Thursday, October 31, 2013


Halloween is in full swing at our house.

Trunk or Treat left us with more candy than we know what to do with. 
(I think we had the best trunk. The hanging spider sacs of doom are pretty creepy.)

Halloween is such a fun holiday. But I feel like I should warn you.....

Beware Witch Ellie! Her scream has been known to wake up an entire household at 2:30am!

Beware the Dragon Collin and his terrible glow stick! His thirst for candy knows no limits!

Beware the vampire Lydia! She can transform from a sweet seven year old to a moody 14 year old in a matter of seconds!

Happy Halloween from our family to yours!
photos via instagram @natssentiments

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The winner of the Pink Blush Maternity giveaway is Christina.
Congrats! Email me and I will get you your prize.  

Monday, October 28, 2013

Best New Mommy Gifts - and what Mommy needs to get herself

Ah, gifting for the new mommy. If it's at the shower, you want something that gets the approprate "Ooooooo, so cute!" response. But when you want to bring something for a new mommy, you want to bring something useful or comforting. Something for the woman who just delivered a baby and thus, is in need of a little pampering. Here are some of my top new mommy gift ideas, straight from the mouth of a new mommy.  (Man. I'm tired. Babies are exhausting. I just had to throw that out there.)

  • Something pretty to wear. That will fit. 
No one feels pretty right after giving birth. Your body is just, well, weird. Bring over something that will make a new mom feel pretty without having to struggle to fit into it. A fuzzy pair of socks, a soft new scarf or a cute cap to pull up that greasy hair. My friend brought me a thin cardigan in the hospital that fit over my nightgown. It was perfect. I LOVE these hair ties from Anthropologie. What a useful little splurge for $12. 

  • Food. Well duh. 
Getting meals after baby is pretty much the best thing in the world. I recommend Bev's Macaroni and Cheese. Mainly cause it's awesome and the kids will eat it too. My next door neighbor brought over all the fixings for sandwiches. Guess what I ate for an entire week for lunch. (Tip....Find out when Grandma is leaving to head back home and bring meals then!) 

  • NoseFrida - the snot sucker
Don't judge me, but the NoseFrida is freaking awesome. And totally gross. But not really all that gross once you've used it. Unless you've had a baby, you can not understand how horrible it is to see your baby stuffed up and not be able to help. The blue nasal aspirators are terrible and usually freak your baby into hysteria. With this, you actually use your own suction to remove snot from your baby, but I want to clarify, there is no way you will actually get snot in your mouth! I promise. And it's incredibly effective. Check out the Amazon reviews if you don't believe me. And it's super cheap too. Your new mommy friend will love you for this gift. ANYTHING that helps the baby from screaming. 

  • Paper plates
Huh? Did she just say paper plates? Yep. This is a terrific new mom gift. Bringing dinners to a new mom is so helpful. Adding some paper plates to the delivery makes it perfect. A friend did this for me and every time I grabbed a plate I thought how grateful I was not to have to wash a dish. You can even use the Stephmodo tutorial on paper plate upgrade if you really want to go crazy. Maybe just bring over a couple boxes of cereal, some paper bowls and plastic spoons. Seriously, she'll love you.

  • Bamboobies
Ouch. Nursing hurts in the beginning. Sore nipples and engorgement. Yuk. My aunt sent me a pair of Bamboobies washable nursing pads and they were like putting pillows in my bra. (Not like when I put actual pillows in my bra in junior high.) Soft, absorbent and subtle under clothes. These would be lovely for a nursing mom.

And then hold that baby for an hour while she uses it. (If she had a c-section, then let her take a long shower. She can't take a bath. Bummer.) Tell her to wash her hair, dry it and put on fresh pjs. She will feel a million times better. (Especially if you get her this ubber fancy honey bath from Nordstrom. Yum.)

  • Diapers and wipes. 

I couldn't leave those off the list. Every new mom is thrilled to get these. You just can't imagine how many a baby will go through. I recommend not getting newborn diapers, but getting size 1 or 2. A lot of moms never need newborn size. Or just ask what size they want. Personally, my tiny baby was in newborn diapers for a while. Not "fun" enough of a gift? Just make a diaper cake. I made a cowboy themed diaper cake and it was a huge hit.

  • A Glossy new magazine
She doesn't want a book. She wants something mindless to look through while she nurses for countless hours a day. 

  • A HUGE Diet Coke
Or whatever other drink she craves. Maybe a Dirty Diet Coke like this one from Little Miss Momma. The first thing I did when I was allowed to drive again was go get myself some carbonated relief. The first thing Shane brought me as a treat was a Starbucks hot chocolate. 

Now. What should you get yourself before you give birth? 

  • Bronzer - With no sleep and going through delivery, you won't believe how much better you'll look with a little color. Add some lip gloss while you're at it. No one looks totally trashed with glossy lips. I like Mac Bronzer, but the Kohls brand "Flirt" bronzer is cheaper and still really nice. 
  • The softest, lightest, most comfortable nightgown with buttons for nursing. Especially if you're having a c-section. They have often have really nice ones at T.J Max and Ross. 
  • Get yourself a nursing night bra. You will not want to sleep without some support and some nursing pads in place. And you can wear this if you have to have a c-section.
  • Black yoga pants. Buy them when you are about 5-6 months along. Then they'll fit post baby. pack them for the hospital. You'll LIVE in them for months. I have two pairs and I still wear them almost everyday.
  • Slippers you will want to wear all day. (Personally, I wear mens Crocs (wider than womens) with fuzzy socks. The most comfortable thing ever, and I can wash the socks way easier than slippers.) 
  • Make your favorite treat. Freeze them for baby blues emergencies. (I made scotcharoos.)
Now you're all set for making some new mom super happy :) 
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Friday, October 25, 2013

Last Baby Syndrome (And having my tubes removed.)

I think I may have last baby syndrome. I'm not sure that's a documented thing, but it should be.

Elise is my last baby. For sure. I had my fallopian tubes removed during my c-section, so it's definite.

(A few people asked via email why I had my tubes removed. I'll answer that later in this post.)

Anyway, I'm very happy that we are done with having babies. I feel like my family is complete. But acknowledging that I will never go through these little moments again with a baby is emotional. It may just be that I am incredibly slept deprived. (Elise's longest sleep duration is 3 hours at night. But usually it's less than 2.) Also, I'm still getting boughts of baby blues, which seem to hover over like a gray gauze over my days. I'm happy and liking this new place in life, but I'm sad too.

Every time I put away something that Elise has out grown, I think, "I'll never have a baby wear this again." As she moves through these beginning milestones, I realize how this won't happen again.

I don't want the joy of raising Elise to be tinged with the sadness of "last baby syndrome". But maybe that's what every parent experiences with their last baby. We hold them so close as we desperately want the moment to last longer. I just didn't expect it to be so bittersweet. And I just started.

Does it better or last for the duration?

In regard to having my tubes removed, I always planned on having my tubes "tied" after this baby. Shane and I came to that decision for many reasons. I have a hard time getting pregnant and very hard pregnancies. This would be my third c-section. And I turned 36 right after she was born. I did NOT want a surprise baby at age 43. And, most importantly, we felt like three kids was the perfect number for our family.

When I discussed this with my doctor, she recommended that if I was 100% sure that this would be our last baby, I should have my fallopian tubes completely removed. The reason behind this is to dramatically decrease my chances for developing Ovarian cancer, which has been found to develop in the F. Tubes.

I was a little nervous about going ahead with that procedure. My worry, was that Elise would be born with some problems and not survive. My doctor is not the most positive person and she filled my head constantly with all the issues that comes with having a baby later in life. (Again. I was only 35.) But I did worry that if something was wrong, I would have absolutely no way to add to our family. (Other than adoption of course.)

How I went about this was to sign all the wavers for the Tubal removal, but instructed the doctor not to go ahead until after the baby was born and confirmed stable. There was plenty of time after delivery to make this concession. At that time we would make the decision.

As it so happened, the doctor discovered that my uterus was so thin, that had I stayed pregnant for even a couple more days, it most likely would have burst. She told me that it was not safe for me to have any other children. This made the decision for the removal an obvious one.

Anyone else have their tubes completely removed? Or is this a newer option?

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Such a good girl

Monday was a bad night with the baby and I forgot to turn on my alarm. The next morning Lydia woke me up to say her ride to school was here. I woke up in a panic. "Don't worry, I'm all ready to go. I love you mom." Then she quietly placed a note and breakfast on my bed before running out the door. She's seven years old. #love

via instagram @natssentiments

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Monday, October 14, 2013

InstaMonday #46 - Fall is glorious.

We headed to the pumpkin patch this week. Cloudy and crisp. What a marvelous time of year. 

I was kind of getting sick of my dark hair, but now it seems just right for Autumn. 
And so thick from pregnancy! Just wait. In three months it will all be falling out. 

Elise's hair is coming in nicely too. Her brown hair is gone and is now blond. Just like my other kids.

Weekend art with my seven year old, 4 year old and 6 week old. And if you know how hard it is to keep a 6 week old baby's hand open and still that long, you know what a masterpiece this is.

Life's officially back to normal. Cleaning and baby wearing.

Staying at home to watch our church leaders in pjs and a blanket fort.

This week Shane was called to be Young Men's President at church. 
I'm kind of freaking out. I'm in the Relief Society Presidency and we have a new baby.
If you're Mormon, you know that's a lot to deal with.

But my kids tell me to chill out and just enjoy the ride.

They like fall too :)

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My kids have some serious moves!


Just uploaded a bunch of cute videos over on my other blog.

Does every mom think their kids are the cutest in the world?

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Saturday, October 5, 2013

Perfect Fall Apple Pie

I always feel like cooking when it's the LDS conference weekend

Ya. I made this. That's a lattice crust. Trying not to eat a lot of sugar, so I've only had a few bites. 
But DANG. It's good.

I used the Grandma Opal recipe with a few changes to make it a little more Fall like and flavorful:

Perfect Fall Apple Pie

1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie

1/2 cup unsalted butter

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

2 Tsp cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice

1 TSP vanilla

8 Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored and sliced

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add water, cinnamon, vanilla, white sugar and brown sugar, and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and let simmer.
  2. Place the bottom crust in your pan. Fill with apples, mounded slightly. Gently pour most of the sugar and butter liquid over the apples. Cover with a lattice work crust. Brush remaining liquid over the crust.
  3. Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes, until apples are soft. Covering the edges with tin foil for the first half of bake time will help them from burning. 


I'm testing a few Thanksgiving recipes this weekend too. This year we're doing a big Thanksgiving trip instead of Christmas, so I have it on my mind. I'll be posting lots to my Thanksgiving and Fall Pinterest boards. Follow along if you'd like! 

I love this time of year! 

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