Wednesday, August 31, 2016

What's Up Wednesday: August 2016

Happy Wednesday! I haven't done one of these in SO long, so let's recap this month! 





Anyway, as is custom for the last Wednesday of each month, I'm linking up with Mel, Sheaffer and Shay for "What's Up Wednesday" to answer the following questions: 


{1} What We're Eating This Week
We're still doing pretty well eating somewhat Whole 30, but it's mostly turned into mostly Paleo. Oh well. Aside from basic grilled chicken, grilled steak and any sort of grilled meat with vegetables or fruits as sides, we've eaten: 

Grilled Chicken and Zucchini Kebabs 


Turkey Taco Lettuce Wraps

 
Salsa Verde Chicken Tostadas 

 
{2} What I'm Reminiscing About 
Sweet little tiny baby Knox. In no way, shape or form do I miss waking up every two hours in the middle of the night, but I do miss how teeny tiny he was. At a little over three months, he's already looking so big to me! Perhaps it's because I have Walker and I see how quickly the time goes, but I definitely miss Knox's sweet newborn baby days. 

Photo (C) Liz Haas Photography 

 
{3} What I'm Loving 
I'm absolutely loving these bottles that The First Years sent me...so much that I ordered more! I'm pretty obsessed. 

 
{4} What We've Been Up To 
We've loved our lazy mornings at the house each day, but we've simultaneously been trying to get everything prepared for fall: Walker's dentist appointment, a haircut for the little guy, and having some fun play dates with friends before everyone starts school or a different schedule. We love our weekly trips to the library, to a local children's museum and just running errands. ;) We also pulled this pretend grill out of the attic for Walker that my friend Susana picked up for him last year, and he's at the perfect age to actually enjoy it; it's been fun seeing his little mind pretend and imagine! 






 
{5} What I'm Dreading 
Walker has his flu shot this afternoon, and I'm dreading that something fierce. I never enjoy seeing my babies get shots (who does?!), but I know that pain is much quicker gone than the pain they'd have if they caught the flu. So, we'll plan for a little ice cream treat for him afterward today. ;)  

I have a dentist appointment and an eye doctor appointment on Tuesday, so I'm equally dreading those lovely appointments. Blegh! 


{6} What I'm Working On 
With all of the baby gear that is currently all over my house comes this crazy need for me to organize allthethings. I'm currently getting rid of stuff we just do not use, while also trying to get Walker's toys sorted and cleaned out; Knox's closet in some semblance of an order; and everything just put in a place. It's completely the OCD, Type A freak in me, but it just makes me feel so much better when it's all done.

{7} What I'm Excited About 
Walker starts Mother's Day Out in two weeks, Praise. The. Lord. It's been a long summer for both of us since his last day of MDO on May 17, so I know he's going to be thrilled to go play with his little friends and learn a bit (away from mama) for a few hours two mornings a week. 


{8} What I'm Watching/Reading 
I'm still reading Jen Hatmaker's "For the Love" (of which I'm obsessed); and we just finished watching Season 1 of "Stranger Things" (so creepy)! I'm still also watching "Blue Bloods" and all of my Real Housewives franchises, but I'm definitely ready for fall TV! 


{9} What I'm Listening To
Somehow I mysteriously got Sirius XM back in my car (and I'm not sure how because we didn't renew our contract...) so I've been loving jamming out to the 90's on 9 and Pop2K stations. But if I'm not listening to that, I'm listening to Walker's CD...and I swear I sing these songs in my sleep. 


{10} What I'm Wearing 
I have been wearing these shorts and this shirt on repeat for the last month, and I just love them both! They're so comfortable, but yet I still look pulled together. I'm also a big fan of Target's basic V-neck short-sleeved shirts that I can dress up or down; this one is my current fave. 



{11} What I'm Doing This Weekend
We have a birthday party for our neighbors' kid on Saturday morning, followed by date night (!!!) Saturday night; church Sunday; then swimming at my in-law's on Monday for Labor Day. Brandon is taking off on Tuesday so I can go to the eye doctor and dentist, so while I'm definitely not looking forward to those appointments, yay for extra long weekends! 


{12} What I'm Looking Forward to Next Month
Aside from Walker starting Mother's Day Out (haha), I'm looking forward to college football returning, even though I'm thinking it's going to be a rough season for my Baylor Bears. I'm still not quite ready for pumpkins, pumpkin spice everything and all things fall, but I'm hoping I'll get there later next month. :)

{13} What Else is New 
We're 99% sure we're going with Brandon's family to the beach next summer, so we've been busy planning that and getting totally and completely excited about it! This will be both boys' first time on a plane, so that's going to be quite interesting, but I don't even care because we'll be going to the BEACH!!! 


*Also linking up with Jessi and Jenn 

Monday, August 29, 2016

Weekending

Happy Monday! Our weekend went by in an absolute blink of an eye...so let's get to recapping it, shall we? Before I begin, the giveaway winner for the SwaddleDesigns Cotton Knit zzZip Me Sack is...Owen Davis! Congratulations, Owen! I'll reach out to you shortly! :)

-FRIDAY-
The boys and I ran a ton of errands, including to Walmart for our weekly grocery pickup. {Click here for $10 off your first order of $50 or more!} While we were there and waiting for them to load our car, Walker just read his new favorite book (out loud) to Knox and me. He's getting too big too fast!



For the second month in a row, Brandon was delayed getting home from his business trip. {Thanks a lot, American.} And for the second month in a row, it was more than four hours! Ugh! 

But on a positive note, my heart totally melted when he got home. Every night when we would FaceTime Brandon, Walker would ask him to bring him home an alligator. (I have no clue.) Well, when Brandon walked through the door on Friday night, he pulled a stuffed alligator out of his backpack for Walker! He'd made a special detour to a Toys 'R' Us in Kentucky to find one. I love that man and what a great father he is to our boys! 


-SATURDAY-
We had the ultimate lazy day and it was wonderful! Brandon ran a few errands with Walker while I stayed at home with Knox and got a ton of things done around the house. During the boys' naps, I ran out to get a much-needed manicure and pedicure. 


We're thoroughly enjoying that it's still summer here and can still grill out often, so Brandon grilled some chicken and corn on the cob as part of our supper. At 2.5, we finally were brave enough to let Walker try his first bite of corn on the cob, and I think it's safe to say he's obsessed! {But trying to explain to him that it wasn't popcorn...now that's another story!} And yes, we kept it real classy without Walker's shirt on at the table. Ha!


Once the boys were in bed, we picked back up on our binge of "Stranger Things." It's so creepy, but we love it!  

-SUNDAY-
We went to church, then came home for leftovers for lunch. I tried to nap when the boys did, but by the time I fell asleep, Knox woke up early from his nap. Le sigh. We picked up around the house, got a few things organized and watched a little preseason football on TV. I was not feeling cooking supper, so I picked up Chipotle; then we got the boys bathed, in bed; and started another episode of "Stranger Things." 

And because I couldn't not share my favorite picture of sweet Knox: 


Can't wait to read all about your weekends! 

Linking up with Biana

 

Friday, August 26, 2016

Friday {Last One for August}!

Happy Friday, y'all! Brandon has been traveling on business since Sunday and is finally heading home today, so this gal is not only thrilled for the weekend, but thrilled her husband is coming home soon! #allthepraisehandemojis 

I can't believe this is our last Friday post for August, so let's get to it! 

 
-ONE-
Have you entered my giveaway?! We adore this sweet, soft sleep sack from Swaddle Designs and I know those of you with littles will, too! Visit this post to learn how you can enter to win one of your own. 


-TWO-
For some reason, we can never eat our bananas fast enough before they start turning {even when I buy the greenest ones at Sam's!}, so when I saw that I had some over-ripe ones on the counter earlier this week, I knew it was the perfect time to make banana bread! I just used this super easy recipe and it was delicious. Totally not Whole 30 or Paleo approved, but I just couldn't let those bananas go to waste! ;)


-THREE-
The First Years was kind enough to send us a sample of their Breastflow Starter Set to try out on Knox! I was really excited to try it out {because let's be honest, it looked really darn cool}, and I was thankful when they told me that these bottles support every combination of breastfeeding and formula feeding. {Gotta love companies who don't discriminate against us formula feeding mamas!} And, it is designed to help reduce spit-up, gas and colic symptoms, so since Knox has reflux, I was really intrigued.


Although I didn't include both of each bottle in this picture, the sample they sent us included two 5oz. bottles with slow-flow nipples, two 9 oz. bottles with medium-flow nipples, a container for formula {or snacks, or whatever you want!}, four storage lids, and a full-size gentle bottle and nipple brush for cleaning.


I gave this a try with Knox after he woke up from a nap, and to say he was pleased with this bottle would be an understatement. Why? Because the nipples on these bottles allow the baby to use suction and compression, just like breastfeeding. The 2-in-1 silicone nipple works like the breast, letting babies instinctively control the flow of milk they're taking in.


You can actually see here how the outer nipple compresses as Knox is sucking, which is so neat! I did notice that he didn't spit up as much after taking this bottle vs. our other brand of bottles, so that was quite eye-opening. 


But I think my favorite part of this entire thing is that the bottle cover fits onto the bottle base as you're feeding! FINALLY SOMEONE THOUGHT OF THIS! There's nothing worse than feeding Knox when we're out and about, only to find the bottle cover has fallen on the floor, or has gone missing in the bottom of my diaper bag. This is such a handy and unique feature! 


The only thing that I had a little bit of trouble with was Knox sucking out the very last bits of formula from the bottle, as I found it got trapped between the 2-in-1 nipple and he couldn't get it out. But other than that, I was really pleased with this bottle and will definitely be purchasing more of the 9 oz. bottles {for future use in the next nine months} for myself! Want to purchase for yourself? The Breastflow Starter Set is available on Amazon right here
 
-FOUR-
Brandon and I started "Stranger Things" on Netflix last weekend, and we are hooked! I'm so glad he's coming home today so we can continue our binge. Are any of y'all watching? It's pretty creepy, and normally I don't like anything scary or sci-fi, but I'm actually quite into this one.  


-FIVE-
I swear, the Duchess of Cambridge can do no wrong! I absolutely adored her simple red LK Bennett dress and nude pumps she wore yesterday to a helpline center for young people in London. And if you follow Kensington Palace on Instagram {@kensingtonroyal}, they just started Instagram Stories yesterday! I love getting an up-close-and-personal look at William, Kate and Harry!



Linking up with:

April + the Five on Friday girls 

 
Andrea + the Friday Favorites girls 

 

 
Katie + the High Five for Friday girls 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Thoughts for Thursday: My Favorite Sleep Sack + A Giveaway!!!

So we clearly love sleep in our house...especially when a new baby is involved. I've shared with y'all that we recently stopped swaddling Knox because he's a little Houdini and would just break his way out of every swaddle, no matter the brand. So it was perfect timing when SwaddleDesigns reached out to me about trying out one of their brand new Cotton Knit zzZipMe Sacks right as we were transitioning Knox from the swaddle. (As many of you know, experts and pediatricians recommend babies wear wearable blankets for sleeping as opposed to having a loose blanket in their crib.)


Y'all, I'm not just saying this because they asked me to review it; I'm being totally honest when I say that we LOVE THIS THING and you can totally tell that a mother invented it. I so wish I had it when Walker was a baby! 

What I love most about this sack is that it has a helpful two-way zipper to make those middle-of-the-night diaper changes quick and easy. And unlike other sleep sacks, there's no pesky "hook" at the top that you have to get on track in order to zip the sleep sack; this two-way zips down from the top when you're ready to put them in it, and zips up from the bottom (allowing you to just uncover their legs and bum) for diaper changes! How awesome is that?! No more completely undressing them and getting them cold when they need a change! And they have zipper covers covering the zipper for comfort, and also to keep the little ones from unzipping it. (Which is totally something my boys would do.) 

I also love that the company was founded by a RN, designer and mom of two. So not only is their founder well-respected in the medical community, I completely trust her designing safe, easy-to-use products with both babies and mamas in mind. 


SwaddleDesigns sent us their Cotton Knit zzZipMe Sack, which is made from soft and stretchy 100% cotton...and that is absolutely perfect for sleeping in Texas in the summer! But, they also have cotton flannel, cotton muslin, baby velvet and cozy fabrics in sizes 0-6 months (which we have), 6-12 months, and 12-18 months (in select styles). They're also available in four TOG ratings, a unit measurement of thermal resistance used to estimate warmth. The TOG ratings are: 2.2 (for a room temperature of 65-70*F); 1.5 (for a room temperature of 68-72*F); 0.7 (for a room temperature of 72-78*F) and 0.3 (for a room temperature of 76-80*F). Most medical experts recommend a sleep environment of 65-70*F.

So: here's the best part! SwaddleDesigns was sweet enough to let me give away one of their Cotton Knit zzZip Me Sacks {open to U.S. and Canada residents only}. In order to win, use the Rafflecopter tool below. I'll announce the winner next week. Good luck! 

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Linking up with Annie and Natalie

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

What's Hap-pinning Wednesday: Second Baby Favorites (0-3 Months)

It's Wednesday, and you know what that means: time to link up with Jenn and Jessi for "What's Hap-pinning Wednesday!" 

Now that I officially have a three-month old (and we are out of the super hard and very real "fourth trimester"), I thought I'd share what have been some of our favorite baby items for Knox these past three months. 


What I have learned having a second baby, however, is that you just don't need as much "stuff" as you think you do. (And don't get me started on the clothes! I was pulling bins down from the attic and was astounded at how many clothes I had for Walker -- and have for Knox -- that neither of them wore because there simply were too many! Why did I buy all of that?! Yikes! Tell me I'm not alone!) 


Anyway, here's what we have loved these last three months: 



one || two || three || four 

five || six || seven || eight 

nine || ten || eleven || twelve 

-ONE-
Knox moved into his crib at three weeks when we started BabyWise, but we absolutely loved the Rock 'N' Play during those first three weeks! We didn't have this with Walker, so it was such a change from the traditional cradle (that was mine when I was a baby) that we used for him. I liked that it was so easy to use and could easily be moved around the house to use in a different room, and the vibration was a nice added touch -- too bad Knox hated that part! Ha! But seriously, if we were going to have another baby (which we're not!), I would totally use this again. 

-TWO-
I debated getting a double stroller, but we bit the bullet on this one right before Knox arrived and I have loved using it! Walker is most definitely all boy and likes to run from me any chance he gets, so I have to have him strapped in when we go most places. We have the Britax B-Safe infant car seat, and this clicks and straps in so easily. Granted, this double stroller is a beast (but most are, right?!) and takes up a lot of room in the back of my SUV, but it's definitely worth it. 

-THREE-
I mentioned recently that I'm not nursing anymore, so I'm glad that we were gifted with a new bottle warmer! We used this same bottle warmer with Walker, but ultimately tossed it because it just got nasty after using it for about 8 months (spills, leaks, etc.). We tried so many when Walker was a baby and found that so many models out there leaked! Ugh! Once we found this one, we didn't turn back and this is definitely a repeat use item! 

-FOUR-
These bottles have a ton of parts, but were great for Walker and have been great for Knox; they both had/have reflux and these really seem to help with that. 

-FIVE-
Also a repeat item from our first baby: Wubbanubs! Knox doesn't like the pacifier as much as Walker did (who was addicted until I snatched the paci away at one year and didn't look back), but he does like to have it when he sleeps. These pacifiers are the only ones my boys will take, despite trying many other brands, only to give them away or toss them because those picky guys didn't like them. 

-SIX-
Halo Swaddle Sleep Sacks are great! We tried many different brands of swaddles with Walker (who pretty much loved any of them because he loved being swaddled), but these swaddle sleep sacks are the only ones our little Houdini Knox can't escape from. (He hates the swaddle.) And stay tuned tomorrow for a post about our favorite non-swaddle sleep sacks...and there may or may not be a giveaway!!!

-SEVEN-
We had this tub with Walker and I loved it so much, I hung on to it for Knox! It fits perfectly in your bathroom sink with a simple fold and then hangs to dry to eliminate mold! It's easy to clean, babies don't slip and slide in it, and it allows us to have a practically two-minute bath with Knox, which is always nice after Walker, who would sit in the tub for an hour if we let him! Ha! 

-EIGHT-
Hands down, best "wrap" ever. I could never figure out those complicated wraps (I'm looking at you, Moby) and this one is the easiest ever. It slides over your head like a T-shirt, and then you just tuck baby into the little pockets. I only use it when I'm around the house and Knox is fussing when he should be sleeping, and it puts him to sleep like a charm. (So much so that he snores sometimes! Ha!) I would recommend this to any new mama! 

-NINE-
We had the Diaper Genie with Walker, and I got SO tired of paying for those Diaper Genie refill bags. They were highway robbery for things that held poop! So when my sweet blogging friend Aileen told me about the Ubi, we picked it up and love it! Of course, you can't get away from the smell of poo when you take out the diapers, but I love that this takes regular garbage bags instead of expensive bags. I buy the Glad OdorShield bags and it seems to help with the smell, too. 

-TEN-

I bought this from my friend Liz when Walker was a baby, and we love using it! It works perfectly for tummy time, and Knox also loves to lay on his back and watch the bright lights and see the mobile spinning, and hear the sounds and music. The "legs" come off so easily when you need to wash the mat, too. (Which is a huge win in my book. #cleanfreak) 

-ELEVEN-

These are the best swaddle blankets ever! You might remember a while back that SwaddleDesigns reached out to me to review their swaddle blankets, and I quickly fell in love with them. Since then, these are the blankets I go to when we're headed out somewhere and I need a little blanket on Knox's legs. Of course, it's still blazing here in Texas (and has been since about May), but when you're in the A/C, it can get chilly. So, I love these because they've been perfect for this Texas summer when you just need a thin blanket. I use these blankets for that, for tummy time when we're out and about, and yes, I've even used them to wipe spit-up when I can't find a burp rag quickly! Ha! 

-TWELVE-

Knox has some constipation issues, and I really like these for that. They do seem to help ease his pain and yes, even help him "go." They're odorless, tasteless (from what I can gather) and are easy to drop in his morning bottle. I highly recommend them! 


Monday, August 22, 2016

Weekending

Happy Monday, y'all! And Happy First Day of School to many North Texas students today! 

Let's get down to recapping our boring little weekend, shall we?

-FRIDAY-
I took Walker to a little play date in the morning, then came home and got a meal ready to take to my in-law's since my mother-in-law just had rotator cuff surgery. When Brandon got home for his summer half-day Friday, I took the meal over to them, and ran a few errands. Later, my brother drove up from Waco to finally meet Knox, and he stayed for a good portion of the evening just visiting, eating supper with us and playing with Walker.



-SATURDAY-
We braved the thunderstorms for a fun pancake breakfast on Saturday morning! If you follow me on Instagram, you saw how pumped Walker was to have chocolate chip pancakes and chocolate milk. ;)  



 Since it had been pouring here all week long, Walker hadn't gone outside to play, so Brandon threw a swimsuit and his rain boots on him and took him out to play in the backyard, which he did for nearly two hours! 

While they did that and Knox was napping, I did a major clean-out of the boys' dresser drawers and closets, packing away things that Walker has outgrown; giving away stuff that Knox has outgrown; and just getting things in order for fall. Even though I don't have kiddos in school five days a week, there is something about school starting that makes me just want to have everything organized!


In the afternoon, I ran some more errands in the pouring rain (child-free, woo hoo!) and then came home in time for us to grill out steaks for supper. Brandon and I started "Stranger Things" on Netflix when the boys were in bed and we are hooked! I totally didn't think I would be, but I'm actually really intrigued by it. 

-SUNDAY-
We went to church, where it was Promotion Sunday. Walker is in a new class where they do actual Sunday School-type activities now (as opposed to just playing in the nursery) and it's so cute to see him come out of his class with his little crafts and tell us, "I learn about Jesus, Mommy!" Precious! 

We then came home for a quick lunch of leftovers before we cleaned the house. (Seriously, stuff was everywhere!!!) After that, we just relaxed, and clearly Knox was a big fan of relaxing with Mommy on the couch. ;) 


We had a really low-key afternoon and evening, just enjoying seeing the sun for the first time in a whole week, and enjoying the fact that it's not 100+ degrees outside (and won't be for the foreseeable future)! 

I hope y'all had great weekends! 

Linking up with Biana for "Weekending"