I use to think it was difficult to cook a meal after working a 12ish hour day (ohhh attorney hours). And then I had a baby. Now I understand a new level of tired. Given that JR wants to be constantly held from the second I get home until he gets laid down for bed, this makes cooking nearly impossible. I have not mastered how to cut veggies and hold a one-year-old.
So yeah, you could say I am into slow cooker meals. This pulled beef recipe does not disappoint. There is minimal prep (a little rubdown required so you will need to put your baby down) and if you are lazy like me, you can make your significant other shred the beef. But even if you shred the beef yourself, the extra work is completely worth the effort. There is this great spicy but subtle sweet taste that makes the flavor right on the mark. Plus this is a great variation from the typical tomato-based bbq.
I made the beef last week, and Matt had three sandwiches in one sitting. In fact, the beef was so tasty that I forgot to take pictures of the final meal. But at least I was able to hold my preggo-self back before devouring the beef for lunch today. I am happy to report that the leftovers hold their own–makes some excellent lunches.
The post could be summed up by saying, “Everyone has their own preferences. All babies are different. This whole child rearing thing is just a whole trial and error game. And this is what worked for us.”
Aden + Anais Blankets: It is no secret that I am am a blanket addict. We own no less than 20 blankets (mostly the silky soft muslin variety), which sounds ridiculous given these blankets can be quite pricey. But I was able to find them at TJ Maxx/HomeGoods/Marshalls for around half the price and we got several sets as gifts, so I didn’t end up spending a small fortune on blankets (but God knows I would).
But regardless of the price, these blankets are worth it–they are easily our most used item. We use them for everything–cuddles, burp rag, cleaning up spit up, swaddling (well, we didn’t swaddle but we “mermaid-ed” him with them). And JR is definitely a blanket baby. He walks around with a blanket constantly and he uses it to comfort himself whenever he is upset (new use: bunching it up and biting it as a way to relieve teething pain). Cannot imagine having a baby without these blankets.
Boppy Lounger: The essential ingredient for a table baby. Matt and I would place the boppy on the table and drop JR in it while we ate dinner. Gosh, dinner time was so much simpler back then (now JR tries to escape from his high chair and tosses his food on the floor to Pancake). That boppy followed us to room to room. It was the perfect place to stash a baby when you have to pee and you don’t want to put him on the bathroom floor. Or when you are cooking a meal. And it is far easier to move a boppy than an entire swing.
Gummy Bear Red NightLight: JR was not the best sleeper for the first 10 months of his life, and he was a total piglet when it came to breastfeeding. I cannot remember one night over my maternity leave where we didn’t spend the majority of the night nursing. In the beginning, we relied on the hall light so I could see in the middle of the night. But it was too bright, and it was hard to fall back asleep (and when you only have 20-30 minutes to get some sleep before the baby wants to nurse again, you wanna fall asleep as fast as possible). This light was the perfect solution. It stays on for an hour, is red light (which apparently is the light you want in the middle of the night) and doubles as a toy for the baby. Plus, no need to buy the charger (which comes separately) because your charger from your breast pump works with it.
mamaRoo Swing: This swing is certainly in vogue. It seems like everyone has one. And apparently we also drank the Kool-Aid because we loved ours. The swing has 5 different swing settings, which is great because if JR wasn’t going for one type of swing, we could switch it up and try another. It also has four different white noise sounds which helped encourage JR to nap somewhere that wasn’t on me.
Bassinet: Ok, I did design our bassinet myself (as in, I found a picture on Pinterest that I loved and told Matt, make this) but I cannot imagine how we would have survived the first couple of months without a bassinet. Having JR sleeping next to me was a huge comfort. I would weave my hand through the bars, rest it on JR’s chest, know that he was breathing, and be able to get some decent sleep.
So yeah, these items made navigating the first couple months of parenthood so much easier. Sure, our changing table, diapers, and wipes were pretty important but hey, those aren’t as glamorous and fun 😉
Hopefully, this baby registry must have is helpful. Of course, this is just what worked for us. We aren’t baby experts (yet) so this list certainly isn’t gospel. And feel free to let me know what baby must haves I missed 🙂