Friday, September 25, 2015

7 Things I Could Use Your Help With Right Now

Hi, friends.

For the most part, I'm starting to get my new life as mom-with-infant-living-in-new-town in order. 

But there are still a handfulla things I could use some help with. Since it's Friday, I'll list my top seven . . .


Easy recipes, please! 

We're talking . . . 
  • ready in 30 minutes or less OR easy to prepare in pieces throughout the day
  • minimal chopping/prepping
  • moderately healthy
  • crock pot recipes are great too
Any suggestions? 

Some of our all-time favorites are Tortellini Salad, Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad, and Crock Pot Chicken Enchilada Soup, for reference, and because I like to share. :)


In order to finish my Creighton Model training on time, I need 6 more clients by December. Yikes! Do you know of anyone interested in learning the Creighton Model? If they don't mind long-distance learning (via Skype or Google Hangout), I'd love it if you could send 'em my way. Email me at stephaniecrms {at} gmail {dot} com.


What are some quick ways to make your hair look nice when it's still wet and you don't have time to dry it? (Or you have a baby who's scared of blow-dryers.) 

So far, my go-tos are buns, headbands, and braids. Is there anything else that makes wet hair look better?


John Paul is really weird about sleep. Like, really weird.

I probably already have an answer for this one: Read a sleep book. BUT if any of you have experience with a sleep-fighting four-month-old and have had success with making bedtime more pleasant, I'm all ears.

Some nights, John Paul goes to bed so easily. We put him in his bassinet, he wiggles around for a little while, then drifts off peacefully. But other nights, like the past two, he cries and shrieks A LOT. Sometimes he'll eventually drift off, other times he'll cry and scream for 15 minutes straight, and the only thing that works is picking him up and starting his sleep routine over again. We sit by his bassinet and try to help, but eventually his crying gets him so worked up, he's wide awake. It took us TWO hours to put him to sleep last night. Eek! He fought us until 11pm. We've tried putting him down earlier, starting at 7pm or 8pm, but he fights that even worse. We can tell he's exhausted because he falls asleep and stays asleep while I nurse him, and he's rubbing his eye and yawning a ton, but as soon as he's in his bassinet, if it's a night he's decided to fight, it's really pretty rough. 

Is this just a normal phase that babies go through?



When you're out and about, shopping with a 4-month-old who can't sit up on his own yet and therefore can't sit in the cart, what do you do? 
So far, my solutions are:
  • wear him, but sometimes he doesn't want to be worn.
  • keep him in his car seat and put him in the basket of the cart, but then I have hardly anywhere to put my groceries.
  • wait til John has time off and go grocery shopping together. I like this one. :)
  • carry him in my arms, but then I'm shopping one-handed and that slows me down a fair bit. I also worry he'll wiggle out of my arms.

Is this just a phase that gets way easier once he can sit up in the cart? What do you do before cart-sitting is a possibility?

(PS - Putting the car seat up on the front of the cart is a big no-no for me. I've heard stories of babies falling that way.)


While I LOVE the idea behind Blessed is She and the daily reflections they send straight to my inbox, I'm just not connecting with most of their reflections lately. 

What other daily prayer/Bible readings/reflection resources do you use?


Is there a special water bottle out there that makes you want to drink more water throughout the day?

I find that I forget to drink water verrrry easily and end up shaky, overheated, and faint before I remember to fill up a glass and drink some more. Eek!

I used to drink lots when I was using my Camelback water bottle, but then the spout grew mold several times (SO GROSS) and I've been against it ever since.

How do you remember to drink water throughout the day?


Thanks, friends!


  1. The 4 month sleep regression is real. Keep on doing what you're doing and it will pass. I have also found that putting a shirt in that has been worn by me helps when they just want mama. Or sleep with his sheet for a night too.

    Grocery shopping: keep him in the car seat in the basket, get the carrying baskets at the front and put them on the rack under the cart's basket. You can fill those up and then just place them on the belt at checkout. I have also propped almost ready to sit up babies with my purse and a blanket in the seat. (But that might work better next month when he's close but just not there yet.)

    Food: no specific recipes because I wing it a lot. But if you find crock pot meals you like, buy the crock pot liners, put everything you need in the liner, then into a freezer bag. Spend the time on a weekend to prep several of these, then when you are strapped for ideas you can just put the liner in the crockpot and you're done. (Also then, cleaning the crock pot is done because you just lift the liner out and throw it away.)

    1. I wonder if his sleeping issues are related to the 4-month sleep regression. But getting him to fall asleep at night has always been an issue. :\ Glad to hear the regression will pass. He's been waking a few times in the middle of the night, except, go figure, last night . . . he stayed asleep for 8 hours straight after such a hard fight getting him to fall asleep. So, who knows?

      Great tip for grocery shopping!! Putting stuff on the belt has been more of a challenge now too. So that would fix that real quick! I'll have to see if the under part of the cart has enough room for the basket. If that doesn't work, I'm going to start trying to prop him up in the front. And if it doesn't work now, I'll try it again soon. :)

      I used a crock pot liner once a few years ago and I felt like it made my dinner taste like the plastic liner. Have they gotten better over the past few years. Would LOVE to give that a try!!

      Thank you so much for your help. :) This is awesome! I should ask for help more often!

  2. For the sleep, I'm sorry. You didn't mention teething, and I know they say teething only causes them real pain the two weeks before a tooth erupts, but to me, the pain seemed to be much more intermittent. Sometimes, on the horrible nights, we'd give infant's tylenol a shot. 30 minutes later, peaceful sleeping babe.

    For dinner, google one pot wonders. But here's a tortellini soup recipe: 1 bag dried tortellini, one package frozen chopped spinach, 1 can diced tomatoes (undrained), and enough chicken broth for the tortellini to cook and to be as soupy as you like. Boil until tortellini is cooked, top with parmesan cheese. Another quick dinner is those pre-made jars of curry sauces, tikka masala or butter chicken are really good, usually you only have to add chopped chicken breasts and maybe cream. Heat it up, let the chicken cook, put it on rice, and you're done!

    For the grocery store, Madeline's suggestion sounds awesome, filing away for the future. What kind of carrier do you have? Would he be happier if he could be worn facing out? or on your hip? Lots of local baby wearing groups have a lending library to try out different styles which is awesome because sometimes babies (and mamas) preferences change!

    When you find the answer to the wet hair one, please share!

    1. You know, I'm always wondering if teething is part of it too, but since he's always fought bedtime pretty hard, I figured teething probably isn't the main cause. He's drooling like crazy now AND gumming everything AND I can feel little tooth buds on top and bottom, so I bet we'll be seeing some teeth here soon. I'll keep the tylenol trick in my back pocket!

      That tortellini soup sounds PERFECT!! Thank you! And I should probably give those pre-made jars a try. Mmmmmm! I'm drooling just thinking about tikka masala!

      I have the Ergo carrier and a sling. I used the sling over my hip yesterday and he liked it, though the pressure on his belly made him puke all over the floor at the store (hahaha) and I could barely move my right arm. Plus I had to hold him the whole time anyway because I was afraid he would go flying backwards . . . still not sturdy enough yet. The Ergo is wonderful, but sometimes he'll fight it. We haven't tried facing him out yet though. I wonder if he'd like that better. Great rec!!

      Thanks for all the help. This is awesome!! :)

  3. Hi there.

    First, I am digging this website for crockpot freezer meals - Otherwise I am queen of the seasoned meat on the grill/salad/boxed rice or couscous dinner. It's always done in 20 minutes and requires nearly no prep. Also, maybe some gals at church do freezer meal exchanges you could get in on.

    Second, I did both wearing and carseat in the cart basket thing. Josie always liked being worn so that was an easy fix but yea, I feel you on the no room for groceries when the carseat is in the way. This is something that gets SO MUCH EASIER when they can sit on their own at the front of the cart.

    Third, welcome to the first sleep regression. :) 4 months hit and Josie's once a night waking for milk turned into a never ending sleep battle we've now fought through for the past 6 months so I have ZERO advice. We're currently reading sleep books and wish we would have done something when she was 4-5 months opposed to nearly a year old. I don't like it but I am hearing cry-it-out as the only thing that really works for getting a full night sleep for anyone. =(

    Third, I have been doing online adoration every day during Josie's first nap and I am LOVING it. I am also reading Time For God by Jaques Phillipe and it's gold. Anything by him I highly recoommend, especially since his books are short.

    Lastly, I also feel you on the waterbottle. Before we lived in Colorado (where it's SO dry that mold basically never grows) I experienced the moldy camelback. We switched to Nalgene's with the drink insert to prevent drips. Working great and I have three of them strategically placed around the house so I always have water waiting for me. Jonathan fills them up when he sees them empty.

    Hope that helps! :)

    1. Well, hello!

      First, that website looks fantastic!! And you're right, seasoned meat + anything else is always fast and easy. Gotta keep some chicken stocked in my freezer for quick meals when I haven't had time to plan anything else. Also, I tooootally want to do a freezer meal exchange now. Sounds so awesome!

      Glad to hear grocery store trips get easier, and soon! I think I'm going to try wearing him facing outward next time to see if he likes it. I really do like carrying him. I just get nervous about him having a meltdown in the carrier while I'm halfway through the store with a cart full of groceries. Eeek! I should probably get over that though. People would be kind if they saw me powering through with a crying baby, right? :D

      Also, I'm glad you mentioned that you wish you'd done something when Josie was 4-5 months. Well, not glad that you're having issues, but it's a good reminder that it's probably worth it to work through his issues now so they don't turn into bigger issues later. Please let me know how CIO goes!!

      Online adoration is genius! And I totally forgot that you had already recommended it to me. Thanks for the reminder. Great book rec too. I'd never heard of Jaques Phillipe before. Am I about to get lost in all his books?

      And I love the simple Nalgene drink insert. DUH! So easy, and a very affordable way to make my nalgene easier to drink out of. Jonathan is so sweet for filling them up for you!!

      So helpful! Thanks x 1 million, Amanda! :D

  4. 4.) 4 month sleep regression is totally a thing.

    6.) I love Our Daily Bread (

    1. Ugh. The dreaded 4-month sleep regression. I hear it's a thing. I don't want to believe it's a thing though. ;) I hope that means it's almost over, since he's 4.5 months old now.

      Thanks for the website rec!! Their reflections are short, which will make it a lot easier for me to fit in my busy days! And the recordings of the readings?! Perfect. :)

      Thank you so much!!

  5. 7) have you tried an infuser water bottle (kicks it up a notch)

    2) will share

    3) have you tried a white noise sound machine? ( says the non-mom)

    1) Not much help, because we eat grilled chicken almost every night.. but to make veggie prep quick, when I know it's going to be a busy week, I purchase a veggie tray it changes by the season what they put in it, but usually has carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, ( currently has ) pea pods and radishes, sometimes it has cherry tomatoes. It's 2 fold, easy to grab some raw veggies to eat, or to throw them in a dish.

    1. I haven't tried an infuser water bottle yet. The idea of infused water (with fruit!) sounds fantastic, though I have to admit . . . I don't love the idea of having to clean up the fruit after. :\

      Thanks for putting my name out there as a CrMS practitioner!!

      We do have a white noise sound machine! We discovered that it helped him when he was only a few weeks old. We've been using it ever since. And actually, we just use a white noise app that we downloaded onto an old iPhone of ours. Perfect! (Btw, you're not a non-mom in my eyes. <3)

      Love the veggie tray suggestion! Sounds so easy, and a great way to get those veggies in but without all the extra prep (washing, chopping). Where do you get your veggie trays? Just the regular grocery store?

  6. 3. Buns braids & headbands are my solutions too! I've never been a fan of blow-drying because it frizzes my hair like crazy but motherhood makes the decision even easier. I've done some crown braids before which I like but they're more time-intensive.

    4. Sleep regression at 4 months is a b. Right about then was when we decided to use the CIO method for Kate to get her to sleep more. It took a rough week but then she was back to going to sleep quickly and easily and it was totally worth it (if you can stomach the gut-wrenching that is ignoring a baby's cries for a little while). I just googled the method and followed it as best I could (tag-teaming with David of course - the CIO where you go in at scheduled intervals).

    5. No good answers for the cart problem - we just left Kate in the car seat until she was old enough to sit up front. It's not a good solution but it works until they can sit up by themselves. A couple times before she was balanced enough to be actually sitting, I'd strap her into that seat up at the front and prop her up on both sides with a purse and a coat if I was by myself & desperate - it worked okay.

    7. I used to have a Camelbak and had the same problem! I switched to a super cheap plastic cup-with-straw attachment which works pretty well for me, just because it's so much easier to drink water when it's from something cute/fun/not a boring cup!

    1. Crown braids . . . giirlllll, when do you have time for that?! Jk, sounds lovely!

      I'm so torn on CIO. It makes sense, but it doesn't, ya know? I want him to learn to fall asleep on his own and I worry that by us being there next to him while he's trying to fall asleep, he's only learning to do it with our help every time. But then I also don't love the idea of making him cry so much on his own. Don't get me wrong . . . we've let him CIO a few times before just because we were so exhausted and not in a happy place from helping him for hours to try to fall asleep. He cried for about 10 minutes and then finally slept. But it broke my heart a little. Ugh. What's a gal to do? I think for now, we'll keep at what we're doing. He actually fell asleep SUPER easy last night (go figure!) and I think the trick was an extra nap (super short cat nap) around 8pm. But CIO (with scheduled intervals of checking in and helping him) will always be in our back pocket if we get to a really bad place. It just makes NO sense to me because should sleepy babies just fall asleep? On their own? And easily? Hahaha, yeah, no.

      I think I'm going to use that "propping up the baby" trick next time we're at the grocery store and he doesn't want to be in the Ergo or the sling. And actually, that'll work well since I can use the Ergo/sling as a cushion to prop him up. :P The good news is: he'll be sitting up on his own soon. So hopefully this phase will be a thing of the past within the next few months. Though, God willing, we'd love to grow our family again in the next year or two, so I guess the next baby will go through this awkward grocery shopping phase too and we'll also have a two or three year old (John Paul) to keep track of at the same time. Yikes! The daily parenthood struggle is real. :P

      I agree about water drinking being SO MUCH EASIER when you're drinking out of something cute and fun. Hrmmmm. Maybe it's time I buy another Tervis tumbler or something like that.

      Thanks for all the help! Great recommendations!! :D

  7. So far, I find my kids are not confident cart sitters until about 10 months. Carrier has been the way to go so far for me. Once they can be back carried in the Ergo they seem to be a little more content (that's when they have good head control and, generally, can sit up unsupported.)

    Totally normal sleep phase! All the babies are going to be different with sleep. Sometimes you just have to wait out the phase. My only advice there is don't do anything you don't want to have to repeat in the middle of the night.

    You might be interested in this post:

    1. 10 months?! Eek! Ok, no big deal. I still got this. :) I think I'm just going to have to become a more confident Ergo user. It's ok if a baby cries a bit while they're in the carrier, right? A momma's gotta shop, ya know? And at least he'll be cuddled close while he's crying. :)

      Great advice about not doing anything we don't want to repeat in the middle of the night. Lucky for us, he only wakes about once or twice per night right now. (This is a new thing, btw. He used to sleep through the night about 8 hours. I think the new wakings are his 4-month regression.) And when he wakes, it just takes a little shushing and sometimes a paci to get him back to sleep. Phew!

      Thanks for the post. I actually read it a few months ago, right after John Paul was born. Great tips for staying at home with baby. I *wish* my husband didn't mind night waking like yours. It would be lovely if he could take over on that. ;) As it is, we take turns, so that's good. And his night wakes really aren't that bad. *knock on wood* So we don't mind them *that* much.

      Thanks for all the advice! This is great. :)

  8. 1. Oh now you made me look at my pinterest recipe board and there are sooo many recipes I need to try!

    I am always giving this recipe away: We just love it.

    Easy chicken marsala: Melt about a quarter cup each of butter and olive oil in a big saute pan/skillet. While that melts get chicken ready (four thin sliced chicken breasts or just pound 2-4 regular chicken breasts). Sprinkle with salt, pepper, oregano and dredge through flour. Add the chicken, brown on one side, then turn them over and add 8oz sliced mushrooms, 1/4c cooking sherry, and 1/2c marsala. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until done, giving the mushrooms a stir and flipping chicken back over once about half way through.

    Easy-but-not-from-a-jar-spaghetti-sauce: Brown 1lb hamburger. Mix together hamburger, 1 big can tomato *juice*, Italian seasoning, and garlic salt. Simmer for several hours/all day until nice and thick.

    That's all I've got... I may be that person who decides to have panini-style sandwiches for dinner but then has to make her own pesto sauce and her own bread from scratch...

    4. Um yeah... we've got the sleeping-all-night thing down but if you come up with a bedtime plan let me know haha

    5. I did what you did--wear her or put her in car seat in basket. It definitely is so much nicer when they can sit up! (Unless they're hungry and want to just yank at your shirt and cry not-that-that-happened-to-me-yesterday-or-anything)

    7. No not really, and I'm not great about this, but I kept my big ol' water jug from my hospital stay when Maria was born and I love it. I keep it in the fridge all the time, and if I'm motivated to be drinking more water I like that it has ounce marks on the side. (Unless Maria or Chuck keeps drinking from it, then I get annoyed that I don't know how much I drank ;-) )

    1. THOSE RECIPES!!!! <3

      Thank you so much for sharing them!! The marsala and the pulled pork and the spaghetti sauce. I'm salivating!!! Question though, where do you find tomato juice? Is that in a can too, like the sauce? Or is it more like V8?

      Sorry to hear you have bedtime struggles too. Babies. Gotta love 'em. Also, so confused by them. :P

      Also, not that it happened to you yesterday or anything, but yikes! The shirt pulling and crying would have driven me batty too. Eek! What do you do? I wonder if I'd find a chair somewhere and nurse him really quick or just power through and nurse once I got home. I don't know why, but I have major nerves about taking John Paul out with me and having him have a melt down or cry session in public. But I should probably get over that because babies just do that, right? And people just understand that, right??

      Big ol' water jug from the hospital? I didn't get one. They gave me a refillable pitcher and a styrofoam cup, neither of which I took home. You must've been at a fancy hospital. ;) I was drinking out of a large cup of some sort with ounces marked along the side when I was pregnant and needing to increase my fluids and John would drink out of it all the time! So I know the feeling. :P

      Thanks so much for your help!! And general encouragement/empathizing.

    2. The tomato juice comes in either a can or a bottle. I think both are 64oz. You find it with the juices, like V8.

      As for the store... Maria is old enough/I've been her mom long enough that we can survive without her nursing for a bit. haha. When she was littler I might have stopped to nurse her. (and seriously. We went out for lunch and then went home and she was just fine so I don't think she really needed to nurse. She didn't even eat much lunch) I ended up taking her out and carrying her while awkwardly pushing the cart with my other hand, and then at checkout I just put her back in and she cried. It can be frustrating/embarrassing but I guess you just have to get used to it.

    3. It's encouraging to hear that it's something all moms experience and you just get used to it. :) At least that way I know other folks are likely to be understanding.

  9. 3: I do a French twist most days while my hair is still wet, and it looks great! Took a little practice, but now I just need a hair brush, two bobby pins (3 if my hair is longer), and 60 seconds. Also, from Verily the other day:

    7: I love my Bkrs! I know it's crazy to pay $35 for a .5 L water bottle, but I've tried and abandoned so many other options. Now, I drink 2-3 L a day, no problem, and have since I bought them nearly 2 years ago. These really met my requirements, so I was happy to invest in 2 (I keep one in the fridge). The two downsides are that the cap is screw off, and that they're glass. I broke one early on, but it was covered under warranty. In my experience, they're only going to break if you drop it from high, while it's full, and onto a hard surface (like hardwood, tile) - like I did. ^_^ But I really cannot say enough about how much I love them!

    1. It's so funny you reference that article! I saw it circulating on fb the other day and read it because I reeeeally want to change up my up do's from the usual boring bun or braid. I love all her cute do's!! But honestly, your French twist sounds like the easiest of them all! I'm going to have to practice, though. I tried it this morning and it was a hot mess. Hahaha. Can't wait to master it!

      I've never heard of Bkrs before! They're beautiful! (Is it weird to say that about a water bottle??) Actually, I love that they're glass. You're right that it makes for a break hazard, but it *is* scary to drink out of plastic all the time, right? And I like that they have the screw top. That way I can throw it into my purse or on the couch while I'm nursing. Having water wherever I go is a big must for me, and part of the reason I think I forget so easily. I also noticed they're on amazon! And the blue is only $30. Hrmmmm . . . I might just have to buy one this instant!

      Thanks so much!! Great advice!

    These are awesome for shopping with baby!

    1. Oh my goodness!!!! That product is exactly what we've needed all along!! I'm thinking since he's almost at the sit-up-on-his-own phase, I'll probably just wait it out now, but for (God willing) future children, that's going on the list of must haves!! Thank you! :D

  11. Love this post. My baby is 2 months old, so I still needed help with 1,3,and 5. At the moment, I only go shopping with my husband or shop online. Amazon prime is a life is amazing what I would normally just run to the corner store to get that I now I buy on amazon when I'm in a pinch bc it would get her faster than me waiting for the weekend. Love the basket under the cart idea. I am still really bad at cooking...or lack of cooking so I am also excited to get in the crock pot more. I wash my hair and let it air dry. LOL As for sleeping. I have had lots of success with the eat, play, sleep routine. I play music or use a white noise machine. I try to use different sounds each time so she does not get stuck with one specific thing. Then I rock her to sleep. with the pacifier. Once it falls out of her mouth, I know she is asleep. When she is really over tired and crabby at night like around 7pm, we still have to swaddle her up to her neck, we rock her to sleep and then place her in a car seat, or swing. She still needs that small area feeling.

    1. I'm glad this post spoke to you too! The number of things I've had to learn how to do or readjust since John Paul came along is wild! I'm loving it, but sometimes I'm just clueless. Glad to know I'm not alone. :)

      We LOVE Amazon Prime too. I'm constantly ordering stuff from there. The only thing I haven't figured out is grocery shopping though. I hear some cities have an Amazon grocery service, but it hasn't made its way to our city yet. Does yours have the grocery service? That would be so cool!

      We used the eat, play, sleep routine when he was younger, around 1 to 2 months old. It worked for a little while, although he's always had trouble with falling asleep. We'd have to put on the noise machine, sing, swaddle, and sway with him until his eyes got heavy. Then we'd lay him down. But it was usually 50/50 on him being able to fall asleep or stay asleep once we put him in his bassinet. Sometimes it worked, other times he'd scream and we'd have to start again. Now that he's older and bigger, we don't have to swaddle him anymore, and I like to nurse him right before sleep. (Shhhh, don't tell anyone! This is supposedly a bad habit to get into. Eek!) Oh sleep! I wish it were easier. :P

      If you ever need support from another new mom, I'm here for you. Thanks for all the help!! :)

  12. We have the Leachco shopping cart cover, which is the only one I have seen with both a seat belt and side bolster pillows. It's the best! I used it for both of my boys at that age and never had a problem. Here it is:

    Regarding meals, almost all of my quick ones are from America's test kitchen 30 minute meals. It is now out of print, but you can get it used on amazon or ebay for a song. I'm sure your library has it if you want to check it out first. I also make a soup or pasta at least once a week because they make the best leftovers. Also, paninis on Fridays : )

    1. Oh man! I wish I had seen that cover before we purchased ours. We got the Infantino one through our registry:

      It doesn't look like it has the side support like yours does. Hrmmm. :\ I guess that means we'll just have to wait until he can really sit unassisted before we use it. Thanks for your rec though. That would have been awesome if we didn't already have one.

      America's test kitchen 30 minute meals sounds like exactly what we need! I'll be checking our library soon. Thanks for the tip. And heck YES to leftovers! I love making meals that last at least two nights. :) Panini Friday sounds fun too!!

      Thanks so much for your help. Great recs!!

  13. Emailing you some recipes! That's probably the only thing I can help with :-P sleep is so hard, I think the hardest part is that their sleep needs are constantly changing throughout their first year of life (and beyond) have you looked at the baby sleep site at all? I've found that helpful. Something else I found helpful that I read about recently is 2-3-4. it may not work quite yet since JP is probably still taking three naps but it's something to keep in mind for later. I've heard it can work up to a year old for most babies. Put baby down for nap 2 hours after waking in the morning, then put them down 3 hours after first nap and down for bed 4 hours after last nap. It seems to have really helped Juliette a lot though perhaps it just randomly coincided with Juliette sleeping well at night but she's been sleeping 11 hours straight (then eating and going back down for an hour) and she has not been fighting her morning nap like she was before we tried this. Maybe it will help find the sweet spot for John Paul's sleep/tiredness so that he'll go down without a fight. Maybe there is a similar routine for 3 naps a day, worth looking into! Ok, now I'm gonna email recipes cuz I honestly don't know what I'm talking about when it comes to sleep!

    1. Ok, just pinned all those recipes you sent!! Awesome! They all sound SO GOOD!

      I reeeeally really want to use that 2-3-4 method for naps because it sounds awesome. But guess who takes 5 naps a day?? If you guessed John Paul, you'd be right!! I think it's because he doesn't stay asleep long enough during his naps. Some are only an hour long, and he's only sleeping about 8 hours at night right now. So in order to reach the 13 hours (or whatever it is) that the average 4-month-old needs, he takes a million naps to catch up with the sleep he's not getting at night. Wild, right?? Anyway, the trick is probably getting him to bed earlier than 11pm and then getting him to sleep through the night better, more like 10 - 12 hours. Once he can do that, the 2-3-4 will probably be what we use for naps. But until then, I'll just be putting my son down for naps 5 times a day. No big. :P I should probably re-name him Mr. Sleepy Head. :D

  14. All I can suggest for sleep is co-sleeping I know its a big no no for some but its the only thing that works for us I hate listening to baby cry. Wearing baby is a great way if he doesnt like it check to see if your carraiges have the hooks under the baby seat like whwre your pelvis is on the front you can hang bags there pop some reusable shopping bags there to stuff... For water I love the plant nanny qpp!

    1. The husband has put a block on all co-sleeping over here. :\ I let John Paul take one nap on the bed with me and when I told John about it later, he said, "Please don't do that again." So no co-sleeping for us. I'm glad it works for you guys though! <3

      I didn't even think of the hooks idea! How lovely! And it'd be so easy to lift them from the cart straight to the conveyor belt. Much easier than unloading all the individual items one at a time onto the belt. So smart!!

      I've never heard of that app but I'm definitely going to look it up. Thank you!!

      Great tips!! You're the best!

  15. I have a 4 month old too! And from reading your birth stories I am pretty sure we had the exact same due date! (May 11th??) But JohnMark was born on the 16th. (Also JohnMark and John Paul.. maybe they are meant to be friends!)

    Anyways! I really hope you find some good hairs styles because I am having the exact same problem! I used to dry my hair every day... but now with a baby I don't want to waste time on that! And wearing my hair down is impossible with little grabbing hands. Right now I've been doing a french braid, but I'm terrible with braids so I switch it into a messy bun when I leave the house.

    I also haven't had to go to the store with JM yet! I don't know how I've lucked out.. but I always go Saturday mornings so my husband can watch him. We also share a car so I can never go when he is at work anyways.

    I am so sorry about the sleeping! Eek!! We still swaddle JM (keeping one arm out since he can roll over) and that does the trick for us. He also has these little blankets.
    He loves them rubbed against his face and will always help him fall asleep. Then I just take them out of his crib when I go to bed just in case!

    I love easy recipes that can be made in one skillet. Here are a few of my favorites!

    Skillet Balsamic Chicken with Summer Vegetables
    1. Pound 1.5lb chicken into 1/4 in. thickness, sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. of garlic salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper
    2. Heat 2 Tbsp of oil in a large skillet over med. heat; add chicken, and cook until browned. Remove and set aside.
    3. Add 8oz fresh green beans and 10oz of shredded carrots to skillet. Cook until crisp tender. Remove from skillet and set aside.
    4. Add 1/3 C Italian salad dressing, 1/4 C balsamic vinegar, 2 Tbsp honey, and 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper to skillet. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1 minute.
    5. Slice the chicken, add chicken and veggies to skillet. Cook for 2 min or until heated through. Sprinkle with chopped tomato.
    Serve with cornbread muffins and honey butter (1/4 C softened butter mixed with 2Tbsp honey)

    1. Shut the front door!! Same due date and similar names??! Please tell me you live in the same city so we can have a play date ASAP!

      I'll let you know when I figure out the hair issue. Today, I'm letting it air dry. Sometimes I french braid it too, but even that takes too much time for me, so usually it's just a quick side braid and a headband over that. Too bad it makes me look like Pippy Longstocking ALL THE TIME. Haha. I guess I don't care *that* much though, because I haven't stopped doing it yet.

      John Paul hated the swaddle as he was falling asleep, but once he was out, it kept him sleeping way longer than if he wasn't swaddled. So we used the swaddle for several months. Around 3 months,we transitioned him to the Zipadee-Zip, which is like a wearable blanket that also restricts arm movements a little bit, so it's like being semi-swaddled. We use it for naps. :) For bedtime, we just have him in footed pajamas now. Obvi it's not perfect because some nights he fights us so hard. But once he's asleep, he's pretty good at staying asleep or putting himself back to sleep (for the most part), so they're at least helping him with that. He also loves the Aden and Anais blankets. Sometimes they help him fall asleep just the way you described. It's adorable! But other times, they do nothing. He's a funny little unpredictable dude. :P

      Also, HOW DID YOU KNOW I LOVE BALSAMIC CHICKEN!?! OMGoodness, those sound AMAZING! Thank you! One pot/skillet recipes are the bomb. I'm going to try this one out tonight:

      Thanks for all the help! This is awesome. :)

    2. Yum that looks so good!! As I was typing that I was hoping you liked balsamic chicken since both recipes have it haha

      Too bad I'm not in the same city! We are in Auburn, AL which isn't too far... but definitely too far for play dates :) But seriously, I can't get over the due date.. the chances of that are so so slim.

      Babies are so unpredictable! Every time I make any statement, "JohnMark is so smiley today"- he instantly cries. "Wow, JohnMark is sleeping so well" -his eyes pop open. I guess they just like to keep us on our toes!

    3. Hahahaha! So true about babies changing EVERY DAY. As soon as I feel like I've figured him out, he's off changing again. :P Silly babies!

      I'm adding your blog to my blogroll so that I can feel like we're having play dates/mom dates at least. :)

  16. As far as easy recipes, my go to when I was single was baking chicken in different sauces - marinara sauce, salsa, etc. I don't remember how long, but it was at 350. You can get so many different flavors without much effort.

    As far as shopping, if you're interested, I can send you an invite to try My brother described it as and Costco's love child. The idea is that it's like a club store, but all online. I've loved being able to just order stuff online, though it doesn't work for perishables. Dry goods and nonperishables only.

    1. You're so right about baked chicken. Great tip! And you know what? I should probably just stock up on chicken one of these next trips to the grocery store and store it in my freezer so I always have last-second meal components on hand. Great plan!

      I'd love an invite to, if only to just check it out! Thank you! I'd never heard of it before, so I'm grateful for the suggestion. :)

  17. Hello!!

    I have been holding off on commenting because I really wanted to take the time to respond to several of your questions. I see now that you’ve gotten a ton of comments, so maybe I’m too late to the party now, lol.

    1. Have you considered eMeals? Sheena at Bean in Love introduced me to the service and we LOVE it. You could select a meal plan that meets any of your four criteria, or some combination thereof. I LOVE the fact that grocery lists are included and it even gives a projected cost. If you have access to some of the suggested retailers, they will also provide meals that take into account sales for the week. Super nice. If you want more info, let me know because there are referral codes I could share. 

    2. Do you follow Jen at Into Your Will? She’s been learning Creighton but I don’t know the status on her training. She might be interested in getting your perspective on things.

    3. I think the side braid is really cute, but I have to dry and straighten my hair for it to look decent so I don’t do the braid until wash day. There is this cool wrap thing that you might like for switching things up. I can usually swing this only when my hair is wet, which is what you asked for. Here’s a quick link to the idea, but there are tons of others out there:

    -I bow out of suggestions on 4, 5, and 6, lol. –

    7. Water bottles! We go through water bottles like crazy!! I am SUPER weird about water bottles and insist on having something with the spout covered because EW. I have owned several of these ( and love them because you can keep up with water intake pretty easily via the notch on the side. I will say the plastic is durable but I have had some of the spout clasps break. Last year, I purchased this one ( for my husband, with a spout that more so resembles what I remember of the Camelback versions. The spout on this one is contained (a requirement for me), so I don’t feel like it’s disgusting and I *hope* it cleans as easily as I think it does. 

    BONUS: A while back (way before we were pregnant), I saved your baby shower post because it was as super cute, unique idea. I kept it in the back of my mind as a potential theme for my own (future) shower because of how fun and unique it was. As it turns out, my friend asked me about baby shower ideas last week and it’s still the only idea I’d ever come across that I really liked, SO we may have something similar to yours!! I don’t know when or what it will all look like but I thought you would get a kick out of hearing that. 


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