Tag Archives: Things

Nov’s Nook: 10 Things For A Corner Nursery

March 23, 2017

A few years ago we made an office space in the guest room to give Austin a place to study and me a place to work but didn’t end up using it once due to the logistics of our house. Which made it that much easier to get rid of and replace with a tiny sleeping space for Nov. I’ve never had a nursery for any of my babies, so everyone be cool and pretend he’s still in utero while I “nest” and “eat for two.” Here’s the before picture. 

The first thing I did was sell the desk for 50 bucks (we got it free on the side of the road!) and use that money to buy a new in-the-box convertible crib on Facebook Marketplace for the same price (he was in a co-sleeper or a pack and play before). Next I pinned 17 complicated DIY mobiles and kind of sat around for awhile because honestly I don’t really know what an embroidery hoop is. I am also considering https://green-touch.org/payday-loan-consolidation/ to minimize my debt.

Then a few things started coming together and I realized I don’t need much, just a few things to make it cozy and, more importantly, satisfy some unflattering yet very primal need to make at least one nice space for one of my babies before I turn into a mother of sweaty teenagers who definitely do not want my help decorating their room. And so began what I like to call: Dads Hanging Things. A new Netflix documentary series featuring dads who absolutely do not want to hang things on a Sunday afternoon but do it anyway (may contain mild swears).

I really enjoyed gathering things for Novi’s fake newborn nursery. I was like a mother bird building her nest. Except instead of twigs, it’s a lot of Amazon boxes and instead of flying, I was just sitting around eating a sandwich and asking Austin if he was measuring right. It was a really beautiful experience for everyone.

Thank you to all the shops who generously sent your beautiful items (marked with a *). The rest I found on Amazon or from places like the free pile of the faculty lounge at my mom’s school (thanks mom!). This was fun.

1. Baby Jives Cloud Mobile.* (gorgeous)

2. Fox Wall Hanging.* (perfect)

3. Minted Map Print.* (cute)

4. Rookie Humans Crib Sheet.* (obsessed) 

5. Floating Bookshelf.

6. Target Faux Succulents.

7. Memory Foam Mattress Topper.

8. 3 Sprouts Fox Storage Bin.

9. Iviebaby Winter Cloud Blanket.

10. Fox & Bear Summer Blanket.

Extras: Fox pacifier holder, this amazing white noise machine, five dollar gold mirror from Target, Ikea faux sheepskin rug, & a handmade knit creatures from my mom.

 

Four Ways To Give At The End Of The World…I mean 2016

December 14, 2016

helping

It’s been quite a year, no?

Four ways to give back this season. A time of joy and sorrow.

1. Help the city of Aleppo. From my friend Suzie: I don’t think we have the right to say “never again” regarding the Holocaust anymore. We collectively do not deserve the credit that is implied by that. The credit that we would do anything differently, because it clearly has happened again. The world stood by and watched even as it was live tweeted for us. As my family celebrates Christmas this year, our focus for us and our children is on the fact that Jesus was born a middle eastern refugee. More on what’s going on here

2. Pay overdue lunch accounts at your local public school. School lunch is a big part of the day for students, but some families cannot afford it every day of the school-week. Anonymously paying off overdue lunch accounts at your local schools is a great way to support the community.

3. Support the legal defense of warriors protecting land, water, and human rights by donating and standing with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline from ripping through their ancestral homelands. It threatens their water, their sacred places, and the future of their children.

4. Raise awareness for gun violence against children. Four years ago today, 20 children and 6 adult staff members were shot and killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. You can donate in memory of Charlotte, Daniel, Rachel and Olivia. Josephine, Ana, Dylan, and Dawn. Madeleine, Catherine, Chase, Jesse, James, Grace, Anne, and Emilie. Jack and Noah, Caroline and Jessica. Avielle, Lauren, Mary, and Victoria. Benjamin and Allison.

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Photo source

Birth Was Great But Now I Can’t Sit Down : Five Essentials For Postpartum Care

July 7, 2016

Hello from the other side, friends. A few weeks ago I had my third baby, officially graduating me to the postpartum phase. Since I’ve done this before, I knew to have low expectations and plenty of Senna Lax. It’s been okay. Basically I have three speeds postpartum: totally fine, totally overwhelmed, and totally dead inside. As long as I can keep the last one at bay for the majority of the time, we’ll be okay.

Physical recovery has been fine, too. Nothing can compare to the horror of the first baby, and I know better than to think my body will return to a teenager in five minutes (or ever). We’re taking our time. My advice to anyone about to go through this for the first time is this: Give yourself grace and ask for what you need. If you need someone to come hold the baby, ask for help. If you need your partner to stop watching Game Of Thrones on his iPhone because it’s making you nauseous, ask for help. If you need more of those ice pack pads from the hospital to take home so your vagina doesn’t fall out, buzz your nurse and ASK FOR HELP. You just had a baby, it’s okay to have needs.

It’s also a good idea to take time for self-care, especially if they help make your body (and your brain) feel a little more normal.

Today, five things I’ve found that help make this part a bit easier.

You got this.

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1. Thinx underwear.

thinx

Is it just me or does the bleeding after baby seem to last forever? I’m on week three and still not able to walk around footloose and pad free. Even though I’ve long moved on from the diaper phase of postpartum recovery (praise Jesus), that light bleeding off and on all day and night just keeps on going.

Fortunately for women who hate wearing pads (all women), there is a new way to walk around with your flow. Thinx period panties replaces pantyliners with its built in miracle system and allows you to feel more like a normal human being postpartum. I don’t really understand how it works, but I do know that wearing these special underwears is 100x better than wearing a pad.

Official review: Comfy, convenient, not gross, NOT A PAD. 5/5 stars.

Q&A –> Yes, I’ve heard of the diva cup. No, I don’t want to try it (you can’t use it postpartum anyways). Yes, I’m going to use Thinx for my period. No, I won’t be able to just use them the whole cycle (my flow is too heavy). Yes, they are comfortable. No, it doesn’t feel wet. No, it doesn’t smell bad. No, it doesn’t feel like sitting in your own blood. Yes, you have to rinse them before you wash them. No, you don’t have to change them during the day. Yes, I actually really do love them.

10 bucks off your first pair.

Cheers.

PS: 100 million girls in the developing world fall behind in school just because of their periods, forcing many of them to drop off. See how every purchase of Thinx underwear helps here.

PPS: Their sister company makes pee panties and they were a lifesaver during pregnancy. You can find that review here.

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2. Miralax.

miralax

Well hello old friend.

We’ve talked about that first postpartum poo before.

Look, I don’t need to ruin your day with my sad tales of anal fissures and crippling constipation–but I will say that for my friends out there who also have this problem after birth: solidarity, sister. The pain is so real and devastating.

This time, the troubles didn’t hit me until 3.5 weeks postpartum. I thought I had avoided it this time, but my body was just waiting to surprise me! All of a sudden the ass glass is back, and now every trip to the bathroom is like a second birth. Please excuse my screams.

Even if you don’t have fissures or hemorrhoids, most women experience some minor poo problems post delivery. Two things I’ve found that help soften things up: Miralax + Senna tablets. Both things help keep things moving without being too hard on your body.

Godspeed.

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3. Non-maternity clothes.

kimono

My postpartum wardrobe the first two times consisted of ratty maternity clothes, unflattering XL t-shirts, and sweatpants. Not great for morale.

Postpartum wardrobe this time: kimonos, flowy tops, compression leggings (bless), and a few new nursing tanks from Target. Candis from The Jones Market also sent me this shirt, which feels like butter and is so roomy and forgiving.

Look, we all know that after you have a baby, your body feels like a bloated jellyfish. What I’ve learned this time around is that anything that helps you feel like a normal, healthy human being is worth the price. Don’t settle for your stretched out maternity tops that hug in all the wrong places. The morale boost is worth it.

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4. Peapod grocery delivery.

peapod

A few years ago if you were getting your groceries delivered, you were either a wealthy hermit or Beyoncé. Now you can get them delivered fairly cheaply from your local grocery store. The grocery store that you were going to take two young kids and newborn to while you tried to shove bananas in the cart next to the car-seat (because that’s about all you’re going to fit in with that seat taking up most of the room).

This week I placed my first Peapod order and a day later, all my groceries were delivered to my door without me having to get three kids and myself out the door. Groceries that I took two days to slowly pick out and add to my cart while I looked up recipes and figured out what I want for breakfast. It’s magic, and I definitely ended up saving money because of all the stuff I didn’t get roaming the aisles. I also saved my sanity, which is worth its weight in gold. For new Peapod users, click here to get $20 dollars off your first order (what!) and free delivery for a month (there is literally no reason not to do this).

This is my life now.

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5. Dry shampoo.

Dry Shampoo

Self-care with kids means doing the most you can with the time you have. And what you don’t have a lot of during the postpartum phase is time. Dry shampoo cuts hair care in half by eliminating washes, dries, and styling (three things I’m hardly doing anyways). It’s especially great for those of us with long hair who only shampoo a few times a week.

A tip from my friend Heather: Apply dry shampoo the night before and wake up with volume and a more even cover.

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10 Things Moms Actually Want For Mother’s Day

April 22, 2016

No, she doesn’t want bath soaps and a Yankee candle.
Ten things she actually wants with plenty of time to get it right.

You got this.

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1. Food and sleep.

food and sleep

Austin likes to “joke around” that he’s never met someone who needs more sleep than I do, and I like to “joke around” that I’ve never met someone who feels the need to comment on other people’s sleep habits more than he does. Seriously though, moms need some serious horizontal time to feel sane all day long, and there’s no better opportunity than Mother’s Day to not bring her breakfast in bed at 6am.

In related news, moms also like to eat good food they didn’t make themselves! If this is groundbreaking information for you, I suggest taking a good hard look in the mirror and then making enough dinner reservations to last the rest of the year. Even if you don’t go out on Mother’s Day, may I suggest using the grocery store? That’s the place with all the ingredients you need to make a few of her favorite dishes. Tip: Don’t bother making something you aren’t going to clean up.

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2. Gift card for a massage or pedicure.

spa day

Cash is fine, too–as long as you designate where it’s supposed to go (not the grocery bill). Ways to find places to purchase spa gift cards: listening, observing, asking her, asking girlfriends, yelp, Amazon.

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3. Acts of service.

service

Once upon a time in the mid 90s, a man named Gary Chapman wrote a book about love languages and a world of women sighed, nodded their head, and said THIS IS HOW TO LOVE ME. In his book, Chapman outlines five ways to express and experience love called “love languages” including gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, and physical touch.

I don’t know about you, but my love language has and always will be acts of service. There’s just something about someone taking out the trash and building a dining room table that makes me feel appreciated. This year for Mother’s Day, I’m asking Austin to help me finish a few projects around the house because a baby is coming and that means it is imperative we do rational things like clean all the ceiling fans. (More about love languages via this post)

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4. Gift cards for take-out.

take out

Ah yes, my second love language: take-out! The other week Austin surprised us with take-out from Panera and it was basically like renewing our vows. Even if your mom/wife/grandma/aunt/woman loves to cook, everyone needs a break once in awhile from meal planning and scraping the bottom of the crock pot (worst). As someone who does not enjoy cooking or baking or staring blankly into the pantry cupboard–gift cards for take-out to use throughout the year is an invaluable gift.

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5. Amazon Prime.

prime

For my birthday this year, Austin renewed our Amazon Prime membership after a nine month hiatus that had me making speeches at 11pm on the psychological importance of “two day shipping.” Let me tell you something friends, nothing says “I appreciate you” more than free movies, tv shows, music, and quick package arrival.

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6. Personalized necklace.

Looking for a sentimental but classy gift? Lately I’ve really been jonesing for one of these personalized necklaces with one letter charm for each of our (almost) three kids. Made by Mary on Etsy makes just that, with various options for lettering, charm size, and necklace length. Best of all, you are supporting a small business (and it’s fun to know all pieces are stamped one by one with hand held tools).

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7. Photobook subscription.

Another sentimental gift, except this one is only 8 bucks (a book) and gets you a little happy mail everytime you post 60 pictures on Instagram. It really is the cheapest way to print those pictures (and a small relief knowing there’s a real print of all your best phone pictures somewhere). How it works: Print your Instagram photos in a book series automatically. Every photo you share to Instagram creates a page in your book. You’ll get a notification each time you get close to 60 new pages. Excluding photos from your book is easy as a tap ( I usually exclude a bunch!). Curate as you go. Editing captions is also a snap, but I leave them out altogether. Don’t have Instagram? No problem. Just upload them from your phone. Order additional subscriptions so loved ones can enjoy your photos as well. Don’t ask Grandma and Grandpa to figure it out – just have them go to the mailbox. $8 dollars shipped. Get your first book free when you subscribe with the code KATEJBAER.

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8. An overnight trip.

airbnb

I love my kids. I also love being away from my kids, and I will always stand by the truth that there is nothing more important in motherhood than taking a break, recharging your batteries, and eating brie cheese on someone else’s sofa while you read a juicy novel or binge watch The Mindy Project. Sightseeing is nice too, but not all Airbnb stays have to be 100 miles away. I would gladly sleep over a few blocks away if it meant not waking up to demands for a banana and Caillou at 6am. Fact: We are our best selves when we allow ourselves time off to take a few deep breaths. Someone else planning it? Even better.

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9. The mother load tote.

TJM

My friend Candis makes the loveliest things. Find this Mother’s Day appropriate tote over at The Jones Market and fill it with love (bread) or things from her wish list (also bread?) she loves https://www.village-bakery.com and everything that has to do something with bread. Other bag filler ideas: books, flowers, new sandals, pens (why does everyone keep taking my pens), notes of encouragement from loved ones (I won’t hold my breath). Bonus: It makes the best library bag.

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10. Farm fresh flowers.

Things I used to say to Austin: “I don’t need flowers!” “Don’t waste the money on flowers!” “Look at me so low maintenance about flowers!” I don’t say those things anymore. Flowers are nice and mood boosting and for the love, who doesn’t love flowers? Bouqs offers especially gorgeous, eco-friendly, and affordable bouquets. Just make sure to order ahead.

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I Need Nothing But Want Everything: 8 Things For The Third Baby

March 10, 2016

8 Things
When Austin and I found out we were pregnant with our first baby, the first thing we decided is that we didn’t need much of anything. The second thing I decided is that we should probably get it all just in case. As it turns out, all babies are different and how about a round of applause for all the colicky infants out there who never used their multi-function swings, bumbo seats, or bouncy chairs. Thanks guys!

Every baby and every pregnancy offer an updated version of what you think you need. A few things that stuck:

From Waylon: exersaucer, boppy, boobs

From Eva: co-sleeper, ergo, rock n play, breastfeeding bottles 

Collage

The truth is you don’t need anything. The other truth is that it’s okay to want a few special things. For example, do you know what doesn’t matter at all? What your baby will wear coming home from the hospital. Do you know what I obsess over every time? What my baby will wear coming home from the hospital. It’s not so much that I ever care in the moment (I care about Percocet), I just like to look at it, fold and unfold it, and stare longingly at its smallness the weeks leading up to delivery. It’s part of the process.

Eight new things to add today. None of them necessary, all of them for the sole purpose of boosting morale and getting excited for another little life.

We can’t wait.

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1) Iviebaby Blanket.

Iviebaby

Truth: I basically had another baby so I’d have an excuse to order an Iviebaby blanket. Three things to note:

+ Elizabeth uses the softest materials for both the front and back
+ They look amazing wash after wash (pictured above)
+ The faux fur does not shed or stick on little fingers

Bonus: Iviebaby offers a ton of beautiful gender neutral options, but because I like to make things complicated–I had the ultrasound tech write down the gender in a sealed envelope to then mail to Elizabeth with my choice for a girl and boy. I can’t wait to open that box in June.

Favorites from her shop here, here, and here.

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2) Natursutten Pacifiers.

Naturesutten(Photo source)

Babies will be babies and choose exactly if and what pacifier they’ll take, but this time around I’m starting off with Natursutten pacis if only because they are so cute. Seriously, how are they are so cute? Other fun facts:

+ They are made in Italy by a family business manufacturing rubber baby products for the past three generations
+ No BPA, nitrosamines, PVC, phthalates, chemical softeners, or artificial coloring are involved
+ They are really, really cute

I’ve had two kinds of pacifier babies in my house, and while there are pros and cons to both–I’ll take an addict any day over all the crying. Putting these straight into my hospital bag.

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3) Gender Neutral Swaddle Blanket.

Swaddle me!

This is the first time not finding out the gender, which has been really fun except when I’m at the store and there are around zero neutral options for anything. Luckily Etsy exists, which is where I found this swaddle blanket after scouring the Internet for a few hours. Kelsey of Addie and May makes a lot of beautiful things, including these soft swaddle blankets made of lightweight and breathable fabric, easily folded to fit into a diaper bag. Excellent for swaddling and covering up while nursing. Other favorites from her shop here, here, and here.

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4) Coming Home Outfit.

Coming Home Outfit

When I contacted my friend Annette from LilNells about making a gender neutral outfit for my hospital bag, she was happy to oblige. Her shop is beautiful and simple and I can’t wait for it to arrive. Pictured above: the sweetest red baby girl matching sleeper and hat for d-day. Other favorites from her shop here and here. And a little throwback to Eva wearing tiny LilNells pants over a year ago!

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5) Sheepskin Photo Prop.sheepskin rug(Photo source)

Photo props for your baby are so 2000 and late, but I am not over sheepskin yet–especially when it’s only $24 bucks for the fake kind. It may not be classy, but it’s also not worth it to me to invest in the real thing–especially when it’s just a trend. Thank you Amazon for fulfilling all my needs.

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6) Matching Sibling Outfits.
Matchy Matchy

People call dressing their kids in matching outfits a guilty pleasure. Do you know what I call it? Enjoying dressing your kids in matching outfits. Guilty pleasures are for your 20s. Your 30s are all about finding what you love and going for it, even if it means fourteen dollar cheese plates, Justin Bieber, and dressing your kids like they came in a matching set. Checking the mail every day for these baby bloomers for the baby, these stripey pants for Eva, and this 5T/6T (yes!) romper for the oldest. Please excuse my hundred photos, I have no regrets.

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7) Carseat Cover.

Most of us just use a blanket to cover up the car seat, right? You know, that beautiful one your grandmother made that then gets drug around in the dirt because it won’t stay on the car seat unless you tie it (but then that doesn’t work anyways). I don’t need this, BUT I WANT IT.

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8) Video Monitor.

Five years of parenting later and I was feeling pretty smug about never getting a video monitor until my toddler started crawling out of her crib, climbing up the dresser, and terrorizing Waylon’s wall decals (I never liked them anyways). This video monitor purchase confirms two things about parenting:

+ Never (ever) say never
+ Mama bears will do anything for the sake of sleep

They will also do anything to protect their newborn from the antics of a guns blazing two-year-old. Can’t wait to watch that sleepy newborn sleep in peace (and not worry about his or her older sister pulling any stunts). Technology, bless you.

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