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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. 


More Love...Less Time


I've been struggling to figure out how to balance writing about all the crazy things that go on having two kids - I think about writing, I want to write, but at the end of the day, my mind is shot. What is left of my energy at the end of the energy goes into catching up with what friends have been doing online or decrompressing with a TV show if I can even squeeze that in. 

It's funny to think back how different things were 8 months ago before Reid was born. Looking back at my blog posts I think, boy I had WAY too much time on my hands. Some of the things I pondered seem silly now but hey, I was just living life and trying to do the best for my family. That's something that hasn't changed: I'm still trying to do my best as a mom; make the right choices; enforce the right choices. That's tough with a willful 3-year-old and a curious dare devil baby. 

Do I make my baby food again? Well, I try. Do I always apply sunscreen? No, but I try to make myself remember. Do I always do a bath every night? No, but I make sure I do if they look dirty or smell dirty. Ha! What have I given up on? Well, I let my daughter win the clothes battles...if she wants to wear her princess dress out to brunch so be it. 

I read something the other day that really made me sit back and think about the time I have with the kids. I think it was something like, "Right now is your child's childhood. Make it count." So in between my struggling to get places on time, juggling bottles and snacks, I've been trying to make sure there are some good, playful memories in there. So far it's working - just need to keep reminding myself of this!


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.



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 

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. 


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.