Friday, January 24, 2020

Our Top 5 Baby Gadgets

I know, I know.

There are SO many baby items out there, am I right? And there's just as many lists and articles telling new moms what they should or shouldn't have. 

Every time we go into Target or Buy Buy Baby I'm always amazed at how many new and cool gadgets there are. (By the way, is it "cool" to say "cool" anymore? I can't keep up with slang). 

So, you can imagine that as a first time mom, it is so incredibly overwhelming to come up with what you "need" vs what you "want" on your precious registries. I mean, I wanted a baby swing, but do you think she liked it? Nope! It went onto Facebook Marketplace and was replaced with a 4 moms mamaroo


Every one has opinions about what worked for them vs. what will work for you. So if you WANT that cool high chair, get it. Babies are precious, individual creatures and you'll never know what they'll like until they'll tell you they don't. 

As another example, diapers. Our hospital used Huggies, and since I didn't stock up on diapers (I don't recommend doing this - you'll never know what size they'll be in, and they grow so quickly that you may only use one box of one size - also, guilty), I ordered a box of the same brand to be sent to the house. 

We decided we'd try other brands, since we did have a few boxes we received as gifts. NOPE, SHOULDN'T HAVE DONE THAT. Rashes and leaks, oh my. Once we switched back to Huggies Little Snugglers, we knew we found a winner and couldn't change it. 

So, here's a list of some things that we've found super helpful in the first 15 weeks of newborn life. 

I can't tell you how many people told us that they never used theirs and how much of a waste it was. So, when a close, trusted friend told us to put it on our registry, we did... and they bought it for us! Honestly, I was so hesitant at first because I wasn't sure if we'd really use it. I put it downstairs in our living room next to the pack 'n play because I knew that's where we would be spending the majority of our time. 

It has been a lifesaver! It's so easy to use, the refills are super cheap on Amazon, and you can't smell any smelly diapers when you walk into the house. You have to change it every other day, but you can literally do that one handed. We love ours so much we even bought a second one for upstairs use! 

When this was first suggested to us, I kindly declined because I was planning to exclusively breastfeed. But, life has a way of happening and we had to supplement with formula, which we are 100% okay with. As long as our baby is getting healthily fed, we don't care!

For a while we were okay with "manually" (haha) mixing her formula bottles, but once we remembered this fabulous suggestion, we jumped right on it! It has been the best feeding purchase we've made. It creates a warm bottle in just minutes! Just make sure to always keep it full of formula and water (sometimes I forget, which creates a fog at 6:30 in the morning), and clean the funnel. I like to clean and sanitize all the parts once a week. 

3. LOVEVERY Play Gym

I know, I know, the price! We actually found ours on Facebook Marketplace, barely used, with ALL parts! One of the main reason we wanted this activity mat was because of how simple it was. No flashing lights, no loud electronic noises or toys.

There are five different zones where you can place your baby down on for tummy time and watch them learn! They have zones for sound, touch, focus, hiding/finding, colors. There's also a cover that goes on top of it to become a tent! It can truly be used educationally for up to a year, which is amazing play.

4. Chicco Bravo Primo Travel System

A stroller and car seat combo is something that you definitely need, so I fully recommend going to a store (like Buy Buy Baby) where you can look at them, push them around, and pick up the carriers to see what you like/don't like. One of the main reasons we picked this system was because the handle on the stroller is adjustable, and was the highest that we could find. Since Zack is so tall, it was imperative that we found something comfortable for him and I to use.

The fabric is easy to clean, the straps and buckles are great quality, the stroller folds and unfolds super easy, and the storage basket on the bottom of the stroller is huge! We've also found that once we put the carrier in the stroller and use both canopies, it hides babe really well - which works great for germs and people.

5. Boppy Pillow

The Boppy is a must have that can be used for all ages. I ended up taking it into the hospital for easy feeding because of my c-section. It's perfect for feeding and holding while they're in the newborn stage, as well as tummy time and propping up for when they're older! The cover comes off for easy washing (hello, spit up stains) and you can even buy different ones for different occasions.

Of course, don't use them for sleep (follow the safe sleep ABC's - Alone, on their Back, in their Crib). 

*y'all. I'm not getting paid for any of this, just so you know. This is all my own personal opinion and I hope someone finds it useful! 

Sunday, January 12, 2020

How A Mint Always Ruined My Day

I know, right? A mint? Surely she must be exaggerating...


As some of you know, I developed gallbladder issues while pregnant. It started out as back pain, then got to the point where it wrapped around my ribs, and I was physically nauseous... so much worse than my regular pregnancy nausea. I felt so much intense, righteous pain that I knew I must have been in pre-term labor.

While in Labor + Delivery, I was diagnosed with gallstones and was having a gallbladder attack. UGH. It was absolute torture! My OB assured me that it can be taken out AFTER my pregnancy, which I was fine with, but still had those awful attacks until I gave birth.

I honestly hoped that I was out of the woods and those attacks would disappear after I gave birth, but nope. After a few attacks (all in the middle of the night, when Em was still waking up every 3-4 hours) I made an appointment with my GP, and then a referral was made to a general surgeon, I FINALLY had a surgery date - December 30.

I was told all the things - don't wear makeup, wash your hair, don't eat or drink within 8 hours of your surgery time...

Easy peasy, right? I thought so too.

The morning of my surgery, I thought hey, we're going to be right in the neighborhood, why not get my eyebrows and nose waxed before we go? Two birds, one stone.


I love my waxing place. We've been going there since we moved to Utah, and they've always been so pleasant and kind. They also have the BEST mints on the counter, so after every session, I'd always pop a few in my mouth and enjoy. I've been doing this for years.

So when we went to checkout, after telling our esthetician about the surgery, I handed her my signed receipt and automatically grabbed a few mints and popped them right in my mouth. SO good! It was like I hadn't eaten in 12 hours or something.

(Still hadn't hit me.)

We go next door to the chiropractor since we were still early and Zack got adjusted. As we were checking out there, it hit me.


I was FREAKING out. Poor Zack had to deal with me worrying the entire way into the hospital, and he could only laugh. OF COURSE I would eat something before surgery!

Once I was checked in, the nurse thought it was fine since it would be about 3 hours until they took me back into the operating room, but would check with my surgeon and anesthesiologist.

When my surgeon came into my room, he gasped. "YOU HAD A MINT?!?!"

Instantly, my hands went to my face. "YES! It was about an hour and a half ago and-"

He laughed.

"It's okay! I'm not worried. By the time we get you back in the delivery room, the appropriate amount of time will have passed. Besides... it was just a mint!"

WHEW. I could finally breathe. Everything was going to be fine! But, seriously, just a mint?! I fretted over this debacle for hours!

Then my anesthesiologist walked into the room a few minutes later. "SO YOU'RE THE ONE WHO ATE A MINT?!"

-Cue the embarrassment.
-Cue the laughter.


I literally thought a mint was going to ruin my day. 

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

our 2019

I'm sitting here in bed, recovering from having my gallbladder removed yesterday, thinking about how in awe I am of our 2019. It wasn't perfect, but at times it sure felt like it.


Our first photo of Emma Grace! She was already hatching as a day 5 embryo.

Zack and I waiting patiently for our FET to begin! 


We're pregnant! We went in to get my HCG tested on a Friday morning... that afternoon we received the best call we could get. "You're pregnant!!!!" Man I miss those lovely ladies at Utah Fertility Center. 

Our first ultrasound at 7 weeks! Our little bee was buzzing all around with a healthy heartbeat. We couldn't believe our eyes - we had worked so hard for this moment and here it was. :) 


Our 9 week ultrasound was our last visit to Utah Fertility Center! We "graduated" by signing our names on the tree of life. Just look at that little gummy bear! 

We announced that we were having a little girl! 

Pregnancy was rough. I was sick all the time, which made it impossible to get out of bed. Thank goodness I had the best snuggles around, my sweet sweet Kona girl. <3


We visited Moab in April and I fell in love all over again! It was absolutely beautiful and we can't wait to take Emma. 

Which, coincidentally, Emma decided to "pop out" and say hi! Only fitting that we were at Arches National Park. Safe to say she already loves the outdoors! 

263 shots. 2 egg retrieval cycles. 1 frozen embryo transfer. All worth it for this sweet babe! 


Hello, spring! We were so glad to see those beautiful spring flowers.


We also took a day trip to Idaho, where we found a beautiful river to sit by, as well as a farmers market where I somehow found my favorite snack - fruit with tajin! 


Just look at that growing belly! 


Our 20 week ultrasound showed off our girls long legs and cute button nose. We confirmed that she was absolutely perfect, but I had placenta previa and had to see the high risk OB a few times to check on it. 

We celebrated our 8 year wedding anniversary with flowers and crab legs. He's the best chef around! 


I started with Rodan + Fields in June! You all know how much I love skincare and it only made sense for me to get into it even further with the best products around! 


June also brought my birthday - hello, 34! And that meant self-care... like a pedicure and hair color. The best feeling! 


Alice also got presents for my birthday - a new rope leash and a beautiful pink harness! She loves showing it off. 


I have a problem - a HUSKY problem! It seems that I just can't say no to sweet rescue pups. Meet Arya, the newest member of our family! 

We went to Moab over the 4th of July. We had an amazing time! 

My sweet Kona girl doing what she did best - snoozin' and looking cute. 


Showing off my bump! :) 

We had a 3D ultrasound at our high risk OB's office. Look at that cute face! 

Arya fit in quite well - she's best friends with Alice and loves going to the race track to visit her dad at work! 


Oh, how these huskies loved my bump! 


We continued to prepare for Kona's declining health by giving her whatever she wanted - cuddles, food, and a trip to the dog park to swim. :) 


We went to the Utah State Fair and had so much fun! A sweet friend took some photographs of us... aren't we cute? 

We started getting ready for our sweet girls arrival - we had everything but her! 



The beginning of October was difficult - we had to put my sweet Kona girl down, thankfully we were able to call a service to do it at our home. My heart still aches without her here. 

The last bump picture I took at home! This was the morning my water broke. 

Good morning, LDS! We're here to have a baby! 

Her birth was insane, but it definitely made October my favorite month! 

Emma's first trip to the pumpkin patch! 

Happy Halloween!



 Happy Thanksgiving! We enjoyed a nice day of staying inside, with our sweet neighbors bringing us plates of food! We're super blessed with where we live.

We learned that the one way for mom to get anything done around the house was to baby wear! Emma loves to be held close. :) 

Emma had her first snow day! It's safe to say that her parents enjoyed it more than she did. 

Emma loves tummy time! And Arya enjoys watching over her Human. :) 




Merry Christmas! 

Our Top 5 Baby Gadgets

I know, I know. There are SO many baby items out there, am I right? And there's just as many lists and articles telling new moms wh...