Friday, May 27, 2016

Friday Finds | Nordstrom Sale Favorites


(click on an item in the collage above to link to the product.)

It's that time of year again! The Nordstrom Half Yearly sale is going on now through June 5th. There are so many great items on sale, but I'm realizing they are going fast! I started saving some items a few days ago only to find them out of stock the next day!

So, if you find something you like, don't wait to buy it!

Here are my top picks:
Chain fringe pendant necklace (45% off, only $11.98!)
Treasure&Bond one pocket burnout tee (50% off, originally $42)
Stem flowy lightweight tank (40% off, bought this last summer and LOVE it!)
Jack Rogers Whipstitched flip flop (20% off, these will most likely go fast!)
Cozy Zoe lace trim PJ shorts (40% off, only $16.80!)

I told myself that I need to go on a shopping freeze for the next month before baby arrives, but I can't resist a good deal! Currently, I have in my cart the burnout tee, the fringe pendant necklace and the PJ shorts. I also have this phone case that is not on sale, but is perfect for the summer!

Are you taking advantage of Nordstrom's Half Yearly Sale?

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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Newborn Essentials | Sleep


One of the most talked about topics of new mothers (besides feeding) is sleep. One of the most asked questions I got right after having Camden was, "Are you getting any sleep?"

I've learned to steer away from these types of questions with new mothers because it can be a hot button for those that are not able to get their babies to sleep through the night. Camden started giving us longer stretches of sleep (6-7 hours) in his crib around 3 months. I think this is pretty common, but babies' sleep cycles can be all over the board. 

I plan on doing a more in depth sleep "training" (I hate using that word) post after baby 2 is born and while I'm actually going through it!

For now, I wanted to give you a look at what products, books and gadgets helped Camden sleep when he was a newborn. Some of these are tried and true with us, and some are new products that have great reviews that I will be trying out this go around. 

1. Auto Rock n Play Sleeper: Camden would sleep in his rock n play by our bed (or where ever we were sleeping) for the first 8 weeks or so. We have this version, but would love to upgrade to this auto rock version with a hands free rocking motion! This contraption is great because it gives the baby a slight incline for better digestion and comfort while they are still so small.

2. DockATot: This is something I didn't have with Camden, but it looks like the perfect solution if you want to try a safe way to co-sleep with your newborn in the beginning. The DockATot is designed to be a safe and comfortable environment for babies. It can be used for sleep, lounging, tummy time and more! (Click here to view more ways the DockATot can be used). I will be receiving the DockATot Delux Dock in the mail soon and will post a full review after baby arrives!

3. Baby swing: The swing definitely comes in handy during the day for naps! We have one similar to this one that we will be using again for baby 2. I know this Fisher Price one is very popular and the 4Moms Rockaroo is pretty popular among the mommy bloggers. The swing is great to keep on the first floor is you have a 2 story house for nap time. I remember we used to put Camden in the swing around dinner time for his last nap of the day while we ate dinner. The rocking motion really helps to soothe and puts them right to sleep!

4. Swaddle blankets: Swaddling really helped soothe Camden when he got fussy. I would swaddle him in one of these soft, but lightweight blankets and rocking him in my arms until he fell asleep. There's something about the swaddle that helps them to feel safe and secure. These are definitely our favorite blankets for swaddling.

5. SwaddleMe pods + velcro swaddles: Once Camden started busting his hands out of the swaddle blankets (which I think was around 4-6 weeks), we started using the SwaddleMe velcro swaddles. These worked great once he got a bit bigger. I got a few of these zip pods to try out with baby 2 as well.

6. HALO SleepSack: Once Camden was around 3 months, I started noticing he wanted to stretch his legs out more. The HALO SleepSack helps to provide the swaddled feeling, while giving their legs room to move around a bit more than the SwaddleMe ones. They also help with transitioning out of the swaddle because you can swaddle them with their arms out.

7. Pacifiers: If you are planning to breastfeed, the experts recommend not using a pacifier until breastfeeding is well established. I think the general recommendation is 2 weeks. We actually started using a pacifier with Camden in the hospital (whoops!) to help soothe him. He would calm right down after we gave him the pacifier. Camden liked the Nuk pacifiers the best and we tried out a few different brands. I think it's a good idea to have a few different brands on hand just in case your little one is picky. I have some Nuk, Phillips Avent ones and a MAM one on hand for baby 2 just in case.

8. Sounds machine: This is a MUST! Once we started transitioning Camden to the crib at night we got on a bedtime routine of bath, books and bottle. After we read to him, we would turn off the lights, turn the sound machine on and I would rock him to sleep. We kept the sound machine on all night (white noise) and I really think it helped him sleep for longer stretches. This one has really great reviews and I'm contemplating getting it for baby 2. We still use this one (an older version) for Camden. I plan on using the sound machine right away with baby #2!

9. Video Monitor: Once we started transitioning Camden to the crib (around 8 weeks), I realized how important a good video monitor was. We still use this one with Camden and plan on getting a second camera for baby 2's room.

10. Books: These are the 3 books that really helped me with sleep/crib training with Camden: Happiest Baby on the Block, Moms on Call (buy the kindle version here) and Baby Wise. Happiest Baby on the Block helps with soothing a fussy baby. It basically explains that babies go through what is considered the 4th trimester for the first 3 months of life where they just want to be back in the womb. This book gives tips on how to mimic the womb like environment to soothe them to sleep. Moms on Call is the one I probably used the most. It gives you tips for everything as far as sleeping, feeding/nursing, what to have on hand, medications and also provides sample schedules which is so handy to have! I read Baby Wise for help with sleep 'training' when we were ready. It also provides sample schedules to help get baby on a routine. (PS - None of these books recommends the CIO method. We never really had to use that method with Camden, thankfully! It does give tips on soothing if baby can't fall asleep on his/her own.)

There you have it! My recommendations for helping baby to sleep.
Of course, there is no magic product or gadget that will automatically get your baby to sleep. But, these certainly helped in our experience!

More posts from the Newborn Essentials series:

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Things that make me happy...


*This boy on a swing! He loves it! It was such a nice weekend! We went to the park Friday evening (it was a bit chilly that night) and Saturday during the day. Both times, Camden went straight to the swings!

*Warm weather is finally here (and hopefully staying)! We didn't have any plans this past weekend, so we spent a lot of it just playing outside with Camden and getting a few things done around the house.

*Working on the nursery. We bought the crib and mattress for the nursery and Bill put up the black out curtains. The nursery is slowly coming together! I probably won't finish it until after baby arrives. We have a double bed in there right now in place of the crib so I can sleep with him for the first month or so before we start crib training. I just wanted him to get used to sleeping in the same room every night. I think that was one thing that threw Camden off in the beginning when we started crib training.

*Knowing we have a little over a month until baby #2 arrives!

*Scheduling a hair appointment. Seriously, it is time! These roots are out of control! Next week I will be 'blonded' for the last time before baby!

*Collaborating with some awesome baby brands! Details to come soon!!

*Camden having a perfectly healthy 18 month check up! Always nice to hear those words from his doctor!

*Spending time with my family of three. Bill and I have been putting Camden to bed together at night and it's one of my favorite times of the day. Bill has been reading to Camden at night since he no longer fits on my lap in the chair (#bigbelly). It melts my heart to see these two together.


And here are some more pictures that make me happy! :)




What's making you happy today?

Friday, May 20, 2016

Friday Finds

(Click on the items below in the collage to shop!)

Is there anything better than lounging in PJs on the weekends? 

Towards the end of my pregnancy and after baby #2 arrives, I'm sure I will be living in mostly PJs. Just because you have to wear PJs, doesn't mean you can't look cute while doing so! 

I just bought this sleep shirt (on sale for only $18.98 right now!) and it is so soft and comfortable and will be perfect for the stay in the hospital and the first week after having baby #2. Since I will be having another c section, I'm trying to make sure I have a lot of sleep shirt/nightgown options instead of pants or shorts since I will be sore around my incision area. I'm also loving the matching robe (only $20.98!), which would also be great to have in the hospital.

Although, I am loving this sleep tee and these shorts! And how comfortable do these lounge pants look (on sale for $18.98)? I think I may have to get a few of these 'Gotta Have It' tanks (2 for $38 right now!). They look super comfortable and would be perfect for hot summer nights or even during the day with shorts. These 'Gotta Have It' tees look pretty comfy too! 

+++

It looks like it will actually be nice outside this weekend! We are hoping just to get out and spend some time as a family. Maybe go to a park or maybe the zoo?! Also, working on the nursery and a few other house projects.

I hope you all had a great week! Happy Friday!

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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Newborn Essentials | Clothing + Diapering




Now that we are about 6 weeks away from meeting baby #2 (insert shock face emoji!), I thought I would go ahead and share what I am preparing to have on hand. I decided to break up the "Newborn Essentials" series into a few posts over the next few weeks because I'm realizing there is a lot! How does a little tiny baby need so much stuff? 

Being that this is my second time around, I feel as though I have a better handle on what I need (also vs. what's just nice to have). 

So here are my top picks for newborn essentials when it comes to clothing and diapering (keep in mind when I say newborn I mean from birth to 3 months old):

1. short sleeve onesies and long sleeve onesies: These are what Camden wore constantly for the first few weeks. I would keep him swaddled during nap times, so these were prefect just for him to wear under the swaddle blankets. Since he was a winter baby, I loved these long sleeve onesies with the mitten cuffs (cover their hands) on the ends to keep his hands warm if they busted out of the swaddle (which they did a lot!).

2. zip up footie PJs: These were what Camden wore during the day or if we went anywhere. It's just so much easier to put those little babies in PJs than try to put a full outfit, socks, etc on them! We love the ones that zip instead of buttons (just easier/quicker for diaper changes). I love these from Old Navy and Target usually has a great selection of them as well.

3. swaddle blankets and swaddlers: We mostly used these swaddle blankets when Camden was first born, but eventually started using the SwaddleMe velcro swaddlers when he was a bit bigger (and started busting out of the swaddle blankets). I bought a few of these SwaddleMe pods to try out this time around as well!

4. mittens and beanies: These come in handy in the very beginning when they are still working on regulating their body temperature. The beanies are great for the hospital stay and if you have a cold weather baby. Camden wore little beanies while we were in the hospital and when we went anywhere since he was a November baby. The mittens are great for not only keeping their hands warm (when they're not swaddled), but also for keeping their nails away from their face. Those little hands have a mind of their own in the beginning and they can end up scratching themselves!

5. socks and booties: When you want to dress them in something other than footie PJs, it's always great to have socks and booties available to keep their feet warm. We love the Old Navy socks and how cute are these little booties??!

6. diapers and wipes: Of course, you're going to need diapers and wipes... And LOTS of them! Sometimes it feels like you are constantly changing them when their first born. I'm pretty sure I remember Camden would need changed every time I fed him, which meant 8 - 10 diaper changes a day for the first few months! We loved the Pampers sensitive diapers and wipes when he was little. We still use regular Pampers diapers, but have switched to Target brand wipes when he got older and his skin wasn't as sensitive. And if you are not signed up for Amazon Prime or Amazon Family, do it now! I still order all our diapers and wipes via Amazon! It's so great to have them delivered to your door!

7. changing pad, cover and liners: You're going to need a good changing pad in the nursery since you will be there a lot! Of course, it's nice to add a good cover and liners to keep the cover clean. These liners are great in case of a blowout or stains that may happen during changes. I typically would just spot treat them and throw the liner in the wash! So much easier than trying to clean the cover.

8. spot cleaner and diaper rash cream: These products will be used a lot in the beginning, so it's a good idea to keep them right by the changing area. I still have both of these on Camden's changing dresser in his room and don't use them as much, but every now and then they come in handy. I have a bottle of spray shout that I use to spray any stains (especially on those white onesies!) and then I just throw them in the hamper to be washed. As far as diaper creams, I know there are a lot out there, but we had the best results with just plain baby Aquaphor! I used this for his diaper rashes and when he had some patches of eczema on his skin when he was a newborn. We still use it today if he gets a diaper rash!

9. hamper and diaper pail: You will use both of these A LOT in the beginning! You will need a good diaper pail (we have this one) since you will be changing diapers constantly! It comes with an carbon filter insert that helps to block odors. A hamper near by the changing area is a good idea as well. You may be surprised how many outfit changes they need! It's nice to have it at arms length to just throw the soiled clothes in there while changing them. We have this hamper in Camden's room and have something similar for baby 2's nursery. It's great because it has a mesh insert that you can just take in and out for washing.

I'm so glad I'm starting this series because it will help me prepare for baby #2! I pretty much have everything on this list except for diapers and wipes! Those are pretty important, so I better go order some (via Amazon Prime of course)!

I hope this list has helped those of you expecting your first (or second, or third, etc). I'm hoping to do a few more posts that include feeding, sleeping, travel gear and what to pack in the diaper bag. I also would like to post about packing for the hospital, so look out for those posts over the next few weeks!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Pregnancy #2 Confessions



I confess... That I am physically ready to have this baby at week 33. I'm feeling like this belly is growing by the minute and getting heavier everyday. I hate the feeling of not being physically able to do normal day to day chores/tasks without being out of breath. (Of course, I really hope to make it all the way to week 39 of my scheduled c section and that we have a healthy baby!)

I confess... That although it would be so fun to have a girl, I'm glad we are having another boy or else I probably would have spent our life savings on a new wardrobe for her. It's kind of nice to use all Camden's old baby clothes again.

I confess... I am so nervous about being a stay at home mom. I am one of those people that needs down time daily to function and I just don't see a lot of that happening with 2 babes under 2!

I confess... That I totally took living close to my parents for granted when we were in Ohio. They absolutely loved watching Camden. We took a trip to Columbus this past weekend and stopped by Bill's hometown/parents' house on the way there and back. Camden got a lot of grandparent quality time and I got a lot of help which was so nice!

I confess... Being pregnant and having a toddler is seriously tough. As in, I'd rather run a half marathon again than chase around a toddler all day with a huge belly... I am constantly out of breath when I'm watching him. He is always on the move! Not to mention carrying a solid 25 pound child up and down the stairs everyday! He is really good at going up the stairs, but we are working on going down.

I confess... I've been sick about half the time I've been pregnant this time around. The first trimester was rough with 'morning sickness' (aka all day sickness). The second trimester and over the past few months I think I've been sick more times than I have been in the past 10 years! I've had a few bad colds, one that turned into a sinus infection and have had the stomach flu TWICE! I blame daycare germs from Cam, low immunity during pregnancy and the stress of moving. I'm praying I will stay healthy for the next 6 weeks!

I confess... On that note, I haven't gained as much weight as I had at this point with Camden. I know it's because I'm chasing around a toddler and being sick so much doesn't leave me with much of an appetite. At one of my appointments last month I actually lost 3 pounds (it was right after my sinus infection) and my doctor told me to get a milkshake on the way home. That will probably be the only time I will hear those words from any doctor!

I confess...
 I'm so over wearing maternity clothes. I feel gross in everything I put on. I'm so ready to wear normal clothes again and feel somewhat like myself!

I confess... I'm still nervous about my blood pressure spiking during the last few weeks of pregnancy like it did with Camden. My blood pressure had been normal all the way up to my week 37 OB appointment when it spiked. I was induced that week. I/we didn't really have time to think or mentally prepare for the induction, labor and ultimately ending in a c section delivery. I thought for sure I would go late like my mom did with my brother. I'm really hoping to make it to my week 39 scheduled c section with no BP issues!

I confess... I'm really nervous about breastfeeding this time around. I had trouble getting Camden to latch and ended up exclusively pumping for about 5-6 months. It was not what I had planned and pumping was so time consuming! Now that I will be at home with a toddler, I just don't think I will have the time to pump and clean/sterilize bottles all day. Just cutting out the cleaning of the bottles and pump parts alone would save so much time! I'm really hoping it works out this time! Bill and I attended a 3 hour BF class recently and I'm so glad we did. I feel so much more confident this time and it seems the resources at our new hospital are so much better than the ones I had in Ohio.

I confess... I'm really worried about how Camden will react to having a baby brother. He is in such a clingy, 'mommy' stage right now I just know we will have lots of tantrums when I'm holding/feeding baby 2 and can't pay attention to or hold him. I'm hoping with the grandparents' help the first few weeks, he will slowly get used to it.

I confess... It's really hard for me to fathom loving another child as much as I love Camden. I know everyone says your heart just grows with each child. Even though he has his moments, I'm really loving this stage he is in. He's so smart and curious! I love that we can actually communicate and he knows what I'm saying for the most part. I'm really trying to soak up these last few weeks with just him!

6 more weeks to go until we meet baby boy #2!!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Friday Finds


(You can now click on an item in the collage above to link you to the product source!)


If money was no object (and I wasn't 7 months pregnant), these items would be purchased this week! This scarf print maxi dress would be perfect for a spring or summer wedding. And I LOVE this romper! The color is beautiful and is currently on sale! The more practical dress that I would most likely buy right now would be this stripe cross back shift dress. It looks like the perfect everyday, easy to wear dress and would be perfect for post baby!

I'm so ready for shorts and tee shirt weather/season. I remember last summer, this was my go-to 'momiform'! This knit tee looks so comfy and would be perfect paired with these distressed denim shorts and sandals. I can totally see myself lounging in this 'Sunday morning' tee with my PJ pants and coffee on the weekends. 

And let's not forget the accessories. I've had my eye on this adorable beach tote! Of course, I have no fancy beach trips planned, but one can dream right? The more practical purchases (that may actually have to happen) would be these $12 sunnies and these pink tassel earrings

This week I have been focusing on purchasing items for baby #2's arrival. I went to Babies R Us this week to purchase a gift for a friend's baby shower and ending up dropping a lot more money than I expected to on our baby as well! I found these crib sheets (one and two) and picked up a few storage bins after I decided to add a few touches of navy to the nursery. I ordered and received this beautiful wood frame sign from the Etsy shop TheShedInteriors. All her signs are so pretty and I'm even thinking of adding one or 2 through out our home. 



This weekend we are headed to Columbus for the first time since we've moved! I get to see all my college friends at a baby shower and I'm so excited! We will be stopping by Bill's parent's house on the way to break up the trip a bit. 

I hope you all had a great week and happy weekend!