Tall Mom tiny baby: April 2014

Wordless Wednesday : Cherry Blossums in Providence Rhode Island

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Bubbles and a Baby

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Who knew bubbles could be so much fun! This Gazillion Bubble Machine was honestly one of the best first birthday presents!  The cloudy days filled with April showers may have locked us indoors, but my living room has been transformed into a wonderland thanks to these colorful bright bubbles. I only wish I had better camera in hand to capture this moment. 

Time To Childproof The Doors

Monday, April 28, 2014

 I think it's time ladies and gentlemen. Time to start the second phase of childproofing our house, including our door knobs.  I hate the look and feel of those silly knob covers, but as you can see from our photo above, it looks like we are going to need them.  Itty Bitty has figured out how to turn the knobs with ease. This photo shows him trying to get into our coat closet, which doesn't just house our coats, but also our ice skates. Probably not the best thing for a one year old to get into.

So I look to you for advice - which brands and items do you recommend for childproofing?

The Best Baby Friendly Places in Rhode Island - Baby Pictures at the Warwick Showcase Cinema

Saturday, April 26, 2014




This post is part of the Tall Mom tiny baby's Best Baby Friendly Places in Rhode Island Series
My hubby and I love movies. We love being transported to a different time or place, being wrapped in a world full of gorgeous soundtracks and fancy costumes, funny accents, or intriguing plot lines. Before I was pregnant, we were famous for attending midnight movie premieres, and even dressing up as characters from the films...yes, we were (are) those people.

Being pregnant made going to the movies slightly difficult. I enjoyed going to bed around 8:30pm, so long movies were out. I actually fell asleep both during Skyfall and The Hobbit. I still don't know what happened to James Bond, and as for Bilbo Baggins...I read the book ;)
Now that I've had Itty Bitty, going to the movies poses a different slew of problems. Thankfully, a local movie theater has the answer!
The Warwick Showcase Cinema, along with several other National Amusement theaters, offers Baby Pictures approximately once a month. Itty Bitty and I went to see The Great Gatsby, and boy did I have fun!
  • Films start at noon, which is fantastic since I am not able to get dressed and ready to go before 11am!
  • Discounted rate of $6.00.
  • Lights are kept on low, so you can rummage around in your ginormous diaper bag with ease.
  • The volume is lowered slightly.
  • There's a diaper changing station inside of the theater, which consisted of two changing mats, a garbage pail, and extra wipes, all laid out on the floor in a corner.
  • Everyone else in the theater is either a baby, a parent, or perfectly understands that there are crying fussing babies --- so no one gives you that nasty, "take your crying baby outta here" look. What you see is more like the, "oh, girl I feel you're pain" look.
  • Perfect for newborn babies - not ideal for little ones who are mobile. It's hard to drool over Leo DiCaprio when you have to chase your inexplicably faster-than-you two year old.
During our recent trip, there were about ten babies in the theater, each accompanied by a parent or two, or even some grandparents. Occasionally you would hear a cry, and the parent would take the baby around the theater or in the entranceway to soothe them. Many parents brought boppies to prop their babies on, others kept their sleeping babes in their car seats, and I brought my Moby Wrap.
Itty Bitty actually napped for almost the entire film. Halfway through he woke up for a feeding, but then went back to sleep. At the end of the movie, I took him to the changing station, gave him a new diaper, and then put him inside his car seat. I loved that I felt comfortable breastfeeding during the movie. It was also assuring to hear other babies cry throughout the film, and know that all of us were going through the same thing :)
The only changes that I think could make Baby Pictures better would be:
  • Offer Baby Pictures more than once a month
  • Possibly having a person come into the theater with a snack trolley - carrying a diaper bag, a car seat, and any other baby gear makes it difficult to balance a drink and a popcorn. And trust me, new mommies will buy those snacks if they were made easily available to them! Skittles anyone?
Now - if we could just get the other moms to dress up in costumes that relate to the movie. It would be like I didn't even miss a beat...
What movie are you excited to see this summer?

A-Z of Mary Larsen aka Tall Mom

Friday, April 25, 2014

What do you know about me? Well, you know I'm tall and a new mom. I have an adorable one year old son, who I lovingly refer to as Itty Bitty here on my blog. Maybe you know I love to research things, am a huge nerd-fan girl, am open and honest, and adore living in the Ocean State.  But let's play a little game so you can get to know me a bit more.

Today's post is inspired by this one - by Carla of All of Me Now. It's fun, lighthearted, and might let you get to know me a bit better :) If you enjoy reading this post - feel free to join in by leaving a post of yours in the comment below. Either a full A-Z link, or just leave a letter and a fun fact that coincides with it!  Thanks for playing along, and thanks for the inspiration, Carla!

A. Age: 31

B. Bed size: Queen, and it barely fits Tall Dad and I. We had to kick Itty Bitty out once he started too get too big.

C. Chore that you hate: Ugh, washing dishes. If we didn't own a dishwasher, my husband would have probably left me by now.

D. Dogs: My heart belongs to Boo. That is the one and only dog I will ever love.

E. Essential start to your day: Picking Itty Bitty up out of his crib, and bringing him into our bed for 5-20 minutes of snuggling.

F. Fear: My own blood. I honestly have issues getting blood drawn or seeing needles in my body. I almost faint, and my hands get sweatier than Ron Weasley's in The Chamber of Secrets.

G. Greatest achievement:  Attaining my dream - my family.

H. Height: 5'11" - but I often wear heels, which brings me over 6'2"

I. Instruments you play: Way too many to list - because by trade I'm actually a music teacher.  My top picks as of now are the saxophone (baritone sax to be exact), harp, ukelele, and piano.

J. Job title: Mom, blogger, wife, Executive Coordinator, and TV Host.

K. Kids: One son, otherwise known as Itty Bitty.

L. Love: I'm desperately in love with the two main men in my life. Them and chocolate & peanut butter.

M. Mother’s name: Sandra

N. Nicknames: I loath nicknames - especially when people decide to shorten my name to Mare. I'm not a horse. 

O. Overnight hospital stays:  When I was hit by a car as a kid and had a broken leg, and then when I gave birth to Itty Bitty. 

P. Pet peeves: Mean girls, especially of the adult variety. That and when parents talk about their kid's achievements as if it were their own. Ex "We are working on sitting up," or "We rolled over today." Really? You did to?

Q. Quote from a movie: Currently, "If peeing in your pants is cool, consider me Miles Davis." - Billy Madison (see this post as to why)

R. Right or left handed: Right

S. Siblings: My older sister, Jeannie, and my younger brother Alden.

U. Underdog moment: Without any formal television training, I won the Rhode Show Search for a Star competition in 2012, and was on live television for an entire year. I learned that I had zero fear of the camera, and can actually read from a teleprompter. Who knew!

V. Vegetable you hate: Brussel Sprouts. They smell bad.

W. What makes you run late: The clock in my car always drags a minute or two behind, even though I reset it once or twice a week. I blame a gremlin.

X. X-files: I have talked with a ghost, and am often told I'm a bit psychic because I call people right at the moment they are either thinking about me or about to dial my phone number. 

Y. Yummy food that you make: I make three dishes: tacos, something I call Chicken Artichoke, and Chicken and Rice. Besides that,  good luck...you'll be served peanut butter and jelly.

Z. Zoo animal: Right now I'm a huge fan of the red panda. They just seem so soft! 

Want to join in the fun? Either do a blog post on the A-Z of you as well, or pick a letter or two and fill it out in the comments below :) I'd love to get to know you better!

A Drive Down Memory Lane & A SuperDogs #Giveaway

Thursday, April 24, 2014

I recently took a drive down to South County and visited my alma mater, The University of Rhode Island. Man has campus changed since I graduated! It keeps getting more and more beautiful with each passing year. While I was there, my friend and I visited the lambs down at Peckham Farm. 
They are so stinkin' cute!!! Prancing and jumping around, happy as can be!  I'd highly recommend anyone go visit these little guys while you can. It's free and open to the public!

After checking out the farm, we drove by The Ryan Center, and I told my friend all about the fun events that happen there. Big concerts, sporting events, and even family friendly events (see one such event below.) 

It's sometimes nice just to slow down and take a trip down memory lane. I saw students walking to the dining halls, still wearing their pajamas like I used to do. It's fun to look back on a place that helped shape me so much. I truly became a stronger, more confident woman thanks to URI. Especially during quiet moments like when I used to visit the farm. 

So, in the spirit of making memories - I have a special little giveaway for all of you Rhode Islanders. I have two tickets to giveaway for an event happening on May 2nd at The Ryan Center. It's called SuperDogs.

Love dogs and looking for a fun family outing? Get your tickets toSuperDogs coming to the Ryan Center at the University of Rhode Island on May 2nd! SuperDogs have entertained over 35 million people with the most original family-oriented live shows around and it just keeps getting better. Fast paced, interactive, heart-warming and hilarious, experience the fun of these canine dynamos in their incredible new production featuring The Olate Dogs, winners of America's Got Talent! Use promo-code "MOMMY" to receive your $5 off any concourse level ticket at the Ryan Center box office or online at theryancenter.com.
Enter to win to free tickets to SuperDogs below! Good luck -and hope you're making some lovely spring memories of your own!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What favorite memory do you have of a past springtime?

Itty Bitty's First Birthday Party

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

My darling baby boy turned one year old this month. Man did this past year fly by! This momentous occasion deserved a delightful birthday party. There were friends, family members, other babies, cake, Caserta Pizza, singing, and so much more.  We kept the whole party incredibly low key - with my only decorations being a Happy Birthday sign, colored plastic table cloths, and one set of streamers around the columns in our living room. Aside from that, we wanted to keep the party simple, and stress-free. The only item that took a little planning was Itty Bitty's birthday cake - which I drew inspiration from Pinterest.

I had heard from many friends that first birthday parties can often be overwhelming for the birthday baby, and that they rarely know what to do with their massive smash cake.  Itty Bitty's favorite food is blueberries, so I figured I'd put blueberries all over his birthday cake to show him that this was also food.

It worked!

My favorite photo was after the party was over, and Itty Bitty dove into the mountain of presents. 

Many thanks to all that came and made our (not-so) tiny baby's first birthday ever so special.  
A special thank you to Dana and Jay for helping capture some of these fantastic shots!

BobaAir - Minute With Mary {video}

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A short one minute review of the BobaAir (Boba Air) baby carrier. 
Fun facts: 
The Boba Air is super easy for parents on the go. 
It's intended for children 15-45lbs, and zips into it's own little pouch!

Full review - coming soon!

16 Newborn Necessities: Baby Must Have Items - Tall Mom's Top Picks

Monday, April 21, 2014

Itty Bitty turned one year old this month! Man, did that year fly by. I've been doing a lot of reflecting about what things were like, back when I was pregnant, and then with a newborn. So I'd like to share some of my reflections and top picks for things that either made my life easier, or I wished I'd had on my baby registry a year ago. So, without further ado, here's my post on Newborn Necessities - Baby Must Have Items!
Are you pregnant and don't know what the heck you really need on your registry? 

Or, have you already had your shower and you're still concerned that you haven't gotten all of your newborn necessities? 

 Well, have no fear! I've compiled what I believe is the comprehensive list for newborn must-have's. At the very least, this list should have you covered for the first few weeks. Well, this, and dinner being delivered.

1. Lanolin - if you're breastfeeding, you're going to want to pick some of this up and store it in your hospital bag. The purple colored one is super thick, and is great for your first week or two of breastfeeding & pumping. Whereas, the yellow colored container is better for maintenance.

2. Boppy Pillow - or a reasonable equivalent. I also packed my Boppy pillow in my hospital bag, and was so thankful that I did because I learned how to breastfeed with my own pillow, and it was easier for my husband and guests to hold our newborn baby. Trust me, if you're not used to holding a baby, you're going to be scared, nervous and, ultimately, your arms are probably going to get tired! So, save those biceps and get yourself a Boppy.

3. Swaddle - Try your hand at the regular swaddles. They are nice - and who knows, maybe you'll be one of those origami pros who can swaddle up their baby in no time. But then there are others ::cough:: Tall Dad and Tall Mom ::cough:: who may be a bit tentative in the swaddling process - so I'd recommend you grab yourself at least one package of the SwaddleMe's or the Halo Sleep Sack. You're life will be made so much less complicated.  I promise.  You'll be glad you did.

4. Zipper Pajamas - do not, I repeat,  DO NOT waste your time on button-up pajamas. Receive some at your shower? Return them immediately and get yourself some zipper ones. Sure, the zipper pajamas are never as cute, but you're going to be changing your baby's diaper at least 15 times a day.  Believe me, the last thing you want to deal with is screwing up the buttons, or the absolute frustrating amount of time it takes to actually button the whole thing together while the kid squirms and cries. You may think you're smart enough to get the buttons right.  You're not.  Trust me.  Zippers. It's the only way.

5. Bucket Car Seat - hospitals won't let you take your baby home without one. Just make sure you have it installed correctly.

6. Newborn Mittens - Get a couple of pairs of baby mittens. They aren't necessarily meant to keep your baby's hands warm, but more to help your new tiny baby not look like Edward Scissorhands. Their nails are razor sharp, and some little ones just love to claw away at their face.  You know what is great too?  Those baby kimono's that have long sleeves and the mittens built into them. 

7. Disposable Diapers - Size Newborn - Even if you're planning on cloth diapering, at least think about getting yourself a box of disposable newborn diapers. These are generally the brand the hospitals use, so we kept using them at home. Once again, your baby's diaper needs to be changed at least 15 times a day. Yuck.

8. WubbaNub Pacifier Wubba what? Don't judge, just buy one, or register for it. It's like god's gift to frustrated parents. It's a pacifier attached to a beanie baby-like stuffed animal. The beauty of this pacifier, is that you can strap it in with them in their car seat, stroller, or even their swaddle! That way, if your tiny baby falls asleep and accidentally spits out their WubbaNub, all he or she needs to do is move his or her head a smidge and pop - there's the pacifier! Brilliant!

9. Manual Breast Pump - If you're breastfeeding, consider yourself warned. Day 3, or 4, after giving birth, you're going to wake up to find your breasts have become hard as rocks and as big as Dolly Parton's. If you do not have an electric pump, I'd recommend using this manual one. It will help ease your pain & pressure. I actually prefer this pump over my super fancy hospital grade one, and find that even 11 months later, I am much more efficient at pumping on this small hand-held device than that monstrosity of a contraption. Cheaper, in this case, is better.

10. Burp Cloth Cloth diaper Your baby is going to spit up everywhere and, especially, on everyone. So do yourself a favor, and buy a couple of big packages of the cheapest simple cloth white diaper inserts you can find.  Like, the ones our grandparents would have used. Then you can go out and get yourself a couple of "cute" burp clothes if you'd like. These are the ones I'd offer my guests. My favorite fancy brand is Aden and Anis - because they double as snap together bibs!

11. Fisher-Price Newborn Rock 'n Play Sleeper, Rainforest Friends - Your tiny baby will need a place to sleep, and having this Rock 'n Play is a freakin' godsend. If you want your baby to be next to you while you eat, watch TV, shower, hang on the porch, etc. - you can just drag your rock and play, and, tada, there's your sleeping baby. I'd pick this over a swing or a bouncer, and even over a bassinet. It accomplishes all things, and if you need to be frugal - this is the best choice!

12. Moby Wrap - or some type of universal carrier. You may find that your baby likes to be close to you all of the time, so wearing him is going to be the best option. I like the Moby because anyone can wear it, and it's super soft. As Itty Bitty got older, I moved onto a more structured carrier, but for those first few weeks, I lived in my Moby Wrap and Nuroo Pocket.

13. Diaper Bag Don't make the mistake that I did and not get a diaper bag. I remember walking into our pediatrician's office for our first appointment with Itty Bitty's diaper and wipes in a plastic shopping bag. Get yourself some kind of bag. Personally, I like having a backpack. I wore my baby a lot, and having my hands and shoulders free from a bag has made life so much easier!

14. Nursing Cover - If you're breastfeeding, congrats! If you're super comfortable nursing anywhere in public without a cover - congrats again! At first, I was a bit shy, and felt the need to cover up. Now, as Itty Bitty has gotten older, I have started covering up a bit more because he gets easily distracted, and my breast is showing more often than not! I would highly recommend the Nuroo Nursing Scarf over ANY nursing cover or shield. All of the other fabrics I tried became wrinkled in my diaper bag. The last thing I want to do is more laundry, or god forbid, iron my darn nursing cover. Get the Nuroo Scarf if you can. You'll be happy.

15. White Noise Machine - Recreate the sounds of the womb by getting yourself a white noise machine that PLUGS IN. Don't get a battery operated one that is only on for 45 minutes. Those are fine for travel, but your baby needs those sounds nonstop throughout the night. My little guy is a light sleeper, and he would wake up as soon as the ocean waves stopped playing.

16. First Aid Kit - Make sure you have baby nail clippers, and a really good thermometer. I personally like the non-contact infrared thermometer, because I don't have to stick anything up Itty Bitty's bum. It's your choice!

Well there ya have it! My top 16 Newborn Necessities! What else would be on your list?

Stay tuned for my 0-3 month, 3-6 month and 6-12 month Must Have Lists!

Disclaimer: I wasn’t paid to promote any of these items. Though some of these products were gifted to us, my comments are based on our tried and true experiences with using them. Hope you have an opportunity to try them out as well! Some links are affiliate links.

Happy Easter

Sunday, April 20, 2014

From our family to yours - HAPPY EASTER!

Thank You Itty Bitty For Taking A Nap

Thursday, April 17, 2014

It may have taken him over a year, but Itty Bitty is finally napping once, sometimes twice a day. This may seem like a small feat to many, but if you've followed along with my baby sleep posts (read this one, this post, or even this one), then you understand that sleep is pretty much the biggest deal in my life right now. I live with a cup of coffee in hand, have my own library of sleep training books, and have spoken with several sleep consultants. Needless to say, as I type this mini post right now, I'm delighted to say that my little guy is currently snuggled in his crib, chilling out with Mr. Sandman. 

Small victories my friends. 

Small victories :)


Easter Basket Ideas For A Baby

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

One of my favorite memories from growing up was delving into my Easter basket. My parents always made it a fun mix of little toys, arts and crafts, and of course - candy. My baby is only a year old, so I'm not too keen on giving him a ton of sugar. I will, however, be giving him one super cool (and super inexpensive) Easter Basket!  Here are some ideas for an Easter Basket for a Baby!

1. Bubbles - what kid doesn't love bubbles?

2. Pacifiers - one can never have enough! Maybe get a cute spring themed Wubbanub, like the WubbaNub Lamb - Adorable!

3. Hats - your baby will most likely be outside a lot now that it's springtime. Why not cover their precious face from the sun with a cute spring hat?

4. Headbands - cute and cheap: what more could a new parent ask for?

5. Bibs - aside from his super super newborn days, my kid has lived in a bib. He drools like a Saint Bernard. Cute Easter Bibs are a must!

6. Easter outfit - or you can but your toddler an adorable Easter outfit. I'm cheap...and just am sticking to a bib. 

7. Books - springtime books are lining bookstore shelves. Farm animals, baby animals, flowers - you name it! Maybe you can even get a baby Easter themed book. I picked up this one because it's touch and feel. And it was $4

8. Stuffed Animal - my baby may not be getting a chocolate bunny, but I might get him a cute and cuddly stuffed bunny.

9. Bath toys - baby ducks are just super cute and scream springtime. Stock up on a few and sprinkle them in the basket. I'd suggest finding ones that do not squirt - because squirt bath toys often get moldy inside. Yuck. 

10. Music - buy or make your little one a new CD or mp3 mix. If you're really trying to be frugal, just throw on some different music on Pandora during the day and take some time to dance with your baby :)

11. Ball - babies LOVE balls! Plus, they come in all different sizes. Find one that fits your baskets, and watch your baby have a ball. Get it!

12. Snacks - is your little one eating solids? Maybe pack up some puffs inside Easter eggs.  If your baby is eating purées, stick a couple of their favorite flavored pouches in the basket. Colorful and useful! 

13. Egg music shakers - or purchase (or make) some musical egg shakers. They are Itty Bitty's favorite instrument besides his drum.   

14. Cars - not a real one. A toy one. 

15. Socks - any reason to buy more socks is a good reason to me. I always seem to lose them!

16. Sandals or shoes - baby shoes are expensive. I don't believe in baby shoes until the little one is standing and walking - but now that Itty Bitty is at that age, I need to get him some footwear. 

17. Lots of lovin! - above all, your baby or toddler isn't really going to remember what you gave them for Easter. So my biggest suggestion to you is to give them extra loving, take tons of pictures, and enjoy your time together. You'll all be able to look back on those photographs for years to come!

What was your favorite thing to find in your Easter Baskets when you grew up?

5 Fantastic Baby Easter Board Books

Monday, April 14, 2014

Check out one of these 5 Fantastic Baby Easter Books: The Ugly DucklingThe Tale of Peter Rabbit Story Board Book,  Pat the Bunny (Touch and Feel Book)Bright Baby Touch and Feel Spring , and Bright Baby Touch and Feel Easter

My one year old baby absolutely loves board books.  He now knows sign language for "book" and will sign for it and ask for it out loud.  Granted, he calls a book "DAK," but we understand what he is asking for, and are more than happy to read to him.  I'm slowly phasing out our winter and snow books, and have purchased several spring books to put inside of our baby's Easter Basket.  I picked these because some are touch and feel books, whereas others are pure children's classics!

What springtime board books do you recommend?

No Sleep After Having A Baby : I'm So Tired

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Based Upon Episode 3 of ParentCast Podcast:

My favorite thing that people ask me is:
"Like a baby," I say with my fake smile. 
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How's he sleeping?  

If you're asking me this, you are one of three things:

1. You don't actually know me, because if you did, you'd know how I am exhausted all of the time. 
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2. You're a concerned mom-to-be or you have a non-sleeping kid of your own, and you're hoping that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe if my kid suddenly has started sleeping through the night, that might mean that yours will too.
You know what I say to that?
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3.  Or, you're just mean and kinda want to see me cry.
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Hopefully you're not number 3!

But no matter what, being super tired all of the time is something that I realize 99% of parents are going through, and we are pretty much signed up for sleepless nights for the rest of our lives.  Even when Itty Bitty grows up a bit more, and *hopefully* starts to sleep, he is going to have restless nights, or I'll be up late worrying about this or that. 

Then he will be old enough where he will be out with friends, and I'll be pacing the floor, eager for the moment he walks through the door.

So I'm giving myself a break for always being tired and for never having sleep. I'm a parent, and this is what parents do.  

If you're a new parent and we are getting together, I'll most likely be coming with coffee for both of us. Lord knows we need it.

If you're not a new parent, and have no idea the exhaustion that we all go through, save yourself the trouble.  I'd like a medium iced french vanilla, skim and one splenda.


Anyone else exhausted? How do you combat it?