Life’s Essentials | Newborn Favorites

Although its been a minute since I’ve had a newborn in the house, I’m currently going through a purging phase. I have SO MUCH STUFF I’ve hidden away, or that was stored after Aubrey grew out of it and then brought back out for Blake.  Blake is now on to toddlerhood (cue the proud Mama/yet wants to keep her a baby forever tears) and it’s time to pass along the baby items. I did a couple posts a long time ago about the key things we registered for with Aubrey and our newborn faves, but now that I’ve gone through it twice, I’d love to share another perspective!

 

Newborn Favorites

 

When I was registering and looking for baby gear during my first pregnancy, I felt like I was focusing on what was new, trendy, and looked nice. Looking back, there was a few things that really ended up being worth it – but for the most part, just because its new or fancy does not mean functional! By baby #2, function wins every time!
Diaper bag | a backpack style diaper bag is just so helpful! Carrying a shoulder bag, and an infant car seat, and probably and bag or two of groceries is just a set up for disaster. My bag was constantly falling off my shoulder. I felt like I was always leaning to one side to keep it up which made carrying an awkward newborn even more uncomfortable! I invested in a Skip Hop backpack when I was pregnant with our second and I’ll never go back! Super comfortable and frees up your hands for the other 10 million things you need to carry! There are so many cute options now too!
Things for baby to go in | Lets face it, most of the time babies want to be held. But when you do get that time they’ll sleep or hang out somewhere else besides in your arms, you need somewhere to put them! We had quite a few “things for our babies to go in”, but we had the best luck with the Rock n’ Play for napping or just hanging out when they were little little! As for bed time, I loved the Halo Bassinest. I could adjust it so they were the perfect height for me to see them even while I was laying in bed! I could swivel it over when I needed to get them out, and even rock it a bit if they were fussing.
Carriers | For the times they don’t want to be put down (basically always) baby carriers saved me – especially with my second! I found that the Baby K’tan had the feeling of a wrap, but was super simple to use and I loved it when Blake was a newborn!! Once she got big enough to support herself a little better, I moved into my Beco Gemini and haven’t looked back (we are still using it at 14 months)!
Nursing | I literally felt like I was nursing the majority of the hours of my day. Along with a good Netflix series, a super long phone charger cable, and plenty of snacks I recommend a water bottle you love and an awesome nursing pillow. I tried a few, but the My Breast Friend Pillow was always the sturdiest and most helpful for me! I also loved the little pocket on the front to store my phone/water/snacks when I would get up and move.
Sleeping | Sleep is like a four letter word for my babies, but if I did have any luck it was because of swaddling and sound. We still use these sound machines to this day anywhere that they’re napping! And the Halo Sleepsack Swaddles have always been our favorites! Once they grew out of wanting to be swaddled we used the sacks without the velcro arms. Perfect to act as a blanket for them!
Newborns don’t need much – but these items definitely saved us during those crazy weeks of feeling like a mombie.  I wish you luck with your new babe if you’ve got one on the way!!
xoxo
Whitney

Life’s Essentials: Keeping a Routine

As a SAHM, its up to me to structure my day. As much as I love a list and filling my calender, I have to work really hard to not get in a rut. I find that I can let hours pass in the morning playing with the girls, attempting to do laundry or cleaning up the kitchen from the night before. By the time I’ve gotten us together enough to get out of the house, its time for lunch and naps! (for reals my life revolves around nap schedules right now!)

Now that our fall schedule is back in place, I’m trying to get myself into a routine to help our mornings run smoother and to help me feel successful at the end of the day! Whether you’re a CEO of a household or a CEO of a company – everyone wants to feel satisfied with their day, right?  Although the girls are just toddlers, we do have at least one out of the house class or activity everyday so that really helps motivate me to stick with some ground rules! These are some things that I know help our family be more calm and ready for the day and just help keep us all happy and organized!

Disclaimer: this is truly like one big pep talk to myself. By no means do I have it all figured out and this is just a way for me to organize my ideas for myself and feel accountable!

Preparation | “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Benjamin Franklin hit the nail on the head with that one. It is so simple, but it is the hardest thing for me to do. Procrastination has been the name of my game for years! Why would I pack our drinks/snacks/lunches the night before when I can do it in the morning when I’m rushing around with two kids at my feet?! Because. I want to feel ready for the day, and not frazzled first thing in the morning.

One load a day | Laundry is a task that I really don’t mind doing, but it can definitely turn into a lofty chore if it let it! Our hamper, the girls’ hampers, sheets, towels…I know everyone has to wash their clothes but why does it feel like we have enough laundry to cover the entire neighborhood for the week?! I’ve found that spending an entire day in the laundry room isn’t fun for me or the kids. So putting in a load in the morning that I can switch over at some point in the day and be done with by nap time is an easy way to eliminate the dread of tackling Mt. Everest once or twice a week!

Set an alarm |  Sleep is a hot commodity around here.  With a 2.5 and a 1 year old in the house, I feel like I’ve been in a constant state of “mombie” for the past few years. We have finally gotten into a good bedtime routine with the girls so that we get an hour or two to ourselves before we go to bed, but I’m still waking up once or twice at night with the little sis.  Even so, having 30-60 minutes to myself before the crazies wake up is a great way to start the day! Hot coffee, I can get ready if I want, empty the dishwasher in peace, or just relax on my phone or computer to blog. Do I still snooze?  Yes. But ultimately I try to remember how good I feel once I’ve had some time to myself first thing.

Keep a clean sink | Do you know how long it takes to put one coffee cup, one plate, and a couple of utensils in the dishwasher? Like 45 seconds. Do you know how long it takes to put an entire day’s worth of dishes in the dishwasher plus clean up from dinner?! It feels like an hour! Throughout the day I find it really easy to just set things in the sink and move on to the next thing. But you know what the bummer is? My mom isn’t coming behind me to wash them all! I am the mom…what?! At the end of the day after dinner, its better for all of us and our bedtime routine if dinner clean up is just that and not from the entire day!

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It has a place | We have a few areas of the house that can easily be considered a drop zone. Did I grab the mail? Set it by the phone. Did I just come in from running errands? Drop everything on the island. Do I have clean laundry? Leave it on the laundry room counter. This may be my worst habit. The kitchen can tend to become the ‘catch all’ area and soon feels like a cluttered disaster that seems like I can’t keep clean. By having a place for everything, it eliminates the clutter. By taking just a few minutes to put things away in their proper place I don’t feel like I have to overhaul the entire house to get it clean. I was watching InstaStories and Kate from The Small Things Blog (k8_smallthings) mentioned that she keeps her house within 10 minutes of clean. So at any point – for example if some company were to say they’re coming – you could get your house picked up within 10 minutes. Such a good rule.

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(In a dream world my kitchen would look like this all the time. It was short lived!)

These are some things I strive for but still have to work on each day.  When I take the time to prepare for my day I feel like the days run smoother and I enjoy my time with the girls more. Do you have any go-to tips for feeling prepped and ready for your day? I’d love to know!

xoxo

Whitney

Head over to Confessions of Parenting to find all sorts of home and family posts that linked up for the first #WanderingWednesday!

Wandering Wednesday

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{Mama} Confessions

I’m slowly getting back into this blog, hopefully in a more regular routine! This morning has been awesome! The babe slept for 8.5 hours straight, has been totally happy and taken 2 good naps! It’s still before noon {well it was when I started this…then baby life happened} and I’m thinking back to all of the things I’ve done this morning that {I really hope} I’m not alone in! I thought it would make for a silly/quick post that will reach all those mama’s at home!

one. I confess I desperately needed a shower this morning and instead of doing so during Aubrey’s awesome 1.5 hour nap, I caught up on the bachelorette and ate breakfast. {don’t worry, I did shower…just played ‘rush while baby is playing outside the bathroom door’ after I fed her}

bachelorette ecard

{just replace WINE with COFFEE because a. I can’t stay up late enough to watch it live b. it was like 8am and c. even if I would drink wine that early, I have a child at home}

two. speaking of breakfast, the hubby and I decided to start Whole 30 after his sister’s wedding this weekend. I confess it is my mission to eat all of the sugar, carbs and dairy in this house before Monday! {maybe I’ll attempt a check in series to keep me accountable…clearly I need something!}

three. I’m in my sister in law’s wedding this weekend and never realized how much work it is to be a girl {now that I’m about to type this, I realize I’m a bit excessive}! BB {before baby} I confess I would spend days primping…manicure & pedicure, hair appointment, waxing, eyebrows threaded and worked on a tan for weeks! Ridiculous!  Now, it’s all about the essentials! Pick and chose which areas of grooming are totally necessary and get a spray tan {a months work of relaxing sunshine in a bottle}! the other catch, make all of those “essential” appointments in a 2 hour period when you have a babysitter!

four. I confess, I cleaned the bathroom with wipes this morning! I’m pretty sure I’ve seen a clever ecard about this… yup!

five. my cousin in law {totally a thing…even though I’ll just say cousin from now on} tagged me in this video on FB this week and I confess, I think I need to do this…maybe it will be apart of my sugar binge before Monday! 😉 #eatallthesugar


hope everyone has a great week! have you done any confession worthy things this week?