Sunday, January 31, 2010

Birthday Wish List

Well in less than one month i will be celebrating my first birthday with a family of my own. February is a month of celebration in our house, Alex’s birthday is one the 8th, Valentine’s Day on the 14th, and my birthday on the 22. We typically do dinners out for our birthdays (this year take out) and a small gift and dinner at home for Valentine’s Day. It is such a fun month and always flies by. This year we get to celebrate another anniversary, February 16th is the day we found out we were expecting last year, i can’t believe that was already a year ago.


I have had a few family members ask me for a list of what i want for my birthday. So i decided to do a quick post with the things that I would love because if i am given money i usually end up spending at least half on stuff for Liam.

I love love love my nook. It has gotten a lot of use since i got it a short three weeks ago. I was able to read four books in those weeks and enjoyed them all very much. The nook is great and i am so glad that i made the decision of get it for Christmas, for me it is perfect. I would love a cover for my nook, i love the Bronte Cover in Turquoise and the Lyra book light so i can read while the boys are sleeping.

nookcover lyra light

Last Christmas my mom, sister, and I all started Pandora bracelets, the modern day charm bracelet. I absolutely love mine. I love looking back at all the charms because they all have a special meaning of a specific time in my life within the last year.  I don’t have that much space left on my bracelet but here are the charms i would love to fill it up with.

Charms by Chamilia


Eternal Heart GA - 121

Cats – GB - 25

Motherhood GE - 9

Kermit the Frog DIS – 25 (This one reminds me of Liam because he has so many things with frogs on them, including gup-gup)

Robins Nest Pearl JA – 62

Movie Night NA – 35

Red Spiral – O – 17

FreeAgent Go in Forest Green

Ever since we lost pictures from a trip we took to DC over five years ago i have had a fear of losing all of my pictures. Now more than ever i want to make sure i have a way to back up all of the precious pictures of Liam’s first three months, plus the thousands more I'm sure we will take this year. I love the FreeAgent Go portable storage hard drive. It has great reviews and comes in a variety of colors.

This one is definitely more of an ‘i want in the near future’ compared to the other on my list.


The Body Mist – Victoria Secret

body mist

OPI – Privacy Please


Family Stationary

I would love to get note cards with our family name on them but i am holding off until we move so that i can use a more permanent return address on the envelopes.


A gift card to enjoy a few of these…


….and a few of these.


A relaxing afternoon for a pedicure!


and a trip here….where the mountains are more than slight inclines, the pizza is good,  the sushi comes with great company, the mall in only one level, there are Rita’s, Revello’s, and Philly Subs, and grandparents, great-grandmas, aunts, and “aunts” (my friends) to spoil and love on little man.


Friday, January 29, 2010

My number one must have!

When i created our Baby Must Have list for the first three months i really took my time and thought long and hard about what are favorite, can't live without items were. I consulted with Alex and we determined the list was conclusive. Then this morning something popped into my head. How in the world could i forget to include OUR VERY FAVORITE ITEM! So i have decided that since we love this product so much i will dedicate a separate post to it. What is it you ask.....our video monitor! I can't explain to you how much we love this item and how much use it gets. As you know Liam sleeps in a pack n play in our room and we have the camera on the opposite end of the bed. It is wonderful in the middle of the night when he starts moving around to take a peak on the monitor and see if he is just moving around or if he is going to melt down. After we put him to bed at night we bring it downstairs and are about to see if the if he is still awake or if he needs us to come up and give him his paci again, etc. I am a visual person not audio (but speaking of audio the sound on this thing is amazing, you can hear him breathing so easily!) so this product is perfect for me. I honestly can not recommend this enough! We love love love it. And we got it at a steal on!

Liam learned a new trick this week and it is my favorite one yet! If i am holding him and we are looking in the mirror or if he is laying on my chest and looking around he will start to giggle and then bury his head in your shoulder/neck. Oh my goodness we just can't get enough of him doing this, it is adorable.  

I mentioned in my must have post about the bath luve i ordered for little man. We recived it on Monday and he LOVED it!!! Everytime i put it on him he give me a big smile and giggle.

I created this growth photo the other day and it was truly amazing to see how much he has grown. I didn't think there would be such a big difference from one month until now because the difference from birth to one month was so big. 
No big plans for us this weekend. It is freezing cold but luckily we are not getting the ice storm some of the country is. Tonight we are having make your own pizza night which we are both excited for! Oh speaking of dinner Liam has been sitting in his high chair with us during dinner all this week. I think we all love it!

Show us your Life : Fashion Tips

Today over at Kelly's Korner is Show Us Your Life: Fashion Tips. Hop on over to check out all of the awesome tips! 

I am a big fan of the show What Not To Wear. I have been watching for years and you can count on it being on our TV everyday at noon. I love how they do not follow trends but rather the classic staples that are always in style and make every women look fabulous. Here is a fusion of their staples and my favorite things. 

I love my wrap dress! It was such an easy and professional item i used to wear to work often. In the late fall i would pair it with black tights and booties (which i will show you later). My dress is blue and black striped with a three quarter length sleeve. Here is a picture of a wrap dress from Banana Republic i am loving. 

Next up my Ralph Lauren white oxford shirt. This works great for an interview under a suit, for a business casual workplace with khaki pants, or with a pair of trouser jeans (which i will talk about later).
This is a staple for me in the summer. I love love love Ralph Lauren Polo dresses. Super easy and can be worn anywhere while keeping you cool in the hot summer heat.
A trouser jean is something that i love for going out to somewhere that i want to be slightly more dressed up but still casual with jeans. I like wearing them with a cute pair of pumps in a fun color.
My absolute favorite handbags are my coach leather bags. I have a brown one and a black one and i rarely ever use anything besides these two. They are wonderful and well worth the investment. I have had my black one for 5 years now and it still looks new.

Shoes, shoes, shoes! I have always been a heels girls but because of our new addition flats have become my favorite. I love flats with all different colors! These are all from DSW.
My favorite shoes are my Steve Madden booties. I wore these out last year. I wore them with tights and dresses or skirts, jeans, and work clothes. Love these!!!
In the winter i love to wear boots over jeans. The hubs hates it but i love it. 
Last but certainly not least are spankx! I call them my "sucker inner" and i love them under dresses to smooth everything out or since having Liam under pants everything.

I wanted to also write about my favorite styles for Liam. I have noticed i am a Ralph Lauren-aholic with baby boy clothes.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thursday Wellness Watch

Welcome back for week 2 of the Thursday Wellness Watch 
If you need to catch up check out the original post on instinctive eating and Week 1 of the Wellness Watch on healthy diets and energy balance.

This weeks topic is label reading, food logs/journals, portion control, and the perfect plate.

Reading Nutrition Labels

The Serving Size
    This is the first place to start when looking at a nutrition label. Pay attention to the number of servings per package and the serving size; then ask yourself “How many servings am I consuming?” For example, if there are two servings per container and you know you will eat the whole container, you will consume double the calories and all other nutrients listed on the label.

    Calories provide the energy your body gets from food. Many Americans get more calories than their bodies need, resulting in excess weight gain. Reading the  nutrition label for calories can be a helpful way to manage your weight. In general, a food with 40 calories or less per serving is considered low in calories, 100 calories is moderate, and 400 calories per serving or more is high.

The Nutrients and Percent Daily Value (DV)
   The nutrients listed on a food label are total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, total carbohydrate, dietary fiber, sugars, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, calcium, and iron. The percent daily value is based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your personal daily need may be higher or lower based on your gender, age, weight, and activity level.

       5% or less is considered low in a nutrient

       10% - 19% is considered a moderate source

       20% or more is considered high

What nutrients do you want to be low?
  Total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, and sodium.

Which nutrients do you want to be high?
  Fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Portion Control
    Portion sizes have gotten bigger over the past 20 years and those extra calories add up to one thing—weight gain!

    A serving size is the suggested amount of a particular food that counts as a serving. The portion is what you put on your plate and eat in one sitting.  Understanding this difference, along with controlling portion sizes and keeping track of servings, can help you manage your weight.

Here are some ways to “eyeball” serving sizes:


What does a healthy and well-balanced meal look like? Many people refer to this as the Mickey Mouse plate, which is a fun way to get kids to eat a balanced meal.

Portion your meals with moderation, balance, and variety in mind.

1. Half of your plate should hold colorful vegetables

2. One quarter of it should hold a palm-sized portion of lean protein, such as salmon or chicken breast

3. Another quarter should hold a palm-sized portion of a whole-grain, such as brown rice, or starchy vegetables, such as potatoes

4. Drink one serving of low-fat or fat-free milk

5. Have one serving of fruit for dessert or snack.

How have our portions changed over the past 20 years? Check out this website to find out.

Food Logs 

Food Logs for Weight Management
    A daily food log can be very helpful when trying to lose weight. With a food log, you can track what you are eating on a daily and meal to meal basis. When logging or journaling your food intake for weight loss it can be helpful to include what you are time of day it is and what you are feeling; are you feeling stressed, bored, lonely, did you see an advertisement for food, are you tired, etc. Reviewing your food log can help you become aware of what, when, and where you are eating the majority of your calories. It can also increase your awareness of your eating habits.

Food Logs for a Balanced Diet
    You can also use a food log to track your intake from each food group to ensure that you are eating a well-balanced diet. Simply log all the foods that you eat throughout the day; at the end of the day, add up how many servings from each food group you consumed.Log on to My Pyramid for assistance.

Tips when using a food log
    Be not change the way you eat on the days that you log. In order to get an accurate record of your typical diet, it is important to eat as you normally would if you were not logging. Use your food log as a spring board for making small, sustainable changes to your everyday meals.

 Next week we will talk about fiber and hydration.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Baby Must Haves (The First Three Months)

**Updated on February 15 2009**

When I was pregnant I loved reading posts on baby must haves or product reviews. I have found so many amazing items that I would not have known about if it wasn’t for blog stalking. Here are our must haves for the first three months.

Happiest Baby on the Block by Dr. Harvey Karp – I have no words to describe how much I love what Dr. Karp taught me about the first three months of a newborns life. We were able to pick apart the 5 S’s (swaddle, side/stomach, swing, shhh-ing, sucking) and found which ones soothed Liam the best. Liam was and still is a fairly content baby but did have bouts of fussiness and what worked best for him was white noise and sucking. We downloaded the sound of static and would blast it through the house until he calmed and would then slowly lower the volume until it was all the way off.

Wubbanub. Liam loves loves loves his wubbanubs! He got his first when he was 2 weeks old and by 10 weeks was able to put it back in his mouth by himself. It really helps him keep it in his mouth for longer periods of time than just a soothie paci because it is a little weighted, plus when he spits it out it is 10 times easier to find! Now that he is a bit older and can use his hands he loves to hold his gup-gups legs and squeeze them and smush it in his face and chew on its head, legs, body…..

Halo Sleep Sack with Swaddle and SwaddleMe. Liam loves to be swaddled for bed. When he was a newborn until two months old we could not have lived without the Halo SleepSack with Swaddle, it is amazing! He was always able to break out of a traditional swaddle with just a blanket but the sleep sack was the perfect answer. Now that he is bigger and outgrew the halo he uses the SwaddleMe which we love. He also has a SwaddleMe travel for those extra fussy days when he doesn’t want to nap until wrap him up and put him in his swing.

Bouncy Seat and Swing. Liam loves both his bouncy seat and his swing. He has the Fisher Price snow globe bouncy seat and Fisher Price My Little Lamb swing. He would contently sit in that darn seat all day if I let him but his head is already flat so he isn’t allowed! His swing has been a saving grace. It plays music, two of which are loud nature sounds, which work great as white noise if he is fussing. He still naps most days in his swing in the afternoon.

Snuzzler Head and Body Support. I loved having this in his car seat when he was teeny tiny because it supported his whole body and head. We now have just the head support that came with the car seat and I so wish he would still be able to fit in with the snuzzler because it worked so much better!

Baby view mirror for the car. I do not know what I would do without this! I am crazy about having to see what he is doing in the back to make sure he is okay. This mirror works wonderfully and allows me to clearly check on him, it also serves as entertainment now because he can look at himself.

Lots of wash cloths if you have a boy. Anyone how has a boy will know from experience that they love to pee as soon as you take the diaper off. Parents get pee’d on, walls get pee’d on, beds get pee’d on, babies face gets pee’d on…all in all it is not a good situation! What we found works great are having a ton of extra wash cloths. Just place it on top and change the diaper without fear!

Green nasal aspirator from the hospital. Okay, at the hospital when they give you the green nasal aspirator GUARD IT WITH YOUR LIFE!!!!!!! We have three other ones at home NONE of which work, at all. When baby gets stuffed up having the hospital one that works wonderfully is the best thing ever!!!!!!

Extra pack n play instead of bassinet. Instead of getting a bassinet we purchased a cheaper pack n play to use in our room and it has been wonderful! I know a lot of parents that have had to transfer their babies to their cribs earlier than anticipated because they outgrew the bassinet, well this is the answer. Like most parents SIDS is a very scary thought. Two risk factors for SIDS include being a boy and winter. One of the things that you can do to lower the risk is to let baby sleep in the parents room until 6 months of age. Knowing this I am so glad that we have the pack n play that he will not outgrow before then!

Sheet Savers. These are great for those middle of the night diaper leaks or spit up accidents. You don’t need to change their sheets before putting them back to sleep just simply put a new sheet saver down.

Carters Sleepers. I believe Liam has every one that they make; I could truly be a spokes person for them. In all reality any type of footed sleeper is awesome. For most people, unless you leave the house that baby will be in comfy cloths that either snap or zipper down the front all day, everyday.

Burp Cloths. We have a ton of burp cloths but use these the most. We received them as a gift from Alex’s boss and family and absolutely love them. Not only are they super cute but they clean up his messes better than anything else we have. Well worth the money to me. See burp cloth example in picture below the next item!

Playtex Drop-ins. These are the bottles we chose and we love them! First of all they make clean up super easy because there is no actual bottle to clean. I simply fill the sink with hot soapy water put all the parts (bottle, nipple and nipple ring) in, let them soak, and rinse off. Secondly, they are the best bottle for reducing the amount of air that baby sucks in because you are able to squeeze the liner so that almost all the air is out. The Playtex liners cost around $5 for 50 but you can get the target brand which are around $2 for 50 and are the same exact thing!

Sophie the Giraffe. This toy has amazing reviews and we are starting to see why as Liam grows. He already loves to chomp on her face and ears and can grab her easily with his little hands.

Soothe and Glow Seahorse. It plays very calming music and helps him go to sleep so easily, helps us fall asleep too.

Bath Luve. During bath time i typically have two wash cloths, one for washing and one that i keep warm and lay on his chest. The bath luve is designed to keep baby warm in the tub! You can lay it on their chest when they are little and then on their backs when they are older. For a kid that already loved bath time the bath luve has made it even more enjoyable for him. Every time we put it on him he starts laughing and giggling.

OUR VERY FAVORITE ITEM! I can't explain to you how much we love and how much we use our video monitor. As you know Liam sleeps in a pack n play in our room and we have the camera on the opposite end of the bed. It is wonderful in the middle of the night when he starts moving around to take a peak on the monitor and see if he is just moving around or if he is going to melt down. After we put him to bed at night we bring it downstairs and are about to see if the if he is still awake or if he needs us to come up and give him his paci again, etc. I am a visual person not audio (but speaking of audio the sound on this thing is amazing, you can hear him breathing so easily!) so this product is perfect for me. I honestly can not recommend this enough! We love love love it. And we got it at a steal on!

This last one should really be posted in my next review but I have to mention it now in case anyone reading is registering for a high chair for their baby shower. We just put together Liam's high chair and we love it! Honestly i cannot say enough good things about it. It is the Fisher Price Rain forest High Chair. Liam loves watching Alex and I eat and up until now we were not able to sit together as a family for dinner. This chair has a 5 point harness (that is super easy to adjust and take in and out for easy cleaning) and a infant head support so that Liam is able to sit with us comfortably during dinner time.

Other things we also like but are starting to LOVE now that he is a bit older are:

The Bumbo Seat with tray attachment he loves to sit up and look around so the bumbo is great for a kid like him. I love having the tray attachment because we can put toys on there and he grabs for them to swats them off the side. Yes we are already playing the “i throw it and you go get it” game.


Rainforest activity mat. He has been using this since he was just a few weeks old but at 3 months started grabbing for the toys and having a blast! It is also nice for tummy time because there are bright pictures on the bottom for him to look at and grab for. 

Baby Einstein Exersaucer He is really getting a lot of use out of this since he has turned 3 months old. At 3 and a half months he is really starting to play with the toys. It is so cute to watch him process everything and reach out to grab, spin, or swat at the toys.

DSC01167 DSC01018

Baby Mozart DVD He will sit and watch this whole DVD while laughing and cooing at the tv like crazy. It is so cute!


Thing we found that you do not need:

Boppy…..i just used a pillow or two under my arm or fed him on the couch and used the arm of the couch for support. It was nice to lay him in it during play time but that only lasted two weeks.

A wipe warmer and diaper genie. I had heard from many many  many people that these were a waste of money so i took their advice and i am glad that i did.

Sleep positioner. We got this after hearing it was a must have from a friend and it was not for us. The only time we used this was when Liam had a cold and the incline of it helped with his congestion.

A front carrier such as BabyBjorn. I think this would have been awesome if Liam was a summer baby but being born in late fall we didn’t go out and do much. I much preferred carrying him around the house in the sleepy wrap opposed to the front carrier.

Lastly tips from a few mistakes i made.

Do not open any diapers! Before we went to the hospital i had stations set up both upstairs and downstairs with diapers, wipes, etc. all ready. Little did i know we would be sent home with 4 packages of diapers and that Liam would outgrow newborn size within he first month leaving up with a ton of newborn diapers that i could have returned for size 1’s had i not opened them.