Thursday, November 30, 2017

Georgia's Christmas List

Ok, so of course it's not really Georgia's list, more like my list for her, but still! I am so beyond excited for Christmas this year.  We sat in our wait for 5 Christmases wondering if we'd ever get the chance to experience all of the magic that comes along with having children during the holiday season.  This year we finally do and we will definitely be continuing some of our favorite traditions and maybe starting some new ones of our own!

Although in the future we will try to keep Christmas somewhat simple, I think this year I am just really in the gift-giving mindset because I want to make this a special Christmas even though Georgia won't remember it.  I don't think this list is too much, however we may not end up with everything on it this year.  One tradition I would like for us to start as Georgia gets older is giving to others; picking a name off of a tree and giving to a family in need is definitely something I have strong feelings about doing with our children as they get older.  We really want the to understand the importance of giving to others, especially during the holidays.  

Little Tikes Hide and Seek Climber and Swing - so my parents have the swing and Georgia absolutely loves it.  We thought this swing & slide combo would be perfect for her as well, and can easily be moved from inside to outside.  

Little Tikes Princess Cozy Coupe Ride-On - the cozy coupe is something that has been around for years!  It may be a little bit big for Georgia now, but maybe for her first birthday in February or maybe even next year.

LeapFrog My Pal Violet - ok so for like $17 this seems to be one of the best toys for the best prices.  This is a customizable toy that you can personalize with your phone or computer.  It will say and spell your childs name , it has over 15 learning activities and 40+ songs.  You can also personalize your child's favorite animal, food, and color!  

Christmas Vacation Onesie Set - if you've followed along here for awhile then you know how seriously the Ridley family takes Christmas Vacation, we quote the movie all year long & always kick off our holiday season watching it on Thanksgiving.  Joe's family even throws a Christmas Vacation themed party where you dress up as your favorite character.  I bought this for Georgia to wear to family Christmas this year & I cannot wait to see her in it! 

Magical Mermaid Wooden Bowling Set - I could not get over this adorable little bowling set.  I got it in the mail the other day and it is even cuter in person, perfect for little hands!  This shop also has some really cute rainbow puzzles & I know a lot of us in the infertility community have a special place in our hearts for anything rainbow!  

Silicone Pacifier Clip & Teether - this isn't necessarily a super fun toy, but we are definitely in need of some new paci clips, Georgia's leather paci clips are pretty disgusting now after all the slobber & spit up that has accumulated on them over the last several months.  Although she isn't teething yet, I thought these silicone ones were the best option for her because she definitely prefers to put them in her mouth more often than not!   Plus I think teeth can come any time now! 

That's pretty much it for us for this year!  We really don't want to accumulate a million toys and we will always try to keep Christmas reasonable and simple.  What are you gifting to your littles this year?

Monday, November 27, 2017

Our Christmas Traditions

I can't believe how close we are to Christmas already!  Thanksgiving seemed to fly by in the blink of an eye, but what that always means for us is the kick off to our Christmas celebrations.  What I love best about this time of year is the many traditions that we participate in, some stem from when we were kids ourselves, others are traditions that we have created over the years as we became our own family.  I always love to hear what other families do because everyone is different so I thought it would be fun to share ours since we just started to kick ours off!

These kind of go in a chronological order starting Thanksgiving night…Joe doesn't ask for much but one thing he is pretty adamant about is no Christmas movies, decorations, or music until after Thanksgiving.  This year he budged a little bit and allowed me to watch White Christmas on Thanksgiving morning which I totally took advantage of!  He kinda feels like Thanksgiving gets overlooked, and it totally does, so I appreciate that he still considers it to be an important holiday worth celebrating.   

Christmas Kick-off, as I refer to it, happens on Thanksgiving night after we have made all of our stops and stuffed ourselves full 3 times, we go home and officially kick off Christmas festivities with mimosas and Christmas movies.  We ALWAYS start with Christmas Vacation.  It's always been a favorite of mine but Joe's family takes this movie very seriously.  You'll hear his mom quoting lines all season long.  His family even has a Christmas Vacation themed costume party every year where attendants dress up as their favorite characters.  We have never been able to make the party since it happens out of town, but we are definitely a Christmas Vacation-obsessed family.  Elf and Home Alone usually follow and then we continue to watch ALL THE CHRISTMAS movies for the next month or so.

Cutting down our tree usually happens the next day, or at least the weekend of Thanksgiving.  Joe and I have been getting a real tree for about 5 years now and it's a favorite tradition of mine.  We had  a blast this year bringing Georgia, she absolutely loved it and laughed and smiled the whole time!  Once we get home we decorate it and drink mimosas and watch Christmas movies.  
Christmas shopping with my mom is something we have done since I was little.  My mom and grandma did it for years when I was a kid and then she finally started letting me come when I was in grade school.  Once my grandma passed away my mom and I continued the tradition.  We always travel out of town where the better shopping is and do lunch & shop til we drop.  Last year I about did drop being that I was 8 months pregnant, this year we will bring Georgia!  Luckily this year we don't have much shopping to do as my parents bought us a trip to Punta Cana in January.  We will probably just do stocking stuffers this year.

Christmas PJs with my in-laws has probably been one of my top favorite traditions.  This year will be different.  This is going to be a very hard holiday for all of us as Joe Sr. certainly played the patriarch role very well.  He always read us the stories out of the Christmas book and we all sat and listened with our matching jammies on and our glass-bottle Coke's in hand.  This year we will let my mother in law dictate how she wants things done, whatever works best for her, whatever is most comfortable for her.  I am still looking forward to this tradition as this will be Georgia's first set of matching PJ's, but it will also be one of our hardest for sure.

Starved Rock Stay-Over has been a tradition Joe and I kind of tagged into a few years ago.  My aunt, uncle, and 2 cousins had been doing this for 15 or more years when Joe and I were invited to start coming maybe 6 years ago.  Starved Rock is a local state park with a really beautiful lodge, veranda, and cabins.  Every year on Christmas Eve eve (the 23rd) we stay overnight in a cabin and play games, much on snacks, watch Christmas movies, and drink wayyyy too much alcohol.  We usually hit the hot tub & go for a nice dinner in the lodge.  It's a great and stress-free way to enjoy Christmas before things get really crazy on Christmas Eve and Day. 

Christmas morning breakfast & stockings & gifts has been something we have always done with my family.  We used to go to my parents' house to do it but now Christmas Day has moved to my house so they come over and we cook breakfast, drink mimosas, listen to Christmas music, and open our stockings and gifts.  We keep the group small at first, then around lunch we do an open-house and the rest of our family and friends trickle in and out throughout the day for pulled beef sandwiches and Christmas cocktails.  We stay in our PJs all day and try to relax as much as possible.  My parents have been divorced since I was 2 and I have always ran around every holiday to family gatherings, then I got married and had a 3rd family to include in the mix so finally when our house was built I said, I’m done, & started having Christmas Day at my house where I could relax & enjoy my day without running around all day long.  It's worked out well and I am so excited for Georgia to experience her first Christmas.

What are you family traditions?  Do you do anything similar to us?

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Georgia June - 9 Months

Georgia June is 9 months old!  She has officially been out of mama's belly as long as she was in.  Georgia continues to grow leaps and bounds every day and it's seriously so amazing to watch.  She is pulling herself up onto everything she can, she especially loves to pull herself up at the coffee table & then proceeds to take her pile of books and throw them on the floor.  We also lowered her crib mattress down even though she never sleeps in it. 

I am not sure of her official stats yet, we got on the 29th for her 9 month check up, but a few weeks ago when she had a fever of 103 I took her to the doctor & they weighed her in at 17 lbs.  She's a peanut, but the girl LOVES to eat.  She eats everything we do—steak, eggs, yogurt, fish, pizza, bacon, pancakes, you name it, she has tried it.  She also loves puffs & yogurt melts.  I still do puree food for her to take to daycare.  Lately she's been eating sweet potato & acorn squash with cinnamon.  The girl can eat and anytime we take her to a restaurant she gets to sit in the highchair and taste what we are eating, same goes for home. 

Sleep has improved a lot.  We 100% cosleep with her in our bed between us.  She does not get a blanket or get to use a pillow, she simply lays on the mattress between us.  Over the last 3 or so weeks she has only been waking up 1 time a night to nurse & honestly, she could probably go without the nursing session, but mama's supply is still adjusting and sometimes I need the relief.  Georgia still gets the majority of her calories a day from nursing.  We have been going 9 months strong.  I have a little over 300 ounces of milk frozen & I'm still setting my goal at nursing her until she is 1 year.  I pump 3x a day at work and I'm making just enough to get her through a regular day & then every once in a while I have an extra bag to freeze.  My supply has definitely dipped, but I am still making enough to feed her what she needs each day which is all I can ask for.

We recently upgraded Georgia to a convertible car seat.  She was sooo over her infant carrier.  We ended up going with the Maxi Cosi Pria 70, I got a blue one for myself and the boho one for my mom.  I was really torn and wanted the Boho for myself but the cover does not come off and cannot be washed and a lot of people warned me that it will be hard to clean.  She spends a lot less time in my mom's car so I figured that one would be better for her.  

Other fun facts about Georgia: she has ZERO teeth, she loves to clap and wave, she is obsessed with looking at pictures, she loves to be front facing in her carrier & walked around, I do this with her every time I vacuum and she loves it.  She is also obsessed with her cat and dog, she thinks they're the best, they don't think quite the same as her but they both do really well with her and I've never had any issues at all with either of them.  Our cat does have her front claws and can be a little standoffish to strangers, but she does a great job of letting Georgia explore her a bit and is friendly towards her which is nice.  She likes to look at books and she is making tons of noises, ba ba, da da, na na, etc. lots of giggling, screaming, and just random noises that are so sweet.  I know this girl will be walking in no time.  She has very little interest in crawling and really only army crawls still.  But she loves her walker & loves to stand & be walked around the house.  I think she may skip crawling all together.

She has a ton of hair & I've had to basically start ordering all my bows on alligator clips because she gets wings when I put headbands on her.  She is currently teetering between 9 month clothes and 12 month clothes depending on the brand.  I've got 3 totes in her closet full of stuff that she has grown out of and we have put a lot of that baby-gear you need in those first months into storage like the bumbo, the boppy's, the rock n play, etc. saving it hopefully for our next babe.

We are really looking forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas with our little peach.  Soon after Christmas mama will start planning her first birthday!  CUE THE TEARS!  I have a theme and pretty much all the decorations picked out already & have for like 3 months, duh.  It's so crazy to think that she came into this world almost a year ago already.  The time is flying!  We are also really looking forward to our trip to Punta Cana in January and would welcome any travel & packing tips anyone has for traveling with a 10 month old! 

Friday, November 17, 2017

Picket Fence Baby Store Giveaway!

 Georgia and I are so excited to be participating in another fun giveaway with an amazing online baby boutique!  A few months ago we gave away a $50 store credit to one lucky winner to Picket Fence and we've decided to team up with them again to give away another $50 towards a purchase from their online shop!
metallic bow from Little Poppy Co.
The first time around we went with an adorable little bubble romper, look how little my peanut was back in May!  We looooved this romper, it was such an amazing quality and of course Georgia looked adorable in it!  This time around we chose something from Tea Collection which is one of my favorite baby clothing lines.  Their patterns and prints are adorable and once again, their quality is really where it's at.  It holds up well and we always get tons of compliments when Georgia is in on of their pieces.  
This dress is definitely in the running for Georgia's Thanksgiving outfit this year.  I've been having so much fun shopping for her for all of her holiday outfits and Christmas presents.  I have probably spent way more than I should or need to, but there is nothing more fun to me than buying baby clothes!  Some of my other favorites from Picket Fence are this little pull over sweatshirt from Oh Baby, and this Unicorn Dream book and plush stuffed animal.  
Entering this giveaway is easy, a simple comment on this blog post is all you need!  You can also follow me along on Instagram where I'll be sharing ways to gain additional entries.

Good luck!

Monday, November 06, 2017

Bath Time Routine & an IncrediBundles Giveaway!

I remember giving Georgia her first bath right before we left the hospital to come home.  We decided to delay bathing for 2 days which has really seemed to be the route that many parents and hospitals seem to be going these days.  I remember she screamed the entire time, she absolutely hated it!  This is exactly how bathing went for the first week or so when we had to give her a sponge bath util her little umbilical nub fell off, then we could put her in the tub.  Once she was able to get a real bath she really enjoyed it and always has since then.  
Bath time for us is every other night in the early evenings after dinner.  She usually has pancakes in her hair and sticky little hands so it's best for us if she gets her bath right before bedtime.  This routine also usually helps settle her for bed as well.  When Georgia was a newborn and infant we used the Angel Care tub which we loved!  Then when she got too big for that we switched to the Primo baby tub.  Both of these have been great for us & both are under $25!  We still use the Primo tub now so that we don't have to waste a ton of water filling up the entire bath.  Georgia loves to kick and splash in the water and mama loves it because she can either sit up in it or she can lay back in it which is best for hair washing.  

Undoubtedly, Georgia's favorite part about bath time is playing with her toys.  She loves when water is poured over her hair, she loves to splash and kick her legs non stop.  When IncrediBundles reached out to me to collaborate I was so torn on which route to go.  They offer some really amazing book, toy, diapering, sleep, and bath bundles.  Not only do they offer preassembled bundles, they also offer the option to create your own custom bundle as well!  So after scouring their site for a few days trying to make my decision, I ultimately decided on the Just Ducky Bath Bundle because I had been recently searching for some new toys for Georgia specifically for the bath.
Our bundle came in a day!  I was floored by how quickly their shipping was.  It came in an amazing reusable storage box, and the contents were all wrapped up nicely in tissue paper.   This bundle came with SkipHop stacking bath toys and the SkipHop Moby Waterfall Bath Rinser along with an adorable terrycloth duck-themed hooded bath towel.  Georgia loves to have her hair rinsed and the Moby rinser is perfect for this as it has a rubber lip that fits to her forehead which prevents water from getting into her eyes, it also has a handle on it which is a huge improvement from the plastic cup I was using prior to this!  The towel is big unlike some of the other hooded towels that we own that she has now outgrown, this one wraps all the way around her and is so cute!  
I love the idea of IncrediBundles for baby shower gifts, Christmas or birthday, or even as a gift to yourself.  Something like their diaper subscription would definitely make life easier as a mother!  I am so excited to be giving away to one lucky winner a $50 gift card to IncrediBundles just in time for the Christmas season!  You can enter via the Raffelcopter below, and find me on Instagram for even more ways to enter!

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