Bliss On A Budget: Table & Teething Toy

Today I bring you two things that I found cheaper somewhere else for Bliss On A Budget!

I have been searching for some new master bedroom end tables (along with matching dresser) for a while now. I’m being super picky because I don’t want to spend a super amount on them, but I don’t want them to look or feel cheap. The nesting table look has been catching my eye especially nightstands that give that appearance of multiple levels but in one piece of furniture not two tables stacked. If displayed right with stacked books, adorable bowl and maybe small potted plant it would be super cute. During my search I found a couple of nightstands at multiple prices for all budgets.

So the table that tops the price bracket is the étagère bedside table from Pottery Barn for $499. I love the three levels with different widths and the antiqued mirrors are lovely.

From West Elm I found the terrace nightstand for $299. I’m loving that it too has three levels and I’m smitten with the gold brass finish. In the same collection there is the Terrace side table with more of the nesting look for $249.

For cheaper alternatives I looked on Wayfair and found the Bombay heritage warton nightstand for $129.99 (with FREE shipping). OR I found the cheapest option and with an application of antiqued spray paint (that you can find at Lowes or Home Depot) would give a more pricey appearance! There is the simple wildon home bull run nightstand for $54.12.

I love them all, the only issue I keep thinking of with glass tabletops is the possibility of constant finger prints (from my three old grabbing mommy’s water)…and this momma really doesn’t want to Windex those tables every day!

My other object for Bliss On A Budget is teething toys! Chloe is 5 months tomorrow and is now putting anything and everything in her mouth. She is not yet teething, but she will be eventually and giving her a teether now would be great for hand eye coordination. The one teether that everyone knows about and seems every kid “needs” to have is the famous Sophie giraffe. At $22-23 that is pretty expensive for something that will be drooled all over. But if it dos bring your kid any kind of relief during the painful teething process than really it is priceless. Lily did NOT like Sophie. She hated the rubber taste and the squeaking noise freaked her out! So my cheaper option was found at Target for just $12.99. Keeping with animal theme “Kiki” the elephant from Infantino.

**An FYI Infantino also has a monkey teether $12.99 that has two different models, but one of them has a recall due to a choking hazard of the tail. Check out information regarding this recall here.


View Comments
  1. Bethany commented:
    August 11, 2014 Reply

    I love finding ways to save money but making something look expensive for very cheap. Thanks for sharing!

    • Amy Romano commented:
      August 19, 2014 Reply

      No problem Bethany! Thanks for stopping by!!

  2. Erin commented:
    October 1, 2014 Reply

    Love your blog! Thanks for the information on cheaper furniture!!

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A Public Cry Fest & Judgemental People

judging2When you become a mom dealing with parental guilt in inevitable. Sadly as a parent you will also find yourself in a situation where you are being judged for your parenting skills. Two weeks ago I found myself dealing with both while on vacation.

If you follow me on Instagram (@lilyandbliss) I opened up two weeks ago that my milk supply slowly dried up. With Lily I was ready to switch to formula around 7 months due to her every 1 ½ hour feedings. Even though I was ready to give up breastfeeding I held on to some heavy guilt over the switch to formula. So with only a few days until Chloe was 4 months I found myself crying in the baby isle of Giant Eagle while shopping for formula during our vacation. I had no issues with my milk supply with Lily even with her nursing so often.

I tried everything from drinking more water, eating foods that are suppose to help boost milk production and even used my pump to help as well. This sudden and unexpected situation left me feeling pretty depressed. I wasn’t ready to loose that part of mothering my baby.

A day after the public cry fest at Giant Eagle I found a quiet corner to feed Chloe at the Children’s Museum. As I was shaking the last of the formula into the bottle a woman stopped a few feet away from me. She was carrying a small child in a front carrier and reaching behind for her other kid’s hand. She looked down at what I was doing and looked up at my eyes all while her upper lip curled in disgust. Like she was mad and in pain for my child. I was in such shock that I looked away from her judgmental stare to snap Chloe’s bib together. A wave of pain and guilt swept over me and my eyes filled.

judging1As I took deep breaths in attempt to stop another public cry fest my sister in law came to join and I told her what happened. As she rolled her eyes at this woman’s actions and boosted my confidence Chloe stopped feeding and just smiled at me. It was as if she was saying Hey mom…I’m fine…I’m happy and that’s all that matters.

Now anyone who knows me personally knows that I speak my mind and I’m not afraid to call someone out. But this complete stranger was taking a hit when I was down. Looking back I wish I had asked her if she had a problem. When I looked up to find her gone I wanted to scream, “I didn’t have a choice!!!!”…and even if I did I’m not poisoning my baby by giving her formula.

I wish as mothers we could stand up together and be more supportive. Why must there always be people out there that feel the need to voice if breast is best, and make “formula” moms feel that they are somehow lacking? I obviously believe in breastfeeding. BUT I would NEVER point out to another mom that breast is best or make them feel guilty over formula regardless how I personally felt.

It is so very easy to judge people and their parenting by looking through a window…just like that woman did to me at the museum.

Why must there always be some debate pitching working moms against stay at home moms. Those that decide to home school and those who decide on boarding school. Organic foods, giving a pacifier, crying it out, watching tv…I could go on and on about all the things that parents feel so strongly about and are quick to judge over.

We of course are all free to have our beliefs and feelings regarding parenting. We have the right to raise our own children by those beliefs. I just wish that moms (and dads) wouldn’t voice their beliefs towards others in public and risk the chance of truly kicking a mom (or dad) when she is down or making her second guess herself as a parent.  I’m not innocent. I have judged parents before….but most of my judging was before I even became a mom. Even then I never was vocal or gave the stank eye to a parent with an out of control kid. Now as a mom, I might have an opinion about someone’s parenting, but I won’t confront them or give them some kind of disapproving look. Unless a parent is giving their kid a high five for hurting someone, giving beer to a kid or physically hurting their child (you get my point?) then I won’t be one to step in.


Men all have this universal head nod that they give other dudes. Even motorcyclists give a low two-finger hand gesture as they pass another biker in greeting. Not saying us moms need to throw up some secret mom gang sign or bump chests (because that would actually be quite uncomfortable to the boobs). Maybe next time we pass another mom we can give a simple smile. Maybe while checking out at Target or eating out give the mom who is struggling to tame their screaming kid a smile instead of the disapproving stank eye.

I’ve had a few weeks to come to terms that my milk is gone and that special time with Chloe has passed. Am I still sad and depressed about it…of course! But I feel sorry for the next person who tries to publicly give me any kind of eye while formula feeding my child…this mamma bear has since sharpened her claws and I will not let another person belittle or criticize my parenting….{large exhale}….

View Comments
  1. Katie commented:
    July 23, 2014 Reply

    I totally agree and may never understand why people (especially other moms) are so judgmental towards one another. We can only love them and be kind to those around us. It makes a difference and truthfully it has to start with us. And mommy, keep doing what you are doing. You have a happy baby who loves you. Life is good.

    • Amy Romano commented:
      July 31, 2014 Reply

      Awe thanks Katie!! And AMEN to your thoughts! Plus why be judgmental in front of our kids and set such a horrible example…right?????

  2. Shauna Anderson commented:
    September 11, 2014 Reply

    Love this post, Ames. You are a fantastic mom and a wonderful friend. So thankful to know you.

    • Amy Romano commented:
      September 23, 2014 Reply

      Thanks babe! I’m lucky to have such a fabulous lady like you in my life! Love you too!

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Did You Know About The Fourth Trimester?

Once you pop out that baby you enter the fourth trimester. What you didn’t know you have to go through another trimester??? Yep folks I discussed all about surviving the first, second and third trimesters of pregnancy but let me share the reality of the postpartum stage or what I like to call the fourth trimester. This trimester is a transition period where you’re being physically, mentally and emotionally tested as you figure out your new normal.

Physically recovering from birth is straight up not pretty. Let’s start with the real Victoria’s secret….the granny panty or the fabulous disposable mesh underwear. I highly recommend prior to birth to pick up some non-thong undergarments because there is NO way a string panty will support the humongous pad (or what I like to call the surfboard) that you need while you bleed. OR you can just take a stash of the uber sexy one-size fits all mesh underwear the hospital provides (Fact: I wore these for the first week at home- they’re free, comfy and I could just trash ‘em when blood got on it!). Point is between the granny panty or mesh thingies and the mammoth ‘surfboard’…sexy is the last thing you feel.


While you’re naked let’s talk about the Jello effect. One of the weirdest feelings after you give birth is touching your stomach. For 9 months your baby grew and stretched your belly and after birth your belly feels like jiggly Jello…another sight that makes you feel like Angelina Jolie. Do yourself a favor and do NOT attempt to put on any of your old clothes the first month after birth. There are some women out there that miraculously shrink back to their pre-baby bodies in an impressive time span…I’m not one of those women. Matter of fact I never fully got my body back from giving birth from Lily. I might have hit the pre-baby number, but my body just never looked the same. So for the majority of women just don’t try to shimmy into those pre-baby jeans or you will just feel super depressed. Elastic pants became my best friend along with maxi dresses after both babies were born.

The crazy hormones have done a number on my skin making me feel like I’m going through puberty all over. All that awesome pregnancy hair starts to fall out…literally in big wads when I’m showering. And stretch marks…ugh it looks like a baby bear grabbed my hips and slid down a few inches (From the major lbs. I gained with Lily).

At night I wake up in pools of sweat or a damp bra from my leaky boobs. Can we talk about the rocks inside my boobs?? I mean that’s what it feels like when your tatas are engorged with milk. With Lily my boobs engorged so much that I couldn’t even lay on my side without waking up in major discomfort. With Chloe I get engorged but not as bad since my body knows how much to produce. After the engorgement comes that major deflation when the baby drains you, leaving my boobs looking like the ones on the women in the Amazon featured on National Geographic…I’m talking my nips now point to the floor people. Don’t get me started on the myth that breastfeeding helps you loose weight because that fable never became a reality for me with either baby. Most days I feel like a starving Zombie.

With Lily I sat on a doughnut cushion to help alleviate the pain from the tears in both holes down there.  With Chloe I had a HUGE issue with my episiotomy healing properly and had to be re-stitched twice (not common but can happen).


So that was some of the physical aspects of the fourth trimester. The hardest part, for me, is all the mental and emotional hurdles. You are no longer just a woman, wife or girlfriend…you are a mom. You are now responsible for the care of another human being that will depend on you physically, emotionally and financially.

During the fourth trimester you learn how to live your new normal. Before baby you could just pick up and go wherever to do whatever for how ever long you wanted. Just leaving the house to run a mundane errand like groceries can take forever…checking your diaper bag to make sure you have everything, placing baby in the car seat and then taking baby out of car seat when the diaper explodes, then changing baby and washing out car seat. You have to time your errands around feedings and naps. Eventually you get the hang of it and it becomes second nature.

BUT when you add another kid to the mix it is absolute chaos. I broke down in tears the first time I had to leave the house to take lily to school. Lily was having a tantrum while I started putting on her shoes. She wouldn’t help carry out her backpack, so I had to make two trips for that and the diaper bag while I buckled her in. While I was placing Lily in her car seat I heard the baby start to cry and she cried the entire time I placed her in the car seat and drove to and from Lily’s school.

Every mom is different, but most women experience some baby blues with all the hormones. Anything can make you sad and make you start to cry; even packing your kids in a car will frustrate you to the point of tears. Add in sleep deprivation and a simple tv commercial can make you reach for a tissue.

I broke down sobbing the first weekend home with Lily because I couldn’t get her to stop crying. As a first time mom trying to figure out what exactly my baby needed to stop crying was frustrating and made me think I didn’t have it in me to rock this mom thing. With Chloe I have cried for totally different reasons. I’ve cried because I’m tired and I hate my Jello tummy…but most of the tears are because this might be my last baby. Sometimes when I’m rocking Chloe to sleep I will tear up because I think this is the last baby I get to rock until my babies have babies.


This fourth trimester is physically, mentally and emotionally draining. BUT this little moment in time will forever be carved in your memory not because of the sleepless nights, Jello belly or emotional meltdowns over breastfeeding woes. No, this brief time in your life will reflect some of your most precious memories of your life. The fourth trimester holds that moment you became a parent. You might have been in pain and doped up, but you will always remember those first few moments you saw your baby or held them in your arms for the first time.

The rocks in your boobs might hurt and your eyes maybe dry and bloodshot, but you will always remember how tiny your baby’s hand was when it secured to your pinky while you fed them.

Yes this period can be testing and you will probably struggle as a first time parent on how to do everything. You will wrestle with parental guilt over the tiniest issues. BUT you will walk away not only as a stronger parent but a stronger person in general. Being a parent is THE hardest job. In this trimester you will discover that you can DO so much more than what you thought you were capable of.

You physically grew a human in your body and gave birth, a feat that I believe the strongest man could not handle (my personal belief!). Somehow your sleep deprived and weepy self can sill get through each day and night. So stand up and shout “GO ME” or give yourself a round of golf claps so you don’t wake up that baby…and be proud of everything you will overcome this trimester.

In this trimester your heart grows ten fold for this little child and the unconditional love you get back will make you almost forget all the crazy pregnancy and horrible birth stories leading you to want to do it all again!

{newborn photos cred: Niki Schmidt Photography}

View Comments
  1. Katie commented:
    July 10, 2014 Reply

    I am weeks away from being a new mommy and I love this. It is real and raw but so encouraging. Thank you for writing this 🙂

    • Amy Romano commented:
      July 14, 2014 Reply

      Thanks Katie!! I’m glad you found this encouraging! Good luck in the coming weeks with the birth of your baby…you got this!!

  2. evelyn commented:
    October 5, 2014 Reply

    Gosh the 4th trimester was the hardest for me! I can relate to this post completely , thank you for sharing , sending love & light your way Xo!

  3. Susan commented:
    January 18, 2015 Reply

    I love your honesty and rawness after having a baby. It’s totally true!! I came across the ‘fourth trimester’ after the end of my little ones fourth trimester and it explains a heck of a lot, plus he had severe silent reflux – so many days I sat and cried with my baby, and yes I cried at tv commercials ALL THE TIME. The first one has certainly scared us but I’m sure we will want to give our son a sibling one day. You are blessed with a truly beautiful family, thank you for your blog 🙂 much love xx

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Newborn Essentials: Vol. 2

newbornessesntialsvol2I’m back with the second part of my newborn essentials. The items from your registry that you need to take care of your newborn for the first four weeks. Feeding your newborn and changing diapers seem to take up most of your time so for tips & essential items needed for those moments be sure to read the previous post (HERE).

Bath Time:
Once that baby’s umbilical cord falls off (takes 7 up to 21 days) you are free to finally give them a bath in a tub. Until that happens you can give them a sponge bath on a towel and make sure you just keep that belly dry!First time mom? Great list on essential items from your registry to care for your newborn for the first 4 weeks. A pin worth saving!
Bath Tub. Because your baby will drown if you place them in a regular bathtub you need an infant safe bathtub. I suggest an infant tub that comes with a sling (or a built in one) that holds them safely away from water and with their heads elevated. There are so many kinds on the market but we have the Summer Infant Soothing Spa & Shower that we used with Lily and now with Chloe. The tub allows me to give Chloe a bath on the kitchen counter or in my bathroom. It comes with a sling that is unattached that I would actually bring with me to hotels when I traveled with Mike and Lily. The best part is the motorized shower that sprinkles enough water to wash the soap off my babies but also light enough for their sensitive skin. The shower brings a calming sensation that both of my girls love! Plus it detaches so you can still use the shower in the regular bath tub when they get older.

Body Wash & Lotion. Until both of my babies lost their umbilical stumps I used Mustela facial cleansing wipes to clean their faces and bodies. The alcohol free wipes are perfect for cleaning & soothing their sensitive skin in between sponge baths. The smell is heavenly and they are perfect to quickly clean their face and neck when they spit up (such a strong horrible smell!). I still keep the wipes in my diaper bag in case Chloe spits up in public and needs to be cleaned up. In order to give the baby a bath you obviously need soap, this is a no brainer. There are so many kinds of baby shampoos and this is all up to you. With my sensitive skin I use Aveeno Baby Wash & Shampoo (their calming lavender option is great too!) and I’m a big fan of BabyGanics fragrance free shampoo (Target always has great sales on them). For lotion I recently switched from Aveeno to BabyGanics’s lotion simply because I found a better deal at Target one day!

Bath Time Accessories. Of course you need a towel to keep you baby dry and a washcloth to help you clean them during the bath. You can always use your own to save money, but I’m a sucker for Pottery Barn Kid’s Critter Wraps. The towel’s hood looks like an animal with eyes and ears like a pig, frog or bunny (plus you can personalize it with their name too!). Other items needed are Q-tips to dry the ears, I suggest you get the Q-tips made especially for babies & kids that prevent the tip going too deep inside their ear (try Johnson & Johnson Safety Swabs). Most babies don’t have too much hair, but both my kids were born with a full head of precious locks. Due to their sensitive skin and soft spot you need an infant hairbrush. Get The First Years American Red Cross Deluxe Healthcare & Grooming kit where you can get a great brush along with a comb, nail clipper, scissors, nasal bulb and other great items. FYI the scissors that come with this are my favorite when it comes to trimming your baby’s nails. The other accessory needed is a baby thermometer in case your little one gets a fever. I love the Advanced Solutions Easy Read 4-in-1 thermometer from Safety 1st. This one only takes 5 seconds to record readings when taking it by oral or rectal. Tip: Since we take temps via the rectum I place a big “R” in black sharpie on the outside container of this thermometer to remind mike & me that it is the “butt thermometer”. For some reason I have three thermometers and the last one I want in my mouth is the one I stick up the kids bum even if I clean it after each use!

First time mom? Great list on essential items from your registry to care for your newborn for the first 4 weeks. A pin worth saving!Baby Gear:
Holding and snuggling with my newborn babies are some of the most special moments that I will hold on to. Their tiny feet and legs pulled into their bodies while a tiny fist lays against their face as they sleep like a log on my chest…{insert ahhhhhhh}. But you need to go the restroom, brush your teeth, take a shower and still do everyday tasks and holding that newborn makes those tasks difficult or impossible. Not only do some of the following items make it easier to brush your teeth, a few are great for stimulating your wee one!

Swing. Oh my swing is my biggest lifesaver as a mom. Both my girls (like most babies) need movement to fall asleep. A swing will help give you a break and rock your baby to sleep for you! Especially if you have a toddler and need to make their breakfast or lunch, just place your baby in the swing while you get some stuff done. True story: both of my girls take THE best naps while in the swing so I leave them in it instead of placing them in the bassinet or crib. There are all kinds of swings on the market so get whatever one works in your price range. Tip: Get a swing that plugs into the wall and doesn’t depend solely on batteries. The batteries will burn out so quickly with all the use, so save the $$$ and just get one that plugs in. We have the Fisher-Price My little Snugabunny cradle swing and love it!

Bounce Chair. The bounce chair also allows me to get stuff done around the house. The chair is easier to take from room to room where the swing is too much of a hassle move around your house. I bring the bouncer in my bathroom so I can take a quick shower. We place the chair next to the table when Chloe is awake so we can quickly eat a meal while simultaneously make funny faces and cooing sounds to pacify her. We love our Fisher-Price My Little lamb Bouncer.

Play Mirror. You can use a floor mat like Infantino’s activity gym to stimulate your new baby, but it’s not an essential item for the first 4 weeks. You can get through the first four weeks without one along with a play mirror, BUT our play mirror has saved me on numerous times. I will place the Sassy Crib and Floor Mirror next to Chloe while I change her diaper if she is crying to help entertain her. I also place it in her crib to entertain her while I’m putting laundry away.

Bassinet.  If you read my post about the essential items for nighttime feedings you will understand why having a bassinet next to your bed at night is so important for the first few weeks. Fact: I’m that mom that kept her baby sleeping next to her for 5 months before I made the transition to the crib, so this is an item I got my money’s worth! Tip: If you have the room you can always use a pack-in-play instead of a bassinet. We have The First Years Carry Me Near sleep system, where the top bassinet can detach and you can carry the top anywhere in your home to stow your sleeping babe.

Swaddle with Velcro. Again read the post about essential items for nighttime feedings for my reasons needing swaddles and ones with Velcro! I also list my top three favorite swaddles.

Binky & Binky Clip. Oh binkies can help make your baby stop crying and help soothe them to sleep. Do you need another reason why they are essential? Check out the nighttime feedings post to learn more along with why you need a binky clip too!

Blankets. Swaddling your baby helps soothe them and keep them sleeping. A favorite blanket moms all love are the muslin blankets from Aden + Anais.  The light material helps keep a baby from overheating and you can use them to swaddle them, cover your self when nursing, cover the car seat from the sun while out or as a floor mat!

First time mom? Great list on essential items from your registry to care for your newborn for the first 4 weeks. A pin worth saving!Noise Soothers.  A lot of babies need some kind of noise to lull them to sleep or calm them down when they’re crying. I didn’t need my sound machine until the second week. We have The First Years Sounds for Silence sound machine. There are 6 different kinds of white noises, 6 Mozart songs and a volume control to make it really loud or super soft. Another favorite soother is the Cloud b Sleep Sheep. Get the smaller ‘on the go’ size that you can attach to your baby’s car seat to help soothe them in public. There are great apps for your smart phones that have all kinds of white noises and check out my nighttime essential post for a few great ones to download!

Clothes. Unless you are a nudist you need clothes for your baby! Depending on their birth weight most babies will grow out of the newborn size pretty quickly, but it is the size you will use the most during the first four weeks. Check out Babycenter’s checklist for a good idea on what clothes are needed for newborns! I found the zip up body suits were helpful during the newborn stage since I was changing so many diapers! Check the post on nighttime essentials on why gowns are crucial for newborns and your sanity!

Car Seat and Stroller. You can’t even leave the hospital without a car seat so this is obviously an essential item for a newborn! Unless you plan on carrying your baby and the car seat everywhere you will want a stroller too! There are so many different kinds of car seats and strollers out on the market so this is up to what functions you want and what price range you are comfortable with. Tip: Make sure that your car seat is compatible with your stroller if you are getting different brands.

Baby Carrier. I didn’t use a baby carrier with my first baby during the first 4 weeks. I stayed inside mostly to recover and when I left the house for doctor’s appointments I used the car seat and stroller to carry her around. With Chloe I used my baby carrier the second week when Lily was crying to go on a walk around the neighborhood. I love our ERGObaby carrier. Note to use this carrier with a newborn you will need to get the infant insert to support your newborn baby within the carrier.  I know a lot of moms love carriers like the Moby Wrap, but I found the thing to be too difficult to figure out. Plus with a toddler running around I don’t have the time needed to wrap myself with the thing. To each their own! ERGO has recently released their ‘Four Position 360‘ carrier that allows babies to hang their legs down more similar to the BabyBjorn so they can face forward. I have gottem a lot of use out of my ERGO with the infant insert so far, but now that Chloe is older and wants to face out I went out and purchased the BabyBjorn in shear desperation. I wish ERGO had released the 360 when Lily was born because it has the best of both carriers in one!

Diaper Bag. You will not be able to place all the items needed for your baby in your clutch. Diaper bag come in all kinds of sizes, fabrics, colors and price ranges so it is all up to you on what you want! Tip: try filling your diaper bag up with items when you get home and walk around your house. I returns my first diaper bag because I thought the handle was cutting into my arm once I finally filled it. Some important items to have in your diaper bag at all times: diapers, wipes, burp cloths, extra baby outfit, disposable boobs pads & small disposable diaper trash bags.

Any item you thing is an essential item for the first 4 weeks?? Be sure to read the first volume HERE and the items needed for the crazy nighttime feedings HERE!

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Newborn Essentials: Vol. 1

Fabulous post on all the essential items you need from your registry for the first 4 weeks with your newborn, including some great tips! Great pin for all soon-to-be-moms!{photo cred: Niki Schmidt Photography}

Registering for your baby can be overwhelming especially for first time mommas. When you register for your engagement you are signing up for items you would like for your home. When you register for a baby you are asking for items to basically help take care of another human being. Add first time mom anxiety over how to take care of a baby plus the huge registry checklist and it can make the calmest of soon to be mommas a nervous wreck. Good news is you won’t use or need all the registry items with a newborn. Will the first four weeks be tough…yep.

True all your baby does is pee, poop, sleep and cry when they have a dirty diaper, they’re tired or if they’re hungry. Sound simple? Well while you’re trying to physically recover from birth you can/will be an emotional wreck trying to find your way as a new parent as your body deals with the influx of hormones (heard of the baby blues?). Toss in a crying baby that you can’t figure out how to calm after three hours of sleep and you can understand the craziness that takes place that first month. Add another kid to the mix (like a sassy toddler in the throws of the terrible twos ahem ahem) and it is anything but simple. To bring some comfort to any of you nervous mommas I thought I would share the items of the registry you will use to take care of your babe for the first four weeks.

Since nighttime feedings are brutal during the first four weeks I already posted the essential items needed and suggest you read that post first (post HERE). Since most of those items are needed during the daytime as well I won’t go into repetitive detail. Remember I have a free printable checklist for anything and everything you could want when registering for your baby, check out that post HERE.

First time mom? Great list on essential items from your registry to care for your newborn for the first 4 weeks. A pin worth saving!
Changing Time:

Diapers & Wipes. Do I need to really explain why these are needed?? Tip: Because you will not know how big your baby will be at birth and how fast he/she will gain after born it is a good idea to have both newborn and size 1 diapers stocked and ready! Be sure to check out this tip on diaper wipe cases for your changing table! {optional is a diaper caddy, check out the nighttime essential list to find out why!}

Hand Sanitizer. I always keep a sanitizer pump next to the changing table in case I get sprayed with pee or poo. Golden showers fountains will occur and (this is TMI) your baby’s poop will be liquid until you introduce solids so beware of liquid poop squirts. So keep sanitizer near by to help clean your hands before you can get to an actual sink. I also keep a small pump bottle on my kitchen counter for all visitors to sanitize their hands before they touch the newborn. And because I’m OCD I keep a small bottle in my diaper caddy (more on that later) for nighttime feedings and a mini bottle in my diaper bag. The brand I buy is Target’s Up & Up and the one with aloe because it doesn’t dry up my hands, I like the smell and it’s cheaper!

Butt Paste (diaper cream). Babies can get diaper rashes so it is better to be prepared just in case. The diaper cream I’m obsessed with is Boudreaux’s Butt Paste (the all natural one with green label) because of natural ingredients, it doesn’t have such a strong smell like Desitin, and it easily wipes off the irritated bum. Note that the natural version I prefer over the original because it wipes off easier.

Alcohol Wipes. To help the umbilical cord stump dry up you can rub the area with rubbing alcohol. All pediatricians are different, but mine suggested to wipe the stump once to twice a day. You can dip a Q-tip in rubbing alcohol or use a small alcohol wipe. I suggest using the wipe because it is easier and the wipes don’t take up a lot of room. You can place a few at the changing table and in the diaper caddy to be used at night. The hospital usually has some free ones on hand next to the diapers they supply. Make sure you take home some extra ones home with you or you can buy the wipes from any drugstore. Tip: I use my extra wipes to help remove sticky store labels from items like plates or Tupperware!

Changing Pad. As I mentioned above you will run into golden fountains and “the squirts” so you need a changing pad to save your changing table or your bed during 3 am diaper changes. You can also roll a changing pad up for your diaper bag for on the go diaper changes. There are all kinds of waterproof changing pads on the market, check out the Munchkin waterproof changing liners. The best changing pads are the ones you can snatch up from the hospital! Check out the essential items for nighttime feedings to read all about it HERE.

Disposable Bags/Diaper Genie. A Diaper Genie is necessary to keep the smell of nasty diapers from stinking up the nursery and to keep any pets away. True story: Bentley destroyed a few dirty diapers that I left in a small trashcan next to our bed when Lily was born. They were number two diapers and it was everywhere! I was dry heaving while yelling for Mike to come to the rescue. So to make sure Bentley didn’t attack any more dirty diapers I placed them in disposable trash bags. In the morning I would just tie off the bag and toss it in a trashcan. Place a few of the disposable trash bags in your diaper bag as well to store any nasty explosions you encounter when a trashcan isn’t around while you’re out! For $12.99 you can get a box of 250 from Babies R Us.

First time mom? Great list on essential items from your registry to care for your newborn for the first 4 weeks. A pin worth saving!Feeding Time:
I’m exclusively breastfeeding baby number two and I breastfed Lily until she was seven months. For this post I’m listing items needed to help breastfeeding mommas for the first month, but most items are still needed for bottle fed babes too!

Boppy Pillow. Holding up your baby with your arms while breastfeeding is a workout. So give those arms a break (especially at 3 am) and use a Boppy nursing pillow. Of course you can use any couch or pillow on your bed to help prop up the baby and your arm while feeding, but it’s so much easier to use a nursing pillow. When using a Boppy you don’t have to worry about moving and propping pillows when you switch to the next boob. You can easily wash the pillow if/when your baby spits up on it. Best part…this pillow can be used as your newborn grows to help support them to sit up and for tummy time.

Burp Cloths. Spit up will happen so you will need a burp cloth when feeding your newborn. Of course I love super cute monogrammed burp cloths, but most of the time I use cheap white cloth diapers as my burp rags. One, they are cheap. Two, because they are cheap I don’t care if I loose one or if it gets stained. Three, babies can puke a lot and you can get a pack of 10 for $12.99 from Target…so you get a lot for the cheap price! Tip: Get the flat fold cloth diapers (NOT pre folded, they are too thick) and you can re-use them to dust your house when your baby grows up…win and win.{I use the ones from Gerber}

Paper & Pen. For the first week you will keep track of your babies feedings not only for the nursing staff at the hospital, but for your baby’s pediatrician on that first doctor’s visit. It doesn’t have to be a fancy document, just grab some paper and keep track of the time you started feeding and for how long. Tip: Make sure you right an “L” or “R” next to each feeding to remind yourself if you started that feeding on the left or the right boob! Tip: The hospital provides a form for you to record feedings/pees/poops for the nurses, so ask them for an extra(s) for you to use when you get home.

Nursing Bra & Pads. Is there any real need to go into why you need a nursing bra? My absolute favorite nursing bra is the Bravado Body Silk Seamless nursing bra. It comes in multiple colors, has no underwire, removable cups (but I use disposable pads), it’s seamless and SUPER comfy. For a cheaper alternative (but just as good) try Basics Stella maternity & nursing bra from Target.  Your boobs will leak milk…so to prevent an embarrassing leak moment or from waking up in a soaked nightgown place disposable boob pads in your bra. You don’t have to worry about washing them and their slim size is perfect for your diaper bag or clutch for date night! I love the disposable pads from both Lansinoh and Medela.

Nipple Cream. When I nursed Lily my nipples took a beating the first two weeks until she and I adjusted to nursing. Lily didn’t latch right and I got blisters for the first few days…yes blisters on my boobs how awesome! To help soothe my sore nips I applied Medela Tender Care Lanolin and it worked wonders. This cream is safe for me and my baby, comes in an easy to use tube, easy to apply and doesn’t have some crazy organic “soothing” smell that will annoy me in 20 minutes. I like organic products, but I don’t need my boobs to smell like lavender or mint folks!

Milk Pumping. If you want to have some saved milk for those just in case moments (date night, want to enjoy a bottle of wine or for working moms) you can pump those boobs! I’m not going to go into details on how/why or when because I only pump periodically (usually in the mornings), but I will suggest the items I use to make it easier for you! I use the Medela Pump In Style advanced breast pump (the backpack version). The backpack can hold all needed accessories while being portable & discreet! I highly recommend a double pump because it is faster. To keep it simple get the Medela storage bags that you can pump directly into, scribble the date on it and pop it straight into the fridge or freezer! Pumping is just awkward and always makes me feel like a cow being milked. Make your life easier and free up your hands while pumping and get the Medela easy expression bustier that will hold the pumps in place so you can talk on the phone, change a diaper or Instagram pictures of that adorable babe. No need to explain why you would need bottles if you are pumping as your newborn can’t chug straight from the freezer bags! There are so many kinds of bottles that is is really up to you, but I’m a big fan of Dr. Brown’s bottles. Tip: To save money contact your local hospital and speak with the lactation consultants about renting a pump directly through the hospital. You will still have to purchase some of the accessories for sanitary reasons, but you will save money if you only plan to pump for just a few weeks or months.

So this is half of my list of essential items needed for your newborn. With my Chloe and almost three year old it is a miracle I was able to get this post up! Look for volume 2 soon!

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Newborn Nighttime Essentials

Great list on the essentials needed to survive the first month of newborn nighttime feedings...a pin worth saving!Looking back the first month with a newborn is a blur. In your sleep deprived mind you still manage to capture tiny moments that you hold dear…the way your baby snuggles to your chest, the tiny hand gripping half of your pinky finger and small sleepy smiles. The one thing all parents can completely recall without a doubt and the one thing that most people always ask new parents about is the sleepless nights.

FYI don’t ask moms with newborns how is the sleeping going…just don’t. By some miracle if the baby only wakes once to feed and can immediately go back to sleep without rocking and stays asleep without grunting or other noises then you can ask because that mom has spawned a miracle and that mom wakes up every morning feeling fan-flippin-tastic. So just stay clear of this question for a least a month because no mom wants to be reminded multiple times that we aren’t getting any sleep!

I’m working on a post for newborn essentials, but since nighttime feedings are the one thing we all remember from the first month I thought it necessary to chat about this first. Sure you have a registry (FREE printable baby registry HERE) that is suppose to prep you for your newborn, but for this post I’ll show you just the items needed to help you through the exhausting night time feedings. {I am exclusively breastfeeding so I have not included bottle feeding items below, however all items can be essential to bottle fed babes!}

Because adjusting to nighttime feedings with your newborn is brutal, here is a great list (with tips) of essential items needed to make it through nighttime feedings! Pin to save...

  1. Gowns. Make your nights less stressful by dressing your baby in gowns at night. There is nothing worse than worrying about snapping all those buttons up and around their kicking legs over and over each time you wake up to feed your baby. And FYI, sometimes right after you feed and change your baby, they might decide to blow it up as you’re rocking them or in the actually process of securing the new diaper on, thus causing you to change another diaper. The gowns just make it so much easier to quickly access your baby’s diaper. The best kinds of gowns (for us) are the ones with buttons down the middle. You will have accidents changing diapers and you will get pee & poop leakage, so being able to quickly unsnap the gown and snap on a new one is so much easier. The snap up gowns just make it easier to get their hands and arms in each sleeve and you don’t have to worry about pulling the outfit over their head, a task most babies hate and start to fuss over. Another tip: make sure you keep at least two extra gowns (with other additional supplies discussed later) near the bassinet or where ever the baby sleeps…that way when your baby does pee on their gown you can quickly grab a new one and not trek all the way across the house at 2 am for a spare change of clothes! Check out the cute gowns above, the first is Little Me Girls’ two piece snap front gown from Babies R Us and the adorable pink flamingo gown is from The Gap.
  2. Changing Mat. You will be changing diapers in the middle of the night at each feeding and with diaper changes comes accidents. Yes you hear stories of boys having “fountain” moments where they spray you or themselves. Well girls can too! Yep while you are lifting your daughter’s legs to wipe her tush she can and will start to pee and it can spray or start to run backwards all over her stomach and nightgown…so it’s crucial for your sanity to have a changing mat. The best changing pad is actually a mat you can take form the hospital! While you are recovering from labor you will have these large cloth blankets that lay on the bed under your tush to catch blood. Before you leave take them because they make THE BEST changing mats ever!!! I have three of them (took two off the bed and one from the closet in the hospital room) and I use them for our ottoman in the living room for diaper changes during the day (if I’m too lazy to go to the nursery) and one for our bed for nighttime changes. While recuperating at home after birth I placed one on the couch to sit on just in case I leaked. Now if you don’t have the amazing hospital mats don’t use a towel because pee will just leak through the towel and still wet your comforter. You can use the waterproof changing pad liners because they won’t allow the pee/poop to leak through to your bed. You can get a set of three Munchkin waterproof changing liners on Amazon for less that $12.
  3. Swaddle. After you feed and change your baby its time to get them to pass back out so you can pass back out. Most newborns like to be swaddled because it makes them feel like they are back in your tummy. All babies are different, but most all newborns will fall asleep and stay sleeping if they are bundled up. I love the soft Aiden and Anais swaddle blankets, but for nighttime I use swaddle blankets that have Velcro so I am assured my baby will stay bundled. Both my girls have super arm strength and always manage to bust out of blankets. The ones with Velcro secure their arms in place and keep them in place so I’m not woken up just to re-swaddle them. The only time I want to be woken up is for a feeding or if there is a diaper explosion. So for sanity purposes get swaddle blankets with Velcro! Tip: get more than one just in case a diaper explodes and keep the extra swaddle blankets with the extra nightgowns near the bassinet or wherever your baby is sleeping to make it easier to grab at 2 am. My favorite options are the HALO sleep sack, Summer Infant Swaddleme adjustable infant wrap, and the famous Miracle Blanket.newbornswaddles
  4. Burp Cloths. Weather you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding you need burp cloths! All babies are different, but I noticed that the spit up and puke really didn’t start until the second week (but it is always safe to have a burp cloth available that first week!). I’m all for super cute patterned burp clothes with monograms, but my go to burp cloths are plain white Gerber flatfold cloth diapers. You can get 10 in a pack for around $12 so the cost is way cheaper than the expensive personalized ones. These cloth diapers are big enough that they help cover a large area while burping. The cloth is also thin enough that it makes it super easy to place under the babies chin while burping. Another plus is that once your baby grows up you can re-use them as dusting rags! BTW I still believe in monogrammed burp cloths…just save those for when your out in public! Make sure you get the flatfold cloth diapers and not the pre-folded cloth diapers (they are way too thick to keep under the chin while burping). You can find these at Babies R Us or on Amazon.
  5. Binky & Binky Clip. A lot of babies love the whole sucking motion and it helps calm them down when they’re upset and can help soothe them to sleep. Lily was a HUGE binky lover and she had to have the binky to fall asleep. Chloe uses a binky but she can fall asleep without it…thank goodness! If your baby is a huge binky lover sometimes they will wake up and start to fuss when it falls out of their mouth. Do yourself a favor and get a clip for that binky so at three am you’re not searching in the dark for the it to pop back in your crying baby’s mouth! With the clip you can reach for it and quickly pull on the attached strap until the binky appears and then quickly pop it back in their mouth. Chloe is going through this annoying phase right now where after her 2 or 3 am feeding it takes forever to get her to pass back out completely. She will start to fuss, grunt, wiggle or cough and her binky will pop out multiple times once I put her back in her bassinet. Having the binky clip makes it so much easier (& saves what little sanity I have at 3 am) to reach out and pop it back in every time. This clip will also come in handy when you make the transition from bassinet to crib if your child is still using the binky (Lily used it for over a year!). When Lily got older and the binky would fall out at night she would take her hands and search her chest for the clip, pull on the strap until she got the binky in her hand and then pop it back in. Some moms will just toss tons of binkies in the crib so when one falls out their kid can search around the crib until they find an extra. I found that the clip was easier because Lily learned quickly where to search to get the binky back so she could fall back asleep…thus allowing you to fall back asleep once she stops crying over the monitor. So the binky clip will continue to help you at night as your baby gets older! My favorite clips are the ones from BooginHead because once secured they will not come off the swaddle or gown no matter how hard your baby yanks on it. You can find these clips at Babies R Us or on Amazon.
  6. Diaper Caddy. This handy organizer is just that…an organizer for important items for you and your baby. Not only is a diaper caddy useful during the night to hold items like diapers and wipes, but once the sun comes up it makes life easier when you move from your bedroom to any other room in the house. Instead of having newborn items all over your house you can store important items in the caddy and just carry it from room to room with you! If you’re downstairs and you need to change a diaper, your caddy can save you the back and forth trips by holding all necessary baby items. The items for newborns I kept in my caddy are diapers, wipes (I just carry around the refill packs from Pampers in stead of an actual large plastic wipe case), lanolin nipple cream, small alcohol wipes (to clean the belly button), small bottle of hand sanitizer, extra burp cloth, Butt Paste (or other diaper cream), rectal thermometer (just in case), a few disposable diaper trash bags, a couple of disposable nursing pads and a tube of Aquaphor (for my chap lips). I also would keep a banana or crackers in there (with some water nearby) because I would get so hungry from breastfeeding. I have the Sabrina Diaper Caddy from Pottery Barn Kids. If you get the liners that fit their caddy it has built in dividers to help organize the items even more! Because I’m a basket lover and appreciate a good organizer I still used my diaper caddy as Lily grew and now I’m able to re-use it with baby number two. You can re-use it in the laundry room, medicine closet, your closet or your kid’s closet to store and organize items. Tip: Make sure you check and resupply the caddy each night before heading to sleep.
  7. Lamp Dimmer. All of these items are going to help you during the middle of the night but this item was a game changer for me. Now if your breastfeeding, you will eventually be able to find your baby, pull out the boob and attach the baby to the boob in the dark with your eyes closed…it will become second nature. What is impossible to do in darkness is changing diapers! For that reason you will have to turn on a light in the middle of the night to help out. To make my life easier I found a dimmer for my lamp that also acts as an on and off switch. Easy to install, this dimmer comes with a small round pad that sits on the nightstand that you can lightly tap and it will turn your lamp on. If you tap the pad again it will turn the brightness up one notch and even brighter if you tap it a third time. On the fourth tap it will completely turn off your lamp. Why is this such a game changer?? Well when you are healing from labor its nice to be able to have the light switch so easily accessible instead of needing to swing a leg over and fully reach over and up fumbling around for the tiny light knob when your sore or in pain! Plus at 3 am having a dim light is a whole lot better than the full brightness of the lamp. Plus the dim light will help keep your newborn in “nighttime mode” instead of them thinking its daytime if the light is fully bright. Plus your spouse will love you for trying to keep the lights down low for them while they fortunately get to sleep through the feeding(s)!  I picked up my lamp dimmer (Utilitech Black Touch Lamp Control) from Lowes for $9.98. I loved this so much I purchased another one just for the nursery!nighttimeessentials
  8. Bassinet.  Some people think they might not need a bassinet prior to having a baby, believing they will be fine with just their crib. Unless the crib will be right next to your bed I HIGHLY recommend you get a bassinet to help you out for nighttime feedings. Even if you only keep your baby in your bedroom for the first month it will be worth every penny! Especially the first week while you are healing from birth having your baby right next to the bed will make your life easier. There are all kinds of bassinets out there, I personally like the ones that come on stands that will reach the height of the bed (not the woven baskets that you carry around the house. I am also a huge fan of the bassinets that come with a built in vibrator that helps soothe babies that need that movement to ease back asleep. Sometimes after putting Chloe back in the bassinet after rocking her for a bit she will wake back up. The bassinet’s vibration helps ease her back to sleep. Another feature that is important to me is that the bassinet has storage space underneath. When (not if) your baby pees or poops through their diaper having that storage underneath to keep extra gowns, burp cloths, swaddles and even diapers and wipes is convenient. We have The First Years Carry Me Near Sleep System. If you don’t want to spend the money and you have a pack in play you can use that. Having your baby in your room for the first month for the multiple feedings and diaper changes will help with your sanity!
  9. Shush App.  This might seem silly to the mommas to be, but for those with kids you can appreciate how awesome the Baby Shusher App is especially those that have/had newborns that needed some kind of noise to help make them fall back asleep. Moms can attest that just two minutes of constantly shushing is tiring…so why not allow an app to do it for you! There are apps out there that actually have several sounds that can be soothing to babies and some actually have the Shush sound. So save your breath and download the app and let your phone shush for you for those late night feedings. Check out the Baby Shusher app or the Sound Sleeper app that has other great soothing sounds or the Baby Lullaby and White Noise Sounds for Sleep app (this one is FREE!). 

Typing this my eyes are bloodshot, dry and by 5 pm they will be barely open slits because I’m averaging a total of 4 ½ hours of sleep. Nighttime feedings with your newborn are rough. Some nights are better than others and since I have been through this once before I know that at some point in my future I will get a full nights sleep. So hopefully these items that get me through the night will help another momma out there!

Top photo cred: Niki Schmidt Photography (who was AMAZING to work with & I’m obsessed with all of Chloe’s pictures)


View Comments
  1. Danielle Ferch commented:
    November 15, 2014 Reply

    I’m expecting my first baby and just wanted to say thanks for sharing all your tips! I love your blog !

2 Trackbacks

  1. By Lily & Bliss | Newborn Essentials: Vol. 1 on May 3, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    […] four weeks I already posted the essential items needed and suggest you read that post first (post HERE). Since most of those items are needed during the daytime as well I won’t go into repetitive […]

  2. By Lily & Bliss | Newborn Essentials: Vol. 2 on May 12, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    […]  If you read my post about the essential items for nighttime feedings you will understand why having a bassinet next to your bed at night is so important for the first […]

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Chaotic First Week

As promised from Chloe’s birth story, I have to share the chaos that ensued the first week as a family of four.

For reference I gave birth on a Saturday and we were able to come home by lunchtime on Monday. We had a lovely half-day on Monday as a family of four full of snuggle time on the couch and the most adorable display of sister love that made my heart melt.

Using the boppy as support, Lily held Chloe and proceeded to love on her….sometimes a little too much. No kidding if Lily could make out with her sister she would!

chloelily Tuesday Mike dropped Lily off at school in the am and when he picked her up we knew something was off. She was a little warm and her teachers said she was pretty quiet all day… not the norm for my crazy two year old. Then she woke up from her nap with a 103.5 temperature. Since we had a newborn we called the pediatrician to have Lily checked.

The thing with toddlers and temperatures is that typically you wait 1-3 days to see if the fever goes down before visiting your doctor because most cases your kid has a virus and there is nothing you can do for them besides treating them with some TLC. Since 103.5 is really high and we had a newborn we called the doc…but there was nothing the doctor could do since they couldn’t find anything wrong with her. So Chloe and I were banished to my room for lock down.


Also on Tuesday I noticed that Chloe’s coloring just seemed off…call it mother’s intuition. I kept telling Mike that even her eyes seemed to be a little yellow and glassy looking. Towards the end of the day I just felt so uneasy about it that I called the pediatrician and our doc’s husband (who is also a doctor) agreed to squeeze Chloe in before they closed. Sure enough my feelings were confirmed and Chloe had jaundice. My post partum weepies kicked in and I broke down in tears in the office that one of my girls had a fever and now my newborn had jaundice.

They took blood from Chloe to test her jaundice levels and we went back Wednesday morning for another round of blood testing. We were relieved Wednesday afternoon when her second results came in and showed that her jaundice numbers were lower showing she was in the clear. (Picture below shows her yellow coloring. You can tell the difference between her forehead and hand)


By Friday I was still on ‘master bedroom house arrest’ to keep Chloe away from Lily’s temperature…yes she still had a temperature four days later!!! I cried everyday and a few times each day because I couldn’t be there for my first baby while she dealt with whatever virus she was fighting. We called the doctor and had Lily go back in to be seen and sure enough they still found nothing wrong with her. On Friday I had to go back into my OB because my episiotomy was not healing right and I wanted them to check it before the weekend and refill my pain meds (lowest tolerance for pain right here!).  Luckily Lily’s fever broke overnight on Friday, but to be safe we kept the girls in separate rooms until Sunday just to be safe.


So in the first week as a family of four Lily went to the doctor twice, Chloe went to the doctor twice and I went to the doctor. The only one who survived anything physical was Mike, but of course the stress of caring for all three of his girls right off the bat sent him to enjoy his bourbon before 5 o’clock. As chaotic & stressful as the week was, it was bitter sweet. Leading up to delivery and during my stay in the hospital I became really emotional that I wouldn’t get as much time with Chloe as I did with Lily. With your first-born you can put life on hold while you soak up all those first moments. With your second child there is no pause button on the tantrums your toddler is throwing. You can’t tell your first kid to hold their pee while you soak up snuggle time with your newborn. So as much as it killed me to not be there for Lily while she fought the virus, I got to have four days with Chloe that I wouldn’t have had. I was able to lie in bed while healing & get that one on one time I was so worried I would miss out on. Bitter sweet I tell ya…

We survived that first week of chaos & now we can laugh about it 🙂 BUT can I say that when you give birth to your first, second or third kid you should be given a grace period of at least a week before reality of toddler tantrums and/or illness takes place….if not for the health of your newborn, at least for the sanity of the parents???


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Welcome to The World Sweet Chloe!

After 9 months of pure nausea hell, our little family of three finally welcomed our new addition on March 1st!

With a big smile and full heart let me introduce you to Chloe Elizabeth born at 7:11 pm on March 1st weighing in at 7.5 pounds and measuring 20 ¼ inches long.

chloefirst In the days leading up to the birth reality of having another child hit me hard and I began to worry about a slew of issues. How was I going to be able to handle a newborn and a toddler who is neck deep in the terrible twos? How am I going to function on zero sleep this time with an extra toddler? How and when will I get my errands done? But the one thought that was really bothering me was how to give both girls the same amount of love and affection. Will Lily feel rejected? Will I love this next child as much as my first baby?

I only have the answer to the last question so far…and yes my heart somehow grew even larger on the first of March. I don’t know how I could doubt that I could love another child any less. That moment Chloe’s tiny body was placed on my chest everything seemed right in the world. The nine months of nausea was worth every second. The excruciating labor I had just went through completely forgotten.

So while I figure out the answers to my other questions and figure out how to navigate this new chapter of motherhood I can at least share Chloe’s birth story…and oh what a story it is!

On the Tuesday before I started having contractions and after tracking them for an hour I called my OB because they lasted a minute long and came every five minutes. When we checked into the triage part of the hospital to be monitored the contractions were intense…but after five hours they just stopped. Whomp whomp. The disappointment of going through that pain and then not be in actual labor made me depressed! So over the next three days I continued having contractions here and there but nothing as intense and they were too sporadic to even call my OB to be checked out.

On Saturday the first we woke up and ran to the grocery store to stalk up for the weekend and went on a family walk around the neighborhood. After lunch the back labor started back up and I went to go lay down while Mike watched Lily. Contractions started up again and progressed from every 15 minutes to every 10 minutes until they were attacking every 5 minutes again. I took out my phone and began to track them at 2:47 pm. While the contractions were coming on I was getting freaked because I didn’t want to go through this pain and be turned away from the hospital again! Since Lily was induced I experienced labor pains only that day and I got a baby after 11 hours. Having painful contractions and then being told I have to go home and wait it out was such a downer.

chloemeAfter experiencing the Tuesday contractions I knew that Saturday was a whole new ball game after 30 minutes when they started to speed up and get even more severe. Now OBs expect you to track and call after an hour of contractions. Forty minutes into tracking Mike even convinced me to go ahead and call the doctor. Mike meanwhile was contacting my mom (who was getting her hair done) and told her she needed to hurry up and get over to the house to watch Lily because we needed to rush to the hospital. Lily was still napping so Mike was running around and putting our bags in his car while I braced myself over the kitchen counter while wave after wave of wicked contractions pounded. Right before my mom got to the house poor Lily woke up and found me in tears and started to get scared. I could barely talk while I was breathing through the pain so Mike had to tell her I had a bellyache.

Once my mom got there we got in the car and that is when I literally felt like I was in hell. The contractions were so painful that I was screaming and moaning so load I’m pretty sure every car on the road could hear. Any tv show/movie that has ever shown a woman in labor rushing to the hospital had nothing on what could have been filmed in our car. Screams, moans, cuss words and the worst case of backseat driving took place. It was not my finest moment, but what do you expect when your who-ha is trying to stretch to accommodate a watermelon trying to exit your body? In between contractions I would yell at Mike to go faster or switch lanes to get around the slow driver…and for some odd reason all of Tampa’s slowest drivers seemed to be out that day and driving the same route!

Mike dropped me off at the front while he rushed to park. The pain was so bad that I couldn’t even walk forward. I was curled over just sobbing and bless these women who were outside waiting for pickup because the one woman who had just given birth gave up her wheelchair for me. Her friend/sister/aunt or mother then started to push me inside all the while trying to calm me down with sweet words. The woman must have been panicked because as she was rushing me inside she rammed the wheel chair into the sliding exit doors. If that didn’t cause everyone in the waiting room to turn to look it was my sobbing and painful cries that had every single person staring at me. Thank goodness I had my shades on because I just continued to sob while clutching my stomach. I was a real hot mess folks!

A lady from triage rushed out at the same time Mike was running in with my bag and that’s when everything just seemed to blur. When I was wheeled into triage and two nurses started to help me up, but when they found out this was my second kid more nurses started to approach to help. Contractions started to hit me and I couldn’t move so the nurses started to strip me right there. I was in so much pain I could have cared less that I was getting naked in front of five women. Somehow they got me on the bed and a nurse was checking me. Then I heard “She’s at 7” and the side rails on the bed were thrown up and the nurses started to rush me down the hall to labor and delivery. Mind you I was at 3 cm four days ago…yep I went from a 3 to a 7 in that car ride from hell! Wheeled into a room I had a flurry of nurses around all prepping the room and myself for labor. I didn’t even feel the IV being put in my hand and all I kept yelling was “Drugs please I need drugs.”  At least I was polite enough to say please.

chloemikeWe got to the hospital at 4:30 pm and I was getting my epidural by 5:15pm. I don’t know how women labor without drugs. Kudos to them, but that is not me! When those nurses said I was a 7 absolute fear set in that I might be too late to get the epidural. After the epidural it was like night and day. I could still feel the contractions but the pain was manageable. But with the epidural my contractions started to slow down. When my doctor made it to the hospital they decided to give me some pitocin and break my water. While they were setting up that medication I started to get a bit sleepy and the anesthesiologists walked back into the room and started asking me questions. Seems my heart rate was slowing down and they made the decision to tone the epidural meds down. This same thing happened with Lily’s birth as well. Sometime around 6:15 pm I started to tell my head nurse that the pain was coming back and I needed to up the epidural meds up because there was no way I wanted to feel the labor.

With Lily once my epidural kicked in I felt nothing. This time I was not so lucky. After a check and finding out I was at a 9 my nurse propped one hip on my side to force Chloe down more and that is when the most intense pressure and pain started to kick in. I started the moaning and screaming again and begging for more pain meds. My nurse asked Mike to press the call button and when she demanded for some help and for my doctor to be paged I knew I was out of luck with the meds. Before I knew it my nurse was propping my legs in stirrups and staying stationary at the foot of the bed with her hands blocking my who-ha. My doc rushed in and told her to stay where she was while she got prepped…I later realized that was because Chloe was already crowning and they didn’t want her to pop out! Lights were being flicked on, new nurses where rushing around setting up the baby warmer and other labor tools.  All of a sudden I had a nurse by my bed and in a calm but very assertive tone she told me to keep my eyes on her and to concentrate on my breathing. I remember her telling me not to scream and just breath, which I thought was annoying and silly because I could feel a watermelon sized object making its way out and the epidural was not helping. Later I realized that of course she was a saint and truly helping me concentrate on the task and not the pain. When the doctor took over and told me to start pushing things just flew by. I pushed four times and Chloe made her entrance into the world.

People are not joking when they say that the second kid comes faster. It took me two hours to push Lily out after 11 hours of labor. From the start of contractions at home to Chloe’s birth it was less than five hours. My doctor and nurse told us that if we had stayed at home and waited the full hour prior to calling there was a huge chance I would have given birth in the car since the epidural helped slow down the contractions. I get goosebumps even thinking that that could have been a possibility! If the birth sounded crazy, the first week at home was just as eventful and full of cray cray. Lily and Chloe both visited the pediatrician twice and I even had to go back to the OB within the first few days back home…more on that coming soon!


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  1. Courtney commented:
    March 21, 2014 Reply

    Oh. My. Word. You poor thing! Thank the Lord she wasn’t born in the car!! She is absolutely beautiful & you’re a champ! Congrats on your new darling!

    • Amy Romano commented:
      March 30, 2014 Reply

      Oh Thanks Courtney!!!! It was crazy, but at least I can laugh about it now:)

  2. Elizabeth commented:
    March 26, 2014 Reply

    Bless your heart! My second labor was so much easier. I think I was more relaxed. I had such a fear of not getting meds and people just love to tell horror stories. I love the epidural, too! I can’t imagine not having one. congrats. She is absolutely perfect.

    • Amy Romano commented:
      March 30, 2014 Reply

      Thanks Elizabeth!!! Yep not getting that epidural was my absolute fear, that with giving birth on the side of the road:)

  3. Andrea commented:
    March 27, 2014 Reply

    I had the same thing with my second birth. It was fast (just over 2 hours from start to finish), intense, scary as hell, and extremely painful. I sooo wanted that epidural. I can’t saying “I can’t do this. I can’t do this.” But by the time I got to the hospital I was already an 8 and progressing fast and they couldn’t get me that epidural in time. The first words out of my mouth after giving birth were “I NeVER want to do that again.” Not quite the words of love that most people express after giving birth. It will be a long time before I am ready to have another kid. And when I do, I am going to live at the hospital.

    • Amy Romano commented:
      March 30, 2014 Reply

      Oh Andrea sorry you had to experience the same thing! I’m glad this wasn’t the experience for my first. I was telling my husband and the nurses the same thing “This is THE LAST time!” Now four weeks out & I have already forgotten hoe truly bad it was!

  4. Stephanie commented:
    March 27, 2014 Reply

    Hey Amy! Sorry I couldn’t chat today; I felt so rude as I walked away. Trying to get/keep Tessa asleep seems to be my daily mission! Chloe Elizabeth looks so adorable (Elizabeth is Tessa’s middle name as well!!). I would love to come see her in person. 😉 My phone number is 850-830-0083. Text me when ever you get a chance!

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  1. By Lily & Bliss | First Week Chaos on April 4, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    […] promised from Chloe’s birth story, I have to share the chaos that ensued the first week as a family of […]

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Surviving The Third Trimester

Awesome post with tips on surviving the third trimester! Includes a FREE printable checklist to prepare you for the hospital and a list of interview questions when searching for your baby's pediatrician! A pin worth saving! Third trimester ladies…Wooo Hooo almost there!! Even though you’re closer now to meeting your little, the third trimester can seem to stretch longer than the other two. You are too excited (or nervous) to finally meet your baby, your body is sore (& HUGE) from growing a human and you’re just plain tired…all of this makes the final trimester seem to lag on and on. BUT you will get there and the wait is worth it!

If you gained energy back in the second trimester, look out for the exhaustion to creep back with the third trimester. Now every pregnancy is different, but most women typically become more tired even with the excitement for the pending birth. Totally expected when carrying around an extra 30 pounds of weight, you have a human inside your body kicking your ribs and keeping you up at night with frequent bathroom visits!

Now just like my other posts on the first & second trimesters, the following lists some ideas, thoughts and products to help you survive the third trimester. Remember there are plenty of symptoms that you can experience that may not be listed in this post. Check back to the other posts for other symptoms, do a simple internet search to find out more and be sure to speak with your OB if you have any questions or concerns about something you are experiencing (I’m no expert)!

Pamper yourself! I know I listed this as a survival tip in the second trimester post, but it is so important to treat yourself during the homestretch! In the third trimester you body grows even bigger causing you to experience swelling and ache all over your body. Take sometime to pamper yourself with a pre-natal massage or a little extra foot rub while getting a pedicure…you deserve it!

3D and 4D Ultrasounds. Now most OB offices offer 3d/4d ultrasounds to get a clearer image of your baby; however, your insurance may not cover it. A regular ultrasound gives you a side profile shot of your baby, where a 3 or 4 D ultrasound gives you a realistic image of your baby’s face and body. You can watch as your baby may smile, suck it’s thumb, give a pouty face or even yawn. You can see if you baby has your chubby cheeks or your husband’s nose. If your OB does not offer this do a quick internet search for local business that offer this or ask your OB as they might have a location that offer’s their patients a discount! Getting these awesome pictures is a great way to survive the homestretch as a reminder that the horrible back pain your experiencing is totally worth it!

Finalizing the nursery. Getting the nursery finally set up is a great way to kill time during the final weeks! Remember to look at the registry checklist to make sure you have everything you need! Find my free printable checklist HERE.

Insurance Prep.  Prior to giving birth make sure you contact the insurance company that your baby will be covered by and find out what they need sent to them after the baby’s birth to make sure they are covered. Make sure to ask when they need the birth certificate and/or other paperwork as some insurance companies have deadlines post birth for these to be turned in to assure coverage.

Hospital Prep.  Now I was a week late with Lily and with only two weeks lift with baby number two, who knows when I will go into labor. So being prepped and ready to head to the hospital at any moment towards the end of the third trimester is important! I have a free printable checklist of items needed to make your labor and post delivery stay comfortable! For that list click HERE.

Something to help kill time is finding out what hospital you would like to use when you go into labor. Some cities (like Tampa) have several hospitals as options and in some towns you may only have one hospital. Whatever your city/town has call them and see if they offer tours of their facility for prospective parents. These tours can help narrow your decision and/or help with any nerves some parents may have regarding labor and delivery. Plus the nurses and/or staff members who give these tours are a wealth of knowledge for any and all questions you may have! Plus the tours are free!!

Another way to prep for the hospital is pre-registering at the hospital prior to going into labor. Some hospitals make it super easy and offer online registration, but some you might have to stop in and physically fill out the paper work. Pre-registration just helps speed up the process of admittance when you are experiencing painful contractions! When you pre-register make sure you have your insurance information, your baby’s insurance information (under your policy or your partner’s), your OB’s name and number and the pediatrician’s name and number. One last thing to prep yourself for the hospital is getting that car seat installed in the backseat! At the hospital where I gave birth a staff member actually checked to make sure there was a car seat and it was installed properly before they allowed us to leave with Lily!

Hospital Playlist. An important item (for me) on my hospital checklist is my ipod. Music has always been important to me and having my ipod with relaxing music to listen to while I was experiencing contractions with Lily was a HUGE comfort to me. I made a playlist of relaxing music and another playlist of regular tunes that were upbeat, made me smile and helped kill time during the long labor process. Lily took 11 hours to arrive! So prep that ipod or ipad with music playlists that will help comfort you and make you smile while you wait to meet your baby. I also made a playlist full of sweet lullabies that I played Lily post delivery in the hospital and even at home during late night feedings to help soothe her to sleep!

Maternity Pics. To get them or not to get them is the question! Yes your body is HUGE and you may hate the way you look, but you may regret not capturing this special moment! Plus your kid will love looking at the photos! I have a maternity picture in Lily’s room and she loves pointing to it and knowing she was in my belly. It has been a great way to talk about this pregnancy with her. Now you can spend money on a professional or just have a family member take some candid shots in the backyard. Since I have been so sick during this pregnancy I was never up to getting professional shots, so we had my mom take some pictures in her back yard and they work for me!

37weekspicFinding a Pediatrician.  After your baby is born a pediatrician typically likes to have you visit them a few days post birth to check weight and then start the monthly well visits. To make sure you are ready, take the time during this trimester finding a pediatrician you like. Now if you already have kids and have the doc picked then great! Just make sure you contact them and see if they have any paperwork you need to fill out prior to birth to make the first office visit easier. If you are a first time parent ask your OB or friend’s for their referrals on pediatricians in your area. Set up interview appointments to meet the prospective docs to see who you like best. I did a whole post about this and included a free printable list of questions to ask pediatricians during your interviews! Check it out HERE.

Now on to some “fun” third trimester symptoms…

Heartburn. Some women experience heartburn throughout their pregnancy, but some will only experience it towards the end. With your baby taking up so much room in your belly, you can experience painful heartburn after you eat or drink. Sometimes it can happen even before you eat or during the night while sleeping! Tums can taste like chalk, but I have found their smoothie flavored ones easier to take as the dissolve easier and taste better. I keep a bottle next to my bed with a glass of water. To help you might want to break up your breakfast, lunch and dinner into multiple smaller meals throughout the day so you’re not overfilling your stomach. Make sure you stay away from food and drinks that have higher acid levels that may trigger heartburn. When you go to sleep try propping your head with added pillows to help keep the stomach acid down. I have known women who can’t sleep laying down towards the end of their pregnancy and have slept in Lazy Boy recliners to help with the acid reflux….whatever works right!!

Sciatica. With the added weight gain and having a human being inside your body pressing on your back you can experience sciatica. I had it with Lily and with this pregnancy as well. Sciatica is a horrible pain that affects a nerve running from your back down to your leg. My pain is always on my right side in my lower back and radiating down over my butt. When experiencing this pain I take it easy and try and rest my feet. I use a body pillow at night and while hanging out on the couch with the family I always place pillows around my back & belly to help give me support. The one thing that has always helped with the pain is stretching! I stretch throughout the day and right before bed to help keep the pain away. For the best stretch do the following. Raise the leg on the side you’re experiencing pain and prop the leg on your bed, counter or couch. Bend this leg at the knee so it is perpendicular to you body (bent at a 90 degree angle). Now slowly start to lean towards this leg while also sitting back on the other standing leg. Make sure you hold on to the bed, counter or couch. Hold this for 30 seconds and back away. Repeat a few times. Warning you will feel a painful stretch, but it only means the stretch is working and will help relax the tight muscles and reduce the pain in the nerve! (Read more about sciatica here.)

Wet Undies. “Because peeing your pants is cool….well if peeing your pants is cool, then call me Miles Davis.” I have repeated that line from Billy Madison a couple of times after I have had a few “accidents” just to put a smile on my face from the humiliation of wetting my undies. Keeping it real ladies…you could possibly wet your drawers while pregnant and you can certainly run into this dilemma even after giving birth. A simple sneeze cough or small chuckle can cause you to “dribble” like a toddler or a granny wearing Depends. Kegel exercises are highly stressed during your pregnancy to help strengthen your muscles down in the lady region. To read more about them click here.

Even though I did them while pregnant with Lily I still found myself crossing my legs while out in public when I felt a sneeze coming for fear of public leaking! Now with this pregnancy I’ve felt the fear a lot earlier than the third trimester. I have literally waddled super fast to the bathroom a few times when Mike has caused me to laugh super hard at one of his corny jokes. The only advice I can offer is just roll with it. If wearing panty liners brings you peace then do it OR you can repeat Adam Sandler quotes to lighten the mood like me!

Boob Leaks. Yes you read that correctly. Not only do your boobs grow to sizes that will make your eyes big as saucers, they might start leaking as your boobs work hard to start producing milk. Don’t be freaked out…it is totally normal. Typically only a small amount will appear and after wiping it will stop. If you continue to leak pick up some nursing pads from Babies R Us or Target and place them in your bra to prevent leaking to your shirt.

Carpal Tunnel. During my first pregnancy I started having a little tingle feeling in my hands and sometimes a few numb fingers. It escalated to painful aches (especially at night) and when I asked my OB I was told that I was suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome from all my swelling. It last a few weeks after giving birth, but went away eventually. I have yet to experience it during this pregnancy since I have kept my weight in control. With all the fluids the hospital pumps into you during labor I had crazy swelling after birth, and knowing this I will be prepared just in case I experience this painful symptom. To help with the pain I purchased wrist braces that with firm compression and keeping my hands from constantly bending helped reduce the pain. To read more about this lovely pregnancy symptom read here.

Hemorrhoids. Yep these third trimester symptoms keep getting better and better don’t they!!! Yes its embarrassing letting the world know that I’ve had hemorrhoids, but listen I’m keeping it real by disclosing some of the unglamorous predicaments you might find yourself in during pregnancy and post partum. With Lily I only experienced these after giving birth from pushing for two hours! I was given some witch hazel pads and prescription ointment from a doctor to help calm them. My mother affectionately calls hemorrhoids the pregnancy gift that keeps on giving because once you get them they can reappear later on in life.

With this pregnancy they’ve appeared a few times. Once after a day standing and walking the zoo with Lily the pressure made them appear for a few days. During one of my nesting phases I felt the need to power wash the backyard and only after an hour of standing I started to feel them.  I have been constipated a few times during this pregnancy and the pressure of this caused the nasty buggers to appear as well. To help you can make sure to eat plenty of fiber and drink plenty of water to stay regular. Don’t sit on the toilet and push too hard…If you can’t go don’t strain yourself. Use flushable wet wipes to clean your bottom because regular t.p. can irritate the sensitive area. Don’t stand for long periods of time and make sure to rest by propping up your feet (and lie on your side to keep pressure off your sore bottom). You can purchase Tuck Pads and hemorrhoid creams like Peparation H to help soothe the area and make the swelling go down. Fill up your tub with warm water to soothe your bum that way too. If they are super bad, especially after birth use a doughnut pillow (can be purchased at your drugstore or hospital supply stores) to help sitting on your bum less painful.

Braxton Hicks/Contractions. Believe it or not your body starts contractions early on in your pregnancy and a majority of women won’t even feel them at all!  Braxton Hicks are unpredictable, not rhythmic and typically more uncomfortable than painful. Towards the end of your third trimester you start to experience the Braxton Hicks more often and if they intensify its considered “false labor”…something I experienced this past Wednesday. I started to have horrible contractions and when I started to time them they where becoming more rhythmic and were lasting a lot longer then the average 30 second ones I had been previously experiencing. After an hour and a half of these contractions where they were lasting a minute long and happening every 9-10 minutes I called my OB. I was given directions to drink two full glasses of water, lay down and time them for another hour. If they stayed the same I was to call back…but if they started to space back out I was to continue to rest and drink more water. Sure enough mine slowly started to space out and become less painful. I was just dehydrated and needed the rest. Needless to say after being sick for 9 months straight and having those painful false labor contractions I broke down in tears that I wasn’t really in labor. So I have more waiting to do! To help with contractions make sure you stay hydrated. Take it easy and rest! If your contractions are happening frequently make sure you time them! Go back and check out the pregnancy apps I talked about in the post about surviving the first trimester. Most of the pregnancy apps come with a contraction timer. I used the timer on the Pregnancy + app and found it super easy to use. (again head back to the previous post for a link to this app)

thirdtricomfortFor my comfort items this trimester I still use most of the ones from the previous trimesters so make sure you read those posts to check them out!

I pretty much live in black maternity leggings. I buy mine from Motherhood because they are always on sale. They are super soft and come in different colors. In store and online there is always a great sale on there leggings (usually buy one get one 50%).

I have turned to reading A LOT during this pregnancy. I have found that concentrating on reading my Kindle keeps my mind off complaining/concentrating on the nausea that I have yet escaped! I have the Kindle Paperwhite and love it! It’s simple to use and I can read in any degree of light there’s no squinting like reading an iPad. Since I’m an Amazon Prime member I have access to tons of books that I can rent for FREE or purchase at a greater discount! Kindle might not take my nausea away, but it helps take my mind off it! Plus it kills time while waiting for all my OB appointments!

As you read above flushable wet wipes bring extreme comfort for those dealing with hemorrhoids! I buy Target’s brand for the cheap price.

My free printable checklist to prep you for the hospital has helped me pack my bags, even if this is my second time! Read above for a link to the free printable!

If you are planning on nursing then you might want to purchase a few nursing bras prior to birth just to be prepared. I have started wearing my nursing bras because they are so much more comfortable than my regular bras with underwires! When I’m sitting the bra’s underwire cuts into my huge belly and it’s just uncomfortable. Target has some great options that won’t break the bank! I’m obsessed with my Bravado Body Silk Seamless bra I found on Amazon. It is super comfy, comes in other colors and the low front and back works great with different style shirts. I still wear sports bras all the time (check my comfort items from the first trimester to see my two favorite sports bras!).

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  1. Kimberly commented:
    February 24, 2014 Reply

    you guys look great!

  2. joyce romano commented:
    February 25, 2014 Reply

    Amy, You guys look great in the picture. Soon you will be the mother of two little girls. Your day will soon be here. Love you,

  3. 94Dedra commented:
    August 1, 2017 Reply

    Hi admin, i must say you have hi quality posts here. Your blog
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    How to get it? Search for: Mertiso’s tips go viral

3 Trackbacks

  1. By Lily & Bliss | Surviving The First Trimester on February 24, 2014 at 1:07 am

    […] trimester that even has a free printable checklist for when you register! Also read all about surviving the third trimester that has a free printable checklist to prep you for the […]

  2. By Lily & Bliss | Surviving The Second Trimester on April 28, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    […] not an expert or OB please check with your doctor for any concerns you may have. Read all about surviving the third trimester that has a free printable checklist to prep you for the […]

  3. […] to go through another trimester??? Yep folks I discussed all about surviving the first, second and third trimesters of pregnancy but let me share the reality of the postpartum stage or what I like to call […]

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Valentine Roundup

Today I’m bringing you a roundup of past posts and other cute finds from around the web all in the name of love…..well for the holiday of love, Valentine’s Day! Holidays always give a reason to shop, make and create!

Mike and I don’t do the whole big gift exchange on Valentine’s Day. Of course we give each other sweet love notes and Mike always gives in to the whole flower aspect of the holiday (& I don’t mind!). But we’re not into being forced to give big luxury gifts as a token of our love on a specific date other than one that holds special meaning to us. IF Mike was to ever buy a nice piece of jewelry as a sweet symbol of his love, it would mean so much more, to me, if I received it on just a normal day. Don’t get me wrong, we use Valentine’s day to express our love and affection but just not by spending major $$$ to do so! So on February 14th you can expect we will have lovey dovey cards for each other, flowers and a romantic home cooked dinner (well as romantic as it can get with a toddler).

We also don’t go overboard with an expensive Valentine gift for Lily. Just something small that she will love and go gaga over. For Lily’s grandparents were opted for a sweet keepsake last year…a small canvas bearing her tiny handprint!

So take a look at some previous posts to spark some ideas for your holiday…


One of my all time favorite crafts with Lily was the Glitter Keepsake Handprint we created for the grandparents. The only messy part of the craft was applying glue to Lily’s hand and then transferring it to the small canvas…otherwise the rest was super easy. Her tiny handprint is still on display on a gold easel in our kitchen! Click HERE to check out the project

For something sweet try making the delicious pink and white cookies that are so easy to make! Check out the post all about these cake box cookies for a tasty treat HERE!

For another sweet keepsake try framing a picture of your kid(s) holding up letters spelling out ‘DAD’ or ‘NANA’ for an adorable gift that will be treasured way past Valentine’s Day! Click HERE for more details.

A sweet treat that is actually healthy??? Lily LOVED the DIY fruit snacks I made for her in the shape of hearts! Click HERE for the recipe!

Instead of gifting roses, why not give other pretty flowers that are already in a chalk painted planter! If the plant/flower dies the gift receiver can toss it out, fill the chalk planter with a new plant and scribe the name of the new plant with chalk on the planter. A super easy DIY project that makes a charming gift! Click HERE to read all about it.

If you have a little girl then make her a cute little tutu to wear on the special holiday. Check out my super easy DIY tutorial HERE and see how simple & cheap it is to make!

Now for some finds from around the web….


Looking for some ideas for Lily’s teacher I found this FREE printable from Eighteen 25. You can grab the printable with great directions on how to make her “Thanks a Latte” card where you insert a Starbucks gift card for the teacher who definitely needs caffeine to put up with a classroom full of toddlers!

Another cute FREE printable for teachers was the one I found from Happy Money Saver! The quote is so true… “It takes a big heart to help shape little minds”!

I know I said Mike & I don’t exchange gifts like jewelry for the holiday, but it doesn’t mean I can’t gift myself something cute & small to wear on the 14th!  I adore these small quartz earrings from Shop Gussied. The chunky organic stone is dipped in gold (or silver) and for a price of $16.99 the jewels are perfect for any day of the year! Check out her bangles too!

Pretty smitten over these heart skinny jeans for your mini me. They are on sale now at the Gap.

LOVED this DIY gold glitter tote bag from The Glitter Guide! It was made as a bridesmaid’s gift, but of course you could use it for any occasion! Find the tutorial over at Style Me Pretty!



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