Go Out & PLAY {with Gymboree}


One of our favorite things to do on a beautiful day, is head to the park.  Lucky for us we have a few different ones close by to choose from.  We all love to get some sun and breathe some fresh air... but another benefit is that Clara gets to run all her energy off and ends up going to bed early - and then she sleeps like a rock!  ;)  And while at the park, it's important to be dressed properly - enter Gymboree's new Hop 'N' Roll collection.  This line of clothing was made with outdoor fun in mind, and cute mix & match styles.

Clara is wearing the Geo Print Romper from the Hop 'n' Play line.
This new line launched last week and is available for babies and kids (both boys and girls) sizes 6 months through size 10.  The absolute best part about this line.. other than the super cute clothes.. is that Gymboree is partnering with KaBOOM! to raise money to help 10,000 kids get active play every day in 2015.

Play is important for all children.  Playing is how they learn, how they grow... it's not only good for the physical exercise, but for their mind and overall well-being too.  There's nothing I love more than watching my girl run around at the park, playing in the sandboxes and climbing on the jungle gym.



KaBOOM! is a national non-profit organization that is dedicated to bringing all kids the childhood they deserve - full of active play.  Especially those growing up in poverty here in America.  Did you know that only one in four children gets 60 minutes of active play every day?  That makes this Mama's heart pretty sad.  I'm so thankful that KaBOOM! is taking action to build a place to play for kids across the country, and I think it's pretty awesome that Gymboree is there to support them!

Through May 31st, a portion of the proceeds from all in-store and online sales from the Hop 'n' Roll line will go directly to KaBOOM!  To help make this dream a reality, purchase Hop 'n' Roll clothes online, in a Gymboree store, or you can contribute directly to their campaign.  And currently, the new line is 50% off... which means you can find your kids some comfortable clothes at a price you can be comfortable with!


Gymboree provided me with a gift card for Clara's outfit - however, all wording and opinions are my own.  I think this is a FABULOUS cause they making a partnership with!

Just Born for Baby {review}


Clara was my difficult baby for the first month or so of her life.  And she hated to be swaddled.  She hated being contained.  After I figured that out, I never tried very hard to swaddle her again - honestly, I wasn't very good at it to begin with.

As a second-time mama.. I prayed and hoped my child would enjoy being swaddled.  Having a toddler who no longer naps.. and a newborn who I desperately need to take good naps.. I would try just about anything for him to take a nice long snooze.  I got smart and looked into the Deluxe Swaddle by Just Born, already knowing I wasn't the greatest at swaddling.   I still have a hard time getting a good enough swaddle with a regular muslin blanket, he always seems to houdini his way out.  This particular swaddle blanket is perfect for those mama's who aren't the greatest at swaddling - there's no shame in that.. we can't all be good at everything!  But Sam instantly stops crying when I wrap him up in this.  It's practically houdini-proof.  ;)

Just Born Deluxe Swaddle

Just Born Deluxe Swaddle

A few things I love about the Deluxe Swaddle?

It's easy to use!!  It comes with instructions on both arms-in-swaddling and arms-out-swaddling, and though it may look a little intimidating.. I promise you it's not.  It comes with cradle support for the baby's head and neck, provides tummy support, and allows for healthy hip movement while swaddled.  It's a good feeling to know that my baby boy is not only comfortable while he's wrapped up in the Deluxe Swaddle.. but he's also safe.

The thing is kind of like magic.  He really does stop fussing once I put him in it.. it gives me at least a few minutes of peace and quiet.  ;)  And I mean really.. look how cute he is in it...

Just Born Deluxe Swaddle

Week 3: Meeting Nana & Papa


I love it when my parents come visit.  We only get to see them a 2-3 times a year, so I really cherish the time.  They were here all last week.. and I was so anxious for them to get here and be able to snuggle little Sam.  And of course Clara was more than excited to see her Nana & Papa.  She soaks up all the play time she can get with them.

We did a lot of just hanging out, went to the park and out to eat a couple of times.  The majority of the time they were here, it was so beautiful outside.. so we spent quite a bit of time enjoying the sunshine and fresh air.  Clara threw around some water balloons and teased the dog with her water gun.. Sam.. well, when he wasn't crying, eating, or poo'ing.. he was snoozing the day away.  ;)

My parents didn't get to meet Clara in person until she was almost 3 months old, so I loved that they were able to be here to enjoy Sam's newborn sweetness.  At the start of week 3, Sam left behind his newborn diapers and clothes.  My sweet boy is already growing so fast.  He is still eating every couple of hours.  The longest he has gone between feedings is 3.5 hours.  I really hope that changes soon, ha!  And I'm happy to say that he's a breastfeeding champ, with no signs of a milk protein allergy (yet - fingers crossed), like his big sis had.  His cheeks are getting chubbier, and he's getting so long - and my favorite part.. he's SO close to a first real smile.  So so close.. I'm anxiously awaiting the day he smiles at me.  I remember when Clara first did, and it just melts me!

And as for me, I've got about 10 lbs to go until I'm where I was before Sam.  But I'm in no rush. 

We all went out for breakfast at a local diner before they left last Saturday and after we were done eating, we said our see ya later's and went our separate ways.  When we pulled back into our drive way, Clara realized Nana & Papa weren't behind us and had a little 5 minute breakdown.  I have to admit, it hurt my heart a little bit.  The whole being away from family part of military life never gets easier for me, especially being so close with them - but I am so thankful for technology.. FaceTime, Skype.. that I can see their faces at any time.  

And thankfully, after a couple minutes, Clara was distracted by a bird in a tree or something.. made me giggle a little.  She's always going from one extreme emotion to the next.. but I guess that's what us girls do.  ;)

Free to Be with all free clear


Ok.. so now I have 2 kids.  Two.  It's been three weeks and that still hasn't quite sunk in yet, probably because my husband is still off of work until next week so I've had quite a bit of help around here.  Next week will be a whole new ball game for me.  You know what comes with two kids?  Twice as much laundry.. possibly even three times as much.. because we all know newborns like to spit up, poo, and pee all over the place.  I'm thankful for my all free clear laundry detergent.  I've been using this detergent since Clara was born - mainly because she had some eczema when she was younger.  Our whole family tends to have sensitive skin like that and the all free clear products have received the National Eczema Association (NEA) Seal of Acceptance.. so it avoids all those awful chemicals, dyes, and perfumes that irritate the skin.

I'm all about the products that are free of anything harsh for my littles skin.  On top of that, this detergent is affordable and it leaves our clothes feeling clean - and it's safe for all washing machines.

So if you have children with sensitive skin.. or just children that like to make a mess (and if you have a kid, then I have no doubt they like to make a mess.. what kid doesn't).. then you need this detergent.  It's conquered every stain I sent it's way, and was gentle enough for my babies skin.

Ju-Ju-Be Bags {review}


Ju Ju Be

So Ju-Ju-Be has some pretty awesome diaper bags, but they have other cute bags as well!  I received The Legacy Starlet (in the Duchess pattern) and the Legacy Be Set (also in the Duchess pattern) from them a few weeks ago and I was so excited when they arrived!  I chose the Legacy Starlet, which is similar to a small duffle bag, because I wanted to use it as my hospital bag for when I had to head out for baby boy's arrival.  I'm happy to say that when I had it all packed up, everything fit in there so nicely!  It's just the right size - it would also be perfect to pack for a weekend getaway.  It has an Agion treatment, which protects the bag and inhibits odor-causing bacteria, mold, and mildew.. so it would also be great for a gym bag!

Also.. can I just say.. as a mom, I LOVE that these are machine washable.  It makes life so easy.  Not only that, but it's made with a Teflon fabric protector that helps repel stains - so it's tough and durable.  It has an outside zip pocket that makes it easy to grab the most important things quickly (phone, wallet, etc).  Plus, it's cute - and who doesn't like to be cute?  It's easy to carry and I received a lot of compliments on it while I was in the hospital!

I also received the Legacy Be Set, which is a set of three different sized bags/wristlets.  I love these because I can use these as my "purse" and throw them into my diaper bag so I can easily find my things vs. the baby things.  And again, these are machine washable - yes please!  They're also easy to just grab and go, if you're heading out for a night with friends.  I love that Ju-Ju-Be's bags are so versatile.

Clara had to jump in the photo with me.. and how could I say no?  She's just too cute.  :)

Have any of you owned a Ju-Ju-Be bag?  What one do you have, and what do you think of it?

I received two Ju-Ju-Be products in exchange for my review & opinion.  

The First Week - We Made It


Sam is now 11 days old.  Why does the time go by so quickly?  I feel like just the other day I was questioning whether or not I should be heading to the hospital.

The first two days after leaving the hospital were the hardest.  Mainly because I was stressing myself out about breastfeeding... my milk hadn't come in quite yet, and Sam didn't want to have anything to do with even trying to nurse because he knew what he wanted and it wasn't there yet.  So of course, I felt awful.  All the crazy hormones don't quite help either.  But after a little crying, a call to the lactation specialist at the hospital, and my supportive husband.. we made it through.

But honestly, my toddler has been more of a challenge than my newborn.  I knew it was going to be a big change for her, and I've tried to make the transition as smooth as I could.. but I think her acting out a little was just going to be inevitable.  But that's a whole other story for a different day...

On day 3 of being home from the hospital, Sam had his checkup.  He looked perfect.. lost some ounces, which is normal.. and the milk had come in full-force so he was happy.  I'm thrilled to say that breastfeeding is still going well, and gets a little bit easier as time goes on.  I'm hoping it stays this way.

At 7 days old, he had his first outing - this mama was itching to get out of the house.  We took Clara to a local kids museum, and it went fairly well.  Since then we've also been to the park a couple times and out to eat once.  That's a lot of adventure for an 11 day old.  ;)  But when Clara was a baby, we did whatever we wanted.  We didn't let having a child hold us back from going anywhere or doing something fun.. and I'm convinced that's why she's always (95% of the time, anyway) been such a good traveler and so good whenever we go out somewhere.  And it'll be the same way with Sam.. I hope, haha.

And so here it is.. day 11.  Clara's at school today.. we are trying to get ourselves back into a routine.. Coleman still has a couple weeks off of work - thank God because I'm not ready to be left alone yet - and my parents visit in one week.  Lots to look forward to.. trying to soak it all in.. the baby smells, coos & noises, the little faces he makes.. it goes by too fast.

And I promise, I'm happy.. do you know how hard it is to take a selfie like this?  It wasn't easy - I was concentrating.. ha!  ;)