Thursday, February 4, 2016

Our Nighttime Routine with Babyganics



Routine is everything with kids, right? It took us awhile to figure that out with Henry, but once we did things became a little easier. I feel like we have some sort of routine with everything we do, but the most consistent one we stick to is our evening routine. 

I’m not sure if it’s just a Mom thing, but I love hearing about what other families’ routines look like. When I was pregnant for the first time I remember reading through blogs and message boards, learning all about how other people did things. And from that, I started to gain a bit of an idea of how I wanted things to go once our baby arrived. And then once he did, everything changed again, because it’s pretty impossible to know how anything will go until your child is actually here!

Now over half a decade later we have a five year old and a two year old, and our nighttime schedule has become tailored to these two ages. Here’s what we do: 

Our boys go to bed fairly early, around 7 or 7:30. About 30-40 minutes before bedtime we always do a last call for snacks. Henry and Charlie are eating machines, and if I don’t make this announcement they will beg and plead for snacks right at bedtime, without fail. So they’ll usually grab something light and non-sugary here. Maybe some crackers and cheese or bread with butter, and then start to wind down. We’ll have them pick out the books they want to read, then head into our bathroom for bath time! 

We bathe the boys together in our big tub, and it’s always such a fun family time for us. I absolutely love this bit of the evening, and it’s one of my favorite parts of the whole day. The boys love it too- and with them, the more bubbles, the better! We’ve used Babyganics products for years and years, and it’s funny, if you look back through photos snapped in the boys’ rooms you’ll often see the soap or lotion in the background somewhere. It’s really good stuff- Charlie has sensitive skin and the baby-safe products don’t irritate him at all. We use a huge variety of Babyganics products- always the Bubble Bath and Shampoo + Body Wash, but we recently tried the Night Time Bubble Bath and fell in love! It smells like orange blossoms and it’s heavenly. So we bathe the little guys, we hang out, we laugh and chit chat, and then it’s time to get ready for bed. We wrap them up (“like a burrito, Daddy!”), apply lotion (this Moisturizing Daily Lotion is our favorite), and head to the bathroom for teeth brushing time.


We’ve come pretty far with the teeth brushing thing. Henry is an old pro but Charlie’s recently transitioned over to real toothpaste, and learning how to spit. Some nights it’s a struggle to feel like we did a good job brushing, but most of the time (and much more frequently), it’s smooth sailing. We brush both boys’ teeth then head into Henry’s room for storytime!



Books are our jam, and this part of the night is the absolute best. It's always fun to see which books the boys pick, and we'll either all read together or Hank and I will divide and conquer. Either way we'll end up reading a couple stories to each little, then tuck them in nice and tight and say good night...only to do it all over again 24 hours later! ;) It's fun to think of how this will change as the boys grow, but right now at ages 2 and 5, this is a pretty sweet spot to be in.


And speaking of sweet- there's one more thing I wanted to share: Babyganics is currently working with a very special organization- Cookies for Kids' Cancer- to raise money for kids' cancer research. This cause is near and dear to my heart, and I'm so happy to help spread the word. If you're unfamiliar with the organization, Cookies for Kids' Cancer is committed to raising funds for research to develop new, improved treatments for pediatric cancer. And through February 14, 2016, Babyganics will make a special contribution on behalf all the Good Cookies out there - with a dollar for dollar match on all Babyganics-inspired bake sales and other fundraising events supporting Cookies for Kids’ Cancer.

To participate visit their website and start raising money. Babyganics will match what you raise dollar for dollar! And best of all, this Fundraising Match is just a part of Babyganics overall commitment to supporting Cookies for Kids’ Cancer donation goal of $100,000! Very, very cool.

Thanks for reading, friends! I always love being able to work with companies that are doing great things like this, and I so appreciate your support. So much love.

xo

This post was shared in partnership with Babyganics. Thank you so much for reading!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

No More Babies in Our House...The Crib to Bed Transition


The other day it hit me- there are no more babies in our house! No highchairs, no more baby toys, we're winding down the last bit of stroller time…and Charlie's about to be out of diapers. It’s weird how fast it goes, especially when you have more than one child hitting milestones all of the time. And over Christmastime we hit a big one with Charlie- the big kid bed!

It’s a funny story- my family and I were all sitting around in the living on Christmas day, talking and catching up. This year we hosted Christmas at our house so everyone was over, and we were all trying to be quiet so Charlie could finish up his nap. Suddenly we see a little blonde head peeking around the corner with the most mischievous smile and we hear: “Nee na nee na nee nee, I got out of my criii-iiib!” That little stinker had climbed right out of his crib and come into the living room! I think a lot of parents wouldn’t think this was anything crazy, but Charlie has never ever done this, or even tried to put a leg up over the side so it was such a funny surprise. We asked him to show us exactly how he did it, and he showed us how he easily hopped right up and over and onto the ground.

So…it was time for the transition from crib to bed. We had his 4Sleep mattress waiting for this day to come, so we quickly opened the box and set it up on his floor. We had Charlie help us set it up, then started the process of convincing him the new bed was a major privilege and ONLY for big kids who earn it! Haha. But seriously, this works for us. We left the crib up and that night told him that he could choose to sleep in the crib, or if he wanted to be BIG KID, he could sleep in the big kid bed. But only if he understood what it meant. We told him that if he didn’t follow the rules of the big kid bed it was back in the crib for him, and that we would be leaving the crib up until he showed us he was fully ready to leave being a baby behind! Cue the Mom tears.


This technique has always worked so well with us, and I think it would work even better if you planned ahead and put the bed in before you even wanted your child to transition. Having them see the bed, and work each day to earn it would be great. Then the bed isn’t just something new and potentially scary, it’s a very exciting prize! Looking at things like this as something to earn has always been very successful with both boys, and this was no different. Charlie was SO excited to have a bed like Henry, use his new Thomas sheets and stretch out. That first night he stayed in bed and didn’t get out once which was VERY surprising, and probably just pure luck...but I do think having the crib in there still, as well as framing it the way we did helped a lot. As that first week went on we had some incidents- especially in the beginning of the night- but overall the transition went very smoothly and I would call it a success for sure! It's now been over a month and although some nights we find ourselves having to tell him to get back into bed a few times, it's been getting better and better as time goes on.



Do you have any tips or tricks for transitioning from a crib to bed? It’s still crazy to me that we don’t have a crib set up anymore, but it’s also so neat to put both boys to sleep in their BEDS. No more babies, and that’s okay…big kid life is pretty great too.

xo

Monday, February 1, 2016

Let it Snow!


This winter has been SO snowy, and we’re loving it. The other week some girlfriends and I headed up to Flagstaff for the evening to see a band play, and caught the tail end of a huge winter storm. It had just passed through town and it was one of the most magical, snowy scenes I’ve ever witnessed! Four feet of snow, everything white…it was amazing. When I returned home I knew Hank and I had to go take the boys to see it, so a few days later we packed the boys up and headed north.

It was such a fun day. We went to one of my favorite secret sledding spots (email me if you want to know where it is! ;)), and had the best time playing until we were too cold to play anymore! It was really one of those times I think I’ll remember forever- and definitely an afternoon I’m happy I captured in photos. Henry isn't in too many of them because he was busy FLYING down the hill on his sled all day, but that's all part of the how amazing it was too.

I lived in Flagstaff for almost five years and I think it will probably always be one of my most favorite places. Even just driving up the 17-North gives me a happy feeling in my stomach, and I feel lucky it’s such a short drive away. It’s gorgeous in any season, but this particular winter has been exceptionally beautiful. It snows in Prescott, but not to this extent, so it really does feel like a while different place, although it’s just an hour and a half away. 

Here are some photos from our snowy day- enjoy (and try to ignore the non-uniform white tone of the snow...it's driving me crazy!). 

xo

ps. see my coat here, my boots here, and Charlie's coat here


Friday, January 22, 2016

Summertime in the Winter


We're heading to the Caribbean in just a few days and it's been really fun to plan for warm weather, even though we've been in the thick of some cold and snow! So for today's Weekend Links post, I wanted to share some of the things I'm packing for our little getaway. Enjoy!

I'm bringing this hat (pictured above), which will be a staple in my wardrobe this spring and summer!

Joie sandals (also above) are a must-have for me.

I also can't ever not bring my Birkenstocks. The Arizonas are my favorite.

Bathing suits: this one and this one! And these are my favorite bottoms to mix and match.

I wish all of my beachwear could be lemlem.

This dress will be packed in my suitcase, and this one too!

My favorite one-piece swimsuits.

Do you get seasick? I do, and it's bad! I usually just avoid the boating portions when on the ocean, but I don't want to miss out this year so I'm trying these bands. Has anyone had any luck with them?

The boys both have a pair of these in tan.

I picked up a couple of these tanks to pair with denim shorts.

These are Hank's go-to swim shorts. I love them because they're not super long- shorter but not too short, and he says they're super comfy.

Do you have a favorite sunscreen? I use this one, but I would love to find a more natural choice. Suggestions welcome!

Any of these sunglasses, please!

And finally, some more cute summer dresses: one, two, and three.

xoxo

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Here's a space for you.


When I was a high school English teacher, we would journal twice a week, every week. Tuesdays and Thursdays were journal days, and the kids knew from day one that as soon as the bell rang, it was time to write. I would put a prompt up on the board and they could choose to answer that for 10 minutes, or freewrite instead. I would never read what they wrote, unless they wanted me to- I only cared that they were writing. Sometimes kids would shyly slide me their journals after class and say things like "Hey, Mrs. Hampton? You can read this if you want." And I would. And so many times I would be hit so hard by the genuine, raw, naive beauty of these teenagers' writing in the telling of their stories. The big stuff, the little stuff, all of it.

And I think about that a lot. All of these kids in my classroom, all writing their story. Even if they were best friends with similar kinds of lives, joint interests and intertwined circles of friends, their stories couldn't be more different. And I would tell them this all of the time- there is only one you. Just one! It's such a simple thing to say and also hear, but especially powerful in terms of writing. Anything you say, as long as it comes from an authentic place...that's yours. Your story. And no one else's can ever be exactly that.

This idea can seep into other aspects of life too, right? The concept that there is a place for you, always. Space for your voice, your story. When you're being authentic, you can't help but attract others who are on your same wavelength. Know who you are, love who you are, and honor the place that's set out for you, because you matter. But then I write that, and I can't help but think of how each of those things are so hard to do on their own, let all at once. It's a whole process, I think, each part piggy backing on the former. Know yourself, love that person you've become, then allow yourself space to be that person. I'm somewhere between the second and third step right now, I think. I can remember very distinctly when I was right smack dab in the middle of the first, and that was hard. But it's a cycle anyway, and of course I'll be back there again. Life, man.

So. A space for me, and a space for you. When we tell our stories, we allow others to do the same. When we share who we are, unapologetically, it gives others permission to share as well. By making a place for us, we make room for someone else. And I'm asking myself- how can I be a better space-maker in my world? How can I encourage the people I love to feel comfortable being themselves, comfortable doing their thing? Because that's what I want- to be surrounded by all of these people I love, who feel so good about being exactly who they are. That's happiness.

So we'll start here, yeah? I'm gonna try to share more in this space, and I hope you feel like you want to do the same in yours, wherever that space may be. Meet ya somewhere in the middle.

xoxo

Friday, January 15, 2016

2015 Favorites


So I wanted to share a little run down of some of my favorite items from this past year, before we got too deep into January. I feel like I discovered a lot of new things I really love, and I wanted to share them here with you! Some of them are silly things, like boots (but seriously life-changing boots, haha!) and some are concepts. Have you seen the Kylie Jenner 2016 video? 2015 was just about realizing stuff, you guys... ;)

Enjoy.

1) So one of the biggest things I've REALLY fallen in love with is my new(ish) eye cream. I've always used Stri-Vectin and Oil of Olay as the base of my eye care, but as I've gotten older I've found the first to be drying, and the second to just be kind of "eh." I tried so many eye creams to replace both of these, and it took me a while but I finally have found the very best eye cream I've ever used. I just finished up my first pot of it, and I'm onto my second. I love that this isn't too greasy, but still provides a ton of moisture, it doesn't cause any sensitivities or breakouts for me (this is key!). It truly does work hard at the little lines trying to form around my 33 year old eyes and I am thrilled. Seriously try it, I bet you'll love it too!

2) The Sultra 1.5 inch curling wand is a game changer, people. I have used all sorts of curling irons and wands over the years, and this is by far the best I have ever tried. I get loose, soft waves that don't look like I put too much effort into them, and they look better each day. I wash my hair every 3 days or so, and I always think it looks way better on day 2 and 3 thanks to this wand. And if I'm going out or want a little extra pep in my hair I just add some more waves and go. It also heats up almost instantly, which is a plus when you have limited time to get ready. Highly recommend.

3) Bumble and Bumble hair powder. My hair actually doesn't get very greasy, but after I wash it it feels WAY too clean for me. So I add this in right after I blowdry it, and it gives my hair some extra texture that doesn't weight it down. I love this stuff! It also works well as a dry shampoo.

4) Sorel boots. I've talked about these are few times before but once I finally gave in and got a nice, warm pair...I was hooked. I used to wear my rainboots (!!) when it would snow, and would freeze. This year Hank got on board the Sorel train too and our feet our so happy. I can't recommend them enough. Major favorite of this year, especially with this crazy cold, snowy weather we have been getting.

5) Our 4Sleep bed. So I did a post with them last year. I disclosed this then of course, but they gave us a free mattress, and I blogged about it. I loved the bed immediately, which I shared, but now that many months have gone by I love it even more. I used the word "life-changing" when referring to the mattress yesterday on IG and as dramatic as it sounds, I mean it. Before 4Sleep I didn't really look forward to getting into bed. I loved sleeping (who doesn't?), but my sleep wasn't the best quality. In fact, our bed would hurt my back, keep me tossing and turning, and just overall not be that haven you would hope. I had kind of retired the idea of having some sort of mega-comfy nest to crawl into every night and figured that anyone who said that about their bed was exaggerating. But then we got the 4Sleep mattress and from night one it was a whole new ballgame. We've since gotten my parents, my father-in-law, and countless friends to get one too. If you're in the market for a mattress I cannot recommend 4Sleep enough.

6) Paige denim. Okay, so I need to mention that these are expensive, as far as a pair of pants go...but totally worth it, in my opinion. I used to buy cheap denim from Forever 21, and I would like them, but they'd fall apart after 5 wears. Paige denim lasts, and are totally worth the investment. The Verdugo skinnies are my favorite, but I also have a pair of their boyfriend denim and they're just so comfortable and have held up so well. If you're in the market for new jeans, check these out. Also, if you would like a much cheaper alternative, I also wear Articles of Society and really love every pair I've gotten.

7) Self love. Can this be a favorite of 2016? It's my favorite "thing," for sure. I really like myself, I enjoy what I'm doing, and I think I'm doing a good job. Maybe that sounds weird but I don't care. It's like getting happy after being unhappy for so long- it's hard not to be excited and proud about it...because it takes such hard work to get there. But this part of my life, being 33 going on 34, feeling very rich in my relationships with wonderful people, surrounded by love, it feels good. And you can bet I'm going to celebrate the hell out of that.

And some other, random things:

8) Ace and Jig. I've always loved this brand but hadn't taken the plunge, but this year I treated myself to some dresses and tops, and I'm so hooked. Beautiful fabric, great craftsmanship. I'm a forever fan.
9) Wine. It took me awhile to really enjoy wine, but I love it now. What I like tends to change with the seasons, and currently I'm on a Pinot Noir kick.
10) Laura Mercier face makeup. More on this in a later post.
11) Eyelash extensions, of course.
12) Running! I've always loved running but 2015 was the first year I completed a real race- the Seawheeze half marathon. I'm looking forward to doing it again this year.
13) Parchment paper. Okay, I told you this list was random! I started cooking my fish in this and it makes life so much easier!
14) Podcasts. Can you believe it took me so long to get into podcasts? Some of my favorites (and I'm always looking for more!): Serial, any Chalene Johnson, Happier, Good Life Project, Joe Rogan, the list goes on and on...
15) Ben Howard. Hands down my favorite and most listened-to musician of 2015. A new discovery for me this past year, and I've had him playing non stop.

Here's to 2016!

xoxo

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Unstuck.

Walking back from lunch yesterday in downtown LA. Top and dress here.

Do you ever get stuck and feel like because you haven't blogged in awhile, the next thing you share has to be really special? That's where I'm at/where I've been at. I keep starting and restarting posts thinking- whatever this is will be my first post of 2016. And none of it was what I wanted to say really, none of it seemed special or noteworthy enough. Blogging is so different now, right? I often feel like what I share on Instagram is enough, and maybe it is! haha. But ultimately, I don't want that to be my main way of documenting, and usually if I don't have time to share something I really want to share, I won't share anything. But then I end up in a place where nothing really seems suitable to post, and on it goes.

So hello, this is my first post of 2016 ! It's not anything special, but hey, that's okay. I just wanted to say hi, and see how you're doing. I'm writing this from a hotel bed in LA. I'm here for work for just 24 hours and I figured I would type up a quick post before I head to sleep. It's so loud in this room, which looks right out onto the street. Flower St. maybe, or the other cross street, I don't really know where I am exactly. It's such a contrast from sleeping at home though. We live in the quietest neighborhood where it is positively silent most of the time. It's funny to me, these two sharply different worlds. Small town, big city. (and now I'm home- I started this post the night before last.)

I was trying to think of a few things that have been on my mind lately, to share with you guys. I feel like there's SO much. I just went through the weirdest year of my life, all in my head. I have never ever grown more as a person or changed so much without even outwardly appearing to change, than I have over the past 12 months. I'm so happy about it. I like where I've arrived, and I look forward to exploring more of it this year through more yoga and more meditation! I almost wrote medication, which made me laugh, because without yoga I think I would surely need some. It keeps me sane. And ohh, speaking of sane, do you know what I told Hank last night? (I've already talked about this here about 1,000,000x so prepare yourself! haha!) So we have been talking about having another baby. I'm really crazy about this and go back and forth every other day about timing. And this is all assuming I'd be able to get pregnant again! Who really knows! But I always thought, one more. And soon. But then something is planned- a trip, a long backpacking trip, something non-baby friendly- and we say, "Okay, after that." But now as we go along, I see that there is always something. So if not now, when? And to add to it, I have been having these thoughts like- oh, there is no way we'll be done at three. It's kind of daunting to think about, I'm 33 and having two more kids...oh man. But I keep thinking about love and family, and how this is all that matters. Why wouldn't we want to have a house full of little ones? I feel like this is my happiness, so why not have a LOT of it? So yeah, welcome to my brain...

What else, what else? Have you gotten into Periscope at all? I think I'm going to try to hop on soon. It seems like a lot of fun and good way to connect. I've been enjoying Snapchat a lot, but I kind of hate that there's not really a great way to connect. Obviously you can snap me back, but I love the idea of Periscope and being able to chat right there. Thoughts?

So that's it for now. I have so much love for this site, I want to write more, more regularly. I miss it when I don't, even though sometimes I don't know how I would find more time in the day to do so. But I'm going to keep trying! I love you guys. Happy Thursday.

xoxo

 
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