Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Freckle Baby Bib Set Review!

*I received this product in exchange for a review, however all opinions are my own.

I'm so excited to bring you a review for Freckle Baby today.

The owner and creator of Freckle Baby, Kim, contacted me recently about reviewing one of her awesome bibs and promoting Freckle Baby's Kickstarter launch, and I immediately knew I wanted to endorse this product.

Luke was the spit up king and was pretty much always wearing a bib when he was a baby. Thank goodness Ellie hasn't been too bad in the spit up department, but she still doesn't have any teeth... which means those bad boys are working extra hard to pop through soon and Ellie is constantly drooling. Bibs are awesome at absorbing all that drool. Luckily, Freckle Baby bibs still look cute covered in drool. ;)

The bibs are 100% Organic Cotton and super soft. They currently come in four different color schemes. I'm really digging the mustard color (I'm kind of obsessed with yellow!), and I love the pink color combo that Kim sent us (I'm loving pink + berry lately, too. OK, actually I really love all of the colors.).

But aside from the cute factor, what I really love most about them are their functionality. They essentially solve the "on-demand fetch routine" dilemma us parents fall victim to every day ;), by allowing you to use the "leash" to attach a toy or pacifier to the bib. You can tell that they were designed by a mom, right?! ;) As soon as I put the bib on Ellie, she immediately plopped the attached toy right into her mouth. Everything always goes right into the mouth at this age.

She was also able to crawl all over the house with her toy still attached to her and always at arms reach if she wanted it.

They are really well-made and seem like they will hold up to the test of time- and multiple washings. ;)

Oh, and they are reversible, too! See!
 ^I love Ellie's cute little baby hand in the top corner there. :)

Freckle Baby also makes beautiful (also 100% Organic cotton) baby blankets, hats and gift sets. These sets would make the perfect gift for an expecting or new mama (I have so many pregnant friends right now!).

All Freckle Baby items are currently available for pre-sale through the Kickstarter campaign. If you aren't familiar with it, Kickstarter is a way to help fund creative projects and new companies. Their mission is to "help bring creative projects to life". Kim's creative project is Freckle Baby and she is using Kickstarter to spread the word about Freckle Baby and get funded so she can start a larger production. The campaign must reach their funding $ goal to be able to receive the funds raised.

If you pre-order now through Kickstarter, you can get them at a huge discount! The Kickstarter campaign runs through April 7th, so hurry over and snag one (or just get them in every color). The first 100 people can pre-order 2 bibs for $20 (normally a $36 value) or get a gift set for $36 (normally a $60 value)! You can pledge a certain amount of money to help the Kickstarter campaign and receive custom products from Freckle Baby, as well! 

I absolutely love supporting small businesses, especially my fellow mamas. Kim has the most adorable family ever and we also discovered I grew up in the same area that she currently resides in with said adorable family (and she's LDS like me, too!).

See how cute Kim and her family are in the Freckle Baby Kickstarter video here and checkout how awesome these bibs are! Take a moment to support this mama and get Freckle Baby launched... and solve all of your on-demand fetch routine problems. :) I totally think Kim should take Freckle Baby to Shark Tank. My husband and I love that show!

Also, make sure to follow Freckle Baby on InstagramFacebook and Twitter to stay up to date on all things Freckle Baby and any future giveaways!


P.S. Ellie turned 9 months old last Friday, the 13th! I was out of town visiting family in California this weekend, so I am behind on her post.... I will get that up in the next few days! :)

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Preschool M&M Graph

Luke is (mostly) loving preschool and I am loving watching his little mind grow! Some preschool activities are an instant success, while others don't quite go as planned. ;)

We worked on the letter "G" last week. Luke had so much fun using M&Ms and Graphing them by color (G is for Graph!).... mostly because he kept sneaking M&Ms into his mouth, and I kept letting him. ;)

I used this awesome (FREE!) graph printable from The Measured Mom and used some M&Ms we have been using for potty training rewards. Super simple and it was a huge success! 

Confession: I may have liked this activity so much because I kept sneaking M&Ms into my mouth, too....

Monday, February 23, 2015

8 months

Ellie turned 8 months old last Friday the 13th! The last time there was a Friday the 13th, my little Ellie belly girl was born. It was fun to reminisce about that day again. Seriously one of the happiest times I've felt (you know, AFTER all the excruciating, unmedicated labor pain. *shudders*).

Almost anytime we go out somewhere someone has to say hello to her or comment on how sweet or cute she is... obviously I agree. ;) Most people think she is around 4 months or so though, because she is so petite. Seriously though, she's not that small! And on the other hand, people are always mistaking Luke for being much older than he is because he's pretty big for his age! So funny how they can be so different like that, but their faces are definitely so similar! They both look just like daddy. haha 

At 8 months Ellie:

  • Weighs about 14 pounds. She is pretty skinny but has long legs and arms. She doctor keeps saying she is just going to be long and lean! (she also said at Luke's appointment that he is on track to being 5'11'' to 6'1" when he is older!)
  • Wears mostly 6 month clothing, though she still wears her 3 month onesies and some 3 month tops/sweaters. 
  • Wears size 2 diapers. 
  • Loves eating finger foods (little rice puffs, eggs, cheese, bread, etc.) and feeding herself. She is starting to get picky with the baby food (she's not fond of green veggies, but still likes sweet potatoes)
  • Crawls super fast and EVERYWHERE!
  • Pulls herself up onto a stand onto anything she can! She also falls a lot now that she is standing up, which I hate! It breaks my heart to see her starting to get little bumps and bruises now though. We really have to watch her now.
  • Can clap and thinks it's so fun. She will even start clapping when she is upset and crying about something, its so funny. :)
  • Waves hello! It's the sweetest thing. I swear she is trying to say "hi" also, because we always say hi when we are waving hello.
  • Says "mama". :) Mostly just when she is crying and wants me. We are working on getting her to say "dada", too.
  • Went through a bad sleeping phase because we've all had colds, but is sleeping a TINY bit better. Honestly, I love rocking her to sleep at night and for naps. It's a special time when we can both slow down and just be together and relax, but having to wake up all night with her to rock/nurse her back to sleep is taking it's toll. I know I have to do some form of sleep coaching with her soon, I just have to figure out what I want to do and set up a game plan. 
  • Is still a great napper, luckily. Naps 2-3 times a day.
  • Loves sitting on her knees (it's so cute!) but doesn't really like sitting on her bottom. Both of my kids preferred to be on the move, rather than sitting, at this age. She is super wiggly!
  • Likes to move all around and try to get away during diaper and clothes changes.
  • Hates getting her picture taken nowadays. I swear, anytime I bring my nice camera out she just starts crying! lol 
  • Seriously can't fall asleep without twirling my hair in her fingers... just like her brother at this age! (I swear these two are becoming more and more alike very day!).
  • Loves playing with sports balls and anything in her brother's room. :)
  • Has one pupil bigger than the other most of the time. Has anybody else's kids experienced this?I asked her pediatrician about it but, of course, her eyes weren't doing at her appointment, but the pediatrician just brushed it off like it was nothing.  Hmmmm.

Ellie is SO much fun! She has her hard days like every baby, but I'm so grateful for her sweet spirit and all the joy she brings our family (I know... I've said that a million times!).

Ellie is always on the go now and it was so hard to just get a picture of her sitting for her 8 month photo! lol Here are some of my favorite outtakes. I was actually sweating from trying to get a picture of her! ;)

And, as per usual, here is a photodump of Ell...

^Love this one of her with Grandma Cheryl (my mom)! Two of my favorite ladies. :)

Friday, February 13, 2015

An update and a new/old job.

Tommy got a new job!!

Well, sort of...

Since starting his new job after moving, the previous company he worked for had been trying to get him to come back. They finally gave him an offer that was hard to refuse, and since he still had so many friends that worked there, we decided that he would go back to working there! 

He was able to finish up things with his old(new) job and start his new(old) job (are you confused yet?) at the beginning of January. We are so happy with this decision, even though now that means that he is working solely from home (the pay increase trumped this). We are just so glad that we have enough rooms so that Tommy can have his own office! However, we are renting a small rambler right now and his office (and the kids' bedrooms) are all close to each other right by the living room and kitchen. Our kids think it's so fun to spend all day squealing, screaming, crying and generally just being loud, so I spend all day trying to keep them from disturbing Tommy, while Tommy spends all day trying to work through the noise. ;) Thank goodness for noise-canceling headphones, right?

So what does that mean for our family? Will we be moving back to Maple Valley or the Puget Sound?

No. It's just not the right place for us. 

Will we be staying in the Tri-Cities?

We don't know. Maybe, but probably not. It's been great here, but we don't know that this is where we want to settle down and raise our family either. 

So where would we live?

We have always toyed with the idea of moving to Idaho. We would love to own a little land some day and we could definitely get more house for our money there. 

With Tommy being able to work from home, our children being so young still and not in school yet, and being in a position to buy a house, we have the opportunity to live anywhere in the US we want to, really.

Idaho (we like the surrounding Boise area), would be a good fit for us, without being too far away from the rest of our family. I just don't know. Being away from family is the one thing holding me back. I want more than anything for my kids to grow up being close with all their relatives! I know that Idaho wouldn't be crazy far, and we would still be able to visit a lot (Tommy said I could go back and visit everyone once a month if I wanted! lol), but it just makes it a little more difficult.

I've also been seriously considering moving to Arizona or someplace with lots of sunshine because we just can't stand the grey weather this winter!! But Arizona would be even farther from our families, so I guess that's out! ;)

But really, we can't stop looking at houses in Idaho. We are planning to go look around the area in person soon. Like within the month, hopefully. 

Our lease is up in July and we plan on buying a house again then, or possibly sooner. With all the noise in this house, we are hoping for sooner. :) It just depends on when we find the right home for us. We have lots of planning and praying to do, I guess!

What do you think? Are you still close to your family far away (we would be 5.5 hours from my mom, 6 hours from my sis, almost 8 hours from the rest of my family, less if we were flying)?Have you ever lived in the Boise region of Idaho? Where would you live if you could pick somewhere in the US? 


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

7 months

Ellie turned 7 months old last week! I really love this age... it is SO fun! I'm not going to lie, months 4-5 were a little rough with Ellie. I had a hard time with Luke at that age, too. But Ellie is back to her sweet self and I'm so happy!

This little girl just lights up a room, I tell ya! She has always been sweet, but she is starting to get such a funny little personality now. :) 


At 7 months Ellie:
  • Can CRAWL! It is so fun watching her explore the house and get around on her own now.
  • Just finally tipped the scale to 14 pounds, according to our scale at home. Her next doctor's appointment isn't until 9 months, so I'm not sure of her percentiles. I'm sure they are in the low range, which is normal for her. Luke weighed 19 pounds a 7 months! lol
  • Is getting really good at using her pincer grasp. 
  • Sits up on her own, but falls over a lot still and would rather be on the move than just sitting. 
  • Eats solids at dinner with us, but mostly still just nurses for food. At this age, eating solids is mostly for practice and exploration, than nutrition. I am going to up her solids this week though and start trying more chunky foods but...
  • ...still no teeth! :) Luke got his first two teeth at 7 months, so I'm sure Ellie will get some soon.
  • Loves trying to eat or drink whatever I have, and will take a bottle if it has breastmilk or water or pretty much anything EXCEPT formula! I've been trying to get her to drink formula for a while, just for if I need to leave her with Tommy or someone or emergencies, but she won't take it. I have a breastpump, but it takes me so long just to get the tiniest amount of milk out... so I have to plan way in advance if I need to leave a bottle of breastmilk for her, so I can pump a little bit each day. It's a nice medela pump, so I'm not sure what the problem is.
  • Rarely spits up anymore.
  • Has lost her baby breath. :( :( But she still has that delicious baby/kid scent when I smell the top of her head and I love it so much!
  • Loves sticking her tongue in and out and giving kisses/sucking on people's faces. She loves sucking on anything really. :)
  • Loves playing copy cat. She'll grunt, then I'll grunt, and we go on and on like that. She thinks it's hilarious.
  • Is becoming so cuddly and it makes my heart so happy! 
  • Is not very ticklish, except for right under her armpit kind of by her ribs. 
  • Does really well in her carseat and in the car, usually.
  • Starting to sleep MUCH better! She has always been a great napper, but was having a rough time at night for some reason. She would fall asleep fine (yes, I put her down "Drowsy but awake"!) but would always wake up a bunch after that and all night long. Now she is going to sleep and staying asleep or settling herself back to sleep after a minute if she does wake up. Thank goodness!
  • Does this adorable squinty thing with her eyes and sticks her little tongue out at the same time. I have a picture posted of it above.
  • I don't know if I've ever mentioned that she has a "stork bite" birth mark at the nape of her neck, just like her daddy and brother do. She also has a little one right between her eyebrows, but you can't really see it anymore.
  • Is obsessed with my hair. She is always pulling it or trying to eat it and getting slobber in it. It makes me want to just shave my head off, but I love my hair right now and I really want to keep it long! I think I had already cut my hair short by this age with Luke. haha I just have to stay strong this time and not do it! But I am kind of digging the long bob style right now, too..... ;)