Prepping For Baby #2: Three Things I Wish I Had The First Time Around

As much as I’d like to think this second pregnancy thing is a cake walk, it’s isn’t. The “been there, done that” mentality is there, but only to a certain degree. I hate to say it, but the fact is my pregnancy symptoms have been totally different than with Gia. As far as resting goes….well there is no rest when you have a toddler!

For me, there’s more to this than just getting my body ready to have our next baby. I’ll be adjusting my social life once again, my home and preparing a two-year-old for the arrival of our new family member.

You would think that after giving birth only two years ago that I’d be pretty well versed on doing the whole newborn thing again. Truth is, mom brain is real and I’ve forgotten a lot about those early days. I know most of it will come back to me, but new babies bring on different challenges.

One thing I do know about being a second-time mom is there are a few items that I’ll be needing that I didn’t have with Gia. Two of the three things I need for this go-round are solely for baby #2 and one thing is for both children.

So what are they you ask?

#1: Dockatot

Dockatot is a multifunctional sleep aid for your babe. It’s like it’s own little bed that can also serve as a place to sit, do tummy time, play and snuggle. It’s also great for safe co-sleeping and you can bring it anywhere. I don’t plan on using it for co-sleeping, as we did not co-sleep with Gia, but never say never.

I like the idea that it will give the new baby that cuddled feeling while sleeping. From what I’ve heard and read, it’s amazing and helps babies sleep for longer durations.

Gia was in a bassinet that has been in my family for years. While I love the idea of continuing that tradition, I also want to do what I think works best for us and baby. Thankfully Gia was a good sleeper, so I pray this baby will be the same!

#2: Rock ‘n’ Play

The great thing about having a sister-in-law who had her second baby before me is that I can ask her tons of questions. One thing that she got for her second boy was a Rock ‘n’ Play. She used it all the time for her baby. If it weren’t for her encouraging me to get one I’m not sure I would have thought of it myself.

What I think I’ll use it for most is to have a free hand to help Gia. Eventually when I’m home alone with two kids, I will quickly need to figure out how to balance their needs. I’m sure a lot of Gia’s needs will require me to set the baby down in a safe, portable environment. What’s great is that I’ll be able to bring it outside while Gia is playing.

There are quite a few versions of the Rock ‘n’ Play out there. I was able to purchase one on Amazon Prime Day for $30 off the original price. Who doesn’t love a deal?!

#3: Double Stroller

Stroller shopping can be overwhelming because there are so many options. With Gia we bought a Peg Perego stroller and car seats. Naturally, since I loved them so much I immediately gravitated towards the brand’s Duette Piroet stroller.

The hardest part about deciding on what kind of double stroller to get was the side-by-side set up versus the tandem set up. Ultimately, after seeing both options from Peg Perego in person, Craig and I agreed the tandem version is what we prefer. My gut says it will be easier to maneuver and it will just work well with our lifestyle.

Beyond these items, I’m pretty much good to go. I have plenty of beautiful clothes that I’m excited to see our new girl in. We have all the toys and play accessories a baby could need. The last few things I need to do are along the lines of rewashing baby clothes, packing a hospital bag and making sure I have what I need for my own recovery.

I’m sure if we were to have a third child, I’d have a brand new blog post listing what I’d need for baby #3 that I didn’t have the first two times. There’s always new and amazing products, as well as things we think we just need to have.

For now, we are very happy to become a family of four and we’re planning on keeping it at that. Four has always seemed like the right number for us.

Now I just need to stick out eight more weeks of being hot and uncomfortable. We can’t wait to meet our newest girl. Gia is especially excited….for now! ūüėČ

Xo

Family Friendly Finds

The last two weeks I’ve felt a little bit less inspired when it comes to writing blog posts. ¬†A lot of that is a direct result of not getting out much, due to my broken ankle. ¬†I’m only on week two of wearing my hard cast, with two more to go before I hopefully will be in a walking boot.

The good news is that we are officially living in our new house now, but I still am very reliant on Craig and my family for help. ¬†Being that Friday through Sunday are Craig’s work days, we decided it was best for Gia and I to stay at my mom and dad’s while Craig works his 12 hour shifts.

I’m able to put pressure on my ankle more and more, and I’m using one crutch instead of two, fairly regularly. ¬†Yesterday I did get a little overly excited when I realized I could take a few very hobbled, unassisted steps. ¬†I certainly paid for that afterwards – by the end of the night I felt like my ankle was swelling and had caught fire inside my cast! ¬†Now I know to not push too hard and take the help I’m being offered. ¬†Duh, Ashley!

All this sitting has led to some online shopping. ¬†Uh oh, yes, online shopping can be very dangerous, but I promise everything I’ve picked out is super functional and will make for great Christmas gifts! ¬†So here I am, ready to share some of my finds with you, because they are especially nice for families with children.

Find #1:

Guidecraft Kitchen Helper

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I’ve been meaning to order one of these kitchen helpers for Gia for quite some time now. ¬†I’m big on letting her do a lot on her own and I think it’s really catapulted her development. ¬†She loves doing everything that we do, so we like to encourage her and include her by cooking together, letting her help feed the dog, letting her throw things away, etc.

I like this Kitchen Helper because it folds up nicely, it’s sturdy and it can grow with Gia as she gets older. ¬†It can hold up to 125lbs! ¬†Crazy! ¬†It has fun little cut outs and a marker/chalk board on the side too.

I didn’t buy ours through the Guidecraft website, only because I found it on Amazon where it was a better price. ¬†I believe that some Target stores carry the Kitchen Helpers too. ¬†There are many varieties and brands available, so what works for Gia may or may not work for your child too.

Find #2:

Restoration Hardware Luxe Faux Fur Bean Bag

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As if you needed a reason to purchase such a plush, cozy bean bag РI knew this one was a no brainer!  With a multitude of colors, these bean bags are the ultimate childhood dream turned adult reality!

This purchase was for me, as much as it was for Gia. ¬†Although she already has a bean bag chair with an adorable star print and custom embroidery, I knew she’d love to sit on this in the family room. ¬†As of late, she has enjoyed sitting like a big girl on our furniture. ¬†Again – she wants to do everything just like us, so there’s no surprise there.

We decided to go with the “Wolf” faux fur, as it fit our color scheme best. ¬†I even got my mom to order the “Sable” version for her house. ¬†The best part about these bean bags is that they’re on SALE! ¬†Even better yet, I’m a member with RH and I got a fab deal!

These bean bags normally retail for $249 and the sale price is $199. ¬†If you’re a member you can score one now for $159! ¬†That’s a $90 savings! ¬†Go get one now!

Find #3:

ECR4 Kids Bentwood Multipurpose Table

 

A kids table and chair set was another thing I’d been searching for the last few months for Gia. ¬†I had a few in mind and truly just stumbled upon this one while searching Amazon. ¬†Yep, Amazon does it again!

This ECR4 Bentwood Table sold me right away with its multipurpose functionality.  There is such an added value in it because it can be used in a variety of ways.  This table and chair set is significantly more expensive on the ECR4kids website than it is on Amazon.  That is also probably the reason why it is currently out of stock on Amazon.  I believe I saw this set on the ECR4 website for $220 and I ordered it on Amazon for $161.40.  Go me!

Regardless of it being out of stock, I will be notified of when it’s available to ship and won’t be charged until that time. ¬†I don’t care if I have to wait a little while, I think it’s worth getting the one I want for Gia. ¬†I see lots of crayon coloring, snacking and reading happening at this table set in the future.


Hopefully if you’re in the market for any of these items you’ll consider the ones above. ¬†I think they’re going to work great for our family. ¬†I guess you know you love being a parent when you enjoy finding things for your child more than finding things for yourself!

xo

 

Local Girls Do It Better

A few posts back, I mentioned that my husband and I are in the selling process with our home and are getting ready to move.  I don’t think that the couple moving in realizes that they’ve hit the neighbor jackpot by purchasing our house!

Our next door neighbors are wonderful people – they grab my packages if I’m out of town, they let me borrow an egg or two when my mom brain neglects to add them to the grocery list, and they keep an eye out for people who don’t belong in the neighborhood.  Pretty much everything you could hope for in a good neighbor.

I’d like to think I, myself, am a good neighbor as well.  Keeping with the theme of being neighborly and kind to one another, I wanted to share some juicy gossip with you about “the girl next door”, her name’s Nicole, for all those wondering.

She is a local boss lady who owns and runs one of the greatest little boutiques to happen to our town – Pink Arrows Boutique.


Cute and oh so soft pullover sold at Pink Arrows:

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If you have spent any time in Benicia, (in my case, the majority of my childhood and now adult life) then you know we have a plethora of hair salons, antique shops and mediocre food.  Now Benicia can not only be known to the world as the state’s third capitol, but the home of Nicole’s Pink Arrows!


Nicole’s boutique is in a quaint location and is as friendly as she is:

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Here’s some Q + A and inside scoop on the owner, Nicole, and her dream, turned reality:

What inspired you to start Pink Arrows Boutique?

My love for fashion was nurtured as a child….and while still in pigtails, my mom taught me how to sew.  Over the next 20 years I graduated from FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising) and built an extensive career that included design, merchandising, buying and quality control.  But, my dream was to always open a boutique.

About three years ago, when I was between jobs, I decided it was time, and the idea for my boutique began.

How’d your boutique get it’s name?

The name Pink Arrows balances bold symbols of beauty and strength.  Throughout my life I have admired many women, including my mentors – my mom and grandmother – in their aspirations to successfully combine the two.  My goal is to fill my boutique with modern, yet cozy and bohemian, glamorous clothes and accessories that women will covet.

What do you think makes Pink Arrows special?

My goal is to always look for pieces that have the softest fabrics, the best fit and the most unique graphics.  I have spent a good part of my career in sourcing and quality control, visiting factories overseas, and I have a unique eye for detail.  Sourcing is my passion.  

I love when customers are surprised at the range of sizes and prices that I carry.  I’m not just trying to cater to one age group or one body type.  It’s a good feeling when someone walks in skeptical and leaves having found something they love….and with a smile.

What’s the toughest part about running your own business?

The same challenge every woman feels – there is never enough time in the day for everything!  Trying to balance work, family, friends, etc., there is always a trade off (sometimes it’s sleep).  I truly believe if you are doing what you love, it doesn’t feel like work.  I have had some jobs during my career that were tough to wake up for everyday, where the work environment wasn’t positive, or the commute was CRAZY LONG.  I am super grateful to live in Benicia and work in Benicia.  I get to surround myself with so many amazing people on a daily basis.  

Do you have any future plans for the business?

My goal for the last few years has been to find a location in Benicia for my shop.  Now that I’ve found it, I’m settling in to my new surroundings and constantly trying to improve the space.  I am loving that I accomplished that goal and now I realize I need to set new goals for the future.  For right now, I’m just grateful.

If you could raid one celebrity closet, whose would it be?

That is a tough one!  There are so many great style icons, but if Nicole Richie were my size, she would definitely be my pick.  I love how she mixes bohemian prints in such a fantastic way.  She is fearless and has a confidence that is contagious.  I admire people who take risks with their style and are not afraid of what others will say.


It’s only appropriate that Nicole loves another Nicole’s style:

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I don’t know about you guys, but I love everything that Pink Arrows Boutique is about – from how it got it’s name, to Nicole’s attention to detail!  It’s definitely the kind of place I want to tell my friends about.  I’m also all for a supporting local, especially when the woman who owns and runs the boutique wants to represent women of different sizes and styles.

Life is too short to be tearing others down.  We need to support one another and be happy for the achievements of others.  Get out there and spread the word about Pink Arrows, or better yet, come check it out.

You better believe I picked up something for Gia and myself during our Saturday afternoon downtown stroll….


Picture of the goods that Gia and I scored:

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Pink Arrows Boutique Business Hours:

Currently the shop is still on “summer hours,” and is open Tuesday/Wednesday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.; Thursday/Friday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., & 4 p.m. until 6 p.m.; Saturday from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m., & 2 p.m. until 4 p.m.  They are closed Sunday and Monday.

You can make an appointment by e-mailing Nicole at nicoley@pinkarrows.com, or calling 844-264-6456.

They will adjust their night time hours to shorter “winter hours” in November.

Pink Arrows Boutique Address:

301 First Street, Benicia, CA 94510 – They are located in the courtyard between Plein Air Gallery and Gallery 621, just past Rookies Bar and Grill.