Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My Favorite Baby Gear

One question I get a lot, especially from new moms/moms to be, is what is my favorite baby gear?

I've put together a list with pictures to share, and then at the bottom, I've listed some other items that are great to register for. And for those on Baby #2, I've got some new favorites to share too!

First up, the bouncy seat. Bouncy seats and swings often get mixed reviews from moms, but both my boys loved this bouncy seat. Another question I often get is "how do find time to shower/do your hair and makeup?" - this is the answer. It buys me a good 30 minutes of happy baby time in the morning!

Here's another controversial item. It's the JJ Cole Bundle Me. Some people won't touch them with a 10 foot pole, others swear by them. I have one for Brody and I love it. It's great when I am running errands and it's FREEZING outside. It doesn't fall off like a blanket would. Oh, and it is good for keeping grabby hands off of your newborn!

You'll see 2 strollers on this list. I'm a big believer is 2 strollers, because it's what works best for us. We travel a lot and so having a light weight stroller like this Maclaren is awesome. I have a Maclaren Quest (single) and a Maclaren Twin Techno (double). LOVE THESE!

Here's my heavy duty stroller. It's the Chicco Cortina (and also, the Keyfit infant seat). If you know me IRL, you know I research things to death. That was incredibly true when I was pregnant with Brayden and looking for the perfect travel system. This is it ladies! At least for us anyway. And I also own the double version of this stroller, the "Together."
This is a Chicco pack and play. When Brayden was a baby he slept in this and now Brody does because their rooms are upstairs and ours are downstairs. I am a huge klutz which is why we don't put them in their rooms until they sleep through the night. It would not be good if I had to walk up 20 stairs twice in the middle of the night!
Here's our highchair. Well, we also have a booster style one for Brayden that goes in a regular chair. But this is great for younger babies because the whole thing is washable, and the fabric is coated so you can wipe it down easily. It also comes with TWO tray covers which is great.
Slings...another thing not everyone uses. I have two that I love. First up, the Baby K'tan. It's like a Moby but a LOT easier to use with a LOT less fabric!

And then I have a Hotsling - it doesn't come easier than this.

My mom bought this for Brody and he loves it. It's a giraffe that plays white noise. It's great for getting a newborn to sleep!

If you're working on a registry and want some other ideas, here are my picks:

Cloth diapers to use as burp rags. Sure, you'll get plenty of pretty ones as gifts, and those are great for public use. But when you are at home, a cloth diaper is so much easier, and if you have a spitter or reflux baby, trust me, they come in handy! There are days when we go through 10 burp rags.

Huggies diapers and wipes.

Dr Brown's bottles. Yes, they are a PAIN to clean, but worth it if you have a reflux baby.

A play gym. Both my boys loved their gym!

Gumdrop pacis - they are the BEST!

Paci clips. You'll see these in my pics of the boys (Brayden when he was much younger). It keeps the paci from ending up on the ground 300 times a day.

Diaper bags: I have several, because I got a few as gifts. I've got a large Coach bag that is totally coated in pvc and easy to wipe down. I've got another great bag that I need to check the brand of, and then a bag that has each boy's name embroidered on it. The ones with their names are GREAT for church since all of their stuff has to be labeled. My #1 piece of advice is find something wipeable/washable.

PJ's: I prefer ones with zippers! It's soooo much easier (especially if you are blind like me) to zip them up in the middle of the night as opposed to snapping them up. Some people use the gown pj's (my mom did!) but they just aren't for my babies. They are too wiggly and end up with it bunched up around their tummies!

Anyway, I hope this is helpful. Everyone is different and everyone prefers different things! These are just the items we found most useful/effective for our boys!

Feel free to ask questions or tell about YOUR favorite item in the comments!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Syd's baby shower

This past weekend was my friend Sydney's baby shower. She's expecting little Emerson very soon!!

I was asked to take the pictures. I apologized in advance because I am not the world's best photographer, but I gave it my all! Ha!

Me and Sydney - and Emerson! (obviously, I didn't snap this one):

The yummy mocktails:
Food table:
Sweet little centerpiece:
Yummy cookies!
The blessing tree - we all wrote down our "words of wisdom" for her!
Lots of gifts!

I've got about 200 more, but I know she is sharing many of them on her blog! It was such a pretty, girly shower!! I can't wait to meet little Emerson!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Shred it.

I've always said that if I were on the Biggest Loser that I would choose Jillian Michaels for my trainer. You know, hypothetically. I like her no nonsense, see through your procrastination, push you through it outlook. She's not weak, but yet she is compassionate. Bob just isn't quite strong enough for me. Jillian is just more my speed.

Or so I thought.

Have you all heard of 30 Day Shred? I asked my twitter peeps about it awhile, when I was still pregnant and thought that as soon as Brody was out I could take charge and do anything I wanted. I call that end of pregnancy lunacy. You know, when you're just so huge and miserable that you think, as soon as he is out, I can run a marathon...which, if you know me, you know that will NEVER happen. I only run if being chased by someone wielding a gun. Heck, even then I might just fall to the ground and hope for the best.

Anyway, back to the point. 30 Day Shred.

I'm not sure what I was thinking. I found myself wandering Target and thought, wow. I can SO do this. So many twitter peeps said they did it. So can I. Yeah. Sure I can. I'll just recruit Chris to do it with me, that way I actually stick to it. It's only 30 days, right?

Holy moly.

By day 2 I was ready to die. This workout is like, literally 20 minutes. And I'm doing the easy level. I don't even want to know what the hard level entails, but it can't be good.

But I'm going to stick with it and hopefully give some updates along the way.

Whose completed the Shred? Give me some positive stories that will make me want to continue torturing myself!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

2 Months!

Brody is 2 Months Old!

Brody, you are 2 months old!

What are you up to?

- You are close to 12 lbs! CRAZY!

- You wear a size 1 diaper, and 0-3 and some 3-6 month clothes.

- You like to say "Ooooo" and smile a lot now.

- We are finally getting your reflux under control with the help of Prevacid.

- You've been in the church nursery twice now - of course, I was working in there so that is partly why!

- You are fascinated by Brayden. You love to watch him play and LOVE it when he talks to you.

- You're not a huge fan of car riding, which is kinda bad being as most of the things we go do our about 30 minutes away.

- You mimic me when I say "ooo"

- You are still rolling front to back.

- You love your Gumdrop paci.

- You got to see snow for the first time this month!

- You are a momma's boy! I love it!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like...oh wait...

I was going to say it's looking a lot like Christmas...but that's already come and gone. So I guess it was just beginning to look a lot like a snow day!

Chris and I took B outside to let him make friends with the snow. Last week when it snowed he did not like it - probably because he REFUSED to wear his gloves, then touched the snow and threw a fit. Yeah, that might be why.

But this time he realized that Mommy might just be on to something and wore the gloves. It was a much more pleasant experience all around.

He and Daddy also built this mini snowman, appropriately named B3.
This is fun!!!
Sadly, today most of it melted away. Sigh. Hopefully we will get some more tomorrow!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Beef Stroganoff

I made Beef Stroganoff's one of those recipes I've been working on for a few years. I think I've finally perfected it!

Beef Stroganoff

1.5 - 2lbs top round
Salt & Pepper
5 T butter, divided
4 T flour
1 carton beef broth
1 T dijon mustard
1 cup sour cream (I use light)
1 T olive oil
1/2 spanish onion, diced
1 lb extra wide egg noodles

Heat a skillet over med-low heat with 1T butter and 1T olive oil. Add onion and let it sweat.

Slice meat into 1/4" by 2" strips. Salt and pepper the meat & add it to the onion. Brown.

In another skillet, melt 4T butter with 4T flour to create a roux. Pour in most of the container of broth (I use about 4/5ths of the container). Whisk well. Let thicken for a minute or two. Once thickened whisk in mustard and sour cream. Thicken 3-5 minutes. If it isn't thick enough - and sometimes it needs it and other times it doesn't - make a slurry with about 1T cornstarch and 2T of the liquid. Salt and pepper.

Add meat/onions to sauce. Heat through and serve over egg noodles.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Hate is a strong word.

Hate is a strong word...but it pretty much sums up how I feel about reflux!

If you read my blog back when I had Brayden you might remember that when we finally brought him home from the hospital that he had reflux. They sent us home on two meds for it - Reglan (a horrible, awful medication that I took him off of shortly after we got home) and Prevacid.

When I had Brody I thought we had escaped the whole reflux monster. I was wrong. It just didn't rear it's ugly head until the last couple of weeks.

I took Brody in and we filled out a written - yes, written - test. Turns out he has acid reflux whereas Brayden had regular reflux. Don't ask me the difference because I honestly don't remember - I know that Brayden's neonatologist at ACH explained it to me but it's been too long and I can't remember what they said!

I asked to start Brody on Prevacid but our pediatrician wanted to try Zantac first. We thought it was working...but boy were we wrong. It just got worse and worse. I feel like we live at our doctors office. I don't have to go sign in anymore - they greet us by name when we walk in the door and tell us to take a seat. Brayden now asks daily to go see Dr. H - he has decided that he likes him now that we are going for his brother.

So anyway, we went back again yesterday because I'm done with Zantac. I begged for Prevacid and got it. And for the very first time last night, Brody slept for SIX STRAIGHT HOURS. Thank you Jesus!

Hopefully, my instinct has been right all along and Prevacid will do the trick.

I've gotten this question a lot lately, so I thought I'd address it here. Many of you want to know if reflux is hereditary - I actually don't know the answer to that. I will say that Brody has followed in Brayden's path on a lot of things - difficulty transitioning (which is just unavoidable - it's either going to happen or not; I have no control over that), lactose intolerance (no, not milk protein intolerance, actual intolerance to lactose) and now reflux. I've heard a lot of people say that lactose intolerance it's a hereditary thing, but a LOT of people in my family have it and even more had it as babies, myself included, so I don't really buy into that one! But when it comes to reflux, I honestly don't know what the doctors say.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Brayden's 2nd Birthday PARTY!

Can you guess what kind of party Brayden wanted?

I'll give you a hint...

Why, Yo Gabba Gabba of course! Or, as he calls it, Gabba Gabba YO!

We decided to go for "easy" as our other words, instead of trying to do it all myself, I called The Little Gym, and they did most of the work for us! They set up, decorate, collect and organize the gifts, write down who got what, clean up - everything! We brought in some YGG decorations and food and that was all!

Brayden loved his party!

And Brody seemed to enjoy it as well!
Here's a shot where he actually is looking around!
Some of the kids went for rides on the parachute:

B played peek-a-boo with me:
More fun:
He wanted a Brobee cupcake...shocking, I know!

He polished this off in about 2 minutes!

Opening gifts:
And we forgot to get a family shot while we were there, but took a quick one when we got home!
A few more things about Brayden:

- You can count to 10

- You know some of your ABC's

- You are my little GPS - you know when we pass places what they are...a certain car wash we go to, a particular gas station I frequent, my Starbucks, our house, Grammy's house, Sara's house etc. I'm holding out hope that you will have an awesome sense of direction since I don't!

- You can figure out how to put just about anything together, take it apart and re-assemble it.

- You are an amazing big brother. You like to bounce your brother in his bouncy seat, make sure he has toys to look at, and you give him his paci when he cries.

- You are a fashion junkie. You enjoy picking out your own outfits and you aren't very happy with me when I make you wear something in particular!

- You can work my iPhone better than I can.

- You are such a loving and happy boy! You bring us so much joy!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Brody's First Playgroup

Today was playgroup and I decided it was time to take Brody. He's 7 weeks old now so I figured it was a good time!

At first I thought he was going to sleep through the whole thing.

Even with all the kids and noise...
But around the time that we were going to eat, he decided he wanted a bottle and some play time!

He did really good and loved watching all the kids play. And I loved the interaction with other adults. I love staying at home with my kids and I wouldn't trade it for anything, but I sure love being able to talk to other people, especially when they can all relate to what I'm going through!

There's a couple of days left to enter my giveaway - so check out the giveaway page!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Happy 2nd Birthday Brayden!

Today is Brayden's 2nd birthday! I can't believe he is 2 years old! The time has just FLOWN by!

Chris was working from home today so we both were able to go up and get Brayden when he woke up (ignore the Christmas PJ's)!

Kisses from Mommy:

Hugs from Daddy:
Later that day we took him to play and eat at an indoor Chickfila:
And then my parents came over and brought him some gifts!
He loves opening presents. He asked me all day when he would be able to open presents!
After everyone left, we took him to Starbucks for a soy hot chocolate! He thought he was big stuff!

Some 2 year facts about B!

- You have very advanced verbal skills! Your pediatrician and Brody's ENT both were shocked at how well you communicate!

- You are still a FANTASTIC sleeper!

- You no longer get a paci - actually since about 18 months, you haven't gotten one. You don't seem to mind!

- You love to hold the refrigerated section doors at the grocery store open for me. You get upset if I don't let you! You're such a gentleman!

- You love to tell Daddy and I that you love us "thiiiiiiis much!" and hold your arms out wide!

- You're getting to be a slightly better eater. At least you now like some vegetables!

- You have started (lightly) potty training. You are so ready - you really want to, I just struggle to find the time to fit everything in!

You are the sweetest, kindest, most loving child. You make every single day a great day and we love you SO much!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Brody's First Snow Day!

Yesterday it snowed a little bit and then overnight it snowed quite a bit more, so we're counting this as Brody's very first snow day!

Since Chris was home, I started off the day by cooking for my boys, bacon and eggs. They really enjoyed it!

After that we bundled up the kids to go outside for just a few minutes. It was FREEZING cold, but we had them wrapped up nice and warm! Here's Brody with his very first snow!

Brayden in his super cute snowsuit that my mom and dad got him.
Brayden wanted to build a snowman but there wasn't enough snow so he settled for throwing snowballs at Daddy!

Be sure to check out my giveaway page and read about the new Reebok Easy Tones and enter to win a $100 Visa gift card!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Rebekah's Honey Onion Chicken & Green Beans

Be sure to check out my giveaway page for a chance to win a $100 Visa Gift Card!

My sweet friend Rebekah made this recipe for Chris, Brayden and I after I had Brody and it was soooo good! I mentioned it on twitter and there were so many requests for it! Luckily, she gave me permission to share this deliciousness with you all!

Honey Onion Chicken:

1 package chicken tenders
2 eggs
1 can french fried onions
Seasoned pepper

Preheat oven to 350.

Dip chicken tenders in egg. In a ziplock bag, crush the onions and then coat the chicken in them. Line a 9*13 with foil and spray it with non stick spray. Place the chicken in it and and then sprinkle with salt, seasoned pepper (I actually used Lawry's seasoned salt because that's all I had on hand) and drizzle it with honey.

Bake COVERED for 20 mins. Then, uncover it, drizzle with more honey and bake another 20 min's uncovered.


1 large can of green beans
1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup chicken stock
Salt and Pepper

Drain green beans & put them in a pot with all of the other ingredients. Cook on medium until the brown sugar is melted and the green beans are hot.

You've got to try this for dinner! It is SO good!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Fun and not so fun...

Today started out not so fun because I had to take:

to the doctor. He's been having lots of spit-ups and you can tell he was in pain. Dr. H seems to think he has acid reflux - a different kind of reflux than Brayden had. Thankfully he thinks that taking Zantac will help. I went and filled his prescription and gave him his first dose. He's been an angel since then so either it's working or it is a strange coincidence!

After that, B1, B2 and I met up with Whitney for lunch. The original plan was to head to a favorite local place but with how my last few days have gone with Brody (lots of crying!) I didn't really want to risk it.
So instead, she hopped in the car with me and we drove over to (where else?!) Chickfila! We had fun eating in the car and driving around town!

I've got a new giveaway going on over on my giveaway page! Check it out!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

10 in 10

I've got a brand new giveaway going on on my Giveaway page! Check it out and enter to win!

So as a wrap up of 2010, I thought I'd list my top 10 favorite things about 2010!

10. Learning to coupon! Don't laugh - it's fun and it saves us money!

9. Discovering MOPs! I look forward to meeting up for MOPs every month!

8. Seeing Eclipse in the theatre! Haha...silly I know, but I didn't see the first 2 movies in theatre and I really wish I had!

7. New gadgets! Loving my Mac products - Macbook, iPhone4 & iPad! They make my life easier!

6. Meeting lots of blog friends - locally and not so locally!

5. Making new friends!

4. Vacationing in Lake Tahoe, my favorite spot on earth.

3. Spending lots of time at home with my husband and boys after my c-section.

2. Celebrating Brayden's first birthday!

1. Welcoming Brody into our family!
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