Archive for September 2016

5 Things Every Mom Needs in Her Bag Right Now

September 28, 2016

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If you are anything like me, then you are constantly in a rush to go from activity to activity with your kids. Even if it's just errands....whenever your kids are with you things take about 10 times longer. And things get about 10 times crazier. 

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This girl has been so sweet and fun lately....I've been in the 3-4 year old trenches so much lately that I've forgotten how much fun 1 year olds are! Everything is new and exciting, and so so sweet. But so busy......

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Every mom carries around a giant bag of necessities. But these 5 things are maybe something you wouldn't normally think of...but are totally things  you need in your bag RIGHT NOW!

1. Entertainment. If that grocery store check out lane is too long or you actually dared to go out to a restaurant with your kids, then you need some quick way to entertain them....right now we are loving these Water Wow re-usable coloring books and these finger flashlights! The Water Wow can go anywhere with you and it's mostly mess free. The best part is once the pages dry you kids can color them over and over again. And these finger flashlights are GOLDEN when you need to quickly distract your child. They are from the dollar section at Target and both of my kids are mesmerized by them!

2. A snack! Lately Sadie has been loving these Gerber® Lil’ Beanies! They are made from the goodness of navy beans...and they have 2 grams of protein, 1 gram of fiber, and 10% Daily Value of Vitamin E per serving. Yay for a snack that's toddler approved and good for you! 

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3. Lanolin. You've heard me sing the praises of this little product before, and I shall say it again. It's like a miracle cream! I use it mostly on my lips but it's come in handy during on-the-go diaper changes (for diaper rash) and even is great at healing dry skin. Sadie's knuckles were dry this morning so I slathered her up and she's perfect now!

4. A straw. I know it sounds silly, but I always seem to need a straw whenever I'm out with my kids! I love this straw and spill-proof silicone lid by Boon. It turns any cup in to a spill-proof cup with a straw. Genius! 

5. And finally wipes. I seriously don't know what I'd do without wipes in my bag. I use them for EVERYTHING! Clean tables at a restaurant, clean up spilled drinks in the car (actually, I've used them to wipe down the entire interior of my car too!), clean sticky name it, I've done it. I will always always have wipes in my matter how old my kids get!

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What are your mom bag must-haves?

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 Gerber® Lil’ Beanies are baked, not made with genetically engineered ingredients, and are naturally flavored. I love feeling good about the snacks I'm giving Sadie (and Hudson too!). 

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You can find Gerber® Lil’ BeaniesTM at Target...which is awesome since we are there every single week! Right now there is a great Ibota offer where you can earn $0.75 when you buy any flavor Lil’ Beanies. Make sure to take advantage of this deal! 

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Do All the Fall Things

September 23, 2016

Yesterday we kicked off the start of fall with a bang. It's officially my most favorite season and we don't want to miss a minute of it. I feel like our summer was pretty much a bust because I was feeling so terrible. But now I'm better and ready to do ALL THE FALL THINGS!

We wore our rain boots for the first time this week! And I realized Sadie only has Hudson's old tractor boots to wear. She NEEDS some red Hunters, am I right? Someone please send Jon that message. Also, Hudson needs some new boots too....he wore his last pair of rain boots for two seasons, so Hunters are totally justified for both kids, right?

And we found some leaves that had fallen. Yay fall!

We headed to Trader Joe's to get some mini pumpkins (we'll do a real pumpkin patch later!). I told each kid they could pick 2 pumpkins each. We left with 10. 

Sadie loved the mini white pumpkins best. That's my girl.

While at Trader Joe's I sneaked this Halloween gingerbread house in to my cart. Hudson and I decorated it during Sadie's nap and he had so much fun! Not pictured: the giant bite Hudson took out of the roof after I snapped this photo. 

We decorated the pumpkins with crayon and stickers....but apparently that wasn't enough. So we painted a few too. I had SO many questions on Instagram about what paint we use. We love Crayola's Washable Paint. It cleans up so easy and washes out of clothes too. I still strip the kids down to diaper/undies anyway because it's a MESS! Baths for everyone followed!

It's supposed to be in the 60s-70s for the rest of the week and I'm loving it! Happy fall!

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Most random 4 things ever...

September 16, 2016

Because it's Friday (yay!) and I have some favorites to share with you....random favorites, but favs non the less. And I know everyone does 5 on Friday....but I'm pregnant and exhausted, so I've only got 4. 

Everyone's favorite Bath and Body Works 3 wick candles are on sale! I showed some major restraint and only picked up's the Pumpkin Apple scent and I LOVE it! I was also on the hunt for a light body spray and this Pretty as a Peach spray totally won me over! It's so light and fresh and just makes me happy! 

A few of you asked if I was wearing maternity jeans in this post (I wasn't....I had to squeeze in to my regular jeans for the photo!), and if so where were they from. seems like everyone is on the hunt for a good maternity skinny jean, not just me! I have regular maternity jeans from when I was pregnant with Hudson, but no skinny jeans. I've tried to find some but every single pair I tried was rough and uncomfortable. BUT...two of you recommended the Jessica Simpson line (thank you Shayna and Marie!) at Motherhood Maternity....and I had never thought about checking there! I stopped by the next day and was pleasantly surprised! Every single pair I tried on were super soft and comfy. Can I get an amen? I ended up picking up these in a medium wash and a dark wash. They were buy one get one 50% off in store! I bought mediums and found them to be true to size...but if you are taller than me (I'm 5'8") then they will probably be too short for you. 

Okay, so this is going to seem weird, but stick with me. I recently realized I had a major chapstick. Yes, chapstick. Apparently it's a real thing. I had some kind of chapstick in every single room of our house. And in my purse. And beside my bed...even in the kid's rooms! And I was constantly reaching for it. I mean it was ALL THE TIME. And I was miserable without it. So I read up on chapstick and it turns out it can be bad for your lips because it doesn't allow the cells to regenerate and shed like they the more you use your chapstick the more you need it. Isn't that crazy? Anyway, Dr. Oz (I know....) suggests coconut oil or lanolin instead. So I tried coconut oil and found it to be too greasy and it didn't stay on for very long. Then I read you can use the lanolin nipple cream on your I grabbed an old tube I had from those early breastfeeding days and I was HOOKED! It has made my lips so soft! And it stays on for a long time so you don't have to keep re-applying. And...if it does wear off my lips aren't uncomfortable like they were when my chapstick would wear off. So trust me on this and get you some lanolin! (They sell the big tubes and the travel size at Target!)

I picked up this dress for Sadie and it is the cutest on EVER. I promise to get a photo of her asap. Now I want ALL THE COLORS. And I wish I looked that cute in a tutu dress. 

Happy weekend friends!

*affilate links used

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What it's Like to Breastfeed While Pregnant

September 13, 2016

I'm just going to come right out and say it. Breastfeeding while pregnant sucks. It sucks a big one. Literally.

Maybe you saw this post and thought, oh, Julie's going to write about how much she loves breastfeeding again. And don't get me wrong. I do love breastfeeding. It's been one of the most amazing experiences of my life. But I do NOT love breastfeeding while pregnant. I just don't. All the praise hands to those of you who managed to do it. It just wasn't for me. I never envisioned myself breastfeeding a tiny baby AND a toddler. No thank you! And I am BEYOND THRILLED to report to you that as of this weekend Sadie is officially weaned at 15 months old. Yay! MY BOOBS ARE FREE!

Well...they are free for about another six months before I start the process all over again. Dang, I'm exhausted. 

I breastfed Hudson for almost 16 months....which was amazing. And weaning him was a non-issue. I worked full time so he was used to taking a bottle of pumped milk. He preferred the boob, but he would take a bottle if offered to him. We slowly cut down on feedings and then just one night, he didn't ask to breastfeed, and I just rocked him. While I cried. But we were both ready, and it felt right.

Sadie, was a different story. I mentioned in the post about baby #3 that I had a panic attack over Sadie being so little still and me being pregnant again. Part of this was guilt. I felt a HUGE amount of guilt over things changing for Sadie before she was ready....mainly breastfeeding. Girlfriend LOVES HER SOME BOOBS and does not like to take a bottle. She pretty much would rather starve than have a bottle anywhere near her. She will drink out of a sippy cup during the day but during nap time and bed time she just wants mama. 

The day I found out I was pregnant I noticed a big drop in my milk supply. I didn't have that normal let down feel when I was feeding Sadie, and she seemed to suck and suck but never be fully satisfied....know what I mean? Hence the panic attack. But, after about a week of painful nursing my milk seemed to re-adjust. Or maybe Sadie did. But things got better. They weren't back to normal, but breastfeeding was....tolerable. My midwife said my milk would taste different and Sadie would just wean herself. But after several weeks of some uncomfortable nursing sessions for me, Sadie showed zero signs of wanting to stop. But I knew my body just couldn't keep up with her. My boobs were sore, I was exhausted, and super nauseous. And oh my word, the amount of water I had to consume to take care of myself, the baby, AND breastfeeding was crazy town. So I knew we had to stop. Insert huge mommy guilt here. 

We left Sadie with my mom for two nights while we took Hudson to Chicago for his birthday...and I had my fingers crossed that me being away at bedtime would finally help Sadie wean. Spoiler alert: it didn't. While away I tried pumping and got less than an I knew she wasn't getting much milk. It was really just comfort she wanted. And that broke my heart. My mom warned me that bedtime had been a major struggle while we were gone. And sure enough, as soon we got home and Sadie saw me she stuck her hand down my shirt to find my boobs. And at bedtime she screamed "MAMA MAMA MAMA!" at me while I tried to rock her. So I gave in and gave her some boob. I'm not sure she got anything but it made her happy. 

And I cried. I feel really guilty about it, but I was just ready to be done. 

The next night it was more of the same. But over the weekend I put my foot down. I rocked Sadie to sleep while she clutched her kitty in one hand and and my left boob in the other. She cried and was mad for a few minutes, but to my surprise she finally gave in and just let me rock her. Same thing for her nap the next day, and bedtime the next night. We still have a bit of a battle at bedtime, but it's been a lot better than I thought it would be. And I'm SO happy to have a little bit of my body back!

Can I get an amen?

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Life with Sadie

September 8, 2016

I know I say this often, but Sadie is such a sweet addition to our little family. She's smart, sassy, sweet, and LOVES her brother more than anything. She's my little sidekick and I just love everything about her. Whenever we are out and about strangers stop me and tell me how sweet she is....and they always say something about her big blue eyes (and sometimes remark on her tiny little red hairs!). It just warms my heart...even though she has stranger danger something fierce. 

Girlfriend is obsessed with shoes and if she see's a pair that belongs to her she will immediately grab them and bring them to you saying "shhisss! shhiss!" and demand you put them on her feet. She loves wearing Hudson's shoes too but prefers any of hers that are pink or sparkly. 

Sadie also LOVES kitties! She loves her toy kitties and especially loves the real kitties over at Gigi's house. She says "kiki!" when she sees them and gives them a big hug and kiss. Speaking of kisses, she has perfected the "muah" sound when she gives them....and she gives them a TON. Especially to her brother and daddy. 

She has a great appetite and never turns down a snack or meal. We recently picked up these Little Journey items from ALDI and she loves them all! She especially loves the Little Journey Yogurt Bites. And I like that the Little Journey infant-to-toddler snacks make nutritious eating easy with yummy foods I know Sadie will love, made from ingredients that I feel good about.

The Little Journey product line features nearly 50 high-quality affordably-priced feeding and changing essentials parents and little ones need...all at ALDI! Sadie is wearing the Little Journey Diapers and I've been really happy with the quality!

ALDI is known for bringing shoppers the highest quality products at the lowest possible prices, and the Little Journey brand is no exception. Like all ALDI exclusive brands, every Little Journey product is the same caliber – or higher! – as the national name brands on quality, durability, taste and price. Anything that makes my life easier, and Sadie's life happier is a win in my book! 

For more information about the complete line of Little Journey products and pricing, visit ALDI on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest or the ALDI website.

Compensation was provided by ALDI via Momtrends. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of ALDI or Momtrends.

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Helping Your Second Child Go with the Flow

September 6, 2016

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Second children.....they sometimes get the short end of the stick. When Hudson was one, our lives revolved around his schedule. And they still do! We were always home at nap time, ate meals at the same time, and never skipped a bath. But once you have that second child all of that goes out the window. Your second child has to play by the rules of your first...and learn to go with the flow. 

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Thankfully Sadie is pretty easy going...except when it comes to nap time and bed time. I've been really lucky to have my mom and my mother-in-law close by to step in and help out when I need to chauffer Hudson around from activity to activity. But sometimes it's just us and we have got to adjust as we go!

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We recently discovered some super cute Little Tikes toys that help Sadie conquer milestones...even when life gets busy!

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She's been loving her Little Tikes Shake ‘n Rattle Crabbie Ring and Hide ‘n Seek Hermie. 

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 Little Tikes line of toys help address baby's specific developmental needs while also soothing, stimulating and strengthening. The jittery Hide ‘n Seek Hermie is great for eye tracking, it hides while she seeks! They are just what Sadie need to help keep her occupied and happy while we are rushing off to Hudson's activities. And they help me play an active role in helping Sadie reach her key developmental milestones.

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And having a big brother to teach her the ropes helps a little too. Or distracts. Can you guess where Hudson is hiding?

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Stinkers. You can find Little Tikes Shake ‘n Rattle Crabbie Ring, Hide ‘n Seek Hermie, and Soothe ‘n Spin Octopus at Target

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Isn't this Little Tikes Soothe ‘n Spin Octopus cute? I might need to get it for baby #3! It helps calm baby while the dangling toys provide her with even more ways to play. Love!

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September 5, 2016

My sweet boy is FOUR today! FOUR. I can't believe it. 

Hudson is sweet, spunky, crazy, thoughtful, kind, hyper, and all kinds of greatness wrapped up in a little red-headed body. We couldn't be prouder of the little boy he's become. 

For his birthday we gave him the choice of either a party with all his friends or a special overnight trip to Chicago with mommy and daddy. And to our surprise he picked the trip! So we are off to Chicago tomorrow to celebrate our boy. And taking advantage of the time where he still picks us over his friends!

Some things about Hudson at age 4:

- He thinks the new baby will be a "boy baby...because we already have a girl baby." I tried explaining to him that we already have a boy baby too but he doesn't get it. 

He reminds me often that Gigi (my mom) is my mommy and that Grandma is Daddy's mommy. And then adds in that I'm his mommy.

His favorite color is "all the colors except the girl colors." And according to Hudson the girl colors are "pink and purple."

He constantly tells me I'm the prettiest girl in the whole wide world.

He calls Sadie "baby Sadie."

He often says to Sadie, "what are you doing stinker girl?"

He keeps saying to me "mommy, you be my mommy forever." I think it's because I keep asking him if he'll be my baby forever. Melt. My. Heart.

Jump, jump for 4! We love you Hudson! Happy Birthday!

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