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To My Daughter On Her 1st Birthday


Lovely Ava. You are beauty embodied.

When you were a newborn, I used to stare at your balled up little fists and whisper, "Open your hands to the world, Baby Girl. Open your hands and reach for anything you want in life."

It looks as if my prayers will come true. I don't know what your future holds but I do know that you are a little girl with determination and tenacity. You open your hands to explore your world every day and it makes me so proud.

Mothering your big brother has taught me that infancy goes all too fast. So while you are still my little baby girl, here are the things that I want to remember the most about you.

  • Your smile. You love to smile and you have a darling dimple under your right eye when you do.
  • You wake up in the middle of the night mad as snakes. That smile is nowhere to be found. You want milk, a clean diaper, and to go back to sleep posthaste.
  • The way you point with such determination to the things you want. When I pick you up out of your crib you point to the rocking chair so declaratively that I can hardly refuse. 
  • You are a good eater! You took to finger foods far better than your brother ever did and I am proud of your adventurous palette.
  • Your vocabulary! So your first word was Dada. You say a lot more than that now including Mama, which melts my heart every time I hear it.
  • You want to walk in the worst way and get angry if we aren't holding your hands around the clock to help you. You cling to our fingers and wonder around the house as if you own the place.
  • You are completely enamored of your big brother, if not a little aggressive with him. You like to pull his hair and bang on his head if he comes too close but he is sweet with you and usually tolerates it. Except when he doesn't. He has been known to snatch toys right out of your hands and sometimes throw them all too close to your face. I have a feeling you'll be telling him how you feel about that soon enough. 
  • You don't care much for dolls or princesses but you sure do love your brother's superheroes! 
  • You wear it well! Mommy chooses your wardrobe with care and precision. I dress you like a proper little lady, although I choose very little pink. 
  • You give open mouth kisses, or none at all! Big, wet, and unapologetic. 

 I love you so, Ava Girl. 


A Stroller for Two


Though I have a City Select, which is fantastic, we recently picked up another double stroller that wasn't as expensive to take on airplane trips and also use on different occasions. It's the Graco RoomFor2 Stand and Ride stroller. Let me tell you - I love this baby! It is actually easy to steer than my City Select (with the car seat on), folds up easily and compactly and best of all my toddler loves it. It is not without its faults but with the price tag of $140, it does a good job.

Here's some pros/cons:


- My graco car seat snugly snaps in - it's like a snap n go with a seat for my toddler too

- When I'm through with the car seat, there is a seat up front with a canopy for my little guy

- There is a try on the front with two cup holders and a built in storage container with two cup holders on top. 

- My toddler loves that she can climb in and out whenever she feels the need - no more buckling and unbuckling in a seat (there is a buckle on this seat if you want to use it.)

- Folds up as small as single strollers

- Price


- Only has canopy for front seat

- Storage isn't super easy to access. You have to generally put things in/take them out from the sides

- Doesn't stand up after you fold it up

- Toddler can't nap in the stroller


All in all, I'm really happy with this purchase. I'm planning a review of my City Select soon so you can see the differences for yourself.


MommyBeta Baby Likes New BABYBJÖRN Bouncer


BABYBJÖRN Bouncer Balance SoftThis morning Jennifer and I attended a BABYBJÖRN hosted breakfast to introduce the new version of their classic bouncing seat called the BABYBJÖRN Bouncer Balance Soft. We’re fans! I have the classic Babysitter Balance and my five-week old son enjoys it lots and when he tested the new Bouncer today, he too was a fan.

The Bouncer Balance features an updated design and new colors. It has three adjustable seating positions - play, rest, and sleep. I like that it’s not battery operated. A baby’s own movements gently rocks the chair, which promotes more of a self soothing behavior. So for example, if a baby falls asleep, the movement will stop and the baby will not learn to need the constant movement. Thumbs up for this feature, I like!

Greyson chill'n in the BABYBJÖRN Bouncer Balance SoftSomething I didn’t know about the classic bouncer and this new Bouncer Balance Soft is that the fabric is reversible, so that you can transform the bouncer into a chair when your child can walk on their own. Brilliant. My toddler is constantly trying to climb into her little bros’ bouncer. Now she can use it as a chair!

Also pointed out to me today is that the bouncer can be used when first starting your child on solid foods. Good idea. I remember using the Bumbo, but I think this is a better option.

The Bouncer Balance Soft is recommended for ages 0-2 years or up to 29 pounds. The prices range from $199.95 for cotton fabric to $219.95 for mesh and organic fabrics. For more information visit



5 Tips For Getting Out of the House with Two

I remember how terrified I was to leave the house during the first month of brining home my first. With a toddler, there is no time to be terrified of anything! Especially getting out of the house. It's a necessity. Here are some tips I'm using to help get out of the house (super helpful on school days). 

  • Choose outfit the night before: Getting dressed can be a nightmare in the morning. Especially now that my toddler has preferences about what she wants to wear. Watch out #diva. We've started to pick out clothes the night before. This way we can spend a little time choosing the perfect outfit without feeling rushed and without feeling pressed for time. 
  • Make and pack lunch the night before: This saves me a good 10 minutes. Doesn't sound like much but 10 minutes in the morning is a significant amount of time. And one less thing to think about. 
  • Breakfast is what's served: I got into a bad habit of asking my toddler what she wanted for breakfast each morning. Even when I'd give her options, it would take 10 minutes for her to decide between eggs or cereal. Now I make breakfast and let her know when it's time to eat. The caveat here is if I say "I'm going to make breakfast now" and she says "I want to eat..." If she asks for something specific and we have it, I have no problem giving her what she's requested. 
  • Bottle feed baby: I'm breastfeeding my newborn, which typically takes about 45 minutes all around. And I don't have 45 minutes to spare on the days Reese has school. So I've started pumping before everyone gets up (yep, kind of a pain but totally worth it) and bottle feeding in the morning. This saves me more than 25 minutes. 
  • Use incentives: Call it what you will. An incentive or a bribe but it works. Reese is obsessed with cartoons these days. On school days when we're rushing to get out of the house I explain that after she gets dressed, eats breakfast, clears her plate from the table, brushes hair and teeth, she can then watch cartoons until we have to leave for school. So she gets about 15 minutes of toon time before school. Works like a charm...for now!

I'm still adjusting to two kids. Please share your tips with me. What tips/tricks do you use to get out of the house?


No Changing Station? Make One

My husband and I were out to dinner with my toddler and then three week old. We were at our local pizza shop, which aside from having no changing station, is actually super kid-friendly.
Not even half way into dinner my newborn needed a diaper change quickly. My first thought was to walk home (we live just a few blocks away) to change him and then walk back. This option is something I probably would have done the first time around. Not so appealing for kid No. 2. So I walked to that bathroom not knowing exactly how I was going to change him. There wasn't a chair, a table or any type of furniture for that matter.
But what I did see before I walked into the restroom was a pizza box! So I kindly requested a pizza box and ta-da, my very own changing station. Pretty clever if I do say so myself. 
Tell me! What's your best makeshift changing station? Or what's the craziest place you've changed your kiddo?
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