head down (the baby's).
Belly Button in or out? Sort of looks like the Snorks from the cartoon from the 80s.
What I miss: Sleeping on my stomach.
What I am looking forward to: Kissing the babies itty-bitty toes.
Weekly Wisdom: It's OK to admit that while this is amazing it's not always easy.
Milestones: So close to full term.
How far along? Just under 35 weeks, according to the voodoo math.
Total weight gain/loss: Down another half pound which makes the total 3.5 pounds...I've slacked a bit.
Stretch marks? No.
Sleep: I've been falling asleep an hour and a half earlier but getting up a half hour earlier so it's about an hour more than before.
Best moment this week: Folks at my job threw me a surprise baby shower and they had my favorite drink there...salty dogs which are greyhounds (vodka and grapefruit) with salt on the rim.
Movement: A lot, and it's still freaking weird
Food cravings: I invented a snack that I'm going to patent...but I'll let you know...it's 1 part kettle chips and 1 part Frito's Scoops...put in a bowl and enjoy.
Gender: If it's a girl it will be grounded from dating for the first 20 years of her life.
Labor Signs: No, I'm all good...thanks for asking.
Belly Button in or out? Same as it ever was.
What I miss: Knowing the tells on Wii Punch-Out...I just bought it and love it...a lot of the characters are the same as the original Nintendo version of the game but I forget the secrets...I know I can Google them but I want to figure them out again.
What I am looking forward to: Hanging with the kid.
Weekly Wisdom: I'm a bit stressed out...I know women have it rough but guys do too even tough we're not carrying around a little being inside of us...and I've been on edge the last couple weeks so sorry to all (especially Staci).
Milestones: I put a dent in my In-Law's car...it was the first time that's happened so I think that's a milestone, right? And then I left a door ajar or something so when I needed to pick them up to drive them to the airport the car wouldn't start...banner week.
This post sponsored by Jesse LeDoux.
We had our baby shower last weekend and Staci and I both bought gifts for the pre-kid. So I thought I'd show those because I like them.
Staci got an Ebulobo Woodours Daddy and Baby Bear stuffed toy. She wins because her gift is awesome and it was sweet that she wanted to get a dad and baby toy.
The baby bear, which has a rattle inside, lives in the daddy bear's tree trunk stomach. The Daddy bear holds a removable fishing pole and flower. The flower has crinkle paper inside. The dad carries a bag that has a fish in it, you can pull the fish, which is on a string, and it wiggles back in the bag.
This video shows how everything works. While I don't understand French I believe it says that since the baby bear has velcro on it's hands you can make it choke the dad's neck or try to suffocate the dad by squeezing it's nose.
Ebulobo also makes a cool red riding hood wolf toy and more that you can see on their site.
The baby turned head down and dropped. Since it wasn't head down in our last ultrasound Staci was able to get another to make sure all was good...in the pics they saw a full head of hair...kinda cool they can tell.
The pre-kid's freaking huge...you can feel it's butt and head and see arms, knees or feet pushing out.
Of course I mean huge based on it's current housing situation. Staci is worried that we'll blow through newborn clothes too fast. I'm a whopping 5'6" and she clocks in at a tremendously tall 5' even.
If our child is good at basketball it may have a chance at being the next Muggsy Bogues, but I doubt it will even have a chance at being the next Spud Webb...so I think it will get good use of newborn sized clothes.
This is our last Hanukkah without a baby...and we've been bad because our menorah isn't even out. Although we each had a latke that a friend made so that should be enough. Happy Hanukkah to all who celebrate it.
We got a pack and play from Sears...for free...it's because they screwed up so many times with delivery of a washer and dryer and then repair of the dryer. When they screw up they send you gift cards...a friend has a theory that it's pretty easy to get $150 each time, but I think $75 is cake, $150 takes more skill. But that's also because I get super pissed while he is calm...and Staci is calm to so she was able to get $150 for their second mess up.
So if you ever have a problem with them you should call or email...you should get a gift card easily.
And yeah the pack and play isn't super Montessori-like but it's going to be our bassinet until our kid moves to the floor bed.
I get emails almost everyday, sometimes a couple times a day from paypal letting me know that I've paid somebody for something. It's because Staci is a bit addicted to Etsy.
I thought I'd share with you some of our fave finds...there are of course a lot more, but these are rising to the top to me right now.
The first is Urban Thimble they have super cute onesies/bodysuits. Minimal felt graphics on good quality clothes, the one we got was American Apparel. Sadly I just found out she's giong out of business so if you're digging this from you should head to her store and snap some up.
Staci did find Finch Design and they offer similar stuff. The baby bodysuits (what's the difference between a body suit and a onesie?) are all fair trade which is awesome. You can check out the Finch Design stuff here.
Next is One Lucky Baby...maker of cool, super soft blankets and little stuffed animals called tweets. We just grabbed a the blanket shown, but might pick up some tweets, because they are cute...we need to see how the room goes first. That blanket however is awesome...the minky side is that crazy soft fabric that didn't exist when I was a kid, and the other side is a great vintagey pattern...a ton of patterns and color combos are available here.
And last, one of our all time faves and sponsor of my first contest is Orange Rhino. Super simple awesome designs on high quality American Apparel gear...my fave is the Brown Owl hoodie. Their Etsy store is here.
Well a bit of a down and dirty post because I'm laying low this week as we jam to put the final touches on the baby room and get ready for a baby shower this weekend.
And if you have 1.6 more seconds please click on the banner below. It will give me a vote and all you need to do is click it. Thanks.
By kenny friedman on Friday, December 04, 2009
So this is going to be a businessy post in hopes that I increase my rank in searches for 'businessy, ' which probably no one searches for anyway...and has no relation to my blog...but I feel this will be my ticket to making billions.
Some day I'll do a post on the crazy searches that take people here, but besides businessy I can tell you I get quite a few people here from a search of combination of the words: squishy, fruit, plums, nectarines, pregnancy. A lot of people apparently search that stuff. It comes from my post about Staci's cravings.
Any way google searches aren't the only reason I'm doing this post.
I have an update on my giveaway for the book ABCs for Expectant Dads. Everyone who entered won. The author was kind enough to give signed copies to all the folks who entered...that's awesome. Congrats.
I have another awesome giveaway going on. It's for some Kid Basix gear; first place gets a Safe Sippy2 cup and a Safe Starter bottle while second place will receive a Safe Sippy2. They are lightweight stainless steel and BPA free. Value of 1st prize is around $30. They'd also make great gifts so head over here to enter.
And last, my blog is up for an award. If you dig my blog please click the badge below to vote for me. I can win a $50 gift card to BabyGap which would be sweet because we have bought few clothes in as much as we don't know what variety of baby we're having.
With the holidays coming up a lot of friends have been asking my opinion on what camera to get because they are looking to upgrade. Most questions are what's coming up? What looks good? And what's the best for them? I try to stay current but I admit I'm a bit behind since I bought my last camera a few months ago.
I'd love to do a post about what would be a great camera for all my readers...but since you all have different needs that would be tough. Plus there are dedicated sites out there that rock...I'll get to them later.
There are a couple of things I always look for when searching cameras..I'll share that info here. This is high level so you can use this as just a starter guide. I won't really get into what is the best.
A lot of folks look at megapixels and think that more is better...this isn't always true. Yes 10 is better than 6. If you're never print over 10x6 you'd be fine with 6MP, however what if you get an amazing shot? You'll be bummed you can't print larger. Design 215 has a good guide on printing sizes of different MPs.
However if you go above 10MP on a consumer camera you start degrading image quality because there are too many lenses on a small sensor. 12MP is okay...more than that is a waste...actually not a waste, it's bad. One exception is the Canon 7D DSLR...they figured out a new way to arrange 18MP on a small sensor and keep image quality. I just bought one and it's awesome...highly recommended if you want to drop the cash.
Another thing I look for are batteries. With a point and shoot camera I want AA batteries. The reason I like AAs is because you can get them anywhere. If I'm traveling and I run out of batteries I can go into any store and grab batteries. Plus AA rechargeables are super cheap compared to proprietary camera batteries.
Sadly it's getting harder to find cameras that take AAs one reason is it makes for a large camera and everyone wants a camera that can fit in their jeans. Also the camera manufacturers make a lot on batteries.
Years ago I got a great Fujifilm camera that is 9MP, shoots raw and uses AAs. Sadly they killed that line of cameras. There is one really nice Canon point and shoot that uses AAs. The PowerShot Sx20 IS. It also has image stabilization, takes HD movies and has 20x optical zoom. It is 12MP but has received some good reviews on image quality. It's not super cheap at $370 but it is really nice.
If you do go with a camera that has proprietary batteries you should get at least one extra, if not two...how much would it suck to be without batteries when your kid is being cute?
Another Canon I'm eyeing is the Canon PowerShot G11...you'll see a lot of pros use this or the Leica D-Lux 4 as their walking around camera. What I love about the G11 is Canon downgraded the megapixel from the 15MP G10 to make this 10MP...the really worked on image quality and realized that is more important than the pixel war. Both of these cameras allow for an external flash so you're getting close to DSLR image quality and control with a lot less cost.
Before I got my Canon 7D which takes awesome HD video, we purchased a mini video recorder. It won't go to waste because it's pocketable while the 7D is not.
The most popular of these style camcorders are the Flips. I went for the Kodak Zx1 for a couple reasons. In reviews it got better grades than the Flips for image quality. Plus it uses memory cards while the Flip has built in memory. Again let's say you're out and your kid is being super cute, you want to take some video and you hit the built in memory limit...and like most people haven't downloaded in a bit...you're screwed. With memory cards you can buy a lot of back ups as they are super cheap...but you need to keep them on you. Plus the Zx1 uses AAs and you already heard my thoughts on that. Kodak just launched a new camcorder on their other line. It's called the Zi8. It uses memory cards but not AAs.
So those are some of my thoughts. I hope it helps if you are trying to make a decision buying a camera or video recorder.
2:00 A.M. Sunday morning Staci woke me up because she had some pains in her bellyish area/ribs. I comforted, cuddled her and took care of her in every way possible.
Okay let's start this over a bit. I am not a morning person...at all. I can go to sleep whenever but I can't wake up early. And when I'm woken up I'm not happy...I don't talk...if under duress I will only grunt or spit out short sentences. That's why we have a plan that once the little dude/dudette is born I will be taking care of it late night. So here is how it actually went down.
Staci told me she was having some pains...I said something like "yeah?" and went back to sleep. About a half hour later she told me she was still having pains...I told her they were Braxton-Hicks....and went back to sleep. About 15 minutes later she was writhing in pain...I asked if she wanted to go to the hospital...and told her it was probably Braxton-Hicks. She went down stairs and grabbed her coat. I took the dog to pee since we weren't sure how long we'd be gone.
Then I went to grab my keys..they were MIA...no biggy because she has keys. Then I went to find my money clip...it's where I hold my credit cards, if there is ever cash in it I keep the big bills on the outside...and those would be singles. Couldn't find my clip...Staci had her cards so we didn't need mine. But I have a really big thing on leaving without ID and credit cards...so I'm running up and down the stairs looking for my money clip and some good luck...I found my keys. Then one more trip upstairs and I found my money clip.
Oh...this just in..we have a guest blogger...Staci is going to tell the story in her words.
Any way, now we're at the hospital. She was admitted to the ward that she'll give birth in so it was good to see it. Her doctor wasn't on call but they all work closely together so she was in good hands.
Since they had originally thought gall bladder, I guess it can go wacky when pregnant, she got an ultrasound for that and it wasn't the problem. So they hooked her up to a heartbeat monitor for the pre-kid and a contraction monitor. Then doctor after doctor came in and tried to figure out what was going on with her. It was kind of like an episode of House...pretty cool from my side because I geek out on science...Staci wasn't loving it.
Well after 12 hours they figured she was having contractions...but it wasn't really like pre-term labor because the was no dilation and the baby wasn't ready. Did you know there is some fluid they can test for that if present means the baby will be born in 2 weeks? Well there is and that wasn't present...but here's the deal...how did they figure that out? Did they test people every week of pregnancy for every fluid and such? Probably...and the first person to figure it out was amazing...that's why I love science.
That episode was a bit scary, but she's better now after a couple days rest. Not great, but good.
Here's one of the things I learned because of this trial run. I have some suggestions on goodies to pack in the hospital bag...things that you may not think of. So here are some additions for your bag:
A camera – I know you're probably thinking of bringing a camera...but let's say you/your wife/friend (depending on reader) is in labor. You will grab her overnight bag but will you remember the camera? Maybe not. I forgot mine and what would have happened if she was early? So put the camera in the bag now. Only have one camera? Get another...that's what the 2nd Amendment is all about...people think that they mean guns when they say arms...they mean cameras and lenses and it's the 2nd Amendment because to stress the need for a second camera...that's a fact.
You need extra batteries for the camera...if it takes proprietary batteries buy at least one extra...you will be bummed if you run out.
Toothbrushes – In case you aren't able to brush your teeth on the way out. One for each of you...and toothpaste is a good thing too.
Phone cords – get extras if you can...put them in the bag now...you'll want your phone to work.
Some snacks – the preggo one will get food at the hospital and probably won't be able to eat outside stuff...the non-pregnant one can eat whatever they want. I hate hospital food, and I am not a fan of vending machine food so I'm gonna bring snacks. If you like hummus check out the Sabra's hummus cups to go with flat pretzels. Not the best hummus in the world, but good and super easy to transport...I'm gonna make sure I have some on hand for the next couple months.
Also if you're delivering a short 10 minute drive from Little Tel-Aviv in St. Louis Park, MN your friends and relatives can pick you up a falafel sandwich (no tomatoes) and fries, with some hot sauce on the side. Please take note friends and relatives.
Miscellaneous – something that will make your wife smile...because if the rumors are true labor isn't super fun. I packed a fake apple. When we move to our new house Staci bought 5 fake apples for the table...I'm not sure if they ever actually went out. She hated them soon after bringing them home. Every so often I'd put one under her pillow...she hated it but it made her laugh. Then one day she threw them out...but I found them. So I wrote notes on all of them and stuck them all over the house when I was out for a week long business trip. Only one is left but I break it out every once in a while...that's what I brought. She smiled.
And last...keep your keys and credit cards, IDs and med cards handy...we use these Key Holdersto hang our keys...as unorganized as I am you'll usually see the 'His' one in there, but you will never see the 'Her' one in there.
The moral of the story is I've been banned from saying Braxton-Hicks.
On Wednesday Staci learned that she had Gestational Diabetes. So on Friday we headed to a class to learn how to deal with it through diet and such. I was kind of dreading the class. Then I saw a clear tub with fake plastic food in it...wow...fake burgers, pizza and rice can't lead to good things. Luckily since it was the day after Thanksgiving we were the only one in the class. When all was said and done it was actually an interesting class. Of course a lot of info was basic but there was good stuff on carb servings vs. actual serving. It made me really think about when I order curry fried rice, eat the whole thing and fall asleep hard..maybe it's too many carbs.
Thanks to all the twitter folks who gave me info on GD.
Tomorrow I have another story about our adventures this weekend...that one includes 2 words I'm no longer allowed to say.
I wrote a guest blog for Jen over at MOmMy bRain it's about some of my new irrational fears including the crazy floppy necks of newborns, the soft part of the head and loser boyfriends if we have a girl. Jen's blog is great to so look around while you're there. Great info there, and great stories about raising her daughter Jane. She's tells it like it is too, which I like.
I have 2 giveaways going on now. One for a great book called ABCs for Expectant Dads. That one ends tomorrow December 2 so enter here.
Then check out my giveaway for a Safe Sippy2 travel cup and a Safe Starter bottle from Kid Basix. Both are BPA-free and lightweight stainless steel. 2 winners so enter here.
I got another of those blog awards, this time from Hayley who writes a great blog I follow called Little Pinwheel. There are a lot of amazing images...her husband is a great photographer...and great stories. She also gives readers a heads up on some of the stuff in her store. I'm not going to do another post for the award...you can check my original here.
Please click this link to vote for my blog. I ask that a lot, I know, but you can click once a day. All you need to do is click to help keep this little daddy blog in the Top 10 of the baby blogs. Thanks