Category Archives: Baby

Baby Stuff I Never Needed

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To continue on our theme from yesterday about babies, I thought I’d throw together a list of the things I didn’t need. There is so much stuff you can get for your new life with a baby, it’s completely overwhelming. Here’s the things I skipped, and my baby is still alive.

 

1. Wipes Warmer

This was totally silly to me. Even if the wipe is wet, as soon as you’re away from their skin, the damp skin is going to get cold. I’ve also only really seen him react to a “cold” wipe maybe three times out of a zillion diaper changes. Save your money for something essential!

2. Bottle Warmer

I didn’t mean to not get this, I just never got around to it. Every bottle that my baby has had at home (he’s all breast milk, but occasional bottle of breast milk) has been right out of the fridge. And he’s never had an issue drinking it. However, he is in full time day care, they have a bottle warmer so he’s use to that there. Worst case, you can just set your bottle in a cup of hot water to warm it up if needed.

3. Changing Table

I’m talking the specific changing tables that are only for that purpose. We have a dresser with a wide top that we attached a changing pad to instead. The dresser is functional with drawers to hold his cloth diapers, wipes, jammies, and clothes. When he’s done in diapers, we take off the pad, and presto, he has a normal dresser again. No need to buy more big pieces of furniture than necessary!

4. Baby Books

All the information you could ever want is at your fingertips on the computer! Each book is written of that author’s research and opinion. For me, that wasn’t enough. I wanted to know a variety of opinions and research to decide the way I wanted to parent. Baby Center has an amazing amount of information on any topic from day one of pregnancy, through kids 10 years old. Lucie’s List was a great resource for me, providing weekly emails based on your phase of pregnancy/baby age. And I love Wholesome Babyfood for tips on what my baby can eat and what age and recipes for baby food! All the sites are free. There are millions more. All the hard copy books I got just sat there collection dust.

 

Happy Pinning!

Baby Must Haves

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One of my friends recently divulged to me that she is expecting a little munchkin of her own soon. After I settled down from the initial excitement, I got to thinking about baby stuff. Now that I’m an expert mother  (hahaha – is there even such a thing?!) I thought I should assemble my list of Baby Must Haves!

{This is not a sponsored post, I am not being reimbursed in any fashion for sharing my opinions.}

1. Aden and Anais Muslin Swaddle Blankets.

New Aden and Anais Muslin Swaddles!

When I first received these, still pregnant, I looked at them and thought “one of these things is not like the other” in comparison to the giant stack of other receiving blankets I had. By the time Baby O was a mere four days old – these were the only ones we were using to swaddle. The Muslin is stretchy and holds tight in the swaddle. We also had a giant baby who barely fit swaddled in a receiving blanket. They are a little more expensive, but absolutely 100% worth every single penny.

2. Cloud B Gentle Giraffe on the Go

Gentle Giraffe On The Go helps recreate sleep time routines by bringing four peaceful sounds: Safari Groove, Victoria Falls, Jungle Trails and Babbling Brook

This is a noise machine, disguised by acute squishy giraffe. It has four different noises to sooth baby to sleep and a timer that shuts it off automatically. You can velcro it around the bars of the crib, or take it on the go! When I received this I didn’t realize what a necessity it really would become!

3. Charlie Banana Cloth Diapers.

Eco-diapers from Charlie Banana

Scary, I know, cloth diapers sound so intimidating. But, you get over the “eww” of it pretty quick. We have 19 of these diapers. In the first couple months, I was doing a wash load every day and a half. Yup, it’s a lot, but to me it was better than a garbage can full of dirties every day and a half. The fleece lining is so soft and gentle on baby. There’s no diaper rash. They have adjustable straps to grow with baby (Baby O is still comfortably wearing them on about the middle set of snaps at almost 10 months). They are still in amazing shape. I wash and dry mine in the machine, and have had no issues with them holding up. We plan on keeping them around to use again on baby #2! They are a little expensive up front, but pay for themselves (vs disposable) after a couple weeks.

4. Burp Cloths, and lots of them.

Organic Baby Burp Cloths - Gender Neutral Baby Elephants

This was something that completely slipped my mind until the week I was due. My fabulous mother whipped some up for me from scraps from Baby O’s quilt. Thankfully, we also received a few from a gift the first week he was home. I would guess we had about 20. And still, I could never find one when I needed one, so we ended up using swaddle blankets as well. Thankfully the spit up is at a minimum and now I just use them while nursing to cover the shirt under my boob. But, next kid, I’m going to at least double our inventory.

5. Binkies and Binkie Clips

Pacifier Clips, You Pick 3 (Choose from over 40 fabrics)

LOL! 9 Wild and Wacky Pacifiers: Stop pouting with pout, a bright red pacifier pout ($14), that is.

I know not everyone wants to use Binkies. I know that not every mother who does want them has a baby that will take them. I’m thankful that Baby O took one on day 2, didn’t care what kind, and never got nipple confusion. If you end up with a baby that likes them, find the one they like and buy 10. I’m not kidding. As we speak, there is one behind my couch, one behind the changing table, one in the car, one at daycare, and three lined up on the rail of his crib. There is nothing worse than not being able to find a binkie in the middle of the night while baby is crying. Especially after they learn how to toss them so they literally could be anywhere in the room. Binkie clips help the problem of dropping and losing them too! My mom and a friend both made me a clip shortly after Baby O was born and they noticed how often I was having to was the bink.

6. Sophie the Giraffe

Sophie Giraffe

This was one of the first toy’s Baby O actively engaged with, and it’s still a favorite. Sophie is made out of soft non toxic rubber and is colored with food based paints. There’s lots of information about her bold coloring being good for baby eyes, and squeaky for baby hearing, and lots of nubs for baby chewing – but frankly, she’s also adorable. This “chew toy” is on the more expensive side, but it’s well made and a baby favorite.

Put it all together, and you’ve got a great little baby gift basket. A swaddler, a binkie and clip, burpies, Sophie, a cloth diaper and a white noise machine. I realize there’s nothing “essential” on this list like a stroller, car seat, and bottles, but these were the things that I never thought about until I was in the situation.

Happy Pinning!

Baby food

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I have a 7.5 month old. He’s been eating “solids” for just under 3 months now. And I’ve made almost everything he’s put in his mouth. Some people ask me if it’s hard or time consuming or how I know what to do. They say “it seems so intimidating to make your baby food!” Honestly, I was more intimidated by the baby food aisle at the grocery store!

What’s in all those little jars, how do I know which ones to buy, what other stuff is going in to his body as a result of this convenience? I spent a lot of time on the internet, and Pinterest, trying to find “recipes”.

Finally I realized it’s just about picking age appropriate (I love Wholesome Baby Food for this!) fruits and veggies. Steaming or roasting them. And pureeing them down. If you want to do a bunch at once, it can be frozen for up to a month and thawed as needed.

I also thought this was a fun opportunity to get us to eat more fruits and veggies by incorporating what I was making for baby food into our own dinner.

I found this recipe for Butternut Squash Risotto. I became obsessed with risotto over the winter and this recipe actually used squash puree! So it was already in baby food form for our dinner.

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I started by slicing a butternut squash open the long way. This is kind of tricky. I mark around the skin with a knife then work, pressing the squash down until I can cut through the whole thing. Then scoop out the seeds.

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I roasted the squash face down on a pan for 30 minutes at 400. Then I turned them right side up for about 10 more minutes until I could poke them with a fork. The roasting time will depend on the size of squash you have. Check it every 5-10 minutes for softness.

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When it’s done – let it cool a bit. They will be hot for a long time. You can also try to hold onto it with a pot holder if you’re impatient. This gets a little messier.

Then scoop out all the goodies. You can get super close to the rind and still get good “meat”

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Put it all in your food processor or blender. I pulled out my trusty Baby Bullet for this. And add about 1/2 cup of water. Add more as/if needed.

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It should look like a smoothie when you’re done. More on the risotto another time since this post is about the baby!

I was also doing apples at this time. I cored, peeled and sliced my apples and steamed them for about 10 minutes until they were soft with a fork.

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Then blended them. You do not need to add water to the apples because they are packed full of their own juices, and steaming gives them a little more moisture.

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I have a few reusable baby jars that I fill first. The jars are what I send to daycare. I just fill and freeze and take two out every other day to thaw.

For his home eating, I fill ice cube trays. Depending on your trays, 2-3 ice cubes makes a 2oz meal.

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When you’ve got them all filled, cover with stretch wrap and pop em in the freezer.

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After they’re frozen, crack the food out of the tray like you would ice, and dump into freezer lock bags. When dinner comes I pull out three cubes. Either all the same, or you can mix and match flavors. I nuke mine for 1 minute. PLEASE BE AWARE that it is not advised to microwave anything for baby. Microwaving makes hot spots. I only microwave mine enough to make it stirabe. Then I let it sit for about ten minutes before he eats it. You could also take the cubes out the night before to defrost.

Frozen food can be kept for a month. After defrosting it’s good for about two days.

I’m a big fan of the apples, when I make them, I usually snag a small bowl for myself before freezing! You can play with lots of varieties of apples for a yummy taste! When I’m doing a big batch, I use about 16 apples which after steaming will all cram into my vitamix.

Happy Pinning!
Happy Cooking!!

My Baby’s Half Birthday!

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It’s an idea I’ve seen floating around Pinterest. It was a coincidence that I had an extra cake and some extra time on my Baby O’s half birthday and he got to have one!

I never actually pinned this {that I could find, my Pinterest is a bit out of control!}, but a quick search of “half birthday” and there are many great examples to draw from! The middle one below was the one I’ve actually seen before.

Now, this is actually a lot less work than you think. You only have to bake one round for each tier. You just cut that round in half, stack it on the first half, and BAM! you have a cake!

Add your filling, then frost the whole cake. I personally enjoy the look of the cake being cut in half, so I frosted cake and filling layers to achieve that effect.

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Of course, with Baby O only being 6 months – he did not get to enjoy any of this cake. But Mommy and Daddy sure did!! Instead we took him down to a park on a lake to look at some turtles! He sported some ridiculously cute shades and was quite an attention grabber from all the ladies at the park!

Happy Pinning!

Happy Baking!

{Check out the Pin There Done That Board!}

Painted Argyle Wall

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Our first little bundle of joy is scheduled to arrive September 23. We have been working since conception on some projects that we wanted to have complete before he got here. Of course, the nursery was one at the top of the list! Before we even decided that we “were ready” for kids, we knew that if it was a boy, there would be an argyle wall and if it was a girl, there would be a paisley wall.

We found out May 4th that baby was very much a little boy and we excitedly went out and bought paint for the argyle wall. The nursery was formerly my husband’s video game room. He had painted three walls dark grey to reduce light in the room, and the wall with the TV was light grey. We decided to keep these greys, and paint the argyle over the existing accent wall keeping light grey as one of the colors.

Here were some of our Pinspirations:

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We decided not to go with perfect squares….so we began looking at diamonds.

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http://designdazzle.blogspot.com/2010/02/boys-nursery-clothing-as-decorating.html

This was ultimately the wall we loved (maybe because it already incorporated blue and grey). Her blog referenced back to an Argyle Diamond calculator on this blog, Silver Spoon Murals. We used the calculator, but then we both argued over how to interpret the results. So, instead we just measured our space and did math.

Don’t be jealous of my Microsoft Paint skills! Anyway, we had 60″ across and we knew we wanted 5 columns of diamonds. So 60/5 = 12″ across. The calculator told us that the diamonds should be twice as high as they were wide, so 24″ tall, which gave us 3.5 diamonds down the wall. With these measurements, we cut out a template in tagboard and held it up. I had to visually see what that size on the wall was before I could commit.

Then my hubs did the tedious job of taping. We taped so that one color could be fully painted:

Then my lovely helpers, mom and grandma, joined us to help paint!

Grandma did all the green paint while mom worked on sanding down, wood filling, and painting the door and frame to give it a fresh new look. Happy helpers!

They did two coats of the green and we removed the tape about 45 minutes after the final coat so it wouldn’t get permastuck and rip up painted parts. Tip: You want to be sure and paint from the tape in. That way, you don’t risk pushing paint up under the tape.

After it dried for two days, MIL came to assist on the blue. Another happy helper!

They had to leave earlier than planned, so hubs finished up the job. Blue and green done!

Then we had to decide what color to make the dotted line accents. I wanted white thinking that would pop more, hubs wanted black thinking that would pop more. We argued discussed this for a while, then I had the idea “what if we get some electrical tape in black and white and do a test!”

After getting it on the wall I initially like the black better, but in more of a “real room” sence. For the baby, I liked the white better because it was more subtle. There’s going to be a lot going on in that room and I think black overwhelmed it. Thankfully hubby agreed!

We were going to make a stencil for the hash marks, but neither of us could really figure out the best way to do that. Then I decided to just tape it all up (this is like the third roll of blue tape this wall has consumed)

 

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I painted in the spaces with white. If I could go back and do this again, I would do it with a small art brush, rather than a big wall painting brush. There was a lot of bleed under the tape, which I think just came from the big brush shoving paint under the tape.

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After it was all done with two coats, I pulled off the tape. Since the brush was already in the white paint, I finished up the shelf as well. Here’s how it looks!

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Happy Pinning! Happy Painting!!

Crocheted Zig Zag Baby Blanket

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My favorite gift to give when a friend has a baby is something knit or crocheted. Lately, that’s been baby blankets. A good friend at work had her baby two weeks ago. About a month ago, we were thrown a joint baby shower at work.

I had originally tried a basket weave pattern that I found on Pinterest.

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Image from Suburban Jubilee.
 

The instructions to this pattern were great and it was super easy. However, I had chosen a very textured chunky yarn that I already had on hand, so it didn’t really come out looking right. Then I ran out of the purple of this yarn that I had on hand, and could not find anymore anywhere! I ended up pulling it out and incorporating two additional colors of the same kind of yarn I did have on hand, and switched to a granny zig zag pattern

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Now, that this was a while ago that I finished the blanket and my pregnant mind does not remember anything – I have no idea where I got the pattern from! The pin above links back to flickr.

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Image from Pink Fluffly Warrior.

This also looks pretty close to what I did. Anyhow, I have the finished pictures of my blanket that I wanted to share, even though I don’t remember where the pattern came from. So, if you like what I did, just find a standard zig zag or rippled pattern and use that- they’re all over! :)

 

 

Seeee! So pretty!! {Yes, patting myself on the back} I even completed this with a totally numb swollen pregnant hand!

 

Happy Pinning! Happy Crochet!!

Monogram Art

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Monograms are trendy! I have pinned quite a bit of inspiration trying to decide how to incorporate a monogram, an initial or name into our baby’s nursery.

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Picture From Ciao Mama
 
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Apartment Therapy
 
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I also really love the look of this adorable piece of art!

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From The Bed Buggs Etsy shop

I had originally tried to do the yarn covered letters. That was a disaster. Our baby’s name is Owen. The “O” was really easy to cover. Just wrapped it right up without a glue base or anything. The other letters? not so easy. Then I unwrapped them all and tried putting glue down. Messy and still not the right look I wanted. Then after we painted the nursery, the yarn didn’t match the paint. So, I chucked w, e, and n. I kept the O hoping I could salvage another project with it.

We have a bin of empty frames lying around too that we pick up from Michaels when we have “the good coupon” or when they are on clearance. I dug through and found a frame that fit our “O”. I really wanted to do a chevron painted backdrop – but I also just really wanted the project to be done and not sitting around anymore. I dug through a pile of scrapbook paper and found a fun and bold striped one.

I popped out all the pieces of the frame except the actual back. I glued the scrapbook paper right to the frame backing and chucked the other pieces. Then I tied a loop of string (left over from my state string art project) around the top of the O, over the back of the frame back and knotted it around the nail loop. Then, popped the back of the frame back in place. I used electric tape to fully secure the back piece, since all the other pieces (glass, cardboard, etc, that would have tensioned it into place) had been tossed.

 

Here’s what it looks like! I’m pleased with how it turned out. It was completed with all things that I had on hand, and adds some more pop to the wall above the changing table.

Here it is next to the first piece I completed for the wall, the State String Art.  

If you can’t tell yet, the main colors of Owen’s room are green and blue…more specifically teal and lime. There is a currently unfinished argyle wall in those colors, hopefully that will be what I can share next with you!

Here’s a full shot of the wall that includes the changing table.

Happy Pinning! Happy Crafting!!

State String Art

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These seem to be all the rage on Pinterest lately. And they should be, they’re adorable! I’m working on assembling a little collage of “art” for above the changing table in the nursery. To avoid having all framed things, I wanted to try my hand at one of these for a little variety.

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http://www.etsy.com/shop/cwrought?ref=seller_info

Let me start by saying that the image above is from an Etsy Shop called Curiously Wrought. She does GREAT work! As of this post, she’s sold 157 beautifully done state string art pieces. It looks like she’s quite popular too as today her shop is on hold to catch up with all the orders. After doing this project myself, I would probably buy the next one I wanted!

I started off with a wood plaque from Michael’s. I painted it with some Martha Steward acrylic craft paint in a bright green tone to go with the baby’s nursery colors.

Then I found this handy site on Pinterest that has the silhouette of every state ready to go for any project you might need one for!

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thevintagelemon.blogspot.com

We live in Washington, so that’s what I picked, duh. And put a little heart around the Seattle area where we live. I just free-handed the heart.

I gathered my supplies: painted plaque, sharpie to draw the heart, nails, hammer, tape….and after I started I added needle nose pliers to the mix. Please excuse my dirty dishes in the picture!

 

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I cut out my state, drew on my heart, and taped it to the wood to hold it in place.

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I nailed in the heart first. It was hard holding tiny nails, so I thought it might be easier to hold them with pliers. This actually worked as a double bonus because I could use the width of the pliers to create uniform spacing between nails!

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I started in the “hard part” of the Puget Sound, and worked my way around.

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This process took about two hours {including potty breaks for me and the dog, figuring out the pliers trick, and getting distracted by TV}

 

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Once I had Washington fully outlined in nails, I pulled up the paper. I used the pliers to grab little pieces that stuck to nails.

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Then the project sat like this for a few months. Yes, months. I was intimidated by the string part, not really sure how to tackle it. Then I realized the lace crochet thread I had was too thick, and so I bought a regular spool of sewing thread. Finally {now that i’m 37.5 weeks pregnant, and we need to get everything finalized} my husband was like, “look, you just need to finish this already”. Yup, that was the kick in the pants I needed.

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I decided to start on the right hand side. There were about 150 nails around the state, and 15 heart nails. So, I figured about 10 outside nails per heart nail. But, this changed as I worked my way around. I just kinda went with how I felt. I actually threaded a needle, and kept the needle between the project and the spool. Having the needle to hold on to made it SUPER easy to lead the thread around where I wanted it. Due to super swollen pregnant fingers, I had to take frequent breaks to squeeze my icepack, so it took  me about 30 minutes to do the thread.

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Because Washington has the sound kind of interrupting the outline there on the side, I went between the heart and the East coast of the sound first. Then I came back around and went between the West coast of the sound and the actual West coast of Washington. I just overlapped a few strings around to get back over to the other side. I apologize for no in progress pictures, but this took all my hands and concentration.

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Here it is hanging on the wall. The first of a few art projects to come for the baby’s room. I will share the art mural as it continues to grow!

 

Happy Pinning! Happy Crafting!!

Maternity Photos

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Our son is going to be joining us next month, so we did the trendy thing and got our Maternity photos taken! I created a special board just for Pinspiration for the occasion: Maternity Photo Ideas.

Here is one of my favorites from the board:

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Photo by: Daylight Photography

I had to have a version of our own done!

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Photo By: Kristina Marie Photography

I LOVE how ours turned out! It was kind of an accident that it was so close to the one I pinned. I hadn’t looked at the board for a few days before our shoot. I was going to make the heart, but I have dumb hands that don’t bend enough. Hubby’s hands made perfect round heart tops! and I LOVE how the stripes on my dress worked wonders on our b&w photos!

Happy Pinning! Happy Pictures!!

1 + 1 = ….

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I’m back! I know I’ve been a bad little blogger – but I’ve been busy! And tired! And my next Pin There Done That will show you why!!

Here’s a pin I found and re-pinned 34 weeks ago:

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(Photo links back to this blog: http://www.chiccheapnursery.com, with original credit to http://blog.hannamac.com/2011/06/13/were-having-twins/)

And…after much patience, we were finally able to get our own shot like this!

(Photo credit: Kendall Lauren Photography, www.KendallLauren.com)

Yay!! We are having a baby!!! I didn’t know how exhausting creating a human was – but pretty much to the point that I haven’t felt like crafting, creating, or blogging. So, my apologies! Now that the cat is out of the bag though – there are a lot of baby projects, recipes, and house projects I’m anxious to get moving on!

Happy Pinning!! Happy Photo taking!! Happy Baby Making!!!