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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Newborn Essentials

I have several dear friends who are currently pregnant with their first sweet baby and are due around the time I am. I love hearing their enthusiasm over fun things like painting the nursery and their dismay over not-so-fun things like finding the first stretch mark. It brings back fond, not so distant memories of when I was a wide-eyed, somewhat (ok totally) naive mama-to-be.

I'm heading to a shower for one of these wonderful girls this weekend and so of course I'm checking out her gift registry and trying to decide what to gift her. There is so much crap out there y'all. I'm not talking about her registry, but just in general, the choices for new mamas today are overwhelming and often ridiculous. Wipe warmers. Grocery cart covers. Baby food blenders. $200 rocker/swing contraptions. What!?

It made me wonder, what are the newborn products that I now believe I would not be able to survive motherhood without? So here in no particular order are my own must-have new baby items with extraneous explanation of course. (This list assumes you have something for the bebe to sleep in and an infant carseat. Getting some sleep and leaving the house are two things I highly recommend to all new mommies.)

1. J&J baby shampoo Classics are classics for a reason, right? I think one bottle of this stuff lasted us the Squirt's entire first year of life. It smells amazing and No More Tears is no joke.  

2. Cloth diapers Not the fancy new Bum Genius kind. Nope I'm not that green. I used the stew out of these old-school bad boys as burp cloths. They are SUPER thick and absorbent and wash up like a dream. 
3. Aden & Anais swaddles I didn't discover these until Sweet B was born, but they are awesome and oh-so-soft. I'm a sucker for soft when it comes to babies. I used them as swaddles, lightweight blankets, nursing covers and more. The designs are precious and they are eco-friendly. See? I'm kinda green. 

4. Ultimate Crib Sheet OMG. Go buy one now. Preferably two. These will change your life. Again, we didn't discover these amazing-sent-from-heaven crib sheets until Sweet B rolled into our lives. Also known as the child who once did this. You snap one of these amazing do-hickeys over your normal crib sheet. Then, when your tiny angel vomits profusely all over themselves at 4am, you simply pop the Ultimate Crib Sheet off and a fresh, un-vomited-upon sheet is ready underneath. Anyone who has ever changed a regular crib sheet in the middle of the night knows what a life-saver this is. Changing crib sheets is one of the few things in life that make me curse, sweat and cry simultaneously. Doing it while sleep-deprived and covered in puke is simply not an option. If not for the presence of these magnificent sheets, B Daddy and I might have divorced at 2am one winter night while changing the sheets on our darling daughter's bed for the 3rd time in an hour. Seriously. Cannot say enough good things. I love you Ultimate Crib Sheet. 
5. Rectal thermometer Ear thermometers and those ridiculously inaccurate swipe across the forehead thermometers do not cut it. If I'm going to go to all the trouble to take my kid to the doctor for a temperature, it better be accurate. 

6. Infant acetametophin and ibuprofen My children's favorite time to get sick is between 11pm and 5am. The worst thing ever is groggily opening the medicine cabinet to find not a single teaspoon of relief-giving drugs in the middle of the night. And those tiny little bottles? So freaking expensive! If I could do it over again I'd trade every cute outfit I got for bottles of Tylenol and Advil. 
7. Medela breast pump If you're a breastfeeding mom that is. This pump is a workhorse and got me through many a day at the office. Back in the days when I worked that was. After kid #1 it was what enabled me to leave all of my children for days at a time while they were still nursing. God bless you Medela. 
8. Boppy One of the most seemingly unnecessary products I registered for and yet so incredibly versatile. I loved using it to support nursing, to support a child I was bottle-feeding, to prop up a kiddo who was holding their own bottle, to support "tummy-time" and finally to safeguard a wobbly sitter. If we had stairs in our house I'd probably have owned two. 

Veteran Moms - what is products are on your "must-have" list? New Moms - what item on your registry are you most excited about getting??

Friday, March 21, 2014

Weekend Links 03.21.14

Links from around the web for your perusing pleasure over a cup of strong coffee this weekend:

Food for Thought:
Want to be a hero today? Read this.

Can we just put the sex back in sex ed?

Are you planning to go see this movie? I am really intrigued.

BBC believes you only read 6 of these books. Of course I took the bait. I've read 40 - how 'bout you?

Do you agree?

For the Home:
I'm thinking of attempting to make a pair of these to hang over the twin beds in Sweet B's room.

I think this is my style in a nutshell. Do you know your decorating style?

Decluttering tips no matter how much time you have.

For the Mama:
So many friends are having babies - I love this list of ideas for encouraging them.

Exactly what I was thinking when I first saw the "take back Bossy" campaign.

This was a hit with the kids and the hubs ("kids" obviously excludes my picky eater.)

Hope your weekend has some fun in store for you!


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

It's a...?

Very few words over here. We are ecstatic about having another boy join the tribe! Sweet B seems excited as well even though earlier yesterday she said she was, "going to be so so sad if it's not a baby goy-yall."

Thanks for all the well-wishes about our healthy ultrasound appointment - we are beyond grateful to God for the undeserved blessing of another child.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Exciting Monday stuff

We just got home from having our 20wk ultrasound appointment - which is pretty much my favorite part of being pregnant ever. The 20 week ultrasound is epically fantastic. If you ever find yourself doubting God or the existence of the miraculous in this world, find a way to go see a fully-formed baby kicking and squirming away inside a woman's belly. It takes my breath away every single time.  Our little person is totally healthy developmentally speaking - what a miracle. Each time we've gone in for this ultrasound I've found that I'm holding my breath until the tech tells us things look good.

And now we know the sex of Baby #4! So fun. We've got a little reveal planned for our kids tonight when B Daddy gets home from work - so once they know I will let all of y'all in on the news. :) I might even attempt a video of the kids' reactions.

In other news, Pinterest Told Me To is talking about maxi skirts on her blog today - she's got a reader picture up of a really adorable 6wks post-partum mama and her pregnant sister. You should go check it out - so fashionable. And yes, we make it a point to wear matching outfits whenever possible. We are so cool.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Week in Review

Yay! It's Friday morning. Weekends don't exactly mean what they used to now that we have little kids, but I still get excited out of habit. We've had a full week around here and I didn't manage to blog at all, so here's a quick run-down of the highlights from the past 4 days.

On Monday the kids and I had a front row seat to watch our neighbors cut down a huge pine in their backyard, which provided entertainment all of the afternoon and even into the evening. These guys weren't shy about pulling up their lawn chairs to enjoy an elevated view from the treehouse. 

On Tuesday we drove to meet Daddy at the river for lunch. Yes it was shorts weather! B Daddy was showing off his rock-skipping skills and only one of our children managed to get thoroughly soaked in the river (Blue Eyes). BTW Chick-fil-A is no longer a cheap lunch for this family of 5. We are going to have to lower our standards a bit now that all three kids can put away some serious food. 

On Wednesday my sister in law (who is back in town for a few weeks from Ecuador, yippee!) came and took my children for 24 blessed hours. I promptly skipped off to my happy place to use a gift card that has been languishing in my wallet since Christmas. I might have spent a tiny bit more than the gift card. I'm pregnant - when something looks cute on me, I feel obligated to buy it. 

On Thursday I slept in. At some point after I woke, I put on my new extremely comfortable maxi dress and then the kids came home.

Today is Friday. I am finally 20 weeks pregnant - woot woot! We are playing with stickers and hitting the gym. Putting away laundry and having light saber duels. Cleaning the playroom and making PB&Js. A very typical, very beautiful kind of Friday. 

Hope you have some fun planned for your weekend! Love you all so much and thanks for reading. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

On Dinner with Picky Eaters

2 pepperonis
1/2 a carrot
Slice of bread
Peach yogurt
3 forkfuls of rice

No that isn't some freaky recipe - it's the sum total of everything my daughter has eaten for dinner in the past 5 days. My beautiful girl is our worst eater by far right now. The pictures above are the reaction I got at lunch yesterday when I asked her to please eat her apples. Apples people. Apples. 

We've been doing this parenting thing for almost 5 years now and our stance on dinner has run the gamut from, "you must take X number of bites before leaving the table" to "if you're not going to eat, at least leave the kitchen so the rest of us can eat in peace, and back again.

The Squirt has been a pretty solid eater since he turned 4 - there are definitely foods he'll refuse, but he eats a decent amount of what we put in front of him and he'll usually try new things if we ask nicely. Blue Eyes (almost 2) is hit or miss. Some things he'll scarf and other things he'll refuse, but one look at the boy lets you know he's not missing many meals.

But Sweet B. That girl hasn't eaten anything that would pass for dinner in EONS. It's probably been a few months since we really took a stance on her actually eating anything she didn't want to for dinner, and I go back and forth between feeling guilty about it and not having the energy to care. She'll eat when she's hungry right? Earlier this week my sister sent me this little excerpt from Mix and Match's Mama's blog and I felt like a light bulb went on.

"I really really really don't stress about what my kids eat at dinner. Andrew and I really want our kids to focus on family time and to enjoy sitting down at the table with us. It's a great time for us to talk about our days and bond over our meal. Some parents' main priority at the dinner table is getting their kids to eat...our goal, is getting our kids to share with us what's going on inside their little heads."

This. We can take a stand like this and be comfortable with our decision. I love this perspective. Dinner is about being together as a family and making being together something that's actually positive. I desperately want my kids to remember time around the table fondly and not merely as a battle ground.

So how do you handle picky eaters at the dinner table? (Or how did you handle it when your kids were little?) Do you have a family policy or do you let the kids eat what they want as they want to? 

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