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Sew-Along and Parenthood

I have no idea what I was thinking.

I follow The Coletterie, like so many other people in the sewing world do. Well, a couple of weeks ago, they announced The Cooper sew-along, and I jumped at the opportunity. The problem is, as a new parent, I’ve found myself to be a bit on the busy side. I told my husband about it, and he promptly added the messenger bag to his Christmas list. This is probably an example of biting off a bit more than I can chew, haha.

I haven’t had an opportunity to dash off to Jo-Ann’s, so I ordered fabric on-line (that hasn’t come in yet) and the pattern and hardware from The Coletterie website.

This is all I’ve gathered for the project so far:

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Quite the collection of notions there. She said on the blog not to panic yet since it’s a quick sew, so I’m adamantly not panicking.

On the other hand, I did manage to get out to Jo-Ann’s today (hence the collection of notions) and saw Cincinnati Reds stuff on Clearance. This is sort of odd, since I no longer live in Ohio, but I’m a huge fan, so I collected as many things as I could:

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A Cincinnati Reds hairband for my baby girl? I think so!

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Top 5 Apps To Help With Baby

I know, I know, I’ve only been a parent for a little over four weeks so I’m hardly an authority here, but I’ve found a few apps that have helped me along the way. As soon as Baby R was born, the type A personality in me downloaded a bunch of apps to inform me and keep me organized.

So, without more ado, here are the top 5 apps I’ve used since Baby R was born, in no particular order:

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1. Sound Sleeper.

This app is great… when it works for Baby R. The success of this app really depends on her mood on any given night. Basically, it’s a white noise app with different options, such as rain, a thunderstorm, vacuum cleaner, and a womb sound. So far her favorite is the womb track. I like or hold her in my arms and sway back and forth while I play it. If she’s in a good mood, it knocks her out within 15 minutes. If not, she just cries, haha.

This app also has beautiful black and white images to gaze at while you’re listening, although it’s set up so you can exit out of it to do other things on your device while it plays.

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2. Baby Connect

This was a godsend in the beginning, seriously. You can track diaper changes, feedings, and nap times for your baby, as well as milestones and health information. Baby R was slow to pick up on breastfeeding and lost quite a bit of weight after birth, so the doctor wanted us to track everything for her. For the first few weeks, we were religious about tracking her feeding times and diapers but got lazy with it once we got into a better pattern.

The other bonus is that you can share the information with approved caregivers (and they can do the same with you). That way, if your baby goes to daycare or is looked after by another person, they can share the day with you so you’re never out of the loop.

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3. Baby’s First Year

The only downside to this app is that it’s expensive. At $14.99, it’ll cost you, but it’s one of the most informative apps I’ve seen out there. It’s written like a book, where you can select the week that your kid is at and it’ll give you tips and tell you some upcoming milestones to look forward to. Prior to this book I knew nothing about baby massages (they get massages?!) and how to trim their nails.

Yesterday morning I seriously learned that their jaws can get sore from sucking and that you can massage their jaw. I guess it makes sense, so I massaged Baby R ‘s jaw just in case. I’m not sure if she liked it; she just looked bewildered.

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4. Baby Pack And Go

Considering the fact that I need one of these for myself to even function when I pack for any sort of trip, it’s no wonder that I need another one for the baby. You can make packing lists for your diaper bag, or travel to Grandma’s house, or even more elaborate trips. (My list defaulted to Mexico). I like that it keeps you organized and suggests things I normally wouldn’t think of. It normally takes us a zillion years to get out the door, but this helps cut down on the time because it keeps me focused.

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5. My First Books

This app comes with several picture books. It’s free to download, but there are several other books in the app you have to pay for. There are also several free ones, so you can pick whichever types of books you want. The only problem is that several are interactive, so the ideal age is for when they get older.

Voice tired from singing lullabies over and over? You can pick an option where the computer will read for you. I think it’s annoying, so I always read the book myself. Baby R doesn’t quite get books yet, but we try to make it a habit of reading to her each night.

I hope this list helps with some suggestions of good apps! If you’re a parent, what have you used?

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5 Things I’ve Learned During My (Very Short) Parenthood

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1. The Rules Change. Constantly.
— You may think you have your kid figured out. In your sleep deprived haze, you realize she responds really, really well to your white noise app, or music, or being swaddled. Being a creature of habit, you try to repeat what you’ve learned, only to discover that your child no longer likes white noise. Or music. Or swaddling.

2. Your day takes more planning than usual.
–I’m a ditz so I need a constant to-do list. Otherwise, nothing ever gets done. I now realize everything takes much longer to get things done than usual. I can guarantee that halfway through working on a Christmas gift for your parents, your child will need to eat. It’s just how this works.

3. There are simple rules your child will have to life, and no matter how many times she tells you about it, YOU WILL BREAK THEM.
–Mine doesn’t like having her feet hanging out. She likes to have them touching something at all times. Changing her diaper means it’s time to eat. We eat every 2 and a half hours. She will only go into her bassinet if swaddled. Why this is so hard for me to remember, I’ll never know.

4. Breastfeeding is harder than everyone lets on.
–No one tells you until after the fact that yes, breastfeeding can hurt and nothing is wrong. It takes a little over two weeks to feel like your nipples aren’t on fire every time your baby latches on. I used to dread feeding times, until the pediatrician and OB prescribed lotion to put on my nipples. They don’t tell you that some babies take days to learn how to breastfeed, and that doesn’t make you a bad mother, or a failure as a woman. Thankfully, once my kid figured it out, she went at it like a champ.

Also, I am always hungry. Always.

5. Your baby will make your heart melt.
— Lack of sleep, breastfeeding, and listening to her cry (without being able to figure out what’s wrong) can be frustrating and hard, and, okay, I’ve melted down a few times since her birth. But then she smiles while I hold her in my arms after a good feeding. Okay, I know it’s not a social smile and she doesn’t really know what she’s doing.

But it makes my heart melt.