Baby Registry Must-Haves from a Mama of Three

It’s hard to believe it, but Ollie turned nine months old last week and I’m officially in the last quarter of my final baby year. I once wrote about the firsts and the lasts and the sentiment still holds true: there is so much joy in each stage and it’s also a little sad to say goodbye to the sweet stages as we move on, for good this time.

One of the benefits of knowing this is our last baby is that once he’s done using things, I can purge them from our house. I’m a minimalist at heart and I like clearing out things we’re no longer using and passing them along to others. An interesting thing I noticed this time around was that I actually used the least amount of baby items for him. I sometimes purged something before we even used it with him because I knew from experience we actually didn’t need it.

So I got to thinking…I’ve done this three times now. What did I actually need and use for our babies? I don’t blog much about babies/motherhood anymore but since we’re closing in on the end of the baby chapter it felt like a good time for one more post – knowing what I know now, what would tell myself from six years ago to put on a registry?

First of all, my top recommendation is to get the latest edition of Baby Bargains. This book was so helpful to me for figuring out top products in each category along with where to save and where to splurge. I highly recommend! It’s a great starting point for figuring out your choices for absolute must-haves like a crib, car seat, and stroller. I’m not going to elaborate on items like that because while they are necessary for baby, there’s so much that goes into preference, budget, and lifestyle needs that everyone will need to choose what works best for them.

What I am going to do is elaborate a bit on the top five second-tier things – things you don’t technically need for baby, but the items I reached for again and again with all three of my children. These are my baby year all-stars and if I was creating a minimalist registry right now, these are the things that would be on it!

My Top Five Baby Registry All-Stars

Pack n Play. While we have always had a crib in the nursery, I highly recommend having a pack n play for use elsewhere in your house! You can get them with a lot of extra accessories like storage consoles and portable bassinets and infant seats, but I preferred a simple model like this one because it’s much less expensive and I didn’t really need the extra bells and whistles. It’s a great option to use as a bassinet in your bedroom or elsewhere in the house, and it’s SO easy to fold up and take with you for when you’re on vacation, going to grandma’s house, etc so you have a safe place for baby to sleep.

In our house, the nursery is on the top floor so I’ve always used our pack n play on our main floor as a place to have diaper changes and set baby down to take a nap or play without worrying they’ll get into anything (particularly important when they’re crawling and you have to do things like make dinner!) Right now it’s in my office and is great for letting Ollie roll around and play while I get a little work done. We use it multiple times a day, every single day, and I plan on keeping it even once we’re past the baby stage for guest use.

Boppy Pillow. With all three of my babies, I have used (and loved!) my Boppy extensively. Regardless of if you plan to bottle or breastfeed, I think this pillow is worth getting. You will spend a lot of time feeding your baby and it makes holding and feeding your baby so much more comfortable! I also use it when our kids or my grandma, who has weak arm strength, want to hold the baby because it offers extra support and stability underneath. As your baby grows, it also works as a lounger for laying down and a support for sitting up.

It’s also my #1 suggestion to take along if you’re ever flying with a baby. I’ve gotten so much use out of this pillow over the past 5.5 years and it has held up so well! It’s also very easy to swap out the cover (I bought this one for Ollie) so you can have it match your personal tastes. Highly recommend!

Ergo baby carrier. I love babywearing! When my babies were itty bitty, I used the Solly baby wrap too but if I could only recommend one it would definitely be the Ergo. It’s comfortable, it’s easy to use, it can be used through toddlerhood, and it’s so nice to be hands free while carrying your child. I use it while we’re out and about (great for family outings, grocery shopping, vacations, etc) and also when I’m just at home and want to be hands free to fold laundry, make dinner, or do other tasks.

Activity Center. I am all for multiuse items that can work for multiple stages of life, and this play center has been great for all three of my kids. My babies have all enjoyed being around the action in our house and this is easy to move around to different spots in the house so baby can be near you and entertained at the same time. I love that the seat swivels to allow them some motion and you can convert it to a table once they outgrow the seat – because of that feature it’s been in constant use in one form or another for the past five years!

backpack diaper bag. Without question, I think a backpack diaper bag is the way to go. It allows you to be hands free to hold a child’s hand, push a stroller, etc and it just so so much easier to carry around. Mine is a little on the pricey side but I had a less expensive one with LJ and it didn’t even hold up two years – this one has now held up beautifully for almost four years so I think it was worth it!

Just slightly below my top all-stars, here are a few other random things I’ve loved and would also include on a registry:

baby monitor – we did not want an option with Wi-Fi but we did want a video monitor. This one is relatively inexpensive and works great!

sleep sacks – we used Halo sleep sacks for all three babies and I really believe this contributed to them being good sleepers. We also always used . . .

sound machine – I like just a simple fan sound for white noise and this is a good one!

wubbanub – two out of three of my babies loved having a pacifier and these are super cute. The stuffed animal helps position it slightly to stay in place and is easier for baby to grab! If you just want regular pacifiers, these soothie ones were our favorite – and you’ll also want a pacifier clip!

salt lamp – someone suggested this to me before I had LJ and I’m so thankful because it was the best idea as a lamp for nurseries and I’ve used one for each of my babies! Perfect for just giving a soft, dim glow when you don’t want to wake baby up with a bright light. I recommend a dimmable one so you can especially keep the light low for middle-of-the-night feedings.

-bottles – I’d have a few in advance (even if you’re planning to breastfeed – I didn’t plan to use bottles with Ollie, but here we are!), but since it’s hard to know your baby’s needs ahead of time I wouldn’t stock up on any one brand. Try a couple until you find what works – my first two kids used Avent just fine but then Ollie has done much better with Dr Brown’s. I prefer glass bottles but choose whichever you prefer!

muslin blankets – so great for tucking around baby in the carseat, using as a burpcloth in a pinch, creating a makeshift cart cover in a store, spreading on the ground while you play outside, etc.

nursing/carseat cover – I love using this to keep baby out of the sun/wind/cold when we’re outside, and it’s also a nice little shield when you’re inside but don’t want people touching or getting too close to your baby. It’s also great for when you want some privacy when breastfeeding in public!

high chair – honestly, this is a great place to save some money. Ikea makes a super inexpensive high chair that is simple, easy to clean, and holds up well. We’ve used it for all our babies! If you need one that is a little more multipurpose, we also have this booster seat and it’s worked too.

foldable high chair – this is definitely the most *extra* item on my list. It isn’t necessary at all, but we have loved having it for all our babies. I would not use it as an everyday high chair, but it’s perfect for keeping in the car. You can use it for picnic at the park or eating at grandma’s house or watching brother’s baseball game or taking on vacation…we have used it so much for our kids over the years!

silicone bibs with pockets – easy to clean and they catch a lot of the food that your baby will drop!

cups/plates/bowls/silverware – we love the re-play brand for all eating needs because their products are made in the USA with recycled milk jugs!

nose sucker – seems gross I know, but this is actually super useful to have! We love this brand for baby thermometers and nail clippers too.

changing pad – I’ve never had a true changing table. I just use a regular dresser (I’ve actually always used thrifted dressers!) with a changing pad on top and it’s worked perfectly. I just keep a little basket on the dresser too with diapers, wipes, and rash cream (psst I like this one). Speaking of…

-diapers – such a great thing to ask friends and family for! I wouldn’t lock in to a particular diaper brand until your baby is born because diapers fit all baby bodies a little differently so try companies. I personally like Pampers, Honest, and Hello Bello (and I think Honest has the best wipes!)

And what would I skip? There are 238748321 baby products out there and I would skip so many of them, but the biggest things that come to mind are:

-baby bathtub – we never ever used a baby bathtub for LJ or Vi. For Ollie, I saw one for $4 secondhand, decided to try it and . . . eh. It’s a little easier, but I didn’t miss it for the first two. We used sink baths or would take them into a bath with us until they were big enough to sit and then they just sat in the regular tub.

-baby detergent – we have always used a free and clear detergent for our whole family; there’s no need to pay extra for a “baby” product that does the same thing.

-wipe warmer – Never used one, never missed it.

-swings of any kind – This might be a hot take, but I say skip buying. For one thing, it’s impossible to predict whether or not your baby will even like a swing. Many babies don’t. Even if they do, they might be particular on what kind they like. Swings also have a very short lifespan of use. They can be bulky and take up space and your baby might use them for a little while but then they’re suddenly 9 months old (or younger!) and you have to now store this swing for years if you want to keep it for another baby in the future. Because of all that, I highly recommend borrowing this item. Ask your mama friends if anyone has one they’re not using – you’ll honestly probably be doing them a favor by taking it out of their storage space for a while. Try it out, see if it works for your baby, enjoy use of it if your baby likes it, and return when you’re done -maybe with a baked good or a coffee shop gift card as a thank you. I’ve done this for all three of my kids and it worked so well. It saves you money, is way more sustainable, and is low-risk, potentially high-reward! (And of course, feel free to do this with other baby items too! I have only borrowed swings but there are absolutely other items you can swap around with friends. Sharing is caring!)

Whew! What a list!

There are obviously more things that you’re going to want to think about: crib mattress, sheets, towels/washcloths, clothing (I’ll always encourage secondhand for kids!), etc. Like the car seat, crib, and stroller, so much of those choices come down to budget and personal preference, so I didn’t include my specific choices here, but if you’re curious about anything else we used along the way, just ask in the comments and I’m happy to share!

Is there anything else you would add to a must-have list for baby?

The End of my Breastfeeding Journey

On January 15, one very significant era of my life ended: Ollie was given his last bottle of breastmilk.

I breastfed LJ for 13 months and Vi for 22 months. Neither one of them ever needed formula and they rarely had bottles since I didn’t really pump unless I was away from them. I talked about this previously, but Ollie’s needs ended up being much different. I won’t go into all the specifics, but as a newborn, he wasn’t transferring breastmilk directly very well, and after working with a lactation consultant for several weeks, I made the call to move to formula + pumped milk. Ollie was 10 weeks old. My supply has been decreasing ever since and I made peace with that, but it finally dwindled down to nothing this week. I’ve spent 40 months (over three years!!) of my life providing breastmilk for my children and now, that chapter is over.

Almost exactly four years ago, I was writing about my breastfeeding journey with LJ coming to an end. Ollie will be my last baby, and this is the definitive end of my breastfeeding era, so it only felt right to similarly process the end of this journey. Today, I’m sharing my experience with Ollie – from breastfeeding, to combination feeding, to moving to all formula. Honestly, I’m not sure anyone else is interested in reading about this, but for me it was therapeutic to process the end of this era in writing (and I know I’ll appreciate being able to look back on this in years to come) so here we go!

Things I wasn’t expecting

Not to state the obvious, but I wasn’t expecting this to be our journey at all. I had no major issues breastfeeding my first two babies and expected this time to be no different. My milk came in in full force while I was still in the hospital. I used my Haaka in the beginning and quickly amassed extra milk (I’ve always had a great supply). I thought it was going to be smooth sailing again. Then his two-week appointment came and I learned that he was still six ounces under birth weight. I was blindsided. We started doing weighted feeds and I started pumping, only to be shocked again to realize my initally-amazing supply had already adjusted to his lowered demands. That was honestly the most discouraging part for me: had I just known to pump from the beginning, my supply would have stayed up. Instead, I had to work on boosting my supply and building it back up while still breastfeeding AND pumping AND supplementing with formula. It was pretty stressful and I couldn’t keep it up very long, but I do wonder about how things would’ve been different had my supply stayed high from the start.

This experience kind of popped my newborn bubble a little sooner than I wanted. I absolutely LOVED the first two weeks of his life – snuggling just the two of us in the recliner in my bedroom, sun streaming gently through the windows, skin to skin contact, just soaking up the sweetness of his newborn-ness. It was an amazing experience and I will cherish it. After learning about his transfer issues, some of the joy got sucked out of my experience – I felt sad and guilty for not realizing he wasn’t gaining weight, and I was anxious about how to correct our course. I will say, I could feel that the joy was getting sucked out and did NOT want that to be what I remembered, so I worked hard to keep noticing and appreciating the sweet newborn moments too. I’m so glad I didn’t spiral and allow stress and anxiety to make me miss out on everything, but it still put a damper on things.

Things I’m SO glad I did

I’m so glad I worked with a lactation consultant. She was wonderful and supportive and encouraging and empowering. Working with her and doing regular weighted feeds gave me actual data on how he was doing, which in turn helped me make rational decisions about what to do. Thanks to her help, I feel like I did everything in my power to make breastfeeding work, which made it easier for me to let go of when it didn’t. I did what I could, it wasn’t what was working for him, and I feel no shame or lingering guilt over that. [Side note: I felt nothing but complete support from my entire circle. My pediatrician, my husband, my family, my friends – everyone was so supportive and I never felt one single ounce of judgement or shame from anyone about my decision. While I felt confident enough in what I was choosing, it certainly helped that I didn’t have people casting doubts or judgement over my choices and I appreciate that so much.]

I’m so glad I reflected on my experience with LJ and Vi. I think being a third-time mama made me a little calmer about the whole thing – once I got over the initial shock/disappointment/guilt, I could see that I wasn’t doing anything differently this time around. I wasn’t doing anything wrong or failing him or anything like that, he just had different needs than my first two kids, and it really helped to keep that perspective.

I’m so glad I knew my limits. I technically could have done more to try to make breastfeeding work, but it would’ve come at a cost. I have two other children, two dogs, a house to take care of, a husband to be in relationship with, and life I want to enjoy. I wasn’t going to be able to pump around the clock or power pump or completely change my diet or do more than I was already doing without it affecting other areas of my life. I was at the limit for what I could handle with all the things on my plate, and I’m glad I could recognize that and prioritize my own mental health and family life too.

I’m so glad I invested in a new pump. I’ll be honest – I’ve always thought pumping was a drag. But exclusively pumping? I had no idea how much of a drag it could actually be. While I loved my Spectra pump for the occasional pump here or there or when traveling, for day-to-day use, it was cumbersome and inconvenient. We invested in the Elvie pump and it made my life so much easier. I just tucked it in my bra (no need to change to a pumping bra like with the Spectra) and went about my day. Even though I ultimately only used it for about 3.5 months, I’m glad I got it. I’m absolutely positive I wouldn’t have lasted this long with the Spectra, so I’m glad I got to extend the time I provided breastmilk.

Things that were challenging

Did I mention pumping is a drag? Ha! While I’m still so thankful I used the Elvie, I never truly enjoyed pumping.

All. The. Dishes. Between pump parts and bottles, pumping creates a lot of extra work and it often felt like I was living in a groundhog day of constant dishes. I’m so glad someone gave me the advice to keep pump parts in the fridge in between pumps to at least eliminate some dishes during the day, but it still is a lot of work.

Using formula requires a lot more mental energy than breastfeeding did. Before leaving the house, we have to make sure we have filtered water, a container of formula, a clean bottle, etc. It’s not always easy to measure out formula and make bottles depending on where we are. It’s just – again – more work than whipping out a nursing cover and feeding him whenever and wherever he needs with no other supplies.

I never fully appreciated how breastmilk is free (I mean, there is an unpaid labor + mental load cost, but you know what I mean) until I had to start buying formula. To say I had sticker shock is an understatement, especially as time went on and I provided less and less breastmilk and we went through formula quicker.

Things I’ve enjoyed

With LJ and Vi, I was basically the sole provider of food. With the exception of a few bottles here and there, I was involved in every. single. feed. Now, Justin and I share the load equally. We can each give bottles, we can each prepare the diaper bag, we can each wash the dishes. It’s the most involved he’s been with feeding at this stage, which has been really sweet to see, and it’s nice that I can have some breaks. The kids even occasionally help give a bottle – melt my heart! It’s also been easier for grandparents to be involved and babysit.

With breastfeeding, I often had to leave to find comfortable surroundings, especially if we were away from home. This often meant leaving the table, leaving the group, leaving the conversations, and missing out on whatever was going on in order to comfortably breastfeed somewhere else. There were times it felt isolating. With bottles, I can feed wherever and don’t have to miss out on anything, which has been really great.

I’ve still enjoyed feeding and snuggles. I still get to bond with this baby. Formula and bottles hasn’t changed that.

I’m proud of the fact that I did what I could for Ollie for five months, and I’m proud of myself for recognizing that it’s time to close this door and move to exclusive formula. I’ve been breastfeeding or pregnant for the better part of SIX YEARS now and it will never cease to amaze me what bodies can do. Leaving this chapter behind is bittersweet, but I think it was always going to be that way. I leave it behind with tears in my eyes, but they aren’t tears of guilt or sorrow. They are tears of gratitude – it’s been a joyful, challenging, sweet, empowering, exhausting, and ultimately beautiful journey and I’m so extremely grateful for it. They all took different approaches to feeding, but I have three happy, healthy, thriving children and that is all that truly matters to me.

My Postpartum Mama Favorites

It’s hard to believe, but tomorrow Ollie will be one month old! This time of postpartum has been sweet, challenging, beautiful, overwhelming at times, and delightful at others. I’ve been trying my best to focus on savoring this stage because as a third-time mama, I know it goes so very fast.

There are a few things that I’ve been reaching for again and again over the past four weeks and today I thought I’d share them in case they might be helpful for anyone else preparing to have a baby. It’s like a Friday Features: Postpartum Mama Edition! While these are my top favorites, this was by no means an exhaustive list of the things I’ve needed and used postpartum. I plan on devoting a future post to all the things I’m using and loving for baby, or maybe an “if I was registering again” post that includes the essential items I’ve used in my pregnancies and postpartum journeys. For today though, here are my current top items I’m using all the time!

Nipple Butter

Currently, I am both breastfeeding and pumping and this stuff is a lifesaver! It’s organic and you don’t have to wash it off before nursing or pumping, so I feel good about using it for myself and my baby. Right now Ollie is feeding every 2-3 hours and I cannot imagine that much action without a protective balm helping to restore and moisturize. I have not had chapping or cracking at all and it has definitely helped keep the pain level of initial nursing down. I do highly recommend nursing pads too, which help soak up any extra cream and also soak up breastmilk leaks. I love these washable ones!

Sculpt and Recovery Postpartum Leggings

These leggings are a splurge, but have been SO worth it for me. These give me a great amount of compression and helped me feel secure after my c-section. I started wearing them in the hospital and continue to wear them nearly everyday. It didn’t agitate my c-section incision and in fact, I feel like it actually provided a protective layer for my incision to heal without rubbing against moving fabric. I feel like the compression and support these give to my core have really aided in my quick recovery. They are not only super comfortable but are high-quality and made to last. I only have one pair but I used it postpartum for both Vi and now Ollie and they have held up amazingly well.

Postpartum Support Bloomers

These bloomers are also pretty splurge-y, but again, I used them postpartum for both Vi and Ollie and they have held up great. These provide core and pelvic floor support, both of which are so needed postpartum. I sometimes wear these with the recovery leggings, but usually I choose one or the other. The bloomers are comfortable and, like the leggings, don’t bother my incision area at all. I don’t have any other support garments or belly bands or anything – the leggings and bloomers are all I need!

Compression Socks

During this pregnancy, my feet and hands started to swell and tingle. I expected it to stop once I had the baby, but it’s still affecting my feet a little bit. I have found that compression socks are really helpful in keeping the swelling down and reducing the tingling sensation. I don’t wear these with my compression leggings, but I will wear them around the house with shorts or to sleep in for a couple hours.

C-Section Cream

Technically, this is a future favorite since I haven’t been able to use it yet this time postpartum, but I know I will use it multiple times a day! If you have a c-section, scar massage is so important! I have done scar massage each postpartum period and it was a big reason why my scar healed so well. I don’t care if this is vain, but I want my scar to look good. It’s important to me that it heals nice and flat and as smooth as possible. Expecting and Empowered is an amazing resource for pregnancy and postpartum and I highly recommend checking them out. This info they put together for c-section scar care has been incredibly helpful for me! I used this scar massage cream when postpartum with both LJ and Vi and will be using it again this time as well.

Rechargeable Book Light

This is a super random addition to the list, but it has really made my postpartum experience better at night! I am obviously up often during the night and right now, Ollie is sleeping in a bassinet in our room. I don’t want to turn on a light and bother Justin, but I also don’t just want to scroll my phone at 3 am (that backlight wakes me up too much!) This booklight is the perfect solution – it allows me to read while nursing but it really only illuminates my page and doesn’t cause too much light to wake up Ollie or Justin. I love it!

Like I said earlier, this list wasn’t exhaustive of everything I’ve used postpartum, but these are the top things that have made my recovery and newborn mama life better. I highly endorse each item! Now I’m off to go snuggle my newborn – the time with an itty bitty baby around here is going fast and I’m going to enjoy it while I can!

Baby #3: Third Trimester Update

All photos in this blog post are credited to Natalie Joy Photography.

This past Tuesday I hit the 37 weeks pregnant mark which means baby boy is officially full-term!

While I have a repeat c-section planned, he could decide to surprise us early at literally any moment now so I’m soaking up each day as the potential last day of pregnancy. Knowing this is most likely our final biological baby has made this pregnancy a bit bittersweet – each milestone is a huge blessing and is also a goodbye to another stage of this journey. While I am so so SO excited to snuggle this sweet little babe, I’m also enjoying the final days of feeling his kicks, rubbing my belly, and feeling all the pregnancy feels.

Symptoms/How I’ve Been Feeling

Up until this past week, I had honestly been feeling really great! I’m still overall feeling pretty good but hitting 37 weeks has really started to shift things though. I’m feeling some increased nausea, some changes in my GI system, and more stretching/pain in my pelvis as things shift around. I’m also feeling more uncomfortable (things are pretty squished in there now!) and quite a bit of lightning crotch. Baby has officially dropped too! I felt him really turn around maybe 3-4 days ago and now it’s like my belly is reversed – where I used to always feel his butt is now where his limbs are and vice-versa. My belly is markedly lower than it was before so honestly, at this point, we would not be surprised at all if he surprises us early.

I’ll also say – my fatigue has also increased and I’m wishing I could nap more during the day. My quality of night-time sleep has dropped significantly but every once in a while I still get a decent night’s rest. Hoping for a few more of those nights before his arrival!

My Preparations

I’ve joked that I don’t know if I hit nesting mode so much as panic mode, but I’ve been very busy with preparations over the past week or so. It dawned on me in the grocery store about a week ago that I hadn’t bought any supplies for baby – no diaper cream, no diapers, no nipple cream, nothing! I’m blaming my lax approach to third-time motherhood but even so, I needed at least a few things! Thankfully, my family had already planned to surprise Justin and I with a little sprinkle on Saturday and they brought us lots of diapers and wipes (so sweet!) I also had a friend offer to bring dinner for us a few days ago and she brought some diapers and wipes too. I’m so grateful for the love and support from family and friends!

I’ve also spent time getting things around this week. I bought and set up a new video monitor as well as all-purpose ointment, diaper cream, baby shampoo, and nipple cream. I’ve packed the hospital bag for myself and baby. I’ve dug out and washed the parts to our infant car seat and baby bassinet. The boppy pillow is freshly cleaned, I’m caught up on laundry, and things are finally feeling ready for baby.

LJ and Vi’s Awareness

The kids are so aware of the baby’s impending arrival and are beside themselves with excitement. They constantly talk about the baby, rub my belly and give it hugs and kisses, and talk to the baby. When we’re out and about, whether we’re meeting a new person or literally next to a stranger, they’ll share that their mom is having a baby. LJ regularly asks how many days until baby comes. The other day Vi started talking to my belly and I asked her some questions about the baby and she said “Shh, I’m talking to him!” I guess she didn’t want mom to interrupt their conversation – ha!

The kids both say they’re excited to hold the baby and change his diapers and I think they are going to be the best big brother and sister. I just know my heart will feel so full and happy seeing my three kids all together at last!

What I’m Looking Forward To

Other than seeing LJ and Vi meet their new baby brother, I’m most excited to just see what he looks like. Will he look like LJ and Vi or will he have a totally different look? They take after me more, so maybe he’ll look more like Justin? I can’t wait for baby snuggles and tiny coos and that sweet newborn smell. I can’t wait to just meet him and start to get to know him – I already know he’s a very active little boy by the way he’s constantly moving in my belly but I’m so excited to get to know more.

I’m also looking forward to the simple moments like gently rocking on the porch swing and snuggling on the couch and going for stroller walks. I’m just excited and ready for the next stage of parenthood! Whenever you’re ready baby boy, we are ready for you. ❤

The Firsts and the Lasts

I was prepared for the firsts but not the lasts.

I read a similar phrase a while ago and it struck such a chord with me when I think about my journey in motherhood so far.

I have always looked forward to the firsts. First cry, first smile, first full night of sleep (praise the Lord). First roll over, first bite of food, first tooth. These are all things I anticipate and know to prepare for, and we celebrate each time there is a milestone moment.

During this time of staying at home, Vi reached a pretty big milestone: she crawled for the first time!


We knew she had been getting super close. She had been lifting her body up in push-up position for a while. Then she was pushing up to her hands and knees and rocking back and forth. It was only a matter of time before she figured out the mechanics of crawling, and Justin and I watched eagerly, cheering her on (kind of makes up for no sports on TV? 😉 ).

Then, this past Friday afternoon after Justin got home, I set her down on the floor and put the remote (her favorite thing) on the floor in front of her…and she slowly army crawled to it! It was such an awesome moment for Justin and I to witness together and we were so excited to celebrate this milestone in our daughter’s life. She’s getting so big!


For all that I look forward to the firsts, I don’t always anticipate the lasts.

The lasts are bittersweet.  While I am so very thankful for continued growth and development, sometimes it’s a little heartbreaking to see my child leave another piece of babyhood behind. And one of those big moments happened in this quarantine too.

I’ve talked before about LJ’s deep love for the pacifier. Weaning him from the pacifier was a milestone we planned for and anticipated, so that “last” was a little easier to prepare for. However, once we snipped off the end of his beloved wubbanub, he still continued to sleep with the stuffed animal part, an elephant affectionately known as Edgar, as well as two little lovies with bear heads. Every night, he wanted them tucked in his arms and every morning, he insisted on bringing “Edgie bears” (Edgar and the bears) with him. He carried them around everywhere. He looked for them to take to nap time, and smiled and laughed when he found them. He woke up and wouldn’t let us leave his bedroom without retrieving them from the crib. It seemed wherever LJ went, “Edgie bears” needed to come too.

Over time, he has been leaving them in the crib more and more. He stopped asking for them to come with him. He stopped insisting on making sure they were all three with him before he fell asleep. He didn’t need lovies tucked under each arm to fall asleep anymore. It happened slowly over time – sometimes he still wanted them and other times he didn’t – so it was easy to not really notice the gradual changes.

Then, one day in quarantine, I realized he is totally past this milestone. He no longer asks for them at all anymore. And even if he did ask for them, his speech has improved to the point where it wouldn’t sound like “Ed-gee bears” anymore. Such a big part of his life for so long . . . and now we moved past it and I don’t even know when the “last” time was. I didn’t know when it was happening, I only know now that it has. And just like that, my sweet little boy is a little bit bigger.


I knew to prepare for the firsts. I did not know to prepare for the lasts.

Even though I’m a stay-at-home mom, this time in quarantine has given me more time than ever with my children. I’m not going to my women’s group, so they’re not going to childcare. We’re not going to church, so they’re not going to nursery/Sunday School. Justin and I aren’t going out for date nights, so they’re not staying with a babysitter. There’s no visits with grandparents, no playdates with friends. We are together every day, all day long. And though the days are long, I know that the years are short.

While this time in quarantine can be exhausting and difficult, it is also a gift. It is the gift of time to enjoy their littleness right now. They are growing and changing subtly every day. I guess this long and rambling post is my way of reflecting during this time – a way to get all my thoughts out and remember the complex feelings of motherhood right now. I can’t wait for the day when life goes back to “normal,” yet while we’re here in this strange new normal, I’m choosing deep gratitude for the extra time I have to soak up each of my kids’ unique personalities right now. It won’t be long before they’re on to the next stage, and I’ve accepted that my mama heart will always straddle the line of bittersweet thankfulness for that. ❤





I talk about motherhood a lot on my blog but today I wanted to talk about an equally important topic: fatherhood.


I think it’s super common for new dads to feel a little hesitant and out of their depth with a brand new baby because they aren’t exactly sure what to do, but let’s be honest: moms feel that way too! It seems like there is this belief out there that women just instinctively know everything about motherhood.  That thinking is untrue and and does more harm than good. It can make a new mama doubt herself and feel like a failure if she doesn’t know exactly what her baby needs all the time and it can make a new dad feel like he is useless. No one gets a manual and there were many times where I felt like I had no idea what to do. I just learned one day at a time.  Each parent needs time to get to know their baby and his or her personality and particular needs – and the only way to do this is by spending time with the baby. I strongly believe it’s important for dads to be involved in the care of babies right from the beginning.

This can be easier said than done. I breastfed both of my babies so regardless of who was holding him or her, once the baby started crying, he or she was handed right back to me. It often was the case that the baby was hungry and that was something only I could do, so it wasn’t really a big deal at first. But then it started to feel like their care was always “on me” because I was the one to had to feed them.

If I didn’t want parenting to always feel like it was “on me” in the little people years, I had to let go of control and let Justin step in. This isn’t always easy for me, as I often want to be the one in control, but it has been a healthy thing for both Justin and I. When one of our babies was fussy (and I knew that he or she wasn’t hungry), I didn’t step in to try to soothe every time. I had to give him a chance too! It’s so hard as a new mama not to step in every time but it’s so important to give dads a chance to find out what works for them too.


Today I thought I’d share a few other things that have been important for me to do in my role as mother in order to help encourage Justin in his role as a father. I think every person is different and every relationship dynamic is different, but this is what has worked for us!

Have a “thing” for dad to claim ownership of

Even when our babies were teeny tiny newborns who relied on me frequently for feedings, there were a few things that they needed that I didn’t have to be the one to provide and Justin could step up and take over. One was diaper changes – obviously not a glamorous job, but I think it can provide a sense of nurturing since it’s something the baby absolutely needs. (This didn’t mean that Justin got stuck with all the diaper changes, but it was definitely a place where he could jump in and help often). Another was awake cuddle time – bonding with the baby and getting lots of face to face time for the babies to see that he is a constant in their lives.


Another big thing was bath time. From the very beginning when we brought LJ home from the hospital, bath time became Justin’s ‘thing.’ It was a task he could completely take care of from start to finish and was an easy way for him to have quality time with each of our children. There are days when he works late or just needs a break and I’ll give the baths but for the most part, this has been his thing for the past two years.

Communicate Ways to Help

Going from one to two kids was a huge transition for me. Tasks that I used to be able to keep up with easily started to slip as I tried to juggle more and more demands. I felt overwhelmed and stressed, and I found myself getting irritated because I felt like I was drowning in all the things on my plate and Justin wasn’t instinctively stepping up and taking over. The truth is, Justin was so willing to help but just needed to know what to do.  I had to remind myself that he is not a mind reader. While it would be great if he just *knew* that we needed to restock the diaper bag before leaving the house, it wasn’t something he thought about.


I started to communicate how overwhelmed I was feeling and how I really needed him to step up. I listed some areas I wanted him to notice and help with, such as checking the diaper bag and restocking it before we left the house. After the first few times of us leaving the house and me asking him to check the diaper bag, now he does it instinctively. Even though it’s a small thing, it is so helpful to me and makes me feel like we are a team working together, both working to get our family out the door on time.

Another thing he has started stepping up and doing is getting the kids dressed and ready to go. At first, he would always ask me to pick out their outfits and then he would get them dressed, but I communicated how that still put all the decision fatigue on me so he started picking out outfits for them. Which leads me to…

Minimize criticism

If I’m being honest, I’ve had to really bite my tongue sometimes when I see the outfit Justin picked out for one of our kids. I usually put dresses on Vi for church, but Justin will dress her in pants. I like for clothing to be cute and coordinated, but Justin will sometimes put mismatched combinations on our kids. I am not always successful, but I try really really really hard not to criticize or correct his efforts.


Because if I ask for help and then criticize how he helps, it works against me in two ways. It makes Justin doubt himself, which leads to him always asking questions to make sure he’s doing something just like I want, which does not help relieve my mental load but in fact, adds to it. It also makes him not want to help. Who wants to do something if they’re just going to get criticized? Not me. And not him.


So when he folds the kids laundry and puts it in the wrong spot in the drawer, I say nothing. When he doesn’t fill the diaper bag the exact same way I do, I say nothing. When Vi’s socks are on the outside of her leggings instead of underneath, I say nothing. When he brings LJ out in blue shoes, brown pants, and a gray sweater, I say nothing. (Although of course, on that day we unexpectedly had our pictures taken at church. Sigh).

I’m not always perfect at this and have slipped and let out some comments about how he did or didn’t do something, but for the most part, I try to focus on saying only one thing: THANK YOU. Because in the end, it doesn’t really matter that Vi isn’t wearing a matching bow in her hair or that we have 17 more snacks than we need in the diaper bag. What matters is that Justin and I are a team and we are working together to raise our children.

Give him opportunities

Justin can’t figure out what works for him as a dad if he doesn’t have the chance. This means stepping back and letting him figure things out for himself. A good example is bedtime routines: I have a routine for putting LJ down for bed. Justin’s routine for putting him down is different. Neither of our routines is the “right” way – they both work! I’m not going to say “well here’s what I do and you need to do the same thing.” He figured out what works for him and LJ and it’s great!

I also make sure to leave Justin alone with the kids when I can. It drives me CRAZY when people call this “babysitting.” He is their DAD. He loves them and is very capable of taking care of them. Giving him some time to figure things out on his own is important for him to feel confident in his abilities as a parent (and it’s important for me to get some time on my own to recharge).

Celebrate his unique personality

I fell in love with Justin because of who is is. He is funny, caring, and energetic. He makes everyone around him feel comfortable and important. He makes me laugh and reminds me not to take everything so seriously. We are not the same, but that is why we make such a good team. We complement each other and each bring different strengths to our relationship. The same is true in parenting. We don’t handle situations the same way, but that is actually a good thing. Justin brings things to the table that I don’t, and vice-versa.

Justin is so fun and always makes time to play with LJ when he gets home no matter how tired he is from work.


He is also nurturing in his own way and always provides a space for our kids to feel safe and loved.


It’s so fun to watch him take obvious joy in watching LJ and Vi grow and develop their own unique personalities. He shows so much pride in them! And now that LJ is getting older, they are starting to go on little father-son dates together. We like to go get donuts as a fun little family outing, and just this past Saturday Justin and LJ went out for donuts and then to get a haircut and when they got back, LJ was grinning from ear to ear! You could tell he had the best time just soaking up all of daddy’s attention.

Justin does a great job in pushing me outside my comfort zone. He’ll try letting our kids sit on their own or try a new food or activity sooner than I would. But many times, it turns out our kids are capable of that skill and I didn’t even realize it. I just needed someone (him) to tell me it’s okay to try it with them. He’s adventurous and helps give our kids the confidence to try new things. He is a calming presence who reminds me to relax and not stress out about little things. The areas he takes a casual approach are generally the ones I’m a little more high strung about, and the areas I’m more lax about are sometimes the things he stresses out about (he does not like food messes haha!) We make a good team and balance each other well.

Our kids need Justin’s parenting just like they need mine. I need him as a partner in parenting. What he brings to the family is important and deserves to be celebrated too.  I’ll have the kids write cards for him or make sure to tell him ‘thank you’ often. We need him! And it’s important to remind him of that from time to time. ❤














I don’t always love staying at home, and that’s okay

Hypothetical situation.

Let’s say a woman lands her absolute dream job. It’s the job description she wants, the salary she wants, the hours she wants, the location she wants. Great boss, great benefits, great perks. She’s happy and fulfilled at her workplace and feels very lucky and grateful to have this job. She will still have a bad day now and then. She will more than likely encounter tasks she has to complete that she doesn’t enjoy. She may have to work late some days, she may have a co-worker that she doesn’t get along with, she may have a stressful deadline. Even though this is her DREAM job, it won’t always be perfect.

I imagine that this girl would still have days where she just wants to vent to a friend about a bad day at the office or complain about a particular aspect of her job that she dislikes. I would never expect her to always be 100% happy and never issue a single complaint just because she landed her dream gig.

So, why do I put the pressure on myself to always be 100% happy about my job as a stay at home mom?


The answer is multi-faceted. Before becoming a mother, I taught special education for six years. I truly enjoyed teaching and loved my students and co-workers but in my heart I always knew I wanted to stay at home with my kids one day. Justin was always so supportive of this dream of mine and we worked really hard to make it happen. We set aside my salary to have as an emergency fund for when we no longer had my teaching salary. We got creative with our budget. Justin was willing to pick up the occasional extra shift and I transitioned to a part-time work from home job. The decision to resign from my teaching job was not without sacrifice but we both felt it was worth it. On top of that, I am very aware that not everyone who wants to stay at home with their kids is able to, whether for financial reasons, health insurance reasons, family dynamics, or other reasons. I do not take for granted the privilege I have to be able to make this choice and I’m so very grateful to be able to stay home with my children.

Knowing all that, I find that I put this crazy amount of pressure on myself to always feel 100% happy and fulfilled every day. I wanted this life! This is my dream job! We sacrificed, I’m lucky to do this, I should be thrilled and grateful!

am grateful. Of course I am. I get to help LJ practice learning to count. I get to watch Vi’s first roll. I get to be present for so many moments in their childhood and I get to watch their sweet little sibling bond develop. I love my job! But my dream job is not perfect. I have a two year old and a six month old and these little people years can be exhausting and demanding. Some days are just really freaking hard.


Justin comes home from a long, hard day at work and can vent to me about his stress or things that went wrong at work and I never once think he’s ungrateful for his job. I can easily give him grace to know that it’s not a bad job, it was just a bad day. And yet, I have struggled to give that same grace to myself. I struggle to let myself really feel all of my feelings as a stay at home mom without feeling guilty about them.

I feel guilty for the days I keep looking at the clock, counting down the minutes until Justin comes home. I feel guilty for feeling annoyed on days when my kids alternate naps and I never have a minute to myself. I feel guilty for the times I wish I could just zone out and read a book instead of play with trains on the floor again. I feel guilty for getting frustrated by tantrums, irritated by fussiness, or exasperated by irrational arguments (yes, you have to wear pants to the grocery store!) I feel guilty for complaining when I’m completely drained at the end of the day but there is still a pile of dishes to wash and toys to pick up and oh yeah, I’d also like some energy to do something want to do like get my workout in or read a book or just hang out with my husband.

I feel guilty because I know there are others thinking “wow, must be nice to get to stay home with your kids.” And it IS nice. I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else right now. But it can be both wonderful and difficult. It is both fulfilling and exhausting. There are moments where I hold both babies on my lap at the same time and just cover them in hugs and kisses because I’m so. very. grateful. to be with them. Then there are other moments where I think I might scream if I don’t have at least 5 seconds without someone touching me/pulling on me/demanding my body for breastfeeding or to get up and get them a snack. And sometimes, those moments happen in the course of the same day.


I’ve talked before about how much I loved Molly Millwood’s bookTo Have and To Hold, and she wrote something that stopped me in my tracks and summed up all my feelings so perfectly. She says: “As mothers, we sometimes want so much to savor the precious moments of caring for little ones before they’re no longer little. On the other hand . . . we sometimes want to fast-forward into a future we envision as more comfortable and more productive. We long for escape from the truly grueling work of caring for infants and toddlers” (page 76).

This is not only how I feel as a mother, but how I specifically feel as a stay at home mother. I want to cherish this time, because I know in the grand scheme of life, these years at home are fleeting. But there are also days where I can’t wait for some relief. Where I long for LJ to be in preschool so I have a few less hours with the demands of two children at home. I know the days are long but the years are short and I want to savor every moment, but I also know I can’t always do that because some moments are just really challenging.

It’s hard for me to put all this out there, but I truly believe it’s not talked about enough. Society acknowledges that stay at home moms work hard and that their job isn’t easy, but I have always felt like there is this underlying sense of “well, yes of course it’s hard, but you chose to do this and you’re lucky to even get to so you shouldn’t complain.” And I just think that’s completely ridiculous. EVERYONE has bad days. EVERY job has difficulties. EVERYONE has the right to express their feelings, both on the good days and bad. And that includes stay at home moms.


I am working hard to embrace the truth of my feelings. I don’t always do this perfectly, but I’m really striving to just accept and give myself permission to own my feelings without judgement or guilt.

I have dreamed about staying home for years, my husband and I worked really hard to make this dream a reality, and I know that there are many people who wish they could stay at home but aren’t able to. I have landed my dream job as a stay at home mom – I love it and feel profoundly thankful for it.

But I don’t always enjoy it, and some days are really hard.

And as Millwood so eloquently puts it, “relief comes when we embrace the paradox. It’s both.”

I’m working to embrace my paradox, and I hope this encourages you that it’s okay to embrace yours too. ❤

Permission Granted

I don’t read parenting books. I have no idea what the Wonder Weeks are or what leap my child is going through. I read exactly one book about sleep when LJ was a baby. It’s a lot of reading and research and what works for one baby might not work for another (and honestly, by the time you find the “solution” your baby may just naturally be growing out of that phase anyway) and I just find that my time is better spent in other ways.

That being said, I did read this book about motherhood, and it has been a game-changer for me. So much so that after finishing my library copy, I actually bought my own copy so I could re-read and underline to my heart’s content.


In her book To Have and To Hold: Motherhood, Marriage, and the Modern Dilemma, psychologist Molly Millwood puts so many of my thoughts into words. But even more than that, she puts my hidden, sometimes suppressed thoughts into words.

In her introduction, she presents the question “what if we could . . . occupy a mental space in which there is room for all our loving, nurturing feelings towards our children and our partners and room for all our other, less socially acceptable feelings, too?” (p. xi) She spends the rest of the book basically encouraging women to do just that. Reading it feels like being granted permission to, for lack of a better phrase, feel all the feels that motherhood brings. And even more importantly, remove the judgement from feeling all the feels.

Motherhood has been many things for me. It has been one of the greatest of sources of joy in my life. It has been rewarding and fulfilling and wonderful.

It has also been one of the absolute hardest things I have ever done. It is difficult, draining, and frustrating. And it has brought about some very complicated thoughts and feelings that I didn’t expect at all.

“Why didn’t anybody tell me about this part of the journey?”

Why didn’t I know that, as Millwood puts it, “the dark and vexing moments of mothering [exist] side by side with the moments of joy and fulfillment”? (p.3) Why didn’t I know that for all the external, superficial complaints and frustrations that other mothers felt comfortable warning me about (sleep deprivation! messy homes! tantrums!), I would also have much darker internal frustrations (resentment. loss of identity. disappointment that I’m not the mother I thought I would be.) that cause deeply rooted feelings of guilt?

Why isn’t this talked about?

It’s complicated, right?  I feel like I can’t ever go deeper than the surface complaint for fear of seeming like an ungrateful, bad mother. I prayed so many prayers and cried so many tears to become a mother, to be right where I am today. I wanted this, I waited for this, and I finally have it. And I love my children; how can I be anything other than deeply grateful? So I squash down the harder feelings when they start to surface. I don’t look too closely at the feelings that look like boredom or resentment or the moments where I wish I was just on my own. They feel shameful, even blasphemous, to even think, let alone talk to someone else about. I’ll issue my feelings with a generic “motherhood is tough” and hope people think I’m just talking about the more socially acceptable frustration with piles of laundry or sleep regressions.

And so the vicious cycle continues. We fear being the only ones who feel this way, so we don’t talk about our hardest, deepest feelings, so others don’t know we’re feeling that way, so they think they’re the only ones feeling that way and don’t share their hardest, deepest struggles . . . on and on and on.

But Millwood talks candidly about the often-hidden struggles of so many women, including herself, in their motherhood journeys and made me feel less alone. It felt like the biggest breath of fresh air, like lifting off the weight of guilt I didn’t even know I was carrying. Reading the stories and experiences of others led to acknowledging my own complicated feelings and allowing myself to feel that way without judgement. Permission to just accept and work with those feelings – what a gift.

Motherhood is complex. And that’s okay.

If you’re a mother, or hoping to be a mother someday, I cannot recommend this book enough. Here’s to removing some of the invisible burden of guilt and living in the freedom of knowing you are not alone. ❤


Storing Kid’s Clothes

I consider myself to be a pretty organized, minimal-ish person, but there is one big area that has always presented a challenge: kid’s clothes!

The first year of life is especially full of clothes since there are so many sizes (newborn, 0-3, 3-6, 6-9, 9-12 months) and you need a new wardrobe for each size. It slows down a little after that but you’re still changing sizes and seasons and needing clothing in each stage. I don’t try to achieve capsule wardrobes or limit a closet to a certain number of items, but even for someone trying to keep wardrobes small – it’s a lot of clothing!

To give you an idea of how much clothing we use at each stage, here was Vi’s wardrobe for 3-6 months:


And here is LJ’s 2T wardrobe:


Obviously, LJ has a lot more clothing because 2T lasts a year, so he needs a variety of options for seasons, whereas Vi’s only covers a couple months. They each have a few items also hanging in their closets like coats, dresses and nice button downs, but for the most part, this is all they have! I only keep their current sizes out; every other size is in storage.

With a son and a daughter and an unknown future (possibly having more kids and obviously not knowing their genders), we are currently keeping a lot of unused children’s clothing in our house. I quickly learned that I needed to be intentional not only with what I kept, but also how I store their clothing or things could quickly spiral into unorganized chaos. Vi turns 6 months in less than one week and she’s all but busting out of her 3-6 month clothes. Over the weekend, I was sorting through her clothes to put into storage, and I was struck by how far I’ve come in this area – storing her clothing was super manageable and didn’t take long at all.

Today I thought I’d share some of the strategies I use for what I save and how I store it in case anyone else is feeling overwhelmed by the sheer volume of their child’s wardrobe and wanting some tips. This isn’t a perfect system by any means, but it has helped me keep their wardrobes manageable and kept me from feeling overwhelmed by holding on to clothing.

Before Storing, SORT!

The biggest tip I have is to keep LESS. I save the outfits I really love, and I pass on the ones that have served their purpose for me. Sometimes I take clothes back to the consignment store and recoup some of the money I spent the first time. Other times I’ll donate it to a friend with a younger baby. I’ve also donated clothes to a local rescue mission that helps women and children working to overcome homelessness.

I don’t hang onto everything for two reasons. One, it’s a lot of clothes! I focus on keeping the type of clothing we use the most. We received a lot of baby outfits as gifts, only to find I mostly keep my kids in sleepers when they’re that little (it’s just easier!) My kids both sleep in pajamas every night (and sometimes we stay in them all day) so we need several pairs of pjs. I also need lots of play clothes – I make sure to have options like soft shirts and joggers that make it easy to move in. But we don’t need a lot of dressy clothes like button downs and dresses, so I only keep a few in each size.

The second reason I don’t hang on to lots of clothes is, trends change! Once I use clothing, I like to pass it on so that it can continue to be used while it’s still trendy. I have received both boy and girl hand-me-down clothing from others, and honestly, some of it seems outdated even though it was only 3-4 years old. A big place I noticed this was in pants, particularly jeans. The trend for kid jeans has shifted in the last few years and baggy, flared baby jeans from 2012 kind of look silly on Vi right now.

I also only keep quality clothing. If something has a stain that won’t come out or is torn or otherwise damaged, I donate it to a textile recycling program (I love H&M’s because they make it very easy to donate!)

Store in a user-friendly, inexpensive way

Once I set aside the clothing I love, that we use a lot, and that is good quality, I make sure it is washed and put it in storage.

My storage system for clothing is super easy, inexpensive, and not at all fancy. I have big plastic tubs that I keep in my kids’ closets. I fold up the clothes, divide sizes with cardboard pieces from broken-down diaper boxes, and use index cards to label each section. Then I just stack the tubs in each closet so they’re out of the way and nicely organized for the future.

I wasn’t kidding about it not being fancy ha! Since we don’t find out the gender of our babies ahead of time, most of our newborn clothing is gender-neutral so we only have one box in that size; otherwise, all the not-in-use boy clothes are stored in LJ’s closet and the girl clothes are in Vi’s.

Whenever Vi bumps up a size, I do go through LJ’s clothes in that size too. LJ has a lot more than Vi, only because I end up using a lot of his clothes for her (like plain colored onesies and joggers). Also, I keep future sizes stored in the shelves so they’re easy to add to as people give us gifts or hand-me-downs and are ready when we need them. In Violet’s case, I also keep sizes over 12 months in the bottom stacked tub since it’ll be so long until we use those.


I tried to be mindful of not keeping a lot with LJ, but I’m finding that I’m keeping even less with Vi. (The middle tub above is her 0-3 and 3-6 month stash and it’s about half of the amount LJ has in those sizes!) I’m buying less, using less, and keeping even less. I just realize that babies don’t need a whole lot of outfits and we tend to wear the same things over and over. I’m favoring the functional things over the cute-but-impractical and it’s amazing how much that lessens the burden of storing tons of clothing.

Bonus Tip: Don’t overspend on clothing to begin with

As a first time mama, I was so excited to buy cute baby clothes. My mom and I went shopping the week after LJ was born and in our excitement we bought so many cute boy outfits. I didn’t realize I’d mostly keep him in sleepers. I didn’t realize he’d be a little peanut and wouldn’t even get to wear some of the sweaters because by the time they fit him, it wouldn’t be sweater weather. I have lots of cute, barely used items that are harder to part with because I don’t feel like I’ve gotten my money’s worth out of them. I learned my lesson and these days, I mostly shop consignment. It’s better for the environment to get more use out of clothing and it’s WAY more economical. Plus, once we’ve used a $2 shirt several times, it’s very easy for me to pass it along to someone else because I feel like I’ve more than gotten my money’s worth. Just some extra food for thought!

What tips do you have for storing clothes that aren’t currently being used?

Unashamed Love for my Diaper Clutch

When I think about simple little things that make my life easier, my diaper clutch tops the list. I shared about it in this post from early on in my “2 under 2” days, but I have come to love it so much that I decided it needs its own post. Is that weird? Maybe, but I’m rolling with it!


The first time I ventured out to my weekly bible study with both kids in tow, I went to drop LJ off in childcare and realized I couldn’t leave the diaper bag with him like I normally did because I still needed it for Vi, who was staying with me. I hadn’t even thought about the fact that I’d need something separate for LJ. Having no other options, I clipped his diaper name tag to one single diaper and handed it to his teacher like “oops! Sorry and good luck.” Such a rookie mistake.

I didn’t want to over-complicate things by trying to carry two full diaper bags, but I knew I needed something else for LJ while he’s still this little. I purchased a simple clutch (mine is sold out but this one is very similar) and it’s the perfect size for a small pack of wipes and a few diapers. I can also keep a snack and even his water bottle in it if I need to. (Bonus that it was bought from a store whose mission is to support survivors of sex trafficking!)


I keep it stocked at all times with wipes and 1-2 diapers and store it next to my diaper bag; any time I’m going somewhere where LJ and Vi will be in separate places, I just throw it in with my main diaper bag and then have something to leave with LJ.

Two weeks ago, Justin didn’t realize he had the diaper bag in his car and ended up driving to work with it. I needed to leave the house with both kids and had no diaper bag, so I used this. I just added 2 diapers for Vi and we were good to go. It’s definitely not the ideal bag for everyday use, but it was perfect in a pinch.

Now that LJ is getting a little older, we are starting to also introduce wearing a backpack so he can learn to carry a few of his things. This pouch perfectly fits in the backpack!

And just look at how cute LJ is wearing his backpack! My heart can hardly take this. I feel like I’m practically sending him off to college right now. When did he get so big?!


I love that this little diaper clutch solved a problem and made situations in my daily life much easier without causing a lot of extra work for me. It’s a simple solution that was easy to implement and even if it’s a weird thing to say, I sure do love it!

PS – You may have noticed that it’s Monday. 😉 I’m trying something a little different with the blog and switching to Monday, Wednesday, and Friday posts. There are multiple reasons for this switch, and I think this is going to be a better schedule for me right now!