Monday, April 25, 2016

a giveaway with plan toys! (closed)

teddy is getting really excited about playing with toys and it kills me. sweetheart. my favorite toys are ones that a) don't make a ton of noise, and b) are nice to look at. i know it's high maintenance, but i reserve the right to not buy toys that are obnoxiously loud and ugly right? i don't have a play room to hide these things in y'all, so they better look cute in a little basket by the bookcase.

the lens on this camera is a kaleidoscope. so basically coolest toy ever.

several of teddy's fav toys right now are from a company called plan toys. i was introduced to them while i was living in slc, and have become more familiar with their brand and mission statement since becoming a loyal customer. i'm nuts about these toys for several reasons. they're made entirely from sustainable materials, they're responsibly manufactured (solar power, baby.), they use organic color pigments (no chemicals in their dyes), non formaldehyde glue, and all packaging is recycled.

a few months ago i purchased a three toy set that mistakenly had a duplicate in it, and within 15 minutes of emailing customer service, i had an apology response, and a shipping confirmation with the correct toy in transit to my house. it arrived within 42 hours of my email. i was blown away at their efficiency and consideration. they even checked in with me to be sure that everything was okay with the replacement toy. it's the little things.

i've teamed up with plan to give one lucky reader one of their sweet baby toys. all you need to do is be a follower of this blog (bottom of the page), visit the plantoys website, and leave a comment telling me which of their baby toys is your fav! easy peasy, guys! (extra entries for following on instagram and facebook, obvi.)

i hope you're having a good monday, people. thanks for stopping by.

this post brought to you by plan toys. 


congratulations to alexis!! i'll send you an email and we'll get you your plan toy!
thanks everyone for entering!! xo

Thursday, April 21, 2016

letters from cindy.

guys, i've been getting emails from a woman named cindy for over 2 years now. i've responded several times, gently telling her that she's contacted me by mistake, and that she might want to resend the message to the correct person, but the messages continue to come. concise and warm, thoughtful and friendly.

"dear aly,
i wanted to offer you a few hours of babysitting this week. bill and i are going to the de young museum and golden gate park. i'm available thursday, friday, or monday. let me know. best wishes to you and the twins!"


11 . 2 . 14
"dear aly,

i tried to call, but there was no option of leaving a message, so i'm trying other media. i want to host a gathering over the christmas holiday. would the 14th work for you? we could also do new years if you like.


12 . 2 . 14

aly, i'm up for babysitting in december if you'd enjoy some twin free time. give me a call. 


5 . 3 . 15

all is well on the arlington. however, a pack of 18 coyotes were stopped on the ridge at the top of camp herms about two weeks ago. we are keeping an eye out.

love, love, and more love."


11. 16. 15

"been thinking of you. give our love to mark and the twins."


4 . 19 . 16
dear family,

i'd like us to have dinner soon. it's been too long! could we do saturday, april 30th after 3? i hope that can work for you. anyway, you're invited for a late afternoon and dinner here. i'd love it if you can."


i don't know who aly is, but she's lucky to have cindy looking out for her and the twins.
people are sweet, and i like them. 

even when i have no idea who they are. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

5 things i didn't realize go hand in hand with teething.

1. more kisses.

the first time teddy grabbed my cheeks, pulled my face to his mouth, and sucked as hard as he could, i was sure he was mimicking kisses that i give him throughout the day. it's sweet, wet, warm, and a little disgusting. i realize now that he does it most when his gums are bothering him. i think he uses my cheeks as chew toys, guys. i'll still call it kisses though, k?

2. more sleepiness. (not necessarily to be confused with more sleep.)
i think the discomfort that comes with teething wears him out faster, because he's always resting his head on my chest, or on my shoulder, or on the ground. poor thing. you'd think that him sleeping more would make me happier, but when i know it's because he's exhausted from pain, it bums me out.

3. more snuggles.
this, i love. normally, his preference is to explore, destroy, or eat, rather than be held. the past two days he'll lay on my chest for 3-5 minutes (which may not sound that long, but it's the longest i've held him since he learned how to crawl).

4. more tears

i'm talking about me.
he whimpers in his sleep sometimes, you guys. my mamma heart can't handle it.

5. more bites.

i wish his jaws weren't so strong, and that his little teeth weren't so sharp. and i especially wish he didn't think it was hilarious when i shout "ouch" unexpectedly. least fun game ever. his favorite places to bite are my fingers, my knee (??!!), my chin, and my ear if he gets the chance.

teething is hard, guys.
tedddy's outfit (similar)

Thursday, April 14, 2016

pickle juice can be painful and i'm too tired to celebrate holidays.

i know we're two weeks in, but i have a confession: i did nothing for april fools. which reminds me- i also did nothing for saint patrick's day, and next to nothing for valentines day. how many holidays do you get to ignore before you become dead inside?

a week or so ago, i was offered a job. i considered it, and then decided against it. i think i made the right choice, but i'm not positive. i keep going back and forth on whether i should be working right now. will it ever feel right? who am i?!

my teeth have been hurting the past few days, and right before i was going to call the dentist (a huge deal for me) i did some online digging and realized it's because i was craving baby dill pickles, and decided to eat an entire jar in 42 hours. hashtag reasons you shouldn't grocery shop while hungry. i stopped eating the pickles and the sensitivity eventually went away.

i've been in a bad slump the past week or two. becoming a mother has given me so much more empathy for those who struggle with depression; particularly postpartum. it's harder than i thought it would be. and i expected it to suck.

it's weird how i can be at the same weight i was before i had teddy, and still have none of my clothes fitting the same way they did before. how does that work? i super don't like it.

teddy is at a sweet stage where anytime i'm eating or drinking anything, he'll excitedly crawl over to me, put his hands on my lap, and look up at me with big eyes and literally drool expectantly while he pants excitedly. i'm not going to share all of the things i've given him, because i'm not really in the mood to be judged today, but you'd give your baby anything if he looked at you like that too.

he's slept 8 or more hours at a time the past three nights (thank you, dockatot!). i'm deliriously happy about it, and also afraid to get used to it. what would life with normal sleep be like?

we are going to salt lake to do a video project and visit a friend's new baby in a few weeks, and i'm really looking forward to it. i miss those mountains. (okay, and the shopping by the mountains...)

gideon and i discovered a show on netflix that makes us both laugh until we cry: tiny house hunters (regular sized people looking for tiny houses-- not to be confused with tiny people looking for regular sized houses...) i'm not sure why we laugh so hard, but it's good for both of our hearts. look it up, friends. you won't regret it. xo

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

mom fail day.

yesterday was horrible. and i felt like there was nothing i could do to stop it. like watching someone fall in slow motion, and you wish you could reach out to prevent it, but you can't because it's already happening.

that was yesterday. me metaphysically tripping over all the ideals i wish i could be as a mother and promptly tumbling down a hill, over a meadow of lumpy rocks, and landing in a garden of cactus.

yesterday was the worst. i was behind on two deadlines, my head was bothering me, and it was the first time i caught myself feeling annoyed with my sweet, innocent baby for not wanting to take a much needed nap (poor teething baby). he'd cry when i held him, when i fed him, and when i let him do whatever he wanted. what kind of mother gets annoyed with her perfect little 9 month old?? me. i do. i feel like a monster. (a monster who just wants to watch 30 minutes of netflix uninterrupted. hashtag can i live. sigh. i really am a monster.)

i could go into detail all of the ways i feel like i failed yesterday, but i'm too tired, and my cheeks are still sticky from tears/milk/spit up, so instead i'll just write some things i've learned for the future.

dear alyssa,

teddy grew out of the phase where he sits politely still for diaper changes a long time ago. don't expect him to do that anymore. next time when he starts violently kicking amidst a soggy, poopy diaper and crap gets everywhere, try not to gasp and freeze. maybe even try to laugh. or cry. whatever.

your milk is drying up even though you take supplements, drink tons of water, and you're pumping throughout the day, and i get how that makes you sad. it's a bummer, but it's okay. his tummy has food in it, and that's what is most important. next time maybe you'll be better at it. just try not to cry over spilt milk. (see what i did there? haha. no, don't cry! ---okay, you can cry...)

he's teething, which means he's uncomfortable. give him a break. give yourself a break. it's just a miserable phase. you'll make it. and it's giving you all sorts of empathy for other people who have had to deal with this shiz. like your mother. times five.

the pile of laundry (at least it's clean!), the dishes, and the lack of dinner in the oven do not mean you are a failure as a person. (it might mean you're a failure as a housewife, but who wants that title anyway??)

just because teddy stops crying, and starts panting excitedly the moment gid gets home doesn't mean he doesn't love you as much. ..who am i kidding?! he obviously loves gideon much more than you-- but he also likes you. and that's good enough, right? he slobbers all over your cheeks and leaves little hickeys on your face. i bet gid is super jealous of the baby bite marks you have all over your body.

i know it's exhausting, but i bet you'd feel better if you showered more often.

you'll get through it. it was just a bad day.


ps- teddy slept 9+ hours straight last night, sooooooo maybe it was worth it. xo

Thursday, April 7, 2016

snuggling up with dockatot.

before i had teddy, i knew the first few months would be sleepless, and that the change would be horrible and exhausting and crazy hard. what i didn't know is how long it can last.

guys. i thought worst case scenario that i'd be getting up once or twice a night (HA!) until teddy was like 6 months. i had no idea that it was even possible for babies to get up 5-7 times a night regularly.

it was a roller coaster; one night teddy would sleep 7 hours, (celebrations!!) and then the very next night he'd be up every 1.5 hours. on the hardest night, i remember staying awake until 5:30 in the morning, and when gideon realized i was in the living room and took over for me, i sobbed deliriously until i passed out in our bed. it might sound dramatic, but fatigue is no joke. i was a completely different person.

dockatot is a sleep system made for ages 0-36 months. it's a multi-functional dock that is easily transportable, and can be used for resting, playing, changing diapers, snuggling, and anything else you have in mind for your little one. what makes dockatot special is how rigorously it's been tested for safety. the technology they use makes it 100% breathable, and each docking system is hand-cut, hand-stitched, and hand-sewed in europe for quality assurance.

dockatot is offered in two sizes (teddy fell into the bigger category, so we've had the grand in our home the past several weeks) and helps especially with co-sleeping, transitioning your baby from a crib to a toddler bed, and, my favorite, sleeping through the night.

when our dock was sent to us, i was super excited and a little nervous, because teddy had just started teething, (which meant getting up much more frequently throughout the night) and i wondered if it was an unfair time for us to be testing out the product.

gid and i were both surprised at how well teddy did after just one night sleeping in the dock. the night before we used it, he'd gotten up four times. during his first night in the dockatot, he got up once. he sleeps harder in it during his daytime naps, and enjoys lounging in it while he has a bottle, or while we read stories. he's started to put his arm around the side dock when he's drifting off to sleep like he's hugging it, which is the sweetest, and makes me want to hug it. the side dock makes a great pillow for me when i'm taking a nap next to him during the day. i wish so badly that we had the smaller size when he was a newborn. if you are a co-sleeping mamma, this thing is rad.

another thing that i've gotta give them bonus points for is the quality of the material. teddy spit up some pears less than a week after we got our dock, (serious mamma tears) and they not only washed out of the cover easily, but the fabric still looked fresh! i hate washing things for the first time, because they seem to lose their newness, but i was way impressed with how well this thing took pear throw up and a wash/dry cycle. slow clap, dockatot. slow clap.

(ps- they also have crazy cute covers here. i'm thinking about buying the coral print- which one would you get???)

can i also just point out that i managed to take pictures of teddy sleeping in this thing during the afternoon in broad daylight?? my baby likes to sleep exclusively in the dark, people! there is no way he would have done this anywhere else.

i leapt at the opportunity to partner with dockatot, because seriously any product that is meant to help my baby with sleep is my best friend. this particular sleep system has been a great fit in our family, and i'm already making plans to purchase the smaller size for our next baby. for me, it's become essential. one of those things i didn't realize i needed, but now that i have it, i could never go back. if i had a million dollars, i'd buy it for all of my friends who are expecting. i love it, and if they made one in my size i would buy it right now.

here's a little video of us using dockatot throughout a typical day!

BONUS: here's a link to get 10% off any of their products!
DOUBLE BONUS: here's a link to an instagram giveaway!! (hurry, ends in less than a week!)

thanks for stopping by today, guys.
i hope you have an awesome thursday. xo

this post brought to you by dockatot

Monday, April 4, 2016

9 months.

yesterday he turned nine months. it feels like all of a sudden he's so much bigger than i'm ready for. i feel like i'm in slow motion and everything around me is happening in fast forward, and i can't keep up with the plot line because i'm still trying to figure out what to eat for lunch. (spoiler alert- it's going to be a cheese stick and some toaster strudels.)

he's so independent. the other day i was watching him, and had an abrupt realization: he's not a very cuddly baby. there's just too much to explore. the only time he wants to cuddle is in the middle of the night, when he's managed to convince me to bring him to bed and he's nestled between gideon and i. am i a bad mother for secretly being excited for him to get a little bit sick so he'll get clingy? (as i'm reading that, i'm pretty sure the answer is yes. whatever. i'm still excited. what would that even be like for him to not want me to put him down??!)

he loves reading books, and it makes me so happy. most of the time i feel like a garbage mother, but my kid is crazy about books, so that's one for the win pile, right? he's going to yale, right?

last week i baby-proofed the crap out of our apartment, and i'm starting to feel better about not hovering over him at all times. i think we're both relieved about that. he loves it when he realizes i'm at the other end of a room; he gets a horribly mischievous smile and starts crawling as fast as he can to a location where i can't see him. how is he already so sneaky? and how does he know to go for the most dangerous things first?

he gives high fives, and says "mama" when he's annoyed. i'll take what i can get.

yesterday, the first thing i did was take a deep breath, take off all of my clothes, and stand on the scale to weigh myself. i'm 4 pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight. i'm still not in a place where i feel awesome about my body, but i'm counting 4 pounds over at 9 months as a victory. especially considering all of the delicious junk i like to eat. does anyone have a jogging stroller i can borrow for a month? sigh. mamma needs to exercise.

he reminds me more and more of gideon. there's something about his facial expressions, and the way that he smiles that gives my heart flutters. part of me realizes that i'm his mother, clearly biased and that i just can't see his imperfections, but another part of me feels like he's crazy handsome and just kind of flawless.

when teddy was a few weeks old, i remember talking to a mother in my church with a 10 month old, and thinking it was bananas how big her baby was. i'm totally that mom now. how does it go by so fast, you guys? 9 months?? i'm speechless.

teddy's outfit
teddy's sleep dock
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