Baby

A Few of My Favorite (Baby) Things [Part One]

After I birthed my fifth baby, exactly five years ago, my husband and I thought that we’d never have any more babies.

Fast forward to our fifth baby’s second birthday and I found myself drowning in tears from both weaning her and deciding the baby items should (finally) go.

So…we donated everything. Everything except for the crib, that is.

Much to our grand surprise, last August we found out we were expecting number six!

He uncharacteristically rejoiced.

I panicked.

We had to start from scratch again. And, knowing right well that mamas of nearly six children do not get baby showers, no matter how in need, I started saving up.

I was shocked at how much had changed in the way of baby gear since having our fifth.

This time around, I was determined to have the best time ever researching items and getting rather large boxes in the mail.

Testing out new and unusual baby items is like an addictive drug to me. I adore bypassing the “norm” and going right for the lesser known items.

Here are my new, favorite, baby must haves:

Mumbelli

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Mumbelli is a name you may not have heard yet.

Created by a very sleep-deprived mama, this is the only womb-like portable bed on the market!

Each Mumbelli bed comes with a fabric carry case, an adjustable Velcro barrier, an acid reflux wedge, a removable mattress, and is completely washable! *(Score!)

This is the perfect baby sleeper for newborns, ages 0-3 months.

Price: $129 US (price has increased by $20 since I purchased mine back in April 2019)

Graco Dream Glider Sleeper Swing

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Before the big Fisher Price Rock and Play recall, I was already on the hunt for another co-sleeping option for our bedroom.

While I loved the Rock and Play for those early months with our baby girls, I was excited to try something new. Something that could be used far beyond that newborn period.

This was and is that product. However, it’s not flawless. I have some beef with this product, no matter how much we’ve loved it.

The upsides: It has three recline settings, six speeds, music and white noise sounds, and vibration. It also comes with a detachable mobile, and is machine washable.

When baby outgrows it as a bed, it doubles as a baby swing. Huge bonus.

The downsides: It’s rather a girthy item. It’s not recommended for a bedside that is lacking in space. I had to reconfigure our own room in order to accommodate it bedside, but we made it work.

Furthermore, every positive thing I listed above, also double as downsides to this product. The speed on 1 can be gentle, or sometimes, in the middle of the night, I would see it just completely almost blast off into outer space. It would scare the life outta me to jump awake at 2am and see my two week old about to make history as the first baby in space.

I’ve never used the speed beyond level 2 because, it’s frankly quite scary.

It’s not a quiet product. But, the noise it makes when it’s rocking can become the best white noise for baby.

Unfortunately, the music is annoying and the white noise is just garbage.

However, while I wouldn’t give this product five stars, I’d definitely recommend it for any parent that wants to double up on an infant bedside option and a swing.

Price: $130-$170 (depending on retailer and fabric theme you choose).

Evenflo Pivot System

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Hands down, THE BEST product I’ve EVER purchased for any of my babies.

This forever Graco mama has now moved to the Evenflo side of things with this zero-regret purchase.

Worth every penny, Mama’s.

The Pivot system is so versatile and easy to use, and the fact that it’s style rivals that of more high-profile brands is a humongous win!

This amazing travel system comes in many stylish colors, strolls like a dream, and the pivot feature on the bassinet is just pure love.

Even my husband loves it. And, when my husband loves something enough to mention it verbally, you know it’s gotta be good.

I can’t say enough about this product. This is the MUST HAVE out of all must haves.

Price: $279 US (I used a 20% off Buy Buy Baby coupon to bring the total down about $50).

Infantino Cuddle-Up Carrier

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I’ve had my fair share of baby-wearers over the years. From the infamous Moby to Mei Tei’s and the like, none of those have been as good to me as this Infantino Cuddle-Up.

I love all of the support it gives my body. There’s waist support, extra arm and shoulder support, and a removable hoodie for those hot summer days or cool, blustery mornings when baby needs some additional protection.

It’s easy to put on and remove, and you don’t need to watch any YouTube videos in order to figure it out. (HUGE bonus, am I right?)

Price: $39 US (Lesson learned: you don’t need to spend a ton to get a good, quality carrier that you’ll just adore!)

Skip Hop Silver Lining Cloud Entertainer

So, it’s a hard knock life out here in baby entertainer land.

I was bound and determined to find a baby entertainer that didn’t look like a daggone circus.

Let’s face facts: most entertainers are literal eye sores in your living spaces. And not only that, they make the most hideous noises imaginable.

This product is the opposite of that.

While it’s a bit of a boon on the old wallet, it’s truly a grow-with-me experience for baby.

The adjustable foot platform doubles as a chalkboard. Yes, a real chalkboard. I know. Amazing, right? And this chalkboard will pop right into the chair bit of the entertainer and the entire apparatus will transform into the cutest kiddie table you ever saw.

The toys are easily removable and can be reconfigured with so much ease, you could do it with your eyes closed.

And speaking of eyes, it goes easy on those, as well. Because, quite simply, this entertainer is anything but another eye-sore circus show like 99% of the entertainers on the market.

The only downside is that I wish the table automatically came with the little stools needed for the toddler table it eventually becomes. For the price, it would’ve been fantastic to include those. But, I digress. No matter, this product is wonderful.

Price: $130 US ( I got mine for $20 less on Amazon).

Do you have any of these items? What are your reviews? Share with us in the comment section, below!

*Part 2 (Diapering, feeding, and other necessities) will be posted very soon!

Looking Beyond Young Motherhood

I’ll be 35 this October. 

Still young. But, not really. Because ever since I had my last baby, nearly 3 1/2 years ago, I’ve felt like an 80 year old. 

But thats not what prompted me to write this blog post.

What prompted me was when I considered other women my age and how I’m the “weird one”.

There are women all around me that are just “starting out”. Women that waited until their thirties to tie the knot and rock the cradle.

And, the fact that by the time their oldest child is ready for their ABC’s and 123’s, my oldest will be graduating high school.

I see first and second baby announcements coming from women in their mid-thirties, like me. 

Our second baby. And the days of toddlers climbing on everything and feeling “big enough”.  

Our second baby. And the days of toddlers climbing on everything and feeling “big enough”.  

 

I see blog posts of forty year olds with just toddlers and such dark circles under their eyes, you’d thought they’d been in an MMA fight.  

 

Its surreal to think back at my early days of motherhood.  

 

Twelve years ago, on March 2nd, I recall taking my first pregnancy test ever and seeing two HOT pink lines. Those lines were blinding as they nearly popped thru the testing window.  

 

Pregnant.  

 

Completely overjoyed.  

 

Had no earthly clue what being a mother meant. 

My oldest. The days when it was just he and I (a very pregnant me) and there was room enough to ride his trike indoors.  

My oldest. The days when it was just he and I (a very pregnant me) and there was room enough to ride his trike indoors.  

I thought it similar to the job I did everyday. Taking care of other children, other women had birthed. The mad, intense love I had for these children was unlike anything I could describe for someone not related to me.

I was so off on that love thing, by the way. The second I heard my son gasp for air, the love I thought I had for children seemed like a joke compared to this love I had for my own son.

The years just continued on with a miscarriage nine months after my sons birth, then, six months later, another pregnancy: his little brother. 

The pregnancies and nursing years kept multiplying. I had 10 straight years of no breaks. None at all.

And those years all blurred on.

I always recall, on my outings with the “hands full” of children, those commenters of “You don’t look old enough to have (3,4, or 5) kids.”

Our five. Over three years ago. All so little.  

Our five. Over three years ago. All so little.  

This happened for my entire early motherhood years. 

 

While my peers were out solidifying careers and dating around, I was in the thick of chasing four, five and under. 

 

I never considered myself deprived.  

 

In fact, I somewhat pitied the ones my age that just lived to please themselves. Sure, their instagrams looked cool, and I would lie if I didn’t say I wasn’t a tad envious of their “freedom”. 

 

Here I was, sacrificing. And sacrificing hard, at that. 

 

Every second, of every day, some little face needed me.  

 

At age 29, I was homeschooling a kindergartener, chasing his very active little brother, keeping little sister out of the dishwasher while I loaded it, and nursing a colicky baby sister all night long. 

 

The days of being a 29 year old. Filled with the joys of four children, five and under.  

The days of being a 29 year old. Filled with the joys of four children, five and under.  

And the years rolled on. Faster and faster. 

 

And when I consider that this year I’ll be celebrating thirteen years of marriage and 12 years of motherhood, when other 35 year olds are just beginning, I wonder: “Have I really missed out?” 

 

If you’re reading this and share a similar story as mine, “Do you feel as though you’ve ‘missed out’?”  

 

I have to answer emphatically, “No....”

Our youngest baby reminds me that, as the fifth baby, all you need is wipes, dipes, and love. 

Our youngest baby reminds me that, as the fifth baby, all you need is wipes, dipes, and love. 

 

”...not at all.” 

 

I may be a grandmother in my forties (maybe). I may still look fresh out of college some days, but I would never ever regret beginning my family as a young, young graduated-college-in-the-nick-of-time-twenty-two-year-old. 

 

College. So incredibly fun, my heart could only handle three years of it. Because I got married. And completed my undergrad just a mere eight weeks before my first was born.  

College. So incredibly fun, my heart could only handle three years of it. Because I got married. And completed my undergrad just a mere eight weeks before my first was born.  

Because, God has taught me so much in the past twelve/thirteen years. More than I could’ve ever hoped to have learned from a bunch of little people. 

 

My thumb-sucker, middle child. A time when juggling three, was truly juggling.  

My thumb-sucker, middle child. A time when juggling three, was truly juggling.  

And as my focus shifts from keeping little hands and feet safe to mentoring and molding young men and women, I will always cherish the days when both I and my children were young and naive.  

 

The days of baby gates and all-nighters that were just a seemless transition from the late nights in my college dorm room. When 2am was just a number, and we didn’t feel the consequences.  

 

As I push and struggle to gain what was drained from me all of those sweet years, I am reminded that motherhood is just a small extension of the love of Christ. That sacrificial, gut-wrenching, ultra-intense/doesn’t-make-sense kind of love.

 

Motherhood is a gift no matter what age you choose to embrace it. But, I’d like to think that those “weird ones” of us that got that  several year headstart; we’re that much better because of it. 💗

 

Our fourth. And a time when I was invincible. Or so I thought. Motherhood was adorable and so squishy.  

Our fourth. And a time when I was invincible. Or so I thought. Motherhood was adorable and so squishy.