I sat on my daughter’s toddler bed, with stacks of clothes and shoes at my feet. Do you know the feeling that you get as you methodically go through the clothing that your kids have abnormally quickly have outgrown? Holding, smelling, examining them trying to grasp the memories that they hold? And then having to choose which bag they will go in: to keep or donation. I always have such a hard time with that part so I put it off as long as I can. Moving usually forces me to downsize and the declutter bug hits. One thing I have never given away are the heirloom quality items like pretty Christmas dresses, special blankets friends have made, their blessing outfits and their Freshly Picked moccasins. Look, you can even see the start of her little footprints on the toes!
I remember telling my husband I couldn’t get rid of the kids’ baby clothes (among other things…) because they hold too much sentimental value. He jokingly explained that that kind of thinking was akin to a hoarder’s mentality. I laughed it off and made a note to myself that I could only keep what was truly sentimental and loved -not just because it was something someone gave me. I went through each item carefully and put it in a pile. And then I let it sit. And sit. Just so I could be sure. I kept what could be passed down to a younger sibling, items of sentimental value and heirloom pieces. Continue reading Keeping Memories+ Freshly Picked Moccs Giveaway
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!
Having 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.
To 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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
And 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.
Because 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.
This post was sponsored by WaterWipes as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.
When we went to Cougar Mountain Zoo we treated the kiddos to some ice cream. They jumped for joy as they picked out the stickiest and most colorful ice cream their little eager eyes could find. As eager as their eyes were, their mouths took the cake! You’d think with that eagerness most of the ice cream would fill their tummies but only half went in their tummies and the rest plastered their little hands, faces and the ground. What to do, what to do?
You know, my husband teases that I always over pack. I say it is best to be prepared. Kids are kids and something messy is always bound to happen with them. Tell me you’ve never had to deal with diaper blow outs, sticky hands, a pen exploding or your lipstick losing its cap getting all over your hands? Or when your baby has a rash and needs a million things (that’s a different post all together!) to keep her comfortable. Ugh. The worst. With a baby in the picture, my diaper bag has gotten a tiny bit fuller. I guess there is more to be prepared for now not just messy hands and hungry kids. So what do I carry in my diaper bag? A mom of 4 must be prepared…especially if one is traveling for the holidays!
Diaper Bag– I need my hands people so I got a back pack. Now I can use both hands which means my little ones can’t escape- ha!
Snacks– For me (often times I am just running around) and for the kiddos because they are always hungry. They’ll eat me out of house and home I tell ya!
Bibs– Teething slobber and spit-up…need I say more?
Burpcloths– More spit up.
Pacifier– To calm baby.
Formula– In case I need to supplement or can’t nurse for some reason.
Bottle– For the emergency formula moments.
Sanitizer– Need to have clean hands when interacting with baby…and others.
Diapers– Because babies can’t control themselves yet and they go whenever they want as often as they want. So. many. diapers.
Wipes– I’ve tried many wipes. Many. And while they may clean relatively the same, I love these because they don’t leave any residue on your hands. I also used these when my daughter got an awful rash and they helped immensely when I couldn’t wash her tush in the sink. She hasn’t gotten a rash since. These are chemical free so they don’t irritate and contain no preservatives so make sure to use the pack within 1 month! A premium European brand, WaterWipes only contains 2 ingredients: 99.9% purified water and 0.1% grapefruit seed extract. What a relief, huh. That’s all you are putting on your baby’s skin- its durable, effective, safer natural option for the little ones. Now this is an interesting little tid bit- Unlike some other wipe brands, WaterWipes are not interfolded. This allows for the sterile environment within the package to be maintained. For the same reason, it is recommended that the wipes are not put in an alternate container.
Have you guys seen these? I’ve only seen them at Target (check here to see if your local Target carries them).When I went to grab them they only had the single packets instead of the big box one. I tracked down an employee and unfortunate they were out of the big boxes (better value) but he said I could grab the smaller packets and he would price match it so I would get the same deal. Gosh I just love deals! The employee must have known that- good work Target!
Diaper Cream– To prevent or control diaper rashes for those sensitive little tushies.
Outfit– For any unfortunate diaper blow outs or major spit up episodes or for when you didn’t screw the bottle top on tight enough….yikes
Onesie– To layer along with the unfortunate incidents mentioned above.
Now some fun news! I-C is hosting a contest for WaterWipes which YOU can enter to win a $100 Target gift card! Perfect time for holiday gift shopping. Contest opens November 13 and closes December 4th. Enter by choosing a social media sharing option from the social media amplification tool.
I am betting that right dinner time for you guys goes super smoothly, right? Ha! I’ve spoken to many moms and it seems like it is bewitching hour for the kiddos. One way that I kind of control the chaos as I am making dinner is to have the kids involved in dinner time. Sometimes they can help with the prep work but most of the time I have them help set the table. I assign either cups, plates, utensils/napkins to each one of them. Obviously this doesn’t keep them occupied very long but it helps involve them. So many times I’d have to remind them where to put the flatware or cups or to not forget Mom and Dad (hellllo, why do they think only the kids are eating??). They really love to use The Crayon Box Set from Re Play Recycled when setting the table. Aren’t they so cute?
If you were lucky enough to get your hands on anything from Lilly for Target- hats off to you. I was so bummed I missed out on everything on my wishlist. I may have shed a tear. One of my favorite items was this fringe cover up but since these were snatched up I decided I could make a similar one. Kimonos are great because they are open leaving room for an expanding belly and give easy access for nursing. And I loved it paired with this swimsuit from Lime Ricki. They have such cute swimsuit patterns, are modest (especially in the chest area) and fit really well- sucking in everything just right.
I am not really sure who was more excited to start this mom and tot dance class- Adelle, me or Oliver! I was hoping that it would help with the lacking one-on-one time I have with Adelle and while Oliver tags along, it really has helped all of us bond. Adelle loves loves LOVES to dance. Those genes obviously skip a generation. She tends to have a dramatic flair and this dance class suits her perfectly.
It has been quite the adventure so far, with lots of ups and downs, but we are so excited (and really nervous!) to add another little bird to our family. I have been so anxious to announce this because after having 3 babies, I started showing pretty early- like 7 weeks!
I’d been thinking about creative ways to announce this pregnancy since this baby may be our last one. But also I feel like after having multiple kids another pregnancy is received as just that. But each child, each pregnancy, is a little miracle and I wanted to capture that moment and share it with all our loved ones.
So sorry for the lack of posts. I am still working on organizing my office and well…my house here in Washington. Plus, I just really want to enjoy these beautiful sunny days with my kiddos. You understand, right? Well…. hope this little bribe will get you to come back soon. I have lots of projects coming up and I am so excited to share that my head is going to explode!
Do you want $100 to spend on whatever you want? Of course you do! We’ve teamed up with some beautiful, talented, rad contributors of the Pretty Providence Team to bring you this giveaway. Here is a little bit about each blog; if you’re not already following these women make sure you check them out. Then of course scroll down and enter using the rafflecopter widget.
SO what would I do with $100? I would go and shop the Nordstrom Sale because as you already know it is killer. I scoured their site and found some awesome stuff for less than $100…you know just to give you an idea of what you could use it for.
My husband says you CAN have too many shoes. I don’t buy it.
And dresses that are all ready to go. No undershirts or cardigans. Getting ready for church just got easier.
**I should say that I am only 5′ so these dresses will fit me below or at the knee. For those that may be taller they will obviously fit you above that so just look at the measurements.
When we used to live in Saratoga Springs, Utah we had a family pass to Thanksgiving Point. I can’t tell you how many times we visited the Museum of Ancient Life aka The Dinosaur Museum, The Gardens + Splash Pad and Farm Country. We couldn’t just go to the Dinosaur Museum all the time so we also went to the Children’s Museum at the Gateway in Salt Lake City but it was a little bit of a drive, a little pricey and we had to spend all day there to make it worth it. It really is an incredible museum but just took a lot out of us!
My family and I were given the opportunity to get a little sneak peek at the new museum for children at Thanksgiving Point- The Museum of Natural Curiosity. It isn’t set to open until May 15th so we jumped at the opportunity provided by the ladies at My Mommy Style. It is incredible. There is so much to do! We accidentally went on the wrong day so we got to sneak peek it twice- which was awesome because my kids couldn’t get enough of it and it was so big that we couldn’t get to all the stuff in just a couple of hours the first time.
There is a little play place for the little ones so you could just sit and watch the little ones play while the older ones explore their imaginations around you- it is all open so you can see your kids in most of the areas. There is a lot of dressing up and imaginative play and even a water area. One of my kids favorite things were acting like animals: they had a place where you stand and flap your arms and it measured how fast your arms would flap if you were a hummingbird, or how hard your squeeze was if you were a boa constrictor. They also learned about open marketplaces and how people carried their groceries in baskets on their head. My oldest did a pretty good job carrying the basket!
I think the most fun we had was climbing on the rope bridges and going through the tunnels- it’s like a ginormous play place at McDonald’s. Not gonna lie, I was kinda freaked out climbing on the bridges because I am scared of heights but I had to do it to keep up with the kiddos! It was quite the workout. But you know, the thing I loved the most was that I could actively play with my kids. Lots of times you just send them off and have them play by themselves, which is totally ok, but there is the opportunity to be more hands on if you want to. I think my husband really had the best time. He did everything! Then again, he is like a big kid.
I am just so sad that we won’t be around for me to take the kids to this museum during the year. This would have been amazing had it been built like 2 years ago but I am so happy for the Utah County moms. You guys will absolutely love this place.
And for all you dying to go but don’t have passes I am here to help you out. I have 4 Thanksgiving Point Day Passes to give away to one lucky person!
For most of the time in my business, I have only sold digital products. I wanted to sell actual tangible products but lack of space and finances for inventory have prevented me from doing so. I would always think about how I would package my products and thought simpler is better. I have found that offering printed products as well as digital is where I’d like to be in my business. Luckily, I found a couple of great print shops to work with and now I can have pretty product packaging and give my customers that personal touch. With The Handmade Creative coming up and me providing one of the items in the gift bags for attendees, I printed out some labels (c/o) using my regular printer with my new logo. I think next time I will forgo the border and go for circle labels with the watermark I use for my photos. I really did love how they came out! It really beats using a full page sticker paper and cutting each one individually….yep, I used to do that. Like I said, I kept it simple so it wouldn’t compete or conflict with the actual product. I was looking forward all month for The Handmade Creative event and having dinner with my friend, Kiley, owner of Wren and James. (We may be coming up with something lovely for the fall!) The creators and owners of the most amazing children’s wooden camera, Twig, spoke about how to collaborate with businesses. You wouldn’t believe how many creatives and business owners are in Utah. I was able to meet so many amazing creative entrepreneurs. One of the biggest things I took away from Michelle and Steve’s talk was when approaching businesses first you have to make a plan and own your idea. Lots of times we are so excited about something we just blurt it out without really taking the time to get a concrete idea for a collaboration. We need to make sure we are bringing value to the collaboration and not just wanting to work with them to ride on their coattails. felt balls | heart clip | bow clip | hey you print | caramels | greeting card | all of me print | star earrings | catch-all | I am getting more and more depressed about leaving Utah because I have loved attending these events, learning about running a small business and meeting some of the kindest and talented people who are now my friends. I have about two months left here and I am going to live it up!
Also, for the last and final month long giveaway I have teamed up with some of the most creative and talented people I know to make your home look a little awesomer. I Chart You, The Alison Show, Mom’s Best Network and Caravan Shoppe want to hook you up with some fabulous home decor- they are just amazing! Giveaway ends Tuesday at 12AM MST. a Rafflecopter giveaway
Hi! My name is Brenda. I'm a mommy to 4, wife to the best laundry folder and husband, graphic designer/hand letterer and bilingual blogger. This is my little space of everything I love: diy + crafts, motherhood, family friendly travel + activities, simple recipes, modest + practical outfits and my latest design projects. My hope is you leave this site being inspired to create- whether it's a fun party for your child or memories of a weekend getaway with your family!
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Updated April 2017.
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