FINALLY, the post many of you have been asking for: the boys’ playroom reveal. it’s one of the few rooms in our home that feels “done.” except now with the addition of wesley, I need to update the photos with a fun one of him! it probably won’t happen for another six months or so though…
my personal design style is probably best described as transitional – a mix of different styles to create one. I like a little modern, a little rustic, a little traditional, etc. if you have been to our home, you know I love a good neutral palette with pops of color that can be easily changed from season to season. however, the playroom is the polar opposite of everything I stand for. whoops! this room is one big splash of color!
I blame my soft spot for the boys and giving them whatever they want. it all started with landon’s obsession with baby shark and his birthday banner that lived taped on the wall for over a year after his second birthday party. I needed to figure out a way to incorporate that banner into the room without it being the focal point. I took a pair of scissors, cut out the best parts, and the room design was born. colorful, child-like, but modern. a space the boys can play, be creative, and LIVE. the room is still stylish, just with more color than I am typically comfortable with. without further adieu, here is the big reveal.
like everyone during quarantine, I watched The Home Edit series on Netflix. While my organization is not up to their standards, I appreciate an organized space. here is how I organized the toys. all bins are from the container store.
this space makes me and the kids happy, which was the ultimate goal. questions? leave them in the comments! happy decorating friends!
they say, “third time is the charm!” well, maybe. except this time, my birth experience will be amidst a global pandemic which has resulted in changing hospital policies. I try to avoid all the crazy extras because who wants to lug a bunch of stuff into the hospital for a (hopefully) quick 2-3 day stay? not me, or mike for that matter. honestly, my first labor was so bad i hardly used anything i packed because i essentially lived in the hospital gown. for brady, i felt 1,000x better and was able to “enjoy” our stay and time with him a little more. regardless, I feel like I have a good handle on the things you will want, need and use during your stay in the hospital.
here is what I am packing in my hospital bag for baby number 3.
one going home outfit
one extra outfit just in case
one pair of no-scratch mits and a hat
if you have been following me for a while, then you know my favorites are all loulou and company. they have the softest material and cutest colors/prints. also, keep in mind, you might want an option in 0-3 size instead of newborn. landon was a huge baby and I barely squeezed him into a newborn outfit. brady on the other hand was a tiny little peanut and swimming in his going home out. this go around, I have a newborn option and a 0-3 option.
one pair of nursing friendly jammies or comfy clothes
one extra pair of pants or joggers (my preference and not pictured)
one nursing friendly top (not pictured)
one going home outfit
a cozy pair of slippers (that can be washed or tossed after your stay)
this time around, especially since there will not be visitors, I want to be comfortable and practical. comfy clothes that are presentable, but also double as pajamas are a must. keep in mind, if you are nursing, you will want whatever you are wearing to allow easy access. also, for your going home outfit, you should pack maternity clothes or something with a lot of stretch! Unfortunately, the belly doesn’t just disappear after delivery… things no one ever told me! ha! last, bring slippers or slipper socks that can be washed or tossed. these are my favorite from amazon and wash up really easily. as far as comfies go, my favorites are the stars above line at target. I also really want to try kindred bravely and doe loungewear.
one or two burp cloths
tubby todd nipple balm
one or two nursing bras
hear me out, I had NOTHING prepared for the first go around and nursing was hard! trying to stuff pillows get the best position/angle was so tough. do yourself a favor and pack the nursing pillow. I use a boppy, but any would work great. do whatever it will take to set yourself up for success. that includes the nipple balm. you will thank me later! I am excited to try this tubby todd nipple balm this time around. I actually ordered it with the mama bundle and i’m so glad I did! burp cloths and nursing bra are a bonus, but the hospital napkins are scratchy for baby and I always appreciated having something to control the girls…
for a photo op:
something cute for momma (and partner)
something cute for baby
something to announce (a letter board for us)
a lot of these items double in the other categories. this robe for me will work great for both a photo op and something cozy to lounge in. bonus, it’s easy to do skin to skin! this loulou bundle includes mits, hat and a swaddle so I am not double packing for baby! ps. I have one print for a boy and one for a girl 🙂 don’t forget your camera and something to photograph with baby’s name or measurements!
pillows to sleep on for both you and your partner are crucial! make sure to bring them in a colored pillow case so they don’t get mixed up with the hospital laundry. extension cord because the outlet is always in an awkward spot. chargers for all of your devices. your computer or ipad to facetime family/friends and stream some shows! more on toiletries next….
toothbrush and toothpaste
extra hair ties
tubby todd mama bundle
disposable nursing pads
just like going on a quick trip, bring the essentials that will make you feel most comfortable and most like you. your post-partum hormones are going to be out of control and so will the sweats. you will like shower one or two times while in the hospital. with all of the hand washing, mask wearing, you will be happy your brought the tubby todd mama bundle with you to alleviate the dryness. I can already see a huge difference in my hands an i’ve only been using the cream for a week now!
For mommas with other kids at home: MOST IMPORTANT (in my opinion) than anything you will pack is what you leave behind at home. Get ahead of yourself and leave behind schedules, what to pack to lunch at school, carpool procedures, etc. for your older kids. Whether they are in school or virtual or have “set activities,” a schedule and guidance is always appreciated by whomever will be coming over to care for your kids while you are away. Don’t forget to leave their insurance cards and a letter allowing them to make medical care decisions, just in case! Odds are you won’t need it, but it’s better to be safe than sorry!
that’s it ladies! my essentials for the hospital. for bonus, you could pack it all in a super cute weekender bag from fawn design. it’s on my wishlist…
to make it easier on you, here’s an easy printable to help you with your packing! I would love to know if you have any other favorites from your hospital stays.
what’s the saying, “do as I say, not as I do?” this is one of those times I hope to impart some learning from my own mistakes. the subject: family photos. well really, any photos where you are paying a professional photographer to capture an important moment in your life – engagements, weddings, newborns, families, furbabies, etc!
I will start by saying, I love family photos…when they are done! HA! but seriously, it’s always a joy to get back the photos and see little moments in time captured so beautifully and to ACTUALLY be in the pictures! raise your hand if you are always the one behind the camera and not in front?? that’s me to a T. however, I will also say that family photos are also a source of stress and don’t always go according to our picture perfect plan. I’m here to share some lessons I have learned over the years in hopes to spare you some heartache.
LESSON 1: location is not that important.
don’t stress over your location. it’s not THAT important, unless it is. here is what I mean.
our wedding ceremony was held at the church I grew up going to. it’s not the prettiest of churches and doesn’t offer many spaces on the exterior that I (read that again, I) thought was pretty or worthy enough to use for pictures. I spent a month trying to scout locations nearby and coordinate timing with transportation and the photographer to make it all “work.” well guess what, it was a massive waste of my time and SO MUCH STRESS. I finally went to our photographer saying, I just don’t know how to make an alternate location make sense. and you know what she said, “don’t worry about it! we’ll get exactly what you want working with the grounds of the church.” I didn’t believe it was possible, but she’s the professional and worked her magic. what IS important, the overall look/vibe you are going for. communicate with your photographer if you want outdoor, indoor, grassy, rustic, industrial, field of flowers, etc. then let them do the heavy lifting. odds are, they have a few locations in mind that will fit your theme and suggest what they know will work great for lighting. it’s amazing what a photographer can capture within a sliver of grass, or against a brick wall, or tucked behind some basic bushes. I am being serious!
now, here is an example of when location matters…. this was worth every freezing minute of our session. but this is what we wanted!
LESSON 2: plan your outfits to be coordinated versus matching AND well in advance.
okay, before everyone says “duh, stefanie.” let me explain. first, in my opinion, I find coordinated outfits to look better and more timeless than the “matchy matchy” outfits, especially for family photos. think more of an overall color family versus just everyone wearing blue or white. some of my favorite pictures are from our family shoot last year and I just loved how the overall color scheme worked instead of having everyone in jeans and a red sweater sort of thing. catch my drift?
next when it comes to outfits, pick the toughest one to dress first, then work around. for most of us moms, the most difficult person to find something great for is ourselves. so start there! pick something you LOVE and feel great in. then coordinate the rest.
and last when it comes to selecting your outfits, plan for spares and extras. I have made many mistakes with this and FINALLY feel like I am prepared for the worst (but always hope for the best). for example, if you are outside in the fall or winter, make sure to bring outwear for the whole family that you would be OK with being photographed. remember how I mentioned we froze earlier, well we FROZE during that maternity shoot because we didn’t bring any coats, the next time we froze was with landon as an 18 month old because again, didn’t bring anything appropriate for photos! learn from me. also, pack a backup for everyone especially if you are photographing with kids. it will never fail to have a diaper blowout or potty accident when you are least prepared. or the time we were taking landon’s newborn photos and he peed all over me….yeah…I didn’t have a spare prepared so I did the rest of the photos in a pee soaked shirt and we carefully placed his body in ways to disguise it.
LESSON 3: bring toys and snacks to keep your kids happy.
if you plan ahead, you can make this work well even if there is a tonka truck in your perfectly planned and curated photo session. I didn’t understand the need for toys and snacks until we had a very testy toddler who HATED anything to do with pictures or a stranger. sound familiar? I remember feeling bummed (i’ll get to the attitude lesson next) that we had a bright blue snack cup in our pictures because we needed anything to stop him from crying and to be distracted. i wish i had planned for it to be IN the pictures… that is why I say, if you plan ahead, you can make things blend better – like buy a stainless steel snack cup or bring a brown ball instead of an orange ball so it’s not so obvious. bring whatever will keep your kids happy because nothing is worse than the screaming, crying, freezing child who refuses to smile one time… although we had that and I still love the pictures (more on that next).
LESSON 4: it’s all about your attitude!
nothing goes according to plan, so just roll with it! if you keep your expectations in check, you will not be so stressed when it feels like it’s all a disaster (because it will feel like that)! for me, this has been the biggest lesson learned. it starts with the fact that my own, adult husband, has a bad attitude about taking photos. sometimes it feels like I am dealing with three toddlers! but in all seriousness, it’s not his thing and I understand that. SO we agree to put on our best faces for the time allotted and PRAY the kids cooperate at least a little. they are the wildcards you cannot control. chances are that even through all the crying, fussing, tantrums, etc. your photographer will snap a good one. AND even if they don’t, I have come to embrace it all in the season you are in. it is all a season. I have embraced it so much that I sent out christmas cards last year with a tearful landon alllllll over them (because even when he’s crying, he looks cute). I have also changed my attitude so much about embracing our seasons that I PLANNED to bring his golf club for this year’s pictures. to my surprise, we didn’t need the basketball or golf club! I was SHOCKED in the best way possible!
LESSON 5: pick the right photographer and package for YOU.
this one also seems like a no brainer, but it wasn’t always so simple for me. the photographer we have been using lately offers 15 minute, 30 minute and 1 hour packages ALWAYS. she doesn’t have to have a day full of “mini” sessions for me to snag the shorter time slots. this is one of many reasons why I love her. I used to think we needed an hour. false. you really could get away with 15 minutes and come out with so many options. what I have settled on for us is 30 minutes. it’s the perfect amount of time to keep everyone in their best moods. plus, it’s just the right amount of time that we can scoot around to different spots within our location to get new backgrounds. also, in regards to your photographer, find someone whose style provides what you need. it’s more than just the overall look of their photos. I mean that mostly in the sense of direction you will get from him/her. do you want someone who will just follow your lead? or do you need someone who likes to help with poses? mike and I are not very affectionate people in public or in front of other people, so WE need someone who can give us a little direction otherwise we just feel uncomfortable and awkward. I know that’s not everyone! and I will say that is not every stage of life or event. for example, our wedding, we didn’t need much direction! it’s a day all about our love and we wanted it documented naturally. family photos, that’s a different story. we want more direction so we can get good, smiling shots of the whole family and the boys.
the last thing I will say is to know your audience, aka your partner or kids, and know when to call it quits! just because you paid for an hour, doesn’t mean you should use the full hour especially if the entire crew is crying or not cooperating. same thing in reverse, if you paid for 15 minutes and it’s going great, ask if you can extend and pay for more time! this is also why we only do paid sessions one time per year – it’s just not worth it to ME.
I hope this helps a few of you out there stressing over that so called perfect family photo. don’t let instagram fool you, we are all on the same struggle bus. and if you are one of those moms with the unicorn kids and husbands who LOVE these sort things, cheers to you! I would love any tips on how to train my crew lol
y’all!!! I am so excited to share this bathroom with you. it has been a labor of love, but one I am so proud of! this was my first true DIY makeover. sure, i have done an ikea hack here and there before, but nothing compares to having the guts to pull the trigger on attempting woodwork. I loved doing this project so much, I asked for a nail gun for my birthday! I have a list of projects ahead and can’t wait to (slowly) tackle each room.
a little backstory on how this bathroom became a DIY. last year we had a water leak in our master bedroom coming from our exterior siding and chimney box. while we had a contractor over to give us a quote on those repairs, I took the opportunity to pick his brain about other cosmetic, interior projects I had in mind. little things (and some big) to take our home from generic to feel more custom. most of what I wanted was wall trim in the staircase and a couple bedrooms. he quoted us THOUSANDS of dollars for the trim alone. I said, “yeah right. I can do that myself!” so in an attempt to save us money, I took to google to see just how hard it really could be. after some researching, I convinced my younger brother to help (after-all he had the power tools and muscle I needed) and that was that. we were off!
it all started as a vision in my head and it truly came to life. this room was inspired by the woodwork Angela Rose Home had done in her home and the moody, dark rooms Studio McGee has done lately. I wanted something bold and beautiful. while it may be a kids bathroom, I still wanted it to be a design statement!
first, the pretty photos of the “after.”
and because we all love a good side by side before and after…
a couple days ago, i posted to instagram sharing our daily “schedule” during this interesting time we are living in. surprisingly, i got a lot of responses and “thanks” for sharing what is working in our home. i thought it might be best to let this live on the internet forever on the blog. nothing directly brady related or down syndrome related, but related to CAMPIRR life these days…
full disclosure, we do not follow this strictly. sometimes the tv time category is doubled or tripled in any given day (keeping real people), but this gives us/me a good framework to keep things interesting and different when we are stuck within the four walls of our homes and yards. also, if you have toddlers, you know how laughable a “schedule of activities” really is… unless you see them at school, and then you wonder, “how do they get him to sit still and listen like that?” i swear they must put something in the water 😉
please leave a comment with other fun activities that are a hit with your kids! we are always looking for something new to incorporate into the day to break up the monotony!
another LONG overdue post. brady is officially 13 months old, so what better time than now to share his nursery ha!
brady’s room was one of the very first rooms completed in our new home when we moved to georgia. it was a fun project and labor of love (just ask my mom how the wallpaper hanging went)! i am incredibly proud of it and really feel like this room can grow with him for years to come.
my inspiration was this dresser from crate and kids, but in an effort to not break the bank, i refinished an ikea dresser and the room just blossomed from there. listen, don’t get me wrong, i like expensive things. i do. i have a knack of picking the more expensive option if given the choice between two similar items. however, i LOVE a good deal and getting the same look for less and spend where it makes the most sense.
note: the curtains are a dark, deep green not black (it’s hard to get the true color in the pictures).
if you care to know where things are from, i added sources at the end of the post.
here are some cute little details around his room. ps i couldn’t let his adorable helmet go to waste! good thing it matched the color scheme perfectly!
my first baby is officially no longer a baby. landon turned two last weekend! i still can’t believe i have a two year old (and two kids…), but this age has been one of my favorites yet – despite the tantrums. we decided we were not going to do a party and just do cake with my family. then i ended up extending an invitation to a few friends and their kids half expecting them to be busy. nope. they were all free and able to attend, so we ended up having a real party!
we had to have a baby shark themed party. i mean, landon is OBSESSED. the weather held off and landon had the BEST day! baby shark everywhere and pretty much on repeat. if i can give one tip: pre-naptime birthday parties are the best. no after nap grumps to worry about and everyone will need to leave to get their kiddos down for their own naps. WIN WIN. here’s a look into our day and all the details.
note: i enjoy doing this sort of thing when i have the time and extra hands. shout out to my mom who helped during nap times, mike and my FIL for making the underwater scene a reality (after an impromptu decision to keep the party outside) and everyone for celebrating our little dude ❤
brady bug is officially FOUR months old. i can’t get over how fast time is going. i need it to slow down for a minute for my heart to catch up.
brady is a lean (not really), mean (definitely not), growing machine (this is accurate!). officially twelve and half pounds and thriving! he has been even more alert, smiling and even laughing a little. we love watching him work so hard to get stronger everyday.
he took his first vacation and beach trip this month. a few days to hilton head, south carolina. he was the cutest little beach bum and snoozed most of the afternoons on the beach. man, but packing up the car for this trip was a task. not sure we will be doing that again anytime soon. OR we have to go and stay for a week to make it worth it!
as for milestones, brady is pretty on track with a typical baby his age. i know this will change, but for now, we are appreciating every little win. his PT is very impressed with his work ethic and strength. my hope is he continues this progress to make recovery from heart surgery a little bit better.
speaking of heart surgery, we officially have a date. june 10th. we are both excited, anxious, and nervous for this day to come. excited to see him thrive and be free of the daily struggle to eat and breath. anxious and nervous for all of the reasons you would expect. in this last month, we have started brady on a diuretic to manage his heart failure symptoms, so we know it’s time. we will continue to pray for peace and strength as we prepare for one of the toughest days of our (and his) lives.
medically, everything else is status quo. still exclusively pumping. still thickening feeds. we hope after surgery, these things might change for the better as well. only time will tell!
landon continues to be the sweetest big brother (most of the time). he loves holding brady, helping him with tummy time, cleaning up his bottles, and “playing” catch. we are still working on landon understanding brady is little ha! landon also thinks it is hysterical when brady has the hiccups. it’s the small things, people.
we are loving this stage of life, though exhausted, and can’t wait to see what this next month brings.
it’s me again. sorry, i went dark for the last week plus (by accident). we have had a crazy week and keeping up with my updates kind of fell by the wayside. i’ll start from the top though!
first, we had a lovely visit with my in-laws. Landon just loves all the attention he gets whenever they are in town. literally all eyes and hands on him ALL day and night. that cute little stinker knows how to work his crowd. while here, we visited the Pink Pig, which he was NOT a fan of (see below) and the Garden Lights exhibit at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. he, and everyone, absolutely loved the botanical gardens. it was seriously magical. don’t let his face fool you in the photo from the botanical gardens. he LOVED it. i think he just doesn’t like taking photos with me…more on that later.
my MIL and i worked on some nursery projects as well. we thinned out the faux fiddle leaf fig tree and started painting the infamous green dresser. y’all, i decided on a paint color and i love it. now i just pray, pray, pray that this actually works and doesn’t chip off right away. it’s been a rough go with the paint already, but i am blaming the wet weather and cold weather for that. i just don’t think it is actually drying completely. we’ll see.
this past week, i did get a little ME time. it was long overdue. i had a lovely dinner with some college girlfriends that i haven’t seen all in one sitting since moving back. my heart needed that big time. i also got to escape for a hair cut (which took WAY too long, but oh well) and lady hawks holiday dinner while the team was out of town. all in all, a great week for Landon and i, full of lots of love and fun. only downside, we are still sick. ALL of us.
other life updates before i get to the pregnancy related ones, we failed at our rain date for family photos AGAIN because of….wait for it….RAIN. UGH. then due to Mike’s schedule, we had to schedule them for Tuesday evening. bright sunshine, but freezing. i did not adequately plan outfits for us for freezing temps because we were planning to take these a month ago, so the joke is on me. i only have myself to blame for the cranky husband and crying toddler because everyone was too cold and i thought we could “tough it out” for 30 minutes. NOPE. there’s no toughing it out when you are a toddler who doesn’t understand why we are running around in the cold weather with some stranger following us. luckily, our photographer is INCREDIBLY talented and was able to catch a few smiles and beautiful shots of our family (and my belly). we just might be those people with bright blue snack cup front and center in the photos. anything to keep L happy. i cannot wait to share them with you soon. lesson learned – be prepared with cute outerwear for the family just in case.
little bug/pregnancy updates – it’s the FINAL countdown. t-minus 4 weeks and there will be a baby here. that is NUTS. time to kick our butts in gear and really get things moving with preparation (aka buying diapers, laundering clothes, finishing the nursery, getting the car seat ready). we started our weekly testing last week and since have had two BPP tests and one NST (my second is today). little bug passed his BPP tests with flying colors, scoring an 8 out of 8. the NST was a bit of a different story. he’s not very active in the morning and that is when these tests are occurring. basically, he decided it was the perfect time to nap when i needed him to be active. so what should have only been 20 minutes on the monitor turned into 1 hour on the monitor. thank goodness he ended up passing, but that was stressful. i’m planning to make sure he has all the reason to be awake for the test today.
things are feeling a bit more real and a bit scarier. he’s nice and protected on the inside. it’s the outside world that terrifies me. with cold and flu season at it’s peak, i worry about protecting him and keeping him healthy. we are already a house full of germs! i am working on us first so that we can be 100% when it’s time for his arrival. i started diffusing essential oils last night and will continue to do so until we are all feeling better. if not, medical masks are waiting in my Amazon cart. that is not a joke. if you have any essential oil blends/tips that you love, please send them my way! i am a total newbie, but hoping to fall in love with them like everyone else.
i promise to keep you guys updated more frequently now that we are in the home stretch. i’ll be sure to post my NST results on IG if you follow along there. again, thank you all for the love and support during this journey. we are getting close to meeting our little dude and navigating the new road ahead. this anxious momma appreciates the hugs and encouragement.
happy Tuesday, friends! i hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and survived the craziness of the shopping over the last few days.
our Thanksgiving was wonderful. Mike had the whole day off. like off, off. like did NOT have to go into the office for even just a couple of hours. it was very much needed and magical to spend the morning the three of us preparing to head up to my parents’ house for the DAY. because we can do that now. we can go spend a day, an afternoon, an evening, an hour with my family and i will never take that for granted.
this was the first Thanksgiving in 3 years that i did not have to cook a turkey, clean my house, and spend the week stressing about how we are going to fit everyone into our tiny little space. i still wouldn’t trade any of those Thanksgivings, but i was very grateful to show up, bring dessert, help with cooking and head home when we were ready. this was also the first Thanksgiving we were not planning the meal around a flight time because there was a road game the next day and Mike had to leave. BLESSINGS. it’s the small things in the irr household.
after all the calmness of Thanksgiving came the stress of black friday and cyber monday shopping. does this give anyone else major anxiety? i am a deal seeker. i hardly ever pay full price for something (unless i am shopping small) so this is when i like to get the majority of my Christmas shopping done. this year was more than just Christmas, it was all the baby gear we need to get, nursery items, home decor, etc. so i was feeling the pressure.
let me tell you…i failed miserably at the UppaBaby deal through Sam’s Club and this will haunt me forever. we need a double stroller and after much research and testing, we determined this is the best one for us. i had been waiting until black friday specifically to purchase it and BAM, i lost. no UppaBaby on sale for us. now i have to figure out how late i am willing to push this purchase because we have been spending machines lately with the house items and need to chill. i probably should buy newborn size diapers before i go buying a stroller. priorities.
other than the shopping over the weekend, if you follow me on IG and saw my stories, you have definitely seen the great green debate. i am starting to feel colorblind. what i see on screen, in store, on the swatch, is not what is coming out of the can. how can this be? after 5 samples, i am pretty sure i found the one. this week, on my never-ending list of to-dos, i need to paint and assemble little bug’s dresser. good news, my mom and i finished the wallpaper – HECK YES.
in all seriousness though, this week, we are facing a lot of tests. i will officially be 34 weeks pregnant and so begins my weekly testing. today starts with a biophysical profile (BPP) at the perinatologist and the week ends with a non-stress test (NST) with my OB. according to my OB, i should have my hospital bag packed now. praying that everything stays looking good and we have 5 more weeks until little bug makes his appearance. God knows i need all 5 of these weeks to prepare mentally and physically.
my in-laws get into town today and i couldn’t be happier to have the extra hands. i jam packed my week with appointments – so much so, that when the AV guy showed up yesterday to the house, i thought we might be getting robbed (because i totally forgot what day of the week it was and that i even made the appointment). only me. whoops.
on my list of to-dos: buy newborn diapers, a changing pad, figure out the stroller situation, finish the nursery, pack our hospital bag, paint and assemble the dresser.
next week to-dos: launder all of little bug’s clothes (aka Landon’s hand-me-downs), take out the bassinet, get the car seat ready, finish the nursery, finish the nursery, finish the nursery.
oh and at some point, i will decorate the house for Christmas and finish my Christmas shopping….