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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!

a {typical} day in the life...

12:01am....ideally, I'm in the middle of a fabulous dream (Fiji, my man, no distractions, coconuts...) but this isn't always the case. Olivia could be up or I could just be sleepless...staring hopelessly at a television screen with the most boring show I can find hoping it will put me to sleep. 3:46am...Olive begins screaming (she doesn't cry, she screams) as per usual. I stumble down the hall, eyes half opened, yawning, snatch her take her to snuggle and nurse in my bed and try to stay awake.

4:00am..I carefully transfer the Olive back to her bed. you must do so just right or risk repeating the previous 14 mins. all over again. transfer is usually successful 9 out of 10 times, save for when my shirt gets caught between the crib rail and baby chub and I practically fall into the crib with her. :/

6:36am...hello, Olivia. this time, she's in my bed for good.

7:28am...."yea!!!" (*crash*) "we're going to DESTROY you!!" (*boom, crash, boom*) "come on, carter! jump off of the tall tower with me!" (*boom, boom, boom, crash, boom, splat,etc*)

7:32am...(*knock, knock*) "aveys" (*knock, knock*) "aveys" says the little princess as she is awakened by the superhero, Lego building, universe saving brothers two doors down.

7:33-7:50am...Olivia wakes and Mike and I play with her in our bed. I love this time. mike and Olivia are so sweet and hilarious together.

7:50am...diaper, dress Olivia. pull myself together, stare at my clothes (most of them I just tolerate) and choose a no-brainer dress and skip the accessories. if I do opt for accessories, it's a sign I may end up out at somewhere other than Super Target that day.

8:02am...say good morning boys, tell them to clean up the crime scene, get dressed and brush their teeth.

8:04am..open princess Avery's door and observe possible toy/clothing explosion. encourage her to help clean up with me. then it's another diaper change and she chooses what "fess"(dress to wear). She has also now insisted on what hairbow(s) and shoes she needs to match the ensemble. And just this week, she's graduated to choosing what her "sissy" shall wear too.

8:09am...Carter usually pops in the girls' room at this point to a)voice a concern b)voice a concern on Hunters behalf c)ask me if its time to go downstairs yet d)ask me to button something or e)to ask if he can play "little Legos". During this brief visit, I almost always go tell him to change his clothes. He usually comes out wearing the wrong season of clothes, something he pulled out of the hamper that has a visible amount of dirt on it, or something way too big or small.

8:15am...I remotivate Carter to either redress or clean up.

8:16am...I hold Olivia while slowly guiding Avery down the stairs. It used to be a double hold, but now she insists on walking down with help, so I happily oblige.

8:17am...still descending the stairs.

8:18am...we make it to the first floor

8:19am...Avery reminds me it's breakfast time almost 14 times before I hand her a cup of milk. I usually give both girls half of a banana each. This serves two purposes: 1)to keep them pacified while I make the real breakfast and 2)so I can put Olivia down to actually make breakfast.

......meanwhile......(*boom, yell, crash*) "yeaaaaaaa!!!!! My turn now!!" (*boom, boom, boom, crash, giggle*)

8:26am...pouring drinks, setting plates, trying to make my coffee....just scrambling pretty much at this point....the bananas have been consumed 2 minutes ago.

****sometimes, Mike beats me downstairs and has the entire breakfast ready, coffee too, and has "opened up" the house as he calls it. He's my favorite, for sure.

8:30am...boys come down because they smell food....[naturally].

***Mike leaves for work (if he hasn't done so already) and loves going around the table and kissing the kids sweet faces and saying I love you. I'm always last and get the best goodbyes;)

8:35am..breakfast is over unless there's sausage. Sausage is what keeps breakfast going for another 20 mins. If they ate it all, then they want more...sometimes they don't so I don't always make two boxes....but usually they do. So I make more and carter pretty much eats a whole box by himself cause he's the sausage man and pretty proud of it.

9:00am...school begins."Avery:mission sabotage" begins.

9:01am-11:00am...we do Bible, History, Science, Art, Geography, Poetry, Math, and Phonics with many appearances by Avery: The Pencil Thief, Avery: The Paper Snatcher, Avery: The Loudest, and Avery: The Mess. Pretty much she's an educational Grinch. Add Olivia's tired meltdown to the mix and I begin to question everything. Olivia also goes down for nap at 10 on the dot. You never know what you're gonna get....it could be no nap, some nap, or amazing/happy mama nap. It's never the same and it's usually somewhere in the middle.

11:15am...we do math outside, have a snack, play....usually in the sand or dirt but we play.

11:30am...the girls and I head inside to make lunch. Sometimes we eat outside, sometimes not...and Avery always asks to watch "Seeya....Seeya First, yes? Please? yes, I do." at this point and when she asks like that, I can't say no to that little face.

11:40am...lunch. Sweep the floors....

12pm...I'm so tired, I can't remember what we do at 12pm....but they're still awake at this point, alive, and still being awesome.

1pm...nap time/quiet time...I say "everyone upstairs" and I make the climb with Olivia in tow following Miss Avery at snails pace. Sometimes it takes a minute, sometimes up to 3-4 minutes....and it also takes a cup or two of my patience to endure this last stretch of the race before the nap time finish line. Oh, where are the boys you ask? They passed us by a long time ago....they always win. Every time.

1:05pm...change diapers, put Avery down first (this is key. You must always make this choice) and advise whichever boy you prefer today that he will be reading first. Put Olivia down. (We'll just keep it at that....if only it were that simple.)

1:20-2:00pm...read to boys from a chapter book. Also each boy reads to me. Hunters time is lovely, relaxing, and productive. Carter's time is silly, sloppy, and fun.

i don't care too much what happens between after reading and the end of quiet time as long as its QUIET. Mostly for my sanity because I have to have 30 mins of complete nothingness or I die a slow death until bedtime.

4:00pm...quiet time is over. The making of supper begins.

5:00-5:30pm...supper.

6:00pm...baths.

7:30pm...bedtime girls.

8:15pm...bedtime boys. (We pray with them, read the bible...and they always listen to some adventures in odyssey story on their stereo.)

8:16pm...breath. Sigh. Count my blessings. Love my husband time.(if he's home....which hopefully he is.)

add to this nursing a baby probably 12 times in 24 hrs, plus having the baby wake up up to 5 times a night, countless sweeping of the floors, wiping up spills, laundry, dishes, straightening up, any errands, Monday laundry day, Tuesday science class, Wednesday Awana, Thursday art or gymnastics, Friday Lego class, Saturday soccer and any play dates or fields trips we have on any given day of the week and that's our life. And that was a long post...and now I'm really exhausted. <3

-Alicia