Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Newborn Must-Haves

As promised, here is installment 2 of my maternity/birth must have lists. If you're curious about my Maternity Must Have List, you can check that out too! Many new moms will swear by tons of different nifty gadgets, pillows, toys, and whatnot, but these quickly became staples in our house. Therefore, I highly recommend...

Justine's Newborn Must-Haves:

1.Rock N Play - Not only can this easily-moveable cradle small and comfortable, but it also snuggles the baby at a 45 degree angle, which is really helpful for babies with bad gas or acid reflux like our little one. It stayed in the living room with me during the majority of the day and then I just slid it next to our bed at night for easy night feedings. She's sleeping in her crib now, but it's nice to be able to quickly set her down and let her startle reflex rock her back to sleep.

2. Lil Soothies Gas Drops - Celine had a lot of trouble burping at first. I don't know if it was Joel and me doing it wrong or if her body hadn't figured it out yet, but the gas made our little princess more of a diva. She was super fussy and the drops worked wonders. They lasted forever, especially given we used them at least once a day. Five stars!

3. Halo Sleep Sack - Newborns have a pretty intense startle reflex, so if they aren't bundled up tight and they fall asleep, it takes just about nothing to get that falling feeling and wake with a start. For sound-sleeping babies, I highly recommend investing. Celine was born in August so we went with a cotton sleep sack versus the warm fleece, but as the weather cools we'll have a lot more need for it.

4. Swadle Blankets - The aden + Anais swaddle blankets are absolutely perfect. They are HUGE, which makes them ideal for wrapping little ones up (especially when the Sleep Sack is dirty). They're thin enough to use the summer, but when wrapped snug, can keep a little one nice and warm... and we all know how nice it is to fall asleep touching something nice and soft.

5. Gerber cloth diaper inserts - We are not cloth diapering. Burp cloths are dumb. They're too small and not nearly absorbent enough. Solution? These cloth diaper inserts. They're soft, absorbent, perfectly sized, and relatively cheap. We have them strewn all over our house so we are prepared for anything. A-mazing.

6. Boppy Pillow - Most nursing moms I've met use these a billion times a day. I am one of those moms. Baby is easily positioned, snuggled up to you, and if you situate everything just right, you can nurse with both arms free. Hooray!

7. Sound machine - It's good for babies to have quiet time to sleep, but Celine must take after her daddy: some white noise in the background helps! It's also nice for me, as I can talk at a normal volume, watch TV, do the dishes, etc, without fear of waking her when I disturb the perfect silence in our house. And everybody knows bad things happen when you wake a sleeping baby!

Stay tuned for one more future installment of my must-haves!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Seven Quick Takes

It's time for a linkup with Jen again!

1. I've finally adjusted to the fact that it's fall and everything and their mother is pumpkin spice. Lattes, candles, smoothies, and my personal favorite: my brother's new beard oil. We're lucky to have the most beautiful trees on the block in our yard (that has yet to be raked), so before the leaves ALL fall, I'd like to share this beaut:

2. This week I got to knock something off my bucket list:
  • Make it through a life size maze
And I am so excited!! We found a corn maze not too far from my home, so our little family went off on a little adventure. And we were so excited my mom came along for the ride :) I thought it'd be way easier than it actually was, especially given it was an easier maze compared to others in this corner of the state. We were given maps, but hid them away just for the fun of it.

She was not as excited as us.

3. As much fun as we had with out fall fun day, it must have aggravated our previously dormant allergies. Right now Celine and I are super stuffed up, which is heartbreaking. This is the first time I'm having to deal with a sick kid and I am not a fan. I've invested in a NoseFreida, so when that arrives next week hopefully it won't gross me out too bad (I'm a mom now, I'd better get used to it) and the baby will be able to breathe freely once more.

4. I've recently acquired a Moby wrap on loan. I was nervous to use it at first because it didn't seem very safe or secure, but boy, does Celine like it. Snug as a bug in a rug! For other moms with baby carriers out there: where is your favorite place to use yours? I feel like I can do anything now without lugging the stroller, but I'd love suggestions on where to break this badboy in. :)

5. It's pretty quiet around my house for the most part, so I like to keep Netflix on in the background. Or to watch when I'm nursing. Or when Celine is sleeping. Or all of the above. And then some. And FINALLY, Netflix got their s*%& together and got some new stuff. What I care about came mostly from HGTV, DIY, and The Food Network. Property Brothers, Nicole Curtis, Chef Rob... I want to know everything you know!

6. We're still working on moving Celine into her crib. She's been sleeping in her Rock n' Play next to our bed since she was born, which has been great for nursing late/early, but I know the time has come. She's getting too big for it and we have everything all set in her crib, but I have no idea how to move her when she looks THIS CUTE in the morning.
You try and kick her out of your room!
I know she'll be fine and there will be a time when I don't even kind of want her in there, but she's got to grow up sometime, amiright?

7. ...Ok, so it turns out I can only think of 6 for this week. There's more happening in the next week or two, but I don't want to steal future takes... so I give up. Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Five Favorites: Hair

First time linkp with Jenna's fave five! Also, I'd like to note that a couple of these pictures were shamlessly ripped form Pintrest. 

1. Hot rollers - These badboys have been lifesavers! I will admit, I don't have a ton of hair, but these great rollers can hold all of my hair and give me soft curls. They heat up quickly and I don't even have to wait for them to cool off to take them out. They're affordable and come in a set of ten and I have been using the same set for almost 10 years, so Lord knows they're long lasting.

Excuse the St. Patty's Day attire... it seems I hardly take pictures with my hair curled!

2. Dry shampoo - Props to my household sister Anne for teaching me to tease my hair and to hide oil and add texture to day-old hair using dry shampoo. Puff ponytails would be nowhere without you!

3. Headbands - Making messy hair look put together for decades.

4. Bobby pins (used correctly!) - Who knew that they go in with the smooth side up?! Before The pintrest correction I found, my thin fine hair could never keep them in. Nevermore! Now I keep 4.8 billion in the house (although I only know where 10 ish are) and I trust them daily to keep hair off my neck, bangs out of my eyes, both, or more.

5. Teasing comb - (see the above references to messy hair, bobby pins, and dry shampoo) Especially because my hair has basically nothing to it, when it gets greasy, day old, or heavy and flat, I'd be lost without some way to give it more "umph." It usually ends p looking sloppy, but I just count myself blessed that's the look now. And even if it looks more clean than the pictures above, it's retro!

I'm just realizing right now that as I finish this post, I have 2 day old messy "new mom hair" that is in desperate need of some sprucing. Staples 2-5, here I come! What are some of your hair staples? Until next time! :)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Celine Evelyn: 2 Months

Dear Celine,

You are my favorite little person. I can't believe how big you're getting already! You're finally growing little rolls in your arms and legs and it's fun to see how much you've grown and changed since you were born.

We are constantly stopped by people commenting on your beautiful head of dark hair. We're still tying to figure out where you got it and I'm praying it doesn't go away. Your hair is adorable, soft, and so much fun for Daddy and me to play with.

You are what they call an "aggressive eater." You nurse like it's going out of style, and you get so wound up sometimes it goes down the wrong tube, making you panic and cough. You're fine, just chill out. I inhale my food too, so we can work on it together. Bonding experience? Maybe?

Your eyes are gray-blue and look GORGEOUS when you're wearing blue. We're not putting you in blue a lot now so people know you're a girl, but with those eyelashes it's not hard to tell. Your eyes close a tiny bi when you're about to smile, and boy, do we love your smile! Your big, gummy grin makes everybody around you giggle. You have your Daddy's smile, and I hope you continue to smile just as easily as him.

You love to talk and bat at your toys. You are still a fan of cuddling with us, and I plan to take as much advantage of that as I can while you still like it. When you're tired but trying to stay awake, your eyelids get heavy and close... and then without fail you open them again to peek at us and make sure we're still there. You smile, chuckle, grimace, and whimper in your sleep... which is adorable and a tad pathetic-sounding at the same time (actually, you're doing that now). It is SO HARD not to wake you with kisses as soon as you fall asleep.

You seem to sleep through every adventure outside of the house, but there's plenty of time to see and hear everything later. It's a big world out there, and you're still my tiny baby.

I love you little princess, and I can't wait to watch you grow.



Friday, October 3, 2014

Seven Quick Takes

Linking up with Jen at Conversion Diary!

1. This week I had the privilege of officially joining MOPS International. It was great to join a community of other young moms to see in person (no offense internet friends)! I'm an extrovert SAHM in a tiny town, so it was exhilarating to get out and talk to some fresh faces. Here's to making friends!

2. It has been 6 weeks since Celine was born and I think it's time to start working towards retiring the maternity clothes. I have one great pair of jeans with a full panel that covers my belly, but I bravely ventured to the mall, baby in tow, to figure out how to dress my new body shape.  Hourglass to apple is a big transition and I have no idea how to dress it. I squeezed into jeans, but it'll be a while before they fit properly. Motivation jeans much?

3. Speaking of shedding post-baby poundage, I am recently on an exercise high. I'm not a huge fitness guru by any means, but after weeks of being forbidden to challenge myself physically, it felt AMAZING to get outside and go for a long walk with Celine. I am also directionally challenged, so I used Google maps to walk to the library and back (just over 2 miles) but hey, now I know!

4. Celine is finally starting to smile while she is awake, and it absolutely melts our hearts when she smiles right at us in the morning. I haven't snapped a picture yet, but I promise they're coming soon!

5. For those of you who gave me input on the haircut, the votes are in and the damage is done (or more like the damaged hair was removed). I kept it long and added bangs! IT's not that big of a deal and I know very few care, but not much goes on around here so I'll take what I can get. :)

6. The freezer meals are finally gone and it's time to get back in the game. Anyone have any favorite fall recipes they'd like to share?

7. And last but certainly not least: This week we celebrated the feast of my favorite saint, St. Therese the Little Flower! My household, the Franciscan University version of a Cathollic sorority or fraternity, was aptly named The Little Flowers after the beloved Doctor of the Church. It was fun to reminisce on or early Tuesday morning masses, dance parties, pearl obsessions, and celebrating traditions that go back 30-ish years (I've lost count since the last reunion).. I love you girls, past, present, and future!