Thursday, May 26, 2016

falling for finn & emma.

part of the time we were living in salt lake i worked at the sweetest baby boutique. it was such a good job, and i loved learning about different baby products and brands. (especially when i got pregnant!) 

one of the brands we loved at babinskis, is a company named finn & emma. they carry everything from clothing (way cute options) to play gyms, to toys and rattles, to bibs, to swaddles... do i need to keep going? 

everything from finn & emma is organic, limiting your little one's exposure to harmful chemicals. 

people roll their eyes, (and i have to admit, i used to too) but studies have shown that synthetic fibers can contains petrochemicals, acrylic, pvc, and other toxins that have been linked to a variety of health problems.

if you can, it's a good idea especially when they're tiny to invest in some organic clothes for your little one. 

finn & emma is also a fair trade company. (something less common than you'd hope.) you can be assured that every piece you receive from them was created in a humane environment and paid for fairly. this makes me appreciate their brand and quality even more.

we've loved having these beautiful products in our home, and we are always getting compliments on our wood playgym. you guys know i'm all about beautiful toys that aren't obnoxious for me to look at or listen to, ha!

we're so thrilled finn & emma asked us to write about them to bring a little more awareness of organic products, and fair trade.

here's a peek of finn & emma in our day to day life:

i hope you guys have an awesome day!

other finn & emma pieces we love right now:

this post brought to you by finn & emma

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

fighting back with silence.

strange bursts of anxiety have been attacking me, pulling me away from one on one time with teddy, and insisting to me that there are more urgent things i should be focusing on. when i feel it coming, i take deep breaths, tell myself that i will look at my baby's face for 60 seconds, and when the minute is up, i will reevaluate the urgent screams for me to do other things.

i count to ten slowly. my head begins to calm down. i realize that my hands are shaking. i let the oxygen take it's time moving into my lungs, and immediately feel more grounded. why don't i always breathe like this? my focus deepens on teddy.

15 seconds in i notice tiny changes in his features. his cheeks have more definition. his eyes seem darker. his hair is becoming more thick. my mind goes back to the wispy locks that he was born with, and the bald spot in the back of his head that is almost completely covered. how did we get here? how did he morph from a tiny sleepy ball into this fearless pre-toddler who wants to explore the world?

30 seconds in i'm gently rubbing his back, and running my fingers through his hair. is it me, or has he calmed down too? i forget how perceptive he is to my mood; my emotions. he's no longer wriggling out of my lap, he's gently resting his head on my chest, mirroring my deep breaths with his own. i think he's listening to my heart beat.

45 seconds in, the thoughts racing through my head have settled, and i'm beginning to feel like it won't be the end of the world if everything on my list isn't finished today. i remind myself that there will always be chores to do, and deadlines to fulfill, and i ask myself what makes them feel more important than what i'm doing in this moment. i can't come up with an answer.

teddy is gently tapping a small birthmark near my collarbone. he inspects it carefully, tries to rub it off, and finally gives up as he sits up and looks into my eyes.

50 seconds in he's decided to stand up in my lap, facing me, and tugging on my ears. he's looking for the earrings that i wear sometimes, but haven't put on today. i smile at him, and pretend to chomp on his shoulders, as a delighted giggle comes out from his round body. he's been experimenting with standing on his own which makes me proud and frightens me. he's so tall. i can't believe how tall he is. i look at him and see his father with hints of myself reflecting back. there are tiny glimpses of what he's going to look like as a small child. i miss him already.

he slides down my lap, and gives me a smile before he dashes away in a determined crawl. as i watch him playing, i'm grateful for his independence, and also miss the early weeks when he would just sleep on my lap, or lay content on my shoulder. he's fine playing on his own, as long as i'm in sight.

i look at the clock. my sixty seconds has taken 10 minutes in real time.

i feel calm, but not so calm that i couldn't slip right back into an uncomfortable panic in a minute or two

i pour myself a glass of water, and notice that dark clouds are covering the strong beams from the sun that normally fill our living room with light. i lift the blinds, push the windows open, and let the cool air flow through our space as teddy tries to choose which car will be his favorite today. he can't decide between the blue one and the yellow taxi.

it's wednesday. which means tomorrow is thursday.
thursday is my favorite day. it's the day that means the week is thinking about ending.

we can do this.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

teddy's favs.

when i was pregnant, i was positive that i'd exclusively breastfeed like a boss. my mom and sister were both champion breastfeeders, and it only made sense to me that i'd follow in their path.

ha. ha. ha. ha. ha.

lessons learned since then:

1. breastfeeding is super hard/painful/awful for some people.
people like me.

2. when breastfeeding isn't going well in the hospital, and your baby loses enough weight that the doctors are talking about admitting him, you freak out a little.

3.  giving your little one a bottle doesn't necessarily mean you've failed at breastfeeding.

4. not all bottles are created equally.

we've used comotomo bottles in our home exclusively, and i can't say enough good things about them, you guys. the unique shape of the nipple allows better transitioning back and forth from the breast to the bottle, and i'm convinced that using them allowed me to alternate breastfeeding and bottle-feeding as long as i did. (i gave up breastfeeding at nine months, after teddy's second tooth came in and his bites were making me bleed. "byeeeeeeee.")

the body of the bottles is made of silicon, which also mimics the softness of mama skin, and has a wide opening which makes cleaning simple and worry free.

teddy taking the bottle at 2 months. can you believe how little?!

easy for little hands to hold.

bigger size.

the bottles also feature a duel anti colic vent (who even knew this was a thing?!) which creates ideal air circulation, minimizes extra bubbles and prevents colic, spit up, burping and gas. they come in two different sizes, (one with a slower flow for newborns, and a bigger size with a medium flow for your developing infant) and come in two different colors.

guys. seriously, these have been the best we've tried. if your babies have had a hard time taking bottles, or if you're feeling like you're wanting to transition from breastfeeding, or if you're even just expecting and wanting to be prepared- you've got to give it a try.

one more lesson i learned: 

5. don't let anyone make you feel guilty for continuing to breastfeed, or for giving up breastfeeding. i'm not sure why, but it's so easy to feel pressured one way or another, or to second guess if what you're doing is right for your situation. honor what your instincts are telling you, then move forward. and try not to apologize for doing what you need to do to survive. because seriously motherhood is 80% survival (on a good day). #youdoyouboo
*what are your fav baby feeding products? anything i absolutely should know about?*
i hope you're getting through this week more gracefully than i am.

Monday, May 16, 2016

life is good, some utah drivers are bad.

at the beginning of this month while we were visiting henry and mackenzie in utah, gid and i (and teddy) almost got into a crazy car accident. we were on the freeway, cars all around us going 70+ mph, and a red truck who didn't see us (or bother to look) started to merge into our lane without using his blinker. to avoid getting hit, i had no choice but to swerve, and the next thing i knew, i'd lost control of the car, and we were spinning through 3 highway lanes in the mid morning traffic.

it was horrifying. i'd never been in a situation like this, and i remember wondering how long it would take for us to get hit, how badly we'd be injured, worrying about the safety of the other people driving around us, and desperately hoping teddy was strapped in his seat snug enough.

miraculously, we ended up on the side of the road unscathed. the car wasn't hit. no airbags deployed. no one else had an accident as a result of our near miss. we were totally fine.

teddy was cooing in his carseat (i whined about the spacey look of it for a few months, but now i'm super glad we bought the expensive safe one...) and i was grasping the wheel with shaken white knuckles as gid calmly told me that i could let go, and it was over, and we were fine. i could hear henry talking to 911 dispatchers in the background saying something about how they didn't need to send anyone after all.

i have no idea how we managed to not get hit. we had to have had help.

and if you were on the highway that morning, and managed to hit your breaks before there was a collision, i'm so grateful to you. i'm so grateful that you were keeping your eyes on the road.

and if you are thinking about maybe not putting your seatbelt on the next time you take a trip to the market, would you just do it anyway? i don't want you to get hurt because of something that was completely out of your hands.

and make sure your baby's carseat is properly installed, okay? even if you're not going far.

and if you were the person driving the red truck, i'm sure you're not a horrible person.
but use your damn blinker, and look before you change lanes, because you seriously almost killed my little family.

happy monday.

Friday, May 13, 2016

dear teddy,

i'm not an early bird mama. so we're extra lucky to have your dad- who wakes up with the sun, and quietly takes you out of our room as soon as you've gotten up, so the two of you can play upstairs in the soft morning light, and i can catch up on extra luxurious, bed-to-myself sleep. 

i can tell by your excited giggles and shrieks that you love this one on one time with gid. i can tell he's your favorite person on the face of the planet. i get it. he's pretty great.

and this morning, when i couldn't fall back asleep, i decided to sneak up to your play spot and snap a few pictures so we remember your morning father-son ritual. so we remember your fuzzy sleep hair, and the way your eyes catch morning light.

i'm trying to be better about being a morning mama. but for now, you and papa bear keep having a ball while i sleep in, k?

Thursday, May 12, 2016

brave little lungs.

i've been staring at a blank screen for 5 minutes because i'm not sure how to write this post.

my friend is sick.

not "sleep it off" sick, or "maybe you should get that looked at" sick, or even "here's some medication for you to faithfully take for the rest of your life and you'll be fine" sick.

she's sick. she's lung transplant sick. she's terminal illness sick.

mackenzie is the kindest, most charming, most hilarious person i know. she's the sort of person who makes you laugh so hard you pee a little. the type of person who you can ugly cry in front of and not be embarrassed. the girl you trust with secrets. the friend who makes you laugh after a hard day; the person who you open your arms to, always, no matter what, because she's always been there for you with open arms and no questions asked.

2 weeks after i had teddy, and gid had to leave on business for a few days mackenzie slept over at my apartment and helped me with my newborn. she held him so i could shower. she helped me change his diapers because my incision made it hard to bend over. she made me laugh hard for the first time since i'd come home from the hospital. she made the dark moments lighter.

i wish i could write her justice.
i wish i could explain to you through words typed exactly how extraordinary she is.

at the beginning of this month gid and i went down to utah to visit mackenzie and her husband henry, and also to make a fundraising video for them. (because as it turns out, lung transplants are the opposite of cheap...) i've agonized over editing the details; wanting so badly to do this couple justice, but i've realized it's impossible to capture the lengths of their goodness, their wit, and their charm.

i hope you watch it.
i hope you donate.
i hope you share her story.

my friend is sick. and she needs us to help her.
please. let's help.

Sunday, May 8, 2016


guys, it's mothers day. and i want to take a second to celebrate the women in my life, but also to acknowledge the women who i know are hating today like crazy.

i'm sorry if your day is sucking.

i'm sorry if you made yourself go to church even though you really didn't want to deal with it.
(i skipped church on mothers day for 3 years, soo i think you're a saint if you went. and if you didn't, i say you still deserve a doughnut and at least 2 hours of uninterrupted netflix for getting through the day.)

i'm sorry if it feels like people don't get it. i'm sorry if you get annoyed with yourself because you don't want to feel happy for other people when you feel unhappy about yourself.

i'm sorry if you feel judged, or like people think you're being ungrateful. that's garbage.

i'm sorry if you feel bad at all- for whatever reason this day frustrates or saddens you. i just wanted you to hear that. read that. whatever.

if i could, i'd invite you over, tell you to bring your pjs and a healthy appetite, and we'd cozy up and watch anne of green gables, (or breaking bad- whatever floats your boat), order an impressive amount of takeout and not talk about anything you didn't want to talk about.

the thing is, you're probably quietly hating today. if you're like me, you just want to get through it. you don't want pity, or to snuggle, or to gain 45 pounds in one sitting. it's almost swimsuit season. i get that.

so i just wanted to give you a shout out. i know you're out there.
and i'm sorry if today is sucking.

someone mentioned this quote to me today, and i thought i'd just leave it right here-

To those who gave birth this year to their first child- we celebrate with you.

To those who lost a child this year- we mourn with you.

To those who are in the trenches with little ones every day and wear the badge of food stains- we appreciate you.

To those who experienced loss through miscarriage, failed adoptions, or running away- we mourn with you.

To those who walk the hard path of infertility, fraught with pokes, prods, tears, and disappointment- we walk with you.

To those who are foster moms, mentor moms, and spiritual moms- we need you.

To those who have warm and close relationships with your children- we celebrate with you.

To those who have disappointment, heart ache, and distance with your children- we sit with you.

To those who lost their mother this year- we grieve with you.

To those who experienced abuse at the hands of your own mother- we hear you.

To those who lived through driving tests, medical tests, and the overall testing of motherhood- we are better for having you in our midst.

To those who are single and long to be married, and mothering your own children- we mourn that life has not turned out the way you longed for it to be.

To those who step-parent- we walk with you on these complex paths.

To those who envisioned lavishing love on grandchildren- yet that dream is not to be- we grieve with you.

To those who will have emptier nests in the upcoming year- we grieve and rejoice with you.

To those who placed children up for adoption- we commend you for your selflessness and remember how you hold that child in your heart. 

And to those who are pregnant with new life, both expected and surprising, we anticipate with you.


ps- hey mom, you're the best mamma in the whole wide world, and i love you more than chocolate and ice cream and all the snow cones on the planet, and i'm so excited to hang out with you on the beach in just a few weeks!!!!!!! xooxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

10 months

he's started to say dada. not intentionally to gideon, it's more of a humming to himself.
("dadadadadadadadadadadadadadadada mmmmmmm dadadadadadadada.")

i actually think he might believe that 'dada' means food, because anytime he sees me making something in the kitchen, he smiles brightly and starts bounding to me muttering the phrase to himself. he's kind of a little puppy baby, which is the best.

his hair is a little out of control.
and i'm a little obsessed with it.

he's started pulling himself to standing on furniture. stress.

i don't know how to describe it exactly, but he's getting more fun to hang out with. he interacts with me more. he laughs with (at) me. we spend afternoons making jokes with each other and chuckling about it. i didn't realize that babies get more fun as they get older- i always kinda thought their fun levels peak as newborns, and then it's all downhill from there. this is a nice surprise.

teething still sucks.

sometimes i look at him, and i see a very small man.
he's just the most handsome to me sometimes.

ten months yesterday, you guys.
i'm just so in love. xo
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