Tips for the Perfect Swaddle

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You know how burritos are wonderful? Just ask my two year old what he wants for dinner any day of the week. Well, swaddling is like making a terrific little baby burrito!

We swaddled Mason for way longer than most babies allow.  He just loved it. It definitely helped him sleep longer at night, which allows you to get more sleep, which is so important for feeling normal.

When you first start out swaddling a newborn it’s easy to use a blanket. I love using the old school pink and blue striped ones that you get from the hospital. They’re durable and really allow you to get those tiny little legs pulled up. Also, when most people do a traditional swaddle, they put the baby on a corner of the blanket.  If you put the baby on one of the straight sides you are left with more fabric on the sides to wrap around and behind, and your swaddle becomes tighter and less likely to come apart as your baby moves during sleep.

WAM swaddle

 

You can probably use this up until your baby is about one month old, depending on how big they are getting.  As your baby gets a little bigger, you will probably need to get a little bit larger of a blanket such as one of the Aden + Anais kinds. They are light weight, durable, and they are the perfect size for growing babies who kick out of other swaddles. I also use them to cover Hudson in his carseat while we’re out and about, and I often use them as a nursing cover because they are just so lightweight in this hot Arizona weather. If you don’t have any of these blankets, you should think about looking into them. They have ridiculously cute patterns and usually come in a pack of four, which is perfect because you’ll need two of them to do the Cadillac of all swaddles…THE DOUBLE SWADDLE!

I don’t even remember how I found out about this but I am so glad I did! It was like I stumbled upon pure gold! Hudson started breaking out of his swaddles early, like by a month old. I wasn’t ready to give up those stretches of sleep time, and then, the double swaddle came into my life!

I’m sure there are plenty of Youtube videos about it, but you can click here to watch the one I did from NoDietsAllowed.

You use one blanket to magically wrap the baby’s arms first, and then you do another swaddle over that for complete swaddle comfort!  It’s life changing. We had been good swaddlers before, but now…nothing can stop us!

The amazing double swaddle lasted us for probably a good month until we switched to the Summer SwaddleMe velcro swaddlers. As good as an old fashioned blanket swaddle is, as babies get older, the blankets just don’t hold a squirming babe as well as the velcro ones. You can find them easily at most baby stores.

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As babies get even bigger, they’ll often need their arms to soothe themselves and they’ll need them for motor development even as they sleep. You can still swaddle them,  just leave their arms out. It keeps them covered safely and comforts them with the right amount of pressure. The next time you have a baby or need a baby shower gift, consider a velcro swaddler. I love them!

There you have it.  You can wow your friends and family with the amazing double swaddle!

Do you have any swaddle tips and tricks? Let’s hear them!

*The opinions and products promoted in this post are entirely my own and were not sponsored in any way.

 

Iced Coffee…Mmm

Iced coffee is definitely a staple of making it through a stressful day.  Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Dutch Bros., all of these can satisfy a craving, but sometimes you just want iced coffee while you’re still in your pajamas. Not to mention, so many people are trying to stick to a budget.  It’s always nice to save money when you can!

Making a regular cup of coffee and pouring it over ice leaves you with watered down coffee that is less than bold and flavorful. This simple recipe is the exact opposite!

A while ago I found this super easy recipe from the Pioneer Woman. I love her. She’s so classy!  Her recipe can be found here, but I’ll give you the rundown.

You’ll need:

one bag (12oz.) of your favorite ground coffee– bags of ground coffee don’t come in pounds anymore, they all come in 12oz., so that changes her recipe.

since you’re using only 12oz. of ground coffee, you’ll need 1 and a half gallons of water

a large container to hold it all

Cheesecloth or a large coffee filter

Here’s what you do:

1. Put the coffee grounds into the container.

2. Pour the water on top of the grounds and give it a stir to make sure all grounds are completely wet.

3. Cover it and put it on the kitchen counter and let it sit there for about a day.

4. After about 24 hours, pour the coffee over the cheesecloth or coffee filter to strain out all the grounds.

5. Keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator and enjoy fresh iced coffee whenever you’d like! She also says that it’ll last up to three weeks, but it probably won’t stick around that long!

Here’s my tips:

I buy gallons of water and then use the empty gallon jugs to store the coffee in the fridge so it fits well and is easy to pour.

Straining it can be little tricky because you’re trying to hold the cheesecloth and pour the coffee. Having a buddy for this step helps.

I’ve made this for brunches, parties, and just to keep on hand.  Get some flavored creamers, maybe some coffee friendly spirits, and let people make their own treat. A coffee bar is always something guests find interesting!

This recipe is always something people ask me about and now you know all the secrets! Enjoy, and let me know what you think if you give it a try!

Forever Friends

At one time or another, we’ve all got jobs, bills, family dynamics, health issues, children,… a million things that can stress us out. As blessed as we may be in our intimate relationships or bonds we have with family members, friends are a part of life that truly makes it special.

I try not to read anything on Urban Dictionary because, well, let’s be honest, most of it makes me cringe or blush. But, in this case, they have defined (with typos, which again, makes me cringe!) the term “forever friends.”  Here’s what stuck with me…

“Someone who is there for you no matter what. Who knows anything and everything about you and still likes you. Someone who will sleep with the phone under their pillow just in case you need to call them at 3 in the morning. Someone you can laugh uncontrolably with or cry histaricly with…But most importantly someone who is there for you when you need them most and will love you through the good times and the bad.”

This is fantastic.  It makes me tear up and smile every time I read it (as long as I don’t pay attention to the fact that whoever wrote this MUST be a sixth grader who has never heard of spell check.)

Anyway, what happened while you were reading that definition? You immediately started mental listing your friends.  The ones who you feel are worthy of this honorable title, “forever friend.”

How often do you actually tell them that they mean so much to you? That you couldn’t imagine your life without them? Routinely saying someone is your “best friend” isn’t always the same as the feeling you get when you think about your forever friends.

You might have one, you might have five. That doesn’t matter. After all, remember: It’s quality, not quantity.

NOW is the time to let your friends, any friends you really care about, know how much they mean to you! Copy this picture and text it to them, post it on their Facebook wall, post it on your Instagram, print it and leave it somewhere for your hubby, etc. Let’s give our friends the  good feelings they deserve!

WAM Friends

Leave a comment and let me know how your friends liked it too!

It’s always the right time to brighten someone’s day.

Cleaning Routines

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I always thought having a weekly cleaning routine would help me stay organized and man, was I right!  After being married and owning our own house for over ten years, you’d think I would have gotten around to making a cleaning routine a little sooner than a few months ago. Knowing that I have a certain set of “chores” to get done on any given day is what really keeps me sane. I no longer go down rabbit holes of cleaning where I start in one room doing something simple like dusting and before I know it I’m working in the garage!  It’s really a waste of time to not have a cleaning routine.

We decided to break up our list by room instead of by chore. So for example, Monday is kitchen day.  Fridge and pantry get straightened up and wiped down. Cupboards get a once over to make sure everything is where it belongs after your toddler pulled out all the containers and then threw them back in…you know, the usual. Or maybe you rearrange to make things more functional? I don’t know how much time you have.

I love knowing that each day is assigned to just one area (for the most part). Wednesday is bathrooms and I know that’s all I need to focus on.

Yes, there must be an everyday section, too.  Even though you may think you don’t need to see the everyday stuff because you do it ALL the time, like dishes, laundry, and wiping the countertops, it makes you feel like you accomplished something. It matters that you do them every single day. Multiple times a day.  That’s the point of the list!  Everything you do and have to do gets broken down into small manageable chunks. It keeps you on top of things and then when someone comes over unexpectedly you’re not immediately thinking, “Ugh, I hope the bathroom is clean!” It is! Because you keep up with it! (And that means less stress!)

We’ve even found examples online of lists that are for monthly and yearly household chores such as changing the air filter and shampooing carpets. Making one of those that fits our needs is next on the to-do list.

My biggest piece of advice is to type up your own list. I have a million things to do. I don’t want weeding through the list of chores to be one of them. If I don’t have a formal dining room, I don’t want to see anything about a formal dining room on my list. I should be able to cross off everything each day because it all pertains to our home and our needs. (IF I get to it all…some days the list looks more like suggestions to which I say, no thanks, not going to mop floors today! And that’s just fine.) Also, we really do cross off things once they’re completed, but since it’s a weekly list we don’t cross off the items in the “everyday” area.

To help you get started, here’s our cleaning routine…Weekly Cleaning Routine2

Just the basics. Remember, it’s supposed to help you keep your house clean, not stress you out!

Do you have a cleaning routine? If you have any great cleaning routine tips leave a comment. I’d love to hear them!

Now, go and create the cleaning routine of your dreams! (Too much? I guess you could just print mine and cross things off…)

Happy Cleaning!

It’ll be easy right?

WAM toptenSAHM

Here you’ll find my top ten reasons for becoming a stay at home mom!

1. The only boss I have to report to is me! Wait,…and Josh…wait, and two little boys…OK, maybe this is going to be more demanding than I thought!?

2. Household chores become my primary task during the day…the only real things I have to accomplish. Until just as soon as I start washing dishes and then someone needs a diaper changed, or wants to eat. Chances are, it’s going to be at least another hour before I’m back to those dishes.

3. I’ll have time to grocery shop during the day while everyone else is at work! Um, grocery shopping with two small children…no thanks! I think I’ll just wait and go after the kids are in bed. Walmart at 10pm can be relaxing, right?

4. Think about how much time I’ll have to keep up on laundry and actually get it folded and put away! Have you ever had a toddler around PILES of newly folded clothes? If not, let me describe to you what happens. At the exact moment you feel yourself approaching the end of the pile to be folded, this silent alarm goes off inside the head of your two year old and their body seems to lose all control as they grab or push every pile over. These involuntary movements are often accompanied by giggles. It’s fantastic, let me tell you.

5. We’re going to have playdates AT LEAST three times a week. Ok, so I know I’m still new at this having two kids thing, but getting out of the house can seriously take hours. Doctor appointment at 11am? Better start getting everyone ready to go at 8:30 because just getting into the car can consume the greater part of your morning.

6. The time I have to meal plan will allow me to save money and provide healthy meals for my family. After feeding a baby on demand all day and running around tickling a toddler, mixed with cleaning up spills and toys, Taco Bell and frozen pizzas can be good enough! What? They’re tasty. And babies have sensors in them that tell them when you’re going to eat and then they get fussy, so you won’t sit down and enjoy your meal anyway. *The silver lining: The standing and rocking a baby while you shovel in your food burns more calories, right!?

7. I’ll be able to spend time getting myself ready for the day. Uh-huh. Hello, messy top knot, jean shorts and tank top. Thank goodness for yesterday’s eye liner to really pull the look together.

8. I can’t wait to get together with my girlfriends on a weekly basis for girl time. Oh ya, remember those three other bosses I have? Well, Josh gives me the time off with no problem, but the little guy is crying because I won’t be home to put him to bed and the little little guy is connected to my boob. So…family dinner at the pizza place it is!

9. I won’t have to deal with the stress of working outside the home. Nope, just the stress of working inside your home, which means so much more to you than any job could. And no paycheck. Unless you count hugs and kisses, and how could you not?

10. I’ll be able to spend more time with my boys. *Insert deep breath of pure contentment.  This is the one thing that you think you’re going to get when you decide to be a stay at home mom, that you actually get.  The snuggles and giggles I get to experience during the day are worth all of the craziness. The laundry can wait. Because really, that pair of pants your wore again yesterday aren’t THAT dirty anyway. The dishes aren’t going anywhere. The toys piled in the corner that never made it back to the closet are just going to be played with tomorrow, right?

Enjoy your littles who grow so quickly and won’t be the same tomorrow. Suck up every single moment, from the quiet snuggles while they sleep on your shoulder or lap, to the times when those crazy screaming children team up on you to be as loud as possible at the exact same time.

Oh, and in-between enjoying all those little memories, try to take a nap. You’ll need it.