Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Favorite Baby Items: time to eat

When Matt and I started creating our baby registries, it was really overwhelming! The baby aisles have everything and more that you could think of, and you must need at least one of everything, right? WRONG. A friend had already told us that we'd only use about 25% of the gifts we received.  I couldn't tell you an exact percentage of what we did use, but I can tell you we didn't or haven't used it all. Then, there were many things we received that we didn't think we'd use, but we're glad we have them now :)

Putting registries together can be just plain stressful.  For instance, try scanning 50+ items at Target, only to have the scanner battery die and save nothing to your registry. Or, scanning tons of items at Babies R Us, and realizing it doubled everything on your registry. In both situations, once I realized it wasn't that big of a deal and could easily be fixed, I was fine, but at first, I was so stressed. "I don't remember everything we scanned...how can we make sure we get it again?!" Luckily, Matt has a great memory for that type of stuff and got everything back for us :)

I've started putting together lists of our favorite baby items for different categories: sleeping, bathing, eating, etc. and why we like them! Hopefully, this will be helpful to any new moms who aren't 100% sure of what's necessary or why you might need something :)  Also, I know not everything works the same for everyone or every baby, but this is what's worked for us!


1. Boon Lawn Drying Rack: This drying rack is so nice to have! We also have the Boon Patch drying rack in our window sill right over the kitchen sink.

2. Boon Twig: This sits on the lawn drying rack and is super convenient to make more space for storage! We use the twigs (we have 2) to hang pacis, teething rings and bottle tops.

3. Boon Stem: This also sits on the lawn drying rack.  We have 1 of these, and use it to store bottle tops.

4. Munchkin Baby Bottle Brush: If you use bottles, get yourself one of these brushes now. They're a life saver for cleaning bottles and they last a while. We used one for about 6 months before we had to replace it.

5. Munchkin Formula Dispenser: This is awesome! It has three divided sections for you to put pre-measured formula in. It's awesome for on-the-go or traveling! We have 2, and we always use both on trips. Once we've reached our destination, hotel room, etc., it's so easy to just keep those filled up, rather than carrying around the whole container of formula.

6. Enfamil Newborn Formula Ready to Use: This is the formula we started with, as it's what the hospital provided to us. These ready to use bottles were SO convenient once we got home, too!  When Marshall was just eating 2 ounces, these were so convenient, especially in the middle of the night when it saved time to make a bottle (not that it takes a long time anyway).  We did use some of the Infant Formula in ready-to-use form, but not as often.

7. Enfamil Infant Formula Powder: Lucky for us, we didn't have to try multiple brands of formula to find what worked best for Marshall.  We're still using Enfamil for him. At some point or another, I ended up putting my information on an Enfamil mailing list, which is great, because they send us rebate checks for the formula! If you don't get them, go ahead and sign up for their mailings. Target also runs sales on formula ALL the time. They'll have buy 2 or 3 boxes/containers of formula, and you receive a Target gift card on your next purchase. Use these sales, in addition to the rebate checks, and any store coupons you may have (we get these often, too!), and you can really get a great deal!

8. Gerber Rice Cereal: We introduced rice cereal around 3 or 4 months.  We started adding it to just to his bottle before bed, and it helped fill him up to sleep through the night (yay!). After a couple months, we started adding it twice a day. I'll either put it in his first bottle when he wakes up, or I'll add it to his baby food during the day.

9. Gerber 1st Foods: We have only bought a few of the Gerber 1st foods.  First, be bought a starter pack from Target, that contained several small portions of apples, bananas and pears.  Then, we tried peas and sweet potatoes.  Ever since then, I've been making all of Marshall's food myself.  It's super easy to do, and more cost efficient in my opinion.

10. Gerber Graduates Puffs and Yogurt Melts: Marshall LOVES these! He could sit and eat puffs all day if you let him! At first we just fed them to him ourselves, because he hadn't totally figured out grabbing things, but he quickly learned how to once he realized it was something he could eat! ha! It's so funny to watch him grab for more, because 9 times out of 10, he has one stuck to his hand that he thinks made it to his mouth but never did... The yogurt melts are just as good (the peach ones are my favorite, haha!). They're definitely a little stickier and messier, but Marshall enjoys them, so we'll keep getting them ;)

11. NUK 5 ounce bottles: These are the first bottles Marshall used, and he was great with them, since they're the same brand as the pacis we first gave him (more on those in a later post).  We love the NUK brand of just about everything.

12. NUK 10 ounce bottles: This summer, Marshall finally graduated from the 5 oz bottles to the 10 oz ones! He's so cute when he eats, because he'll lay down and feed himself with these bottles. He could hold the smaller bottles, but it's much easier for him to hold these. I love it because once he's done eating, he's created a game for himself with his bottles--after eating, he'll flip over onto his stomach, push the bottle across the floor and crawl to chase it. He will do this for the longest time, all over the den and kitchen. It's hilarious! 

13. Munchkin Deluxe Dishwasher Basket: We used this when we were still using the 5 ounce bottles, because you can fit 3 bottles & tops in it. If we were getting ready to run the dishwasher, it was convenient to just find a little more space on the top rack to get a few bottles washed.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Welcome Back!

Let's just say this blog post is WAY overdue. That's probably a huge understatement.

Last year was rough with blogging. I started out strong, and then as the year went on, the more tired I got, the busier I got, and the bigger I got! ha!

My last three blog posts were
1) Announcing that we were having a baby
2) Announcing that we were having a BOY
3) Our Myrtle Beach trip for our 2nd anniversary

I hope to get back into blogging like I used to. Since I skipped a year in my 25 Days of Christmas posts, I'm really hoping to bring that back this year! Plus, it will be even more fun to do with a 1 year old!! Yes, hard to believe that little one I was blogging about in those 2 posts last year will be 1 in less than 4 months! Time has just flown by!

Speaking of time flying by, I have SO enjoyed having the summer off again this year (I worked last summer, but have since had my contract changed)! The first part of the summer was so busy and we were on the go a lot.  We have had several river trips and long trips to North Carolina, which Marshall rocked like a champ! I have to say that the lazy days where I don't even leave the house have been the best! During these lazy days, I rediscovered my love for 7th Heaven, and lucky for me, they show 4 episodes each afternoon. I've loved catching up with the Camdens, haha!

We've now celebrated both mine and Matt's birthdays, taken on house projects that ended up being a lot more work than expected, and just enjoyed being home, honestly!

While I have loved all this time off, I'm really looking forward to the fall...even if that does mean I'll be back at work. I've always been excited for changing seasons and new holidays, so I can bring out new decorations and just change the feeling of the atmosphere here at home. I know that everything is going to be even more fun (and crazier) having a baby now! I can't wait for Marshall's first trip to the pumpkin patch, our first Halloween all dressed up together (wait til you see our costumes ;) and once we've done the whole Halloween thing, you know what that means....CHRISTMAS! I don't think I can be MORE excited for the Christmas season this year! And right at the beginning of December will be Marshall's birthday party (which I have already started working on!) and I CANNOT WAIT. I told Matt that I realize this party is more for me than Marshall, but I still hope to create some fun memories for him look back on ;)

Over the summer, I started a small new project, The Confetti Pot. I've made hand-punched confetti for several parties that I've thrown or helped with, and I think it just adds a fun pop of color to any table decorations. I opened my Etsy shop and I love coming up with different color schemes to use! To see more of my work, you can follow me here:

Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheConfettiPot
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theconfettipot/
Instagram: @theconfettipot

And because I feel like I can get more done if I make a goals list, here are some things I'd like to do or get done.  No deadline, just sometime, hopefully sooner rather than later of course!

  • keeping making & selling confetti
  • take more pictures of Marshall with my actual camera, rather than always relying on my phone
  • take a Pure Barre class
  • work on my yoga postures more often (I started doing yoga after work once a week towards the end of last school year, and absolutely loved it!!!)
  • make a new header for my blog :)

Monday, September 7, 2015

Myrtle Beach Anniversary Trip

Matt came up with the idea to go on a trip each year for our anniversary instead of giving each other a gift that we probably won't remember later on.  This year, we went to Myrtle Beach and had the best time! I took my camera with us, as I do on mostly every trip, but guess how many pictures I took with it? ZERO. I ended up taking all of our pictures with my phone, which I'm not too upset about.  It was kind of nice not having to worry about carrying another camera with us, and it was just as easy to use our phones to take pictures.

Now that's been over a month since we went and I finally won a few battles with my laptop to get this blog up, here it is!

And so it begins...


This was waiting for us in the room when we got there. 
Translation: Matt had an entire bottle of Champagne all to himself.
(P.S. Thanks, Gabby, for the hookup! You rock! :)


Dinner our first night! Seafood buffet..
...and we definitely ate our money's worth in crab legs! haha


I know this picture is blurry, but I still kinda like it...oh well.


Even on vacation, my body couldn't help waking up early.  But with this view, I won't complain!
While I waited for Matt to get up, I would sit out on our balcony and read for a while, just listening to the waves.  It was so relaxing!


Matt out in the water..


Looking for shells:


Lunch at Margaritaville--probably my favorite meal from the whole trip!


This was one of THE most delicious drinks I've ever had!! A mango daiquiri...without alcohol, of course.


I had to get the Cheeseburger in Paradise, and it didn't disappoint!


Margaritaville is featured in the new Jurassic World movie, so they had a special Jurassic World menu.
Matt got the Indominus Rex Burger!  It smelled delicious, and since Matt's plate was clean afterwards, I'd say it tasted just as good!!


If you want to see more of the Jurassic World menu, you can find it here.

Walking around Broadway at the Beach.


Hanging out back at the room..


Matt's cousins own this great little place, Spanky's Pub House, so we planned to go there Saturday night!
We had great food: mac-n-cheese with bacon egg rolls (which were really great! I probably wouldn't have tried them elsewhere.), Matt had wings and I had nachos. Such a great, fun night!


More beach time:


Sunday night, we went to Pirates Voyage, which is dinner and a show.  It's located where the Dixie Stampede used to be, and has the same great food!!
I wasn't really sure what to expect, but it didn't disappoint! There were lots of acrobatics, competitions, and cute little sea lions and dogs!!


Pre-show:


The set was awesome!


Loved riding around in the evenings..


Here's the back of our hotel (Hampton Inn, of course!! Special thanks to Gabby for helping us with our awesome reservations!! :)


Out on the balcony enjoying our last evening at the beach.


Matt's view..


Looking down from our room..


Another one Matt took.. I love how everything is lit up at night!!


We had a great view for fireworks!


Love this guy <3 p="">


As we were packing up to leave Monday morning, I suddenly realized I hadn't taken any pictures of the hotel itself! haha.
Here, we were waiting for the elevator, and THAT is our room door right there. It couldn't have been any more convenient!


This is when you get off the elevator on the "Pool" level.  Those doors go out to the parking deck, and we were parked literally right outside the door to the right! I'll say it again, it couldn't have been more convenient!


(As we discussed all weekend, those are Cintas mats at the door, haha)

And, just to show you HOW close, here's the view from the other side of those doors. The doors are on the right, of course, and then to the left is another beach/pool access.


Across from the doors to the parking deck are these doors that go out to all the pools and the beach.


Our hotel from the beach. We were in the tower on the right.


Love him <3 p="">


Here's our room...


This view never got old..



The lobby:


Time for breakfast! This was just one of the two eating areas.

This was our breakfast view everyday. Can't complain!!

Time to figure out where we'll go for anniversary #3!! :)