Hooray for Friday, guys! I've been looking forward to this weekend all week because tomorrow Kai will be 2 months old! I've really been loving this newborn stage of us just staying cuddled up at home, but I'm also itching to get out. We haven't really taken Kai anywhere besides my parent's house to minimize the risk of him getting sick. The flu season is finally dying down and Kai's 2 month doctor's appointment is Monday. So, while I'm not looking forward to him actually getting his shots, I'm so happy he is going to have them now and be safe guarded from some terrible illnesses. We'll finally be ready to go on some adventures! Ever since I got pregnant I've been dreaming about how I want to make Saturdays be our "family day" where we all go out and do something fun together. I can't wait to go the museums, have picnics, go to the beach, hit up the farmers market, and so much more!
Speaking of Kai...I've got another Little Kai Bear post for you all today! Caleb and I (mostly Caleb ha!) worked so hard on making Kai's nursery perfect. We repainted the walls blue, replaced the doors, and Caleb put up the wainscoting. The theme for his room is Disney's Up + more Disney. We added some "Disney Easter eggs" as Disney themselves like to call them. If you don't know what I'm talking about, if you watch Disney movies (especially Pixar) you'll see little objects from other Disney movies within the movie you're watching. Well we did the same thing in Kai's room! I absolutely love spending time here with him playing and snuggling all day long!
Crib - Wayfair
Blanket ladder - Caleb
Shelves - Caleb
Stuffed animal basket - Michael's (similar)
Dog bed - Target
White teepee - Me (DIY post coming soon)
Adventure is Out There decal - Etsy
Cloud decals - Amazon
Automobile blanket - Minky Couture
White furry rugs - Ikea
Aviator helmet + goggles - Etsy
Mickey hot air balloon picture - Art of Disney at Epcot
Mini blue globe - Anthropologie
Toy Story toys - Disney Store
BB-8 action figure - this is actually a drink cup! Available at the drink cart outside of Launch Bay at Disney's Hollywood Studios
Elephant bookends - HomeGoods
Colorful flags - Me (DIY w/ felt, twine, and clips from Michael's)
Propeller - Amazon
Changing pad - Target
Changing pad cover - Target
Changing pad holder - Caleb
House/balloons wall lights - Ikea
Maui hook - Caleb
Glider - Target
Ottoman - Target
Up pillow - Etsy
Curtains - Target
Curtain rod - Target
Moses basket - Dua Design
Clouds crib sheet - Target
Letter blocks - Amazon
Diaper genie - Target
Dresser - Walmart
Diaper cart - Ikea
Wrigley - Not for sale ;)
Anything that isn't listed above was gifted to us, and I'm not sure where it was purchased. However, if you see something that you're dying to know where it is from and I don't have it listed here, please leave me a comment and I will try my best to track it down for you! The Up quilt was handmade by my best friend and the white bookcase was built by my grandpa. He actually made it for my dad and then my dad painted it white for me when I was a little girl. We currently have it switched out with this though, which we are using to keep Kai's burp cloths, bibs, and some small toys in it. Check out my Instagram stories for a walking room tour of his nursery with anything like that, that we've updated since shooting these photos!
Thank you to Brandie from Bourbon Oak Tree Photography for shooting some of these photos for us during our newborn shoot!
Happiest of Mondays to you all! We had a nice weekend relaxing and spending time with family. Kai is becoming more and more fun by the day! He's so much more alert and smiles so big when he looks at Caleb and I. He's started cooing and sometimes has a little cackle when he smiles. I know we still have some time before he laughs but I can't help but get so excited when he makes noises when he's smiling. We can tell he wants to laugh so bad, but we're not quite there yet. Soon enough though, right!?
So I read a couple of great books last month that I want to share with you all! I've really been enjoying non-fiction books lately, especially parenting books. I find them to be fascinating because the ones I've been diving in to are heavily psychology based. If you didn't know this about me, I actually have a BS degree in Psychology! I'm big on cognitive development and behavioral patterns, which I've got to say, has really worked in my favor with becoming a mom! Anyways, on to the books I read...
Bringing Up Bebe -Pamela Druckerman
This parenting book is about an American mom's experience of raising her children in Paris, France. She decided to write this book because she was fascinated with how well behaved Parisian children always are. She did a lot of research on French parenting and how and why it works so well. The book follows along mostly with her first daughter growing up and how French parents incorporate their techniques based on the child's age.
This book isn't a straight forward parenting guide, it's written like a French parenting book actually. French parenting books aren't designed to tell you exactly what to do every step of the way. They give theories and ideas for French parents to put to the test and figure out how they work best for you children. One of the biggest things this book promotes though is treating your children as functioning people. Even babies can comprehend what you're saying to them, so they are owed to be talked to like a human being. It's suggested to steer clear of lots of baby talk and treat them with respect. French children know that adults are in charge but when they feel respected they are more willing to cooperate for you. I really like this point in the book and 100% agree. Just because Kai can't speak to me, doesn't mean he isn't trying his best to listen to what I have to say. I've been trying to calmly talk to him, and I've really noticed, especially when he's crying really hard, that after a few seconds he starts to calm down and listen. He might not understand what I'm saying but because I'm talking to him like a human and not a cute puppy, he tends to settle and listen better. The book also dives in to a lot about self soothing and how it's important to start on that technique as early as possible, allowing children to play and use their imagination on their own without parent intervention, and helping your babies sleep through the night, all of which I find extremely important. I also really enjoyed how it touched on mom guilt and how French mothers are not ashamed of taking time to care for themselves. We all struggle with that mom guilt of wanting to take care of ourselves but not take time away from our kids, so to be told that it's ok to take time out of your day for you is really nice to read.
The downside to this book though is it obviously really favors Parisian culture. Unfortunately, the US government doesn't subsidize state run daycares that every parent wants their children to attend like the Paris government does. As awesome as this sounds, it's just not how things work here in America. It also talks about the difference in interaction between parent and child of French parents versus American parents. You can try all you want to be like the French parents at the playground but in the end we live in the US, and the way parents interact with their kids here is just how they interact. You can try to change how you do it, but you can't change everyone else.
I definitely recommend this book to all moms but with the point of keeping in mind that it doesn't all work here in the US. The author lives in Paris, we don't.
You can buy Bringing Up Bébé on Amazon.
The Little Book of Hygge -Meik Wiking
The Little Book of Hygge is a book all about the hygge way of life in Denmark. Denmark is repeatedly ranked as having the happiest people in the world, so they must be doing something right! Hygge is definitely the answer to why they are so happy. The author works for the Happiness Institute in Copenhagen and touches on all the different aspects of hygge. There isn't a clear cut translation for what hygge is in English, but the closet you can get is "a cozy lifestyle." The book goes in to the best way to achieve hygge with the importance of candles, togetherness, sweets & good food, and more. Each aspect is broken down in different chapters to thoroughly explain the importance of them to having hygge.
I absolutely loved this book. It is one of my favorite books ever. It made me so happy every morning to read it while sipping my coffee, having Kai in his baby wrap on me, and having some candles going with our fireplace lit. I looked forward to this ritual every morning and just by having this ritual made me feel like I was achieving hygge myself. I really liked how there are some recipes in the book for great food to make with friends and family that bring happiness as well as fun ideas of things to do to really enjoy that closeness with the important people in your life. They are all so simple, too. Hygge isn't about being extravagant and spending a lot of money. If anything, it's about being simple and enjoying what you have. If you are in need of a pick me up, I can't recommend this book enough. Like I said before, just reading it made me feel happier. I try to implement hygge in to my life every day now and I've got to say, I can feel the happiness inside me, which I hope to pass on to all those around me.
You can buy The Little Book of Hygge on Amazon.
I just started reading Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte! Have any of you read this classic? I can't wait to get further in to it. What are you all currently reading? Leave me a comment below and let me know!
Happy Hump Day, everyone! I hope you're having a great week! We're just trudging along with your typical newborn stuff. As soon as you think you've got things figured out...something changes! Kai went through his first growth spurt a couple days ago and wow, it was a tough long day and night. The next day was pretty wonderful though because he slept sooo well! However, today is Caleb's first day back at work, and I'm a little nervous for it. Thankfully my mother in law is still visiting and isn't leaving until this afternoon, so I still have one last day of help. Tomorrow though, Kai and I are on our own and it's going to be an interesting day, but we'll get through it just fine!
So last month I was only able to get through one book since the end of the month was pretty crazy with giving birth to Kai. But the one book that I did finish was a really good one and here are my thoughts...
Capital Gaines -Chip Gaines
I really enjoy reading autobiographies and motivational books, and Capital Gaines was basically a hybrid of these two kinds of non-fiction books. Chip told lots of stories about his past and how his experiences helped mold him in to being the successful business man, boss, and father that he is today. He was honest about everything that goes on with Fixer Upper and Magnolia and how it's not all bows and rainbows yet he still keeps the tone of the book upbeat and motivating.
This book wasn't what I expected it to be but I really loved it. I looked forward to reading it every day and every time I would sit down to read it, it motivated me to be the best version of myself in all areas of life. I laughed a lot while reading it, which is to be expected because I think Chip is hilarious on Fixer Upper. I also really loved the way he spoke about Joanna throughout the book. The love he has for his wife makes my heart swell. I love their partnership and it's so motivating for my own marriage. I am definitely going to miss Fixer Upper when it ends after this season, but hopefully Chip and Joanna will continue to put out great things in this world like Capital Gaines. I highly recommend reading this book, especially if you are in a funk and need a good read to kick start some motivation in your life!
You can buy Capital Gaines on Amazon.
I am currently reading Bringing Up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman and I'm almost done with it! I will definitely share my thoughts on it next month in my book review for February with all of you. What are you currently reading? Leave me a comment below!
Happy Monday, everyone! We made it through the first week of 2018! I hope you all had a warm and cozy weekend with all the crazy weather we've been having in the States. Saturday was still freezing here and that was the day we had our maternity photoshoot scheduled for. My body was numb by the end of the it but it was so worth it because I know those photos are going to hold a special place in our hearts forever. I can't wait to see them and share them all with you! Other than that we ran some errands, which if you live in the Chicagoland area, the World Market in Northbrook is closing and everything is on sale right now! I've been twice in the last week and have found some really awesome stuff for our house, so if you have the time, go check it out...their last day open is January 20th. Yesterday we had a nice quiet day in with our family and played Monopoly. I love game nights so much and am really looking forward to having them with our kids for years to come.
So one of my favorite hobbies is reading and I really love to share what I've read with everyone! I thought I'd start a little book review series every month on what I read the previous month, so we'll start now with what I read this past December.
For Whom the Bell Tolls -Ernest Hemingway
I love a good classic, and I think we can all attest that anything written by Hemingway falls in to the category of being a GREAT classic. Not going to lie, I'd been reading this book for awhile, but it wasn't because it was bad. It was just a mixture of not being able to read every day and it being a bit long.
The plot of the novel is set during the Spanish Civil War where an American is helping to fight with the republic. The American, Robert Jordan, is supposed to help a band of republic fighters blow up a bridge during an attack on the city of Segovia. The novel tells of his journey on how he formulates his plan to proceed with his orders while he has a budding romance with a woman who is a part of the Spanish group he is working with.
I really loved this novel. It kept me intrigued the entire time, and I was always excited to pick it up and read more. I wouldn't say it was the ultimate page turner where I couldn't put it down, but I definitely didn't dread picking it up either. If you like war stories and romance, this is a great pick for you!
Buy For Whom the Bell Tolls on Amazon.
On Becoming Baby Wise -Gary Ezzo & Robert Buckman
I've recently switched over to more parenting reading material over pregnancy material. As I'm coming to the end of my pregnancy, I've wanted to prepare myself for the next stage...raising our baby! I had been recommend this parenting book by multiple people, so I figured I would give it a quick read and see how I felt about it. Well I can tell you this much, I already feel great about it and Nugget hasn't even been born yet!
This book uses the parenting philosophy called PDF (Parent Directed Feeding). To put it simply, this is what it promotes; you feed your baby, you have wake time with your baby, you let your baby sleep. It's a very simple and natural routine. As time goes on, you start to lessen the amount of feedings and naps to get them to eventually sleep throughout the entire night. The goal is to have your baby sleeping 8 hours by the time they are 8-12 weeks old.
So as you can imagine, that would be any parents dream and from the statistics in the book as well as what I've heard first hand from friends who have followed this parenting style...it works! Not only does it sound extremely appealing to have our child sleeping through the night by the time I go back to work so that I'm getting a decent amount of sleep, I think the most important thing is that he is getting the proper amount of sleep, too. We all need a good nights sleep for cognitive development, so if this philosophy is going to help our baby get the proper development he needs, I am definitely on board. I also love a schedule. It makes me feel more comfortable to try to have our baby on the same routine over and over again so that we'll both get the hang of things. Practice makes perfect, right? I believe being on such a great schedule will also help promote my breastmilk production and cause less stress when it comes to that aspect of being mother, too. This is all just speculation though! I will be sure to do an update post on how this PDF philosophy actually plays out for our family and let you know our personal experiences and struggles with it.
You can buy On Becoming Baby Wise on Amazon.
I'm currently reading Capital Gaines by Chip Gaines and I can't wait to share my thoughts on it with all of you next month! What are you currently reading? Leave me a comment below! Also, if any of you use Goodreads you should add me as a friend, so we can keep up with what we're all reading together!
Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you all had a safe and happy one and are refreshed to take on 2018! I am obviously so excited for what this year has in store for us. Last year instead of making a resolution or big time goal I tried to focus on a word or mantra to go back to every single day to help better myself in 2017, and that word was balance. It can be really hard to juggle being successful at work, staying healthy, keeping in touch with family and friends, taking care of yourself, having fun, etc, all at the same time. So I tried my best in 2017 to have a good balance between every single thing that was important to me, and I felt that if I could find that balance that I would have a successful year and meet all my internal goals or resolutions that I had stacking up in my head. I definitely feel like I did a great job at finding that balance that was needed as I look back on 2017 because I ended the year so happy and full of positivity. I believe too that having a good balance in my life has greatly helped me through my pregnancy, too. So while I will continue to work on balance throughout my entire life, a new year also comes with the opportunity to add on another mantra or way of life.
So with that being said, the phrase I plan to focus on the most in 2018 is go with the flow. If you don't know me too well or haven't been able to tell already, I'm a very type A person. While I see this as a good thing in most parts of my life because I am very organized and that decreases stress, sometimes I can over plan for things and when those plans don't work out that causes frustration and disappointment. One thing I know for certain that this super type A personality that I have will conflict with is becoming a mom. While I still intend to be organized, get Nugget on a schedule, and plan stuff out, I know nothing when coming to parenting is going to fit in to a nice plan A or a plan B. I want to internally work on letting the need to plan every single thing out go and just go with the flow when it comes to a lot more things in life. Starting with labor...
There's a lot of hype around having a birth plan and you might be wondering what mine is. My "plan" is to deliver a baby. That's it. I don't care what it takes to get him out, as long as we both come out of the experience safe, that is all that matters to me. When it starts, I'm just going to go with the flow. If I need pain meds, that's fine. If I'm doing fine without them, that's fine, too. If I need to be induced or have a c-section, all fine. As long as I can hold our baby at the end of the experience, that's all I want. That's the whole plan. This is a big one to start my go with the flow mentality with, but if I can let go, trust my body, God, and the people around me to get us through this extremely trying experience, I believe I can do it with so many other things in my life like parenting, hobbies, when Caleb and I can go out for dates...anything really.
I feel so good about this mantra and I already know that giving myself grace and openness is going to help me so much to take on my new role as a mother. I am so excited for this year and am really looking forward to what it has in store for us. What are your goals/resolutions/mantras/words of the year? Please leave me a comment below!
I’m Diana; curator & author of Tiny Dapper Fox. Here you’ll find posts on motherhood, home life, travel, & fashion/beauty as well as City Guides for places all around the world. Make yourself cozy and let’s be friends!
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