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Category Archives: Motherhood

I’m so, so excited to share this video with you. In May of last year, just before Lulu was born, Elle of Solly Baby Wraps sent me four beautiful wraps to carry Lu around in. We had talked about collaborating prior to her birth and I decided that it would be great to make a video that covered a whole year using her wraps! So, little by little the footage for this came together. We shot a bit each season and it’s so wonderful to watch Lulu grow from a little babe to the silly, walking, talking tot she is now.

I’m also giving away THREE Solly Baby Wraps and THREE pairs of Freshly Picked Moccasins! You can enter by leaving a comment here on the blog, or on Instagram (see this photo for details). I’ll draw three winners next Wednesday. Each winner will receive one wrap and one pair of moccasins! Good luck and enjoy the video!

Music: Lately, I / The Maldives / Spark and Shine Records

THE WINNERS ARE…

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and the third winner was announced on Instagram!

Thanks for all the wonderful comments. I wish I could have given you all wraps and moccasins for you little ones!

*The winners have until 11/21/14 to contact me for their prizes, or new winners will be selected.

I mentioned last week, Earth’s Best asked me to help spread the word about their EB Special Delivery. Earth’s Best has created a newly designed line of diapers and baby wipes! These Earth’s Best diapers and wipes will be available at select Target stores featuring new packaging. They sent us some earth friendly diapers in Lulu’s size, as well as some for my newborn twin nephews (which was incredibly thoughtful), as well as some of their premium and sensitive wipes.

As you know, I am a big supporter of cloth diapering, but I always have current-size disposables on hand, and we only use disposables at night. It’s wonderful to have an alternative that is earth friendly but affordable! In the past we’ve bought Pampers because the other earth friendly brands weren’t in our family budget, but true to my past experiences with Earth’s Best, these new diapers and wipes are a good match for our family both in price and eco-consciousness!

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Earth’s Best is hosting an amazing contest on Instagram:

One very lucky grand prize winner will take home a year’s supply of Earth’s Best Tendercare diapers and wipes! And many others will take home a crate full of Earth’s Best product! 

How to Enter: From today (Thursday, Oct. 23rd) through Wednesday, February 11th follow Earth’s Best (@earthsbest) on Instagram, take a photo of yourself with your favorite Earth’s Best products, and tag Earth’s Best using #EBSpecialDelivery and #Sweepstakes.

*This post is sponsored by Earth’s Best. A trusted brand of our household. Thank you for helping to support the sponsors that help to support my family.

This summer, Earth’s Best sent us a special delivery: a care package loaded some of their fantastic Earth’s Best Organic Formula, and lots of their new products. The popular products are probably things that, if you have small children, you are really familiar with…

The Earth’s Best formula has been a staple around our house both when Gigi was starting solid food, and now as Lulu continues her transition to whole foods. Having two very slight babes, I relied on Earth’s Best to boost their puréed foods and cereals with extra calories. Neither of them ever drank it the traditional “supplement” sense, but we used it in a capacity to make sure they were getting extra calories anywhere we could manage. Adding a scoop or two of the formula gives me a huge sense of relief, knowing that Lulu is getting those extra calories.

Amongst the new items they sent our way, the following were our favorites:

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01. We didn’t use the Cold Relief Vapor Ointment much this summer but we have been using it a lot already this fall! I feel so much better about using this ointment than the Vick’s children’s brand! It smells the same and works the same as the Vick’s stuff but knowing it’s natural and mostly organic makes me feel better about rubbing it on Gigi’s chest. She’s had an irritated cough now for a month and this really helps her sleep.

02. The Calming Bubble Bath was a hit! We used this as a special treat, a little at a time, as a reward for fabulous behavior, and the girls loved it!

03. The Sleepytime Shampoo and Body Wash and the Sleepytime Lotion are so great. They smell amazing and feel luxurious!

(04.) Not pictured is their new sunscreen which I LOVED. There’s no photo because we used it all up! It was so silky and easy to apply. It came out of the bottle rather thick but then disappeared into a thin sheen when I rubbed my palms together. I’m crazy about sunscreen and my fair little gals need plenty of it!

And as you know we are HUGE fans of their baby food. Particularly their “squeezy foods”, as they’re referred to around here. I love that they do so many hearty, vegetable heavy combinations. These have saved me on-the-go so many times!

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I love Earth’s Best because, as a parent, I’ve really relied on their baby foods and formula when I couldn’t make my own food, and couldn’t make enough milk! I love that they sponsor Sesame Street; one of our favorite morning PBS shows around here. I’ve found Earth’s Best to be an affordable, consistent brand. But even more important than that, their brand has brought me a lot of comfort and peace of mind over the last 4 years. This is why I was so excited when they wanted to work with me. They’ve asked me to help spread the word about a brand a “Special Delivery”! It’s a few new products that are coming soon… Earth’s Best is teaming up with Target to release something new and exciting; I can’t wait to tell you more about it next week! In the meantime you can check out what Earth’s Best is up to on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram using #EBSpecialDelivery!

*This post is sponsored by Earth’s Best. A trusted brand of our household. Thank you for helping to support the sponsors that help to support my family.

The girls have been cracking us up and driving us crazy in equal measure. They are playing together more and more lately which is resulting in a lot more giggles around here (as well as a lot more accidental head bonks). They play really well together most of the time, especially in their little Ikea kitchen, probably because there is plenty of “food” to go around. Gigi loves pretending to be a chef or waitress and takes orders from everyone before usually responding, “Oh, I’m sorry. We don’t have that.” Apparently she’s one of those chefs who just serves you what they want to, and you can take it or leave it.

ikea play kitchenPINThe girls adore one another. They hold hands in the car, chase each other around the house, and are starting to have funny conversations. Gigi takes great pleasure in making her baby sister laugh, telling on her for eating markers, and teaching her things (like screaming for fun, climbing, and new words). There are, of course, plenty of times when Gigi asks us to remove Lulu from her “zone”, or closes her baby sis out of her room; like early in the morning when she hears Lulu crawling down the hall towards her room and she hops out of bed, slams her door, and goes back to sleep! But, they are really finding their stride as two toddlers, and it’s a joy to see.

a phasePINLulu has learned, and perfected one of these new words. I put together this little video of Lulu proving her mastery of it… it’s just a phase, right?

EXTRAORDINARILY ORDINARY…

I braced her Lulu close in an effort to soothe her back to sleep for the second half of her much-needed afternoon nap. I held her and swayed from side to side, back and forth in a rythmn that is so familiar to mothers; a movement I often find myself doing when I hear any baby crying or when I am talking to a friend who’s holding a tiny babe. As her heated sobs quickly gave way to sleep, I squeezed her even tighter. Her light hair tickled my checks and I craned back bit to see if she was sleeping. I had stopped feeling the tick-tick-tick of her lashes, but sometimes she snuggles, eyes open, waiting to pop her little head out from under my chin to grab my nose or flash a big, silly smile. But as I pulled back a bit to peer at her, her heavy head stayed perfectly still on my shoulder.

I stopped swaying and held her; breathing in her sweet baby smell, letting our tacky sweat blend together, letting her soft, purposeful exhales swirl around my neck and collarbone. I let my eyes wander around her room and they rested on a photo that my sister had taken of her when she was only three precious days old.

family of fourPINPerhaps it was because it was her birthday but I felt that predictable sting in my eyes and tingle across my sinuses, and whatever that is, deep in the very center of my chest that cramps down at moments like these, tighten up and twinge.

I hate to use the word bittersweet to describe the emotion; although it defines the too-quick growing up of babies and children perfectly. It is a well-fitting adjective but there is really nothing bitter about any of it. Lulu’s turning one is ordinarily extraordinary. It’s such a blessing to have gotten to watch her grow, thrive, and learn these past 365 days. With every day I get to spend with my children, my love for them becomes more deeply- rooted and my desire to give them the world grows stronger.

As Lulu turns one and I look back at the last year, and forward into the future, I think about how lucky I am to have her. I can’t wait to watch her actualize her ideas and dreams, to watch her emerge and grow, and to see who she becomes, to make room for her and her needs, and to be the best mom to her I can be.

Yesterday, we had a little birthday barbecue for her with a couple of friends. We kept is small and simple. Our menu was as easy as can be: hot dogs, Burg’s Potato Salad from Molly Wizenburg’s first book A Homemade Life, salad, and, for dessert, Salted Brown Butter Rice Krispies Treats from Smitten Kitchen! Kyle stocked up on Lulu Saison and I made Sangria.

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BIRTHDAY PARTYPINBIRTHDAY PARTYPINDOUBLE MOUNTAIN LULU SAISONPINBROWN BUTTER RICE KRISPIES TREATSPINI started making sangria last summer after Lulu was born. For my 30th birthday a few of my girlfriends and I had gone for dinner at Toro Bravo in Portland. They had the most amazing looking sangria, but as I was mid-pregnancy with Lu, I was unable to have a glass. I did have a sip of someone else’s and I vowed to myself that that summer, the summer of 2013, would be the summer of sangria! But, once Lu was born things were busy, our backyard was a major work in progress, and I didn’t manage to perfect my recipe.

This year is different. With Lulu being a big one year old, I have a lot more time on my hands for important things like making Sangria. Our backyard, while still a work in progress, is really coming together and the patio is just begging for folks to come kick up their feet with a chilled Sangria in hand. My neighbors have all been called on to help drink the batches I’ve been making over the past few weeks and I think I have a winning recipe. So, without further ado, I officially declare this, the summer of 2014, the Summer of Sangria. Now you know what to expect when you drop by.

SUMMER SANGRIA WITH STRAWBERRIES, RASPBERRIES, PEACHES, CITRUS FRUIT AND GINGERPINSUMMER SANGRIA WITH STRAWBERRIES, RASPBERRIES, PEACHES, CITRUS FRUIT AND GINGERPINSUMMER SANGRIA WITH STRAWBERRIES, RASPBERRIES, PEACHES, CITRUS FRUIT AND GINGERPIN

SUMMER SANGRIA WITH STRAWBERRIES, PEACHES, CITRUS FRUIT AND GINGER

Ingredients.
1 lemon
1 lime
1/2 orange, sliced
2 small peaches, pitted and sliced into wedges
1/2 cup raspberries
6 strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup pomegranate juice
2” piece of ginger, peeled and grated
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 bottle cabernet sauvignon
1/2 cup club soda
fresh mint or basil

Directions.
Begin by making a ginger simple syrup. In a saucepan bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat and stir in the sugar and ginger until the sugar has completely dissolved. Simmer and reduce until you have 1/2 cup of syrup. Turn of the heat and allow the syrup to cool to room temperature. Strain and set aside.

Juice half of the lemon and half of the lime, slice the remaining halves of both. Toss both the juice and the slices into a large pitcher along with the orange slices, raspberrries, peach slices, and sliced strawberries. Then pour in the ginger simple syrup, orange juice, pomegranate juice, and the wine. Stir gently to combine. Place the sangria in the refrigerator and allow it to sit for a few hours (any recipes call for letting sangria sit overnight but I prefer it “fresher”).

When you are ready to serve the sangria, add the club soda, stir gently, pour into glasses and garnish with mint or basil!

PRINTABLE RECIPE.
SUMMER SANGRIA