What I Am Packing In My Hospital Bag- From A 3rd Time Mama
I will preface this post by saying you don’t NEED to bring anything (other than a car seat to be allowed to leave.) Everything you need as far as postpartum care supplies, diapers/wipes for baby, etc. are all provided by the hospital. Most of these items are for your (and babies/significant others) comfort. You could wear the hospital gown and baby the blankets from the hospital and be totally fine.
As a third time mama I’ve realized that you just don’t need as much as you think! With my first I brought all of the postpartum supplies… I will not be doing that this time. Be sure to have some ready at home, but it’s just easier to not bring all of that.
A lot of the hospital rooms don’t have a ton of extra room. So having a bunch of extra stuff can make the space feel too crowded. A tip with this is also the car seat. Leave it in the car until you are about to leave. Your significant other can run out and get it then. It takes up too much space in the room otherwise.
I love these little newborn hats that look similar to the hospital version, but with a bow. They come in several color options. I ordered the white for baby girl and it’s adorable and super affordable!
Keeping it simple for Trey this time too. He made sure to have loaded movies/shows on his computer so we could watch them and a good playlist ready on his phone too. You could add a little speaker if you wanted to, but we never used it the last couple times.
Keep in mind that some of these items are personal preference of what will keep you comfortable.
For example, if you need a sound machine to fall asleep then pack that! Some women really love a handheld fan, etc. I personally try to keep mine pretty minimal. With George I completely overpacked and never pulled out 75% of the items that I brought.
Rose Candle- A splurge candle, but it can fill an entire large room. I love taking a bath and lighting one of these for a very luxe experience.
Custom Mug- This company also makes custom tumblers and several other items. Is cute as a grandparent gift. You can customize with any photo and name combo.
Mama Pouch- This comes in a matching “baby” and they have a “mrs” version as well. Perfect for trips or to throw in a purse.
Dried Florals- These are beautiful and dried. Love taking the dried route so they can last for much longer than normal flowers.
Tiger Sweatshirt- A splurge, but my most worn item. An easy “mom uniform.” Comes in a t-shirt variation as well.
If you are looking for a really special fine jewelry piece.. I absolutely adore these custom pieces by a small, family owned Nashville business. They were so kind to give a code for 15% off. Add “ASHLEY” at checkout. These are the kinds of pieces you will have and love forever. You can check them out HERE.
Who ever said little boys aren’t fun to shop for anyway? I’ve gathered up tons of great toddler boy staple pieces that can all be mixed and matched easily. When it comes to toddler boy shopping I stick to pieces that are easy to get on and off (because potty training is hard enough as it is) and durable (lots of action happening in these clothes). We only do slip on shoes or velcro in this house to make getting ready more simple and less of a struggle.
Places I Love To Shop For A Toddler Boy Fall Wardrobe
** A lot of the places I find the boys clothes are small shops that do not have the capability to “link.”
Minted Method Shop
Rylee & Cru
Moon + Beck
Ford + Wyatt
I’ve really been diving into some personal reflection lately. One of my revelations has been that I LOVE mom life. It brings me the most purpose, pride, love and so many other amazing emotions. BUT.. (there’s always a “but.” ) I miss feeling like a human outside of “mama.”
Beaus & Ashley started as a place for me to have a creative outlet and share fashion inspiration. As I grew, this space has as well. That doesn’t mean I don’t miss crafting outfits that make you feel like a million bucks.
Honestly, most days I never get out of my pajamas. If I’m home with the boys all day my attention is on them and trying to squeeze in work every now and then. When we leave the house I usually get REALLY dressed up ya’ll. In yoga pants. Pajamas to yoga pants. With these above said reflections I’ve realized this has aided in my feelings of identity loss.
SO….today I bring you an easy, updated “mom uniform.” If you want to feel a little Stella got her groove back, but with a baby on each hip, throw on a little jumpsuit and oversized sunglasses. BOOM. That’s it. I know this isn’t revolutionary, but that little bit of self-confidence you will feel can carry you a long way.
My favorite and go to jumpsuit lately has been THIS ONE by ABLE because it’s comfortable but the cinched waist still gives you some shape. Their mission is also amazing and their brand is empowering women everywhere. (You can check out a full post I did on their charitable efforts and ethical standards, HERE.
Music has been a big part of our children’s lives before they were even born. Trey would play Rockabye Baby! – Lullaby Renditions Of Guns N’ Roses via headphones over my pregnant belly. (If you’ve never heard of the Rockabye Baby! series.. it’s lullaby versions of your favorite music. Makes a really cool gift idea for expecting families too!)
Trey is in the music business and we hauled our babies (noise cancelling headphones on, of course) to shows starting at 6 weeks old.
We play lots of music around the house and always let them bang on instruments. It’s a big part of our lives, but luckily it’s SO great for kids too.
Exposing children to music early helps their emotional development, motor skills, literacy, language and more.
5 Reasons Music Is Important For Kids
It helps them calm down. Playing soothing music helps cranky infants, tantrum ridden toddlers and kids naturally relax.
Improves speech and communication. It’s easier for kid’s to learn new words and phrases via song. It’s an easy way to help increase their words and improve their communication skills.
Higher Self-Esteem and Boosted Confidence.
Helps Develop Cognitive Skills. According to Kinderland curriculum director Dr.CarolLoy, music can stimulate brain development by singing along to songs. This can enhance memory, concentrations, etc.
Family Bond. Strong family bonds are created in traditions and sharing like mined hobbies. Creating memories through concerts, sharing music tastes or even creating music together creates strong family bonds and lasting, precious memories.
We are in a day filled with screens and lacking personal interactions. The repercussions this is having on our children is HUGE, but there are ways to combat it!
I was chatting the other night with a friend how we want to be intentional about our time with our kids. Now when you are a stay at home (and working!) mom… that’s a lot of time. No matter how much physical time you spend with your kids, quality is the key.
Showing them that you are present, listening and care can totally shape who they become.
The book, Hands Free Mama made a huge impression on the way I think about my time with my kids. All mamas…. run and order this book!
5 Ways To Be More Present With Your Kids
Wake Up Earlier.– Don’t hate me already on option 1. I’m not perfect at this one and it sure isn’t easy when the boys wake up at 6 am, but it makes a huge difference in your day. You can finish some small tasks before they wake up, set intentions for the day, work out, etc. When you spend a few minutes to yourself in the morning it helps to be more patient and present throughout the rest of your day.
Be where your feet are.- This piece of advice came from Christy Wright at her business boutique workshop and couldn’t be anymore helpful. When you are working, be there. Put your heart into and chase your dreams. When you are with your kids, be there. Don’t be thinking about e-mails that need returned or check marks needed on a to- do list.
Stop going through the motions. – Motherhood is exhausting. Plain and simple. It can be so hard to get caught up in dishes, diapers, laundry and tantrums. Making a mindful attempt to realize that these days are numbered and really diving into the sweet moments is so important. Your kids can feel when you are half listening and they care.
Set a block timer for play. This sounds silly, but ever since I started doing we have had so many special moments. Put your phone away and get on the floor until the timer goes off. They will be the precious moments you will remember the most. (I also use this for work. Productivity will sky rocket.)
Spend one-on-one time with each child. This makes them feel special and cared for. It also to help know what is really going on with them in their little minds. It’s amazing what they will tell you when they feel safe.
Whenever I stop and think about how fleeting these sweet moments are where we are our child’s whole world it seems silly to even THINK about wasting them on our phone. Will we remember laughing at a meme on IG or the sound of them laughing? Motherhood is hard, but so worth it. We should all strive to be exceptional and raise exceptional kids. Imagine a world like that?!
For my fellow mompreneurs, I have a post about some tips and tricks of balancing stay at home mom life with working mom life. You can read that one HERE.
As a family, we love to be outside. Exploring new places, hitting up the playgrounds and parks, eating outside. There is something so great about Vitamin D and the effect it has on our moods, but especially the kids.
Unfortunately, we have had day after day of rainy weather and cold days. We’ve been trying to not let that stop us from having some fun.
It’s so important for the boys to be stimulated in some way by learning something new or partaking in a fun activity at home.
If you don’t already, I suggest following “busytoddler” on Instagram. She has so many learning based activities using mostly items you most likely already have in your home. It’s my go to place to find fun things for the boys to do on our typical days at home.
We’ve also found some fun things that kept the boys attention and made for special family fun days indoors. I wanted to round those up for you so you could save them for a rainy day. Pun intended. HA!
10 Things To Do On Cold & Rainy Days With Kids
1. One of our favorites is to make movie night extra special. We would light a fire in the fireplace, get the boys sleeping bags, popcorn or a special treat. Then all snuggle up and watch a new movie we hadn’t seen before. P.S. How cute are the boys koala sleeping bags?! They are currently 50% off. You can find them HERE.
2. Build a fort. Use some chairs, blankets, make it the size of a room. The boys LOVE this one. You can grab some books and read or play in there.
3. Do a scavenger hunt or an egg hunt. (Since our boys are so young, I hid Easter eggs with little toys inside or post it notes with a shape or letter that they could practice.)
4. Play a board game. (We stick with Candy Land for now..)
This rollercoaster ride known as parenthood is a wild one. Emotions are amplified and you feel the shrill of the highs and the stomach dropping low of the lows.
Our babies’ milestones become so bittersweet. The pride I feel when they take their first crawl is swept over by the grieving their need for me to be mobile. The smiles and cheers while singing “Happy Birthday” are accompanied by the feeling of loss and sadness over the sweet baby years. It’s wild I tell ya!
Being a mom changes my life perspective in so many ways. I love deeper, laugh harder, and empathize more. It’s the joy of my life.
As sleepless and challenging as these baby days are, I still find myself clinging to them. They are so precious, and going by so very fast.
I want to remember every quirky way they pronounce a word, giggle, and cry. I know I’m that annoying mom taking pictures and videos non stop, but I want to capture these moments in time.
If I had a magic genie in a bottle I would ask to freeze time right now.
We are often told, “You are in the trenches right now.” This is true. Some days it feels like I have a house arrest bracelet on my ankle. The nap schedules of both babies can never seem to synch up where I have a moment to myself. There is no sitting down. It’s going from one diaper to the next. Someone always needs soothed, food, diapered, changed, or played with. I’ve absolutely lost myself, but I have lost myself in them. That I am ok with.
Georgie is curious, insanely smart, temperamental, funny, sweet, and a mamas boy. He loves puppies, jumping on the bed, building block towers only to knock them over, animal sounds, music, PAW Patrol, My Gym, bubbles, golf carts, and mostly just being outside.
We love him so much and are so proud of the little boy that he is becoming. He always says “please” and “thank you”. He gives Wilder is paci and tells him “it’s ok Wy Wy” when he is crying. He keeps are cardio up by chasing him around. My heart is full from the sweet “I love you mama and dadas” he now so lovingly says at bedtime.
Bittersweet birthdays. Reason to celebrate, but time please slow down.
If I’m being honest 2017 was a complete whirlwind and most days I felt like I was drowning. Wading water, at best. Adding Wilder into our family was amazing, but adapting to life as a mom of two under two is trying. Rewarding, amazing, full hearts, full hands, but difficult in every shape of the word. The year is a bit of a blur, but having some help over the holiday season has given me a few moments to reflect. I also turned to my husband and asked him areas he’s thought I have grown or lessons to have an outsider perspective as well. So here goes. 17 life lessons I’ve learned this year:
Patience. It’s truly the key to everything in motherhood. It’s also one of those “easier said than done” type of things. Also, with sleep comes patience. With babies there is serious sleep deprivation so I’ve had to really dig deep sometimes.
2. To have good friends, you must be a good friend. Becoming a mother of two has also limited my amount of “free time.” It’s become hard for me to keep up with all of my friends as well as I want to. I’ve tried my best to surround myself with positive friendships and nurture them in the free moments I do have. The smallest gesture can go such a long way. You really have to nurture your relationships for them to grow. I noticed the ones that I didn’t have drifted off, and the ones I’ve put in effort have flourished. (A 2018 goal is to water those friendships even more.)
3. Family first. It’s just that simple. (This includes friends that we consider family.)
4. Sometimes you have to “give in” to your partner. You can’t win ever argument. Know when to fight your battles and when to wave the white flag.
5. I’ve given up “FOMO.” Yes, I still have it at times, but I’ve come to terms with it. With babies, I can’t be at ever party, I can’t be the last person standing at the party, etc. Also, am I really “missing out” when I’m at home with my kids? I don’t consider it that. Right where I need to be.
6. You get to chose your thoughts. A friend of mine brought this to my attention and I sat with that thought for a long time. If you chose to put your energy into thinking positive thoughts, that will surround you. YOU have the power of your own thoughts. It’s a practice that takes lots of time to perfect, but so very powerful.
7. Put the phone down. I read the book HANDS FREE MAMA. Highly recommend it to everyone. There is ___ version that is geared towards everyone (not just moms.) Given the nature of blogging, I do still spend a lot of time on my phone. However, it’s significantly less. When Trey gets home from work and we are making dinner and playing with the boys we have made a great effort to put our phones down and soak in that precious time.
8. Work smarter, not harder. I feel like I spent a full year trying to figure out the blogging world. I remember when I first had George and he would nap I would just sit on my computer waiting for emails to come in. These days I have so little time that I had to learn this lesson out of necissity. I don’t waste my time with anything that isn’t concentrated and beneficial efforts.
9. Your best is enough. Still struggling with this one still. I truly try every day to be a good wife, good mom, good business woman, good friend, etc. There are days where I fall short on one of them, and there are days where I fall short on all of them. BUT, if I’m truly trying my best to be the best I can on all of those fronts… that’s enough.
10. Teamwork makes the dreamwork. I really feel like Trey and I have become REALLY good “teammates” aka parents. We know how to get in there and each take on tasks to get the job done. No relationship is perfect, but this is something (when it comes to dealing with the boys) that we have learned to excel in.
11. You are who you surround yourself with. Pick wisely!
12. LEARN from these life lessons. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve repeated mistakes. As a mom I’m really trying to be a better example. Learn from the life lessons (even if they come the hard way) and move on.
13. It’s ok to spend time to yourself. (Don’t get me wrong this literally only happens every 2 or 3 weeks to get my nails done..) I always feel guilty, but when I come home happy everyone else is a little happier too.
Here are the things Trey noticed that I’ve gotten better at this year:
14. Communication avoids fights. So many little arguments are actually just miscommunications. My favorite answer to “what’s wrong” has always been “nothing.” It’s easier to just lay it out there and communicate about grievances.
15. Save money. (He might be SLIGHTLY confused on this one.) I have made a much better effort. Not sure if my execution has been perfected just yet.
Reflection is so important because it leads to growth! I’d love to hear everyones lessons or ways they have grown in 2017.
Trey and I decided to wait until post baby to take our “baby moon” this time around. Since I was pregnant back to back with our sweet babes I wanted to really be able to enjoy our time and have some great wine, dinners, and beautiful scenery.
After college, Trey lived in Vail and worked as a ski instructor. We started visiting Colorado together at least once a year since we met and refer to it as our “happy place.”
For this trip we flew into Denver and had a little lunch rented an SUV and took off for the mountains. There is something about that drive that is just so serene and peaceful. You can start to notice the temperatures dropping and the smell of the pines. My stress levels instantly go down.
We always stop in Breckenridge and grab a crepe from the crepe cart on our way to Vail. It’s also the cutest little town to pop into a few shops.
Typically, we reserve our Colorado trips for ski season, but this time around we decided to go in the fall. I’m so glad that we did! The leaves were absolutely stunning, and we were able to truly relax.
We stayed at the Four Seasons which we also absolutely adore. They pay attention to every little detail. This go around we were able to eat at Flame (their steakhouse.) It did NOT disappoint. It was restaurant week and we were able to try a bit of everything. All delicious. Try the lobster mac and cheese and thank me later.
The bar is also beautiful and looks out into the mountains and pool. One of my favorite views…ever.
Each day we wandered into shops, ate amazing food, and slept in. Truly heavenly for new parents of two littles.
Some things you MUST do in Vail:
1. Grab a drink on the outdoor patio overlooking the lifts at Garfinkel’s. It’s known for it’s fun Apres’ ski, but we loved going for happy hour outside of ski season as well.
2. Drink a mudslide at Bully Ranch.
3. Relax in the courtyard next to Gore Creek. (You can bring a picnic!) Such a sweet little date spot.
4. Enjoy a hot chocolate at Four Seasons next to a fire pit on the balcony. This is truly an experience. It looks beautiful and tastes delicious!
5. Walk around vail village at night.
6. Dine at Sweet Basil.
7. Bowl at bōl. It’s a really impressive and modern take on bowling. Fun for fall trips when skiing isn’t your workout of choice everyday. (Not that bowling is much of a workout, ha! But the goal was to take it REALLY easy this trip.)
8. Relax at the Four Seasons spa.
9. Listen to live music at Red Lion.
10. Late night at Shakedown.
To say we thoroughly enjoyed our baby moon would be an understatement. We came back rested and able to be better (and happier) parents to our sweet boys!