Bloom Box: A review

My step-sister Stasha gifted me a 6 month Bluum Box subscription for my baby shower gift… along with a plethora of cute knitted hats!

Bluum Box is a paid subscription service where for around 30$ a month (less if you subscribe for  3, 6, or 12 month subscriptions) you receive a monthly box filled with age appropriate goodies for you and your baby.

This is my 3rd box and it’s theme is “Welcome to the World.”  The items in the box that I received were as followed:

1. 6oz Ventaire Bottle from Playtex. Value: $4.49
2. Nipple Variety Pack for the Ventaire Bottle. Value: $8.99
3.Soft Mitten Set Value: $8.00
4.Organic Ruffle Rattle Value: $10.99
5. Grey Cheveron Burp Cloth Value: $9.00
Extra: Coupon Book for Playtex merchandise Value: $25 dollars worth of coupons for specific Playtex items. 
Total Value (not including coupons): About $41.00
Playtex Ventaire Bottle: While I like the concept of this bottle, I’m not thrilled to have another random plastic bottle. We’ll sanitize it and try it out, and perhaps I’ll have a better update on it. 

Playtex Ventaire Nipple Variety Pack: I’d say this is the most exciting aspect of receiving the ventaire bottle.  This nipple pack has some things I’ve never seen before. It has two different “breast” like nipple shapes, a wide nipple – for babies with larger mouths, and a slanted nipple for tilted or upright feeding. I love the idea that bottle nipples shouldn’t come in one standard shape & size, I know real nipples surely don’t! Emerson doesn’t seem to picky about her bottle nipples, seeing as she’s taken 3 different bottles so far, all with different shaped nipples, but having this variety is nice. I could see this being very helpful if we were struggling to get her to take to a bottle. 

Soft Mitten Set in Chocolate & Green Tea: I wish I had gotten these in the previous month’s box because they would have been much better than the socks we were using for the first 4 weeks. These are super soft and easy to put on. I definitely wouldn’t pay 8 dollars for this set, but they are nice nonetheless. They seem to stay on pretty well and they don’t leave elastic marks around her wrists after she’s been wearing them. 
Organic Ruffle Rattle: I’m on the fence about this item. I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it. I like the fact that it’s organic so it’s a great soft toy that Emmie can munch on. The thing I really disliked? The tags! They are so scratchy and stiff. It’s just a nuisance to have tags in the first place, not to mention having tags that definitely need to be cut off before baby can play with the toy. If I had a choice, I’d pass on this item. The rattles we received last box out-shined this one by far. 

Grey Chevron Burp Cloth: Another item I’m not too particularly fond on. As a hobby, I like to sew. This is nothing more than a strip of trendy fabric sewn onto a cheesecloth like cloth diaper. Straight out of the box this burp cloth is very stiff, scratchy, and overall disappointing.  I’m sure it will get softer with each wash, and maybe then, perhaps I’ll enjoy it. I think in the meantime, it will be housed in our diaper bag for an emergency spit up cloth. 

 All in all I wasn’t a big fan of this box. It could have just been that my previous month’s box was just so good that anything in comparison isn’t up to par. It’s still quite a bit of fun to see what you get each month! Hopefully next month’s box will make up for the lack of exciting items in this box. 

*Disclaimer: I was gifted this subscription of Bluum box. All opinions are my own and not endorsed, encouraged, or affiliated with Bluum Box in anyway. There is a referral link in this post, where I will receive one free box if someone signs up using said referral link.*

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Mohawks, smiles, and gas – Oh my!

Emmie asked for a Mohawk.

We’ve had a good week this week. Emerson had her 1 month check up — she’s doing great. Officially 7.5lbs! I also had my pulmonary clinic and I’m doing pretty well too; PFT’s were stable at 80%, weight is still 3lbs higher than pre-pregnancy, and overall we have a good plan for inhaled antibiotics to hopefully help me meet my 6 month exclusive breastfeeding goal.

Meeting Auntie Meghan for the first time

Over the weekend Meghan came to visit, and Emerson warmed right up to her Auntie in no time. The weekend was filled with lots of baby snuggles. Emerson even enjoyed having a bath for the first time — usually she cries and fusses, but with Auntie Meghan helping she was cool as a cucumber.

Afternoon snooze with Mom

 Emerson sleeps in her Rock-n-Play at night, but I’ve been worried about transitioning her to the crib. Knowing that she sleeps at an incline I’m afraid the transition to the flat crib will be tough. So, in order to hopefully avoid a hard transition, I’ve begun putting her in her crib for naps. I walk with her until she gets her ‘sleepy eyes’ and then pop her in still awake. She’ll fuss and roll side to side for a few minutes, but the past few naps she’s been able to put herself to sleep in her crib. She doesn’t sleep as soundly there yet, but it’s good progress. She also never sleeps on her back. I always put her on her back and within seconds she’s rolled to her side.

Mohawk baby!

Yesterday was the first day I saw a social smile from Emerson! It was the cutest, gummiest smile you ever did see. It was in the morning and I was asking her if she would like to smile for me, when she did! And then she did it again! It was the best. Amazing how little things like a smile, that normally people would take for granted because it’s seemingly so simple, can be a truly amazing feat. This morning we got another morning smile. I have yet to really see any during the day, but after a night full of gassiness (on Emmie’s behalf), lots of fussiness,  and lack of sleep – a morning smile makes it all worth it.

Look at that strawberry blonde hair!

 Emerson’s hair is starting to thin out in the front a little. I’m not sure if it’s because her hair is turning lighter, or if it’s actually falling out, but either way she has about half strawberry blonde/light brown hair and half super duper blonde – as in white, you can barely even see, hair. I’m curious to see what color it decides to be. Oh, don’t worry the mullet is still nice and thick. Her eyes are still as blue as ever, but occasionally they look a little violet or grey.

Learning to focus on toys

 Emerson has been having long chunks of awake time in which we work on our eye focus, smiling, and of course tummy time. With a big ‘ole Overdeep noggin she really needs to work out those muscles to hold that head full of brains up!

Tummy time with a ruffled butt.

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First Month Survival Gear

1. Newborn sized bodysuits. We only received 5 newborn sized bodysuits initially, and we had only purchased about 2 newborn things ourselves from the thrift store. We had gotten a lot of advice to skip buying newborn clothes since they grow so quickly, so jump straight to the 0-3 month clothes. Well, we had a little string bean baby and found she was swimming in her 0-3month outfits. She lived in her newborn sized Carter’s bodysuits since they fit her lean body so well. Grandma and Auntie even bought her some more newborn things since we were recycling the same 6 items over and over again. At the one month mark we’re still fitting in mostly newborn, and a select few 0-3 month outfits. I think we’ll still be in newborn for the next month as well. 
2. A soft cotton robe for me, I got this particular one at Target. The first two weeks, I lived in this thing. When you’re breastfeeding a newborn on demand for the first month, you’re frequently topless, or exposing yourself. Having a robe was wonderful. It was soft against my sore nipples and it was easy to cover and uncover for quick feeding access. 
3. Avent’s Soothie Pacifiers. These things are a life saver! At the three week mark we asked Emerson’s pediatrician about giving her a pacifier early since she would eat for twenty minutes and then just comfort nurse for another 40. I love nursing her, but being a human pacifier, especially at night, was taking it’s toll on me. He gave us the go-ahead and we stocked up on a few different type of pacifiers. These were the only ones she didn’t gag on. They are the best. It makes her so much happier in the car, and now Kyle can help put her to bed instead of it being all up to me, the human pacifier. Unfortunately, Oliver likes them too; we keep finding them with the nipple chewed off. Ollie! After about two weeks using these pacifiers she now will take other pacifiers as well. 
4. Fisher Price’s Rock-N-Play. Around the end of week one, we found that Emerson slept much better, specifically longer and deeper, when she was at an incline. We had her sleep in her space-saving swing a few nights before we went out and bought the Rock-N-Play. This thing is awesome. She sleeps so well, and as a bonus we can rock her to sleep with little effort on our part. It’s so portable we can pack it up in a few seconds, and she’s able to be right next to me while I sleep in bed, similar to a co-sleeper but with the benefit of rocking and being at an incline. 
5. Aden and Anais Swaddle Blankets. I had these on our registry but we never received them. Since they were a bit on the expensive side I opted for a cheaper version. Well, a neighbor ended up gifting these to us, and they are great! They are much bigger than the other cotton muslin swaddle blankets I ordered which makes a big difference with her not being able to wiggle out of these. They are super soft and cuddly. They are great for taking on the go and using as a nursing cover too since they’re pretty thin and light.

6. Boba Wrap. This is Kyle’s favorite baby item we own. He loves to wear Emmie around the house. If she’s fussy, we wrap her up and almost instantly she’s asleep. It calms her like you would not believe. If every other method of getting her to sleep has failed, we Boba her and sure enough, out like a light. As an added bonus, we can use both our hands when she’s wrapped up, but she’s still snuggling with us. The only downside to the Boba is that it gets pretty warm. We usually crank the AC while we wear her in the Boba to keep both of us cool.

7. Summer’s First Infant Snuzzler. With Emmie being such a peanut, she bounced around in her swing and her rock-n-play. In order to help her feel more secure in both, we use the infant snuzzler. Basically, it’s very similar to the infant inserts you find in carseats. It has head support and extra body support on the sides. We have it in her rock-n-play and she loves being snuggled up in her infant snuzzler.

8. Baby Jogger’s City Mini GT stroller with car seat bar. Since we have a dog, we started going on family walks a few days after bringing Emmie home. This stroller with carseat bar has been great! It makes going anywhere very easy since it folds flat with a simple pull of a strap. It has quick release wheels, and most importantly fits in the teeny tiny Prius trunk! It’s small enough that we feel comfortable taking it into stores and we don’t feel like we’ve got this gigantic stroller taking up the whole aisle.

9. & 10. Medela breast pump and Dr. Brown’s glass bottles. After introducing the pacifier with great success, we moved onto giving her a bottle once a day. I pump with my Medela pump, and Kyle gives her a bottle. We had a few different brands of bottles – and Emerson took all 4 brands with ease – but Kyle prefers the Dr. Brown’s bottles because she seems to get less air with them. We also prefer to store pumped milk in glass bottles vs. plastic. Dr. Brown’s is one of the only brands that still have glass available. The bottle has allowed Kyle to give me a few longer stretches of sleep on occasion, so it’s been very, very nice. It’s also nice to know that I could go somewhere and leave her home with Kyle for more than an hour.

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1 Month

Dear Emerson,

Today marks your one month of being outside my belly. One month filled with cuddles, kisses, and an absurd amount of cuteness. Every day you’re looking older, and every day you’re learning new things. You open your eyes wider and the distance you can focus has grown by leaps and bounds.

You’ve slowly started to discover your hands. It frustrates you when you try to suck on them and then your jerky movements interrupt your attempts at self-soothing. For the most part you’re still accidentally scratching your face and poking yourself in the eye. Ouch!

When you were first born you were a very quiet and content baby. Somewhere during the second week you started to get very gassy. With these new pains came a new voice. You always had a little pouty face, but your sad face just breaks my heart! The loud cry associated with gas is one that sends me into mommy panic mode: “My baby is hurting! I need to hold her close this instant. I need to soothe her. How can I fix this?” Sometimes when you’re uncomfortable in your carseat you make your sad face, squirm and then let out your angry, uncomfortable cries. I find these rides nearly unbearable since I can’t scoop you up right that second and hold you close to my chest. Luckily these instances are dying down since I’ve cut a lot of my milk drinking out of my diet. When moms have dairy, little babies like you get pretty gassy since you can’t digest the protein found in cow’s milk yet.

Over the past 4 weeks your Daddy and I have just fallen so in love with you. It was hard to imagine just how much we’d love you when you were cozied up cooking for 9 months. We weren’t sure how parenthood would fit us, and we were unsure of what struggles we’d face. I think it’s safe to say that we are loving being parents to you. You made our relationship as a couple stronger. I’m so glad you’re part of our family.

The first week of your life, I didn’t want to put you down. I wanted to relive and retell the story of the first time I met you; my baby. You were super sleepy the first few days of your life, which was great, because all we wanted to do was snuggle with you. Since you came into this world so quickly and your noggin didn’t get a chance to squash itself into a funny cone-shape, you were a really cute newborn. You had bright, alert eyes and a perfectly round head. You had the perfect amount of hair and the chubbiest cheeks. You truly are beautiful- inside and out.

Now at the 4th week of your life, you’re still perfect in my eyes. Your hair is starting to grow in super blonde- almost white, but you haven’t lost the little brown locks you were born with yet. You went through a newborn skin peeling phase, but now all your flakes are almost gone. You seemed to have skipped the newborn acne phase, with only having a few white heads here and there.

One of the cutest things that I will miss is your Moro Reflex. When you’re startled or moved suddenly your little arms and legs shoot straight out. Your hands open up flat and your eyes go wide. The reflex is leftover from when we were monkeys and had to cling on to mommas’ backs. It may be one of my favorite things you do. One of your Daddy’s favorites are your little sneezes. You have been sneezing a lot since you were born. Just your system’s way of working itself out. You also still hiccup frequently just like you did in the womb.

All in all, we love you to pieces and think you’re the coolest little human. We can’t wait to see what this new month brings.

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4th Time’s the Charm

This is my 4th attempt at writing a blog post. Week three was a long one, but at the same time went by so quickly! 

Emmie weighs 6lbs 11 oz as of last Monday!
I’m having a lot of pain due to Emerson and I having thrush. Painful nursing + lack of sleep + insurance issues to get a breast pump delivered = one stressed out momma. 
Kyle has been a great husband and is doing everything he can to make me more comfortable. I know thrush can’t last forever (at least, I hope not!) but it’s been really discouraging this week. I had one particularly rough day where all I wanted to do was cry. I called Kyle home from work that day and he left right away to come cheer me up. 
We’re still figuring out a good schedule to make our days run smoothly as Kyle transitions back to work full time. We’ll get there. It’s tough, but sweet baby snuggles makes it all worth it (and then some!). 
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Second Week

Week one flew by, and week two was no exception to time flying either. We’re already creeping up on Emerson being 3 weeks old on Wednesday. 

Our second week had a lot of “firsts” during it. Emerson lost her umbilical stump this week and is working on having the cutest belly button around. Since she was finally stumpless, we tried our hand at her first baby bath! We have a tub that is basically a glorified bucket, but its supposed to mimic being in the womb. While she liked it, she was still far too little to actually be able to bathe her in it, so we switched to bathing her in the kitchen sink. What is it about babies in sinks that is just so stinkin’ cute? 

Emerson met her Uncle Kyle for the first time this week as well. It was after a particularly fussy night with little sleep, so needless to say she slept the entire time he was visiting.  Over the weekend she met more family, including her Auntie Julie, my mother and her husband. It was quite the weekend of baby snuggling.

Just us ladies went out this week while Daddy Kyle was at work. Oh, another first! Kyle went back to work. Day one was rough due to some mis-communication and a very tired Mommy Beth. Day two and three went much better! Emerson and I even managed to get out of the house to head to a breastfeeding support group. There were other newbies there – the youngest being just three days old! Emerson was still the peanut of the group. The group was great since the mom to the three week old seemed to be having the same night-time nursing issues that we’re currently struggling with. Plus, it was nice to get out and socialize with other new moms.

She’s tall and she’s lean;
She’s just a little string bean. 

Our latest issue is a case of thrush. Another first. This one takes the cake as being the most unpleasant of all the firsts this week. We see her pediatrician on Monday so hopefully he can prescribe something to take care of her oral thrush, and I’ll have to go see my GP to get something for my nipples. If we don’t treat them simultaneously we’ll just end up passing it back and forth to each other for months. I’m pretty sure it was caused by the azythromycin I take every week. I’m looking into adding a good probiotic into my diet so that hopefully we can avoid thrush in the future. 

Her jaundice is looking much better and she already feels heavier in my arms! Kyle and I already think Emmie is looking older. Where is time going? 

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