Friday, May 25, 2012

Cheekwood Gardens Play Date

Yesterday, Jett & I went to Cheekwood Gardens to meet our friend Jill & her baby boy Lincoln. Cheekwood Gardens is a gorgeous piece of land with beautiful gardens & ponds all throughout that's been there since 1932. The property was bought by the founders of Maxwell House Coffee after they sold the business for $40 million in 1928. I'm not sure what the equivalent to $40 million is today, but I think the coffee business might have been the place to be way back in the 30's. 

So, after they sold the business, they bought 100 acres of land in, what was then the country, & hired a New York residential & landscape architect to do all the landscaping & detailing. Even inside the home. Pretty cool that his work at Cheekwood is still appreciated to this day. It's still absolutely stunning out there. Here's a couple of photos of Cheekwood way back when.

photo credit:

Luckily, when we decided to go, there was a Tree House exhibit celebrating the ten year anniversary of their first summer exhibition. They selected 7 different designers to depict great works of literature through building tree houses throughout the gardens. And let me just tell you, they are impressive. Here are a few photos of our fun day at Cheekwood. If you live in Nashville or are in the neighborhood, you should definitely check it out.

I'd like to have this as a playhouse in my back yard.
Jett & Lincoln just chatting about the beautiful gardens.

Guess what this is.

A giant fish tree house made from CD's! How cool?!


Jett was excited.

You better believe I got in there!

So pretty & colorful on the inside!

For more information about Cheekwood Gardens click here.

Thanks for stopping by! Hope you all have a great Memorial Day weekend!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Money Savers

Babies are expensive, so I like to try to save a few bucks anywhere I can. So here are a few things I do that I've found to be very helpful:

Sign up for diaper & formula promotions
Yes, you'll probably get  a few unwanted emails, but if you sign up for email & mail lists on sites like PampersSimilac , or Enfamil, you'll constantly get $2-$5 off coupons for diapers, wipes, & formula, and occasionally you'll get a few free samples. I use Similac, & I usually have  a $5 off coupon, & sometimes Target has a promotion where if you buy two containers, you get a $5 gift card. So total cost each ends up being about $18 each. BARGAIN!

Join Costco / Buy in Bulk
If you're a Costco member, the coupons mentioned above won't work here. But Costco sends their own coupons. Usually the diaper coupons are $6 off, so I end up getting a box of 180 diapers for about 30 bucks. Not too shabby. I usually stock up on formula here too. The big size formulas make about 30 8 ounce bottles, so it lasts a little over a week. It's also helpful it is to have a "stock pile" of toilet paper & paper towels. It just makes everything easier to always have household necessities on hand. Another Costco pro is buying meat & cheese in bigger quantities. I always freeze ground turkey & chicken just to have on hand. And a huge wedge of gouda cheese is only about $12. The tiny ones at a regular grocery store are 8 or 9 bucks! No thanks, regular store. I am a Costco member! Mwahahahahahahahahaaaaa! 

Especially if you're as big a Target shopper  as I am. It just links to your normal checking account & works like a debit card, and you'll save 5% on all purchases! In store and online. And when you order online, you get free shipping! That alone is worth it to me. That also makes buying & shipping registry gifts to out of town newly weds & new parents much easier too. Target's shipping is not cheap, so the savings just keep adding up! The only thing that's kind of annoying about it is that the transaction won't show up on your bank statement for a few days. But it doesn't really bother me that bad. Just a little:) To sign up, just take a check with you next time you shop & Target, & they'll get it done for you right at the register. Quick, easy & painless.

These are just a few things I do that I've found are helpful. I'm interested in hearing your ideas too! Happy shopping, everyone!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Cozymonster Down!

Good morning, & happy Saturday, everyone! In case you were wondering how our day started today. I'll go ahead & tell you it wasn't a good beginning for Cozymonster. I saw & heard Jett sitting up & moving around a little on the monitor, so I thought I'd just let he & Cozymonster have a few minutes to play. AKA, I needed 5 more minutes of sleep before I was up for the day. Shouldda known better… I go in Jett's room to find poor Cozymonster face down in doo doo. Yep. A big ole squishy mess of poo. On the nice clean fresh sheet I just put on yesterday. (There's a photo below, so don't look if you don't think you can handle it.) So, needless to say, Jett had a bath with his duck friends, & later, Cozymonster got one too. So we're all good now. Although I'm pretty sure there's about a 75% chance of pink eye. Let's keep our fingers crossed though. Eeeeww…

Here's what we use to remedy this stinky situation:

1. Aveeno Baby wash smells so so good, but not too scented. 2. Cozymonster is replaceable if anything happens to him. 3. You can never have too many rubber ducks. 4 Noodle & Boo Supersoft Lotion really is super soft. It smells nice too. Like a sweet little poop-free baby. 

That's all for today! I hope you all have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Pack up the Whole House! We're going on a Road Trip.

Most of my family lives in Jackson, MIssissippi, so when I feel like a road trip, I usually just throw some clothes in a bag & head down there. I learned very quickly, that with a baby, there's hours, even days of preparing for a road trip. Make sure the laundry is done, clean all the bottles, make sure we have formula, diapers, wipes, orajel, toys, baby wash, wash cloths, the pack & play, the jumperoo, & plenty of blankets. I almost felt guilty for upgrading our car to an SUV, thinking we could have gotten by with my car, but after the first trip with Jett, I quickly learned that we needed the SUV. Not everybody does, but we certainly do. We pack the whole house. Then the driving begins. What used to be a 6 hour trip somehow turns into a 7.5-8 hour trip. I knew this would happen the first time I made this trip (by myself too), so I mentally prepared for it. That's the most important thing to pack. Mental preparation. As long as I knew I would have to stop every 2-4 hours, I was fine doing it.  Patience is key here.  If you're not a patient one, I would not recommend traveling alone. It's much better when someone can crawl in the back & feed the little tooter while the car is still moving. Then we just stop for diaper changes & some play time. So here are a few things that have made traveling with a baby a little easier for our family.
1. A favorite toy or friend. Jett's happens to be the Ugly Doll named Ox. 2. A nice tote to keep all things baby in so it's easier to get all things baby out once you reach your destination. This one is from Thirty-One bags. You can have them monogrammed, and they make great gifts! 3. A sunshade will help keep the sun out of baby's eyes, but I've found that sometimes Jett likes it when I roll his window down a little, so do whatever works best for you! This is the Brica sunshade. 4. Nuby formula dispensers are awesome! I go ahead & measure out 4 scoops in each of the 3 divided sections, so when I'm ready to make him a bottle, one step is already eliminated. Another thing that helps here is to have bottles already filled with the correct amount of water. 5. Happy Squeeze baby food is very helpful on a road trip! Baby food without the spoon. Still messy, but not as bad, but you'll still need some burp cloths to tidy up. 6. I love these reusable grocery bags from to keep all the bottles, formula, baby food, spoons & all other things that deal with baby food. I usually pack a couple these up then put them in the thirty-one tote in the back, then keep one with 2-3 bottles filled with water & the formula dispenser in one in the back seat.

Another helpful trick is to go ahead & pre-make as many bottles as you think you may need & put them in a small cooler. I do this when I travel alone & will take the bottle out about an hour before I think Jett will be hungry. I also keep a blanket or small changing pad in the diaper bag for diaper changes along the way. I usually do the diaper change in the car, as I never know what to expect with gas station bathrooms. Gross. And finally, it's not a bad idea to put a little sunscreen on baby. You never know how much sun is getting back there, so I say better safe than sorry. 

So pack your bags, plan a family vacation & enjoy the summer! Just be prepared for an entirely different experience if you're a first time parent. Like everything parenting, it gets easier! 

Good luck and happy travels!

Third Bird MOM!

Being a mom is the most wonderful & the absolute hardest thing that's ever happened. But in the 7 months I've been one, I've learned that the greatest help comes from chatting with other moms. As a new mom, I feel like I've had an instant connection with every other new mom I've interacted with. Even though everyone has a different opinion about everything from bottles to sleep methods, the more I have these conversations, the more I learn, & the more I have to work with to figure out what's right for my baby. I guess the most important thing I've learned so far is that everyone and every baby is different. I'm learning to do what's best for us & not beat myself up if some days I don't feel like I'm doing everything by the book…And that's why I'm starting this blog. 

While I'll focus mainly on parenting, baby products, & life as a new parent, I'll also have lots of other things to talk about too. I think it's important to keep our identities as creatives & career driven women even though our lives are completely consumed by our new-found loves. We're not "just moms." We're real live people! We like to have adult conversations too. Even though most of the time we talk in baby. 

"Whaasaa matter? You got a poopy? Somebody got the poopy pants?

I think I chanted the phrase "Hello, Mr. Poopy Pants!" about 800 times today before I realized what was going on. I hope you can relate. And I hope you come back to visit the blog tomorrow & every other day that it's up & running. We're in the beginning stages right now, so stay tuned for design updates and more posts. Feel free to comment on what you might want to read about or if you have any questions.

Thanks for stopping by, & I look forward to sharing my tips, tricks, trials & tribulations & hearing yours too. Cheers to you & your Mr. or Ms. Poopy Pants!