Baby Stuff You Need

7.17.2020


I really don't feel like talking about The Virus, and I have several friends who are pregnant right now, so let's talk about cute babies and some things you need for babies. Truthfully, you actually don't need a ton of stuff. But you do need some essentials and basics.

Probably none of these things are new, but several are new to me and so useful with F! Others are oldies that I've used and loved now with all three kiddos.

>> As always, I am using affiliate links where applicable because believe it or not these posts do take some time to put together, so yes, I'm that person right now. Clicking costs you nothing and gets me like ten cents ;) I'm thisclose to quitting my day job, wouldn't you know it.

Okay, in no particular order...

Haakaa Silicone Breast Pump - Definitely one of the greatest inventions for nursing/pumping moms everywhere. I have over 550 ounces of milk in our freezer, and most of it came from using this during the day. It also came in super handy when I had a work conference over zoom that took up the entire day. I may or may not have used it while running a virtual editorial meeting.

Breastfeeding Bar - I don't know if these have actually increase my milk supply, but they are yummy! I like the blueberry coconut flavor (and I don't even like coconut usually). A friend sent me some, and when I ran out I bought 2 more boxes for myself.

Baby Bum Brush - A friend gifted this to us when J was born, and it's been so handy. Diaper rash cream is so annoying to try and wash off your fingers, and this makes applying cream so easy. I love that there is also a travel size that I can carry in the diaper bag.

Oball Rattle - We've used this ball for all 3 kids now, and it's one of F's current favorites. I don't know why, but they have all loved it.

Infant Activity Toy - A friend gifted this to F, and it is his absolute favorite toy. He gets so crazy excited and loves chewing on it and holding it.

Sensory Crinkle Toy with Squeaker - I clipped this to F's carseat strap, and he loves playing with it. I think he likes that it makes that crinkly sound, and I like that it squeaks when you press the middle!

Compact Infant Bath - My friend was getting rid of some baby stuff and gave me this for F. It's been amazing! I'm so sad I didn't use something like this with the other kids. He's 5 months and will outgrow soon, and I'm sad because I've used this for the majority of his baths. It's foldable, dries quickly, and has been perfect for baths in the sink!

Baby Bath Seat - When he's taken a bath in the actual bathtub, we use this seat, which we got for R and have used for all 3 kids. Super basic, but it's been great, and I'd say we've gotten our money's worth considering it's really cheap to begin with.

Copper Pearl Burp Cloths - I've shared about my love for Copper Pearl fabric bibs on the blog before, but I'd never tried their burp cloths until we got some from a friend for F. LOVE. They are large and thick and my favorite burp cloths to use.

Copper Pearl Blanket - That same friend also bought us this blanket, and oh. my. word. It's stretchy and thick and super soft. This would make a fantastic baby shower gift or a splurge gift for yourself. Seriously this is my favorite blanket!

Cradle Cap System - Buy this! For your own baby, for a friend's baby. Everyone needs one. All of our kids have had cradle cap issues (are there babies that don't? Maybe this is not a thing everyone deals with), and I distinctly remember going to church with R and a friend telling us she had cradle cap, and Jordan and I being like, "what's cradle cap?" We thought her head was just scabbing from using the vacuum to get her out, but actually she had really bad cradle cap! J had it too, and finally with F I actually looked up what I could get to help and bought this scrub brush. It totally works and I'm going to recommend it to everyone forever. Don't be like us.

Love to Dream Swaddle - The. best. swaddle. Basically a sleep sack really. All babies are different, but F LOVES this. He's slept in it every night since he was a tiny baby. I randomly bought two of these off a buy/sell/trade page months before he was born, never thinking it would be so great for our little guy. I wish I had used this for the other two! He was in a size small for a while, is currently in a medium, and I'm about to buy the size large so he can transition to having his arms out. Get this!

Baby Memory Book - I've used a different baby book method with each kid, and this is the one I bought to use with F. It's definitely my favorite. Super simple, classic designs and not a lot of frill. They have a girl, boy, and a gender neutral. The online description says it's "LGBTQ friendly," which just means that it doesn't specifically refer to mom or dad anywhere. Only mentioning that because I sent this link to a friend and she texted back and was like, um, what does that mean? So that's what it means.

Baby Rocker - Everyone is going to have a different opinion about baby seats, loungers, rockers, etc. We've used this same rocker for all three kids, and honestly, it's not the cutest design ever, but it's been fantastic. It's easy to carry around the house, and it can rock back and forth or stay still depending on if you have the back legs down. The toy rack comes off (actually we haven't found it for F yet; it's somewhere in the attic). Personally, we have never used a big swing thing or activity seat. I feel like we wouldn't have used them enough to justify the cost or the space. A rocker like this can be used for a long time (R and J like to sit in it and pretend to be babies lol!), and it can be easily moved around.

We do have a MamaRoo, but only because I got one for free for a sponsored blog post several years ago. It is a really neat seat, but for the price I think there are other seats that serve essentially the same function for much cheaper.

Boppy Pillow - I would guess in the last 5 years since I had R they've come out with a new version of the original boppy pillow, but I've used mine for three babies and find it super useful. As F gets older, I don't use it every single time I nurse, but it is really helpful at the beginning, and I just personally like using it.

Sound Machine - We are DUMB. This is baby #3 and the first time we've used a sound machine. Wut. Yes, dumb. And actually, we've never even used this for F yet... it's in the room where R and J sleep. But anyway, this is the sound machine we registered for and got from a friend, and I recommend it. Pro tip: get your kids used to the "rain" setting, and then when it actually rains outside they aren't phased and wake up in the night because it just sounds like their sound machine.

Sound Monitor - You can get a fancy video monitor with extra cameras and all that jazz. But, if you just want a simple sound monitor, no frills or fancy gadgets, this is what we've been using since 2015. We've never used a video monitor, if you can believe it!
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I'm sure there are lots of other things I could link to, but those are what came to mind. Babies are fun! Baby stuff, however, can be overwhelming (okay, babies can be overwhelming, who am I kidding); but like I mentioned above, you really don't need a ton of stuff. Hopefully this list is useful to get you started, and if there's something I missed that you love, feel free to leave a comment!

Wherein I Detail Our Exciting Lives

6.28.2020


*this post contains affiliate links. I get like 5 cents if you click, which adds up to one and a half chai tea lattes after approximately two years because I never blog anymore. 

**blogger updated their interface, and I'm old and don't like new things, so if the post formatting is funky it's because I don't know what I'm doing.

In my 10 years of blogging (yes, 10!), I have never skipped an entire month of posting. But, here we are. I can't quit the blog, but I also can't write on the blog either, apparently. I blame F for not going to sleep until 10:00 every night. It's currently 9:32, and I can hear him grunting over the monitor.

I know some people can blog from their phone with one hand while holding a baby in the other, but I'm not one of them. My iPhone FIVE from 2015 can't handle the sophistication of the mobile blogger template. I have five apps, 600 photos, and am 110% out of storage. The other day I had to delete one of my apps so I could reinstall Venmo to transfer some money. These are the days I'll look back on and say to myself, "Self, just get a new phone already."

Has anyone else had enough of 2020 already? GOOD TIMES. Just, wow. So many thoughts about all the things.

I bought the kids a few new books to diversify our library and include more images of children of color. If you're on Instagram and interested, I saved an entire highlight with some awesome suggestions. I started with this book and this book, and I recommend both! We also already had and love this book and this book, which feature a Black girl as the main character.

On a related note, I recently discovered a podcast called First-Name Basis, which has some really interesting episodes on race. I enjoyed this episode, talking about how to know whether to say "Black" or "African American." This is something I've wondered before!

For the past several months, our class at church has been going through a series on apologetics, and we've talked specifically about creation recently. Last week our teacher shared two videos with us, which go into detail about how we all came from Adam and Eve, why people have different skin colors, and what the term "race" really means. They are super interesting! The videos are on YouTube here and here.

In other news, F was dedicated at church over Father's Day weekend! I know things are opening back up at different rates depending on where you live. Our church has been meeting in person for a little bit now (rows taped off for social distancing, no passing an offering plate, etc), but we haven't felt comfortable going, so we are watching via a streaming service online. However, they had their normal baby dedication Father's Day weekend, so we got dressed up and went to church in person for the first time since the middle of February. R was SO excited, and it did feel great to be back in the worship center again. Watching church online is not the same. 

That same week, J turned 3, and it's like he grew into an independent boy overnight. He wants to do everything himself, is totally potty trained (still wears pull-ups at night), and talks up.a.storm. He's very into cars and trains and loves to sit and line them up over and over again.

We continue to get one Home Chef delivery box a month, and I've said it before, but if you are interested in trying out a meal subscription service, I highly recommend Home Chef over Hello Fresh. Here's my referral link if you want to try it for yourself. I'm only saying that again because  I see so many Hello Fresh ads, and none for Home Chef, but Home Chef is so much better. I'm just trying to do my part to get the word out ;) 

F is doing really well, and overall I still find transitioning from 2 kids to 3 not insanely difficult. I mean, don't get me wrong, it's a mad house over here, but I'm not sobbing in a closet stress-eating chocolate like I was led to think I might be. Thank goodness! I think dealing with the Rona is overshadowing most everything else that might otherwise be stressful. I'm beyond thankful that I had F right before all of this really got going in the United States.

My office is open, but I'm still working at home for a bit. I go into the office a few times a week to check in, and I made sure to take an office bathroom selfie since I've done that with each of my kids! The lighting in there make him look like a bald alien baby lol.

We think he might have a slight dairy intolerance... he gets bad eczema flare-ups, and when I stopped drinking milk for a few days it got much better. Then I had milk with my cereal one morning and it got bad again. I'm still eating cheese and eggs and ice cream (you'll have to pry that from my cold, dead hands), but just cutting out milk seems to help. I had this issue with R, and I drank almond milk but didn't love it. I recently bought Oatly milk when I was at Sprouts, and it's kinda weird but I like it better than almond milk, so that's what I'll eat my Special K with for now.

Every time I blog, I think I can't get any more boring, and then I surprise myself by writing an entire paragraph about milk.

So anyway, we got out and went to the zoo last weekend. You have to make a reservation in advance so they can make sure there aren't too many people going in at once. These are such strange times. And it's almost July! Weirdest year to have a new baby ever.

Back to the zoo. The kids loved being somewhere other than our house, and Jordan rocked 3-kid dad life.

There's a lot going on in our home and in the world right now. We are all doing the best we can. Sometimes things seem okay, and sometimes I'm crying for no apparent reason at all. But we are thankful for birthdays and fresh air, for family and our faith, which gives us the greatest peace even in uncertain times. I hope you all are doing well! If you check out any of the links I posted above, let me know! I'd love to hear what you think.

I'll leave you with a picture of the cake I made J for his birthday. Funfetti box mix with a star cut out of the top layer and filled in with sprinkles. Currently submitting my resume for pastry chef jobs ;)

currently: may 2020

5.24.2020


making: I made a batch of lactation cookies last night, which is really just my excuse to eat five cookies a day while tricking myself into thinking they are "healthy" and "good for me" because they have Brewer's Yeast, some ground flaxseed, and coconut oil. But also sugar and chocolate chips soooooo yeah. Just let me live in denial. thankyoubye.

missing: kind of everything, but mostly I miss casually hanging out with friends and family.
*we went strawberry picking at a local farm at the beginning of May! it's one of my favorite spring things to do. This was our third year to go!

learning: all about gardening! I know in my last post I scoffed at people who have time and brain space to pick up new hobbies right now, but after a year of talking about it, we finally put in a raised bed in our backyard a few weeks ago, and we have plants! This is huge for me. I've killed every green thing I've ever had, including two succulents, which I'm pretty sure can survive boiling under the desert sun. Looking back on it now, I'm pretty sure I watered them too much. Anyway. We planted green beans, zucchini, and okra, and even though plants have been growing out of the earth since the beginning of time, Jordan and I can't even handle how cool it is to watch. PHOTOSYNTHESIS. aka magic.

*we stopped at a wildflower field to take a few pictures. I want to take R here and take some 5yo pics of her, so hopefully we can sneak away soon and do that.

loving: besides our garden? I'm 100% loving having a baby around. Granted, would I choose to have a newborn during a global pandemic and quarantine? No. But this guy is bringing me so much joy and so many snuggles, and I don't hate it. I was really nervous about the transition from 2 to 3, since I've heard it can be rough, but honestly I still think going from 0 to 1 has been the hardest for us.
*we went to a local nature park one Saturday morning for a hike! It was so so nice to get out in nature for a bit. The kids had a great time.

watching: I wish I could talk about what I've been reading, buuuuut, I haven't been reading anything. So I'll talk about shows! Jordan and I are watching the ESPN documentary series about the 90's Chicago Bulls team called "The Last Dance." It's so good and like a blast from the past to watch. I remember watching those games! So fun.

I also just re-watched Back to the Future 1, 2, and 3 on Netflix. It's hilarious to see what they thought the year 2015 would be like. Hover boards and flying cars and jackets that automatically adjust to your size. Oh, and apparently in the future, everyone wears their pants inside out. LOL. I'm rewatching "The Office" as I listen to The Office Ladies podcast. Don't judge me. F goes to sleep super late despite my best attempts, and I end up just sitting in the recliner nursing and watching TV every night. Scrambling my already scrambled brains ;) 

what have you been up to currently? I hope you are doing well! Thanks as always for reading!
*we love making pizza! Flat breads from Aldi, Italian chicken sausage, turkey pepperoni, mozzarella cheese, and pasta sauce. The kids get their own bread and bowls to make their own, and they love doing that!
・ DESIGNED BY ECLAIR DESIGNS