I won’t say much because my Grampy wasn’t exactly what you would call loquacious but I do need to document here on this blog that my grandfather read every day- that my Grampy, Francis M. Skomro passed away last week.

He was 95 and lived a full and fascinating life. My Grampy and Mimi were married for 72 years. They would read my blog daily and complain when I took too much time off or wrote too short of a post. They were my biggest fans and my most honest critics. I would think of them each time I wrote, hoping they wouldn’t mind my cursing or complaining about first world problems. After all, Grampy grew up in the Depression and didn’t have the easiest life in the beginning. I look at Eli now, belly full of milk and cozy in his softest jammies, and wish that Grampy could have been loved and cared for like this little guy. But then I smile knowing that this is his legacy.

Grampy was a foster care child who went on to become a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army, marry my Mimi, have six children, 11 grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren. He was an extremely kind and generous man. Thank you for all you’ve done for this family Grampy. We love you dearly and will miss you.

Alex's Wedding

Grampy & Mimi

Baby Gear Essentials | 0-4 Weeks

I understand that every baby is different. And after last week’s rant on parenting advice, I’m surely not about to dish out hard and fast facts on what babies need. But I will share what we needed. These are the top 7 essential items that got us through the first four weeks with baby.

Baby Gear 0-4

  1. The Maxi-Cosi Micro car seat. This is the Cadillac of car seats- thanks again to Eli’s great grandparents for this awesome gift! The infant inserts create a nice cradle for his little head and they’re removable so the seat can grow with him. Not only do we feel so safe having it in the car but the seat has been super helpful in our house just to have another place to put him! He’s perfectly happy snoozing in the seat or checking out the world around him.
  2. The Happiest Baby on the Block DVD shows parents Dr. Karp’s amazing 5 S’s used to sooth infants. In this short video he the reveals a stunning new discovery…the calming reflex. It’s almost an “off switch” for crying that all babies are born with. His techniques have helped us out on a number of occations!
  3. The first S of Dr. Karp’s 5 S’s is swaddle and boy do we! Eli loves to be swaddled almost all the time. These Aden & Anais Muslin Swaddle Blankets are perfect for keeping him warm but letting his skin breathe. They come in a four-pack but we’ve ended up buying about 12 of them. The quantity comes in handy when he sweats through them, pees through them, or heaven forbid there’s a major poop blow out! Honestly don’t know what we’d do without these!
  4. Tube’s of Vaseline may not seem like a big deal but they sure do come in handy when that first merconium poop comes and then for little man’s circumcision care. Thank god we’re through that heartbreaking hurdle!
  5. One thing I didn’t register for because so many Mommy Blogs said it was useless was a sound machine. But as soon as we got home and were all tucked in for the night, we knew we needed one. The womb is a loud place and even the hospital had it’s rurring HVAC and nurses stopping in at all hours. We immediately purchased this myBaby Soundspa Lullaby Sound Machine and could not be happier. It has mutiple sounds and songs (the rain storm is our favorite) and is super sleek and small. We set the timer on it for 45 or 60 minutes during each late night feeding and Eli (and his parents) fall right back asleep! Actually, we may like it more than Eli.
  6. My iPhone. I know I’ll get flack for this but as much as I’d love to stare adoringly into my baby’s face all day and night, I have needed my iPhone even more than ever. Whether feeding little man or pumping, I do not enjoy staying put in one place for so long. Having my iPhone at my fingertips allows me to read news articles, blogs, see what my friends and family are up to on social media, make to-do lists, check the weather, my blog stats, even turn up and down our thermostats thanks to the Nest app! And most importantly, I’m able to capture pics of my little guy when he’s growing by the minute!
  7. The Boppy pillow is my friend. It’s supportive during feedings, it allows me to have a free hand when Eli is curled up next to his Momma for a little cat nap, and it makes for a great pillow during a rare impromptu nap for Momma.

Having a Baby is Hilarious

If you had a friend that woke you up every three hours demanding to be fed, leaked bodily fluids from every orifice of their body on to you and you still turned around and kissed his cheeks and tickled his belly- well then I’d say you have one sick and twisted co-dependent relationship on your hands. But when that friend is your child, it’s just Tuesday.

Yeah, having a baby is hilarious.


But let’s forget all that and pretend that my little man is as angelic as these photos suggest all the time… which, he really mostly is. Baby’s first photo shoot was a big success. He was a total professional… up until the very last photo where Momma and Dad stepped in to get just one family photo.


He snuggled into Momma’s arms, our photographer stepped back to shoot, and…


There’s something warm dripping down my arm and onto my foot below. Little man had held it long enough. It’s OK buddy, Momma doesn’t mind a little pee.


But then the photographer stepped back again, framed her shot, and…


Squirt. Yes, Eli spared our photographer, her lovely blankets and furry rugs, and saved it all for Momma.


So this photo is very photoshopped. Notice the clean arms. But the smiles on our faces are 100% genuine.


So great job my little supermodel. I will be sure to remind you of this photoshoot and your grand finale when you’re a teenager. Momma loves you.


There’s a Nationally Acclaimed Parenting Book in my Recycle Bin

And I put it there. Because enough. Seriously, enough! I have come to two very important conclusions over the past 17 days…

Number One: There are a lot of opinions on how to take care of a newborn.

And Number Two: Take all opinions with a grain of salt and make up your own damn mind because I am the f-ing parent and I’ll do what’s best for my family just as women have done for millions of years without lactation consultants, mommy Facebook groups, and parenting books galore.

There. I’ve said it. I mean, I’m not going rogue entirely. I trust a healthcare professional’s opinion. But I’m so sick of the impossible advice and the contradictions. Oh the contradictions!

“Feed your baby every two hours even if it takes two hours to feed them. You don’t need to shower or empty your bladder, right? But be sure to take care of yourself with nutricious meals and plenty of water. If you don’t, your milk supply will diminish. To keep your supply up, feed the baby often but not too often or that could diminish your supply. And don’t forget to pump. Yes, something should be hanging off your nipples at all times. Formula? I suppose, since your milk isn’t coming in fast enough (you imperfect woman) and your baby is starving. But you should really breastfeed (you selfish mother who refuses to spend every waking moment feeding, pumping, downing lactation cookies and fenugreek for the sake of your child!) because breast is best!”

“Don’t take your baby out of the house for the first month because germs! So many germs. But be sure to bring him into a germ-infested hospital several times in the first week of life to get him looked at up and down and be told he’s underweight and then a day later overweight. And please be sure to get in to see your OBGYN so she can see if you’ve showered and don’t want to kill yourself. Are you sure the weepies aren’t postpartum depression? If so, we’ll give you drugs but that could diminish your milk supply which will probably thrust you into a deeper depression.”

“How’s baby sleeping? He should sleep up to 17 hours a day but be sure to wake him to feed. And put him on his back or he’ll surely die of SIDS. Unless of course you don’t want him to have reflux or choke on spit up or have a flat head- then you should put a rolled blanket in the crib and place him at a 45 degree angle. And sleep when the baby sleeps but of course you probably will just stare at him since (do I really have to mention it again?) SIDS. And during the day, try to hold him or wear him rather than put him in a bassinet or car seat because using the facilities with an infant strapped to you is just a delight. Quality Mommy & Me time right there. And when he’s not eating, on you, or sleeping, be sure to do tummy time or you’re a terrible mother. Yes, he’ll hate it and wail but it’s somehow critical to his development to lay on the floor struggling to turn his 7-day-old neck.”

Yes, I’m exaggerating but not by much! It’s impossible to follow every bit of advice. So call me crazy or irresponsible but don’t you dare call me a bad Momma. My main rule of thumb is now- if Eli’s happy and healthy and Momma and Dada are happy and healthy, then we’re doing absolutely fabulous!