Strollin’ Round Town!

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IMG_5031IMG_5024IMG_5063IMG_5052IMG_5078IMG_5090IMG_5096Good morning!!  Happy Monday, friends!  Spring break is officially over for these gals, but we definitely made the most of our time together.  I realized they were the last days I will have off before baby arrives as I am due the week we get out of school.  There is definitely a bittersweet feeling with that realization.  We are so excited and SO ready to meet our new little baby girl, but with that also comes the worry about our #1 and what it will all mean for her.  So, I really tried to soak up the mommy/daughter time.  With the exception of a two hour hair appointment, we were out and about town together everyday!
Pretty soon we are going to need the double stroller to do all the fun things E and I have been able to do.  It’ll be summer time when this babe is born as opposed to December like E so there will definitely be a need for a double stroller ASAP.  phil&teds contacted me to see if I wanted to try their Dot Stroller with double attachment and I jumped on it!  We have loved her poppy highchair.  The products they make are really high quality and have a little bit more style to them so they aren’t such an eyesore.

We tried it out this week as just the single and it was really simple to pop her in and out of…especially at the zoo when we did it a thousand times between animals.  The rail on the front is really nice for her to grab onto and pull herself up a bit.  I did find that the actual seat sits up higher too so she can see better.  Eleanor doesn’t want to sit for long in our other stroller because I don’t think it sits up high enough for her liking.  She was really content in this seat the entire time we were at the mall and while we were at the zoo, she even crossed her little feet at the bottom footrest.  Swoon.

I am excited to put on the double attachment and get that part figured out!  Post will be coming soon on that!  When we were thinking about double strollers, we mostly thought about size–this is a really compact version of a double stroller which will make it nice for when I just take the girls places because those doublewides are SERIOUS.  Not sure I’m ready to wield something like that by myself.

What features do you look for in strollers?  Good features? Bad features?

Hope you all have a great start to the week!
Erin

Also: Be sure to head to my Instagram page where I am giving away a Doddle & Co. Pacifier in Coral!  Ends Friday!!

*This post was sponsored by phil&teds, but all opinions, as always, are my own!

Maternity Essentials!

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Good morning!! In the last two years, I have been pregnant for a total of 70 weeks.  And somehow I have yet to write this post!  So, today I thought I would share a few of my essentials that have gotten me through!

Clothing: The simpler the better.  I have collected most of my items from generous friends who were done with babies so I have been lucky because buying seasonally appropriate items that fit for only 10 months can get ridiculous.  So, my advice is to go simple and buy things that you can mix or match so that you can wear them several times in new ways!  I also try to get things that I would wear after too like a baggier sweater or one that has slits down the side that can grow with you.  I also have the added constraint of thigh high compression hose.  Which by the way, I was reading one of my fave bloggers and she put a link to this video on how to actually put on compression hose.  I almost cried.  I have been putting them on incorrectly/painfully for almost 70 weeks so if you have to wear them, watch this!  So most of my outfits revolve around how to cover them up which is usually not cute especially when it warms up!  But overall, these four things are my staples along with a solid collection of leggings:
Olive Skinny Jeans
Maternity Tees
Long Cardigans
Boots

Sleep: At some point, probably early on, you are going to want to get yourself a a body pillow for between your legs while you sleep.  I know some people that have a lot of pain will invest in something more fancy, but again here I was hoping to get away with something that I could potentially use beyond pregnancy and a simple one from Target has worked out pretty well!

Vitamins:  I went pretty simple here too with just the Target Brand, but I also take these!

Oils and Lotions:  I chose to invest my money here versus the other three categories so far because the majority of my pregnancies have fallen in the cold/dry months so moisture is no joke because you are already itchy as it is.  Plus, compression hose aren’t exactly anti-itch.  I use all of these multiple times a day.
Belly Oil
Kiehl’s Creme de Corps
Refresh Oil
Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment

Food and Drink:  All of the things, but especially tea will be your new best friend.  I drink around 3-4 cups a day.

Other Random Things: Root Coverup has been a lifesaver because I am too tired to do anything in the first and third trimesters and my hair grows ridiculously fast as it is, plus add vitamins.  General fatigue is also why dry shampoo and Face Wipes are also staples around here.  Oh, and gum.  Gum is literally the only thing that keeps me from eating 24/7.

What else would you add?  What am I missing?  I still have ten weeks left and this is about the time my mind turns to complete mush so any ideas to help with that would be much appreciated!!

Have a great day!!
Erin

P.S. Don’t forget to get yourself entered to win a Re-Play Recycled Feeding Set!  Ends tonight!

Toddler Eating with Re-Play Recycled + Giveaway!

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Good Morning!!  Happy St.Patrick’s Day and a very happy Friday!!  Today I am so excited to be teaming up with Re-Play Recylced to chat a little bit about toddler eating!  Plus, one of you will have the chance to win a feeding set for your little one at the end of this post!!

Here are some of the tips that have helped to make eating with your little one a little easier!

1. Cute tableware.  This sounds ridiculous, but honestly it gets me excited to prepare meals for E which is NOT my thing.  Any new mom who asks me if a certain splurge is worth it, like a blanket they love or a certain outfit or stuffed animal…my answer is always: if it brightens your day at the mere thought of your baby using it and it is within reason, why not?  Sometimes, when your child is tossing their peas across the room and screaming because they really just want to eat the sticker that they spotted 100 miles away, a brightly colored pink plate might just get you through it.  The great news is that these recycled goodies are actually some of the cutest, but cheapest sets out there!  Bonus!
2. Give utensils at every meal.  Eleanor is already an “I wanna do it by myself” toddler.  If you are finding that your baby/toddler is having a hard time with meals, give them some control where you can.  One way we do this is by letting her feed herself with a utensil even if it means a total mess.
3. Speaking of control, a question I get asked a lot is how we keep Eleanor from tossing her plate.  When she starts to pick up her plate, bowl, etc…we just ask…”all done?”  and start to take it away without worrying about how much she ate or didn’t eat.  If she continues to push it away or doesn’t want any bites we try to give her off of the plate, we remove it and let her be done.  Often times, we will say it and she will immediately point back at the plate and we set it back down.  After a few times of removing it before she was really done, she has learned that when we take it, the meal is over–it becomes less of a game and more a way of her communicating her needs with us.
4. Giving each item of food a part of the plate.  The nice thing about divided plates is that it makes it easy for her to communicate what she wants more of by pointing to the area where the food was.
5. Try to have fun with meals.  There have been many nights where meals have ended in tears for both E  and me because I was afraid she wasn’t eating enough, or she screamed the whole time, etc… and she was frustrated by XYZ.  It is hard when your child won’t eat, no matter how old they are.  It goes against my momstinct to let her go without eating, but sometimes by dinner she just isn’t hungry or she just doesn’t feel good (that’s usually our first sign she’s getting sick!).  We offer a variety of solids and soft foods (sometimes when her teeth hurt she refuses solid foods so if she flat out refuses everything we do try an applesauce or yogurt just to be sure it isn’t the teeth) and then I just try to let the stress go and try to make it fun by making shapes, playing music during the meal, or throwing a lemon on there and watching the expression on her face!
6. Eat together.  E loves when I sit down at her table with her and we practice our “cheers!”  We also try to eat the same thing as her when we can!

All this being said, I am not going to lie and say mealtimes are always easy.  I would love to hear your tips because like all things parenting, it’s always changing and what works one day might need to be adjusted the next.  It’s an adventure for sure!

Also these sippy cups are the stuff of miracles because this is the first one E was able to use with a hard top (it has a skinnier lip)–no more transition cups!  Wahoo!!

And now for the fun part!! Re-Play has offered one of you lucky ducks a feeding set in your color choice for your little one!  All you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter below!  I will announce the winner next Friday!!  They have also offered all of you an exclusive coupon code for 15% off your order of $20 or more on their site using code: Planning4Paris2017 (Expires 3/24)

You can also find their products at AmazonTarget, and tons of other retailers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck, friends!!
Erin

*This post was sponsored by Re-Play Recycled, but all opinions, as always, are my own!

Toddler Sleep Transition with Dockatot!

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Good morning! Today I am so excited to share with you part of E’s big girl room!  Her room is still a work in progress, but one of the things that we wanted to establish before baby sister arrives is that this is Eleanor’s room.  If you ask Eleanor to show you her room, she walk and points to this one.  So as far as goals go, check!  We are absolutely not going to push her sleeping in this room until she is absolutely ready (and we really don’t need the crib until around August).  But today I wanted to share our thoughts on transitioning her to her new room!

1.We decided to go with an adjustable twin bed and mattress (can make it shorter than even a regular twin) versus a second transitional crib because it will grow with her for longer and we will not have to transition twice.  Eleanor so far has been a pretty adaptable child.  So, knowing her personality, we thought we would give this a shot before assuming she wouldn’t be ready.  Worst case scenario, we go get a crib and save this bed for later.
2. Next, we wanted to have her see and help with the building/creation of the room well before baby arrives. She helped us get the bed out of the box and “helped” put it together.  She mostly just moved cardboard from one side of the room to the other and hid the instructions, but all in all, super helpful.
3. We are so excited about using the Dockatot Grand (9-36 months) to ease her sleep transition in bed. It’s not only super comfortable, but is also breathable so it’s safe for sleep.  They also have an infant option for 0-8 months!  We wanted something that would help her feel “confined” like in her crib, but not so permanent so this fits the bill perfectly!
4.  We are still going to use the same sound machine and heater (we are purchasing both again for baby) to help the room sound and feel the same.
5.  We have at this point cut down on most “baby” nighttime rituals.  She is off of bottles and other than brushing her teeth and turning on all of her machines, she just lays down and goes to bed.  The only thing I would really like to kick before baby is the pacifier habit. Right now she has a “bink box” that she gets to choose pacis from before bed.  There are about 25 we keep in there and she gets to choose about four before bed…it is funny to watch her root around for the ‘good’ ones and change her mind and put one back.  It is actually helping to have so many in bed with her because she really doesn’t cry out at night for them anymore, she just roots around until she finds one!  Buuuuuuuuut…ugh I hate the look of pacis and just really want to be done with them.
6. And we picked out a big girl comforter and pillow that were simple enough that we could build a room around–nothing so ‘loud’ that it dictated the entire decor of the room.

All in all, we are really just trying to make it as stress free as possible for everyone, but mostly E.  We have tried to stay flexible and adjust when needed on most things parenting and so far it has kept us sane.  She has already taken one nap in it and didn’t freak out or try to climb out of her Dockatot, she just started playing with her binks and making noise when she woke up like normal so we took that as a good sign!

For more information on the Dockatot and a $10 off coupon, head here!

What transition tips do you all have?  What made the move easier for your littles?
Hope you all have a great week!
Erin

Ps.  Stay tuned on Friday for a post all about toddler eating with an exciting giveaway!!

*This post was sponsored by Dockatot, but all opinions, as always, are my own!

Easter Basket for the Littles!

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Good morning!! Ah, I could just squeal!!  I love love love holidays if you can’t tell.  I have had these baskets ready pretty much since Valentine’s day.  The holidays are such a point of tradition for me.  I grew up with every single holiday being a big deal and I can’t wait to start traditions with our girls.  Eleanor already gets so excited about the littlest things and it is just so fun to watch.  Makes my mama heart explode.  All of these factors sends this mama into overdrive for all things holiday (St. Patrick’s day post coming next Friday with a pretty sweet giveaway so stay tuned for that!!).
So, today I’ve paired up with Finn + Emma to share some ideas to fill up those baskets for the littles this year!  I absolutely love the look of the pieces that Finn + Emma make.   The bicycle and hedgehog are going to be perfect on baby sister’s stroller this summer!  Plus, they are organically made and eco safe!  The pieces could not be more perfect for spring/Easter!

Eleanor’s Basket (found basket at Target for $1):
Dreamcatcher Pajamas from Finn + Emma
Chick and Bunny Socks
$1 Target bubbles
$3 Beauty Kit from Target Dollar Spot
Filled another bag I found at Target for $3 with Books and stickers (from Target dollar spot):
Stuck
Hooray for Hat
The Tiny Seed
Happy Easter, Mouse!
Found the Eggs at Target and will fill those with:
Toddler Fruit Snacks
Cheddar Bunnies

Other ideas for toddler basket:
Sidewalk Chalk
Hair Accessories
Pouches

Little Sister’s Basket (found basket at Target for $1):
Mini Rattle from Finn + Emma
Bicycle from Finn + Emma
Hedgehog Stroller Set from Finn + Emma
P is for Peter Book

I am so excited about all of the pieces from Finn + Emma.  They are such nice quality!  And bonus!  If you click through this link you will see a coupon code for 15% off a purchase of $50 or more!

Now I just have to patiently wait to give all of these things to Eleanor for another month or so.  Hmm…

Hope you all have a great weekend!
Erin

Ps. you can also check out last year’s basket for E for more ideas!

*This post was sponsored by Finn + Emma, but all opinions, as always, are my own!