As a mom of two littles I don't always have time to make a meal for myself, let alone a healthy meal. I try to eat healthy, not only to get of my baby weight, but also because I feel so much better when I do, and the times I eat some unhealthy stuff, I feel tired and like I can't keep up with my babes.
This week I have tried to make a list of my favorite snacks, and treats, either to curb your in between meal cravings, or if you are to busy that can replace a meal if needed. Or if a mama just needs a little spoiling.
Friday favorites - toys
Finding toys that I felt were safe for our littles, and that we could also afford has been a pretty rough task. There are many great companies out there, sadly many closed shop after a short while. But over the last long time I have managed to find several places I trust to get things for our babes.
1. Melissa and Doug. I first thought I had hit the jackpot with this brand, they seemed to be fair priced, safe and have many options. They I was super sad when I read that there had been found lead in their products. We choose to test for ourselves and all our Melissa and Doug toys were fine. No lead! So far we have been happy with all the toys we have gotten from them.
2. Hazel village. Oh I feel in love with these dolls when I saw them. So cute and vintage feel dolls and animals. Made from safe materials, and at an okay price. Only downside is their dolls are on the smaller side.
3. Cuddle + kind. As soon as I read about this company I knew I wanted to support them. One doll gives 10 meals to children in need. And it's fair trade, so I ordered as soon as we had the money. Their dolls come in two sizes. And let me tell you the big doll is a huge hit with our daughter, she normally isn't a fan of dolls, because the likes to carry heavier things, and this doll is just perfect. They are so cute and I actually hope to get more from them, either as a gift or just more for our kiddos. They also sell prints with motivational quotes from each of the dolls. Those prints gives 5 meals. So charity, fair trade and cute dolls. Yes please.
4. Lamaze. We really love our toys from them, and they have held up with a lot of abuse so far. I also like that each toy often serve a few purposes.
5. HatchlingCo. Activity gym! This is so gorgeous and safe for baby to chew on, it comes with 3 teething / play strings and a teething ring. You can choose different color combos.
6. Bannor toys. These wooden toys are so gorgeous, made so little can safely chew on them and play with them, and they come in so many different styles and sizes. We have a rattle, and a limited edition key set from them and I love it. They have these super cute state rattles that I can't wait to get, and bonus you can get them personalized
7. Misc. When we were in Denmark last year we also picked up some brands there, and I plan to get a few more there, as the standards for what they consider safe for children are higher than here. I hope I can find places where these can be purchased in the states.
8. Crocodile Creek - I found them at whole foods toy section, and I was so happy since we had been on the lookout for safe balls for our girl. I looked them up while i was in the store to check out info about the brand and make sure they were at the standards I have for toys and i was very pleased. I love the ball we have and hope to get another in a different shape soon.
3 sprouts. They have such a great variety of sizes and styles, we will for sure be getting more. For our daughter they even double as toys sometime.
What are some of your favorite non toxic toy brands?
Seventh generation - First brand of diapers we used on Grace and she still uses them when she is not in cloth, they aren't the most pretty one, but I love them and she rarely has any accidents in them. Now Ezra has often leaked threw them, I don't know if he just pees a lot for his size or why this happens. But Grace never experienced this issue. With amazon subscribe they also come down to a nice price. I really wish we had used this feature sooner.Only downside, they seem to run a bit small.
Seventh generation (overnight) - I really feel Grace sleeps better with these, other than the fact that they are over night diapers everything else applies from normal seventh generation. I wish they would come in size 2, as that might help with Ezra leaking at night.
Earths best - So I tried these once with Grace and they were fine, but we just went back to seventh generation out of habit. Then when Ezra started having issues with leaking I read about these again on mama natural. She mentioned their absorbency. So we tried them, and so far we have much fewer accidents and Ezra seems to sleep better with these.
Babyganics (swim diaper) - We haven't actually been in a pool, but we did try them out in the tub, to see how they held up and so far they were fine. I wanted a cloth swim diaper, but we had trouble finding one that would accommodate a bigger toddler.
Honest company - the print on these are so so cute, it's like a cloth diaper in some ways. But when it comes to use, Grace got a rash every time, so I haven't dared to use them again. We tried them a few times and each time it was the same result.
Seventh generation - 110% my favorite, we only switch from them, if we are in dire need. I even clean our babies hands in them, so they don't just get used for diaper changes. We also use amazon subscriptions for these.
365 - I liked them, no annoying smell, Grace reacted very well to them and they come in a reusable box. Downside if you don't live close to a Whole Foods, you can't really get them.
Honest company - Not a huge fan of them, Grace did not react well to them, but they do come in convenient small sizes that I think is really neat for the diaper bag.
Water wipes - So these were some my husband got at the grocery store, and for a pee diaper I thought they were fine, but not sure if I trusted them for more heavy duty needs. But no issues at all with rashes or anything.
Diaper rash cream :
Desert Essence - We got this when Grace was born, and honestly we never had to try another. I love that it's safe enough that when Grace accidentally ate some of it nothing happened since the ingredients are so natural, but it still helps a diaper rash fairly fast.
Olive Tree bible app
I think I thought I was prepared for what baby number two would need,
It was Saturday the 26th and while we impatiently awaiting the arrival of our little one we still knew we might have close to 2 weeks to go as we were told by many first time moms often go over their due date. The night before we had visited the hospital just in case to check I wasn't in labor. We had had a good relaxing afternoon and when I got up a I felt a gush of fluids and it kept trikling for a while. So Andrew called our doula and I took a shower and we started getting ready. We went by subways to get dinner since I might not be able to eat for a while. I was still not having any contractions so we weren't in any rush. After dinner we went to the hospital, my doctor was on call and was already there checking on another patient, so she checked me. I was not dialated and did not test positive for aminotic fluids, to make sure my doctor took another sample and put it under the microscope and while she was during that I got a non strees test, we were then told that it was negative and it was not my water that had broke and I didn't have any contractions, baby looked fine so we could head home. We informed the doulas that it was a false alarm.
A few minutes later I got up to go home a even bigger gush of fluids came, and I called the nurse who just tested the puddle on the floor and it was very clearly amniotic fluids. The doctor came back in and said now we had to talk induction options. I already got nervous there. We choose that I would wait a few hours walking around trying to see if contraction would start and if not I would be put on Cervadil.The doctor also informed us that me not having any contractions, not being dialated, having a hard cervix and being a first time mom, my risk for a c-section was 40-50%. After a few hours I was still not having any contractions and we started the drugs. The next 12 hours i started having irregular contractions, kept being giving the pills and waited patiently trying not to stress more and more (I did stress a lot). With every hour I felt I got closer to ending up with a c section. We walked, we sat on birth balls. I felt time stood still as my pain got worse and worse and yet I wished for more time and hoped my body would catch up. They stopped the pitocin at one point, as my contractions were getting to close, but I still wasn't responding as I should. I don't remember the exact but after around 24 hours my sweet doula arrived. She was such a helped. Prayed for me, and kept giving us renewed energy. She got me to walk up and down the stairs. Helped Andrew to relief my pain and kept reassuring me that I could make it through this (at the time I doubted it). My memory gets very blurry around here.. and there are several hours that kind of blend together in what felt like endless contractions.
Then next really clear memory I have is wanting to push. But I didn't understand what the pressure was.it must have been around 35-36 hours at that point, my body was so exhausted and I felt I couldn't cope anymore, so I said I wanted a epidural. While they were preparing that the weird pressure became extremly strong. I remember the anesthesiologist was there and I just laid down knowing it was it. I had to push NOW. So many hours of labor and it was finally the time to meet our little boy. The only thing the anesthesiologist did was take my glasses. So I guess he did help out haha. I pushed once or twice and then our baby was finally here. The first thing I asked was if the baby was OK. The dr asked what gender we were expecting. It turned out we had a little girl. My heart was so full. My little girl was put on my chest and I felt a love I never knew existed. The past two days of pain were a faint memory and the joy filling my heart was great. All my pregnancy I had a feeling it was a girl, but I felt crazy. The long labor, the unusual way my labor progressed, and the fact that the gender wasn't what we expected made this so memorable. Nothing went as I planned. But I got more than I could ever wish for. I am very certain my doula carries a big part of me avoiding a c section. God put such helping and good people by my side through this labor and I wouldn't change a thing.
25 weeks with Grace and 25 weeks with Ezra
I had some fetal monitoring done after a fall and was told I was having very regular contractions, after a few attempts to see if we could get it to stop on my own that didn't work, I ended up being given terbutaline to stop them and the next several weeks would be filled with fear of preterm labor and many painful hours of contraction. I counted everyday he stayed in there as a blessing and him growing stronger.
I woke up in the middle of the night with some bleeding, after talking to my midwife we took the trip to the hospital, and after a few painful exams,they told me my membranes had ruptured and I was going to have to deliver soon. A few hours later I was started on pitocin, and hooked up to the monitor. My husband, my daughter and my doulas was there. Most were expecting me to deliver that night. Over the next hours we tried every position, showering, walking, climbing stairs, squatting.. you name it.. and while I would have a few contractions, they wouldn't stick. The pitocin kept getting increased to no help. They told me about NICU nurses being there at the birth, assured me his longs should be well developed.. I didn't understand it all, I was still in chock about having to deliver more than a month earlier. I mean I hadn't even gotten him a bed yet. I was happy it was still my midwife calling the shots, but since I was being induced and was going to have a preemie, it still meant many painful exams and interventions. By midnight my pitocin got bumped up to 20. The highest setting. To no help still.. they choose after several hours on that to try and slow it down again. Next morning my midwife came back, saying she wanted to check if my water was indeed broken, since they apparently never tested for it. So I had another exam,and it confirmed that my water was not broken,p. After more than 24 hours at the hospital, and roughly 20 hours on pitocin they told me in a few hours I would be released and they would just monitor me to see me and baby were doing good. A part of em was of course happy, my baby would get to cook longer and grow better.. but a part of me was absolutely heartbroken. I had been proper and prodded, all for nothing. I wasn't going to get my baby. My body was a mess afterwards.. swollen from fluids given to me, scars from IVs, and a completely lack of trust in the drs. The next weeks I kept thinking he was going to come any day. When I finally hit the 37 week mark it was a huge relive . The past 9 weeks I had prayed we would make it to term.
I started having slight contractions Sunday morning, they got closer together but then faded like many times before. After passing my due date I had stopped believing it would happen naturally, I was certain I would have to be induced. Having had 2 preterm scares it felt so unreal actually going over my due date, I think the fact I had prepared to have him early so long, made the fact that I was this far along seem unreal. I got up at 4AM Monday morning and noticed some bloody show, by 6 AM my contractions were getting a little more painful, but I could still manage.. throughout the day it started feeling more and more intense and painful, but both length and intervals were inconsistent. By 9PM I called the midwife and she told me to relax and time them. At around 1.45 they got so close that I couldn't cope as well and I woke Andrew and we headed towards the birth center. The drive there seemed like the longest of my life, even though it was only an hour and a half. My contractions slowed down a bit, and didn't pick up until we were almost at the birth center. Throughout the stay there they were still inconsistent, but became more and more painful. I tried sitting on a birth ball, walking, showering, but my body seems to just do it's own thing. Early afternoon we were sent out to do some walking to speed things up and told to come back only if they became closer together and I showed more signs of progressing, the next hours were horrible. Contractions increased rapidly in pain, but they were anything from 2-7 minutes apart. With each contraction I both felt I got closer, but I also lost courage, I didn't know how much longer I could bear the pain. We tried keeping busy but ended up going home. I barely remember the car drive home. It was like I had found some peace in the pain, I remember feeling like I mentally wasn't fully present in the car. The thought of being in our own home keept me going, I knew it would be where I would be able to relax the most. We stopped at chick fil a, and being able to move around a little felt amazing. We called the midwife and since my contractions hadn't gotten much closer together we just continued on our way home. After arriving home and putting Grace to bed the pain became unbearable for a while and I tried easing it with Benadryl, Even though it didn't at all help I started to relax a bit. Around 9.30 we agreed Andrew should go rest with grace so they would be ready if I needed them later, it felt like I was going to pass out as I was exhausted from having been up so many hours. I tried laying down but couldn't do anything to get comfortable, suddenly I was able to feel relief for a few minutes, and then everything just felt totally different. Around 10 PM I wrote my doula that I needed help managing my pain, and as I was writing her I felt a weird popping sensation and my water broke. From my description of how things were going she insisted I wake up Andrew. After being convinced by her and my increasing pain I got him up and suddenly things went fast. I couldn't move a lot due to shaking and an increased urge to push. While andrew was getting things ready I started thinking about just laying in bed and delivering there as I didn't feel I could move anymore, I felt my body was just done. There was a sense of relief and a sense of fear, I knew my pain wouldn't last much longer and my baby was going to be here soon, but on the other hand I also knew I still had some work a head of me, I don't know how, But I somehow managed to get down the stairs.. almost. As the last step I feared could lead to me delivering right then and there, I sat down and knew that I probably shouldn't be getting up, Moving to the car was not an option and I got more and more scared. I remember thinking I was going to deliver on our stair case. Andrew called an ambulance and even though the wait seemed like forever, within minutes I was on the stretcher and while they were trying to figure out how long we had, I kept trying to make them give me an epidural or just something to ease my pain. (Apparently paramedics don't give epidural sin IVs 🤣). My contractions were less than a minute apart and I had no control over pushing as my body had completely taken over. When we got to the OB department they asked if between contractions I could move to the bed, and I made it, with next push I felt baby crowning and as they were checking if I was right, the baby came out. No one to catch the little guy.. my husband wasn't even there.. but it was such a relief and I was so grateful for another unmedicated birth. Even though I didn't think I could take the pain, I managed, and my little boy was here. I was so relieved when my doula, Andrew and Grace walked in. I remember informing Andrew I had given birth. (As if the baby on my chest wasn't a give away). Even though he missed the actual birth, he still got to cut the cord like he did with Grace. I was exhausted, relieved and so grateful. Holding my boy My heart grew so much. During my pregnancy I was worried.. how could I possibly love someone as much as I love Grace. But that fear disappeared fast.
This pregnancy had a lot of stress, mainly spending my third trimester concerned about preterm labor.
Sitting here with my boy in my arms, I would do it all again. Having a birth plan is great, but both of my deliveries have gone completely different than I ever expected.. and even though I didn't like it when it happened, and sometimes it's frustrating when everything goes differently than planned, i wouldn't change a thing.
I hope to share Graces birth story soon.
I am fairly minimalistic when it comes to make up. I don't use make up daily, and often when I do use some it's lip gloss and mascara. But I love having a selection of make up products I trust, that we easy to use and that I know will look good.
Skin care (body).
My skin is super Important to me, and two pregnancies in 2 years have not made it easier to care for my skin. I love these products and use most of them daily.
Here are a few other great Desert Essence body lotion scents scents.
Kawaii : (Pocketed diapers) ,We have around 10 of the kawaii diapers. .I love their patterns, the fact that you can choose your insert material (we prefer charcoal), and their price. We have used them for roughly 14 months and they have held up pretty well. The last week I had a snap come of, and have 2 diapers with a little tear in them. But my husband and I agree we are still overall very happy with our kawaii diapers. They also still manage to fit our 97% toddler better than other brands. This is probably my favorite of their prints.
Charlie banana : (pocketed diapers). We have 12 charlie banana diapers, they seem to be very sturdy material, and have held up pretty well. They are adjustable in size, although it's not the easiest to do, it's been nice that they can grow with our baby. Lately we have been finding them to get a little to snug on our chubby toddler and that has caused a few compression leaks here and there.
Bum genius :(All-in-1 diapers). When our daughter was very young, she was super skinny and these were the best fit, they actually fit her long thin legs, but as she grew into a more chunky baby we soon had to stop using them and around 4-6 months she couldn't fit them at all. Other than sizing issue, great quality, and we plan on using the ones we have for our next baby as long as they fit. I also do love the ease of all in ones.
Fuzzibunz. (pocketed diapers). We have recently purchased these as they are for babies up to 40lbs. They fit my daughter great. The only complain I have is they only come with one insert and at least for my little one that seems to not always be enough. We have now purchased extra insert and hope that it will help as they are such a great fit for her.
Thirsties. (All-in-1 diapers). This was another brand I tried mainly because they fit bigger babies. The fit is great, and doesn't leave any marks. We have had a few leaks, but we are planning to also get another insert. Again I totally love the ease of all in ones and not having to take the time to stuff diapers.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.