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Four new mommies beta testing parenthood.

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Wednesday
Sep252013

Alphabet First Birthday Party: A to Zachary

 

At a 3 am feeding when Baby Z was three weeks old, I had an epiphany. The theme for his first birthday party would be A to Zachary. Though deliriously tired, I somehow remembered this lightning bolt idea and almost a year later, we had an alphabet birthday party for our little boy.

The party was full of family, fun and smiles. But I know what you guys are here for. Pin-able party pictures! Without further ado...

I used a Cricut to cut a lot of letters for this party, especially for this sign in on our front porch (yes, I realize now that the C is upside down!). I also had a silohuette made on Etsy of my sweet little boy (I used this on the invites too).

I made this wreath years ago (for Jennifer's baby shower for Elle!), and I update it for the seasons or parties that I host.

Nic and I worked together to melt down old crayons and pour them into a silicon letter mold. These crayon favors were a bit more fragile than I had hoped, but were fun to make.

This is one of my favorite things about entertaining at our new(ish) house. I can WRITE ON THE WALL! I have horrible penmanship, but chalk is SO forgiving. I fully recommend sidewalk chalking your house for a big party impact (test an area first to make sure your chalk will wash off).

 

More letter decor. The Lego letters were a last minute addition to hold down the tableclothes in the wind. Grampy and Nic had fun putting those together the morning of the party.

 

I used letter cookies from Trader Joe's for Z's name and filled a cookie cutter with sprinkles for the 1. Then I filled the ring around the cake with more sprinkles! Inside, this is a funfetti cake.

BabyBetas Reese and Elle seranade Z!

Z enjoying his personal, dairy-free funfetti smash cake!

Happy family celebrating our birthday boy.

 

Wednesday
Sep182013

A MommyBeta Adventure with Drazil Kids Tea

 

You folks haven't heard much from us MommyBetas lately due to our new adventure of caring for two little kiddos. Boy, they're definitely a handful! We were excited when Drazil Kids Teas reached out to us to take a Drazil Kids Tea Adventure featuring their new teas that are available in the Northern California region at Nugget Markets, Wholesome Goods, Oliver’s Markets, G&G, The Nature Shop, New Leaf Market and Amazon.com. 

Drazil Kids Tea is a blend of herbal teas infused with real fruit juices and comes in a convenient single serve box. The tea is gluten-free, naturally caffeine-free and has 35% less sugar, no added sugar, antioxidants galore, and numerous vitamins and minerals.  

We immediately thought "tea party!" What a fun time this would be. You can imagine all the sweet thoughts going through our naive, fried mommy brains of our sweet kiddos on their best behavior, sipping tea with their napkin in their laps as they nibbled healthy snacks. 

Well our tea party was definitely an adventure with each of us mommies being outnumbered 2 to 1! We did manage to get them to sit down for a bit to have a snack and sip the teas. The teas were in fact a hit - the kids loved them. The adventure was more of us mommies playing referee than sitting down to a civilized, peaceful afternoon but what can you expect?! 

It was a fun, rare afternoon where Nathalee, Alex and I were able to get together. We chitchatted in 5 second thought patterns in between referreeing the kiddos, managing potty breaks and diaper changes, that had to be planned a month in advance. We were grateful for the time together and the fact that over the two hour span our kiddos did manage to get some yummy healthy snacks and some yummy tea thanks to Drazil Tea Kids. 


Here's the nutritional breakdown of the tea:

50 calories (compared to 100 calories in a regular berry 100% juice product)

14g sugar (compared to 23g in a regular berry 100% juice product)
Contains 46% juice
Fat: 0 mg
Sodium: 6mg
Carbohydrates: 15g
Protein: 0 g
Vitamin C: 100%
Ingredients:  Naturally caffeine free brewed organic herbal tea (filtered water infused with rose hips, rooibos, hibiscus, pomegranate bits, strawberry pieces), white grape juice, apple juice, raspberry juice (filtered water, juice concentrate), natural flavors, ascorbic acid (vitamin c).  The product is pasteurized and gluten free.

 

A big thanks to Drazil Kids Tea for giving us a great reason to get together.

Note: We were compensated and provided product from Drazil Kids Tea but our opinions in this piece are our own. 

Monday
Sep162013

My new love: Baby Bjorn Travel Crib Lite

I have a hate/hate relationship with pack n plays. They hate for me to put them up and take them down and I hate it too. I also hate how I feel like an idiot trying to get the whole setup back into its original carrier. And it's heavy too. 

My pack n play woes are a thing of the past now that I have found Baby Bjorn's travel crib 2 lite. I LOVE THIS THING. I will admit its price point is steep but hey, people want to buy you things when you're expecting a baby and this thing is worth it. 

You can set it up and fold it up within 1-2 minutes. It's comfy and will even fit your toddler. It's so lite you can carry it with one hand. The bag it comes in is like a gym back as opposed to some weird, long bag like the pack n play and did I mention it's light? It's nearly half the weight of a standard pack n play.  And you all know how crazy I am about the safety of products used for my little ones. Baby Bjorn has the highest standards in regards to the materials used to make its products. 

We recently made a move to Denver and did the long 18 hour road trip, not to mention spent about a week and a half at our in-laws while our furniture was gone and this crib was a gem throughout. We splurged and stayed at the Four Seasons at Vegas (which is actually way more affordable than I would have thought for Vegas on a Labor Day weekend) and I even opted to use our Travel Crib Lite over having them put a crib in. It's that awesome. Now, I have the crib in our room to put down the little guy for naps and even bed some nights since the kiddos are now sharing a room. 

Don't believe me on how easy and how fast it is to put up the Baby Bjorn Travel Crib 2 Lite? Here's a fun video showing anyone can do it!

I wanted to do a video showing me put it together but with the move, I haven't had much time for anything other than trying to stay on routine and get this house unpacked!

NOTE: Baby Bjorn provided me with the Travel Crib 2 Lite but my opinions are my own. 

Friday
Aug162013

Guilt-free Snacking: Harvest Snaps

I was excited when a rep for Harvest Snaps reached out to see if we wanted to try their six new flavors. Formerly known as Snapea Crisps, Harvest Snaps are made from naturally dried peas, which make up 70% of the product, while Lentil Snaps are made from 65% Lentils and contain 5g of protein and 13% of your daily fiber. That may not sound too delicious but let me tell you, they satisfied my snack craving AND the even bigger thing is my toddler liked 'em!

I LOVE potato chips but have been trying to move away from them since they are so bad for you...and with two little ones it's not easy to always have a well balanced meal so I was excited to find a healthier snack option. Of their six new flavors, my favorite was caesar and my daughter liked the lightly salted (which aren't salty at all). 

It's not easy finding snacks that she wants to eat that I want to let her eat so I was happy to have discovered these. Snapea Crisps are available in four different varieties: Lightly Salted, Caesar, Black Pepper and Wasabi Ranch; Lentil Snaps’ come in Tomato Basil and Onion Thyme flavors. 

*Harvest Snaps provided product but my opinions are my own. 

Thursday
Aug012013

On the Eve of Your First Birthday 

 

Dear Z,

That smile!You are so big and so small. Yes, this is possible. It’s hard to believe the way that life has expanded in the last year with you here. Our house is so much more full with smiles, messy floors and your endless range of noises.

I feel like I’m really getting to know you. You love games, and routine. I’ll be shocked if your first word isn’t “ball”—the only thing you love more is your brother, and “Dominic” is an unlikely first word. And you LOVE to eat.

You are finally getting much more of the attention you deserve. We’re all learning to share our time better, and that leaves me feeling much less anxious about giving you the focus that I want you to have. We have many moments together these days, and I treasure them. And the benefit of the few months that it took to find that balance is that you are a very patient little boy (except when you are in your highchair).

You and brother have loved each other intensely since you were born, and now you can actually play together. You roll the ball back and forth, chase each other around the house and sometimes even share toys. You even gave brother his first baby-induced owie—a scrape from a dino swipe to the face (I’m calling it revenge for an incident when you were three months old that involved a dino dropped from a height).

I know when we bring your birthday balloons into your room in the morning that your face will light up. Your morning smile is joy. It’s your joy. It’s Daddy’s joy. It’s Brother’s joy. It’s my joy. You are our joy.

All my love,

Mamamamama