February 21, 2017

This is 3

Sully, three years ago you were born on a very cold, cold winter day and my life was forever changed. Most days, it's hard to believe you aren't my little baby anymore (although you will always be my "baby"), and I can't believe we are celebrating your third birthday already. Getting to spend these last three years with you has been both a pleasure and an honour. Watching you grow from a tiny baby into the little boy you are never ceases to amaze me. I remember the days when your daddy and I half-jokingly thought you were never going to walk or talk and now we can't get you to slow down or stop talking!

Everyday with you is an adventure and every night I fall into bed completely exhausted. You make me laugh, sometimes you make me cry, you know how to push my buttons and you challenge me constantly. You are stubborn, sensitive, inquisitive, charming, hilarious and loving. You are the boy who has taught me patience and impatience, that it's possible to love someone so much it hurts, and that there is no greater gift in the world than getting to be your mother. I want to freeze time to keep you my little boy forever, while also looking forward to witnessing the young man you will become.

This is three: specific coloured bowls for specific foods, crying at the drop of a hat, but hugs so fierce I never want to let go. Stubbornness that mimics mine, choosing your own clothes, repeating every single thing I say, no false promises because you remember everything, making jokes, hide and seek in the dark, 100 piece puzzles, reading an endless number of books, lots of snacks (oh so many snacks!), taking showers on your own, being potty trained. Negotiations for treats, wanting to be independent with everything, mommy's little helper and a fantastic big brother. Cuddles on the couch, kisses to make boo-boo's better, telling me I'm your "best friend". Being bossy, not wanting to share your toys with friends, jumping on beds, jumping in puddles, walking with your hands in your pockets, asking endless questions. Lover of chocolate, Paw Patrol, crickets on your sound machine, ice in your water bottle, dogs, daddy's truck, motorbikes, ambulances and trains. Hater of socks, blankets, being told "no", car washes, and blueberries. Endless tears some days, but also endless laughter. It's life lived completely in the moment.

This is three.

Happy Birthday, Sully.

I love you to the moon and back,

xoxo Mommy

February 17, 2017

Good Night, Sleep Tight

I love my sleep. I might be a night owl, but I love to sleep. It's one of life's greatest joys! Okay, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but I really do love my sleep. And I really hate being tired. And I'm pretty grumpy in the mornings if I'm sleep deprived. So yes, sleep was on my mind a lot in those last few weeks leading up to Emmy's birth. My biggest fear about having a newborn again was how was I going to survive on broken sleep? Sully has been sleeping through the night for as long as I can remember (save for the occasional nightmare that wakes him up), so the thought of having to wake up every few hours to soothe or feed a sleeping baby was pretty scary.

Sully, who is almost three now, was a terrible sleeper for most of the first 18 months of his life. He basically only slept if someone was holding him. I never intended to co-sleep with Sully, but because I needed to do what I needed to do in order for both of us to get some sleep, we co-slept. For the first few months, I held Sully at night while he slept. The second I would put him down in a bassinet beside our bed, he would wake up, furious and crying. I attempted to lay him beside me in my bed, but he just seemed too little in those first few months and I feared covers or pillows would somehow end up smothering him.

Anyway, looking back, those were some long nights. Sure, we slept, but I wouldn't say it was ideal. I ended up loving co-sleeping once he was older and bigger so when I became pregnant with Emmy, I knew I wanted to co-sleep with her too. But, I did not want to have to hold her.

Sometime after Sully was sleeping in his crib to before Emmy was born, I discovered DockATot. Why I hadn't heard of them when Sully was an infant, I will never know, but I knew the DockATot was going to be the sleep game changer with Emmy. The DockATot is like a little nest for your babe to sleep in. It's portable, meaning you can easily move it from your bed to the floor or from room to room, or even take it with you when you travel. You can use it during the day for your babe to lounge in, or at night to safely co-sleep in your bed with you. The sides and bottom of it are breathable (and washable) and made of 100% cotton. In a nutshell, it's the perfect little bed for your baby.
DockATot Review
DockATot Review
DockATot Review
We use the DockATot every single night. I place it in the middle of our bed up near the headboard, on top of the covers. Then I get under the covers, with my pillow a little further down the bed. This ensures that the covers never accidentally end up on top of Emmy.

At first, I just swaddled Emmy in a muslin blanket, but she's a little Houdini and I found she was spending too much time trying to get out of the swaddle! So then I introduced The Ollie Swaddle. I wasn't a big fan of swaddling with Sully because I found he either escaped too easily, or it was annoying at night to have to re-swaddle numerous times after diaper changes. The Ollie Swaddle is really soft on the inside and is made of moisture wicking material which reduces the risk of overheating. But most importantly (in my opinion), is that it's so easy to use! You just lay your baby in the middle of it and wrap one side over the other and it's secured with Velcro. The bottom you secure with an attached elastic band. This allows you to change baby's diaper without un-swaddling. Also, we've been using the Ollie Swaddle for weeks now and Emmy hasn't escaped from it once yet. And she can often be super fussy when it's time for bed and as soon as I swaddle her, she relaxes almost instantly.
Ollie Swaddle review and Why I Love It
Ollie Swaddle for Better Sleep
Emmy is the complete opposite baby from her brother and she's been a pretty amazing sleeper since day one. She actually slept pretty well in a bassinet beside my bed for the first week she was home, but as soon as the DockATot arrived, I switched her to that. I love having her right in bed beside me, especially in those first few weeks when I was still recovering from my c-section. Sitting up and trying to lift her out of the bassinet was not the easiest thing to do. The DockATot made nighttime feeds so much more convenient and easier for me. Now that my mobility isn't an issue, I still find it so much easier to have her right there. Sometimes in the middle of the night I can hear her start to fuss a little and all I have to do is roll over and pop her soother back into her mouth. Or I gently jiggle the DockATot until she settles back to sleep. When you don't have to physically get out of bed to soothe or feed your baby, your sleep doesn't feel nearly as interrupted. And ever since I started swaddling with the Ollie Swaddle and using the DockATot together, Emmy has been sleeping for 4 - 5 hour chunks! I call that a huge win.
DockATot Review
Improve your infants sleep with the DockATot and Ollie Swaddle
Needless to say, from here on out, if any parent asks me what baby items I think are a must, these two are at the top of the list. Emmy is currently sleeping in the smaller DockATot, the Deluxe, but I'm already planning on ordering her the Grand once she outgrows this one, that's how much I love it!

If you're wanting to purchase a DockATot for yourself or a gift, feel free to use my referral link to receive $10 off your purchase! (I'll receive $5 in return), or this referral link for The Ollie Swaddle to receive 10% off (I'll receive $5 in return). Happy sleeping!

*I received the DockATot and The Ollie Swaddle in exchange for this post,  but as always, all opinions and reviews expressed are my own. Thank you for supporting the companies that continue to make this hobby of mine possible! 

Parents, do you co-sleep with your babies? Would you?

At what age did you start putting your baby into his/her crib in their own room? 

February 14, 2017

Books We're Loving For Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day! After texting about books one evening, (like all the cool kids do), Becky and I thought it would be fun to put together a Valentine's Day inspired post sharing our favourite books about love! We read a lot of the same books and we've read a lot of really wonderful books with great love stories in them. After much consideration, we each picked our top three, but we both agree that these six books make up our top picks for best love stories out there. You can read about my choices below, and then head on over to Becky's blog to read about hers. 

Books We're Loving

One True Loves: This was one of my favourite reads from 2016, and a book that I recommend to everyone (even if they aren't asking me for book recommendations). This is the story of Emma, and how she must choose between the first love of her life, Jesse, her husband who she thought was dead, and the new love of her life, Sam. It's raw, real, heartbreaking and heartwarming. Your heart will feel torn in two while Emma grieves and tries to figure it all out, but you will feel put back together by the end of the book. The rollercoaster of emotions you will go on while reading this book is more than worth it. Be prepared to want to read this book in one sitting.

The Royal We: The fictional retelling of the love story of Prince William and Kate will have you turning pages long into the night and wishing for more once the last page is turned. It's messy, honest, entertaining and all around a delight to read. Even if you aren't a fan of the real Duke and Duchess, I can't imagine anyone not enjoying this book. And if you're like me and prefer to read the book before the movie, then hurry up, because there's talks of a movie adaptation being made!

Attachments: This is one of the neatest love stories I've ever read. It's charming and sweet without being over the top. Told mainly through email correspondence between Jennifer and Beth, with interspersing chapters from Lincoln, the IT security guy at their company, Lincoln finds himself in a position in which he's often reading Jennifer and Beth's red-flagged emails. It's 1999, and the internet is a relatively new phenomenon in the work place. After awhile, Lincoln finds himself falling in love with one of the women writing the emails. But how can you confront the woman you're falling for when you've never even met in person? Love before sight.
Great love stories for Valentine's Day

See Becky's picks here.

What's your favourite love story? 

Which book(s) would you add to this list?