Tag Archives: baby products

2009 in Review

It’s been a busy year in our household! Here are a few of the highlights:

January: I had just graduated from graduate school and was enjoying doing nothing but being pregnant. About halfway through the month I learned my delivery plans were going to change pretty drastically. My grandfather passed away after a long battle with cancer; his funeral happened while I prepped for my c-section.

February: At the beginning of the month we welcomed Menininho. It was a complicated post-delivery, one that I hope to never repeat. We moved to California and I made my first silly new mom mistake.

March: I learned of the losses of two Marfan friends. Menininho was blessed and formally given a name. Our family came to visit. Mark was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.

April: A pretty boring month, but I did blog about some of my baby “must haves”.

May: We started using cloth diapers and won’t go back! Mark officially graduated with his MS. I also had the stress test that started a chain of events.

June: Mark and I celebrated our 2 year wedding anniversary. I also started a series of posts about my life with Marfan.

July: My Life With Marfan posts continued and I prepared for the annual National Marfan Foundation conference.

August: Menininho and I flew solo to visit my mom and sister. I finished up the series and went to my 4th conference, where besides working with the teens I was also one of the closing speakers.

September: My cardiologist discovered a problem with my heart and I decided to wean Menininho early in order to start a new medication. A few weeks later Mark was diagnosed with Celiac disease.

October: We had a mishap at the pumpkin patch, and then better success. I moved my blog from Blogger to WordPress.

November: I relived some childhood memories with MamaKat’s Writers’ Workshop and we got to spend Thanksgiving in Ohio, seeing all of my and Mark’s extended families.

December: The inner breastfeeding advocate in me wrote a post about a woman’s right to breastfeed and the inner patient advocate in me wrote a post about being an empowered patient. We bought a tree, spent too much time in the ER and had a failed Christmas tradition.

I want to thank all of you who read my blog, who give me feedback. I am humbled that you take time from your day to read what I have to write. I look forward to getting to know more of you and your writings in 2010!

~ Maya

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Best Book 2009

Off and on during this month I’ll be doing posts themed by “Best of Blogs 09.” The author lists a different ‘best” for each day of December.

Today’s “best of” is Best Book of 2009. I’ve had significantly less time to read now that Menininho is here, and consequently most of the excellent books are from last fall. My runner-up for Best Book of 2009 is In the Time of Butterflies, by Julia Alvarez. It’s a read that will pull you in immediately. In the Time of Butterflies tells a somewhat fictionalized account of the lives of the Mirabel sisters, who played a key role in eventually overthrowing their country’s (the Dominican Republic) dictator, Trujillo.

However, I’ve decided to go with a children’s book for my ultimate selection: Whoever You Are by Mem Fox. I’m biracial (Latina & White) and have struggled sometimes with my identity. I think it’s very important that my son know his roots (Brasilian on my side and Italian on his father’s) and I’ve been looking for children’s books with strong multicultural characters. I’ve had a really difficult time finding any!

Then, while shopping on Black Friday, I came across Whoever You Are. Mem Fox is my favorite children’s author and this book did not disappoint. It’s not told from a White perspective, or a Brown perspective, or a Blue perspective…it’s universal. Its message is that no matter who we are or where we live, we are all people and therefore have a lot in common. Leslie Staub does the illustrations and they’re gorgeous.

I bought the book in paperback, then found out the next day that my mother had seen the same book and purchased it for Menininho as a board book. Her version had English on one page, Spanish on the other.

I haven’t bought this book for anyone yet, but I’m sure that I will. And if you have any books featuring Latino characters to suggest, please do!!!

Also, don’t forget today is the LAST day to enter the Little Ones giveaway. You’ve got till 11 pm PST (2 am EST). I’ll post the winner on Saturday!

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Giveaway: Little Ones, LLC

I am very excited to announce a giveaway from Little Ones, LLC! My friend Abbey started Little Ones, and it’s been fun to watch her business quickly expand. Every item is handmade and custom orders are welcome. For instance, I received a nursing cover when Menininho was born with extra length added to it, because I am so tall.

I think my favorite product is the hair bow, which now comes in 4 different bands and various styles. I told Mark that next time around we need to have a girl so I can buy the “hair bow of the month” package for her. For now, I just buy bows for all of my friends’ daughters. Menininho also loves to use the burp cloths as chew toys.

One lucky reader will win a $20 gift card to Little Ones! And, as a bonus, EVERY reader automatically gets 15% off their next order with the coupon code MARFMOM! The contest and coupon run through this Friday, Dec. 4th, 11 pm PST. I will announce the winner on Saturday the 5th.

You get an entry for doing each of the following, but you MUST leave a separate comment for each entry:
1) Visit Little Ones, then leave a comment here telling me your favorite item.
2) Follow Little Ones on Twitter (@littleonesllc).
3) Follow me on Twitter (@MarfGirl).
4) Tweet or blog about this giveaway (leave a direct link).

Please also make sure I have an easy way to contact you should you win. If I can’t easily find your email address via here, Twitter, or your blog, I’ll choose another winner.

Good luck!

* I was not compensated for this review beyond the item to be given away.

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Tips ‘N’ Tricks: RG Maternity

Starting when I began to wear maternity clothes, I’ve been keeping a list of items and tricks that have been really helpful to me as a mother with a chronic health condition, although some of these are certainly applicable to all moms. From time to time I’ll write reviews on the items (tips) or offer up suggestions of ways I’ve adjusted doing things (tricks) to make being a mom easier on my body.

All of the products are ones I purchased myself, unless otherwise specified.

Having a 37” inseam and trying to find reasonably priced pants is not an easy task, but it’s particularly hard when you’re pregnant. I don’t know why, but most of the stores I usually shop only carry 34” maternity inseams, as if tall women don’t ever get pregnant. Go figure. So, I was very excited when I came across RG Maternity.

Being a family-owned store, the selection is small but changes every few months and the deals can’t be beat. I purchased a pair of dark bootcut jeans with a versatile panel, gray dress pants with a full panel, and a red rouched top. Having a disproportionately small upper torso, I welcomed the long shirt because it gave me the illusion of being more equally proportioned. I also personally prefer the full belly panel. I carried high and the versatile panel kept slipping later in my pregnancy, but the full panel fit smoothly and kept my pants up well.

RG’s customer service is excellent! When I emailed questions I got a response right away, and was emailed when new items became available. Shipping only takes 1-2 days. The only thing that complicates returns is that you must email the company for authorization for a return before mailing back the item, and you have two weeks to do it. I cut it reeeaaalllly close when trying to exchange my dress pants for a different size. I’m a wee bit of a procrastinator.

Overall, great small business and if I ever have another baby I’d use them again!

Below is a picture of me wearing the gray dress pants.
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Favorite Things

Before I had Menininho, I was at a loss for what supplies I actually needed. There are a million baby products out there and everyone had a different opinion on what is vital for a new mom to have. Over the past 10 weeks I’ve definitely developed some favorites, so I thought I’d share those with you. [I am not working for any of these companies; I just like their products.]

Leave some of your favorites in the comments!

My Medela breast pump is a lifesaver! I bought it used from a girlfriend of mine and I don’t know what I’d do without it. It enables Mark to bond with Menininho over feedings and allows us to go places we might not otherwise (like on the occasional date night!).

I use Lansinoh bags to store my milk. I had never thought about getting these, until I was pumping more than I could store in the fridge. I’m so proud of my little milk bank!

That said, I only give Menininho a bottle 1-2x a week, except when we’ve taken visiting family out on trips, and then it’s closer to 3-5x. My friend Abbey has her own company, Little Ones (I’ve blogged about it before), and she recently gifted me with one of her handmade nursing wraps. I LOVE it! It was custom made: I picked the color and pattern, and Abbey added extra length since I’m so tall. This one keeps me more covered than any other I’ve tried, and the hard collar sticks up so that I can look in and see Menininho while he’s eating. [Abbey’s currently updating her site so some of her newer items, nursing wraps included, aren’t up yet. If you’re interested in them, email her: orders@littleonesllc.com.]

I haven’t been able to find any of these in weeks, but I really like the Lansinoh thin breastpads. All the stores are out of them so I’ve had to use the ultra-thin, which are ok, but not quite as good. I tried out some of the less expensive brands but they all either showed through my clothes or I leaked through them.

This might just be an “out West” product, but we LOVE Mom to Mom wipes.  Menininho had diaper rash pretty much since he was born. Once we moved out here and started using these wipes, he hardly ever gets one. They are SO soft and kind of dry, which leads to no irritation.

We also switched over to A&D ointment. It’s less messy than some of the other products we’d tried, plus it goes on clear and creates a protective seal. It helps prevent and treat diaper rash.

Kiddopotamus makes a terrific swaddler!  Menininho is one of those babies who won’t sleep without being swaddled, but I never could master doing it with a blanket.  Menininho always got out of it and I worried he’d end up suffocating himself (no blankets in the cribs b/c of SIDS and all that). But, without being swaddled he didn’t sleep well. We bought this when he was 3 ½ weeks old and Menininho has been sleeping soundly ever since!

I don’t subscribe religiously to one parenting philosophy, but I have really enjoyed Dr. Sears’ book. I use a modified version of Baby Wise for sleeping (though I must say, I was really turned off by the author’s tone) but I practice attachment parenting in other ways. This book has a lot of really useful information about child development, and that’s what I like most about it.

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LittleOnes

I just want to put in a quick plug for my friend Abbey. She and I met while counselors at the church summer camp for teens: EFY (Especially for Youth).

Anyway, she just started her own business, LittleOnes. She has created a line of items for baby, inspired by her own daughter, Ella. Abbey makes super cute pacifier clips, hairbows, hats, and blankets. I imagine starting your own company is difficult, so I just want to wish Abbey all the best! 🙂

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Maya Goes to Mountain View

Finally! My long-awaited trip to visit Mark! We had a great time and I tried to document in photos as many things as I could. (That means this is kind of a long post!) Don’t forget you can make the picture bigger by clicking on it.

Wed. I was met at the airport by Miriam, the sister-in-law of our friends the Stays (small Mormon world that Mark goes from church with Steve & Rachel to church with Steve’s brother and his wife!). Miriam dropped me off at Stanford, where I had my first appointment at their Marfan & Related Disorders Clinic. It’s the largest in the world, but you wouldn’t get that feeling from being there that’s for sure. I was pretty apprehensive about going because of all the complications I had getting this appointment set up, but once I actually found the office I was supposed to go to, everything was great! It’s the first doctor’s office I’ve been to where everyone seemed to genuinely LIKE each other. The nurses, receptionists, and doctors were all smiling and joking around. Sunny, the clinic coordinator, took me to her office to chat while I waited for my appointment. And although the clinic saw 900 patients last year, everyone is family.

Dr. Liang is just great. I didn’t mind waiting past my appointment time because he spends as much time with each patient as that patient needs. He was friendly, explained everything well, and didn’t treat me like some Marfan novice (a relief considering my last new doctor spoke to me in a baby voice and many in the past have gotten annoyed at me asking questions). He also agreed that I should have Lil Z here in Columbus, so that is officially set! My next appt. with him will be in March.

Mark picked me up after work, and I got to see his apartment. Definitely a bachelor pad:

The next day he went to work and I stayed at the apartment doing homework. I did meet him for lunch at his office cafeteria, though.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t take pictures of his office because it’s TOP SECRET!

That night we had dinner at Sarah and Ben’s! I miss them and can’t wait till I live closer.

Friday Mark worked from home. We went to In and Out Burger for lunch. For those of you who have never experienced the joy of that burger joint, that alone is worth coming out to visit us.


We spent Friday evening researching baby things on Consumer Reports (and by we I mean Mark) and then setting up our registries. Baby clothes are SO CUTE! Also, Babies R Us is really crowded at 9 PM on Friday night. Who woulda thought?

Also? Mark does not understand pregnancy cravings. Earlier in the week we grabbed a donut for breakfast. This donut was delicious. On Saturday, I NEEDED another one. Poor Mark thought I was just saying that I was hungry and that I wouldn’t NEED a donut after eating lunch. He was wrong. Luckily, he came to understand the power of cravings and we stopped to get some donuts to have for Sunday morning breakfast. I was so excited I started eating my donut before we even left the store.

We spent Saturday night checking out strollers, bottles, and baby monitors at Target. I think I can now tell you anything you want to know about each brand of baby bottles, both BPA-free and not.

Sunday I got up early to pack. I thought it would be nice to get breakfast in bed for Mark by presenting an array of donuts for him to choose from. In theory, this was a cute idea:


…In reality, he rolled over as soon as my back was turned and knocked donuts all over the bed. Whoops! My bad!

And then, all too soon, time to go to the airport. Only 8 weeks until Thanksgiving!!!

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