A Modern Day Fairy Tale: June 2013

Sunday, June 30, 2013

32 Weeks...and a visit to L&D!

Sorry, no fancy picture this week. I honestly just don't have the energy!! Instead, I'll again share this quick one taken at 31 weeks, 5 days...close enough anyway right?

These past few days have been exhausting...Thursday I started getting some horrible pain in my back and by Friday evening it was unbearable...I'd tried laying on my side, resting, warm baths, etc and nothing seemed to make the pain go away, so we decided to play it safe and head to the hospital. The good news is I had not dilated anymore than what I had been at my previous appointment. I was having a few contractions, as normal and baby wasn't handling them so well, so they put me on oxygen for awhile, which seemed to help. (I went through this same thing with Shaun as well.) All the tests came back normal and the ultrasound looked perfect, so all seems to be good...the back pain is still there, though less than it was...during the day anyway, but I just don't have much energy to do much of anything! (As my house is certainly beginning to show!) But anyway, onto the rest of the update:

How far along? 32 Weeks

Baby's size: Squash (2.5 to 3.8 pounds)
They did not do any measurements during our ultrasound Friday night, so we're not yet sure on her exact size, but the ultrasound tech did make a comment about being able to see facial features really well because baby was big and mommy was small...I don't know if she meant that baby was typical size for 32 weeks, but I'm still just small, or if we're looking at having a big baby...this mommy is a little worried! Hoping we will find out for sure very soon!

Maternity clothes: Probably 95% maternity at this point. I could still wear many of my pre-pregnancy tops if I chose to, but they're getting shorter than I would prefer!! 

Best moment this week: Seeing our baby girls sweet face! We got a really great look at her facial features, which was really neat. We even got a picture of her adorable little lips...I think she's going to have full pouty lips just like big brother!! What do you think?
Shaun at a few weeks old.
Finley at 32 weeks.
This was also the first ultrasound for Finley that Daddy had been there for, so it was very special for him too! He could not get over how clearly we could see her face, truly amazing!

Miss anything?  Being comfortable.

Movement: Still all the time!

Food cravings: Ice.

Food aversions: Still most drinks...I've had the occasional Sprite that hasn't bothered me TOO much, but can't stomach the thought of anything but water for the most part.

Gender: GIRL

Labor signs: See above. But still only a fingertip dilated, so that's good! 

Sleep: Not going so well...I miss it!

Symptoms: Back pain. Contractions. Swelling. Heartburn. Anemia. General exhaustion. Forgetfulness. You know, pretty much all those great things that can be expected in the third trimester!!

Belly button in or out? Flat-ish.

Looking forward to?  Baby shower (assuming we don't have to cancel, it's in 2 weeks and 3 hours away...all things considered we're not entirely certain the doctor will advise us to go). Next appointment on Tuesday, so we can find out for sure and hopefully get the next ultrasound scheduled. Finishing up getting everything done...mostly, we have everything ready at this point...just a few things to finish. Big brother's reaction to meeting sister for the first time.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Preparing for Baby with Baby Bump Bundle {Review}

* Product was received to share this review.

Pregnancy is one of the most memorable and exciting times in a woman's life...but it can also be exhausting and stressful at times too. It is for this reason that all moms need a little spoiling and pampering during this time. Today I am excited to share with you a company that is perfect for just that- Baby Bump Bundle!

Here is a little bit of information about the company and what they have to offer:

When Mairead became pregnant with her first child in January 2012, she realized that as you go through one of the most amazing and beautiful, yet stressful and emotional times in a woman's life, there was a real opportunity to provide a service that pampers the mother-to-be with functional and fun products. Mairead and Michelle created the BumpBundle to provide gifts for modern moms through each trimester of this exciting time and the BabyBundle, as the perfect gift for the celebration of baby’s arrival. 

We offer an amazing chance for boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, partners, sisters, mothers, best friends, or whoever has a special someone in their life, to buy a gift for those that just found out they are expecting. It’s the gift that keeps on giving though since you can purchase a subscription for all three bundles, with a delivery of a surprise care package each trimester throughout the pregnancy. We handpick around 5 items for modern moms that are sure to make her feel and look great during this exciting time of her life.

For this review, Michelle was kind enough to send me a BumpBundle to try out for myself. When it arrived, I was so excited to see what was inside that I completely forgot to take a picture of the packaging before ripping into it! So, you'll have to take my word that it was packaged beautifully, each item wrapped individually in bright pops of pink and blue tissue paper. So fun! Here's a look at what was in my bundle:

Bella B Mama Soak: This bath soak is pregnancy friendly, featuring organic ingredients like acai, green tea, pomegranate, avocado and jojoba. I'm not usually much of a bath person, but I absolutely LOVED this soak! First of all, it smelled wonderful- not too strong which was great since some smells even in the third trimester are still making me nauseous, but a very relaxing scent. I also have extremely dry skin, and after using the soak, I could certainly see a difference in my skin! It can also be used post pregnancy to help with soothing and healing!

JoJo Love's You Bling: These cute little earrings are hand-crafted in Boston, MA and are absolutely adorable...I know for me personally, I don't always feel super cute during pregnancy...in fact, most days I feel as though I look exhausted as I feel, so I love this little fun extra to make mom feel a little more glamorous!

Udder Covers Nursing Cover: This is perhaps one of my favorite items in my bundle. I have a few nursing covers already, but can you really have too many? Especially when they are as cute as this one! Since I am due in August, I love that the Udder Covers are lightweight enough to be used even in the summer months too! With my son, I only had a simple all black cover- it served its purpose, but was pretty boring. Every mom deserves a pretty cover that allows her to nurse discreetly, and still look cute...the Udder Covers cover certainly takes care of that! This will definitely be making it's way into my hospital bag!

Knocked Up Nail Polish: This was another of my favorites. First of all, I never knew there was such a thing as pregnancy safe nail polish...but with the chemicals in most all other beauty products, I suppose that makes sense! And it's child friendly as well, so if I decide I want to paint baby's nails when she's a bit older, it will be safe to use on her! But beyond the safety issues, it's also a ton of fun! The color I received was called 'Still Rockin' My Pink Bikini'...hilarious! And beautiful. I also found that this polish seemed to last a bit longer than other nail polishes I've used, which makes it perfect for pregnancy pedicures in the third trimester when it's a struggle to see your toes, let alone paint them!!

Earth Mama Angel Baby Third Trimester Tea: USDA Certified 100% Organic Third Trimester Tea was formulated as a tonic for mamas who are heading into the home stretch (pardon the pun)! This delicious blend of vitamin and mineral packed herbs was formulated especially to nurture all those mama parts gearing up for the joyous arrival of your angel baby. Personally, I haven't yet tried this one yet, as I wanted to save it for closer to time for baby to arrive, so I cannot say how it tastes. I can however say it smells absolutely wonderful. I cannot wait to use it in preparation for the arrival of our baby girl.

Overall, I absolutely loved my BumpBundle! First of all, I love how personal it was- each item is handpicked to be ideal for whatever stage in pregnancy you're in...I am in the third trimester so mine was geared more toward preparing for birth. First and second trimester bundles would be more geared towards mom's needs at that time. (They even offer a Baby Bundle and Breastfeeding Bundle as well for after baby arrives!) But my favorite part of the BumpBundle is that it's the perfect mix of practical and fun! In my particular bundle, the bath soak and tea are ideal for preparing for labor and healing afterwards and the nursing cover is an essential for after baby arrives. These are all very practical. The earrings and nail polish, though not necessarily a must have, are a fun way to pamper yourself or the mom in your life...and every mom deserves that little something extra, just for her!

If you're looking for a fun way to treat the expecting mother in your life, or even just want to treat yourself, the BumpBundle is the perfect way to go! Baby Bump Bundle has generously offered all my readers a discount code as well! Use the code MODERN15 for 15% off your purchase, from now until July 5, 2013!! You can check out Baby Bump Bundle for yourself at the links below:

1st trimester - Bella B Tummy Honey Stick allows for mom-to-be to moisturize her skin in quick applications. She will get itch relief and stretch mark prevention with this mild, natural cocoa butter scented product that has ingredients like shea butter, avocado oil, and aloe vera for the ultimate in pampering during pregnancy.

2nd trimester- Bonnie Marcus Mama-to-be flip flops (choice of either blue or pink with brown) are perfect for expecting momma’s swelling feet and toes as she eases her way through her pregnancy. A great time to wear them is now, during the summer, when the temperatures heat up, but they can also be packed in the hospital bag for the big day for either staying germ free in the hospital shower or for walking the halls during labor.

3rd trimester – It’s time to think about packing up the hospital bag! An Udder Covers nursing cover is perfect for privacy at the hospital or whenever baby needs to be nursed in public upon his/her arrival. You will love the feminine pattern and the ease of use during breastfeeding for months after baby is born!

Disclosure: I received the above mentioned product in exchange for review. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Life via Instagram {6/27}

Where on earth is the time going!? 31 weeks, 5 days already!?
This photo was taken yesterday. Many have said that I still look tiny for just about 32 weeks, but I have to tell you, I certainly don't feel it!! Honestly, I feel about ready to pop!! It's hard to believe that our sweet baby girl could be here as soon as 5 weeks from Saturday!! Crazy!! I'm not 100% sure I'm quite ready yet! I definitely need to start packing my bag...I'm at a loss as to what to pack though! Any tips?

Mr. Shaun is ready for baby sister to arrive too...but in the meantime, he enjoys snuggling with her in mommy's tummy! So sweet! He loves feeling her kicks and flips and hiccups! He's going to be the best big brother in the world!!

Doing my blog planning for the next few months, and doing it in style with this fancy paper (from the Dollar Tree!). I have some wonderful reviews and giveaways lined up for July...and perhaps a few lined up for August as well. However, August will certainly be a much slower month, since baby could arrive any time that month really! I will try to plan accordingly through July and have lots of posts scheduled and ready to go if needed! What type of posts would you all like to see?

Okay, have I mentioned that Shaun loves Angry Birds? He does! So, he was super excited during our commissary trip when he saw cans of sardines...just like the Mighty Eagle eats!! Never had I seen anyone so excited over sardines!! He insisted we buy a can. As I expected, as soon as the can was opened, he changed his mind and stuck it in the fridge for Daddy to eat later...such a silly boy I have!! But 56 cents to make him happy? I'll take it!

The big highlight of the week of course was Day Out With Thomas!!! You can read all about that here!

Contemplating outfits the night before. Shaun's entire wardrobe used to consist of ALL Thomas clothes for the most part. But little by little he outgrew all but a few (though he still wears his too small jammies), and we could not find any new ones that fit...I suppose he's getting to that point where many kids outgrow Thomas so they're harder to find. But we managed to find these few things that still fit...Shaun opted to mix and match, wearing his Thomas tee under his bibs with his hat and bandanna...a good choice!

Once the decision was made, he couldn't wait...here he is dressed and ready the night before!

Riding Thomas! Such a fun experience for my train loving boy!

Showing off his Jr Engineer Certificate, signed by Sir Topham Hatt!

What a perfect day it was!! Definitely a dream come true!!

If you'd like to follow me on Instagram, you can find me here! (I always follow back too!)

Oh, and while you're here- if you enjoy reading my blog and all the great giveaways I offer, won't you please take a moment to vote for A Modern Day Fairy Tale in Circle of Mom's Top 25 Military Blogs!? I can't offer you any extra entries or incentives, but I would greatly appreciate the support!! Simply click the link, and then click 'VOTE', no sign ups required...can be done once daily until July 4th! Thanks in advance!!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

10 Things I Live For {52 Weeks of Blogging With a Purpose}

Nighttime Snuggles. My little man isn't usually much of a snuggler during the day...he is always much to busy to stop and show mom much love, but every night we cuddle up together until he falls asleep. I treasure those moments more than anything!

Milestones/Accomplishments. As a mom to a child with Autism, I've learned not to take those little milestones for granted. Every goal reached is one more step to showing the world how absolutely amazing my sweet boy truly is. Something so simple as a, "Mommy, will you play with me?" might not seem like much to many, but to me, it is EVERYTHING.

Hellos. As a military family, we have a lot of goodbyes in our life- deployments, moves, leaving family...the goodbyes are the worst, but they also mean that we have hellos. We treasure the time spent with family because we know it can be rare at times. Coming home means so much more. And at the end of those field ops and deployments, we get to experience an amazing homecoming...as horrible as deployments can be, homecomings are that much better.

My husband's laugh. Anyone who knows my husband, knows his laugh. It's loud and distinct...to be honest, he gets made fun of for it, but I absolutely love it. It's infectious...he even finds himself cracking up over it. It also shows his amazing sense of humor, one of the things I love most about him- his ability to make me laugh. Our sweet Shaun seems to have the same laugh, and I adore them both.

Being called Mommy. Truly, there is nothing better. I love hearing my sweet Shaun call me mommy, and look forward to the same with his baby sister Finley.

Home. Honestly, there really is no place like it. I live for those visits home- to both my family and to my husband's. Being away from family, we learn to value that time together even more.

Conversations with Shaun. Again, something that some may take for granted is something that means the world to us. It wasn't long ago at all that our conversations, though still a work in progress now, were a far off reality. We may have the same conversation about the same trains over and over and over again...but I am happy to be having them.

Quality Time. Is there anything better than spending time with those you love? We don't have to be doing anything exciting, I just enjoy doing things together.

Capturing Moments. Anyone who knows me, knows that when I'm with my loved ones- the camera is usually out! I love capturing those moments and looking back, remember the great memories that were made.

I love yous. From my husband, from my son, from my friends and family...I am a firm believer that you can never say I love you too much! Each morning begins with an 'I love you', and we end our nights the same.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Shaun's Birthday Wishlist {And the Impossible Toy}

In just a little over a month- on August 4th, my sweet boy will be turning SIX YEARS OLD!! It seems as though we were JUST celebrating his first birthday! Where does the time go!?

As his big day draws closer, he is hard at work on his birthday list! Mostly, it's all about Thomas again this year...as it has been most years. Last year, he asked for more of a variety...and most of those toys have been played with just once or twice! So back to Thomas it is, at least we know it's one thing he consistently loves and plays!! In fact, when asked which Thomas toys were on his list this year, his response, "All the Thomas toys. Every Thomas toy. All of them." Way to make it easy kiddo! Here is a small look at Shaun's birthday wishlist this year:

Mighty Eagle Plush
Apparently, his Angry Birds plush collection is not quite complete without the Mighty Eagle! It's not among his top choices (thankfully, $100 for a plush!?), but he's certainly mentioned it. He also has his eyes on a few other Angry Birds toys and games. Nothing in particular that he's mentioned yet though.

Despicable Me Fart Blaster
Another one of the few non-Thomas items that made the list...this one a big one! My little guy is such a boy and thinks fart jokes are the greatest...so naturally, he ADORES this Despicable Me Fart Blaster toy!! Toys R Us has a version that releases a banana scent, but for $15 cheaper, Target has a similar version with no smell, just sounds...and Shaun is perfectly happy with that. He thinks this is the funniest toy EVER! I think it will definitely be making its way to his toy boxes!! He's mentioned a few other Despicable Me 2 toys he'd like- mostly the talking minions, but not sure if we'll actually get any of those or not!

Thomas' Treasure Hunt Adventure
Little does Shaun know, this particular play set is already in the trunk of our car...an awesome clearance find at Target...we paid just $4.60 out of pocket after the clearance prices and a gift card I'd had. Of course, this is just one of the many play sets he wants...both Trackmaster and Takealong! And a few wooden as well!

Bachmann Trains
Another huge one on his list- Bachmann trains! This particular play set is available at a local train collectors store, so it's among the top of his list, but he's also mentioned Spencer and truly would be happy with any. He has been asking for Bachmann trains for a few years now, and we've continued to put it off and tell him when he's older/bigger...he believes that he is old enough NOW! Mommy and Daddy aren't 100% sure. These are more collectible than play with type toys, and we know our boy will want to play with them. At this point, we're thinking if we decide to get him one, we'll just get a small train and skip the track set, and get some type of display to put it on so he knows it's not to be played with...personally, we think his birthday money is much better spent on toys that he will actually enjoy playing with!!

Spin & Fix Thomas
This toy is going to be the cause of a lot of heartbreak this birthday I'm afraid. It's his absolute number one choice, and he's convinced he's going to get it, even though we've tried to tell him otherwise. He is OBSESSED with this toy and has been for months. The problem? It's no longer being made, and very rare...so rare that it's going on ebay for $400 new, and still around $200 for the USED version!! Unfortunately, that's just not in our budget. I've been hunting for months, hoping to find a steal, but unfortunately, no such luck so far. I've even contacted the company to see if they might be of assistance...again, no luck there! I can only hope he loves everything else enough that he's not horribly disappointed! We shall see what happens!

He has also expressed the desire to share his birthday party/birthday with his baby sister. Since I will be full term the day before his birthday-the day of his party- this isn't entirely out of the question. However, I don't think he realizes that sharing his special day this year means he has to share it every other year as well!!

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Best Day Ever {A Day Out With Thomas}

**A HUGE thank you to US Family Guide for providing tickets for this event for our family!!

If you've been following my blog long, you know that my little man is a HUGE Thomas the Tank Engine fan. Truly, a train fan in general, but Thomas is certainly his number one. His bedroom is all about Thomas, he has tubs and tubs full of tracks of all kinds, he knows all about each of the engines and everything on the Island of Sodor. It was Thomas that helped him learn his colors and numbers, and aided in his communication skills. For the longest time, it was the absolute only thing he would play with! For 4 years this obsession has continued, and this weekend for the very first time, his dream finally came true and he was able to see Thomas in real life at Day Out With Thomas!!

For those unfamilar with the event, Day Out With Thomas is a nationwide event where Thomas visits various railroads across the US! Though we'd heard of the event in previous years, it either never worked out with our scheduling or there were no events near us. So when I received an e-mail from US Family Guide offering us free passes for our family for sharing the event, needless to say we jumped at the chance, and my little man had been impatiently waiting ever since! We attended the event in Connorsville, IN at the Whitewater Valley Railway, just a little over an hour away from our house. It was well worth the drive...and the wait!

When we arrived, Shaun was given a wristband which would get him into all the little stations and our tickets for the train ride. We were also given an activity sheet to get stamps at each station. After receiving all four stamps, you could turn this in for a special treat. (Not to kill the surprise, but it was a little sticker activity set...nothing fancy, but Thomas fans will love it!) The four stations we needed to visit were the Imagination Station, Gift Shop, Story-Telling and Pictures with Sir Topham Hatt.

First on Shaun's must do list was the Imagination Station! This was a fun area where they had train tables set up- both wooden and Trackmaster, as well as Thomas themed Mega Blocks stations and tattoos! There was also a table set up with rubber Thomas stamps and paper, as well as a few non Thomas related activities like a little fishing game. Shaun went straight to the train tables! Throughout the day, as we waited for the other events at their scheduled times, this was his go to place. He loved getting a Diesel 10 tattoo, his favorite diesel engine!! When we asked him at the end of the day what his favorite part of the day was, he said it was playing the Trackmaster trains! (Funny, since there was only one, maybe two sets he didn't have himself at home!!) He's easy to please!

Next up on our agenda, the big event for the day- riding on Thomas the Tank Engine...or rather in his coaches!! For a Thomas fan like my little man, this is a dream come true. Though he has been on several train rides before- even traveling from LA to Chicago- nothing beats the experience of riding Thomas!

Watching Thomas pull into the station! He was in awe.
We got to the boarding area a bit early to make sure we were among the first on the train. We were lucky enough to be seated on the first coach, right behind Thomas!! The train ride was about 25 minutes or so- first going backwards (technically forward, since Thomas was really at the end of the train and not actually pulling it), and then going reverse on the same track...still none of the kids seemed to mind, Shaun included! There was actually a soap box derby going on the same day that we passed on the train, which was pretty neat to see too...and Shaun personally enjoyed seeing all the old trains outside the windows and waving to cars announcing he was riding Thomas as we passed. He was also given a certificate declaring him a Jr Engineer, which we will proudly hang in his bedroom!! Despite the summer heat, it was a great ride!

Waiting to board. The conductors asked if he'd like to drive the train, since he was dressed the part! (An outfit he chose himself. Unfortunately, he'd outgrown most of his Thomas clothing!)

Mommy and Shaun enjoying the train ride!

After the ride was over, we went to have his picture taken with Thomas. He was thrilled! They have photographers there taking pictures that you can order through them, but they also allow you to take your own, which is wonderful if you're on a budget! I didn't think to check the prices on their options, but again there is no obligation to buy any regardless.

Next up, we checked out the gift shop...again, it was Shaun heaven! Everything Thomas...with a few other general train goodies packed in. Some of the prices were a bit high, but there were still certainly souvenirs available for all price ranges...picture frames, t-shirts, toys, books...a little bit of everything. I will say if you plan to buy your little one something specific to Day Out With Thomas, you may want to get there early. We actually made a few trips there-this first time to check it out, and then went back before we left to actually choose something. I'd originally planned to get him the Day Out With Thomas 2013 wooden train, but by the time we returned the once full rack had been cleared! Still, he walked away at the end of the day with a few small souvenirs- a new t-shirt, watch and flag to hang on his bedroom wall. He wanted as toy as well, of course, but since he had most of the Trackmaster already and they were a bit pricier (though truly not much), we opted to take him to Toys R Us where he'd have more options he didn't already own!!

After the gift shop, we headed to meet Sir Topham Hatt...this was the other highlight of Shaun's day! I truly think he was more excited about meeting him than seeing Thomas! He greeted him with a huge smile and a hug...so sweet!! Again, pictures were taken here by their photographers as well, with the option to buy or take your own.

We stopped by the Story-Telling area long enough to get our stamp, but despite his love of Thomas, he doesn't have the patience to sit calmly that long...nor did he like the crowd in that smaller space. Still, most of the other kids seemed to enjoy this as well. Likewise, there was a magic show going on that seemed to be a hit for most, but Shaun couldn't handle personally. There were also other small activities set up throughout the event. I'm sure these may vary by area, but at our local event that included riding a hand cart, a small golf area, a little mini train ride, and of course there were food trucks set up in case you got hungry!!

Overall, it was an amazing experience for my little man! He said it was the BEST DAY EVER! Better than birthdays or Christmas...even better than our Amtrak cross country ride! If you have a little one who loves Thomas, this event is a MUST! Shaun is already looking forward to going back next year with baby sister!

To find a Day Out With Thomas event in your area, click the image below!!

Disclosure: We received free passes to this event from US Family Guide in exchange for spreading the word about this event. However, all opinions expressed are 100% my own (and Shaun's too)! Your experiences may vary.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

31 Weeks.

How far along?
 31 Weeks!!

Baby's size: Pineapple (2.5 to 3.8 pounds)

Maternity clothes: Still a few non maternity, but becoming less for sure!

Best moment this week: Hearing baby's heartbeat again...though I'll admit, I'm really hoping for another ultrasound soon! In non-baby news, Day Out With Thomas this weekend was not only the highlight of the week, but of the summer...but more on that later!

Miss anything?  Being able to get comfortable. Being able to do more with my little man. Not being worn out all the time...we're nearing the end anyway though!!

Movement: All. The. Time. She's a crazy mover!!

Food cravings: Still ice. And pickles.

Food aversions: Still most drinks...I've had the occasional Sprite that hasn't bothered me TOO much, but can't stomach the thought of anything but water for the most part.

Gender: GIRL

Labor signs: Still having some contractions. Dilated a fingertip as of my appointment Thursday (my doctor assures me this is completely normal with a second baby though). I did have some bouts of horrible lower back pain that had me worried for a bit, but loading up on more water and resting seemed to make it go away...

Sleep: Not going so well...I miss it!

Symptoms: Back pain. Contractions. Swelling. Heartburn (which has gotten pretty bad over the past few days...one of the reasons I'm not sleeping well!). Anemia (doctor put me on an iron supplement so hopefully this helps!). General exhaustion. Forgetfulness (I actually forgot how to get to hubby's office to pick him up after my appointment Thursday...I made it thankfully, but I was praying the entire time that I was going in the right direction!!). I was also dehydrated at my last appointment, but I think this was just a fluke- I'm normally very good about drinking a TON of water, but we'd been running like crazy all day and I'd only had a bottle or two before my appointment.

Belly button in or out? Out-ish...More flat than anything really, but some days out!

Looking forward to?  Baby shower (just a few weeks away!). Finishing up the nursery. Our next ultrasound (nothing scheduled yet, but hopefully soon). Meeting our baby girl (though despite my body being ready to be done, my mind is not quite there yet- so still, no rush on that one!)

Friday, June 21, 2013

Tiny Love 3-in-1 Rocker Napper {A Preparing for Baby Review}

*I received the product mentioned below to write this review.

When it comes to preparing for baby, shopping for baby gear can become a little overwhelming! Swings, highchairs, bouncers, nappers, bassinets...there is so much to choose from. Each seems to have their own specific purpose, and many of them seem to have a limited time span when it comes to baby's age! It's enough to make any new parent's head spin trying to figure out what is truly needed and which is the best option. Today, I am excited to share with you a wonderful product that could take away some of that indecision: the Tiny Love 3-in-1 Rocker Napper. Tiny Love was generous enough to send me the Rocker Napper in the new Flow design to bring you this review.

Here are a few quick facts about the product:

  • Soft, plush, cozy seat will keep baby content as the 3 in 1 Rocker Napper easily converts from seat to napper
  • Great styling, beautiful fabrics, adorable light and music toy
  • Gentle rocking soothes baby in all 3 reclining positions
  • Safe and cozy flat napper position with raised borders
  • Grows with your baby as a toddler rocker that can hold up to 40 pounds

    So, what sets the 3-in-1 Rocker Napper apart from other baby products on the market? For me, it's all about the versatility!! As I said before, there are a TON of various baby products on the market. You have bassinets and simple nappers for sleep time...then you have swings and bouncers, etc for play. Not only do all these products add up in cost, but they take up a ton of room as well. The 3-in-1 Rocker Napper eliminates some of the need for multiple products! With it's three reclining positions, it is perfect for sleep OR play. The second reclining position is also the perfect position to feed babies suffering from reflux to aid in digestion. It also changes between the positions extremely easily...even while baby is still in it! So if baby falls asleep playing, as babies so often do...there is no need to worry about moving them, simply recline to napper position. So instead of having to purchase one product for sleep, and another for play...the Rocker Napper covers them both, all in one product- saving you space and money! Aside from taking up space and money, these other products also often cannot be used for very long. Typical bassinets, nappers, and even bouncers only go up to about 25 pounds. After baby is too big, there is no more use for the product. This is not the case with the 3-in-1 Rocker Napper. Instead, it grows WITH the child, and can be used as a toddler seat for children up to 40 pounds-giving you more use for your money! This is a huge selling point for me personally.

Aside from the versatility, the 3-in-1 Rocker Napper has some other great features that make it pretty awesome. First of all, it features a vibrating function to gently soothe baby as well as a music and lights feature as well. These two features can be used together or individually, or not at all. I particularly loved that the music feature had various styles of music- from more playful to relaxing, depending on the setting you choose. My older son has sensory issues and cannot tolerate lullabies for whatever reason, so I like that we can still use the music feature without it scaring him. There are also two sound options too choose from- neither too loud, so baby can still enjoy that without disturbing the rest of the family. The lights and toys from the mobile are also nice and colorful and I'm certain will keep baby entertained! (The mobile can also be removed.)

Now, that you know all about the various features, let's talk style! To be honest, it was the original brown and red options that first attracted me to the Rocker Napper. I loved that they would both coordinate with my living room, while still being a great place for baby to rest and play. When I first saw the new design choices, I wasn't sure how I felt about them... they were cute enough, of course, but not nearly as subtle as the original. I have to say though, after seeing the new Flow design in person, I am 100% completely won over. I truly don't think they photos do this justice...it's so bright, fun and modern...so it doesn't match my living room, but hey, baby will love it anyway!! And the toys on the mobile are much cuter than the original design as well. (Of course, all are still available for purchase, if you do prefer that look!) And of course, quality is everything, and the Tiny Love 3-in-1 Rocker Napper is great quality...and super soft for baby! I honestly can't believe I ever had doubts after seeing it in person!

As busy parents, setup is another big factor to look at. While the Rocker Napper does require adult assembly, it was super easy and fairly quick. The directions were easy to follow and I was able to do it myself without any help from the husband! (And I swear, it's still safe for baby!) I'd say it took me about 15-20 minutes to sort the pieces and assemble. Not too time consuming at all, and much easier than some of the other baby gear I've been putting together lately!

Overall, I am completely in love with our 3-in-1 Rocker Napper! It's cute, it's multi-functional...it doesn't take up too much space and can be moved easily from room to room...I'm a mommy who likes to have baby close by so this is great too! Though our little one isn't yet here to try it out for herself, I am certain she will love it! I know Mommy does!! I wish I had had a product like this when my son was a baby. I actually would go as far as to say that I would put this on my must have list for new parents. Skip the bouncer, skip the napper, skip the moses basket...this product has you covered all around! And if you're on an extremely limited budget, I'd say you could probably even use this in place of a bassinet for those early days! It truly is one of the most multi-functional baby products on the market!

You can check out the many other great products Tiny Love has to offer on their website! And check them out on Facebook and/or Twitter as well!

Disclosure: I received the above mentioned product in exchange for review. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Preparing Big Brother {Avoiding Jealousy}

When it comes to adding a new baby into the family, I have always heard jealousy of the new sibling is extremely common! Having been an only child for 6 years before baby sister arrives, I can certainly see how this would be true for Shaun as well. For his entire life, he has had Mommy all to himself, and quite frankly, he is quite the mommy's boy! While I'm not 100% sure we can avoid the new sibling jealousy altogether, we have been taking steps to try to lessen it anyway...

  • Don't blame baby. I think this is perhaps the biggest thing we've been trying to do. During my pregnancy I have unfortunately not been able to physically do as much with Shaun- carrying him around, chasing him, etc...and while I think he does understand to an extent that this is because of baby, I do my best not to actually come out and say so directly. Instead I try to come up with an alternate option that I can do...snuggling up and reading a book, having a picnic, watching a movie...something fun that he enjoys! Once Finley arrives, I know I will be spending a lot of time taking care of her, particularly nursing! This will be a challenge for us I am sure, learning to juggle both my babies who require so much attention, but my hope is that through baby wearing I can become an expert multitasker! Regardless, I will do my best not to place fault on baby sister for taking Mommy's attention away!
  • Talk up the big brother role. Another biggie we've been working on throughout...telling Shaun how exciting it will be to be a big brother and all the cool things that big brothers get to do that baby sisters don't- like playing the iPad or video games, or getting big boy toys. This seems to be helping a lot already, he's beyond excited to be a big brother and doing big boy things!
  • Keep him involved. I will talk more in depth about this in a later post, but for now I'll just say that we try to involve Shaun in all things baby...Mommy isn't the one going out and shopping for new things for baby, Shaun is helping- allowing him to make decisions like her middle name or her nursery theme. He is involved in doctor's appointments, and has been to each and every ultrasound...he's even made videos of baby's heartbeat at the appointments- mixing his love of making videos with the excitement of baby sister. He is learning how to take care of a baby sister, and again playing up the role of big brother as being Mommy's big helper. The goal is that he sees that we are not replacing him or trying to take our attention away from him, but rather this is all about him as the big brother as well.
  • The big brother gift. Babies get a LOT of gifts, from the shower to the hospital...it's unavoidable. Even now, as we prepare for baby- new baby things are being brought into the house constantly...and we just cannot afford to buy big brother new things all the time too! So far, this doesn't seem to bother him at all...in fact, it seems like he loves checking out all the new baby gear (and testing everything out on his baby sister practice doll), but I know at the hospital when all the attention is on baby sister, this could most certainly change. So we are planning an awesome gift, just for big brother. So far I'm not yet 100% what all this will include- for sure a big brother tote bag and matching big bro/lil sis shirts, but I intend to add some fun things as well...perhaps a Thomas camera and roll of film? A new train? Whatever it ends up being, we want to make sure he has a super special gift on the big day too!

As I said, I'm sure we won't be able to avoid the jealousy altogether, but at the very least we can say that we've done and will do everything in our power to lessen it at least!

For those moms who have been there, what tips do you have for avoiding new sibling jealousy? I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Life via Instagram {6/19}

Time again for another Life via Instagram post- where I share a little bit of what we've been up to lately, as seen on Instagram! If you'd like to follow me, you can do so right here!

Another great yard sale weekend! We actually got a head start on Friday...I had the car for a doctor's appointment that ended up getting cancelled (after I actually got there! ugh!) so we decided to take advantage and hit up some yard sales. This time we mostly stuck with larger sizes- 3-6 months and 6-9 months, though I'll admit we found a few smaller sizes that we just couldn't resist either! And two Disney princess onesies!! Needless to say, our baby girl will be very well dressed...without us going broke!

Shaun hard at work building a slingshot out of sticks and a rubber band...

And once the slingshot is built, it's time to call for the birds...oh yes, he was ready to play real life Angry Birds! Unfortunately, the birds would not come to him. (Though surprisingly so, our birds are suicidal here! I can't tell you how many times a day they slam right into our windows...I can't even claim that it's because my windows are super clean either...I have a five year old after all!)

Shaun found the perfect Father's Day card for his daddy! He told me, "Daddy will read it and he will laugh."

And he most certainly did!!

My sweet boy and I enjoying a summer picnic in the yard.

Our car seat arrived last week. Have you seen the new Inertia car seat from Baby Trend? It's pretty awesome! I love it! Shaun, as he does with all new baby gear that comes in, had to test it out with his baby sister practice doll- 'Finley plush'. It gets his approval as well!! (There was one day last week that he actually insisted that we take Finley plush to Target with us IN the car seat...I was able to convince him to carry the doll in without the seat at least...what a good big brother he's going to be!)

How fun is this nail polish? The color is called, 'Still Rockin My Pink Bikini'. This came in a super awesome BumpBundle...that I'll be reviewing within the next few weeks!

I put together our Tiny Love 3-in-1 Rocker Napper this week as well...how cute is this new print!? There will be a review and giveaway coming next week for this as well! Stay tuned!!

Psst, in case you hadn't heard- the voting for the Top 25 Military Mom blogs 2013 is happening NOW until July 4, and A Modern Day Fairy Tale has once again been nominated! If you enjoy my blog, I'd truly appreciate any votes you can send my way! There is nothing to sign up for...just click this link and hit vote! Super easy! And can be done daily! Thanks so much!!