Great online resources for pregnancy & parenthood

The internet has been both a blessing and a curse for someone like me who loves to research anything to death.  The plethora of information online makes it easy to pop in a search term on Google for a billion different results instantly.  On the flipside, it’s easy to be overwhelmed with information from too many sources with differing theories and opinions, adding to stress level and anxiety when you’re sleep deprived, hormonal, and worried about why your 2 week old is suddenly refusing to nap.

Given the countless resources out there, I found myself regularly coming back to several websites consistently throughout my pregnancy and afterwards, and I thought I’d share my list in case it may help others sort through the ton of information on the web:

Babycenter – I loved their week-by-week pregnancy updates and also enjoyed reading posts in the Community section, especially from those in my birth month (although some were too snarky and judgy for my taste).  Overall, it’s a great reference point for a variety of information on pregnancy and parenting as your baby grows.

WebMD – Yes, I know this doesn’t replace seeing your pediatrician or other doctors but it’s still a good resource when you want some basic medical information on your child, whether it be a developmental question or suspected illness.  Many times I wasn’t sure if one of the kids was sick or just having an off day, so would do a quick search on WebMD to learn more about their symptoms and sound somewhat educated before calling the doctor.

Kellymom – Breastfeeding seems instinctual in theory but in reality takes a lot of practice and patience before getting the hang of it.  While many moms had no problems with it, I was one of those that dealt with a host of problems including EXTREMELY sore nipples, alternating engorgement and low supply issues, and plugged ducts.  It’s a wonderful website that provides answers to lots of breastfeeding questions and links to other sources for additional information.

Hellobee – I’m a regular lurker on their boards and read daily updates by their bloggers, and really enjoy the warm, open-minded, supportive, and non-judgemental vibe.  The site is geared primarily towards those who are TTC, pregnant, and/or parents of young kids (under 3) and is great especially for first-time moms.  They also have great suggestions on baby gear, toys, clothing, and other items, though admittedly many are on the pricier side.  It also has a nice section on “parenting acronyms” for those like me who had no idea what DD/DS/WAHM/etc. stood for 😛

These are my top parenting sites and hope they are useful to others.  What are some other great baby/parenting websites out there?

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Baby Update – Averie Month 2

2012 023Averie’s 2nd month continued to be pretty easy.  For the first half of the month, she slept a lot during the day but started to have a fussy period between 7-11pm, during which she’d cry unless nursing or held.  This was tough because Aaron gets home from school around 5:30 and needs to be fed, bathed and put to bed by 7:30-8:00.  Usually, I serve him dinner and nurse/hold her while he ate, and during his bath time, I put her in her crib.  Sometimes she’d hang out staring at her mobile without any issues, but usually she’d be crying by the time we finished.  By 8pm, I’d be wiped out.  Breakdowns/tears usually happened at this time.

After a few weeks though, we settled into a sort of routine and I got used to running to her crib and comforting her, so it’s gotten a lot better.  I need to invest in a battery-powered mobile that runs for longer than a few minutes to help keep her distracted in the evenings, and possibly to help soothe her when I start training her to nap in her crib during the day.

Speaking of naps, she’s started to consolidate her daytime sleep and have longer wakeful periods in the day.  Now her routine is something like this:

6:30am – eat, back to sleep
8:30-9 – eat, play
10:00 – eat, play
12:00pm – sleep3:00 – eat, play
4:30 – sleep (maybe)
5:30 – go with mommy to pick up Aaron – sometimes she’ll be asleep in the car, lately she’s been awake the entire trip
6:00-8:00  – play/nurse, sometimes fuss/cry in crib during Aaron’s bath and bedtime routine
8:00 – bath, bedtime routine
8:30 nurse before going to bed
11:30 – dream feed (only sometimes if I’m worried my boobs will feel engorged in the middle of the night)
4-5am – eat, back to sleep

On good days, she’ll fall asleep and wake up quickly just once for another nursing session before going to sleep for good, but most nights she’ll fuss/wake up at least 2x.  We usually give her 2 oz of formula that helps.  I’m not sure why…either it’s because I’m emptied out by this point, or she associates the formula with sleep (maybe both?)

Overall, month 2 continued to be pretty smooth for us, as we started to establish a sort of schedule and I got the hang of juggling 2 young children.  I have less than 2 weeks before heading back to work so I’m trying to treasure every moment of my time with my little one. She’s just so good, happy and healthy that the thought of leaving her makes my heart ache…hope I won’t fall to pieces my first day back!

Baby Update – Averie month 1

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Unlike the first few months with Aaron, the time with Averie has gone by way too quickly – I’m in shock that she’s already 10 weeks old!  We were blessed with an even chiller, more easygoing kid the second time around, and I’m definitely grateful for that.  Here are some highlights of Averie’s first month:

  • After an interesting l&d with some unexpected drama, we came home with a very sleepy baby.  Because my milk took a few days to come in, she was super hungry and wanted to nurse constantly, to no avail.  I felt horrible and gave her some glucose water here and there to take the edge off, but in retrospect I wish I gave her some formula instead of torturing her with hunger pains.  She cried and fussed a lot until my milk finally came in the next evening (hooray!)
  • 3 days after coming home, we went for our first pediatrician visit to find that her jaundice was getting worse, so the doctor sent us to the hospital for light therapy.  We stayed for 24 hours, where she stayed under the lights constantly except when nursing, changing her diaper, or getting her heel pricked to check her bilirubin levels. I heard that most babies fall asleep under the lights, but she hated it and cried most of the time she wasn’t in my arms.  Needless to say, neither of us got much sleep during our stay and we both conked out as soon as we came home.
  • After the jaundice subsided and she got enough milk, she went back to sleeping a ton with 2-3 brief wakeful periods a day.  She was so good that sleep deprivation wasn’t a big problem for me as it was with Aaron when he was this age.
  • She did however, eat a TON and wanted to nurse at least every 2 hours, sometimes every hour, which was exhausting.  Fortunately, she was able to go for slightly longer stretches at night, sleeping anywhere from 2-4 hours.  Nighttime sleep went for longer stretches on her own, and by the end of October, she was starting to sleep 4-5 hours.  Yay!
  •  Breastfeeding wasn’t as painless as I thought it would be – with Aaron, I had issues ranging from lower supply to super painful, blistered nipples.  Fortunately, I haven’t had supply issues this time around (though we still do supplement a few ounces of formula before her bedtime on occasion), but I did have sore nipples that finally went away around week 6.  Since breastfeeding isn’t new to me, I didn’t think I’d have any issues, but with her voracious appetite and barracuda mouth, my boobs didn’t stand a chance to come through unscathed.

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The first month was a blur, but because I was a somewhat more experienced mom and she was so good, it was much better than what I expected.  The hardest part was learning to juggle the needs of a newborn with that of a capricious 2 year old.  Hubs and I find ourselves saying, wow this would be a piece of cake if Aaron wasn’t here, haha!  Not that I’d have it any other way, though.  Posts devoted to Aaron’s hilarious antics to follow soon.

Another year, another kid, another long blog-less stretch

Another promise to myself to blog regularly sort of fizzled, and for the second time I blame it on pregnancy and having a baby (#2).  At the beginning of the year I was really motivated to keep this up, and then came horrible morning sickness that made it all but impossible to keep up with anything else except working and taking care of A.  I was hoping my body, having gone through pregnancy already once before, would adapt to the second one without much drama, but alas, that wasn’t the case – the symptoms were much worse, especially the first trimester.  In addition to expecting, we also bought and sold a house, plus hubby started a new (and stressful) job.  Blogging went further and further down on the priority list until now.

Now that A2 (baby) is 2 months old and starting to adapt to a schedule of sorts, I have no excuse to miss posts.  I regret not documenting all the little milestones and exciting moments in life, especially with A1, so with A2 most likely being our last child, I want to remember as much as possible of her infancy.  So here goes (again!)

Apartment Therapy post – harnessing toy clutter

Loving this idea from Apartment Therapy on creative ways to organize toys.  I’m not the handiest person, but this seems like a project that even someone like me can figure out.

Hanging planters on a wall – how ingenious is this???  And the sock monkey chillin in the rocking chair is a super cute touch.  I’m SO gonna try this.

Chocolate chips. Peanut butter. Together in a scrumptious cookie. Someone make me some!

Sweet Pea's Kitchen

Get ready to take peanut butter cookies to a whole new level by adding milk chocolate and peanut butter chips. Peanut butter and chocolate has always been my favorite of all flavor combinations, so I knew these cookies wouldn’t disappoint. These babies are crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside, just the way a perfect cookie should be. Lately I have been craving peanut butter like nobody’s business and instead of spooning right out of the jar I figured I would make some cookies that I have had my eye on for a while. I am really kicking myself for not making these earlier, they are “hide them from the family” good! I used smooth peanut butter for these cookies, but crunchy peanut butter will work just as well. Do yourself a favor and whip up a batch of these, I promise they won’t last long!

One Year Ago:Pecan and Almond Chocolate Toffee

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