Monday, 30 September 2019

WHAT'S IN MY HOSPITAL BAG...




I can't believe we're getting so close to the end of my pregnancy! I'm at 38 weeks and baby could be making her arrival at any time.

I've been getting a room ready for her in the house, and the next thing on my list is to get a bag packed to bring to the hospital.



I've complied a list of some essentials that I will be packing for our hospital stay.

MAMA

Clothing (leggings, tank, cardigan/sweater)
Nursing Bras and extra underwear
Robe and comfy jammies for evenings and nursing
Flip flops (for walking around and showering)
Shampoo and Conditioner
Toiletries (makeup, dry shampoo and hair ties)
Camera and extra batteries
Long phone charger or external chargers
Laptop and charger
Snacks and thermos (for hot water and tea)




BABY

Swaddles and crib sheet
Bow, bonnet, baby hat
Going home outfit
Sleeper, baby gown, oneies
Boppy Pillow for nursing
Nipple cream and shield
Nail clippers


Clothing
I loved packing clothes that are comfortable and have easy access to nursing. Stretchy pants, loose layers and cardigans all seem to fit the bill. With Maddie, I forgot to pack a cardigan and I felt so uncomfortable and chilly. Thin layers always work well in case you need to add or take something off. Don't forget you'll likely be getting visitors, so make sure you're wearing something comfortable enough to see your guests. And I always wear flip flops around because they're super easy to slip on and off.

Toiletries
I've usually taken a shower after baby arrives before we have any guests to come and visit. You're usually totally worn out, and a hot shower and fresh face always feels so good. I usually pack everything I need for a shower and a few other items like makeup, lotion, hair accessories and some dry shampoo.

Nursing Essentials
I usually bring my nursing pillow which helps so much with getting comfortable and feeding baby easily. I've always had a tricky time nursing at the beginning and being comfortable makes a big difference. The hospital usually has some nipple cream, but I like to bring my own just in case. And this time I may end up bringing a nipple shield. My friends have sworn by it and I'm willing to give it a try if needed.

Baby Items
I usually bring a few simple and easy baby outfits as well as a swaddle or blanket for baby. Normally the hospital wants the baby without clothes, but if you're staying more than a night or two, it's nice to have something to put the baby in. This time I'll be bringing a bonnet and bow as well for a few newborn pictures. Nothing fancy, but it may help if you want to make a little announcement for friends and family. I think a letterboard or name sticker would be so cute as well!



Wednesday, 25 September 2019

OLDER SIBLING GIFTS



It's almost baby time, and everyone in the house is so so excited. The big kids cannot wait to meet the little baby...and Halloween time cannot come soon enough. (We told them baby is coming right around that time!)

In the past we've brought some little gifts with us to the hospital for the older kids from the new baby. Babies get so much love and attention (and rightfully so!), but sometimes it can be a hard transition for the other siblings. The two girls are already starting to get a lot more clingy and needy than usual, and I think that they know there is going to be a big change coming.

 I don't want them to feel left out or ignored when that time comes. We wanted them to feel so loved...and a few thoughtful gifts can make a big difference. It also gives them something to do while they are with us at the hospital during visits.



Here's a look at what I got the kids!

Books
I told the kids that the baby would be coming right around fall and Halloween. I thought it would be really fun to give them some Halloween inspired books that we'll bring out each year around the season. It's something that they'll remember each season we bring the books out.

I'm also getting the girls some activity and sticker books that they can play with. They love them and it's a perfect thing for them to play with if we're preoccupied.

Stuffies
I got the kids all a small stuffy - a bat for Ben (they have Halloween ones out now and that's his favorite animal!), kangaroo and baby roo, and a baby llama.

Necklaces & Bows
I got the girls two Coral and Cloud necklaces - one rainbow (for our rainbow baby!) and one honeycomb style in pretty pastel colours. They love these necklaces and wear them all the time. I also got the girls a few little bows just for fun too!

Other Goodies
I bought a few mesh bags for sand toys over the summer, but they ended up being too small for what I originally wanted them for. But they're perfect little totes for putting the kids little gifts in! We got the kids a few other small items that we thought they'd like. We got Ben a new deck of cards, chewing gum (his fave!) and some little treats for him to snack on. For the girls, we got some new chapstick, and some little chocolate treats as well.



I think the most important thing is to remember that these little gifts (no matter how big or small) just shows them that as we've been waiting for baby's arrival for so many months...we still think of them all the time and want to show them how much we care about them too.

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

BABY NURSERY & SHARED MASTER BEDROOM



Our sweet baby is almost here and everyone can't wait! I'm starting to nest like crazy and have been working on getting different parts of the house ready for her arrival.

We decided to do some small renovations in our basement which is where the baby's room is. We're hoping to extend the room slightly and re-do the kids shared bathroom. With 4 little ones sharing...we really needed to make the space more accessible and friendly for them. Although it's not going to be a huge job, it will likely take a month or so to get it all completed.

We thought it was really important to have a space for baby that was functional in those early newborn months. Somewhere I could easily be close to her and have the essentials nearby. We decided that we would try putting her nursery into our master bedroom. Although our room is spacious, it's not huge. But we found a few little spaces that we could use temporarily while we get her actual nursery in order. I didn't want to change too much in our room, so most of the things are items we will put in her room eventually.

I'm so excited to share our sweet shared space!



I've been wanting a moses basket for so long now, and my sweet friend gifted me one. I love the way they look and can't wait to put baby in it!



My favorite way to corral odds and ends is in a basket of some sort. (I love them and my husband thinks I have a serious problem!) They keep a space looking tidy and keep all the things contained.







And...since she's an October baby...I had to add a few touches of fall and Halloween into the room too. The kids know that the baby is due right around Halloween, so this got the girls so excited!




Hope this little space inspires you if you're looking to keep a newborn in your master bedroom for the first few months too!


Sunday, 18 August 2019

FAMILY PHOTOS - STYLED WITH PINKBLUSH


I'm so excited to share our family photos we took last week!




Each year we take our family photos over the summer. I love them and ask each year for my birthday for them. 





And I'm so excited to share that we're expecting another baby! The news is obviously public now, but I haven't shared many pictures on the blog. I'm about 31 weeks now and baby is moving around all the time. Feeling baby move and kick is truly the best part of pregnancy!

Since this will be our final and last babe, I haven't purchased much maternity wear. Luckily, with it being summer, I've been able to use most of the dresses I already own. But with this shoot coming up, I was really wanting a long maxi dress for our pictures. I didn't really take any maternity pictures with any of our other children as I wasn't showing yet  over the summer. (They're all spring babies!) But with this being our final addition, I thought it would be a fun change. 

Light Pink Lace Maternity Maxi Dress



I wanted something a little bit fancier and more formal that I normally wear, but something I thought I may be able to wear again in the future. I've purchased some items from PinkBlush in the past and was really excited to find something for this shoot. I loved the look of this light pink lace maxi dress. And I like that you could wear this again - this would also be perfect for a baby shower, bridal shower or wedding

The dress was perfect and just what I was hoping for. The lace was so pretty and feminine and I loved the long length of the dress.




My girls loved how fancy and pretty this dress is and they couldn't help but dish out all the compliments that made me smile. 



All lovely photos by Chic Geek Photo

Although this post was sponsored by PinkBlush, all opinions and thoughts are truly my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help support this blog!

Saturday, 17 August 2019

PICKING BLUEBERRIES



Blueberries. My favorite summer fruit. I love that they last for so long (unlike other berries) and that you can freeze them and do so much with them afterwards.







And picking them from our local farms is such a fun part of summer. They fall right off the bushes when they're ripe!






And you always have to end the picking day with a treat, right?
I ordered a large smoothie to be split, and the lady who made it was so nice...she made extra so I could have some too. Best way to end the day!


Monday, 29 July 2019

CAMPING 2019

We did it! Our second time camping as a family. We went 2 years ago and had the best time. This time we went with 4 other families and loved the different experience we had. There were 21 people in total, including all the kids. And they had the best time!






We camped at Deception Pass, Washington and it was such a beautiful place. Our campground was about a 5-10 min walk over to the beach. And it had running water, bathrooms, and paid hot showers.

With 5 families, we ended up getting campsites side by side or across the road from each other. It was perfect because the kids were able to run to each others sites without us worrying. We were always in eye sight of the kids.



Camping with friends was a much different experience than camping with just your family. I loved the aspect of camping with your own family as it's more intimate, and you can do things at your own pace. Packing food was much easier when you're only thinking of 5 people. But camping with friends was really fun too! I loved that there were always kids running around and that the kids always had someone to play with. And splitting up the cooking/cleaning was so great too.

We ended up camping for 3 days and 2 nights. We probably could have used one more day there...so I guess there's always next time!










I wrote a camping post when we went the first time with tips and what to pack HERE.

Here's a condensed run down of the basics you may need for camping.
Sometimes camping can seem like a really really big trip...but the more simple you make it, the easier it will be once you are there.

CAMPING ESSENTIALS

TENT & TARP
AIR MATRESS, SLEEPING BAGS, PILLOWS
CAMPING STOVE, FUEL, LIGHTER
POTS, COOKING UTENSILS, PLATES/CUTLERY
CONTAINER FOR DISHWASHING
COOLER FOR FOOD & WATER
CAMPING CHAIRS
CLOTHES
TOILETRIES & TOWELS
FIRST AID KIT
FLASHLIGHT/HEADLIGHTS

But I'll share a few tips on what made things a little easier this time around for us.

Packing

When I was packing the kids bags for our trip, I estimated on the higher side of what the kids would need. I guessed 2 outfits per day and one pair of pajamas each night. I also brought along some warm clothes (hoodies, toques, and puffy vests) for early mornings and evenings. By the end of the trip, almost all the clothes I brought had been worn. Which was great!



Sleeping Arrangements

At home, the girls share a room, and Ben has his own room. Although they are all used to sleeping together, I wanted to keep things as close to their regular routines as possible. We ended up putting the girls down together and then bringing Ben in a little later to join them. This made it feel more like what they're used to at home. Although we did hear some complaints about how bright it was, they slept fine for the most part.



Comforts of Home

Bedtime is always a little bit easier when you have the comforts of your own bed close by.  We brought the kids special stuffies and blankies which they usually need to fall asleep. We were short one sleeping bag, and so I ended up bringing Ellie's comforter. She loved sleeping with it, and the other kids actually wished they had theirs too. And we also brought their own pillows which made for a much better sleep.


Activities

When you're outdoors, it doesn't take much to keep kids entertained. We brought some things to do (books, coloring books, activity books, pencil crayons) but they were truly happiest just playing and exploring the campsites. Usually we've tried to find a beach or lake to play at which the kids love. And hiking trails or walks are always super fun too.

Although I'm definitely more of a homebody, I know how much fun we all have when we make the effort to do a camping trip. And being prepared definitely helps with that. I hope our kids will always have these memories in the great outdoors!


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