Parenting: Thankful for a Happy Baby

We had told our parents about the pregnancy by July 4 of last year.  Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple’s mom lives in Florida.  The day we got home was the last day she felt well until the baby was delivered.

In Florida telling Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple's family.

In Florida telling Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple’s family.

Apparently there is an old wives’ tale, with some scientific backing, that the sicker the mom during pregnancy the healthier the baby.

Well, so far, it’s been true for us.

Besides a few colds and a few tummy issues, the Nola Nerd Baby has been perfect. Not only that, she is a happy baby.

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Happy to go on an adventure.

I’m not saying this to gloat (even though I”m not offended if you think so since this is pretty awesome for us), but because the awfulness of the pregnancy and the postpartum it gave my wife a break.  It allowed her to do something that she didn’t really have a chance to do during the pregnancy – bond with the baby.

It, more importantly, allowed her to heal.

It allowed us to be able to see family when we wanted and when we needed to.  In fact, we had a sick relative in the hospital. She let him hold her and she smiled at him and talked to him.  She knew what was needed of her.

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Greeting me when I came home from practice. 

It allowed us to travel and work around the house.

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On our way to Disney for the first time. 

Now, she’s not perfect.  She has a bad dose of the witching hour going on right now.  She just moved up from the premie nipple for her bottle.  Any time we tried in the previous four months she would choke. However, because she was growing she required more ounces during each feeding.  This would lead to her taking 45 minutes to take a bottle. She is doing better with it, but again the last bottle of the night is a struggle.  It takes both of us to be able to calm her down long enough to eat.  She’s also had some constipation issues, though not long enough to have to call the doctor.

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Her first time putting her toes in the sand with her BFF

But besides that, she is mostly a happy baby.  She smiles when we put her in the car seat.  We calling it “going on an adventure” because we are nerd parents after all. She smiles at random people she meets. She can self-soothe most of the time and is content with her own company for long periods of time.

Her happiness allowed my wife to heal and be the wonderful mom she was always meant to be.

Parenting: The Pay Your Age Build-A-Bear Experience

We admit it! We were intrigued by the Build-A-Bear pay your age sale. We thought it would be fun and since it was during the week we might be able to actually do it for our little one.

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When we got there at 9 am, the line wasn’t all that bad.  It would have been a couple of hours we would have to wait but we probably would have been able to get a bear.  But we didn’t want to. We decided to hang out a little bit and watch the line.

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This maybe 1/15 of the line

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The big hold up was the stuffing of the bear.  Workers were encouraging parents to come back on another day and stuff it, but that’s a hard sell to a child who has been waiting in line.

While waiting, the line got amazingly long. This was beyond anything Build-a-Bear and Lakeside Mall could handle.  While we were there we didn’t see any fights or violence.

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This is toward the front of the line.

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Now the line has snaked around half the mall.

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The biggest winner of this was probably the Disney Store.  It was packed the entire time we were there.

According to Yahoo! News, Build-A-Bear CEO Sharon Price John stated “It was beyond anything we could have ever imagined,” Price John told NBC. “There was really no way for us to have estimated those crowds. We were fully stocked, fully staffed.”  While I do believe they only meant to do good (this has to be a day where they lose money), I believe her privilege is showing a little bit. So is anyone who criticized anyone for going.  Build-A-Bear is a big deal for children. Kids see the status in things because adults put a status on things.  It’s a fact of life with capitalism. I can’t fault any parent who wanted to do something for their kids for a cheap price.  Especially, parents who are working to barely make ends meet.  If you are working poor and have more than one kid, getting multiple Build-A-Bears can be expensive.  If they are really young, the kid won’t know better, but after a time they will know the difference. This was a day that parents saw they could be a hero for their kids, and Build-A-Bear failed them.

Of course, we are lucky enough we can pay full price for a bear without much sacrifice.  But for a lot of parents, this just isn’t the case.  Luckily for parents, during their child’s birthday month, you can still do the pay your age thing (but only for the birthday bear). So if you know someone that was disappointed on July 12, let them know.  Maximum age is 14, but one-year-olds can pay their age during their birthday month!  This is a great way for the company to earn some of the trust they lost that day.

We will see you Build-A-Bear in February!

Parenting: Ever Evolving Nola Nerd Couple

With the addition of the Nola Nerd Baby, our site has been put a little on the back burner.  We have to evolve because she has to be our focus.

People always say that babies change you.  Well, that’s true up to a point.  We don’t want to lose who we are just because we are focusing on her.  We don’t want to live vicariously through her, but we don’t want her to only enjoy the things we love.  I mean she will have nerd parents, but if she was to be a cheerleader or athelete, we will be at every game.

Of course, some things have changed.  We couldn’t work out being able to go see Solo: A Star Wars Story. We have been way behind on recording podcasts. But we also have taken her to the Aquarium and Disney.

Basically, expect more parenting blogs from both of us.  We both have a unique viewpoint to being a parent.  Plus, I’m 44. This really gives me a unique perspective on being a first time parent, especially when children of my friends are in college and are starting families of their own.

We are going to review parent gadgets, discuss our adventures, share tons of pictures, and give our opinions.  No we aren’t renaming our blog the Nola Nerd Trio (sorry Josh from thelongboxguys.com).

When Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple was carrying our baby, I wrote our baby a letter.  Basically, I told her that some day I hope she reads this blog. The posts before February 22, 2018 and those after.

These posts tell the story of her parents.

These are the stories of her.

Parenting: The Nola Nerd Baby’s Christening

We are a Catholic family. We might not be the best Catholics (we need to go to church more often), but being raised Catholic has had an unshakable impact on us. As it has been a positive influence in our lives, we wanted the same for our darling daughter.

I won’t lie; the baptism was as wonderful and stressful as our wedding. Wonderful in that the service itself and the family that gathered with us made for an amazing day.  Stressful in that a lot of work goes into making a wonderful day.

Of course, her godparents were there. Her godfather, my godson, will be known to her as her parrain since Mr. Nola Nerd Couple is a cajun. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins were there for this special event.

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The Nola Nerd Trio

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Deacon Tully about to baptize the Nola Nerd Baby

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Receiving the Sacrament

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Receiving a final blessing

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With the Godparents

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With the Grandparents

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The Nola Nerd Baby with her godfather to the right. Mr. Nola Nerd is her godfather’s godfather. Nola Nerd Baby’s godfather’s mother is Mr. Nola Nerd’s godmother. In other words, this is a godly picture 🙂

After the ceremony, we had everyone over at our house for some food supplied from Rouses (because it’s good and for a good price). The Nola Nerd Baby did a great job entertaining everyone but definitely went to bed early that night.

The great thing about traditions no matter the culture is that it is often shared with family. She may not know it yet, but the Nola Nerd Baby is one very loved baby.

Parenting: The One Obstacle When Taking Nola Nerd Baby Places

One of the things having a child teaches you is that we are still behind the times when it comes to parenting. Society, for all it’s preaching, still treats men as babysitters of their kid. I will never babysit Ms. Nola Nerd Baby. I’m her parent.

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The Nola Nerd Baby is always ready for an adventure!

Our baby is well behaved, and we only take her to places that are baby friendly. We won’t take her to five-star restaurants. Mostly, we take her to places that if she cried, very few people would notice because most of those restaurants are already noisy. One of us would take her outside if she caused a ruckus. So far, she hasn’t. We have yet to have a server who hasn’t fawned over her…I know we are biased, but she is the cutest.

We just both wish more places would have changing stations in both bathrooms. In older restaurants, we understand they are hard to figure in because men didn’t do that sort of thing before. New restaurants have no excuse. Plan it into the design of the restroom. Too many newer restaurants have them in women’s bathrooms only. My wife deserves a break, and I am fully capable of tending to my child. Also, if possible, don’t put them in the accessible stall. I know it makes sense to put it there space wise, but you are also taking a bathroom away designed for people with special needs when we have to use it.

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This Storm Pooper was pooped out at the end of the day at Disney!

Worse are venues that you can’t leave. The Audubon Zoo and Disneyworld both have excellent places to change your child in the men’s room. However, we were recently one place that didn’t have one in all bathrooms. Ms. Nola Nerd Baby had a major blowout. The one I picked didn’t have a changing station, so I made a place. We’ll continue to do that, but it would be easier if there were a place.

 

Before we get some eye-rolls about taking our baby out in public. We didn’t take her to crowded places before she had her first round of vaccinations. No one besides family has touched her out in public (and a great big shout out to the public for not doing that!).

Right now, we enjoy taking the Nola Nerd Baby out. She enjoys it. In fact, she loves looking at people, and if you carry her, you must carry her facing forward. It would just be nice if could both change her when we take her places.

Parenting: Must Have – Dr. Brown’s Formula Pitcher

This review is not an endorsed review.  We are not affiliated with Amazon nor Dr. Brown’s. We bought this product on a whim and love it. 

Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple wanted to breastfeed the Nola Nerd Baby. However, when all the postpartum complications arose, we had no choice to switch to formula. We understand how great breastfeeding can be for a baby. We also understand that having a healthy mom is better for a baby.  Fed is best.

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I immediately just took over the making bottle duties. My wife had been hospitalized for six of the baby’s first ten days in the hospital and needed to every moment she could get to catch up the time she missed. When Nola Nerd Baby was taking two ounces making bottles wasn’t hard.  However, of course, she progressed.  She’s now taking 5-6 6 oz bottles a day.  (Well, she usually eats between five to six ounces, but we rather have more than less.).

Mixing six bottles once they get to be more than 4 ounces is a choir.  The formula doesn’t just mix well by handshaking, not at those quantities. I would shake and shake then put down the bottles and shake two more.  It would take nearly a half hour till there were no clumps for six bottles. There had to be a more natural way.

So I googled searched for formula mixer, and the first product that came up was Dr. Brown’s Formula Pitcher. 

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If you can afford it, or have relatives that can, we also recommend getting a dorm fridge just for little one and her milk supply. 

One of the reviews of this product on Amazon had a wife asking her husband how many stars would he give the product out of five.  He answered twelve.  This was when I knew the product was for us.

That man didn’t give it enough stars.

This product is a total game changer. It cut down bottle making time in half. I can’t scientifically state this, but both my wife and I have noticed that our sweet little one has had fewer gas issues since we started using this product. During school, we had to send little one to daycare, and this made the process of getting bottles ready so much easier.

Once you get past the essentials for babies, and if you are formula feeding, buy this product.  

Introducing: Nola Nerd Baby – Part 2: Pregnancy

Click here to read part one – conception.

The moment we had been wishing for during the past five and a half years finally came to fruition – we were pregnant! We could honestly not believe it. I kept thinking that the blood test had to be wrong. I wanted to see for myself that I was pregnant. I bought an at-home pregnancy test and managed to wait until the next morning, July 1, to take it, because first pee contains the highest level of pregnancy hormone hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin). Besides, I wanted to see with my own eyes a pregnancy test that was finally positive, after taking so many throughout the years that were negative. My husband and I did a little photo shoot to document this first step in my pregnancy. Goodness knows we love to document our lives and I naturally wanted to start a baby book. (I actually have three! Scrapbooking is definitely a guilty pleasure.)

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