The draft for RaeLynn’s birth story had been in progress since January of 2018. A big part of the reason I couldn’t actually finish this post is because I was in denial about how my birth plan panned out. In finding out I was pregnant once again back in November, I realized just how much trauma and emotional pain I still had from my two cesarean births. I know that I need to write this birth story in order to heal and accept the way my beautiful babe was brought into the world. I’m a week overdue with our next baby girl, so I figure it’s about time we finished writing this story.
MY DUE DATE IS TODAY! It’s time to make my hospital checklist and ensure I have all the baby must-haves for our sweet RaeLynn’s impending arrival! If you had told me this time last year that I would be 40 weeks pregnant right now, I would have laughed. God has such a sense of humor. Pregnancy wasn’t on our radar one bit since it took us so long to get pregnant with Elliana. But I cannot tell you how excited we are to welcome another girl to the family!
With a second pregnancy you tend to forget about the weekly bumpdate pictures and you don’t journal as much. I was so grateful when I was gifted this beautiful Bump book from Polka Dot Print Shop to record my pregnancy memories. I have loved having the prompts along the way to help me remember things like cravings, aversions, Mommy thoughts and feelings and anything else I want to record along this journey. Later I will get a Baby book from them to continue journaling RaeLynn’s life!
Maternity Photos & Hospital Wardrobe
There are definitely not any weekly bump pictures from this pregnancy! I just didn’t get into it this time around. But I sure made certain to document my bump as it grew here and there. I love looking back at my Mom when she was pregnant with me so I knew I wanted to do a special photo shoot at some point. I received the softest, most beautiful hospital delivery robe from PinkBlush. I have had such a hard time finding cute maternity clothes but after hearing so many friends rave about PinkBlush, I decided to go for it!
And THEN, I took the biggest step out of my comfort zone and did a little mini shoot with my talented daughter Teck! I love how excited she gets when she shoots! So here you go…maternity photos in my new fav maternity robe! A Mama must feel good after delivering a baby, am I right?! So along with all the baby must-haves, I’ll include one for Mama’s too!
All About Baby
I was a nanny for many years prior to starting our own family, so I feel like I tried all the gadgets! There are many that are unnecessary and there are some that are an absolute necessity! I think we can all agree that having a babe that sleeps well is a Mother’s dream.
A sound machine is a MUST my friends! White noise is so great because they say that the sounds baby is used to in the womb are louder than a vacuum cleaner. This is the sound machine we are using this time around.
The other sleep weapon is our absolute favorite blanket from AllyZabba. My friend who is a Doula and sleep training guru, introduced these to me when I was a nanny and helped people sleep train their babies. THEY WORK people! They say the silky side resembles the texture and feel of the uterus which is why it is so soothing to a baby. I start a newborn with the smallest size to lay under their head while they sleep and then we get the bigger ones later. Just ask my 4 year old about her “BB’s”, she’s slightly obsessed. I love how they monogram them AND we even got to be the very first recipients of their new DAHLIA pattern!
Cannot Live Withouts
These last 5 must-haves are so vital for your new babe and YOU! Do you trust me?
Back to the topic of sleep. Swaddling is a must my friends. Some people claim their babes don’t like the swaddle, and to that I say, keep doing it and they will learn to love it. It’s most likely not the swaddle they don’t like, but the fact that they were recently born into a foreign world where they don’t have the squishy and cozy living quarters they once had. They need some adjusting time!
You can choose from so many brands but I’ve heard some rave reviews on the Ollie Swaddle and I’m going to give it a shot this time around! It is a must to have velcro to secure your babe as they are little Houdini’s while they sleep and can break out of most anything! The Ollie has that too, but it also has an amazing system for easy access to the diaper area without completely un-swaddling in the middle of the night. Plus, the moisture-wicking fabric keeps your little one at the perfect sleeping temperature.
Affiliate Link: Get 10% Off your very own Ollie HERE
More Sleep and Lounging Time too
By now you must have heard a Mom or two talk about the multi-functional lounger, co-sleeper, playtime hangout, the DockATot! For the longest time I seriously thought these were some kind of bath or blow-up flotation device. For real. But no, it’s only the most ingenious invention handmade in Europe from 100% all natural cotton. I love that you can take it with you anywhere for an easy docking station (ahh that’s where they got the name) for your babe. It comes in two sizes (Deluxe for 0-8 Months, Grand 9-36 months) and has some pretty cute patterns too. If you ask 100 Moms what they would say is a “must-have”, this is definitely up there on the list!
Affiliate Link: Score $10 Off your very own DockATot HERE
This is insanely important. Your babe spends more time sleeping than anything else for the first 2 years of their life. If you know me, you know I want to eliminate every toxic chemical in my home. I’m on a mission, people!
“When parents put their babies down to sleep, they expect that their children are sleeping safe and sound. Unfortunately, a major study conducted by the University of Texas in Austin found that this couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact, what they did find is that most crib mattresses are a significant source of chemicals in an infant’s environment.” Read more on this over at the My Green Mattress Website.
I did a significant amount of research on this one and I can say with confidence that My Green Mattress is a good resource for the entire family to sleep peacefully, in every sense of the word. As you are probably aware, the government requires all mattresses to pass burn tests. My Green Mattress is able to pass both the 1633 open flame test and 1632 cigarette test by quilting natural wool into the organic cotton cover of your mattress, without use of any chemical flame retardants. Wool is a natural flame retardant and was used in years past to make firemen’s coats. Word to that!
We also got a twin size for Elliana and I think we will be looking into replacing our Queen size chemically-laden mattress as well! They are SUPER comfy!
Affiliate Link: Check out the selection for your family HERE
The Grocery Cart Conundrum
Grocery carts are from the devil. I wish you could bring your own. I’m not really into germs. So the Binxy Baby seemed like an incredible solution to keep baby safe in her own carrier or in the actual Binxy during grocery trips. What I love about this cute little grocery cart hammock is that it holds up to 50 lbs. so if babe is sleeping, you can put the entire car seat carrier in it and you don’t risk it tipping over. OR you can put your precious bundle straight in the Binxy Baby and she will love it! It’s a game changer my friends.
Affiliate Link: Check out this link to get yourself 10% off HERE
Last but most certainly not least…
Oh, Gentle Baby. The wonder-working essential oil! I’ve been using it all throughout pregnancy on my belly for those lovely little marks that like to reveal themselves as your belly grows. But aside from that, it is a very calming oil that is so helpful when used on the bottoms of tiny feet right before bedtime! I love diffusing this oil as well and it will definitely be in my hospital bag. If we haven’t had a Facetime or coffee date about essential oils, please let me treat you and I’ll share all the ways in which oils have changed the way we do life! You can visit my oily page to learn more as well.
** Big thanks to the companies (excluding Young Living) that provided the products mentioned in this post for my review. I told every company I would only talk about the product if I truly loved it and boy do I love this round up of baby/maternity goods!
Okay, I promise to give you my Mother’s guide to cleaning less, but first things first! Have y’all heard the news?! A teeny tiny baby girl bun is cooking in the oven! In December, I kept thinking I had pregnancy symptoms, but if you know my history, then you will know that I often have pregnancy symptoms. It was like this cruel joke that after a whole lot of negative tests the first 9 years of trying to get pregnant, got a bit old. A bit of that story HERE.
Welcome Home a bObi Pet!
We welcomed a new member to the family. He came with a birth certificate and everything (for reals). And hello, he cleans my floors for me at the touch of a button on a Wi-fi enabled remote! You can even set a timer so you don’t even have to tell it when to go to work!
And all the Mama’s said AMEN!
My fav feature is the ‘Waffle’ setting because when you have a toddler, spills happen. It will concentrate on a smaller area of the floor and get the mess all cleaned up! Elli (3.5) has even learned which buttons to press when she spots a mess in the house so if the interface is that simple to learn, then you know it’s a winner!
Dogs. You love ’em, but goodness gracious do they ever leave their mark all over your home. I made sure the lovely people at bObsweep understood my needs when it came to pet hair clean up! Take a close look at the picture where Elli is holding the dustbin filled with furry follicles! The bObi Pet model vacuums, sweeps, mops, filters, and disinfects the floor — all at the same time. When I add the mop attachment I spray my Thieves cleaner on the pad to ensure the BEST deep clean! We’re already cleaning less my fellow Mama friends!
More bObi Pet specs and why he’s my new best friend:
- Sweeps, vacuums, mops, UV sterilizes, and HEPA filtrates
- Illuminated touchscreen buttons: GO!, JUICE, and WAFFLE
- Silicone touch sensors allow bumper-less detection and navigation
- Compact design easily slides under beds and furniture
- Quiet cleaning at less than 65 decibels
- Washable dustbin can be rinsed out or submerged underwater
- Back-to-back rubber and bristle brushes double the sweeping power
- TurboLift vacuum suctions pet hair and dust bunnies
- Mini-mop shines floors and wipes way paw prints
- bObsweep’s signature TouchMe texture gives a smooth, silky sensation
- bObi blOck lets you create a digital boundary to section off part of a room
- Set a custom cleaning schedule with bObi’s easy-to-use remote
- JUICE: Automatically plugs into charging station when battery dips below 15%
- WAFFLE: Concentrates on small spill areas by traveling in a grid pattern
Even Charlee and Rusty have welcomed bObi Pet with open paws.
The Basket System
I am a firm believer in cleaning as you go to ensure that you don’t have a big job at the end of the day! Cleaning less is the goal here. Whether you have stairs in your home or you have a mud room area, put a basket out for each member of your family. I cannot stand the randomness from every person that somehow gets strewn about throughout the day. (Myself included!) Everyone knows that as they walk up the stairs to go to their room, they grab anything sitting on the stairs that belongs to them. It works my friends. Here are a few options:
Super Sleuth Activity
Okay, I asked my bestie (who is a self-proclaimed clean nut like me!) what her tricks are to keeping her household of 5 in tip-top shape and she gave me this brilliant idea! When we make chores into a game kids are all about it! Shoot, if only I could make a fun game out of doing the laundry…
The game: Set a timer for say 5 minutes and have your kids run around the house finding anything that belongs to them that is not in its place. Everyone is a winner — am I right parents?! It’s simple and it works!
Now tell me, what are your brilliant tips for cleaning less for the busy Mama?!