Friday I’m in Love 

Happy Friday! I cannot believe it’s the last Friday in October. Where did this month go? I am not loving that, but here is what am loving this week.

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Brand new babies! The Jenkinsons welcomed their third baby this week, a boy! I was able to visit them at the hospital and snuggle him the next day. Gosh, newborns are so sweet! Welcome to the party Lincoln, October is the best month!

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We finished the Gilbo birthday celebrations this week with Crosby’s birthday on Thursday. How in the world is he three years old?! We had an action packed day, but it began with a donut which is the best way to start the day.

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Another fun thing about Thursday was the Fall Festival at the kids’ school! It’s such a fun day for the kids and they had so much fun getting into their costumes again.

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We are definitely not Cubs or Indians fans, but what a fun World Series this is! Game three is tonight at Wrigley which I am sure is going to be insane!! We are rooting for a good series and exciting games and I think we’ll definitely get that.

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Friday I'm in Love Linky Party

Don’t forget to check out what Misha is loving this week!

Have a great weekend!

Our Favorites // Feeding

I have shared some of these items on our previous must have lists, but I wanted to do a full roundup of our favorite feeding items. We have retired most of these items since we have moved out of the baby stage, but they will still go down as some of our favorites.

Thankfully we didn’t have to do a lot of shopping around for bottles since both of the kids took to Tommee Tippie bottles immediately. They were very easy to clean and there were no issues with the kids going from breast to bottle and vice versa. The Tommee Tippie sippy cups were good, however, not as easy to clean. They did the job for Kenley, but for Crosby, I was introduced to the Nuby No-Spill Sprout sippy cups and they were by far the best. They were easy to clean, didn’t leak, and Crosby really liked them. Once the kids transitioned to straw cups, we found the Thermos Foogo insulated straw cups and then the slightly larger Thermos Funtainer straw bottles. I cannot stand when cups sweat, so these have been my favorite so far. Since they are both insulated, they keep the water and ice cold for much longer. Another bonus is that they don’t leak! I foresee us using the Thermos brand for a while.

When Kenley was born, there was only the Boon Grass drying rack which was perfect. Later, the larger Boon Lawn came out and once we added another child, we added another drying rack. I love the modern, nontraditional look to these drying racks. They are cute, as well as functional. There are also cute accessories such as the Boon Twig that are great for hanging pacifiers and bottle nipples to dry. We now only use the lawn and it is great for both the kids’ cups, as well as wine glasses. The only bottle brush we’ve used is the OXO Tot Bottle Brush and it is great. Again, still useful for cups and wine glasses even though we haven’t used baby bottles in quite a while.

Feeding Favorites

We registered for the Fisher-Price Spacesaver High Chair due to the lack of space in our kitchen area of our first house. The high chair sat directly on one of our chairs at the kitchen table and it did just that, saved space. We had the option to slide the chair around the kitchen as needed, but most of the time we all sat at the kitchen table for meals. It worked out perfectly. You can also buy different covers, so it it was nice to have a back up when one was in the wash. Once the kids grew out of the high chair, they moved into the OXO Tot Perch booster seat. Both of the kids have their own now and I love them because they aren’t bulky and they are easy to move.

When we first started solid food, the Munckin soft-tip spoons were by far the best. They are cheap, soft, and easy to clean. For plates, we loved using the OXO Tot Plate and Divided Plate. These are really good quality and the rubber bottoms were great for the younger years. We have since transitioned into the Re-play Recycled set, including the flat plates, divided plates, bowls, sippy cups, tumblers, utensils, and snack stacks. I could go on and on about how much we love this brand. They are very durable and there are so many fun colors. This is the only brand we use for meal time.

At school and on the go, there are a few items that we couldn’t live without. The OXO Tot large and small bowls have been in the rotation for years. They are great for sending snacks to school, such as fruit. They are also very durable as we’ve had our current set for well over three years now. Another item that we didn’t learn about until Crosby was born was the Dr. Brown’s Snack-A-Pillar cups. These were so useful when we were sending smaller snacks to school in the infant room because we could just stack them all together. We still use them, but they are pretty small now that the kids are bigger. Finally, we use the Bentgo lunch boxes for the kids. They are perfect for packing bento style lunches with a lot of variety. We use it every single day and they do not leak! They are well worth the money if you pack lunches regularly.

There you have it! Our feeding time favorites!

*this post contains affiliate links.

Crosby’s Nautical Nursery

I know I shared our nautical nursery (here and here) before Crosby was born when we didn’t know if this would turn into a girl nursery or a boy nursery, so I wanted to share the room since it’s been Crosby’s room. Since he is already almost 18 months old, I figured I had better do it quickly because before I know it, we’ll be transitioning to a toddler room.

We have added a few new touches to his room over the past year and a half. One of the first things I did was order a couple masculine crib sheets. I made his first sheet (grey and white sea stars), but I was in no position to be making any additional crib sheets seeing how I had a newborn and a newly two year old running around. I went with an anchor sheet and a whale sheet from Pottery Barn Kids and was more than happy with the two of them. I also had my eye on a new changing table cover and got the blue whale changing pad cover from Land of Nod. I have to say I love this pad. I really wish I would have gotten one with Kenley. They are thick, comfy, and really great quality.

nautical nursery

One of the projects we knew we were going to tackle was painting the oars that we received as a baby shower gift. Greg had sanded them down before he put them on the wall, knowing that we would eventually paint them to match the room. We painted close to the designs of the oars from Pottery Barn Kids and I am so happy with how they turned out.

nautical nursery oars

Greg made three different shelves for the wall from the scrap wood we had from our kitchen island. They are great for decor, as well as our camera for the monitor. The jar of shells were collected from Crosby’s first trip to the ocean, so they are sentimental and we, of course, made him DIY crayon letter “C” to add some more color to the room.

nautical nursery

nautical nursery

nautical nursery

His bookshelf is now full of books about trucks, airplanes, and cars; and we also added a nautical looking laundry hamper. At first I was overwhelmed by the fact that the dresser was really small and the closet, while big, was not helpful. I ended up finding a hanging sweater organizer folded up in another closet that I had used at our old house (similar to this) and I put it in his closet. You would have thought I hit the lottery. It has worked so well for storing shoes, sheets, towels, the next size up clothes, etc. I also added a nautical looking lamp I found online from Target. I love that the Edison bulb doesn’t put off much light, so it’s perfect for reading book at night. I can’t forget to mention our favorite sound machine either.

nautical nursery

This room quickly turned from a gender neutral nursery to Crosby’s nursery and I love the little touches we added to make it his. I am definitely sticking with a nautical theme when we transition to a toddler room and will probably add more red and navy to the grey. I have some ideas, which I’m sure I’ll be sharing with you in no time.

More on Cloth Diapers

It has been quite a while since I first shared about our cloth diaper experience, so I want to give a big update on what we’ve learned and where we are today. This post is long overdue and has been sitting in my drafts for, er, over eight months. My apologies.

Crosby started using cloth diapers around two months old when Kenley was still in diapers, which seems like a lifetime ago. Two weeks of two kids in diapers and we were more than ready to start the potty training process. Oh, the laundry….so much laundry. One thing we learned very quickly was that the cloth diapers Kenley was wearing were not going to hold up for Crosby. The elastic was completely stretched out in all of her diapers since they were so heavily used for two whole years. Yep, we used the same diapers from start to finish with Kenley. There are refresher kits available to update the diapers to prolong the use, but the decision for us was to spend time updating our old diapers or spend money on buying new diapers. Time won and we decided to purchase some new diapers. Another reason I chose to buy new diapers for Crosby was that there were better diapers out now! Times were a-changing. I had purchased five of the new BumGenius Freetime diapers on sale for baby G2 and I immediately fell in love.

Quick recap, we used BumGenius 4.0 diapers with Kenley and loved them. The BumGenius brand is amazing and the diapers were great. The 4.0 diapers require you to stuff the inserts into the diaper cover. BumGenius then upped the game and made an all-in-one diaper (the Freetime) that required NO stuffing! Not only is there no stuffing, then are also less bulky than the 4.0 diapers, which is another reason I love them so much. I wanted to replace my entire stash with the Freetime diaper, but I ended up keeping a few other brands around. Here is the rundown of our diapers:

BumGenius Freetime – Again, love these! These are also available at Buy Buy Baby and you can use a coupon, making them only $15!

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BumGenius 4.0 – The Lovelace print was one of the last ones we got for Kenley, so we still use those two diapers. Crosby has rocked that print, but they are usually at the bottom of the pile since the elastic is getting pretty stretched out. Another good thing about the 4.0 is they double as swim diapers if you remove the inserts.

BumCheeks – I ordered one more BumCheeks to add to the two we had with Kenley. These require stuffing, but I really like the bamboo inserts. I have only ordered these off Baby Steals.

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Best Bottoms – I wanted to try a new brand this time around and Best Bottoms came highly recommended from a friend. They are a little bit different than the BumGenius brand as the insert snaps onto the cover. The cover grows with the baby, but the inserts do not, so they are sized small, medium, and large. The Best Bottoms are not bulky and the prints are adorable!

GroVia All-In-One – These have been my least favorite diapers, mainly because of the way they fit the kids. We used them far longer with Crosby than we did with Kenley, but they have been retired. The elastic around the legs was really tight, so they may fit babies with leaner legs a little better.

As far as our routine and other accessories, we really haven’t changed a thing. At home, we use cheap wash cloths as cloth wipes and they get washed with the diapers. The only annoying part is that I find them ALL over my house (clean, of course). We could not live without the BumGenius Diaper Sprayer, which has come in handy for many other reasons along the way (i.e. a puking toddler in the middle of the night). We rotate between two Planet Wise pail liners that hold the dirty diapers between washes and we have two Planet Wise wet bags for school and on the go. We had to replace one of the wet bags that we got for Kenley because the zipper broke, but the other is still going strong. They are very durable and have gone through the wash more times than I can count. I recently saw something that is called the Diaper Dawg and it looks amazing, but I can’t say for sure since we don’t have it. This is something that would be highly useful and one of those things where you ask yourself, why didn’t I think of that?

cloth diapers

This whole process is really second nature to us. We’ve been cloth diapering continuously for over three years now, which is mind blowing to me. I’m not really sure how that is possible. While cloth diapers are always our first choice, we do recognize that disposable diapers are sometimes just more convenient. The rare occasions that Crosby has a diaper rash (most likely from antibiotics), we lather him up with diaper cream and put him in a disposable until his rash is gone. He wears a disposable every night and whenever we are traveling. Sometimes if we will be out for an extended amount of time, we’ll opt for disposables. We have really only bought the Up & Up brand of diapers from Target which have worked great for both of our kids and they are far cheaper than the name brands.

What other burning questions do you have that I didn’t cover? Who is considering cloth diapering?

Our Favorites // Nine Months

I’m slowly catching up on posts so I want to share our nine month favorites! You can catch up on the three and six month favorites.

Dr. Brown’s Snack-A-Pillar Cups

These were recommended to us by a friend when Crosby was starting solids. They are wonderful for sending food and snacks to school. The cups can be used individually since each color has its own lid, or you can send them together stacked. We also love them for travel and airplane rides! They are perfect for offering a variety of snack options. We also use the OXO Tot Bowl Set to send food to school and we love these bowls. I found several of them at TJ Maxx when Kenley was little but not so much recently. You can also get them at Buy Buy Baby with a coupon.

Fisher-Price Workbench

The workbench, as well as the kitchen, is a great interactive learning toy that is good for all ages. It’s small so it can go from room to room, and has different settings for learning. However, it is not sturdy, so when he was starting to pull himself up on things, he took a lot of spills on the workbench and the kitchen because they toppled right over with them. Regardless, these two toys get played with a lot in our household.

Board Books

The Going to Bed Book

Crosby loves books. He is all about them at school and at home. Some of our early favorites include most of the Sandra Boynton books, including The Going to Bed Book and Moo Baa La La La. We also recently started collecting the Good Night series books.

VTech Sit-to-Stand Alphabet Train

This is one of the many push toys we have at the house and both kids love it. It was great for Crosby to push around when he wasn’t walking yet, but wanted to get from place to place. He also loved to put the alphabet blocks into the train and have them shoot out the back. It was fun for Greg and I to watch his hand/eye coordination develop. Another good thing about the train is that it is educational! Win/win for everyone.

Tommee Tippee Bottle Warmer

 

We didn’t have a bottle warmer when Kenley was a baby, but I saw this bottle warmer at TJ Maxx for $17 and I couldn’t pass it up. I had hoped I would be breastfeeding, so I figured that Crosby wouldn’t be having many bottles at home, but when he did the bottle warmer was great! Around ten and a half months, Crosby decided he was done breastfeeding and he took a bottle morning, noon, and night. This bottle warmer was clutch! We used it every day until we transitioned fully to the sippy cup.

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What are some of your favorites at the nine month mark?

One Year Old

Crosby Martin is one year old!

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I am not quite sure how this is possible, but we now have two toddlers! Wow. Crosby is typically very happy and very go with the flow. He rarely gets upset, aside from those bumps and bruises, then he is quickly over it. He makes it easy to tell when he’s not feeling well because he’s very chill at all other times. He likes to cuddle more than Kenley did and he gives great big bear hugs around your neck.

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There haven’t been many changes from last month. He follows a very good schedule that works for him. He’s drinking about 15 ounces of breast milk throughout the day from a sippy cup for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and at bed time. He eats three meals a day and has one or two snacks. The boy loves food! The only thing he doesn’t care for still is bananas. He could leave the green veggies behind, but when they are mixed with other foods, he will eat them. We figured we wouldn’t get lucky twice since Kenley has always loved her green veggies. Crosby is eating “adult” food just like the rest of us for dinner rather than having his own meal made for him, which helps out immensely. We are at the point now where there really isn’t much that is off limits, though we will probably hold off on peanuts for a little while longer.

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Crosby is definitely down to one nap a day from 12pm – 2pm (or 1pm at home… figures). He goes to bed around 7:15-7:30pm and is up around 6:15am. He usually is good with just one nap, unless he’s not feeling well or we’re riding in the car, then he decides he could go for a cat nap (I don’t blame him). He will begin sleeping on a cot at school now that he’s one, so no more crib during the day! He will be in the crib as long as possible at home though.

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He is quite the explorer. His teacher jokes that it’s not a day until Crosby is in something, under something, or has gotten hurt. He goes from one thing to the next and when he’s done with it, he usually throws it. Now that he’s walking, he is literally into everything. He goes from room to room, then back again once he’s had enough. You always have to keep one eye on him to make sure he’s not eating cords or trying to pull things down. He also will get going fast and not have time to catch himself, so he goes head first into everything. In two days, he got a nice goose egg on his forehead from the wall, then a cut on his eye from a trash can.

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He and Kenley have a ball playing on the Anywhere Chair and the couch. It’s turned into somewhat of an obstacle course in our living room and Crosby has been known to do a somersault over the side. I am frequently reminding them (Kenley) to be careful, stop jumping on the couch, no pushing, etc. I don’t think this will be ending any time soon. It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt (usually Crosby).

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Twelve month notes:

Weight – 22 pounds 4 ounces
Height – 29 1/2 inches
Head – 18.23 inches
Hair – Brown, thick, and a little bit curly in the back
Teeth – Seven and working on some more
Eyes – Brown
Clothes – 12-18 months, size 4 shoes
Diapers – Cloth by day and disposables at night, we just finished size 3 and are now into size 4.
Likes – Walking, almost running, climbing on furniture, cabinets, bath, push toys, trying to keep up with his big sister
Dislikes – Laying on the changing table, getting his clothes changed, getting his diaper changed, being forced to sit still

Happy birthday sweet boy. It’s been one fun year, that’s for sure.

Fifty + Fifty-One Weeks

We are inching closer to the end of Crosby’s weekly photo project and I have to say that I’m not too upset about it. It’s very difficult to get a picture of this one not moving, let alone laying down. That also means that he’s almost one year old. Not possible! He has been on the move the past two weeks. While we were at the hotel, every time the door would open, he would speed crawl to try to get out. When we let him in the hall, he just walked and walked as far as his little feet could take him. He’s fully committed to walking now and crawling is a thing of the past. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s running in the next week. He wants to keep up with Kenley so bad.

fifty weeks

fifty-one weeks

The next update will be a big one, just like our little guy.