Ten Months With Natalie!

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Just two short months, and this sweet girl will be one! This has seriously been the fastest year of my life, but I have loved every minute. For Baylee's 10 month update, I started doing a stats list, so I figured I would do the same for Natty Lou!

Age: 10 months
Weight: 19.5 lbs
Height: 27 inches
Clothing size: 12 months
Teeth: still toothless!
Favorite foods: pasta, peas, cheese, eggs, and yogurt
Words: dada, mama, baba, & dog
Favorite activities: playing with all the toys in the playroom, bath time, and pretty much anything big sis does
Least favorite activites: getting her nose wiped or something she's holding taken away
Favorite toys: books, play kitchen food, baby dolls, and all her teething toys
Signature moves: grabbing as much fur as she can on our cocker spaniel's back and shaking it while she screams "dog, dog!", crawling as fast as lightning when she sees a gate open or if she gets caught with something she shouldn't have, picking up the dogs water and dumping it out at least once a day

Sissy has been having so much fun exploring our new house over the last month. There are so many places to crawl, and so much to get in to! She absolutely adores playing with her toys in the playroom.

She also got to have her first couple of visits to the local indoor playground. Anywhere she can crawl around and go crazy is her jam!

This month was definitely filled with "firsts". Natalie had so much fun at her first Thanksgiving and grubbed down on all the food!  

We decorated the house for Christmas, so Natty got to experience decorating her first Christmas tree. It's been so much fun to watch her get so excited about all the sights and sounds of Christmas time!

We went to Disneyland to see all of their Christmas decor, and it was the first time I've seen Natalie get super excited about being there. Small World was definitely her favorite, she was dancing and laughing the whole ride! 

Last, but not least, we took our first Christmas pictures as a family of 4! I will be doing a blog post this week so you all can see how amazing they turned out, but here's a sneak shot of Natalie that I am obsessed with!

I am so excited to celebrate Natalie's last two first holidays over the next month, and then we will be full force in first birthday prep! 

 I love you so much, Peanut! I can't believe how big you're getting!


Surprizamals & More Under the Tree!

Friday, December 7, 2018

The second set of toys in my must-have toy series is for the big(ger) kids! I partnered with Beverly Hills Teddy Bear, and they sent the sweetest package of toys that are perfect for Baylee's age range! I can't even begin to explain how excited she was to come down stairs and see these guys under our tree!


The three types of toys we got were Shimmeez, Squeezamals, & Surprizamals. All three had Baylee completely enchanted! 

Shimmeez are fun pillow-like stuffed animals that have two-tone sequins all over them. Seriously, hours of fun swiping the sequins back and forth to change their color! Haha! They come in 3 different sizes and a bunch of different animals! We have the owl, sheep, and chick, and they're all too cute!

Squeezamals are the most adorable little plush toys that are squishy like a stress ball! They also come in 3 sizes and tons of different animals. We got the narwhal, sloth, and unicorn. My favorite part? They are each lightly scented which is SO fun! I decided to keep the sloth for myself. :) Such a stress reliever!

 Baylee's favorite were the Surprizamals. She is all in to the surprise toys this year, so these were a blast for her. There are over 200 different animals that could be in each little ball. She loved popping them open to see which ones she would get! We ended up with a zebra, a donkey, and a potbelly pig!

The stuffed animals from Beverly Hills Teddy Bear are definitely a must-have for Christmas this year if your kiddos are over 3! They are sold at all major retailers including Target, Walmart & Walgreens. Baylee has been playing with hers every single day since she got them, and I think Santa might be putting one more Surpizamal in her stocking! ;)


Holiday Bucket List

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

This Holiday Season has been a busy one already, so I made a list of things I really hope we get a chance to do over the next month! We went to Disneyland to see all the Christmas decor yesterday, so we already have one thing checked off our list!

Holiday Bucket List 2018
1. Send Christmas Cards ASAP so everyone can have our new address!
2. Visit Santa, so that Baylee can tell him what's on her list!
3. Do a "Pay It Forward" act at least once a week. (We need new ideas! Tell me what you do in the comments!)
4. Bake Christmas cookies and invent a new recipe. (I already have something in mind!)
5. Read a Christmas book before bed every night.
6. Have a Christmas pajama party.
7. Watch at least one Christmas movie every day.
8. Visit the local street that does Christmas lights and walk around with hot cocoa.
9. Buy Natalie a "First Christmas" ornament for the tree.
10. Wrap Christmas presents in pretty paper.
11. Make our annual Rudolph pancakes on Christmas Eve.
12. Visit Disneyland to see all their lights and decor.
13. Watch Baylee in her school's Christmas Program
14. Watch Baylee in her dance studio's Winter Recital.
15. Give at least one toy to a toy drive.
16. Leave cookies, milk, and a letter out for Santa. 
17. Visit the local mountains and build a snowman.
18. Have a Christmas shopping date night with Brian.
19. Make a list of 2019 resolutions.
20. Throw a tiny New Year's Eve party for Baylee and ring in the new year with NYC! ;)

What is on your holiday bucket list?!

I hope to find time to do all 20 things, but if not, I know this is still going to be the best holiday season ever! :)


6-9 Month Must Haves

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The 6-9 month range is always so much fun as your baby becomes more self-aware, but is equally as challenging because this is often the age when baby becomes mobile! Here are a few things that helped me out with Natalie the last 3 months: 

1. Baby Gates: So, I am a genius and moved in to a house with stairs a month after my baby started crawling. :) Needless to say, the baby gates were the first thing to get installed. The gate pictured is what we have for the stairs, and it works very well, but there are a ton out there for different needs. At our old house, we had a large space between the living room and kitchen, so we used this gate when Baylee was a baby.

2. Pack'N'Play: Every crawling baby mama's best friend! We use ours as a crib for traveling, or just to keep Natalie corralled while I get a few things done around the house! 

3. Sleep sacks: Usually by this age is when babies transition out of swaddles and sleep suits, so in this family we love sleep sacks! The fleece ones I have linked are perfect for the cold winter months, and so much safer than a blanket in the crib.

4. Teething toys: Most babies will cut a tooth or two around this age (unless you're Natalie Louise who is now 9.5 months old and still toothless!) so a good assortment of teething toys is a great idea. Natalie loves her little animal teething toys. We have the zebra and elephant.

5. Bath toys: Natalie is going to get the set that is linked for Christmas this year. Now that they can sit up in the tub, this age group loves to splash and play with toys during bath time.

6. Food scissors: This is a perfect age to start introducing food to your baby, and while some of you might do purees, we go somewhat of a baby led weaning route. I love having food scissors to cut Natalie's food into small chunks for her to grab. It definitely makes it easier for her to eat, and I don't have to worry about her choking on too big of a bite.

Anything you love that I missed?!

 What are your favorite items for 6-9 month olds?

B. Toys Under the Tree

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Can someone please explain to me how tomorrow is already Thanksgiving?! In years past, I have pretty much finished my Christmas shopping by Black Friday, but this year I definitely do not have it together. For those of you, like me, who still have a ton of shopping to do, I decided I'm going to do a mini series featuring a few of my favorite toys for the little ones! We are starting with my favorite toy brand of all-time, B. Toys!

I starting buying B. Toys back in 2014 when Baylee was a baby. My Target had just gotten them in stock, and I fell in love with how different the colors and characters were. We started with the whacky ball and musical instruments and added more every Christmas and birthday (including this keyboard which she still plays with to this day!) Every toy they make is amazing quality and so much fun to play with. 

We recently got the aBc Block Party and Under the Sea Jamboree for Natalie, and they quickly turned into her favorite toys. She has been a happy camper playing with them every single day. 

Now that Baylee is older, she likes to play with toys from B.'s sister store, Lil Woodzeez. She has the Countryside Cottage house and the squirrel family, and she has been having the best time naming them, and pretending to have them interact with each other. Hours and hours of fun!

There's no doubt in my mind we will have more B. Toys and Lil Woodzeez under our tree this year! We always find ours at Target and they are often on sale, so make sure you check them out! What are your favorite toys from B.?

 Have a Happy Thanksgiving, my loves; and a safe and fun Black Friday! :)


Nine Months With Natalie!

Monday, November 12, 2018

Nine months of this sweet babe, and I think this is my favorite age of hers so far! She's really developing quite the personality now, and has been so much fun to watch as she explores and learns more about her world every day. 

Natalie just had her 9 month check-up, and she weighs a little over 18 pounds and is 26.5 inches long. Short and stout like a little teapot! ;) So far she still has no teeth, but she's been working on them like crazy. I am fully prepared for her to wake up one morning with both bottom teeth popped through. She's been a little crabby for the past couple weeks, so I know shes hurting. Poor little thing. Other than that, though, she's completely healthy and growing beautifully.

As for milestones this month, Nat was upgraded to a big girl (but still rear facing, of course!) car seat, and she is very happy to be out of her cramped infant seat. Also, in last months update, I said she wasn't crawling yet, so she decided to show me and crawled for the first time about two hours after the post was live. Go figure, right?! About two weeks ago she started pulling herself up on absolutely everything as well, so needless to say she's been fun but exhausting! I'm constantly chasing her and getting her down from precarious places, but she cracks me up with her determination. Her little crawl is adorable; she stomps her hands as hard as she can and babbles everywhere she goes. She says "mama", "baba", "dada" and "dog". We are also working on clapping and waving, and she's starting to get the hang of them!

Natalie is completely off purees now, and has decided to eat whatever we eat. She feeds herself at every meal, and it's been so fun to let her try new things. Her favorites are noodles/pasta, chicken, cheese, broccoli, green beans, cheerios, and carrots. I plan on letting her try a few new things at Thanksgiving and I'm really excited about it!

The sleep department has been hit or miss the past few weeks. I finally got her in to a sleep sack and out of the Merlin's sleep suit because she was rolling over in it. Since being in a sleep sack, she's decided that she's a tummy sleeper, which she likes a lot better, but she's missing the cozy security of the sleep suit. That, along with her teething, has made for some sleepless nights, but I think (and hope!) it's getting better.  


As far as fun adventures go, this month we celebrated Natalie's first Halloween. We dressed her up as the sweetest little black cat, and she had so much fun getting pulled around in the wagon shaking her little pumpkin bucket while big sis trick-or-treated. (I can't wait 'til next year when she can join her!) 

A week after Halloween, we (finally!) moved in to our new house, so Natalie's little world has been kind of chaotic as we get settled in. She's a trooper, though, and has adjusted quite well. We more than doubled our square footage, so she's been having a blast crawling and exploring all over the place. A baby gate on the playroom entrance will be happening promptly. ;)

 I am so excited to spend next couple of months celebrating the rest of Peanut's first holidays! The fact that we will be celebrating her first birthday in just 3 short months is blowing my mind, and I want to soak in every moment. 

Mommy loves you, my Natty Lou!

Taking Care of Mama

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Over the summer, I posted on my Instagram that I was struggling with some postpartum anxiety/depression. It was really hard for me to recognize that the feelings I was going through were deeper than just day-to-day stress. I fought every single day to find my "happy", and looking back, it's no wonder. Along with the basic stress of taking care of both Baylee and Natalie, I was also (and still am!) adjusting to being a fire wife and therefore doing a bulk of the parenting on my own. On top of that, the loneliness of not getting to see or talk to Brian every day got to me. His shifts are often 72 to 96 hours, and that's a long time to have a four-year-old as my only source of conversation. As soon as I realized how bad it was getting, I knew I had to do something about it. I wasn't going to let anxiety win, and I wasn't going to let it affect me being the best mom that I possibly could be.

I was completely open to trying medication, but I didn't want it to be my first source of relief. Instead, I decided to make a few changes. I have been going to bed shortly after the kids instead of staying awake, trying make healthier food choices at home, and moving my body every day (even if its just dancing around the house with Baylee!). I also added some other essential oils into my regime, and wow...what a difference it made. I am such a strong believer in the power of oils now. While all of this has not "fixed" me, I have definitely seen an improvement in my daily mood. I still have days that are worse than others, and the occasional anxiety attack here and there, but it's nowhere near as bad as it was in July. I am so grateful that I have had such a support system around me as well, I know if I'm having a bad day I can call or text one of my sisters or best friends, and Brian has been amazing through it all. Even after a sleepless night at the station, he tries his hardest to help me out with the kids and the house, and it has meant the world to me.

After going through all this, and then reading some other PPA/PPD stories, I started to think about how hard us new moms have it. I mean, think about it, you spend 9-10 months going to monthly, bi-monthly, and eventually weekly appointments while you are pregnant. At every appointment your healthcare provider not only checks on your baby, but asks how you're feeling and doing. Then, you have your baby, and after the length of your hospital visit you're kind of thrown to the wolves and left to figure it out on your own. Six weeks later, you get another quick visit, and then you're completely released from care. Baby, on the other hand, gets seen monthly for a while, and then just about every other month for the rest of their first year to make sure everything is going well with their health and development. That got me thinking, why don't the mothers receive the same care? The changes that the human body go through after birthing a baby are phenomenal, and I know that after each of my girls, having more consistent doctor visits to check on my mental and physical health during that first year would have made a world of difference. I realize that you can seek further care if you sense something isn't right, but what about an instance like my case where it was late onset (Natalie was already 4 months old when it started) and virtually unrecognizable. I spent and entire month thinking I was just really stressed out before it clicked that I was experiencing true PPA/PPD.   

I know my little blog won't be able to change the way our healthcare system works, but I thought I would post this as food for thought, and as a reminder to check on the new mamas around you. Ask how they are doing and see if they need any help. If they say they're fine and decline the offer, maybe insist a little. ;) My best friend and her husband recently came up to my house on a day that Brian got recalled to the station (as he was just about to walk out the door too!) even though I told her to not worry about it, and it rejuvenated me. Just a few hours of adult contact, some help with the kids, and a solo trip to Target changed my entire outlook on the day. My point is that a lot of us are too polite/proud to accept help at first, so insisting a little is okay. The mama you're helping will probably feel more relieved than she could ever explain.

I know this was long, so thank you so much for reading if you have gotten this far! If you have any thoughts on the matter, please leave them in the comments, I would love to read what some of you think! 

Halloween 2018

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Halloween 2018 was a complete success (well up until 9:00pm when Natalie decided to spend the next six hours screaming her head off but that's another story...) We went to my cousins' house and they hosted a little Halloween party complete with chili, cornbread, and all the yummy desserts you could imagine! They have kids who are 3, almost 2, and 8 months (5 days younger than Nat!) and my sister-in-law brought my two nieces over as well, so the kiddos had the best time playing all together before it was time to trick-or-treat! 

Baylee and I made the monster mash brownies, and they were a complete hit!  

Originally, my girls were supposed to be Bambi and Flower the Skunk, but late in September I put "Hocus Pocus" on for Baylee and she was obsessed. As soon as the movie was over, she said "I want to be Dani for Halloween and I want sissy to be Binx!" which was followed by immediate costume orders going through on Amazon, because I wasn't going to deny her a couple of my dream costumes. ;) Brian and I decided to be Allison and Max, & let me tell you...most comfortable Halloween ever! 

Natalie crawling around in her little cat costume was priceless, and probably my favorite part of the whole night! 

Once it started to get dark, we loaded up kids and their pumpkin buckets in a couple of wagons and started the trick-or-treating. They all filled their buckets to the brim and had the best time. Everyone was really well behaved, and made it so much fun! And can we take a moment to appreciate the two 8-month-olds in the wagon? Heart eyes.

Now, I'm spending today trying to figure out if there is such thing as enough coffee to survive a baby being awake until 3:00am and then a 6:30am 4-year-old alarm clock. Tomorrow, though, the holiday season is officially beginning in the Tibbetts house! Falalalalalalalala!


Love List

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

It's been forever since I posted a love list on the blog, so I decided it was about time I did one! For those of you who are new readers; every so often I like to post a list of random things I am currently loving just for fun. I used to do it monthly, so I'm really going to try to do that again. :)

1. Cozy fall blankets! I have gotten a few blankets off Amazon this season, and they're awesome. I never thought about ordering blankets off there until recently, but I am so glad I did because they shipped fast (love Prime forever!) and they were a great deal! I got this one and this one.

2. New "Soup Sunday" recipes! Brian's schedule has been all over the place, so I haven't been able to do Soup Sunday this year, but I definitely want to start making a different soup weekly on one of the nights he is home. I just saw an episode of "The Pioneer Woman", and she made this hamburger soup, and I was absolutely drooling. I also want to make this stuffed pepper soup, because stuffed peppers is one of my favorite meals! 

3. I went shopping with my Mom and sisters recently, and each of us got a pair of these jeans, and we are obsessed. Seriously, you need them in your life. They are very forgiving, so soft and comfortable, and on sale right now! 

4. Cat & Jack plaid shirts. If you follow me on Instagram, you saw my post about a week ago of the girls wearing these shirts at the pumpkin patch. I love them so much, and I decided they need all the plaid! 

5. Halloween meals! I have been trying to add a little Halloween flare to any meals we have been having at home lately. Sometimes it's as simple as cutting out some garlic toast into a ghost shape, and tonight we made mummy alfredo pasta! Comment with any fun ideas!

6. My JORD watch! Brian has had a JORD watch for a little over a year now, but I just got my first one, and now I totally get what the hype is about! I am not a huge watch or jewelry person, but this watch is so comfortable that sometimes I forget I even have it on. I also love how stylish it is and that I can wear it dressed up or dressed down. Right now, I am hosting a giveaway so make sure you click here to enter so that you can get a JORD watch of your own! 

Also, is anyone else as excited as I am that Halloween is only two weeks away?! Bring on the candy! ;)