Archive for January 2018

Little Milestones I Don't Ever Want to Forget

January 25, 2018

I know I talk about this all the time, but it seems like this whole "growing up thing" is way more emotional with the last baby than it was with the first two. Every little milestone is met with happiness mixed with sadness. I love watching Belle grow and develop, but a part of me wants to keep her a baby forever. I felt that way at times with my first two, but the feeling is so much stronger the third time around. I know she's our last baby, so the idea that this will be the last time I have a baby that army crawls on the floor, or does that cute backwards waive, or babbles "mama mama mama" just makes me sad. 

Belle is standing up all the time and I know that in no time she'll be walking. At ten months old, she's already a champ at everything she does: crawling, standing, talking, eating, sleeping......everything except napping. She's not a champion napper. But she's so cute I'll let it slide.

When I went to bed last night, I journaled all about her little milestones and the way she throws her hands up in the air whenever my husband says "touchdown!". I don’t want to forget these little moments, I don’t want to forget how I felt and the moment she said my name for the first time or how her little hands reach up to me when she wants me to pick her up. 

Belle is eating a ton these days and I just let her have at it. I want to remember the yogurt all over her face and the big smile she gives me when I let her use the spoon on her own. It’s the simple things that Belle teaches me. She loves and gets the happiest from the little things in life and well, I want to live like that.

It’s funny how when you have little ones in your life, your perspective changes not only on life, but what you’re putting in your bodies! I want my kids to be as healthy as possible! A simple choice for us is the new Happy Baby Whole Milk Yogurt Cups. It's made from delicious USDA organic ingredients and beneficial nutrients that nourish little bodies. 

I don't know if you can tell, but Belle loves it! Whole milk yogurt is an excellent choice for one of your baby's early foods because it contains nutrients such as calcium, protein, and vitamin D..... all the things needed to keep your body running and functioning just like it should. 

And the Happy Baby yogurt is mindfully made with probiotics, no added sweeteners, and is non-GMO. We found Happy Baby Whole Milk Yogurt Cups at our local Walmart store. Right now you can save $1 on Happy Family with this Ibotta offer

And check out this cute little milestone video I made of Belle trying the Happy Baby yogurt for the first time!

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A Day in the Life

January 24, 2018

As a reader, some of my favorite blog posts are those that are real, not picture perfect, and something I can relate too. I know that so much of social media is made to look picture perfect...and that's just not real life. So today I want to share a typical day in my life with all of you! I took a TON of photos on my phone (I'm warning you now!) and they are an unedited, real depiction of my day. I love reading these types of posts when other bloggers do them, and I hope you do too! 

This is a random Tuesday in January 2018. Hudson is 5, Sadie is 2 and a half, and Annabelle is 10 months old. And I am 34...if that matters. 

Up and at em! Some days I like to set my alarm early so that I can get up before the kids and have some time to myself. This is not one of those days. I woke up around 6am and realized I was in bed BY MYSELF. Jon was already up and Hudson slept in his bed all night. This is a HUGE deal. Hudson typically wakes up in the middle of the night and sneaks in to our bed. Sometimes I don't even hear him, I just wake up and he's there. So him sleeping in his bed all night is totally amazing. I tried to go back to sleep but soon enough Hudson came running down the stairs and right in to my bed. Since it's so dark outside I tried to convince him it was still night time, but he heard Jon in the shower and knew it was morning. So we are up!

Hudson gets a little iPad time and drinks a green smoothie while I get Belle out of bed and nurse her. 

With just two kids up, I take advantage of the quiet and squeeze in a little work. I send out some tweets, answer emails, look over my to-do list, and put away clean dishes from the night before. 

By 7:00 Belle is ready for breakfast! Every other Tuesday I have a bible study/group for moms at church that I attend. (It's ABC Moms for anyone in the Grand Rapids and it's the largest group gathering of moms in the area. It's my third year and I absolutely LOVE it.) We have brunch as a group so I typically don't eat breakfast on Tuesdays. Except Jon made cinnamon rolls for everyone this morning so of course I have one. Or two. 

7:30 a.m. and Sadie is still sleeping. She fought bedtime the night before so I'm not surprised. But even when she goes to bed on time she usually sleeps until 7:30. #favoritechild

I spoke too soon. Sadie's up. On my way to grab her out of her crib (yes, she's 2.5 and still in a crib. She loves her bed and hasn't tried to climb out so I'm keeping her in there as long as possible) I gather clothes for Hudson for school, and Belle and Sadie for church. Annabelle has a pile of clothes in her room that no longer fit. They've been there for a few days. #reallife

Sadie always asks for "a pretty dress" as soon as she wakes up, so she's the easy one to get ready in the morning. She's holding her "guys" in this photo. It's a small Princess Sophia, Amber, and James...and she sleeps with them every night. 

Hudson got a Kinder surprise egg for sleeping all night in his bed. I totally just blew his mind when I handed it to him. I found a huge box of them at Costco. 

Sadie eats breakfast and whines for my phone. I say no. I have a lot of photos of her looking like this. 

I take advantage of the big two being occupied and try and get myself ready for the day. This little lady keeps me company and makes some trouble. 

Belle makes her rounds. I put on some mascara and concealer, touch up my curls with the curling iron, and get dressed. And get interrupted approximately 50 times. 

I make sure Hudson is dressed and ready for school. He attends a young fives class four mornings a week and loves going. 

Belle gets in to ALL THE THINGS. 

It's 8:30 a.m. and time for school! On Tuesdays my mom takes Hudson to school AND picks him up, which is a HUGE help to me. Sadie begs to go to school too....but I remind her we have church and suddenly everything is right in the world. She LOVES going to church. She loves it so much that we signed her up to go in the nursery every Wednesday morning during my mom's bible study group too. 

I nurse Belle one more time and then get her ready for the church nursery. My goal is to get out the door at 9:00 a.m. Getting out of the house always takes 10 times longer than I have planned. 

Am running 15 minutes late, as per usual. 

9:30 a.m. I roll in to my moms group. Thankfully we are all moms, so there's a time cushion built in. We eat brunch, talk, and listen to a speaker. I am so thankful for these ladies!

My group is over at 11:15 but I am chatty mc-chatterson today and don't end up leaving until 11:45. Belle usually naps at 9:30 so going to church at this time totally throws her off schedule. The ladies in the nursery report to me that she slept a little bit but she's totally not happy when I pick her up. I have no pictures because Sadie does not want to leave and has a melt-down on the way out. Belle falls asleep in the car but wakes up when we get home. 

We get home at noon and it's just crazy town. I rush around to feed Sadie and Belle lunch, Hudson refuses to eat (typical) and then I put Sadie down for her nap by 12:30. Outfit change #1 for Belle. I am exhausted.

During Sadie's nap I try and do all the things. Hudson has "rest time" on the couch and plays quietly while watching a movie. We've hit that sweet spot where I can leave him alone for a little while and he can entertain himself.  I clean up the lunch mess and then snap some photos of a new bib for Mabel + Bixby. My mom catches me taking the photos like this. This is pretty much how I get anything done...with a kid on me at all times. 

Around 1:30 I nurse Belle and put her down for a nap. She's tired because she didn't get a good nap this morning. I could rock her all day. But I hear Sadie crying in her room, so my sweet peaceful moment is over. Usually I have about 20-30 minutes where the girl's naps overlap and it's the best thing ever. But not today. 

Hudson and Sadie play together while Belle naps. 

It's cold and windy today so no one wants to go outside, which is fine by me because I don't feel like standing in the cold. Hudson begs for a project to do so I bust out these activity books I got from the dollar spot at Target. They both love it so much it makes me want to find more books just like these. 

3:00 p.m. and Belle is awake! The big kids love to go in and greet her after she wakes up!

Then it's time to play some more. I wanted to snap a photo of the girls playing together in their new kitchen but Hudson keeps sneaking into the photos. I get several cute ones and then this gem. Jon calls to let me know he's on his way home. Praise God. 

4:00 p.m. The big two are always so excited when Daddy gets home and run to the door when they hear the garage open. Jon often works later so him getting home early is a big treat. He immediately gets the kids suited up in their snow gear and takes them outside to burn some energy. 

While Jon and the kids play outside, Belle has outfit change #2 and alternates between bouncing and whining while I prep for dinner. I was going to make bowtie fiesta pasta but my mom popped over and said she was going to make stir-fry (my absolute favorite) so of course I scrapped my plans! Typically dinner time is the HARDEST part of my day. Kids are cranky and extra clingy and it's hard to get anything done. So her helping out today is the best news ever. 

Hudson is starving after not eating much all day and comes inside begging for dinner. The house smells sooooo good. 

5:00 p.m. we all sit down to eat dinner. Well, not all together. Sadie insists on sitting in the red highchair tonight, which means Belle has to sit in her chair on the kitchen island. So I sit with her while Jon sits with the big kids. I think I'm up at least eight times getting something for someone before I can even sit down and eat myself. All three kids have two helpings. Major mom win! 

Then it's the witching hour. Everyone goes crazy. Belle follows me around while I try and clean up the giant dinner mess and do the dishes. 

Jon plays with the big kids. We all play a few rounds of hide and seek. 

6:00 bath time! The girls just recently started taking baths together and they both love it so much. Hudson asks to skip a bath/shower and I'm choosing my battles so I agree. I get both girls ready for bed and then take Sadie downstairs. 

Jon entertains the big kids while I nurse Belle and get her to bed. Girlfriend is tired. I typically rock her to sleep at night. I know you aren't supposed to do that but she's my last baby and I do not care. I've rocked all of my babies to sleep. It's my favorite. 

However, she is restless and won't settle down, which is her sign to me that she just wants to be in her bed. So after rocking her for a bit I put her in her crib and walk out. No tears!

Then I help the big kids brush their teeth and get Hudson's pjs on. Jon and I tag team the big kids: he takes Hudson to his room and I take Sadie. We read three books, cuddle, put all her babies and kitties in her bed, and then lights out. She's the easiest! After that I go in to Hudson's room and lay down with him/cuddle until he falls asleep. I know, I know. But he's my first baby. And has me wrapped around his finger. 

It's 8:00 p.m. and everyone is asleep! YAY! I treat myself to a few oreos and the bachelor...and write this post! Then I answer some more emails and make my to-do list for the next day. 

By 9:30 I am exhausted. I take a shower (I'm a night time shower person....just not enough time in the morning) and then my favorite time of day...bedtime!

Wow, that was long! But that was my day! If you made it to the end, thank you!

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A Busy Mom’s Guide to Winter Skincare

January 22, 2018

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I moved from Michigan to California about ten years ago and since then have learned a few things about caring for my skin during the winter. Now that I’m in my thirties and have three little children, remembering to take care of my skin, and finding the time to do it, is often difficult. So I’ve rounded up a few of my best tips for taking care of your skin during those cold winter months….and the best part is they are all super easy and super fast! I’ve partnered with one of my favorite brands, Dove, for this post.

1. Drink plenty of water. File this tip under things that are just plain good for you. I have a giant water bottle I carry around with me at all times and make it a point to fill it up multiple times a day. Staying hydrated will help your skin stain moisturized even in the dry winter air.

2. Use sunscreen! It seems like a given during the warmer months, but don’t forget to use sunscreen in the winter too. Dove dermatologist Dr. Alicia Barba reminds us that the sun is still out, even if you don’t see it, and the sun’s reflection on any snow can be particularly damaging. So wear your sunscreen. I use a moisturizer every morning with SPF 30 and I have SPF in my makeup too.

3. Care for your underarms. The skin under my arms is super sensitive, especially in the winter. Dr. Alicia Barba says wearing lots of layers of clothes can of irritate underarm skin. Underneath all of those layers you’ll need an antiperspirant that is formulated with moisturizers to help alleviate irritation. I started using Dove Advanced Care Antiperspirant about a year ago and love that it leaves me with softer and smother underarms.

4. Exfoliate gently. Don’t go overboard, but gently exfoliate your skin in the shower regularly. You’ll want to use a gentle soap (and not scrub too hard). I like to use Dove’s body wash with a loofa. Exfoliating your skin regularly will help get rid of that dead skin and keep you feeling fresh. But if you do it too often or too hard you can dehydrate your skin, so be careful!

5. Detoxify once a week. During the winter I like to use a mask every now and then to tone and purify my skin. I typically do this at night for a few minutes after the kids have all gone to bed.

6. Take care of your lips! Keeping your lips moisturized is essential in the winter. I LOVE to use Lanolin on my lips. Most breastfeeding moms already have this in their home. It’s nice and thick and stays on for a long time. Perfect for the winter!

7. Use a humidifier. A humidifier in your bedroom at night can be life changing during the dry winter months! Adding some humidity to the air can help your skin feel better…and help you if you have a stuffy nose too!

8. Take a multivitamin. You should do this year round…but it’s really important in the winter too. I like to take an extra dose of vitamin D in the winter too.

9. Wear gloves. This one may seem silly. But usually when I’m trying to wrangle three kids in their winter gear I often forget about bundling up myself. Gloves help protect the sensitive skin on your hands from the cold. My hands are especially prone to being extra dry in the winter, and one trip outside without gloves will make everything way worse. So protect your hands!

10. Get a pedicure! I know it sounds crazy to get a pedicure in the winter, but it’s the perfect time! My feet are neglected when it’s cold and in desperate need of a little extra attention. I had a pedicure the other day and it really helped my poor, dry, winter feet! I had to wait a little longer for my nails to dry (since I had to put on socks and boots!) but it was totally worth it.

I choose to use Dove Advanced Care because it also cares for your skin and provides 48-hour odor and wetness protection. I used to suffer from razor burn under my arms and regular deodorant seemed to irritate my skin and make it worse. Once I switched to Dove Advanced Care my skin felt so much better. Check out Dove Advanced Care Antiperspirant online here.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Dove Advanced Care Antiperspirant.

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Babies Don't Keep

January 17, 2018

This post is sponsored by Carter’s; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

It's not fair, how fast this baby stage flies by. I blinked and my sweet babe turned 10 months old. Which is basically a year old. Someone hold me.

We are confident that Belle is our last baby...but she's just growing so fast that even my husband said "I guess we need to have another one!" last night. He was kidding. I think. Because we feel complete as a family of five. But dang, if anyone would convince us to have another baby, it's this girl. She's just so perfect. 

She has about a zillion nicknames. I call her Belle or Bellie. Or "the cutest muffin of all the muffins", or just "muffin" for short. Hudson, Sadie, and Jon all call her "deet deet" because that's what she babbles the most and the name sort of stuck. Sadie calls her "Ann-belle" or "baby Belle" or "sissy". And really we all just are wrapped around her little finger. Can you blame us? She's our favorite. Lucky girl.

Belle has been pulling up to a standing position for about a week now....and I have to muster all the restraint I have in me to not make her sit back down. Doesn't she know she's the baby, and that means she needs to stay a baby forever? No walking!!!! But I don't, mostly because she's just so dang proud of herself.

I continue to be her favorite person, and I'm not complaining about it. But she LOVES her brother and sister. Her little face lights up when she sees them and she loves to watch them play. It's adorable. Basically this girl will probably get away with anything as she gets older. Being the baby of the family has some perks! 

Belle is still a thumb sucker, and it's the sweetest thing ever. She only does it when she tired, and it's so dang cute. I think it's also the reason why she's such a great sleeper too! Most nights she sleeps 6:45pm - 7am. And it's amazing!

I love shopping for cute clothing for this sweet girl. I recently discovered the Little Planet organic line of clothing from one of my favorite brands, Carter's. Belle is wearing this adorable striped organic jumpsuit, and it's so sweet on her! Carter's believes you don’t have to sacrifice unique styles and patterns to dress your child in organic clothing. That’s why they’ve introduced their new 100% organic collection, Little Planet, which is filled with bright and colorful items at an exceptional value that will stand out from the rest. This is organic clothing for real life. Each item is 100% certified organic, made from 100% organic cotton, knitting and dyes. And it's all adorable. 

 It's so hard to find affordable and cute organic clothing! Little Planet is perfect for my kids, especially since I already love and trust the Carter's brand and style and they always have a great price point. The Little Planet line is available in basics, outfit sets, and jammies in sizes newborn to 5T, so there is something for everyone!

Little Planet will be available at Carter's in January 2018. Although it is available online only, you can order the product online and ship it to any Carter’s store for free! What items are your favorite? I think that Belle might need these adorable dinosaur pjs!

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