Friday, October 31, 2014

No Candy on Halloween

Lets be honest . . . the only reason I semi like the holiday Halloween is because of the abundance of tootsie rolls given out. These were always popular in my neighborhood and I would try and trade anyone I could for them. I'm sure the only reason they were a hot ticket item at multiple houses is because they are far cheaper then the snickers and kit lat bars, and you get more in a bag so they can feed the masses better. Either way, that's my favorite thing about Halloween. How lame is that? 

What if candy wasn't what was given out when kids go door to door? 
What would you be excited to get instead of candy? 


1. Namaste Bracelets
These bracelets are the ones beaded by the women of Nepal. They come in SOO many different colors and no two bracelets are the same. I have a few from when I worked at the Pink Saloon but when they are being sold at $11-$13 a piece - I can't splurge as much as I'd want to. 


2. Bobby Pins
This is a duh for all females. I have purchased too many to count over the years and of course I can never seem to find one when I need it. Can I get an amen ladies? 

3. Toms 
Only the most comfy shoes out there. I jumped on the bandwagon and have since been converted to the simple slip ons. I have a few pairs of their classic style but I think I need to purchase some wedge booties for this fall/winter. 


4. Cans of Dr. Pepper
Because who doesn't love all 23 flavors? And if you are a Dr. Pepper drinker, you know that soda from the can tastes 100 times better than the bottle. 

5. Headbands
Ever since my volleyball days I have been a big headband wearer. Mostly the soft fabric kind or the hard plastic kind. I have found out through major trial and error that I don't have the correct shaped head to wear the elastic type - they just slip right off. 

These are a few treats that would make me enjoy this holiday better. From the looks of my list - I would probably need to go trick or treating down Park Ave. to ever have a chance at getting any of these. 

What would you rather get than wrapped sugar?

Linking up with: The Farmers WifeLauren ElizabethA Little Bit of EverythingXOXO RebeccaA Blonde Ambition

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Kingston: 3 months

As of 10.30.14
14lbs 8 oz 
He has blue eyes still but they are changing. They have a dark blue ring around the outside and lighter blue in the middle. In some light you can start to see a little honey brown coming through. Maybe they will end up hazel?? Only time will tell!   
His strawberry birthmark on crown of his head and back of his neck are both are getting lighter. 
His hair is growing on the top of his head and it's falling out on the back. 
Biggest jowls West of the Mississippi.
He still looks a lot like his daddy but when his eyes get really big he looks a little bit like his mama. His cheeks and thighs are continuing to get chubbier and chubbier by the day and I love it. 

Clothes: 3-6 month pieces fit the best. There are a few 3 month onesies that are long enough to still work but because he is so long we have to size up (especially in his pjs). Also, when he wears cloth diapers his tush is extra fluffy and he fits best in 6 month pants. 

Diapers: He is now in size 2 diapers. I didn't get the point that we needed to size up until we had a few days of blowouts. Thankfully we were gifted a diaper cake with size 2 diapers so we haven't had to purchase any yet. When we do thought we will go back to the target brand. They have worked well for us. We are also still cloth diapering during the day while we are at home and during short trips out of the house. We finally found the perfect fit for him in cloth and just in time for him to start daycare. We use Alva/JC Trade pocket diapers with 2 inserts - 1 CBI on top and a thirsties hemp on bottom. Kingston is such a heavy wetter so the CBI absorbs quickly and the hemp holds a lot and we've been really successful with this!

Shoes: Kingston wears shoes with almost every outfit - primarily 4.5'' moccs. They fit and stay on the best because of the elastic.  

Little man is still eating like a champ - if you can't tell by his chubbiness. He is down to nursing 6 times a day: 630a, 930a, 1230p, 300p, 630p, 830p.  According to Babywise - towards the end of next month we should be able to start merging the mid morning and lunch time feed to a late morning feed. At this time I might start introducing grains of some type so he can start learning how to eat from a spoon and how to properly swallow food. I will talk with the doctor at his 4 month appointment. 

 I'm continuing to add to my freezer stash and I'm up to about 275oz. I've started to pump only once a day during Kingston's first nursing session. At this time he one nurses from one side so I can get a full bottles worth from the other. When Kingston does take a bottle - he is drinking 4.5-5oz. I'm planning to try and make some lactation cookies here soon to see if they work. If they do - I'll add some to my lunch bag when I return to work. My goal is to continue nursing until Kingston is a year. 

I've said it before and I'll say it again - thank goodness for the principles of BabyWise and a good routine! Last month Kingston was sleeping 6-8 hours and now he is sleeping 9.5 hours consistently. When we are home (which is most nights), Kingston is asleep by 830p-900p but some nights when we are out late we just continue our routine when we get home. He's not asleep by the same time every night but he wakes up the same time each day - usually between 6a-630a. That darn internal alarm clock! Thankfully, he nurses and then goes right back to sleep in the mornings.

His night time routine: 
 Bath time, we lather him up with lavender lotion and change him into pjs, he then gets swaddled, nurses, we pray for him and then put down in his crib. Usually he goes right to sleep and sometimes we have to give him a paci. Thankfully, the only time he will take his paci is when he is sleepy and any other time he will chew on it and spit it out.I love that he's not dependent on it.   

Now that he is sleeping longer at night he isn't napping as long. In the morning he takes a 45 min nap, a longer nap after lunch usually 2 hours and then another short 45 min nap in the late afternoon. If I swaddle him during nap time he is more content and sleeps better but I know they won't do this at daycare so I'm trying to get away from it. We are working on transitioning him out of the swaddle during nap time and it isn't working so well. Little dude loves his hands by his face so sometimes he scratches himself or knocks out his paci and other times he startles himself awake.  

Rolled over from tummy to back.
Rubbing his eyes when he's sleepy.
Bringing his toys to his mouth. (Almost reaching for them)  
Holding his head up. 

Football games - in person (outside) or on TV.
Bath time and the otteroo
Worship music at church.
Walks and being outside. 

Car rides.
Getting put in or taken out of his car seat.
Being held in the cradle position unless he is nursing. He likes to see the world.  
His paci when he's not tired.

He gargles his spit in the back of his throat and blows spit bubbles by vibrating his lips.  

Kicking on his play mat. 
Standing up and playing in his exersaucer.
Spending time outside in his stroller. 

Bentley and Kingston still aren't friends. I'm hoping when Kingston becomes more active they will enjoy each other more. Kingston is also doing awesome at CT's football games. After that awful first game, he's been a pro ever since. As long as he has a change of scenery - in and out of his car seat carrier, walk during half time he's great. The weather is suppose to start getting cooler so we will see if that changes things.  

I only have a few more days full time at home with my baby before I go back to work. I'm soaking up as many moments and snuggles as I can before then. My favorite thing is when Kingston is with someone else and then sees me and gives me the biggest smile! It makes this mamas heart explode with happiness. I love being his mom. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Not My Fave: Part 2

Last year I talked about my extreme dislike for Halloween. Everyone who knows me knows it's not my fave - it never has been and it probably never will be. 

I don't like dressing up in costumes.
I don't like scary or demonic movies. 
I've always been awful at carving pumpkins. I mean last year I glittered and bedazzled pumpkins because I'm that awful at carving. 

You get the gist . . . I'm not a fan. 

 Even though I don't like it, I'm working on not becoming the scrooge of Halloween. I'm trying to be a good sport and participate in all things Halloween. 

I've let CT pick Kingston's costume this year and he is still deciding between a spider and a Chucky doll. Typical guys choices. I'm pretty sure he's leaning more towards the doll, so we shall see what I can come up with! 

This weekend we also went to the pumpkin patch to find one for Kingston's 3 month update and a Pinterest project. 

Yes it's the same project you've seen everyone post on Facebook and Instagram. You know the one where the cute baby sits in the pumpkin with their legs sticking out of two bottom holes. I've heard a few people say it's been a Pinterest fail so all I'm hoping for is one smile out of him!

Maybe my views on the holiday will change once Kingston gets older and more involved. From the looks of things below, Kingston isn't a fan of Halloween either. 
Like mama like son.

Happy Halloween week! 

Friday, October 24, 2014

5 on Friday - - just kidding - - 10 on Friday

Friday is here again and these are my confessions . . . 
(read that in Ushers voice - it makes it so much better)

1. I confess . . . I might have almost sprained my ankle on our walk the other day. Those darn squirrels are cracking their nuts all over the place. 

2.  I confess . . . this week we have been working on unassisted naps in the crib and bottles in the evenings. This only means one thing - day care is right around the corner. :( 

3. I confess . . . the bottom of my feet are so crusty, I could probably snag the bed sheets or scratch CT with them if I tried.  Looking forward to our girls date Jenna! 

4. I confess . . . this time last year I had all of my Christmas shopping almost complete. With the rate I'm going, I'm not sure anyone will get gifts this year.

5. I confess . . . I need to start opening my bible more. I go in spurts of spending a lot of time in it and then I get off track. I'm looking forward to the She Reads Truth android app to come out to help with this problem. 

6. I confess . . . I find myself smelling every article of clothing ... and when I say every, I mean e-vv-err-y. I don't know what I did before I discovered Gain:Fireworks. It's a scent booster that you add to your laundry and it smells so divine!

7. I confess . . . ever since having a child my online shopping addiction has increased. I'm up to like 3 packages a week. 

2 of my recent purchases.

Moss slouchy beanie via Sugar Lime Lane.
 She's coming out with 14 new colors this week which is so dangerous for my wallet.  

The Sakura Bloom Ring Sling - Chambray Marin. 
Kingston loves being in it and I love wearing him! Plus, it's the perfect color denim. 

8. I confess . . . I will be a stay at home mom when the day comes and we have more children. Not only because of the extreme cost of daycare but I can't imagine someone else raising my babies. Sorry Kingston. We can't make it work at the moment but someday we will. 

9. I confess . . . I may weigh 6 pounds less then my pre pregnancy weight but this pooch has got to go. The tush I worked so hard for during all those years of volleyball is non existent and I lost it so quick, but the pooch I grew for 9 months won't go away.  Somethings not right. 

10. I confess . . . Kingston loves his otteroo and I'm sure your kiddo would too! Check out how cute this video is and then head over to their website with this discount code 25FAIRY2014 to get your own! 

Linking up with: The Farmers WifeLauren ElizabethA Little Bit of EverythingXOXO RebeccaA Blonde Ambition

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Product Review: Otteroo - LOVE IT!

Let me preface this post:
 no babies were harmed or upset in the process of making this post. 
Kingston LOVES the water and the freedom the Otteroo gives him.   

CT had a friend on Facebook post a video of her babe in the Otteroo and naturally my first instinct was 'What the heck. That can't be safe or fun for that kid'. After the initial uneasiness of it wore off, I became more intrigued. CT kept talking about how much Kingston would enjoy it because he loves bath time - so I reached out to Otteroo and before you know it we had one coming in the mail. Both CT and I were super excited to get it so you better believe we got Kingston buckled in the moment it arrived. I blew it up while CT got the video camera ready!

What is an otteroo you ask? An otteroo is an infant flotation device that helps transition babes from the womb to the bath and then from the bath to the pool. It's ideal starting from 8 weeks till 35 pounds. 

The otteroo was super simple to maneuver. It took 2 seconds to blow up and then it stretches horizontally to easily fit around your littles neck. It comes with a cushioned chin rest and two simple clasps to keep your little one comfortable and secure.

Obviously, there are hazards like any water device: Don't leave your child unattended in it. Check for proper tube inflation before placing your child in it. Make sure both clasps are secure to ensure it stays secure around your babies neck. 

 At 12 weeks I can tell Kingston is enjoying the freedom it gives him and his favorite thing to do in it is kick off the side of the tub. Right now we are getting 5 good minutes nightly during bath time, but I'm sure before long he is going to outgrow the bath. I'm really looking forward to next summer when we can use it at an actual pool!

 So far we've gotten comments like 'he looks frightened' and 'what is that thing'. 
Ya it may look funky but my child loves it! 
Good job Otteroo! 

For being a CAF reader, you can head over to their website right now and receive 25% off until Nov. 1 using code 25FAIRY2014. 

I hope you little enjoys it as much as mine does! 

Monday, October 20, 2014

I'm Just Me

Everyone loves to give labels to anything they can these days. Since becoming a mother though, I've noticed there is a crazy amount of motherhood labeling out there.

 You're a 'crunchy' mom if you cloth diaper or nurse on demand. 
You're a frugal mom if you coupon and use hand me downs.
You're a trendy mom if you make your own baby food and teach your kiddo sign language. 
You're an attachment mom if you co-sleep and baby wear. 
You're a strict mom if you have rules and a relaxed mom if you want to be their friend. 

I understand that labels are important to people because it lets us know where we fit in and in what category, but please know - I'm just me. A little bit of every kind of mom. I can't classify myself as any one 'type' of mom. In the three short months that I've been a mother, I'm trying all that interests me and sticking with what works.

 I cloth diaper because I love that it saves me money and that I'm saving Kingston's hiney from chemicals all day every day. I plan to teach Kingston sign language because I'd love to better communicate with him way before he's able to verbalize things. I also plan to make his baby food. I cook for our family so why would I not cook for him too? Plus, I got a baby bullet at my shower and I'm positive it will be fun coming up with pureed combinations for him! I also just purchased a ring sling because there are times I don't want to push around the stroller or lug the heavy car seat. You also better believe there will be rules in our house and probably spanks too.

I guess that classifies me as a crunch, trendy, attachment, strict mom.
Umm ... no. Please don't call me any of those things because. I'm nothing more then just me - a mom. I may be doing things different from others but we are all doing the same thing. Mothering. Taking care of our babies the best way possible. 

Give up the labels ladies. 

Linking up with Leslyn.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Recipe: Grandma's Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti

This was a go to favorite of my grandma's when we would come to visit because it's delicious, quick and can feed an army. I know I'm always looking for new recipes that can be done in the crock pot. So book mark this - you won't be disappointed! Plus, who doesn't love cheese and pasta? 

Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti

1 chicken or 4 boneless chicken breasts
2 cups chicken broth
1 lb velvetta cheese
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 stick butter
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup chopped onion 
1 10oz package of spaghetti 
additional optional ingredients: mushrooms, water chestnuts, zucchini 

- in a crock pot, add chicken breasts and chicken broth and let cook 
(I use frozen chicken breasts and leave mine on low all day and by the time I get home from work they are ready. If you don't want to use a crock pot you can boil the chicken.)
- cook spaghetti as package directs
- drain spaghetti, add in shredded chicken and all other ingredients and let simmer for 30-45 minutes. 
(I use the 2 cups chicken broth from the crock pot but if you want your spaghetti more 'soupy' add a little more. And because CT adoesn't like onion, I use 3 tbsp of minced onion flakes instead of the fresh chopped onion.) 

Serve this with a side of bread and it makes the perfect warm fall/winter meal.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Being Grown Sucks

This past weekend my little family went back to my home town and spent the weekend with my parents and sister. My littlest sister is a sophomore in high school and as I sat and listened to her talk with her bestie, I had a moment where I missed being in high school. I missed picking out my best outfit and spending too much time on my hair each morning, I missed those lunch time friends - you know the ones who aren't your usual friends but the ones you sat with at lunch because you had the same class that day, I missed the giddiness of talking to a new guy and I even missed note taking and homework. 

Everyone wishes away those younger years and all your look forward to is being able to just 'graduate and be done with school and finally have a big girl job'. I know I did. Something I wish I would have told my 16-22 year old self  - sometimes being a grown up isn't all that fun. 
Sometimes making life decisions sucks.  

Right now I'm having to decide on which insurance is going to be best for my little family. How the heck am I suppose to know what type of coverage we are going to need for next year? Will we break a bone, get ebola or will nothing happen and all we need are our annual appointments? 

Insurance is confusing enough because of the various options, each with their own benefits. 

1. Low premium, no copays & pay everything out of pocket till we hit high deductible then most everything is covered after.
2. High premium, no copay & no deductible but pay 25% of almost every bill.
3. Medium premium, copays with medium deductible & medium % to pay after deductible is met.

Decisions, decisions! 
Last year we chose option 1 and it saved us a lot of money during Kingston's birth. We had our deductible met when it came time for his birth and then most everything was covered after that. We didn't have to pay a cent of our $16,000 hospital bill and now each doctors appointment costs us $5-$10. Needless to say we are getting everything checked out this year! 

I think we are leaning toward option 1 again because we have the option to use a health savings account which makes it less of burden when we have to pay big chunks at each visit. 
Which option would you choose? 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

2nd Month {Mama} Must Haves

Last month I had a long list of mama must haves and this month is no different. Check out what has helped me conquer the second month of motherhood. 

1. Ceiling Fans

If it's one of those days where Kingston thinks he is too grown for naps, one of the best things to distract the little man is the ceiling fan. This is a life saver when I'm needing to take a shower. I lay him on the bed turn on the fan and I'm able to get 4 minutes of me time in the shower. 

2. Medela Double Electric Breast Pump
Now that Kingston is sleeping through the night, I wake up super engorged. Because of this, he only nurses off of one side during his first feeding of the day. This allows me to pump the other side and I'm so thankful for the electric pump by medela. I'm able to simultaneously feed him and pump. This pump comes with a travel case and a compact cooler, which I know will come in handy when I return to work. 

3. Lush Dry Shampoo 

I never had a big use for dry shampoo before having a baby. Back then I was always able to shower in the morning and style my hair right after. Since having a baby, I get it in whenever I can. This usually happens in the evening when the hubby is home and can entertain the kiddo. Unfortunately, I was blessed with over-producing oil glands in my hair and so when I go to style it the next day it's always greasy. Dry shampoo has helped me conquer the greasiness. I use a powder from Lush Cosmetics and it removes the greasiness. The one thing I'm not loving about it is that I feel like I'm putting corn starch in my hair. When I run out of this bottle I plan on purchasing a spray in dry shampoo. Any recommendations? 

4. 1.5" Curling Iron

Again, because of the lack of time and having to wash my hair at night, a large barreled curling iron has become my new best friend. Since I usually sleep on wet hair, I wake up with waves. This curling iron helps to create additional loose waves in no time at all. These days I spend maybe 4-5 mins curling my hair and it surprisingly turns out pretty good! 

5. Up&Up Milk Storage Freezer Bags
I'm working on building up my freezer stash for when I return back to work and Kingston starts daycare. So far I'm up to about 250oz and they are stored in the Target generic brand Up&Up bags. They are very similar to Medela's bags except half the price. The only problem I have with them is that when I have 5 oz in a bottle and pour it in the bag it reads as an ounce more. I think this is because of the shape of the bags. Just make sure you label it correctly and it shouldn't be a problem.  

6. Hazelnut Coffee Creamer

No words necessary. I like my creamer with a splash of coffee. You can never have enough of this in your fridge!  

7. V- Neck Tees

I purchase mine from Gordman's for cheap so when I outwear (which I do because I wear them all the time), then I can just toss them in the trash. I've found that v-necks help with being able to easily breastfeed. Instead of pulling the whole shirt up, I can just pull the v-neck to the side. 

8. Wet Bag

I originally purchased these wet bags for my cloth diapers but I have found that they can be used for so much more! If you have a blow out, dirty spit up burp rags or wet swimming clothes throw them in here and they won't get all over anything else. You can then empty the bag into the washer and toss it in as well. These are a necessity for the diaper bag! 

I still use many items from the first month mama must haves, especially the apps and baby monitor! Life savers for sure!!

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Sunday, October 5, 2014

2nd Month {Baby} Must Haves

Here are a few items that have been essential for Kingston's second month of life. 
{If you missed it - check out my first month must haves.}

The BEST $7 ever spent! This mat is light weight/easy to store, holds Kingston in place and it helps me gauge how much water I need. I fill up the tub just enough so the whole turtle is submerged and it is the perfect amount of water. This makes bath time so much easier. 
Seriously, don't spend money on any other bath system. This ooption is cheap and super effective.

Kingston only takes a paci when he is tired and every other time he spits it out so aggressively. This clip makes things so much easier and I always know where to look for it. We primarily use this in the car and attach it to his shoulder pad of his carseat. That way while I'm driving, I can blindly find the paci and I no longer have to unbuckle and get out of my seat to search all the crevasses for it. 

We purchased the 3 pack of liners from Babies R' Us and have used the heck out of these. One of them is always on our changing pad, one is in the diaper bag so we can use it out and about, and the third is on our changing table waiting to be used. As you all know, babies poop and pee when ever and where ever, and these liners help me from having to change the changing pad cover every day. My boy also tends to spit up almost every time he is getting his diaper changed so these are definitely a must for us. 

Last month it was nice to have the sleep sacks to make the middle of the night changes easier. I noticed that Kingston would wake up from kicking his legs and getting them caught in the sacks. We were gifted some carters zip up pjs and I love them. What's nice is that they zip up from the top down - so it's like a backwards zipper. I love this because I only have to unzip it half way to change his diaper instead of having to have his whole top half exposed too. 
It keeps the baby warmer which keeps the baby happier! 

This ointment was originally made for cows udders but was recommend to us to help treat diaper rash, dry skin and everything in between. We have used it during diaper changes and more recently we used it when Kingston scratched his forehead. It smells medicinal (and reminds me of old ladies) so it won't win any prizes for smelling good, but it definitely gets the job done. It comes in a huge 10oz tub which will last us a while I'm sure but the only place we could find it was at Wahlgreens. PS- this is not cloth diaper safe. 

Since Kingston has been starting to see things better and has become way more alert of everything going on around him, the activity play mat has kept him entertained for a few minutes at a time. He isn't able to reach for anything yet, but I make sure to lay him on it to where he can kick the heavy objects. We also do tummy time on the mat and the bright colors really keep his attention. I'm sure this mat will be on or 3rd and 4th month must haves too. It seems to be a 'toy' that grows with them and I love that you can get your moneys worth out of it. 

I haven't found a brand that I like better than another, but in general burp cloths are essential. We have them everywhere: on the couch arms, on the swing, on the crib, on the changing table, in the diaper bag and on my bedside table. You get the picture. . . you can never have enough of them. Especially since it's the one thing that never seems to be close enough when you need it.

I LOVE the smell of this lotion. It smells like a deliciously sweet sleepy baby. We use the 'pink' lotion during the day and the 'purple' lotion at night. It may all be in my head, but I think using two different smells of lotion helps to differentiate between day time and night time for the babe. 

My mom for years would always talk about babies and their need to always wear socks. Well it makes it hard for them to always wear them when the darn things don't like to stay on their tiny little feet. I have found that Nike socks tend to stay on the best and are they are the cutest. Check out your local discount stores like Ross and Gordmans. I've always had good luck finding them there and they are much much cheaper. 

We use the closer to nature bottles that are supposed to mimic the natural feel of a mothers nipple. Kingston has only taken 6 bottles total and so far they have worked really well for us. I like that these bottles have a slow flow nipple option so the babes don't drown while inhaling the milk. 

Hopefully this was helpful! 
Do you have any other products I should try out? 

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Linking up with Leslyn!
*This content uses referral links.

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