Before Baby # 1 I sat quietly listening to music that I thought Wyatt would like while inside my belly at 39 weeks, perfectly folding a velour jumpsuit that I somehow thought he would wear on the way home from the hospital. The baby diaper warmer sat on the dresser perfectly set up next to the little boys tee pee’s that I was certain I would have time to use after I opened up his diaper. In a peaceful quiet house, I was awaiting Braxton hicks  and reading what to expect when you’re expecting, of course.

Before Baby #2

Crap. My second child is due in 3 weeks and I haven’t even packed a hospital bag let alone washed her load of clothes in Dreft. My almost two-year old is having a tantrum, which is the only kind of music Rosie will be listening to before she is born. If I’m lucky I will have a few, extremely comfortable and warm outfits for her at the hospital, no fancy outfits here. Waste of time. In fact, while I’m at it I might as well get together some extremely large granny-like underwear because the thongs I brought to the hospital for my first-born were a joke. Thought my water broke yesterday but the hospital nurse revealed I just peed myself, great. Baby two, here we go.

I get asked quite a bit about baby stuff, usually I chose not to write about it because as soon as I think I know what I’m doing my children sense it and go crazy and make me rethink everything I’ve written about. However, the one thing I know I have in common with many moms is the seriously hilarious difference between getting ready for baby #1 and baby #2. I thought I would write today about a few essentials you need for baby #2.

1.  White Onesies

Rosie lived in these. I got a pack of the long-sleeved and short-sleeved and it was all she needed. Comfortable, soft, and you can take it off by the shoulders or the crotch which is great for throw up and/or explosions.

2. Pacifier

I remember the nurse telling me with Wyatt not to use these if they aren’t latching but if you are not breastfeeding or your child latches, I say go right ahead. This was so soothing for Rosie and myself! I would go with a newborn size for the first bit.

3. Baby Shampoo + Lotion

Babies smell like heaven anyways, but you do need to wash them and I love good bath soap. This is my favorite currently and I do love me some baby dove too.

4. Soft Swaddles

Swaddle king was what I called Gavin because he owned the swaddle game. There are so many different types but I personally like the swaddles that have a little bit of pull in them, not all cotton. This way you can wrap them up easier.

 

5. Socks that actually Stay On

Wyatt had a sock missing his entire first year, it wasn’t until I discovered these that I realized there is no other way around. Keeping their tiny toes warm is so important and these are the cutest little socks

6. Kickee Pants

I could swear by this brand. Hands down the softest, comfiest outfit for your little one. Rosie lived in these and they are actually cute too, I would buy a newborn size and then a 3-6 month because you can throw a onesie underneath to keep them warm if its too big.

7.  Mittens

Cutting my child’s nails tops the list as one of the most terrifying experiences as a new mom, and it didn’t get better with #2. For that reason, I can’t keep up with the nail growth rate or the way they reach for their faces every twenty seconds so mittens are my best friend. These are super inexpensive and a must!

 

10. Gripe Water

Those first couple weeks are funky, the belly is adjusting to milk and changes out of the womb, don’t blame them as I would have probably liked to stay in an 80 degree jacuzzi bath too. Having gripe water handy was a good thing for me and many other mamas I know! Its one of the only ways to cure a difficult ache or pain.

12. Sound machine

I don’t know why this was more necessary with number 2, possibly to drown out the sounds of Wyatt going crazy around the house haha. Either way, the sounds mimic the womb and the consistent sound really helped my babies sleep!

13. Baby Nighttime Swaddle

Okay to be totally honest I haven’t tried these but I have heard a million and a half people tell me how awesome they are. I will for sure be using these with the next baby ( not pregnant) solely based on the reviews of others.

14. Lanolin

Breastfeeding was not an easy latch, flawless experience. I remember sitting with my toes curled crying because I was in so much pain and I swear by the lesson that just before you’re about to quit it gets better. It truly does. Lanolin helped me tons up until that moment where it was enjoyable.

15. Ergo Baby Carrier

Number two doesn’t get quite the amount of one on one time and going to the grocery store will be impossible until he/she can sit in a stroller. Trust me, I’ve tried to grocery shop with a toddler in the front area and Rosie’s car seat in the cart which allowed space for about 4 items.  Plus, baby wearing is one of my favorite things to do and they sleep way longer and you don’t have to worry about strangers asking to hold or get awkwardly close to your newborn. I’ve worked with Ergo Baby and they are still my #1 recommendation

16. “Baby Taco”

I’ve done the dock a tot and all the fancy things but this has by far been the best for me, it’s certainly not named the baby taco but that’s what I call it because well, it looks like a taco hah. It isn’t even that expensive but the angle and the vibration helped my little newborn so much. It was a great way to put her down for a nap or between feedings at night. Also, its 30%  off right now so if you know someone who is pregnant or expecting this would be a great Christmas gift!

Hope this list helps! I love addressing your questions and your requests.  This specific topic was for my friend Maggie and a few others who have asked previously! Love hearing from you all, have a good day!

Happy Thursday

xoxo,

Stephanie

 

Guys!  Hope this reaches you at a happy time in your week, I know Thursdays are one step closer to the weekend so hey good news right there! Anyways, Rosie just went down for her nap and Wyatt is at preschool so I’m ignoring my sink of dishes to meet you right here, right now!

SO many things to write about and likely a limited amount of time so here we go!

F A R M H O U S E– Great news, we finally have a step forward, fora minute there we were stuck in neutral and it wasn’t fun. If you didn’t know we got red tagged July 18th so we basically had to stop all work we were doing and resubmit for permits ect.. long sticky process but after a few back and forth meetings with the city we are basically ready to start working, and somehow we got the better end of the deal when all was said and done! First order on the agenda is our guest unit which we are turning into a little one bedroom house to someday rent or maybe do a little bed and breakfast! We will also be shoring up the little barn on the property which Gavin has clearly claimed for his Bronco. As we start working on those we will begin plans for our main farmhouse. If you didn’t know we have to tear it down completely and build a new house which at first I was really sad about but now I’m thrilled. As we get going on working with our architect ill be sure to let you in on the details of that! Below are some inspiration photos I have for the guest unit, I’m way over modern farmhouse and more into warm cottage farmhouse so hopefully these photos will give you the list!

 

W R A P P I N G  P A R T Y – I haven’t  really followed up since our holiday partnership with Stand Strong launched a few weeks ago, but holy cow I still feel like I’m floating over it. To be totally honest, before we launched the partnership and everything we had all these lists and toys to get and I had a legit conversation with my mom like I’m not even sure this will be a huge hit and if it isn’t I am going to need your help buying all these gifts haha! Thankfully she agreed and was on board and I’m so humbled and happy to say she never even had to buy a gift! This entire partnership and engagement from you all is such a highlight of life, it was like this platform I’ve used to grow and build gave back to me what I have been giving to you guys! It didn’t even end with the gifts, I’ve had numerous donations of wrapping paper, bows and now we are including anyone else that wants to bring a gift card we will have stockings for the moms! I’m just so excited and thankful to everyone who helped, so if that was you, thank you! Our wrapping party is December 13th 6:30pm at Cafe Andreini’s in Arroyo Grande and would love to have you come and help! We have SO many gifts to wrap and I suck at wrapping so please come help me!

C H R I S T M A S – I love Christmas time, and I love being in a community where so many people put value in this season. I begged Gavin to get a tree as early as possible and we made a compromise to get it after Thanksgiving. WE go as a little family and this year we went with my brother and his wife who are expecting a little baby and had the best time. Gavin and Wyatt ran through the Christmas trees and we played tag. I was telling someone, we could have the hugest best game of sardines or something at Halloways Christmas Tree farm because it is literally a few acres of fresh trees. If you saw on my Instagram Wyatt is eating up this Christmas tradition as well as many others. He loves the decorations and Elf on the Shelf which hasn’t moved for about a week now.

 

L I G H T S – I’ve found new hobby which is to turn up the Christmas music and drive around aimlessly looking for christmas lights. It is so nice having the kids all strapped in while I listen to Christmas music and drink my coffee haha! We stopped by one on Starlight Drive in Arroyo Grande and are going to Shell Beach next because we heard there is an amazing one there too! It’s my new favorite thing to do and the kids love and usually fall asleep after a while so win, win!

I N T E R M I T T E N T  F A S T I N G – Guys, i’m obsessed. I will actually be wiring about this in more detail but over the past month or so I’ve started this fasting which has completely helped me lose weight and changed the way I eat. I have freakin tried everything under the sun and I love this. Anyone tried it? Direct message me questions if you have them but I wanted to share briefly today how much I am loving it.

The Holidays are not the holidays unless you think about helping someone else out, simple as that. Its the foundation of why this season is so wonderful, in fact kindness is the soul of this season.

A few months back I got to thinking about the purpose of my blog, the why, the reason I even sit down at the coffee shop and spend time away from my kids and family. I do it because I want to genuinely help and impact people’s lives, by sharing the genuine and real life I live. I want to live my best day and help you live yours, and honestly there is nothing that makes me better than helping someone else. I want you to do the same, duh!

This year I wanted to find something that we all have in common, and find a charity that is close to my heart. I value family, I care for children and I’m sure you do too. This year I chose to partner with Stand Strong which is formally known as the women’s shelter of San Luis Obispo. I met with the team at Stand Strong and together we created a special campaign that I cross my fingers and hope hope hope you will join me in!

Here’s the breakdown.

Who we are Helping They help families escape bad situations and give housing and the means needed to continue to live a normal life. In the midst of crisis, there is no doubt that children are the ones who are the victims, its horrible and sometimes when I think too long about it my stomach actually hurts. These little lives have no choice but to live in these conditions, and I want to do something for them. Something special, and I hope you do it with me.

How we are helping:  We are adopting families whose children I have the names and wish lists from, with those lists we will together grant their wishes for toys, clothes, and items that will light up their little faces. It is my hope that together we can give these children a reason to smile!

HOW YOU CAN HELP 

  1. I received all the individual lists (seen below) from the Stand Strong foundation and from there I created a huge list on amazon where the items are located. The reason I did this list is because there are so many of you that i don’t know, which is awesome, i need to be able to keep track of what gifts have been purchased.
  2. What you are going to do is scroll down and look at all the wish lists. When you see something you want to get, click on the amazon registry link and scroll down until you see the item. Once you purchase the item, i will know on my end that the gift is covered, and so will the next person because when they go to buy the same soccer ball, it will say purchased. This is the reason why i need you to buy from Amazon, its the only way i can keep track of what has/needs to be purchased. Also, I do not receive any commission or profit from this whatsoever, just need a single place where I can keep track of all the items.
  3. You have TWO options after you purchase your items. You can have them shipped to your house from Amazon and then bring them to the wrapping party on December 13th OR if you are not able to make the wrapping party and just want to donate you can have them shipped to the address listed and I will receive those gifts and bring them to the wrapping party!
  4. WRAPPING PARTY This is a big deal and I really hope you can make it because this will really bring us all together and to be honest,  I need your help wrapping these gifts! After contacting Cafe Andreini and securing the date DECEMBER 13TH 7PM they called and said they wanted to sponsor the event. So amazing, so they will be hosting all of us there! You can come, wrap a few gifts and buy some wine and drinks and celebrate the awesome job you did!

Okay have I babbled enough? haha just want to make sure we are clear on everything!

  1. Scroll below and look at the lists
  2. Choose which item you want to get
  3. Click on Amazon registry and find your gift
  4. Send the gift to yourself OR to me if you can’t make the wrapping party
  5. Go to my latest Instagram post and in my comments tell me what present you got.
  6. Wrapping party December 13th 7pm Cafe Andreini Arroyo Grande – special thanks again to them for hosting us!

 

 

AMAZON REGISTRY LINK – CLICK HERE

Here are the lists that they filled out, i thought it was better to take a picture of the lists so you can really see how real this all is, just how much of an impact you are going to make on a real life.

Happy Tuesday, hope you guys have had a good start to this week, im happy you’re here! Im here writing to you today because I went through a minute where I allowed myself to rest. A lull. A reset if you will.I didn’t think it was going to be very transformative and I didn’t want to post anything about it because one thing I wish I was better at was less chatter, more action. I write you to on the other side with my little mental reset behind me and thought I would share. I feel there is value in things that actually work, help, and make me a better person and I hope you take something away from this today!

In a society obsessed with bettering yourself ( which i love most of the time), its impossible not to be inspired and uplifted everywhere you turn. Positive quotes fill my Instagram stories and my audible book Girl, Wash your face has been anxiously waiting for me to hit play and start listening. However, I felt like I was in a season of life where I just want to curl up and hang with Gavin and the kids, stay away from my blog and anything that pushes me to do the “extra”.

I felt like I was tricked into thinking that busy-ness and progression are the only ways to live positively.

I wouldn’t call it a funk as much as much as a rest or a mindful reset, not because of any specific reason but just because I honestly just wanted to feel less inspired  by what society wanted me to feel was positive and more what I felt in my heart.

So  I listened to myself, and I gave myself some time. Without talking about it to anyone, except Gavin of course.

I didn’t fall into a trap of sadness, in fact I was totally happy and enjoying it. I think there is this weird idea that if we aren’t bettering ourselves than we must be struggling with anxiety and headed for a deep dark depression. I couldn’t disagree more, sometimes we can take a few weeks to just relax and reset  and in the end be better for it, not worse. Having good communication with Gavin also was vital because i truly believe even the smallest things need to be shared with each other. He totally got it, and laughed as I logged onto Netflix and watched “My Three Wives”.

 My time wasn’t spent sitting on the couch with a cereal box and a gallon of ice cream, I was resting a little more, going on a bunch of dates with Gavin, staying home with my kids, and taking a break from my working out regime of 5-6 times a week. Blogging took a little backseat and I actually finished a Netflix series which if you know me I never watch tv or movies so that was big. It was something new for me and it reminded me how much I loved the way I live but that sometimes I need a little reset.

See the things is, society has shaped us to believe that lull periods are bad. I’ve learned the opposite. Taking a minute to listen to yourself, be able to put jobs and things on hold in order to re-evaulate and reaffirm that where we are is where we want to be.

 It allowed me to refresh and restart my mindset without falling into a pity party, because honestly nothing was bad. A few good weeks of listening to myself and my body made me more aware of my families needs and my own, changing my routine and the things I was thinking about helped me jump into where I am now.

lulls are okay, as long as you propel out of it.

After a few weeks of just relaxing and letting go of expectations I had of myself as a mom to get this and that all done, I was ready. I guess a little more than ready, I was excited, energized and looking forward to getting back to our normal lifestyle. What I learned differently was in my day to day life which can get so busy and productive, its important for me to take the time and rest. Not just physically rest but mentally rest. With social media and the news, life never turns off, and there is a ton of power in learning how to do that ourselves.

I guess i feel a little rambly at this point but take this advice as if  we were sitting at a coffee shop talking, there is nothing more powerful than listenign to yourself. As a mother we are programmed to listen to the needs of others, and fix them and often times we forget that the person doing all the fixing might need a little water break. Take your water break, take it while youre not dying of thirst. Take it so you can rejuvinate with the ones that love you most and jump back in the game.

Here are five steps that helped me take a reset!

  1. Set a determined amount of time: mine was 3 weeks

  2. Set your goals: ” At the end of this i want to feel ____ , _____, and _____.  ( rejuvinated, more organized, clear minded)

  3. Write down what you are adding and subtracting to your life that will help you reach the goals

  4. Tell your accountability person.

  5. Read or have your goals somewhere you can see them and visit them daily.

Be the best you!

xoxo,

Stephanie

Happy Monday everyone! Hope this post reaches you at a happy moment of your day, I know we all can’t wait for Monday to pass so cheers to it being almost done! As usual the kids are down for naps after a long run this morning, and like all moms I’m sitting here typing this just waiting for one of them to wake up. I swear there is some sixth sense kids have where they can tell (sleeping or awake) if mom is relaxing or doing something for ourselves and they immediately wake up and need desperate and total attention. Im sure someday ill figure it out.

I thought today I would share with you guys a few essentials I take when I go workout with my kids. I know it can be hard and overwhelming at times with little ones but overtime I have really gotten a good grip of what works for me. As always, what works for one mom doesn’t work the same for others but hopefully you can take a little something and work with it.

Jogging Stroller  

I love this double Bob stroller which I got after we had Rosie, it is not the lightest stroller on the block but its sturdy and has great storage. The three wheel feature makes it super easy to maneuver and the wide handle is perfect for resting arms or hanging diaper bags from. I don’t have the insert that allows you to put your phone and water bottle in it but its linked here and I really want it! Also, this is another thing I was thinking of buying which is a little snack tray! Here is the snack tray

Snacks + Water Bottles

When any mom says ” I have snacks” its like our children’s ears ring of happiness. Having ample snacks and a water bottle or juice for kids is so important. Rosie is like a garbage disposal these days so having lots of great little things keeps her busy and distracted! Here is the water bottle we use, and I love it. Here is the snack tin I usually forget to bring but I wish I remembered every time because its awesome and super easy to wash!

Ear pods 

These are worth the money, promise. What I love is that they double as a bluetooth so in my car I can talk to Gavin or whoever on them and when I’m running I only have to use one. Running with two kids lends to answering a lot of questions so if I had two in I’m pretty sure they would freak out.

Running Shoes 

Okay, the ones I have actually look like orthopedic shoes and aren’t exactly the cutest but they are by FAR the best running shoes I’ve ever owned. The brand across the board has shoes that really make you feel like you’re running on pillows. These are the ones I have, look around at the others too they are great.

Binoculars 

Sounds funny, right? Its not. Wyatt literally is mesmerized for a god 30-40 minutes looking around for animals and trees ect. These are the ones we have and they work great, plus they come with a little carrier which makes keeping them at the bottom of my stroller easy! If I don’t have those I usually just pack a few good toys, I’m not a “no screen” strict mom but if I can control them not using it I will try my best!

These are just a few of the items I use, and have worked for me! Hope you guys have the best week!

xox,

Stephanie