Monday, November 30, 2015


Miss Lena Rose arrived a week ahead of schedule.  She was born at home on Wednesday, November 18th at 9:27 a.m. weighing 6 pounds, 9.5 ounces, 20 inches long, and she is just perfect with all ten fingers and ten toes.

Violet has been a pretty super big sister.  She calls Lena "Nee-na" or just refers to her as "Baby".  She is very gentle when she holds her, gives her sweet kisses, and tries to rock her when she's in her Rock 'n Play.  Most of the time though, she's off doing her own thing, trying to get away with way more mischief than before.

As for me, I've just been trying to adjust to much less sleep, which sometimes feels kind of like I'm collapsing into myself like a dying star.  So until my girls are teenagers and sleeping in, I just gotta drink some coffee and say kumbaya.

Friday, November 13, 2015


Our sweet little girl turned two a couple of weeks ago.  I know they say time flies, but man, it really does. 

Since we don't really know very many people here in Texas yet, we had a super low-key birthday party the week before her birthday with just a few friends and family members.  The weekend of her actual birthday, we put a halt on all baby-prepping and house projects to make sure and really focus on Violet.  We made cookies, we went to the aquarium, played in the sandbox, had dance parties, read lots of books, and let her cover us in about six dozen stickers.  Wanna know what happens when you accidentally shower with a sticker still stuck to your pregnant belly, but you don't notice because you can't see it?  It fuses to your body.

Here's twenty-four things about our sweet twenty-four month old that I hope we never forget.
  1. Violet still loves to hop.  A lot.  Up until recently, we'd let her jump on the sofa knowing that someday we'd have to put a stop to the fun.  Well, the fun police arrived a couple of days ago after she totally flipped over the back---luckily she didn't hurt herself!  We felt super guilty about robbing her of probably her biggest joy, so we bought her a little indoor trampoline.  I don't think Santa will ever top this gift.  We literally had to drag her from it crying to go to bed.  I don't know if that's a win or a fail. 
  2. She's learning words like crazy and she's talking in simple sentences.  At this week's midwife visit, which she used to just flip out at, she came over to me while I was on the table, tapped me to pick her up, and asked the midwife, "What are you doing?"  My midwife replied, "I'm measuring the baby.  Do you want to help?" to which Violet replied, "Okay!"  When she heard the baby's heartbeat, she leaned down and hugged my belly.  Mind blown. 
  3. She likes to sing, though she's pretty shy about it.  Tonight she sang herself to sleep to, "The Wheels on the Bus."
  4. "No.  Okay." means no and "Okay." means yes.  Swish are fish.  Fifles are waffles.  And all rabbits are called Bobby.  
  5. Her two-year molars are coming in.  For Violet that means when/if she wakes up in the middle of the night, she's up for about two hours and totally isn't interested in going back to sleep.  Reading, yep.  Playing, yep.  Sleeping though, no way Jose. 
  6. We went to feed the ducks (which are sometimes called gucks) the other day and Violet was eating more than she was sharing.  I made sure to make a mental note to not bring stale bread next time.
  7. Violet is so sensitive to the feelings of others.  On her birthday I got her a cookie in the shape of an owl.  She didn't want to eat its face and when its eye (just icing, mind you) fell off, she cried out, "Oh no!!!!!!" and I had to put the cookie away to calm her down.  This kid would not finish her dang cookie. 
  8. I used to have the hardest time getting her to eat meat, but no problem with vegetables.  Now it's the reverse.  Unless of course, it's off of my plate.  Sometimes I wonder if I should even bother making her her own plate.  And just because she eats something for dinner one night does not mean she'll eat it for lunch another day.  There's no rhyme or reason.
  9. Trader Joe's is her favorite because she gets snacks and stickers.   The snacks usually cover her and the stickers on me.
  10. Stickers.  She absolutely does not place them randomly.  She groups all the stickers of one kind together or she'll start a line of them---usually down my leg.  The other day she put forty-eight (this is not an exaggeration) fish stickers on her left foot.  Just the left foot.  It literally covered her entire foot.
  11. Getting dressed is a game to her.  For me, it's a challenge.  She  totally takes advantage of the fact that I'm pregnant and am moving slower.  She'll run circles around me just out of reach, while laughing.  It's diabolical.  
  12. She does not ever want to take a bath.  She also does not ever want to get out of the bath.  I don't get it.
  13. I think she likes to quiz us like she's the teacher and we're her students.  She'll ask, "What's that?" and when we answer correctly, she says, "Gooooood!"
  14. Her new favorite book is this little miniature sized Chicken Soup with Rice, but she just calls it "Soup with Rice."
  15.  At this time, it seems like she's left-handed.  
  16. She likes to draw circles.  And she gets really close to the paper like she's super focused on drawing the perfect miniature circle.  
  17. There's not much she won't hug, including play-doh snakes and cookie dough.
  18. She can count to twenty, but thirteen is three-teen and fifteen is five-teen.
  19. Violet is 2 feet and 9.5 inches tall.  So, if you're half you're height at the age of 3, she's already going to be taller than me.  A lot taller than me.
  20. Her hair is finally long enough for a tiny little ponytail.  I never thought this day would come. 
  21. She really loves to clap.  After hymns at church or songs at the library, she claps and says, "Yaaaayyyyy!!!"
  22. Before her nap, I ask her, "Are you ready for your nap?"  If she says no, it's usually a good sign, because if she says yes, she almost never naps.  It's like she's messing with me.
  23. Halloween was the first time she had candy and she went nuts for like 20 minutes.  So, it's probably also the last time she'll have candy.  
  24. She's just the best little person in the world and she's brought us so much joy these past two years.  We know she'll be the sweetest big sister and best little helper around. 

Monday, November 2, 2015


I've been cloth diapering for two years now and during that time, Violet hasn't really had any diaper rashes, but occasionally gets irritated skin.  I originally tried coconut oil and breast milk, but wasn't seeing amazing results.  Then I came across Sweet Knee, a small, family-owned business that began making organic skincare products after their own child experienced a severe reaction to a disposable diaper and no products, over the counter nor prescription, were healing him.  I purchased their Bun Glaze and Oatmeal Cookie Bath and was a loyal customer ever since. 

However, not too long ago, I got an e-mail from Sweet Knee, saying they were closing up shop to focus on their family.  I was incredibly bummed.  But then I found out they were selling their recipes to another family who wanted to pick up where they were leaving off---and that's how Nyme Organics was born!

When I discovered I could still buy my hands down favorite baby skincare product, I couldn't help but message them to say how much I loved, loved, loved their Bun Glaze.   And then they e-mailed me back offering to send me their Newborn Bundle, along with a teething necklace and bracelet.  I was super excited to try out the rest of their organic and gluten-free products.   

  As I mentioned before, I've used and loved the Oatmeal Cookie Bath.  Like many babies, Violet developed a little bit of eczema.  While I was breastfeeding, we figured out that she'd break out whenever I ate any gluten.  This bath cleanser was so great because it soothed her skin and was gluten-free. 

The Bluebird Castile Soap  and Hulababy Bar were awesome at bath time.  Both left Violet's skin feeling clean and moisturized.  The bar soap was actually permanently moved to our shower because I loved how my skin felt after using it.  I don't have especially sensitive skin, but I've found regular bar soaps leave my skin super dry.  The Hulababy Bar Soap left my skin feeling silky and has a subtle, refreshing scent.

I really can't praise the Bun Glaze enough.  It heals skin irritations and diaper rashes in less than a day.  I also used to use it all the time when Violet would accidentally scratch her soft baby skin with her razor sharp talons.  It was seriously amazing how quickly it would heal a cut.  And the best part is that it's safe to use with cloth diapers! 

Rubbit Oil was pretty versatile.  We used it on Violet to give her skin some extra moisture.  I rub it on my ever-expanding belly to help prevent stretch marks.  And Jon now uses it on his face after he shaves.  He said he liked it because it didn't irritate his skin or make him look oily. 

My new favorite Nyme product is On The Spot though.  Violet's skin around her mouth occasionally gets irritated.  Whether it's from her pacifier at night, drooling because of teething, or just because she has sensitive skin, I haven't been able to figure it out.  I tried coconut oil and didn't notice any improvement.  I started using a product called Boudreaux's Baby Kisses and it worked great, but when I noticed one of its ingredients was paraffin (a byproduct of crude oil which is linked with carcinogens), I stopped using it.  On The Spot is so great because it helps heal Violet's skin super quickly.  I've even used it on scratches with great results.  I'm seriously so relieved to have found this product.

Nyme Organics is generously offering The Polk Folk readers 15% off all of their products from now until December 24th!  Just use the promo code POLK15 at checkout! 

All opinions expressed are 100% my own.