sleeper sacks we love

I have no idea how to swaddle a baby. I’ve watched the YouTube videos and seen other people do it, but for some reason, the blanket and I don’t work well together.

It’s fine, though. Honestly, I see no reason why this skill is needed when there are amazing sleeper sacks that will swaddle your child in about 2 seconds with a little Velcro.

I’ve fallen in love with our sleeper sacks over the past 11+ months and wanted to share the ones we’ve used and enjoyed. We’ve transitioned from the types that swaddle to a simple wearable blanket that’s easy to use, and keeps my little sugar plum nice and cozy.

I should probably mention that we use sleeper sacks for two reasons:

  1. Swaddling was a lifesaver the first few months. Like I mentioned before, I can’t swaddle to save my life. But, swaddling is like magic. To be more precise, the 5S‘ are magic. So when I saw blankets that swaddle my child with a zip and a piece of Velcro, I was sold.
  2. I’m not into putting blankets in the crib. Maybe it’s “first child” syndrome. Maybe I’m just super cautious. If there’s a safer option for my baby than a blanket, let’s do it.

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The Newborn Days of Swaddling

Sooo. Our favorite sleeper sack that swaddles is the HALO SleepSack Micro-Fleece Swaddle. This was so incredibly easy to use, and held Baby Girl snug and safe. I also like how it comes in different fabrics, depending on the season.

One night as we were checking on Baby Girl we saw her arms escape the swaddle sack and then sneak back under the fabric…sneaky little girl! We decided that she might be ready to have her arms free at that point, so we started wrapping her body in the swaddle wings and leaving her arms out. This was after she was about 3-4 months old.

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Freeedoooom, Freeeedom! Let my arms out!

When she outgrew the Halo SleepSack we transitioned to Carter’s Sleepbag 0-9 Months
with fleece arms. This was perfect for the summer, as it’s not too thick but keeps the chill of the air conditioning away.

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Stop Growing Up! 

And then it happened. She outgrew the 9 month sleeper sack. How was this possible? It was so huge when I got it at my baby shower. This can’t be right.

But it was…

I’m a few weeks shy of having a toddler. Over the last few months we transitioned into the Baby Deedee Sleep Nest .This is an amazing sleep sack. When it came I was a little skeptical. The arm holes seemed big, so we waited another month before trying it out. Once we did, we were hooked. BG stayed nice and warm and had plenty of room inside the sack to move her legs. She sleeps so well in this!

We love our sleeper sacks!

What about you? Do you have a favorite sleeper sack?

Hope you are staying warm! Happy Friday!

xo

CLEcitymom

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when we’re done hibernating

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I have officially entered “hibernation mode.” I think I was made to live in the Bahamas but somehow ended up in Cleveland. This cold weather is leading to a lot of hand lotion, hot chocolate, and layers.

We did end up venturing out into the cold this weekend to the W. 78th St. studios and enjoyed spending time with friends and seeing some really awesome art. As we were driving back through Gordon Square Arts District, we noticed a bunch of new businesses that have popped up around W. 65th since we lived there a few years ago.

It’s been so fun living in the city of Cleveland and watching new life, new business, and new enthusiasm for growth and development in the area.

As a mom, I’m excited to share the city with Baby Girl. Driving through the neighborhoods of Cleveland we started talking about how much fun it will be to take Baby Girl to places like Sweet Moses for some vegan ice cream or Happy Dog to build her own vegan sausage concoction.

The Cleveland neighborhoods are so vibrant and inviting. While I do love the beautiful snow and excuse to drink hot chocolate whenever I want, I am excited for warmer days and the adventures that will follow throughout this year. My almost one-year-old has a lot of Cleveland to explore!

What are your favorite places to visit in the Cleveland neighborhoods?

Wishing you warmth and sunshine.

xo

CLEcitymom

Parenting Goals 2016

IMG_20160104_1440262016 started off a little different than I expected. I got a case of strep throat, Baby Girl had the worst cold she’s ever had, and David is feeling under the weather, too.

Needless to say, I’m very thankful for z-packs, nose suction bulbs, and being back home in my bed after all the holiday travels.

I’m also thankful to have a husband who went 30 minutes out of his way to get me the tea I needed, a mom who keeps checking in on me to make sure I’m feeling okay, and sister who sends lots of encouraging texts throughout the day.

Seeing how much that’s meant to me over the last few days, I think 2016 needs to be the year of deepening relationships and rich community. We need each other!

With that in mind and also thinking through my other goals for the year, I’ve come up with a few mom goals for 2016.

  1. Be present. Don’t miss out on the little joyous moments of life with family because you have to go finish the dishes or do chores. Those things matter, but don’t miss the good stuff!
  2. Show Baby Girl who Jesus is through my life. Sing songs that tell of His goodness. Pray prayers over and with her. Tell her stories of His faithfulness. Read Bible stories together. Create art that shows her more of who God is.
  3. Show Baby Girl how much I love her daddy. She needs to see hugs and kisses and quality time spent by her parents.
  4. Explore. I have a little explorer child. She is so curious about everything! This year, I want to show her fun things, take her to new places, and let her curiosity and wonder of the world get bigger and bigger.

2016 is going to be a great year. Only two months away from having a toddler, I’m looking forward to my little girl who can pretty much only say, “dadda, momma, oh wow!, and yeah” to start picking up more words, running around the apartment, and stealing our hearts with her big personality.

Happy New Year to you!

xo
CLEcitymom

Merry Christmas!

img_20151224_062623Merry Christmas from CLEcitymom!

Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year all because of one word: Emmanuel.

Emmanuel, which means God with us, is a word that speaks to the deepest parts of our souls. We are not alone. We are not abandoned. We are not forgotten. God is with us. God is for us. God is present in the midst of whatever life looks like and will continue to be.

This is Baby Girl’s first Christmas. What an exciting time, full of joy and new traditions. As I am thrilled for this season and all that it brings, there is still a heaviness in my heart for the pain that often comes around the holidays for so many.

May this be a season where we are reminded of Emmanuel, the one who enters into our lives, no matter what they look like, and is present. May our joy not rest solely in getting what was on our wishlist or being told that, yes, we look amazing in our holiday party clothes.

May our joy be found in knowing that Emmanuel is on our side and isn’t going anywhere. May you feel His presence this Christmas season.

Wishing you all the best!

CLEcitymom

taking time for you

IMG_20151205_212917714Have you ever seen the sketch that Ellen does where she reenacts one of her viewers who accidentally put an Airborne tablet in her mouth without water while stuck in an airplane seat?

She starts foaming at the mouth uncontrollably and can’t go anywhere because she’s stuck in the plane.

I don’t know why that is so hilarious to me, but this past week I keep thinking about it as I have been putting white strips on my teeth during my commute on the bus. As I ride to work and walk through the office I am hoping no one talks to me and notices my foaming teeth. Thankfully, none of the foam is escaping my mouth, but still. How embarrassing would that be?

So far, I’ve only been talked to once by someone on the bus. Hopefully they didn’t notice.

Over 9 months of being a mom has taught me that it is really easy to take care of your child, apartment, to-do list, etc. without taking time to care for yourself. It’s easy to get caught up in feeding, bathing, cleaning and forget to go get your hair cut for months.

Since Baby Girl has started sleeping through the night, I feel a little more like a human and ready to reclaim some time for me.

Step one was obviously teeth whitening strips. Let’s be real…coffee drinking requires teeth maintenance.

I’ve started thinking through the things I loved doing pre-baby and how I can get back into some of those hobbies. I also want to do better at incorporating BG into the things I love to do like baking, playing guitar, crocheting…

Point being, I’m understanding the importance of getting out of survival mode and enjoying life, hobbies, and taking time to care for yourself.

How do you make time for you?

How do you incorporate your kids into your hobbies?

I hope you are enjoying the holiday season!

xo

CLEcitymom

This guy.

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Pops.

This guy. The man. The myth. The Legend.

Sometimes he goes by Pops. Sometimes, Popsicle. Sometimes he’s Dad or Grandpa.

Whatever we call him, he’s my dad and I’m thankful for him.

When I was a little girl, my dad was the designated Turkey Slicer each year at Thanksgiving. I used to love watching him take the electric knife and shave off pieces. My favorite memory of Thanksgiving morning is actually him cutting off a few little pieces for us to enjoy before the meal.

I don’t eat meat anymore, but I’m excited to spend Thanksgiving with family again this year.

This happens to be Baby Girl’s first Thanksgiving. As I was thinking through what we could do to make her Thanksgivings special, I was reminded of my memory with my dad. It was a simple little thing- a special moment that he shared with me each year. We were little Turkey Thieves.

I don’t know what Baby Girl will remember from our Thanksgivings each year, but I hope we take time to enjoy the day with her, make time for special moments, and tell her how much we love her.

As the years go on, I look forward to the Thanksgiving cooking we’ll get to do together, the little bites we’ll sneak before the meal, and the time gathered as a family around the table.

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Make some awesome memories. Each way too much pumpkin pie. And sneak your kids little bites of food as you prepare the meal.

Cheers!

xo

CLEcitymom

Toy Rotation Baskets

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Toy Rotation Baskets

Want a quick weekend project that is going to save you time and money?

In about 10 minutes, I created Baby Girl’s Toy Rotation Baskets. What is this, you might ask? This is a way to stop buying new toys all the time and reduce the number of toys you have to clean up every day. This is a way to keep the novelty in what you already own.

So what did I do? First, I laid out all of the toys, stuffed animals, teethers, and books that we own, outside of the big toys like the exersaucer or activity mat.

Next, I made piles of similar items. All the stuffed animals go in one pile, books in another, etc.

Finally, I grabbed 4 baskets and divided each type of item equally into the 4 baskets. What we are left with is 4 different baskets that all have each category/item type.

Now what? To keep your current possessions fresh and novel to both you and baby, put one basket out for 1 to 2 weeks. At the end of the time frame it goes back on the shelf and the next basket comes out. Tadaa! New toys! New books! New stuffed animals! Awesome!!!

Here’s my one exception: anything that baby is incredibly attached to or you seriously need all the time, keep out all the time. For us, it’s Sophie the Giraffe. Sophie is our best friend.

So now you’re able to save money by not buying new toys, and save time by having less to pick up every day.

We’ve been trying this out for a little bit now, and love it! The basket is even a fun part of the playtime options as Baby Girl can flip it over and climb on it. I’ve also come to enjoy toys I didn’t even realize we had or barely touched before.

What do you do to keep the novelty in what you already own?

Have a great day!

xo

CLEcitymom