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Friday
May022014

A Belated One Year Note to My Son

This post was supposed to be written when my little boy turned one. Here we are three months later and I’m finally writing a post about this milestone. I guess that says something for having two kiddos…you just get behind on things! At the end of the day I’m much more content flopping on the couch at 9:30 for an hour or so of catching up on a show or with my husband than to have the brain power to type. But, this blog post isn’t about that. It’s about our little Reid who I've written a small summary of how our first year has gone.

Wow, your first year went by SO slowly yet in a flash. Only now do I have flashbacks to the early days when you would have an upset tummy or were teething at night and couldn't sleep. Only then do I say, “Oh yeah, that wasn’t too much fun.” These days you’re way too much fun to dwell on the reflux and early days of crying for no reason. I know it wasn’t an easy year for you either. You were the one who had to deal with the reflux and discomfort of teething at the early age of 4 months.

Boy, your teeth shot in fast! You had about 8 teeth by the time you were nine months. Boy those teething months were tough on you. But, the good news was that we got teeth early so you got to chew up all that food you so badly wanted to eat. Yes, like your sister, you LOVE food. Now that you can walk and have figured out how to open the pantry door and freezer, you love to direct us as to what you want to eat and when. You aren’t shy about demanding what you want though you pretty much eat anything we put in front of you. You are a gem in a restaurant as long as the bread basket stays full and the service moves along…and if we get dessert. No need for crayons or an iPad for you, both of your hands are used for eating. You prefer to have a piece of food in each hand at all meal and snack times. From a very early age you figured out how to open puff containers with your teeth. We knew you were going to be pretty clever from that little maneuver.

You are a pretty passionate guy…I can already tell. When you are happy, you are REALLY happy but when you’re mad or bored, you are REALLY unhappy. Nothing wrong with a guy knowing what he wants. You can hang the moon and stars with your smile (you're a huge flirt) and have even managed to woo your sister into being one of your biggest fans though your drool and ability to not understand not to touch her things has threatened this relationship. You were early to crawl, eager to explore areas we wouldn’t put you and decided to walk at about 13 months. Since that milestone, you love motoring around and are now attempting to run which has led to numerous bumps and bruises. You LOVE going outside. I mean LOVE it. If you could sleep in a tent outside I think you would be in hog heaven. If you had your way, we would wake up, eat breakfast and head straight outside. Unfortunately for you, you have a strong-willed sister who likes to take her time watching toons and dressing up like a princess before facing the day.

You love to sing and dance and have been attempting to jump. No words may be coming out of your mouth, but you are singing a melody and shaking your groove thing. One of your favorite activities is our regular dance parties. Nothing makes you giggle like your sister acting silly and jumping up and down like a hyena. You love watching her jump on cushions, on beds, on the floor, wherever. It usually results in a fit of giggles from all of us. You LOVE bath-time. When it gets close to bedtime I know it’s pretty much the only thing that’s gonna calm you down if you’re fussy. Now, you’re obsessed with the shower and feel like such a big boy when you get to take one with your sissy. There’s not a toy more fun that the shower squigee or pump bottle of head & shoulders to try and figure out. And, of course we can’t forget one of your other favorite people: our cat, Lucy. Nowadays we can find you giving Lucy a bear hug or chasing her under the couch but you can see she loves you too. You guys are going to be big buddies.

Well, that’s a pretty quick snapshot of you over the past year and these past few months. You are our sweet, cuddly, loving, squirming, sometimes screaming Reid and we are so thankful you are a part of our lives and family. We love you little man!

Friday
Mar212014

LaaS - Lunch as a Service

 

I know not everyone enjoys packing their kid’s lunches for school like I do, but there are days when it’s really hard to get my act together, or when I just haven’t found the time to grocery shop. Oh, or after returning from a long weekend away… I’m left scrounging for something to put in a lunch.

So I was stoked when Scrumpt contacted me to try out a new service. The San Francisco based company provides parents the ingredients to make healthy and easy-to-assemble lunches for their little ones - a Scrumpt Lunch Kit. At the time my youngest was just a few months old and my daughter had just started preschool, which translates to packing a school lunch five days a week. I was happy to give Scrumpt a try.

I strategically planned to receive a Scrumpt delivery for the day I had returned from traveling for a week. When the large box of goodies arrived I was impressed with all of the healthy items including -- hummus, grapes, almond butter, cheddar bunny crackers, granola and even pasta with marinara sauce. The lunches were organized with cute instruction cards that detailed how to best put lunches together. And items that would need refrigeration (like yogurt) were packed with mini ice packs. Everything was packaged in cute little containers and labeled. Sounds pretty easy huh?!

 

I’ll be honest, on a couple of the lunches I mixed and matched the ingredients instead of following the menu exactly. The menus were still great because it alleviated the “what am I going to pack today?” Check out this sample of the ingredients that could be included in your Scrumpt Box.


Overall, really great concept and nutritious food. My Scrumpt Box sure came in handy! I will certainly use this service for weeks when I know I’m going to be running low on time. I think Scrumpt would make a great gift - especially to parents who are expecting or bringing home  a second baby. What a treat to not have to worry about lunch!

One thing I should note. I was initially concerned about food allergies. My daughter’s preschool doesn’t allow nuts, so I couldn’t use the almond butter in the lunches. However, the company clarified that during the check-out process, you can indicate any applicable allergies/ sensitivities (nut-free, lactose-free or gluten-free). Awesome!

Pricing with a subscription may seem high (at $8 per lunch) but when you take into account all the different variables (like time spent grocery shopping, driving to the grocery store and meal prep) you get good value for your money. You can also try it on a one-time basis and you get $12 off (approximately $6.59 per lunch).

In addition to the Scrumpt Lunch Kit, the company also offers a Scrumpt Snack Pack and recently added a Scrumpt Travel Kit, which includes snacks for on-the-go, as well as games and activities to keep the littles occupied during travel. Scrumpt is currently available in Marin and San Francisco.

 

 

Thursday
Feb272014

Baby "Essentials" 

Oh the conveniences of parenting. I’m not saying we need all or any of these things. But I am saying that these things made life a lot easier. Here is a list of some of my favorites. 

SLEEP

Summer Infant SwaddleMe: These velcro swaddle wraps are pretty ingenious. No hassle, no fuss! These were great for the first eight weeks and then my son started to break out of them.

HALO SleepSack: Around 10 weeks we started using these sleepsacks instead of swaddles. It took a couple of days for my son to get used to having his hands free from a swaddle but once he got used to it, these worked great because I knew he’d stay warm.  

Maclaren Rocker: The rocker is at a slight recline and my son mostly slept in it until we sleep trained him. He hated laying down flat. It vibrates too, which helped calm him at times.

PLAY

Bjorn Babysitter Balance: I like that there are three different positions - play, rest, sleep. So after feedings and burping I felt super comfortable placing my son in there to chill while I took care of things -- dishes, laundry, dinner, a shower!! etc. Babybjorn also introduced a new Balance Soft last year.

Baby Play Mat: This one is similar to the one I have. It was fun to see Greyson inadvertently swat at the toys hanging above his head. The mat is also good for practice tummy time.

FEEDING

Boppy: I remember thinking “What the hell is a boppy?” when I was pregnant the first time around. This nursing pillow is great, especially for those long nursing sessions in the middle of the night. I have also heard great reviews about My Breast Friend Nursing Pillow.    

ComoTomo: Love these bottles. The bottle is squishy and the nipples are a bit softer and more flexible than others I’ve tried. It’s the only bottle he’ll take.

ON THE GO

NüRoo Pocket: I had the pleasure of meeting the two founders over coffee when Greyson was just weeks old. They explained how they designed a babywearing shirt that promotes skin to skin. And explained all of the benefits of skin to skin. I remember one day in particular when my son was super fussy, which was rare for him. I stripped him except for his diaper and put him in my NüRoo Pocket. Within minutes he calmed and fell asleep. I was so relieved because to this day I still remember that feeling of pure exhaustion. This would make a great gift for any new mom.

BabyBjorn Carrier: I’m glad I registered for a Bjorn Carrier during my first pregnancy. I loved it and used it until my daughter got too heavy for me to carry. Many MommyBeta readers suggested the Ergo, which provided more support as the babes get older and heavier. Since then however, BabyBjorn has come out with the BabyBjorn Carrier Miracle, which provides more back support and BabyBjorn One Carrier, which I’ve tried and will share my thoughts on in a separate post.

Snap N Go: I kept this snap n go frame in my car so that I could snap the baby’s car seat in and go. Good for quick trips when the baby + car seat gets too much to carry.

TECH & ELECTRONICS

Instacart: A nice service for grocery shopping & delivery online. I used it for the first few months after bringing home my son and then stopped once I was able to master grocery shopping with two kids. Basically you choose the grocery store you want (from a list), select groceries, pick a delivery time and someone will drop off your groceries.

Baby Log: This iphone baby activity tracker app is handy indeed! I mainly used it to track feedings - both nursing and bottle. You can also track diaper changes and sleep.

Marpac White Noise Machine: I swear by these white noise machines. We live on a main street with constant traffic including fire engine sirens, loud motorcycle engines and garbage trucks - and this little machine blocks out a lot of this street noise for my toddler. We ended up getting a second machine for my son’s closet nursery to help block out some of the sounds from my toddler.

What are/were some of your essentials? 


Wednesday
Dec112013

A Fun Gift for Parents - A Night In

As a parent, date nights aren't extremely plentiful but a new service has found a way around those nights where childcare isn't available. Confetti is a clever new service that sends fun date nights that parents can experience in their own home after the kiddos are in bed. As they put it, "we create in-home date experiences that make 'staying in' feel like 'going out.'
Yes, it's not exactly the same thing as a night on the town but there are some really neat experiences and the bonus is that if you want to drink, you don't have to bicker about who is going to drive home. You're already there!
Each date is carefully designed and made with handcrafted components and luxury ingredients to give you and your partner a night to remember. We received The Great Indoors confetti date.

I felt this was appropriate since we just moved to Colorado and would be a great warm up to any future camping trips. I was excited when the mystery box arrived on my door step and it was fun to open and explore it as well. They try to heighten all your senses through all the activities and they do a really great job. Our came with freshly picked pine needles and other items from the forest and a flashlight to create the feeling of a campsite in the woods. They had three fun activities that were pretty cute and got a chuckle out of me and my husband. All in all we enjoyed the experience and would love to go on another confettidate. You can join their subscription service for $50 or purchase dates individually for $55. You can also purchase an abbreviated version of the date with the Just Desserts option for $25. The prices might seem high at first but when you think of the cost of a night out with dinner or the movies, it's pretty similar and you're probably doing something that you haven't done so it makes for great memories. 
Confetti has let our readers in on a 20% coupon code. Enter confettimom in the promo code box. Hope you find a confetti date under your tree this holiday season!
Note: Confetti sent us a date to test but my opinions are my own. 
Monday
Nov182013

My Tootles, My Elle

Well my little girl, my first baby, turned three a month ago. How did that happen?! So much has changed in the past year. Not only with Elle but also with our family. A new brother, a new home in Denver, preschool…so much change and for the most part, she’s done well with it. Probably much better than me. It’s hard not to squeeze her and give her a big kiss on the cheek when you’re near her…I’m sure most of you feel that way about your little ones.

When did my little toddling toddler turn into an expressive, high energy, pink-loving, lipstick/makeup/fingernail polish- loving, bug loving, Ipad/TV/book addict and yes, a little big of a drama queen? 

Two was SO much fun. It will be a year that I will always cherish. From the constant hugs, to laughs, to new words and a bigger vocabulary to excitement about everything, I loved everything well mostly everything (we did have tantrums) about two. Three on the other hand is proving to be a little above my parenting skills but more on that later. This is about two. When Elle was turning one, I wrote a quick little summary about my favorite memories and things about that first year so since I’ve become terrible at writing in the baby book, I’d thought I’d share them here.

I love hearing the pitter patter of your little feet running into our room in the morning.

I love how you never meet a stranger. You have no whims about saying hi to other kids or their parents and telling them something special about your day.

I love that you know my real name and that you know how to say your formal name – which I never taught you – and that love you to tell people, “that’s my mommy. Her name is Jennifer. That’s my baby brother. His name is Reid. Say hi Reid!”

I love you how you have to do the same three things before going to sleep: I have to pretend to do your makeup, then little piggy and then tell you everyone who loves you

I love the funny ways you pronounce words like “Stool” is sootle

I love how you ask if I love something just so you can say, “Me too.”

I love how you tell everyone you meet about your best friends, the triplets.

I love how you love to wear dress up and accessorize your clothes

I love how everything has to match

I love hearing you say, “mom, I love you.” out of the blue

I love hearing you play pretend

I love how you call every bug cute and give them silly names like friendly and lovey

I love how polite you are, saying excuse me and thank you without a thought and saying, “Sorry brother” when you accidentally knock him over or something

And the list goes on and on but I very special and blessed to be my little girl’s mama. This has been a year that I’ll always cherish.