Uncategorized

Welcome Harper!

IMG_3271

I’m finally posting! Only took me two and a half weeks after her birth to finally post 🙂

Introducing Harper Kinney. She was born on Tuesday, 3/14/17, at 8:10am. She weighed 7lb 13oz and was 19 inches long. We are soooo in love with her! She has been such a good baby the last 2 1/2 weeks. We are tired but not so so tired. Ben is just loving having her home and being big brother to her.

We had a scheduled c-section so really not much of a birth story to tell. haha. I had to check into the hospital at 5am. Then filled out some paperwork. From there, Jay and I were sent to triage where I changed into my lovely hospital gown, got blood drawn, and IV put in. From there we had to just wait for the anesthesiologist and my OB to get there. Around 7:30 they finally wheeled me into the OR. Jay couldn’t go in just yet which was standard. From there I was prepped and they put in the spinal block. Then finally Jay came in and they started a couple minutes later. They probably started around 7:55 and she was out by 8:10. I guess she was in a weird position in my belly so they had to use the “mighty” vacuum to get her out. I was a little worried but she came out crying and looking great! Around 8:45 they wheeled me into the recovery room and we stayed in there for about two hours while they took my vitals and I nursed her. Finally we were sent up to the postpartum room where we spent the next two days. For some reason, my muscles had a harder time with healing than when I had a c-section with my son. So, my first walk and all the walks while I was there were a lot more painful. But other than that, she’s been great! She’s an eating champ and we have had no problems with nursing. Thank God! We finally left Thursday afternoon and everything has been great and gone by so fast since then. When we got home, Ben was so excited to meet his sister. I guess when she was first born, he was at school and told one of his teachers, “My baby sister came out of mommy’s tummy and she’s not a dinasour!!” Haha. Here is the first picture of the two of them: IMG_3287

And the next day was St. Patrick’s Day (her actual due date). So of course I had to take a photo of them dressed up!   IMG_3293

And lastly here’s a photo of the two of them again a few days ago. Ben is beyond happy to be a big brother and finally have another sibling 🙂

IMG_3339

And that’s that! Can’t wait to start trying for baby no.3!!! hahahahaha jk!….at least not anytime soon 😉

Decor · Uncategorized

Baby girl’s nursery

Morning everyone! And happy weekend! Today is such a beautiful today today. The sun is out and it’s going to be an amazing 74 degrees here today! Yay for spring coming 🙂 This is our last weekend before baby girl arrives so I’m trying to soak up every little moment with my family of three before we become a family four.

We actually had a little scare yesterday afternoon and almost had the baby last night! I was sent to the hospital and the doctor basically said he thought I should be ok until Tuesday (my scheduled c-section date)  but he was more than happy to deliver the baby last night if I felt like it. And as much as I can’t wait to meet baby girl, I just want/need a teeny bit more time. I want to be with my son and husband and soak in our last weekend together. Especially since it’s such a beautiful weekend! Plus, I want to plant our garden this weekend too! 🙂

Before baby girl arrives (and the room becomes a complete disaster) I thought I’d show you some pictures of her room. I have to admit, I am NOT a fan of pink. (You’re going to laugh when you see the pics because the room has a lot of pink. haha) I actually told a lot of family and friends “Don’t get me pink!” But after really looking at all the gender neutral and girly colors out there, I realized there are a TON of different shades of pink and the pink that I was thinking of in my head was more of a hot pink. No hot pink and leopard for this lady! Just isn’t my thing. I did, however, settle for more of a dainty type of pink. I really wanted to go with a peach and grey, but for some reason, there is hardly any peach baby stuff out there! But, they do have some super soft pinks that came as close to a peach as I could get. I paired it with grey and white and little pops of green (kind of like a sage green).  Here’s the pics and I’ll post links to where I got everything underneath 🙂

IMG_3045

Crib – Potterybarn kids. They no longer have this model as it was passed down from my sister-in-law.  Something similar is this
Crib sheet and crib skirt
Initials on wall
Wall flowers – these flowers I found at Hobby Lobby. They are actually meant for scrapbooking. They do have a little stick to them already. However, I didn’t want to ruin the walls. I found that they have command strips for posters. So I bought those and cut them into small enough pieces and stuck them to flowers and then to the wall. Worked really well!
Baskets under crib
Basket in corner – using this as her hamper
White shelving
Flower on shelf
Bird on shelf
Green frame – Home Goods
Paint – Benjamin Moore – Sea Salt

IMG_3041

Bookrack
Mirror – Home Goods
Rocker/Glider
Pillow
Flower prints
Frames and ribbon – Michaels
Knobs for frames – Hobby Lobby

IMG_3047

Dresser/changing table
Changing pad cover
Lamp – Home Goods
Curtains
Flower tie back on curtains- Hobby Lobby – These I just bought as flowers with the stems. Then cut off the stems and hot glued them to ribbon. I promise I’m not that crafty and this was easy!

IMG_3235

And that’s her room! It took a lot of time to put together, but I’m happy with it 🙂

I have a feeling this is going to be my last post before baby girl arrives on Tuesday. So, next time I’m on here, I’ll be introducing the newest member of our family. Can’t wait to show her to you all! Have a fabulous weekend!!!

Uncategorized

Freezer Meals

Happy Monday everybody!! Well I am officially one week away from meeting my baby girl! Woohoo! We have seriously done so much to prepare for this little ones arrival. Her room is all ready, bottles are washed and sanitized, clothes are all cleaned, diapers in drawers, swing is out, nursing outfits ready, car seat ready, stroller set up and finally freezer meals are made!

I can’t tell you how much having freezer meals was such a big help when we had Ben. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law made some amazing meals and it was just the biggest life saver! And since it was probably the biggest life saver with having a newborn, I knew that this was a must for new baby girl. Since I didn’t make them last time, I turned to trusty old Pinterest to help me out. There are endless amounts of recipes and ideas to choose from. So if you are making the meals, Pinterest is the way to go. Here is the list of meals that we decided on:

I actually took a few photos from making the lasagna roll ups… 🙂

IMG_3058IMG_3059.JPGIMG_3060IMG_3062IMG_3064

I forgot to add a pic of making the meat sauce (forgive me, I’m pregnant and still new to this blog stuff!). But, Ree Drummond has it all taken care of!

All of these freezer meals are awesome because they make about three to four meals worth  with each recipe. Most of them only take about 45 minutes to bake and you’re done! Jay and I usually just buy a big tub of salad greens and have a salad on the side to go with the meal. We have to throw in the healthy somehow! Anyway, Jay and I only spent about 2 hours over the course of three weekends preparing these. It didn’t take too much time. But the time it did, we know it’ll be worth it!

Decor · Uncategorized

Ben’s Big Boy Room

Ben just turned 3 last November and so we decided it was finally time to move him into a big boy room. We had a crib from Potterybarn that is amazing because it’s convertible. So we obviously had him in the crib. Then moved to toddler rail (which you have to buy separately). And then finally you can turn it into a headboard and footboard for a big boy bed. We decided not to do a footboard since his room is on the smaller side. But it still looks great!

His big boy room is airplane themed because pilot’s are in my family…my dad is a pilot and my brother is a pilot. So here ya go! I’ll put links to the items at the bottom if anything pops out at ya 🙂

img_3182

Headboard (4-1 convertible crib) Potterybarn Larkin Crib
Dresser – looks like they don’t carry it anymore but here’s something similar PB dresser
Bookshelf – they don’t have the color (sun valley espresso) but they do have other colors PB bookshelf
Sheets and throw pillow – PB airplane sheets and throw pillow looks like they just ran out (from Potterybarn Kids)
BBB duvet and shams
FLY letters
lamp is from Target. Navy is gone but have other colors touch on/off lamp – btw, the touch on/off lamp is amazing! Ben thinks it’s the coolest thing 🙂

img_3180

World map

Red and white airplane above closet

img_3178

img_3179

Airplane decals

img_3181

And there you have it! Ben sure loves his big boy room and his big boy bed. Hope you all have a great weekend!

Uncategorized

My pregnancy thus far…

Hi all! Hope everyone is having a great weekend so far! Just wanted to share some of the highlights from this pregnancy so far since it’s almost done 🙂

It has definitely been a bumpy road to get to where I am now. I struggled with infertility trying for #2 and lost a baby earlier last year (will do a post about this later on). But, now I am so grateful that I only have two weeks left until I meet this little girl and I just can’t wait to meet her!

Baby girl Kinney is actually an IVF baby, kind of by accident. We weren’t planning on doing IVF (at least not yet). I had been on infertility meds for a while and they weren’t really working so we decided to give it a boost and mix injections with the infertility meds. My first try on that worked…a little too well! With my meds before, I had only produced 1 or 2 eggs/follicles. With the injection/meds combo, I actually produced 9! So my dr gave me the option of either skipping this month quoting that “I would be the next octomom” and try again next month or they could extract the eggs through IVF and go that route. After two years of emotional stress, we decided on the latter. And to sum it up, we did the whole procedure immediately (like 2 days later) and I ended up with a total of 5 embryos after the whole process was done. They decided to implant 2 and it worked! I ended up getting pregnant with my baby girl the first try. We found in July and I’ve pregnant since 🙂

My son’s pregnancy compared to this one was a breeze. The most I ever got was a cold….well I also became a big swollen mess when I actually had him, but that’s a whole other story. This pregnancy started out rough, but has slowly become better and better. First, I have had wayyyyyyyyyy more morning sickness with this little girl. On top of first trimester nausea, can we say never ending heartburn? I have literally had heartburn this entire pregnancy. This girl better be born with a TON of hair!!

Also, I decided to do the genetic testing (two blood tests, spine ultrasound and 20 week brain ultrasound). This was when the rough spot of the pregnancy began. I did the first round of blood work and got a call from the specialty dr a few days later. They said that I had tested high for down syndrome and that I needed to come in the next day to meet with a genetic counselor to go over everything. When I asked if they could give me the number/results, they said they did not have that information. I called my husband and pretty much spent the rest of the afternoon crying. Going through two years of infertility and finally getting pregnant after a loss and this is what I get? I was devastated. We met with the genetic counselor the next day and he completely eased our minds. He said our probability of this baby having downs was really low and that we shouldn’t worry. They can still do amnios to determine 100% accuracy if the baby has downs or not, but they now have a blood test you can do (one of the brand names is Harmony) that is 99.9% accurate and we chose to to go that route. I took the test and a week later I was cleared of the baby having any genetic issues. Also, the other blood test, spine and brain ultrasound came back perfect.

Then, a week later, I get a call from my regular OB saying that in that same first blood test, I tested low for papp-a and would need to go in to the specialist every six weeks to get extra ultrasounds and be monitored on top of my regular OB visits. I also was put on low dose aspirin. Papp-a basically means that the protein in your placenta is lower than what it should be…meaning your placenta may not be working the way it’s supposed to to make the baby thrive. They say they don’t notice any problems with this low papp-a until  about 34 weeks. So, I had to go in to the specialist and get measurements of the baby through ultrasound to see if she was growing normally from the first trimester all the way until last week. They say the first thing they notice, if there is a problem, is the baby’s stomach isn’t growing, but everything else usually is. Luckily for me, baby girl has been doing great! I just had my last ultrasound last Thursday with the specialist and they said she looks great, is already 6 1/2lbs and I’m clear of the papp-a affecting the baby! Woohoo!!!

The last thing I’ve had to do is go in for these non-stress tests twice a week (NST for short). I have to do them a) because she’s an IVF baby and b) because I’ve a low papp-a. What they do at the NST’s is measure her heart rate, see if I’m getting any contractions, and take my blood pressure. I started those at 34 weeks and so far so good. Here’s a little snippet of what it looks like. Takes only 20 minutes…easy peasy!img_3134

I now only have 2 1/2 weeks to go. March 14 is my scheduled c-section date and I’m so excited 🙂 I’m starting to get contractions, but nothing too serious yet. But, March 14 will be here before ya know it. Can’t wait!  img_3084

Uncategorized

Weekly Meal Prep

Hey everybody! So I wanted to share our family’s version of a weekly meal prep. Now to give you a little background of the life before kids…Jay and I are BIG time foodies. Some people spend their extra money on clothes, houses, cars, accessories, etc. What Jay and I used to spend our extra money on was restaurants. Trying the latest and greatest. (We also spent our extra money on wine, but that’s for another time). It also didn’t help that we lived in the SF bay area where we had access to some of the best restaurants in the world. Also, my husband loves to cook and by cook, I mean, straight up restaurant cooking with the best of the best ingredients. (Yes, I know how lucky I am). Whole foods and smaller gourmet food markets got a lot of our money. It was wonderful 🙂 Then we had kids…

Don’t get me wrong, our son and our soon to be little girl, are our everything and we wouldn’t change that for the world. I would gladly give up fancy restaurants time and time again for them! With kids, your priorities just change. Your extra money really goes mostly to your kids. I can’t tell you how many clothes my son has (as well as my future daughter)! As for me and my husband…well, it seems like 95% of our clothing purchases go to our kids and the rest to me and the hubby. haha. From clothing to toys to their room decor to you name it, you’re spending a lot of money them. So, the fancy food purchases and frequent visits to high end restaurants has, for the most part, gone out the window.

So, one of the two main reasons why we meal plan and get all of our grocery shopping done in one weekly trip is to save some $$$$. Because when you go once a week, you are really only getting things you need instead of buying extra things here and there…which is what I used to do all the time. The other reason we meal plan is…time! Before kids, I wasn’t the biggest fan of going to the grocery store. Probably because we never meal planned and was literally at the grocery store every day to pick up dinner for that night. Looking back, what a waste of time. Hey, at least the groceries were fresh! Now that I have kids, I can’t tell you how much of a luxury it is to go to the store by yourself. Who would have thought? When your kid is baby it’s hard not only because they are crying half of the time but you have the whole car seat in the cart creating no room to put in your groceries. Not to mention timing everything around nap and feeding schedule. When they are toddlers and preschoolers, it only gets worse. And for the most ridiculous things! Last time I was at the store my angel of a child decided to have a screaming and crying fit in the produce section while literally everyone was staring at us. There was an old man just holding an apple in his hand staring with his mouth open like he was watching a car crash happening right before his eyes. I even had a mom come over and tell me that I was doing a good job with a look of “I feel for ya sister’ written all over her face. Want to know why this wonderful outburst happened? Because my son wasn’t able to put a tomato that I picked out into the cart by himself. 20 minutes of embarrassment just for that. I can’t even imagine what it’ll be like with two kids. For that one instance alone, I am so grateful that these grocery trips are only once a week! So, there you have it. Meal planning is amazing. Not only for saving money and time, but for many other reasons as well.

For us, meal planning is really quite simple. We discuss what we want for the week and write it down. I have an iPhone so I keep most of my lists in the notes section. A few of the notes I have are always kept on my phone. One of them being meals that we’ve made that we would make again. When we are deciding what we’d like for the week, I simply look at that list to get ideas of what might sound good for that week. To get even more specific, I have the meals broken into categories….bc who wants to have chicken all week long? For us, i have it broken down by chicken dishes, turkey dishes (usually ground turkey), beef dishes, pork dishes, carbs (pastas, potato dishes, pizza, etc) and then by soup. Don’t ask me why I have it like this, but it works. It might seem silly to even have a list of categories, but I feel like it kind of helps mix up what we are having for dinner that week. I am also a huge Pinterest fan and I like to try at least one new recipe for the week just to mix it up even more. If it’s awesome, I add it to my list of keepers. I usually just write down five dishes for the week and then each night we figure out what sounds best to us. I know some people like to write down what they are having each night, and if that works for them, then great. But for our family, we just like to mix it up a lot. Here’s an example of what we might have for the week:

  • Pork tenderloin
  • Cherry tomato pasta with chicken
  • Turkey tacos
  • Roasted chicken with basil and goat cheese
  • Pinterest meal – pesto grilled shrimp

Now, I only do 5 meals because usually we have a leftover night and the other night we end up just ordering take-out or actually going out to eat, date night etc. I have found that just getting 5 meals worth at the store is best for our family so we don’t waste any food and can be flexible. Once the list of meals is written down for the week, then I make a grocery list of all of the ingredients we need…along with other necessities. Easy peasy! And that’s how we do our meal planning. It really has helped us a ton in the long run while still allowing us to be flexible in deciding what we’d like to eat each night. Hope this helps you if you feel like your dinner time always seem to be a little chaotic. 🙂

Uncategorized

Essentials for baby # 2

I have to admit, when I had my first born, I was a lost cause. But, in hind sight, it was with good reason…I had no idea what to expect! Plus, I was one of the first of my friends to have a kid so I didn’t really have anyone to ask what worked and what didn’t work. You read and read about all the latest products and everyone recommends different things, but in the end you have to figure out for yourself what works and what doesn’t for your growing family. And that really doesn’t happen until you actually have your little one.

I remember going to Buy Buy Baby to register and was beyond overwhelmed. I mean, the store is literally floor to ceiling baby stuff! Luckily, they have great staff that walked me through the store and told me what “I need” and I went from there. Most of the products I was recommended I did end up using, but there was also A LOT of stuff that you really just never use…or you forget to…or your baby doesn’t like it, etc. I thought I’d give you a list of my baby essentials (and products that worked wonders) that I needed for baby #1 and will be using again for baby#2:

  1. Swaddle wraps – These things are AMAZING!!! Basically, it’s a straight jacket for your little one 😉 But, in all seriousness they really worked for us. The magic is that it can velcro! We tried your basic swaddle blanket and learned how to wrap it ever so perfectly so baby wouldn’t wake up and guess what? Baby Houdini always managed to get out no matter what. They really like the snug fit with the wraps I’ve learned. Anyway, they’ve really come a long way since I got my first one over 3 years ago and have really cute designs. They have different sizes and ways that they fit. They start out really snug in both the legs and arms. Then, the next size is snug in the arms, loose in the legs. Then finally their arms can be free and still loose in the legs  but still covers the legs and zips up (if that makes sense). From there, we moved to jammies. You can find them at a lot of places – Target, Buy Buy Baby, Walmart, Amazon, etc. Here’s the link and a pic for your reference:  Swaddle Wraps65582044630249p
  2. The DOHM – another AMAZING product!! To be honest, we did not discover this product until my son was about two years old from one of my good friends who used it with her second baby. But, you can bet that this bad boy will be used as soon as my little one gets home from the hospital! The Dohm is a white noise machine. And the best thing is that there’s only one sound which is more like a fan sound! You can modify it a bit, but for the most part, it is super easy to use and works wonders! Honestly, I sleep better when it’s on. When my son was a baby, we tried all sorts of soothing sound machines as well as apps, but nothing has worked quite as well the dohm. My son is a terrible sleeper and always has been. To the point where I’m that crazy mom putting up blackout curtains and setting up the room for perfect sleeping (even when we visit others!) just so this kid can sleep! (and so I have a little bit of sanity). Here’s the link and pic: Dohm sound machine   51030299
  3. A good swing – This one is pretty self explanatory, but having a good swing  is everything. I actually discovered what all entails a good swing when I realized that my son’s daycare was managing to get him to sleep for his naps..and for a long time! We used to have a smaller one without all the bells and whistles, but that actually made a big difference for my son. He was enamored by the lights on the swing mostly, but also the mobile and the mirror where he could look at himself. I know there are others that have come out in the last three years that are a lot more expensive, and I’m not sure how well they work, but this type definitely did the trick for our little guy:  Baby Swing    ptru1-21100437dt
  4. A good rocking chair – Another product that is self explanatory, but nonetheless needed! We bought ours from Babies R Us and it is actually a glider and recliner. I know PotteryBarn, Land of Nod and other sites have beautiful ones at a hefty price tag, but while I did care about looks, comfort was just as important.  I knew many, many hours would be spent in that chair! Works so well at putting baby to sleep…as well as husbands!! 🙂 Baby glider recliner   dorel-baby-relax-rylan-swivel-ptru1-23586346dt
  5. Burp cloths…that are actually cloth diapers! We bought all sorts of burp cloths from ones with cute designs to ones that can snap into bibs, but nothing worked quite like good ole fashioned cloth diapers! I learned this little trick from my mom. Thanks! 🙂 The others are great, are cute and do their job for the most part, but the cloth diapers are so good  at absorbing all of that yucky stuff and just do an all around better job at clean up. If you want a little more cuteness, my sister in law actually sews on really cute patterns in the middle to make them a lot more appealing and fun! Gerber makes them and you can find these anywhere and everywhere. Gerber burp cloths/diapers    0004721371405_500x500
  6. Blackout curtains – I never knew that darkening a baby’s room would be so helpful until I saw my son’s daycare use them. They literally put black felt on the windows at nap time and it works wonders!!! However, since most of our kids have their own room and/or share and the actual curtains can be left on all day, something a little more aesthetically pleasing would probably work a bit better. With my son, we just got some at Target to match his room. You can get regular blackout curtains (which is what we did with my son), blackout liners or blackout curtain panels. I kind of went a little crazy with my soon-to-arrive daughter’s decor and I got a double curtain rod, bought a white blackout panel that fits on the back rod and then a more sheer colored decorative curtain panel that fits in the front. I bought my double curtain rod at Target and the white blackout panels at BedBathandBeyond    9364363301029g

 

So, there you have it…my top 6 essentials! Notice most of it has to do with sleeping?? haha I’m a big fan of sleep and will do whatever I can to make these kiddos sleep! A lot of these sleep ideas stemmed from the book The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp. (I’ll do a more detailed post on this book later on). This book worked wonders and is on my list to reread before baby girl comes! If you have any essentials you use, please let me know! I’d love to hear about them! Until next time 🙂