Those First Years

This post was sponsored by WaterWipes as part of an Ambassador Program for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.

I’ve been through that first year with a little one three times. Thanks to WaterWipes, I’ve spent a little time thinking back on those first years. Each of my sons’ first years had lots in common, but they were also so different for me AND for them.

those-first-years

The first “first year” was full of new things for all of us. Every milestone was a first for our son, but also for us as parents. The first feeding, first diaper change, first time getting peed on during a diaper change – and that was just the first day! I remember lots of exhaustion, but I also remember being in awe of this little person and the fact that he was ours.

Big J birth_opt

The responsibility was weighty, but it also brought my husband and I together as a team like nothing before it. We were raising this little man and we couldn’t do it without one another. Marriage united us, but parenting together that first year elevated our teamwork to a whole new level. Of all the firsts – foods and words and steps – being parents together for the first time might have been my favorite part.

1007_100925185625_4298_n

1924303_113777620625_854_n

The second “first year,” with our second son, was a whole new world. With a two-year-old holding much of our attention, this little one learned to fall asleep on his own much faster and had built in entertainment AND competition from his older brother. We had joyful firsts, but we also had challenging firsts – our first experience with reflux and a teething nursing baby – YIKES! Where my husband and I solidified our unity during our first son’s first year, with #2, I was learning how to be a stay-at-home mom. And I started a blog. This blog. That first year of blogging is a whole different story…

JJ3mon1asmall

There was a longer gap between the second and third child, so I almost felt like I was starting over! Our third son’s first year was a little stressful as it involved moving to a new city, job change, and homeschool. When I think back on it now, though, our third little boy brought so much joy and laughter during that first year. Our oldest son was too young to remember when his middle brother was a baby, so both him and our middle son were fascinated by all the new things their youngest brother was doing! Remember that awe I talked about with our first son? I could see it on the faces of our older two boys when the littlest started to crawl, took on the stairs (way too early), and started forming words.

2015 Three Boys Bridge

How can it be ten years since that first year? When I think back on it all, it can be a blur, but it’s been a beautiful, messy, wonderful blur of life with these boys of ours. These memories helped me realize that it didn’t matter where we were or what we had during those first years. What mattered was this family and realizing those boys needed and loved us more than anything else. And we love them even more.

I’m thankful that WaterWipes is taking the time to discuss, celebrate, and bring transparency to baby’s first year. Take a look at this fabulous video from WaterWipes and moms just like you and me:

This is just another reason I love WaterWipes. Their product is pure and perfect for the first years that we are remembering and celebrating here! Whether you’re in that first year or down the parenting road a ways, WaterWipes can keep you and your kids clean in the simplest, purest way (99.9% pure Irish water and 0.1% grapefruit seed extract).

Let’s talk about the first year! Favorite memories? Craziest moments?

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

Why We’re Still Using Wipes In a Diaper-Less House

This post was sponsored by WaterWipes as part of an Ambassador Program for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.

I really wish I would have know about WaterWipes when we had babies in diapers. With all three babies, we used wipes and detergent with no added fragrances because sensitive skin runs in our family. Our middle son still struggles with sensitive skin and eczema, so we’ve kept to fragrance-free as much as possible.

We’ve been done with diapers in our house for over a year now – HALLELUJAH! We had a bunch of wipes left over and, even without bottoms to wipe, I found myself still using those wipes for everything. Over the baby years, I didn’t even realize how handy and convenient they had become to me for all kinds of messes. Ice cream cones, sticky suckers, marker-covered hands, and more were no match for my stash of wipes!

WaterWipes Car

Fast forward to several months ago and my introduction to WaterWipes – the timing could not have been better as I was running out of my previous fragrance-free wipes and needed to restock. I’m so glad I didn’t buy more because WaterWipes were just the thing I had been hoping to find over all these years!

WaterWipes are a chemical free baby wipe with just two ingredients: 99.9% pure Irish water and 0.1% grapefruit seed extract. I feel great about using these for all sorts of messes with my family because there are no harmful chemicals! All of the usefulness of baby wipes with none of the extras – what’s not to love?!

Why we're still using wipes in aDiaper-less house

Why do I keep using wipes even though we are diaper-less? One word: convenience. My three boys are always getting dirty and I’ve been known to make a few messes, too. I keep a pack of WaterWipes in the minivan, in the bathroom, in the kitchen, and in my purse, so I am always ready when a mess pops up!

IMG_4907

I’m pretty sure our latest road trip to Colorado would have been a whole lot messier without WaterWipes! We used them on the car ride, for picnic lunches, and on our hikes. It was so handy to have them in my backpack to clean off hands before a mid-hike snack or clean up extra mud.

One more reason to love WaterWipesthis beautiful video on the importance of skin-to-skin contact between mom and baby!

My boys may be growing up fast, but this video has me fondly remembering those newborn skin-to-skin snuggles. Such a sweet time in motherhood! I love the emphasis on purity by WaterWipes, both in love and in the product!

How are you using wipes in your home?

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

Huggies + Target Subscription Service!

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Mom Central for Huggies and Target. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

I have my last kiddo in diapers right now. Do you hear the angels singing?! I do. And it’s a glorious thought that we will be done with diapers for good in six months at the most. This is one stage I will not be sad to see go!

But while we are still using diapers, we always get them at Target because, well, I love Target. And last week, I picked up some new diapers and wipes to try in my very favorite store!

Huggies Target

Huggies Snug & Dry Diapers with the SureFit design are meant to keep your little one leak-free for up to 12 hours! And the flexible waistband keeps the diaper in place even when your toddler is all over the place! Trust me on this one…

Huggies Jump Huggies Muscles Huggies Pushup

He really wanted to show me how he could do a pushup. Also, it is really hard to get an in-focus picture of a 2 1/2 year old who never. stops. moving. The end.

My little guy loves the Mickey Mouse + Friends design, and I love how not bulky the diaper is, even when wet!

Huggies Diaper

We’re both also loving the Huggies Natural Care Wipes. We stick to gentle or fragrance/dye-free items whenever possible, so the Natural Care Wipes are right in line with that we need! They are super soft and gentle, even when cleaning up the biggest of messes! Plus, the containers are super cute – that matters, right?!

We may be almost done with diapers, but we are definitely NOT almost done with wipes! I think I will keep a container of these baby wipes in the car for the rest of my life because they are so handy for every kind of mess, including the kind I make when eating. Yep, messy eater right here.

Now I have some sad related news: Remember how I told you last week we will be moving next summer? The town we are moving to does NOT have a Target. {cue sad violin music}

I’m totally not ready for this deprivation, but Target is launching a new subscription program for automatic shipments of diapers, wipes, formula and other household essentials! You just shop for the items you need, set up a schedule for delivery, and get big savings – 5% off + free shipping + an extra 5% off if you use your RedCard! You can change your subscription items and schedule at any time!

The nearest Target once we move will be an hour away, which isn’t too bad, but I could save the gas money and schedule for things like diapers, wipes, toilet paper, etc. to just show up at my house! I LOVE THAT!

Ok, after that bad news, I need to throw in one more piece of good news: I have a Huggies coupon for you to use at Target! Just click here to claim your Huggies coupon from TargetSaving money on necessities is always good news, right?!

Where are you in the diaper journey: just starting, right in the middle, or almost done like me?

Do you think you’ll use the subscription service from Target?

 

Check out more from Huggies on their website, like them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter!

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

LullaBible: Baby’s First Bible Stories & Songs {Giveaway!}

When I was pregnant with our first child, I dreamed about rocking him to sleep, singing lullaby after lullaby from the vast repertoire of children’s music in my music-teacher brain…

Big J Sleeping

It was a sweet thought, but after he was born, mommy brain set in and, even though he loved to be held and rocked, I would sit in that chair with not a single song coming to mind! Not. Even. Kidding.

Little J Sleeping

Little J didn’t like to be rocked and didn’t really care whether I sang to him or not, so I was kind of off the hook there!

Double J Sleeping

And fast forward to baby #3 – he won’t have anything to do with being rocked to sleep either, BUT he loves it when I sing to him, so I am loving the adorable LullaBible: Baby’s First Bible Stories & Songs from Tommy Nelson!

LullaBible

This sweet book is full of Bible stories and lullabies to share with your little one! To make it a special keepsake, the LullaBible also includes journaling pages to record those beautiful memories you make with your child! Go ahead, take a look inside the book by clicking here!

The lullabies in the LullaBible include hymns, old favorites, and some new songs by the author, Stephen Elkins. I have so enjoyed curling up in the rocking chair with Double J to read and sing about our wonderful God and His love for us as we get him ready for bed!

For music types like myself, the sheet music is included for each song. And for those who would rather not sing the songs themselves, all of the songs are on the enclosed CD as well!

You can purchase the LullaBible on Amazon or Christian Book!

And you could win one copy here today! Just follow the directions below to be entered!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

*I received a copy of this book to review as a Tommy Mommy. I was not compensated in any other way for this post, and all opinions are 100% my own!

**This post contains affiliate links.

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

Graco SnugRide Click Connect 40 {And a Babies R Us Giveaway!}

Last weekend, I was hosting an event for Graco at Babies R Us and I found myself saying over and over again, “Where was this carseat when I first had kids?!”

{Thanks for the pictures by PJ!}

I was talking about the brand new Graco SnugRide Click Connect 40!

 The Graco SnugRide® Click Connect™ 40 – the first and only newborn to two-year infant car seat that actually grows with your baby from four pounds all the way up to 40 pounds. The car seat is designed for a parent on the go. The infant car seat can be easily removed from the base and used as a carrier when the infant is small, providing portability and convenience so you can easily move your infant in and out of the car without disturbing them.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, toddlers are up to five times safer rear-facing when riding in the car and the Click Connect 40 was designed for just that reason. And there are so many amazing features to this carseat!

A few of my favorite feautres…

  • The base adjusts with 8 recline positions for most leg room of any rear-facing car seat for baby comfort!
  • The Simply Safe Adjust™ harness systems allows parents to adjust the harness and headrest with just one hand to fit their baby’s height as their baby grows, all without having to rethread the harness for extra convenience. {Totally awesome!}
  • Click Connect™ attachment which allows parents to easily transition their babies from the car seat to the stroller through a simple, but secure, one-step “click.”

The Graco SnugRide Click Connect 40 is only available at Babies R Us {online and in stores} for $219.99, a great deal for a carseat you can use for two whole years!

I had the most lovely time hosting this event with PJ from Bunny and Dolly. We had never met before that day, but we’re both boy mamas and she is super fashionable so I think we should be friends 🙂 And she can speed Instagram with the best of them!

We also had the privilege of giving away two of the Graco SungRide Click Connect 40 carseats! Talk about a great door prize!

And how about a great prize for YOU today?!

Babies R Us is giving away a $25 gift card right here to celebrate!

To enter, leave a comment here!

For extra entries, tweet about this post using the hashtag #gracosafety and/or post on Facebook! Leave another comment for each way you share!

This giveaway will end Monday, October 29th at 9:00 p.m. CST! The winner will be chosen at random and notified by email.

{More great PJ pictures!}

Thanks to Graco and Babies R Us for a fun event and a great giveaway!

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently made the recommendation to keep all children in rear-facing car seats until the age of 2. Graco set out to make this product so parents can keep infants rear facing longer while still keeping them comfortable.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Graco. The opinions and text are all mine.

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

Happy Family: Organic Food for Babies and Kids!

We have moved into the solids phase with Double J now and while rice cereal is oh so delicious {where is the sarcasm font when I need it?!}, I was thrilled to learn about Happy Family brand baby and kid foods!

Happy Family offers a complete line of organic foods and snacks for optimal nutrition at various ages and stages. And we are able to buy it at Target! That whole Target thing makes it even better 🙂

We tried the oatmeal baby cereal with Double J and he seems to be loving it! I am impressed with the quality and much prefer the canister packaging over the annoying, leaking boxes of rice cereal!

I’m also getting ready to travel with Double J in a couple weeks and a friend recommended taking along the squeeze packets of baby food instead of worrying about a spoon! Genius! I tried Happy Family’s mixed carrots with him this week and I think he ate better from the packet than he does from a spoon! He thought it was fun!

20120906-211737.jpg

Messy baby face pictures are always cute, right?!

We were also able to try out several options from the Happy Family snack line for kids!

Little J especially loved these fruit snack-like carrot orange apple chews! I was a big fan of the Sunny Buddies sunflower butter and berry jam bites – yum!

He also loved the spot on the box to draw on…

It’s the little things, isn’t it?!

And if you’re packing these healthy snacks in a lunch, you can add your own little note or drawing for your kiddo…

Good nutrition + happy kids + fun packaging = a VERY happy mama!

Happy Family is giving away one Kid Snack Package worth $25 here today!

Leave a comment here to be entered and, if you’d like, do any of the following and leave a separate comment for extra entries!

This giveaway will be open until Sunday, September 9th at 9:00 p.m. CST. One winner will be chosen at random and notified by email!

*****

*I received these products to review from Happy Family. I was not compensated in any other way for this post and all opinions are 100% my own!

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

Sunbathing Baby

Somebody thought it was time he join his brothers for some backyard pool fun…

The chub! The cheeks! The smiles! This baby boy has stolen my heart!

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

Pinterest Post Party: Crochet Owl Love!

I love to cook and bake, so I went with recipes last week for Mindee’s Pinterest Post Party. I also love to crochet and that is what you’re getting today!

Confession: I went MAJORLY crochet happy while pregnant with Double J. It kept my hands and mind busy. I made lots of baby items for him and for friends’ babies. Baby hats are just so cute and quick to make!

I came across this pattern for a crochet owl newborn hat just a few weeks before Double J was born and I just had to give it a try!

My favorite yarn to use for baby items is Hobby Lobby’s I Love This Cotton – it is soft, washable, inexpensive, and comes in many colors! I found all of the colors I wanted for the owl hat and got to work!

Believe it or not, the hat only took me a few nights to finish while watching TV after the kids were in bed! I really thought something this detailed would take much longer, but the directions were easy to follow and, like I said before, baby items whip up fast because they are so teeny tiny!

I didn’t take any pictures in process, but I think the completed project turned out pretty darn cute…

Yep – I made that! The baby AND the hat! And I only had help with one of them 🙂

{Thanks to my friend Megan for this adorable newborn photo of Double J!}

Oh, and did I mention the pattern was FREE?! Pinterest is a great resource for finding free crochet patterns all of kinds! You can check out my other Pinterest crochet finds here!

By the way, I’ve done absolutely ZERO crocheting since Double J was born. Go figure…

Check out more Pinterest-inspired posts and link up your own every Tuesday and Thursday in May over at Mindee’s blog!

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

What I Wore: Baby Edition! {Giveaway}

pleated poppyI’ve been a little out of the “What I Wore” loop lately, but I’m jumping back in today with a little different take on the subject that is relevant to life with a new baby…

In my almost six years as a mommy, babywearing has saved my sanity more times than I can count!

This is even more true as our family has grown! I’m pretty sure this little visit to see a friend’s farm when Big J was two and Little J was brand new could not have happened without my trusty front pack…

Both older boys loved being worn, even through vacuuming and dishes and countless other tasks!

When I was offered the chance to try out a baby wrap from Boba, I was thrilled! I had heard wonderful things about wraps and wanted to see for myself with Double J!

Boba - Baby Carrier and Baby Wrap

Boba offers several different babywearing options! I chose the Boba Baby Wrap in grey {lots of colors to choose from!} and then we just needed Double J to arrive!

And here he is {on our first trip to the zoo yesterday}…


I love the weight of the stretchy fabric, the comfort it provides for myself and the baby, and how easy it is to put on! There are helpful hints on the Boba website – everything from written and picture instructions to how-to videos! Their customer service is amazing as well!

I’m not a pro at the wrap-wearing yet, but I’m getting the hang of it and Double J LOVES it too…


There is not much better than having your baby this close AND having your hands free to get other things done! I’m thankful for the many babywearing options out there and Boba has made me into a wrap lover!

And guess what?! Now you can…

Enter for your chance to win a Boba Baby Carrier, a Boba Baby Wrap or a Boba Travel Pack!

All products can be seen on the Boba website. With Boba products it is easier than ever to enjoy Freedom Together as a family and Boba wants YOU to get a chance to use their products!

To enter, leave a comment here telling me why you love babywearing or why you want to give it a try!

For extra entries, you can…

*“Like” them on Facebook

*Follow them on Twitter

*Share this post on Facebook and/or Twitter

If you tweet, just copy and paste this: I want to do some #babywearing with @Boba! I’m entering to win from @homewiththeboys! http://bit.ly/HdXn5J

Just leave a comment for each separate entry!

This giveaway is open until Saturday, March 31st at 9:00 p.m. One winner will be chosen at random and notified by email!

Disclosure: I was given a Boba Baby Wrap to review for this post. I was not compensated in any other way for this post and all opinions are 100% my own!

**This post contains affiliate links.

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook

Daddy’s Littlest Dude

I’d forgotten how amazing and wonderful and lovely it is to watch the hubby fall in love with each of our babies from the moment they arrive, but I was quickly reminded this week…

Nothing like watching a little ESPN with Daddy.

This life with all boys pretty much rocks, especially because of The Hubby, my best friend and partner-in-crime.

Hubby ~ you’re the best. I love you and I really am having the time of my life 🙂

The Ultimate Guide to Brain Breaks eBook