Hi there! Happy Mother’s Day to all who celebrate. So much to say about this holiday, wish I could say it all and wish I could give you a really good review and commentary about the pieces below 🙂 but I want to drop them here because they have totally saved me during this quarantine. Enjoy and pamper yourself. Remember, if you don’t have your oxygen mask on… Be the cruise director that you need to be 🙂
Hi everyone! I wish I had a bunch of time to do a good review and commentary on each of the products below, but a bunch of people have reached out asking for links so I wanted to put all of these in one place. Some of them are affiliate… TIA… For kids LOL ENJOY!
Tiny Mills 50 Pcs Assorted Stampers for Kids– We use these to do stamp-a-stories and for other fun stamping activities (stamp inside a block letter) or free form!
PartySticks Glow Sticks Bulk Party Favors 100pk with Connectors – 8 Inch Glow in the Dark Party Supplies, Neon Party Glow Necklaces and Glow Bracelets – I use these in the dark for dance parties (tape them to kids for added stick-figure effect) or form shapes or letters for fun learning!
Assorted Gemstones-I use these to teach the kids about classification; classify by shape, size, etc. Google a grid upon which your kiddos can sort. Water Beads– SENSORY! (hint- buy yourself an under-the bed storage bin for ease of cleanup).
Melissa & Doug Adventure Design Activity Kit: 9 Double-Sided Plates, 4 Colored Pencils, Crayon- AMAZING!
Outside Movie Projector-So great; comes with everything you needed including screen and is smart-stick enabled!
Make your Own Soap Kit-Was a HUGE hit and we can ALL use a bit more soap in our lives now 🙂
Brick Tower/ Baseplate Builder- Compatible with LEGO
Creativity for Kids Big Gem Diamond Painting Kit – Create Your Own Sweets Diamond Art Stickers & Suncatchers – Diamond Art for Kids-Great for all school grades and supports fine motor skills
OK! ENJOY AND LMK WHAT YOU GET!
I don’t love talking politics 🙂 (haha) but what I will say is that I am snagging myself all of those (super high quality lol) Chinese-made Amazon fashion finds that I’ve been storing in my basket for months. Ya know. Because #tariffs #muchpolitics 🙂 You’re welcome 🙂
Now- TREAT YOURSELF! And message me if you have fit, quality, color or other questions!
Hi everyone! In case you’re wondering, I am still suffering through writing the second part of Sammy’s birth story. Yes, it was that bad! In the meantime, I bring to you… The most epic and affordable reading nook!
In an effort to “put those screens away! “I wanted to create a super neat area in our place space that was devoted only to books. I wanted a clear separation between the BOOK area and play area, and I wanted it to have a clean design feel that was fun and attractive to the boys. We have one rule; if you’re in the reading nook, a book has to be in your hand. There are no toys allowed. So far, the kiddos are loving it! I have instituted a D.E.A.R. time (drop everything and read) daily and it has been a blast. Feel free to snag the items I got. They are affiliate links because #4children!
After the new year, I don’t know if it was prompted by other people’s lofty New Year’s resolutions for their kids or if by a push of my own to get the kids re-involved in hands-on kinetic/ sensory learning. As you know, I was a teacher for over a decade and “learning centers ” were always my favorite time of the day to both prepare and to engage in with the children.
So, when the middle of January came along and we had settled from all the holidays and new year, I decided I would pull out a bunch of my old favorites and get to work! Some of the centers are inspired by “breakfast invitations” from Days with Grey (insta), however, our mornings are very crazy and we do not use these invitations to breakfast, however I called them “INVITATIONS TO PLAY.” Without further ado, here are some of the cool ideas I’ve been playing with lately. This is part one and is loaded with affiliate links because… FOUR kids. I will have another part coming soon and I promise I will hit you with part two of Sammy’s birth story as soon as I can! These are for GENERAL learning centers. I am prepping a post on literacy focused ones as well as number sense/math. Those should be up soon! Enjoy and if you buy anything let me know how you use it or if you have more ideas!
($8.99) 50 Counting Bears with 5 Cups
It all really started the day after we saw Hamilton. Hesitant to blame it on the “room where it happened,” I most definitely still have trouble not equating Sammy’s birth with this epic Broadway experience 🙂
As I’ve mentioned before, the beginning of this pregnancy was very hard for me and my family; I had Hyperemesis Gravidarum which lasted about four months, leaving me bed ridden and miserable. My symptoms were fierce and intense; sometimes throwing up up to 30 times a day while not being able to eat or drink anything at all. The aftermath of that was awful as well. I developed scars down my throat and in/on my mouth from vomiting so much stomach acid. I’m not a fan of vomiting at all and I’m still worried that I’ve done my teeth permanent damage. The hardest part was just feeling totally helpless and not at all like myself. I have gotten sick with both of my other boys; the first way more so than my second. The third, however, almost did me in 🙂
So, while I had a rough start to the pregnancy, after four months in and until about three weeks before my scheduled C-section, things were really great. I was doing SoulCycle about four times a week and running/walking daily. I felt more in shape than I had ever been. I did feel much larger in my belly than I did with the other boys; when we had our 30 week ultrasound, the doctor estimated that he was already about 6 pounds and my doctor is no joke with that. I don’t know if it got in to my head or if the affects of carrying a much larger baby (my youngest was 6lb4oz at 41 weeks and my middle was 6lb7oz at 39 weeks). Anyway, my body seemed very unhappy with being pregnant. And although I did not want to be like every pregnant person ever and say that I was “definitely going early, “I felt like there is no way my body would sustain being pregnant for the entire 39 weeks (I had a scheduled C-section for Nov 1, 39 weeks).
So anyway, as the weeks lead up to my c-section date, I admittedly was cramming as much as I possibly could into my days; Miles and Miles of running, #soultogether challenge (10 classes in 30 days), Chace’s Fall fest, Zachary’s Fall fest, Gabriel’s “parent of the day,” throwing Scott’s fabulous surprise 40th birthday party, throwing my company’s magazine Fall launch party, attended my two sprinkles and even a field trip the day I actually gave birth (more on that in a moment). We even were able to go see Hamilton in New York, an item on my “before baby” bucket list, and it was the most incredible experience! I’m so glad that I was able to get that in before the baby arrived! I went with my mom, Scott and my sister. It was truly awesome. We had an amazing night in a hotel (Scott and I), an amazing lunch with my mama and then the show! In fact, I am sure that the first words Sammy will say (after dada) is “rise up. “. Lol
We took the train to New York, stayed over in a hotel saw a matinee and took the train home. We arrived home pretty late that night and I remember feeling very exhausted and very off. So, the next morning I had a doctors appointment and I didn’t think anything of it until the doctor came back in the room and told me that there were traces of protein in my urine and that my blood pressure was unusually high. To say that I was stunned is an understatement. My poor husband has heard this about 4092 times in the past two weeks, but my blood pressure is a solid 110/70 almost every single time. In fact, the week prior, That was my pressure. I didn’t have any symptoms of having high blood pressure and was continuing to work out, listening to my body, but not feeling anything different then just…very pregnant. When the doctor saw that my pressure was high(er) and there was a bit of protein in my urine, she sent us to delivery to have my labs run to make sure that I was not preeclamptic and to monitor baby. We all checked out fine; my protein retested and not too bad, and my bp leveled out a bit.
They scheduled me to come in again to be monitored a week later. The SAME thing happened. This time my pressure and protein were both a BIT higher but not high enough to be labeled as “preeclamptic,” just “gestational hypertension.” I was sent home again, but asked to come back in two days, when I would complete 37 weeks. The guidelines state that if a mama has gestational hypertension (comes before preeclampsia), taking the baby at 37 has maximum results.
So, back to L&D we went on Thursday 10/18/18, this time with my husband (I had told him to go to work the previous two appointments only to have him Uber out to me; we learned the third time LOL). This time, my pressure was high again, and my protein levels were OUT of control (600 for those med nerds). I was told my doctor would be delivering that eventing!
OK- part 2 to come, because let me tell you, it just gets crazier!
Hello hello! I thought this would be an easy post for me to ease back into my blog— A topic that I love discussing; working out! As you guys know, I am kind of a connoisseur and love moving my body in all sorts of ways. My favorite “movement” prior to conceiving, was running as you might be aware, but as my pregnancy has progressed, my exercise routines have as well. I am the kind of person that does not see pregnancy as a reason to slow down. In fact, I see it is the exact opposite; I truly believe that, for myself at least, staying active during my pregnancy is a must. It makes me happy both mentally and physically, and prepares me for birth and recovery. Staying active also affords me the opportunity to care for my other three children while I’m pregnant as I am able to move more and easier than if I was not in shape. While being in shape is always an important thing to me, there are of course some modifications that have had happen since the beginning of my pregnancy. As you might know, I had a very very rough first trimester. My husband and I say that every single day started with the question of whether or not I should go to the hospital. I was vomiting up to 2 dozen times a day or more and had many awful complications along with that. Obviously during that time, I was bedridden and unable to exercise. This affected me mentally and physically, but I had no other choice. When my fourth month rolled around and I was finally able to get out of bed, I started moving slowly but surely. I began with walking on my treadmill (fan in face) for as long as I could. I Started with about 3 miles and slowly realized I could take it up a notch and begin to jog. Eventually I was doing 6 to 8 miles a day of a walk/jog combination. This worked really well for both myself and the baby as I was getting bursts of cardio however I was close enough to my bathroom :-). It made me feel so much more like myself. Most days I split my exercise sessions into two so to allow for my crazy schedule and to give myself to burst of intense movement throughout the day which worked very well for me both mentally and physically. In fact, I’ve been known to take work calls from the treadmill 😂.
Another new-to-me workout that I started after the fourth month of my pregnancy was SoulCycle! I was able to try out a class with my company that we reviewed and suffice it to say, I became hooked! I am absolutely obsessed with these classes and look forward to it whenever I go. I try to go in 1 to 2 times a week. When I do complete a soul cycle class, I still take another sweat session in the afternoon; walking/jogging an additional 3 to 4 miles. Sometimes I will run over to SoulCycle instead to get my extra movement in. Now, please understand that this is what works for me. I’m not telling anyone to start a regiment of a 6 to 8 mile program without you being comfortable. The most important tip about exercising while pregnant is doing what works for you and what YOUR body feels comfortable with. Throughout all of my pregnancies, I have become very aware of my body and I am very well able to read its signs. If I feel any pain or crazy shortness of breath, I know what to do. Stop. Nothing is worth the health of my baby. Luckily I have not had any problems with this thus far and hope that this will continue throughout the last three months of my pregnancy.
Now, I wanted to loop into this post the topic of pregnancy symptoms as this section will be brief. I don’t know if it is because I have maintained myself in good shape, or am just too busy to notice, but my pregnancy symptoms since the fourth month have been pretty minor, thank heavens. As I mentioned, the first four months were really really really awful and so when that fourth mind came along, I was so relieved to feel a bit more like myself. As of now, I only have a few symptoms that are worth mentioning; for one, the arches of my feet have been so unbelievably sore. It is such an odd thing to notice when you are carrying a baby in your belly, but my feet have been really affected this pregnancy. Luckily my husband is a very good foot masseuse, and I have invested in many tennis balls (which my dog loves to steal) that i use daily to stretch out my feet. Minor issue.
Another thing that is starting to bother me is what I think might be sciatica. I feel a pain in my right bum that is usually relieved by typical sciatica exercises. It only happens once every other day so I would call it super minor.
The final symptom I have is just feeling like my baby, who is measuring a week big, is living in one of those tiny houses they feature on TV. I don’t know why it is, but I tend to carry my pregnancy small, to The point where I receive many interesting comments. I have a few thoughts as to why I carry small, the biggest one being that I have. Avery long torso. It seems as if this would be a good thing, however, it does come with some negative impact. My baby is constantly moving, so being that I am very small, I feel every day. Single. Thing. And I feel a lot like a stuffed sausage. Again, I am not complaining as my abs have done me well 🙂 however, I just want to put out there that it comes with some additional nuisances and symptoms!
Anyway, I’m Going to sign off now, at the point where I feel like I’m rambling 🙂
Please let me know if you have any questions and I would love to hear about your experiences during pregnancy both regarding working out and just symptoms in general.
Caring is sharing!
Hi Y’all! Soooo…I’ve been wanting to pick blogging back up but honestly, things have been NUTS and secondly, I have no idea where to begin! SO MUCH has happened; all of it good, in fact, I am about 6 months pregnant with my sweet amazing husband’s child and couldn’t be happier! I was recently putting together a registry for both my own purposes as well as a sprinkle our sweet friend is throwing us. I wanted to share what I have and thought that would be a good way to jump back in! I have a list of SO MANY posts I want to write, so stay tuned for some great content! OH and if you wanna snag what I list, links are affiliate (because #4boysbreakthebank) so enjoy!
- Everly Grey Women’s Roxanne 5 Piece Maternity and Nursing PJ Pant Set with Robe and Matching Baby Gown ($98)-
I saw this cute set online somewhere; honestly cannot remember where, although I think it was linked to the ever-popular #nsale but when I checked there they were out of many sizes and styles, so Amazon to the rescue! I wanted a pj outfit for the hospital that is nursing friendly and the matching baby-gown they throw in is certainly a plus. You KNOW how I feel about my matching game. NO shame and NO stopping any time soon. So, in full-admission, I actually bought this set for myself and have to say that the quality is A++. I was worried it would be an undesirable (to me) material like polyester or something, but it is super soft, super cute and not “cheesy” if you know what I mean.
2. Dream on Me Rocking Cradle, Natural ($78.32)- I LOVE LOVE LOVE this cradle. I always wanted a cradle for my previous babies but settled for an Arm’s Reach Cosleeper and a Graco Basinet. I was not particular pleased by either and knew I wanted a CRADLE. Scott and I are SUPER into the the old-fashioned feel and look to this cradle and we are so excited to use it with Baby SAS! He is going to be sleeping in my LARGE walk-in (re-designed and decorated just for SAS, outfitted with sound machine, fan, and all other baby necessities, will post more on that later!) and the cradle will go super nice in there. We are doing a navy and camel color theme. I am planning on hanging heavy black out curtains to mask the walls of clothes and one of the walls in my closet has nothing hanging and is a lovely camel color! Anyway, I LOVE not just the look of this traditional cradle but also the fact that it rocks. SO convenient.
3. Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit Cotton-Blue-3-6 months ($39.95)- SO, I am a TRUE believer in the Swaddle. I suck at doing it with a blanket, even though you will see I love a good swaddle blanket for a million other things, and marvel at the nurses in the hospital when they do it. I am ALL for sleep suits and the first two times around, I never tried the Magic Sleepsuit but did and continue to hear amazing things about it. I HAVE to try it. When the baby is a newborn, I prefer “cocoon-like” swaddles like the following as I feel they mimic the womb the most. Then at 3 months I switch to a more traditional sleep sack and am SUPER stoked to try the Merlin Suit!
4. Woombie Original Nursery Swaddling Blanket – For Babies up to 3 Months (Twilight/Heathered Gray, 5-13 lbs)- $29.95- As I mentioned, I prefer these types of swaddles for the “fourth trimester” or first three months outside of the uterus. I REALLY feel like they mimic the feel of the womb the best so I am very excited to try this one! I LOVE the color 🙂 I have used the Summer Infant ones, but I am looking forward to trying this one.
5. THIS ROCKER ($159.82)! I swear by rockers with my babies (hence the cradle w are lusting after) and this one will fit perfectly in Baby SAS’ “small room.” The color scheme is perfectly matched to our theme as well!
6. Doona Infant Car Seat & Latch Base – Night (Black) – US Version ($499)- Totally pricy, probably totally trendy, but seems TOTALLY worth it as Baby SAS will be our FOURTH kiddo and this car seat/stroller combo has been on my “lusting list” since prior to even conceiving! Anyone have one of these?! They blow my mind and I NEED it!
7. //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=upsanddow-20&language=en_US&marketplace=amazon®ion=US&placement=B00AHQ0084&asins=B00AHQ0084&linkId=a5c84e7ed74a1c08d3350aa9149d54f2&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true“>Maternity Fit Splint (Small (24″-29”)- $49.95- OK, I will admit that I crowdsourced this one. I was having a ton of issues running starting about 1-2 weeks ago (23-24 weeks) related to my bladder and the baby’s positioning. I felt as if there was a large rock in my belly and it was impeding my joy of running of sure! So I reached out to my favorite FB Community Group and was suggested this Maternity Band. I JUST bought it and am SO excited to try it! I miss full-out running! I’ve been doing a combo of power walking with incline and shuffle/jogging lol. I will be sure to report my findings on this new-to-me contraption! Warning: it is super seksi 🙂
8. //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=upsanddow-20&language=en_US&marketplace=amazon®ion=US&placement=B0755SPXB5&asins=B0755SPXB5&linkId=1bf6e93d31f597c2d4440dc25fc5e9f7&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true“>Baby Diaper Caddy Organizer- $21.99- Admittedly I am QUEEN OCD and these caddies I plan on buying for each floor of our home will help me achieve my #ocdgoals lol. A GREAT piece of advice that I received when I had my first babe was to have a diaper/baby changing “station” on each floor. As a #citymom , this advice was NOT lost on me! I followed it and have contented to do so through my other infants! I wanted something a bit more organized and cute actually, so I found this gem and will be purchasing 4! One for each floor and one for the car! Do you guys do this?!
9. Postpartum Leggings (from $19.85)- I have not decided on a brand for these, will likely crowdsource this too! Any thoughts? I know I need some pairs of these as I live in leggings and LOVE the support that the postpartum ones provide for immediately after baby. I ordered a pair from the #nsale of the Rosie Pope brand, but am looking for a few more! Suggestions?
10. //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=upsanddow-20&language=en_US&marketplace=amazon®ion=US&placement=B06ZZXYD6S&asins=B06ZZXYD6S&linkId=43d65d42546164a2ab3532e9d2472cc2&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true“>Owlet Smart Sock 2 Baby Monitor – Track Your Infant’s Heart Rate & Oxygen Levels ($229)- SUPER pricy buy TOTALLY worth the piece of mind. I originally saw this on Jessie James Decker’s Insta (LOVE HER) and KNEW I had to have it. With my other babies, I had SUCH a hard time “sleeping when they are sleeping” because I was worried the babes would stop breathing #postpartumanxiety ! Rather than my typical trick of holding my cell phone next to the baby’s chest to see if it is rising and falling (don’t judge; ya’ll know EXACTLY what I mean), I am trying this new device! This infant oxygen sensor is strapped to the foot (super comfy fit) and alerts go right to your SmartPhone!
OK! So that’s it! Tell me; what is on your registry/what are your baby/preggo “must haves?!”
Today started like any other Sunday. A run, soccer practice,
Classy bathroom selfies,
Roughhousing with the dog,
And loving on the man. It ended with the Super Bowl, but what happened in between was magical and perfect.
My amazing husband and one of my besties/hair guru/guncle planned a wedding photo shoot complete with a full re-creation of the day down to the baby’s breath! I will do a full post with credits soon (the vendors with whom we worked) but I wanted o give you a special sneak peak!
Also, check out my Instagram stories from more on the behind the scenes details. It was seriously the best plan ever and I could not be more thankful. I cannot wait to show you the adorable pictures of the boys in their sweet outfits! And not a detail was missed!
Stay tuned for the next post with more details!
Oh man. We are in love. Like major love. And I am going to tell you all about how it happened.
In the “planning phases” of our relationship, Scott and I decided we NEEDED to add a Golden Retriever (puppy) to our beautifully blended and perfect family (as well as a baby girl that the boys are insisting upon, but that will happen in time). He had grown up with a Golden named woody, and i myself am a huge dog lover/previous owner as well (never to a golden; that was a dream of mine). You know, it was that beginning time when you fantasize and imagine all dreams possible with your new partner. But we were determined to make this a reality, with a bit more thinking and some good old fashioned common sense, we ended up with the MOST amazing puppy!
Yankee (previously known as Kylo) is a one year old Golden mix with a happy golden heart and not a mean bone in his adorable body. He has #allthewrinkles in all the right places and he feels like he was made for our family. Yankee is from Puerto Rico and was displaced from his home with the disastrous hurricane. We had not planned on adopting necessarily, but over the Christmas holiday at our family’s home with some discussion and contemplation, we thought it might be just the way to go. Let’s be honest; 3 young boys with many needs plus a new puppy that we have to house train and obedience train… sounds a bit more of a nightmare than that whole “fantasy thing.” So, while I had a few minutes over the holidays, I began researching Golden Rescues in our area. It was at that point that I locked eyes with this baby.
I couldnt stop thinking of him. It might sound weird, but gazing into his eyes (longingly through my computer screen) I knew he was ours and i felt like I had known him forever. And it just kept getting better. Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue is where I found this gem. I was BEYOND impressed with their facilities and the sheer amount of information they are abke to provide about each dog.
So, I immediately “inquired” (aka called 9000 times and emailed at least 300 times lol) about this dog, “Kylo.” The adoption manager, Zack, is amazing and got back to me within 24 hours (which made this lady, who cant handle delayed gratification, very happy). Ummm You guys…you aren’t going to believe this. Kylo was rescued from the Puerto Rican hurricane! The thing is, when the hurricane hit, I had concocted a massive plan to save a dog from there, but given the timing, with our nuptials, blending our family etc, it just wasn’t the right time. But then this!! I literally could not believe it. We HAD to have this dog. And after reading his comprehensive behavior assessment, the deal was sealed.
We are so so impressed by DVGRR; their staff goes above and beyond and the care the dogs receive is top notch. They were able to provide us with an extremely helpful behavioral obedience assessment which made it so easy to figure out whether Yankee would work for our family. Literally every piece of information we received was the G-d’s honest truth, and they make “no bones about it.” The adoption team is dedicated to making a perfect match so to facilitate the success of the adoption. The head adoption manager even brought his 2 year old son in to see how Yankee would react with him. So, without further ado, here are some pictures of our new baby boy! I will post updates often! We are in love.