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Posts tagged ‘parenting’

The Baby Stuff Post.

Let’s make a list of baby stuff that I’d recommend, because I think it’s a useful post to do.

“WHAAAAAT??? No, this is a diabetes blog!”

Sorry.  I have some baby gear recommendations that I want to have as part of the archive, in part to pass along to other moms (with or without diabetes) and in part because I like going back and seeing what kind of resources I used with Birdzone and comparing those against what I have access to with the little Guy.

But this might be semi-useful if you are expecting a little one.  And if you aren’t, check back tomorrow when I’ll be talking with Adam Brown about his new book.

Car seat:  We went with the Chicco KeyFit 30 for both Birdy and the little Guy.  Safety ratings were high, the car seat base was easy to install, and being able to purchase multiple bases for multiple cars made it a good fit (both times) for our traveling family.  It’s a heavy car seat, even without a kid in it, which was tricky when I was recovering from c-sections, but I’d like to think my biceps thanked me for the extra output.  Unfortunately, because our kids are 6 years apart in age, we had to rebuy the car seat stuff completely.  No saving for years there.

Stroller:  We used to have the stroller that went with the KeyFit car seat (back in 2010 – this is one being sold on eBay and even this one is too recent) and we hung on to this stroller set forEVER waiting for baby no. 2.  Once the little Guy arrived, we hosed off the ancient stroller and used it until Guy was about 6 months old.  If I had to rebuy a stroller, I’d go with the one that fits the car seat because it’s very convenient to move a sleeping baby from car to stroller without going bananas.  Recently, we bought a BabyTrend jogging stroller for off-roading (bike path, neighborhood walks, big sister’s softball games).  So far, so good.  And no, I haven’t been jogging with it.  I’m too clumsy and awkward and would end up in a ditch.

High chair:  Hello again, hoarder Sparlings.  We saved Birdy’s high chair and busted that thing out again after her brother was born.  Back in 2010, we went with the Chicco Polly high chair (and you can buy one on eBay if you’re feeling nostalgic and/or you too would like to find 7 year old puffs in your high chair base).  Pros are that the buckles are strong and the base is secure.  Cons are that this takes up a lot of room in our kitchen.  If we get a new one, it will be a strappy-to-the-chair type.

Crib:  The crib our little Guy is sleeping in now is also Birdy’s hand-me-down one, which was so old and had moved house twice that we lost the original hardware set and had to scour the internet for screws to fit our model.  (Thanks, O.)  But when we first brought home our son, he slept in our room for seven months in a Graco pack and play.  Birdy had an identical set up back in the day.  This worked best for me both times because I was breastfeeding and could keep the crib right near our bed.

Breast pump:  I’m listing this under essential because I needed to pump in order to accomplish my goal of being able to travel for work while still breastfeeding my children.  With Birdy, I had a Medela Swing pump.  It worked great.  This time around, I had a Medela Freestyle.  It worked less great for me; I’m unsure if that was because I was more stressed/dealing with postpartum issues and wasn’t producing as easily as with Birdy or because of my age this time, so I relied almost exclusively on the Harmony breast pump.  I could use it on planes, in the car, at home … it made pumping a quick and pretty easy process.

The little storage bags were terrific for pumping while on planes because they traveled/stayed cold very easily.  And while I was pumping, I used a bag I received at the hospital (another blogger wrote about it here).  It was from Similac, but it came with a cold pack and was the perfect size for me to fill with the Harmony handheld pump, some storage bags, and the cold pack.  I dragged this bag around the country with me for the first six months, pumping in conference hotel rooms and airplanes.

Bottles:  With Birdy, we used plastic bottles from Medela.  This time around, we’re using mostly Avent glass bottles.  And as the little Guy needed bigger bottles, we’ve retired the 4 oz bottles as cups to let spider plant and English ivy seedlings grow roots in because I’m a plant nerd and cannot bear to throw useful things out see also: the baby crap we kept for six years

Baby food:  Now that Guy is chomping down on real food, I’m constantly making baby snacks.  I broke down and purchased a baby food maker (this one from Beaba) and some glass storage jars.  I thought I would regret the baby food maker purchase, but it was the best indulgence ever because I can make a few day’s worth of food very easily.  This afternoon, in about 30 minutes, I was able to prepare green beans, applesauce, mango, broccoli, cauliflower, and strawberries without ruining ANY of it.  As someone who cannot cook, this is a remarkable feat and the food processor thing is to blame for my success.

Odds and ends:  Sleep sacks are my FAVORITE because I believe in keeping blankets, etc out of my kids’ sleeping situation until they are about a year old.  Sleep sacks kept both kids warm without making me paranoid.  I also purchased a Boppy pillow both times and it definitely made breastfeeding after c-sections more comfortable.  Oh, and the frigging wubbanubs basically saved our lives.  My son doesn’t need a pacifier to fall asleep, but it’s very convenient to have one attached to a little stuffed animal for the moments when he’s wheeling around in his crib in search of a pacifier.  Wubbanubs are useful.  And adorable.

And that’s kind of it.  The rest of the stuff is totally not essential but completely fun.  Like onesies with suspenders on them.  And all the poop.  (Had to end that on a semi mommybloggy note.  Which I promise never to do again.)

Sixaroo.

Little Guy,

Six months old!!  Is what you are.  Indeed, six months ago you were all coiled up in my belly like a snake ready to strike into our lives, which sounds super violent but was more super exhausting and super cute than anything else.  Hey, run on sentence, there you are.

We’re at the point with you where we can’t exactly remember what it was like NOT to have you in our lives.  A highchair in our kitchen?  Always.  The extra bedroom suddenly inhabited by a crib and a stack of diapers?  Always.  The laundry machines churning and burning at all hours, for all eternity?  ALWAYS.  We’ve always had mashed bananas in a bowl.  We’ve always had a giggling little monster man.

We’ve always had you, kiddo.

This Guy. 🍅

A post shared by Kerri Sparling (@sixuntilme) on

Now, at six months old, you have left behind that squishy infant baby person and have become this full-faced, big-eyed little grabby-handed peanut.  You love to grab your feet and try to force them into your mouth.  You think my nose is something removable and you attempt its removal daily.  You laugh – hard – anytime anyone startles you.  (Except the other night, at that restaurant, when the automatic hand dryer in the bathroom made you lose your mind with fear.  Poor little fella.  You sobbed so hard that a woman who was about to dry her hands threw them up in a panic and said, “I’ll drip dry!  Drip dry!  Poor little guy!!”)

On the food front, you’ve tried plenty of different tastes.  Pears are pretty popular.  Bananas are delicious.  Mashed cauliflower confused you but you ate it anyway.  Avocado could potentially be a friend.  But sweet potatoes are your JAM.  They make you delighted.  DELIGHTED.

Your favorite person isn’t me.  Or you dad.  Your favorite person is your sister.  Your whole face completely lights up with a smile reserved just for her whenever she talks to you.  The other night, while we were in New Hampshire for a few days, the two of you refused to fall asleep because you were too busy giggling.  She, playing peekaboo, and you, letting loose a belly laugh that could have caused an avalanche in the White Mountains.  She loves you, big time, and you return that love plus ten.

We snuggle often, you and I, and I love the moments right before you fall asleep for a nap, when you reach up and hold my face.  I love that.  LOVE.  It makes the memory of years of wanting you dull and fade, erasing so much of that pain and replacing it with love.  And spit up.  And diapers that I wouldn’t FedEx to my worst enemy.

But mostly love.

Love you, little Guy,
Mama

My Third Child.

Diabetes’s needs are incessant.  WAAH I need to have my blood sugar checked WAAH I need a snack WAAH the Dexcom sensor needs swapping WAAH what do you mean, reorder insulin WAAH chronic illness is forever WAAAAAAAAAAH.  This disease whines and cajoles for attention all day long.

Over the weekend, I stood at the bathroom counter changing my infusion set while Birdy brushed her teeth and the little guy sat singing in his bouncy chair.  A loud burst of noise not unlike an industrial-sized coffee carafe percolating came from the bouncy chair, which prompted Birdy to announce (through a mouthful of toothpaste suds), “He needs a diaper change for sure.”

True.  (And ew.  Ew-true.)

Diabetes always needs a diaper change, too.  But diabetes is not cute.  And while it also wakes me up in the middle of the night for feedings, it doesn’t reward me with a toothless smile or a snuggle.  These days, diabetes management feels thankless, frustrating, and very ARGHH would you just go AWAY?!  Getting into the swing of things with two kids is still an adjustment and I’d like very much if diabetes would go quiet for a spell.

Unlike with my daughter, I am not deep into diabetes burnout this postpartum cycle, but I’m not a big fan of all the diabetes crap that’s still on tap.  Small victories keep me going at the moment, like keeping up with inputting the data into my pump (so it can properly calculate my insulin doses instead of me SWAG’ing things) and trying to treat lows conservatively.  But I have blood work orders in my wallet that I still haven’t followed through on (they’ve been in my billfold for three weeks now).  My fasting BG checks are sometimes taking place two hours after I’m woken up by Guy Smiley.  I’m wearing the Dexcom but there are hours worth of highs that ride for too long.  I reorder my supplies on time but mostly because I’ve reached my deductible.

I need to shake this settled snow globe of apathy that my diabetes has become.

Oh hey, awesome turtleneck-wearing cat in a snow globe.

I have an appointment with a new, local endocrinology team at the end of the month and I’m actually looking forward to it.  This appointment will be a paradigm shift in my care, taking a break after 30 years at Joslin. Like hitting the reset button, bringing my care hyperlocal and giving the visits a facelift.

Until then, I’m trying to parent all three “kids” in my house and keep them all safe, sound, and freshly-diapered.

YCDT: Encouraging Independence.

There’s an excellent, and inspiring, new You Can Do This video centered on parents helping their children with diabetes gain independence.

From the YCDT site:  “Independence in any aspect of a teen’s life can be a double-edged sword for parents – while parents want their children to be capable, that same capability is the gateway to their separation and evolution into adulthood. Independence can be a scary concept as it means children are ready to try their wings. Flying on their own means that sometimes they will fall and make mistakes, but most importantly it means that they are growing up.”

Check it out, and if you are ready to submit your own You Can Do This video, submission details are here.

 

Close, but(t) not close enough.

“My mom?  She has brown hair and a red shirt,” said my daughter’s playgroup friend, climbing up the jungle gym.

“My mom is over there.  She has a pump in her butt,” my daughter pointed towards me and waved, causing me to quickly answer the look of surprise on the other parents’ faces with a brief, panicked explanation of the insulin pump connected to the top of my left hip.

 

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