Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Must-Haves for Holland

The first time Michael and I went to register for baby items we arrived happy and excited... and left totally drained and confused.  Since then, my advice for first-time moms is to take a good girlfriend who has been there/done that and can lead you in the right direction.   Make sure she has had a baby in the last year or else everything has already changed.  When we found out we were expecting Holland I lamented the fact we'd sold/donated everything, to which a friend said, "Whatever you used four years ago has either been recalled or updated so you aren't missing out on much."  True.  So, so true.  :)

This time around we have been very cautious with our purchases.  We didn't register at all and have gotten so many items from Craigslist (stroller, carseat, crib), Facebook groups (snoogle, video camera), or hand-me-downs from the sweetest friends.

That being said, there were a few splurges or gifts I couldn't resist and consider must-haves for Holland...

I've seen the DockATot everywhere for the past year and the reviews have always been amazing.  I only had to hear "My baby finally slept through the night" a few times before I told Michael it was necessary.  The twins were fabulous sleepers and that has been one of my biggest fears with Holland. If she's anything on the outside like she is on the inside, she will never sleep.  Ever.   The DockATot is a multi-functional lounger, co-sleeper, and also perfect for playtime.  We have the Deluxe size, which is for 0-8 months.  It's breathable, all natural, and 100% cotton so the baby is completely safe.  I cannot wait to try it out! And while my favorite is the classic white, they have lots of great covers you can use as well.

Finn + Emma
I love this little shop.  They have the cutest clothes, and wooden/hand-knit toys for babies.  I fell in love with the "Miami Zoo" collection and thought the kimono & pink pants would be perfect for spring.  Their garments are all certified organic cotton and they use non-toxic, eco-friendly dyes.  I also found the sweetest rattle buddy bird that will be great when she's in her carseat.

Milestone Baby
I think these cards came out right after the twins were done with all of their baby milestones.  Lots of friends with younger kiddos posted them on Instagram and I love the idea of capturing a milestone with a picture and also saving the actual card for her baby book. (Just as soon as I start/finish the twins' baby books.  Ahem.)  They have several different design options but I loved the simplicity of the "Over the Moon" cards.  Check out their site - they have free printables that are fun!

Aden & Anais Burpy Bibs
These were lifesavers with the twins so they were at the very top of my list this time around.  Great for nursing, burping (obviously), and I love the large size.  I ordered some off of Amazon because I thought they had the best selection.  I still have one or two burpy bibs from the twins that somehow made it through our donation piles and they're still in amazing shape.

We (Ok, I) have a thing for strange looking animals so when I saw this purple Hedgehog organic muslin swaddle in Austin last month, I was sold.  It's so incredibly soft and lightweight and will definitely be coming to the hospital with us in two weeks!  Total coincidence but one of my friends gave me matching burp cloths and a onesie at my sprinkle so Holland will be covered in hedgehogs all year - I can't wait! :)  So while it may not be a true must-have item, it's definitely one I am really excited about.

Summer Infant SwaddleMe Wraps
All of that being said about the adorable swaddle above, the SwaddleMe wraps are what we actually used when it's time to sleep.  We received so many muslin swaddles with the twins and they broke out of all of them.  The SwaddleMe velcro swaddles ended up being our saving grace.  Cuteness factor? Not the greatest.  Effectiveness?  Off the charts.

Once she's here and has had a chance to try out the above must-haves, I'll write some follow-up posts and let you know our personal experience!

This post was sponsored by DockATot, Finn + Emma, and Milestone Baby.  My excitement level, however, is completely my own.   So grateful for their generosity!

Monday, March 20, 2017

36.5 Weeks

16 days to go!  Not that I'm counting...

I've been very frustrated with my attitude lately.  I was such a trooper with the twins.  Unless my memory fails me, I rarely complained and spent the majority of my time thankful and happy.  And while I'm every bit as thankful this time around, I have probably complained to every person in a 50-mile radius.  When people ask how I'm feeling I reply, "Tired."  When I receive sympathy stares in public I nod my head in agreement.  My temper is short.  My sensitivity is off the charts (while I haven't cried much, I've come very close a number of times).  And it takes very, very little for me to feel completely worn out and defeated.

The other day I gave myself a much needed pep talk because I can't stand ungrateful pregnant women.  I remember what it was like when I was on the other side and every time I heard a pregnant lady complain about something I wanted to say, "I would do anything to be in your shoes."  I think I actually said it to a few of them.

So this is me putting myself out there with the hope I'll be more accountable for my words and attitude.  Because, truly, I am so excited about meeting sweet Holland.  Carrying her the last nine months has been incredible.  I'm absolutely certain I will miss the kicks and punches and hiccups and the realization that right now is the safest she will ever be.

Sweet face! 34 weeks - measuring 5 lbs 10 oz

As far as the pregnancy goes, everything is right on track.  I've gained 31 lbs, blood pressure is low, and I'm still carrying pretty high.  The doctor checked me for the first time last week (36 weeks) and there is nothing going on.  I think Holland has actually moved up instead of down so we may have a directionally challenged infant on our hands.  I did flunk the first gestational diabetes test last month and said "no thanks" to taking the second so I've been watching my sugar intake... for the most part.

33 weeks
Rather than nesting (or maybe this is a form of nesting), I've been anxious to plan allllll the things with our current family of four.  I've gotten very sentimental this last month and want to make sure Jude & Sloane feel loved and secure.  From bowling, to the movies, to driving to Waco for a fun day trip last Saturday, our weekends have been pretty packed with family activities.  If I ever do something that involves Holland (organizing her armoire, shopping for baby things, etc.) I ask Jude & Sloane if they'd like to help.  If they want to, great.  If they'd rather do something else, that's fine too.  I just want them to be as involved as they'd like.

The negative to all of this is we've definitely given in to things we'd normally not allow.  When the kids come in our room at 6 am we lift up the covers and let them crawl in for a morning cuddle.  Last weekend Sloane found a necklace she loved and I bought that overpriced accessory without giving it a second thought.  Popcorn at the movies?  Sure!  Even though we all know you'll eat 10 kernels before you're done.  I don't think we've consciously done any of this but Michael and I had a good laugh after realizing how soft we've gotten over the last few weeks.

Lego Batman movie - they sat like this the entire time! 

We don't have much left to do before the big day!  I haven't packed a hospital bag but I've started laying out a few things I want to bring.  My free pump arrived last week (Thanks, Obama!) and we re-added diapers to our Amazon monthly shipment.  Her armoire is now filled with adorable pajamas and outfits thanks to generous friends and family.  We took a hospital tour last week so we know where to go bright and early on her birth day.

When we hit the one month countdown I took the kids to the store and let them pick out some fun paper so we could make a paper chain.  Each morning they take turns removing a link and then we talk about how many days are left before they get to meet their little sister.  Their excitement is contagious and I can't wait for the day they get to meet her.

Only a few doctors appointments left!  My maternity clothes are all getting dangerously snug.  Grandparents are making preparations for who will watch the kids while we're at the hospital.  I'm no longer praying for the pregnancy and am instead praying for a healthy delivery and the days after.

So now we hurry up and wait!  Did I mention we only have 16 days...? ;)

36.5 weeks

32 weeks w/ Jude & Sloane vs. 36.5 weeks with Holland!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Holland's Nursery

With one month to go, the nursery is officially finished!  When I was pregnant with the twins I had a vision from the very beginning and stuck to it.  Holland's room?  Not so much.  The day we found out she was a girl I knew exactly the color scheme I wanted for her nursery: peach, cream, and gold.  Basically, as girly as one can get.  I pinned all sorts of images and couldn't wait to put it all together.

As time went by, the nursery morphed into something completely different.  It all started because I found this rug and fell in love:

Even with the rug I figured I could have it be the one pop of color in a peach/gold dreamland.  Then I remembered we had pretty blue velvet curtains from our last home folded in the hall closet.  But wait, the curtain rods we purchased with those curtains were silver.  And the light fixture we were moving from the twins room to the nursery was also silver.


So now Holland's peach and gold nursery is coral, blue, a tiny hint of peach, and a lot of silver/grey.   Whoops.  Sound a little familiar?

Regardless, I've loved putting her room together and am so proud of how thrifty we've been throughout the process.  90% of her nursery is furniture/items borrowed from another room in our home, the crib was $60 from Craigslist, the artwork above the crib was a floor sample and heavily discounted (from a Colorado Pottery Barn, no less - that was a fun phone call), and almost all purchased items came from Target or Ikea.  I'm one of those who is almost as excited looking at the savings on a receipt as I am about the actual purchase, so allow me this glorious moment of putting together a nursery on a shoestring budget.  The best part?  I don't believe Holland will ever know the difference.

And with that... here's her room!

(Former Office)

(Before the shelves were added - shows off the gorgeous SUNLIGHT!)

(Artwork by the siblings! Top: Sloane | Bottom: Jude)

And now we wait...


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