Given that it's almost the end of August, I thought it was fitting to do a quick update on our summer bucket list.
I didn't make a big list, knowing that I'd be in my 3rd trimester this summer and probably uncomfortable (I was right!), but we did manage to check a few more things off of our list.
A few weekends ago, we went to the zoo for the morning, and as usual, Reese loved it. They recently opened a new exhibit too, with all new habitats for grizzly bears, polar bears, and harbor seals. It was a really nice area, and the polar bears happened to be pretty active, which was fun to watch. We ended our zoo trip with a quick picnic in the park before heading back home for nap time.
We also managed to make it to a new park in our area a while back. Scott was working late, so Reese and I ate dinner outside and then she got to play a bit. It was fun for her, but I wasn't all that impressed, so I doubt it's one we'll go back to. Either way though, we checked it off of our list!
We managed to go swimming a few times at our local pool, in addition to the swim lessons she took this summer. I'm so proud of how she did - she's gained more confidence and was willing to try new things (like float on her back, or go down some of the slides). I'm anxious to take her back to one of the indoor waterparks again soon!
Finally, we were able to make it to story time at the library. She often goes with my mom during the week to the one at Barnes & Noble, but this week, I was able to take her to our library's story time. I actually thought it was really good, and she definitely enjoyed it! They read a few books, sang some songs, did a craft and did some 'repeat after me' type things. I'm looking forward to taking her on a regular basis, especially after baby comes.
We still have a few things left, so we'll see if we can accomplish those before fall weather swoops in. Although, given these past few days, it seems to want to come early! Not that I'm complaining - the weather has been absolutely wonderful! Mid 60s and slightly overcast; now if I could just have some wine...
You can read about our other summer bucket list updates here and here.
I get to spend it with my favorite little person and look forward to 2 days off of work. I have to say that I am very much looking forward to my maternity leave.
On to my top 5 for the week!
1. Reese has been super into Frozen/Elsa lately, which is funny because it kind of came out of nowhere. I bought her an Elsa doll for Valentine's Day this year, and she would occasionally play with it, but nothing like now. For the last 3 weeks, Elsa has to be with her whenever we go anywhere, and she also sleeps cuddled next to her at night. When she gets home, her first request is "Watch Let it Go, Mommy?" She's never actually seen the full movie, but loves watching the different song videos on YouTube. It's quite adorable, and if she still likes Elsa this much in November, you can bet I'll give her a Frozen themed birthday party. :)
2. Speaking of Disney, last weekend was the D23 Expo, and while I would've loved to attend, I just followed all the news online instead. And WOW was there a lot! Between all the new movies coming out, all the upcoming expansions in the parks, and everything else, I am SO excited to see what the next few years bring. I think I'm most excited to see Pandora in Animal Kingdom, and how they'll bring all of that to life.
3. I am counting down the weeks/days until this little baby girl gets here, and I am so ready for that to happen! In the meantime, I've been washing baby clothes, getting stuff prepped, and making my shopping list for what we need this time around. I was able to cross one thing off my list, and snag a Solly wrap the other day during their online sale. I cannot wait to use it! I've heard so many good things from other mama bloggers, so I'm hoping it works out well. I anticipate a lot more babywearing, since it'll be 2 kids I have to manage, instead of just 1.
4. I'm not a huge coffee or tea drinker (unless it's iced coffee, yum!), but lately, I've been having a cup of this iced tea, and it's so yummy! I'm trying not to drink too much caffeine (since baby is active enough as it is), so this is really the perfect way for me to get through tired mornings or slow afternoons. Time to stock up!
5. I've been kind of obsessed with all things paper and planners lately, and I love perusing the aisles in Target whenever I'm there. I saw these Blue Sky Day Designer planners last week, and stopped to check them out. I currently have a 5 x 8 planner that I am loving using, but these pretty ones might force me to buy another one soon :) After Liz's planner post earlier this week, I'm thinking I need to post about mine and how I use it.
That's all I have for now - hope you all have a great weekend!!
I've been wanting to do one of these posts for a long time, but as Reese got older, it became less relevant. Now that we have another one on the way, I really wanted to share some of our favorite baby things that we found really useful the first time around. I can't believe we'll be immersed in the world of all things baby again in just a few weeks!
Chicco Lullaby Magic - I know pack n plays are one of those things you either use a lot, or don't use at all. We have used ours from day one, and it's still what Reese sleeps in at night, so this is at the top of our list. This particular one is actually bigger than normal pack n plays, so there's plenty of room for her to stretch out, even at 2.5 years old. We loved the bassinet feature when she was a newborn, and she slept in that up until about 6-7 months. The changer that it comes with was also really nice to have. I'd love to be able to use it again with this baby, but that would mean transitioning Reese to a big girl bed, and I'm not sure if we're ready for that yet :)
SwaddleMe Blankets - Being the new parents we were, we didn't start using swaddling blankets until a few weeks in. Once we did, our sleep definitely improved, so needless to say we'll be using these from the get-go this time around. I liked these because it made swaddling easy, and while they haven't held up as well (the velcro wears out), I do think we'll use them again.
AngelCare Movement & Sound Monitor - one of our 'must-haves' for sure. We originally had just the movement and sound monitor, but we could never tell if Reese was sleeping or awake, so we upgraded to the video model. Having that movement sensor definitely helped us feel a little more at ease. We tested the sensor with stuffed animals first, and it did what it was supposed to, so we love it.
Fisher-Price Snugabunny Cradle 'N Swing - probably the most useful tool in getting Reese to sleep when she was a baby. We had her in a bassinet originally, but once we put her in this swing, it was a game-changer. She loved the motion and we used it for quite a long time. She napped in this until she was almost 7 months. The only downside is how much space it takes up - definitely not a small item.
Dr. Brown's Bottles - Love these bottles for babies. They've gotten such good reviews, and it's what Reese used too. She took very easily to these, once she did start taking bottles. There are extra parts to wash, but for us, it was worth it.
Bumpkins SuperBibs - Once we started solids, these were the bibs we used, and still use today. They're easy to clean, have a pocket to catch fallen food, and overall just work really well. Plus they're not expensive and we've never needed more than 3.
Inglesina Fast Table Chair - Our favorite high chair to use! Reese sits in this currently, as we eat at our counter and not a regular table. I love how compact it is, and that the cover is machine washable. We've brought it with us whenever we go out to eat and it works great.
Joovy Nook - We bought this as a secondary high chair, because it had a tray. We love the Inglesina one, but when Reese was first starting to eat, food would get stuck under the arms of the chair. The tray is really nice for having that separate space for them to eat on. We settled on this one because of how slim it folds up to be. This is what we'll use with baby #2 when we start solids.
Aden & Anais Blankets - Lots of mamas love these blankets, and I'm no exception. They're so lightweight, yet warm, and I love how big they are. I often used them as car seat covers (shade), or a nursing cover, and I plan on getting another set of 4, since our current ones are in use.
Halo Sleepsacks - Love these! This is what we put Reese in after we were done swaddling, and she actually still sleeps in one. I love that they keep your child warm and covered, and also that there's no risk of it sliding up and covering their mouth (something I had an issue with, with other sleepers).
Exersaucer - The ultimate baby play station. My mom bought us one of these when Reese was about 6-7 months old. She loved being in it, and playing with the various toys around her. It was a lifesaver when it came to making dinner, since we could put it where she could see us and it gave us some spare time to cook. Definitely one of our favorite things.
Infantino Twist & Fold Activity Gym - There are lots of play mats out there, but we went with this one because of how it folds up and can be stored away. Little miss loved to pull on the toys and look at herself in the mirror. It was great for tummy time too.
Itzbeen Pocket Nanny - My absolute number #1 must have for those early newborn days. When you're waking up multiple times a night after only 2-3 hours of sleeping, you have no idea what time or day it is. I would never remember what the last side I nursed on was, how long ago Reese ate, or when we last changed her. This little thing keeps track of all of that, and it's so much easier to push a button than to write it down. I know some phone apps do this same thing, but for me, even unlocking my phone and typing on there in the middle of the night is asking too much. Any new mama friends always get one of these as a baby gift from me :)
Boon Grass & Flowers - I know lots of mamas are fans of this thing, and we are too! It's a cute way to dry pump and bottle parts, and it's not huge. It's great for sippy cups too.
Jolly Jumper Car Seat Cover - Since Reese was a winter baby (December), this was one of our first purchases after bringing her home. I love how warm it kept her when we were out and about, and most important, it was a 'shower-cap' style cover. This style doesn't interfere with anything on the car seat itself, and therefore doesn't get in the way of any safety features.
Boba 3G Carrier - A really great soft sided carrier for babies, and even toddlers. The selling point for me was that you can use it with a newborn with no additional insert (unlike the Ergo). I've worn Reese in this quite a bit, and it is so much easier in some places than try to push a stroller around. I haven't tried the back carry with her yet, but I'm guessing I will once baby 2 arrives.
Boudreauxs Butt Paste - This stuff works really really well! We tried Desitin, Triple Paste, and a few others, but this one definitely worked the fastest and cleared any sort of diaper rash right up.
Pampers - We used Pampers Swaddlers when little miss was a newborn and they were great. We only ever had a few blowouts, but that's pretty much expected no matter what diaper you use. Once she was about 2 months, we switched to cloth diapers and have used them ever since.
Bamboobies - The best nursing pads! I hated the disposable ones; I didn't like how much they were being thrown away, and reusable ones are so much more wallet-friendly! These are great because they're not noticeable under a shirt, and they're super soft. I'm actually looking forward to wearing them again. :)
NUK Mash & Serve Bowl - We came across this on Amazon and bought it when we were introducing more solid foods. It gave Reese a chance to eat what we were eating, but without risk of big chunks of food. We put things like crockpot chicken stroganoff in here, and other things like taco meat, casseroles, and even spaghetti. It was a great thing to have when we went out to restaurants too (which wasn't very often).
Sassy Ring O' Links - Cheap, colorful, and a great teething toy. We have 2 sets of these and we used them to hang toys off of her play mat and exersaucer. One of my favorite baby gifts to give too.
Avent soothies - The only pacifier that Reese took to was these. She didn't end up using them too long (only until 4 months), but they worked wonders up until then.
Taggies Blanket - The blanket little miss loves! When trying to give her an attachment item around 5-6 months, we tried a few lovey type things (with the animal attached to the blanket), as well as the A&A Issie blankets, but she really didn't have an interest. It wasn't until I saw her fascination with tags on some of her stuffed animals, that we tried this one, and she took to it immediately. It's what she still sleeps with today, and I imagine will do so for quite a long time. :)
Chicco Keyfit 30 - Great car seat, awesome safety features, and most important - super easy to install! It was so easy to put Reese in and out of, and then just pop that thing in the base in our car. Can't wait to use this one again.
Chicco Keyfit Caddy Stroller Frame - We didn't get a ton of use out of this, but it's what we decided to go with before we bought a big stroller. It was really great for shopping, as it turns really easily, has a big basket, and was super easy to just pop the car seat into.
Comotomo teether - Besides Sophie, this was our other favorite teether. Inexpensive, and Reese was able to hold it herself and chew on it. It has a great design and the little nubs on there help to massage their gums.
Exergen Thermometer - Best option available for a thermometer. Every mom knows that you need a thermometer, especially in the early months. You want one that takes an accurate measurement in the shortest amount of time, and this one is it. I love that it's not a 'baby' thermometer too, but can be used on anyone.
That's about it for my favorites list! Hopefully this helps some new mama out there, because I know I researched a TON when we were first expecting. These type of posts were my favorite, since I could see what worked for other moms. I'll have a list of some of our not-so-favorites coming up too, as well as what we'll do differently.
If you follow Sara from Running from the Law, make sure you check out her post here too, as she was my inspiration for this list. I loved her breakdown and seeing what worked for her.