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.

Monday, October 1, 2012

fall is in the air

pretty happy with the fact we've had 70+ degree weather for the first two weeks of fall... i love sunny, fall days. we had a little adventure yesterday to the pumpkin patch and i'm not sure we could have had any more fun with our little pumpkin. he was a-mazed with all there was to see at craven farms. such a cute pumpkin farm. a few years back, we went with the stookey's and i can remember us all talking about how much different it would be going there with our kids someday.

the best. hands down. when he's excited about something, like really excited, he'll do this funny "uhhhh" sound but he'll hit about 5 different octaves when he does it. he did it over and over, and over, and over again yesterday. we could barely get him to smile because he was so distracted. this is rare. we were "those parents" yesterday too. big camera. lots of nick name calling, jumping, clapping, tickling. you name it. it didn't work. we had been trumped. and good thing, we needed him to remind us to just... get ready for it... enjoy the moment.

not really sure how much cuter this kid can get. it really is true, you start seeing things through your kids eyes. all of this was so brand new to him and he loved every second of it. we are actually going to head back when they get the animals in the barn. since it was kick off weekend, they weren't pulling out all the goods until they have some of the bigger crowds. makes sense. not. um, it's opening weekend. get with it. 

i really should explain this picture of ty. i just told him he looked like forrest gump. he wore bright white tennis shoes yesterday and they seriously looked humungous up on this tractor. i snapped the picture just as i said it. priceless. this is one of my favorite expressions ty makes - and usually it's when i've surprised him by my irreplaceable wit. it's true.

i have to give it to craven. red wagons? yes, please. this place was fall perfection at it's finest. every turn was made of picturesque-ness times infinity. like these mums. i don't even like mums. but these mums? perfect.

happy fall time, from our home to yours. now i am trying to think about what other fall traditions i want to start incorporating into the jensen fam. gotta fill a few weekends before the house is filled with christmas music, hot toddies, and cookie baking! any ideas are welcome folks.

coming soon: wyatt's 11 month letter, and the little mr.'s first birthday party. what.the.heck.
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