Wednesday, December 2, 2015

6 Month Favorites

Six months, half of a year, hard to even believe. I can't think about it too long or I'll get sad because he's growing so fast. As much as I want him to slow down and stay little for forever I love seeing his personality grow each day.

This month has been one of the hardest because W hasn't been sleeping well and things are much harder when we aren't sleeping. When I say not sleeping well I mean waking up every two hours and taking an hour to fall back asleep, then not going down for naps during the day. In the afternoon I often drive around waiting for him to fall asleep and then I hook his car seat into the stroller and walk around the park. At least if I'm not getting sleep I can at least get a little exercise and fresh air. I think it had to do with teething because his first tooth finally broke through last week. The past two days have been much better so I'm hoping that we are headed in the right direction. I love being a mom, not getting sleep is difficult though and it makes me grumpy and start to isolate cause it's hard to think about going places. I'm grateful for my hubby who comes home on his lunch break and tells me to get out of the house, and wakes up in the middle of the night and walks around the house with W until he falls asleep. Here's to all the other mamas and daddies out there who aren't sleeping, may you find time to rest, accept help from those around you, and stock up on some coffee!

Anyways, let's get to the favorites...

Wubba Nub Dog W has never taken a pacifier well (kind of like the whole bottle situation) but this past month he's loved this little guy. He chews on the pacifier part, I think it feels good on his sore gums, and he loves the tag. Basically he doesn't use it like it's meant for but he still loves it.

Oball Activity Center There are tons of activity and exersaucers, but I really like this one. It's compact and has a lot to play with. It has a few buttons that play music and is the same brand as the ball in the Four Month Favorites. They are easy to grab and W loves all the different things he can play with.

Einstein Aquarium I went out and bought this one day after W had been up all night and Kyle was out of town. It was kind of an act of desperation, I was willing to try anything. It's not a magic pill but it does help sometimes. It comes with a remote so we can turn it on and off without going into his room. He has also figured out how to hit the starfish and turn it on and off, which is funny. It hooks on the side of the crib and runs on batteries. We have had it for over a month and use it at least once a day and I just replaced the batteries this week.

Ergo 360 Kyle has been using this to carry Walt around the house during his sleepless nights/days. He likes how easy it is to put on and it feels like a backpack. There are four different ways you can wear it, we do the front inward facing right now. I like using a wrap, like the Boba, more I think just cause I'm smaller and the wrap helps W snuggle in closer. I'm sure as he gets bigger I will start using this more. It's much easier on your back to put him in a carrier or wrap, and he usually falls asleep while you move around. The difficult part comes in trying to transfer him from the carrier or wrap to the crib.

Starbucks I was trying to think what else should be on my list of favorites for this month and all I could think of was Like I said in the beginning we haven't been getting much sleep and coffee really does help. Just not too much coffee cause otherwise you miss out on possible naps. Starbucks gift cards made my Christmas list for this reason haha, I love coffee and I brew it at home but there is something special about going to get a coffee when you're having a bad day. If you have a mommy friend who has a little one especially one who isn't sleeping, maybe send them a Starbucks card. My sister-in-law sent me one and it brought tears to my eyes. Not for the coffee, but because it was sweet of her to think of me and send an encouraging note. Love my family.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

5 Month Favorites

Sassy Wonder Wheel This is an awesome high chair toy. The bottom is has a suction pad on it so it sticks to the tray and has lots of fun parts that can keep a baby occupied. Walt plays with it while I get his food ready or while I'm cleaning up dinner. He loves spinning the wheel; I was impressed with how well he could do this from the very first time he played with it. He usually gets it unstuck from his tray and tries to chew on the suction pad, but maybe that's just him haha...

Phil & Teds Highchair We started solid foods this month. Originally we had planned on waiting until Walt was 5 months old but he was waking up every two hours at night to nurse so we decided it might help, and I think it did. This high chair is awesome. It's easy to use and cleans up well. The only down side is the legs stick out kind of far and I'm always worried about tripping over them. But otherwise it's awesome and it also can be turned into a lower chair for an older child.

Being silly in his highchair
In his highchair playing with the wheel

Mortimer the Moose This is the toy we usually bring on walks with us. It has a clip at the top so I just hook it on the stroller straps so it doesn't fall out (I lost a burp rag one day and had to retrace my path to find it) Walt likes to chew on the antlers and loves how soft it is. There are also rings to play with and the feet make a crunchy noise so it can keep him occupied while I get a good walk.

Baby Trend Expedition Jogger Stroller We own three strollers, which is probably crazy but they all have been useful. This one is my favorite. It's easy to push and the shade cover is awesome cause it can move down to the front tray, helping block the sun. The front wheel can be locked (meaning it won't turn) if you are jogging, but we have found that even at a quick walk it needs to be locked or the whole stroller starts shaking. We took this to the state fair last month and it worked out great!

Just back from a walk in the jogger stroller with Mortimer the moose
aden + anais bamboo swaddle I know these have been on my favorites already (I think it was Month One) but they are worth repeating. These blankets are awesome! They are super soft, way softer than traditional swaddle blankets from aden + anais (which are also great!) I keep one in the car at all times, when Walt is getting fussy I hand it to him and he will rub it on his face and usually fall asleep. They are magical! Plus they have really pretty prints. The one I linked to is a different set of prints the ones we have and I told Kyle I was tempted to buy them, but we already have two packs so he didn't go for that idea. They are a bit pricier than usual swaddles but they are worth the price in my book! 

In the jogger stroller with another one of the blankets
Asleep in the car with his blanket and Mortimer
Graco Bumper Jumper Walt loves standing and this gives our arms a little break! He loves the independence of moving around and the little toys on the straps keep him very entertained. It’s really easy to put up and can be put on any doorframe.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Four Month Favorites

It's amazing how much changes in a month! Walt has been playing a lot more this month and is becoming curious, especially about our dog Buddy and any kind of electronics. We've had to really be intentional about turning the TV off cause he will turn his neck like an owl to watch it. One Sunday at church the man next to us had his phone out and Walt was just staring at it the whole time (until he got hungry and decided he was done with sitting in service). Anyways, here are our favorites for this month...

Munchkin LATCH Transition Cup Walt still won't take a bottle but we've had some luck with this transition cup. It's soft like a bottle nipple but shaped more like a sippy cup. He loves the handles on it and wants to hold it himself.

Oball Rattle Like I said, Walt has started actually playing with toys which has been so fun to watch. He loves this ball cause it's really easy to hold. He does get frustrated cause he wants to put it in his mouth and can't because of the shape. He also will get it hooked on his finger and end up throwing it across the room. It's a great toy for at home but I wouldn't take it in the stroller cause it would be easily lost

Wide View Digital Color Video Baby Monitor He's been doing great sleeping in his crib and this monitor makes it easy to feel comfortable with him in his own room. It has a bar across the top that goes from green to red depending on the noise level. Plus the camera works really well and allows you to check on him without having to walk in his room a million times (and risk waking him up when you trip over something)

Fisher-Price Sit-Me-Up Floor Seat This is by far the best purchase we've bought lately. Walt loves standing up and sitting up, which is awesome but makes it difficult for me to get things done. This chair is awesome cause it lets him sit up and lets me move around. I've actually been able to make dinner lately because of this chair! It also has two hooks on it and comes with two little toys but you can switch them out. Bonus-the fabric material comes off very easily and washes nicely. Which we had to do two days in a row...

Spiral Activity Toy This is a soft toy that works well for on the go! We hook it on the stroller when we go on walks and on the side of his carseat for longer drives. It also is nice to pull out over at other people's houses to keep him entertained without having a bunch of toys.

Happy 4 months sweet boy!

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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Three Month Favorites

Walt turned three months a few weeks ago, hard to believe how fast the time has gone by! I had to pack up a bunch of his clothes yesterday, which was quite sad. He's developing such a cute personality though and I love getting to hang out with him during the day! Here are our three month favorites...

The Jesus Storybook Bible We have developed a bedtime routine of bath (every other night), diaper change, pjs, and then I feed Walt while Kyle reads a story out of here. I love how each of the stories points to Jesus and the pictures are wonderful. It will be special to keep reading this especially as he gets older and we can talk about the story when we are done. He loves books and I'm glad we've started reading the Bible to him at an early age.

Boppy Pillow  I used this to nurse every now and then but Walt loves to be propped up on here. It lets him sit up a little bit and he likes to look around. He usually tells his best stories while propped up on the boppy. You can also use it for tummy time but we haven't done that as much cause he does really well with tummy time on the floor.

Carters Lamb Blanket I grabbed this out of the toy box on a whim this month and Walt loves it! He grabs it and rubs it on his face. We call it his lovie and it has become a car ride staple. We did forget it at my parents' house one night, thankfully he isn't at an age where he needs it just yet. I think we will buy a second one as a back up!

Summer Umbrella Stroller We had been using the travel system stroller that we borrowed from my brother-in-law and sister-in-law for our carseat but Walt started getting really warm and didn't like how he couldn't look around. We tried out this umbrella stroller and he really enjoyed it! He looks around at everything when we go on walks and is so content. It helps at night when it's too early for bed but he's getting fussy. One afternoon I took him and Buddy on a walk and it started raining, quite an adventure to try and get home but Walt didn't seem to mind at all.

SwaddleMe As I mentioned in my last post I mostly do a "super swaddle" when Walt is going in his crib (which is all the time now!) But not everyone has the swaddle technique down, so this is a nice back up option. There is velcro on it so it keeps his arms down and works well, although he has managed to get his arms out a few times.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Things I've Learned About Being a Mom

Things I’ve learned in the past 3 months of being a mom…

·      Sleep is a treasure, hard to find and very valuable
·      You can never have too many burp rags, keep one in every room that you might possibly be in
·      The first time you go to the pediatrician’s office you will be a mess. Germs, other kids, unsure of what to do And your baby will have a blow out in the waiting room at some point. Ours was the 2 month appointment.
·      Babies don’t just fall asleep when they are tired. Seriously, I thought when Walt’s tired he will just fall asleep so I didn’t keep track of how long he had been awake. I’m sure some babies do just fall asleep, mine does not. He wants to go and move and talk all day long, and if he’s awake for too long he gets super cranky. Now I write down when he woke up so after an hour or so I can get him ready for a nap. I swaddle him, put him in his crib and let him babble until he falls asleep. He’s happy, mommy’s happy, life is good.
·      Never give up on the swaddle. For the first month probably we were just convinced that there was no way to swaddle Walt that would keep his arms in so we just didn’t do it. Then I started again and it is magical. I do what we call a “super swaddle” for naptime and a regular swaddle at night. The other night he was screaming and I swaddled him and then he was perfectly calm. Seriously, magic. Don’t give up, just keep trying and it will be worth it
·      It’s hard to learn how to be a mom and a wife
·      Learning how to wear Walt in a wrap decreased my stress level of taking him places. It’s so much easier than lugging the car seat around and he usually ends up falling asleep.

·      You will talk about poop with your spouse more than you ever thought possible
·      Every baby has unique challenges, just because one baby seems “easier” than yours doesn’t mean that’s true. Don’t compare, especially not based on social media.
·      Your phone will be FILLED with pictures of your baby.
·      Create a photo stream (if you have an iphone) and invite your family members to join, that way they can see pictures of your little one every day but you don’t have to flood social media with pictures
·      It’s important to learn how to ask for help
·      Postpartum hormones are no joke, mixed with very little sleep and any level of frustration can be pretty bad.
·      Breastfeeding makes you hungry all day long, I make a variation of these protein bites about once a week and keep them in the fridge so I can grab a few when I don’t have time to make anything
·      Take naps when the baby sleeps, leave the dishes and laundry until you wake up if the baby is still sleeping after your nap you can do those things. You will regret not taking a nap. I still try and lay down at least once a day- Walt still wakes up in the middle of the night so I need an extra 30 minutes around 4:00 or I will be super crabby by dinner
·      Sometimes you just need to get away for an hour and just walk around Target. Side note-you’ll probably end up buying something for your little one.
·      Figure out what helps you manage your stress and find a way to make it happen. For me it’s working out and I go to the gym at 7am three times a week and Kyle hangs out with Walt.
·      The love you’ll feel for this child is unexplainable and it makes you understand God better and your own parents
·      You will be so proud of your little one for things that maybe don’t seem like a big deal to other people—like him holding up his head or almost rolling over or letting out a big burp
·      Seeing your parents as grandparents is one of the best things in the world

·      No matter how little sleep you’ve gotten or how many diapers you’ve changed in the past 30 minutes when you get a tiny little smile or sweet look you will forget all of that and just be so in love.

Looking so cute in a baseball hat

Stretches in his onesie that is really too small...

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Two Month Favorites

Walt turned 2 months old last week and had his appointment this week. Our little boy is growing so fast! He grew almost 3 inches in a month, which is crazy and explains why his clothes are getting too small! He's moved up to size 2 diapers and is starting to out grow his 0-3 month clothes. He is such a sweet boy, very curious and will definitely be an explorer once he can start moving! 

Here are our favorite things from the past month...

Skip Hop Activity Gym We have the farm version of this which has been discontinued, but this one is super cute too! We call ours "Walt's Farm" and he loves it! He will lay there and punch and kick to try and find the animals. We also hung this Moose on it and he loves kicking it and gets fussy if he can't reach it with his feet.

SoundSpa Portable This is a heaven send! It's a noise machine, we just use the white noise feature but it also has different noises like a heartbeat and summer noise. You can either plug it in or put batteries in it. I love how compact it is and it also gets pretty loud which helps block out noises when you finally get your little one to fall asleep.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar We started reading books to Walt pretty early on. I want him to love to read and was just excited to read to him. This is definitely his favorite book. He loves looking at the pictures especially the big butterfly at the end!

Carter's Baby Boy Rompers I am not a big fan of putting shorts or pants on Walt, they just fit him funny and are kind of a pain when you are changing diapers so often! But these are awesome, they look super cute and a little nicer than just a plain onesie!

Skip Hop Duo Signature Diaper Bag There are so many diaper bag choices but I love the one we went with. My sister-in-law helped me register, which was so helpful, and she recommended getting a "non girly" bag so Kyle wouldn't mind carrying it around. This bag is awesome, it comes with a thin changing mat, both pockets in the front close with a magnet, and there is a pocket perfectly sized and placed for easy access to your phone.

Speaking of diaper bags, I think my next post will be about what I keep in my diaper bag and helpful tips for always being prepared (Sounds cheesy but nothings worse than running out of diapers and praying little man doesn't have a blowout before you get home!)

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Monday, July 13, 2015

One Month Favorites

I started this post a few weeks ago but I never got around to posting it. Figured I should get it done before little man turns 2 months next week! 

There are a few things that have been life savers during this first month and I wanted to share them. 

Fisher-Price Rock N Play Sleeper This came as a huge recommendation from my sister-in-law, and I am so thankful for it. This is where Walt sleeps at night and during most of his naps (unless he falls asleep on me and I just enjoy the snuggles). The incline is nice especially if your baby has any form of reflux. The shape of it helps snuggle him plus there is a vibration feature that you can turn on. It's very light weight and we just move it from room to room depending on where we are, we've also packed it up and taken it over to my parents' house when they were watching him. Highly recommend!

Robe I have a nice robe from Gap which they don't make anymore but it has been so helpful during late night nursing sessions. Postpartum hormones make body temperature go all over the place. I would wake up sweaty and then get freezing while I was nursing. The robe is nice to be able to just throw on over my nursing tank when I get up and is still easy to nurse in.

Sprout Feeding App This app is amazing especially during all the sleep deprivation. It has features for breast feeding or bottle feeding and helps you remember when the last time you fed was and which side the baby fed on first so you can alternate.

My Brest Friend Original Pillow I registered for this and a Boppy pillow and I was lucky enough to receive both of them. They have both been useful in the past month, but the Brest Friend was so nice to have at the beginning when I was learning how to breastfeed. At first it feels like you need four hands to be able to get the right latch, hold him in place, grab the burp rag, etc. This provides a sturdy surface and holds the baby at the right angle to nurse. It also has a nice pocket which I keep a baby nail file in (since that's the only time I can trim Walt's nails)

Gerber Prefold Cloth Diapers We never used these as diapers but they make awesome burp cloths and changing pad protectors. They are easy to wash and nice and soft!

Aden + Anais Bamboo Swaddle These blankets are so soft and lightweight. Walt is a master at getting out of swaddles and he's pretty warm natured so these work awesome. I love how soft they are and I know we will use them for many years to come. I actually bought a second pack a few weeks after Walt was born to have extras when the others were dirty which happens so often haha!

Nursing Tanks These are awesome when you are breastfeeding! I have a few and a wear them almost every day. They fit really well work good under t-shirts without being too tight or bulky.

Trader Joe's Coconut Coconut Oil I used this all during my pregnancy to prevent stretch marks and now I use it after I breastfeed. It helps prevent dry and cracked nipples plus it has antibacterial properties.

Thermos Water Bottle I actually use the water bottle I got from the hospital but I also try and keep this one full at a different part of the house. Nursing makes me so thirsty and it's important to drink enough in order to keep milk supply and energy up.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Pregnancy Favorites

I was pretty lucky to have a relatively easy and uneventful pregnancy. That being said, even the easiest pregnancy still comes with it's aches and pains and difficulties. I wanted to put together a list of my pregnancy favorites, the things that really helped me make it through those nine (let's be honest it's ten) months.

Altoids Smalls Mints I never had really bad morning sickness, but I would get queasy at times especially around certain smells. These mints are perfect cause they aren't too big but they are strong enough to cover mask a smell. I would keep a container of them in my purse at all times.

Crane Humidifier About a month into my pregnancy I went out to Colorado to visit with family, after I got back my nose was so dry and I kept getting nose bleeds. We registered for this humidifier for Walt but I ended up using it a lot during my pregnancy.

Champion Fitness Ball This was a recommendation from our Birth Boot Camp class, more on that to come. They make all different sizes of fitness balls, I went with the 55 cm cause I'm pretty short (5'2"). I sat on this a lot toward the end of my pregnancy. It made me sit up straighter and apparently helps the baby get into position. The night I went into labor I had been sitting and bouncing on it for about 2 hours, so maybe it helped!

Trader Joe's Coconut Coconut Oil I've become a little obsessed with coconut oil--I use it on all different kinds of things. At the beginning of my pregnancy I was using cocoa butter to prevent stretch marks but I wasn't really a fan of the smell. I decided to start using coconut oil instead and I didn't end up with any stretch marks on my stomach. (Also a good thing to have around if you're breastfeeding cause it can help prevent and treat cracked and dry nipples)

Birth Boot Camp About 15 weeks into my pregnancy my midwife asked if we had thought about taking any kind of birth classes. It was something I had thought of but just hadn't researched much. This was her recommendation and I'm so thankful we decided to take it. It was a little bit of an investment but was very informative! I strongly recommend the in person classes, we had to watch one online cause we were both busy and missed the in person class and it just wasn't as engaging or helpful. This class definitely helped both Kyle and I know what to expect and learn different pain management techniques in order to have a natural birth.

Aveeno Calming Body Wash During my second trimester I started taking baths, it really helped at the end of the day when I was achy and every muscle in my body hurt. I poured a little bit of this body wash in the bath as it was filling and it made light bubbles and made the whole bathroom smell really nice. Plus it leaves your skin soft and not itchy like some bubble baths do-nothing is worse than getting out of the bath and feeling like you need to take a shower.

Earth Mama Angel Baby Third Trimester Tea I bought this pretty late into my third trimester. It is a Red Raspberry Leaf Tea which is supposed to help prepare your uterus for labor as well as prevent early and late term labor (not sure how it can do both haha). Make sure you check with your doctor before you drink it. By this point in time I was super warm all the time so the idea of drinking warm tea sounded miserable. Instead I would brew it and then pour it over ice. It doesn't taste like raspberries, but has a nice early/floral taste to it. I have no idea if it worked but I do know that Walt was born the day before his due date and my labor was only 11 hours, so maybe it did help!

Other favorites that can't be bought:

Going for walks--I went to the gym a few times a week until about 30ish weeks. Then I started taking Buddy for a walk almost every day instead. I really think the walks helped my body prepare for labor and move Walt into the right position. There were days that I just wanted to lay on the couch but I went anyways, and then laid on the couch...

Rest--Which leads into this point. Rest! I had such a hard time with this, I wanted to be up and moving and getting things done. But my body was tired and I would get grumpy and sore if I pushed myself too hard. Learn how to take naps now, it will be helpful once your baby gets here and you sleep in 2 hour increments.

Avoid comparison and give yourself grace--I loved following other pregnant moms on instagram and reading their blogs. Too often, especially in the early stages of pregnancy, I found myself comparing every little detail. They look like they haven't gained as much weight as I have or she's still going to the gym everyday, how come I'm not. I had to realize that every pregnancy is different and I needed to listen to my body instead of focusing on others. I also had to put my scale away because it was causing me unnecessary stress. In all fairness, I would sneak it out about once a week and weigh myself just to make sure nothing crazy was going on but no more daily weigh-ins for me. Trust your body, give yourself grace, and avoid comparisons.

What things did you love during your pregnancy?

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