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Tips to Coordinating Kid’s Easter Outfits

This post is sponsored by Carter’s; however, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog.

baby easter dress | baby sandals (sold out but linked to similar)

toddler easter dress | sandals | headbands (similar)

I think there are only a handful of times when I am actively trying to get my kids to wear coordinating/matching outfits: Christmas, Easter and when we take family pictures. Any more and I’d drive myself mad! Running from store to store trying to pick out something that matches the other store’s outfit and the one in the closet…..ahhh it’s just too much. I rarely go to store anymore. I prefer to online shop and that makes things easier but after having to plan for multiple of these events for years already, I’ve learned a few things when trying to coordinate outfits for my kids for special days like Easter.

  1. Try to shop from one store. Stores, like Carter’s, usually have a unifying color palette throughout their departments from babies to kids. I got shirts, shoes, bowties (the ones I got sold out but linked to similar one) and dress shorts for my boys that coordinate perfectly with the girls’ cute spring dresses. And if you can find shoes, bonus!
  2. Pick a statement piece (like a bold floral pattern) for one or two people to wear. Then pick subtler (like light stripes or even a solid color) coordinating pieces for everyone else. For those wearing the subtler main piece, try to sneak in a little oomph with texture (like a crochet dress), a patterned shirt layered under, a patterned bow tie or embroidered bottoms. Alternating the patterns (within patterns and from top to bottom pieces) is important so doesn’t look cluttered and overloaded.
  3. Know before you go. If you are planning on going to the physical store, then I say you have to do your research and check their online store. See what they have and see if it matches your criteria. It saves you from having to go from store to store to see what they have. When shopping for multiple kids I also look for coupons or promo codes because…ouch! Kids grow out of their stuff quickly (goodbye baby clothes) and it hurts to spend all that money! So if I can save some money I will look for it! Lucky for you I have a special 25% off Carter’s coupon promo code that you can use online or in-store when you spend $40. My kids just steal the show, huh? I can’t wait to take pictures of them all dressed up for Easter before we head to church…or maybe after because church is too early we are always rushing to get there on time.

It is still a little cool here but my kids are anxious for spring weather so they can stock up on some more cute and stylish tees and knit shorts so they can play in the sun comfortably and alllll dayyyy long! And can’t forget the swimwear….. my little fishies live in the water in the summer time.

I wish you well on your journey to dress your kids this coming Easter. Seriously, I know it can be a pain but it’s only a couple of times a year. Can’t wait to see all the kiddos in their darling Easter outfits. Tag me on Instagram so I can see!

 

 

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A Little High Maintenance to Continue a Low Maintenance Lifestyle

This post was sponsored by Irresistible Me. I only partner with brands whose products and mission I truly believe in. All opinions are 100% my own.

Thank you for your support!

Last week I talked to you about microblading and how much I loooove my brows. Now I want to tell you about my clip-in hair extensions. Why you ask? Because I love them. Because I can have long hair and not actually have to do all that work to maintain it. I use it when I want that added volume and length but then I take them off and continue my mom-bun wearing ways. I first considered getting extensions a few years ago. I had just had a baby and my long hair was driving me craaaaazzzyyy. Like so crazy that I went and chopped it off to above my chin. I wasn’t brave enough for a pixie cut so I went as short as I dared. And I loved it. Until I hated it. That Christmas my husband asked me what I wanted. I told him I wanted hair extensions. Hahaha- oh my, do we see a pattern here? He must think I’m nuts to always be asking for hair for my head or eyebrows. Anyway, I chopped it off because I hated the maintenance of long hair because who has time to take care of all that and kids but I loved the look of long hair. And then when I chopped it off I couldn’t go back.With hair extensions, you can have your cake and eat it, too. And I did. I was so excited when Irresistible Me contacted me to do a review for their hair extensions. I’ve been wanting to get hair extensions for ever. But then I went back and forth always thinking that hair extensions were for high maintenance people and that is so not me. I’m pretty chill. But then it actually dawned on me that this would help me live my low maintenance life style.I went on the website and picked out my choice of the Silky Touch clip-in hair extensions. I went with silky chocolate brown 22″ hair extensions. I was so nervous about picking the hair color because you need it to match so it doesn’t scream “she’s wearing fake hair!” Ya know? I mean you are wearing hair that isn’t your own but no one needs to know. Ha. So something that eased my mind about choosing a color is that if it doesn’t match, you can send it back.The hair comes sealed in a package that is divided into two compartments. One is the sample hair. You only open that side to make sure it matches your hair- just don’t clip it in or use any products on it. If it matches your hair and you are happy with the length, open the rest. If it doesn’t, DO NOT open the rest or else you can’t send it back.Full disclosure, when I ordered my hair it was lighter since it was ombre. But then I went crazy and bought some hair dye at the drug store because it was so outgrown it looked horrendous. Well, it picked up the darkest color ever even though I picked a medium brown color to match my previous color. I just wanted it all to be even but it was a botched job. I had already opened my hair and it didn’t match. My hair also hadn’t been cut in about 6 months so it was just a hot mess. A mess. I ended up going to a salon where they fixed my botched hair dye experiment and where she put in my clip-ins and cut my hair with them in. I think that is the best way to do it so it flows naturally with your hair. I’ve watched a million you tube videos where girls just clip them in without getting them cut and it must be black magic or something because they make it look easy and amazing. My hair did not blend magically with the extensions so I had to get it cut. One reason may be because I have extremely thick hair and it looked so top heavy so she also thinned out my hair a bit so it wouldn’t be so top heavy. This hair is real hair so you can use heating tools and styling products on it just like you would with your normal hair. This hair looks best when it is curled or braided, which is my favorite thing to do to it when I go out. It also comes with A LOT of hair. Like 11 pieces and included in that is a super thick weft. Here’s the with extensions and the without. It adds a good 6 inches or more to the length. I’ve worn them at least 3 times a month for various parties or dates and I just like how much I can do with them. And at night I just take them off, brush them and slip them back in the pouch until next time.So what do you think? High or low maintenance? Would you get extensions for the sole convenience of not having to deal with long hair on a daily basis and just as needed?

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The Everyday Dress

  I received complimentary products to facilitate my review. Thank you for supporting the brands that support my little space on the internet. 
The perfect every day dress for motherhood.
Remi Swing Dress c/o Cents of Style | fringe loafers | multicolor scarf |non-toxic beaded necklace |initial necklace

I had some ideas on how to take pictures of this dress but then reality set in. I could be relaxing reading a book alone, prancing around downtown stainless and childless, exploring the forest in heels….you know, the normal stuff. Ha! My friend and I did plan on going out and taking these pictures, however we decided that staying home with the pseudo princesses was more of “our jam.”

The perfect every day dress for motherhood. The perfect every day dress for motherhood. The perfect every day dress for motherhood. Peek-a-boo with baby.

So we took pictures of motherhood. And motherhood brings us everywhere- from the kitchen washing dishes, to a walk to the car to pick up the older brothers, to the bedroom where we normally don’t jump on the bed… but it sounded fun, to the playground watching the kids climb to the top of the dome. In this dress, I did all of this. It didn’t limit me- it was part of living my normal daily mommy life. (This swing dress is on sale for $21.95 + free shipping!)

The perfect every day dress for motherhood.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my daily routine and my thoughts were so jumbled. Until I read this. My friend Christina is amazing. I have seen her through her journey of becoming a photographer and have just seen her blossom. I love the idea of living life deliberately…with intention. She says, ” I want to do that won’t fade.” So much of the daily can feel like it just fades. Like, what the heck did I do all day? I vacuumed 2940329 times and put 324 sippy cups in the dishwasher. BUT, we did jump on the bed. And we did have yummy chocolate cookies at bedtime. And those memories won’t fade. Not that I wrote them down anyway- haha.

The perfect every day dress for motherhood. The perfect every day dress for motherhood. The perfect every day dress for motherhood. The perfect every day dress for motherhood.

What won’t fade for you?

The perfect every day dress for motherhood. pillow fabric: brenda bird designs (dashed dots, roses)The perfect every day dress for motherhood. floral and modern pillows designed by Brenda Bird.photography by christina judd

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Creativity and Collaboration

Plum Street Prints + Valley Gal Design Hairbows for Girls

knotty bow headbands c/o valley gal designs + plum street prints

moccs c/o freshly picked

“Mom, I need chocolate milk, too because Adelle got some earlier today.”

“Well, you don’t need to have it just because she got to have some. But if you would like some you can just ask politely.”

“Mom, it’s not fair! She got some!”

“Again, you can also have some if you just ask me nicely. But, only if you really want it and not just because you want what she has.”

Plum Street Prints + Valley Gal Design Hairbows for Girls

Does this happen at your house, too? I mean, we can all be so trivial and want what the other person has just because she has it. But is it really what we want? I feel like with social media ever present in our lives we feel the need to have what she/they/he has just because they have it. What I love is seeing two people collaborate on an idea and see it blossom. While these headbands are adorable to look at, I see a couple of women thinking creatively and working together to come up with a product we can all enjoy. Instead of competing, they collaborate. Shannon and Cami are great mothers and business owners who are so excited to share this fun collaboration. Go show them some love and support!

Plum Street Prints + Valley Gal Design Hairbows for Girls

boots (old from zara) | glitter skinnies (old from gap kids) | babydoll shirt (old from gap kids)

 

And for the cutest outtakes:

Plum Street Prints + Valley Gal Design Hairbows for Girls Plum Street Prints + Valley Gal Design Hairbows for Girls Plum Street Prints + Valley Gal Design Hairbows for Girls

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Welcoming Your New Neighbors

  This post is sponsored by Jasco; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. Thank you for supporting my little space on the internet. 

photos by seattle photographer christina judd

Welcome Neighbor Gift with Motion LED Lights

We’ve lived in our new place for a couple of months now and I am embarrassed to say that I have only met one of our neighbors. In our last house I only knew our immediate next door neighbors but rarely saw them. This is not normal! Is it? I mean we live literally feet away from each other but we don’t even know each other’s names? Do I have this small town mentality where I think we should be having block parties and bringing each other treats? Emphasis on the treats. Ha.

Welcome Neighbor Gift with Motion LED Lights

So I’ve decided to turn over a new leaf. While I am an introvert at heart I still like to get to know people. Going over and saying hello is a great start. We all know that the first few days when settling into a new place isn’t always easy: frantically searching for where you packed the dang toilet paper…or the light bulbs. And what is that weird smell? Then at the end of the day you just want to relax but have nothing in your fridge. Ah. Moving is the pits. Since you’ve been there, why not make your recently moved neighbor’s moving experience a little easier? After all, they are living feet away from you. You’d want them to have your back, too.

Welcome Neighbor Gift with Motion LED Lights

Before you think I am going to suggest you spend a small fortune on goods and take 35 hours to craft something, you should know what I am a fan of easy breezy. I like homemade DIY things but I know we all have limited time and budgets. So if you like to make everything from scratch- awesome, make it! You are great! If you prefer to buy it at the store- you are great, too! Do whatever floats your boat- either will be appreciated I’m sure. Read on for my suggestions on what to include in a simple housewarming basket welcoming your new neighbors.

Welcome Neighbor Gift with Motion LED Lights

  1. Toilet Paper: Simple? Yes. Necessity? Heck yes. Sometimes it is the simplest things that we need the most. And it always seem we can’t what we need or run out at inopportune times.
  2. Candle: Moving into an old house comes with many oddities including some funky smells. A deliciously smelling candle can go a long way for those living there…and those coming to visit!
  3. Motion LED Lights: Getting to know all the new nooks and crannies can take a while to remember where not to step or where to turn. Even when you live in a place a while getting up and turning on the lights can be distracting to those sleeping. No more stubbing toes or tripping on the kids’ shoes as these lights can detect motion from up to 25 feet away so the light turns on and your path is lit. 
  4. All Purpose Cleaner: When you use moving trucks sometimes their rules won’t let you take cleaning products. Even though you are supposed to be moving into a newly cleaned place sometimes that isn’t the case. All purpose cleaner can really help tidy things up and you just need one cleaner.
  5. Treats/Rewards! After a long day cleaning and unpacking, it is always nice to have a treat to relax. I say get a bottle of root beer and some chocolate so they can lay on the couch/blow up mattress/floor and bask in the glory of their accomplishments.

Welcome Neighbor Gift with Motion LED Lights

distressed jeggings | striped dress | similar perforated booties | initial bar necklace | silicone black ring

And I designed this printable housewarming card that you can download here. It’s light-hearted and maybe a little tongue-in-cheek but if my neighbor gave me this I’d think their cool points would sky rocket. Just sayin’.

And as a bonus, Jasco is giving away an Amazon gift card valued at $200. To apply for this giveaway see details below. Good luck! Please tell me one thing you needed your first few days after moving in so I can add it to the list!

Motion LED Lights

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Family Travel: Connecticut (Fairfield County)

Family Friendly Travel Cove Island Park Connecticut

I went back to my alma mater a few years ago and as I walked along the campus I couldn’t help but feel completely out of place. The college kids looked younger than when I was there as a student…but that could be because I am a lot older than them now. Man, we must have looked like babies. All the paths I frequented as I walked to class, the bench I used to sit at waiting for my husband’s class to get out, the smell of the fresh bread coming from the Cougar Eat….all those brought back wonderful memories yet also felt like I had outgrown that part of my life. Are there places like that in your life? While I love visiting the place where I experienced some awesome times, there are other places that feel more like home to me.

Family Friendly Travel Cove Island Park Connecticut with Little Sun Hat

Family Friendly Travel Cove Island Park Connecticut with SwimZip

Every summer for a few weeks, I take the kids back to my parent’s house although it’s not the house I grew up in. The house itself doesn’t hold many memories from my childhood because I wasn’t really there. I was already in college about to get married. The town they live in as well as the surrounding areas do have special places in my heart: the beaches, pizzerias, ice cream shops, amusement parks, etc. I remember going to those places as a child and coming back to them as an adult with her own children brings a sort of reliving that memory. Seeing you children run down the same walking paths and swimming in the same waters as I did, this time with grandparents, is magical.

Family Friendly Travel Cove Island Park Connecticut with Rad Revolution Kids Swimmers

swimmers c/o rad revolution kids

*these swimmers are my favorite! great quality even after many washes and many dips in the water*

Family Friendly Travel Cove Island Park Connecticut

Cove Island Park is in Stamford, CT (the town I grew up in) and as children, my brothers and I used to ride bikes on the paths, go for walks, dig holes and build sandcastles in the sand, kayak in the water (p.s. wear water shoes!) and have a bbq with family. When we went there with my kids it was like seeing little figments of my brothers roaming free, kicking the soccer ball and splashing in the water. They loved playing at the playground, which wasn’t there when I was little, rolling down the hill and blowing bubbles next to the ice skating rink. And taking a ride on the train is always fun for the kids.

Family Friendly Travel Cove Island Park Connecticut

infant sun hat (similar linked) c/o little sun hat

*love a hat that a baby can’t rip off! and has awesome coverage to protect her from the sun’s rays*

Family Friendly Travel Cove Island Park Connecticut

A stop at Cove Pizza completes an eventful day at the beach. Pizza is a staple in our family and while we LOVE New Jersey pizza the best, we love pizza on the East Coast. Sorry other places, the East Coast just has something in the water with pizza. You just can’t compete. That and bagels. The ice cream is pretty dang good, too. Mr. Frosty’s in Norwalk is close to the water and has that small town feel to it. I love seeing people walk around smiling with their families just enjoying the joy that long summer days bring. And while I don’t live in Connecticut anymore, I still feel a connection to it and am so happy that my kids get to see the beauty New England has to offer.

Family Friendly Travel Cove Island Park Connecticut with Lime Ricki Swimsuit

swim top and bottoms c/o lime ricki

*if you’re looking for modest bathing suits this is a great one. also nursing friendly!*

Do you guys like going back to your hometown?

 

 

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Ain’t No Mommy Got Time for That

Ain't No Mommy Got Time For That- Huacachina, Ica, PeruWe got back from an awesome trip to Peru a couple of weeks ago. It was a fun and incredible experience doused with exhaustion and topped with a dash of crazy. A few months ago my dad asked if we wanted to take a trip there to visit our family. While I really wanted to, I didn’t want to go without my husband. He had already taken so much time off earlier in the year to spend time with my ailing mother-in-law and her subsequent death, he just couldn’t take off any more time. I knew I’d have help from my parents but it just isn’t the same as having help from your spouse. You can’t give your parents “the look” and make them put the kids to bed. That being said, I took a leap of faith and went to Peru for 3 weeks with my 4 kids, my parents and my little brother.

Ain't No Mommy Got Time For That- Huacachina, Ica, Peru

Ain't No Mommy Got Time For That- Huacachina, Ica, Peru

If you know me or have read my blog posts you’ll know that I am not really the adventurous type. But in order to give my kids the experience they would have gotten if their dad was there, I had to step up to the plate and be the adventurous mom. It’s here that I learned a few things about myself.

Ain't No Mommy Got Time For That- Huacachina, Ica, Peru

I was reading a comment on a friend’s facebook post about body image and someone said since becoming a Mom she had to set her priorities straight so she didn’t give time to wishing she were somebody else. Isn’t it true though? After becoming a Mom and/or adult I find my time is precious. WHen I map everything out I only have a few small blocks of time to devote to other things that aren’t for the home or the kids. Do I honestly want to devote my time to things that won’t bring me joy?

Ain't No Mommy Got Time For That- Huacachina, Ica, Peru

ain’t no mommy sweatshirt c/o friday apparel (promo code below)| jeans (old banana republic) | sneakers (last season zara)

*Use code BRENDA15 for 15 % off Friday Apparel

  1. Drama: While I had a pretty awesome high school experience, I just want to say that we are adults and aren’t in high school anymore with the whispers, the gossip, the exaggerations, playing victim, etc. I honestly have my own kids to worry about so I don’t need to worry about anymore juveniles. Sound mean? Sorry, but it’s true. Mentally, I just can’t with adults behaving like kids. You can’t brush it off anymore and think “oh, they are just kids and will grow out of it.” You’re 30 and still haven’t grown out of it? Mmm…. sorry. I can’t have that in my life. I love you and I’ll help you but I cannot surround myself and my family with that mumbo jumbo.
  2. Fear: Ah. So much fear. Fear of failure. Fear of judgement. Fear of rejection. Fear of heights- haha! But for real. Fear is real and can very much paralyze you from achieving great adventures. When we were at the resort in Ica, Las Dunas, the guides led us up one of the sand dunes so we could sand board. I got all pumped and climbed up with my kids. Every step my heart started beating faster in anticipation of the steep inclination down we were about to sand-board down. I chickened out and did the walk of shame with my kids. I honestly was so disappointment in myself. I wanted my kids to experience something new and exciting but I stood there, gazing out at this gorgeous view of the resort and surrounded by sand dunes- paralyzed. That evening I was deteremined to not let those fears dictate me again. A few days later we jumped on dune buggies and sand-boarded down the sand dunes (a much less steep one- ahhah!). My kids loved it. I loved it. I loved being able to experience that with my kids.
  3. Perfection: Scrolling down and seeing all these beautiful and clean homes, stylish and dolled up moms, on trend kids, organic meals, luxurious vacations, perfect moms baking perfect cupcakes for their preschooler, etc. on instagram can really do a number to your self esteem. All you see are snippets of a filtered life. Some of these people actually do this as their job. I do it as part of my job. Is it real life? Yes. In a way. But it is also curated. So I can’t compare my worst to their best. Or my best to their best really. Everyone has their talents and I can’t be awesome at everything. I can cook a good meal but I can’t cook like Giada. Her best and my best are like on totally different levels. So, I’ll just compare myself to my old self. And try to be better. Not to be better than that girl on IG who goes on these beautiful adventures and her kids are dressed to perfection but be better than the Brenda from yesterday who lost her patience with her kids, to not give my kids cereal for dinner, to take a shower. Ain't No Mommy Got Time For That- Huacachina, Ica, Peru

Everyone has so much to offer to this world. Everyone has these talents to share with the world, whether it is your baking skills or the gift you have for listening. Let’s not waste our precious mommy time on trivial things. Let’s use our time for something productive and uplifting. Love you guys! Ain't No Mommy Got Time For That- Huacachina, Ica, Peru

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No More Bad Days

Little Sun Hatsunhat c/o little sun hat | romper (old but I’ve linked to some cute ones below)

Mouthy Child: “Uggghhh! You’re a mean mommy!”

Me: Rolling my eyes.

Grandpa: “Someone’s having a bad day.”

Wise Auntie: “No, just a bad moment.”

Little Sun HatIt was only 1o in the morning and tantrums had already been thrown, time outs had been sentenced, tears had been shed. Such is the life of a stay at home mom.

Little Sun HatHowever, those words struck me. I’m tired of letting moments, small moments, rule my day. We are allowed to have bad moments and move on. Don’t let them determine your day. We don’t have to have bad days. And as a Mom who had been traveling with my kids for the past 6 weeks without my husband, I felt like I had a lot of bad days….or what I thought were bad days. But when I look back they were just moments. My days were great- filled with awesome experiences that we will treasure for a lifetime- and of course some bad moments where my introverted self longed for solitude and tranquility.

Little Sun Hat

Little Sun Hat My new goal is to not let bad moments dictate the rest of my day. I’d love to be more carefree. Especially since I (and I bet you!) don’t have the time nor patience to feed negativity in my life. I mean, seriously, how can you have bad days when you spend it with this sweet and huggable baby?

Little Sun Hat

Little Sun HatI hope your days are awesome, but if not, it’s ok. Let it go. Tomorrow is another day and it is filled with tons of moments. Have a good “one!”

And if you are looking to shield your babe from the harsh sun, these little sun hats are perfect. They snap on so baby can’t rip it off and you can roll back the cap for less coverage or roll it out for more. It is reversible (blush and navy) so it’s like a 2-1 hat. This got some great use this summer and washed well…even when Madeleine got strawberry juice all over the straps.

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5 Ways to Bond with Your Baby + Carter’s Gift Card Giveaway

  This post is sponsored by Carter’s; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support my little space on the internet. 

5 ways to bond with your baby via Brenda Bird

photos by seattle photographer christina judd

My baby begins to rub her beautiful coffee colored eyes. I know I have to put her down for a nap only to have to wake her up, again, to pick up her brother from school. #Youngestchildproblems right? I hold her close, kiss the chubbiest cheeks in the world and lay her down. She rolls to her side and closes her eyes. She is so easy going- she has to be. She is woken up time and time again by her boisterous siblings and their daily activities. Not even an hour later and I have to wake her up to put her in her car seat. I stroke her arm, she turns towards me and gives me a huge smile. It doesn’t get easier for me and the #momguilt is very real. She needs her sleep but she is always on the go with me: from school drop offs, pick ups, ballet, tennis, gymnastics, tetragami and errands. I slip on a pair of baby soft pants from Carter’s Little Baby Basics line as well as a hoodie cardigan. From home to outdoors, this babe, and her clothes, endure it all all while sitting calmly in her car seat gnawing on Sophie, the most loved giraffe. The bodysuits and soft pants from Carter’s are great and versatile for indoor play and for when we go out- just slip on a cute cardigan and moccs and we are ready. They also allow baby to move freely and I don’t have to worry about her ruining her clothes as they are meant to be lived and played in! 

5 Ways to Bond with Your Baby with Carter's Little Baby Basics- Brenda Bird

5 Ways to Bond with Your Baby with Carter's Little Baby Basics- Brenda BirdHaving 4 kids involved in all sorts of activities, each one demands my attention. Even though I love multitasking, I can’t when I am at ballet, gymnastics or any other class. Each one wants me to watch them do a plié, a somersault, score a goal, etc. And again, the mom guilt creeps in as I wish I could give each of them all the attention. During the day when my kids are in school, I use that time to clean, get some work done and just spend time with my baby, solely with her- no distractions. Cleaning and work is put on the back burner until I gave my baby my full attention for at least 30 minutes.

5 Ways to Bond with Your Baby with Carter's Little Baby Basics- Brenda BirdTo be completely honest and somewhat embarrassed, playing with my kids doesn’t come naturally to me. I can hang out and talk with my kids and direct them in an awesome crafting session, but imaginative play is actually hard for me. Even though it is difficult for me to get in that mode, I do it (my version of it) because my kids need it. And it feels even sillier to get in that mode with a baby…but you do what you gotta do as a Mom, right? I love those short hours I get to spend with Madeleine- get to cuddle, nurse, have one-sided conversations with her. They grow up so quickly that I want to soak up these tiny moments. Wasn’t she just a newborn yesterday?? I blinked and now she is sitting. I was a bit concerned about her physical development because she was in the car seat for so much of the day. I made it a priority to do physical activities with her to help her develop some of those milestones and just spend time with her- without having to compete with her siblings. So for those that may need ideas on how to bond with your baby, I am sharing some of my favorite things to do with my babies at home.

5 Ways to Bond with Your Baby with Carter's Little Baby Basics- Brenda Bird

5 Ways to Bond with Your Baby with Carter's Little Baby Basics- Brenda Bird

  1. Dance- If you know me at all you know I am not a public dancer. I mean, I will, but I just get so embarrassed in public. Did the Latina genes skip a generation? Perhaps. But, in my home I will jam out and have dance parties with my kids. With baby, I turn up the Kidz Bop station (haha!) or the Latin Pop station on Pandora and swing her around. We waltz around the coffee table and she smiles as I spin her around. She bops her head as we jam to Bieber and she arches and throws herself backwards for me to catch her. Who knows if she will be a closet dancer like me or be a free bird like her sister. Her smiles and laughs are totally worth my neighbor catching me dance to PitBull. Ahh!
  2. Read- You can read anything you want! I sometimes read her the BabyLit books but sometimes I read to her whatever I am reading…except facebook drama. Sometimes I will hold her while she gnaws on her board book while I am reading something else. The point is we are doing something together. Of course, whatever I am reading is more interesting to her and she will grab it which then leads to me reading from my book aloud. She looks at me and thinks I am talking to her so she will babble back.
  3. Sing- Just like dancing, I am not a public singer. I will sing in my own home but you will never ever get me to sing in public. I’ve done it before and cried of mortification. Really. So, I just sing to my babies everything from “Pat-a-Cake” to “Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam” to “Goose-Goose.” Haven’t heard of that song? It’s because we like to make up songs in this house. I could sing absolute gibberish and Madeleine just smiles at me. I can tell that at her early age she loves music so I try to do a lot of musically inspired things with her. I’ll even have her pretend to be a choir director and move her arms around like she is leading a choir.
  4. Talk- I’m used to having one-sided conversations (aka talking to myself). I talk to myself usually to help me remember things I have to do and I repeat them often because my memory is so awful. #Mommybrain at its finest. So instead of talking to myself in my head, I just say it aloud. I tell Madeleine the stuff we need to do today and verbalize things as I am doing it. I tell her about the dishes or what time we need to leave to get her brother, etc. All my inner thoughts I verbalize and to spice it up sometimes I do it in Spanish.
  5. Nurse- This can be nursing or bottle feeding- either way it is some downtime. While I am not against multi-tasking while nursing (scrolling on FB or IG) I sometimes put my phone down and just let that time be what it is. I’ll rock and stroke her face as she eats. I’ll talk or sing to her. Sometimes I just look at her and soak up her gaze and delicate grin. Like I said, time flies. It really does. So for a few minutes, time just stands still.

5 Ways to Bond with Your Baby with Carter's Little Baby Basics- Brenda Bird

5 Ways to Bond with Your Baby with Carter's Little Baby Basics- Brenda BirdAnd once the day is done, we change out of our play clothes and into our jammies. The day is done and another set of clothing thrown into the laundry hamper  signifies another day full of joy, frustration, fun, exhaustion and some teaching moments.

5 Ways to Bond with Your Baby with Carter's Little Baby Basics- Brenda BirdBecause I want to encourage all of you to really play and bond with your babies, I have teamed up with Carter’s to give one of you a $100 gift card! Their clothes are adorable, practical and durable- the best combinations! **Tell me one way you have bonded, or will bond, with your baby this week in the comments.** For another entry, visit my Instagram page and follow the instructions on the picture of Madeleine giving me a low-five. Good luck! Winner will be announced on Tuesday, June 14 both here and on my Instagram page. (GIVEAWAY CLOSED! WINNER ANNOUNCED ON INSTAGRAM POST)

And for those of you that want to stock up on Carter’s goodies now, here is a Carter’s coupon code that you can use now for 20% off your purchase online or in stores. If you want to print, just right click and save onto your computer desktop and print.

Carter's Coupon Promo Code 20%

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Body After Baby

Very Jane_Brenda Birdb/w maxi skirt c/o | b/w striped shirt (similar)  baby: headband | top (similar)

photo: christina judd

I have to keep rereading this. These are my words. My thoughts. But I still have to keep reminding myself that for the past 18 months my body has not only grown a human being but is also nourishing and keeping one alive. I wish I could say that I love my post-partum body but when my pregnancy clothes are too big but my pre-pregnancy clothes are too small it presents a physical and emotional struggle.

post baby weightDo I wish I were one of those moms that shrinks back to their tiny bodies a second after they have a baby? Yea, sometimes. I see them everywhere- in bikinis strutting their magical bodies on social media. It is amazing what their body can do! Unfortunately, mine is not like that. While I can’t complain that I don’t gain much weight in pregnancy, I still carry half of it after delivering. Heck, 8 months later I am still carrying it! And nursing doesn’t make me skinnier either. I eat more than I did when I was pregnant. I am a ravenous fool who has to eat everything. And my cravings are more intense now that I am nursing than when I was pregnant. It is a sick joke people! A mind game I tell you!

body after babySo what can I do? Cry and whine that nothing fits me. Yes, sometimes. Sometimes I just need a pity party. Sometimes my husband will feel so sad for me that he tells me to shop for some post baby clothing. (huzzah!) But really. Pitying myself only can only take me so far. So I say to you (and myself) fake it ’til you make it. Honestly. I’ve faked my confidence in my post baby body that I even believed it. When you are comfortable in your own skin- it radiates. When I don’t make my post baby body a big deal most people don’t notice.

post partum bodyThis isn’t a fool proof way of thinking but it is a start. I also make an effort to wear flattering pieces as to not draw attention to those not so flattering parts. Stretchy pants or skirts are my friends. As are slouchy or flowy tops. You know what’s funny? When another new mom comments on their weight I don’t even notice! I mean they just had a baby (I am using the term “just” loosely- that can range from a second ago until 18 months- haha!) so extra pounds are normal. But in all seriousness, I don’t notice. I notice their smiling faces and that cute baby of theirs that I could just nibble all day long.

post baby body-brenda birdWe need to remember mamas that our bodies went through 10 months of creating a human being from a tiny little cell. It took work and care to develop this tiny cell into a seven pound human with fingers, toes, bones, hair, heart, eyes, etc. It continues to take work to give them life. The extra “squish” is part of the process. It serves as a reminder of something miraculous and divine. It serves as a reminder of the battle your body fought to bring a child to this earth. I’ll take my extra baby weight any day knowing it was for this purpose. I’ll take that with a side of fries, please.