Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Baby Data

It's probably no surprise that I am motivated by statistics (the core of my undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering). I really find data fascinating and eye-opening...and baby data is no different.

A lot of people will tell new moms not to "watch the clock" when feeding a newborn, stressing over naps, or counting the minutes of what seems like endless crying. Well that doesn't work for me. I NEED the data. I need to see trending to find some hope of optimism in what is a very challenging period in my life with a newborn.

There are a lot of methods out there, but I think the easiest way to track the baby data is through an app (I use Total Baby), since nowadays your phone is always within arm's reach. Most programs will keep track of when and how long your baby eats, sleeps, and needs a diaper change, along with doctor visits, milestones, and even pictures.

Here's where I've noticed the big advantage of tracking: when you use it for more than one kid. I used the app with Bugga, and I'm now using it with Bella. As I go through the daily and weekly challenges with Bella, I am finding that I very much forget exactly how things went down with Bugga. Did Bugga wake up this many times at this age? When did we move Bugga to the crib compared to Bella? And I can just look it up in seconds. There's nothing like an instant point of reference when going through all these stressful moments where you feel like you will NEVER come out the other side because this moment is just the WORST...only to see that your first child acted the same way at this age and you lived to tell the tale...or at least the data did.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Toddler Crafts & Fun for St. Patrick's Day

Our family isn't Irish (except maybe a teensy bit on my husband's side) but I love celebrating St. Patrick's Day. In college this meant heading to Savannah for parades and green beer. Nowadays it's more about crafts, cookies and some creative meal planning. 

I actually put more effort into celebrating than I had planned. Aside from the themed mantle, Bugga and I made Shamrock Suncatchers to decorate our windows. She is very proud of the result and was excited to tell her dad repeatedly, "I made that!", pointing at her masterpieces.

We also attempted the Fruit Loop Rainbow craft that you see all over Pinterest. I think she had fun, but the glue concept was new to Bugga, and she preferred to glue the cereal pretty much all over the page. Oh, and by the way, there are no blue Fruit Loops, so I think that just threw us off anyway.

I tried some new recipes for our St. Patrick's Day Dinner (which I actually made last night because all bets are off on Mondays) - corned beef, colcannon and shamrock chips. It was actually all pretty good, and my husband ate every bite (which is saying something).

Bugga helped me make shamrock sugar cookies - everything from helping me bake them (she mixed the ingredients together and helped with the cookie cutter) to decorating, to of course EATING the cookies.

We had a lot of fun - Happy St. Patrick's Day to everyone!