You got mail…from the President?

Little mister was able to get a presidential greeting from the POTUS and FLOTUS.
Little mister was able to get a presidential greeting from the POTUS and FLOTUS.

 

When I saw an acquaintance post a photo of a wedding greeting from the President of the United Staes and First Lady of the United States, I decided to see if they did birth greetings.  In addition to wedding greetings, you can request greetings for wedding anniversaries, retirements, birthdays, and oh yes, birth greetings.  Who wouldn’t want to get mail from the President let alone a Presidential greeting?

I remember getting so excited when O received his first piece of mail.  Mind you it was from the Social Security Administration and contained his social security card but I was excited.  I know, I know, babies are so young, they don’t know how to read, why get excited about mail?  I’m a sentimental, I love firsts, almost all kinds.  I also like saving any firsts that I can.  The first outfit for a holiday, the first pair of shoes O walked in, the first drawing O made, well you get the idea.

You can’t just request a card from the POTUS for anything.  There are specific guidelines (as stated on the site):

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen
  • Birth greetings are only available within a year of the baby’s birth date.
  • Birthday greetings are for those that are celebrating a birthday that is 80 years or greater. However for Veterans it starts at 70 years of age.
  • Retirement greetings are for service of 20 years or longer.
  • Wedding greetings should be made at least 6 weeks in advanced of the wedding date.
  • Wedding anniversary greetings are done for 50 years or greater and also must be requested 6 weeks in advance.

I only provided an overview there are other specifics that you can check out here.

I do wish they had a greeting for those adopting because I would assume that is just as much of a joyous event as a birth!  So new moms or soon-to-be parents go and request your presidential greeting.  Bear in mind it does take awhile for you to receive the card.  I requested mine in January and received it a few days ago.

I’ll be keeping W’s in his memory box.  I’m not sure if he’ll appreciate it but I still think it’s pretty darn cool to get mail from the POTUS!

 

Hey, little brother.

little brother, brother, second cihild, baby
Hey there little brother.  I know life can be tough when all you want to do is follow your older brother around.  Except being the little brother isn’t all THAT bad.

It must be hard to be a little brother.  Especially since you’re not quite mobile.  You can’t figure out why your legs can’t move as fast as your older brother.  You may not even realize you have legs yet.  You try your best to follow his movements but often get dizzy just watching him run around.  Older brother gets to play with Daddy.  They wrestle, chase after each other, and Daddy throws him in the air and you hear the delight in his voice.  All you can do is jump excitedly in your jumper as you watch but it doesn’t seem to have the same effect.

Your naps get cut short by your older brother’s tantrums and all you can do is stare wide-eyed.  You may finally be drifting back to sleep when you hear him playing pirates and yelling “ARRRRGH!”  You usually get your best naps while in a carrier or wrap strapped onto Mama like a little koala.  Except even then you’re not safe.  Older brother often tries to climb on Mama and ends up elbowing you in the head during the process.

Most of your clothes and toys are hand-me-downs too.  Your older brother received so many clothes that you didn’t really get too many new things.  From pajamas right down to the socks, you’re sporting pre-loved older brother wear.  You do get some new toys, but he usually gets to them first.  Even his old toys, he often has a hard time letting them go.  You usually stare confused as to how the toy that was just in your tiny grasp has suddenly disappeared.  When you look up, you see your older brother giggling with the toy in his hands.

Being the little brother can’t be easy, I know.   It can’t be all that bad right?  You not only have a Mama and a Daddy to love you but an older brother too.  An older brother that does his best to figure out why you’re crying.  He often starts crying himself because he can’t figure out why you’re unhappy.    Big brother probably won’t admit this but you’re the first person he looks for when he wakes in the morning and from his naps. You have an older brother who loves to give you good-night kisses before he goes to bed.  Being the younger brother and the newest member of the family means you get most of the visitors.  The grandparents hold you a little longer while your older brother stands by semi-confused as to why he isn’t the center of attention anymore.  Mama spends more time with you because she knows you still need help with many more things than older brother.

Being the little brother can’t be easy, I know.  Being the older brother isn’t too.  Just remember that Mama and Daddy love you so.  Big brother? Well, he may not admit it, even more so when you guys are older, but he’s glad you’re part of our family. Big brother loves you so. 

Wrap, Sling, Carrier – a review

 

Wrap, Sling, Carrier?Disclaimer: By no means is this post sponsored by any of the businesses listed below.

Between two kids, I have accumulated a variety of ways to babywear.  It was short lived with my first as he never really liked being wrapped or in a carrier.  You would think that this time around I would be ready to throw my hands up in the air but here we are at almost 5 months and little man loves it.  I’m not complaining at all because I love it too.  It took me a while to purchase any of these products (except the Baby Bjorn as that was one of the many gifts from O’s generous Godfather).

The Wrap Part 1 – K’Tan Original
I purchased this wrap from Amazon after reading the reviews.  O was still too small to be placed in the Baby Bjorn.   It comes in two pieces – a loop and a wrap portion.  The loop is like a base and where the baby is placed in and the wrap portion adds security.  There are different sizes, from XS to XL.  I found this to be a con as my husband and I are not the same size so we weren’t able to share this wrap.  The material was not breathable and caused O to sweat a lot.  I’m beginning to think this was why he disliked being in a wrap so much.  O in the wrap was shortlived as additionally the material didn’t seem to stretch.

Unfortunately I don’t have a personal product photo as I only have one of the two pieces.

The Wrap Part 2 – Sollybaby
Solly Baby wrapI have to admit that an added plus was that I saw that the founder/owner Elle was, at the time, living in my hometown of San Diego, California.  I’m a firm believer of supporting local businesses and mompreneurs too.  The wrap material is so soft and you can tell that it’s light and breathable unlike the K’Tan.  Think of it as if your baby was wearing a lightweight cardigan.  The wrap is one long piece of fabric that comes in a variety of different colors.  Sollybaby also tends to do collaborations.

I’m not sure exactly how I stumbled upon Sollybaby on Instagram.  I purchased a wrap several months prior to the arrival of W.  This was only after going through the majority of Sollybaby’s Instagram account, the website, and the videos.  The videos were especially helpful.  I’m a visual learner so sometimes step-by-step photo directions are not enough. I also was intrigued that there was a pocket (where Sophie the Giraffe is tucked into in the above photo) to hold items like your phone, a pacifier, etc.  Not only did it come in cute packaging but the box they mailed it in also had the Sollybaby text on it.

Sollybaby wrap pt 2

It should be noted that this is not to be used as means to carry your baby front-facing or on your back.  This is indicated on the information page of the website as well.  It also mentions that this ideally the wrap is best used for children 9 to 12 months of age or up to 25 pounds.  There is an ability to put newborns in the wrap as well but I never felt comfortable to do this.  I also have yet to try and nurse in my wrap.

Additionally, unlike the K’Tan, due to it being one piece of fabric, it can be used by any any of your family members.  Minus your children of course BUT they do sell Solly Dolly wraps for your little to mimic you!  I do have to stress the importance of laying the fabric straight on your shoulders and across your back. I’ve been in a rush at times and have been sloppy with the wrapping to wear it doesn’t feel comfortable for me and W doesn’t feel as secure.

W is as happy as can be in it.  He almost always falls asleep instantly when in the wrap. I love it so much that I considered buying another one as a back-up.  W is actually in our Sollybaby wrap as I type this sound asleep!

The Ring SlingWildbird “Keep your little bird close”

WildbirdWildbird is another Instagram find.  I ultimately decided to purchase this ring sling as I was looking for something that didn’t require the wrapping part of the Sollybaby wrap.  I also was looking for something else to use if I had to wash my Sollybaby.  I went with the double layer anticipating the weight gain of W.  The double layer, is well a double layer of fabric as opposed to the single layer.  There is also a “break in” period to get it nice and comfy for your babe.  I haven’t got to this point as I don’t use it too much.  I’ve been having difficulty perfecting a “good seat” for W and feel that he isn’t too secure.

It was disappointing that at the time of my purchase the site did not have tutorials.  However, taking a look at the site now, there are now tutorials.  I’m planning on viewing them and utilizing my sling more especially now that W is more “solid.”  The website recommends using the sling with a baby up to 35 pounds max.

Another reason why I decided to purchase a Wildbird sling as opposed to the popular Sakura Bloom ones was my love for supporting small businesses and mompreneuers.  The about portion of the website, as I’ve said before, Taylor’s explanation was straightforward, honest, and just relatable.  Additionally, the Wildbird slings were about half the price of a Sakura Bloom ring sling.

Wildbird pt 2

This sling does not have a pocket for extra storage or to fold itself into.  It’s fairly easy to fold up and stick in a bag.  I’ve been able to roll it up, stick it in my diaper bag, and have enough room for everything else I drag around with me.

The carrierBaby Bjorn Carrier Original
This was gifted by one of O’s godfathers.  This was a wishlist item for my husband after he saw another Dad wearing his son in the front facing position.  There is no infant insert needed for this carrier.  I can’t recall when exactly we used this carrier but I know that we waited until O was at least 10 pounds (he was born almost 4 weeks early and was on the small side).  I would have him in this carrier around the house while trying to get things done or while we were out and about.

This is made up of two parts.  I loved that when O fell asleep we were able to just click the front portion off easily without disturbing him.  It is also adjustable so that any family member (minus kids!) are able to use it.  There is a head adjustable strap and a sizing adjustment on the front portion.  We never had difficulty with adjustments.  Of course my husband was happy to be able to carry O front-facing.  This position is recommended for babies that are at least 4 months old and have good head control.

Although we were happy that O was able to fall asleep almost instantly and it was easy to use, I disliked how O’s legs looked like they dangled there.  It also doesn’t have any pockets for extra storage as some other carriers do.  We also registered for an all black one as I’m all about getting gear that is black, grey, etc.  Bad move as spit ups are very noticeable.  It’s fairly easy to clean but I also notice that the color fades fairly easily.

Unfortunately I don’t have a personal product photo of this item as well.  I actually think it may be at one of the grandparents’ homes.

The carrier part 2Ergobaby Original
Ergobaby Original
My husband and I went back and forth about whether to purchase the original, 360, and the 360 cool air. With W, as soon as he was mobile, he didn’t care to be in the carrier and we didn’t utilize the front-facing portion too much.  This is ultimately why we went with the original.  We felt that the tummy-to-tummy, hip position, and backwearing position were sufficient enough for our family.  The 360 and cool air also have a velcro portion around the waist area.  Although I see the benefits of this, I also didn’t want to wake W up if he was asleep in the carrier and I needed to take him out.  My husband is guessing that once W is a lot more mobile, he will more than likely want to be running around with his older brother and the front-facing position won’t even be needed.

This carrier is made up of one piece with clips on the side of the waist and across the back.  I do have difficulty with attaching and detaching the back strap.  You have the ability to move the back strap portion up or down for a better reach but I still find myself struggling.  Due to that I tend to wake W up if he falls asleep.  Unlike in the Baby Bjorn, W looks like his hips are fully supported.  On the Ergobaby website, they indicate that their product is “hip friendly.”   The site also recommends the weight range of 7 to 45 pounds when using the Ergobaby Original. We just recently purchased this item so an infant insert was not needed.  The insert is recommended for babies 0 to 4 months of age.

Aesthetically, the design is really nice looking.  We went with the black twill.  I do like the pockets, this was another reason why we purchased the original.  The padding on the shoulders are great, there is enough without it feeling too bulky or that you have shoulder pads on.  I also like the adjustable hood that you can tuck in a pocket when it’s not being used.  This has been especially useful when I went on a walk with the boys when it was sunny outside.  W appreciates it to as he isn’t blinded by the sun.  It’s also fairly easy to clean with a wipe if food happens to stain it.  Yes, I’ve already dropped food on it while eating with W in it.

Right now it’s hard to say which type is my favorite.  Each has provided a benefit on this babywearing journey of mine.  I mean, who doesn’t like forever hugs from your little one?

One and Two

WI have had almost two months to settle in as being a mother of two.  They say that each pregnancy is different and each child is different.  Those statements could not be truer.  Child number two has a completely different demeanor.  Unlike his older brother, he can sleep forever regardless of the noise and commotion going on around him.  There is a sense of calm that he holds and a curiosity that is already filling him during the moments he is awake.  I’m both anxious and excited to see how he will grow up.

Post-pregnancy has been different too.  With my first I struggled with depression – during and after.  It was and is something that I’m still struggling with now.  This time around, I had a great group of doctors and midwives that guided me throughout this last pregnancy.  The terrible thing is most people, just like about depression in general, do not discuss postpartum depression.  Many chalk it up to just hormones.  I know my parents generation would not understand it.

The months following the birth of my first were horrible for me and at that time I didn’t know why.  I’m forever thankful that my son’s pediatrician continued to ask me questions at every well-baby visit.  Without him I would not have met the doctors I have now.

It was also something I kept quiet, only a few people knew about it. I think my husband had a hard time with it and just generalized it as me struggling leaving my son. That was only one of the many factors.

I often would be awake at night worrying about small things, crying to myself not understanding why. I was irritable, losing weight rapidly, everything that would normally give me comfort no longer did, and I did not want to be social. It was tiring hiding it from my family. Since my depression also included other factors outside the pregnancy/post-pregnancy, I didn’t feel comfortable opening up to my family. My body was hurting from the anxiety and stress because I was trying to deal with it on my own.

Even today I’m still trying to figure it out. I have my moments. Luckily my husband is slowly understanding it and I have my doctors to reach out to whenever I start to slip.

Ultimately I want to not only be the best mother I can be for my children, but the best person. I want to be healthy to keep up with them and live a long life to see them grow. Finding that balance as a mother, wife, and my own person is something I’m still figuring out.

How’s that for the first post after an almost 3 month hiatus?