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Newborn Must Haves

Per request, I’ve finally gotten around to making my newborn must have list. Before we jump right in, I know blogging has been a little slow here lately but I think we’ve finally gotten a little settled into new parent life & the move & hope to start blogging more again soon.

Without further ado, here you have it!

My Newborn Must Haves:

  • Baby monitor with camera. Even though our LO isn’t sleeping in his own room yet, this has came in handy for nap times. The one we purchased, Snug Baby Monitor, also includes a free app so you can see baby via iPhone or Samsung device. In addition to that, it also detects motion & audio. You can find that here: https://www.amazon.com/Snug-Baby-Monitor-v2-Samsung/dp/B01E8BZH4K/ref=sr_1_1_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1499006387&sr=8-1&keywords=snug+cam+baby+monitor
  • A STOCKPILE of wipes!!!! I had a surplus put back before Elijah was born & I am soooooo thankful I did because, in just 5 weeks, I cannot believe how many we’ve gone through already!
  • Butt paste. Yep, butt paste 😀 This stuff will save your life & works a million times better than A&D, or Destin (in our opinion anyway) https://www.amazon.com/Boudreauxs-Butt-Paste-Ointment-Strength/dp/B00569GU18/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1499006649&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=butt+paste&psc=1
  • If you have a son & opted to have a circumcision, Vasoline. We found the one in the squeeze tube handy.
  • My Little Lamb vibrating seat. We were lucky enough to get a bunch of hand-me-downs from my sister & this was one of them. It’s the only thing we could sit little man in those first few weeks. https://www.amazon.com/Fisher-Price-Little-Lamb-Infant-Seat/dp/B001GQ2RUS/ref=sr_1_1_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1499006759&sr=8-1&keywords=my+little+lamb+seat+fisher+price
  • Baby swing. I’d been told by several parents this was a must have for them & I can definitely see why! It’s a great nap tool & seems to entertain Elijah while I get my pump on 😀 We went with a cheaper one since my sister already had one for him to use & got the Graco Simple Sway Baby Swing. It seems to work well & the only criticism I have is that the mobile doesn’t move /: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00PTL15D6/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
  • Wubanubs. Not only are these things adorable, they’re also very helpful in helping baby not lose pacis. Eli also likes to cuddle his. Here is one of the ones we have: https://www.amazon.com/WubbaNub-25581-Infant-Pacifier-Giraffe/dp/B003CK3LDI/ref=sr_1_2_s_it?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1499007081&sr=1-2&keywords=wubanubs He also has a bull that seems to be his favorite 🙂
  • LOTS of onesies!!!! Because s*!* happens, as does vomit & pee 😀
  • ALL THE RECEIVING BLANKETS, ALL OF THEM!!!!!!! You can literally never have enough, because, read the above again
  • Baby gowns. I found incredibly helpful for nighttime changing since all you have to do is pull up the gown & avoid dealing with pulling baby’s legs out of bottoms & then putting said bottoms back on again
  • Baby Wrap. I bought two of these, the Baby K’Tan & Solly Wrap. While I haven’t had the opportunity to use the Solly yet, I can say the Baby K’Tan is very easy to figure out (much more so than the Solly was for me-which is one reason I haven’t used it yet). https://www.amazon.com/Baby-Ktan-Original-Carrier-Black/dp/B000UYFULU/ref=sr_1_1_s_it?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1499007394&sr=1-1&keywords=baby+k%27tan+wrap    http://sollybaby.com
  • Dockatot. We bought this for its, “womb like design,” that helps baby sleep easier & makes them feel safe. It has worked well for our guy & the fact that you can easily carry it & transport it when sleeping away for home is also so handy. We went with this one: https://www.amazon.com/DockATot-Deluxe-Dock-Silver-Lining/dp/B06XH2QHR6/ref=sr_1_3_s_it?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1499007484&sr=1-3&keywords=dockatot
  • A rocking chair
  • Lamp/nightlight for nursery. While I’d originally gotten one for decor more than anything else, I was so happy I did when we started using it every night. It was a much better solution than turning on the bright overhead light that stirred baby up.
  • Blackout Curtains. I used the design your own tool feature from Carosel Designs &, for any curtains you purchase through them, for a little extra, your curtains can be upgraded to blackout option. This helps for naps & nighttime in maintaining a dark environment
  • If you’re breastfeeding: a breast pump, lanolin nipple cream, hands free pumping bra, breastfeeding friendly bottles, bottle brush, & nursing pads. We use Medela for all except the bottles, we decided to go with Avent & LO doesn’t seem to have an issue in transitioning between breast & bottle
  • I would also venture to say a dishwasher is on my list of newborn must haves because of all the bottles &, if you’re breastfeeding, the pump parts, gone through in a given day
  • Diaper Bag. I LOVE the gigantic Skip Hop one I got from Babies R US. It has two huge compartments for baby, with two inner pockets for diapers & creams, a changing table cover that slides in the backside of the bag, & also includes one smaller compartment for mom that has a cell phone & sun glasses holder (ikr?!?!). While I wish it had a strap that came with it instead of just the handles, I have been very happy with it & love that it’s so fashionable
  • Stroller/car seat combo. I personally wanted a jogging stroller & love the one we got from Target: https://www.target.com/p/graco-174-fastaction-jogger-click-connect-xt-travel-system-coconut/-/A-16443578?regMode=REGST&registryId=42bce21a2b584d4098971c1be2f5aa3d&registryType=baby&itemLineNum=68&backLinkName=my%20registry&backLinkUrl=%2Fgift-registry%2Fmyitems%3FregistryId%3D42bce21a2b584d4098971c1be2f5aa3d%26registryType%3DBABY%26lnk%3Dacct_nav_registry&pageFrom=myitems
  • Window shade for baby (to use in car)
  • Mirror that attaches to the back of the headrest so you can see baby while driving

So, there you have it, those are my newborn must haves! I hope you found this list helpful 🙂

I hope everyone has a great 4th of July, thank you for continuing to follow along with us!!! 

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2017

I don’t really believe in resolutions anymore, I prefer mantras…it’s like a promise to oneself without the pressure of I MUST DO THIS IN  A YEAR! Or something we tend to forget about three months down the line.

I have a few for this year:

-Make it through childbirth without dying. That one would be good. lol

-Learn to #MomSoHard

-Become a breastfeeding rockstar

-In the midst of caring for a new tiny human & two fur babies, still find some time for myself & not leave self-care out of the mix

-Continue adventuring

-Oh, & kill some CEU’s so my license doesn’t die along the way

That about sums it up for me! What are some of your hopes/goals for 2017??

 

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2016

If I could describe it one sentence, I’d borrow a line from Dickens & say, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”


It is the year I lost my best friend in the entire world & everything feels so empty.
It is the year when, after a hellacious battle with infertility & losses, a healthy pregnancy came around & everything feels so full. 
It is a year filled with so much heartache that it is easy to overlook the good.
It was the year our dreams were dashed in the failure of IVF 2 & we were told that our chances of ever having children were slim to none but it was also the year we traveled to a city I’d never been to & knocked a few things off my Bucket List. New York, you are forever my favorite.
It was the year I unexpectedly had to say goodbye to my best friend & biggest supporter, my sweet mamaw. But it was also the year I managed to graduate with my MSW & go on to get my CSW. I know how proud she was of me for that. 
It was the year we thought we were finally done with infertility when we shockingly got a positive pregnancy test THE DAY we were going to see a new RE…only to miscarry a week later. But it was also the year that we, shortly after, got pregnant again with our rainbow baby that is growing away now. 
If anything, this year has taught me that, when things are really bad, it is so easy to overlook the good. 

& maybe, just maybe, things really do come to us when we need them the most. “Miracles happen…in God’s time.”

8

Places To See And Eat In New York

Saying New York is an amazing place to visit would be a complete & total understatement…so I’m not gonna say that. 😉 Instead, I’ll fill you in on a few tips & tricks for tackling the Big Apple.

We’ll start with a few obvious things:

  • Explore Time Square
  • See the statue of liberty & Ellis Island
  • Go to the top of The Empire State Building
  • See a Broadway show
  • Ride the subway & make a pit stop at Grand Central Station
  • Roam Central Park

Some notes about the above: block off a few hours over the course of two days to see Central Park. We allotted about an hour in two separate days to this & still didn’t see C.P. in its entirety. Another thing to know about C.P. is that you have to see the Alice In Wonderland statue if you drop by!!!! A friend told me about this &, being an avid Disney fan, of course we had to go! I was stunned at both the size & beauty of the statue.

Other photos from the beautiful Central Park:


  
  
  
  
  

As for the Statue of Liberty, if you’re going to go (& if you’re visiting N.Y. for the first time, let’s face it, you probably will), go early! I repeat, go early. This was told to us by the concierge at our hotel & boy was she right. We went around 11 & the boat was still packed. Also, if you want to go to the top of the statue, get your tickets for this MONTHS in advance!!!!! We were unable to do this as they were sold out while we were there. A friend of mine’s mother is there currently & got her tickets for this 6 months ahead of time. Another word of advice here: if you’re going to this attraction, you may as well drop by Ellis Island afterwards. As far as I know, there is no extra cost. Unfortunately for us, it started POURING as left the state of liberty so we had to skip out on this. 

   
    
   
The Empire State Building was a bit easier in the sense that you won’t have to worry about not getting tickets. It’s also worth the 2 elevator rides up! 

   
   
Another potentially obvious touristy thing to do while in New York is to ride the subway, at least once, & make a stop at Grand Central Station. 

   
    
    
   
On exploring Time Square, do his AS EARLY AS YOU CAN!!! Do I need to repeat myself?? The first time we walked this was in the evening & it was a mad house!!!! The walk time was dramatically increased & it felt overwhelming. When we walked around earlier in the day, however, this wasn’t an issue at all! 

    
    
    
    

  
 

Next up-the Broadway show! We saw Wicked, which I had dreamt of seeing since I read it in 8th, or 9th grade. Tickets can be a little pricey but totally worth the experience. Words of advice here: check with the concierge about tickets before paying full price for them!!!! We did this & got 2 tickets for the price of 1 when compared to the advertised price. Sure, we didn’t have the greatest seats but it was still worth it. 

  
Now for some potentially not so obvious hot spots:

-The Chelsea area! It’s more of an artsy less crowded part of NY. We walked the Chelsea Market & Highline, both of which I recommend.

   
    
    
    
    
    
 
-The Flatiron Building, my favorite Buikding in NYC!! 😍

   
 
-Frozen Smores!!! Mmmmmmm

   
    
    
 
Absolute delicious & also very neat to watch!

-Must eats: New York cheesecake & N.Y. pizza!!!! 🍰🍕

Also, Shake Shack is a very yummy burger place with several locations. I know what you’re thinking, what’s so special about burgers? Well, you’ll see 😍🍔🍟

  
-St. Patrick’s Cathedral

   
    
 
Absolutely breathtaking.

-This one may be a tad personal, but I very much enjoyed visiting the court house that’s featured on SVU…& keeping an eye out for filming crews simultaneously!

   
 
-The 9/11 memorial. 

    
 hThere are no words.

-The Museums are also best places to hit up! They also happen to be near Central Park so you can walk in over once you finish up there. We spent a little over an hour at the history museum and enjoyed that.  

    
    
 
Additional words of advice:

-If you’re going to take a bus tour, pay for 1 day only. My husband & I paid for 2 and got one free but, honestly, we both feel like we’d have been better off taking the tours one day & using the Subway the rest of the time. For one, the subway is A LOTTTT faster than the buses due to traffic. Two, the subway also ends up being a lot cheaper. 

-Don’t pay the hefty price for hotel breakfast!! At the hotel we were staying at, breakfast was going to be $20 a person. The concierge recommended a place nets by called Galaxy that was much cheaper & probably a lot more for our money than the hotel would’ve been. 

I hope you find our Nee York tips & tricks useful! 🙂 

   
 

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2016

  As this year is rapidly coming to a close & a new one is quickly approaching, I’ve been eyeing resolutions for the year ahead. 

But, before we can move forward, it is also important to look back. During my last therapy session, my therapist told me to grab a note pad, tossed her pen to me, & had me write down things I’d improved upon/given myself this year alone. 

The list is below:

-Stable life

-Eating (opposed to giving into my eating disorder)

-the ability to devour a Gigi’s cupcake, or some pancakes  if the desire hit

-BLOGGING 🙂

-Learning to share my feelings with others more openly

-Telling people when they do something that hurts me

-Setting boundaries with my family & others

-Becoming more conscious of being mindful

-Happiness. Real, raw happiness. Despite the hardships I’ve encountered this past year, there has also been a lot of happiness to be had as well. 

-the ability to, as Jouce Meyer says, “Do it afraid.”

Once I finished scribbling my list & read it to her, she told something. Something that is, to me, very profound. Smiling, she told me, “Keep the list..that is the greatest gift you could give to yourself this year.”

All too often, I feel like people strive for the next best material thing & neglect themselves in the process. Therapy is seen as a weakness, or an oddity to many. Selfcare is seen as selfish. Yet, having the newest iPhone, vehicle, & the like is something that must constantly be achieved…while, a few months later, none of them will continue to be enough. 

There is ALWAYS a new product. There are always new vehicles, cell phones, etc, etc. but there is only one you. There’s only one life to be had. 

A practice I plan on embracing more fully in this new year, & for the rest of my life, is to spend money on things that matter & make memories as opposed to spending money on materialistic things. I want to spend money on things that will serve me long after a 6 month time. I want to continue going to therapy & grow as a person. I want to travel more & spend less money on objects that will constantly need replacing. 

In addition to those goals, I also hope to step more into vulnerability. I want the capacity to express my emotions without fear. 

Apart from that, another huge goal I have for 2016 is to become a mommy. Scott & I have talked about it & if this next IVF doesn’t pan out, we do want to purse fostering to adopt. 

After nearly a straight year of being on fertility drugs, we’ve both grown tired of the physical effects these medications have on me. I never feel good. I’m always tired. I’m bloated. My life revolves around a strict scheduling of appointments each month. Pills to take. Shots to give. Suppositories to push up myself 3 times daily. I want to get back to LIVING my life!!!!!!! 

Does that mean we are giving up the pursuit of having a biological child as well? Absolutely not. I would be willing to try ONE MORE IVF maybe a year or so later. & I’d be open to an FET (frozen embryo transfer) if we have at least 1 more embryo to go with the single snow baby we already have in the freezer. But the constant fertility drug craze & depletion of my happiness-and let’s not forget our bank account-is not something I will miss. & I definitely don’t want to-let me rephrase that, can’t-go another straight year of doing this to myself. I am tired. In all of the ways one can be tired.

But I’m still excited for a New Year. I’m hopeful it will be a year filled with happiness, miracles, travel, growth, & wholesome memories for whatever family God allows us to have.

God bless & HAPOY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!! 🎉🎉❤️