Archives for category: handy

Season 4 of Mad Men premieres on July 25th at 10:00!

And there’s a little mini marathon this Monday, July 5th of five episodes from Season 1.


Since I’m a girl on a budget, I’ve found some FREE magazines to peruse.  The only hitch is that they are only available online so you don’t get that tactile experience of flipping through glossy pages and dogearring fav pages.  I can deal.  I highly recommend you “subscribe” (remember: they’re FREE) to these mags ASAP:

Small – Kid/family magazine.

LMNOP – Kid/family magazine.

Lonny – Home magazine.  From some folks that used to work for now-out-of-print Domino.

Nonpareils – Wedding mag.  I find that wedding mags have the best ideas for parties.

LONG ago, I did a post of Pregnancy Must Haves and Nursery Must Haves.  The babies that inspired those posts have been born and are all well beyond the newborn stage, but I have a dear friend due to give birth in May so this goes out to her.  And I’m going to try to put together older baby must have lists soon.

Of all the phases that August has been through, newborn was BY FAR the most challenging.  My parents very generously stayed with us for a week after he was born (cooking all of our meals, cleaning, helping us pack and just generally doing amazing things), and I remember nearly having a nervous breakdown watching them drive away.  “How am I going to do this?”  Here’s what helped me (and August) survive those rough first weeks.

Receiving blankets

I must’ve had twenty receiving blankets.  Swaddling was KEY with August.

Buzzy chair

These things are pretty ugly.  So if you buy yours before your baby arrives (and not on Day 8 in a desperate attempt to soothe a cranky baby like we did), then you might have time to revamp it to look like this:

Redesigned Bouncy Chair from the ever-useful Ohdeedoh.



If you’re nursing, your body is going to be pretty busy the first couple weeks until you and baby become efficient at breastfeeding.  Constant access means you rarely stay fully dressed for long.  I recommend a bathrobe because you never know who’ll be stopping by with a new little one around.  And sometimes you won’t even have the energy to get dressed.  Truth.

Nursing gown

Or if you’re a girl on a budget like me, use button down tops (hello husband work shirt!), wrap dresses or cheap stretchy camisoles.


Have these stocked in your fridge the moment you return from the hospital.

Medela Lanolin

Without getting too graphic (though I have no problem being candid, but I know some of my readers wouldn’t be able to handle it), this ointment is lovely.  The more popular Lansinoh brand is AWFUL; it’s really tacky so it feels like you’re rubbing chewing gum over an already TENDER area.  This stuff is like buddah.  

Water – No link to buy water: use your tap!

Stay hydrated!  Period.

Kimono-style onesies

When August was a newborn, I felt, as many new parents do, that he was super fragile and that I’d break him.  Even putting onesies on over his head made me think I was going to snap his spinal cord.  Using these kimono-style onesies relieved the pressure since they don’t go over baby’s head at all!  Whew!  Once he beefed up a bit and held up his head I relaxed and was VERY satisfied with regular onesies.

Sitcoms on DVDs

I recommend comedies because when you’re up at 4am trying to coax a hungry newborn to nurse, you’ll need *something* to pick up your spirits.  I know a lot of people talk about the importance of bonding during these times and blah blah blah, but sometimes you’re just going to be in survival mode.  Both of you.  So give yourself a bit of a break; there will be PLENTY of time for bonding later.  I especially love these sitcoms:

Arrested Development

The Office (yes, the British version because, yes, it’s better)

These are the things that really stick out in my mind about surviving the first month with a newborn.  A really helpful husband should be added to the list as well (Eric was AMAZING during that time).  Everyone’s different, and what worked for me might not work for others (having a stroller during the first month was pointless for August and me).  You figure it out as you go.  

If I had to do it again, I would’ve probably used a sling for those first few weeks.  My friend Lily, August’s girlfriend’s mom, has the raddest sling ever.  It’s about 10 feet long and you just wrap it around your body in a bazillion possible ways to make the perfect sling for you and your little one.

The last thing that I’ll say is that every day gets better and better.  Little improvements creep along and soon everyone will find a happy medium.  And then…it’s just the most amazing thing ever.

August Miles at 6 days old.  One of my favorite pictures of him as a newborn.