Monday, December 9, 2013

Gus's Guide: The Sequel


Back when Gus was a month old, and his cheeks hadn't achieved world domination, I did a little guide of the "must haves for a 3rd baby when you are short on cash, short on space, but big on love."

Okay, so I just called it "Gus's Guide," but the above was clearly implied. Now that he is--sniffle--8 months old, budding 2 bottom "teefers", and finally sleeping a solid 12 hours a night in a row (okay, that's a game I call 2 truths and a lie. I'll let you guess which one is a lie--"yawn!"), we've got a new list of simple essentials for this 2nd half of a baby's 1st year of life. (Follow?)

Teefers! Yes, brother finally got some bottom teeth the past week or so. I should have known when he started going all cannibal on me as usually, it's me "Dahmering" his thighs.

He keeps gnawing on my chin like he is trying to be cast in a remake of Alive. While I appreciate the rogue cosmetic procedure (I hate my Jay Leno chin), I wasn't sure his practice takes my insurance. But how could you not trust this mug?

Then there was that whole drool thing. Can someone please make a baby dickie out of some microfiber or Sham Wowsa or whatever miracle fabric that is, charge a king's ransom for it and save my baby's clothes from the massive amounts of drool he produces? Sure, throw a chevron bow tie on it, add another $10 to the MSRP, and then throw it up on Etsy. I'd buy.

Some may call this a bib...but we all know that it's all about reinventing an already developed product, giving it a catchy name, cute logo, and capitalizing off of overly anxious mothers.

Remember my boogie belt idea? It's like a fanny pack/holster with all the toddler essentials for childcare providers. Well, after this season and a few too many episodes of Project Runway, I am renaming it the Provider Peplum. Patent pending (in my mind).

Besides chins, Gus also eats non-human food. I don't mean like cat or dog food, I mean food that is not of the human flesh. I'm talking: cheese, sweet potato, yogurt, chicken, chia, rat-tat-too-ee (too lazy to look up how to spell that), avocado, pear, apple, banana, carrot, etcetera, etcetera. And my plan? He eats when it's convenient for me.
Oh, hey friends. I just ate an entire mango.
Yup. I said it. We are doing baby led weaning, as we did with Felix, and he's doing pretty well. But when it comes to meats, a) we eat meat very rarely in our house, and b) he doesn't do well with masticating meat products, so I opt for one of those organic meat pouches. (Ew. Just the thought of unrefrigerated meat pouches. Good thing they don't use the word "moist" to describe any of the contents.) He is still a nursing machine and drinks 3 5oz bottles at school. He honestly isn't a difficult kid. Eats with his hands, eats with a spoon, eats from a bottle, eats from a breast. I'd be hard pressed to believe he'd reject a farm animal nipple if you placed him under a lactating pig.

But in order to keep him stationary in his high chair, sometimes we have to throw some appetizers to him before a real meal starts. And that's where I like to sing the praises of Plum Organics Little Yums. I break each one in half (long ways) and he is happy as a lark. Nutritionally not dense, and from my perspective, it's an air biscuit with some smidge of dried organic product, it is quite a bit less messy than other food like avocado and I feel slightly more comfortable dividing my attention between getting dinner out (or refereeing a big kid MMA fight in the octagon that our kitchen transforms into), and having him eating at the table by himself.

Speaking of high chair, I would marry Stokke Tripp Trapp high chairs if I could. I am in love with them. Seriously. Both the older boys were gifted them and Gus was a thankful recipient as well. I tried to convince Eric to get some for us so we could have a Stokke family--and even tempted him with the new bright orange version, but he declined. Sure, there is not a tray to put food on, but I love that the chair grows with the baby, doesn't take up much real estate, is made well, and a breeze to clean.
Notice Felix's bottom photo bombing?!?

Also, did you know they are great for playing pirate beauty parlor? Worth the price of admission...

Lord knows where research is these days in regards to vitamin D and nursing, I certainly don't have time for much evidence based parenting anymore. Le sigh. Although I can tolerate feeding my child warm meat from a pouch, I cannot stand the smell of vitamin D/iron drops. You know the kind and brand. So, yeah...I rarely if ever gave them to Felix. Maybe that's why he has a hairy back for a 3 year old. I dunno. But my friend told me about the Carlson's vitamin D drops. 1 tiny bottle. 1 drop a day. 1 year. Like 10 bucks. No nasty smell.
image courtesy of
I put the drop on my nipple before nursing in the beginning, but now I put it on a tiny spoon along with...

Biogaia probiotc drops. Well, now they are called Gerber Soothe drops.

photo courtesy of
I really don't like Gerber as a company, so this was a hard transition when I heard about the take over. But I did my research and the product itself hasn't changed. They are called colic drops, but really they are just probiotics. The research is pretty compelling about this particular strain, too. But you know--throw the word "teething" or "colic" on it, and parents FLOCK. I still think people aren't up in probiotic's grill as much as they should be.

Anyway, I've been giving Gus these since birth. Since I haven't not given them to him, I can't say if they aren't working, but I can say that his gut health seems to be stellar. (You know all moms minor in poop). And all that money I am saving with that 1 bottle of vitamin D drops I am making up for in the cost of these drops. I limit myself to 3 instead of the 5 recommended drops, but good gravy they are expensive! That's when I get all coupon crazy at CVS and figure out how to get a good deal.

I am hoping the probiotics are generally helping his tummy for all the non-food substances he will ingest over his lifetime, too. Like cast off hairs in my bristle brush. Who needs chew toys? I'm telling you, a good bristle brush is like turning my 8 month old into a one man band a la dick van dyke in Mary Poppins. It's also fun to play hairdresser with a 3 year old boy who has no idea how to use a round brush, too.
In the morning I sit Gus on the bed with my brush, a random matchbox car "case" (I call it his brief case), a banana teether courtesy of the amazing Kate, and a book called Global Babies. Then I just wait for the concert. He bangs the brush, he double fists the brush and banana and smacks together, he chews on the brush and makes a squeak sound, he rubs it against the book and makes another sound. Carnegie Hall, I got someone for you...

Finally, my love for Stokke can only be challenged by 1 other product Ava Anderson diaper cream.

This is the holy grail of all products. It's so good you can only purchase through a consultant. And don't we all feel special when we make products through consultants? (Okay, it's a direct to market/sort of pyramid dealio, but the company is great and the consultant I use wonderful.) It's like a tub of heaven. It's made with organic oils and herbs, shea butter, minerals, essential fatty acids, unicorns, and umami (whatever that is). But seriously, it's da bomb. I use it on my own skin every day. I use it on the boys for our regular mani/pedi/hot foot towel/massage son spa nights (or as Felix calls it, Mom, can we do Medicare?). But don't worry, I'm not all George Costanza and double dip after applying to Gus's bottom every night. We don't need no fecal facials to add to the spa menu.

Make sure the kid has a fresh diaper (we are battling between Seventh Generation and Nurture by Nature right now. Sorry Nature Baby can't compete with thunder thighs), clothing that isn't soiled with his saliva, throw him in a laundry basket while cleaning up the house...and he's good to go.

Images courtesy of my phone and instagram feed. If you aren't on it, get out from under your rock and join. All the cool kids are doing it.


  1. I just snorted so many times I had to get a tissue. For some reason, this struck me as one of the funniest blog posts you've ever written.

    You are hilarious. Or I am slaphappy. Or a little of both.

  2. I used to dream of plastic fronted shirts with Nicholas's drooling... Oh, and I would have paid anything to have had probiotic drops promising to soothe colic. Sadly there were no such aids in those days.
    I love all the photos!