Packing for the Hospital

 

Before Baby P arrived, one challenging experience was packing for the hospital for the first time. I didn’t want to look like we were moving in, but I didn’t want to forget anything important. After much research, and surveying experienced moms, I packed accordingly.

I did pack for a vaginal birth, but I did end up having a c-section. Everything I list below is for my stay after the c-section.

When we finished, we packed all of our items in one carry-on wheeled bag and one half-full backpack:

 

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Mom’s Items:

  • Two pajama sets: I made sure both had nursing-friendly tops. Here are links for my two pajamas: Eve Alexander | Due Maternity
  • Slippers for the hospital: UGG
  • Shower shoes
  • A comfy robe: Ralph Lauren
  • A going home dress: I highly recommend a dress heading home. I definitely didn’t want to mess with pants this early postpartum. Also make sure you have a nursing-friendly under garment to wear. Old Navy | Tory Burch | Medela
  • Extra long phone charger: The 10ft charger came in handy. My phone could charge and still reach my bed. Just Wireless

I also had a small toiletries bag:

  • Small mirror: This came in very handy when putting in my contacts and throwing on makeup. Amazon
  • Makeup bag: I included tinted moisturizer, blush, eyeliner, and mascara. It really felt good to put some make up on when heading home. It made me feel/look like me after spending so much time in the hospital.
  • Face-cleansing wipes: This came in handy when I stayed in bed and still wanted to feel fresh. Neutrogena
  • Extra contacts, contact case, and glasses
  • Face wash
  • Dry Shampoo Not Your Mother’s
  • Actual shampoo and conditioner
  • Hairbrush
  • Lotion
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Hair ties
  • Cute hair bands

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Dad’s Items:

  • Different pants: He brought comfy shorts, sweatpants, khaki shorts, and jeans. He wanted to be prepared for any type of weather. This ended up being good because I kept the room VERY cold! Nike | Hurley | Dockers
  • Slippers: UGG
  • Different tops: A long-sleeve tee, a short-sleeve tee, and a nicer polo shirt for coming home. Under Armour | Under Armour | Puma
  • A last-minute sweatshirt: This came in very handy. I don’t think he ever took it off.

The Backpack (filled with Baby P’s items):

  • Three sets of newborn clothes: This included an outfit with matching beanie and socks.
  • Mittens for hands
  • Three swaddle blankets
  • Two burp cloths
  • Our nice camera for snapping all our visitors

In the Car:

We left some items in the car in case we needed them. Fortunately, we were glad we did! We didn’t bring these things with us initially, but Super Dad went and got them as needed:

  • A blanket for Dad’s bed: This is a must! The hospital provided sheets for Dad’s bed, but with the room being so cold, he needed more coverage!
  • Two pillows for Mom and Dad: It was nice having our own pillows, especially after staying at the hospital so long.
  • Baby P’s carrier: We didn’t need this until we left the hospital, so we left it in the car. Britax
  • An extra bag: We actually didn’t end up using this extra bag because everything fit in the backpack. We took all of the items the hospital provided us – I mean we already paid for it! This included the leftover diapers and wipes, the suction bulb, and more. If you don’t have any room left in your bags, I recommend keeping a spare bag in the car to pack when leaving the hospital.

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I hope these lists help any future first-time moms when packing, and I wish you all the most wonderful experience with your labor and delivery!

Christmas Cookie Tradition

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Something fun my little family does each year is bake and decorate sugar cookies. We listen to Christmas music, eat too much dough, and we have a blast. We are definitely not artists, but it’s a fun and yummy tradition!

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Sugar Cookies

  • 1 ½ cup of powdered sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon of almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar
  • 1 cup of margarine
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 2 ½ cup of flour

Cream sugar and margarine; mix in eggs and flavorings. Stir in dry ingredients. Refrigerate 2-3 hours. Divide and roll out on a lightly floured surface. Cut and bake at 375 degrees for 7-8 minutes.

Frost with icing: one part powdered sugar and one part milk. Mix in food coloring. Stir.

Wishing y’all a Merry Christmas!

Fun Holiday Game

tree

On Christmas Eve every year, my family plays this great game while we wait to get ready for the candlelight service at our church. It’s called the 12 Days of Christmas, and I want to share it with you!

In preparation for the game, everyone playing brings some gifts. They could be funny gifts, really good gifts, gifts from the dollar bin at Target, a Starbucks gift card….well you get the picture! This year, I am bringing some Bath and Body Works items, some funny head/hat lamps, some board games, some really good tools, and some funny things I found at the dollar bin. You then wrap up the gifts, so you can’t tell what it is without unwrapping. I like to wrap some very fancy, and some I just put in a gift bag and tape closed. This makes it a mind game on what kind of gift is inside.

When it comes time to play, everyone gathers together in a circle and puts the gifts they brought in the middle.

To play the game, someone will need to tear pieces of paper and write a word from the “12 Days of Christmas” song. You will need a piece of paper for each person playing. We like to put words on the paper that are from the 5th day of Christmas or less. For example, we typically write the following words on our pieces of paper:

Christmas

Day

Love

Tree

Turtle

French

Four

Golden

On

Partridge

Hens

Birds

Rings

By using these words, the game starts faster and there are more opportunities for everyone to grab a gift.

Once you wrote on the paper, you will put all of the pieces in a bowl and have everyone playing draw a word.

-THE GAME WILL NOW BEGIN-

Then pull up the “12 Days of Christmas” song, and have someone sing (or in our case read) the song.

When the player’s word on their paper is said in the song, they go pick a gift from the middle of the circle. The song cannot stop, so there is no time to sit and pick each gift. Only one gift may be picked at a time. They also DO NOT open the gift until the song is over.

Once the gifts are gone in the middle of the circle, players must then steal a gift from other players.

The stealing keeps going until the song is completely over. Once the song is over, the players open all of the gifts they have. There are some laughs when opening, and of course trading when everything is said and done.

Our family always has a blast, and we have several memories from the game each year. Maybe this can be a new tradition with you and your loved ones! Have fun!

Baby P is Here!

ksp2016riley02Photo: Kaitlyn Smith Photography

Hi Everyone! I hope you are all staying warm and enjoying all of the winter holidays! I apologize for being MIA. I was enjoying my time with this little guy and my family.

ksp2016riley63Photo: Kaitlyn Smith Photography

These last weeks flew by. I am learning so much about myself, parenthood, and how strong my husband and I are as a team. My husband is SUCH a great dad! He keeps me going and is so positive with everything.

I can’t wait to share some of my knowledge with you, as well as getting tips from all you experienced parents out there!

ksp2016riley45Photo: Kaitlyn Smith Photography

 

 

Saying Thank You

With these amazing baby showers, I wanted the perfect way to say “thank you” to my sweet friends who hosted these events. Today I wanted to share my thank you note project with you.

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I found the perfect card here at etsy.com, and I then customized the message to reflect exactly what I wanted to say. I purchased the lip balms here at target.com.

I hope this helps when you are trying to find the perfect card for your hosts on your next baby shower!

Another Maternity Dress Find

I fell in love with this blue polka dot dress when I found it at asos.com. It is comfortable, and that is the number one requirement for me at this point in my pregnancy. I recently wore it to a baby shower, and I recommend it to anyone who needs a dress for any upcoming parties or weddings.

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momandmeDress: ASOS | Shoes: Steve Madden | Earrings: Anthropologie | Bracelet: David Yurman | Watch: Apple

Crazy Cravings

With Baby P’s arrival coming closer, my cravings are through the roof. Throughout my pregnancy, sour candy and banana pudding are my favorites. But lately, sprinkled donuts are definitely on top of the craving list.

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I would love to hear what your pregnancy cravings are/were, and how you got rid of them without caving in every time. Happy eating to all my moms-to-be out there!

You’re Never Too Pregnant for Stripes

I am 38-weeks pregnant and there still no sign of Baby P arriving yet. While we are not so patiently waiting for his arrival, I wanted to share a great outfit for those mommas-to-be as the seasons change. Not only is it comfortable, it is easy to find and buy! Target became one of my favorite maternity stops throughout this pregnancy.

img_8400Striped Shirt: Liz Lange | Chambray Top (not maternity): MeronaJCrew | Tights: BeMaternity | Shoes: Converse | Earrings: Tory Burch | Similar Necklace: Kendra Scott | Watch: Apple

Today I am sharing my favorite outfit combo with you, but there are many ways to wear this look by changing the bottoms, shirt, or shoes. When it is warmer, I like to wear the stripe shirt with blue jean shorts, and some fun jewelry. You can also wear a different colored or patterned top underneath the chambray top. Unlimited possibilities!

I feel this outfit works for several different things – going out for a fun date, meeting a friend for dinner, or even going to one of your many doctor’s appointments!

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Just waiting for Baby P! Whenever you’re ready, little guy!

Striped Shirt: Liz Lange | Chambray Top (not maternity): MeronaJCrew | Tights: BeMaternity | Shoes: Converse | Earrings: Tory Burch | Similar Necklace: Kendra Scott | Watch: Apple

 

Simple Homemade Brownies

When my chocolate pregnancy craving checks in, I love to make my grandmother’s homemade brownies. They are simple to make and easier to devour. Memom’s famous recipe is below. It is a great treat to make with little ones too!

batter

brownies

Brownies

  • 2 sticks of margarine
  • 1/3 c of cocoa
  • 2 c of sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 ½ c flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 ½ c broken pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Melt margarine and add cocoa. In a separate bowl, cream sugar and eggs together. Then add flour and salt. Lastly, add cocoa mixture and nuts. Pour mixture into a 9×13 pan and bake for 30 minutes.

Our Anniversary Trip

With Baby P arriving in less than four weeks, my husband and I went ahead and celebrated our wedding anniversary a little early. We typically travel somewhere new, out of the state or country. But with pregnancy travel restrictions, we decided to explore Texas instead.

i-love-you-so-muchDetails on my outfit: HERE

Joining us on our anniversary trip were our honeymoon friends. While on our honeymoon, a few years ago, we met this fun couple from North Carolina that also got married the same day as us and were celebrating their honeymoon too. We ended up becoming friends by the end of our honeymoon trip and stayed in touch when we returned to the states.

When our first anniversary rolled around, we reached out to the North Carolina couple to see what they were planning to do. We ended up planning a group trip to Nashville, Tennessee and had an absolute blast. We get to have a group for tours, concerts, and adventures. Then we break apart for evening dinners or dates. It is now tradition travel together for our anniversary every year. It is so much fun! I don’t know how we got so lucky to find such fun travel buddies.

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This year, our North Carolina friends were kind enough to move our anniversary trip up and visit us in Texas. We had the best time exploring San Antonio, Austin, New Braunfels, Gruene, Fredericksburg, and Luckenbach, Texas. It was a tour of the Hill Country. Not only did we get to see new areas of Texas, our North Carolina friends experienced some of the best places in Texas to see.

If you are ever in these areas, I recommended some must-see places below:

San Antonio: The Riverwalk, River Boat Tour, The Alamo, Pearl Brewery, Market Square, Mi Tierra, Gunther House

Austin: Shops on Congress St, Deep Eddy Distillery, 6th St, Rainey St, Salt Lick BBQ

New Braunfels: Naegelin’s Bakery, Float the Guadalupe or Comal River, Pour Haus

Gruene: Gruene Outfitters, Gristmill, Gruene Hall, Cotton-Eyed Joes, Gruene General Store, Adobe Verde, The Grapevine, Tavern on the Gruene

Fredericksburg/Luckenbach: Burger Burger, Beulahs, Dooleys, Becker Vineyards, Grape Creek Vineyards, Crossroads, Silver Creek, Luckenbach Dance Hall

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pour-haus

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grape-creek-vineyardsDetails on my outfit: HERE

luckenbachDetails on my outfit: HERE