Our top 5 baby items – Newborn Edition

So we are 5 months into this parenthood thing. We are still learning something new EVERYDAY for sure but we have developed some favorite baby products. Read on to see what items are making our days a little easier!


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  1. Graco Pack ‘n Play Playard With Nearby Napper Seat (Portable Rocker) & Changing Table
    This Pack ‘n Play has been awesome. Our little guy slept in the nearby napper for the first few weeks home from the hospital. The portable rocker was a cute little seat to keep him in when we would hang in other parts of the house. I could just pop it out and carry it to another room or downstairs. Now that he’s bigger he sleeps in the bottom part of the pack ‘n play at the raised level. When he gets bigger we will lower it and use it as a play area for him. We still use the changing table but he is starting to outgrow it sadly. Dude is getting tall! Either way I love how this item grows and changes with him. Definitely worth the purchase.See the source image
  2. Fisher-Price® My Little Snugapuppy Deluxe Rock N’ Play Sleeper
    Staying on the topic of sleep, this little guy has been a lifesaver. When he was younger he slept in this right next to the bed. Now this rocker is typically what Lukas naps in. We keep it downstairs and keep the Pack’n Play in our room. This is also what we take when traveling or spending the night at grandmas. It fold up nicely and is easy to transport when needed. We only use the vibrate feature on occasion but it works well to get him back to sleep if he startles himself awake.See the source image
  3. Hatch Baby Rest- Sound Machine and Night Light
    I promise this entire list isn’t sleep related but as a new parent sleep is crucial. This is especially true once you get past those few heavenly days when your little one will sleep for hours on end and regardless of the noise around them. This little gadget is awesome because it has a huge variety of sounds and lullabies you can play. It also lights up in various color and you can adjust the brightness. This really came in handy for late night nursing sessions. The TV seemed so bright and a lamp at 2 am was not ideal. The most convenient part of this item is the fact that you can control it from your cell phone. You can set timers, program different sounds and lights to come on at specific times, change between favorite programs, etc. It has been ideal for getting Lukas to settle down to sleep on his own. And if he wakes up in the middle of the night I can just cut it on and set the timer. It usually lulls him back to sleep.
    *Another cool feature is that you can just tap the night light to turn it on and tap between your favorite programs!*
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  4. Diaper Genie Complete
    Some parents may say this thing is overrated but I am a major fan of the Diaper Genie. We keep ours in the bedroom and we never smell a stinky diaper, even the really strong ones! Not much else to say about this one besides, register for it; its worth it!
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  5. Spectra S9 Breast Pump
    *Funny note: I was asking hubby to help me come up with this list of baby essentials and he recommended this one. Who would’ve thought!*
    So I ordered a Spectra S2 for free through my insurance. I really liked it overall but lugging it to work everyday was not fun. I needed it at home because I pumped once in the morning, but also needed it at work since I pump twice at work. I knew I wanted another pump but didn’t want to spend a lot. I lucked up and found one for a great price on Facebook Marketplace. Since Spectra is a closed system, no milk goes into the tubes or the pump itself. I just bought a new set of flanges and bottles and was good to go. Now I am able to keep this small one at school and keep my larger pump at home. Another major plus is that this one can operate without being plugged in! #momwinSo that’s our favorite baby items as of now. I’m sure this list will change as our little guy grows older. What are your favorites for baby?

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The downplayed side of pregnancy


Pregnancy is amazing. Carrying around a little person is quite an experience. What’s even more amazing is how unique that experience is to each woman. I want to share some insight from my pregnancy that may be helpful or entertaining to others.

Now don’t get me wrong. This isn’t a post to deter anyone from creating a little miracle. I mean a few years from now we will probably be trying again… that may be the sleep deprivation talking though…either way I just wanted to share some things that surprised me about the process.

During pregnancy…

1. Feet swelling/ growing – Yes I had heard about women’s feet swelling but I must admit I totally underestimated that fact. My feet practically inflated. I had to buy a few new pairs of shoes the next size up which was a little disappointing ( I already felt like my feet were big enough pre-pregnancy!). The swelling went down after pregnancy and now at 3 months postpartum I can finally wear some old shoes again but a few of them have had to be retired :/

2. Heartburn – This was another symptom I underestimated. I never had heartburn before so I didn’t think much of it. But when it hit me it was consistent. Regardless of what I ate or did I had heartburn daily! I kept a bottle of tums on my night stand and another in my desk at work. The old wives tale is that heartburn means lots of hair on your little one and in my case it was true but I hear it’s not always the case.

3. Everyone wants to buy clothes – Now don’t get me wrong, I was extremely grateful for any gifts we received for our little guy. I mean anything that was gifted to us was one less thing to buy out of pocket. But EVERYONE wants to buy clothes. Can you blame them? The little outfits are so cute! With that being said, try to resist buying too many outfits on your own until your shower (easier said than done). The money may be better spent on the crib or car seat. Those big ticket items are less likely to be purchased by others.

4. You can do it all and still get a curveball – So I won’t say my prenatal self care was perfect but I did make a good effort. I started eating more veggies, I worked out at least 2x a week, took my vitamins daily, etc. I really made an effort to stay healthy for my little guy. And at 38 weeks I found out I had pre-eclampsia and had to be admitted early and induced! Talk about shocked. But everything ended up working out just fine despite me freaking out!


1. Sweating – the first few nights after giving birth I felt like I soaked the bed in sweat. I would wake up for nursing sessions and feel like I needed to towel my whole body off. It subsides after a few weeks thank goodness.

2. I still can’t fit my rings! – my little guy is 3 months old and I still cannot fit my wedding rings 😦 My hands definitely swelled up during pregnancy because I bought silicon rings to wear about halfway through. But it was nowhere near as bad as my feet and after having my son I just knew things would be back to normal…not! Im keeping hope alive that I wont have to get them resized and hubby bought me a nice ring to wear while we wait it out.

3. Nursing means you are ALWAYS on demand – emphasis on ALWAYS. The first few weeks of nursing is exhausting because there is no type of schedule or method to the madness. You feed on demand to build up your supply and your little one will demand whenever they please. Eventually the number of times baby eats will stabilize to about 8-12 times a day but even then that feels like a huge chunk of your schedule. Especially when the lengths of time they feed can be so varied. So what do you do? Settle in with snacks, water, pillows, the remote and a good binge worthy show. It takes patience but the bond is so worth it. And remember, it won’t always be like this. (Although clusterfeeding will throw you right back into the madness!)

**Dads- Don’t think this means you can’t be helpful in the situation. Grab snacks and water for her. Help keep the house together. Join her on the couch sometimes so she doesn’t feel so lonely. Be there to burp the baby or relieve her for bathroom duties. There’s plenty of ways to support!**

4. If you haven’t already, you’ll find your “parental instincts” – Everyone is going to have some advice/ input/commentary on what you choose to do as you raise your child. Yes, most people mean well but even with the best intentions sometimes that advice is unwanted or just unhelpful. When it comes your way you will learn to accept it with a filter. Hear what they are saying but go with your gut or at least with a well respected person’s opinion. Everyone isn’t going to know what is right for YOUR child. But as time goes on it will be easier for you to know. Keep in mind there is no such thing as the perfect parent. Your parents didn’t have all the answers when they raised you and yet you survived & thrived. Have confidence that your little one will do the same. And remember, prayer works!

How’s parenthood ?

So how is new parent life life you ask?

It’s something new everyday for sure. But it’ awesome. We are constantly amazed at the fact that we have a son and he’s here in front of us instead of wiggling around in my tummy. He’s absolutely adorable.

So what has changed?

Sleep is nonexistent!
Okay so it exists but it in small fragmented portions. The first 2 weeks he took it easy on us and slept pretty well. Week 3 brought about clusterfeeding and that was a BEAST! He was up almost every hour wanting to eat or just kind of fussy. I know things will level out again but at times its hard to remember that.

There is no schedule
This little guy determines the plans for the day. Things are planned around his needs for food, sleep, changing, interaction, etc. When hubby was off too it was a little easier but due to the lack of paternity leave that lasted about a week and a half.

For example it’s taken me a few weeks to write this post…#thestruggle

We have strengthened our relationship as a team
Although there are definitely times when stress is at an all time high and affection is running a little low, we are still a team. Hubby wakes up for the diaper changes throughout the night and asks what I need when I’m being held hostage on the couch by this little milk monster. He takes the little guy off my hands in the evening after work so I can squeeze in a nap or wash my hair. It’s those little things that make me love him even more.

What’s the same?

Nothing is the same! lol just kidding but our life has definitely experienced some major changes.

The adult-ing don’t stop
This might sound like a duh moment. I mean of course we are adults, we’re parents now. But I mean we still have to take care of bills, groceries, car maintenance, etc. all while keeping this lil wiggle worm healthy and entertained.

We are still Erika and Tracy.
We are often referred to as “mom” or “dad” now by family and friends but we are still individuals. That means we still have needs, interests and thoughts that don’t necessarily include our little bundle of joy and that’s okay.

So in summary…

Parenthood is a beautiful new experience. It’s something that you really need to prepare for the best you can; mentally, financially, spiritually. And even with all that preparation you still won’t be fully ready. It’s exciting, tiring, stressful, and amazing all at the same time. But it is totally worth it 🙂


A reminder of faith


God is good, all the time.

But there are always moments in life that remind you of how great He truly is. Being pregnant is an amazing blessing but knowing the type of person I am, I’m always going to have some nagging worry in the back of my mind.

I have had smooth sailing throughout my pregnancy; no morning sickness, still able to work out, no major food aversions ( I’ve always been picky lol). But when we had our 20 week anatomy scan they gave us a bit of news that had me stressing. The doctor said the baby looked good and his heart rate was fine but they saw a small dark spot on the ultrasound near his chest that they were concerned with. I had to have a follow up appointment with a specialist.

*And cue the freak out!* I was a wreck as soon as I left the appointment. Like hysterical crying and all. I knew it could be nothing, but in my mind it could also be EVERYTHING!

Well my follow up appointment was a week later, which is today. In that time I prayed harder than I had in a while. I always prayed over our lil guy but now I stopped many times throughout the day to thank God for bringing me this far and to cover our baby.

We had our appointment this morning and….they saw nothing! The little spot was gone. They said it may have just been a shadow or something when they did my last ultrasound. They took plenty of pictures and lil guy was just kicking and rolling around. They said our baby looked good and healthy!

I cannot thank God enough for hearing our prayers!

I also feel like this little test was a reminder to us that parenthood can be unpredictable and even scary at times. It will be our job to remain as calm as possible for our little guy and continue to put our faith in God.


And as my devotional today said…

There are always going to be troubles. These are aspects of life that we need to embrace and realize that with God’s help we are going to get through them.”


Catching up

Well it’s been a little bit since we’ve blogged but man we’ve been busy. We moved to a new place and that is tiring enough but even more so when you’re 5 months pregnant. Thank goodness my parents and our good friend Chuck came through to help.

We were also without a computer for a while but it decided to come back to life so we are hanging in there!

I admit I’ve been on Summer break as a teacher and thoroughly enjoying it but honey has been working non-stop. And cooking in his free time. We’ve really got to try to get some of his recipes up here to share.

Next up on the agenda is planning an anniversary trip/ baby-moon.