KinderPerfect Review

I’ve discovered being a parent is a complete rollercoaster and being a parent to a toddler is absolute insanity.  There are new adventures everyday and you are put in situations you never thought you would be. A new game, KinderPerfect, captures those moments perfectly. Described as “a timeout for parents” it is a hilarious card game modeled after Cards Against Humanity.  The cards describe real-life situations gathered from actual parents.

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First, the game came delivered with a hand drawn note from the creator’s kids. How cute!  I played with my boyfriend and two friends and we had such a great time!

Each player draws 10 white cards. Some of my favorites are below! Each round one red card is pulled and players select the best response from the cards in their hand. You end up with some hilarious combinations.

img_3281img_3282img_3279The game is so relatable to real life. I would highly recommend this game to parents or anyone who has worked with children. It’s guaranteed to bring out some laughs. I can’t wait to pull it out for our next neighborhood moms night – there are 4 of us on the same street all with kids 1 and under. I know they will love it!

I was given a copy of KinderPerfect in exchange for my review.  All opinions are my own!

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WHY I MARCHED

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With my mom and stepmom at the Connecticut State Capitol building

Yesterday I had the privilege of standing with women, children, and male allies at the Connecticut Women’s March, lending our voices to the fight against injustice and standing in solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington and the 600 events happening worldwide.  There were an estimated 10,000 participants in CT and 1 million worldwide.

I marched for every little girl who has been taught her voice and value are not important.

I marched for every women who has experienced the glass ceiling and had her ideas and contributions undervalued and under appreciated.

I marched for the right to make my own decisions regarding my body and reproductive health.

I marched for the LGBTQ community who are not awarded the same rights as I, a cisgendered woman, am.

I marched for the minority communities and their daily struggle for racial equality.

And most importantly, I marched for my son in the hopes that his future will be a little bit brighter because of my participation and the millions of others across the globe who stood with me.

I feel so honored to have participated in such a historic event but know the fight has just begun.  I will not be silenced until all people are awarded the same fundamental human rights.

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OUR WORLD LATELY AND HOT SUMMER FUN

Well I took a bit of an (unintentional) hiatus from my blog.  Life has been BUSY lately and soon one day of not blogging turned into one week, one month, and here we are 6 weeks later!

Logan turned 8 months on Sunday (can you believe it?!) and becomes increasingly mobile everyday.  He is fully crawling and even pulling himself up to standing.  Gone are the days of leaving him in one spot and expecting him be there when we return!   Most days Matt and I get home from work and spend a few hours chasing him around, complete his bedtime routine, eat dinner, wash and prepare bottles for the next day, and collapse into bed.  Over the past few weekends we’ve visited my dad’s farm in  Maryland and went to the Smithsonian National Zoo, hosted a Memorial Day BBQ and started some yard projects including planting a vegetable garden and started landscaping under the front window.  I also uncovered Matt’s plan to throw me a surprise 30th birthday party over 4th of July weekend (30 in 15 days OH MY GOODNESS) so we’ve been planning that as well.

Summer is my absolute favorite season and I’m so excited to have Logan experience some of my favorite activities.  Our summer “bucket list” is below.

  • Visit the Mystic Aquarium
  • Take Logan to the beach for the first time – I have this swim diaper and baby sunblock all set to go.  I am still on the hunt for a beach umbrella or beach tent though.
  • Visit the Coventry Farmer’s Market as much as possible
  • Attend the Vermont Brewers Festival – we went last year but I was pregnant and couldn’t fully participate.  This also means leaving Logan with my mom for a whole weekend!  I don’t know if I’m ready for that but it will be nice for Matt and I to get away
  • Take the boat to at least one Music on the River concert
  • Go for family walks each night.  There is a rails-to-trail route right by our house that we should take advantage of more often!
  • Make pesto, grilled vegetables, and salads from our garden
  • Take Logan on his first flight – we are headed to Michigan in August for a family reunion.  Any tips for traveling with a baby??
  • Plan a 24 hour whirlwind tour of Chicago.  We are flying in and out of Chicago on our way to Michigan and will be there overnight before flying home.  Neither Matt or I have been before so I’m hoping to visit some key spots during our short stay
  • Eat lobster!  There are spots down on the CT shoreline where you can buy it fresh off the boat.  NOTHING is better than a fresh lobster.
  • Have a date night with Matt at least twice a month.  Enjoying a meal and wine outside during the warm summer months is my favorite and we need the time to reconnect with each other.
  • Attend Sailfest to see the fireworks display

What activities are you looking forward to this summer?  I also hope to blog more!

WEEKEND REVIEW

imageHow was everyone’s weekend?  We had absolutely beautiful weather here in CT so I packed up Logan and took him on his first official hike!  We visited Case Mountain in Manchester which is a nice family-friendly place and can be as easy or difficult as you’d like based on the trail you choose. Considering I was carrying him in our Baby Bjorn backpack we opted for the main path following the white blazes which is a bit easier than the rest, although the initial hoof up the hill with 17 extra pounds strapped to you is no easy feat!

The area is the former family land of the twin Case brothers, who operated a highly successful paper mill during the 1800s.  Their mansions sit on either side of the entrance to the recreational area and a really neat, although dilapidated, chestnut cabin can be found along the trails.  I love history, especially that which can be found in your own backyard! The summit, Lookout Mountain, offers great views of Hartford and the surrounding areas.  Although the trees are still brown at this point it is still a lovely hike.  Logan seemed to enjoy taking in the sights and was sound asleep by the end of it.

image I also found this adorable embroidered dress from Gap that I can’t wait to arrive. I’ve been seriously gravitating towards breezy bohemian styles lately and this one will be great with wedges on a warm summer night.  Plus I scored it for 35% off (this sale is still going on!) making it even sweeter. image

Also how cute is Logan in his new sun hat?! I’m obsessed with this little boy.

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All around an excellent weekend!

LOGAN AT 6 MONTHS

imageLogan turned 6 months old today and I’m left wondering where the time has gone! It feels like just yesterday his tiny little body was put in my arms for the first time. These past 6 months have been absolutely exhausting but also so rewarding and I can’t believe how much he has changed in such a short time.  Some updates on where we are at 6 months follow!

Feeding. Logan was fed breastmilk exclusively through 4 months, after which we started supplementing with a bit of formula. My supply greatly depleted after returning to work and I was unable to pump enough during the workday to satisfy his appetite while at daycare. I still exclusively breastfed while at home and the majority of his bottles at daycare were still breastmilk. As we approached 5 months, the proportion of breastmilk to formula decreased and soon his bottles at daycare were all formula. At about 5 ½ months I stopped pumping and we also started giving formula bottles at home because my supply continued to drop. Currently we are down to one breastfeeding session a day (usually in the middle of the night) and I anticipate that fading out shortly.

It took me several weeks to be ok with our ending breastfeeding. I felt in some way that I had failed him, and honestly felt more hormonal deciding to end breastfeeding than I did during the first few days home with Logan. Ultimately it has been nice to have my body back and the stress and worry I felt about how much milk I was producing has melted away. Logan is just as happy with a formula bottle as he is with breastmilk and looks up at me with the same wide beautiful eyes that completely melt my heart. I am so happy I stuck with the breastfeeding for as long as I did, as I was very close to giving it up early on, and am very proud of the amount of milk I was able to provide him. I am still in awe that I was able to nourish a tiny human for so long.
We have also tried sweet potato and peas although his interest in solids is limited to about one bite and then he just wants to play with the spoon!

imageSleeping. Logan got really sick around 4 months old and hasn’t slept well since then. He has an awful cough as a result of a respiratory virus that according to doctors can, and in his case has, lingered for months. I still feed him once during the night and most other times we are able to calm him with a pacifier and resting our hand on his chest. He typically wakes every 2-3 hours though resulting in very tired mommy and daddy.

We’ve used this noise machine since he moved to his crib from the bassinet and have a pretty strict bedtime routine so are hopeful things will get better. We also recently started using an essential oil diffuser in hopes of relaxing him during the night. I’ll let you all know how that works out in a future post! We swapped out the Grobag mentioned in this post for a Halo Early Walker sleepsack as it has holes for his feet to stick out – something I wanted in case he figures out how pull himself to standing sooner than we expect.

Movement. Logan is fully rolling both ways – belly to back and vice versus. He’s figured out how to roll and “worm” his way around the floor to get where he wants to go. I think he’s pretty close to crawling as well as he lifts his back end up and propels himself forward. He is also very close to sitting up from a laying position on his own and tries to do so constantly.

Other updates. Logan is teething but none have popped through yet so he is super drooly.  Often times I get to work and realize I have a drool spot on my shoulder! He loves his hands and feet and more times than not one or the other can be found in his mouth.

Logan has developed quite the little personality. He can be a bit sheepish around new people which I find to be completely adorable and has developed a little stranger danger especially if he wakes up in a different place from which he fell asleep in. Not to mention he has the best laugh!

Some of our favorite baby products at 6 months are the Halo Sleepsack, this gel teether you can freeze, and this Green Sprout car rattle that Logan loves chewing on. Similac Sensitive Non-GMO and Dr. Brown’s Wide-Neck bottles make formula feeding a breeze and this probiotic seems help keep him regular. Boudreaux Butt Paste was a lifesaver when Logan developed his first diaper rash and he loves spending time in this bouncer .

imageI never imagined the amount of love I could have for this little human. He is the best part of my day and his smile makes me so happy. He has brought so much joy to our lives.

Read about our favorite baby products at 4 months here and my initial thoughts on motherhood here.
Let me know your experiences with a 6 month old – or what you’re most looking forward to! I love hearing from other moms (and dads)!

THOUGHTS ON MOTHERHOOD: WORKING OUTSIDE THE HOME

I overhead a comment the other day from a woman who had decided to stay at home after having her baby to be a “fulltime mom” and that got me thinking about my own decision to return to work.  Truthfully I was put off by the notion that a fulltime mom is one who does not work outside the home.  Does being a working mother make me any less of a fulltime mom than one who stays home?  I view motherhood as a 24/7 job regardless if you are with your child exclusively during that time.   I think about, worry about, obsess over Logan all day every day.

imageReturning to work was the best decision for myself and my family.  It was important to me to maintain my professional identity after having a baby – one I have worked several years to develop.  I enjoy my job and have many career goals left to accomplish.  It also affords us the opportunity to maintain our standard of living and participate in activities and hobbies we might not be able to on one salary.  That’s not to say there aren’t times I wish I was home with Logan more and I miss him terribly when I am away.  It is a constant balancing act to do well at home and at my job and I’ve accepted there will be times when I’m not great at doing both.   I give so much credit to those mothers who do stay home with their children.  The 3 months home on maternity leave were absolutely exhausting and I imagine it only gets harder.   The decision to return to work or stay home is a personal one and as mothers we should stand behind and support each individual’s choice.

Speaking of being a mom  – I NEED this travel coffee mug.  It’s a Mean Girls reference which is one of my favorite movies.   Watch the scene here!

Coffee Mug

Here and here are some tips for returning to work after maternity leave.

These habits of effective stay-at-home moms could easily be part of any mother’s routine!

I’d love to hear about your decision to either return to work or stay home and the reasons behind your choice.  I’m always interested in the experiences of other mothers as I try to navigate my own path.

MOMS DAY OFF

Growing up my mom would let us take the occasional mental health day.  A day where she called us out sick from school and we were allowed to relax at home or run errands with her.  Those days are something I’ve carried into my adult life – the idea being your everyday stressors are limited and you allow yourself to physically and mentally rest.

Being a new mom and having returned to my fulltime job outside of the home I have been running on empty for several weeks.  Pure exhaustion is the only way to describe it.  I was more than due for a day off.  So I took the day off from work, helped get Logan ready for daycare, and settled in for my solo day. At first I felt guilty about sending Logan to daycare as our time together during the week is limited. As I touched on in this post I really do think time away from him makes me a better mom, so I kissed him goodbye and pushed the guilt out of my mind.

What did I do first?  I slept. Hard. Until noon which I haven’t done since college and it was every bit as amazing as I remembered.   The sun was shining so I opened up my sunroof and hit the road. I took myself out for lunch, grabbed an afternoon latte, and went shopping where I picked up these boots and this dress that I can’t wait to pair together.  I also bought myself a bouquet a flowers just because.

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This day was exactly what I needed.  I feel refreshed and reset. And it made my evening with Logan all that much sweeter.

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More about mental health days can be found in these articles:  how to tell you’re in need of a mental health dayhow to take a day off without guilt,  and ideas for a mental health day.  What would you do on a day off?

 

OUR FAVORITE BABY PRODUCTS

Logan recently turned 4 months old and it feels like we (somewhat) have things figured out.  He has fallen into a fairly predictable routine, although not sleeping through the night yet, and developed quite the little personality.  We even had our first giggles and spend most of our time now trying to make him laugh.  He changes so much from day to day and we still have a lot to learn, but at this point we have figured out some of the things that work for us and those that don’t.  Below are some of our favorite baby products that helped us survive these past few months. Continue reading