High Five for Friday

Happy Friday, y’all.  Here’s what is making me happy today:

1.  Cloth Diapers hanging out to dry.

I usually don’t like doing laundry at all (well actually, I’m fine with everything but the folding and putting away part) but for whatever reason I really enjoy doing the cloth diaper laundry.  It’s not nearly as complicated as I expected.  I prefer to let them air dry outside if the weather is nice because the sun does a great job bleaching out stains.

cloth diapers

2.  Our garden.

Michael got our garden planted this week.  I’m looking forward to having fresh herbs and veggies!

garden

3.  Babywearing.

I love wearing Hudson.  It gives us lots of nice snuggles, it allows my hands to be free to do other things, and it’s much more convenient than lugging his big carseat around or hauling out the stroller.  I have a Moby Wrap, and Ergo, and a Mei Tei and I love them each for different purposes.  I’m also part of a local babywearing group and each month we get together where everyone brings their carriers so you can try different things.  I’m giving Ring Slings a go this month and borrowing one to try out.  So far it’s not my favorite and I much prefer my other carriers, but I’m going to keep trying it and maybe it will grow on me (although in retrospect maybe that’s not such a good idea…if I start to love it then I’m going to want to buy one!)

ring sling

4.  My monthly YL essential oils order.

It’s like Christmas every month!  All kinds of goodies – oils, toothpaste, snack bars, cough drops, supplements, and more

Young Living essential rewards order

 

5.  This guy.

Really, could be be any cuter?  He has outgrown his smallest swaddles and is breaking out of them during his naps.  I keep coming in to find him waving his little arms around (kinda cute after a nap, not so cool at 4:00 in the morning when he wakes us all up…we will be finding a better swaddle before bed tonight, I’m just saying…)

swaddle

Oh and don’t forget that today is the last day to enter my giveaway…so chop, chop!

Enjoy your weekend friends!

Linking up with Lauren

keeping up with baby milestones

I have a super simple tip to share today on how I keep up with Hudson’s milestones and other important information – I just write it down in my planner/calendar!

We have a baby book that I update each month, but for the day to day things I’ve found that jotting them down in my planner works best for me.  I usually have it sitting out all the time so it’s easy to grab a pen and make a quick note.

tracking your baby's milestones in your planner

I’ve shared about my Erin Condren planner before.  Obviously the way I use it now is a little different than how I used to use it (now that meals are fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants and blog posts happen whenever I get a spare moment) but having all that space to write memories is wonderful.  I use the bottom section of the day (each day is broken into three sections) to record Hudson-related things.  I don’t write something every single day, but I try to stay on top of the big stuff (and little stuff) so that I don’t forget.

Some things that I try to record:

- firsts (first smile, first coo, first cloth diaper, first time we went to church, first solo outing, etc.)

- abnormalities or medical issues (lots of sleeping or lots of nursing, possible growth spurts, unusual behavior, rashes, fever, height and weight at doctor appointments, etc.)

- other (hours slept, people who came to visit, anything else notable)

Having a place to jot that stuff down quickly is a wonderful way for me to remember all the little milestones.  Later I can go back and use that information write his monthly blog posts or fill out his baby book.  It’s also fun to look back and remember those moments or just marvel at how much he has changed already.

How do you keep up with things for your kiddos?

What’s in your oily go-bag? (plus a giveaway!)

young living essential oils first aid kit

A few weeks ago when I first posted about my journey into essential oils I showed a picture of my oily “go-bag” – a little bag that perfectly fits my Young Living essential oils (the small ones that come in the starter kit).  I have gotten tons of questions about where I got my back and it appears to be quite popular.  Soooo….

I found another and I’m giving it away to one of you lucky readers!  Hooray! (just the bag, not the oils in it fyi…)

Let’s talk about the oils that I keep with me all the time.  I no longer carry a purse and just use my diaper bag for Hudson’s stuff and my stuff.  As much as I’d love to carry all of my oils with me, that’s just not possible (I already carry enough stuff for a small army as it is…) so I narrowed it down to nine ten items that I think cover the majority of our needs while out and about.

carrying case for Young Living essential oils

In my actual cute little pouch that everyone loved so much (which is actually a bead organizer from the jewelry section at Hobby Lobby, but unfortunately is no longer sold there…good thing I snagged one for you, huh?) I keep lavender, Thieves, Stress Away, Purification, peppermint, and Deep Relief.

lavender

1. Lavender.  Lavender is the “Swiss Army Knife” of essential oils.  It is good for so many things and when in doubt I try lavender.  Lavender is a natural anti-histamine so it’s fantastic for allergies and Michael deals with a lot of allergy issues so I keep it on hand for him.  It’s very gentle and great for cuts and scrapes.  The other day I had neglected to file Hudson’s fingernails (bad Mommy!  And yes, I’m too scared to clip them so I use a nail file…) and he had scratched his face in several places.  I rubbed a little lavender on each spot and they healed up very quickly!

Another story is that awhile ago I stubbed my toe and while it hurt like a stubbed toe usually does, it wasn’t so excruciating that I thought anything was very wrong…until I looked down and there was a little puddle of blood on the floor under my foot.  It had pulled the toenail back and started bleeding significantly.  I put a drop of lavender on it and covered it with a bandaid because I didn’t want to look at it or deal with it yet.  The bleeding stopped almost immediately and the nail fell off on it’s own a few days later.  I didn’t have to do anything else to it!

thieves

2.  Thieves.  This is probably my number one favorite oil (well it’s actually an oil blend, but you know what I mean) because of its amazing germ fighting properties.  I have a homemade germ-away cream that I made with Thieves and some other wonderful EOs that I put on Hudson’s feet before we leave the house but sometimes I forget so when I do I just rub Thieves straight on his feet.  It is a hot oil so I only use it on his feet, but it doesn’t seem to bother him at all (I’ve been using it on him since the day we brought him home from the hospital).

Michael frequently gets these very painful canker sores/ulcer things in his mouth.  He hasn’t had any since we switched to Thieves toothpaste (a natural toothpaste that Young Living carries) but he also hadn’t bit his lip recently and they usually pop up after he accidentally bites the inside of his mouth.  This weekend though he did bite down hard on his mouth one day so I immediately had him put a drop of Thieves on the spot.  Guess what…no mouth sores!!  It’s been several days since then and he has had no problem at all with that spot.  Given his track record that is pretty incredible!

stress away

3.  Stress Away.  Stress Away is another oil blend that I adore.  It smells wonderful and is very calming.  When Hudson was first born I got very anxious about taking him out; just the thought of him screaming in his car seat, trying to get places on time, the germs he’d be exposed to out in public, the amount of stuff you have to haul around, feeding him if he got hungry (because breastfeeding was such a nightmare for me at first that was not as easy it might have been otherwise), etc.  I started rubbing Stress Away on my wrists and the back of my neck and it really helped me feel more grounded and less anxious.  I now use it basically as perfume and put it on every time we go out.  In addition to it helping me relax, it has copaiba in it which is highly anti-inflammatory so it’s great for pain or cuts.  After Hudson scratched his face and I applied lavender to help with healing I also put some Stress Away on the areas because the copaiba helped the redness go down.

purification

4.  Purification.  Another great blend that is very versatile.  It is very cleansing and purifying (as it’s name suggests).  This one is perfect for cleaning cuts and scrapes.  One of the oils in Purification is lemongrass and lemongrass is actually the most effective single essential oil for killing MRSA (note, though, that is you have a MRSA problem R.C. is the best blend to use for that…I’m not dealing with or anticipating a MRSA problem so the Purification is plenty good enough for me just to cleanse a cut just in case…but if that ever did come up I’d use R.C.).  Purification is also excellent as a bug repellant and on bug bites.  I am planning to make homemade bug spray using Purification, but if I forget the spray and we need some protection I can also just rub on a little Purification.

I’ve used Purification on infected hangnails with great success.  It’s also good for sore throats, coughing, and to get rid of stink (so perfect for when you’re out and about and encounter something stinky…like the salmon smell in my car from our to go meal at supper last night)

peppermint

5.  Peppermint.  I feel like a broken record, but this is another very versatile oil.  Honestly, all the oils are and can be used for many, many things.  Peppermint is good for tummy issues like gas, reflux, and nausea.  It’s great as a pick-me-up when you’re feeling tired (like driving on long trips).  It can help with congestion and headaches and is just energizing in general.

deep relief

6.  Deep Relief.  This oil blend is available in a roll on and is fantastic for all types of pain.  This is my oil of choice if I have a headache.  Our little man hates the car and his car seat so long car rides often result in a headache.  Rolling Deep Relief on my temples and the base of my neck (and also on my jawline, I seem to hold a lot of tension there) will usually get rid of a headache in 10-15 minutes.

In addition to the six oils that I carry in my case, I have a few more that I keep elsewhere in the diaper bag.

Thieves hand purifier

7.  Thieves hand purifier.  I have been anti-hand sanitizer for a long time.  I think it stinks and I can’t stand to smell that when I’m trying to eat, I’m not a big germophobe, I tend to feel like being exposed to germs and such builds our immune systems, and I don’t prefer to use all the chemicals in hand sanitizer.  However, now that Hudson is here I am a little more cautious about germs.  For one, I’m changing frequent diapers and not always near a sink to wash up.  And two, I’m constantly touching him and I really don’t prefer to rub the nasty germs from the cart at Kroger all over him.

All that to say, I’m happy to have found a natural alternative with the Thieves hand purifier.  It’s much more moisturizing, smells great, and I have no concerns that it is going to have harmful ingredients.

Thieves spray

8.  Thieves spray.  This is technically for cleaning/sanitizing, but because of the safeness of the ingredients used in this spray it is safe to ingest, too.  In fact, many people (us included) use it for sore throats.  The day I got Michael came down with a nasty sinus infection, so he carried it with him for a week or two to use on his throat.  I now carry it in the diaper bag and my main use for it is to clean off Hudson’s pacis.

Like I said before, I’m not a big worrier about germs and the majority of the time if he drops his paci I just pick it up and pop it back in his mouth.  However, there are some places and instances that even I think are too gross.  I carry the spray with me and I’ll squirt his paci with it and let it dry.

Thieves spray is also perfect for spraying down public toilets, door handles, shopping carts, etc. if you are so inclined.  I like to use it to spray the straps on Hudson’s carseat or his little play gym area if it gets nasty (which it does often since he’s a big spitter-upper)

Yes…you may have picked up on the fact that I keep Thieves oil, Thieves hand purifier, and Thieves spray.  I know that seems a bit excessive but even though I could use one of those three for most of the things I mentioned I prefer them each for different uses.  It’s just how I roll.

digize

9.  DiGize.  This is a recent addition to the diaper bag.  It sadly doesn’t fit in my cute little carrying case but it’s one I always want to have with me so I stuck it down in one of the pockets. DiGize sounds exactly like what it is good for – Digestion.  I won’t lie, it’s a pretty stinky blend, but it’s worth it to us.  This is great for tummy troubles (yes, I said that about peppermint, too, but this is even more effective for certain things).  Hudson has lots of gas issues and using DiGize makes a big difference in his gas.  Also, in the past few weeks he has started only pooping every 2-3 days.  I know people say that breastfed babies don’t have to poop as much because the breastmilk is better absorbed and used by the body.  However, when he was having poops every third day or so they were huge.  My mommy gut was telling me that this was more than just his body not having much to poop out and that for whatever reason he was hanging on to it for a while and then just letting it all go at once.  Consistently using DiGize throughout the day has improved that significantly.  He is now having a good bowel movement every day (unless I start to slack on the DiGize) and I feel much better about his poop situation.  (I didn’t realize that having a baby would make poop such a huge topic of conversation at home, with other random people, and now here on my blog!).

panaway

10.  (honorable mention) PanAway.  This one actually got the boot recently to make room for another oil (my little case only holds five plus a roll on…which is sad because there are so many great oils that it’s hard to choose since I love them all!).  Not that PanAway isn’t great, but my bottle is almost empty and I haven’t bought more yet, plus Deep Relief and PanAway are pretty similar so I didn’t think I needed both (never mind the fact that I keep three very similar Thieves products in my bag…).  But, I wanted to mention PanAway because it’s one of the oils in the Premium Starter Kit (and Deep Relief isn’t, so most people end up with PanAway first) and because I have a pretty cool story from this weekend.

I was opening the mail on Saturday and got a deep, painful paper cut from a magazine (ouch!).  I remembered that Helichrysum is great for stopping bleeding..I don’t have any Helichrysum but I knew that it was in the PanAway blend so I grabbed my bottle of PanAway and banged in on my palm to get that last little bit out (time to reorder!) and rubbed it on my paper cut.  It stung for a few minutes but the bleeding stopped instantly and the cut sealed closed!  That was wonderful!

Soooooo….

I know you’re wanting to get to the giveaway part, huh?

Well it’s super easy – fill out the Rafflecopter form at the bottom of this post.  I’ve given you several ways to earn entries, you can do as many or as few as you like.  The giveaway ends Friday night at midnight.

Young Living Essential Oils Premium Starter Kit Distributor # 1612080

But first!  I wanted to let you know that if you’ve been thinking about jumping into the wonderful world of essential oils now is a good time to make the plunge.  I’m running a promo in May where I will give everyone who signs up under me with a premium starter kit (all that great stuff in the picture above) an Essential Oils Pocket Reference.  It’s a reference book that is worth $25; the first half of the book lists all the oils and their uses, the back half lists various ailments and gives suggestions for which oils to use.  It’s a fantastic way to learn how to actually use the oils once you get them, so as a “thank you” to the people who sign up with me in May (so don’t put it off!) I’m sending them the book.  And that can include you, too!  Just shoot me a message and we’ll get you started.  Even if you aren’t ready to start using oils, feel free to contact me with questions and I’ll be happy to help you out.

essential oil pocket reference

 

Now on to the giveaway!  Update: *********this giveaway is now closed*********

a Rafflecopter giveaway

OBLIGATORY DISCLAIMER: The oils listed in the testimonies above were ONLY Young Living essential oils. Do not expect the same results with any other essential oils. These statements were not evaluated by the FDA and were not intended to diagnose, prescribe or treat. Please seek the advice of your chosen health practitioner.

on being mommy

IMG_9087

My eyes were squeezed shut as I concentrated with every fiber of my being.  A nurse stood on my left cheering me on, Michael on my right counting me through the pushes, my doctor at the foot of the bed yelling “go, go, go!”.  Pain unlike anything I’d ever experienced shot through me and it took all my strength to push.  One last big push and then I heard my son’s very first cry.  I was a mother.

I was so focused from the delivery that I still had my eyes tightly closed and it took a few seconds for me to remember to open them and look at my baby.   He was squalling but the second they laid him on my chest he stopped crying.  He knew his mommy; he knew my voice and my heartbeat from living inside me for nine months and so he laid there calmly.  He was all bloody and goopy and I didn’t care one bit.  He was my baby.  The agonizing pain I had endured to get him there, while not at all forgotten, didn’t matter anymore.  It was so worth it.

The love I felt in that moment was absolutely unlike anything else I’d ever experienced.  My world shifted on its axis.  I was now responsible for this tiny, helpless human.  I felt a protectiveness that I’d never felt before.  I know with certainty that I would die for Hudson if I needed to.  There is no question in my mind.  Every protective, loving instinct that I didn’t know I possessed surfaced as my 6 pound, 14 ounce baby entered this world.

It was wonderful.  And it was terrifying.

I’ve known my whole life that I wanted to be a mother.  This year will be my first Mother’s Day and as that approaches I’ve been thinking about how much that means to me.

Although I’ve always wanted to have children I really had no idea what it would be like.  I have been around kids my whole life – babysitting and teaching and working in a daycare.  But nothing, nothing, prepared me for what it would be like to have my own.

I’m not talking about the diapers and the feedings and the exhaustion.  I wasn’t prepared for that either but I knew it was coming.  The emotional side of it all is what has been so crazy and overwhelming and wonderful.  I have a love for Hudson bigger than I’ve ever loved before.  But with a huge amount of love also can come a huge amount of pain.

My mom said that when you have a child, or children, you are letting a piece of your heart exist outside your body.  She is so right.  Anything that hurts him hurts me, and the thought of something happening to him makes me physically ache.

Things are so different now.  I feel everything so much more than I did before.  Not that I was callous and uncaring before, but now I see things from the perspective of a mother.  I hear of stories of sacrifices that parents make for their children and rather than think “oh that’s nice”, I cry because I know I would do the same for Hudson in an instant.  I’ve felt that love.  When I hear of parents who have lost their children I cry and hold Hudson tighter because I can’t imagine life without him.  I’m so thankful for his presence.  When I hear of parents who have abandoned their children I get angry because I cannot fathom walking away from my baby.

This job is super hard, but it’s what I was meant to do and it’s what I love.  Sometimes I get so frustrated when Hudson is crying and I have to just set him down and walk away so I can gain some perspective and remind myself that he is just a little baby who can’t express why he is upset.  Sometimes by the end of the day I need Michael to give me a break so badly because I’m feeling overwhelmed.  And yet, I love it.  I would never, ever go back to the way things were without Hudson.

I have so much appreciation for my own mom now.  I regret the things I have said to her as a teenager that were ugly because now I can imagine her pain.  I know that if (or rather, when) Hudson does the same to me it will crush me.  After Hudson was born Mom did so much for us.  It was wonderful having her stay with us but I also felt guilty that she was cleaning and cooking and doing errands and sitting up in the middle of the night so that we could sleep.  But I’ve come to realize that I’m her baby.  She feels for me like I feel for Hudson so of course she will do those things for me.  I may be 27 but I have no doubt that she loves me the way I love Hudson and that is incredible.  I think of all the sacrifices she made for me that I never appreciated before now.  I know understand that seeing me in pain hurt her, because seeing Hudson in pain hurts me.  And I know that she has sent hundreds and thousands of prayers up on my behalf the way I have for Hudson.

I also have so much more appreciation for my mother-in-law.  I know that there will come a day when I no longer be the number one woman in Hudson’s life.  I hope that I will be able to be as supportive and accepting as my mother-in-law has been.  She has always made me feel like part of the family and I’m sure that it makes her happy to see Michael happy, but I know it has to have been hard to let him go.  I pray that I will be able to do the same with Hudson.  I pray that I will raise him to be as good a husband as his daddy is to me.

Michael and I have both said several times in the past few months that we had no idea how much our parents loved us until we had a child of our own.  And sometimes while I’m cuddling with Hudson I whisper to him that I know that he will never understand the depth of my love for him until he has children of his own.

Becoming a parent has changed my views of God, too.  He loves me even more than I love Hudson.  He loves me so much that He sacrificed His own son for me.  I cannot imagine sacrificing Hudson for anyone or anything.  I can’t fathom the love that God feels for me, and all of His children, that he would be willing to do so.  I can’t fathom it, but I can appreciate it.

Needless to say, being mommy has changed me, hopefully for the better.

So happy mother’s day to all the moms out there.  You make a difference.

High Five for Friday

Hey everyone!  Did you have a good week?  We’re headed home from a week long trip to Gatlinburg.  Michael had a class/conference thing he had to go to for work (the same one we went to two years ago - crazy how time flies) so Hudson and I tagged along with him.  I was excited about a little family getaway but also apprehensive about traveling with a baby.  Overall Hudson did much better than I expected.  The trip down here, while long because we had to stop a lot to feed him, wasn’t too bad and he didn’t cry nearly as much as I expected.  During the day Hudson and I stayed in the hotel and relaxed, then after Michael got out of class we’d go eat and sightsee.  We had two good, easy days in the hotel and two days where he fussed a lot and didn’t want to nap much so that was a little challenging.  But he did pretty well considering and he slept great at night so I was very thankful for that!  Now if we can just have a smooth trip home today *fingers crossed*.

Any-who…here’s what I’m High Fiving today:

1.  This rocking camping chair.  One thing I was nervous about in regards from our trip was the fact that I’d be away from my rocking recliner where Hudson and I spend, oh, 23 hours out of the day.  Ok not that much, but that’s where I feed him and rock him to sleep so it gets a lot of use.  I was afraid that not having a rocker would be an issue and only half-jokingly asked Michael if we could pack the recliner.  I was very happy to find a camping chair that rocks and that folded up nice and small for traveling.  It’s not the smoothest rocking motion in the world but it’s good enough and has served us well this week.

2.  My Moby Wrap and Ergo.  We packed the stroller and have not used it once (we actually packed a lot of things that haven’t gotten used…I told you I was an over-packer!).  I’ve just been wearing Hudson everywhere and a lot of times I wear him while we eat because he will sleep much better being worn than he will in his carseat.  It’s been great and is much easier, I think, than lugging the stroller around.  We’ve gotten a lot of curious looks which I think is strange because I see people babywearing all the time but it must be odd to some.

It really tripped out the hostess at Bubba Gump’s one night.  She tried to seat us in this teeny-tiny little booth.  I was wearing Hudson and there was no way I could fit the both of us in the booth.  We asked her for a table (there was one literally three feet from the booth) and she said that there wasn’t anyone to serve the table (the restaurant was nearly empty).  She tried to get us to put Hudson (who she referred to as “her”) in a high chair but that doesn’t fly for obvious reasons (like, ummm, the fact that he’s way too little to sit up on his own).  It got to the point where I thought we were going to have to leave and find a different restaurant when another waitress overheard and offered to serve us at the table rather than the booth.  We sat there and then the hostess girl announced very loudly to the rest of the restaurant that “there are two people sitting at a table for six and I don’t know what to do about that!”.

I really had no idea wearing a baby was going to cause such fuss!

mobyJust snoozing away while we ate at The Old Mill

3.  I was a guest blogger over here this week sharing how to make homemade stretch mark cream.  You should go check it out!

4. I did not eat this slug for lunch last week.  I came close, but narrowly escaped.  I made my sandwich for lunch and realized I had forgotten mustard.  I lifted the bread off the top to add my mustard and saw something dark; I thought it was a piece of shrivelly lettuce…you know how it gets black and mushy?  Umm, no.  It was a slug, crawling on my sandwich.  I freaked out a little and needless to say lost my appetite for lunch.  Do you know how close I came to eating that?!?  Eww.  What if I hadn’t realized I needed mustard?!?  Horrors.

I’ll be washing my lettuce a little more carefully from here on out.

slugsorry for the poor picture quality…little booger was wiggling all over the place and I couldn’t get a good focus (it definitely wasn’t because I was shaking with relief…)

5.  Michael’s class this morning was super short, just long enough to pick up his certificate of completion, so we went to Cade’s Cove before we headed home. Hudson cried pretty much the whole ride from Gatlinburg to Cade’s Cove but once we got there he settled down and we were able to drive the loop in relative peace.

The detour was so worth it! We saw a group of three bears (a mama and two cubs we think), several deer, and another group of two bears. The second set of bears were really close to us and that was so neat.

Photo May 09, 12 08 47 PMbears at Cade's CoveCade's Covedeer at Cade's Coveblack bears at Cade's Cove

Oh and this.  Michael found this on Craigslist the other day.

fainting goatsThey.Faint.Well.

You’re welcome.

(can I admit that for half a second I wanted to buy these just to make them faint?)

Linking up with Lauren.

super simple fudge pie

super simple fudge pie

I used to think making a fudge pie would be difficult and time consuming.  Guess what…it isn’t.  But shhh, that’ll be our little secret ‘mkay?  You can wow your friends and family when you make this pie and then chuckle gleefully to yourself since it took all of ten minutes of work.

This recipe was passed on to me from Michael’s mom who got it from Michael’s grandmother…a true family recipe.  It has quickly become my go-to dessert recipe since it is so very simple and quick to make.  In fact, I use I recipe so much that I quit putting it in my recipe folder and instead I leave it out on display to give me easy access (because yes, even though I’ve made it a million times I still have to reference the instructions…maybe someday I’ll have it memorized!).

fudge pie recipe

I try to always have the necessary ingredients at home; I can’t tell you how many times that has saved me when I’ve realized we have a potluck at church the next day or I have people coming over and I want to whip up something for dessert or I’m just too tired to spend time cooking something more complicated.

fudge pie ingredientsButter, eggs, sugar, and flour are staples in my pantry, then I make a point to keep several pie crusts and a few boxes of the bakers chocolate on hand as well.

This literally takes less than ten minutes to throw together.  Don’t blink or you’ll miss it!

fudge pie 1Melt your chocolate in a medium mixing bowl

fudge pie 2Then add butter and melt some more

fudge pie 3Mmmm buttery, melty goodness.  Give it a good stir.

fudge pie 4Now add the sugar,

fudge pie 5the flour,

fudge pie 6and the eggs.

fudge pie 7Pour the mixture in your pie shell, pop it in the oven, and voila!

super simple fudge pie

Recipe:

Ingredients
- 1 stick of butter
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 oz semi-sweet chocolate baking squares
- 1 unbaked regular pie crust

Instructions
Melt the chocolate in the microwave on high for one minute.  Add butter and melt on 3 (or for our microwave that is 30%) for two minutes.  Stir.  Add the sugar and flour, then slowly stir in eggs.  Pour in the pie shell.  Bake at 325 for 45 minutes.

So easy.  So delicious.  Guaranteed to impress.

Hudson is three months old

Three months old already!  Time flies when you’re having fun.  Month three has been quite a bit easier than the first two months of Hudson’s life.  We’ve kind of fallen into a routine and things aren’t quite so new and scary and overwhelming.  It’s so much fun to watch Hudson grow and change!   He has such a big personality for such a little guy!

Here are some things we’ve been up to this month:

Hudson started really trying hard to suck his thumb.  He’s not quite coordinated enough to get it in his mouth though so he settles for whatever skin he can get in his mouth (usually his wrist or fist).  We often hear him slurping away on his hands while he is in his carseat (which he still hates, by the way).

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I know, this is the saddest thing ever.  He finally started crying real tears.  He has only cried tears maybe three times and it is just heartbreaking when it happens!

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The wide-eyed, forehead wrinkled look is Hudson’s standard expression.  He always looks very concerned or surprised.

A lot of his hair has fallen out (and is still falling out every day), but what is there has curled up quite a bit.  Michael calls his hair “mad scientist hair” because it sticks up all over the place.  In addition to losing most of what is on top he also has a bald spot on the back where most babies get bald spots.  However he has thick, soft, dark hair on the back of his head under the bald spot so he’s rocking the mullet look.

His eyes have changed and become a much lighter blue.  I know I’m totally biased but I think he has beautiful eyes.

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Nursing is going much better now.  He eats much faster and the pain is greatly reduced – still there, but much less than what we dealt with at the beginning and for that I am thankful.  After he eats he likes me to turn him around and prop him on the Boppy pillow in my lap so that he can look at me.  We talk and play…and I take lots of pictures of him!

On this particular day he became fascinated with some random spot on the ceiling and stared at it for a good long time.

IMG_3675Our poor little guy had his first illnesses this month.  He got a cold several weeks ago and was all congested.  I would take a really hot shower and we’d close the bathroom door to make it all steamy and then bring him in there to help loosen up the congestion.  We also made friends with the Nose Frieda, a disgusting little contraption that helps to get snot out of babies’ noses.  We used saline spray, which he hated, and I used lots of essential oils on him for his congestion and then again later in the month when he got a cough.  Fortunately neither sickness lasted long and he didn’t really seemed bothered by them.

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As long as he has been fed and isn’t too tired, Hudson is generally a very happy baby.  This adorable smile is what we see most of the time.  It’s so funny though, he is very solemn when we are out in public.  I guess it’s all the activity around him, but when were are at church or visiting family he just stares at everyone and doesn’t smile much.  I think he’s taking everything in.

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We started putting him in his Bumbo seat.  The first time he kind of struggled but now he’s a champ at holding his head up so he can sit up in the Bumbo for several minutes on his own.

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He likes to sit up now and it getting pretty good at it.  I’ll sit him on my leg and hold on to his torso; he holds that head up and looks around at everything.

IMG_3694His sad pouty lip gets me every time

IMG_3698We finally ventured out of sleepers and started putting him in little “outfits” when we go out.  He expressed his disapproval for these outfits by having massive blow out poops the first three times we put him in something other than a sleeper.  It’s like HE KNOWS…

IMG_3732He’s precious when he’s mad and he’s precious when he’s happy.

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Like, seriously, who can resist that sweet smile and those big blue eyes?

He is a spit up machine.  Multiple times a day, every day.  We go through a lot of outfits.  It doesn’t seem to bother him in the least so I’m not too worried about it.

IMG_3753And the excessive spit up doesn’t seem to be hindering his growth any!  We didn’t have a doctor’s visit this month so we measured him at home with a tape measure and weighed him on our scale (Michael weighed himself with and without Hudson and we calculated the difference).  Our teeny little squirt is now 12 pounds, 6 oz and 23.5 inches long.

He’s still long and skinny, especially compared to many babies, but he is definitely more plump than when he was first born and he’s beginning to get some adorable rolls.
IMG_3774 IMG_3781Hudson is definitely a mama’s boy right now (primary food source for the win), but loves his daddy, too, and I love seeing them play together after work each evening.  Michael is so wonderful to take him in between feedings at night so I can get some things done or just go take a relaxing bath.  I love both my boys so very much.IMG_3788 IMG_3807The paci is still very hit-or-miss.  We mostly use it to help him get to sleep.  He lets it fall out as soon as he falls asleep though and he has little use for it when he is awake.  He can hold it in on his own if he wants to, but usually he won’t and it falls out and goes bouncing all over the place.

He has quite the grip and loves to hold on to things – you can see him holding Michael’s shirt in the picture above.  He also frequently grabs his own clothes or bib and holds on to them.  Or my hair…somehow he always gets a handful of my hair.

IMG_3834We keep this little seat in the kitchen and he’s usually content to hang out there while I work in the kitchen or eat a (quick) meal.IMG_3845Look at those mad daddy skills…cooking dinner while holding a sleeping baby.  *swoon*.

IMG_3848We are not a super sporty family but we did watch the NCAA championship.  Obviously Hudson was incredibly interested in the game…

IMG_3886I really need to figure out how to put videos on my blog.  This dude is so funny.  When we unswaddle him he stretches so big and his faces are hysterical.  And when you pick him up after he has eaten and he’s all full and happy he arches his back and sticks his bottom out in a funny little stretch.IMG_3894 IMG_3906Sleeping is soooooooo much better now.  He sleeps through the night now – usually from 10-11pm to 6-7am.  It’s amazing.  He takes pretty good naps during the day; usually several short ones and one long one.  He no longer has to be held in order to sleep.  I usually swaddle him and rock him to sleep, then put him in his Rock ‘N Play with the fan on for white noise and he sleeps great.  Of course, sometimes I hold him during his nap just because I want to.  I’m hoping that the good sleep will continue from here on out.
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We get told just about every day how much Hudson looks like his daddy, but this picture of him stretching reminds me a little of some of my baby pictures.

We still have the cosleeper attached to our bed but he has yet to sleep in it.  He has been sleeping so well in his Rock’n Play that I kind of hate to mess with a good thing, you know?  However, I lay him in the cosleeper sometimes when I’m making the bed or folding clothes or getting ready in the morning.  He seems to enjoy the different view and just watches me or the ceiling fan.
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Michael’s mom gave us a bunch of Michael’s baby clothes so Hudson has been wearing some of them to church.  This yellow one was a wee bit too small but we wore it anyway.

I don’t know how our parents had the patience with our clothes.  They have tee-tiny little buttons,  no stretch, all kinds of crazy things like belts.  They are not easy to get on and off.
IMG_3953We have a good little routine going now and I finally feel like I have a little bit of a handle on things.  Since he doesn’t have to be held while he sleeps I’m able to lay him down for his naps and then get some thing done around the house.  Usually he eats, is awake for a while and we hang out and “play”, then goes down for a nap; we repeat that little cycle during the day.IMG_3956 IMG_3962We started using cloth diapers a few weeks ago.  So far I really like them.  They are easy to use and the washing hasn’t been nearly as big of an ordeal as I expected.  The only thing that I don’t care for is how big and bulky they are under his clothes but that’s probably not as obvious to everyone else as it is to me.  We’re still using disposables at night and sometimes when we are out and about, but the majority of the time we use cloth.
IMG_3966 IMG_3992Everyone says he looks like his daddy, but he definitely has some of my traits, too – he has a cleft chin like me and big feet like me (and my mom’s whole side of the family).  He also stretches just like me and it’s hilarious to watch.  We looked at some old baby pictures and occasionally I see a glimpse of me; he looks more like my brother Riley than he does my brother Brendan or me…but really he’s pretty much just all Michael.

IMG_4022 IMG_4055He lays like this with his hands behind his head a lot…so chill!
IMG_4062Easter was Hudson’s first big holiday.  We bought him a few toys and books for his Easter basket…except I totally feel down on the job of getting him his own Easter basket so we used mine instead.  I mean, it’s not like he noticed….

We went home for Easter and that was Hudson’s first big trip somewhere (one hour each way).  We were gone less than 12 hours but of course I packed nearly our whole house!  Babies require a lot of stuff…and when you have a big spitter like us you have to have extra clothes for baby, Mommy, and Daddy.  We got to introduce Hudson to lots of family and friends and we had a wonderful time.  He did pretty well traveling and being out of his routine all day.
IMG_4064His sweet Easter outfit that he wore to church Sunday morning. 
IMG_4069Then we changed him into one of Michael’s old outfits for Easter lunch.

…and then he spit up on Grandmama’s nice chair right as I was taking this picture.  Shh…don’t tell.
IMG_4075 Michael helped him hunt his first egg.
IMG_4076Happy Easter from our little family!
IMG_4092Some other things from this month:

I really needed to go shopping for clothes for myself so my mom came and went with us so that she could watch Hudson while I shopped and tried on clothes.  He did great, although he hates being strapped in to his carseat/stroller so Mom had to hold him most of the time.  I struggled with anxiety at the beginning of our outing just having him out with all those people around and because he was out of my line of sight.  Don’t get me wrong, I totally trust my mom to take care of him, but I just had some irrational mommy fears that someone was going to attack them both and steal Hudson.  That went away after we’d been shopping for a while but it bothered me at first.

I took Hudson to school for several hours one day.  My wonderful sub and some of the other teachers at school went ahead with a spring bookfair even though I wasn’t there to organize it.  I went one day to help out and also to attend a baby shower for one of my friends.  It was fun to go back and let everyone meet Hudson.  The kids were so excited to see me and him!  But I have to say that I don’t miss it at all; staying home with Hudson is definitely my favorite job :).

He has changed so much.  I look back at the pictures and am shocked at how different he looks in just three months.  I used to think it was weird when people would say “he/she is growing too fast!” but now I totally understand what they mean!  It feels like he was just born and now he’s growing and changing (and it doesn’t help that people remind me of that and of how fast time goes nearly every day….)

He is very alert and has such a big personality.  I could just sit and watch him all day because he is so adorable!
IMG_4108There are no words to describe the love I have for Hudson.  Sometimes I just look at him and tear up because I love him so much.  I tell Michael that “my heart is overflowing and coming out my eyes”.  Being his mommy is absolutely the best.

3 month comparison

High Five for Friday

It’s that time again…time to tell you five things that are making me happy.  What a great way to kick of the weekend hm?

1.  I got on the sewing machine this week for the first time in ages.  Since Hudson was born making time for crafting hasn’t been much of a priority.  I really needed to make some nursing tanks, though, so I escaped to my machine for a few minutes.  It wasn’t a super long project but it was nice to exercise my crafty muscles.  The nursings tanks were super easy, I followed this tutorial and hammered out 7 of them in about 20 minutes.  Plus I used the $1.80 tanks from Forever 21 so I made 7 nursing tanks for less than $14.00 in less than 20 minutes.  Not bad.

2.  We tried a new recipe this week that was really easy and really delicious.  They are called Yumm Bowls and Lindsey over at The Pleated Poppy (where I used to link up my What I Wore Wednesday post back when I wore something more than spit up covered pajamas every day) blogged about this recipe and it looked amazing so we tried it.  And it was super yum.

3.  I painted my toenails for the first time since December?  Early January?  I’m not quite sure.  I was planning to get a pedicure before Hudson was born but I went into labor before that got done.

post partum swollen feetmy very chipped toenails (and incredibly swollen feet) a few days after Hudson was born

Since then painting my nails hasn’t been that big of a priority, you know?  But now that it’s warm (some days) and sandal weather I figured it was time.  It’s amazing how one little thing like pretty toes can make me feel good.

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4.  We started using cloth diapers this week.  We’re not using them all the time yet, mostly just at home until I get the hang of everything, but so far I really like them.  It’s not any grosser than regular diapers and it’s not that difficult to run a little bit more laundry.  So far, so good.

BumGenius math equation cloth diaperWhy yes that is a diaper with math equations…what else would you expect the child of an engineer and former math teacher to wear?  Now if only I could find one with books on it….

5.  Yesterday I got my monthly essential oils order.  It’s like Christmas when my package comes!  My organizing loving heart was so thrilled to get bottle labels and I happily sat in the floor and labelled all my bottles.

April young living essential rewards orderlabeling young living essential oils bottlesAren’t they pretty?

Now to get one of every oil so I can use all my labels….

I wish.

Oh but if I did, how would I organize them?  By color?  Alphabetically?  Hmm….

Anyway.

This post is brought to you by this cute guy who I can hear “talking” in the bedroom so I better go get him up from his nap.

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I can hardly stand the cuteness.

Have a wonderful Easter everyone.

Linking up with Lauren

 

High Five for Friday

Friday again?  When you aren’t blogging every day Friday rolls around pretty quickly.  (Someday I will get back to a consistent blogging schedule.  Someday.  Like when I’m brushing my hair consistently and there aren’t cobwebs hanging from the bench in my foyer.  You just wish I were kidding…)

On that lovely note, here are my five things today:

1.  Monday I had a really rough day.  Hudson had had two nights in a row where he did not sleep well at all and then he wouldn’t take long enough nap during the day for me to nap, too.  I was exhausted.  I asked Michael if he would pull Hudson duty for a little while that evening so I could have a break.  Being the wonderful husband and father that he is of course he said yes, so after one of Hudson’s feedings I escaped upstairs to take a bath.  We’ve lived in this house for a year and a half and I’ve never used the bathtub…I’ve always preferred showers over baths.  But Monday it just sounded like the perfect thing.  I was able to soak and read a magazine and have some prayer time and it was wonderful.  I think I may try to work a bath in every week because it was wonderfully relaxing and rejuvenating.

Not meaning to get so off track here, but I just have to take a moment and say that I think single mothers must be super women.  I’m serious.  So many times since Hudson has been born I’ve thought of the single moms that I know.  This is a hard job for sure, but I always know that if it gets too overwhelming I have Michael there to step in and give me a break.  I can’t imagine needing a break or feeling that exhaustion and knowing there is no one there but me.  So any single mom readers that I have, you are awesome and don’t you forget it.

2.  I am so excited about Hudson’s first Easter.  I know he is way too little to understand what is going on, but I’m still really looking forward to it.  We’re just getting him some little baby toys and books for his Easter basket that we would have bought anyway, but I guess since it’s our first holiday (Valentine’s Day doesn’t count…we were still definitely in post-baby fog) it’s more special.  We’ll also get to see some family that hasn’t met Hudson yet so that will be fun.

3.  A productive day these days for me is getting two whole things done around the house.  It’s such a change from the engergizer bunny I used to be who could get tons of cleaning, crafting, and other projects done.  Now my days are spent feeding, rocking, and snuggling Hudson.  I am not complaining at all.  I love my job.  It’s just very different.  All that to say that I got two “projects” done this week that I’ve been wanting to do: I made homemade body wash and homemade baby wipe solution.  Both were so incredibly easy and quick; gathering the supplies was the most time consuming part.

The body wash is wonderful.  I was a little skeptical but it lathers nicely and cleans great.  I haven’t used the wipe solution yet.  Once we start cloth diapering (that was on my goal list for this week and it hasn’t happened yet but we still have two days so maybe I’ll get that started still) we are also going to use cloth wipes.  Since I haven’t started that yet I haven’t used the wipe solution, but I can say that it smells great!

4.  On the note of productive days…my old cleaning routine was to clean the whole house once a week.  It usually took two to three hours and at the end I’d have a sparkling clean house.  When I was working I would do the cleaning on Saturday or Sunday, when I wasn’t working then I’d try to do it on a weekday so that the weekends were free.  I also did all the laundry back to back to back on cleaning day.

Well, I no longer have blocks of two to three hours.  I’m lucky to get one full hour these days since Hudson takes pretty short naps.  Soooooo I’m having to change my mindset from getting the whole house clean at one time to one where I do a little bit each day to maintain the cleanliness.  This is totally new to me but fortunately Pinterest has a bajillion cleaning schedules like that so I’ve been looking at those and trying to get my game plan together.

Do you have a cleaning schedule?  If so, do you prefer to do one room per day (i.e. the bedroom, the kitchen, the living room) or do you prefer to do one thing per day (vacuum, dust, sweep, etc. no matter which room it’s in)?

Right now I’m leaning toward one thing per day so that I don’t have to get the vacuum out multiple times each day that I clean a room with carpet or the duster each day to dust each room.

Hudson is being particularly unpleasant fussy today and I’ve been trying to get this post written for hours.  I’m tired of writing a few sentences here and there so yeah, I’m only writing four things today.  Sorry if this greatly offends you.

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Enjoy your weekend everyone!

Linking up with Lauren

the ultimate hospital packing list

the ultimate hospital packing list

I am a very organized person who tries to always be prepared.  Unfortunately for Michael this also means that I’m a chronic overpacker.  I tried really, really hard (I promise!) to not overpack for the hospital…however we still ended up with seven (eight if you count my large-and-in-charge purse) bags for the hospital, plus a birth ball, Hudson’s carseat, and some other bags that were in the car just in case (yeah that picture at the top of the post is not an accurate representation of how much stuff we took).  I did use most of the items that I brought, but there were some things that in hindsight were not at all needed. Knowing what I know now I’m going to help you create a hospital packing list that will (hopefully) help you bring just the necessities.

Since I knew we were going to have a lot of bags and also that our plan was to stay home as long as possible during labor (and therefore knew we wouldn’t want to haul a ton of stuff across the parking lot and through the hospital), I tried to prioritize and pack things based on how quickly we would need them so that we could leave some bags in the car and get them later.

Also remember that I did a natural birth and so quite a bit of this stuff is natural birth specific.

1. The In Case I Go into Labor While I’m Out and About Bag

- puppy pee pads (if you read Hudson’s birth story you know these came in very handy for me to protect the seats in my van as I drove home after my water broke)
- a pair of Depends (I know, weird, but we’ve talked about this already…)
- an extra change of clothes and shoes – I didn’t have this packed and honestly I don’t know that I would have changed even if I had had extra clothes, but it would have been nice just in case.
- a trash bag – could be used to protect your seats or to hold your soaking wet clothes

*This bag needs to be packed several weeks in advance and kept in your car.  If you want to be ultra-prepared, keep another one with similar items at your place of work.  Ideally you’ll recognize you’re in labor and be able to go home before it gets ugly, but just in case you’re like me and your water decides to break all over the floor at work before you realize you’re in labor it’d be a good idea to have this.

IMG_9074last belly shot in the early stages of labor

2. Labor Bag
- tennis balls or back massager – for massaging your back during labor/providing counter-pressure – lotion – for back or foot rubs
- a large scarf – this was something we learned about in our Bradley class that can be used during labor…I didn’t end up using mine though
- puppy pee pads
- a trash bag
- plastic grocery sacks -barf bags in case you throw up
- Dum-Dums  - there is a pressure point on the top of your mouth that can help speed up labor; you can push on it by sucking your thumb or sucking on a Dum-Dum…I chose the candy
- a couple of old towels – for the same thing as the pee pads or trash bags…plus towels are just good to have on hand
- a washcloth or two – in case you want a cold, wet washcloth on your forehead
- bottled water
- a heating pad – to help with back pain
- foam gardening pads – to kneel on in case you find that your labor position of choice involves kneeling
- a pair of socks – in case your feet get cold

*I put all this stuff together in one bag.  I figured that most of this would actually be used at home to help manage labor since I didn’t plan to go to the hospital until the very end (hah!), but I went ahead and put it all in a bag just so it’d all be together in one spot and we wouldn’t be scrambling once labor began.  Things didn’t quite go as planned so we ended up taking this whole bag with us to the hospital. Honestly, the only thing I ended up using from this bag were the Dum-Dums.  I sucked on a few of them to try to speed up my labor.  That being said, for future births I will still pack a very similar bag because you just never know what type of labor you’re going to have and I may want these things next time.

3. Birth Ball

*No, it’s not a “bag” per-say, but it’s a separate (very large!) item that you’ll need to transport.  I think I used this maybe once, if any, in the hospital.  I used it a little bit at home but that was pretty much it.  My recommendation: see if your hospital has birth balls because it is a huge pain to get that to the hospital (walking through the parking lot at 2am in the freezing icy weather having to stop for contractions every so often was made even more difficult because poor Michael was trying to carry multiple bags and that ridiculous ball)

IMG_3053on our way to the hospital – the huge birth ball photobombing us

4.  The Essentials Bag (aka the things you think you will need pretty quickly during or right after labor)

- a folder for all your paperwork
- a copy of the hospital paperwork that you probably filled out in advance
- birth plan
- insurance card and/or copies of insurance card – I had my insurance card in my purse but I had also made copies to keep in the paperwork folder and I was really glad I did because they just let me hand them that rather than them having to go make copies of my card
- pen and paper
- camera and charger
- phones and chargers
- laptop and charger – I didn’t know how quickly after birth I would want to upload pictures to share with family, send emails, etc. so I went ahead and made sure I had the laptop there with us
- snacks – for hubby, not for you unfortunately (although I did sneak one granola bar because I was about to starve!)

*This was a really good bag to have.  I felt like I had all the necessities together and that gave me peace of mind.

5. Cooler 

* We brought some snacks/drinks, including orange juice to drink after the birth (a Bradley method thing).  We left this in the car when we went into the hospital, though, and then after delivery when I really needed the OJ (I had the shakes really bad) it wasn’t there.  Next time it might be better to put the orange juice in a small lunch box and carry it in with us rather than a big cooler that was too cumbersome to worry about in the throes of labor.  Definitely pack some snacks (granola bars, lactation cookies, peanut butter crackers, etc.) because hospital food is not the greatest and you’ll probably be very hungry!

6. Mom’s Bag

- 2 or 3 pairs of comfy pants – pj pants are fine, but I preferred my maternity yoga pants because of the maternity panel that hugged my loosey-goosey tummy (you can read more about my solution to that here)
- 2 or 3 large, loose shirts – I actually wore mens dress shirts with nursing tank tops from Target underneath.  That way I could leave the shirt mostly open and nurse while still being relatively covered
- something to wear home – For me I just wore the black yoga pants and button up shirt I’d been wearing that day but some like to wear “real” clothes.  I didn’t care – we were rolled right to the car and then we went straight home so there was no point in changing
- socks – hospital room floors are cold (lots of people also bring houseshoes; I bought some, brought them, and wore them exactly once for about two minutes before I shoved them under the bed…I just walked around in my socks the whole time)
- flip flops – for the shower
- a pair of shoes to wear home – Whatever you wore to the hospital when you arrived will be fine.  Seriously, the only time you’ll need shoes is when you arrive and when you leave.  The rest of the time you’ll be hanging out in a hospital room.
- nursing bras (if you don’t go with the nursing tanks that I mentioned above) – Do not go out and get fitted for nursing bras because until your milk comes in you’ll have no idea what size you are.  Instead, buy some of the stretchy sleep bras (I got mine at Target) that will accommodate many sizes.
- toiletries – Whatever you usually take with you when you travel: shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, hairdryer, hairbrush, contact stuff, glasses, makeup, deodorant, etc. (I know some people don’t care while they are in the hospital, but I showered, dried my hair, and put a little make up on each day…it made me feel better)
- nipple cream – The hospital will probably provide you with samples of Lansinoh but if you want your own kind you’ll need to bring it.

*Basically pack as if you were going somewhere for a weekend of nothing but lounging.

Things you don’t need (that I packed and thought I needed…)
- underwear (they will provide you with some lovely mesh panties to wear)
- nursing pads (it’s doubtful that your milk will come in while you are at the hospital)
- towels (I thought I would want my own towels so I didn’t have to use the icky hospital towels, but let me tell you after you give birth there is quite a bit of blood, and it got on the towels each time I showered, so I chose to use the hospital towels and not get blood all over mine)

7. Dad’s Bag

- two changes of clothes
- toiletries

*Ok honestly I don’t know what Michael packed since he packed his own bag, but I’m pretty sure that was the gist of it.

8. Baby’s Bag

*Don’t pack one.  Seriously.  I brought a diaper bag crammed full of stuff that we didn’t even touch.  Just put the few things that baby needs in your own bag.

Here’s what baby actually needs:
- a going home outfit – Don’t pack a gown because the straps in the carseat have to come between their legs.  Get something that has the flaps that cover the hands in case baby’s fingernails are long and scratchy.  You might bring two options – a newborn size and a 0-3 months size.  Hudson was tiny and even the newborn swallowed him up, but you just never know.
- a picture outfit – If your hospital does pictures and you plan to have them taken
- a hat – If it’s cold.  The nurses at our hospital make personalized hats for each baby and that’s what Hudson ended up wearing home because it fit better than any of the ones I brought.
- a blanket – To tuck around baby in the carseat if it’s cold.

{0c34156e-d1cd-47d7-b363-e0551bd4840b}_5hospital pictures

IMG_2675going home outfit and hat the nurses made

That’s it.  Honest.  The hospital is going to dress baby in little onesies with a hat and keep them all swaddled up the whole time.  I can’t imagine that you’ll be wanting to play dress up with your baby just yet, so just bring what they need to leave the hospital.  The hospital will provide you with diapers and wipes (and you’ll get to take them home with you).

9. Miscellaneous Stuff

- pillow – I prefer to sleep on my own pillow so I brought that from home
- blanket – I used the hospital blankets most of the time and ended up using mine only once when I got really cold.  I could have left this at home and just asked for another blanket and that would have reduced stuff to carry.
- extension cord and/or power strip – In case the outlet isn’t close to your bed or you have lots of electronics to charge.
- essential oils – I had just gotten my oils a few days before I went into labor so I wasn’t really sure what all I could do with them.  I used my lavender on a bad rash I had after delivery and some of the others on my feet to help with pain and to relax me.  Next time I’ll know how to use them better and they will be a staple in my hospital bags.
- baby book – You might write in it while you’re there.  I didn’t until we get home. (this is the one we have, I really like it so far)
- Boppy pillow – It makes breastfeeding much easier (not that it’s easy) since you aren’t having to hold the baby up the whole time.
- carseat – Duh.  You can’t leave the hospital without one.
- an empty bag – You will probably accumulate stuff while you’re at the hospital, so bring an empty bag (you can leave it in the car until you need it) to put all that random stuff in before you leave.
- snacks for the nurses – Definitely not necessary, but we wanted to say “thank you” to the people who took care of us.  We brought them a bag of snacks (granola bars, raisins, candy, etc.)

So…. I suggest packing everything that you can well in advance and stashing it all together out of the way.  Then, make a list of the things that you can’t pack until the last minute (glasses, laptop, makeup, etc.) and lay that on top of everything.  That way when labor starts you don’t have to waste mental energy remembering what you needed to still get.  Or, in the case that something crazy happens and you have to go to the hospital without your stuff, someone else could run by your house and grab those items.

IMG_9005you can see the list laying there on our stack of bags (bottom left corner)

On the same sheet that I wrote out what we needed to wait and pack right before we left, I also made a checklist of all the bags and items so that we made sure we got everything to the car.  I even described what the bag looked like (i.e. pink polka dot duffle bag) so that Michael knew which bag was which.

It looked like this (minus the descriptions because I know you don’t care):
1. Car Labor Kit (already in the van)
2. Labor Bag
3. Birth Ball
4. Essentials Bag
5. Caitlin’s Stuff
6. Michael’s Stuff
7. Hudson’s Stuff
8. Miscellaneous Stuff
9. Carseat
10. Snacks for Nurses
11. Empty Bag for Random Items
12. Cooler

Those are my hospital bag necessities.  What about you?  Was there something you definitely had to have at the hospital that I didn’t put on my list?  Please share in the comments below!