Monday, December 31, 2012

our baby registry...the gear

So after many, many, many (seriously more than I care to admit) hours of researching baby products, I am ready to share some of our top picks. I would like to start this blog post by stating that these are just my recommendations/opinions and I do realize that most of you will think there are better products out there. Realizing that there are a million and one products to choose from, this is just what I have chosen to use when Jackson comes.

I was very thankful to all of the mommies that have posted their "must haves" and registry lists this last year because it helped me narrow down some of the categories. From there I took to the general public's consumer reviews and their basic safety ratings....all the while a quote from Miranda in Sex and the City kept replaying in my head. I'm not sure exactly how it went, but it was something along the lines of "Why can't there be one store that has only one option in each category? It's the best and you don't have to worry about anything." While I know that will never's still nice to dream.

The Britax B-Ready Stroller. This stroller won it's way on my registry for a few reasons. I wanted a stroller that had the "click and go" system, was easy to disassemble, was not achingly heavy to lift, could accommodate another child (when the time comes), had a nice amount of storage and of course was a nice neutral color that looked nice.

The Britax B-Safe Carseat. Hands down this was one of the easiest picks. It was one of the top safety picks, but it snapped right into our stroller. It didn't hurt that it was completely adorable and could work for a boy or a girl. 

Bumbleride Indie Stroller in Lava. If any of you know me outside of my blog, you would know I am not a huge jogger. The hubs, however, is and I was starting to get back into running right before I got pregnant. We also have 3 dogs that I take for a walk and I have already joined a mommy walking group. I chose the Bumbleride over the BOB for a few reasons. The first is the ridiculous amount of storage space and the second is the fact that it reclines back to the point of laying flat. I have a feeling that at least in the beginning Jackson will be napping a lot during our walks, so that feature will come in handy.

Organic ERGObaby Carrier. I have numerous friends who have this baby carrier and love it. It is supposed to be very user friendly and comfortable for those days where you find yourself wearing it for longer periods of time. It's expensive, but I've been told it is well worth the money.

Organic Moby WrapMy best friend owns this and her son lives in it. It gets great reviews, keeps baby nice and warm and isn't as bulky as the other carrier for day to day use. 
iBaby Monitor. Okay, let me preface this with saying that my husband is an Apple fanatic and it doesn't help that his best friend works for Apple. When they first mentioned the iBaby to me we already owned the Summer Infant BabyTouch Color Video I really had to be convinced that this product was better. What ended up winning me over is that most baby monitors have a distance cap on how far the signal works. With the iBaby, I can access it anywhere in the world as long as I have internet connection. I control it using my phone, ipad, or iMac (told you my husband was obsessed...). It alerts me when Jackson is crying, has the standard two-way audio capabilities, etc. Also, it is really the perfect "nanny cam" because it allows me to take still photos of what is going on. Really, it gives me 100% peace of mind and only cost about $10 more than what we already had.

Nap Nanny. This next item is bound to cause controversy. Yes, I do know the Nap Nanny has been recalled. I also read what caused it to be recalled and based my decision on that. I do believe that if used properly (how it states to use it) and with caution/supervision, it shouldn't pose a threat to my baby. Until this recall I had heard nothing but wonderful things about this product and even know some moms that still stand behind this product 100%. After much discussion with the hubs, we decided that we were going to give it a try, but just be cautious of where/when we use it. With that said, it was a pain in the you know what to find one. The prices have either doubled because people know that they are super hard to find or they are old, used and pink. I refused to pay double and I won't put my poor baby boy in anything pink. I finally found one in Arizona, I live in CA btw, that was new and not overpriced. Since my mom lives in AZ, I sent her on the hour drive to pick it up for me. :) Thanks mom!
My Breast Friend. While I've noticed that most mommies on here use the Boppy; I decided to go with My Breast Friend. I chose it for two reasons. My lactation consultant said it was sturdier and easier to use than the boppy because it wouldn't slide/move while I was feeding Jackson. She also said that it was a sturdier surface to place him on and typically lasts longer. The other reason was it has pockets! I know in the beginning I will be tired and frazzled, so I figured it would be one extra, small advantage. Don't get me wrong, I will still purchase the boppy. I just think that I will end up using this more and the boppy will be used more when he is older and I am looking to prop him up or for tummy time.

Baby Bjorn Babysitter Balance Seat. I went with this balance seat over the standard bouncer because I registered for a swing and I felt like they were similar enough that I didn't need both. Instead of the typical vibrating seat, this seat takes baby's movements and turns it into a soothing rocking motion. It also allows me to rock him with my foot if I wanted to. I can't lie...I also loved the design of this over the standard vibrating chairs. I like little princes and such...but sometimes enough is enough.

Fisher-Price My Little Lamb Cradle'n Swing. We chose this particular swing for two reasons. It had wonderful reviews and the look of it didn't make me want to hide it in a closet when guests came over. Honestly, most swings rate very comparable to each other, so it was just a matter of picking one that was cute, somewhat gender neutral and would get the job done.

Aprica Haven OpenAir Play Yard. I read countless reviews on the standard pack & plays and while others also had wonderful reviews...well lets just say I found them uglier than a bunion on Sasquatch's foot. Is it just me or are most pack & plays ugly? I chose this model because not only did it have great reviews, but it seemed very sturdy and was cute. Normally I do not like the streamline look. I mean just look at the photos from my house. For some reason though I am loving streamline baby items and the hubs isn't complaining one bit!

We are also planning on getting a high chair, tummy time mat and exersaucer/jumper. I am waiting a little longer on those though because I still am not 100% satisfied with my research. What can I say...Jackson is my first baby so I am trying to get as close to my idea of "perfect" as I can get. :)

What are some of your baby gear must haves? I'd love to know!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Week 28 bumpdate!

How Far Along? Photo taken on Dec 28 weeks 6 days.
Size of Baby P? Baby is roughly 2 1/4 lbs this week. Hopefully turning into a chunker! :)
Maternity Clothes? Still a mixture.
Weight Gain? 17 lbs...and loving every minute of it!
Stretch Marks? Nope.
Gender? Boy! Jackson Grant Powell <3
Sleep? Sleep is just a distant memory in my life. I can't sleep for more than 2 hours at a time without having to get up to use the restroom.
Food Cravings? Bagels & cream cheese! I rediscovered my love for those when we were spending the holidays with my parents in Arizona and haven't been able to get them out of my mind since. Yummo!
What I Miss?  Sleep....I'll even go as far as saying sleeping on my stomach.
Symptoms? Acid reflex, heartburn and bloated in my feet and neck *yes I know that is a strange place...I didn't get to pick it.*
Belly Button? It's an in-betweenie. :)
Best Moment of the Week? My doctor told me that I am still right on track as far as weight and measurements. She asked me about my ideal birth plan and we talked about what classes I want the hubs and I to take. Oh yeah...and CHRISTMAS! :) Baby Jackson got lots of goodies and he isn't even here yet! Can we say SPOILED??

Here are a few photos from Christmas night.

Friday, December 21, 2012

why christmas was meant to be in the winter...

Well Christmas is only a few days away so I thought I would post about what makes this time of year so much fun. I am not talking about spending time with family and friends. I am not even talking about decorating my house. Those are all givens to me. What I am talking about is all of those little things that just make the day a little more fun...more merry.

Philosophy Candy Cane Body Scrub- This is without a doubt the only reason why I shower in the morning instead of at night. The smell of this wakes me right up. Plus it makes my skin all nice and smooth for the day. Who can beat that?
Festive Holiday Socks- The hubs thinks I am crazy for the amount of Christmas socks I own, but I think I am just being festive. They are beyond cute and keep my always chilly feet warm.
Starbucks- Oh how I love thee. This time of the year has to be my favorite because it's when Starbucks brings back all of their fun holiday drinks. Man do I miss those throughout the year!
Hunter Rain Boots- It doesn't snow where I live, but it sure does rain. These things keep my feet dry and are so cute on. I honestly don't know what I did before I owned a pair of these puppies.
Deborah Lippmann Red & White Sparkle Nail Polish- Best glitter nail polish around. It's festive and the sparkles are so gorgeous. Love, love, love.
BBW Marshmallow Fireside Candle- Love this smell. 95% of the time this candle is burning in my house. I love to scent layer too so this scent works perfectly. It goes with just about anything else I would want to burn and is that perfect combo of sweet and Christmas-y.

What small, everyday things remind you of Christmas?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Week 27 Bumpdate

How Far Along? Photo taken @ 27 weeks 4 days.
Size of Baby P? This week my baby is measuring in similar to a head of cauliflower. I find that interesting considering I feel like I am the size of a house...
Maternity Clothes? Still a mixture.
Weight Gain? I am going to guess between 15-17 lbs. I go in on Thursday so I will know for sure then. :)
Stretch Marks? Nope.
Gender? Boy
Sleep? Still can't sleep at night, but I can take naps during the day. Not sure what the difference is, but I won't complain.
Food Cravings? Ice Cream and raspberries. yummmmm
What I Miss?  Sleep....I'll even go as far as saying sleeping on my stomach.
Symptoms? Just feeling bloated, heartburn is still here and the headaches from you know where. 
Belly Button? It's an in-betweenie. :)
Best Moment of the Week? We went out this last weekend and celebrated some of our friends graduating from multiple things. I went back to school earlier this year but have put it on the backburner the last few months. Now I am itching to go back again. Crazy notion considering my time will be spent with baby J.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Not So Silent Tuesday...

I know that the point of this is supposed to be silent support for those affected by the tragedy that struck the small town in CT. I, however, thought it was important to write this post though, so I will stick with it.

I am getting emotional right now just thinking about those poor, sweet babies whos life was ended way too soon. I think about their families that are left to pick up the pieces and "move on" when it doesn't seem possible. I think about how close it is to Christmas and it all just makes me want to crawl into bed and cry.

The problem is it's not about me. What I feel is nowhere even close to the pain that those directly affected by this tragedy are feeling. My fear of bringing a child into this world after something like this is so miniscule compared to what that town is going through right now.

I had to get away from social media the last few days because I couldn't believe some of the things I was reading. People are so up in arms over this tragedy and are demanding change this very instant. Great...fine...I think we all want change. The only problem is our lives will go on. Can't we demand change tomorrow? Can't we just mourn the loss of those 20 children and 7 adults right now? Must it be a battle right now?

The families of those killed are not worried about the politics of gun control right now. They are worried about how to move past this. Where they should lay their loved ones for their final resting places. They want answers...answers they realize they may never get.

I guess the point I am trying to make is please take the time to mourn those lost and allow their families to do the same. Battle over politics (because at the end of the day that is what it is) later. Pray for those affected and leave your opinions at the door. This tragedy is not about you, or even me. It is about those 27 innocent lives that were so violently taken from this world one cold Friday morning in December.

Please don't forget to visit the site shown above and donate if you can!

Monday, December 17, 2012

my little christmas corner

I am linking up again to the Christmas Cheer Party. This is the first year we have had an official dining room so I was very excited to decorate it. I went with a classic Christmas look. A little country, a little sparkle and a lot of red & green!

 The view from the living room.

 A closer view of the table. The red & green runner is accented by reindeer candle holders, snowflake candle holders and a sparkly pinecone & ornament centerpiece.

 A side view of my hutch. Last year I had my village squished on the entry table, but this year I was able to spread it out a little. The top of the hutch is the new home to one of my village scenes. Above it are litlte ladders with berries running through red & white stars. To the left is the wine fridge, which holds some of the best wines we have...perfect to bring out for Christmas family dinners. To the left is the childhood Christmas tree that can be seen here.

The front of our hutch has my wine cork wreaths that I saw on Pinterest and just had to recreate. They turned our so well and are the perfect touch to the hutch. Some of our popular wines are shown in the center and of course you can't celebrate the holidays without some l-o-v-e. :) 

On top of the wine fridge I have our Christmas wine charm tree, a wine that was signed for me by Fess Parker is in my adorable snowman wine holder and the singed glass, with a mini Christmas wreath around the bottom is in the back. This area of our dining room makes me wish I could only enjoy a glass, or two, this year.

Hope you enjoyed the little peak into my Christmas dining room!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

week 26 bumpdate

How Far Along? Photo taken @ 26 weeks 5 days.
Size of Baby P? According to Kaiser, baby Jackson is the size of a head of lettuce this week. He's between 1.5-2.2 lbs. I like chubby babies so I am hoping he's closer to the 2.2. :)
Maternity Clothes? Still a mixture.
Weight Gain? 14lbs. 
Stretch Marks? Nope.
Gender? Boy
Sleep? It's getting worse. I get horrible headaches in the middle of the night now and there's nothing that seems to make them go away but time.
Food Cravings? Carrots with french onion dip and raspberries...sometimes right after the other. Luckily my grocery store is having a sale on berries right now because it could get expensive otherwise.
What I Miss?  Sleep.
Symptoms? Heartburn has hit and it's hit in full force. Between that and the headaches, I am usually a prize by the time the hubs gets home.
Belly Button? I'm not sure what it is. It's still really an innie but the hole that was previously inside my belly from when it was pierced has now made it's way out. It just looks awkward!
Best Moment of the Week? We finished painting the nursery this week and moved in most of the furniture. Once the rocker finally gets here, and I figure out how I want the furniture to sit, I will start hanging stuff on the wall. I am so excited to just sit in there and daydream about rocking my sweet baby!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Who says you can only have 1 tree??

Normally we have a huge tree in the family room. This year, however, I am moving a little slower than normal, so I decided to give the hubs a break. Since we already had an abundance of fake smaller trees (have I mentioned I am a Christmas fanatic??) I just decided to put those up this year. According to the hubs Christmas came early this year because I didn't make him pull everything down and haul in a 10ft tree. Note to self... a 5ft tree and two 3 1/2 ft trees somehow translates to an early Christmas. :)

Below are a few pictures from each tree. You will notice that each tree come equipt with it's own theme. So cute!!

Tree One
These ornaments are ones from our childhood & ones that we've collected over the last 5 Christmases. :)
 My mom bought this for me one year in Vegas. It combined two of my favorite things in life. <3 Heels and snowmen. <3
 SF Giants baby!
Just because the hubs loves them... Sacramento Kings.
 This ornament was for my grandpa. He passed away when I was 6 (if my baby brain memory serves me correctly...). I was born on his birthday so even though I barely remember him, I still keep his memory going.
 The only ornament the hubs had from his childhood.  His dad isn't sure what happened to the rest. :( I hate it, but it will adorn our tree every year just because.

Tree Two
 Here is my third love in life...vintage Barbies. From about 12 years old on I started collecting vintage Barbies. I have the first barbie ever made, along with about a 1/2 dozen others, the original Ken doll and numerous outfits. I have so many ornaments that I couldn't even put them all on the tree. The hubs doesn't care if I put this tree up (anymore) as long as I keep it on the small tree and keep it tucked away. This tree sits on the side table that lines the wall going to our bedroom. Oh how I love this tree!

 I threw in some "country" snowmen for good measure. They go well with Barbie...don't you think?

Tree Three
 This would normall be where out big tree goes (the speaker and blanket basket would get moved obviously). It is a traditional red & silver tree with vintage/antiqued wrapping paper. The tree skirt is the tree skirt that my family used growing up and actually matches my stocking.
 Here are two doves and a snowflake.
 One of my favorite ornaments (on this tree) would have to be the red/zebra print ball. I think it gives the tree a little "somethin' somethin'."
 In my family the animals exchange gifts. This year I decided to buy cat/dog Christmas wrapping paper. You know you're jealous because it is just so stinking cute! :)
This was the hubs stocking at his grandma's house. When she passed away this year we took it and now it sits under the tree with a Santa boot that a family friend made for my mom years ago.

So there you have it. You have now taken a small tour of the trees that decorate our house. Could you believe this was me scaling back?

Oh how I love Christmas!!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

our 2012 christmas mantel

Every year I change up our mantel just a little. Mostly because I am a perfectionist and I am never happy with how it turns out. Now that we have a little one on the way I have put a lot of pressure on myself to get it right. The hubs thinks I am crazy. I can't really disagree with him though because it took me 3 years to find the perfect stocking holder...did I mention I still need his and will need one for Jackson next year??

The last few years I have been snowman obsessed. I come by it naturally though since my mom is also snowman obsessed. For years that is all that adorned our house. The hubs joked that it looked like Frosty threw up all over and that's not very "Christmas-y" to him. Since I am such a wonderful wife great listener, I've decided to take his advice and ease up a little on the frosted accessories. After all, I don't want my home looking like someone threw up in it...even if it was only Frosty the Snowman. :)

So this year I decided to mix it up a little. I took a little of what I loved on Pinterest and a little of "me" and added it together. This is what I came up with.

Don't mind the episode of Prison Break on in the background. I love that show and watch it all the time. :)

What do you think?  Did I get it right or are there still too many snowmen?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Week 25 Bumpdate

How Far Along? 25 weeks 5 days.
Size of Baby P? Another week comes and goes and I am totally baffled as to what my baby is supposed to be similar to. This week he's an English Hothouse cucumber?? Even as I type this I am getting kicked in the stomach because Jackson has no idea either.
Maternity Clothes? Still a mixture.
Weight Gain? 12lbs. 
Stretch Marks? Nope.
Gender? Boy
Sleep? Sleep? What is that again??
Food Cravings? Kraft Mac N Cheese & fruit. The hubs learned the hard way this last week that it had to be Kraft and nothing compares.
What I Miss? I miss taking pictures and not thinking I look like a blimp!
Symptoms? The hubs is happy that the cleaning bug has stuck around this week. I am getting a lot done and it feels nice to get things accomplished! :)
Belly Button? It's still an innie but is inching its way out.
Best Moment of the Week? I booked our maternity shoot this week and finally have a date for Jackson's baby shower. YAY!! Also, the crib & changing table get here tomorrow. I can't wait to put a stuffed animal in the crib to visualize my baby sleeping!! It's starting to get real! :)

Monday, December 3, 2012

my christmas movie playlist

Well it's officially December so the hubs can't complain too much that the house is in full holiday swing. There are snowmen everywhere and if holiday music isn't playing, there is a Christmas movie on the television. What can I say? I am obsessed festive!

Even though I love my holiday cheer it doesn't mean just anything shows up on my tv screen. A girl's got to have standards you know! Here are some of my favorite holiday movies!

The hubs says it's a good thing I already love cartoon movies since next year I will have a little one to enjoy some of these with. While I wouldn't call him a scrooge...Michael would rather sit through 2 root canals before watching all of these festive favorites with me.

Are your husbands like that or is it just mine??