Thursday, September 11, 2014

A Few of My Favorite Things: Baby and Toddler Edition

I'm at 34 weeks today with Little Miss.  (Keeping cooking in there, Baby Girl, please don't feel rushed.)

Birth plan is completed, Brian knows what to do when I'm losing my mind during labor, and Little Miss finally has a name, (but it's a secret til she arrives.)

And her nursery is. . . currently in use by big brother. Until Tyson and Jayden can sleep in the same room again without having Wrestlemania every night, we've got Tyson sleeping in the nursery.

So her poor room currently looks a little disheveled. . .

Since I purchased new curtains right before we found out we were pregnant, I refuse to buy new ones. But they aren't light-blocking, so obviously, the next option is to drape older light-blocking curtains over them.  Super cute.
That's not even her crib. But that is a new mattress for her, and one day it will be out of the box, when we actually assemble the crib that is sitting in our garage.
One painting has been hanging since we moved in. So there's that.   The rest of the wall decor has been sitting on top of the dresser.  For a while.  One day, it will hang itself.  (And the lighting in these pictures is atrocious, I know. Third trimester mama doesn't care. :)

If you've never seen the boys' room, I have to share- it was already full of football awesomeness when we moved in.  Just hung Daddy's football jersey on the wall and it was done! 

Since I've started thinking about all things baby again, I wanted to share a few of my favorite things for babies and some items I'm using with the boys currently.  

1. Fisher Price Rock n' Play
This is where Jayden slept for the first few months of his life and he loved it.  He was snug as a bug and it was easily mobile and could travel anywhere. (Disclaimer: At one point there was a recall on the item, so do your research and see if it's for you.)  We are planning on using the Rock n' Play for Little Miss for the first few weeks, IF I can figure out where it is currently is hiding in our house. 

2. 12 Hours of Sleep by 12 Weeks of Age by Suzy Giordano  
The only book I completely read and then followed for sleep training my boys.  It's a short book and it was easy to understand and implement.  If you are a mom who likes routines and schedules, it's for you. We have had Jayden in our home since he was three weeks old and Tyson came home at 5 months.  I used this method on both the boys and they are great sleepers.  I believe a solid routine of sleep is one of the most important things for kids, as it is imperative in brain development and overall health.  The boys go to bed around 7pm each night and get up around 8am to 8:30am.  They nap for around two hours each afternoon.  It keeps Mama SANE.  Amen and Hallelujah.  

**I'm writing this with full knowledge that the feisty little girl I am carrying is made up of her mom and dad's iron will DNA and will most likely rebel against this said method.  I'll keep you updated. :) 

3.  Motorola MBP33 Baby Monitor and Camera
I realize that not everyone needs to watch their baby or toddler during naps or at night. But I have thoroughly appreciated having the ability to see when one of my two year-olds has lifted off the air conditioning grate once again and is about to put body parts or other inanimate objects down the hole. It also gives you the option of adding another camera, so you can watch two different rooms. It's expensive, but in our house, TOTALLY worth it.  

4.  OK to Wake Clock
For toddlers who have a hard time staying in bed once they open their eyes, this is a great option.  I set the clock each night and before nap time and when the clock turns a bright green light, Jayden is allowed to get up out of bed.  It is a simple concept and he doesn't have to understand time in order to follow directions. 

5.  Shea Moisture Mango and Carrot Extra-Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner
Basically, the best smelling stuff. Ever. You will annoy your children by burying your nose in their hair for long periods of time. I use this to wash the boys hair, which is typically just once or twice a week.  You can find Shea Moisture products at Target. 

6.  Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie
On a daily basis, I put this curling creme in Tyson's hair, as his a softer texture and often grows a little longer than Jayden's. Again, it smells DIVINE.  If you put it in your child's hair, know that people will want to come and snuggle with them because they smell so good. 

7.  Rodan + Fields Soothe Regimen for Sensitive Skin
This is my new favorite for Jayden's eczema.  We have battled with this since he was really little and have tried SO many different over-the-counter lotions, creams, gels and also prescription steroid medication.  His little legs and elbows are always dealing with rough, itchy patches that leave discoloration and scarring.  I started him on this Regimen five days ago and it has already made a crazy difference in his skin.  It's not healed completely yet, but we are headed quickly in that direction and he isn't itching anymore.  Plus, it's really gentle, smells great, and is not a prescription medicine that can have other side effects.  

Five days into using the Soothe Regimen.  

Those are just a few of my favorite things! Now it's time to get two of my other favorite things up from their nap.  :) 

Have any favorite items you want to share? Especially when it comes to all things little girl? Leave a comment, I'm all ears! 

Monday, September 1, 2014

It Started With An Email

It's September! That means college football, boots, and pumpkin spiced everything. 

It's also the first month that I get to advocate and support a family currently in the adoption process.  Exciting! 

Let me introduce you to the Sykes Family. . .

Here's what makes them awesome.  Seriously awesome. 

In November of 2012, we were finalizing the last parts of Tyson's adoption.  It was just a matter of weeks before we'd be getting a call to travel to the DRC to bring our son home.  After two years of starts and stops, praying and hoping, it was almost time.  Even with two years of saving and fundraising, we were still going to be a few thousand dollars short of the last-minute plane flights and lodging costs while in country. 

Enter Jessica and Greg Sykes. 

I received an email from Jessica, a fellow adoptive mom and reader of the blog that November.  We had never met or communicated before, but she and her husband felt led to offer to do a fundraiser to help us with travel costs. 

In that following month, the Sykes hand-made hundreds of beautiful Christmas ornaments for our friends and family who ordered and shipped them all over the country.  Over $2,000 was raised through that fundraiser. Please, please, please read more about the story here.  It was one of the most humbling and amazing gifts we had been given while in the emotionally- tolling adoption process. 

A month later, I was able to hug their necks in person at the Atlanta airport as we re-entered the country with our new son. After twenty-five hours of plane flights, I'm sure our first conversation was filled with me mumbling incoherent sentences of appreciation for them. 

At the end of this month, Jessica and Greg will be traveling to another state to be at the birth of their second baby.  They are hopeful and nervous, and just like we were two years ago, getting ready to make last-minute travel plans as soon as they get the phone call.  The Sykes are currently raising the final funds to travel and stay in the state with their new baby for a few weeks while paperwork is completed. 

I am super honored and excited to highlight Jessica and Greg as the adoptive family that we will be donating toward this month!  They were the first family who came to my mind when I launched this business and the timing of their second adoption has worked perfectly. 

So, here's the deal. . .A percentage of the profits from all Rodan + Fields purchases (ordered through my website) in the month of September will go toward their adoption expenses.  If you have no idea what I'm talking about, head here first.  

If you are looking for a new skin care routine or tired of dealing with consistent acne, sun damage, facial redness (eczema and rosacea) or fine lines and wrinkles, this is a GREAT month to try something new.  

It has been fun to see friends using the products and raving about the difference in their skin in just a few months. I'd love to answer any questions about the regimens, price point, or ingredients you may have.  Contact me at leslieharris77 (at) gmail (dot) com. 

This is not about to become a blog about a business, I can promise you this. But each month, I will be sharing about an opportunity to partner with a family through your purchase. 

Jessica and Greg came around our family at one of the most stressful times in the journey and blessed us immensely.  I am humbled to be able to play a small role as they welcome another sweet baby to their family.  

Would love to have you join me in blessing this amazing family!