Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Baby Boy Prep

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Ah! Less than 2 weeks out until baby boy's due date! I mean, I'm hoping he arrives a little early like his awesome big sister. But then I'm thinking, "No not yet! I need more time. More sleep!" We are officially ready for him. Everything is washes, set up and in line for his arrival!

I've been slowly rounding up all of our favorite tried and true baby gear we used for Kess & lining up some new things I've been anxious to try for his newborn/infant stage! There is tons of new baby gear - every year. Some stuff seems ingenious. Some stuff seems like it could make your life easier & some stuff is downright a waste of money. I try to steer clear of the "new, trendy baby gear" mostly because I think we can do without it, but some stuff has caught my eye & I'm dying to try it.

Here's a quick round up of some of our baby favorites...

Carter's Little Layette Swaddle Blankets - These are our absolute favorite swaddle blankets. I got these as a gift. I didn't think much of them because I had some 'trendier' swaddles that I was far more interested in using. Well they didn't hold Kess very tight in a swaddle. And she loved to be swaddled. The tighter the better.These are a stretchy cotton that doesn't slip. I have found a few at Ross & Burlington for a screaming deal ($8) JCPenny also carries them. You can get them for about $12/pair if you run across a good deal! I always stock up for baby showers or myself! ;)

Halo Sleep Sack - Because Kess was a swaddle addict we kept her swaddled for a long time. Even after she started rolling over - she never did while she slept so we kept her little arms swaddled. At about 3-4 months she outgrew her newborn blankets. I heard really good things about the Halo Sleep Sack & snagged one from Target. She used this until she was about 6 months. Seriously. She never rolled over or anything & loved it. We were running out of options. Yikes...

Enter in the ZipadeeZip - You guys, this thing is life saver! Matt even mentioned how great this purchase was. Several times. I have every intention of buying another one for baby boy. The best sleep invention ever! Kess slept in this until she upgraded to the Flying Squirrel pajamas later. She used the Flying Squirrel until after she turned 1. Sleepingbaby.com has more size & print options. 

Seriously praying this baby boy loves to be swaddled because I am a swaddle expert. Self proclaimed, of course! ;)

A few other things we really loved for the newborn/infant stage is a white noise machine, the MamaRoo (I have the older version from about 3 years ago) & doTerra oils. We started using a White Noise machine for Kess when she was 3 months old. We are starting from day 1 this time! Kess still sleeps with hers...not sure if she actually needs it or not, but we like not having to tip-toe and whisper after her bed time ;) I set up our MamaRoo this week for baby boy! I caught Kess trying to sneak into it. I let her have a go at it... she wasn't as impressed with it as she was when she was tiny. Let's hope "brudder" likes it. We are big time essential oils users. I love how easily they mix with modern medicine. We don't like to bombard our newborns system with oils, but diffusing is a great way to start. Plus, I stocked up for those baby blue/PPD symptoms.

*If you're interested in trying doTerra oils, comment below with your email address*

The new gear that I'm dying to try...

DockATot - I heard about this little infant bed & just knew I wanted to try it for our next baby. Fast forward a ways and we got ours in the mail! It's ready to go! I've already washed mine - thanks to Kess' little snack covered fingers. ;) Probably shouldn't have gotten it in the 'Pristine White' color (duh, mom.) But... it was easy to wash and reassemble. It's all breathable fabric, great for co-sleeping, and easy to travel with. 

Ollie Swaddle - my sister tried this with her youngest & loved it. Being "swaddle obsessed" I added it to the baby list. I'm sure in will eliminate my Halo Sleep Sack, but it is more expensive - so I think the Halo is a great alternative if it's not budget-friendly for some. Although - I have noticed that I will pay big $ to get my kids to sleep! ;) I love the moisture-wicking fabric of the Ollie. Kess was/is a sweaty little sleeper, so maybe this baby will be, too. Sweaty sleeps mean good sleeps, right?

Binxy Shopping Cart Hammock - Apparently you're not supposed to put your baby carrier in the seat of the cart anymore & it sure is difficult to put it in the bucket - where do all your groceries go? This little genius hammock was screaming my name. I'm excited to try it out. It fits your typical cart, meets all safety standards & rolls up, making it easy to store in your diaper bag. I think this will make grocery shopping with 2 kids much easier!

What are your go-to baby gear items? Anything you just couldn't live without? 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Easter Weekend

Easter was the first holiday we've have since we moved & all of our family was going to be in town for it, so we decided to make the quick drive and spend the weekend with our families. It was so fun, so exhausting and so hard to leave. I've never really spent a holiday away from our family so it was weird to run down for the weekend and then leave the festivities a little early to get home in time to start the week. But, we truly had such a fun time.

We drove down on Friday night and met my parents for dinner. We stayed up way too late chatting & finally got to bed. The next morning we took Kess to the Boise Mall so she could turn in her pacifier for a new stuffed animal. I'll do a full post on that later, but it was so fun! She did really great! Most of the rest of the day was full of running errands, checking on the house, getting some Easter shopping in. Anybody else's Easter bunny slackin' this year? ;) Also, remind me to never go to 
Wal-Mart on a Saturday. Barf. It wasn't fun. Kess wasn't amused, which made tired, pregnant mom waayyy less amused. 

After Matt mowed the lawn at our house we got ready and went to Matt's parent's house for our 2nd annual Easter Egg Hunt! Let me tell you, it was a hoot last year & this year was even better! With only 3 grandkids on Matt's side - it isn't too chaotic and it was so cute to watch them all run after eggs! Kess loves watching the YouTube videos with the "prize eggs" so this was just amazing to her. We ended the night with our first BBQ of the season & chatting with Matt's parents and grandparents. The weather is much nicer down in Nampa than it is in McCall so we soaked it up and went for a walk. I love me some Spring weather.

Easter Sunday was busy. Kess was so excited to see that the Easter bunny came & dropped her off some prizes. I spent part of the morning doing hair ;) Both Matt & my dad needed a hair cut. And my momma needed quick color touch up. Everyone was looking fresh for church, if I do say so myself. My sister & her family met us at my parent's church for sacrament meeting. It was a little crazy on our pew with 3 kiddos that kept walking back and forth between their parent's and grandparent's but what do ya do? Kess decided she needed "a bow NOT!" for our family Easter picture. Picking my battles.

While the kiddos did nap time, the adults relaxed & did Easter dinner prep. I, for one didn't really do a dang thing. My mom, dad and sister took care of Easter dinner and I sat on my booty. Dinner was delicious. My grandma & my older brother and his family joined us - bringing the grandkid total to 6. Matt and I packed up our stuff & loaded the truck while dinner was being wrapped up. My parent's bought a cute Easter piƱata & all the kids got a few turns at busting it open. It was so cute to watch them jab at it. Thank goodness for older/stronger cousins who helped get the candy dropping. We said good-byes to everyone & promised that the next time they saw us we were hoping to have a baby boy in our arms! ;) I got teary saying good-bye to my parent's - partially because Kess didn't want to leave & it felt weird leaving mid- family party. But a short 2 hours later and we were back in our mountains and ready to get the next week started.

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter. This year felt crazy, hectic and full of our typical Easter fun. I felt like I didn't take the time to reflect on Christ's atoning sacrifice. I am truly grateful for his love & our Heavenly Father's love. I can't imagine where we would be without this gift. 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Kess Update

As we get closer to baby boy's arrival I keep thinking about how ready I am to just have him here. I'm pretty much done with being pregnant. Totally over it. I don't remember being this uncomfortable or this ready to have Kess here. I was so excited to see her, but I never felt miserable or cranky about my big ol' belly. That is so not the case with baby boy. I feel bad for wishing the pregnancy part away, especially knowing that I'm down to my last few weeks alone with my best girl.

We've done a lot to "prep" her for baby brother to arrive. She understands that "brudder" is in my belly & that he is going to come out. His room is almost finished so she understands that everything in there is his. She talks about him every day & always asks if any of the new stuff we are getting is "brudder's." She loves to play with his blankets, his baby toys and everything else. I hope she handles it well when he actually arrives. I think the fact that they will be about 2 years & 10 months apart helps a lot. She's out of the baby phase in a lot of ways. She still loves "snuggles" in her rocking chair... which I love.

I've been worried about her psychologically as we teach her that she's a "big girl" and brother is a "baby." I don't want being a "big girl" to be this scenario where she gives up all the things she loves so brother can use them and she can't. She's transitioned into lots of "big girl" phases of life during this pregnancy. She is now potty trained. She sleeps in a big girl bed. And she recently let go of her beloved pacifier (I'll share our journey on that process here soon.) I worry that we are pushing her too much to be a big girl sometimes, but then I realized that she's well on her way to being 3 years old & she's been flawless through all of these transitions. Including 3 big moves over the last year. Seriously so proud of our girl. I know that it might be a rough few days/weeks as we welcome baby boy into our world, but I think she's going to handle it like a champ. She will be the best big sister.

Kess loves her "mountain." We have a beautiful view of West Mountain here in Donnelly. We can see it right out our kitchen windows. It's "our" mountain - in case the rest of you didn't know that. ;) We go on walks almost daily & she loves every minute. She loves her Kane dog. She asks "Kane wead stowies wif us?!" every night. She always walks by him, pats his head and says, "Kane, you a good boy."

Kess loves anything crafty. She loves to paint with water colors. She plays with play dough daily. She likes to color. She is a master su chef & taste tester. She still loves popsicles and never fails to ask for 2 "popsies" after nap time. She seems to be on her way to giving up naps, but we still push for nap time or quiet time every afternoon. I need nap time & will definitely need it in the next few months. I'm hoping this little stint is caused by dropping her pacifier & will resume as she figures out how to soothe herself to sleep differently.

Kess loves puzzles. Actually, that's a total understatement. I bought some dollar store puzzles on a whim one night when Matt was working in McCall & we were still at home. I was desperate for something else for her to do besides TV & play dough. At first she struggled with them & needed a lot of help - which was totally fine except when she wanted to "do puzzos" every waking minute of every day! ;) Now she puts her dollar store ones together like a champ & recently got a few more puzzles from Matt's mom. She actually just busted out a big puzzle all on her own while I typed up this post. Isn't it the coolest thing to watch your kids think something out & execute it! I'm a gushy, proud mom. I don't even feel bad about it.

Kess loves to sing. She sings along with Moana, Trolls, Mickey Mouse, and pretty much everything else. We recently saw the live action Beauty and the Beast and bought a few songs from the soundtrack. She sings along with those, too. The first time I heard her little voice singing "Evermore" I cried. Literal tears, my friends. She also walks around singing "Tale as old as time, tune as old as sooong." Again, with the tears. 

Kess loves the outdoors, just like her daddy. She loves to go on walks, look at birds and wildlife with dad & throw rocks into water. She is Matt through and through when it comes to the outdoors. She is determined to climb the mountains when it's warmer outside. We have a few hikes planned when the weather warms up & I have no doubt that she will love it. She is determined to catch a pink fish with daddy... I'm excited to see how Matt pulls that one off. ;)

Kess doesn't love to share. It's a little unnerving considering we are having a baby in 3ish weeks, but I hear they grow out of it. Fingers crossed. She's pretty possessive of all of her things, but she is also possessive over other people's things as well... meaning, yesterday when Matt was using my phone she snapped at him and said, "Daddy, that's mommy's phone. You give that back to her RIGHT now!" She even pointed her finger at him. Yikes. She means business. I'm hoping she relaxes on the sharing front once brother gets here. 

I'm loving this stage that Kess is in. OK, I'll be honest - I don't love every aspect of this stage, but for the most part it's awesome. She's super inquisitive, smart, funny, quirky & down right hilarious. She's also sassy, too smart for her own good & has some serious attitude. We do our best to keep it in check, but sometimes I'm like, "Ok you be sassy - I'll be over here, let me know when you're done." ;) All in all, she really is beyond sweet. She loves her daddy so much, she apologizes so sweetly, loves her whole family including "brudder." I truly can't wait to see her sweet spirit as a big sister.