Fun in the Sun: Our Rockport Vacation Part 1

A beautiful pier just outside the door...too bad we didn't have access to it :(

A beautiful pier just outside the door…too bad we didn’t have access to it 😦

I’ve been away for a few days and this is the reason: this past weekend we had a fabulous family vacation in Rockport, Texas!

We left on Friday morning with optimistic, happy faces, we were looking forward to a relaxing and fun time away. We loaded up the car, strapped Penny into her car seat and hit the road. For some reason, I neglected to eat something that morning even thought I know that I get sick if I don’t. I was feeling pretty icky when we drove into Lockhart, TX and so we stopped for a breakfast sandwich. It took about half an hour to hit my system, but once it did I started feeling much better. From then on the drive seemed like a piece of cake! Penny did so well, and even took a 45 minute nap (thanks to The Beatles).

We arrived in Rockport with my in-laws and followed them out to the house they rented for all of us. It was awesome! Right on the bay with an infinity pool and very comfortable rooms. We set everything up (pack n play, clothes in drawers, toiletries in bathroom, etc) and let Penny run around for a while. She was definitely tired, but we decided to wait until Chris got back with lunch (from Whataburger) to put her down for her nap. After some ‘nana’ and yogurt, it was time to attempt the nap. I was worried that since we had such a good, established routine at home being away might throw her off, but she did surprisingly well. I tried to simulate everything we do at home as closely as possible (books, lamp, rocking and lullaby) and, after I left the room, she fussed for a few minutes before I decided to go back in and try more rocking. After this second round, she was out like a light. We all took a leaf out of Penny’s book and slept as well – so nice to get some catch-up sleep after a tiring car ride!

When Penny woke up, we all went out to the pool for some water fun. My husband’s 8-year old brother and sister were so great with Penny. All they want to do is sit with her and play with her – and Penny just eats it up. By the end of the trip she was grabbing their shirts and/or hands and dragging them from room to room.

Rockport_house

The living room in our rental house – so nice!

We ordered Charlotte Plummer’s (a great seafood place on the bay) and had a nice dinner in. I wish I had a picture of the fried shrimp so you could drool along with me but, alas, I was too focused on eating and culinary photography fell by the wayside.

After some quiet before-bed play, we took an exhausted baby girl to our room for bedtime. She talked to herself for a few minutes before falling right to sleep! And we weren’t far behind! Chris and I read for a little bit in the living room (well, Chris read and I feel asleep) and soon we took our tired behinds to bed as well (tiptoeing into our shared room with Penny and praying that neither of us crashed into anything and woke her up – which luckily didn’t happen).

My hubby is still editing our Rockport pictures, so I’ll post those along with Part 2 of our vacation tomorrow!

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Advice for First Time Moms

Penny and Mommy Moby_resize

I’ve learned a lot from my first pregnancy and raising a baby girl.

As a first time mom myself, I also know how annoying it can be to get a constant stream of advice from well-meaning friends, relatives, and anyone who passes you in the grocery store. This is what I’ve learned from being a mom – I hope you take something away from it, but you certainly don’t have to!

  • Don’t beat yourself up about a little clutter. When Penny was a newborn, I had a choice between getting housework done and napping. Choose the snooze! The housework can wait! I made the mistake of trying to keep up with all of the laundry, cleaning, organizing, etc that was so easy when I had the opportunity for a full night’s sleep. With a newborn, you are focused completely on your little bundle when he/she is awake (and often when he/she is asleep too!) Instead of trying to get everything done when your baby naps, take a nap yourself. It’s a big change going from 7-8 hours straight of sleep a night to maybe 3 hour chunks. Rest yourself so you can enjoy the newborn time with your little one.
  • Invest in a white noise machine. My husband and I learned this little tip from The Happiest Baby on the Block, a book and DVD that my friend who had also recently had a baby turned us on to. According to Dr. Karp, the author and a practicing pediatrician, babies relax better when the environment they spent 9 months in is simulated outside the womb. There is constant, and fairly loud, noise (a muffled, rushing/whooshing noise) that a white noise machine does a good job of approximating. Once we bought one of these little beauties, my little girl woke up less often during a nap and slept for longer stretches.
  • Learn to wrap your little burrito (or find a wrap that does it for you). Also from The Happiest Baby on the Block, Dr. Karp emphasizes swaddling to help your newborn sleep well. In the womb your baby is snuggled tightly, but once outside, they miss the feeling of being enveloped. We tried over and over again to perfect our swaddling technique, but to no avail, we are pathetic swaddlers. Fortunately, we found some products that achieve the same effect without the sweat and frustration. Our favorites were: SwaddleMe, Woombie, and the Miracle Blanket (we used this one when she got really good at getting those little arms free).
  • Let people help you. Friends and family want cuddle time with your adorable little bundle. If you’re comfortable with it, let them babysit while you take a nap or run an errand. This was extremely hard for me (mainly because I wanted to spend every second with Penny) but you’ll be a better mom if you are well-rested and your baby will get some time to bond with those that will be important in his or her life.
  • Take care of yourself. With a new baby at home, it’s so easy to forget to take time for yourself to make sure you stay healthy physically and mentally. Eat well and eat healthy. Not only will this help you lose some of the pregnancy weight, but if you’re breastfeeding, you have to keep your body fueled and strong (not that you don’t need to do this if you aren’t breastfeeding, but it’s especially important if you are so baby gets nutrient-rich milk). Take walks or do light stretches to ease back into an exercise routine. Don’t overdo it right out of the hospital. Birth takes it out of you, so make sure you’re ready before you get back in the gym. And finally, don’t forget to take a shower! This seems crazy, maybe, but there was many a time I was so wrapped up in taking care of Penny that I forgot to do the same for myself.

These are some of the most important things I learned after my daughter was born. I’m going to do my best to remember them when our new little one is born (although, with a toddler at home at the same time, I’m sure I’ll have to amend/revise them a little. For all of you new mommies and new mommies to-be out there, you’re going to find your own way to care for your baby and your new family, they right way is what works for you. Above all, enjoy it. 

Yay Naps!

Yes...I need all of these toys!

Yes…I need all of these toys!

Whew! I’m almost 7 weeks into my second pregnancy and I am pooped!

I remember the fatigue from my first pregnancy – the exhaustion that could usually be cured by lounging on the couch for a few hours with a catnap or two thrown in. No longer! With a toddler that has recently learned that by grabbing mommy’s hand you can take her anywhere you want to go, I spend my days being pulled from room to room to partake in the fun my Penelope has in mind for the two of us. So incredibly cute 🙂

However, for a pregnant lady who is drained by baby-growing, it can be tiring. So I do a new thing now. I take naps.

Yes, whenever my kiddo is down for her midday snooze, I go down for mine. It works out great – I can sleep and wake up rested and ready to run around after her for the rest of the day!

Beautiful, hour plus naps in my comfy, cool bed…ahhhh…I want to take another one now.

But, I’ll have to wait until Bugg’s naptime, because she has somewhere she wants to go and she’s taking me along for the ride!

First Night Without

Well, this is Penny’s first night without breastfeeding at bedtime and it went better than I thought it would.

Our little girl took a bath, changed into her PJs, brushed her teeth, we read a book, said “nigh nigh” to Daddy, and I rocked her for a few minutes.

You might remember that I decided I was going to try to skip the wrap along with the breastfeeding…not so much.

As we rocked, she seemed at a loss with what to do with her arms. She tried wrapping them around my torso, tucking them underneath her, even sticking them under my shirt, but she wasn’t able to find a comfy position. And when it was time to lay her down those little arms that are normally pinned to her sides by her wrap just held on to my shirt when I put her in her crib. Then came the wailing. Heartrending!

I picked her up to rock her a little more to calm her down and back in the crib she went…and she still wasn’t having it.

After about 30 minutes of off and on crying, I went in and wrapped her up. Not a peep after I put her back in her crib.

I guess we’ll try to go wrap-less next week after she gets used to bedtime without boobies.

But I count tonight as an achievement! A baby successfully weaned and sleeping peacefully 🙂

You Named Your Baby What?

I was following my Baby Center Birth Club group and the ladies have known some people with very interesting names. It makes you wonder how many are urban legends, but you know people name their kids some weird things. Take a look at this article from Time: Top 10 Wacky Celebrity Baby Names. Not only that, every popular movie that comes out brings in a whole generation of kids named after the heroes and heroines of box office hits (according to StyleCaster Django and Katniss are some of the most popular baby names from 2013).

I’m all for unique and interesting names, but there’s a point where it’s too much. These parents flew past that point when they named their kids…

  • Marijuana Pepsi-Cola
  • Mayo
  • Weiner
  • Chewbaca (…if it’s possible to make this worse, it was for a girl…)
  • Placenta
  • Dude
  • ESPN (Pronounced ‘Espen’)
  • Dovahkiin (Bethesda Softworks had a contest and anyone who named their kid Dovahkiin got free Bethesda games for life)
  • Ima Hogg (there’s an urban legend that she had a sister named “Ura Hogg”)

Does anyone else have any names to add to this list?