Boba 4G Review

The two big girls goofing around with our new carrier before Banana was born.

As I’ve made it clear in the past, I’m a big lover of Boba. The company is amazing and so are their carriers. So I jumped at the opportunity to review a Boba 4G with my new little Banana.

The last Boba I had (or actually have, as I’m keeping it for wearing Twig) was a 2G and they’ve added quite a few nice things. The overall construction works the same, so I’m not going to go over all that in detail. Just know that if you’ve seen past Bobas, it still works the same. If you haven’t, it’s intuitive and you’ll learn it quick.

Happy in the Boba at just 9 days old.

So on to the new things I love!

Let’s start with the pockets. Pockets on a carrier are something I’ve scoffed at in the past. Past me would say “Well isn’t that what a diaper bag is for?!” Yes, I could keep my phone in my diaper bag, but it’s so much nicer to have it right on me. And for someone who doesn’t wear jeans a whole lot these days, the carrier having a pocket is amazing. I use the bottom pocket for my phone almost every time I wear the Boba. The top pocket hasn’t found its use yet (keys and wallet are too bulky for a pocket right by baby’s head), but I’m sure it’ll come in handy soon.

Next, let’s talk the bag strap. It’s always been super annoying to try to keep my bag’s strap up on my shoulder while using a carrier. Even with something like a backpack or messenger bag, it’s always falling off. And when you’re walking through a parking lot holding hands with two kid and wearing a fussy baby, the last thing you need is to have your bag fall off and smack your toddler in the head.

Trying out the strap on a trip to Target.

This simple strap and button keeps every bag on without falling. Even when it’s falling off to the side because I haven’t adjusted it for forever, the snap still doesn’t give way. It still feels awkward like it’s going to fall off (even if I know it won’t) so I end up adjusting it eventually, but I tested it during a long Target trip by purposely not adjusting my bag and it never gave way. I’ve even chosen to keep the baby and the bag instead of giving the bag to my husband simply because it doesn’t bother me to hold it anymore.

Then there’s the little things they’ve just slightly altered to make the carrier more functional. The foot straps come off so you aren’t constantly catching them on things when your kiddo is too small to need them. The hood comes off too as well as going down into a zippered pocket (the top pocket I mentioned earlier) instead of the semi-awkward stretchy bands holding it in place. The little things that take a carrier from like to love.

He stayed happy and comfy the whole time we were at Black Island Farms.

Saving the best for last, there’s the infant insert. Holy mole the thing is great. When I got my new Boba in the mail (while still pregnant), the set up seemed kind of weird. Fast forward to having an actual baby and it makes perfect sense. Baby sits up on top of the insert like a little seat with their legs inside of the carrier rather on the outside. Such a simple idea that makes this carrier function in the exact same way for both the tiniest and the biggest kiddos.

There are two settings for the insert, one for 7-10 lbs and one for 10-15 lbs. Banana was born nearly big enough for the second setting, but I kept him in the first setting for quite a while because it made him tall enough that I could always see his face. Now at two months and over 14 lbs, we’re almost out of the second setting, but I may keep him in it a bit over the 15 lbs recommended. The reasoning now isn’t height (this big boy appears to be rocketing up in weight as well as height), but rather the hip alignment. The second setting, especially given that it has a U shape on top, puts baby’s little legs in a perfect M shape. Without the insert I’m sure we’ll still get much of that, but it may not be quite so comfortable of an M shape until his legs are long enough that the carrier extends knee to knee (though he’s close). Who knows though, maybe the 1 lb and accompanying inch(es) will be enough to make it comfortable without the insert.

So that’s my review of the new Boba 4G. Seriously this thing is amazing and I would (and do!) recommend it to anyone looking for a carrier. It’s the only one my husband actually enjoys wearing and it’s my favorite for running errands. The learning curve is virtually non-existent, but it’s crazy comfortable at the same time. Now that it has all these extra perks as well as the ability to go from birth up, it’s just perfect. Go get yours today!

Newsletter – June 2014

Hello children!

More catch up and summer is finally here! This summer we had our little weekly routine of going to our Summer Movie Clubhouse (Tuesdays), story time at the library and 50 cent tacos at the park (Wednesdays), and swimming (at least once a week!).

We also spent time preparing Peanut for kindergarten with your Miss Bindergarten book. You aced your kindergarten placement test (3 wrong on the whole test, and even mama didn’t know what a rhombus was), but we still decided to do all the things on your checklist. As part of the checklist, we helped you memorize your phone number and address. Surprisingly it wasn’t difficult at all! I just tried to ask you at least once a day and we put a little sign up in the hallway to help you remember to do it yourself and you had the phone number within a few days and address in maybe a week. Next we worked on the different types of change and they took a little longer, but not by much. You have a fantastic memory!

Twig, you started to understand how counting really works this month. Surprisingly you get the first few numbers correct even, though I don’t think you have the concept that these numbers correspond to anything. You like to count “1,2,3,4,5,7,18,14…” and so on. You always get one-five correct and then start skipping around. It’s really cute.

Both of you are getting super excited to meet Banana! Banana, you’re a real hiccupper, so we watched mama’s belly twitch with hiccups all the time. Both girls got to feel really hard kicks and big movements this month rather than just the “was that really it?” kind of stuff. They wanted to feel my belly All The Time.

Peanut really loved to read books about babies and watch birth videos on YouTube. Of course Twig did these things too, but Peanut really loved it. Twig, you talked constantly about the baby in my belly. Telling strangers, telling people who already know, talking to the baby, talking to mama about the baby. It was clear that you really understood that a baby was in there and were getting excited. Mama was getting pretty excited too!

Until next month! Love you three!
Mama

Newsletter – May 2014

Hello Tiny Humans!

Back to more catch up on our newsletter. Now we’re on May. We spent this month having fun at home and starting to get outside in the warming up weather. Yay for almost summer!

This month Peanut took on a whole different part of the role Big Sister. Everywhere we went, you made sure Twig was involved in whatever game you and your “friends” (mostly kids you just met and decided to play with, but would tell me are your friends). And when a kid was being mean to her, you let them have it! You are Twig’s protector and it’s awesome. You also make sure that she’s not doing things that can get her in trouble or hurt, which is extra helpful for mama.

You also seemed to really leap developmentally. For a long time it was really hard to get you to do quiet time. We’d try to do an hour every day (since you don’t nap anymore) whenever we were on break from school, but you’d like fight it like mad. Now though, you seem like you really need and enjoy it. That break in the day is really helpful for all of us.

You also seemed to start to really understand reading. I got a Hooked on Phonics app that went on sale (for free!) and you just took right to it. You’ve known all the letters and their sounds for a couple years now, but putting them together into a word just wasn’t clicking for you. This month, with the help of this app, you started to get simple words just by saying their sounds. This proved super helpful later in the year when you started kindergarten.

The baby goat is eating your hair!

Lastly, you started to cook simple recipes completely on your own. You’ve always loved to help in the kitchen, but now you’re doing recipes from start to finish with very little assistance. You started with crepes and now do pancakes and French toast too. We’ve also done muffins where you did everything except grate the carrots. And of course you still love to help with steps in other recipes like chopping veggies and measuring ingredients.

Twig, you also love to help. You want to get the laundry out of the dryer with me, pick up rooms, load the dishwasher, and everything in between. Sure, these tasks take a lot longer with a two year old helping, but you love it. I’m also hoping it instills some good habits.

You’ve also started listening to my belly with the little play stethoscope from Peanut’s Doc McStuffins set. Every time you put it on my tummy and listen, then offer the ear pieces to me to let me listen, just like they do with the fetoscope at the midwife’s office. It’s so cute!

Both of you girls have been preparing for the birth too. One day in the tub I heard you two having a long conversation about anatomy and babies. Peanut taught Twig all about how girls have vaginas, boys have penises, and how babies come out of their mom’s vagina or sometimes get cut out of their tummies. Twig just absorbed all of it and immediately started talking about all of it as if she knew it all along.

27 weeks 4 days

Banana, not much to report for you. Still kicking away and growing away. Your big sisters are getting so excited to meet you!

Love you all!
Mama

Removing Milk Stains From Baby Clothes

The clothes go into storage looking great, but when they come out they’re covered in yellow stains. What’s going on?!? Milk stains!

It turns out there’s something about breast milk that causes these stains to pop up with time. Possibly with formula too (as the lady at the consignment store actually called them “formula stains”), though I don’t have first-hand experience there and I’m guessing the same techniques wouldn’t get them out since it’s not a bodily fluid. Anywho, I digress.

Well I’m here to tell you that these stains are ridiculously easy to get out of your baby clothes. Seriously, you will be amazed. No special products. No real effort. When I was pulling things out before Banana was born I found these stains once again and decided to share with you all the process of removing them. First, wash the clothes as normal (we just wash on cold, by the way, since there’s no real reason to wash clothes on hot). Second, hang them in the sun to dry! That’s all! Well, there’s a third optional step of either washing them again or spraying them with a little lemon water and letting them sun some more if the first time doesn’t work.

Want to see some before and after pictures so you can see how well this works? Well you’re gonna!

Before: 

During: 

With my umbrella clothesline, I make sure the most stained clothes are on the outside and I try to stagger the layers of clothing.

After:

Isn’t it awesome?! They’re completely gone! This nice little trick works with any bodily fluid, so if you get something like blood on your clothes this will help too. Yay sunshine!

Did-do List

I did accomplish getting a smile out of this little guy this week.

Lately I’ve been having the feeling that I don’t accomplish anything even though I am constantly doing things all day. I’ll clean throughout the day, but the house still ends up messy. I change endless diapers, potty Gideon (we’re doing part-time elimination communication), and nurse constantly, but there’s always more of those things to do. Same goes for playing with my girls. I’m always on the move, but my husband comes home from work and the house is often more mess than when he left. The kids are the same, if not more crabby (yay evenings!). Yes, I’m doing the most important job in the world, but it’s hard to see that in the day-t0-day.

So yesterday I made a “did-do list” rather than a “to-do list.” I read about it in some book for new moms. I’m surprised at how much I really accomplish in a day! Seriously, this list is long (and no, I’m not usually so on top of the cleaning, this was an unusually productive day in that respect). And so many of the things I do are simultaneous. If you’re feeling kind of burnt out and like you’re not accomplishing much as a mom, I’d definitely suggest you make one of these. So, without further ado, here’s my

Did-do List

Woke up (6:45am)
Nursed Gideon
Wiped Mere’s bum
Put the girls in the tub
Changed, pottied Gideon
Got Curtis fruits and veggie
Got the girls breakfast
Nursed Gideon
Changed, pottied Gideon
Nursed Gideon
Fed pets
Braided Dea’s hair
Helped the girls hold Gideon
Made my coffee
Took Dea to school
Read Facebook
Took bath with Mere
Started my breakfast
Helped Mere get undies on
Changed Gideon
Stopped my breakfast
Nursed Gideon while pumping
Comforted hurt Meredith
Cleaned/massaged Gideon’s eyes
Started my breakfast again
Helped Mere get on her dress
Put Gideon in the carrier
Cleaned spit up off floor
Bounced while cooking my breakfast
Made egg for mere
Froze pumped milk
Watched tv while eating and nursing
Put baby in swing
Corrected Pascal for barking
Cleaned up a little trashcan
Set a trap for little trashcan
Put away clean dishes
Wash all dishes in sink with Mere
Clean sink
Transfer and brew new water kefir
Drink some water kefir
Boil water for sweet tea
Make snacks for girls
Cut and freeze questionable broccoli
Wash newly acquired dishes
Gather dirty laundry around house
Put on shirt and deodorant
Start load of laundry
Put away clean diapers
Change blowout diaper and clothes
Start dirty cover soaking
Clean Mere’s pee off floor
Put teabags in water
Picked up Dea (late)
Signed permission slip
Put Gideon in the swing
Put on a movie for the girls
Switched laundry
Scooped cat litter boxes
Vacuumed laundry room
Showered
Picked up crying Gideon
Thawed chili
Ate snack, nursed, facebooked
Switched laundry
Nursed
Started chili
Made sandwiches
At lunch with the girls, nursed
Changed, pottied Gideon
Put diaper on Mere
Got Mere down for a nap, nursed
Switched laundry
Filled up pet water jug
Jolted upstairs to get awake Gideon
Wrapped Gideon
Bounce-walked Gideon to sleep
Made vaccine appointment for Mere
Helped Dea read a book
Bought Gideon’s birth certificate
Switched laundry
Put sheets upstairs
Started folding laundry
Played Blokus with Dea
Finished folding laundry
Put away laundry with girls
Sorted photos
Changed, pottied Gideon
Nursed, pumped
Sorted photos, nursed
Dish out chili for dinner
Put away clean dishes
Wash dishes in sink
Watched tv while eating and nursing
Nursed
Changed, pottied Gideon
Nursed
Watched tv while eating and nursing
Read books to Mere, nursed
Got Mere to sleep, nursed
Put away clean dishes
Prepared coffee for tomorrow
Took out trash
Changed Gideon
Watched tv, ate, nursed
Put sleeping Gideon in the wrap
Finished a hat, started a second hat
Changed Gideon
Went to bed (11pm)

Newsletter – April 2014

Hello Girls and Baby of Unknown Sex!

Peanut at story time.

Back to our catch up of newsletters! This month mommy and Peanut finished up the semester (ending preschool and getting excited and nervous for kindergarten in the fall!) and we started spending every day together! It was stressful at times, but overall it’s been a great change.

This meant that we started to do fun things like going to story time. The last time we went, Twig was just too nervous to go sit on the rug. Now though, you love it! You love to sit right next to Peanut or on her lap and Becca, the storytime teacher, is one of your favorite people.

Speaking of books, you were obsessed with Green Eggs and Ham. All Dr. Seuss books are great in your eyes, but we read Green Eggs and Ham EVERY night before bed. You also adore Winnie the Pooh in any form.

Twig’s new tea set.

We started giving you allowance this month too. I wasn’t planning on starting so soon, but you get upset every week when Peanut would get hers, so I finally gave in and let you get it too. You definitely don’t get it like Peanut does, but it’s only $1 a week anyway (half your age) and 25 cents goes into your piggybank. You surprised me though and actually bought something you really love, which was a tea set. You had a little jump start to your allowance with the money from Easter (just change that we put in the eggs) so you actually had enough to get a secondhand porcelain tea set. You still play with it all the time too (though a few pieces have been hot glued now).

Practice run for your Merida hair.

Speaking of Easter, you were awesome with it this month Peanut. We asked you not to grab every egg you found so your sister could find some too. You took this as you should help her find eggs. And not only that, but you alternated back and forth with every egg between you finding it and Twig “finding” it. It was so cute and considerate of you!

This month I asked you what you want to be for Halloween so I could get started on costumes before Banana was born. I asked you this month so you could have some time to decide, but you immediately decided you wanted to be Merida from Brave and you stuck to it! For a moment you pondered being a hobbit, but it was only a fleeting thought. You even talked Twig into going as one of the little bears, so we’re doing a full Brave themed family costume! More details to come. :-)

Another great thing this month is that I felt you move on the outside Banana! That also meant that your sisters and daddy could feel you of course. Problem is that you just would not kick Peanut! She was so excited to feel you, but every time that I got her to come over you’d stop kicking! We told her that you just loved her too much to kick her. We also had an ultrasound to check on you (after our bleeding scare in the beginning of mama’s pregnancy, I needed the reassurance) and continued to not find out your sex.

Well that wraps up the month of April! Love you all!
Mama

Sunday Surf – Adjusting to a New Normal

Sunday Surf with Authentic Parenting and Hobo MamaI’m joining Authentic Parenting and Hobo Mama for Sunday Surf. Share your best reading of the week, and link up your post at either blog!

For more great reading, visit Hobo Mama or Authentic Parenting for the latest Sunday Surf and linky.

Happy Surfing!

Banana is 3 weeks and 3 days old! Wow time is flying. He’s already looking and acting less like a newborn and more like a baby.

And as a family we’re getting back into our routines. Every morning my husband drops Peanut off at school (after either I get her ready or he does if I’ve had a rough night with Banana and need to sleep more). Banana usually sleeps all morning, either on me or in the swing, and I play with Twig and get her ready. Then at 11am we go pick up Peanut from school, spend some time at the park or running errands or just hanging out at home. Lunch around 1-1:30, then naptime (thankfully Twig started napping again) and quiet time for the girls, Banana usually naps here too (even sometimes in the bed with Twig for a while). Usually Peanut gets some mama time after she finishes quiet time (an hour) and before Twig wakes up from her nap (usually 2 hours) and we read books, play games, and do her homework. Then more playing and daddy comes home at five, we eat dinner and hang out and/or watch a show as a family. Obviously weekends are different, but it still follows the general formula.

The adjustment is going much better this time than when Twig was born. I’m sure that’s in large part my lack of postpartum depression, which is still baffling to me. I’ve had a lot better support this time around, especially from my husband and in-laws. I’ve still felt a little bit overwhelmed and a few times I’ve gotten that barely keeping my head above water feeling, but I think that’s normal for this time period. I’ve also been getting a decent amount of sleep most nights (yay for breastfeeding and co-sleeping!), though Banana having a minor cold through a wrench in the works for the last few days. Even then it hasn’t been terrible. Anyway, on to the surf!

The magic way I get crabby evening baby to sleep.

I got bangs!

Peanut just adores him.

25 Ways To Ask Your Kids “So how was school today?” Without Asking them “So how was school today?” at Simple Simon and Company. We’ve been using some of these and it’s working really well. I’m still getting used to Peanut being in a school that doesn’t have a one way mirror window. We especially like to use #1 thus far.

13 Great Things to Say to a Sleep Deprived Parent at Belly Baby. This list is great! I love that it has so many positive reinforcement messages for the parents. When parents, especially first time parents, are constantly told that their baby shouldn’t need to be held so much/needs to stop using mom as a pacifier/should already be sleeping through the night it undermines the parents’ natural instincts. Telling someone how wonderful and happy their baby is and how they’re doing a great job can make all the difference.

5 Things Not To Say To A Woman With Postpartum Depression — And What To Say Instead at The Huffington Post. Like I said, I’m not suffering from postpartum depression this time (yet. knock on wood), but this is great information to have for anyone who is around a mom who does have PPD (which is likely you, as something like 10% of moms have it). I especially like the one about how your symptoms are not you, but just your symptoms. I think it would have been nice to hear some of these things after Twig was born (and thankfully I didn’t hear any of the bad ones!).

And a funny little video Things You Can’t Do When You’re Not a Toddler.