Friday, May 30, 2014

The End of an Era

Today was my official last day working as a dental hygienist! When I scheduled my patients six months ago, May seemed so far away. I can't believe we are already to June and baby will be here any day now! I am so glad that I'll be able to stay home with the kids, but I will definitely miss my friends at work. And, yes, I really love cleaning other people's teeth and I'll miss that too!

I'm glad that I made my last patients really easy ones - aka my husband, followed by my daughter who wanted 'her turn'. I didn't get anything done, but she seemed to enjoy riding in the chair like daddy! :)






















Along with no longer working, I'll no longer be babysitting Jess' kids, Josie and James. I have been watching Josie for almost three years, and it was hard saying good bye last Monday. We have had a lot of fun memories, some no-nap crazy days, and tons of snuggles and giggles. It is crazy how much you can love someone else's kids like your own. I'm so glad to have that bond with my niece and nephew, and for my daughter to have that with her Aunt Jess. :)

So, here's to the end of an era, and the beginning of a new journey - hopefully one that involves potty trained kids that love to sleep and help their mommies! (In my head I'm clinking together margarita glasses with Jess! ;) Can't wait!!)

Have a wonderful weekend!


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

3 Things in 3 Years

May is a fun month of celebrations in our house. Today we are celebrating my husband's golden birthday - 28 years old on the 28th! We both had to work, but made up for time apart with cake and ice cream. Now we are wondering if we'll be adding another birthday this month, or if our little man will keep us waiting until June. ;)

The other major celebration is our wedding anniversary, which was two weeks ago on May 14th. The day we got married, we both were covered in poison ivy (thanks a lot, yard work!) and we got about ten inches of rain during our reception. But, it was seriously the BEST day. We both had so much fun with our friends and family, it was hard to call an end to the day. I'm so blessed to have such a fun husband, and thought I'd share three things that I've learned in the three years I've been married.




First thing - be thankful. Thank God every day for the spouse he has given you - even more on the days that are hard. Thank your spouse for things they do for you, your family, friends, etc. I like being appreciated by my husband - especially for everyday tasks, like making dinner - it makes you feel good when you are noticed.

Second thing - remember people change. In 3 years, we became homeowners, had my sister live with us, gone through two pregnancies, John went to grad school and graduated, and now I'm becoming a SAHM. That's a lot of major life changes! We weren't expecting them all, and they have molded us to new people. I'm not the same person I was when we got married - which isn't a bad thing! Just remember that your spouse isn't either and be willing to accept new quirks, jobs, etc. 

Third thing - let it go. Are you singing something from Frozen right now? :) This is the best advice I heard before I got married. Our office was at a team building conference and the speaker was talking about something that his wife did that drove him crazy. She had always left her spoon on the counter after stirring her coffee. It drove him nuts that she wouldn't put it in the dishwasher. After awhile, he realized it wasn't that big of deal, and it was something that reminded him daily that his wife was alive. He said he knew he'd be sad the day that spoon wouldn't be there because it meant she wasn't there anymore. It's all about perspective. Let the small things, like a spoon being left out, go. In the long run, they aren't important and not worth fighting over.


I'm definitely no love expert (can you tell we're on a Frozen kick here?), and I know I have a lot to learn and grow in making my marriage last. I'm just glad I have such an awesome partner to have along the way!


Any marriage advice to share?

Happy Wednesday!


Monday, May 26, 2014

Our Memorial Day Party

Happy Memorial Day! We have been having such lovely weather here, and today was no exception! Our parents hosted a fun Memorial Day party at their house this year - with everything red, white, and blue! :)

I think one of my favorite things about the holidays is how festive my mom is. She gets so excited to decorate the house, make fun treats, and just go all out. She was Pinterest before it existed! I still loving going home and seeing decor we helped make as kids hanging up all over the house. So many fun memories!

Seriously, how cute is that? And delicious too!

One of my mom's recipes from yesterday is so simple, she gave me the recipe to share on here. It is from Kraft, but their recipe calls for a graham cracker crust on the bottom. I'm sure that would be yummy, but my mom's is just as good without it!


Cool and Easy Strawberry Dessert

Ingredients:

2/3 cup boiling water
1 pkg. (4-serving size) Jell-o Brand Strawberry Flavor Gelatin
Ice Cubes
1/2 cup cold water
1 tub (8 oz.) Cool Whipped Topping, thawed
1 cup fresh strawberries, chopped
1 cup sliced strawberries

Directions:

Stir boiling water into gelatin in large bowl for at least 2 minutes until completely dissolved.

Add enough ice to cold water til it measures 1 cup.  Add to gelatin; stir until slightly thickened.  Remove unmelted ice.

Add whipped topping; stir with wire whisk until well blended. Stir in chopped strawberries. 

Pour into serving cups.  Refrigerate 6 hours or overnight until firm.  Top with sliced strawberries.

We also added some Cool Whip and blueberries around the edges for the holiday!

My mom has made this with orange Jell-O and mandarin orange slices too, and that is amazing! Like I said, it's so easy and delicious for a fun summer party!


We hope everyone is enjoying the holiday, and most importantly, remembering all who have served and died for our country.


Friday, May 23, 2014

Where Are We, Mama?


The questions have begun.

I was wondering when my firstborn would start in with the 5 Ws.  I’ve been told that I was a repetitive question asker when I was little, so I was just waiting for my little Josie to follow in my firstborn footsteps.  So far she has not started asking “Why?”, but only “Where are we, Mama?” and “What is it, Mama?”  (Only just about a million times this week so far.)

I’ll admit sometimes it gets annoying when I’m asked the same question over and over again when I’ve already answered it the same way each time.  But at the same time, it’s a pretty amazing thing to see.  All these questions show how Josie wants to learn.  She wants to know and understand things.  And what’s awesome – and scary – is that she’s looking up to me (and Jim) for all the answers.


So even though it can be so repetitive, I try to keep answering Josie every time she asks – and answering her nicely too.  As she grows up, I don’t want her to be afraid to come to me with a question or to not come to me because she thinks I’ll blow her off.  I want her to know that she can always come to me with a question, whether it’s her 3 year old self’s “What is it?” questions to her will-be-here-before-we-know-it teenager’s more difficult questions.  And through my actions now, I can show her that I will always be there for her when she has a question or needs me.

Another thing I’ve tried to do instead of be frustrated at her constant questions is to cherish this time.  And sometimes that can take a big effort…and lots of deep breaths.  I just have to remind myself that right now it’s all easy questions.  They will only become more difficult as time goes by.  And Jim and I want - and need - to have the “right” answers for our kids at those times.  So we need to enjoy this time of just being able to answer with “Oh, that’s a bug!”…and really need to bump up our prayers for guidance in our role as parents for the upcoming years!

So “Where are we, Mama?  Where are we?  Where are we?  Where are we?  Where are we, Mama?”  Take a deep breath….genuinely smile...answer her.  And know that that answer tells her where we really are: Together…prayerfully, growing in our love as a family everyday!


Sunday, May 18, 2014

Resolution Check-In: Getting Yourself Ready



Resolution Check-In:  Use that time in the morning to put yourself together.

This one has been really nice.  The first few days were a little rough til I found the right routine for me, but now I’m loving it!

Here’s what’s worked for me:

This month’s Game Plan helped a lot. For me, it’s much easier to put myself together in the morning, if I do some preparation the night before.  I pick out my outfit and jewelry, and I shower before bed.  Sometimes, I make up some breakfast meals ahead of time so all I have to do is warm something up out of the fridge.  (My fave recipe for this are Crustless Quiche.)  And I get everything out for breakfast, like bowls, spoons, and cereal, and set it on the table the night before.  Also, while I’m getting ready in the morning, I’ve been listening to some of my fave music.  I have scaled down my hair routine as well.  I used to straighten it everyday, but now I'm working with what's naturally mine - loose waves/curls - by using products to tame it.  Simplifying what I do to get ready has made my morning routine so much smoother. What’s worked well for you?

Here’s what I’ve struggled with while trying to make this a habit: 

The internet.  I like checking facebook, instagram, and my email right away in the morning.  Then, I end up spending so much time on it that I end up running out of time to get ready before the kids get up. 

What obstacles have you come across?  What are you doing to get past these?

I have two things I’m going to try so that the internet doesn’t eat up all my morning time.  First, I’m going to leave our tablet downstairs on the table.  I can check it while I’m eating breakfast.  Or I may just give myself a time limit, like I can only check it while I brush my teeth.  Then, I have to finish later.

Overall, this has been wonderful.  Getting ready in the morning makes me feel so beautiful.  I don't feel frumpy anymore!  It’s amazing what a little makeup and hair styling and wearing real clothes and some jewelry can do.  I just feel so much better about myself, which has made me a happier (and nicer!) person.  And we all know that when Mama is happy, everyone is happy! 

What changes have you seen in your life with this resolution?

Jess

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Baby #2 Series: List of Easy Meals

Thanks for following along with our Baby Prep Series! We hope you enjoyed our posts!



In my house prep post, I mentioned having a list of easy meal ideas on our fridge. I thought I'd share some of those ideas with you all, and I will add the recipes eventually for ones that need explaining. I added links to the blogs that I found through Pinterest - they are some of our favorites! Most of these are freezer friendly or slow cooker meals, which is an even bigger help. Feel free to add ideas in the comments!

This is just a list of simple meals that can be thrown together quickly (aka from a box, put on the grill, or premade/frozen) - mainly for days that I'm still recovering or too tired to really cook. We do try to eat as healthy as possible!


*Freezer Friendly
^Slow Cooker Meal


Breakfast Ideas
  • Cereal
  • Waffles*
  • Pancakes*
  • French Toast*
  • Bagels*
  • English Muffins*
  • Coffee Cake*
  • Instant Oatmeal
  • Muffins - pumpkin, banana, cinnamon strudel*
  • Breakfast burritos* (fill up tortillas with ground sausage, hashbrowns, eggs, etc)
  • Crustless Quiche*
  • Sausage links*



Lunch Ideas
  • Taco meat* - salad, wraps, shells
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Salad sandwiches - chicken, tuna, egg
  • Toasties - cheese, peanut butter, pizza, hot ham and cheese
  • French bread* - hoagies, BBQ chicken, paninis, pizzas
  • Sandwiches - turkey, ham, roast beef or chicken
  • Quesadillas - cheese, chicken, pizza, BBQ chicken
  • Wraps - chicken strips*, lunch meats*, BLT
  • Salads - make with fruit, cheese, nuts, chicken



Dinner Ideas
  • Forgotten Chicken
  • Teriyaki Chicken (served over rice or pasta with veggies)
  • BBQ Chicken pizza
  • Chicken parmesan*
  • Chicken Noodle Soup*^
  • Chicken and Dumplings*^
  • Chop Suey
  • Baked Chicken Fajitas*
  • Tacos - shells or pizza
  • Hamburgers*
  • Sloppy Joes*
  • Pizza Casserole*
  • Spasagna
  • Steak Fajitas*^
  • Steak*
  • French Dip Sandwiches*^
  • Meatballs*^
  • Brats/Hot Dogs*
  • Pulled Pork Sandwiches*
  • Turkey Chili*
  • Jambalaya with Summer Sausage
  • Pizza* (different meats or just cheese)
  • Tilapia* (served over rice with veggies)
  • Tuna Casserole
  • Macaroni and cheese with veggies
  • Black Bean Wraps/Bowls


Now I just need to come up with a list of healthy, snacky food. Does ice cream count? ;)

I hope you enjoyed following along as I prep for Baby #2! 3 more weeks and counting!



Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Baby #2 Series: Our Favorite Baby Items

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Thanks for following along with our Baby Prep Series! Check back tomorrow for our last post!


Jess and I came up with different categories and picked our top baby item (as seen in picture), and then our runner-up in the category. Babies are very low maintenance if you let them be! Most of the items we picked can be purchased at Target or Kohl's, and have held up at least three years for us! We both knew we wanted multiple children, so we went with mostly gender neutral colors and themes. We also did a lot of research of Consumer Reports for high safety ratings - for those items I linked to the exact model we have. We also looked for purchases that would grow with our kids into toddler years, were low weight enough for us to carry, and had the highest baby weight limit in case we had large children. Definitely aim to get the most bang for your buck!


Health and Safety
1. Circle Gate - we love the fact it can be used inside or outside! I even completely open it up so it's a straight line and tuck the ends behind the couches to create a bigger barrier. I couldn't find a regular gate that fit our wide hallways, so this works perfect in our open concept house!

2. Carbon Monoxide Detector - something to make you feel a little safer at home if you don't already have one!


Sleeping
1. Sleep sack - Abby didn't like to be swaddled, but loved her sleep sack and used it until she was a little over a year old. It is a great alternative to a blanket - safer, keeps them warm, and stays on! Most brands have a removable swaddler which is great when they no longer need it.

2. Breathable Bumpers - this is a lifesaver when chubby legs get caught in crib rails! ;) And they are safe to use when installed properly.


Feeding
1. Boppy - I loved mine for breastfeeding Abby, and formula feeding Josie and James. It helps a lot with being able to comfortably hold baby after a c-section. (Jess can vouch for that since she had surgery shortly after adopting James.) We also used ours as a prop around the kids' back when they were learning to sit up. Remember to buy at least two covers - trust us, you'll need them!

2. Booster Seat - we both have boosters instead of the traditional high chairs. They don't take up much room, easy to store away, can transport if needed, and really simple to clean (aka dishwasher). We have one that has a removable tray, and now that the girls are older, we have moved the base up and they can eat at the table with us like big kids. :)


Playtime
1. Activity Gym - you don't need a super fancy one, but find one that is machine washable! Our kids loved laying there looking and batting at all the toys hanging. And it kept them entertained for a few minutes while lunch is being made. ;)

2. Bouncer - same as a gym, it doesn't need to be fancy! No need for vibrators or self rocking ones...not every kid likes that, so start off basic. And, washable is key here as well!



Bathing
1. Bath Cushion - our kids hated baby bath tubs! They never fit in them right. A simple, and a lot cheaper, alternative is just a bath sponge. We used ours on the counter after Abby's birth and in the tub too. They don't last as long as a tub, but long enough for us to use before she could sit up on her own in the tub.

2. Hooded Towel - we got a larger, child sized hooded towel for Abby. I love having a bigger one to keep babies warm, plus she's been able to grow into it. We got a lot of different towels and robes, but a hooded one worked the best!


Clothing
1. Carter's Brand - we find that Carter's brand is typically the most accurate on sizing and best quality for a lower price. Plus they are super adorable! :)

2. Tube Socks - little baby socks will not stay on, which is a shame because most of them are very cute. Especially the little ones that look like shoes. :) We have used tube socks (with the tightest tube part you can find - we found ours at Walmart) and those by far work the best!



Gear
1. Stroller - we both have the same single and double strollers, and love them both! For the single, we have a First Years Ignite, and the double is a Graco DuoGlider. Both are easy to fold up/out, have plenty of storage, perfect shade cover length, and give a smooth ride. I like that they aren't too pricey, and the weight limit is very high so we can use them longer.

2. Pack and Play -  even if you don't plan on traveling with baby, a pack and play comes in very handy! We have the basic model with a bassinet insert, and it is so simple to use. Babies grow out of bassinets quickly, so a pack and play is a great solution. We plan on keeping it next to the bed for the first few weeks with the bassinet insert, and then transfer him to his room after that.



Diapering
1. Cloth Diaper Cover - for starters, we do not cloth diaper. I use the Up and Up brand from Target (love it!), but I put a snap cover over the diaper - completely sealing the diaper in. Let me tell you - I've never, never had a blow out diaper or a mess up the back. I love our covers! We bought ours from a mompreneur online, and that is what we use. They can also double as a swim diaper, which is great since we start swim lessons soon! :)

2. On the Go Diaper Changer Pad - if you don't have room for a changing table, just have a changer pad rolled up in a basket with all the diaper essentials. You can change them anywhere, they are easy to clean, and it is portable!



Technology
1. Video Monitor - we finally invested in one of these, and I wish I would have sooner! We have a basic model, but it is so nice to see Abby in her room and what she's up to. And, I'm not gonna lie, it's really funny to watch them sleep sometimes! Kids are so adorable. :)

2. Sound Machine -  we absolutely loved our sound machine! I bought a cheap one at Target, mainly because I wasn't sure if Abby would like it or not. It was the best ten dollars I ever spent. The night we started using it, she started sleeping at least two hours longer. TWO HOURS. Serious life saver. I was sad when it broke (dropped it - oops!), but it will be replaced for sure.



Other
1. Toy Links - extra links come in handy a lot! You can link more toys to the activity gym or exersaucer, use it to lock up cabinet doors, or to attach snack containers to strollers. We have found so many uses for these and I'm glad we bought an extra pack!

2. Baby Carrier - I had a hard time with a carrier being smaller (hurt my back too much), but Jess loved using her sling when her kids were smaller. Both of our husbands are pros when it comes to baby wearing the older kids, and the carriers have come in handy on many walks, festivals, trails, etc.




Travel
1. Car Seat - obvious choice for traveling! We also made sure we had one that could go on airplanes as we have to travel to see John's family.

2. Car Seat Cover - since we had little ones during the winter months, having a cover over the seat was great. We could easily vent it in the car, but have them completely covered in the cold winds and snow. And I felt like it was a lot safer than throwing a blanket over top!




Something You Might Not Consider
1. Wet Dry Bag - if you cloth diaper, these are a must! If you don't, they are still nice to have, especially in the diaper bag. You can store dirty or wet clothes in them, and there is virtually no smell. And since they are machine washable, you don't have to worry about the mess afterwards!

2. Lingerie Bag - oh, little baby socks, hose, and if you are breastfeeding - breast pads! They are so little that they will get sucked up into the seal of your front loader washer. Place all the socks, pads, etc into little lingerie bags to keep them all contained. And now that we will have two little ones, we can keep their socks separate this way! :)



I hope you enjoyed our list of favorites - do you have any to add? I'm finishing up the series tomorrow with my list of simple meals that I have on our fridge! And then this weekend, Jess will be updating on how her monthly resolution is going so far.

Have a fabulous evening!




Monday, May 12, 2014

Baby #2 Series: Postpartum and Nursing Supply Bag

Thanks for following along with our Baby Prep Series! Check back later this week for more posts!
I realize these are out of order - will share our baby favorite items tomorrow! :)


Before I share what's in my postpartum/nursing bag, I have to share this link - Your Postpartum Life. It is probably the most hilarious and true article I've ever read, and it will explain why I have what's in my bag without me having to go through the nitty gritty. Your nurses will explain it all after labor/delivery, but if you are like me, you might be in a fog and not fully understand/grasp what they are explaining!

Like I said in my house prep post, I made a basket to carry all my postpartum care items and nursing supplies around. I wanted to keep them all together because I know I'll forget something and have to make a trip downstairs at 3 am to get it. Here is my list of supplies:


Postpartum Care:
  • Witch hazel pads
  • Stool softener
  • Dermaplast
  • Peri Bottle
  • Tums
  • Maxi Pads
  • Flushable Wipes
Most of these items were provided for me at the hospital when I had Abby, but I ran out after 2-3 days at home. Let me assure you, you will want them for a lot longer than that!



Nursing Supplies:
  • Lanolin Cream (as mentioned in hospital bag post, can be used as diaper rash ointment too!)
  • Washable Nursing Pads (get a lot of these, at least 12-15 - keep some in purse, diaper bag, etc)
  • Snacks/Water Bottle
  • Nursing App on phone or Paper/Pen (keep track of what side, how long, what time)
  • Entertainment (book, puzzle books, phone with apps, etc)

I am making some busy bags for Abby to try and keep her entertained while I'm nursing during the day. I'm sure she'll stay out of trouble and just play nicely, right? ;) I'm not that delusional, but I'm hoping some new toys will keep her busy for a least five minutes! We also signed up for Amazon Prime so I have shows like Dora or Blue Clue's readily available, plus with free two day shipping, it can't be beat!


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With this all being said, I want to say I am a big advocate of taking care of yourself postpartum and doing what's right for your family. I struggled with some depression after having our first little one, and I'm all about taking the necessary steps to maintaining a happy, healthy lifestyle this time around. If you are not feeling right, tell someone - your husband, doctor, friend, family member, me - anyone! Know that help is available and that most moms don't feel fabulous or in a great mood after having a child. You are not alone mama! :)

I would also like to note that I will be breastfeeding again, and I know that it is not an easy task. I didn't feel a magical bonding moment with my daughter, and quite frankly, hated doing it. I'm hoping for a different experience this time, but I know it won't be the end of the world if I formula feed before he's one. I'm setting the goal of six months again, and pray that I make it! I was able to breastfeed Abby for 9, and then go another month off of what I had pumped/stored in the freezer. I think if you love it - go for it as long as you want to. If it's not for you, don't stress about it! Good moms breast feed, and good moms formula feed. Do what's in the best interest for you and your family. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise!


Hope you all have a lovely week!


Friday, May 9, 2014

Baby #2 Series: Getting the House Ready


Thanks for following along with our Baby Prep Series! Check back later this week for more posts!



I'm (obviously) very excited to have my baby on the outside, but still a little freaked out about the upcoming chaos. My husband and I were talking the other night, and I said I couldn't wait for my life to be normal again. And then we both about died laughing because we know it won't be 'normal' for a long time! I guess it will just be a new and fun normal!

I do want to help myself ease into having another child in the house. I am very lucky that I am able to become a stay at home mom after having him, but I know that I'll still be busy! One thing I'm doing differently this time around is getting the house ready. Last time, I don't think I factored in sleepless nights or recovery ... I really had nothing prepared! I am probably going overboard this time, but I feel so much more calm with what's to come. So here are my tips/ideas for prepping your house for a baby.


Stock Up
Buy everything in bulk in the last month - toilet paper, laundry soap, your makeup - everything! Go around your house and take an inventory of what you have, and what you are running low on. Even if you are running low (having half a bottle of something), go ahead and buy it. Right now, we have at least 10 toilet paper rolls in each bathroom. Excessive? Maybe just a little, but I know I won't be making any major store trips with a two year old and newborn at the beginning. The only time I want to go to the store is for fresh produce, milk, bread, etc.


Meal Prep
This coincides with stocking up. Make your life as easy as possible and have plenty of simple meals ready to go. Our local grocery had some amazing deals in the past week and I stocked up on cereals, granola bars, frozen waffles, pasta, and canned goods. I made several bags of slow cooker meals that are freezer friendly. I also made a list of easy meals and put it on the fridge. This may sound silly, but I'm definitely a person who needs reminded of all the options I have available! Plus, if your husband wants to help, you can give him lots of meals to pick from!


Make Baskets for Everything
I have baskets made up in the pantry and fridge -  snacks for kids, breastfeeding snacks, easy meals, etc. I just used some plastic bins from our dollar store to keep it all contained. I also made a basket of nursing supplies and recovery/medicine supplies. I swear I'd go upstairs every night when I had Abby and forget one thing or another. This time, I have all my supplies in one bin (a Thirty-One Keep it Caddy) that I can take up and down with me easily. In my nesting insanity, I've also made bins in every room/closet to keep everything super organized. My husband likes to help, but it's easier on us both if what he needs is labeled and put away in the right place.


Keeping it Clean
Every night, set a timer for ten minutes. Pump up some music on Pandora, and have your kids, husband, and yourself go cleaning crazy until that timer goes off. If we make it into a fun race, our two year old tends to get more into it! It's an easy and (somewhat) enjoyable way to clear off the counters, floor, etc. Typically we just stick to the downstairs living areas where most of our daily clutter ends up. We have a basket by the stairs to throw in items that need to be taken upstairs...now it's just a matter of taking said basket UP the stairs! ;) The more clean and clutter free you have your home now, the less chaotic it will seem when you have visitors showing up all the time after baby arrives!




I wanted to share these pictures of my house from this afternoon - we basically all left in a rush this morning. Cabinet doors open, food/dishes in the sink, and obviously, random crap left everywhere. When I laid Abby down for a nap, I set a timer and cleaned it myself. See what ten minutes can do? Now, it completely wore me out (I just ordered pizza haha), and a little two year old has already gotten out twenty books, but I feel better that I did something and it was clean for a bit! Small victories! :)



Any tips on furthering my nesting craziness? ;)




Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Baby #2 Series: Packing the Hospital Bag

Thanks for following along with our Baby Prep Series! Check back later this week for more posts!


Baby #2 is about to arrive, so I thought I'd share what I'm bringing this time around to the hospital. Last time, I had no clue on what I'd need, want, or be provided with. Hopefully this will help any first time moms!

This list is for a 48 hour stay, vaginal birth L/D and recovery. I'm assuming you would need different items for a c-section recovery. Also, make sure to ask in your birthing classes or hospital tour what all will be provided for you by the hospital!

Items not included in the picture would be our unmentionables, Boppy, and the random supplies to bring.





Mommy Bag:
  • Pajamas
  • Socks/underwear - ones you wouldn't mind if they got thrown away afterward!
  • 2 loose fitting/nursing friendly tops
  • 2 loose fitting shorts/skirts
  • Flip flops - for the shower
  • Towel - because hospital ones are tiny!
  • Toiletry bag - my usual lineup from home (in travel size) because I have to have my same routine.
    • Toothpaste/brush
    • Hair brush/ties
    • Shampoo/conditioner
    • Body wash/loofah
    • Deodorant
    • Razor (if I'm feeling ambitious! haha)
    • Makeup
    • Makeup remover wipes
    • Lotion
    • Hair dryer


I'm going to be smart this time around and bring items for breastfeeding. I'm not sure what I was thinking last time, but I didn't have a nursing bra, tank or anything...my husband, God bless him, ran to Target when we got home and had to get me lanolin cream. For real. So, first time moms, be smart and buy it before!
The items I am bringing are:

  • 2 Nursing tanks
  • 2 Nursing Bras (love the Gilligan and O'Malley brand from Target, thanks hubby! ;)
  • Lanolin/nipple cream - if you don't end up needing it, it can be used for diaper rash on baby!
  • Boppy -  I'll keep it in the car, and if I decide I want it, John can run down and get it.



Daddy/Baby Bag:

For my husband:
  • Pajamas
  • 2 shirts
  • 2 pairs of pants/shorts
  • Flip flops - for the shower
  • Towel - again, they are small and he is super tall!
  • Toiletry bag - he'll throw in his few items into my bag
    • Shampoo
    • Razor
    • Toothbrush
    • Deodorant
For baby:
  • Going home outfit
  • Burp cloths


I'm very low maintenance for the baby after birth. They really don't need much that isn't provided for them at the hospital. Our hospital provides diapers, wipes, creams, white onesies with the mittens, and a sleep sack that we get to bring home. I prefer using their items for a few reasons:  1) if baby makes a mess, no laundry for me. Just ask the nurse for a new onesie.  2) If they open a pack of diapers/wipes, you pay for it. Might as well use that whole pack - and take home the rest!



Random Items to Bring:
  • My own pillow
  • List of names/numbers of people to call
  • Paper/pens
  • Camera/charger
  • Phones/chargers
  • Gum/mints (in case I don't have time to brush)
  • Gift for big sister and nurses - be nice to the nurses and they will be nice to you!
  • Money/checkbook - we got a discount for paying our bill before we left, so I'm glad we had that!
  • Insurance paperwork
  • Car seat/base - our hospitals make sure they aren't expired and are loaded in correctly.



Items I'm not bringing this time around:
  • Movies, music, games, etc - didn't have time and not worth losing!
  • Medicine (stool softener, witch hazel pads, maxi pads, Tums, etc) - all provided by the hospital
  • Snacks - again, our hospital is awesome and has a room just for snacks/drinks for parents. We also get a celebratory meal after birth, and all of mom's meals are provided by hospital. The 'dad gift' where we deliver is a meal card for dad to stay and eat at the hospital cafeteria. We are lucky!
  • Birth plan - Although I think it's nice to tell a new mom to have her goals/plan written out, it's not realistic. Be up for anything because every birth is different. Know the basics (if you are getting an epidural, want a water birth, etc), but don't be surprised if things happen to fast or emergencies come into play and your perfect plan goes out the window.


I think (hope) that I'm remembering everything! I also have to pack an overnight bag for Abby, so I have a bunch of lists going on right now. We have everything packed, and the suitcases have notes on top for last minute items to grab (pillows, Abby's doll to sleep with, etc). So now that it's packed, I guess he can come whenever! ;)

34 days and counting! :)




Sunday, May 4, 2014

Getting Ready for Baby #2 Series

Now that I'm officially a month away from my due date, I'm in crazy nesting lady mode. I love being pregnant - it is awesome how your body changes and that there is a little person inside of you! I am very ready to meet my son who has been very busy wiggling and squirming around for room. :)

I have made so many lists (things to buy, pack, clean, etc) before he arrives, and I thought I'd pass on any advice or tips that I learned after the first go around. I know every baby - and parent! - is different, so feel free to leave tips for me to learn as well.































This week, Jess (in her wisdom of already having 2 kids) and I will be posting all about getting ready for the next baby to arrive. I personally can't wait - the more I post about babies, the faster my due date seems to be coming!


Here are the links to the posts:

Packing the Hospital Bag for Baby #2
Getting the House Ready
Postpartum and Nursing Care Bag
Our Favorite Baby Items
List of Easy Meals

Have a lovely rest of the weekend!


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Monthly Resolution: Getting Yourself Ready



Resolution:  Use that time in the morning to put yourself together.

Now that I’m getting up with my alarm clock, I need to take that time to charge my batteries at the start of the day.  I need to eat breakfast, kiss my husband before he heads off to work, work out, take a shower, put on some makeup and do my hair, dress in something nicer than sweatpants, read a chapter of a book, pray, and get things around for the day. 

Right now, I am getting up with my alarm clock (for the most part), but I’m still lazing around.  Just tinkering around, spending too much time on the internet when I get up, and so on.  The challenge is that I need to see getting myself around in the morning as not just another list of things to do, but something that will benefit me, my family, and my day. 

My hopes and goals for this resolution:  Making time for and taking care of myself will make me a better person, wife, and mother because I will feel more organized, accomplished, beautiful, and overall, more put together.

Would you like to join me in this mission?

Here’s the game plan:

  1. See yourself as the beautiful woman you were created to be.  This beauty needs to be nurtured in order to grow.  You deserve it, and you can do it!  If you need to, write a note telling yourself so, and tape it to a place where you will see it often.
  1. Don’t feel guilty about taking the time to do something that is just for you.  You are important too.  Remember that when you take care of yourself, your inner and outer beauty will shine brighter, and it will make you a better person for everyone in your life.
  1. Come up with a morning schedule.  It doesn’t have to be fancy or set in stone.  Set your clothes out the night before.  Plan a short morning home work out a few days a week.  Have a 10 minute makeup and hair routine. 
  1. Make it something you look forward to.  Find a really good book to read – something you really enjoy.  Get a piece of jewelry or a new outfit or two that make you feel fabulous.  Get some new healthy breakfast recipes and try them out.  Play your favorite music while you’re getting ready.
What are you doing in the morning to rejuvenate and take care of yourself?


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