Wednesday, December 26, 2012

keeps gettin' better

:: christmas morning, annoyed with daddy's flashing camera already :: 

we had a special christmas. this boy of ours may not quiiiiiite get it just yet, but he's having some fun with his new toys and he absolutely loved all of the attention the last few days. he loves his family, that's for sure.

i love the independence that comes with our walking boy. this stage is by far, my most favorite. i can remember when wyatt was 3 days old -- the hormones were full on to the right crazy mode, might i add. anyway, i can remember laying in bed with him praying time would stop. i was sad. i was frustrated that no one told me that i would feel that way. i wanted to freeze time. i wanted wyatt to be tiny forever. i remember texting lindsay and asking her if she felt that way when her sweet girl, caroline, was born. she said that she might have felt that way in the beginning, but that she loved every stage so much. she started to realize that she was saying "now, this is my favorite stage" a lot. and that with each passing month, and each stage, it just got better. i remember thinking how grateful i was for her in that moment, but still doubted her words. damn hormones.

she was right. like, big time.

:: went straight for his elmo. he's no fool. ::

i think this is my most favorite stage yet. wyatt's walking, and chattering, and learning, and soaking in this life around him. he is smart and creative and funny. he is silly. he is assertive. he watches us. he mimics us. he laughs with us. he loves elmo. and playing with daddy. and enjoys food and eating. he loves being chased and tickled. he loves playing with trucks. he is a sucker for music and any chance he gets to dance. he sings.

:: he's saying "da da da da" here, in case you were wondering ::

i love thinking about all that we have to look forward to with him. i look forward to every stage now. i think less about freezing time, and more about what's to come. as hard as it is to think about how fast time goes sometimes, i look forward to all of the stages of his life. we are lucky. and i am grateful.

this life is short. it's a blessing. it's about family. it's about living it.

:: and screaming with excitement here ::
 i hope you had a special christmas and found joy throughout your day. you deserve it.

we all do.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

christmas card contenders

we sent our cards this week. i couldn't be more excited about the pictures we chose for them. they are so stinking cute. we had a few really cute contenders as well that i wanted to share because, well, i can't get enough of them either.

but the real winners couldn't be beat. 

we had fun. and we were cracking ourselves up as we drove home. sure, put your 1 year old on an old and busted tire swing. a tire swing filled with mucky water, and accompanied by a gigantic spider web. let go. he's fine just swinging there all alone. there might be a nasty muddy leaf covered hard ground below him, but he won't fall. he's holding on for dear life. he's doing his best to make his mom and dad proud by squeezing out a few smiles for a good photo opp.  look at his little hands gripping that rope so tight. such a big boy. 

we were proud little guy. you did good. 

merry christmas from us to you. hope it's the best yet!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

dear wyatt >> there is good in this world

sweet boy, i always hug you extra tight. i cherish you every day. but this weekend my hugs were more reflective, more thankful. i kissed you and smelled you and loved on you, breathing you in. 26 moms and dads lost their loves on friday in such a tragic way. 20 of them were little kids - little perfect kids, with so much life to live. to say it has shaken many of us to our core would be an understatement. i know i've written to you about this before, a few months back when there was a shooting at a movie theatre in colorado. i really didn't think it could get worse than that. i was wrong.

now that i have you, i see things through such a different lens. i really can't imagine our world without you. i have cried for those moms and dads all weekend, wondering how in the world they can go on. i pray they have other children to remind them that life must go on. to imagine the pain in their hearts the moment they learned that it was their child that wouldn't come out of that school on friday is just awful. the images that must go through their heads. i once heard a woman describe life after she lost her son - she explained that as her world froze in time, everyone else's seemed to go on. as much as she wanted to bury herself in her bed, and never come out, her family still needed her. the clock still ticked. the sun came up. it went down. time didn't stop, as much as she wanted it to just stop, it wouldn't. as much as she hated it, it was what ended up saving her life. i pray for those parents multiple times a day. hoping that one day they remember their sweet babies without the overwhelming memories of how they were taken.

it's hard to think about the world i've brought you into, wyatt. it's days like friday where i wonder if there is any good at all. i promise you there is. there is good in the world. it's filled with love, and wonder, and peace. there are amazing people everywhere, with stories to share. stories i know you'll learn from someday. amidst tragedy, there is hope. there are people that come to each others' side. friendships are strengthened. i promise you sweet boy, there is good in this world.

we will continue to show you the goodness, as you continue to show us.

love you always,

Sunday, November 25, 2012

wyatt's 1st birthday >> the deets

so the party. it happened. i planned. i decorated. i did everything but take good pictures at the party of all of the little details i whipped up. party fowl.

let's start with the invites i made and then ordered on tiny prints. they have a really great option on there called a favorite memory card. you can upload any picture onto their really nice paper. i wanted to make our own invite because i wasn't finding anything i really loved, and discovered PicMonkey recently and was having a blast with it! here's what we came up with:

i am really in love with pinterest. i know many of you are too. if you aren't yet, you will be. get going already! i used this site to plan wyatt's nursery and loved it. i did the same to plan for his party. i ended up purchasing a lot of things i pinned.

i fell in love with this cupcake flag tutorial and pretty much made my own flags using the exact same materials she recommended. i found the cutest red themed card stock paper and had a blast making them. i got the sucker sticks at ben franklin and they worked perfectly.

i ordered our cupcakes from trophy cupcakes and stuck these bad boys in them. voila. (as much as i wanted to make my own cupcakes with peanut butter frosting, i decided against it. i knew i could count on trophy.) i also found these really cute cow print cupcake wrappers from here.

picture from
picture from
i found the cutest shop on etsy, mytwolittlelovebugs, for my cowboy themed bunting. as much as i wanted to make that too, i couldn't find the paper anywhere. this little lady made them perfectly using photo paper and images i believe. so adorable. 

i love buying off etsy. the shop owners are so thoughtful and really care about what they create. i love sending messages through to them and asking simple questions. they are always so quick to respond, and she was no exception. here's a sweet pic from her site: 

i actually used this picture as inspiration for the cake pops i had one of my best friend's sister in law's make. she made them to look exactly like the two layers of the this sweet cake. she made 12 with the cow print theme and 12 with the bandana print. i'm thrilled that she got a picture before she sent them over!

Cake Pops by Rachel
i also found cow print balloons - these worked out perfectly... except for one small detail. the helium was out of them by the morning of the party. ty even got the helium that is supposed to last a few more days (high float, or something like that?!) but i am thinking that the balloons may not hold in the helium all that well. so here's my advice: don't spend a ton on helium and instead, pay your friends to blow them up for you and use them on the sides of the buntings. 

picture from

as for the menu, i had a good time keeping it pretty simple. i made home made mac n' cheese, a recipe my cousin and her hubby shared with me years ago. it is amazing mac! the real trick is putting french's fried onions on top the last 5 minutes it bakes. yummmmmmmmm. 

This recipe will feed 16-20.
  • Large elbow noodles, 1 large bag
  • Tillamook cheddar cheese, 4 cups shredded
  • Tillamook shredded Jack cheese, 1 1/2 cups. 
  • Whole milk, 4 cups
  • Stick of butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 can of fried onions
Boil noodles and then set aside. Use pan that you boiled the noodles in, and melt stick of butter. Once melted, stir in flour. Stir and cook roux for 3 minutes over medium heat. Roux should be consistency of paste.
Remove from heat, and then pour milk slowly. Once milk is in, put back on heat and bring to a soft boil, stirring constantly. Don't let it burn. This will take about 8 minutes. You will see the liquid get glossy then thicken. Add cheese, turn heat to low. Melt cheese all the way. Add salt, then add noodles. Cover with foil, bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Remove foil, add fried onions, put back in oven for 4 min. 
Remove and enjoy!
i also made pulled pork sliders (and even got a batch made from one of my good friends, kaarin!). This was so easy. I used two crockpots and put a pork roast into each the night before. i cook these bad boys in the garage so we don't fill our house with too much pork smells. i put about a cup of water into each crock pot, add salt/pepper, a couple of bay leaves and call it good. in the morning, i take them out and shred them, add a bottle of our favorite bbq sauce and then continue cooking on low / warm until we eat. the winner of the best bbq sauce ever goes to: 

annie made a yummy salad with blue cheese crumbles and fruit that was to die for as well. she's so good at salads! 

everyone that came to wyatt's party was so much fun. we had kids galore, and really couldn't have been more excited to celebrate with so many of our closest friends and family. the day went by way too fast, and in the end, it was a perfect way to wish our little guy a happy first birthday!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

cherish the season

'tis the season to trek to a tree farm in hopes of finding "the one". and by "the one" i don't mean our tree.

i mean our christmas card picture. 

the pressure was on. we always have a very small window of time in the morning to do anything outside of the house. our kiddo usually wakes up around 7:30, and is ready for a nap around 10. keep in mind, it usually takes us at least 45 minutes to get out of the house. this morning, wyatt was a mini crank, while i was mama crank. i even warned ty that my edginess had nothing to do with him and to consider himself warned. fun for ty. 

in the midst of all of the fun we were having getting ready to go, off we went. after a quick pit stop through the starbucks drive-thru (thank you Jesus), we headed down to snohomish - a mere 10 minute jaunt, if that. it pays to live in the boonies.

this, of course, was wyatt's first trip to the tree farm. i am loving how he sticks his tongue out when he's focusing. there just so happened to be a seriously large gathering of geese out yonder, so he nervously walked with us, every so often furrowing those soon to be bushy brows of his as he looked out into the distance. 

my heart skips a beat every time i feel him finding comfort in my arms. i am truly blessed to be this kid's mom. he'll squish his cheek into my kiss, and it is in that moment i know my smooch is welcome. he never pulls away from my kisses. yet. 

he loves his daddy's shoulders. i love seeing the expression on his face when he realizes that's where he is headed. it's like he's saying, "this is MY daddy". i remember that feeling too. i remember being little, and finding my way up on my dad's shoulders. there was always a little bit of nervousness up there, but the comfort of knowing i was with my dad always over powered it. 

as luck would have it, we did good. between ty and i, we got the money shot. make that two money shots. i already put my order in for our cards, and am counting down the days until i can get them out into the mail. dying, dying, dying over them. i love them so much, i even ordered a new personalized phone case. yah, that much. 

as if we haven't been productive enough today, we even picked up our tree. here's hoping it stays alive in time for christmas. and by alive i mean "just not brown". it can be dead as a doornail, dry as can be, but as long as it's still (sorta) green, then we're good. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

oh thankfulness

by now, many of you know i like to take a moment every now and again to thank my lucky stars. usually, about once a week, i use this blog to do just that - reflect on all i've been given, and express some sort of gratitude as i try my best to document all that is good for my sweet boy... for all of my kiddos someday. all 19 of them.

i kid.

pun intended.

joking aside, it is nice to have a day where i can absorb it all. and today was just what i wanted. all that i needed. everything i expected. i moved at my pace. i prepped. i cooked. i loved and was loved. i drank. i ate. and ate. and ate.

there's a lot to be thankful for these days. and it's not lost on me that i've been dealt quite an amazing hand. i will continue to thank my lucky stars tomorrow and the next day, and the day after that. i'm full on life. but hungry for more.

cheers to you and all that you are grateful for this year.

i'm thankful for my sweet boy, made a little bit of me and a little lotta bit of his gorgeous daddy.

now, if we could only figure out who the mom is. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

dear wyatt >> my one year old

sweet baby, it only took a PTO day, a slide show and a decent sized ho-down for me to come to grips with the fact that it's been a year since we met each other. a whole year. and only a year. i've been in denial about this day. i cried some big tears as i made your birthday slide show, and had the most amazing memories of the day you were born on tuesday. i am a lucky lady in so many ways, but i'm reminded the most when i think back to your birthday. i'd do it all again, you know. all of it. just to have that moment again, where i held you in my arms for the very first time. the world around me spun as i looked down at you and told you how much i loved you. my heart calmed as i whispered happy birthday in your ear. we did it. i'l never forget your pursed lips and your squished up little nose. your cold cheeks. that little body fit perfectly inside me, and even more perfectly in my arms. you were all mine. nothing made sense until you were in front of me. i was born to be your mom. that's one thing i know for sure.

it feels like you've always been with me. i've been writing to you for awhile now, as you know. but if i am really honest, i've been thinking about you and obsessing over the thought of you for many moons. it was you that i thought about when i was a little girl and played babies with. it was you i pretended to rock to sleep. it was you i bundled up in the wooden rocker at my grandma's house. it was you i sang to. it was you all along.

you are doing so many amazing things right now. you started walking a few weeks ago. you are continuing to crack us up. morning til night, that's what we do. your daddy and i will lay in bed at night talking about how much we love what you are doing lately. the latest faves happen to be:
  • you're cute walk - a.k.a the drunken cowboy
  • your new infatuation with trucks - you must say this about 1000 times a day -- any time you hear anything outside, you're sure it's a truck
  • your love for your blankie - the stinky corners and all... you look for the corners of your blanket and most nights, when you fight bed time, we'll find you sobbing in your crib holding two corners of your blanket in your mouth. this morning when you woke up and wanted us to come get you, you handed me your blanket first and then wanted to be picked up. 
  • your cozy hug - you'll do this when you are tired, or when you don't want your feet to touch the cold water in the pool. adorable.
  • shy guy - this is new, and we love it. you'll hide away when you meet someone new by tucking down into daddy or me. 
  • your dance moves - you love music. 
  • tippy toes - you do this most over your baby gates or the tub and it's so stinking cute. 
  • your delayed wave - you typically wave bye to people when they are about 40 steps away from you and are no longer looking at you. it's hilarious. you'll watch people as they say bye to you and wave, and they'll wait, sometimes several minutes, just to see you wave. even strangers do this. awkward. finally, they'll give up and walk away. sure enough, by the time they are in their car driving away, you'll start whipping your little hand around. clock work. 
  • bath time (yes, still) - still the best time of the night. 
  • airplane - you still do this with your airplane toy. melt me. 
  • tickle bug - i love doing tickle bug with you. which brings me to my next favorite thing... 
  • your giggle - the perfect sound. like, ever.
your party was a hit. so many people love you. you were surrounded by smiles and fun yesterday. it was the best day. and whoa, an eye opener for me. kiddie parties are a lot of work. sheeesh. anything for you, my love.

happy 1st birthday, wyatt brady. you're the mascot of our family. the epitome of love in this house.

and most importantly, you represent everything good about your daddy and me.

we love you. more than a fat kid loves cake.

your mama.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

what they don't tell you

a lot of my friends are about to be mama's for the first time. a lot of you already are. a lot of you want to be some day. i've been wanting to write this post for awhile. it's the - "what i wish i knew before giving birth" post. the one i teased about writing a few months ago. it's time. warning: it's going to be filled with tmi. i write a lot about the good in my blog. time to write about the nasty, gross, wtf stuff i either had no idea about, or the stuff i'm grateful to annie for telling me.

dude readers - i know there are a few of you. you might want to skip this one... 

first and foremost - buy diapers.  i don't just mean for your sweet little teeny tiny newborn. i mean for you. yes, you read that right. buy adult diapers. the "other" kind of "granny panties". i lived in these suckers the first three days. then buy granny panties. seriously. annie took me to target a few days before i went into labor and we bought the big hanes undies. you will not be wearing your cute hankie pankies for quite some time my friend. why, you ask? because you are going to have your period for about two months straight after you pop that kid out. fo' real. (even with a c-section... i learned this one from lindsay loo. even when you don't have a baby through your hoo-hoo, your placenta still separates from your uterus, causing there to be a decent sized owwwie. as it heals up, you still bleed. get it? got it? good.)

similar to the first recommendation, buy pads. i had a lovely assortment for myself. my favorite brands were the kotex brand. they've really livened up their packaging and i'm a serious sucker for marketing tactics. really though, these seemed to be the best all around. i did wear these giant mattresses the day my water broke because it was like my crotch was an enormous zip lock with a leak. can't remember the brand. just think "thick, long, extra absorbent" and you'll be good to go. these were also awesome in the freezer soaked in witch hazel

buy witch hazel. and tuks pads. these things will save your freaking life. your vag is going to be swollen, puffy and simply unrecognizable. not that i really know first hand. many of my sweet friends told me NOT to look down there for many many weeks. and i didn't. and i'm glad. you shouldn't either.  all you have to do is feel around down there to know it's not worth it.

for the first, i don't know, couple of weeks you are going to want one of these guys... a squirt bottle that you can fill with warm water. this will be your bathroom buddy. every time you pee, squirt water around "down there" and it will make it sting less. it actually feels like heaven. warm, cozy water makes every thing better (coming from the girl that delivered her baby in the bathtub). in all honesty, i used thing much longer than i needed to. (you will probably get one of these from your midwife/doctor, but just in case... and actually, it's not a bad idea to have one in every bathroom so having an extra or five is worth it.)

this is going to sound as crazy as a squirrel with a yogurt cup stuck on his head (true story), but you need to have doggie piss pads on hand. lay these down on your bed when you get home -- aka have your bestie or baby daddy do it. it's just extra protection just in case. the last thing you or your partner in crime want to be doing that first few days is change the sheets. these were a blessing. thank you ann.

since it's going to feel like you shit out your baby during child birth (no lie), you are going to be terrified to poop for the first time after having your little nug (pun intended). stool softeners like colace are a must. a couple of beers won't hurt either. (hello - anything to relax!) this brings me to another must.

corona cures. beer totally helps your milk come in. ty and i drank a beer in bed night two -- well, it was about 4:30am actually. anyway, by nooner, my milk was in and baby was full. for once in two and a half days. but who's counting.

nursing sucks at first. it hurts worse than pushing the head out if you ask me to be honest. there were several times that first couple of days i told ty i'd actually prefer to push him out of my vagina again before trying to latch. it's shocking really. a teeny toothless mouth shouldn't cause that much damn pain.  if it feels like you are suffering from tourettes syndrome the week you welcome your baby into your home, you aren't alone. i remember tensing up so bad rattling off more swear words then i knew i had in my vocabulary as i "patiently" waited for the pain to subside. here's the god's honest truth. you have to be able to relax so your milk actually "comes down". how the f are you supposed to do that when you are cinching your butt cheeks so tightly together in an effort to not throw your baby across the room? deep breaths. even insincere, loud, fake it till you feel it deep breaths. i remember taking a deep breath thinking there's no way in hell this will actually work, and sure enough, my baby would be eating and after about 20 seconds the pain would subside. good luck my friend. you can do it. you just had a kid. you can get through cracked, bloody nips for a few weeks. trust me.

you might have a break down. and by might, i mean there's a 99.99999999% chance you will. say, around day 6? and maybe again around week 3. i had a full on, ugly cry, "i know i'm going crazy" freak out the saturday after wyatt was born. i couldn't get him to latch and i was so enormously engorged i couldn't see straight. really. i couldn't see past my giant ta-tas. i felt like my body wasn't my own. it was sore, sticky, and nothing fit. but it was mostly about me feeling like a totally inadequate mother because i couldn't get him to latch. it was the morning from hell. i couldn't relax enough to let down so he couldn't eat. he was frustrated. i was frustrated. and that does not make for a good feeding. at all. and it was like a downward spiral. and then if i remember correctly, by the time i did get him to latch, he wanted about 6.5 drops when i needed him to drink a gallon so i could feel even an ounce of relief. i'll tell you this. it's going to be ok. warn your husbands now. and if you can, have your bestie on call and close because you'll need her more than you ever have before.

not to keep bringing up the whole bleeding thing, but you have to know. you really bleed. like borderline murder scene. don't be alarmed. shit, who am i kidding. you will be alarmed no matter what. you've probably never bled like this before. just know, it's normal. and your nurse/doula/midwife will most likely teach you how to massage your uterus on your own so it stops. make sure and ask about this awesome trick. you need to do this, if i remember correctly, at least a couple times a day. it helps to contract your uterus and get it back to "normal". it also helps with the bleeding. and the other dousy i've been holding out on. one of the grossest, yet coolest (i am realizing how weird i am when i write this!!!)  thing that happened post partum. i think it was around day 4. i got up out of bed to change wyatt's diaper while ty took a nap. about 20 seconds after i got up, i felt this gloppity glop glob thing move through me... and out of me. it felt kind of like i had wyatt's mini twin... it didn't hurt at all, it just felt so weird. it scared the shit out of me at first. but thank GOD i was wearing my diaper! i woke him up, and we went to the bathroom, and sure enough. there it was. a tennis ball sized clot. delish.

and on this lovely day, i will leave you with this. best year of my life. hands down. today marks my little guy's first big birthday and i couldn't be more proud of what we've accomplished together this year. ty and i are closer than ever. we've lived for each moment with our monkey. i put together a little slide show and can't believe how fast a year goes by.

happy birthday little guy, love of our life.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

i get it, finally, 31 years in

when i was little, i can remember asking my mom and my dad what they wanted for their birthday's. i can remember asking and expecting "an actual answer". instead, i'd get something along the lines of, "i just want to spend time with you" or "i don't need anything as long as i get to celebrate with my family". i can remember always being so disappointed with that answer. it seemed so lame at the time. so cheesy. so not helpful. i needed gift ideas. you know, like a watch or new decorative bath soaps, or a new hammer (plastic), or keychain. (these were actual things i got my parents when i was little -- sure, they were from the dollar store, but i was proud nonetheless.)

last weekend, ty asked me what i wanted for my birthday. my answer? just to spend time with him and wyatt. as long as i spent my day with them, i would be one happy camper. sound familiar? 

yep, i get it. that answer is THE ONLY ANSWER NOW. the only thing i want for my birthday is to spend time with my family, my kids. except that answer is not meaningless. it's not cheesy. it's not disappointing. it honestly is all i want. wyatt will ask me the same question i asked my mom every year. and my answer will be the same. he'll look at me just like i looked at her. i'll look at him, just like she looked at me. knowing that some day, if he's really lucky, he'll get to say the same exact thing to his wide eyed, unknowing kidlet. 

31 years in, i am lucky. i am reflective and happy. i've learned a lot about life this last year. i've learned a lot about what i can handle. i've learned i am strong. i have learned that even with so much change, i am still me, just with a few more layers. 

happy birthday to me. the one that is quickly becoming just like her parents. the one that now gets it.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

first year must haves

i have been getting a lot of questions lately about baby must have's. i love talking baby gear. like, a lot. so i decided to get all of my favorite first year items down in one spot. here goes nothing: 

  • the bob stroller - if i could do it again, i wouldn't register for a whole carseat/stroller get up. pick out the car seat you like and get the bob insert for the baby carrier. you will love this thing. worth every penny. 
  • we use dr. brown glass bottles. i like them both a lot. the glass are super freaking heavy but i went with them because i knew they'd last longer for next baby. (we use the plastic sometimes too, but just have more glass bottles so end up using the plastic when we haven't run the d/w in a day. (seriously, dishes.never.end.)
  • binkies - we love the nuk brand. they seemed to be the only one's that stayed in wyatt's mouth but i know others that liked advent. we just went with the nuks because, well, i think the colors are stinking cute. and there was this little whale binky that they made and i couldn't resist. 
  • the baby book by dr. william sears has been awesome. great registry item. awesome go-to in the freak out moments while you wait for your ped's nurse to call you back :)
  • burp rags -- my faves are made my moonbeam baby. you can personalize them and they are adorbs. they wash really well, and they are thick.
  • little wash cloths -- the circo washcloths are perfect texture and thickness. we used them all the time when he was an infant and now he loves them for teething. we put them in the freezer sometimes. we also use a couple during bath time. he usually has one hanging from his mouth the whole time. 
  • the cute boon bath frog is one of our faves along with any of the boon bath toys -- wyatt LOVES them. such a fun gift. (they even have this cute little lady bug version which i love too!) 
  • the sophie doll. a must have for teething. plus she's just plain cute. 
  • nuk tippy cups are freaking cute. and the handles are perfect for little teeny tiny chunky knuckled hands! i get ours at safeway, for real. we were able to start him on these pretty early -- the size is perfect and the texture of the spout is comfortable for him because it's super similar to his bink.
  • mustela baby lotion, bath wash, and liquid cleaner. someone got me this for a shower gift and i got to try everything early on. this smell is so awesome. (keep this in mind though -- in the begiining your babe won't need a lot of this stuff. during bath time, do bath wash like every other time -- so if you do bath time every couple of days, use soap every other time. soap really dries baby skin out. i learned the hard way!) 
  • unscented detergent -- i have to admit, this one was hard for me to accept. i love the smell of laundry, especially on cute little baby clothes. but, the scented yumminess of tide, dried his skin out so bad. (also, another tip - don't use dryer sheets when you wash your babe's clothes) 
  • carter onesies -- i found these were always the best price on the carter's site OR at the outlet store. plus, these are just plain good quality. i know i'll use these for our next babe. we have a ton! 
  • aden & anais swaddler blankets -- my biggest regret? not buying the the bamboo set. they really are amaze balls. so soft, love love love. adorable. you will use these a ton -- they are small enough to stuff a couple in your diaper bag - perfect to use as a cover up for nursing too. (wyatt hated the hooter hider.)

for mama:

  • get these. the best thing my bestie did was have these in my fridge, nice and cold before i even had the babe. 
  • medela nipple shields -- if you nurse, your nips will freaking kill about day 2 into nursing. these are rad because your sensitive nips won't stick to the inside of your nursing tank/bra. get two sets. at least.
  • medela lanolin - way better then lansinoh brand if you ask me. 
  • nipple pads - my fave's are johnson & johnson brand (and actually find them cheapest at the grocery store of all places -- $7.99). they even have a little nip bump in them. hilarious. but i also love the lansinoh disposable one's better then medela brand. both are good and individually wrapped. i also bought about 3 pairs of washable organic pads - these are good to have on hand too. i leaked like crazy that first two weeks so i needed these bad. (one thing though - i didn't need these a lot until later because i used the shields every single day for the first 4 months). i ended up with some "issues" about 8 months in and had to use the pads every day.
  • nipple gel pads - these were great the first two weeks - they are just cool stickable pads for your nips and they are super soothing. i think i had the medela brand. love. 
  • nursing tanks - glamourmom brand seriously rocks. they are expensive, but SUPER high quality. and snug. 
  • gap maternity leggings were rocked throughout my pregnancy but also the first 2 months postpartum. they were so cozy. i would still wear my black pair if they fit! 
  • gap maternity yoga pants are also awesome for pregnancy and after. and of course, anything lululemon.
  • medela free style pump - this thing rocks. thank you, lindsay! i can pump anywhere with this thing and don't have to tote around that big pump bag anymore. you also should get the quick steam bags. seriously - so easy to clean your pump parts with this thing daily!

more baby goods:

  • the halo sleep sack with the velcro swaddler -- i had one in small and then ended up with 2 mediums. we used them every night starting at about 2 months. seriously though - every baby is different. it's just nice to have a few of these on hand. 
  • pack n' play -- we have the capri graco. loved it at all stages. especially all of the vibrating options! 
  • favorite boppy cover ever - cutest color, best fabric, so soft. washes great. love. 
  • lamb sound machine -- so cute. and has a few different sound options (ocean waves, heart beat were the ones we used the most) and at one point it was the only thing that allowed ty and i to eat dinner together. we don't use it as much now, but there was something about it early on -- it was portable, so that was super nice. we do have about 3 three of these in our house and have used them for years and years. i grew up with this sound machine, and it still works. we have one in our room and wyatt's room. worth the investment for anyone that appreciates a good night sleep. hello, everyone. 
  • mylicon - this is a must for a gassy baby. does freaking wonders. they have the generic brand at most grocery stores for MUCH cheaper than the brand name God send.
  • gripe water - another must for gassy, upset tummies
  • cool mist humidifier - the crane drop is so cute. so many fun colors. 
  • this is my favorite highchair booster - i wouldn't have even registered for a high chair if i knew how awesome this seat was.
  • teething tablets - have no clue if these really work but i think wyatt loves them and if anything, they distract him from whatever he has going on. here's the thing - it's a freaking guessing game early on. i noticed that when i gave him one of these things right before nap time, it would calm him down and he would lay his head down instantly and pass out. no clue. #whatever works. :)
  • these robeez boots. they don't really get much cuter than this!

toys that let me make dinner: 

there is a lot of stuff out there, as you know. but this is stuff that i remember because it actually made or is making a difference for me at some point. if i were to do my registry again, every single one of these items would be on there. 

good luck to you mama's! and pass it on for those out there that have other must have's! list them in the comments why don't ya! 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

the new nap

i used to take naps all the time. like, all. the. time. when wyatt was born, i'd try to nap when he would nap. on the harder days around 2-3 months, i'd bring him to bed with me and we'd nap together. since he's started sleeping through the night (oh Lord help me - please don't take this away now that i've put it into the blogosphere!) i haven't 1. really been able to nap since i work during the week and 2. really needed it since i'm actually sleeping at night again. halleluia.

while i may not nap with my little stink pot, i definitely take advantage of the time. and by "take advantage" you might picture me cleaning the house, or folding laundry, or running errands or dusting base boards.

try again.

instead, i am usually writing a blog post, pinning things, enjoying egg nog creamer with a splash of coffee with my hubby, or getting caught up with my closest friends via text.

today is no different. and i'm lovin' it. i kind of feel like a mama bear in hibernation during nap time. cozied up, and saving up all of my energy for my little cub. the "me time" might come in spurts these days, but the smartest thing i do on the weekends is soak it up.

and he's awake. hibernation over.

game on.

Friday, October 19, 2012

guilt free life

i am marching to the beat of a new drum these days. ever since i found out i was pregnant almost 19 months ago, i've carried around this guilt. it's heavy, it's dark, and it weighs me down. when i first found out i was knocked up, i'd feel guilty about the drinks i consumed before i knew i was preggo. then i'd feel guilty about the fried food i'd eat, or how my poor puppies would be impacted by a new baby. once wyatt was born, i'd feel guilty in the moments of absolute exhaustion. i'd feel guilty in the moments i didn't enjoy it all more. then i found myself back to work, feeling guilty when i was there and away from wyatt. then as if i wasn't hard enough on myself, i'd feel guilty when i was at home and not online.


i drew a line about a week ago. in all honesty, i don't have freaking time to feel guilty. i can only do my best. and my best has to be good enough. and if it's good enough for me, it's gotta be good enough for everyone else. i'm in pursuit to living a guilt free life. and it started 7 days ago.

and i've never felt better.

it doesn't happen over night, but i'm getting there. old habits die hard.

on wednesday night, i left a work event a little early. i had missed bedtime with my sweet boy two nights in a row and i needed to try to get home in time to see him before he went down. i felt bad leaving a fun group of people that night but knew in my gut i needed to get home. when i came in the house, i could hear wyatt upstairs in the tub - my favorite part of the bedtime routine. when i walked in the door and saw him, he looked humungous and happy to see me. i ate dinner outside the tub and fed him bits of the chicken from my salad while he splashed around and showed off for ty and i. i drifted in and out of the moment though, feeling guilty that i wasn't with work. then guilty for thinking about it. once we got little guy out of the tub and downstairs for a little more play time, things took a turn.

within a few minutes of being downstairs, wyatt took his first real steps in front of ty and i. it was the best moment. it's this little video that keeps playing in my head over and over. not only because it was the cutest thing i'd ever seen, but because it was in that moment that i knew.

i was right where i was supposed to be.

this pursuit won't be easy, but i'm going to rid myself of the guilt and trust that i'm right where i am supposed to be, wherever that is. and most importantly trust my gut.

and not feel guilty for it.

wish me luck.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

dear wyatt >> 11 months

pumpkin butt,

i'm running out of ways to tell you how much i love you. i'm still obsessed with everything about you. you continue to stuff my heart full of confetti hearts and i swear you shoot rainbows into my blood stream every time i see you after missing you all day long. i live for my weekends with you and lately, my favorite time of day with you is a toss up. i equally adore your morning wake ups and our nightly bath time routine. saturday and sunday mornings are my happy place. bringing you into bed with us and watching you whip between daddy and me is pretty much my favorite thing on earth. you are so incredibly smart. your little brain is a sponge. you've started giving me kisses, passing things back and forth (i.e. sharing) and you do your best to say words you hear over and over. while "mama" is still used out of desperation, you try to say "truck", "ducky", "blow", and "dada" often.

you love books. especially those cute little touchy feely books. your current faves are "that's not my monster" and "that's not my truck". you love trucks. i think you hear the garbage truck about 5 neighborhoods away on friday afternoons and you tug on me to lift you up so you can see it out the window. one of our favorite things you do is play "airplane" with your wooden melissa and doug airplane. you've watched daddy do it and now you will do it too. it melts us. especially when you do it with something else - like a piece of avocado at dinner. you still love avocados. so much so, you look like the grinch after you eat them.

you love to dance. especially to the beach boys. so strange. when you hear music you like, you'll get to a spot where you can stand yourself up and dance. and if you don't want to stand, you sit and wiggle around to the beat. you shake that little booty of yours every chance you get. you are standing alone often now... and you've taken about 3 steps at a time -- either between daddy and i, or between tables... or in the bathtub. safe. i often catch you cruise along side the bathtub as well (as you patiently wait for it to fill so you can get in) and into the bathroom. if i don't watch you close enough, or if i don't learn my lesson and close the toilet seat, i find you stirring the toilet water. yummy. what can i say? you love water. always have. you are such a cozy little baby - you always, always, always give a little squeeze to me after i wrap you up like a burrito after bath time. i live for that moment every night. i think that's why i love bath time, knowing the cherry on top saved just for me afterwards.

not sure what more i can say about 11 months, other than what i always say in my letters to you. it just gets better. you are still the stealer of hearts in this house. you are watching us and learning from us every day.

we are lucky to call you ours. happy 11 months sweet cheeks.

Monday, October 8, 2012

chicken soup

remember this post? yah, well i did a little of that again this weekend with my bestie.

i am warm and cozy and full -- full of chicken soup. not the cambell's kind though. more like the home made chicken soup -- with white chicken pieces that came from a chicken my grandma cooked in her cast iron pot. and carrots from the garden. and home made chicken broth. and celery from the local farmer's market.

that kind.

annie and i planned to meet at the master park lot c at 5am on thursday morning. and you want to know how excited i was?

i was early.

that excited.

when you are a kid and you go to bed on christmas eve, there really isn't anything like it. until you are a mom of a 11 month old and it's been over 6 years since you took a long weekend with your best friend - just the two of you. i think i even squeezed my eyes closed as tightly as i could on wednesday night, willing myself to sleep so that the next time i opened my eyes it would be because my 3:30am alarm went off.

i probably would have been 1000% content if all we got was the flight to san diego together. that alone was worth the money to me. uninterrupted time to talk... and talk. and talk. and laugh. and cry. and talk.  i attempted to pump mid flight, in my seat...  which was, well, interesting. and hilarious. she's one of very few people i would have done that with. like i would have wasted precious minutes in the tiny bathroom when i had my bestie to keep me company and entertain me. duh.

the three full days together consisted of something we haven't done in quite some time. a special something called:

taking our sweet ass time.

and being two silly best friends, making a scene at every stop.

my other big take away? we might be wives and moms now, but we're still the ridiculous 18 year olds that met in the dorms at western, matching nokia phones in tow. or the "rule followers" who skipped the bars in canada just to decorate the halls. or the freshman who decided to "color" bikini tops on with crayola markers.

we're still those girls.


love you chick. xoxo.
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