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Posts Tagged ‘baby’

Dear Lee Lee,

Wow, I have really slacked in the monthly letter department. I hope you won’t hold it against me. You are already 9 months old! Truth is, this was a lot easier to do when I only had one kid and I wrote your sister love letters every month. Having three kids has been an adjustment, but it’s honestly been a fun one. You are nine months old now and you’ve warmed our entire home with your bright smile. Yes, there are a lot of teeth in that smile. Eight actually. I can’t believe it. You don’t bite us too often, but when you do… OUCH!

My baby is 9 months old

Roper from Baby Boden

Eight years have gone by since I’ve had a nine month old daughter. So much has changed since then. For one, we get to spend a lot more time together. I get to work from home with you and take you with me when I travel. I love that you and I get to play together every morning, then sometimes you have a special babysitter who comes over to play with you too so I can focus on work for a few hours and not worry about you swallowing something you’re not suppose to.

Yea, you get into everything. You crawl so fast and find every teeny tiny thing that has ever been dropped on the floor. We’ve had to become much more diligent in vacuuming and picking things up. You don’t tend to try to eat large things. Just the small choking hazards. I can’t even tell you how many things I’ve pulled out of your mouth.

9 month old baby playing in the yard

You are one determined and busy little baby. I think you will be my first child to walk before their first birthday. At only 9 months old, you’re already walking along the couch and standing from the middle of the floor without pulling up on anything. I bet if I gave you a little help you’d be walking in no time. But I am not ready for that. I am not ready for you to shift from baby to toddler.

So I must confess, you will be 10 months old in a little over a week, but I’m hanging on to every little day. I’m soaking in every bit of you. We all are. You’ve really brought our family together in a way I didn’t know was possible. Your big brother adores you so much. He used to not like babies at all because he didn’t want them touching his things. Ok, well he’s still a little like that with you, but now he will give you one of his toys (the one he doesn’t want to play with) so you can play too. He still doesn’t like when you put them in your mouth though.

Baby that's 9 months old swinging with her two older siblings

When you started crawling he was your biggest cheerleader. Every new little thing you do makes him laugh and scream excitedly for you.

Your sister is a huge help. She carries your around, dances with you, and entertains you when I’m busy. She still loves to dress you up, and match you. I don’t imagine that will be changing any time soon. It’s funny because when she was your age I dressed her up all of the time.

A big sister and baby sister sharing a kiss

Sometimes you remind me of your big sister when she was your age. Like how you love to be held and carried around. But in other ways you are so different. Like how you LOVE food and getting into things. I have to stop and remind myself how you’re an entirely new person in our family and you come with a whole new set of opinions and personality traits. We can’t wait to see what sort of big ideas you have to share with us. And what kind of person you grow up to be.

A baby girl playing with her big brother on a train.

I’m so excited to watch you grow. I think now that I’ve been doing this mom thing a while I am going to be a pretty good one to you too. Or at least try to be. I want you to know that even though you have a sister and brother before you, you get to be yourself. I’m sure you’ll look up to them, and I’m sure they’ll look out for you. Where your older sister was our first to love on and break us into the parenting realm, you are growing up in a place surrounded by even more love.

9 months old little baby girl eating at table

Leo from Adelaide’s Boutique

I tell this to your siblings all the time and I’m going to say it to you too: You can be anything you want to be. Dream big and make it happen. We will help you along the way.

I love you so much baby girl. Thank you for joining our family.

 

With love,

Mommy

 

I skipped the whole baby travel system thing with my other two kids. For one, none of my babies have been big fans of car seats, and they all loved to be held or worn in a baby carrier. Strollers and car seats seemed extra heavy and bulky, so we sorta skipped over the travel system stage.

Fast forward 5 to 8 years and there have been some improvements in the market. Strollers and car seats are more lightweight without sacrificing safety. And though I’m a babywearing aficionado, I’m finding a stroller can be handy more than I realized.

Best travel system for newborns

I’m using the RIVA Travel System by Safety 1st and there are plenty of reasons I love it. Here’s a few:

1. It’s lightweight and easy to store

One thing I haven’t liked about strollers in the past is how much of a hassle it is to open them up to use them, or get them to close back down when we’re packing up. The RIVA stroller weighs less than 18 pounds and the car seat is just 7.5 pounds. There are no crazy switches or trick levers to get it to fold or unfold I just pull up on the strap by the seat. I can fold it in one hand while holding a kid in the other. I can easily slide it into the back of my car. Or fold it and leave it self-standing in a corner when we bring it inside.

Best travel system for newborns

2. My big kids can help

More often than not, little Lee Lee is in a carrier and closer to my eye level than my other two kiddos. They are both so sweet and helpful that they absolutely love taking turns putting her in the stroller and assisting with pushing her around. It’s light and easy enough for them to help maneuver her. And it’s an easy way for my son especially, to feel like a helpful big brother.

3. Handy when shopping cartless

When I actually go inside to grocery shop, I typically wear my baby and push a shopping cart. When we’re at the mall, or a retail store that doesn’t have shopping carts my stroller comes in handy for holding all the things. Same thing goes when we go on family walks. There’s plenty of room to stash all the water bottles and snacks underneath the stroller in the storage basket even when I am still babywearing.

Best travel system for newborns

4. It’s made of recycled materials

My son is really into documentaries about ocean life, and we’ve been learning a lot about how much trash winds up in the ocean and how it hurts some of his favorite animals. So we were pretty darn excited to learn the the RIVA stroller is made with a special blend of recycled materials in a zero waste facility in Columbus, IN. The resin in the frame is made up of recycled potato bags and diaper tabs. The child tray and cup holders are actually made from a resin using their recycled car seats. 130,000 lbs of plastic is saved from the landfill!

Best travel system for newborns

5. It’ll last us

For now it’ll work great as an infant stroller with the car seat snapped in. As she gets bigger and masters sitting up by herself we’ll be able to use the stroller as a standalone. The car seat works until little Lee Lee hits 35lbs which, she’s chunky but hopefully won’t be for awhile. And thankfully the fabrics are easy to zip on and off and they’re machine washable, so we can easily spruce it up like new again on those horribly messy accidents.

Best travel system for newborns

So here I am, a late bloomer to the baby travel system club. It took 8 years and three kids. But now I’ve joined and I’m a proud card-carrying member.

best travel system for parents pinterest

Today’s story is sponsored by Sam’s Club. All of the opinions are my own.

If I’m telling the truth, it’s the first time in two and a half years I’m fighting off a teeny tiny slight case of baby fever. Some days I feel like I want one more. One more tiny little baby and newborn to love on, snuggle with and capture in photographs. But then reality sets in that I’d have that third kid forever, not just for the sleepy sweet, cuddly newborn phase. And the fever starts to fade.

How-to-photograph-your-newborn

Nevertheless, those moments as a new mom are so special. If I could go back in time, I’d relive the last five years over and over again and soak in every little bit. Is that weird?

Professional newborn photos are awesome, but it’s also nice to be able to photograph your newborn on your own. Here is a mommy survival guide to help you capture some of those precious newborn moments to cherish forever.

How to photograph your newborn

1. Be ready with a camera and lots of memory

Buckle up mama, you’re going to be taking a LOT of photos. Consider adding a digital camera or even a DSLR to your registry. Then have some backup memory cards to switch out when one gets full before you have a chance to load it on your computer. Sam’s Club has great deals on getting these in bulk.

2. Take your time

How to photograph your newborn

Be patient. Though it feels like your newborn is growing overnight, you have time to photograph your newborns. Don’t feel the need to rush it. You just had a baby. Get some rest. Once you’ve had some time to recover and just soak in that goodness, then you can start taking photographs. Unlike with a newborn photographer, time is on your side, you don’t have to take all of the photos in two hours.

3. It’s all about the lighting

How to photograph your newborn

You don’t need fancy props and studio lights, turn off the flash on your camera and position your baby near a natural source of sunlight. Pay attention to when the light shines through the windows in different parts of your home. The window will filter it nicely so you can position your baby nearby. Put your back to the window so the light will catch your baby at the right angle.

4. Keep baby comfortable

sams-shopping-3

A warm room, full belly, clean diaper, and soft blanket can do wonders for keeping your newborn sound asleep long enough to get some sweet pictures. I love these white throw blankets. You can find them at Sam’s Club for a great price. They’re simple, cozy, and great for bouncing light too.

How to photograph your newborn

5. Try different perspectives

Tips for photographing newborns

Don’t just stand over your baby for every single photograph. Try different perspectives, angles, and locations. Take photos through the crib slats, or over daddy’s shoulder.

6. Get your other kids in the picture

Tips for photographing newborns

Brand new sibling love is my favorite newborn moment to capture. Lil’ J would always snuggle with her little brother, cuddle him, and rub his ear lobes. Photographing the her with her new baby brother was such a treasure. Try to make sure they’re in a safe and comfortable place and snap away.

How to photograph your newborn

7. Get yourself in the picture

Mother of two self portrait

Photographing your newborn should include you too! Hand over your camera and get some shots with the two of you together. Or if you’re like me, you might be better off setting up a tripod and using a remote. Whatever it takes, get in the shot with your newborn. You’ll thank me later.

8. Get the detail shots

Tiny fingers, tiny toes, little ears and a tiny nose. Get close and capture those little details. A macro lens is a great tool to accomplish this. It’s best to try to get these shots when they’re sleeping.

Tips for photographing newborns

How to photograph your newborn

9. Keep it safe

How to photograph your newborn

Don’t try to duplicate the posed newborn photos you see on Pinterest. You know the photos with babies hanging in a blanket from a tree branch, or propped up on their arms. Those photographs are taken with multiple photos edited together with other people helping hold the baby. Safety first! Keep it simple and capture some of those real moments safely.

10. Print your photos!

How to photograph your newborn

All of those precious pictures deserved to be enjoyed and shared with friends and family you see. Don’t keep them all cooped up on your computer. These days you can order prints online to be mailed to your home, or even pick them up at your local Sam’s Club.

***

Sams-club-cameras

A few other reasons it pays to shop at Sam’s Club:

  • Savings for your whole family.
  • Club pickup allows you to shop online then pick your order up at the store.
  • When you join you join online using this link you get $80 in savings for baby items like diapers and wipes.
  • Free subscription service and delivery on baby essentials like diapers and wipes.

Sams-shopping

Sam’s Club provides big savings for growing families, join and get $80 in special savings on baby basics.

*This post was sponsored by Sam’s Club, however, the text and opinions are all my own.

So I’m seven months late. My bad. Things have been crazy around here. But I thought I should hurry up and share how Big T’s nursery turned out before we move in a few weeks.

Gender neutral giraffe nursery

As you may remember, I decided to go with a giraffe theme. I love giraffes and I thought they’d be cute for a boy or a girl. Since we didn’t find out Big T was a boy until he was born, this theme–Along with a touch of chevron seemed perfect.

His room is sorta a nursery and craft room combo, but he doesn’t seem to mind sharing. When we move he will have his room all to himself, so I may ditch the chevron sewing machine cover, or incorporate it into my craft room somehow. We shall see.

DIY Alphabet wall tutorial

This alphabet wall is probably one of my favorite parts of his room. In a last-minute effort I got a few of my friends tohether and we decorated all of these. I’ve seen sets for sale on Etsy but they cost a pretty penny, and none of them had all of the elements I wanted– A button ‘O’, a “Disney” ‘W’ and other colors I like.

Here’s a quick tutorial:

1. Search for a set of plain wood letters on eBay. I bought this set on eBay.

2. Get a group of friends together, preferably crafty friends who have a lot of paints and skills. Shoutout to my friends Laura, Hope and Melissa for helping me with these! They did all the super cute ones. Lil’ J also gets a shoutout for decorating the ‘&’ and  ‘X.’ She loved helping.

3. Gather a variety of supplies: Scrapbook paper and modge podge, acrylic paints, even fabric, to decorate your letters to your choosing.

4. Lay out the letters and strategize what colors you want where. I made a plan for my favorite letters beforehand, then made sure not to put similar colors or patterns next to each other.

5. Paint, glue, and modge podge like mad!

6. After the paint dries, modge podge the top for an added layer of sealing.

7. Hang and enjoy! I used double-sided command tape to hang them on my wall.

Ty's-Nursery28-copy

Ty's-Nursery17-copyI’m not sure if I’m going to re-hang the alphabet wall betters in his room, or hang them in the play room once we move. I’m kinda leaning towards playroom as it seems more appropriate.

Since his nursery also doubled as a craft room I tried to keep the spaces separate but organized. His white bookshelves store a few books as well as his swaddling blankets (we seriously have over a dozen of these gorgeous muslin swaddling blankets by Aura Weavers and Aden and Anais), baby wraps, diapers, wipes, and a low basket of soft toys for Lil’ J to reach for her brother.

My mom gave me the baskets on top of the bookshelves. They had pink ties that I took off and sewed my own giraffe-print ties. I also spruced up the plain brown canvas baskets by hot gluing some chevron ribbon I sewed into ruffles. At the time I didn’t know Leechie was a boy, but I figured it wasn’t too girlie. I still find it cute.

Giraffe gender neutral nursery shelves

I also used the same ruffle ribbon technique on the green baskets on the diaper changer. I bought them from Ikea for Lil’ J’s room but wasn’t using them, so here they went! I keep the large one stocked with burp cloths, and the small ones hold his bow ties, and socks.

I used the same diaper changer and dresser I had used for his sister (she got a new big girl dresser) , but took off the pink drawer knobs and ordered some chevron and brown ones off Etsy. Over there I also changed out his light switch for a cute one I found on Etsy. And I hung a second piece of whimsical artwork I found by Nidhi. She is amazing! I couldn’t buy just one.

Gender neutral giraffe nursery diaper changer Ty's-Nursery12-copyTy's-Nursery21-copy

His funky crib bumpers are called Wonder Bumpers. I won them in a raffle I donated to. They are reversible and the other side has a pretty blue damask design, but I thought the brown was more versatile for the gender neutral nursery theme I was going for.

Gender neutral giraffe nursery crib bedding 2

His amazing minky blanket is custom courtesy of Rocker By Baby. We are not a very “punk-style” “skull enthusiast” family, but Amber always manages to make the perfect item for my kids. Lil’ J still loves her mix tape blanket. But OH I forgot how soft her minky is. I need to read up about keeping it this way. He sleeps on it every night. I bought the boppy cover to match.

The adorable safari quilt was handmade by Big T’s great-grami. And the two friendly giraffes are sound machines that his sister loves to play with.Ty's-Nursery01-copyTy's-Nursery20-copy

His giant friendly giraffe kinda replaced the idea of a mobile. One of my awesome readers emailed me when she noticed it was on sale for 50% off one day on Amazon. So instead of it being $100, it was only $50. It’s cute, and gives him something to stare at. Soon enough I’m sure he’ll be trying to ride on it.

Over his bed I also hung a very elaborate, very detailed vinyl tree that I finally finished taking the last sticker off of yesterday. I went the cheap route and got a $50 one off eBay that was split in like 100 different pieces that I had to puzzle together. If I get another I’ll definitely shell out the extra cash to get one that I can pull off in one or two pieces.

Also above his crib is the giraffe piece that inspired me to go with the giraffe-themed nursery. I love it!

Ty's-Nursery13-copyTy's-Nursery19-copy

And in the craft side area of the nursery I have a rocker chair I thought I’d sew a cover for, and for the foot stool, but instead I just draped with a crocheted chevron throw I ordered from a local woman. For the foot stool I just literally wrapped some extra fabric I had around the cushion it. It works!

Giraffe and chevron themed craft roomTy's-Nursery27-copyI wanted to tie in a bit of safari on my craft desk, and I fell in love with this elephant lamp. Originally I thought I’d do an elephant-themed nursery, so I’m glad I still used a bit of that in the end.

What do you think? Love it? I really do! My daughter’s was decked out with lots and lots of pink but I loved going the gender-neutral route here, and I think the whimsical giraffes really fit my sweet boy’s personality. I’m not sure how long we’ll keep it yellow and brown but I plan to set it up similar to this after the move. He’ll have more space though since it will no longer be a nursery/craft room combo. Perfect timing too cause my little big guy thinks he wants to start crawling.

Update: We’ve moved and our popular alphabet wall is now in the playroom.

DIY Wooden alphabet wall letters tutorial. #playroom #nursery #disney

Here’s where everything is from. If I’ve missed something you’re wondering about, let me know!

Chevron curtains/ iDecorateWithPillows Etsy
Vinyl tree/ eBay: Design4Wall
Giant giraffe/ Melissa and Doug via Amazon
Giraffe sound machines (big and little)/ Cloudb
Wonder Bumpers/ Go Mama Go Designs
Minky giraffe blanket/ Rocker Bye Baby
Minky booppy cover/ Rocker Bye Baby
Giraffe artwork: Savannah & Up and Away/ Nidhi Chanani Etsy
Custom white picture frames/ Ebay: Tabby7
Plain wood alphabet wall letters/ eBay: Anyshka_2
Elephant Lamp/ Carters via Amazon
Light switch cover/ ModernSwitch Etsy
Popup baskets/ Ebay (beige), Ikea (green) and Walmart (brown)
Diaper changer/ Craigslist
Drawer knobs/ Whimzicality
Polkadot burp cloths: HeartlandShop Etsy
Chevron throw blanket/ Handmade locally
Sewing machine cover/ YellowFarmHouse Etsy

Wrapping up my pregnancy series. I wanted to take a picture with him around three days old but I was just too exhausted to set everything up. I did manage to take a few on his two week birthday and I’m glad I did because he already seems bigger to me. Now I’m going to put all 36 photos in a book for him, and get my finished tutorial on these up before it arrives!

Just a little teeny tiny rant, I promise.

My to-do list is piling up once again, both at work and at home. In fact I don’t know which is longer. In order to get everything done that I need to do I imagine I’d have to stay awake 24 hours, every day for the next three months.

Not really, but that’s how it feels.

That to-do before #2 list? Totally back burner, I have a new, more urgent to-do before #2 list that I wrote up last night. Things like setting up a place for the baby to sleep, getting Lil’ J a new bed so the baby can have a crib. And then more enjoyable things like sewing nursery decorations and baby clothes.

I still have my regular tasks at work, and side-writing jobs I need to not fall behind on stay on top of, and even get ahead in some cases. There just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day.

I’m debating putting in more hours at work to get ahead, and implementing earlier bed times, and implementing a currently non-existent weekend nap time for my first-born, so I can accomplish everything. But then comes the fear that I’m going to regret my manic antics once the baby comes. My daughter’s last few months as an only child may become a blur, and a month into having a new baby I’ll be cursing my 3-month-younger-self for not saying “screw it” and sleeping in while I could.

There I go again with the fear of making the wrong choice.

Here is where I get positive…

I can do this. If I’ve managed to balance a million things with one child well by golly, I’m going to do it better than ever these last three months. And my husband reminded me that I’ll have 12 weeks off with my oldest daughter anyway, so even if her last 11 weeks as an only child wind up in a whirlwind, her first few months as a big sister will be with her mama by her side, helping her transition. 

Let the countdown commence. A million things to do, 10 weeks 4 days to go!

Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget



I'm a part-time journalist, full-time wife and mother striving to make the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day.

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