Tag Archives: Infant

Celebrating Milestones with Music

Written by Tena

Throughout my life my family has chosen to celebrate milestone events with music.  The technology used to serve up the music has changed through the years but I will always hold on to my tapes and CD’s that have been made with songs like, “Independent Women” and “I Hope You Dance.”

This tradition combined with my little guy’s love of music, it should be no surprise that I have made several play lists for him already.  What is surprising is the diversity in genres that we seem to come up with and how many songs I’ve heard over and over again that have so much more meaning now that I have my special boy.

I’m always looking for song ideas to inspire a slide show or a play list so I’m hopeful that by sharing my favorites, you will share some of your favorites with me.  Thanks YouTube for having all of these available!

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face – Glee Cast Version; obvious song choice but I really like this version
Amazed – Lonestar
Three Little Birds – Bob Marley
Fix You – Coldplay
We Found Love in a Hopeless Place – Rihanna; applicable to any parents out there who have spent a lot of time in the hospital with their precious baby
All of Me – Matt Hammitt
Just the Way You Are – Bruno Mars; we adjust the words to “his eyes”, “he’s so beautiful”, etc.
A Thousand Years – Christina Perri
Made for Each Other – Emilie Mover
Good Life – OneRepublic

I’m looking forward to some of your suggestions and hopefully I’ll be able to borrow a few!

About Tena

Tena and her best friend (and hubby) had their first child in July, 2011.  Their little guy has a congenital heart defect and he is one tough little cookie; don’t ever think about calling him sick though – “his plumbing is just different.” Tena is an animal loving vegetarian and is excited to teach her son about compassion and the importance of volunteer work.  She secretly hopes her son will be left handed like his momma. She is the Online Marketing Director for Step2.

Mommy Mistakes

Written by Tena

Before having a child, I was never the person who thought I knew a lot about babies.  In fact, I was very afraid of babies and would not hold anyone else’s bundle of joy until they hit the four to six month mark.  It isn’t that I didn’t have an appreciation for their wonderful baby smell or touch but my assumption around their fragility far outweighed any benefit I would get from opening my arms to a precious little one.

I didn’t dive into a lot of research before having my son either.  I figured that my motherly instincts would kick in and common sense would carry me a long way.  Then, my son arrived, and quickly I have learned that common sense and motherly instincts do not outweigh the power of on-the-job training when it comes to being a Mom.  Some of these are rookie moves I’m sure, but I bet there are at least one or two others out there who can relate to this list of lessons I’ve learned over the last ten months (please tell me I’m not alone).

1.    Don’t feed your baby in a moving car  
After a particularly long doctor’s appointment (2.5 hours) at an office that was 35 minutes from our home I decided to give my son a bottle.  While you are probably trying to picture this, let me set the stage.  My husband and I were having a Driving Miss Daisy session – him in the driver’s seat and me in the back seat with our son.  About ten minutes into our drive home, he started crying and wouldn’t stop (my son, not my hubby).  I couldn’t bear to hear him cry knowing it was from hunger…so, I got the bottle out of the diaper bag, put it in my shirt to try and warm up the bottle that had been sitting on an ice pack, and then gave it to him.

Luckily, I didn’t give it to him until we were close to our house because he immediately started to spit up.  He was in his car seat and there was no way for me to get him out to keep him from choking.  My husband quickly pulled off the side of the road, ran around the car, and got him out of the seat to pat his pack.  It was dramatic and horrible and could have been avoided completely.

2.    Keep testing different diaper creams until you find one that works
I was very apprehensive about using petroleum based protection for my little guy’s toosh.  I had heard of a very appealing “pink” colored product that works wonders.  So, that is what we used.  At first, it was great, no diaper rash at all.  However, after a few months, a dreaded diaper rash developed.  I continued using the pink stuff.  The diaper rash worsened and got very red (which happened to be muted under the layers of the pink stuff).  I continued to use the pink stuff.  It went on like this for a several weeks with days of relief in between.

Finally, I gave in and used a petroleum based product and he has not had any issues since.  Looking back, I wonder if he had some sort of allergic reaction to the zinc oxide in the “pink” product.  I’m sure it is wonderful for some but I wish I would have switched sooner.

3.    Use the safety belts on your gadgets
OK, so this one is particularly mortifying.  Until our son was about seven months old, he slept in his swing every night.  He was next to impossible to get to sleep and once he would fall asleep, we tip-toed through the house like a cat burglar to keep from waking him.  Strapping him into the swing for safety was not even a consideration.  The swing was deep, he had several heart surgeries and wasn’t wildly mobile (or so we thought), and once he was in the swing, he was asleep for the night…until, the one night he wasn’t.

He had started to cry a little bit and since my husband stays at home with him and I go to work in the mornings, he typically takes care of him overnight.  In this instance though, I didn’t hear my husband getting up to see what was wrong.  As I was groggily trying to wake up, I heard my husband (coming from the bathroom) yelling, “oh my God, oh my God, oh my God”.  Thud…silence…screaming.

Our baby had flipped himself out of the swing and onto the floor.  Thankfully, his dismount was executed with the style and grace of an Olympic gymnast.  He managed to do a full 360 degree rotation and go from his back in the swing to landing on his butt on the floor.  He only cried for about 15 seconds so I’m sure he was just scared, though not nearly as scared as we were.  In fact, not only do we always use the safety belts on all of his gadgets, he no longer sleeps in the swing.

Now that I’ve shared all some of my Mommy mistakes, and I feel like I definitely should get the “worst parent of the year award” I am reminded of some things I do right.  Like getting the text message below from my husband and deciding it is time to call it a day and head home to my beautiful family!

About Tena

Tena and her best friend (and hubby) had their first child in July, 2011.  Their little guy has a congenital heart defect and he is one tough little cookie; don’t ever think about calling him sick though – “his plumbing is just different.” Tena is an animal loving vegetarian and is excited to teach her son about compassion and the importance of volunteer work.  She secretly hopes her son will be left handed like his momma. She is the Online Marketing Director for Step2.

Ode to the Stay at Home Parent

Written by Tena

Long before I ever met my husband or even entertained the idea of getting married or having children, there was one thing I was certain of; being a Stay-at-Home-Mom was not for me.  There was something so daunting about having the primary responsibility to ensure that one’s child is fed, groomed, socialized, and developed into a healthy and productive adult. As if those responsibilities aren’t enough, add on the accountability to ensure the entire household runs smoothly and I pictured shoes that were just too big for me to try on, let alone fill.  The shoes are still too big to fill but my perspective on the meaning of this role has changed greatly.

Shortly after finding out I was expecting, my husband lost his job (and by “shortly,” I mean one week).  We had always discussed that he would be an awesome Stay-at-Home-Dad and this seemed serendipitous.  We assumed he could take the time to paint the nursery and get the house ready for our new arrival.  While that plan was good on paper, our road had several detours along the way that made his new employment status a true blessing.

We could never have predicted the itinerary of the journey we have had in the last 14 months which included the diagnoses of our son’s congenital heart defect (CHD) at pregnancy week 20, bed rest, an emergency C-section, three heart surgeries for our son and a total of 50 days in the hospital for our little fighter.  Our experience has made me realize that when it comes to children, nothing is predictable, and the role of parent morphs and adapts to the needs of our children.  Though we didn’t plan for it we have accepted and appreciate our experiences and this is our definition of normal.  As tough as this was to go through, life around us continued on.  There were bills to pay and I was lucky to have a job that needed my return.

My husband flourished into the role of Stay-at-Home-Dad.  My return to work enabled him to get into his own rhythm, develop his own schedule and bond with our son in ways he couldn’t while I was “hovering.”  He managed our son through colic, a diagnosed dairy allergy, a healing chest, and a feeding tube.  He made it to all of the cardiology appointments, in home health care sessions, and the baby shots.  He figured out bath time and feeding time and diaper changes and play time.  Doing two daily loads of laundry, boiling bottles, doing the dishes and even finding time to run the vacuum has become part of his daily routine.  Settling into the position of Stay-at-Home-Dad has its challenges for my husband, but from my perspective he has aced it!  I am so happy and grateful for all that he does and I’m now in awe of my husband and all Stay-at-Home Parents.

I now know firsthand that I couldn’t juggle all that my husband does.  I love the way my son looks at my husband across the room.  I am thankful for the clean house when I walk in the door.  I’m amazed to find that my son would prefer being fed and comforted by his Daddy over me.  There are times when this makes me sad, but I relish in those special moments that are just for my son and me.

I am so lucky to be able to put him to sleep every night by dancing around the living room.  I am delighted to introduce him to a new food each week.  I love that Saturday nights he cuddles with me all night on the couch so my hubby can get a peaceful night of sleep.  I get to experience him getting so excited to see me when I walk through the door at night and I know that I can look forward to that for years to come.

I used to think I was a selfish person for knowing that I wouldn’t be good in the role of Stay-at-Home-Momma.  After watching it all from the front row I’ve realized that recognizing that is the best gift I could have given my son.  We are lucky enough to have figured out a way for my husband to stay at home to raise our son and each day I feel blessed to have a husband who is so nurturing and loving who perfectly fits those big shoes that are needed for this uniform.  He fills them well and I tip my hat to all of you who are Stay-at-Home Parents.

One last thought before closing out this post; family dynamics come in all shapes and sizes.  I’ve shared my experience but it is just one scenario.  No matter what your family set up is, having a little life to take care of has made me realize just how special each of us are and what an honor it is to have the title of Mommy or Daddy.

About Tena

Tena and her best friend (and hubby) had their first child in July, 2011.  Their little guy has a congenital heart defect and he is one tough little cookie; don’t ever think about calling him sick though – “his plumbing is just different.” Tena is an animal loving vegetarian and is excited to teach her son about compassion and the importance of volunteer work.  She secretly hopes her son will be left handed like his momma. She is the Online Marketing Director for Step2.