Newborn Essentials

When I was pregnant with Brynlee I bought/ registered for a lot of unnecessary items. I thought I needed all the things with all the bells and whistle. What actually happened was a lot of clutter and a lot of things going unused. This time I tried to be smarter and only got or kept the items we truly needed. Below is a list of what I couldn’t live without for baby #2.

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Ergo Baby Nursing Pillow– if you are a nursing mama, this pillow is a must! It makes nursing much more comfortable. You are able to position your baby perfectly to nurse so your arms wont get tired from holding them at the right height. I’ve tried other nursing pillows before and this is by far the best one I have used!

Mamaroo– We used this with Brynlee and love it this time around too! Lincoln sleeps so well in it and I love that you can position it at a slight incline when needed. If you read this post you know he has had some congestion and the Mamaroo really helped him to be able to sleep at night without having breathing issues. It’s light enough to move from room to room if needed, but solid enough that if Brynlee or someone bumps into it he isn’t disturb.

Blooming Bath – This bath is so wonderful, especially for newborns. You can position the petals to provide the correct support for your baby and it’s so soft for them to lay on. To dry it after each bath you just have to wring it out and throw it in the dryer for about 20 minutes. We love this bath wash and lotion too!

Cat and Jack Sleepers– I’ve talked about these multiple times, but they truly are my favorite sleeper for Lincoln to wear. With Brynlee, I always preferred the snap sleepers. Even though they were a pain to get all the snaps correct in the dark, middle of the night feedings, I loved that I didn’t have to open the whole sleeper making, her cold and start to cry then having a hard time going back to sleep. These zip from the bottom up so you only have to undo them half way, keeping the top of your baby covered and warm. So amazing and at a great price point, I don’t know why someone didn’t think of these sooner!

Convertible Diaper Bag- A diaper bag that can turn into a backpack is a must for a mama of two. I can’t tell you how many times it has saved me have two free hands at any given time. I have this one in brandy and love it, but would also like to get this one in black.

Travel System with Stroller Board– We love our Britax and used it with Brynlee too. When we had Lincoln we were gifted the stroller board and Brynlee loves it! It makes going places so much easier! If we have to do a lot of walking, Brynlee just jumps on and is a happy camper. She hasn’t liked riding in strollers for about 2 years now, so I didn’t want to buy a double stroller just to have her refuse to ride in it, this was the perfect solution!

Breast Pump and Bra– If you plan on breast feeding or pump and feeding, investing in a good breast pump is so worthwhile. Most insurance companies cover breast pumps now, so make sure to call yours to see what your options are. I was able to get this Medela and love it! I pretty much nurse exclusively, but still pump to build up a reserve, just in case, and also so Landon can have the opportunity to feed Lincoln. I would also recommend getting a hands-free pumping bra, it makes pumping much more convenient. Since I nurse too, I was having a hard time finding the time to nurse and pump throughout the day, now I pump while I’m getting ready, working on blog posts or any other time that I can stay in one spot, but still have the use of my hands. When we do bottle feed we use these bottles, which conveniently attach to the Medela pump and these washable nursing pads are my favorite and much more comfortable than the throw away kind.

Solly Baby Wrap– This is pretty much the only way I get anything done these days. Lincoln loves to be held and protests quite loudly whenever I lay him down for too long. If I put him in the wrap, he is as happy as can be and will often fall right to sleep. I love it because I allows me to keep my baby close whenever I have other things I have to get done. I wouldn’t mind spending all day cuddling my sweet boy, but for some reason my family thinks they need clean laundry and food to eat (wink, wink). This is also the only way I get any sewing done, standing at my kitchen island with Lincoln wrapped to my chest. I’ve actually gotten quite good at sewing standing up lol!

Nursing Cover (not pictured)- I love having a full coverage nursing cover. Since it completely surrounds me I’m never worried about flashing anyone. It makes nursing in public much more comfortable for me. Make one here or buy one here.

Car Seat Canopy Cover (not pictured)- I made one of these when I had Brynlee and have since made countless others as gifts. This is definitely a must have! It keeps the light out when your baby is napping and protects against people touching or putting their face right up to your newborn when closed. Make one here or buy one here.

 

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Lincoln’s 2 Month Update

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Oh how we have loved this little addition to our family. And I can finally say, that rounding out at 2 months I think we’ve finally found our new groove as a family of 4. Brynlee absolutely adores her little brother and he is fascinated by her. Whenever she comes near him he just watches her. She likes telling him about her toys or reading books to him. My favorite is when we all cuddle together on my bed and read books together. It’s a sweet little moment (amidst all the chaos of our busy life) with this family of mine and I couldn’t feel more blessed.

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Health- Aside from getting a little congested earlier in the month, he has been pretty healthy. We solved the congestion problem by having him sleep at a slight tilt in the Mamaroo and he hasn’t had any issues since. At his 2 month appointment the Dr. said all looked great! He is growing like a champ, he weighs 10 lbs 5 oz (11%), almost double his birth weight and is 22″ long (10%) and his head is 15.5″ (56%).

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Sleep- Lincoln is still proving to be a great sleeper and I really hope that keeps up. We still don’t have much of a nap time routine throughout the day, mostly due to the fact that we are constantly running Brynlee to various activities, so he just has to nap whenever he can. Luckily he seems to really enjoy the baby carrier and riding in the car puts him to sleep every time! Although his favorite place to sleep is on my chest wrapped in our Solly Baby wrap. At night, I do his last feeding around 8pm and put him down between 8:30-9pm. He sleeps until 2:30-3am, wakes up to eat, then goes back down until around 6am. Every once in a while we will still have a rough night and he’ll wake up multiple times, but for the most part that is his schedule and it works for me!

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Social: Lincoln is getting a lot more social. He smiles all the time now and even let out a little giggle during one of our late night feedings. He also loves telling stories and will babble while he is on his play mat or whenever big sis comes around. He loves looking in the mirror on his play mat and is getting a lot more aware of his surroundings. Now when we talk to him he will move his head around looking for us. He loves his Daddy who can make him smile all the time, it is the cutest thing!

Diet- Breast feeding is still going really well for us! We hope to be able to continue until he is a year old. He does not like the bottle! I still pump to build up a reserve (just in case) and so Landon can have the opportunity to feed him too, but he is just not a fan. He doesn’t really like pacifiers either and usually just spits them right back out (Brynlee was the same way with pacifiers, though she was bottle fed).

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Clothes- Lincoln is still in newborn clothes (they are finally fitting really well), though some 0-3 month clothes do fit now. At the rate that he is growing, I’m sure by the time he is 3 months we will have moved up a size.

Crying- He still doesn’t cry much, so long as his needs are met, being fed, clean diaper, etc. Though he much prefers to be held and will start protesting if he has been put down too long, which is why we love our Solly Baby wrap so much! Overall he is a pretty calm baby that likes to be held to observe his surroundings. His head control is really good for his age, he is constantly picking up and turning his head to look at everything around him.

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Likes- he is definitely a mama’s boy and prefers to be in my arms, but loves when his daddy talks to him and will give him more smiles than he ever gives me. He loves his sister and watching whatever she is doing. He likes to be able to see his surroundings and does not like to be covered up in his stoller while he is awake. I can already tell he is going to be very curious, much like his sister is. He also still likes car rides and going for walks in the stroller.

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Milestones- smiling and giggling and being more social in general. We can already see his little personality developing and it is so fun to watch.

We love our little boy so much, he truly has completed our family in the best way. We love watching Brynlee becoming such an amazing big sister, she always wants to help with him and is so concerned about where he is or if he cries. It’s so bittersweet, being excited to watch him grow, but also sad to see him leave the newborn stage behind. Happy two months little Lincoln, we all love you more than you can possible imagine!

Valentine’s Day Outfit

I meant to post this yesterday, but we had family visit and it just didn’t get done. So today I wanted to pop in and share the Valentine’s Day outfits I made for the kids.

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For Brynlee’s dress I decided on the Ayda dress from Simple Life Pattern Company. They have so many cute patterns. This one is quick and easy, it takes about an hour to sew up and I just love the back with the lace trim detail. It also has a circle skirt option, which makes it super twirly and of course Brynlee loves it. I used this Valentine’s themed fabric from Joann’s for the bodice and a matching red solid with one layer of red tulle overlay, also from Joann.

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For Lincoln’s outfit I just paired this striped Cat and Jack onesie with black pants and made a bow tie from the same fabric as Brynlee’s dress. I just stitched it to the neckline of the onesie, I didn’t want to add a bow tie strap or any other clip that might aggravate him. Now  I will just seam rip the few stitches I made to take it off and reuse the onesie for non-Valentine’s related things.

xoxo, Cassidi

Homemade Strawberry Poptarts

Are you all ready for Valentine’s Day tomorrow? If you still need Valentine’s ideas for a class or teachers, make sure to check out this post to grab your free printables and make your own! Still need some gift ideas? I’ve got you covered, click here for kids or here for all those lovely ladies in your life.

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We love the holidays in our house and now that we have kids I really try to make it extra special for them. And since I have a little helper who loves to bake, we decided to spend some time this weekend making some Valentine’s Day treats! These are perfect to make for breakfast (especially if you are on the go) or even for dessert!

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Ingredients:

Pie Crust – homemade (I love this recipe) or if you are short on time you can buy premade from the store, just make sure its the rolled kind and not the ones already in a pie pan.

Strawberry Jam (you can substitute your favorite flavor)

For the Icing:

 1 c. powdered sugar

1 Tbs Milk

2-3 tsp strawberry jam

Make your pie crust the day before and store it in the fridge for a quick breakfast in the morning.

Preheat oven to 350*. Roll out your pie crust and using a heart shaped cookie cutter, cut as many hearts out as you can.

Place your hearts on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Spoon some strawberry jam into the center of 1/2 of the hearts, making sure to leave 1/4″-1/2″ perimeter around the heart. Dip your finger in some water and run it around the perimeter of the strawberry filled heart. Then place a plain heart on top and using a fork, press down around the edges to seal.

Bake until golden brown, about 15-18 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix your powdered sugar, milk and jam in a small bowl. I added jam for flavor and to color the frosting pale pink, it was delicious and I wouldn’t suggest skipping this step.

Once your pies are done, let them cool on a wire rack for about 5 minutes, then drizzle the frosting all over your pie.

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Because I have a 3 year, who dictates a lot of what we bake/make in our kitchen, we added cute little heart shaped sprinkles.

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Serve with some strawberry milk and enjoy!

xoxo, Cassidi

Friday Favorites (and free Valentine’s printables)

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Soccer Saturdays- Brynlee started soccer a few weeks ago and it has been so much fun! She has practice, then a game every Saturday morning. We make it a family affair and all get up and go together (even if the previous night with Lincoln was rough) and Landon has even helped out with coaching a bit. Brynlee loves having us there and involved and we love watching her play. Honestly, I was quite surprised by how well these little 3 year olds play. I was expecting a lot of distractions and just sitting down in the middle of the field, but for the most part they are running and kicking the ball the entire game!

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Mini Chicken Bacon Ranch Pot Pies

These Chicken Bacon Ranch Pot Pies are divine! Super easy to make and the whole family will love them, even Brynlee said how much she enjoyed hers and she has been super picky lately.

THREE

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Have you seen BaubleBar’s new Target line, SugarFix? So many beautiful pieces, here are a few of my favorites. At a great price point too, these are all under $20!

FOUR

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Speaking of beautiful things (and just in time for Valentine’s Day) how gorgeous and fun is this heart shaped Le Creuset dutch oven? I have been pining for it since the moment I saw it, I would love to add it to my kitchen.

FIVE

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With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I finally got around to making Brynlee’s Valentine’s.

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For her to pass out to both her dance and preschool classes I made these bubble Valentine’s. Brynlee is really in to bubbles right now We are having some beautiful weather lately so everyone is spending a lot of time outdoors right now and I thought bubbles would be perfect!

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I just designed the tag (free printable below), printed then cut them and attached one to each tube of bubbles with curling ribbon I already had, so I was able to make 32 of these for around $6.

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I love that the bubbles have a heart on the top, making them extra festive!

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For Brynlee’s teachers I picked up some local olive oil while I was at Queen Creek Olive Mill the other day, they make the best olive oil and I always loving going and taste testing them. Plus they have amazing food there, I haven’t found one dish that wasn’t delicious.

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Anyway, I made a tag that said ‘”Olive” having you for a teacher!’ (free printable below)  attached it with ribbon and now we are all set for Valentine’s Day.

I love coming up with non-candy solutions for festivities like these. We only let Brynlee eat candy on rare occasions and even then she only gets one piece, so most of the time the candy just goes to waste.

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I hope you all have a great weekend!

xoxo, Cassidi

Linking up today with Erika, Andrea and Narci for:

Recipe Roundup – Sweet Treats for Valentine’s Day

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By now you’ve probably gathered that I love Valentine’s Day! I can’t wait to celebrate with my loved ones and it will be even more special this year since the arrival of our sweet Lincoln. To help make your Valentine’s Day extra sweet, I’ve rounded up some sweet treat ideas for you to make your Valentine.

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No Bake Oreo Cheesescake Bars / Red Velvet Whoopie Pies / Mini Strawberry Shortcakes

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cream Puffs / Macarons /  The Best Sugar Cookies

Very Berry  Vanilla Cake Trifle / Vanilla Raspberry Cake Roll  / Valentine’s Day Popcorn

Enjoy!

What are your favorite treats to make?

xoxo, Cassidi

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide for Kids

I have always loved Valentine’s Day, my parents always made it super special for me growing up and I want to do the same for my kids. My Dad would always “kick” our Valentine’s Day gifts (which was essentially door bell ditching them on our doorstep) and I loved it! I looked forward to it every year and will always remember the excitement I felt when I heard a kick on the door.

Today I’m bringing you a gift guide sure to make any child’s Valentine’s Day!

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Books– I love adding to my kid’s library and take any opportunity to do so. I especially love getting them books about holidays or other activities we do so when we read them they can get excited knowing they will get to do that too.

Coloring Book– Another great themed gift idea that provides lots of entertainment.

Stickers– show me a kid who doesn’t love stickers, Brynlee loves decorating page after page of stickers in her coloring books. They provide endless entertainment and these Paw Patrol ones are perfect for my Paw Patrol loving girl.

Baking Supplies- What better time to make sweet treats with your little sweeties that Valentine’s Day? Get them in on the action by making them a Valentine’s themed baking kit with cookie cutters, an apron, Valentine’s sprinkle and baking cups.

Surprise Packs– Brynlee loves opening surprise packs, her current favorite is Shopkins, but they come in so many different themes so you can taylor them to your child’s interest.

Crafts– We love crafting and these little craft kits make is so fun and easy.

Small Toys- toy cars, little figurines or these puzzle balls make the perfect addition to a gift for any kid.

Jewelry– This bubblegum necklace is so adorable and would be perfect for any little girl to wear on Valentine’s Day.

xo, Cassidi