Monday, March 25, 2013

DIY "Toy Chest"

I have been wanting to do this project for quite some time and well...I just haven't gotten around to it and so this last weekend I decided that it was time and we went for it! The great thing about this project was that it cost just under $15 to make!

I had pinned this adorable idea on pinterest months ago. 
Aren't these cute and such a good idea...they cost around $88
However as cute as they are, they are way out of my budget....maybe in another life I could buy these and shop at anthropologie and jcrew and eat at Cheesecake factory every week. Haha okay maybe not but I decided that I would find an affordable way to replicate these and I have.
So here we go.
I found these crates at Joann's fabric store, I wanted the bigger size but our store only had the smaller size. They are originally $11.99 but in the weekly paper or online there is usually always a coupon for 40% so this crate cost me just under $7.50

The wheels and bolts I got at Home Depot

This pack of 4 cost about $5

I think the bolts were around $2

I'm not good at handwriting things so I used letter stencils I had on hand and used a sharpie to write the word "TOYS"

Next we stained it, I already had a small can but if you had to buy some you could find some for around $5. We wanted a dark stain so we let it soak for awhile.

see how small that can is... the color is "ebony"

Then we put the wheels on....well my amazing husband did! 

The finished product!

This project literally only took us a couple hours to do and was super easy! My favorite part, is that it rolls!!! How fun is that!

Now to put the toys in it!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Starting Solids

The last 2 weeks we started Bowden on solids and it's going quite well! What made this even more exciting is I got to try out one of the gifts from my baby shower "the baby bullet," it's amazing! I knew when I was pregnant that I wanted to make my own baby food, for the health and cost benefits, and some friends of ours did the same, so I registered for this and it's been so easy to use! Of course if you have a food processor or a regular bullet that would work fine, and even a blender but I love this set because it comes with storage containers to make ahead and then freeze as well as containers that you store in the fridge with a lil dial on it, that you can adjust the date.
Benefits of making your own baby food:
-You save money, it can cost anywhere from $1-$1.30 for one jar of baby food vs. $1-$2 for produce that will give you about 7 servings(you can actually go organic and save money!)
-It doesn't contain preservatives, fillers, sweeteners, additives
-It's fresh and healthier
- You know what's going in the food your giving your baby

Our Dr. said to start Bowden with veggies first and that we could  introduce a new veggie every 3-4 days, just to make sure he didn't have an allergic reaction. 

Some Signs of an allergic reaction are:
Gas, Diarrhea, rash, clear runny nose, vomiting, itching, stomach pain, coughing, wheezing, difficulty breathing, lip/face swelling, eye swelling, eczema, and fatigue.

 Low risk allergy foods are:
applesauce, apricots, asapargus, beets, carrots, peaches, pears, plums, rice, and oats. 
They say the safest 1st foods to try are:
sweet potatoes, avocado, peas, brown rice cereal, zucchini, squash, apples, pears, and bananas.

Last week, we started with carrots (which was probably not the best 1st veggie to try, can be messy and stain clothes/bibs) All I did was steam a bag of organic carrots til they were soft, add about 1/4 cup of water and put it in the bullet and "bam" baby food! It's recommended to eat within 3 days in the fridge or if frozen then up to 30 days.
This week we tried zucchini and Bowden loves it!
I can't believe we are already to eating foods :( seriously can this kid grow up any faster!?

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Keep on Dating

 Amongst the busyness of life is usually a good time to have an evaluation on life and sometimes...well most times God is trying to get my attention to certain areas! Last week, was one of them, it was an incredibly busy week, we had just gotten back from a trip and so of course you have all the personal stuff to catch up on (cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, etc) and I can get caught up in all the "me stuff" I forget to remember what life is about. Good thing God doesn't let that happen to me! An amazing woman with a huge heart spoke words of encouragement to me and reminded me of a few things. I won't share all of them but one of them was to make sure my husband and I were doing good...and we are but we don't want to just "be good" we want to be great. Before we had Bowden, Lance and I went on weekly dates, usually on Mondays cuz that's our day off. Since we have had Bowden, we have gone on dates just not regularly and I didn't expect it would be the same. Lance is actually really good at making sure we have time together but I'm a person who doesn't like change and wishes things could stay the same...but they just can't and that's an awesome thing cuz "when you're through changing your through" I have had to realize that I can't have my weekly date just the way I want at least not right now but that doesn't mean we can't have different kinds of dates. And that's what we have been doing, dating!
So here are some of my favorite dates:
Surprise Breakfast dates- I like these cuz one, I'm a breakfast person and two, they are spontaneous and never on the same day.
Family Dates- this one is kind of obvious but our lil family of 3 go on  lil adventures

Dinner dates- these are the ones where we get dressed up and we leave Bowden with someone
Movie dates- we love movies and since we don't go to the theater that often we will rent one and watch it after Bowden goes to bed (yes these are planned cuz I usually get tired early)
30 min drive dates- These are fun and low key cuz we just hop in the car go get either coffee or ice cream and just drive, talk, and Bowden usually falls asleep on the ride (Sometimes I forget he's there)
This last week we did our first Planning Date- we went on a morning date to simply plan out where we want to go for our anniversary this year. I'm a planner and a daydreamer so this was right up my alley.

Our 1st planning date

I know after having a baby I just wanted things to get back to being what kind of world was I living in, things are different now and I just have been learning to adapt but not compromise the valuable things in life, which is God, my family,  and relationships.  So I say to myself "keep on dating, keep on striving to be better, keep on loving, and keep on living this amazing, blessed, and gifted life!"

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Bowden's Traveling Tips

At the Seattle Zoo

Lance and I love to travel, and hope to be doing a lot more in the future. I have never really thought about traveling with a baby, until these last 3 months. In December I guess you could say Bowden had his first trip, it was a 6 hour drive to visit family and he did awesome pretty much slept the whole way. Since we were driving, we literally packed up Bowden's whole room (the swing, the monitor, humidifier, play mat anything that would fit in the car) the only thing we didn't have to bring was his crib! We wanted him to feel at home and make us feel good too and let me just say it worked! 
Then a couple weeks ago we took another trip, same distance, about 6 hours, however this time we stayed in a hotel. Once again he did really good on the drive but the hotel was a different story, because I didn't want the neighbors to hear him if he woke up, I would get up every time he cried to calm him down. Let's just say I didn't get much sleep that trip!
The ultimate trip was this last week. Bowden's first airplane trip! We flew to Washington to visit our good friends and my aunt. Now I was extremely nervous about this one, obviously you can guess what was going through my mind... the long flight, should I bring the stroller, the carseat, what if he cries, what if his ears hurt, what if he has a poop explosion, what if he can't sleep, will the time change mess him up...and so on. Well as much as I tried to prepare myself for this trip, it didn't matter. I had gotten so many tips before hand which some did help but really like we all say, "every baby is different!"
The biggest thing I had battled with was whether or not I should buy Bowden a ticket or just let him ride for free in my lap. Well I decided to have him ride on my lap, which for the most part was fine, until he got sleepy. Bowden sleeps so great in his car seat and even in his crib but to have him just fall asleep on me sitting is hard, I need to be standing and rocking him for him to fall asleep. So we struggled with that a little I think next time I would probably just fork up the money and buy the seat. Moms you know your baby better than anyone else stick to your instincts! The first flight was horrible it was so full that we couldn't lay him down to stretch and it was uncomfortable. You don't know if you should sit by the window and be away from people or be on the aisle in case you need to get up!
On the positive, Lance and I were pros going through security! We brought the car seat and stroller because we needed it in Washington and I'm really glad we had it, it made it easy to have in the airport. The stroller we brought was just a base stroller that you attach the car seat and it's super light so it made it easy to go through security. As far as taking on bottles, some airport security procedures are more strict. Going there we just had to take out the bottles (which just had water in them) and put them in the tray. Coming back they actually took the baby food and bottles and checked them. I must say even though we had a horrible flight on the way there, we knew what to do/expect for the flight home and it turned out great! Sometimes you need one bad experience to learn and make the next one good!

10 Traveling Tips for the future:
1. Bring a variety of toys but don't give them out all at once. This worked great when we drove and on the plane, I would pull a new toy out every 30 min or once they got bored with it.
2. Having them eat or give them the pacifier when you take off, does work and helps their ears not hurt
3. Put a size bigger diaper on during the trip so there's no surprise explosion, thanks to my friend meg I also do this at night cuz Bowden started peeing through his diaper!
4. Ask if the flight is full, if not have your spouse/friend sit on the aisle and you at the window seat and put your baby in the middle, don't feel bad, the rows were made for 3 people not 3 1/2, plus your doing that other person a favor and your baby will love to lay down and stretch out! Also having that extra seat makes it easier to change a diaper, since the changing table is super small on the airplane ( I couldn't even find it the first time, but it's there above the toilet)
5. Think through the entire process from buying the ticket to going through the airport, checking in, going through security, getting on the plane, etc. For us I'm glad we bought the ticket during the day, cuz he probably would have had a harder time sleeping at night on us. The plane ride there had one stop but we didn't have to get off, this was good cuz we changed his diaper, let him stretch out, and could walk around.
6. When staying in a hotel, call beforehand and ask if they have cribs and what kind, most have the pack n plays so just bring your own sheet or blanket.
7. Double check the diaper bag, extra diapers, burp cloths, clothes, meds, wipes, bottles, and I just put my wallet in there so I didn't have to bring an extra carry on.
8. Time Change, it was only a 2 hour time change which seems small but waking up at 5am versus 7am makes a huge difference but we learned to just be flexible and roll with it and he adapted quite well!
9. Read the TSA rules and the airline expectations, there is so much I didn't know because I never had to travel with a baby, like bringing their birth certificate, making sure to check the car seat and stroller and tell them you want to do family boarding.
10. Say some prayers! Prayer works!!! Thank you lolli for the prayers!!

At the airport

Bowden's new friends from Washington, we miss you Bax and Tucker (and of course Meg & Rusty!)

Bowden and Aunti Grammy at the zoo

Until next time, I'm glad to be home, the trips were amazing but made for a tired baby, thrown off  his schedule. What we will be doing this next week is getting back on track, introducing baby food, and catching up on sleep!