My current favorites!

Well being on maternity leave with a toddler and newborn has been quite interesting but has also allowed me to find some things I am really loving lately.

Blanqi postpartum/nursing leggings:

3BD4A136-EC58-477B-97CB-4E4E57F86443I invested in these while I was pregnant with Owen. I decided I wanted to splurge on a nice pair of leggings that would be great to wear after he was born. They did not disappoint! They are super soft making them great for lounging around the house but also perfect for on the go. The high waist with a little compression helps to secure your post baby belly AND makes nursing around others more comfortable because you do not need to expose your belly when lifting your shirt to nurse. I probably live in these leggings 5 out of 7 days of the week. I will say they are more for “at home” than public.

I also have the pull down postpartum/nursing support tank which I love. I have also been wearing this most days, especially the days we are home. It also works well as an under tank for out and about activities and allows for belly coverage when nursing in public. I do not have it but I also think I would really like the lift-up access underbust postpartum/nursing support tank.

Ok to Wake Clock
This clock has been a life saver! When we moved Liam to his big boy room and toddler bed he did really good staying in his bed initially. However, he eventually figured out how to get out of his bed and that he could do it on his own. This made for early mornings, challenging bed times, and middle of the night wake ups. We decided to try this clock. It’s quite simple; you set the time when it is ok for them to wake up and the clock turns green. Liam learned the rules of the clock very quickly and now he stays in his bed until the clock turns green and then yells for us to come get him.

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Pumpkin Spice Protein Muffins
These muffins are so delicious and great for a grab and go snack. They are perfect for a quick snack since I am super busy at home with the two boys and I am also nursing which means I am constantly starving. I love these muffins and perfect for the fall weather too!

Music class at Gammy and Gumpys
I follow Gammy and Gumpys on facebook and just happened to see a post about a 6 week music class. I thought this sounded perfect for Liam while I am on maternity leave. We have gone 5 times now and it is so great to see Liam learning and interacting in the class. He tends to be really shy when we first get there but then warms up by the end of class. He sings so much more at home now so I would consider this class a total win! They will be doing another 6 week class in January if anyone is interested.

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Vanilla Almond Milk Coffee Creamer

CDFF25A0-A199-4681-85D3-0DAF1C98B118Since having Owen I have returned to my 1 cup of coffee in the morning and it is glorious! Also, I try not to have too much dairy in a day so this almond milk creamer is perfect and tastes delicious!

 

SO DELICIOUS coconut milk yogurt alternative
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I have only tried the raspberry but it was so good! It was a nice little afternoon treat and a great way for me to get those extra calories I need for nursing. I would recommend trying it especially if you love yogurt but don’t love all the dairy.

Netflix
Okay honestly, it’s tough going from 1 to 2 kids and being able to entertain them both. I am super thankful for Netflix and the ability to pick a show for Liam to watch while I nurse or tend to Owen’s needs.

 

 

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First year favorites

I decided to do a post of things that we as parents and Liam as the baby thought were the best in his first year of life! The list is quite lengthy but does not include every single item that we used and loved. These are just the ones that came to mind easily when making this list. I hope you find this helpful!

Newborn to 3 month

  • Rock n Play sleeper -Liam slept in this at night by our bed and also would nap in here.
  • SwaddleMe adjustable blankets and HALO sleep sacks -Liam would sleep in either a swaddle wrap or sleep sack every night.
  • Pampers diapers -We love pampers brand diapers. Liam used pampers right away with no issues with rashes and number of blowouts were very low.
  • Layette -Liam lived in layettes! The convertible cuffs on the sleeves were perfect for protecting his face from fingernail scratching and the gown bottom made for quick and easy diaper changes.
  • Pajamas with zippers -Liam also lived in these at home. The zipper makes for easy diaper changes!
  • Aden and Anais swaddle blankets -We liked these better than any receiving blankets. They were large enough to wrap Liam up tight and also very soft.
  • Chicco KeyFit 30 infant car seat -We love this car seat. We had another brand that we tried and did not like it at all. This one has very easily adjustable straps and is easy to handle. Only down side is that the car seat itself is a little heavier than others but I would still highly recommend it!
  • Wubbanub -Liam liked this from about 1 month to maybe 3 months of age. Then he moved on. I do highly recommend it because the animal attached helps keep the pacifier in the babies mouth if it is loose instead of falling to the side and it is easier for the baby to find.

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3-6 months

  • We continued to use Pampers diapers with minimal blowouts and no rashes. Still highly recommended.
  • We also continued to use Aden and Anais swaddle blankets -Once liam’s hands were free he began sucking on these blankets instead of a pacifier.
  • We continued to use the SwaddleMe adjustable blankets and HALO sleep sacks above. Liam slept so well with them that we kept using them until he started to roll over which is when they recommend discontinued use.
  • Zipadee-zip transitional sleep sack -we used this once Liam started rolling and couldn’t use the sleep sacks anymore. We weren’t sure he would be ready for complete freedom after always being swaddled. We didn’t use it for long and I like to believe that it helped but I can’t say for sure.

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  • Motorola digital video baby monitor – I’m not sure I could have moved Liam to his crib in his own room without this. Not only because I wanted to make sure he was sleeping okay but also because he is a noisy sleeper and this helped me to confirm whether he was still sleeping or awake when he would make noises in the middle of the night.
  • Boppy Cradle in Comfort Bouncer -We got this as a hand-me-down. Liam loved this chair. He would sit in it and watch us as we cooked dinner, ate dinner, or needed to get things done. As I was looking for a link for this product it looks like it was discontinued by the manufacturer. Here  is a similar type of chair that I would highly recommend. Also, it always seemed like as soon as Liam would get in the chair he would poop. We figured it must be at the perfect angle to get things moving!
  • Laugh and learn love to play puppy -Liam would sit and watch the lights and listen to the songs. This could cheer him up if he was fussy.
  • Tommee Tippee bottle warmer -We loved this bottle warmer for quick easy bottle heating.
  • Tommee Tippee bottles -Liam adjusted to these bottles with ease and we used them all through his bottle days. We used the closer to nature baby bottle.

6-9 months

  • We continued to use Pampers diapers with minimal blowouts and no rashes. Still highly recommended.
  • We also continued to use Aden and Anais swaddle blankets -Liam’s comfort object. I had my aunt cut one into 4 sections and hem them so that we had 4 smaller blankets for Liam to suck on.
  • Safety first tubside bath seat -We love this. We don’t have to worry about Liam tipping over or the seat floating away. However, there are some terrible reviews on the chair. We have had no problems with it.
  • Sophie the giraffe -great teething toy.

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  • Graduates rest easy spoons -I found I like these spoons better than the ones with the rounded end. These make for easy scrapping off of excess food from baby’s face.
  • Laugh and learn love to play puppy -Liam continued to enjoy the songs this puppy would sing.
  • Munchkin miracle 360 cup -We have both the trainer with the handles and the one without and Liam likes both. We thought it would be hard for Liam to figure it out but I showed him twice how to use it and he figured it out. I love these because they are supposed to be better for their teeth.

9-12 months

  • We continued to use Pampers diapers with minimal blowouts and no rashes. Still highly recommended.
  • We also continued to use Aden and Anais swaddle blankets
  • Step 2 Finding Dory Water Table -I couldn’t find the exact one Liam has but this one is very similar. This has been our saving grace some evenings. Liam loves to be outside and so this is the perfect summer activity for little ones. Not only that but it seems like kids of all ages love the water table. My nephew who is 2 and my niece who is 5 love it too! This will definitely be making it’s appearance again for many summers to follow!
  • Laugh and Learn Smart Stages Crawl Around Car -Our friends we visited in Seattle had this toy for their little boy and Liam seemed to really enjoy it while we were there. Since then my mom was on a mission to find one for sale. She ended up finding one on a garage sale site. She cleaned it up and brought it over and Liam loves it. He plays in it every day and loves all the noises it makes.

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  • Push walker– Liam loves walking with a walker as he is learning to navigate in the standing up position.
  • Board books -Liam loves to turn the pages and so board books are much better than regular paper pages because then he can grab them with out wrecking the page. I would recommend board books with a short number of words on each page.

 

I’m sure there are many things I am missing but these are really the main items that come to mind when I think about the past year. Of course some of these items are unique to Liam but I hope as you read this you find it helpful!

Carrie Underwood Storyteller Tour

Monday evening Joe and I went to the Xcel Energy Center for the Carrie Underwood Storyteller Tour! We were given the tickets from our friends Pam and Frank Greer who unfortunately were unable to attend. They gave us amazing tickets right on the floor and we are so thankful to have been able to go in their place.

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The Swon Brothers on top, Easton Corbin and Carrie Underwood on bottom.

A quick back story before I get into the details of the concert (and post lots of pictures because we were so so close). We met the Greer’s when Joe was coaching hockey and their son Ryan was on the team. We quickly knew we were going to get along well with them and their whole family. Soon we were spending time together outside of the games and practices.  Now that Joe is no longer coaching Ryan we have continued to spend time with the Greer’s. Even when we first met the Greer’s we knew that when we had kids (we met before Liam) we wanted them to be just like Ryan and Andrea. They were and are so respectful and well behaved. We immediately looked up to Pam and Frank as role models for us as we began our family together. We are so thankful for their friendship and guidance. We couldn’t ask for better friends! (And we need to get together again soon!)

Now back to the details of the concert! Joe and I got their super early because I just always get so worried about getting places on time. We grabbed a slice of pizza and headed down to scope out the stage/floor area. Once we were down there the “front”  row was filled up all the way around. We decided to walk around and see which area would be best for the view. We ended up finding a spot and we planted our feet because we knew it would fill up fast. We were basically in the “second row” and right by an area we knew Carrie would be standing for some of her songs.

The concert started with the Swon Brothers. They only sang a few songs but they were great! They did a wonderful job of getting the crowd pumped up and they had great stage presence.

Next up was Easton Corbin. He was really great too! He sang a bunch of songs including “I’m a little more country than that.” He also sang Justin Bieber’s “love yourself.” He was a fun performer to watch as well.

Then it was time for Carrie Underwood. I could hardly contain my excitement to see her and she did not disappoint. She is an amazing performer and she uses the entire stage.

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She had so many outfit changes and sang a mixture of old and new songs of hers. She truly is so good at what she does. I was just stunned her entire show.

She had a few songs that truly touched my heart. She sang “what I never knew I always wanted” and before she sang it she talked about being a mom and how it has changed her life for the better and gave a shout out to all the moms who were just doing it all. I was so touched I even teared up a little. During the song she had a slideshow playing of her husband and son and she just sat on the piano, sang, and watched as the pictures showed. It was adorable and I could relate on so many levels. The other song she sang that gave me serious chills was Dolly Parton’s “I will always love you.” She did a beautiful job singing the song and Dolly would be and probably is so proud. The other song she sang that gave me chills was “Jesus Take the Wheel.” A classic song that is just so powerful and even more so live!

She also has so many upbeat and fun songs that she sang. She sang Joe’s three favorite songs which are “Church Bells,” “Little Toy Guns,” and “Dirty Laundry.” Also a new favorite of mine is “Choctaw County Affair.” It’s a fun song and it is the song she plays  the harmonica to.

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She is just an incredible performer and puts on a great show. I am so happy to have been able to see her live and so close too! Joe and I both had sore feet and bodies by the end but we had so much fun too!

Shout out to my parents for taking Liam for a sleepover on such short notice and letting us sleepover after the concert. Liam ended up sleeping until 8:30am which never happens so Joe and I were also thankful to Liam for letting us sleep in a little after a late night out! And one more thanks to Pam and Frank again!

2 years of wedded bliss

Today is our 2 year wedding anniversary. It is truly crazy that it has already and only been 2 years. So much has happened in our life since that day and it has been an amazing ride. I’m going to be all lovey dovey in this post but just so I’m transparent and set realistic #relationshipgoals that doesn’t mean things are perfect in our relationship. We have had our ups and downs but we always manage to get through it together.

Two years ago this was the most amazing day of my life (along with some stress—because let’s be honest, there is so much to get done on your wedding day). The most important part of the day was saying “I do” to the man of my dreams and my best friend. I could relive this day over and over again (minus the shoes–lol). We had so much fun with all of our family and friends as witness to our marriage and to celebrate at our reception.

In the past 2 years our relationship has grown stronger and so has our love. We had so much trust and respect for one another before getting married and since getting married that has just grown. I truly believe that we were meant to be together forever and can’t wait to see what forever has in store for us!

Most of our first year of marriage I was pregnant with Liam. Joe did everything he could to make sure I was happy and well taken care of. He would go get me food even if it meant going back for the honey mustard they forgot to pack because “I will just not eat the fries then.”

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Photo credit: Signe Shores photography

We celebrated our 1 year anniversary early last year because Liam’s due date was September 21st so we wanted to be sure we could celebrate. However, this felt more like a babymoon to me since I was so pregnant and we really spent most of our time walking, eating, and sleeping. Below are some pictures from our trip—couldn’t fit the bump in the selfie LOL.

Since Liam has been born my love for Joe has doubled. He is an amazing father to Liam and has also stepped up as a husband as well. Being a nursing mama I had a lot of responsibility when it came to feeding Liam and getting up with him at night. Joe did everything he could to help take care of me so I could take care of Liam. He continues to take care of me daily and I appreciate him so much for everything he does for me.

I’m excited to really be able to celebrate this year. Tonight we are going to have a nice meal and watch our wedding video my dad made us. We will also dance to our first dance song, “I don’t dance” by Lee Brice.

Then on Saturday my mom is taking Liam for the weekend and we will be going out for a really nice dinner and date night which I am super excited for.

Cheers to love, laughter, and happiness! Joe—forever will never be long enough! Love you!

Netflix obsessions

Since Liam was born I have been watching 2 series on Netflix. The first one, Friends, I watch by myself and the second one, How I Met Your Mother, I watch with Joe. Both of these series have many seasons so they have been taking me (and Joe) some time to watch them all but they are short and funny episodes that make it easy to watch one or two here and there with a baby.

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FRIENDS:

I am completely obsessed with this show and I am in the final season! It has been so fun watching the characters develop throughout the seasons. This is an oldie but a goody for sure. It has been great to watch during the days I am home, while Liam is napping, for me to just relax and get some “me time” (especially in the winter).

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HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER:

I am also completely obsessed with this show. It is so funny and you just can’t help but love every character. It definitely gets a chuckle out of me every episode. We still haven’t found out how Ted met his wife yet but we think we are getting close as we are nearing the end of the seasons on Netflix. This has been a fun way for me and Joe to relax after Liam goes down for the night.

 

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These shows do have many similarities which is probably why I am completely obsessed with them both. I can’t wait to finish both series and move on to a new one!