Baby Favorites

Baby FavoritesBeing a first time mom is a lot like preparing for the apocalypse. You aren’t sure exactly what you’re going to need, so you stockpile everything in sight and hope for the best. The third time around, I’m feeling like I could probably do this Hunger Games style with a single backpack of supplies and everyone would live to tell about it.

Contrary to what most pregnancy web sites and registry builders will tell you, babies don’t need a whole lot. What exactly do you need? Besides the obvious things you need to clothe, feed, clean, and diaper this new little human (read: Hunger Games backpack), there are plenty of products that make life a lot easier! AND they’re things you will actually use (read: not a wipes warmer- your baby is not Beyonce).

1 // In those first few months when all baby wants to do is eat and sleep around the clock, the Rock and Play Sleeper is a lifesaver. We kept it in our bedroom in lieu of a pack and play (and also in lieu of sleepwalking to the baby’s room every three hours) and it definitely made 4AM feedings more manageable. It’s also easy to close up and move to a different place in the house, so little one can snooze in the kitchen while you’re stealth-eating gummy snacks cooking dinner.

2 // I love swaddles like these because they can be so many things- blankies, nursing covers, carseat covers, a place for baby to lay while big brothers play in the yard. And they’re so cute!

3 // We keep an on-the-go changing station in both of our cars and they have saved us so many times! Grab a shoebox-sized storage container and toss in a diaper clutch like this one, a change of clothes or two, and maybe even a backup paci or bottle or whatever else you want to have around just in case. You will forget to restock your diaper bag (or forget your diaper bag altogether) and having extras on standby will keep you from driving home from grandma’s with a half-clothed baby- been there, done that.

4 // We’ve never bought an actual high chair because our dining room is pretty small, but boosters like this one have done the job just fine! I love that it functions like a high chair initially but transitions to help the littles eat at the table, and it’s easy to take with you when you travel.

5 // Landon wasn’t much for baby-wearing, but Alex was like sign me up from day one. Izzy has no choice but to love it because otherwise I will never get anything done. The Baby K’Tan is awesome because it’s already looped- less of a job wrapping baby up as opposed to the Moby Wrap- and it’s what I used with Alex. A blogger I follow is all about the Wildbird ring slings, so I ordered one to try with Izzy!

Heading into round three of life with a newborn, I’m looking forward to having all of these things around! What are your baby favorites?


Izzy’s Room


Crib Sheet // Curtains // Heart Print // Swaddle Set // Ballerina Doll

This is our third (and last!) baby, and the first time we’ve had an actual nursery ready before our due date. Landon had a pack and play in a faux-nursery we set up in one half of the spare room in our first apartment, and Alex’s room was finished when he was about three months old. Here’s the thing about that- no one cares, especially not the baby. Do you have diapers? A place for it to sleep? Clothes to put on its body? You’re doing just fine 🙂

This time around, we are generally more adultier adults and have the resources and time that mean all of my blogger-inspired nursery dreams can come true. I fell in love with the nursery this blogger put together for her youngest, so that’s essentially how I designed Izzy’s, with some adjustments to fit a sliiiiiiightly lower budget (and minus her gorgeous hardwood floors).


Bookshelves // Print // Basket // Heart Blanket



I still haven’t decided what to put above her bed (if anything at all) or above her cube shelves. I’ve been tossing around the idea of ordering her name from this Etsy shop but I’m not sure how I’d stain it or which font to use. I’d like to incorporate something from the boys- maybe some artwork to hang- and possibly a space to display some of our maternity and newborn pictures- without making it too busy. Stay tuned!

To maximize space in both of the kids’ rooms, I strategically organized the closets in lieu of having dressers. Hanging organizers like these are great for clothes that need to be folded and semi-organized. Sterilite drawers can be stacked however you need them to be and are perfect for socks and diapers and all of those loose ends. Highly recommend!

This is easily my favorite space in the house. I love how the paint color catches the light in different ways. I love that it’s classic and feminine without being too over the top, that it’s a space that can grow with her from a nursery to a big girl room. But those days are a million years from now, right?

We’re ready for you, Izzy girl!  Only about ten more weeks to go.

Currently // 1.19.18

Sharing a few odds and ends because that’s about all I have capacity to write these days, apparently. I mean, really, it’s after 9PM and I’m still awake so that’s a pretty big feat in itself 🙂

Reading (and rereading) a few memoirs and a (relatively) new book from one of my favorite authors! Seriously, if you haven’t already read Evelyn Hugo, it’s so good. And Yes Please? This is the third time I’ve read it and it’s every bit as amazing as the first time.

Watching Victoria and The Crown and pretty psyched that season two of The Handmaid’s Tale is going to be released just in time for my maternity leave to start (only sixty-seven more school days, but who’s counting?).

Recommending this bow subscription! They are the cutest and make for a fun surprise every month. And given how indecisive I am, it’s saved me a ton of time scrolling through Etsy. If you want to sign up for a subscription, use this referral link!

Dreaming of this ring sling in all the colors, but the gorgeous lavender one will do 🙂 I plan on wearing this baby roughly from the time she’s born until forever #lastbabyproblems

Speaking of that little nugget, I think we finally have a middle name! And she’s becoming more and more of a wiggle worm every day. It’s starting to hit me that this is the last time, with less than fifteen weeks to go and I know they’ll fly by. Bittersweet for sure!

Feeling pretty large these days, so if I’m not at work, you can pretty much be guaranteed that I’m wearing these jogger pants. A little less sad looking than actual sweatpants but equally as comfortable. You can find a code for 30% off AND free shipping on Retail Me Not! Buy a pair or three and thank me later.

Looking for summer camps and activities to keep Landon from asking to go to the pool every day with a threenager (how is THAT possible?!) and an infant in tow. Definitely signing up for a few weeks at Antietam Rec, and I might have talked him into a few Kids on Campus classes at FCC and a performing arts camp, too! I can’t wait to take the whole motley crew out for lots of fun adventures, but this momma is going to need some breaks for sure because sanity.

Is anyone else already dreaming of spring and working on summer bucket lists? This cold weather has got to go! We are ready for bike riding and picnic lunches at the lake and not freezing to death when we walk outside.

Stay warm, friends!


Five Things to Love: For Izzy

Six Things to Love_ For My Izzy Girl

One // Two // Three // Four // Five

Ok, it’s official- buying things for girls is twenty zillion times more fun than buying things for boys. Sharing a few of my favorites (so far!) with all of the other girl mommas out there and trying not to buy all of the things 🙂

1 // This was the very first thing I bought, literally within hours of finding out we were having a girl. It’s a (huge) swaddle blanket from Clementine Kids, and it’s going to be perfect for snuggling a spring babe!

2 // These swaddles are from Little Unicorn and I’m in love. This particular set is only available on their web site, but they have a lot of other things (like these bandana bibs) at Target.

3 // This ballerina pillow from Pillowfort is something I spotted to coordinate with the nursery I’m planning for Izzy, which is hopefully going to look something like this!

4 // These. Books. I’ve been dying to get my hands on these! There are plenty of titles for boys, but A Little Princess? My heart, you guys. And they will look gorgeous on her bookshelves!

5 // I found this little bow shop via a photographer I follow on Instagram. How sweet are they?! There are a ton of shops on Etsy I’ve favorited recently, too, but I’m trying to pace myself 🙂

Happy weekend!


When It’s Over And You’re Ready For It (But Not Really)

Yes, this is going to be about breastfeeding. No, I don’t care that you’re reading it. Two administrators and probably all of the people who sit within a five seat radius of me at church have seen them– it really isn’t a thing.

I knew when we were expecting Alex that nursing would be hard. I wasn’t prepared for it to end (or for the feeling of wanting it to end) with Landon. This time around, I told myself, if we can just make it six weeks.. two months.. three months.. and promised myself I would be okay with it whenever it ended. And now here we are, and it’s ending.

And I’m glad to be done wearing nursing bras. And I’m glad to be done pumping on the floor of a storage closet at work. And I’m glad to be done scheduling the rest of my life around being someone’s mobile buffet/human pacifier.

And I’m sad that it’s over. These days of snuggling and being needed are numbered and I know it. In case anyone is wondering, Daddy is Landon’s best friend, “not you, Mom.” Though it’s a body heavy with exhaustion that I drag to Alex’s room to nurse him in the middle of the night, I’m so grateful to have something to give that no one else can.

It’s hard because it’s the very first part of letting go. So much of raising babies is the letting go– and I’m not saying that sagely like I’ve done this a thousand times. Landon is only three, and I know it already. My days of being the center of his universe are passing so quickly. Soon he’ll insist on doing everything “by myself, okay, Mom?!” and Daddy will be the cool guy who teaches him about video games and baseball and all the other man stuff I will never understand.

But I will always be Mom, the kisser of boo-boos. The one they want most when they’re sick. The one who bakes the cookies and lets them lick the beaters, but not too much or you’ll ruin your dinner.

No, I’m not ready to let go of this part, and I’m sure that’s how I’ll feel every time. We’re never really ever ready, we just do. We let go. And we hold on tight until we have to let go of the next thing. And in His infinite wisdom, God made Nutella for exactly these moments.

(And every day, really.)

We made it four months, kiddo. And now we’re letting go.


On Babies and Body Image

Over the weekend, I got to celebrate a sweet friend at her bridal shower. The theme was Breakfast at Tiffany’s (and it was absolutely gorgeous), so I spent a good chunk of my Saturday trying to figure out which of the black dresses I own would best hide the fact that I birthed an 8 1/2 pound human being three weeks ago. A maxi dress won because it’s the closest thing I have to a muumuu, and it was the only dress that ensured nursing wouldn’t be a totally impossible feat. I felt pretty good about this whole thing until pictures were taken, at which point I was promptly reminded of the baby weight still clinging to my hips and my stomach and my right pinky.

When you’re getting ready for the day, the image you see in the mirror doesn’t tell the real story because you’re able to create the best version of yourself– you stand at the right angle, you remember to suck in your three-week baby pudge, and you aren’t sticky or sweaty or worried about smoothing down the frizzy hair you just curled. Pictures, on the other hand, are static. They are you, frozen in time, standing at a bad angle and forgetting to suck it in. They are an opportunity for you to pick yourself apart, and you can bet your bottom dollar that’s exactly what I did. It’s sadistic and boring and absolutely predictable. You’ve taken a selfie or two. You get it.

Most of the time, I know how to dress myself to hide the weight that is shifting and settling into new places on a body I don’t know very well these days. Other times, there are sweatpants. I’ve landed in a funny kind of middle ground where maternity clothes have been packed away, but only about a third of my closet fits me well. That fraction gets exponentially smaller when you take into account the number of shirts I own that are actually functional for nursing in public. I’m just a few pounds away from my pre-baby weight, but I feel like that can’t be right because most of my jeans can’t be pulled over my hips and my pudgy stomach is months away from resembling anything remotely close to what it was pre-baby.

Part of me feels ridiculous for complaining. This body might be stretch-marked and pudgy and very different than it was four years ago, but I’m only able to say those things because it is also healthy and strong. This body carried two healthy boys and brought them into the world. This body has fed them, has carried their sleepy bodies to bed after long days of running and playing and making memories with them. This body gets to wake up every morning and do it all over again.

Even knowing those wonderful things, this part is still hard. My body doesn’t feel like it belongs to me. It belongs to the feeding and the carrying and the running and the playing. I know that it will get better, that this skin will start to feel familiar again eventually. I know that getting there will require a lot of grace, accepting that crop tops will never be my thing, and a few good filters on Instagram. It will require several daily reminders that I just had a baby. It will require choosing to be grateful for this body that can do so many amazing things. And with time– and a lot of pilates– it will feel like mine.


For me, and all the other mommas repurposing maternity belly bands as shapewear. It gets better.


Currently // 5.22.15

Loving the sweet pictures Mike captured of the day we had Alex!



We wanted to make sure that we did something special to celebrate our second little guy, and I fell in love with birth story pictures like these and these on Pinterest. We didn’t do pictures of the big day for Landon, which I’m grateful for in retrospect, because that was the longest labor ever and those pictures probably would not have seen the light of day, let alone be posted to the internet.

Only sharing a couple for now– Mike wants to do some editing before they’re “done.” So glad to have this special keepsake!

Trying not to be The Mom of a Thousand Bags, so I have been on the hunt for a bag that is a) durable, b) has several compartments and the room to organize all of my/Landon’s/Alex’s things without being the size of a duffle bag, and c) is not atrocious-looking. Let’s call it Mission: Impossible.

Enter, Target and this awesome yoga bag by Orla Kiely.

The outside is canvas, and the inside features a water-resistant lining. There are two outer compartments, a large open inside, and two open interior pockets backed by a zippered compartment. As you can see from my pictures, it has enough supplies packed inside that the three of us could easily survive The Hunger Games. Surprisingly, though, it doesn’t feel like I’m carrying all of our earthly possessions.

A big key to making this work is simplicity when it comes to the things I need on the go. I found a $5 wallet at Target last summer (similar here), and I can’t rave about it enough! It functions as a wallet primarily, but has a zippered pocket that is just big enough for chapstick, hair ties, and a few bobby pins. This, my phone, and my keys (and an ounce or two of sanity) is all I take with me these days, and it’s working pretty well!

Planning Landon’s third (THIRD!) birthday. He has requested a strawberry cake with three candles, and he reminds us all the time that we get to sing happy birthday to him. All of this makes my heart absolutely melt because it’s the first birthday he’s been excited about/aware of. So cool! Mommy and Daddy are planning a backyard BBQ bash with family and lots of outdoor toys because it’s our first home with a yard and three-year-olds belong outside 🙂

Looking forward to newborn/family pictures on Tuesday! Melanie did an absolutely gorgeous job capturing pictures of us as a new family of three, and I can’t wait to see how they turn out this time!

So thankful for a sweet group of friends and family who have been feeding us this week (and next!).

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When Alex joined the party, one of our friends setup a page via Take Them a Meal where people could sign up to bring us dinner while we settle in as a family of four. It has been such a great help!

Binge-watching The Hills and Gilmore Girls (and clearly pretending it’s still 2007) while I snuggle my sweet babe. This is Landon’s last week of full-time daycare until August, so we’re enjoying being lazy in our PJs as much as possible around here. Once big brother is home with us, we’ll be on the move for sure! On that note–

Brainstorming outings and activities to keep an almost-three-year-old busy this summer! He’ll be home with Momma and Alex three days a week, so any recommendation for toddler-friendly adventures (with a tag-a-long baby) would be appreciated! Definitely planning on heading to the park and the library quite a bit since they’re just a short walk away from us, and hoping to take on the Catoctin Zoo once Momma is feeling brave enough 🙂 Can’t wait to see what we can get into!

Sharing a simple but sweet thank-you gift for teachers/daycare providers/superheroes as the school year comes to a close! We totally missed celebrating Landon’s amazing team of teachers during teacher appreciation week as we prepared for Alex’s arrival, so I put together these little gifts for them today 🙂  Better late than never?


seasonal tumblers  // crazy straws (kids party section) // strawberry and melon scented hand soaps in each cup (dollar spot) // gum // thank you cards

Everything is from Target, and it ended up costing under $20 for all four. All of the parts of each gift are included in an incredibly cheesy note about exSIPtional teachers and all of the little “extra” things they do each day (original, I know). But in all seriousness, they do so much to make sure Landon is loved on and learning that I wish I could send them on an all-inclusive vacation to a remote tropical island but alas, we have to pay our mortgage and maybe buy groceries.

This post brought to you by a sleepy little nugget napping the afternoon away. Couldn’t you just eat him up?!


Leaving you with a quote that I stumbled across on Pinterest and has really resonated lately as we adjust to life as a family of four, amidst the craziness of being a couple of kids in our twenties. Is anyone actually “ready” for this? For solidarity’s sake, I kind of hope not 🙂

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Have a great weekend, everyone!