Baby #3: The Wish List

First and foremost, thank you to everyone for the amazing response we got with our little announcement! It’s always such an incredible feeling to have such an outpouring of love and encouragement from those we hold most dear. You all are amazing, and I don’t know what we would do without you! So, from us to all of you: Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

No one can deny that after having two babies, we’ve got our fair share of baby items. It’s amazing the things you register for with your first that you never even use. There are also things that we’ve used so much they’ve pretty much disintegrated into nothing! As we head into preparation for our third, and replace some of our worn-into-the-ground items, there a couple of new things that would be nice to add to the inventory. Most of these things are in no way essential items for surviving parenthood, but they’re definite luxuries we wouldn’t mind having. Here’s a couple of things on our wish list for baby number three, whether or not they’ll make the cut for things we actually buy remains to be seen.

Wish List

 

1. Skip Hop Duo Diaper Bag

Let’s just say, Mama needs a new diaper bag. Since we’ve just recently potty trained Charlotte, my list of things that need to be toted around with us has significantly dropped. However, with the arrival of a new bambino I’ll definitely need to start carting around a longer list of essentials again. My last diaper bag was pretty worn and torn by the time I finally tossed it for a “grown up” purse, but that too will need to be replaced at some point. I’m the type of girl who only ever has one purse at a time, so they get well used (read: destroyed). Having a messenger-style bag is always a must for me because I hate (HATE) it when I’m struggling with little hands and my purse strap keeps falling off my shoulder. Did I mention I hate that? Yeah, I pretty much hate it. So I love the Skip Hop bag because it’s got the awesome strap, the awesome not-a-diaper-bag design, and it comes with a host of goodies that make toting baby items around easier.

2. Gund Comfy Cozy

File this under “non-essential but completely adorable and snuggly”. A friend of mine has one of these guys and it’s so soft! Seriously, when they start making them in adult size, I’m all in. I think this makes a great option when you want to lay baby down on the floor (before they’re rolling and such) and play with them. For the first few months, most of play time happens with baby on their backs so it’s nice to have a soft, comfy place for them to be while you make a fool of yourself for their benefit. I think “Peek-A-Boo” and “How Big Is Baby” is much more fun for them when they’re not laying on cold, hard wood floors.

3. Sakura Bloom Baby Sling

Mmmm. A baby sling. I’m all about baby-wearing. We’ve got the Ergo carrier already, and a very tired and worn out Moby (after four years and two babies, it’s been an absolute trooper). A sling, therefore, is definitely not a necessary item, but there is something to being able to throw it on and go that really appeals to me. At the price of a Sakura, it’s a pretty expensive non-essential, but it’s still something I dream about at night.

4. Honest Company Diapers

We’ll be cloth diapering with Baby #3, like we did with Sophie, but they won’t fit for the first two months or so. I’ve never tried the Honest brand of diapers before, but a couple of people I know have, and they love it. So we’ll have to see. I like the idea of trying to do our part to keep trash down to a minimum, and the fact that they’re more biodegradable than your standard disposable diaper is comforting. We’ll keep you posted.

5. Aden & Anais Swaddle Blankets

Aden & Anais. These blankets are amazing. They’re amazing when you have a baby who loves to be swaddled. They’re amazing when your baby becomes a toddler and likes to play “Super Heroes” because they act as the perfect billowing Super Hero Cape. Plus they’re so darn cute! Sophie is almost four and still drags the one we bought around with her. I would love to get a set of them for the new baby.

6. Canon Digital SLR Camera

This is something Tim and I have talked about for a while, and are still in conversation about. I would really like to buy a nicer camera to use as a family camera. It would be really nice to be able to take super crisp, detailed photos without having to pay a photographer to do it for us. As this is a huge expense. It’s something we’ll continue to save up for and hopefully buy sometime in the future. In the meantime, the smaller camera we have takes great photos, and we’re very happy with it.

7. The First Years Close and Secure Sleeper

Can be honest with you? I don’t remember much of Charlotte’s first six months of life. Each baby is different, and while Sophie was a pretty good sleeper from day 1, Charlotte, well, was not so much. She tricked us, that little stinker. The first week was amazing. She slept so well I had to wake her up every four hours, as recommended, at night to feed her. Then the second week rolled around and she was up every two hours, on the hour, screaming for food and snuggles. And it went on like that until she was around six months when she finally switched to waking up once at night. Side bar: nobody should be allowed to take pictures of parents who have just had children, it’s not fair to see those photos once you’re out of the “dark period” and have your idea of the way you THOUGHT you looked be smashed into a billion pieces when you see the reality of what you ACTUALLY looked like. It’s always worse. Much worse.

So, I would really like to try this co-sleeper to make breastfeeding in the middle of the night easier and less of a task (and perhaps minimize the amount of puffiness under my sleep-deprived eyes). I think we’ll try to put baby in their crib from day 1, but I’m not kidding myself into thinking I’m going to be a super peppy in-the-middle-of-the-night feeder when I need to get up four times, walk into baby’s room, feed baby, rock baby back to sleep, walk back into my bedroom like a champion and have an amazing power nap for two hours until baby wakes up again. No, normally I shlump and fumble through late-night/early-morning feedings like some weird, gloppy monster. To combat this, if baby’s right next to me, I can reach and feed and replace instead of shlump and fumble.

8. Baby Monitor

With Sophie, we bought a baby monitor and it broke within a month of using it. Whomp whomp. With Charlotte, we didn’t bother because she was in the same room as Sophie when sleeping at night and during the day I was normally wearing her in one of our baby carriers or she was sleeping in her baby swing while Sophie and I went about our day around her. With baby number three however, I’m going to have two very active toddlers (is Sophie even considered a toddler anymore?) running around the house and I’m not always going to be in the immediate vicinity. For the first time in our housing history, we’ve got a multi-level home and so it would be nice to have some monitors set up so I can make sure I can hear baby no matter where I am.

 

So there you have it, my list of wants for the new addition. This list will probably be ever-changing as we get closer to the due date, but for now, this is where I’m at.

How about you guys? Did you find you used some things with your first, and never touched with your second? Did you revamp your baby stuff when you added a new addition to the family? What kind of baby carriers do you swear by, or do you not like any of them? Is there a type of baby monitor that you love and could recommend?

Cheers!

Jen

 

Psst- I was not paid or perked by any of these brands, they’re just items I think would be super handy to have as we welcome our new addition.

Expecting Baby

We’ve got some wonderful news to share! Our family is expecting a new addition at the end of  October!

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Aww look at those baby shoes!

I’ve been feeling pretty down and out the last couple of weeks, but as we enter the second trimester, I’ve definitely started to feel better. Huzzah! I’m sure the amazing weather the last couple of days has contributed as well. Everybody ready for 70 degrees on Wednesday?!

So we’ll keep you posted on how this baby bun progresses. We’ll be finding out whether we’re adding a he-baby or a she-baby in June (so exciting!) and I’m counting down the days already! We’ve got lots of preparation to get underway before baby comes which I’m happy to over-share the whole way through!

Meanwhile Sophie and Charlotte have both decided they too have babies in their tummies. Sophie has named hers “Lisa”. Charlotte hasn’t given hers a name, but whenever someone asks her if she’s excited about a new baby brother or sister, she promptly lifts up her shirt and pats her tummy saying, “There’s a baby in there.” We’re excited to include them in all things baby-prep and get them ready for the new addition. Stay tuned!

Cheers!

 

Black and White and Pretty Darn Attractive

I could have titled it “Dark Walnut and White and Pretty Darn Attractive” and though it would have been more accurate, it’s definitely not as catchy.

I digress.

Remember way back when, we painted/stained the stairs… and then all confidently I was like, “We’ll talk about the banister later this week”?

So it’s been more than a week, but I’m finally getting around to showing you pictures of the pretty amaze-balls banister my husband built! But let’s talk about where we left off.

First Coat White

So this is pretty much where we left off. Bannister was out, stair steps were stained and the rest was painted white. It took us about two coats of primer, and three coats of white paint, but we finally got it looking nice and bright, and all one uniform color. I’ll be honest, I was really frustrated when the second coat of paint went on and you could still see the brush strokes in the paint. But lo and behold, three was the magic number because it looking great after the third coat.

So Tim, in a moment of inspiration. Put the end post and hand rail in. We’re lucky because Tim’s dad used to build houses as a profession and was able to help Tim build the handrail to code.

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I came home from work and this is what I saw. I was amazed! Tim has one day off during the week normally and he uses it as his “project” day when he can. This was an awesome surprise to come home to. You like those practice paint swatches around the window? They didn’t stay. We went with a different color. A lighter color.

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Tim was a rock star measuring, cutting pieces, attached spindles for the better part of about 8 hours. Here’s how it normally works in our house, of course there are always exceptions to the rule: Tim does all the sawing, cutting, and stuff I have no idea how to do and I do all the dreaming, scheming and most of the quick projects. Tim and I, of course, talk together about the direction we want the house to go in, and for every one project I actually do successfully, there’s at least five that I try/think about doing but never really bring it full circle.

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I was like a bug drawn to a flame during this process. I kept walking over to just touch them. Whisper sweet nothings to them.

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We bout the spindles, hand rail, and thick post at the bottom of the steps at a local building supply warehouse. We couldn’t believe the deal we got. This whole system only set us back about $140. There’s a couple of touch ups that need to be done, but other than that, we’re really really pleased with it.

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The best part (other than being generally giddy with excitement about how beautiful it looks) is that Charlotte can’t push herself through the spindles anymore. No more stair jumping for that one. Which is good because she almost gave me a heart when I saw her doing it through the wrought iron banister.

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I love the white. I love the dark wood. I love the soft grey-blue of the walls. It’s so classic but still really fresh looking.

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You can see how old these photos are, there’s a stocking and some garland waiting for the banister to be done so it can be hung open on the rail. Here’s our little pile of spindles just waiting to be used. Some of them ended up being too short, so we sold a bunch on craigslist and called it a night.

What an amazing transformation! We went from this:

Stairs I The Bean House

To this beauty:

Stairs I The Bean House

Heart Clip: A Tutorial

Happy Valentine’s Day! We’re spending the day hanging out with family, but I wanted to drop by and share this super fun, super easy craft for the little ones in your life. Grand total it took me twenty minutes to make two of these and I love them!

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I had all of the supplies on hand, so this was a big F.R.E.E. project, but if you don’t have the items, it’ll probably set you back about $10 (unless you don’t have a hot glue gun at which point price will vary)

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Supplies:

  1. Hot Glue Gun
  2. Extra Glue tubes
  3. Embroidery Thread
  4. Sewing Needle
  5. Felt (cut into 2 heart, and a small rectangle)
  6. Clip
  7. Bit o’ Fluff
  8. Red sewing thread

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Place the two hearts together, one on top of the other. Starting on one flat edge, begin your choice of embroidering stitch. If you’ve never done embroidery before, my suggestion is to search YouTube and find the one that works best for you. I learned this guy while making a mobile for my (brand new!!) nephew and it was super easy. So now I’m hooked.

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Once you only have the point left to stitch, put a tiny bit of stuffing inside your hearts. You want enough so the hearts not flat, but not too much otherwise it’ll be difficult to finish the stitching. You just want a little bit of lift. Then finish the edge, and tie it off, hiding any stray strands.

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Next, plug-in your glue gun so it warms up. Then gather up your needle (this time threading some standard sewing thread, your small rectangle, your finished heart, and hair clip.

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The first thing I did was put a little glue on the thick flat end of the clip and pressed it on the heart. This was just to hold it semi-still when I attached the heart to the clip via the thread. Loop your thread through the bottom layer of the heart and around the clip a couple of times just to secure it. The worst part about some homemade clips is when the embellishment detaches from the clip because the hot glue decided not to hold on because of the abuse it takes from little hands (ahem Sophie).

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Now measure and cut your rectangle to the size you want. Put hot glue onto one side of the rectangle and press it down onto the heart, straddling one of the clip prongs. That was hard to describe… see picture. Obviously you don’t want to glue the rectangle over the entire clip or you won’t be able to open it… again, see picture.

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Let it dry and boom! A lovely little heart clip. Then, wait for children to get up from their nap and put that clip to use. As of now, I think Valentine’s Day is Sophie’s favorite holiday. An entire day completed devoted to the colors pink and red. Walking through Target was really amazing for her the last couple of days.

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Awww. She’s so silly. Charlotte got one too… but she’s still sleeping. You know how it is.

Ok one more.

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Fishy face! Also, you know the song that sings “I like to move it, move it” from the movie Madagascar? Well Sophie was feeling inspired and began sing lyrics such as:

“I like the chocolate, chocolate.”

“I like the candy, candy.”

“You took my chocolate, chocolate”

“Where is my Charlotte, Charlotte?”

Clearly we need to talk to her about what Valentine’s Day is really about. Oh well.

Cheers!

Jen

What?

You guys, this picture popped up on Pinterest and I had to explore. And sure enough, it was legit. This is actually something that is happening.

Overalls

Overalls. Overalls that you can purchase for a measly $330.00 (!).

And I’m all, is overalls happening right now??

This is the same feeling I had when I found bling studded fanny packs at Target.

I admittedly have looked at overalls for the girls (because little kids can pull off clothing like a boss) but would never, not in a million years, wear them myself for fear of my butt looking like it’s own planet in them. I do recall wearing them in elementary school and feeling like I had it made. However, this size 00 model is making them look pretty darn comfy-chic.

So what are your thoughts? Are overalls okay? Remember how we all made fun of mom-jeans and then this past summer everyone wore mom-jean shorts with sports bras and called it chic? Yeah, that definitely happened.

The Post in Which I Try to Paint Something Fancy, and Drool Over Artwork

I’ve hit a bit of a writer’s block.

It’s not that I have nothing to blog about. We’ve been really busy at home, we’ve finished the banister, painted a chalkboard wall, installed a dishwasher, new faucet in the kitchen, begun construction on the entry bench and intend to start finishing the baseboards on the first floor. But for some reason, I’m just unable to put our current projects into words.

So here’s a post about nothing in particular, just a current musing of mine.

As a New Year’s resolution I’ve decided to amp-up my “Culture Factor” and become an art connoisseur. And by that I mean I’ve decided that I live in a big girl house, it’s probably time I got some big girl art to go with it. Posters bought at college fairs can only take you so far. And by that I mean, I’m just looking for an excuse to spend money on artwork. Can I #firstworldproblems?

Painting

So here’s the deal about the artwork we have at home right now. The majority of the pictures we hang up are photographs of our family. Our wedding day. Yearly family portraits.  You know how we do. And I love it. I love having the house filled with so many personal moments. But I would like to amp up our collection of art by exploring the world of paintings, and graphic prints. I’ve even begun to dabble a bit in painting at home on an easel Tim bought me last year for Christmas (maybe my birthday?) .

I’ve also been searching online, looking for artists that are inspiring, paintings that speak to me, and collections that look good together.

Here’s a Monday round-up of some of the artists that I’ve fallen in love with.

Albie Designs

These awesome prints from Albie Designs are on my fav list because they’re of the cities Tim and I have lived in for the majority of our adult lives. We love our Twin Cities. Both of us grew up in the suburbs surround the twin cities, but have settled in Minneapolis, actively deciding to live within the city limits, and we love it. I would love to buy this set and have them displayed in our living room, possibly with a display of the keys to the houses/apartments we’ve lived in together.

Kate Marshall

I’ll be the first to say that I have done my share of making fun of the wave of art that I liked to call “paintings of absolutely nothing”, but have recently developed an appreciation for their understated complexities. I love this grouping by the very talented Kate Marshall. I love the colors, I love the textures and I’d snap them up in a heartbeat if they were within my available budget.

Kai Davis

When I found Kai Samuels-Davis’ shop on Etsy I was like, “I want all the things! I want all the things!”. Then, when the Emily Henderson used them in her design for the Fig House, I was like, “I. WANT. ALL. THE. THINGS!” I still haven’t convinced Tim it’s a good idea, but I will. I will.

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I think these are beautiful, enchanting, lovely etc. etc. Even the girls love them. They helped me pick out the set for the photo. Can’t go wrong when artwork is even inspiring to the toddlers in the house, right?

So there you have it. Some lovely artwork that has my head buzzing. I hope this post about nothing in particular has inspired you in some way on this Monday afternoon.

What artists do you find inspirational? Do you find artwork to be a must-have in the home or do you just have buckets of family photos like us? Do you paint, sculpt, sketch etc?

Cheers!

 

 

 

Merry Christmas 2014

Merry Christmas2

What an amazing year 2013 has been! It’s been a rollercoaster ride of highs and lows, good times and hard times. A big thank you to all of you for your amazing love and support!

So from us to all of you, we hope you have a wonderful holiday season!