Thursday, January 28, 2010


I don't know about you, but I am so over winter and am beyond ready for spring and summer to make their debuts. I love that there are bathing suits out at Target...I was overly excited to see little fluffy chicks and glitter covered easter eggs at Michael's...BUT until the weather decides to take a cue, none of it matters too much. :(

So for now I'll just admire this photo from the Cynthia Rowley for Roxy collection and dream that I am on the beach somewhere, soaking up sunshine and listening to the waves crash onto the shore....awe :) I can ALMOST feel the warmth!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Been waiting a long time for this day.

Today we were (finally) abel to put in a special order to replace my wedding ring that was stolen last year.

It was a bittersweet moment. (bitter: not my original wedding ring...having to have bought two wedding rings..yuck) but sweet (finally have a wedding ring again! yeah! plus it was a miracle we were able to order the same one. It had been discontinued).

I can't wait for it to get here :) This one is never going to leave my finger. Lesson learned.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Baby List...

I've wanted to compose a list for some time now on what I think a baby really needs. I remember feeling so lost looking at those "suggestion" sheets they give you when you register...of course keep in mind that they are trying to SELL you something, so way too often they add a bunch of useless items that you don't really need and they just end up cluttering your baby's room.

So, here I am 3 babies later and while I didn't have any clue with Colby, started figuring it out with Micah, I feel like with Isaac I was pretty darn confident on what I wanted and what I wanted to avoid as far as baby products go. Babies' needs are simple. Really. I think too often we over think and make it more complicated than it really is.

Since I have wasted a lot of time on money figuring out which products are the best and I have realized that $ doesn't ALWAYS equal quality (hello $30 receiving blanket that I hate and is now a big fuzz ball from washing three times), I wanted to share what I learned with you.

I would also love to hear from you and what your must haves are for your babies! :)
click to enlarge

1. Avalon Organics Tear Free Shampoo & Wash-because babies have such delicate skin I try to use as little products on my babies and well, truthfully even on myself! I have been a long time fan of Avalon's adult line and baby line (available at Whole Foods). While your baby will not have that classic "johnson and johnson" smell, they will still smell good and this head to toe wash is sulfate and paraben free, has 100% vegetarian ingredients, and has no added colorings or fragrances. I even use this one on me :)

2. Gerber Cloth Diapers-These make the perfect burp cloth and you can never have too many. While we own lots of "cute" burp cloths as well, I like that you can throw these ones in the wash with some bleach and after baby outgrows them you can use them for dusting around the house. You can find them at Target, Walmart, and Babies R Us, but Amazon sells a 12 pack for $16.99 and offers free shipping. Can't beat that!

3. Pleasantly Plump Knits baby booties-I found these through Ann and I immediately ordered Isaac a pair. Once they arrived I was smitten and ordered 2 more pairs and I even sent a pair to another mom I know who just had a little boy this winter. They are hands down the BEST baby booties out there. Socks are nearly impossible to keep on a baby, so I love how these stay put. Trust me. Not many things are as cute as baby tootsies, so if I am going to cover those precious piggies up, the bootie better be cute and function well. You will not be disappointed. The seller is super sweet and even at $25 they are worth every penny.

4. Little Bamboo Muslin Wrap 3 pack-I have yet to find a swaddling blanket that I like more than these. They get softer with each wash (though follow the directions and wash separately the first time. I made the mistake of washing them with other items and because they lint up in the first wash it was a disaster! I should've stuck with the directions.) They are generously sized at 47x47. Try to find any blanket that size around's impossible! The ones you can find at Target or Walmart seriously shrink up to nothing. These are made out of 100% bamboo, they are more breathable than cotton, are naturally antibacterial, and adapt to baby's body temperature. Need I say more? on sale for $24.39 for three at Amazon.

5.Graco Baby Swing-Personally I say (unless you can afford both), skip the bouncer and invest in a nice baby swing. Ours has been a life saver. It is the perfect place to set baby to take a shower or to give your arms a break. Baby items improve every year and swings are no exception. This swing holds a baby up to 30 pounds, so unlike a bouncer, it will not be quickly outgrown. The music isn't annoying and the nature sounds are actually soothing. I love the ocean noises and the mama's heartbeat sound. Just be careful what style you buy. We bought a "lovin' hug"from Wal*mart and even with brand new batteries it would not swing. We returned it for the "silhouette" swing from Target and we love it. $129.99

6.Gerber Baby Onesies-Frilly and fussy outfits are not really my taste, but I can see their appeal for when baby is older. For a newborn I like to stick to the tried and true basics because newborns really don't have too much patience for getting dressed so the simpler the better and because really, they are probably just going to pee or poo on those first outfits anyways. Isaac lived in these for the first month or two of his life!

7.Dwell Studio Diaper Bay-I tell Billy every day how my dwell diaper bag is the best diaper bag ever. It really is. I love it to pieces. They are made out of coated canvas so they wipe clean...I never worry about mine getting dirty. It has built in stroller attaching straps (that some other companies sell for extra) and it clips on to virtually any stroller. There are pockets for everything. It has a zip top but the sides stay open for easy access to the bottle pouches (okay, I don't use this feature, but I can still appreciate their thought). They are great quality and I love the modern prints. They are bright and colorful without being annoying. In fact...I'm smiling at my diaper bag right now as I'm writing this. haha! (but really, I am, I love it that much). It's big without being bulky and it hold everything you could think of. I got mine for a STEAL at $85 from dwell, but I would google them now to find the best deal online because I purchased mine awhile ago.

8. Hanna Anderson pilot's cap-babies do not regulate their body temperatures as consistently as adults and these hats are perfect for protecting their little heads. They are made of organic cotton and they come in a light weight cotton as well as a heavier weight for those winter months. They come in several colors and at $8 they are easy on your budget.

9. Huggies Little Swaddlers-One time I decided to try the store's generic brand over our faithful huggies. I might as well had just thrown $7 in the trash and let Isaac go naked because they were horrible. They held in nothing and I ended up doing lots of extra laundry that week. These have a little cut out in the front so they don't irritate baby's umbilical chord stump and I like that they are fragrance free. If you walk down the diaper aisle at Target you can just smell the Pampers. They reek like they pour 100 pounds of diaper powder into each box! Maybe that's your thing, but personally I am really sensitive to lots of smells and I think if babies could talk they would ask for no fragrance too :)

10. Vulli Mushroom Teether-Okay, so I know most baby lists will include the Sophie teether by Vulli, and while we do own Sophies, and yes, I know she is a classic, but I really think Isaac loves these mushrooms way more. They are smaller than the Sophie, which makes them easier for chubby baby hands to hold, he loves to chew on the little nubs on top of their head, and he LOVES to make it squeak. They are made out of all natural rubber in France and are painted with food grade paint. Completely safe for your little one's mouth and the only teether Isaac is willing to hold for more than 10 seconds. We bought ours from Amazon.

11.Lansinoh Breast Pads- While compiling my list I asked my husband, "What's something we kept going to when the boys were little? Something we would use over and over and could not have lived without." He sat there quietly. I looked up to accuse him of not helping when I realized he was looking at my breasts! (through my shirt people, I was not topless! lol!). And while (to everyone's relief) I will not be including my breasts on baby's essentials list, I will include these nursing pads. It's no secret that I have breastfed all 3 of my boys exclusively and these nursing pads are great. I tried to be eco friendly and use the cloth ones, but I mean honestly..after you wash and shrink them they will be like the size of your nipple. Lansinoh pads are thin enough to be discreet but they are super absorbent. And they are something I use EVERY day. In fact, I couldn't live without them. :)

12.Baby Book-I don't have this particular baby book (available at Anthropologie), but no matter which one you choose, I say it is essential. SO many times I flip through the boys book and I recall memories that would be lost if I hadn't had the baby book to jot them down. People like to tell themselves, "Oh, I'll remember that" but the truth of it is you won't. You especially won't right after you have your baby and get "mommy brain". SO buy a baby book and right those memories down. Because your baby will want to know when he/she is older. Colby is always asking me about when he was little and he loves to pull down his baby book and look through it. Believe it or not, but there are actually some cute baby books at our local museum. Yes, we have a museum. It's by Target :)

So, I know I didn't list EVERYTHING...obviously your baby will need a car seat, a stroller, eventually a crib (though Isaac is almost 6 months and still doesn't use his, I know he will soon and will use it for probably the next 2-3 years), but I hope to have covered most of the basics. Oh. And I really encourage using fragrance free laundry soap for washing baby's items. I mentioned the sensitive skin and I'm glad I have switched to dye and fragrance free products. I used baby Dreft with Colby and Micah and it has such a strong perfume smell. Now we use All Free and Clear and we are much happier (okay, I'm much happier...)These items will really get you through those first months, I promise you really don't need too much more!

Thank you for reading and please feel free to share your baby must haves!

Marking a milestone.

How is it that my baby is ready to eat rice cereal? He is growing up way too fast for me. He is still two and a half weeks from our doctor's recommended age (6 months) to start solids, but this little boy was ready so yesterday we gave it a go.

You should have seen him. Quite the little man eating like a grown up with all of us crowded around watching him. :) He did very well. Never gagged, but it did take him some time to figure out swallowing it and not just pushing it back out of his mouth.

I gave him another small serving today and you would've thought he was a seasoned pro. He would lean in his bumbo to whichever hand I was holding the bowl in. I kept wondering, "Why is he leaning like that?" He looked like he was about to slide out! Then I realized he was following the bowl around! He tried several times to grab the spoon from me and he lunged forwards toward the food too!

*sigh* I have always loved babies, but I don't know why this time around I am having such a hard time letting this little boy grow up. Maybe it's because I am getting old? haha.

Isaac has been using Micah's old baby bibs from Colby Lane Designs but I finally ordered him a couple of his own.

Now we still need to make a trip to Ikea to pick up a high chair. And I need to find some new baby spoons. I bought some silicone ones at Target and Walmart and I do not care for them at all. They do not feel secure into the handle and I don't feel safe using them. Recommendations would be great :)

Okay...time for me to go! We had a rough night and today has been the longest day of my life!

Friday, January 22, 2010

My Perennial.

Since I found out I was pregnant with Isaac I have been on the hunt for the perfect pillow for his (read MY) rocker. My mom handed down to me a wooden rocker that has been in our family since I was a baby!

Before Isaac was born, Billy spent hours sanding it down, priming it, and painting it the perfect shade of white (yes, there are shades of white!) And while the rocker was ready for Isaac's arrival, I never quite found a pillow I loved.

But I guess it's true what they right when you stop looking for something, what you're looking for finds you-because a couple weeks ago I stumbled upon the anchor grid pillow over at my perennial.

I am absolutely in love with the anchor motif, as I am obsessed with anything that reminds me of the beach/summer/ocean/sunshine and it is perfect for sir Isaac, being the summer baby that he is. :)

I was having a hard time deciding on what color to go with and Jen, the genius behind My Perennial, went above and beyond to help me! She emailed me more pictures of the pillows and even sent over what she thought were the closest pantone swatch codes to help me decide (see in the picture we were deciding between the blue and the green)...seriously some excellent customer service!

I ended up going with what I originally was drawn to...aqua with white anchors. I can't wait for it get here so I can rest against it while I rock my sweet baby boy!

Be sure to check out ALL the cute things on her site...I currently have my eye on the mama/baby polar bear stocking!

And really, have you ever seen a happier baby? I think he's happy about the pillow too!

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Yesterday was a good day...a great day actually.

It started off with LOTS of cuddles while listening to the rain...nothing better than nuzzling with your sweet baby while rain is pouring outside your just relax and enjoy the beauty of a baby because you really do blink and then they are turning 7 :)

And my day ended with a miracle happening. After I was out of the shower (yes, it was near the end of our lazy day) and looking to get dressed I decided I had had it with one of the two pairs of jeans I own that fit...they were starting to get so baggy and I was constantly holding them up at the waist. Not to mention I was washing them every night so they would be clean.

So I threw my closet door open, grabbed a pair of my old jeans and just like that, they went right on. No dancing or shimmying around. They just went right up. I was thrilled! It really felt like a miracle as a) I have never worked out or dieted anytime in my life (other than mandatory high school PE) and b) I really thought 3 kids was the marker for never returning back to a size 0 like I had with other my two kids. This was the longest time it has taken for my body to go back down (I will not say "back to normal" because us mamas know your body may return to size and weight but it NEVER returns to normal!) I was back into size 0s within 8 weeks of Colby and Micah and Isaac is now 5 months old!

And while I promise you I am not a superficial person, I did feel like Christmas to be a size 0 again. I love knowing that I can wear all my old jeans and am not limited to the 2 pairs of size 3s my sister had lent me.

I really have to give all the credit to God. It really is a mix of genetics, breastfeeding, and eating well...and even eating not so well (I alone have purchased/ate 5 chocolate almond bars and 2 mintmeltways for Colby's school fundraiser!)

So there you go. I can't think of a better day combination than lounging with your boys and fitting back into all your old jeans :) Thank you Jesus!

*now here's to 7 more months minimum of breastfeeding and then I can wear all my tops again! Right now tops are worn soley on how easy they are to breastfeed in...glamourous, I know. :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

My Quotable Kid(s)

I am a firm believer in baby books and baby book maintenance. I think it's a nice way to let the little ones know that you commemorated every milestone and cherished every moment. In fact, I keep the boys' books on the living room shelf so that I am free to grab them out whenever I feel the need to update or jot down something memorable...

However, being that their baby books have no designated spot for writing down all the crazy/cute/funny/outrageous things my kids say the front cover flap and inside back have slowly been taken over by their quotes and I am quickly running out of room to record them and they are not running out of funny or endearing things to say!

So of course I fell in LOVE with this book. It's 5x7 and it purpose is to act as a journal for you to record your "quotable" kid. I love it. In fact, its so brilliantly simple I'm kind of jealous I didn't think of it myself.

I couldn't find it on amazon (darn) but they are selling it at paper source and this is a for sure buy for me. It's the perfect size to fit in a purse or diaper bag because sometimes I try to remember the funny or sweet things the boys say when we are out, but by the time we get home I worry if I have it exactly like it was said...

And so now I leave you with some funny things they've said over the years:

"Dad. You have a bummer puter." -Colby, age 3 to Billy when his computer died

"Good one, Dad."-Colby age 4 after Billy mimicked me during a disagreement we were having

"Mom. Look at this masterpiece"-Colby age 4 about a Coke sign at Burger Hut

"Dad. You are the best dad I could have ever asked for...(pause) I prayed God would calm mom's temper."-Colby while were driving in the car

"Mom. I need huggies."-Micah age 2

"A peanut butter sandwich would make my teeth happy."-Micah age 3

"I just popped a bubble in my pants."-Micah age 3 after..umm..passing gas. what can I say? It was funny.

Monday, January 18, 2010

a super silly seventh birthday party...

I hate that Colby was born in the winter. I was born in February and so I know firsthand how lame winter birthdays are. Because our families are so large and our house is so not, we have been having Colby and Micah's birthday parties at Mountain Mikes for the last 3 years...

The pizza is good and I don't have to pick up my whole house afterwards, so I really shouldn't complain...but I will say that I absolutely love that Isaac was born in the summer. Okay, so he will never have a school party, but I can't wait to have an outdoor birthday in the sunshine for a change!

Colby's 1 request for his birthday was silly string, so we decided to have a super silly party :)

the little man of honor

silly string cupcakes

little party pooper

getting ready for a silly string war

am I really old enough to be his mom?

party animals

And lastly, thank you to everyone who wrote me on my blog and facebook about my last post. I truly cherish each and everyone of your uplifting words! You brought tears to my eyes. I am so appreciative of you all!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

My firstborn.

There is something extra special about a firstborn child. Not only has a child been born, but a mother has been born as well and for that gift of motherhood from Colby I am forever grateful.

When I think back to 7 years ago when my fist son was placed in my arms I felt a sense of amazement. He was absolutely perfect. I could not believe this little boy was mine! Though my pregnancy is something that sometimes I would like to forget, you would have never met a prouder mother.

I was 18 when I had Colby-practically a baby myself! :) And though he was not planned and though I faced much criticism, I was determined to be the best mother I could be. Colby and I moved out on our own when he was just 3 months old into a tiny studio apartment. It wasn't much but it was enough for us. I promised myself that I would only work the bare minimum of what was required of me to be able to pay what bills we had and still have some money for groceries and other living expenses. It was a simple life and one I often miss.

We had no cable, and for a while we didn't even have a phone, let alone a cell phone! We didn't even have a TV to watch movies! But I never felt that we lacked anything. I spent ALL of my free time with Colby and he came with me everywhere. We were the best of friends.

I remember the first time that I actually felt like a "mother". It's so silly, but when he was a little over 2 weeks old I went to the grocery store to pick up some items we needed and I spent all the extra money I had there (it wasn't much!) on a little book that had a baby on the cover that reminded me of Colby. It was called "I love you as much" and to this day, 7 years later, it still sits on his bookshelf.

I met Billy, who IS Colby's dad, though he is not "biologically" when Colby was 4 months old. I was not looking to date around or date anyone, I was content on just being the best mom I could be. But slowly and steadily Billy won me over by his love and devotion to sweet little Colby. He treated him as his son from day one and there are still sometimes to this day that I forget that Colby and Billy are not genetically connected.

Colby Bryce. I love you with all my heart. You are such a sweet and thoughtful child. You say the funniest things. Today you said, "Mom. At first when I woke up today I thought 'school on my birthday'? And I wasn't excited. But then in PE, I shot so many hoops, I really did feel like a birthday boy!".

I get choked up just thinking about having him and everything that surrounded that. Of course teenage, unwed pregnancy is by far nothing I would promote or recommend, the hurtful words that were said to me and about me from "friends" and family, I can still remember like yesterday. If only people could truly embrace the idea of loving that God has called us to. I already knew I was wrong. I already knew I had sinned. And I thank God that I had the courage to face the judgement of others and give my son LIFE instead of opting for an abortion. I think because I was made to feel so bad during my pregnancy is why I have a love and passion for CELEBRATING babies no matter the circumstance into which they are born. They are new life. I really wish no mother ever feels the way I felt when I pregnant. I am glad the second I saw my son that I realized none of that gossip mattered.

What others wanted me to feel ashamed for ended up being the best thing to ever happen to me.

Happy Birthday son. I will always be your best friend.

*on a separate note, I did want to say that there are a couple people who loved on me during my pregnancy and I just wanted to note that...Katie Joyner (Smith), Grant Joyner, and my sister Tabitha. Thank you for lightening my burden during that time!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Alive & Well

So damn easy to say that life's so hard
Everybody's got their share of battle scars
As for me I'd like to thank my lucky stars that
I'm alive and well

It'd be easy to add up all the pain
And all the dreams you've sat and watch go up in flames
Dwell on the wreckage as it smolders in the rain
But not me... I'm alive

And today you know that's good enough for me
Breathing in and out's a blessing can't you see
Today's the first day of the rest of my life
And I'm alive and well
I'm alive and well

Stars are dancin' on the water here tonight
It's good for the soul when there's not a soul in sight
This motor's caught its wind and brought me back to life
Now I'm alive and well

And today you know that's good enough for me
Breathing in and out's a blessing can't you see
Today's the first day of the rest of my life
Now I'm alive and well
Yeah I'm alive and well

*love this song. only thing I would change is that I thank God for being alive and well...not my lucky stars :)

Monday, January 11, 2010

5 months...

I can't believe that 5 months ago on this day Isaac was born...a whole 2 weeks BEFORE his due date, and 1 week before I thought he would come.

It's funny when I was pregnant I didn't know how I was going to have any more love to give than I already had. I loved Colby and Micah SO much, I couldn't imagine where all this love was going to come from to love another person! And yet, here we are the 3rd time around, our 3rd little boy and I couldn't be more in love! It's funny how you think your heart can not expand anymore and yet here I am with an even bigger heart and even more love to give!

Last month my mom dropped off a box of my old stuff and in it was a journal from when I was 10. I was flipping through it having a good laugh when I came across where I wrote that I wanted 3 daughters when I grew up....3 daughters, and here I am at the age of 25 with 3 handsome sons! I am so glad that God knows us better than we know ourselves because I couldn't picture my life any other way, these little men have truly stolen my heart!

I love watching Isaac grow even when it makes me sad because he is slowly becoming less and less of a baby! He is such a chubby little tank...rolling all over the place, scooting after toys, pulling my hair,kicking his legs at sonic speed and flailing his chubby arms, always wanting to be held...however he will sit for a good half an hour in the bumbo if its in Colby's and Micah's room to watch them play. He loves his big brothers! He is still breastfed only, but I know rice cereal and baby food are right around the corner and that will be a whole other adventure!

Happy 5 months little Isaac. Mommy loves you so, so much! It is an honor to watch you grow and I thank God every day for you!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

How We Dwell...

I posted some pictures of Isaac up on the Dwell Studio fan page on facebook and shortly after received an email asking if they could post the pictures on their blog. Of course we said yes!

Dwell Studio makes the most fabulous baby bedding and house wares. Love it! My diaper bag is by Dwell Studio and it is hands down the best diaper bag I have ever owned! It was worth every penny! The coated canvas wipes clean, it has pockets for everything and built in stroller straps, but what I love the most is how it is the perfect blend of being fashionable and functional. I ordered mine in the Charlotte print, but they had several other cute prints to choose from.

Dwell Studio also has a line through my all time favorite store, Target. I think Isaac owns one of every piece of their clothing line, it's so cute and affordable, I love the modern, clean prints.

We also got his baby bedding, Micah's crib bedding, and Colby's sheets from Dwell Studio. Come to think of it, their curtains and rugs are by Dwell too!

I love that Isaac's picture will forever be in the Dwell Studio blog archives because we LOVE dwell!

Gas Worthy...

Is it weird to write about towels? Because I am.

I want these towels. At least, I think I want these towels. They are Amy Butler for Bed, Bath, & Beyond. I went into our Bed Bath & Beyond tonight after church and sadly, they were not carrying ANY of them. However, the cashier did say that the another store about an hour away had them.

So now I am trying to figure out if it is worth packing up the boys and driving an hour for new towels? Hmmm. Maybe I'll sleep on it :)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Once Upon A Time...

I started a blog...and an etsy shop...and I actually took care of both...until I became pregnant. Pregnancy apparently did not mix well with blog updates and etsy shops.

BUT since it is a new year, I decided to try and start again. I know both have been sadly neglected and though I'm quite certain no one really visits either but maybe my husband (and Jennifer), I will still try and do my best on posting this and that here on the blog and updating our designs in the shop...

So. Here's to second chances! :)

*photo taken by Josiah Michael

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Hair Pretties...

Anyone who knows me at all knows that I have a weakness for hair pretties! I own too many lou & lee headbands to count and Billy even bought me my favorite for Christmas!

With this love, you can see why I was so excited when my friend Malissa contacted us about designing a logo for her hair bow business! She was a breeze to work with and I was so excited when I saw that she had launched her etsy shop today! Her hair bows are D A R L I N G and the price is beyond reasonable!

What are you waiting for? Shop here! :)

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Best of 2009

2009...what to even say to you? I felt like you were a great year. Yes, you had your moments (hello MONTHS of trying to get our paid for wedding albums from the "professional" photographer....hello cancer scare, hello jerk who stole my purse and wedding ring) but I feel for the most part the good times were bigger and better than any bad time that came our way.

Not only did we celebrate our first wedding anniversary, we received the great gift of our 3rd little boy and God could not have been more faithful in that experience...

...and about that little boy...why, did you know he made the silliest baby face of 2009! I mean, that's not just my opinion...the people voted!