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

 

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

Wyatt starts preschool in two weeks!

I can’t even believe this time has come and I’m sure like any mom my heart is torn in two directions, so sad my first baby is going to sit in a class and be a big boy, and so happy I get some free time with little Ro! With him going to school, and being my first child I can’t help but look a million places for the things i know ill look back on by baby 2 or 3 and laugh at. I remember being so set on having a wipe warmer with Wyatt and with Rosie I’m like hey no wipes gotta wet this paper towel real quick as I change her over my lap.I can’t help but laugh at what i’ll be doing for the third child when he/she comes, and nope not pregnant!

     

Anyways, back to the point. Preschool is coming and I have searched high and low for a cool lunchbox a for Wyatt since he doesn’t need a backpack. I decided to order a lunchbox from a company called State Rodgers, I love all their designs but decided on number 7 below! What i love about this company is with every single lunch box purchase they actually give back to a child in need.

“For every STATE bag purchased, STATE hand-delivers a backpack – packed with essential tools for success – to a local child in need.”

 

He was so excited when it arrived, be has been filling it up with snacks every single day he literally takes it all around the house. He will tell me in the morning he has to go to his job, Preschool. Then packs his lunchbox up and sits in a random place. He kills me.

With all the searching I thought I might as well share with you guys a few of my favorites in case you haven’t ordered or bought one yet! If you click on the corresponding number to the pictures below there are a ton of color options as well!

 

Top left to Right

1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |

 

Hope you all have a great weekend ahead of you!

The past two months I have had the serious pleasure of watching people Show Up. It may not sound like much the phrase “Show Up” but if you experience it first hand, you realize it’s gravity. If you have been following along the past two months we have basically been gone more than we have been home, 8 of the last twelve days have been spent away and my kids have been on more than 16 flights in the past month alone. Funny part is, we are not alone in this crazy amount of travel for events. My parents, grandparents, siblings, Aunt, Uncle and cousins have all gone the distance to simply, Show Up.

Last month was my brother’s wedding in Tulum,Mexico. Two weekends ago we were all in Athens, Georgia for my brother Scotty’s College Graduation. After being home for three  short days we all packed up again and set out to Waco Texas to cheer on the last graduate of our family, my littlest sister Jenna. People Showed Up.

Twenty people, ranging from 9 months to 83 were in our group traveling together, so you can image the range of needs.

Over this past month I’ve had talks with my grandparents, cousins, and siblings about everything under the sun. I’ve watched the struggle of my grandparents walking a long distance in the hot Georgia heat, and I’ve seen my family constantly looking out for one another. I cant count the times on my hands someone has taken one of my kids to play or thrown them on their shoulders for a long walk.

There is power in showing up for people.

That doesn’t mean you have to fly across the country, sometimes its a drive or a phone call or making an obvious sacrifice. These past few weeks have really opened my eyes to how important it is to show up for your family. This society has really put an ugly emphasis on keeping “ourselves” happy and first but what it hasn’t done is recognize the pure happiness that comes from showing up for people and the community it creates. Enjoy some pictures from the past few weekends!

“Because with our family we know where home is, so instead of sending flowers… we the Roses”