Why is it so hard to leave the house with a baby? {Rookie Moms Challenge # 15}

Leaving the neighborhood used to be so simple.  Before I had a kid, I would just put on my shoes, grab the dog’s leash and go for a walk.

Now that I have Piper there are, like, 42 additional steps to the process. One of which usually involves changing a diaper full of poop RIGHT before I am about to walk out the door.

But I was determined to do it.  And I was bringing my husband and dog along with me. (Some might think leaving the house is easier with the husband, but in this case not so much.)

I knew I wanted to take Miss Pipes to the park which was about 1.5 miles from our house.  There is a baby swing there, and I thought it would be fun to try it out.

First step in the process: Google At what age can my baby swing in a swing?

I figured out that even though she was just 4.5 months old that if I put a blanket around her to fill the extra space in the swing and I didn’t push her too hard that we would be fine.

Armed with new-found knowledge about infants and playground equipment, we were off to the park.

The whole time my husband kept saying, “I think its going to rain,” “Babe, it’s probably going to rain.”  Ughhhh I kept telling him to shut it — that it would be fine, but he would have none of it.

As you all know a happy wife is a happy life, so despite his protests we marched on.

Along the way we had to stop at a field and let the dog run off his leash.  After he proceeded to eat deer poop and chase a small child, we leashed him back up and continued on our way. Next stop: swings!!!

heather-swings-piper

Piper looked at me pretty darn skeptically when I was loading her up, but after a few pushes she thought they were pretty neat. Great. Now we are going to have to buy one of these for the yard.  The look on her little face when she was feeling the wind at her back and taking it all in was priceless.

piper-swings

Next step was the slide.  I told Tyler, my husband, that he needed to take the baby and the dog down the slide since they both equally like it.  He was less than thrilled with this idea, but he is a great sport so he played along.  Dog liked it, while baby was kind of like, ehhhh.

piper-dog-slide

Last up, the pull up bars, or monkey bars as the kids call them.  Since Tyler and I are avid crossfitters we thought it would be fun to make the baby look like she was doing a pull up.

piper-crossfit

But then she licked the monkey bars and we completely freaked out thinking she had contracted hepatitis and had to start for home.  Plus she was quickly approaching the “I’m about to lose my shit” phase of the day.

And what do you know?

It rained on us the last mile home.  Now if you ask me it was just a light drizzle, almost kind of peaceful.  If you ask my husband it was a monsoon and he wanted to run the whole way home.  Sorry babe, I don’t run.

Taking the Ergo 360 for a spin {giveaway}

Thanks to Ergobaby for sponsoring this post and sending me and Piper the Four Position 360 Baby Carrier to test out and one to give away (below).
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Review of Ergo 360 by rookie mom, Heather OsbyWhen I found out that Ergo was coming out with a new baby carrier, I got so excited. I’m kind of an Ergo groupie. They make good products, and for those of you who know me, you know I wouldn’t say that if I didn’t mean it. Since having a kid, I’ve realized that pushing her around in a stroller is less than ideal. My big bulky stroller takes up half of my car, so babywearing is the way to go.

When Piper was 3 months old, I started carrying her around in the Original Ergo, and I was smitten from the get go, but the one downside was that no matter how big she got, she would never be able to face outward. Now I like snuggling just as much as the next mom, but if you have ever had a five-month old, you know how squirmy they start to get. And, the more social they get, the more they want to be involved in everything, so something that is front facing is perfect for this age.

Enter the Ergo Four Position 360 Baby Carrier

With the new carrier, I can carry my baby facing in or facing out. I can put her on my hip or on my back too, all comfortably they say. But are they right?

Yep.

Review of Ergo 360 by rookie mom, Heather Osby

Piper is into flowers right now. They are one of her favorite things to look at on our walks. She also likes to squirm when I try to get photos of her being this cute.

Here are a few highlights

  • Let’s start with comfort. Lugging a 17-pound baby around isn’t easy, but this thing provides a TON of comfort, especially in the shoulders. Honestly, I don’t even feel any strain. With previous forward-facing carriers that I have tried my back would be killing me after 15 minutes, but after an entire grocery store trip with Piper facing outward, I felt completely fine.
  • It is super easy to adjust the straps. I had Piper comfortably secured in this thing in no time whatsoever. There are straps on the side to pull that tighten everything up, easy peasy.
  • Loving the secret hood. Okay, maybe it isn’t a secret, but I was pleasantly surprised to find tucked up in the pocket a hood to throw over baby’s head if she is sleeping. Bonus points for protecting your baby’s head from a sunburn.
  • The pocket. So I had just arrived at the grocery store and I thought to myself, where am I going to put my keys and credit card? Then I discovered it. A pocket with a zipper. The original Ergo has a pocket, but no zipper so when I take Piper out, anything in the pocket falls out if I am not super careful. The 360 has a zipper pocket so my iPhone and credit card are secure. Even when I forget.
  • Adjustable positions. At first I was confused because the carrier has a safety clip at that weird spot on my back that I can’t reach unless I loosened the straps before putting it on (which I was constantly forgetting to do!). BUT then after playing around with it a little more I realized that the position of that clip is also adjustable and I can move it up or down, whatever is more comfortable. And that was when I knew this product was truly amazing.

The only downside is…
I feel sad for my original Ergo baby carrier, I don’t know when I’m going to use it anymore!

So yeah, I’m an Ergo groupie. They just make great products. If a wrap is more your style they graciously sent me one of those as well which I highly recommend.

Win one of your own!
Win your own 4-way 360 baby carrier from ergobaby + rookiemoms
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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks to Ergobaby for going the extra mile to create great products that save Mama’s back and allow us to use BOTH of our hands to get some things done.

I was compensated for this post, all opinions and cute baby pictures are my own. All rights reserved by Rookie Moms and Heather Osby. The contest winner will received an ErgoBaby 360 Carrier like I’m wearing here. US residents only.

I planned a girlfriends’ get together {Rookie Moms Challenge #10}

Plan a moms night out via rookiemomsI don’t get to see my girlfriends as much as I used to. I guess that kind of goes with the territory of having an infant at home, but it still bums me out. So when my friend Kalen mentioned a group of our girlfriends should get together I jumped at the chance. Since we are all super busy we had to pick a date 4 weeks into the future, but hey, it was on the calendar!

I asked Tyler if he wanted to stay with Piper that night while I went out. He looked at me like was crazy. If I was having a night out with friends he wanted a night to himself as well, so Grandma it was!

It was nice to have an opportunity to get all dressed up in some of my cutest clothes, and was excited to wear a bracelet that no one was going to chew on. It really is the small things.

My girlfriends and I decided to meet at a classy little restaurant for happy hour and then just see where the night went. I ordered my usual drink of choice, a Moscow Mule, and the laughing commenced. Since four of our group have no children, my bestie Janet and I educated them about all things babies. They were disturbed to learn what nipples do during pumping, how little sleep you actually get, and the “joys” of childbirth. Not to mention they were completely baffled when I explained to them that Tyler and I rent hotel rooms to have sex away from the baby.

A night out with girlfriends just isn’t as simple as it used to be. After a few hours I had to leave to go to my car to pump. Just lovely. Again, another thing they were confused about. On my way out I called grandma to check in and immediately heard Piper having a FULL ON meltdown. The girl was scream crying and it instantly made my heart just hurt. So instead of going to my car to pump I had to head home to soothe my crying baby and text my friends to apologize for my sudden absence.

When I returned home in the middle of my evening out, I found my husband and my in-laws all trying to soothe a baby that was FREAKING out. I scooped her into my arms, snuggled her tightly, and rocked her until she finally relaxed enough to fall asleep. She had that shake going that you get after you’ve been crying so hard. Luckily after just 10 minutes of rocking she was out cold. I passed her off to the husband, pumped quick and headed back out to meet up with my friends. It was only 8:30!

The second part of the night I was able to relax a little more knowing that Piper was down for the night and there would be no more meltdowns. Of course, I didn’t want to stay out too late since I knew she was probably going to get up once or twice in the middle of the night (sleep regression, ugh!). So around 10pm when my childless friends were ready to hit up another bar and keep the night going I had to politely bow out. A newborn and a hangover just do not mix.

Getting dolled-up and out of the house for the night was such a good thing for me, it was so much fun to laugh, but going out sure is different than it used to be. Before I had a baby, I just didn’t realize all that goes into orchestrating a night out: Baby-sitters, stockpiling breast milk, planning where and when to pump, and finding that happy amount of alcohol for a good time (that’s also not so much I’d hate myself the next day). Also, if I could go back and slap my old, childless self, for harassing my friends with kids for going home early I would.

[Photo by Heather Osby, all rights reserved]

Rookie Moms Challenges -- weekly adventures for moms and babiesFind more baby activities with the 52 weekly rookie mom challenges.

If you’re already participating, use hashtag #rookiemoms on instagram or twitter so we can cheer each other on.

Yeah, I brought a BABY to music class {Rookie Moms Challenge #41}

Today’s challenge: Test-drive some free music and movement classes.

That time I took my baby to a music class for a rookie moms challenge

A friend recently mentioned to me that there are music class for babies to which I responded with judgy eyes. “Really? Take your baby to a music class?” I said. “Can’t they be stimulated by a rock at this age? Is that really necessary?”

But upon further research I saw that the local studio in Des Moines that offers baby music classes invites your kid go for free until they are 4 months, and since free is always good, Piper and I decided to check it out.

Now I have to tell you right now that the moment I walked into this music studio I felt my pre-pregnancy self laughing at me. Never would I have thought that I would be a mom that sits around in a circle and sings The Wheels on the Bus with other moms! Ahh, how life has a way of changing like that.

That time I took my baby to a music class for a rookie moms challenge

The second we got in the class and Piper took one look at all the kids around us, I knew we were going to be hooked. She was SO INTO looking at the other babies, and once Miss Jenn, the teacher, started singing, she was kicking her legs and making sure not to miss a moment of what was happening. If I turned her so she couldn’t see the other babies, she would completely lose her shit until I turned her back around. It was like, “Ok, ok kid I get it– you’re going to be social.”

During the 40-minute class we sang some songs, did some baby exercises, and the kids got to play with noise-making objects like drums and maracas. The babies also got massages which I kind of though was bullshit: What do they have going on that is causing stress and tension in their muscles? Mama is the one that needs the massage. :)

That time I took my baby to a music class for a rookie moms challenge

Piper ate up every minute of the class. She spent her time smiling, laughing, and really focusing on what was going on. I don’t know what was happening in that little brain of hers, but she had to have been making leaps in her mental development. Coincidentally she was also making massive farts, with no regard for anyone’s nostrils. Luckily in a room full of moms, no one seemed to mind. (Side note: Does anyone else’s infant fart like a 40-year old man? That girl can blast them!)

While I was definitely skeptical of this whole baby music thing, I was pleasantly surprised. Once I let my guard down, I really enjoyed myself, maybe as much as Piper did. We’ve decided to make this a regular thing and who knows, maybe Daddy will join us from time to time.

That time I took my baby to a music class for a rookie moms challenge

 

[All photos taken by Heather Osby, all rights reserved]

Rookie Moms Challenges -- weekly adventures for moms and babiesFind more baby activities with the 52 weekly rookie mom challenges.

If you’re already participating, use hashtag #rookiemoms on instagram or twitter so we can cheer each other on.

Getting back on the horse, confession of a rookie mom’s night out

It was Mama’s night out and you have no idea how badly I needed it.

My husband,Tyler, had just returned from being out of town for work and would be leaving again in a few days. I love my baby, don’t get me wrong, but being alone with a 7-week old, around the clock, tends to make me a little crazy, so I jumped at the chance for a night out before the hubs left town again.

Tyler and I decided to do dinner and drinks with friends. That alone wasn’t going to be enough to satisfy my craving for adult interaction though so I decided to take it up a notch.

Rookie Mom makes postpartum sex a fun night out

You see, I mentioned I had a 7 week old. That means that I had recently had my 6-week check up with my midwife (while my husband was out of town).  As I’m assuming you moms know what that means….the all clear for sexy time.

But here’s the thing: Just because your doctor says you can “do it” doesn’t mean you (A) feel like it or (B) could find the time even if you wanted to.

But my husband, God bless him, deserved it. He hardly bugged me once over the course of the 6 weeks after our daughter, Piper, was born (probably because I told him to go take matters into his own hands). I felt like it was time to give him the best 30 seconds of his life.

So what did I do…..?

I paid for sex

No, not like that you weirdo. Who do you think I am?

You see, I had figured out that getting busy with my husband was tough to make happen at our house. Our kid fusses like crazy in the evenings (holy witching hour). By the time that is over, I’m exhausted and the last thing on my mind is bumping uglies.

And while we’ve gotten a babysitter before, she comes to our house and it would just be weird to run off into another room (though the thought has crossed my mind).

So, I decided to get a hotel room. For what turned out to be approximately 30 minutes. $110 hotel room, 30 minutes, that’s $3.67 a minute (not including taxes)!

My “night out” started out “normally”. We met up with our friends  (also parents of a young one) and I had my first Moscow Mules. In a year. And yes, they were delicious.

The friends that we met up with are pregnant with their 2nd child, so naturally the conversation centered a lot around babies. It’s funny how that happens. I’ve turned into “that woman”. Before I had a kid I hated talking about other peoples kids for more than five minutes.

But what about the sex?

I had decided the day prior that I was going to do this whole hotel thing. However, planning this stuff is tricky with this newly acquired kid.

We have our babysitter for a limited amount of time and I’m going to need to pump at some point. So instead of eating dinner at my favorite restaurant downtown and then driving across town to a hotel, I just shortened the whole thing. I booked dinner reservations at a restaurant that also happens to be in a hotel (I’m efficient!). Since it’s a restaurant we’ve eaten at, it wasn’t suspicious to my husband.

Now, it definitely wasn’t as good of a restaurant as my normal downtown favorite, but I got to eat a hot meal and there was no baby crying. So I’ll take it.

After dinner I busted out a room key and gave it to my husband. Boy, he was excited (and surprised!).

Without going into too many details, it was definitely better than I expected. But still slightly painful.

We checked in around 8:00 and made it home by 9:00 with a quick stop at Trader Joe’s on the way home.

Was it the most romantic thing I’ve experienced? Probably not. However, sometimes you just got to jump back on the horse. You see if you weren’t hungry, you’d still eat at some point during the day. Well this is kind of the same thing. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, I’m sure there will be much less anxiety about future “sessions.”

It was fun, it was refreshing, it was EXACTLY what I needed.

Now I want to hear from you! In the comments below I’d love to hear your best tip for keeping the romance alive post-baby. We could all use some inspiration!