Our Blessed Chaos

My hubby + a 1st grader + twins in kindergarten + 4 critters..... Yeah it is chaos, but we are blessed!

Today's Verse

Here is an email I just got from my cousin who will soon have her first baby...

Well my dear friends the countdown is officially on....Thus, the anxiety is starting to set in. I am trying to get prepared for the lil bambino to arrive. I am starting to make a list of all items to buy and have on hand for at least the first few weeks. I thought who better to ask then all my beautiful friends whom have already experienced this. Please let me know everything from the kind of diapers, lotions, bottles ( incase the old naturals dont work...lol) to strollers you would suggest!!!!

I look forward to hearing from all of you!!!!

Thanks a mil!

This response is written directly to her, but I posted it here for the benefit of anyone who is about to have their first baby.

Wow, T, you have really got me thinking! I wasn't working and had alot of time on my hands so I ended up doing soooo much planning that really didn't mean much once Sam was born!! Life is now so chaotic around here that I forget how quiet and peaceful it was before we had Sam. Well except for moving three weeks before he was born haha I do not recommend that unless your mom will be there to unpack your entire house!!! My mom and hubby literally did unpack everything. I just watched, I was so huge and tired by then that I couldn't do a thing!

I seriously cannot believe that I am going to post these on here, but what the heck.... it is what it is! This was me right before we left for the hospital to have Sam. If you haven't been taking monthly pictures of your belly (which I didn't do) make sure you take one like this!

Or like this!!! Right before we left for the hospital to have Ben & Carlee. I was 58 inches around - I am only 60 inches tall!!!!!!

Quick scroll really far down so you can get these horrible images out of your mind!!! Think about what I produced - BIG babies... Sam was 9lbs 11oz. The twins were big on their own: Carlee was 7lbs 7oz and Ben was 7lbs. Whew that is 14 1/2 pounds of just babies!!!!!! No wonder I look so miserable and uncomfortable in that picture - I WAS!!!!!

Decide what you need at the hospital - you don't really need that much, I took way too much stuff that I never even used! Once the baby is there you will not be interested in anything else. Just remember the essentials - brush, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, chapstick, etc and comfy clothes to go home in (not pre-preg clothes!! Your tummy will take a long time to contract).

Okay - here is something that maybe no one else will tell you!!! But I will share because you are family and I love you!!! Make sure you have lots of super duper max strength maxi pads at home. They will probably supply you with some while you are at the hospital, but you will need lots at home. It is kinda nasty but goes with having a baby!! You will have a major period for probably weeks. I was surprised I never knew that it would be so heavy or last so long - with both pregnancies it lasted a full 6 weeks. YUCK I recovered quicker from the csection!! The first few days are the worst and then it will gradually get better.

As for baby stuff at the hospital - I didn't use anything of my own. They had all the supplies and kept him dressed in a hat, shirt and diaper and wrapped in a blanket. They don't want them in "real" clothes because they have to take regular vital signs. Yes, I asked! LOL Here are some pics from the hospital showing their fancy outfits.
This is Sam, only a few hours old!

And here are Ben & Carlee about a day old.

Of course you have to have a car seat. Don't bother with the extra padded stuff you can buy, just use the headrest that comes with the carseat and roll up receiving blankets along the sides. This was Sam's first trip to the doctor.

Okay, now I will try to think back to when it was just Sam. This is difficult by the way! It is hard to remember what they were like as tiny newborn babies when right now I need earplugs to drown out the noise. And I don't even want to know what kind of devastation the Hicks Hurricane is creating while I am trying to type this.

Anyways! The first couple days were all about settling into a routine. I was so very fortunate to have lots of help. Hubby was home for a couple weeks, his family were visiting for about 10 days, and my mom was there for quite awhile too. It was really helpful and made it easy for me to get the rest that I needed to recover.

Setting up your home - basically think sleeping, eating, changing, clothes, bathing

You don't need the fancy bedding sets, you can't have all that stuff in the crib anyways! Get a few nice crib sheets and a waterproof mattress pad and you're done! I always layered the mattress. First a sheet, then the waterproof pad, then another sheet on top. Makes it much easier if you have to change the bedding in the middle of the night - just take off the wet sheet and pad and you are left with an already made mattress!

We had a crib set up, but not the bassinet where he would sleep for a few nights. I didn't really like that he was all the way in another room, but I got over it once I realized that I would jolt awake at the first cry. If you can, put the baby to sleep in the crib right from the start. And keep regular sleep patterns as soon as possible. For example, if it is day time open the curtains, have the TV or radio on and go about your day. Your baby will sleep when he or she is tired and will learn to sleep through the noise. When it is night time, the lights are off and it is quiet. Feed and change when necessary then put them right back to bed - I never talked much and even limited eye contact (usually I was still half asleep LOL). Soon they will learn to eat and go right back to sleep. Ben and Carlee slept in the same crib until they were a year old and started to wake each other up by steamrolling over each other and stealing pacifiers right out the other one's mouth!
Here is a picture of them a few days old in their shared accommodations.

I was not able to breastfeed, so we were using bottles right from the start. The hospital sent some home with us and that ran out very quickly. I don't know why I did not buy some formula before he arrived! Hubby was sent out on a very quick trip when I realized we were very low. We had easy babies that took to whatever bottle we gave them - no problems there. I would recommend having a few bottles in case you also cannot breastfeed or if you decide to supplement with formula. There are many kinds and brands, cheap and expensive. To start it makes no difference, if your baby has trouble, that's when you would need to experiment with differnet bottles. When you are looking watch the number for the flow of the nipple. Make sure you get ones that are for under 3 months old. At first I made up a batch of bottles, then I got smart! I measured the water (at room temp - no need to warm it), measured the formula, dumped it in and shook it well. Bottle ready in less than 30 seconds.

Changing - Diapers
I recently figured out that we have changed over 16,000 diapers! YIKES!!! There are newborn sized diapers, but the baby probably won't be in this size very long. Sam never was, he started in size 1.

Changing - Wipes
Funny now when I think back to those first days. I remember not having the changing station set up properly. I was in the middle of changing the first poopy diaper at home and did not have wipes within reach OOPS!!! Good thing there were 4 other people in the house LOL. I have used about a bazillion wipes and continue to use them without a second thought to how much they cost. I do not care, they are the best invention ever! Having said that I have to tell you they are not good when your baby has a diaper rash. Do not ever ever ever use wipes on a rash - even the mild ones still have some chemicals and your baby will scream in agony. Use a wet, warm facecloth instead. In times of bad rashes I used a changing pad on the bathroom floor so I could be near the sink.

Changing - Creams
There are lots of diaper rash creams, but few are worth anything. For diaper rashes I use Desitin Original and I bought Zincofax in Canada too. The brand does not matter, the ingredients do. This was advice given to me by a wonderful pharmacist - Always use a cream that has at least 40% zinc oxide. It totally works, most rashes are gone by the next day. For dry skin I sometimes use a lanolin ointment.

For the going home outfit, of course pick something cute but also something that looks easy to get on. Trust me on this one - some of those little baby clothes tested my intelligence and patience!! I no longer have a photo of Sam in his going home outfit, we lost nearly all of his first nine months of photos and videos when our computer crashed. BACK UP your photos and videos people!!!! I now upload everything to Snapfish! I also do not have a photo of Ben & Carlee in their going home outfits, but there was alot going on and taking pictures was the last thing on my mind that day!

Oh yes, and make sure that the outfit you chose can be quickly changed. Both Sam and Ben were soaked through and through by the time we got them home. You should also have a couple sizes, Sam was a big baby and never even fit into the newborn sizes!

As cute as all those little itty bitty baby clothes are, most of them are impractical. You want things to be very easy in the first few weeks. Also, newborn babies are quite difficult to dress. Choose things like these:
- footy jammies, but make sure they snap up both legs. The ones with snaps only on one leg are hard to get on the leg that doesn't snap. And with footy jammies you don't need socks - socks are useless for little babies, they never stay on!
- sleep gowns, I didn't discover these until Ben & Carlee. They are awesome, especially while you have them wrapped up in a blanket, just unwrap and change!
- If you want to dress them up a bit more chose outfits that have simple pants and a onesie. I liked onesies when they were little because it stayed in place when you lifted them up.

I had a little baby tub that fit right into the sink. I rarely gave a bath when I was alone, they are just too slippery. I never liked to take them out so I always bathed them in the evening when hubby was home to hold the towel. I only ever used baby wash and baby lotion after. No specific brands, just whatever smelled the best the day I bought it. Sam's umbilical cord took forever to fall off so it was awhile before he even had a submersed bath - this was his reaction LOL

Other stuff
Okay, so you have fed and changed the baby, now what?? After the first few days of doing nothing but holding and staring at your precious baby who is FINALLY here, you will realize that there are things that need to be done. What do you do with the baby? Well, you must have a swing and you must have a bouncy seat. I used both with Sam, but these things truly saved my sanity when Ben & Carlee arrived.

This was when they were about three months old. After my parents abandoned me and went home I had to come up with a way to feed them at the same time, they were always hungry within minutes of each other! As soon as one would start to eat, the other would wake up starving and scream, then the first one would scream in horror if I stopped feeding to get the other. Propping seemed like a solution, until I found Sam stealing bottles!! It was a nightmare, until I solved it with bouncy seats!

Best advice for strollers is to go to a store and push some around. I am short so for me, most of the bars were too high and uncomfortable. Make sure you also test out how to collapse them and how heavy they are to lift. If you will be using it alot in the first month or so you want to make sure that the backrest lays completely flat. The one I bought was not that expensive and was a stroller/carseat combo. Worked perfectly for alot of miles! Until Ben & Carlee - then we had to get "The Limo"

Take lots of pictures. They really do grow quickly and you will forget how little they were until you look at a picture. One of the things that I did, and still do is make sure I have a good picture of each of them and one of the three of them together every month. Then I use Snapfish to create picture books for the year.

Well, T, that is probably way more information than you were expecting, but I hope it was helpful. I pray that you have a safe and easy delivery and a beautiful healthy baby. I am sad that we live so far away but maybe I will be able to make it home this year. Until then keep us flooded with all those pictures you are going to be taking!!!

PS.. I have heard that it is possible to get pregnant while breastfeeding! I wasn't breastfeeding, nope just not paying attention (or God's plan!!) and was pregnant before Sam was 3 months old!


You are BRILLIANT! Thanks so much for this. I am not pregnant, but two of my very close friends are right now, so I want to share this with them. Thanks!! =D

It is fun to think back and try to remember what it was like before your first baby! Wow, I can't believe your twins were so big -- good for you for being able to sustain them through pregnacy!

Great advice :)

I especially love your crib sheet- matress pad- crib sheet idea. That's genius! I can't tell you how many times I've had to change the sheets in the middle of the night!You are just too smart :)

My babies were all little- smallest being 5lbs 6oz and biggest 6lbs 5 oz, so they were in the newborn stuff for awhile- I can't believe how big your twins were! Good for you!!

I love all the your pictures. Makes me want another one.....*sigh*..... YIKES! Well, maybe not right away, I need some more time!..... Three is enough for now! LOL