A Review: Baby Socks

Seriously, baby socks are the WORST. You have to have them, because as your baby gets bigger, the selection of clothing items with footies built in decreases rapidly. So, you have to use socks. And with a baby born in the fall, winter or even spring, you have to cover their tootsies.

There are a lot of CUTE socks out there. Tons, in fact. Heck, here’s Elle’s sock drawer AFTER I cleaned it out today.

And here are the socks that already no longer fit her (despite their claim of 0-6 month socks).

However, not many of them are very functional.

So, because I would have loved to save myself the purchasing of cute socks (ok, not ALL cute socks) I’m reviewing the best and the worst here with a five star rating system and everything. Read on.

Carters
Rating: 1 Star
Review: These look cute and like they’ll be warm. Unfortunately, they’re too elastic-ky (or something) and do NOT stay on.

 

Carters
Rating: 2 1/2 Stars
Review: Also from Carters, there seems to be more cotton in these type of socks from them. In general, socks that fold over (like these and the others from Carters) aren’t a preferred choice because they are easier for baby to kick off for whatever reason you want to attribute it too.


Falls Creek (Meijer)
There are a few versions of Falls Creek here, and I know that Meijer is a midwestern store, but these are actually solid socks. Herewith, my individual reviews…

Rating: 3 Stars
Review: These are an adequate choice when the tops aren’t turned down. They seem to stay on alright and hold their shape pretty well.

Falls Creek, Fancy
Rating: 3 1/2 Stars
Review: These are a little too decorative to have as a day-to-day go-to, but as a dressy sock, they are wonderful. They actually look pretty cute with jeans and sneakers or with a dressier outfit. Even though they fold down, they aren’t as easily kicked off. Who knows why.

Falls Creek, Everday
Rating: 4 Stars
Review: These and the Circo (Target) socks are the most recent I’ve purchased on my quest to find great baby socks. These are the best I’ve found thus far. They have just enough give that they don’t leave marks in baby’s ankles and they’re just strong enough that they stay on their feet. I’d buy these again and again.

Okie Dokie
Rating: 4 Stars
Review: These rank right up there with the Falls Creek above. These are a little less bulky, and they come in super cute designs, but they stay on much better than anything else like them. I’m not even sure where you can purchase Okie Dokie, but I really, really like their stuff in general. Their socks are just one reason to enjoy their brand.

Trumpette
Rating: 3 1/2 Stars
Review: Trumpette’s are socks I have a habit of purchasing at HomeGoods or TJ Maxx. The first version here came as a gift. The bows are cute — and keep this in mind — not terribly functional once you get to the point that your baby is going to be jumping a lot (hello, four 1/2 months!) in jumpers and things. You may have some sort of shoes to allow for some traction, so the bows are a no-go in that scenario. Get the wearing in early on socks with bows on the toes.

Rating: 4 Stars
Review: These stay on great, have a little sticky on the bottom, look like shoes when they’re on and can easily be worn with shoes or alone and look cute. Definitely enjoying the Trumpette’s. They make them for boys too.

Esprit
Rating: 1 1/2 Stars
Review: These came in one of those boxes at Home Goods or TJ Maxx that have a bunch of socks with ruffles and bows on them (they also make them in sporty versions for boys). These suffer from the fold-over-so-easily-kicked-off condition described above. They’re cute. Just not very functional and not worth spending the dollars on. Get cutesy shoes and don’t worry about the socks is what I say!

Gymboree
Rating: 3 1/2 Stars
Review: I love Gymboree, though sometimes things can be overpriced there. You can typically find SOMETHING that works for a specific occasion, though. The socks stay on moderately well, they come in a variety of patterns, but that’s kind of the problem too. You want them to be cross-functional sometimes. But, as long as you have the Falls Creek socks, these are good for matchy-matchy outfits.

Little Me
Rating: 4 Stars
Review: Before I came upon Falls Creek, Little Me were my socks of choice. I bought 12 pairs of them (2 6-packs) at TJ Maxx (can you tell I’m a TJ Maxxer for sure?!). Anyway, the price was right at TJ Maxx to purchase these. Had all the right colors I needed and they fit snuggly on baby feet and weren’t easily kicked off. These would probably get 5 Stars, but they do leave little marks on Elle’s skinny little ankles (at least compared to other babies about her age – she’s got pretty skinny legs, still).

Mud Pie
Rating: None
Review: As you can see, I haven’t even taken the tags off these yet. These socks suffer from being so cute you hate to have her wear them (and that you can’t really wear them with shoes). So, I’ll let you know. I have a feeling they’ll be cute but non-functional. Although, MudPie stuff tends to be well thought out.

Circo (Target)
Rating: None
Review: Haven’t tried these yet, these are the latest in the line to be tried. They seem to look like Falls Creek, though, so we are going to give them a try. We’ll let you know. I love all things Target, so I’m hopeful.

 

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What Makes a Breast Pump a “Pump”?

First things first – a breast pump isn’t really a pump at all, is it? I mean, a tire/air pump puts air INTO a tire. A sump pump…well, crap, I don’t even know what that does. I know that the fountain in our pond has a pump – but that’s something that takes liquid, sprays it up in the air, and continues to recycle the liquid/water. So, yeah, a breast pump just sucks breast milk out of your boob more like a vacuum or something.

Anyway – I had the following exchange with a friend who was trying to navigate breast pump shopping for her daughter-in-law and thought “You know, I bet other people would like this same information…I would have.” Her daughter-in-law JUST delivered yesterday (yes!!! Elle’s got a new friend!) so this is my advice in the event that you’re nearing delivery and intend to breastfeed.

So, here you go. My approach to breast pump and the advice I’m giving to friends.

Email from Terri: “Lindsay – Did you buy a breast pump…if so where did you get it?  I know you do your research, so I’m guessing you’ll have the scoop on the best prices.  Best price I’ve seen for Medela Pump is JC Penny (weird) for $250.00.  I question the real need for such a fancy pants one unless you’re out & about in the work place or something.  Any info you have would be appreciated.”

My response:

Here’s the gig on the breast pump: I borrowed one from my girlfriend. They TOTALLY tell you not to use anyone but your own and you fall into the trap, and then you realize that THEY are the breast pump companies themselves. Once you use a breast pump, you wonder why the HECK you wouldn’t borrow one if you could – it’s not like actual milk is pumped through the actual pump contraption. The whole thing is bizarre, because you have to wash and sanitize the pieces of the pump before you use them even when they are BRAND NEW. The whole thing escapes me, really.

If [DIL] has someone she can borrow one from, that’s the way to go. Actually, she can just use the one I’ve got at my house. My girlfriend doesn’t need it. If she’s paranoid about borrowing one/using one someone else had, here’s the gig:

You can go out and buy your own, personal attachment pieces (not that it would matter, you have to sanitize everything anyway) and you can even go directly to Medela and ask them to send you brand new pump lines (you can’t buy them anymore, and they will send them to you for free). So, if they are interested in the FREE borrow route, I’ve got a breast pump in my pantry (don’t get me started on why the heck it’s in the pantry, because I honestly couldn’t tell you, other than it was taking up too much space in my Christmas wrapping area and the pantry seemed to be a place I wouldn’t have to look at the thing.)

I know the pump itself is a good one (can’t remember the name, but it’s a Medela pump and my friend Molly, who is still breastfeeding four+ months into this Mom gig uses the same one). Anyway — the whole breast pump thing is a total racket in my opinion, but think that if you’re going to breast feed, there is absolutely NO REASON to have your boob be the only way that the kid can feed. It contributed to my sense of desperation/overwhelming/sleeplessness at the outset of the Mom-ing. I know that Molly said that the women at Genesys were/are AWESOME in helping out getting the breastfeeding going and it took Molly a solid six-eight weeks to get it figured out. It’s TOUGH but worth it, if you are set on breastfeeding.

Here’s the other thing, if you think of a breast pump this way…It’s a $250 investment. For $250 I can buy formula that lasts me for 18 weeks. If they want to invest in their very own breast pump, then don’t do it yet. You don’t need one on hand right away, especially if she’s not heading back to work right away. The only reason she’ll need one right, right away is if her milk does not come in for some reason…which is unusual. Not sure their insurance situation, but if you can get your doctor to write a prescription for a pump, then it is a lower cost. You can go to the medical supply store and they might be covered. My insurance didn’t cover it, Molly’s did. Insurance is a crap shoot, it turns out.

SYNOPSIS:
DON’T PURCHASE A PUMP NOW.
Option 1: Borrow the one I have and replace the parts if you’re paranoid or just sanitize the parts I already have.
Option 2: Purchase one down the road. You’re not going to be pumping out of the gate, and if it turns out that breastfeeding is NOT something that [DIL]’s in for the long haul, then you’ve WASTED $250 (again, 18 weeks of formula – Sam’s Club or store brand, which is what we use).
Option 3: Check and see if it’s covered by insurance and check on prices at medical supply companies around town. Who knows, they might have one cheaper. Quite certainly, use the 20% off coupon at Babies R Us to make that kind of purchase.

Ok – long winded and hopefully insightful, I’m done with imparting my tit-knowledge to you 🙂

Alright friends – that’s all I’ve got on boob-knowledge. Tomorrow’s the day: Day in the Life. Can’t wait!!

Seven Hours I’ll Never Get Back

Well, we successfully completed childbirth class on Saturday. All. Day. Long.

The class began at 10 a.m. and went until 5 p.m.

It was the only one day class I could find in the area and was hosted by McLaren Hospital — I’ll be delivering at Hurley.

The McLaren folks couldn’t figure out what room we were supposed to be in, so that debacle set us back 45 minutes. There was a woman in the class who, as part of the introduction, said that anyone considering an epidural should really re-consider because it’s bad and you don’t know what it does to you or your baby and it will change you forever, etc. And the teacher just let her say it without EVER saying anything about ‘it’s your body, your choice’. Which, the reason for that became quite apparent as the woman herself seemed pretty against epidurals by the way she spoke, was definitely a proponent of breastfeeding at all costs, and seemed to just be a little too preachy for my tastes.

I’m glad that Jon and I went together and heard all the same things, but also think that the class could have accomplished all it needed to in about half the time.

I also couldn’t believe that we had eight pregnant women in the class and we never got a real, consistent ‘stretch break’. I mean, sitting for seven hours for a pregnant woman is about the MOST uncomfortable thing I can imagine. And, who in their work or lives sits for seven hours straight?

We also had no lunch break, per se, and it was just sort of a winging it thing.

The best part of the day was after the class when Jon and I went to Qdoba and ordered all the things we wanted on the menu. It was a good thing for Jon and I to do together, but I don’t know that the class helped me all that much. I’m glad I did it and can now cross it off my list of things to do, but…seven hours I will never, ever get back.

So, my recommendation for those considering childbirth class. Do what Molly and Bob did – find a way to make an appointment one on one with a nurse who can talk you through what you’ll need to know at the hospital at which you’ll be delivering. That sounds like a much better solution that will be tailored to your personality and questions, etc.

Ok, folks. 38 days until D Day! Can you believe it?!

Week 5, Day 4

Holy moly — last night was a NO SLEEP night. That’s getting old.

But yesterday was a day — McGee died. McGee has been the best kind of dog, a kind of stop-gap in my family’s world. When my grandparents died 4 1/2 years ago, the dog survived and my parents became McGee’s new Mom & Dad. By proxy, he was my cousin/brother. Admittedly, I felt a little bit Mormon. But, it was on McGee’s back that our sorrow and loss rode for the last 4 1/2 years. I feel, a little bit, like maybe he waited until he knew we had something else (a baby!) in our lives before he let himself succumb to whatever was taking over his body.

But, in the last two months, McGee just wasn’t himself. He lost five pounds — 25% of his weight — in two weeks. He couldn’t control his bladder. The vet said it was diabetes and there was organ damage. My Mom and Dad were with him when they said good-bye. I said good-bye in the morning at my parents’ house. I was sad all day. I’m still sad. McGee was quite seriously someone I looked forward to seeing — and he to me. I called him “Bubby”, my pet name for him. I’m so sad that he’s gone.

I’ll admit that I was more glad than ever that there is this little life growing inside of me. Not that it can be equated to the dog, at all, but it’s the continuity of life that brings me peace. It has always made me sad that my Grandpa Jerry, Grandma Judy, Grandpa Carpenter, Grandpa Carrell, won’t meet my children. And now, no pictures of cute McGee with the cute baby. But, it means that life continues (thankfully) and that there are great things to look forward to. Also, this means my Mom gets  a break from taking care of the dog before she goes on Grandma-babysitting duty 😉

So, back to being pregnant. Last night, it was like period cramps. But, can’t take Pamprin, so had to just battle through it. It’s been a looooonnnngg time since I had cramps that I couldn’t take anything for. So, I got in the shower at 2:30 a.m. (this after researching and googling ‘cramps, six weeks, pregnant’ for about an hour). What else is a girl to do? It helped and by 4 a.m., I was finally asleep. However, that was short-lived. I was up by 7:30 a.m. ready to go and get my homework done by Noon MST. Ran to VG’s, got donuts and coffee and milk and oj for ‘breakfast-in-bed’ for Jon. Man is he lucky.

Anyway, began researching some strollers last night. What a big decision that is. It can be a purchase of $200 or $500, plus all the attachments. You can read great reviews on them all — and opposite opinions on them all. The only friend I have who has a semblance of what is good/bad is Jay and she’s in Florida (not the same needs as someone in the snow all the time). So, right now the frontrunners are Phil and Ted’s Explorer and the BOB Revolution. I like the idea that it can work as a jogger/walker, can navigate smaller spaces and, the Phil and Ted’s can be adapted for both an infant car seat and as a dual stroller. I feel like, though the initial price tag may be steep, it will be a good long term investment. However, if I’m dissatisfied with the stroller, it will have just been a huge waste of money. What a big decision.

I also started looking at cribs. Another overwhelming experience. I’m pretty committed to a 4-in-1 crib that can go from a crib to toddler bed to a double bed. BUT — what color? What style? Do I even bother purchasing the whole kit and kaboodle (dresser, etc.) or just wing it? See — lots of questions.

Oh, and gliders. The ones that don’t look like your typical Babies-R-Us purchase, that look like a piece of furniture that is intentionally in your home, but not for babies specifically, are pretty pricey. I haven’t done justice to shopping those out.

My goal: to have all of the stuff I’m putting on a list-of-things-I-need/want chosen (boy-specific and girl-specific) so that in 14 more weeks, when we know what it is, we can be raring and ready to go on making choices and getting stocked up. Actually, that 14 week mark will be the same time I’m finishing my MBA! Woohoo!!!

Ok – enough rambling for this a.m. I’m feeling better now that I’m upright. Hopefully, sleep comes my way tonight!