Diaper Bag Must Haves With Desitin

I'm not a huge planner, or packer, by any means. I love to just be able to walk out of the door, and cross my fingers that I have everything I need in my bag or car (where random diapers and shoes seem to pile up). However, there are a few essentials that I always keep packed in my diaper bag. And today, I want to share those necessities with you! Whether we're running to the grocery store, or we're going away for the weekend, these are items that are with me always..or at least whenever my daughters are with me, which is...99% of the time :)

  1. Bottle of water - I always keep a bottle of water in my diaper bag, whether it's for me or one of the girls, it's just nice to have on hand. I don't always take the time to get a sippy cup and fill it with "fresh" like Hadley calls it, but having a bottle of water handy has saved me multiple times! Especially when we were supplementing with formula while Ro was younger.
  2. Diapers - no explanation needed 😆
  3. Diaper rash cream - I keep Desitin Maxium Strength Original Paste with me so that if I ever see a rash coming on, I can start treating it immediately without having to wait even a few hours to get home, or days if we're traveling. I can see relief just after one use and I can see my baby's mood changing as well! 
  4. Snacks - another no brainer. Full bellies = full hearts happy kids.
  5. Toys - I keep a couple fun activities/toys for the girls for backup. Whether we're at the doctor office for longer than expected, grocery shopping, or just at a friend's house, it's nice to keep their little minds and hands occupied! 

For tips on preventing a diaper rash CLICK HERE
For tips on treating a diaper rash CLICK HERE

Easy Halloween Snack with Babybel Cheese!

We LOVE cheese in our house! When I came across these Halloween-themed Mini Babybel at Target, I knew Hadley would be just as excited about them as I was! They are perfect for school lunches, snacks on the go, and Halloween parties. We decided to make our own easy Halloween snack, a cheesy spider, and they turned out adorable. I think more than the actual snack, I just enjoyed spending time during Rowen's nap doing something fun with my big girl! She enjoyed unwrapping the cheese (good use of motor skills), breaking pretzels in half and sticking them in the cheese, and adding googly eyes. Mini Babybel cheese is 100% real cheese and a great source of calcium and protein.

What you need:
Mini Babybel
Pretzel Sticks
Googly Eyes (or chocolate chips)

What you do:
1. Break pretzels in half
2. Unwrap cheese
3. Stick pretzel halves in side of cheese
4. Add eyes

This snack was a perfect activity to do on a rainy day, and Hadley enjoyed sharing them with her friends who came over! 

Don't forget to visit your local Target to find your own Mini Babybel, and share with me what fun creation you make! Find deals through the whole month of October at Target!

Welch's Juice + Coconut Water = Healthy happy Mama

We are not big juice drinkers in our house, mainly because I grew up under the roof of a wonderful father who also happens to be a dentist, and juice was always full of so much sugar! So naturally, my daughters get juice if it's a treat while grocery shopping or something. However, when I came across Welch's 100% Juice with Coconut Water, I was so excited to read about about the benefits and I knew this is a product I would happily add to our weekly grocery list.

  • 30% less sugar (YAY!)
  • 100 calories (awesome for this Mama)
  • No added sweetners or sugars
  • No artificial flavors added
  • 2 servings of fruit in every 8oz glass
Besides having awesome benefits, the taste of the juice is DELICIOUS! The two flavors I've tried, the Tropical Berry Grape and the White Grape Mango have been so good, and my almost 4 year old approves of them as well. I always wanted to like coconut water, but whenever I tried it I only took a few sips, and never drank anymore. Welch's 100% Juice with Coconut Water is a great way to get the benefits of both juice + coconut water, in one tasty drink and stay hydrated.

CLICK HERE to find a retailer near you!

Rowen's Baby Book with Artifact Uprising

Baby books: Indefinitely important, yet habitually procrastinated.

At least that is the case in our home. I can barely find the time to match socks, how am I supposed to find the time to work on my daughter's precious baby books. The pages that hold their stats, milestone dates, memories and moments that mean the most to me? Time is fleeting, and it is so easy to forget those valuable moments, even when you think you'll remember something forever, somehow - the memories can fade. When I came across Artifact Uprising, I was so intrigued by the simple, timeless design of their books. They boast of high quality and are beautifully modern. They are designed with busy parents in mind, and when you order an Artifact Uprising book, like The Story of You shown below, it comes with everything you need to get started with storing those funny stories, stats from the doctor, and all sweet moments in between.

The ease of documenting the moments encourages us, or me a Mom, to document them along the way, instead of playing catchup in a couple years... or 18 before their graduation party. The book focuses on daily moments, and not just typical milestones. The prompts are open-ended, so it's okay if you can't remember a specific date something occurred on. When I look back on the moments I remember, it's not the date that's important, it's the memory and the way it made me feel. Proud, happy, sad, overcome with joy, loved.

With Artifact Uprising storing the timeless memories is easy and enjoyable. Document life everyday, and your child's everyday life effortlessly. Also, ordering the perfect size prints is simple on their website and they get shipped right to your door. With the book, prints, and the pen and adhesive strips, you're ready to get started upon delivery. It's also easy to keep the supplies right in the box, making it convenient when you want to jot something down instead of trying to find everything you might need to get started. As my girls get older, I would love to involve them in documenting their baby books. Like my girls, the books are truly a treasure. One that will be cherished and enjoyed for generations to come.

To receive 10% off your purchase, use the coupon code, THESTORYOFYOU10 
*offer expires 10/31/2017

Love the photos on such high quality cardstock.

Reading over the sweet pages. 

A few details:
  • The Story of You baby book is the first product from Artifact Uprising that is customizable after purchase.
  • The book is bound with 4 mental rings, making it easy to change the order or remove certain pages.
  • Includes print credit for your first set of Everyday Prints (1 set is 25 prints).
  • Upload prints via the mobile app, and get them delivered to your door. Your phone is a great way to take photos and document throughout the day.
  • 100 pages, 50 individually sheets
  • Premium fabric cover
  • Holds 47 everyday prints
  • Available in four colors 

To receive 10% off your purchase, use the coupon code, THESTORYOFYOU10 

*offer expires 10/31/2017

Preschool Thoughts

Leading up to the first day.. 

Where in the world has the last 4 years gone? Leading up to the start of the school year I had major anxiety. I over thought and processed every little detail, the thoughts of Hadley in school kept me up at night. 

Would her teachers like her? Would the other kids like her? Would she keep her shoes on the whole time? Would she know how to ask for help? Would she be able to open everything in her lunch? Would she freak out if she got her clothes dirty? Would she be kind to others? Have we done enough to prepare her for this? Will she like it?

So many thoughts. So many questions and uncertainty. I don't think Hadley is sheltered, I think she is pretty independent and well-rounded, but she is our first child, so I think it's completely natural to wonder and worry about new experiences as she gets older. The questions were about her.. but most of them circled back to me, analyzing what all I have done as her mother. For years I have said the best compliment someone can give me is complimenting my child. I want to be the best, for her. I want to teach her, prepare her, love her, and set up her up for success in anyway that I can. And in a selfish way, I want to know that I've done enough too.

As the time drew nearer, Hadley grew more excited. She asked daily if it was time to go to preschool yet. We attended parent night and tears welled up in my eyes as excitement and nerves ran through my body. I signed up for every possible volunteer opportunity. Kory laughed at me as I even put my name on the substitute teacher list (LOL, what was I thinking??). A few days later we went to the ice cream social. That morning Hadley woke up saying, "is it time to meet my teachers yet?" She's a caring little girl with a big heart. She loves new adventure but doesn't like trying new foods. She's a natural caretaker, wanting to care for others and babies. She can be shy for the first 30 seconds and then she'll talk your ear off. She's funny, she's a collector and would save pieces of lint if I let her. I could go on and on about her, because to me she is so wonderfully crafted by God, perfect in his eyes (and mine, for now). Some of these things I wrote in her packet, when they asked what was her personality like, what soothes her, what are her best characteristics, etc. Even filling that out made me cry.

F I R S T    D A Y !

Three days later it was the big day! I had the hardest time falling asleep the night before, it was almost like Christmas Eve minus the gifts. Hadley ate breakfast and I let her pick out her clothes, she picked a pink dress... surprise, surprise? We took photos on the front porch and she screamed out in giddiness, she was READY! Kory was able to go with us to the school, but we drove separately as he had to go right to work (it was actually his busiest day of the year). On the way there we prayed, and I reminded Hadley to be kind to others, to share, and to have fun! She said, "I know, Mom!" 

We walked her in, hand in hand, and she reminded us where her hook was. We walked to her classroom where her eyes lit up with wonder. We walked around with her, and she ran straight to the reading corner. She was rolling around on the rug and fluffy pillows in no time, and we were laughing hysterically. We pointed out where the bathroom was, and reminded her to just ask her teachers if she needed anything. We hung around for a few minutes, I watched as other children cried and clung to their parents legs (Michelle, I heart you!) and my heartstrings were pulled. Gosh that can't be easy for anyone, and I give major kudos to the parents who have to walk away while their child is upset, YOU are strong. 

Home girl didn't seem phased at all about us leaving and somehow, I felt good and completely heartbroken at the same time. Part of me wanted to know she still needed me, and the other part of me was so absolutely proud of her confidence. We said good-bye and walked out the door, and one of Hadley's teacher's handed us a little ziplock bag. We walked down the hallway and I threw my sunglasses on, Kory read the baggy and the tears came. 

It's funny how quickly my feelings changed. I sat in the car for probably 5 minutes looking through photos, wondering if I should just sit in the parking lot for the next two and half hours (joking, of course). The first day was a short one, not the usual 4 hours. However, the tears stopped and I drove away and within 10 minutes, I felt this weird sense of freedom. Am I awful for saying that? I still had Rowen in the car but I felt good! Like huh, I can do this and I can ENJOY it! It was so strange and kind of funny. I knew school would be good for her, she's at an age where structure and activities will be rewarding. What I didn't realize is that it would be good for me too!

When I picked her up she kind of looked like she was in a daze, and then quickly began yelling, "Mama, Mama!" We drove home and I asked her 20 questions. When I asked her what her favorite part of the day was she replied, "my favorite part is when you come to get me!" Which made me cry again haha. Despite that comment, she loved pouring her own water at snack time, singing frozen on the stage outside, and playing with her new friends.

Hadley's first full day (9am-1pm) went smoothly. The night before I had her practice opening her lunch box and the tupperware inside. I have become that Mom, and I'm not even ashamed to say it. I thought she would be exhuasted when I picked her up. I thought wrong! She was so lively & goofy. With the time she was at school I ran a couple errands and knocked out my to-do list for the day. Cleaned out the garage... now both cars fit! Did the dishes, some laundry, normal picking up, and watched my robotic vaccum clean the floors for me while I made & devoured nachos. It was a good morning and a great afternoon. I felt like I really got to enjoy my time with Hadley in the afternoon because house work was done! I'm not saying every room was cleaned or all the laundry was done, but for that day it was enough. I think preschool is going to give me a new sense of balance that I didn't know I was missing. Is that strange? 

A Week In

It's been a week now and Hadley's has had one half day and two full days. I think she wishes she could go to school everyday, she loves it that much! On the third day she was chosen to be the class helper for the day, she was so excited to tell Kory & I about ringing the bell, feeding the fish, sitting on the yellow star, and more. We are so excited to watch her grow this year with the help of her amazing teachers. She is so special to us and we know that God has amazing things in store for her! Now if I could just figure out what to do with Rowen during the 8 hours a week Hadley is gone.. 🙉 Ro, where's Hadley at? She grabbed Toffee (the dog that Hadley sleeps with EVERY night) and went to the door! 

Hadley's Thoughts + Photos from her teachers!

"Well I would say, I'm ah prised (surprised) to see my teachers. I would say that. Well, you know what I love in preschool, I love the pillows! They are soft in there. Know what my favorite part is? When you come to get me!"