Category Archives: General

Get To Know Me

Happy Sunday everyone!
I typically don’t blog on the weekends, but decided since this is a special post it could have a special day. Recently I found a really awesome group on Facebook called the Sensible mama Cha-O-Rama. It’s a super supportive mom group and one of the members suggested we do a little get to know me post! Most of the other moms are youtubers, but I decided to stick to what I know and write mine in a blog post! Thank you Nicole for suggesting this and thinking up the questions!

  1. What is your age? 
    I turned 24 a couple months ago
  2. How many children do you have and how old are they? 
    I have two babies. Emerson, my son,  is 18 months old and Eloise will be two weeks old on Wednesday.
  3. Would you like to have more children? 
    I would love more children, but not sure if I will have more. Nick and I have talked about potentially adopting or fostering kids in the future. Right now the plan is to enjoy the kids we do have, and pray about the future.
  4. If married, for how long? 
    Nick and I are celebrating four years in November! Honestly I can’t believe it, sometimes it feels like no time and sometimes it feels like it’s been 25 years. You can read more about us here.
  5. Where do you live? 
    We live in Phoenix, AZ. I was born in San Diego, but my family moved to Arizona when I was in jr. high. I definitely miss the beach, but I prefer the cost of living here in Arizona.
  6. Are you a SAHM, WAHM or do you work outside the home? 
    I consider myself a stay at home mom and left my corporate job when I had Emerson. However, I do still work a little bit. I teach dance on Saturdays during the school year at a local youth theater. I also sometimes choreograph musicals for youth theaters, schools and summer camps.
  7. What are your favorite mommy product brands and why?
    I could write a whole post on just mommy products, but I’ll try to keep it simple. My favorite diaper bags are ju-ju-be because you can wash them and they’re super high quality. I love water wipes because I’m not putting chemicals all over my kids, I love Aden and Anais swaddle blankets because they’re light weight and very soft. I love love love shopping at Carters for clothing because I think it’s adorable and I can always find good deals at the outlet.
  8. What are some of your hobbies? 
    Blogging, teaching dance, planning parties and decorating my house. With two kids under two years old I don’t get much time to myself so the idea of hobbies is kind of abstract right now.
  9. Is there anything you wish you could tell your pre-mom or new mom self? 
    Just that you get used to it. The lack of sleep becomes normal and eventually you don’t get scared every time you have to drive your child somewhere. People will always have an opinion, but if you listen to your mommy instinct you won’t regret it.
  10. What is your least favorite chore? 
    Taking out the trash. Especially when it’s 115 degrees outside. No thank you.

 

Well that’s it for the ‘get to know me’ Thanks so much for reading! If you want to watch all the other awesome mom’s  you can find the playlist with all their videos right here 🙂

Family of Four

One week ago we finally became a family of four! I use the word finally because anyone who has ever been pregnant knows that it’s the longest ten months ever.


Our last picture as a family of three!

Big brother meeting little sister
The first of many Target trips!
Blended frozen milk as a special treatEloise Marie was born on May 31st with probably the easiest labor ever. It was less than two hours from the time my water broke until I was holding her in my arms. We are just so in love with her and we’re having so much fun comparing her to pictures of Emerson.

The week has been almost like a dream, except to dream you actually have to be getting sleep. After getting Emerson on a sleep schedule I got used to 8 hours of sleep every night, now I’m back to 5-6 hours a night if I’m lucky. Thankfully Emerson has continued to sleep for around twelve hours each night. It’s nice to have the night alone with Eloise and be able to give her my undivided attention.

Today is Nick’s first day back at work so I hope I can keep both kids alive. The day we got back from the hospital I remember looking around and thinking ‘Okay now what?.’ We were so excited about having Eloise home, we never really thought about what it would actually be like to have her. We’ve already been taking her out and about, the day after we brought her home we went on her first Target trip. We also got Emerson a little treat at Starbucks for being a big brother. Emerson seriously has been the sweetest older brother. He loves to pet her head and tried to give her the pacifier if she starts crying.

Overall everyone is happy and healthy and I can’t wait to watch my babies grow and learn together!

Preparing for Two Under Two

I can’t believe that in a few weeks we’re going to become a four person household. I’ve been preparing mentally since I saw that positive pregnancy test. Recently we’ve actually started getting the house ready for another baby!

Double Stroller: We purchased a double stroller from a friend. You can find it here — and it came highly recommended to me. We’ve been practicing taking Emerson on walks in it and I have to say it’s easier to maneuver than I thought! We also took it out to the botinical gardens and had Emerson ride in it with his friend. They were so cute face to face!

Car Seats: Emerson got a new big boy car seat. His old car seat is an infant seat so we are reusing it for baby number two. The infant seat is the Chicco Keyfit 30. We love love love it and all we did was order new fabric since Emerson spit up and spilled lots of food. His new seat is the Graco Extend2Fit. We chose the graco because it was affordable, we paid $160 at target. It also will allow us to keep Emerson rear facing until he is two, which is what the AAP recommends. So far he seemed to like it. It has cup holders for his sippy cup and will go forward facing once we’re ready to make the switch.

Baby-Doll: We haven’t done too much research on introducing Emerson to baby girl, but he’s so young it’s not like we can have a conversation with him. He does notice my belly and I talk about how there is a baby in there. He will kiss and hug my belly which I think is so cute! My grandma also bought him a babydoll to play with. Sometimes Emerson will hug her and kiss her, other times he throws her. Obviously we’re not going to let him get too close or be with her unsupervised.

New Diaper Bag: Okay, actually two new diaper bags. What can I say, I have a problem. When we first found out we were having a girl I ordered a super cute bag from Vera Bradley. I’ve been carrying it for a few months and I realized it won’t be convenient for two kids. After tons of research I decided on the Jujube BRB. I wanted this bag mostly because it is a backpack style. With two kids I really need to be hands free. Jujube also uses teflon in the material to repel stains, plus all their bags are machine washable. Also they’re just beautiful. I owe a gigantic thank you to my mother-in-law who bought me this bag as my baby shower gift. I was so excited that I packed it up right when I got home. 

Sleep Training: I knew that having a toddler and a new born in our queen bed would not fly. In January, when Emerson was 13 months old, we made the decision to move Emerson to his crib in his room. It was not an easy choice and I did tons of online research to try to make it an easy transition for Emerson. I ended up mixing a few sleep training methods and after one very long very sad night he was in his bed. Since January Emerson has slept virtually every night in his crib from 8:00am-8:00pm with minimal crying. I’ve talked with so many mamas who are struggling to sleep train so I really want to write a post about how we did it.

There are still a lot of little things that need to get done. I’m sure not everything on our to-do list will get done in the next month, but that’s okay. The big stuff is done and honestly I just can’t wait to hold that little baby.

Stitch Fix Review #1

So today I’m doing something a little different and blogging about fashion. I’m not a fashion guru and that’s actually why I love the company i’m talking about today. Just an FYI this is not in any way sponsored, I’ve just been using this service for a couple years now and thought it would be interesting to share it with you guys.

What is Stitch Fix? It’s this awesome company that picks out clothing especially for you and sends it directly to your house. You can try it on, keep and pay for what you like, and return what you don’t want to keep.

How does it work? So you go online here and fill out their style survey. They show you some different looks and ask you to rate them. Then they ask what you do for work or what you do during the day to make sure they send you what you actually need. They also ask you to link your Pinterest board, if you have one dedicated to fashion, and they’ll use that as well to see what you like.  Once you’ve completed that you can schedule your fix, there is a $20 upfront fee, but that gets credited to your fix so you automatically have that $20 for clothing. One of my favorite things is that it’s not a subscription, you can set it up to be every month if you want or you can set it up one at a time. For the past few years I’ve gotten a box every six months or so. (Side note, I’m literally so sick of companies that force you to buy something every month to get the good deal…) Anyways, once your box arrives it has five pieces hand selected by your stylist. The box also contains; a letter from your stylist explaining the pieces they sent, a card showing some ways to style the clothing and a prepaid return bag so you can send back what you don’t want. You normally get a few days to decide what you want to keep and what you want to return. If you decide to keep all five pieces there is a 25% discount. That’s pretty much it, I hope I didn’t miss anything!

I’m going to share all the pieces that were sent in my latest fix and tell you guys if I kept or returned them. I should mention that the prices are on the higher side, but the quality is amazing. This is not a place to go for cheap fast fashion I only keep investment pieces I know I’ll wear over and over.

  1. Rune Maternity Leggings-
    When I saw the price ($53) I was like, oh heck no. I don’t think I’ve ever spend more than $20 on a pair of leggings, but when I tried them on I was totally sold. They are made of mostly spandex so their sturdy, plus since they’re maternity they cover my belly perfectly. As an added bonus I found out they are made in the USA and I’m always willing to spend a little extra to know they were made in America.
    Verdict: Keep
  2. Stich Fix brand Camisole three pack-
    Hello three for one! My stylist really listened when I said I needed basics. I also mentioned I would rather just size up in shirts instead of having maternity and she followed that exactly. These are super soft and really long so I can wear them under anything.
    Verdict: Keep
  3. Long Sleeve Flannel:
    I mentioned to Rachel, my stylist, that it’s already warm in AZ so I didn’t need winter wear. She explained in her letter that she sent this long sleeve because it was so light weight and thought it would look great unbuttoned over a cami with the leggings. She was so right. The shirt is super soft and I love that I can wear it whether I’m pregnant or not.
    Verdict: Keep
  4. Lace Kimono:
    My Pinterest board is covered with floral and kimonos so Rachel got me a little of both. She gave some great tips on how to dress it up or dress it down. I think kimonos are like the pregnant woman’s savior because you can throw them over anything and look put together.
    Verdict: Keep

5. Grey T-shirt:
I specifically asked for casual and comfortable and the box was spot on. This last item is by far my favorite. It’s made in the USA and super soft. I know it’s going to be my new go to shirt. I do think the neckline is a little plain so I’ll need a necklace with it, but it’s perfect for me to wear on any given day. It’s also nice and loose so I can wear it as I get bigger.
Verdict: Keep

This might be a little misleading, because in my past two years of receiving stick fix boxes I have never kept all five. Normally I keep two or three max. This box was just exactly what I needed plus I haven’t really updated my wardrobe since Emerson was born. Overall I spent $180.00 and even though that’s a big pill to swallow, I know I ended up with five quality pieces of clothing that are going to last me a very long time.

If you’re interested in trying Stitchfix you can follow this link to set it up. This is a referral link so I will receive a $25 account credit, full disclosure.

We’re Having a Girl


It’s official that baby Kennedy number two is a GIRL! Nick and I are so excited that Emerson is going to have a little sister, now if only we could agree on a name.

We had our gender ultrasound in January, the day we left for Hawaii. I was hoping to know before our trip so we could announce it while on the island and buy him/her lots of baby clothes. Well, the tech couldn’t give us a for sure and although she thought it was a girl she told us not to buy anything just yet. I was disappointed, but quickly reminded myself that waiting four more weeks to determine the sex is not a big deal and all that was important was that baby was healthy. Since we did think it was a girl I went ahead and bought this super cute pink necklace and I told some of our family that it might be a girl.

Now that we are the for sure from the DR I’m pretty much going crazy. I already bought her a few pairs of baby shoes, and a ton of onesies from Carters. Nick keeps telling me to wait until after I have a baby shower to buy things, but I’ve been waiting my whole life to dress a baby girl.

Where are your favorite places to find super cute baby girl stuff? Comment and let me know!
Onesies are all from Carters and the shoes are from Freshly Picked.

Hawaiian Birthday

     

Since I’m way behind on basically everything in life right now, it shouldn’t be a surprise that I’m almost two months late on talking about Emerson’s birthday. My poor baby was born on December 28th so this year with all the christmas and new years craziness we had to hold off a little on the party. We did however, take him on a very special birthday trip. When he was a few months old Nick and I started planning a trip to the Big Island of Hawaii, half for us and half as a birthday trip for him. Okay so mostly for us considering he won’t even remember it, but I promise he had a great time!

We stayed in a very secluded condo complex basically an hour away from any civilization. From our room we had a beautiful view of the ocean and the sun rising each morning. We were just a short walk away from Hawaii’s black sand beach so we tried to walk down there as often as possible. Emerson was a huge fan of the beach, specifically the sand. How do I know this? I could tell by the amount of sand we kept finding in his diaper. What is it was babies and eating everything? Everyday we were there he would try to stuff as much sand as possible in his mouth.

We went to a luau and again Emerson had a blast! He was such a good baby, zero tears the entire time. We were afraid maybe the loud noise or fire would scare him, but nope he actually fell asleep during the fire dance. We visited Volcano National Park a few times and although Emerson didn’t care at all Nick and I had a great time. We got to see the actual lava bubbling inside the crater which is pretty incredible.

We already can’t wait until our next Hawaiian vacation, especially since next time we go we’ll have our baby girl with us. Do you have a favorite family vacation spot? Comment and let me know! We’re always looking for fun places to visit!

Life Update

Today officially marks the end of my first trimester (according to the What to Expect app.) Thankfully over the past two weeks my morning sickness has all but disappeared. It was a different kind of sickness than I had with Emerson, but still just as horrible. I basically have been hibernating for the past three months, but I’m ready to rejoin civilization. Timing wise I’m pretty happy that I’ll be able to really enjoy this Christmas season, since it’s my favorite time of year. We haven’t been able to do tons of decorating because between the puppy and the baby, things tend to get destroyed. It’s pretty crazy that I”m spending two Christmas’s in a row pregnant. Last year I was right at the end of my pregnancy and was not able to enjoy the holidays because I was so uncomfortable. This year I’m hoping to at least get a tree up, but we’ll see.

A little bit about baby number two, he/ she had a strong heartbeat and seems to be growing just fine. I’m hoping we’ll get to find out if it’s a boy or a girl before Christmas, but this time I’m not as anxious. I don’t think I’ll be that upset if we have to wait until January.

As for Emerson he is very quickly approaching his first birthday. Truth be told I do not feel ready to have a toddler. As much as I miss my tiny little baby Nick and I are loving getting to know Emerson and his personality. He is such a silly baby. He loves to crawl around the house and have us chase him, he is almost always smiling and giggling and he is completely obsessed with peek-a-boo. He has so many toys, but prefers laptops, iPhones, and remotes to any baby toy. He is epecially enjoying ‘helping’ me to type this post. The pictures in the post are from last week the weather was perfect so Nick and I spent the day walking thru model homes and finding different small parks to play in with Emerson.

We have a few fun trips coming up that I’m really looking forward to. Christmas day we’re driving to California to spend some time with my closest friend and help her celebrate her engagement! Then beginning of January we’re heading over to Hawaii for a much needed family vacation. It’s going to be Emerson’s very first time at the beach and I really think he’s going to love it. I am super nervous about flying on a redeye with a one year old so any recommendation and tips would be greatly appreciated!

I think that’s enough for today, but now that I’m feeling better I do intend on posting regularly again.

Meet our Newest Family Member

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^^ Emerson loves eating Nala’s bones, I promise I took it away from him after I got some pictures.

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Last week Nick and I decided to add a new family member into our home. I’m so excited to introduce everyone to Nala. She is a nine-week-old lab and cattle dog mix that we rescued here in Phoenix. Nick and I have wanted a puppy since we were first married, but wanted to wait for the right time. We went from living in an apartment to a condo and never had a yard where a dog could run around. When we bought the house we knew it wouldn’t be long before we found a furry friend to join our clan.

Nala joined us last Thursday and the transition has been interesting. She is very sweet and calm for a puppy, but she still has her crazy moments. The funniest thing has been watching her and Emerson. They don’t seem to care about each other too much, except when I give Nala attention. Emerson will crawl up and push her out of my lap. They also both seem more interested in each other’s toys than their own. We have had to keep a close eye on Nala’s bones because Emerson wants to put them in his mouth.

The reactions were mixed when we announced we were getting a puppy, and most people were concerned about me since I’m the one who is home all day. It really hasn’t been horrible, but it definitely isn’t easy. Nick has been awesome about taking the pup out in the middle of the night, and I’m still up with Emerson every few hours. We’ve only has two accidents inside the house and Nick has cleaned them both up for me. If anyone is in the process of house training I’ve been taking Nala out every 45 minuets and giving her a treat every time she goes potty outside, so far it seems to be working.

Since I’ve been so busy chasing them around I’ve started listening to Ebooks on audible. I just started The Girl on The Train and I have credits for three more books so if you have any suggestions please comment below and let me know what I should download next!

Hope everyone has great Thursday! I”m planning some posts about our new home so make sure you’re staying tuned!

Do you have your own back?

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Hello Blog World!

My apologies for being MIA the past three weeks, Nick and I had some major life changes. At the end of August we purchased our first home, and in early September we began doing our own renovations. The process hasn’t been as awful as I excepted, other than having to wait all this time for wireless internet! I am finally connected and ready to get back to doing what I love!

I promise I’ll share some before and after pictures next week, but today I’m actually writing about a product I recently discovered. iZip is an awesome little trinket that you clip onto your zipper and it helps you zip up your dress without needing another person to help you out.

The company reached out to me and asked if I’d be interested with working with them, and they had no idea how badly I’d needed something like this. My only wish is that I had something like this when I was working a cooperate job. About a year ago I can remember one day specifically, I was in the first trimester so I wasn’t big yet, but my clothes were definitely feeling tight. After weeks of throwing up, I decided to put on a dress and some make up for work. Of course no one was home with me and even though I pulled and tried as hard as possible, I could not get my dress zipped up. I literally sat on my floor crying and called Nick telling him how fat I was and how none of my clothes fit anymore. I may have been a tad dramatic, but this easily could have saved a couple of pregnancy meltdowns.

Even thought I’m not working a nine to five anymore it makes getting ready with a baby so much easier. Emerson is in a ‘mommy needs to hold me every single second of every day’ phase, so this allows me to hold him while I get zipped up. As you can see from the pictures, he’s my little acrobat who makes holding him as difficult as possible.

Now I have to talk about the very best thing about this company. They donate a portion of every sale to Because I am a Girl. Because I am a Girl is an organization that is working hard to end gender inequality on a global level. iZip has a section on their website, haveyourownback.com that talks all about Because I am a Girl, and it also has resources to help you get involved with the organization directly!

Overall I am super happy with my iZip, and I think it’s going to be useful in multiple walks of life. I also was able to get my readers a special deal, so if you click here and order your own iZip and use the code bussinessofblonde, you’ll automatically get $5 off your order! Again I want to thank iZip for sponsoring this post.

Don’t forget to check back next week where I take you through our moving process and introduce everyone to our newest family member!

Why I Decided to Bed-share

BED-SHARING

Hello World!

Sorry I took a little vacation, but I had a nice week focusing on my family and enjoying the Arizona weather.

I wanted to start the week by talking about something slightly controversial, bed sharing.

Bed-sharing is a form of co-sleeping, where your baby sleeps in your bed with you. This is not recommended by most doctors and seems to be almost taboo in western society. Let me start by backing up six months when I was in the hospital with Emerson.

I knew that I wanted Emerson to sleep in his bassinet and eventually move into his crib when the time was right. The hospital staff was clear that I should never let him sleep in bed with me and reminded me how dangerous it is. The first time we slept in the same bed was that night, in the hospital, and it really happened by accident. I was completely exhausted having had less than four hours of sleep in the past few days. I just finished giving him a bottle (because I couldn’t nurse at the time) and I knew that I needed to wake up in 45 minutes to start all over again. I had Emerson on my chest and dozed off, waking up about 30 minuets later. I was FREAKED OUT! In my mind I had broken a rule at the hospital and put my baby in grave danger. I thought about him rolling off the bed and getting hurt and how I could be marked as the terrible mother who let it happen. (Obviously I was full of hormones and needed more than a few minutes rest.)

A few weeks later, Emerson just refused to sleep in his bassinet, he only wanted to sleep if someone was holding him. I felt like I was between a rock and a hard place. Do I give up on sleeping and force Emerson to ‘cry it out’ at only two weeks? Do I let him sleep in my bed and go against what my doctor says? I stayed up all night, I searched Pinterest and Google and tried to find answers about bed-haring. How can something that feels so natural and normal be so bad for my child? Here’s the conclusion I came to: Bed-sharing isn’t for everyone, but it is for me. Yes there are studies that show it increases SIDS, but the more I dug in, the more I realized they haven’t done as much research as I thought. Statistics are skewed. For example, if a baby is suffocated while sleeping because the mother was intoxicated and rolled onto the baby, that’s considered a bed-sharing death. Even though my guess is that situation has more to do with substance abuse than bed-sharing.

After I decided I was just going to do it, I realized that most of my friends were sleeping with their babies as well. Here’s an example of an actual conversation I had with a group of moms recently.

“How’s he sleeping for you?”

“Well he’s waking up a lot still. I know it’s not good and my Dr. is upset, but I’ve been letting him sleep in my bed”

“That makes it so much easier, don’t worry about your doctor, she doesn’t need to know if he sleeps in your bed or not.”

It almost feels like a weight is lifted when I hear others talk about bed-sharing. There is a large amount of shame you carry with you as a mom. Every decision you make is picked apart in your mind, and you are always worried about making a mistake. If I’ve learned anything in six months, it’s to do what feels right. I know that people are going to read this and completely disagree with me. They’re going to say things like “Just wait until he’s older and he won’t get out of your bed” or “You’re just teaching him to rely on you.” My response is this: I’m doing what I feel is right for my child at this stage. He won’t be a baby forever and I doubt he’ll be sleeping in our bed when he is eighteen years old. He’s only a baby for a small amount of time and I’d rather feel like I did the right things than to spend the rest of my life questioning my choices. I don’t think ‘cry it out’ is evil or mean and I completely respect any mom who chose that method. As moms, all we can do is our best and we’re better off following our gut than the latest baby trend.