25.11.2016

Unique Holiday Gifts


I've been wanting to put together a list of some of my favorite gift ideas for a little while.  I like to try and think of outside of the box gifts for the holidays and birthdays. These are all unique gifts that I've either received or given as a gift and are things we have loved.

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Unique Holiday Gift Ideas

 

FOR A MOM

  1. All white dishes from Replay Recycled.  I did a whole post about my undying love for these kids dishes.  And while it may not be the most glamorous gift to give a mom, I promise she will love the sanity.  If you know someone with toddlers, one color dishes are a must have.  We've had ours for a full year and the quality is excellent.
  2. My mother-in-law gifted me a few meals from Terra's Kitchen for my birthday this year.  Everything is pre-chopped and ready to cook in 20 minutes or less.  We loved trying new meals and I loved not having to think about our dinner once a week!  There are lots of these services, this is just the one I've used.
  3. I've been using Chatbooks for a few years and we love them.  We have them displayed all around our house.  I've given them to grandparents, to my friends after a girls trip and most recently, a gift card to my sister who just had a baby.  They're the perfect keepsake and the holiday editions this year are beautiful.

FOR A LONG-LASTING KID GIFT

  1. I can't vouch for this new redesigned version of the Toy mail Talkies, but we had the first version and loved it!  Adam travels a lot and our family is spread all over the US.  Friends and family (of your choosing) can download the free app and can send messages to your child and vice versa.  There's a whole lot more with the new version (alarms, reminders, etc.) but we've loved sending messages, especially in funny voices.  They are doing 30% off today (Black Friday) which makes them a killer deal.
  2. There was a whole year where a Magazine Subscription was the only gift we gave to our friends and family all year.  There are lots of subscriptions (National Geographic Kids is another great one) but I love the selection from Cricket Media.  They have magazines for all ages.  So far we've done BabyBug, LadyBug, and Click.  It's fun for kids to get mail and if after a few readings you're done with them, you can recycle them and it frees up space.
  3. We've had our Micro Scooters for about 3 years now.  And while they've been beat up quite a bit, they are still holding strong.  I would say these are probably our most used toy of all time.  Collier started on one when he was 20 months and Rilo still uses hers at almost 7, so the age range is really broad.

 

FOR THE BUDDING ARTIST

  1. Rilo was gifted a few Blank Hardcover Books and we've since gifted them to our friends too. She has one fully completed story and I think it's one of my favorite things to read.  I love seeing her creative mind at work and having her handwriting and illustrations at each age shown in a book.
  2. I've loved these Step by Step Drawing Books since I was a kid.  In fact, when Adam and I were dating, I would use them to write dorky love notes while he was away during the summer.  Everyone feels like an artist with these!
  3. These Blank Board Books are similar to the other books but every page is a hard page.  These are fun for kids to give to younger siblings or to make for a baby/young toddler.  Say Yes has a great tutorial for making a "Baby's First Words" book  here.

Do you have any unique gifts you like to give or that you've received?  I'm always trying to add more to my list!

 

This post contains affiliate links of things I really love.

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28.07.2016

Posey’s Birth Story


Posey Bea-4bw
 

A little back story before I start this birth story.  With baby #4 we decided to have a surprise baby and not find out what we were having.  My original due date was Sept. 30 but as we all know by now I don't have my babies on time!

This birth story actually begins 2 weeks before Posey was born.  In a crazed nesting phase, I decided to have our carpets cleaned in preparation for the baby.  The carpet cleaner came and began working on the main floor.  We were upstairs getting ready to go to a little music class my friend hosts.  Arden cried for me to carry her downstairs...you can probably see where this is going.  I slung her on my hip and headed down. The stairs were wet from cleaning and when my wet foot hit the wood floor at the bottom of the stairs, my feet slipped out from under me and Arden and I landed hard on the floor.  Arden was fine and I was ok, albeit a little sore.  So a little stunned, I hobbled out to the car.  I buckled everyone in and sat down in the front seat.  Which was when I noticed a big wet spot on my pants.  I spent a few minutes figuring out what sort of liquid it was, as any woman who has been 38 weeks pregnant can likely relate to.

I realized I should probably go in to my midwives to be checked and have the baby checked.  When I got there they determined that it was indeed amniotic fluid but baby was doing fine.  My water never breaks until I'm pushing so this was a shocking turn of events.  We decided to try to naturally get my labor going. I was 38 weeks and was ok to have a baby any day.  I tried a few herbs and a balloon catheter overnight to see if we could get contractions going.  I went in the next morning with not a single contraction happening, but the catheter had dilated me to a 5.  So I spent the rest of the day trying to get labor started. After a day filled with a million different crazy attempts (I can't even begin to detail all of them), it seemed clear that my body was not ready to have a baby.  I went back in that evening to discuss our options.  At that point we realized that despite that first little bit of fluid, I had not leaked a single drop of fluid since then.  My bag was still intact and baby's heartbeat was strong.  It turns out there can be a small pocket of water in between the outer and inner bags of water and that was what most likely leaked after the fall. So with some monitoring of my temperature and the baby's heartbeat, we decided to let things happen on their own.

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I know and expect to go past my due date but I went from thinking I had to have a baby that day, back to waiting again.  And man was that rough.  I became so incredibly impatient, which is not normally my nature.  I spent my days walking and waiting to meet this surprise baby.  My due date came and went and I was still very pregnant.  By this time my Mom needed to buy a ticket to come out.  She had a week window that she could come help me with the new baby so she booked a ticket to arrive at lunch time on Oct. 5.  This put some added pressure on me because I obviously wanted to have a baby while she was visiting so that I'd have help that first week.  So the night of the 4th I decided to try to get labor going one more time.  I pumped a little bit and started having some contractions.  Nothing painful or consistent but this was progress!

I had a Non-Stress Test in the morning (since I was a week overdue) to make sure everything was ok with the baby.  Everything was great with the NST but my midwives did say that the baby was still posterior (meaning she was head down but facing my belly button), which isn't the ideal position.  After doing some research, I'm convinced she was posterior because of the fall.  She was in the right position all the way until I fell. I read that a fall can sometimes put a little kink and cause them to move.

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So with random contractions still happening but very inconsistently, they sent me home to try and get the baby to rotate.  Please imagine a 41 week pregnant lady with her knees on the sofa and her arms resting on the floor, inverted.  Yeah, I looked like a nut.  I spent a few hours hanging out in these weird positions.

My Mom arrived just as I started to have consistent contractions, around 1pm.  I was finally in labor!  But I could tell that I wasn't making progress.  My last 2 labors have been very quick (Collier was 4 hours and Arden was 2 hours) and so contractions have been very intense and purposeful.  These ones felt weak and I knew that the baby was not descending at all. I could still feel the baby up in my ribs.  I bounced on the exercise ball for a little, tried a few more positions to get the baby to rotate and then went on a walk with Adam around 5pm.

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At the beginning of the walk we were walking leisurely and chatting.  But about 10 minutes into the walk things started to intensify.  I was no longer able to talk or walk through the contractions.  I stopped every few feet to rest on Adam and breathe through the wave.  When we returned home we got our bags together, left my Mom with our kids and headed to the birth center.  I wasn't feeling like I was having a baby any time soon but I almost waited too long with Collier (I had him 10 minutes after walking into the birth center) so I always feel better about being there sooner rather than later.

We walked into the birth center around 6:20pm and said hi and laughed with the midwives.  By this time, we had a lot of running jokes about me almost having a baby, trying everything in the world, being dilated to a 7 and then having to wait 2 more weeks after all of that.  So everyone was so excited that this was finally happening!  We did a quick check and everything was great with the baby, minus the posterior position.  This was most likely why this labor was so much slower than my previous 2 labors.  They gave me a peanut shaped exercise ball to help the baby turn.  I laid on the bed and threw my right leg over the peanut.  Again, a funny position for a lady in labor but I was willing to try anything.  I focused on breathing through my contractions and relaxing my whole body, while laying on a bed in a strange position.  I normally like to labor standing up, with my hands resting on something, slightly hunched over.  This was a big departure from my comfortable labor zone.

The contractions were every 1-2 minutes and lasting almost a minute.  As each contraction passed, I had so many thoughts running in my head.  My first thought was that I felt bad that the midwives were just hanging out, waiting for me (which is funny because obviously that's what they're there for) but I'm used to coming to the birth center and quickly having a baby.  My second thought was that this was taking way longer than either of my last 2 labors and I certainly didn't want to spend all night, lying on a bed in a strange position, trying to keep my usual calm.  My body handles contractions really well but I was feeling like I was having to work extra hard to stay in my zone this time.

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When my midwife came in to check on me I asked what we could do to speed things up.  It had been almost an hour since I first came in.  She checked the baby's heartbeat and felt to see what position the baby was in.  She could tell the baby had turned and was anterior!  Hallelujah!  She was about to check to see how dilated I was when I decided I needed to pee.  So she walked with me into the bathroom with Adam following behind.  I sat down and started to pee when all of a sudden my water broke (more like exploded) and the baby started crowning.  Everything was happening so quickly I had NO idea what to do.  I sat there stunned.

"Can I get in the tub?" I asked.  (I had Collier and Arden in the jetted tub and loved it).

"There's no time for that!  Stand up RIGHT NOW!" my midwife exclaimed.

So I stood up quickly and if we are being honest, the baby fell out.  I know.  I KNOW!!  Guess that's baby #4 for you?! I thank all the heavens that my midwife obviously knew what was happening because I was NOT expecting that AT ALL.  She caught the baby and pulled her up to me and said "Here, hold your baby!".  At this point, Adam, who had been massaging my shoulders behind me, was totally confused.  All I did was stand up and now she's saying to hold a baby?!  He peered over my shoulder in complete shock!

"What is it?!  A boy or a girl?"

And after 9 months, we had a girl!  I honestly had been saying it was a girl all along.  Collier's pregnancy was much different than my girl pregnancies so I felt pretty confident I knew what we were having.  But to finally meet her?  It was such a fun surprise that I can't recommend enough!

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At this point I'm bleeding a ton, in part because I always bleed a lot and also likely because it happened so incredibly fast.  So I just sit down on the bathroom floor so they can asses the situation.  Meanwhile Adam and I are dying laughing.  Did I really just almost have a baby on the toilet?  Did she really just fall out?  I admit I was on my after birth high but man was it so funny.  And really, I giggle a little every time I think about it.  So my very first picture with Posey is me on the bathroom floor (pictured below), but not pictured in the background is what looks like some sort of crime scene.  Ha.  What a story!

Posey 1st Photo

My guess is that because I was laying down the whole time I couldn't really tell how intense things were getting because I wasn't feeling any pressure.  And then when I suddenly stood up, everything came together so quickly.

We moved to the bed and got to know our little baby girl.  We checked her out head to toe and laughed a lot more.  She nursed right away and wanted to nurse often.  She was happy and healthy and we were smitten.  After going back and forth on her name (this was the first time we went in with 2 name options), we finally settled on Posey Bea.  Bea after a few Beatrice and Beatrix members of Adam's family line.  We left a few hours later to go snuggle in our bed and to surprise the kids with their new baby sister in the morning!

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Posey Bea Webb
Oct. 5, 2015
8lbs. 8oz.
20.5 inches
7:39pm

17.02.2014

Family Photos


We haven't had family photos since Yan took photos of us when Rilo was just over a year old.  I can't believe I let that much time go by!  Yan came to our house before Christmas, so we could capture Arden while she was still little.  I love every single one of these images.  They just feel like "us".  I told Yan, she better be planning on taking photos when she's old, because she's the only one for me.  She is magic!

 

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09.08.2012

Favorite Baby Shower Gifts


After attending Janelle's baby shower last weekend, I've been thinking about my favorite baby shower gifts.  When in doubt (and if your budget allows), getting  a "big" gift off of their registry is always great.  All those big items really add up!  If you know they'll be covered by family and friends, then these are my favorite non-registry options.

 

{Click on the products to find the source}

 


Freshly Picked Moccasins The Wrap Aden + Anais Swaddle Blankets Chewbeads Teething Necklaces Sophie Lee Marie Onesies Board Books

 

1. Freshly Picked Mocassins- These seriously are the best shoes when babies are first starting to walk. Rilo wore hers for a good 6 months before they were finally too small.  They stay on little feet unlike most shoes which is a huge bonus.  Plus they are the hippest of the hip...I mean Mason Kardashian rocks them!

 

2. Solly Baby Wrap- Unlike other wraps, this one is lighter and stretchier plus comes in the best stripes and colors.  I absolutely love to wear my babies, especially in the first few months.

 

3. Aden & Anais swaddle blankets- Any mom who has used these can attest that these are the best.  Big, the perfect weight and they get softer with use.

 

4. Chewbeads- I got to check these out at the H.O.T. Product Party and I love the idea.  Jewelry that babies can chew on safely? Genuis!  I have a big order of these on the way as we speak.

 

5. Sophie- I don't know what it is about her, but all babies love to chew on Sophie!

 

6. Lee Marie onesies- I adore these onesies!  They are handmade from fun vintage fabrics and I love the contrasting binding.  Definitely not anything you see in stores!

 

7. Board books- You can't go wrong with anything Sandra Boynton or the "In My..." series.  The ones shown are some of our favorites!

 

Other great options include diapers (or cloth diapers), wipes and gift cards.  I always include a little outfit but I like to get clothes that are 12+ months.  I think most people get a ton of smaller sized clothes and then they hit 1 year (which goes by SO quickly) and you have absolutely nothing.

 

Do you have a favorite gift to give?  What about a favorite baby gift you've received?

 

 

13.06.2012

Let Your Kids Play: Park Playground Tips


 

 

We spend a whole lot of time at parks, even in the winter.  Sometime we even go to two parks back to back, because we're crazy like that!  I feel a little silly even writing this, but I overhear and see a lot of the same things from parents each time we go.  There is so much going on at the park for your toddler besides just a time filler!  So I thought I would offer some (seemingly) simple tips to parents with toddlers, that will hopefully make the park not only fun for you and your kid(s), but a learning experience too!

 

No seriously, let them run!  I can't tell you the number of times I hear parents saying "Don't run!" at the park.  In fact, I've heard it at nearly every park I've been to.  There are so many places that kids probably shouldn't run...the pool, church, inside the house, etc.  But the park should not be one of them.  If not the park, then where?

 

 

 

Here's where I am probably way more lax than most.  I want Rilo to try anything!  She is fearless by nature but also by nurture.  If she wants to try it, I want her to try it too!  Whether it be the two story slide in St. Louis (seriously, St. Louis has the craziest slides, see the picture at the top), the rock wall, the sand pit or the monkey bars.  Of course that doesn't mean I don't help her or spot her or watch her, but I let her try whatever she wants.   Yes, Rilo may get messy or there may be some bumps and bruises along the way, but there is so much more happening when she tries new playground equipment.  She is learning gross motor skills, problem solving and boosting her confidence all at once.  She's also learning what she is capable of doing and what she may not be able to accomplish for a few years.  You should have seen the look on Rilo's face the other day when she figured out how to climb the rock wall (that was much taller than me) all by herself.  She was so proud and I was too!  I think sometimes as parents we get stuck in the "no and don't" rut and the park is a great place to try and get out of it!

 

The playground is a great place for kids to learn social cues, make friends, observe behavior and interact with kids of different ages.  Unless I see inappropriate/dangerous behavior, I love to let Rilo meet new park friends and play on her own with them.  I sit back and observe and see what we can work on together at home.  Right now, she most definitely need some work on taking turns!  But she has mastered asking someone's name and telling them her name in return.  And these are the types of things I learn from simply watching her play at the park!  We often talk on the way home about the things we saw and the interactions that happened and whether they were "nice" (her favorite word) or not.

 

 

What about you?  Any good park tips to offer?