The Only Two Kids Cups You'll Ever Need

posted on: Wednesday, April 12

Anyone else's cabinets look like this? We have too much shit. Why? How? We have a handful of kid's bowls, plates, spoons and forks. Nothing amazing there to talk about BUT we have collected almost every kid's cup out there. And NONE of them were great. How did this happen, you ask? Sydney looooooved her bottle. She was a year old and I tried really hard to transition her from a bottle to a cup. Everyone told me it was time. This is where the collection began. I just kept buying new cups to see if she would like one better than the other. I figured maybe one would seem more like her bottle and she'd love it and that would be that. NOPE. So we ended up accidentally reviewing every kid's cup out there and I've narrowed it down to TWO. You only need TWO cups! Your wallet can thank me later. 

My criteria: Spill-proof, I wanted an option for a spout AND a straw to put her beloved smoothies in, and I hate cups with lots of little parts that need to be put together and then go missing.
Sydney's criteria: Pink. That's it. Had we purchased one cup and given it to her and just cold-turkey'd the bottle that's likely the cup she would have used. DONE and DONE. (Mom face smack, first child syndrome?) Something like that. 

Fast forward a year later and a cabinet FULL of unused cups, here are the ones that don't work and why we don't like them, short and simple. Zoli - seemed like a great option but the straw doesn't clean well and milk comes out the top! Nuk - the nipple part breaks when the kids chew on it (which they do) and it spills. Tommee Tippee - Syd had a hard time getting liquids out of this one and the parts were odd for cleaning. Munchkin trainer/sippy - milk and liquids come out the top and the straw and parts required too much assembly every time they needed cleaning. Nuby - exact same problem. Pura - simply didn't work. Every time Syd drank the nipple part would get stuck and she couldn't get more out. Aaaaand the winners are...

Boon snug fit cups! Hands down favorite cup option on the market. The straw option is great for just about anything but specifically smoothies! SUPER easy cleanup. The straws are durable (as you can see in the pic our straw is squished because Syd bites them but they've all held up great considering). If this cup gets knocked over, obviously things can spill out of the straw portion but we've never had a problem. And if you want juices/milk etc. just slip on the snug spout. This will not spill! I've walked into our living room many times to find Syd's juice knocked over on the floor and we've never had a spill. 

Munchkin miracle 360. It's awesome! As mentioned above I'm not a big fan of their other cups but this one makes up for it. It never spills. Ever. Kids can drink from any side around the entire cup. It's super easy to clean. Kids do have to be a little older for this cup. It took Syd a little while to get the hang of it but once she did it became our go-to. 

So there you have it. This post is not sponsored. Just straight up Mom to Mom - don't waste your money talk. There's a lot more where this came from. Should I do a wipes post? We've tried them all too! Feel free to reach out with any questions but these are the only cups we use. Now please excuse me while I go throw away all the other ones and clean out the cabinet! Cheers!

Milk and Cookies

posted on: Monday, April 3

Ahhh breastfeeding. It is beautiful and amazing and hard!! I am four months into my breastfeeding journey with my son and it has been SO completely different than with my daughter. I was lucky enough to breastfeed my daughter for a year. It was a very rough start with her. I had problems latching and ended up with sore, cracked nipples and mastitis. Despite the pain(s) I had amazing support from my husband and parents whom we were living with at the time. And a year later there we were. Fast forward to now. I was fully prepared for the physical pain that can come with breastfeeding since that was my experience the first time around. But this time it has been so easy! It truly felt like I picked up with my son right where I had left off with my daughter. With both my children however supply has always been a concern. 

As a breastfeeding Mom, the biggest question in my head (especially when something is off) is DO I HAVE ENOUGH MILK??? And, when I pump two lousy ounces I immediately start worrying. Maybe this is why he woke up last night? Is he growing well? How many diapers have I changed today? You get it. And to all the other pumping Mamas out there, I FEEL YA! Especially when you start comparing your pumping supply with others. I love talking to other Moms about my kids. I love comparing notes and seeing how they tackle the same issues I'm dealing with. They get it cause they're fully in the thick of it as well! It's refreshing. But when you're talking about breastfeeding and you hear about Moms pumping 5oz on each side in under ten minutes — my head just explodes. WHO has that kind of supply?! Where is all that milk going? 

The truth is women do have that kind of supply and it is called an over-supply and you do not need it to have a happy, healthy baby! Lots of women who have an over-supply have a lovely freezer stash and/or donate their milk which I think is amazing. Me? Not so much. Wahhh wahhhhhhhh. The milk in the above pic was not pumped in one or even two sessions! In fact, it took about three to four different pumping sessions to get the above. I typically combine two pumping sessions for one bottle (4-5 oz). But sometimes it takes even more pumping. I breastfeed my baby full-time. I pump if/when I miss a feeding (if I go out and he has a bottle) and/or sometimes I pump in between feedings to get a small freezer stash for those times we may want to plan a date night, and because I like to have a small stash at all times just incase. But, I loathe pumping. There, I said it. 

When I pump I simply never feel like I have enough and it makes me question whether or not my baby is getting enough. So I started doing research and I found some great info! I've basically summed up three things to remind yourself if you're feeling down about pumping. These are pulled directly from the resources listed at the end of this post!

1No pump can remove milk from the breast as well as an effectively nursing baby, so pumping does not maintain milk supply as well as a nursing baby. It is not unusual to need to pump 2-3 times to get enough milk for one feeding for baby. It is totally normal to have to pump a TON in order to get enough for one feeding! Which kinda sucks (literally and figuratively) especially for working Moms!

2. It is typical for a mother who is breastfeeding full-time to be able to pump around 1/2 to 2 ounces total (for both breasts) per pumping session. These numbers are averages but again it reiterates that even a little half an ounce (per side) is normal.

3. It is normal for pumping output to vary from session to session and day to day. I love when I have a great day and get way more than usual but some days it just isn't working. There are a lot of factors that affect milk yield (again, see resources below for more). For me personally I need to drink LOTS of water. If I get dehydrated I immediately notice a difference when I pump. 

One of the things that also truly helps my pumping output is hands on pumping. It's fascinating stuff! And I really love this pump, especially if I need to pump when I'm not at home! So I hope that if there are any other nursing Mamas out there with anxieties like mine that this information puts you at ease. It certainly helped me to realize that my baby is getting exactly what he needs!

NOW see below for an amazing Lactation Cookie Recipe shared with me by my sister-in-law. They recommend eating four cookies a day to help with supply. Ummmmmm, twist my arm!

Lactation Cookie Recipe
  • 1 C butter
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1 C brown sugar
  • 4 T water
  • 2 T flaxseed meal (DO NOT substitute)
  • 2 Lg eggs
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 2 C flour
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t salt
  • 3 C Thick cut oats
  • 1 C Chocolate chips
  • 2 T Brewers Yeast (DO NOT substitute)
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Mix 2 T of flaxseed meal and water, set aside 3-5 minutes.
  3. Cream butter and sugar.
  4. Add eggs.
  5. Stir flaxseed mix into butter mix and add vanilla.
  6. Beat until well blended.
  7. Sift: dry ingredients, except oats and choc chips.
  8. Add butter mix to dry ingredients.
  9. Stir in the oats and then the choc chips.
  10. Drop on parchmant paper on baking sheet.
  11. Bake 8-12 minutes.
There is A LOT more information where this came from. Specifically from my go-to resource for any and all breastfeeding related questions/anxieties. See this post in particular. I've also found this post helpful as well as La Leche League, which is great! 

Recipe via Simply Real Moms

Shifting Focus

posted on: Wednesday, March 22

We've all heard it before. Being a Mom is a full-time job. Personally I find it very hard to shift the focus back on myself and not the full-on Mom version of myself. Does that make sense? If not I'll blame it on my fuzzy Mom brain and 2 a.m. feedings with a certain little nugget of cuteness. What I'm trying to get at is that it is so so so important to have that "me" time. And we definitely don't get enough of it, mostly because there just aren't enough hours in the day. So hubby and I have decided to try and commit to giving one another that much-needed time to do whatever the heck it is that we want, more often. We have three rules. 1. Forget all chores! So if I decide to out for a couple of hours by myself and I happen to be driving by the grocery store, I'm not allowed to go in. Or if the kids are asleep and there's a pile of laundry to be folded sometimes we just need to ignore it. 2. Be Screen Free. I think this is the most important rule. Me time cannot involve scrolling through Instagram or Facebook or our phones. Period. No explanation needed. 3. Stay on Budget. We recently started a cash envelope system (more on this to come!) and as amazing as it would be to run and get a massage once a week, we need to be realistic here. This also helps us to focus on the little things we enjoy that we used to be able to do (pre-kids) whenever we wanted. For example, read a book or go for a run!

So far, it's been amazing. Even if it's just an hour here or there, being able to focus on ourselves for just a little bit helps keep our family life healthier. As much as I love my Mom-self, it's nice to focus on my whole-self instead. Dads, I'm talking to you too! 

On the Farm

posted on: Tuesday, February 28

A little over a week ago, during a snow day, we decided to head to our favorite farm to visit our favorite friends Maggie, Kathy and Princess. Actually we just met them that day BUT we'll take any excuse to get out of the house these days. Hornstra Farms is local to us and we LOVE them! Not just for the fresh, local and delicious milk, eggs and bread we get delivered to our home — but also for the farm store, ice cream and cows, of course. We particularly love visiting the baby cows in the barn and in the summer you'll find us getting ice cream at the stand. But if you're looking for a fun way to kick those winter blues and get out of the house we highly recommend a stop in. And if you haven't heard about their delivery service check it out! When we want to treat ourselves we get the chocolate milk (a-ma-zing!) and the cinnamon loaf bread. So gooooood!

A Sleep Update

posted on: Wednesday, February 15

For all the parents out there who have been sleep deprived I'm sending you virtual hugs! For all the parents whose children have slept through the night since only a few weeks old and have two plus hour naps all day every day, I want to BE you! Seriously, if you are the latter congratulations on hitting the child jackpot but the next time you have a conversation with a sleep deprived parent and they ask how your child is sleeping, lie to them and then give them a big hug! I'm fairly certain every parent has been sleep deprived at some point. It ain't fun. In fact it is simply the worst in my opinion because it is a physical and emotional process to go through. You can read about our sleep problems with Sydney in this post. In fact, it was almost a year ago that I wrote that post. 

Now we're onto baby number two and if I'm telling the truth I think I have post traumatic stress from trying to tackle naps with Sydney. I get anxious just thinking about a nap schedule for Brayden and despite the fact that he is most certainly my chill baby and exhibits no signs of "I will not nap for you ever" I can't help it. Hubby and I have a great routine down for Brayden at night. It's a team effort and I thank my lucky stars that my husband is right by my side whenever our little guy does wake up. It isn't simply on me to get up and feed him and get him back to sleep and just knowing that I have backup if/when I need it is pretty amazing. BUT we're actually not here to talk about our two month old and how he sleeps (he sleeps awesome, by the way!) No, we are still here talking about Sydney who is now a little over two years old! Say whaaaaat? She still sleeps in her crib (woot woot!) and she was sleeping through the night fairly regularly and napping well for some time. She went through some pretty normal regressions and had a stage where she was scared of things and would call out to us but other than that we were doing well! Towards the end of my pregnancy I think she knew something was up. Things were going to change and I think a little jealousy set in. She started waking up a few times a night requesting back rubs or hugs or even just to talk about something totally random. She was stalling and making excuses for us to come in. And how do you refuse when they cry to you for a hug??? Ohhhh it's so hard. But once Brayden was born waking up any more than we already had to was simply out of the question. We were zombies. He would eat every few hours and then Sydney would call to us and wake us in between. Not to mention SHE wasn't getting as much sleep as she needed. So, enter the sleep chart.

Now Sydney thrives on routine. And she loves to please. She also loves to be rewarded for good behavior. So I designed a sleep chart after doing some reading. She got a gold star for every good night of sleep where she didn't call out to us. We explained that we don't come into her room at night unless something is wrong and we picked a reward to work towards together. The first week she had a couple of nights where she still called out to us and cried. We would go in and explain that she wouldn't be getting her gold star if she cried for things like hugs or water (she has a cup of water by her bed and she would ask for more even when it was full). She realllly wanted those gold stars and we made a BIG deal out of putting them on her chart every morning that she had good sleep. After her first week of good sleeping we took her to Friendly's for ice cream (the reward that she chose!) and we made a huge deal out of it. It was a special lunch date with her own big ice cream sundae and she was thrilled! AND she knew she earned it by sleeping well and putting herself back to sleep if she woke up. The second week she didn't call out to us at all. She got a new Peppa Pig book as a reward. The third week her reward simply became putting the gold stars on the chart. It was now a part of our routine. We phased out the "big rewards" and she's been sleeping like a champ! But she still loves those gold stars! 

Since we were so successful with our chart I posted it on my Etsy shop as a downloadable file. For anyone who is interested, see below. We also have a Zazu Kids Sleep Sheep and Sydney has always slept with a Noise Machine. Lastly, if you're a sleep deprived parent in any way, hang in there and know that you're not alone!! Someday we will look back on this and wish with all our hearts that we could rewind or be called for a hug in the middle of the night! XO