“Pink-A-Boo” 

Having a baby girl is amazing for a thousand reasons… but one huge one is the adorable clothes! It’s like having a little doll to dress up everyday. (But with a lot more drool). Luckily my sweet girl doesn’t mind all the bows and frills. In fact, when she is bored I just change her outfits and put her in front of the mirror and she stares with wonder! It’s so cute to watch her realize that it’s herself in the mirror every time. 

My current favorite outfit is one of her pajama sets by Kate Spade. I think the soft pink and white make her look so cuddly! 


I also love the detailing. There are pink bows on the sleeves and then adorable ruffles on her cute booty.  It’s so precious!! The shirt reads “pink-a-boo” and the pants have clouds and sheep.  This is definitely one that I’ll keep for her to pass on to her future daughter.  


She’s just too cute not to post a hundred pictures of! Hopefully this adorable, smart girl has brightened your day! 


//Pajama Set: Kate Spade // Doll: Target // Pillow: Target // Bow: Carters 

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Walmart Infant Baby Box

A few weeks ago I wrote about Walmart’s Baby Box Set. They send you three different gift boxes- one for prenatal, one for a baby, and one for a toddler. Each box contains samples and costs only the five dollars for shipping. Last week I received the second box, my infant box. It contained the following samples and coupons: 
Samples:

  • Arm & Hammer Sensitive Laundry Detergent (2.25 fl oz)
  • Aveeno Baby Lotion (1 fl oz)
  • Aveeno Lotion (1 fl oz)
  • Huggies Travel Wipes pack (8 count)
  • Mam Anti-colic bottle 
  • 1 Huggies Diaper (size newborn)

Coupons :

  • $3 off huggies diapers 
  • $1 off Arm & Hammer Sensitive Laundry Detergent 
  • $3 off Pure Bliss formula by Similac 
  • $2.50 off of Lysol 

We are already fans of Aveeno so I liked the samples! However, I don’t think we will end up using the bottle because I breastfeed and the few times we have used a bottle she likes the Phillips brand. So it was cool, but in this box’s case probably not worth the five dollars it cost to ship. I could have just bought an actual bottle of lotion! That said, I do love getting mail though, so not a total waste haha.  
I can’t wait to see what the third and final box contains!! 

Amazon “Free” Baby Welcome Box

Over the course of our pregnancy we tried out several registries! I looked at Buy Buy Baby and Target (which, we ultimately ended up using). However, just for curiosity sake I decided to make an Amazon registry just so I could review the baby gift they send! 

The other two registries you just went in store and they give you a bag of goodies. The Amazon option is a little trickier. First of all, you have to have an Amazon Prime account. (One way around this is you could join for their free thirty day trial, but don’t forget about it!) Second, you have to create your registry. However, it’s not as simple as adding a few things you want. They have a very exhaustive check list that is broken into categories and then even farther down. You have to choose something in each category or at least mark that you don’t need it. I think this would be great for a first time mom who is really worried about forgetting something, but otherwise it made me feel like they were just trying to convince me I needed stuff I probably didn’t. Also, you can’t get your free gift until your checklist is totally complete. Finally, you or someone else has to spend at least $10 off of your registry and that item has to ship. Then you can click the button to order your free welcome box. (I just ordered some teething toys that I know we will eventually need). 

     
So it’s kinda complicated! However, it was a fun little box so I guess it was worth it!! You can click here to see their Baby Box FAQ. So I bet you’re wondering what is in the box! Here is what came in ours, though I read it can vary. 

 

  • Pair Avent breast pads w/ breast feeding “guide” 
  • Seventh Generation Moisture Lotion sample (0.5 fl oz) 
  • Dove Baby Wash sample (1.8 fl oz) 
  • Aveeno Baby Daily Moisture Lotion sample (1 do oz)
  • Cicaplast Baume sample (2ml) 
  • Bliss triple oxygen instant energizing mask sample (.16 fl oz)
  • Pair Munchkin nursing pads
  • Huggies (52 count) wipes
  • Seventh Generation quilted diaper sample (2 count, no size listed, but it looks like a size two)
  • Avent bottle (newborn nipple & 4 oz size) 
  • Swaddle Designs swaddling blanket 
  • Pamper “travel sample” (1 newborn diaper & sensitive travel wipes- 6 count) 


(Our cat, Legalos, was very excited to have a box to play in). 

Overall, a cute box. The swaddling blanket and the diapers make it worth spending the $10. However, I still liked the Target goody bag better! It had a lot of the same things, but it also had a TON of coupons that were actually really helpful.  

  
Just a side note, I tried the Bliss Mask, I don’t know if I felt energized, but it smelt amazing. I’ll have to update this once I’ve used it a few times if I see any cool results.  

Packing Our Birth Go Bag

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Looking back on my pregnancy, packing our birth bag(s) was so exciting!! I had packed baby Enolia’s weeks in advance, but I had put off packing mine for a while.

When I initially started I wasn’t exactly sure what to bring.  So over the months when anyone gave me a suggestion or I thought of something- I added it to my list. I wanted to include the most repeatedly given advice for anyone else who may want some insight! The following list is the final product:



    Mom:

  • Gown for birthing (optional, if you’re in a traditional hospital you will have a gown provided)
  • Coming home outfit (loose pants or dress)
  • Robe
  • Slippers
  • Face wash
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Brush
  • Contact case and contact solution
  • Hair ties
  • Shampoo & conditioner (mini)
  • Socks (several people suggested compression socks)
  • Granny panties
  • Pads
  • Distractions (book, music, iPad, etc)
  • Nursing pads
  • Nursing cream
  • Nursing bra
  • Dry shampoo
  • Chapstick
  • Gum
  • Essential oils
  • Massage oil

Baby:

  • Coming home outfit
  • Baby onsie
  • Pacifier
  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Blanket/swaddler x 2
  • Burp cloth
  • Car seat
  • Mittens

Dad:

  • Sweatshirt
  • Snacks – Gatorade & food
  • iPad/book (I thought this was a weird recommendation. However, they said afterwards when mom is sleeping and dad can’t he will appreciate it).
  • Toothbrush
  • Pillow (we didn’t need one because they gave us a ton, but some hospital births may)
  • Electronic chargers
  • Extra shirt
  • Deodorant

Miscellaneous:

  • Birth plan
  • Insurance card
  • License
  • Wallets
  • Camera & charger
  • Baby book (footprint)

 

We ended up packing all of the little one’s stuff in her diaper bag- it’s a gorgeous Kate Spade bag (see a similar bag here). Then we packed all of our stuff in a duffel. The only thing I wish I had done differently is that I packed the bags to the brim. So then when we were trying to leave it was impossible to fit all of the gifts and such in the bags! So I would bring an extra bag or leave some space. Let me know if any of you have any other suggestions you think I should add! I hope you have as much fun packing as I ended up having.

 

 

Enfamil 

A little while ago I talked about how when I first found out I was pregnant that I made a TON of accounts with companies promising great advice, coupons, and free samples. I already talked about one, Similac, but I also signed up with a company called Enfamil. I found out I was pregnant the first day or two of October, and then I made this account sometime in mid October! I wasted no time.  However, I literally didn’t recieve anything via the mail until April 27th.  (They email me ALL the time though).
 


This sample box included $10 in Enfamil “checks” (two $5 coupons off of any Enfamil purchase over $5.00), a dozen of those coupons where you get something free but have to pay the shipping (I’ll have to do a post on that later, I’ve already tried a few!), a six pack of premade newborn formula bottles, two nipple attachments for previously mentioned prepare formula, a four pack sample of premeasured packages of infant formula, and a 12.4 oz can of their infant formula. Overall, that is a pretty generous gift box! I am excited to try this out for Nolie.  We have decided that occasionally doing formula will be great for us so that when we go out or I am gone someone else can feed her.  I’ve heard great things about Enfamil.


The premade little bottles are actually really nice.  I could see if we were having a day out or something how that could be really convenient! These are all milk and soy based, so that’s one thing I’ll have to watch- neither Michael nor I could do milk. Hopefully sweet Nolie will be able to! Anyways, even though it was months before we received anything, this was definitely a generous, completely free sample gift! Also, it’s actually good theybsont mail this out until closer to yore due date because of shelf life.  

The First Moment I Felt Like a Parent

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In every friend group there is the “mom” friend. The friend that has extra snacks, a bandaid, and two bottles of hand sanitizer in her purse at all times. This friend is me. I’m the friend who can’t help but fold your laundry if I see it out. (Not because I don’t think you can, it’s just a reflex). I am the friend who is forever the designated driver, who worries you’ll be kidnapped if you use dating apps, and who feels the need to cook you food if you seem sick.
However, now I am actually a “real” mom!! So many people have asked if I feel any different. If I feel like a parent. In some ways I feel the same! But in a lot of ways I do feel different. Several people have asked when I felt like a parent for the first time, when it hit me.
In my post about Nolie’s birth I mentioned that I was dishcharged a full day before her. This was because when they came in Friday night to run some tests they discovered she was jaundice. I’m not a doctor, and I really didn’t understand everything they said. However, basically her body had too much of something which can cause brain damages if levels get too high. They told us to strip her down to just a diaper and we put her in this plastic crib. She was laying on top of a UV light and there was one above her as well. She had to wear this little headgear to protect her eyes. Let me just tell you- Nolie hated it. Oh she hated it so much! The second you put her down she would begin to scream at the top of her lungs. It was non stop. It was the most heart wrenching sound I had ever heard.
Every three hours we could take her out and feed her, they gave me a max of thirty minutes each time. The second I pulled her to me she immediately stopped crying. She didn’t make a single sound. I could feel her whole body relax and she would immediately fall into a deep sleep, exhausted from the non stop wailing. I couldn’t even get her to stay awake to eat. (I ended up having to pump and Michael syringe fed her. She seriously was so worn out).
After several hours I found myself sitting in the dark in a rolling desk chair. Michael was trying to sleep. I had my head leaned up against the plastic with my hand slid under the light, trying to soothe her. This was the hardest moment. I knew if I just took her out and held her that her screams would silence. No one would know, the nurses wouldn’t be back for hours. However, I knew for her health she needed to be under that light.
I was suddenly reminded of a time I got in trouble with my dad. I don’t remember what for and I don’t remember what the punishment was other than I was devastated. I remember my dad looking at me with sad eyes and telling me that he didn’t want to, but he had to punish me for my own good. I think I had gotten grounded and I desperately wanted it to be lifted for a night for something that at the time felt incredibly important. I couldn’t comprehend why if he didn’t want to punish me and I didn’t want to be punished, why were we still talking about it!
The answer was that he was instilling in me a great understanding of consequences that has served me well every day of my life. He taught me to trust his word – whether he promises to take me to the movies or that if I missed curfew I would be punished. He had to play an un-fun role so that I could grow.
Sometimes being a good parent means you don’t get to be your kid’s friend and that’s okay. Sometimes being a parent means that you have to follow through with something, even if it breaks your heart because the most important thing is the long term physical and moral development of your child.
Listening to my brand new baby scream with such vigor absolutely broke my heart. I just cried and cried because it felt like I could feel her fear and pain. I have never felt more helpless. I knew I could short term fix it in a second, but I couldn’t do that. She was under that light for 23 hours and I’ve never been so emotionally spent. It took everything in me to leave her laying there screaming. I think that is the first time I truly felt like a parent.

Twelve Things To Do Before Your Baby is Born:

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In the months leading up to the arrival of our sweet Nolie I read hundreds of Pinterest and blog posts about things to do before your baby arrived. Looking back on it, here are a few of my favorites that I found most helpful!

Install the car seat: I just assumed you buckled it in. However, it is actually recommended that you have someone who is certified do it! That may sound daunting, but it’s actually really easy. There was someone certified at our birth center who just came out to our car with us after one of our birthing classes and installed it. You can also reach out to your local police department. There should be someone on staff who is designated to do this! Lastly, you can always ask your hospital if they can perform this service, some do.

Find a pediatrician: When we started this process some of the best advice was to look for someone who fits into our lives and philosophies. Some things we considered included distance from our house, if our insurance accepted them, if they made house calls, if there was an after hours option already established, etc. We were also told that you can request to interview doctors! It’s actually more common than you would think. Lastly, our care provider suggested that we decide how we felt on vaccinations and to make sure our pediatrician was of agreement!

Birthing classes: There are so so many types of birth classes. It’s important to find one that fits what you are wanting to get out of your birth! Also, I loved that we were able to take a newborn care class, as well as a breastfeeding class. One thing I wish we had taken the time to do would have been the infant CPR class. We just ran out of time! However, Soph took it and she loved it.

Buy a waterproof mattress pad: All i’m going to say is that you don’t know when your water is going to break, but if it happens while you’re in bed you don’t want to have to deal with cleaning up sheets and your mattress when there are other things at hand!

Buy a baby book: This is something you may want to do before the baby gets here. That way during the last month you have something to distract yourself! I also wanted to be able to bring it to the birth center with us so they could put her cute little newborn footprint in it! You can click here to see what baby book company I am IN LOVE with).

Prewash your baby’s clothes: Not only will this give you something to do while nesting, but it’s also super practical! Babies skin is very sensitive and this helps to make sure nothing irritates her.

Make freezer meals: Everyone’s birth is different and everyone’s recovery is different. However, it cannot hurt to have a few remade, frozen dinners in the freezer. That way you don’t have to feel dependent on anyone, but you also don’t have to try and make a complex meal while nursing your newborn!! If you type “freezer meals” into Pinterest you will have so many great options!!

Clean out a memory card for your camera: During my last month I found an old memory card (actually, it had all of our pictures from London and Paris!!) and uploaded everything onto our external hard drive. Then I was able to delete everything on the memory card. Even though I knew there was no way we would need that much space, it still felt good to know that if we were up for it, we could take as many pictures and videos that we desired! (We actually did take a ton of pictures of her). 

Stock up on essentials: This was such a great idea! I saw so many different people’s ideas of what was most important to stock up on. However, I liked the idea of non perishable food items, toilet paper, diapers, wipes, dish soap, laundry detergent, nursing pads, pads, shampoo, conditioner, and deodorant. That way you never find yourself out! I knew that if we had run out, obviously Michael could just go after work if I didn’t feel up to going out with Nolie. However, I wanted him to be able to come home and relax! I don’t want him to be working hard all day and then coming home to a long Honey-Do list.

((Also, if you want to know how I stocked up on diapers and saved literally hundreds of dollars, click here!!)

Take some maternity pictures: Soph and I spent an afternoon doing these, but I wish I had remembered to do more before Nolie came, but with Michael!! I kept meaning to, but I put it off and put it off until the last week or two. At that point I could barely walk and I was the size of an elephant. IF I could go back, I would have done a really thought out session with Michael at the end of my second or very beginning of my third trimester. I still felt like I was able to stand for more than ten minutes and I wasn’t quite as bloated (everywhere) as towards the end.

Mani/Pedi: There are so many reasons to do this. However, I will just say that one, it will help you relax as your nerves go crazy waiting. Two, while everyone is really just going to want to see and take pictures of the baby, don’t forget that a lot of those pictures are going to include your hands! You don’t need your chewed up, half painted nails immortalized. Lastly, my cousin put it perfectly. She told me that I was about to push a very large baby out of my body. Statistically, you will also push out everything else down there. You will be covered in sweat, tears, and who knows what else. There is a HIGH probability that you’re not going to feel incredibly pretty or feminine. However, a good manicure gives you one thing to look down at and say, “oh yeah, I have something together today.”

Make Postpartum “Padsicles”: If you are able to have a vaginal birth- naturally or not- you are going to want these. You can google dozens of different tutorials! I waited until it was too late (baby girl was three weeks early) and I wish I had made them sooner! 

 

I hope these twelve ideas are helpful to you! Feel free to comment below any ideas you would add!