What is a sip and see party?

Host a Sip and See Party – the hottest new thing!

Thanks to tv shows like Southern Charm, us folks up north have been introduced to Sip and See’s!

What exactly is a sip and see?

Well, it’s a long-time tradition done in the south. A baby shower of sorts but it’s held after mama and baby are home from the hospital! It’s a great, casual meet and greet for the new parents to show off their new bundle of joy. Consider it like an open house for the new parents.

Why do I love this idea? Well, the idea of it being a drop in situation is great for one. Also, the fact that since the baby is now here in the world, people actually know what you need for gifts, and you do as well! Another fun fact, you can finally have a glass of wine. So there’s that!

Sip and see’s are a great casual way for friends and family to mingle and meet the new baby. Personally, I think that they are so much more ideal because it lets mama have some time just enjoying her friends and having everyone shower the baby with love after they are born.

Another fun fact, you can finally have a glass of wine. So there’s that!

Throw a sip and see party for your newborn!

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What about the baby shower though?

If you already had a baby shower and are planning a sip and see, don’t feel bad to share the link to your registry. There will be things that obviously haven’t been purchased yet and people are more apt to shower a baby they can cuddle than one that’s still in the womb. Just speaking from experience y’all.

Just speaking from experience y’all.

On the flip side, some people don’t get to have a baby shower due to various reasons. Maybe your babe came really early, or you were just too darn busy. It happens! When you’re in your early weeks of parenthood you’ll be home a lot. So take advantage and have a mini shindig!

Not just for the south!

While sip and see’s are very southern, they’re making their way up north. Frankly, I’m all for it and think it’s a great idea! The host will serve refreshments like tea, infused water, spiked punches or bubbly, along with some light finger food.

We kind of had an impromptu sip and see when my mother-in-law came to visit shortly after the little man was born. Hubby had some extended family who lived near us out west and they came over with gifts and all sorts of spoils for our little guy. Including food, refreshments and all sorts of love.

Another upside to these parties is that people are wanting to drop in all over the place when your baby comes home. But it can be stressful for new parents having people just stopping by all the time. Having a sip and see will give people a dedicated time to stop in, say hi and offer cuddles. And then you can get back to your new normal-ish.

Maybe if your lucky, people will bring food so you don’t have to half-ass yet another meal. If you’ve had a baby, you know what I’m talking about.

Would you host a sip and see? If this inspired you, Tweet, Pin or share on Facebook for later!

7 Super fun sip and see party themes!

Advice on planning a sip and see:

When you get home from the hospital it’s easy to slip into those baby blues and feel very much alone. Why not take advantage of this wonderful tradition! Even if you’ve had a baby shower, you probably had some people who couldn’t make it or some who said they want to stop in after the baby is here. Use this time to share that birth story, hang out with people you care about and show off that new babe!

If you do choose to have a sip and see, I highly suggest not scheduling it for as soon as your home from the hospital. Give you, your spouse and your new baby time to get into a bit of a groove. First weeks of parenthood are challenging, your learning from ground level and you want to feel comfortable as parents in a crowd. Try not to overwhelm yourselves by inviting the whole neighborhood because well, it’s overwhelming. Another thing to think about it germs, make it very clear that if anyone has a cold to keep their germs at home and visit at another time.

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You don’t have to worry about being the center of attention at these parties which is perfect for mom’s who feel anxious about being in the spotlight. That has got to be one of the most awkward part about a baby shower. It’s like you’re on this weird pedestal, no bueno. Also, a sip and see typically doesn’t include tacky games, so that’s great! It’s for both men and women alike so your guests don’t have to feel segregated from their significant others.

If you’re worried that you won’t have time to do all of the planning and organizing fear not! I have an idea for that too!

Enlist the help of your baby’s godparents, or a friend of honor (like a maid of honor). This way you won’t be overwhelmed. Plus, as a parent now, you need to start getting into the mindset to ask for help when you need it, so start now!

Sip and see themes:

Throw a brunch themed sip and see!

Brunch buffet

Who doesn’t love brunch? I don’t know about you, but maybe it’s because we can’t brunch every single day because well… Life.

You could make a waffle bar for your guests have a cereal selection with yogurt and fruit. Don’t forget the coffee!

Throw an ice cream bar themed sip and see party!

Ice cream parlor

Aside from brunch, hello, ice cream. This is probably one of the easiest setups because well, just pick up flavors and toppings. It’s that easy!

For the sake of dishes, and not wanting to wash them, think about getting disposable bowls and spoons. You’re washing enough as it is.

Be sure to have frozen yogurt or vegan options.

Babies VS Parents - A baby shower or parents night in game

Babies vs parents – game

I know I mentioned that you don’t have to play lame games. I’m sure you cringe when you hear the term party game. Well, this game, in particular, is so not lame. It’s like cards against humanity, but parenthood version! Download your free copy here!

We played it at my baby shower and it was a massive hit!

Sushi themed sip and see party

Sushi bar

If you’re anything like me, sushi is the one thing you’ve been missing so much through your pregnancy. Well, wine too, but… Sushi!

When we got home from the hospital, my first meal was sushi. My girlfriend Julie came by with it literally within the hour of us getting home. I was the heart eye emoji personified.

If you are doing a sushi bar, make sure to keep the sushi cool, try putting a serving tray of ice under the tray you’re serving the sushi on.

Throw a high tea themed sip and see!

High tea

High tea, is so elegant. There’s something about bite-sized everything that is just so awesome. Maybe it’s because your eating little things, you feel better about hoovering down like 20 mini sandwiches… Or maybe that’s just me. Either way, high tea is super cute and fun. However, it does require a fair amount of work, you may want catering for this one, or a lot of helpful hands.

The biggest thing, don’t forget different types of tea! Be sure to have coffee on hand in case some guests don’t like tea. Also, having, or renting a carafe to keep water to temperature will save your sanity.

Throw a hot chocolate themed sip and see!

Hot cocoa bar

Are you having a winter baby? Lucky you!!! Seriously!

How cute would a build your own hot chocolate party be? Similar to high tea, but you can adorn your table with coffee cakes, biscotti, and toppings!

Hot cocoa is like a hug in a mug. And if you really want to amp things up, make it Irish by having some homemade Irish cream available.

Throw a coed huggies and chuggies sip and see!

Huggies and chuggies – or mimosas

This is a really common baby shower theme for doing a coed party. They bring diapers (the Huggies portion), and you supply the drinks (chuggies).

This makes for a great, low key event for both you and attendees. They don’t feel stressed about the whole gift situation because you’re suggesting diapers right off the bat!

Make sure to let people know you’ll need diapers in all sizes. Your baby won’t be in newborn ones for very long if at all depending on how big they were when they were born.

Have you hosted, or been to a sip and see? I’d love to read about your experience in the comments below!

All about sip and see parties!

16 Gender reveal cake designs

Gender Reveal Cakes

Call it baby fever but I love looking at all things baby and pregnancy related! Aside from announcing your pregnancy, finding creative gender reveal ideas are the next big, and fun thing to do! Gender reveal cakes are a great way to celebrate and surprise your loved ones, not to mention you and daddy-to-be! Check out my post 14 fun gender reveal options for even more inspiration.

Check out my pregnancy announcement posts:

If you haven’t read about our gender reveal party you really have to! It has our gender reveal cake in it which was a huge crowd pleaser. Not to mention it served a great purpose telling us that we were having a beautiful baby boy! Not that I needed telling because deep down I had a feeling he would be a boy.

From cake pops to donuts, cakes, balloons, smoke bombs and more, there are so many creative ways to do your gender reveal.

Some people choose to find out the gender and keep it to themselves until the big reveal. All the power to them, you’re lips are clearly better sealed than this mamas!

Gender Reveal Facebook Invite - Wine and Mommy Time
This is what our Facebook event invite looked like!

How to keep it a secret

When we did our gender reveal cake, I had our ultrasonographer write down the gender on a piece of paper and seal it in an envelope. I then gave it to a coworker who bakes as a side hustle. She was the first person to know, other than the girl who wrote it down. I have to say, those few days between when I gave her the envelope until the day of the reveal were brutal. She sat just a few cubicles down and we pretty much always took lunch or coffee breaks together so yeah, it was hard avoiding her.

Whenever we eventually get pregnant with another baby, I’m not sure if we’ll choose to know and do the reveal ourselves; or if we want to be surprised again. More and more places aren’t even giving you the results because well, it’s not medically necessary, rightfully so. Also, they can and have gotten it wrong, and then you end up buying all of the wrong stuff. So that sucks.

Another option, if you’re not able to find out the gender by ultrasound is by doing blood work. There are tests your doctor can order for you, which are elective, so be prepared to pay for it. Or, there are home tests that you can take as well! While I clearly haven’t tried either… From what I gather, they can predict the gender earlier than ultrasound and are extremely accurate. Going the testing route may make it easier to keep the gender a secret from yourself. Depending on how you receive the results.

16 Gender reveal cake designs

Want to see some themed pregnancy announcements? Check out the links below!

With all of that said.. Let them eat [gender reveal] cake(s)!

Recipes:

Cookie dough M&M gender reveal truffles

Gender reveal pinata cake recipe

DIY gender reveal cake pops

How to make gender reveal cupcakes

Easy marble (watercolor) gender reveal cake

Hearts inside – gender reveal cake recipe

Decor Inspiration:

Donuts about you! // Pinterest
Baseballs or Bows // Pinterest
He or She? Cut to See! // Justine Johnson Blog
Baby Mickey & Minnie // Cakes Decor
Superman or Supergirl // Pinterest
It’s a… // Pinterest
Star Wars, Blue side or Pink side // Pinterest
Twinkle twinkle little star // A Love for Cakes
We donut know! // The Cake Mamas
Pink & Blue Twinkle Twinkle cake // @thoughtfulcakes
Oh Baby // Maria’s Sweet Cakery
What’s the scoop? // Pinterest
Beauty or Beast? // Pinterest
Touchdowns or tutus // Pinterest
Oh Baby sprinkle cake // Weddbook
It’s A… // Riane Lutz Photography

What comes after a gender reveal cake?

Your baby! And with your new baby comes a few more parties, you know, just a few right?

If you’re done planning the gender reveal, why not start planning their first birthday? That’s a natural progression, right?

I have a sugar-free cake smash recipe that our son absolutely loved! Made with applesauce and all sorts of nutritious bits! And guess what the “icing” is made out of… Well, you’ll have to go check out the recipe to know that. Other than your typical smash cake, people are also doing all sorts of wacky, and unconventional first birthday smashes, I’ve compiled some for you here!

If you found this post helpful, or you need to keep it for later, take advantage of my social buttons to Tweet, Pin or share on Facebook!

How did your gender reveal turn out? I’d love to know in the comments below!

16 Gender reveal cake designs

Natural eczema relief for babies, kids and parents!

Happy Little Bodies Review – baby eczema relief

Treating skin issues in babies, toddlers and kids can be difficult. You don’t want to use harmful chemicals, but you also want something that will work! I’ve been introduced to a beautiful line of natural baby products for baby eczema and they’ve been amazing!

Just to be honest with y’all, I received these products for free so I could share my experience with you! Lucky for you, I actually approached this brand, and not the other way around. They sent me three products to try on my little guy and this is my honest review based off of our results.

Last summer we started noticing our son had really dry patches. They showed up behind his knees, just under his bum and sometimes on his back. He also has a dry scalp. My husband had chronic eczema so it’s no surprise our son ended up with it too.

This summer it’s been heatwave after heatwave which I’m sure hasn’t been helping with our son’s skin issues in the least.

Over the past year and a bit, we’ve been back and forth trying different products. From Aveeno to Live Clean, Honest Company, Lush, and some other brands. They all stopped it from getting worse, but they didn’t effectively treat the patches, and certainly didn’t make them go away.

I’m always on the search for more natural products, when possible, and when attainable. I came across Happy Little Bodies on Instagram and was intrigued instantly. Their packaging was cute, but more than that, they’re cortisone, steroid, paraben free and more!

Happy Little Bodies baby eczema relief review

You can find Happy Little Bodies products at:

In-store

  • Shoppers Drug Mart

  • PharmaSave Direct

  • Pharmachoice

  • McKesson

  • *Soon* London Drugs

Online

  • Amazon

  • Walmart

  • iHerb
  • Well.ca

Natural eczema relief for babies, kids and parents!

Know someone who would find this helpful? Share on their Facebook wall, Tweet or Pin! I’m sure they’d appreciate it!

By the way, they’re a Canadian brand, so that’s a huge plus! Keep that cash flow in our economy!

Happy Little Bodies is a brand within the Flexitol company, they also make products for adults, including treatments for nail fungal issues. Which I may also need to get my hands on, because Peyton has nasty toenails. Not at any fault of ours, it’s genetic, but gross nonetheless.

Bullet points about the brand:

  • They’re Canadian (yay!)
  • Made with natural ingredients
  • The products are clinically tested
  • Specifically for babies
  • Free from cortisone, steroids, parabens, nut oils, and artificial fragrance
  • The only fragrance comes from essential oils
  • The only medicinal ingredient is colloidal oatmeal!

Happy Little Bodies baby eczema relief review

The look

Their packaging is super clean looking, simple and really cute. Packaging doesn’t need to be crazy and over the top and a love that they keep it clean. Much like their ingredients!

The lotion comes in a squeeze tube, as does the intensive treatment cream. I like that you can control the amount you’re getting rather than pumping and using too much. However, pumps do have a time and a place and can be handy.

The bath and hair wash comes in a pump format which I love. I feel like bath wash always should because let’s be honest, those slippery bodies are enough to deal with. So thank you Happy Little Bodies for recognizing this! Also, the bottle doesn’t take up too much real estate it’s a great design! One thing I can’t say for the other brand in our shower.

The scent and texture

Baby Eczema Body Wash & Shampoo

Happy Little Bodies is primarily non-scented. The shower products have no scent at all which is great because that means no perfumes to irritate their skin or more importantly, eyes! This wash itself has a gel-like consistency which is mostly translucent. Best of all, it’s soap free!

By the way, I’m a weirdo and always rub new bath washes for my son, in my own eyes to make sure they’re tear-free. Risky I know but I’d rather bite the bullet then risk putting my son through that. Their bath wash passed the test with flying colors!

Want to know what the body wash doesn’t have? It doesn’t have any of the above-mentioned items, SLS, or sulfates, and is clinically tested to be non-irritating.

Image courtesy of Happy Little Bodies

Baby Eczema Moisturizing Lotion

The daily body lotion has a very light, fresh scent from essential oils. The formula itself is very light to the touch which had me worried at first because I usually see eczema creams being thicker. However, don’t let this super lightweight formula fool you, my son wakes up with soft and supple skin which hasn’t happened in a long time! He stays moisturized all day without ever being greasy. Just like the bath wash, less is more. It glides effortlessly onto his skin and absorbs really well. That means no sticky wrestling into pjs. You know the struggle, it’s real. But with this lotion, it doesn’t happen at all!

Want to know how long it holds moisture for? It’s clinically tested to increase hydration by a whole 35%. In just 7 days. Our family can attest to that because it certainly has for our little man. We also love that even though it’s an eczema cream, it’s perfect for long-term use. Many aren’t.

Image courtesy of Happy Little Bodies

Baby Eczema Relief Cream

At first I wasn’t sure why the tube was so small, however, I understand now! This little tube of gold is only for flare-ups and only for the affected area. You need a pea size or smaller. Like the daily lotion, it is light and goes a very long way. Start with much less than you think you need because a teeny bit spreads really, really far and this is only for the patches. Not their whole body.

The treatment cream has a beautiful peppermint scent which I love, and our son seems to as well!

Image courtesy of Happy Little Bodies

Multi-use

Before I received my package in the mail, I thought that this was only for eczema treatment. After reading their info pamphlet, I was quite surprised.

Happy Little Bodies can be used for eczema, skin irritations, soothing bug bites, poison oak and so much more! Making this a great product to throw in your diaper bag. That way if you’re out and about and you or your little one get a bite, or a run in with a shifty bush, you will be soothed, without the chemicals and toxins which are typically in those products.

Price point & conclusion

Luckily, this brand won’t break the bank. Coming in at a compatible price to that of Live Clean, Honest Company and Aveeno.

If you’ve tried any of the companies above and didn’t get the results you were hoping for to relieve your little one, or yourself for that matter, I highly suggest giving Happy Little Bodies a try.

Admittedly, I’ll probably be picking up their toe products for our little guy soon. And probably the adult line of lotion for my hubby to help him out!

Happy Little Bodies baby eczema relief review

Who is it perfect for?

  • Babies, toddlers or kids

  • Littles with skin issues

  • Parents who want natural products

  • Anyone looking for a product that really works

  • People who have tried everything

  • Someone who wants products to treat and prevent skin problems

Who is it not for?

  • People who don’t want great skin for their kids

Do you have any products that work for your family to treat baby eczema? Share them in the comments below!

Time saving hacks for mom - give up grocery shopping

Time Saving Hacks for Moms – quit grocery shopping!

Time Saving Hacks for Moms

As mom’s, we have a lot going on. And I’ve been asked a lot lately to give my time-saving hacks for mom’s, especially mom’s who are having a hard time balancing work, marriage, kid(s), and life!

How do you manage it all? This is a question I get a lot. From coworkers, family, friends, and even people on social media.

My answer, I actually don’t have time for it all, and frankly, I don’t do it all.

Do you honestly believe that I have time to develop content, be a mom, do laundry, make meals, grocery shop, work a full-time job, and be a wife? I totally don’t. There are only 24 hours in a day, 7 of which I sleep, 8 of them I work a full-time job. Sometimes shower… Sometimes. Related post: Self-Care – the most important thing for moms

Y’all know I love apps right? Well, apps help me human, as well as mom, and wife.

Now, I’m not saying I’m lazy, but I would prefer to be doing things like hanging out with my son than grocery shopping and wracking my brain for dinner recipes. By the time I get home from work, the last thing I want to do is go back out, to a busy grocery store and spend time shopping, probably not find everything I need, and then get home to realize that I forgot stuff too. Oh, and then I need to prep and cook said food. So then basically when it’s all said and done I’m shoveling food into my face by like 8 or 9 pm and getting my son ready for bed. Yeah, that’s a really great way to spend my night after working all night. Not.

So, I let apps do it for me.


To listen to me talk about this, check out the podcast episode which goes with this post!
Related post: Wine and Mommy Time the Podcast is here!
Did you know that tons of stores have either a pickup or grocery delivery service? When it comes to pick up services, some places don’t even advertise it, but they do it. Just call and ask!

Before I really get into this all, I just need to give a little public service announcement. Not all services are created equal. Some have additional service fees, because duh, it’s a service. Some require a commitment, others you can cancel at any time. You may or may not be able to use debit. There can be tons of other factors. Just be sure to read the fine, or not so fine print!

One thing that most of them seem to have is that you can choose your time/day to pick up or have delivered.

Did you know Walmart has a pickup service? And in some places delivery too! Check out your local Walmart, or their website for more info.

Room Service HFX

When we moved back to the east coast, there weren’t any delivery services at that time. However, an old friend of mine started a business called Room Service HFX, where he, and his brothers, deliver nearly anything you need until 3 am. It’s amazing, at the moment their delivery zone is downtown and a bit further, but they are growing!

Atlantic Superstore Click and Collect

I have been using Atlantic Superstore click and collect, which is where you do all of your shopping online, select a time slot and pick it up in the designated parking space at the store. What I like about click and collect is that you will do all of your shopping online. And you have until midnight to edit your order as many times over as you like before it finalizes for your pickup.

The only downside is that they don’t do same-day service.

Time saving hacks for mom - give up grocery shopping

SaveOn Foods

When I was a new mom, I used a grocery service through SaveOn Foods when we were still in British Columbia. The delivery people were always so nice and always offered to bring my groceries into my kitchen and unpack them into my fridge. Seriously, amazing. They also offer a pickup option as well.

One thing I liked about the SaveOn program was that you could even order same-day, which you can’t do with the Atlantic Superstore Click and Collect.

Instacart

There is an app, which is available in many cities, which partners with various grocers. Here in Halifax, it currently works with Superstore. It’s called Instacart, and frankly, I’m obsessed. I use it on a regular basis because of the following:

  • The shopper will message you through the app if something isn’t available or needs a substitution, or you can ask for a refund
  • You can message the shopper if you forgot to put something on your list, or if you changed your mind on something
  • It tells you what they’ve already put in the cart, and what’s left to be shopped
  • GPS tracking when they’re driving to you
  • The ability to see past orders
  • Rating your experience and tipping after it’s done

You can even include delivery instructions, for instance, we don’t have a buzzer for our condo, so I ask them to text me on arrival, and they do! Love them!

HelloFresh

Other than using Instacart, HelloFresh has been a massive time saver. No thinking of what I want to cook for the week, and then shopping for it. HelloFresh sends me an insulated box of pre-portioned ingredients with in-depth recipes that are ready in 30 minutes or less. How cool is that? You can read about my first experience with them here!

For the record, I’ve ordered nearly every week since then, so you could say I’m hooked. They have vegetarian plans (which is what we use), family, and pronto. You choose how many people you want to feed, and for how many days. Select your delivery day of the week, leave any special delivery instructions if needed and boom. Dinner sorted. Plus, their goal is to give families, people, and couples healthy, locally sourced, fresh ingredients, so that’s pretty rad.


Use my link to get your first 3 plates free! (If you make a purchase within this link, Wine and Mommy Time will earn a commission, with no extra charge to you!)

Don’t forget to listen to the Podcast that goes along with this post! I get into much more details about my experiences with all of the above!

What time-saving hack do you utilize? Share it below in the comments!

Have you tried any grocery services? I’d love to hear about your experience as well!

Time saving hacks for mom - give up grocery shopping

Being the wife of a runner

Being The Wife of a Runner

Being the wife of a runner isn’t easy. I don’t touch on what my husband does on here but it’s about time I did. My husband is a runner, and by runner, I mean competitive, marathon training runner. But he wasn’t always this driven.

When my husband and I met, I was 18 and he was in his early 20’s. We went out, we partied and for a while, our health wasn’t the most important thing to us. All that changed after we got married.

Not long after we got married, my parents dropped a bomb on us that my dad had Prostate cancer. Not much longer after his diagnosis, he had a procedure to implant nuclear beads that would kill those particular cancer cells. You can read more on targeted radionuclide therapy here.

Dad’s news to us spawned a positive effect on my life to start getting myself together and start putting my health at the forefront. I got a gym membership and became happily engrossed in fitness. It took hubby a bit longer. But not by much!

Life as a runner's wife

Why he started

Anytime we’d have a few drinks, Geoff would go to the nearby corner store to buy cigarettes. He’d lie to me and say he was getting snacks, I knew otherwise. Finally, on February 20th, 2013, he smoked his last cigarette and started running. Quitting smoking was something he did on and off for years so I was apprehensive. However, running slowly became his passion.

That spring, he completed his first 5k race. He was all nerves that morning as we got to the race arch. I was nervous for him! He’s so hard on himself and compares his progress to others. While his placement wasn’t in any top tier, it was a personal win for him and I was so proud of him.

Watching them struggle

Over these past 5 years, I’ve seen him struggle, succeed, set and reach goals that I couldn’t imagine obtaining myself.  Seeing him either get an injury which would keep him from running, or being defeated by a cold, or the weather was difficult. You want to fix why they’re unhappy, but you know that all they really want, or need, is to get some miles under their feet.

Sometimes it’s just because of having a crazy schedule that he can’t make it out. Maybe we’re working opposing shifts, it happens. Or, if we take a trip somewhere, he wouldn’t be eating his usual foods and running like he normally would. All of which play huge factors in his mood, which yes, can translate into our home life.

Support, no matter what

While I don’t enjoy running at all, watching him do something he loves makes me so happy. It’s a much better example for our son than the previous lifestyle. Not to mention, he’s in better shape now than when we first met. Can’t shake a finger at that fact!

It’s easy to take for granted the changes people make in their lives when it’s not yourself directly. When you just sit and think about the distance that 10k is and the fact that your significant other just casually run that any day of the week, it’s pretty crazy. But a good kind of crazy. An influential kind of crazy, infectious even.

If you’ve never been at the finish line of a big race or a marathon, you need to experience it for yourself. People are cheering on loved ones, strangers or just cheering out of pure excitement. It’s really exhilarating.

It can get expensive

Everything has a price. And running, it adds up. Sneakers needing to be replaced every so many miles, Garmin watches, race registration. That’s just a high overview!

You’ll get into extras like the cost of clothes for seasonal running (especially all of the extras needed for winter running). Also, think about the time spent prepping for a race.

Time is money, and time is also relationships. When you’re leading up to a big race, there are no other plans to be made. Period. Everything is prepping for that race. Down to making sure that long distance runs are happening, then the dreaded taper, where they cut back on runtime, but they also need more rest.

You’ll see your food budget take a jump during race season, and especially on race, and post-race weeks because of carbohydrate loading. And also supplementation. Don’t forget the supplements, electrolytes, omega’s, protein and more. And so many bananas. Basically all of the bananas.

It takes sacrifice

With all of the miles he’s accumulated, it doesn’t go without sacrifice. His running means me supporting him and his goals, which can sometimes mean putting mine on the back burner. We’re not perfect, and if I’m being honest, yes, we do fight. Not that he doesn’t give me my time, but I still have a hard time asking for it. Because well, mom guilt. We’re still figuring out our balance, even with a two-year-old.

Throw making plans out the window because training, during race weeks, takes precedence over everything.

There’s no clear way of knowing how long it’ll take for us to get into a good groove, but hey, parenthood, right?

Race season is very much active now, and he is currently training for another full and half marathon. This means extra miles, and certainly some added crankiness on both our parts. Mine because “run” becomes a four letter word to me if you know what I mean. And for him, because he’s burning the candle at both ends.

Trust me, I have my days where when he complains about being tired, or burnt out, I respond with, “you choose to do this” however, it’s not a bad choice to make.

However, I’d take running Geoff, over smoking, unhealthy Geoff, any day.

After a race

There’s something so exhilarating about race day, even if you’re not running it! The build-up of all of the training runs, meal prep, and the emotional rollercoaster is about to be worth it all.

I mentioned before, but honestly, if you’ve never been in the crowd of a big race, you need to go. It’s so amazing watching those people coming across the finish line. Sometimes it’s with tears streaming down their face, into the arms of loved ones. Or, the announcer is calling out the names of the top division leaders.

It’s awesome to see your person come across that finish line, and get to give them a massive sweaty hug because they’ve accomplished something amazing.

This past spring was the first time I got to bring Peyton to the finish line of a marathon Geoff ran. As I passed Peyton over the barricade to Geoff, tears running down his face, it made everything worth it. You’re so proud of your partner, and especially seeing the example they are making for your little one(s).

Not all races are the same

Did you know there are races which are themed? Many are and those are really fun to be at!

Sure, it’s great to go to a race that has these crazy, amazing athletes, who are trying to qualify for massive races like Boston Marathon, or maybe even a regional qualifier!

But, races for causes like Terry Fox, or Pride races, are so much fun. Some races, like color races where people literally pelt the runners with colored chalk, are considered fun runs. You may also be familiar with foam runs, or mud runs, or even costume themed races! No matter what the idea, crazy, or great, I can guarantee, there is probably a race for that. Even Disney holds races

Also, did you know there’s an all Women’s race in San Francisco sponsored by Nike, which at the end, you’re given a Tiffany necklace by a firefighter? Yeah. That’s a thing, and you can check that out here!

You may not be a runner

If you are the spouse of a runner, who doesn’t run themselves, you know where I’m coming from. Why don’t I run? Because I don’t enjoy it. And I’m not going to do something I don’t like doing, just to do something. I’d rather be writing or creating, or just taking in some quiet time. And that’s okay. Everyone has their own thing.

What I do miss is working out. Weight lifting, and training. I used to have a trainer, and I used to go to the gym every day, and I worked hard. Like really damn hard. And I was so proud of my body. That is something I want to get back to, absolutely. But we can’t have both parents out of the house at the same time. So, while I’m still trying to figure out my balance, and make my time, there’s always yoga!

Find something mutually beneficial

Finding something you both enjoy, that’s a happy medium can be a good compromise for the both of you. If you’re a runner, or if your spouse is, you know how important stretching. For a little while, a very little while… I managed to get Geoff to do yoga with me. But, like anything else, that tapered off. He got busy, I didn’t feel like waiting around, because let’s be honest, I feel like I always am. So we stopped doing that together.

But you know what, even now, he will sometimes pop some yoga on tv, or the laptop and get a good stretch in, so I know I helped in some way!



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Maybe you both like hiking, or going for walks. The main thing is that you can’t lose that time together because well, you’re a team. Like I said, we’re not perfect, and lately, we’ve been like ships passing in the night. But that too shall pass, and we will have our “us” time once the dust settles.

Is your spouse a runner? I’d love to hear how ya’ll balance it. Parenthood, your relationship with other, and your time for you! Leave your input in the comments below.

The Hospital Bag Checklist for Mom-to-Be

Mom-to-be’s Hospital Bag Checklist

Mom-to-be’s Hospital Bag Checklist

+ a free printable, just for you!

I wish this could be an “if I could re-pack my hospital bag” post, but let’s be real. It’s an “if I actually packed a hospital bag” post. You’ll soon see why.

If you’re already pregnant, you should pack your bag right now.

Okay, that’s a bit premature. But seriously, once you’re part way into your second trimester, you should really start packing that thing. Along with daddy-to-be’s bag, which luckily, I’ve already written about!

If you leave it too late, you’ll end up like I did, sitting on a toilet, waiting for your husband to arrive with granny panties and the biggest feminine pads you’ve seen since you started puberty.

Packing my hospital bag was such an oversight that it basically didn’t even happen. I’m not joking, the day I was going to go get the things I needed for my bag, I got out of bed, and my water broke. You can read about our birth story here!

Don’t do what I did

So, long story short.

I stopped working one month before my due date, mainly because my hubby and I were living on the other side of the country, with no family. We had framily (friends who were like family) but it’s not the same. Mainly because I’d say, we love our framily more, joking!

Any pickle, I had been off of work for exactly two weeks and had my list planned of what I was going to buy for my hospital bag. Because well, Pinterest told me what to get, as did my doula. However, the list my doula gave me was the best, seriously.

I can’t thank her enough, our doula was amazing.

Related post: Why You Need A Doula

So, the day I was getting out of bed, to get ready to go shopping, my water broke. And when I say water broke, it was more like the hoover dam erupted from my lady parts. Luckily, it waited to happen until I got into our bathroom.

Can I just say, I was not prepared for the fact that it would keep coming, whenever it felt like it, with no warning, in random gushes?

Yeah, that was fun. And I’m sure I’m painting a beautiful picture for you.

Anywho, that’s all I need to say, to tell you that, your baby, or babies if you’re having multiples, will come whenever they like. So you better be prepared with a bag at the door.

Don’t wait until you’re well into your third trimester, and sitting on the toilet, waiting for your husband to get home from work and the mall with everything you need.

Again, glamorous, as usual, I know!

After my hubby got home, not only did we throw any random things I thought I’d need in the bag, but we started doing all of the things we didn’t do ahead of time. You know, like our baby’s laundry, and things like that.

Related post: Baby Laundry Tips 101

I think the day my water broke was also the day I realized what type of mom I’d be. A hot mess. There was no stopping it, I was on the hot mess express with no stops in sight from the get-go.

With all of the items, I’m about to list off, keep in mind, when it comes to beauty and hygiene, try to go for items with little to no scent. Because well, you’re in a hospital darling.

Printable Mom-to-be hospital bag checklist

Get your copy of the mom-to-be hospital bag checklist here!

Toiletries

Shampoo & conditioner

Might we suggest using travel size bottles? Save space, and weight in your bag for when you steal. I mean, graciously take, all of those mesh underwear the nurses thought they had hidden.

Body wash

Go for something that is gentle on your skin, and that will be safe for your baby if you are breastfeeding.

Toothbrush & toothpaste

Well duh.

Deodorant or antiperspirant

Goes without saying, but, like toothpaste and a toothbrush, needs to be here.

Loofah

Buy one that you are willing to throw away at the hospital, because well, there will be blood, and other stuff happening. Also, be very, very gentle on your nether regions. My suggestion, use your peri bottle, if you do need some wiping, type of cleaning to be done, don’t wipe, pat. For the love of stitches, pat, do not, ever, ever wipe new stitches, ouch. Not to mention, you don’t need those getting stuck in your loofah.

Wine and Mommy Time the Podcast

Tucks medicated wipes

These babies are technically for hemorrhoids, however, they’re also a new mama’s best friend. Again, pat, do not wipe.

Depends or overnight pads

Many second time moms opt for depends. We already know what it was like to have postpartum bleeding leaks, so we know better. You can always pad up a depend. While I know it will hurt your ego to buy them, you’ll thank yourself later.

Shower flip flops

If you haven’t had a child, you don’t know the horror of what your shower will look like after birth. Let’s think about how many other post-birth ladies have been in that shower. Get shower flip-flops, then throw them out when you’re leaving the hospital.

Breast pads

This is one of those optional things. Your milk may not have come in enough for you to be leaking everywhere yet, but every mom is different. Bring some just in case. You don’t need a whole box, but some are better than none if you need them.

Peri bottle

Oh, this bottle. It’s a new mom’s bestie. No joke, it’s so refreshing. Lucky for me, my hospital gave me one. It’s basically like a normal water bottle, that you spray your tender bits with to help clean them without rubbing. You can always ask ahead if your hospital will supply you with one.

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Postpartum Self Care Must-Have Products

Clothes

Full coverage underwear

Also known as, granny panties. Get a size up from what you think you need because pads will be taking up a lot of real estate in those sexy skivvies. And no, boy shorts or those cheeky lace underwear won’t do. You need the full kit and caboodle. I’m talking, what your literal grandmother would wear. You’ll end up throwing these out after you’re past your postpartum bleeding stage anyway.

Slippers & socks

Bring slippers that you are okay with throwing away. In case you have an accident on them while you’re laboring, or otherwise. Socks or even slipper socks are wonderful as well. Personally, shoes were only worn by myself when I was entering and leaving the hospital. Otherwise, it was slipper socks and socks for me the whole time.

Sneakers

Make sure they are comfy, and that they are wide enough to accommodate possible swollen feet. My feet retained so much water that my flip flops didn’t really fit. Yeah, it was that bad. They were so uncomfortable.

Nightdress or pj’s

What I really mean by nightdress is moomoo. You know, those big, huge, granny nightgowns. This is a time to be comfortable, and accessible. For your baby, and the toilet. Again, I’m just going to be real with Y’all. This isn’t about glamor, this is about functionality. Some people choose PJ pants and a top. I preferred the ease of a moomoo for all of the private part cleanings, as well as pumping and breastfeeding.

Printable Mom-to-be hospital bag checklist

Get your copy of the mom-to-be hospital bag checklist here!

Yoga pants

My entire hospital stay, I lived in a hospital gown and a moomoo. Some moms prefer outfits, and if you do, I suggest, the stretchier the better. Just be realistic though, you’re probably still going to be in maternity clothes for a while. So be kind to yourself, don’t bring your pre-pregnancy yoga pants, they won’t fit, and your hormones are already at an all-time high.

T-shirts

Preferably ones that have easy access for breastfeeding, if you’re doing it. Don’t bring overly fitted shirts either. Think tunic, or relaxed fit, again, probably your maternity clothes still.

Going home outfit

Baby isn’t the only one who needs one of these. You do too! Pick something comfy.

Nursing bras

You don’t want an underwire bra right about now. Again, going for comfort and ease of access. I was wearing some wonderful nursing bras from my third trimester well into my postpartum time and I can’t say enough good things about them!

Mid-Length robe

Something I wish I would have brought to the hospital was a robe. I saw so many new moms wandering the halls with cute, functional, cotton robes and I was highly envious. Especially if you’re wearing a hospital gown or a nightdress, they’re a great, practical accessory. Go for a short or mid-length robe so that you don’t have to worry about either dipping it in the toilet, or tripping on it!

Don’t forget daddy-to-be’s checklist either!

Beauty

Body & face lotion

Hospitals are so dry. Remember to opt for brands which are gentle enough to be close to your baby’s skin.

Hair ties & bobby pins

You’ll probably have some in your hair on the way to the hospital anyway. However, just like at home, you’ll lose them at the hospital, so pack extras!

Makeup & brushes

Some moms are in full glam, some decide to be au natural. Typically, I’m always wearing makeup. However, while in the hospital, I didn’t put any on until we were leaving! These items are totally up to you. It is nice to have something on hand for those hospital pictures with your baby, or when people stop by unexpectedly.

Makeup remover

This can be in the form of wipes, micellar water, your remover of choice, or as I prefer to use coconut oil. Why coconut oil? Well, it’s natural, it doesn’t sting, it gets the job done well, and my face isn’t left feeling dry and terrible afterward. All you have to do is melt a dollop in your hand, rub all over your face, and then wipe off with a cloth. That’s it!

Dry shampoo

It’s hard to find time to shower, and even harder to find dry shampoos with no scent. I prefer dry shampoo in a pinch rather than washing my hair because for one, I’m saving time, and two, ain’t nobody got time to blow dry their hair while in the hospital. Nobody.

Lip Balm

Do not, I repeat, do not forget this. Also, like your other skincare items, don’t forget to make sure that it is safe for your baby, because well, there will be baby smooches.

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Fun/Entertainment

Cellphone & charger

What list wouldn’t be complete without these? You’ll already have your phone, that’s a given, just for the love of Buddha, don’t forget the charger!

Tablet, or laptop, and charger

I’d prefer a tablet over a laptop, much lighter, and less cumbersome. But to each their own! It would have been wonderful to have some Netflix available for those times when little man was sleeping and we were just sitting there asking each other “now what?”.

External charger

These are great in an emergency, like for instance, when you forgot that cell phone, or tablet charger that I told you to bring. Or your spouse forgot theirs.

Book or magazine

Some people like to read, I’m not one of them. At least not books. I read blogs, which is probably why I have one. I don’t have time to sit down with a whole book at this time in my life. But, if you enjoy them, maybe you would like that more than Netflix!

Then there are magazines, do people still buy those? You know you can get them on your tablet now right? Then again… Much less heartache if you forget a magazine at the hospital rather than your tablet or laptop!

Bluetooth speaker

This is for playing those soothing, Enya tracks while you’re in labor. Just kidding, they’re for blasting gangster rap that’ll help you through those gnarly contractions because you, like me, opted for no epidural. Jokes aside, the speakers on your phone are only so loud, and it’s nice to have some ambiance in those hospital rooms.

Notebook & pen

This isn’t just for sketching. Consider this notebook your new memory apparatus. Whenever a doctor, nurse, lactation consultant, or midwife offers a tip, write it down. There will be so many things flying at you verbally, it’ll be like the most important pre-final lecture of your life. Also, it’s a great way to chronicle your labor, how you felt when you were pre-contractions, during, and after birth.

Food

I’ve listed some ideas of what you could bring, to get you started. Things I would really put to the top of the list are fresh fruit and veggies, bottled drinks, and instant oatmeal, along with granola bars. You’d be surprised how expensive some hospital cafeterias are, also, you need good nutrition. Not the grey crap they have you try to ingest. Also, drinks can add up. So buy a pack of G2 at Walmart and have it at the ready for when you’re en route for mission baby.

Instant oatmeal packs make a great snack, plus, the oats are great for helping with that milk supply you’re hoping will come in fast!

Other

Pillow

You don’t want those flat, crappy hospital pillows. Just bring yours with you, it’s comfy, it smells like home, and you’ll thank yourself.

List of phone numbers

This list should be printed, not on someone’s phone. Why? Because when you’re full on in labor, there is no time to be fumbling through your contact list for aunt Edna who happens to have the spare key to your house because you forgot to let the dog out. Also, it’s good to have any vital phone numbers such as insurance, your parents, etc.

Nursing pillow

Some people can maneuver those uncomfortable hospital rockers a certain way to make feeding comfortable. Some. I wasn’t one of them. Nursing pillows help you get into that new-to-you position.

Eye mask & ear plugs

Every night, I sleep with an eye mask on and earplugs in. The mask is for obvious reasons, light. And the plugs just help drown out far off noises. Trust me, I still hear when my little guy starts squirming on his baby monitor, but it’s nice to help deafen out the cries from laboring moms, and other people’s babies. Or the annoying guests in the room next to you.

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Insurance card & drivers license

People don’t realize how vital it is to have these two items. Not only does the hospital need to know who you are, but also, how will you be covering that fancy private room of yours? Bring your cards, they will help hospital staff with being able to speak to your carrier to hash out the details so you don’t end up in a sticky, and expensive situation.

Delivery notes

This could be your birth plan. If you have one. Or your list of procedures you do/don’t want to be performed on your new baby. For instance, do you want delayed cord clamping? Maybe you want to breastfeed right away and have baby cleaned on you. Or, do you want certain affirmations said to you to calm you down? Anything that is important to you, or that you feel may get overlooked, is worth having written down so your birth team knows what you do and do not want.

Travel bag

Don’t try to cram everything into that cute little gym bag. You need space. Regardless of how neat you’ve packed, you’ll need room for rummaging. Why? Because chances are, someone else will need to go through it for you at some point, and the more room you have for things to be moved around without having to unpack the entire bag onto the gross hospital floor, the better. Also, you’ll probably take a bunch of stuff like mesh underwear, extra pads, the blanket they wrapped your baby in for the first time, you name it. There’s no shame, we all do it.

Pro tip, use this list as a hospital bag repack list! What does that mean? Make sure you don’t forget anything leaving the hospital, because trust me, they’ll be turning that room over quick for the next mommy-to-be and her posse!

You got this!

This is going to be a fun, crazy and bumpy ride, but darn it, that baby is going to come when they are ready, so now, you will be too! I have all the faith in the world mama. Ladies like me and you are birthing babies all over the world right now. It’s an amazing, scary, thrilling, painful and unexplainable experience, and I’m so, so excited for you!

If you have any suggestions for what should go into a hospital bag, leave it below in the comments!

Need to save this for later? I got you, girl. Use my social buttons to Tweet, Pin or share on Facebook!

Not sure what to pack in your hospital bag? This hospital bag checklist for the mom-to-be will make sure you have everything you need, and nothing you don't! preparing for baby, birth and labour tips, first time mom, hospital packing list, hospital bag packing checklist

What Mom Really Wants on Mother's Day

What This Mom Wants for Mother’s Day – Unfiltered

As you know, Mother’s Day is around the corner. This mommy blogger is going to share what she wants for Mother’s Day, unfiltered.

Whether you’re a working mom, a stay at home mom, or a work from home mom, you’re probably the last person in your home who gets pampered.

This post contains affiliate links. That means if you make a purchase after following an ad this blog will receive a commission, at no extra cost to you! Things like this keep Wine and Mommy Time up and running.

No “fur parents”

And no, fur parents need not apply. Yes, we get that you choose an animal. But it’s not the same. You can leave a dog or cat home, with a bowl of water and food and all is well. It’s a hell of a lot more work to have to organize childcare, their meals, laundry, clean the house, and attempt to take a shower.

It’s 180% different and you’ll never convince me otherwise.

I’ve had pets, and don’t get me wrong. I know their work but seriously chill the hell out. Humans are much more work. End scene. So, now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, I’m going to spill some real tea. And some real truths. Because that’s what I do.

Tell the damn truth.

Is it so bad that what I really, really, truly want for Mother’s Day is to sleep in, wake up when I feel like it, have a damn mimosa, and have other people just do all of the chores. All of the bottles, food, cleaning, baby chasing, errand running, ass wiping and booger cleaning? Is it that much to ask?

Related post: Working Mom Beauty Routine

Don’t get me wrong, I love my squishy toddler more than anything. Seriously, we’ve lucked out with this kid.

But mama needs a break.

What I really, really want

The other weekend, my husband and I took a little road trip down to a little fishing town. On the way there, we passed a sign for a yoga b&b. My heart’s been a flutter ever since. I jokingly said, “one day, I’m going to book a weekend away, where I can write, drink all of the wine, and answer to no one.” My dear hubby’s response, “go for it”.

I thought he was being an ass or something, but he was serious, as a heart attack.

It got me thinking, as mom’s, we don’t do enough of what we want, or much less need to do.

Self care is a struggle, and it’s something that should be taken much more seriously.

Winc $20 Off Your First Order
 

Real, true, me time

I have a really hard time asking for time to myself and feel super guilty for even thinking it, much less asking. My husband and I differ greatly on this front. His alone time happens every day because he’s a runner, though he doesn’t really count that, but that’s another discussion.

Whereas all I want to do in my alone time is write, or watch trashy shows.

Balancing mom, wife, employee, blogging and attempting to live in there somewhere is really damn hard.

My biggest struggle is attempting to make plans, but knowing full well that honestly, I’d rather just chill, in a room that has no cartoons, and do something just for me. Not keeping someone’s company or attention, just doing something that I 110% want to do.

Maybe you want to hang with your mom tribe, and that’s okay too!

DO IT YOURSELF!
 

Let’s keep it simple

So, as one mama, whos trying to juggle it all, while attempting to keep somewhat of her sanity, hear me out. Sometimes, all a mom wants on mother’s day is a little wine and self-time. And that’s okay.

We don’t need anything fancy. Certainly don’t need flowers because lord knows we have to prune them, put them in a vase and then ultimately throw them out.

No, this mother’s day, ask your lady what she wants and needs.

It could be something totally easy and carefree like watching, Netflix movies or some Mean Girls while eating Ben & Jerry’s and drinking a nice Cabernet Sauvignon.

What do you really want this mother’s day? Share with us below!

What Mom Really Wants on Mother's Day

12 Must Have Nursery Items Every Parent Needs

Are you in the planning stages of your nursery, or thinking yours isn’t as functional as it could be? Today I’m covering my 12 must have nursery items for you all!

I’ll be the first to admit that we didn’t put any design thought into Peyton’s first nursery. It was more about function than anything. Not such a bad thing!

Peyton, now being two years old (heartbreaking to admit) has had three nurseries. Yep, three!

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His first one being in our condo apartment for a short time before moving across the country. Once we arrived at my parents, where we stayed for a few months he had another nursery. Now we’re in another condo which we’ve been in for just over a year.

In all three of Peyton’s nurseries, there are things that have been essential to him and us. Trust me when I say you don’t have to have every bell and whistle. Function and practicality is the most important thing.
Nurseries are probably some of my favorite decor inspiration.

I’m kind of shocked that I haven’t posted much about them. Especially considering how well received my posts about gender-neutral nurseries and Montessori nurseries went. You should check them out and see what all the fuss is about!

12+ Must-Have Nursery Products

This post contains affiliate links. That means if you make a purchase after following an ad this blog will receive a commission, at no extra cost to you! Things like this keep Wine and Mommy Time up and running.

A crib

When we choose Peyton’s crib, other than aesthetics, we were looking for practicality. While those adorable round or oval cribs are just that, adorable. They’re not very practical.

If you need a crib that will last, grow with your child, or be transferable to another baby, consider a convertible crib. We opted for a crib that would grow with him well into childhood, crazy to think his preteen self will be converting this very crib to a proper bed with a foot and headboard!

Convertible cribs can come in a few different forms:

  • 2-way – these are sometimes just a simple conversion from crib to a daybed with or without a safety bar.
  • 3-way – in addition to the 2-way features, a 3-way crib may include the crib changing to a toddler bed.
  • Fully convertible – this type is sometimes a part of the 3-way option, or it may be considered a 4-way option by adding in the ability to convert to a twin or double bed with a new mattress of course, and bed rails.

Crib mattress

There are some key aspects you need to consider about the mattress you are putting in your child’s crib. Especially if they are a newborn.

Newborns, and babies until they are well out of the SIDS stage need firm mattresses. Why? Because their little growing bodies need proper support. Also, if the mattress is soft, you are running the risk of suffocation. Click here to learn more about SIDS from the Mayo Clinic.

When your baby starts rolling, it’s also much easier for them to roll over, and recover themselves on a firm mattress, easier for their little arms and legs to push off of and safely turn themselves without sending themselves, and you into a panic.

Other than being firm, think about the physical weight of the mattress. If you haven’t changed a crib sheet in the middle of the night yet, you don’t know how real that struggle can be. It’s real mama, oh so real. Lots of swearing, sweating and a crying baby because that’s the reality of it when you’re a sleep-deprived new mom!

You’ll end up having to change sheets during the night so be sure that the mattress is light enough for you to pick up and change on your own because your partner won’t always be there.

Newton Baby
Some mattresses are already waterproof, or water resistant. In those cases, you may not even need a waterproof mattress cover. Bonus! In the chance you have a mattress that doesn’t specifically say it has a waterproof barrier get a waterproof mattress cover, remember cover, not pad, we want to keep it firm.

Want to take your crib mattress game to the next level? Newton Baby Crib Mattress is the highest rated crib mattress on the internet! Find out why here. They’re breathable, easy to change and come in a huge range of options. Check them out!

Crib sheets

Especially when you’re in early days, having extra crib sheets on hand is key. There will be diapers that are peed and pooped through. Baby puke, drool, lots of that!

In other words, you’ll be changing those sheets a lot.

I suggest having light, cotton sheets, four to start. If you live somewhere that it gets cold, like us here in Canada. You’ll also want flannel sheets, those seem to really wick moisture into them, so definitely stock up on them as well.

I discovered Rookie Humans and seriously, their crib sheets are so adorable. Since you won’t have a blanket on your baby until they are a toddler, having cute, whimsical sheets like theirs are a fun way to add some personality to the nursery!

Discover the most whimsical crib sheets

Crib bite guards

For the sake of your crib, put these on early. When we were with my parents I waited too long. All of a sudden, one day Peyton discovered it’d be a great thing to teethe on. And that was the beginning of the downfall for that poor crib.

The first crib guards I picked up where these gummi ones, they made for a great teething device for our little guy. They also protected the parts of the rails that he hadn’t gnawed like a beaver yet.

When we moved into our current condo, I ordered these fabric ones, I’ve had them on ever since! I love that they’re easy to remove for washing and they kind of complete the look of the crib.

Humidifier/dehumidifier

Depending on what the air is like where you live, or much less, the air in your nursery, you should consider getting a humidifier or a dehumidifier. Key reasons being that if it is far too dry in the room, much like winters here on the east coast of Canada.

You want to keep the air comfortable for your little squish. No one likes feeling like their skin is flaking off, or that they have crusty boogers for days. Adults included. You can find humidifiers here.

Adversely, if you have a very humid room, think about getting a dehumidifier. Heavy air can make our little ones feel just as uncomfortable, if not more uncomfortable than adults. You can find dehumidifiers here.

Glider

Get a chair that is comfortable, ergonomically right for you, and most of all, not creaky. You’re going to spend a lot of time in this chair, especially if you’ve got a newborn. Whether you’re nursing, or bottle feeding, a chair in the nursery is a must have. You may end up sleeping in it from time to time. So you better hope it’s comfortable so your butt doesn’t fall asleep too.

Some people like to have footrests as well, I believe that’s a personal preference. In early days, when I’d sometimes doze in the chair with our little guy, yes. Now, no need, it’s pretty quick and easy nowadays, but when he was up multiple times a night, it was necessary.

Just make sure that the footrest is soft around the edges. Why? No one wants to stub a toe and wake the baby.
Then you’ll be crying for other reasons. And I don’t want that for you!

Chest of drawers

There are two types of parents in the world. Parents who hang clothes, and parents who throw them in a drawer. I bet you can guess which of the two I am. That’s right. Drawer baby mama, drawer.

You’re already doing enough cleaning, why add to it by having to hang each of those tiny things on a hanger, to only have to rip it off about an hour later when your baby pukes all over themselves. Ease of access people.

Get the damn chest of drawers.

If you choose to fold, that’s on you. But again, I am admittedly a hot mess mom, and I just throw those suckers in there because I know they won’t be there for long.

Once your child starts crawling, however, you should really consider bolting the dresser to the wall. You can find brackets here, that is really easy to install. No one wants an accident.

Lamp

Depending on what you want, some people will have a cute, regular lamp, while others opt for something a little more… How do I put it… Themed.

I personally prefer a functional, normal, everyday lamp that can grow with his room as fast as he does. If you feel like you need that crazy giraffe lamp, go for it, but I can guarantee, theme’s fade my friend. Don’t overspend on things you don’t need to. Function over looks, always. Now, if it’s functional, and looks great, win-win!

Video monitor

There is no way I could sleep at night without being able to see that our little man is alright. I love monitors and frankly don’t know how some parents do without them. They’re a total must have.

Think about it, if you don’t need to go open that creaky door in the middle of the night, why should you? You’ll just end up with a startled cranky baby. And no one needs that.

Video monitors have come a very long way. This one, in particular, is incredible. I love that it gives you updates on your phone! How handy is that?

Give yourself some peace of mind, and get some sleep, get a video monitor.

Nanit - The Baby Monitor That Thinks

Changing table

This is one thing I find very debatable for people. However, speaking as someone who didn’t have a changing table for a very long time. My back thanks me for eventually getting one. At two years old, Peyton is still being changed on it.

Not only does it save my back from being in a world of slouchy pain, it serves a purpose to organize his room better. I consider our changing table to be the epicenter of everything in his room. Mainly because it houses a lot. His overnight bag if he’s going to his grandparents. As well as the usual essentials like diapers, lotions, wipes and whatever else has ended up there.

My suggestion as well, as a side note, you know how I love side notes. Instead of putting a mobile above their crib, put the mobile on their changing table for little babies. It makes changing time much less scary. And gives them something to enjoy looking at while you’re fiddling with that explosive situation down there.

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Changing pad

Even if you’re not going to have a changing table, you should consider a changing pad to be a necessity. It’ll keep things from getting messy that you don’t want to be messy, and they keep your baby contained to one spot to change them. This is the one we have, and I also bought it for my parents’ house.

If you don’t have a changing table or a designated changing spot, consider getting a portable changing pad like these. You can easily fold it up and put it out of sight.

Sound machine

By far, one of our favorite sleep aids for our little man. Check out our favorite sleep aid here!

Peyton has had a sound machine since the beginning. You can get ones which have multi-purpose functions. Such as multiple songs, sounds, night lights, ceiling projection and more. Ours has all of those functions so when he was young and we were limited on space, we used it as the lamp for the room. Now he has both a lamp and his sound machine. You can find all sorts of sound machines here.

They can vary in type. Some are stuffed animals that you put in the crib, however, that runs a SIDS risk. Other’s clip onto the crib, and then, like ours, others can sit on the floor or a dresser.

Blackout curtains

Not only do blackout curtains make our son’s room dark as night at all times, they also help regulate temperature.

But won’t my little one be scared? They spend time in your belly with no light and for the first while are pretty much blind. So long as you keep nap and bedtime as dark time from the start, this shouldn’t be an issue.

It also helps your little one realize it’s sleep time. Not to mention, if they can’t see something they may want to play with, you won’t end up with a baby losing sleep over fear of missing out, aka FOMO.

All of the items above are things we use, always, in our nursery. What works for us, may not work for you. Related post: Top 6 Amazon Baby Essentials

Do you have some must-have nursery items? Share yours in the comments below!

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12+ Must-Have Nursery Products

12+ Cake Smash Alternatives

First Birthday Cake Smash Alternatives

First birthday cake smash alternatives

Isn’t it funny how it’s totally acceptable for a baby to go ape on a cake for the sake of a photo shoot? But then when their older, we tell them not to play with their food? Maybe that’s the entire meaning of “let them be little.”

Regardless, you can’t deny the cuteness and the fun that’s involved in a good cake smash!

I totally, 300% regret not getting to do a cake smash shoot for Peyton. Around his first birthday, we were so busy with getting our place ready to move into that time escaped us. I even bought a cute outfit and everything!

I did, however, make time to bake his cake. It was a sugar-free, banana and applesauce cake! It was super tasty and he really liked it. You can find the recipe here!

Fool-Proof Sugar-Free First Birthday Smash Cake Recipe

You deserve it too!

If your little one has a first birthday coming up, you know how fast time has gone. It’s like in a blink of an eye, they’re one! An entire year has past and you all survived it!

Maybe just by the skin of your teeth, but you did it!

Whoever said the first year of marriage was the hardest, clearly didn’t have a baby yet. Marriage is a cakewalk (pun intended) in comparison to the first year of parenthood.

When Peyton was a few months old and going through his colic stage, people always told me, it would get better. Believe me, mama, it really does.

Sure, it gets scary when they start crawling, and then walking and falling everywhere, but, it gets to be so much more fun! Or rather gets fun, period.

I remember being back to work for only a short time and being home one evening thinking to myself, why doesn’t maternity leave start to kick in a year after they’re born? It’s so much more enjoyable! Government, you need to give us more time.

Let them eat cake or something like it!

Anyway, totally getting off track there… whoops!

Time to get to the cake-spiration! That’s a new word, I just made it.

Oh, I have to now let you know as well, get ready for the non-conventional smash “cakes” to follow. Because well, it’s fun to not do the norm!

Watermelon, how cute! (Source)

A little pie in the face! (Source)

 

Fruitcake, that people will actually eat! (Source)

BBQ anyone? (Source)

Girl, you had me at taco (Source)

Don-ut grow up! (Source)

Paint party, table for one! (Source)

 

Little cookie monster (Source)

Say yes to sprinkles (Source)

Donut holes, or as Canadia’s know them, Timbits! (Source)

Some s’ketti! (Source)

I scream you scream! (Source)

And this because it doesn’t always need to be about the baby! (Source)

Were those fun or what? What are you going to do for your little one’s first birthday? Share below in the comments!

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12+ Cake Smash Alternatives

Our Son's Natural Birth Story

Our Son’s Birth Story – 28 Hours of Crazy

Our son turned tow today! Two! Buddha help us, I think that the terrible twos are hitting us already. In light of his birthday, you’ve never read our birth story. Mainly because I hadn’t shared it. Better late than never right? Now is as good a time as ever to share with you how those crazy 28 hours went.

Yes, I said 28 hours.

Backstory

When I was pregnant I wasn’t the kind of mom-to-be who would read countless books and blogs. Let alone Google every little thought that came to mind. If there was anything pressing that I was wondering about I would jot it down and wait until my next doctor or midwife appointment.

The one thing I did enjoy reading was other people’s birth stories. Birth stories are one thing that we all share in common in that they are all different and help all of us realize when it is all said and done. That nothing will ever go as planned. I am a planner, anyone who knows me knows this. No matter how many hours you slave away at your birth plan or how many books you read, no birth is textbook, so buckle in and be ready for the unplanned and unexpected to happen because it can and will.

My due date was tentatively April 15th, 2016. When I was told this I immediately contacted my HR department at work and told them the news that I was expecting. Knowing myself and knowing that we did not have family around to help up prepare for this new arrival in our lives I knew that we would need all the time we could get. So I scheduled to stop working as of March 11th, 2016.

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My water broke

The first two weeks of my maternity leave were to be considered vacation time through work and then I would apply for early EI for the remaining until I delivered.

For the first few days of my leave from work I rested. Waking up at 5:00 am every day for work and commuting nearly an hour to and from work to sit in a sedentary job while a baby is pressing into your ribs and on your bladder is not a comfortable thing. So rest was much needed. I slowly started doing things like washing baby clothes, doing A LOT of online shopping with my Amazon Prime, cleaning bottles, and so on. I didn’t have the urge to do things with a ton of vigor like many describe as nesting so I don’t know that I actually even nested until after little man came home.

Two weeks after being on leave from work, I decided it was finally time to pack my hospital bag. You know, that thing you should pack 6 weeks out… Yeah. That. Well at this point I was three weeks out from my due date.

On March 26th, 2016, I got out of bed, went into the bathroom to get ready for what should have been a day of shopping for my hospital bag. However, our little guy decided otherwise. Upon getting into our bathroom my water decided to break. My first thought, what the hell, did I just pee myself? No. It was different, and it wasn’t just one gush and done, no, it would gush, trickle, then gush, with no warning.

So unprepared

At this point my husband was nearly at work, remember how I said it was about an hour away? So I texted my cousin Jess and my Doula (Emily). Jess called me right away and calmed me down (thank you!). After getting off of the phone with her Emily told me to call triage at the hospital and to let them know.

Now time to text Geoff. So I sent out a simple text of “I think my water just broke”. I immediately received a phone call from Geoff, and the one time my phone suddenly drops reception in our place. I had to hang up and call him back. Geoff immediately started on his way back from work to me as I texted him the list of what I needed to purchase that day. Keep in mind, at this point I have NOTHING, none of those granny panties your told to get, no pads, toiletries, nothing. Poor hubby had to pick it all up and I thank him dearly for that. 

Side note, don’t forget a hospital bag for daddy-to-be. We did and totally regretted it. This post will tell you what you need for them!

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Time to hurry up and wait

While waiting for him to get home, as instructed by Emily, I showered as usual and got ready, knowing this would be the last time I would do so without a baby in our home.

Upon me calling the triage line, the midwife at the hospital told me that if I did not have contractions by 5:00 pm to come in. Keep in mind this is about 9:30 am. The day felt so weird, the impending change was very real, our family would grow from a husband and wife to a father and mother within the next 24 hours, or so.

We took a couple more belly photos, relaxed, watched TV and such. Our friends Julie and Peter came over around 4:30 pm and escorted us the two blocks, by car, to the hospital where I was checked out and had minimal pain at this point. They checked me and I was about 3 cm along. The midwife who examined me said that she would keep a room for me because they were starting to fill up. Because of the full moon and all. They sent us home.

Is it time yet?

Around 6:00 pm my contractions started, at around 9:30 pm we went back because my contractions were getting pretty bad. I experienced mine in my back, it felt like a stabbing horrible pain in the small of my back and wrapping around my sides. At this visit, they said I still wasn’t ready to admit to a room and offered me morphine. Remember how I said I didn’t really read or Google anything while pregnant? Well, this I should have before saying yes, apparently, morphine can make your contractions WORSE, it did that for me, instantaneously. But they sent us home again.

Around 11:30pm/12:00 am we returned to the hospital, I was convinced I was far enough along, but nope, they sent us back home and said to return around 6:00 am. Julie went to sleep in our spare room which would soon be our son’s room, finally.

Shi* got real

Late into the night, after many texts between Geoff and my Doula Emily in regard to pain management techniques, Emily was on her way to us. To read more about our incredible birth doula and what she did for both Geoff and me, read this post.

Once Emily arrived, Julie and Geoff went to bed. Emily took over, with a TENs unit in hand and her nurturing ways. She helped keep me as comfortable as she could, including running a bath and giving me emotional reassurance.

Around 6:30 am we decided it was time to head back to the hospital, my amazing friend Julie drove us then headed back home for some much-needed sleep. Upon arrival to the hospital, there was a lot of commotion, among the nurses and triage staff. While we were in the ward, waiting to be transferred into our room we heard them talking on the phone with another hospital. They were saying that there were no more rooms left and that they had mothers that would need to be transferred to them, in exchange for medical equipment. I’m not joking. I was being bartered for tubing.

Once we finally clued into what was going on, panic set in.

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Doulas and midwives for the win

Then, a miracle happened. A midwife came running around the corner saying, she’s not going anywhere, she’s with the midwives and we have a room for her. And just like that, she whisked us off to the room. Turn over from the family before us was so fast that there was still an ‘its a girl’ balloon floating in the corner. It was all happening so fast, it was kind of hard to register mentally. I was exhausted and anxious to get our baby boy safely into the world.

Emily helped me labor in various positions around the room, keeping moving helped. My poor husband was clearly emotional because of the amount of pain I was in. I opted not to have an epidural, because well, I guess I’m just crunchy like that.

After 3 hours of pushing, my midwife and doula said we may need to think about other options. As in the vacuum, forceps, or maybe even c section. They knew I was exhausted. Having been up for over 24 hours. My contractions were starting to slow to an almost stop, yet our son was crowning. We were given the option of Pitocin, if I couldn’t push him out naturally within an hour we’d have to have an intervention. So, with that, I started pushing, harder than I thought humanly possible. Contraction or not, I wanted to do this. 45 minutes later, at 1:55 pm, our son came shooting out into the world, literally.

My midwife must have been a catcher in her past life because my husband said Peyton came out flying.

That moment, when my husband and I looked at our son for the first time was the moment we became parents.

Are you a mommy blogger who’s shared their birth story? Share with other mamas and mamas-to-be in the comments below!

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Our Son's Natural Birth Story