Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Diaper bag essentials for potty training

With summer break in full swing and a house full of kids I feel like we're constantly in and out of the car heading somewhere in search of some fun and to get out of the house for a while. Traveling and running errands with babies and toddlers can be daunting- does anyone else feel like they end up packing everything but the kitchen sink in the diaper bag? I mean, there's so many "what-if" items that I end up bringing along. You never want to be caught in a bind and realize you forgot to pack something basic or important. Throw in a potty training toddler and you've got a stressed out mama and an overflowing diaper bag to lug around all day!

Since Harper started potty training I've gotten this diaper bag thing down. With another baby coming at the end of summer, I need to keep it simple and pack only the essentials, so here's what I make sure to always pack in our diaper bag.
Training pants. These are a must, especially if your little one is just starting their potty training journey. Harper is nowhere near underwear territory, and training pants are perfect for little accident away from home (trust me, you don't want to take apart and wash that car seat). 

Cottonelle® FreshCare® Flushable Cleansing Cloths. Whether you're at home or on the go, these flushable, sewer and septic-safe wipes are perfect for the entire family. Did you know most baby wipes aren't flushable? Yeah- clogged toilets are no good. I love these Cottonelle® wipes because they start to break down immediately after flushing, which makes them a great choice for little ones who are potty training, as well as bigger kids and adults too. They're alcohol-free and have a light, clean scent that leaves everyone feeling fresh and clean!
Hand sanitizer. Awesome for traveling and for when you can't get to warm water and hand soap. Plus, I feel like hand sanitizer cleans germs better for little ones who may not do a great job at hand washing. I always carry it with me!

Extra clothes in a plastic bag. Accidents happen, especially if you're past the training pants stage and your little one is in underwear. I always make sure to have an extra pair of clothes in a little bag (great for stashing the wet/soiled clothes in after changing). 
A favorite book. Harper loves to read her favorite potty book while sitting on her potty seat, so even when we're away from home I make sure to bring it with us. She's a stickler for routine! Heaven forbid we get to a toilet and she doesn't have her potty book! It also helps pass the time and gets her to focus on what she's supposed to do. 

A reward or treat. Some people reward successful potty trips with rewards, treats, snacks, stickers, etc. Whatever it is, make sure you bring it along when you're away from home! 
These Cottonelle® FreshCare® Flushable Cleansing Cloths have become a staple in my house and are a great choice for the entire family. I've got them in every bathroom, in the diaper bag, and in the glovebox of my car because they are just so convenient. They've been so handy with potty training too! I definitely recommend them to all of my mom friends. 
With a soon-to-be family of 6, Sam's Club has made it super easy and affordable for me to stock up on Cottonelle® FreshCare® Flushable Cleansing Cloths. This mega pack is already an amazing value, and right now Sam's Club members will instantly save $3 on them upon checkout (through July 17th).

Not a Sam's Club member? Join here to stock up and save! 
Now that you know some of my diaper bag essentials, what would you add to the list? What are your best tips for traveling with a potty training toddler? 





Tuesday, June 28, 2016

30 week update + a fun trip to labor & delivery

Wow, what a crazy weekend it was! The fact that it's now Tuesday before I had a chance to even post this kind of says it all. If you follow me on Facebook or Snapchat you may have seen that I spent Friday night at the hospital in labor & delivery, so I figured I'd post a little update on that and on my pregnancy in general.

It all started early Friday morning, after a night of tossing and turning, trying to get comfortable. At around 5am I got up to go to the bathroom and my stomach was killing me. Seriously, I was hunched over like an old woman and was moaning all the way to the bathroom. It felt like I had the worst cramps ever, except they were burning and radiating around to my lower back too. Well, the mom in me, who's first response to a stomach ache is always "maybe you just need to poop," figured I should just wait it out and see if maybe that was the problem. I climbed back into bed and basically just rolled around, writhing and moaning in agony until finally getting up at 7. At that point, my husband, awake and alarmed, told me to lay on the couch and that he'd get the kids' breakfast ready and make sure they all got dressed, etc, before he had to leave for work.

After he left, we turned a movie on for Harper to keep her happy and I laid on the couch, while my 11 year old son, Ayden, basically had to do everything for our crazy toddler while I was trying to rest. The pain was not getting any better and it was coming in waves that were making me nauseous. By 11am I texted my husband at work and told him that I think I needed to call my doctor.

Upon calling, I knew the receptionist was kind of alarmed by my sound of my voice (and intermittent moaning in between bouts of pain) because she didn't even take a message for a nurse to call me back. A nurse got on the phone immediately and asked me a series of questions and then asked me to come into the office to see my doctor when she got out of surgery at 1:50. She said if I couldn't wait that long to go straight to labor and delivery. I called my husband, he came home, took one look at me and said "Do you think you have another kidney stone?" Yes, that's exactly what I was thinking, and right after that I threw up from the pain and we were off to the doctor's office with 3 cranky kids in tow.

Sitting in the waiting room was fun- I spent about 20 minutes gasping and clutching at my stomach and back while everyone kind of gave me side-eye glances (probably wondering if I was in labor and why wasn't I at the hospital). Finally, they called me back and I saw my doctor, who immediately knew something was up by the look on my face. They did an ultrasound to make sure my cervix and placenta looked OK, and we took a quick peek at baby to make sure everything looked good with him. It all checked out, and that's when my urine sample came back with blood in it. At that point, my doctor told me that I looked like a woman with a kidney stone and that she wanted me to go to the hospital to labor and delivery so they could monitor the baby while I got some pain relief and so they could order a better ultrasound to look at my kidneys. Yay- such a familiar story...this same exact thing happened when I was pregnant with Harper two years ago!

I spent the rest of Friday afternoon hooked up to fetal monitors in labor and delivery, where the lovely nurses hooked me up with some IV fluids and a morphine drip. I was in so much pain at that point that they had to give me a starting dose of pain meds directly into my IV right away while they got the rest of it all hooked up, which I was thankful for. With the pain melting away I was finally able to relax my body for the first time all day. I didn't realize how tense I was, hunched over, bracing for waves of pain and clutching at my stomach and back when it would hit me. The relief almost made me cry!

I ended up spending Friday night in the hospital because there was really no other way for them to manage my pain at that point- I couldn't go home or else I'd be in agony. Plus, I was having some frequent contractions and the baby was having some slight decels in his heart rate, so they wanted to monitor us for a while and try to figure out when I could get another ultrasound (it was 7pm on a Friday night, so a little too late at that point). Thankfully, they got me a more comfortable bed, but I still had a pretty sleepless night with all of the beeping of machines and from being constantly checked on by the nurses every hour.

On Saturday I woke up feeling better pain-wise, but I was super nauseous and had a headache from all of the pain medication. We tried stretching out the amount of time between hitting the button for my morphine drip and I was able to get some food down, just in time to be wheeled off for an ultrasound. I was shocked when the doctor came back in an hour later and told me that they didn't see any kidney stones. What the heck was going on then? I had blood in my urine and extreme kidney pain like last time...so what else could it be? Well, my kidney was very swollen and the tube leading to my bladder looked inflamed and partially blocked, so they said it was this condition called hydronephrosis, which I guess is common in pregnancy (and since I'm prone to kidney stones, I'm  a prime candidate for more kidney ailments). You basically have most of the symptoms of a kidney stone/infection, including the pain, but no actual stones. They told me it might resolve itself in a few days or weeks, but that it should fully go away when I'm not pregnant anymore. Well, isn't that great? I only have about 10 more weeks to go, so that was super encouraging (heavy sarcasm).

So since I didn't actually have any kidney stones, the only thing they could really do for me at the hospital was to manage my pain as best they could until I felt like I was OK to go home and try to manage it there. By that point, the horrible pain was mostly gone. I hadn't been hitting my morphine button nearly as much and I really, really wanted to go home and shower and see my kiddos (who, thankfully, were with my awesome brother and sister in law all day Saturday so my husband was able to go to work). I told the nurses I felt OK enough to stop the IV pain meds and that we could try to see if some pain pills would be enough to keep the pain down, even though they told me I could stay there as long as I felt I needed to. Hospitals are no fun, so I really pushed to just stop everything and send me home with some pain medication. Finally, around 4pm on Saturday I got my wish and they discharged me! I spent the rest of Saturday night and most of Sunday resting at home with my family. The pain would come and go, but the medication seemed to be enough to keep it mostly at bay. Thankfully, the first 24 hours were the worst of it.

By Monday I felt almost completely better and I hadn't been having to take my pain medication as often, which was great, because I had a dentist appointment and we were supposed to trade in our car for a minivan. Mondays are pretty much the only day we have to do things like that (my husband's day off) and we'd been planning on car shopping for months now, but something always came up on a Monday that prevented us from going. Well, I was not waiting for another Monday! We sat in the car dealership all day...I did OK for most of it but there was one time in the afternoon when my stomach and back started to get really crampy and achy again and I had to take some medicine. It was worth it though, because after a loooooong day and tons of paperwork we drove home in our new minivan!

I'm so happy with what we ended up getting. It's much nicer than what we anticipated, but it just worked out perfectly and it was too good to pass up. Plus, with four kids, we figured it was a wise investment that was going to make our everyday lives much easier (remember, we'd been squeezing 3 kids into the backseat of a tiny Toyota Corolla for the last 2 years). I always said I never wanted a minivan, but now I'm so glad I have one! #momlife

Well, if you read all of that, you're awesome. If you skimmed, I don't blame you. It's a lot of text and I tend to get rambly, especially when I have a rare morning to blog when the kids are still sleeping. Speaking of which, I hear a sweet little toddler baby singing in her crib, so I better wrap this up and get her up! 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Mid-week confessions

Hi lovelies! Today's blog post is just a fun one where I share a few mid-week confessions. We're already halfway through the week and these are just some little tidbits that are on my mind...

I'm in denial about how big my kids are getting. Seriously, I cannot believe that I'm going to have a 3rd and 6th grader in the fall! Ayden will be in his last year of elementary school and Lily will be halfway done. *cries* 

My kids are pigs. OK, not really. But with summer upon us it's crazy to see just how much these crazy kids eat. The first week of summer we went to Costco on a Monday for lunch essentials and snacks, and by Friday everything was pretty much gone. I find the kids in the kitchen about 268 times a day for snacks! I feel like I've become the kitchen nazi telling them "Close the fridge- you JUST ate!" Honestly though, if they can make it through a school day without all the snacks why can't they do it at home? You're killing my wallet, kids! Quit growing. 

I hate doing my nails. I know it seems kind of crazy coming from someone with so many nail posts on her blog, right? It's true though...I really wish someone else could do my nails because I'm sick of doing them myself, especially my toes (which I can't reach anymore due to this big ol' belly I've got going on). Thankfully my awesome friend Jodi got me a gift certificate for a gel pedi at the salon she works at! Now I just need to find the time and a sitter to actually make my appointment.

I'm started season 4 of Orange is the New Black and I'm so lost! I guess I should have rewatched season 3 (after binge-watching it last June) because I'm about 4 episodes into the new ones and I'm so confused. I even went back and watched the previous season finale but it didn't help much. I feel like I'm missing a ton and I'm not as into the storylines as I should be. Damn you, Netflix.

Being pregnant in the summer sucks. That one isn't really a confession- it's just the truth! I'm really bummed that when I take the kids to the waterpark I can't go on any slides with them. All I can do is waddle around and wade around in the water with Harper. Oh, and sit on the sidelines and eat chicken fingers and fries, but I'm actually OK with that part. 

Alright, that's it for now. Two more sleeps until it's Friday (though that doesn't really mean much anymore now that it's summer!) 

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