Monday, August 14, 2017

Fridayyy Faves

I told you guys I was going to try to be better at Friday Faves. But, what do ya know - Friday came and went and here we are smack dab in the middle of a Monday. Again

First things, first... has anyone tried these handy little toddler clocks? This one is from Amazon & I think I'm going to get it for Kess. She has never gotten out of bed without our permission, but now that she is a little older and more independent she comes out every morning. She doesn't get up particularly early, but she does walk super quietly (unlike any other time of the day) and scare the H*LL out of me every morning. So there's that.

I am dying to try Spindrift Sparkling Water. Has anyone tried it? I've cut way back on Dr. Pepper (I know. I'm losing it) and I need something yummy and refreshing. I can do La Croix, but it's really not my favorite. It doesn't have enough flavor. I need more!

Matt and I recently started cleaning up our diet. We did 2 weeks meat and dairy free (practically vegan) and now that we are done with that tomorrow, we will be slowly adding in meat and dairy, but in less amounts that we used to be eating them. Hoping to stick with whole foods, clean ingredients. But, trying to be realistic and know that as we go on vacations, or go home for the weekend that we will splurge and have fun. The only way I survive diet changes is with treat. Healthy treats. I made these Vegan No Bake Cookies & they were delicious. Matt hates oats. Even in cookies, but he loved these. Probably because we haven't eaten anything decent in two weeks, but even then. They were s'good!

I got these jammies from Finn+Emma before Manning was born and could hardly imagine him ever fitting into them. Now he does. They're still a little bit big because he's a tiny tot, but they look so darn cute! These pajamas are made of organic cotton & they are as soft as can be. Kess loves her "e'phant jammas" and is even more excited that Manning can "match" her. They look pretty darn cute together - if I do say so myself. Finn+Emma has lots of unique patterns and prints. You can get 15 % off when you spend $50+ on Finn+Emma products. 

Also, they love each other. Manning was fussing in the car today & Kess started randomly singing "Families Can Be Together Forever" in the best way she knows how & he totally stopped fussing. 
Thank you, Kess girl!

Have a great week everyone!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Bath time Favorites

Bath time is a little bit more hectic than it used to be. I remember than once Kess was old enough to sit up & play in the tub, I was able to read a book while she splished and splashed. Bath time became kind of relaxing for me. Now that we are back in the newborn stage of bath time & I'm bathing two kids at once... things get a little hectic. Manning loves to take baths. He just kicks and smiles as he watches Kess play on the other side of the tub. Poor Kess is squished into 1/2 of the tub, because Manning's little bathtub takes up a lot of room. But, I will say that Manning's little whale tub (similar here) is super helpful when bathing a tiny baby. They sit up great & it keeps them contained really well. The one I linked actually looks even better than the one I have.

I also love these soft little washcloths are perfect for scrubbing that soft baby skin. I use a fluffy loofah for Kess. She used to love when I would tickle/scrub her with these. Now she all grown up and opinionated and usually says, "I no scrub." Sorry kiddo.

As an infant Kess used to love playing with these little bath letters - now she grabs whatever barbie or little toys she's been playing with that day. I'll bust these back out when Manning can hold onto things.

As a mom, I feel like every baby product I use is controversial. Some component of whatever you use on your kid is apparently terrible. I try to not get too wrapped up in that random ingredient or piece of toy that's out to "kill your kid" but I do try to be mindful of what I'm feeding my kids, letting them play with & putting on their sensitive skin. Enter Tubby Todd. I first heard about Tubby Todd right when they opened up shop. It cost more than we typically spend on baby soap/shampoo, but I figured I would give it a shot. Santa put it in Kess' Christmas stocking that year.

It smells so good. It's not overpowering at all. Very light, fresh & clean. I love that I don't have to worry about the ingredients. In fact, you can find every ingredient listed in every one of their products on their site. I love that! Newborn skin is so sensitive and I've noticed that certain soaps make Manning's little baby skin red. I recently got their hair & body wash in the Fresh Floral scent & it smells so delicious. The Fresh Floral was part of their Spring line & their Summer line is now available for purchase. I think the Pineapple & Passion Fruit sounds heavenly. They also have Lavender & Rosemary as part of their every day Basics line. I am also a huge fan of the All Over Ointment. Kess had some eczema on her face that would flare up and the all over ointment kept it from drying out. I also love using the all over ointment on bum rashes and even my own hands. It's super soft and non-greasy!

As a momma on a budget I totally get that it's not ideal to spend $13 on baby wash, but I will say that I'm impressed with the ingredients, the light scent & how my babies skin reacts to it. I love spending a little extra to help someone's small business grow. Plus, we always buy it for special occasions like Easter Baskets & Christmas Stockings. They last a while & I love that I don't have to use a ton of the product to get a good lather & I love that you can now buy it in bulk to save a few dollars! Be sure to sign up for emails. You will hear about the good deals, sales and promo's first!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Friday Favorites

I've admitted it before, I'll admit it again... I'm not a fashion blogger. But, I do like to find decent deals on something I need/want.

A few years ago my sister & I planned a trip to Salt Lake City for a shopping trip. We had survived our first year of motherhood. And we needed a break ;) We happened to plan our trip the same week of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. We didn't know much about it beyond that fact that all these fashion bloggers raved about it. We still couldn't afford half of the things they were sharing - even on sale... but then we arrived at Nordstrom & found some killer deals on every day things we would actually wear. We splurged a little on a few things like jeans that made us feel less frumpy and more fabulous.

I found a few pieces that I'll be purchasing from the #NSale that I wanted to share with you.

I've been looking for a slit neck tee for a more relaxed & grungy look. I'm still not sure if I can pull it off, but for $10 & free shipping both ways I'm going to give it a try.

Main Image - Topshop Slash Choker Boxy Tee

I love to dress up for church & since that's about the only time I'm not in some form of jeans & a t-shirt I tend to buy lots of dresses. I have a stash building up so I probably won't buy this, but I loooove it. Look how pretty!! & that price is unbeatable.

Main Image - Band of Gypsies Faux Wrap Maxi Dress

This tunic is great for fall. It pairs perfectly with leggings or jeans. I love this color, too! Tons of colors to choose from.

Main Image - Lush Perfect Roll Tab Sleeve Tunic

I'm always looking for a cute, comfortable flat to wear during the fall. I have all but worn out my converse, because I love them & they go with practically everything. These are a fancier step up & super cute. 

Main Image - Blondo Riyan Waterproof Sneaker (Women)

I bought these jeans last year & they are by far my most favorite pair of jeans. As soon as I could squeeze my postpartum bod into them I did. And squeeze I did. I must have squeezed a little too much because They ripped in the crotch. I almost cried. They aren't in my size right now, but they restocked last year so I'll be watching these like a hawk. The price is awesome & the quality is great... despite my tragic story. 

Image of Vigoss Chelsea Released Hem Skinny Jean

Ok, enough of the Nordstrom Sale. A few other things I'm loving right now are...

My Fitbit Charge 2 & leather replacement band. The new band looks just like a leather watch band which I love. I also love the pink & the snakeskin. I wear the original black band for *when* I workout. Which should probably be more often than it is... 

LeapFrog: Learning DVD Set

I've been working with Kess on her letters & let me tell you this... preschool teachers & kindergarten teachers are saints. Saints, I tell ya. Teaching Kess her shapes & colors was much easier than letters. I have a few activities up my sleeve, but because Kess is no longer napping, I usually have her watch an educational show & then she can watch a fun show. My kindergarten teacher friend swears by these videos, so I gave it a try. Kess absolutely loves the Letter Factory one. She's picking up on the things I'm teaching her quicker now, which is so much more fun... for everyone. 

I'll try to keep up with the "Friday Faves" more often. I always have fun stuff to show you guys & then my kids are all like, "Mom, we need attention" & crap like that. ;)

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Family Weekend in McCall

Last weekend was such a busy blast of a few days. We decided to celebrate Kess' 3rd birthday & Manning's blessing all in one weekend. We did Kess' party at the park down the street from our house. We kept it super simple with burgers and hot dogs. I made Kess' cupcakes & popsicle cake. Just enough of a theme for her to get a kick out of her cake & that was about it. No decor, no frill... just a summertime BBQ with family and friends. Kess and her cousins & friends ran, played and ate until their hearts content. Of course, Kess loved that she got to open presents. She barely paused to say thank you before saying, "Let's open another one!!" I told my family to keep toys to a minimum - because let's face it she has way more than she needs already. So they stuck to clothes, art supplies and a few fun toys made their way in! ;)

Kess now has enough clothes to out last her constant outfit changes over the summer, enough play dough to last us through the next winter & plenty of fun activities & toys to keep her busy throughout the day. I love it! She played with play dough, painted, changed her outfit a few times and just kept on going yesterday. She was loving it - I finally had to put a cap on activities and outfit changes! Momma is tired. She was truly spoiled and loved every minute of it. In case you missed in on Instagram, Matt & I gave her a new balance bike. She loves it. She is slowly getting the hang of how it works. She watched her cousin Conrad & seemed to grasp how to use the bike a little better. Conrad has it down pat! It was so cute to watch them ride bikes together! I'm pretty sure Kess was on a birthday high because she couldn't fall asleep for a few hours after we put her in bed. I however, could have crashed at 9:00pm without a second thought.

The next morning we gave Manning a name and a blessing at church. I searched high and low for a cute blessing outfit. I couldn't find anything that I loved. So I settled on a white button down onesie, khaki pants & a cute little bow tie. My friend made his "brotie." You can find her Facebook group here. It was perfect & I figured since boys don't really care about passing down their blessing outfits to their kids - maybe Manning's wife will once day appreciate that I kept his bowtie!

Matt gave Manning a beautiful blessing. I always love to hear the spiritual things that cross Matt's mind as he uses the priesthood to bless our lives. He told Manning how much we love him & how we will always support him. He blessed him with the skills to develop the passions of his life. He blessed him to always seek the truth and to find the truth for himself. He blessed him to remember that if he falls he can get back up and keep going. He blessed him to be able to find peace and solace in the natural beauty of the world around him. I remember Matt blessing Kess with that same thing & I find it very fitting for where we now live. Sweet Manning was wide awake during the entire blessing & didn't make a peep. Then crashed for the rest of the meeting & every single picture. I think the rest of the men in my family wished they could have done the same thing. ;) Manning was surrounded by so many wonderful men during his blessing. Even those who were not in the circle - he is one blessed little boy to have so many wonderful examples in his life.

This weekend was chaotic in the best kind of way. I loved having our families here to celebrate the little things with us. It's pretty quiet around here now & I'm 50/50 on it. ;) A huge thanks to all of our family who joined us & who helped us out all weekend. We love you!

Monday, July 10, 2017

4th of July

We decided to avoid the craziness that is McCall on the 4th of July & went home for a few days. Matt was dying to hike into a lake just outside of McCall. He would be gone overnight & I haven't quite braved up enough to be home along overnight with both kids yet. Two kids is a game changer. Why do they both always need you at the same time?! It's one thing to be outnumbered during the day, but all day and all night without being able to text the hubby to complain... yikes. I'll have to give myself a big pep talk before that happens.

So after sacrament meeting on Sunday, the kids & I packed up and drove to Nampa. As we pulled in to Nampa Matt called us to tell us that he reached a little bit of cell service at the top of a mountain. His hike was killer, but he & Kane were having a good time!

It always feel so good to be home, even though it was hotter than h*ll in the valley. We got to go swimming with cousins at my sister's neighborhood pool. Kess loved it & Manning didn't care to have his feet in the water, so I snuggled him & he fell asleep. Matt joined us the night of the 3rd. We drove to Middleton on the 4th for the parade. We got there early & saved our spots for the parade. It was Thankfully my sister had a mini fan for Manning - he crashed out and slept through most of the parade. Kess was bright red from running around with her cousins. Our parade spot happened to be in the "Wet Zone" so we spent the last part of the parade back off the road. The kids still thought it was cool to see & we knew they would hate getting sprayed.

After the parade we stopped in to see some friends who are building a house. I totally miss the house we just built so it was fun to see the process again & I was only a tiny bit jealous ;)

We put the kids go down for a nap (quiet time for Kess) - we all relaxed & made desserts for our BBQ later. My younger brother is in Florida working for the summer & my older brother was at Disneyland with his wife & 3 girls. So it was just my grandparents, parents sister & I with our little families. Which is a huge difference from what I grew up with. As a kid I remember being SO excited to go to my mom's parent's house for the 4th. Tons of food, swimming & our very own... totally legal ;) ... firework show. I grew up with 20+ cousins - so we were all running around like crazy kids - hopped up on sugar and summer time. But, this 4th was quiet and relaxing. Honestly just what we needed. We all ate together, then let the kids have a go with the hose. The 3 grandkids ended up nakey & running around together until it was time for "fireworks"... none of our kids like loud noises so we let them throw some pop-its & we lit some smoke bombs which were a total hit.

We rounded up the kids around 9:00 & decided to head home. Once we got Manning and Kess down for the night, Matt & I ate junk food & played Ticket to Ride with my parent's. I won, just in case you were wondering! ;) We even watched fireworks for a few minutes from my parent's deck. By then we were beat. You know you're old when midnight is way too late.

We spent the next morning slowly packing up. Then we stopped at Matt's parent's house to say hi! We miss not being able to see our families as often as we used to, but we are lucky enough to not be too far away. We grabbed lunch at our favorite Chinese restaurant - ate way too much & drove to Matt's grandparent's house on our way out of town. We made it home round 5:30 & instantly had a vacation hangover. You know that feeling when you have too much to do & you're back in "real life mode" and you're not having any of it? Yep, that feeling.

Thank goodness for the shorty 2-day week before the weekend ;) I hope you all had a great 4th with your families! You deserve it!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Ollie Swaddle

Kess was a total swaddle baby. Tighter the better. Manning is a little less so but I'm trying to get him to come around ;) We've been using the Ollie Swaddle lately, but before it arrived we were using Carter's Swaddle blankets - which I love, but that boy kept busting out of them. Even his doctor was shocked at how many times he broke out of his swaddle after his circumcision. 

The Ollie Swaddle is a moisture-whisking, breathable fabric swaddle blanket. It can be used in a few different ways including arms in and arms out for transitioning out of the swaddle. When Manning first got here I was still trying to figure out what he preferred. He seemed to fight against the swaddle for a bit, then fall asleep & sleep good, long stretches. But I felt bad that he struggled early on. I'm a little stuck in my ways because I am a diehard-swaddler, but I just want him to be comfortable... so he sleeps longer. Because I'm selfish. ;) Now he makes the association between swaddling an sleep, which is great. He is sleeping longer stretches - hallelujah! He still goes to bed just before Matt & I do, that way I get a long stretch of sleep when he does. I need to start getting him to bed around 8:00, but if he goes to bed when I do, then he wakes up once in the night. If he goes to be earlier he will wake up twice or more in the night. He's not a great "dreamfeeder" because his long stretch of sleep starts from the first time he goes down. I tried dreamfeeding a few times & it messed with his sleep cycle. Again, I'm selfish and kinda love only waking up once per night. 

The bottom of the swaddle is open, which makes it easy to do diaper changes, but I still have to take it off entirely because Manning wears one piece jammies.  I try to change him quick before I even feed him, then swaddle him back up for his nighttime nursing sessions, so it's not really inconvenient. But sometimes that backfires with a poop session while I'm feeding him. Because I take the entire swaddle off I feel like he wakes up enough to get a long enough feeding in the help keep him fuller longer. He's usually tired enough after his feeding and a good burp that he swaddles easily and conks right out. 

I washed Manning's Ollie Swaddle today. I love that it comes with a little laundry bag to wash it in. It cleaned up really well & the laundry bag kept hair and fuzzies out of the velcro. 

For color & sizing references... We have the Ollie Swaddle in the color Stone. Manning was born at 6lbs 5oz & I felt like the swaddle was a little too big for him. I would velcro it as tight as it would go & it was still roomy. He is now about 8 pounds and it fits great now. My sister used it on her 8 pound newborn from day 1. So I think 7-8lbs would be optimal for starting to use the Ollie. 

The Ollie Swaddle will be restocking in the next few weeks. Use the link below for 10% off.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

1 month in & sleep

Manning is 1 month old & I'm happy to report that we are totally surviving. We aren't thriving yet, but I promise myself that I would give myself a little bit of grace this time around. I was super anxious/nervous/miserable when Kess was this small. Don't get me wrong I was over the moon about her and being a mom, but I had no clue how hard it would be. I had no clue how much stress I would be under. I had no clue about how anxious I would be over the little things - like changing her diaper, breastfeeding, sleep schedules. I had no clue. This time - I had a clue. ;)

My experience with Manning has been much easier. I'm chalking it up to actually have experience under my belt. It's easier to have less anxiety when it's familiar. Yes, I'm still nervous when I can't calm Manning instantly. It's still hard to be sleep deprived. It's hard to not be able to give Kess all my attention. It's hard having a little human that is totally & completely dependent on me. But, then I remember that I promised to cut myself some slack & enjoy this tiny phase of life. I didn't enjoy it enough with Kess. I wished it all away for schedules, routine & my new normal.

My most favorite thing about being a mom is "figuring out" my kid. Figuring out what makes them tick, what makes them happy, what makes them smile or laugh... but mostly figuring out what makes them sleep. Sleep is life.

I also love using our Dock-A-Tot because it keeps him cuddled up & cozy. It's made of breathable material, so I don't worry about Manning not being able to breathe if he rests his little face against the side. It's super easy to strip the cover off & throw it in the washer, cuz you know - baby spit up. Matt made fun of me for getting the "pristine white" color... I couldn't help it. It's so pretty.

We aren't big into co-sleeping, mostly because it makes me nervous & I like my space when I sleep. I've got a baby attached to me all day & a good chunk of the night so when I get a chance... I want my own space. But when they are so tiny and new I can't help but snuggle them. The Dock-A-Tot makes me much less nervous about co-sleeping if needed. It fits in between Matt and I. Granted, it doesn't give each of us a ton of space in our queen bed, but it gets the job done.

The Dock-A-Tot is easy to move around the house. Make fun of me if you will, but Manning is a super loud, grunty baby in his sleep. Louder than Kess (and I didn't think that was possible.) So, after his first nighttime feeding I grab his Dock-A-Tot & set it on our closet floor. He gets to grunt away and I get to sleep. He's close enough that I can hear him fuss or cry, but I don't hear every single grunt. This is a win on so many levels. (Insert fist-bump emoji.)

I'm glad the Dock-A-Tot is so light weight, too.  It will make our summer travels much easier. Plus it helps babies feel secure. And I swear they sleep better when they are familiar with where they are sleeping - so even if they're not in they're own home - they'll feel at home in their Dock-A-Tot. Total bonus. The majority of Kess' sleep troubles were because she was sleeping in a Pack&Play in McCall and then in her crib at home. We were traveling back and forth so much and she was always waking up in a new place. Sleep training gets tricky to do when consistency isn't there. Now... if I would have have a Dock-A-Tot maybe I would have gotten more sleep. ;)