Saturday, May 21, 2016


This is my second time around the block called parenting.  To be clear, that doesn't mean I know what I'm doing, it just means I know about twice as much as I did the first go-round (which was nothing). 

When I was pregnant with Violet, I didn't buy any of those parenting books.  I didn't read anything about anything. I didn't read about pain management during childbirth.  (I should have.)   I didn't know about swaddles, baby carriers, or sound machines.  I didn't know there was an art to breastfeeding or that it would sometimes be incredibly difficult to get a baby to take a nap.  I thought it would just all come naturally.  (It didn't.) 

I'm pretty sure first-time parenting is hard for all new moms, but I really think I made it harder on my myself by not doing a little better research.  So, without further delay, here are some of my very favorite baby products for those early months.  Some are obvious, some aren't necessary, but all of them made life with a new baby easier.

1 II The Snotsucker & The Windi II So one of these sucks snot out of another person's nose and the other one goes up their butt.  They're both pretty gross, but sometimes necessary.  And when you're using The Windi, just make sure you have a towel or something on the other end,'ll rain poop.  Good thing babies are cute, amiright??

2 II Summer Infant Baby Monitor II I love this video baby monitor because it comes with two cameras (and can be programmed for up to four cameras), so on the days when I'm lucky enough to have both kiddos napping, I can easily keep an eye on them.  This particular monitor has a split screen so I can watch them both (the drawback is I have to manually switch the sound from camera to camera) or I can have the monitor scan each room every 8 seconds.  And Summer Infant has THE BEST customer service.  I called them because my original Summer Infant baby monitor buttons were sticking and they sent me a brand new monitor (and the newer model!) no questions asked!

3 II Sleep & Plays II  I hate putting onesies on new babies.  It always feels like their little toothpick limbs are just going to snap off (despite how freakishly strong they seem to be).  And sleep & plays make the million diaper changes a day so much easier.

4 II Ring Sling Carrier II When I wasn't feeding, burping, or changing Lena, I was almost always wearing her.  Wearing her in a sling allowed her to stay snug as a bug as I went about doing all the things that take two hands.

5 II Woombie Swaddle and Woombie Swaddle UP II We used the Woombie Swaddle on Lena until she was about 3 months old.  It was great because she was super snug and it was easy to zip on and off.  Around 3 months we switched over to the Woombie Swaddle UP, which is a little looser and allowed Lena's arms to be up while sleeping. 

6 II Rock n Play II If you ever want to use the bathroom or take a shower or brush your teeth, you'll want one of these.  If those things aren't important to you though, don't worry about getting it.

7 II Pacifiers II Pacifiers are a blessing and a curse.   Lena wasn't interested in pacifiers until about 4 months old.  Then it was either a pacifier, or me at one o'clock, three o'clock, and five o'clock in the morning.  I chose a pacifier...specifically the Natursutten latex pacifier. They're a little pricier than other pacifiers, but considering how often they are in a baby's mouth, I wanted the safest option.

8 II NYME Organics II I love all of NYME's products, but my absolute favorites are their Bun Glaze and On the Spot.  I use them both all the time.

And lastly, one that I forgot to add until now is Colic Calm.  We used this to help with Lena's reflux and gas and it was amazing.  And though it's not listed as an ingredient, I'm pretty sure this stuff is made of unicorn tears. 

There are so many other baby products out there that I didn't even get to try and many more I probably don't know about.  Feel free to share your favorites so I can add it to my list for the next little one!

Monday, May 9, 2016


There's nothing quite like a car wreck to put things in perspective.  This is especially true when your babies are in the car.

On Saturday afternoon, we were all driving to the grocery store to pick up some ingredients for a Mother's Day meal the next day.  Some girl drove straight in a left turning lane, T-boning the driver's side of our vehicle.  Thankfully no one was hurt and the damage appears to be minor.  Needless to say, it really got me thinking of all the what ifs of those moments that led up to the accident.

What if there wasn't a red light a few moments before to slow everyone down?  What if instead of the 20ish mph, the girl who hit us was instead going the speed limit of 50 mph?

In my 2.5 years of motherhood, I've thought a lot of the what ifs and should haves.  They don't drown me in anxiety like they probably do some, but on a perfectly carefree day, I can sometimes catch myself thinking of all that can go wrong.  I imagine it's pretty common to mothers to think this way sometimes, because we have a whole lot more to lose than we did before children.  Or maybe it's not.  Maybe it's because I lost my own mother when I was 13.  Either way, I often count my blessings that can very easily be taken for granted, because life is sometimes too busy to appreciate those little moments.

So in honor of Mother's Day, I want to share my thankfulness for the small blessings that usually don't make the cut.

Firstly, I'm enormously thankful for my two little girls and my wonderful husband.  That almost goes without saying, but it shouldn't!

I'm thankful I get to change every diaper, because baby butts are the cutest.  

I'm thankful I get to do my family's laundry and remember that the hard-to-treat stain is there because my two year old thoroughly enjoyed her meal.

I'm thankful for a toddler who likes to help with dinner prep, because she'll grow up with the memories of cooking in the kitchen with her mama.

I'm thankful for every time my baby can't fall asleep unless she's in our arms, because we're the last thing she sees before she goes off to dreamland.

I'm thankful for the wild bird's nest that is my toddler's hair in the morning, because I get to brush it into uber adorable pigtails.
I'm thankful for when my two year old is wild, because my 5 month old falls into fits of laughter over it.

I'm thankful my house is strewn with toys, because it means children live and play here.

I'm thankful for a baby who wakes to nurse in the middle of the night, because it means she's growing.  

I'm thankful for the little bumps and bruises, because they are healed by a parent's kiss.

I'm thankful for the skipped naps, because it means more time with my children.

I'm thankful for the separation anxiety babies go through, because it means they feel safe with me.

I'm thankful for the weeds and small rocks in my pocket, because my daughter thought they were treasures and wanted me to have them.

I'm thankful for the what ifs, because they remind me to be thankful.

And lastly, I'm thankful for red lights, because the what ifs are enough.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016


It's been in the upper 80s here for a while now.  I'm pretty sure we just live in an endless summer.  I mean, we were wearing shorts on Christmas Day.  And for a gal that lives for cardigan weather, well, it's heartbreaking.  

Violet's been asking to go swimming nearly every day this past week.  And just in case I happened to forget, she'll point outside and remind me, "Look, it's a pool out there!"  So this weekend, we knew we needed to take a break from our usual, lay back, and enjoy some swimming and biscuit-making!

Violet is our little sous-chef.  She loves helping in the kitchen.  When Lena's napping, we get dinner prepped and she is so proud at dinnertime.  It's the sweetest thing.  She's a talkative little chatterbox.  All day long she tells me things like every time she sees a bird in the sky, or a lizard (she calls them wizards) crawling around, or that birds eat the red berries on the bush outside with their "mouth beaks."  And there's no sweeter sound than hearing her say, "I love you."  Absolutely nothing at all.

Lena is now almost 5.5 months old.  She's scooting around all over the place, especially during diaper changes.  I think it's rude, but she thinks it's her time to shine.  She flips over so fast, pulls herself up into a crawling position and then somehow she thrusts her body forward like she's about to take-off flying. 

I love watching my two girls loving and laughing at each other.  Their sweet innocence is my daily reminder to just enjoy these little moments.  And since I finally joined the rest of the modern world in creating an Instagram account, you can better follow our adventures @thepolkfolk or you can click on the handy little Instagram icon over on the right-hand side of the blog.