Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Taking the girls out to sea

A lot of people call us crazy but we LOVE to travel with our kids.  We don't go anywhere with out them.  They're my kids, I love them and I love spending time with them and frankly I get anxiety when they're not with me.  It may not always be easy or convenient but it's how we do things.  I figure when they're older they're probably not going to want to spend every second with me so I'm going to enjoy every second of it while I can.

I'm not sure if i've mentioned how amazing my parents are or not, but they are.  Last week my mom called me and asked if we wanted to go somewhere and I was thinking the mall or target maybe??  Well, they booked our family a 7 day cruise in May!  Don't get me wrong, I love a good trip to target but this for sure takes the cake!  We've had a pretty crappy year so far so this vacation is much needed.

This will be Emma's 4th cruise and Isabella's 3rd (yes, my kids are spoiled).  My parents take us on vacation every year (again, have i mentioned how awesome they are??)  I feel like I have cruising with kids down to a science.  So over the next 6 weeks I'll be giving tips on how to travel with kids.  What you need and don't need and about cruising safely with kids.  A lot of people get nervous thinking about taking a wild 2 year old on a boat but you would have to actually try pretty hard to have something horrible happen IMO.

Sapphire Princess....see you in 6 1/2 weeks!  CAN'T WAIT!!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Aden + Anais Easy Swaddle

Aden + Anais was amazing enough to send us one of their new easy swaddle blankets to review!  So far, I have loved everything I have ever had from them.  The material is so soft and they last a really long time.  I still have blankets that I use on a daily basis that I bought when I had my oldest daughter who is now almost 5!

I swaddled both of my girls as babies.  When they were teeny tiny newborns I used their classic muslin swaddle blankets and loved them.  As they got to be a little bigger and more wiggly they could bust out of the swaddle and I constantly thought it would be great if they made a swaddle blanket that they would STAY swaddled in once they were a bit bigger.  Well....they did it!!

They easy swaddle is amazing!  It's super soft like everything that Aden + Anais makes.  Unlike most swaddle blankets that have loud velcro, the easy swaddle has snaps which I think is a genius idea.  I hated having to undo the velcro in the middle of the night to do a quick diaper change, it always woke them up!  There are 2 different sets of snaps to adjust the tightness of the swaddle which is nice, that's another thing not all swaddling blankets offer.

Another thing I love that Aden + Anais is doing is that they have everything you need for your little ones nursery in matching patterns from crib sheets and blankets to changing pad covers!  They even have a blanket called the daydream blanket that is fit for an adult!  Nothing sounds better than cozying up with an Aden + Anais blanket!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

My first segment on national TV!!

Man oh man....where do I begin?!?  What a week it's been!!  I had my FIRST appearance on national TV with my own segment on Home and Family on the Hallmark Channel!!  It was so much fun...I think I may be addicted!!  My best friend and writer of my favorite blog over at Lilyshop has been on the show many times with all of her amazing crafts.  She really out did herself on todays episode and threw the most amazing shower for 2 new mommies.

Jessie showing off her amazing setup
The whole show was baby themed (could it be a more perfect day for me to be there?!?)  Dean McDermott was there showing dads how to have one last hurrah before the new baby arrives.
Mark Steines and Dean McDermott 
I got to do one of my absolute favorite things on the crafty!!  I showed everyone how to do super simple DIY baby bibs.  
My segment setup
I can't stand most of the cheesy games that people play at baby showers.  It's like once you've played them 37 times it just gets old.  This is a great alternative to those games!  You can set up a bib station (or a onesie or burp cloth station if you wanted) and all of the guests can make the mommy to be their own personalized gift!  You don't have to know how to sew and anyone and everyone can do it!!  I'm going to do a separate post with the detailed instructions on how to make the bibs but trust me when I say they're SO easy to do.
I had such an amazing day and i'm so thankful to be given the opportunity to be on the show.  Who knows...maybe one day i'll get to do it again!  Here are a few pictures from the day, enjoy!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

1 Fish, 2 Fish, Red Fish, Dead Fish....

One of Emma's favorite things to do after school used to be going to her grandmas work, which is right across the parking lot of her school, and feeding her fish!  Every time we would go over there that's the first thing she would ask to do.  Well, a couple months ago grandma had to "send the fish to one of her friends house" (the fish died, you can get away with the lame excuse with a 4 year old).  Emma hasn't stopped talking about the freaking fish so her grandma told her she would take her to the store to help her pick up a new one for her office and buy one for Emma as well.

So a couple weeks ago I thought we had made plans to go and pick out the lovely new fish that i'm going to end up feeding and changing the water.  We drive over to grandmas house and she's not there. We called her about 100 times and now answer...WTF??  Emma's freaking out.  We took her to go eat and continued to stock grandma frantically trying to get a hold of her so we could get the fish and the I...I mean the kids could nap.  We finish our healthy lunch at McDonalds and still can't seem to locate grandma so finally we ask Emma if it's ok if we just take her to get the fish.  After 10 minutes of screaming and crying she agrees.  

We walk into petco and her eyes were as big as i've ever seen them.  I thought for sure we'd be there for an hour trying to decide on which fish to take home.  After about 20 min of talking her into the cheapest fish she finally picked one out!  A lovely little green and redish betta that she decided to name Rainbow (such a 4 year old name)

Rainbow #1

We get Rainbow home and situated in his new digs.  We fed him and he didn't seem to eat but I figured he had a long day and wasn't hungry.  Over the next few days I realized this fish hasn't eaten or pooped since we got him.  Of coarse we picked out the bum fish!!  Fast forward to a few days ago Emma wanted to feed him and I look in the bowl and he's completely bloated and white.  After Emma went to bed I snuck in and took him out of her room.  I looked online and diagnosed him with dropsy, some betta disease.  It says to give him an epsom salt bath.  So Kris comes home and i'm standing in the kitchen giving the damn fish an epsom salt bath trying everything I can to make this little guys survive so I don't have to break it to my 4 year old he's gone to fishy heaven.

By Friday he was even worse.  Emma woke up early and I told her to grab the ipad.  I look at her in the monitor (yes, my 4 year old still has a video monitor in her room and she will till she moves out if I have anything to do with it) and she standing completely confused staring at her dresser where rainbow usually is.  I asked what was wrong over the intercom and she asked where her fish was.  I told her it was cold in her room so i put him in the kitchen.  When I went out to the kitchen of coarse....there was rainbow floating on his bloated belly.  

Now the fun we discuss life and death and all that fun stuff or do i just get a new fish ASAP to save myself the conversation.  I texted grandma a picture of rainbow and told her to get a replacement and bring it at nap time.  Luckily Emma didn't ask about him all morning.  I put the girls to bed for naps and grandma shows up with a new fish...who's laying at the bottom of his little cup looking paralyzed not moving at all....of coarse....another bum fish!

Rainbow #2

She jumps back in the car and back off to petco she goes.  Well they had no more green fish so she gets a blue one....who looks NOTHING like rainbow.  I had my story set on what to tell Emma.  Did you know that when betta's get older they can change from green to blue??  I didn't either, but that's my story and i'm sticking to it!  I thought for sure she would call us out on it but so far she hasn't even noticed.  I even moved him back into her room since it's not as cold in there anymore ;) I now introduce to you the newest member of our family who will hopefully stick around longer than the last one....Rainbow (#3)

Rainbow #3

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Did someone say Petunia??

My name is Stacey and I have an addiction.....I'm addicted to Petunia Pickle Bottom.  I'm even addicted to the name.  It just screams cute!!  Hands down, I feel like Petunia Pickle Bottom has nailed the perfect diaper bag.  They are not only amazing quality and flawless designs, they are also made from beautiful high quality fabric.  And to top it off, their customer service goes above and beyond  and in my opinion is one of the best in the baby business .  I've owned at least 1 of almost every style of bag that they make and can't say a bad thing about any of them.  I love each one of them for different reasons.

Central Park North Stop Embossed
Boxy Backpack
-The Boxy Backpack

I love that you can use it as a backpack or as a shoulder bag.  The changing pad is connected to the bag with velcro and you just lay it out, change the baby, then fold it right back up into the bag!  You'll never lose it because it's connected.  There are a ton of easy to access pockets so you can stay organized very nicely.  There are a large variety of different colors, patterns and types of fabric to chose from.  The one pictured is one I have my eye on right now.  I love the new embossed fabric.  I think it looks very classy and hopefully I will own one soon!

-The Touring Tote

Pink Lady Roll Touring Tote
I tend to use my touring tote for quick trips.  Although it looks a lot smaller than the boxy back pack, the touring tote can still hold a lot in it.  It comes with a long and short shoulder strap so you can wear it either as a hobo or messenger style bag.  Even with it's smaller size, there are still a ton of pockets so you can stay nice and organized.  I did have a problem with my zipper on this bag, but this is where Petunia's AMAZING customer service comes into play!  My zipper ripped at the seam so i decided to email customer support to ask if there was anything I could do.  They got right back to me and had me send the bag back to them for evaluation and with in 3 days they sent me a BRAND NEW BAG!!  No questions asked!  I would have just been happy paying to have my zipper fixed so i was thrilled when they sent me a new one!  They have a great product and they stand behind their quality.  I LOVE that about them!

Daisy Dewdrops Wistful Weekender
The Wistful Weekender-

I love love LOVEEEE this bag!!!  It's huge and you can literally pack for the weekend in it!  I have the pattern that I have pictured and I can't tell you how many compliments I get on it.  I think it's a little more vintagy looking than some of the other bags.  Like the other bags, there are plenty of pockets inside and it comes standard with the changing pad and wipe case.  This bag is a little more open inside and it's great if you're going on an outing and need to pack blankets or something like that in it.  There are even snaps on the outside so you can expand your bag and make it even bigger!  The only thing i found difficult at first was there are no hooks anywhere that you can hook it to the valet clips.  I ended up just hooking it to the little metal ring that the strap connects to and it worked perfectly.f the other bags.  Like the other bags, there are plenty of pockets inside and it comes standard with the changing pad and wipe case.  This bag is a little more open inside and it's great if you're going on an outing and need to pack blankets or something like that in it.  There are even snaps on the outside so you can expand your bag and make it even bigger!  The only thing i found difficult at first was there are no hooks anywhere that you can hook it to the valet clips.  I ended up just hooking it to the little metal ring that the strap connects to and it worked perfectly.

Society Satchel in Midnight
- Society Satchel Cake bag

Another bag that I absolutely love!  Like the boxy backpack, you have the option of using it as a shoulder bag or a backpack.  I love having the option.  Sometimes it's nice to put it on my shoulder but if i'm carrying the baby, holding my toddlers hand and pushing a stroller it's great to put it on my back!  This bag also comes with it's own set of valet clips that are a little larger than the ones that you can purchase for the other bags since the holes to hook them onto are a little farther down on the bag.  Like i've said with every other one of their bags, there is plenty of pocket space.  I particularly love the zipper bottom that you can put the changing pad and wipe case in.  It even has enough room to put a few diapers in it!  The opening of this bag was a little hard to get used to because it doesn't have a zipper.  It has 2 little clasps like things that you turn and it opens up but once i used it it wasn't a problem at all.  The cake bags are a little pricier than Petunia's other bags but in my opinion it's worth it.  The fabric is VERY durable and it is a bag that's going to last you a long time!

-The Sashay Satchel

The Sashay Satchel is another amazing bag that gives you the option of a shoulder bag or a backpack.  The shoulder straps on this bag are a little longer than the ones on the Society Satchel which is nice.   The whole front part opens up into one big pocket and there are other smaller pockets all over the place!  Like the Wistful Weekender, there isn't a specific hook on the bag to hand on your valet clips, so I just use the metal rings that the handle connects to and it works perfectly.  The pattern that I have shown is one of the special patterns that they have done that is a limited edition and is inspired by Disney's "It's a Small World".  It's made from certified organic cotton and helps to benefit UNICEF!

-Ergo by Petunia Pickle Bottom

Not only does Petunia Pickle Bottom make amazing diaper bags but now they've teamed up with Ergo and make carriers!  When I had my first daughter I really wanted an Ergo, but my sister in law handed down her baby bjorn.  I only used it a small handful of times.  When I had my second baby Petunia Pickle Bottom came out with their Ergo's and I knew I just had to have one!  It was worth every penny!  It's so comfortable not only for me but for my baby as well.  she's now 20 months and I still use it almost daily.  I can carry her around Disneyland all day and it's not hard on my back at all.  Unlike the Bjorn, you can carry the baby a few different ways.  On your chest, your back or on your hip!  And like everything Petunia does, the fabric choices are amazing.  I chose the black one so it didn't show dirt, but it's easily washable so I think any of them would be great!

So, there you have it.  That sums up the Petunia bags that i've had the pleasure of owning!  They also have a wide variety of accessories like travel cases, phone cases, name tags, nursing covers, tote bags, stroller bunting bags, blankets, wallets and layette clothing as well as a few other styles of bags.  They have a newer style of bag that's made out of laser-cut leather that I would LOVE to get my hands on!!  You name it, Petunia has mastered it!  They are a little pricier than other bags, but their quality and customer service make it 100% worth it.  If you like them on Facebook, they often post sales that they have on their outlet site and you can get some great deals on a wide variety of their bags and accessories!  I think that every mom deserves at least 1 Petunia bag!!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Who doesn't love a birthday?!?

So the blog may be a little slow as we're waiting for our FIRST product to review!!  For you now you just get to hear me gush about how adorable my kids are and how they're the most amazing kids in the world and all that fun stuff!

Today was a super special day!  My baby girl turned 2!!  My mom always told me growing up that the older you get the faster time goes and once you have kids you pretty much blink and they're starting school.  I thought there's no way time can go faster...that's just nuts.  Well, my mom was right (which more and more i'm realizing she's pretty much always been right, i was just stubborn a teenager who thought she knew nothing)

My daughter doesn't have the typical happy birth story where i went into labor, waited a bit to go to the hospital, pushed for 20 min, had a brand new baby plopped on my chest and bonded instantly.  I was scheduled for a repeat c section in March 2011.  I kind of liked that everything was "planned" and i knew when i'd be going in, i had time to prep and could spend my last couple weeks with my older daughter before her world was completely turned upside down.

Well....little miss Isabella had other plans.  On Feb. 24th i wasn't feeling good at all.  I was throwing up all night and my back was KILLING me.  I didn't go into labor with Emma, my older daughter.  She was breech so I ended up having a c section.  I had no clue what real contractions and labor actually felt like.  I was up pretty much all night cause I kept having horrible back pain and my stomach was tightening up.  By morning I realized that this was happening pretty much every 10 min so at 9:00, as soon as my dr's office opened up, I called them and explained what was going on and they told me to go to L&D.  My mom came over to watch Emma and I called my hubby since he was already at work and told him.  He said he had an apt at 11:30 ad he would meet me at home after that.  I figured that was fine so I jumped in the shower.  My mom FREAKED out yelling at me saying i needed to get to the hospital and i didn't need to curl my hair.  I told her "I know I don't need to curl it....i'm flat ironing it!"  My dr called me back and asked if I was at the hospital yet (it was now around 10:00).  I told her i would be there around 12 and she said to get there NOW.  So I called the hubby back and told him.

He rushed home, we got my bags and went to the hospital.  As we were walking in I remember us joking about how much they were going to charge us for a false alarm.  He even asked how long I thought we would be and if he was going to have to go back to work after.

So we get there, I get all hooked up to wires and they started an IV.  They figured I was just dehydrated from throwing up all night and gave me 2 bags of fluid.  I noticed my contractions getting more intense and by the end of the 2nd bag they were even closer.  My nurse (who was actually the same nurse that was in when I had Emma) called my dr. and they scheduled my c section right away.

As I was walking into the ER everything seemed so calm.  I couldn't believe I was going to have a baby that day!  They sat me down and Kris sat in a chair on the opposite side of the ER video taping me get my epidural.  I remember it taking what seemed like forever.  Finally they finished and they had me lay down so they could get me sterilized and prepped so I could meet my new baby girl.  The last thing I remember was laying down and my chest getting really really heavy.  The next thing I knew I opened my eyes and there were people running around everywhere in a panic.  I looked to the chair where Kris was and he was gone.  I heard alarms going off and thought for sure he had passed out and was so embarrassed for him.  All of a sudden I realized they were in a panic over me!  I had no clue what had just happened or why they were all franticly running around.  My dr. started screaming we can't find the baby, we've lost her on all the monitors.  Kris came running back in and the Dr. told the nurse to splash me, which is just a splash of soap pretty much so they could get the baby out as fast as possible.  They started doing the c section before they even had the sheet up so I could see everything they were doing.

Literally 5 min. later they had her out and the room was silent.  The Dr. yelled out the NICU staff that the cord was around her 3 times and up between her legs.  All I heard was the nurses yelling at her to breathe.  Kris kept telling me that everything was fine and she was perfect.  I actually believed him, I think that I was so drugged up I had no clue what was going on.  A nurse walked over and told us they were resuscitating the baby.  I couldn't believe what I was hearing.  I just closed my eyes and waited for what seemed like a life time.  Finally after 8 min I heard her 1st cry.  A babies cry had never heard so amazing to me.

They had Kris come over really quick and snip the end of her cord and they wrapped her up.  The nurse brought her over to me so I could see her for a second and they rushed her off the the NICU.  I told Kris to go with her so I just laid there with my eyes closed trying to absorb what happened while they finished sewing me back up.

After about 45 min they wheeled me back to my recovery room.  My dad came in teary eyed and I could tell he was trying to be strong but he was so overwhelmed with what had just happened.  After that, my best friend Jessie came in and they started explaining that I had pretty much died.  I code blued on the table and Isabella was code white, which is pretty much code blue but for a baby.  I was in shock!  I couldn't believe all that had happened!!  All I wanted to do was see my baby and see that she was ok.

Around 9:00pm they finally wheeled me to a room.  I asked to go to the NICU and they said I couldn't go because I wasn't allowed to stand up and there wasn't room for the bed in the room.  I pretty much told them that I was going to get over there one way or another so they either needed to figure it out or I would walk there myself.  Finally they brought me a wheel chair and wheeled me over there.

I saw my perfect tiny baby hooked up to tons of wires.  She was so sweet and looked so peaceful.  they propped up a pillow and handed her to me.  It was love at first sight.  Kris and I sat there for a few hours and just took turns passing her back and forth.  All of the NICU nurses were amazing explaining what everything was and telling us how the NICU worked.  Basically I could be in there as much as I wanted 24 hours a day.


Kris was originally supposed to go back home and stay with Emma so her routine wasn't to thrown off but after what happened we decided my mom would stay with her and he would stay with me.  I was glad to have him there.  I felt like after all the craziness we needed to be with each other.

The next few days went pretty smooth with the typical people visiting me.  I started pumping right away so I could get my milk to come in which happened surprisingly fast.  I pumped every 2 hours the whole week were there.  On the 3rd day they did let me try to start and breastfeed her.  It was a little rocky but I knew once we were both home and more comfortable and didn't have a nurse standing over us we would be just fine.

After a week in the hospital we were finally allowed to go home.  I was originally supposed to go home earlier but my dr. made sure I could stay so I didn't have to leave with out Isabella.  We packed up our stuff grabbed our girl and we were out of there and the rest is pretty much history!!

Isabella is one of the sweetest, silliest and loving kids i've ever seen.  She's so polite and is always there to offer a hug and runs up and gives me random kisses about 100 times a day.  I'm so thankful for my Dr. and all of the staff at West Hills Hospital for saving not only me, but her as well.  They were all amazing and every year on her birthday I can't help but think about all of them.

So...that's Isabella's birth story.  A little far from the norm, but we're both happy and healthy now and we couldn't imagine life with out our sweet spunky girl!