May 5, 2015

Our Favorite Newborn Products {0-3 Months}

I'm three babies into this parenting journey, so I figured it's high time that I type up a post featuring some of my favorite newborn products. Today I'm focusing in on the 0-3 month age range.

Over the years different products have emerged as my personal favorites, and I find myself making recommendations based on my own experiences. Every mom has her own personal list of must-have items, and I'm certain many moms would have lists that look very different from mine.

I think it's fun to compare favorites, and I love hearing from other moms what they have had success with. Every baby is different and so is every mom.

 I'd love to hear what your must-have baby items are!

Here are mine...

Favorite Newborn Products 0-3 Months (Great Baby Shower Gift Ideas!)

{1} Pack 'N Play - Our pack n' play has survived 6 years, 3 babies, and lots of overnight trips. The version we have has a changing table and diaper/wipes storage attached so it's perfect for setting up in our bedroom after baby arrives. Our babies typically stay in the pack 'n play for 3-4 months after birth just for convenience sake. 

{2} Pre-fold Cloth Diapers (Used as Burp Cloths) - With all the drool and spit up that comes with newborn babies, having a good stock of burp cloths is a must. I've found white cloth diapers to be perfect for the job of cleaning mouth messes. With Ezra we stuck with white because they can easily be bleached to get rid of stains. 

{3} aden + anais Muslin Swaddle Blankets - These swaddling blankets are very lightweight, a great size for swaddling, and super soft. Aside from some homemade swaddling blankets that I received from an Aunt, these are my go-to blankets for swaddling. 

{4} Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child - This is by far the best book on infant sleep that I've read (and I've read plenty!). I've referenced this book with all three of my boys and have seen very similar sleeping problems/patterns emerge at different ages and stages. This book doesn't promise any magic solutions, but instead gives research-based information about how babies sleep and helps parents to ensure that they and their babies get the best sleep possible. The author also talks a lot about how to deal with high needs/fussy babies, which was/is extremely helpful to me personally.  

{5} Gas Relief Drops -Speaking of high needs/fussy babies, my babies were all tortured with gas for the first few months of their lives. Gas drops are not the ultimate problem solver, but they do help to break up the bubbles that can form from gasping for air while crying or from inhaling too much air when feeding. I used gas drops LIBERALLY with all of my babies to bring relief to their sensitive little bellies. 

{6} Hava Baby Sling - Babywearing is all the rage these days. While I'm not a fanatic about it, I do find it extremely helpful to wear my babies in public for the first few months-- not only because it's comforting for them, but also to keep them from exposure to too many germs that may cause sickness. I've tried different types of carriers, but I've always come back to my Hava ring sling. It's lightweight, easy to put on, and keeps baby as snug as a bug in a rug. It also has a super thick shoulder pad, which makes it way more comfortable than other ring slings I've tried.

{7} Zip Up Sleepers - Who wants to fumble around with snaps and buttons in the middle of the night, right?! Zippers are definitely the way to go! We had a variety of different sleepers with our other boys, but Kevin insisted that Ezra strictly wear zipper sleepers at bedtime if he was going to take any part in nighttime duties. So, of course, I stocked up, and unless we have a laundry crisis you'll mostly find Ezra in a zipper sleeper at bedtime, 

What are your favorites for newborns age 0-3 months? What would I find on your list?

May 1, 2015

Our Small Summer Container Garden {Video Footage Included!}

A couple of summer ago, we planted our first vegetable garden.We really enjoyed the experience as well as the delicious "fruit" of our labor- fresh garden veggies on a daily basis!

Last summer I was in my first trimester of pregnancy for Ezra so we decided not to plant anything. It was best considering the pregnancy fatigue and nausea, but I certainly missed the rewards of having our own backyard garden. 

This summer I knew that I couldn't go without at least a few fresh herbs and veggies, so I made the decision to plant a garden, but on a much smaller scale than I did two summers ago. I'm using containers this year, and we're only planting a few things. I have never planted in containers before so I'm not sure if I will have any success, but I wanted to give it a try!

One afternoon this week the big boys and I set out to plant our herbs and veggies. We captured some video footage that we hope you enjoy! {video below}

Let me know if you have any tips and tricks for planting in containers? Any predictions on what might happen with my garden?

Apr 30, 2015

Losing Postpartum with Weight Watchers

I figure it's time for a little update about my weight loss journey with Weight Watchers-- a journey I've been on since way back in 2011 when Liam was only 4 months old. 

Has time really gone by that fast?!

Here is the first post I ever wrote about Weight Watchers. Little did I know back than that I would absolutely fall in love with the program and credit it with helping me to lose 20+ pounds of postpartum weight after Liam was born. 

Nearly four years later and another pregnancy to boot, and I can still count on Weight Watchers for my weight loss needs.

A couple of weeks after Ezra was born I decided that it was time for me to begin attending my weekly Weight Watcher meetings again. Many commented that it was too early for me to start thinking about postpartum weight loss, but for me it was about much more than the weight loss. While I was fully committed to sticking to the program for the weight loss benefits, I was also very much excited to get out of the house once per week to join my community of Weight Watcher friends. It was great for my mental state as well as for my physical health, as I knew that putting the right foods into my body would be critical in my postpartum recovery.

At my first weight-in postpartum I had 25 pounds to lose to get back to my goal weight. Having done the program for so long I knew exactly what types of meals and snacks I would need to plan to ensure the greatest success. I jumped right back onto plan and have already lost 12 of those 25 pounds!

Well about three weeks ago, life seemed to get a little more hectic. Easter rolled around and then Kevin's birthday and then a weekend trip out of town. I missed several meetings, began to slack on my tracking, and eventually loss much of my motivation. My weight didn't go up, but I stopped losing and just plateaued.

For those who have ever been on a journey to lose weight or just get healthy in general, you know that's it's very difficult to to get back on track after a loss of motivation. Once you lose momentum, it takes a whole lot of effort to get the ball rolling again.

I've been struggling to get my ball rolling again.

So I was thinking that maybe keeping a weekly weight loss journal here on the blog would give my ball a little push. 


If anything, I hope it gives me the accountability I need to push through this season of complacency.

So expect some more frequent updates in the future (maybe even in video form!). Even if you're not doing Weight Watchers, I hope it inspires you to invest in your physical health. Aside from your spiritual health, taking care of yourself physically is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself as well as your family!

Before I sign off, let me leave you with my top five reasons for choosing Weight Watchers for postpartum weight loss:

{1} It has a great track record not only for weight loss but, most importantly, weight maintenance.

{2} The weekly meetings are an awesome time of encouragement, support, and accountability.

{3}They have an awesome mobile app that makes tracking your meals, goals, and weight super simple. (The app also includes recipes, restaurant helps, cheat sheets, shopping lists, and even a chat room for community support!)

{4} I am not restricted at all when it comes to the foods I can eat, which makes it very sustainable and lifestyle friendly.

{5} I can eat all the fruit I want and most veggies without having to track them so I never have to feel hungry. And the weight still comes off!

I should also mention that there is a fee associated with joining Weight Watchers, but once you reach your healthy goal weight and are able to maintain it, you become a lifetime member and no longer have to pay for all the wonderful services. That in itself it great motivation to stay on track! 

And one more thing, I am in no way endorsed by Weight Watchers to promote their program. I do because I believe it works.


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