First family photo shoot- a great deal & a rude awakening

one of my faves with baby girl- notice it doesn’t contain me

I’ve been a bit remiss with doing a professional photo shoot with the bebe- all of those adorable ones that I see my friends do- I really wanted one too. However, time gets away from all new moms & I am no exception. Pictures aren’t super important to my husband so it falls to me to capture the moments that slip away so fast. My advice- don’t delay! I wouldn’t have even done this one if I hadn’t gotten it from a friend. Look for your local plumdistrict.com or living social photo deals. This one came with unlimited photos, no fuss, no muss for only $85.00. One thing I recommend, bring several changes of clothes because an hour is a really long time to get a bunch of photos in the same outfit. Also, think of several things that you’d like to have photos of, whether they are candids or poses you are the director of your own shoot.

You’ll notice I’m not in the sample photo. This is the first time I’ve seen my post pregnancy body in high resolution pixels. Momma doesn’t like what she sees- but I will say it’s been a great motivator to get out and walk. There’s such a temptation to just let it go, but it’s really not healthy & it’s important to feel good about yourself & also to be healthy. We’ll see how long the motivation lasts & I’ll keep you posted with new photos. Life is always a work in progress!

Diapers, deals, & the best way to deal with a blow out on the 6 train

Every hospital has a diaper brand that provides them with free stuff- because all research points to success for brands who get to moms the first time around- i.e. whatever your baby wears in the hospital you’re most likely to stick with.
It’s true too! I’m a total sucker.  Plus they had coupons- which are novel to me & I love them.   They pile up everywhere in my house with so many good intentions.

So far, Pampers Swaddlers have been my winner- baby girl wore them in the hospital & I’ve strayed a few times only to have the most giant  “episodes” happen in the most public places where the other brands received an F for “failed beyond my wildest dreams”
Unfortunately, pampers swaddlers only go to size 3 & my little monster is already there after 5 months.
Pampers swaddlers- they have the lines!   The ones that tell you when you’re wet- great for first time mommies.  They reek of fragrance & I don’t like the chemicals in them.

Kirkland- at an incredible savings of 12 cents a diaper they had me at  Cheap-o.  When I opened them- even more excited!  They had the LINES!!!!  Unfortunately, on my way home via public transportation from Hoboken, NJ back to Manhattan on one of the hottest days of the year….my little love started farting at 59th street on the 6 train, which then turned into shitting at 68th street, which continued until 86th street.  By that time she had fumigated the entire train car & so I hurried to exit so I wouldn’t see everyone giving me dirty looks.  As I started up the stairs I thought I was uncommonly sweaty in the bjorn but chocked up to the heat, until my legs felt wet at which time I thought maybe I had peed myself & that pregnancy had taken a more serious toll on my pelvic floor muscles.  I looked down & my legs & shoes were covered in brown ick….POOOP.   Thank you Kirkland for saving me 12 cents a diaper, but providing a cleaning bill more than your case of diapers & a grossness that made me think my baby’s poops were no longer cute.  Really, the only thing you can do is laugh & make a face as you walk the 7 blocks to your home, while pretending to use your one remaining baby wipe to clean up.  Do not take the baby out of the carrier, it will only spread the ick.  Get help once you arrive at your destination- pull the baby out of the carrier while standing in the tub.

Huggies- no negatives, but no lines!  Also a bit on the chemical side.  I couldn’t find as many coupons- but they are on sale quite often at Babies R Us.

Disposables- I can’t go there, I really wanted to because G diapers had such cute covers.  however, in a city where laundry is four blocks away it’s just not feasible.

7th generation- these held in the little bitty new baby excretions, but not sure they’d hold up to the bigger girl messes.  They also felt a little rough against the skin & were wetter when taking them off.  If I hadn’t had the kirkland experience I think I may keep using these because they don’t smell all chemically dangerous like the other diapers.

Childcare & the space between

I was looking frantically for childcare a few weeks ago when my mom, who is from Indiana, had to go back home.  She had faithfully been watching my little bundle of joy anytime day or night.  The kind of care that has no price tag, because it’s done with love & that’s priceless.  The thing is,  I want the same thing for my baby girl even when she’s gone.  Unfortunately, we only have 1 grandma visiting in town.  I made countless calls to daycares, & what I’ve found is that childcare in new york city costs more than my private collegiate education per year.  If you want a daycare, you have to get on a waiting list.  If you want a nanny or a sitter to come to your home, your in jockeying position with all the Upper East Side Park Avenue mommas who don’t have a job, can offer benefits, paid vacation, & more money than I make in a year.
Best bets:

  • If you have a limited budget, be up front- you won’t get people who will waste your time.
  • Tell all your friends- word gets around & people who may not normally do childcare are free for a few weeks here & there.  You can cut & paste together a schedule of various people who won’t tire of your baby & will find it novel to make cash for doing something they’d do for free a few days here & there.
  • Post fliers- very 1960’s, but it works.  Take your baby with you (if s/he is not a crier) & get them all dressed up.  Win the hearts of the business owners where you post the fliers & they will be your advocate.
  • craigslist- be direct about what you can afford & you’ll sort through the riff raff.  Also, make sure to meet initially in a public space

I didn’t use any online services or pay anything to find my sitters.  I had interviews with a lot of wonderful women, even after I found the people I was going to use (notice I said people, i have a group of folks I rotate & have as backups) I continued answering calls so if one person fell through, I had backups.  I also got a lot of great advice, & I also got yelled at for being a cheapskate. Someone actually called to yell at me because I wasn’t paying enough…then she asked me to hire her.  it takes all kinds- so get a thick skin & stick to your guns.  Some people think a posted wage is a starting point for negotiations.

From one nanny I really wished I could hire (but she required full time year round & was looking for something that we couldn’t offer) she said “make sure you & your husband have a date night.  I’m available evenings if you need me.”  I laughed & said “yeah right, like we can afford a night off after we’re done paying you”  She replied, “honey, you will go round & round for the next 18 years & wake up one morning next to a stranger if that’s your attitude.  find the money or take a day off work, because the relationship that you let go must be worth more than what you’d pay me.  Otherwise, you’d never have made that commitment in the first place.  Don’t ever forget it.  Your baby needs to see what a real relationship is, & it takes work & time apart for each other.  This is how we build a future for ourselves, by showing our children the type of life we want them to lead.  I tell all my families this- even if you don’t hire me- take a date night at least once every 2 weeks or you’ll regret it.”

I’ll remember Ms. XX for the rest of my life & will work to remember this advice.  It does work wonders.