Diapers & Football: Our baby girl’s ‘sprinkle’

This idea of a ‘sprinkle’ is definitely something new for me. As my mom calls it, its very Millennial. Haha. For those that are unfamiliar, it’s just a mini baby shower for baby number 2. There’s no registry and it’s typically just small gifts or diapers. With Noah, we had a traditional baby shower with lots of family and friends and I had never intended on having anything for our next baby. But some of my friends thought it would be a good idea to get together, especially since I may not see some of them before she’s born (and maybe a while after that!). I didn’t want to make it big deal, but thought diapers are always needed and easy for anyone to pick up. Plus the love of football in our house is strong, why not incorporate the two?! Girls can like football too. 🙂

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Sneak Peek: Nursery Essentials

When we had our son, we looked everywhere for the perfect crib, rocker, and mattress.  We wanted the perfect everything, I mean everything. I wanted our nursery to look like a Pinterest mom’s dream. But reality hit and it all comes with a price tag. Some cribs we were looking at were as high as $1,000 dollars. No thanks. That’s like a year supply of diapers! And don’t even get me started with a rocker….

Nursery furniture can come with a high price tag, but it is possible to find what you want without breaking the bank.

Our nursery furniture and essentials for baby.Crib:

We first needed to find a crib that was within our price range, but most importantly met all the safety features. It was an added bonus if it we could find a convertible crib that would turn into a toddler bed. With a lot of research, we found this Delta crib on Amazon. It has really good reviews and happens to be a 4-in-1 bed. WE LOVE IT! Honestly, I had never heard of the brand Delta, but I was impressed. I was also a little hesitant to order a crib online, but it took less than 30 minutes to put together and very sturdy AND he hasn’t climbed out of it, yet. It has a 3 position mattress height adjustments and fit’s a standard crib mattress. Within the next 6 months, we will convert it into a toddler bed. We will use this same crib when our daughter is born this winter. We are now avid Delta shoppers-and no I am not sponsored to say that 🙂

Our nursery essentials: crib, mattress, rockerIMG_2621IMG_2626.JPGCrib Mattress:

I remember putting zero thought into a crib mattress. Now looking back, I probably should have take a little more time picking one out. To my surprise, baby mattresses taking a beating over the years (I can spare you the details…) and now we found one that is better quality. This Sealy Ortho Rest has:

  • 50 made coils are durability tested for lasting use; steel coils offer a firm foundation and excellent support
  • 2 hypoallergenic layers offer cushioned comfort for infants and toddlers
  • Reinforced waterproof cover and binding resist liquids and stains

This is definitely an upgrade from what we originally had and will last us a long time. It’s affordable, reliable, and you can find it at Walmart.

IMG_2558IMG_2566Dresser:

After we ordered the Delta crib and we were pleased with the quality of it, we went ahead and ordered the matching Delta dresser.  Again, very impressed with Delta and the overall quality of it. Almost three years later, it’s sturdy and all drawers still work. Zero issues. Both kids will share the dresser and we hope to have it for years to come.

The attached changing kit does not come with it, but it is also Delta and you can nail it into the dresser, which we did. It prevents it from sliding around, especially as babies get squirmy during diaper changes. The strap is a nice feature in case you need to buckle them in if they are extra fussy.

Our nursery dresserOur nursery dresserRocker:

I am OBSESSED with our rocker. That might be the most adult thing I have ever said. Haha. When babies are first born, this is the most significant place you will spend with them. Just hours and hours of feedings, rocking, mom and dad eating and sleeping (hopefully for everyone). However, they are very, very expensive. Of course, I love the Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware rockers, but they are large and pricy. We also have a small space and wanted something that was both comfortable and on the smaller side. We again went with Delta and it’s perfect for us! Still going strong for us and it will be used quite a bit when our girl is born.

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So that’s it! Those are the essentials. A lot of is definitely trial and error and finding what fits for your preferences. If you have any questions, let me know! I know that finding the perfect furniture can be super overwhelming. Plus combined with those pregnancy hormones, I know all about it!

As for the little stuff, you can see what noise machine (the one we use was actually ours for years before using it with Noah), monitor and other things we love here.

Now we wait and get ready for baby number 2!

As always, thanks for following along and you can sign up for weekly emails here and on Instagram.

Until next time,

Christine

The section on the crib mattress was in collaboration with Kolcraft, but all my opinions expressed are my own. 

This post contains affiliate links, but all my opinions expressed are my own. 

Helmets and Head Shapes

IMG_0143 (1)Around a year ago, my son had to wear a helmet from ages 3-6 months. Right around his 3 month check up, we started to notice that Noah’s head shape was starting to take on more of a “flat head” appearance in the back. But it wasn’t until our pediatrician suggested we see a specialist that it really sunk in for me. It was just too difficult to even imagine having him wear a helmet, but even worse, to think about what could happen in the future when he was older. It was not an easy decision. We were seeking the perfect head shape, but it was starting to become very obvious to us that it wasn’t going away. Read more at Motherhood & Family

Summer Isn’t Over Just Yet! Finish the Summer Strong with Children Events in the City

Summer is slowly coming to an end, but the children summer events in Chicago are still in full swing. I have rounded out a list of some of our favorite kids events in the city for $10 dollars or less.

  1. Sing Along at Lincoln Park Zoo–  Children can sing, dance, and clap along with Mr. Singer every Wednesday and Friday at 9:15 and 10 a.m. in the Main Barn of Lincoln Park Zoo’s Farm-in-the-Zoo. Mr. Singer will play original songs and classic sing alongs. There is always a wide range of ages, children bring their own instruments and can request songs as well. The best part is after the concert, you can visit the petting zoo, feed the cows and goats and then have a picnic at Green City Market (Wednesdays only). All FREE!
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    Green City Market on Wednesdays (Our House Pizza)

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    Noah had so much fun at our picnic at Green City Market

    2. Monica & Andy-  Miss Alexis from Bubbles Academy performs every Tuesday from 10:30- 11a.m., at the Monica and Andy store at 2038 N. Halsted. If you haven’t seen a Miss Alexis concert, we love her! She has sing alongs with small musical instruments. props and is overall very engaging! She will explain how each song helps learning in different stages of development and even incorporates sign language into her performance.

    Noah is 18 months and he is one of the oldest that attends, so I think this might be more for babies and crawlers. Although, he loves it and we will continue to go. $10 dollars.

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3. Whole Foods- Lincoln Park At the Lincoln Park Whole Foods Market on 1550 North Kingsbury Street, there is FREE Bubbles Academy children’s concert every Wednesday and Thursday morning from 10:00 to 10:30 a.m with Miss Alexis. I always like this Whole Foods because it is large and has lots of parking available.

At the Whole Foods in Lakeview on 3201 N. Ashland Avenue, Sarah Jane performs every Thursday from 10-10:30am on the Porch. It does very crowded, so I recommend going early. TIP: They sometimes give out yummy snacks for the kids too.

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4. The StoryBook Mom-  The StoryBook mom is an interactive read aloud is for all ages. This is great way to introduce young children to theatre, storybooks, music and engage their senses in an immediate and interactive way. She performs at various locations across the city. Monday’s at Shop Little Threads in Roscoe Village on 2033 W. Roscoe at 10:30am. She is also at Monica & Andy and Purple Monkey Playroom on Wednesdays. All the weekly performances are FREE. 

5. Park at Wrigley –

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Photo Courtesy of Park at Wrigley

The Old Town School of Folk Music, Wiggleworms, performs every Tuesday at 10-10:45am, except on game days. It is an interactive performance with music, movement and dancing. They will even have shakers, bubbles, singing, dancing and more. It is geared toward children 6 and younger along with their caregivers.

There are so many more events across the city like FREE classes at Home Depot, or FREE bowling Kids Bowl .Jump on the Water Taxi for $6-9 dollars (depending on the distance) or all the FREE family and child friendly events at Maggie Daley Park. 

Let me know what you think!

~xoxo~

Christine

Picnic Essentials

There are many items we need for the park, but there are a few that we MUST have before we leave the house for long periods of time. Now that Noah is a toddler, some of the items are necessary to keep him entertained and make motherhood just a little easier on our summer adventures.

This waterproof picnic blanket is the best! It folds up really small, easy to clean up spills and has handles to make it easy to carry. Picnic Blanket ( 70x80 extra large fold & portable )for family travel , camping , outdoor concert tablecloth lawn or beach mat with color stripes , best kids water-resistant mat tote bag with handle Read more at Motherhood & Family

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Our Summer Must-Haves

The heat of summer is IMG_4804here and there are a few products that are must haves for us this season. Now that Noah is 17 months, we are enjoying the pool, being outside and staying up late. But I am not going to lie, one of my “mom triggers” is the sun and his sensitive skin. All moms have a few triggers like nap schedules, food, etc. The sun is mine, I will admit it. So the products below definitely work for us. Hopefully, for you too! Read more at Motherhood & Family

Summer Recipes

I am no chef, will never claim to be one. But as soon as I had my son, cooking kind of became part of motherhood, whether I liked it or not. I have learned throughout the past year different recipes that are EASY, FAST and a bonus if it’s kid friendly. Below are some recipes I have been whipping up this summer. Enjoy! Read more at Restaurant Reviews & Recipes

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Toddler Meal Planning Made Easy- Little Harvest

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As soon as Noah started to eat solids around 6 months, my husband and I were so excited for him to try EVERYTHING. Our plan was to cook all his meals ourselves, meal prep for the week and have him it only the best, organic food. Well, fast forward to 16 months now, we haven’t been as good. Meal prep is hard for us sometimes, because like everyone, we are busy. So I did a little searching and found read more at CGL Baby.

Our “Planned” Birth Story

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My son, Noah, is two years old now. He is a happy, healthy, silly little boy and that is all that matters. I love him so much, it is actually hard to describe. But to this day, I carry around what I call “MG” aka mom guilt.

I was watching TV recently and someone was giving birth and I started to cry.  This often happens when I think about my own experience with Noah. My husband actually suggested to write about it to see if other moms feel the same way. So in honor of all those moms out there and releasing some of my own MG, I thought I would share our “planned” birth story.

For the entire pregnancy, I was healthy and so was Noah. I had no problems and everything was routine.  But in 2015, two days after Christmas. I noticed a change. Noah was pretty active in the womb, but all of sudden, I felt nothing. Something just didn’t feel right. I called the doctor and I immediately went into triage. After stress testing and ultrasounds, we discovered Noah had turned into a breech position, which was limiting his movement. What was this? And why did it happen? So of course, I freaked out and spent the next upcoming weeks Googling everything (I know, it’s my weakness). The doctors reassured us not to worry because most babies eventually turn on their own. They kept saying only 3-4% of babies are breech at birth, so most will turn on their own.

Through my research, I learned that there are several types of breech positions, which means the baby is not head first in the womb. Noah was in the oblique position. His head was under my right ribs, bottom on my pelvis and feet under my left ribs.

So from 32 weeks on, my husband and I were told that he will turn on his own, everything will be fine and they will continue to monitor his position.

Come 36 weeks, he still had not turned. My doctor suggested a version, which is manually turning the baby around from the outside. This is done at the hospital as an outpatient procedure. The chances of him moving was 50%, so we decided to do one. But, it was unsuccessful and the most painful experience ever, even with an epidural. He didn’t budge, his heart rate dropped during the procedure and I was in excruciating pain. As a result, we had to schedule a c-section at 39 weeks. I was absolutely devastated. I was bruised from the inside out, heavily medicated, and could not believe I would have to have a c-section.

So many thoughts and questions ran through my head (and still do to this day). I would never experience my water breaking or going into labor. Was there something wrong with me or him? I wouldn’t be able to spend time with him immediately after his birth. Would I have to have one with future children?  I thought motherhood meant to go through labor, like a right of passage. It broke me. For the first time, I didn’t want anything planned, I wanted him to come when he was ready.

From 36 weeks on, there were several things the doctor suggested we could do naturally on our own to move his position. It completely consumed my life. We tried everything. Acupuncture at The Nest (which I highly recommend for any moms to be), music,

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Acupuncture at The Nest

bouncing balls, moxa sticks that burn at your feet, yoga, chiropractor, essential oils, etc. We would spend hours in Chinatown to just to find herbs and incense that might help him move. Hundreds of dollars spent, countless hours worrying and sleepless night, but no success.

At 39 weeks, I went in for the c-section at 39 weeks and it went perfect. There wasn’t anything more I would ask for. I still don’t know why this continues to weigh heavy on me, but I am working on releasing it. It shouldn’t matter how our children come into this world, but mothers and women in general always carry so much guilt. We should all try to give ourselves a little more credit.

This is a deeply personal post, but I would love to hear more about your experiences.

And as always, you can sign up for weekly blog post alerts here. Thanks for following along!

Until next time,

Christine

The First Haircut

Ok, moms. We did it. We finally got Noah’s first haircut. After 14 months, I finally gave in and realized I no longer have a baby, but a growing toddler that needed a haircut. Desperately.

It wasn’t really about his hair or whether or not he would behave in the chair, but more about getting over the fact that he is growing and growing FAST. With all my anxiety, I needed to find place to calm my nerves and also find a salon great with children. Through lots of research, I found Kid Snips. With 8 locations in Chicago and surrounding suburbs, stylists that specialize with toddlers and kids, my hesitations were put to rest. Read more at CGL BabyFullSizeRender(13)