Bath Time with Dr. Brown's

It's been so fun to see our boys (Cal + MJ) start to play and interact with each other a little more! When Cal was first born, MJ wasn't too sure about him (or maybe it was the idea of sharing his grandparents and aunts + uncles with another baby - he was the only grandchild on both sides of his family before Cal was born! haha). 

But now that Cal is crawling around (YAY!!!) and more interactive, the two boys have become buddies! MJ is such a nice cousin to "baby Cal" and Cal loves watching and learning from MJ.

Both boys love bath time, and it's fun to watch them play and splash around in the tub together.

We've been using Dr. Brown's products since Cal and MJ were tiny babies.  We use several of their products every night during bedtime routines.  

We start with brushing their teeth with Dr. Brown's toothbrush + toothpaste. Their toothpaste is all natural and safe to swallow. 

MJ loves using his own toothbrush (and is so cute when he does it, haha). They also have a little finger toothbrush that's perfect for smaller babes getting new teeth in!

We bathe the boys using Dr. Brown's Foaming Bath Wash

. We love that this cleans skin + hair without drying it out, and that it's made of all natural ingredients! It contains natural essential oils, organic aloe vera, calendula and chamomile. It's hypoallergenic, gluten, phthalate, sulfate, petroleum and paraben free. It smells delicious and our boys love the foamy bubbles :)

The last thing we include in our nightly routines with our boys is the Dr. Brown's Daily Diaper Cream.  Regan has been putting this on Cal every. single. night. since he was brand new, and he has never had a diaper rash! Just saying ;) This stuff is good.

We highly recommend all of Dr. Brown's baby care products.  We feel confident using them on our babies, knowing they are safe for their delicate little bodies. 


Thank you Dr. Brown's Baby for sponsoring this post.  All opinions are our own.

Regan's IVF Cycle

Hi friends! It was about two years ago when I first opened up and talked about my infertility journey on our blog. I shared that my husband and I were going to take the steps towards moving forward with trying our first in vitro fertilization cycle (IVF).  We were trying to save up money and it was our goal to start the cycle in the fall of 2016.

Well, God had other plans in mind, because two months later we found out that we were pregnant with Cal!  This was the first time we had ever gotten pregnant on our own, without any fertility meds/treatments. You can read more about my semi complicated/stressful pregnancy here.

Fast forward to January 2017 when we got to meet our miracle boy! Cal has been SUCH a blessing in our lives.  He's everything we could have ever dreamed of for a baby (but not, at the same time, if that makes sense - this is a perfect analogy that makes me tear up every time I read it and explains what I mean perfectly). Cal has a special light about him that even strangers comment on. He is the SWEETEST boy.  He hardly ever whines or cries, laughs all the time, learns new things every day, loves people, and is super social. He's been sleeping 10-12 hours a night since he was about 5 months old, and is honestly just a dream baby.

As grateful as we are that Cal was born and is doing SO well, we know he has a long road ahead when it comes to his mental, physical and cognitive learning abilities. He is so smart, and has made so much progress, and we will never put ANY limitations on him, but it's just a reality that things DO come much harder and slower for him than any other "normal" baby. Something as simple as going from the sitting position to leaning on one hand and on to all fours take a LOT of effort for Cal (as well as some assistance from us), and you can hear in his heavy breathing and grunting how difficult it is for him. 

My point it is, we know his life is not going to be a walk in the park, and that we, as his parents will probably never be out of the woods when it comes to Cal's medical and physical needs. 

We don't want to put another baby through what Cal has and will go through in this life, and to be honest, I don't want to put my body through any more miscarriages.  Cal is literally a miracle, and was born, even though I was only given a 3% chance that I would carry him to term.  Prior to him, I had 3 miscarriages due to the babies having the same chromosomal abnormalities he has. 

 So we decided to move forward with our first IVF cycle right after Cal's first birthday.  We did the egg retrieval, fertilization, and genetic testing of the embryos, and I want to share my experience for anyone interested, or going through something similar. 

I am only 26 years old, and I wanted to do my egg retrieval while I was still super young and had a high egg reserve and (hopefully) good quality eggs.

For 10 days I gave myself shots morning and night to stimulate my ovaries, and prevent ovulation.  I was super nervous about the shots. It took me about 20 minutes to give myself the first one, but after that I realized it wasn't too bad (although I hear frozen transfer shots are way worse - not looking forward to those!).

I have heard so many stories about other people who did IVF with PGD (genetic testing) for the same reason I did and not being able to get ANY healthy embryos.  We were spending so much money to do all of this, and I didn't know if we'd be able to do it again if it didn't work the first time, so I wanted to do anything and everything I could to help it be a success. My doctor sent me over his "Super Supplements List" and said he recommends his patients taking them all a month before starting IVF. 

I started taking them all 2 months before, haha. I've heard conflicting opinions on whether or not taking supplements makes a difference during IVF, but I didn't care.  It helped me to feel like I was doing everything possible to help get us our healthy embryos. 

The supplements below are three that I really liked, and ordered through Fairhaven Health

The first is one my husband took.  No shots and only one supplement for him...guys have it SO easy.

I get my prenatal vitamins from Fairhaven Health and LOVE them.  They never make me feel sick and somehow smell and taste good?!? They don't have that nasty vitamin taste :)

One thing I had heard about IVF that definitely proved to be true is that it makes you super bloated.  The two pictures below were taken the morning of my egg retrieval. My stomach looked and felt the same as it did when I was about 15 months pregnant, and it only got worse the following days after the retrieval!

I had my egg retrieval surgery on January 17th. The recovery was much worse than I expected.  I was super crampy and had to walk hunched over for about 3 days.  I didn't feel totally back to myself until about a week and a half after the surgery. 

The eggs were fertilized the day of the retrieval, and we got updates on how our little embryos were doing on days 1, 3, 5, and 6 after the retrieval. 

I had 30 eggs retrieved!!! We were so happy. 25 of them were mature, and 22 fertilized. On day 3, 17 of them were still looking good, and 11 made it to day 5 and 6, which is when they are able to take little biopsies to send to the lab, and freeze all of the embryos that made it to that point. Of the 11 that were sent for genetic testing, 4 came back healthy/normal.

So now we have 4 little frozen embryos waiting to be transferred until we're ready! 

Modern medicine and technology is truly amazing.  We feel so blessed to live in a time where this is all possible, and we are excited to grow our family and give Cal some siblings!  He is going to make the best big brother! As for right now, we are going to enjoy Cal being an only child until we are ready to try for number two.

I'd be more than happy to answer any questions for anyone going through something similar.  Feel free to comment below, or email me!

xx

Regan

How to Throw A Puppy Party - Cal's First Birthday

Last Saturday we threw Cal a puppy party for his first birthday!  My husband and I have been debating getting Cal an actual puppy, but haven't been able to pull the trigger yet.  He loves puppies and so we decided to go all out with the puppy theme for his birthday. 

In Utah, there is a business called Puppies for Rent that used to actually let you rent a puppy for a day, or rent several puppies for a party.  My plan was to do that, but the company either shut down, or just stopped renting puppies temporarily right before Cal's party! I was desperately looking for at least one puppy to have at the party (haha), so I put an add on KSL (similar to Craigslist) asking if anyone would lend us their puppy for my cute son's birthday party. I got a ton of responses and decided to borrow a family's cute little boxer puppy for the day.  It was perfect!

If you search "puppy party" on Pinterest, there are a ton of really cute decoration ideas, invitations, and food, but I thought I'd share all my favorites and what we ended up using for the party.

First of all, I knew I wanted Cal's cake to be from Sweet Tooth Fairy.  Their cakes taste amazing, and they will customize any of their cakes to go with any party theme! I just told them we were doing a black and white puppy theme, then gave them free reign, and they created the CUTEST puppy cake and mini cake for Cal's "cake smash" (you know that's a must at any first birthday party). 

I honestly couldn't be happier with how cute (and yummy) the cakes turned out!

Pictures of all the details of the party are below, and at the very bottom of the post I'll share our menu, the recipe for the puppy chow (which was a huge hit and super easy), and a couple of how-to's!

OUR MENU

"Pup-eroni Pizza"

- ordered from Dominos haha but who doesn't love pizza?!

"Dogs in a Blanket"

- the kids LOVED these

"Fruity Kibble"

- we did watermelon and cantaloupe balls, strawberries, raspberries, and grapes

"Puppy Chow"

- easiest recipe ever (below)

"Bones"

- made sugar cookies using these cookie cutters

"Paw-tato Chips"

- self explanatory ;)

Then we just had a basket of mini water bottles and juice boxes for the kids for drinks

Puppy Chow Recipe:

9 Cups of Corn Chex

1/2 Cup of Peanut Butter

1/4 Cup of Butter or Margarine

1 Cup of Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

1 tsp of Vanilla

1 1/2 Cups of Powdered Sugar

Directions:

1. In a large bowl place your 9 cups of Chex cereal and set aside.

2. In a medium size saucepan, melt the chocolate chips, butter and peanut butter on low heat until completely melted and smooth. Stir frequently to prevent the mixture from sticking. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.

3. Pour the chocolate mixture over the dry cereal and stir carefully until it is completely coated.

4. In a large ziplock bag pour the cereal mixture inside and then slowly add the powdered sugar. Seal the bag and shake well until all of the cereal is coated.

5. Spread the mixture out on waxed paper until the Puppy Chow is completely cool and dry. Seal in an airtight container and place it in the fridge (if it lasts that long!)

Paw print balloons -

HERE

Invitations found

HERE

Tassel banners on table & high chair found at

Target

Signs for the food were just printed on regular paper, and we used leftover invitations to glue the paper with the menu item to the puppy print on the back.

The mini stuffed animal dogs I found at Target! It was a lucky find and I can't even find them online.  They were like $4 each and the perfect little party favors for the kids to take home. 

Mini Party Hats

- I made these using this tutorial. I used the print on the back of the invitations and printed it on to cardstock, then used the template to make the little hats.  They were so cute and pretty easy.  The kids all looked so cute in them!

All in all this party was pretty simple to put together (thank you Pinterest) and turned out so cute! Happy Birthday Cal! You are such a joy and bring light in to my life!

Toddler Morning Routines w/Dr. Browns

Ok guys, you KNOW how much we love our Dr. Browns products! They are the ONLY bottles we used with our little ones, and now that MJ is a full blown toddler (insert crying emoji) I (Paige) have moved onto their big boy feeding products and my new favorite things from them...their toothpaste and toothbrush!

Seriously they are so much better than anything else on the market! Their toothbrush is adorable which you can see above, and their toothpaste is safe, all natural and tastes and smells delicious :) MJ LOVES when it's time to brush his teeth every morning, and it's made our morning routine so much easier!

I used to have a hard time getting him to sit still while I did his hair, but now that he loves brushing his teeth I brush them for him first, them let him hold the toothbrush and do it himself while I do his hair! It's seriously made my life so much easier, and his hair look so much better! Haha. The only tough part now is getting him to give the toothbrush back to me when I'm all done because he loves the taste of the toothpaste so much!

Find their toothpaste AND toothbrush here for $7! And guys, we did collaborate with them on this post, but EVERYTHING we've said is 100% true and our own opinion!

Lastly, one more tip on getting your toddlers hair to look good! I've LOVED this new cut MJ has because it's so easy! I just sweep it all to one side and pop the front up using my new favorite hair product for boys which I stole from my husband :) Find it here. Just take a SMALL amount in your hand (a little goes a long way) and work it through their hair dry or wet! It will make it look thicker and style it perfectly without looking stiff! I mean look at this doo haha...

Feeding Cal with Dr. Brown's

As I mentioned in this post a few months ago, Cal is still heavily relying on being fed through his g-tube. HOWEVER, he does eat a little bit of "solid" food.  We feed him mostly pureed baby foods, and also try giving him bites of softer foods that we eat.  I feel like when my husband and I eat in front of him, he loses interest with whatever baby food mush we're trying to give him and wants what we're eating.  Which I'm totally okay with!  Yesterday I was eating one of those chicken wraps that I made (blog post on those here), and he was acting like he wanted a bite. So I gave him a black bean after mushing it a little in my fingers.  The chipotle dressing on the wrap is a little spicy so I thought he might hate it.  But he kept acting like he wanted more and probably ate 5 or 6 beans! Haha.  Seems like nothing, but I was so happy. #itsthelittlethings

When I do feed him baby food, I have Dr. Brown's Baby products to thank again for making Cal's meal time go as easy and smooth as possible. I'm sure I've mentioned many times that I'm a bit of a clean freak. I love the non stick base on their bowls to keep them in place, but my favorite solid feeding product they carry is their spatula spoons. I use those suckers to wipe Cal's mouth clean after every bite and they work like a charm. I wish I had the will power to just let Cal go crazy with his food and make a mess.  But I don't. 

I can't believe my baby is almost one! I really thought Cal's g-tube would be much more temporary. I thought we'd have it out by the time he turned 6 months for sure! My hope is that as he gets older and we are able to reason with him a little more to a point where he can really understand, that he'll realize he doesn't need it and will start to eat more on his own. 

On a bit of a side note, we had our first scary gtube experience two nights ago and I want to document it real quick. We went to the Murray hospital to see my grandpa, who just had emergency heart surgery, and as I was getting Cal out of the car, I accidentally yanked his gtube completed out of his stomach! He was in the middle of being fed. So I had his little backpack with the pump in one hand, but as I was pulling him out I felt something get stuck. I thought it was his shoe since that’s happened before so I just tugged and continued pulling him out, not knowing the tubing was caught around the bottom of the car seat. I wasn’t even pulling that hard, but he started screaming and Daniel saw the gtube was completely out. Since he was in the middle of eating his milk and stomach contents spilled out all over him. He calmed down pretty quickly and went back to his happy self. Since we were at the hospital we rushed him over to the ER with my emergency gtube kit I had in he car (that I had never had to use and I was panicking a little). The hole in his stomach can close in as little as an hour if it’s not held open! Anyways, to shorten the story, we put in a Foley catheter at Murray to hold it open, but ended up being transferred to primary children’s to get a new tube put in since Murray didn’t have his size. He was such a brave boy, I know it hurt him and I felt like the worst mom on the planet. It was one of those thing where you’re like, did that really just happen?! Can I PLEASE go back 30 seconds and redo that?! 

ANYWAYS, luckily Cal is quick to forgive and forget.  Love that boy so much!

One more thanks to Dr. Brown's for not only helping me feed my baby, but also for feeding MY OCD with their matching bowl and spoon combos ;)

Thank you Dr. Brown's Baby for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.

Dr. Brown's Baby Skin Care

Just posting a quick PSA to #sharethegoodness that Dr. Brown's has a skin care line that happens to be AMAZING, in case you didn't know :) I just learned about it and have loved using their products on Cal!

I especially love their foaming baby wash. The ingredients are all-natural and made with essential oils. The rosemary and chamomile scents are also super relaxing and perfect for bath time right before bed. 

Is there really anything better in this world than a fresh, clean baby wrapped in a towel?

We are huge Dr. Brown's fans. Read our post on their bottles and Cal's feeding journey here.

Thank you Dr. Brown's Baby for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.

Cal's Feeding Journey

Hi guys! It's been a while since I've posted an update on Cal. He's 9 months now (SO crazy to think he'll be ONE in less than 3 months!?!).  He is such a little love.  So full of joy and he has the sweetest, easy-tempered personality.

His followups with doctors and specialists have slowed down, which is good! We were able to cross off a couple of things we were worried about when he was born, and are now just following up with those doctors every 6 months to a year (his kidneys, and blood counts look good!).  He still sees cardiology every couple of months, but things with his little heart have stayed stable.  When he was born his cardiologist thought he would for sure need a valve replacement within the first year of his life.  Now he's saying he thinks we may be able to wait a couple more years because things are looking okay.  More time for Cal to get bigger and stronger and that's what we want!

We still work with a physical therapist quite often since Cal is definitely behind in hitting a lot of his milestones.  He just barely learned to sit up on his own, and we are SO proud of his progress, but still have a long way to go. 

He also has an occupational therapist come work with him because he still has his g-tube. Getting him off the g-tube is currently our biggest goal for him.  He is such a happy, content little boy, but his g-tube seems to be the one thing that bothers him and even causes him pain, I think, sometimes.  If it accidentally gets pulled or rubbed the wrong way, or even when I clean around it sometimes, he gets upset and I just so badly wish he could get it out.  On the bright side, it's helping him get all of the nutrients he needs to grow and develop, and for that, I am grateful.

When he was in the NICU we was only taking about 30% of his full feedings by mouth (bottles with my pumped milk), and the rest was given through his ng tube. We worked with some amazing occupational therapists in the hospital on his feeding.  Both of the therapists we worked with swore by Dr. Brown's Baby bottles.  Not only are Dr. Brown's bottles known for reducing colic, spit-up, burping and gas, they also have different sized nipples for different baby stages to control the flow of the milk. We started Cal out with a premie sized nipple, and moved up to a level two.

Cal never progressed to the point where he was drinking enough to come home from the NICU, so after two months living in a hospital, he ended up getting the g-tube placed so he could come home. 

We've been able to work on feeding him in the comfort of our own home, and still supplement what he needs through his g-tube.  He never really learned to master drinking his full feedings from the bottle, but Dr. Brown's also has some great transitional products for going from bottle to a cup, and  also products for solid food feeding.  Cal has done much better with smooth pureed food than he did with a drinking a bottle, and has learned to drink from the Dr. Brown's Soft Spout Cup.

We are so blessed to have so many amazing baby products out there to help with Cal's feeding journey. Now Cal just needs to learn to love food as much as his mama does so he can get that dang tube out ;)

Thanks for reading! Please let me know if you have any questions on Dr. Brown's baby products or if you have or know anyone who has a baby with a g-tube and have questions about that.

Thanks you Dr. Brown's Baby for sponsoring this post.  All opinions are my own.

Our Cal Pal - 5 Months!

Regan here! It's been a while since I've given an update on my little not so little Cal, and since today he is 5 months old I thought I'd share what's been happening since my last post (read more about Cal herehere, and here).

Cal is SUCH a happy baby, which just makes everything so much better and so fun!  He will smile at anyone and smiles all. the. time. 

His eating has gotten better.  He still has his G-tube, but will usually drink 1-3 ounces from a bottle each time he eats, then we give him the rest through his tube.  

About a month after we  brought him home from the NICU we had his followup appointment with his cardiologist.  We were expecting to have seen improvements, or no changes since we left the NICU, but unfortunately there were a few new developments that were a little worrisome.  His heart echo showed some mitral valve stenosis, as well as pulmonary hypertension. 

The cardiologist recommended we do a sleep study to see if Cal has obstructive sleep apnea, which he guessed was contributing to the hypertension. Cal has a smaller jaw that is a little bit recessed, and the doctors thought maybe his airway was getting blocked because of it.

We did the sleep study, and it turned out Cal does have severe sleep apnea.  His oxygen was frequently dropping and coming back up and they gave us all kinds of numbers that I don't really know the meaning of.  I just know they said it's bad.

(Side note...yes I did have his Owlet monitor on every night and it was never going off, but the doctors said it may just be that his oxygen was dropping and coming back up so quickly that it wasn't picking up.)

So now Cal is on oxygen to help with this.  He is supposed to be on it 24/7 because of the hypertension, but we give him breaks every once in a while during the day (doctor approved). And actually, California is now Cal's favorite place (not surprised) because his cardiologist said we could keep his oxygen off for the most part during the day when we are down there since it's easier to breath at sea level. Maybe we need to move ;)

P.S. Cal's beach outfit from Lulu + Roo is too much for me to handle (heart eyes, heart eyes)

About a week and a half ago Cal underwent a little procedure where they put him under so that they could scope out his airway while he was asleep, and see what was causing the obstruction.  They did a procedure called Supra Glotto Plasty where they trimmed up some extra/floppy tissue inside the airway.  The ENT thinks this will help him a little, but when they were scoping out his airway, they determined it's Cal's tongue falling back into his throat that's causing most of the airway obstruction. Which is a bummer :(

The ENT we've been seeing (who did the procedure) says this is something Cal could possibly grow out of in the future, but we also may consider doing a jaw distraction surgery where they will bring the jaw forward, helping the tongue to come forward as well. This is a pretty invasive surgery and the ENT just isn't sure if it's right for Cal yet.  

Throughout all of this Cal has been such a champ.  He smiles through it all, and continues to surprise us all with how well he's growing and developing in other areas.

He is also followed by a Hematologist, Urologist, and Neurologist, and has monthly visits to our home from an Occupational and Physical Therapist.  We are so grateful for amazing doctors and therapists who have been following Cal closely and making sure he has all of the help he needs to continue growing and developing. 

There are still a lot of unknowns for what the future hold for our sweet Cal.  It would be very unlikely (we've been told) that he won't have at least some degree of mental and physical delays, and we know it's going to be a long road ahead of doctors visits and followups, but we are going to give him every opportunity in the world to reach his full potential.  He has already shown us his strong will to push through every obstacle thrown his way, and we know he'll continue on that same path.

Happy 5 Months buddy, we couldn't love you any more!


DockAtot

I've already mentioned how much I love my DockAtot in this post, but, I've had a couple of friends who have been on the fence about getting one ask me how well I really like it. So I wanted to write up another quick review.  Plus, it seems like some of the cutest pictures I have of Cal are of him in his Dockatot, and I need an excuse to post them ;)

First off, my husband and I do not co-sleep (meaning sleep with Cal in our bed).  At night he sleeps in his Halo Swivel bassinet (which I also love). But the Dockatot is not just for co-sleeping.

Cal naps great in the Dockatot, and it's so nice keeping it right next to my "office" where I work during the day so I can be close to him while he naps.  It's also so convenient to travel with.  We haven't traveled much with Cal yet, but last weekend we went up to Park City to my grandparents condo for the day, and I brought the Dockatot for Cal's naps instead of his pack n' play (which is so much heavier and spacious). It was perfect!

The other thing I love about the Dockatot is that it's great for tummy time! The cushy, breathable bumpers can be positioned under the arms to help develop neck strength and motor skills during tummy time.  

Have I sold you yet?? Ha! 

If you have any additional questions, feel free to ask in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

xx

Regan

Tummy Time with Lorena Canals Rugs

This picture (below) makes me so happy! 

1. I LOVE my rug from Lorena Canals Rugs. Why can't all rugs be machine-washable?! Cal can do his tummy time right on this soft, cozy, all natural rug without any worry about him spitting up or drooling all over it (lol).  It's the perfect touch to our entry room.

2. The handmade sign over our sofa by Birch Marie Designwrks might be my favorite thing we have hanging in our home.  The message is a perfect reminder as we walk through the door each day.  Especially with everything we've been going through with our sweet Cal.  

and 

3. Cal is doing SO great on his tummy time! He's such a strong boy with so much will to make it in this life.  He's already come so far.  Our family is enjoying every minute of having him home.  We don't know what the future holds for him as he develops, but right now he is just our perfect, normal baby and we are soaking in every second of this stage. 

Details on my entry room are linked below.  Thanks for reading!

xx

Regan


Cal's Newborn Pictures with FotoFly

Hi! Regan again :)

If you read my Newborn Baby Essentials post, you know that one of things I think every parent needs to invest in is photos of/with your new little love.  I wasn't able to get Cal's pictures done as a brand new baby since he was in the hospital for the first 8 weeks, but I'm so glad I still decided to get them taken once he came home.

We did them with FotoFly at their SLC City location and I am so in love with how the photos turned out.  I will truly cherish them forever!

We had such a great experience with the photographer there, Max.  Cal was such a good boy and was smiling right on cue and slept through the first images, which was perfect.  Max had some great tricks to get him to wake up and open his eyes when we needed him to and to look right at the camera. 

One of the best parts about working with Fotofly is that they guaruntee you'll have your edited photos back within 24 hours! Also, their prices are pretty unbeatable.  You can do a 60 minute session for $125 and that includes all the edited images emailed to you.

Thank you FotoFly!

Regan's Newborn Baby Essentials

If you haven't heard yet or seen on our Instagram, my sweet little Cal is HOME!!

I am so out of my mind happy and loving life with him home! I am NO baby expert, but wanted to share some of the things that have made life at home with Cal so great.  These are things that I think every new mama needs.

Dockatot

I can't say enough great things about the Dockatot.  Cal sleeps SO well in it.  He sleeps in his Halo Bassinet at night (which I'll share more about below) but naps in his Dockatot.  I love that I can put him up on our bed and not worry about him rolling off, or suffocating because the fabric is breathable and 100% safe for infants. I also love this adorable play yard from Finn & Emma.  It fits perfectly over the dockatot.  Cal is still a little young to play with it, but it sure looks cute out in my living room :)

Little Unicorn Swaddles

These are by far my favorite swaddle blankets.  I got a couple as shower gifts, then I had to go buy myself more because there are so many cute prints.  I need them ALL. They are breathable, soft, nice and big, and just so cute.  They also keep your baby swaddled nice and tight.  Nothing better than a swaddled up burrito baby. haha. When Cal was in the NICU he couldn't always wear clothes because of all the monitors and they were constantly unwrapping him to look at his breathing and poke him or listen to him.  I did bring him a new blanket and hat every day though and always got so many compliments on his Little Unicorn swaddle blankets.


MamaRoo

I'm pretty sure the MamRoo is a well-known baby product, but I had to add it in here as one of my baby essentials.  Cal's occupational therapist when he was in the NICU recommended I get one.  Apparently swings are good for babies' brain development.  At the time I didn't have one for him, but I knew I needed one after she told me that and I'm so glad he has it now! I work full time from home, and it's a life saver being able to put Cal in the mamaRoo next to me while I work at my computer. 

Sollybaby Wrap

I always thought these wraps and all the colors they come in were so cute when moms would wear them.  It wasn't until I tried one myself that I realized how amazing and comfortable they are to wear. I love carrying Cal around in it and this is another thing I feel like I need in every color, ha!

Owlet Monitor

This should maybe be at the top of the post, because, really, I think EVERY parent needs one of these. The Owlet is a little sock your baby wears that monitors and allows you to check your baby's heart rate and oxygen levels anytime.  I don't think I'd be able to sleep at night without it! Below is a screenshot from my phone showing what the app looks like.

Halo Bassinet

Paige talked about this in her 2016 baby product review post, and she told me this was by far her #1 favorite baby product, so I knew I needed one for Cal. It really is SO nice that it can sit right up next to your bed and swivels back and forth and side to side. My mom also got Cal this cute mobile that fits on the side of the Halo bassinet and Cal LOVES it :)

WubbaNubs

There's something about those Soothie pacifiers (the round green ones they give you in the hospital) that babies love. The only problem is a lot of times babies can't keep them in and you're constantly having to hold them in your baby's mouth (at least I was!).  The WubbaNubs are those same Soothie brand pacifiers with a soft stuffed animal attached, that helps weigh the pacifier down and keep it in.  Paige's son, MJ, loved his and Cal does now too!


Fawn Design Bag

These bags are not just for diaper bag use.  They're cute for anyone! But I love all of the pockets for organizing everything I need in my diaper bag.  They come in great neutral colors that go with everything and I love that they can be worn as a backpack!

Fisher Price Bouncer

This is a super simple little bouncer but Cal loves it and it's perfect to keep in my bathroom to put him in while I shower and get ready.


Hands Free Pumping Bra

This is only for those who know they are going to need to pump...a LOT.  I couldn't nurse Cal when he was on IV fluids, and had a hard time nursing him when he was finally able to eat.  He did great with a bottle, and we just wanted to get him home, so I figured I'd practice nursing at home.  Well, now he won't nurse because he's so used to the bottle and getting his food right away, PLUS I don't like not knowing how much he's getting.  Long story short, I am exclusively pumping and bottle feeding now.  And it's a LOT of work. When I finally heard about this bra, I immediately bought it and it has been a game changer.  I pump for 25 minutes each time, and not being able to use my hands for 25 minutes 7-8 times a day is impossible.  

This bra is a life saver.


Baby Pictures

Okay, this is the last thing, and it isn't a baby product, but I definitely think professional newborn baby pictures are something all parents should get.  I'll be sharing a future post soon with all of Cal's pictures, but here's a little preview.  

FotoFly did such an amazing job and we are so glad we got these done! I'll cherish them  forever.

I hope this is helpful for any new moms or moms-to-be! I knew nothing about which products I needed, so I asked around a TON and I'm so glad I did! Being prepared and having everything you need before baby arrives adds so much less stress to the mix when bringing home that new little life.

Thanks for reading!

Regan


Cal's Nursery + NICU Update

Putting together Cal's nursery was one of the things I was most excited about and eager to get started on when I found out I was pregnant with him.  I wanted his room to be boy-ish but not too baby-ish to make it easier to transition as he grows and gets older.  I love how it came together.  It's my favorite room in the house!

I got almost everything from Target!  One of my favorite things is this dresser/changing table that looks to me like it could be from Restoration Hardware. Such a great price and really good quality!

The animal prints are from Etsy and the picture frames are from Target. The rugcrib, and lamp are also Target.

Scroll to the end of this post for all the linked details from Cal's nursery as well as the latest update on him. 

Cutest and tiniest pair of moccs from Freshly Picked

I'm so excited to get Cal home and show him his room! 

The number one question I get is, "When do they think you'll be able to bring him home?"  I SO wish I had the answer to that question, but it's so hard to say.  One thing we've learned from Cal being in the NICU is that it's just a huge waiting game and requires a lot of patience and faith.  

We've gone through ups and downs during the last four weeks in the NICU, and we've learned that we just need to trust Cal's doctors and give him the time he needs to get better.  We learned the hard way that we just need to take things slow with him and not push him too hard.  

Right now Cal is still getting respiratory support.  They have slowly started to wean him off a machine called NIPPV.  Once he's on a low enough flow of oxygen we are hoping we'll be able to start feeding him again.  Right now he's getting my breastmilk through his feeding tube (so sad thinking about him having a constant tube down his throat and not being able to taste or eat anything orally!). 

So at this point we will just continue to pray and have have faith that he will continue to get stronger and better.  Thank you again for all of the kind words, thoughts and prayers for our family, and especially for Cal.  Each time we pray for him we also thank God for all the wonderful people we have supporting and praying for us.  I will update again soon!

-Regan


Our Miracle Boy

On January 11th at 8:15am we welcomed our sweet baby Cal into the world!  He decided to come a few weeks early and it's such a miracle how it all happened.

As I mentioned in a previous post when I announced I was pregnant with Cal, we knew there was a chance he'd be born with some chromosome abnormalities.  We knew it was out of our hands and just felt so blessed that we were even pregnant with him, so every day we just prayed that he would continue to grow and develop into a healthy baby boy.

After a fairly normal and easy labor and delivery, Cal made his debut! He wasn't breathing well on his own and needed respiratory support.  Because we knew he might be born with some abnormalities, we had lots of doctors ready to care for him right when he was born.  A heart echo was one of the things they did right away, and the results came back showing quite a few defects with his little heart.  At that point it was pretty clear he had the unbalanced chromosome translocation, but the microarray test results confirming this would take over a week to get back. 

Over the next few days Cal was showing a lot of improvements and after a follow up heart echo, his cardiologist told us we could pretty much rule out a heart surgery at that point because his heart was functioning normally and doing its job, despite all of the little defects it showed.  What a blessing it was to hear that! 

During the next week as we waited for the chromosome test results we started to get a little bit hopeful that maybe he didn't have the chromosome translocation after all.  He was looking so good and healthy, it was hard to believe there could be anything wrong with our perfect baby boy.

Well, the test results came back and did confirm his unbalanced translocation - a partial trisomy of chromosome 15 and a partial deletion of chromosome 16.  

Because this is so uncommon and there really aren't any known cases of people with this exact genetic condition, we really don't know what this means for Cal or what effects it will have on him in the future. What we do know is that we love him so much and that he is the perfect baby for us.  We know he was meant to come be part of our family and fulfill his purpose here on earth.  

Today marks day 23 in the NICU with Cal.  It's been tough but we are so grateful for the care he's receiving from incredible doctors and nurses and are continuing to pray for his body to heal so that he can come home with us soon.

Thank you for all the love, prayers and support.  I will be posting another update soon!

-Regan

P.S. The nurses all tell me Cal's the best dressed baby in the NICU so I thought I'd share a few of his outfit details below ;)


Regan's Baby Shower

Last weekend we got to celebrate Regan and her baby boy.  It was the perfect morning visiting with friends and family, and spoiling Regan and her baby. 

We wanted to incorporate the subtle safari theme Regan is doing in baby boy's nursery (coming soon!).  Kristen from Cap + Crown designed the cutest invitations and stationary that went perfectly with the theme (see her designs in the pictures below).  

The shower was in the morning, so we served yummy breakfast foods including our Baked French Toast and Pumpkin Bread in muffin form. The quiche was from our favorite cafe in Park City - always a favorite! And for the guests to take as they left, Noelle from Noelle's Bake Shop made and packaged the most delicious snickerdoodles.  Seriously so yummy! Be sure to check out her shop if you need to order cookies for anything. 

Huge thanks to our sweet friend and favorite photographer Brittni Willie for capturing the morning perfectly.  

We can't wait to meet Regan's baby boy in January! All shower details pictured below :)

Bumpdate: 28 Weeks!

Hi! Regan here :) I am officially in my 3rd trimester, and wanted to share a fun little pregnancy update!

Leggings: Albion Fit (get 15% off through Nov 14th with code SALTYBLONDES)

How Far Along: 28 weeks!

Weight Gain: +23lbs (and I still have almost 12 weeks to go so I'm kind of freaking out, but trying to embrace it)

Sleep: It's getting more and more uncomfortable, but not terrible. I wake up a lot more throughout the night (to go to the bathroom or change positions) and by 10:00 at night I am done for and am usually in bed :)  I also can't sleep in anymore, which is probably a good thing. 

Best Moment This Week: I had my first baby shower down in California! It was so perfect and I got to celebrate baby boy with some of my favorite people! 

Movement: Lots of kicks and moving around. My husband can feel the baby kick now as of the last few weeks and it's the BEST seeing his face when he feels baby move. 

Name?: No name yet! Daniel and I can't agree on any names, so we may be waiting until he comes to decide! Send boy names my way if you have any :)

Food Cravings/Aversions: No aversions. No cravings. I've always had a sweet tooth and that definitely hasn't gone away, but I feel like I've been eating pretty normal my entire pregnancy. 

What I Miss: Running! I ran my half marathon at 20 weeks then took a couple of weeks off from running. A few weeks later I tried to go on a run with Daniel and after a mile I was DONE. I started cramping and just felt too pregnant to be running.  Haha

Stretch Marks: Nope. I haven't been doing anything except lotion-ing up like I always do. 

Belly Button: It's basically an outtie at this point, which is so strange...

Mood: HAPPY! Nervous. Anxious. I couldn't be more grateful to be carrying this little boy, but so worried about him being healthy. On one end I am so content with whatever the Lord has planned for us with this baby, and am prepared for anything, but not knowing also gives me anxiety. 

What I look forward to: Thanksgiving & Christmas! I think the holidays are going to make this last trimester fly by, and then I'll look forward to meeting our baby boy!

Workout Routine: I have been able to workout my entire pregnancy, which has been such a blessing! I started going to a workout group that Sidney's BYU track coach is doing. It is SUCH a good workout. I am sore every time. It's so nice having a group to workout with and Sid's coach is so awesome. It's at 6:30am Mon/Wed/Fri at BYU and is FREE for any of you locals who want to join!

Baby: So far everything has looked normal on ultrasounds with the baby. We have been seeing a Maternal Fetal Medicine doctor since I was about 15 weeks and we LOVE her. I go to her about once a month (now every 3 weeks) and then follow up with my OBGYN who will be delivering. Because my situation is so rare, and there are actually NO recorded cases of babies being born with what our early cell-free DNA test told us our baby has, it's hard to know what to look for. BUT my MFM doctor always looks closely at all the major organs, brain, and for any physical features that might be a sign of a chromosome abnormality, and so far he looks like a healthy baby. At least that means there hopefully aren't any major problems that will require surgeries or anything like that when he's born, and as of right now my delivery plan hasn't changed. We still haven't decided to do an amniocentesis to know for sure if something's wrong, mostly because of the risks, and we just feel like it won't change anything, so we might as well just wait until he's born. We love him so much already and can't wait to meet him!

Regan's Journey Continued...

Today I finished my first half marathon AND my first half of pregnancy!  Yes friends, I've got a little baby BOY on the way!

My husband, Daniel, and I were overwhelmed with feelings of excitement, joy, shock, and gratitude when we found out I was pregnant this past May. Those of you who have been following Salty Blondes since the beginning of the year know about mine and my husband's struggle with infertility and miscarriage over the last 3 years.  If you're new, you can read our story HERE

This is my fourth pregnancy, and I'm currently 20 weeks along (halfway! and almost twice as far as I've ever made it).  As you may have read on my last post, our plan was to try IVF this fall.  After suffering three miscarriages, then finally figuring out what the problem was, we found out doing IVF would be our best change at carrying a healthy baby to term.  

I hadn't ever been able to get pregnant on my own, without taking clomid, so we were completely surprised when it happened the one month we decided to take a break and wait to do IVF in the fall.  I guess all it took was a relaxing, stress-free vacation to Hawaii! ;)

When I found out I was pregnant, I was of course excited, but worried because of my history.  We really tried to keep it between us and our immediate family this time around, because I knew my chances of another miscarriage were high. 

My doctors monitored me closely this time around, and at nine weeks I "graduated" from the infertility center I had been going to and started seeing my regular OBGYN.  I started to relax a little bit more, and it began to seem real and that this might actually be the one! Our miracle baby. 

At 10 weeks I started meeting with a genetic counselor, who advised me to do a cell-free DNA test called MaterniT Genome, where they are able to look at the baby's DNA by taking a sample of my blood.  

At 11 weeks I got the news that the test results came back abnormal.  The results showed a partial duplication of chromosome 15.  This made sense because of my balanced translocation (read about what balanced translocation is here if you're interested - I found out I have it after my last miscarriage).  I was told I would probably miscarry again in the coming weeks. 

We were devastated and honestly couldn't believe it. 

A couple of weeks went by and no miscarriage yet!  We decided we would do a CVS test on the baby, which is a more invasive test, to confirm the results and get more information.  When we went in for the test, the maternal fetal medicine doctor looked at the baby, and pretty much talked us out of doing it.  She said the baby looks great, and that's all we know for sure right now.  She said that the cell-free DNA test I did is such a new test and there isn't very much information on it, and no data validating the laboratory that performed the test.  She basically told us the test could have been wrong and given us a false positive!

We left that appointment confused and I honestly didn't know what to think.  I didn't want to give myself any hope.  I felt like I needed to protect my heart.

Since then we've taken things week by week, and have just tried to trust in the Lord and have peace, knowing this is out of our hands.  We found out we're having a boy, and so far nothing abnormal has shown on an ultrasound. 

We know this baby could be born with abnormalities, and that there's even still a chance I could miscarry, but we also know we'll love him, and no matter what, he's still our little baby sent from heaven. 

I've had a difficult time knowing how to tell people we're pregnant, or if I was going to tell people at all!  It's been hard not knowing what will happen, but as I've gotten further along I've been able to relax a little bit more and just trust God and have faith.  Plus I've got a little bump now that's getting harder and harder to hide :)

THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart to those who have been keeping my husband and I in your thoughts and prayers since my last update.  The love and support we've felt from our family and friends has really helped us stay positive throughout this journey. 

I will keep you all updated in the coming weeks and months!  Oh, and I'll also be sharing my half marathon training guide soon for how I went from hating running to being able to run 13 miles...while pregnant! Stay tuned :)


Regan's Infertility Journey

Paige & Sidney here! Today we’re sharing something pretty personal and extremely dear to our hearts. Our third sister, Regan, has been struggling with infertility over the past 2+ years. We wanted her to share her and her husband’s story as they take the next big step towards hopefully starting their family. They found out recently that doing in-vitro fertilization (IVF) is going to be their best chance of being able to get pregnant and have a baby. We thought it would be a good idea to publicly share their story to not only create awareness, but also to ask for prayers and positive energy as they start this process. It’s huge step that will be physically, emotionally and financially taxing on Regan and her husband. In fact, IVF alone usually costs anywhere from $15-$20,000, and their insurance will not cover any of those costs. They are determined to find a way to make it happen, and will be saving money over the next several months before starting treatments. 

Some of you may not realize that Salty Blondes is a labor of love, but also is a business for us! We make commission on purchases made through the links we post on our blog and through LIKEtoKNOW.it. Instead of dividing up the little bit of commission we make each month between the 3 of us like we usually would, we will put putting 100% of any earnings we make towards Regan and her husband’s IVF treatments. We wanted to make all of our friends, family, and you amazing followers aware, and let you all know how our blog works! This can be an easy way for anyone who wants to help Regan and Daniel to contribute, just by doing any online shopping you normally would. Any commission made will be put directly towards their infertility treatments. 

HERE’s HOW IT WORKS:

We keep a list of links to our favorite online stores on the right sidebar of our blog. There are hundreds of other shops we can make a commission on as well. Any time you go to shop online, just pop over to our blog first, click the link for the website you're shopping at, then add things to your cart and shop as you normally would. Amazon and Target are even on there, so staple items you regularly buy can even be purchased through our blog. If you don't see a store you would like to shop at on our blog sidebar, let us know and we can either add it or send you a direct link. 

THANK YOU to anyone reading this from the bottom of our hearts for your support over the next few months. Their goal is to be able to start the IVF cycle in August/September. This blog has been such a fun thing for us sisters to be able to do together, and we hope it can also be used as a tool to do good, help others, and #sharethegoodness. 

Here is Regan & Daniel’s story for those of you who would like to read it…

Most of you probably don’t know that my husband, Daniel, and I have been trying to have a baby for quite some time now. We got married four and a half years ago and everyday since I have dreamt of becoming a mommy and have imagined what our children would be like. We decided we would wait to start having babies so that we could experience marriage for a couple of years, and so that I could get a degree since I was going to school at the time. I patiently waited, and have loved every minute of our married life. We have been able to do so many fun things together, and experience things we may not have been able to do had we started having babies right away. In December of 2013, we decided to finally start trying, as I could see the college graduation light at the end of the tunnel that next April.

In May of 2014 I got my first positive pregnancy test. Daniel and I were overjoyed! Then about a week later, I got my period. This was a very early on miscarriage, and I may have never even known I was pregnant, had I not taken those four pregnancy tests. We didn’t tell anyone, and still have hardly told anyone about this pregnancy to this day. My doctor told me it’s called a “chemical pregnancy” when your body registers you’re pregnant but nothing really ever starts developing. 

We were not too discouraged, because we knew this was really common. We kept trying, and trying and trying, until a year had passed since we first started. Finally I was able to get pregnant again in March of 2015. We were so excited and nervous and prayed so hard that everything would go well with this pregnancy. I had my first ultrasound at 8 weeks, and got to hear the sweetest little heartbeat I’ve ever heard. Everything was measuring perfectly at 8 weeks. At about 10 weeks we started telling most of our close friends and family. We were so excited and it was fun to share the excitement with the people closest to us. Paige also found out she was pregnant about 5 weeks after me (with sweet little MJ). So we got share the excitement together and were so excited to be pregnant at the same time. 

Then I went in for my 12 week appointment and got the news I wish no women ever had to get. There was no heartbeat. Our baby had stopped growing. This miscarriage was honestly the hardest thing I had ever dealt with up to that point, and something you can only understand if you’ve gone through it yourself. I was devastated for months, and partly because I was continuing to be reminded of what I’d gone through due to some complications that came after. After my D&C (surgery to remove all of the tissue from the miscarriage), I was continuing to bleed for a couple months later. My doctor kept telling me this can be normal, until finally she referred me to a fertility center so that I could get a water ultrasound to see what’s going on in there. That’s where I was introduced to my doctor now.

The doctor said there was still some tissue in there and that he needed to go in to do a hysteroscopy to remove it. Which meant another surgery. There was some good that came from all of this though! I was able to meet my doctor, the infertility specialist I am seeing now, and he has actually been highly recommended by a lot of people we know who have also had infertility struggles. 

He was able to help me get pregnant again in December 2015. I took a low dosage of clomid to help me ovulate this time. I found out a week before Christmas. My family had been praying and fasting for Daniel and I to be able to get pregnant and I wanted to surprise them all on Christmas morning. So after we had all opened presents, I gave Daniel one last present to open. Everyone watched (no one knew except for me) as he opened it, and there was my positive pregnancy test. We all cried and the excitement set in again. The fertility center I was going to wanted to monitor me very closely this pregnancy, and right off the bat we knew there could be a possibility of another miscarriage, because my hCG levels were not rising as much as they should have been. At 6.5 weeks they did an ultrasound and were able to find a sac, but not as much development as there should have been at that point. I waited another week just in case I maybe wasn’t as far along as we thought, then went in for a second ultrasound. There still had not been anymore development. I had miscarried again.

The past two and a half years we have experienced a huge roller coaster of emotions. Lots of ups, and lots of downs. There have been countless nights where I have cried myself to sleep, but there has also never been a night where I have not knelt down and thanked God for all the things I

do

 have to be grateful of.  And that is what has kept me going with a smile on my face.  I never want to let my trials keep me from being happy. I want them to build me up and make me stronger and want to turn to God and serve others and be more grateful and recognize the blessings in my life. We know there is a reason God has put this trial into our lives, and we are determined to hold on to our faith and make it through. The support of family and friends has been unimaginable and we are so grateful for that. After my last miscarriage I opened up about the struggles we’ve been having on social media, and every single response from our friends and family brought me to tears and helped ease the burden. 

So here’s where we are now…

After my last miscarriage they were able to do some genetic testing on the tissue removed during my D&C surgery. The doctors finally had some answers for us as to why I kept having miscarriages. After doing some testing on me, they were able to determine that I have something called Balanced Chromosome Translocation. My doctor told us that I have a 50% chance of miscarrying each time I get pregnant, depending on which chromosomes the embryo takes from me, and with that there's also a chance that even if I don't miscarry, our baby could continue to develop and end up having major birth defects. 

My doctor gave us the option to do in-vitro fertilization so that we can do PGS (preimplantation genetic screening) on the embryo before transferring it back in to me. With this, we'd be able to determine and be sure the baby will continue to grow and develop normally. Of course there is always a chance it won't work, but the success rates of IVF are pretty high, and they go up even more with doing the PGS. 

Daniel and I have given this a lot of thought and prayer as we have been deciding what we should do. It's been hard on us both and something we never imagined we'd have to go through. We have weighed all of our options heavily, and both feel confident that trying IVF is the best next step for us.

The cost of IVF with the special genetic testing we'll need to do is very expensive (we recently went over the numbers and it looks like it will be over $25k!). Unfortunately our insurance will not cover any of the costs, but we are determined to find a way to make it possible so that we can hopefully start our family that we have been dreaming of for so long. 

This blog has been such a great creative outlet for my sisters and I. It's been something we've enjoyed doing so much together over the last year and some months. My sisters have been so sweet and have decided that instead of splitting the (small) amount of money we make each month three ways, they want to put 100% of it towards mine and Daniel's infertility treatments. We can't express how much it means to us to have the support of our wonderful friends and family, and this was such a sweet gesture that my sisters came up with. 

It feels good to be open about our journey. We know how powerful prayer can be, and appreciate so much the prayers and love that have been sent our way from family and friends. We feel the love and recognize God’s hand in our lives. 

-Regan


Best Baby Products - 2016 Review

Hey guys! Paige here to do a highly requested post on all my favorite new baby products. I have a lot of the latest products and gadgets - some I got from blog collaborations, and some I spent my hard earned money on, justifying needing everything since this is only my first child and I'd use them on all my kids! Anyways, now that I'm broke I thought I might as well let everyone else know what's worth it and what's not in my opinion :)

Below is a list of some of the hottest new baby products currently on the market in order of my most to least favorite!

1. Halo Bassinet

This is by far my number one favorite baby product. It goes right next to your bed, and swivels right over to you so you don't even have to get out of bed for night feedings. The one I got is linked above. It's the least expensive one with just a pocket on the side to hold diaper, wipes etc. There are more expensive versions that come with things like night lights and music, but I didn't think I'd use that stuff and this one has been great for me!


2. 4moms Infant Tub

The BEST baby bathtub on the market. MJ hated baths until we started using this! It circulates the water constantly so there's clean water coming in and the dirty water flows out (which is much needed since they always pee in the water), AND it comes with a thermometer attached that beeps if the water gets too hot and goes blue if it gets too cold!


3. Cake Nursing Bra

Ok this is actually a mom product, but it's the most comfortable nursing bra ever! I tried on a bunch at target and Nordstrom, and this is the only one I ever wear. I got it in tan and black :)


4. Owlet Monitor

You may have heard of the Owlet baby monitor by now. It's an awesome new product on the market that monitors baby's heart rate and oxygen levels while they sleep! It sends the info straight to your smart phone which will go off if there are any unhealthy changes. I was so paranoid when I first brought MJ home from the hospital and this product was the only way I could sleep at night! The only down side is that my baby is a little squirmy at night, so sometimes it will disconnect and alert me so I have to get up more often and adjust it on him. Overall though great product!

5. Soothe Shirt

This is one of the items I got through the blog and I love it. It's a shirt and baby carrier combined with a little pocket in front that baby fits perfectly into. I use it all the time and sometimes feel like it's the only way I can get anything done :)

6. Nuna Carseat/Stroller Travel System

Obsessed with this travel system. Especially the carseat! It has a sleeper shade that pulls down and covers the whole thing to keep out harsh weather, germs, or just to let baby sleep. It goes with the Nuna Tavo stroller which is great as well. Only down side is they are a little pricey. But hey, I figured the stroller/carseat is what goes everywhere with you right?! It's like your everyday bag or accessory. Worth spending the money on a good one!


7. Diaper Genie

The diaper genie is great for locking in odors and keeping your nursery smelling nice! Downsides are it was kind of a pain to put together, and you have to keep buying the diaper genie bag refills which can get a little expensive. If you're on a budget you can probably go without this one!


8. 4moms mamaroo

Ok, I was so excited about the mamaroo and still do love it out in my house. The only reason it's lower on the list is that I might just like it more than my baby does haha. He likes it fine but not any more than the much less expensive swing a friend of mine bought for me to keep upstairs. It's still pretty awesome to be able to control it from your phone, and I love how modern it looks out in my living room. If you want to go less expensive on something however, this would be it :)


9. Wipes Warmer

Yeah I thought I needed this, and I do use it, but I really don't think my baby cares either way! He is just fine when we're not at home and I have to change him with regular old cold wipes haha, and sometimes he fusses when being changed with the cold ones anyways!


10. Rosie Pope Belly Wrap

Another mom product. I heard great things about this post pardom belly wrap, but I think any less expensive one would do the trick. Honestly who knows if they really do anything. I felt like breastfeeding is really what made my stomach go down! Some people swear by them though. I'm just not one of them. I really didn't feel like it made much of a difference.


I hope this is helpful for any new mamas and mamas-to-be out there! 

Tips for Surviving the Third Trimester

Well, Paige here, and I'm officially in my last week of pregnancy! Yay! I feel like I've been pregnant FOREVER and can't wait to finally meet baby boy!

The third trimester can be rough, but I've found a few things along the way to help me enjoy it, and avoid some of those dreaded problems (like stretch marks)! And I wanted to share :) So here are my tips  for surviving, and even sometimes enjoying, the third trimester.

1. Avoiding Stretch Marks:

Forget all those special, expensive shea butter anti stretch mark creams. From what I've heard, none of them work. Throughout my pregnancy I just used Cetaphil on my stomach and the rest of my body daily. If you go to a dermatologist for dry skin that is what they'll tell you to use, so I figured it would work just as well as anything else! I lathered my stomach with it every day, and haven't gotten one stretch mark! Below is a linked picture of the kind I use and just order straight from amazon.

2. Incline walking: 

I stopped feeling comfortable running about half way through my third trimester. My husband suggested slow walking at an incline instead and it's been awesome! I put the treadmill up to a 10 incline and walk at 2.5 for the first 5 minutes, then switch off between 2.5 and 3.5mph every other minute for the last 5 minutes. This sounds super easy, and it is haha. But it's a great way to get moving and get your blood flowing, and get a light workout in :)

3. Lavender essential oil epson salt baths:

Ok, if you live in Utah County you can buy this salt bath mix at Mend Juicery in Riverwoods, and they're amazing! I always lose about a pound after each bath because it helps so much with swelling and getting rid of excess water retention. Just make sure you don't submerge your baby bump all the way in too hot of water! If you're not local, you can easily make  the bath salt mixture yourself if you just google it, or you can also buy them on amazon here.

4. Foot Relax Center:

 Ok, my friend Shontel recently visited from California and introduced me to this place, and I'm just sad I didn't know about it sooner! If you live in Utah and are pregnant (or aren't) this place is a must! For $20 for a half hour or $40 for an hour you get your feet soaked while getting your head, neck and shoulders massaged, then your feet and calves massaged while sitting in a huge comfy chair. It's AMAZING! Especially if you have swollen pregnant feet. I wish I could go very day :) There's one in South Jordan and one in Sandy. Their phone number is 801-234-0566. You're welcome. If you're not local just do a search for foot massage and see what you can find. My friend said she's been to similar places in California!

5. Treat Yo Self:

Buy a few maternity dresses from ASOS and Pink Blush Maternity. It's so hard to feel cute and not like a fat giant bowling ball by the third trimester. None of your clothes fit, and if you're like me, you're legs no longer look cute in pregnant skinny jeans with big flowy tops. ASOS and Pink Blush Maternity are awesome because they have the cutest dresses at great prices! Below are some pictures from my baby shower where I'm wearing one of my favorite dresses from Pink Blush. Find it here. I've also linked some of my favorite ASOS maternity dresses at the bottom of this post!

Hope this is helpful for those of you currently in the same boat as me!