February 6, 2015

New Baby Essentials - The First 3 Weeks

 I've been a Mom now for exactly 22 days. It's amazing just how much you learn in such a short amount of time. I'm by no means an expert on anything baby-related but I have found a few items that I just couldn't live without. Some of these items I bought before my son was born in anticipation of his arrival. Others have been bought in post-baby Target runs out of slight desperation.

Avent Free Flow Pacifiers
I heard lots of people say not to give pacis at all. I certainly wasn't opposed to their use but I wasn't ready to give Samuel a paci the day he was born. I waited until the next evening when he was having so much blood drawn for the bilirubin test. The hospital gave us the large Soothie pacis and Samuel hated them! Once we got home I raided my paci basket and found these. We haven't used any others since then. The Avent Free Flow are made to have extra air flow so it doesn't irritate baby's mouth. Samuel loves the little handle and likes to hold it himself. 

Aden and Anais Blanket

I wouldn't call these swaddle blankets since we use the Swaddle Me wraps for that but I love these for wrapping around S in his car seat when we venture out. They are large yet thin and don't take up a ton of diaper bag space. I love the simple patterns that don't scream "baby." I splurged on these with a registry coupon and don't regret the purchase at all!

Summer Infant Swaddle Me Blankets
We practiced and practiced swaddling during our newborn care class and in the hospital and never seemed to get the swaddle tight enough to contain Samuel. These solved all our problems! The first evening we were home we used this but unfortunately got some spit up on it. Thankfully Walmart and Target both sell these and we quickly added 3 more to our stash. 

Dr. Brown Bottles 

I did not want to use these bottles at all! Mommy was being very stubborn because who wants to wash all these pieces? I bought Avent Natural bottles and had freebies of the MAM and Latch brands as well as one single Dr. Brown bottle we'd gotten as a gift. After the first week, we noticed Samuel had less spit up and gas after feeding with the Dr. Brown bottle. He seemed much happier and more comfortable with the standard nipple size as opposed to the wider bottles so I caved. I returned all of my unopened Avent bottles and bought tons of the Dr. Brown's. Ironically, Dr. Brown bottles were cheaper than the Avent. The pieces are a bit annoying but I'm becoming good friends with my dishwasher and the bottle baskets for all the parts. 

Formula Mixing Pitcher
Makes mixing a day's worth of formula fast and easy. Less bubbles and just fill your bottles as you need them without having to scoop powder. I haven't used this a lot since Samuel seems to do better with ready to feed right now. I know this will get lots and lots more use in the coming months. 

Adelina Madelina Diaper Bag from Babies R Us

I registered for this bag and received it as a gift. The original price is almost $80 but it has been on sale for $30 for the last few months. I love the wipe-able fabric and the cross body strap. It's plenty big enough for a couple of outfits, bottles, diapers, my wallet and more. I have a Vera Bradley diaper bag that I'll be switching out with this one as we start going more places. Not sure you can ever have too many purses ... or diaper bags!

Huggies Diapers
We used these in the hospital and I'd planned on using the diapers I'd been gifted - all different brands. These are unscented and Pampers aren't. The Pampers caused an allergic reaction and now I'm Huggies all the time. I do prefer the tabs on the Huggies as the are more velcro like and therefore more adjustable during middle of the night sleepy diaper changes.

September 18, 2013

Midweek Confessions: iCloud, Buffalo Dip, and Bloglovin'

Hello, hello blog reader friends! Almost 3 months to the day since I last blogged and thanks again to Midweek Confessions by E for kicking my butt in gear.

1. Why and how is my iCloud almost full? I keep getting that crazy email and I keep deleting stuff. Could it be the photo-hoarder in me that doesn't want to delete from my camera roll? I can't update to iOS 7 because my phone is too full. Luckily, I'm not disappointed :)

2. This stuff is addictive. I can't.stop.eating.it. It's new in the Publix deli section and was on sale (thru today) for $3.99. You better believe I made a special trip today just to get more while it was on sale. Perfect mix of spicy but not set-you-on-fire-spice.  Thanks lovely friend at work that shared some with me last week.

3. Speaking of lovely friends at work, another friend and I were chatting iPads at school a few days ago. Our school just purchased a set of 10 iPads for checkout and I'm managing them and assisting with the other 29 iPads that teachers use in our building. Well, my friend was telling me about Bloglovin' and showed me her app and I was sold. All of my tech-teachery blogs all in one place and easy to read new posts. I need to organize and add some of my fun, personal blogs to it too. 

4. Ok, I was looking at my Photo Stream and I can confess this too. I made this photo board from an old backless frame, some foam board, burlap, and twine about a month ago. Love having all of my random snapshots on display in my house now. Love the bright light in the evenings coming in that window and my awesome kitchen chairs and table set. Ah. Love it. This isn't really a confession other than that I love my kitchen. 

June 19, 2013

Midweek Confessions

- It really amazes me how quickly I can get in a "summer sleep" routine. Staying up late, sleeping late. It's nice. Until today, when the roofers came to replace our roof. Early wake ups are not my favorite. Coffee and the Andy Griffith show make it better though.

- You know you are growing up when a new roof and new storm door excite you. The cost of these items don't excite me but they are necessary and adults do necessary things to keep their house up. (This isn't really a complaint...I'll be really excited to see the new roof when it's finished.)

- I really want to start couponing again. I did pretty good for a while but got tired of organizing the coupons in my binder. I should really look into another organization method. (Translation of this confession: I will spend most of the day reading coupon blogs)

- I put Downton Abbey, Season 1 on hold at the library months ago. It finally came in on Saturday. I came home and we watched the 1st 2 episodes and LOVE it! The bad part? I only reserved disc 1, not all 3. Thanks to an Amazon gift card we're good now. How did I just now catch on to this show??

- I love the Collect app on my phone. I've taken at least one picture a day the entire month of June. I also like Pixelgarde as it tells me the date and time that my iPhone pics were taken. Both are free apps! I like Overgram too ($1.99) when I add captions to my images. Here's a picture of my apps that I use for photos.

May 25, 2013

Strawberry Cobbler Recipe

I found this recipe in the Market Bulletin, a local farmer's newspaper. I added maybe 2 tablespoons of milk to the crumbly mixture so it would mix easier.

April 25, 2013

30 Before 30: Update #1

April 25, 2013:

So, I started pondering my 30 before 30 list this week. I've come up with a few more ideas and wanted to add to the list. I haven't crossed anything off the list yet though. No worries. Five years to go. I add 6 1/2 ideas to the list below (in red). Hmm....will see what else I can come up with. 

September 30, 2010: 

I'm linking up with my new favorite blog, www.emyselfandi.com, for her 30 things to do before 30 post. I love this idea of having a list of things to do before a certain age. I'm not sure I'll be able to come up with 30 things tonight but seeing as a have several  years until I'm 30, I'll still have plenty of time to add to my list of things. 

1. I hate trying to come up with the first thing on the list. Yikes! #1 always seems to mean the most important. I guess the most important would be to have a summer packed full of fun the year I turn thirty. I realized in typing this list that I will turn 30 in June and then celebrate my 10th wedding anniversary in August of the same year. I think that is super cool and requires some super fun plans that summer. I'll let you know when I decide what those plans might be (in a few years)!

2. Go on a cruise with Mom. Hopefully that will happen in the coming summer! Woohoo! Not sure cruises will be happening for a while with all the Carnival drama lately. 

3. Lose 15 pounds. I should really get busy with this one NOW!

4. Get a full time job as an elementary school teacher. Come on, Economy! I'm ready and willing to work!

5. Pick out and purchase a new (or at least new-to-me) SUV. 

6. Find an organization system for my photos, scrapbooks and stick with it and stay up to date. 

7. Learn how to apply eyeliner on myself and establish good makeup and skin care routines and stick with them! These dark under eye circles are creeping up way too soon for my liking!

8. Participate (walk) in a 5k

9. RUN in a 5k

10. Participate in a meal swap and stock my freezer with meals.

11. Spend weekend at the Foley House Inn in Savannah again.

12. Fly somewhere....I've never flown before. 

13. Learn to curl my hair in beachy, soft waves. 

Confessions: Almost-May Edition

I'm linking with E, Myself and I here today for her Midweek Confessions. Oh, I had so many thoughts to share but then I decided it would be best to pack lunches and get a shower tonight so I wouldn't have to rush tomorrow morning. Trying to be productive...and I'll still be running to bus duty as the bell is ringing tomorrow morning. 

~ I've come up with a few new ideas for my 30 before 30 list. Will plan to update that list on the blog soon.

~ I love my leopard print house shoes. No one else seems to think they are cute but I love them and they are so comfy. Hardwood floors are pretty but they are cold, even when it's hot outside!

~ Our cat hasn't felt very well lately. Nothing major but, gosh, I wish he could talk and just tell me what is wrong! I guess kids are the same way but .... so nerve wracking!

~ Only 23 more days until summer vacation! Lots of good stuff there! This will be the first summer that I will get a pay check and be off at the same time. 

~ Hubby will be finishing his masters degree this summer. YAY! Will be so glad when that is over! I have to get busy thinking about throwing a little grad party for him.

~ I wish I could design really awesome blog backgrounds and such. But I can't. Oh well.

~ How is it almost May? I know school is almost out and all but sieriously....May starts next week! YAY!

January 23, 2013

Midweek Confessions

I'm linking again with http://www.emyselfandi.com/ for Midweek Confessions. I'm not sure if she's doing a linky this week but I thought I'd confess anyway.....here goes....

- After deciding to post confessions today, I surfed over to my blog and noticed my last post about my word. I still don't have a word. I'm not sure if I'm going to have a word this year. Not really worried about it.

- We had dinner at church tonight and I managed to actually cook real food. (We're going to ignore that my real food consisted of macaroni and cheese - for the 2nd time this week. Oops.) Not only did I cook for tonight, I also cooked tomorrow night's dinner too. I'm hoping to work with a teacher buddy and get a lot of planning done tomorrow afternoon and wasn't sure how quickly I'd get home. Wanted to make sure there was a pre-cooked meal all ready to go.

- I wish my cat could talk. He always seems like he has something to say. I also wish I could take him for walks at the park or to visit my family and on car rides to the Chickfila drive thru for cookies. That would be great! (So random, I know)

- I slept through most of the Bachelor on Monday. Just can't stay awake until ten on a "school night". LOL. Sad to see Kacie B. go. She seemed so sweet in the last season but I felt like I was back in 5th grade with the tattle-telling.

- We can earn "early out" passes at work to leave 30 minutes early. I used one of mine today. What did I do? I bought gas and groceries. Then, I came straight home and dumped the groceries and went for a jog/run/quick walk to the lake and back. Not sure what came over me but it was so fun. I was very proud of myself. Normally, I'd use that early out to get an extra nap. LOL.

I guess that's enough random-ness for one midweek post. Happy Almost-Thursday!

January 3, 2013

My Word - 2013

2013 - Twenty Thirteen - Two Thousand Thirteen

Every year for the last 3 years I've chosen a word to represent my year.

2010 = celebrate
2011 = engage
2012 = active

But 2013 has no word - yet.

I have lots of things on my mind for this year and even a few goals to strive toward. But I'm stuck on a word. I guess I'll ponder it some more and come back to it in a few days. After all, it is only the 3rd day of the year (even though it feels like New Year's Day was for-ever ago!)

December 7, 2012

Four Things

Elizabeth is having a link-up for 4 things Christmas gifts. Her image was so cute I just had to participate. This is my realistic list. I could have totally made another one say that I "needed" all new kitchen appliances  I wanted living room furniture, for wear I'd include casual Saturday-type lounge clothes, but I'd still say I Christmas books for the read section. I just love my Christmas book collection!

November 25, 2012

Christmas Book Collection

I spent my Sunday afternoon photographing and cropping these pictures of my Christmas book collection. Then I spent some time browsing Amazon for new books to add to the collection. All the while I should have been working on lesson plans for my 4th and 5th grade classes. Oh well. This is more fun and more festive too. 

I started collecting children's Christmas books when I got married in 2008. The goal was to add one a year and then eventually I'd have enough to read with my (future) children one book a night each day in December. It was quickly pointed out that unless I planned to wait 24 years to have children I wouldn't have enough. Ooops. So I've started adding 2-3 books each year. Sometimes I get them as gifts, other times I buy them while J & I are traveling, or I pick them up at the Goodwill store. There are even a few that were my childhood books. Those are extra special. 

If I counted correctly, I have 21 books now. Only a few more needed to have "enough" and then I'll keep adding so that I have some to rotate in and out. :)

 I love the Christmas Story book with the babes! This book is new but was a favorite when I was little. 

 My first book in the collection. 

 Tucker was very interested in my books when I was taking pictures. 

 Then Tucker decided to climb in the book basket!

 I bought this book in honor of Tucker's first Christmas with us!

The entire collection. All 21 books!

November 22, 2012

Midweek Confessions

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I'm linking up a day late (and dollar short!) for E, Myself and I's Midweek Confessions. I'm not sure anyone would be interested in reading these confessions but anyways...that's not my problem.

1. I baked a cake yesterday and it miraculously didn't stick to the pan. I used Wilton's Cake Release and I may never go back to using regular baking spray again. 
Cake Release

2. I love dressing. It is my favorite part of Thanksgiving. I could seriously do without the turkey. I used to only liked my Nanny's dressing but now that we spend time with hubby's family for Thanksgiving I've started to enjoy other people's dressings too.

3. I got out my DSLR camera this morning. Why is it that I suddenly want to play with it at holidays? I'm not good with it so I'll probably end up with icky pictures today.

4. I've read all of the other link-ups on E's confessions this week and I loved reading this blog: http://lott2love.blogspot.com/ Love finding other blogs + especially blogs without kids. Not that I dislike kids but I just don't have any.

5. I really don't like to dress up in dress pants for holidays. I'd rather wear jeans but today I'm wearing some comfy dress pants because I plan to eat lots of dressing :)

I hope everyone has a Happy Turkey Day today. 

Here's a peek at my Christmas mantle. Love having a fireplace and mantle to decorate in our new house!

July 25, 2012

Midweek Confessions

Want to read more confessions? Check out Emily's blog at www.emyselfandi.com 

-- I have a pan of smores bars sitting on the stove waiting to get cool enough for me to eat. They smell good, they look good, I just hope they taste good. I found the recipe here. For the most part, they actually look like the picture except I had regular size marshmallows instead of minis. 

-- I have to go to a meeting at Human Resources tomorrow about benefits for my NEW JOB! The last time I went to HR there was road construction and a huge detour and I was almost late. I'm planning to leave super early so that won't happen again. 

-- I wanted to stop for a ham sandwich at the Honey Baked Ham Co. today but I was finished my errands around 10:30am and wasn't ready for lunch. I was so excited too because I had a really good coupon to use. When I got home I cleaned out my wallet and realized my punch card for Honey Baked was full and I get a FREE sandwich! I'll be going there for sure tomorrow!

-- I also found a coupon for a free Dunkin Donuts drink in my purse from my birthday last month. Woohoo! Will have to save that for another day. 

-- My sunglasses broke at the beach last week. So I quickly rushed to Target and bought a new pair. I was desperate because of the bright beach sun! Now, I wish I'd waited because they aren't very comfortable and I really would have liked a more stylish pair. I'm suddenly intrigued by dark purple sunglasses. Sigh.

-- I ran into the Dollar Store Monday night and found a great zebra scarf for $5! I guess that makes up for my  not-so-stylish sunglasses. 

-- I also went to a makeup class Monday night on eye makeup. Pretty neat. Since then I've been watching lots of tutorial videos for hair and makeup from http://www.thesmallthingsblog.com/ and http://www.beautybroadcast.net/ Both ladies have great blogs and videos! After watching their videos I decided I needed eye make up brushes instead of trying to use q-tips. I knew exactly where to go...Target to the ELF makeup section. I found brushes for $1 each!