Easter Egg Huntin'

Thursday, March 31, 2016

We woke up Easter morning to a beautiful sunrise and mild temperatures.  Cohen was the first one down and was more than excited to go find his Easter basket that was left for him.  After Easter basket fun and a breakfast of bunny pancakes, I hid all 40 eggs that Mr. Easter Bunny left for us to use on our own egg hunt.  There's something special about watching your kids race around the backyard in their pjs and bed head, searching for these eggs.  Both kids filled up their baskets and then took in their goodies to first count, and then open up to discover what fun surprises they found.  My heart melted as I watched Lola copy everything Cohen did as he counted his eggs, mimicking the exact number he was on and placing her eggs right next to his.  The rest of the afternoon was spent playing bubbles outside and enjoying the gorgeous 70 degree Spring weather.  Even though we spent Easter at the beach last year, it was fun to be back home and make these memories with my little family.


Five Nursery Must Haves for Bringing Baby Home

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #NurseryMusts #CollectiveBias

Being a first time mom is overwhelming.  Trust me, I get it.  I've done it three times!  While things become more familiar with each baby, the actual role of motherhood can still be hard but comes with some of the best rewards.  Lately in my group of friends we have had a huge baby boom.  Everyone is having babies and it is so much fun!  I love being able to share my tips, experiences and most importantly, my favorite products with my newbie moms.  I remember going to register for my son and feeling a sense of panic because I had NOTHING that they recommended purchased for the nursery.  So I registered for it all, got it all and then didn't use half of the stuff.  When I had Lola and Remy I was smarter about it.  I made a list of what I needed as well as things that could be purchased in the future.  

What do you really need for your baby's nursery and what will you need those first few weeks home with a new baby? 

Here are my five items that are must-haves when you are getting ready to bring your baby home:

1.  Playtex VentAire Bottles
Whether you plan to breastfeed or bottle feed, it's always good to have a bottle of two on hand.  All three of my kids were a bit colicky in the beginning so it was important for me to find a bottle that had an anti-colic design.  The Playtex VentAire bottles have an anti-colic bottom vent that keeps air at the back of the bottle and not into the baby's tummy.  You simply just place the vent right on the bottom of the bottle and you're ready to go!  So easy, right?  

I also love the angled design of the bottle which promotes a semi-upright feeding position for your baby, which is recommended by pediatricians to help prevent ear infections.  Cohen, Lola and now Remy have quickly learned how to hold onto their bottle because of this angle as well as the fact that the bottle is wider than most.  The Playtex VentAire bottles also have minimal parts which make it super easy to clean and help you quickly assemble the bottle without a fuss.  For moms who are breastfeeding, this bottle also makes switching between bottle and breast easy because of The Most Like Mom® NaturaLatch® Nipple which mimics the breast to help your baby latch on naturally.  I have these bottles in both 6 oz and 9 oz and recommend them to all of my first time moms.  When I was at Target last week I noticed you can purchase the Playtex VentAire bottles in a three pack - which make perfect shower gifts! (hint hint)  I love how Target is the one-stop shop for all things baby and the best place to make your baby registry!

2. Playtex Diaper Genie Complete
I have had almost every model of these things and I have to say, the new Playtex Diaper Genie Complete is by far my favorite design yet!  First off, it has a foot pedal to easily open up the top so you can one-handily toss that dirty diaper away without touching it or bending over because it is at the perfect height.  The Ulitimate Odor Lock System has a 7-layer refill bag with double Air-Tite® CLAMP to seal those stinky diapers right in and the built in carbon filter helps keep your nursery smelling fresh - even after a real doosey!  The Diaper Genie Complete (which I found at Target) can hold up to 270 diapers and when it's time to change your bag, the front bin will tilt forward so you can easily cut and pull the bag right out.  I'm not quite sure what my life was like before the Diaper Genie and quite honestly, I don't think I want to find out either.

3.  Diapers in All Sizes
I know this is kind of an obvious one but when it's 2:00 a.m. and you go to change your screaming baby's diaper and realize...YOU USED THE LAST ONE TWO HOURS AGO!  Been there.  Done that.  Stock up before the bambino is born in sizes newborn, one and two.  And don't open the packs all at once!  You'll be shocked at how quickly your tot grows out of the sizes and many times stores will let you exchange unopened packages of diapers for the size you need.

4.  Burp Cloths
When Cohen was born I didn't even think of getting these things.  Luckily my cousin, who was a new mom of twins, stocked me up at my shower with tons of these cloths.  You will use your burpies like you use paper towel - for everything.  And you go through them just as fast.  I have stocked up on my burp cloths with each baby so luckily with Remy I have never ran out.  But you'll be surprised how handy these things are - especially when your kid projectile vomits across the room and hits your dog's back.
True story.

5.  Memory Decor
Remember when I only had one child and had time to scrapbook?  You should see that thing - Cohen's book is amazing.  However, then I added another baby and I forgot about recording her milestones until her first birthday so I put together a photo book documenting her first year.  I wanted to get creative for Remy so I kept a few of her special items to display in her room.  Instead of keeping them in a little box or drawer, I decided to get a shadow box frame and put them together as part of her room decor.  I love how it turned out and it was so easy to do!

Baby Keepsake Memory Box

You'll Need:
--Baby Items to Display
--Shadow Box Picture Frame
--Double-Sided Tape

1.  Collect a few of your baby's special items.  Things like a hospital bracelet, crib name tag and hat are perfect for this box.  I chose Remy's name card, the outfit and headband she wore home and a few of my favorite pictures from the hospital.

2.  Carefully unlatch the brackets in the back of the frame and pop out the flat, back piece.

3. Arrange your items on the back piece.  Then, pin and tape your items in place.  I used pins for the heavier things and the tape for the lighter pieces.

4.  Carefully place the glass portion of the frame back onto your back piece.  Once it is secure, flip it over and latch the brackets again.  Your memory box is now complete!

This was such a simple project and it looks darling in Remy's nursery.  I love that I have a cute way of displaying her items now rather than throwing them into a drawer and forgetting about them.

Bringing home your baby is one of the best moments that you will share with your family and it's one that you'll likely never want to forget.  Being prepared can help keep the chaos to a minimum and let you enjoy these fresh, new memories together.  Hopefully my experiences and list of must haves will keep your stresses away and bring you many yummy, baby snuggles.

Tell Us Moms!
What are some of your must have nursery items?  Playtex VentAire Bottles were on my registry, what was on yours?



Monday, March 28, 2016

*A photograph of each of my children, once a week in 2016*

This kid was spoiled by having his Nana and Papa here TWO weekends in a row!  Nana brought him PieFace which was an absolute blast.  Hearing this kid give a full-fledged belly laugh is one of my most favorite sounds. 

Sister Sue here has been my shadow for the last few months.  But lately I can't seem to leave her sight without hearing the pitter-patter of little feet quickly following behind me.  I love this Stink with all my heart but Girlfriend, can Mom have at least 5 minutes alone? 

It's like feeding a baby bird with this little one!  She reaches for the spoon, opens her mouth before you even get there and savors ever last bite.  The only food she doesn't seem to be a fan of is apples but other than that, we haven't found one she doesn't like!


Post Baby Wardrobe Essentials

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Recently someone asked about some post baby clothing tips, so I thought I'd share a few of my favorite staples.  Now, don't get me wrong, I am most likely writing this post in a pair of yoga pants.  However, I do like to look presentable when I leave the house even if I haven't had time to shower or my crazy brood is making my sweat with frustration.  These are five of my favorite items that have made me feel comfortable in my post baby body but help me feel just a little bit more put together.

This is a go-to staple in my closet.  I can wear it over leggings, a dress, a pair of jeans or even shorts when it starts to warm up.  I have a complex about my "baby pooch" still and these cardis cover it perfectly for the time being.

Even thought I'm not nursing anymore, I still wear this bra.  It is so comfortable and amazing I can't rave enough about it.  It was my go-to bra during my nursing and pumping stages with Remy and wish I would've found it when I went through it with the other two kids.

These, my friends, are leggings I will never, ever part with for the rest of my life.  I'm not a huge leggings fan except when I'm pregnant.  However, another blogger posted about them and they were (and still are!) majorly on sale so I bought a pair because I was at that awkward point where jeans weren't comfortable still yet maternity clothes didn't fit at all.  I love that these things have pockets and can be dressed up or worn completely casual.  On a side note, J.Jill runs a little bit bigger, so order down -- I got the XSmall and they fit perfectly but stretch out after worn a time or two.

4. Toms 
While I'm dying to purchase a pair of black wedges (and probably still will before summer) my Toms have been my go-to shoes, especially since we are in the weird weather transition.  They are trendy, cute and can make a simple outfit go a long way.  These red striped canvas ones are super adorable and would be perfect to sport during March Madness while watching my Hoosiers.  

Anything flowy is my fashion jam right now.  I love the short sleeves of this dress and the fact that it isn't super clingy.  A t-shirt dress can go a long way - add fun jewelry, a cute cardigan or even some fancy wedges with a top knot.  I always feel like I look a bit more put together wearing one of these dresses even if I don't have a lick of make-up on or my hair has been majorly dry shampooed.

What are some of your favorite "momiform" essentials?  I'd love to hear!


The Bond Between Sisters

Monday, March 21, 2016

"Having a sister is like having a best friend you can't get rid of.  You know whatever you do, they'll still be there."
Amy Li



Sunday, March 20, 2016

*A photograph of each of my children, once a week in 2016*

This guy is officially registered for Kindergarten.   I swear I was just returning to work after spending five months home with this little guy on maternity leave.  There are moments when he acts so big to me, like when he told me during the IU game that we needed just 4 more points to catch up - the score was 27 to 23.  I know, my jaw dropped too.  But then there are times when he is still a little boy, like when he decided he'd rather talk to his friends during his basketball game instead of actually playing the game.  As cheesy as it may seem, they really do grow up so fast.  And it's killing me. 

I found this picture from a recent trip to the Children's Museum.  It was a big moment to get this girl into the wind tunnel that blows around little handkerchiefs.   I'm starting to see more and more independence from her lately - like when she insists that she climbs into the car seat by herself or hold the cup of milk as I'm pouring it.  She sure has a spirit full of fire and it cracks my mom up because she says it's like looking at a Mini Kait.

I promise this kid really does have a neck.  Sweet girl just loves her milk!  She also is a classic baby of the family - constantly held and spoiled to the core.  I will never admit it to my other two children but seriously, this girl has it made.  


Remy 5 Month Update

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Remy // 5 months
Weight:17ish lbs
Height: 27ish inches

This girl is quite healthy as you can see.  She recently had a pretty decent growth spurt. One day she couldn't touch in her exersaucer and then the next day both of her feet were touching the bottom.  Yes, it made me super sad.  She loves open mouth kissing and will always add a bit of drool to it too if you're lucky.  Remmers is quite portable and is pretty used to going with the flow.  I put the big girl seat on the stroller and she is all about going on walks with Lola.  I can't wait for summer when we can spend all day outside.  Plus I have 2843902384902 rompers that were Lola's just calling her name.  Hurry up warm weather!

Here is what Remy has been up to the last month:

After a good week of ridiculous blowouts, I upped her to a size 3 diaper and we've been doing much better.  Remy is pretty comfortable in 3-6 month and 6 month clothes.  I'm running out of long sleeved outfits for her and I'm struggling with the thought of buying her new ones since we are almost to warm weather.  I may just invest in some white long sleeved onesies and tons of tights to get her through the rest of the winter.  Rompers and tights are seriously too cute.

Remy is exclusively on formula now and gets 5 bottles a day.  She take four 3 ounce bottles during the day, a 7 ounce bottle before bed and then another 6 ounce bottle in the middle of the night.  During her recent growth spurt I had to add another 4 ouncer in there but I think she's slowed down.  We do fruit and oatmeal in the morning and a veggie for dinner.  Girlfriend loves herself some squash.  I made a bunch of baby food and have them frozen in the freezer.  We've tried squash, sweet potatoes, avocado, green beans, peas and carrots.  She also has had pears, bananas and apples but isn't a fan of apples.  I need to find some good organic peaches to whip up for her next batch of fruit.

I don't even want to write anything about this because the kid doesn't sleep at night anymore.  Ever.  I'm not kidding.  If I was to get an IV right now it would be full of iced coffee these days...  I guess maybe she's going through a late 4 month sleep regression or maybe an early 5 month sleep regression?  Either way the kid is killing me.  I decided I wasn't even going to attempt a schedule until after Daylight Savings which I think was the smartest choice I've ever made.  My goal is to get her on a good schedule this month so we'll see how it goes.

Remy decided to FINALLY roll over.  She also graduated to her crib like a boss.  I'm wondering if she is starting to sprout top teeth because of her sleep lately as well as the drool factor.  She also consonantly moves her tongue over her gums which is what she did when her bottom teeth were coming in.  Remy is the master grabber too and loves to get her hands on everything - including my hair. 

Similar to my other two children, Remy LOVES to be outdoors.  I need to get new straps on our swing because she loves to swing.  She also loves stroller rides and still doesn't mind her car seat.  I took off the winter cover thing on her car seat and I think she loves to be able to look around now.  Girlfriend is still obsessed with her dad and I'm pretty sure that makes his life.

The kid HATES to be put to sleep.  I mean HATES it.  She will fight it and scream like she is dying.  She also likes to suck on my arm and pinch me when I'm trying to rock her.  Why was I cursed with children that don't like to sleep?  Actually, Lola gets the trophy for the sleep department.  That kid ASKS to go night night.  Remy also hates to be hungry and gets pissed when you sit down when she's tired.  I don't even get that last one but whatever kid.  You call the shots I guess.


Remy Elizabeth,
I was just telling your dad that I can't believe you've been with us for almost half a year already.  We can't imagine a day without you.  I'm sure it was full of sleep but that's okay, I'll forgive you.  I love your smiley face after a good (and rare) nap as well as your flexibility to let me tote you wherever we need to go.  Your brother and sister are smitten by everything you do and we love you to the moon and back times ten!


Remove the Chaos with Mommy Bag Must Haves

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The ChapStick® product, information and gift have been provided by Pfizer Consumer Healthcare.  All opinions are 100% my own.

It seems that lately I have been constantly on the go.  I spend the majority of my week taking Cohen to and from school, transporting the gang to Friday basketball practice and then of course my weekly errands to the grocery, park, playdates - you name it, we're doing it.  Even though it may have taken three children to get it down, I have finally mastered the contents of my Mommy Bag.  What is a Mommy Bag you ask?  Well, since different bags are warranted for different occasions, I simply put my must have items in a small pouch that I have labeled as my Mommy Bag.  This pouch is easily transportable and I can grab it and throw it in my different bags without having to completely empty each bag out. 

Here are my must haves for this Mommy Bag:

-Baby Wipes and Extra Diapers - These are for the obvious however, wipes are seriously so versatile I will use them for everything.  When I'm not using them for a diaper change, they are being used to wipe noses, shopping carts, tables or even little hands before eating snacks or meals.  I will probably carry wipes with me for the rest of my life.

-Fruit Snacks and Portable Snacks - I'm not sure what life was like before the creation of these items.  I'm pretty sure my children also don't remember life before fruit snacks either.

-Small Clutch or Wallet - The smaller the better.  Plus if you are just running a quick errand alone (wait, does that ever happen?) then you can just grab this bad boy and go.

-ChapStick® - I love ChapStick®.  Seriously, it's the one brand that I have grown up with and will never part with for as long as I liveChapStick® Classic Range soften and protect lips and the brand has been around for 100 years!  My mom used to always have the Cherry flavor in her purse when we were little while my Gram kept the Original and Spearmint flavors in her drawer for years.  I don't think I will ever leave the house without some.  That's why I stocked up on a few of my favorite flavors so you know, in case one got lost of something...  

No but seriously, during the summer I make sure to have plenty of ChapStick® Sun Defense tubes in my bag because these things have SPF 25 in them and are great protection from the sun.  I also will keep some ChapStick® Moisturizers and Medicated tubes for when my lips are feeling dry and need some extra TLC.  But the ChapStick® Tropical Paradise collection has been by far one of my favorite scents.  Since we aren't heading to the beach this Spring Break, I can take a little piece of paradise by infusing my lips with a little Mango Sunrise or Aloha Coconut.  Oh so dreamy.

-Pen - It seems I am always looking for a pen to use, so I try to be prepared...most of the time.

-Small Mirror - This comes in handy when you need to reapply makeup, see what kind of debris got in your eye or to pop that pimple that is calling your name while waiting for your iced coffee in the drive thru.  But I wouldn't really know anything about that last one.

I live by the saying, "Work smarter, not harder" and I'm telling you, this Mommy Bag makes the chaos just a little bit less in your life.  My mornings, afternoons and evenings are crazy enough so if I can add just one piece of simplicity to my ever living busy day, I will take that simplicity and raise you twelve.

What do you keep in your bag?  How do you organize your clutter?

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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

*A photograph of each of my children, once a week in 2016*

You don't even have to see his face to know he is just beaming with love for his sweet Remy.  The kid is UHB-sessed with her.  And I love it.  Sometimes he can be a little much (like when he decided to pick her up by her arms and dance with her - help me, Jesus) but it always comes from a good place because his heart is filled with so much love for this baby I can hardly stand it.

Sis finally spouted some hair!  I love the look of concentration in her face here.  I can't wait to get her locks all shaped up and into a cute little girl cut - by the professionals of course.  Girlfriend can rock a mean top knot these days, though.

Remy Pie's feet are almost touching the floor in her activity-saucer.  The other day I was cleaning up and I heard this banging noise coming from her area.  I ran over only to see her giving those pandas a run for their money - the girl literally had them see-sawing at top speed.  She was pretty proud of herself for doing it too.



Friday, March 4, 2016

*A photograph of each of my children, once a week in 2016*

And just like that we lost tooth #2.  This kid has grown leaps and bounds since the Fall and I couldn't be prouder of him.  Thursday is a big day for us - Kindergarten registration.  Let's see if I can make it through the process without crying my face off.

My little Lola is cutting molars and has a mega cold on top of it all.  Last night I bribed her with M&Ms if she would let me Nose Frida her.  It lasted 5 seconds but at least I got 5 seconds worth of snot I guess.

Finally - FINALLY little Chunk decided to roll over.  And she did it like it was no big deal at all.  I knew she could do it if she wanted but sadly she knows she's the baby and can get away with anything.  How unfortunate that they learn to manipulate at 4.5 months old.