Monday, May 21, 2012

The Mommy Diaries: iPhone App of the Week

It has been a long time since I reviewed an iPad app. Since my last review I have crossed the river, and moved from being a Blackberry user to an iPhone user. (Hubby surprised me with an iPhone for Christmas!) I appreciate being able to sync information—especially appointments in iCal—on ALL of my devices, and of course as a total Apple geek I love the interface and design! But I didn't whip out my almost 5-year old Macbook to tell you that. (She's still kicking. Let the church say, "Amen!")

I did put fingers to keyboard to tell you about my new favorite app. It is not for everyone...but new parents (and anyone who has new parents in their lives) should read further. The app is called Baby Feeding Log and it was created by Aaron Beaver. I downloaded it after being home from the hospital for three days. While in the hospital, the baby nurses would have me keep a log of feedings and diaper changes. They had a neat tear sheet with a spreadsheet where I would record the time I fed Afia, which breast(s) I used (I am exclusively breastfeeding), and how long she nursed on each breast. The same tear sheet was used to record wet and poopy diapers. It was, and still is, important to know whether or not she is getting enough milk when she nurses.

When we arrived home I continued to log Afia's feedings and diaper output. (Thank God, there is much to be logged, lol!) Instead of using the sheet, I used the notepad on my iPhone. I must admit that it was not as easy as filling in the boxes on the hospital spreadsheet, but we had a pediatrician's appointment the next day and I knew that she would assess her weight gain/loss based on this information. That was Thursday. On Friday morning I had an aha! moment

Since there is an app for everything, I thought, "Surely someone has developed an app for logging babies activities of feedings and poopings." And there was! There were several, but I went with Baby Feeding Log because it had the best reviews. The app was free, but there was an in-app option to pay .99¢ to get rid of the advertisements. I opted to get rid of the ads. Anyway, the interface is so easy to use. For feedings, it gives you the option of choosing Left, Right, or Bottle feeding. Once you've chosen your feeding option, you can tap a start button when the feeding begins. Once feeding is over, you hit stop and, like magic, it automatically goes into the log. For diapers, when you hit the diaper button it gives you the option of choosing wet, soiled, or both. The surprise in this app, which I haven't used, but someone else may find helpful is the sleep log. All in all, this app has revolutionized logging feedings and diapers! (Especially those 3am feedings!) I would suggest it for every technologically savvy new mom or dad!

images taken from

- Posted using BlogPress on the fiercest device ever...the iPad!!!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Mommy Diaries: My Favorite Things

Today is Mother's Day. I have been a mommy for all of nine days and in those nine days I have come across some products that have been time savers and sleep savers. Better than raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, I present you with the Mommy Diaries edition of My Favorite Things:

God Gave Us You

My girlfriend Yvette, currently a Master of Library Science student at North Carolina Central University, gave baby girl a load of books at our baby shower to start her library. (nerds unite!) One of the books she gave us was Bergren and Bryant's God Gave Us You. I read this book to Afia at bedtime when she was in-utero. It is a wonderful story explaining the events surrounding a bear cub's birth that mirrors hubby and my story. The refrain that repeats throughout the text is the Mama Bear saying, "...because God gave us you," attributing the miracle of baby cub's birth to the awesome power of God. It's theology for newborns! (Yvette and I went to Seminary together.) One of the most heartwarming moments in the book is when Mama Bear lets baby cub know she had been praying for her since conception, for her health and for her to have a loving relationship with God to which baby cub replies, "Mama, I love God." Each night I read the book during my pregnancy, Afia would begin to excitedly move around afterward. These days, when I read it to her she gazes at me until her heavy eyelids begin to close. Perhaps, like the Psalmist, she will be able to say, "When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches. Because You have been my help, Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice. My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me" (Psalm 63:6-8).

Body Shop Moringa Products

When preparing my bag to go to the hospital, I listened to the advice of our instructor from the ABC's of Going Home with Baby course and packed luxurious toiletries that would make me feel good post delivery. Lever soap and Vaseline Intensive Care lotion just wouldn't do, so I went to the Body Shop and decided to try something new. I purchased the Moringa shower gel, scrub, and body butter. I usually am attracted to fruity notes, but the Moringa products have a floral scent that is a perfect balance of light, yet strong. Every time I showered in the hospital, the nurses would comment on how good it smelled in my room. More than that, lathering up with the Moringa body butter made me feel pampered and at home. Since I've been home, the floral scent is invigorating—giving me a much needed wake-up after a night of being up and down every two hours to feed Afia.

Fisher Price Rock and Play Sleeper

Speaking of up and down, my nightly ups and downs decreased after deciding to move Afia from her bassinet to this Rock and Play Sleeper made by Fisher Price. This sleeper was not on our registry, but was given to as at our shower. Since we have limited space in our living room, we decided to give it a try. Afia loves, loves, loves this rocker and sleeps peacefully when she in it. On the contrary, her sleep in her bassinet at night left both she and I tired. After doing some more research on the product, we moved the Rock and Play to our bedroom, rolled the bassinet away, and everyone enjoyed a more restful night of sleep. When Afia gets a little fussy all I have to do is throw my arm over the side of the bed and rock her until she falls back to sleep. Did I mention that it is light and it folds up? We easily carry it up and down the stairs depending on where we are settled. We can put it in the car for visits to grandma and grandpa's house. I will be purchasing this sleeper for everyone I know who is expecting a child!

Boppy Pillow

My next favorite item is one that I scoffed at before I actually used it. I heard that the Boppy Pillow was great for nursing, but honestly I thought that it was another one of those things your buy because the registry "must-have" lists tell you that you must have even though you'll never use it. Plus I had a less than stellar experience with the Mama Body Pillow, so I was a bit jaded. Anyway, the Boppy Pillow has made nursing Afia (especially her night feedings) more comfortable for me. I would recommend this pillow for every mom considering nursing and I look forward to the other ways in which baby Afia will use it.

Target's Gillian O'Malley Nursing Camisole

While on the subject of feeding, let me highlight my last favorite thing. The Gillian O'Malley Nursing Camisole is affordable, comes in many colors, and makes nursing easy. It has a built-in shelf nursing bra. I bought three to wear while in the hospital, but they have come in super-handy at home. I have worn it alone while chillin' out in the house. I have layered them with a cardigan when we had a visit from Afia's Uncle and Aunt. Tomorrow I will wear one when we go out for my doctor's visit. I like them so much that yesterday I had my mother go to Target to pick up three more. These camisoles making getting dressed, and getting Afia fed, easy breezy!
Mommies, Grandmas, Aunties, and Friends...what items do you love and recommend for new mothers?
- Posted using BlogPress on the fiercest device ever...the iPad!!!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Adventures of a Pregnant Woman: The Final Episode

One week ago yesterday, hubby and I were on our way into the Regal Theater to see Steve Harvey's movie "Think Like A Man." Just a few hours earlier we had gone in for my bi-weekly prenatal exam. This exam was slightly different in that it would be my last in office exam before the arrival of our baby girl. Because of signs of preeclampsia—and the immanence of my due date—my doctor advised us to have a nice dinner and to make our way to labor and delivery that night at 10pm. We decided that in addition to a nice dinner that we would go to enjoy a move. This would be our last date night as a family of two. We talked, laughed, and (I) cried in anticipation of the arrival our baby girl.

I read a quotation today that summed up my labor and delivery experience. Sigmund Freud is quoted to have said, "One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful." I haven't gone into great detail on the blog, but suffice to say my pregnancy hasn't been easy. I was looking forward to God smiling on me and blessing me with a smooth labor and delivery. Well, as always, God did smile on me, however my labor and delivery was a struggle. I'll spare you the details, but let's just say my induction process began on Wednesday night, I (finally) gave birth in an emergency C-Section on Friday morning, and because of my lingering health concerns, we weren't discharged until Tuesday afternoon.

But none of that is important. Out of all of this struggle arrived the most beautiful person I've ever met—our daughter Afia. She favors her father and is the most precious baby I've ever seen. I love to look at her and imagine the future that awaits her. It is an impossible task considering God has promised to bless her exceedingly and abundantly above all I can ask or think. I hold her tiny body in my arms and I look forward to our years together. I look forward to teaching her things. I look forward to learning from her. In fact, in her six days of life, she has already taught me some valuable lessons on nursing, surrender, and trust. And if I had to do it all over again—with all of the struggle—I would not hesitate. She was worth it.

And so, The Adventure of a Pregnant Woman are over, but the Mommy Diaries are just beginning...