Friday, February 27, 2015

February Snapshots

First of all, I can't believe it is the end of February. Where is the time going?! February was a full month for us. Drew and I were able to squeeze in a few date nights and Aiden had lots of firsts. He went to IKEA for the first time, had his first swim class and we have been going to weekly baby classes at a local sports center. It has been fun to go with a few of my girlfriends and their sweet little ones. Aiden also attended his first of many wine tastings at Whole Foods. Best cheap date night ever.

Aiden continues to be spoiled by his Grandmas each week. I have been so blessed to have both my Mom and Mother in law coming over to watch Aiden on the days I work. He is one lucky little man.

One of my favorite parts of this month was the Valentine's day outreach at our church. We took Aiden out and served together as a family of 3. I hope to make this a Valentine's day tradition. Small things...great love.
Looking forward to warmer weather (fingers crossed) and more family adventures in March!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Most Eligible {Baby} Bachelor

I promise I really did try to narrow down these images from my little at home photo shoot with Aiden, but they were all too darn cute. I mean...that hat and those rolls. I melt. So you're welcome. XO

Friday, February 20, 2015

Making room for baby {Organizational tips from a new mom}

As I registered for baby items I started to see how many things I would actually need for a new baby. Baby items can slowly infiltrate every room in your home...not just the nursery. You need something for the baby to sleep in, something for them to bounce in, something for them to swing in, something for them to take walks in...the list goes on and on. Babies slowly take over not only your hearts, but your homes as well. Here are a few tips that have helped me organize and make more room for baby things throughout my house.

NURSERY//These Skubb boxes from IKEA have been a lifesaver for me in organizing the drawers in Aiden's nursery. I think I've purchased 6 sets of them now! They are perfect for holding all the little clothes and baby items! I have them in all his drawers and I even use one of the boxes to hold diapers and a few other items I am constantly using on top of our changing table.

YOUR BEDROOM// Most babies sleep in their parent's room for at least the first few months. If that is your plan make sure you have a clear traffic lane from your side of the bed (where baby will probably sleep) to the door. If your baby is going to sleep in your bedroom I would highly recommend getting some night lights for those late night feedings. The last thing you want when you are a MOMBIE walking at night is to bump in to something. I would also recommend finding a place where a sound machine can be easily accessed and think about a place to keep some extra burp cloths and a pacifier at an arms reach!

KITCHEN//When you think of a newborn you might not automatically think they'll take over your kitchen, but they do! I had to clean out a drawer for feeding supplies. You will have to store bibs, bottles and eventually plates, cups and silverware for your little one so go ahead and make space now.

If you are going to breastfeed I would also consider clearing out another drawer or cabinet to keep these supplies in. It was very helpful for me to have these items in the kitchen because they all have to be cleaned and sanitized often. You'll be surprised how much room you need for your breast pump, parts, bottles, extra parts, milk storage bags, etc.

Another part of your kitchen that requires extra room for baby is your refrigerator! As a working mom I had to start pumping and storing breast milk meaning that I had to clean out my fridge and freezer to make room to store milk. #momproblems If you have any questions about how I store milk feel free to email me. This is something I did a lot of research on.

BATHROOM// This is another room I did not think I needed to clear out for a baby, but then you quickly realize the baby needs to be bathed and the baby has towels, bath toys, special shampoos and body wash, etc. Think about where you will store your infant tub if you have one, where you will keep your baby's towels, cleaning supplies, etc. I have a large tin bucket that I keep by the tub to store all the toys and cleaning supplies so it's easily accessible. I also registered for and received this bath toy organizer that can hang on the shower wall.

FAMILY ROOM//My family room has quickly been overtaken with our bouncer, swing, activity mat, boppy and burp cloths galore. I often read Aiden books on the couch and our coffee table began to fill up with a mess of books, toys, burp cloths, etc. Honestly it was driving me nuts. So I bought a basket to hold all the loose baby items and it has helped a lot! And yes I organized the basket just for this picture. It never looks that nice. Haha.

GARAGE// Before Aiden came along our garage was a hot mess. We did some major cleaning so that we would have a clear path to get the car seat in and out of the car without bumping into walls or random junk. You will also need a place to store your strollers, ours are currently in the garage so we also needed to make room for these.

I hope these tips can help you either now or later as you make room for a baby in your life and your home! Are there any other rooms that your baby and all their stuff has overtaken?

Friday, February 13, 2015

The Very Best Valentine's Gift

L is for Love shirt from The Blue Envelope
It was last year on Valentine's Day that I told Drew I was pregnant. I had known for 2 days and was exploding with happiness on the inside, but wanted to wait for the perfect moment to tell him. On Valentine's Day we ventured out in a snow storm to our favorite restaurant, had a nice dinner, came home and got cozy and then I shared the news that would change our lives forever.

It's so crazy to think back on all the things I was wondering back then...

I'm pregnant, now what? Will I have an easy pregnancy? Will we have a son or daughter? Am I going to be a good Mom? Who will our baby look like?
Now a year later instead of holding a positive pregnancy test, I am holding my baby boy. I am so thankful. Finding out about him was the best valentine's present ever!

Here are some things that I L-O-V-E about Aiden at 3 months:
I love how you look when you first wake up in the morning...morning stretches are the best
I love how you stare at me with those big dark eyes
I love the rolls on your thighs and arms
I love how you love hanging upside down
I love your coos
I love when you talk to me
I love your smile
I love the face you make when something surprises you
I love how much you love to splash around in the bath
I love your furrowed brow
I love that when you cry for something it sounds like you are calling for your Mama
I love your little toes
I love your big belly
I love your long fingers
I love the way you light up looking at your Daddy
I love how routine you are
I love looking over at you in the middle of the night and seeing you smile in your sleep
I love how much I miss you when we are apart
I love how you have turned our world upside-down in the best way possible

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

10 Simple "Date Night In" Ideas for New Parents

Let's face it...when you have a baby they take precedent over everything. The life you and your husband used to know is over.  Your world is flipped completely upside-down, but in the best way possible. My husband and I went on our first date together when our son was 2 months old and we couldn't believe how little quality time we had been able to spend together since having a baby. It was always one of us feeding him or one of us holding him while the other took a nap, vacuumed, did laundry, cooked, etc. We were a team, but we were tag teaming everything and not getting to spend much quality time together like we used to.

I knew something had to change because we missed our "us" time. So we decided to come up with some ideas for a fun "date night in." While going out for a real date night is still in our plans and is so important, it's not realistic that this will happen each week hence the "date night in" idea.

We each came up with our own ideas for things we could do without actually going out and put them in a jar. Then we picked a night that would be our night. After we put the baby to sleep instead of me jumping into bed immediately after his head hit the pillow, it was "date night in" time. Here are some of the ideas we came up with...

Buy a few new wines and/or beers, do a tasting and rate them

Learn how to play a new card or board game

Have a "Treat Yo' Self" night. Light some candles, take a bubble bath, indulge in some fancy desserts and take turns giving each other massages

Have a camp-in complete with smores

Take a silly personality quiz and then talk about your results

Put together a puzzle

Browse the internet for a yummy dessert then make it and eat it

Find an international restaurant and order take out

Come up with 10 questions for each other and ask away

Bust out your favorite video games and challenge each other over a bowl of popcorn. This Caramel Marshmallow Popcorn would be perfect. Set a friendly wager to make it fun.

Quality time with your spouse is so important. Be intentional about making time for each other.

What else would you add to this list??

Monday, February 9, 2015

Life with you is a walk in the park

Dear Sweet Aiden,
You are 3 months old and then some. Time is flying by quicker than I can stand, but every new stage with you is wonderful. Today I packed away your 0-3 month clothes and my eyes went misty looking at each outfit and thinking about you in it. You have no idea how much joy you have brought to our lives in 3 short months. Your smiles melt my heart, your giggles fill me with happiness and your pouty lip gets me every.single.time. You are so curious all the time. When you first meet someone you have to study them for a few minutes with that furrowed brow of yours, but then you light up the room with your little sideways smile. You love music and splashing in the bath tub. Next week I'm taking you to your first baby swim class. I can't wait to see you in the "big bathtub."

You are definitely your Daddy's mini me and I love it. You have his dark eyes and his ears and I hope you grow up to be just like him.
You have already made me a braver, more patient and stronger woman. I may not be the perfect Mom, but I am your Mom and I will live everyday trying to make your world a wonderful one.
I hope you grow to love and respect your family, to shine your light for the Lord and to know that you are one loved little boy. I couldn't go another day without spilling my guts to you because I just love you so dang much. Life with you is a walk in the park.

Friday, February 6, 2015

0-3 Month Favorites

Looking back on the first 3 months of motherhood there are definitely some staple items that helped get me through! Today I'm sharing some of Aiden and my favorite baby items. If you are looking for my Newborn favorites you can click here. I still use the Aden & Anais burp bibs daily and I will never regret buying the Fisher Price Rock N Play Sleeper. On to our 0-3 Month favorites...

0-3 Month Favorites

1. Fisher Price My Little SnugaMonkey Bouncer: Before having a baby I couldn't have told you why in the world someone might have needed both a swing and a bouncer, but now I can. Aiden loves both and for different reasons. We use his bouncy seat when he is up and active. We often hang links from it so he can grab at them. I take this into the bathroom with me when I need to shower and Aiden is always content in it. When we eat dinner we usually end up putting Aiden in here as well.

2. Baby Einstein toys: Out of all the toys we have received these two Baby Einstein toys are Aiden's favorite hands down. They both light up and play songs that are NOT annoying. The songs are calming and won't have you wanting to wear ear plugs after listening to them 50 times a day. I like the Take Along Tunes because it is small and easy to take with us places in the diaper bag. The Neptune Ocean Orchestra stays put in our house and has brighter lights and buttons he can push. I highly recommend checking them both out!

3. WubbaNub: This is another thing I was always curious about when I saw babies with them. Really a toy on a that necessary? Yes, yes it is. The animal on the pacifier weighs the pacifier down so they actually stay in the baby's mouth. Aiden is at an age where he grabs everything and he holds his Wubbanub in place. We love these and have 3. They aren't cheap, but they are worth it. If you are wondering about cleaning can clean the actual pacifier with warm soapy water, but you can also wash the animal as well!

4. SkipHop Activity Mat: We use this daily. We work with Aiden on his hand/eye coordination, use it for tummy time, etc. It comes with a little mini boppy-like pillow which we use all the time also. I love all the hooks it has for hanging things on. We change out what is hanging on the hooks frequently so he has new things to look at and grab for. The mat washes nicely in cold water on a delicate cycle just make sure to remove the velcro mirror first.

5. Fisher Price My Little Lamb Swing: I did my research on swings and am in love with this one. Aiden takes almost all of his afternoon naps in this swing. The sounds are soothing and soft, the swing is smooth, the mobile is adorable and my favorite has an AC Adapter so we don't have to worry about batteries!

If you have any questions, please email me. I'm not an expert, but these have worked for us!
What are some of your favorites for your little one?