Thursday, October 30th, 2014
I’m not a fan of STUFF. What I’ve quickly learned is how quickly stuff can pile up when you have kids. From impulsive buys at Target to baskets of hand me downs, kid toys can accumulate quickly. After seeing how most “toys” get used for a good 10 minutes and then tossed to the wayside, I’m a lot more conscientious of toy purchases. I recently had the opportunity to reveiw the Alilo Buddy Bunny and for the last week this toy has not left my daughter’s side. This toy is a keeper and fortunately for me takes up very little space! It has yet to go in her toy bin because it’s been her constant companion for the last week!
This is a great multi functional toy. It’s actually a digital media player with a built in micro SD card hidden in an adorable bunny with chewable, glowing ears. It has pre-recorded music, bedtime stories, white noise, and can also record your voice. But you can also upload up to 500 of your own songs or 100 stories. And the best part, is when your child drops it, you don’t need to worry because it’s drop resistant.
Parker’s favorite thing to do with her bunny is listen to the music and dance, but I can see this being a wonderful bedtime companion because of the glowing ears, music and automatic shut off after 30 minutes. I think this would be a great gift for birthdays or holidays!
I tried to catch video of Parker dancing with her Alilo Bunny because she does it all the time, but when I point the camera at her she stops. But I got some cute footage of her playing with it.
What are some of your favorite toddler toys?
Disclosure: I received in Alilo Buddy Bunny in exchange for my review. I did not receive compensation. All opinions are 100% honest and my own.
Wednesday, October 29th, 2014
Before I started this blog, I used to write a food blog. I considered myself a foodie. What I ate and where I ate were pretty high on my priority list when I was single. You wouldn’t dare catch me eating fast food and I snubbed my nose at chain restaurants. Fast forward to the present where eating out consists of a picky, messy, sometimes volatile toddler and an upredictable 3 month old. Often it’s 6 o’clock and I’m totally caught off guard and our only options for dinner consist of string cheese, yogurt, raisins and peanut butter and jelly, or a phone call to Papa John’s.
It’s not unusual now to find me with buffalo wings in one hand and bouncing a crying infant on my knee with the other hand at Applebee’s. (Or insert any food you can eat with one hand and name any other chain restaurant in America). I’m now incredibly grateful that I can go to said chain restaurant and know a tantrum will be drowned out by the white noise of elevator music, a group of high school jocks at the table next to mine, and a few other toddlers who decided that chocolate milk and macaroni and cheese were no longer their favorite foods and start cry screaming for some food item that is not decipherable. “Wapoot” is not on the menu. I cannot for the life of me understand what she so desperately wants.
I wouldn’t dare bring my offspring to the types of restaurants I used to frequent. Tearing open sugar packets and “decorating” the table with salt and pepper seems to be more tolerated at the chain restaurants. And there’s no shame when most of my child’s meal ends up smeared on the vinyl booth seat and on the floor.
So yeah…I’m a huge fan of mediocre bar food that someone else has prepared and served to me and my family. And an even bigger fan that I can leave without doing a single dish or picking up 7 thousand grains of rice that usually cover my floor at dinner time. (Please note, I’m an excellent tipper for the disasters we now leave our waiter or waitress).
How about you. Did your dining habits change after you had children?
Tuesday, October 28th, 2014
Experiencing things through your children’s eyes is pretty much the best thing ever. I’m so grateful for this little life of mine.
Monday, October 27th, 2014
This last week has been a bit of a doozy. Pippa got her vaccinations last week and developed a fever of 103 degrees. Of course the fever hit at midnight. Why is it that babies always get sick in the middle of the night? We’ve been lucky with Parker; she’s been sick but has never had a fever. So this is the first time we’ve ever had to deal with that. Fortunately after about 3 days she seemed herself again.
I think a little bit of sleep regression is starting to happen…Her glorious 8 hour stretches of sleep have been reduced back to 3 hour stretches, but I’ve been expecting it.
Last week I was freaking out a bit because Pippa decided she didn’t want to take the bottle anymore. We’ve been diligent about keeping at it because for my sanity I NEED her to be able to take it. She has reluctantly been accepting it for the past few days and I am SO relieved. I’ve got some dental work that needs to be done next week so it’s important I can leave her with a sitter and I’ll have to pump and dump and she will have to be able to take the bottle.
The baby cooing and even giggles are in full effect and so sweet to hear–I swear it sounded like she said ‘Mama’ last week…obviously I know she didn’t, but both Andy and I heard it so it wasn’t just me imagining things!
I’ve been pretty lazy about tummy time (second child problems) but Pippa seems to have pretty good neck control and has rolled from front to back while on a slight incline on our couch. I’m in no hurry for her to reach milestones. Knowing she’s my last kid, I’m happy to keep her progression slow.
Her hair is unreal. It seriously just keeps getting longer and sticks straight up–people stop me everywhere to touch her hair. She’s a perfect little troll doll.
Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014
When I was pregnant with Pippa I debated and debated if a double stroller was a necessity or not. After a couple of outings with both kids I realized quickly that I most definitely needed one. I had the wonderful opportunity to partner with Joovy and try out their gorgeous Too Qool double stroller, and mama’s, this thing is pretty flipping amazing. And for those of you pregnant with just your first kiddo, you need to listen up as to why you should get this stroller too!
First of all, if your looking into double strollers, I suggest going to the store and testing a few out. You’ll realize that a lot of the standard double strollers are clunky and difficult to maneuver. The Joovy Too Qool is smooth like butter. Every part of this stroller feels luxe and functions beautifully.
The age recommendation if you’re not using your car seat with the car seat adapter (which is sold separately) is 3 months old. Pippa had just turned 3 months old the first day we used it (sans car seat) and she did great!
Before I go too far into the review I want to make sure all you moms who are pregnant with their first or have just one kid read this too. If you’re planning on having more than one this is a GREAT stroller to get now. The seats are removable so you can use the stroller with one seat or both seats! This can definitely be a stroller your family grows into. (And save space in your garage with just one stroller!)
The first image above shows the stroller with just one of the seats (which can be faced either way with different reclining positions) A perfect stroller for only children. The second image shows the most typical positions where both seats are facing forward. And the last image shows the seats facing each other–this is how I currently use the stroller so I can look at Pippa while we walk. Parker actually enjoys this position because she can see Pippa also. I know it looks like the bottom rider might not have a lot of space, but I promise there is enough!There are lots of other things about this double stroller that I love, including 10 beautiful colors to choose from. Obviously with two girls hot pink was the best choice for us! The seats are super high quality; they have a soft neoprene insert which is washable…all moms know ‘washable’ is a must with young kiddos. A simple thing that I appreciate as a taller woman is the handle bar (which is covered in a hand stitched leatherette), is adjustable to 3 different positions to accommodate your height. Have you ever pushed a stroller around all day that wasn’t tall enough for you? Let’s just say it’s a good thing I have a great chiropractor. And a few other great touches include the seat and foot rests which also adjust to different positions so you can make sure your kids are perfectly comfortable.
The storage space underneath the stroller is maximized if you use the stroller as a single or if you still have a kid whose legs don’t go beyond the leg rest of the bottom seat. If your toddler uses the bottom seat then your space is obviously reduced. You still have plenty of room to stuff jackets and blankets, but definitely not enough room to store your diaper bag (unless you have a small one). But I’ve always hung my diaper bag on the handle of the stroller for easy access anyway.
To store the stroller you can remove both seats for the most compact fold, or you can remove just the rear seat and fold it with the front seat still attached. It took me a little bit of practice to fold it at first, but now it’s like second nature. It takes up the same amount of space in my trunk as my single jogging stroller which is pretty impressive in my book. The retail price of $799 reflects that of luxury double strollers (although a quick Google search will likely bring up more competitive prices on various online sites). And if you get this as your stroller with your first I feel like you’d be getting a lot for your money for the extra time and use you’d get out of it.
You can purchase the Too Qool double stroller directly from their website but I’ve seen some deals for the Too Qool on Amazon.com also! Make sure to connect with Joovy on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to keep up with all their latest baby gear!
**Disclosure: I was sent the Too Qool double stroller in exchange for my review. All opinions are 100% my own and honest!
***Affiliate link is used in this post.
Tuesday, October 21st, 2014
We’ve had quite the Indian summer here in the Pacific Northwest. Sunday morning the weather forecast said it was going to hit 72 degrees. But I feel like pumpkin patch pictures just look wrong unless your wearing flannel or bundled up. So we all were sweating in our flannel but had a fantastic time running through the pumpkin patch and taking a little trip on a hayride.
See our visit from last year here.
Monday, October 20th, 2014
I can barely believe it as I type this post that 3 entire months have passed by. This sweet girl is such a joy. She smiles often and is starting to vocalize a lot more. She’s totally a mama’s girl. She can rarely be comforted by anyone but me and decided she doesn’t want to take the bottle anymore. I’m panicky about this because Parker REFUSED the bottle and we tried everything with her. Andy and I are being diligent about making sure Pippa takes the bottle again because it sure makes it hard to go out on a date night if your baby is tied to your boob. More importantly there are random circumstances like last week when I had dental work done and couldn’t nurse due to the Novocaine and baby girl needed to take a bottle and wouldn’t. PLEASE PIPPA TAKE A BOTTLE.
Besides the bottle situation she is doing much better with naps and sleeping at night. Swaddling seems to do the trick (although she usually resists initially). I know I’m extremely lucky–She’s averaged an 8 hour stretch of sleep this week which means I’m averaging at least 4-5 hours of continuous sleep per night. I know sleep regression is in our future so I’m savoring these sweet hours of slumber.
This is Parker’s 3 month update for comparison.
Friday, October 17th, 2014
Well, more like 2 years 1 month and 1 week. I’ve had this post in my drafts for awhile…I kept meaning to go out and take pictures of Parker with my fancy camera, but doing anything extra with an infant in virtually impossible, so I finally just snapped some pics with my iphone. I don’t do weekly or monthly updates on Parker any more, but I wanted to record some milestones and remember what my darling girl is doing and saying at this age.
It’s actually quite mind blowing what happens developmentally at two. It’s amazing what kids are capable of. I really wish I was more of the teacher type because this girl just soaks everything in and understands so much.
Physically she’s pretty impressive. I don’t want to brag on my kid, but everyone comments on her athleticism. She is fearless, bold, has endless energy, and a friend described her as having athletic intelligence. I’m 100% sure I’m going to be a soccer mom–I guess I better learn to like soccer.
She is coping fairly well with having a little sister (things have improved drastically in just the last month). Most of the time she is smitten with her and wants to hold her and kiss her constantly. She’s also developing compassion. When her sister cries she runs to her and says sweetly, “don’t cry sissy, don’t cry.” I see her often mimicking me in her crib with her doll…from “nursing” her doll to rocking her. It’s pretty darn sweet.
Her vocabulary grows every day and her ability to string short sentences together is getting better and better. She’s pretty good at naming colors, counting, and repeating absolutely everything we say. Every day I’m surprised by a new word she’s using–I guess all the PBS we’ve been watching isn’t that bad.
She’s a great sleeper at night. She’s usually in bed by 8pm and wakes up anywhere between 630 and 730. Her naps however are all over the board. I would say she averages about a 90 minute nap. But at least 2 days a week they are barely an hour, and every now and then she surprises me with a glorious 3 hour nap.
She still hates it when I put anything in her hair. Her hair is really long and constantly in her face; if I can get a barrette in her hair we call it good. She hates getting dressed. Every morning when I pick out her outfit she runs away from me and it’s a struggle to get clothes on her–she turns into a wet noodle. I had to bribe her with fruit snacks to get her to wear that scarf.
She has also been extremely picky with food for the past few months. Meal time I would say has been our biggest struggle. What she likes to eat changes from day to day; the only thing that hasn’t changed is her love of sweets. She literally wakes up saying “cookies.” Her favorite phrase when trying to feed her is “I don’t like it.” Somehow she’s managing to grow living mostly off raisins, crackers and macaroni and cheese.
Thursday, October 16th, 2014
I feel like in just 2 years since Parker was born, the baby/nursing/mama industry has just blown up. Either I was just clueless to all the cool things out there when I had Parker, or they were just recently developed. Either way I love sharing cool new stuff that I learn about with my readers. The Undercover Mama is such a simple solution to such an annoying nursing issue.
It feels like wardrobe options are severely limited when you’re nursing. If you are wearing a nursing bra and a top that doesn’t unbutton, when you lift your shirt up to nurse you expose most of your belly, your side and part of your back. Which is especially annoying when you’re outside and it’s a little chilly. Most nursing moms wear nursing tanks to avoid this issue, but nursing tanks aren’t really a one size fits all. For busty women (this is not my issue at all), it’s hard to find nursing tanks that fit correctly, and for myself (who is the opposite of busty), I have the issue of having a really wide bust line (but a small bust). So most tanks are way to tight along my bust line, but too large on my bust.
What’s great about the undercover mama is you can find the perfect size nursing bra that fits you just right, and simply attach the tank to your bra which allows you to wear a perfect fitting bra and get the coverage you need while nursing. The other thing I love about it is it’s length. All my nursing tanks are short. This tank covers my bum which is perfect, because we all know postpartum = yoga pants. There are a ton of colors to choose from and I’ve partnered with Undercover Mama to give one away to one lucky reader! Enter below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Wednesday, October 15th, 2014
One of the things I really miss about my life pre kids is thrifting. I used to stop by thrift shops weekly to find hidden treasures. A lot of my old blog posts were about my thrifting finds. Now, stopping anywhere, even for groceries, is a hassle because my kids are in tow. That’s why I’m super excited about the Just Between Friends consignment sale going on at the Puyallup Fairgrounds October 16th-19th. I went for the first time this summer and came home with a pretty decent haul of goodies. It’s a one stop shop for all things baby and kid related and perfect for us busy moms.
This summer when I attended there were rows and rows of baby equipment, toys, and more clothes and shoes than you can imagine. This time around I’m hoping to stock up on some fall and winter clothes and shoes for both my girls and a some Christmas gifts too.
I have two big tips to share if you are going to attend.
1. Dress comfortably and bring either large reusable bags or something to pull your haul in. I saw quite a few gals pulling their items in radio flyer wagons and I think I might do the same this year as I’ll be wearing Pippa. I’m leaving Parker with a baby sitter and I would highly suggest doing the same if you have toddlers.
2. Make a list of things you want/need in order of importance and what you’re willing to pay for those items so you can prioritize where you’ll look first. It can be a little overwhelming if you’re a first timer, and it will be helpful to know what you’re looking for so you’re not distracted by all the stuff.
If you’re local and interested in coming you can find the full calender with dates and times here.
Do you love thrifting? What are some of your best baby/kid finds?
**Disclosure** I received a gift certificate to the event in exchange for my post. All opinions are 100% my own and true.