Thursday, September 22, 2011

Ku-Tip: The perfect use for your old yearbook

Between the two of us, Brady and I have kept most of our high school yearbooks, and I'm the only one that even bought an Aggie yearbook.

And, from time to time, we like to pull out our high school yearbooks and laugh at ourselves and the people we know.

But I have never pulled out my Aggie yearbook to look through it. Except for the picture of me, I don't know 99% of the people in it. And it's too damn big anyway.

I mainly bought it to have it as a keepsake, so one day, I can pull it out and show my kids how dumb I looked as a senior at Texas A&M. Let's just say I'm glad I'm done with highlights.

So, the other day, I needed something about as thick as, oh, an Aggie yearbook.

I didn't even bother to dust it off.

And, it worked perfectly. And, Kassidy didn't even want to open it up to see the picture of her amazing mother. She just needed the extra height. My poor short baby.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

2 Months with Kassidy

Well, I'm two weeks late, but you get the idea. Kassidy turned two months old on Sept. 6, and I'm a bad mother.

So, in order to make sure I actually do a halfway decent job of keeping up with her monthly pictures, I've decided to just go simple. No extra pictures or funny captions. Sorry. I don't see how other moms do it! I have no time in the day, and I haven't even gone back to work yet! Guess I'm just not cool.

But don't worry all you Kassidy followers out there. I'll still try to post separately when she does something funny. Or nasty. Or both.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Exclusive must mean "I do"

Five years ago today I married my baby's daddy. Sorry, it's fun to say that now that it's true.

But if it hadn't been for a technicality back in the summer of 2002, when I was a junior at Texas A&M and Brady was a wee little lad at the innocent age of 19, then we would have never had the opportunity to spend the last nine years together.

So thank you Brady for not really knowing what exclusive meant. And thank you for being such a caring husband, father and friend.

So enjoy a quick trip down memory lane. I wanted to post some embarrassing pictures, but decided that since we are now all adults and Brady is responsible for molding the youth of America, I better try to keep them at least PG.

If you want to see the embarrassing pictures, come visit me and Kassidy. I'll provide the wine.

Our five-month relationship that began in 2002
survived the first of many college ski trips.
Every year, at least one person hurt themselves, but it was never us.

Our first Chilifest together in 2003.
We have a love-hate relationship with Chilifest.

Halloween 2004.
Who's that Spartan in my teepee? It's me. It's me.

Popping the question at Lake Bryan in 2005.
He even remembered the camera.

Sept. 9, 2006. Brady missed my mouth and the cake fell down my chest.
I kid you not.

And then Dustin popped the champagne and almost hit his grandma with the cork.

And Brady had trouble finding the garter.
But he came through. Don't worry.

And a bunch of Aggies sawed Varsity's horns off.

And then we left on a jet plane to Zihuatanejo because that is
where they went in Shawshank Redemption.
But then I learned that the movie had really been filmed
in the Virgin Islands. Oh well.

Massey joined our little family in 2007. She was perfect from day one.

Just a day trip to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in 2008.
In our matching sunglasses.

Christmas 2009 with Phoenix and Pryce. We must have been naughty
that year because only the kiddos got gifts from Santa.

Getting in shape together in 2010 at the Blue Bell Fun Run.
Yes, Massey got ice cream too.

Our new little family of three arriving home from the hospital in July 2011.
I'm not wearing makeup and I had just given birth. Don't judge me.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Ku-Tip: Jenna's legen — wait for it — dary list for babies

First, I apologize for neglecting my Friday Ku-Tips. I kinda haven't posted one in about eight Fridays. And now that I have absolutely no control over my free time, I've decided to just post my insightful tips whenever the heck I feel like it.

Second, I apologize that so many of my posts have been about a certain someone lately, but I have to admit, when all you do day in and day out is be a mom, well, talking about babies is about the only thing you have to share.

Finally, on to the reason for this post. Since I love helping people so much (no, I'm not being sarcastic), I wanted to share my most awesome necessities for babies. I got a few ideas from friends when I was pregnant, and wanted to return the favor. Plus, with so much unwanted advice out there (new moms and moms-to-be, you know what I'm talking about), you can choose to take what I say or leave it — no strings attached.

And, I should note that I am in no way endorsing any particular product over another. Just sharing a few toys that both Kassidy and I could not live without.


Kendra got this for Kassidy from a little shop in our hometown. If you're from El Campo, Merle Norman carries them — thanks Stacie! I want to say they cost around $15.

Why I love this: When Kendra gave it to Kassidy, I thought it was very cute, but didn't realize how much she would actually like it. She was about a month old at the time, and would grab at the little giraffe from the moment we gave her the paci. Not only is it cute, but it's easy to keep up with because of the plush animal attached. And, the animal is the perfect size for small babies to start grabbing. Kassidy puts both hands around the giraffe's neck and puts a choke hold on it. It's pretty cute — I'm not gonna lie. Stacie is ordering the tabby kitten for us so I can send it with Kassidy to daycare. Brady says if he sees another baby with a kitten hanging out of its mouth, he knows that the baby stole it from Kassidy.

Pillow Pet

You can buy them online or just keep your eyes open at most local stores. I actually found Kassidy's pig on sale at Wal-Mart for $12.50.

Why I love this: Cause it's a pillow. It's a pet. It's a pillow pet. Okay, enough with the song. This all started when Brady and I first got home from the hospital and were trying out the 5 S's used to soothe babies. More on that below. Anyway, every time we would flip Kassidy to her side to soothe her, it worked, but our arms would get tired, so we got into the habit of just flipping her onto a pillow on our lap, and we could go about our business of watching TV. You know, the important things. And then I remembered about her pig, and started using that instead of our nice couch pillows. And it worked like a charm. And, Miss Piggy as we call her, can easily be thrown into the truck when we go to visit family. I'm planning on buying a second pillow pet to send with her to daycare. They will thank me for it.

Bob Revolution SE

Cheapest place to buy it was off Amazon because of no tax and free shipping. Plus, if you create an Amazon baby registry, you get 10% off. Yes, I know how to save every buck I can.

Why I love this: If you're wanting to invest in only one versatile stroller, then go with the Bob. Or maybe it's just because we live in the country, but the Bob is perfect for us. Great jogging stroller with suspension for those bumpy gravel roads. And the front wheel can lock into place when jogging or swivel when you're going for walks or trying to maneuver through crowded spaces. Just be sure to buy the infant car seat adapter so that your car seat can snap into place when the baby is still small. It's not the cheapest stroller out there, but definitely worth the investment, especially if you plan on having more babies.

Mini boombox for iPod

Bought this at Bed Bath and Beyond for $39.99, but I used a coupon, so with tax, it cost me right at $30. I can't find it at BB&B anymore, but looks like you can get it here too.

Why I love this: I was looking for something to keep in Kassidy's room that could play and charge an iPod without spending a fortune. Saw this in the BB&B sale circular and loved the small size and that it came in pink. Instead of investing in CDs or white noise machines, I can just buy what I'm looking for on iTunes, upload to the iPod, and done! Right now I have her white noise playlist just loop all night. Plus, as she grows, it can be her little boombox that she uses to play music in her room or take with her on vacation.

Summer Infant Video Monitor

I bought it off Amazon for around $130. Plus no tax and free shipping make for a great deal. Looks like it's gone up in price some, but still a good price.

Why I love this: I never realized the fascination with video monitors until I had my own. Maybe it's because we live in the country and actually go outside a pretty far distance from the house, but I like being able to see my baby instead of hear her (don't worry this monitor also has audio — I just don't use it that much). Being able to see her makes it easier for me to decide if I need to comfort her or just leave her alone because she is just transitioning from an active to a relaxed sleep state. But the best thing about this monitor is that it allows me to check on her at night from the comfort of my own bed without having to listen to every little sound she makes (something to think about if you're a light sleeper). I know about what time she should wake up to eat, so I just check my monitor to see if she's awake and hungry. But since I mute the audio all night long, I actually get some sleep. Because trust me, those little grunts and moans may be cute during the day, but at night, I need peace and quiet.

Summer Infant Comfort Bather

This was not the bath tub we had registered for at Target. We stumbled upon it at Toys R Us and decided to try it since it was only $25.

Why I love this: I never wanted one of those large plastic tubs, because the minute your baby can sit up, then he or she goes straight into the tub. Then you have this large plastic tub you have to store until the next kid. This tub is made of mesh and is more compact in size. Kassidy fit comfortably on it even when we were just giving her sponge baths. Now I keep it in the tub and let the tub fill up some with water. Since it's mesh, it keeps her warm on her back while I bathe her. And I can turn her on her side to easily wash her back and neck. And it folds up for easy travel. She has liked baths from day one, and I wonder if this little bather has anything to do with it.

Summer Infant SwaddleMe Swaddle Blanket

You can buy these most anywhere, but mine are from Target. They come in packs of two for around $18 and can be found in a variety of colors and styles.

Why I love this: Apparently Brady and I did not pass swaddle school, because little Miss Kassidy could break herself out of any blanket we swaddled her in, so we pulled out the big guns. These blankets are a must have! They are fool proof and make swaddling easy for anybody, and trust me, I couldn't swaddle to save my life. And, believe what the experts say. An unswaddled baby will wake itself up, so do yourself a favor, and just get into the habit of swaddling from the very beginning.

Diaper Genie II Elite

Again, these can be found most anywhere, like Target, Wal-Mart or Babies-R-Us. They cost about $30-$35.

Why I love this: If you're like us and don't want to walk outside to dispose of a diaper every time your baby has a massive poop diaper, then invest in the diaper genie. I like having one place in her room to dispose of all her diapers, and I don't have to worry if they don't get taken out for a week (or weeks in our case). I promise you — they do control the odor. If it wasn't for all the baby toys in our living room, I don't think anyone would even notice we had a baby when they came to visit.

Muchkin Formula Dispenser

You can find these anywhere and they are inexpensive.

Why I love this: If you feed formula, then you will need this handy device or something similar. I don't know why some of the reviewers say it leaks from one compartment to another because mine never has. Maybe it's just user error. Just use common sense and don't put it into your diaper bag upside down. I even use mine for her middle of the night and morning feedings and get the bottles ready as well. That way, when she wakes up in the middle of the night, all I have to do is pour and go instead of going into the kitchen and starting from scratch. We own two and swear by them.

Baby Einstein DVDs

Completely engrossed in her Baby Einstein.
Kassidy feels like she's at the movies in her vibrating chair.
Now she just needs popcorn.

You can find these at most local stores, such as Wal-Mart or Target, and they range in price from $10-$20. We happen to have the Baby Mozart DVD.

Why I love this: So this love of mine can be controversial because not all parents want their kids staring at a TV, but Baby Einstein is awesome. Kassidy absolutely loves it and I feel like it's the proper amount of stimulation and learning for a baby. It's a great feeling to be able to set your baby down for 30-40 minutes and know they are totally preoccupied and happy. This will be a lifesaver when I have to go back to work because it will keep her entertained while I am getting ready in the mornings. So, my personal philosophy is a little TV never hurt anybody, just like a little caffeine never hurt anybody either.

Baby Wise and Happiest Baby on the Block

I bought Baby Wise at Barnes and Noble for around $14 and Kendra lent me the Happiest Baby on the Block DVD, but I'm told you can view videos on YouTube for free.

Why I love this: I know there is a lot of information out there about babies, but I swear that these two are the basics every parent should know. I did not have the energy nor the desire to start trying to read up on everything when I was pregnant. That's just not my style. But both of these just fell into my lap and I'm so lucky I was introduced to them. So, read them, watch them, bookmark pages, and have your husband do the same. Take from them what you like and leave what you don't, but I promise that you will end up taking something from both of them that makes your life as a new parent that much easier. I probably subscribe to about 80%-90% of the philosophies of Baby Wise and believe there is truth to the 5 S's. Just ask Kassidy — she's a pretty happy baby, and Brady and I are pretty happy parents.