Mini B is Famous!

That’s right–she’s a star!  Er, well, if you define fame as being featured on a pretty popular blog.  What–did you think I was going to say she was in a movie or something?  Puh-leeze.  That’s for next year ;).

Mini B’s nursery was featured in the Before & After section on Apartment Therapy Friday!  Check it out here.  I was so excited that I actually took a picture of the site on my phone (I know–I’m a full on geek) . . .

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I have no idea how it happened–I didn’t submit it or anything.  Total happy surprise to me.  :)  So thank you Apartment Therapy for stumbling across Mini B’s humble little nursery–she is really quite touched by the praise.

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Oh, and if you want to see the actual post about Mini B’s nursery, just click here.  If you want to see an even amazinger nursery (yep, just making words up today), check out her cousin’s digs here.

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Time for a Bigger Chair

Mini B and I traveled to Dallas a couple weekends ago to visit Mr. Squishy.  As usual, she did well traveling although that might be our last solo trip for a while . . . I’m not so sure that my seat neighbors appreciated Mini B’s feet in their lap while I nursed her on the plane.  Sorry strangers.  But besides that, it was a great, albeit far too short, trip and we can’t wait to see Mr. Squishy again sometime soon.  Oh, and as a bonus, we had a longish layover in Boston, so Mini B got some quality time with Grammie.

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Now, I haven’t made it through all my pictures yet (I only just got through my pictures from our earlier trip to Dallas four months ago), but I thought it would be good to make a little comparison.  Here’s a shot from our first time meeting Mr. Squishy (this was before he earned his nickname), taken on September 22, 2012:

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And now here’s a shot from our recent trip, taken on January 21st, 2013 (almost 4 months exactly after the shot above).  And note–these kiddos are in the same chair (and I tried to pick a shot of them in similar positions):

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No one’s been missing any meals, eh?

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Hopefully Mr. Squishy doesn’t need that toe . . .

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And we have to thank Mr. Squishy for lending his clothes and toys to Mini B during our trip.  It was nice to not have to pack too much, and Mini B had so much fun testing out all of Mr. Squishy’s goods.

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Of course, Mini B would have been remiss if she didn’t share anything of hers . . .

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Mini B thought he looked quite dapper.

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Although she was a tad confused by the whole situation.

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Just a little taste of what Mr. Squishy might have looked like if he had been born a Mrs. Squishy . . .

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But fear not, this little guy is all man . . .

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And hopefully he won’t someday hate his aunt for posting pictures of him in a flowery jumpsuit.

Isn’t it crazy what a difference 4 months makes?

Yogurt Taste Test

Having a sister-in-law in the yogurt biz has its perks sometimes.  Usually they come in the form of coupons, but last week they came in the form of a little market analysis.  Which market?  The Greek one of course.  I mean, does anyone even eat regular yogurt anymore?  I didn’t think so.

So let’s get to it.  The test?  A taste test of 4 different Greek yogurts, all vanilla-flavored.  Set up by Bunches Junior herself.  First–the brands:

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And the set-up.

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We each got to taste while Mini B supervised.

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And then came up with our own rankings of our favorites.  I even attempted to identify which yogurt was which.  Let’s just say I got them all wrong.

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In the end, Wegman’s brand and Chobani were the clear favorites (sorry Junior!); Mr. B and I both picked Wegman’s as our clear winner.  And Mini B?  Well, she got her first taste of yogurt (just the Stonyfield organic one though–sorry Mini B!).

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She seemed a little unsure about the whole thing.

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But no worries.  She recovered quickly.

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And then decided she wanted a beer.  Too bad she’ll have to wait 20 1/2 more years for that.

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Even though Mini B’s first taste of yogurt didn’t go so great, we decided to try again.  This time with Stonyfield’s Plain full-fat yogurt.  And she loved it.

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Er, at least she loved rubbing it all over her face; I’m not sure how much was actually ingested.

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She mastered getting the spoon and yogurt into her mouth, but then also mastered spitting it right out.

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Oh the joys of Baby-Led Weaning!  We just had to sit by and watch patiently while she did her thing . . .

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So what do you think?  Ever done a yogurt taste test?  Who was your winner?

Mini Bunches: 5 Months

Seriously, when did we get a hot tub time machine that seems to make months disappear like nothing?  I can’t even believe how fast this whole parenthood thing is going.  Maybe it’s the lack of sleep, but it seems like it’s all a blur.  Sigh.

Mini Bunches is currently sporting a little bit of a faux-hawk as her hairdo of choice, but at least there’s some hair, right?

Of course the hardest part of this photo shoot was trying to get a shot that involved nothing in the mouth.  It was either both hands . . .

or some combination of hands and blanket . . .

or just blanket . . .

And then of course I occasionally got this look.

Thank goodness that (most of the time) it quickly turned into this look:

So there you have it–our little girl is quickly approaching 1/2 a year old.  Craziness.

Oh, and yes–I will be doing a post soon all about our Halloween adventures; I just have to get through the 1,000+ photos I took first.  But here’s at least a little sneak peak . . . 

Baby Top Ten — The Four Month List

I’m a list person . . . to-do lists, shopping lists, pro/con lists, lists of what I would do if I ever got a full night’s sleep again, and last but not least: top ten lists (here’s an example of another top ten list I did about Brockport, NY).  So here’s a top ten list of what has led to our survival over the past four and a half months of parenthood.  And since it takes too much brain power for me to put these in any semblance of order, they’re just random.  Oh, and I should preface this with this: these items worked for us and may not work for others. If there’s one thing I’ve learned throughout the past few months, it’s that each kid is totally unique. With that said, here we go:

#10 – Ubbi Diaper Pail

I love the Ubbi Diaper Pail.  So much so that I bought two–one for disposable diapers and dirty wipes; and the other for cloth diapers.  It contains all that yummy dirty diaper smell so that Mini B’s room doesn’t smell like a toilet.  Thank goodness.  Because really–who wants to live in a toilet?  Not Mini B.

#9 Music Box

This music box actually came as a piece of the Baby Einstein Neptune Ocean Adventure Mat . . .

and it has been invaluable in getting Mini B to sleep.  Whether attached to the side of her crib, in the backseat of the car on road trips, or in hotel rooms on vacation, this is Mini B’s equivalent to Pavlov’s dogs’ bell.  While not entirely foolproof, it generally induces sleepiness.  So thank you Mini Crab and Mini Turtle.  We owe you (although we don’t understand Mini Turtle why you have a snorkel and mask–I mean really Baby Einstein, what lesson is that teaching our children?).

#8 Kindle Fire

How is the Kindle a top ten baby item?  Allow me to explain in simple chapter and verse: Mini B sleeps in a pitch black room (I’m not kidding–I bought black-out roller shades and black curtains; her room might as well be 50 feet below ground when the shades and curtains are drawn); until recently, nursing and/or rocking Mini B was one of the only ways to get her to sleep; nursing a baby in a pitch black room is beyond boring–I cannot stress this enough–we’re talking serious mind-numbing boredom here; Mini B nurses A LOT (again, this is an understatement, but trust me–she’s no stranger to eating); having a Kindle Fire (the Amazon light-up reader for those of you that don’t know) has been literally a life-saver.  For me, and for Mini B.

I only discovered how wonderful the Kindle was over the past two months, and in that time I’ve read over a dozen books–the entire Hunger Games series, the last two Harry Potter books, the entire Anne of Green Gables series, and multiple Jane Austen novels.  And all of that reading was done in a pitch black room with Mini B attached to me.  Thank you, thank you Kindle for saving me from staring at blackness for hours on end.

#7 Snoozy Organic Waterproof Pads

This one is a bit random, but these pads have been awesome for all those “accidents” that happen mid-diaper-change.

We keep them on the changing pad so that we don’t have to constantly be changing the cover of the changing pad.  So you can basically see them in every picture of Mini B on her changing table . . .

#6 SwaddleMe Blankets

These were literally lifesavers.  Literally.  The Summer Infant Swaddleme blankets are basically a cheater’s swaddling blanket–velcro tabs take all the challenge out of it.  They also give some needed resistance for those babies, ahem Mini B ahem, who fought the swaddle tooth and nail.

Mini B was in these blankets from birth up until a few weeks ago.  This shot was taken a couple months back.

While she may look all peaceful, don’t let her fool you.  She was always ready for a fight . . .

And her victim?  Usually the swaddle blanket.  Sometimes Mom and Dad.

I loved these so much that I even snuck one on my nephew (and I’m happy to report that he’s been in them ever since and his sleeping has been much improved) . . .

#5 Rocking Chair

Not that I don’ t love Big Bird (the chair we converted into a rocker here), but I have to say that our nursery rocking chair has been my go-to . . . for nursing, for rocking Mini B, for reading stories, and yes–even for sleeping sometimes (although that was only during a 30-hour night and day spent trying-to-wean-Mini-B-from-the-pink-palace, aka: the night from hell.  Oh, and the weaning wasn’t even successful so it truly was THE night from hell).

#4 The Pink Palace, aka Nap Nanny

As any new parent can attest, sleep becomes an all-consuming desire.  So much so that you’ll find yourself in the aisles of Babies-R-Us buying every possible sleep contraption they make (I’m not joking–during week 4 I sent Mr. B and Aunt Doodles to the store and they returned with all 4 of the newborn sleeping options from Babies-R-Us; since I still wasn’t up for leaving the house, they figured they’d bring the store to me).  What ended up working?  The Pink Palace!

It’s actually the Nap Nanny, but we refer to it sometimes as the life saver.  So much so that we even smashed it into a suitcase and took it to PhillyEven though she’s no longer sleeping in the Pink Palace, it will forever hold a dear, dear place in our hearts.  Thank you Pink Palace.  Thank you.

UPDATE: The Nap Nanny has been recalled so it can’t be purchased anymore.  

#3 Squishy Dice

Now, even though Mini B didn’t play with toys for her first couple months, she still was pretty mesmerized by this one.  And since becoming more interactive, this is definitely her favorite . . . I mean, just look at all the phone pics it makes an appearance in:

#2 Leopard Lovie (aka Angel Dear Blankie)

Right up there with her fuzzy dice is this little lovie.  She literally flips out when she sees it and absolutely loves smashing as much of it into her mouth as possible.

BTW–don’t you love how Mini B looks like she was born in the 70s in that pic?  It’s from a recent trip we took with friends to the middle-of-nowhere Pennsylvania, during which we stayed in a 100+ year-old farmhouse.  Good times.

#1 Desitin

Kind of anti-climactic, right?  But at least I’m honest.  Mini B had one raging diaper rash early on and Desitin literally saved us.  Boring?  Yes.  Exciting?  No.  Practical?  You betcha’.  And no–I don’t have any pictures of Mini B with Desitin.  That would just be weird.  But, since we can’t end on such a blah note, here’s one last phone pic of Mini B (oh, and for those that haven’t figured it out yet–I finally joined the rest of the world and got an iPhone.  I am obsessed now with taking pictures and with Instagram, Hipstamatic, and Diptic.  It’s the little things in life, right?)

And three points to anyone who can guess where that pic was taken . . .

Mini Bunches: 4 Months

Oh how fast time flies these days . . .

And I know what you’re thinking–does this kid EVER smile?!  Well, yes, she does.  She sometimes smiles so big that her whole body gets into it . . .

Sigh.  She’s growing up so fast.  Just for kicks, let’s look back at her other monthlies:

When I see them all together, I can’t help but be mesmerized by the ever-changing hairline.  I think the 2-month picture captured it best ;).

Nursery Crash

Sorry for the lack of posts lately, but this was my first week back at work and, well, I’ve been on a bit of an emotional roller coaster to which I think pretty much any working parent can relate.  But, instead of writing a whole woe-is-me post (and getting even weepier than I already am), I thought instead I’d share some shots of my sister’s nursery from our visit a couple weeks ago.

Now, this nursery is far, far superior to my own (see Mini B’s nursery here), so it’s a good thing that Mini B is too young right now to really notice.  Although, maybe her lack of sleep since returning from Texas is her own way of protesting the inferiority of her room?  Guess I’ll have to wait until she starts communicating with actual words instead of drool to really find out.  In the meantime, let’s share some rad nursery shots.  I haven’t actually cleared this with my sis, but I’m going to go ahead and assume I have the, well, the go ahead.

In a word, er, actually a short phrase, her nursery totally kicks my nursery’s butt.  And then some.

And not only was it super cute and all styled and everything, but it was also crazy organized.  And I thought I was anal (just kidding sis–love you!).

I loved that little bookshelf in the corner that was just oh-so-neat-and-tidy.  So much so that I took close-ups of each shelf.  Ya’ know, just in case I want to full on copy her later.

And the artwork was pretty amazing too.  The big pieces were picked out by my bro-in-law and I have to give him mad props for a job well done.

They’re both by artist Todd Goldman.  I liked them so much that I’ve actually bought one of his pieces from eBay (surprise Mr. Bunches!), but I haven’t received it yet.  Once I do and get it framed, you know I’ll post about it.

My sister also put together a mini gallery wall in the room . . .

A few of these are etsy finds, and one (the little ducky) is actually original art done by my sis herself.  Talented, eh?

I also loved the mirror above the changing table.

It was apparently a Homegoods find.  Seriously?!  I never have that kind of luck at Homegoods.

Another idea I’ll be borrowing stealing from my sis is her choice of a clothes hamper for her little guy.  Isn’t this bag adorable?

It’s from Snuggybaby on etsy.  Of course, the store is currently out of that pattern, so I’m in a bit of a holding pattern at the moment.  Grrr.

Her crib sheets are also beyond stylin’.  Don’t you love that we’re both chevron fans?

So there you have it: my nephew’s nursery.  Mini B was more than a little envious, but she hid it well while assisting me with the picture taking . . .

Oh, and just because I can’t show the nursery without showing the proud occupant of the nursery, here’s a shot of the little guy.

I mean come on!  Couldn’t you just eat him up?!?!

Three’s Company

Well, it’s been a wild few days.  The result?  Mini B has TWO NEW COUSINS!  My sister and sister-in-law both had their first bambinos this past weekend, so now Mini B is feeling all growed up and protective . . .

She can’t wait to get her hands on those kiddos (and neither can a certain excited Aunt and Uncle)!  Congratulations all . . . WE LOVE YOU!

Mini Bunches: 2 Months

I’m only a few days late this time . . . Holla!  Sidenote: for those of you out there that watch RHONY (Real Housewives of New York), are you not incredibly annoyed at the beginning of each show when Heather says ‘Holla?’  Because oh my goodness I am.  I mean, seriously–Holla?!  Okay, but I digress.  Back to the matter at hand: Mini Bunches is 2 MONTHS OLD!

And she’s already losing her hair :(.  Oh, and since Mini B’s 1 Month birthday, I still have yet to come up with some creative way to document her growth.  So, I stuck with what I did the first time and just repeated it.  Hence, Mini B makes another appearance on one of her favorite blankies, but this time on her tummy (basically to highlight her cute bloomers) . . .

I love how she’s all snuggled up in there!  Okay, so that’s that.  I’m working on getting some more posts done about the myriad of visitors we’ve had since Mini B’s birth, and also Mini B’s first international trip . . . stay tuned!

Nursery Reveal

It’s finally here.  Only ~two months after Mini Bunches arrived.  Her early arrival kind of hampered the completion of the nursery, and it’s not entirely done yet, but I’ve just got to get this post done and out of my brain . . . 

First, where we started (see all of our house before pictures here):

And where it is today:

Big difference, eh?  This was actually the first room that I started painting when we bought the home–I knew all along it would be the nursery and I had baby on the brain, so I wanted to get it done.  It was also my first ever experience painting a ceiling . . .

The color?  Benjamin Moore’s Ocean Air:

I love this color–it’s blue in some light, teal in others, and all-in-all just awesome.  Our guest room in our old Boston condo was painted this color and it was my favorite room in the house.  Of course, when it’s painted on the ceiling, it reads as much, much lighter than when it’s on the walls.  See how you can barely tell the difference between the new Ocean Air color and the old white ceiling paint?

Oh well.  I wasn’t going to paint it again.  Let’s just say painting a ceiling–not so fun.  Your arms and neck get mighty tired.  I actually did it before we ripped up the carpet (more on that here), so I didn’t need to worry about drips getting on the floor, but if you’re not getting rid of your flooring, then definitely tarps are a MUST.  Oh, and the walls and trim are Benjamin Moore’s Decorator’s White–ya’ know, the color that’s on basically every wall in our house except the kitchen.

What paint did we use?  Well, we used Sherwin Williams’ HGTV Home Interior Paint in a Flat finish, color-matched to BM’s Decorator’s White:

Why this paint?  Well, my sister has converted me to a SW fan, and this paint was new, No-VOC, and cheaper than SW’s other No-VOC paints.  Plus, I love HGTV and figured that it would be good quality paint.  Boy, was I WRONG.  This is the WORST PAINT EVER!!!  And trust me–I’ve done my fair share of painting.  It smelled HORRIFIC and the odor didn’t go away for months!  Good thing we (and by that I mean Mr. Bunches since I was too preggers at the time we decided to finally get on finishing the nursery) painted the room a few months before Mini B arrived.  We had the windows open in there through most of the winter and spring, and I still felt like I could smell paint sometimes when I went in there.  Plus, the coverage of this paint was AWFUL.  It was really thin and covered horribly.  The room isn’t that big, we had already done a coat of paint using some BM leftovers we had, and so we shouldn’t have had to use even half a gallon.  But nope–it took the whole gallon just to do one coat on the walls.  In sum: NEVER BUY THIS PAINT.  IT’S CRAP.

Okay, sorry for the tangent.  Back to the nursery:

Remember that dresser?  It’s the one I refinished (see all the steps here and here), and now it’s Mini B’s changing table.

It’s also her favorite spot to be in the room.  Why?  Because these guys are her new best friends . . .

Yep, those are vintage Disney wall hangings that we took from Mr. Bunches’ childhood room.  Isn’t it too cute that what hung on his nursery wall is now hanging in Mini B’s nursery?  I just love that.  And just to see what the changing table looked like before we got our snazzy rug . . .

But now the floor’s all covered up in chevron stripes that Mini B can barely take her eyes off of . . .

As for the crib?  Well, she’s not such a fan yet, but I have faith.  She has spent a couple naps/nights there, but hopefully more soon . . .

And she’s not into this bucket o’fun yet, but I’m sure she will be soon.  It’s basically where all her friends hang out . . .

And above the crib is a little concoction I put together from various paper lanterns and pom flowers . . .

I love that it’s sunny and bright–I’m hoping someday Mini B will wake up to this view and it will help her start her days off on the right foot . . .

And I’ve finally hung up some artwork in the room.  Two items from Etsy, two cards we received that I thought were just too cute and needed to be framed, and a mirror for Mini B to someday gaze into (again–that elusive day when she sleeps in the crib) . . .

The top left print is from Almost Sunday Designs, the top right from Andrea Zuill’s Badbird shop, both on Etsy.

And here are the two cards I framed.  One is from our baby shower, and the other is a congrats on getting preggers we received way back when.

All of the frames are courtesy of Ikea.  We also hung an Ikea shelf to display Mini B’s ever-growing book collection . . .

And of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t show you the closet (it is, after all, a little girl’s room).  I couldn’t stand the closet doors (they’re that ugly wood color that everything in our house was), so I had Mr. B take them down and we replaced them with curtains . . .

Mini B also loves looking at those . . . she and I have had many conversations about those little birdies.  The curtains are from Ikea.  And here’s a little shot of what Mini B’s got hiding in that closet of hers . . .

Not the best organization yet, but that project’s on my some-day-I’ll-have-enough-sleep-to-tackle project list.

And last, but certainly not least, this little guy stands guard at Mini B’s door (at least temporarily until we find a more suitable home for him on a shelf somewhere):

So there you have it–Mini B’s Nursery Reveal!

What do you think?  As you can tell, Mini B is dying to know . . .

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