9.29.2015

WE EAT | Broccoli Bacon Mac + Cheese

Cooler weather is approaching- I can feel it..even though it is still forecasting to be in the 90's, but it will be here soon..right?
I am so excited about the thought of fall and winter because with that comes all the comfort foods of the season.  Root veggies are among my favorite foods to prepare (and eat!!).  I  could probably create and fill an entire pinterest board of recipes containing sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and butternut squash alone.  There is something about those foods that just bring out the sense of comfort in a meal.  
But- can comfort and healthy go hand in hand?  Sure it can! Cooking Light proves it with their latest Mac + Cheese recipe.  CL Mag is the only magazine I get in the mail these days.. and the only magazine I make time to read (and doggie ear) from cover to cover.  Parker and Jolie love to sit in my lap to look through all the vibrant pictures of healthy and delicious foods - and their September cover photo looked outrageously yummy.  I couldn't wait to make it!
A typical cheese sauce is a butter/flour roux, milk, and of course lots and lots of cheese!  This recipe replaces the butter and flour and uses the starch of butternut squash to create a rich and creamy cheddar sauce - not to mention sneaking another serving of veggies in.   
Never hurts for more veggies!  Jolie kept talking about the broccoli and how much she loved it and Parker cleaned her plate of all the pasta.
Dinner is served!
Broccoli Bacon Mac + Cheese
adapted from Cooking Light 
center-cut bacon slices, chopped
garlic cloves, minced 
2 1/2 cups low sodium chicken stock
1 1/2 cups milk (I used skim milk)
(12-ounce) package frozen cubed butternut squash 
14 ounces uncooked whole wheat pasta (I used farfalle)
3 cups chopped fresh broccoli florets
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
--
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon; cook 4 minutes or until crisp, stirring occasionally. While your bacon cooks, cook the squash in the microwave according to package directions.  Mash squash with a fork or puree in a food processor of blender.  Set aside.  
Remove bacon from pan.  Remove all but 2 teaspoons bacon drippings from pan. Add garlic to ­drippings in pan; saut√© 30 seconds.
Whisk together stock, milk, and squash in the warm pan; bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
Add pasta; cover, ­reduce heat, and ­simmer 8 minutes, ­stirring occasionally. Stir in broccoli; cover and cook 3 minutes or until pasta is done and sauce is thickened.  Stir in salt, pepper, and 4 ounces cheese. Sprinkle bacon and remaining cheese on top. Cover; let stand 1 minute or until cheese is melted.


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9.28.2015

Thirty One

..is the new twenty nine.  As each year passes I definitely don't feel older (at all) outside of the fact that this baby weight isn't falling off the way it did when I was in my twenties AND the exhaustion from the attempt to keep up with my twin toddlers all day long.  It just doesn't come that easy and at the end of the day I could curl in a ball in my bed and pass out.  I was stopped at a stop light and glanced up at the rearview mirror and caught a glance at the (new?) wrinkles on my forehead.  
So, there's that.
31.  
This weekend was spent with friends and family that are so special to me and I felt loved so well.  Just one of those weekends that you didn't want to end.  Monday- you usually ruin everything.. but lets rewind. 
Friday night our sweet neighbors (that also pull a crazy train caboose where ever they go) took us out to Denton on the Square for dinner and dessert.  We live SO close to that area and have never ventured to that side of town- and it was SO much fun.  Dinner at Roosters and then dessert at Beth Marie's.  Birthday Cake ice-cream for me:)  Denton is a college town and we stuck out like a sore thumb when we plowed our way through with our SIX kids.  I'm giggling as I remember the looks of those barely of drinking age 'adults'.. I thought I knew it all back then and I can't they think the same.
 Live music on the courthouse lawn had these girls dancing the night away!
 Saturday came early and it started with a surprise lunch date for one of my favorites.  Jessica and I share the same birthday and her husband Jon invited us earlier in the week to surprise her for lunch.  He was sending her on a scavenger hunt throughout the day with different girlfriends to meet her at all the different places she would go.  I was excited to get our families together to share a meal.  
Required group shot to document the outing.  We all could use a couple more kids, yes?
 We had a couple errands to run before heading over the the Massey's for a family birthday dinner and while Dad ran into the store to grab something, me and the girls hung out in the car - because sometimes it takes longer to unload than it does to make the purchase.. Miss Baker kept me company in the front seat.
 Saturday evening was really good.  Good food (slow cooked brisket, potato salad, baked beans) and good company.  It had been a little while since we did a 'family photo' and even though not everyone was smiling or even looking at the camera I absolutely love this picture so much.
 After dinner we sang "Birthday TIME" (as Parker says) and blew out candles on homemade peach cobbler.
 The best little candle-blowers
 SUNDAY
There is nothing I look forward to more on Sunday than a lazy day spent flipping between football games.  If we can work it out, we go to church on Saturday nights so we can sleep in and never come out of our jams all day.  
Yesterday we spent my actual birthday front and center at Cowboy's Stadium to see the boys play live.  It has been YEARS since going to a football game - so I was WAY excited.  We dropped the babes off with their BB and headed out just the two of us for a birthday breakfast before making our way to the game.
 We had amazing seats thanks to my friend Amy- she's the dietitian for the Cowboys.. basically the coolest job ever.  We have actually been sitting at dinner and her phone ring with a player asking her some kind of nutrition question.  Love it..and love her for sharing her tickets with us on my birthday!  
 After an amazing first half we settled for the loss in the end.  We were STARVING so after picking up the girls we went straight to grab an early dinner.  The second time I've left this little girl and she did so good- practice for when I go back next month.  I don't even want to think about that right now.
Also.. my hat is hiding the aforementioned wrinkles:)
 We stopped for birthday frozen yogurt before heading home.  The girls have really gotten the hang of  taking selfies.
 My heart is so full to kick off this 31st year of life.
Happy Birthday to me!  I have never felt so loved.

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9.24.2015

WE EAT | BBQ Meatloaf Muffins + Roasted Veggies

The best part about having a baby is the food.  Okay.. actually bringing home a newborn is pretty awesome and life changing but when your friends and family are super helpful and make you a yummy meal because your life at the moment has been consumed by diaper changes and newborn baby head smells comes in at a close second.  The last thing you think about or have time for is to turn on the oven or whip out your pots and pans- am I right?
In the weeks following Baker's birth we had a handful of people bring us a meal, and while every single one of them was delicious there was one in particular worth repeating.
Lets be real.  I'm from the South.  My mother is from the South.  I grew up eating Southern Comfort foods - we had a deep fryer in our kitchen and my mom's name is Paula (not joking).  Meatloaf was one of my favorite foods and still is.  My mom's recipe of ground chuck, regular old tomato ketchup, a couple of eggs, and saltine crackers was nothing special but I loved it anyway.
SO- when my sweet friend Andrea brought us this meal I was WAY excited to eat.
We devoured every last bite of it - I hounded her for the recipes as soon as we cleaned up the dinner dishes and here I am sharing them with you.

Probably not the prettiest meal I have ever made, but wow it was good, good, good.  The muffins make it easy for little hands to eat and to manage my portion control.
Well.. sort of.  I just felt like I was being 'good' and only eating one or two on my plate at a time but definitely went back for seconds (and thirds?!!) .. 
I digress.
This recipe makes 24 muffins - and while we probably ate more than half of them between the four of us, I was able to freeze the rest for another meal. 
Also.. I will never make roasted vegetables another way again.  I cant wait to make this with all kinds of root vegetables when the cooler weather is finally here to stay. 
BBQ Meatloaf Muffins 
(makes 24 muffins)
adapted from Rachael Ray 
cooking spray
1.5-2 pounds lean ground beef or turkey
1 sweet onion, diced
1 small green bell pepper, diced
3 tablespoons milk (I used skim)
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup panko breadcrumbs 
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup tomato salsa (I used a roasted tomato salsa)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup smokey barbecue sauce
--
preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  spray your muffin pan with cooking spray and set aside.  combine ground beef (or turkey), onion, and bell pepper in a large bowl.  In a small bowl whisk egg, milk, paprika, garlic powder, cumin, salt and pepper.  Pour into the meat mixture - add the breadcrumbs and combine with your hands.  In a small bowl combine salsa, barbecue sauce and Worcestershire.  pour half of the sauce mixture into the meatloaf mixture and combine well.  Scoop meat into prepared muffin pan - filling each cup to the brim.  Top each 'muffin' with remaining sauce.  Bake for 15-20 minutes until muffins are cooked through.  
Serve immediately with additional barbecue sauce- yum!
 Roasted Veggies 
adapted from food.com
3 pounds mini gold or red potatoes 
6 cups baby carrots
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, minced
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, minced
--
preheat your oven to 450.  Toss all ingredients in a large bowl.  Pour veggies onto a foil-lined pan and arrange into a single even layer. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until carrots are soft and potatoes are crispy and fork tender, tossing half way through. 


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9.22.2015

The Perfect Leggings | White Plum Giveaway

Over the weekend we got a snippet of what fall is like here in Texas - a brisk 75 degrees for like 48 hours.  It made the Texas girls want to pull out their leggings and boots and drink all the pumpkin spice lattes they can get there hands on.  I did refrain from all of the above, except I found myself lounging on the patio while watching football in a hoodie and my favorite fleece lined leggings.  Made me wish so badly for this weather to stay put, but alas we are back in the 90's this week.  Such a tease.  I know fall weather will be here before I know it..so patience is a virtue when you live in a state that doesn't exactly have seasons.
leggings c/o white plum // mug c/o linen + lace shop 
If you have been reading this blog for a while now, you know White Plum is one of my favorite online boutiques.  You have probably seen their styles sprinkled throughout this blog - before Baker, during my pregnancy, and now after Baker.  Definitely my first 'go-to' when I'm looking for something in particular (like for a wedding or baby shower and especially for vacation!) or just for fun (work, date night, every day wear).  They have the most adorable clothing, shoes, and accessories and most items are under $50!  My kind of shopping- versatile, trendy and affordable.

 Ninety degrees or not, this week marks the official first day of fall so what better time than now to stock up on some fall and winter staples?  White Plum is giving you the chance to win some of their most popular and best selling leggings - I am so excited for you!!  I confess to own nearly every color and style of leggings from White Plum.  A girl can never have too many, right? Right.  Most of the time that logic doesn't fly with the hubby.. BUT leggings are such an important piece in my wardrobe during the cooler months.  They are perfect to layer under a long tunic (this one is my favorite- I have three colors..camel, navy, and wine and this one is amazing, too!) or pairing with a long cardigan - like this one or this one - and booties. SO many options.
Lets get to the giveaway, shall we?  Whats up for grabs?  

first place winner receives 5 pairs of leggings of their choice (worth $100 value)
second place winner received 3 pairs of leggings of their choice (worth $60 value)
third place winner receives 1 pair of leggings of their choice (worth $20 value)

Thats THREE different prize opportunities for THREE different winners.  
..question.. can I enter my own giveaway?  These leggings are seriously my all time favorite and the chance to win FIVE pair is unreal!  
Enter for your chance to win in the rafflecopter giveaway below and in the meantime, you can do a little shopping of your own using code 3LADIESGET25 for 25% off your entire purchase until 9/28!
Side note: W H Y does Parker look twelve.
Giveaway runs Tuesday, September 22 through Monday September 28th.
Good Luck!

This post is brought to you by White Plum and includes an awesome giveaway!  Three chances to win a pair (or five!) of their awesome leggings.  White Plum has also provided 3L&TG readers a 25 percent off discount code through Monday, September 28th with the use of code 3LADIESGET25.  Thank you so much!


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9.21.2015

two month favorites

Baker hit 10 weeks old on Saturday and I just cant get over how quickly time is flying.  If at all possible- this mama thing for the second time around (because P+J are sort of a unit in that aspect..right?) is more fleeting than the first time around.  Part of me is dying inside because of that and the other part is eager to see how our sweet littlest sister grows up next to Parker and Jolie. She is growing like a weed thats for sure and heres a short list of things we've used on repeat over this last month:) 

Boon Grass Drying Rack
A bottle drying rack isn't usually at the top of your baby purchases, but after going through a couple of the $10 spinning racks with the twins I wanted to try something different this time.  This simple drying rack makes it easy to organize the smaller accessories to my breast pump as well as bottles and nipples.  We actually have the lawn version (a little bigger) so that we can also use it for the twins' sippy cups, lids, and straws.  I like it because even though it seems like discretion is impossible when you have 843 bottles and parts lining your countertops, this is pretty low profile compared to the tower-o-bottles.  I like the way it looks and it holds quite a bit!

Dr. Brown's Bottle Warmer 
We never used a bottle warmer with the twins and after 12 months of warming water in two huge cups for 3 minutes in the microwave only to set the bottles into for another 5 minutes, we said over and over again we would definitely splurge on a bottle warmer for the next one.  I actually have somehow ended up with a couple warmers and Dr. Brown's is by far my favorite.  It is 100% digital and comes with an easy warming chart based on your bottle type (glass or plastic) and the amount of milk/formula you have in the bottle.  You also don't have to use Dr. Brown's specific bottles - it is made to fit many varieties, which is a plus.  Set the timer for your recommend warming time and the bottle comes out to optimal temperature.   Warm enough to mimic coming from the breast.  We use it often and it's going to be really handy when Baker takes a bottle a few times a day while I am at work - so easy for her daddy and BB to use!  Thats the very best part about it - how easy it is to use.

Old Navy Sleepers
I am a huge fan of Carter's during this stage of life - I loved that brand and the way it fit the twins up until they were probably 15 months old.  Having a newborn again reminded me of what an awesome brand it is -- they have no idea who I am:)  That being said- Old Navy has become another newborn favorite as far as having something for Baker to sleep and play in (hence the name, right??)  The floral patterns have me purchasing these one pieces in every single size, and not to mention how perfect the color block ones are, too!  Fit and style - the best of both.

The Wonder Weeks  // the app
Thankfully Baker is pretty even keeled and laid back- aside from sitting in her carseat she doesn't fuss or rumble a ton.  There have been a handful of days that I feel like she's insatiable and just wants to nurse for every moment I'm near out of comfort and not even because she's hungry.  Obviously I know that in this stage of development babies are always evolving and a growth spurt seemed just around the corner because surely she is extra fussy because XYZ.  We all just want a for sure answer to that question.  Ashley shared an app she had been using and holy mackerel..within moments of downloading it I devoured every word.  It described verbatim what I was going through with Baker and it made SO much sense.  The app is based on a book sharing the same title (which I have not purchased) and describes 10 developmental growth spurts known as "The Wonder Weeks".  These are different from physical growth spurts - but the timing coincides on occasion.  During these weeks your babe is putting energy into learning new skills, and her brain is growing and changing more than it ever will again in their rest of their life which often results in the same fussiness, clinginess, and change in eating patterns that can happen with a physical growth spurt.  Probably the best and most informative app I have ever used - it has been fun to share it with other mama friends and compare where our babies are and have been.

Hanging Toys
According to my Wonder Weeks app (really its that good) after this last completed 'leap' Baker is able to flap/feel toys and focus more intently on those that are close to her face.  Baker is starting to interact and make explosive sounds as a reaction to her daddy, me, or her crazy sisters!  These hanging toys keep her occupied while in the swing, carseat, and doing tummy time.  Her favorite and the one she seems to hold to strongest interest in has to be this elephant we have hanging from her carseat- I love hearing the sweetest coos coming from the back seat when she's made 'eye contact' with her new little bestie.

Nyme Organics
I was introduced to Nyme Organics about a month ago when owner and creator, Lauren reached out. We've been doing some trial and error with soaps, lotions, and detergents because Baker's skin seems to react with things that don't typically seem very harsh.  A few weeks ago Jordan threw a t-shirt in the wash with Baker's clothing and although we washed it Dreft, Jordan's shirt had previously been washed in Tide.  It was like that entire load had been contaminated and Baker broke out into a terrible rash after I put a sleeper on her that had been washed recently.  We have even changed the diapers we use- the tried and true Pampers cause redness anywhere the diaper touches.  Parker had these same issues and has since grown out of it, so I hope and assume that Baker will do the same.  Until then we are keeping the rashes and redness at bay by using the most gentle products we can find.  Nyme has an entire line of all natural and organic products..and we especially love the Oatmeal Cookie Bath.  Just about 20 minutes using their blend of oats, marshmallow root, calendula, and chamomile calms Baker's skin almost immediately.  I use their oatmeal bath about once a week as a preventative and more as needed if we run into anything thats irritated her skin.  It has been a serious 'life saver' for that sweet girl.  Head over to Instagram for a fun giveaway with NYME and your chance to win a Newborn Bundle Pack:)

Other baby things..
We are still using everything I mentioned in the Postpartum Favorites Post, but most of all loving my favorite swaddle blankets, these comfy onesies, and the amazing solly wrap .  While I often use the solly wrap when carrying Baker, I have really enjoyed using the City Select stroller with the carseat adapter and without the second seat.  Thats a first!  Can I say that I LOVE my stroller with just one seat - ha!  It is literally so light and easy to maneuver versus the weight of two.  Parker and Jolie do really well with holding my hand and staying close, so using the stroller for just one has been pretty convenient.    

Of course this list doesn't include the hundreds of diapers + wipes we've gone through:)  
As always- I'm up for suggestions!  

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9.18.2015

Week's End

This week swung the life pendulum from SO much fun to one of the worst days of my motherhood life to SO much fun (again).   
Monday started off our week for a play date with Jessica and her sweet girls Harper, Elliott (Elle), and Livvy.  It is a funny story to tell about the way that Jessica and I met, but having her in my life has proven to be fruitful and besides the fact that Parker and Jolie love her little girls, Jessica and I are basically the same person in different bodies.   
 THREE hours, lots of loving on each other's tiniest babies (Livvy and Baker are just about a week apart), chicken nuggets, waffle fries, and one ha-UGE ice cream cone mess later we called it a day.
bow // cardigan (similar)
After I made my way home I tapped into Insta and this popped up on my feed.
Yay:)
t u e s d a y Jordan and I had tickets to the Ranger's game and se we let this adorable little thing tag along..  
 beer + burgers + chips + guac + salsa
Way better than any restaurant could share.  Plus - how fun is this?? We've never tailgated just the two (three) of us.
DATE night was the best night. The game was so much fun! Rangers were fighting for first place over the Astros and it kept the crowd loud and proud. 
Baker slept through to the 7th inning before she woke.  Cozy in the wrap - and by the way, baby-wearing is probably the best concept/invention everrrr. 
She did SO good.. hardly made a peep and watched so intently all the moving parts around her.  The baseball stadium had so much to look at!  
 Meanwhile.. the twins had their first sleepover with auntie and uncle J since Grayson made his arrival.  The sent pictures as the evening went on.
They helped make dinner..
 ..and fed baby Grayson.  The have talked all about their sleepover nonstop since they got home.  They LOVE him and they love their time with Auntie and Uncle J!
W e d n e s d a y.. I have ZERO pictures from Wednesday and not because we didn't do anything fun - because I tried to do something fun, but it completely blew up in my face.  Repeated tantrums, fussing, crying- I didn't even recognize my children with the way they acted.. I didn't recognize myself the way I responded, either. It was tough. Finally leaving to go home with three screaming babies in tow- echoing through the mall and drawing stares from strangers in every corner. Probably the hardest most embarrassing day I've experienced since having three babies, and I almost want to say that this was the hardest day since becoming a mom, period.  I had several non-proud moments.  I cried all day out of guilt and frustration and confusion as to what to do with my unhappy kiddos. AND Jordan was at the fire station. Of course. Thankful for grace and redemption from a tough day.

School came early Thursday morning, but thankfully it was a new day and we were all in great spirits! I'm glad they love school and are okay going.  Daddy brought us some donut holes on his way home from the fire station and Parker found it funny/hilarious that Jolie didn't want her to kiss her with a 'sticky mouth!' 
These girls!
 headwrap // tank // pants // moccs
While Parker and Jolie were at school, me and this sweet one met Jackie and Victoria for some coffee and fellowship. 
bow // romper (similar
Thursday night we found ourselves on a second date night in one week- that has got to be some sort of parental record!  Jordan got tickets to the Garth Brooks concert for our anniversary    and I was just the giddiest little fan girl on the planet.  You guys.  I have been dying to see Garth for years. We planned and paid for an entire Vegas trip to see Garth play at a the Wynn, and then couldn't get tickets.  Whoops!  A N Yway this show.  It was amazing.  
 My friend Jessica says there are GARTH people and there are GEORGE people.  While I totally hold all respect for the George people, I am totally Garth people.  My earliest memories of music are of Garth (and Tricia).  Trisha is my Reba, ya'll..and when she came out- so many memories and so many emotions!  I remember being like 6 years old playing Barbie dolls in my little friend on my soccer team Erica's garage and jamming to some Garth and Trisha.  
I knew every single word to every single song.  I bounced around- dancing and sweating - I've never had so much fun at a concert. It was so awesome!  Someone on IG used the word 'electric' and thats exactly right.  Every moment of that concert. I didn't want it to end!  I may or may not have lost my voice just a little bit..  Whatever, so worth it!
Thunder Rolls to The Dance to Much Too Young ..Beaches.. Callin' Baton Rouge..Unanswered Prayers.  Every song you can think of.  
..and, Low Places.  Because, duh.
Listening to this back I can apologize now for MY singing. It was so loud in there I was basically screaming the words and you can hear me just enough, and at least it's muffled:)
..and I'll just leave you on this Friday with Jordan's belting tune to Trisha :)
His mama called him precious after I texted this video to her. 

It was an amazing week!!  Happy Weekend, ya'll!
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9.17.2015

Gymboree Baby's First Care Package // Sweepstakes

Before Parker and Jolie were born I was overwhelmed with the plethora of choices and decisions I had to make when it came to baby products.  I had no idea where to shop, what to buy.. and registering was probably one of the most stressful parts of my entire pregnancy.  I wanted them to have the very best of everything!  I made it a point to ask my best mama friends and scoured the www to find out about all the best products out there.  After I the twins were born, I figured out what I liked and disliked..what I absolutely couldn't live without- some (most?) of which I learned about after they were born -- like the changing pad liners that changed my laundry life.
After Baker was born I had an even better idea about what it was that I thought I needed more than the next.  
All the brand research I did during my last pregnancy proved helpful this go round
We all want our sweet little one to have it all.  And by all we mean the best and by the best we mean perfection.  Your baby should have just that:) I've teamed up with some uber amazing brands that share the passion for quality to give away the ultimate care package for newborns! Winners will be announced weekly from September 8 – 23 with one Grand prize winner announced by September 30th.
You can enter each week for a chance to win a weekly prize and the Grand Prize!
Whats up for grabs
  • Week 1: (1) $200 Gymboree Gift Card, (1) $200 The Land of Nod Gift Card, (1) Newborn Set from Mustela, (1) One bounceroo from 4moms, (1) 3 month plan from bluum, $79 worth of baby food from Plum Organics, From BabyBjorn  (1) BabyBjorn Diaper Bag Sofo, (1) 2pack Soft Bib set, (1) 2pack plate/spoon set, (1) 2 pack cup set
  • Week 2: (1) $200 Gymboree Gift Card, (1) $200 The Land of Nod Gift Card, (1) Newborn Set from Mustela, (1) One rockaroo from 4moms, (1) 6 month plan from bluum, $79 worth of baby food from Plum Organics, From BabyBjorn  (1) BabyBjorn Diaper Bag Sofo, (1) 2pack Soft Bib set, (1) 2pack plate/spoon set, (1) 2 pack cup set
  • GRAND PRIZE: (1) $500 Gymboree Gift Card, (1) $500 The Land of Nod Gift Card, (1) Mon Petite Vave Set abd (1) Stretch mark Survival Kit from Mustela, (1) One mamaroo from 4moms, (1) 1 annual plan from bluum, $110 worth of baby food from Plum Organics, From BabyBjorn  (1) Carrier One, (1) BabyBjorn Diaper Bag Sofo, (1) BabyBj√∂rn Bouncer Balance Soft Travel Crib Light (1) 2pack Soft Bib set, (1) 2pack plate/spoon set, (1) 2 pack cup set

With both deliveries I came home feeling somewhat prepared, but of course there are always the things that just stick out as 
'oh man I really am so thankful for that..' 
You know.. the essentials that are most important for new mamas. 
This sweepstakes highlights a few favorite essentials of my own!
--All three of my girls were on the petite side when they were born and ultimately spent some time wearing premie size clothing. I had a hard time finding a lot of variety in that size until I came across Gymboree's cozy little sleepers in the 5-9 pound size. Just perfect for my tiny girls - and not to mention they looked absolutely adorable! I had a handful of them and they are still my all time favorite of anything my girls wore.
--I've mentioned my love for Mustela a couple times (here + here) and we continue to use their products on Baker. Baker has pretty sensitive skin - even going so far as to wash everyone's clothing in Dreft, but who minds that when it smells as amazing as it does.. Mustela continues to provide moisturizing protection for Baker's developing skin.
--Although I love my wrap carrier for Baker, Jordan is a big fan of the Baby Bjorn for carrying her.. its more manly for him, don't you know? Baby Bjorn is best known for their collection of baby carriers, but they also offer more than 20 products including baby bouncers, cribs, cradles, and diaper bags
..and lastly, one of the most fun essentials for both mama and baby is bluum.  Bluum uses a 'baby matching' technology to suggest the products you'll need at every stage, age and gender of your sweet little munchkin's developmental progress. You choose what you're most interested in and have it sent to you for a monthly fee. That way, you'll save on your essentials, as well as discovering the latest including new boutique brands- plus!  Delivery right to your doorstep.  No brainer, right?  These monthly box subscriptions are all the rage right now, and this one is hands down among the most fun I have gotten to try out!
SO many great brands and products are included in this sweepstakes and I hope that one of you guys get a chance to win!  
Enter our Baby’s First Care Package sweepstakes HERE
Good Luck!




This post was sponsored by Mustela. Words and opinions were my own:)

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9.15.2015

Baker Bree | 2 Months

TWO.
I can hardly believe I am sitting here writing about another month of milestones.  Another month of change.  Another month of life with our sweet Baker Bree.  Two whole months!  While I can say that time is definitely flying, last month's post seems like ages ago!  Even as I look at pictures of Baker's 2nd month (and there are a bazillion of them, ya'll..don't hate) she has changed so much.
banner / little dovie // knot headband / jb handmades // knotted gown / candy kirby designs
Baker turned two months old on Friday - and we went in to visit Dr. Butler for a check up.  We are weighing in over ten pounds (!!) - I don't think Parker and Jolie hit 10 pounds before they were 6 months old!  We just used the last of the newborn size diapers and opened a new box of size 1's! I have been having fun playing dress up with all the sweet little 0-3 month clothes that are finally starting to fit her well.

Baker at TWO months
Weight: 10 pounds 7 ounces (40th percentile)
Birth: 6 lbs 13 oz
Height: 22.5 in (55th percentile)
Birth: 19.1 in
Head: 39.4cm (66th percentile)
Birth: 34.5 cm

Baker is always a little unsure about being naked- hence her semi-frightened eyes.  But that tuft of hair on top of her head tho..amazing.
 Dr. B gave her the once over and everything looked perfect!  I always walk into these check up appointments with a twinge of anxiety in the pit of my stomach- what if something is wrong and I, her mother, doesn't even know it?! But, our sweet girl looked good and healthy - no concerns!  She was really pleased with how well she's growing and how consistent her growth charts looked.  
whats new..
I've been keeping up with her mini milestones in the 'notes' of my phone - and this month the list is long!  She's growing and changing so much in just days at a time.
BIG news for our sweet girl- she started smiling
 ..and the smiles consume her entire face and just might be the most amazing thing you've ever seen.
bow / a little lady shop // onesie / golden hill design
other things..
she had her first bottle (given by daddy) // she slept 7 hours straight // hit her first growth spurt (and it was a doozy!) // slept in her crib at nap time // found her hands (and devours them most of the time)
LOVES the swing, her wubby, the hanging elephant on her carseat, sleeping, nursing, cuddling deep into my neck to sleep, her sisters, and getting her hair washed.
HATES the carseat.  Although.. this hate is becoming more tolerable (thank goodness).
Baker found her hands this month and with that.. she also found her thumb.  She switches between sucking her first two fingers and her thumb, but holy cute- I am loving it.  I have a feeling she will love her wubby not for the paci, but for the bunny attached and instead of a paci, she will suck her thumb/fingers.  A characteristic from each of her older sisters.
I also put a regular routine in place with Baker.  Up until this point I have been basically winging it - two toddlers and a newborn have had me up in arms a time or two and honestly worrying about a strict schedule was not something I had time for.  But, a schedule has proven to be an awesome change for Miss Baker.  Baker is now pretty predictable. She wakes up anywhere between 6:30am and 7am to nurse and then typically goes back down within about a hour and will cat nap until 10am-10:30am. She will eat about every three to four hours during the day and stays awake 1.5-2 hours at a time before she is ready for a nap again. She naps 3-4 times a day, usually for 45-60 minutes at a time, except for her afternoon nap which is usually 2-3 hours long.  If I am lucky I can get all three girls to nap together during this time.  My routine with Baker really fell into place naturally because of the twins' bedtime routine.  About every 2-3 days I give her a bath and then nurse her while I brush her little hairs and rock her to sleep for the night between 9pm-10pm.

E A T
Girlfriend absolutely loves to eat!  Her mama's milk is her favorite as evidenced by her weight gain of over a pound since her one month check up.  Every 3-4 hours is most typical, but I still feed on demand which some times can be every 2 hours.  Thankfully not every feeding is this way!  I don't pump everyday, but when I get a chance (and have the energy) I pump first thing in the morning after her 7am feeding.  I've got quiet a little stash going- which is impressive to me only because with the twins they were eating every last drop I produced.  Every time I stick a bag of milk in the freezer its a feeling of accomplishment. 
I have started to noticed little quirks about her and when she eats she plays with her ears.  It is the cutest thing and I now look for it after she latches.  
She isn't a super huge fan of the bottle, but we haven't offered it a ton so I hope with enough practice by the time I go back to work at the end of next month she won't mind it.  

P L A Y / D E V E L O P M E N T
The cooing/talking and some babble started this month, and I forgot just how much I love that stage! 
The first time she cooed out loud it almost caught me off guard.  I was so impressed with her little voice.. I bounced around trying to make her talk again just so I could hear that sweet voice again!  During the day, Baker really is a super enjoyable baby.  If you can get her to lock eyes with you, she's incredibly smiley and talkative -especially right after nursing. In fact, nursing is her favorite time to chat me up.  If she's not falling asleep, she's basically flirting with me.  Looking up at me and when she catches me smiling at her she will bury her face (in my boob).  Such a silly game! The same silly game Jolie and I used to play.  She has the sweetest, raspy little voice!  She also likes to complain a bit now too - Its not a cry.. its more of a continuous monotone whale and it is SO funny.  Tummy time is the perfect example of this 'complaining'.  It is probably her least favorite thing to do.  She's great at lifting her head when we are holding her but overall during tummy time she tends to just relax with her head on the Boppy. 
boppy cover / little moose
She's also tracking really well, and loves to be up in her bouncer so she can watch the girls and their crazy antics all day.  I am positive she has wide eyes 90% of the time those girls are running around.  Laying on the play mat she will bat at the toys, but if they are hanging too close to her face she gets overwhelmed and starts to cry... so I have to make sure she's got some space between her so she can focus on whats hanging in front of her.


S L E E P
We have a tummy sleeper.  A tummy sleeper that sleeps through the night!  I mean really sleeps through the night- not just 5-6 hours.  Baker sleeps about 8-9 hours at night.  YES.  I put her down between 9-10pm and she will sleep until 6:30a-7am.  I know its not the most popular thing to do at this age, but I mentioned this to Dr. Butler at her 2 month check up and she said that her head control was well enough that she could move from side to side, so tummy sleeping is 'fine'.  Was I nervous the first time she slept on her tummy, sure.  But she sleeps really well, which is better for mama and baby.  On her back she's awake almost every hour and a half. I think she deals with some reflux causing her to wake up.. I've woken to her choking and screaming with spit up all over her face which kept me awake for the rest of the night with anxiety. Since this change to her tummy, we moved her into the pack and play in our room instead of the sleeper/rocker we used in the first month.  Even though she's sleeping through the night, I'm not ready to move her to her own room just yet.  I mentioned to Jordan doing it before I went back to work and with raised eyebrows he said 'really?'
I guess not? 
So maybe she will remain in our room for a little longer.  Cant hurt and I like having her close.

leggings / mindy mae's market // sleeper / june & january


hello darling / olive + birdie

B A K E R
sleeper / jcrew
You are two whole months, our great big girl!  And we love it more and more every day!  As each day passes your daddy and me find it easier to manage life with three of you sweet girls - but couldn't imagine it any other way.  This month you've experienced a ton of 'new' and firsts - time is going so fast and I'm trying my best to soak in every moment with you.  Parker and Jolie absolutely adore you (still) and try every which way to help.  You are such a great sport about it and even with the smothering of kisses you don't seem to mind.
You are pretty content just hanging out in mom or dad's lap, but if someone tries to cradle you like a baby would be, you let them know really quickly that you are not having any of that.  You love to stand and use your legs to almost pull up from an assisted sitting position.  Tummy time isn't your favorite, and if we have you propped up on the Boppy you will push yourself up over it.. already ready to get a move on!
You are still content to accompany me and the girls on playdates and run errands.  Though you now prefer to be part of the action rather than snooze in your stroller/carseat. I often strap you in the Solly, and we follow Parker and Jolie on their little adventures.  I just wait until you can run along right beside those girls!  It is a day dream I have all the time.  I don't want you too grow to quickly, but seeing all three of you playing together is a dream come true - literally.
You have found your voice this month and hollering from your bouncy seat or swing to get our attention has become quiet the entertainment.  The moment you start to make noise  your sisters come running with your paci or a blanket to assist.  You've got them wrapped around your tiny finger, little girl. Since the big sisters started school this month, you and mama have had some special girl bonding time, which I absolutely love. I often feel like our days revolve around Parker and Jolie, and although you are content and cooperative, it’s so nice to have time with just you. We go grocery shopping, mama gets her nails done, we go on coffee and lunch dates with friends, and run errands - just me and you. Its the best time.
bag / nena + co // carseat cover / milk snob
Sweet Baker Bree your personality is starting to shine and we couldn't love you more!
t w o month photo d u m p
Baker's new bestie - the hanging elephant.
daddy chats- I love how sweet she is with him!
sleeper / old navy
sleeper / old navy
holding onto her wubby so tight!
mama sugars after a bath.  Love me a squeaky clean babe!
playdates with friends- sister girl observing everything she can lay her eyes on.
some of her very first smiles!  Ugh.  I wish I could bottle this age up for safe keeping.
I cannot get enough of her little voice! Again.. hanging out in mama's lap while her sisters play at the library.
b-double o-ty (oh my!)
Those baby blues.  Give her whatever she wants.

I just cant.. 
This girl.  Rocks my whole world- and cannot believe how much my heart has grown since she joined our family.
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