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Give me a P and GIVEAWAY!

I haven’t done many things to update Porter’s nursery since he was born. In fact, we didn’t even add anything to his nursery to make it more “boyish” after we brought him home. When we finished the nursery, it admittedly looked more like a boy room than a girl room. This was partially due to the green chalkboard wall that turned out to be much brighter than we anticipated. We thought it was going to be a more subdued lime green. If it was a girl, we planned to add some pink and girly accessories.

However, I did recently add an element to Porter’s nursery that I LOVE. It’s a P pillow from Chelsea’s etsy shop called Hydri. Chelsea creates the most adorable custom pillows.

Here’s Porter posing with his new pillow.

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Here’s another pillow Chelsea has for sale in her shop. Isn’t her son, Van, adorable?

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Chelsea also made these R + D pillows for our master bedroom. I’M IN LOVE WITH THEM.

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Lucky for you guys, Chelsea has agreed to give away a custom letter pillow!

To enter the giveaway, please do the following:

1) Visit Hydri and favorite Chelsea’s shop and comment on this post!

2) Like Chelsea’s facebook page.

You must do both to be able to enter!

For an extra entry, you can pin this giveaway on pinterest. Leave an extra comment in the comments section and include your pinterest URL.

Good luck! The giveaway will end on Monday, August 12 at 12:00 a.m. {central time}.

Winner will be chosen via random.org. All worldwide readers are eligible to win!

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Twinkle Dreams Design Giveaway WINNER! {and discount code}

Congratulations to LORA on winning the monthly onesie stickers from Twinkle Dreams Design! For everyone else, Darcie has been generous enough to offer a discount code for my readers!

For 10% off your order, please use the code babyblythe7months (expires August 31, 2013).

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Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway!


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7 months and a GIVEAWAY!

So, I can’t believe it, but somehow Porter is 7 months old. I don’t know how or when it happened, but it’s true. Every day he is looking more and more like a toddler as opposed to a baby, and while I love seeing him grow and change, IT’S FREAKING ME OUT. Where is my baby?!

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A lot has happened lately. He has a tooth (!!!); he’s eating real foods more regularly; he’s moving around like crazy. He rolled over from back to belly for the first time recently and he’s sitting up pretty well, too (though he still falls over from time to time.) I know it will only be a matter of time before he starts scooting around.  Maybe I should start baby gate shopping.

Here are some 7th month photos that we took this morning. I can’t believe how big he’s getting and how much he’s changed in one short month.

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PorterMonth7-10{I love his crinkle nose! }

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PorterMonth7-28{I’m a little biased, but he’s the cutest baby EVER!}

And finally, I have a giveaway for you guys! The monthly stickers that I use to document each month are from an etsy shop called Twinkle Dreams Design. I bought them before Porter was born, and I think these are the perfect stickers that could have been used for either a boy or a girl. And lucky for you guys, Darcie, Twinkle Dreams Design‘s shop owner, has agreed to give away a set of stickers. The winner will get a set of monthly stickers of his/her choosing. Even if you could not use these yourself, these would make a great gift!

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How cute are these unisex ones?

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I also love these!

You can earn three entries for the giveaway. You must leave a separate comment for each entry. To enter the giveaway, please complete any (or all) of the following:

1) Visit Twinkle Dreams Design and comment on this post telling me which set of stickers you would choose if you won. 

2) Visit Twinkle Dreams Design and favorite Darcie’s shop and comment on this post. 

3) Pin this giveaway on Pinterest. Leave a comment in the comments section and include your Pinterest URL.

Good luck! The giveaway will end on Saturday, August 3 at 12:00 a.m. {central time}

Winner will be chosen via random.org. Giveaway open to US residents only.


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Porter in Motion {a video}

David’s parents bought us a video camera for Christmas this past year (just before Porter was born). We’ve been able to get some special moments on camera (like when Maggie and Porter met for the first time), but all the videos lived on the camera (until yesterday) because I had never bothered to upload them to our computer.  When Porter first rolled from his belly to his back (shortly after he turned 4 months old), I tried to get it on camera about a dozen times before I was successful. It seemed like every time I got the camera out, Porter refused to roll over.

Yesterday Porter rolled over from his back to his belly for the first time. David and I joked that he would never do it, because he HATES being on his belly. However, I was able to get it on camera right away! As soon as I saw him do it for the first time, I got the camera out and hit record.  Since David was at work, I hoped I could capture it on camera, and Porter didn’t disappoint!  Clearly, I am not the best videographer.

He’s growing up so fast!


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Citrus Lane: A Review

Okay, so I love the new fad of monthly subscription services. If I could join a million of them, I would. My love for this fad started with Birchbox, and I’ve tried a few others as well [though Birchbox remains to be my favorite.] Anyway, when I discovered Citrus Lane, which is essentially a Birchbox for babies, I HAD to try it out.

It’s quite a bit more expensive than Birchbox, but you get much more. Each box is $25, and I signed up for a 3 month subscription. However, I had a $10 off coupon code, so I paid a little more than $20 per box. The thing I love about Citrus Lane is that it is customized based on the age and gender of the child. I loved knowing that I wouldn’t get a random headband in my box that I wouldn’t be able to use. I received my first box recently. Was it worth the $20? I think so.

Here’s what I got in my first box.

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On-The-Go from ZoLi: This is a stackable container for snacks or formula. You can stack them individually, as needed. I was checking out some of their other products, and I definitely am interested in trying some of them out. I’m especially interested in their sippy cup, ceramic food scissors, and fork & spoon set.  All of their products are safe and non-toxic. {$15.00}

Jittering Giraffe from Tiny Love: This toy is adorable. It’s one of those toys that hangs from a car seat bar. It’s LONG and Porter loves that because he can actually grab it and pull it.  {$8.49}

California Baby Travel size Aloe Vera {$3.24} and Shampoo & Body Wash {$0.67}: I love California Baby stuff, so I will definitely use these travel sizes! I figured out the cost of these based on their full size versions and how much was included in the travel size.

NurturMeals from Nurtur Me: This looks really cool. It’s food that comes in powdered or dried form. You simply add water, formula, or breast milk and mix. They are certified organic and gluten free. These would probably be great for traveling! {$1.49}

Little Buddy Wipes from Me4Kidz: I love these antibacterial wipes, and the package is small enough to throw in the diaper bag. {$2.49}

Postagram from Sincerely Inc.: Now, THIS is cool. Basically, this company turns Instagram photos or other photos off your phone into real postcards. This box gave me 10 free postcards! I can’t wait to send them to my friends + family! {$9.90}

The total value of this month’s box was $41.28.  Would I have bought all these things myself if I would have seen them at the store? Probably not, but I love trying new things, and it is worth more than double what I paid.

Will I continue beyond the 3 month membership I already purchased? I haven’t decided. The subscriptions do cost less the more months you are subscribed. I’m not sure if Citrus Lane allows this, but it might be fun to start and stop memberships in order to do a 3 month membership once or twice a year. I do like the idea that I could save things from the box if I didn’t need them right away. I could use them in the future as gifts for Porter (birthday, Christmas, etc.) or I could give them to friends as well.  The coupon code that saved me $10 was a nice perk, and I’m not sure if I would have tried it out without the coupon code. If you join via this link, you’ll get $10 off your first subscription as well.

I can’t wait to receive my next box!

Have you tried any other subscription services? Were you impressed?

*This post is not sponsored by Citrus Lane nor did I receive compensation for this post {I wish!} All opinions are 100% my own.


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Moonlit Drive (This sounds romantic, but it’s not)

Last night was by far the worst night we’ve had with Porter. Ever. Even his worst night as a newborn was nothing compared to what we experienced last night.

We were visiting my sister in Indianapolis, so we were away from home. We’ve taken a few short trips away from home before and we hadn’t experienced any problems.  While on these trips, Porter didn’t seem to mind and didn’t have a difficult time adjusting to a new place.  With his rock-n-play and his sound machine, putting him to bed had never been a problem while we were away. This was our second night staying at her place, and he had done fine the previous night. I had no problems putting him to bed on Thursday night and he slept through the night beautifully.

Friday night was an entirely different story.

I went up to bed around 10 p.m. and I noticed that Porter was awake. He wasn’t crying, but he would make a noise every now and then. I figured he would fall back to sleep, so I got in bed and tried to fall asleep myself.  He started fussing, so I reached out to rock his rock-n-play, as this usually puts him back to sleep. Soon his fussiness turned into a loud cry, so I figured he was probably wet and/or hungry. I changed his diaper (which was wet, but not overly so) and fed him (despite the fact that he had been fed 3 hours earlier.) He seemed content, so I put him back down, and he was quiet for about thirty minutes.  Suddenly, he starting crying screaming, so I picked him up and paced the room while I rubbed his back. This calmed him down, but every time I tried to put him back down, he would immediately start crying. This wasn’t his normal cry, either.  His cries and screams were unlike any I had ever heard before that night. Thus, I walked and bounced him for about an hour.  I felt helpless as I pondered this weird behavior; 99% of the time he sleeps through the night without waking.

Around midnight David came up to go to bed. When David came in, I was changing Porter’s diaper again, which I knew wasn’t the problem, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt. The screaming didn’t stop. Then, I continued to walk and bounce him, but at this point, Porter wasn’t pacified by my pacing and bouncing. I knew he wasn’t hungry, but I tried feeding him again. David tried walking with him, but that didn’t help either. He wasn’t gassy; he wasn’t wet/poopy; he wasn’t hungry. He was tired, but he would not sleep. NOTHING in our arsenal of tricks that had worked countless times before was helping.

I literally started playing scenarios in my head. I imagined having to call the emergency number at our pediatrician’s office, despite being three hours away.

“Hi, Doctor. We’re having problems with Porter.”

“What seems to be the problem?”

“Um, he won’t sleep and he won’t stop crying.”

“Welcome to parenthood.” Click.

We felt helpless before, but after an hour and a half of his screaming, we really felt helpless now. David and I stared at each other in the dark and spoke to each other without words. “What are we going to do?”  My eyes filled with tears and my heart literally hurt from the agony I was feeling.

David finally spoke. “Let’s go for a drive.” These were the exact words I was thinking, yet hadn’t said.

I read somewhere that you should never use a car/driving in order to try to get a baby to fall asleep. I don’t remember the reasoning, but it probably had something to do with teaching babies to soothe themselves. However, at 1:30 in the morning, I didn’t care about following this random bit of parenting advice.

As we walked out the door, my sister asked “How long has it been since he’s been this way at night?”

“Never. He’s never been like this.”

So we packed Porter in his car seat and started to drive around nearby neighborhoods surrounding my sister’s condo.

About a half hour later, Porter had been quiet for awhile, so we assumed that he was asleep. We drove back to my sister’s, pulled in the driveway, and said a mental prayer before getting out of the car. I opened up the door, and sure enough, our sweet little boy was peacefully asleep. With much care and precision, we took the car seat out of the car, walked through the front door, climbed the steps, and tip-toed back into the bedroom.  We didn’t even think about trying to retrieve him from his car seat, and despite the fact that there are probably numerous parenting articles that warn parents not to let their babies sleep in their car seats for long periods of time, we did it anyway.

I awoke at every minuscule movement or sound and held my breath until I was convinced that Porter wasn’t going to wake up. Thankfully, Porter slept for the rest of the night.

This morning Porter was his usual self, bright-eyed and smiley, and he showed no memory of last night’s events. Upon retrieving him from his car seat, I stuck my finger in his mouth, which has been a practice of mine for several weeks now.  I let out a deep sigh that I didn’t even realize I had been holding in.  Our midnight mystery had been solved.  Just below the surface, barely detectable but definitely there, was the white tip of Porter’s first tooth poking through his gums.


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Mommy and Baby Books

I’ve read a lot of “mommy” books, some of which I don’t care to recommend, because they were just average or just like another book I had already read. I decided to choose my top 6 and give my thoughts on each.

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Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies? by Jena Pincott

All pregnant women should read this book WHILE pregnant. I have no idea why, but I found this book to be extremely fascinating. It has a lot of science and medical terminology, but it doesn’t read like a medical journal or anything like that. It’s been awhile since I read this (a year-ish), but I remember LOVING the section on gender. Since we did not find out the sex of Porter ahead of time, I really enjoyed reading about the different theories on gender. I loaned my copy out and I’ve recommended it to several people. Many of those people have come back and told me how much they loved this book, too!

Why Have Kids? By Jessica Valenti

This book could probably be viewed as controversial to many–because there are a lot of touchy/taboo subjects–but I found it to be such a refreshing read. The author discusses many “truths” and “lies” about parenting/motherhood. One of the sections I appreciated the most was a section detailing her views on breastfeeding and formula feeding. I 100% agree with her opinion on the matter: “It’s more important that your child is happy and nurtured than that they’re fed with breast milk.”  I would 100% recommend this book to any parent, but especially mothers. (To my English teacher friends, I have no idea how to properly cite a quote from a book read on a Kindle. While I could probably look this up, I’m not writing this to impress anyone, so please forgive my lack of MLA in-text citations.)

The Milk Memos by Cate Colburn Smith and Andrea Serrette

I would only recommend this book to women who a) are breastfeeding or are planning to breastfeed and b) who have to work outside of the home. This book is basically a collection of journals that some women wrote to one another while pumping at work. It was almost like a secret society of sorts, but the women wrote honestly about the struggles of working + breastfeeding. A good friend bought this for me within a few days of Porter being born and I read this during night time feedings.  If I’m being honest with myself, I admit that my first several weeks of breastfeeding were terrible not great, and I was close to quitting several times. This book provided me with a lot of comfort. It also helped me to mentally prepare for going back to work, even though I knew it was several weeks away.

Sparkly Green Earrings: Catching the Light at Every Turn by Melanie Shankle

I really enjoyed this book. Shankle’s writing is so friendly and I could relate to so many sections of her book. I would recommend this to women who already have kids, though (and not people who are just pregnant without other children.) While this is of course a personal preference, I do not think I would have enjoyed the book as much if I would have read it prior to having Porter. I would not have been able to relate. I loved her description of the emotions that motherhood provides: “Even if we’ve dreamed of having babies of our own, there is nothing that prepares us for the way that moment cracks open our hearts and pours in the type of pure love we never knew existed. A love that isn’t about us but is just about wanting to love and protect this little, helpless person who will emit all manner of bodily fluids on us if given half the chance. You can’t fathom it until you experience it.” I couldn’t have explained it any better!

I was a Really Good Mom Before I had Kids by Trisha Ashworth and Amy Nobile

I read this book within my first few weeks of motherhood, and I found it to be extremely comforting and funny. Even though I was a brand new mom, I could relate to many of the anecdotes detailed in the book, and I ended up recommending it to many friends (in fact, two friends had recommended it to me!) I loved this book’s honesty: “When you’re a mother, nobody’s saying, ‘You’re doing a great job; you’re so great; what initiative, mopping up that vomit!'”

I Just Want to Pee Alone (multiple authors)

This book is a collection of short essays about motherhood, each written by a different woman.  This book had me in tears–not sappy, I just watched The Notebook tears, but ohmygodthisisfreakinghilarious tears. Within the first few pages, I was laughing out loud uncontrollably. I will say that some of the authors were naturally funnier than others, but I really did enjoy the entire book. It’s quick (it could be read in a day’s time) and it is sure to brighten anyone’s day. Many of the essays had to do with older children, so it gave me a lot to look forward to, too.

For my other moms/parents out there: What other books should I read and add to my “mommy/baby” book list?

Also, if there’s a topic you’d like me to write a post about, please leave your idea in the comments section!


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A letter to Porter

Dear Porter,

I don’t know how many times a day I look at you in awe and disbelief. Even though I’ve been your mommy for over 6 months now, I still can’t believe that you are my child and that I entirely deserve you.  Your personality is really starting to show and shine. You laugh and smile all the time. My favorite smiles are the ones that you direct at me. How lucky am I receive such a gift multiple times a day? I love you so much my heart hurts.

You’re growing and changing every day, as evidenced by the bins we’ve already filled with too small baby clothes. I often wish my memory came equipped with a video camera so I could replay every moment of the past 6 months whenever I wished. Gone are the days when you would sleep in my arms (or sleep anywhere for that matter) and I wish I could rewind time to have you sleep in my arms again. Every once in awhile you’ll fall asleep after eating, and I let myself sit and enjoy you until you wake up.

You are finding your voice, and it’s adorable. I mimic your babbles and sounds and you stop to stare at me in awe, surprised that I can make the same sounds that you can. You love buzzing your lips, and even when you have sweet potatoes in your mouth, you don’t know that the consequence of doing so will result in sweet potatoes all over me (or maybe you do, and that’s why you do it.) You’re eating solids, and have eaten avocado and sweet potatoes so far. Neither experience has gone amazingly well, but you’re still trying to figure out what the heck you’re suppose to do. You’ll get the hang of it. I can’t wait to learn what your favorite foods will be.

You love things that turn and spin, and you’re an expert at moving your wrist back and forth to make things move at the speed you’d like them to.

I wonder what you’ll do with those hands someday. Whether you are a scientist, a teacher, a musician, a salesman, an accountant, or a job of some other field, I know you’ll do amazing things.  I believe this because you amaze me every day.

I don’t know how many times I have counted your tiny toes. If I could, I’d count all your eyelashes, too.

Instead of trying to fold the laundry or check my email, I often sneak in to watch you while you nap. You look so peaceful and happy, and my heart can’t help but to swell with joy. I wonder what you dream about.

I never tire of holding you. When I’m with friends and family and people reach out to take you from my arms, it hurts my heart a little bit. I know I should share you with everyone around me, but I am selfish and want you all to myself. After all, you grew inside me for 9 months and whenever you’re not in my arms, I feel incomplete.

Sometimes a feeling passes over me in which I believe that it’s impossible for anyone else to possibly know how much I love you, but then I realize that I’m wrong. Every mother, every parent has been there and understands.

As you grow into the boy and finally into the man you will become, I wonder what you’ll be like. Will you love seafood like your daddy and be afraid of storms like me? Will you open car doors for the women in your life like your daddy (I hope you do) and enjoy getting lost in a book like me?

The past 6 months have gone so fast, and when I see parents with newborns at church or the drugstore, I often warn them with the same warning I’ve received countless times: “They grow up so fast!” I know you’ll be walking, going to kindergarten, getting your first girlfriend, going to prom, and graduating high school in no time.  Until then, I’ll ignore the toys all over the floor and the mountains of laundry you produce in order to try to savor every moment in between. I don’t want to miss anything.

Love, Mommy