Friday, February 26, 2010

Reason #465 why having dogs is a bad idea...

So, Brigid has slept pretty well the last couple of nights. She's been asleep by 8:30, and although she's gotten up a little earlier in the morning than we would like, she hasn't been waking up in the middle of the night.

So, you'd have thought this would mean some good sleep for me, right? WRONG! Because the dogs? The dogs have been up at 4am the last two nights, needing to go out.

Seriously. I just can't catch a break!



*Don't listen to her. Does it look like we ever cause any problems?*

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Two shots...

I remember back in the day (maybe all of two or three years ago, that is), when the thought of two shots meant the start of a good night. Now? It means a couple of needles and a screaming, red-faced baby. Either way, I end up feeling sick, so I'd like to skip both scenarios from now on, thankyouverymuch.

Today we took our monthly trip to the Pulmonologist for Brigid's RSV shot. I hate driving to this office, and it's always so crowded, and we basically just sit around waiting a really long time for a nurse practitioner to shoot up my kid, so I'm glad cold and flu season is almost over. One more month of these shots, and then we're done. Finally. Don't get me wrong, I have really enjoyed our sickness free (so far...knock on wood, fingers crossed, rabbit foot, horsehoe, four-leaf clover, etc) winter, and I am so grateful that insurance approved us for these shots, but I think it will make life a little easier when monthly office visits are off the table.

Anyway, because Brigid now weighs in at just over the 15 pound mark, she has to take two RSV shots. The shots are doled out based on weight, and the nurse can only put so much medicine into one muscle, so we officially qualify for holes in both thighs. I thought she was pissed after getting shot in one thigh. Two thighs? If she could walk, I'm pretty sure she would have run from me for letting them do this horrible thing to her. The poor child was inconsolable. Well, until we got in the car...then she took her longest nap of the day, all 20 minutes of the ride home.

(Have I mentioned what a terrible napper she is? Seriously, it's awful. Aw-ful.)

Also? I'm pretty sure I accidentally passed myself off as a single mother in the waiting room before we were called back for the shots. I left my stroller in Steve's car (it's actually in the garage, but I thought it was in Steve's car), so I was struggling to juggle all of the stuff that comes with a baby's trip anywhere, when one of the other mother's stopped to pick up my dropped sunglasses. I thanked her, apologized for being a mess, and told her, in what may have been a slightly snarky voice, "My stroller is in her father's car. I called him and told him we should have done a transfer, but it was too late." She looked at me with a little too much sympathy for something as simple as a missing stroller. Unless she just really, really likes strollers.

Whatever. I found it pretty funny. Actually, I'd consider it the highlight of my afternoon, that's how entertained I was by the thought.

Which is kind of sad, now that I think about it. So, yeah. Hope your day was more interesting than mine...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I wonder if her powers extend to the lottery?

Steve has meetings this week. All day meetings. ALLLLLLLL day meetings. We’re talking out of the house at 7am, home at 9:30pm. That is a long day, especially when all you’re doing is sitting and listening. So, I assume exhaustion is to blame for the conversation we had last night…

Steve: I have to leave before Brigid is awake, and I don’t get home until after she goes to bed. I can’t believe I’m not going to see the baby for three days!
Me: Do I need to go wake her up for you?
Steve: No, but I’m kind of sad about it.

Now, we’ve already established that Brigid knows things. I don’t know how she does it, but she has the uncanny ability to pick the most inopportune time to change things up. And a conversation like that? That’s just tempting fate. So, really, it didn’t shock me at all that the child who normally sleeps until 8am was up at 5:30 this morning, looking for her pacifier. And I definitely wasn’t surprised that after giving her the pacifier, putting her back to bed, and getting in the shower myself, she woke up again, refusing to go back to sleep until Steve fed her. And even then, she was up for the day by 7, in plenty of time to say goodbye to daddy. So, yeah, that whole three days thing? Didn’t really happen. Crisis averted.

Personally, I enjoyed hanging out with happy baby this morning, but I’m not the one who had to get out of bed an hour earlier than normal. And I get to go home at a decent hour. Although, Steve did get to see Melinda Doolittle perform last night, so it’s probably an equal trade-off, right?*

Anyway, my moral for this story is be careful what you wish for, especially in my house. If you ask for it, the genie baby will probably make it happen. She’s slick like that.


*Side story: Steve called yesterday during a break in the meetings to tell me that they were bringing in a special musical guest for the evening’s dinner. Being on an American Idol kick, and because of the meeting he was attending, his first hope was Carrie Underwood. And his exact comment was, ‘I hope she doesn’t bring her fiancĂ© with her, because then I won’t stand a chance.’ Yes, there’s a joke to be made there, and no, I’m not going to make it. Mostly because I already made it yesterday.

In any case, the special guest? Melinda Doolittle. Right show, wrong singing lady.

Poor guy.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Like father, like daughter

I think it’s amazing that Steve wonders why everyone thinks Brigid is his mini-me…





I’d say the resemblance is pretty obvious.

PS: My favorite thing in these pictures, besides the baby belly peeking out from under the t-shirt, would be the diapers in front of the television. We are CLASSY! I think those must have been from one of Steve’s diaper changes…

Monday, February 22, 2010

Helloooo 30!

My child, she has a schedule and she sticks to it. She will go to sleep for you (most of the time) between 8 and 9pm, but you’d better believe she’s getting you up between 7 and 8am for her morning feeding. And believe me, I feel incredibly lucky that we have reached this point of sleeping through the night without too much trouble at all. But sometimes? Sometimes I think I still have a problem grasping the concept of being responsible for someone else’s every need. Late nights (or early mornings, I guess) were all fine and dandy when I could sleep in on Sunday and spend the entire day napping between laundry loads. They’re a little tougher to justify when there’s not a chance in hell that you will sleep much past 7:30am, and the laundry loads need to be coordinated around someone else’s (basically non-existent) nap schedule, and an almost five month old is looking at you with eyes that say ‘damn it woman, you need to be entertaining for me when I am awake!’

Luckily, I am naturally entertaining. Especially when your idea of entertainment involves lying on the floor and playing with your feet. And when you think I’m so cool that if I’m not holding you, the sound of my voice causes you to whip your head around, looking for the source.







Basically, this is all a longish way of saying that Saturday night, I said good-bye to my 20s in style, although, I’ll admit I’m using the term ‘style’ very, very loosely here. Any night that starts out at a rooftop bar, includes a trip to an Atlanta institution, evokes memories of a scene in Animal House, and ends with a 2am trip to Krystal is all right in my book, even if it means getting by on only four hours of sleep the next day. It’s actually kind of nice to know I can still pull it off sometimes.

Even if sometimes is only once a year now.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

She knows things...

I think my dear sweet child, at 4 1/2 months old, understands more than she's letting on. And apparently, that understanding comes with a side of separation anxiety.

How else do you explain the fact that the night before Steve and I are supposed to go out to celebrate my birthday, leaving the darling girl with her grandmother for the evening, she decides to wake up at 4am. And she decides she's not going back to sleep until she gets her first overnight feeding in a month. You might think she'd sleep in a little after this early morning snack, but you'd be wrong. At 8am on the dot, she was up and ready to go.

So, here I am. Tired. Sleepy. Ready to go back to bed at 10am. And amazed at the sneaky manipulations of an infant. She's good.

But I'm on to her now. A couple of trips to Starbucks, and I'll be ready to go. Until at least 10:30.

And the best part of all of this is that she knows she can get away with it. Because this?




This isn't something you stay upset with, lack of sleep and all.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

'Solid' foods, here we come...

Last week, during Brigid’s four month check-up, the pediatrician suggested we start her on solid foods, because the kid can put some formula away, and it might be time to kick things up a notch. Those weren’t the doctor’s exact words, but when she said ‘Brigid takes 9oz at a time?’ and laughed at us, I assumed that’s what she meant. So, for the last couple of days we’ve been trying to introduce solids into her diet. And by solids, I mean liquid, with a couple of flakes of some kind of rice powder stuff, that she eats with a spoon instead of a bottle, while in her bumbo seat instead of on my lap.* And Brigid seems to be eating it well, if you consider swallowing about a quarter of what we give her while dribbling the rest of it down the front of her to be eating. And when she’s tired of eating altogether? She just lets it all run down. At least there’s no confusing her signals…when she’s done, she’s done.

The best part of the whole process is that sometimes, when she’s not really sure if she’s ready to be done, she just holds the food in her mouth for a second before deciding whether to swallow it or not. It’s kind of scary, actually. I think it’s like playing baby food roulette. One of us is going to get a face full of rice cereal one of these days when she starts to laugh with food in her mouth. I came very close to losing that game a couple of days ago. I know it’s going to happen, I just hope it happens to Steve.

Anyway, enjoy the video evidence of Brigid’s first attempts at baby cereal. And take special note of my psychotic dog** in the background, tearing around the room, tossing a toy for herself to chase. Also? Steve yelling at that same dog at the end of the video? These are the reasons I’m 99% sure Brigid’s first words will be RILEY!, followed by either NO! or DOWN!

video


*I know a lot of people say the first bit of cereal is supposed to go in a bottle, but the internet said a baby won’t learn how to use a spoon if you feed her cereal in a bottle, and we always listen to the internet. So, spoon it is…
**Actually, she’s Steve’s psychotic dog…my dog is the fat one who you can’t see on camera, but is sitting under the table hoping one of us is going to drop something tasty on the floor. I have a feeling she’s going to become Brigid’s shadow when we move on to real food.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Someone told me I deserved an expensive gift...

Care to guess what happens when you turn 30?

You get early birthday presents like this:




Happy birthday to me!

Ok, this actually had nothing to do with my birthday and everything to do with the fact that the microwave on our old microwave/oven combo officially died. Like, two weeks ago.

I know! Two weeks without a microwave! What was Steve thinking?!?!

I don't do cooking. When it comes to family dinner nights, I get jobs like grating cheese and slicing bread. I'm amazing at the after dinner clean-up, but before dinner? I'm basically useless. We had people over last weekend, and Steve made 18 different appetizers to share. My contribution? Bringing the vegetable tray up from the basement refrigerator and taking the plastic off. I was a big help. I also opened a bottle of wine, but I think that did more harm than good. Mainly to myself. Although, I still blame the ice.

Anyway, what all of this means is that being without a microwave for two weeks just doesn't work for me. I've had to boil water on the stove! I've heated up soup in a pot! I've used a skillet to make breakfast! And I've hated every minute of it. Honestly, I am severely lacking in the patience department (which you probably know, if you've ever driven with me anywhere or been on the phone with me while I was driving somewhere), and a microwave is just so much faster than the stove. Plus, since we're slowly phasing out our white appliances as they break and replacing them with stainless steel...shiny! pretty! woo!

So, basically, and I know this is really lame, but I'm old now, so deal with it, this might just be the best birthday present Steve could have gotten me.

I really need to get out more.



One more thing, for anyone who feels the exact opposite of me and would rather wait 20 minutes to melt cheese (vs 30 seconds in my kick ass new microwave!)...I now have a working oven with a broken microwave attached to it, if you're interested. You're welcome.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Red, yellow, and bluuuue

I have been replaced as a parent.

I knew eventually my child would have no need for me anymore, but I didn’t expect it to happen at four months. Seriously, she’s too busy entertaining herself to even bother with me now.

I’d probably be sad if it wasn’t so cute.

(The first video goes on for five minutes (and includes a very creepy laugh from me…I have no idea where it came from…I sincerely hope that’s not always what I sound like), and I assume the only people who are going to want to watch something that long are the grandparents. The second video is much shorter, and it includes a smile/giggle (from the baby, not me…she’s not so creepy), so I’d highly recommend that one. Also, keep an ear out for the song about colors in the background of both videos. This song plays at the slightest vibration of the exersaucer. And I mean, the absolute smallest movement. You could blow on the toy, and that song would play. I can’t be held responsible for the possible violence against the singing lizard that may be caused by hearing this every 30 seconds.)

video

video

Saturday, February 13, 2010

This is not what I expected from Atlanta











Dear Georgia-

If I wanted to deal with a gray and snowy winter, I'd have stayed up north. Also, turning my back deck into a solid sheet of ice so slick that one step outside led to me flat on my back? So not cool.

I expect big things from you this summer to make up for this mess.

Hugs and kisses,
Tara

(I apologize that I don't have pictures of me limping around the house today, complaining about my bruised tailbone, to post for your enjoyment. Or pictures of me lying on the frozen ground, which would probably be more entertaining for most. I'm sure if you ask nicely, Steve would love nothing more than to demonstrate both events...)

(Also, I may or may not have had a glass or two of wine before this occurred, which might have contributed to the fall. But mostly, it was the ice...)

Friday, February 12, 2010

4 Month Check-up

Before:




And after:




Poor kid. These doctor visits really wear her out. On the plus side, I might actually get some good naps out of her today. She's a great baby, but she is a terrible napper.

So, as the title of this post suggests, today was Brigid's 4 month check-up at the pediatrician's office. According to our doctor, she is perfect, but we already knew that. She weighed in at 14lbs 10oz (up another 6oz in a week!) and measured at 25 inches long. That puts her in the 75th and 80th percentile in weight and length, respectively. So much for that 'failure to thrive' thing we were so concerned about...she is getting to be one big baby. When the doctor found out Brigid is taking 8-9 oz per bottle, she said it was maybe time to start her on solid foods, in addition to the bottles. So, we're moving on to the rice cereal today, which should be interesting, and probably disgusting. I'm fine with the formula, but mushy food may have to be Steve's area of expertise. It's completely irrational since I deal with baby spit-up all of the time, but baby food makes me throw up in my mouth a little.

Ick. Just the thought...

Moving on.

We're now 3 for 3 on the positive doctor visits, and I'm so relieved things seems to be going in the right direction. It's been a tough couple of months, but I finally feel like I can enjoy Brigid without the VSD coloring everything that happens. If she's a little less hungry one day, it just means she's a little less hungry, not that there's a fluid build-up in her lungs. If she's tired, she's just tired, not exhausted from trying too hard to breathe. It's nice. I kind of like this whole 'normal baby' thing.

Now if this stupid Indiana winter would just leave me alone with my Georgia spring, all would be perfect.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Random Thoughts

Miscellaneous thoughts for Wednesday…

- Steve will be starting a new job in a couple of weeks, and he seems to really be looking forward to it. I’m just glad he’ll finally be happy with his job again, since it’s kind of my fault he’s been working somewhere he hasn’t enjoyed (but if my options are Atlanta or Minneapolis, I’m choosing Atlanta every time!). Of course, we’ll see how long my excitement lasts, considering he’s going to be working right down the hall from me now. Of all the positions in this company, he ends up on my team (well, on the sales team my finance group supports), on my floor. My boss asked (jokingly) if it was going to affect my productivity having him so close, and I told her that I get enough of him at home, I don’t need to seek him out at work, too. In other words, my productivity should be just fine. And no, we most likely won’t be carpooling to work, although it would save some money on gas and make it a lot safer for me to do my make-up in the car if I’m not the one driving (Totally kidding, of course. I would never do my make-up while driving. There are too many potholes in Atlanta to get the eyeliner on straight…). But no, no carpooling. Our schedules will be too inconsistent to pull it off on a regular basis.

- Since the Olympics start this weekend, Steve has decided we’re having an Opening Ceremonies party on Friday. Apparently, this involves picking a country and dressing/eating/drinking accordingly. I think he’s just upset that we missed Halloween with a 3-week old baby, and now he’s making me pay for it. Any reason to dress up and make a ton of food, and he’s all over it. I’m just not sure what country he has in mind for Brigid…

- Speaking of the baby, I’ve decided she is a bad luck sports baby. Since she’s come along, she’s gotten my college football coach fired, she’s caused the Bengals season to end in one long, painful nosedive, and now she took my Colts down in the Super Bowl. And, honestly, she seemed to enjoy doing it…



Sorry, I know the picture is blurry, but I couldn’t get her to hold her head still long enough to take it. Apparently, she’s a big fan of The Who…

Next year, I’m making her a USC fan. Let’s see if we can put this curse to good use!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Four Months

This girl…



…is four months old today.

She’s definitely not the same baby she was four months ago. I know I sound like an idiot, because of course she’s not the same baby. Babies grow and change and stop being newborn lumps at some point. I just don’t think I realized how quickly it happens. Every day leads to a new discovery for her, some new milestone crossed off of the list. She’s found her feet, and every time she kicks her legs in the air, she seems delighted that her toes are still there. This fascination has made playtime more entertaining, but diaper time more difficult. Anything she can get her hands on goes directly into her mouth, including other people’s fingers. You’d think it would be easy to stop that from happening, but you’d be wrong. She’s deceptively strong, so it seems like she’s being all cute by holding your hand, then your fingers are gone before you even realize what happened. The whole ‘things in her mouth’ stage makes me even more concerned for when she gets mobile. I just know she’s going to bypass her own toys and food for the dogs’ toys and food, and honestly, I’m sure the dogs will be willing to make the trade. I foresee a lot of yelling ‘STOP’ and ‘PUT THAT DOWN’ in my future, at baby and dogs alike. I already feel like her first words are going to be ‘Riley, NO’. Peace and Tranquility? Who needs ‘em!

She’s starting this whole new self-sufficiency thing that I kind of love, as long as she doesn’t get there too fast. Yes, she still relies on us for the food and the diapers and the moving from place to place. But yesterday? Yesterday, she took her pacifier out of her mouth, seemed surprised to find it missing, then stuck it right back in. What happened to taking it out of her mouth, dropping it, then expecting me to find it for her, and crying until I did? She obviously doesn’t need me anymore. Also, she’s put herself to sleep in her crib the last three nights. I know she’s supposed to do this. I know I’m supposed to put her down when she’s sleepy, but not asleep so she learns to do it on her own. I know this is a good thing, but it does make me a little sad that she can fall asleep somewhere other than in my arms. Don’t get me wrong…I like not spending 30 to 45 minutes pacing back in forth in the nursery, trying to get her to sleep, only to have her wake up again the minute I try to put her down for the night, just so I can repeat the process. But I have to say, there’s nothing much better than holding a sleeping baby. Of course, now that she’s closing in on the 15 pound mark, holding a sleeping baby will start to make your arms go numb after awhile, but I’d say it’s still worth it.

Other changes? She’s been two-timing her glow-worm with a stuffed seahorse that also lights up and plays music. She plays with my hair when I hold her. She loves to stand up on your lap. She loves when daddy sings ‘All the Single Ladies’. She’s starting to understand that the beeping of the bottle warmer means she’s got food coming her way, and if it doesn’t get there quick enough, all hell breaks loose. Her open mouthed grin (accompanied by a full body wiggle) might just be the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. Even at 6am. On a Saturday. She looks more and more like Steve the older she gets. In general, she’s just a lot of fun to have around. And I love her more than just about anything.

Happy 4-month birthday, Brigid!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Chuck E Cheese, here we come...

Today has been a good day.

Today, we took Brigid to the cardiologist and received the best news we could have received, just short of hearing that the hole in her heart was completely closed. Yes, it’s still there (which we knew, since the pulmonologist could still hear a murmur last week), but the defect in the heart wall, which was 4.5mm in November, has shrunk to 2.5mm, and the hole itself is down to 1mm. The doctor said we’re past the peak point when symptoms of respiratory distress (caused by too much blood flowing through the hole from her heart into her lungs) would have presented themselves, and even if the hole doesn’t close completely anytime soon, we’re most likely not looking at a surgical correction, since the hole itself isn’t really a problem as long as everything else comes back clear. She’ll probably go back once a year, unless the hole closes completely, to make sure the aorta isn’t weakening or that one chamber of the heart doesn’t become enlarged, (both of which can sometimes occur over time if the blood flow through the hole causes too much pressure to build up on one side of the heart), but other than that, we can treat her like a normal baby going forward.

So what does this mean, you ask?

It means her days of complete seclusion are over! She’s finally allowed to be around people! Well, within reason, of course. I mean, if I can tell you’re sick, you’re still not coming anywhere near my baby, but she’s been given the ok to be in public from time to time. All of those clothes she’s been given? They will actually be seen by somebody other than me. That stroller frame that mommy got for indoor errands (as opposed to the 45 pound off-road stroller that daddy uses, but mommy can barely lift)? It can actually be put to use now. We can have people over to the house without being utterly paranoid that they’re harboring some disease that just isn’t showing itself yet. Don’t get me wrong, everyone is still expected to bathe in hand sanitizer the minute they walk in the door, but that has more to do with me being crazy than anything else. I will still do the best I can to keep her from getting sick, but if it does happen (and I know, it’s going to happen), we don’t have to be as worried now that it could develop into something life threatening. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. And that, my friends, is a fantastic feeling.

Needless to say, when we head in next week for Brigid’s four month vaccination visit, I will be double checking with the pediatrician, because I am all about second opinions. And I don’t plan on heading straight out to Target or Publix with her this very minute, because I am not ready to tempt fate just quite yet. But a dinner out? That might be an option now, and that’s pretty good news to me.

Plus, when I finally lose the rest of this baby weight, Brigid and I are totally hitting the mall. I need to start the girl off right, after all…


Side note: The kid weighed in at 14lbs, 4oz today. That’s an eight ounce gain in one week. Holy crap. Forget doubling her weight at six months, she’s going to pretty much be there by four. And honestly, I’m pretty sure it’s all going straight to those cheeks…



Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Happy Birthday Steve-O!

On this date in 1980, my husband was born. For those of you who are bad at math, that makes him 30 today. I plan to mock him for this fact relentlessly for the next two weeks, while I am still just a young thing in my 20s. He is so old. Ha, ha! Bet he wishes he was more like his youthful wife. Ha!

Actually, the mocking is not nearly as much fun as I thought it would be, especially since he is not the least bit upset about turning 30, whereas I am stressing the hell out.

*sigh*

Moving on.

All jokes aside, I’d like to wish him a very, very happy birthday. He’s been a wonderful husband, and he’s turning out to be one heck of a father. He takes a lot of crap from me (And let’s be honest, that’s probably not ending anytime soon. It’s not like people get less cranky, the older they get.), and he claims that he still loves me, so I probably made a good choice in getting hitched to this one. I’m horrible when it comes to planning any sort of celebratory event, so he’s not getting a special 30th birthday party, and I’m kind of upset with myself for not making a bigger deal out of this. I mean, he even had to help pick out his gift! I’m not even surprising him with that! I fully acknowledge my failure as a wife right now.*

On the other hand, I did pick out his card by myself. And probably more exciting to him than the card, he has several friends coming to town and a baby-free weekend to look forward to, which I guess counts for something. So, gentlemen, thanks for picking up the slack on this one. I'll try to put in a better showing when 40 rolls around...

Anyway, Steve, remember that you only turn 30 once, so make it a good one. Enjoy this weekend with your friends because you deserve it, and because I'll be around to bail you out of trouble if you need me to. Brigid and I (and Rudy and Gracie and Riley and Peyton) love you!!

Happy birthday, honey.

* To be completely fair, I knew what I wanted to get him, but I needed his help picking out the specific model he wanted, so his input was pretty necessary. Still, I like the element of surprise when it comes to gifts, so it’s kind of a letdown knowing he knows what’s coming.


Monday, February 1, 2010

The Godzilla of Diaper Bags...

People have asked me (ok, one person has asked me…) what I bought or received for the baby that I’ve found I didn’t really need. The honest truth is that I didn’t really need most of what I have, but it’s still been fantastic to have around…


-The bottle warmer with the cooler on it that I keep in the nursery was great when feeding occurred every two hours because it saved me countless trips up and down the stairs at 2am to get bottles from the fridge. And believe me, walking up and down the stairs when you haven’t slept for more than two hours at a time for several days is something you want to avoid. That’s simply self-preservation.

-Having a second, smaller bottle warmer downstairs that also disinfects pacifiers? Now that’s just convenient.

-Sure, the bedding I got for the crib didn’t get much use, but it made things cute.

-Since the swing is sometimes the only way we can get the kid to nap, the travel swing is great because it can be moved through the house easily, especially when I need to shower. I set that swing on the bathroom floor, and she dozes where I can still see her. I don’t smell, she’s well-rested, it’s a win for everyone.

-The boppy is just so much easier to use for arm support during feedings than a regular pillow. Ok, that does sound really lazy. But the boppy also doubles as support for a baby who’s learning to sit up on her own. So it’s not just all about me.

-The bottle drying rack/organizer keeps all of the bottle parts up and out of the way. And if you use the Doctor Brown bottles that we have, there are a lot of little parts.

-The pack n’ play that vibrates and has a changing table? Priceless.


I could go on and on because when it comes to items for the baby, the options are endless. But in the end, the most useful of all items I received for the baby turned out to be this amazingly wonderful Pottery Barn tote:




See that huge bag in the back? The one that could fit me, the baby, and all of our stuff in it? The one that’s billed as a toy box? I have to say, it is the absolute best way to travel. It was perfect when we went to Indiana over Christmas, and, because you pack almost as much for two days away with a baby as you do for ten, it’s great for weekend trips, too. I throw absolutely everything into this bag, including the bottle warmer, the boppy, the formula, the bottles, the jug of special baby water (I know, I had no idea such a thing existed…), the white noise machine, the baby monitor, clothes, diapers, wipes, burp cloths, extra blankets, sheets for the pack n’ play, etc. Everything I own that has to do with the baby? It all goes into this bag. I love it.

And I get the chance to use it again this weekend, when Brigid and I get the hell out of dodge before a pack of Steve’s college friends descend on my home. So convenient.

Besides, I figure if my house isn’t still standing at the end of the weekend, the tote can always double as a tent for the family. Now that is a useful product, right there.