Monday, May 5, 2014

Baby gear: Carrier Reviews!

As we move into my 3rd babe's 2nd year, I'm now sorting through baby gear & deciding what to save, what I would want to pass on to friends, and what isn't worth saving!

I am kind of amazed how many 'baby carriers' we ended up with after 3 babies.  Slings, wraps, carriers, I've tried a few.  So here are my reviews...

1. Hotsling - This was one of the first products I used with my 1st baby.  It was passed down to me from a friend, who said it was sized too small in her opinion.  It fit me well, but I did not like using it with an infant.  It was a favorite of mine after the boys were able to sit up & carry in the 'hip carry' position & I used it when flying because it packed so light!  Light weight fabric, nice material & design, but not a super versatile product & not what I used everyday. Would pass on to a friend! Check it out here.

2. Chicco Baby Carrier - We purchased this off our registry for our 1st baby, and it is one of the few products that I would NOT recommend.  It was difficult to get the baby in&out of.  It featured a criss-cross back strap which was very uncomfortable for my back.  It was ok when carrying a small baby, but by far not a favorite.  We thought it would be a comparable product to the baby bjorn, which I have not tried, so I cannot tell you if it's similar.  Used very rarely.  Will send it to Goodwill.  Check it out here.

3. Seven Sling - I purchased (paid shipping but not for the item!) this before my 2nd was born, thinking it would be similar to the Hotsling. It was not.  It was sized too small, and the fabric wasn't as stretchy or nice.  It definitely wasn't what I would recommend to a friend.  Didn't use at all.  Will send to Goodwill.  Check it out here.

4. Happy Wrap - We purchased this product for our 3rd baby so I could have my hands free, but it features a lighter weight fabric compared to the Moby wrap.  I would recommended this product to friends after using it often with my 3rd baby.  The fabric was lovely & light weight, and it was not terribly complicated to wear.  However, my baby was too big to continue using it by about 15 lbs, and as much as I loved it, it was not a product that I was able to use long term.  Happy to share it with family, because it was a really lovely product, and not overly complicated to wear ((albeit not simple!)) Check it out here.

5. Ergobaby - I borrowed this product form a neighbor, after I couldn't use my happy wrap anymore for my 3rd baby.  I loved it.  I returned it & immediately found one to purchase.  This is by far the most expensive baby carrier, but I was able to find one used.  It is so comfortable, I could wear my baby who was around 22 lbs all day at Disney.  This product is not small for traveling, and not a light weight fabric.  But I use it all.the.time.  I probably will continue to until my baby starts walking more.  You can carry your child on your back as well, which is kinda cool.  Will be saving this one for a while.  Check it out here.

6. Deuter Hiking Backpack - We were given this hiking pack by my brother & his wife, and it is an awesome product.  We took our 1st as a toddler in this pack & our 2nd as a baby.  Very comfortable for the baby & the wearer.  A very specific piece of equipment though.  We no longer live where we go hiking often, but I would go with this pack.  Recommend for anyone who wants to hike with a baby or toddler.  Will save until all our kiddos outgrow, just in case we get a chance to hike!  Loved it.  Check it out here.

Thanks for reading! and happy baby carrier shopping...  Feel free to ask me if you have questions about any of these products. ;-)

Thursday, May 1, 2014

April in Review...

April has brought me more sunrises.  Slow starts to the day that let me wade in versus being jolted into perpetual motion.  Thank you Lord for the slowness & changing beauty of a sunrise.

My adorable Hayden bug being such a loving big brother.  fits him like a glove, except when he's tugging Calvin around by the foot, "sorry baby!"  The life of a 2.yr.old big brother is tough!

Our 3 all playing dinosaurs together.  This one truly warms my heart, and makes me excited to see what other things in life they'll enjoy doing together.  I'm inspired to start praying now that their bond as siblings would bless them throughout their lives, as mine have, but even more.

These faces, growing up!  My baby faced, toddler faced, & preschooler faced boys.

We had the privilege this month of celebrating the upcoming nuptials of my brother in law, which brought together all the Prose boys from our side.  I'm so excited to welcome our newest nephew this summer, and add one more boy to this photo!!  As well as add one more Mrs. Prose to our numbers as well... ;-)  But this group of guys, is one that means legacy to me, and to my sons.  My sons & my husband & the men in their lives (besides my own Dad).  What an awesome blessing.

My handsome love with our baby boy!  Can't believe our baby is getting so big.

Everybody wants to sit by Calvin.

For the wedding shower, I made some mason jar decorations to serve as the holders for date night suggestions!  My personal fav?  Date to a sunrise or a hike in the mountains.  Yes, yes!  Matt was the crafty genius behind the personalized corn hole set for the couple to use at their reception.  I was really impressed with how it came out, and his time & energy was well spent!

My mother in law always outdoes herself with the special touches & creative ideas for any kind of occasion, and this one was no exception!  She make homemade jellies & then gave a tutorial with Kelsey as her assistant.  The most touching part of the shower was all the 'wedding advice' given by the women in our family, from Matt's Nana through even me!  It was an honor & blessing to be the least senior member of the family, but I'll be losing that status in May...  Kelsey & I were able to help create these little flower arrangements in the milk jugs from Mrs. Teresa's tutorial, a labor of love for sure!  Looking forward to the wedding bells coming soon...

We have just now grabbed Hayden's attention for story time.  It seems like he may be rounding that corner of too-excited-and-disinterested to actually paying attention for stories & sitting in our laps.  Maybe he has a hook hand, maybe not. ;-)  but check out his light hair!

We have put a lot of effort into our garden & yard, but somethings we just can't take credit for.  These Irises are just stunning & I'm praying we end up with a bed full of them one year!

April brought us through a car wreck for Matt, which totaled his vehicle, and sent us on the hunt for another.  We were so fortunate to have wonderful support from my parents in our car search & are glad to have Matt on the mend & now situated in a new-to-us car.

Prepping for Calvin's 1st birthday party sent me scrubbing our brick outside (yes) and on the war path to get our white trim finished in our sunroom, which included two sets of double doors.  We had the party with our project just shy of complete, but at least we finished our party decorations & had the rest of our home ready for our guests!  This picture of me painting/watching my kiddos out the window is them playing 'frozen' outside, haha.

One other recent discovery was my old 'where's waldo' book from when I was a girl.  I loved this book.  I read it dozens of times.  I loved these kind of things, and so does James.  I showed him & this was the first time he's sat still with one book for at least an hour during quiet time.  The concentration was amazing!  These books are hard by the way & he's only 4.

Warmer weather has reunited us with popsicles in the driveway & prepping for swimming season!  We did take a plunge in the pool (James & Matt & Hayden did), and Calvin & I stuck in our toes.  But overall its still a bit cool to swim.  We're counting down the days but enjoying our spring.

Beach pass purchased & really excited about spending more time this summer now that our baby is 1 & will hopefully handle these trips easier.  There is no 'bad' beach trip to me.  I told Matt, I will never had a bad time at the beach; the ocean just soothes me I think.

and the views from where I sit at the beach are just amazing.  Thank you Lord for April, and all that it has brought us.

WOW! Calvin is ONE!

We threw a sweet & simple 1st birthday party for my Calvin Dean, we called it 'WOW! Calvin is ONE!" because of his first real word, 'wow wow wow'.  It was fun for me to just make lots of pretty decorations, have beautiful flowers, serve yummy cake & cupcakes, make a new lemonade punch, and of course have balloons!  My boys all love balloons, they just can't help themselves.

 I decided to make Calvin's 'one' t-shirt with the word since both his brothers had t-shirts with the number 1.  I thought it turned out super cute & loved the fabric combination that I found.  I used to to make the table runner as well as the pennants for his high chair.  I felt kinda crafty.

I am so glad we got a few pictures with our little guy.  I filled up my iphone's memory (!!) during the party, so I regrettably didn't get a picture of the grandparents with Calvin.  It's on my to-do list for images to get in the future.  ;-)

 Calvin had one little friend who was able to make it to the party, Truitt, who is only 2 months older.  They were so sweet together, and even tried to play peek-a-boo between themselves! adorable & so glad to have a buddy who lives just around the corner!

 We played pin the tail on the elephant, because Calvin's favorite lovie is an elephant we call, elephante.  It was pretty cute to play with the older brothers, and I didn't expect Calvin to really play the game.  But he did great!!  His was actually in 2nd place, haha!  (we didn't blind fold him or spin him around though)

Calvin LOVED his birthday cake.  We had to cut him off because he ate so much of it, so quickly!  and boy was he mad at us for taking it away.  haha, it was fun to watch him dig in.

 My favorite decoration, the picture wall.  I made the paper pinwheels & the polka dot garland from coordinating scrapbook paper.  I made the top row his month-by-month shots, and the bottom row was pictures of all three of the boys together from the past year.  It was so much fun to look through & see how he changed, but also how they all changed!  loved how this turned out.

My.Three.Sons.  Happy birthday to my littlest 'one'!!  ;-)  Love you sweet Calvin- what fun it was to celebrate your birthday!


Happy 1st Birthday Calvin Dean!! 

This smiley-baby just turned ONE!  I am amazed how the time has flown by & know that it only gets faster from here!  I remember from my older boys, that after they started walking, I had a hard time keeping up with them, not only physically, but emotionally that connection starts to change already.

Calvin, as an 11.month.old. you learned to wave bye-bye, which is adorable.  Your first word past 'mommom' & 'dada' was 'wow wow'!  You daddy & I have enjoyed that so much.  Our favorite games with you are peek-a-boo, which makes you laugh&laugh!  My other favorite is when you're in your high chair & your tilt your head to the side, and then we do, and then you do.  Our little monkey-see, monkey-do game!  Your daddy said your little personality has just BLOOMED over this past month.  You bring us so much joy.  You are sleeping well, all night & napping twice a day for around 2 hrs a piece.

I am so proud of this!

Calvin has started his assisted-walking, cruising stage.  He has started holding our hands and walking around more, which is great to keep his little hands out of the dirt or sand, and off of the driveway!  I love seeing his confidence grow and his strength.  It won't be long till he's taking his first steps!

I love doing bath & bed time with my sweet fella, but now that he's one, I get to share that time with his Daddy too!  We celebrated his birthday with weaning his as well, so although that's bittersweet for mommy, it is something to celebrate & Daddy is pretty excited to have his own time with this guy now too.

We got to celebrate Easter together for the first time, as our last 'first' holiday that Calvin will have!  It was a fun thing to look back at the pics from last year where I was so big&pregnant.  Now we have all 3!  Definitely a special day for so many reasons.

 Calvin broke through his last 2 bottom teeth this past month, so he his the 12 month mark with a total of 8, just like big bro Hayden.  He only had 6 until just under a week before his birthday!  It was fun to see him hit that milestone just in the knick of time.

Our birthday gift to Calvin this year was this 'cozy truck' for him to ride around the driveway with his big brothers.  We all just love it - it was a big hit.  We also gave him 'Happy Birthday Pookie' which we made a special trip out to the store for after his nap.  On the day of his party, we bought the new Rain for Roots CD, Kingdom of Heaven, which is just a lovely, folksy album of Bible stories for kids.  Two thumbs up!!  What fun, sweet gifts that were easy to choose, and a pleasure to give.  What a fun time the boys have had pushing Calvin around in his new truck!

We took our buddy in on his birthday for his well check.  Calvin Dean was 23 lbs 4 oz & 31.5 inches long at his 12 month check up.  Happy, healthy baby boy!

We love taking all our little guys to the playground, but this particular day, Calvin just laughed constantly, the entire time he was swinging!  His hair is getting so long, and it just about time for his 1st haircut!  I just loved spending these moments with him & hopefully locking in these memories of what sweet days his baby days are.

 For your birthday little buddy, we baked you a cake & sang.  Your party pictures are up next...  We have never been more challenged, and have never been happier than we are as a family of 5.

Happy day today, tomorrow & for many years to come!