What’s In My Diaper Bag


Baby day is getting closer and closer. We are only a couple of weeks away and he pretty much could make his entrance into the world anytime now. My hospital bag is packed, baby’s bag is packed, and now I’m turning my attention to my diaper bag. I’m so used to packing for a two-year old, I have to retrain my brain for packing for a newborn….they need so much stuff! I’m trying to pare down to the bare necessities since I need room for two. Luckily these days, Hollis doesn’t require too much stuff anymore. And to be honest, a lot of times I just pack her a bag with a few diapers, toys, snacks and an extra pair of pants that I just leave in the car and grab out what we need at the moment.

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For my bag, I have the Charlie bag from Timi and Leslie and I absolutely love it. I did a lot of research on diaper bags and even posted about it here. I love this bag because it holds a ton of stuff and has a lot big pockets inside that are easy to dig around in one-handed which is super important while holding a baby or wrangling a toddler. It comes with a changing pad, insulated bottle holder, stroller straps, and my favorite part is a wristlet for me to keep my phone, keys, and wallet all together and easy to grab. It’s also super cute and doesn’t look like a diaper bag, I get compliments on it all the time.

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Teething Toy/Distraction– These get switched out often, but I like to have something for baby to chew on like, Sophie the giraffe.  Hollis loves these Llama Llama books, and so do I. They are short and rhyme-y (is that a word?), Hollis has most of them memorized and she loves to bring them in the car when we go out somewhere.

Wet/Dry Bag– A wet/dry bag has saved me, and my nose, many times. Blowouts and wet pants always happen at the worst times, and usually in front of the most witness, so this thing is a lifesaver. My diaper bag came with one, but I like this one better. It’s a nice size and easy to throw in the wash.

Change of Clothes-For the same reason as above. I like to keep a set of seperates for quick changes. I also keep a pair of pants for Hollis in the car and not in my diaper bag.

Blanket– Always handy to have an extra one of these. Besides the obvious, I’ve used it as a window shade in the car and as an impromptu nursing cover when I forget mine.

Diaper Ointment/Lotion-I like Burt’s Bees in general, and I really like the size of this ointment and lotion for the diaper bag.

Sunscreen– I keep a bigger bottle of sunscreen and bug repellent in the car, but this tiny roll-on stick is great for the diaper bag. I like Aveeno and Babyganics.

My Bag– This wristlet came with my diaper bag and I love it. It’s so nice to have all my important things, (phone, keys, wallet, lip balm) all in one spot that is easy to grab or take in to a store alone without the big bag.

Portable Potty SeatThis one we haven’t gotten to use yet, so I don’t know if we like it or not, but I love the idea of it! Hollis is not potty trained yet, but we are working on it. I’ve taken a step back from it for now because the new baby is coming and I have a feeling she will regress when the baby gets here. So we will focus more on it in a couple months. I started carrying this guy around with me just in case she feels the urge to try to use a big potty away from home. Anyone used one?

Diapers and Wipes– Duh.

Bottle– We tried a few different brands of bottles including the ones that came with my breast pump, but we didn’t have any luck until we tried these Dr. Brown bottles. Hollis would get really gassy and spit up a lot, but the problems pretty much subsided when we switched to these.

Sippy Cup– We also went through a few of these before we found ones we really liked. I love these Nuby sippy cups because they have a straw so that you don’t have to tip the cups up to drink. It made for an easy transition to regular cups with straws when we go out to eat. I also like that they close and are spill proof.

Snacks– Snacks are a must. I don’t know where my tiny two year old puts these snacks, but she goes through them so fast. As soon as she’s done with one snack, she’s asking me for another one. She goes through so many that I keep a bag of just snacks in the car for emergencies and just pull out a few for the diaper bag when needed. I love these pouches because they are so portable and require no utensils.

Bibs– I love these Baby Bandana Bibs because they are super soft and just feel more stylish than regular bibs. They are cute without being too cutesy, if that makes sense. They come in really great patterns and colors so they are cute enough to leave on all day as a drool-catcher for when baby is teething. I also love that they have two snaps to adjust for baby as they grow.

Not pictured: nursing cover, wrap baby carrier, granola bar and bottle of water for me (These things usually get left in the car and thrown in the diaper bag as needed.)

What are your must-haves for the diaper bag? How do you fit two or more kiddos worth of stuff in there?

Well This Is Embarrassing…

Have you ever lived with something for so long that you forgot how much you disliked it until you saw a photo of it? This is how I feel about our stairway and landing. (This is also how I feel every time I see a picture of myself ;)) I walk through this room every day, multiple times a day, but I guess I must do so with blinders on.

I didn’t notice how bad things were looking until we set our Christmas tree up in this room and I went to take some pics of it. I never posted them because I was so embarrassed at how the the rest of the room looks. We only have two rooms of paneling left that have not been painted and this is one of them. The office is the other one, and I planned to paint it first, but now I’m thinking I should tackle this room first.

Here is how it’s looking right now….it really hasn’t changed much since we moved in.

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The time of day/sunlight determines just how orange it is in here. Please notice all of my mismatching window treatments or lack of any treatments on a certain window that is out of my reach.

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This shot of the stairs helps explain why I haven’t tackled the painting yet. I am going to have to find a ladder that will allow me to reach the walls along the staircase. And since being pregnant, I’ve had to cross tall ladder projects off my to-do list.

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As you can see, I’m using this area as storage for baby clothes currently until I get little man’s closet redone. The large white cabinet houses my crafting stuff and sewing machine. It will most likely have to stay here (I don’t have anywhere else for it yet…) and I’d like to get rid of the totes and dollhouse and add a small table or desk where I can draw/sew/craft.

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My next issue is the rugs. This ivory rug came with the house and the rug at the bottom of the stairs is just a $20 Ikea rug that I had and threw in there. I’d like to replace both of them. The problem with the one upstairs is that the size of it doesn’t seem right to me in this space, but I can’t figure out what size would be better. The room is kind of a fat, L-shape and I can’t decide if two runners would be better (in an L-shape), or one runner down the larger part of the room,  or if I should replace this area rug with a smaller sized rug that can be centered better.

I also don’t know what color to paint in here. I keep going back and forth between a bright, cheery color, or a nice neutral color. Either way I want something that will highlight all the wood trim. I’m leaning towards the neutral options because painting in here is going to be a pain and I want something I will love for a looooong time. Since I can’t decide,  I think I’m going to shop for rugs first and then choose my wall color based on that. I want the rug upstairs to feel cohesive to the rug downstairs, but I don’t want them to be an exact match.

Here are some rugs I’ve been looking at:

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 Apparently I’m subconsciously drawn to greens and blues. I like the idea of the rugs having some color in them, especially if I do a neutral wall color. I’m surprised at how much love #5 for upstairs. I think it would look so nice with the kelly green and navy blue bedrooms in that hallway. Actually, the more I think about it, I think it would look really nice downstairs too with all the dark wood. Of course it’s the most expensive option. I don’t want to spend a fortune on these guys since I’m having to buy at least two rugs.

Any thoughts or advice on wall color or rugs?! I’m open to any and all suggestions at this point!

 

Baby Stuff We Loved So Much We’re Using It Again

Since I’m about to have this baby, and I’m not really able to do many projects, I thought I’d do a little post of my favorite baby things that we really, really used the first time around and that we plan to use again with baby number two. There is so much baby stuff out there these days, and we found some of it unnecessary. I’m focusing this list on mainly newborn baby needs. It’s funny to see all the lists of what you need for baby on different sites, because every baby is so different, they like different things and respond to things so differently. So this list is what worked for us for baby number one. It will be interesting to see if baby number two likes these same things too.

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  1. Boppy Nursing Pillow. I was advised to bring this with me to the hospital when baby was born….I did not listen. I didn’t think I would really need/want it there. I thought it would just be one more thing to haul with us, but I will be bringing it this time for sure. I didn’t consider just how tired and weak I would be after a c-section, and this pillow would have made supporting baby while nursing so much easier. Other than feeding, we used this as a baby lounger. I loved that I could put it in the middle of our bed, or on the floor and Hollis could be propped up enough to look around and play with her toys or drink a bottle.
  2. Wearable blanket/swaddle. We were given one of these at the hospital and we loved it immediately. Hollis wasn’t crazy about being swaddled with a blanket unless it was nice and tight, but she loved this thing and it was really easy to adjust for tightness. I felt safe with her sleeping in it and I liked not having to worry if she kicked off her blanket and was cold.
  3. Two-piece outfits. These little seperates were so handy for us. In case you didn’t know, babies spit up and poop….a lot. Our baby rarely did both at the same time, so I loved being able to swap out just her top or bottom and not having to completely undress her. It also made it really easy to peek inside her diaper and change her while she was asleep. I would suggest buying several of these in similar colors so you can easily mix and match them.
  4. Boon Lawn Drying Rack. I know a drying rack is a drying rack. But I liked this one because it was cute and if it’s going to be out on your counter all the time, then it might as well be cute right? We still use this daily. We used it for bottles, toys, teething rings and these days we use it for sippy cups, tupperware, and little plates and bowls.
  5. Pack ‘N Play. We registered for this because we wanted it for traveling mostly. Once we got it, we decided to use it in our bedroom instead of moving the crib in there or using a traditional bassinet. Once we moved to this house, which is a two-story, we set it up on the first floor as a diaper changing station and place for baby to nap. That is what we are doing with it this time around too. It was so nice to have a place to change a diaper without having to take baby upstairs, especially when it was an emergency blowout. When Hollis was older, we removed the bassinet and changing table and she used it as a playpen or napped in it when we were downstairs.
  6. Rock ‘N Play. This is one of the things I did not register for, but got at my baby shower. It is one of the most used things from when Hollis was a baby. I love how lightweight and portable it is. This went with us anytime we traveled, because it was so compact, easy to set up and Hollis loved sleeping in it. I could move her into the kitchen while I cooked dinner, or take her to whatever room I was in easily. When we first brought her home from the hospital, she slept in this right next to my bed which made getting up with her at night and nursing a lot easier.
  7. Bumbo Seat. This one isn’t for newborns, but more for three months or when baby can hold their head up well on their own. Hollis loved this thing. She was a very alert baby and was much happier when she was propped up where she could check everything out. I loved it because I could set her in whatever room I was in and do chores or projects and she could sit there and play or eat and watch me and whatever I was doing.
  8. K’tan Wrap. There are tons of great wraps on the market right now, this is just the one I used. I admit, I found it a little intimidating at first, but once I got the hang of it I really loved it. There were days when I would not have gotten anything done without this thing. I loved being able to snuggle with my baby while getting things done around the house like laundry, or vacuuming, or making myself some lunch. I also liked it when I was getting groceries because I hated that her car seat took up so much room in the cart….and strangers couldn’t come up and touch her or breathe all over her.

Do you have any baby items that you just could NOT live without? Or loved so much you would use with baby number two?

Nesting 101

Nesting is real folks and it is in FULL FORCE over here. I don’t remember nesting so much when Hollis was born, as much as just generally freaking out and feeling lost as far as what I really needed and how to organize it. This time around, I feel so much more need to prepare because I know what to expect and what I really need and don’t need.

I had a c-section the first time around (and plan to have one this time around too) and while I was recovering (ie. stuck on the couch or in bed) I noticed ALL the things I wish I had thought to do before the baby was born and realized just how unprepared I really was. This time around, I’m getting all that stuff done NOW. Here is a little list  of all the things I’m getting done to make life after baby easier!

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  1. Organize…..EVERYTHING

I know how much a newborn consumes your time and attention, leaving very little time for nagging chores like crowded cabinets and closets. I have gone through closet after closet, just purging crap we don’t need/use and trying to find real homes for things instead of temporary homes to get them out of my sight. I’ve reorganized half the kitchen, still have half to go. I have rearranged furniture, swapped out decor, and generally debated the perfect spot for things at least a billion times and mostly come to the conclusion that the object was already in the perfect spot…

2. Make Ahead Meals

This is a big one. With baby number 1 we lived in a town with lots of friends and family and…..help. We were lucky enough to get meals delivered to us in exchange for baby cuddles. We also lived in a big city with every kind of fast food within about a 5-10 mile radius. This time around, we live out in the country where cows are our closest neighbors. And if I don’t feel up to making dinner, it’s a good 20-30 minutes to the closet fast food. So I decided it would be in our best interest, you know if we want to not starve, to make some freezer meals that we can easily pull out and heat up. I have a pretty good start so far, but I have a lot to go before this baby gets here. I want that freezer full!

3. Baby Clothes

We are so lucky to have hand me downs from Hollis’ cousins! Hollis has gotten a ton of awesome hand me downs from her cousin Ella and now baby boy is getting a ton from his cousin Noah. I am SO grateful that their mom and dad were nice enough to save those clothes and share them with us. I am trying to save as many clothes as I can, so I can pass them along too. This time around, the organizing of clothes has been much easier. I have a much better idea of how quickly a newborn grows and what items we really liked and used and when. I’ve also learned that not all baby clothes are sized the same. And that just because my baby is 3 months old, it does not mean that they will be in a 3 month size. I have everything organized in totes in 6 month increments up to 2T and then in 1 year increments.

4. Cleaning

I don’t mean general, weekly cleaning. Like vacuuming, dusting, etc. I mean the more random stuff, like washing our pillows and comforters. Cleaning the oven, dishwasher, and fridge. And of course, cleaning baby stuff: my pump, bottles, clothes, toys, covers on the car seat, swing, pack ‘n play, Boppy etc. My dishwasher and washer and dryer are definitely getting a good work out!

 

Concrete Tile

 

 

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I don’t know about you, but I’ve been seeing concrete tile pop up everywhere these days. If you watch HGTV, then you probably know what I mean. I know Joanna Gaines has used them a few times on Fixer Upper, and I love her even more for it.

Concrete tiles are nothing new, but they seem to have gained a lot of popularity lately and I can definitely see why. They are very versitle. They can be used inside or outside, as flooring, on walls, fireplace facades, exterior facades, backsplashes, in showers, on patios, etc. Concrete tiles are durable, long-lasting, can handle heavy foot traffic, and if sealed right, can resist stains and moisture. My favorite thing about them is that they are budget-friendly and come in so many different colors and pattern variations. The possibilities are endless. Here is a round-up of my fave tiles I’ve seen so far.

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I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m actually sad we don’t have a big tile project to tackle….although, our shower needs to be remodeled one of these days so maybe I can use some of these concrete tiles in it!

2016

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I love a new year. I like the idea of a fresh start and a new beginning. It feels especially fitting now since our lives will be changing drastically after baby number two gets here next month. For me January is when I do my “Spring cleaning”. I do a big purge of each room of the house; clothes, toys, kitchen utensils, etc. All that, plus being in my eighth month of pregnancy and in serious nesting mode, you can imagine my poor husband’s confusion each day when he gets home and everything has moved to a new home.

No crazy resolutions this year for me. The best part of being pregnant over New Year’s is that I don’t have any crazy new diet to start this week. I can can enjoy watching my facebook and instagram friends post workout selfies and check-in at the gym for the month of January….and then watch them all regress back to their normal behavior around mid February (I’m guilty of that myself). And while I have plenty of baby weight to lose this year, I have much more realistic expectations than I did with my first pregnancy. So here is to 2016 and making some resolutions that I can actually keep!

Resolutions for 2016:

  • Be present. Live in the moment and soak everything in. All the toddler “I love yous” accompanied by a sticky kiss. All the baby smells of this soon-to-be newborn. All the hugs, kisses and hand holding from the hubby. Because you never know when it will all end.
  • Be Healthy. Eat better, make smarter food choices. Get some kind of workout routine in place. Carve out time specifically for taking care of myself and working out.
  • Journal more. I used to journal all the time, but life has taken over and I find myself missing it so much. I also want to start a journal for each of my kiddos. Keep track of the sweet (and not so sweet) things they like to do at the moment. I want to remember all the cute things my toddler says and mispronounces, because they will soon be forgotten when she grows out of this toddler phase.